Review: The Caped Crusade Hardcover Novel

The Caped CrusadeTitle: The Caped Crusade- Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture Hardcover Novel

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Cost: $26.00

Writer: Glen Weldon

The Caped Crusade is the second book by Glen Weldon. His first book, Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, I reviewed here. This book follows the same basic premise, providing us with the ‘real world’ history of Batman. What makes this book different than his first, is that he uses Batman and his fans to provide a glimpse into “nerd culture” and how books originally published for kids became something that grown men obsess over.

Like his earlier Superman book, I learned many things that I didn’t know about Batman’s history and his progression through it, which includes television shows, movies and video games, as well as, and most importantly, the comics. The chapters were a bit long, being broken up into different time periods, but each chapter is then broken down into different sections, making it easy for someone, like myself, to read on a break at work or during lunch.

This book was a blast to read! I breezed through it quickly, not because I wanted to finish is, but because I was interested in Batman’s history, especially the parts that I remember. If you love comic history and/or Batman, this one should not be missed!



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Review: Macragge’s Honour Hardcover Graphic Novel

Macragge's HonourTitle: Macragge’s Honour Hardcover Graphic Novel

Publisher: The Black Library

Cost: $40.00

Storytellers: Dan Abnett (writer) with Neil Roberts (artist) and Nikki Foxrobot (lettering)

I believe that this is the first graphic novel I’ve read from The Black Library. This story takes place in the Warhammer 40K universe, specifically during the Horus Heresy. This book features computer-assisted, digital art, which fits the source material.

This particular graphic novel eithers takes place during or after the Horus Hersey novel, Know No Fear, as part of that book starts off the story. Within the hardcover, is the story of the vessel, Macragge’s Honour, and it’s brave crew, who track an enemy vessel and it’s wounded commander in order to end the madness that attacked their planet. The brave Ultramarines of Macragge’s Honour have to face the terrors of the Warp, which include deamons and foul sorcery. The ship battle is intense, but one Ultramarine has to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save the day!

I loved this graphic novel! While it is pricy, if you’re a fan of intense sci-fi action and the Warhammer 40K universe, then this book is for you. You do need some basic knowledge of the source material to help you along, but it’s nothing that can’t be learned with one or two Google searches. The art is beautiful and fits the oversized hardcover well. Here is a sample of one of the space battles!

Macragge's Honour Splash Page- Locked On, Fire At the end of the book, you get some art sketches and some of the scripting for the story, which adds a bit more value to this hardcover.

Maybe it’s my love of Warhammer 40K that sways me, but I really feel that this hardcover is worth your time and money!


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Review: X-O Manowar- The Golden Circle Kindle Words Novella

X-O Manowar The Golden CircleTitle: X-O Manowar- The Golden Circle Kindle Words Novella

Publisher: Amazon (Kindle Words)

Cost: $1.99

Writer: Shane Berryhill

In an alternate future, Aric is the ruler of Loam, the Vine Homeworld. His children, Dacia and Gafiti, have positions of power and help their father rule. One day, Gafiti attacks his father’s guards, captures his father and takes over Loam. Dacia escapes from her brother’s forces and gets help from Vine out in the Wastes. Its there, that she gets her own, female version of the Shanhara armor. She battles back to rescue her father and confront her brother.

This novella is amazing! At first I didn’t like the alternate future story, but this novella soon becomes very interesting and I couldn’t put it down. I don’t want to spoil too much of what’s going on, as every Valiant and/or X-O Manowar fan should read this one!



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Review: X-O Manowar- Centurion Kindle Words Novella

X-O Manowar Centurion NovellaTitle: X-O Manowar- Centurion Kindle Words Novella

Publisher: Amazon (Kindle Words, Digital)

Cost: $1.99

Writer: Brian LeTendre

After “Planet Death”, Aric is transporting his fellow Visigoths home after being held captive on Loam. As he travels to Earth, he discovers that the Roman who killed his father and wife is still alive on the original Vine ship that captured him centuries ago. The Roman now works with the Vine to help kill Aric and capture the X-O armor. Aric must decide if he should go after his enemies and get revenge or see his people safely to their home.

A really good X-O Manowar story…in fact, it’s the best of the Kindle Words Novella so far! I love the Roman Centurion as a villain and hope to see him again in future Novellas. This story feels like it could fit between issues #14 and #15 of the current X-O Manowar comic series. If you want to try out the Valiant Comics Kindle Words Novellas, start here!


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Review: X-O Manowar- Aric the Younger Kindle Words Novella

X-O Manowar- Aric the YoungerTitle: X-O Manowar- Aric the Younger Kindle Words Novella

Publisher: Amazon (Kindle Words, Digital)

Cost: $0.99

Writer: L. Villarreal

After interrogating a Vine Priest about his armor, Aric discovers that Shanhara has the ability to travel through time. Using this ability, Aric travels back in time and hopes to prevent his capture by the Vine and the death of his people. Upon entering the past, Aric is attacked by a young Roman girl by the name of Aeliana. It seems both Aric and Aeliana are victims of the war between the Romans and the Visigoths: having lost loved ones and the course of their lives changed. Sparing the girl, and in fact, healing her, Aric gains an unlikely ally in the past. After leaving her in a safe area, Aric attempts to change his past, but soon he realizes that changing what has already occurred may be harder than he expected.

While not my favorite of the Kindle Words Novellas, I really enjoyed this short story. With the tale being told in about 6 chapters, one can finish this in an hour or so. While I don’t think I like the X-O armor having the ability to travel through time, this premise gives us a great science fiction tale, and another version/alteration to the problems with time travel. While this tale my not seem very X-O to me, if you love odd time travel tales or great science fiction stories, then this is the download for you. It’s only $0.99 and doesn’t take long to enjoy.



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Review: Archer & Armstrong Oh, Mummy! Kindle Words Novella

Archer and Armstrong Oh MummyTitle: Archer & Armstrong Oh, Mummy! Kindle Words Novella

Published: Amazon (Kindle Words digital novella)

Cost: $0.99

Writer: Leigh Knight

While at a museum checking out the Egyptian exhibit, Archer & Armstrong run afoul of more Sect members who succeed in resurrecting a villain from Armstrong’s past, the vile Egyptian Necromancer, Ptahhotep. Armstrong was responsible for stopping Ptahhotep’s plans last time and works to stop him from resurrecting his magical armies this time. The Dysfunctional Duo try to locate the Tablet of Thoth, the only known object that can stop Ptahhotep’s evil plans, and along the way get some divine assistance… and maybe time travel a bit!

This is a straight-forward action buddy-comedy story at it’s best! Oh, Mummy! is so good it SHOULD be part of continuity and made into a three issue arc. Even though its a fast read, Oh, Mummy!, is well worth it’s $0.99 price tag. Leigh Knight captures the essence of Archer & Armstrong, throws in a heaping of Egyptian mythology for good measure and continues the Sect Arc found in the comics. This story had a tight hold of me, so much so, that I don’t think I’ve every read anything so fast before…I just couldn’t put it down. If you have a tablet or smartphone, buy this one, it’s well worth it!


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Review: X-O Manowar Noughts and Crosses Kindle Words Novella

X-O Manowar Noughts and Crosses Kindle Words NovellaTitle: X-O Manowar Noughts and Crosses Kindle Words Novella

Publisher: Amazon (Kindle Words digital novella)

Cost: $1.99

Writer: Stuart Moore

First off, Kindle Words is a way for fans to publish and sell fan fiction, from (currently) a small group of licenses, through Amazon’s Kindle. Valiant is the only comic company that has licensed it’s characters to be used with the Kindle Words brand. Since I collect X-O Manowar I decided to download the only X-O Kindle Words novella available, Noughts and Crosses.

On another planet or in another time, aliens wearing armor very similar to Aric’s have human slaves and use them to pick fruit for them. The Noughts, the nameless human slaves rise up against the Crosses and are able to kill on of them. The leader of the Noughts bonds with the Cross’s armor and updates herself on the suits functions and abilities. In Dubai, Aric is finally taking a break from the troubles he’s had: the death of his people, his displacement is time and his war on the Vine. However, before he can have a free moment, he’s attacked by a military group known as Alloy Seven, all soldiers who wear powerful armor. When Aric is severely injured in battle with the Alloy’s commander, Raft, Aric is brought to an island where he his nursed back to health by a mysterious woman named Larkspur. The woman intrigues Aric, but she seems to be hiding something. Eventually, Aric heals but is attacked again by Commander Raft. When the Nought leader arrives in her Cross Armor, together the two of them quickly dispatch Raft. The Nought leader is actually from the future and her armor is out of fuel to get her back to her own time, however Raft’s armor contains a small amount of Plutonium and with more, she could return home. After confronting the the other Alloy Seven soldiers, the group has the Plutonium needed to return the Nought home. Aric has fallen in love with the mysterious, time traveling soldier and wants to go with her to the future. However, the Nought has a real reason behind her appearance in our present day and they involve Aric and Larkspur!

This novella is a great, however out of continuity, tale of Aric and the X-O Manowar armor. Noughts and Crosses starts off slow, spending a lot of time with the Noughts in the future or Aric’s time with Larkspur, but it quickly ramps up and becomes a fantastic story about the future and possible outcomes. If the other Kindle Words Novellas are as good as this one, I can’t wait to download the rest. With an interesting story by fans, low cost and the fact that I can read these stories anyway because of the Kindle app on my smartphone, Noughts and Crosses is definitely…


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