Sunday, November 29, 2015

'Wonder Woman' Has Begun Filming


While I don't have much faith in Batman V. Superman being any good, Warner Bros. is moving forward with production on Wonder Woman with Gal Gadot as Diana and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor and the first photos have emerged via the Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3338482/PICTURE-EXCLUSIVE-Gal-Gadot-Chris-Pine-spotted-filming-Wonder-Woman-alongside-150-extras-Essex.html. What's interesting is that the photos confirm that the film will be a period piece set during World War I instead of II (probably to avoid comparisons with Captain America: The First Avenger) so we'll see. Given that I loved WW as a kid I hope at least this one will work so head over and check out the photos and stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Comic Review: Shattered Empire #4


With only a month to go here's the final issue leading up to The Force Awakens.

Three months have passed since the Battle of Endor and what was supposed to be a new beginning for the galaxy has become bogged down in continuing hostilities with the remnants of the Empire. Longing for home and her family, Lt. Shara Bey takes one final mission-escort Luke Skywalker to the Imperial Base on Vetine to recover an artifact the Emperor took long ago. The question is will either of them survive?

Let's cut to the chase-this is an excellent issue and wrap-up to this series. Focusing on the internal struggle that Shara faces of either going home or staying with the Rebel Alliance. Greg Rucka raises the feelings most people have faced of either staying or leaving, letting go as Obi-Wan once advised Luke. He also sets up some potential future plot twists, makes some clever references to other new "canon" tales (especially his own Han Solo novel Smuggler's Run) and delivers a rousing finale. It also presents us with an insight into Luke that we haven't seen yet, one that could play out in a month.

Helping out is Marco Checchetto's masterful artwork that brings to life the characters and action. Looking at the art you are in the universe of Star Wars, and it's enthralling to look at. In fact you could take away the words and still follow the story.

There you go folks. If you haven't picked up this series or you were waiting for the trade collection than I urge you to pick it up. Not just to get clues to new movie for a rousing, emotional story that brings the best of Star Wars to life. A final rating for the entire series: **** out of 4. Until next time folks.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Retro Comics: John Carter Annual #3


Sorry for the lateness but we finally wrap up Marvel's take on Barsoom with one of the most offbeat-and goofiest-tales in the series. Get ready for "Amazons of Mars!"

While helping a mining operation in the Korz Plateau, John Carter barely escapes a gas explosion and helps rescue the miners. With the mine now closed due to safety issues, Carter heads to Helium to report but gets waylaid rescuing a beautiful woman named Klyss and agrees to return her home. Home happens to be a city of women-the Amazons of the title-and before you can say "Kaor!" Carter is bewitched  by their charms-and their magic lipstick and perfume-and becomes horny. Of course he eventually discovers he's to be the main sacrifice to their Fire Goddess. And Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkas show up to save the day. There's also rhythmic dancing, chains, much writhing...either it's time to get sacrificed or Carter's cosplaying Fifty Shades of Grey. Can Carter be saved from death by fire? Will Dejah find matching boots? And will Tars survive vampire Man-Bats?

Man this issue was goofy. From the bizarro plot twists to the artwork everything that could go wrong in a comic book does in "Amazons of Mars." Part of the problem is that it reads like a rejected Conan the Barbarian story rewritten to fit John Carter, Warlord of Mars and then turned to 11 on the silly scale. In case you're wondering here's a list of the charms that make this issue so bad it's fun:

--The artwork, in particular John Carter's head. It seems to shrink from panel to panel yet his body remains the same shape.

--The panel where Carter attempts to push a boulder with his head.

--Klyss' face mask. She basically escaped from another Marvel comic book.

--The magic lipstick and perfume. If only they had magic medallions! Also wouldn't that perfume affect them and make them horny?

--This classic bit of overripe dialogue: "Kiss me my Jasoomian Chieftain! Love me as you have loved no other woman since the dawn of time."

--Carter's description of "sensual delights" sadly not seen due to Comic Code regulations.

--The cameo appearance of DC's Man-Bat and his relatives.

--Carter chained up. What else is new? On the other hand it gives Klyss chances to feel him up.

--Tars' Roman helmet. They come in Thark size?

--Dejah's goofy Amazon outfit. Mismatched boots and all.

--The fire goddess or the Dark Phoenix the Early Version.

And that's just the tip. So if you enjoy flat-out wackiness, female demons, giant bat-men, and Amazons on Mars then pick this up. It's a laugh riot from start to finish and a finale to this run of our favorite Warlord of Mars. Next time we'll return to the present with less Amazons (sorry folks).

Friday, November 6, 2015

'The Force Awakens' International Trailer!


While we might not be getting another trailer in the US, it looks like the Japanese did and here it is. Again it plays up Daisy Ridley's Rey as the lead, give us more Kylo Ren, our first glimpse-in trailer form-of C-3P0 and more Leia and Chewie. Just take a peek and leave any thoughts below.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Comic Review: John Carter, Warlord of Mars #12


We hit a whole year for the new series as John and Dejah find that sometimes "Lost Empires" should remain lost.

Following last issue's cliffhanger, the two find themselves facing the Last Orovar and his robotic minions known as Mentors. Thankfully Dejah spares them thanks to her diplomatic qualities, leading the Orovar, known as Aron to reveal what happened and to introduce the Orovars' ultimate solution to survival-a terrestrial transformer. But, as usual, it's causing problems and it's up to our heroes to save the day.

That honestly is about all that happens in this issue. There is a big fight, John and Dejah do their impersonations of 1980s movie heroes and blast everything with rifles(?!?!?), Aron reveals that the Orovars chose Jasoom as their new home, something Carter admits didn't happen-even though Aron resembles some of the Nordic races of Earth (great what next-shape shifting super beings? Oh wait...) In short a mess of an issue with some interesting concepts but enough that just grates that you can't help but roll your eyes.

Ariel Medel's art also seems to ping pong back and forth this issue as well. Some of it-especially the Mentors and Aron-are handled well but others are not. Maybe it's just selected panels that rubbed me weird (like the one where Aron inspects Carter. Honestly his facial expressions look like he escaped from Archie Comics). Still it's nice to look at and does help.

It might have been my mood when I read this or the fact that it brings up ideas that don't mesh with the world established by Edgar Rice Burroughs but this issue just falls flat. Hopefully the next issue will return to form. Until then, Kaor!