4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Crow, The Crow: City of Angels, The Crow: Salvation, and The Crow: Wicked Prayer


A special Hallowe’en edition of the Great Superhero Movie Rewatch as we look at the four movies starring The Crow, featuring a gaggle of impressive stars — Brandon Lee, Ernie Hudson, Tony Todd, Jon Polito, Richard Brooks, Iggy Pop, Kirsten Dunst, William Atherton, Walton Goggins, Tim DeKay, Fred Ward, Edward Furlong, David Boreanaz, Dennis Hopper, Danny Trejo — all wasted in four repetitive movies that are a triumph of style over substance.

An excerpt:

There’s an AM radio station here in New York called WINS. Their motto is “You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world.” The first car I owned was a 1977 Ford Pinto, and the FM radio died at some point when I owned it, and so all I had to listen to was AM radio. I tried listening to WINS, figuring I may as well be informed, but doing so, I discovered the implied second part of the slogan: “You give us 44 minutes, we’ll give you the world twice.” Listening to news radio for more than 20 minutes is not a good use of one’s time, as you just get the same stuff over and over again.

Watching the four Crow movies in a row is very much like listening to news radio.

Star Trek Discovery: “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”


Harry Mudd’s back, and he’s pissed! He kills Lorca, y’know, a lot, and also plans to sell Discovery‘s secret to the Klingons, and he’ll run through a time loop as often as necessary to learn what that secret is. My review of Star Trek Discovery‘s “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.”

An excerpt:

Last week, we got a revelation that put a 50-year-old character conflict into a new light. This time we get a retcon that makes a different 50-year-old character conflict way more palatable to a 2017 audience, as the revolting stereotype of the shrewish, hen-pecking wife really needed an update. Stella’s father is an arms dealer, and he’s not happy that Mudd made off with the dowry…

stuff of mine in 2017

I’ve got a bunch of my books for sale, ranging from two of my first novels 18 years ago to my most recent publication, but other stuff of mine is available also — including a new short story in Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, which goes on sale Tuesday. Here’s a list of my 2017 publications (including the Ledger story, as its release is imminent):




Super City Cops: Avenging Amethyst

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | direct from publisher]

Super City Cops: Undercover Blues

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | direct from publisher]

Super City Cops: Secret Identities

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | direct from publisher]



Marvel’s Warriors Three: Godhood’s End

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo]



Orphan Black: Classified Clone Report

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Indie Bound | direct from publisher]



Marvel’s Thor: Tales of Asgard (omnibus of the trilogy, Marvel’s Thor: Dueling with Giants, Marvel’s Sif: Even Dragons Have Their Endings, and Marvel’s Warriors Three: Godhood’s End)

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Indie Bound | direct from publisher]



Supernatural: John Winchester Journal ruled notebook

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | direct from publisher]


Short fiction


“Identity” in Baker Street Irregulars

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Indie Bound]



“Deep Background” in Aliens: Bug Hunt

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Indie Bound | direct from publisher]



“Behind the Wheel” in TV Gods: Summer Programming

[Amazon | Indie Bound | direct from publisher]


Best of Bad-Ass Faeries web

“House Arrest” in The Best of Bad-Ass Faeries

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Indie Bound | direct from publisher]



“Live and On the Scene” in Nights of the Living Dead

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Indie Bound]



“Sun-Breaker” in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: Homeworlds

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | direct from publisher]



Ganbatte” in Joe Ledger: Unstoppable

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Indie Bound | direct from publisher]


Comic books


(with Gregory A. Wilson, Matt Slay, & Mark Dos Santos) Icarus Volume 1

[Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound]


Nonfiction in print


“‘The Big Goodbye’: A Hard Rain” in Outside In Makes It So: 174 New Perspectives on 174 Star Trek TNG Stories by 174 Writers

[direct from publisher]


Nonfiction on the web


A Brief History of Iron Fist in the Comics” on Tor.com

A Confusing Lack of Action: First Impressions of Iron Fist” on Tor.com

An Action Hero without Action or Heroism: Iron Fist Season One” on Tor.com

Secret Identity as Role Model: A Look Back at Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman” on Tor.com

Of Bloodless Beheadings and Lifeless Voice Work: The Animated Wonder Woman” on Tor.com

Adam West’s Five Best Bat-Moments” on Tor.com

‘Who are you people?’ — Marvel’s The Defenders First Impressions of Episodes 1-3” on Tor.com

Big Heroes, Big Characters, Big Villains, Small Plot — Marvel’s The Defenders Season One” on Tor.com

4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch” every week on Tor.com

Reviews of Star Trek Discovery, every week on Tor.com




4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Incredible Hulk Returns, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and The Death of the Incredible Hulk


Marvel takes their first shot at a Cinematic Universe, as the Hulk teams up first with Thor, then with Daredevil. It doesn’t quite work as planned, though both characters are fun to watch. Then it all ends with a most unsatisfying climax. The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch looks at the TV movies The Incredible Hulk Returns, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, and The Death of the Incredible Hulk.

An excerpt:

And it especially makes no sense that the bad guys would shoot the younger Lambert. Seriously, these guys are mercenaries and thieves. Murder is a more serious offense than thievery, and one that will bring more attention from law-enforcement down upon one. Plus, of course, shooting someone and not making sure he’s dead before you walk away runs the risk of him, say, telling someone where you’re hiding out and going after you. (This is made worse by the fact that he might tell someone who turns into a big green rage-monster, but one can understand their inability to predict that ahead of time.)

buy my books!

Several of my books are for sale from me — and I’ll autograph ’em, too! If you want any of the books listed below, send me the amount of the cover price(s) of the book(s), plus an additional $6 for postage (inside the U.S.; outside the U.S., just send the cover price and I’ll invoice you for the postage after I send it). You can PayPal the money to me at krad at whysper dot net or send a check or money order made out to Keith R.A. DeCandido to PO Box 4976, New York, NY 10185-4976. Be sure to let me know to whom you wish me to inscribe the autograph.

Here’s what I got:


Marvel’s Thor: Tales of Asgard (omnibus collecting Thor: Dueling with Giants, Sif: Even Dragons Have Their Endings, and Warriors Three: Godhood’s End) — $25


SCPD: The Case of the Claw — $15


Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet — $17


Supernatural: John Winchester’s Journal (ruled notebook) — $19


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (with my essay on the books vs. the movie Blade Runner) — $40


Star Trek: A Time for War, a Time for Peace — $8

Star Trek: Klingon Empire: A Burning House — $8

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q & A — $8


Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars — $8


Young Hercules: Cheiron’s Warriors — $3

Young Hercules: The Ares Alliance — $3

both Young Hercules books — $5

Please note that the Precinct books and Without a License are temporarily unavailable while we’re in the process of transitioning those books from Dark Quest to eSpec. Other books I’m temporarily out of stock on, like Orphan Black: Classified Clone Report, the Supernatural novels, and various anthologies I’m in, but I’m hoping to restock soon.

If you have any questions, post them here or e-mail me at krad at whysper dot net.


Tuesday’s dead


After three days of promotion, and then one final workout class, and then revelry at the local Japanese place — I’m totally fucking dead. *laughs*

But today it’s back to regular existence as usual. I have to do some work at the dojo (for this semester only, I’m working the front desk on Tuesdays, as our front-desk person is a college student who has a class she has to take on Tuesday afternoons), and tonight is also when the dojo does the “class photo,” whereby as many students as show up cram into the dojo and get our picture taken. That’s always fun, and there’s also a black-belt photo, which will have four new people in it, plus my first time on the sandan line.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to dive back into A Furnace Sealed and finish up the Great Superhero Movie Rewatch for this week (have written the intro, watched and written up The Incredible Hulk Returns and The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, but still have to finish watching The Death of the Incredible Hulk, write that up, then write the review segment). And I’ve got some revisions on another project that need to get done. And after that, I’ve got Mermaid Precinct and the third 18th Race book to write. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!


Star Trek Discovery: “Lethe”


We learn about Burnham’s past — and also Spock’s, kinda. Plus a dumb-ass B-plot with Lorca and Cornwell. My review of Star Trek Discovery‘s latest episode, “Lethe.”

An excerpt:

Discovery has already established that Burnham was Sarek’s ward. Some have complained that it’s ridiculous that Spock would never have mentioned this foster sister, which ignores the fact that Spock never mentioned that his Dad was a famous Vulcan ambassador until that ambassador was standing right next to him on the Enterprise, or that he was engaged to be married until he was half-dead from the effects of pon farr and then only after practically being put in a headlock, or that he didn’t mention his half-brother until he was standing right next to him on the Enterprise. An open book, Spock ain’t.

day 3 of promotion


There it is. My black belt with a third stripe on it.


We did thirty rounds of fighting. All of our best fighters were there, and everyone pushed us hard.

In the end, we actually got spontaneous applause, which I’m fairly certain is the first time that’s happened. (Usually after the final round there are whoops and cheers and things, but usually not applause. That was cool.)

I also got my legs swept out from under me by one black belt. Three black belt promotions and this is the first time I got knocked on my ass…..

But it was great. I held my own against some very strong fighters, and was still going — well, maybe not “strong,” but upright and still moving by the time we reached the 30th round.

It has truly been an honor and a privilege to go up with six such tremendous people. And the support of the other black belts really made all the difference, having them cheer us on and push us and encourage us. It was truly a fantastic experience.

But man, am I tired….

It’s not quite over yet. I have to teach my afterschool classes today and then we have one final workout in the dojo tonight. It’s the usual Monday color belt class, but it’s focused on the black belt candidates. It’s also open to the entire dojo. The main three days of promotion are for black belts only (we even cover the windows and doors so people can’t look in from the street), but tonight is for the entirety of our dojo community.

And then afterward, we go to a local Japanese restaurant for revelry.

This has been such an amazing journey. I still can’t entirely believe it’s true, even though I’ve got a certificate, and everything!


day 2 of promotion


The second night of promotion was even more amazing than the first. While the first night covered basic material and combinations, the second night covers kata and self-defense. These are my two favorite parts of karate, so Friday night is usually my favorite part of the black belt promotion, whether as a participant or as a spectator. (The black belt promotions are closed — we cover the windows and door and everything — but all black belts are welcome, and I have made it a point to make it for at least one day of each promotion since I got my shodan in 2009.)

Friday is also when we talk about our essays. I’ll run my essay here after the whole thing is over (I posted my previous two essays for my shodan and nidan promotions here), but I noticed there was a theme throughout all our essays about the community of our dojo and how welcoming it is. Some of the other candidates told very personal stories about their journeys and the difficulties they had to overcome in life, and what led them to the dojo, and all kinds of other incredibly heartwarming and heartfelt things.

This is what I love about our dojo: it’s not just a bunch of individuals who come inside, sweat for an hour, and leave. These aren’t just fellow karateka, these are people I consider to be good friends.

I actually digressed a bit from my essay, which was about the other six people I went up with, mostly, and in general about how the dojo has given me all these cool new friends I never would have met, plus a bit about how much I love teaching. But when I went up to speak, I mostly talked about how the prompt for the essay — how has the dojo changed your personality? — was kind of backwards for me. When I was in first grade, I got a commendation from my teacher because I was always trying to help the kids who were struggling with something. My parents are librarians and teachers, and that dual whammy of trying to help people learn things obviously took, because I have taken to teaching like a duck to water. Even when I was a color belt, I was always offering to help folks out who were struggling with things and to answer questions. (Of course, sometimes, even now, the answer is, “I have no idea.”)

But the influence of my parents goes beyond that. When I was a kid, three separate sets of friends called my parents one weekend asking to come over and/or for a place to crash. My parents, of course, said yes each time. After the third call, my mother turns to my father and says, “What are we running here, a halfway house?” And my father shook his head and said, “More like an all-the-way house.”

My own house today is like that, too, as Wrenn, Dale, and I all are always willing to take in anyone who needs it. We had six house guests the weekend of our wedding, and three the weekend of New York Comic-Con, and so many others. We’re always happy to open our doors without hesitation or question.

So it isn’t so much that the dojo changed me, it’s that I found a dojo that fit me like a glove. My dojo is my second home, really, and it’s because of the wonderful community that Shihan has built.

Anyhow, that was the end of the night, which included some remarkably personal stuff from some of the candidates. It just tightened that community feeling.

Prior to that, we did tons of kata, tons of self-defense, lots of other nifty things. One of my favorite parts was when Charles and I — the two people going for sandan — did a nidan kata called Koryugojushiho. Most of our katas have very nifty, flowery translations (“peace and harmony,” “fortune and luck,” “keep pure,” “the rhythm of the wind”), but Koryugojushiho has a much more prosaic translation: “traditional 54 movements.” It’s the longest kata I’ve ever done (and one of the two longest we have, the other being a sandan kata I look forward to being able to learn after Monday), and Charles and I did it twice together. I made one mistake the first time, which is I think part of the reason why Shihan asked us to do it again. (We also did it in two separate directions.) Charles and I also faced each other to do a bunch of fighting drills, five of them attacking with punches and kicks, and then three more with bo staffs.

It was fantastic. We all had tremendous energy and we fed off each other’s spirit and intensity, and it made all of us stronger. As I said above, I’ve been to every black belt promotion since I went for my shodan in 2009, and this was one of the most powerful I’ve been to, and I’m not just saying that because I’m in it…..

Tomorrow morning, we go back to the dojo for the final piece, which is kumite — sparring. Where Friday covered my favorite parts of karate, Sunday will cover my least favorite part. But I will persevere, and I hope to make it through.

We’ll find out tomorrow…..