Here’s 4 Different Actors Reading Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven!


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Let’s all wish Edgar Allan Poe a happy 207th birthday!  In honor of the occasion, here’s four different actors reading The Raven!

First here’s Vincent Price!

And now it’s time for Christopher Lee!

Check out James Earl Jones!

And, of course, we have to include Christopher Walken!

And here’s the poem, in all its glory.  Read it aloud in your own voice!

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

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Fantastic Four: 2015


This idea was inspired by Astro City and its real time aging component.  The premise is what if Marvel Heroes aged in real time.  The focus is on the third generation of the Fantastic Four, the teenage descendants of various heroes.

MEET THE TEAM:

Reed Richard‘s successor is Bianca Von Doom.  She is the daughter of Valeria Richards and Bentley-23 (son/clone of the Wizard).  She inherited her mother’s fondness of the Latvarian Monarch and legally changed her last name to Von Doom.  Bianca is a brilliant inventor like her parents and her grandparents.  Her hubris unfortunately led to the disfigurement of her twin brother, Bentley.  Her most notable Invention is R.E.I.D (Remote Exploration Intelligence Droid).  It is a swarm of microscopic H.E.R.B.I.E’s composed of Unstable Molecules that functions as a utility fog.  It can transform any device Bianca needs.

Visual reference for R.E.I.D swarm component (H.E.R.B.I.E by by Jamal Igle)

Wizard_Last_Man_Standing_Herbie_vs._H.E.R.B.I.E.

Ben Grimm‘s successor is Bentley Richards.  He is the twin brother of Bianca Von Doom.  He inherited his father’s and uncle’s love for adventure/daredevil attitude.  Bentley is frequently the test subject for his sister experiments.  His natural body was consumed during the testing of an Exploration-based Thing Suit.  Fortunately, his parents, with assistance from Alyssa Moy, restored a semblance of his natural form through the integration of a life model decoy.  On the surface, his current form is a life model decoy replica of his original body.  Internally, it is a next generation Thing Suit with the offensive capabilities of Mindless One and quantum-enhancements of Cosmic Man’s molecular structure. Its structure is enhanced by cosmic earth, water, and wind.  The force beam is augmented by cosmic fire.

Visual Reference for Bentley’s mechanical nature (Livewires by Adam Warren)

livewires1

Sue Richard‘s successor is Walter Bruce Hayes.  He is the son of Molly Hayes and Skaar.  He is the baby of the group, he is idealistic just like his mother was at his age.  His mother’s mutant gene and his father’s hybrid irradiated genes resulted in his Gamma-enhanced personal telekinetic field.  Walter manipulates it into simulating superhuman strength, accelerated speed, invulnerability, and instantaneous healing.  His field strength is linked to his emotional state like others of Banner ancestry.  Like his mother, his eyes glow and his body is surrounded by an aura when his powers are activated.

Visual Reference for Walter’s powers (Molly Hayes by Jo Chen)

RUNAWAYS_15_Jo_Chen

Johnny Storm‘s successor is Henrietta Pym.  She is the granddaughter of Peter Parker and Henry Pym.  Her posthuman biology led to a severe birth defect that led to her heart being replaced with a synthezoid prosthesis.  She has a normal childhood until she hit puberty.  Sometime after her thirteenth birthday, the heart triggered her dormant posthuman genes.  Henrietta transformed her into an ionic being similar to Wonder Man.  The ionic form grants her evolved extrasensory perceptiom that enables her to control bugs and use their senses to extend her perception.  She also gains superhuman strength, enhanced agility, hyper flexibility, bioelectric sting generation, wall crawling, and density manipulation.

Visual reference for Henrietta’s powers (Astra Furst by Alex Ross)

Astro_City_Astra_Spc1_sm

Naruto: An unexpected gem for Scifi fans


I don’t know about you but I would never expect to see body modification, body horror, or genetic experimentation in a ninja themed manga.  It’s all in Masahi Kishimoto’s Naruto.

Disclaimer: THE CONTENT BELOW IS FILLED WITH SPOILERS! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN PERIL!

Madara Uchiha implanted his rival, Hashirama Senju’s DNA into his body and gained his botanical manipulation ninjutsu.  A strange growth that resembled Hashirama appeared on his chest as a result.

Studio Pierrot sketches for Madara Uchiha

Obito, descendant of the legendary Uchiha clan, was grievously injured in combat and would have perished without Madara’s intervention.  Madara replaced damaged limbs with White Zetsu parts (a White Zetsu is essentially an artificial plant being derived from Hashirama Senju and possessing botanical manipulation and shape shifting abilities).  Obito could sprout thorns and grow trees from his Zetsu parts.

Studio Pierrot sketches for Obito

Studio Pierrot for Obito 3

Studio Pierrot for Obito 2

Nagato, a descendant of the Uzumaki clan and recipient of Madara’s Rinnegans (a Rinnegan is an ocular mutation possessed by the creator of ninjutsu, the Sage of the Six Path). He was able to manifest black rods on his back which enabled him to animate cadavers, replicate the Rinnegan within them, and utilize the Sage ninjutsu through them.  He is able to “operate” 6 proxies remotely, see through their eyes, and coordinate attacks.

Nagato:

Studio Pierrot sketches for Nagato 9

Studio Pierrot sketches for Nagato 1

Studio Pierrot sketches for Nagato 2

Nagato’s Proxies:

Studio Pierrot sketches for Nagato 3

Studio Pierrot sketches for Nagato 4

Studio Pierrot sketches for Nagato 5

Studio Pierrot sketches for Nagato 6

Studio Pierrot sketches for Nagato 7

Studio Pierrot sketches for Nagato 8

Kabuto, the medical ninja and faithful apprentice of Orochimaru, build upon the genetic research of his master & experimented on himself. He integrated his master’s true form (Orochimaru’s true form is serpentine and composed of a mass of white snakes as a result of his experimentation) into himself and the genetic material of Orochimaru’s elite minions.  Kabuto’s skin became scaly and white, his eyes became serpentine and he gained a body similar to a naga (with a chimera tail). When he entered Sage Mode, he regained humanoid legs, grew horns, and the “chimera tail” moved to his belly button.  His “tail” could replicate the forms of the genetic donors & manifest their unique abilities.

Default Mode:

Studio Pierrot sketches for Kabuto 3

Sage Mode:

Studio Pierrot sketches for Kabuto 1

Studio Pierrot sketches for Kabuto 2

Shin Uchiha is a former test subject and experiment of Orochimaru. His unique body accepted all transplanted organs and genetic material.  He was cloned in order to discover the secret of his unique physiology.  He possesses a transplanted Sharingan eye in his right eye socket (a Sharingan is an ocular mutation unique to the Uchiha clan and consumes a massive amount of energy when transplanted in and used by non-Uchiha).  He has numerous Sharingans all over his body.  He can teleport with his fully evolved eye and control objects he marked telekinetically. He can see through a proxy Sharingan creature and utilize the teleportation ability.

Shin's_father

Shin's_Father_(Arm_of_Sharingan)

Shin's_Mangeky _Sharingan

Spy Creature:

Spying_device

Art Acknowledgements:

Original Art by Masashi Kishimoto and the animation cells are by Studio Pierrot

Cable Remix Part 2: Chibi Inferno Nate


The previous post inspired me to refine the idea and give it more thought.  Recalled the original Inferno storyline and the motivation of the major players.

Inferno Cable Revisited:

Darkchilde & N’astirh are warring with Goblin Queen for control of the Battle World’s the Inferno region.  So it would be high possibility that Chibi Nate would be a target of Darkchilde & N’astirh’s forces.  Illyana used the corrupted & transformed Nightcrawler to breach Madelyn’s defenses & kidnap Nate.

While captive, Illyana tried to corrupt him and created bloodstones from his soul.  This process triggered a strange reaction with his TO infection, his dark soul persona, Stryfe, was born.  Stryfe has goblin-like features similar to Darkchilde & exhibits symptoms of the transmode virus.  N’astirh took him on as an apprentice and shared part of Belasco’s grimoire.  With his processor-like mind, he instantly mastered the eldritch algorithms.

His parents managed to rescue him from Darkchilde’s clutches.  His mother placed him under the tutelage of Doctor Strange where he mastered his Stryfe form.

Nate is able to switch between his human & Stryfe forms.  His Stryfe form possesses enhanced strength, speed, rapid regeneration & limited metamorphic capabilities.  He instinctively wields offensive, defensive, & curative eldritch algorithms.  This form can injury or kill supernatural entities.

Visual Reference of Stryfe:

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By Javier Garron

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By Tom Raney

Stryfe would have a body similar to Darkchilde & have a furry torso like Brute.

Getting In Touch with my Inner Destro (Marvel Style)


Yesterday’s nerdery inspired me to expand upon the seed planted yesterday.

My idea takes place in a reality where the military–industrial complex reigns supreme and controls over every innovation made by super scientists like Reed Richards, Hank Pym, Tony Stark etc.

A Doop Ring is a portable storage device that contains items within a simulated Doop Land (pocket dimension used by Doop to store things).

Doop (Art by Mike Allred, belongs to Marvel Comics)

A Gamma Blaster is a M79 grenade launcher re-purposed to discharge concentrated Gamma bursts.

grenade launcher

An Inferno Revolver is an improvised flamethrower created from a Colt Army Model 1860 integrated with Pyronanos (a hive race of giant burning nanomachine-based robots derived from the android Human Torch’s cells).  The flames are hotter than the flames created by Jim Hammond.

colt

A Kirby Battery is a portable derivative of the engine of the Marvel, an extradimensional Kree vessel. It converts the user’s belief into energy.  All of the firearms are equipped with a battery.

A Pym Particle Pistol is a custom Heckler & Koch USP with a built-in molecular assembler. It manufactures and fires smart bullets derived from Unstable Molecules saturated with Pym Particles.

The bullets possess the following traits:

  • A target lock feature with Z-axis manipulation to phase through any obstacle (civilian or barrier) to reach the target or increase its density to diamond hardness to penetrate armor.
  • Y-axis manipulation will propel the projectile towards the target.
  • X-axis manipulation will cause the bullet to expand to the size of a rocket and gain an ionic payload similar to Simon William’s energy discharge.

pistol

 A Repulsor Carbine is a firearm developed from an application of Stark’s Repulsor Ray technology.  It discharges concussive energy bolts. 

carbine

(This image is the property of LucasArts)

An ultimative Aufhebung is a prototype Ultimate Nullifier created from a WWII Mauser C96.  It completely eliminates any target the wielder chooses.

Mauser 

Reverbium Grenade is an oscillation-based explosive device derived from Horizon Lab’s artificial Vibranium experiments.  Reverbium doesn’t absorb vibrations, it does the opposite and blows everything away.

SGH (Strontian Growth Hormones) is a variant of Mutant Growth Hormones created from cellular samples retrieved from Kubark.  It temporarily grants the user genetic traits of a Strontian: superhuman strength, superhuman speed, superhuman stamina, invulnerability, superhuman agility, superhuman reflexes, flight, heat beams, super breath, microscopic vision, and psi resistance.

The Howlett Strain is a fleet of nano-Sentinels that simulate the function of James Howlett’s healing factor

Lisa Marie’s Ten Favorite Novels of 2012


Continuing my series on the best of 2012, I now present my 10 favorite novels of the previous year.  For a lot of reasons, I didn’t get to read quite as much as I wanted to over the past year.  My New Year’s resolution — well, one of them — is to do better in 2013.

Without further ado, here’s my list.  All 10 of the novels provided an entertaining, thought-provoking read over the past year and you should read them all.

1) The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

2) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

3) Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

4) Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

5) This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

6) The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall

7) The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

8) Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz

9) Blue Moon Bay by Lisa Wingate

10) On Demon Wings by Karina Halle

Coming up tomorrow, it’s the list that we’ve all been waiting for — my favorite 26 films of 2012!

Listen here, Maggott


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Had an idea for one of the most overlooked X-Men, Japheth aka Maggott. For those who never encountered the character, he was created by Scott Lobdell & Joe Madureira. He appeared around the same time as the Magneto clone, Joseph.  He had a history with the real Magneto, “Erik” freed the slugs from Japheth’s body and revealed that he was a mutant.  He served as an X-Man after the Zero Tolerance event and he was demoted to Generation X after Hank McCoy suggested that he needs more training.  He was eventually captured by a reformed Weapon X program and murdered in the Neverland death camp, resurrected as magical techno-organic zombie during the Necrosha event, and apparently teaches at the Jean Grey School

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He was billed for having the strangest mutant powers ever! His digestive system manifested as twin biomechanical slugs that exited his abdomen to consume and returned when their meal was over. They transferred energy to him, changing his skin blue & granting him superhuman strength.  He also possessed psychometry and it allows him to draw psychic residue from his environment.  The slugs were sensitive to magic and mystical energy.  His main weakness was, he couldn’t be separated from the slugs too long or he would starve.

My idea involves Mojo and particularly Spiral and her Body Shoppé. Mojo sees great rating potential in Japheth but he believes that he first needs a makeover. Spiral abducts him, modifies him based on Mojo’s orders, and dumps him in the Savage Land. His slugs (the slug experimented on by Nathaniel Essex and the remaining one) were integrated on a molecular level and dispersed throughout his body.  His mutant digestive system had evolved into a tactile consumption aura. Japheth can now feed through touch. His stomach cavity contains a biomechanical battery that stores the energy gained from eating and augments his enhanced state.  He can expel the excess energy as a corrosive energy burst. His psychometry and the slugs’ sensitivity to magic grew to the point of Parker’s ESP.