Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TITANS Casts April Bowlby as Elasti-Girl

The Doom Patrol is about to really grow in size.

Entertainment Weekly has word that the upcoming DC Universe digital series Titans has April Bowlby as Rita Farr, better known to DC Comics fans as Elasti-Girl, member of the team of strange superheroes known as The Doom Patrol.  

Bowlby joins Bruno Bichir as Dr. Niles Caulder, a.k.a. The Chief.  The Doom Patrol will make their debut in the series' fifth episode, "The Doom Patrol", written by Geoff Johns.

According to the article, Elasti-Girl is described as "An actress on the rise, Rita Farr was exposed to a toxic gas that altered her cellular structure — which, in the comics, allows her to expand or shrink her body at will. Longing for the days of old, Rita finds a place for herself among The Doom Patrol."

Bowlby, 37, is best known as Kandi on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men and as Stacy Barrett on the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva.  She's also appeared in episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Psych, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, How I Met Your Mother, and CSI: NY.

Created in 1963 by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani, Elasti-Girl first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 as Rita Farr, an Olympic swimming gold medalist turned Hollywood actress who was exposed to unusual volcanic gases while shooting a film in Africa.  When Farr recovered, she discovered that she could expand or shrink her body at will—from hundreds of feet tall to mere inches in height.  When she gained greater control of her powers, she discovered that she could enlarge one limb at a time.

Although not physically disfigured, Rita initially had no control over her size changes.  Considered a freak and a menace, she became a recluse, leaving her Hollywood career in ruins.  However, Rita was approached by Dr. Niles Caulder who offered her a place among fellow "freaks" attempting to use their powers for good.  As Elasti-Girl, she joined Caulder's team, the Doom Patrol.

Rita soon fell in love with and married Steve Dayton, an ally of the Doom Patrol known as Mento.  Later on, the couple adopted young Gar Logan, became the Teen Titans member Beast Boy.  Eventually, tragedy struck when the Doom Patrol's enemies, the Brotherhood of Evil, threatened a small New England fishing village.  The Patrol members opted to sacrifice themselves to save the innocents, and were killed in an explosion.  It was later revealed that several members of the team actually cheated death (to appear in Doom Patrol revivals), although Elasti-Girl would remain dead until John Byrne rebooted the team's continuity in 2004 as if none of the previous events ever happened.  Byrne's reboot was later removed from continuity in the Infinite Crisis mini-series.

Following the "One Year Later" storyline, the Doom Patrol changed considerably, losing several members and gaining Beast Boy, Bumblebee and Vox.  Rita's resurrection was explained that The Chief salvaged a piece of Elasti-Girl's skull and used his technology to regrow her entire body due to its malleable form.  Consequently, Elasti-Girl was very docile, and was reluctant to question the Chief.  The Chief hinted that her malleable form hampered her thinking abilities, leading to her lack of personal initiative which makes her dependent upon Caulder.  As he observed her interaction with the Chief, Robin suspected that the Chief had brainwashed Rita and the other Patrol members.  Rita's husband Mento was under the control of his Mento-helmet, and believed that his wife would never love him without it.  Following their battle against the Brotherhood, the Titans and the Doom Patrol confronted the Chief.  Mento finally removed his helmet and pointedly told the Chief that he was no longer leader of the Patrol and if he ever again insulted his wife and son, he would use his powers to destroy the Chief's intellect.  Rita firmly stood behind her husband, breaking out of the Chief's control.

In the most recent Doom Patrol series, Rita changed her codename to Elasti-Woman.  It was revealed that when the Chief regrew her, he did so using protoplasm to eliminate "weaknesses" such as bones and internal organs and therefore Rita was no longer human. When she slept, Rita lost her human shape and reverted to a puddle of goo, having to reshape herself when she wakes up every morning.

This will be the first time the character will appear in live-action, although Elasti-Girl has appeared in various animation projects, including Teen Titans (voiced by Tara Strong), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Olivia d'Abo), and in the DC Nation Doom Patrol shorts (voiced by Kari Wahlgren).

Titans is expected to debut on the DC Universe digital service sometime in 2018.

DOCTOR WHO Reveals New Logo & Teaser for the Jodie Whittaker Era

My thoughts on the new logo?  "Oh, brilliant!"

At a BBC Worldwide showcase earlier today, Jodie Whittaker revealed the new logo for Doctor Who's upcoming Series 11, the first season featuring Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill as new companions Graham, Ryan, and Yasmin, and Chris Chibnall as the new Doctor Who showrunner.

The new orange-gold logo, produced by creative agency Little Hawk, harkens back to the logo colors from the Russell T. Davies era during 2005-2009, while offering something new along with a sly female symbolism Easter egg if you turn the "ho" in "Who" sideways.

The Doctor Who logo and insignia are the quintessential signifier for the brand," said BBC Worldwide Executive Creative Director Rafaela Perera.  "Our aim was to create modern and elegant designs that were anchored in the things that we love most about Doctor Who."

A brief 17-second teaser for the new logo and Series 11 also debuted, with music from British musician and sound artist Matthew Herbert.  The video features the TARDIS bursting through a crystalline debris field to illuminate the new lettering, which you can view below thanks to the official Doctor Who account on YouTube...

Doctor Who will return to BBC America for Series 11 sometime in Fall 2018.


That's right, I'm back once again with another movie take, this time on the movie Black Panther, the latest film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  As always, if you haven't seen the movie yet and you don't want it spoiled for you, then please step back from your computer or whatever electronic device you're reading this on and stop reading now.  If, however, you're wise enough to know that movie reviews with spoilers are always more interesting than the ones without them...well...Wakanda forever!

The struggle to get a Black Panther movie made has been going on longer than you think.  Back in 1992, actor Wesley Snipes (who went on to play Blade, of course) announced his intention to bring the character to the big screen and entered talks with Columbia Pictures, but script problems and confusion with the Black Panther Party affected the film's development.  In 1998, Marvel placed the movie on its film slate, but corporate problems put the project on hold for two years, when Artisan Entertainment announced a deal to co-produce and finance the film.  

That eventually went nowhere, so jumping ahead to 2005, Marvel announced Black Panther would be one of ten films developed by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures.  Marvel spent the next several years trying to develop the film, approaching director John Singleton and a number of writers, but still no movie sign.  Finally in 2014, Marvel announced Black Panther for November 2017, with Chadwick Boseman in the title role.  They spent another year trying to land a director, eventually bringing aboard Ryan Coogler after the success of his 2015 film Creed.

Black Panther opens centuries ago, with a backstory presented as a fable of five African tribes who warred over a meteorite containing the fictional metal vibranium.  A warrior consumed a "heart-shaped herb" that was affected by the metal and gained superhuman abilities, becoming the first "Black Panther" and uniting all tribes (except the declining Jabari Tribe) to form the nation of Wakanda.  Over time, the Wakandans used the vibranium to develop highly advanced technology and hid their advanced civilization from the world by disguising themselves as a poor Third World country.

We skip ahead to 1992, where King T'Chaka, the reigning Black Panther, travels to Oakland, California, to visit his undercover brother, N'Jobu.  It turns out super-shady arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (from Avengers: Age of Ultron) had infiltrated Wakanda and stolen vibranium, leading T'Chaka to accuse N'Jobu of helping him.  N'Jobu's friend reveals himself to be Zuri, another undercover Wakandan, who confirms T'Chaka's suspicions.

Finally switching to he present day, we pick up with events following T'Chaka's death at the hands of Helmut Zemo in Captain America; Civil War.  His son T'Challa, last seen in Civil War, returns to Wakanda to assume the throne and the mantle of the Black Panther.  He and Okoye, the leader of the Amazonesque elite bodyguards known as the Dora Milaje, extract his ex-lover Nakia from an undercover assignment so she can attend his coronation ceremony, along with T'Challa's mother Ramonda and his younger sister Shuri.  At the ceremony held at Warrior Falls, the Jabari Tribe's leader M'Baku challenges T'Challa for the crown in ritual combat.  T'Challa soon defeats M'Baku and convinces him to yield instead of dying during their fight.

By this point, it becomes more than clear that this isn't your typical Marvel movie.  After introducing us to the amazing technological spectacle of Wakanda, Coogler delivers an impressive sight of hundreds of people from the five tribes, all with painted faces and brightly-colored ceremonial costumes, decorating the waterfall's rockface and taking part in the ritual.  It's not Peter Parker crushing on a girl in high school or Tony Stark throwing a glitzy party, that's for sure.

Klaue and a man named Erik Stevens, meanwhile, steal an ancient Wakandan artifact from a museum that contains vibranium.  T'Challa learns that Klaue plans to sell the artifact in an underground casino in Busan, South Korea, and W'Kabi, T'Challa's friend and Okoye's lover, tells him to either kill Klaue or bring him to Wakanda for trial because Klaue was responsible for murdering his parents.  T'Challa, Okoye, and Nakia travel to the casino (which looks a lot like the Macau casino in the James Bond movie Skyfall), where T'Challa learns CIA agent Everett K. Ross, whom he met in Civil War, is the intended buyer.  A firefight breaks out, Klaue escapes, and Okoye, Nakia and Ross take off after him.  A very Bondish car chase through the streets of Busan follows, with T'Challa capturing Klaue with Shuri's help.

We head into the Second Act with Ross interrogating Klaue, who reveals that Wakanda's international image of being a Third World nation is just a front.  They get ambushed by Erik, who extracts Klaue, leaving Ross severely injured intercepting a bullet meant for Nakia.  Oh, and T'Challa notices Erik is wearing a ring identical to his own, which of course pays off later.  T'Challa decides to take Ross to Wakanda, where their technology can save him, instead of going after Klaue.  While Shuri heals Ross, T'Challa confronts Zuri about what happened to N'Jobu.  Zuri explains that N'Jobu planned to share Wakanda's technology with people of African descent around the world to help them conquer their oppressors.  When T'Chaka arrested N'Jobu, N'Jobu attacked Zuri, forcing T'Chaka to kill him.  They left behind N'Jobu's son, Erik, because returning with him would complicate their lie that N'Jobu had disappeared.  Erik eventually became a U.S. black ops soldier, earning the name "Killmonger".

Killmonger kills Klaue, then takes his body to Wakanda as proof T'Challa isn't all that, flipping W'Kabi over to Team Killmonger in the process.  Killmonger is brought before the tribal elders, then he reveals his identity as N'Jadaka, son of N'Jobu, and stakes a claim to the throne.  He challenges T'Challa to ritual combat and after killing Zuri, he defeats T'Challa, throwing him over the waterfall to his presumed death.  Now large and in charge, Killmonger order the heart-shaped herbs to be burned, but Nakia rescues one because once again, it will pay off later.  Supported by W'Kabi and his army, Killmonger uses his new authority to prepare shipments of Wakandan weapons to his operatives around the world.

The Third Act has Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda and Ross heading into the mountains to ask the Jabari Tribe for aid, where they find T'Challa comatose after being rescued by the Jabari in repayment for sparing M'Baku's life.  (Good thing he did that, hunh?)  Healed by Nakia's herb, T'Challa requests help from M'Baku, who isn't quite feeling it and passes.  T'Challa returns to fight Killmonger, who orders W'Kabi and his army to attack T'Challa.  The Dora Milaje, Shuri and Nakia battle Killmonger, who dons his own spiffy Black Panther suit.  In the middle of fighting, Shuri instructs Ross to remotely pilot a jet to shoot down the planes leaving with the vibranium weapons.  

Just when all seems lost though, M'Baku and the Jabari finally show up to help T'Challa., while Okoye calls out her boyfriend W'Kabi, encouraging him and his army to stand down. This leads to the big climactic fight in Wakanda's vibranium mine, where T'Challa eventually disrupts Killmonger's suit and fatally stabs him.  Fearing imprisonment, Killmonger declines an offer to be healed, instead choosing to die a free man.  Reclaiming his throne, T'Challa brings Shuri to Oakland and tells her he bought the building where N'Jobu died to establish a Wakanda outreach center, which will be run by Shuri and Nakia.  The End.

Later, in a mid-credits bonus scene that probably would've made a better ending for the film, T'Challa appears before the United Nations to reveal Wakanda's true nature to the world.  Presumably, he's unaware that he'll probably be lit up on Twitter for not telling the world about Wakanda's advances in technology and health care years ago.

There were a number of great actors in this film who made their characters particularly notable.  Here are some of the things that stood out:

BLACK PANTHER/T'CHALLA -- In his second outing as Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman obviously get the chance to shine more here than he did in Civil War.  His T'Challa is a stoic, noble hero, desperate to be a good king like his father T'Chaka and to do right by his people.  He's sympathetic to what was done to Killmonger as a child, respectful to everyone who serves under him, and even allowed to have a little bit of a sense of humor where his younger sister is concerned.  Boseman is a formidable Black Panther, but he's an even better T'Challa.

KILLMONGER/ERIK STEVENS/N'JADAKA -- Michael B. Jordan proves to be much more effective as a supervillain than he was as the Human Torch in Josh Trank's unfantastic Fantastic Four reboot film from 2015.  Killmonger could've easily been a one-note Marvel villain wanting to take over Wakanda and use it's resources to control the world, but Jordan gives his character considerable depth.  He shows the cultural divide between Africans and their American offspring, bringing something very new to the traditional bad guy role.

NAKIA -- After slumming it as Maz Kanata in the recent Star Wars trilogy, Lupita Nyong'o plays Nakia, T'Challa's ex-girlfriend and a War Dog, an undercover spy for Wakanda placed in other countries to complete missions.  Thankfully, Nakia is allowed to be more than just the Bond Girl to T'Challa's James Bond, with Nyong'o shpwing the heart of a true Wakandan warrior in various scenes and displaying wise counsel for T'Challa.  Hell, Nakia could easily have her own spy movie spinoff and I'd be all over it.

OKOYE -- Danai Gurira takes a break from killing zombies with her katana as Michonne on The Walking Dead and all of us are better for it.  As Okoye, she heads the Dora Milaje, the special forces group that serves as T'Challa's bodyguards.  And like T'Challa, she's a very stoic figure who also gets the occasional sense of humor, especially when Shuri is in the room.

SHURI -- And while on the subject of Shuri, Letitia Wright pretty much steals every scene she's in.  Your new favorite Disney princess is the Q to T'Challa's Bond, providing him with all sorts of high-tech devices...even though she's only 16!  Her teenage rebelliousness makes for some fun, socially awkward moments, especially during T'Challa's coronation ceremony, but the character's intelligence is really what matters most here.  Just imagine what would happen if Shuri, Peter Parker, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner were locked in a research lab together...

EVERETT K. ROSS -- Martin Freeman, famous for playing Dr. John Watson on Sherlock, Arthur Dent in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie and the younger Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit trilogy, positively excels as a white guy placed in uncomfortable situations.  Reprising his role from Captain America: Civil War, Freeman gets to develop Ross as something of a new Phil Coulson here.  He's not just comic relief though, and even gets a couple of decent action sequences.

KLAW/ULYSSES KLAUE -- Andy Serkis, the film's other white guy who was also in The Hobbit (as Gollum), reprises his character from Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Once again, Klaue is a sleazebag from South Africa with zero redeeming qualities, this time filling the role of Killmonger's main henchman until Killmonger decides he's no longer useful.  Klaue gets a great interrogation scene with Ross, spilling the beans on Wakanda's true nature just for shits and giggles

W'KABI -- Hot off his Oscar nomination for Get Out, Daniel Kaluuya is W'Kabi, T'Challa's best friend and head of security for the Border Tribe, which serves as the first line of defense for Wakanda.  W'Kbai is a minor supporting character here, but his resentment of T'Challa's inability to capture or kill Klaue and willingness to support Killmonger make for some great dramatic moments.  Ultimately, he makes the wise choice and stands down, primarily because his girlfriend Okoye was about to rip his head from his body and use it for spear practice.

M'BAKU -- Winston Duke takes what could've been a thankless role, T'Challa's rival for the throne who ultimately helps him to save Wakanda, and turns it into something more special when Nakia, Shuri, Ramonda and Ross show up looking for help.  He trolls Ross into thinking that he's going to eat him before revealing he's vegan, then trolls the others into thinking he's going to help for a moment before refusing them outright.  And yes, let's just be really glad he didn't go by his comics alias "Man-Ape"...

RAMONDA -- Once everyone's favorite pick 25 years ago to play Storm in a movie, Angela Bassett finally makes it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe after playing Linda Lake on an episode of the 1990-91 DC Comics series The Flash and DC's Amanda Waller in Green Lantern.  As Wakanda's Queen Mother, Ramonda is a trusted advisor to T'Challa but she doesn't get to do a whole lot apart from look concerned at key moments and wear an impressive white dreadlock wig.

OBLIGATORY STAN LEE CAMEO -- Stan "The Man" turns up as a gambler at the South Korea casino, who swoops in after T’Challa wins at a table, suggesting that he’ll look after T’Challa’s sizable amount of chips until the king returns.

WINTER SOLDIER CAMEO -- Sebastian Stan returns as Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, in a post-credits bonus scene that reveals Shuri has revived Bucky from suspended animation, where he's been ever since the end of Civil War.  Time to suit up for Avengers: Infinity War, Buck!

All in all, Black Panther is a major step forward for the Marvel Cinematic Universe...and for superhero films in general.  With the movie bringing in over $235 million domestically in its first four days, it's already destroyed the notion that the public won't turn out in big numbers for films starring black superheroes, paving the way for potential Marvel movies starring Storm, Luke Cage, War Machine, Deathlok, and others somewhere down the line.  It's proof that if you make a superhero movie with a solid story, strong casting, and great production values, audiences will show up no matter the character's racial or ethnic background.  And even better, the film brings hope and inspiration to thousands of young boys and girls all over the world, who've been waiting and waiting for a major black superhero film that represents them.  So with all this in mind, DC Films...How's your Cyborg solo movie coming along?

And for those who may be wondering, here's the updated list of my Top 20 Comic Book Films:

1. Superman (1978)
2. The Dark Knight (2008)

3. The Avengers (2012)
4. Batman Begins (2005)
5. Logan (2017)
6. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
7. Black Panther (2018)
8. Man of Steel (2013)
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
10. Doctor Strange (2016)
11. Wonder Woman (2017)
12. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
13. Spider-Man (2002)
14. Iron Man (2008)
15. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
16. Watchmen (2009)
17. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
18. Thor (2011)
19. Justice League (2017)
20. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

TITANS Casts Bruno Bichir as The Chief

The Doom Patrol has found their leader.

Deadline has word that the upcoming DC Universe digital series Titans has cast Bruno Bichir as Dr. Niles Caulder, better known to DC Comics fans as The Chief, leader of the team of strange superheroes known as The Doom Patrol.  The Doom Patrol will make their debut in the series' fifth episode, "The Doom Patrol", written by Geoff Johns.

According to the article, The Chief is described as "a pioneer in medical science, searching the world over for those on the edge of death in need of a miracle.  Brilliant, but controversial, Dr. Caulder will stop at nothing to help those he believes are in need, including his collection of strange heroes known as The Doom Patrol."

Bichir, 50, is a Mexican actor best known as Fernando Duque on the Netflix series Narcos and for the Mexican films as El evangelio de las maravillas and El callej√≥n de los milagros.  His U.S. films include Julia, Casa de los Babys, Death and the Compass, and Under Fire.

Created in 1963 by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani, The Chief first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 as Dr. Niles Caulder, a paraplegic gifted with a genius-level intellect.  At a young age, Caulder developed an interest in creating better life, proving to be both a brilliant inventor and engineer.  He received funding from a mysterious benefactor, which allowed him to succeed in creating a chemical capable of prolonging life.  Ultimately, it was revealed that the benefactor was a man called General Immortus, who hired Caulder to create a chemical to replace the one that had been prolonging his life for centuries but was now failing.  When the young scientist discovered the truth about his employer, he refused to continue the work.  Immortus responded by implanting an explosive device in Caulder's upper torso, which he could set off remotely, and any attempt to remove it while Niles lived would also detonate it.  Caulder eventually devised a plan to get the bomb out, but it cost him his ability to walk.

Caulder used his scientific knowledge to develop numerous inventions and innovations that made him wealthy.  He later founded and organized the team called the Doom Patrol to protect the innocent and fight crime, and to teach humanity to accept others who live as ostracized "freaks," who have been radically transformed from terrible accidents.  It was Caulder's genius that allowed the team's members to survive their various accidents, such as Caulder designing Robotman's android body and devising Negative Man's medicated bandages).

In a later incarnation of the Doom Patrol, Caulder was discovered working on a nanotechnology bomb that would destroy half the world and replace it with humans transformed into freaks of nature, under his theory that a better human race would rise from the destruction.  He murdered the original Tempest, Joshua Clay, to protect his secret but the Doom Patrol succeeded in stopping his plans.  During these events, he was decapitated by a creation of Dorothy Spinner's known as the Candlemaker.  Doctor Will Magnus, creator of the Metal Men, built a new body for the Chief, telling him that he should try helping the Patrol to make up for what he did.  Becoming suicidal with guilt, the Chief stated that he could never do enough to make up for his actions, and used his new body to rip off his head.  Magnus wa able to save the Chief by getting the head to a cryogenic chamber, but after this, the Chief existed solely as a severed head in a bucket of ice, subsisting on milkshakes.  He expressed remorse at his actions and rebuilt the Doom Patrol to continue their efforts in the war against weird crime.

In the current DC Comics continuity known as "The New 52", a young and healthy Niles Caulder was introduced in 2011's The Ravagers #4.  Operating a deep underground science and engineering facility located beneath Los Angeles, Caulder provided a headquarters and combat training for the team in their campaign against the organization of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Infiltrating the compound, Caulder was captured along with the rest of the Ravagers by Deathstroke on the behest of Harvest.  During the events of Forever Evil, it was revealed that Caulder had created the Doom Patrol and seemed to be free from Harvest, but this Doom Patrol was unfortunately killed by Crime Syndicate of America members Johnny Quick and Atomica, except for Celsius and Tempest who, according to Lex Luthor, faked their deaths to escape him, prompting Caulder to make plans to "start over".

This will be the first time The Chief will appear in live-action, although the character has appeared in the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Richard McGonagle) and various DC Nation shorts (voiced by Jeffrey Combs).

Titans is scheduled to debut on the DC Universe digital service later in 2018.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

GHOSTWOOD 028: "My Life, My Tapes - Part 1" is Up!

"I am sure of nothing, except that to believe you know where you are headed is not to understand where one is at the moment."
-- Dale Cooper, The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes

It is happening again...My co-host with the most Xan Sprouse and I are back with a new episode of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast!  This time, we begin our review the 1991 Scott Frost novel The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes! 


In our latest episode, Xan and I discuss things like Peaks Geeks, Twin Peaks nepotism, getting through a Level 2 snow emergency, Xan falling asleep to Dune, young Dale Cooper getting his first tape recorder and his early interest in the F.B.I., Cooper's life being defined by the women in his life and violence, Cooper's doomed crush on neighbor Marie Schlurman, Cooper's draft-dodging brother Emmet, hints that BOB was watching Cooper, Cooper's mom's ominous dreams, that awkward moment when your new English teacher turns out to be the hippie chick that pressed your face into her breasts, the mystery of Cooper's gold ring, that awkward moment when fireworks land next to you while you're getting oral sex in the woods and your clothes catch on fire, Cooper's unusual set of skills, Xan watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail in the same theatre as John Cleese, Cooper's experiment with not sleeping, Homer Simpson in New York, Cooper's experiment with not urinating while drinking coffee, the awkward moment when your girlfriend's mom comes to your room at 2 a.m. and you realize your girlfriend is an arsonist, Cooper's first meeting with Windom Earle, ordering Twin Peaks stuff through the mail back in the dayand more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn -- RIGHT HERE
Ghostwood's Facebook page
Ghostwood's Twitter account

Be sure to come back next week as Xan and I finish our review of the 1991 Scott Frost novel The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes!  Look for more of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast on iTunes, YouTube, Libsyn, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tim Miller & Brian Bendis Developing KITTY PRYDE X-Men Spinoff Movie

It sounds like X-Men's Kitty Pryde has a demon she's going to face.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that Deadpool director Tim Miller and comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis are developing an X-Men spinoff film focusing on the popular mutant superhero Kitty Pryde.

The project, which is being called 143, which is presumably a reference to the Marvel comic Uncanny X-Men (vol.1) #143, which featured a Kitty Pryde spotlight story called "Demon", written by Chris Claremont and drawn by John Byrne.

In the story, a variation on the 1979 science fiction horror film Aliena lone otherdimensional demon from a race known as the N'Garai escaped the destruction of an obelisk which was the nexus of the gateway between their world and ours, following a battle between the N'Garai and the mutant superhero team known as the X-Men.  Meanwhile, Kitty was learning how the X-Men's Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird aircraft was operated, until it was time for the other X-Men to go out and celebrate Christmas, leaving Kitty alone in their mansion headquarters.

Left with nothing to do, Kitty decided to work out, using a Danger Room exercise program. However, her work-out was interrupted by the intruder alarm activating in Ororo's room.  Not wanting to disturb the police over what may be something as simple as a fallen branch, Kitty decided to investigate, only to discover the deadly N'Garai demon.  Kitty led the demon on a merry chase throughout the mansion, phasing through walls with it fast on her heels. She eventually took a rail car to the mansion's aircraft hangar, but halfway to the hangar, the demon ruptured the rail, forcing Kitty to travel the rest of the distance on foot.  Weary from exhaustion, Kitty got into the Blackbird, with its turbine engines pointed down the tunnel, the only realistic path for the demon to follow her into the hangar.  At the last second, she ignited the engines, setting the demon on fire but wrecking the Blackbird in the process.  She exited the aircraft, confident that nothing could've survived, when suddenly, a burned claw reached towards her.

The X-Men returned home to a darkened and severely damaged mansion, having encountered police earlier warning them of gruesome murders that had occurred in the area.  They entered cautiously, only to find Kitty curled up watching TV with a fire, safe and sound.  It turned out that last swipe was the creature's dying attempt to kill Kitty.  It made the supreme effort and it failed.

Created in 1980 by Claremont and Byrne, Kitty Pryde first appeared in X-Men (vol.1) #129 as Katherine "Kitty" Pryde, a teenage girl born in Deerfield, Illinois, to Carmen and Theresa Pryde.  Kitty started to have headaches at age thirteen, signaling the emergence of her mutant powers.  She was approached by both the X-Men's Charles Xavier and the Hellfire Club's White Queen, Emma Frost, both of whom hoped to recruit her for their respective causes.  Kitty was unnerved by Frost, observing that the White Queen looked at her as if she were "something good to eat."  She got along better with Xavier and the three X-Men who escorted him, quickly becoming friends with Storm (Ororo Munroe).  Ororo told Kitty who she really was and about the X-Men, which made the teenager even more enthusiastic about attending Xavier's school.

They, along with Wolverine and Colossus, were attacked by armored mercenaries in the employ of Frost and the Hellfire Club.  The X-Men defeated their assailants, but were subdued by the White Queen's telepathic powers immediately after.  In the confusion, Kitty was separated from the X-Men, but not captured along with them.  She managed to contact Cyclops, Phoenix, and Nightcrawler, and with the help of Dazzler and Kitty, the X-Men rescued their teammates from the Hellfire Club.  Kitty's parents had not heard from her in more than a day, and were angry at Xavier when he finally returned with Kitty in tow.  At first, it seemed like there was no chance of Kitty being allowed to attend the school and join the X-Men, but Phoenix used her considerable telepathic power to erase the memories of Kitty's parents and plant false ones, resulting in a complete shift in their attitude towards Xavier. Kitty was then allowed to enroll at Xavier's school with her parents' blessing, becoming the youngest member of the team.

Assuming the identity of Sprite, Kitty developed a number of close relationships with others at the school and in the X-Men.  She developed a crush on Colossus and became close friends with his little sister Illyana Rasputin.  Initially uneasy around Nightcrawler and other mutants with physical deformities, Kitty finally overcame her fears and became close friends with him.  Kitty also befriended Lockheed, a highly intelligent alien resembling a dragon, who followed her home after a mission in outer space.  During the 1984 Kitty Pryde and Wolverine miniseries, Kitty was possessed by the demon ninja Ogun.  Ogun psychically gave Kitty a virtual lifetime of martial arts training, brainwashing her into becoming a ninja assassin sent to attack Wolverine.  Kitty was able to resist Ogun's influence with Wolverine's help, and the two formed a strong teacher/student bond, which helped them in vanquishing Ogun.  Kitty returned to the X-Men, no longer the innocent girl they once knew, and officially adopted the codename Shadowcat.

Recently, Kitty returned to Earth and rejoined the X-Men, after serving as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy and being involved in a romantic relationship with Peter Quill, also know as Star-Lord.  Storm announced to Kitty that she was stepping down as leader of the X-Men, due to the guilt she felt for leading the X-Men to war with the Inhumans, and offered Kitty her position.  After touring X-Haven and seeing how much things have changed and how much things need to change for the better, Kitty agreed to lead the X-Men as long as Storm remained on the team.  She relocated the mansion from Limbo to Central Park in New York, so the X-Men could refocus on being part of the world as heroes instead of constantly worrying about their own survival.  Under Kitty's new leadership, she also renamed the mansion as The Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach.

Monday, February 12, 2018

PREACHER Casts Betty Buckley as Gran'ma, Others for Season 3

Angelville just got a lot more crowded.

Deadline is reporting that the AMC series Preacher, based on the DC Comics/VERTIGO series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, has cast four new additions for the show's upcoming third season.

According to the article, Betty Buckley (pictured at the top above) will play Gran'ma, who is described as "a spiritist with true powers, who can cast spells and even bring back the dead (for a price)."  

First appearing in Preacher #4, Gran'ma, whose real name is Marie L'Angelle, was the wheelchair-using grandmother of Jesse Custer.  She was a cold-blooded and wretched woman, a Christian fanatic who would do anything to make sure she got what she wanted, such as threatening the death of John Custer should he ever try to leave Angelville.  She punished family members by sealing them inside a weighted down coffin with an air tube put in the bottom of the swamp, without food or water, to stir and crawl within their own urine and feces for up to a month.  She wanted Jesse to become a minister, and often punished him with the coffin.  She later sent Jody and T.C. to find Jesse after he escaped, and later made a pact with God to kill Tulip O'Hare to assert control over Jesse, though God brought Tulip back from the dead, which led to her killing T.C. and setting the house on fire.  Marie was finally killed when the flames hit her oxygen tank and her corpse was blown out of the house, sending her straight to Hell for her sins against Jesse.

Colin Cunningham will play T.C., who is described as "a man born of the bayou and the loyal caretaker and soldier for Gran’ma."  First appearing in Preacher #8, T.C. was one of Ms. L'Angelle's "law" enforcers.  His primary interest was having sex with practically any creature or inanimate object (including the cake presented to Jesse for his tenth birthday) he could find.  Even going as far as necrophelia, as he did with Tulip after she was killed.  T.C. was very violent, willing to kill anyone he was ordered to or anyone who got in his way or annoyed him.  Though he was nowhere near as skilled as Jody in combat, he was still extremely dangerous, especially when paired with Jody.  When Jesse exacted his revenge at Angelville on all of its inhabitants, T.C., much to his horror, was killed by a newly resurrected Tulip, realizing in his final moments that, despite his belief that he would be saved, he was going to Hell instead.

Jeremy Childs is Jody, described as "the enforcer for Gran’ma and the only man Jesse’s never beaten in a fight."  First appearing in Preacher #8, Jody was Marie L'Angelle's most trusted enforcer, often paired with T.C. for missions.  Jesse called him "the leading expert on fucking people over before they can fuck him".  Massively muscled, he could send a man flying with one punch, and he had an incredible tolerance for pain and injury, being able to take a nailed plank of wood to the face without wincing, and able to remain foul-mouthed while on fire. Jody believed that he did Jesse the favor of toughening Jesse up with his pattern of abuse, calling him a crybaby directly after shooting Jesse's father, nailing Jesse's beloved dog to the farmyard fence, and weighting down Jesse's "coffin" with his best friend. Jesse finally killed Jody during a fistfight on the L'Angelle ranch, in which it appeared that Jesse broke his spine.  Jody appeared to care for Jesse, fixing the bones which he broke while toughening Jesse up, although he seemed to resent the fact that Marie cared more for Jesse than she did for him.

Liz McGeever is playing Christina, described as "Capable and efficient, Christina has a face that lures customers in for her family business.  Christina hides it well, but she hates her job and has dreams and aspirations outside of her current life – but suffers to protect her child."  First appearing in Preacher #8, Christina Custer was Jesse Custer's mother.  She met John Custer, a Marine recently returned from Vietnam, as an anti-war protester.  She spat in his face, but later apologized, leading to a relationship.  They were forced to marry by Christina's mother, Marie L'Angelle, and told never to leave under the threat of death.  During an attempt to escape, John was shot to death by Jody.  She later protested the punishment of Jesse, which led to Marie ordering Jody to shoot her.  She managed to escape, though her skull was cracked open by a reflexive shot and she loset her left arm to an alligator.  She was rescued by hunters, though she was brain damaged, which left her in a persistent vegetative state for many years.  She later recovered, though she had amnesia and believed her name was "Jodie".  She made her way back to Salvation, recovered her memories slowly, and eventually remembered everything after Jesse said the word "Mom".

Preacher is expected to return to AMC for Season 3 sometime around June 2018.