Four Letter Nerd

Author - Cody Russell

A Good Book for Kids: Back by Sunrise (w/Author Q&A)

Over the last two weeks I had the privilege of checking out a new book called Back by Sunrise, written by Justin Sloan. (Trust me, I know 2 weeks is way too long to take to listen to an audio book but I was really busy rescuing kittens from house fires and working at my local soup kitchen for the homeless so you’ll just have to excuse me. Also, I’m clearly lying.)

Here’s a brief synopsis of the book from Amazon:

A young girl named Brooke becomes a bird with the help of a magical necklace her dad left behind before deploying with the Army. When the necklace is stolen by a conniving raven, Brooke must battle his pigeon minions and enlist the help of a friendly mouse and some not-so-friendly rats to take back her necklace and return home, in the process learning that love and family are forever. 

 Justin has put together a fantastic story packed with beautiful imagery and an exciting adventure that is sure to thrill young readers. Filled with lovable characters and a resounding message of sacrifice and love, Back by Sunrise is a great story about a young girl that is taken on a wild adventure after the loss of her father, and is sure to spark the reader’s imagination. It is a very easy read (even easier to listen to) and would make for a fun summer reading book if you’re looking for something to keep the kids sharp.  Pick it up for your Kindle by clicking this link.

Justin was also kind enough to do a Q&A session with us to discuss his book in a little further depth.

Back By Sunrise

4LN: First, I know we have a lot of readers that aspire to be writers one day, and maybe have their own books and comics, how did you get started writing and what steps did you take to be able to make a career of it?

JS: I started writing books when I had read some amazing books (The Song of Ice and Fire series, Harry Potter, etc.), and was looking for other books that matched my interest and passion for reading. I was having a hard time, so decided that I should just try to write what it was I wanted. When I started writing I realized I needed to learn the craft, and fast, so I started listening to such podcasts as Writing Excuses and Scriptnotes, enrolled in writing classes, and eventually got into the MA in writing program at Johns Hopkins.

When you want to be a writer, I think it is very important to know what is considered proper today, or at least what works, as it is different from the days of Victor Hugo. Studying the craft and making sure to read A LOT is necessary. Maybe not as necessary, but a good idea, is to go to as many writers conferences as you can, start a critique group or join one, and find any way you can to be networking and forming your community of writers. Anything to make you a better writer.

I actually wrote a book about it, where I interviewed other writers about what they did to get started (writing books, movies, and video games). It can be found on Amazon, and is titled Creative Writing Career: Becoming a Writer of Movies, Video Games, and Books.


4LN: Where did the inspiration for this story come from? I know a lot of art reflects life, what does this story reflect in your life?

JS: The inspiration for Back by Sunrise came from two places: (1) my youth and my love for movies such as The Land Before Time, and (2) my military time. The story is meant to be a modern version of The Land Before Time, in the sense that it is about a child learning to deal with the grief of losing a loved one, but the idea started when my Marine buddy was deploying and leaving his daughter behind. Having been a Marine myself, this was always something on my mind—the idea of our loved ones and what they go through when we get hurt (or worse). Of course, the novel grew wings and flew in a whole new direction of its own, and I love where it landed.

As I consider further your question of what the story reflects in my life, in addition to the military angle discussed above, some of this comes from the fear that something could happen to me one day, and I want to know that I’ve left something behind for my children to help them through that. I know, that sounds like I have a paranoid fear, but it isn’t so much that as it is that my grandpa died when he was in his early 20s, leaving my grandma with three children! My grandma’s journey has always greatly touched me, and I hope my novel can help others out there in the way that writing it helped me in my emotional journey.


4LN: Colors play a big part of the story, hues of purple specifically, what made you decide to make that an important piece of the book?

JS: The main reason for purple being so strong in this novel is that it’s my daughter’s favorite color. But I think there is more than that. On the one hand purple seems like a magical color, so it just sort of made sense with the magic of my story, but on the other there is the fact that the color is made up of blue and red—blue being the color of sadness, red the color of love. And that’s what this story is about, it’s about finding the happy ground of feeling sad and knowing that you’re still surrounded by love, or you could say it’s about finding that place where you don’t have to be sad when someone you love passes on, because their love is always with you in a way.


4LN: Why the imagery of the birds and mice?

JS: This one is fairly simple, in that I just wanted to tell a fun story of animals. And who doesn’t want to fly? It works thematically, in that Brooke starts off thinking she may be able to fly to Heaven—she doesn’t yet accept that her father is really gone.


4LN: Who do you think would most like this book?

JS: I wrote this book for myself first, children and their parents second. I love the Pixar goal of writing stories for children that their parents will enjoy as well, and therefore never once tried to write down to my audience. When I was a child I loved stories that didn’t think of me as a child, and I hope my novel works on that level. Therefore I have succeeded if my audience is a good mixture of children and parents—anyone else who reads it and loves it is welcome to also, of course.


4LN: If you put on the magic necklace, what animal would you turn into?

JS: Haha. I have to go with the bird, because how awesome is it to fly through the sky for a while and just enjoy it. But when I get hungry again, I hope I won’t be stuck as a bird—I love eating human food too much! I was going to say dragon, but I’m not sure how much they can control themselves or their fire, and I don’t want to hurt anyone.


4LN- I see that this is in the running for several screenplay awards (Screenplay Search,ScriptVamp,Emerging Screenwriters). When I was reading it I thought it felt alot like a kids adventure movie (almost reminded me of The Labrynth, or The Owls of Gahool) was this originally intended to be a screenplay for a movie? Or is it the other way around?

JS: The first version of Back by Sunrise was indeed a screenplay. Good job on seeing that! It has had various levels of interest, and I certainly hope to see it on the big screen someday. It won a couple screenplay contests and placed well in others, such as Nicholl and the Austin Film Festival. The best part though has been when I receive notes from readers telling me it helped them or brought them to tears. I think that when we set out to write these stories we really just mean to tell a great story that happens to be struggling in our brains to work its way onto the paper. When it finally does and it happens to have the added bonus of touching people emotions, we get more than we ever could have hoped for.


If you have kids that are fans of fantasy adventure, I strongly suggest you add this to their reading list. It really was a cool story with a great message.

Be sure to keep up with Justin and his other works by visiting his website

Dear Sony….Grow A Pair

Hello nerd friends! It’s me, Cody! I know, I know, long time no write.  I don’t get on here too often to write much these days, because honestly Bill, Stephen, and Cam all do such a superb job here at 4LN that I just let them shine while I sit in the dark shadows of the corporate world that I work in. Today is different, well actually yesterday was different, because by now I’m sure you’ve heard of Sony Pictures decision to pull the plug on their Christmas release The Interview (Starring Seth Rogen and James Franco). Today though, I’ve decided to come out of my hermit type job and say a couple of things on the matter. Not that my opinion matters, but I feel like people really haven’t grasped what it means for Sony Pictures to have no spine and shrivel under the pressure of empty threats and hackers releasing information around their business.


Dear Sony Pictures,

You epitomize the word coward. By pulling the plug to The Interview you go against what our country is built on… freedom. That’s right, freedom. If there are hackers that can find the information of what your pay scale is, I guarantee you that there is a group willing to hack your database and find the movie to release it on Youtube or some other form of streaming network. It will be seen, it has been seen, and you know what? If crazy ass North Korea was serious about doing something like firing missiles on us, they would have done it years ago. YEARS AGO. All you’ve done here is shown to other counrties who already have it out for us, that if they can hack your database, then it’s over. They will have control of you and basically be the last say in what you can and can’t create. “They” (whoever they are) have taken away your right as a company to put out a movie. A MOVIE!!!! Think about that. Next thing you know, no one will be able to go to a Justin Timberlake concert because of a threat being made to his stage crew via a retweet that was originally put on tubmlr. I understand that if the threats were real, you wouldn’t want to feel the responsibility of people being hurt while watching your movie. Really though…who the hell in North America is on North Korea’s side?

“I must make a statement for my lord and savior Kim Jong Un for which all blessings toll!” said only people imprisoned in NORTH KOREA.

So far, the department of homeland security has found no evidence that these threats are real.

“The Department of Homeland Security is analyzing the credibility of the new threat, but has found no evidence of an active plot against theaters.”

Just so you know, North Korea got what they wanted. Here’s an excerpt from the Sony press release.

 “Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale”

They succeeded hugely. What kind of statement could you have made to the people of America that even when you were under attack you weren’t going to back down from the right you have to release your art. You not only suppressed your artists’ voice, you suppressed the voice of thousands of Americans who wanted to join in the hilarity of The Interview.  Utlitmately, you made yourselves to be liars when you said this in your statement.

 “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

No you don’t.

It’s insane to me that the only way people could actually go to the movies, and enjoy watching this without fear of some wacko going off, is if every movie theatre was being patrolled by police and we had metal detectors at every entrance.  You’re a billion dollar company, I think you could afford the cost of releasing this in select theatres and paying for guards to be on hand. Yes it’s worth it. Maybe I’m just a crazy movie goer, but I think you’ve really made a statement to the evil doers of the world. With enough pressure, anyone can stop or start a project.  Think about it.

I’m not going to ask for people to stop buying Sony, or be some kind of crazed idiot who’s never going to watch another Sony film (Though I think you should give up Spiderman to Disney), but I will say you missed an opportunity to show why America is a free country.

In the spirit of Bill: “I’ll do what I want”

So here you go. If you’d like to see the just released Death Scene of The Interview, go here.

25 Amazing Alternate Batman Suits

If you aren’t familiar with the website Deviant Art, let this be an introduction. It’s typically a place that artists, and usually fanboys, post cool renditions of iconic comic characters (and other various nerd things). While browsing the interwebs I stumbled upon this great gallery of photos on Imgur (another great site) of 25 re-imagined Batman suits. Instead of you going there and getting lost, I thought I’d save you the trouble and put them on here for you. If you do go to Imgur, give the post a thumbs up. People love fake internet points. Also, take a minute to go to deviant art and check out the artists that made this bad ass creations. Enjoy.

Animated Series Batman

Streets Batman

Fantasy Batman Vs Joker Wyrm

Demonic Batman

Zombie Batman

Titanium Batman

Avenging Angel Batman

Batman 2046

Steampunk Batman

Steampunk Batman 2

Pirate Batman

Vampire Batman

Post-Apocalyptic Batman

Nightmare Batman

Nightmare Batman

Hank Batman

Iron Batman

Fantasy Knight Batman

Medieval Batman

Actual Dark Knight Batman

Greaser Batman

Future Batman

Ottoman Batman

Actual Bat Batman

1714 Batman

Batman Beyond

Batman Beyond



Do you have any fan art? If so what’s your favorite?


Episode Recap- American Horror Story: Edward Mordrake Pt 1

Again this week, I’ve broken down my recap to help understand what is happening with each character and how they are developing. Enjoy.


The music of AHS is enough to scare the skin right off my eye balls. I like how they’ve changed the sound of the intro music, yet it’s still the same. As far as the other music goes, my wife and I have differing opinions on the musical aspect of the show this year. I like the modern songs being recreated to help carry the story along. I don’t think it’s necessary per say, but I like the artistic part of it. My wife is more of a concrete thinker, so she would actually like for those songs to be from the same era. I’d be fine with either way honestly. After the recap, feel free to leave your comments below and let us know what you think.

The Doctor and his Accomplice-

This week’s episode opens with the debut of The Con Artist(Dennis O’Hare) and his accomplice (Emma Roberts), and after visiting the eerie Morbidity Museum with a failed attempt at creating a baby sasquatch specimen, he’s informed of what the cost of the first conjoined  twins’ liver is worth. They talk with the employee there about where they found the liver, and she mentioned that their exhibits come from all over. Further conversation reveals that she would pay a high price if he brought in a real specimen. They found out that it may be possible to find an oddity at freak shows, which are still existent in Florida. With money in their eyes, they make their way to down south to find their “cash cow”. Luckily for them, they find their way to Elsa Mars’ door steps and put together a plan to get in.  His accomplice takes on the role of Esmerelda The Fortune Teller (Ema Roberts) as a way to work herself into the freak show, and after giving Elsa Mars a convincing private performance, she is thrown in the show with the rest of them. She quickly realizes how hard it’s going to be to keep face with the group, as she is extremely uncomfortable around everyone. After a call to her partner in crime her worries are set aside, momentarily. Apparently the Con may be headed for the freak show himself, as it is revealed he has a third leg (it’s not a leg if you know what I mean). It immediately had me thinking about how he was portrayed as a doctor in the first scene, and how his side show name could be Doctor Dong. Just saying.


Twisty you mother creeper you. He doesn’t even have to make a move and the guy is bone chilling. We find him roaming the streets in a friendly neighborhood on Halloween creepin’ on little kids. He’s snatchin’ someone new up left and right each week. I’m now sure what the body count is up to now with twisty, but I think it has to be around 9 people so far. At this rate we might have 30 dead with about 10 captured. Hide your kids, hide your wife, cause Twisty’s gonna take you out a window.


Bearded Lady –

After years of drinking, the lady with the bearded face is diagnosed with cirosis of the liver. Her end is near (which her scene is so brutal) and brings about a true look at how nasty humans can treat each other as she admits that if she had met a doctor that didn’t treat her like a freak she might have had more time. She immediately begins hitting the bottle again, which tells us she doesn’t give a crap about that hope speech she got from the friendly doctor.


Jimmy and the Gang-

Everyone is having a Halloween party right after the burial of our homie Meep(they actually poured one out for him at his burial), everyone except for Jimmy. While the site of the party upsets the Twins and Jimmy, there is some reasoning behind it.  The bearded lady joins them after her news about her health and what will be her death, and while taking back a few drinks, the twins are trying to rehearse for a show. She explains to them that freaks don’t perform on Halloween night because of the tale of Edward Mordrake.

The Story of Edward Mordrake:  Edward Mordrake was a 19th century performer, but not originally. He was born with a face on the back of his head, and while it could only make facial expressions, it was said that at night it would whisper ungodly things to Mordrake in his sleep. After many failed attempts at trying to kill the face on the back of his head, he eventually went insane from its constant whisperings to him and was sent to an asylum. At some point, Mordrake has enough of the asylum and breaks out only to join a side show act. One Halloween night, after his performance, the face on the back of his head convinces him to kill everyone in the side show including his self. The superstition among freaks is that if any freak performs on Halloween night, than Mordrake and his lovely two face will return seeking for another act for his eternal side show.


Dandy and Mommy-

Mother is in her smothering ways again and after giving Dandy a lovely handmade Howdy Dudy outfit, another titty baby outburst is had. A slight confrontation with the made sends him further into his rage. Immediately he’s seen cutting up a new costume, which we can assume is a clown costume. Sure enough he shows up again dressed like a guy out of clock-work orange, and after grabbing the sharpest butter knife I’ve ever seen, approaches the maid Dora(played by Patty Labelle) in an attempt to kill her. Dora is obviously the dose of reality that Dandy needs. She stands up to him, even with him wielding his shiny butter knife.  I love Patty Labelle.


The Twins-

We realize how dark and selfish the mind of Dot is as we are brought into a dream of hers.  In the dream she is on an operating table with a nurse prepping the twins body for what appears to be the removal of Beth. In the dream Beth is begging the nurse and doctor for them to no perform the operation. Her please go unanswered and as the operation begins Beth wakes Dot from her sleep. For me once they awake, we realize that they share the dream and it is not just Dot’s. We also realize that she plans to save her money, and have the surgery in real life. This shows you how naïve and ignorant the Dot is, simply because she doesn’t realize they will probably both die if that surgery happens. We also see exclamation points to the twins’ characters, Dot is a selfish heartless person with goals in mind, and Beth is a warm, life loving, being. They need each other not only to live, but to balance out their personality. I just question who controls the legs, because if I was Beth I would not be walking my leg anywhere to perform to make more money for Dot’s planned surgery.


Elsa Mars-

I think Elsa is such an interesting character. She’s someone who longs for the applause of many, and longs to be special, yet she is a no one and surrounded by special people. Esmerelda fools Elsa by reading her fortune which is all about being a star and how a special visitor will be coming to give her career a much needed boost. Against the better judgement of the other carnie’s, Elsa performs yet another top ten pop number, and low and behold Edward Mordrake appears. You’ve just opened a can of worms Elsa. A can of worms.


Strong Man and Breasted Lady-

Trouble in paradise and the strong man can seem to stand up if you know what I mean. We don’t see much else of them in this episode except for a back story on the Strong Man and his terrible ways from the bearded lady.


Edward Mordrake-

First, let me say, I like how they have him looking like Doctor Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. I think that’s a smart take on him. I wouldn’t say that this character is a much needed boost of horror to the show, but it’s definitely a welcomed one. After his brief appearance in front of Elsa Mars, he vanishes to the tent of the bearded lady where she is forced to tell stories of her past. Mordrake basically holds an interview with the freaks of the show in hopes of finding the “purest” of freaks. What rules does he have on what makes a freak pure? I have no idea, but the scene with him interviewing the bearded lady was very intense. During this, we also got more history on the Bearded Lady and The Strong Man, and we realize how broken Ethel is. After hearing her story, Mordrake and his band of ghouls take pitty on her and move to the next tent.



This episode ends with Dandy visiting the bus of Twisty and trying to torture his captives. Twisty shows back up with a fresh captive for his lovely games, and we are left with Dandy exclaiming “You’ve brought more fun!”


What was your favorite part of this week’s episode?

Did you enjoy the Edward Mordrake story?

How do you feel about the musical aspect of the show this year? And do you like they are using songs from a different era each week?

American Horror Story Review: Massacres and Matinees

Alright, so last week I didn’t put out anything on the much anticipated season opener of American Horror Story, mostly because I was packing for a vacation, but hey, it’s not like we’re getting paid for this (yet). So we’ll begin with episode 2 Massacres and Matinees.

(Warning: If you don’t expect to see a spoiler from this point forward I don’t know what you are expecting to read. So if you don’t mind, or you’ve already watched the episode feel free to read along.)


First, let me say that I’ve really enjoyed the extended episodes this season. While it does worry me that maybe they will unveil too much too fast just from having so much in each episode, it’s nice to stop the DVR and realize you have a whole extra 30 minutes left after you’ve been watching for an hour. Anytime I’ve watched American Horror Story in the past it always felt like it moved quickly, so this actually works in their favor to slow stuff down, but hell there has been a ton of movement already. So let’s break it down by character or groups to help digest what has gone on so far.


Dandy and Twisty- The name Dandy  is enough reason  to hate him. This little titty baby is already on a Goffrey, from Game of Thrones, level. His bitching, whining, baby bottle drinking and sweater wearing has you wanting to strip him of his place in the world and see him choke on a purple poison, but alas two episodes in and he’s already diving deeper into dick-hood. We find Dandy and his mother anxiously awaiting their dinner to be served, only to have Dandy turn his nose in disgust once it arrives. After several sips of his baby bottle snifter of Cognac, Dandy expresses his boredom with the life that he currently leads and expresses his desire to go join the Freak Show down the road. After the argument turns sour, Mother and Dandy go their separate ways. Dandy makes his way to the freak show camp and pleads his case with Jimmy (The lobster boy) to join the show. After Jimmy seemingly puts him in his place Dandy goes back home. In an attempt to gain back Dandy’s love, his mother does what she’s always done, and tries to spoil him with gifts. This time though, she finds the horrifying Twisty the Clown on the side of the road and brought him home for Dandy. The scene with Dandy and Twisty in the same room was nerve racking. Twisty’s silence and subtle movement really have you intrigued as you don’t know if he’s about to pull out his juggling pins for a show, or pull out a knife to rip a victims spleen out. (side note: I love the imagery that Twisty brings. I’ll explain more on him later)  When the playtime turns sour due to Dandy looking through Twisty’s back of trick and causing him to flee,  we watched Dandy’s horned tip hair style follow the sinister Twisty back to the woods. They end up becoming great friends with a new bond.


Del Toledo(The Strong Man) & Three Breasted Lady- Coming to us hot off a murder in Chicago, and the shield, is Del Toledo, the Strong Man, played by Michael Chiklis and his three breasted wife played by Angela Basset. Out on the lamb, these two arrive to the Elsa Mar’s Freak Show in an attempt hide from the law. When they arrive, they seem to be willing to do whatever is neccesary to join the crew just to be able to hide from the lime light. Though to me, this seems like a dumb plot. If a strong man was on the run for murdering a customer of the previous show he was a part of  one would think that maybe being another strong man in another freak show would be a bad idea.

Strong Man hiding as a Strong man, sounds like a bad idea. But that's none of my business.

Strong Man hiding as a Strong man, sounds like a bad idea. But that’s none of my business.

Anyway, they jump right into the show, Del Toledo taking on the role of security/bark caller/ production manager, and his wife jumping in as piano player and another featured act. Del Toledo immediately starts forcing things to be done how he sees fit. With the police still looking for the mass killer (Twisty the Clown) a new curfew has been enforced causing everyone to be home after dark. Toledo has the bright idea of running a matinee show to help keep customers coming, ,and even though Ms. Mars is extremely opposed to the idea Toledo makes fliers and puts them out anyway. Jimmy (Lobster Boy) is very much not a fan of Toledo and they have several run ins with each other through out the show. Jimmy doesn’t know that Toledo is his actual father (at least it seems that way from a flash back shown of him trying to put Jimmy out of his memory as a baby), so you can expect a big blow up at some point when this is revealed. Toledo’s anger becomes a problem early as he beats the crap out of Jimmy outside the local diner for trying to take fellow performers out to lunch in public.


Another Side note: The theme of this episode, and what may be of the whole season, is the repeating message of “Just give me a chance”. In this week’s episode we see this message  from the following characters: Dandy when asking to join the freak show, and again when he shows his loyalty to Twisty. We see it from Twisty when he returns to his hide out to provide gifts to his hostages. Del Toledo when he approaches Elsa Mars about joining the show and basically a give me anything mentality. Jimmy when he takes his friends to the diner and expects that the general public should accept them as people too and not freaks. The twins with their new found talent of a singing duo.  It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out through out the season.


Jimmy and the Gang of Misfits- We find Jimmy the Lobster Boy, played by my wife’s favorite guy Evan Peters, is starting to feel the guilt of killing the detective from the first episode. At the end of the dinner hall table in what seems to be a celebration of the murder of the police officer, the chants of his friends saying “we killed the cop” or something like that, he snaps telling everyone to shut up. Trying to clean up the mess that he made, Jimmy, the amazon woman, and the guy with the little arms go to the place where they buried him and dig the pieces of his body back up. They make a plan to burn them to get rid of the evidence. In what you can tell is an obvious foreshadowing of a downfall, the amazon woman finds the detectives badge and tells Jimmy to do something else with it, because it won’t burn. Like an idiot, he stuffs the badge into his pocket, and all I could think was “that’s not going to end well”. Later on Jimmy will take his coworkers out to lunch in an attempt to feel like normal people. The lunch ends abruptly as people at the establishment make as scene asking him and his friends to leave. As Jimmy puts up a fight about staying to be served like a normal person, Del Toledo comes in and puts his foot down forcing everyone to leave. He does this by dragging Jimmy outside and man handling him. Jimmy also does not like Toledo for simple reason of he’s taking over as the man of the house, where that has been Jimmy’s role for so long. Trying to get rid of Toledo he devises a poorly executed plan of calling the police and leaving an anonymous tip that Toledo is the cop killer. He plants the badge of the detective in Toledo’s trailer, but Toledo sees this happen and moves it to the little guy Meeps tent. He’s the one that bites the heads off animals. When the police arrive, they find the badge in Meep’s and off he goes to jail. Further sealing how much we are probably not going to like the Strong Man being a part of this group.


Meep- He dies in jail. Pour one out for your homie.


The Twins and Elsa Mars- Being the headlining act that the Siamese Twins (play by Sara Paulson) are, Elsa Mars (played by the amazing Jessica Lange) doesn’t want to add anymore fuel fire and give the twins more attention. As we know at this point Elsa really puts on the show to bring a crowd in and watch her at the end. She is kind of a sad existence of a human being. She has a show filled with people that society says are weird or lesser, and protrays herself through them as a “star”. When the twins discover that Dot can actually hold a tune and Bette can harmonize perfectly, a new star is born. After their first matinee and the positive crowd response the twins recieve, Elsa pays the twins a visit while they sleep and plays Bette’s jealous heart strings convincing her that her sister doesn’t deserve the spotlight. She leaves Bette with a knife and a decision to make… to kill her sister or not. It also brings back the image of the first episode when Dot stabbed Bette after killing their mother. Will she doe it? Previews from the next episode suggest she does, and a surgery to remove her other half will take place. I guess we will see?


So what do you think happens next?


What do you like the most so far?



Is It Worth It? Destiny (Video Game Review)


With the cost of newer video games being nearly $70 , the great inventions Gamefly and RedBox help the cautious gamer like myself to review a game before really investing in it. It’s a great way to rent a game, test it out, and make sure you really want to own it for later consumption. For some, these great companies allow more serious gamers the ability to play a game all the way through at about 15% of the cost or less.

Clever Gamer!

Clever Gamer!

Recently I was at Wal-Mart (this is usually the beginning sentence to a horror script), and low and behold there was a Red Box kiosk at the front door staring me in the face. Begging me to come and look at it’s inventory for rent. They can be so much like those cigarette commercials where they bully you into doing something you may not want to do.


Me- “Okay, just don’t hurt my kids.”

This kiosk was differnt as it had an add for the brand new game Destiny plastered all over, more so then when Captain America: Winter Solider came out. I had seen the awesome commercial that reminded me of guardians of the galaxy, and honestly it got me. I wanted to check it out because it looked awesome. If you haven’t seen this commercial check it out below. Now… on to my review.


What is it?

Destiny is a mythic science fiction, open world, online shared first person shooter that was developed by the makers of Halo, Bungie. Is that not a tongue twister or what? It was released on September 9th, 2014, and is available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.  Here is the setting of the game for the Destiny Wiki page.

Destiny is set seven hundred years into the future in a post-apocalyptic world. The setting follows a prosperous period of exploration, peace, and technological advancement known as the Golden Age.[17] In a universe where humans have spread out and colonized planets in the Solar System, an event known as “the Collapse” saw the mysterious dissolution of these colonies, the end of the Golden Age, and mankind teetering on the brink of extinction. The only known survivors of the Collapse are those living on Earth, who were saved by “the Traveler,” a white, spherical celestial body whose appearance centuries before had enabled humans to reach the stars.[18] The Traveler now hovers above the last safe city on Earth, and its presence allows the Guardians — the defenders of the City — the ability to wield an unknown power, only referred to as “The Light.”

Upon mankind’s first attempt to repopulate and reconstruct after the Collapse, it is discovered that hostile alien races have occupied mankind’s former colonies and civilizations and are now encroaching upon the City. The player takes on the role of one such Guardian, and is tasked with reviving the Traveler while investigating and destroying the alien threats before humanity is completely wiped out.



Loading and waiting…..


First let me say that I still have the PS3, like most of the population over the age of 25 that has kids like I do. The installation and download time for this game took about 45 minutes before I could jump into it, partly because I didn’t have enough space on my hard drive so I had to clear some stuff out. I want to also clear the air that I am a casual gamer at best, so I don’t have the most ridiculous internet speed for online gaming(this is important to Destiny). Once I had cleared enough space to install the game, it still took about 30-40 minutes to get it up and running. So if you have something to do while you wait(like dishes, taking a jog, answering some emails, or calling your Nana) I suggest you do it and save yourself the migraine.


In the opening scenes for the game, the graphics are on par for any opening title scene. I will say, that it’s obvious this game is designed for the latest console as it’s nothing special to any other opening scene. Big worlds, new creatures, explosions, it all looks the same simply because the hardware is limited. I’m sure this game is freaking ridiculous on the PS4, but I wasn’t overly impressed once the game play started. It still seemed very pixelated, and the PS3 doesn’t have the power to handle the detail this game deserves. So, if you’re renting it for a visual orgasm, don’t expect your eyes to melt out of your head (because that’s impossible unless you’re that guy from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark). If you are on one of the newer systems, Destiny uses a new game engine that really you won’t see the true beauty of unless you’re on a PS4. The take away here is that the graphics are great, but even greater on the new consoles

Look at it with your PS4 eyes, not your PS3 eyes.

Look at it with your PS4 eyes, not your PS3 eyes. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Game Play

I’m not sure any other game (outside of WoW and other PC games) has done this, but the game play in Destiny is constantly online. Even if you are following your own story line, other people are simultaneously weaved within yours following their own. Confused? You shouldn’t be. The main focus of Destiny is to meet other online players and join forces to go and achieve tasks together. You could be facing a hoard of aliens (that’s what you’re fighting the whole game pretty much) and about to die, and another online player could jump in to help you conquer the beasts (The developer, Bungie, likes to call this a “Shared World Shooter” verses the traditional tag “MMO” or Massively Multiplayer Online). I’m the equivalent of a hermit when it comes to online gaming, simply because I just want to play and be left alone. For those of you that enjoy “meeting” online strangers and playing games together, Destiny is full of that. For the most part, Destiny is a first person shooter game with a constant online presence. It is open world, like GTAV, so there is a lot of exploring you can do and missions you can accomplish. If you have the dedication, after level 20 the game takes on a different feel and changes. I didn’t make that far… let me explain in the overall review


Overall… if you’re not huge into online tag team games, the story telling of this game does not make for much of a adventure if you’re playing alone. Simply, each mission feels repetitive. You travel to a world, defeat some aliens, collect some things, and move on to the next one. If you want, you can make it interesting by going around and shooting other online players, but I’m not a complete dick so I stayed true to the course of playing the missions. On a rating scale of “Boo” to “AWESOME!” I give Destiny an even keel “Meh.” Personally, this is a renter. I don’t think this is worth the $65 dollars. I thought this game might be more set up like a mix between Drake’s Uncharted and Batman Arkham Asylum, but alas It was more like Halo. If you enjoy Halo and WoW you’ll probably love this game. As for me, I wasn’t that impressed.


What other games should I review? Let me know in the comments below.

“In The Beginning…” – The Origin of 4 Letter Nerd

A long long time ago, on a Facebook thread hidden deep in the interwebs,  there was a little boy named Bill who wished upon a dying star that he could somehow work in the nerd community. And like the shadow of Xerxes’ arrows, 3 old guys and a tech genius descended upon him within minutes and began what is now known as Four Letter Nerd. That is where our journey began a year ago, and we’d like to invite you to read the thread itself for all it’s glory. Enjoy.


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Origin 14


As you can see by the main image at the top of this article, we’re throwing ourselves a Birthday party! We’re calling it 4LN’s BirthdayCon, and we want you all to come! Come party with us at our favorite comic shop, Comic Collector Live: the Store! Get more info by going here:


Georgia’s Chris Conley makes an Epic Star Wars Fan Film



SPORTS! STAR WARS! They don’t exist in the same universe! This is blasphemy! Well, actually according to Georgia Bulldog’s Wide Receiver Chris Conley that is not the case. Last year, Conley went to the god’s of Twitter asking they summon fans of Star Wars for a light saber duel he had planned to film. From the dark corners of Georgia, Star Wars fans eagerly responded to his plea so well that it went from a quick duel to an 26 minute epic fan film. I have to give major credit to the folks in the film. The costumes, special effects, villain, and somewhat comedic story line, is fantastic. I personally loved the villain (Chris Conley plays him). He’s dark, tall, and intimidating. Just what the ladies love, and every villain needs to be. Though I will say for being an SEC athlete, I think he’s a little sluggish in the saber duel. It must be a Georgia thing (feel the burn, just like your character did Chris!)

If you have time on your lunch break, or if you’re just waking up,  and would love to see some fans really put their love of Star Wars out there, take 26 minutes and watch this thing. I really believe you’ll be impressed. May the Force be with you.


Mortal Kombat X Trailer

670px-2,675,0,410-Slider_Mortal_Kombat_2011 I remember when I was around 10 years old, and I couldn’t play Mortal Kombat because of how violent it was for it’s time (turn it off!! I hear Mom’s footsteps!) Well, a new era is about to be unleashed in the new Mortal Kombat X that is set to release in 2015 for PS4. There hasn’t been a ton of games that have convinced me to make the move to the next generation of system, but WOW, this game may convert me yet. As you’ll see in the trailer below, there is some serious smoothness going on with the game play. With what opens up to look like another typical game/movie trailer, quickly kicks you in the face switching to what appears to be  game play seamlessly. Smoothly transitioning from live game play to 3d animation, this appears to be made of our Mortal Kombat dreams. I for one cannot wait for this to be released. Enjoy.

Beer and Super Heroes: Who Drinks What?


To round out our week of food and beverage speculation articles, Bill gave me the great task of speculating which super heroes would drink what beer. I thought it’d be fun so why not. Again this is entirely my own speculation and is based on comic,TV, and movie knowledge of each character. So if you see something that doesn’t line up with your understanding of the character, please save your nerdy crucifixion lust for something that deserves it. Also, I added the name of each character, because I feel like drinking beer is such a personal thing and while each super hero is different so is their personal story.  Enjoy responsibly.


Wolverine: James Howlett (AKA Logan)



With Wolverine being a straight shooter, no nonsense, kind of guy, I imagine that his beer would be the same way; nothing fancy and able to put hair on your chest. I like to think that while guys like Wolverine travel all over the planet (and sometimes space) doing whatever is needed, that if they have some down time to grab a drink they’d want something that reminds them of home. So with those things in mind Wolverine probably would ask for a Molson Ice when he pulls a chair up to a bar. It’s straight forward beer. While I don’t see Wolverine being a Canadian NASCAR fan, I imagine that this beer is just what could quench his thirst, and maybe give him a moment’s peace from the likes of Cyclops busting his balls about something.


Captain America: Steve Rogers


Guys…is there anyone more symbolic of America than this dude? I just freaking love Captain America. I think if he’s looking for a beer to enjoy with his All-American Shoney’s burger (that Bill speculates) and just really stick it to Red Skull while relaxing it has to be Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Screw Budweiser, that’s for Germans looking to make money off of hard working Americans. Captain America wants something that will hit you in the mouth just like his shield and as smooth as Steve Rogers post super solider serum.  Not only will this beer go great with every Avengers Memorial Day cookout, but it supports small business which America thrives on.


Night Crawler-Kurt Wagner


Speaking of Germans, Night Crawler is a character I always loved to play with on the impossibly hard X-Men Sega game. Does anyone actually remember beating that game? I think I cried about 700 times out of pure frustration because of getting pummeled by sentinels. Anyway, since Night Crawler hails from Bavaria, Germany I have to believe that he holds the thought of beer sacred. I don’t see him adventuring out for something American like a Yuengling, or Abita Amber ale. No, that is not pure enough for him. He’s probably going with a Paulaner, or Becks since it is imported from his homeland. Nothing wrong with being a little snobby about what you consume. I’d also imagine he is the best Drink and Dash participant ever. Bars 0, Nightcrawler 1,093.


Beast- Henry McCoy

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Class, intellect, and superiority, is what good ole Henry McCoy’s beer has to reflect. None of that frat boy brew for Mr. Beast. His drink has to be refined yet distinctive in the world of beer. That’s why he goes with Stella Artois. This golden lager screams sophistication and is right down Beast’s alley. Served in that nice gold rim goblet, I’m sure he takes the time to shave off the top layer of foam with the back of a knife. Who knew drinking beer could be so classy? Beast did of course.


Star-Lord (Peter Quil)

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Being that Peter Quill spends about 100% of his time in space, and that he’s originally from Colorado, I take it if he could get a beer it would probably be the silver bullet Coors Light; straight form the springs of the Rockies, and made from cheap ingredients. It’s just a beer. Total speculation as I don’t know a ton about Star-Lord.


Superman- Clark Kent

SupermanJLBColorWeb Tabloid Sell Sheet 2008

Ah Superman, what would the man steel like to drink on hot day when he’s not flying across the sky. With him technically being an alien (Kryptonian), but having his earth home be in Kansas I can imagine him going through the grocery store and discovering Harpoons UFO White. An out of this world wheat beer that is perfect for hot Kansas days and relaxing after a hard day in metropolis. The fusions of American Pale and Wheat ale are the perfect combination of two worlds. Fit for the likes of both the farm boy in Clark Kent and the Kryptonian in Kal-El.


Hellboy- Anung Un Rama


You probably already know this, and maybe you’re thinking “ Cody, you lazy a—hole, couldn’t have you picked a character we didn’t already know what they drink?” Yes, yes I could have. If you aren’t aware, in the Hellboy movies, his weapon of choice for beer is Tecate. While it may be considered the South Paw version of Corona, I actually really like this beer and understand why Hellboy would like it too. It’s an easy to drink cheap beer that goes great with salt and lime. Considering it’s a Mexican beer, I’m guessing that has something to do with why Hellboy would drink it. Mexico’s temperature and culture could be considered hell, so if it’s good enough for Mexico it’s perfect for Hellboy.


 Gambit-  Remy Etienne LeBeau

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Nothing goes better with some down home Louisanna cooking like a smooth beer. If I had to speculate what Gambit would drink with his Gumbo it’d have to be Abita’s Amber Ale. It’s smooth finish and delicious flavor would complement spicy shrimp and red beans and rice so well. Good enough to make you wanna steal something, right Gambit?


Thor- Texas Thunder Stout



When thinking about what Thor would drink dark and stormy were the two words that kept coming to mind. I’m thinking he would enjoy Texas Thunder Stout. As much as Thor enjoyed his experience with coffee, it only makes sense that he would enjoy the coffee and chocolate flavors this stout has to offer. Having an alcohol content of 6.6% it’s strong enough to drop the hammer after 2 of them if you know what I mean.


Magneto- Erik Magnus Lehnsher


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Being that a lot of beer has its origin coming from Germany, I have to think that Magneto still has a lot of hatred and angst against anything German simply because of his time in Nazi labor camps. He’d probably try and go the complete opposite and enjoy something a little less German, like He’brew’s Messiah Bold. Considering he thinks that he is the savior of the mutant race, and is ultimately doing what the Nazi’s did to his family by trying to eliminate all humans, this beer fits perfectly to messiah like complex.


Aquaman- Arthur Curry

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Aquaman enjoys B&J’s Strawberry Daquiri. You know why.


What about your favorite character? What do you think they would like?


Sound off below.