Tuesday, April 29, 2014

'Star Wars Episode VII' Cast Revealed!


Yep that disturbance you felt was the entire geek universe exploding. After months of rumors, speculation, denials, etc, Lucasfilm and director JJ Abrams has finally revealed the cast for Episode VII. Joining the returning Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker are newcomers John Boyega (Attack the Block), Oscar Isaccs (Inside Llewyn Davis), Adam Driver (HBO's Girls) and relative newcomer Daisy Ridley, motion capture extraordinaire Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and acting legend Max Von Sydow (yes, Ming the Merciless himself!). For more info check out http://starwars.com/news/star-wars-episode-7-cast-announced.html.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #35


OK last week was issue 100, now it's 35? Oh well let's see how this story ends...

With Tars Tarkas and the Tharks leading a final stand against the Warhoons and Helium, John Carter sneaks back into Helium to gain entrance again to the Red Tower to find the final resting place of Xerius and bring an end to his evil. But as anyone who has ever fought a corpse can tell you it's not easy as Carter puts his life on the line to again save Barsoom from total destruction.

Pretty much from page one on this is a fast paced wrap up to the "Tyrant of Mars" storyline, with little to break the flow and no flab. Cutting back and forth between places and characters, Arvid Nelson and company manage to keep this finale moving while providing enough of a satisfying conclusion, even if it does take some leaps of faith to accept Carter's final solution in defeating his enemy. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Helping matters is the stellar artwork by Rafael Lanhellas that captures the action and pace with no major hiccups or out of place things to distract. The action sequences have a good flow while he draws the characters pretty well, bringing Carter and Tars to life with ease and style.

I guess this is the end of the road as far as this series is concerned. I've enjoyed the ride from the beginning, even with the revolving door of artists and changes made to Edgar Rice Burroughs' world but Nelson and everyone involved did their best to bring Barsoom to life and treat it with respect and a sense of fun, something that others-like a certain director who shall remain nameless-would had done well to have followed. While there will be a one shot and the Dejah of Mars miniseries coming soon, I hope this isn't the last we'll see of John Carter, Dejah Thoris and the world of Barsoom in comic form. So a big thanks to all involved for making a good series. Until next time folks, Kaor!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

'Carson of Venus' Up for Retro Hugo Award


Well better late than never-in this case 75 years later! The Hugo Awards, which celebrates the best in science fiction and fantasy literature and film, has added a "Retro" awards category and among the nominees for best novel of 1938 is Edgar Rice Burroughs' third entry in the Venus series. He has some stiff competition from CS Lewis and T.H. White so we'll see on August 14 if he wins. To check out the rest of the categories and nominees hit http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/1939-retro-hugo-awards/.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

'Flash Gordon' Alive at Fox!


Yep GORDON IS ALIVE! Following up the early reports that new screenwriters were being hired to pen a new movie, the Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog has confirmed that 20th Century Fox and producer John Davis (whose credits include Chronicle and the upcoming Man from UNCLE movie) has nabbed the rights to Flash Gordon for a new feature film with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay scripting the new film. No word yet on who will direct or when it will be released but the major question is will it avoid the camp and kitsch tone of the 1980 film? As long as they avoid giving Flash an Andrew Stanton style makeover :-) For more info hit  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/flash-gordon-movie-works-at-698291

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

'A Princess of Mars' Kaluta Edition Preview


OK here's what I know. There has been word and announcements for some time about a new illustrated edition of A Princess of Mars with artwork by artist Michael Kaluta. Well Comic Book Resources has not only confirmed that  it is going to hit stores tomorrow (April 23) from IDW but has posted some preview pages from it online at http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=21284. So head over there and check out some really cool art and more from the book.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #100


Do you like lovable calots? Well this 100th spectacular delivers three tales starring the one and only Woola. Let's dive in shall we?

In the first story, "The Sword of Barsoom Part I" writer Robert Place Napton and artist Lui Antonio takes us back 434 years before John Carter's arrival as Dejah Thoris is summoned to a local archaeological dig by the lead professor, who has found some interesting finds. A drawing showing the start of life on Barsoom and a magical sword that gives its user ultimate power. When a survivor of a Thark raiding party reports that the sword is in the hands of the Tharks, Dejah sneaks into the city of Korad to steal it...with some help from a rather friendly calot. But the sword's power almost costs Dejah's life and is lost...

Which leads to "Part II" where Arvid Nelson and artist Jose Malaga take over. Here John Carter and Dejah are enjoying a hunting expedition when they are overpowered and captured by their own men! Woola escapes and discovers John and Dejah captives of Dejah's old mentor Syl Mak, who has the sword. It's up to Woola to save his master and he shows you don't screw with a man and his calot.

The third story, "Stay" by Mark Rahner with art by Jose Luis, is a touching, largely wordless piece that focuses on Carter and Woola's relationship and how the loyalty between them is unbreakable. But the ending suggests that there may me more to come.

With three stories with different writers and artists it can be difficult to adjust to the styles at play. The three writers though do bring their a-game to this issue, with Napton's piece capturing the best of the Dejah Thoris series, Nelson showing off the action and excitement of his run on Warlord of Mars and Rahner showing a touching side to Woola's affection for Carter that I wouldn't had expected from the guy who wrote The Green Men of Mars series.

The artwork is where some might get thrown as the artists definitely show their own unique styles, not always meshing together well (I'm sure some will wonder about Dejah's shifting cup sizes if you get my meaning). All three stories are well drawn though, with nice splashes of color and action. "Stay" in particular works well since it is being told all through the art and not the writing.

So fans of Barsoom this "100" issue is a definite winner for those who love and wanted more Woola. Just set back and enjoy and I'll be back later (this damn cold permitting).

Thursday, April 17, 2014

'At the Earth's Core' Graphic Novel Trailer


Well it's been a while since there has been anything new on this but artist Jamie Chase posted a new trailer online that promises more action and cavewomen and dinosaurs. Watch it and leave any comments below.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris & the Green Men #12


One of the late comic reviews I hope to get caught up with finds Dejah and her Thark team coming to the end of their mission.

With the "Red Monster" about to blast Helium, Dejah and her team make their last stand, causing mass chaos. Ultimately Dejah alone must bring down the monster within and without...and that's about it.

Honestly not much happens here folks. Dejah and Zon Tar the Thark attack, destroy the device and have a small hear to heart that seems to cause Dejah to stop her death wish and embrace life and her beloved John Carter. Some of this I figure is due to the constant expansion of the series from its original four issues to twelve, leaving writer Mark Rahner and company scrambling to fill out the issue count with something. While it does have some good moments it just seems a rather unsatisfying ending. It could just be me but that's how I see it.

On the plus side, the artwork by Jethro Morales at least helps keep the story visually interesting, even when it stumbles. Sometimes good artwork can help balance out an uneven story and Morales does his best to keep it moving.

In fact everyone does their best to keep it up but the end result just feels anticlimactic and running on empty at this point. So if you reached this point just prepare your expectations accordingly and you might enjoy it or may feel let down or feel that this should have ended a long time back. Hopefully we haven't seen the end of Barsoom from Dynamite but let's hope that in the future it has a purpose instead of filler. Next time I'll be catching up with another late review.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

'Flash Gordon' Gets New Writers?


In other words "GORDON'S ALIVE?" Well if this news is true possibly. A site called Film Divider is reporting that screenwriters J D Payne and Patrick McKay are attached to a reboot of the space hero. According to the site the writers plan to move away from the campy 1980 film and towards a more serious take on Alex Raymond's character. The pair had previously been announced as writers for the next Star Trek film so we'll see if Flash returns to the big screen soon. Check out http://www.filmdivider.com/flash-gordons-alive-alex-raymonds-pulp-hero-getting-ready-to-rise-again/ for more info and leave any thoughts below.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

'Korak the Killer' Gets His Own Strip


 OK so this is a few days late but that happens. In this case ERB fans can now dive into the further adventures of Korak courtesy of writer Ron Marz and artist Rick Leonardi. You can check out a free sample of the strip and other ERB comics at http://www.edgarriceburroughs.com/comics/ so enjoy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

'Guardians of the Galaxy' First Clip


Another late addition but I waited for it to show up on Youtube since I've had trouble with MTV's site in the past. In this case a brief clip of Chris Pratt's Star Lord doing Indiana Jones and what happens when you're caught. Have fun and leave any thoughts below.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

'Star Wars VII:' The Wookie Returns


For those who missed it yesterday, everyone's favorite walking carpet is back! According to the Hollywood Reporter Peter Mayhew will be back as Chewie for Star Wars Episode VII. There is no word on how big his role will be but maybe this will lead to finally getting official confirmation about the rest of the cast. Check out
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/star-wars-episode-vii-adds-694151 for more info.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude #1


I hope to get caught up soon with some missing comic reviews but for now let's take a look at this "prelude" to the upcoming Marvel sci-fi epic. However to quote River Song: Spoilers!

Written by the team responsible for the current incarnation of the Guardians Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, this issue focuses on Nebula, the female assassin, and her rivalry with fellow assassin Gamora. Not much storywise happens as we instead get a glimpse into their competitive-and deadly-natures that results in them becoming enemies. Oh Thanos also appears so start taking bets whether or not Big Chin shows up in the film.

Since this one is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe version, readers will need to put aside the normal comic book and take it for what it is: a swift prequel that sets up two of the main characters for those who have no prior knowledge of who these characters are. Still Abnett and Landing do a good job establishing Nebula's origin and her eventual hatred of Gamora and Thanos as well as showing the brutal training both women go through to become master assassins. It may not have a lot of depth but it's still a good read.

Helping out is the artwork by the team of penciler Wellington Alves, inker Manny Clark and colorist Jay David Ramos. Their work is nice and clean, showing off the current action in nice bold colors and the flashbacks in muted tones. While it may not pop to many it captures the characters well and adds enough action to maintain the reader's attention.

If you've seen the trailer and are intrigued by the film then this is a no-brainer to pick up, even though I would also recommend getting the regular Guardians title as well. Plus the next issue has a raccoon and his tree! What more do you want?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

'Star Wars: Episode VII' News: Already Filming?


I'll just cut to the chase: In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn has revealed that filming has already begun on Episode VII and that "We have a lot of them [in place],” concerning the casting. He also revealed that the script is now finished and is in the place it needs to be so we should start hearing official word soon. For more from the interview check out http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/disney-chief-reveals-star-wars-693950

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Margot Robbie Briefly Talks 'Tarzan'


While we wait for production to start, here's some info from the future Jane Porter. Margot Robbie briefly talked to ITN News and mentioned the upcoming shoot and how she landed the her role as Jane: "''We start in a couple of months. I got the script, loved it, met with David Yates, the director, I loved his vision and all the pieces came together. I got picked for the role ... [I'm] very lucky." For more check out http://www.contactmusic.com/story/margot-robbie-s-new-look-for-tarzan-movie_4135155. Also the Daily Mail has posted some photos of co-star Alexander Skarsgard hitting the gym and maybe this will put to rest whether or not he's muscular enough to play Tarzan