Thursday, March 29, 2012

THE FLASH: The Fastest Movie Still Alive

It's been far too long since we received an update on the movie adaptation of DC Comics' The Flash, but it seems there's still a chance to finally see The Fastest Man Alive on the big screen.

Blastr has posted some comments from Dan Mazeau, co-writer of Wrath of the Titans and writer of a draft for The Flash.  According to Mazeau, the project is still active, remarking, "I think Warner Bros. is finalizing their strategy of how they want to roll out their DC superheroes, and obviously they've got Batman in an incredibly great place, and Green Lantern, I think, performed okay.  I think they probably would have liked it to have done better, but yeah, there is still a whole lot of excitement for the DC universe, and I know The Flash is very high on the list."

"It's like anything, though," he added.  "It has to come together with the right cast.  It has to come together with the right director and sort of the right moment, and so they're trying to push the rock up the hill.  Hopefully there will be some news soon, but right now I can't really say anything else."

Mazeau, working with former Flash comic book writer Geoff Johns, is the latest screenwriter to revise the script after Green Lantern screenwriters Greg Bertlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim were reportedly working on the project back in December of 2010.  Of course, the poor critical and fan reception of Green Lantern along with the disappointing box office may have encouraged Warner Bros. to go with a different creative approach. 

Mazeau's version would also feature Barry Allen as The Flash, but according to him, "For fans of Wally [West], there were some things in that script that would make them happy also."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gwen Stacy Takes No Bull$#!+ in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

I have to admit, like many Spidey fans, I was a bit puzzled at the casting of Emma Stone as the new Gwen Stacy in this summer's The Amazing Spider-Man instead of the new Mary Jane Watson.  Stone's outgoing real-life personality and signature dyed red hair make her a natural choice for MJ, but I have no doubt she'll be able to pull off Gwen as well.

In a new interview for NBC Chicago's Popcorn Biz, Stone and director Marc Webb offer their detailed takes on how Gwen will be portrayed in the new film.  When asked about what they're hoping to explore in the relatioship between Gwen and Peter Parker, Webb remarks, "The way that Peter Parker eventually learns about sacrifice through Gwen Stacy, but in order to adequately learn that lesson you have to feel that really strong bond.  Something for me I think in terms of what we set out to do with this relationship, specifically between Peter and Gwen, I mean, you remember, like, the first time that you meet a girl in high school and that you get to share things with that person that you might not have shared with any other people, that creates a bond and an intensity that I think has a lot of currency.  When you get that opportunity to be honest and open with somebody for the first time and share things about yourself that you haven't been able to share things that you haven't been able to before, things that you might be scared of or ashamed about, that's really exhilarating, and I think that's something that people will really identify with.  That was something that was fun about the relationship, and then in terms of Gwen as a character, she's really smart.  She's got this scientific quality, and maybe you can speak more to this, but she's in sort of a weird position, stuck between the different men in her life."

Stone appears to agree, adding, "Yeah, her duty to her father and her duty to her boyfriend, because she's a real confidant for him.  Their intimacy is such an incredible element, and I think that Gwen has been in control her whole life.  She's the oldest daughter of a police chief, who is constantly terrified that her father is going to die everyday.  She has to have an element of being smart because she has to be.  She's a valedictorian because she has to be.  She has to take care of things and be responsible for her family and I think that being able to let go and trust somebody who puts themselves in the face of death of everyday, too, that's like, great, now she's drawn to another person that could die at any moment and she has to keep his secret and pick and choose between her first love which is her father, of course, like every girl.  That's the first man in your life and then her first boyfriend.  So, it's a pretty complex situation for Gwen, and there's a lot of, I think, sadness and fear in her life combined with the fact that she's outwardly confident and strong and smart and takes no bullshit.  She's soft and seventeen underneath it all.  There's a great source of drama, and Gwen is at the center of this in a lot of ways – there's competing ideas of what's good.  These people, everybody's heart is in the right place, but they execute their plans in different ways and that goes for The Lizard and Curt Connors as well.  Gwen in particular is stuck between [her father] the Captain and Peter Parker and Spider-Man who have different ways about going about finding justice in their lives.  I think that's a really fun thing to explore in the movie."

On the subject of living up to fan's expectations of Gwen, Stone remarked, "I think initially, definitely.  But then you realize that there's just so much material when it comes to Spider-Man.  I had done The Help right before this and that was a book, and so there was also that kind of fan base, but that's one book and this is fifty years worth of comic book material.  So there're different incarnations of Gwen, and I realized that you can't please everybody and that you were cast because they're hoping that you can bring this character to life in the best way that you know how.  So at the end of the day, I hope that people are satisfied.  I know that not everybody will be, and that's one of those trials of being human, when you learn that not everybody can like you.  It is a tough lesson, isn't it, but it's important and I think hopefully people will be okay with my incarnation."

As for Stone's first exposure to the world of Spider-Man, she admits, "The Sam Raimi trilogy.  I didn't read comics growing up.  I watched a lot of movies and I guess those were my comic books.  So yeah, the trilogy, and then really my exposure increased by becoming affiliated with Spider-Man.  When I found out that I was going to audition for Gwen, I looked into the Gwen Stacy story.  I was so excited that it was Gwen because when your exposure has been the Sam Raimi trilogy you only really knew about Mary Jane, other than Bryce's [Dallas Howard] in the third version, the third movie, but that's a totally different version of Gwen.  So, it was like I had some backstory all of a sudden to the Peter and Mary Jane relationship because he's gone through something so horribly traumatic in his life and has such a sense of guilt that it really added so much to the story.  So, I was so excited to get to be a part of bringing that story to life."

The Amazing Spider-Man is scheduled to arrive in theaters on July 3, 2012.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

First DOCTOR WHO Series Seven Trailer Debuts

Okay, the blurry bootleg trailer has been replaced with someting far more official.

At the Official Doctor Who Convention in Cardiff, Wales, the first trailer for Series Seven was shown to those lucky, lucky convention goers.  Most of the footage appears to be from the upcoming western episode that began filming two weeks ago.

The Doctor facing down a a cyborg gunslinger, the Doctor's mandatory call to "Run!", explosions, Mark Williams as Rory's dad, River Song, screaming, the Doctor aiming a gun (!), "You've been clearly taking stupid lessons since I last saw you," Ben Browder as a sheriff, "Anyone who isn't an American, drop your gun!", "Anachronistic electricity, keep out signs, aggressive stares...Has someone been peeking at my Christmas list?", "Give me a Dalek any day," a Dalek eyestalk popping out from the snow?

Sigh...Spring and summer are going to be just interminable, aren't they?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DAMN Good Comics -- SUPERCROOKS #1

Well, it seems writer Mark Millar has made another comic book property designed to be instantly adapted into a movie.  After film versions of Wanted and Kick-Ass both made money at the box office, it's no surprise that this latest property, Supercrooks, is already slated for a 2014 film to be directed by Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo.

Described by Millar in high-concept terms as "X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven." Supercrooks features a hard-luck supervillain named Johnny Bolt who repeatedly gets caught and imprisoned by superheroes.  After Johnny's elderly mentor gets into financial trouble with a dangerous supervillain casino operation in Las Vegas, he suddenly gets the idea of going overseas (to Spain, of course) where there aren't any of those annoying superheroes capable of stopping his crime sprees.

Millar has a knack of honing these types of story premises into a strong central concept, such as "What if an ordinary office drone found out he was the son of a superpowered assassin?" and "What if someone actually tried to go out and be a superhero in the real world?"  And it doesn't hurt that these story premises are simple enough to be pitched to Hollywood movie executives.  But thankfully, his years as a mere comic book writer serve him well when given the task of writing the actual comic books these movies are supposed to be based upon.

We start off with the necessary background on Johnny Bolt before turning the page and being hit with a big two-page spread of the series title as if it suddenly filled the movie screen.  Then we dive straight into a superpowered version of the film Ocean's Twelve, right down to staging a heist in Europe to pay back a casino boss.  Yeah, it's a bit overly familiar, but Millar makes the story flow with the right kind of tone it needs to be effective.  By the end of this first issue, you want to know what happens next and that's always a good thing for a comic book series.

Leinil Yu, Millar's artistic partner on the Superman/Captain Marvelesque mini-series Superior, continues to produce solid work here as well.  Action sequences are bold and dynamic, while his characters look as if they were drawn with specific movie actors in mind.  He also doesn't skimp on his backgrounds, which is always refreshing compared to some other artists.  Overhead shots of Las Vegas and the interior of a diner look rich and detailed, so it's going to be interesting to see how Spain will be depicted in the next issue.

Oh, and just to give you a taste of that impending Supercrooks movie, here's an actual teaser trailer that was shot...

Say what you will about Millar, the man definitely knows how to work a project.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jenna-Louise Coleman IS the New DOCTOR WHO Companion!

It's official...The Eleventh Doctor is about to meet his newest companion, to be played by actress Jenna-Louise Coleman.  The news was confirmed this morning on the official Doctor Who Twitter account, with some initial comments from Coleman who said, "I want to get started already.  I'm a huge fan of the show."  As for her new co-star Matt Smith, Coleman remarked, "Matt Smith did my audition with me.  It was fun and I felt like we were in it together."

The 25-year-old actress has appeared on the British soap opera Emmerdale and the school drama Waterloo Road.  She also had a small role in the film Captain America: The First Avenger as Connie, one half of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes' double date at the World's Fair.

It was also confirmed that there will be six episodes of Series Seven airing in 2012, including the Christmas Special, with the remaining eight to air in 2013.  Jenna's character will first appear in the 2012 Christmas special.  There were no announcements on plans for the show's 50th anniversary special in 2013.

As for Amy and Rory Pond/Williams, it seems their final episode will be the fifth in Series Seven, once again facing a familiar enemy.  According to showrunner Steven Moffat, "Amy and Rory will leave in a final encounter with the Weeping Angels in episode five.  Not everyone gets out alive and I mean it this time."

On the subject of the new companion, Moffat said, "It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl.  She's funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the TARDIS.  It's not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it's about to happen.  Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet.  And that's all you're getting for now.  Who she's playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters.  Even by the Doctor's standards, this isn't your usual boy meets girl."

Monday, March 19, 2012

THE WALKING DEAD Season 3 Takes Shape

You know last night's Season 2 finale of AMC's The Walking Dead was good when you can't wait for Season 3 to begin.

In the second season finale, "Beside the Dying Fire," fans of the television series were finally introduced to Michonne, the popular katana-wielding character from the comic book series who debuted in issue #19.  Escaping from the herd of walkers overtaking Hershel's farm, Andrea (played by Laurie Holden) flees through the nearby woods, still fighting off a number of walkers continuing after her.  Just when Andrea runs out of gun ammo and all seems lost, however, a hooded Michonne suddenly arrives with two chained armless and jawless walkers in tow and quickly dispatches Andrea's final pursuing walker with a quick slash of her katana.

After the episode, writer and co-creator of The Walking Dead Robert Kirkman appeared on the post-episode talk show The Talking Dead, hosted by Chris Hardwick, and announced that Michonne will be played in Season 3 by actress Danai Gurira"These characters have struggled so hard to find a life worth living in this new world," Kirkman said.  "Michonne has found that new life."  Days earlier, Kirkman announced that he would be revealing Michonne's origins in a special one-shot comic tale in the April 2012 issue of Playboy magazine.

The closing shot of the Season 2 finale also revealed the prison that plays a central part in the comic series from issues #13 to #48.  Presumably, this will become the new Season 3 home for the survivors now that Hershel's farm has been lost. 

Back in February, actor David Morrissey was cast as The Governor, Brian Blake, who becomes the central villain for the comic series from issues #27 to #48, and the upcoming third season of the television series. 

Over the past weekend, actor Michael Rooker confirmed at Wondercon that Daryl Dixon's brother Merle, who was left for dead in Season 1, is slated to return in Season 3.  According to Rooker, he had to lose about twenty pounds for the role.

Friday, March 16, 2012

COMMUNITY's Inspector Spacetime Once Married...Himself

NBC's sitcom Community returned after a lengthy hiatus last night and made time for more of their show-within-a-show Doctor Who parody Inspector SpacetimeOr did they make...space?

In the episode "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich," which centered around character Shirley Bennett renewing her wedding vows at Greendale Community College, Inspector Spacetime fans Abed Nadir and Troy Barnes offer their assistance with the wedding planning.  "We can help too," remarks Troy.  "We just saw the Inspector Spacetime wedding episode, so we know which pitfalls to avoid." 

Abed chimes in with advice from the episode.  "Be sure to get a DNA reading of your prospective mate," he said.  "Inspector Spacetime ended up marrying himself as a baby."

Later, after Abed and Troy "purge" their weirdness in order to be more socially acceptable during the wedding ceremony, Troy tries to snap Abed back to his traditionally weird self by acting like Inspector Spacetime's companion, Constable Reginald "Reggie" Wigglesworth.  "Inspector Spacetime," begins Troy, "thank the Cosmic Engineer I found you."

Abed, who is busy dancing with a girl, shrugs him off.  "Troy, this is hardly the time."

"Or is it hardly...the space?"

"Okay, I see what you did there, but I have to back to my Lindbergh Lean with...Sorry, I didn't catch your name."

"Inspector, what sort of creature would be doing a dance like the Lindbergh Lean?"

Abed ponders for a moment, slipping back to his old self.  "Blogons?"


Abed's dance partner interrupts, saying her name is Danielle.  "Constable Reggie," remarks Abed, "it appears as though the Blogons have developed the ability to take human form."

Troy then empties a nearby plastic serving bowl, hands it to Abed as his "Photonic Bowler Hat" and the two leave the wedding to go off on Blogon patrol.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Back in the day, fans of the classic science-fiction TV series The X-Files were fond of saying "The truth is out there."  Well, this new series from DC Comics' VERTIGO line seems to hint that the truth may actually be at 1 Mansion Drive in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Saucer Country is essentially the high concept of "The X-Files meets The West Wing," starring a fictional Democrat (or perhaps Independent) governor of New Mexico by the name of Arcadia Alvarado.  As the first divorced Hispanic female declaring her intention to run for President of the United States, something sadly unlikely in this current real-life American political climate, Alvarado is haunted by strange blackouts and disturbing flashes she can't explain.  The realization she concludes by the end of the first issue firmly sets the tone for what promises to be an interesting ride.

Writer Paul Cornell, no stranger to the subject of aliens based on his previous work in comics, novels and television, made an intriguing choice to explore the notion of alien abduction by framing it with a political setting.  Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris did something similar recently by fusing superheroics with politics in the 50-issue series WildStorm series Ex Machina, but Cornell manages to replicate the appeal of Ex Machina without making it feel derivative.  Based on this first issue, Saucer Country is more than willing to tell its own story with its own set of already fascinating characters.

Apart from Alvarado, Part One of "Run" introduces us to her ex-husband and apparent fellow abductee Michael, her unsettlingly-proper head of security Fausto, her exasperated chief of staff Harry, her blunt Republican campaign adviser Chloe Saunders, and just for kicks, a suspended Harvard University professor of modern folklore named Joshua Kidd who believes in UFOs and seemingly hallucinates a miniature naked man and woman calling themselves "The Pioneer 10 Couple."  Sure, why not.

Co-creator Ryan Kelly handles the art, doing a solid job of making the flashes of alien images feel necessarily disturbing while doing his homework in order to capture real-life locations such as the New Mexico Governor's Mansion.  This first issue asks quite a bit from Kelly in terms of mood changes and tonal shifts, but he moves things along nicely, complementing Cornell's script instead of distracting from it.

There quite a bit to take in here, almost feeling like this issue should've been expanded in page count.  However, it's still a promising start to what will hopefully be a successful series with lots of additional ground to cover if the last page is any indication.  The tease for the next issue claims that "Nothing is real," so if you'll excuse me, I have the sudden urge to listen to "Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


As some of you know, today sees the release of Cartoon Network Action Pack #67, the final issue in the series from DC Comics.  Exactly one year ago to this very day, I was able to publicly announce that my first-ever published comic book story would be appearing in CNAP #61 and now here I am saying goodbye to the series.  Strange what can happen in twelve months, hunh?

Yes, it's the end and the moment has been prepared for.  First off, I'd like to thank my longtime friend and editor Michael McCalister for giving me the opportunity to submit a few Generator Rex story pitches that Cartoon Network seemed to like well enough to approve for full scripts.  I'm fortunate to have a number of loyal and dependable friends that truly mean the world to me, and time and time again, Michael proves that just by being Michael.  If you're a friend of his, you should know precisely what I'm talking about here.

I admit that I wasn't much of a Generator Rex fan before submitting those pitches, but I did a considerable amount of internet research and watched a number of episodes thanks to Time Warner Cable's On Demand service in order to get a handle on the characters before writing my first script.  "Night of the Living Movie," which appeared in Cartoon Network Action Pack #61, was actually my second pitch but I'm glad it was my first story to work on.  I learned quite a bit about the importance of things like word balloon placement along with panel layout, so I really appreciated Michael's patience during this initial learning curve.  As for the story itself, I thought it would be fun to see Rex duking it out with an EVO in a movie theater, then built the idea of a sort-of double date around that, featuring Rex and his best friend Noah Nixon meeting a couple of cute girls named Annika and Xan.  The girls were named in tribute to two other friends of mine, Annika Gibson and Xan Sprouse, and I was very relieved to later find out that they both liked their younger comic book counterparts.

My second story published, "Unhappy Holiday," appeared in Cartoon Network Action Pack #66 even though it was my fourth script, commissioned specifically for the 2011 holiday issue.  The issue didn't end up arriving in stores until January because CNAP was shifted to a bi-monthly release schedule.  For a long time, I had the idea of "Die Hard in a shopping mall" rattling around my head, so it seemed like an amusing enough story premise for Generator Rex.  I continued my running theme of pairing Rex with a different supporting character, this time with Dr. Rebecca Holiday, and worked several in-jokes into the story, including (understandably sanitized) Die Hard references, a Star Wars reference, and even the name of this very officially official blog.

Unfortunately, due to CNAP's impending cancellation, my remaining two Generator Rex stories were never published even though (thankfully) I was paid for writing them.  The first, "Fezzes are Cool," was even solicited for CNAP #67 but ended up being replaced with a different story for production reasons.  Hey, these things happen.

It's a shame, because this was the one I most wanted to see in print and I was absolutely thrilled when Michael sent me the pencilled artwork for review.  This story would've seen Rex and Bobo Haha travelling all the way to Morocco to replace Bobo's fez hat that gets destroyed early on.  And if you're a Doctor Who fan, as I am, you can probably guess that this story would've had a number of in-jokes as well...

Ah, what could have been...  The other unpublished story, "Firebirds of Prey," was going to be my nod to Battle of the Planets, one of my favorite animated series as a kid, and Japanese giant monster movies.  This time, Rex would've been paired with Agent Six to investigate reports of EVO activity in Osaka, Japan.  There they'd encounter a team of teenaged EVOs called the Firebirds and everyone would then team up to battle a giant bat-like EVO.  Yeah, tell me that wouldn't be all kinds of crazy awesome.

So now my time on Generator Rex comics is over, for now at least, but I'd also like to thank artists Mike Bowden and Adam Archer as well as the various inkers, colorists and letterers for giving life to my stories.  It was an amazing feeling to check out each page as Michael sent them and see my words visually depicted through someone else's imagination.  I hope that sensation never gets old.  Oh, and many, many thanks to everyone who read my stories in CNAP #61 and #66 and took the time to tell me that they enjoyed them, or just shared their love of Generator Rex. 

And now, let's see what the future holds...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bruce Boxleitner Says TRON 3 Could Film in 2014

Greetings, programs!

One of my favorite films of 2010, Tron: Legacy, might be ready to film another sequel to 1982's sci-fi classic Tron in a couple of years.  Bruce Boxleitner, who portrayed Tron and his User/human counterpart Alan Bradley in both films, was recently interviewed by I Am Rogue and gave updates on Tron 3 and the upcoming 10-part animated series Tron: Uprising for Disney XD.

According to Boxleitner, "The last movie didn’t end.  It actually started the next movie and then went to black." 

"It’s in the works," he added.  "Anything could happen, but all I can say is, it’s in its formative stages.  [Joseph] Kosinski, who is slated for it, he’s shooting another movie now and then they’ll get around to doing that.  I think somewhere around 2014, maybe.  I’m talking way out of school here, but they can’t shoot me because I’m Tron."

The 2013 film Kosinski is currently slated to direct is another science-fiction tale starring Tom Cruise, to be titled either Oblivion or Horizons. A sequel to Tron: Legacy seems likely, considering the film's production budget was reported to be $170 million and the film earned over $400 million in worldwide box office before DVD and Blu-Ray sales.

When asked about Tron: Uprising, Boxleitner said, "I'm very proud of that. It's, I think, every bit as good as the movies. We have this tremendous talent -- Elijah Wood, myself, Lance Henrikson, Mandy Moore, Paul Reubens -- It just keeps going." As for his specific role in the series, he remarked, "Who else would I be? I'm Tron. It's going to be on my gravestone...'He was Tron.'"


Saturday, March 10, 2012

DOCTOR WHO: The Good, The Bad and The TARDIS

After 46 years (or five minutes, depending on how you travel), the Doctor finally returns to the Old West...and as always, it's about time.

Filming began this past week on what's generally believed to be episode three of Doctor Who Series Seven, a story by Being Human creator/writer Toby Whithouse possibly titled "The Gunslinger."  This will be the first western Doctor Who story since the First Doctor tale "The Gunfighters" that aired way back in 1966.

The creative team is using the southern Spanish town of Almeria as the setting, which has also served as the filming location for several legendary westerns, including The Magnificent Seven, and the Man With No Name trilogy of Sergio Leone films starring Clint Eastwood, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

According to The Daily Mail, which has posted several additional photos from the episode's filming, the Doctor Who showrunners chose to film in the Spanish town because it was more cost-effective than building a new set in the UK.  The latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine confirmed that Farscape and Stargate SG-1 actor Ben Browder will be guest-starring in the episode, along with actors Adrian Scarborough, Dominic Kemp and Rob Cavazos.  The episode will be directed by Saul Metzstein, who is also directing episode two.  You can also find additional photos from the filming at Doctor Who TV.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

DC Comics Gives Website a Fresh Coat of Update

Presumably coinciding with the official rollout of the new "DC Peel" logo on the covers of this week's titles, DC Comics has given their official website some plastic (or is that electronic?) surgery.  Glancing around at this latest incarnation, here are a few initial observations on the front page...

Buttons are prominently displayed at the top linking to a Facebook directory, a Twitter directory, the DC Comics Google+ page, the DC Entertainment YouTube channel, and the RSS feed subscription.  Good to see DC giving importance to these sorts of cross-promotion tools, which should help get the word out better on various projects and publicity.

Wisely, a section has been devoted to digital comics, making it much easier to find the link to the DC Comics store on ComiXology.  I wouldn't have placed it halfway down the page, but at least it's more obvious than the previous "Read DC Comics" link.

There's a new Popular Characters section, featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash and Aquaman, that takes you to a profile page and comment section for each of the respective characters.  One would think there should also be a page for Cyborg since he's the only member of the "Big 7" Justice League that's not displayed, but since Cyborg doesn't have his own ongoing series either, I'm guessing that's part of the criteria determining popularity.

Below Popular Characters is a New Comics section that showcases covers and links for the most recent week's releases.  I'm not sure why there's a design emphasis of Big 6 character profiles providing basic information better found on Wikipedia over the latest comics released, but there you go.

I do, however, like the sidebar Twitter feeds located farther down from DC creators like Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire and Brian Buccellato (What, no @CharlesSkaggs?  Aw, man...).  Even better, there are handy-dandy Follow and Retweet buttons for Twitter users' convenience.

So there's some good, some not-so-good here, but the overall design layout is direct and easy to look at, which is nice.  And thankfully, DC's site is still superior to Marvel's clunky and cumbersome site, which continues to aggravate me every time I try to find simple information like what comics and trades are coming out a few weeks down the road.  But that's an entirely separate rant altogether...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently Returns to Television

Douglas Adams' holistic detective Dirk Gently returns for the first of three new episodes Monday night on BBC Four, but exactly how do they fundamentally interconnect with one another?

Since the original TV pilot aired in December 16, 2010, fans of Adams' Dirk Gently novels have been wondering if there would be any additional episodes made.  Critical reception was generally positive, attracting 1.1 million viewers for over three times the normal time slot average, so it seemed natural enough to develop the TV adaptation further.

In Episode 1 of this new three-part series, Dirk discovers the connection between two unrelated cases -- a client who believes the Pentagon are trying to kill him and another who’s horoscopes appear to be coming true.  In Episode 2, Dirk is called back to his old university to protect a valuable robot but within 24 hours it has been stolen and a dead body discovered, with Dirk and Macduff the prime suspect.  In Episode 3, they are alarmed to discover that Dirk’s old clients are being randomly murdered with Dirk as the only link.  Rather than talk to the police, Dirk elects to leave the country but is waylaid by a series of seemingly unconnected events.

Stephen Mangan returns as Dirk, with Darren Boyd as his sidekick business partner Richard Macduff.  Other characters from the pilot will return as well, with Helen Baxendale as Macduff’s girlfriend Susan in Episode 2, Jason Watkins as Detective Inspector Gilks in Episodes 1 and 3, and Lisa Jackson returning as the unpaid, unloved and quite deeply disturbed receptionist Janice Pearce during scenes throughout the series.
And if you'd like to see the full trailer for the upcoming series, you can view it below thanks to the BBC's own YouTube channel...

Friday, March 2, 2012

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN Animated Series Reveals Nick Fury

In an exclusive to Entertainment Weekly, the new Disney XD animated series Ultimate Spider-Man revealed the show's version of Nick Fury and surprise, he looks just like actor Samuel L. Jackson.

This latest animated Spider-Man series is based around Marvel's Ultimate imprint version of the character, which debuted back in 2000 has been written by Brian Michael Bendis ever since.  The animated series will be part of a programming block called Marvel Universe, which will feature various Marvel Comics superheroes and will follow the adventures of Peter Parker as a superpowered high schooler.  The series’ creative team includes Bendis himself, along with Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, and Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Paul Dini.  Drake Bell, of Drake & Josh fame, will voice Spider-Man while Human Target and Boston Public star Chi McBride voices Nick Fury.

Over the past week, other characters featured in the series have been revealed.  Unlike the comic book series, the animated version will quickly introduce S.H.I.E.L.D. into Spidey's world.  Nick Fury invites him to join a superhero-in-training team with a young Power Man (Luke Cage), Iron Fist, and White Tiger.  Together, the four will battle New York supervillains and learn about being a hero.

Ultimate Spider-Man will premiere on April 1, 2012.  If you'd like to see a 40-second preview clip from the series featuring Spidey meeting Nick Fury, you can view it HERE.