Review: Batman: The Court of Owls Volume 1 by Scott Snyder

Batman, Vol. 1: The Court of OwlsBatman, Vol. 1: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Batman



“Beware the Court of Owls,

That watches all the time.

Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch,

Behind granite and lime.

They watch you at your hearth,

They watch you in your bed,

Speak not a whispered word of them,

Or they’ll send the Talon for your head!”


Introduction:

So, when I heard that DC Comics was doing a reboot on all of their comics, I will admit that I was pretty hesitant about trying out any of the rebooted comics, especially after I heard so many bad things about DC’s New 52 series (and it turns out that the backlash was understandable, especially with how some of the later titles in the New 52 turned out to be horrible, according to some of the fans). But, there was one series in the New 52 that fans felt was always consistently good and that was Scott Snyder’s run on “Batman!” So, when my fellow Batman comic buddies recommended me this title, I will admit that I was pretty interested with this volume and I ended up being quite impressed with how this volume turned out!


What is this story about?

Gotham is Batman’s city and he will not let any criminal ruin his town…until the Court of Owls came in. The Court of Owls is a mysterious organization that has been around Gotham ever since it was first built and their plan is to retake Gotham City for their own. The only obstacle in their way is none other than Bruce Wayne and they plan on killing Bruce Wayne to reclaim Gotham City.


Is the Court of Owls connected to Bruce Wayne’s ancestors in some way and will they break Batman in order to obtain their goals of claiming Gotham City?

Read this volume to find out!


What I loved about this story:

Scott Snyder’s writing: I have read Scott Snyder’s previous works on “Batman: The Black Mirror” and the “American Vampire” series and I have always loved his unique and intense writing style. His writing of this “Batman” story is no different and I just loved the way that Scott Snyder made this “Batman” story even more intense than the last! I really loved the fact that since this is a reboot of the “Batman” comics, we actually get to see new villains in the form of the Court of Owls and it was interesting trying to figure out what their true goals for Gotham are and how they knew about Bruce Wayne himself. It really made the Court of Owls such interesting villains and the fact that they were one of the few villains to give Batman a hard time was really different and intriguing for me as a “Batman” fan. But what really made me squeal with true fangirl anticipation was seeing Dick Grayson appear in this comic along with Damian Wayne and Tim Drake! When I saw all the former Robins together on one page, I was seriously excited at this moment since I enjoy seeing all the Robins come together to be with Bruce Wayne, their mentor! I also loved the way that Scott Snyder wrote Bruce Wayne’s relationship with Dick Grayson and Alfred as this reboot shows that Batman still has a close relationship with Dick Grayson and Alfred and I really enjoyed their moments together.

Greg Capullo’s artwork: Greg Capullo’s artwork perfectly captures the dark and gritty nature of this series and I loved how scratchy the ink work is as it gives the story an intense feeling. I also loved the fact that Greg Capullo’s artwork reminds me a bit of the artwork in Frank Miller’s “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” comic book, which slightly gave this volume a retro feel, especially if you are an old school “Batman” fan!

Batman


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because the story tended to be a bit slow in some parts and there were times where I was wishing that the story would have moved at a faster pace to keep me interested all the way through. Also, for anyone who does not like bloody violence in comics, there are some moments in this volume where the violence can get pretty bloody, especially whenever the characters get stabbed by knives.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Batman: The Court of Owls Volume One” was a pleasant surprise for me as it made me really enjoy what was being done with this reboot of “Batman” and I hope that the series continues to get better with each volume!

Rating ?

4.5 pows

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Review: Wolverine Old Man Logan by Mark Millar

Wolverine: Old Man LoganWolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Brief Introduction:

Now, everyone knows that I am a huge fan of Wolverine, so when I heard about this unique little story called “Wolverine: Old Man Logan,” I just had to try this comic out! Luckily, I was not disappointed with this story as “Wolverine: Old Man Logan” was one of the most intense and possibly terrifying stories I had ever read about Wolverine! With spectacular writing from Mark Millar and dramatic artwork by Steve McNiven, “Wolverine: Old Man Logan” is definitely one comic book you just have to check out!


What is the story?

In the future world, the United States is being ruled by the villains of the Marvel Universe (Dr. Doom, Norman Osborn and the Kingpin) and all of the superheroes were killed off, except for two heroes: Wolverine and Hawkeye! Wolverine is now living peacefully with his family as he swore off ever using his claws ever again since a horrible incident happened that dealt with him using his claws. One day however, the evil Hulk Gang wanted their payment in rent from Wolverine and if they do not get their rent money, they will kill Wolverine’s family. So, Wolverine goes on a cross country journey with his partner, a now blind Hawkeye, to get some money for Wolverine to pay the rent. Unfortunately, even though Wolverine is trying to live a peaceful life, he will soon realize that in a world ruled by villains, he will always be a target and he might have to compromise his stance on not fighting anymore once his life and family are being threatened!


What I loved about this comic:

Mark Millar’s writing: After reading Mark Millar’s fantastic run on “Ultimate X-Men,” I just knew that I had to give this book a try and when I did, oh my goodness, I was totally blown away by this story! Mark Millar had done a fantastic job at giving us a really dark and dystopian world where super-villains ruled the United States and Logan decides to give up being “Wolverine” after a tragic event happened in his past. I loved the way that Mark Millar developed Wolverine’s character and the fact that there would be a day where I would see Wolverine become a pacifist was really surprising to me. I also enjoyed the back story about why Wolverine became a pacifist and what happened to him in the past was a truly terrifying and emotional moment in this book that will make you really sympathize with Wolverine’s predicament. I also loved the idea about this being a “what if” story about what would happened if the super-villains ruled the world and all the super heroes were killed? It rose up so many interesting scenarios in this comic about what the super villains would do once they take over the world and how the world would look like. Apparently, the world is full of people being killed for no good reason and the endless changes to the United States such as California now being called “Hulkland.” I also loved the way that Mark Millar portrayed Hawkeye and Wolverine’s relationship with each other as Hawkeye is always cheerful and can still fight extremely well even when he is blind and I loved the fact that they still remain friends after all the hardships of living in a villain ruled world.

Steve McNiven’s artwork: Steve McNiven’s artwork was just so fantastic in this comic! I loved the way that Steve McNiven made the characters looks extremely realistic. The characters’ facial expressions are done extremely well as there are shadows on the characters’ faces whenever they are having dark thoughts. I also enjoyed how detailed the bloody scenes were as blood squirts everywhere whenever the characters are cut up as it gives the scenes a much more frightening feeling.

Logan


What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:


~A huge warning for anyone reading this comic~

This comic has oodles and oodles of blood and gore throughout! I had never seen a “Wolverine” comic that had so many scenes of people being killed in the most brutal ways (being cut up) and anyone who does not like seeing any kind of strong violence in a comic might want to skip this comic. Also, there is some language in this comic, although not as strong as something you would see in Scott Snyder’s “American Vampire” or Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series, so for anyone who does not like reading language in a book, they might want to skim over these words. I took off half a star because I felt that the beginning was moving a bit too slow and it was not until the middle of the story where things really started to pick up. Also, the story might be a bit confusing for anyone who does not read “Avengers” or any other Marvel comics since it manages to combine most of the Marvel characters into one story (I know I got really confused when the Avengers were mentioned since I barely read the “Avengers” comics (big X-Men fan here).


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Wolverine: Old Man Logan” was a really interesting read for me since I usually do enjoy the usual dystopian future storylines and this one was really creative and unique to read through. Wolverine fans will definitely enjoy this fantastic one shot story of everyone’s favorite claw wielding mutant!

Rating?

4.5 pows

Saga, Volume 4

Saga, Volume 4Saga, Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

 

WARNING: Potential Spoilers Ahead!

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You can really see how this family is going through the growing pains in this one. And, once again, Vaughn and Staples create a fantasy world that is so incredibly not fantasy.
This volume? This is a real marriage.
Can we please fight about it in the morning?

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Ok, so now that they aren’t running for their lives, the mundane existence of taking care of a family sets in…as it does with a lot of marriages.
Alana is working full-time as an actress on this space soap opera, and Marko is staying home with Hazel.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage…
But they don’t tell you what happens after that, do they?

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Yep. You aren’t really married till you’ve practiced your alibi in the mirror, at least once. Now, at some point, you’ll both laugh about how you ran into each other at Home Depot, looked into each other’s shopping carts, and saw that you were both buying tarp and duct tape.
But till then, you’ll go through that rough period known as:
Those Couple Of Years We Gutted It Out For The Kids.

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Continue reading

Superman, Vol. 6: The Men of Tomorrow by Geoff Johns

Superman, Vol. 6: The Men of TomorrowSuperman, Vol. 6: The Men of Tomorrow by Geoff Johns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Say what you want about Geoff Johns, but he definitely knows how to pump new life into iconic characters.
This was FANTASTIC!

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The biggest downer was the art, but I may be the only person who isn’t in love with John Romita Jr’s stuff. It’s not horrible, but I miss Kenneth Rocafort. Sorry, I just think his stuff is pretty to look at, and while JRJ is a beloved illustrator, I’m just not into him.

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Other than that, there’s simply nothing wrong with this volume, though.
Ok, you know how I constantly bitch about crossovers & events hijacking every single title out there? Yeah. Well, it doesn’t happen here! This is literally one cohesive story!
What the what?! I didn’t even know they did that anymore?!

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This next bit might be a mild spoiler, but I don’t think so, because it happens on the first few pages, and is alluded to in the blurb.
Continue reading

Green Arrow: Archer’s Quest Deluxe Edition

Green Arrow: Archer's Quest Deluxe EditionGreen Arrow: Archer’s Quest Deluxe Edition by Brad Meltzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Porn-Buddies.
Yeah, that’s the basis for this book. Do you know what a porn-buddy is?
It’s that friend who, if you die, goes into your house and burns/deletes every last scrap of whatever embarrassingly deviant things you might have left behind…before your family finds it.
I know what you’re thinking…

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Only Ollie doesn’t need anyone to burn his porn stash for him.
Get it? Porn Stache! Goddamnit, I’m hilarious!

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Whatever. I’m funny.
Anyway, Ollie had a contingency plan to protect his family & friends in the event of his death. Someone he trusted was to find all of his Green Arrow memorabilia and get rid of it, before it could be used to ferret out the secret identities of his loved ones.
And wouldn’t you know it? He did die.

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But like all good superheroes, he’s baaaaack!
So. Now, he’s got to find out if his wishes were fulfilled. And if so, he needs to collect his stuff.

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This is a really cool Road Trip story for Green Arrow. Basically, he and Arsenal go out and hit all the important highlights of Ollie’s life while they search for his missing collectibles.

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Remember, at the time this was written, both Hal & Barry were dead. So, this is also sort of his goodbye to each of his best friends, and there were some pretty touching moments as a result.

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Plus, he’s got to come to terms with the fact that the men who replaced his friends maybe aren’t so bad. Maybe.

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Not only does he want to find his goodies, but he wants to try and rectify some of the things that he didn’t do right the first time around.

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Alrighty, I thought this would have been a great Green Arrow story even without the twist Metzer added to the end.
But with it, he transformed Oliver Queen’s entire backstory, and made us all think twice about everything we thought we knew about the Emerald Archer. Good stuff!

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Definitely recommended for anyone who calls themselves a fan of Green Arrow.

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Review: Batman: Long Shadows by Judd Winick

Batman: Long ShadowsBatman: Long Shadows by Judd Winick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Batman


Introduction:

Now to be honest, I have never read DC Comics’ major event “Final Crisis,” so I am not familiar with Batman (or Bruce Wayne in this case) being dead during this event and this comic book “Batman: Long Shadows” takes place after the events of “Final Crisis.” However, despite not reading “Final Crisis,” I still thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel (although being a huge Dick Grayson fan also helps)!


What is this story about?

After the events of “Final Crisis,” Batman (Bruce Wayne) is pronounced dead, but in order to prevent the world from knowing that the real Batman is dead, Bruce Wayne’s protégé Dick Grayson decides to take up the mantle himself. Unfortunately, Batman’s old nemesis Two-Face notices that Batman is not himself and he sets out to murder the new Batman!


What I loved about this story:

Judd Winick’s writing: Wow! Can I say that I was truly impressed with Judd Winick’s writing of this short story that takes place after “Final Crisis?” Now as it is known by now, I am a huge Dick Grayson fan and the fact that I am reading another “Batman” comic that stars Dick Grayson taking the mantle from Bruce Wayne (the first comic I read that had Dick Grayson as Batman was “Batman: The Black Mirror”) is just so exciting to me! I loved the way that Judd Winick wrote this story as we actually get to see how Batman’s immediate family (his butler Alfred, Damian Wayne and Dick Grayson) react to Bruce Wayne’s death and how they are trying to cope with the legacy that he left behind as Batman. It was pretty interesting to see how Dick Grayson tries to upheld Bruce Wayne’s legacy as Batman while doing things his own way and I loved how the other characters often commented on how Dick Grayson was a lot more friendlier as Batman than Bruce Wayne was and it was a nice change for the characters, especially for Alfred. I really enjoyed the relationship that Dick shares with Damian Wayne and Alfred as he treats Alfred like a father figure and he tries to get through the hard headed Damian Wayne. Judd Winick’s portrayal of Dick Grayson was fantastic as Dick continues to crack jokes throughout the story while showing great concern and compassion for his mentor Bruce Wayne and that just made me love Dick Grayson even more!

Mark Bagley’s artwork: Mark Bagley’s artwork is truly fantastic, especially during the battle sequences! I loved the way that Mark Bagley made all the explosions look extremely realistic and effective as I really felt the chaotic mood of the battle scenes that Dick Grayson gets involved in. I also loved the way that Mark Bagley drew the expressions on the characters’ faces as they look expressive and I actually felt the same emotions that the characters felt through certain situations, like the sadness that Batman’s immediate family felt when Bruce Wayne died.

Batman


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story

The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because the beginning tended to drag on for a while before the story got exciting and I will admit I was a bit bored with the beginning until I got into the actual story as it went on. Also, for anyone who does not like gory violence and language, this comic does have a fair share of violence and language.


Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Batman: Long Shadows” is an excellent graphic novel for fans who want to see Dick Grayson take up the Batman cowl and own it like no one else!

4.5 pows

Review: Spider-Man: Dying Wish

Spider-Man: Dying WishSpider-Man: Dying Wish by Dan Slott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

 

4.5 Superior stars

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THIS is the prequel to Superior Spider-man. I’ve been wanting to find out how the hell Doc Ock managed to shove his mind into Peter Parker’s body for a long time, and if there’s anyone else out there like me, you might kind of confused as to what you need to read.
Ta-da!

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Continue reading

Review: Silk Vol 1 #1 by Robbie Thompson, Stacey Lee (penciler), Ian Herring (Colourists)

Silk Vol 1 #1Silk Vol 1 #1 by Robbie Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

4.5 stars

Very cool 1st issue!
Cindy Moon is introduced in the Amazing Spider-Man title, played a huge role in the Spider-verse event, and is now getting her very own title!

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Quick Backstory (probably missing stuff):
Cindy was bit by the same spider that chomped Peter, and has powers resembling Pete’s. She can also spin her own webs, and creates clothes out of her spider Silk. Soon after being bitten, she was found by a man called Sims, and then locked in a bunker (for 10 years) that shielded her presence from a spider-hunter called Morlun. She had the code to get out, but chose to stay, because (according to him) it was the only way to keep everyone else safe from the bad guy who was hunting her. He was rightish, because of the whole Spider-verse thing. Still, maybe not exactly a good guy. Since 10 years have passed, she’s lost touch with her family, and is now on a mission to find them. Plus, Cindy also has an eidetic memory (like Barbara Gordon!).
Oh, and she & Pete had a thing for about 10 seconds.

Ta-da!

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Ok, this one does a pretty good job making Cindy a likable new heroine, and giving her a distinct voice. The art is fun to look at, slick, and flows well with the dialogue. And the story itself was a great introduction to the kind of character she’s going to be in the future.
Well, hopefully.
She’s trying to juggle a job, superhero stuff, finding her family, and learning how to blend in after missing 10 years of pop culture references.
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Pete pops up a few times to let her know he’s there for her, but it’s pretty clear that she’s going to be a solo act. And while I’m sure there will be plenty of team-ups in the future, it’s nice to see her doing her own thing.

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This one ends with her getting her own Spider-lair, and trying to figure out the next move to track down her family. There’s a little ominous voice-over thrown in the last panel that made me sit up and take notice, as well. All in all, very nicely done.
Can’t wait to read the next one!

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Review: Secret Avengers, Vol. 1: Let’s Have a Problem by Ales Kot

Secret Avengers, Vol. 1: Let's Have a Problem (Secret Avengers #1)Secret Avengers, Vol. 1: Let’s Have a Problem by Ales Kot

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Yep, yep, yep! This was very cool!
Not sure why I haven’t heard much about this one, but it’s really good. It’s got the same vibe as Hawkeye, but the premise is like a toned down version of the X-force for Avengers…if that even makes sense.

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Maria Hill has decided to put together a Top Secret group of heroes to take on Top Secret threats. Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, and (unbeknownst to everyone on the team) M.O.D.O.K. make up the team.

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Oh, and Hawkeye ends up accidentally making the roster.
He’s the Problem that the title refers to.

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Let’s Have a Problem was just fun to read.
There’s a rampaging Death-machine (ironically called Fury), satellites falling from the sky (???), a self-aware an bomb (who wants to try gelato), an assassination attempt on Hill (she probably deserved it), and a murder in M.O.D.O.K.’s mad science lab (because…shit happens).

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I didn’t realize it until I decided to look this guy up, but Ales Kot was the guy who wrote the only volume of Suicide Squad that I thought was worth a shit. And after reading this, I can say without a doubt I’ll be stalking whatever he decides to do next.
Highly Recommended!

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Review: Batman: Earth One, Vol. 2 by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank (Illustrator)

Batman: Earth One, Vol. 2 (Batman Earth One, #2)Batman: Earth One, Vol. 2 by Geoff Johns

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

It’s been a few years since the first volume of Batman: Earth One came out, so I was pretty excited when I saw this sucker. Finally!

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For those of you who don’t know, Earth One titles are re-imaginings of DC characters that do not take place in regular continuity. In other words, this is not our Batman. It’s just a neat way for writers to take iconic characters and their origin stories, and put a different spin on things.
Sometimes the stories are very cool…sometimes they suck.
My opinion? This one was awesome!
It’s not perfect, but I had a lot of fun reading it.

The main villain for volume two is the Riddler.
He’s riddling away while blowing up various locations. Not the best re-imagining I’ve ever seen, but Johns does a decent job with the storyline.

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Killer Croc was briefly introduced, as well. His story is pretty different considering he’s just a misunderstood guy with a skin condition.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen Waylon portrayed as decent, but usually he’s just more of a bad guy with a heart, not a blameless victim.
Without spoiling the story, I’ll just say that the ending surprised me…
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Two-Face’s origin has been completely re-vamped.
Harvey & Jessica Dent are twins. Since their childhood, Harvey has always hated Bruce Wayne because of his family’s ties with Arkham (Bruce’s mother was an Arkham). He believes that insanity runs in Wayne’s blood. The fact that Bruce and Jessica were something of an item when they were younger probably exacerbated his feelings. Flash forward to the present: Harvey is the District Attorney, and Jessica is now the mayor of Gotham City. When the Riddler starts mucking things up, she goes to her old friend Bruce for help in rebuilding the people’s faith in the city. Harvey still doesn’t like Bruce, but he defers to her wishes…
Spoilery shit goes very wrong.
And you see the beginnings of Two-Face start to emerge.
This was the best twist that I’ve seen in one of these Earth One titles, so far.

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On a side note, Catwoman makes a cool cameo, but I don’t want to spoil anything by telling where she shows up, or what she does.

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Batman is still struggling to figure out how to be Batman, and he doesn’t quite have all the cool moves down yet. But he’s getting there.
And he’s a hell of a lot better at it than he was in the first volume…

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Alfred, Gordon, Bullock…they’re all different from our guys, but I’m totally on board with the way they’re being re-written. I really love that Bullock was the incorruptible cop when this started out!

If you’re not open to What If stories, then cross this off your list, but if you usually like that sort of thing, I think you’ll enjoy this one.
Also, I love this title, but I’m really hoping it doesn’t take another 3 years for the next volume to come out!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a digital copy to review.

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