Let’s Read #3

Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Peña–Chapters 8-12. I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

I’ve really been enjoying how Peña balances the action with slower moments. For instance, there is the part where Clark stops some thieves then he has a brief emotional moment with his father then he’s relaxing at a party with friends. There are very few, if any, boring moments. The moments that would normally be boring are also interesting because you see more of the mystery or more of Clark’s character.

Speaking of mystery, I enjoy how the investigation part of the mystery feels like a real investigation story. For a moment, it seemed almost like I had stopped reading a fantasy/superhero story and started reading a mystery/crime novel.

I did have to sigh and roll my eyes when Clark’s super-hearing gave out just as someone was going to say something important. But, I did like how it showed that he didn’t have full control over his powers and that they could give out on him–it added some suspense.

It was also nice to see the plot of the missing people start to take the spotlight. So far, it has just been hinted at or treated as a B Plot. I like how there seems to be a connection between someone buying up farmland and the missing persons, but it still makes you wonder if they really aren’t connected–maybe there are two villains in town.

So, what do you think? Why do you think people are missing? Why does it seem to be only immigrants? Is it all connected to Clark and that he’s an alien or is that just to throw us off and the real reason is a twist? My working theory is that someone knows an alien landed in Smallville so they are rounding up any strangers to try and find the alien. Tell me your theories in the comments.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


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File X-001 | Dogboy Reborn Side Quests

Incoming Message

Kkktt!!

This is Captain Stone of the International League of Super-Transbeings. The date is May 16, 2003. We have just received the following message.

Series of text messages sent from Unknown on July 10, 2019

Unknown: It’s all a lie.

Unknown: Ten years ago extraterrestrial life invaded Earth. That part is true.

Unknown: It is also true that the battle was over in three days.

Unknown: But it wasn’t the aliens that were victorious. Earth won that day.

Unknown: The governments saw this as an opportunity. War, famine, crime, violence, hate, climate change, and terrorism were all on the rise.

Unknown: They saw a chance to change all that. The drones, the ships–those are controlled by the Earth Unity Federation pilots. The few aliens we see on patrol are really Earth Unity Federation military units.

Unknown: The EUF scavenged the technology left by the aliens. They pretended to be the aliens. They created the peace treaty in order to set up new restrictions and have the aliens as the scapegoats.

Unknown: The aliens haven’t been on the Earth since July 6, 2009. It’s all been a ruse to keep us in check.

Addendum: It is now July 10, 2009. The alien invaders did arrive as predicted by the message. We, however, were able to intercept them before reaching Earth.

The Citizens remain unaware of any supernatural presence.

Kkkktt!!


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Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

International League of Super-Transbeings, Dogboy, and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

Avengers: Endgame | Review (Spoilers)

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Over the weekend I saw Avengers: Endgame. I had a hard time figuring out what I thought about it. There was discontent between my writer brain and my fanboy brain.

As a movie, Endgame was pretty good. The action scenes were well done. There was a nice balance between humor and emotional scenes.

I did have a problem with how Old Man Cap was able to arrive in present day Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to the movie, if you remove (or add) something to the timeline, a new parallel timeline is created. If Captain America stayed in the past, it should have created an alternate present and he’d just stayed in that timeline. Some might say that he used the “time GPS” to return but then he should have appeared on the platform.

It also disturbed me that all the returned people were now five years behind everyone else. Ant-Man ended up missing five years of his daughter’s life.

img_2674Then there was the ending. As a writer, the ending was OK. I knew from how Marvel set up the world’s rules and the characters that someone had to die. But, as a fan, I wanted Iron Man to live and just retire with Pepper and his daughter. I know. This ending is more realistic. The hero had to sacrifice to return everyone. Etc.

Also, I felt like it ended with more questions than answers. For example, what about Loki stealing the tesseract. Sure, the tesseract from 1970 was return thus resetting the timeline but Loki still stole it after the New York invasion. The Avengers never returned that tesseract. And if Old Man Steve managed to rejoin the MCU timeline, does that mean tesseract Loki will eventually catch up too? Thor joined the Guardians of the Galaxy–does that mean Loki will show up as the villain in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3?

The reason I became interested in superheroes is because they offer hope. Life has its problems–illness, injury, loss of a job, and so on. In the superhero world, there is the villain that causes problems. The hero does suffer and sacrifice but eventually wins. They show that no matter how bleak things get eventually it gets better.

Life is sad enough without it being thrown back at us at the movies. Sometimes you want to go to the movies to escape. You want the good guys to win and there be a happy ending.

It also felt like the crew had changed the movie to please the “trends and trolls.” When the MCU started, the movies were more lighthearted, but then people kept saying, “None of the characters die,” and “Time travel? Ugh, lame.” It seemed like things were different in Endgame–even Captain Marvel and the new Spider-Man movie seem to lean more towards how the movies were at first.

But then I realized that I was troll-feeding in my writing. I was changing the story to try to get more views or reads. I kept trying to fit the story to the wants of others instead of telling the story I wanted. I mean, you do need to compromise some–like changing something because your readers are confused, but the problem comes when you change the core of the work. If you start changing what made your work special in the first place, it starts to fall apart.

I also realized part of this discontent was a fear that the following movies would follow suit. I was worried that the rest would be all gloomy. I also realized that part of the problem was that I’m getting superhero fatigue. On my way home, I noticed that Captain Marvel was still playing at the theater. There were two superhero movies from Marvel at the theater. Take a breather now and then, Marvel.

I also suffered real fatigue. The movie was just too long. It needed to be about 30 minutes sorter…maybe 15.

Finally, I remembered that Endgame was like a series finale. It was the moment to say “good-bye” to all the characters you’ve gotten to know over the last 10 years. It was supposed to be sad. Also, Endgame was the culmination of 10 years of build-up, it needed to live up to the hype.

So, there were a few problems, like plot inconsistencies and an ending I didn’t enjoy, but as a movie…it was pretty good–I really enjoyed it up until the ending. The acting was well done as were the effects. You cheered when certain moments happened and you cried at other moments. I also enjoyed how the movie did what movies should do–make you think and make you feel. After the movie, I kept trying to figure out why I felt “out of sorts” about it.

I have to give the Avengers: Endgame a 4/5 and a 3/5. It was good from a movie perspective, but not so much from just my personal preferences–I’d much rather Tony live and retire and have the time skip to have only been a couple months to a year.

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Sparks of Rebellion has been released!

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Avengers: Endgame | Rant

Today’s rant is brought to you by Avengers: Endgame (not really though–it’s just a gag)

At first, I found it ironically funny when I heard about people lining up for the latest Marvel movie days in advance or when I saw someone wearing an Avengers t-shirt.

When I was younger, I read comics, wore superhero t-shirts, and had other Marvel/DC merch. And everyone, and I mean everyone, would pick on me. I was called a geek or freak. I was told I was lower than pond scum. I was called a monster, an alien, and a few not so nice things.

Teachers and everyone would say I couldn’t read because I read comic books, sci-fi, and fantasy. Even though I would be sitting there reading War of the Worlds or Lord of the Rings, everyone would be like, “Pfft, he can’t read. He stupid.” Even though I got straight A’s and was in the top ten percentile in mathematics for the nation.

If I said my favorite show was Batman The Animated Series, I’d get all sorts of name-calling. For years, I thought I was the only person on the planet who liked the show.

So when people started talking about how awesome Marvel movies where or that Batman The Animated Series was a great show, I was like “Whaaaaat?” Then I found out about a thing called Comic-Con. I thought, “There are other weirdos like me out there?” It felt like I’d just discovered extraterrestrial intelligent life. I was close to running down the streets shouting, “I’m not an alien! I’m not an alien!”

At first, I figured everyone was liking Marvel movies because that was the latest “thing.” Just like how everyone suddenly liked wizards after Harry Potter or vampires after Twilight. But I slowly began to realize that they were “True Believers.” They were geeks!

But…why had I been so ostracized for liking fantasy back when I was younger? For years, I seriously thought that books like The Time Machine and Around the World in 80 Days were considered garbage by society–because that’s what people (including teachers) told me. I never suspected them to be classics. If so many people liked fantasy and sci-fi, how had I been a freak?

Finally, I figured it out. It wasn’t the genres; it’d been me. The bullies didn’t think I was stupid. They knew I was smart–smarter than them in most cases. I also didn’t go around bragging about being smart. Finally, it was because I did wear the novelty t-shirts–publicly. I let my geek flag fly. I wore what I liked, not what was cool or “in.” They were closet geeks while I was proud of my pocket protector (symbolically of course, I never wore a pocket protector).

That’s probably why Harry Potter, the MCU, Fortnite (and other video games) and so on are so popular–people can publicly “nerd out.” It took me years to figure out why everyone loved Harry Potter and what was so special about it; it was the “first” time it was socially acceptable to be a freak. Forget your Inner Child, people could let out their Inner Nerd!

So thank you Marvel Cinematic Universe for bringing us all together and showing us that we are all indeed…nerds.

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Sparks of Rebellion has been released!

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

Recommended #16

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

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