Visit Homepage
Skip to content

Tag: superhero

Lester – Chapter 1

Posted in Short Stories

Lester was a little creep who had obtained super powers. He got them from an odd rock that had plummeted from the sky and landed in his back yard. The rock radiated with cosmic energy and would have gone completely unnoticed if Lester hadn’t tripped over it and subsequently attacked it with displaced aggression. The rock had done nothing to incur Lester’s wrath and the moment the boy’s skin made contact with the mineraloid, it had gifted the spoilt ten year old with abilities beyond his wildest dreams.

Lester did not deserve these powers.

The imbuement of absolute power seemed to go unnoticed as Lester continued to pelt stones at the neighbour’s cat – an average Thursday for a no-longer average child.

-5%-

“Stupid cat, why don’t you move if you don’t like me throwing stones at you? Obviously you must like it!?” said Lester.

The very next stone that Lester flung, ripped through the cat like the creature was made of tissue paper. The cat slumped over the boundary wall, it’s guts leaking out on either side. Lester stood quizzically for a moment observing what he had done.

“Stupid cat.”

Spinning on his heel, Lester trotted inside the house, unperturbed by what had just transpired.

By 8pm it was time for Lester to go to bed, but the overindulged child was not interested.

“We will not go through this exercise again, Lester!” scolded his father.

“I don’t WANT to go to bed, I WANT to play Xbox!” protested Lester.

Father and son stood in front of one another for what seemed like an eternity, eyes locked – both unyielding.

“I WANT to play Xbox!” he hissed through gritted teeth.

Lester’s squealing shot through his father’s mind like needles. Burst blood vessels in the man’s eyes caused him to relent as he stumbled off to the bathroom to rinse his face. Soon after his wife would come looking for him.

“Henry, what’s happened!?’ she cried.

That little shit son of yours, that’s what!” he scolded.

“Henry, your eyes!” she gasped.

“Yes, I know it’s my fucking eyes, was so angry…shouting at Lester must have popped a blood vessel or something.”

This was not so, and was in fact Lester’s direct doing. Though neither knew it at the time.

Yet again, Lester was untroubled by what had happened and saw this as an opportunity to get his way and play Xbox, just like he wanted in the first place. His father would not bother him again that evening, as he lay in bed nursing the worst headache he would ever experience in his life.

-9%-

It was Saturday, and Lester enjoyed nothing more than melting plastic soldiers with his father’s blowtorch, he wasn’t allowed to go near the tool but his father worked on the weekends and his mother would spend the day watching her shows. So melt little plastic soldiers he did.

The rotting remains of the neighbour’s cat had caught Lester’s eye as carrion birds proceeded to rip and pull at the entrails. Lester’s lapse in concentration at this spectacle meant that he neglected to notice that the blowtorch was spewing white hot flames onto his knees as he sat on his haunches. As Lester finally turned his attention back to his melted soldiers, he fell back, startled, thinking he had burnt himself but there wasn’t a single mark on his skin, not even a scorched hair. He rubbed his knees and legs over multiple times in disbelief but he remained unharmed – the blowtorch sat next to him idly, the torch’s nozzle stained by heat.

Panicked, Lester let out a high-pitched scream, and soon after his mother came running outside to see what had ailed her son but her concern was almost immediately replaced with anger as she saw the blowtorch lying on the ground next to her wailing son.

“What have we told you about playing with that thing!? Do you see what happens when you don’t listen, Lester!”

Lester’s mother stormed over to her son, scooping up the blowtorch – she grabbed his forearm with the intention of dragging the boy inside but recoiled with pain as her hand was immediately and inexplicably burnt, the palm of her hand bubbled with welts and loose skin.

‘Fuck, Lester!”

Her son stood idly, watching his mother writhe in pain, trying to make sense of what was happening. His mother glared at him with equal confusion, cradling her hand, she stormed inside to nurse the wound.

-12%-

That night, Lester sat in his room playing video-games as his parents argued in the kitchen, his mother desperately trying to explain what had happened that afternoon without sounding too hysterical. Her husband, tired from the toils of manual labour sat at the kitchen table, disengaged, hardly paying attention to what his wife was saying but lashed out at her after she spilled his beer while trying to show him her burnt hand.

“Jesus, Karen! Watch what you’re doing!”

“That’s what your worried about? Your fucking beer!? I’m trying to tell you something here, Henry! Something strange is happening with Lester!”

“The only thing that’s strange here is how you mollycoddle that little shit!”

“He burnt me, Henry! As soon as I grabbed his arm!”

“And this is exactly why no one but me should touch that blowtorch!”

“Damn it, Henry! I was holding the blowtorch, I got burnt when I grabbed his arm…haven’t you been listening to anything I’ve said!?”

“No Karen, because what you’re saying is stupid, clearly you shouldn’t be touching the blowtorch either!”

“Fuck you, Henry!”

Karen smacked her husband’s beer out of his hand before he could take another sip and stormed out of the kitchen. She passed Lester’s room, stopping momentarily to see her son sitting in front of the TV, still playing his video-games. For a moment she thought about approaching him, but the memory of that afternoon gave her pause as a chill ran down her spine. She continued on to her bedroom.

***

After several hours, drunk and weary, Henry slowly shambled towards the bedroom but not before seeing Lester still playing video-games.

“For Christ’s sake, Lester, shut that shit off and go to bed.”

Lester did not respond, and seemingly ignored his father.

“I’m not going to ask you again, boy!”

Still, Lester remained motionless in front of the television. A fact that only served to enrage his father even further. Henry marched up to Lester, crushing various toys that were strewn in his path, reaching out to grab hold of his son, Lester got up and turned to face his father. A split second later and Lester held both of his father’s wrists firmly in his grasp.

-15%-

“Fifteen percent, Dad.” whispered Lester.

“Wh-what are you talking about…let go of me.” protested Henry, unable to free himself from the ten year old’s grip.

“Fifteen percent…it’s the amount of power I have so far.”

“P-power!? This isn’t a cartoon, boy. You are going to get such a hiding, you have no idea what’s coming, you little shit!”

“No, Dad. It’s already here.”

Lester crushed his father’s wrists so thoroughly that all that remained were two stumps as the man’s life spilled out onto the carpet – filling the small room with the overbearingly acrid odour of blood. Taking a few steps back, Henry fell into the hallway, slumped against the wall, and bled out in moments. In response to all the commotion, Karen came out into the hallway, in a daze of confusion as she tried to make sense of seeing her dead husband slumped over in the hallway with no hands.

Karen stood silent, so petrified she was unable to scream. She managed a few steps towards her husband before her heart gave out. She fell to the ground dead, only a few feet away from the blood-covered man.

Lester stood at the threshold of his room, staring blankly at his dead parents. In one fluid motion he spun back into his room, sat down in front of the television, and continued to play his video-games…


Review | Ant-Man

Posted in Film & Television

Ant_Man-2015-11-10-Poster2

Info:

Genre: Science-fiction, comic-book adaptation

Director/s: Peyton Reed

Running Time: 117 mins

Budget: $130 million

Released: 29 June 2015

Plot:

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Review:

Admittedly, Ant-Man was one of the Marvel films that I put on the back-burner, having no real desire to rush out to the cinema and see it as I would with say, The Avengers or Iron Man.  Indeed, Ant-Man doesn’t really have the cash-cow potential of the ‘bigger’ (sorry, couldn’t resist…) Marvel heroes, but that’s not to say that Ant-Man doesn’t deserve recognition as this film is extremely enjoyable and has all the right ingredients for a successful superhero entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ant_Man-2015-11-14-Poster01

The premise is a simple one, soon after ending a stint in prison, long-time cat burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) goes back to his ways after he struggles to maintain employment due to his shaky history.  A heist goes “sour” after Scott breaks into an old vault that seems to have nothing of worth save for a strange suit and helmet which he steals anyway.  Turns out the suit belongs to Dr. Hank Pym, a brilliant scientist who has designed a special serum which works in conjunction with the suit allowing the wearer to shrink in scale and increase in strength.  Together with Dr. Pym and his daughter – Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Scott must master the suit’s power and infiltrate Pym Technologies in order to steal (and destroy) a prototype serum (reverse-engineered) which Dr. Pym’s former protégé – Darren Cross, wishes to weaponize for military application.

Ant_Man-2015-11-14-Poster02

As expected, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is in the role of antagonist and also has his own prototype suit (intended for soldiers) – The Yellowjacket (a Yellow Jacket being a type of predatory wasp) which he will use to battle Ant-Man with.  Ant-Man is definitely on a smaller scale (again, couldn’t resist) compared to films like Guardians of the Galaxy and the aforementioned Avengers, there’s no world-ending premise or alien overlords but Stark is name-dropped several times as is The Avengers so much so that at one point Scott goes toe-to-toe with one of them.

Ant_Man-2015-11-14-Poster03

“…it’s clear that Marvel wish to fully integrate each one of their heroes into the MCU however minor they may be…”

Ant_Man-2015-11-14-Poster04

Hope is Scott’s love interest in the film (though initially the relationship is antagonistic, as expected) and is set to become Wasp for the sequel – Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018).  Ant-Man will also play a role in Captain America: Civil War so it’s clear that Marvel wish to fully integrate each one of their heroes into the MCU however minor they may be.  Interestingly enough, Dr. Hank Pym was originally the creator of Ultron in the comics however, it was decided to cast Tony Stark as the killer-robot’s father as the producer’s felt there would have been too many ‘scientist characters’ vying for screen time in Age of Ultron.  It’s also worth noting that in the comics, Scott Lang was the second Ant-Man, Hank Pym being the first (having created the super-suit and so forth).

Ant_Man-2015-11-14-Poster05

Perhaps the strongest aspect of Ant-man is its humour.  Paul Rudd does a fantastic job of keeping the audience engaged and entertained, whether it’s banter between allies or smack-talk against foes, Ant-Man will have you chuckling throughout the film’s duration.  Michael Douglas did a good job of portraying Hank Pym and while Darren Cross was definitely not in the same league as the likes of Ultron, Thanos and the other big bads, he did a fine job keeping us entertained as the malicious ex-protégé with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.  It’s also worth noting that this film did a stellar job of making us care about ants (or perhaps one in particular) and managed to use them to great comedic effect at certain points.

Ant_Man-2015-11-14-Poster06

In terms of visual-effects, Ant-man is top-notch.  The shrinking effect is implemented well and all the ‘giant’ environments are wonderfully done, reminding me of the classic film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids – a film that I found utterly captivating and engrossing as a child.  Ant-Man managed to capture some of that aforementioned nostalgia for me (especially since Honey, I Shrunk the Kids also featured an ant ‘hero’).  The Ant-Man suit has also been brought to life wonderfully although, the central colours of the suit have been reversed – the primary colour now being black, accentuated by red on the chest and shoulders. Undoubtedly, this change was done in order to streamline the suit’s transition to the silver screen.  Needless to say, the Ant-man’s Formicidae compatriots are animated brilliantly too.

Ant_Man-2015-11-14-Poster07

Conclusion:

In conclusion, Ant-Man is a great addition to the MCU roster.  It’s funny, action-packed and certainly does its comic-book namesake justice.  Even though Ant-Man isn’t in the same league as the other flashier Marvel films, it holds its own, offering a hugely entertaining and interesting adventure despite the various predictable plot elements present here.

Score | B