Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Walking Dead Season 3 Comic-Con Trailer

WALKING DEAD SEASON 3 TRAILER:  Airs in the US on October 14, shown in the UK around one week later on FXUK.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Man Of Steel 2013 - Official Teaser Trailer

The Man of Steel trailer that was shown at the San Diego comic con has now been released, you don't get to see too much of Henry Cavill in the costume but what you see is interesting.
The poster above shows the chest of the costume which has come in for a bit of criticism from some fans, I'm waiting to see what it looks like in the context of the film before giving an opinion.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Marvels new film line up

It seems that there is no resting on their backsides after the success of their Avengers movie, Marvel have announced 5 more films that most people believe will feed into the next Avengers film around 2015.

No big surprise as Iron Man 3 is already in production, Robert Downy Jr showed up at Comic Con to help promote the film and even managed to look cool just wearing the Iron Man hand.

Next up will be Thor with a 2013 release with lots of rumour on who will be the villain, but no confirmation as of yet.

Then its the turn of the super soldier as Captain American returns in The Winter Soldier, which should not be confused with An American tale which stared a mouse called Fievel.

This is where Marvel throw every one for a loop as the Guardians of the Galaxy are scheduled to appear in 2014, this could be a bit of a gamble as outside comic fans the Guardians are not too well know. Concept art of the team is below, and yes that is a gun carrying Raccoon.

Finally Ant Man is to make his big screen debut, however no date has been set yet, it looks like it will be an interesting few years for Marvel fans.

Batman Earth One

 A Dark Knight for a new generation says the blurb on the back of the book in large white capital  letters, followed by you only think you know his story. Well I haven't been new generation for a long time now, but I have been reading Batman for over 40 years and I have read every type of Batman story there is or so I thought .

Yes I knew going into this book that this wasn't the Batman I have grown up with for 40 odd years, but as you read the book you quickly realise that this Batman doesn't think things through. He acts on instinct rather than planning and then counter planning any situation that may arise, this is a Batman who is untrained, undisciplined, headstrong, arrogant and angry. He may have grown up, but inside him there is still a spoilt child that due to his actions got his parents killed.

We first see him at the start of the book chasing down a suspect which includes the obligatory jump from building to building, its nothing new we've seen it all before what is new is that he misjudges the ledge and ends up falling flat on his back into the ally. Does he get back up and give chase no this Batman just gives up, he even ignores a shop robbery that's taking place right in front of him as he watches from the ally. We are seeing a Batman who acts like a spoilt child, and if he doesn't get his own way then he's not playing.

This is essentially a Batman Year 1 story told from a different perspective, Bruce wants revenge on the people who were responsible for his parents death and he will stop at nothing to get it. Bruce's back story is told through flashbacks so we get to see the death of his parents and the part he played in it, the origin of their death is still in place and all the known parts are there. However they are tweaked just enough, to give you a different and interesting twist to the tragedy of their murder.

 All the usually players that you would expect to find in a Batman story are there, but their connection and interaction to Bruce/Batman are totally different from what we are used too. Bruce's parents are still Thomas and Martha but Thomas sells medical tech and is running for Mayor, while Martha is his campaign manager and had the maiden name of Arkham before she married Thomas. Alfred is an ex soldier who literally will shoot first and ask questions later, while James Gordon is a seemingly broken and down trodden man, a far cry from the Commissioner we all know. Other characters also get a makeover with a very respectable looking but creepy Oswald Cobbelpot, the Dents are referenced and appear in a flashback and there is a surprising but brilliant take on Harvey Bullock. Throw in Barbara Gordon, a gadget wiz called Mr Fox who works in the basement of the Wayne Medical Group and a child serial killer and you have a very entertaining book.

It would be easy to dislike this take on Batman but writer Geoff Johns fills the book with such entertaining and engaging characters that you are drawn into it, and before you know it you are as comfortable with this version of the Bat as you are with the any other.

Gary Frank's art is simply stunning and there wasn't one page that I didn't enjoy, but what makes the art so special for me is that you can see Batman's eyes. This gives us a whole new perspective on Batman just from this one small but brilliant change, I don't know who's idea it was to have the costume designed that way but Franks takes full advantage of it. As his art shows us exactly what Batman is thinking as we see his fear, surprise and even confusion all from the way his eyes are drawn. 

I have been deliberately vague in my review because I believe it will be better enjoyed by reading it without too much knowledge of the story, and at £16.99 it is not a cheap book and there are going to be people who love it and those who hate it, I'm in the love it camp.

Finally is the blurb on the back of the book right is this a Dark Knight for a new generation, I don't think so, its a Dark Knight for any generation. I have read that both Johns and Frank want to do another story in the same format, if they do they can count on me buying a copy.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Ted Movie Trailer 2

Every little boy wants a Teddy Bear as a best friend, but what happens when that best friend grows up with you. Well if you ever wandered the film Ted will show you, set for release on the 1st August in the UK the film stars Mark Wahlberg and Seth Macfarlane as Ted. The film opened at the number 1 spot taking $54 million in its first weekend in the States, and is looking like it could be the surprise hit of the year. 

The trailer below is the censored trailer, an uncensored one is available on YouTube.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

American Vampire # 28 The Blacklist


It’s the 1954 and Henry the human lover of Pearl one of only three American vampires is dying, after been attacked and left for dead by a vampire from a nest of European vampires.

The surviving coven of European vampires that Pearl decimated in the first story arc is looking for revenge, and if they cant get Pearl they will strike at those closest to her. Now given that the European vampires are not as strong as their American counterparts, and given the simple fact that the American vampires can survive in the daylight with no ill effects. You would think the European vamps would keep their heads down and try not to draw attention to themselves, but I guess that’s just not their way.

At the start of the issue Pearl has already hunted down and is interrogating Henry’s attacker, unfortunately without much success so she leaves him to the mercy of the sun (I usually use factor 20 or above).

Mean while Calvin an American vampire himself is protecting Henry as he lies in hospital on the brink of death, but even there he is not safe as a bogus doctor and 2 nurses try to finish poor old Henry off. Unfortunately for them Pearl is back and full of rage and vengeance, having Calvin as back up just adds to her advantage and the fake doctor and nurses are quickly dispatched back to vamp heaven.

Realising that nowhere is safe for her beloved Henry Calvin suggests she contacts the vampire hunting organisation The Vassals of the Morning Star for help, the Vassals who see the European vampires as more of a threat and are to keen to help provided Pearl will do them a favour in return.

The LA branch of The Vassals is ran by Agent Bixby and reference is made to Linden Hobbes who you would normally see in any dealings with the American vampires. The casual remark that he is dealing with something in Europe, is a nice pointer to the mini running at the same time as this story line, (American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares) which features the Vassals pitted against Dracula himself.

Bixby explains that a coven in LA has aligned itself with the elite stars and directors of Hollywood, and in return for keeping the coven hidden they put pressure on high ranking film members to keep the stars and directors in work. The Vassels have a Black List, a list of all the people in Hollywood they suspect are hiding vampires, in return for Henry's safety they want her to investigate the names and eliminate any vampires she finds.

Pearl agrees to help destroy them in return for Henry's protection and it’s at this point she is introduced to her partner, none other than Skinner Sweet the first American Vampire, the vampire that turned Pearl.
The shock on her face is understandable given that she thought Skinner was dead, and we see both Pearl and Skinner guns in hand ready for battle in the final page.
It’s a testimony to the brilliance of Scott Snyder’s writing that Pearl still comes over a sympathetic character; in the early issues it was born from her desperation to be in films and her subsequent victimisation from the vampires who abused her. Now it’s her desperation to keep the love of her life alive without resorting to turning him, which would be the simple solution, had she not promised Henry she would never do that.
So now Pearl is torn between breaking her promise or possibly loosing him to death, either way she cannot truly win even if Henry survives this time his mortality will begin to play a part in all her decision making.

Henry is Pearls last connection to her humanity, with out him she will be left alone to succumb to the demons that are clearly inside her. In truth who among us would not give eternal life to the person we loved if we had the ability to do so, even if it went against all their wishes just to save us from the pain of loosing them forever.

A long time ago I learnt that Vertigo has a good habit of putting out brilliant books, and American Vampire is as good as anything that Vertigo has put out in the past. Scott Snyder is in the writing form of his life at the moment and all his books can only be described as must reads, Rafael Albuquerque art on this book can be summed up in two words simply stunning.

If you’re not reading this book then hang your head in shame, or quickly redeem yourself and get out there and buy the trades or back issues.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Arrow - coming to Sky 1 HD

If you were a fan of Smallville then you may enjoy this new take on Green Arrow, although this is not the same Green Arrow who was appeared in that show it is directed by Smallville's David Nutter.
This is a new retelling of the Oliver Queen / Green Arrow origin, but from the look of the trailer it still has all the core elements that Green Arrow fans would expect to see.

The buzz around the show has been so positive, that Sky 1HD have secured a deal with Warrner Bros TV for the exclusive rights to the show.

Sky's Sarah Wright commented: “I’m delighted that we have secured the rights to one of the most talked about shows from the LA screenings this year. Arrow will boost Sky's already enviable US programming slate, and combined with our award-winning original programming, will deliver on our promise to bring the best content exclusively to our customers.”
Arrow will be show in the Autumn of 2012

Thursday, 5 July 2012

DC Universe Presents #10 - Savage

Vandal Savage is been held in a high security prison, under the guise of The Cherry Blossom Killer (serial killers do love their nicknames) he murdered several people including an FBI Profiler. In his defence Savage did claim he was just making sacrifices to his gods of old, not the best defence I have ever heard but at least he was honest.

16 years later Savage's daughter Kass is now working for the FBI and has come to him for help, a copycat killer who may have super powers is using Savages MO and has taken the daughter of a senator as his next victim. Kass gets her farther released under heavy guard and manacles so they can visit the place the senators daughter was taken, which just happens to be on a campus near a wooded area with an old abandoned church in the vicinity, am I the only one that can see something going wrong here?

After checking the area and the stars with a sextant Vandal works out where the Killer is taking his victims (see abandoned church), however he is quickly dispatched to the awaiting helicopter to be returned to his cell. Its at this point he realises he may have made a mistake and put his daughter in grave danger, but given that he is a killer who claims to be immortal no one will believe him.

Like the previous issue of this story there is great interaction between Vandal and his daughter, she clearly has nothing but disdain for her farther and blames him for her mother’s early death. He despite been an unfeeling killer shows signs of love for his daughter, he also has a sense of old fashioned values around respecting your parents. After one two many sarcastic comments from Kass he tells her ‘’respect me or I'm trough here’’, its a fascinating glimpse into how the little things matter to him but life and death don't.

Once again James Robinson is crafting a great story proving that you don’t always need all out action to grip the reader, character building and interaction can be just as effective. That's not to say that the story doesn’t have its share of action it does, none more so as when the copycat killer silently take out the FBI agents (kills them) leaving him with Kass at his mercy. And not to be left out we see Vandal who was on a ride home take out his guards and throw himself out of a helicopter to make his escape, as he realises he's led his daughter into a trap.

Is Vandal’s concern for his daughter based on fatherly affection, or is he just annoyed that someone else is copying his killing style is anyone’s guess.

I have a few minor niggles with the story one is Kass’s denial of her fathers immortality, surely she can tell he looks exactly the same as he did when she was a 10 year old girl. If not then the training in the FBI is seriously lacking, the other is parts of the story (mainly issue 9) do come over as a little bit Silence of the Lambs.  Female FBI agent check, serial killer check, glass cage check, copy cat killer, well you get my point. But as I said these are only minor complaints and they didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story, Bernard Chang’s artwork is good if not spectacular and his Savage looks like he has been pulled from the pages of Demon Knights, which is not a bad thing when you are depicting someone who is an immortal.

However its Robinson's writing of Savage that I particularly enjoyed as we see how he has evolved from those distant days in Daemon Knights, this is a Savage with intelligence, cunning and patience honed over centuries of self preservation.

 DC Universe Presents is fast becoming every thing I had hoped it would be when it was first solicited; using characters that may not be able to sustain their own book and telling stories about them that would expand on the DC Universe.

Long may it continue to do so.