Comics

Many dark dreams for the Crow reboot

Round and round goes the planned Crow reboot film.  New names added, Old names fall away.  I could go on and on like others about the no name director and the actor I have never heard of, but that combination is what made the first one great, so I will hold my tongue.

Normally, when a great movie is getting a reboot, I am the first one to sigh, roll my eyes, and ask why the movie needed to be made.  This is different.

While the original is a gothic masterpiece that I still watch every year, there is so much in source material that was left out of it.  I would love to see some of that brought into a new movie.

The comics are a stunning meditation on love, death, hatred, justice, and revenge.  It paints a sweet yet violent picture of a man who lost his love and his life in a random act of violence.  In return, he returns to the land of the living to destroy those who killed them.

The Crow is a visionary masterpiece (I know I have already used that word before, bur it is the only one that fits).  A hypnagogic nightmare of love, loss, and agony, the books paint visions of inner pain and turmoil that I have not see the like of since Blade Runner.

I can only hope that whoever makes this movie, they will make the wise choice and include some of this scenes.  From the valentine with hollow eyes to the stampede into barbed wire.  If the director can create the same hallucinogenic terror from the book, the new film will be different and spectacular.

The biggest danger is that they will simplify the story down to an action film or a horror film.  It needs to be both, or it will not work.

Manhwa Review: Evil's Return

Author Jong-Kyu Lee and artist Hwan Shin bring us, Evil's Return. Every young girl thinks that something evil has taken over her body when she gets her first period but in Yumi’s case, it just happens to be true. This coming of age tale has everything a teen novel should, with a little demon mixed in. Yumi’s boyfriend, Sunwoo, is a long-haired hottie who all the girls are ga-ga over. He is obsessed with Yumi’s safety, which becomes more important when her “evil” period shows up. With it come hordes of baddies to kill her or make her their evil queen. Sunwoo gives her protection spells, but they can’t warn off the first devil woman who comes a-callin’. The ultimate big boobed baddy tries to hit on Sunwoo at first, but he banishes her with a spell. Meanwhile, a scary possessed teacher lures Yumi into a classroom and these evil spirits who look like a cross between zombies and vampires attack her.

In volume two, we learn that Yumi is pure blood. It is said that both the Virgin Mother Mary and Lilith, Satan’s wife, were pure blood. It all depends on if the woman is filled with light or darkness, and that is the way the next 1000 years will be ruled. Volume two is mostly fighting scenes, which took a little away from the story for me.

The art work and style of this series is contradicting to me because the inside features the good old Japanese style school uniforms, but the covers look like something off a 1980’s heavy metal band cover. Even the book blurb on the back sounds like a metal music video opening.

When the floodgates of Yumi’s womanhood burst open, demons rush in, clamoring to make the high school senior the mother of evil itself.

All hail Iron Maiden and all that. It’s strange to me how these two styles mix. This is definitely not a kids book with the graphic language and panty/boob shots. There aren’t any extras, but you won’t need them with these action-packed volumes.

One confusing thing about the art in this series is that sometimes they have the same character in the same frame doing two different things, so you might think… “Is that him split in two?” Or, “Who’s that new guy who looks exactly like Sunwoo? Does he have a twin?” But in battle scenes, this is a cool effect because it makes it like still shots of DBZ fights.

The Evil’s Return series is hard to find, but a few used copies can be found here and there on the web, including at Amazon.com.

Animation Verses Prejudice

Trade paperback cover of Buffy: Season Eight V...
Image via Wikipedia

John The Rogue Demon Hunter asks:

With all the Buffy and Angel cast getting older, would the fans being willing to accept further adventures in the animation style of Star Wars: The clone Wars?

Fans would be willing to accept further adventures of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly in an animation style.  The bigger question is would the general public accept further adventures in animation style?  Would the studios have the patience to back and distribute further adventures in animation style?

Joss Whedon has already transitioned those settings and characters into a comic format.  There is great acceptance and love for the continuation of the series in print comic form.  This leaves a short step to move from print to animation.

The current success of animated shows both on TV and in the direct to DVD markets also support the plausibility of doing more animated shows.  Clone Wars had a rocky start getting accepted though most of it was due to the new style they used in animation that took some getting used to.  The Simpsons had a lucky start with "bartmania" that still gets large ratings decades latter.  Both DC and Marvel’s direct to DVD animated movies prove both quality in animated projects and how they can cater to the adult market.

We face several problems that are hindering future projects.

General Public Prejudice

The general public in the American market has a prejudice against animated shows.  When first approaching an animated show they presume it is for children not adults.  Many don’t even bother to give those shows the time of day unless they are bringing their kids to watch it.

Though this public prejudice has decreased some in recent years it is still rampant.  I could not count the number of adults that give subtle nonverbal clues of disdain when they find out I’m watching Clone Wars or Planet Hulk.  Others still voice their prejudice by replying “I thought that was a show for kids?”

Many creators of animated projects have their demons to wrestle with too.  First, before the project is even done they have to admit they won’t win any prizes for the work due to the prejudice in viewing it as less no matter how brilliant and deserving.  Look at Avatar, the movie would have been better going full animation but instead it went with live action parts so that it could be a “movie with cool special effects”.

This prejudice holds back studios from giving a green light to an animated project that is not targeted toward the children / young adult markets.  This forces many good projects to include in kidsey elements and to remove some of the better adult elements.  Clone Wars season one is a great example of this problem.  The show was so much less than it could have been.  Once they got past the prejudice it got better in season two.

I Find Their Lack of Faith Most Disturbing

Because of the prejudice against animated projects they tend to take longer before picking up larger audience share.

Studios have been trending toward a less lenient policy when it comes to new projects.  They have been quick to cancel projects that don’t show immediate success.

This is a recipe for failure by proclamation instead of giving the project time to get over the inherent hurdles.

A New Hope

I hope that the American public continues to learn from the Japanese, and Korean animated markets.

I hope that we continue to see the trend in the decline of prejudice against animated projects.

I would love to see the continuing adventures of Firefly and Buffy the vampire slayer in animated format.

I've always wanted a Faith The Vampire Slayer series and wrote up a series outline. Maybe one day I will hook up with some animators.

I hope John finds some animator to help him with his Faith the Vampire Slayer project and that they then check in with us for many more projects.

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Manga, A Few Disappointments

I don’t usually like to write bad reviews because I feel like they are a waste of my time. Why would I want to waste my time writing a review on a book that I didn’t enjoy reading in the first place?  To warn you about them.  I have three mangas to warn you about with one that I was so eager to read, but fell short of my expectations.

Pantheon High by Paul Benjamin & Steven Cummings

This is a book for someone more into super heroes and mythology than I am.

They introduce too many characters in a short period of time. You don’t get enough time or information to care about any of them. Without in-depth knowledge of all the pantheons (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc…) you won’t get the inside jokes they make about the gods and their offspring.  There are way too many boob and butt grabs and premature boy fantasy panty shots. The slang is overly ghetto speech as if an adult is trying to mimic how “those kids today” talk. There is an annoying girl trying to speak Buffy speech with comments like, "Rude much?", "You aren't blogworthy.", and "dorks.com" but it's not working.

The art isn’t that bad and there is a cool part where they show the students report cards with grades, parents names (usually gods), achievements, and evaluations. How ever cool those snaps are, it doesn’t outweigh the annoying childish jokes and raunchy humor.

Descendants of Darkness by Yami no Matsuei

Way too much chibi in this book.

It’s supposed to be about shimigami, which we know from Death Note are scary as hell and we know from Dead Like Me, can be funny. But these shimigami are neither funny or scary.

It portrays life after death being run like a corporation, which could be kinda cool if they did it the way Beetlejuice does, but they don’t. Who wants to think life after death is in a boring office building? Snooze! To top it all off there are these strange birds who work in the office that appear to be owls in kimonos. Very strange.

The only thing that saves this tale is 3-5 pages at the end where an evil Doctor is introduced, but even this part makes no sense. I’m told the series gets better in volume two, but I’m not willing to spend time finding out.

IDOL by Dany & Dany

I am so sad that I have to write this about Dany & Dany. They are awesome Yaoi authors and I absolutely adore their manga book Anima, but for some reason I just couldn't get into Idol.

The printing is bad, which could mean it was done earlier in their career.

This is a basic man loves hooker story where the hooker kills a bad guy with the audacity to run over his favorite customer, an artist who he falls in love with.

The sneak peek in the back features a tale about an actor falling in love. I wasn’t thrilled with the art, the story or the characters… but the ad in the back for Dany & Dany’s The Lily and the Rose, has me hoping that one will restore my faith in them.

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Being Too Whedony

I love this comic panel by Joel Watson over at HijiNKS ENSUE.  Well put, though I hope that he isn't taken off the Avengers project.

Could being to Whedony become a thing to say?

The truth in it being a negative thing makes me sad.  Being to whedony should be a positive thing but the executives don't get how good Joss Whedon is at breathing new life into a series.

Out This Week: April 20 2010

Out this week we have four DVDs to feature:  Avatar, Star Wars Omnibus: Boba Fett, Xena: Warrior Princess - Season OneHercules: The Legendary Journeys - Season One.  Do we Love It, Rent it, or Avoid Like Plague?

Owner

Renter


[reus id="11"]

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The Punisher: Vigilante or Serial Killer?

Riddle me this and answer below:

Is the Punisher a vigilante or a serial killer?

What is a vigilante

A vigilante is someone who illegally punishes someone for perceived offenses, or participates in a group which metes out extrajudicial punishment to such a person. Often the victims are criminals in the legal sense, however a vigilante may follow a different definition of criminal than the local law.  (wikipedia)

What is a serial killer

A serial killer is a person who murders three or more people over a period of more than thirty days, with a "cooling off" period between each murder, and whose motivation for killing is largely based on psychological gratification.  Often, a sexual element is involved with the killings. The murders may have been attempted or completed in a similar fashion and the victims may have had something in common; for example, occupation, race, appearance, sex, or age group. (wikipedia)

[poll id="20"]

The fine line between hero and villain

It's a fun questions because this raises the question between when does a hero cross the line and becomes a villain.  There is the fine line between someone doing justice for their society and when someone crosses the line still currently convenient because they are removing other dangerous elements but are a danger to the society.  A lot of the distinction is born out of their motivations that gets them started, their intentions at the time of confrontation, and how they resolve their conflict.

The Punisher is a serial killer.  He started as a vigilante moving beyond the law driven by revenge for his lost loved ones.  This motivation has no difference from Batman.

The Punisher's intention at the time of apprehension is that of murder.  He judges and then executes one of the most severe sentences upon his opponents and that is what stands him apart as a serial killer.  Batman's intention at the time of apprehension is to stop the crime not destroy the criminal.

Thus The Punisher has murdered more than three people, does so purely for his psychological gratification, revenge, and the victims have something in common being perceived by him as criminals.

Continue the conversation in the comments below.

Does making a distinction between the Punisher's portrayal in movies versus the comics make a difference?

Thanks to dashPunk Member John the Rogue Demon Hunter for bringing this weeks question.

Comic Review: The Dead Boy Detectives by Jill Thompson

The Dead Boy Detectives brought to us by Jill Thompson, the same illustrator who brought us Death: At Death's Door which I reviewed a few years back. The artwork is by an American artist making the art decidedly Western. The publisher targeted the manga fans because of the size and format, but I got more of an Archie and Jughead kind of vibe. This is a mystery tale about a group of boarding school richies from Chicago who write to the Dead Boy Detectives because their schoolmate goes missing. The girl characters in the book are quirky and fun and might make you laugh. It's a cute little read, but don't count on it to thrill you. The book is best purchased for pre-teens or those who like mysteries like the Hardy Boys.

There is a cameo by Neil Gaiman's Death, but not enough to keep a Death fan sated. Though if you are a hard-core Death fan who must read all Death related comics, it might be the first time you've seen Death in sweats and a baseball cap. There is also a rad caricature of Dream on the back cover, but I'm not sure what he's doing there unless it is to just rope more Sandman fans in.

For a thin, easy to carry comic, it is actually packed full of visual action. There is no wasted space unless you count the two page introduction to the Sandman library in back. The only extra is an excerpt from Jill Thompson's Death: At Death's Door comic.

If you'd like to read more about it, check out the customer reviews at Amazon.com.

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Superman, Wonder Woman Writing Power Up!

Starting in July J. Michael Straczynski will take over DC Comics' Superman and Wonder Woman on an ongoing basis.  This is great news!

Joe is a gifted writer who has many, many brilliant TV and Comic projects.  He-Man, She-Ra, The Real Ghostbusters, The New Twilight Zone, Jake and the Fatman, Murder, She Wrote, Walker Texas Ranger, Babylon 5, and Jeremiah to just name a few of his TV projects.

Superman has now become interesting.  Batman is way better then Superman but with Straczynski behind him I suddenly find myself interested.

I’m hoping this change will be the gateway into getting a Wonder Woman movie.

Now if the studios will only hold off on the Superman rewrite project waiting for Straczynski to guide them.

(via SCI FI Wire)

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SF News Bites: Akira Lives?, Stan Lee's Super Seven Series Online

Akira Lives?

Albert and Allen Hughes are finalizing a deal to direct the live-action Akira. So it's still in the works but I don't have hopes of seeing the movie any year soon. (via /Film)

Stan lee's Super Seven Series

Stan lee's Super Seven Series is a new project which will be distributed in print, online, on air, and retail channels. It’s nice to see more comics especially one of the big boys adding the simultaneous online distribution model to the mix.

The series will be about: Seven aliens who find themselves stranded on planet Earth after their spaceship crashes, only to be befriended by none other than Lee himself. Taking them under his care, Lee becomes their leader and enables them to resume their lives as superheroes on earth.

Stan Lee is excited because it’s "the first time that I’ll actually be a continuing character in a far-out, original superhero series.”

I enjoyed his cameo’s in the various marvel movies and think it would be fun to see him as a reoccurring character.

(via tubfilter)

SF News Bites: Doctor Who By Neil Gaiman, Spider-Woman Enlists With Avengers

The current TARDIS seen at BBC TV Centre and t... Image via Wikipedia

Doctor Who By Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is penning an episode for Steven Moffat's Doctor Who.  The episode is to air early in Season Six.

-- it's quite possible that I might have written an episode. And if I had, it would originally have been called, 'The House of Nothing,' but it definitely isn't called that any more."

That rocks!  I can’t wait to watch the episode.

What do you think the episode could be about with the working title The House of Nothing?

(via DoorQ)

Spider-Woman Enlists With Avengers

Spider-Woman: Marvel announced she will be joining the Avengers team when the comic re-launches as part of their new Heroic Age line up of comics.

(via SciFiPulse)

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Manhwa Review: Nabi the Prototype by Yeon-Joo Kim

When we think of Valentine’s day, we often think of poetry, so for today’s post, I thought I’d bring you a book of poetry themed comics. Those of you who like poetry, but have yet to pick up a manhwa, then Nabi The Prototype by Yeon-Joo Kim is for you. A particularly beautiful passage reads:

Like the shy camellias That blossomed On a sheet of white Summer paper…

Red flowers are blooming On the surface of the snow.

Or perhaps, It is a crimson cloud touched By the sunset afterglow…

This manhwa is a group of love stories about people who have grown up together or traveled together on a great quest, whether it be a quest of distance or time. From tales about falling love with your kidnapper, to falling in love with your best friend from childhood, this book explores what love can mean in many different forms. I found the most touching tale was about an orphan who feels unwanted and unloved, but she finds out that her father, a poet, thought her name was the best poem he ever wrote.

Because of it’s poetic style, this book may be hard for straight fiction readers to understand. I found it was similar to Shakespeare in that if you did not understand it the first time, a second read and another viewpoint would bring the meaning to life.

This is a Korean manhwa, read in the English direction. The art style in this book is decidedly Korean with elaborate costuming and stylized hair. I’d recommend this book for anyone who likes to look beyond the obvious and experience love stories truly unique.

You can check out Nabi the Prototype at Amazon.com.

Catching Up On Doctor Horrible

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog two is still in the works.  Zack Whedon in and interview lets us know

  • They are meeting every so often to talk about the project.
  • "There are a handful of songs in some state of being written,"
  • “I think that we will focus on that more now that Joss [Whedon] is done with 'Dollhous'e and has a little more time to focus on other projects."

It hurts to think that Dollhouse is done but on the plus side I like hearing that Joss will have more time to work on the project.  How long before we will get to see a Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Two?  Probably quite a while but I would rather wait for a brilliant sequel then to rush into something unsubstantial.

Meanwhile, for those of us wanting more Doctor Horrible can follow along in the comics.  Whedon has plans for more Dr. Horrible comics.

  • A collection of all the 'Dr. Horrible' mini comics from online
  • “…A new story about the Evil League of Evil.”

I’m excited about a story in which we would get more about the members in the Evil League of Evil especially those featured at the end of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.  He will definitely do more Bad Horse.  I’m hoping something more about the Evil Whinny.

Read Zack’s other comics here:

(via Whedonesque)

Manga Review: Black Knight by Kai Trurugi

Black Knight by Kai Trurugi is one of the best Yaoi I've ever read.  A touching love story between a Prince and his protector. Black Knight offers much for hardcore Yaoi fans. With a good storyline, several battle scenes, and a bit of graphic love scenes sprinkled in, these guys are well on their way to becoming an epic romance.

Chris is the sheltered, innocent Prince who is just learning to battle. Zeke is the tall, dark, handsome swordsman that can get out of any scrape no matter the odds. Together they have a passionate love affair in the midst of danger.  This book shows the love of a family when their loved one comes home, the love of a master to his long-owned horse and a special, genuine love between a young prince and his protector.

The art is very Knight's of the Round table, swords and sorcery, with a bit of Asian influence here and there.

Parental guidance is suggested for adult content and explicit art.

Extras: Yaoi called Deadly Sin A romance between a Priest haunted by ghosts from the past and a tourist who shows him he can break-free from depression and guilt to be happy. This new Yaoi might be a promising read in full book form.

Black Knight is available at Amazon.com.

Marvel’s Planet Hulk Premier

hulk-planet-hulkMarvel premiered Planet Hulk at the Paley Center for a lucky select audience to rave reviews. I can’t wait for February 2nd when Planet Hulk is released to DVD.  You can preorder your copy from Amazon here.

Based on the comic Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk Smash Into the Planet Hulk Trailer.  The Hulk was a monster, impossible to control, too dangerous to ignore. So Earth’s mightiest heroes exiled him into outer space. But now The Incredible Hulk crash-lands on the distant planet Sakaar, ruled by the tyrannical Red King. Sold into slavery, the Hulk becomes the planet’s mightiest gladiator—but his new masters get more than they bargained for when he forges a bond of brotherhood with his fellow fighters: crafty insectoid Miek, ruthless rock-man Korg, ex-shadow pirest Hiroim, and the noble-born rebel Elloe. Unlike Earth, the desperate people of Sakaar believe a monster is just what they need. But will the Hulk be the one to save their world…or destroy it?

Marvel has done such a great job with their direct to DVD movies.  I have watched, bought, and love each one of these.

Watch the trailer below.

Manga Review: Anima by Dany & Dany

Anima-CoverBefore I go into this review, I’d like to bring up the subject of Yaoi. Yaoi is a form of manga that features male to male romantic stories usually written by women, for women. Often erotic, these tales at times are little more than porn, or they could be truly beautiful stories of love that transcend race, sex, and even species. The best Yaoi I have ever read is the topic today. Anima written by Dany & Dany, two women from Italy who write and draw all their own comics. Daniela Orrù and Daniela Serri are known as paranormal manga creators by those in Japan and around the world. They also work as instructors at two major comic schools in Italy. Dany & Dany are also Vampire Chronicle fans and because they have an interest in portraying Louis and Lestat in a Yaoi light, you may sense a vampire feeling in their work. Some of their works have characters that look so much like Louis and Lestat, you may find yourself looking twice to see if it is our beloved vamp boys.

D&DThe cover of Anima shows just a glimpse of the coolness you will find inside the book. Anima features crisp, clean art in a steampunk setting. On a ship like the Titanic, a beautiful love story ensues between a gorgeous writer and an angel-like ballet dancer. A beautiful android dancer, Danya, is injected with “Anima” to allow him to feel human emotions, but what his creator doesn’t realize is that the injection also allows him to fall in love. Patrick, a cynical journalist and admirer of Danya, just happens to be there as Danya’s emotions are released. They fall in love, but Patrick doesn’t know Danya is an android. Though Patrick is an android sympathizer, will he be able to over look the fact that his new love is one? And once Danya’s creator finds he loves another, will he be able to let him go?

This is an erotic love story that may not be for everyone. Parental guidance suggested.

Extras: The Terrible Plot Demon is a one page, silly, chibi cartoon where the characters torture the authors.

Get your copy here from Amazon.com

To find out more about Dany & Dany, go to their website at: www.danyandany.com

Early look: Buffy Comic Willow Issue

The Willow one shot comic issue for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 will be out December 23 2009.  For now there are some panels out and they look great.  I would love a poster of this cover.

Buffy-willow-comic

Joss Whedon is back for this issue which is a  Willow focused issue.  This rocks she is my favorite character.

“All we know is that Willow went on a walkabout following the demise of Sunnydale, and she met a very sultry, extremely powerful serpent lady who seems to be the key to unraveling the mysteries of what Willow is, and will become.” (via News a Rama)

Worst: Spider-Man 4 Are We To Expect 4 Villains?

Black Cat (comics) Image via Wikipedia

How can I be expected to get excited about someone playing The Black Cat or that even The Black Cat will be in the next Spider-Man movie?

There is a lot of buzz going on speculating on the casting and expectations for Spider-Man 4.  Currently everyone is wondering who will play the Black Cat.  For me the question is what can Sam Rami do to assure us that we will not be subjected to torment that was Spider-Man 3?

I Need to Know

  • That there will be one consistent story
  • 1 lead hero
  • 1 lead villain (prove the ability to do these before attempting more)
  • He will make me care about the lead Hero and Villain

A Tale of Too Much in the Soup

Spider-Man 3 was like the inverse of the tale of the mother who was making soup for her family.  In that tale the mother is making a soup.  She is approached by the first child who told her about his distaste of onions so the mother took the onions out.  The next child announced his distaste of potatoes so the mother took it out.  This repeated with each family member in turn until she was left with just broth, flavorless and unsatisfying.

In Spider-Man 3 Sam Rami kept putting things in.  I want to dance, so we have a weird Spider-Man emo dance scene.  I want to sing, we have MJ solo inserted into the film.  I want this villain or that villain and we had multiple villains put into the film.  Before we knew it there was so much that it became flavorless and unsatisfying.

I love the idea of a Spider-Man Movie

I want to get excited about Spider-Man 4.  I love the idea of enjoying a Spider-Man movie but I have been too let down to many times get excited about the next one.

Black Cat, Newsman unmasked Villain… not a good sign

Production begins in 2010 I can only hope that Sam Rami will be able to assuage those concerns.

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The Mouse eats Marvel: $4B Meal

Marvel Comics
Image by Laughing Squid via Flickr

I sat on this for a couple days trying to figure out what to make of the news:

Disney announced today that it is acquiring superhero factory Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in cash and stock. The move gives the mouse house ownership of more than 5,000 Marvel characters (New TeeVee)

To sigh, cry, or walk away?

I am not a fan of Disney, and I haven't been for quite some time.  Over the last 10 years, the company focused a race to the bottom rather than on the quality of their works.  Meet the Robinsons is probably the only film they have made in a long time that lives up to the old Disney ideals.

I am really concerned about how this will affect Marvel.

This can only be a good thing for people who just want to see more content come out with no eye to quality.

What to expect?

  • More pointless sequels
  • Further watering down of Marvel content
  • Cuddly cartoons merchandised even more than they are now
  • Rise of Marvel Animation and Live Action
  • End of the the Comic Books

I know that last one will be controversial, but I will be surprised if Marvel's comic books will make enough money to make Disney happy without drastic changes.

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