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Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

“The Strain” Season 2 Teaser

One of my must-see tv shows is The Strain  on FX.

The Strain is based on the novels created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan and explores the idea of a vampire apocalypse.

Be advised: These are not your parent’s or your daughter’s vampires.  They aren’t dark, brooding or romantic and they sure don’t sparkle.

Z-View: Winter World #2 by Dixon & Guice from IDW

Winter World created by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino.

Winter World #2 published by IDW Publishing.

Writer: Chuck Dixon

Artist: Butch Guice

Colorist: Diego Rodriguez

Letterer: Robbie Robbins

 

The saga of Scully and Wynn continues as they search for a fabled village by the sea where rumors tell of a warm heaven in this cold hell. Wynn is still in search of her parents and the village of La Niña may be the place they were heading when she was abandoned as a child. Scully just wants to find enough fuel to keep their new vehicle on the move. But will they find death at the end of the icy road?

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • Chuck Dixon continues to write a story that moves.
  • Butch Guice’s art coupled with Diego Rodriguez’s colors is as Burgess Meredith would say, “a ting of beauty!”
  • Wynn is a kid who has had to grow up too fast and Dixon never loses sight of that.

The Bad:

  • I was expecting more action at the canal crossing, but Dixon is good at keeping us guessing.
  • Stepping into a trip wire when you’re sneaking in a place.
  • “The man is of no use to us.  We might use the girl…”

The Ugly:

  • “Scully tell me you have a plan.  I want to hear it.  I bet it’s good.”  “Sorry.  I’m so very sorry Wynn.”

 

Winter World #2 is for mature readers due to violence.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Z-View: Winter World #1 by Dixon & Guice from IDW

Winter World created by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino.

Winter World  #1 published by IDW Publishing.

Writer: Chuck Dixon

Artist: Butch Guice

Colorist: Diego Rodriguez

Letterer: Robbie Robbins

 

Winter is coming early! All new stories based on the Chuck Dixon/Jorge Zaffino classic! The apocalyptic international comics sensation of an Earth turned to an icy hell is back with Dixon returning to script and Butch Guice doing some of the best work of his illustrious artistic career as they take on the bleak and frozen future. Follow Scully and Wynn from their icy home of Wintersea into a killing wasteland where the coldest place is the human heart.

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • The writing by Chuck Dixon is on point.
  • Butch Guice’s art has never looked better.
  • Diego Rodriguez’s colors enhance the art without being showy.

The Bad:

  • “No one remembers not being hungry.  Not being cold.”
  • “The motor is cooked.”
  • The attack at the bottom of page 17 is beautiful to look at and scary as anything you can imagine.
  • “Here comes the dead end I was talking about.”

The Ugly:

  • “We’re on fire, Scully.”

 

Winter World  #1  is for readers twelve and up due to some violence.  It should appeal to fans of Mad Max, Apocalyptic movies, and lovers of great art and writing.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Z-View: “The Quiet Ones”

The Tagline:  Something unspeakable is happening to Jane Harper.

The Overview:   *** Beware –  spoilers are found below ***

The Quiet Ones is based on real events (yeah, right) which took place in 1974 when a college professor along with three of his students studied a young girl named Jane in an effort to explain away her supposed supernatural powers.

Jane has no memory of her past, no family and believes she is possessed by a spirit named Evey.  Evey sometimes lives in a doll.  Perhaps Jane has telekinetic powers.  Maybe it is the thing that possess her.  Either way one of them is a firestarter.  The professor plans to explain things scientifically and also to get Jane to push the evil possessing her into a doll which they can then destroy.  How does he plan to do this?  By depriving Jane of sleep.

At this point it doesn’t matter because most of the audience is already snoring.

*** Even More Spoilers Below ***

The Good

  • Olivia Cooke who plays Jane.

The Bad:

  • The story is a jumbled mess.
  • No real scares.
  • No real characters to root for… not even Jane.

The Ugly:

  • The feeling you have after watching The Quiet Ones.

 

Rating: 1 out of 5

 

 

Z-View: Deep State #1 by Justin Jordan and Ariela Kristantina

Deep State is an on-going series created by Justin Jordan published by Boom Studios.

Writer: Justin Jordan

Artist: Ariela Kristantina

Colorist: Ben Wilsonham

Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

John Harrow doesn’t exist, and his job is to make sure that other things don’t exist, too. At any given time, the government is running dozens of black book operations, experiments that aren’t on any official record and are never acknowledged to exist. Some of these are innocuous. Some of them are monstrous beyond reason. And most of the time, they go as expected and the public is never the wiser. Most of the time. John Harrow’s job is to handle them when things go wrong, and do anything to make sure the government’s secrets stay just that-secret.

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

The Good

  • Kristantina’s art really grew on me.  I thought Wilsonham’s colors worked well.
  • “I can tell you who killed JFK.  I can tell you what really causes cow mutilations.  I can show you what Tesla’s last project was, before we made him insane.”
  • Jordan provides back-story while at the same time moving the story forward so that we don’t have the feeling of being bogged down with exposition.

The Bad:

  • What happened to the first astronauts [and they weren’t American] to land on the moon.
  • Answering the door late at night to find a “Russian” Cosmonaut wanting in.

The Ugly:

  • What happens when the Cosmonaut reaches out to touch someone.

 

Deep State #1 should appeal to fans of The X-Files and the Twilight Zone.  I’ll be back for more!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Z-View: Code Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Code Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel by Jonathan Maberry.

 

For years the Department of Military Sciences has fought to stop terrorists from using radical bioweapons—designer plagues, weaponized pathogens, genetically modified viruses, and even the zombie plague that first brought Ledger into the DMS. These terrible weapons have been locked away in the world’s most secure facility. Until now. Joe Ledger and Echo Team are scrambled when a highly elite team of killers breaks the unbreakable security and steals the world’s most dangerous weapons. Within days there are outbreaks of mass slaughter and murderous insanity across the American heartland. Can Joe Ledger stop a brilliant and devious master criminal from turning the Land of the Free into a land of the dead?

 

The Good

  • Jonathan Maberry can tell a story!
  • Like all Joe Ledger novels this baby sucks you in and then never lets up.
  • The cast: Joe Ledger, Mr. Church, Samson Riggs, Aunt Sallie, Dr. Hu, Junie, and others — not only do they get their scenes but every character gets enough backstory to feel real.
  • We lose characters in every Ledger story – the losses hurt because of the great characterization and because Maberry creates a world where the good guys don’t always come out on top.  When someone is killed the loss is not only felt but can have ramifications throughout the series.
  • Maberry isn’t afraid to create a villain that is smarter than everyone.
  • A major scene unfolds at DragonCon.
  • Maberry creates a universe where events have ramifications felt throughout the world but he never loses sight of his plot and the writing never feels padded.
  • The scene when a team member is bit by a zombie, his suit torn and another team member points his rifle and demands to see the bite… tension, terror and sadness!
  • A villain with a unique motivation that doesn’t involve money, world domination or revenge.
  • The way Ledger turns a loss into a win.

The Bad:

  • Mother Night.
  • Zombies.
  • Berserkers.
  • Those that have to “burn to shine.”
  • Vice President, Bill Collins.
  • Artemisia Bliss.
  • The people close to Ledger who die this time out…

The Ugly:

  • What happens when Mother Night’s followers “burn to shine.”
  • Getting bitten by a zombie or attacked by a Berserker.
  • Trapped on a stalled subway car with one zombie, then two, then four…
  • Did I mention the people close to Ledger who die this time?

 Code Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel is for mature audiences due to excessive violence and sexual situations. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Interview with President’s Vampire Author Chris Farnsworth

Chris Farnsworth, the author of the excellent Nathaniel Cade series about a vampire secret agent of sorts… well, here’s how Fransworth describes Cade

Turned into a blood-drinking abomination in 1867, Nathaniel Cade was offered a choice by President Andrew Johnson: serve the United States, or end his unnatural existence. Cade has served every president since, he is the most closely guarded of White House secrets: a superhuman covert agent who is the last line of defense against the nightmares that threaten the American dream.

If like me you’ve read and enjoyed all of the Nathaniel Cade novels you’ll probably get a kick out of Interviewing Authors interview with Chris Farnsworth which you can read or listen to.

Blood Oath [Nathanel Cade Book 1]

The President’s Vampire [Nathaniel Cade Book 2]

Red, White and Blood [Nathaniel Cade Book 3]

The Burning Men [A Nathaniel Cade Story]

Behind The Scenes With Ray Harryhausen And His Special Effects Models

Mighty  Joe  Young.   The  Beast  From 20,000 Fathoms.   20  Million  Miles  to  Earth.   The  7th  Voyage of Sinbad.   Jason  and  the  Argonauts.   The Valley  of  Gwangi.   The  Clash  of  the  Titans.

If these movies take you back to your childhood, you’ll get a kick out of i09’s   Behind The Scenes With Ray Harryhausen And His Special Effects Models.