Tag: Declan Shalvey

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    The Unstoppable Will vs. The Unstoppable Mouth

    The main difference between The Punisher and Deadpool is motivation. Both appear to be sociopaths. But Frank Castle is driven by vengeance and Wade Wilson’s main concern is his paycheck. Neither wants to admit how deeply they are actually driven by emotion.

    In Deadpool vs. Punisher #1, Fred Van Lente serves up a script that puts these two on opposite sides of an ambiguous moral scenario.

    Wilson and Castle are very familiar with each other’s work. Wilson thinks Castle is a “self-righteous, sociopathic, shoot-first-ask-questions-never, humorless, fascist hard-ass.” Castle views Wilson as a “motor-mouthed, muddle-headed, arrested adolescent with delusions of competence.”

    See the World. Fill it Full of Bullets

    Deadpool vs. Punisher #1 opens with Punisher working undercover at an underground illegal gambling club. “VS.” is a place where degenerates gather to place wagers on superheroes. Some names on the board include Spider-Man (original, probably), Captain American Falcon, and Guy who thinks he’s Hercules.

    After Punisher violently shuts down the club, he gets the information he’s been after. That’s when the desperate club manager gives up details on The Bank in order to save his own life. The Bank is Castle’s true target. But he’s also Wade Wilson’s accountant, money launderer, client, and close friend.

    Pere Perez’ artwork suits the script perfectly. And there are plenty of background details, but not so many as to distract from well-planned action sequences. In addition, he nails the expressions on the unmasked characters. Perez brilliantly telegraphs nuanced expression through Pool’s mask and body language.

    Van Lente sets up an interesting “best of five rounds” scenario. With a clear winner in each of the planned five chapters, Deadpool is playing with a loaded deck. With his regenerative abilities, he can afford to lose four of five battles and still come back for the next installment. Punisher doesn’t have the same luxury.

    SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT AND PRE-ORDER THE REST OF THE 5 PART SERIES

    Deadpool vs. Punisher #1, Marvel Comics, April 12, 2017, Written by Fred Van Lente, Art by Pere Perez, Color by Ruth Redmond, Letters by VC’s Joe Sabino, Cover by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, $3.99

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    Find out the truth in Daredevil #18

    Every week we review a select few comics for New Comic Book Day. There are so many that come out each week it’s hard to choose. This week we take a gander at Batwoman, Punisher and Daredevil. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batwoman #1
    By: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV, Steve Epting

    Finally, Batwoman is back in her own solo comic! I’ve immensely enjoyed James Tynion IV’s work with Batwoman and the voice he has given her in Detective Comics, but I’ve longed for Kate Kane to be the star of the show instead of a member of an ensemble. Batwoman #1 is everything I hoped a Batwoman comic would be and more.

    It fully fleshes out Batwoman, giving her a base of operations, a method of transportation, and even her own Pennyworth butler. However, the writing duo of Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV have made sure Batwoman isn’t just a female Batman. Part of that is due to her unique voice and globe-spanning mission while the remaining part is due to her unique past that the issue starts to touch on. There are many layers to Kate Kane, and the issue starts to peel them back one-by-one. Complementing the story is the beautiful art by Steve Epting.

    Not only is the issue a great jumping on point for new fans, but it also serves as an excellent book for longtime Batwoman readers. Batwoman #1 is highly recommended and is one series to keep an eye on in the future.

    GET CAUGHT UP WITH KATE KANE (AKA BATWOMAN) IN DETECTIVE COMICS

    Punisher #10
    By: Becky Cloonan, Matt Horak, Declan Shalvey

    Punisher’s one-man war on Condor continues in Punisher #10. Becky Cloonan continues to delight as she writes a Frank Castle that is tough-as-nails, resourceful, and leaves a trail of bodies in his wake. This comic has never been shy about showing violence, but what Punisher does with a bear trap takes this comic to a whole new level. Punisher #10 lives up to its parental advisory notice.

    As the story starts racing to its conclusion, this is turning into one Punisher tale you don’t want to miss. Due to the unfortunate passing of Steve Dillon, artist Matt Horak fills in for art duties. He captures Dillon’s style almost perfectly and allows the book to fit in stylistically with the previous issues. If you’ve yet to check out this series, you’ll want to make some room on your pull list as it’s worth reading. Punisher #10 is an excellent read and shows that Marvel can still pump out mature titles that are on par with the rest of the industry.

    FIND ALL OF BECKY CLOONAN’S AMAZING WORK.

    Daredevil #18
    By: Charles Soule, Ron Garney, Matt Milla

    One of the burning questions since the beginning of Charles Soule’s Daredevil run has been “How did Matt get his secret identity back?” After over a year, Charles Soule is finally ready to answer that question. Daredevil #17 was told entirely by flashbacks and bridged the previous series to the current one, and Daredevil #18 picks up right where #17 left off.

    Soule introduces readers to The Purple Man, who promptly gives us a display of his powers in a downright horrifying fashion. In fact, the story ends up being more about him and his offspring than about Daredevil. The twist at the end brings about more questions, and we’ll see more than a few fan theories as a result of this issue. I’m excited to see how Charles Soule ties it all together.

    If you’ve yet to check out Charles Soule’s Daredevil, #17 and #18 are a fantastic place to start. I know I’m planning on checking out the previous issues of this series; if the writing is as good as this issue, I’m in for a treat.

    PICK UP ALL THINGS DAREDEVIL

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Frank Castle Takes Down a Drug Ring in Punisher #5

    NCBD featuring Punisher, Cyborg, Trinity and Aliens

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Aliens comics at TFAW.com

    Aliens: Life & Death #1
    By: Dan Abnett, Moritat, Rain Beredo, David Palumbo

    The Aliens comic book series joins the Life and Death crossover story in the shared Aliens/Predator/Prometheus universe. While we’re coming in later in the story, Aliens: Life and Death #1 doesn’t make a new reader feel like they’re late to the game. Sure, this issue drops us in the thick of the action, but isn’t that where you want to be when you’re reading a crossover? I would say yes.

    Dan Abnett’s story shines here — the pacing sucks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat as the action unfolds before you. If you’re a fan of the Aliens films, underdog stories, or bloody action and gore, this story is for you! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Trinity comics at TFAW.com

    Trinity #1
    By: Francis Manapul, Clay Mann

    Since the launch of DC’s Rebirth, a question that’s been on everyone’s mind is how the original Superman is going to fit into a world that’s not his own, and how will he interact with a Batman and Wonder Woman that were a friend and lover to their world’s now fallen Superman.

    To force the confrontation of this question, Lois invites Batman and Wonder Woman over for dinner to Superman’s surprise. What unfolds is a rekindling of friendships that never really existed as each character reminisces on things that the other has no recollection of. What we get from this is an acknowledgment that no matter what reality each character came from, at their core they’re still the same person.

    Where I think most writers would try to bring these characters back together with conflict, Francis Manapul brings them together like people, solidifying the mission statement of the Rebirth movement, that it’s about legacy, not reinvention. Combine his writing with expert art, what we get is a book that I think will be one of the key titles to follow over the coming months as the big picture of this world develops. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE NEW TRINITY SERIES TODAY!
    SEE OTHER REBIRTH ISSUES

    Cyborg comics at TFAW.com

    Cyborg #1
    By: John Semper Jr., Will Conrad

    Within Cyborg #1 we get a quick glance at what may be our main villain, an unnamed assailant that looks like a failed attempt at Cyborg. Our hero is doing what he does best, stopping Detroit’s worst from committing crimes. Afterward, his father makes him go through tedious diagnostic tests to make sure everything is working properly. While not coming out with his anger we can tell that something is wrong with Cyborg, emotionally. We find out that he his questioning his humanity and whether he has a soul. The fact that his father is struggling with these same existential questions adds a healthy dose of family drama.

    John Semper Jr. does a great job getting us up to speed with the character, who he is, his environment and how he works within it. The storyline is an old one, but one that is never tired of being explored — Am I Human?.

    Artists Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos, Scott Hanna, and Guy Major give this issue a greatly detailed issue that harkens back to the standards of superhero comics. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    LEARN MORE ABOUT CYBORG BEFORE HIS BIG SCREEN DEBUT

    Punisher comics at TFAW.com

    Punisher #5
    By: Becky Cloonan, Steve Dillon, Frank Martin
    Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire

    Becky Cloonan’s Punisher story has been intense. Frank is out to take down a drug ring being run by a mercenary outfit called Condor. He’s run into people from his past, had a run-in with a couple of D.E.A. Agents, and now it’s time for him to get to do what he does best — Punish wrongdoers.

    The Punisher #5 is a strong issue. Cloonan packs the book with some fantastic (read: violent) moments, and Steve Dillon has a chance to be realy expressive. You can see the psycho behind the eyes of the issue’s main protagonist, Face. Colorist Frank Martin knocks it out of the park — identifying light sources to inform shading, including little things like textures on walls and floors, and his use of the rich red hues from blood. I’m a fan.

    With all of the action and major revelations this issue brings, I’m SUPER excited to see where team Punisher takes us next. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    CHECK OUT EVEN MORE PUNISHER PRODUCTS

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Review: All Star Batman #1 – Synder Returns, Offers Batman Twist

    All-Star Batman # by Scott Snyder at TFAW.com

    all star batman #1Of all the New 52 titles, Batman was least in need of a makeover in DC’s Rebirth. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo did such an amazing job with the Dark Knight mythos during that time that it was hard to conceive anyone else at the helm of the Batman Rebirth title. Luckily, Tom King and David Finch are killing it, and now Scott Snyder has moved on to All Star Batman. The art duties will rotate between such names as John Romita Jr., Declan Shalvey, Jock, Sean Gordon Murphy, and Tula Lotay, so that “All Star” label applies as much to the creative team as it does the villains in this series. Greg Capullo fans can look forward to a mysterious collaboration he has promised with Snyder after he finishes his current project with Mark Millar.

    Scott Snyder got the idea for a new take on Batman from a southwest road trip he took with his nine-year-old. While he had the whole trip planned out, the most fun and craziest moments they had were when the plan failed and they ended up off road. Essentially, Snyder decided to pitch a road trip where Batman would end up facing all the villains he wished he had written during his New 52 tenure.

    All Star Batman #1 cleanly establishes the plot of this new series: Batman has promised to take Harvey Dent out of Gotham and deliver him to a house where Dent believes he can rid himself of his villainous alter ego. Two-Face doesn’t want to be eliminated, so he offers a bounty equal to the fortunes of the three richest crime lords in Gotham on Batman’s head. As added incentive, Two-Face promises that if Batman is not brought down, he will reveal all of the illicit information that he has collected during his time as DA.

    Two-Face’s split personality, alternately helping and hindering Batman’s progress, makes him simultaneously interesting as a sidekick and a foil. The rotating cadre of artists keeps the individual chapters looking fresh. Batman even has a few moments of levity in the script. Wait. Batman has jokes?

    Stephen King once said, “There’s one thing I’m sure about. An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know more about this.”

    As an opening line, All Star Batman does its job in spades. I definitely want to know more about this.

    All Star Batman #1, DC Comics, released 10 August 2016, written by Scott Snyder, art by John Romita Jr. and Declan Shalvey, inks by Danny Miki and Declan Shalvey, colors by Dean White and Jordie Bellaire, letters by Steve Wands, cover by John Romita, Danny Miki and Dean White, variant covers by Jock, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, $4.49

    Review by Brendan Allen

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Punisher, 4001 A.D., Daredevil/Punisher, Beasts of Burden

    New week, new comics. For this New Comic Book Day we get Punished twice, go into the future with Valiant, a cat gives us a little present, and the Flash goes head strong into issue #51. As always these are only a select set of new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Punisher #1
    By: Becky Cloonan, Steve Dillon, Declan Shalvey

    It’s finally here the book that you’ve been waiting for! In the midst of all the crazy alien invasions and huge battles going on with the Avengers, there’s still street gangs and drug runners slipping through the cracks. Pushing weapons onto the streets and a new drug that makes anyone an unstoppable killing machine. The police can only do so much without crossing over the line. Who will inflict the justice that is sorely in need? Frank Castle “The Punisher“! He is judge, jury and executioner against all injustice in the streets of New York and will not stop until justice is served. In this breakout issue Frank runs into a ghost from his past that will change the course of things to come.

    Becky Cloonan (Demo and Southern Cross) picks up were Iconic writers Garth Ennis and Jason Aaron left off with Steve Dillon (Preacher, Hellblazer, Punisher Max). This is a perfect Punisher books with a fresh take from an incredible team. [Steve at Milwaukie TFAW]

    4001 A.D. #1
    By: Matt Kindt, Clayton Crain

    New Japan is a group of sectors that hovers in Earth’s orbit, an actual satellite nation, in the future. The A.I. construct who controls the functions and populace of this seeming utopia is called Father, whose champion is known as Rai, who has been jettisoned back down to the Earth. This series jumps right in without requiring any previous investment in the Valiant universe. The artwork is glorious, as you’d expect from Clayton Crain and David Mack, while the tapestry is designed by the phenomenal mind of Matt Kindt.

    Valiant are inclined to keep you wanting more, as their events are typically only 4 issues long, as this is. If you thirst for more, you can read the additional tie-ins (bringing the entire saga to only 12 issues, with checklist printed on the back of the issue) to fill your craving for this futuristic amazement! If that doesn’t wet your appetite, check out Rai , X-O Manowar , and Eternal Warrior , all of whom you will glimpse in 4001 A.D. This series already subtly examines the consequences that are linked to heroic actions, and further develops an interesting and new view of the fallout, from when a hero has already made a noble sacrifice. This one is a trip worth taking! [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Daredevil/Punisher #1
    By: Charles Soule, Szymon Kudranski, Reilly Brown

    Netflix’s Daredevil series introduced the MCU, and the world to Frank Castle aka The Punisher. It’s only fitting that we get another taste of that Daredevil vs Punisher story. Taking from Charles Soule’s current series, Daredevil has help from his partner, Blindspot. Let’s be honest here, he’s going to need it.

    As Matt Murdock gets ready for a prisoner transport of a Russian Mobster, Frank does his best to punish. Now Daredevil and Punisher have a score to settle. Pitting them against each other, and the Russian Mob. But how does Blindspot react when he’s introduced to the “hero” that is The Punisher? [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In
    By: Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Jill Thompson

    In this One-Shot issue the newest member to the Beasts of Burden comes under scrutiny for their past. Dymphna a familiar, has kept secrets from her group. They intend to find out what she’s been keeping from them. It’s safe to say, it’s more than they asked for!

    Beast of Burden has been and still is a fantastic series. Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer are fantastic in this series. The fun and creepiness is there, with relatable characters, even though they’re all animals.

    Jill Thompson paints her heart out on every page. It’ beautiful to look at. She does this great job with cat reactions in this issue. I can see my cats doing the exact same movement and jumps as we find out friends going on their adventure.

    If you like supernatural tales or want a series that only involves animals. Than this “Homeward Bound” meets Constantine is the series for you! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Review: Deadpool and the Mercs for Money #2

    deadpool and mercs for money #2 lim variant coverDeadpool and the Mercs for Money #002 follows the story of Deadpool, and his team of mercenaries, attempting to sell a future predicting robot to the highest bidder. As might be expected when dealing with criminals, demons, and megalomaniacs, these negotiations don’t always go smoothly.

    Deadpool is, well, Deadpool. Constantly talking to himself, insulting everyone around him, and breaking the fourth wall. The comic also serves to introduce the other members of Deadpool’s team: Stingray, Slapstick Solo, Foolkiller, Massacre and Terror. All the other members apart from Stingray are out trying to negotiate deals for the robot.

    The Mercs for Money serve as nice contrast from the Avengers and X-Men, all trying to save the world. The Mercs only care about one thing; money. They couldn’t care less if the world gets taken over, ravaged by war, or even destroyed, so long as they get paid. So, they turn to the highest bidders to sell the robot, all of whom happen to be people that want to do one more of the aforementioned things.

    From petty criminals to world domination obsessed executives and megalomaniacal demons, Deadpool ends up with a lot of potential buyers. However, instead of taking the logical route, Deadpool comes up with an idea that’s just about as crazy as he is.

    As a first impression, the art style was nice, not too overwhelming. The storyline was well organized and each piece tied back into the larger plot. This comic serves as nice Deadpool refresher, even after the movie. Reading it let me appreciate how accurately the movie portrayed the character, and made me like an already great character even more.

    Note that Deadpool and the Mercs for Money #2 has two variant covers. The regular edition can be found here: Deadpool and the Mercs for Money #2, while variant 1 can be found here: Action Figure Variant Cover and variant 2 (shown above) can be found here: Lim Variant Cover.

    Deadpool and & the Merc$ for Money #002. Writer: Cullen Bunn. Artists: Salva Espin, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire. Published March 16, 2016 with two additional variant covers. $3.99 US.

    Review by Ben Getchell.

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    Ian Brill Reveals the Origins to Dracula: New World Order

    Dracula World OrderWhat happens when you take a horror icon, place him in the hands of an innovative comic book writer, and bring him to life with four amazing artists? You get an engrossing and exciting book like Dracula World Order, created by Ian Brill (Darkwing Duck) with art by Tonci Zonjic (Who Is Jake Ellis?), Rahsan Ekedal (Echoes), Declan Shalvey (Dark Avengers), and Gabriel Hardman (Exile on the Planet of the Apes).

    In Dracula World Order, Dracula has joined forces with the 1% to take over the world–by turning them into vampires and feeding on the 99%! He’s amassed so much power over the centuries that it seems like nothing or no one can stop him, until his own son takes a stand against him by taking the reins of the remnants of a failed revolution!

    Dracula World Order was a comic we could not put down, and we’re proud to be the only online source of the book, produced in a limited run of just 300 copies. Read our in-depth interview with creator Ian Brill, check out our four-page preview (one page from each artist), and order your copy today!

    TFAW: Hi Ian, thanks for answering our burning questions. So why Dracula, and why now?

    Ian Brill: The concepts of Dracula and vampires have us confront ideas of greed and power. Who is dominant and who is submissive: the person with the blood or the person who wants it?

    Dracula World Order Preview Page: Tonci ZonjicI wanted to tell a story about the imbalance of power in the world and the struggle that is then born of that inequality. Dracula sprang to mind as the best character to use, as so much of the vampire myth involves them being both foes and something to be admired. I believe that is how many in the world see wealth and wealthy people: with both contempt and a desire to join their ranks. I saw vampires as a way to explore all these notions I saw around me.

    TFAW: What made you decide to self-publish this book, instead of taking it to a publisher?

    IB: I wanted to challenge myself in every way on this project. First and foremost was to challenge myself to tell something original, then to challenge myself to tell a story that would live up to the vast talents of my collaborators. I also knew that if I was going to devote myself to all aspects of publishing, I would have to tell a story I really believed in and was proud of. So to compel my creative self, my business self had to really step up. This way, I knew I would push myself to create something I know has the effort and care put into it to capture an audience’s attention.

    TFAW: You’ve gotten so many incredible artists for this book–is the multi-artist approach going to continue in the future?

    Dracula World Order Preview Page: Rahsan EkedalIB: I’m toying with lots of ideas regarding this. No set decisions yet. I will say that Dracula World Order is designed to be malleable in its presentation. You have characters that have lived for centuries and have traveled all over the globe. I can tell long stories, short stories, epic stories, small personal stories, and really run the gamut. I am interested in what different artists bring to the table, which is an endless source of fascination to me.

    TFAW: Why did you select each of these artists: Tonci Zonjic, Rahsan Ekedal, Declan Shalvey, and Gabriel Hardman?

    IB: I had worked with them all when I was an editor at BOOM! Studios and loved the experience with all four. I’m such a fan of all their work I wanted to see if I could create something worthy of their immense abilities. To include them on this project would give me impetus to make Dracula World Order as good as I could make it. I tailored each story in the book to be something I knew each individual artist would execute well, and my expectations were more than exceeded.

    TFAW: So far, this looks like a classic take on Dracula set in the modern world–I especially liked your references to the 1% vs. the 99%. How did this idea develop?

    IB: At first I just wanted to tell a story of a world overtaken by Dracula, with freedom fighters staging a revolution. When I tried to figure out how Dracula took over the world, I injected my observations and fears of a world of where economic imbalance has run rampant. It resonated with me, perhaps it will resonant with others as well, and I decided to develop the story around that angle.

    Dracula World Order Preview Page: Declan ShalveyTFAW: Tell us about Dracula’s son.

    IB: I wanted an antagonist to Dracula, and a hero to our story, that would as compelling as our villain. When our villain is a character that has lived for centuries in the public consciousness and is known the world over, that’s a tall order. The idea that Dracula has offspring has been played in vampire stories I enjoyed (I first encountered the idea in Castlevania III for the NES, with the character of Alucard). I decided to create a character, Alexandru, who would have a compelling connection to Dracula. In the comic, he is the only child of Dracula whom Dracula has been close with, due to the death of Alexandru’s mother. He was Dracula’s right-hand man for centuries, which gives him plenty of important knowledge to use in his fight.

    TFAW: What triggered his rebellion against his father?

    IB: His actions are borne of tragic circumstances. His mother killed herself, which Alexandru witnessed. That created this impurity of belief in Alexandru. He served under Dracula for most of his life, but he knows the pain that Dracula causes all too well. When he sees it up close during a fateful battle with vampire hunters he decides to change the world.

    TFAW: So far, we’ve seen Dracula, vampire hunters, and a reference to Frankenstein. What other old-school horror treats are in store?

    Dracula World Order Preview Page: Gabriel HardmanIB: There is line in the [Bram] Stoker novel, “every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool.” I do believe it is possible to spin out all these different types of monster and horror ideas from Dracula. I’m interested in the metaphors and mythos of these concepts, and enjoy having the strength of these ideas flow into the overall concept.

    TFAW: What are your plans for this book? Will it continue?

    IB: There are a lot of options for creators today, and I am considering many these days. I am committed to continuing this story.

    We want to thank Ian Brill for the great interview! Make sure to pick up your copy of Dracula World Order before we sell out, and stay tuned for further announcements!

    SEE A FOUR-PAGE PREVIEW OF DRACULA WORLD ORDER

    BROWSE ALL IAN BRILL COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

    Are you interested in a new take on Dracula? Post your comments below!

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