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4LN Comic Review: Moon Knight #1 (2016)

Series: Moon Knight
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Greg Smallwood
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire

358507._SX360_QL80_TTD_Summary from Comixology: “The book you’d be insane to miss! Marc Spector (a.k.a. Moon Knight/Jake Lockley/Steven Grant) has been fighting criminals and keeping New York City safe for years…or has he? When he wakes up in an insane asylum with no powers and a lifetime’s worth of medical records, his whole identity (identities) are called into question. Something is wrong, but is that something Marc Spector himself? Jeff Lemire and rising star Greg Smallwood are calling everything you know about Moon Knight into question.”

There is only one way that I can accurately describe Moon Knight #1, and that with three simple words: “Trippy. As. F–K.” This book really makes you question everything you know about Moon Knight, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about the character to begin with. All I know about Marc Spector is what I read in Warren Ellis’ fantastic, albeit brief, run from a couple years ago. I know the basics of the character, but a lot of those core beliefs are stripped away and questioned here in the first issue of Lemire’s run, Welcome to New Egypt: Part 1 of 5.

Jeff Lemire is one of my favorite writers in the industry at the moment, and I think his weird style fits the feel of the character perfectly. I am also really looking forward to Lemire (hopefully) doing some art for this book, because not only does his writing match the style, but his art would be beautifully trippy with his character. The issue seems like a beautiful homage to “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, where Marc is stuck in a Mental Institute and is trying to escape, and one of the characters that Marc meets straight reminds me of Jack Nicholson as Mac. The deeper you get into the book, the more “confusing” it gets. I unfortunately can’t quit describe how it’s confusing without giving spoilers, but trust me, you’ll want to read this issue.

Greg Smallwood and Jordie Bellaire make a perfect art team for this book, the colors are just fantastic. I wholeheartedly believe that Bellaire is the best colorist in comic books. Smallwood’s linework and attention to detail is just phenomenal. There are multiple pages where a lot of things are happening but it’s still so easy to tell what’s going on, and the splash page towards the end… WOW. It absolutely makes the book worth the price tag. In the summary from Comixology they call Smallwood a “rising star” and this book might have just proven why that’s true.

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If you are a fan of Moon Knight, or just looking for a new series to get into, Moon Knight #1 is the book for you. It has everything you could possibly want: Egyptian gods, mental hospitals, shock treatment, corrupt nurses, and Moon Knight just being a complete badass. $4.99 seems like a high cost for a comic, but this first issue convinced me that the series is worth it.

 

Music Pairing
Remember how I mentioned shock treatment? Well, Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment.

4LN Comic Review: Obi-Wan and Anakin #2 (of 5)

Series: Obi-Wan and Anakin
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Page Count: 23

Summary from Comixology: “Master and Padawan find themselves stranded on an unfamiliar world…a world of strange, primitive technology and dangerous natives. But even if they can save themselves…why were they called to this world?”

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I have been reading every single Star Wars book, (except for Kanan: The Last Padawan, which I’m frantically trying to collect all of them now) and Charles Soule has written my favorite one so far, Lando. But, for some reason, Obi-Wan and Anakin just isn’t holding my interests as much as previous books. I believe it has nothing to do with Soule’s writing, since he’s one of my favorite writers, but rather Marco Checchetto’s art, and I think it’s safe to say that, my fellow 4LN writer, Cameron felt the same way about issue #1.

This book takes place between episode I and II, and we have a 12 year old Anakin in the field with his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The strongest thing about this book was Soule’s ability to capture both Obi-Wan and Anakin. This is a time before Anakin questions his master, and they truly seem more like brothers, and you can clearly tell how much Anakin looks up to Obi-Wan, specifically with my favorite quote of the comic, “That is my Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, there is no one better.”

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This series revolves around Anakin and Obi-Wan visiting an off world planet, Carnelion IV, and they realize there is a generations long war going on, between two feuding sides: The Open, and the Closed. Besides these two groups of people, Obi and Annie must fight off a wave of mindless creatures called the Corpse-Leeches, that Obi tries to control via The Force, but Anakin struggles with this ability. The book also includes a great flashback scene that shows how Anakin and Chancellor Palpatine first met; including a trip to the lower levels of Coruscant. This was one of those few moments I wanted to yell at Obi-Wan and say “You are making a terrible decision! DON’T DO THIS!” But I would have looked pretty silly yelling a comic book in this crowded Starbucks… again.

With all this said, my dislike of the art was outweighed by my love of Obi-Wan and Charles Soule as a writer. If you are a fan of Star Wars, then once again, Marvel is putting out a quality book that you need to read. The collector in me would and will read anything Star Wars, but I’m glad Marvel hasn’t dipped in quality with all the different books. This run is only 5 issues long, so head to Comix City Too! if you are in the Nashville area and pick up issues #1 & 2!

 

Music Pairing:
The ONLY music that goes along with a Star Wars book.

Best Live Bands of 2015

Since Four Letter Nerd’s conception, Stephen Andrew and I have been eagerly awaiting for the site to include music reviews, and that day has finally arrived. With the new year, 4LN has decided we are going to go in a new direction, and one of the new features will be focusing more on music. For me, music has always been something that I’ve been super nerdy about. When I get into a new band, I pretty much completely get into that band. I learn about the members, I completely dive into their discography, and I love learning about their writing process.

This previous year, I really dove into some awesome music, and along with diving into music, I saw some really awesome live performances. I saw everything from country music legend Willie Nelson to the black metal/crust punk band Young And In The Way, and I saw everything in between them as well. I can honestly say I saw close to 50 different musical acts this year, some were phenomenal, and others were fairly forgettable. This list will consist of the 10 best bands I saw in 2015, but in no particular order. I should say that, while I am heavily into punk, hardcore and metal, this list will not consist of just those types of bands. So, without further adieu, I give you the best live performances of 2015, according to Bill Clark.

 

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1) Ryan Adams
I have been waiting since I was a sophomore in high school to see Ryan Adams (six years for anyone wondering). I first heard about Ryan Adams from a hipster girl I knew, and she gave me a copy of Gold and Easy Tiger and his music blew me away. Each time Ryan has toured and come through Nashville, I’ve missed his show. In April he announced two shows at The Ryman Auditorium, and I knew I had to see him. I got tickets to his first show of the two dates and it was incredible. The Ryman stage was set up like a 1980’s arcade and included giant pinball machines and wild taxidermy animals. Ryan mostly played songs of his self titled album, and unfortunately this show was before the announcement of his Taylor Swift cover album, 1989, so I didn’t get to see any of those songs live. To make an awesome show even better, Ryan brought out Jason Isbell and Natalie Prass and all together played Come Pick Me Up and Jacksonville Skyline. Unfortunately, on the second night (which I was not at) Ryan finally performed the Bryan Adams song Summer of ’69.

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2) Willie Nelson
I saw Willie Nelson also at The Ryman Auditorium in March of 2015. It might have been one of the coolest shows I’ve ever seen. I went with a fellow punk rocker, Clint Daniel, and we had to be the two youngest people at the show. Clint’s in his late 20’s and I am in my early 20’s. So, what was funny about this show was, it was over by 9:30, and I was home in bed before 11. I say it was funny because one of the Nashville based venues I frequent often, The End, typically doesn’t have the show headliner start until 10 or after. Being able to tell people I saw Willie Nelson is one of the coolest parts of seeing Willie. At the age of 82, Willie is still kicking some serious ass and played for at least and hour and a half, and never once forgot a single lyric. It was great to see a living legend who could out preformed any new popular act.

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3) Young And In The Way
Young and In The Way (YAITW) was possibly the single most terrifying musical experience of my life. For readers who are not familiar with YAITW, they are a black metal crust punk band from North Carolina, known for their satanic imagery, and cult like presence. Stephen Andrew and I saw them play to an audience for maybe 100 people. One by one the band came on stage covered in blood (for added effect, the guitarist played in a leather bondage sex mask, eyes zip shut) and when they began to play, the house lights turned off and the band played in darkness with flashing lights. With songs such as Be My Blood and F**k This Life, the negativity in the room was overpowering, and for the first 3 songs Stephen and I were not sure if we would make it out of the venue without being involved in a cult murder/suicide. During the song F**k This Life, Kable Lyall (vocalist) pointed directly at me, while covered in blood, and yelled “F**K THIS LIFE”… while looking at me. I was 99% sure I was marked for death by the group with “Cult of Rot” backpatches.  If anyone is a fan of horror and/or metal, seeing YAITW live must be added to your bucket list.

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4) Jeff Rosenstock

Where can I even begin with Jeff Rosenstock? I honestly think this was the single best show I saw in 2015. I saw him at the Nashville venue, The End, and I bet there were no more than 200 people at the show. But, during Jeff’s set there had to only be 125 people tops. He toured with Dan Andriano (of Alkaline Trio. No. The OTHER guy from Alkaline Trio. No. NOT MATT SKIBA.) Dan played before Jeff, and after his set a large amount of the crowd left, which really surprised me. For those of you not familiar with Jeff Rosenstock, he originally started playing music with Bomb the Music Industry! and has since made a name for himself in the folk punk/pop punk community. Jeff blends elements of folk and pop punk into one truly unique sound. And his live performances, are also truly unique. Jeff is in his 30’s but has more energy then almost any other performer I saw this year. What amazed me about the guy was he played an entire set on rhythm guitar for Dan Andriano and then did an entire other set immediately after, with Death Rosenstock. While on stage Jeff was jumping all over the place, and at one time jumped on a table in the bar, shredded a little, then jumped into the crowd. Later during the set, he handed his guitar to some random kid and stage dived for a while. The Jeff Rosenstock show was non stop chaos, but beautifully executed.

 

 

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5) City and Colour

City and Colour was actually the last show I saw in 2015, and it was also Dallas Green’s last show of the year. I went with my girlfriend and her sister to see City and Colour at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, and it was a phenomenal show. I have never really been a City and Colour fan. I checked him out when he first released “Sometimes”, but I never really dived into anything after that. I had heard great things about his project with Pink! (You+Me) and his latest album, “If I Should Go Before You”, so I checked out both of those the week before the show, and they really impressed me. I wasn’t sure what to expect with his live show, but I went in with an open mind. Half way during the show, I remember texting Stephen, “Dude. City and Colour is f**king flawless.” That’s really the only way I know how to describe the show. Dallas Green had a fantastic light show along with his music, which really added something unique to the concert. The only real thing I didn’t enjoy was Dallas Green’s lack of stage banter. He was very quiet and didn’t interact with the crowd. It was very much like listening to a recording, but I mean that in the best way possible.

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6-8) New Found Glory, Turnstile and Turnover

This one is a bit more of a stretch, because this might have been the best concert I went too. It was just a stacked fucking line up, and what’s great about this line up, each band was different compared to the other. New Found Glory were headlining the show, and they are the reigning kings of Pop Punk. Like, every other band falls in comparison to them. Descendents are the grandparents of pop punk, New Found Glory are the parents, and every current pop punk band is a little middle-schooler trying to be edgy and cool. The NFG show was a major surprise for me, most of the crowd was the “old guys” crew. People in their late 20’s and early 30’s who aren’t at every show anymore, and most have kids and a family and a raging comic book addiction *cough* Stephen *cough* so they don’t get out to many shows anymore. (Editor’s Note: F*** you, you snot-nosed little s***.) During the opening bands, Turnover and Turnstile, the crowd wasn’t very energetic. Turnover is a slower more post-pop punk/emo band so it made sense with the crowd not moving during their set, and they killed it that night. Turnstile was incredibly energetic and had a strong Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) message, and they got the crowd moving pretty good. Definitely the heaviest band on the bill, younger people were moshing and really getting into the band. But, the entire atmosphere changed when New Found Glory hit the stage, the crowd exploded with energy and the level of excitement flooded over the room. I don’t think I have ever been at a show that had so many stage dives and crowd surfers. It was just a sea of bodies crashing over each other, wave after wave. When it comes to punk and all its subgenres, New Found Glory takes the cake when it comes to live shows.

 

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9) Death Cab for Cutie

I have seen Death Cab at least five times, and every time I see them, they get better and better. I saw them at The Ryman Auditorium to a sold out crowd, and it was honestly one of the best times I’ve seen them. If you are ever in Nashville, please do yourself a favor and see a band at The Ryman. It’s easily one of the best venues in the world, and as an added bonus, it’s also the mother church of country music, and the birthplace of bluegrass. Death Cab is one of those bands that the longer they are together, the better they become. They honestly have it all. Great crowd interactions, perfect sound, and a flawless set list. I think one of the special things about Death Cab is, during their live performances they cater to both fan bases: fairly new fans, and veteran fans. Death Cab does a wonderful job interacting with the crowd, telling stories, and even joking around. Ben Gibbard (the vocalist) asked if anyone knew Garth Brooks, and if they did, ask him to please cover I Will Follow You Into The Dark so that he and the rest of the band, can send their kids to college (though, I don’t think he’ll have a problem doing that without aid from Garth). Even if you only know a couple Death Cab songs, you really need to go see them live, it will be 100% worth it.

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10) Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Where to even begin? This was more of a life experience opposed to a concert. Stephen and I had been planning on going to this show since it was announced, and goddamn am I glad I went. It was truly one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I was buzzing pretty good on PBR during their set, and that honestly made it all the more powerful. For those of you not familiar with GSY!BE, they are a canadian post-rock instrumental/experimental band. GSY!BE is an eight piece band that has a full time projectionist that travels with them, and he ran 3 different projectors that played over the music, for a truly unique experience. I visually remember one 8 minute song just consisting of just two deer eating grass and staring at you. If you were high during their set, it would have been unbelievable. Words can not describe how great they are, but it is important to mention, if you see them, they will be LOUD. This was easily the loudest concert I have ever seen in my life. I can go on and on about describing them, but I think Stephen found the perfect words for Godspeed You! Black Emperor…

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2015 was one hell of a year for live music, from bloody black metal, to experimental instrumental music I saw a little bit of everything this year. We would love to hear your feedback, and/or comment below with a couple of the best bands you saw this previous year. Keep checking back with Four Letter Nerd for more music related articles!

4LN Comic Review: The Dark Knight III: Master Race #1

Series: The Dark Knight III: Master Race
Writer(s): Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello
Pencils: Andy Kubert and Frank Miller
Inks: Klaus Janson
Page Count: 54

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Summary from Comixology: “The epic ending you never saw coming is here because you demanded it! The Dark Knight rises again to face the dawn of the master race!”

I have been waiting for this comic for such a long time now. The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One are two of the most influential comics I have ever read. If it wasn’t for Frank Miller, I wouldn’t have the passion for comics that I have today. I’m a total Miller fanboy, I even love All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder, and that is just a clusterf*ck of a comic. Besides my love for Miller, I am also a huge fan of Brian Azzarello, (If you haven’t read 100 Bullets or his run on Wonder Woman you are missing out) because he does such a great job writing gritty crime stories, and him paired with Miller, is a perfect team. What’s nice about having Azzarello on the book is he’ll be able to tone down some of the craziness that is Frank Miller. The book has a $5.99 sticker price, but for anyone familiar with the impact Miller has had on Batman, this is a book you need to get.

It’s great to see Miller, Kubert, and Janson working on a book in 2015. This was a team that dominated the comic book world in the 80’s and to see them working together 30 years later is really impressive. The book itself has that 80’s feel to it, but also has a modern vibe, so the creative team did a fantastic job capturing the feel of their original work. The art work is fantastic and beautifully drawn, and the colors look absolutely fantastic. The scene involving Wonder Woman and the Centaur really caught me off guard, because I wasn’t expecting to see Wonder Woman as a mother, or breastfeeding either. Over the years Frank has gotten tons of flack for how he has handled and depicted women in his comics, but honestly this seems to be a major improvement in how he will write women in comics. (Before anyone jumps on me for being a misogynist for defending Miller, I’ll just leave this here: Equality Now )

One of the things I wasn’t a fan of was the beginning of the comic. The dialogue was a little difficult to follow, mostly because it was written in text messaging short hand, such as “i Cn him” and “fu the bat b back, squid” I don’t know why DC has been using text shorthand recently, but I’m not a fan of it (see Superman: American Alien). I felt this took away from the comic, and it honestly took me a few tries reading it to understand what was being said. I think another thing that is going to bother people will be the interactions between Batman and police officers. Honestly, Batman just beats the shit out of some officers, and then they beat the shit out of Batman (ACAB), and the issue ends with a bit of a twist.

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This issue set up a lot of groundwork, but answered zero questions that you might have involving the series. The first issue of this series leaves you wanting more, and that’s what the first issue of any mini series should do. I also want to state that this issue, might be my favorite cover of the year. It’s so simple, but you immediately recognize it. The sticker price is a little much, because DC knows people will buy this no matter if it was $3.99 or $7.99, so I guess the price could be worse, but issue #2 is also slated at $5.99, I’m worried each issue will be the same price, and that just seems greedy on DC’s part. But, with all this being said, if you are a Batman fan, or a fan of Frank Miller this series will be a must have for your collection, and the epic conclusion to one of the most critically acclaimed Batman series ever told.

Music Pairing:
Lets offend some people. Batman beats up cops, and cops beat up Batman. So, for this music pairing I present 1980’s Texan punk band MDC (Millions of Dead Cops), and their song No More Cops.

Saturday Morning Review: Doctor Strange #2

Series: Doctor Strange (2015)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils and Colors: Chris Bachalo
Inks: Tim Townsend, Al Vey, and Mark Irwin
Page Count: 22

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Summary from Comixology:”Take a tour of Doctor Strange’s home, the Sancto Sanctorum. It’s the weirdest and most dangerous place in the Marvel Universe! A place where opening the wrong door can unleash hell on Earth. Unfortunately for you and your fellow visitor, Zelma, Strange’s house is infested with something far worse than bed bugs!”

I have never really read much of Dr. Strange. My first introduction to him was in Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers series from Marvel Now! and he was absolutely incredible in that series. I have always been a fan of magic characters but for some reason never dived into Stephen Strange’s world. My fellow 4LN writer Stephen Andrew reviewed the new Doctor Strange #1, and that review really sold the book to me. He was ranting and raving about how great the book was, and I knew I would be kicking myself in the ass if I didn’t give it a try. And damn, am I glad I jumped on this book. Jason Aaron is a great writer, just look at Thor: God of Thunder, arguably one of the greatest comics of all time. His run on Star Wars has been phenomenal, and Original Sin was one of my favorite events of recent years.
I think it’s easy to say that his run on Doctor Strange will rival Thor:GoT, and I’m saying that with us only on issue number two.

The writing is just phenomenal, and I can’t speak highly enough of Aaron as a writer. This second issue takes place inside of The Sanctum Sanctorum which Aaron and Bachalo do an amazing job bringing it to life. The chaos and never ending rooms reminds me of one of my favorite books, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, which is about a house that has a never ending closet that is always expanding and shrinking. I would dare say that Aaron has read this book before because The Sanctum Sanctorum has the same vibe as the House.

The artwork in this book is just pure bliss. I honestly can’t think of a better artist than Chris Bachalo to be on this book. The way he captures the mystic realm is just fantastic. The use of blacks and purples makes for a perfect depiction of darkness and a fear of the unknown. There is a particular scene where Doctor Strange is floating in the air while reading and has books all over the place, floating with him; and, for me, this is what I imagine when I think of Doctor Strange. Even in a time of complete chaos and fear, Strange finds the time to meditate and search for much needed answers. It was also beautiful seeing the different rooms of the Sanctum Sanctorum, Bachalo did a great job making each room we see truly unique, and also frightening in it’s own way.

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If you haven’t read Doctor Strange #1, click the link to check out our review, and go to your local comic shop as soon as possible and get issues one and two, because this is a story you don’t want to sleep on. If any creative team knows how to write Doctor Strange, it’s Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo.

Music Pairing:
It took me a while to come up with who to jam for this issue. I wanted to go with a crust/black metal band, but then it hit me. Blacklisted is the perfect band for this type of book. Specifically the track “I’m Trying To Disappear” of the album No One Deserves To Be Here More Than Me.

Nerds in Bands: Jamie Pomeroy of Mental Collapse.

Hey punks! Nashville Tennessee has a new punk/hardcore band called Mental Collapse, and they just released their second EP, The Deceiver’s Prophecy. We sat down and talked music, superpowers and Mad Max with their vocalist Jamie.

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4LN – Your band Mental Collapse just released a new EP, The Decievers Prophecy, tell us a little bit about how this project came to be. 
 JP- We’ve been a band for about a year and a half now and this EP is our second release. It’s four songs and an interlude that we started writing after we released our demo last year.  We’ve been playing some of them live and have also held a few back for people to hear on recording first and I think we’re all very pleased with the final product we ended up with.

 

4LN – What bands or artist are your biggest influence?
 JP – As a band we all draw from a lot of different places. Our guitar player Drew loves death metal bands like Nile and Cannibal Corpse but also stuff ranging from Yngwie Malmsteen to Between the Buried and Me. He also plays in a crazy instrumental / ambient prog-rock band called Muir. Our bassist Jack probably has the widest range of bands that he has heard and is familiar with out of any of us but I know some of his favorites are Neurosis, Black Breath, & Coheed and Cambria. Josh our drummer has always been big into hip-hop (he actually was a rapper for a while) and I know lately he’s been on Earl Sweatshirt and that Illmatic by Nas is one of his favorite albums. Our old guitarist Steven who helped write 2 of the songs on the EP actually used to play in the band Overcome from Arizona and I think that sound came through with his writing, so maybe some Living Sacrifice influence there. I try not to say “we’re a band and we sound like this other band” but I also know how annoying it is when people say that their band doesn’t sound like anything else, so I try not to do that either.

 

For me, I try to always read the lyrics of bands and artists that I like. One thing that I wish more people did was buy an actual copy of an album, sit down on their bed and spin it all the way through while reading the lyric sheet. It’s 2015 and it’s easy to just save new stuff on your Spotify each week and say “oh that’s good” but never really dive into WHY that music is good (no judgement, I’m guilty of this too). I guess I just want to take the time to see what the person had to say through their lyrics. My two favorite bands overall are The Gaslight Anthem and Death Cab for Cutie, but as far as the world of music that we are in I would say All Out War, Converge, and Bitter End are three bands that have influenced my writing. Inspiration for lyrics just comes from whatever is laying heavy on me.

 

4LN – Does Mental Collapse have any touring plans on the horizon? 
 JP – As of right now we have a show November 3rd with Cult Leader and Cove here in Nashville and another in December that should be announced soon. No tour plans at this point but we are trying to do another run as soon as we can. This is my last semester of school and we plan on doing some traveling once I’m done.

 

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Stephen Andrew and I will be at this show, come hangout with us.

 

4LN – If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why? 
 JP – Without a doubt it would be the ability to teleport. The thought of never having to worry about driving/parking ever again is really nice. I would probably use it to see as much of the world as I could and also to visit my friends who live far away whenever I wanted to. Plus I mean, if you can teleport nobody is gonna be able to hit you in a fight.

 

4LN – What is the most Nerdy thing about you? 
JP – Probably the fact that whatever I get into, I dive in 100% and try to learn every little thing about it that I can.  Whether it be a sport, an album, a tv show, a video game, a movie, whatever. Right now the NFL season is in full swing so I’m pretty heavily invested in my fantasy team. I like to “nerd out” on NFL talk whenever I find someone else that likes to keep up with the NFL. I will also say that as an organization the NFL is a mess right now and has a lot of issues that need to be addressed, but I try not to let that ruin my love of football. That last sentence is proof that I’m a nerd.

 

4LN – Let’s talk football for a minute, I’m a huge Raiders fan (Editor’s note: Bill does not speak for the entirety of 4LN, we do not all support The Raiders), and we recently released an article about NFL teams and Superheroes. Jeff mentioned that The Raiders are a lot like The Fantastic Four. I know you are a Titans fan, so what comic character (or team) do they remind you of? 
 JP – I definitely enjoyed that article. First Titans player that comes to mind is Jurrell Casey as The Thing. Look up a picture of him if you aren’t familiar. Not really sure who else we’ve got that fits. Are there any Hawaiian or Samoan superheroes? If there are I would like to think that they would be Marcus Mariota. I could maybe see our former head coach (now Rams head coach) Jeff Fisher as Commissioner Jim Gordon. They look pretty similar, they’re both usually under a lot of pressure but have an answer when they are called upon. Commissioner Gordon could even be kind of like Batman’s coach? Maybe a stretch. I’m sure some guy will rip me apart in the comments for this.

 

4LN – Imagine for a minute that you are on tour. You are completely out of food, and stuck at a rest stop. If you were a hotdog, would you eat yourself? 
 JP – That is a tough call because I am not that big on hot dogs. I tend to think gas station taquitos are a lot more edible than gas station hot dogs and I’m assuming that this is a gas station hot dog if we are talking about tour. So I’m going to say that I would not eat myself if I were the hotdog, I would wait until we got rolling at the rest stop and could make it to a gas station which hopefully would have an Arby’s or KFC attached. The Tornados (taquitos) at the gas station Love’s are actually really good and good for you.

 

4LN – What is an album you think everyone should listen to once in their life? 
JP – The easy answer here would definitely be Plans by Death Cab or The ’59 Sound by Gaslight because they “changed my life” or whatever but I’m gonna have to go with Trapped In the Closet (Chapters 1-12) by R. Kelly. I really haven’t listened to any of those since around 2006 and I just read that they’re on chapter 33 now but I may give it a listen later today. I don’t really think you should listen because you will enjoy it but rather to prove to yourself that you can make it all the way through and tell someone else that you did. When I was in 6th grade I remember the radio station that I listened to playing those in the morning while I was getting ready for school which I still think is insane.

 

4LN – Now, I know you are a huge Mad Max fan, so what is your favorite film in the franchise and
why?
JP – Man, it’s always been Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior but I honestly think Fury Road might have beaten it this year. It was probably the most that I’ve enjoyed seeing a movie in the theatre since seeing Gravity in the IMAX. George Miller did a perfect job of revisiting his series with a lot of the same elements that made the first three films so special. There’s a lot of speculation as to whether the movie takes place before, after, or during the original movies and there are some pretty interesting reads out there about that.

 

4LN – And. Last but not least, how long would you and the rest of Mental Collapse last in the Thunderdome? 
 I think Me vs. Josh would be a pretty even fight, we’re about the same size but I definitely have a good 20 pounds on him so I think that would help me. Not really sure about how well Drew can fight but he did shove me really hard once in the middle of a show when I stepped on his cable so maybe he could shove someone into a spike or something. Jack is a really chill/nice person so I don’t know how good he would be at killing people in a cage but if his girlfriend Katie was in danger I know he would go for the chainsaw.

 

Be sure to pick up Mental Collapse’s The Deceiver’s Prophecy on Bandcamp, or come hangout with them at The End in Nashville on Tuesday November 3rd.

Glenn Danzig, the God Butcher

If you have read any of my articles, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of punk rock. I almost always recommend a punk band for music pairing with comics, from 15-20 I was at punk shows almost every night, and I’m constantly trying to find the next great punk band. I can’t even tell you all the bands I’ve seen live over the years (but Against Me! are still one of the best). Hell, I’m not even sure I KNOW how many I’ve seen. As I’ve gotten a bit older, I’ve fallen out of the punk scene I once loved, but that’s due to my love for comics. Now, I feel like I can either go to a show, or I can hit up the comic shop on Wednesday for new books. But, as I’ve grown older and my music taste has evolved into a much wider palate, one thing has remained a constant: my love for the unholy Glenn Beck Danzig. So, in honor of our 666th article, we give you, Danzig, the God Butcher.

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For those of you who don’t know who Glenn Danzig is, he was the original vocalist for the horror punk band Misfits. You know, that skeleton face you see on every 15 year old Goth kids shirt? That was the band Danzig started with Jerry Only in 1977, and Danzig left the band in 1984 after struggling with creative disputes with fellow band member Jerry Only. Following their fallout Danzig started a new project titled Samhain, which was more Death/Heavy Metal with themes from horror movies. This band went through a few line up changes until it finally consisted of Glenn Danzig, Eerie Von, John Christ, and Chuck Biscuits. In 1987, the band changed their name from Samhain to Danzig, signed to Def American Records, which later became American Recordings (who also produced albums by Johnny Cash, Slayer, Flipper, The Jesus and The Mary Chain, and countless others) and recorded “Danzig” in 1988 which featured songs such as Mother, She Rides, and my personal favorite Am I Demon. (Still to this day, there are problems between Danzig and Jerry Only. The main one being, Jerry is now a born again Christian, and wants The Misfits to be family friendly. And, well, Danzig would be a god butcher, if he could.)

Following the success of Danzig the band released their second album in 1990 titled Danzig II: Lucifuge, and following that in 1992 released Danzig III: How The Gods Kill featuring artwork by world famous Swiss artist H.R. Giger (Who worked on the Alien films), and Danzig has since continued making music and has recorded 9 albums in 27 years. His latest album, Skeletons is slated for release sometime this fall, and will be a cover album of all the songs that have influenced Glenn Danzig over the year. Besides Skeletons, Glenn Danzig is working on a Elvis Presley cover EP, also rumored for a 2015 release, but no other dates have been announced. The music industry isn’t Danzig’s only area of interest. He even has his own adult centered comic book company, Verotik, which is a combination of the words “violent” and “erotic.” Verotik comics, is an 18+ publishing company, and is Danzig’s way of entering the world of comics. Since a young child, Danzig has always had a love for comics. My fellow 4LN writer Stephen and I are also an example how metal/punk music goes hands in hands with comics.

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We have all wondered who we would be if we were comic book characters. And, for the most part, when we ask ourselves this question, we look to our heroes. We want to be versions of Spider-Man, Charles Xavier, Batman, or Superman. We all want to see the best in the mirror. None of us want to see The Joker, Dr. Doom, or Lex Luthor in our reflection. Except for one person, and that is Danzig. If he were a comic book character, there is no one else he would embody more then the villain from Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder run, Gorr the God Butcher. A little backstory for the series, it was pretty much the most metal fucking book I have ever read in my life. Like, every page reminded me of some Black Metal/Death Metal music video, Stephen Andrew and I are almost certain he jammed Emperor while writing the scripts for the book. Gorr is a character that looses his entire family, at a young age his parents are killed, he then marries ad fathers multiple children, whom all but one die. And, to make his story worse, his wife and son eventually die as well. Gorr was taught from an early age to worship the gods, but in his lifetime, the gods never brought fulfillment or purpose. Eventually Gorr gives up all hope, but only to learn that the gods are real, and they don’t care. This causes Gorr to become furious and swears vengeance and death on every god in the known existence.

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My name is Gorr, son of a nameless father, outcast from a forgotten world. I have slain my way through multitudes to stand here at the genesis of all things. Blackened by vengeance, wet with holy blood. One simple dream still strong in my heart… The dream of a godless age.

I’m pretty sure this above quote could also be from Danzig by just replacing the name, and no one would be very surprised if he were to say something like this in an interview.

Danzig and Gorr have a lot in common. Well, I actually don’t know that, but I’m just assuming that if they were to hangout, they would have more in common then we would expect. I mean, if given the chance, Danzig would challenge Satan in a fist fight for complete control of hell, and for decades now Danzig has been telling us if you want to find hell, he can show you the way. So, Gorr and Danzig could bring about a true age without the gods, and metal would rule the sound of an unsung apocalypse.

4LN Comic Review: Archie #1

Series: Archie
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Fiona Staples
Coloring: Andre Szymanowicz
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Summary from Archie Comics: COMIC SUPERSTARS MARK WAID AND FIONA STAPLES REIMAGINE AN ICON! Change is coming to Riverdale in this can’t-miss kick-off to Archie’s new ongoing series! Familiar faces return in new and unexpected ways in this must-have #1 issue! As the new school year approaches, you’d think Archie Andrews would be looking forward to classes and fun–but nothing is as it seems in the little town of Riverdale. But is this a one-off or a sign of bigger changes awaiting for America’s favorite teens–and the entire town? Find out in this exciting and remarkable first issue!

 

Overview:
I want to begin this review by saying that I have NEVER read an Archie comics before this issue. I have been reading Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which might be my favorite indie comic being published, but this is a first for reading the character of Archie. And, I’ll be honest, I only got this book because my LCS had the Chip Zdarsky variant (cover U). I love Fiona Staples (Saga) and I enjoy Mark Waid (Daredevil), but I wasn’t looking to add more books to my list. But, with the mental odds stacked against this book, I throughly enjoyed the book.

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Said Chip Zdarsky cover

Onward with the review!
I have seen people commenting that they really dislike the new Archie look. I have heard people mention that he’s too “Jockish” or he looks too much like a “Hipster,” but yet again, I won’t lie. The new look sold me on the book. I like the fact that Archie and I kinda have the same haircut, and dress somewhat alike (Does this make me a jockish hipster? You decide). I appreciate the effort to bring Archie into the 21st Century and if I was still in high school, I think this would seriously be a contender for one of my favorite comic books.

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When it comes to the team behind this book, I can’t think of anyone better for it. I’m not a huge Mark Waid fan, but that’s just because I haven’t read enough of his work. I loved his Daredevil comics and  even though I wasn’t the target demographic, I really enjoyed Princess Leia. Now, when it comes to the art work in this book… it is absolutely beautiful, vibrant, and crisp. Fiona Staples works with Brian K. Vaughan on the incredible Image Comics book Saga (Which is practically the Star Wars Mos Eisley Cantina weirdness meets Romeo and Juliet). Seeing Fiona Staples do art work for a “normal” book is great, because it has the look of Saga, but without the weirdness, which I can understand it being a turnoff for some people, but Archie #1 in grounded in beautiful art. As long as Fiona Staples is on this book, I can promise you, I’ll be reading it.

Big things are happening in Riverdale, and changes are coming. Archie and Betty aren’t together at the moment, because of the “lipstick incident,” Archie has overcome some self fears, and a new company “Lodge Industries” are on their way into Riverdale to rebuild it from the ground up. Things are truly changing for Archie Andrews, and all of the Riverdale community. So, remember, this isn’t your parents Archie comic, and that’s exactly why you need to pick this book up. But, there is a cool 6 page flashback from the first issue of Archie released in 1941 in Pep Comics #22. It’s cool to see how far the character has come.

Music Paring:
I was talking with Stephen Andrew about what music a “Hipster Jock” would listen too. And we both agree that no such thing can exist, since the two are such opposing forces. But, a band in that middle ground would have to be X Ambassadors. I can see a jock-ish guy jamming this band because they are a bit cutting edge, but also a hipster could be a fan because, “I liked them before they were popular.” So, jam Renegades by X Ambassadors while you read the wonderful Archie #1.

4LN Comic Review: Batman #42

Series: Batman
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inks: Danny Miki
Colors: Francisco Perez
Page Count: 28

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Summary from Comixology: “More surprises around every corner as the all-new Batman hits the streets of Gotham City!”

Overview:
A lot of people have been really quick to write this book off. I’ve heard of, and know people, who have dropped the book entirely because they despised the idea of Batman not being Bruce, and the Robo-Bat-Bunny suit had a little to do with that… But, this isn’t Scott Snyder’s first time writing a Batman story where Bruce Wayne isn’t under the cowl. One of my favorite Batman stories is Snyder’s The Black Mirror, which stars Dick Grayson as Batman, following the events of 2008’s Final Crisis. It’s very important to remember when reading this, that there will always be a need for Batman, but the symbol can come in many different ways, shapes and forms.

 

I am actually not picking up my books until Saturday, but I couldn’t not read this book, so I picked it up via comixology and I loved this issue from the first page. The first page is two kids arguing about what Batman is. One kid is holding a typical Batman figure, while the other is holding the Robo-Bat, and they are both arguing that their version of Batman is better. I kid you not, we have had this argument in the 4LN thread COUNTLESS times since the new story was announced. In issue #41 the creative team added a couple jabs at fan comments about how stupid the idea was, and in issue #42, we have a scene that reflects perfectly how the fans are feeling about this change. It’s great to see a creative team that are self-aware and can poke fun of the situation.
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As I have said in every Batman review, you can’t get better then this creative team. Snyder and Capullo are the only original creative team on a DC book since New 52 launched, and I think that says volumes about their work. Every issue they have put out, has been top notch, and the suspense, horror, and adrenaline has always left you on the edge of your seat. And this issue, is no exception of the rule. Jim is struggling with what being Batman means, and how to think like the Bat. He is facing his first major enemy, a chinese crime lord who has the power to control any material used to build buildings. This causes the crime lord to turn Gotham into a living weapon, that JimBat must out think. In this issue we also get a name drop of the mastermind behind a radioactive cyinide “seed” created by Mr. Bloom, who has been placed on the cover of Batman #43.

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With the surprise on the last page, and the mention of a Slender Man like villain, Mr. Bloom, things are sure to get intense in the coming issues. If you wrote of this series because of the weirdness or new direction, I urge you, and please trust me, pick up this book and issue #41. You are not going to want to miss what’s about to happen. And just remember, the idea and symbol that is Batman can come in many different shapes, and forms.

 

Music Pairing:
For this issue you need something brooding and intense. And for that, there is only one name that comes to mind. Hans Zimmer. He did the score for Nolan’s Batman Trilogy, along with every other Nolan movie, and that feel goes perfectly with this book. Jam Gotham’s Reckoning while reading this issue.

The Next Spider-Man Has Been Cast!

The next live action Spider-Man has been cast!

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British actor Tom Holland has been selected to be the next Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Holland is from Kingston and has mostly acted in stage theater. He is best known for his role in “Billy Elliot the Musical” and also on a TV Mini-Series called “Wolf Hall”. Holland is nineteen and the youngest actor to play Peter Parker on screen.

Holland is now the third actor to play Peter Parker and follows in the footsteps of Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

Rumor is, Holland will make his first appearance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the upcoming Marvel film Captain America 3: Civil War. Spidey plays a huge role in the comic book event, so it will be very interesting to see how Marvel pulls this off, and whether or not the fans will be accepting of a third Spider-Man reboot. Additionally, Jon Watt’s is slated to direct a solo Spider-Man film in 2017 staring Tom Holland.

Are you excited for the news about a new Spider-Man? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Marvel.com