Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
That was fast! One week later and a new Warlord of Mars instead of the usual four months. All I can say is cool.
Following the death of Okarian woman who had secret information, John Carter and Tars Tarkas head north to Okar and an audience with new Jeddak Talu. But they receive a cold reception, including being shot at by an unknown assailant, deadly Orlucks and pure hatred from the concubines of Salensus Oll. But a yellow man who helped in questioning the women leads them to a possible suspect...
With last week's issue setting up an intriguing plot, this second issue in the "Savages of Mars" storyline moves quickly, leaving enough tantalizing clues to keep the reader interested in what happens next. From an unknown assassin to palace intrigue it keeps the good stuff from the books and had fun with it. So a big A plus there.
Returning for the artwork is Leandro Oliveira and he delivers a good job. Probably the best example is his Tars Tarkas. Compared to the bulky Hulk-like Tharks of before, Oliveira's Tars is streamlined and effective. He also brings a nice balance to the characters and the presentation of Okar so fans of the series will be happy.
Two issues in and I'm excited to see where the series goes from here. For Barsoom fans a definite must buy and for the casual reader a cool thrilling story. Until next time folks.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Yep it actually exists! At the Siggraph Animation event producer Jon Landau revealed test footage for the sequel and the Hollywood Reporter breaks down the footage shown.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/siggraph-avatar-2-producer-jon-592409. Most of it seems to be in early stages but "showed a notable advancement in quality" over the first film. I wonder how long it will be until this footage shows up online? Oh well head over to HR for more information.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
With the original trilogy adapted we move on to a brand new story. So get ready for "Savages of Mars!" (And no the story does not concern Taylor Kitsch battling drug cartels on Barsoom despite the title.)
Taking his position as Warlord, John Carter attempts to form the League of Barsoom to bring peace to the planet. But old hatreds are tearing it apart, especially accusations against the Green Men. Things take a change though when a young Okarian woman appears claiming that the Tharks are not behind the attacks Carter promises to protect her. But when she's found murdered Carter must find the truth which leads him into Okar and possibly the truth.
Picking up this issue I admit to wondering where Arvid Nelson was going to take the story and so far it's an interesting start. Working in Carter's attempts at building peace with old enemies like the Therns and the prejudices of other races brings a nice and current edge to the story. Most of this issue is setup with little action but otherwise it's a good opening and got me intrigued to see where it goes.
The art for this issue is being done by Everton Sousa and he does a good job capturing the characters and bringing some nice designs choices to the series. John Carter doesn't look like Tarzan as he did in the last few issues and the Tharks have a cool edge to them. The colors pop but don't overwhelm so while it has the usual background problems readers will still have a nice time.
While I would love to see the other novels adapted this issue is a swift and fun read that if it continues in this vein will give Warlord of Mars a needed jolt. Just get Carter back into sword wielding action in the next issue OK?
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Alas poor Vader...
As the title suggest it is indeed a meeting of the Bard and the Jedi in this retelling of Star Wars, done in iambic pentameter. Thus we get soliloquies, asides and a chorus as we follow young Luke Skywalker and his adventures.
I'll give author Ian Doescher credit, his book is a fun combination of Shakespeare and Lucas that works better than it has a right to. Then again considering the elements present in Star Wars maybe not. After all doesn't Luke with his dead father haunting him bring Hamlet to mind? Not to mention C-3PO and R2-D2 standing in for Rosencrantz and Guilderstern. There is some problems here, mostly in taking a work dependent on be visuals and trying to make it work in this setting, that even the chorus asks the reader to go along with it but otherwise it's fun. Heck if someone can combine Jane Austen and George Romero why not?
The book also has some nice art done by Nicolas Delort that captured the idea well, from Luke doing Hamlet holding Yorik's skull-which in this case is replaced by a Stormtrooper helmet-to the droids and Darth Vader in Elizabethan times. All in all nice work.
The book will appeal most to Star Wars fans looking for something offbeat. Others might get a good chuckle out of it so give it a try. Rating:*** out of four.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
After what seems like eternity Solomon finally comes to US Blu-Ray and DVD. I got a copy and watched most of the bonus features and it is worth the money. For more information hit http://www.amazon.com/Solomon-Kane-Blu-ray-James-Purefoy/dp/B00CHMBQNE and see for yourself. I'll be back later!
Saturday, July 13, 2013
It's Helium vs the Cyber...uh Machine Men! Where's a sonic screwdriver when you need one?
Following the death of Yorn princess Tash Lia, peace talks between Helium and Yorn reach a conclusion with Yorn going peacefully with Helium. Wracked with guilt over Tash's death, Dejah tries to go on with her duties but one the day of celebration an old foe reemerges: Mortus AKA the Jeddak of Yorn with his Machine Men army. Will Helium finally fall?
Yep Machine Men return for this story arc. Honestly I haven't been that enamored of the idea since the concept-former humans turned into machines-is pretty repetitive of previous science fiction ideas, in this case they almost resemble the Cybermen from Doctor Who. Also this issue focuses on Dejah's guilt over the past but how much more guilt does she need? Beyond that Robert Napton does a good job moving the story through, it just has some bumps.
Handling art duties is Debora Carita and if you enjoyed her work from before then you'll enjoy it here. I've ran out of new ways to say how nice it looks so I'll just give it a thumbs up.
I can't say I'm thrilled with the Machine Men but maybe they'll grow on me. Until next time faithful readers...
Thursday, July 11, 2013
OK to make up for the lack of updates here something for you geeks. The site Sci-Fi Photo Journal has posted some concept art by noted artist Chris Foss (who provided concept work for Alien, Flash Gordon and Alejandro Jordorwsky's unmade Dune) from the never made Ray Harryhausen epic Sinbad Goes to Mars. The ships look pretty cool and show the direction the film would have went if it had been made. For more information on the film and art hit http://www.slavinskas.com/scifi-photo/ray-harryhausen-sinbad-goes-to-mars/
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Some more retro comic reviews. In this case the Fifth Doctor makes his Marvel!
When a character called the Prime Mover strikes the wrong chord his "event synthesizer" time becomes distorted, causing several weird occurrences. Like a cricket ball turning into a grenade and a knight appearing in modern times. With his cricket game interrupted the Doctor heads toward the TARDIS, meets a knight named Sid Justin and heads home to Gallifrey to crack the mystery. Of course it isn't going to be easy as the Doctor and the reader finds out.
A little quick history: Marvel published a Doctor Who magazine in Great Britian during the show's original run. In the 1980s with the show reaching the US Marvel reprinted several stories in their own comic book, sticking to the Fourth and Fifth Doctors. With this issue the Fifth one begins and it's a fun story, catching the fun and wit of the show of the era pretty well. With monsters, offbeat ideas like a medevial knight going to another planet and an "event synthesizer" you just have to accept it. Thankfully writer Steve Parkhouse makes it work so I had fun with it.
What might interest comic fans is that the artwork is done by Dave Gibbons, who later co-created Watchmen and his work is wonderful and vivid. From the monsters to the Doctor (who resembles Peter Davison) it's a showcase for a major talent and interesting early glimpse for fans. So if nothing else the issue is worth tracking down for that and for fans of DW.
With a bonus short story starring a classic Doctor Who villain and some cool text pieces this was a fun issue and a blast from the past. I'll be back later.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
No excuse for taking this long to read the second book. So let's just jump in...
Following the events of the last novel, Tarzan has returned back to his gorilla family while Jane Porter tries to discover more about his past. Meanwhile the illegal logging operation camp Jane's father is involved in has moved and welcomes a new guest: Nickolas Rockoff, a famed Russian big game hunter. What no one knows is that Rockoff is in the illegal animal trade and is looking for a famous "white ape." When Karnath, a young ape from Tarzan's tribe, is kidnapped Tarzan, Jane and Robbie Canler attempt to rescue him, only to discover a dangerous foe and the real reason that Rockoff is hunting the "white ape." A reason that leaves more questions than answers...
Having liked the first book in author Andy Briggs' new updated Tarzan series, I approached this one curious to see where he would take the story. And in most cases he succeeds quite well. The action sequences are handled with aplomb and great style-the best being a stampede that Tarzan causes to slow down Rockoff. There is also more character background revealed about Robbie and a new threat that could come back to haunt him. I also thought the reworking of Rockoff and Paulvitch as illegal animal thieves brought a good modern day twist to their characters and their final confrontation with Tarzan pays off well. The closing is also pretty good, leaving the door open for the next book.
Where the book does fall short a little is in character development. Outside of Robbie, Tarzan and Jane are pretty much the same as before. Tarzan in particular seems stuck in Weissmuller mode too much while Jane's feisty quality is nice but begins to get a little grating after the third or fourth time she wanders off into danger. Also the lack of romance between the leads leaves this reader little to hook onto. The big appeal of Edgar Rice Burroughs' earlier Tarzan tales was the love story between Tarzan and Jane. I guess not wanting to turn off young readers it has been eliminated but for us older readers the romance always was a big part of the story.
Beyond that though I found The Jungle Warrior an entertaining, quick read. It may not be the original Tarzan but anything to help bring the character to new readers I'm all for. Rating: *** out of 4.