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  • gilwilson 5:57 PM on April 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bloodshot, superheroes, valiant comics   

    “Bloodshot: The Coldest Warrior” (Kindle Worlds Novella) Kindle Edition by Brian K. Morris 

    Bloodshot: The Coldest Warrior (Kindle Worlds Novella) Kindle Edition51la8V93P8L._SY346_
    by Brian K. Morris
    87 pages
    Publisher: Kindle Worlds (October 9, 2013)
    Publication Date: October 10, 2013
    Release date: 06-09-15

    Some folks can’t wait for their favorite comic book to come to the big screen, only to be let down because the big screen didn’t capture what they picture their hero to be (see any DC comics based movie). In this novella Brian K. Morris has brought Bloodshot to life better than Hollywood ever could. The descriptive prose used to convey what is going on in Bloodshot’s nanite infested body makes the reader expand past the imaginative realms of comic books and create their own world of secret government agencies and unlikely heroes

    Publisher’s Summary

    Bloodshot is the perfect assassin, a more-than-human WMD who must stay one step ahead of his creators so that he might discover the truth about his past.

    However, Project Rising Spirit wants their living weapon back and they’ll do anything to capture him if they can, destroy him if they must.

    While traveling though a small town, Bloodshot discovers a decades-old computer that shouldn’t know his name, but it does.

    When Bloodshot’s nanite-fueled abilities vanish, he is tossed into the deadly heart of a decades-old government mystery that may be a key element in his own creation. But to learn that secret could spell his death at the hands of the last Cold Warrior.

    And why does a Project Rising Spirit agent want to kill the old man with the nicest lawn in town? What is this widower’s secret that may spell the end of Bloodshot?

    ©2013 Brian K. Morris

     
  • gilwilson 11:06 PM on March 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , superheroes   

    “Civil War” (Marvel Comics) by Stuart Moore 

    marvelcw

    “Civil War” (Marvel Comics)
    by Stuart Moore
    Multi-cast production
    Produced by Graphic Audio
    Approx 6 hours

    Okay I have to start this review out with a confession. That confession is that I just experienced a six hour nerdgasm. Holy freakin’ cow, this audiobook just rocked my world.

    Now that that is out of the way let explain a few things. I’m a huge Marvel Comics fan and have been for years. What makes me a fan is that all of Marvel’s heroes are realistic. Yes I know super powers aren’t real, but Marvel makes it so that the heroes have everyday problems and how they cope with those problems and fight for what is right is what gives them the everyman experience to which the average reader can relate. Iron Man/Tony Stark struggles with his own alcoholism, Spider-man/Peter Parker has to contend with high school (in the early years) and bullies, the Fantastic Four have family problems and Ben Grimm has to contend with being made of rock, never able to be normal. Being able to relate to the average comic book reader makes Marvel, in my opinion, the most enjoyable comic book publisher around.

    Over a decade ago It was announced that a live-action Spider-man movie was going to be released and when this theatrical magic that was thrust upon us by Sam Raimi hit the theatres I was one of the first in line. Spider-man is my all time favorite, by the way. When the opening movie credits started I wept tears of excitement. Finally, my hero is on the big screen. By the end of the movie I was emotionally drained and pumped up at the same time. Not long after the release of the Spider-man movie I was forced to stop my weekly visits to the comic book store due to an economic downfall on my part and later moving to an area that had no comic book stores. I wasn’t able to go back to reading comics until just about a year ago.

    During my comics hiatus I missed some exciting events in the Marvel universe. One of which was the mega-crossover event that is covered by this novel. The “Civil War” created a major schism between the heroes in the Marvel Universe. This schism is a lot like the events that happened after 9/11 and the following P.A.T.R.I.O.T. A.C.T. in the United States. Where people (heroes in this case) were forced to give up freedom for the nation’s security. After a major accident that occurs with some heroes and leaves a town in New England decimated and over 900 dead, the government decides that superheroes must become registered and screened before they can use their powers. Captain America does not believe that freedom should be surrendered, and Iron Man (who stands to make lots of money selling weapons to Homeland Security in the deal) thinks that this is what must be done to protect innocents. the superheroes are split on this and thus begins the “Civil War.” Those that do not register are hunted down and imprisoned.

    In a curious note, this story can also be related to today’s issue of gun control. Where some events that have taken American lives lead to gun legislation arguments.

    During my comics hiatus I had heard about this crossover and was extremely curious. I can’t say I was too excited because I hate those stories that pit hero vs. hero. But with the political aspect involved I was intrigued to see how each hero would react. I then decided when the chance came up I would find the trade paperbacks of this crossover and read them, this turned out not to be so easy for me. Then I heard a novelization of the event was coming out and I knew I’d be reading that, but just when I heard about the release of the novel I heard that GraphicAudio was going to do an audiobook version of the novel. I was psyched at this point and knew right away I was going to wait for that release. After nearly a year of constantly checking the GraphicAudio website, it was released and to make it even more exciting was offered a review copy. Pure excitement ran through me. Finally, I will hear some of the world’s greatest heroes as portrayed by the excellent productions of GraphicAudio.

    I was first introduced to GraphicAudio about five years ago through a DC comics audiobook. That production blew me away. The fights were all realistic, and the otherworldly sounds that can only happen in sci-fi or comics were so original that It seemed as though they had actually gone to a rift in space and recorded a superhero battle. I then started listening to every comic book audiobook created by GraphicAudio. At the time all they did were DC comics and even though I was a marvel fan I took them all in and just let the “Movie in your Mind” aspect of GraphicAudio wash over me. In fact because of GraphicAudio, when I did start purchasing comics again I picked up some DC comics and gave them a chance where I would have not done before.

    GraphicAudio’s tagline is, “A Movie in your Mind,” and with every single audiobook they produce they deliver. With surreal sound effects and exciting music the illustrated artistry that is the main punch of comic books comes to life with sound. Once you experience this from GraphicAudio you will not be able to listen to an audiobook the same again.

    On top of the excellent ambient sound, GraphicAudio has some of the best voice actors I’ve ever heard. Each actor portraying the heroes in “Civil War” captured every essence of the characters and the plethora of emotions, which really pulled out the basis which makes Marvel my favorite. The actors all related to the characters and made them sound like heroes with the nuance of everyday problems. I was ready to nit pick this aspect, being the big Marvel fan, but there was nothing done wrong. Every hero sounded exactly like I imagined, no wait, strike that, they sounded better than I imagined.

    Once again I was so psyched about this marriage of Marvel and GraphicAudio that, again, I wept with excitement at the opening credits of this audiobook, and even doubly so when Spider-man fought his battles. I’m sure the other drivers in traffic would have thought me crazy if they happened to look over while I was cheering Spidey on in his battle.

    All I can say is, no matter what your preference in comics, audiobooks or escapism, you must go out and get this audiobook and be ready to be blown away.  When this book was over I was physically and emotionally drained, yet pumped up.  Pumped and ready for more.

    I selected this post to be featured on Book Review Blogs. Please visit the site and vote for my blog!
     
  • gilwilson 10:11 PM on October 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , H.E.R.O., heroes, kevin rau, , , , , superheroes   

    “H.E.R.O. – Metamorphosis” by Kevin Rau 

    “H.E.R.O. – Metamorphosis”
    by Kevin Rau
    self-published
    340 pages

    The digital age is upon us and what may have ruined the music industry may be a boon for the publishing industry, well maybe more for the authors than for the publishers. When the mp3 format for music came out it was a nice way to store audio files on the computer but as the market demanded mp3 players became a hit. I had one of the original Rio mp3 players, I believe it only held about 64 megabytes worth of files. Which at the time (late 1990s) it was enough, or so we all thought. Then Apple came along with their iPod and changed the way music was distributed.

    This has been a bad thing for the recording industry. The sharing of mp3 files is super easy and pirating of music is pretty common. This caused major losses for the recording industry by way of sales. The recording industry should have stepped up and made sure that all the music released was worth having, but someone along the way dropped the ball and now the only thing major record labels release is the same old cookie cutter pop that sells but has no real artistic value. The positive side of this is that local bands and talent that would have been otherwise looked over can now self publish and distribute their music easily. So now we have choice, but sometimes you have to really sift through the detritus to find a treasure.

    This seems to be happening now with books and authors. When the portable eReader “Kindle” came out many authors wrote stories that were available only online. Later the “Nook” came out and then there were many eReaders all competing for your dollar. I purchased a “Kindle” and have enjoyed it ever since. I love having thousands of books in my hand on one device. This also has created a market that made authors able to self publish. I am constantly scouring the internet for free books by up and coming authors and many times they will offer their books for free in order to get their name out. This is how I discovered this book and the entire “H.E.R.O.” series by Kevin Rau.

    I’m a huge comic book fan and I often find great audiobook versions of novelizations of comic books. This time around I ran across Kevin Rau on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/herobooks )and discovered he was creating his own world of superheroes with his line of books that are all self published, and like any good dealer, the first hit is free. His books are all available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many other online booksellers and you can get this first one for free. I will warn you that this will turn into a habit, because these books are addictive, especially if you love comic books and superheroes.

    On his website ( http://www.kevinrau.com ) he has 3D graphic renderings of the heroes and villains in his book. As a full-time computer programmer he is able to use that skill to create the computer generated images which adds to the effect. He has published a book that contains the images, which makes a good companion to this collection.

    So let’s talk about this book, “H.E.R.O. – Metamorphosis.” This one is pretty much the introduction to the series and it does a great job of bringing the reader into Kevin Rau’s Superhero and SuperVillain world. Through the changing of three fairly normal college age friends from normal humans into metahumans, Kevin not only introduces the three heroes but the world that created them and even the politics of a world where super powers happen.

    The world was once threatened by an asteroid, and in order to save the planet nuclear missiles were launched to destroy the threat. While a cataclysmic event was averted by the destruction, a side effect was created. Pieces of the asteroid became radioactive and began falling to the planet. These fragments had the power to change human D.N.A. and mutate those that were too close. Some gain powers and become heroes and some villains. In the worse case scenario some become so horribly mutated they not only look horrid, but also lose their minds. An organization was formed to allow those that become heroes to help and to round-up the mutants who present a danger to all.

    Lance, Rael and Stephanie are all good friends who have been raised in single parent homes, more to the point, those single parents were all metahumans. They have been raised as if they were to become heroes themselves, taking the proper courses in school and even through weight training and martial arts. One day they are told to be at the mall when the next meteor shower hits, and sure enough they become heroes and their lives change forever.

    Lance becomes the hero Spartan, a brick who is super strong (think of The Incredible Hulk). Rael becomes a bit of a mutant in that his eyes become catlike, his teeth sharpen a bit and his hands have turned into claws, he becomes the Black Tiger and is able to use his martial arts training better than before. Stephanie becomes Psystar, a hero who is able to read minds and influence emotions, she is also able to fly. The three have been studying and training for this for all their lives and when a mutant by the name of Shrinker begins kidnapping humans to feed her army of mutants the three go into action to shut her down.

    The story is extremely fun and very smooth flowing. My favorite part of the book is that the author tells the story from the different perspectives of the three friends and mixes in third person perspective to tell the entire story. I really can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. I should say that this book does seem to be aimed at a younger audience so don’t go expecting something with intense depth. Just prepare yourself for a fun superhero novel with some very well written fight scenes.

     
  • gilwilson 10:50 PM on June 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , superheroes   

    “Green Lantern: Sleepers – book 1” by Christopher J. Priest & Mike Baron 

    “Green Lantern: Sleepers – book 1”
    by Christopher J. Priest & Mike Baron
    Full Cast Production
    Produced by GraphicAudio
    Approx 6 hours

    Yes I love my comic books, and yes I love my audiobooks, so when I get the chance to merge the two I jump on it. You are probably thinking, “But isn’t the fun in comics the artwork? How do you see the artwork in an audiobook?” I used to think that until I got my hands on my first GraphicAudio production. The slogan for GraphicAudio is “A Movie in Your Mind” and boy do they ever deliver. GraphicAudio uses superb voice actors mixed in with original music and mind-blowing sound effects that take the full artwork experience of a comic book and bring it to life in their great audiobook productions. While this book was written as a novel and didn’t have the artwork of a comic book, GraphicAudio is able to bring this book to life in their full production, “Movie in Your Mind.”

    This book is actually part of a trilogy in which each book focuses on a different Green Lantern. If you are not a regular reader of the Green Lantern Comics, let me explain a bit on that. Throughout the continuity of DC comics there have been several different versions of the Green Lantern, beginning with Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, the thing to note is that he got his power from a lantern created from a meteor. The Green Lanterns got their powers from rings created by the Guardians on the planet Oa. Alan Scott is also the father of Jade who is now dating Kyle Raynor, the current incarnation of Green Lantern. Raynor is the focus of this story, but more on that later. Since I’ve already mentioned Raynor, I’ll now mention the third Green Lantern you need to know about for this book and trilogy, Hal Jordan.

    Hal Jordan was a founding member of the Justice League, and the first Green Lantern to get powers from the Guardians. During the DC comics history Jordan became a bad guy, known as Parallax and attempted to commit cosmic genocide. It was because of this that the Guardians made Kyle Raynor the new Green Lantern. To make things short Hal has now become the Spectre. The Spectre historically has been judge, jury and executioner for people, countries and planets and usually in a very harsh manner. Hal, because of his time as Parallax, chooses to be a more peaceful Spectre and takes more of a pacifist’s view of helping out other heroes.

    Okay with all that back history let’s talk about this first book in the “Sleepers” trilogy. The book begins with a battle in World War II in which the soldiers are fighting on the ground and the superheroes battling in the air. When a medic finds a soldier dying on the field, the dying soldier insists the medic, Eddie Rochefort (Roach to his friends), take his ring. The medic takes the ring after the man takes his last breath and passes on. Jump now a couple of decades and Hal Jordan as Green Lantern teams up with Black Canary, Ganthet and Green Arrow to defeat Sinestro in the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. They send his remains back to his anti-matter universe and that is the end of Sinestro. Now jump to “today” and Kyle Raynor as Green Lantern has just proposed to his girlfriend, Jade, and she has turned him down. While looking for a shirt in his closet he finds a pregnancy test in her closet and he freaks out and takes a trip to Saturn.

    While around Saturn, Kyle finds remains of a ship that look as though it was destroyed millions of years ago and may have come from the anti-matter universe. After gathering some samples and sending back to Justice League headquarters for analysis, Kyle returns home to find Jade getting friendly with the exterminator, Eddie Rochefort II (Roach to his friends).

    Years ago Eddie the second was digging in his grandfather’s attic to find a ring that was similar to a Green Lantern Ring, but when he discovered the ring his Grandfather is burned alive by an alien monster. Eddie is then visited by an alien craft years later and soon becomes the next Sinestro. With his fixation on Jade, he kidnaps her and takes her to the anti-matter universe where an invasion is being planned.

    It is now up to Kyle Raynor, Green Lantern, to save Jade, destroy this second Sinestro and save the universe. Seeking help from Hal Jordan doesn’t seem possible since he’s off on his hippie Spectre kick, and the Justice League all seem to be out of reach. Can the Green Lantern stop Sinestro and the invasion in time? In a full-scale audio explosion from GraphicAudio you will have fun all the way to the exciting end.

     
  • gilwilson 4:36 PM on February 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , miss peregrine's home for peculiar children, , ransom riggs, , , superheroes, ,   

    “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs 

    “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”
    by Ransom Riggs
    Published by Quirk Books (2011)
    352 pages

    Okay before we start on this book I have to share some info that took place in the reading of this book. While reading this fascinating young adult fiction, I opened up a store with a friend of mine. While opening the store I started reading this book in hardcover format, that’s important and will be explained later. The store we have opened is True Hideaway Family & Gaming ( http://www.truehideaway.com or find us on face book) The central focus of the store is for gamers especially those that play “Magic; the Trading Card Game,” we have friday night tournaments and are looking at maybe doing tournaments other nights since we’ve become popular.

    We affectionately refer to our store as a “nerd store,” because it is home to all things nerdy. My part of the store is comic books and collectibles, the other aspect is we sell books (manga, reprinted pulp-fiction books, sci-fi / fantasy novels and graphic novels) as well as all the gaming materials. We even have regular “old-fashioned” board games and anyone can come in anytime and play a game. Role playing games seem to be highly popular and we have folks come in and play their campaigns. I am liquidating my old comic book collection of around 2,000 or so comics and when I sold an old “Kiss” comic from the mid-70s for $70, I decided to reward myself by finally buying a kindle.

    With my rewarded kindle in hand, I loaded up some books that are on my to-read list and took off. The first book I loaded was this book, I was halfway through the hardcover, but I thought what better way to launch than to get this “peculiar” book rolling. I am now in love with my kindle, but every so often I know I’m going to go back to a regular tree killing book, but for now, I’m a kindler.

    Okay let’s move on to this book, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” When I first picked up this book I wasn’t aware that it was a Young Adult fiction, I knew it was fiction, but the goal is for ages 13 and up. The and up is very true, this book is very well written, with a fascinating story and some great adventures thrown in that make this book perfect for all ages.

    The book was originally intended to be a picture book with the photographs that were collected by various people from bins of lost photographs found at flea markets and such. But thanks to a genius editor at Quirk Books, Riggs wrote a story based on the photographs. The photos are all peculiar in and of themselves and putting them together to form a story the author shows not only genius himself but a storytelling ability that would put any comic book writer to shame.

    The bulk of the pictures feature various weirdness of subjects; a man posing with a rock in the background looking as though he’s lifting the boulder, a young boy’s head on a dog’s body, a young girl looking as though she’s holding a flaming orb. Many of the pictures are a bit creepy and sometimes when the story behind them created by Riggs is told they can seem extremely normal or even creepier.

    The story revolves around Jacob whose grandfather had escaped Nazi invasion by fleeing to a children’s home on an island off the coast of Wales. The children are all “peculiar,” at least according to the stories from Jacob’s grandfather. There is the invisible boy, a teacher that is a bird, a strong man, a girl that floats, one that controls the growth of plants. So at times this school seems to have come out of an issue of X-men comics. But the story goes even further when Jacob witnesses the death of his grandfather at the hands of a shadowy figure. Jacob tells his story and immediately branded as suffering a mental breakdown due to the loss of his grandfather. His grandfather’s last words were to follow the loop to September 30, 1940 and find the bird. Cryptic yes, but after exploring his grandfather’s possessions he finds that the school his grandfather survived the war in exists.

    When Jacob and his father make a trip to Wales, the dark secret behind “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” is revealed and soon Jacob must save the children and possibly the world.

    Superb creativity that will capture the attention of anyone of all ages.

     
    • gajenn 4:59 PM on February 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the review, this has been on my “to-read” list for a while!

      Like

    • Erica 3:53 PM on February 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      This sounds great! I’d never heard of the book before, i like the use of old photographs – what a great touch!

      Like

  • gilwilson 10:22 PM on March 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , new gods, , superheroes, ,   

    “Final Crisis” by Greg Cox 

    “Final Crisis”
    by Greg Cox
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced 2010, by GraphicAudio
    Approx. 8 Hours

    “Final Crisis” was a crossover storyline that appeared in DC comics published throughout 2008, primarily the seven-issue miniseries of the same name was written by Grant Morrison.  This was the last of the multiverse type series from DC and sort of closed up some gaps left in the previous titles; “Crisis on Infinite Earths”,  “Infinite Crisis”, “52”, and “Countdown.”  However I think this created more questions than answers and served no other purpose but to confuse the reader.  While having some great confrontations and interesting twists on science and gods the story just didn’t do it for me.  I was so glad I listened to the audio book format of this title.

    As usual GraphicAudio delivers this audiobook with a punch, and I’m talking one of those full-graphic-with-exploding-colors-as-only-seen-in-comic-books punches.  When GraphicAudio promises a “Movie in your Mind” they aren’t exaggerating.  First off the voice actors are superb and voice each character with precision accuracy, Superman sounds like Superman, Batman sounds like Batman and so on.  There is no denying the excellence in the talent pool here.  The sound effects will blast you out of your seat.  With planets exploding or crumbling, a black hole sucking in the multiverse and even Green Lantern’s ring fizzling out, the sound effects are perfect. And the music, well pretty much all I can say here is “WOW!”  The music moves the story, mood and action perfectly.  All in all these GraphicAudio productions are perfect.  For me it was the only saving grace in this title.

    The gist of this story is that one of the new gods, Orion, is murdered and another new god, Darkseid, sees this as his chance to take over Earth.  Also one of Earth’s multiverse monitors is stripped of his powers for letting Earth 51 be destroyed.  While some of my favorite heroes play major parts in this, The Flashes (yes 3 generations of The Flash) open a time portal allowing things to begin and end, and The Green Lantern Corps try to stop Darkseid, I think the story relied too heavily on Superman.

    There was one saving grace for the story and that was the creation of a young Japanese group of superheroes.  Mixing superheroes with Japanese pop-culture, the characters are: Most Excellent Superbat, Big Atomic Lantern Boy, Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, Shiny Happy Aquazon and Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash.  I first had some good laughs with their names but sheesh the way they interacted was fun.  At one point all the characters had revealed their powers, except one, and when asked what his was Most Excellent Superbat responded, “Mine is the best of all, I can buy anything.”

    Throughout the story I was confused as to what caused what and with The Flashes and Superman doing a little time traveling that just made it even more hard to follow.  But thanks to GraphicAudio, I had a great time listening.

     
  • gilwilson 9:44 PM on February 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: alex ross, , , , , , , , , , kingdom come, superheroes,   

    “Kingdom Come” adapted by John Whitman based on a story by Mark Waid and Alex Ross and the novelization by Elliot S. Maggin. 

    “Kingdom Come”
    adapted by John Whitman
    based on a story by Mark Waid and Alex Ross and the novelization by Elliot S. Maggin.
    Multi-cast performance
    Published 1998 byTime Warner AudioBooks
    approx. 3 hours

    I have only recently become a fan of DC comics.  Throughout most of my life I was mostly a Marvel comics fan, especially Spider-Man, because Marvel seemed to me to be more of an Everyman becoming a hero, and DC heroes were rich or from other planets.  Sure, I crossed over once in a while for The Flash, and Batman, but that was pretty much it.  I’m not sure if it is because I got older or DC comics decided to become more Everyman but I’ve recently been dipping into the DC pool.  A lot of this influence is because of my experience with some great DC comics audiobooks.  This storyline I ran across accidentally while looking for more comic/novel based audiobooks.  This one was originally done as an audio drama with full sound effects and actors voicing each character.  This seemed up my alley so, I gave it a listen and was treated to some fun superhero action.

    I mentioned Everyman aspects of comics that I prefer because this book actually looks at the Heroes as gods aspect that I didn’t like.  It seems that many people of the Earth in this DC comics creation didn’t like it either.  Before I go into that further, a neat aspect of this story is the combination of the Book of Revelations from the Holy Bible with the possible end of the world that could happen thanks to the battles between super heroes and super villains.   Pastor Norman McKay is receiving visions of the end of times, the mysterious hero The Spectre, takes Pastor McKay on a trip through time and space to the various heroes and what has brought about this end of times.

    The Earth has a sudden influx of MetaHumans, these are humans that have developed super hero type abilities.  When one metahuman, known as Magog, kills the Joker, it seems this would be a good thing, but a hospital full of patients and one Lois Lane, wife of Superman, is collateral damage, does not seem to bother this new breed of metahumans.  Superman retires to his Fortress of Solitude and leaves mankind to fend for itself.  Jump ahead a few years and the metahumans have gotten rid of all the super villains and now they are bored.  So instead of just sitting back and enjoying they peace they begin to battle each other, every time taking out large chunks of various cities.  When Magog and a group of metahumans destroy Kansas, Wonder Woman seeks out Superman so they can put a stop to all the metahumans,  kind of like the band is getting back together for the Justice League, but, it’s not all that easy, it seems Lex Luthor has survived and is getting the villains remaining back together for one final battle.

    Can the Justice Leage reform and put aside years of apathy and ill-feelings?  This story has some great battles and some great action with an ending only a comic book could put together.

    This audio drama packs a pretty good superhero punch with some great voice acting and some excellent sound effects to keep you in the moment.  My only beef is with that of the actor portraying Pastor McKay.  He is shown all the destruction and despair and on top of that is receiving vision of a Revelations scale, yet he’s extremely chipper and happy throughout his dialogue.  He just didn’t seem believable.  Everything else was excellent.

     
  • gilwilson 9:55 PM on February 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , crisis, , , , , jonah hex, superheroes, , , trail of time   

    “DC Universe: Trail of Time” by Jeff Mariotte 

    “DC Universe: Trail of Time”
    by Jeff Mariotte
    Multicast performance
    Produced by GraphicAudio
    Approx 6 hours

    Time travel, DC’s “lesser” heroes plus Superman, dual Earths, magic and Sorcery, demons, Apache, and King Arthur, could they fit any more into this story?  The answer is, probably, but holy cow what an adventure this book carries.  Even better is that GraphicAudio has taken this novel and worked their magic to create yet another “Movie in Your Mind.”

    GraphicAudio always does wonders when producing audiobooks.  The excellent voice actors, surreal sound effects and perfect incidental music all combine to make what they promise to be that “Movie in Your Mind.”  The actors that carry out the tasks of voicing the villains and heroes not only capture the emotion of the character, but GraphicAudio’s actors seem to also be able to encapsulate the entire being of the history of the character.   In this novel, the actor voicing Clark Kent and Superman seems to be able to vocalize the square jaw, red and blue costume, complete hero.  And the sound effects, WOW!  How would you make the sound of a demon splitting the skin of a child, as in when a cicada sheds its shell?  Creepy yeah, but GraphicAudio can do it…and a whole lot more.

    Anyway let’s talk about the story.  At first I thought I was going into yet another DC universe “Crisis” title, in which there are multiple universes and the heroes have to keep them from colliding or being destroyed, but, this is just a story of magic and only two Earths.  Yeah, right JUST magic and two Earths, hey it is an adventure but not on the “Crisis” level.   In fact Superman makes a reference to the “Crisis” books/storylines when told of the two Earths.  This story however is about how 3 sorcerers, Vandal Savage, Felix Faust, and Dark Lord Mordru have teamed up to create an alternate Earth which they will rule over.  This is big magic and starts back in the time of King Arthur and Camelot, but now the magic is coming to fruition and the new Earth (which has a red sun) is not a pleasant place.  Clark Kent is a resident of the new Earth, but since it has a red sun he does not have the super powers therefore Superman does not exist.   The citizens of the new Earth do not have any personal freedoms and as she is trying to expose the corrupt government Clark’s wife Lois Lane is killed.  In order to right this wrong Clark is recruited by The Phantom Savage and Jason Blood (who is the host for the demon, Etrigan).

    The journey to the real Earth first begins with a trip through Hell.  Clark is powerless at first but as he comes closer to the Earth with the yellow sun his memories of being Superman as well as his powers come back, or merge or something like that (it’s hard to keep up w/ alternate realities, sometimes).  Once back on the real Earth the three heroes begin traveling through time to find the time when the sorcerers are finalizing the last magic to finish the long term spell.  The only clue they have to go on is that the spell requires ritual sacrifice on a holocaust level.  The revisit all times in Earth’s history in which millions of people were killed, from the plague to the days of the Mongol hordes invading lands and beyond.   Some of the times they arrive in they find a trap laid by the sorcerers, meaning they are drawing nearer.

    In what seems to be a side story, from back in the old west of America, Jonah Hex, El Diablo, Johnny Thunder, Bat Lash and Scalphunter seem to be drawn together for some reason.  After a bar Brawl, Jonah is thrown into jail.  The others bust him out and realize they have been brought together for some reason and set out to find that reason.  When they arrive at a canyon guarded by illusions and magicks, they realize that the reason must be pretty big.  About this time Superman, Phantom Stranger and Jason Blood arrive on the scene.  Inside the canyon are thousands of Apache held hostage for the sacrifice the Sorcerers need.   All combining forces the heroes begin to wear down all the defenses and try to stop the new Earth from being formed.

    Heroes, the old west, time travel and evil villains, all this combines to make one tasty story from the DC comics universe, and thanks to GraphicAudio this book comes to life in audiobook form.

     
  • gilwilson 8:59 PM on October 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , countdown, , , , , , , , jimmy olsen, mary marvel, robin, superheroes,   

    “Countdown” by Greg Cox 

    “Countdown”
    by Greg Cox
    Multi-cast Performance
    Produced by GraphicAudio, 2010
    Approx 6 hours

    DC comics had/has a great configuration of crossover comics with their multi-verse “Crisis” series.
    Crisis on Infinite Earths
    Countdown to Infinite Crisis
    Infinite Crisis
    52
    Countdown to Final Crisis (novel form titled “Countdown,” this book)
    Final Crisis
    The series told a tale of 52 alternate realities otherwise known as multiverses.  The problem consisting of multiple realities coming together could destroy all realities.  In this  book, “Countdown,” The aftermath of “Infinite Crisis” led to the series “52” which consisted of the Primary Earth dealing with the aftermath.  This book, as the title suggests, is a countdown to events that lead to yet another multiverse crisis which will be the “Final Crisis.”  The original “Countdown to Final Crisis” comics were published in 51 issues, Greg Cox has created the novelization of the series into this book.

    So once again the comic books are converted to a novel.  What happened to the awesome graphics that make a comic so much of an experience?  Well,  Greg Cox uses words to convey the images and any fan of good fiction would appreciate this.  But what happens if the comic fan wants those images?  I suggest picking up the audio book created by GraphicAudio.  GraphicAudio has a slogan, “A Movie in your Mind,” and let me tell you, they deliver.  From the moment I heard my first GraphicAudio audiobook, I’ve been hooked.  They use a cast of very talented voice actors that can creat every subtlety of a superhero through voice only.  For Example, when you hear someone acting the role of Batman in a GraphicAudio audiobook, you hear Bruce Wayne’s loss of his parents, his calculating the next 30 moves in defeating a foe, and more, just through superb voice acting.

    The acting is not the only thing that keeps these audiobooks interesting there is also incidental music that rises and falls with and enhances all the emotions and action in the story.  And even more fun are the sound effects.  So how do you give sound to the Green Lantern’s ring creating a boxing glove and punching his foe?  You can’t just simply punch something and record it, because the power behind the ring is what is creating the glove.  GraphicAudio create some superb effects that you can see in the mind’s eye all aspects of just such an action.  These guys really know what they are doing.

    So with all that said let’s talk about this audiobook.  The excitement abounds, the story twists and turns and ultimate good is pitted up against ultimate evil.  Exactly what you’d expect from a comic book, but in this series all this takes place without the big name superheroes.  The Justice League members do make their appearance near the end to help wrap up the final battle and outcome, but for the most part what were normally minor characters now take the lead.

    First off we’ve got Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen, suddenly endowed with superpowers.  Not sure where they come from, Jimmy’s not one to ask, being the epitomical good guy, Jimmy immediately takes on the guise of Action Man and tries to right wrongs.  The problem with these newfound powers is that they only occur when his life is threatened.  But when his life is threatened the powers are doozies.  Powers such as, porcupine like quills suddenly erupting from his skin and shooting at foes, his body turning to ooze and more weirdness.  Even not being able to control his powers Jimmy tries to fight crime.

    Next we have Mary Marvel.  After the events in 52, Mary is now just simply Mary Batson, sister to Billy Batson (Captain Marvel/Shazam).  Her powers were mysteriously taken away and she awakens in a hospital scared and powerless.  To find her brother and eventually her powers Mary seeks out Madame Xanadu,  warns Mary not to go to Gotham City.  Ignoring her, Mary is chased by thugs through the Gotham subway, and finds the former Kahndaqi Embassy, where Black Adam has been hiding. Adam appears, saves Mary, and transfers his powers to Mary.  Mary acquires the powers of Black Adam, Isis, and Osiris as a result.  These dark powers change Mary’s psyche and she seems to be one of the bad guys.

    Holly Robinson, former Catwoman (the good Catwoman not the criminal one) meets up with Harley Quinn (Joker’s former girlfriend) at a women’s shelter in Metropolis where a woman claiming to be Athena is recruiting Amazons to go to Paradise Island, which was vacated by the real Amazons (Wonder Woman’s family).

    Jason Todd (former Robin that should have died), and Donna Troy (former Wonder Girl, who also should have died) meet up with a Monitor who recruits them to find The Atom. It seems The Atom, Ray Palmer, is the key to fighting the New Gods who are waging war against each other and could destroy the Universe.

     
  • gilwilson 7:12 AM on July 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: alan grant, , , , , , , , , , last sons, lobo, martian manhunter, superheroes   

    “Last Sons” by Alan Grant 

    “Last Sons”
    by Alan Grant
    Multicast Performance
    produced by GraphicAudio
    Approx 2 hours

    With the help of superb audio book production I have recently become a DC comics fan.  I used to only be a Marvel fan, but hey even Stan Lee did some stuff for DC a few years ago, so I can bend a little.  The thing that really got me was the “Movie in your Mind” created by these audio books from GraphicAudio.  They take excellent voice talent mix in out-of-this-world sound effects and original incidental music and blend it all in to become a cinematic audio production of some great novelizations.  They cover other genres of literature, but my favorite by far is their productions of DC comics novels.

    This book has sold me even more on DC comics in that I have found my new favorite DC Character.  Most of DC comics superheroes are square-jawed, do gooders in tights but this time we are introduced to the bounty hunter, Lobo.  Lobo is meant to be DC’s answer to Marvel’s Wolverine.  I think DC also took a bit of Lobo’s personality from Marvel’s “Merc with a mouth,” Deadpool.  Deadpool is my all time favorite hero or rather anti-hero, because he is quick to crack wise and has a psycopathic disposition that sometimes leads him to have witty conversations with himself.  One thing Deadpool does that I have yet to hear Lobo do is break the fourth wall, you know, turn and talk to the audience.  But maybe in the future when Lobo gets his own comic that can happen.  There has been a short run of Lobo comics, but I have yet to read them.

    In a recent audio book produced by GraphicAudio, “52,” there was a slight mention of Lobo but not enough to really note.  This time Lobo is the main character.  Lobo is a psychopathic bounty hunter that only thinks about 3 things; himself, booze and broads, in that order.  I guess you could throw in mayhem and finding the next criminal to bring in.  Lobo is an expert biochemist and has the uncanny ability to know exactly what to do next, mix this in with his super healing factor and the ability to track any molecule via sense of smell and his super strength, this makes for one bounty hunter you hope you never have after you.  He used his biochemical expertise to wipe out his entire race/planet and become the last known survivor of his planet before moving on to become a bounty hunter.

    This book opens with Lobo bringing in a gang of thugs but as he’s rounding them up they manage to blow up his space bike, oh yeah Lobo is also a biker, and to fix the bike, which is no ordinary bike, he uses the brain of one of the thugs to replace the destroyed brain of the bike.   Yeah, it’s a pretty cool bike.  As he returns he finds that he has been requested to bring in J’onn J’onnzz (The Martian Manhunter) with a 1 million cred reward.  This would provide some serious booze and broads for “The Main Man,” as he refers to himself.

    If you don’t know, J’onnzz is the last remaining of his species from Mars.  He prides himself on being on the side of justice and could never break any law.  After a brief battle between J’onnzz and Lobo, Superman (the last son of Krypton) intervenes and after Lobo presents the warrant, he and J’onnz decide the warrant is legit and J’onnzz decides to allow to be taken in  and find what the mixup is about.  Superman is wary but allows his friend to be taken in.  In being wary Superman heads to the office where bounty hunters are dispersed and finds that no crime is listed.  He then follows the 2 to where J’onnz is to be delivered.

    The delivery point is a planet where the race of beings are excellent at carving rocks.  An artificial intelligence, calling itself Alpha, has latched on to these beings, making them its slave and forcing them to create a body so the electrical based artificial intelligence can inhabit.  From there the Alpha begins making the planet into a giant supercomputer/space ship (similar to the Death Star in Star Wars).  Alpha also has the beings carve out spacecraft which it plans on using to destroy all live in the universe.
    Lobo is heading to the Alpha’s planet not knowing what the Alpha is planning, but just wanting to collect the bounty.  When he arrives he sees J’onnzz placed into a prison cell  and the Alpha declares that he is keeping J’onnzz because he is the last of his race.  Knowing he is also the last Lobo prepares to battle his way out, but is not able to act fast enough before being subdued and imprisoned himself.

    This leaves Krypton’s last son, Superman to try and save them, but the Alpha is prepared and has Kryptonite on hand to subdue Supes.  J’onnzz, Superman and Lobo have to put aside their differences and team up if there is to be any hope for the survival of the universe.  Once again through some great battles and with even greater witty rapport on the part of Lobo this story creates a fun adventure in the world of DC comics.

     
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