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What I bought – 4 July 2012

“The parts that don’t matter hurt. It’s the places where it doesn’t hurt that the real damage is done.”

“Sounds like life.” (Simon Mawar, from The Gospel of Judas)

I love how the stitches spell out words It's all reversey and shit! I don't get this cover Dang, another awesome cover Motherfuckin' DAZZLER!!!! Hey, look, it's like a computer - how clever!

Mind MGMT #2 by Matt Kindt (writer/artist). $3.99, 26 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

Kindt continues to unspool his tale to the reader with very little exposition, preferring instead that we just keep the hell up, please. I thought this issue was slightly better than the (pretty strong) first issue, mainly because we have a bit of the back story and Kindt seems a bit more focused – Meru and Bill, her new protector/handler/guy who will betray her at the first opportunity, are on the run from that dude on the cover and his partner, who are called “Immortals” because, well, they seem to be immortal. I know, huh? In the meantime, Meru wants to follow up on the clue she uncovered in issue #1, namely the connection between pottery in Mexico and pottery in Zanzibar. (Zanzibar is one of those superb exotic-sounding places, like Timbuktu, that writers love to use. Never mind the fact that Kindt seems to be using it to refer to an entire region or at least a country, when the prosaic Zanzibar is far less mystical than writers tend to imply. It’s still an awesome, “fictional” place to put into your stories.) We still have our strange narrator, but in this issue, we get more of the fact that Meru is simply playing a part, and the idea that everyone is an actor in this drama, while not unique, pushes this into slightly more freaky territory (I know, as if all the passengers on a plane getting amnesia wasn’t freaky enough). Meru’s confrontation with “Perrier” and the dude sitting in the café are the kinds of things I’m talking about – again, it’s not completely unique, but I love shit like that even though I rarely figure it out (see: fucking time travel movies). Kindt invites us along for a wacky ride, and I suppose it’s up to you whether you want to go there or not. As I wrote with regard to the first issue, Kindt has proven to me that he is able to keep these kinds of stories up in the air for a while before pulling it all together, so I trust him. You may not, of course!

Plus, I love the fact that the extra stuff adds a bit to this strange world of Mind MGMT. The fact that this feels like good world-building as opposed to some other examples of poor world-building makes me enjoy it even more. It’s always fun to see a creator bring in elements that aren’t necessarily needed in the main story but complement it so nicely. That’s the tiny sci-fi/fantasy nerd inside me, I guess (even though I’m not into science fiction and fantasy as much as many comics people) – I love a well-built world (hence my love of my old Atlas of Middle-Earth – that thing is awesome), and Kindt seems to be doing that with this comic.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

This won't end well

Morning Glories #20 by Nick Spencer (writer), Joe Eisma (artist), Alex Sollazzo (colorist), and Johnny Lowe (letterer). $2.99, 32 pgs, FC, Image.

Spencer is starting to do this kind of thing more often – hit us with a complete bombshell at the end of one issue, and then say, “Fuck you, suckers!” and tell a completely different story in the next issue. I certainly don’t mind it – as my enjoyment of this comic can attest – but I do think it’s fairly ballsy of him. It’s part of the reason why I think Morning Glories is good – Spencer is much more interested in the overall story, and he’s created a bunch of characters and feels the need to check in on them, so that’s what he’s going to do! So we shift our focus to Georgina and Lara, the two sisters who run the academy (well, Georgina runs it, and Lara seems to have an important position within it) and their problems with their mysterious father, about whom we’ve heard a bit but haven’t seen yet (unless we have but we don’t know he’s the father yet). Spencer explores their sibling pseudo-rivalry (it never gets too bad) as they grow up, and then he drops yet another bombshell on us when Lara is visited by a stranger in the night. What’s fascinating about the comic is that even as Spencer is dropping yet another “everything you knew is wrong!” revelation, it doesn’t feel contrived. Spencer has plotted this very well, so that it makes sense when we learn new things, and doesn’t make us go, “Wait, that doesn’t work at all! Whaaaaaaa!”

I keep coming back to Eisma’s art, because it’s fun to point out yet again that he drew 32 pages of an essentially monthly book (20 issues in 23 months, which ain’t bad), but more than his ability to keep up, he is getting better at, you know, drawing. The panel where Georgina staggers out of the greenhouse* is amazing, with her glazed eyes, tilted head, and ripped clothes speaking of a horror we don’t want to know about, much less experience. He’s gotten a lot better with faces, too, which is very important in a comic like this. And when Lara’s in the cave … well, it’s a brilliantly written and devastatingly drawn scene, although I wonder how Lara got the rock. It just magically appears in her hand! Still, it’s a great scene.

As we’ve seen for a while, once Spencer got the assembling of the cast out of the way, he can write a gripping comic book. This is just another example of it!

* I totally space on the word “greenhouse” to describe a glass-sided structure in which plants grow. Just a brain fart, I guess, but I actually had to Google it. Man, I’m old.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Well, that's a fine shot

Rocketeer Adventures 2 #4 (of 4). “War Hero” by Louise Simonson (writer), Walter Simonson (penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Jordie Bellaire (colorist), and John Workman (letterer); “Cliff Secord, Warlord of Blargon” by David Mandel (writer), J. Bone (artist/colorist), and Shawn Lee (letterer); “Fair Game” by John Byrne (writer/artist), J. Bone (colorist), and Neil Uyetake (letterer). $3.99, 24 pgs, FC, IDW.

Issue #3 of this series was disappointing, but luckily, the final issue is back on track. With a Simonson joint, it would be hard not to be, but the Simonson/Simonson story isn’t even the best one in this issue. It’s beautiful, of course, and exciting, although once again Cliff has big problems with his rage, and at least Betty calls him out a bit. Honestly, the more people write Cliff, the douchier he gets, and I don’t know why every single writer feels the need to write him this way. It’s not charming douchebag, either, like Damian Wayne al-Ghul – it’s obnoxious douchebag. Cliff wants to fight in WWII, but because he’s a low-life thief, he was rejected as 4-F (he was classified as a “douchebag,” which is kind of surprising considering the time period!) and assigned to a fund-raising tour with Betty. Now, for some reason Cliff would rather be overseas getting malaria in the Pacific or contracting an STD from an Italian whore rather than staying at home banging Betty, but that’s really his problem, isn’t it? Of course there are Nazi saboteurs to stop, and of course Cliff does, and of course President Roosevelt lets Cliff off the hook for his thievery and grants him the privilege of going off to get his head shot off. Yay! I hope Mark Waid addresses Cliff’s douchebaggery in the new mini-series that’s coming out, because it’s really annoying.

The best story, however, is David Mandel and J. Bone’s, in which Cliff is trying to make a dinner date with Betty but is accidentally (?) zapped to another planet. The humor in the story stems from the fact that Cliff doesn’t understand a word of what the aliens (well, I guess he’s the alien) are saying, so while it appears like a fun Adam Strange story, it’s really something much darker (in a very funny way). It also shows what a douchebag Cliff is in a way that doesn’t reward him … or at least not too much.

Byrne’s story is perfectly fine, although I’m not sure what the significant of June 10th is. I thought it was something to do with the person who was targeted and the person who was doing the targeting, but I suppose it’s just the fact that Cliff realizes that the target is actually in New York on that day. Anyway, it’s a nice little tale.

So this is quite a fine issue, even if I hate Cliff a bit more each time I read about him. Betty should kick him in the shins and take up with Greer Garson. That would be a plot twist, wouldn’t it?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Okay, so it's a cool image, but why would Cliff want to race them to Valhalla, and why would he want them to go to Valhalla anyway, as it's a reward for fallen warriors ... you know, it's a cool image!

X-Factor #239 by Peter David (writer), Paul Davidson (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), and Cory Petit (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, Marvel.

David decides not to get too much mileage out of the whole “someone is killing people in a way very much like Theresa” storyline, as it began last issue and finishes this issue. It’s actually one of the few criticisms I have of David’s X-Factor – I don’t mind that he resolves things quickly, but they occasionally feel like place-holding stories, as in this issue, the reason for the “real” banshee showing up is extremely petty (which doesn’t invalidate the story, because so much of literature revolves around pettiness, but it does make the banshee feel less “important,” I guess), her threat is ended in a weirdly easy way, and it’s even really easy for Theresa to find out what’s going on. I think this would have been fine as a three-part story – it still wouldn’t have been too long, and David could have made the threat a bit more, you know, threatening.

We do get a nice scene in which Guido asks Monet out on a date, and it reminds me why X-Factor and Avengers Academy are two of the three Marvel books I’m still reading in single issues – they feel old-school because both David and Gage continue to show that superheroes have lives outside of beating up bad guys. Guido’s attempts to explain to Monet why his not having a soul is a good thing even though she thinks it’s abhorrent is nicely done, and it will be interesting to see how this relationship plays out.

Davidson is fine, although he does better work on the banshee portion, when he can dazzle with pyrotechnics, than he does on the quieter moments. He has a common problem with artists – his teenaged girl looks too adult – and one drawing of Monet has her with weirdly drooping breasts – she’s young, fit, and wearing spandex, yet her breasts still do that? Bizarre. Overall, though, while I’m not sure Davidson is perfect for this comic, it’s still good artwork. X-Factor usually has good artists, after all!

David is leading up to a big story arc, but I’m not sure if it begins next issue. Still, this remains a fine read, month in and month out (or I should say two weeks in and two weeks out, since it’s being shipped so damned often!).

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Poor Longshot - cockblocked from the party girl bus!

Beauty and the Beast by James Shooter (writer), Frank Springer (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Christie Scheele (colorist), John Morelli (letterer), Ann Nocenti (writer), Don Perlin (penciler), Kim DeMulder (inker), George Roussos (colorist), Petra Scotese (colorist), Joe Rosen (letterer), Jim McCann (writer), David López (penciler), Alvaro López (inker), Emily Warren (colorist), and Jeff Eckleberry (letterer). $29.99, 178 pgs, FC, Marvel.

DAZZLER!!!!!! Need I say more? I now own two different reprints of Dazzler the Movie. I may not be the Internet’s biggest Dazzler fan (I might be, but I doubt it), but I still love Ms. Blaire. Seriously, when I write the X-Men (call me, Joey Q!), my core team will be Rogue, Psylocke, Dazzler, Storm, Jubilee, Longshot, and Forge. Damn straight. You’d read it, fanboys!

Wizzywig by Ed Piskor (writer/artist). $19.95, 286 pgs, BW, Top Shelf.

I didn’t order this out of Previews, but my retailer got a copy and read a good deal of it and loved it, and while I don’t trust him completely, he does have pretty good taste, and when I flipped through this, it seemed pretty good. We shall see! It’s about a computer hacker, by the way, which is why I passed on it – I feared it might be too “inside baseball,” but my retailer said that was not so. Now I’m curious!

**********

I don’t have much on my mind this week, so I’ll spare you my ramblings. As I mentioned last week, I’m off to Pennsylvania in the morning on a jet plane, and then I’m going to New York on Friday and Saturday, so that should be fun. I’ll be on the Internets all next week, but I will only be commenting on posts that I already have scheduled (my daily ones). So my weekly review post won’t exist next week, because I won’t get my comics from the 11th until at least the 16th. I’ll probably just combine the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, it’s Independence Day here in the U.S., and everyone in the world ought to be celebrating, because WE’RE MOTHERFUCKING NUMBER ONE, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!! I’ve never gotten into Independence Day too much, although I don’t have anything against celebrating our independence. I just don’t care about constructs like “countries” too much. I mean, it’s nice that we kicked out the snotty British and their tea-drinking ways – honestly, water filtered through leaves is your national drink? – but it’s not like the British were really oppressing the Americans all that much. I’m just happy we decided to spell words correctly thanks to the Revolution. Come on, Britishers, r-before-e? An extra “u”? What’s that all about? Happy Fourth of July to everyone who likes celebrating it, though. U!S!A!

I choose to celebrate with the The Ten Most Recent Songs On My iPod (Which Is Always On Shuffle):

1. “Memories Can’t Wait”Living Colour1 (1988) “I’m here flat on my back – never work up, had no regrets”
2. “All I Want Is You”U2 (1988) “You say you want your love to work out right, to last with me through the night”
3. “Charting The Single”Marillion “Stockpile experience before the blond hairs turn the grey”
4. “Exit” – U2 (1987) “So hands that build can also pull down”
5. “Fiesta”Pogues (1988) “He whispers in this one’s ear, ‘Will you kindly kill that doll for me’ “
6. “Arc Of The Curve”Fish (2007) “If love is blind then I will never see again”
7. “Stand By My Woman”Lenny Kravitz (1991) “There were times I wouldn’t hold your hand”2
8. “Out On The Town”fun. (2012) “But these days when I wake up from a night I forgot I just wish that it never came true”3
9. “We’re In This Together”Nine Inch Nails (1999) “The two of us, all used and beaten up”
10. “No Sign Of Yesterday” – Men At Work (1983) “I can’t hear you calling, I can’t hear you anymore”4

1 Speaking of spelling things incorrectly …

2 I like this song (and the album), but it cracks me up when dudes sing songs about how they used to be tools but now they’re really, really not. Maybe you shouldn’t have been a tool in the first place, Lenny!

3 I haven’t gotten around to reviewing this album yet, but it’s phenomenal. Seriously. Go buy it now!

4 The saxophonist for Men At Work, Greg Ham, died in April. He was only 58.

I totally forgot to do some Totally Random Lyrics last week. I count on you people to keep me honest with that shit! So here we go, peeps!

“Honey, you know it makes you mad
Why is everybody tellin’ everybody
What you have done
Baby, I know it makes you sad
But when they’re handin’ out the heartaches
You know you got to have you some”

You know it, you love it, so sing along!

Have a nice weekend, everyone! Spend some time in the sunshine!

26 Comments

Travis Pelkie

July 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Is that a J Bone cover on the Rocketeer issue?

I did my usual skimming of the stuff I plan on getting, but it is good that Spencer has created an interesting enough cast that he can juggle them off, leave us with a kick ass cliffhanger, go to something else, and we don’t feel disappointed about it. Yay!

I was tricked into getting the first issue of that Beauty and the Beast book by the Sink. cover. Damn you, false advertising!!! Nah, it was like 10 cents or something, so it wasn’t that bad. But expectations were dashed.

Your X team would suck so much ass!!!

Travis: That would be a Darwyn Cooke cover.

And you suck for not loving my X-team. SUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!

Just getting caught up on X-factor and I’ve been struck by how much the tone is the very thing that Mark Waid has been getting near universal acclaim for on Daredevil. Both are simply great comics. And while I’m happy that Marvel has let Peter David and a pretty great line up of artists do their thing in their little corner of the shared universe, at the same time I can’t help but feel that this is the kind of book that the company needs to get in the hands of both lapsed and new readers.

All right, you two; that’s ENOUGH!

Don’t you make me pull this Internet over to settle your squabbling! You will NOT like what happens!

Travis, you apologize to Greg RIGHT NOW for saying his X-team sucks — even if there is a partial vacuum created by inhalation (mostly due to the presence of Jubilee), you shouldn’t be mean about it!

And Greg — Travis may be a drillrod — but you don’t need to respond in kind. Be the better person!

Now you two boys shake hands and make up — or each of you will spend a week monitoring the Wonder Woman board! Understand?

I would add that weird Aborigine guy who used to show up from time to time. X-Men should be just Forge and that guy.

Travis Pelkie

July 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I was just teasing, Greg and Becca. I think it might be an interesting team. For a bunch of suck asses.

See, I just can’t help it! I’m such a drillrod!

I was kidding! Honest! Greg knows that!

I mean it, Travis — keep it up and it will be two weeks of “should she have pants or not?” for you… :P

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm

@ Ms. BeccaBlast: Now, now, T.P. may be a drillrod, but he’s CBR’s drillrod!!! Otherwise, CBR wouldn’t have T.P. around in the first place, eh? ;-)

@ Mr. Burgas: After 19 issues of scratching my head at trying to figure out Morning Glories, I just dropped it. Maybe I’ll stick to the trades instead.

Correct me if I’m wrong people, but didn’t Dazzler have a baby by Longshot at one era?

Shit, Dave, I forgot Gateway. He would be awesome, too. No more destroying Blackbirds!

Andre: That would be nice. I’m looking forward to reading Daredevil, especially as issue #1 was reprinted in the DD graphic novel I just read.

Becca: I love the term drillrod. Now I will always call Travis one, whether he deserves it or not!!!!!

Tom: Dazzler was pregnant, but at one point (I think) it was implied that she had a miscarriage. I’m not sure if it’s ever been addressed more than that.

Travis Pelkie

July 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I haven’t even used my “Drillrod was my nickname in college” line yet….

I would say that Dazzler pregnancy story might be Abandoned an’ Forsaked? Hint hint, dread lord?

What a surprise that Morning Glories is too hard for Tom…HA! I kid because I love Tom, but not as much as he loves me.

I take issue with your X team for the following reasons:

Rogue and no Gambit? Why must you keep them apart? They are MEANT TO BE!!!

If you use Psylocke, you MUST have her refer to the focused totality of her powers whenever she uses her psychic knife. IT IS REQUIRED!!!

Dazzler must sing disco, and use roller skates. If this is your plan, I am on board.

Longshot must have a mullet. And whenever he meets up with a Nightcrawler, they do a funky hand clap thing.

Jubilee must be a vampire, but also regains her light powers. So it hurts to use them. And she whines, and goes off to visit Logan a lot.

Actually, if I was a real drillrod, I’d tell Greg the ending of Ellis’s Ghost Box arc in Astonishing. It would make him cry.

Travis: I loathe Gambit. I would drop him down a deep, dark hole and let some other writer come up with a way to get him out, years after everyone forgot about him!

Re: Psylocke. Sure, I can do that. It would be like Seinfeld’s “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

I would get rid of Jubilee’s vampire thing in the most annoying way possible – one day she would wake up and she wouldn’t be a vampire anymore. No one would remember her ever being one. If whiny people complained, I would explain to them that they should get a life.

I have not read Ghost Box, so that would make me cry!

Worst X-Men team ever. All you’re missing is Marrow.
Storm really needs to get the hell outta there.

I would say Psylocke too, but I haven’t been liking the terrible crap she’s been subjected to in Uncanny X-Force since the Dark Angel Saga ended, so this could almost be a step up for her.

It’s always funny how these comments end up a discussion of one singular thing you wrote that usually wasn’t in one of the reviews. This time, we have your x-team. Which I notice is basically the outback X-Men minus Wolverine, Havok, and Colossus. Your lineup also leads me to believe that Uncanny X-Men #244 might be your favorite comic of all-time (the first appearance of Jubilee, where Jubes, Storm, Dazzler, Rogue, and Psylocke were the only characters in the comic, and also the first five names on your x-team). I was thinking of suggesting you use that issue’s first page soon, in honor of your dream x-team, but none of the characters actually appear on that first page, so scratch that.

As for Independence Day, I have no major thoughts, but I saw a ridiculous shirt today: white t-shirt with an American Flag on it, and the caption “USA: 2-time defending World War champions”

Travis Pelkie (drillrod)

July 5, 2012 at 12:12 am

See, IAM FeAR backs me up!

You should just call your team X-Team.

Although I could see Marvel, after okaying your team, going to Marc Silvestri, saying, “ok, here’s the team, Rogue, Psylocke, Dazzler –” “ok, stop! I’m there!” “Really Marc, you sure? You don’t wanna know how much you’re getting paid or anything?” “No. I love the idea of that team so much, I’m on board.”

I think everyone should have a pal, like Jubilee and Wolvie and Dazzler and Pixie
well I think it is nice if they have pals
ymmv

Travis: I loathe Gambit. I would drop him down a deep, dark hole and let some other writer come up with a way to get him out, years after everyone forgot about him!

I assumed Travis was joking and being sarcastic about Gambit. No one actually likes Gambit. The Gambit fan is a mythical creature that some people claim to have seen but no one can ever corroborate, like the Lochness Monster or Bigfoot. It’s a hoax that many a Marvel writer has fallen for, which is why they keep digging him up and putting him on X-teams, in order to appease these mythical creatures.

If the Gambit fan does exist it would crush my remaining faith in humanity, and even the bath salts cannibals didn’t do that for me.

I think Gambit was my favourite X-man back when I was a kid watching the X-men animated cartoon – sorry T. I wouldn’t describe myself as a fan now though if it helps.

My X-team would just be Madrox and some dupes with different personalities that he doesn’t want to absorb (like John Maddox). They could all have different code names and it would be the best team ever, and kick Greg’s team where it belongs!

That was a very small week for you Greg. Only four new comics?

It was just X-Factor for me. I wasn’t thrilled this week (except for the Guido/Monet subplot). The plot felt a bit light. I think PAD is introducing too many villains for my tastes, when I just want to know what that pesky Trypp is up to!

All this discussion of who would be on everyone’s X-team sounds like a easy post …

Third Man: Issue #244 is probably not in my Top Ten, but I do like it a whole heck of a lot. I’ve often wondered if it and the following issue (the Invasion! parody) were the last time the X-Men were not taken so deadly seriously. They’re both just fun issues to read.

Rolacka: Yeah, my purchases on any week tend to fluctuate wildly now that I’m reading far fewer DC and Marvel stuff in single issues. I’m in thrall to the wonky scheduling of non-Big Two books!

[...] What I bought – 4 July 2012 – Comic Book Resources It's part of the reason why I think Morning Glories is good – Spencer is much more interested in the overall story, and he's created a bunch of characters and feels the need to check in on them, so that's what he's going to do! So we shift our focus to Georgina and Lara, the two sisters who . If you use Psylocke, you MUST have her refer to the focused totality of her powers whenever she uses her psychic knife. IT IS REQUIRED! Dazzler must sing disco, and use roller . [...]

So, Greg, when you end up writing Dazzler, will you have her go country and cover Queen of Hearts?

I think Gambit was my favourite X-man back when I was a kid watching the X-men animated cartoon – sorry T

That's not real Gambit, so it doesn't count. I didn't mind cartoon Gambit either.

The worst part about Gambit (and there are tons of worst parts, he sucks) is how crap his French is. Aside from “Mon ami” and a few other short expressions, I’ve never read any of his French dialogue being remotely good I’m French Canadian so I know). He’s probably from Oregon or something and just faking being from the Bayou to try and impress unknowing chicks with a foreign language. He’s a known compulsive liar after all, so that would make sense.

I hope Marvel uses that in the upcoming Gambit series. Which Gambit doesn’t deserve by the way.

Travis Pelkie

July 6, 2012 at 6:34 am

I dunno how you wouldn’t like Gambit. The Cajun French, the trenchcoat, the bo stick he stole from Donatello, the hood/cowl thing that comes up around the side of his face and stops at his hairline, the red “negative” eyes, the perpetual stubble. What’s not to love?

My ideal X-Men team would consist of 3/5 of the original Excalibur line-up: Shadowcat. Rachel/Phoenix, Nightcrawler (he’s due for a resurrection), Rogue, and Psylocke. Throw in Wolverine and Deadpool to annoy each other and Marvel prints more money than they already are.

Gambit is what Batroc the Leaper would be if you sucked out all the charm of the latter.

Re: Cliff Secord…like many young men of the World War II years, he wanted to do his part for his country. I don’t know if Dave Stevens planned to send the Rocketeer off to war, but Cliff’s attitude in Simonson’s Rocketeer Adventures 2 #4 story is something that Mark Waid’s Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom series will address.

Travis Pelkie (drillrod)

July 10, 2012 at 1:03 am

So I’ve read a few trades of XMen Legacy, and Gambit’s on that team. And he’s so damn aweso–no, I couldn’t even finish typing that. Ha!

Your X team would totally fit into that book!

Actually, I was thinking about it, and mind you, I’m not sure how Jubilee or Dazzler’s powers are supposed to work, but aren’t their powers somewhat similar, involving light manipulation in some way?

And I’m reminded of something that Brian might use as a Legend, so off I go to the emailer!

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