Review – Sacrifice HC

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Dalton Rose, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Cliff Chiang, Paul Azaceta, Emma Rios
Colorist: Pete Toms
Cover: Dalton Rose
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Sacrifice is about a teenage boy, Aztec history. Writer Sam Humphries (Uncanny X-Force,The Ultimate, Avengers A.I.) and Artist Dalton Rose team up and bring Humphries self-published book to life.

The story is about a teenager who’s struggling with life and a empire on its last leg. When I first started reading the lead character Hector was hard to get into at first, he seemed a little out of it during the first half the book. But later on we see him grow and stand on his own two feet, I found this to be the one the best things of the book, to see him develop as a hero after experiencing some lows was cool, I wonder if any teenager who suffers from an illness plus deal with normal teenage issues and on top of that save a Aztec empire form falling. My answer to that, No!. So to see him turn into a hero at the end was epic, even if it takes him awhile to realize it. Going back to what I said about Hector being hard to get into, its because half  of the story is slow in my opinion, mostly cause Hector is struggling with his surroundings, so he’s not acting like how a turn lead character would thus making you want to skip ahead. Then again I wonder if any teenager who suffers from an illness plus dealing with normal teenage issues  save a Aztec empire form falling. My answer to that is, No!

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I enjoyed the story. It successfully weaves together the story of a trouble teenager and an empire on the brink of collapse. It look a bit to get going and Hector wasn’t a character I immediately latched onto, but he grew on me. For a significant portion of the story, he seems to merely respond to the environment around him, instead of actually take charge and command. Naturally, this is expected from someone like him who finds himself in this particular set of circumstances, but it’s not what we always want or expect from a protagonist. However, when he does finally make a stand, it’s awesome. The growth arc he undergoes builds up to the payoff. He has both high and low points, I wonder if any teenager who suffers from an illness plus deal with normal teenage issues and on top of that save a Aztec empire form falling. My answer to that, No!.

The artwork is excellent for most part Dalton Rose, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Cliff Chiang, Paul Azaceta, Emma Rios all contribute to this book. Colorist Pete Toms does a wonderful job with the color scheme,  it has that spanish feel to it, as he uses colors familiar to the Aztec heritage which makes it look even better.

Readers will also enjoy the ending, I won’t give it away, I’ll just say it was satisficing. And on that note I recommend this book to anyone who has read anything  Sam Humphries has done, promise you won’t be disappointed.

Links: Preview BuyNow
Release Date: August 31, 2013

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Akaneiro #3

Writer: Justin Aclin
Artist: Vasilis Lolos
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Shu yan
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Akaneiro #3 opens and ends with nonstop action. Basically this issue was nothing but one big battle between the Red hunters and yokai, In the beginning we see Kani, who in the last issue unlocked her full power, fighting against the Ghost Werewolf Clan. With her new found powers kani is surprisingly holding her own against the Wolf demons, The moment shifts when a higher level Wolf demon appears and subdues her, the demon then tells Kani that the Red hunters hunt them down because the produce karma crystals to which they use for profit and personally gain, Kani denies the claim the wolf demon has told her, she then powers up and breaks free of the demons hold and quickly slays him.

Red hunters Mitsuo and Fumiyo make an appearance and help Kani get rid of the other demons. Things once again turn for the worst when the Demon King himself appears, his size alone is frightening, and he towers over Kani and the others, when he attacks you can see the huge power difference between he and the Red hunters and he quickly gets the upper hand with brute strength alone.

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Shu Yan Cover

And for second it looks like the end is near for them but out of nowhere the entire clan of Red hunters including Kani’s father show up and joins the fray, At this point we see some pretty cool new characters who display some there abilities, one those characters is the head leader of the Red hunters, this guy fights the Demon King by himself and actually holds his own to point where he knocks the Demon King down to ground so Kani can give him a final attack.

Victory wouldn’t have been possible if the Demon fox that lead Kani into the trap in the 1st issue didn’t betray the Demon King and sided with the Red hunters, the only reason the fox betrayed the Demon king was because he said that the Demon King didn’t respect him. With the Demon king dead it looks as if peace on the horizon for the two clans, so to insure that peace Kani and the Red Hunter leader convinces the Fox Demon to stay and protect the home village, the Fox agrees saying “I have enjoyed being a god so far, if a whole village would like to do so, That sounds fine to me.”

The issue ends with Kani, who after a few months is now a Red hunter and is seen hunting down Yokai with Mitsuo and Fumiyo, Mitsuo comments on how Kani is enjoying herself to which Kani admits she does really love hunting down Yokai and that balance most be maintain no matter what.

Final thoughts: As a final issue Akaneiro #3 was firstrate, it was filled with action form the first page to the last. But it does leave some things to question like, how much of a impact did Kani’s actions effect the world? Instead of elaborating on that Justin Aclin skips that and acts as if nothing or no one was affected by them, which I found kind of a letdown. But besides that it was a nice adaption one worth of praise.

Links: Preview |BuyNow
Release Date: July 31, 2013

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★☆☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Black Beetle Necrologue Coming this Fall!

Someone’s murdering the citizens of Colt City, and there’s only one man who can stop this killing spree: the Black Beetle!

But as Black Beetle investigates these grisly murders, questions arise about the masked detective: Is he a daring hero or a reckless vigilante? With a past veiled in the shadow of mystery, Black Beetle takes on a dark mission that will keep you screaming in the thrilling new miniseries Necrologue!

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Review – Amala’s Blade #4 “Mother Vs Daughter”

Story: Steve Horton
Art: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Michael Dialynas
Cover Art: Michael Dialynas
Published by: Dark Horse Comic

In this final issue of Amala’s Blade mini-series, things pick up where the last issue left off. Amala is seen riding on top of a dragon-like creature, which helped her escaped Avatouon. She is then confronted by the front-line of the Modifiers who are terrified of the creature and start to attack, Amala jumps form the creature and convinces the soldiers, who are nothing but children to stop firing. One of the soldiers informs Amala that she’s been followed by Purifiers who assume she is on their side.

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Amala then process to talk with one of the generals of Purifiers, she tells him that her mother is Lady Strawbale, and that if they give her a full pardon she would then join their side.

The general agrees and together they charge thus starting a war between the Purifiers and Modifiers, Meanwhile Smitty arrives and blames himself stating that its his fault the war has begun, seconds later the ghost of Abuela appears before him and asks if he needs assistants stopping the war. This encounter is interesting, it seems like the two have history, like they were lovers in the past.

As promise the ghost begin to stop the war, they some start to appear in front of all the soldiers of each side and convince them to stop the senseless bloodshed. As the ghost do their thing we see Amala ready to give a speech, but is quickly shot down before she can do so. The one responsible for shooting Amala was no other then the Prince, with Amala’s mother Lady Strawbale at his side , he then demands his followers to continue fighting but they turn on him and shoot him down, this drives Lady Strawbale mad to the point she attacks Ren.

The Attack on Ren also drives Amala into a mad rage similar to her mothers and the two begin to have it out in a final battle, during the fight Lady Strawbale insult Amala calling her a pitiful, doomed child. She also brags excessively about being a Modifier and the death of Amala’s father..

The fight between mother and daughter ends on a crazy moment; at one point Lady Strawbale is unable to move because of an explosion that occurred in the middle of their fight, so as Lady Strawbale lays on the ground heavily wounded, Her and Amala talk and it looks as if Lady Strawbale is about to turn a new leaf, But then out of nowhere the ghost of Amala’s father appears and forces her blade into the chest of Lady Strawbale, Shocked and angry Amala demands her father to explain why he made her kill her own mother, he tells Amala, sooner or later in the future her mother would have to tried to kill her, Amala then lashing out telling her father and the rest of the ghost to leave her alone forever, to which they all agree finally leaving Amala alone for first time in her life.

The issue ends with Amala, Smitty and Ren, who was thought to be dead, but turns out the wound he received from Lady Strawbale was not serious, Ren then asks Amala about Vizier. Amala smiles and replies “I have a feeling that problem’s taking care of itself,” in the last panel we see the Vizier waking up in his bedroom and is confronted by Amala’s monkey ghost and the dragon like creature that helped her escape earlier, In the last panel we see the dragon-like creature ready to strike the Vizier bringing a conclusion to the Arc.

Final thoughts:  Steve Horton’s Amala Blade miniseries is not a comic that will hook you, in fact there are a lot of holes in the story, and Horton misses to clearly the roles of certain characters in the beginning. For example when Lady Stawbale and Prince Markos are introduce it’s not particularly clear whether or not there bad or good, you only find out at the very end of this issue, that’s when you get a clear picture of what side they are on. Those aren’t the only characters with that problem there are a couple with things similar, but to not that degree.

The story itself isn’t all that great, average at best, but it’s still a good read. Horton’s writing is very consistent throughout the #1-4 dispite all the holes in the story, the comic has a nice steady flow to it. The same can be said about artist Michael Dialynas, he is also very consistent with his work. In the end Amala’s Blade should hold you over until the next big thing hits shelves

Links: Preview Buy Now
Release Date:  July 31, 2013

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

 

IDW’s Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes Unleashes on IOS

Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes Unleashes 
Based On IDW Publishing’s Cult Comic Series And Featuring Real-World Rock Star Cameos, The 3D Scrolling Endless Brawler Is Out Now For iPad, iPhone And iPod Touch. 
The brainchild of British guitarist and comic creator Llexi Leon, The multi-media Eternal Descent phenomenon has finally been unleashed on the world of video games. Developed by London-based PLA Studios, the action-packed, 3D scrolling endless brawlerEternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes is now available on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch*.Based on IDW Publishing’s cult comic book series, Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroesplaces gamers in the role of Sirian, a nomadic warrior fighting back endless hordes of demonic creatures as they rampage through the city streets. Armed with a supernaturally charged electric guitar, Sirian must traverse the depths of the underworld and eliminate the Pit Lords within – all to a killer soundtrack.Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes also features appearances and original performances from Joe SatrianiMisha Mansoor (Periphery) and Andrew W.K. who act as heroic tag-team assists activated by power-up tokens within the game. Wayne Static and Michael Amott (Arch Enemy) take on the role of end of area boss characters, gatekeepers to the realms on Sirian’s journey to Hell.

With more rock/metal music acts slated to appear in future updates for Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes, instrument brands such as ESP, Jackson and Dean Guitars have leant their support to ensure that all cameo musicians appear with their signature instruments for real shred guitar action!

Easy to pickup but difficult to master, Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes is now available on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch priced £1.99/$2.99/€2.39.  https://itunes.apple.com/app/eternal-descent-heavy-metal/id670351728?mt=8

A series of updates with new characters and additional content are planned for release throughout 2014.

Review – King Conan: Hour Of The Dragon Part 3

Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tomas Giorello
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Cover Artist: Gerald Parel
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

After reading the latest issue of King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon part 3 three words came into mind, Violence, Infatuation, and betrayal. The beginning of the issue starts off with violence; we see Conan fighting for his life against a Grey-Ape of the Forest of Vilayet Sea, with the help of Zenboia. Conan was able to defeat the Grey-Ape. The fight between Conan and the Grey-Ape is a barbaric one, you can see the blood-lust in both of their eyes as the jump for each other’s throat’s; this was well depicted by Tomas Giorello.

After their encounter with the Grey-Ape, Conan and Zenboia continue to escape the dungeon; meanwhile we see Tarascus and his followers are conspiring against the wizard Xaltotun. During that time Conan and Zenboia are seen listening to Tarascus as he explains his plan of taking control of the wizard.

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With Taracus in his sights and filled with anger for what has happened to him and his kingdom Conan leaps in for the kill despite Zenboia’s warning. And again he finds himself in another violent battle only this time it’s against one of Tarascus guardsman.

After missing his chance of killing Taracus, Conan and Zenboia finally escape; But Zenboia alters the plan and insists on staying in order for Conan to escape, her devotion to keep him safe somewhat baffles Conan, to the point he promises to comeback for her as soon as he can. The issue ends with Conan sneaking his way to the Fountain of Thrallos a place Zenboia promised him a horse for his escape, That plan almost fails when the guardsman he fought earlier is there waiting for him, But this time around Conan easily defeats the guardsman and rides off.

Final thoughts: The thing that stood out me in this issue is Zenboia’s infatuation/devotion to a man she doesn’t know is somewhat bizarre, it reminds me of Lord of the Rings Éowyn relationship with Aragorn, where she was attracted to Aragorn’s heroism. The difference between Zenboia and Eowyn is that one displays more love while the other displays more devotion.

In the end the relationship between Conan and Zenboia is what keeps me hooked, I want to see how that relationship falls apart, and how it effects Truman’s version of Conan.

Links: Preview BuyNow
Release Date: July 31, 2013

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Aubrey Plaza teases in Daria trailer sketch

Aubrey Plaza is on fire these days, using her power and recognition from Parks and Recreation to jump into independent movies that fall off the regular formula. This year she’s pushing out The To Do List from CBS Films. While there have been talk show clips and magazine articles detailing crazy happenings on set. This new teaser she’s helped produce is something that hits just the right spot for me.

Aubrey Plaza is. DARIA in DARIA: HIGH SCHOOL REUNION.

Seriously that’s pretty amazing to see even if it’s just a tease. I loved watching that show when it was on, unfortunately I have my doubts MTV would really throw their weight behind such a venture though.

In the meantime you can see Aubrey in a movie actually coming out this Friday, The To Do List has a ton of trailers, we’re throwing down some previews below. Enjoy!

EA loses a $11 million lawsuit to one its original programmers

Once again EA is back in court facing a Breach of Contract case, and after more than two years of legal maneuvering Electronic Arts,  a California federal judge has put a end to EA’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit brought by former employee Robin Antonick who worked as a designer and developer for the Madden franchise, according to the lawsuit Antonick is seeking millions for unpaid royalties, punitive damages and disgorgement of all profits arising form the $5 billion Madden NFL franchise.

Antonick,according to his lawsuit conceived and developed the first version of John Madden Football for the Commodore 64, MS-Dos and Apple ll platforms The game was the first to accurately simulate 11×11 football, among other advances, and was described as “miraculous” by EA.

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To get into more details of the case EA and Antonick signed a series of publishing and development contract, culminating in a 1986 agreement that requires EA to pay him royalties on any derivative works related to the original version of Madden, including current annual releases. The lawsuit also claims that EA has failed to pay millions of dollars in royalties owed to Antonick and failed to keep his work confidential as required by the contract.

The Jury found that several of EA’s games, publined between 1990-1996, were identical to the original version developed by Antonick, the game used similar plays and formations. With mandatory prejudgment interest, the verdict should entitle Antonick to more than $11 million.

“This is a tremendous victory,” said Rob Carey, partner at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and one of Antonick’s attorneys. “In many ways, this trial was a test of each party’s version of events. The jury uniformly rejected the idea that this game was developed without Robin’s work.  It is, if nothing, a good omen for the next phase of the litigation.”

“We have very compelling evidence indicating that EA used Mr. Antonick’s ground-breaking code and design elements as the basis for both past and present Madden NFL titles,” said Robert Carey, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP partner and one of Antonick’s attorneys. “Yet, EA has failed to compensate him as required by his agreement or give him proper credit for his work. We look forward to proving our case at trial, and we are very confident that we will prevail.”

A future phase of the trial will be held to determine whether EA is responsible for paying Antonick for games published between 1997 and the present, where revenues exceed $3 billion.

Antonick and his attorneys still plan to seek additional compensation during this stage of the litigation from the judge, who reserved for himself to decide claims for disgorgement of EA’s profits. They will also seek to appeal previous rulings that excluded Super Nintendo games and fraud claims from the jury deliberations.

The case will proceed to trial, which is scheduled to begin on June 17, 2013. Antonick will be represented by Leonard Aragon of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and Stuart Paynter of the Law Firm.

Again this is a case Ea was bound to lose, in the past they were allegations of them over working there employees, in fact EA had to pay a $14.9 million dollar settlement to their programmers that have worked there between February 14, 2001 and February 14, 2006 in a case similar to Antonick. Its not good when a company as big as EA is still having legal issues whether it be past or present be so similar. EA has a lot going on right now and it looks as if past wrong doings are catching up to them.

Hopefully EA can stop bleeding because in this boxing ring called the Legal System they don’t stand a chance.

 

 

SDCC 2013 – Gallery Wrap-up [Raw]

Over the past week we have worked to present you with images that captured a slice of life at Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) and in their 40th year of expanding and extending opportunities for the development and awareness of comics and popular culture, they did not disappoint.  From Preview Night to Kids Day, attendees, professionals, exhibitors and staff brought us rich cosplay, mingling stars, sneak peeks, how-to panels, inspired art, toys, awards and of course comics.  Below are some final images that continue to reflect the community, evolution and intensity that only SDCC generates.  Who knows, they just might  inspire you to attend and participate.  If so, you might just find yourself in our 2014 SDCC gallery.

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs Limited Edition has a HIGH Price tag!!

Ubisoft’s highly anticipated “Watch Dogs” has just announced their holiday limited Edition collection Box, which features:

• Watch Dogs video game

• 9″ statue of Aiden Pearce prominently showing his deadliest weapon – his smartphone

• Aiden Pearce’s iconic vigilante mask

• Collectible SteelBook™ game case featuring DedSec art

• Official soundtrack with an original score by pioneering composer Brian Reitzell, whose work includes the films The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, and the video game Red Faction: Armageddon. His recent projects – Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring and the hit NBC thriller Hannibal – are earning critical acclaim, reaffirming Reitzell’s status as one of the industry’s top composers.

• Deluxe hardcover art book with 80 pages of concept art

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The price for this collector’s box will be set at a pricey $130, let’s hope all the extra goods is worth it because this surely is going to leave a hole in gamers pockets. In fact don’t be surprised if you hear gamers express their displeasure for such a high price tag to Ubisoft. It wasn’t that long ago fans were upset about the always online connectivity when it was released, we all seen how that went over with gamers when SimCity was released. The good news is that Ubisoft address that issue at Comic-Con 2013 stating the hassle of of having to be online and forced internet connectivity isn’t worth it.

While that is good news, it still doesn’t change the $130 price tag. But then again we always buy the standard game for $59.99 when it’s released this November.