The JoBlo Movie Show Podcast: Silence, Nocturnal Animals, Fox Marvel slate
New The Lego Batman Movie poster packs in the superheroes
Sigourney Weaver says Avatar sequel scripts are "amazing"
Hugh Jackman joins YA pic Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
FX orders pilot for Sons of Anarchy spinoff
See the trailer for gritty Wizard of Oz reboot Emerald City
Felicity Jones vs. Stormtroopers in first clip from Rogue One
Hottie Report Card: Jamie Chung
The UnPopular Opinion: Ghostbusters (2016)
1st look at The Mummy trailer & poster w/Tom Cruise
What's new on Blu-ray and DVD this month? (December 2016)
Marry/Date/Friend: Gal Gadot vs Melissa Benoist vs Zoe Saldana
Kicking off after the destruction of the Death Star in Episode IV, the series focuses on the traditional heroes of Star Wars lore, including Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and many of your favorite supporting characters. Filling in the gaps of the events post A NEW HOPE, there's a lot of fun to be had here and it feels like more of a continuation of the story, rather than a break from the norm, which is traditionally the case. This is a great place to settle into some new stories about classic characters that follows the lineage of the familiar universe. It's rare that a book can be both new and familiar at the same time and work as well as this.
Brilliantly drawn by epic artist Bryan Hitch and Brandon Peterson, Brian Michael Bendis' story has plenty to offer in terms of action, suspense, and surprises, focusing heavily on Wolverine, Invisible Woman, and Hank Pym, but falls short of delivering the satisfaction of Hickman's Infinity. Still, if time travel conundrums and "butterfly effect" consequences tickle your fancy, this is a fine jaunt down that road. For those looking to prepare for 2015's THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, however, this is not the place to start, as Joss Whedon's sequel is Age of Ultron in name only, especially with Fox owning two of the main characters of the story. As a comic, though, it's a fine crossover event.
READ IT: Age Of Ultron (Avengers)
Rich with creativity and character, we've come to expect nothing less from writer Jason Aaron, who weaves an intricately layered tale that leaves nothing black and white, making the good guys and bad guys much more than boasting heroes and villains, instead taking us deep into the world of "the gods" while telling a story of intensity and suspense that left us burning for more month-to-month. Aaron has crafted a new direction for the God of Thunder that is wonderfully imaginative and capitalizes on the full potential of the Nine Realms, making Thor much more than a brute with a magic hammer and a serious contender in the stable of leading Marvel heroes. (Runner up goes to Matt Fraction's solo Hawkeye series, also well worth a look)
The series has Vaughn's usual style that gets to the heart of relevant everyday issues that we all face, while embodying them in a fantastical story. It's this connection, the human connection, that makes this otherworldly tale so engaging. The oddities are there for sure, but even as strange as things may be they're instantly familiar to our own world in a sense, as Vaughn seeps the story in metaphor, reflecting our own lives during our own time inside the bubble of another universe. Creatures, robots, nudity, violence, ghosts, profanity, relationships, and space travel are just a few things you'll encounter in Saga and it's a tale you don't want to miss. We're hooked to the end.
READ IT: Saga: Volume 1
Thankfully, Valiant was rescued by Dinesh Shamdeshani and Jason Kothari, who have brought back not only the characters, but the spirit of the original Valiant comics, opening the doors for a new superhero universe beyond the familiar ones of Marvel and DC. Featuring favorites like X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Archer & Armstrong, Eternal Warrior, Harbinger, Shadowman, Quantum & Woody, and more on the way, the new Valiant, which kicked off in 2012 has continued to rise in notoriety, quality, and quantity, including their first crossover event, Unity, which pays homage to the first Unity crossover in 1992, while establishing a new story and direction for the title. With top notch creators putting out awesome work month-to-month, Valiant has cemented their place in the market as an outstanding alternative to mainstream superhero books.
READ IT: X-O Manowar: Volume 1
Falling perfectly in line with the time travel stories that have populated the books for years (and soon the movies with DAYS OF FUTURE PAST), the Battle of the Atom kicks off when X-Men from the future travel to present day in order to force the X-Men of the past back to their rightful time. The mission fails, however, leaving the original X-Men stuck in present day, where they now must face being X-Men in an evolved world with their surviving "doubles" still amongst them. For those that dig the "Back to the Future" type storylines this is a must read and offers the most interesting path for the X-Men in a long time, brought to you by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Stuart Immonen.
READ IT: X-Men: Battle of the Atom
As the first main Joker vs. Batman story of the New 52, Death of the Family had an especially macabre spirit, which meshed well with the dark themes of Batman's history. Part cat-and-mouse, part revenge, and part Silence of the Lambs, the Joker (with a Leatherface-as-clown appearance) is built into an especially sadistic and ruthless madman who lives only to battle what he considers to be his only worth opponent; Batman. The suspense is brought to a boil after Joker captures the entire Bat family and sits them down for dinner with The Dark Knight, where their covered faces tease the possibility of the Joker exacting some rather extreme mutilation. The finale may not live up to the risky possibilities, but the lead up to it is some damn fine storytelling and a fine intro of a New 52 Joker.
And so, Superior Spider-Man was born. Fans lashed out at writer Dan Slott for this massive curveball, even sending him death threats, but as time wore on with Octavius as Spidey, fans began to warm up to the villain-turned-hero, which has made for some interesting character dynamics with many of Spidey's fellow foe's and allies. So far, Superior Spider-Man has had a good run and although we expect that Peter Parker will return at some point (it's comics after all), the villain-as-hero concept has worked surprisingly well and made for some of the most interesting Spider-Man stories in a long time.
Beautifully rendered by artists Jerome Opena, Jim Cheung, and Dustin Weaver, the six-issue arc (as well as the tie in titles) serves as a reminder of the old-school events like Infinity Guantlet and teases the potential of the types of stories that could be translated to film on down the road. With GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY coming next summer, many of the characters and themes of this mini-series event will become all too familiar to the masses and fortunately when new readers venture into the comic shop they'll have stories like this to fill in the blanks on the source material.
READ IT: Infinity
Damian worked for a time with Grayson, who had donned the cowl when Bruce Wayne was killed (and later brought back) during the DC Crossover Final Crisis, and gradually made the "dynamic duo" dynamic again, before finally being able to fight alongside his true father, Bruce Wayne, upon his return. Damian's demise came in the final issues of Batman, Incorporated at the hands of a fully grown clone of himself, called The Heretic, who served as Talia Al Ghul's henchman, in a brutal, vicious fight that left the Boy Wonder bloody, broken, impaled, and full of arrows. Although created by Morrison, nobody fleshed out Damian's character better than writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason on Batman and Robin, where a true legacy to the character was made and will definitely stand the test of time.