Comic Reviews – The Nerd Stash http://thenerdstash.com Video Games, Reviews, News, Movies, TV, & More! Sun, 30 Apr 2017 19:03:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Walking Dead Compendium Chapter 2 Review http://thenerdstash.com/walking-dead-compendium-chapter-2-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/walking-dead-compendium-chapter-2-review/#comments Mon, 06 Mar 2017 05:59:13 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=59276 Title: The Walking Dead Compendium Chapter #2 – Miles Behind Us Written by: Robert Kirkman Art by: Robert Kirkman, Cliff Rathburn & Charlie Adlard Published by: Image Comics Release Date: May 19th 2009 Miles Behind Us is the perfect title for the second chapter of The Walking Dead Compendium. The group goes through a lot […]

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Title: The Walking Dead Compendium Chapter #2 – Miles Behind Us

Written by: Robert Kirkman

Art by: Robert Kirkman, Cliff Rathburn & Charlie Adlard

Published by: Image Comics

Release Date: May 19th 2009


Miles Behind Us is the perfect title for the second chapter of The Walking Dead Compendium. The group goes through a lot in a few short pages, moving from one temporary home to the next. After Shane’s death, Rick is appointed the leader of the group and takes the mantle of their wise protector. He takes the group from one location to the next as they attempt to find solitude. Along with their travels, they encounter Tyreece, his daughter Julie and her boyfriend Chris. Tyreece establishes himself as a strong protective figure, much like Rick and Shane. While Chris and Julie give off the vibe that they’re planning something against Tyreece for the duration of the chapter. The group then finds an estate known as Wiltshire Estates. The thought to be sanctuary ends in tragedy and the group moves on. After Carl is accidentally shot by a hunter, the group is invited onto a farm owned by a man named Hershel and his family. The group stays with Hershel for some time, but after a heated disagreement they move on and find an abandoned prison.

Shane’s Grave – The Walking Dead Compendium

The majority of the chapter focuses on the group trying to find a permanent place to stay, however, the overarching theme of this issue is that of death, and how we cope with it in differing ways. The chapter starts with the group surrounding Shane’s grave. Saying goodbye to a man the group had grown weary of, and in his last moments was seemingly gripped by insanity. We get to see the moment in which Lori and Shane arrived in Atlanta, within a flashback. We see the pair gripped in passion as Lori exclaims her gratefulness to Shane for securing her and her son’s safety. The pair makes love. Then returning to current events we see Lori stay behind while everything else leaves, only to spit on the man’s grave. We see here how hate will follow through even into death for those we once cared about. However, we see several other reactions over the course of the chapter portraying grief and what comes with it for different people. Allen spends much of the issue traumatized by his wife, Donna’s death. Lashing out at any character that tries to tell him to get a grip. Rick nearly murders a man who accidentally shot his son. Enraged by the fear of losing a loved one. While Hershel the owner of the farm shows an inability to let go. Keeping his now zombified son, chained up in his barn. Believing he has a curable sickness, rather than just accepting he has moved on. This then puts the rest of his family in danger, and his oldest son and daughter die as he attempts to round up a walker and put it in the barn with the rest of the undead. Hershel then blames Rick and the group for their deaths and orders they leave his property, before then considering suicide. This chapter develops the characters of the franchise by showing how they all deal with death. Some with anger, some with ignorance and some with a total loss of self.

Carl is Shot – The Walking Dead Compendium

The chapter also developed several relationships. Of course, we’ve already discussed the triangular relationship of Rick, Lori and the now passed Shane. Which was made more complicated by the fact that Lori is now pregnant, the baby’s father unknown. But we also saw Dale and Andrea’s relationship grow sexual as they both consoled each other over the loss. While Glenn formed a relationship with Hershel’s daughter, Maggie. The pace of their relationship changing from a quick fuck to proclaiming his love for her was a bit much for only a few pages but was still interesting.

Overall Miles Behind Us is a solid chapter. The group finally found a place of solace and many characters developed due to the grief they felt. The review for the previous chapter, Days Gone Bye is also live on the site. When discussing the chapter we said, “So to conclude, as a lover of the show and avid fan of the games, I enjoyed my time with the first chapter of the Walking Dead Compendium. The art is stunning and the story itself loses some of its flares through sharing an overall plot with the TV show but does enough differently to keep me guessing.” Make sure to also check out our weekly previews of the TV show, where we go into detail over where the series is heading next. For everything on the Walking Dead or to check out Chapter 1’s review, stay tuned to Thenerdstash.com


The Walking Dead Compendium - Chapter 2 Review

After the death of Shane, Rick and the rest of the survivors leave Atlanta and travel across many miles of hostile territory seeking a safer home.
Overall Score
Good
Pros:
  • Interesting depiction of grief
  • New characters add unique perspectives
Cons:
  • Relationships seemingly formed very quickly
  • Constantly finding new sanctuaries with ease 

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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The Walking Dead Compendium – Chapter 1 Review http://thenerdstash.com/walking-dead-compendium-chapter-1-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/walking-dead-compendium-chapter-1-review/#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2017 23:45:21 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=55578 Title: The Walking Dead Compendium #1 – Days Gone Bye Written by: Robert Kirkman Art by: Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore Published by: Image Comics Release Date: May 19th 2009 As a fan of both The Walking Dead television series and video game series developed by Telltale, I felt that it seemed odd I had […]

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Title: The Walking Dead Compendium #1 – Days Gone Bye

Written by: Robert Kirkman

Art by: Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore

Published by: Image Comics

Release Date: May 19th 2009


As a fan of both The Walking Dead television series and video game series developed by Telltale, I felt that it seemed odd I had never read the comics. The stories created by Robert Kirkman are where the series began. Where the cult following started, that in turn morphed into a global multi-medium phenomenon. So I got my hands on the New York Times bestselling first Walking Dead Compendium and will review each of the 8 chapters over the course of the next few months. So that fans who like the show or the games (like myself) can work out whether the source material is something of interest to them.

The art itself is phenomenal. Each panel clearly depicting an adequate level of tone and feeling, while transitioning from scene to scene with a good sense of flow. The simple design of character faces, the use of body language, and the characters framing within the panel allows for the reader to get a distinct understanding of the emotions felt and the relationships between characters. The art, however, gets particularly detailed when focusing on Walkers. Highlighting the grotesque husks they call bodies, and their slow-moving menace. The art alone is enough to keep your attention and truly amplifies the immersion within the narrative of the Walking Dead Compendium.

The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye – Rick returning home

The initial premise itself is relatively similar to the television series. Officer Rick Grimes is caught in the midst of a shootout, after ordering his partner to cover him and attempting to flank the suspect at hand, Rick is seriously wounded. He then wakes up from a coma an unknown amount of time later. He soon realizes the hospital is deserted and that the world has succumbed to some kind of strange disease. For the first chapter, the dialogue is relatively believable, with at times a few instances where characters seemed to launch themselves into topics without being prompted or spoke in an odd manner, just to convey some backstory or narrative foreshadowing. The pacing itself was the only thing I really took issue with. And even then I’m unsure if that is the fault of the comic or a fault of my own. At times I was shocked to see that entire scenes from the show were conveyed through a single page in the comics, however, unlike the show, the comics never dawdle. They cover the points that are necessary and keep the ball rolling, unlike the show where they stop and start to fill screen time with unnecessary filler and unwanted character backstory.

Spoilers ahead – If you want to avoid spoilers, ignore the bold font.

What happens and what’s different from the show?

The plot of the first chapter is relatively similar to elements of the show’s first season. Rick wakes from his coma and stumbles into the new world. He runs into a man named Morgan and his son who enlighten Rick to the weeks he missed in the hospital and aid him in acquiring a car, weapons and his police uniform. Rick then heads towards Atlanta searching for his son Carl and his wife Lori. He reaches Atlanta, thinking it’s a safe zone, but instead finds it infested by hundreds of the Undead. Rick escapes thanks to the aid of a young Asian man named Glenn. Glenn takes Rick back to his camp outside of town where to his delight he is reunited with his wife, son and old partner Shane. Rick assimilates quickly into the group and after a member of the group Donna is attacked, Rick and Shane begin teaching everyone how to use Firearms. The rest of the chapter includes group bonding, a daring mission by Glenn and Rick to acquire more firearms from the city, and many disagreements between Shane and Rick over whether they should stay put or move elsewhere. Just like in the television series a horde of Walkers attack their caravan one night, killing Amy and infecting Jim.

The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye – Rick and Glen retrieving guns from Atlanta

However, there are some differences between the comic and the TV series. The story of Morgan’s wife is completely skipped over and Carol’s husband seemingly committed suicide rather than still being around like he is on the show. But the biggest change of all, was Shane’s sudden outburst at Rick, pointing a gun in his face and then being killed by Carl (who attempts to defend his father). It was incredibly surprising to see Shane seemingly killed so early on when his television counterpart lasts all the way to the end of the second season before being taken down by Rick.

So to conclude, as a lover of the show and avid fan of the games, I enjoyed my time with the first chapter of the Walking Dead Compendium. The art is stunning and the story itself loses some of its flares through sharing an overall plot with the TV show but does enough differently to keep me guessing. For more on The Walking Dead TV series, Video Games and comics, stay tuned to Thenerdstash.com


The Walking Dead Compendium - Chapter 1 Review

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. Find out how the first chapter of The Walking Dead comics compares to the show
Overall Score
Great
Pros:
  • Beautifully designed artwork
  • Strong transitions between panels
  • Twist Ending
Cons:
  • Brisk Pacing
  • Plot at times too similar to Television show

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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X-Men ’92 #2 Review http://thenerdstash.com/x-men-92-2-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/x-men-92-2-review/#respond Fri, 22 Apr 2016 01:53:44 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=37274 Title: X-MEN ’92 #2 – Young Blood Written by: Chris Sims and Chad Bowers Art by: Alti Firmansyah and Matt Milla Published by: Marvel Comics Release Date: April 13, 2016 Despite being the beginning of danger for the X-Men, Sims, and Bowers still manage to make this second issue of their comic series as lighthearted […]

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Title: X-MEN ’92 #2 – Young Blood

Written by: Chris Sims and Chad Bowers

Art by: Alti Firmansyah and Matt Milla

Published by: Marvel Comics

Release Date: April 13, 2016


Despite being the beginning of danger for the X-Men, Sims, and Bowers still manage to make this second issue of their comic series as lighthearted and fun as the first. X-Men ’92 #2 – Young Blood is just the start in unraveling the much larger tale of why the X-Men are targeted for death. Whether it is a potential new villain just introduced or one of the members of our favorite mutant team, each character seems to have an opportunity to show their not-so-serious side. We get to see more of the group behind the attacks on the X-Men. And several points in this plot line promise more entertaining antics for the comic down the road.

X-Men '92

The X-Men are being toyed with in some sort of deadly game.

While this issue certainly continues the cheesy cartoon vibe of the 90’s, it also has a few more somber and serious moments to move the plot along. Firmansyah seems to lighten up on the humorous portrayal of characters, although there are still a few comically wide eyes and very animated reactions. The atmosphere is a touch more somber, as the issue begins with Jubilee being attacked and continues with conflict throughout. Even with the increased amount of fighting in X-Men ’92 #2, Firmansyah manages to make his art style work consistently in each scene, as he did in the first issue. With the art to tie everything together, the two issues actually connect to each other quite well.

In fact, one of the things that continuously strikes me about this series is the style of Firmansyah’s art. The way that the cartoon-ish drawings play into the storyline is done well. In this issue especially, several simply beautiful panels caught my eye. One of these is toward the beginning of the comic when Beast is holding Jubilee after she has been attacked. Another is the very last panel of Alpha Red’s fight against Omega Red. Both of these panels are able to capture more real moments for the audience, yet they are juxtaposed by other, much lighter moments. And again, Firmansyah is able to make all of these scenes work well with each other.

X-Men '92

Firmansyah and Milla have combined on this project to give the X-Men the look of a 90’s cartoon.

In addition, Matt Milla’s colors also stood out to me in this second issue. The colors are very vibrant for the X-Men and their costumes, especially at the start of the comic. However, as the situation gets more dire, the lightness of these colors begins to lessen a bit as well. While the costumes will remain the same throughout, everything else about the panels seems to be heavier in general, which is a brilliant stylistic choice.

This issue is less silly overall. Even as the comic retains a lighthearted feel of a 90’s cartoon, the characters behave in much less silly ways in this issue. When Jubilee is attacked and taken back to the mansion, the X-Men must respond in a more serious fashion. However, the writers still keep moments of humor in between, and the overall plot line is still cheesy enough to maintain the feel from the first issue. Especially with the addition of vampires.

X-Men '92

The plot thickens as the X-Men discover that they are up against… vampires?

Concerning this specific turn of the story, I was less enthused. I had never really considered being a vampire in the same league as being a superhero. Sure, the X-Men are mutants, which could make them more closely related to vampires than a character like Superman or Spiderman. But the X-Men seem much more exciting in many ways, particularly given that vampires are entirely over-saturated in the current state of pop culture. Despite this, I am still ok with the “vampires vs. X-Men” plot. It’s an idea that had been done before, with the Curse of the Mutants comic series. But the writers do it with their own spin, putting in just the right amount of interesting twists and good old nostalgia to keep readers engaged. In fact, the cliffhanger end of this second issue left me curious about where Sims and Bowers will be taking this story next. While I may not be an ecstatic vampire fan, the storyline still grabbed me enough to enjoy X-Men ’92 #2 – Young Blood.

Overall, this second issue was well done. It wasn’t quite as outrageous as the first in some ways, but the reveal of the main plot line certainly made up for that. The comic continues to have just enough humor, nostalgia, and some darker themes to keep me interested in its future.

What did you think about X-Men ’92? Let us know in the comments below!

X-Men '92 #2 Review

PONDER the machinations of the Fenris twins! FEAR the terror of Alpha Red! RELISH the X-Men of the 90's, back in action!
Overall Score
Good
Pros:
  • Story is increasingly entertaining
  • Art and colors reflect the mood well
  • Poignant moments between characters
Cons:
  • Vampire enemies are almost too cheesy
  • More somber than first issue

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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X-MEN ’92 #1 Review http://thenerdstash.com/x-men-92-1-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/x-men-92-1-review/#respond Wed, 06 Apr 2016 06:24:09 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=36045 Title: X-MEN ’92 #1 Written by: Chris Sims and Chad Bowers Art by: Alti Firmansyah and Matt Milla Published by: Marvel Comics Release Date: March 30, 2016 The X-Men comics have often been dark and serious. Even in their moments of carefree joking, Professor X’s team of mutants always seem to have something that pulls […]

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Title: X-MEN ’92 #1

Written by: Chris Sims and Chad Bowers

Art by: Alti Firmansyah and Matt Milla

Published by: Marvel Comics

Release Date: March 30, 2016


The X-Men comics have often been dark and serious. Even in their moments of carefree joking, Professor X’s team of mutants always seem to have something that pulls them back to their grim reality. The new X-MEN ’92 is a refreshing change from all that, focusing much more on the lighthearted fun of having superpowers. While it still has the interesting plot to keep an audience invested, writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers combine with artist Alti Firmansyah to provide a unique animation-esque comic, reminiscent of the old ’90’s X-Men cartoon. This first issue of X-Men ’92 sets the bar high for this comic series and promises X-Men fans a lot of amazing things along the way.

Professor X has reopened his school to young mutants, and shenanigans are already underway.

Professor X has reopened his school to young mutants, and shenanigans are already underway.

Just like in any old cartoon, some of the dialogue and actions of the characters can be rather cheesy. I mean, within the first few pages you have Wolverine on roller skates, Professor X drawn with humorous huge eyes, and Gambit speaking in the third person. But this atmosphere is exactly what X-MEN ’92 #1 calls for, and part of what makes it so brilliant. Sims and Bowers can transition from this kind of humor to a more serious plot in the blink of an eye, and make it all seem fluid in the process.

Characters are introduced blatantly, but it is a seamless process. In fact, it’s almost as if Sims and Bowers are eagerly inviting fans in from the first page, showing them which of their favorite characters will be playing bigger roles in the series. That being said, this first issue of X-MEN ’92 is notably missing some important characters.While comic includes Jubilee, Psylocke, and Bishop, both Jean Grey and Scott Summers are left out – to the chagrin of many fans. Personally, I didn’t mind Grey or Cyclops being absent, as I simply assume they will be mentioned at some point in the series. However, I was saddened that Nightcrawler did not find a place in X-MEN ’92 #1. Kurt Wagner is a naturally interesting and funny character, and I think he would have added much to this cast. But I digress.

X-MEN '92 is packed with a lot of our favorite heros, many of whom do not often get to see the spotlight.

X-MEN ’92 is packed with a lot of our favorite heroes, many of whom do not often get to see the spotlight.

In looking for a specific highlight from this issue, it is difficult to pick just one moment. Different scenes are easily juxtaposed, from moments where the characters are in epic fights to moments where they are just being funny. Sims and Bowers are clearly fans of the X-Men themselves, and it shows in the way they write the characters. While each character stays true to their known personalities, they also have a more lighthearted feel, bringing a lot more humor to their personal quirks. I think the most poignant example of this is the scene where Wolverine and the X-Men confront Omega Red and his crew on the front lawn. Wolverine recognizes Omega Red from his past, and Gambit responds, “Is it already time for another trip to yo’ mysterious past, Logan?” Psylocke then adds, “I’m starting to think we need a chart to keep up with.” Not only is this small interaction true to who the characters are, but it paints Logan’s long and forgotten past in more joking manner, which works well. Sims and Bowers also portray characters like Professor X in a more cartoon-ish way. This is surprisingly effective, as the Professor is always shown as the wise and stoic leader of the X-Men. But give him moments to expand outside that wall, such as a silly expression, and he fits into the feel of an ’90’s cartoon quite well.

Some of the panels can be confusing as they switch from two-page reading back to singular page panels. But this is not enough to deter from the great art and storyline. The villains are all quite vibrant characters, and the addition of Alpha Red is interesting enough in itself to keep me coming back for more. Sims and Bowers use a combination of nostalgia, derived from the ’90’s cartoon feel, and a plot that grabs readers’ interest. These elements work together well, and ensure that X-MEN ’92 will continue to be a great series.

The addition of Alpha Red as the series' main villain is unprecedented and shows promise.

The addition of Alpha Red as the series’ main villain is unprecedented and promises exciting things to come.

From the art style to the colors, the whole comic has the feel of the ’90’s plastered all over it. The characters are all in their classic, recognizable outfits, which fit well with the theme themselves. Matt Milla’s colors are light enough to convey the not-so-serious feel of the issue. However, they are also solid as well, which makes the animation style of art done by Firmansyah that much more believable. This makes it an impressive and interesting comic to look at. Add in the plot from the two writers, and you have an amazing reboot for the X-Men.


 

X-MEN '92 #1 Review

The X-Men of the 90's are back! Continuing from the hit Secret Wars series, starring the X-Men of a more EXTREME decade. With Cassandra Nova defeated, the X-Men have taken in all the young mutants she had rounded up and are officially reopening the Xavier School for Gifted Children... but being responsible won’t stop them from having crazy adventures! 
Overall Score
Amazing
Pros:
  • Entertaining look at well-known characters
  • Art looks like 90's animation
  • Interesting plot with plenty of nostalgia
Cons:
  • Missing some key characters
  • Some confusing panel switching

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Suiciders: Kings of HELL.A. #1 Review http://thenerdstash.com/suiciders-kings-hell-1-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/suiciders-kings-hell-1-review/#respond Tue, 05 Apr 2016 03:11:05 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=36043 Title – Suiciders: Kings of HELL.A. #1 Written by – Lee Bermejo Art by – Alessandro Vitti, Jordan Boyd, Matt Hollingsworth and Jared K. Fletcher Published by – Vertigo Release Date – March 30, 2016 In a different take on the world of New Angeles after the Great Quake, Suiciders: Kings of HELL.A. shows the two lives of […]

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Title – Suiciders: Kings of HELL.A. #1

Written by – Lee Bermejo

Art by – Alessandro Vitti, Jordan Boyd, Matt Hollingsworth and Jared K. Fletcher

Published by – Vertigo

Release Date – March 30, 2016


In a different take on the world of New Angeles after the Great Quake, Suiciders: Kings of HELL.A. shows the two lives of Trix and her brother Johnny. Alessandro Vitti’s art style strikingly depicts their crumbling world and gives the comic some real depth. Rather than focusing on the dark combat games of the first Suiciders series, Lee Bermejo has turned reader’s attention to another side of broken New Angeles – the gangs that roam the streets. Trix and Johnny are part of one of these gangs, the “Kings of HELL.A.” And if this first issue alone is any sort of precedent for what is to come, then this dark apocalyptic story will only continue to get darker and more violent.

The Hollywood sign is in flames from the very start of Suiciders.

The Hollywood sign is in flames from the very start of Suiciders.

The comic begins with some small amount of prologue, with Trix telling the story of how she was born during the fallout from the Great Quake. Trix and Johnny have some moments within the issue in which they are easier to empathize with, and these usually come through their displayed memories. While it can be difficult to identify with their world and what they do in the Kings of HELL.A., understanding how they reached this point in their lives and seeing these small moments of humanity make them more compelling characters.

Much of Suiciders: Kings of HELL.A. #1 focuses on this introduction to Trix and Johnny, and has some shock factor about its strategy. After telling some about the siblings’ past, the first issue then begins to tell a few different stories, giving hints as to what may come for Trix, Johnny, and a mysterious pawn shop owner called “The Coyote.” For Trix, Vitti and Bermejo give subtle, interesting moments to show her vulnerability. One comes as her brother leaves with his gang members. Trix clutches her stomach and looks pained. Later on, during a fight with a rival gang, small square insets show more clarification as to her situation, flashing in between the fight like it is happening at that moment. This technique has a particularly powerful effect, one that made this scene my favorite from the first issue.

Johnny's face is very expressive - at least when it comes to anger.

Johnny’s face is very expressive – at least when it comes to anger.

As for Johnny, while he appears to be a leader in his gang, it doesn’t show that responsibility weighing on him much. He persuades his friends and fellow gang members to join him in looting a pawn shop, as Johnny is after the most valuable item the shop owner has. Johnny seems to be mostly fueled by rage, as illustrated by his vibrant facial expressions. This aspect of him most poignantly shows during the panels right before the big fight. As Johnny turns and anger swallows all other emotions, we see juxtaposed panels of him as a young child, during a scene in which his father was murdered right in front of him. Johnny’s angry face is compared to that of him as a kid, tears streaming down his face. Then, as he and his gang leap through the broken pawn shop window, a small inset shows young Johnny leaping over a car with his skateboard raised as a weapon. The way that the images compare and explain how Johnny was influenced by past events is very impactful.

“The Coyote” also appears as a standout character in Suiciders: Kings of HELL.A. #1. While he is not given as much attention as the two main characters, enough information is shown to make him memorable. The first time we see him, he is calling an estranged wife, trying to speak with his kid. Thus, the writer shows his vulnerable side first, then shows how he is also fueled by a rage similar to Johnny’s. While he refuses to give Johnny his most priceless weapon, he does fight alongside the Kings of HELL.A. in their gang, even if it is just out of his own overwhelming anger. Since his storyline does not appear finished, I am sure we can look forward to him being a part of the next few issues.

The Coyote and his most prized possession.

The Coyote and his most prized possession.

Overall, this first issue was an interesting read. It is for mature readers, as several of the panels are quite graphic. Bermejo and Vitti weave a compelling tale, especially in their depiction of the characters’ backstories. The imagery used in the beginning, and during the fighting at the end, is some of the best, as it really does a great job of providing a dark feel to the comic without explaining too much. It becomes easy to see how Trix and Johnny became the hardened people they are 15 years after the Great Quake. Suiciders: Kings of HELL.A. is certainly a comic I will be following from now on.

Suiciders: Kings of HELL.A. #1 Review

A whole generation has grown up since the Great Quake, and people like Trix and her brother Johnny don't know what life was like before New Angeles crumbled. They've learned how to survive within their ruined city, but there are always new challenges to overcome.
Overall Score
Good
Pros:
  • Moments of empathy with characters
  • Striking artwork
  • Prologue draws reader in to story
Cons:
  • Almost too much shock factor
  • Not enough time to tell 'present day' story

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Giant Days #2 Review http://thenerdstash.com/giant-days-2-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/giant-days-2-review/#respond Wed, 30 Mar 2016 18:21:20 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=34915 Title: Giant Days #2 Written By: John Allison Art By: Lissa Treiman Published By: Boom! Studios Release Date: April 15, 2015 John Allison is back with another colorful issue of Giant Days, this time spotlighting an all-too-familiar drawback to university life: the dreaded flu. This second issue is relatable to anyone who’s experienced life on campus, […]

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Title: Giant Days #2

Written By: John Allison

Art By: Lissa Treiman

Published By: Boom! Studios

Release Date: April 15, 2015


John Allison is back with another colorful issue of Giant Days, this time spotlighting an all-too-familiar drawback to university life: the dreaded flu. This second issue is relatable to anyone who’s experienced life on campus, surrounded by hoards of adolescents expressing their newly-acquired independence by being as unclean and unwashed as possible, spreading bacteria and viruses at the rate of a ravaging wildfire across Yellowstone Park. Even Esther de Groot’s supposedly imperishable immune system is overtaken after the girls are coughed on by an infected stranger, opening the issue with their descent into the feverish nightmare of influenza and filling its pages with the laughable situations they find themselves in.

Giant Days 3

Susan attempts to help Daisy onto the bus as she quickly starts to sicken.

As someone with an easily compromised immune system, I couldn’t help but titter empathetically as the trio struggled to deal with their debilitating illness in various ways; Susan quits smoking, Esther suffers fevered, hallucinatory dreams and Daisy begins talking to pigeons after consuming Ed’s unregulated Polish “medicine” which acts more like an extreme stimulant than just a symptom suppresser. Their acute differences in personality are what makes each journey to recovery entirely separate, and Giant Days #2 does a clever job inserting notable interactions that are imperative to a larger story arc between its woozy, congested lines. For instance, Susan’s trip to the drug store to replace her cigarettes—cancer sticks bound to exacerbate the soreness in her throat—with a coveted supply of nicotine patches lands her face-to-face with an enemy. After storming away from the pharmacist, exclaiming the cost of nicotine patches were on par with robbery, she runs straight into McGraw and another heated conversation ensues. Despite their cold encounter, we learn that their history must have had a soft and squishy side, as Susan finds a box of nicotine patches outside her door the following day.

Like its predecessor, the familiar cast of characters in Giant Days #2 are crazy and utterly loveable, giving no second thoughts to their ridiculous behavior as a normal person would be apt to do. Esther concludes to visit the doctor after enduring a fever-dream that people with hallucinatory dream experience will especially relate to (“the world is made of concrete and wire and I must divide it by three”) but she can’t smell which clothes are clean and which are “contaminated” in the mounting laundry pile. Yanking back the hangars of her closet, staring beyond the dark scarves and ruffly tutu skirts, she targets the speckless outfit stowed squarely in the back. Lissa Treiman’s artwork shines in this hilarious scene, depicting a sickened Esther gliding down the hallway in full gothic lolita attire like the ghost of a Victorian-era aristocrat—complete with petticoat and top hat—and a scared student pins himself against the wall as she moves past. Treiman creates a wave of sickly green and purple skulls that follow the gothic beauty down the corridor, and you can spot tiny, buzzing flies if you squint hard enough. It’s this kind of attention to detail that is so particular to the series, as Treiman is known to litter panels with these kinds of easter eggs, willing you to hunt for small bread crumbs of humor across the pages of Giant Days #2.

Giant Days 4

Esther attempts to look at the positive side of being ill: sexy death rattle.

We also get a handful of Daisy in this issue, too. Ed’s foreign stimulants blanket her flu symptoms, and she spends her recovery period hyperactively writing a novel on a typewriter. Realizing she’s out of the foreign tablets (due to rapidly consuming them all day) she resides to stick her feverish head out of the window. Here she spots a pigeon and—in true Daisy style—strikes up a conversation with it, her eyes hollow and unblinking. You can almost hear Willy Wonka singing, “there’s no knowing where we’re rowing.” Daisy is always a fun character to follow, and I love that John Allison tends to write her innocence and naivete as a strong suit rather than a weak point. Excitingly enough this issue ends on an interesting cliffhanger, one that appears to be setting up delectable portions of drama for the subsequent issue, though you’ll have to read it yourself to draw your own conclusions.

John Allison’s world of malady and campus drama feels almost like a Cartoon Network show, on par with Regular Show or a more grown-up Adventure Time, but the series sustains a notably British flavor that hasn’t been replicated elsewhere. With no flashy or impressive visuals like giant monsters or flying spacecraft, Giant Days must rely on its unique characters and witty dialogue to keep it afloat, and the second issue manages to do this with incredible ease—even amidst a dilemma as commonplace as the flu. From hallucinations to screaming cigarette cartons to talking pigeons, John Allison’s theatrical characters really flourish to life in this hilarious slice-of-life comic book. Despite the self-contained nature of its story, Giant Days #2 still ends with the promise of a juicy, drama-filled third installment. You won’t be let down.


Giant Days #2 Review

Giant Days is a comic series written by John Allison and illustrated by Lissa Treiman. Published by BOOM! Studios, the series follows the university lives of three dormitory neighbors: Esther de Groot, Daisy Wooton and Susan Ptolemy.
Overall Score
Amazing
Pros
  • Relatable humor
  • Continued dynamic between Susan and McGraw
  • Colorful and contemporary artwork
Cons
  • Self-contained
  • Not much of a larger story arc

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Paknadel & Trakhanov’s Turncoat #1 Review http://thenerdstash.com/turncoat-1-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/turncoat-1-review/#respond Thu, 24 Mar 2016 17:57:42 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=34819 Title: PAKNADEL & TRAKHANOV’S TURNCOAT #1 Written by: Alex Paknadel Art by: Artyom Trakhanov, Jason Wordie, and Colin Bell Published by: BOOM! Studios Release Date: March 16, 2016 The latest comic from Boom! Studios, Turncoat is a surprisingly infectious read. With a unique art style and a story that grips you from the start, this new short […]

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Title: PAKNADEL & TRAKHANOV’S TURNCOAT #1
Written by: Alex Paknadel
Art by: Artyom Trakhanov, Jason Wordie, and Colin Bell
Published by: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: March 16, 2016


The latest comic from Boom! Studios, Turncoat is a surprisingly infectious read. With a unique art style and a story that grips you from the start, this new short series has quickly become one of my personal favorites. I picked it up by chance, drawn in by the gorgeous cover on this first issue. Its main character, Marta Gonzalez, is as much as a mystery as the one she is trying to solve. The story is written by Alex Paknadel and illustrated by Artyom Trakhanov, who use their combined talents to create an alluringly dark sci-fi feel for Turncoat.

Upon reading this first issue, you are immediately thrust into the environment in a disorienting manner. Marta’s world is a very different future, one where the Earth has been cast into chaos by the war against an alien race called Management. And it is uncertain which side of the fight Marta is on – which is clearly the point of this comic titled Turncoat. In fact, Marta herself seems to not know which side she has chosen, or perhaps she does not care. Her few friends are scattered all across the spectrum, from the a wanted man who became the mayor after the war, to a friendly drug dealer who also deals in information.

Marta Gonzalez's life is about to change as she makes a choice.

Marta Gonzalez’s life is about to change as she makes a choice.

Paknadel and Trakhanov vividly create the world for their readers, one that is vibrant with detail. The slightest movement between panels becomes a whole new experience, and yet everything flows together well. Granted, I was a little confused at the beginning of the comic. Jumping straight into this world is no easy adjustment, and the abrupt nature of the events in Turncoat‘s beginning is a bit jarring, as I have said before. However, this first issue does a great job of keeping people interested, enough to get them through any moments of confusion. After my own brief disorientation, I was quickly hooked, and couldn’t have put Turncoat #1 down for anything.

Marta Gonzalez as the main character is interesting, namely because we know almost nothing about her. She was a cop working under Management, but then changed sides at the last minute, helping the resistance. She now deals with the ramifications of her actions, as she is hated by both factions. As someone who loves the Alias series and Marvel’s Jessica Jones, it was easy to notice the similarities between her and Marta. Marta often takes on the same stalwart, abrasive attitude, although she seems more prone to reach out to those she trusts. There are obvious similarities between the story of “falling from grace,” so to speak, as well as the move to investigative/detective work. Yet Marta Gonzalez is a character unique to herself. She speaks of a desire to seek the truth, to fill the empty void that seems to have been left in her life. And she does care about people deeply, as is seen from her interactions with her old partner and former informant.

An example of the way the circular insert is used in Turncoat #1.

We learn much about Marta through little details throughout the comic.

The story that Paknadel and Trakhanov weave is a haunting one, asking big underlying questions from the start. Jason Wordie’s colors bring many of the scenes into a stark contrast and brighten the atmosphere, even while Turncoat becomes darker and darker. Even the inhabitant’s faces are amazingly detailed, with both lines and color providing a glimpse into who each person really is. With such a bleak, apocalyptic story, Trakhanov and Wordie together create a unique vision of Marta’s chaotic world.

Possibly one of my favorite techniques that Turncoat uses is the implementation of a circular insert, almost like a magnifying glass, to direct the reader’s eye. From the first panel, it brings our attention to little details and gives the comic a very real sense. We are able to notice the things that Marta notices, and that draws readers closer to identifying with her. It seems like a blatant technique, but in this case, it works well and plays off the investigative/mystery theme with grace.

Paknadel paces the plot well throughout Turncoat #1. The story continues to draw readers in over the course of the comic’s pages. Marta’s story slowly begins to make sense at the same time that the mystery of the missing child does, and by the last panel you will find yourself wanting to keep reading. At times it can seem like the mystery is moving along too quickly, but with Turncoat being a brief four-issue series, that could be expected. By the end of this first issue, I was already wishing for the next.

Marta and Bill, watching as it all changes...

Marta and Bill, watching as everything changes…

With such gorgeous and detailed artwork, Trakhanov and Wordie really impressed me. And Paknadel’s well-laid story will keep me waiting eagerly for the next installment. If it’s anything like Turncoat #1, it will be well worth the wait.

Paknadel & Trakhanov's Turncoat #1 Review

Employing the most compelling elements of science fiction and the detective genre, Paknadel and Trakhanov's Turncoat is a gripping exploration of power vacuums and the legacy of oppression. The story follows Marta Gonzalez, a former Management fighter, as she starts her own detective agency and tries to find some sort of truth among her guilty past.
Overall Score
Amazing
Pros:
  • Gripping story
  • Beautiful artwork
  • Brings deeper meaning to science fiction
Cons:
  • Can be confusing at beginning
  • Packs a lot of content into one issue

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Giant Days #1 Review http://thenerdstash.com/giant-days-1-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/giant-days-1-review/#respond Sat, 19 Mar 2016 00:56:06 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=34780 As a twenty-something comic enthusiast who doesn’t quite identify with a lot of Marvel or DC material, it always feels like striking gold whenever I find an exceptionally funny series with great artwork to boot. Too often I have to bargain for one or the other, either getting an eyeful of gorgeously drawn panels and a […]

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As a twenty-something comic enthusiast who doesn’t quite identify with a lot of Marvel or DC material, it always feels like striking gold whenever I find an exceptionally funny series with great artwork to boot. Too often I have to bargain for one or the other, either getting an eyeful of gorgeously drawn panels and a story that seems to have been scribbled in the day before publishing, or an interesting narrative amidst haphazard pictures. So of course when I stumbled upon the first issue of Giant Days at my local comic retailer, the only copy left being the one with the bent corner that everybody else bypassed, I felt like I’d found something precious. This series is not only loaded with humorous dialogue and colorful artwork, it also manages to downplay the usual importance of a serious plot line through its cast of lively characters and their theatrical dynamic within each self-contained story. Written by John Allison (who is known for his hilarious daily comics at scarygoround.com), Giant Days is an exceptional contemporary spin on the Archie format, presenting an interesting bunch of teenagers and watching their struggle with adulthood unfold.

Giant Days #1 introduces three vibrant women and the ups and downs of their day-to-day university experience. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more diverse set of dormitory neighbors and best friends. Esther de Groot is a gothic beauty with a penchant for causing drama, Daisy Wooton is a kind-hearted and exceptionally naive nerd-girl, and Susan Ptolemy is a stubborn and aggressive realist who isn’t afraid to speak her cynical mind. Set in present-day Britain, the subject matter heavily revolves around dating or college-related affairs as nearly every issue is set on campus, and each instalment does a wonderful job delivering its whimsical and intelligent comedy with an original flair.

Giant Days 1

McGraw, Ed, Esther, Daisy, and Susan: all four of the main characters in Giant Days.

The first issue begins with Esther, Daisy, and Susan lounging in Susan’s dorm room, discussing their experiences of the past few weeks. To embellish their contrasting looks, Daisy is drawn in a striped sweater with a turquoise headband in her gigantic, poofy hair, Esther is covered head-to-toe in black clothing, and Susan sits at her computer in a frumpy yellow top, a pack of cigarettes at her side. During the course of their conversation, Esther is accused of being a “dramatist” by Susan, who recounts her friend’s propensity for causing a scene. Esther adamantly denies this claim, and the two bet on how long Esther can subsist without inciting drama. Following their wager, we’re introduced to two other characters, a scruffy-haired geek-boy named Ed and, more importantly, his mustached roommate, McGraw, who is actually a bitter enemy of Susan’s from back home. Soon we begin to identify the invisible string that ties these characters together and how they all function as friends (or foes).

With campus as a backdrop, there are endless possibilities for situational humor—and John Allison knows this. In one lunchroom scene, a plate of thick and gooey gravy flies through the air and lands all over McGraw. Despite Susan’s taunting laughter, he insists nothing can ruin gravy for him, combing it from his hair and flinging it onto his own mashed potatoes. Some of the funniest panels are due to the characters’ ridiculous facial expressions, and even the expressions of students in the background. My focus often shifts from the protagonists to the scenery beyond, laughing at the zany reactions from random extras. There’s humor to be found everywhere, whether it’s the focus of the scene or hiding in secret places outside the foreground. Giant Days artist Lissa Treiman does a wonderful job breathing life into John Allison’s witty scripts, her cute, cartoonish artwork fitting the series like a glove. Just for Esther’s outfits alone, it’s obvious why Giant Days #1 sold out of over 7,300 copies at the distributor level.

Giant Days 3

Esther tries to convince herself she isn’t a dramatist.

Let’s return to the main characters for a second. I absolutely love the way Esther, Daisy, and Susan function together, completely without rivalry, always ready to stick up for one another in a way that never feels forced. Innocent Daisy Wooton is a refreshing ingredient to the Giant Days recipe in that she isn’t a “sass queen” like a lot of female protagonists tend to be, and even Susan and Esther (though they’re a lot cheekier than Daisy) toe the sass line only slightly, their self-assuredness coming across as audacious rather than overdone. McGraw is an engaging character as well, with his bushy black mustache, flannel shirts, passionate love of craftsmanship and—let’s face it—his general undercurrent of woodsy masculinity. Though his heated history with Susan Ptolemy is never fully explained in Giant Days #1, you know we’ll be provided a juicy backstory eventually.

Overall, this is a great first instalment to the Giant Days sequence. The characters are developed exceptionally well within the short time period, the setting is fun and relatable, and most importantly, Allison’s wit translates perfectly with aid from the colorful and contemporary artwork of Lissa Treiman. Giant Days #1 has made a splash in the comic world, offering a spunky distraction from real life and delivering more than just a shallow bundle of pages. With its animated characters, brilliant visuals and laugh-out-loud humor, I can’t wait to see more of this promising series.


Giant Days #1 Review

Giant Days is a comic series written by John Allison and illustrated by Lissa Treiman. Published by BOOM! Studios, the series follows the university lives of three dormitory neighbors: Esther de Groot, Daisy Wooton and Susan Ptolemy.
Overall Score
Perfection
Pros
  • Funny dialogue
  • Colorful, cartoonish artwork
  • Relatable characters
Cons
  • Not a lot of backstories
  • Doodle-y artwork might not be for everyone

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Fight Club 2 Issue #1 Review http://thenerdstash.com/fight-club-2-issue-1-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/fight-club-2-issue-1-review/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2015 06:08:25 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=10650 Today I’m going to break the first rule of Fight Club… and the second rule Fight Club. Fight Club 2, the highly anticipated sequel to Chuck Palahniuk’s debut novel, Fight Club, has released it’s first issue. Palahniuk, instead of writing another novel, decided to tell the story in comic-book form. Many fans cried out that Fight Club didn’t need […]

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Today I’m going to break the first rule of Fight Club… and the second rule Fight Club. Fight Club 2, the highly anticipated sequel to Chuck Palahniuk’s debut novel, Fight Club, has released it’s first issue. Palahniuk, instead of writing another novel, decided to tell the story in comic-book form. Many fans cried out that Fight Club didn’t need a sequel (it didn’t), but according to Chuck, there’s much more story to be told. Published through Dark Horse comics Fight Club 2 is the collaboration between author Chuck Palahniuk and artist Cameron Stuart.

The first thing that needs to be established is that Fight Club 2 is a sequel to the novel, not the David Fincher film. Despite the two versions being tonally similar, their endings are totally different. In the movie Edward Norton holds hands with Marla Singer as they watch the skyscrapers blow up around them to the tune of “Where is My Mind?” by The Pixies. In the novel, the bombs don’t go off and the protagonist is taken to the hospital, where he is greeted by even more members of Project Mayhem.

fightclubmarla

Flash forward a few years and now the protagonist, given the name of Sebastian, and Marla are married with a child and living boring lives in a boring suburban neighborhood, the exact fate Sebastian was trying to prevent. Sebastian keeps his other personality, Tyler Durden, at bay with the use of prescription medication. Both Tyler and Marla still go to support groups. This is where Fight Club 2 begins and much of the first issue is spent playing catch-up and establishing where the characters are now.

Marla, bored with the suburban lifestyle, has been switching out Sebastian’s meds with aspirin and confectionary sugar, hoping to bring Tyler Durden to the surface again. Durden is largely absent from this issue. It’s only when Sebastian’s shrink induces hypnotherapy that Durden is let loose. Project Mayhem has been growing and a couple times a week, for 60 minutes, Tyler is able to command them via computer in the therapist’s office.

There are a few twists and turns, but issue one of the series sees Palahniuk pulling out the same bag of tricks he did for Fight Club. Lines of dialogue are reused and certain images, such as the yin yang IKEA table, are repeated. It feels like fan service, but loyal followers of the original novel don’t need fan service, we need plot. Too many panels are given to a babysitter character whose main purpose is to tell Sebastian that Marla isn’t home. There’s a lot of rehashing of the themes of the original novel, in case you forgot.

When the story manages to get its wheels moving, the trajectory is interesting. Tyler is back and he’s up to no good. Sadly, this only lasts a couple of pages before we are left with a cliffhanger ending. The first issue acts as an extended tease, leaving the reader salivating for the real narrative coming next.

Fight-clubv2

Palahniuk has proved himself as a master crafter of sentences and prose. His trademark style shines even clearer in comic book form. The inner monologues of the characters are a perfect fit for the heavy narration often found in graphic novels. Cameron Stuart’s artwork backs up the writing with a strong visual artistry that looks equal parts drab and magnificent. Objects like pills, rose petals, and the sound of a barking dog often spill from the panels, obfuscating some of the lettering, leaving sentences half-finished or completely illegible. It’s a clever trick used to show the numbing effects of medication, love, and suburban life, but it’s a trick that has the chance of being used too often. I don’t want to miss a single piece of dialogue, whether spoken or within a character’s mind.

Overall, Fight Club 2′s first issue is slow, but promises that more is yet to come. It’s hard to gauge the prospects of a series from the first issue but this sequel stands at halfway point for me. It could turn out incredible or abominable. I hope for the sake of all other Palahniuk fans that it’s the former instead of the latter. Time will tell, but issue one is certainly a strong start.

1035x1590-FIGHTCLUB1Finalcover

What did you think of Fight Club 2′s debut? Dark Horse currently has a preview of the issue here. Let us know in the comments below!

Fight Club 2 Issue #1

Fight Club 2 continues the story of Sebastian, Marla, and Tyler Durden as they deal with suburban life. Written by Chuck Palahniuk and illustrated by Cameron Stuart, fans of the novel and film are in for a real treat.
Overall
Great
Issue one spends most of its time playing catch-up, but heats up towards the end of the issue. The characters, dialogue, and narration feel on-point and the artwork fits the storyline.

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Bob’s Burgers Comic Series – Review http://thenerdstash.com/bobs-burgers-comic-series-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/bobs-burgers-comic-series-review/#respond Sun, 03 May 2015 02:34:06 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=7885 Do you love Bob’s Burgers? Do you love comics? You should read these. End of review. Kidding. But I really could end it there. These comics combine the fun lightheartedness of the TV show with the creative freedom of the comic medium. The biggest draw of the TV show Bob’s Burgers for a lot of […]

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Do you love Bob’s Burgers? Do you love comics? You should read these. End of review.

Kidding.

But I really could end it there. These comics combine the fun lightheartedness of the TV show with the creative freedom of the comic medium.

D.E. Comic Page Template.eps

(Bob’s Burgers #5)

The biggest draw of the TV show Bob’s Burgers for a lot of people is its colorful cast of characters; the strongest of these obviously being the Belchers themselves. Because of this the comics follow a simple format that has tons of potential. Each comic is divided into five parts that correspond to each member of the Belcher family: An erotic friend fiction written by Tina,

tina1

I’m not going to show an example for each, because a couple segments are just one frame. But I just love this so much. (Bob’s Burgers #1)

a list of burger-of-the-day ideas from Bob, a detective story starring Louise, a wine-soaked letter from Linda, and–in a great bit of theatrical flair–a musical finale with Gene.

Each segment also features its own unique art style, often with each one being written and drawn by different artists. They even threw in a bunch of alternate covers at the end of #5 (which is where I got Salvador Bobbi up there)(I don’t have to source that, because I came up with it)(Yes, I am available for parties).

The result is something that is every bit heartwarming and fun as the TV show while being different enough to be its own entity and worth the time for you to read. There are currently five issues out and they’ve promised more coming. I personally cannot wait! What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Bob's Burgers Comic Series

Heart
Humor
Fun
BEEF CURTAINS!!!
A great companion piece for lovers of the TV show that can also stand on its own.

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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