Four Letter Nerd

Author - A Nerdy Guest Contributor

I Am The Villain Behind Marvel’s Sales Slump


What you are reading is an admission of guilt.  I take responsibility for my actions and, with sound mind and clarity present myself to you with no prejudice and no pre-conceived master plan. I am responsible for MARVEL’s slump of comic book sales, and MARVEL has no one but themselves to blame.

I take no pleasure in revealing myself as the villain.  I thought about it long and hard before I decided to make my actions known to the world.  In fact, I woke up this morning and had pretty much come to the personal realization that this would be something I would just keep to myself until I shuffled off this lowly plane of existence.  However, I have seen an increase in articles written by people who claim to be experts in this industry, with their 5K Twitter followers or the reach of their audience through one of the plethora<h3 “”=”” id=”yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1491345529012_2727″> I Am The Villain Behind Marvel’s Sales Slump of comic book news websites, podcasts, forums or Facebook groups.  Even as you read this, you may think this is a clever piece written by a staff writer who wanted to take a fresh angle on a subject that everyone thinks they know.

All posers, amateurs and false.

This is the true story, and I share it, along with who I am and why I did what I did, with you today.

I am an average, unassuming middle age comic reader and collector.  In fact, short of my love for comics and the comic book industry as a whole, I’m quite boring.  If you are a comic retailer, I am both the man who comes into your store who has a pullbox with you out of loyalty or the man who wanders in off the street to spend money in your shop simply to help support it.  I will cherry pick your $1 boxes for that 1:25 variant you couldn’t sell and put it in the hands of a collector across the country.  I listen to your conversations, critique, and complaints in casual conversations and chime in with ease.  You’ll even find my name in the SPECIAL THANKS section of some MARVEL COMICS.  I have been both comic customer and retailer.  I am everyone and no one and where I once bought 20-30 MARVEL comics a month.  Now I don’t buy MARVEL at all, and I don’t sing MARVEL’s praises like I used to.

First reason:  MARVEL EVENTS.  I’m sick of them.  They have inconsistent artwork and are used as nothing more than a rinse-and-repeat cash grab.  They also often begin or end with the death of a long-time classic MARVEL character that I grew up with and have invested years of time and money of my life in coming to know.  They’re confusing, often unnecessary, sometimes late and numerous.  Back in the day, it might be a year between Events.  Now it might be every 3-6 months, and they bleed over, making it hard to tell when one ends and another begins.  So instead of not buying the crossover books and just buying the event limited series…now I don’t buy events at all.  I also echo this opinion to the friends in my network.

Second reason:  DIVERSITY.  I attended a MARVEL RETAILER SUMMIT at NYCC a couple years back, and Marvel was both praised and were praising themselves over diversity in comics.  And yes, MARVEL should be applauded for their progressive and aggressive stance on this issue.  BUT I feel it was too much too soon, and it’s not thought out well.  While characters like KAMALA KHAN and MILES MORALES are exceptional gems, MARVEL is slowing replacing (not adding, replacing) their cast with fresh characters that I have little personal investment in.  When DC relaunched their books under the NEW 52 banner, I stopped buying DC (except BATMAN…I don’t know anyone who dropped BATMAN) for the very same reason.  THESE WEREN’T MY CHARACTERS.  MARVEL was unique to DC because of their focus on down-to-earth, regular, every-day, conflicted alter-egos.  Now, I would be buying TOTALLY AWESOME HULK just because I love the HULK.  No.  I love BRUCE BANNER, who happens to BE the HULK.  Basically, I support the idea of characters who broaden religion, sex or ethnicity.  But it’s getting to where we’re seeing an “All-New, All-Different” line-up isn’t speaking to me as a long-time reader.  You took the chance that the prospect of having new, fresh faces in the shops to become readers would be more than the current readership.  That chance doesn’t seem to be working very well.  This hip, fresh approach isn’t appealing to old fogeys like me…and our opinions matter to other readers, both new and old.

Third reason:  VARIANT OVERLOAD.  What once was a fun and casual twist to collecting has now become the bane of a collector’s existence.  I now have short boxes that hold single titles due to the number of variations this company pumps out.  You can spend thousands of dollars as a collector just buying the same book over and over and over again…which I don’t think this gimmick was meant for that.  GWENPOOL, VENOMIZED, ACTION FIGURE, BABY, 1:1000s…there is no end in sight to the bottomless pit of money a collector or shop can lose.

Also, as a retailer, while these variants can be a way to make an insane amount of money, that only happens if DIAMOND doesn’t muck it up.   Case in point:  a few years ago, I ran a comic shop a few years ago and ordered 300 copies of a comic to qualify for a single 1:300 variant that I knew would sell.  When the book came out, DIAMOND didn’t ship the book.  When they were able to fulfill it, the window of hype and opportunity closed and cost the shop hundreds of dollars.  I blame MARVEL and DIAMOND for that.  So instead of buying new books…I spend my time wandering like a zombie into different stores just looking to buy a copy of a book I already have because I would rather have a 1:75 variant than take several $4 chances on books that might not be any good.  MARVEL’S STAR WARS #1 has over 100 different covers via MARVEL or various retailers all over the country.  I’ve seen comic shops with entire boxes of unsold product that were simply variations of the same comic.  You can browse MARVEL’s CLOSEOUT LIST sent to retailers every few months, and it will be littered with variants for a buck.  Everyone remember what happened to HASTINGS?  This is where the market is going if it continues.

Fourth Reason:  INCONSISTENT CREATIVE TEAMS.  I guess I’m old school, but I miss the days when a comic might have the same writer and artist on a title for years.  If I want that, I need to go to IMAGE.  That’s not a huge sticking point, but some of my friends still buy comics for art.

Fifth Reason:  CONSTANT REBOOTS and RELAUNCHES.  Retailers and collectors LOVE #1 issues.  It looks like a jumping on point.  But it’s not.  It’s just a way to sell more books.  Some MARVEL books even have a large “#1” printed that is larger than the actual issue number.  This is misleading.  Stop relaunching titles with new #1s.  It waters down the collectability and confuses readers.

Sixth Reason:  STAN LEE.  Marvel needs another Stan Lee.  Joe Quesada is a cool guy who knows comics and is an extremely talented man.  But he’s no Stan Lee.  As a kid, Stan made me feel good about every dollar I spent on a Marvel Comic.  When Stan would speak to me in the comics, that’s what it felt like.  He was speaking directly to me as if he and I, publisher and reader, connected on a personal level.  That kind of marketing is rare.  IDW, BOOM! and VALIANT seem to be the publishers that have figured this out…putting emphasis on the reader and making you feel good about the book you read.  That builds personal investment.  MARVEL has gotten a little lazy in this regard in the last few years, and Stan has evolved far beyond Marvel into a brand of his own.  Someone needs to come forward, step up and tell people WHY they need to buy Marvel and how that $4-$10 they are spending on a comic is a $10 well spent.

Joe Q:  we love you.  Step up, sir.

I’m sure there are a few others that I didn’t touch on here, but it really doesn’t matter.  MARVEL is scratching their heads and wondering “WHY?  We’re MARVEL!”  but the answer is in their own question.  Marvel made it easy NOT to buy them with inconsistent story-telling, false market buzz, self-hype and changing too much too soon…making it easier for me to plant seeds into the minds of my peers as to why they shouldn’t buy MARVEL anymore.  Beyond this sentence, I’ve made no reference to the MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE either, so the movies play little factor in my piece.

If it’s any consolation, this has come with a price.  I don’t sleep as well anymore knowing that I have been responsible for the woes of a company who has brought so much joy in my life.  Marvel can fill a room with retailers, send out press releases and fill the shelves with new #1 issues every Wednesday until the Badoon Invasion but until they decide to attack the issue on the reader level and not just on the retail one, this will continue to happen.  I don’t know if I have the answer as to how this can be reversed.  The ball is rolling so fast now that it might just need to play out on a grand scale and see where MARVEL lands in the big picture.  On my end, dropping $20-$30 bucks a week on MARVEL COMICS now seems like a waste of money to me and that’s terribly sad.

I wish I knew how much money I’ve spent on MARVEL COMICS my whole life.

Those days are gone.

*(rubs hands together)* You’re welcome.


(Editor’s note: this was written by a guest contributor who wishes to remain anonymous)

Resident Evil Reaches 2.5 Million Units Sold to Retailers


Resident Evil is a wonderfully horrifying series that has been around since 1996 when the first game launched on Playstation. The newest installment has already shipped 2.5 million copies to retailers this week! This isn’t the official units sold but just the amount sold to retailers like Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, and etc. So what does that say about the series future? 2.5 million copies is a HUGE number and I think it is safe to say this series wont’t slow down anytime soon. Personally, I am curious to see how many of those units are the virtual reality copies because that way to play the game is brand new to the franchise and I want to know if it will take off like they had hoped. Also, the Resident Evil movie franchise concluded this past week with their last movie Resident Evil: The Final Chapter so it is a big week for Capcom money wise. I think it is safe to say we will be getting more games in the future from Capcom that I assure you will be creepier than the last. What do you think gamers? What are you wanting from this series?

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Top 5 Celebrities in Video Games


It’s no surprise that video games attract the attention of all people and that includes celebrities. Celebrities have actually been in games for years including the Call of Duty franchise and even the GTA series. Some actors have even lent their bodies and faces to a game while other just voice act for them. I am going to show you the top 5 celebrities that have spent their time contributing to video games.

#5: Kiefer Sutherland (Known for the hit TV show “24”)

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Kiefer actually voice acted in “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” and actually won BTVA’s Video Game Voice Acting Award for Best Lead Vocal Vocal performance in a video game. Sutherland also voice acted in “Call of Duty: World at War” as Sergeant Roebuck.


#4: Liam Neeson (Taken, Batman Begins, and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)

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Neeson plays Father in “Fallout 3.” Now I don’t know about you guys but it was pretty cool to be the son of Liam Neeson (well his voice) in this game. Although his time was short in the game the fact that you could have dialogue and interaction with Neeson as your dad could not be any cooler.


#3: Robin Lord Taylor (Penguin on “Gotham“)

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Taylor voice acted for The Outsider in Dishonored 2. This was his first video game appearance but hopefully not the last. He plays the Outsider in this video game and does a fantastic job being creepy and mysterious as you play through the game. Hopefully this isn’t the last Dishonored game we get because I personally want more especially if Robin Lord Taylor is involved.


#2: Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns, Horrible Bosses, and House of Cards)

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Kevin played and voice acted for “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.” He plays his usual business tycoon self for this video game and it looked like he had a lot of fun doing it. He plays the main villain in this game and his role in the game is down-right amazing. If you haven’t seen his performance for this series you really need to check it out.


#1: Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies and as the voice actor for the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series)

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Mark comes in as number 1 because of his voice acting in “Batman: Arkham Knight.” Replaying his role as Joker in the Batman animated series, Mark kills it in this video game. He IS the voice of the Joker in my opinion, and hearing him and trying to take him down in this Batman game is ridiculously fun.


(Editor’s Note: This review was written by guest contributor, Tyler Haines. Make sure to check out his YouTube Channel!)

Top 5 Most Anticipated Games of 2017


It’s the beginning of a new year, and thank the gods that we left 2016 behind us. A new year brings people going to the gym, saving money, and everyone trying to change their personalities. But for this guy a new year brings new video games to enjoy so here are the top 5 games to look forward to!


1) Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Although this game doesn’t have a release date yet it is scheduled to come out this year. For those of you who have lived under a rock this game has been in development for years now and this is the year we are supposed to finally play it! Breath of the Wild puts Link in a world where (Nintendo has quoted many times) everything you see you can go to and touch. This game feels like a Legend of Zelda/Skyrim combo because it has cooking, magic, multiple dungeons, and hours upon hours of gameplay. This game will be released on Wii U and the brand new Nintendo Switch.


2) For Honor (February 14th)

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This is a spectacular game that I am personally ecstatic to get my hands on. This game lets you take control, play, and command as armies of Samurai, Vikings, and Knights. You get to go into an all-out battle as one of your factions and have hand to hand combat as a player trying to conquer the world. The game is made by Ubisoft Montreal (Creators of the Assassins Creed Series, Watchdogs, and the Far Cry series) and it looks absolutely beautiful. If you have always wanted to know who wins in a fight between Samurais, Vikings, and Knights then this game is for you.


3) Horizon Zero Dawn (February 28th) (PS4 exclusive)

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This is a PS4 exclusive, and so everyone who owns this console needs to own this game and here is why… It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that is controlled by “dinosaur looking machines.” The main character is an archer named Aloy who is trying to help other tribes and people in the open world around her. The company who made this game is Guerilla Games (who is responsible for the Killzone series) and they say that this game has no load screens whatsoever. For those of you who love games that you build your character up by scavenging the world then this game will be a hit with you.


4) Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands (March 7th)

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For those of you who have loved the Tom Clancy games, this is the newest one in the series and let me tell you this one will not let you down. Is has been 5 years since we had a Ghost Recon game and this one looks like a wonderful addition to the franchise. Developed by Ubisoft, It’s completely open world which is the first of its kind and you have 4 different playable characters who are working to take down a drug cartel in Bolivia. The graphics are absolutely stunning and the gameplay is extremely smooth. There isn’t a lot of information for Wildlands as of right now, but in the next couple of months before the release I am sure there will be.


5) Resident Evil: Biohazard (January 24th)

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For those of you who love the Resident Evil series (Capcom) this is the new installment of the mutant/zombie slaying game. Now, this right here is one of the first of its kind. I say that because it is the first game you play in first person (All of the other ones are in 3rd person) and, if you own a Playstation VR headset, you can play the whole game start to finish in Virtual Reality. This game looks horrendously terrifying and should be a great new addition to the Resident Evil franchise.


Honorable mentions go out to Mass Effect: Andromeda, Tekken 7, Scalebound, Injustice 2, God of War, Death Stranding, and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Well there ya go! That’s the list! What do you think, gamers? What game are you most excited for this year? Tell us in the comments below!


(Editor’s Note: This review was written by guest contributor, Tyler Haines. Make sure to check out his YouTube Channel!)

4LN Comic Review: Motor Crush #1


Series: Motor Crush
Written by: Cameron Stewart, Brendan Flecher, Babs Tarr
Art by: Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart
Publisher: Image Comics

Summary from Comixology: “The team behind the critically acclaimed revamp of Batgirl returns with an exciting sci-fiaction-adventure series! By day, Domino Swift competes for fame and fortune in a worldwide motorcycle racing league. By night, she cracks heads of rival gangs in brutal bike wars to gain possession of a rare, valuable contraband: an engine-boosting “machine narcotic” known as Crush.”

Motor Crush #1

Brendan Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr are probably most well known for their critically acclaimed reworking of Batgirl which brought a fresh narrative, youthfulness, and a sense of quirky modernity to the character. Originally received with tentative optimism, what was intended as a six issue jaunt became a full fifteen issue run. The trio’s collaborative effort seems to have acted as a bit of a watershed moment in the world of comics by shining a light on younger female readers who’d been looking for themselves in the pages, and finally saw a heroine they could relate to. That, combined with the integration of technology in it’s everyday glory and not just as the means to another gadget, the quippy lingo, and the overall brightness of the thing was, for this reader at least, to comics what Buffy the Vampire Slayer was to the TV “supers” of the late 90’s. I didn’t just want to be Batgirl of Burnside, I wanted to be her friend. So, needless to say, the dynamic trio (Tarr, Stewart, Fletcher) have their work cut out for them in attempting to win over the same audience with a new female heroine in a completely different genre. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous to dive in…

First things first, this cover is fantastic. The colors are far more muted than we’ve come to expect from Tarr, but all of the sass remains. The story takes place in a tech driven, reality TV heavy future, and centers around motorcycle racer Domino Swift, who is training for The World Grand Prix. Although the narrative focuses entirely on Dom’s personal experience, you get the feel of a Black Mirror: Fifteen Million Merits, or Hunger Games-like future where everyone’s lives revolve around televised events. The intrusiveness of the media is used to great effect. You really feel the omnipresence of the cameras, and the seeming lack of anything personal in this world. I love the way the panels become like screen grabs. It literally makes you a part of the audience, and serves to make the reader’s intrusion into the quiet moments feel almost jarring. The entire issue is a really great balance of contrasts.

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I grew up surrounded by cars and motorcycles. My dad was an amateur race car driver for a time, and a self taught mechanic, as are both of my brothers. I’ve seen my fair share of races in my day, and the comic does an amazing job of capturing the tension, crazy characters, and bravado that surround these events. The page listing the contenders and stats at a shady underground race is probably my favorite. I’m a sucker for names, tidbits, and perfect characterization. These panels really capture the individuals. That one rectangle tells you everything you need to know about who you’re dealing with. It’s just so well done. And look at the diversity! You have women, men, black, white, and muppet all on one page. It really is a step in the right direction for muppet equality!

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In an interesting twist, in this reality it’s not only people, but machines as well who can be addicts. We discover that Domino has been racing with the aid of Crush, an additive or “machine narcotic” that can give an engine extra power but that, like most drugs, can be lethal in large doses. She participates in the legit televised events to gain fame and notoriety, but she runs anonymously in the brawlers to win ampules of Crush. Exactly how and why she uses the Crush is what makes her so intriguing. As the issue unfolds, we get hints that we’re not just dealing with an average badass motorcycle riding, attitude having teenage rebel. But hints are all we get. She uses an inhaler. She’s really great at what she does. Like, really great. She needs Crush. She’s a fighter, but not a killer. And then there’s that brief glimpse of a pink light…

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…so very brief. It’s a pretty audacious first issue that tells you little to nothing about the protagonist. But they did it, and it works.

Motor Crush #1 is at times bleak and harsh, but it still manages to maintain the sharp wit and overall sense of fun at which this trio of artists excels. I have a really hard time with bleak. It has been a long running problem for me with comics in general. I’m finding this new wave of artists that understand how to simultaneously take themselves 100% seriously, and yet maintain a sense of self deprecation in their characters, and whimsy in their worlds incredibly novel. In Motor Crush I also see the promise of a strong African American female heroine who is not exceptional because of her race or her gender, but is extraordinary in her own super-heroic right. There is, in this first issue at least, no indication that her presence in the racing world is anything other than accepted. It is that simple acceptance, that could make Domino and Motor Crush so exceptional. The complete lack of focus by other characters on her gender or her race is quietly revolutionary, and I like it. I like it a lot.

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Overall, what really stands out in my mind is the adept handling of contrasts. It is brilliantly subtle. The character design is succinct and and yet perfectly descriptive. The world is so well defined, from the intrusion of the catball cameras, down to the artistic choice to make it somehow simultaneously washed out and riot of color. The action sequences make your heart race, but the still moments are beautifully captured as well. It even manages relevant social commentary through lack of commentary. Finally, there’s the fact that there is only the slightest hint that Domino may be anything other than a normal human, all the while showing us just how gifted she is in seemingly normal ways. There’s an overall trust in the intelligence of the reader to pick up on the nuance and come along for the ride (pun absolutely intended), and it is really refreshing. As far as first reads go, I call it a success. I’m invested. I’ll worry about Dom until I’m able to join her again. I believe in the world that Stewart, Fletcher, and Tarr have created, and I believe in Domino Swift’s potential to be a genre bending heroine in this very bendy modern world. But you don’t have to take my word for it…

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(Editor’s Note: This review was written by Melody Dobbins. Melody is a lifelong book nerd with a particular passion for Tolkien, Joseph Campbell, and comparative religion. When she’s not trapped in her own head, re-watching the Whedonverse, or crafting, she’s a freelance author, artist and illustrator, and proud mama to the two brightest geekletts in all the world. Her favorite graphic novel is Blankets by Craig Thompson, she speaks fluent R2D2, and she’s standing right behind you.)

4LN Comic Review – The Chimera Brigade #1


Series: The Chimera Brigade
Written by: Serge Lehman & Fabrice Colin
Art by: Gess, with Colors by Celine Bessonneau
Publisher: Titans Comics

Summary from Comixology: “Is the time for morality lessons truly over? The year is 1938, and a new generation of super-humans, born as a side effect of secret chemical weapons, have taken control of the capital cities of Europe… The Age of Super-science has arrived. A stunning period cross between The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Planetary and B.P.R.D. Beliefs can be as powerful as super-science – and just as deadly!”

The Chimera Brigade #1


Chimera Brigade is a new book from Titan Comics that is set in 1938, which, for you non history buffs, is the year before World War 2. It is a comic about several people who have gotten superpowers from science during The Great War (World War 1) like X-rays, poisonous gases, and radium. Without giving the book away, it follows a character who is the daughter of a scientist who researched and treated these super humans. She goes into a special meeting in an underground facility with all of the other super humans from around the globe trying to figure out who this Dr. M character is and his plans. Of course crap hits the fan because duh it’s what happens in comics! Some of the super powers that were shown in this issue were super speed, metamorphosis, seeing in the dark, and there’s a mysterious American who no one knows his powers. If you are a fan of spies, espionage, super powers, and history this book is for you. I really enjoy reading history and it was pretty awesome seeing a new take on it with some secret superheroes! This issue is out today (10/12/16) and I implore all of you comic loving super hero history buffs to pick this one up and try it out! If you can’t make it down to your local comic shop then get it digitally by clicking the Comixology link at the top of the page. Check out a few preview pages below, and if you read it let us know what you thought down in the comments!


The Chimera Brigade #1

The Chimera Brigade #1

The Chimera Brigade #1


(Editor’s Note: This review was written by guest contributor, Tyler Haines. Make sure to check out his YouTube Channel!)

E3 2016: Days 1-2

E3 day one was nothing less than greatness. It started out with Microsoft then Ubisoft and finally Sony at the end of the night. That being said, it is a known challenge between all of the companies to have the greatest conference in the eyes of the fans. This year Sony has easily taken that title. To see how that happened lets start with the first conference of the day.


Microsoft’s Conference:

Microsoft never disappoints when it comes to a spectacular show and this year they used lighting and 3 different stages to get their points across. They started it out this year with the official unveiling (because it was leaked a day before hand) of the Xbox One S. The new console is white, 40% smaller than the Xbox one, had HDR gaming, 4k with blu ray, and the starting price is $299. This console has a release date of August of this year. It is still unclear if Gamestop or another video game retail store will have trade in promotions to get the new console cheaper.

Gears of War 4 was the first game they demoed and it has a release date of October 11 th , 2016.

Some of the biggest news that came out of the show was that Xbox is now supporting Windows Play Anywhere. Which is Microsoft’s new cross play system between windows 10 and Xbox One. This means that you can buy a game once for both systems and can pick it up and play it anytime anywhere between the two gaming devices digitally.

Killer Instinct announced they had new characters coming to the game and showcased one of them which was General Raam from the Gears of War series. They announced Forza Horizon 3 and they showed the beautiful new graphics for this racing game and coop play. Coop play is really cool for this game because you can join someone else’s world seamlessly with no wait time. This game is set to release September 27 th , 2016.

Final Fantasy 15 showed a very cluttered boss battle demo with a Septmeber 30th, 2016 release date.

Tom Clancy’s The Division announced its new DLC The Underground comes out first for Xbox One June 28 th , 2016.

Xbox then came back out on stage and announced some new features coming for Xbox Live including: Background music, Cortana will be on Xbox now, Clubs on Xbox Live so you can create your own gaming community, Looking for group feature, and a new way to play tournaments.

Minecraft announced that you can now play on iOS, Android, and now Xbox together through cross play. Minecraft is also now Virtual Reality (VR) combatable and has new ad ons for the game coming out this fall.

Xbox then showed a promo for design your own controller. You can create and design a controller with over 6 million possibilities and even engrave the controller with your name. They have yet to release a price for this at this time.

Gwent the game was brought on stage by CD Projekt Red (The developers of The Witcher Series) and they announced that Gwent is now a solo card game for consoles. It has its own campaign mode and arena modes to play with friends. Set to release in September of this year.

Tekken 7 was announced and it now has a story mode with an early 2017 release date.

Dead Rising 4 got a demo as well and they are bringing back the first Dead Rising main character this game has a 2016 holiday release date.

Halo Wars 2 was announced with a February 21 st , 2017 release date.

They also announced Recore, Inside, The Happy Few, Scale Bound, Sea of Thieves, and State of Decay all of these are indie games with no information besides 2 minute trailers and no release dates.

For the last announcement of the show they announced Xbox: Scorpio which is a new super Xbox that has a bunch of specs no one has ever heard of and that it’s more powerful than any console to date with a late 2017 release date.

Ubisoft Conference:

Ubisoft had a fun conference with Aisha Tyler being the host again for the show. They started off the show with Just Dance 2017 and it releases on all consoles October 2016.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands had a wonderful demo with spectacular graphics. This is an open world shooter than you can play solo or 4 player coop and releases March 7 th , 2017.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole (heh. get it.) is South Park’s newest video game. This time you create your character and choose a super power to have in the game. It is extremely crude but with some good laughs. Well, it is exactly what you would imagine a South Park video game to be. This game releases December 6th, 2016.

Next up was their VR games which were Eagle Flight and Star Trek Bridge Crew. Eagle flight was a game where you are an eagle and you try to take objectives back to your nest. Then Star Trek IS a game where you are in the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise and everyone has a job and if you fail to do that job the ship crashes. There are no release dates for these currently.

For Honor is the next game that everyone has been waiting to see more of since last years E3. IT is a melee game where you can play as 3 fractions (Vikings, Samurai, and Knights) to try and conquer the world. This game releases February 14 th , 2017.

They showed off The Assassins Creed movie that comes out December 21 st , 2016. They showed a new trailer with some amazing shots from behind the scenes.

Watchdogs 2 had a lot of new gameplay and this game is set in San Francisco and everything is hackable. There is no release date yet for this game.

Games they also showed off were Grow Up and Trials of the Blood Dragon. Probably one of the biggest announcements was their last game called Steep. It is a open world mountain extreme sports game that you snowboard, ski, paraglide, or fly in a wing suit across some tall snow peaked mountains. This game also does not have a release date.


Playstation Conference:

I have to say Sony stole the show this year in my opinion. They had a live orchestra playing every song for their game demos and by God it was EPIC.

Sony started it right off with a God of War trailer and gameplay that no one was expecting. Kronos now has a son and he is teaching him how to kill and be a man. The graphics were phenomenal and there was talk of it possibly being open world.

The next game that was show cased was Days Gone. For all those zombie fans this is a post-apocalyptic game. Hordes upon hordes of Zombies.

Coming to us October 25 th 2016 is the much anticipated The Last Guardian. This is about a small boy and a friendly giant hybrid creature. The two characters work together to run from guards that are after them. This is one I am excited for. I will need to start a savings for October now.

The next game really piqued my interest. Detroit: Become Human, this game follows an android named Kara who escapes the factory she was created. This game you live by your decisions and everything has a consequence.

For those that love horror, January 24 th 2016 Resident Evil 7 will be released. This game is one I won’t be playing. Not unless I choose not to sleep for weeks. If this kind of game was not all ready creepy enough, it will also be virtual reality.

One of the largest announcements of the night, Playstation will release their own virtual reality headset and over 50 games this year! The headset is coming October 13 th 2016.  Farpoint, Star Wars Battlefront: XWing VR Mission, Batman: Arkham VR were just a few of the games mentioned coming out post the new VR headset. Final Fantasy 15 which will also be VR is set to come out September 30 th 2016.

November 4 th 2016 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be released. For some additional $$ Call of Duty 4 remastered will be included.

Another announcement that really got the crowd excited was the upcoming remastered Crash Bandicoot Games. Crash will also get to be in the upcoming Skylander game where it’s now possible to build your own Skylander. This is coming in October 2016.

To me the most exciting news was of Hideo Kojima’s new game Death Stranding starring Norman Reedus. The trailer didn’t show us much information on the game but it did show us a naked Norman Reedus with his baby Fetus!

Spider-Man PS4 was also a crowd pleaser with a new Spider-Man game and a new costume this open world game looks like a lot of fun!


Nintendo Conference / Day 2:

Nintendo didn’t have a big presentation but they did have 2 of their biggest games showcased. The new Legend of Zelda game finally got a title today and it’s official title is: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is another open world Zelda game that feature Link and when it releases it will have over 100 hours of gameplay. It honestly reminds of a Legend of Zelda/Skyrim mash up, but I am excited nonetheless.

The other game Nintendo showcased was the Pokémon games Pokémon Sun and Moon. With 3 new starters and a new batch of Pokémon this game will not disappoint Pokémon fans across the world. This game is set to release November 18 th of this year.

Now that all of the conferences are over, what game are you looking forward to the most? What conference beat the others?

E3 2016: Day Zero

E3 has finally kicked off! To me E3 is a 3 day vacation of gaming that includes new games, projects, and console releases from the top companies. E3 stands for “Electronics Entertainment Expo”, and it is where developers in the industry come to show off their current projects and what is to come in the next year or two. That being said, let’s hop right into day 0’s two conferences!

Electronic Arts(EA) Conference:

EA was the first company to start the week off and it wasn’t that impressive to this writer. EA showed off 7 of their new games in an hour show so lets break it down!

Titanfall 2 was the first game showcased. It is the sequel to the first game that came out 2 years ago and this year they are trying to blow the new one out of the water. They first announced that it will have a single player campaign that everyone has been demanding for and I cannot wait to play it. Multiplayer for the game had several new announcements including 6 new titans, customizable titans, and more customization for the character. Titanfall 2’s release date is October 28th and for the first time it will be available to all next gen devices (PC, Xbox One, and PS4).

Madden 17 was the next game showcased and it lasted all of maybe 3 minutes. The only news we got about it was that it was getting a new commentary team and balanced gameplay. I mean, hey, it is a new Madden game. They are all the same to me except for new people to play as.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is the next game they presented and although it is still in its early development stages they still showed us behind the scenes and even a small trailer for it. This game takes place after the Mass Effect trilogy and it follows new characters and promises a bigger adventure than the last games. The coolest thing to me about this was that they said it was going to run on a Frostbite engine which is one of the most powerful and fluid gaming engines in the world. So we at least know that the graphics and gameplay will be amazing!

Fifa 17 was the next one announced and it did not disappoint. Now I am going to state for the record I am not a big Fifa player but this game did look really fun to play. This year Fifa will also have a Frostbite engine, a campaign mode following Alex Hunter (an aspiring futbol player), and sideline managers. The game has a September release date and it looks to be a great new installment for the series.

EA announced this year that they are working with a bunch of independent developers and that the next coming months to years will be cranking out some new titles called EA Originals. The independent game they showcased was the game Fe. It is a audio inspired game where you play a creature who is dropped off into the world trying to find its place in the forest. There is no clear objective to this game except that you are trying to learn the songs of the forest and its inhabitants. The antagonist are the silent ones and are trying to steal the music from the forest.

EA announced new downloadable content for Star Wars: Battlefront which would include new planets, more environments, and new characters including Lando Carlissian! They also announced that they are working on several Star Wars related games that are set to release 2018 onward.

The last game they brought was the highly anticipated Battlefield 1. Personally, this was by far my favorite game of the conference just because I have been a Battlefield fan for years now. What’s different about this one is that the time period is during WWI and it includes tanks, airships, and weapons from that era of warfare. You can control a blimp airship that rains down artillery from the sky doing untold damage to the battlefield below. There are 2 new features that they are bringing to this game and the first one is climate changing maps. What I mean by that is, now the maps could change from sunny, raining, or foggy at any moment during the fight. The second feature is that you can now have a 64 player multiplayer battle. 32 versus 32. Which sounds completely exciting to me especially because the Battlefield Company never seems to disappoint when it comes to its multiplayer.

Overall I give the EA conference a 5/10 for an hour they didn’t really excite except for Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1. They had a lot of “filler” time with talk about competitive sports gaming that even the crowd at the show didn’t even applaud for.


Bethesda Conference:

Bethesda was the second and last show for the day and it was the biggest! This year was the 2nd year for them to come out for E3. Last year they released Fallout 4 which stole the whole week away from everyone else. This year they had to try and beat that and they did not disappoint.

Quake: Champions was the game they started off with. It is a competitive arena style 1st person shooter for the PC. They didn’t announce a whole lot for this game but they did show a pretty cool trailer for it.

Elder Scrolls Legends: Card Game is game that will be free to play later this year that you can play on the computer and all iOS devices. It is a card game based on the Elder Scrolls series that has a campaign mode and an arena mode.

They had a video of what was coming for Fallout 4 which includes a new contraptions workshop and a new area where you can build your own vault which is set to come out July 2016. I know for Bill and I this was extremely exciting news. They also announced Nuka Cola World for august of this year as well.

The biggest news of the conference was that they announced Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim REMASTERED!! This is what I was hoping for the most and Bill and I were screaming in excitement when they showed the trailer for it and it is set to come out October 28th, 2016.

Prey was next and it is a psychological thriller that takes place in the year 2032 and, although they didn’t give us a lot of information on it, the release date is set for some time next year.

They showcased some more things for Doom even though it came out last month. They promised more downloadable content (DLC) including 3 new multiplayer maps, a new demon, and a new gun. They also said that you can play a free trial for this game on all consoles and PC until the end of this week so people can experience Doom first hand.

Elder Scrolls Online is Bethesda’s MMORPG that came out last year and this year they show cased the new DLC which comes out on Tuesday June 14. They also announced that all levels will be the same so when you want to team up and fight dungeons together you can play with your friends without having to wait and level up.

Dishonored 2 was the last game of the conference and it’s going to be a lot of fun! This time you can play as Emily as well as Corvo. It takes place several years after the 1st game and Emily is now the empress of the land. If you were a fan of the first Dishonored then you are going to love this game because it has a lot of the same elements that the first one had. This game is set to release November 11th 2016.

Bethesda stole the day with their conference and I give it a solid 7/10.

That concluded day 0! Make sure you come back to see all of the other conference news that we will be posting as the days past. Monday we’ll be seeing presentations from Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Sony (and those never disappoint) so check back with us here at 4LN throughout the week for all the details on new announcements.


(Editor’s Note: This article was written by Tyler Haines.)

The 5th Wave – Is The Book Better? (SPOILERS)

(Editor’s Note – This article was written by Paige Clark)

I consider myself an “almost” avid reader. I don’t always have time to sit down and read books, but I can listen to an audiobook like nobodies business. I saw the trailer for The 5th Wave and knew it was right up my alley as far as something I would like to read. I mean, alien invasions, disasters, plagues, AND a love story?! Don’t mind if I do!

The book starts off with the heroine of the story, Cassie (played by Chloe Grace Moretz in the film), pointing the barrel of her M-16 rifle at a solider and begging him to show his hands. When he doesn’t she fires, turns out he was only holding onto a crucifix. That did a great job of setting up her story. She describes her life as totally normal until one day “the Others”, as they are called, showed up. Nothing will ever be the same for them after that. The 1st Wave was a giant EMP (electromagnetic pulse) that turned everything in the entire world off. The 2nd Wave was an earthquake that shook the whole world creating tsunamis that decimated coastal regions and other areas below sea level. The 3rd Wave was a virus spread by birds. The 4th Wave was a little more complicated. The 5th Wave was sad and terrifying.


The movie followed the book almost perfectly, which I was quite please with because I absolutely loved the book. I hated when I had to stop listening to it, and may or may not have taken longer than usual showers and potty breaks so I could listen to it (#sorrynotsorry). I don’t think there was ever a dull moment when I zoned out while listening to the audiobook. The book did such a great job developing each character. Both the book and the movie were fairly faced paced even though the story took place over a few months time. The movie made you feel like it was weeks at the most.

I will say that the book did a much better job at making you believe that they were actually in a apocalyptic type setting in the sense that she had to forage for food and was filthy. In the movie her hair was beautiful the whole time. I can’t make my hair do what hers did after an hour at the park, and she had been trying to survive in the woods by herself for days on end. I don’t know about you, but I would have been much more concerned about survival than a proper hair care regimen. I mean, I get that she couldn’t have been rough looking the whole time, but they could have done at least a little better.

“Journal Entry #145: This Pantene Pro-V leave-in conditioner I put in my hair 3 months ago is STILL WORKING.”

I was a little disappointed that they weren’t able to set up Cassie and Evan’s relationship as much as they did in the book, but that is to be expected since a book offers way more time to develop that sort of thing. On her way to get her brother Sammy back she was shot by a “Silencer,” the Others’s snipers. She woke up with a super hottie, Evan Walker (played by Alex Roe), taking care of her. How could she not fall in love with him when he takes care of her, washes her hair, shows her how to shoot, and tells her things like “You saved me, Cassie.” I mean, good golly! Well turns out he was the Silencer who shot her. He is technically an Other but Cassie made him want to be human again (because, duh). One scene that they just threw into the movie to show that she was becoming more fond of Evan, before she found out he was the one who shot her, was him chopping wood. Men chopping wood will always be one of the most attractive things, assuming that the man chopping is remotely good looking. Alex Roe is extremely good looking.

“Nice guns. Need help cleaning them? Oh god, I just realized how inappropriate that sounded. I actually literally meant that I could help clean your guns because I have some experience with them and I’m just gonna shut up now.”

Another main character that I really enjoyed was Zombie aka Ben Parish (played by Jurassic World’s Nick Robinson) He was Cassie’s love interested in High School because everything about him was perfect. Well turns out he was not so perfect. His back story was a little darker – he kind of ran away instead of trying to do more to save his little sister. The movie didn’t go into much of his back story at all, I think because it was so unlikable. I completely fell in love with Ben Parish (it helps that I love Nick Robinson too, I’m a big Melissa and Joey fan) He tries so hard to make up for his mistakes that he made and when he smiles I’d give him all the things. One thing he does is try to help take care of Sammy who ends up in his squad.

“Nice guns. Need help clea… wait, never mind.”

Liev Schreiber, as always, is phenomenal. He plays Colonel Vosch, who is the leader of the Others. He orchestrates the 5th Wave. The reason that Cassie is trying to get her brother Sammy back is because he was taken to a local air force base thinking that he was going to be taken somewhere safe. After they took all the children from the refugee camp that her family was staying at, Vosch had all the adults killed while Cassie was hiding in the woods. She realized then that the army was not who people thought they were. They were actually the Others. They recruited children, trained them as soldiers, and sent them out into the field to kill what they thought were the Others, but they were actually killing the remaining humans that had managed to survive. Ben Parish and his squad figure this out when they were sent into combat. He realizes that he has to go back for Sammy as well. Sammy was put in his squad, but was not old enough to be sent to fight. What is it with this kid that makes him so special? Well, he was pretty adorable in both the book and the movie.

“Who the %$#& is Sabertooth? You will refer to me as Colonel, maggot.”

Of course Cassie and Ben end up running into each other when they are trying to both save Sammy. They are shocked, especially her considering she use to have a big crush on him, to see each other but work out that they are actually on the same team. In the movie, Cassie refused Evan’s help once she learned that he was really an Other, but of course he helped anyways. In the book she had a little more time to kind of figure out who/what he was so she was a little more keen on him helping her since he knew exactly what was going on. When Evan jumped in just when he was needed to save Cassie he said something in the movie that pretty much melted my heart, “I was wrong when I said I was one of them and one of you. You can’t be both, you have to chose. I chose you.” Then he kisses her <3 I could be misquoting that but you get the point.

“I have to tell you a secret… this isn’t my real hair.”

Eventually, Evan blows up the base. Cassie, Sammy, and Ben barely get away from the explosions. And it ends with setting up to the next part of the story.

The book (and movie) start with a hopeless situation because the 4th Wave caused everyone to stop trusting one another because anyone, even your mom, could be an Other.  That’s the reason the movie starts off with her shooting that soldier, she had no choice and no hope.  In the end though,the movie left me with all the hope you can imagine a human can have.  I could go on and on, but now I am off to start the second book. Enjoy both the book and the movie!


(Editor’s Note: This article was written by our favorite YA Novel enthusiast, Paige Clark.)

Broke Nerd Wondering Again If Old Pokemon Cards Have Increased In Currency Exchange Rate

NASHVILLE, TN– In the midst of an unfortunate financial crisis, Tim McArthur desperately goes over the possibility that his Pokemon cards may now be worth some money.


“It seems I dug myself quite a hole after purchasing a new processor for my computer,” says McArthur as he goes through a bin of old collectible nerd merchandise. “I could never give up any of my valuable Magic cards, rare Lightsaber replicas, or comic books. However, I’ve never known what else to do with this entire collection of Pokemon cards.”

McArthur goes on to describe his collection as more of something that interested him as a child and assumed it would benefit him monetarily in the future.

“Friends would always tell me that I should hold on to this card or that card because they’re going to be worth a lot more in the future,” explains McArthur as he flips through pages in his card notebook. “I though it was supposed to work like sports cards but it’s almost like these 20 Caterpie’s are going under in value.”


After hours of going through the internet and calling various card games stores McArthur believes he’d be better off building a hat out of his old playing cards than trying to sell them.

Weeks following our conversation with Tim we caught up with him to see how he’s doing. He told us he had plans to go over to his parents house to check on his sister’s old Beanie Baby collection. “It could take another 15 years for those cards to be worth anything, but I’m starting to think now is the time to cash in on those Beanie Babies.”