Marvel polling fans on which Avengers: Age of Ultron IMAX poster to use

Posted By on March 31, 2015

AVengers Age of Ultron

Image source: Marvel Studios.

Marvel Studios is asking fans to vote on which Avengers: Age of Ultron IMAX poster to use for its theatrical showing.

Those who attend the IMAX showing of Angers: Age of Ultron on opening night will receive the winning poster. Marvel is polling fans based on popularity on social media. The four IMAX posters (seen in the gallery below) each have a specific hashtag on them. Fans are being asked to tweet the hashtag of the poster they would like to see for the Avengers: Age of Ultron IMAX premiere. Alternatively, Marvel fanatics can also repost the hashtag and comment on the official Avengers movie Facebook page.

Here are the four IMAX movie posters for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Avengers: Age of Ultron will open in theaters on May 1, 2015. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon. Joe and Anthony Russo will direct part one and two of Avengers: Infinity War’Parts.

 

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Valiant 25th Anniversary Convention Tour Continues at WonderCon 2015

Posted By on March 31, 2015

Valiant 25th Anniversary

Image source: Valiant.

Valiant Entertainment will attend WonderCon 2015 as its next stop for the company’s 25th Anniversary Convention Tour.

Beginning Friday, April 3rd through Sunday, April 5th, Valiant will be at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. At booth #405, Valiant’s trade paperback and hardcover collections will be available for purchase. A free first look at Bloodshot Reborn #1 Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan will be offered, as a promotional stunt for the book’s April 15th release.

Signing and appearances from Valiant’s top talents will be present at the convention, such as James Asmus (Quantum and Woody Must Die!), colorist David Baron (Bloodshot Reborn), writer Joshua Dysart (Harbinger), Ryan Winn (X-O Manwar), and Fred Van Lente (Archer & Armstrong).

On Friday, April 3rd at 3:30pm in Room 208, Valiant will host a panel called Valiant 101: The Story Starts Here that details the origins of X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Ninjak, Dr. Mirage, and more of company’s heroes and villains. It’s an ideal opportunity for anyone who wishes to get acquainted with the Valiant universe.

Valiant 25th Anniversary Celebration panel presentation will begin Saturday, April 4th at 12pm in Room 211. The panel will go over Valiant’s plans for its top series and will feature James Asmus, David Baron, Fred Van Lente, Valiant Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani, and more.

Ticket sales and directions for WonderCon 2015 can be found here.

 

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Comic Review: Giant Days #1

Posted By on March 20, 2015

Giant Days Review

Image source: BOOM! Studios.

Issue one of Giant Days unloads quite the drama bomb, for such an amusing and easy-going comic.

Written by John Allison and illustrated by Lissa TreimanGiant Days #1 follows the lives of Susan, Esther, and Daisy as they attend college.

Giant Days #1

According to Susan, the friendship forged among the trio owes its thanks to Esther and the “drama field” she casts around her, than the fortunate circumstance of all three living next to each other. Naturally, Esther doesn’t take the accusation made by Susan well and bets she can go a week without causing any sort of incident. However, Susan accepts the bet after she makes Esther limit it to three days for her sake. Ironically, the laid back Susan engages in a bit of drama of her own, as she feuds with a new student with whom she shares history with. And Daisy, the quite and nerd-ish student, is watching something strange on the compute screen.

The first issue sets the comical tone for the series very well. The panels previewing Esther’s past drama incidents were pleasing to read, as it escalated from relationship problems to joining a cult. It also establishes the personalities and chemistry of the three college girls without making the reader feel like he’s out of the conversation.

Giant Days #1

Humor varies from the subtle to over-the-top. Conversational humor typically found in sitcoms are abundant, but the series throws in an elaborate visual gag set at a cafeteria for good measure. Even the little visual gags, such as Esther unintentionally cutting up the word “Doom” from holding a piece of paper, are smile inducing. A fourth-wall reference of Susan’s friends demanding she enter flashback mode came off unnecessary, but it flew by without causing harm.

General enjoyment from issue one of Giant Days will be determined by how much you like the cast. Based on the opener, everyone is likable with their quirks. Although, an outspoken character like Susan could easily go south in future issues. A few of her rude actions may make you question why Esther and Daisy hang out with her, but as soon as that door opens, it’s closed a minute later.

Giant Days #1

Not every joke is a hit and there’s one or two that’s more cute than funny, but overall, Giant Days #1 is an entertaining glimpse of what looks to be a fun slice-of-life comic.

Giant Days #1 is now available at retailers.

 

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TV Review: Powers – Episode One: Pilot

Posted By on March 10, 2015

Powers TV

Image source: Sony.

Powers. Powers, Powers. Powers, Powers, Powers Powers, Powers. Oh, forgive me for the repetition. After watching the pilot episode of Powers and hearing that word uttered a million times, it’s hard to get it out of my head. It’s also the only impression the show had on me. Not a great start for a show based on the comic series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. 

What’s the premise? Well, Powers takes place in a world where superheroes (and supervillains) are everywhere, but don’t act as heroic as the family-friendly comic books we grew up on. Sorta like Watchmen. Superheroes aren’t called superheroes in this world, they’re called… Powers! And when these super-powered beings run amok, it’s up to a special homicide police division to lock ‘em up and throw away the key. Problem is that the police department called… Powers are only successful in dealing with low-level Powers and the government pretends they don’t exist, leading to lack of funds and ridicule from the public.

Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) is a homicide detective at Powers and he’s good at his job, because he use to be a Power himself. The show constantly references his former life as the superhero named Diamond and how miserable his life as a normal cop is now. Episode one, simply titled “Pilot,” begins with Walker’s partner getting killed on the job and having to get acquainted with his replacement, Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward). There’s also a mysterious drug being passed around that amplifies a Powers’… powers, which leads to the death of a superhero named Olympia. Present during Olympia’s death is a “wannabe” homeless girl named Calista (Olesya Rulin), who had sex with the old hero to temporarily gain some of his super powers, believing it would awaken her own.

There’s a lot to say about Powers, but unfortunately not much is good. The show lacks subtlety. Not wasting a second to hammer in how pathetic Walker is without his powers in the most melodramatic way possible. The world is supposed to be gritty and real, but the characters are either one-dimensional or cartoonish.

A supervillain that appears later in the pilot, Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor), makes a ridiculous “pop” sound, when using his power to travel anywhere. It’s even more ridiculous when he uses that power to decapitate someone; making a shocking and horrific moment look laughably bad. The head itself fails to look like anything else but a prop. The budget for this show doesn’t seem high, with constant green screen backgrounds and Made-for-TV special effects. No matter how many faux CSI transitions this show pulls, it can’t hide how weak its productions are. The price for being online-produced, I suppose.

Episode one of Powers suffers from inconsistent tones; trying to be serious during goofy circumstances. Characters are artificial in personality and the chemistry between Walker and Pilgrim is nonexistent. The best I can say for Powers is that the premise of a police department investigating superhero-related murders is an interesting one. Copley’s performance as Walker is also engaging to watch, even during exaggerated bits. The scene where Walker loses his cool trying to open the door to his car, while Pilgrim questions his past, actually had me on the edge of my seat. Sadly, it didn’t take long for me to scooch right back.

The first episode of Powers is available on YouTube and on PlayStation Plus. The program is intended for mature audiences.

 

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Here’s Melissa Benoist as Supergirl

Posted By on March 6, 2015

Supergirl Costume

Image source: Variety

Variety just released the first photos of Melissa Benoist as Supergirl in the upcoming self-titled live action show for CBS.

Supergirl’s costume, which appears to be influenced by Superman’s muted colored costume in Man of Steel, was designed by three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood. Atwood is also responsible for designing the iconic superhero costumes of Arrow and The Flash. Considering all three shows based on heroes from DC Comics share the same TV creative team, it’s no surprise that Atwood was given the chance to modernize Supergirl’s attire.

Below is a full-body image of Benoist as Supergirl.

Supergirl Costume

Image source: Variety.

Previous news regarding the live action Supergirl show includes Mehcad Brooks playing Jimmy Olsen and Jeremy Jordan cast as The Toyman

Supergirl is expected to hit the 2015-16 TV season on CBS.

 

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Manga Review: Pokémon XY Vol. 2

Posted By on March 6, 2015

Pokemon XY Vol 2

Image source: Viz Media.

The first thing that’s likely to pop in you head when hearing the word Pokémon are the handheld Nintendo games that made the series a success. That’s good and all, but there’s more to the franchise than what you can play on the Nintendo 3DS. And I’m not talking about the trading cards, nor the anime. The Pokémon Adventure manga written by Hidenori Kusaka have adapted the games into comic form since Pokémon Red, Green and Blue. For the latest Pokémon game adaptation, Pokémon XY, Kusaka is joined by illustrator Satoshi Yamamoto.

This review is based on volume two of Pokémon XY, following the adventures of five trainers with their own unique goals. However, the story focuses mostly on a Pokémon trainer named X and his female companion Y. Within the four chapters in this manga, the story revolves around the conflict of a mysterious ring X acquired that allows his Pokémon, Li’l Kanga, to “mega evolve” into a powerful creature, and the people who want to steal that power for their own evil devices. People like Team Flare, an organization obsessed with stealing X’s Mega Ring and anything related to Mega Evolution. The second volume opens up with X trying to defeat Team Flare, while trying to figure out why he can’t Mega Evolve Lil’l Kanga anymore.

It goes without saying that Pokémon fans will get a bigger kick out of this manga, than casual readers. It’s written in a way that’s not necessarily off-putting to newcomers, but catered to those who already played the games. With that said, the story is easy to follow, whether you’re a Pokémon Master or not. X struggling to understand why he can’t Mega Evolve Li’l Kanga and the drama they endured, because of his past accomplishment as a Pokémon Tournament winner, is understandable to anyone. The other characters present in the manga appear to have their own troubles, such as Pokémon groomer Shauna looking for her lost Furfrou, but it’s rarely touched upon.

With this being Pokémon, a decent story is nothing without a good action sequence to go with it. The Pokémon battles don’t heavily dominate the manga and, in a surprising move, a battle between a Pokémon Gym leader is glossed over. But what’s presented here are action scenes that do a good job illustrating the intense brawls. Some action scenes aren’t as clear to read visually, but you’ll be able to get the picture. Further commentating on Yamamoto’s art, the character designs and locations are true to the game’s visual style.

Volume two of Pokémon XY isn’t the most compelling read one could have. The story is adequately told, but follows a standard formula that lacks excitement. But the characters are interesting from what little has been revealed about them and the action is entertaining to view. This book is perhaps best suited for the younger crowd, but anyone willing to pick this up may experience a few joys.

Pokémon XY volume two is now available at retailers.

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Chronicles of the Going Home Club Complete Premium Edition Now Available

Posted By on March 3, 2015

Chronicles of the Going Home Club Complete Premium Edition

Image source: NIS America.

NIS America announced the Chronicles of the Going Home Club Complete premium edition is now available for purchase at participating online retailers.

The slice of life animated comedy based on the manga by Kuroha follows “a small group of eccentric high school girls who are members of the Going Home Club.”

Here’s how NIS America describes the series:

It’s the beginning of a new year of high school, and school clubs are diligently recruiting members to
take part in their activities. However, Natsuki Ando has decided to join the “Going Home Club,” a
fictional club which students who have no club affiliation and simply go home right after school
jokingly claim to be members of. However, Natsuki and her new friend Karin soon discover that this
particular school has a real, bona fide Going Home Club! Teaming up with club members Claire, Botan,
and Sakura, the official unofficial Going Home Club gets up to all kinds of kooky trouble and hilarious
fun!

The premium edition is packaged as a two Blu-ray disc set featuring an in-depth 64-page hardcover art book filled with episode guide, detailed character info, interviews with cast members and production staff and full color illustrations. Clean opening and closing theme songs from the show, Japanese trailers and “Going Home Club Miniature Theater video clips” are also included in the package.

The online retailers selling the premium edition of Chronicles of the Going Home Club are Right Stuf, The Anime Corner Store, Anime Pavilion, Collectors Anime, and NIS America Online Store. Retail price varies from online store, but the general price is above $40. Anime Corner Store is selling the set for $44.98, while Right Stuff has it at the currently slashed price of $47.99. NIS America Online Store has the premium edition of Chronicles of the Going Home Club for $51.99.

 

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Invader Zim Returns in Original Comic Series from Oni Press

Posted By on February 20, 2015

Invader Zim Comic

Image source: Oni Press.

The cult hit Nickelodeon cartoon is making its grand return in comic book form, courtesy of Oni Press.

In a collaboration with the First Kid’s Network and series creator Jhonen Vasquez (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee!), Oni Press will publish a comic book series based on Invader Zim. This marks the return of Zim, Gir, Dib and the rest of the twisted cast, since the show’s cancellation 13 years ago. The series promises new adventures of Zim’s (futile) invasion of Earth, along with Dib’s self-appointed mission to stop him.

“All of us at Oni Press are elated to be bringing the first new Invader Zim stories in years to a rabid fanbase,” Oni Press Editor in Chief James Lucas Jones said in the press release. “Getting to tell those tales with folks from the show like Jhonen, Aaron Alexovich, Eric Trueheart, and Rikki Simons just makes it all the more sweet.”

“I’m always confused when people say how much they miss Invader Zim because the show never stopped running in my head, and then I remember everyone else isn’t in my head,” said show creator Jhonen Vasquez. “I try to imagine the world for all those people who don’t know what Zim’s been up to since the show went off the air and it makes me shudder. How can people live that way? Hopefully this comic helps make the world a better place.”

Invader Zim #1 will hit comic retailers July 1st, 2015. The animated series is available on Hulu and DVD.

 

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Here’s the Voice Cast for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Cartoon

Posted By on February 20, 2015

GOTG

Image source: Marvel Entertainment.

Marvel Entertainment has announced the voice cast for its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy animated series for Disney XD.

In a series of videos released throughout the week, Disney XD introduced everyone to the voice actors for the animated adaptation of the sci-fi Marvel comic that later became a box office hit. Veteran voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson was the first actor highlighted, announcing his role as Groot in the Disney XD cartoon. Next came Will Friedle-no stranger to voicing heroes such as Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond–announcing he’ll play Peter Quill/Star-Lord. Then came Vanessa Marshall, who played Mary Jane Watson in The Spectacular Spider-Man, announcing she’ll play Gamora. Additional roles include Trevor Devall as Rocket Racoon, David Sobolov as Drax, and James Arnold Taylor as Yondu and Cosmo.

The animated Guardians of the Galaxy series is expected to hit Disney XD in 2015 and join other Marvel cartoons like Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. In fact, the just announced cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy cartoon will guest star as their respected characters in this Sunday’s episode of Avengers Assemble

 

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My Hero Academia Acquired by Viz Media

Posted By on February 20, 2015

My Hero Academia Manga

Image source: Viz Media.

My Hero Academia is coming to North America, courtesy of anime and manga publisher Viz Media.

Set for a summer release in August, My Hero Academia will launch in print and digitally through the VizManga.com and the Viz Manga app on iOS and Android. My Hero Academia is currently serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan and available in the English digital version, simultaneously with the Japanese counterpart. The superhero-inspired manga series is written and illustrated by Kohei Horikoshi (BarrageOumagadoki Doubutsuen).

Here’s how Viz Media described the manga:

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested extraordinary superpowers called “Quirks” at age four? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Becoming a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? U.A. High’s Hero Program of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all gives him a chance to change his destiny…

“We’re excited to launch full volumes for the popular MY HERO ACADEMIA, fresh from the pages of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP,” says Mike Montesa, Editor. “Though a cruel twist of fate makes life hard for aspiring hero Izuki, he is positive he’s destined for something greater, and fans will cheer for Izuki on his journey as his life changes forever when All Might bestows his superpower upon him!”

 

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Viz Media Details Fifth Blu-Ray and DVD Set Release of Ranma 1/2

Posted By on February 18, 2015

Ranma 1/2

Image source: Viz Media.

North American anime distributor Viz Media announced its plans to release the fifth set release of Ranma 1/2 on Blu-ray and DVD.

In the press release issued by Viz Media, the latest set for the gender-bending martial arts comedy by Rumiko Takahashi (Maison Ikkoku, Inuyasha) will be released as a series of seven high definition limited edition and standard edition DVD box sets. The retail price for the Blu-ray release is $54.97 U.S. and $63.99 CAN and will arrive in stores on March 3rd. The box set features episode 93-115 on the anime series on three discs, “presented in full 1080p High Definition resolution with the series’ original, un-cropped 4:3 aspect ratio,” the press release states. A 32-page booklet accompanies the Blu-ray edition with individual episode summaries. Clean openings and endings are among the bonus features, as well as “We love Ranma Part 5 – We love Collecting” segment and anime trailers from Viz Media.

The standard DVD edition includes the same number of episodes and presentation of the Blu-ray box set, and features the same clean openings/endings and trailers as well. Retail price for the standard DVD box set of Ranma 1/2 is  $44.82 U.S. and $51.99 CAN.

Here’s how Viz Media describes the batch of episodes in the upcoming box set:

In the latest episodes, Sentaro, successor to Martial Arts Tea Ceremony, makes Ranma battle the grand master as his wife to break off his arranged marriage meeting! Though he has no intention of becoming a wife, Ranma’s battle spirit heats up when faced with the strength of the grand tea master! After that, the world of martial arts gets even bigger with the introduction of Martial Arts Shogi, Martial Arts Dining, and Martial Arts Calligraphy. What will be the outcome of these battles? Ranma also continues to be surrounded by many weird friends. A new transfer student arrives at school named Gosunkugi, who instantly falls in love with Akane and tries to use curses to eliminate Ranma so he can have her all to himself! The hijinks just won’t stop!

Viz Media is also the manga distributor of the Ranma 1/2 manga series.

 

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Sony Acquires Film Rights for Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor

Posted By on February 18, 2015

The Sculptor

Image source: First Second Books.

Sony has acquired the film rights to The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

American film producer Scott Rudin will produce the movie adaptation of McCloud’s recently released graphic novel from First Second Books. Rudin’s film experience dates back to 1982 with I‘m Dancing as Fast as I Can and extends with notable films like The Truman Show, No Country for Old Men and several Wes Anderson films under his belt. Josh Bratman, executive producer on 2011′s film adaptation of Korean comic series Priest, will also produce.

The Sculptor tells the story of David Smith, as he spends the 200 days left he has to live sculpting anything he imagines, thanks to his deal with Death. It’s the first major work of fiction from McCloud in 20 years, following the success of non-fiction books Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics. McCloud has earned awards from Eisner and Harvey for his analysis on the comic book medium in his aforementioned non-fiction books.

 

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