Let’s Read #5

Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Peña–Chapters 17-31. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

This last section was hard to put down. The action picked up as did the suspense. At the end of each chapter, I wanted to read more.

In this section, Clark finally asks his parents about what’s in the old barn (like any fan of Superman didn’t know). But, we do get a nice look at Clark’s reaction; we get about two or three chapters dealing with how he feels about his origins. He does think about it for the rest of the novel, but it was during these few chapters that it is really spotlighted.

We also get to see Clark’s reaction to his suit and find out how Martha was able to make it.

But, the most important part is we finally find out who’s been taking the townspeople and what they want with them. We also learn why Wesco is so interested in the craters–green meteor rocks of course, but we learn why they care about them so much.

We find out if Bryan is a friend or foe and discover the real reason Lex was in Smallville.

Finally, we see Clark get his Superman name.

These last chapters were a whirlwind of action and emotion as everything finally fell into place. I enjoyed this new telling of Clark’s youth and origin. I felt like it didn’t drastically change things, just added or filled in some holes. I felt like this story could be standalone or have pieces that carry over into other stories.

Even though I could guess at most of what was going to happen–there wasn’t really a shocking plot twist–I still found the book enjoyable and reminded me why I like the Superman stories so much. I enjoyed the investigation bits. I enjoyed the action. I enjoyed the descriptions of Clark using his powers and how it felt to him–something that you don’t hear or see much of. I would recommend this book to any Superman fan or fan of any superhero. 4.8/5

What are your thoughts on the ending? What did you think would happen once Bryan learned about Clark’s powers? Was this a good Superman story or should it be forgotten?

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


 

Let’s Read #2

Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Peña–Chapters 5-7. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

Not much to say about these chapters that wouldn’t be a lot of spoilers, but I did enjoy the Smallville TV show reference where a certain billionaire almost runs Clark over with his car.

I do enjoy how hints of the plot are sprinkled throughout. You don’t feel like you’re being hit over the head. You get little clues like how Lana, the girl who knows just about everything that happens in Smallville, doesn’t know about the missing persons. That tells you that whoever is behind it has some power/money.

Also when Clark meets up with Gloria, the one who told him about the missing people, she acts as if she doesn’t remember telling him. There isn’t a moment where he straight up asks her and she says, “What are you talking about?” but she does seem confused or she wants to change the subject. Did someone get to her? Threaten her? Pay her off? Does the villain have some kind of mind-erasing power or serum?

About the only problem I have with the book, at this point, is that it is kind of slow moving. It seems like it is taking a long time for Clark to get moving. He seems concerned about the missing persons but also doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it. At times it is almost like he goes, “Oh yeah! That’s right! There are people disappearing. I should look into that.”

I think it is great that the main villain might not be a Luthor. I just hope that Bryan doesn’t pull a Lex and turn out to be the bad guy. They’ve always done it where Lex and Clark were friends and then Lex turns evil; I hope they don’t do the same with Bryan, so far he seems like a good friend to Clark.

So, what do you think? Who’s behind the missing persons? What do you think is happening to the missing people? Why is Bryan’s brother so interested in the Kent Farm? Tell me your theories in the comments.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


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Recommended #22

The following are my opinion and do not reflect the opinion of any organization or person.

Movies/Film

Film Theory: How Game of Thrones SHOULD End! (Game of Thrones Season 8) by The Film Theorists

Victor and Valentino (Cartoon Network)

Bumblebee

Blog Posts

“The Truth About Gyms” by The Travellothoner

“Raindrops” by sandyjwhite (Out of My Write Mind)

“Let’s Stop Passing as Non-disabled” by Jenna B. Neece (writer)

Books/Stories

“Endurance” from How To Get Away With Murder (In Under 250 Words) by Hafferby

Jazz, Monster Collector in: Crash Down (Season one, Episode One) by RyFT Brand

Brian’s Last Ride by Marianne Curtis

Podcasts/News

Kid Friendly Joke of the Day – Episode 260 – Falcon by Kid Friendly Joke Of The Day

678 – Moolah, Clams, and Scratch. God, Godsend, and Godfather by Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Episode 5: Mario – Yo’ster’s Story by Hidden Pixels Podcast

Comics

Green Lantern #30 (New 52) by DC Comics

Back in Time | Superman #10 Review by Fortress of Solitude

Shazam! (2018-) #1 by DC Comics

Everything Else

Game Theory: How to WIN the Mr Beast $100,000 Challenge! by The Game Theorists

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 – Part 4 – The Tinkerer Boss Fight! by Blitzwinger

Dreams – Dream Surfing – Cats + Dogs (Early Access) by stampylonghead

Say My Name | SHAZAM! Review

Reviews are my opinion. Spoiler alert.

Holy Moly! The SHAZAM! movie is finally out, and it was awesome.

I do have to agree with other reviews that the beginning was kind of slow and awkward. If you know the origins of Shazam, the opening can be a little long; but if you don’t, you might see it as more interesting. But once Billy get’s on the subway train…heh, heh, the fun begins.

They did a really good job balancing the movie. It wasn’t too dark/serious and not too comical/silly. You had some serious, emotional moments–and some intense moments–layered with some humor.

The Shazam costume looked a lot like it does it in the comics. It almost looked like it was taken right off the page. I mean, there were some differences but not enough to really matter. I liked how they went with the bright red instead of trying to make it a dark red or muted red.

The acting was well done. The actors seemed to get along; they seemed to know their character and how they would react. Nothing seemed forced or unnatural. Zachary Levi did an excellent job of pretending to be a 14-year-old in an adult’s body. Sometimes when they have those “age shift” movies, the actor acts too silly and comes off as acting younger than the age they are supposed to be. For instance, they are supposed to be a 14-year-old but the adult actor acts more like a 6-year-old.

Rating GuideI did have a problem with how when Billy was Billy he was serious and kind of mopey; but when he was Shazam, he was a little more immature and kid-like. It seemed like an awkward unexplained shift. I can kind of give it a pass because he is hanging out with Freddy. When you’re hanging out with friends, especially when you’ve been on your own like Billy had been, you let loose. Plus, as Shazam, he was a powerful adult thus probably feeling more like he could let down his defenses.

All the Easter Eggs also made the movie enjoyable, like the nod to the movie Big at the toy store or the Mr. Mind reveal. Also John Glover, who played Lex Luthor’s father on Smallville, plays Sivana’s father. In the Shazam! movie, Sivana’s father is a wealthy jerk…just like Lex’s father. Sivana is a bald genius. Lex is also a bald genius.

Finally, I liked that Freddy and Billy never came up with a superhero name. They go through hundreds of names but never settle on one. It was a nice nod to the comics where Billy’s hero name is a little unclear. Is it Captain Marvel? Is it Shazam? Is it just Billy?

I had a hard time finding things wrong with it. I’d really like to see it again and use more critical thinking. I don’t think it was a perfect movie, but it was pretty close. If DC can continue this balance of serious and humor–don’t have the movies be kiddy-goofy but also don’t make them apocalyptic-gloomy either, I think their movie future will be bright. 4.98/5

Other SHAZAM! related videos–contains spoilers.

Shazam! End Credits Scene Explained (SPOILERS!) by IGN

Shazam!’s Big DC Superhero Cameo Revealed by IGN


Sparks of Rebellion is available for preorder. It releases April 19, 2019.

Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Walmart eBooks, and more.

Recommended #18

The following are my opinion and do not reflect the opinion of any organization or person.

Comics

Amazing Spider-Man #15 (Caped-Joel review video)

Venom #11 (Caped-Joel review video)

Miles Morales Spider-Man #3 (Caped-Joel review video)

YouTube Videos

JAZZA INVADES ART WEBSITES to UNITE THEM against T-SERIES by Draw with Jazza

Jason Inman on Kickstarter marketing by Dreamer Comics Highlights

Movies & Shows

Fire Force Teaser Trailer (Soul Eater Creator)-English Sub by IGN

Project Blue Book History Channel

Books

Wolf, the explorer #0.5 (Karabas in Old Turkey) by Leen Lefebre

Recommended #12

Some more recommendations you might enjoy. The following are my opinion and do not reflect any organization or person.

DC Comics

Young Justice #2

The Adventures of the Super Sons #6

Action Comics #1007

Justice League Annual (2019) #1

Heroes In Crisis #5

Justice League #16

Justice League #17

These are available wherever DC Comics books are sold, such as Barnes & Noble or Amazon. If you’re looking for reviews of these and many others comic stories, you can check out the Caped-Joel YouTube channel.

Lights Out|Side Quest

Zzzttt-wah-MMMmmm…

One by one the lights went off. Within minutes the city went dark. Everything started to shut down from the holo-boards advertising the new diet soda to the residential holo-screens playing the sixtieth season of The North Wilbertons. The VirtNet and Internet went down in seconds. A few moments later, vehicles started to shut down…except for one ion-mag lev commuter train…that one was just running out of control.

I needed to take care of the runaway quick—not just because there was a group of citizens aboard or that the train would soon derail and destroy a couple city blocks but because I needed to get to the power station and put a stop to the one behind this power out.

Luckily, my Dog Toys (aka gadgets) operate on a different system, so the Dogfighter was still operational. I positioned the advanced fighter jet ahead of the runaway.

“Dogboy,” Brain said via the Dog Whistle communication system. “SPOT just scanned the train; it was hacked. This is a distraction.”

“Well, it’s a pretty good one,” I said. I flipped a switch. The Dogfighter sprayed a foam-like substance along the tracks. It would slow the train while also keeping it from derailing.

A second after I finished coating the tracks, the train ran over the foam. The train itself, thanks to magnetic levitation, hovers over the tracks. The foam is designed to lessen that connection so that the train slows but not cause it fall to the ground. The train jerked and moaned like someone who’d been at the gym too long. It slowed some, but I could tell it wouldn’t be enough.

I flew the jet ahead of the oncoming train and jumped out. I landed with a heroic thud. I braced for impact with the train while holding my paw-like hands out in front of me.

WHAM!

The claws on my paw-like feet dug into the rails. Sparks jumped around me as the claws tried to find purchase in the rails. My purple cape folded around me like a cocoon as I pushed against the train. Two handprints began to form in the train’s front. I pushed against the train, pouring on my telekinetic power. I could feel the phantasmic energy flowing out of me and down through the train. I groaned.

Finally, the train began to slow.

Thanks to the foam and my push, the train finally came to rest. I panted, my tongue almost reaching the ground. The passengers and workers shouted out thanks as the Dogfighter angled to pick me up. With a leap, I soon was back in the cockpit.

“Now for Terabyte,” I said.

***

When I arrived, Terabyte was having a fun time blasting transformers. Machine bits sprayed everywhere and plumes of fire reached high into the sky. I jumped down behind the cybernetic villain.

Without turning, the villain in yellow, said, “Well, well, well. Look who’s here. Next time I’ll sabotage two trains.”

“End this now, Terabyte, before someone gets hurt,” I demanded with a swipe of my arm.

He turned slowly towards me. His body crackled and glowed with energy. “But, Dogboy…that’s the whole point. Humanity’s time is over. It is time for the Digitrons to rule. It is only natural: the son always replaces the father. Humanity created us; now we will rule.” Terabyte spread his fingers. Arcs of electricity danced between his fingers. “Besides, it serves them right for imprisoning me.”

“Then I’ll stop you.” I thrust out my hand, launching a blast of telekinetic power at him.

Nothing happened.

“Uh-oh,” said Terabyte with a sneer. “Someone’s running on empty.” Terabyte moved his hand before him like some Tai Chi student. A lightning ball began to form in his hand. “Fortunately…I just ate.” He lobbed the ball at me.

ZZZzzttt…BOOOM!

I spiraled through the air like a toy shot out of a cannon. I crash landed into the side of a transformer with my back. I left a small dent. As I tried to stand, electrical wires wrapped around me.

I fruitlessly struggled against the wires. Terabyte laughed mercilessly as he hovered into the air. Electricity shot all around us.

“With you out of the way,” Terabyte monologued, “this city will be helpless against my army.”

“What makes you think I’ll be ‘out of the way’?”

“Because you have no power to stop me.”

“Really?” I relaxed my arms and chest. Earlier as the wires wrapped around me, I puffed up my chest and arms in order to be larger than I was. By relaxing, the wires loosened enough for me to use my claws to cut myself free.

Terabyte yelled in frustration before firing a lightning bolt at me. I managed to dodge and summon one of my Dog Toy gadgets. It looked like a tennis ball but was really an explosive.

I tossed the ball at Terabyte. He, of course, blasted it in order to make it explode early. He was momentarily blinded by the flash and by the resulting smoke. In that moment, I summoned another tennis bomb from my belt and tossed it. This one did connect and Terabyte fell to the earth. While he was recovering, I ordered my belt to print up a superpower suppression dog collar. Just as Terabyte was standing, I jumped at his chest, knocking us to the ground. After a brief struggle, I snapped the collar around his neck and his powers faded.

With Terabyte under control, the workers were able to move on the scene and began repair work. Within a matter of minutes, power was restored to the city. Not long after that the authorities arrived for Terabyte.

“You can’t stop us!” shouted Terabyte. “One day this world will belong to us!”

I rolled my eyes. “Super-villains.”

________________

Joe Rover eBooks are available at most online retailers.