Saturday, July 8, 2017

This is the End: The Destroyer

Image result for The Destroyer Remo Williams
Strictly speaking this is not the end for the world of The Destroyer.  The books are still being published as is the Legacy spinoff series.  But this is the end of playing catchup with the series which started in the early 1970s.  I started collecting in the late eighties and now have finally caught up (if I had more time I'd reread the whole series in order) thanks in large part to fact the entire series is now available as ebooks.  151 books, a spinoff series of six books so far, a movie (and a new one in the works), a TV pilot as well as Marvel comics. (There are new comics that I need to get)
Image result for The Destroyer Remo WilliamsImage result for The Destroyer Remo Williams

It feels weird being caught up, the hunt for Destroyers has been part of my life for 30 years now.  The Destroyer I can't remember how I discovered him it might have been a copy of Inside Sinanju at the cheap books in the corner store visiting my grandmother.  It might have been a library book.  It may have been the back cover blurb for the Doc Savage video (which was definitely my introduction to Buckaroo Banzai).
Image result for Doc Savage VHS Cover

When I found The Destroyer, I was in love. The characters are great.  Chuin should be the most offensive character in the world but he's not. Some would say that he's racist but it makes sense because he IS far superior to everyone else. He’s a frail looking little old man but heaven help you if you upset him or interrupt his soap operas.

Then there is Harold Smith the incorruptible WWII veteran cheapskate with a computer system that can infiltrate any electronic information.  Smith was asked to head the agency CURE by Kennedy and has been in the job since the 1960s. 

Remo is the meat in the sandwich of these two extremes. The Newark beat cop conscripted into an eternal battle with outré threats to America. He's the guy who cleans up Chuin's bodies when the old man kills someone who has annoyed him.
Image result for Hector Garrido The Destroyer Remo Williams

A lot of the Destroyer has made its way into other things Person of Interest, Knight Rider, The Karate Kid.

The Destroyer lead me to explore other series and was why I wrote Serial Vigilantes of Paperback Fiction.  Being able to write a Destroyer short story for the More Blood anthology was one of the greatest moments of my life. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

50 New Pulp Movies

Recently Derrick Ferguson announced that he was doing a list of 50 New Pulp movies.  The end result can be found here

When he announced it, it for shits and giggles I thought I'd try and see how well I'd go at predicting what would be on his list.

So here is my list the ones in red weren't on Derrick's list.

50 New Pulp Movies

1. Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins

2. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

3. Sahara

4. Indiana Jones Quartet

5. The Rocketeer

6. Sky Captain

7. Hudson Hawk

8. Our Man Flint/In like Flint

9. High Road to China

10. Darkman

11. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zizzou

12. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

13. The Fifth Element

14. The Phantom

15. Romancing the Stone

16. Jake Speed

17. Dark Avenger

18. Dark Knight trilogy

19. King Kong 2005

20. Kong Skull Island

21. The Mummy Trilogy

22. The Goonies

23. Cutthroat Island

24. Sunset

25. Shoot em up

26. Captain America: The First Avenger

27. Atlantis the Lost Empire

28. The Punisher 2004

29. Big Trouble in Little China

30. National Treasure

31. Cast a Deadly Spell

32. The Black Mask

33. Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen

34. Brotherhood of the Wolf

35. The Black Samurai

36. The Black Scorpion

37. Billy Jack

38. Congo

39. Machete

40. The Man with the Iron Fists

41. Second Hand Lions

42. The Specialist

43. The Transporter

44. Cleopatra Jones

45. Coffy

46. Foxy Brown

47. Black Belt Jones

48. The Equaliser

49. The A Team

50. The President's Man
So with only 14 out of 50, I'm a poor prophet of Derrick's choices but it just shows the wide range of New Pulp movies out there (that is movies from after the 1950s in the pulp style)

Monday, June 5, 2017

This is the End: Teen Wolf

As a fan and collector there are some items that are an easy hole to fill.  The Cape, one season 10 episodes, buy the DVD done. A single movie like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow similarly easy to complete the search. An ebook megapack might get the complete works of Edgar Wallace or H. Rider Haggard for 99c.

Others take a bit more work I own and have read all 135 JT Edson novels, I own all seven seasons of MacGyver, the two TV movies, the novel (which I got Richard Dean Anderson to autograph) and the 2012 five issue comic book miniseries.  And I've watched all the episodes of the 2016 revival.

It takes time and dedication.  Recently I've realised that I've had three things that were nearly completed or caught up on so once I'd finished them I thought I'd share my thoughts on those things.

First we have Teen Wolf.  Loosely based on the 1985 Michael J. Fox movie of the same name. (The 1985 movie spawned an animated series and a sequel Teen Wolf Too starring Jason Bateman as the cousin of the original).

The only thing this new version took was a teenager named Scott whose best friend is named Stiles and is a werewolf.  Instead of Scott Howard we have Scott McCall. 

McCall played by Tyler Posey (who was nearly Jacob in The Twilight movies) is a teen bitten by an Alpha werewolf.  The big mystery of the first series is who is the Alpha? The series was darker and scarier version yet it still had comedy.  Dylan O'Brien was the MVP of this series always there to help his friend Scott with a quip and some great physical acting.

The series kept me on the edge of my seat for 100 episodes, a Tie in novel and a three issue miniseries. 

Characters came and went Scott grew eventually becoming a true Alpha through his own strength of character.

The show played with mythology bringing in kanemas, chimeras, the wild hunt, were jaguars, kitsunes, banshees, were coyotes and skin walkers.  I was pleasantly surprised that the werewolf/vampire war seen in several other shows never got played out here.

I can't complain about the ending as it was left open for a spinoff starring Scott's beta Liam (Scott bit him to save his life) or a follow up series set a few years later.

I'm fully expecting Dylan O'Brien to have a great career after this show.   

Loved the show

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Tomb Raider Timeline

Firstly the intention of this timeline is to work much of the Tomb Raider Franchise into one cohesive timeline.  I am limiting this to event in Lara Croft’s life so no expansions on the history of the artefacts she finds.  I am working on the assumption that the new “Survivor” game continuity is a prequel to the earlier games and that the “Legend” games are also part of this continuity.   Any speculation on my part to explain any discrepancies will be clearly indicated.

There have been three games called Tomb Raider the 1996 original, the 2000 Gameboy game and the 2013 reboot.  I will be referring to the games as Tomb Raider followed by their year.

Other adventures will be referred to by their subtitles as we know they are Tomb Raider products.  I will also be referring to the source for each entry and the media type (So the novel Tomb Raider: The Lost Cult will be referred to as The Lost Cult (novel))

I won’t be including fan productions as much as I have enjoyed many of them. I also won’t incorporating references to Lara Croft (in Rob Hayes Adventures Rob tells a female friend she is not Lara Croft) or characters dressing as Lara Croft (Ally McBeal, Looney Tunes, Dexter, How I met Your Mother.) The holographic projection of Lara in an episode of Totally Spies is also excluded.

I’m excluding advertisements that treat Tomb Raider as just a game for example one of the later Lucozade commercials has Lara drinking a Lucozade while the game is paused. 


14 Feb 1968 (Core Design Bio)

Lara Croft born to Lord Richard Croft and Amelia Croft (Legend - Game)

1971 - 1979

Private Tutoring 3-11 (Core Design Bio)


Lady Amelia Croft and Lara are in a plane crash.  Amelia disappears and Lara walks out (Legend –game)

1979 - 1984

Wimbledon High School for Girls 11-16 (Core Bio)


“Pre-Teen Raider” (Re/Visioned animation) (Gail Simone advises that Lara is about 12)


Training with Von Croy in Ankor Wat (The Last Revelation –Game)

“Black Isle” (Chronicles Game)


Lord Richard Croft dies (differing accounts are given in Rise of the Tomb Raider– Game, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – Movie and Legend –Game)

Speculation Lara is adopted by her uncle Lord Henshingly Croft and his wife.  Neither are fans of Lara adventuring and try to mould her into a proper lady. The adoption explains why in 1996 her father is listed as Henshingly Croft in the first game.


Gordonstoun Boarding School 16-18


Swiss Finishing School 18-21


21 yo Plane crash Lara is only survivor (Core Bio)


Excavation Massacre (Legend – Game)

The Beginning (Dark Horse Comic)

Tomb Raider 2013 (game)Image result for Tomb Raider 2013

The Ten Thousand Immortals (novel)

Season of the Witch (Dark Horse Comic 1-6)


Secrets and Lies (Dark Horse Comic 7-12)

Queen of Snakes (Dark Horse Comic 13-18)


Rise of the Tomb Raider (Game)

Baba Yaga The Temple of the Witch (Rise expansion – Game)

Cold Darkness Awakened (Rise Expansion – Game)

Blood Ties (Rise Expansion – Game)

Lara’s Nightmare (Rise Expansion – Game)

Spore (Dark Horse Comic 1-6) (Spore features a 1996 flashback this must be a 1976 flashback)

Trial and Sacrifice (Dark Horse Comic 7-12)


Finds Bigfoot (Tomb Raider 1996 – Game)Adventurer! Lara Stamps Out Bigfoot!! magazine

Finds Ark of the Covenant (Tomb Raider 1996 - Game)


Philosopher’s Stone (Chronicles – Game)

 Raider 1996 & Anniversary (Games)Image result for Tomb Raider 1996

Unfinished Business /Shadow of the Cat (Tomb Raider 1996 Expansion – Game)


Tomb Raider II

Golden Mask (Tomb Raider II Expansion - Game)

Tomb Raider/Witchblade (Top Cow Comic)

Lucozade (commercials) (the last commercial is not counted)
PlayStation Commercial

“Tibet Air” (Short Story)

PlayStation Commercial

Tomb Raider III

Lost Artefact (Tomb Raider III Expansion – Game)

Seat Cars (Commercials)

Spear of Destiny (Chronicles –Game)

Die Artze “Manner Sind Schweine” (Music video)

Tomb Raider 2000 (Game)


Hemos terminado con él” The Companeros (Spanish TV Episode)

Brigitte Magazine (Commercial) 

The Time’s Exclusive Bonus Level (Game)

The Last Revelation (Game)

Tomb Raider Chronicles (Framing Sequence – Game)

The Amulet of Power (Novel)

Origins (Top Cow One Shot)

Dark Aeons (Glenat Comic)

The Greatest Treasure of All (Top Cow One Shot)

Tomb Raider 0 (Top Cow Comic)

The Medusa Mask 1-4 Top Cow Comic)


Merlin Stone 5-6 (Top Cow comic)

Dead Centre 7-10 (Top Cow Comic)

Chasing Shangri-La 11-12 (Top Cow Comic)

Dark Crossings (Top Cow One Shot)

Fathom 12-14 - the Resurrection of Taras (Top Cow Comic)

The Tomb Raider Technical Manual (Book)


Merlin Stone 5-6 (Top Cow Comic)

Dead Centre 7-10 (Top Cow Comic)

Chasing Shangri-La 11-12 (Top Cow Comic)

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Movie + Novelisation)

Curse of the Sword (Game)

Grim Reaper 13-15 (Top Cow Comic)

Pieces of Zero 16-17, 19-20 (Top Cow Comic)

Year of the Cat 18 (Top Cow Comic)

Tomb Raider/The Darkness (Top Cow Comic)


The Prophecy (Game)

The Osiris Codex (Game)

The Quest for Cinnabar (Game)

The Elixir of Life (Game)

The Trap: The Path of The Tiger 21-23 (Top Cow Comic)

Medusa’s Garden 24 (Top Cow Comic)

Endgame 25 (Crossover with Witchblade/EVO) (Top Cow Comic)

Tomb Raider: Apocalypse (Game)

              The Eye of Osiris

              The Shadow Falls


Journeys 1-12 (Top Cow Series)


Abyss 26-28 (Top Cow Comic)

Strange Flesh 29-30 (Top Cow Comic)

Conquista 31 (Top Cow Comic)

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider The Cradle of Life (Movie + Novelisation)

Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness (Game)  (The Action Adventure/The Board Game/Flash Game versions and comic adaptation issues 32-34)

Epiphany (Top Cow comic One Shot)

G4 – (Commercial)

Visa - Monster Chase (Commercial)

Scarface’s Treasure (Top Cow comic One Shot)

Monster War (Top Cow comic One Shot)


The Lost Cult (novel)

The Black Legion 35-37 (Top Cow Comic)

Bloodstone 38-39 (Top Cow Comic)

The Man of Bronze (novel)

Risen 40 (Top Cow Comic)

Spirit Walker 41-42 (Top Cow Comic)

Takeover (Top Cow comic One Shot)

Sphere of Influence (Top Cow comic One Shot)

Arabian Knights (Top Cow comic One Shot)


Tower of Souls 43-44 (Top Cow Comic)

Inner Demons 45 (Top Cow Comic)

Gathering Storm 46-48 (Top Cow Comic)

Vendetta 49 (Top Cow Comic)

Alpha/Omega 50 (Top Cow Comic) In this comic Lara finds the Fountain of Youth and is seen adventuring into the far future.


Legend (game)

The Reckoning (game)

Puzzle Paradox (Game)


The Keys to the Kingdom (3 Parts) (Re/visioned Animation)

Revenge of the Aztec Mummy (Re/Visioned Animation)

Angel Spit (2 Parts)( Re/Visioned Animation)

Lara Croft Legacy (Re/Visioned Animation)

Raising Thermopolis (Re/Visioned Animation)

A Complicated Woman (Re/Visioned Animation)


Tomb Raider Underworld (Game - also has a board game)

Beneath the Ashes (expansion Level)

Lara’s Shadow (expansion Level)


Lara Croft and Guardian of Light (game)


Lara Croft Reflections Card Game (Game)


Lara Croft and Temple of Osiris (Game)


Lara Croft Relic Run (game)

Lara Croft Go (Game)

Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen (comic)


Lara Croft and the Blade of Gwynnever (novel)



Games (indented items are additional downloadable Levels)

The Core Series –Original Timeline

Tomb Raider 1996

Unfinished Business /Shadow of the Cat

Tomb Raider II 1997

Golden Mask

Tomb Raider III 1998

The Lost Artefact

Tomb Raider: The Times Exclusive 1999

Tomb Raider the Last Revelation 1999

The Tomb Raider Chronicles 2000

Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness 2003 (The Action Adventure/The Board Game/Flash Game versions and comic adaptation)

Crystal Dynamics – Legend Reboot

Tomb Raider Legend 2006

Tomb Raider Anniversary 2007

Tomb Raider Underworld 2008

Beneath The Ashes

Lara’s Shadow

LARA CROFT and the Guardian of Light 2010

LARA CROFT and the Temple of Osiris 2015

Survivor Reboot

Tomb Raider 2013

Rise of the Tomb Raider 2015

Baba Yaga The Temple of the Witch

Cold Darkness Awakened

Blood Ties

Lara’s Nightmare


Gameboy Games

Tomb Raider 2000

Tomb Raider: Curse of the Sword 2001

Tomb Raider: The Prophecy 2002

Interactive TV Games

Tomb Raider: Apocalypse 2002

              The Eye of Osiris

              The Shadow Falls


Tomb Raider: The Reckoning 2006

Mobile Phone Games

Tomb Raider: The Osiris Codex 2003

Tomb Raider: The Quest for Cinnabar 2003

Tomb Raider: The Elixir of Life 2003

Tomb Raider: Puzzle Paradox 2006

Lara Croft Reflections 2014

Lara Croft Relic Run 2015

Lara Croft Go 2015

Board Games

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness 2003

Tomb Raider: Underworld 2009

DVD Game

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Action Adventure 2006 (adaptation of Angel of Darkness)

Flash Game

Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness 2004


Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Tech manual by Michael Jan Friedman 2001

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Movie Novelisation by Dave Stern 2001

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life Novelisation by Dave Stern 2003

Tomb Raider The Amulet of Power by Mike Resnick 2003

Tomb Raider The Lost Cult by E.E. Knight 2004

Tomb Raider The Man of Bronze by James Alan Gardner 2005

The Ten Thousand Immortals by Dan Abnett & Nik Vincent 2014

The Blade of Gwynnver by Dan Abnett & Nik Vincent 2016

Short Stories

“Tibet Air”  in Lara’s Book: Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider Phenomenon by Douglas Coupland 1998


Lara Croft Tomb Raider 2001

Lara Croft Tomb Raider Cradle of Life 2003


The Companeros “Hemos terminado con él” 1999   (tie in for Last Revelation)


PlayStation 1997 & 1998
Lucozade 1998 & 2001

Seat Cars 1999

Brigitte Magazine 1999

Visa Monster Chase 2003

G4 2003

Video Clips

Die Artze “Manner Sind Schweine” 1998

Re/Visioned 2007

The Keys to the Kingdom (3 Parts)

Revenge of the Aztec Mummy (1 part)

Angel Spit (2 Parts)

Lara Croft Legacy

Pre Teen Raider (about 12)

Raising Thermopolis (after first Game)

A Complicated Woman



Dark Aeons 1999

Top Cow

Tomb Raider Witchblade 1997


Tomb Raider 0

The Medusa Mask 1-4

Merlin Stone 5-6

Dead Centre 7-10

Chasing Shangri-La 11-12

Grim Reaper 13-15

Pieces of Zero 16-17, 19-20

Year of the Cat 18

The Trap: The Path of The Tiger 21-23

Medusa’s Garden 24

Endgame 25 (Crossover with Witchblade/EVO)

Abyss 26-28

Strange Flesh 29-30

Conquista 31

The Angel of Darkness 32-34 (Comic Adaptation of Game)

The Black Legion 35-37

Bloodstone 38-39

Risen 40

Spirit Walker 41-42

Tower of Souls 43-44

Inner Demons 45

Gathering Storm 46-48

Vendetta 49

Alpha/Omega 50

Tomb Raider Origins 2000

Dark Crossings 2000

Fathom the Resurrection of Taras  12-14 2000-2002

Tomb Raider The Darkness 2001

Tomb Raider Journeys 2001-2003

Scarface’s Treasure 2003

Epiphany 2003 (AOD tie-in)

Monster War 2003

Takeover 2004

Sphere of Influence 2004

Arabian Knights 2004

The Greatest Treasure of All 2005

Dark Horse

The Beginning 2013

Season of the Witch 1-6

Secrets and Lies 7-12

Queen of Serpents 13-18

Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen 1-5

Spore 1-6

Trials and Sacrifice 7-12


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Now Available

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Crime is alive and well in Australia and thankfully so are several Pulp Heroes ready to take on evil! Brad Mengel’s own creations, including The Question Mark, The Cutlass, The Aggressor, Sai, Risqué, The Bushranger, and others will stand alone and combat thugs, crooks, and psychopaths in their own stories. But behind the scenes, a puppetmaster of Machiavellian proportions is yanking the strings, jerking the world toward the brink with every tug, and pulling Australia’s heroes closer together. Closer to the answer. And to the final battle.
In the second short story, ‘RISQUE: THUNDERSTRUCK’, our heroine, Risque, finds herself confronting a villain like none she’s known before, whose only calling card is a clap of thunder. When a killer can strike without warning like a storm, even Risque finds her own life in danger in RISQUE: THUNDERSTRUCK by Brad Mengel
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Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Few Thoughts on a Tomb Radier Timeline

Now I've been on a bit of a Tomb Raider jag lately - I got the 20th anniversary book which introduced me to a bunch of new stuff.. I also bought and read Lara Croft and the Blade of Gwynnever

There seems to be three different "series" or in the games
So the Classic series is the Games from Tomb Raider 1996 to Angel of Darkness (2003) that is the games by Core design.

The Legend series all the Games from Tomb Raider Legend and includes the new games that have been branded as Lara Croft.

The Survivor series are 2013 reboot and associated tie ins.

So I naturally wanted to see how it all fit together and I found these videos

Most videos tend to consider the Legend series a continuation of the Classic series without explaining why Lara's father's name changes from Lord Henshingly Croft to Lord Richard Croft, such as this one:
Others consider the Survivor series as prequels to the original games
Perhaps the most detailed is this video which includes the Tomb Raider novels:
Tomb Raider: A Line through Time and the addenda

I found these really interesting and I can see his reasoning for three different game continuities (Classic, Legend and Survivor) .  I have issues with the addendum which just states that each new thing is a new timeline so in a one minute video he creates several timelines - Movie, Top Cow, Journeys, Re/Visioned animated and a cameo on Totally Spies.

Looking just at the Angelina Jolie movies - The 4th Snake offers that the movie Lara's Date of birth is 17/4/1972  and then just states that he doesn't have a source for that "fact" but just runs with it.  Why use this?  Given that the Legend games use designs (Croft Manor) and history (Richard not Henshingly Croft) based on the movies and there is a large gap in his timeline with no adventures from 1996 until 2007 it would make sense to incorporate the 2001 and 2003 movies into that timeline.

The Top Cow Tomb Raider series is just mentioned as being on a sliding timescale but issues 32-34 adapt the Angel of Darkness game suggesting that they should be considered part of the Classic timeline.

Personally I like the idea that it's all a single timeline with the new games as prequels.  I also toyed with the idea that the Lara seen in the new games is the daughter of the original Lara.

My next post will be a Tomb Raider Timeline including a number of things that I haven't seen in other timelines.  I will be building on the information in the above videos and 20 years of Tomb Raider as well as Crossovers and Crossovers Expanded.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) starring Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight and Daniel Craig

Tomb Raider Poster
I remember back in 2001 being quite excited to see this in the cinema.  However, the ENTIRE 97 minute run time my wife payed out on Angelina's breasts.  There had been articles in the paper about how the star had a C cup and Lara Croft had a DD cup and they compromised with padding Jolie up to a D cup and my wife (and I'm pretty sure her sister was there too) nothing but comments about how fake the breasts looked.  Kinda took me out of the movie.

Fast forward a few years and I get the DVD and my wife and I watch the movie with one of her friends - if you guessed another 97 minutes commenting on Jolie's breasts, you'd be right.  So the other night I watched this on my own.

Each time, I've enjoyed the movie as an action adventure movie.  Had this been Indiana Jones and the Triangle of Light - I still would have enjoyed this.  It's not a great movie but it's fun.  Jolie sets up her action cred which allowed her to do films like Salt and Wanted.  The aerial ballet scene was a great set piece showing us Lara using her brains and athleticism to take down a number of heavily armed intruders intent on stealing the mystical McGuffin she's found.  Because Jolie did a lot of her own stunt work I believed in her as Lara Croft - perhaps slightly more Goth version with black hair and outfits but it worked. 

I was intrigued by the idea that some of these artefacts can only be accessed during planetary alignments - because magic?  Which meant that Lara was literally racing against time as the next alignment wouldn't come for another 5000 years -  however at one point had Lara let them make the error they were going to make it would have solved her problems but wouldn't have made for much of a movie.  I could nit pick more but those things came after the movie was finished and I was following along the adventure as Lara proves herself smarter that the Illuminati and their henchmen.

I also enjoyed Christopher Barrie's Hillary the butler and Noah Taylor's techie Bryce.  Both offered support and light relief to the movie and I especially enjoyed Hillary's donning bulletproof vest and slippers while loading the shotgun during the invasion of Croft Manor. 

The movie still holds up fifteen years later and is worth watching if you enjoy the Indiana Jones or the Brendan Fraser Mummy series as I do.