Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Disney scoop up Star Wars

A bit late out of the block on this one (dam you work) but as most will have read Disney have bought the rights to Star Wars from Gorge Lucas for around $4.05bn (around £2.5bn). News straight out of the block is that they intend to produce a new Star Wars film episode 7 by 2015, although what era of the Star Wars universe it will be set in hasn’t been mentioned. Personally I would like to see a story on how the Jedi and Sith were formed, rather than more tales of known characters or god forbid a remake of the original.
Disney will pay around half the money in cash and the rest in Disney shares around 40 million in total. This is the 3rd major deal Disney have done in recent years, in 2006 they bought Pixar for around $7.4bn and in 2009 Marvel Comics were snapped up for a mere $4.2bn.
However some fans are not happy saying that the franchise will be ruined now Disney has its hands on it, these fans clearly haven’t seen episode 1 or have conveniently forgotten about it.
British actor Simon Pegg joked “I was saying Lucasfilm was a Mickey Mouse outfit back in 1999," he later posted that it was actually good news for Star Wars fans.
The UK Disney podcast The Dibb is reporting that Disney are planning a new Start Wars style theme park which would make sense, as at the moment Star Wars is just one of many attractions in the Disney Movie Theme park.
Given that the Disney Star Wars weekends are very popular a bespoke park could prove to be a gold mine, add to that Disney now have the Marvel characters and you could create a rather exciting theme park similar in feel to Universal Island of Adventure.

Although give the experience I had in Disney a few years back they will need to improve on their customer relations if they want to keep the hordes of Star Wars fans happy, we were in the Disney movie park when some of the Star Wars characters were having photos taken with fans. The queue for Darth Vader was ridiculously long so I decided just to take a few photos of the man in-between changing kids, as I prepared to do this one of the Storm Troopers came up and said only official photos could be taken and asked me to stop.
I jokingly waved my hand in front of him and said ‘’I am not the photographer you are looking for’’, he clearly had no idea what I was on about or just had no sense of humour and again told me not to take photos. I politely informed him that as I had spent £530 on two five day park tickets I thought I was entitled to take a few snaps, but if he wanted to push it I was prepared to go all Jedi on him (it had been a long and hot day). ‘’Well just be quick then and don’t let anyone see you’ he said as he turned and walked away, I’m not sure if it was my Jedi mind trick finally kicking in or he didn’t see the point in arguing whatever the reason the family friendly face of Disney was sorely missing that day.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Superman Quits Daily Planet

Superman is to leave the Daily Planet according to an artical in todays copy of the free newspaper The Metro (24/10/12), according to writer Scot Lobdell Clark will stand up in front of staff in a "Jerry Maguire-type moment" which will see him resign from the Daily Planet and mourn "how journalism has given way to entertainment", Clark will also call on his fellow reporters to stand up for truth, justice, "and yeah — I'm not ashamed to say it — the American way," Lobdell told USA Today (so it must be true).
However this is not something new as Clarke has left The Daily Planet before, in a story st in the old DC universe before the reboot he left to take a job as a news anchor.
Call me old fashioned (I can hear you) but I personally prefer to see Clarke working at the Daily Planet, rather than going off on some internet blog style job I mean who wants to spend their time writing blogs?

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Legends of the Dark Knight #1

Back in the late 80’s DC launched Legends of the Dark Knight and it quickly became (in my opinion) the must read bat book each month, each story arc had a different writer and artists and told stories from Batman’s past, present and future. Some of the best Batman stories you can read were in that book, stand-outs for me were Gothic, Venom, and the Joker story Going Sane to name but a few. Sadly the book was cancelled in 2007, but 5 years later and Legends is back with what looks like similar format as the original.
The first issue has 3 short storys in it, my review of all 3 is below.

The Butler did it:

This first story sees a Batman only 6 months into his crime fighting career, a Batman who is confident, so confident in fact he is bordering on arrogant.
While out on a roof top patrol Bat’s looks down a side street to see a family been held up by a lone gun man, the family consist of a father, mother and small boy seeing parallels with the death of his own family he jumps straight in to the mix. Only to find things are not what it seems, someone is using Batman’s weakness of his parents’ death against him to make a point. After taking a beating we see a flashback of Bruce telling Alfred that unlike the other heroes he has no vulnerability, he has no powers and all powers have a vulnerability as he is just a man with no powers that gives him the advantage. Alfred tells Bruce that everyone has a vulnerability so Bruce offers Alfred a Dollar bet if he can name his, as Alfred walks away an arrogant Bruce says '' that's what I thought''.
The title of the story probably gives away who it is that teaches Batman a humbling and painful lesson that he does in fact have a weakness, its a nice short story by writer Damon Lindelof add to that Jeff Lemires art and you have a very satisfying read.

All of the above:
Batman is on monitor duty in the JLA satellite when it is invaded by Amazo the android who has all the powers of the JLA, this is a classic 80's style Batman story as we see Bats uses all his intelligence, strength and gadgets to defeat Amazo.
Yes you have to suspend some aspects of reality like surviving in space with only the aid of a rebreather and lenses to protect his eyes, throw in the use of Bat-Shark repellent (Adam West punches the air) as a means of propulsion back to the satellite and you are really stretching things. However, this is a world where people fly, have magic rings and the dead come back with alarming regularity, so you can believe almost anything if you put your mind to it.
The artwork by JG Jones is a perfect fit for Jonathan Larsen's story, and I particularly liked the panel where you see Bats stood with a coffee cup with I heart Gotham on it, simply brilliant.
The Crime never committed:
The last story sees Batman & Robin visit a Marine Biologist who has recently been sacked from the Gotham Aquarium, Batman has noticed from the items he has recently bought he is intending to commit a crime to get some much needed cash.
After taking him from his bed (his wife must be a deep sleeper), they take him to the rooftops to explain what may happen to him if he commits his planned robbery. Satisfied that they have set the man back on the right path, the dynamic duo swing off leaving the poor guy stuck on the roof.
The story is another take on the Its a Wonderful life scenario, but in all honesty I'm a sucker for this kind of story so I was one happy reader.

So all in all a very satisfying first issue however what is slightly confusing is that although we have tales set in Batman’s early career, 6 months in the case of the first story they don’t appear to be set in the new DCU. I don't know if that is intentional or not but given the effort DC are putting in to craft a new universe, you would think there would be some indication on if these story's are a part of that universe or not.

Having said that as standalone Batman story's they are all worth reading and I would recommend them to anyone.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Comic & Si-Fi News 17/10/12

DC's New 52 gets smaller?

DC have announced the names of 4 more titles that are to be cancelled in January, the books are Frankenstein Agent of SHADE, Grifter, Blue Beetle and LEGION Lost all will finish on their 16th issue. All 4 books were part of the new 52 launch so it’s a surprise that they are been cancelled so far into their run, there is no news on what books will replace them as of yet. However with these books ending and only the new Justice League  and Threshold books to replace them, it leaves DC with 50 titles in their re-booted universe next year. So unless they are about to put the banner ‘The New 50’ on all their books, expect an announcement on some new books soon.
Thanks to the excellent Bleeding Cool for the heads up on this news, click the link for more detailed info.


Arrow starts on Sky 1 on the 21st October, the pilot episode aired in the States at the beginning of October and has had a good reception so far. News filtering through seems to be that this is a darker take on the Green Arrow character, and is vastly different from the Green Arrow that appeared in Smallville.

Watch out for Doctor Who and Torchwood actor John Barrowman who will be joining the show from episode 5 along with appearances of Deadshot and Jessica De Gouw as Huntress it shaping up to be a promising show.

Leeds Comic Con:
The final programme for the Thought Bubble Comic convention has been released with this year’s con looking to be bigger and better than ever, 200AD will be very prominent this year as it is celebrating its 35th year. The con will run over 2 days on the 17th / 18th November at Saviles Hall in Leeds (no comments please), amongst many others I am particularly looking forward to meeting Swamp Thing artist Yanick Paquette.
It will also be the first comic con that my wife Helen has attended; she has always said I would leave her in line for a signing or sketch and then wonder off on my own. Having promised not to do this (too much) she has agreed to come along and see what a comic con is like, I think we will have a new convention convert by the end of week-end fingers crossed.

Walking Dead is Back:

The Walking Dead is set to air on UK TV this Friday 19th October; I thank my wife for that bit of news as I didn’t think it was starting until the end of the month. Brit actor David Morrissey will play the popular and psychotic character The Governor, and with the inclusion of the sword wilding Michonne it should be a good season.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Green Arrow #0

Oliver Queen has been sent to work on one of his father’s oil rigs after messing up every other job his father has given him, and so he doesn’t spoil his record Oliver is doing his best to get thrown off this rig as well. While the rig is in full production good young Ollie is having a beach party complete with bikini clad girls on the oil rig deck in front of all the workers, now as a safety officer I could see several violations in just one panel but as its just a comic I will let it slide this time.

As you can imagine Ollie is not very popular except with the workers who are all trying to do hard manual oil riggy stuff (don’t know how else to put it), but does Ollie care no not really this is Ollie before his Green Arrow days rich, spoilt and selfish.
Unbeknown to Ollie his ferrying of his friends and drink to his party by helicopter has opened up a gap in the rigs security, a gap that the local pirates led by a super pirate called Iron Eagle take advantage of.

It’s here where we see a glimpse of the Ollie we have read over the last 12 issues come to the fore and along with his friend Tommy Merlyn he decides to take the fight to the pirates, this despite the fact that the pirates have wired every one up with explosives including his girlfriend Leena.
Ollie decides to take out Iron Eagle by shooting the detonator out of his hand, and true to form he is dead on shooting an arrow through Iron Eagles hand and making him drop the detonator into the sea. Unfortunately for him the beeping sound that follows means the detonator is about to blow killing all the hostages and destroying the rig, now I’m no expert but I would have thought blowing up your girlfriend may put a dampener on your relationship.
Ollie and Tommy escape from the burning rig where a badly burnt and dying Tommy tells Ollie that these wont be the last people he will kill, Ollie ends up alone on a deserted island where he repents and hones his archery skills (new Arrow TV show tie-in). We then jump forward a year to see a young Roy Harper (Red Hood & the Outlaws) in jail, where he is bailed and offered a job by the now returned Oliver Queen.

All in all its not a bad issue but it isn't as good as the previous 12 issues, the 12 month jump made the issue a bit disjointed and a bit rushed. I couldnt shake of the feeling that this was originaly a two issue story that had been cut down to fit into one issue, I may be wrong on that but thats how it felt.

The final scene with a bandaged patient zero starting to wake up from a coma was a great teaser on things to come, all in all not a great issue but if you have read the previous 12 then it’s worth picking up.

The artwork by Freddie Williams is up to his usual high standards (I'm a Freddie fan), and although the issue was a bit of a let down it wont stop me from continuing to read this book.