Spider-Man: Carnage In New York Review

After stopping what he thought was a scientist being mugged down an alley, Spider-Man is forced to stop one of his most deadly foes from destroying his city and unleashing a new danger on the world.

Before I get too far, consider this your ***Official Spoiler Warning***

1st and foremost, look at that damn cover, man.
That’s a thing of beauty!

But getting into it, I gotta say, on paper this novel has all of the ingredients of a perfect Spider-Man story.
You have your villain storyline, you have your personal dilemma story, and you have a storyline of Jonah being a bombastic skin flint and looking for publicity and attention.
What could go wrong?
Well, to be honest, not much.

Early on I had an issue with how much they beat the drum about Cletus Kasady/Carnage being such a crazy and dangerous killer.
Over and over to the point that I literally said out loud “for fuck sake, I get it! He’s an evil asshole!”, and that sort of continues through the rest of book.
It’s annoying for sure, but I guess it’s there to remind you why he keeps doing the purely evil and chaotic crap he does.

Moving onto the good stuff, Pete mistaking 2 Federal Agents trying to stop a Scientist who broke out of a research lab with a fluid that causes homicidal rage in people with just a drop for muggers is perfectly Spider-Man.
That Scientist, while trying to destroy that same liquid, breaks into an abandoned school where the government is trying to separate Kasady from the Carnage symbiote and unwittingly helps Carnage escape from custody and is tortured until he gives up the serum and the secret behind it.
Which gives Pete/Spidey his mission, and the main reason why he isn’t able to help Aunt May keep her house, our personal story thread.

The blend of storylines is damn good here, woven so well.
JJJ is holding an event in Central Park for the homeless that is little more than a publicity stunt for the rich folks of NYC to get some good press.
And Spider-Man and Carnage’s final battle takes place there, after Carnage murders a pre-event party.

The battle scenes are wonderfully written and easy to visualize.
I always wonder when reading a novel with two authors who wrote what, but in this case I really don’t care because it was all just fun.
Some of the 20 illustrations are a bit wonky, but I think that may be the fault of the inker and not the artist because it’s mostly to do with awkward shading.

The final little bit I want to mention is the ending.
Without spoiling it, it is pretty damn uplifting and heartwarming.
While Spidey is fighting Carnage, getting his ass kicked for the most part, MJ ends up helping out in a big bad way.
Pete, having defeated Carnage, but still beaten and dejected, gets home to a surprise and she tells him that on some level she understands what he does when he’s suited up.
It’s a great way to end after the craziness of everything else.

This is among the 1st of these Marvel novels from the 90’s that I’ve actually read, and now I’m excited to read the other 11 I have and track down and read all of the rest.
I highly recommend you all check this out.
Hopefully I’ll be getting to the sequel, Spider-Man: Goblin’s Revenge, sooner rather than later.

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Indiana Jones And The Dinosaur Eggs Book Review

Indy and a couple friends go on a trek into Mongolia to find Dinosaur Eggs after a Nun brings him the horn of what appears to be a living Triceratops on Halloween 1933.
Before going any further, here is your ***OFFICIAL SPOILER WARNING***

If you’ve listened to the Main Show or Book Club, you know my love for this series of novels well.
This entry into the series is par for the course in that I love it as well.

This is the 10th (of the 12 published in the 90’s) I’ve read and, while overall I still vastly prefer the 6 Rob MacGregor novels to any of the 4 that have come after, I have to say this is the one I’ve probably been able to zip through the easiest.
The writing is so strong and engaging that I couldn’t help but read 30-40 pages at a time…which leads me to something worth mentioning that is normally a HUGE complaint for me that I barely noticed in this book.

Including the prologue & epilogue, this 281 page novel has just 12 chapters.
Meaning the average chapter is 23ish pages.
Normally chapters that long are a major turn-off for me and make reading the book an uphill climb, again not the case here.
So Max McCoy gets huge points for that.

The Nun mentioned above turns out to be a Reporter for the Kansas City Star that duped Indy with a Halloween costume into finding her Professor father that went missing looking for further evidence of Dinosaurs.
They find the Prof, after a long journey that included battles with Shanghai gangster and Mongolian tribal warriors, in a monastery that guards/protects a hidden valley untouched by time and evolution, basically a not so literal portal back in time, that recently lost its final living Dino and the 3 eggs it laid.

The whole story is Intricately woven and characters come and go in mostly logical ways.
The mythical references are great as well.
Case in point, Indy saves a 1 eared dog that is chained to a wall (made of rock) from abuse and names him Loki.
Fans of Norse Mythology will remember that Loki was also chained (well, actually tied with his son’s innards, but why quibble) to a rock.

The ending could have come a bit quicker, at one point Indy and his good buddy Granger leave behind the Prof, the Reporter, and the valley where the last of the eggs surviving has just hatched into a Triceratops.
That felt like the end to me…but the book went on for another 30 pages.
The Lieutenant of the vilest of the Tribal crews comes back as Indy and Granger are heading home through the harsh desert giving Loki yet another chance to save them.
It’s not criticism so much as a head scratching cherry on top in that it tied up a sort of dangling thread, but if cut wouldn’t have left you wondering what happened.

The last 2 things I want to mention are Granger and the Pro and Epi louges.
1st comes Granger.
This is a character that, as far as I know, has never shown up or been mentioned in anything Indiana Jones, I even checked the 2 wikis I could find, but he and Indy are such good friends.
Now that stuck out as weird to me as between the Young Indy series, these novels, the comics, and the movies we have seen the vast majority of Indy’s life yet this dude is such a good friend.
Strange.
I’m sure there are many other characters that could have fit the bill for this one.

Moving onto the Prologue and Epilogue.
Both involve the Nazi scum we all love watching Indy cold cock, but the more interesting thing is that both involve Indy chasing down something mentioned in McCoy’s previous Indiana Jones novel, “The Philosopher’s Stone”, and the Mcguffin of the 4th movie!
McCoy has this great little thread of Indy chasing down a Crystal Skull, man!
It’s slipped through his fingers twice before (as I recall), but the novel ends with him in an old diving suit down in the wreckage of a recently sunken German U-Boat.
The 2nd time the Skull got away from him was because Belloq snatched it away for the Nazis who eventually screw him over.
So when the ship sinks, Belloq gives Jones the coordinates in what Indy believes is a little stab of revenge.
Fun stuff, gang.

So, all in all, I loved it!
There is so much more in here that I barely scratched the surface on, so it is well worth checking out on your own.
I highly recommend everybody that loves this franchise pick up all of these novels and enjoy the great pulpy adventures within.
And if more folks get them it could encourage Del Rey or whomever has the license these days to do more, which is something I desperately want!

Episode 019.5: Gone Ta See A Star War

phil-noto-rogue-one-fan-poster-178106In this episode, the fellas are Rogues on the road!

Fitz grabs Doom (nooch) and they head to see Star Wars: Rogue One!

In this mobile recording, they discuss the finer points of etiquette, their hatred of people who absolutely must spoil things the moment they see them, and their reactions to many many aspects of the newest installment of that wondrous galaxy far far away.

So strap in and ride along as we go and see a Star War! Also, check out a bit of preshow B-Roll HERE.

URL: Episode 019.5: Gone Ta See A Star War
Direct Download: tnb019_5.mp3
YouTube: https://youtu.be/cHeeZHVakeU


This has been a feature of TS-D/JA Productions and JJ2E Media 2016

TNB Book Club: Episode 1.2

Welcome back to The Nerd Blitz Book Club!

dark_disciple_coverIn Episode 2 of 19, we dive in deep to read and discuss chapters 3 & 4 of Star Wars: Dark Disciple* by Christie Golden.

Beware of Spoilers for this book, The Clone Wars TV Series, and the entire Star Wars Saga, past and present, as we comb through these chapters in painstaking detail and bring our combined knowledge (or lack there of) to bear.

So grab your copy and read along as we analyze and review one of the first entries into the new Star Wars canon!

*Based on unused scripts from SW: The Clone Wars

This has been a feature of TS-D/JA Productions and JJ2E Media 2016

TNB Book Club: Episode 1.1

Welcome To The Nerd Blitz Book Club!

dark_disciple_coverIn this new series, Doom & Fitz launch big and dive in deep to break down the 1st 2 chapters of Star Wars Dark Disciple (based on 8 unproduced episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars) by Christie Golden.

Grab your copy and read along with us as we start our 19 part journey through the novel, The Clone Wars, and the entire Star Wars saga.

 

This has been a feature of TS-D/JA Productions and JJ2E Media 2016

Episode 016.5: Gettin’ Some Strange

In this extra special episode, the fellas get together and hit the road to go see Doctor Strange (***SPOILER ALERT***)!

But before that, Doom has to complain about stupid online trends and the news, then they gossip like 2 little girls about a long rumored relationship from the mid 70’s.

When they come back from the movie (***SPOILER ALERT***) they talk about movie expenses, swearing, and bloody superheroes all within the context of this amazing spectacle of a movie.

Forgive the sound quality as we deliver all of that and so much more in this special road edition of The Nerd Blitz.

URL: Episode 016.5: Gettin’ Some Strange
Direct Download: tnb016_5.mp3
YouTube: https://youtu.be/vcInwU1kAEY

This has been a feature of TS-D/JA Productions and JJ2E Media 2016

#TBT – A Couple of Jakku Jackoffs

It’s throwback Thursday, so enjoy this episode of Just Jump To The End that ended up being the pilot episode of The Nerd Blitz!

In it, we discuss The Force Awakens immediately following Doom’s first viewing as we’re heading home in noisy truck. 

The sound quality is atrocious but the content is worth a listen.

URL: A Couple Of Jakku Jackoffs

Direct Download: jj2e020.mp3