Tag Archives: ” Bagpiper

The Punisher grips Marvel fans’ attention in release of first season

By Reagan O’Farrell

Art by Shelby Pennington

The Punisher started off with a bang- or more accurately, a hit-and-run murder, then a bang, then a strangulation in a men’s bathroom.

This TV show, which had its entire first season released by Netflix on Nov. 17, is not for the faint of heart. With graphic gore and an abundance of violence, not everyone can handle this story of an avenging anti-hero.

The Punisher circles around the story of Frank Castle, who is also known as “Punisher” and played by Jon Bernthal. After coming home from war and having his wife and two children murdered, he exacts revenge on those responsible before attempting to live out a quiet life. This quiet does not last long as he soon finds himself thrust into the vigilante lifestyle to uncover the conspiracies plaguing the nation.

The producers made an excellent choice in cast members for the show. Jon Bernthal, who was originally most notorious for his role as Shane early on in The Walking Dead, brings Punisher to life, making him into a relatable quasi-hero who also happens to live a life wrought with tragedy, death, and manipulation. His portrayal is a memorable one, and it is hard to imagine Bernthal in any other role given how fluidly he is portrayed in this one. Ebon Moss-Bachrach plays Micro, a former NSA computer analyst believed dead much like Punisher himself. His introduction is also the introduction to much of the humor in the show, even if that humor is scarce and often short-lived.

One of the most notable features of The Punisher is its soundtrack. The season-long introduction sequence alone offers music that parallels the show perfectly, intertwining with the dark images displayed in its mist. The action sequences are notable and undoubtedly memorable in the minds of viewers because of the hard, strong beats accompanying them that makes hearts beat faster in anticipation and excitement despite the gruesome behaviors it is exemplifying.

The Punisher is not slow, but it does take some time for the buildup before the main plot is fully introduced. There is a certain shadows and curtains aspect to the show, however, that keeps up the intrigue throughout, drawing in the more plot oriented minds as opposed to simply leading a character-driven story.

It delves deep into the importance of origins and the effects of social and government influence while also providing both subtle and direct criticisms of the inter-workings of the United States. These criticisms certainly raise questions and bring to light conspiracies that are sometimes swept under the rug by the public. While Punisher himself is no role model, he does act the door to both answers and the reality of human nature.

Overall, The Punisher is a good source of entertainment for both superhero fans and non-superhero fans alike. Those who primarily watch Marvel movies may be surprised at just how different this show is, but it still offers the much-desired action sequences that make those films noteworthy. While the brooding-man-who-lost-all-that-he-loved trope is strong in this one, it actually plays off well and with an air of rationality given Punisher’s overwhelmingly tragic backstory.

Netflix has been coming out with multiple memorable shows, and The Punisher will likely become an inevitable addition to that growing list.

Column: Rookies usher in new baseball era

By JD McKay

After 162 games, a week of awards, and a great postseason the Major League Baseball season is over. The Astros finally won a World Series, Aaron Judge had the greatest rookie season of all time, and home runs hit an all-time high. Plus, my Yankees look like they will be a powerhouse for the next 10 years. The Yankee’s potential inspired me to predict next year’s results.

Offseason transactions haven’t started, but as of Nov. 22 next year’s World Series will see the Yankees beating the Cubs in six games. The Cubs will need to add one pitcher to be able to beat the Dodgers and be back to truly being World Series contenders. The Yankees have one of the highest MLB payrolls and a farm system stuffed with talent, just waiting for the players to mature enough to be MLB caliber.

The Astros and Yankees will become baseball’s newest playoff rival. Yearly we will see Judge vs George Springer and Gary Sanchez vs José Altuve. The National League doesn’t look like any two teams will be like the Yankees and Astros.

Until Clayton Kershaw retires, the Dodgers will also be a dominant team in the NL. The only team that can truly compete with them as of right now is a healthy Nationals team. Unfortunately, they are never heath and like to choke in the postseason.

Now to last season. In case you missed it, the World Series was spectacular. Once again, home runs were hit at an all time high, 25 homeruns were hit in the series, and eight in Game 2.

This season, Judge hit 52 home runs and Giancarlo Stanton hit 59. Both guys are 6’6” or taller and the tallest position players in the MLB. Plus, rookie Cody Bellinger hit 39 home runs and only played three quarters of the season. Edinson Volquez threw the only no hitter and Madison Bumgarner, a pitcher, hit two home runs on opening day.

Speaking of rookies, Bellinger and Judge were unanimous Rookies of the Year, and Judge was second in the AL MVP votes. Altuve won the AL MVP by 150 points. The NL MVP was much closer. Stanton’s incredible second half of the season made him MVP, two points over Reds future Hall of Famer Joey Votto. The Twins manager Paul Molitor won 85 games and made the playoffs after 103 losses the year before.

All in all, this was an incredible MLB season. The Yankee’s young stars arrived and started a new Yankees dynasty a few years early. The World Series went to seven games and saw several extra innings. We also saw the Astros finally reach the mark they have been trying reach for several years. The 2017 baseball was a season of surprise and home runs. Hopefully the upcoming 2018 season will be as spectacular.

Avid readers anticipate release of Sarah J. Maas’s ‘Tower of Dawn’

Art by Ky Haney

By Reagan O’Farrell

A teenager tightly grips the hardbound pages of the book, opening up to the dog-eared spot from where she last left off. Flipping her hair from her face, she sinks her nose into the book, immediately becoming fully engrossed and incidentally ignoring the miffed stares of the people she nearly runs into.

Since the first installment of the Throne of Glass series was released in 2012, these books, written by bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, have become a hit among young adults all across the nation. The sixth book, Tower of Dawn, was released on Sept.5.

This series is set around notorious assassin Caelena Sardothien as she finds herself exonerated from slavery by boy prince Dorian Havilliard, only to be trained by Captain of the Guard Chaol Westfall with the intention of becoming a personal operative for the ruthless king. As she battles against fellow thieves and killers, she must also discover the forces that have been brutally killing her competitors before it finally attacks her while simultaneously feigning as a mild-mannered lady at the glass castle. Despite her initial intentions, Caelena finds herself befriending Dorian and Chaol alongside the mysterious yet clever princess Nehemia Ytger.

Throne of Glass is deep within the epic fantasy genre with Sarah J. Maas having built a world entirely of its own making littered with the minute details that make readers feel as though they live there themselves. Stabs at romance can be found throughout the series, though more often in its latter half, and all of the books contain several action sequences written in enough detail to seem as though the fights are taking place on the physical earth.

While the writing is extraordinarily done, many critics have risen to the front in objection to the series’ applauded nature. Many of these criticisms are founded upon the characteristics of the protagonist, Caelena. She is a typical anti-hero: parallels can be drawn between her and other radical characters such as Deadpool. Some people develop bad tastes in their mouths when they hear too much of Caelena’s snarky attitude and are forced to understand what she has done to earn her title as a famous assassin. However, a number of these critics fail to note her development as one book evolves to the next. Her cynical nature becomes far less biting and sour and instead turns into an odd form of affection, and she addresses her own behaviors with a critical eye.

Others find more objection in the narrative style itself. They are none too fond of Maas’s thorough explicitness of both violent and sensual scenes, balking at the idea that children in the fifth grade could be found engrossed in the novels despite the fact that the intended audience is people in their later teens.

Throne of Glass is not without its faults, but Maas exhibits her natural talent in regards to wielding prose with her profound descriptions of both individuals and scenery. She also manages to leave seemingly irrelevant pieces of information throughout the books only to bring those details up later and express their weighty significance. Her characters are compelling, and despite the various number of them, they each receive adequate attention and development, all of whom connect back to Caelena herself.

The next book, Tower of Dawn, differs from the rest of the books in the series. Originally intended to simply be a novella, Maas became so invested in the book that it became a crucial component to the series. It is to be told from a perspective unlike the previous, with Caelena no longer being the forefront of the novel, instead being replaced by a male lead and female secondary character. This could bring an interesting change in the dynamic of the plot, but most readers have enough faith in Maas’s abilities to eagerly anticipate the installment.

For readers already invested in the series, Maas recommended in one of her newsletters to read her previous novella collection, The Assassin’s Blade, before proceeding to read Tower of Dawn.

Throne of Glass has been revving up in popularity these past few years, enough so for HBO to decide to create a television show based upon these books known as Queen of Shadows. While the characters may not find their way on screen for a little while, fans can look forward to reading the original ink and paper.