Fish, Corn, Duckling, Minor and Blood from Arrow Video in October

Several of these titles have already shown up and are so worth grabbing. Children of the Corn adapts the Stephen King short story about a country town in Nebraska where the kids revolt. They worship strange weirdness in the cornfield and are ready to sacrifice two visitors (Terminator‘s Linda Hamilton and thirtysomethings‘ Peter Horton). This is a great film about why you should always stick to giant super highways and avoid old scenic roads. The Suspicious Death of a Minor is another fine Italian giallo thriller. An undercover cop gets wrapped up in the murder of an underaged hooker only to connect her with a crime syndicate that’s kidnapping the children of rich industrialists. There’s plenty of suspense and murder on the streets and a movie theater. Don’t Torture A Duckling is a masterpiece from the legendary Lucio Fulci. Boys are being murdered in a quaint peaceful town. There’s plenty of suspects and quite a few locals eager to kill them before a trail. The film is both complicated and gruesome as a giallo mystery can get. A Fish Called Wanda teams up Monty Python’s John Cleese and Michael Palin in a comic heist film with Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline. Everything is spot on. Blood Feast is Herschell Gordon Lewis doing his best to gross you out. There’s body parts going missing and blood flowing on the screen. J.D.’s Revenge gets supernatural as a gangster possesses the boy of a kid in order to even the score. It’s a great exploitation from the man behind Bucktown. Finally there is Federico Fellini’s The Voice Of the Moon. This was the director’s final film and it didn’t get a real release in the USA. So many fans will get their chance to see his goodbye film. Here’s the press release from Arrow Video with the list of bonus features:

Children Of The Corn [Blu-ray] (9/26)

The Suspicious Death Of A Minor [Dual Format] (10/3)

A Fish Called Wanda [Blu-ray] (10/3)

Don’t Torture A Duckling [Dual Format] (10/3)

Blood Feast [Dual Format] (10/24)

J.D.’s Revenge [Dual Format] (10/31)

The Voice Of the Moon [Dual Format] (10/31)

via MVD Entertainment Group

As the nights draw in, it just means more time to enjoy late-September / October’s superb lineup from Arrow Video, including some wonderful Halloween treats in the form of a grindhouse classic, an Oscar-winning British comedy classic, classic horror from Stephen King, several superb Italian films, and a blaxploitation chiller. Lavishly packaged and including limited edition items, Christmas has come early for film collectors!

Featuring stellar performances from Linda Hamilton (Terminator) and Peter Horton (thirtysomething) and based on a short story by Stephen King, The Children of the Corn is a horror classic that has spawned multiple sequels and imitators, but none as harrowing as this masterpiece of horror.

The Dual Format debut of The Suspicious Death of a Minor, a 1975 giallo/’poliziotteschi’ hybrid, from the great Sergio Martino (All the Colours of the Dark, Torso) arrives on October 3rd. With a cast that includes Mel Ferrer (Nightmare City), Barbara Magnolfi (Suspiria) and Jenny Tamburi (The Psychic), the lurid murder-mystery sees a cop on the trail of a Milanese criminal gang, and the Dual Format release includes a brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative, produced exclusively by Arrow Video.

October 3rd sees the Blu-ray release of A Fish Called Wanda, the hilarious and irresistible farce from 1988, starring John Cleese, Michael Palin, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline . A box office smash, nominated for three Academy Awards (winning one for Kline’s outstanding supporting turn as the psychotic Otto), A Fish Called Wanda has stood the test of time and can be rightfully called a comedy classic.

The 3rd also sees the release of a superior Italian thriller. First, deemed shocking at the time for its brutal violence, depiction of the Catholic Church and themes of child murder and paedophilia, Don’t Torture a Duckling is widely regarded today as Fulci’s greatest film, rivalling the best of his close rival Dario Argento. Arrow Video is proud to present this uniquely chilling film in its North American high definition debut. From Lucio Fulci, the godfather of gore (The Psychic,  The Beyond), comes one of the most powerful and unsettling giallo thrillers ever produced.

Next up this month is Blood Feast, a brand new restoration of the ground-breaking splatter classic from the Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, the wonderfully lurid story of an insane caterer killing young women and stealing body parts as part of a ritual to reanimate an Egyptian goddess. The disc also includes late, great Lewis’s Sixties sleaze-fest Scum of the Earth.

Just in time for Halloween is a stunning UK DVD and Blu-ray debut of of the blaxploitation favourite JD’s Revenge, about a man possessed by the spirit of a murderous gangster. Featuring Academy Award-winner Louis Gossett Jr (An Officer and a Gentleman), this is alternately tough and terrifying – a Blaxploitation gem waiting to be rediscovered.

And last but certainly not least, is the swansong of the great Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini (La dolce vita, 8½), The Voice of the Moon. This new restoration from the original negative seeks to right that wrong and provide the film with a second chance. Concluding a career that had stretched back more than fifty years, The Voice of the Moon combines the nostalgia of Amarcord, the surreal satire of City of Women and the naïf-adrift-in-a-brutal-world structure of La strada… Plenty for Fellini fans to get their teeth into.

Children Of The Corn [Blu-ray] (9/26)

From the mind of celebrated horror author Stephen King, the man behind such classic terror tales as The Shining, Carrie and It, comes one of his most chilling offerings yet – Children of the Corn.

A young couple on a road trip find themselves lost in the backroads of rural Nebraska, eventually winding up in the seemingly abandoned town of Gatlin. But the town is far from empty – as the pair soon discover, it’s inhabited by a twisted cult of murderous children thirsty for another blood sacrifice…

Adapted from King’s eponymous short story first published in 1977 and starring Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Children of the Corn has gone on to spawn one of the most enduring horror franchises of all time.

– Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
– Original stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio options
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Brand new audio commentary with horror journalist Justin Beahm and Children of the Corn historian John Sullivan
– Audio commentary with director Fritz Kiersch, producer Terrence Kirby and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains
– Harvesting Horror – retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Fritz Kiersch, John Franklin and Courtney Gains
– It Was the Eighties! – an interview with actress Linda Hamilton
– …And a Child Shall Lead Them – a brand new interview with actors Julie Maddalena and John Philbin
– Field of Nightmares – a brand new interview with writer George Goldsmith
– Stephen King on a Shoestring – an interview with producer Donald P. Borchers
– Welcome to Gatlin: The Sights & Sounds of Children of the Corn – interviews with production designer Craig Stearns and composer Jonathan Elias
– Return to Gatlin – a look back at the iconic filming locations in Iowa with host John Sullivan
– Cut From the Cornfield – an interview with actor Rich Kleinberg on the infamous “lost” Blue Man Scene
– Disciples Of the Crow – 1983 short film adaptation of Stephen King’s story
– Storyboard gallery
– Original theatrical trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by John Sullivan and Lee Gambin

Format: BLU-RAY
SKU: AV106
UPC: 760137044185
Street Date: 09/26/17
PreBook Date: 08/15/17
Label: Arrow Video »
Genre: Horror
Run Time: 92 mins
Number of Discs: 1
Year of Production: 1984
Director: Fritz Kiersch
Actors: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton
Territory: US
Language: English
SRP: $39.95
Pre-order at MVDshop.com.

The Suspicious Death Of A Minor [Dual Format] (10/3)

In the wake of the success of Dario Argento’s ground-breaking giallo The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, numerous other directors stepped forward to try their hand at these lurid murder-mysteries. At the forefront was Sergio Martino (The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, Torso), whose sensual 70s thrillers starring Edwige Fenech and George Hilton are widely celebrated as some of the best the genre has to offer. 

The final of Martino’s six gialli, The Suspicious Death of a Minor combines conventional giallo trappings with elements of the then flourishing ‘poliziotteschi’ crime thrillers. Claudio Cassinelli (What Have They Done to Your Daughters?) stars as undercover cop Paolo Germi, on the trail of a Milanese criminal outfit following the brutal murder of an underage prostitute. But a killer-for-hire is also on the prowl, bumping off witnesses before they have a chance to talk… 

Also starring Mel Ferrer (Nightmare City), Barbara Magnolfi (Suspiria) and Jenny Tamburi (The Psychic), and featuring a script by veteran giallo writer Ernesto Gastaldi (All the Colors of the Dark, Death Walks at Midnight), this unique and lesser-known entry in Martino’s filmography serves as an essential link between two different movements in Italian popular cinema.

– Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
– English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
– New interviews with director Sergio Martino and cinematographer Giancarlo Ferrando
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

Format: BLU-RAY
SKU: AV104
UPC: 760137043980
Street Date: 10/03/17
PreBook Date: 08/08/17
Label: Arrow Video »
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Run Time: 100 mins
Number of Discs: 1
Year of Production: 1975
Director: Sergio Martino
Actors: Claudio Cassinelli, Mel Ferrer
Territory: US
Language: English
SRP: $39.95

A Fish Called Wanda [Blu-ray] (10/3)

In 1988, John Cleese, former Python and the mastermind behind Fawlty Towers, teamed up with the veteran Ealing Comedy director Charles Crichton (The Lavender Hill Mob) to produce another classic of British comedy.

Cleese plays Archie Leach, a weak-willed barrister who finds himself embroiled with a quartet of ill-matched jewel thieves – two American con artists played by Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline, Michael Palin’s animal-loving hitman and London gangster Tom Georgeson – when Georgeson is arrested. Only he and Palin know the whereabouts of the diamonds, prompting plenty of farce and in-fighting as well as some embarrassing nudity and the unfortunate demise of some innocent pooches…

Nominated for three Academy Awards and winning one for Kline’s outstanding supporting turn as the psychopathic Otto, A Fish Called Wanda has stood the test of time, earning its rightful place among its creators’ remarkable comedy pedigree.

– Brand-new 4K restoration from the original negative, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
– Original English mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
– Commentary by writer and star John Cleese
– Brand-new appreciation by Vic Pratt of the BFI National Archive
– Brand-new interviews with composer John Du Prez, production designer Roger Murray Leach, executive producer Steve Abbott and makeup supervisor Paul Engelen
– John Cleese’s Final Farewell Performance, a 1988 documentary on the making of A Fish Called Wanda featuring interviews with actors Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Palin, Kevin Kline and director Charles Crichton
– Something Fishy, a 15th anniversary retrospective documentary featuring interviews with Cleese, Curtis, Kline and Palin, executive producer Steve Abbott and director of photography Alan Hume
– Fish You Were Here, a documentary on the film’s locations hosted by Robert Powell
– 24 deleted/alternative scenes with introductions by Cleese
– A Message from John Cleese, a tongue-in-cheek introduction recorded for the film’s original release
– Gallery
– Trivia track
– Theatrical trailer

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring writing on the film by Sophie Monks Kaufman

Format: BLU-RAY
SKU: AV105
UPC: 760137044086
Street Date: 10/3/17
PreBook Date: 08/15/17
Label: Arrow Video »
Genre: Comedy
Run Time: 108 mins
Number of Discs: 2
Year of Production: 1988
Director: Charles Crichton
Actors: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin
Territory: US
Language: English

Don’t Torture A Duckling [Dual Format] (10/3)

From Lucio Fulci, the godfather of gore (The Psychic, The Beyond), comes one of the most powerful and unsettling giallo thrillers ever produced: his 1972 masterpiece Don’t Torture a Duckling

When the sleepy rural village of Accendura is rocked by a series of murders of young boys, the superstitious locals are quick to apportion blame, with the suspects including the local “witch”, Maciara (Florinda Bolkan, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin). With the bodies piling up and the community gripped by panic and a thirst for bloody vengeance, two outsiders – city journalist Andrea (Tomas Milian, The Four of the Apocalypse) and spoilt rich girl Patrizia (Barbara Bouchet, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times) – team up to crack the case. But before the mystery is solved, more blood will have been spilled, and not all of it belonging to innocents… 

Deemed shocking at the time for its brutal violence, depiction of the Catholic Church and themes of child murder and paedophilia, Don’t Torture a Duckling is widely regarded today as Fulci’s greatest film, rivalling the best of his close rival Dario Argento. Arrow Video is proud to present this uniquely chilling film in its North American high definition debut.

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
– English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
– The Blood of Innocents, a new video discussion with Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film
– Every (Wo)man Their Own Hell, a new video essay by critic Kat Ellinger
– Interviews with co-writer/director Lucio Fulci, actor Florinda Bolkan, cinematographer Sergio D’Offizi, assistant editor Bruno Micheli and assistant makeup artist Maurizio Trani
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Timothy Pittides

Format: BLU-RAY
SKU: AV099
UPC: 760137035480
Street Date: 10/03/17
PreBook Date: 07/11/17
Label: Arrow Video »
Genre: Horror
Run Time: 108 mins
Number of Discs: 2
Year of Production: 1972
Director: Lucio Fulci
Actors: Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian
Territory: US
Language: Italian
SRP: $39.95

Blood Feast [Dual Format] (10/10)

The filmography of late movie maverick Herschell Gordon Lewis brims with the mad, macabre, and just downright bizarre. But perhaps the most unhinged of all his directorial efforts, and certainly the most influential, must surely be his original gore-fest Blood Feast – the first ever splatter movie.

Dorothy Fremont is looking to throw a party unlike any other, and she gets just that when she hires the decidedly sinister Fuad Ramses to cater the event. Promising to provide her guests with an authentic Egyptian feast, Ramses promptly sets about acquiring the necessary ingredients – the body parts of nubile young women! 

Featuring a host of stomach-churning gore gags including the infamous tongue sequence and much more nastiness besides, Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Blood Feast more than lives up to its name and remains essential viewing for any self-respecting splatter fan.

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD presentations
– English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Scum of the Earth – Herschelll Gordon Lewis’ 1963 feature
– Blood Perspectives – Filmmakers Nicholas McCarthy and Rodney Ascher on Blood Feast
– Herschell’s History – Archival interview in which director Herschell Gordon Lewis discusses his entry into the film industry
– How Herschell Found his Niche – A new interview with Lewis discussing his early work
– Archival interview with Lewis and David F. Friedman
– Carving Magic – Vintage short film from 1959 featuring Blood Feast Actor Bill Kerwin
– Outtakes
– Alternate ‘clean’ scenes from Scum of the Earth
– Promo gallery featuring trailers and more
– Feature length commentary featuring Lewis and David F. Friedman moderated by Mike -Grady
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil

Format: BLU-RAY + DVD
SKU: AV107
UPC: 760137050988
Street Date: 10/10/17
PreBook Date: 09/05/17
Label: Arrow Video »
Genre: Horror
Run Time: 67 mins
Number of Discs: 2
Year of Production: 1963
Director: Herschell Gordon Lewis
Actors: William Kerwin, Mal Arnold, Connie Mason
Territory: US
Language: English
SRP: $29.95

J.D.’s Revenge [Dual Format] (10/31)

It wasn’t long before the Blaxploitation boom moved into the horror market, bringing the world Blacula, Blackenstein, Abby (Blaxploitation’s The Exorcist) and cult favorite J.D.’s Revenge. 

Law student Ike is enjoying a night on the town with his friends when his life changes dramatically. Taking part in a nightclub hypnosis act, he becomes possessed with the spirit of a violent gangster murdered in the 1940s. Believing himself to be the reincarnation of murderous J.D., Ike launches a revenge campaign against those who had done ‘him’ wrong all those years ago… 

Directed by Arthur Marks (Bucktown, Friday Foster) and starring Glynn Turman (Cooley High) and Academy Award-winner Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman), J.D.’s Revenge is a alternately tough and terrifying – a Blaxploitation gem waiting to be rediscovered!

– Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
– Original 1.0 mono sound
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
– Brand new interview with producer-director Arthur Marks
– More interviews to be announced!
– Original theatrical trailer
– Arthur Marks trailer reel
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet containing new writing by Kim Newman, author of Nightmare Movies

Format: BLU-RAY + DVD
SKU: AV110
UPC: 760137051183
Street Date: 10/31/17
PreBook Date: 09/26/17
Label: Arrow Video »
Genre: Horror
Run Time: 96 mins
Number of Discs: 2
Year of Production: 1976
Director: Arthur Marks
Actors: Glynn Turman, Louis Gossett Jr, Joan Pringle
Territory: US
Language: English
SRP: $39.95

The Voice Of the Moon [Dual Format] (10/31)

The swansong of the great Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini (La dolce vita, 8½), The Voice of the Moon emerged without fanfare: it played the Cannes Film Festival out of competition after its Italian premiere and failed to secure distribution in North America and the UK. This new restoration from the original negative seeks to right that wrong and provide the film with a second chance…

Adapted from a novel by Ermano Cavazzoni, The Voice of the Moon concerns itself with Ivo Salvini (Roberto Benigni, Life Is Beautiful), recently released from a mental hospital and in love with Aldini (Nadia Ottaviani). As he attempts to win her heart, he wanders a strange, dreamlike landscape and encounters various oddball characters, including Gonnella (Paolo Villagio, Fantozzi), a paranoid old man prone to conspiracy theories.

Concluding a career that had stretched back more than fifty years, The Voice of the Moon combines the nostalgia of Amarcord (the film is set in Emilia-Romagna countryside of the director’s youth), the surreal satire of City of Women and the naïf-adrift-in-a-brutal-world structure of La strada. Plenty for Fellini fans to get their teeth into.

– Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original 1.0 mono sound (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
– Optional English subtitles
– Towards the Moon with Fellini, a rarely seen hour-long documentary on the film’s production, featuring interviews with Fellini, Roberto Benigni and Paolo Villagio
– Theatrical trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Pasquale Iannone

SKU: AA017
UPC: 760137056782
Street Date: 10/31/17
PreBook Date: 09/12/17
Label: Arrow Academy »
Genre: Drama
Run Time: 121 mins
Number of Discs: 2
Year of Production: 1990
Director: Federuci Fellini
Actors: Roberto Benigni, Paolo Villaggio, Nadia Ottaviani
Territory: US
Language: Italian

Arrow Video Official Channels


‘Luke Cage’ #5 Review: A Powerful Finale For The First Arc

Luke Cage #5
8.5 Reviewer
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Writer: David F. Walker, Artist: Nelson Blake II, Color Artist: Marcio Menyz, Publisher: Marvel Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99
Cover to Luke Cage #5 by Rahzzah
Luke Cage #5

With Luke Cage #5, we reach the end of the first story arc of the unbreakable man’s new series.

Kevin Larsen just killed a bunch of Cyril Morgan’s men, and Luke Cage must talk the boy down after this event. Meanwhile, Lenore and Noah Burstein are trying to take Warhawk to a place where they can save his life. Unfortunately, it’s not where Burstein or Warhawk expect.

Cyril Morgan still moves against Cage and Burstein from his estate.

This was the kind of explosive finale that I was hoping for. There is a lot of action, drama, and people making unexpected decisions. The relationship between Luke Cage and Noah Burstein is irreparably changed. Lenore makes some surprise moves. Luke gets to kick some ass. Luke and Kevin Larsen also have a really heavy and touching moment. It’s an all-around solid conclusion.

There are some things that do hold it back. Warhawk must have a Wolverine-style healing factor for all the times he gets stabbed and blown up in this issue. Yes, he and Luke do have enhanced healing, but that didn’t save Kevin’s comrades from similar wounds. They had the same powers.

The reason for Burstein’s faked death isn’t fully explained, and what is implied doesn’t make a lot of sense. He pissed off Morgan, but Morgan doesn’t seem that intimidating. He would have made more sense just to haul ass out of New Orleans or even seek Luke Cage out directly.

The Cage-Burstein relationship is still a little muddled. They didn’t have a great relationship before, and the new series made them closer just to drive them apart again.

Art from Luke Cage #5 by Nelson Blake II
Luke Cage #5 art by Nelson Blake II

There is also a lot of racial and class subtext here that doesn’t get explored enough. The poor black Ninth Ward gang from which Kevin Larsen originates were essentially used as foot soldiers and guinea pigs for Morgan and Burstein respectively. They have to work for the treatments to keep them from going insane, whereas Morgan’s son is given it more freely. Also, (spoiler) Morgan’s son killed Burstein’s wife and never paid for this crime. Even Burstein seems okay with this. However, this is never really dug into, and Morgan’s son is even absolved of this by Luke Cage more or less.

That being said, the grim ending to the tale is fitting. While there are issues, the overall story holds together in a satisfying faction. Seeing Luke hurl an armored car at a mansion is worth cover price alone.

One last problem has gone unmentioned though. Nelson Blake II, usually a fairly detailed and clean artist, left a few panels more vague and undefined. It was a bit distracting. The aforementioned “Luke hurling the armored car” scene, as awesome as it was, wasn’t especially clear in its contents.

Marcio Menyz’s color work holds up and keeps the comic appealing to the eye though.

For all its flaws, Luke Cage #5 provides a damn fine finale to the first arc. It’s fun, dramatic, and moves Luke’s character forward in an interesting manner. I recommend this one and look forward to what writer David F. Walker will do with the Power Man next.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Complete DC Comics Easter Eggs and Reference Guide

Your complete guide to DC Comics references, Justice League movie hints, and DCEU Easter eggs in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!

Feature Mike Cecchini
Sep 23, 2017

This article contains nothing but Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spoilers. If you haven't seen the movie yet, you probably don't want to read this. Now that the movie is on HBO, this can be your handy guide.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the second movie in the DC Extended Universe series, which began with Man of Steel, and continued in the Wonder Woman movie, will continue further with the Justice League movie, and more. As a result, it's positively packed with references to DC Comics, and hints about the future of the DC Extended Universe.

Here's our complete and spoiler-filled breakdown of everything you might have missed in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Batman's Origin

- Just as Man of Steel opened with Superman's origin (his literal birth, in fact), so does Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice open with Batman's origin story. Thank heavens for that, because if we don't see what motivated young Bruce Wayne to become the Batman, we might never know! That is, of course, a joke.

While Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, we didn't see his actual origin until a two-page segment in Detective Comics #33. To make up for that six month gap, DC Comics and their media partners are now contractually obligated to re-tell Batman's origin in some form, whether it's in the comics, on the screen, or via finger puppets, every six months in perpetuity. That's not true, but it sometimes feels that way.

The visual inspiration for this origin sequence is, like many things in the film, taken from Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley's seminal The Dark Knight Returns, which was first published in 1986. Things like the mustachioed Thomas Wayne and the string of pearls caught on the barrell of the gun are right out of there, as well as the (dream?) sequence where young Bruce is surrounded by bats after accidentally discovering the bat cave.

Watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on Amazon

The Waynes leave the movie theater after a revival screening of the 1940 version of The Mark of Zorro starring Tyrone Power. That particular Zorro film holds up really well, is a great watch, and feels like a superhero movie before there was ever really any such thing. Totally worth your time. I also believe that The Dark Knight Returns was where it was first revealed that this was the film the Waynes saw on that fateful night.

You can also spot Excalibur on the marquee, which is John Boorman's highly stylized, overly serious 140-minute take on the King Arthur legend (sounds like another movie we know), here to help illustrate that this sequence takes place in 1981. Excalibur feels like a very long film at 140 minutes. Batman v Superman, on the other hand, feels even longer than its 153 minute run time.

We wrote lots more on John Boorman's Excalibur right here, if you want to learn more about this crazy movie.

I owe a special thanks to Peter in the comments for catching this next little detail, Excalibur is listed as "coming next Wednesday." Now, aside from the fact that the movie actually opened on Friday, April 10th, 1981, "coming next Wednesday" is still pretty significant. First of all, new comic books come out every Wednesday, so this is a nod to that.

Peter also kindly reminded me that the Justice League can be seen as a modern day Knights of the Round Table. Couple that with the fact that the Excalibur movie is "coming soon" (and on a Wednesday, no less!) it's kind of an in-joke about how the Justice League movie is next on the schedule. That's pretty cool.

There's more on Excalibur coming down below, just be patient...

- Visible in the Wayne graveyard is the name "Solomon." Solomon Wayne was Bruce's Great, Great, Great Grandfather. When the Batman comics decided they wanted their Gotham City to look a little bit more like Anton Furst's Gotham designs from Tim Burton's Batman movies, a story was crafted to make it happen, and Solomon Wayne was part of that.

- It's also worth noting that this movie marks the first time we've seen Bill Finger's name in the opening credits of a Batman movie. That's a huge deal, as Finger was a major creative driving force behind Batman and his supporting cast, but for years, Bob Kane took all the credit. We have a little bit more about Bill Finger's bat-legacy right here.

The Supporting Characters

- Anatoli Knyazev is known to comic book fans as (wait for it) the KGBeast, because he was created in 1988 when that was what you named these kinds of villains. Anatoli has appeared in non-beastly form on a number of episodes of Arrow, as well. He first appeared in a story called "Ten Nights of the Beast" which is a pretty cool read if you can track it down.

- The photographer who is apparently working for the CIA during Lois' misadventure in the desert is played by Argo's Michael Cassidy. And yes, as credited and as revealed in the film's Ultimate Edition, he is indeed Jimmy Olsen. "Superman's Pal" is promptly and brutally murdered. So, yeah, you can forget about that little piece of Superman mythology in the DC Extended Universe, as well. Read more about Mr. Snyder's comments on the matter here.

- Alfred Pennyworth first appeared in 1943's Batman #16. Like most enduring Batman characters, he was created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and Jerry Robinson. Alfred cut a rather different figure in his early appearances, and through the years he has become more of an aggressively badass figure. 

Lex Luthor

- Lex Luthor has been around since Action Comics #23 in 1940 (you'll note that at the end of the movie, his prisoner number is AC23-1940), and as we see here, he had lustrous red hair. Later appearances alternately identified Lex as a shortening of Alexander or Alexei, and even later appearances revealed he was a childhood friend of Clark Kent, before a lab accident stole his luscious locks.

- Lex Luthor's prison garb has the prisoner number of 16-TK421. TK421 is a reference to Star Wars when Luke and Han took on Stormtrooper disguises. You know, "TK421, why aren't you at your post?" Batman v Superman and The Force Awakens were tweaking each other with little social media crossovers during filming, but it appears this is the only one of those in-jokes made it to film.

Also, while orange prison jumpsuits certainly aren't just a DC Universe thing, Lex was looking a bit like Frank Quitely's vision of the character from All-Star Superman in this scene.

The Lex of this film is "Alexander Luthor, Jr." Which means his father's name isn't "Lionel" as it was in the Smallville TV series or a handful of the comics that followed. Something tells me that Alex Sr. didn't die of natural causes.

Luthor has been something of a jerk-of-all-trades during his career, from straight mad scientist to captain of industry to President of the United States. I wrote much more about that stuff right here.

Mercy Graves is Lex Luthor's bodyguard, a super strong badass, although you don't see any of that in this movie. Mercy was first introduced in Superman: The Animated Series where she had considerably more to do than she does in this film.


Let's get into a few notes about Kryptonite...

- It's amazing that Man of Steel went an entire movie without going down the Kryptonite road, but we do finally get it here. Kryptonite was actually a creation of the (awesome) Adventures of Superman radio show, a necessary plot device so that original Man of Steel Bud Collyer could take a vacation from the radio show's punishing, almost daily schedule. For weeks, Superman was played by another actor, who was only required to groan in agony while Supes was at the mercy of the alien mineral.

- Here's something I never would have noticed (thanks to JACS in the comments!). Ralph Lister is credited as Emmett Vale, and he isn't the guy who finds the hunk of Kryptonite in the Indian Ocean as I initially thought, but he appears in Lex Luthor's laboratory. Dr. Vale is the creator of Metallo, the cyborg with the Kryptonite heart who would be a great choice to give Superman a headache if we were ever going to get another Superman solo movie, but since who knows if that will ever happen, well...forget it.

The way Kryptonite looks in this movie is a little like how it was shown in Superman: The Movie. Later in that film, when Supes is debilitated by the effects of Batman's Kryptonite spear, Lois chucks it in the water to get it away from him. That kinda' reminds me of the Supes/Miss Teschmacher exchange from the end of that movie, too.

Speaking of that Kryptonite spear, wireman (cool handle, by the way) in the comments found this little gem from the comics, that I wasn't aware of:

The Dark Knight Returns Influences

In The Dark Knight Returns, a comic which obviously has influenced this movie quite heavily, when Batman first returns to action he lends a hand to two cops in pursuit of suspects, one who isn't old enough to remember Batman in action, and one veteran who advises him to chill out and enjoy the show.

The rookie cop and the veteran cop, who Batman encounters while out whupping ass, remind me a little bit of this pair from Dark Knight Returns:

It can also be noted that this exchange played out much the same way in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises when Christian Bale's Batman first returns from retirement, much like in the iconic Frank Miller graphic novel.

By the way, the two officers in question are named "Officer Rucka" and "Officer Mazzucchelli." Greg Rucka was the writer of the excellent Gotham Central comic, and David Mazzucchelli was the artist on Frank Miller's other great Batman story, Batman: Year One

The news montage (which, rather surprisingly, features a cameo by Andrew Sullivan!) is another nod to The Dark Knight Returns, which helped set up its near-future vision of the DCU via TV news clips. You may recognize some of the anti-superhero sentiment from these, as well. Also, we get the return of Glen Woodburn from Man of Steel, too.

- Alfred's quote about "the next generation of Waynes" facing "an empty wine cellar" is lifted straight out of The Dark Knight Returns. You're going to read words very much like that a lot in the course of this article.

While most Batman costumes are fairly similar in essence, the proportions and lines on this particular version are also right out Frank Miller's artwork: 

Pretty cool, right?

The bit with Batman sighting a rifle atop a tower calls to mind still more stuff from Dark Knight Returns, albeit there it was a "grappling hook" gun, while here it's to fire a tracer.

- Also, I don't suppose that I need to explain Bruce's "freaks dressed like clowns" joke, right? Of course I don't.

The shot of Superman lifting the Russian rocket (numbered 300 of course) over his head has a hint of this page from The Dark Knight Returns to it...

 Batman's opening gambit in his fight with Superman is to hit him with a sonic blast, this (again) is straight out of Dark Knight Returns. Same with the Kryptonite dust/gas projectile.

There are lots of other direct similarities to the comics in that battle, too...

Look familiar? Check out that first panel on the left!

That armor looks pretty familiar too:

You get the idea, I'm sure.

- When Batman shows up to take out the KGBeast, the action comes right out of the first chapter of (say it with me now, kids!) The Dark Knight Returns. Batman bursts up out of the floor to whup ass. Batman bursts through the wall to take a giant honkin' gun from some dude. Batman says "I believe you" after armed asshat says "believe me, I'll kill her" and then takes him out. All from DKR. Just change the names of the goons.

During the Doomsday battle, complete with lightning bolts, we get a recreation of the cover of The Dark Knight Returns #1. No, seriously, check it out...

Told ya.

Also in Dark Knight Returns, Bruce is often brooding over a Robin costume in a glass case, and Alfred reminds him about "what happened to Jason..." which brings us to...

The Robin Connection

Needless to say, there's only one character who would have spray painted that on Robin's body, so this mirrors the events of the 1988 Batman comic event, "A Death in the Family," which allowed readers to decide (via a 1-900 number... those were different times) whether the second Robin would survive a brutal beating (with a crowbar) at the hands of the Joker and a subsequent warehouse explosion.

It's tough to really see the colors on this, and they're certainly muted, but the basic design certainly mirrors that of the first Tim Drake Robin costume, which also happened to be the first one in the main DC Universe continuity that looked genuinely badass.

It was designed by legendary Bat-artist Neal Adams and first brought to comics by Norm Breyfogle (thanks to our very own JL Bell for keeping me honest here!) and remains one of my favorite costume designs of all time. You can see Jason Todd's Robin costume in a similar glass case in the above image, as well.

It's never made clear which Robin this is supposed to be in the movie, but it's certainly Jason Todd. After all, there's a Nightwing movie in development and they can't do that if Dick Grayson is dead.

Zack Snyder clarified that whoever this Robin is, he died about ten years ago. Since we know that this version of Batman has been active for at least 15 years (Alfred says 20), and that's about enough time for this to line up with the Jason Todd version of the character.

The Knightmare

During Batman's weird little nightmare/dream sequence, you can spot several clues as to the identity of the big villain of the DCEU. There's a gigantic Omega symbol in the sand, and Earth appears to have had fire pits (ala the planet Apokolips) installed.
Couple that with what appeared to be Parademons attacking the Dark Knight, and, well... it's looking more and more likely that Darkseid, Jack Kirby's most famous DC Comics creation (and one of the greatest comic book villains of all time) is going to make his big screen debut.
The strange symbol carved into the desert there is Darkseid's, while the winged creatures flying around are his Parademon minions...

For reference, here's what they look like when drawn by Jim Lee in the New 52 Justice League re-launch, which featured Darkseid as the team's first big threat, and which was clearly meant to inform their film efforts...

Also, the sharp-eyed JACS (who is quickly becoming the MVP of the comments on this thing) pointed out the similarities to Batman's Mad Max garb here and the nightmarish future Batman that Damian Wayne becomes during Grant Morrison's run as writer on the character.



- Doomsday was created by Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson, and Roger Stern in 1992 with the express purpose of killing Superman dead and driving up sales. He succeeded in all possible respects in Superman #75.

Doomsday's Kryptonian origins weren't revealed until much later, although he was never a Frankenstein's Monster version of Zod, nor did he have Lex Luthor's DNA, nor did he... ummm... you get the point. But the idea of Doomsday as a highly evolved/continuously evolving killing machine came right out of the comics, as does the "he grows more spikes as he takes damage" thing.

- When Superman and Doomsday take their battle to Stryker's Island, we're told it's uninhabited. In the comics, Stryker's Island is the home of a massive Metropolis penitentiary. Clearly that isn't the case here...unless in the bleak moral universe of the DCEU, the inhabitants of a prison are completely expendable forms of human life.

- Superman getting caught in a nuclear explosion, becoming a weird zombified thing, and then charging up/healing via the power of the sun comes straight out of a particular Batman story that has been referenced numerous times throughout this article... you have three guesses. Go ahead. Guess. 

-Superman flying to almost certain death while carrying a Kryptonian object (albeit a much smaller one) also calls back to mind a similar storytelling beat from the end of Superman Returns.

- Lex Luthor in Zod's old ship, talking to the AI, feels similar to Lex's infiltration of the Fortress of Solitude in Superman II.

- Luthor using the ship to turn Zod's body into Doomsday is also quite reminiscent (intentionally or not) of Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor using Kryptonian crystals to make a giant Kryptonite continent in Superman Returns.

Also, when Lex is talking to Zod's corpse (oofah), he says "you flew too close to the sun." This is a reference to the myth of Icarus, which doesn't remotely seem to apply to anything regarding Zod's arc. Unless he means "you flew too close to the son," as in "The Last Son of Krypton," but somehow I don't think that much thought went into this scene.

- Lex didn't create Doomsday in the comics, but in many recent versions of the story, Lex did create Bizarro, notably as an imperfect Kryptonian duplicate. There's a little bit of a similarity to that here. Bizarro is, of course, not in the movie, despite some hilariously inaccurate rumors.

Miscellaneous Cool Stuff

- Clark bringing Lois flowers and groceries is faintly reminiscent of their brief shot at domestic bliss in Superman II where Superman famously cooked Lois a souflee using heat vision, and flew around the world to get her some nice tropical flowers. This scene also illustrates the age old Supes/Lois problem, where she knows that he "belongs to the world" and not to her.

- Pery White refers to Clark as "Smallville" more than once in the film. That was Lois Lane's affectionate/condescending nickname for Clark on Superman: The Animated Series, which is an excellent way to spend your time, I might add.

Later, while admonishing Clark for actually, y'know, wanting to be a reporter and tell the truth, Perry says, "It's not 1938 anymore." 1938 is, of course, the year that Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, was published. In other words, here's Perry White speaking for Zack Snyder, telling fans to stop whining over the fact that Superman doesn't behave very much like Superman in these movies.

- It appears that the Metropolis News channel, Channel 8, is indeed a GBS/Galaxy Broadcasting affiliate station. You can also spot a GBS microphone during a press conference later on, which is perhaps representative of their cable outlet or something similar.

- You can spot a mention of Gotham's Blackgate Prison when Clark is doing his investigation into Batman. 

Incidentally, the Ultimate Edition has a lot more going on as far as Clark's investigative reporting, and that along with Henry Cavill's performance remind me quite  abit of the better moments of the 1950s Adventures of Superman TV series. George Reeves routinely played Clark has a hard-edged reporter, and Cavill definitely channels some of that here.

- Bruce Wayne's "one percent chance" logic is childish and horrifying, and sounds like something Donald Trump would say about immigrants. It certainly was the logic that Dick Cheney used to condone "enhanced interrogation techniques."

- You can spot "Nicholson Terminal," which the Batmobile obliterates. Maybe this is a nod to Jack Nicholson's iconic take on the Joker. Maybe it isn't. Does this movie really ever make sense?

- When Senator Finch is asked "Must there be a Superman" well, that's a reference to a classic Superman tale. Not just any classic Superman story, either. The first published Superman story by Supes-writer extraordinaire, Elliott S! Maggin (that's not a typo) in Superman #247 from 1972. That story is far more nuanced and interesting in its 24 pages than this movie in its two and a half hours, and it's 100 percent worth reading.

- There's a pretty hilarious Wilhelm Scream when the Batmobile overturns some poor hood's car.

- Ma Kent's "you don't owe this world a thing" speech marks the return of evil, dystopian, Hunger Games Smallville logic to the series. For real, is it any wonder that the DCEU's Clark Kent is such a brooding mope? Between stuff like this and hallucination Pa Kent telling Clark about the time he drowned a bunch of horses by accident, it's a miracle that Superman isn't just snapping necks like... oh, wait, he already did that.

- Hey, remember when the internet said that Scoot McNairy was playing Hal Jordan/Jimmy Olsen/Ted Kord/Morgan Edge/Che Guevara/Spider-Man/Ad Nauseum? Yeah. That didn't happen. He's Wallace Keefe, a character we've never heard of. The only Keef I give a damn about is Richards.

- Ma Kent is now working at Rolli's Diner. Now, there's two smaller Lex Luthor stories from the comics that Rolli's ties into. Superman #9 (1987) featured a backup story called "Metropolis, 900 miles" which dealt with Lex Luthor offering a kind of "indecent proposal" to a waitress at Rolli's.

Lex's kidnapping of Martha Kent is also kinda' like a story from Superman #2 (1987) where he kidnapped Lana Lang after he figured out that young Superman had ties to Smallville. He ended up figuring out that Superman was Clark Kent but refused to believe it. 

- In the background during these scenes there's a prominent piece of question mark graffiti, which may or may not be a reference to the Riddler. There's some "Who Watches the Watchmen?" graffiti (not in this image), too.

- Lois boards a red helicopter on the Daily Planet rooftop, which reminds me of the best scene in the best Superman movie, the immortal Superman: The Movie

The Justice League Connection

- So, in case you cannot tell because he's almost unrecognizable, the lightning tornado dream sequence echo voice thing is the DC Extended Universe version of The Flash (and that's Ezra Miller in the role). The Flash appearing in mysterious form, kind of like a dream, and possibly from a different point in time, is very much a reference to Crisis on Infinite Earths where Flash was appearing to various heroes trying to warn them of what was to come while he was busy dying later in the story fighting the very same threat.

Flash also seems to be teasing something about Lois Lane being "the key." If Bruce is right about Superman, that means Flash is speaking to Bruce from a time in the future where Superman has become a threat, perhaps because of the death of Lois Lane...or maybe Lois is the key to turning him good again, or bringing him back to life.

This could be a reference to the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game and comics, which features a morally compromised DC Universe where heroes fight each other and Superman is a terrible person. So, you know, that sounds awfully familiar all of a sudden, doesn't it?

We wrote more about the Injustice comics right here, if you're interested. I'm saving some more about the implications of this for another article, too.

- I'm sure you all realized that was Jason Momoa as Aquaman during the underwater sequence, right? His look here is reminiscent of how he appeared on the excellent Justice League animated series and his mid-90s makeover.

- The weird horror movie/RoboCop sequence is the origin of Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher, who will make his next real appearance in Justice League Part One before he gets his own movie on April 3, 2020.

One cool thing about that scene is that the weird cube thing that apparently makes the Cyborg project successful is a Mother Box, which makes this the film's second overt Jack Kirby reference, and further proof that Darkseid is eventually on his way to the DCEU, although his first emmissary will be Steppenwolf. We wrote more about Darkseid right here.

Wonder Woman

- By the way, Wonder Woman first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in 1941, but the Wonder Woman in this movie is even older than that. Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman garb is reminiscent of how artists like Alex Ross drew her in Kingdom Come and Darwyn Cooke did in New Frontier to make her look more like the warrior princess she's traditionally depicted as.

You can also spot Chris Pine as Steve Trevor in that photo from 1918 and the rest of his World War I crew that we got to meet in her movie.

Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman performance is even better with a little more context after seeing her in action in her solo flick. For example, I only just noticed how immediately bored/disgusted she is with Lex Luthor when he's giving his little speech at the party. She sees right through him. It's awesome.

The Death of Superman

A few notes about the "death" of Superman...

I have to admit, this is really cool. Remember all the Excalibur stuff up top? It's back! A few of you sharp-eyed folks pointed out the similarities to this scene in Boorman's flick, and they are undeniable...

- When you see his body cradled by Lois Lane, it's a nod to Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding's art from Superman #75.

- In the Ultimate Edition, before Lex is captured, he's seen communing with a mysterious figure on the ship. This is likely Steppenwolf, the villain of the Justice League movie, although there's a slight chance it's Yuga Khan, the father of Darkseid. But really, it's probably Steppenwolf.

- Ending on "Amazing Grace" and an ambiguous/hopeful note is more than a little reminiscent of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which featured the death of Spock. Superman has somehow managed to show even less emotion and seemed even more alien than Spock ever did in this franchise so far, so it's really, really appropriate.

- You can see the weird little telekinetic effect that was used to show that Superman's powers were about to manifest in Man of Steel. So, y'know, of course he's not dead. After all, there's a Justice League movie coming on Nov. 17, 2017.

I explained the implications of Superman's death and the ending of this movie in greater detail here.

- Superman's coffin is black with a silver "S" logo. When Superman returned from the dead during the Death and Return of Superman story in the '90s, he wore a black suit with a silver "S" on it.

- By the way, it's worth noting that Warner Bros. has been trying to kill Superman on screen since at least 1995. Virtually every draft of every Superman movie of the last twenty years featured some form of Superman getting croaked (occasionally at the hands of Doomsday), while most others at least teased, it, too...including Superman Returns.

- To bring things full circle, I should also bring up the fact that The Dark Knight Returns also ends a "death" albeit Batman's (he isn't really dead, either). That hopeful ending involves Superman overhearing Bruce's heartbeat. Some folks claim they can hear a heartbeat as we zoom in on Clark's coffin, and that's another DKR reference for you!

Did I miss anything? Shout it out in the comments below or holler at me on Twitter!

LeBron James Goes In On Trump “We As American People Need To Come Together Even Stronger”

LeBron James posted his thoughts on what Donald Trump had to say about fellow NBA star Stephen Curry‘s comments about his team the Golden State Warriors visiting the White House after winning the NBA title this past summer. The Warriors will not be visiting.

Now, he is taking it to another level. In a post on The Uninterrupted, James by video message had the following to add:

“We all know what happened at Charlottesville and the divide that caused and now it’s even hitting more home for me now because he’s now using sports as the platform to try and divide us,” LeBron James said.

“We all know how much sports brings us together, how much passion it has, how much we love and care and friendships and everything it creates. And for him to try and use this platform, even more, it’s not something I can stand for, it’s not something I can be quiet about.”

“We, as American people, need to actually just come together even more stronger man,” James said. “This is a very critical time and me, in the position I am, I had to voice this to ya’ll.”

LeBron James Goes In On Trump "We As American People Need To Come Together Even Stronger”

Many during the day today have been applauding LeBron James and his contemporaries for speaking their minds about the situation. The Warriors also released a statement as a team about their decision to stay away, even though Trump “revoked” his invite.

While we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House, we accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited. We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. We’re disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise.
In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we’ll constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion — the values that we embrace as an organization.

All of this is going to come to a head tomorrow around 9:30 AM est when the first NFL game kicks off for the day over in London when the anthem is played. Expect many kneeling players and plenty of sideline shots throughout the days games. It should be quite an interesting day in sports, finishing out a weekend where many athletes felt attacked by their own countries leader.

Maybe Trump is just jealous about this:


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‘Captain Phasma’ #2 Review- The Hunt Continues

Captain Phasma #2
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Writer: Kelly Thompson, Artist: Marco Checchetto, Color Artist: Andres Mossa, Publisher: Marvel Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99
Cover to Captain Phasma #2 by Paul Renaud
Captain Phasma #2

Captain Phasma of the First Order continues her pursuit of Lieutenant Sol Rivas. This leads the Captain to a planet called Luprora. It’s largely uncharted and uninhabited by sentient life, or so the records say.

With dangerous terrain and unknown lifeforms awaiting, the hunt for Rivas has become very complicated. However, it’s better than allowing the lieutenant to report Phasma’s treachery.

Following an explosive first issue, Captain Phasma #2 continues with an intense search and a relentless Phasma. With a hapless and unknowing pilot at her side, Phasma will stop at nothing to kill Rivas.

The book’s tension relies heavily on Phasma herself. She is an intense and frightening character. The lengths she is going to in her mission are boundless. She is a trained hunter and killer, and you almost feel bad for the pilot, whom Phasma is likely ready to kill at a moment’s notice.

Art from Captain Phasma #2 by Marco Checchetto
Captain Phasma #2 art by Marcho Checchetto

The action of the book great too, with a massive, tentacled sea beast becoming the main antagonist of this issue. Phasma fights it in a most brutal style worthy of the soldier she has shown herself to be.

There is an enjoyable discomfort—as weird as that sounds—with every sentient being Phasma meets on her quest. She will not allow anyone to undermine her or threaten her, and she is not the kind to take chances as we’ve seen. She will likely apply a scorched earth strategy to this personal mission, killing everyone she met once Rivas is dead.

Marco Checchetto’s art continues to astonish with another gorgeous issue full of gleaming armor, brilliant alien landscapes, and an imposing Phasma. Color artist Andres Mossa gives the world texture and life with a skillfully-chosen color palette.

Captain Phasma #2 continues the hot streak of the first issue, with writer Kelly Thompson laying down an epic tale for a classic Star Wars character in the making. I highly recommend this issue.

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The post ‘Captain Phasma’ #2 Review- The Hunt Continues appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

First Image Of Godzilla From Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

The monster-verse has been quiet since Kong: Skull Island happened. We know that the other movies are happening and some of them are filming, but Legendary Pictures decided not to turn up to any of the conventions in any real capacity this year. That means we don’t know anything about these movies right now aside from some sporadic pieces of viral marketing. Director Michael Dougherty shared a new image from the set of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and a first look at the title character.

It’s not the greatest picture but at least we get a little bit of a look at this Godzilla. There likely isn’t going to be much of a design change from the 2014 movie to this one but it’s interesting to see this production moving along. We likely won’t see anything about this until mid to late next year.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters, directed by Michael Dougherty, stars Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Kyle Chandler, and Thomas Middleditch. It will be released March 22nd, 2019.


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Ron Howard Shares Photos From The “Desperate And Dangerous” World Of Han Solo

The Han Solo movie continues to chug along in this stage of its production. Director Ron Howard shared some new set photos with some interesting captions. What is a little weird is that he’s put the same caption over two different images on two different pieces of social media.

Shooting a scene about desperate and dangerous times.

A post shared by RealRonHoward (@realronhoward) on

It looks like they are filming in some sort of sand storm. We know that Star Wars has plenty of desert planets for characters to get into trouble on so who knows which one this one could be. The rumors about this movie are just all over the place right now and until we see some footage we don’t really know what to expect. Hell, we don’t even have an official title yet. The last time we thought we knew what the title was no one would come out to confirm it.

We should be getting footage for this soon and it’s kind of odd that we haven’t yet. Marvel has released teasers of movies at cons when they are only days into filming. This far along we should see something any day now.

The Han Solo origin film, directed by Ron Howard, stars Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, and Thandie Newton. It will be released May 25, 2018

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New Wall Poster Shows Off A Shirtless Aquaman, Plus More Justice League Posters

We got some new images from Justice League from a couple of difference sources. The first one we have is a new image of a shirtless Aquaman then we have three new posters from Amazon (one, two, three) that give us some new looks of some key characters.

Justice League

Justice League - Batman

The release date for Justice League creeps closer and closer every day so we can expect more posters and first looks to come out. We’re starting to see more and more superman start to show up in promotional images as well. The question or whether or not they are going to “spoil” that Superman is in this movie is still up in the air. We all know it’s happening but he hasn’t been seen in the trailer yet.

Summary: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

Justice League, directed by Zack Snyder, stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, and Henry Cavill. It will be released on November 17th.

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James Gunn Explains How Kurt Russell’s Movies Can Exist In Same Universe As Kurt Russell’s Ego

Guardians of the Galaxy took to Twitter today to answer the burning question on everyone’s mind and provide clickbait article fodder for the 24-hour entertainment news cycle.

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, actor Kurt Russell played Ego the Living Planet, Star-Lord’s father. But we know that pop culture from our universe exists in the world of Guardians of the Galaxy, so does that mean that in addition to Ego, there’s a Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Kurt Russell starring in movies like Escape From New York, and Big Trouble in Little China?

Well, not exactly. Gunn was asked about the paradox on Twitter:

And he obviously had the matter well thought-out ahead of time, responding:

The post James Gunn Explains How Kurt Russell’s Movies Can Exist In Same Universe As Kurt Russell’s Ego appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE Sneak Peek Confirms The First Teaser Trailer Is Coming Tomorrow

After an extended delay, we've finally received our first look at Maze Runner: The Death Cure! A new trailer sneak peek has officially announced that the first trailer will arrive tomorrow. Check it out!

Improbable Previews: Learn The Secret Of Dick Grayson’s Butt In Batman #33

Every so often, comic book publishers send out previews of upcoming comics without any of the lettering finished. The result, while pretty to look at, leaves readers wondering just what the hell is going on in those pages. Well, wonder no more.

Here at Bleeding Cool, we have combined decades of experience in reading comic books, so we can tell what’s happening, even without the words. Using that knowledge, we’ve lettered these previews ourselves, using our best guess at what the dialog should actually be. We can’t guarantee 100% accuracy- in fact, our accuracy may be much lower than that – but we can guarantee that it’s better than looking at a bunch of unfinished pages.

In this episode of Improbable Previews, we get a sneak peek at Batman #33 by Tom King and Joelle Jones. Will this issue feature a shocking revelation about Dick Grayson?! You betcha! The book will be in stores October 18th, but you can find out what all the fuss about below right now!

The post Improbable Previews: Learn The Secret Of Dick Grayson’s Butt In Batman #33 appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

LeBron James Blasts Space Jam 2 Villain Donald Trump On Twitter Over NFL Comments

Space Jam 2 star LeBron James took to Twitter today to blast President Donald Trump following Trump’s ongoing bizarre attack on protesting NFL Players.

President Donald Trump, rumored villain for the Space Jam sequel

Calling the actions of Colin Kaepernick, in taking a knee in protest during the National Anthem to support Black Lives Matter, “a total disrespect of everything we stand for,” Trump attacked Kaepernick and any other players who protest during football games.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired?'” Trump said at a recent campaign rally, after tweeting several times about Kaepernick in the past.

But it was a tweet directed at James’s fellow basketball star Stephen Curry that finally prompted King James to step in. After Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry spurned an invitation to visit Trump at the Oval Office, Trump tried to save face by pretending he was disinviting Curry:

James promptly burned Trump:

And other basketball stars chimed in as well:

Is it time to pull ambassador Dennis Rodman back from the North Korea situation to focus on these problems at home?

Trump used the uproar kicked up around the tweets to double down on his position on Kaepnerick:

But if Trump won’t listen to LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, maybe there’s someone who can get through to him. Someone like reality TV star and real estate developer Donald Trump, who once had some unkind words for Presidents who get involved in football instead of worrying about their own business:


The post LeBron James Blasts Space Jam 2 Villain Donald Trump On Twitter Over NFL Comments appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Marvel Panel At Baltimore Comic-Con: “Many People Feel As Though Marvel Just Hadn’t Been Feeling Right”

Brian Lake writes for Bleeding Cool from Baltimore Comic-Con:

At the beginning of the panel, writer Mark Waid and editor Tom Brevoort took 15 minutes of questions to engage with the crowd before the rest of the panel came out. One thing that came from this was Mark Waid’s opinion that he has never met someone who is not a fan of Ben Grimm, The Thing from the Fantastic Four. After it was said, he and Breevort scanned the room of over 500 attendees and it seemed as though everyone was in agreement.

The remaining panel arrived at 1:30: writer Greg Pak, writer Charles Soule and artist Ken Lashley. Then Brevoort asked if someone would like to join them on the stage to read a copy of Marvel Legacy #1, a fan dressed as Bishop from the X-Men joined them on stage and silently read the book for the next 30 minutes.

Waid is going back to Captain America for his fourth run on the book with issue 695, with Chris Samnee. The storyline will follow Steve Rogers back as Captain America and will be traveling the US and likely won’t be punching a Nazi in the first issue, but Waid promises it will happen at some point soon. Waid also plans to tell stories in Champions about fighting against racism that ultimately leads to the Champions joining back with the Avengers that they had spun off of.

Greg Pak currently writing Hulk (formally Totally Awesome Hulk), and Weapon X. Pak is enthusiastic to be back to Planet Hulk, however this time it’s the cocky and intelligent Amadeus Cho. Plan for a lot of fantasy and battles featuring art by Greg Land. For Weapon X, be ready for the team mixed of heroes and villains led by Old Man Logan who heads to Santa Marco in South America, where there is a huge anti-mutant campaign going on. They battle mercenaries with American flags tattooed on their faces.

Ken Lashley is currently the artist for X-Men Gold, which his dream job. In his opinion, it’s the holy grail as a fan of classic John Byrne X-Men, and his favorite character in comics is Colossus. Currently, he does both the covers and interiors. He says he has been to the top of the mountain with this job, and after this, he has nothing more to do than retire.

After the panel walked through their books, it turned back to the gentleman, who had just finished reading Marvel Legacy #1. When asked what he thought, Lashley said he had walked away from many of the Marvel books during Secret Empire due to the political overtones. He did like Legacy, and said it should tie up some loose ends on Wakanda and Phoenix.

During Q&A, a fan shared with Mark Waid that he walked away from Marvel five years ago, due to reboots and restarts, he asked how does Legacy fit in. Breevort said many people feel as though Marvel just hadn’t been feeling right in general for many things Marvel. Legacy, in his opinion, is trying to get over the overcorrection over the last few years. Breevort then pulled $6 from his wallet gave it to the fan that asked the question and told him to buy Marvel Legacy #1 and give it a try.

Marvel Two-in-One in December will feature art by Jim Cheung and the book will focus on Johnny Storm, the Human Torch and Ben Grimm, the Thing doing a buddy story adventure series where they go on a search for the rest of the Fantastic Four. There’s no guarantee that you will see the Fantastic Four next year, but this series would likely be a lead-in. Breevort would neither confirm nor deny the return next year of the Fantastic Four but urges fans that would like to see that happen to grab onto this series. Typically they don’t use superstar Jim Cheung for a series that doesn’t lead to something, so stay tuned!

The post Marvel Panel At Baltimore Comic-Con: “Many People Feel As Though Marvel Just Hadn’t Been Feeling Right” appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Justice League: Iris West Reportedly Cut

Latest reports suggest that Iris West, the long-time love interest of Barry Allen (aka the Flash), will no longer make her cinematic debut in this year's Justice League.

According to Batman News, all of Kiersey Clemons' scenes as Iris West have reportedly been cut. Earlier this year, Clemons confirmed she was not involved in the recent reshoots, but said her introductory scenes as Iris are "sick."

It's important to note that this isn't the end for the DCEU incarnation of Iris, as Clemons is still signed on to appear in The Flash: Flashpoint in 2018. It's also possible Iris will appear in deleted scenes featured on the Blu-ray release, much like how Jena Malone's DC character appeared in Ultimate Edition Blu-ray of Batman v Superman after being cut from the theatrical release.

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A Look At Harley Quinn Through Her 25 Years Of Comics

We’ve been celebrating a lot of character anniversaries lately — Batman, Catwoman, Wonder Woman — all 75 years old or more. But today, which is officially Batman Day, DC is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Harley Quinn, a character that was created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for an episode of Batman: The Animated Series (which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary) as just a henchwoman for the Joker.

Harley was supposed to be a one-off character, but between Timm’s classic design and the chemistry between her and the Joker she quickly became a favorite of the show’s writers. She then made the jump to comics and has built up to being one of the most loved and recognized characters in the industry.

Harley Quinn

She made her live-action feature film debut in last summers Suicide Squad as played by Margot Robbie who is expected to reprise the role in upcoming Gotham Sirens and or other Warner Bros. films.

The video features a foreword by co-creator Timm talking about the character. They then through her 25 years of history, from her first television appearance to getting her own comic series and all the various versions of her costumes. It’s interesting in that her costume stayed pretty consistent up through 2010, and then with the New 52, all bets were off. Personally, I will always be a fan of the original.

The post A Look At Harley Quinn Through Her 25 Years Of Comics appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

7 Classic Cartoons That Don’t Hold Up Today (And 8 That Do)

7 Classic Cartoons That Don’t Hold Up Today (And 8 That Do)

Have you ever re-watched your favorite childhood cartoon series as an adult and been hugely disappointed? Well, you’re not alone. Nostalgia can often put a nice, fuzzy aura around the things you loved growing up, blinding you to the real truth — that not everything you enjoyed as a kid was actually technically “good.” Sometimes, cartoons can be a victim of their time. If they try to be too topical or “of the moment” they risk looking incredibly dated incredibly fast. Of course, some properties that are really entrenched in a certain era can serve as a funny, retro representation of it for future generations.

RELATED: BANimated: The 15 Most Controversial Episodes Of Classic Cartoons

Technological innovations can play a part in a cartoon’s lasting appeal, too. Clunky movement, dodgy facial expressions, and badly synced dialog can turn new and old fans off when they’ve grown used to the comparatively slicker animation of modern shows. Changing times mean that children’s media has also become a lot more sophisticated over the last two decades. This is thanks to shows like Batman: The Animated Series, which — with its brooding atmosphere and well-crafted storytelling — raised the bar and is widely considered a timeless classic. But, while some cartoons have stood the test of time, others haven’t fared so well.



From its accidental campiness to its cheesy PSAs to kids, He-Man is quintessentially ’80s. Though there are a lot of chuckles to be had from rewatching it today, the show definitely isn’t the best its era had to offer. The poor animation quality of He-Man is infamous. Yes, it was made over three decades ago but other shows of that time look far better.

Most of the characters are just copy-and-paste lumps of muscle; plus, key details, like what on earth (or Eternia) Castle Grayskull’s “power” even is, are never explained. The Prince Adam/He-Man alter-ego shift also suffers from the same datedness as Shazam. In today’s media, kids don’t need to disguise themselves as adults to be taken seriously as heroes. If you like the He-Man mythology, just watch the ’00s remake instead. Yes, seriously.



The Transformers franchise has churned out some great series’ over the years, and Beast Wars is often considered among them. Fast-forwarding way into the future past Generation One, it breathed new life into the Hasbro property by evolving the ‘Bots into animalistic forms and kicking off a whole new era of war. It also featured cutting-edge CG animation and launched an equally innovative toy-line.

So, why does it deserve a place on this side of the list? To put it bluntly, Beast Wars has aged horribly. CG evolves faster than any other medium, and what looked “state of the art” in 1996 looks painfully dated now. This is honestly a real shame because the show is tightly-plotted and has excellent character development. Hardcore fans bemoan the limited cast, though, which is another side-effect of the expensive animation.



Coming off the back of the smash-hit that was X-Men: The Animated SeriesEvolution had a lot to live up to. Maybe that’s why it’s nowhere near as well-remembered as its predecessor. Unlike TAS, which was very faithful to the source material, Evolution chose to deviate hugely. The biggest change was that the teenage mutants had to attend a normal high-school as well as the Xavier Institute.

Although changes like these can help an adaptation appeal to a new fan base, this altered premise fundamentally worked against X-Men‘s core appeal, rather than reflected or enhanced it. (Mystique posing as a high-school principal? Reeeally?) Though the show’s focus on character development was good, it feels more like a New Millennium high-school drama that happens to have X-Men in it. If you want something fresher than TAS, watch Wolverine and the X-Men instead.


Sonic Underground

Affectionately known by some fans as “the worst thing to ever happen to Sonic The Hedgehog,” this series lulled you into a false sense of hype with the crazily catchy theme song, and then crushed those expectations with a bizarre premise and poor writing. In Underground, Sonic was one of three royal siblings who were separated from their mother after Robotnik takes over her planet and bans music.

This musical show couldn’t have been more ’90s if it had a Will Smith rap breakdown during the opening credits. As such, it really doesn’t have the same timeless quality that other shows of the decade do. Watch the opening credits on YouTube, but, unless you enjoy cartoon rock operas that look like drug-induced hallucinations, the rest of it really isn’t worth revisiting.


Smurfs 80s cartoon

The Smurfs have been smurfily entertaining kids and adults for over 50 years now. The ’80s cartoon series is not the best way to enjoy them, though. Like many ‘toons of its day, the show suffers from a lot of technical problems but it looks like the animators really struggled with this one. Some sequences have barely any actual movement at all.

Because the show was aimed at young kids it has an obligation to preach a lot of moral lessons to them, which, again is common for shows of the time with a similar target audience. Yet, while some manage to do this in a way that is only a little condescending, the writing in The Smurfs comes off as insultingly patronizing. It’s only really worth watching this one if you’re a Smurfs completionist.


G.I Joe Real American Hero

First of all, the title of the show makes Joe sound like an ego-maniac considering he’s part of a team. It would be like The Avengers being named “Iron Man: Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist.” This show suffers from the common ’80s animation problem of having very limited movement — not ideal for action sequences in a show that was all about action.

With the exception of the excellently named Sargent Slaughter and Snake Eyes, most of the characterization and stories are also pretty cookie-cutter and uninspired. Granted, it’s always hard for writers to tack concepts and personalities onto toys (especially ones that had fallen out of popularity like the Joes had by 1982.) But, when you consider what a good job The Transformers did, the genericness of the show is even more inexcusable.


Captain Planet

Sorry to break it to you ’90s kids, but Captain Planet is firmly stuck in the era from whence it came. Does the eco-friendly superhero show have its charms? Sure. Its educational value is also still relevant, and superheroes are more popular in mainstream media now than ever before… just not ones like Captain Planet. The Captain suffers from the same core problem as He-Man.

Once Harry Potter came along, kids calling upon adults for help doesn’t have the same appeal. Tonally, the show is all over the place, too. Episodes filled with preaching wholesome and civilly responsible values to kids also throw hugely inappropriate sexual innuendos around. This makes it potentially too risqué for the very young but too childish for older audiences, begging the question — who was this show for?


X-Men Animated Series Phoenix Saga

X-Men: The Animated Series was one of the first in a string of ’90s comic book cartoon adaptations that helped elevate how children’s media was approached. The show’s legacy is big — not only did it introduce a whole new generation to the world of Marvel’s mutant superheroes, but it did it so astonishingly faithfully. Having said all that — does it still hold up?

Honestly, yes. Where some X-Men movies have sadly missed the mark, TAS serves as a high watermark of what an adaptation can do. Bryan Singer even used it for most of his research when prepping for the first movie. It’s not without faults — animation blips and hilariously hammy voice acting occur throughout — but the pros far outweigh the cons. Plus, those opening credits are still some of the best ever made.



If you’re going to watch one high-fantasy cartoon series from the ’80s, make it Thundercats. The series has all of the cheesy “Lesson Of The Week” story structuring, barely believable premise, softcore fantasy action, and ludicrously-dressed warriors as He-Man, but pulled off with a lot more finesse. (Lion-O has much better hair, too.) The problems of stiff, ’80s animation still persist, there’s no getting around that.

But, the weird blend of fantasy and sci-fi works surprisingly well and the writing and character development is generally much better done than its contemporaries. You really do buy into this odd little family of superpowered space-cats. If you can get past how irritatingly often Lion-O loses his sword, it’s well worth revisiting. The 2010s remake deserves more love, too.



You might think that the main reason Animaniacs holds up today is because it was ahead of its time, but really, it couldn’t have existed in other decade. Animaniacs was a reaction to a very ’90s concern that kids cartoons were becoming too violent, something that the show frequently enjoyed addressing with its slapstick gags. It also operated under the pretence of harkening back to the “good old days” with a Looney Tunes-style segmented format.

Having said that, another part of the show’s lasting appeal is its self-referential humor, which has since become a more mainstream gimmick in media today. With a prestigious name like Stephen Spielberg’s attached, it’s probably not surprising how well it’s aged — or not aged. But honestly, the real secret to the show’s lasting success is a simple one: it’s really funny. Need proof? Just look up the “Finger Prints/Prince” joke.



Like most cartoon classics, Gargoyles has a premise that really shouldn’t have worked as well as it did. As well as actual, humanoid gargoyles, the show featured a crazy cast of characters that included robots, fairies, and even the Illuminati; spanning multiple genres. For a Disney show, it was unusually dark in tone and ambitious (for the time) in scope. Unfortunately, this was lessened after Season Two following the creator’s departure.

Gargoyles’ mythology is so rich that it still has an active fanbase to this day, a testament to its strong writing and the imagination of its creator. The animation also still holds up well — though not always consistent in quality. Unfortunately, it couldn’t escape Disney executive’s meddling completely, with its maturity being detrimentally toned down in Season Three.


The Real Ghostbusters

Serving really as just a money-grabbing tie-in to a popular film, The Real Ghostbusters shouldn’t hold up as well as it does. Some cartoon nerds would even argue it’s actually better than the films. For an ’80s show, the animation isn’t too bad — still a bit stiff but far from the worst of the decade. It also has pretty decent voice acting, another exception for its time.

The show slots into the film universe comfortably with the premise that it was filling in the ‘busting gaps you didn’t see in the movie. In other words, it does what any great alternate media tie-in should do: expand on the original. Things unfortunately go downhill a bit in Season Two when executives bumped up mascot Slimer to a title role, but Season One is definitely worth a Ghostbusters fan’s time.


The premise of Rugrats has much the same appeal as the premise of Toy Story — but with babies and toddlers instead of toys. What do they get up to when adults aren’t watching? The answer turns out to be, going on crazy adventures led by one brave baby with a screwdriver. A lot of cartoons struggle to keep their animation from becoming dated by striving for realism.

Shows like Rugrats beat this future problem by leaning hard into cartoonishness and having a more distinctive style. Part of the charm of watching the show now is that the kids’ quests often have hilariously baby-sized stakes from our grown-up perspectives. The show also still works because of how subtly progressive it was for the early ’90s, featuring a tyrannical but sympathetic antagonist, interracial families, and breaking gender stereotypes.


DuckTales was responsible for kicking off Disney’s entrance into animated TV and it certainly got its run off to a good start. Though many associate it with the ’90s, it actually began in 1987. It’s an easy mistake to make, of course, considering how much better the animation was compared to most ’80s cartoons, but not too surprising given it was a Disney property (and also benefitted from a lot of that Disney-dollar.)

The show also introduced a new audience to the charmingly curmudgeon, Scrooge McDuck, though he’s slightly less grouchy than his comic book appearances. The series has recently been revived for a whole new generation, evidence of its continuing appeal, but the original still feels just as fun, wacky, and well-crafted today.


Samurai Jack

Samurai Jack’s ageless appeal is partly thanks to its historical themes, and partly because of its gorgeous and unique visuals. The animation looks like a moving work of art, and though it was directly inspired by early anime movies and Japanese cinema classics, it still looks remarkably fresh and forward-thinking to this day. The show’s mature themes and abstract artsiness means it could easily be confused for an adult show.

But really, it’s one that truly transcends age demographics, though the creepiness of some of Jack’s enemies might give younger audiences a fright. Like other cartoon greats, it’s really hard to imagine this show ever falling out of relevancy. (Samurai are never not cool, either.) It’s certainly worth a binge-watch before you pick up the sequel series. 

Which cartoons do you think do or don’t hold up? Let us know in the comments!

The post 7 Classic Cartoons That Don’t Hold Up Today (And 8 That Do) appeared first on CBR.

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Is TNT’s The Last Ship Sailing Towards Cancellation Bay?

Rumors have been circling that TNT will be sinking The Last Ship, but like Mark Twain, reports of their death are greatly exaggerated. Or, at least, their imminent death.

The show just wrapped production on their 10-episode fifth season. A year ago, the network renewed the series for a fourth season, and a month later extended it to a fifth. Production on the fifth season was delayed for a while when series star Eric Dane took time off to deal with depression.

Last Ship

Where did these rumors come from? Actor Travis Van Winkle, who plays Danny Green, announced the show was cancelled earlier this week on his Instagram account. He then deleted it.

So what is the fate of the Nathan James and its crew? It’s too soon to tell.

TNT told TVLine:

“We shot two seasons simultaneously; the fourth is currently on the air and the fifth will return next summer. We greenlit the fifth with the idea that it could be the final season, however it’s far too early to make that determination.”

After five seasons, they’re likely to have a lot of actors contracts needing to be redone, so seeing the show wrap up after season five makes sense. Whether or not that’s the case, though, the network wouldn’t want it known the series was going to be coming to an end this early. You may lose viewers who don’t want to commit any more time to a show that won’t be around much longer. Even if TNT was sure the show was done, I don’t think they’d come out and say it — and they definitely wouldn’t want the cast talking about it, either.

The Last Ship airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on TNT.

The post Is TNT’s The Last Ship Sailing Towards Cancellation Bay? appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Marvel Director Implores Lucasfilm to Release Original Star Wars Cut

Marvel Director Implores Lucasfilm to Release Original Star Wars Cut

Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed is now publicly begging for Disney and Lucasfilm to release the original cut of the 1977-1983 Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray.

The Ant-Man and Bring It On helmer wrote in a post to Twitter, “Dear Lucasfilm, Please release a Blu-ray of the original, unmessed-with version of STAR WARS I loved when I was 13. Thanks, Peyton.”

Famously, George Lucas — the original writer and director of Star Wars — is intent on never re-releasing his original versions of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi. It would take a lot of convincing on Disney’s part to get Lucas to give a re-release his blessing, which is extremely unlikely as the legendary helmer views his updated versions as superior to what came before. Whether or not the original theatrical cuts of the original Star Wars trilogy will ever see the light of day is truly one of the galaxy’s greatest mysteries…

RELATED: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Wraps Post-Production

Arriving Dec. 15, director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.

The post Marvel Director Implores Lucasfilm to Release Original Star Wars Cut appeared first on CBR.

JUSTICE LEAGUE Promotional Artwork Gives Us A New Look At Jason Momoa As Aquaman

A new promo image from the upcoming Justice League is doing the rounds on social media, and it provides us with another glimpse of Jason Momoa in fearsome form as the King of Atlantis, Aqumanan...

Riverdale Season 2 Has Betty And Jughead Trying To Have A Long-Distance Romance

One of the most notable changes between the Archie Comics and the Riverdale television series, and there are a lot, is Jughead Jones. It was revealed in the comics not too long ago that Jughead is openly asexual. Even though he’s gone on a few dates, he is more concerned with hamburgers than sexual activity. But the television version of Jughead (Cole Sprouse) is not only attracted to women, but he has a relationship going with Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart).


They even have a ship name, “Bughead”.

Fans of Bughead — and there are a lot of you out there — get ready for some rough times ahead for your favorite couple as they start to deal with issues from a long-distance relationship. Yup, Jughead’s move to a new school in the season finale sticks and he may be drifting away from Betty. Executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told TVLine:

“Jughead is starting to explore the Southside Serpents subculture, and the world that his father was a part of. That sort of starts to draw him away from Betty.”

Before that gets you too upset, Aguirre-Sacasa added:

“It’s almost like every force in the universe is out to pry ‘Bughead’ apart, but ‘Bughead’ is pretty strong, I’ll tell you that much.”

It’s always darkest before the dawn…

Riverdale returns for Season 2 starting October 11th on the CW.

The post Riverdale Season 2 Has Betty And Jughead Trying To Have A Long-Distance Romance appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Every Star Trek TV Pilot, Ranked

Every Star Trek TV Pilot, Ranked

Besides Star Trek: The Original Series, which had an uncannily awesome first season, the beloved franchise has a bold tradition of rocky starts. It generally took a while for each series to reach its full potential, as most pilot episodes left fans with a sour aftertaste. Hopefully, that won’t be the case with the CBS revival Star Trek: Discovery. But in honor of its upcoming debut, it’s a good time to revisit all of the previous Trek pilots, from The Original Series to Enterprise, and rank them from worst to best.

RELATED: What Star Trek: Discovery Can Learn From Previous Trek Shows

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re counting “Where No Man Has Gone Before” as the proper pilot for TOS, and we’re leaving out The Animated Series.

5. Star Trek: The Next Generation – Encounter at Farpoint

Oh, Groppler Zorn. Star Trek: The Next Generation, by far, had the worst pilot of the 51-year-old franchise, despite being co-written by Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Arriving in 1987, the first live-action Star Trek episode in nearly 20 years was a certified stinker, boasting a boring plot, stiff acting, a chemistry-less cast and a forced cameo from DeForrest Kelley’s Dr. McCoy.

RELATED: Jonathan Frakes Drops Major Star Trek: Discovery Spoiler

Even the debut of John de Lancie’s omnipotent Q couldn’t save the wreck of a pilot. Setting the stage for a lackluster first two seasons of TNG (besides a couple standout episodes, like Season 2’s outstanding — and Ted 2 story inspiration — “Measure of a Man”), the snooze-fest that is “Encounter at Farpoint” did no favors for the franchise. It wasn’t until Michael Piller came on board in Season 3 that TNG really found its groove — and boy, did it ever.

4. Star Trek: Voyager – Caretaker

“Caretaker,” in a lot of ways, is better than the series that followed. It established the overarching dilemma of the Voyager crew, and promised a different kind of Trek show. However, the result was a poor Next Generation knockoff.

Regardless, it’s not a bad episode of Star Trek, with some fun moments that showcase the personality of each main crew member. It’s a shame, though, that Kate Mulgrew’s Captain Janeway spends a chunk of the episode incapacitated in a chamber; she definitely deserved more than that in her first outing, considering how badass we would soon learn she was.

3. Star Trek: Enterprise – Broken Bow

Launching in 2005, Star Trek: Enterprise beamed its way onscreen with the most cinematic — and downright good-looking — pilot of the entire franchise, written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, and masterfully directed by James L. Conway. Unlike some of the other pilots that falter with their less-than-exciting plots (which take place in only a couple locations), Enterprise charts new territory, engaging the audience in an exciting mission that hits a ton of different locales as Archer assembles his rag-tag crew.

The pilot is also notable for showcasing a more “mature” Trek, boasting that memorably sexy scene with T’Pol and that decontaminate jelly. Good times.

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The post Every Star Trek TV Pilot, Ranked appeared first on CBR.

A Batman Comics Reading Guide

Here are the essential Batman comics you need to read to celebrate this year's Batman Day!

Feature Jim Dandy
Sep 23, 2017

It's Batman Day, which means that it's time to celebrate one of the greatest comic book characters of all-time. Spanning decades of storytelling, the Dark Knight has been a mainstay of superhero books, giving us some of the greatest adventures in comic book history. Many of those stories are in the guide below. You'll undoubtedly want to branch out from this list once you're done with Batman's essential tales, though.

These are also some of the best comics for people who were just introduced to the DC Extended Universe and were inspired to pick up a book. Some of them you may recognize because they're incredibly influential, and have been quoted or adapted or referenced a thousand times over in other media.

Some are good opportunities to explore other corners of Batman's universe. And some are collections of the best stories told by the best creators to ever pick up the cape and cowl.

The Dark Knight Returns

Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley’s 1986 tale of old man Bruce coming back to the cape and cowl is probably the most translated Batman story in his entire 75+ year canon (except for one shot of the next one on this list). It has everything you could want from a Batman comic: in costume, Bats is a giant hulking mass of muscle and fury; he obviously fights Superman; he has his final showdown with the Joker; and he fights off a gang of shirtless teenagers and their beastly leader. This isn’t really the first Batman story to have any of these things, or have any of them together, but paired with Miller and Janson and Varley’s art, it all mixed together to become something essential and electric.

It’s come under some critical reexamination of late, due in part to outrageous statements from Miller, and in part because it is the comic book equivalent of Purple Haze’s “Excuse me, while I kiss this guy” – it’s a Batman story that hundreds of writers have tried to sing along with in the 30 years since it was published, and that nearly all of them have gotten wrong.

DKR isn’t even Miller’s foundational take on Batman. Rather it’s a searing tirade on the ‘80s and all its components, from every direction. It is, however, a tremendous Batman story on the strength of Miller, Janson & Varley’s art alone: Batman is an enormous brute, a block of muscle who still manages flashes of grace. The world he inhabits is dark and grungy and grimy and shitty.

But there’s a subtlety in his body language that later period Miller tends to lose. It’s probably not a coincidence that they are usually paired with the flashes of kindness and compassion from his Batman that are so essential to the character: hugging Two Face after he tries to save him, or the contented old man Bruce is when he’s building his new cave. DKR may have come into some more criticism of late, but it is certainly and justifiably one of the best Batman stories of all time.

There is a 30th anniversary collection just released by DC that is really excellent at reproducing the originals, along with providing some background material on the source and on how Miller created it (including uninked, uncolored line art that’s INCREDIBLE) that is absolutely worth a buy.

Buy The Dark Knight Returns on Amazon.

Batman: Year One

Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli must have written it into their contracts with DC that every adaptation of Batman moving forward was required to have Bruce kneeling between his parents, bleeding and arranged like yin and yang, bleeding out next to him. That has appeared so many times – in movies, in cartoons, in video games – that I can’t even count them.

I was going to say “overuse aside,” but that’s not really something you can set aside with Year One, because it’s so good that it deserves to be cited in every Batman adaptation. The story is as much about the origin of Gotham and Batman’s associates as it is about Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. Gordon, Sarah Essen, Alfred and Catwoman get some really good screen time, and David Mazzuchelli looks like classic Bill Finger art with modern polish.

A word of warning! There are many editions of Year One. The rules they follow are similar to what to do with a toilet if your power goes out: if the cover’s red, go ahead. If the cover’s yellow, leave it mellow. Seriously, there was a recoloring error in reprints that had a yellow cover, and they came out terrible. The editions with the red cover (or the red slipcase around a gray hardcover) are the best option. Or you can get a digital version. I DON’T CARE.

Buy Batman: Year One on Amazon.

JLA: Tower of Babel

Be thankful I’m not telling you to buy all of Morrison’s JLA. That’s next week.

Mark Waid and Howard Porter had the unenviable task of following up Grant Morrison’s enormous, universe-encompassing epic four-year story that ended with Superman punching a suicide planet and Earth becoming the fifth world, and rather than try and top that, they immediately set to work with making Batman the greatest villain in Justice League history.

Seriously, it worked pretty well. This is paranoid schemer Batman at his finest: Bats has detailed plans on how to incapacitate the entire Justice League in the event that any of them go rogue (including himself, in what’s a pretty incredible piece of self-destructiveness). Waid and Porter get into Batman’s head while maintaining the bright, shiny superheroic tone both are really good at, and the result was a lot of fun.

This has been loosely adapted as Justice League: Doom in case you wanted some tonal Cliff’s Notes, but it’s worth reading. And don’t sweat it if you can’t find the version of the book that’s just “Tower of Babel.” If you have to get JLA: Volume 4 (which contains Morrison’s final story, “World War 3”), don’t sweat it. You really should buy all of that run, too. *runs*

Buy JLA: Tower of Babel on Amazon.

Batman: The Killing Joke

Probably the definitive story about Batman’s relationship with the Joker, it also has probably the defining single image of Batman’s nemesis. Brian Bolland’s almost photoreal art has been used to incredible effect on books like Judge Dredd or as the cover artist on a thousand other comics.

But it’s that one picture of high-cheekbones Joker smiling with the camera that is the Joker in my brain, was likely a huge influence on Jack Nicholson’s design in 1989 Batman, and were it not for Mark Hamill and Heath Ledger both being staggeringly good, would likely still hold that title.

Oh yeah, and The Killing Joke was written by Alan Moore.

There isn’t really a way to talk about the story without a giant flashing neon warning sign: Barbara Gordon, Batgirl at the time (and again post-Flashpoint), gets shot through the spine and then sexually assaulted by the Joker. We can debate the definition of exactly what was done to her for days, but that’s what it boils down to.

There is still value in the book as a historical artifact: it defined the Joker-Batman dynamic for decades after, and was at least partially responsible for Batman-as-broken-monomaniac-sociopath, and it has some likely canon backstory to the Joker in it, but…look, this one’s rough to come back to. Worthwhile, but tough to read.

Buy Batman: The Killing Joke on Amazon.

Batman: A Death in the Family

You know that scene in the Batman v Superman trailer where you see Robin’s costume with the Joker’s writing spraypainted all over it? This is likely what that’s referencing (even though that’s CLEARLY Tim Drake’s costume and Tim was way too good a Robin to let something like this ::gets dragged screaming away from the keyboard::).

Okay! Back and cool again. Once upon a time, Jason Todd was Robin, a replacement created by DC to let Dick Grayson go be his own (awesome) character but still have that audience ID character going on adventures with Bruce. Problem is, Jason was a little bit of a shit, and the fans kind of hated him.

So in A Death In The Family, which ran as a story in the pages of then-monthly Batman, DC ran a call-in contest: fans could call one 900 number to vote to keep Jason alive and a different one to kill him. Three guesses as to what they picked.

Jim Starlin (the guy who created Thanos) and Jim Aparo (we’ll get to him) did the actual killing, but the linked collection also throws in some later issues of Batman along with some Marv Wolfman/George Perez Teen Titans because it’s been proven in a lab you can never have enough of that.

Buy Batman: A Death In The Family on Amazon.


It’s kind of hilarious to me how well this has aged: people citing the excesses of ‘90s comics usually touch on “the story where Batman had his back broken” to cite how over the top things were in general, but nobody piles on the story the way they do an X-Men book or :shudders: “The Clone Saga,” because you know what?

Knightfall is pretty damn good.

It’s likely more relevant to the last Batman movie (Dark Knight Rises) than to this one, but I still feel confident that you’ll see passing references to it in the background of the Batcave somewhere. It introduces Bane, who breaks everyone out of Arkham. Bruce recaptures everyone, but he’s exhausted by the attempt, and when he returns to the cave, Bane is waiting for him (having figured out his secret identity) and beats the hell out of him, snapping his back.

Bruce passes the mantle to Jean Paul Valley, formerly Azrael (who was trained by an ancient religious order to be Batman, but Punisherier) who, to be fair, ‘90s the hell out of the costume. But Bruce…uhh…gets better and decides to take the costume back.

It works because it’s got a ton of good creators (Chuck Dixon, Jo Duffy, Aparo again, Graham Nolan, Norm Breyfogle, Doug Moench) doing good work telling a sprawling but uncomplicated Batman story. Very worth reading.

Buy Knightfall on Amazon.


If you somehow found a way to beam 8-year-old Jim to the present, gave him like, a half-gallon of espresso, and said “you’re gonna write a Batman story and Jim Lee will draw it,” Hush is the story you’d get. It has very nearly everyone who’s ever been in a Batman story (Catwoman, Nightwing, Clayface, Poison Ivy, Superman, Joker, Huntress, Killer Croc, Riddler, Talia, Ra’s, Jason Todd, even HAROLD THE MECHANIC). And it has some really neat experimental watercolors from Lee that he’s never really duplicated again (though his stint on Batman: Europa came close and was awesome).

Unfortunately, it reads like it was written by an 8-year-old with attention problems, but I fully recognize that I am in the minority on this. GO READ AND ENJOY, FOLKS!

Buy Hush on Amazon.

Batman: Gates of Gotham

Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins tell a story that becomes a hallmark of Snyder’s later run on Batman (we’ll get there too): Gotham City and its sinister history.

Gates of Gotham is as much about how Gotham became the abandoned amusement parks and dilapidated chemical factories we see today. It’s got the family histories of the Cobblepots and the Waynes intertwined with some deep architectural nerdery around the bridges in the city, but does a tremendous job of fleshing out Gotham as a character in its own right, and a good Gotham is key to a good Batman story.

If after trying Gates of Gotham and find yourself enjoying the story about the city, you should absolutely try No Man’s Land, five volumes of Batman fighting to maintain order in a Gotham City cut off from the rest of America by an earthquake and terrible politics. Or Dark Knight, Dark City, probably the best Riddler story ever told and one that plays heavily on the secret history of the city.

Buy Batman: Gates of Gotham on Amazon.

Batman & Son

Grant Morrison’s first arc on Batman is also his most accessible: a good way to try it out and see if you might want to hang around. It introduces Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son from a torrid night of desert passion with Talia al Ghul and a less torrid 36 months of comic book superscience.

It has some of the best art of Andy Kubert’s career – the fight against the Man-Bats in a fake Roy Lichtenstein art gallery is just incredible – and it kicks off one of the most twisting, intricate, incisive story arcs about Batman ever.

If you like this, keep going with it: especially for The Return of Bruce WayneThat’s the lynchpin of Morrison’s story, and it reorganizes and retells Batman’s history in a way that makes explicit what his real power is: friendship. I’m kidding, but I’m also not kidding: it’s incredible.

Buy Batman & Son on Amazon

Batman: The Black Mirror

There is some legitimate debate as to whether or not this is the best Dick Grayson-as-Batman story of all time, and considering this ran simultaneously to Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin, that should tell you something. It is inarguably the best detective story in Batman in the last 20 years. The story twists and turns through Grayson's past at the circus, a drug ring in Gotham, and the return of James Gordon, Jr, the Commissioner's psychopath son. Any more details would take some fo the enjoyment away from reading. 

The art is nothing short of magnificent. Jock (who would later go on to work with Snyder on the outstanding horror book Wytches) handles the Batman-centric chapters, while Francesco Francavilla (who is hugely responsible for the greatness that is Afterlife with Archie) took the chapters that focused on the Gordons. This book is an absolute masterpiece.

Buy Batman: The Black Mirror on Amazon

Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have done something special on New 52 Batman. Not only have the stories they’ve told together been almost universally excellent, but they are probably the most consistent creative team in comics in the last 15 years: every year you get 11 issues of dynamic art from Capullo, a Batman who’s an incredible combination of the lithe, ninja gymnast of Jim Aparo and the brute force of nature from Frank Miller; 12 issues of big, high concept detective Batman mixed in with dense worldbuilding from Snyder; and an annual or a zero issue or a villain POV gimmick that Snyder uses to lay groundwork for future stories while also bringing someone else into the Bat-universe.

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe this should be the first introduction to Batman comics for new readers: it is a distillation of everything I love about Batman, executed incredibly well.

The Court of Owls was their first story together, about a mysterious, mythical secret society that runs Gotham and is not pleased with Batman for upsetting the social order. It’s got an assload of guest stars, a great secret conspiracy, and fun art. It’s kind of like Hush, only well-written.

If you like this, you should keep going with Snyder and Capullo's New 52 Batman, and you should definitely check out Dark Nights: Metal. As of publication, it's still being published, but it is BANANAS. It ties together threads from all of Snyder's run and mixes them with a healthy dose of Morrison's mythology. He then runs it past Capullo, who tells Snyder "I love it, but bro, make it CRAZIER." So Snyder adds in a new Hawkman origin, baby Darkseid, and literally the flipped over map of the multiverse from Multiversity to make one of the most batshit comics I've ever read. 

Buy Batman vol. 1: The Court of Owls on Amazon.

Batman & Robin Vol. 5: The Big Burn

Don’t be fooled by the name: Robin is nowhere to be found. Misnomer aside, though, this is probably the strongest arc of what was quietly one of the best runs on Batman ever.

Pete Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Mick Gray were given the unenviable task of following Grant Morrison on a series full of typical Morrisonian pitfalls. This is a task, following Morrison, that nearly everyone fails at, and actually led to some of the most atrocious X-Men comics of all time. But Tomasi, Gleason, and Gray nailed it, finding a voice for Damian Wayne that worked, understanding that he was basically imperious little Bruce, and then playing him off of a suddenly-uncertain Batman, thrust into the role of having to actually be a parent instead of the ward/general role he’d been for decades.

Then, when Damian was killed in another book, they had to find something to do while the rest of the Batman line dealt with the fallout. So they paired him with Two-Face, one of Batman’s best villains and one who had been relatively quiet since the New 52 relaunch, and gave the two of them a case that dipped into their shared history. The story that came out of it ended up being my favorite Two-Face story of all time, one that was full of emotion and had the moment that most shocked me in comics in a long, long time. PS. The Long Halloween is steaming garbage and you’ll never convince me otherwise.

If you like this, keep going with Tomasi and Gleason’s Batman & Robin. It’s a really entertaining Batman comic.

Buy Batman & Robin volume 5: The Big Burn on Amazon.

Batman: Rebirth

Tom King, in his own methodical and deliberate way, is in the midst of a great run on Batman that he started with the Rebirth relaunches. With art partners Mikel Janin, David Finch and Mitch Gerads, he's scraping at what it truly means to be Batman and digging waaaaaaaaaaaay deep into the mythology to tell a moving, personal story that also involves the Psycho Pirate, Batman creating his own Suicide Squad, and a gang war between the Joker and the Riddler that kills thousands. 

The big arcs - "I am Batman," "I am Suicide," "I am Bane," and "The War of Jokes and Riddles" - are huge and fantastic. They're also interspersed with little moments and side issues that are wonderful (and, in the case of the Ace the Bathound story from an annual, Eisner-winning). The two issues where he investigates a murder with Swamp Thing are particularly good. And if you read through this whole series and don't go from "Kite Man! Hell yeah!" to "Holy crap, Kite Man," I will give you one crisp dollar.*

*Monopoly money that I scanned and emailed to you.

Buy Batman: Rebirth Volume 1  - I Am Gotham on Amazon

Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth

Not the video game, surprisingly enough, though they’re mostly excellent (Arkham Origins is broken dumpster scum, but otherwise :gives ok hand gesture:). Arkham Asylum is a cerebral, tense history of the institution itself, told through a Dante’s Inferno-esque (also not the game) descent through Batman’s rogues gallery.

Morrison wrote this and teamed with Dave McKean, who later found greater fame doing covers for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. McKean used many of the same tricks (collage, paint, having a nervous breakdown localized in his drawing hand) he did on those covers to make this one of the most interesting and interpretive Batman comics of all time.

Buy Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth on Amazon.

The Black Casebook

Originally released as a companion to Morrison’s Batman R.I.P., The Black Casebook reprints a bunch of the zany, weird ‘50s Batman comics that Morrison leaned heavily on to craft his tale. So you get “Robin Dies At Dawn,” where Batman willingly enters into an isolation experiment and hallucinates that Robin died; or “Batman – The Superman of Planet X,” introducing the Batman of the planet Zurr-en-Arrh.

It’s wild, but it’s got some great stuff from Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff, one a co-creator of Batman who got screwed royally by Bob Kane, and the other the guy who co-created Batgirl.

Buy The Black Casebook on Amazon.

Gotham Central

Gotham Central actually makes me a little mad. Not because it’s not good (it is), but because this is the perfect PERFECT comic to translate into a TV show, and instead we get Gotham, a poorly lit Batman ’66.

Gotham Central is Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Michael Lark doing a police procedural in a world where Batman exists on the edges of police work. If it was translated fairly faithfully, it would probably be the best procedural that’s ever been put on TV.

Buy Gotham Central on Amazon.

Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga

You’re not going to see anything in this that reminds you of Batman v Superman. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read this. Or maybe it does?

Jiro Kuwata was handed the reins of a licensed Batman manga in 1967 at the height of the show’s popularity. He made nearly 1000 pages of the comic, and then they faded into obscurity for 20 years until the mid ‘90s, when Chip Kidd, a graphic designer and huge Batman fan, discovered its existence on a tip from his friend David Mazzuchelli (of Batman: Year One fame). So he found them, wrote them up, and convinced DC to reprint them digitally in 2014, and now we get to read Kuwata’s pure ‘60s sci-fi Batman adventures.

If Gotham Central proves the versatility of the Batman mythos, Batmanga does the same for Batman’s iconography.

Buy Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga on Amazon.

Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams: Volume 3

Normally, I’d just tell you to buy all three (or the giant omnibus that just came out), but this is meant to be an introduction, so presumably you don’t have $100 to spend and you want one of the best Batman stories ever. You get that with “The Joker’s Five Way Revenge.”

Adams and Denny O’Neil were in reality the ones who brought Batman back from the campiness of the ‘60s TV show, and they brought the Joker back from the same campiness with this story, where he kills people with exploding cigars, garrotes, and tries to get one guy with a shark.

Also in this volume: the introduction of Ra's and Talia al Ghul.

Buy Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams: Volume 3 on Amazon.

Tales of the Batman by Len Wein

Wein is probably more known for co-creating Wolverine and Swamp Thing, but he also created Lucius Fox, who we see featured prominently here. Wein’s Batman isn’t earth-moving; it’s just good, straightforward Batman stories, using just about everyone in Batman’s rogues gallery (Crazy Quilt!) paired with some incredible artists – Adams, Walt Simonson, Aparo, Irv Novick.

Buy Tales of the Batman by Len Wein on Amazon.

Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo

Neal Adams is probably the artist most responsible for Batman’s look from about ’75 to ’85, but for me, my own personal forever Batman will be Jim Aparo’s. If you ever had any of those old Kenner action figures, the ones with the cloth cape, you’ve seen Aparo’s Batman.

If Miller’s Batman looks like he’s going to leave a crater if he dropped to the ground, Aparo’s looks like he’s going to float down, then kick the hell out of your face before you even realize he’s there. Not slight, but like, 6’8”, lean and incredibly graceful. Reading it just makes me feel happy.

Buy Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo on Amazon.

Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers

If you’ve watched The Animated Series, you are probably passingly familiar with this: the episode where Joker tried to copyright fish infected with Joker toxin to make himself a millionaire has its roots in a story by Steve Engleheart and Rogers in what is universally regarded as one of the all-time great Joker stories ever told.

This collection gathers together much of Engleheart and Rogers’ run, and it’s a classic, featuring probably the best Bat-ladyfriend ever: Silver St. Cloud, who subsequent creative teams mostly left alone out of respect for the great work this team did.

Buy Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers on Amazon.

Batman: Black & White

A mid-‘90s anthology, Batman: Black & White has a bunch of 8-page stories written and drawn by legends, each giving their own quick take on the character. The first volume has a great story from Neil Gaiman, as well as work from Walt Simonson (officially recognized as the site’s favorite artist of all time—don’t you dare edit this, Mike), Howard Chaykin, Matt Wagner, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Katsuhiro Otomo. If that name is only ringing a faint bell, he’s the guy who created and drew Akira. So yeah, this is amazing.

Buy Batman: Black & White on Amazon.


With Avengers 4 expected to be the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it, could Marvel Studios be planning an epic reunion of sorts with the return of another fan-favorite? Come take a look!

Blindspot Season 3: Who’s Behind Jane’s New Light-Up Tattoos?

As we go into the third season of Blindspot, one of the big changes is that Luke Mitchell (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) is now a series regular. Series creator Martin Gero is confirming that Mitchell’s character, Roman, is behind Jane’s (Jaimie Alexander) new light-up tattoos. This was the big reveal at the end of Season 2, but now the show is going to jump ahead two years — and everyone has secrets.


Gero told TVLine:

“It would be fair to guess that Roman is behind it, but it’s not about Sandstorm. It’s not about taking over the American government. It’s a whole new thing now. Luke Mitchell is a series regular this year. He’s in every episode. He’s our main bad guy, and first and foremost, he’s really hurt. Jane is the closest person to him in the world, and she chose Weller and the FBI over him. He’s been hurting about that. This isn’t the only reason for the tattoos, but there’s certainly a punitive part of the tattoos where he’s trying to imprison Jane by them in many ways.”

He seemed so nice as Lincoln Campbell on S.H.I.E.L.D.

Blindspot returns for its third season starting October 27th on NBC.

The post Blindspot Season 3: Who’s Behind Jane’s New Light-Up Tattoos? appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Batman Crashes the Watchtower in Dark Nights Metal Tie-In Preview

Batman Crashes the Watchtower in Dark Nights Metal Tie-In Preview

DC Comics has released (via Newsarama) preview pages for the Batman: Murder Machine one-shot ahead of the Dark Nights: Metal tie-in’s release on Wednesday, September 27.

RELATED: Could DC’s Crime Syndicate Actually Originate From The Dark Multiverse?

You can check out CBR’s review of Dark Nights: Metal #2, the latest issue in DC’s hit event series, here, in addition to an annotated breakdown of the issue. The next issue in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s “rock ‘n roll” epic hits stands on October 11.

Take a look at DC’s Dark Nights: Metal – Batman: The Murder Machine #1 preview below.


  • Written by FRANK TIERI
  • Cover by JASON FABOK
  • As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can even the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of familiar figures? Find out in these special tie-in issues!
  • ONE-SHOT • On sale SEPTEMBER 27 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • FOIL-STAMPED COVER • RATED T+

RELATED: Miller & Lee’s All-Star Batman is a G*ddamn Dark Multiverse Hero

The post Batman Crashes the Watchtower in Dark Nights Metal Tie-In Preview appeared first on CBR.

DuckTales Episode 2 Review: Daytrip of Doom!

The new DuckTales works so well because its characters can make any situation hilarious and heartfelt.

This DuckTales review contains spoilers.

DuckTales Episode 2

Webby is the greatest character to befall television in 2017. I know we’re only two episodes into DuckTales but “Daytrip of Doom” uses every moment she’s on screen to just make you love her. Haven’t we all felt like Webby at some point in our lives? Not exactly sure how to handle a social situation? Desperately trying to overcompensate to disguise your insecurities?

The whole sequence of her bouncing around the bus was so perfect not just because it’s funny but because it’s all born out of something kind of sad about Webby. She’s never really seen the outside world. Thankfully the show doesn’t turn this into an angst fest but it does make all the scenes have a great deal of heart as well as laughs. 

DuckTales is living up to its promise of being a show about families. Webby is trying to fit in but, as she learns, she doesn’t need to change who she is. Yeah, both her and the triplets need to adjust a bit but they don’t have to hide parts of themselves.

The same thing holds true for Donald and Mrs. Beakley, although those two arrive at that conclusion with a bit more work. Seeing Donald attempt to hook up all those generators on his boat is the kind of visual gag humor that all shows should aspire to. It does so much without needing to say a word. Donald’s over the top anger is the definition of classic comedy and this new series has already captured it perfectly.

Mrs. Beakley, who didn’t get a lot to do in the pilot, now finally gets a real chance to shine and of course she’s brilliant. No wonder she’s a spy, she can handle all that pressure without totally cracking!

Everything about this show is on point. The introduction of the Beagle Boys contains just enough information without getting bogged down in exposition. The casual way they address that armored car driver is not only a great gag but says everything you need to know about them.

While the opening special really showed off the globe trotting aspect of DuckTales, I’m glad this episode really pulled back on it. It’s nice to know the series can pull of a more mundane (for DuckTales anyway) kind of episode so early on. We don’t need any magic curses, plane crashes, or huge adventure to have a great time.

This is all thanks to the characters who already feel so lived in. Part of that credit of course goes to the writers and animators but those actors sell each and every line.

Not only is Kate Micucci astounding as Webby, everyone else in the cast is on top form. I know there had been some complaints about the triplets all sounding like adults but I have zero problem with it. These guys are hilarious! Dewey instructing Webby how to play a video game instrument was comedic gold. 

Nothing will beat Scrooge replacing the cucumbers on his face with coins. So simple yet so perfect. Also great to see some hints dropped at Mrs. Beakley’s background. I hope her and Donald get to work more together because they’re already a great pair. 

DuckTales doesn’t lose any ground in its second episode and proves just how talented everyone involved with it is. This series is going to be a real winner.

Also, did you catch Webby taking along “The Art of War” in her bag? HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HER? WEBBY IS LIFE.

Shamus Kelley is like a hurricane here in Duckberg. Follow him on Twitter!  

Review Shamus Kelley
Sep 23, 2017

Frank Cho Has A New Fan Of His Wonder Woman Art

From Baltimore Comic-Con, Frank Cho has discovered he has a new fan of his work on Wonder Woman, which should stand him in good stead ahead of his planned Wonder Woman graphic novel:

Frank Cho told Lynda Carter and other attendees that she was the original model for many of the women that Cho draws.

Always nice to see you flying the flag, Frank!

The post Frank Cho Has A New Fan Of His Wonder Woman Art appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

25 Harley Quinns for 25 Years

It's like 7 brides for 7 brothers, but crazier and more popular.

News Jim Dandy
Sep 23, 2017

To celebrate Harley Quinn's 25th anniversary this Batman Day, Bruce Timm released a thank you video to fans highlighting 25 Harley Quinns from the past 25 years.

Quinn was created in 1992 by Timm and Paul Dini for Batman: The Animated Series. Voiced by Arleen Sorkin, her first appearance was in "Joker's Favor," one of the best short Joker stories ever told. She was an instant sensation. Two years later, Dini and Timm won an Eisner and a Harvey for her origin story, Mad Love. She hung around the animated continuity for years, eventually appearing as the grandmother to two Joker gang twins in Batman Beyond and making an appearance in almost every Batman animated adventure that followed. 

Harley's transition to the comics happened in 1999's "No Man's Land" series, where Gotham was isolated from the rest of the USA by a massive earthquake and left to fend for itself. It ended with Lex Luthor funding most of the rebuilding in an extensive land grab, while the Joker shot the Commissioner's wife in the head on Christmas. In hindsight, though, this seems like a relatively light and cheery time.

It wasn't until 2013 that Harley became the character we know and love today. Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti took over the book and immediately set about knocking down the fourth wall (fortunately not load bearing in Harley's world). They've run the book as a comedy since, and they have a new story leading off this year's Batman Day special issue. And DC has put out a collection of Harley stories through the years, where Connor and Palmiotti are well represented. 

Let's see how many of the Harley Quinns you can recognize from the video. I got 13, with a vague memory of another 6. Take a look!

16 Uncovered Pieces Of Concept Art From Tim Burton’s Batman Movies

16 Uncovered Pieces Of Concept Art From Tim Burton’s Batman Movies

Long before Christopher Nolan brought Bruce Wayne’s alter ego to the big screen with Batman Begins, Tim Burton put the “dark” in Dark Knight with his gothic take on the character in Batman and its sequel, Batman Returns. Both films were received well by fans and critics and also “paved the way for superhero franchises”, as well as birthing the concept of a modern blockbuster. So why was Batman, in particular, so successful? Well, there’s plenty to love about it. Many comic book fans praise Burton, and writers Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren, for their depiction of the characters while more spend entire afternoons arguing that Michael Keaton’s Batman is the best cinematic version yet — even over Christian Bale’s — to this very day.

RELATED: The Dark Knight Trilogy: 15 Pieces Of Eye-Popping Concept Art

Surrounding its release, it was the film’s visual style that was lauded and earned production designer Anton Furst and art director Peter Young an Academy Award for Best Set Decoration. While Batman Returns didn’t win such accolades, it was nominated for Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects, proving that the series’ aesthetics were their best features. But how did those visuals come to be? CBR looks back on the gorgeous concept art from both films to see…


With his tragic backstory, moody personality and fondness for the shadows, Batman is regarded as one of DC’s darkest characters today, but he wasn’t always. A few years after his introduction — until the ’80s, in fact — he became more lighthearted in the comics and that was reflected in the 1943 motion picture. Adam West emphasized this when he played Batman as a campy, cowl-wearer in his well-loved television series. But when Tim Burton was charged with bringing the Caped Crusader to the big screen, he was sure he wanted to go back to his gloomier origins.

“From the outset, Tim wanted Batman to be a very dark film,” concept artist David Russell said. “I started out designing in pencil, then black but Tim kept wanting an even darker style of imagery, so at the very end of my assignment, I switched to white pencil and black paper.”


As well as being a talented screenwriter, producer and director, Tim Burton is also a dab-hand at drawing. So much so, that he’s even had books and museum installations dedicated to displaying his artwork. With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that when it was time to knock-up some concept art for Batman, he rose to the challenge.

These images show his initial ideas for how Jack Nicholson’s version of The Joker should have looked, complete with bright green hair and manic expression. While the middle illustration is quite conventional, in terms of matching what the character typically looks like in the comic books, the others look wonderfully inventive. We particularly love the white and red pin-striped suit in the sketch on the right and the idea of The Joker being in disguise on the left!


In Batman (1989), one of the film’s climactic scenes sees Batman use the Batwing to take down The Joker and of course, the machinery had to be designed before it featured so heavily in the movie. Above is one of concept artist David Russell’s early drafts as to what the vehicle should have looked like and we love that is actually resembles a real-life bat.

If you look closely, you can see the slight upturn on the front of the aircraft which reminds us of a common bat’s snout while its headlights are exactly where the animal’s eyes would be. The vehicle’s fixed wings also look like a bat’s, with their articulated design. Unsurprisingly, the Batwing ended up looking more streamlined and like the hero’s iconic bat-shaped symbol rather than a typical jet… but that’s still cool, right? Batman certainly has consistency when it comes to his gadgets…


Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman suit from Batman Returns is one of cinema’s most iconic comic book-inspired looks. So it’s unsurprising that the striking ensemble was a collaboration of ideas between costumer designers Mary Vogt and Bob Ringwood and Burton himself.

“Tim came up with the stitches,” Vogt previously admitted. “Bob and I were like, stitches? On latex? How do we do that? So we sculpted stitches in cast and glued them on. It looked terrible! So we decided to brush her in silicon. After she had the costume on, we painted the [liquid] on her and she’s dripping all over the place. Because it’s so shiny and she was moving around at night, it looked really fluid. It’s like she’s wearing black glass, the suit looks like a beautiful, dark sculpture. We wanted it to be elegant, sexy and modern, very high-tech while still being kind of homey-looking and organic.”


Contrary to popular belief, Burton’s mind doesn’t always see things in muted color palettes or monochrome. In fact, his imagined visuals can often be quite colorful in and these two pieces of concept art prove just that. Unlike a lot of Batman’s dark imagery, Burton envisioned an almost romanticized moment during The Joker’s take on Gotham City’s 200th Anniversary Parade, where the Dark Knight would swoop down from a teddy bear-shaped balloon and try to put a stop to the villain’s pandemonium-fueled plans.

In the end however, Batman actually saved the day using the Batwing, zooming down between the skyscrapers of Gotham and severing the ropes that were keeping the poisonous gas-filled blimps tied to The Joker’s float. After he does so though, he flies high above the clouds and hovers the vehicle over the moon for just a split second; arguably paying homage to Burton’s art here.


“I wanted to make Gotham City the ugliest and bleakest Metropolis imaginable,” production designer Anton Furst previously said of his art deco-inspired vision. “We imagined what New York City might have become without a planning commission. [I wanted it to seem like a] city run by crime, with a riot of architectural styles. As if hell erupted through the pavement and kept on going.”

“All the buildings — except the cathedral — are dwarfed by the geometric savagery of the Flugelheim Museum, whose brutal exterior is more akin to locomotive design than an art gallery like the Guggenheim.” Furst emphasized the dark side of Batman’s story and heroism with his backdrop. His Gotham is nothing short of imposing, with its huge, garish skyscrapers packed so tightly together, they block out the sun from all of the city’s residents. Well, Mr. Wayne does love the shadows…


Batman’s suit has changed many times on the big screen. Most notably with his color shift from blue and gray to black; something that fans have Bob Ringwood to thank for. The British costume designer and concept artist previously explained that he “decided [early on] that his Batman was not going to be in blue knickers” because he “hated” them.

“Bats are black, of course — not blue — and black is much more sinister and sexy. After talking to Batman creator Bob Kane, we found out that he had always thought of Batman as being in black, but that it was very difficult to draw a black-on-black drawing for the comic strip. He had drawn it in blue so that he could use different tones of the color for effect. In his mind, the blue was just a symbolic version of black. Our black costume was nearer his original concept.”


In Batman, Keaton’s Bruce Wayne reveals his crimefighting alter ego to his love interest, Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) and subsequently introduces her to the Batcave. David Russell visualized what that scene might have looked like and we love how his imagery looks as if it could have been lifted right out of a DC Comics’ issue.

You can see how Wayne — in full Batman get-up — is gesturing towards Vale, as the camera shoots her from behind. The frame only allows the future audience to see part of his private quarters, most notably a number of computer screens in the background. Interestingly, as director Tim Burton was so keen to have his visuals as dark as possible, Russell actually sketched the art with white pencil on black paper; only picking up the highlights rather than drawing outlines. His results ended up heavily influencing the way the scene was lit.


With his short, rotund figure and pointed nose, supervillain Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin, is arguably one of the most Burton-friendly characters. In the film, he’s almost caricature-like but all of that just adds to the creepy nature of his look. Mark ‘Crash’ McCreery’s sketches — from before Danny DeVito even stepped into the costume — are just as nightmarish with their up-close depictions of his face.

They see the concept artist experiment with different hairlines and alternative nose shapes and sizes, whilst also testing what Cobblepot would look like with a lavish fur coat and top hat on. The images also see what he’d look like carrying an umbrella — which comic book fans will know, is synonymous with his character — and how he could wear a monocle over one of his eyes. You see, for all of his sewer-dwelling, the Penguin was quite a smartly-dressed ol’ fellow!


While the year Batman is set is never explicitly stated, it is hinted at throughout the movie. For example, when Kim Basinger’s character is reading a newspaper and the hailing of Mexican President Miguel Aleman by President Truman at a Motorcade parade — which happened in 1947 — is mentioned and another newspaper stating that Hungary’s Prime Minister was Ferenc Nagy (who was elected in 1947).

It’s clear that that era inspired the final look of the Batmobile too. Talking about its design, production designer Anton Furst previously explained: “We looked at jet aircraft components. We looked at war machines. We looked at all sorts of things. “In the end, we went into pure expressionism; taking the Salt Flat Racers of the ‘30s and the Sting Ray macho machines of the ‘50s. The car was built upon a Chevrolet Impala when previous development with a Jaguar and Ford Mustang failed.”


When it came to designing The Joker’s look for Batman, costume designer and artist Bob Ringwood previously confessed that it wasn’t too much of a challenge. The reason being that he took inspiration from actor Jack Nicholson, whose own style and love of fashion inspired the costumes of the character he famously brought to life.

“He adores clothes,” Ringwood said. “So all we did was just reinterpret the clothes that The Joker wears in the drawings to work with Nicholson’s personality. To do clothes with him is a joy ride, really, because he just loves them. He is really with you and he’s suggesting things and inventing things and doing things. He’s wonderful.” Turns out, one of the reasons why Nicholson embraced The Joker’s iconic color scheme wholeheartedly was because the character’s purple overcoat reminded him of the Lakers, the basketball team he supported.


Concept artist Bob Ringwood has made no secret of the fact that his designs for both the sets and characters in Batman were inspired by the ’40s. Just how much that era influenced the film’s look however, is perhaps best evidenced in the Gotham City Police Department’s clothes. In his sketch, the men are seeing wearing pinstriped suits with large lapels and flashy buttons, smart-looking ties and trilby hats. They’re even shown smoking at their desks; a quintessential image if trying to set the scene of a male-orientated office which would have existed decades ago.

We especially love the dark browns, blue and blacks of the police force which seem to align them closer to Batman than the law-breaking Joker and his brightly colored hair and suits. It somehow eludes to an allegiance between the officers and the vigilante who helps them dish out justice.


When he’s not producing, writing or directing movies, it’s well-known that Tim Burton is a keen artist. So it stands to reason that he was heavily involved throughout the concept art stages of both Batman movies. Here, he conjured up what his baddie bunch might look like; a group consisting of Danny DeVito’s Penguin, a fire breather, a Strong Man, two clowns and an organ grinder and his monkey.

For those who aren’t too familiar with the film, the cronies depicted are actually Burton’s visualization of the Red Triangle Circus Gang, a ragtag team of carnival performers who team up with the Penguin to take down Batman. However, they soon turn their backs on their former leader when his plans to destroy Gotham fail and they fear they will get caught. Other members of the group include the sword swallower, the snake lady, an acrobatic thug and The Poodle Lady.


It doesn’t really get any better than penguin henchmen, does it? And fortunately, Batman Returns delivered the goods by having several of them! But before they could appear in the film, concept artists Mark ‘Crash’ McCreery and Tim Flattery had to work out what they were going to look like.

In McCreery’s black-and-white sketches, the penguins are realistic and sport all kinds of interesting weaponry such as a bullet-dispensing headdress and stripy gas canisters. Flattery’s images — on the other hand — are much more cartoon-like and embody the campy tone of Burton’s final film a little more closely. His penguin’s gadgets are slightly more out-there (and threatening) too. We particularly love the one with the pop-out boxing glove, even if it does resemble something The Joker uses to smash his own television in Batman.


Towards the end of Batman (1989), the titular hero and The Joker face-off, after the latter plots to kill the residents of Gotham City by throwing a celebratory parade and then spraying them with his namesake’s venom. In the scene, Batman goes after the baddie in his Batwing; something that concept artist David Russell visualizes in the painting above.

The artwork shows Nicholson’s Joker running away from the Batwing but unsurprisingly, such a perilous moment isn’t enough to wipe the huge grin of his face. While it may look like Batman has got the upper hand here, as he aims for his enemy’s turned back, The Joker actually stands firm against the Batwing’s fire in the film. As the aircraft approaches, he pulls out a big gun — just like the one Russell envisioned above — and shoots the Batwing out of the sky.


After Batman Returns, Burton was set to helm the third instalment. However, the studio ended up ditching the director — as they wanted to tone down the darkness of the franchise — and hired Joel Schumacher instead. Before he was ousted out, Burton intended to have Marlon Wayans play Robin in the film but Schumacher had other ideas; casting Chris O’Donnell in the role.

The movie — which also starred Val Kilmer, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman — was slated by critics and fans, with many claiming Schumacher’s colorful, campy Batman Forever didn’t sit well with how people perceived the Caped Crusader’s big screen version. Batman and Robin’s costumes were a particular sore spot or more accurately, the addition of “nipples” on the suits were. Looking at what Burton and artist Bob Ringwood had in mind in the above image makes it even sorer.

Which piece of art is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

The post 16 Uncovered Pieces Of Concept Art From Tim Burton’s Batman Movies appeared first on CBR.

Supernatural Season 13: Missouri Moseley Returns After 12 Years

Supernatural is bringing back a character that hasn’t been on the show since season 1. Loretta Devine (The Carmichael Show) will be reprising her role as psychic Missouri Moseley in the upcoming third episode of the CW series’ thirteenth season.

The character first appeared in 2005 in an episode called ‘Home’ that involved Sam having nightmares about their former home in Lawrence, Kansas, where the current occupants — a mother and two small kids — are extremely accident prone. They consult Moseley, their father’s old medium friend, and together with the help of their mother’s spirit, are able to confront the evil poltergeist. A second ghost intervenes and someone hides behind Moseley.

Missouri Moseley

Fast forward 12 years and the boys have changed and Moseley returns. Executive producer Andrew Dabb told TVLine:

“We’ll find out the reasons why we haven’t seen her in a few years. She is one of the few people still around who can comment on what Sam and Dean were like versus what they are like [now]. The last time she saw Sam and Dean, Sam was just out of college, and Dean was struggling with being his own man, still kind of in his dad’s shadow. They are not those guys anymore.”

Supernatural Season 13 kicks off on Thursday, October 12th at 8 p.m. on the CW.

The post Supernatural Season 13: Missouri Moseley Returns After 12 Years appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Star Trek: The 10 Worst Starfleet Admirals

Here are ten terrible Admirals that Starfleet must have been mad to promote...

Feature Juliette Harrisson
Sep 23, 2017

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

You would think Starfleet would be very careful about who they promote to Admiral, running numerous psychological tests, only promoting those with a solid track record as Captain and keeping a close eye on them for signs of inappropriate behavior. But no. Based on the evidence of this sorry lot, Starfleet generally just promote whoever happens to be in the vicinity and looks good in the fancy uniform.

As will become clear below, this is particularly true of Admirals sent to work with the Federation’s flagship, the USS Enterprise. During the 24th century, the appearance of an Admiral on the bridge of the Enterprise is generally a solid indicator of upcoming shenanigans. We can only presume Starfleet had become aware of their impending lunacy and sent them to the mysteriously un-promoted Captain Picard to sort them out.

10. Admiral Owen Paris, Star Trek: Voyager (Richard Herd)

Presumed reason for promotion: He served as Captain on the USS Al-Batani, with Kathryn Janeway as his Science Officer. While we don’t wish to cast aspersions on one of Starfleet’s few female captains, Janeway does seem to prefer nepotism as her primary reason for promoting anybody (promoting Chakotay’s bestie to Chief Engineer, Paris’ convicted felon son to pilot AND nurse, and let’s not get in to her feelings about Chakotay himself) and makes it to Admiral surprisingly quickly herself, so we assume she had something to do with it.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Admiral Paris was put in charge of the project dedicated to finding his own lost son, which is a clear conflict of interest, but to be fair that’s his superior’s fault. According to his son, he never changes his opinion once its fixed, which probably isn’t a great trait in an explorer and diplomat.

Other bad behavior: The potential conflict of interest didn’t seem to make much difference anyway, since Admiral Paris was prepared to make time to talk to Captain Janeway about the Doctor’s moonlighting as a popular fiction author, but not, it seems, to actually talk to his son or daughter-in-law. When he welcomes Janeway and the crew home, one or both of them switch off the channel before he’s as much as said ‘hi’ to his son, and seconds before he could have heard the first gurgles of his newly born granddaughter.

Suggested disciplinary measures: He’s a bit odd, but hasn’t done anything to deserve demotion. Yet.

9. Admiral Haftel, Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Offspring (Nicholas Coster)

Presumed reason for promotion: His grumpy-face is quite something to behold and probably fits in quite well in the Grumpy Admirals’ Mess Hall.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Data has built a new android in his spare time and presumably at the non-capitalist 24th century version of his own expense. Haftel is convinced Starfleet have a right to take her/it away from him. Considering Data’s autonomy was already established at length in his own earlier trial, either Lal is his property and cannot be stolen, or she is his daughter and cannot be kidnapped. Either way, Haftel is clearly in the wrong here.

Other bad behavior: He’s really mean about it, too.

Suggested disciplinary measures: Someone needs to take away his favorite toy and/or first-born child.

8. Admiral Satie, Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Drumhead (Jean Simmons)

Presumed reason for promotion: Classic Hollywood actress Jean Simmons’ poise and elegance were surely an impressive sight at Starfleet Balls.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Having called Picard to the stand during an official inquiry, when his answers annoy her, Satie accuses him of treason and launches into a xenophobic tirade that results in her removal from the case.

Other bad behavior: While she is technically in the right in exposing Crewman Tarses as half-Romulan, not half-Vulcan, its a rather ungenerous thing to do and carries with it the whiff of Space Racism.

Suggested disciplinary measures: Enforced retirement is probably the answer here.

7. Admiral James T. Kirk, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search For Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (William Shatner)

Presumed reason for promotion: Starfleet probably heard about Kirk’s rather personal approach to diplomacy, especially with young, attractive, female aliens, and decided to promote him out of harm’s way.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Inciting other officers to disobey orders and sabotage the Federation’s flagship, the USS Excelsior, stealing the USS Enterprise and blowing up the USS Enterprise (though we can probably let him off that last one, since it was full of Klingons at the time).

Other bad behavior: Admirals are not supposed to run off to personally command 'little training cruises' in what are clearly remote and inhospitable parts of the galaxy, considering there are never any other Starfleet ships in range.

Suggested disciplinary measures: Kirk is basically rewarded with demotion to Captain (there was a whole saving-the-world incident), which is probably for the best.

6. Admiral Pressman, Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Pegasus (Terry Quinn)

Presumed reason for promotion: He probably intimidated his superiors into doing it. He’s a scary man.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Secretly testing a Federation cloaking device, in violation of a treaty with the Romulans, and then covering it up when things went wrong.

Other bad behavior: He doesn’t seem to care too much that most of his crew, who mutinied in protest at the above-mentioned court martial-worthy behavior and risky scientific experimentation, were all killed trying to shut down the illegal experiment. He also yells at Riker, which is clearly a mistake. No one gets away with yelling at Riker.

Suggested disciplinary measures: Definitely time for a dishonorable discharge. Send him to some remote island, maybe, to think about his mistakes. Throw in a polar bear. Why not.

5. Admiral Dougherty, Star Trek IX: Insurrection (Anthony Zerbe)

Presumed reason for promotion: His beard. He has a Great Admirally Beard of Admiralness.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Conspiring with an alien group to transport their estranged families from their home planet without their knowledge or permission, indirectly killing them as their home planet happens to be a fountain of youth and without it they’ll all die of old age.

Other bad behavior: That pretty much covers it. He didn’t know about the estranged families/revenge aspect of the plot and eventually objected, but too late. He just wanted access to the fountain of youth stuff. As reasons for ‘insurrection’ go, it’s a pretty pathetic one.

Suggested disciplinary measures: Admiral Dougherty had the bad luck to appear in a movie, rather than a TV series, and suffered the unnecessarily grisly fate of death by skin-stretching machine. Dishonorable discharge would have been quite sufficient.

4. Admiral Jameson, Star Trek: The Next Generation - Too Short A Season (Clayton Rohner)

Presumed reason for promotion: He was considered a hero, thanks to his successful cover-up of how he really negotiated a tricky hostage situation. So that probably helped.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Traded weapons with a hostile force in order to obtain the release of hostages, falsified the official records of the incident, then gave weapons to the group’s opponents in an attempt to redress the balance, causing decades of civil war.

Other bad behavior: Like Admiral Dougherty, Jameson was also obsessed with a desire to reverse the aging process, though in his case he at least had the excuse of suffering a debilitating chronic illness as an extra incentive. He really should have told his wife what was up, though.

Suggested disciplinary measures: Jameson is able to die in the hopes of atoning for his mistakes, without a skin-stretching machine being involved. Considering he was trying to prolong his life, this poetic justice is probably enough.

3. Admiral Marcus, Star Trek Into Darkness (Peter Weller)

Presumed reason for promotion: Beards are eschewed in the Abramsverse, but he has a suitably scowly look for an Admiral.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Secretly released genetically enhanced warrior Khan Noonien Singh thinking he could control him, then tried to get Kirk to kill him when he couldn’t, then threatened the entire crew of the USS Enterprise in an attempt to cover it all up.

Other bad behavior: While it’s true that Kirk violated the Prime Directive (who hasn’t?), demoting him, removing him from command, and sending him back to Starfleet Academy was probably excessive punishment.

Suggested disciplinary measures: Being in a movie, Marcus experienced a death only slightly less grisly than Oberyn Martell’s; his poor daughter really didn’t need to see it.

2. Admiral Leyton, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Homefront and Paradise Lost (Robert Foxworth)

Presumed reason for promotion: Judging by his later actions, probably a conspiracy using naive Starfleet cadets to do his dirty work for him.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Conspiring to enact a military coup involving several other officers and a group of elite cadets known as Red Squad, who were ordered to sabotage Earth’s power grid and blame it on Changelings. He also falsified a blood test to make it appear that Captain Sisko was a Changeling.

Other bad behavior: He has a McCarthy-like zeal for identifying and punishing Changelings.

Suggested disciplinary measures: Attempted military coup is surely worth some kind of prison term, not just a resignation. You can’t resign after attempting a military coup. At the very least, you should be dishonorably discharged.

1. Admiral Cartwright, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Brock Peters)

Presumed reason for promotion: He seems pretty competent as an Admiral in Star Trek IV. Plus, his distinct similarity to Sisko’s dad suggests a long family line of loyal service.

Behavior worthy of court martial: Conspiring with a mixed group of Starfleet officers, Klingons and Romulans to assassinate the Klingon Chancellor and the President of the Federation, in order to prevent peace being brokered between their various peoples. Ironically, the conspirators showed a great skill for working together, despite their political differences.

Other bad behavior: Various members of the conspiracy were also responsible for framing Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy and having them sent to Rura Penthe (Klingon Siberia) just before retirement. They should have known they’d have a better chance of success if they managed not to antagonise James T. Kirk.

Suggested disciplinary measures: Presidential assassination is a pretty serious crime. A life sentence in Klingon Siberia would seem appropriate.

Honorable mention: It seems a tad surprising that Captain Janeway, much as I love her, was promoted to Admiral before Captain Picard, but to be fair, we haven’t seen her do anything especially silly as an Admiral, so it didn’t seem entirely fair to put her on the list.

Batman: The Animated Series – 25 Essential Episodes

Batman: The Animated Series turns 25 this month, and it's still the greatest version of the Caped Crusader ever.

The Lists Marc Buxton Mike Cecchini Jim Dandy Gavin Jasper John Saavedra
Sep 23, 2017

On September 5, 1992, Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and a host of talented writers and animators delivered what many people still consider to be the definitive interpretation of a towering pop culture icon with Batman: The Animated Series. Its unforgettable animation style and character designs, distinctive music, and cinematic approach to storytelling that often made viewers feel as if they were watching 22 minute movies made the series an instant classic, and its unique noir-influenced art deco style means that it has retained a timeless appeal. We're always in the mood to revisit this series, but its 25th anniversary was too good an opportunity to pass up.

You may notice that there's a disproportionate number of first season episodes in here. Well, keep in mind that the show had a 65 episode first season, so that accounts for quite a bit. And while really, there are very few episodes of this show that we wouldn't recommend, there was just so much groundbreaking animated brilliance in its earliest episodes that we can't help but gravitate towards them.

So here are our most essential episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. What are yours? Let us know!

"On Leather Wings" - Season 1 Episode 1

When you're not dealing with a heavily serialized drama, it's rare that a first episode is all that "essential." And even when you are, pilots are often not the best examples of what a show can and will grow into. And when you're talking about animation, well, there's rarely any reason to start at the beginning.

Ah, but "On Leather Wings" is different.

Watch Batman: The Animated Series on Amazon Prime

Kicking off an ambitious Batman cartoon at the height of the Dark Knight's popularity with one of his lesser-known villains, the horrific and traffic (but goofily named) Man-Bat was a sign that this show wasn't going to be quite what we expected. There's an uneasy tension between Batman and the police. The horror movie elements of Man-Bat and his origin allow the show to lean heavily into its noir/art deco design. It might not be the best episode of the series, but it doesn't get enough credit for shaking things up right out of the gate.

"Christmas With The Joker" - Season 1 Episode 2

This episode is outrageous, and an absolute holiday treat. It's everything you could possibly want from a Joker episode. The Clown Prince of Crime escapes Arkham Asylum on a Christmas tree (!) and decides to host his very own deadly Christmas special. He even creates a parody version of "Jingle Bells" that would make Weird Al jealous.

The best thing about the episode though is the way it explores Batman's always present paranoia. Despite the fact that all seems to be quiet in Gotham on Christmas Eve, Bruce is unable to take a break and enjoy some holiday cheer. Batman seems almost pleased when his archnemesis shows up to terrorize the city. This episode proves that a fight with the Joker is Batman's ultimate holiday treat. 

"Two-Face" - Season 1 Episode 10-11

Heh-heh. It was a two-parter.

Two-Face’s origin is a collection of gut-punches, one after another. Part of it comes from Harvey Dent having enough of a presence in the previous nine episodes. Not only was he shown to be almost like a brother to Bruce, but we even got to see him casually, yet obsessively, flip his coin at one point. This is a huge step up from some of his other appearances in films the movies, where – casting differences aside – Harvey Dent was a guy that existed in one movie (1989's Batman) and then was an established villain in another (Batman Forever) with no drama connecting the dots. Things were different with The Dark Knight, of course, but you could argue we didn't get enough time to really get to know Harvey before his misfortune.

Nobody has more tragedy to his name than Two-Face in Batman’s world (even Clayface comes to show some acceptance of his condition in his later animated appearances) and seeing his initial fall hurts. With all the adult moments we laud the show for getting away with, the one that sticks out for me will always be how raw and uncomfortable Harvey’s behavior is when he’s defeated. Grace is capable of accepting his blue chemical scars, but even she has to turn away in horror when Two-Face has a mental breakdown like a junkie unable to get his fix.

"I've Got Batman in My Basement" - Season 1 Episode 13

Some fans don't really love this episode, but there's a sort of childhood fanfic quality to "I've Got Batman in My Basement" that can't be ignored. This episode caters to its audience's biggest fantasy: being able to fight alongside Batman and stop the bad guys.

When Batman is attacked by a giant vulture named Scrap, a group of kids decide to help the Caped Crusader hide out from the Penguin and his henchmen, who are searching for the very valuable Vonalster Fabergé Egg. It's up to these junior detectives to hold off the Penguin while Batman recovers in their basement. What follows is the closest BTAS ever got to a Home Alone spoof. It's pretty much everything we ever wanted as kids. 

"Heart of Ice" - Season 1 Episode 14

This isn't just an essential episode, it's arguably the essential episode. Batman: The Animated Series did a tremendous job of distilling everything great about Batman and his world down to the absolute essence, making everything both instantly recognizable and still fresh and new at the same time. But "Heart of Ice" which comes from the core BTAS creative team of Paul Dini (writer) and Bruce Timm (director) went the extra mile.

You see, nobody, and I mean nobody, gave a damn about Mr. Freeze before "Heart of Ice." The character had a mere handful of comic book appearances, and his biggest claim to fame was being played by three different actors on the 1966 Batman TV series. "Heart of Ice" gave him a tragic backstory, a terrific and creepy new design (from Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, no less!) and an unforgettably eerie vocal performance from Michael Ansara. All future Mr. Freeze stories, in comics or on the screen, now take their cues from this episode.

Other Batman: The Animated Series episodes create stories from an alchemy of established Batman mythology. "Heart of Ice" is the established mythology.

"Beware the Gray Ghost" - Season 1 Episode 18

The early '90s was a time when fandom was knee-deep in the belief that the old live-action Batman series was a best forgotten relic and unlike what Batman should be and all that darkness worship. Yet it was the animated series, which itself enveloped Batman in darkness and seriousness that fully embraced and appreciated what Adam West did for the franchise in his three years of campy brilliance. West’s role of Simon Trent in this episode not only plays off of West’s obvious frustrations with only being known as the classic Caped Crusader, but celebrates him for being the champion who made Batman: The Animated Series even possible.

The Batman corner of the DC Animated Universe is not a happy one. The hero is emotionally broken, his enemies are tragic, and the status quo won’t allow for anyone to be fixed. Yet Simon Trent is that glimmer of hope, not only as inspiration for Batman’s style as a heroic noir swashbuckler, but for the way his life shines on after realizing his own worth. Not only does the episode end on a high note for Trent, but the Gray Ghost is shown to be a staple in that world’s pop culture all the way into the Batman Beyond timeframe.

Simon Trent’s legacy lives on in more ways than one.

"Feat of Clay" - Season 1 Episode 20-21

"Feat of Clay" is actually the first time we see Lucius Fox and Roland Daggett in animated form, but that’s not what makes this an essential watch.

Batman: The Animated Series was built on quality and strong, visual storytelling and this two-parter does a great job showing that off. In fact, it’s a good double-feature with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Enter Mutagen Man," which came out a year earlier. Both episodes feature a sympathetic, hideous monster with similar origins and very similar abilities. The Turtles episode paints over the body horror with humor while Batman: The Animated Series lets its freak flag fly.

Matt Hagen’s origin story as Clayface is just so damn horrific, from the character’s understandable desperation pre-and-post-transformation to the animation quality and direction. The way he moves and morphs made the episode something we were too afraid to watch, but too fascinated not to as a kid. There’s so much about it that remains utterly chilling, up to and including the Thriller final shot.

Meanwhile, Mutagen Man permanently transformed himself into a male model and started dating April O’Neil, so yeah.

"Joker's Favor" - Season 1 Episode 22

"Joker’s Favor" is a super tightly written episode. It features an everyday schlub named Charlie Collins who has a moment of slight road rage that causes poor ol' Chuck to cuss out another driver. Sadly for the paunchy, balding Collins, that other driver just happens to be the Joker. What follows is a series of events that sees Charlie spiraling into the Joker’s world of twisted madness.

Sounds like a fun little tale, and it is, but "Joker’s Favor" is even more legendary because it features the first appearance of Harley Quinn. The moment Harley sashays on screen, one can’t help but be captivated by the motley criminal. The instant one hears the voice of Arlene Sorkin bring Harley to life, one is smitten by her Brooklyn twang and her screen presence. With every subsequent appearance, the brain trust behind the show began to flesh out Harley as a character, but it all began here with one of the best written and intense Joker episodes of Batman: The Animates Series’ entire run.

"Fear of Victory" - Season 1 Episode 24

This show took a while to find its feet when it came to the Scarecrow. His second appearance on the show already featured a creepier redesign (but not as creepy as the one to come), for example. But while villains are often at the center of why we're still writing about this show, in this case, it's something else entirely.

This was the first episode broadcast featuring Robin. Yes, "Christmas With the Joker" is technically episode 2. But that didn't air until November (the show premiered in September). Keep in mind that in the early 1990s, Robin wasn't exactly all that cool. He was still absent from the movies, and pop culture's general impression of him was either Burt Ward's pun-slinging Boy Wonder or that the character was, in the comics, dead (the average viewer made no distinction between Dick Grayson and Jason Todd).

So the fact that a third of the season focused on a solo Batman, with the understanding that we'd eventually meet a college aged Robin was a big deal. And when we finally did meet him, voiced with aplomb by Loren Lester and rocking the modern comic book redesign, the primary colors broke the visual tension. And like everything else this show did, it absolutely nailed why The Dynamic Duo are such pop culture icons.

"Perchance to Dream" - Season 1 Episode 30

What if Bruce Wayne never became Batman and instead lived a separate life from the Caped Crusader? In "Perchance to Dream," Bruce gets everything he ever wanted. His parents are still alive, he's the billionaire head of Wayne Industries, and he's engaged to Selina Kyle, who isn't Catwoman in this reality.

Except things are a little strange in this happy reality and Bruce remembers his real life as Batman. With an homage to Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Bruce discovers the truth behind his new life away from Batman. This one has a great twist!

"Robin's Reckoning" - Season 1 Episode 32-33

We never had a comprehensive re-telling of Batman's origin on this show (thank heavens), but we did get the two-part "Robin's Reckoning." An absolutely flawless update of Dick Grayson's origin story from 1941's Detective Comics #38, "Robin's Reckoning" also incorporated elements from other, recent Robin origin re-tellings, using a modern frame to tell a classic story.

Far from the boy scout Boy Wonder image that was the prevailing sense in pop culture at the time, "Robin's Reckoning" brought a little tension to Bruce and Dick's relationship, with Dick's understandable anger about the death of his parents even hinting at elements of the Jason Todd version of Robin. Whenever anyone tries to float the (wrong) idea that Batman stories are better without Robin, be sure to sit them down with this one.

"The Laughing Fish" - Season 1 Episode 34

This episode is one of the earliest direct-ish transpositions of Batman comics to the screen, adapting “The Laughing Fish” by Steve Engleheart and Marshall Rogers, and the all time classic “The Joker’s Five Way Revenge” by Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams. It’s also a hoot.

Any episode written by Paul Dini and directed by Bruce Timm is a good one, but what makes “The Laughing Fish” a classic and emblematic of something great about the series as a whole is how it goes long on the absurdity of the Joker. His plot here is to brand the hell out of a bunch of fish, trademark them, and then get rich because he also cornered the market. When he can't get the trademark, he starts trying to kill people at the...I suppose it’s the Gotham City Patent Office, I guess, who won't give him the trademark. Mark Hamill’s Joker is legendary, one of the greatest voice acting performances of all time, but what made the Joker of Batman: The Animated Series our favorite version of the character is how they threaded the needle on his persona. He’s equal parts dark, evil, chaotic, hilarious, absurd, ridiculous and brilliant.

"Cat Scratch Fever" - Season 1 Episode 36

BTAS produced many great Catwoman stories throughout its run, but none of them can match "Cat Scratch Fever." After Catwoman's pet cat and accomplice, Isis, runs away from home, Selina desperately searches for her in the streets of Gotham.

When she finally finds her beloved cat, she discovers that Isis has become feral. Catwoman quickly unearths a plot by the dastardly businessman Roland Daggett to infect animals with a virus that makes them feral in order to sell the antidote for millions of dollars. While his scheme is pretty convoluted, Selina's love for her cat is not. This turns out to be a heartwarming episode in the end. 

"Heart of Steel" - Season 1 Episode 38-39

Two things about “Heart of Steel” stand out. The first is casting William Sanderson as the guy who built HARDAC, the AI that makes “duplicant” copies of Gotham residents. Sanderson was J.F. Sebastian in Blade Runner where he helped design replicants. That casting decision made it click that the team behind this show was excited about its place in the greater nerd ecosystem.

The second standout is the voice acting. Much has been written about how incredible Kevin Conroy is, but the way he goes between Bruce Wayne voice and Batman growl is fantastic here. At one point he jumps from dark detective to chipper playboy when Lucious calls, and later when he finds Alfred unconscious he goes the opposite way. It adds to the visuals in a way that can't really be described, but it’s wonderful.

"If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?" - Season 1 Episode 40

It's hard to believe that a villain with as large a pop culture footprint as the Riddler could ever be neglected, but it's true. In 1992, the Riddler's stock wasn't terribly high with comic book readers, appearing infrequently in the comics, but regularly on TV reruns of Batman '66, with the legendary Frank Gorshin in the role. 

But few knew Riddler's origins, and they're told succinctly in this episode, years before they got the big screen treatment in the unforgivably irritating Batman Forever. "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich" nods to Riddler's first comic book appearance, adds some appropriately "modern" touches, and decks Ed Nygma out in a sharp, Gorshin-esque jacket, hat, and cane combo.

There are surprisingly few Riddler episodes of this show, so enjoy them where you can.

"Almost Got 'Im" - Season 1 Episode 46

Batman: The Animated Series perfected the short form animated superhero story. Many episodes did more in 22 minutes and change than some superhero movies do in two plus hours. That’s why "Almost Got ‘Im" stands out as extra special.

In this unforgettable anthology episode, Poison Ivy, Penguin, Two-Face, Killer Croc, and Joker each tell an intense short tale of the time each came the closest to killing Batman. Each mini story is framed by a noir-soaked poker game as the episode combines powerful action, superheroics, classical crime fiction tropes, and humor to underscore the special bond between Batman and each of these villains. The episode is underscored by a last second reveal with Croc that is as hilarious as it is enduring. Plus, writer Paul Dini throws in a Catwoman denouement that makes this already perfect episode even more perfect.

"The Man Who Killed Batman" - Season 1 Episode 51

Another Dini/Timm episode, “The Man Who Killed Batman” is more about Gotham’s underworld than it is about Batman, one of a handful of episodes like it. They’re all really good.

Sid “The Squid” Debris is a nebbish, low level hood in Rupert Thorne’s organization. During his first heist in the field, he stumbles his way through a confrontation with Batman, and it looks (to him, to his coworkers, and to the rest of Gotham’s underworld) like Sid manages to kill the Bat. So then a whole bunch of people try and kill Sid. He’s not really a revelatory character in any way but that he provides us with an everyman view of Batman’s world, but it’s so well fleshed out that it still ends up being an engrossing half hour.

"Harley and Ivy" - Season 1 Episode 56

It’s like Thelma and Louise but with Bat villains. "Harley and Ivy" sees the first teaming of DCU BFFs Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. It’s a rollicking, hilarious episode that introduces one of the most enduring friendships in modern comics. Since this episode, Gotham’s most poisonous lady and the clown princess of crime have been inseparable in the hearts and minds of fans. It was also one of the first episodes where Harley gets to shine outside of the shadow of the Joker.

Harley and Ivy team up to escape the pursuit of the GCPD, Batman, and the Joker. Each moment on the lam sees Harley and Ivy grow closer and now their bond is the stuff of legend. During the episode, Poison Ivy declares that, "No man can take us prisoner!" and this battle cry defined the unbreakable friendship between the pair. Those words proved prophetic, too, as its Renee Montoya who ends up bringing them in. Montoya doesn't get much face time in B:TAS, and "Harley and Ivy" serves as her finest hour as well.

"Shadow of the Bat" - Season 1 Episode 57-58

Animated Batgirl is a badass. Barbara Gordon was actually first introduced in “Heart of Steel,” where she was super clever and dressed in Yvonne Craig’s Batman ‘66 color scheme. “Shadow of the Bat” is her proper introduction as Batgirl, when after her father is framed for taking bribes by Two Face and Otter from Animal House, she decides to pose as Batman at a rally to try and score her dad bail. The rally goes wrong and Barbara is forced to fight, and through the rest of the episode, she just can’t stop kicking ass.

It would be ridiculous but for another great feature of this series: the fights are decidedly low-fi, but well staged and meaningful. In the recent animated movies martial arts and speed and complicated fight choreography sometimes take precedence over using the fight to tell the story. In Batman: The Animated Series, everything happens at a pace your eyes can follow, rather than having Batman take out a room full of hoods with nothing but the power of his shaky-cam.

"His Silicon Soul" - Season 1 Episode 62

This is a follow up to “Heart of Steel.” The last Duplicant made by HARDAC was actually a copy of Bruce Wayne/Batman, and when that copy comes to life, it struggles to reconcile its two prime commands: to rebuild HARDAC using the Bat-computer, and to be as realistic a replacement for Batman as possible. This, of course, eventually causes the robot to shut down, but not before there’s some good fighting between him and fleshy Batman, and a discussion of the existential core of Bruce Wayne’s mission as Batman. In a lesser show, this would be one of the standout episodes. It’s not one of the best of this series only because there are so many other amazing ones.

"Showdown" - Season 2 Episode 13

First off, "Showdown" is written by master storyteller Joe R. Lansdale, the man who created Hap and Leonard, Bubba Ho-Tep, and authored award winning novels such as The Bottoms, Sunset and Sawdust, and The Drive-In. So go read yourself some Lansdale.

Watch Batman: The Animated Series on Amazon Prime

In "Showdown" Lansdale has the brass balls to craft an episode of B:TAS almost without Batman, instead taking place in the Old West and featuring the animated debut of one Jonah Hex! In this flashback episode, Hex runs head first into the legacy of Ra’s Al Ghul as Lansdale explores the deep and always fascinating history of the DCU. "Showdown" explores the history of the Demon’s Head and gives depth and meaning to the master villain’s legacy. "Showdown" is visually stunning and just so darn different that it stands out as a must-see episode. While Batman does appear in a framing sequence, "Showdown" is a pure weird Western tale that is as intense as it is unlikely.

"Harley's Holiday" - Season 2 Episode 16

We didn't even need to rewatch “Harley’s Holiday” to remember its best part, or what made it one of the most special episodes of the entire show. This episode was a testament to this team’s approach to Batman and his entire rogues gallery.

In some form or another, there was Dini/Timm Batman on television through the entire ‘90s and early aughts. It’s worth remembering that at the same time in the comics, the dominant paradigm in Batman comics was still largely influenced by Frank Miller’s take, that Batman was a damaged boy trying to compensate for the death of his parents by overcompensating and controlling everything around him. That idea was definitely still there for Dini and Timm’s team - see what happens to Batman when the Black Mercy goes around his chest in JLU’s “For the Man Who Has Everything” a decade later - but the dominant conception of Batman and Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Animated Series was full of compassion. Animated Batman is the kind of person who will fight through hordes of people and wreck his own car to keep someone who has tried to kill him multiple times from losing control of herself. He’s the kind of guy who will shake his villain’s hand when they’ve shown improvement, and who will bring her the dress she bought but lost to reassure her and tell her that it will get better. 

Also, remember how we said the fights in this show were great because they weren’t always about ninja flipping around and kicking the hell out of each other? Well, in this episode, Robin uses fish as nunchaku. Sometimes they’re great for other reasons.

"Over the Edge" - Season 3 Episode 12

You should know within the first couple moments that "Over the Edge" is going to be a “cheating” episode. Having Commissioner Gordon hunt down Batman, call him Bruce Wayne, and blame him for the death of Batgirl isn’t going to stick unless this is the final episode and the writers are in a real Mighty Max kind of mood. No, there’s obviously more to the story.

This episode is sometimes described as a “what if,” and that muddies up the point of what it’s really about. This tense and brutal story isn’t about what would happen, but the out-of-character actions of people imagined by an unreliable and pessimistic writer. The idea that Batman would fight Bane to the death in light of Batgirl’s death or even that Gordon would leave Barbara’s casket at the funeral because he’s that thirsty for revenge are a little too extreme. And that’s the whole point.

Watch Batman: The Animated Series on Amazon Prime

Batman fighting Bane on a rooftop isn’t the big climax to the conflict. No, the actual climax is a post-dinner discussion between family members. Kind of a big contrast to such a crazy episode.

"Legends of the Dark Knight" - Season 3 Episode 19

Fitting that one of the final episodes of Batman: The Animated Series is a love letter to Batman comics history. This episode focuses on a group of kids - one of whom is clearly Carrie Kelly, the Robin from The Dark Knight Returns, and one of them is an uncomfortably sexually stereotyped Joel Shumacher - telling stories about what they know about Batman, before getting caught in the middle of a fight between Batman and Firefly. The stories they tell are homages to classic Batman eras: one, a tale of Batman and Robin taking on the Joker at a music museum in the style of Dick Sprang’s golden age art; and the other is pretty much The Dark Knight Returns up to the fight with the mutant leader in the mudpit.

The art is the real star in this episode. There’s a lot of care and love put into reproducing the rubberiness of Sprang’s golden age work (and Michael McKean’s Joker is great). Similarly, while they don’t get the scratchiness of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s art from DKR, they do get the hulking enormity of the characters, something reinforced by Michael Ironside using his best Darkseid voice to play Batman. If you’ve read any of these books, you will be hard pressed to find something not to like in this episode. Also, props to the cast and crew for crediting Bill Finger, Dick Sprang, and Frank Miller and making sure to leave Bob Kane off the list.

"Mad Love" - Season 3 Episode 21

"Mad Love" is where the Harley-ssance truly began. Originally, "Mad Love" was a 64 page graphic novel published in 1994 written by Paul Dini with art by Bruce Timm and Glen Murakami. It won the Eisner award for Best Single Issue and became one of the most beloved Batman stories of all time. In 1999, Dini and Timm, adapted the "Mad Love" comic into an episode of B:TAS with the same title. The result was ian instant classic.

Before "Mad Love," Harley Quinn was a fun and beloved part of the animated DCU and other than a few shining moments in "Harley and Ivy" and "Harlequinade" to name a few, she was mostly just background color. "Mad Love" changed all that. In the comic and the animated episode, Dini and Timm present the tragic origin of Harleen Quinzel, brilliant psychologist whose life was changed forever when she met and fell in love with the charismatic Joker. "Mad Love" broke traditional animated storytelling ground by focusing on Joker and Harley's abusive relationship and its sexual nature. "Mad Love" took Harley from a one note sidekick to one of the most tragic women in comics. 

Friend Request: Liesl Ahlers Talks About Her Transformation Into The Demon

Be careful who you befriend on social media. The new friend could be some powerful demon.

South African actress Liesl Ahlers stars as the antagonist villainess named Marina in the horror film Friend Request. She plays this lonely and extremely shy goth-like girl, who just wanted a friend. She became friends with a popular girl Laura (played by Fear the Walking Dead’s Alycia Debnam-Carey), but later unfriended her due to peer pressure and the weirdness of their relationship.

And that’s when things turned to the worse.

Marina commits suicide and becomes some kind of demon attached to the Internet. She stalks Laura’s friends one-by-one as an act of revenge for their lack of friendship.

The film is directed by Simon Verhoeven. It also stars William Moseley (The Chronicles of Narnia), Connor Paolo (Mystic River), Brit Morgan (She Wants Me), Brooke Markham (Foursome), and Sean Marquette (The Goldbergs).

LRM had an exclusive interview with Liesl Ahlers earlier this week to talk about her experiences for this project. She told us the amazing stories of transformation into being the character Marina and being the evil demon.

Friend Request is playing in theaters nationwide today.

Read our interview transcript below.

LRM: I just want to remark that you are wonderful in the film, because you gave me a lot of “Oh, shit!” scares throughout the entire movie.

Liesl Ahlers: [Laughs] I’m so happy to hear that. That was the goal. So that’s great!

LRM: Literally. I actually shouted out, “Oh, shit!” That’s what I mean by “Oh, shit!” scares.

Liesl Ahlers: [Laughs] That’s amazing! Awesome.

LRM: Tell me on why you were attracted and how you were approached to this project.

Liesl Ahlers: Well, I remembered getting a phone call from my agent. I live in South Africa, so I auditioned here for this horror film. I read for my character Marina. There were so many words that stood out to me on the why they described her. Mysterious. Dark. Traumatized. They used the words that are the embodiment of loneliness. I thought that captured me. I really need to delve into this character. I felt like I knew on who she was.

I liked the fact that she was so fragile—childlike and sensitive at times. Then she transitioned into someone who was very powerful. So as an actor, that’s a character you want to play. I was immediately drawn to this character. I thought it would be so much to play.

LRM: I had to Google yourself to see what you really look like in real life. And you’re gorgeous yourself!

Liesl Ahlers: [Laughs] I like to think so. [Laughs]

LRM: Tell me about the transformation they made for you on this film.

Liesl Ahlers: I had an amazing special effects team throughout the shoot. It took hours to transform me into [the demon] and into Marina as well. [For Marina], they added a couple of patches on my head that you probably saw in the film. I looked a bit bald.

For the demon, it was insane. I had also walked on stilts. It was very tricky, but a lot of fun. They basically made a cast out of my whole body. I was wearing gloves that was like mechanical arms. There were prosthetics on my face and on my neck. And I even had these sharp teeth. [Laughs] Oh, and there were these contact lenses.

I was basically so constricted. I was covered in this super-tight suit with prosthetics, arms and teeth. I was so constricted that I was trying to figure on how to play this really powerful and scary demon. The fact that I was so constricted that it made me feel that I wanted to overcome it. I wanted to feel powerful. I used that feeling to my advantage.

LRM: How long did this typically take on the makeup chair? Was it like around four hours?

Liesl Ahlers: I was on set around 3 or 4 a.m. So yeah, we’ll be done around 7 a.m. It did take like around a couple of hours. To remove the prosthetics was quite a thing. [Laughs] I had to get all these things off my face. I was quite thankful for that experience. I don’t think a lot of people get to do that. It was so much fun.

LRM: I’m just curious. To pass the time in the makeup chair, what do you usually do? Are you on the phone, social media or even reading magazines? What would you like to do?

Liesl Ahlers: That’s a very cool question. I usually drink coffee, because I love coffee. I will have my headphones on with a playlist that will make me feel connected to the character. It would be a song that will evoke some sort of emotion—like feeling lonely or sad. It’ll be something that will complete my process. I have to do that especially for Marina, because she is so intense. I would have to do that every day to sit there with my headphones in.

LRM: How long did it take you to learn on how to walk on stilts? Was it really necessary for this character?

Liesl Ahlers: Wow! I had a very short time to learn on how to walk on stilts. I would say about in three days. I think it was necessary. For all the shots, you’ll see that the demon is very tall. I feel that this whole process—it transformed me as the person as well. It’s like an exercise that transforms you in a way that you can’t describe. I felt like that I needed that, because it’ll come from within me. Now I feel that I can play this character fully.

It’s tough. It’s a daunting role. There are a lot of horror fans out there. You have to live up to their expectations of the demon—this scary part of the film. I think it was very necessary personally to be walking on stilts.

LRM: Do you think you can still walk on stilts today?

Liesl Ahlers: [Laughs] Actually, I think I can. I’m very confident.

LRM: Are you a fan of horror movies?

Liesl Ahlers: I am quite a fan of horror films. I would be more drawn to thrillers. I love a good psychological thriller. My favorite horror film would be the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s one of my favorite films all time.

It’s interesting that for this film—the director told me to watch a lot of horror movies. I usually won’t go against a director on what he asks me to do, but I felt very strongly about not being informed too much with other performances or influences from other films. I just remembered not watching any of the movies he recommended.

I just wanted to focus on trying to do something new. I wanted a new perspective. I didn’t want to be [influenced] by the other horror movies.

LRM: It seems that director Simon [Verhoeven] put you through a blender for this film. Were there any other challenges you had to face for this movie?

Liesl Ahlers: [Laughs] Simon is amazing. I love him. No, I would say most of the challenges were demon-related. It’s the walking on stilts or drinking from a straw cause of the sharp teeth. He was saw kind. I remembered him being in awe of the demon. He had this love for this demon. It was the best part of the film. He was always so supportive. It was great to embody the demon in the way he envisioned the demon.

LRM: Do you use social media yourself? Are you a popular person on the Net?

Liesl Ahlers: [Laughs] I wouldn’t say I’m a popular person. I do use social media. I have Instagram. I would say that I shy away from being on social media too much. I do have Facebook since 2008. It’s something that I don’t go on to everyday. That’s something I liked about this film, because it was creating something for us to be aware of Internet addiction. It’s very relevant in this day and age.

LRM: Awesome. Let me start wrapping things up. Can you talk about any of your future projects that you may actually have?

Liesl Ahlers: I’m really excited that I booked the lead in a new drama for a series. The working title is called The Crossing, but it’ll probably will change. It should be released internationally in 2018. I’m really excited about that. We’re shooting in South Africa for this project.

LRM: One more quick question—did you keep any souvenirs from the set? Maybe your teeth?

Liesl Ahlers: [Laughs] Yeah, I did. I did keep my teeth. I got the gloves that I was wearing. Those demon arms. I also kept the face mold—the mold that they made of my face. I also have parts of the demon suit as well. I tried to keep as many things as I could to remember this amazing experience.

I also took things from restaurants that we went to. But, most definitely, the demon teeth and the demon arms.

LRM: [Laughs] I knew it. I knew it. Thank you for speaking with me. You’re such a lovely person. I love this conversation.

Liesl Ahlers: Thank you so much! [Laughs] I was awesome. It was so much fun talking to you.

Friend Request is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Source: Exclusive for LRM

HAN SOLO Director Ron Howard Teases Dark Times Ahead For Our Heroes In His Latest BTS Images

Ron Howard continues to share intriguing behind-the-scenes glimpses from the set of the Han Solo origin movie, and these latest ones tease "desperate and dangerous" times for the young space-smuggler...

Kingsman Sequel Set to Dethrone Stephen King’s It at the Box Office

Kingsman Sequel Set to Dethrone Stephen King’s It at the Box Office

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It has already become the highest-grossing horror film of all time, and the movie’s third weekend at the box office is set to bring in a respectable $30 million dollars. However, that won’t be enough to hold the top spot. 20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle is expected to earn between $39 and $40 million dollars at the domestic box office this weekend, edging out the acclaimed horror film.

RELATED: Stephen King is ‘Fascinated’ by Peoples’ Reactions to It’s Underage Orgy

Kingsman: The Secret Service, the first film in what director Matthew Vaughn envisions as a trilogy, opened to $36.2 million domestically in 2014. That film went on to earn $414 worldwide. Although the sequel is opening stronger than its predecessor, it hasn’t been as well received critically. The Golden Circle has 51% on Rotten Tomatoes in comparison to The Secret Service’s 74%. It beats out both movies, as it’s certified fresh with 84%.

A script is already in the works for It: Part Two. News broke earlier this month that Gary Dauberman, who co-wrote the first film, will return to write the sequel with director Andrés Muschietti expected to return behind the camera.

RELATED: Kingsman: The Golden Circle – How Colin Firth’s Harry Hart Returns

Directed by Matthew Vaughn, Kingsman: The Golden Circle stars returning cast members Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Sophie Cookson, joined by Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges. The film is now in theaters.

(via Deadline)

The post Kingsman Sequel Set to Dethrone Stephen King’s It at the Box Office appeared first on CBR.

EXCLUSIVE: Bloom County: Brand Spanking New Day

EXCLUSIVE: Bloom County: Brand Spanking New Day

The latest collection of Berkeley Breathed’s recently revived Bloom County comic strip features ALL-NEW strips from 2016 and 2017, that have NEVER appeared in print before (never ever!!). These newly-minted masterpieces present the continuing adventures of Opus, Bill the Cat, Steve Dallas, and the rest of the delightful denizens of Bloom County—and heaven knows how we survived all those years without you!

  • All-new strips collected for the first time!
  • Advance solicited for September release!

The post EXCLUSIVE: Bloom County: Brand Spanking New Day appeared first on CBR.

Heroes & Villains Fan Fest New York 2017: Cosplay, Gotham, And Barrowman

Jason Borelli went to Heroes & Villains Fan Fest New York 2017. Here’s what he discovered.

Last year, I found out about the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest chain, and I ventured out to Secaucus, NJ to check it out. I wound up having fun hitting panels, finding out Caity Lotz is really into hats, and seeing David Ramsey’s impressive biceps up close.

This year, the guest lineup would be stacked with actors from Arrow, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, along with Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., iZombie, and Supergirl. Given that one of the co-creators of the show is Stephen Amell (the Green Arrow himself), it was not a surprise that I had a good time over the past weekend — albeit with a few hiccups.

I went both days without getting a sketch (my main con weakness), as most of the artists present sold prints and other merchandise. There were tattoo artists operating, but I’d rather have art in my sketchbook, than on my skin. My camera died on me both days, so I had to juggle between my phone and iPad, neither of which would serve as a Plan A.

Finally, between my agita over meeting people I’ve seen and read about and my limited budget, I was only able to get a picture and autograph from one guest: Robin Lord Taylor from Gotham. Most of that stemmed from chancing into his area when it wasn’t crowded, though he was drawing sizable crowds all day. I like his take on Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, because it’s a fun direction for the character beyond the aristocratic canon and Danny DeVito’s ghoulish version from Batman Returns, and it fits the “take no prisoners” style of the show.

Taylor was present for the Gotham panel, along with Maggie Geha (Ivy Pepper) and two holdovers from last year’s show: David Mazouz (Bruce Wayne) and Drew Powell (Butch Gilzean), both of whom will be facing new challenges for their characters: Bruce goes all masked vigilante years ahead of canon, and Butch transitions into Solomon Grundy.

Immediately, I discovered that Taylor is short — either that, or Mazouz is tall for his age. Also, I forgot about the panel from last year’s show that his first name is pronounced “Dah-VEED.” He joked about being terrified at the new direction of his character, though he seemed excited at the prospect, including trying to figure out what to sound like underneath a mask. Also, he would be up for playing Robin on the big screen. The exact quote: “Damien Wayne, he’s a butthole! I really want to play a butthole!” As for Powell? It turns out his son likes his father playing Grundy, and the actor joked about the others having their own action figures (or playing characters that lead to toys).

The quartet talked about filming in New York, the scariness of Scarecrow’s costume in the upcoming season (it was thought that it was made to smell foul, but that turned out to be a dead mouse where it was kept), and Geha joining the series last season. She called the cast “the biggest, happiest, most funny family ever.” The panel ended with a “waddle-off,” as Taylor judged the other actors’ interpretations of Penguin’s signature walk, with Mazouz getting the most love from the crowd.

The main event on Saturday was the panel focusing on John Barrowman. I confess not to know him outside his roles as Captain Jack Harkness and Malcolm Merlyn. While he didn’t dress as flamboyantly as he has in past shows (arriving in a t-shirt and jeans), Barrowman put on a show from the very start, dancing for the crowd, grinding on the sign language interpreter, and going back and forth with his assistant Kelsey.

He talked about turning 50 and shaving his head, and that his natural hair color is “Neal McDonough white,” referencing his partner-in-crime from the prior season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. In addition to his life on and off-camera, Barrowman brought up the Torchwood comic that he writes with his sister Carole, teasing about how Jack Harkness would eventually the Face of Boe, which was hinted at on Doctor Who in 2007.

Another tidbit I learned: the two pronunciations of Ra’s al Guhl are valid, with “Raysh” is respectful and “Rahs” being anything but. Speaking of Arrow, Barrowman confirmed that Malcolm Merlyn was still dead, and that there are no plans to bring him back on Arrow.

In 2016, I wrote about his wish to have played “Captain America or Captain America’s boyfriend.” At this year’s convention, he told the audience about wanting to be in a Star Wars movie, because he grew up on the original trilogy and still has merchandise from back then.

And in true Barrowman fashion, he said the phrase, “hung like a donkey,” got a kick out of the interpreter translating it, and wound up using that as a running gag. That was funny, mostly due to how the interpreter and her replacement “said” that, but I found out later that wasn’t the first time Barrowman had done that.

Still, if you’re at a show where he is headlining a panel, you need to see him, even if you’re not familiar with Doctor Who, Torchwood, or the CW shows. Not many people can keep up the energy for close to an hour before closing by singing ‘Copacabana’.

The show’s second day was as hectic as the first. I didn’t get a seat for Stephen Amell’s panel. While the stage for the panels was set out in the open on the convention floor where you can hear it happen, I could see how buying upgraded admission would come be worth it, as those people got seats in the front.

I managed to catch the tail end of artist Rob Prior’s performance; I say performance I because he painted Rocky Balboa on stage as Metallica blared from the speakers, and Prior was clearly into the music as he worked. He did the same thing on a smaller scale the previous day at his booth, painting all four heroes from Defenders.

For me, the main Sunday panel covered The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, featuring Candice Patton (Iris West), Robbie Amell (Ronnie Raymond), Caity Lotz (Sara Lance), Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/Atom), and Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon), the latter being added in the days leading to the convention. Over the weekend, they had no shortage of admiring fans. Routh met somebody who was born on the day Superman Returns was released, while Patton received Dallas Cowboys gear for her dog and Lotz was visited by a young fan whose cancer was in remission.

The stars kept the energy up for the full hour, as they hyped their respective series. Amell also took part, though there are no plans to bring his character back. He had not come to Heroes & Villains alone, as his wife Italia Ricci (Silver Banshee on Supergirl) made the trip. He had fun complaining about Ronnie’s death, as well as his appearance on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Valdes’s childhood incident of eating cereal soaked in milk became a running joke, as well. As corny as it sounds, it felt like the Arrowverse actors are a happy family.

The other big event on Sunday was the cosplay contest. As you would expect, there was a good chunk of fans in costume. I got a taste of the familiar and unexpected. For instance, at every major show I visit, I always see somebody playing Traflanger Law from One Piece. On the other hand, somebody came as Ego the Living Planet. It wasn’t the version played by Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but somebody costumed in a rough planet-like shape with a face. There was also a cart involved, which was a nice touch.

I also saw a lady dressed as the Enterprise, and one guy dressed as the musician Slash as a Flash, which was nicely offbeat. Fans of all ages dressed up, with two toddlers entering the contest as Flash and Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. That’s not the most kid-friendly inspiration, but his “handler” could tell people another fighter performed a “babality” on him.

The most unnerving cosplay had to be the couple dressed as Pennywises. Yes, that’s plural, representing the sinister clowns from both versions of It (the miniseries and the recently released film). They won the villains portion of the contest with ease, and the emcee seemingly did not want to award them out of fear. Whether she was that unnerved, or playing up clown phobia, she did a good job. In the kids’ portion, a young Predator pulled off the win over Finally, a Starfire beat out Slash/Flash and a Green Lantern/Green Arrow duo.

As fans gear up for New York Comic Con, Heroes & Villains Fan Fest New York proved to be a good warmup, as well as a fun convention in its own right. Although light on the comic creators seen in other shows, it offers the most bang for the buck for fans of the genre.

fan fest new york

The post Heroes & Villains Fan Fest New York 2017: Cosplay, Gotham, And Barrowman appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Amazon Prime Video New Releases for October 2017

Here's everything coming to Amazon Prime instant video in October 2017!

Den Of Geek Staff
Sep 23, 2017

Sometimes it's disappointing that the rest of the world doesn't always pay October the creeptastic, spooky respect it deserves. Sure, we all love our pumpkin spice lattes and scarves but at the same time homage MUST be paid to October's horror legacy. 

Thankfully all the streaming services this month and Amazon Prime in particular get what this beautiful month is all about. Amazon Prime will help you get ready for Halloween well in advance of the 31st with scary movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Pet Semetary, Blair Witch, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II. On the TV side of things it will also be bringing us a particularly spooky incarnation of American Horror Story with American Horror Story: Roanoke and even Amazon's first podcast-adapted horor fest Lore.

If for whatever reason, horror's not your thing, first of all: shame on you, but you've also got the excellent fifth season of The Americans to dive into. Get caught up now before the sixth and final season drops this winter.

Editor's note: Den of Geek participates in Amazon's Affiliate program. 

Watch All the Movies and TV Amazon Prime Has to Offer!

Coming to Amazon Prime - October 2017

October 1

Abandoned Mine


Apartment 1303

Bunker Of The Dead



Escape From L.A.


Ghost World


Ghoulies II

I Believe In Unicorns

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

Jug Face

Margot At The Wedding


Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary Two


Queens And Cowboys


Snake Eyes

Texas Chainsaw Massacre II

The Machinist

The Whistleblower


October 2

Beauty And The Baker, season one

Song To Song

October 3

American Horror Story, season six

October 4

Blood Hunters

Save My Seoul

Available October 5

The Americans, season five

October 6

The Fashion Hero, season one

October 7

Blair Witch

Megan Leavey

October 9

Inside Edge, season one

October 11


October 13

Lore, season one

Sigmund And The Sea Monster, season one

City Of Ghosts

October 14

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

October 15

The Other Dream Team

The Whole Truth

October 18

Fight For Space

October 20

Red Oaks, season three

The Wall

October 25

Awaken The Shadowman

The Liberators

October 28


October 29


Join Amazon Prime - Watch Thousands of Movies & TV Shows Anytime - Start Free Trial Now

The AfterShock Table At Baltimore Comic-Con

Brian Lake is wandering around Baltimore Comic-Con 2017 for Bleeding Cool, and no one seems to be stopping him.

Day 1 of Baltimore Comic-Con has just started, a lot of great things to see. One of my first stops was the Aftershock Table, they offer many of their variants and trades at great prices. Some of the options to look for are the variants for Babyteeth #1 by Donny Cates, they had multiple variants, including the lenticular cover both raw and graded. In addition, they had the Garth Ennis Dreaming Eagles signed NYCC edition limited to 200 for $50. Periodically at they show, they will also have creators at their booth signing, as well.

The post The AfterShock Table At Baltimore Comic-Con appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Mark Hamill, Lena Headey Join Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters

Mark Hamill, Lena Headey Join Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters

Mark Hamill and Lena Headey will join the cast of Guillermo del Toro’s Netflix animated series Trollhunters.

RELATED: Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters Comes to Comics with Dark Horse OGN

According to an official press release, Hamill will play the older brother of one of the Trollhunting team’s members. The role will be a villainous one as Hamill’s unnamed character has pledged his loyalty to antagonist Gunmar. While probably most well-known for his work on Star Wars, Hamill is also famous for his voice work, having played the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series.

Netflix didn’t give much information on Headey’s role, only describing her as “an extremely powerful and evil sorceress who must be stopped at all costs.” She currently plays Cersei Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Hamill and Headey will join the likes of the late Anton Yelchin (Jim Lake, Jr.), Kelsey Grammer (Blinky), Ron Perlman (Bular), Steven Yeun (Steve), Anjelica Huston (Queen Ursurna), Jonathan Hyde (Strickler), Amy Landecker (Barbara) and Charlie Saxton (Toby).

The official synopsis for Trollhunters reads:

DreamWorks Trollhunters features a tale of two fantastical worlds that collide in an epic saga. Set in the fictional suburb of Arcadia, our unlikely hero, Jim, and his two best friends make a startling discovery that beneath their hometown lies a hidden battle between good trolls and bad, the outcome of which impacts their lives forever.

Season two of the hit series will have Jim leave behind his best friends, Toby and Claire, in order to venture into the Darklands alone.

RELATED: Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhungers Gets Second Season

The first season of Trollhunters is currently available to stream on Netflix. The second season, which consists of 13 episodes, will debut in late 2017.

The post Mark Hamill, Lena Headey Join Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters appeared first on CBR.

John Barrowman Honors Elisabeth Sladen With New Character For Torchwood Comic

John Barrowman revealed a new character created for the Torchwood comic published by Titan Comics: Sladen, named for the actress who played Sarah Jane Smith in the Doctor Who universe.

Earlier this week, Barrowman teased the new character for the comic, which he co-writes with sister Carole Barrowman, in a Facebook video:

And now he’s revealed who that character is: Sladen.

The Barrowmans said in a press release from Titan Comics:

“We are very excited to bring this new character Sladen to the world of Torchwood. You all know both Carole and I were great fans of the wonderful Elisabeth Sladen who played Sarah Jane Smith and what a better way to pay homage to her and create a character with her last name. Elisabeth Sladen / Sarah Jane Smith was the mother of our ship on Doctor Who and now Sladen lives in Torchwood.”

Elisabeth Sladen died suddenly in 2011 after battling pancreatic cancer.

Sladen will make her debut in Torchwood: The Culling #1, with artist Neil Edwards, in stores on October 18.

Torchwood: The Culling #1 COVER A CARANFA (JUL172147)

Torchwood: The Culling #1 COVER B PHOTO COVER (JUL172148)

Torchwood: The Culling #1 COVER C IANNICIELLO (JUL172149)


Summary: When we last saw Captain Jack, Gwen, and the rest of the new Torchwood team, they had just defeated an alien invasion in the Arctic… but missed a mysterious pod, buried under the ice, that held a seemingly familiar face. Now Captain Jack must battle his worst nightmare… or greatest daydream!

The post John Barrowman Honors Elisabeth Sladen With New Character For Torchwood Comic appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Owning Is Half The Battle: The 15 Most Expensive G.I. Joe Figures

Owning Is Half The Battle: The 15 Most Expensive G.I. Joe Figures

In 1964, Hasbro successfully broke into the gigantic doll market with an entry designed for boys. Its innovation was as simple as calling the dolls “action figures.” Their G.I. Joe line was a massive success. However, by the end of the 1970s, the costs of producing the over-sized figures were becoming cost-prohibitive, so the line was in trouble. Luckily, a rival toy company, Kenner, came up with a clever solution to the problem. In the late 1970s, Kenner obliterated the competition with the release of its line of Star Wars action figures to tie in with the then-new film. Kenner was so taken aback by how popular the film was, they didn’t even have the toys ready in time for Christmas 1977, so they had to sell pre-orders instead.

RELATED: Masters Of Your Bank Account: The 15 Most Expensive He-Man Toys Ever

Hasbro took that idea and used it on its G.I. Joe line, creating a whole universe where the heroic military figures fight against villainous terrorists. Hasbro’s innovation was to make its toys highly articulated, so you could do a lot more with the figures than the Star Wars equivalents. G.I. Joe became a cultural sensation, with a hit toy line, cartoon and comic book series. Here, according to ToyWorth, are the 15 most expensive G.I. Joe action figures. These are all figures that were released individually and in stores. No mailaways or prototypes or special two-packs. Prices are based on figures sealed in original packaging.

FLINT ($375)

One of the interesting aspects of the G.I. Joe line of toys is that the ongoing cartoon series that tied into the toy line did not debut until 1985. Therefore, the characters of the fourth series of G.I. Joe toys, released that same year, became the main faces of the new TV series. As a result, it was characters like Flint who became household names, while most of the original members of the team faded into history.

As part of the fourth series, Flint was one of the first G.I. Joe figures that came with a unique neck joint that was a ball, allowing the character to look up, down and left and right. It is impressive that Hasbro kept trying to improve the figures even as the line was selling like crazy.

DUSTY ($400)

Besides being one of the more popular characters on the G.I. Joe TV series, the Dusty figure was a very popular one back in the day, likely because of the unique way that designers worked actual felt into his “dust helmet” that he uses as a desert soldier. One of the most amusing things about the G.I. Joe squad was how specialized some of these characters were and yet they all went on the same adventures together.

A soldier who knows how to handle himself in the desert is very useful, but he is a bit less useful outside of that environment. Dusty’s real name, Ronald Tadur, was based on Ronald Rudat, the popular Hasbro artist who designed most of the early G.I. Joe figures (on the cartoon series, Dusty’s last name became Rudat).


One of the hardest things to do with a toy line geared towards young boys is to develop female figures, as the very same gender politics at work in pushing the idea of a toy “for boys” naturally leads to the idea that a “girl” toy in said line of toys “for boys” would not be desirable. And sure enough, the Baroness toy was not particularly popular at the time. That, though, likely helped its collectability years later.

In general, the Baroness was a good role overall. There weren’t many female villains given as much of a personality as the Baroness was back in the day. The comic book tends to treat her better than the animated series, but even in the cartoon she comes off pretty well compared to other characters.


As noted, we’re not going into this to spotlight rare prototypes. This list is for toys that you literally could have just gotten on the shelf if you wanted to buy a G.I. Joe figure in 1982 or whenever. However, with that in mind, when there are variations on a figure that was released to the public, we’ll count it, if it makes the figure valuable.

That’s what happened with Zap, the Joe squad’s bazooka soldier. On the drawing that comes with the figure, it shows Zap firing a bazooka that has two handles, so unsurprisingly, the bazooka was originally released with two handles. However, the second handle kept breaking the the thumb off of the figure, so Hasbro eventually fixed it and released a single-handled bazooka that wouldn’t break off the thumb, but naturally, those original versions are very rare and thus, more valuable.

DESTRO ($500)

There are so many things about Destro that make him such a fascinating character. First off all, there’s the notion that he is not exactly an active enemy combatant, which allows Destro to attempt to portray himself as above the fray. This ties into his second notable trait, that he is a member of Scottish royalty. He tries to act like that makes him better than the other members of Cobra, and sometimes, he does act more noble, but in general he’s just as bad as the others.

Finally, though, there’s the most notable Destro trait – that freakin’ awesome looking metal mask that he wears! The shiny metal head (which was designed to evoke the Man in the Iron Mask) made the Destro figure a must-have at the time (and today).


One of the major concerns with the G.I. Joe line of toys was maintaining the “Kung Fu grip” that the toys had become famous for back in the days when they were using strong rubber hands to make them grip things easier. The rubber, of course, then fell apart and the grip was useless. What’s even more hilarious is how the term has no meaning — there is no connection to Kung Fu at all.

The 1980s toys used plastic with a little give, allowing them to expand enough to let an object into their hands, but strong enough to grip it. Thus, their big problem was when toys would spread the grip too far off and break the toy. That was an issue with the closed mortar handle for Zap, so they added an easier-to-grip open handle. The original closed grip mortar with Zap are rarer and more valuable.


The way that the G.I. Joe system used to work in the old days was that Hasbro would design the figures and then they would give them to Larry Hama, the writer of the G.I. Joe comic book series for Marvel, the creatives of which would then help Hasbro come up with the overall G.I. Joe vs. Cobra plotline for the toy series.

Hama would then come up with a background and a personality for the character, and often a real name. Hasbro came up with the codenames (and occasionally the real ones, too). Storm Shadow, released in 1984 as part of series 3, was the first Asian character released in the series, and Hama didn’t like that the first Asian character was a villain, so he slowly turned Storm Shadow into a good guy.


An impressive aspect of the G.I. Joe toy line by Hasbro is that they were constantly working to improve the figures. Sometimes, when they would come up with a particularly notable improvement, they couldn’t keep themselves from wanting to use it as much as possible. This is what led to the famous “series 1.5” figures of 1983.

You see, in the original G.I. Joe figures, the arms of the figures did not bend. That naturally limited the amount of articulation that kids could do with the figures, so Hasbro worked out new arms and legs that could bend at the knees and elbows and re-released the entire first series again with the new arms and legs. So, while this is not technically another edition of Scarlett, it is a different version, since the arms bend.

FIREFLY ($650)

The collectibility of Firefly is an interesting one, since he was not a particularly early figure release — he came out in the third series — nor was he all that prominently featured on the cartoon series or the comic book series. He did get a bit more attention in the comic book than the cartoon, though.

No, Firefly is just one of those rare examples of a toy becoming really popular because of how cool he looked. The Cobra saboteur’s design was striking, with a sort of mixture between a ninja and a commando and he became a huge hit with fans. As a result, the demand on the figure has been strong enough that it is one of the most valuable ones in existence.


In the history of the G.I. Joe toy line, there were two figures that were so popular, they had to constantly make new editions. One was Sgt. Slaughter and the other was Snake-Eyes. As a result of there being so many Snake-Eyes and Sgt. Slaughters made, you would think that it would depress the value of the figures a bit. Interestingly, for Slaughter, that’s certainly been the case (plus, of course, the character’s popularity hasn’t exactly held up in the ensuing years).

With Snake-Eyes, though, the second revamp for Snake-Eyes (released as part of the fourth G.I. Joe series in 1985) also came with the inclusion of Timber, Snake-Eyes’ pet wolf! That helped to make this release such a unique one, since it has more than held its value over the years.

DUKE ($700)

Duke was originally not offered as an individual figure. He was just a mail-order figure with the second series in 1983. However, the character was so popular that he was then released individually as part of the third series release in 1984. Duke’s high ranking on this list is clearly an example of a character’s popularity driving the value.

Duke was introduced in 1983, which is when the first cartoon miniseries debuted, and thus, Duke got a huge boost by being shown as the leader of the team in that first miniseries. This was despite the Joe figures coming with a leader figure when they debuted in Hawk! The cartoon, though, was the most popular way that people got to know the Joes, so Duke was locked in as the leader.


Looking back, you really have to give Hasbro some credit for launching the G.I. Joe toy line with such a progressive lineup (for the time) of having both a woman and an African-American soldier (Stalker) on the original team. Of course, the downside of that from a sales perspective is the problem that we mentioned earlier with Baroness, which is that when you are specifically targeting boys with your toy line, it is hard to then sell them a “girl” toy.

As a result, Scarlett, despite being featured so prominently on the G.I. Joe cartoon series and the comic book, was not a particularly strong-selling toy. Amusingly, she had different love interests in both series. In the cartoon, she was with Duke while in the comics, she was with Snake-Eyes. But we digress. The strength of the character’s appeal, or lack thereof in the past, directly led to the toy being more valuable today, since she’s harder to find!


The main villain of the G.I. Joe series was Cobra Commander, who, naturally enough, commanded the terrorist group known as Cobra. The character was a charmingly vicious bad guy and he was in great demand as a toy at the time. Initially, he was available only as a mail-in figure.

In fact, throughout the first few series, Cobra Commander continued to be just a mail order figure. However, remember when we noted how Hasbro went back and added bendable arms to all of their figures? Well, when the company did that with all the original figures, it also did so with Cobra Commander and then briefly offered him up for individual release. The relative rarity of this figure’s release led to it being one of the very most valuable G.I. Joe toys.


One of the most amusing aspects of Snake-Eyes’ design is that one of the most popular toy designs of all-time was done simply to save money. You see, with the rest of the G.I. Joe team, they would be produced in little pieces of plastic that would then be painted to match the figure that they were going with, so a whole lot of green paint was involved.

With Snake-Eyes, however, they could just produce black pieces of plastic and then, voila, no paint required! Snake-Eyes was already finished as soon as he was produced! Of course, a dude dressed all in black turned out to be very popular with fans, so it worked out well. This version of Snake-Eyes is the first one with bendable arms.


When you look back on the original G.I. Joe team, it is easy to see why writer Larry Hama was drawn to the characters that he ended up writing the most. You had a bunch of nondescript looking white guys and then you had a black guy, a woman, a guy named “Rock and Roll” with a big blond beard and a cool-looking ninja. Hama soon built almost all of his stories around those four characters.

As the series continued, there was no escaping how unique Snake-Eyes was, both in his design but also in how Hama wrote him as a scarred veteran who learned the ways of the ninja. He is one of the most influential characters of the 1980s — Deadpool’s look was partially inspired by Snake-Eyes — and it is no surprise that the first edition of Snake-Eyes’ action figure is the most valuable G.I. Joe figure.

What’s the most expensive G.I. Joe figure you ever owned? Let us know in the comments section!

The post Owning Is Half The Battle: The 15 Most Expensive G.I. Joe Figures appeared first on CBR.

First Gameplay Clip of Harley Quinn in Telltale’s Batman

Harley Quinn is making her debut in Telltale Games' Batman: The Enemy Within, and IGN has your first look at how Bruce Wayne handles meeting her for the first time.

IGN can exclusively reveal the first clip of The Enemy Within: Episode 2 "The Pact," in which Bruce, led by John Doe, encounters a gun-toting Harley. Check out the gameplay clip below:

Harley is voiced by Laura Post, joining Troy Baker as Batman and Anthony Ingruber as John Doe.

Batman: The Enemy Within, Telltale's second season of its DC series, debuted earlier this year. IGN's Ryan McCaffrey said the first episode of the season, The Engima, is a "strong start

Continue reading…

VIDEO: The (Almost) Full Black Crown Presentation At Thought Bubble 2017 With Cud, Sid Vicious’s Ghost, And Shelly Bond

From Thought Bubble 2017, the full presentation (pretty much) from Black Crown, the new imprint from IDW run by Shelly Bond. Featuring Rob Davis, David Barnett, Martin Simmonds, Aditya Bidikar, Will Potter, Carl Puttnam, and Shelly Bond:

Check out more of our Thought Bubble 2017 coverage here.

The post VIDEO: The (Almost) Full Black Crown Presentation At Thought Bubble 2017 With Cud, Sid Vicious’s Ghost, And Shelly Bond appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

New Comics #494

CLICK –> ALL Of The New Comics Videos….And More.
A weekly video look at the covers from the weekly InvestComics Hot Picks article. New comics arriving 9/27/17. Please utilize your common sense and READ the article to see why these covers are in this video –> InvestComics Hot Picks #494. This is NOT an explanation video, just eye candy. READ…..it’s good for you.

Giving the Speculator an Edge Since 2005!
Invest wisely. Read Comics.
Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz





The post New Comics #494 appeared first on InvestComics.

DC Writers Reflect on 25 Years of Harley Quinn

Today marks DC Comics’ fourth annual Batman Day, but this year there’s a twist: Harley Quinn is stealing the spotlight to celebrate her 25th anniversary. To commemorate the legacy of this comic book icon, we hopped on the phone with a few of Harley Quinn’s most prolific writers, who all gave us an insider perspective on how the Joker’s sidekick became what Jim Lee calls the fourth pillar of DC Comics alongside Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman.

Harley Quinn first debuted in the “Joker’s Favor” episode of Batman: The Animated Series in September 1992. Writer Paul Dini needed a gang for the Joker and wanted to come up with something a bit different than the mafiosa-type guys Joker usually employs, so he decided to craft a Bonnie to the Joker’s Clyde. After coming up with the Harley Quinn concept and name, Dini brought the idea to Bruce Timm, who drew up the character in a harlequin/pied piper costume. Finally, Dini reached out to his friend and Days of Our Lives star Arleen Sorkin to lend her bubbly personality to Harley’s voice, the final touch on what would become one of DC’s most popular characters.

Continue reading…

WWE Hell in a Cell 2017: Matches, Rumors, and More

20 years after Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker duked it out in a cage, the tradition continues. Here's what we know.

Gavin Jasper
Sep 23, 2017

For a little stretch, SmackDown has been in a slump due to Raw getting the first post-SummerSlam PPV. Now they’re getting their act together and breaking away from that holding pattern. And much like how Raw stole SmackDown’s No Mercy PPV, SmackDown will be stealing back with WWE Hell in a Cell 2017. Yep, it’s the big, annual PPV built around a big cage with a roof that may or may not be extreme.

While the match itself was introduced back in Badd Blood in October 1997, Hell in a Cell became its own PPV back in 2009. Sometimes we get a memorable pile of carnage. Other times, we get a regular match with a cage backdrop. Considering who’s involved in this year’s marquee battle, it’ll probably be closer to the former.


This year’s show will take place on Sunday October 8 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.



Hell in a Cell

Kevin Owens’ lengthy US title feud with AJ Styles led to a lot of frustrations for the husky former champ and some of his arguments were legitimate. Still, fortune failed to shine on him and he blamed his shortcomings on SmackDown owner Shane McMahon. Annoyed by Shane’s failure to be impartial as a referee, as well as the failures of other referees at catching every important nuance in the ring, Owens started dressing himself up as a referee and forcing himself into matches, calling them to fit his whims.

This led to a confrontation where Owens insulted Shane’s family and went too far. Shane beat on Owens, who refused to fight back as he knew he could use it as ammunition for a lawsuit. Shane was suspended and Vince McMahon appeared to say that he thought Shane didn’t go far enough. He signed a match for the two at Hell in a Cell, IN Hell in a Cell. Owens shook Vince’s hand, made sure that he couldn’t get in trouble for thrashing a McMahon, then twisted those words by brutalizing Vince and leaving him a bloody heap.


WWE Championship

After months of getting past Randy Orton with the same exact strategy of throwing the Singh Brothers at him at the last second and taking advantage, Jinder Mahal got past Shinsuke Nakamura via throwing the Singh Brothers at him at the last second and taking advantage. It’s getting REALLY tiresome, guys.

Nakamura defeated Orton for the rank of #1 contender and will get another shot at the Maharaja. This time around, Jinder is trying to get under Nakamura’s skin by explaining how racist the American wrestling fans are and how they’ll just make racist jokes at his expense. To prove that point, he proceeded to make a bunch of racist jokes at his expense, including some that felt more uncomfortable than anything else.


WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship

Charlotte Flair returned to SmackDown to give an update on her father’s brush with death. Natalya interrupted to boast about herself, as if accepting a reward she created for herself. Various women in the division appeared and they were put together in a match to figure out the #1 contender. Charlotte came out on top.

Of course, Carmella still has that pesky Money in the Bank briefcase.


WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship

The New Day and the Usos have been battling it out for months on end with the belts bouncing back and forth. Right now, New Day are champs. They’re going to have another match. That’s all there is to it. Yup.


The United States Championship scene appears to be AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger. Or, at the very least, the first two guys. After some tremendous failures, Corbin has been attempting to get a shot at AJ’s title, but Dillinger’s interest in it has gotten in his way. Corbin’s attacked both the other challenger and the champion unfairly, but Dillinger’s turned the tables by attacking him before an attempt at AJ vs. Corbin. AJ took advantage by putting Corbin in the Calf Crusher out of revenge.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode is extremely likely. Recently, Ziggler has been having a mental breakdown, coming out to imitate various wrestlers’ entrances because that’s what you need to succeed. It’s the worst. With Bobby Roode hanging back and having the best entrance, pushing him into a feud with Ziggler appears to be the next step.

Check back for more news on WWE Hell in a Cell 2017!

Gavin Jasper is continuously disappointed by the lack of Luke Harper doing anything. Follow Gavin on Twitter!

Henry Cavill’s SUPERMAN Battles The Rock’s BLACK ADAM In This Amazing Piece Of Fan-Art

We don't know if the DC Extended Universe's Superman (Henry Cavill) and Black Adam (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) will ever cross paths on the big screen and this fan-art shows us what that could look like...

BOX OFFICE: First JUSTICE LEAGUE Opening Weekend Projections Make For Interesting Reading

Expectations are high for Justice League, especially with Joss Whedon at the helm now. Well, early projections are in for its debut at the domestic box office and you can find the details after the jump!

Here’s a First Look At GODZILLA In The Upcoming Sequel From Director Mike Dougherty

We've seen nothing significant from the Godzilla sequel but director Mike Dougherty has shared a photo from behind the scenes which seemingly reveals our first look at the titular monster's return...

Rumored Plot Outline For GAMBIT Includes Mr. Sinister And A Long List Of Fan-Favorite Mutants

A possible plot outline for Gambit has found its way online and it features some very interesting reveals about what we should expect from the movie, including the villains and supporting characters...

Autonomous Review: Robots, Love, and Identity

Annalee Newitz's Autonomous is an ambitious science fiction debut filled with pirates, robots, and questions of identity.

io9 co-founder Annalee Newitz's debut science fiction novel, Autonomous, imagines our world as it might be in the year 2144. This is a world divided not into nation-states, but economic zones. This is a world where pharmaceutical companies have immense power, and anything — or anyone — can be owned.

"Now we know there has been no one, great disaster—only the slow-motion disaster of capitalism converting every living thing and idea into property," one Autonomous character writes in a "Freeculture" essay. This is a world, like our own, where the value of property often trumps the value of people — even when people are the property.

The reader enters and explores this near-future world through two main characters: Jack Chen is a pharmaceutical pirate, a former academic who reverse-engineers patented drugs and distributes them where they are most needed. When she releases a new worker drug, Zacuity, onto the black market before its corporate launch by Zaxy, it starts killing people. Jack races to develop a drug therapy for Zacuity and expose Zaxy's corporate criminality before the highly-addictive productivity drug can claim more lives.

Jack's mission is complicated by Autonomous' second protagonist: Paladin, a military-grade robot owned by the International Property Coalition (IPC). While Paladin may have a mature human brain amongst his parts, he/she/they is new to existence. Paladin is programmed to fulfill his mission, hunting down and executing Jack and other patent-violating pirates without trial or mercy, but he is also slowly learning who he is. 

Paladin is paired with a human agent, Eliasz. As the two spy, fight, interrogate, and kill in their mission to find Jack, Paladin becomes increasingly intrigued by their friendship and growing attraction to one another. Are these feelings real or are they part of his programming? Is Eliasz attracted to Paladin or is he attracted to some anthropomorphized version of Paladin? Will the answers to those questions make a difference?

Jack's decisions may be the ones that largely drive the story, the actions that everyone else is affected by and reacting to, but it is in Paladin's story where this book sings. Paladin is violent and cutthroat, a result of his programming, yet he is innocent and curious, too — about the world, himself, and Eliasz. Paladin is forever asking the question "What, if anything, does your body mean when it comes to your identity?" For me, Paladin's exploration of this question is the most fascinating part of Autonomous.

Of course, Jack and Paladin's storylines are made stronger by their parallel. This is partly because Autonomous is a novel that actively eschews assigning "Good Guy" and "Bad Guy" designations to its players. Powerful, shadowy institutional forces like Zaxy and the IPC are reprehensible, but they exist only at the periphery of the narrative. In the main action of this story, there are no clear cut bad guys. Only the things we are or feel forced to do because of the world we live in.

"She wasn't sure which motivation made better fuel for innovation: naïve but ethical beliefs or the need to survive," Jack muses at one point in the narrative. By removing a rigid moral framework from the narrative and by putting these many characters' motives and decisions into context, Newitz leaves more space to think critically about the larger forces in society: institutions, corporations, the "free" market and the boundaries they all tend to impose on people, places, and freedom.

Autonomous takes a while to hit its stride. I dog-eared my first page on 111. But, once I started dog-earing, I couldn't stop. This book takes you from the icy waters of the Arctic to the the free labs of Saskatoon to the hacker-frequented teahouses of Casablanca, but it's most fascinating descriptions happen in the most intimate of spaces: In the Livejournal-esque ramblings of Memeland. In the whispers and caresses of a bed. And in the confused, vital, free functions of our own programming — i.e. our identity.

Some of the best scenes in this book include no human characters, instead imagining what conversations between two intelligent bots might look like. What do they talk about when humans aren't actively listening? As is the case with conversations between humans, the answer to this question varies from bot to bot, and from situation to situation.

Newitz casts a wide, diverse net when it comes to depicting relationships in this world. There are relationships between bots and bots, bots and humans, and humans and humans. No two are the same, and all shine with explorations of identity, autonomy, and how the two intersect. 

For a writer chiefly known for non-fiction writing, Newitz is as good at crafting these compelling character dynamics as she is at building the science and technology of this world. Perhaps because she understands that the two are intertwined. When talking about science fiction, there can sometimes be a lazy dichotomy formed around the idea that a book can either be hard science fiction or it can be interested in softer, interpersonal ideas.

Hard or soft. Exterior or interior. Masculine or feminine. Like its robot protagonist, Autonomous works best when these perceived dichotomies collapse and work together to become something more complicated, messy, and honest.

Autonomous is a fairly brutal book at points, but it's never hopeless. It explores the limits of idealism and good intentions, but it also gives us Jack, a character who has chosen a difficult, dangerous life of Robin Hood-esque subversion over a relatively easy life of above-board academia.

This may be a world, like our own, where the value of property often trumps the value of people — even when people are the property. But, like our own world, there are people in Autonomous who fight for a better, more honest reality, within the larger world and within themselves. 

Review Kayti Burt
Sep 23, 2017

Frank Cho and Lee Bermejo Signed Book Opportunity

Baltimore Comic Con is in full force. I am out on the floor getting a bunch of comics signed. I did a signing with Lee Bermejo and another one with Frank Cho today. Details inside. 

Email me at apopcomics@gmail.com if you are interested.

For Lee Bermejo, I have the following books. They are available signed Raw or Signed and CBCS Graded (books would need to be shipped off and would ship directly to you from CBCS.)

Suicide Squad #1 (9 Copies available)

Suicide Squad #16 B (1 Copy, Lex Luthor Harley Quinn Cover)

Frank Cho, I have the following, also available Raw signed or Signed and graded. (All are Frank Cho B Covers.)

Harley Quinn #9 (1 Copy)

Harley Quinn #10 (1 Copy)

Harley Quinn #11 (3 Copies)

Harley Quinn #12 (1 Copy)

Harley Quinn #13 (1 Copy)

Harley Quinn #14 (2 Copies)

Harley Quinn #15 (1 Copy)

Harley Quinn #16 (1 Copy)

Harley Quinn #19 (3 Copies)

Harley Quinn #20 (2 Copies)

You can see them all in the following video




Does The CW’s Crossover Art Spoil Arrow Season 6?

The CW’s big Arrowverse “Invasion!” crossover event last season was excellent in concept, but it was a bit lacking in execution. The idea of a time-spanning, alien invasion that combined multiple series — Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow — sounded great on paper, no doubt; unfortunately, the storyline tried to combine too many plot threads (in particular, The Flash‘s poorly-handled Flashpoint), and ultimately came off a little flat.

Despite the missteps, there were some solid character moments, and damned if it wasn’t a whole lotta over-the-top, dumb fun. However, the creators, led by EP Marc Guggenheim, acknowledged their mistakes and promised to come back bigger and better this year. CinemaBlend laid out the details, and wow, they weren’t kidding! At the same time, the imagery promoting this event contains possible spoilers for the upcoming Arrow Season 6, which is kind of awkward…

Related – Arrow Season 6: New Threats And Details Emerge!

As you can see from The Flash‘s Twitter account, the event re-imagines DC Comic’s classic Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline — a 12-issue mini-series that essentially squashed DC’s confusing, 50-year-old multiverse. The Crisis storyline also famously killed-off Supergirl and Barry Allen’s The Flash. I wouldn’t expect anything remotely this ground-shaking to take place in The CW’s quasi-adaptation, however.

In this season’s Arrowverse crossover, called “Crisis on Earth-X,” we once again combine Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow in a four-hour mini-series event (played-out over two nights in November). Our heroes will face evil or dark versions of themselves — expect lots of wigs and goatees!

The crossover will also introduce The Ray (Russell Tovey), who uses light-based powers — absorbing, storing, and processing light, including flight abilities — the Ray is apparently key to the whole crossover event.

Surprisingly, the promo image above appears to reveal some key secrets from Arrow Season 6. If you’ll recall, Season 5 ended on a cliffhanger: the entire Team Arrow was marooned on Lian Yu, and were possibly killed in massive series of explosions caused by big-bad Prometheus. The above image shows Arrow, Mr. Terrific, Wild Dog, Black Canary — but no Diggle, Felicity or Thea; however, IMDb lists Felicty in the credits for Season 6 Episode 1.

Did The CW just spoil who lived and who died on Lian Yu in Arrow’s Season 5 cliffhanger?


However, it would be foolish to trust the credits for any Arrow Season 6 episode at this point. Arrow fans know too well the show’s propensity for flashbacks. Additionally, since the Legends of Tomorrow have this time-travel ability, it’s entirely possible that Mr. Terrific, Wild Dog, and Black Canary only appear somewhere in the past. That said, there’s no mention of time travel in the description for this crossover.

Therein lies the problem with such multi-show events. Each series is busy telling their own stories, including many mysteries and secrets specific to each show. The big takeaway from last season’s crossover is to basically ignore whatever’s going on in each series and just concentrate on the storytelling taking place within the event. Basically, that’s what comic books like Justice League or The Avengers have been doing for years — the rosters and events in those books does not necessarily correspond to anything happening anywhere else in continuity. Hopefully, this lesson is applied here too.

DC’s been making evil-doppleganger comics for decades, and its always fun to see opposite versions of favorite characters. The team-ups and fight choreography should be fantastic. Oh, and apparently there’s a Barry-Iris wedding crammed into the middle of this thing too. Can’t wait!

Are you concerned that key secrets from Arrow‘s Season 5 have been spoiled by the Arrowverse crossover news? Let us know in the comments down below!

The Arrowverse crossover event hits The CW on November 27-28, 2017.

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SOURCE: CinemaBlend

Syfy’s The Expanse To Become Graphic Novel Exploring ‘Origins’

The Expanse: Origins original graphic novel will explore the early life of Detective Miller and the Rocinante crew.

Michael Ahr
Sep 22, 2017

Alcon Entertainment, whose TV arm is part of the production team behind the Syfy hit, The Expanse, has partnered with BOOM! Studios to create an original graphic novel called The Expanse: Origins, featuring an all-new story from series creator and original novel author, James S.A. Corey. The softcover graphic novel will collect the earlier 4-issue digital limited series penned by writers Hallie Lambert and Georgia Lee, who also write for the show, together with the new tale.

“We wanted to take a peek at who our beloved crew was before the Rocinante,” says Lee. “The show hints that each has painful secrets. The Expanse: Origins gives us clues as to what those might be, and why our heroes ultimately find home in each other.”

“Writing comics exercises different creative muscles than writing for television,” says Lambert. “I grew up reading and loving comics and graphic novels, but having this opportunity to write them has given me a whole new perspective and appreciation for the art form.”

The collection ties directly into the show’s canon by exploring the early stories of James Holden, Naomi Nagata, Amos Burton, and Alex Kamal, and the new Corey story follows the untold origins of Detective Miller. A special edition of the original graphic novel available exclusively at Barnes & Noble outlets will include 16 extra pages of bonus material, including a writers’ commentary and process art.

“Working with James S. A. Corey and the rest of the team to create meaningful new stories in the world of The Expanse: Origins was a thrill and privilege,” says Cameron Chittock, series editor at BOOM! Studios. “I can’t wait for fans to see what they’ve uncovered, particularly for everyone’s favorite detective.”

The Expanse: Origins original graphic novel features a cover by The Rahzzah of Marvel’s Luke Cage and artwork, inking, and coloring by Huang Danlan, Triona Farrell, and Juan Useche. The collection will be available for sale in February 2018.

Supernatural Season 13 Trailer: 13 Is Their Lucky Number

Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for Supernatural.

It has been a long strange trip for Supernatural. What started out as personal vendetta for the monster-hunting siblings soon turned into saving the world many times over. The show, which follows adventures of the Winchester brothers, has been on the air for so long, when it originally started airing in 2005, it was on the WB network, which is now known as the CW (it also started out getting shot on 35 mm film, if you can believe that). For a show that was supposed to end after its fifth season, being on the cusp of their thirteenth is quite an achievement.

The Season 12 finale brought with it the deaths a couple of prominent characters, including longtime fan favorites Castiel, and Crowley. The Winchesters’ mother, Mary, while not killed, was also lost, and ended the episode by being trapped in the alternate world with the devil. The show’s big bad for Season 13 that appears in the trailer is a curious one, all I can find on him is he is not new to the show and is someone familiar to fans, and likely originates from the alternate world. This new plain of Supernatural, the alternate world, could potentially bring back many long dead characters, or at least different versions of them, which is something I find interesting.

RELATED: Arrow Season 6: New Threats And Details Emerge!

As far as the upcoming season goes, I am most excited for the Supernatural/Scooby-Doo crossover episode that was announced a while back. This seems like such a natural match, and I am surprised the concept took as long as it did to be produced. Supernatural usually shines in these types of one off episodes, with several under their belt already, including the brothers being transported to the world of television and made to act out the plots of various TV shows to the brothers finding a series of paperback books chronicling their lives with incredible detail.

I have always taken note of the ability of the Supernatural writers to dig deep and find lore and myths that are interesting and new. Sure, the show features the basic monster fare, but judging from the content of many of the episodes, the writers put in a lot of research. Supernatural is one of the few network shows I watch regularly and while I know it’s a long journey to catch up, I would recommend giving Supernatural a try it if you have the time.

Sam and Dean Winchester are set to return as the modern day Van Helsings on October 12.

Are you a fan of the Winchesters? Let us know in the comments down below!

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The CW Releases Synopses For Arrow, The Flash, Legends, Supergirl, & Riverdale!

It’s almost that wonderful time called the fall TV season, where all our favorite TV shows return the small screen. This is especially special for DC fans, who have been able to see countless superheroes fully realized in shows like Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. Additionally, Archie Comics fans also got to see a strange interpretation of the wholesome characters last fall in the strangely not-so-wholesome Riverdale — which featured murder, teacher-student sex, and everything else in between.

The CW has released the synopses for the premiere of each of these shows, which we’ll reveal in their weekday order.

Let’s start with the Season 3 premiere of Supergirl, which premieres Monday at 8/7c on October 9!

“DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF YOU — Kara (Melissa Benoist) deals with the loss of Mon-El (Chris Wood) by focusing all her energy on being Supergirl and the mysterious new threat against National City. Alex (Chyler Leigh) confesses a secret to Maggie (guest star Floriana Lima) about their impending nuptials. A citizen of National City has a mysterious connection to Kara, and Lena (Katie McGrath) makes a bold move. Jesse Warn directed the episode with story by Andrew Kreisberg and teleplay by Robert Rovner and Caitlin Parrish.”

Up next is The Flash, which premieres its fourth season on Tuesday at 8/7c on October 10.

“With Barry (Grant Gustin) in the speed force, Iris (Candice Patton), Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale), Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Vibe (Carlos Valdes) have taken over protecting Central City. However, when a powerful armored villain threatens to level the city if The Flash doesn’t appear, Cisco makes a risky decision to break Barry out of the speed force. However, the Barry that comes out isn’t the same Barry that went in. Glen Winter directed the episode with story by Andrew Kreisberg and teleplay by Todd Helbing & Eric Wallace.”

Premiering that same Tuesday at 9/8c is the first episode of Season 3 of Legends of Tomorrow:

“With Barry (Grant Gustin) in the speed force, Iris (Candice Patton), Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale), Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Vibe (Carlos Valdes) have taken over protecting Central City. However, when a powerful armored villain threatens to level the city if The Flash doesn’t appear, Cisco makes a risky decision to break Barry out of the speed force. However, the Barry that comes out isn’t the same Barry that went in. Glen Winter directed the episode with story by Andrew Kreisberg and teleplay by Todd Helbing & Eric Wallace.”


The following day on October 11 at 8/7c is the premiere of Season 2 of Riverdale:

“THE ANGEL OF DEATH — As Fred’s (Luke Perry) life hangs in the balance following the shooting at Pop’s diner, Archie (KJ Apa) struggles with the emotional aftermath of what he witnessed. Meanwhile, as Veronica (Camila Mendes) steps out of her comfort zone to support Archie, she learns that her father Hiram (Mark Consuelos) has arrived to Riverdale earlier than expected. Elsewhere, at Pop’s diner, Pop Tate (guest star Alvin Sanders) recounts the chilling details of the shooting, which leaves Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and Betty (Lili Reinhart) questioning the gunman’s true motives. Lastly, after running into Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) at the hospital, Betty and Kevin (Casey Cott) are surprised to learn about the fire at Thornhill. Rob Seidenglanz directed the episode written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.”

Finally, on Thursday at 8/7c on October 12 will be the Season 6 premiere of Arrow. Below is the most underwhelming synopsis of the group:

“THE AFTERMATH — Oliver (Stephen Amell) deals with the fallout of the explosion on the island. James Bamford directed the episode written by Marc Guggenheim & Wendy Mericle.”

Which of these CW series are you looking forward to most? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Godzilla 2 Director Shows Off Monster In New Set Photo

A few years back, audiences were treated to the 2014 reboot Godzilla. While the movie may not have been as strong as it could have been (at least not in this writer’s opinion), it was well received enough (and it made enough money) to justify not only a sequel, but an entire mega-franchise that will eventually culminate in King Kong and Godzilla butting heads.

This year saw the release of the second entry in the franchise with Kong: Skull Island. It was another strong performing film that really helped lay the groundwork for what’s too come. However, as excited as we all are to see King Kong and Godzilla’s clashing on the big screen, we will get to see the Japanese kaiju take on another threat by itself first in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Director Mike Dougherty has been waist-deep in production for some time now (in fact, he’s nearly 70 days into production), and today, he took to Twitter to share a a new image from the set.

Have a look!

It’s hard to say for sure, but it looks like they’re shooting on a sound stage, and that they’re using a projection screen to show off Godzilla — perhaps as an in-depth eyeline for the actors. In having them react to more than just a dot or puppet, it may actually bring a stronger performance, especially for younger actors. But that’s all just speculation. Whatever it’s used for, it certainly makes for a fun set photo for him to show off.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters — while a standalone Godzilla movie — won’t only feature Godzilla in it. In addition to everyone’s favorite over-sized lizard, it’s also set to feature the likes of Mothra, Rodan, and the three-headed King Ghidorah.

Set to star in the film are Kyle Chandler, Sally Hawkins, Vera Farmiga, Stranger Thing’s Millie Bobby Brown, and Ken Watanabe.

What do you think of this new image? Let us know your thoughts down below!

Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits theaters on March 22, 2019.

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SOURCE: Mike Dougherty

CW Arrowverse Crossover Gets Title, Description & Promotional Art!

Slowly but surely, the CW’s DC universe has grown to be the big monster it is today. As of right now, it consists of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. For the time being, next year’s Black Lightning will remain in its own little world, but should that hit off in the right way, we may very well see it starting to cross paths with the rest of the gang.

Every year, one of the big events fans look forward to are the crossovers that occur between series. Last year saw our heroes face off against an alien threat. With this next crossover, the threat appears to be from another unknown Earth. The title of the crossover is “Crisis on Earth-X” and it’s described as follows:

“With all of the heroes in town to celebrate Barry and Iris’ wedding, villains from Earth-X crash the festivities with a deadly agenda.”

Sounds fun enough, and with all the heroes gathered in one place from the get-go this time around, it’ll likely get off to a quicker start.

In celebration of this crossover, The CW commissioned comic artist Phil Jimenez to draw a comic book cover that gives us a flavor of what to expect.

Check it out below!

Regarding the hiring of Jimenez for this piece, executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg said:

“We conceived this year’s crossover to be evocative of the annual Justice League/Justice Society crossovers we grew up with and looked forward to as kids. Phil was the perfect choice to bring the comic book cover iteration of this idea to life. You can count on one hand the number of artists who could compellingly represent so many characters in a single image. Phil is one of them. And his design invokes the cover of Justice League #207, which was the 20th annual JLA/JSA crossover. Our 10-year-old selves are in heaven.”

Last year saw the crossovers take place over all four shows and four nights (though it only just started at the tail-end of Supergirl). This year, while the crossover will span a full four shows, it will be experience over a Monday and Tuesday night. The filmmakers felt this change would allow for tighter storyline, so we’ll have to wait and see if that’s the case.

Admittedly as a viewer, watching the shows over the course of four nights is a bit of a marathon, so perhaps they have a point.

What do you think of the logline and art for the new crossover? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Deadline

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is Completely Finished!

Lucasfilm is definitely going through a bit of a phase. After bringing back the Star Wars film franchise following a decade of being dormant, they really had to hit the ground running. They announced a whole slate of films, as well as some directors that would be attached down the line. Looking back on it, it makes a lot of sense.

As fans of Star Wars, we wanted to make sure our baby was being treated well, and by laying out a plan for all of us to see, it helped convince us that they were confident in the direction they were going. Unfortunately, it seems to have led to the hiring of directors before Lucasfilm even understood what direction they were headed in. As a result, virtually every film so far has faced real trouble.

RELATED: Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Two New Images Surface

This is not the case with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In fact, thanks to a new Instagram post from director Rian Johnson, we now know that the film is 100 percent done — and well in advance of its December 15 release, to boot!

And in case you thought that he may still have some sound mixing and other post-production stuff to do, he took to Twitter to clarify that yes, the film is done.

As stated above, it’s been a bumpy ride for Lucasfilm, but Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a film that has faced exactly zero negative press. There was no casting fiasco, no director replacement, no rumors of the film getting 50 percent of its scenes reshot, and no clashes between him and the execs.

When all said and done, it seems to have been a smooth shoot for both Johnson and Lucasfilm. All we can do is hope that the film ends up as good as the production went smoothly. As a second entry in a trilogy, there’s a lot of pressure for it to go darker and deeper — and for it to be the strongest Star Wars film yet.

No pressure or anything, right? Let’s hope Lucasfilm won’t have wished they utilized these next few months to polish the film.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15, 2017.

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SOURCE: Rian Johnson (via Instagram & Twitter)

RUMOR: Who Or What Warwick Davis Is Playing In The Han Solo Film

Warwick Davis is no stranger to the Star Wars universe. Davis, of course, played Wicket the Ewok in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Davis also played alien creatures in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The actor is also involved in this year’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the currently Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story, though both roles are unknown at this time. Or are they?

We may now know who Davis plays in Han Solo, at least. According to a rumor from Making Star Wars, Davis is apparently playing a power droid called Fight Droid 2. Power droids are the good ole’ boxy droids with legs sticking out underneath, seen in the original Star Wars. Unlike the typical, bland power droid, Fight Droid 2 is as decked out with weapons as War Machine from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a chain saw and a buzz saw blade for hands, according to the report. Making Star Wars has no idea what happened Fight Droid 1, so maybe we’ll see the two droids face off in an epic droid battle that would make the prequels jealous! Probably not, but one can always dream.

RELATED: Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Two New Images Surface

Just in case you need a refresher on who Davis played besides Wicket across the many Star Wars films he has been in, then here we go! In The Phantom Menace, Davis played a gambler in the Podracing arena and one of Mos Espa’s street vendors. He also played Yoda for just a single scene in the film. In The Force Awakens, Davis played Wollivan, one of the creatures in Maz’s castle. And in Rogue One, he played Weeteef Cyu-Bee, one of the Jedha rebels. His role in The Last Jedi is unknown, just as news of Fight Droid 2 is simply a rumor at this point. But it’s great to see Lucasfilm is keeping a Star Wars legend like Davis involved in as many projects as possible. When you’re in a galaxy far, far away, you’re family.

Excited for Fight Droid 2? Or just the Han Solo movie in general? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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SOURCE: Making Star Wars

Comics Legend Dave Gibbons On Why Batman v Superman Didn’t Work

Since its release in 2016, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been the source of many nerd debates. Along with pacing issues and questionable casting decisions, one of the more voiced critiques of the film was the portrayal of Superman. Many fans were still not onboard with the darker take on the character that began with 2013’s Man of Steel. Teaming up in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with an already dark character in Batman, Superman should have been the one to be the offset of that tone. And if you want to hear that from someone who has way more clout than I do, take comic industry veteran, Dave Gibbons. Gibbons knows a thing or two about Batman and Superman teaming up as in the 1990s he wrote a little known story called World’s Finest. Gibbons recently spoke with ComicBook.com, and gave his thoughts on where the movie went wrong.

“… I think probably the failure of the Superman-Batman movie was that it was really too dark, and that Superman was made as dark as Batman. And to me, that really doesn’t work, I thought that’s the perfect opportunity to contrast the two characters. Which is something that I did actually, in the graphic novel series that I wrote back in the ’90s, where you know, they were seen as kind of yin and yang, you know, the two sides of the superhero coin, so.”

RELATED: Justice League Has Apparently Screened For Some Lucky Fans

I can’t say I disagree with Gibbons, while dark and gritty may work for Batman, it doesn’t really work for Superman. I think the DCEU can still be presented as darker and more adult than Marvel’s shared universe while still retaining the integrity of Superman’s character. Let the boy scout be the beacon of light in a gloomy and hopeless world.

It appears as if DC has taken notice to the concerns of the fans, as the upcoming Justice League film appears to have a much lighter tone to it overall. However, since we are yet to see Superman in any of the trailers, we can’t be sure of how his demeanor has changed or not changed. Joss Whedon (who handled the first two Avengers films quite well) is said to have put his stamp on the film after coming in to take over for Zack Snyder. As I have said before, I did enjoy Batman v. Superman for the most part. It had its share of problems, but I still found it to be quite fun and entertaining. As far as the future of the DCEU, I am concerned, yet optimistic for whats to come of it in over the next few years.

Do you agree with Dave Gibbons? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Source: ComicBook.com

Things Are Getting Stranger In New Poster For Stranger Things Season 2

Stranger Things finally returns at the end of October. The “it” show of 2016 (not as in the film IT, though the two are very similar), Stranger Things was a surprise and smashing success for Netflix, feeling like a lost Steven Spielberg film based on a lost Stephen King novel. Netflix is well aware of the success they have on their hands, and this October’s second season of Stranger Things has had a giant marketing push and will feature more merchandise than any Netflix series before it.

As part of Netflix’s marketing, the Stranger Things account on twitter has posted a new poster for Stranger Things Season 2, and it features a familiar, yet terrifying, image from the trailers.

This poster is neat because it mimics the feel of Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind from two angles. First, the image of a bright light casting a silhouette of a child opening a door is one of the most classic images from that Spielberg film. Second, Will’s drawing of the tentacles of the monster we see outside are taped throughout his house, just as Richard Dreyfus’ character saw images of Devil’s Tower in his head and sculpted them into his mash potatoes.

RELATED: Stranger Things Gets A Goonies-Inspired Poster

One thing is for sure; Hawkins, Indiana is featuring a far larger threat with greater mysteries from the Upside Down this time around. Thankfully, the trailers have been light on details, so Season 2 will hopefully feel as fresh and unexpected as the first. The main question I have is will this Armageddon we see actually take place, or is the creature shown on the poster and in the trailers simply a vision of Will’s? Because that creature is a hell of a lot bigger than the Demogorgon and may be a little difficult for Chief Hopper and the kids to defeat.

Are you excited for Stranger Things Season 2? What do you think of the new poster? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Stranger Things drops on Netflix on October 27, 2017.

Don’t forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.

SOURCE: Stranger Things on Twitter

New DC-CW Crossover CRISIS ON EARTH-X Details

The home of UNCLE SAM & THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS comes to the CW DC Universe. And BARRY ALLEN's Wedding.

TOM BREVOORT on LEGACY Longterm, Future of Events, and the Return of the FANTASTIC FOUR?

Marvel's Tom Brevoort fiils Newsarama in on the secrets of MARVEL LEGACY.

First Look: Bruce Begins a Post-Proposal Journey in BATMAN #33

Is he mending a broken heart, or scouting reception locations?

AJ STYLES To Write Autobio Comics For BOOM!’s WWE Title

No styles clash here, hopefully.

KINGSMAN: GOLDEN CIRCLE Nabs $3.4m In Thursday Previews

Almost double what its original earned.

BATMAN Invades The Watchtower In METAL’s THE MURDER MACHINE #1 Preview

Machine vs. Murder Machine.

Space Knight Out For Revenge In ROM VS. TRANSFORMERS: SHINING ARMOR #3 Preview

A Cybertronian killed a Solstar Knight cadet, and now he wants vengeance.

ROM… ance? ROM #13 Preview

Some quiet time.


CW has teased what viewers can expect from the season premieres of its comic book TV shows.

GEOFF JOHNS Connects The Dots In DC’s First DOOMSDAY CLOCK Trailer

Who watches the Watchmen?

STAR WARS: LAST JEDI Completed 3 Months Before Release

Rian Johnson says 'That's a wrap!'

NEAL ADAMS Is Finally Revealing Secrets About DEADMAN He’s Never Told Anyone

"I was revving up to do the ongoing story of Deadman — not the 'adventures' of Deadman. It's his story, a personal, specific, great story. And it never got told. It got begun."


Chip Zdarsky sets the stage for PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN going into LEGACY.

InvestComics Hot Picks #494

InvestComics Hot Picks provides readers and speculators the low down on the new releases coming out on Wednesday each week.
Hot Picks have been weekly since 2005.
This week, new comic book release day 9/27/17.

NOTE: This site is BEST VIEWED on Google Chrome.
New to InvestComics? Please read the Disclaimer here before proceeding…

Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.
ALL InvestComics Hot Picks mobile videos.

Buy/Bid – Legacy #1

Buy/Bid – Deadpool Kills #5

Buy/Bid – Cable #5

Buy/Bid – Spider-Gwen #24










Buy/Bid – Power Pack #1

Starting this week off with a statement/rant…….an OPINION. No hate mail, no fanboy ridiculousness please. Not trying to instill values here. A simple opinion is all. In NO WAY do we not LOVE the indie companies, we’re just making a simple (opinion) point. Indie companies are amazing and do their thing each and every single week with quality. We will ALWAYS support the indie community as we have done since 2005. The opinion below is speaking about the big 2 and how much of a REAL stranglehold they truly have on the comic book industry. One may want to beat Walmart, Microsoft, Exxon, etc., but realistically it’s not happening anytime soon. That’s all we’re saying.
Many comic collectors have witnessed over the past few years with the ‘big 2’ are major changes within their character structure, their universes and origins. While many fanboys do not understand why this is happening, we do. We see the comic shops closing down on a regular basis, we see sales are down, we witness it all like everyone has. Then the ease from SOME comic shop owners to boast about how great they are doing in their business and how dumb other store owners are for not ‘having a pulse on things’ or ‘over ordering’ or whatever feeble excuse they can come up with to make themselves feel bigger and better, instead of picking up a person that is down. Here’s an obvious newsflash for those who boast and those who think they are the smartest business persons on the planet, comic books have become a very niche market. Kids do not dominate the sales (which is a very bad thing), heck most kids don’t even care that much about comics. It’s honesty, don’t get your panties in a bunch. Children are not going to ‘come around’ and buy comics. Some may, most won’t. Why you ask? Well, do you have children? There are simply too many distractions for them. Here are the biggest culprits; mobile phones (games/Youtube/chat), PC (games/Youtube/chat), Video games (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, etc). Those are the strongest assets driving kids AWAY from reading a comic and another other hobby at the moment. Newsflash again, times are a-changing (thanks Bob). Times HAVE changed. Comic books are becoming a cornered market for a dying niche group. Not saying comic are going away anytime soon, but the landscape for comic books are completely different than they were 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago. The fanboy or that boasting comic store owner does not understand the concept that it wasn’t because of ‘over ordering’ or ‘not having a pulse’ or anything to this nature that made that store close down, it’s simply a matter of the market correcting itself to have the right number of stores for the right amount of collectors. If anyone thinks that 18 year old card collector will continue to play with Pokeman cards for the duration of their lives as a lifer, you need to check yourself. It won’t happen. So the next question is, well, why not just teach the younger crowd to play cards or collect comics like WE do? Well, some of that may work, most of it won’t. Distractions, remember? Like it or not, technology will and is winning. Heck it already has won. Less stores, less sales, more discount sales happening all the time all around us. I know many are reading this in a fit of nerd fanboy rage and disagreeing, which is fine, but come up with a more plausible cause for ALL of the stores and the industry as a whole showing no significant gains what so ever. Oh wait, now the store owners (SOME) and fanboys will cry out ‘The Indies! The Indies are taking over!’. No they’re not, relax. Been hearing that since 1992. Yes they do have a market share, not enough to overthrow the big 2, so chill with that. The big 2 run the show, everyone still falls in third place and beyond. The indies release their Saga’s and Walking Dead’s while Superman and Spider-Man are and will always be, Superman and Spider-Man. The indie’s have more freedom to do certain stories that catch with fans (the dedicated indie crowd) and they do well, but this crowd will always want their Batman story too. Again, panties in a bunch, just an opinion here. The room is big enough for all companies to do their thing, but let’s not kid ourselves here, that indie writer, artist, colorist, inker, editor would jump at the first chance to work for Marvel or DC if offered the opportunity. Why do you think that is?? They are the big boys, they pay well and offer maximum exposure. That’s why.
With the landscape ever-changing as it has, DC and Marvel have tried desperately to change with it. Let’s remember, they are in the superhero business, not the Rat Queens, Henchgirl, Saga, Strain business. Although they are completely capable of doing comics like that, they don’t. Which they will eventually (complete confident speculation here). Yes that’s right, eventually Marvel and DC will eventually go off the beaten path of releasing non-superhero type comics MORE SO than they will superhero comics. They’re in business to make money and the superhero genre will take a back seat to more realistic, indie type stories. Yes they see the indie companies in the rearview, not worried so much they’ll take over as much as it is that they will eventually dominate the independent story making vibe. The superhero movies will run their course and this is driving some (most) of the interest for the big 2 right now. What will be next for them? Yes, the offbeat sci-fi story or those kids in a bank or that southern country story, you get the idea. They will once again run the table as they are doing right now. Why do you think the Power Pack movie news came out? (InvestComics did in fact predict this would happen too. Take a look at the excerpt we posted on our Facebook page more than two years ago regarding Power Pack #1.) Power Pack is the beginning of something different from Marvel (Disney). Yes they are superheroes, but they are kids as superheroes. A new era is creeping upon us, be ready for it folks. Hate all you want, but the big 2 have the most toys. Say how you will ‘protest’ once again because Peter and Mary aren’t married anymore or Captain America is hailing Hydra. Protest DC for their massive changes in-house regarding their universe for the umpteenth time, Marvel for doing the same……like this week….again. But you’ll be back, you’ll read and you’ll secretly like it. You can’t show your fanboy friend (who secretly likes the changes too) that you like the new Marvel Legacy idea, no way. Nope. Not happening. But it is happening because Marvel will take the lion share sales for the month(s) of September and October, so someone is buying this stuff and someone is reading it. Why not just fess up that you will in fact buy the new Marvel Legacy comics? It’s okay, you’re entitled to like them. It’s your money, your mind and your time.

Here is the bottom line. Marvel and DC make their changes because the profits are floundering. Everyone has the answers though! Everyone that isn’t a part of the board has the answers. The reasons for so many changes as in any business is to change things up and bring in new revenue. Did you know that one can tell if a late show on television is struggling just by looking at a desk placement? Moving the hosts desk is an actual sign of trying to change things up, bring a new vibe/feel to the show, get more revenue for its commercial spots. It’s absolutely true. So, is it the host fault? Maybe it’s Tom Cruise fault? A bit fell flat? Businesses try to figure out ways to spice things up, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s okay. Have YOU succeeded in everything you’ve ever tried? No of course not. The Marvel diversity fell flat after a strong showing, it’s failing now and now they are adjusting. It’s okay people, it’s okay. No one died, no one got injured, your family is safe. And guess what, this is the best part, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. Now is the time to give Marvel Legacy a shot. This may work, it may not. Who knows? Either way, it’s still a product we all love, comic books. There are still plenty of stories to be told, whether you like them or not, no one is forcing you to read them. Marvel is picking up the pieces. They tried something and now it’s time to try something again. A dose of reality, Marvel and DC do not care about your opinion. They will do what THEY want to do. So, knowing this, why the uproar each and every time they want to do a makeover? Ford motors, Microsoft, Boeing, Walmart, AT&T, FedEx, etc. do not give one iota of what your opinion is when they make changes, recognize your place and act accordingly, stop embarrassing yourself and the comic community. Embrace change for what it is. Stressing over something you have no control over or does not affect the health of you or your family should never matter. It’s all entertainment, remember this.
Marvel Redux (Legacy) hits this week. Everything you knew about Marvel from yesteryear will fall back into place….mostly, with some new additions and twist. Except Peter and MJ? That’s an odd thing for Marvel to say about their total recall line, but do not fret, it will happen. A big grandiose 137 variant cover event will happen when this baby arrives, wait for it. Marvel likes money and attention, it will happen. And speaking of a lot of variant covers, Marvel Legacy #1 will have just that, lots and lots of variant covers. There are a couple of them that’ll appear in our weekly ‘Best Comic Covers’ post coming out soon. So, what to make of this Marvel Legacy? Nothing really. Nothing in the sense we go back to the drawing board once again and rid these new flagship characters as focal points. Jane is cool, as is Sam, Kamala, Miles, etc., but basics are better. Those characters do have a place in the Marvel U, just not front and center. Peter, Steve, Carol, Odinson, etc. belong front and center. Again, opinion here, save your hate mail and messages unless you can speak from an adult vantage point and not a fanboy. Definitely going to give Marvel Legacy #1 a shot here and so should you. You will, you know you will.

Buy/Bid – FOOM #1 1973

Buy/Bid – FOOM #2

Buy/Bid – FOOM #1 2017

Buy/Bid – Scarlet Spider #8









As Marvel Legacy debuts this Wednesday, they’ll bridge the gaps for Spidey and Cap in the same week. Generations Captain Americas #1 and Generations Miles Morales & Peter Parker Spider-Man #1.
Fan favorite character Spider-Gwen will see a transformation of some sort in Spider-Gwen #24. Be it a psychical, exterior, status quo or a mental change, not too sure. Keep an eye out on this one because any big (acceptable) change can mean a book in demand (ComicsInDemand.com). If the collector(s) give it a ‘meh’, no dice for the speculator. The reader gets rewarded either way though.
Many fans will try to make something of all the comic covers behind Deadpool on Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again #5 cover. Some sites will make a whole meaningless write up about it. Although there are some key books on that wall, which is not news, the best part of this Dave Johnson cover must be Cable’s head, which is also not news, but funny. He had to do this on purpose, right? Last issue of this great mini. Cullen Bunn and Dalibor Talijic.
And speaking of covers, Rob Liefeld provides the Venomized cover for Cable #5. Looks fantastic Rob.
Ben Reilly The Scarlet Spider #8 may have an introduction.

Buy/Bid – Action Comics #988

Buy/Bid – Detective #965

Buy/Bid – Captain Americas #1

Buy/Bid – Spidey & Spidey #1










Back in 1973, a free Marvel magazine named FOOM provided fans with all sorts of goodies in it. Puzzles, pin-ups, interviews, photos, previews, etc. Some collectors even try to pass FOOM #2 as the true first appearance of Wolverine because it predates Hulk #181. While it’s a pricey get, it never materialized as the ‘go to’ for the first appearance. However, this week Marvel brings back the free FOOM #1 magazine as it coincides with the whole Marvel Legacy deal. “Speculators” will keep an eye out on this freebie as it may contain that panel/headshot/leg shot/hand shot/shadow of a hot new character that debuts in a regular comic someplace down the line. Silly speculators and other silly speculative websites these days will jump all over this one and make sure this one counts as the Wolverine ‘first’ does not. Just to have something to write about and feel important. It will become this; first appearance ever and first appearance in a comic book. Yawn.

Buy/Bid – Wonder Woman #31

Buy/Bid – Justice League #50

Buy/Bid – Murder Machine #1

Buy/Bid – Flash #31










Wonder Woman #31 has the potential of being a hot commodity on Wednesday. This is the second appearance of Jason. Jason is Wonder Woman’s twin brother. The new WW issue begins the search for her brother Jason; “Children of the Gods” part one. He’s probably all grown up already and a total bad as*. That’s just speculation of course. He first appeared as a baby (birth) in Justice League #50 (2016).
DC claims that Detective Comics #965 will be the biggest story in the Rebirth Era. This is their semi-answer to Marvel Legacy coming this Wednesday. Part one ‘A Lonely Place Of Living’. The story will focus on Tim Drake. Buckle in!
Writer Frank Tieri continues his Metal tie-in stories this week with Batman The Murder Machine #1. Frank is really turning it up on these tie-in books. Check them out.
Okay so what is up with Nightwing on the Dan Mora Batgirl #15 cover? That left hand. Get a room guys…
DC Comics changed the Lenticular Cover for Action Comics #988. (Spoiler alert) It depicts the shadow image from the Watchmen comic as they meet their demise with the explosion. This comic also continues the big reveal from last issue. Mr. Oz is ______?! But how?!
The ‘Bloodwork’ storyline continues in The Flash #31 this week. The second appearance of Bloodwork. Joshua Williamson & Neil Googe.

Buy/Bid – Batgirl #15

Buy/Bid – Graveland #1

Buy/Bid – Fu Jitsu #1

Buy/Bid – Saga #47

Buy/Bid – Aardvark #1








InvestComics Indie Hot Picks; Indie comics do not always show up on Ebay right way. Please check back on a regular basis, Some of the smaller print indie books usually list after new comic book release day or a few days after.
InvestComics has covered Scout Comics for quite some time now and called all of their hit comics, Graveland #1 will be another hit for Scout. Creators Massimo Rosi & Gabriel Ibarra Nunez.
New After Shock Comics series, Fu Jitsu #1 from Jai Nitz and Wesley St. Claire.
Saga #47 introduces Ianthe.
The Infinite Loop Nothing But the Truth #1 (IDW); Creators Pierrick Colinet, Elsa Charretier and Danele Di Nicuolo.
Aardvark Comics #1 (Aardvark Vanaheim). Dave Sim.
From Antarctic Press; Arya #1: Sofia Davila, Minjun Chen and Adventure Finders #1: Rod Espinosa.
Kill Them All (Oni Press). Creators Kyle Starks and Luigi Anderson.
Devil’s Due; Malefic #1. Dan Schaffer & David Miller.

Buy/Bid – Arya #1

Buy/Bid – Adventure #1

Buy/Bid – Kill Them All

Buy/Bid – Malefic #1

Buy/Bid – Infinite Loop #1








Giving the Speculator an Edge Since 2005!
Invest wisely. Read Comics.
Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz




The post InvestComics Hot Picks #494 appeared first on InvestComics.

Reputed ALEX ROSS Image Adds to FANTASTIC FOUR Return Speculation

But what is it for?

DARK NIGHTS: METAL 101 – What Is The Dark Multiverse?

52 universes... and something else?

Best Shots Rapid-Fire Reviews: AVENGERS #11, BATWOMAN #7, INVINCIBLE #140, More


KILL THE MINOTAUR to be Adapted to Film

KILL THE MINOTAUR will enter the labyrinth of film adaptation.


The same week as New York Comic Con.

IDW PUBLISHING December 2017 Solicitations

30 DAYS OF NIGHT returns.

SUPERMAN’s First Word After Learning MR. OZ’s Identity In ACTION COMICS #988

And surprise art by Ryan Sook.

Top 5 Hot Picks #131

Every week before new comic book day, InvestComics provides our fans with the Top 5 Hot Picks for new comics coming out on Wednesday. This list is pulled straight from the latest (weekly) InvestComics Hot Picks article. This week’s Top 5 based on InvestComics Hot Picks #493 and new comics coming this Wednesday 9/20/17.

We recommend viewing our great site on Google Chrome!
New to InvestComics? Please read the Disclaimer here before proceeding…

Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.

Totally Awesome Hulk #23 – The Weapon H character continues to be a hot commodity. This Jim Steranko homage cover from Frank Cho is sold out on the distributor level.
Dark Ark #1 – The new After Shock comic from Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe.
Gasolina #1 – New Image Comic from Creators Sean Mackiewicz, Mat Lopes & Niko Walter.
Misbegotten Runaway Nun #1 – The famous Marilyn Monroe skirt photo gets a comic cover and sells out. Justin Case cover.
Invincible Iron Man #11 – Marvel says this about this comic……‘a prologue to one of the biggest Iron Man stories in modern history.’

Top 5 – Buy/Bid

Top 5 – Buy/Bid

Top 5 – Buy/Bid

Top 5 – Buy/Bid

Top 5 – Buy/Bid








Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.

Avengers #11

King Size Hulk #1

La Muerta #1

Also appearing in this weeks InvestComics Hot Picks #493
Click on the RED links to buy/bid now from ALL available Ebay sellers.

Journey to Star Wars The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #2
Invincible Iron Man #11
Avengers #11
Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #4
Venom #154
King Size Hulk #1 (1968)
America #7
Vengeance #1 (2011)
Venomverse #3
Generations: Ms. Marvel & Ms. Marvel #1
Realm #1
Angelic #1
The Beautiful Death #1
Superman #75 (1993)
Black Hammer #13
La Muerta Vengeance #1
La Muerta: Descent #1
Mr. Crypt #1

Giving the Speculator an Edge Since 2005!
Invest wisely. Read Comics.
Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz





The post Top 5 Hot Picks #131 appeared first on InvestComics.

Best Comic Covers Of The Week 9-20-17

New comic book release day 9/20/17. New comic releases are subject to change.
These are our favorite comic covers from the new arrivals this week. Shown below are the comic book covers with the cover artist. What are your favorite covers this week?

NOTE: This site is BEST VIEWED on Google Chrome.
New to InvestComics? Please read the Disclaimer here before proceeding

Click on the Images/Comic Cover to buy/bid from All sellers on Ebay.

Click on the Images/Comic Cover to buy/bid from All sellers on Ebay.

Aquaman #28 – Joshua Middleton

Batwoman #7 – Ben Oliver

Misbegotten Nun #1 – Justin Case

Super Sons #8 -Dustin Nguyen










Doctor Strange #25 – Chris Bachalo

Bloodshot #1 – Monika Palosz

Jean Grey #7 – Marco Checchetto

Injustice 2 #10 – Bruno Redondo










Doctor Strange #25 – Gustavo Duarte

Ms. & Ms. #1 – Kris Anka

Ms. & Ms. #1 – Oliver Coipel

Venomverse #3 – Gerardo Sandoval










Avengers #11 – Tyler Kirkman

Iron Man #11 – Jesus Saiz

Spec SpM #4 – Julian Totino

King Size Hulk #1 – Jim Steranko










Giving the Speculator an Edge Since 2005!
Invest wisely. Read Comics.
Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz





The post Best Comic Covers Of The Week 9-20-17 appeared first on InvestComics.

WIN Tile Mosaic Spider-Man #789 Variant

InvestComics LLC is proud to team with Shattered Comics & Little Giant Comics for their very first limited exclusive variant cover offering. The Amazing Spider-Man #789 Legacy tile mosaic variant. This tile mosaic cover pays homage to the original first appearance of the Punisher in Amazing Spider-Man #129 in 1974. The cover was done by Gil Kane, John Romita Sr. & Gaspar. The Shattered Comics variant cover is drawn by artist Matthew Dimasi.

From the Ebay solicit; ‘This variant is limited to only 3000 copies. In the photos below are images of Matt DiMasi’s amazing tile mosaic! Each work of art takes 100-150 hours to complete. He free hand draws the image then painstakingly breaks each tile into tiny pieces and applies one piece at a time. Once the work is done and the grout is applied… VOILA!’ Now this tile mosaic piece is the ACTUAL cover to THIS comic! 

Now the fun part, giveaways! We will give a pair of these covers to TWO lucky winners a week up until it’s release date on Oct 11th. Want more awesomeness? Sure why not……The winners will get to choose if they want their comic SIGNED by artist Matthew Dimasi. How awesome is that?!
Each week on Friday, that’s September 22nd, 29th, October 6th and on release day October 11th (Wednesday), we will award TWO lucky recipients one book each. Remember, YOU get to choose if you want your comic signed. Just let us know!

These variant covers are available right now for only $14.99. Go to the Shattered Comics Ebay page and purchase your copy now before they are gone! These WILL sell out!

Entering to win is quite simple, but a challenge to those who don’t read or pay attention.
LIKE/Follow InvestComics AND Little Giant Comics on FacebookSHARE the post!!
IF you ALREADY follow InvestComics and Little Giant ComicsSHARE the post for your entry!
If you SHARE the post on Twitter, Instagram or Google+, this will count as an entry!
This giveaway is open to participants in the continental U.S. only

Good luck!













This promotion is open to participants in the continental U.S. only. If you have won a giveaway from InvestComics LLC within the last 6 months, you are not eligible in this promotion. InvestComics LLC Shattered Comics & Little Giant Comics are not responsible for any lost item(s) or damages during shipping. There will be no replacement item(s) shipped out once the product is in the sole possession of the delivery service of Shattered Comics or Little Giant Comics choice. Employee’s or family members of InvestComics, Social Media Giveaway Shattered Comics or Little Giant Comics are not eligible for this promotional giveaway. Please allow some ample time for your comics to get to you. Amazing Spider-Man #789 will be released on October 11th 2017.  If you do not respond via message or email to our announcement that you’ve won on any of the social media that we post and tag you on within 15 days, your prize will be forfeited. No rainchecks. We will not chase you.
InvestComics does not send out prizes. The above company or creator giving away the item(s) sends out the prize(s). Once we receive your address information we send it to the company or creator so that THEY send it to the winner. InvestComics is NOT responsible for any item(s) not shipped out in a timely manner. InvestComics is also not responsible for ANY purchased items on ANY website other than our own. We are not liable for any payments made to outside websites other than any purchases made directly through InvestComics LLC. If there is an issue with any purchased product or shipping regarding this giveaway that is not purchased through InvestComics LLC, please contact the company or creator directly if you deem it necessary to do so. We will NOT be the middle man handling the issue, payment(s) or shipping of your item(s).

The post WIN Tile Mosaic Spider-Man #789 Variant appeared first on InvestComics.

InvestComics Hot Picks #493

InvestComics Hot Picks provides readers and speculators the low down on the new releases coming out on Wednesday each week.
Hot Picks have been weekly since 2005.
This week, new comic book release day 9/20/17.

NOTE: This site is BEST VIEWED on Google Chrome.
New to InvestComics? Please read the Disclaimer here before proceeding…

Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.
ALL InvestComics Hot Picks mobile videos.

Buy/Bid – Venomverse #3

Buy/Bid – PP Spect Spm #4

Buy/Bid – Avengers #11

Buy/Bid – Venom #154










Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.

Anyone notice how in the first issue of the new Captain Phasma series, ‘she’ never took off ‘her’ mask? When the unmasking does happen, maybe it’s not who you think it is. Maybe we’re wrong, just a hunch, but maybe we’ll find out in the latest issue this week; Journey to Star Wars The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #2. We know it’s almost near impossible to be someone else, but anything is possible in comic books.
Marvel claims Invincible Iron Man #11 as ‘a prologue to one of the biggest Iron Man stories in modern history.’ That’s a big claim considering how many great stories have been told thus far. Writer Brian Michael Bendis will be the one delivering on Marvel’s promise. If anyone can pull it off, BMB would be the one.

Buy/Bid – Awesome Hulk #23

Buy/Bid – Giant Size Hulk #1

Buy/Bid – Vengeance #1

Buy/Bid – America #7









Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.

Some Venomized covers are still turning heads. Avengers #11 Venomized cover by Tyler Kirkham will do  just that this Wednesday. As will Julian Totino’s Aunt May Venomized cover; Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man #4.
Venom #154 could be the first ‘silent’ Venom issue. The story is a first of its kind because it looks at the perspective from the symbiote and not its actual host, in this case Eddie Brock. So just a guess here that it could be a ‘silent’ issue. Creators Mike Costa and Paulo Siqueira.

Buy/Bid – Gasolina #1

Buy/Bid – Ms Marvel & Ms. Marvel

Buy/Bid – Invincible Iron Man #11

Buy/Bid – Captain Phasma #2










Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.

Buy/Bid – Dark Ark #1

Buy/Bid – Dark Ark #1

Frank Cho pays homage to Jim Steranko’s King Size Hulk #1 with his Totally Awesome Hulk #23 cover.
The origin of America Chavez in America #7. Brought to you by creators Gabby Rivera, Annie Wu & Jen Bartel. America first appeared in Vengeance #1 (2011). The subtle Bruce Springsteen Born In The U.S.A. cover swipe is a nice touch from Joe Quinones.
The hot Venomverse series continues this Wednesday; Venomverse #3 from Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello.
Marvel’s Generations this week…..Generations: Ms. Marvel & Ms. Marvel #1. Creators; G. Willow Wilson and Paolo Villanelli.

InvestComics Indie Hot Picks;
Have you seen one of the latest giveaways on the InvestComicsContest/Giveawaypage that includes one of the rarest comics to ever be given away? Dark Ark #1 (After Shock Comics) Exclusive variant covers from More Great ART. You can still enter by going to one of our social media pages and sharing the post AND Liking the More Great ART/InvestComics pages. Look at the full details on the giveaway page right HERE. Collectors can order BOTH extremely RARE comics for only $24.99. Not for each, BOTH. Oh yes, Dark Ark #1 will arrive to stores this week. It will sell out and you will miss the opportunity to get your hands on these aforementioned ultra raw variants. Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe are the creators behind the latest hit book from After Shock Comics.
Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.
Image Comics will follow up last week’s big Realm #1 sellout with another possible sellout comic; Gasolina #1. Creators Sean Mackiewicz, Mat Lopes & Niko Walter. Also from Image; Angelic #1 from Simon Spurrier and Casper Wijngaard.

Buy/Bid – La Muerta Descent #1

Buy/Bid – La Muerta Vengeance #1

Buy/Bid – La Muerta Vengeance #1

Buy/Bid – Mr. Crypt #1










Buy/Bid – Misbegotten #1

From Action Lab/Danger Zone Comics; Misbegotten Runaway Nun #1. Creators on this book; Caesar Voghan, Eric Granger, Chris Bailey & William Bohm.
The Beautiful Death #1 (Titan Comics) from Mathieu Bablet.
Jeff Lemire pays tribute to the Superman #75 (1993) cover by Dan Jurgens & Brett Breeding with his cover to Black Hammer #13 (Dark Horse Comics).
Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.
La Muerta Vengeance #1 from Coffin Comics; Brian Pulido, Mike MacLean & Joel Gomez. Brian Pulido first started this La Muerta character as a successful graphic novel Kickstarter campaign and released the first comic book in 2016; La Muerta: Descent #1. We believe Brian will eventually get this character to be optioned for television or an animated series one day. It’s that bad as*.

Alterna Comics introduces a new character to their already fantastic line-up in Mr. Crypt #1. Brought to you by Troy Verasis and Aleksandar Jovic. In case you haven’t noticed, Alterna Comics has turned the comic biz upside down on its proverbial head with their ‘old style’ comic print comic books. It’s a hit and you should join in on the way of the future….past….well you get the idea. It’s only a matter of time before one of the big 2 gauge the success (and cost!) of these comics and start their own throwbacks. All thanks to Peter Simeti and his team of Alterna Comics. The best part of Alterna Comics throwback print style comics…..they’re creatively well done too. Get on it, enjoy the nostalgia before the two big brothers come by and ruin the fun by watering down the comeback concept.
Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.

Buy/Bid – Black Hammer #13

Buy/Bid – Superman #75

Buy/Bid – Angelic #1

Buy/Bid – Dark Arc #1

Buy/Bid – Beautiful Death #1







Giving the Speculator an Edge Since 2005!
Invest wisely. Read Comics.
Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz



The post InvestComics Hot Picks #493 appeared first on InvestComics.

New Comics #493

CLICK –> ALL Of The New Comics Videos….And More.
A weekly video look at the covers from the weekly InvestComics Hot Picks article. New comics arriving 9/20/17. Please utilize your common sense and READ the article to see why these covers are in this video –> InvestComics Hot Picks #493. This is NOT an explanation video, just eye candy. READ…..it’s good for you.

Giving the Speculator an Edge Since 2005!
Invest wisely. Read Comics.
Carpe Diem.
Jay Katz





The post New Comics #493 appeared first on InvestComics.

Top 5 Hot Picks #130

Every week before new comic book day, InvestComics provides our fans with the Top 5 Hot Picks for new comics coming out on Wednesday. This list is pulled straight from the latest (weekly) InvestComics Hot Picks article. This week’s Top 5 based on InvestComics Hot Picks #492 and new comics coming this Wednesday 9/13/17.

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Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.

Flash #30 – The introduction of new villain ‘Bloodwork.
Supergirl #13 – The regular (cover price) Stanley Artgerm Lau variant is not only sold out (distributor level), but it’s making noise in the aftermarket. Some pricing on Ebay are three times the cover price.
Weapon X #8 – The Weapon H Venomized cover is sold out (distributor).
Realm #1 – We love the Mad Max/Walking Dead/Game of Thrones vibe of this book. Look for a possible sell out here.
Shinobi Ninja Princess Lightning Oni #1 – This Action Lab Entertainment comic is sold out (distributor).

Top 5 – Buy/Bid

Top 5 – Buy/Bid

Top 5 – Buy/Bid

Top 5 – Buy/Bid

Top 5 – Buy/Bid








Click on the RED links, Images or the comic cover to buy/bid from All available sellers on Ebay.

Venomverse #2

Amazing Spider-Man #129

Also appearing in this weeks InvestComics Hot Picks #492
Click on the RED links to buy/bid now from ALL available Ebay sellers.
Dark Nights Metal #2
Action Comics #987
Superman #32 (2011)
Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1
Generations Captain Marvel & Captain Mar-Vell #1
Runaways #1
Secret Empire Omega #1
Amazing Spider-Man #32
Venomverse #2
The Retcon #1
Sheena #1
Sink #1
Ninjak #0
Amerikarate #6 
Amazing Spider-Man #129 (1974)
Wolfenstein #1

Giving the Speculator an Edge Since 2005!
Invest wisely. Read Comics.
Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz





The post Top 5 Hot Picks #130 appeared first on InvestComics.

Best Comic Covers Of The Week 9-13-17