Judge Dredd is on the Case! #1

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I just finished up with, Judge Dredd the Complete Case Files 01, and it was very fun read.  Unlike a lot of big trade paper backs, which follow a major story of some kind, this book just contains all the comics from the first two years of Judge Dredd’s publication, so there are a lot of one off stories.  In looking up Judge Dredd on the old internet, I found that the reason for the one offs was that 2000AD, the comic publisher behind Dredd, didn’t really think he would last, and the Judge himself would be a one off character. Obviously a little search on Amazon, and looking at the sheer amount of Dredd comics to be had, they were wrong.  Now all that being said there are some multi-issue stories in this book.  There are the Robot Wars started by the human slaying robot “Call Me Kenneth”, learning about Dredd’s brother and thus Dredd’s past and origin story,  Dredd working on the Moon City, Luna 1, and to end up a story about an insane car.  But even these stories are short by modern comic book standards.

There is a lot of world building in this first book.  At first it describes Mega City 1, Dredd’s jurisdiction, as kind of a post atomic war paradise.  Where these Judges that can hand out sentences on site keep everyone safe and mostly happy, but that soon changes and Mega City 1 is described as a place were crime is out of control and the Judges are the only way to deal with it.  The book starts out with a sillier tone, but gradually gets more serious. Also in start of the book we find out that the death penalty has been outlawed, but in the last Dredd story we find that it is allowed; if not encouraged.

The book also has some running comic relief with Walter the robot.  He is Dredd’s biggest fan and probably closest thing to a friend, and he waits on Dredd hand and foot when the Judge allows it.  He must have had his own mini comic in the back of Dredd’s books because at the end of this anthology they include a bunch of mini stories about this very loyal and bumbling robot.

So for Dredd fans I think this is must read.  If not then probably skip it.  If you are looking to get in to Dredd some of the later books where Dredd is more established and developed is probably a better place to start.

What is a Diaspora?

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I recently read The Diaspora Trilogy.  It is a series of books about a young man who finds a watch, and the watch starts to teleport him to random places.

I got started with this series because the first book, John Gone, was attractively priced at one dollar, and I didn’t have anything I wanted to read on my Kindle.  This was a great marketing ploy because the series then had me hooked, and I had to pay about five dollars each for the next two books: Missing Signals, and Company Men.

In the first book a sixteen year old named John finds a watch that attaches itself to his wrist and will not come off, and it then starts to take him to random places on the planet.  He also then finds out that the watch allows him to talk to a Dr. Kala that tells him if he keeps jumping that he will die.

It is a pretty good setup, and finding out what John will do after every jump is exciting.  The only problem with the book, and the second book for that matter, is that they do not have real endings.  They just leave off for the next book, so you really don’t get a full story with just one, but I guess that is how you make money off of a one dollar book. Which is also why I am not going to provide basic plots for the next two books since they would just be spoilers for the previous ones, but it safe to say that the rabbit hole starts to get much deeper.

I don’t think the author, Michael Kayatta, will win any awards for these books.  They have some spelling and grammar errors, (Much like this review) and the books don’t have any deeper meaning other then an exiting adventure, but they are good fast read, and he knows not to let up on the action.

I noticed that the first book has gone back up in price, so more people must have fallen in to the one dollar trap, but I think they are still fun and worth a read at their new slightly elevated price, but if they drop back down to a dollar then they have my fullest recommendation.  You can find books on Amazon here.

What to do about the Pro Bowl

Since the Pro Bowl was the only football on Sunday, I settled in and watched one of the worst games of the year.  This is not surprising because it is always one of the worst games of the year, and if it hadn’t been for the Seahawks in the game playing so well, Wilson had three touchdowns, Lynch had a touchdown, Thomas had an interception, and Washington had a great ninety yard return on a kick off almost for a touchdown, I probably wouldn’t have finished it.  I was hoping to see Wilson get the Pro Bowl MVP, but it went to a very deserving Rudolph a tight end from Minnesota .

But after the game I was wondering what could be done to fix this game if anything, and think they just need to stop playing it.  They should have a bunch of skills competitions of guys running fast, throwing balls through tires, pushing dummies around, and fan meet and greets.  That way the Pros can still get the honor of being selected to the Pro Bowl, and they get to be competitive with one another without the fear of being hurt by playing a meaningless game, and we as fans get to see our favorite stars one more time before next August.

I hope they make some sort of change soon because the game is almost unwatchable.  Of course since it is football, I still watch it, and I know I am not alone, so I guess I am part of the problem.  Who knows maybe next year I and my fellow fans will tune out and get the commissioner to make the changes needed.  We will see.  Go Hawks!!!

Set Destination for Treasure Planet

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Treasure Planet is a Disney movie that people tend to forget about, but seeing it on Netflix prompted me to give it a try.

Treasure Planet is one of the few Disney animated films where they are specifically targeting boys.  It has everything from space boats to an alien that speaks in farts, and the main character rides a powered hover-board.  In my perspective, as a boy, it mostly succeeds at this attempt. I like space, pirates, and think fart humor is funny, so good work everybody, but it never breaks through and  becomes a classic.  I think that they were trying just a little too hard to be ‘cool’.

The story is mostly the same as Treasure Island except in space, and I was wondering during the film if they just did Treasure Island if it would have been a classic.  I think with the cast and crew it would have been close.

As is, it is a good flick and I think most people should check it out.

Don’t fear The Wrath of the Titans

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Wrath of the Titans is the sequel to the reboot of Clash of the Titans which did horrible business in the US but did great business overseas, so I am sure that producers hoped that this would do the same.  It didn’t.  But it promised big monsters and cool landscapes, so I gave it a try.

This movie had one thing going for it.  Cool Monsters, and it delivered on that, but sadly everything else was lacking.  The story was that pretty much everyone had daddy issues and they they had all reached a boiling point because the stupid humans decided to stop praying to the gods making the gods weak, and because they were weak they could no longer contain the big daddy of them all, Cronos: giant lava monster.  He is the father of the gods, and he wants to wipe out the Earth or something, so our heroes obviously decide to stop him.

So they go from one cool looking fight to the next to stop oblivion, but the problem is that you never feel that they are in danger, and they do nothing to develop the characters to care if they make it or not, so all you get is cool looking stuff, which looks great on my big screen, but makes the 97 minute run time seem like slow motion.  I am sure the main motivation for actors in this film was the pay check, and since all they had to do was hang out in sand box surrounded by a green screen, heck why not.

So if you like cool looking bad guys and dudes in skirts, this is your movie.  If those aren’t enough then look else ware for TV viewing fun.