Friday, July 31, 2009

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

TV is very different from when I was a kid. All I really remember growing up between the hours of 8 and 11 were sitcoms (Cheers was always my favorite). You ever see the one where Cliff goes on Jeopardy? And the categories are all stuff he would know, like ‘Bar Room Trivia,’ ‘the U.S. Postal Service,’ and ‘Sons and their Mothers’? And Norm keeps on being like ‘He’ll blow it.’ So they get to final jeopardy, and Cliff wagers all of his money, and the answer is just three names (probably historical figures, or something), and Cliff writes ‘who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?’ and insists that, technically, his answer is correct. That one kills me. But yeah, everything was really static growing up. The relationship between a show's characters changed, sometimes…but only very, very slowly. And shows only kind of did one thing- they were funny, or they were an action show, or they were a soap opera. There was very little mixing and matching. Not so, these days- now, we’ve got a plethora of really captivating dramas that feel more like Hollywood movies than sitcoms or soap operas. I remember when Twin Peaks came out. There was a turning point here, I think- it was a serial story (every episode was one ‘day’ in Twin Peaks), so it built on itself. Initially, the idea was that you never knew who killed Laura Palmer- the writers would just keep the show going for as long as possible. Eventually, they had to break down and come up with a solution before the fans went nuts. This was to the detriment of the show's ability to keep going. Still, I totally loved it. It was funny and sweet one minute- and then disturbing, dramatic, and poignant the next. And their was just a little bit of really freaky H.P. Lovecraft/Stephen King kind of stuff going on that would keep you up at night. David Lynch freaks me the &*$# out. So many shows are the heir to this legacy, I think- Alias, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Heroes… I still have faith in Heroes. It’s got everything it needs to be a great show (as already postulated by so many reviews by our resident editor)- they just need to tone it down sometimes and crank it up others. First of all, if they’re going to hire an actor to play a part? Than they better damn well make sure that actor is going to be around (I know this isn’t always easy)-so that way they don’t have to drop an entire storyline just because the individual playing the part isn’t available. Remember the invisible guy, the first season? Soon to be starring in the G.I. Joe movie? Yeah, I remember that part of the story too. Hmm. Yes, Heroes is great- it just needs a little more planning, a little less action if the action doesn’t result in any real, lasting change, and a little more action that DOES result in real, lasting change. I don’t have a healthy relationship with Lost. Although I love it. Generally, I end up renting or buying a season of it at a time. Over the span of the next 2-4 days, I watch the entire season straight. Than I have a post-Lost freakout session, in which I frantically comb the internet, searching for answers that are not yet available. Than I break down and cry in my shower for two or three hours. You know what I think was a show worth watching? Jericho. Of course, I never watched it. My feelings on this show are very much in keeping with my feelings on Firefly (i.e. I am such an asshole for not watching and supporting this show while it was on the air). It only ran for two seasons, but the gist was so- suddenly, a small town in Kansas witnesses a nuclear attack on Denver, Colorado. They lose all radio communications and satellite images: all there is is a big mushroom cloud in the sky and a whole lot of panicky, confused people. So what’s the show about? Well, survival, for one. And there’s the obligatory soap opera factor. But on the other hand: it’s a show about the tension between civilization and the individual. For example: do you keep selling groceries, at fair prices, if the world is ending? Or do you jack up the prices, start making ‘deals,’ because you need to protect yourself? Is it worth it to give to the community, instead or yourself? Should you give to the community JUST to give to the community- because it’s the right thing to do, not just because it helps you survive? Things in Jericho get crazy- and, I’m sorry to say, probably frighteningly real. A neighboring town actually declares an unofficial war on the residents of the community, raiding it for supplies. Thieves and con artists start profiteering and the roads aren’t safe to travel. Is there a government left to rely on? Or is it every man for himself? Do you keep waiting to hear from the United States? Or do you start preparing for the worst, turning your back on the old way of life? This piece is, of course, about comics. There have been some rumblings of continuing Jericho in either movie or comic book form. Given the serial nature of the story, I’d highly recommend the latter. I would love to see a well written book on this series- as long as it stays true to the spirit of the show. But before that comic book can be written, people have to know what Jericho is about. Hence today’s informative prose. So get out there and watch it- now. Go. You know what to do. I said Go.

Animated Planet Hulk trailer

Planet Hulk was one of those storylines that really came out of nowhere. Hulk has always been one of those characters that has been met with mixed reactions. After this event though, the Green Goliath became the definitive badass. If you missed out on this epicness, Marvel has animated a nice summation of the story. Announced at San Diego Comic-Con (Marvel Animation Panel), the animated Planet Hulk was debuted in a spiffy new trailer. The movie is based on Incredible Hulk #92 and Incredible Hulk 105 and comes to you from Lionsgate. You can watch the trailer after the jump, and look for the movie on Blu-ray and DVD just about everywhere in February 2010.

Image Comics Night at Golden Apple Comics

I've never heard of Golden Apple Comics. That's probably because I live in Boston and not LA, but that's no reason for others to not know about it. On August 5th said comic book proprietor will be hosting a little something called Image Comics night, giving fans of the publisher a chance to meet some of their Image favorites without the maddening convention crowds. "Golden Apple and Image Comics have shared a long history of working together starting with Image's earliest signings," Golden Apple Proprietor Ryan Liebowitz said. "We hosted some of the first events with the company's founders and we're happy to continue the tradition with some of the newest names the company has to offer." The event takes place August 5th from 5 PM to 7 PM. Golden Apple Comics (323-658-6047) is at 7018 Melrose Avenue (not to be confused with Melrose Place). What Image folks can you expect? Glen Brunswick of Jersey Gods fame, Richard Starkings of Elephantmen fame and Andy Suriano of Charlaton Ball's fame. That's tons of Image fame in one place on one night at one time. You'll get one-on-one time with the creators, drinks and exclusive looks at new Image projects. One of those new projects will be Jersey Gods Vol. 1: I'd Live and I'd Die for You. Brunswick adds, "Anytime I have a new trade or something special coming out there're always made a home at Golden Apple. John Romita Jr. and I had a great reception with the GRAY AREA when Bill was in charge. Ryan carries on and easily fills his father's shoes for event professionalism and in every other dimension. The JERSEY GODS trade paperback premiere is in excellent hands!" Full press release below. PRESS RELEASE - GOLDEN APPLE PRESENTS IMAGE COMICS NIGHT THIS AUGUST! JERSEY GODS' Glen Brunswick, ELEPHANTMEN's Richard Starkings, CHARLATAN BALL's Andy Suriano and others team with Los Angeles' Golden Apple for Image Comics Night! 30 July 2009 (Berkeley, CA) - On August 5th Golden Apple Comics will present Image Comics Night, in which Image Comics fans can meet some of their favorite creators at one of the premier comic book and pop culture stores in the country! "Golden Apple and Image Comics have shared a long history of working together starting with Image's earliest signings," Golden Apple Proprietor Ryan Liebowitz said. "We hosted some of the first events with the company's founders and we're happy to continue the tradition with some of the newest names the company has to offer." Golden Apple's Image Comics Night is already set to feature appearances by JERSEY GODS' Glen Brunswick, ELEPHANTMEN's Richard Starkings and CHARLATAN BALL's Andy Suriano with more to be announced. The night promises fun for all who attending, including one on one time with the creators, drinks and the first place to see many a project, including the all-new JERSEY GODS, VOL. 1: I'D LIVE AND I'D DIE FOR YOU. JERSEY GODS creator Glen Brunswick added, "Anytime I have a new trade or something special coming out there're always made a home at Golden Apple. John Romita Jr. and I had a great reception with the GRAY AREA when Bill was in charge. Ryan carries on and easily fills his father's shoes for event professionalism and in every other dimension. The JERSEY GODS trade paperback premiere is in excellent hands!" Golden Apple Comics' Image Comics Night will take place August 5th, 2009 from 5 - 7 PM at 7018 Melrose Avenue. For more information, please call 323-658-6047. Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. There are currently five partners in Image Comics (Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into four major houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, and Image Central). Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor, and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. Visit www.imagecomics.com. Golden Apple Comics has been the premier comic book & pop culture store in Los Angeles for over 30 years. Always cutting edge & proactive in the community, Golden Apple views this as a great opportunity to attract new readers to our thriving industry. Golden Apple has been has always been the place in LA of anything groundbreaking in the comic world and this show ensures to be no exception. High profile media coverage and an aggressive advertising campaign are already in the works. Golden Apple Comics, a landmark in the comic book industry, has a new address, but the same pivotal grasp on the marketplace. Visit www.goldenapplecomics.com.

Interview - Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Comic-Con is full of all sorts of people in the know. One of the biggest game publishers in the world, Capcom, was there showing off countless soft-wares, and one of those games was Marvel vs. Capcom 2. I was lucky enough to catch up with one of the crew that worked on the remake, and he was quite forthcoming with information on the design process and getting the game to where it is now. As in, available for play. Omnicomic: Why remake the game now? I mean, this game was a defining Dreamcast title nearly ten years ago and it's just now making it's way to consoles. And Xbox Live and PSN seem to be perfect outlets for it. Capcom: Well we wanted to make the game for a long time because people were always clamoring for it. But there were issues that we had to dealt with. The biggest issue was just licensing. After some time the licenses for Capcom to make this particular game cleared up and we were able to do it. Once that was all set we pulled the trigger on it. Development was pretty quick because the core game was there; it just needed to be modified for Xbox Live and PSN. Omnicomic: Did you feel the need to change or modify any of the gameplay? Capcom: In Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix we did rebalance the game, and that was very tempting here. But because of the sheer number of characters the game is already balanced very finely. Some may say it’s broken but changing it…I don’t know. That would have taken a lot more time. I think we’re better to leave this one alone. We did tweak the graphics. There’s a widescreen mode, that doesn’t change the gameplay but makes the game fit on your TV really nicely (if you have a widescreen TV). Another mode makes it smooth and crisp using really modified filter techniques. Omnicomic: Any kind of new multiplayer modes, besides the standard player versus player? Capcom: There was a Quarter Mode on SSFII:HD Remix, but we’re not doing that here. There’s going to be Player Match though where two players are playing with four players spectating. Winner stays on, and next in line steps in to challenge. We also have a ranked mode, where the matches are one-on-one and no spectators. Omnicomic: This is the type of game that player would crowd around arcade cabinets just to watch matches. Are there any plans for creating a mode purely for spectators to log in and watch matches? Capcom: There’s no plan for a mode for that, but in the Player Mode you can kind of get that arcade spectator feel. Omnicomic: DLC is all the rage with new games these days. Is there any possibility of new characters via DLC? Capcom: This kind of game doesn’t really work for DLC, so those kind of options aren’t really available. There are already so many characters to begin with that adding more would be kind of tough. Omnicomic: What about the possibility of online tournaments? Maybe sponsored tournaments that happen monthly or yearly that players can enter online? Capcom: That functionality isn’t built into the game itself. Most people tend to want to play face to face so there are really no plans to do any online tournaments. We were at the EVO Championship Series last year and we'll probably be there again this year. And Marvel vs. Capcom 2 will definitely be added for the gaming tournament. Omnicomic: Have there been thoughts for a Marvel vs. Capcom 2 comic book through Udon Comics? Capcom: That would be hard to pull off just because of the Marvel side of things (licensing and all that). If anyone’s going to do that it would probably be Marvel though and not Udon Comics. Omnicomic: What’s your dream team in the game? Capcom: Spider-man, Stryder and Cable. I’m actually not really good at the game, but I think Stryder’s my favorite character. Spider-man is the best render of any Spider-man in any game that I’ve ever seen. And I just love Cable. For the record, my dream team would have to be Spider-man, Ryu and Jill Valentine. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is now available on Xbox Live for 1200 Microsoft points and will hit PSN on August 13 for $15.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Baroness

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is the next installment of my childhood to get the feature film treatment with the film's release August 7. Because the 80s were such a long time ago and you might not remember who was in your staged Joe/Cobra fights in your backyard, Omnicomic is profiling each character in the upcoming film. So sit back, read on and get reacquainted with some old friends. Real Name: Baroness Anastasia Cisarovna First Appearance: G.I. Joe #1 (1982), Marvel Comics Actress: Smoking hot Sienna Miller Specialty: Intelligence Background: The subject of so many adolescent fantasies among G.I. Joe fans, the ‘Baroness’ is probably on of the best known and recognizable figures in the G.I. Joe canon. Born into a ridiculously rich- and, by her estimation, boring- family somewhere in Europe, Cisarovna fueled her stereotypical rebellion against her parents into political activism, heading up student activist groups with extremely anarchistic views. Sooner or later, she made the transition into militant international mercenary and terrorist. Granted the ‘Baroness’ is in a dirty line of work- but her skills and expertise have afforded her pay cuts that have helped her maintain the wealthy lifestyle she was born into. After Anastasia joined Cobra, she was severely burned during an intelligence mission. Following, she had extensive plastic surgery- completely severing any former ties she had with her old life. While a well-known operative for many criminal and terrorist organizations, very few know anything about this woman. Anastasia sometimes fills in as a liaison between Cobra and other organizations- her good looks and charm help ‘grease the wheels’ a little bit. Most notably, she has an on-again, off-again romance with Destro. While Cisarovna’s advances are in part aimed at helping Cobra retain profitable dealings with Destro’s organization, the man is probably one of the only few in the world that the Baroness has ever felt any true intimacy with. As such, her loyalty is sometimes torn between these two poles- Cobra and Destro himself. Check out the other profiles for the characters in the movie. And then make sure to choose a side. Breaker Cobra Commander Cover Girl Destro Duke General Hawk Heavy Duty Ripcord Scarlett Snake Eyes Storm Shadow Zartan

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Shana 'Scarlett' O'Hara

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is the next installment of my childhood to get the feature film treatment with the film's release August 7. Because the 80s were such a long time ago and you might not remember who was in your staged Joe/Cobra fights in your backyard, Omnicomic is profiling each character in the upcoming film. So sit back, read on and get reacquainted with some old friends. Real Name: Shana 'Scarlett' O'Hara First Appearance: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1 (June 1982) Actor: Rachel Nichols Specialty: Scarlett is adept at the use of all standard weapons, but her preferred weapon of choice is the crossbow. She is ranked Master Sergeant and is the team leader from time to time, the team's counter-intelligence officer and also skilled in acrobatics and certain martial arts. Background: Born in Atlanta, Georgia (hence the name), Scarlett learned martial arts from her father and has earned her several black belts. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from an Ivy League university, and passed the Bar to practice law before moving into the military and eventually joining the Joes team. She is the first female G.I. Joe and started the trend for others to join. Her entrance into the Joes was the result of training with an elite unit form the CIA which was molding her to join the Joes. She is also tasked in training the other Joes in hand-to-hand combat, and is almost an even match for Snake Eyes. Scarlett does get close to one other Joe, and that's Snake Eyes becase of a lot of events going on for both of them. She is a rough Joe who doesn’t put up with any jokes or taunts from the other Joes, and is one of their best. Check out the other profiles for the characters in the movie. And then make sure to choose a side. Baroness Breaker Cobra Commander Cover Girl Destro Duke General Hawk Heavy Duty Ripcord Snake Eyes Storm Shadow Zartan

Heroes - Chapter 5 Redemption Trailer

Readers of Omnicomic know that there's a love/hate relationship with Heroes. As in, I love it maybe a third of the season, and hate it the other two-thirds. If only the show would remain consistent instead of following the formula of awesome beginning, plodding/boring/inane middle and phenomenal, climatic finish. But, out of some sick sense of devotion I'll watch the next season, if for nothing else some sort of closure (I would bet this is the last season). Set to premiere September 21, NBC wants you to know what you're getting into with the new season. So they've cobbled together a 3 1/2 minute trailer showcasing some of the season highlights. If you're one of those people that like to go into a TV season with nothing shown to you at all, don't click through. But if you like semi-spoilers then read on. Quickly, Claire's at college, and has a friend intrigued by her power. Peter is a paramedic again, and for some reason shares powers with an arachnid superhero with the same namesake as him. Nathan is learning that there's more to him then he knows, and Sylar wants his body back (which will end up being Nathan shapeshifted as Nathan but aware). Parkman wants out, but there is no out. Traci seeks vengeance, and may team up with Mr. Bennett. Both face Danko, who either dies really quickly or has some power we don't know about. Hiro talks to himself again, and there's a new bad guy here called Joseph (I think that was his name). That's the long and the short of it, and you can check out the trailer below. Heroes - Chapter 5 - Redemption Trailer

Dark Horse swings for the bleachers

Have you ever wondered if Hellboy could break the single season home run record because of that big arm? Or maybe if Grendel Prime could use his agility to set the single season stolen base record? Now's your chance to virtually find out! Dark Horse has teamed up with Challenge Online Games to bring fans of Dark Horse and/or baseball on online baseball challenge. The free-to-play electronic trading card game brings in all the goodness of collectible card games and mixes in some Dark Horse. Dark Horse President Mike Richardson's love of baseball may have led to such a mixture. “Being a longtime baseball fan, it’s great to see so many Dark Horse characters taking part in an online version of our national pastime and playing alongside some of my favorite real-life players.” Playing the game is simple. First, you need to register for free over at the Baseball Boss website. Once you've signed up, each time your team beats the Dark Horse All-Stars in a best of five series, you can randomly get a Dark Horse All-Star card for your collection. Registering period gets you three free packs of the virtual baseball cards to assemble your challengers. So yeah, it appears that a love of comics won't get you by in this game alone. You have to have some knowledge and passion for baseball to successfully manage the team to win. But if you are a fan of baseball and Dark Horse then playing it lots and lots will get you those special edition Dark Horse cards for your collection. Full press release below. DARK HORSE SWINGS FOR THE BLEACHERS DARK HORSE TEAMS WITH CHALLENGE GAMES TO DRAFT THE FIRST DARK HORSE BASEBALL BOSS TEAM JULY 29, MILWAUKIE, OR–It’s no secret that Dark Horse loves comics, but perhaps lesser known is the fact that Dark Horse loves baseball, too! In celebration of the summer season and America’s greatest pastime, Dark Horse Comics and Challenge Online Games have teamed up to create the greatest sports franchise ever. In a move that will have agents talking for weeks, Baseball Boss will now feature Dark Horse players, including Concrete, Hellboy, Abe Sapien (B.P.R.D.), X, Rumor and Kraken (The Umbrella Academy), the Mask, Conan, King Kull, Cal McDonald (Criminal Macabre), SpyBoy, Ghost, the Goon, Grendel Prime, the Occultist, Go Boy 7, and Heath Huston (Fear Agent). The free-to-play online electronic trading card game combines the collectibility and trading aspects of collectible cards with the competitive excitement of multiplayer games. Harnessing Web 2.0 applications and asynchronous, short-form design, Baseball Boss and Dark Horse will set the bar for this emerging entertainment sector. Plus, players can win a full set of virtual cards of the Dark Horse All-Stars team! * First, players need to complete their free registration for the online game Baseball Boss and finish a quick account setup. * Then, each time their team beats the Dark Horse All-Stars in a best-of-five game series, they can randomly win a card of the Dark Horse All-Stars for their collection. * Players get three free packs of virtual baseball cards when they register for free for Baseball Boss. To play their first game against the Dark Horse All-Stars, players should visit baseballboss.com/darkhorse. Baseball Boss has been described by GameZone as “iTunes meets baseball cards.” The addition of Dark Horse superstars will allow players to create the ultimate dream team to go head to head with other players in a way never before imagined. Dark Horse President Mike Richardson has this to say about the new program: “Being a longtime baseball fan, it’s great to see so many Dark Horse characters taking part in an online version of our national pastime and playing alongside some of my favorite real-life players.” Jeff Petry, vice president of sports and licensed properties at Challenge Games, said, “Adding key characters from the Dark Horse universe creates a fun activity for our players. We hope that both sports fans and comic fans alike enjoy these highly collectible virtual cards. We’re looking forward to a great partnership with Dark Horse and to creating many more fun activities for all our players.” About Challenge Online Games, Inc. Challenge Online Games (Challenge Games) creates online games that are fun and easy to play whether you’re a serious or casual gamer. The company was founded by veteran entrepreneur and gamer Andrew Busey, author of Secrets of the Mud Wizards and creator of one of the first instant-messaging applications. Challenge Games currently offers Duels and Baseball Boss—multiplayer, web-based games that combine the best of the collectible card games (CCGs) and traditional role-playing games with the convenience of the short-form gaming experience. The company also holds a multiyear licensing agreement with MLB Advanced Media, LP (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball. The company offers web-based games for a variety of tastes, including the area skill game Duels (duels.com), the command and strategy game Warstorm (warstorm.com), the futuristic battle game Planetstorm (planetstorm.com), and the build and destroy game Mechduels (mechduels.com). Challenge Games is based in Austin, Texas, and is privately held with funding from Sequoia Capital and Globespan Capital Partners. For more information on Challenge Games, visit challengegames.com. About Dark Horse Comics Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, and comics legend Will Eisner, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton, Trigun, and Serenity. Today, Dark Horse Comics is the third-largest comic-book publisher in the U.S. and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of licensed comics material.

Interview - Ben Templesmith

At Comic-Con, I tried to catch up with writer/artist/general extraordinaire Ben Templesmith. Unfortunately, because of the sheer insanity of the convention we didn't get to meet up. Good thing we've exchanged email addresses! Below is an interview with Mr. Templesmith about everything Templesmith, as well as his new work Choker.

Omnicomic: What was it like getting your break in American comics with Todd McFarlane and Hellspawn?

Ben Templesmith: Well, great really. A childhood ambition come true. I'd actually broke in twice since at the same time as this, I was working on a Vertigo book that ended up never seeing print...so really, Todd is the technical real break I got, on Hellspawn I guess.


Omnicomic: Afterwards you moved onto SINGULARITY. How did you make that transition? Was this sort of a project that you always had in mind?

Templesmith: I love that you don't mention that other book. You know, the one with the movie. Not being sarcastic either, it's just refreshing to talk about the other works!

Singularity was actually the first thing I wrote, yes. I call it a "learning experience" these days. I think it still holds up reasonably, but I would do it very differently these days. I've learned a bunch, and back then, I think I bit off a little more than I could chew at the time. Got to be honest with yourself if you ever want to grow as an artist. I wanted to do it ever reading about potential doomsday scenarios, back when people just started to talk about nanotech. I mean, if we had nanotech, odds are other lifeforms out there much older than ourselves probably developed it long before us and could use it on a massive scale to shape environments to their will.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

IDW announces Legion prequel

Legion is a Screen Gems film shown at Comic-Con. Well, the entire movie wasn't shown, but bits and pieces were shown to get the crowd going. Get the people excited. This excitement will no doubt be furthered by a prequel comic by the fine folks at IDW. Co-written by the film’s director Scott Stewart and Tom Waltz, Legion: Prophets will be a four-issue weekly miniseries that leads directly into the movie, setting the scene for an all-out war between Heaven and Earth. “The premise of the film is great, and a little scary,” said IDW Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Chris Ryall. “Who hasn't looked around at what's going on in the world and thought that the Apocalypse really might be coming soon? Legion: Prophets gives a glimpse of what that might be like.” Readers that check out the series can expect an eclectic mix of characters. There are the Theologians, the alias for the pair Jacob Heifitz (a 26-year-old Jewish research student) and Sami Saama (a 16-year-old Palestinian would-be terrorist) who must work together to find a way to the new Cradle of Civilization. There's The Guardian Miko Hogosha, who is a modern day geisha now working as a warrior and plotting an escape from New York City to meet the rest of the Prophets. A local puzzle prodigy nicknamed "The Codebreaker" (aka Maggie Winters) is about to get sinister when her visions manifest. And then there's The Voice, Alan McCormick. McCormick is a radio icon who broadcasts a late night radio show from a secret bunker in the desert. He plays the resident conspiracy theorist that propagates a theory that ends up being true and he feels vindicated in a sense. Each issue will feature illustrations from a range of artists, including Alberto Muriel, Jose Holder, Francisco Paronzini and Michael Gaydos, as well as covers by J.F. Bruckner. All four issues will be available in stores weekly in November 2009. Full press release below. IDW Announces Legion Prequel Miniseries based on the upcoming Screen Gems film LEGION, In Theaters January 22, 2010 San Diego, CA (July 24, 2009) – Following on the thrilling Comic-Con exclusive footage of the upcoming Screen Gems film Legion, IDW Publishing announces the movie prequel, co-written by the film’s director Scott Stewart and Tom Waltz (Silent Hill: Sinner’s Reward). Legion: Prophets, IDW's four-issue weekly miniseries, leads directly into the movie, setting the scene for an all-out war between Heaven and Earth. “The premise of the film is great, and a little scary,” said IDW Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Chris Ryall. “Who hasn't looked around at what's going on in the world and thought that the Apocalypse really might be coming soon? Legion: Prophets gives a glimpse of what that might be like.” Legion: Prophets tells the story of four very different people from very different parts of the world, who become humanity's only hope to survive the Apocalypse. Stewart and Waltzchronicle the struggles of these ordinary people in the face of newfound powers and responsibilities. "There were a lot of cool and scary characters and situations that I wasn't able to include in the main narrative of the movie, so I'm very excited to be able to expand the Legion universe beyond the film and explore those other stories through the comic book series,” said Stewart. “I'm a big fan of IDW's books and it's a real thrill to be able to collaborate with them on Legion: Prophets." Legion: Prophets features a richly diverse cast of characters: The Theologians, an unlikely pairing of Jacob Heifitz, a 26-year-old Jewish research student, and Sami Saama, a 16-year-old Palestinian would-be terrorist, who must work together to fight off possessed hordes and find a way to the new Cradle of Civilization. The Guardian, Miko Hogosha, a modern day geisha-turned-warrior, who must escape a New York City gone mad and journey to meet the rest of the Prophets. The Codebreaker, Midwestern housewife Maggie Winters, a local puzzle prodigy whose seemingly innocuous skill is about to take a dark turn as her “visions” manifest. And, the Voice, Alan McCormick, a radio icon who broadcasts his late night syndicated radio show alone from his “secret bunker” in the high desert, making a career of exploring bizarre conspiracy theories he doesn’t actually believe in, until now. Each issue showcases unique illustrations by a group of artists as diverse as the story’s characters, including Alberto Muriel, Jose Holder, Francisco Paronzini, and Michael Gaydos, as well as can't-look-away covers from French sensation, J.F. Bruckner. Legion: Prophets #1-4 will be available in stores weekly in November 2009. About IDW IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. As a leader in the horror, action, and sci-fi genres, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry including: Hasbro's The Transformers and G.I. JOE, Paramount's Star Trek; Fox's Angel; the BBC's Doctor Who; and television's #1 prime time series CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studios; and is the print publisher for ComicMix. IDW's original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at IDWPublishing.com. About the Film In the supernatural action thriller LEGION, an out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race. When God loses faith in Mankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael. LEGION stars Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Kate Walsh, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S. Dutton and Willa Holland and is directed by Scott Stewart. In theaters nationwide on January 22, 2010.

Tumor on Amazon Kindle

Update: Archaia has put together a trailer for the ebook, which you can check after the jump before the press release. The Amazon Kindle is one of the latest devices in a push to make everything digital. We're already on the second incarnation of the e-Reader with a third on the way, but while the device is rife with books and periodicals its a litle lacking in the comic book department. Archaia Studios has a plan to change that and is teaming with Amazon to produce original graphic novels for the Kindle. Over the next 12 months, Archaia will premiere four such graphic novels on the device, with the first being Tumor by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon (creator's of Elk's Run). “Archaia is consistently working to break the boundaries of comic book distribution,” said Stephen Christy, Archaia’s Director of Development. “I’m psyched to be able to say that we will now be the first comic book company to produce a full-length graphic novel exclusively for the Kindle. Working with a partner like Amazon has been amazing, and I couldn’t be happier that we’re launching this partnership with Tumor, from one of my favorite writers in the industry.” Tumor is a Los Angeles noir about a private investigator plagued with terminal brain cancer and desperately trying to solve one last case before the cancer kills him. the book will be released as eight individual chapters over the next six months, and then collected into a hardcover edition afterwards. Chapter 1 is available for free, and subsequent chapters will be priced at $0.99 each. Chapter 2 will be available the week of August 3rd, which each subsequent chapter released every three weeks after. Mr. Murder Is Dead is the next book set to debut on the device. The black and white book will be written by Victor Quinaz and co-published by Before the Door Pictures. Yeah, that's the production company that's run by Zachary Quinto. Look for that one spring 2010.

Tumor - The Trailer from Joshua Fialkov on Vimeo.

Full press release below. ARCHAIA TEAMS WITH AMAZON TO PRODUCE ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR THE KINDLE EXCLUSIVE OFFERING KICKS OFF WITH FIRST CHAPTER OF ‘TUMOR’ FOR FREE Los Angeles, CA (July 28, 2009) – Meeting the growing demand for more digital content, Archaia announced that it would produce original graphic novels (OGNs) exclusively for the Amazon Kindle, which will include the Kindle’s iPhone and iPod touch apps. Archaia will initially premiere four OGNs on the Kindle over the next 12 months. The new collaboration kicks off with Tumor, an original story from Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon, the creators of the Harvey Award-nominated Elk’s Run. Tumor, a Los Angeles noir about a private investigator with a terminal brain tumor trying to close one last case before the cancer kills him, will be released as eight individual chapters over the next six months, to then be collected into a hardcover edition. The first chapter of Tumor is available now on the Kindle for free, with subsequent chapters priced at 99 cents. “Archaia is consistently working to break the boundaries of comic book distribution,” said Stephen Christy, Archaia’s Director of Development. “I’m psyched to be able to say that we will now be the first comic book company to produce a full-length graphic novel exclusively for the Kindle. Working with a partner like Amazon has been amazing, and I couldn’t be happier that we’re launching this partnership with Tumor, from one of my favorite writers in the industry.” “We’re excited to offer our customers this new content for Kindle,” said Laura Porco, director of Kindle books. “We know that even the best reading device is useless to our customers without deep selection, and we’re thrilled to be able to expand the selection of comics available to Kindle users.” “I’ve loved my Kindle from Day One, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted Tumor to be available for the platform,” said Fialkov. “Archaia understood that the Kindle is a unique opportunity to get their comics out there and into the hands of a whole new fanbase who are avid book readers, but may have not read a graphic novel in years.” In addition to the Kindle version of the book, Fialkov will be running an online “behind-the-scenes” site at www.tumorthecomic.com that promises to include DVD-style Special Edition features, including scripts, production art, interviews and a live chat with the creators upon the release of each chapter. The first chapter of Tumor is available for free now at the Amazon Kindle Store at: http://www.amazon.com/Tumor-Chapter-1/dp/B002J256D8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1248805177&sr=1-2 Here is a condensed link: http://tinyurl.com/mvx84k. Chapter Two will be released during the week of August 3rd, and each subsequent chapter will be released every three weeks. In the pipeline is another upcoming title to be produced by Archaia exclusively for the Kindle. Mr. Murder Is Dead, a black-and-white OGN written by Victor Quinaz and co-published by Before the Door Pictures, the production company of actor Zachary Quinto, is scheduled for a spring 2010 release. For more information about Tumor, please visit www.tumorthecomic.com.

Next Batman filming next year

Gary Oldman was at San Diego Comic-Con promoting his new movie Book of Eli that I got to check out. But at a show like SDCC, you know that questions regarding the next Batman are inevitable. Oldman answered the question as best as possible. When asked when the next in the trilogy begins filming, Oldman was quite optimistic. "I think the next Batman is next year. We start shooting next year. You didn't hear that from me." I think saying "intriguing" doesn't even begin to fully capture how curious this is. See, Christopher Nolan has yet to officially sign on for the third film. And Christian Bale is only on board if Nolan is on board. But Oldman mentioning that shooting starts next year is quite fantastic. It pretty much goes against everything we've heard otherwise, and means that the film is further along than we all initially thought. Granted, Oldman could be on an outdated timeline. But Oldman is one of those more storied actors that has been around the block before, so for him to say something like this there's a certain sense of credibility to the statement. I wouldn't bet the farm on this statement or start expecting the next film any time soon, but this is a statement that is quietly reassuring to fans of the series.

Preview: Free Realms #1

Jim Lee working with Sony Online Entertainment was bound to be more fruitful than just DC Universe Online. The man's studio named after crazy weather has teamed up with SOE to bring you a comic book called Free Realms, based on the MMORPG of the same name. WildStorm has tapped J.S. Lewis for the story, with Jon Buran and Allen Martinez on the art. Bill Crabtree has the crayons for coloring, while Johnny Lowe is on the lettering. Throw in some Jon Buran and Allen Martinez again for the cover and you've got a spiffy new book due in stores today for $3.99. The book mirrors the game, so if you've played it then you have an idea of what you're getting yourself into. But if you haven't played it, what you can expect is a world full of vicious monsters and gorgeous fairies. All this is the backdrop for a relic hunter and pixie to unite and find a young boy abducted and dragged into a forest. Things get interesting when the saviors are captured by a horde of trolls. Check out some interiors below, and if you like what you see then by all means head out to your comic book store and pick it up.

Mark Waid signing Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1

Still shaking off that San Diego hangover? What was once a convention of comic book geeks, the convention has now become a pop culture event that pretty much draws everyone on the planet. Those folks come from far and wide, however those that travel hang out a few days after to recover and build up the strength to get back home. Some like Mark Waid hang back to sign his stuff. Tomorrow (July 29), Waid will be at two stores in Los Angeles to sign copies of Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1, which coincidentally hits stores the same day. From 11 AM to 1 PM, Waid will be at Collector's Paradise (7131 Winnetka Ave.) in Winnetka, CA. From 5 PM to 7 PM, Waid will be at Brave New World Comics (22722 Lyons Ave.) in Newhall, CA. Some of you folks that are lucky enough to get there first will also be able to get your hands on a copy that is pre-signed by artist Kenneth Rocafort. Full press release below. TOP COW ANNOUNCES DUAL SIGNINGS IN LOS ANGELES AREA MARK WAID TO APPEAR AT TWO SIGNINGS FOR CYBERFORCE/HUNTER-KILLER #1 LOS ANGELES, Calif., July 28th, 2009 – Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that Mark Waid, the writer behind Top Cow’s new and exciting crossover event, Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer, will be hosting two signings to mark the release of the first issue in this hotly anticipated series. On Wednesday, July 29th, Waid will appear at two Los Angeles area retail stores to mark the premiere of Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1. From 11am to 1pm, Mark Waid will be signing comics at Collector’s Paradise, in Winnetka, CA. And from 5pm to 7pm, he will be signing at Brave New World Comics, in Newhall, CA. Collector’s Paradise is located at 7131 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka, CA and can be reached at 818-999-9455 and found on the web at www.comicsandcards.net. Brave New World Comics is located at 22722 Lyons Ave., Newhall, CA and can be reached at 661-259-4745 and found on the web at www.bravenewworldcomics.com. As an added bonus for fans attending the signings, a limited quantity of copies of issue #1 will be available pre-signed by artist Kenneth Rocafort. Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer is the deadly new mini-series with consequences brought to you by Mark Waid (Amazing Spider-Man, Irredeemable) and artist Kenneth Rocafort (Madame Mirage, Astonishing Tales). This is a series with non-stop action, intrigue, lies, and betrayal. Make sure to pick up the first issue of Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer and bring it to the Mark Waid signings on July 29th.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Arrivals: July 29, 2009

Have you ever asked yourself what compels life without a soul? Maybe fear? Hatred? Passion? Maybe it's just the goal to be human. Or sentient. Regardless of your answer, you owe it to yourself to check out the answer postulated in this week's pick of the week, Citizen Rex #1. The book is written by Mario and Gilbert Hernandez, with Gilbert also providing the artwork. The two comic legends have united to create a bizarre, sexy view of a future where the anti-robot movement is in full effect. The movement stems from the arrest and deactivation of CTZ-RX, the world's most famous and lifelike robot twenty years ago. Such a deactivation and anti-robot movement does little to stem the black market for robot prosthetics, giving gossip columnist Sergio Bauntin tons of fodder for his work. His rumors draw the watchful eye of various entities however, including the mob and investigators known as the Truth Takers. They'll be particularly interested when he finds that CTZ-RX is out and about. Enjoy! New Arrivals: July 29, 2009

Defense with the BoomPick

With a new week upon us, that means a new batch of comics for us to pick over and read multiple times come tomorrow. If you aren’t burned out from all the comic book coverage and news from Comic Con, then go pick up Marvel Zombies 4 #4 at your local comic store tomorrow. Finishing this new story arc for our fanatical zombie superheroes trying to take over the Marvel Universe, we see everything come to a single turning point. At the end of the third issue, we were at that critical point where it looks like the zombie plague will succeed and destroy the world as it has gone airborne, but is still confined to island that the Midnight Sons were fighting it on. Now with The Hood on their side attempting to stop the end of the world can they win or will the zombie plague take over the Marvel Universe as we know it? Pick this one up tomorrow to finish the story and find out what happens. And if you haven't read the earlier Marvel Zombies series then go get them as they are amazing.

Comic Tombs (not as bad as you think)

Comic book storage is often a point of contention for most folks. You can stack them precariously throughout your abode, san bags and boards. You can stack them precariously throughout your abode, with bags and boards. The popular cardboard boxes are also a big hit, and unless you have a comic book store in your house, display racks are pretty impractical. But what about a comic book tomb? Comic Oasis in Las Vegas will build you a customizable comic book tomb for all your storage needs. These tombs resemble IKEA file cabinets in design, but they're a lot sturdier than that and don't require hours of frustration and alan wrenches. The tombs allow for bags and boards to wrap your precious comics while at the same time giving you better access and flexibility in storing and organizing them. Sure, you could line them up alphabetically in boxes, but then you have to pull some issues out of the tightly packed box to find that one issue of X-Men #266 that you're frantically scrambling for. You can contact the folks at Comic Oasis for more information. These things are built to order, so however obsessively you store your comics they can probably handle it. Comic Tombs

Marvel going anime

Anime is all the rage with kids these days (and everyday it seems). Comic books have made a massive resurgence and are also all the rage with kids these days. Combine the two and you have either a lot of rage or something really cool. Marvel is hoping for the latter. Announced last year, Marvel has paired Warren Ellis with Japanese animation studio Madhouse to produce four new series for the TV viewing folks in Japan. At Comic-Con, two of those trailers were debuted. Which two? Iron Man and Wolverine. You check them out after the jump, and the series should be hitting the airwaves in spring 2010. Iron Man Wolverine

Monday, July 27, 2009

Defense with the BoomStick


Monday, Monday, Monday. The day is upon us again and you fine folks out there know what that means. Hey everybody, Brandon here. Your faithful guide to killing zombies and helping us win this war. I'm bringing to you what you need to know to survive, so let me get to it. First off a bit of news about that huge military offensive I was telling you about. Well it appeared to have paid off as they have reclaimed most of Maine, New Hampshire and parts of Vermont. So for the time being stay out of those areas. I'm sure you're asking why, if I just said the military cleared them out. Because of all the things they stirred up hordes of zombies are heading that way so at the moment it is not the best place to try and get to. If you are already there then you should be ok as you are able to immediately get within the safety of the troops.

For the tip of the week I'm doing something a bit different. I'll get back to surviving at sea next week, but for today I want to go over something a little more serious and universally true. Now everybody loves when they find new survivors or can save people and bring them to your safe place. Be warned though that this thankful person you saved might be a spy for a rival outpost or a bandit gang. They could be learning your defenses and secrets so they can report back and destroy your place and take your supplies. So if you do bring anyone back to your compound or safehouse then just be careful what you tell them and make sure to keep a watchful eye on them. Remember, if you do send any scouts out that they don’t have any sort of maps on them that gives your position away and make sure you send only the ones you can trust the most. That's it for the tip and news of the week so be ready for the next edition coming at ya live. Well not really live, it is sort of live. Remember to keep fighting and keep surviving and do what you can to help us win against the zombies. Until next week this is Brandon signing off.

Bruce Campbell breaks silence on Evil Dead 3

Evil Dead is one of those cult classic movies. Definitely awesome in it's own right, it has spawned a legion of followers and features the epic Bruce Campbell. At San Diego Comic Con Campbell was on hand to promote Burn Notice, the USA series about an ex-spy. Aftewards, at the media session, Campbell was asked about the possibility of Evil Dead 3. In the video after the jump, Campbell responds that rather than an Evil Dead 3, the plan is to remake Evil Dead. As soon as Sam Raimi finds time between movies to actually do the movie. Everyone is on board, it's just a matter of when at this point. But other than simply planning to do the remake, Campbell and crew haven't got much further (as far as script or pre-production stuff goes). And Campbell really is as affable a rapscallion in person as he comes across in film. Really, really great guy.

Frank Cho on 50Girl50

Frank Cho was at the Image United panel at Comic-Con, but honestly, he got kind of lost in the fold. Surely no disrespect to him, as the man's artistic talents are beyond awesome. But he mentioned his new series 50Girl50. The series is about a wormhole through which life will be furthered, however only women can go through it. The series will be written by Doug Murray and from the mind of Cho himself, and the series is unique in that it's lacking an interior artist. Which is where you readers out there that double as talented artists come into play. Cho and Murray are holding a contest to determine who will be doing the interiors for the series. Think of it as an American Idol for a comic book artist (I feel like every industry has their own version of American Idol now unfortunately...for society, not the winners obviously). In any case, details are currently scant, however I'm sure we'll be hearing more on this as the schedule for the book gets to be more concrete. Still though, it's pretty cool to be given the chance to do art for a Frank Cho book with him consulting on it. If you're really good, then expect Cho to take more of a backseat role. But if you're not as fantastic as advertised, well, I'd expect you'd be seeing a lot more of Cho than you thought.

Max Brooks joining the Joes

IDW definitely had a big showing at Comic-Con, and one of the biggest pieces of news to come from the publisher was the announcement of a NY Times bestselling author joining their ranks. Max Brooks is coming on to do a G.I. Joe miniseries. Zombie survivalists probably perked their ears up at the name Max Brooks. But for those of you who haven't fully prepared for the apocalypse, Brooks is the author of World War Z and Zombie Survival Guide. So who knows if he'll be writing a zombie-infested Joe arc as is all the rage among comic book creators these days. The five-issue miniseries is due in 2010 and is the first G.I. Joe comic for Brooks. And IDW couldn't be more excited. “Both Chris Ryall (IDW Editor-in-chief) and I read World War Z and we knew we had to try to get Max to write something for us. What we didn’t know is that Max is a huge G.I. JOE fan and had expressed interest in writhing G.I. JOE to (COBRA writer) Christos Gage,” said Andy Schmidt, IDW’s G.I. JOE editor. “Synchronicity ensued and G.I. JOE has never looked or read so well! We’re very pleased to add Max’s vision to the G.I. JOE canon.” Keep it here for more information as it becomes available, and check out the full press release below. Max Brooks Joins IDW for G.I. JOE Series New York Times Best Selling author to write miniseries San Diego, CA (July 24, 2009) – Another great boon in an already banner year for G.I. JOE, IDW is delighted to announce that New York Times best selling author of World War Z and Zombie Survival Guide Max Brooks will be writing a G.I. JOE miniseries in 2010. An Emmy-winning writer, Brooks has brought his own unique style to both TV and print. Brooks was part of the writing team for “Saturday Night Live” for forty episodes from 2001 to 2003 and began acting in the 1980s. Brooks’sThe Zombie Survival Guide was released in 2003 and immediately became a fan-favorite. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War followed in 2006 to both critical- and fan- acclaim, including four weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list. “Both Chris Ryall (IDW Editor-in-chief) and I read World War Z and we knew we had to try to get Max to write something for us. What we didn’t know is that Max is a huge G.I. JOE fan and had expressed interest in writhing G.I. JOE to (COBRA writer) Christos Gage,” said Andy Schmidt, IDW’s G.I. JOE editor. “Synchronicity ensued and G.I. JOE has never looked or read so well! We’re very pleased to add Max’s vision to the G.I. JOE canon.” The five-issue miniseries will be the first G.I. JOE comic for Brooks, and his first partnership with IDW. “I’m thrilled to be working on an icon of my youth, and after this, my next project will be Different Stokes 2.5,” said Brooks. Visit IDWPublishing.com to learn more about the company and its top-selling books. About IDW IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. As a leader in the horror, action, and sci-fi genres, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry including: Hasbro's The Transformers and G.I. JOE, Paramount's Star Trek; Fox's Angel; the BBC's Doctor Who; and television's #1 prime time series CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studios; and is the print publisher for ComicMix. IDW's original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at IDWPublishing.com. About Hasbro Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at http://www.hasbro.com. (C) 2009 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Iron Man 2 Comic Con 2009 panel recap

Two words will describe the Iron Man 2 panel best: Holy Shit. Favreau and company didn't disappoint, as they actually came to party and brought some footage of the movie to the panel. Kevin Feige was joined by Favreau, Robert Downey, Jr. (who led the audience in a rousing rendition of happy birthday to Favreau's son in the audience), Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell. What was in the footage? Hit the jump. It goes without saying that there are spoilers here. Before the footage though, a few thoughts.
  • Downey, Jr. is fantastic. His personality oozed throughout the entire panel.
  • Cheadle was probably the most respected on the panel (and that's not a slight on the other actors). But people were really feeling him.
  • As pretty as you think Scarlett Johansson is, multiply that by 100 and she's still prettier than you think. This woman is a goddess and Ryan Reynolds is very lucky.
  • Rockwell is the man. He pretty much went head-to-head with Downey, Jr., in the charisma category.
Tony Stark (as Iron Man) is tracked by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to join his "super secret boy band" as Stark so affectionately puts it. Later, Stark is being questioned by a Senate committee regarding his Iron Man suit, and whether or not it's classified as a weapon. Gary Shandling is the lead Senator on the committee. Mickey Rourke is shown, fashioning his Whiplash suit out of anger at the Stark family. The building scenes are very reminiscent of when Stark built his first suit in the first film, so it's always nice to see symmetry. And at the end, Rhodes (Cheadle) is shown discussing weapons with Justin Hammer (Rockwell). When asked which weapons he was shown which ones will he take, Rhodes says all of them. And then we're treated to War Machine showing off his new arsenal. Like I said before, holy shit.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Spider-man has some fantastic villains. He’s also got some weird ones. Very, very weird. First, there’s that whole slew of terrible animal themed villains- I don’t mean Doc. Ock, Scorpion, or Rhino…I mean like…the Kangaroo. This guy exists. Really. Actually, nowadays, the writers have realized how truly hilarious such characters were and treat them accordingly. But then Spider-man has this other set of villains- really, really bad criminals. Organized crime kind of stuff. Spider-man and Batman can seem like polar opposites on a good day- but ultimately, fighting crime is really both of their callings. The kind of guys I’m talking about feel a little more at home in the pages of Daredevil than Spider-man- like Tombstone and Hammerhead. But they retain ownership in the Spidey rogue’s gallery nonetheless Silvermane freaks me out. There’s just something about the old man thing. And, not to get racist or anything, but maybe there’s something about him being Italian- it’s like he’s that angry, scary, dominant Italian man from New York that’s really over-controlling in all of his children's and friend’s lives. Only now, when he should be all withered and frail, he’s figured out a way to keep himself around. Maybe FOREVER. So…it’s kind of like…the power of somebody like that, in your family…is never going to die, really. A lot of Silvermane’s story has to do with the Maggia. The Maggia is one big, international crime syndicate that almost every criminal in the Marvel Universe runs into at some point in their careers (get it? the local crime syndicate is the “Mafia," while the one that’s spread all over the planet is the “Maggia”). Only guys like Wilson Fisk (A.K.A. the Kingpin of Crime) can stand on their own two feet and say ‘no’ to these guys, and even Fisk had plenty of first-hand training with them on his way up…er, down…whatever. Silvio Manfredi was a small time thug for the Maggia in New York. His hair turned silvery white at age 40- after that he became obsessed with his own mortality, swearing to find a way to stay youthful forever. Actually, Manfredi has had some run-ins with Fisk: he got involved with Hydra, cutting into a portion of the Kingpin of Crime’s underworld empire and trafficking drugs. Really weird sidenote- these same drugs are the ones that kick-started Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen’s (A.K.A. Cloak and Dagger) mutant metabolisms (they’re not-quite-mutants, or something). Seeking revenge, Tandy hit Silvermane up with light daggers. Manfredi didn’t survive the ensuing heart attack. Silvio was saved through some sick technological ingenuity- the short version of the story is this: hoping to add a new assassin to his repertoire (and possibly make a monstrosity out of his former rival), the Kingpin had the man’s body reanimated, with cybernetic enhancements to boot. Manifredi is like a technological Frankenstein these days. Eventually, Silvermane regained his sense of independence and continues to reside over the Maggia’s New York operations (among others). He’s still obsessed with ‘outfitting’ his body though- his plans have ranged from abducting Spider-man to get a blood transfusion to capturing Deathlok so as to transfer his consciousness into another cyborg’s body. Really, just creepy stuff. And he’s got the nasty, raspy, old man voice and everything? Ah. Gross. Still, if Sam Raimi really wants to take Spider-man movies in a new direction, he could do this. Spider-man in the mid 70’s had a little bit of a different feel to them than the 80’s and 90’s. It was funny and cute- but Spidey tended to either be dealing with a very human side to crime (even if it tended to be populated with less than human villains) or really bizarre, horror-ey kind of stuff (Morbius the Living Vampire, team-up with Dr. Strange to fight Dormammu, etc.). Just wondering- might Spider-man 4 feel a little more like this era? And is that a good idea or a bad one?

Marvel Man makes his Marvel

Just got done with the Marvel Cup O' Joe panel. Joe Quesada was joined by other folks from Marvel, and he had a big announcement to make about a new character being introduced into the Marvel Universe. Marvel Man. Quesada mentioned that Marvel has officially gotten the rights to the character after having been in negotiations since 2007. Fans can expect to see him start appearing in 2010, and Marvel is really excited for him to be a part of the universe.

Image Comic panel

Few updates from the Image Comics panel:
  • Astounding Wolfman #25 will be the end of the series
  • The Walking Dead are going to Washington, DC
  • Todd McFarlane is coming back to Image on a Spawn-time basis, illustrating the issues up to Spawn #200
  • Mayhem is here to stay (Tyrese Gibson said it's not going away after three issues)
  • Image United will be six issues, and it's going to be freaking epic
  • Ben Templesmith and Ben McCool have a new series coming out called Choke, and boy is it mature
  • A Spawn movie is in the works...it's just up to whenever McFarlane has time

Microsoft making Halo anime

So that new that Microsoft was all about? That would be a Halo anime. Announced at Comic-Con, Microsoft had a few details about the story for the anime. Five production houses will work on the films: Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio4[Degrees C] and Toei Animation. Microsoft will even be throwing in some of their talent to oversee production, inlcuding Shinji Arakami. And of course Microsoft is financing the whole production through 343 Industries, an internal division in charge of everything Halo related. Xbox Live will get a glimpse of the animes this fall, with Warner Brothers set to release them later on DVD and Blu-ray in early 2010. Forget for the second that Microsoft doesn't have Blu-ray, and think whether or not they would want people buying PS3s just to watch these animes in HD. Arakami is directing his own short that describes the origins of the Spartans, which could be good from a backstory side of things. "I liked that this would be an anthology of human stories told from different characters' perspectives," he explained. The LA Times blog has a meatier description of the project at their site.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Destro

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is the next installment of my childhood to get the feature film treatment with the film's release August 7. Because the 80s were such a long time ago and you might not remember who was in your staged Joe/Cobra fights in your backyard, Omnicomic is profiling each character in the upcoming film. So sit back, read on and get reacquainted with some old friends. Real name: James McCullen First Appearance: G.I. Joe #11, Marvel Comics Real Actor: Christopher Eccleston Specialty: Weapons Manufacturing Background: A Scotland native and the most recent in a long, LONG line of war profiteers (this Destro is actually Destro the XXIV- or, 14th), Cobra wouldn’t be much of a threat without the advanced weaponry and special devices that McCullen has provided them with. The Destro clan has sold weapons to warring factions for generations. The trade secret? Well, like any good profiteer they are entirely indiscriminate towards whom they provide weapons for. In fact, it was not entirely uncommon for the clan to incite conflict between Scottish clans and England- only to provide both sides of the war with much needed arms. The original member of the McCullen’s clan who used the name ‘Destro’ as an alias was caught spurring such a conflict forward and tried for treason. Neither Scotland nor England wished to be without the clan’s armaments however- rather than execute him for his crimes, this Destro was forced to wear an iron mask until the day he died. Fiercely proud, his ancestors reclaimed this punishment as a fear-inducing asset. Father has passed the mask down to son for 14 generations, and it has become a symbol of everything the Destro clan stands for. Destro the 14th’s current modus operandi includes an underground weapons manufacturing company known as M.A.R.S. (Military Armament Research Syndicate). Following in his ancestor’s tradition, Destro uses a portion of their profits to hire mercenaries to incite conflicts in politically fragile areas of the world. Soon after, he makes overtures to all sides of the conflict, making off with a hefty sum. You can deduce how an organization like COBRA would serve Destro’s agenda- outfitting a terrorist group bent on throwing the world into chaos would only assist Destro, financially. Honor is an important concept to Destro and he always keeps his word to the letter. Additionally, Destro truly believes that his actions are for the greater good- his family has long held fast to the idea that war helps man reach his peak potential. He has a long time romance with Baroness Anastasia DeCobray (THE Baroness), one of COBRA’s top intelligence agents and his contact with the organization. Check out the other profiles for the characters in the movie. And then make sure to choose a side. Baroness Breaker Cobra Commander Cover Girl Duke General Hawk Heavy Duty Ripcord Scarlett Snake Eyes Storm Shadow Zartan

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Cover Girl

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra is the next installment of my childhood to get the feature film treatment with the film's release August 7. Because the 80s were such a long time ago and you might not remember who was in your staged Joe/Cobra fights in your backyard, Omnicomic is profiling each character in the upcoming film. So sit back, read on and get reacquainted with some old friends. Real Name: Courtney A. Kreiger First Appearance: First introduced in 1983 Actor: Karolina Kurkova Specialty: Cover Girl is a tank jockey and drives all manner of armored vehicles, specializing in the Wolverine Missile Tank and is one of the top mechanics working for the Joes. Background: Before Cover Girl joined with the G.I Joe team she was a successful model from Peoria, Illinois. Being a girl who seeks adventures and one who enjoys a challenge, she quit modeling to join the Army and set about doing tasks and jobs that were supposedly not possible to be done by a woman. She was always ready to prove herself to show everyone that she wasn’t just a pretty face, but someone they can count on and bring something to a fight. Because of her beauty she drew the attention of other Joes; in particular both Shipwreck and Clutch sought after her attention. She never gets involved with any of the other Joes, but that doesn’t stop her from saving their lives on numerous occasions, because Cobra never figures she is so deadly and resourceful. Check out the other profiles for the characters in the movie. And then make sure to choose a side. Baroness Breaker Cobra Commander Destro Duke General Hawk Heavy Duty Ripcord Scarlett Snake Eyes Storm Shadow Zartan

Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited Exclusives San Diego Comic-Con

Have you got on the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited train yet? The service lets you read just about all of Marvel's entire back catalog of comics, as well as new releases and TPBs. All for a low monthly fee. Subscribers to the service that are going to Comic-Con (I'm sure there's some overlap between the audiences there) are in for a special treat. If you're already a subscriber, you can stop by the Marvel booth to get your free limited-edition Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth spotlight variant AND enter into a raffle to win a spot at the Stan Lee signing. If you're not already a subscriber, if you sign up you can still get your free Nick Fury action figure. Both giveaways are, of course, contingent on the basic laws of supply and demand. As in, expect demand to be really high and supply very limited. So I'd suggest hitting the Marvel booth sooner than later if you're trying to score either goodie. Marvel Digital Comics Exclusives San Diego Comic-Con