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Spire

My novel I am currently editing.

The story focuses on five main characters in a thrilling vision of the post apocalypse: A Priest, a wanderer, a dictator, a prisoner, and a slave. As the ever evolving gap of the privileged few who hold the technology and the remaining populous scavenging for what they can, how will these five individuals determine the fate of humanity, and ultimately the direction in which it is guided?


Request the first five chapters for free!

Monday Night Gaming! Season 2

The latest session from my weekly Pathfinder edition group!

We explore some areas to the north of Elcid, an abandoned town and an Orc camp. The evil crystals continue to plague our group as we push into the mountains!

Gaming Back Log:

- Forza Motorsports 4
- Dance Central 2
- Super Mario Land 3D
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- Fallout: New Vegas

24 Hour Comic Day!

See the work in progress from my attempt at 24 hour comic day! The story features the world renowned archaeologist Charles the Great as he discovers the true powers of the mystic find that will forever change his life!


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The Wolverine Thoughts

Despite my reservations, I dragged myself to see The Wolverine this weekend, and I am glad to say this movie greatly exceeded all my expectations. I have been on an X-Men kick recently, revisiting Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men and Chris Clairmont's run dealing with Days of Future Past. Oh and playing the Deadpool game which I picked up during the Steam Summer Sale. It has been all mutants, all the time. Despite all of that, I am not a huge fan of Wolverine. He was a fun character back when I was an adolescent, but I have out grown anger as an output for my emotions. This movie, thankfully, wasn't about an angry canadian with stabby issues, it was about a man regaining hope and purpose. (MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD)

Batman & Superman, why this movie is a terrible idea

This afternoon in an packed Hall H (which let's be honest, isn't a shock, Hall H is always packed) Zack Synder announced that the next Man of Steel movie would feature none other than the Caped Crsuader himself, Batman.

Warner Brothers obviously wants to follow on the coat tales of The Avengers and deliver a super sized super hero experience. But instead of actually taking a risk, DC and Warner Brothers are playing it safe by sticking their two biggest guns in the same movie.

Financially, I understand the lack of rick. Batman is a proven franchise, Superman is a proven frachise. But the ultimate joy from the Avengers comes from the fact that ten years ago Iron Man was an underdog to Wolverine, The X-Men and Spider-Man. Now The Avengers are the top dog. The status quo for Marvel has completely flipped. Meanwhile DC is just continuing to tread the same ground we have already been over.

Sadly this movie being pushed so soon means it will probably be quite the wait for any Ring-slinging, Amazonian butt kicking and Atlantien ego to grace the silver screen.

There are two things I am most looking forward to in this duo film, but as of this time it is just some silver lining. First and foremost at least we won't have to go over an entire film of Batman: Origins: Again. Instead it will probably be limited to a flashback. Hopefully it is an already established Batman instead of a young gun Bruce Wayne. I always liked the idea of Bruce playing mentor to Clark, so lets hope it doesn't get reversed.

Second off, this is obviously going to be a global story, probably bouncing between Metropolis and Gotham. Scope is always a good thing to have and I think it will allow for some great differences in texture, from the dark and gritty allies to the gorgeous glass skyscrappers. It would be nice to see Batman in proper lighting for once...

I also wonder if the oft metioned Justice League Dark movie will play a part at all. That would be pretty cool, even if it is just a glorified easter egg.

Other than that I am not to thrilled. Groyer better deliver a script high above the quality of Man of Steel that's for sure. And while I love Synder's previous work, Watchmen most notabily, he really needs to find his cinematic voice outside of adaptations, and I am not sure this is the vessel to do that with. I really hope he can squeeze something out in between now and then, but I doubt it with how much that man loves his CG work.

I was really looking forward to Man of Steel, simply because I wanted to believe in Superman, but it fell flat for me. I would love for this to be the movie that sells me on a modern Superman, but I don't believe Batman is the way to do it. Honestly, it just feels like a backwards step. Why do we need Batman to make Superman relevant?

Denver Comic-Con 2013: Con is the Epitome of Passion

Conventions are awesome, let me tell you. If you have never been to one I would highly recommend you remedy that issue immediately. There are Con's of every size and shape, from the dedicated smaller Con's like Colorado Spring's own Galaxy Fest, to the monster Con that everyone always thinks of when they hear the word Con: San Diego Comic-Con. Con's are a nerd mecha, a place where one can go and be outside their normal group of friends and still be right at home in their comfort zone. Some go to see celebrities, some go to put in leg work and get their names out there, some go to show off their connection with fictional characters through the means of dress, some go to drink, some go to make exciting new friends, some go to find someone who just gets them.

Casting Dreams: Justice League

Rumor is circulating around the web that Warner Brothers and DC have decided on the full list of heroes slated to appear in the Justice League movie. Of course the trinity of the League will be showing up, Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman, but some of DC's "B list" heroes are on the docket as well: Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. We do know that this will essentially serve as the starting point for a connected DC Universe, so I am going to ignore all casting in previous films. Here are my choices for casting!

Enver Gjokaj as Superman

The beauty of the team up movie like Justice League and Avengers before it is you don't have to waste time tracking down the actor who can pull off both the hero and the alter ego. This allows great freedom in casting. My first choice is going to be Enver Gjokaj as Superman simply because the man has that look. That and he also has a great acting style. If you are scratching your head at his just go to Netflix and watch Dollhouse. Start for the Whedon, stay for the superb acting. Gjokaj isn't lacking in the muscle department either, so that doesn't hurt.




Oiliva Wilde as Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is such a tough call. How do you live up to the legacy of Lynda Carter? My best guess is Olivia Wilde. She is bold enough and she isn't afraid to kick a little ass. Just look at Tron Legacy.








Chris Pine as Aquaman

Aquaman is going to be extremely tough to cast, simply because everyone seems to think he is absolutely useless. Anyone who thinks that though has not read the recent New 52 reboot of Aquaman or how he kicks ass in the Justice League. Pine can play dry wit very well and shows his ability to handle intense action scenes in Star Trek.






Neil Patrick Harris as The Flash

NPH is long over due to have a summer blockbuster while in the off season of a successful TV show, and what better way to do so than with a ensemble based hero flick? He is not afraid to cheese it up every once in a while and that is everything that epitomizes the Flash.







Vin Diesel as Martian Manhunter

This man is not afraid to let his nerd flag fly at all. Look at Riddick, a B-rate sci-fi franchise that he always ends up going back to visit. Regularly known as a comic book fan and closet nerd I am sure he would eat up the chance to be a part of the Justice League, especially as a character known mostly to the hardcore crowd. Slap some martian paint on him and have him talk in his deep brooding Riddick voice and you have a winner for the Manhunter.





Jim Sturgess as Green Lantern

While Green Lantern got his time on the silver screen it wasn't exactly a great film, so I wouldn't be surprised if for this iteration of the League another one of the five human Green Lanterns would be used. Sadly I don't see Simon Baz showing up as he is just too new, although I think that would be a great way for Warner Brothers to be bold and really show the Justice League as a world wide force to be reckoned with. Assuming they play it safe and go with the second human Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, I would go with Jim Sturgess as the up and coming what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here hero digging deep to find his inner strength. If they go with Jon Stewart, Dwayne Johnson would be my choice.


Josh Lucas as Batman

This is the toughest casting call honestly. Batman is the DC Comics staple character (or Superman, depending on who you ask) but in order to make a Justice League movie work, you need to embrace the comic book version of Batman instead of the graphic novel version of Batman that Nolan introduced to the masses. You need someone who can handle being paranoid of every member of the League and extremely detail oriented. Plus he needs to be able to get into a shouting match with Superman and have the stones to back it up. Because we don't need a version of Bruce Wayne for the Justice League to work, Lucas is my choice for the caped crusader.

Pull List! 1/2/13

Comic pull this week was pretty small, but that's okay with me. Today my pull consisted of All New X-Men #5, Iron Man Vol. 5 #5, New Avengers Vol. 3 #1, and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #19. The best out of the bunch this week is certainly All New X-Men, simply because it wraps up the first arc of the new series quite well, but leaves some nice room for everything to grow.



Now that the original X-Men have decided to take up a permanent residency in 2013, it looks like we will finally get to see a battle only mirror matches in fighting games have foretold, Cyclops versus Cyclops. As cool as that sounds I am more interested in the re-introduction of Jean Grey in a more naive role. Plus, what is better than one Beast? How about two? Can't wait to see what Bendis brings to the mutant table.

Iron Man also finished up Gillen's first arc with the armored avenger with a nice nod to what the future will bring for the character, although the ending did seem to be the exact same as Fraction's end of Invincible Iron Man, with Tony Stark taking off into space in a self imposed trip of hopeful enlightenment. I do have a feeling though we will see Stark back on Earth sooner rather than later thanks to the conclusion of the film trilogy. A cool twist would be the implementation of a new artificial intelligence for Iron Man.

While both New Avengers and Ultimate Comics Spider-Man delivered in depth character development for a long forgotten Avenger and Miles Morales, both of these issues did nothing by remind me how much I hate the start of an arc. The first issue generally just plays set up and is intrinsically boring. While I am excited to see more of Black Panther the issue itself was just a big tease of things to come, but it didn't really solidify a threat or a reasoning Black Panther would summon the Illuminati to Wakanda. And while it is awesome to see Jameson stick up for Miles in a round about way I would have much preferred a more action based focus, especially given the visceral imagery provided by the cover.

All in all a pretty slow week for my comic choices, but that is okay. It is of course the first week of the year.

NEXT WEEKS PULL:
Superior Spider-Man #1
Green Lantern New Guardians Annual #1

2013 New Years Resolution: 1920x1080

2012, I am so glad you are over and done with. 2012 was such a horrible year for me I am not going to bore you with the details. Instead I am going to look forward to what 2013 will bring me!

Denver Comic-Con 2013, Starfest 2013 and GalaxyFest 2013
Easily one of my absolute favorite times of year, con season allows me to be myself without the forced hatred from society. And the big difference this year is I am finally going to be cosplaying my butt off, probably as Kyle Rayner in his Blue Lantern garb. I made some awesome new friends over these three weekends last year and hope that 2013 will continue the tradition, especially in the realms of Denver Comic-Con.

Getting back into writing
First and foremost I am going to make an effort to get my soul back into writing. Sure I dabbled in it here and there in the previous year, but after a certain post-apocalypse based TV show debuted (which is still very good) with about half of my completed novel baked into the story I felt a ping of sorrow and put everything on the back burner. No more. I have found the ability to refocus my efforts and in addition to finishing the last quarter of my second novel I am going to be bold and aim to have my third novel done by my birthday in November. Which brings me to my next point...

Don't worry 2013, reading is still awesome
I solely blame my job on this one. My job and one e-mail from Barnes and Noble with a 10% off coupon. I stumbled across absolutely gorgeous limited edition hard covers of classics and went a little off the deep end. I just went in to pick up the hardcover of Green Lantern: New Guardians and walked out with a Barnes and Noble Membership card and a huge sack of books. I have also been scouring my library for some archived classics that I might have missed from some of my favorite authors. Between a resurgence of novels in my bookshelf and pounds of graphic novels being added too frequently to not be healthy, I am excited I am getting my nose into books again.

Film, Film, Film
There is so much I am looking forward to watching in 2013 it is hard to not get excited about all of them. Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Man of Steel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Monsters University, The Wolverine, The World's End, Much Ado About Nothing, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Warm Bodies, Gangster Squad, Jack the Giant Slayer, Oz: The Great and Powerful, Carrie, G.I. Joe Retaliation, The 3D Re-release of Jurassic Park, This is the End, After Earth! The list keeps growing and growing! And how could I forget the adaption of my favorite novel of all time: Ender's Game! I haven't even touched television!! The fabled return of Arrested Development, Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D., more How I Met Your Mother. Looks to be a good year so far.

Gaming
BioShock Infinite, Starcraft 2 and a new round of consoles are all slated for 2013, although who knows if I will bite the console entree considering how much love I have been giving my PC lately. Which brings me to the closest form of a New Years Resolution I can think of: I am going to finish every single game in my Steam library. Oof I know.... Wish me luck.

In search for a companion... or 4
The thing I want the most out of the year? My own dog. Or 4. I have wanted a fuzzy friend for quite some time now and I think 2013 is the year I make that leap. I am looking for a small little buddy to just chill with. Go for walks, run around the park, the whole nine years. I already have ideas for names, pending if the names fit of course. Zeus, Odin, Ra and Jupiter. And if none of those happen to work, I will just have to find a different pantheon I imagine.

And finally the glue... friends and family
I have been making valiant efforts to enrich my life with people of whom make me smile more than anything and I am not going to be bucking that trend anytime soon. Weather it is a couple drinks after work, a trip to Denver for the weekend for shenanigans or an hour conversation on ethics with my Granddaddy, 2013 will continue my focus on building life experiences.


So, what plans do you have for 2013?

Top Iron Man Story Arcs featuring The Mandarin

With all the buzz generated from the first look of the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, I have decided to list the best Mandarin focused story lines from the 50 years of Iron Man Comics! Let's dive right in!

Sir Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin in the upcoming Iron Man 3
 The first and foremost bit of knowledge needed is why exactly the Mandarin is considered to be Iron Man's quintessential villain. First up, he is a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, so war is in his blood. He is also a martial arts expert, matched only by the Iron Fist. But that is only where his tenacity comes from. His real power comes from ten alien forged mystical rings. As long as Mandarin is wearing these rings, his powers are near limitless. It has also been recently revealed that each ring is its own separate alien consciousness. Yikes! Let's dive into the stories though!

Tales of Suspense #50: First Appearance
Tales of Suspense #50
I miss the Golden Age some times. You don't get crazy convoluted arcs that require a wealth of canon, and often retcons, to understand. Granted because of this most of these issues feel like simple one shots and don't really offer anything as far as character depth, but I digress. This issue shows the first appearance of the Mandarin, a clever kung fu master mind who has trapped Iron Man in a castle like labyrinth. Pretty basic and to the point, but a fun adventure none the less, focusing more on Iron Man's whit and problem solving skills rather than how he utilizes his suit to defeat his enemies.

Tales of Suspense #55: The Search for Stark
Not to be outdone, the Mandarin captures Tony Stark, only to find him vanish while Iron Man wrecks havoc to foil his plans to steal a missile. Remember, Iron Man being publicly outed as Tony Stark didn't happen until the early career of Brian Micheal Bendis. Once again, the Golden Age doesn't disappoint. But what can you expect? It was Stan Lee at his greatest!
Tales of Suspense #55

Iron Man - Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #21 - #26: Prometheus
Iron Man Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #26
The Mandarin is a CEO of a company called Prometheus developing new technology and eliminating key political officials and anyone else who gets into the Mandarin's way. Because the loss of his hands during a previous battle with Iron Man, the Mandarin decides to pierce his spine and graft his magical ten rings into his spinal cord. Iron Man discovers the plot to little to late though, as not only has the Mandarin grafted all of his rings into his body, but he has also injected himself with a strain of Extremis as well! Not content to stop there, Mandarin has weaponized Extremis into aerosol form and is planning to release it among the world.

Invincible Iron Man #500
Invincible Iron Man #500
Another look back to Golden Age style story telling with a story contained in one single over sized issue. This issue takes place in an alternate future in which Tony Stark has become a slave to the Mandarin, the dictator of the world. Tony isn't to be outdone though with his off spring leading a small resistance against the tyrant with the hopes of an aging Tony Stark being able to break free of the Mandarin's control one last time to save the day.

Invincible Iron Man #521 - #526: The Future
Invincible Iron Man #525
The harrowing future presented in Invincible Iron Man #500 is close to becoming a reality and Tony Stark must ally himself with his most fearsome foes, like Ezekiel Stane (son of Obadiah Stane), Blizzard, and the Living Laser. The Mandarin places a bomb in Tony's chest and forces him to make machines of mass destruction, but Tony leads an uprising using all of Mandarin's allies against him, simply because once Mandarin is done achieving his goals of world domination, he would just detonate the bombs in the chests of everyone who could stop him. Then the truth is revealed, Tony Stark was building bodies for Mandarin's Ten Rings and must face off against all ten behemoths and the Mandarin himself!

Total Recall 2012 Thoughts

I have a deep secret. I love campy Science Fiction. It is one of the most thrilling oddities of Hollywood honestly. It is where some of the best story telling happens time and time again, usually in the trope of presenting thought provoking questions within the function of the story itself. And a fair amount of these films are also one-shots, with a sequel no where in sight. Some of my favorites include; Judge Dredd, In Time, The 6th Day, Evolution, Minority Report, Underworld, and of course, the original Total Recall.

When I heard that Total Recall was getting the re-imagining treatment with Colin Farrell in the lead role opposite Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, a single eye brow raised on my face. It could work I suppose. Then more information started to show itself. It wasn't going to have anything to do with Mars? Well... okay I guess. After all, not everybody is going to dream of Mars.

Instead we get an awesome sci-fi movie with heavy influences from Star Trek and The Bourne series. Lens-flair isn't in every shot, but it shows up enough for you to notice it. The chase scenes are absolutely breath taking and frantic, they left me on the edge of my seat constantly. The cinematography plays well too, as I never really felt confused as to what was going on action wise.

That being said, I still had problems with the film. The exposition presented didn't really push the story forward at all, more like inched it along slowly. The main characters were all pawns in a bigger fight between an oppressive government and a rebellion, and there are a ton of names thrown around that don't get faces applied to them until the end of the second act. This proves a bit confusing initially, but by the time the third act roles around you stop trying to make sense of it all and just watch the pretty fly by. You really stop thinking of the characters as characters and just start thinking in terms of the actors who play them.

I was also disappointed there wasn't anything concerning the theme of reality versus false reality, considering the original movie dealt pretty heavily with Quaid's perception. The movie isn't perfect by any means, but I found it entertaining enough to turn off my brain and watch some classic B-rate science fiction.

Steam Summer Sale



The Steam Summer Sale. The scariest thing in the world to a gamers wallet, only to be followed by the Steam Winter Sale. A small handful of games get priced drop to ridiculously low prices, or even worse, bundled together. Because there is no need for physical packaging and they can be delivered to your hard drive instantly, there is really no need for the high price points, and Valve takes advantage of this fact. For example, I got Batman: Arkham City with all the downloadable content for around 17 dollars. This exact configuration of the product, the full game and all the download stuff, was just released in disc based form on Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. It retails for $49.99. I bought the entire Alan Wake Franchise; the main game, its two pieces of DLC, and the smaller in scope but still awesome almost sequel American Nightmare, for $10. Alan Wake's American Nightmare is 1200 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live Arcade, or 15 bucks. That doesn't include the two DLC's for the main game, 560 points each, which translates into roughly 7 dollars. And to download Alan Wake proper directly to my Xbox, with no box, instruction manual or disc, is $29.99. So around $60 to get the same experience on Xbox 360, for a brief period of 10 days you could get it on PC for $10. Portal 2? $5 on Steam. $30 at GameStop. Fallout: New Vegas? $10 bucks with all the DLC. $30 bucks at GameStop.

Plus, Steam had a wealth of Indie games on sale too, most that I already owned because of the Humble Indie Bundle that ran a few months back. While a few notable indie's came out on the 360 and the PS3, such as Limbo and Braid, there are some great games available that are PC only, like Amnesia: The Dark Decent, which is probably the scariest game known to man. A bunch of my friends are also hooked on Dungeon Defenders as well, another PC exclusive title.

And the best part? Playing on PC means I don't have to put up with little kids yelling racial, sexual and vulgar phrases through a poorly designed headset. I am a PC gaming convert., and I couldn't be happier.

The Dark Knight Rises Thoughts

The story of Batman has long been engraved into societies mind. Everyone knows the story of Bruce Wayne whose parents were gunned down outside of a theater, who then turned that tragedy into motivation to turn into what many would argue to be the greatest superhero ever: Batman.

Many artists have picked up their respective tools and told the tale in their own unique way. One of the most prolific and strongest telling of e tale of Gotham City comes from the mind of director Chris Nolan and the cast and crew of one of the best trilogies to date. The high point is definitely 2008's The Dark Knight. There was absolutely no way anyone could follow that masterpiece, but Nolan tries his damnedest.

Let's start with the great parts of the movie. Upon hearing the news that Anne Hathaway, yes the awkward mess of a tween from The Princess Diaries, was cast as Selina Kyle, and therefore Catwoman, I was repulsed. That was who Nolan had in mind to fill the boots of Michelle Phiefer?!?! Well hindsight is 20/20, and I am glad to say within minutes of being on screen Hathaway had laid all my doubts to rest. She easily steals (heheh pun) every scene she is in, and does so in the most brilliant ways thanks to the help of the superb writing of her character.The last half of the movie is amazing, and the ending is so satisfying on every level I can only dream of endings that come close to it's perfection.

Other than those two points though? The movie is a ho-hum trip to average-villie with predictable stops on action boulevard and drama street.

Bane's voice was said to have some clarity issues that have since been resolved, but honestly, they should have just scrapped everything and brought Harding in to re-record it all, as I only understood what he was saying about 70% of the time. Normally, I wouldn't mind the inconsistently of the voice levels, but Nolan gives Bane a lot to say. Harding tries his hardest to act through his expressions but the muzzle honestly gets in the way for a fair amount of it, save for the occasional eye brow raise.

The first half of the movie is a muddled mess, with plot points that just get in the way of the theme of rising against all odds no matter the cost. It also doesn't help that Nolan felt the need to add so many new characters, as characters we have grown to love from the previous two installments such as Alfred and Commissioner Gordon get sidelined. The timeline of the film is also incredibly muddled and while the story telling technique does answer questions it raises so many more.

I believe that with everything Nolan presented, there is a great two hour film in there after cuts have been made. With that being said though, there were some seriously fun geek out moments that had me clapping in approval and grinning like a kid who just discovered candy. Sadly too much of a good thing just leads to getting sick.