The Daily Debater(Back in Business!!)

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Issue #86

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Callouts

We're happy to include one of Wyldsong's Indy Side articles for the first time this week, with hopefully more to come in future issues!

Battle Threads of the Week

Provided by @emperorthanos-

MCU vs. Fox

A massive battle between the heroes of the MCU and the LA characters from the Foxverse. On the MCU side you have a few of the Avengers alongside Thanos while on the Fox side you have some of the most powerful Mutants teaming up with 2 members of the Fantastic 4 and their villain Silver Surfer. The battle consists of two rounds with the second being more debated while the first seems to be unanimously be in the Fox Teams favor. @easternglider

616 Thor vs CW Flash

Comic characters facing of Live Action characters is actually quite rare on CV and usually reserved for street level but here we have 616 Thor taking on the CW version of Flash. It seems CW Flash has gotten quite the boost recently and is now being pitted against a Comic High Tier. While Thor is notorious for being very slow, Flash is facing an opponent far stronger and tougher than almost anyone he has come up against. He may the speed advantage but does he have what it takes to bring the God of Thunder down. @stealthgrey

Darth Vader Vs Darth Maul & Asajj Ventress

This week's Star Wars battle see Darth Vader return but instead of facing Jedi Masters, he faces team consisting of another member of the Sith and Sith disciple. Vader has faced them both in the past either as his current self or during his day as Anakin Skywalker, but does he have what it takes to take them both at the same time. @hype2

Madara vs Aizen vs Demon King vs Zeref vs Blackbeard

A battle between some of biggest villains in Shonen. These 5 come from arguably the 5 most people popular mid tier shonen verses right now. They have all been pitted against each other at some point or the other but how would they do in a battle royal. For this battle stats have been equalized so its test of who has the best abilities and counters to one another. There doesn't seem to be a consensus yet with people making a case for every character as well as a few memes tossed in.@wot_m8

CAVs

Provided by @professorrespect

2020 High Tier Festival RD 1: EmperorThanos vs MaestroMage

It’s an old matchup been done dozens of times: a (mostly) weeb team vs a purely comic based squad. In terms of planning, both teams are also quite the opposite, given how Maestro has a unique hax based roster, while ET has a pretty standard high stat level duo. It’s an interesting debate with some very underutilized characters getting a spotlight here and two capable debaters making some good, concise arguments. @emperorthanos-@maestromage

2020 High Tier Festival RD 1: MajinBlackheart vs ScarletWiccan

Another match from the same tourney, but it’s a pretty solid debate so it’s an exception here, lol. A well-established debater goes up against a relatively new user in a standard comic matchup that’s relatively easy to read through and it’s open for voting now, so there isn’t an excuse not to at least try to vote. It’s a fun debate and a nice CaV return for Majin.@majinblackheart@scarlet_wiccan

MCU Army CaV: Thanos (SupremeG) Vs Asgard (ANTHP)

A unique thread showcasing not characters or teams going against each other, but entire established civilisations: which is extremely rare to see, which makes this an interesting debate from the get-go. The debate in itself is within the early stages and there’s only one proper post on, but eh, it’s still going at a steady pace and most CaV’s are quite slow anyway. It’s a solid read and a novel concept almost never pulled out, so it’s very much worth keeping a eye on.@supremegeneration@anthp2000

Comic News

Provided by @owie

Coronavirus hits Fandom

The biggest news is that the Coronavirus has affected fandom in a variety of ways.

Emerald City Comic Con has been postponed until the summer. A variety of smaller cons like Genericon in Rochester have been canceled, and other non-comics pop culture events like South by Southwest have been canceled too. Honestly I just got back from C2E2 last weekend, and I'm super-glad it went on without a hitch. My sympathies for anyone whose travel plans have been screwed up by this.

The new James Bond, No Time to Die, has been postponed until the fall due to concerns about box office effects from the epidemic.

So while there are many more reasons why we might want this virus to end soon, a healthy schedule of cons and comic movies is certainly one more reason to want it to get it under control ASAP!

Marvel Has a Cookbook of Marvel-themed Recipes

This is a different kind of news than what you might normally be looking for, but I think it's fun. Marvel is publishing a cookbook that has recipes for things like Green Goblin Pumpkin Bombs. The promo page has the full recipes for Phoenix's Hot Chicken and Egg Oyakodon and Nova Space-Cop Donuts! It comes out on July 28.

Star Wars Is Releasing Several High Republic Projects

Star Wars is putting out a number of projects across multiple media formats related to the High Republic, the era a few hundred years before the original movie trilogy. These will include books and comics (from both Marvel and IDW) aimed at multiple ages groups, including authors such as Charles Soule, who has been very involved in Marvel's Star Wars comics. The concept is based around the idea of what scares the Jedi at the apex of their power? The answer, apparently, is the Nihil, a pirate-like group.

Upcoming Movies: Bloodshot and New Mutants

Bloodshot is coming out this Friday, March 13. Starring Vin Diesel, it looks like it will lean heavily on his nanites and the way the government controls his perceptions. I'm always happy to see comic movies from outside the Big Two. Check out this interview with Valiant's Publisher, Fred Pierce.

The New Mutants is finally coming out on April 3, as the last gasp from Fox's X-men franchise before Marvel takes over. This movie has been postponed multiple times and was originally going to have some reshoots, but apparently that never happened, and now they're just putting it out. The movie is basically supposed to be taking a horror approach to the superhero world, so it's surprising that it's going to be PG-13 instead of R. Still, it will be interesting to see how they treat some of the classic New Mutants characters in this context.

The Indie Side

provided by @wyldsong

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And here we are again, the segment that none of you asked for, but are getting anyways...another Indie Side for your viewing pleasure or possibly displeasure!!! In case you missed them, you can find the other two here and here. This time around, I have another series review for you. Just another little taste of indie goodness from a creator not too far from my own hometown. We are going to talk about Lili: The Demoness by Luis Torres. A little blurb about Mr. Torres from his bio on Kickstarter:

All the time I tell myself, "yea I'll do it when I'm in a better spot financially" or "I'm going to wait on doing that until "this challenge" is over". I've come to the conclusion that all life is is a bunch of challenges and obstacles thrown at you. Good and bad things happen all the time and never seem to stop. I don't want to use everyday "life" as an excuse not to try and accomplish some of these things that I've been put off. Next thing you know you're old and haven't tried a dang thing.

So I decided to bite the bullet, I created Codex Entertainment llc and started putting out indie comic projects. With any luck I'll hit the goals.

Now, most of you that know me and my debating habits, are going to take one look at this character and think, "Yup, this is right up Wyldsong's alley", and you would be right. Though to be fair, the book itself has roots in horror and christian mythos, which are also both right up my alley, so there=P

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I fricking love this cover...but I digress. My interactions with Mr. Torres are few, but he has been a stand-up guy in our messages. I came on board for Lili's tale as the issue number 3 Kickstarter campaign was gearing up. I sent him a PM asking where I could find issues 1 and 2 in digital format, as I wanted to get the full story before just diving in late in the series. He told me that if I made a pledge in good faith, that he would send me pdf's of the first two issues, which I did and he then followed through on his promise. So let's talk a little about the books...

The Premise

In the creator of the books own words:

Follow the Demoness Lili Ardat, one of the fallen angels cast out of Heaven with the Angel Lucifer after losing the "Great War" with the Divine.

At her side is Madame Grace Cervantes, psychic extraordinaire. The duo battles damned souls and demonic entities in the hopes to gain absolution for Lili so that she may one day re-enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Of course, I am also going to share a few snippets of pages and artwork from the three books, just so you have an idea of what you are getting into should you decide to drop some hard earned bucks on these works:

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Now, let me throw out there, that this is not a heavy handed, bible thumping kind of thing. Don't let the subject matter scare you away. There is action, violence, busty babes and so forth to be had in this book. Lili is a demon after all, and the path she is taking for her redemption is a very rocky one...let's just say that she hasn't quite gotten the hang of the whole forgiveness aspect of the bible yet, and leans more towards violence and a bit of mayhem.

As always, my aim here with these reviews isn't to just write a warm and fuzzy piece of feel good fluff to try and convince you to buy these indie books, which I do kind of want you to do. My aim here is to offer my truthful thoughts on the work overall and offer up helpful critiques on them, without beating down the creators and ripping their hard work to pieces. My aim is to help get the word out, and help these creators grow in their art. With that said, I am having a hard time finding a whole lot to critique here, at least as far as the story and quality of the book goes.

Let's get through this breakdown, and see what we can find...if anything.

The Breakdown

Some books take a long, circuitous route into getting into the meat of the story. Often you will go several issues before getting the full picture of what is going on. This can sometimes be good, and sometimes can be a long, drawn out, painful process. The good news here, the story jumps right into the action, with Lucifer's rebellion in Heaven, Lili's servitude as the right hand of Lucifer, and her search for a powerful weapon of sorts in the form of a jewel, the "Tears of the Father". We also get to see her make the choice to deny Lucifer a weapon that would undo all of creation, and instead has a change of heart, shattering the jewel, collecting the pieces, and escaping Hell.

Here is what I love about this book, from the onset of issue number one, Lili is shown to be a flawed hero. In fact, she is more of the anti-hero archetype, considering that while she has a yearning to go back home to Heaven, she still pretty much has no love for humanity. Her moral compass, at least when it comes to mankind, is a little shaky. She has no qualms with killing without hesitation, and of the many ways she could use to recharge her powers, she chooses to drain the lifeforce of a human through sexual intercourse, which kills her victim. So, there are adult themes in this book, though no direct nude shots...you have been warned. The prudes among you, this book is not for you. All of that said, we can see that she will have a lot to overcome in her adventures.

And while she has no love for humans, you do get to see a deep yearning to return to god's good graces and her wanting to return home. In fact, in issue 2, she stops a gang from beating a dog to death, killing a few of them, then heals the dog. After healing the dying pooch, she tells Grace about the creation of dogs and their closeness to god while hugging the revived animal. Like I said, she is a somewhat complicated character, and even in only three issues, you do get to see some slight growth in the character. Like in issue 3, Lili decides to get involved with an insane and abusive grandmother and the grandchildren left in her charge. With the death of the granddaughter due to the grandmother's abusive ways, Lili helps lead the child's soul to her guardian angel. She then later finds the grandmother, and takes vengeance for the child's death in a gruesome manner.

Right now story wise, my only question is about the armor and weapons she finds in the altar at the abandoned church (issue #1). Is this a thing? I'm not catholic, so I don't really know what the deal is there=P

Beyond a minor story nitpick, I am honestly having a hard time finding something to critique. The artwork is crisp and clean, and there never was a time where I was questioning what was happening. The art style and coloring used in the book may be a mixed bag for some. I really have no issues with it, since I enjoy a variety of styles from Erik Larsen to Kevin Eastman to Todd McFarlane, and more. Overall to me, the style is reminiscent of some of the Avatar Press books like Uber or their now defunct Lady Death run. As well, there is some impressive cover art between the three books, like the one from issue 3 that I have shown above, which I am fairly enamored with.

The Bang for Your Buck

Before we get too far into this, check my article, The Small Guide to Indie Publishers, and just skip to the section on Kickstarter for a quick rundown on how that works.

So, I found my critique...it's in the tiering system. To be honest, the person I have found on Kickstarter that runs the best tiering system, is Brian Pulido with his stuff. You get a wide variety of goodies, you get a shot at a single digital copy of the book, and there is usually a digital pledge tier for pdfs of all of his books in one shot that allow a new reader to play catch up, which is what I generally look for. When I first checked out the pledge tiers for Lili, I was a little disheartened, because there was no digital pledge tier for those like me, who are just now discovering the character. There was the $6 digital tier, for a pdf of issue 3, which is about standard Kickstarter fare. Then the $15 digital tier, for a copy of issue 3, and a high resolution wallpaper and pinup jpgs.

Like I said in the beginning, he graciously offered me pdfs of books 1 & 2 for a good faith pledge, which I cannot say that I would expect him to do such every time, especially the further along we get in the series with more books to read. II would highly recommend he do at least a digital tier that allows broke newbies like myself, to play some catch up with the entire story. I paid for the $15 tier, as I felt that was a fair deal for the 3 books. And while I liked the wallpaper and the pinup, to be honest, I would have been happy with just the books. I am a simple man of simple pleasures=P

Now to be fair, there was an add on pledge tier to get physical copies of issues 1 and 2, though it was $10 per issue. You got 2 surprise goodies with each book, so there was some additional value to be had beyond just the physical books. As for the rest, there were plenty of pledge tiers, with a variety of goodies offered up for the physical pledges (pinup prints, stickers, bookmarks, tarot cards, so forth and so on). So a little something to be had for everyone for the most part.

The Interview

I thought I was going to have to hold off on this, but Mr. Torres got back to me pretty darn quickly. So if you read my last Indie Side review, then these questions will come as no real surprise. I like to get a little idea as to what is going on in their creative minds as they work, without getting into too much mind numbing detail. These are busy people, and I am very appreciative when I can get one or two words from them on a few topics. So, let's get to the Q&A segment...shall we?

What sort of music (if any) do you listen to as you write?

That is a good question. It depends on which story. For Lili it would have to be something alternative hard rock like Nine inch Nails, Coheed and Cambria or Judas Priest. For our new series, Ace & Starlet, it would be more like 90's gangster rap like Easy-E, Snoop Dogg or Cypress Hill.

There is a definitive supernatural/horror tone to your work in Lili. What are a few of your influences for this series or your writing in general?

I have always enjoyed movies, anime and video games depicting Angels and Demons. Lili began as a chapter in my original work Whispers In Necropolis. She had gotten great reviews and feedback. So i decided to expand on it. As far as the situations Lili encounters, believe it or now, I get inspiration from the news, old and new, and the ugly things people are capable of.

Do you see a definitive end in sight for the Lili series, or is this something that will be an ongoing thing for quite awhile?

At this point in time, judging by the way Lili has handled things in the issues, I don't see her reaching her goal to enter the Kingdom of Heaven anytime soon.

In Closing

And there you have it. Another review done, and another indie title I was glad to contribute money to and read.

A definite two thumbs up!

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Also, if you get a chance, check out his new Kickstarter, which I linked above, but will link here again, Ace & Starlet. Here is a little preview shot from the campaign page to wet your whistle...

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Get out there and support these indie creators!!!

Extra Credits

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ANTHP2000

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Excellent issue, thanks for the shoutout!

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Battle123axe

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Great issue as usual

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Nice Job.

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#606  Edited By Owie

Issue #87

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Callouts

***We're trying a new thing this week. We're posting the issue here in the main thread as usual, but we're also posting it in its own thread, just to make it a little more clear that a new issue has come out.***

The separate thread for this specific issue can be found here.

Battle Threads of the Week

Provided by @emperorthanos-

Ezra Scarlett vs diamond jozu

A Fairy Tail vs One Piece battle. Erza takes on Jozu. As I'm sure you have noticed with the recent battles, mid tier manga is very popular on vine and this is just another battle between two of the biggest manga verses on vine. Erza is a common character in the battle forums, definitely one of the most used FT characters if not the most. Jozu on the other hand isn't a commonly seen character from One Piece given how few appearances and showings he has compared to most. @war_monger

Thought Robot Superman vs SCP 3812

A little different from most of the battles we see on the TDD. This battle sees Thought Robot, one of the most powerful DC characters ever created take on SCP 3812. Thought Robot has been making quite a few appearances on CV off late largely due to the rise of battles between nigh-omnipotent. This time he faces a character from the SCP Foundation.@jimmiehopkins

CAVs and Tourneys

Provided by @professorrespect

CaV: MCU Thor (Defiant_Will) vs Kratos (King-Ragnar)

An interesting mix of LA/video game characters, a god killer goes up against a god, very fancy. With the first set of posts out, the debate is heating up, so go check it out if you want to see a matchup that hasn’t been done before and poses unique questions about both combatants, and how exactly each would interact with each other. @defiant_will@king-ragnar

(Open4Votes) Mid Tier Live Action Tournament- round 1- @Shade545 vs @geekryan

A typical LA matchup between two wildly different teams with drastically different tactics to win the match, this CaV is already finished, so you can read through the entire thing and be ready for voting. It’s a strong debate with twists and turns throughout, with two quite solid teams heading each other off for a victory. It’s not relatively long, and I managed to read through it pretty quick: and I don’t get to say that often, lol. @shade545@geekryan

CaV: MCU Thor (xZone) vs MCU Captain Marvel (RajjarsAlt) - Open 4 Votes

Another Thor CaV? Tis true. This one is a lot longer, but it’s a fun matchup to really prove if Thor has taken a back seat to relative newcomer Captain Marvel, or if he still has the main seat as relative powerhouse of the MCU. It’s impressive to see these two debaters go at in detail to try and find an answer. Only problem: it has no votes! Go give it a read, and see if you can make sense of this epic debate.@rajjarsalt@xzone

Respect Threads

Provided by @owie

Respect Bedovian, Intergalactic Camper and Sniper Extraordinaire

by @professorrespect, this Respect Thread is extremely short, but is also totally sweet. As ProfRespect says, "Another member of the Sinestro Corps, this time it's basically a hermit crab in space that snipes dudes. He's not that deep but he is epic, so he gets a RT." That pretty much covers it, he's a space crab that snipes folks through space. Learn all about him and feel happy.

Respect Maximus, the mad inhuman!

by @noobmaster2001. This RT shows that Maximus is a pretty good prepmaster, actually not totally bad in a physical fight, and has mind control powers to boot. All the Inhumans have some fascinating weird powers and aesthetics from Kirby's creative brainstorming, and Maximus is definitely worth checking out. Maybe they'll nerf the canonicity of the Inhumans TV show like they did to the Netflix shows, and we can get a better version of Maximus in the MCU someday.

Boba Fett Respect Thread (Canon)

by @thevivas. Boba Fett is obviously a high-profile character, but he's someone a lot of people just can't seem to get a grip on, in terms of his actual feats. It's nice to see someone take a classic like him and go back clean over his history and see what he's capable of--and in this case, sticking to purely canon feats. Plus, sweet art. And who doesn't like some sweet Boba Fett art?

Fy-Tor-Ana Respect Thread

by @fated_xtasy. In contrast to the Boba thread, here's an RT for a Star Wars character I'd never heard of, drilling down into a battery of all-text Legends sources. It's always great to find out about a new character, and while this gets into some detail, it's easily consumed in a single sitting.

Elsa (Frozen) Respect Thread

by @ubercoffeetime. Hey, I enjoy that this gets into the scripts as well as a host of GIFs. Honestly I've never seen this movie, but I like having RTs for characters that aren't your standard rough and tough macho guys. Plus, in addition to her ice powers, she can apparently make flowers :)

Battle from the Archives

Provided by @owie

This is actually a double-header. Coming from Defenders 9, which is part of the Avengers/Defenders War, which is basically about Dormammu and Loki manipulating the two teams to get a mystical artifact called...The Evil Eye. Yes, very scary. Anyway, it features great match-ups between heroes, and in the case of this issue, we got a two-fer, with Hawkeye vs Iron Man, and Dr. Strange vs Mantis and Black Panther.

Hawkeye vs Iron Man

Let's be clear, this should be a stomp of stomps. But, the archer has fought the man-in-steel multiple times, going back to Clint's first appearance. So, we just have to roll with it, and enjoy the wackiness. It starts with Iron Man in a university in Mexico, picking up part of the Evil Eye. However, Clint uses one of his sneaky arrows to (1) grab it right out of his hand and (2) boomerang back to him.

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Tony's obviously not down with that, and tries to get it back, but Hawkeye targets him right in the chest with a "blast arrow," which is, impressively, powerful enough to elicit an "ugh" from the highly-durable Avenger.

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However, Tony blasts his next arrow and then blasts Clint with a repulsor, which shockingly doesn't just flatten Clint.

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Then comes my favorite part: Hawkeye physically smacks Iron Man on the head with an acid arrow. This acid arrow is so flippin' powerful it would eat right through his helmet in "seconds"! But Iron Man thinks quick on his feet and flies off so quickly that it evaporates. Science!

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I also enjoy the fact that when Iron Man blasts Barton's next arrow, Hawkeye is shocked: "Holy cow! He disintegrated that shaft!" Because it is hard to imagine the firepower necessary to destroy a thin piece of wood?

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Anyway, Iron Man is done with this, and blasts Hawkeye up against a wall. His goal is to do it lightly enough to slowly knock Clint out, but honestly you'd think he could do it a little faster than this.

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However, you can't count out Hawkeye. He shoots upward, making it look like he lost control, but he was really aiming in a parabolic arc, and magnetically draws Stark's repulsor arm away from Clint, and towards a nearby college building. Iron Man is forced to leave the fight so he can save the folks inside, and in the meantime, Hawkeye runs off with the Evil Eye part. The archer wins! Here's the whole fight.

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In the second part of our double-header, we've got Strange vs Mantis and Panther.

That is one lopsided battle in terms of total power, but the Avengers team is one amazing streetlevel tag-team! It would be hard to come up with a pair of Marvel streetlevelers that could take them on as a pair, so this is quite a treat to see them together.

Dr. Strange gets another part of the Evil Eye from a cornfield. Mantis and Panther get there too late, and look for him at a bus stop. Impressively, Mantis's cosmic senses can pick up Strange's illusion, and she kicks him under the bus!

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However, Strange is OK and flies off. He doesn't want to fight, he's too imperturbable for that. But Panther is after him, and incredibly leaps a significant distance up onto the top of a silo, and then high above that. You can't totally tell from this image, but another earlier one makes it clear that this is a couple of really big leaps!

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Panther grapples with him in the air, and awesomely grabs his hands, and sticks his foot in Strange's mouth so he can't cast spells. But Strange has that ol' Eye of Agamotto, and zaps the Panther back to Earth. However, he doesn't want him to get hurt, so he catches him before he hits the ground, at which point Panther kicks him right in the face. Strange shows some impressive durability by not getting KOd by a clean hit from the King of Wakanda!

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They both land, and a cranky local farmer shoot at them with a shotgun. Now it's time for Mantis to shine. She speed blitzes him, clearly running from a distance away while the shot is going off, and pushing back Panther and Strange before it hits them. Then she blitzes the farmer himself, disarming him even though he's a distance away.

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Nice moves! They show why Mantis is such a formidable foe in this era.

Now Strange decides to make a crazy move--he's going to take two of Marvel's top-top-tier fighters on in close quarter combat! Hey, he did a little martial arts in the Himalayas, right? Turns out Strange is one of only 3 people to ever (at this time anyway) dodge Mantis's attacks!

Impressed, T'Challa and Mantis decide to stop messing around and use a pincers move on him.

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Strange wises up and decides that there's no reason to duke it out with hardcore fighters like this when he can just zap away their strength with a spell.

As the Panther says, he basically just had to decide to win, and then he won. An unbalanced match-up from the start, but Mantis and Panther are always capable of fighting above their weight class, so the outcome could have been different, and it was enjoyable for Strange's sort of slumming dip into martial arts.

Here's the whole thing.

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The Indie Side

provided by @wyldsong

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In these crazy times, what with pandemics and such, we could all use a little release from the real world, and enter a world of the fantastic. So here I am dropping you guys another indie series review for you to hopefully get your grimy little greasy hands on...which in today's day and age, they should be clean and spotless, using plenty of soap and being washed for at least a 20 full seconds...

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For today's review, sadly, I have no interview to go with it, as I am sure you can imagine, these creators are scrambling to work stuff out with how make a living. So I am choosing not to bug this particular creator with my silly little questions, but I am reviewing his work nonetheless, because I have loved his books so far.

I am leaving that strike out section in there, so you can see how it was originally going to go, and so you guys can see just how cool of a dude the creator of the books I am reviewing is. I had messaged him to tell him I was doing this review of his work, and knowing him to be busy, that I wouldn't bug him my silly little interview questions...well, he messaged back and graciously offered to do the interview bit. So, we will have an interview to go along with the review=)

This is one that you can currently get issue #1 on Comixology, and you can shop their books on this site, and get digital downloads...which is perfect for those in quarantine=)

Without further adieu, let's take a look at Spicy Pulp Comics by Justin Grey.

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The cover for issue 3=)

The Premise

First, a quick little blurb on Justin that comes from his site:

Welcome! I’m Justin, an author, graphic novelist, and self-publisher. Aside from writing hundreds of comics and graphic novels for some of the most iconic publishers in the industry, I have also worked as an advocate for victims of crime, a chef, a fossil hunter and a micro-photographer specializing in prehistoric insects and plants trapped in amber. Yes, like Jurassic Park only a lot less exciting. I have given seminars and exhibitions on the cleaning, mining, and identification of prehistoric insects for both the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian. I even went to Tokyo to exhibit these skills at the Japan Jewelry fair. In 2019 I was part of an Eisner Nominated and Ringo Award Winning Where We Live anthology—a riveting collection of both fictional stories and actual eye-witness accounts told by an all-star line-up of the top talent working in comics today. All the creators have graciously volunteered their time and talent to help bring some sense to this senseless act and, in the process, raise money for the survivors and their families.

For any of you that are aficionados of the old school pulp comics, you can consider these books a love letter to that style of work. At the moment, there are three glorious issues of this book, each with a "main story", that will run for more than one issue, and then a few original, self-contained short stories to fill out the rest of the book. To be honest, with the three (possibly 4 depending on Dude-Bro) main characters so far, I have found that they could hold their own in their own solo titles. So far, that doesn't seem to be coming down the pipeline anytime soon, but hopefully we get to see them more than 2-3 times in the run of these books.

Alright, let me drop some goodness from the books for you:

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I do have a warning for those of you with delicate sensibilities...there is nudity and sex in this title. To anyone that is fan of the old pulp style books, this should not be a surprise. You don't see it in every story, but in two of the main character's stories (Lady Redbeard and the Road Witch), it is definitely there. Alright, let's get to the breakdown here...

The Breakdown

Justin Grey has done a lot of work in the comics field, and it shows. These books are done with quite a bit of quality, and for an indie title, it has the look and feel of a full on professional product that you would see from any major publisher. So for critiques...I am going to be at a loss. There are some things in these books that are just going to be a matter of taste for each individual reader. The main stories are in color, and the artwork is reminiscent of the old school pulp books.

Book 1, Lady Redbeard is the star and takes up most of the book, which introduces you to the titular (**insert grade school giggling here**) character and her crew. You get a high seas pirate adventure that crosses over into sci-fi/horror, replete with sea monsters, floating high tech islands, dinosaurs, zombies...and zombie dinosaurs..hell to the yeah!!!

The back up stories for this book are standard sci-fi fair, good reads overall, but didn't really jump out and capture my attention quite like the main story. Still, worth reading with some good twists to them.

Book 2 gives us 2 main character stories, and one black and white original story. For the original story, fairly good premise, and I enjoyed the twist at the end. Don't want to ruin it for you, but it was pretty original overall. Now, this book concludes the tale of Lady Redbeard for now, which I really hope to see more of her in the future. Still, you get some sexy time action with Lady Redbeard and a hot alien girl, spider aliens, androids, space-time rifts and more. It's a bit of a wild ride, but a fun one to be sure. Plus, the ending leaves the gates wide open for more adventures with Lady Redbeard and crew. The second main character tale starts the story of Mecha Monroe. The lead character who goes by Mecha, is a scavenger in a dystopian wasteland. You get adaptable killer droids, jetpacks, rifles that fire bolts as ammo, and mechs. This is a pretty fun read, and is shaping up to be wild and crazy tale.

Now for book 3, we start with the Road Witch, which begins some years before the actual Salem witch trials. Our heroine has an encounter with a witch, and through a bit of a misadventure, ends up with that witch's evil soul entwined with hers. This one has evil baby killing witches, a kick-arse biker witch fighting evil creatures and the evil in her own soul, some sexy time with our lead character, yokai demon bikers, a bad arse looking mystical scythe, and some really good action scenes in general. This is one (along with Lady Redbeard) that I would love to see expanded into it's own series.

Next up, we have the adventures of Dude-Bro the Barbarian. I am not really sure if this story is meant to be a one-time deal, but it was pretty fricking funny. With the way it ended, I am interpreting it to be another main character sort of story, which means we have a book with three stories that should continue on into the next issue. Anyhow, it's a bit of a parody of any one of the numerous barbarian movie/video game/comic/novels that are out there. This one had me laughing out loud numerous times, with the clue-lessness of the main character, and a damsel in distress who would rather be left to fend for herself against the numerous beasts and monsters than be saved by the handsy and overly persistent "hero". While I am not sure I could envision this as an ongoing series, it was very well written, and I am looking forward to see where it goes in the next issue, if we get another chapter in this humorous tale.

The third tale continues the adventures of Mecha, and the good news is, with the ending, it looks like she will be continuing on into the next issue. She finds a mech (known as a G.E.A.R.S) from a bygone war and era, and there is a bit of a surprise twist with the mech when she awakens it...

Overall, book 1 was pretty good, book 2 kicked things up a notch, and book three, took it all to another level. Really, this is a fantastic series of books, with compelling characters and great stories. I highly recommend everyone give them a shot, and check them out.

The Bang for Your Buck

For the price you pay for these books, you are getting a ton of quality reading material. Each book is in the 50+ pages range, with book three getting up to 60+.

For the Kickstarter (and it seems the be about the average price for their site and Comixology), I paid $5 for the single issue number 3, and $10 for the digital bundle for issues 1 and 2, which I came in on these books during the issue number 2 campaign. For digital readers, so far, there have been options for the single issue pdf, and the catch-up option to get all of the books for each campaign.

The tiering and stretch goals didn't offer a whole lot of goodies like stickers and bookmarks and such, but did offer up metallic mini-prints, unique art, and all backers received some digital incentives. Overall, not too bad of a deal, and I have no complaints. I think for the price you pay, you are more than getting your moneys worth.

The Interview

Well, like I said, I didn't this portion was going to happen for the segment this time, but Justin Gray being the bad arse that he is, went ahead and gave me some answers my silly little inquiries. If you have read my past reviews, you already know the questions...so let's check out his responses=)

What sort of music (if any) do you listen to as you write?

JG: I tend to listen to soundtracks, ambient, synthwave, and a lot of instrumental. I wrote most of the Road Witch listening to Leather Teeth by Carpenter Brut. If I’m trying to channel a certain feeling or tone I make attempts to match the music to it. It is interesting that you ask about music because I think, creatively, it has had one of the biggest impacts on my writing. I’ve always loved sampling, remixes, and musical crossovers. As a really old example, and this stuff is commonplace now but still extremely popular, like when RunDMC and Aerosmith did walk this way, or how electronic music started blending all these different sounds and styles and audio clips as composite stories.

You have a good mix of sci-fi, fantasy and even horror elements in your work. What are a few of your influences for this series or your writing in general?

JG: I’ve always liked mixing genres and overlapping them in ways that I find interesting as well as writing characters that are not restricted by branding. These books are specifically influenced by 70’s and 80’s style comics and movies, 1980 Flash Gordon, Buckaroo Banzai, Epic Magazine, Heavy Metal, Savage Sword of Conan, but also trying to add modern twists to it like you see in Love Death Robots. With Spicy Pulp, I can do anything I want, and often position my world building around the idea that there are no specific rules. If I want to write a story that smashes “sword and sorcery” with “romantic comedy” I can do that. If I want to write a pirate story set in the 1700’s that introduces an anime robot character I can do that too. I’m drawn to comics and that are full of infinite possibilities and a little crazy, and in my opinion, people need a genuine sense of escapism and a dash of silly fun.

Do you see a definitive end in sight for your Spicy Pulp series, or is this something that will be an ongoing thing for quite a while?

JG: Spicy Pulp Comics is meant to be like Amazing Stories, Tales From the Crypt, or All-Star Comics, that old school platform for a comic anthology. I have a lot of stories to tell and not a lot of places to tell them so this is one of the big reasons why I run Kickstarter campaigns. Ideally, I would love to put out Spicy Pulp Comics every 2 months as a square bound 64-plus page comic. What I’ve been doing is 60-pages printed on demand on heavy paper with 28-30 pages for the featured character that takes just two issues to tell a complete story, and the rest being short 10-15 page serialized stories told across multiple issues. I’m ready to launch a campaign for issue #4 and I have already written more than fifty pages for issue #5 so if I can keep funding them or find a way to publish them as creator owned books I will. This is the thing, I honestly believe we need to shatter the existing model, and make it possible for people to make and sell their comics without standard industry constructs. I don’t know how many people realize their favorite indie creators could be making a much better living and paying for health insurance and saving for the future if retailers and customers could buy directly from them. Speaking only of digital sales as a creator I make 50% more revenue each sale if you buy from my website as opposed to another platform. Sorry, I went off on a tangent but if people want the book and I can continue to support the artists and colorists I work with I will be producing it.

In Closing

Man, after reading that review, this is a man whose vision I can get on board with, and he has more than earned my business. Shatter the current model, bring those walls tumbling down, and let the creativity reign!!!

Well, another one down. This series gets an enthusiastic two thumbs up, and to be honest, this is one of the best set of books I have read as of late:

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And it occurs to me that so far, everything I have reviewed has gotten a positive review for the most part, with only minor nitpicks...fair enough if you have noted such. Honestly, I am sharing the stuff that I really enjoyed, but I guess I really need to do some stuff that was not so great, so you guys know just what to avoid. The next installment of the indie side...I think I will do an article on the dark seeded underbelly of the indie world, and we will take a good look at stuff you should probably avoid like the coronavirus...

Extra Credits

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BruceRogers

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Nice!

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ANTHP2000

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Excellent, keep up the good work guys!

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noobmaster2001

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#609  Edited By noobmaster2001

Once again great job on the threads and thanks for posting my respect thread.

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OrdinaryAlan

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Looks good.

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UberCoffeeTime

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Ehhhh my RT made it

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Wyldsong

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Bump because we did a lot of work on this one=)

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Battle123axe

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Fantastic

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xzone

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Thanks for the mention!