Hunter Rose (Grendel) Respect Thread

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#1 Edited by Owie (7175 posts) - - Show Bio

Hunter Rose is the first (known) Grendel.

He is an intellectual genius, best-selling novelist, peerless mob boss, ruthless assassin, and top-tier streetlevel combatant.

Intellectual genius and best-selling novelist:

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When he was four, he had memorized the phone book for several counties; at six, he could quote every line of Shakespeare; at eight, he had written numerous plays, short stories, and novels.

He wrote his first best-selling novel before he was 18. He continued to write several others before his death (around his mid-twenties).

He has a mutation that allows him to use more of his brain than usual, thus thinking far more quickly and comprehensively than normal humans, essentially like Deathstroke. He has almost total recall.

He is able to learn new skills very quickly, which is likely due to his brain mutation. This ability is sort of like Taskmaster, but not as efficiently or quickly---I've never seen him watch someone fight and then be able to immediately copy that fighting style, for instance. But on the other hand this is how he was able to learn fencing at a world-class level very quickly. (More on this below.)

His genius includes tactics: using the Riddler’s persona as a disguise, Rose successfully matched wits with Batman, in a crossover that is canonical with the Grendel universe, leading him through a series of clues and traps.

Mob boss and assassin:

He started working as an assassin before he was 18 and quickly became the top assassin in New York, after easily killing his predecessor.

However this was too easy and he decided to take over all of the crime in the city. He quickly did so and essentially became the Kingpin of his universe. Then he spread his influence wider, taking over all crime on the eastern seaboard, outdoing even the Kingpin's achievements.

In order to do this, he had his minions kill 23 mob bosses across the east coast, in a masterly display of planning and power. Here is a brief selection from this action:

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After that, he had essentially no rivals as the head of crime on the east coast.

Combatant:

Grendel is extremely fast, agile, skilled, and accurate.

He is very skilled:

He rarely fails anything that he attempts to do in any arena of his life, including fighting, to the degree that it surprises him when he fails even a complicated goal, like throwing three darts at a dartboard at once (this took place at a time when he was being followed by a demon that was giving him bad luck).

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As a young teen, he decided to take up fencing. He quickly became a world-class fencer and got to the finals in the world championship at the age of 15 (14 in the original story). He then intentionally threw the match because it would be too easy to beat his opponent and he wouldn’t respect himself for doing something so easy.

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Here he cuts off a guy's head, but it doesn't fall off until later.

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Here he slaughters some Korean martial arts expert mobsters. Note that he breaks a guy's sword and then uses the fork to throw the sword at another guy:

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Fighting some zombies, which is so easy to him that he calls it boring and self-indulgent:

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He is very accurate:

Even as a child, he could hit a fencing ball without missing, for hours, using either hand:

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In one situation, he throws his fork and spears a cigarette that is falling from a window multiple stories above. In another, he spears a cigarette out of a guy's mouth.

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Here he uses his fork to deflect a bullet back to the shooter, and even more specifically, he intentionally hits her right in the eye, so it makes a mark similar to the classic Grendel eye:

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He intentionally cuts only the fingers off the hand of a guy who's holding a gun on him at point blank range so he drops the gun:

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He is very fast and agile:

He likes to jump around the skyline like Daredevil or Batman:

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He dodges bullets like any self-respecting top-tier streetleveler. Here he dodges gunfire, then kills the mob's top hitman:

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Some more graceful, agile bullet dodging.

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Dextrously hanging on a careening car:

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Jumping through a skylight and dodging bullets to kill some mobsters (while still unsettled by the demon's bad luck):

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And here, in his tour de force, killing 20+ guys before they can barely move. This is pieced together from multiple pages so you may want to zoom in.

This scene is ridiculously good and brings together all his awesomeness at once.

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Just as an aside, he's not weak either. Here he holds up a fat guy with one arm. A cop later remarks how much strength it would take to do this:

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His weapon of choice:

His weapon, known as the fork, is very dangerous. It is very sharp, capable of cutting through body parts easily.

It can be electrified, and when it is, it can kill someone in one strike. I don’t believe Hunter has ever actually used it to do that, but here is Christine Spar, his successor, killing someone with the same fork.

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It can shoot out the fork on a line so it acts as a grapple, or as a way to kill from a distance. It can also shoot the cord out from the butt end to entangle an opponent:

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Another scene with the cord:

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(It also has a radio.)

I have every appearance of every Grendel, but I am trying to be selective here and not just dump a million pics.

Tomorrow I will go into detail on his fights with his archenemy, Argent, a werewolf with enhanced physicals, and the Grendel/Batman crossover.

Respect Grendel! Vivat Grendel!

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#2 Edited by Owie (7175 posts) - - Show Bio

These posts will focus on Hunter's fights with Argent and Batman, but first one other skill- and speed-based scan: a cop notices that a perfect tube of flash has been cut out of a guy. She says it would take incredible skill and speed to do so.

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Argent is his archenemy. He was a Native Canadian who was magically cursed to become a wolf, and has superhuman strength (maybe around 1 ton) and speed (to the degree that others can only see of blur of movement when he runs).

Argent is hundreds of years old, but in Grendel's time, he works with the cops and thus tries to take down Grendel's reign of crime. They fight many times. Unfortunately many Grendel stories are short stories, so the on-panel fights are often more like vignettes than full battles with a beginning and an end.

Here he fights Argent at a feast. Note that even when facing his greatest foe, he has the time and presence of mind to throw a knife at a cop who is off to one side.

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Grendel then burns the house down and leaves.

Another fight with Argent:

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And another fight, note the agility:

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This is Argent slaughtering some criminals, just to show his ferocity.

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Here are scenes from Batman/Grendel. Again, this is considered to be in-continuity for Grendel since events from it and its follow-up, Batman/Grendel II (featuring Grendel-Prime) are referenced back in the standard Grendel comics.

Stealth: Grendel sneaks up on Batman without Batman realizing it, and kicks him off a balcony. "Didn't hear a thing until it was too late. My foe is sleek."

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Speed and skill: Grendel cuts down a dozen cops who are encircling him at point blank range before they can fire.

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The first real encounter between Batman and Grendel. Batman reacts to Batman's surprise silent attack from behind by rolling and kicking Batman out of the way before Batman can get him. Batman remarks that "He's lightning fast." Then Grendel leaves to further his overall strategy of playing tricks on Batman.

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Their second encounter. Once again Batman tries a surprise, silent attack from behind, and again it doesn't work--Grendel slashes him seriously in the side. After some running around (Grendel is playing some characters off each other in a hostage game at this point), they melee. Both get in several hits, and although you don't see it, Batman breaks Grendel's arm (this is confirmed later). Batman finally knocks him down and takes off his mask, but he's got make-up underneath. With Batman surprised, Grendel manages to burn Batman's hand, but they separate and the fight is unresolved.

It's pretty awesome.

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As an aside, here's Hunter back in the normal Grendel comics, easily killing some mobsters even with the broken arm he received from Batman:

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From all this, you can see that Hunter can fight on par with low-level superhumans, and with top-tier-skilled humans.

Hunter's extra brain capacity, his ability to learn quickly, his incredible speed, his skill, and his lethal weapon make him a true force to contend with for any street-level combatant.

Vivat Grendel! Respect Grendel!

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@jashro44@nelomaxwell FYI

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#3 Posted by jashro44 (52454 posts) - - Show Bio
Online
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#4 Posted by Owie (7175 posts) - - Show Bio
@jashro44 said:

@owie: Nicely done!

Thanks...figured it was about time I got around to it.

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#5 Posted by Nelomaxwell (14166 posts) - - Show Bio

@owie: Thanks bruh. I'll add some stuff when that Grendel vs Shadow stuff comes out.

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#6 Posted by Owie (7175 posts) - - Show Bio

@owie: Thanks bruh. I'll add some stuff when that Grendel vs Shadow stuff comes out.

Yeah, looking forward to that. I've been making a bunch of Grendel-related battles these days by the way, I can send you some links in a while.

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#7 Posted by SS2085 (238 posts) - - Show Bio

nice, I cannot wait to read the Grendal and Shadow cross over now.

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#8 Edited by Owie (7175 posts) - - Show Bio

@ss2085 said:

nice, I cannot wait to read the Grendal and Shadow cross over now.

Glad to get you interested. I've generally liked the first couple issues although I think Grendel/Batman was better.

I'll add scans from all the issues once the series is over so I can provide any story details in their proper context.

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#9 Edited by Owie (7175 posts) - - Show Bio

Grendel vs the Shadow pits Hunter against the superhuman Shadow, who is pretty fast (but human), has excellent accuracy with his two pistols as well as good martial arts skills learned in the mystic city of Shamballah, and several other mystical abilities that include mind control and precognition.

You can see here a battle thread with the two, in which we tried to predict the winner before the comic came out. Basically the feeling was that Grendel should probably win in pure H2H but that the Shadow’s mystic powers would probably prove to be too much if brought into the fight. Here is the Shadow’s respect thread, which is very good and shows his martial arts skills in addition to his powers. While human, he has defeated beings with enhanced speed, beaten expert martial artists in his universe such as Black Sparrow, and one-shotted Kato in a crossover with the Green Hornet.

Unfortunately while Grendel did do very well, I would say he performed below my expectations, both in his fights as well as in the plot. Let’s look at it in detail. We’ll be using CV’s new 3 pages + multiple panels of scans rules so some scenes will be limited. You can PM me if you want more extensive versions.

The crossover is set up by having Hunter come across a mystic scroll that, when read, sends him back into the ‘30s in the Shadow’s universe. The set-up gives us a sense of exactly how rich he is: his criminal empire brings in more than $80,000 per hour just from narcotics. If we take this literally, and assume he’s talking 24 hours per day, that comes out to more than $700 million a year. Even on an 8-hour, 5-day-a-week schedule, that’s $166 million. And that’s only narcotics.

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We also learn that Hunter can read and speak ancient Mandarin with ease, when he translates the scroll.

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Anyway he goes back in time and decides to build a new criminal empire there, since he gets bored easily and it provides a new kind of challenge.

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He starts by slaughtering a group of mobsters. These guys are fodder, but his speed was noted: “And, Holy Moses…he was FAST! SO fast! Never hesitated for a second! He cut through a squad of armed mobsters like a hot knife through BUTTER!…Less than a minute…it was all over.”

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He takes over the Valenti family. As he does this, he also appears in society as Hunter Rose, and writes a new novel, Gomorrah Highway, which becomes a best seller. And he has a couple of real boss lines:

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He kills another group of mobsters, with the speed again emphasized in the panels (the SHKKT SHKKT SHKKT one).

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This time the Shadow is waiting for him, and confronts him. Grendel is excited by the new challenge. Their first fight, unfortunately, is not so great for our boy in black.

Grendel throws his fork, and Shadow shoots it out of the air. Hunter notes how fast Shadow is to do so. But, Hunter is fast, too: “He’s surely never had a target like me before,” he says, and dodges a very lengthy hail of gunfire. Now this is impressive—he’s at point blank range, and even closes in while getting shot at. Plus, Shadow is quite a noted marksman, so dodging so many shots shows some top-notch agility skills.

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He strikes with the fork, Shadow blocks with his pistols and hits Hunter with a punch and a kick, but he’s out of ammo. Shadow uses a smoke pellet, and grabs on to the fork, which they wrestle for. Hunter notes: “How surprising…to surprise ME!” Shadow smacks the fork into Hunter’s face, which is pretty embarrassing, then uses his ring to try to hypnotize him. Hunter, very impressively, repels the mind control, which almost no one can do and is likely due to his increased brain capacity. He head butts Shadow. Shadow uses some nerve strikes (which is how he one-shotted Kato) and paralyzes Hunter. The Shadow steals the fork and prepares to kill him, but Hunter punches him in the face and runs off, without his weapon.

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There’s no way around it, this was a loss and a huge loss of face. As Hunter says, “Incredible! Against all odds, this lone vigilante…has bested me! Disarmed me!! UnTHINKable!” And I would agree…for Hunter straight-up lose in a fight, and especially to lose his fork—that kind of thing never happens.

The only saving grace is that it could be said that Hunter was acting too arrogantly. He was in the past and believed that the people of that time couldn’t have what it takes to stand up to his future weapons and abilities. And Shadow had been briefed on Grendel by his flunkies, but Grendel didn’t know about Shadow, so Shadow was to a degree prepared for the fight. There’s also Shadow’s precognition, which we’ll look at later, and which could be a big factor. But still, it was not a highlight for Hunter.

Still, Shadow has to give some respect to Hunter nonetheless:

“It was ASTONISHING, Margo! I emptied TWO CLIPS at him and never ONCE hit my mark!”

“Two—?! But…you NEVER miss!”

“Indeed! Which makes his speed and agility all the more remarkable!” So clearly Shadow thinks Hunter is stunningly good at dodging.

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Then he makes an interesting remark on Hunter’s skills: “There was a chaotic element about his actions. As if he’d had no formal training….He fought with no recognizable discipline. As if it were all somehow…innate!”

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This gives us some insight into Hunter’s fighting technique that we didn’t have before. He learned fencing from professional fencers when he was a child, and he uses that with his fork to some degree, but that may be his only formal training—which does make sense when we consider his history. He went from world-class fencer to best-selling novelist and top assassin with no break in-between for learning about real combat from anyone. So it seems that all his fighting skills were gained either by just picking things up while watching others casually, or through natural talent. It’s interesting to consider what Hunter would have been like if he specifically trained as a fighter in addition to his natural abilities.

All this is also interesting because one of the overall themes of this miniseries is how Hunter’s natural abilities make him arrogant and can sometimes make him miss simple things that he wouldn’t miss if he put any thought into it. So in a way the series is a tragedy about Hunter’s Achilles Heel, arrogance (and his blind spot about women, more of which later).

Anyway, he next kills some more gangsters in his strategic plan for taking over all the gangs in New York. He is also now planning strategic moves against the Shadow. Again, these gangsters are fodder, but the Shadow is impressed: “He took down a roomful of armed men wielding only a hunting knife!” (Which he does partly because the Shadow still has his fork, but also to show off to the Shadow that he doesn’t need it.)

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The next move is pretty sweet and redeems our hopes in Grendel’s skills. At a meeting of the mobster leaders, one won’t work for him. In a move straight out of Bullseye’s technique, Hunter throws a card and slices the guy’s neck with it.

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He also vindicates himself in other arenas. First he follows the Shadow and easily discovers his very secret lair, not only through the streets, but also through some secret panels in the Shadow’s building, something that I’m guessing no one has done before. And the Shadow was explicitly attempting to avoid detection when he did this. In doing so, he also shows off his impressive mind and observational skills, explaining how he can notice a taxicab’s particular hue, disruptions in the dust patterns, the shine of under-used hardware (a doorknob), the residue of city streets on a floor, the slightest depression in a section of molding. So even if he got humiliated in his first fight, strategically he gets a big win over the Shadow by discovering his lair and identity with little effort.

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He grabs his fork from a shelf and prepares to strike. However, the Shadow’s precognition allows him to evade the blow from behind. This kind of ability, which is here shown to be something like a Spider-Sense, is one of the reasons why Shadow can hang with Grendel in a fight, and makes the first fight a little less embarrassing. It helps to explain why Shadow was able to fight through the smoke pellet, and block some of Hunter’s strikes. This second fight, though, never really gets off the ground. Their weapons at each other’s throats, it is implied that Hunter is faster and could stab Shadow before Shadow could pull his trigger. However, Hunter copies the Shadow’s earlier move and pulls out a pellet of his own, which he uses to light the lair on fire. Then he slips out, once again in possession of his fork. In this case, Hunter’s leaving without a fight doesn’t imply that he thinks he would lose; he later remarks that he’s intentionally not finishing off his game with Shadow because it’s the main thing that’s entertaining him in this era.

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Now on to one of the more depressing scenes, in my opinion, which isn’t even a fight. This whole time, Hunter has been romancing the daughter of one of his mobsters, Sofia. He falls for her in a way he swore he never would after Jocasta, and even lets her learn his true identity. This is pretty unprecedented, and to my mind shows off Hunter’s mind and willpower as being much weaker than I would expect. The Shadow even eventually learns Hunter’s true identity through pure lovesick sloppiness on Hunter’s part. We then find out that she’s been playing him the whole time and is really setting him up to take the blame for killing her father, after which she’ll take over the gangs alongside her true love. Basically, Hunter, a mastermind of strategy and psychology with incredible observation skills, gets totally played by a dame that, while she’s supposedly pretty clever, never seems that impressive on panel. Again, it seems like the point here is to show how Hunter’s weakness is his arrogance…along with his blindness towards duplicity in women, as seen in his later downfall with Stacy. He later says: “I, who fear nothing and triumph over all, have fallen victim to that most pathetic of notions…NOSTALGIA!” and also contrasts Sofia’s duplicity with Stacy’s supposed innocence. In other words, he didn’t really love Sofia but she reminds him of Jocasta, and he let that blind him, just as he is blind to Stacy’s manipulations. But honestly I agree with his words…this more more pathetic than tragic. I can’t believe Hunter is that dumb. I’d like to ignore that this ever happened, OK?

...

Sigh, I guess we can’t. Anyway, Hunter gets blindsided by this emotional reveal of Sofia’s betrayal, and immediately afterwards the Shadow breaks into the room for their final conflict. Shadow shoots most of the mobsters, while Grendel is still basically cringing in his disbelief that he got played. He wants to stab Sofia but can’t bring himself to do it. Sofia’s boyfriend even manages to shoot Hunter in the back while he’s preoccupied. Realizing that he’s not in an optimal emotional or physical state, he jumps out the window.

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Shadow follows and Hunter does a little better in this fight: he quickly disarms Shadow’s pistols, but Shadow pulls out some kung fu butterfly swords and they clash multiple times. Shadow notes that Grendel is at a disadvantage, having been shot in the side. Grendel jabs Shadow in the face with the blunt end of the fork, but the Shadow gets in a really solid shot by chopping Grendel right in the arm. Now he’s twice wounded. Still, Hunter gets the upper hand, by electrifying his fork when Shadow blocks it with his blades. This charge has killed people in one shot before, so it’s impressive that Shadow even survives, but he collapses on the ground and I think it’s fair to say Grendel wins this fight. Unfortunately he can’t finish him off because he’s losing too much blood and more mobsters are coming, so he steals the Shadow’s plane, and ultimately reads the scroll that brings him back to his own time.

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In the last page, he notes that there’s no record of the novel he published, or of any trace of his presence in the past. This implies that the Shadow’s universe is truly a different universe and not just his own past.

Overall feats:

I guess we could call his first fight a loss, his second a draw, and his third a win. But overall it feels like he never really had the upper hand, whereas Shadow had one definitive win. He broke the Shadow’s nose and electrocuted him, but the Shadow stole his fork and seriously chopped his arm. Grendel is the one who ran off after each fight, although there were different reasons each time.

It’s fair to say I would have liked to see Grendel do better. Maybe next time.

He did have some impressive feats though:

—his extremely acrobatic dodging, as noted by the Shadow who missed with two whole clips, even though he “never misses”

—reasonable fighting against a guy with a pretty solid H2H background and precognition

—his impressive detective work and observational skills in finding Shadow’s lair

—his impressive strategic skills in gaining control over the New York mob scene pretty quickly, and raising their wealth and success by a large degree

—his card-sharp moment

And it’s also cool that we get to see Hunter’s walking stick turn into the fork a number of times, which hasn’t been shown quite so often in the past. SHKKT is Grendel’s own version of SNIKT! :)

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#10 Posted by Nelomaxwell (14166 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for this.

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#11 Posted by Owie (7175 posts) - - Show Bio

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