My Morphing Life starring the original Green Power Ranger coming to CONtv

Posted By on January 30, 2015

Jason David Frank Power Ranger

Image source: Jason David Frank’s Facebook fan page.

CONtv has picked up its third original series for its on-demand streaming service starring Jason David Frank, the original Green Power Ranger.

Based on Frank’s YoutTube web seriesMy Morphing Life chronicles the daily life of the most iconic Power Ranger. The reality show depicts that actor performing death-defying stunts, breaking world records, greeting fans and taking care of his daughter. “I can’t wait to show fans how much we upped the ante with more explosive action, storyline and thrills for CONtv,” said Frank. “It’s been awesome seeing how engaged our audience has been already and we are excited to keep it going for our fans!”

My Morphing Life will air in February 2015 on CONtv, a network aimed at Comic Con fans by Cinedigm and Wizard World. “Jason David Frank is a staple at the Wizard World events due to his amazing touchpoint with the fans,” says John Macaluso, CEO of Wizard World. “By bringing him to CONtv, we can bring even more Power Rangers fans from around the globe to witness Jason’s incredible life outside of the shows.”

“Jason has proven himself incredibly adept at social media and has developed a remarkable, sustained relationship with his fans. Meanwhile, after all this time, The Power Rangers continue to resonate with audiences,” said Bill Sondheim, President of Cinedigm Entertainment. “My Morphing Life promises to bring original action to the network by following the famous Green Ranger through some truly spellbinding, real-life feats.”

My Morphing Life joins the digital network’s recently announced originals Last Fan Standing and Fight of the Living Dead.

 

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Mehcad Brooks to Play Jimmy Olsen in CBS Supergirl Series

Posted By on January 28, 2015

Mehcad Brooks

Image source: Starpulse.

Mehcad Brooks will play Jimmy Olsen in the live action Supergirl series for CBS.

Variety broke the news late Wednesday, describing the young photographer as a love interest for Supergirl. Here’s the full description from Variety:

Jimmy, based on the DC Comics character, is an attractive photographer at CatCo, the media company where Kara Zor-El works, as an assistant to Cat Grant, (yet to be casted). Recently, Jimmy has been living and working in National City, though the reason is still a secret.

In the Superman comics, Jimmy is a photojournalist for the Daily Planet. He’s also friends with Superman and Lois Lane. Last Thursday, CBS cast Melissa Benoist to play the lead role in Supergirl.

 

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Teaser Trailer for Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four Released

Posted By on January 27, 2015

Fantastic Four Movie

Image source: 20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox has officially released the first teaser trailer for the Josh Trank directed Fantastic Four film, scheduled for August 7, 2015.

Trank, responsible for the 2012 film Chronicle, is joined by X-Men: Days of Future Past screenwriter Simon Kinberg in reimaging Marvel Comic’s first family of superheroes with a more grounded approach and stronger sci-fi influence. The film stars Jamie Bell (Ben Grim), Kate Mara (Sue Storm), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm) and Miles Teller (Reed Richard). Below is the official synopsis, followed by the embedded trailer.

FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

Yahoo Movies has uploaded a creator’s commentary of the teaser trailer, where Trank and Kinberg discuss their thought process and influences for the film. According to Trank, comic book legend and Fantastic Four creator Stan Lee loved the new film’s approach to the series. “[Stan Lee] genuinely loved the idea that somebody would be taking the Fantastic Four seriously and putting them into a modern space, which was really cool to just kind of hear Stan Lee co-sign on that.”

 

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Comic Review: Sonic the Hedgehog #268

Posted By on January 24, 2015

Sonic the Hedgehog 268

Image source: Archie Comics.

Before Sonic the Hedgehog was pummeling his fellow video game mascots in Super Smash Bros, he was beating up his furry friends in Sonic the Fighters. While it wasn’t exactly the most iconic fighting game, nor was it the best Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off Sega had to offer, it was a fun little diversion for the fandom. So it’s not surprising to see writer Ian Flynn and artist Diana Skelly draw inspiration from this little-know fighter and turn it into a storyline for Archie Comics’ long-running Sonic the Hedgehog comic. Sonic the Hedgehog #268–part one in the “Grand Champions” story arc–is a promising start to what looks like will be a fun, rambunctious brawl.

While I’ve been a fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog games from Sega Genesis to Xbox 360, I’ve never followed the comics as religiously as other fans have. I’m aware of the general idea of Sonic and his “Freedom Fighter” comrades working together to thwart Dr. Eggman’s evil schemes, but that’s about it. So I was surprised when I read Sonic the Hedgehog #268 and found myself not missing a beat, in regards to the current story and its relevance towards previous events. Sure, the summary provided at page one was a big help, but the little info boxes positioned next to a certain character, along with the issue written like it was a stand-alone contributed to it being friendly to new readers. These traits aren’t rare to Sonic the Hedgehog #268, but when mainstream comics like Marvel and DC have to keep renumbering their series to give off the illusion of being easy to pick up, it’s comforting to see Sonic the Hedgehog actually live up to that claim in its three-digit issue.

Sonic the Hedgehog 268

As an introduction, Sonic the Hedgehog #268 stays entertaining, while saving the best for part two. The homage to Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog at the beginning was amusing, but seeing the cartoon-exclusive characters make their print debut was intriguing. Breezie being rewritten from a typical double-agent for Eggman into a greedy business woman putting on the world’s biggest fighting event was far from original, but it’s a personality that works for her. There were plenty of funny moments in this issue, such as Sally begging her dad for funds, or Amy meeting her fashion designer idol. Plus, lots of exciting cameos for fans.

Regarding the art, Sonic the Hedgehog #268 is lovely. The opening pages where Sonic fights Coconuts and the Egg Antlion was laid out dynamically and in the spirit of the character. The facial expressions is where this issues shines, with its great array of hysterical emotions. There are times where the facial expression can look a little off, but it’s a rare occurrence. Perhaps the best achievement this issues makes is successfully shifting from goofy atmosphere to a more serious tone, with the appearance of Metal Sonic, without feeling disjointed.

Sonic the Hedgehog 268

The fault with Sonic the Hedgehog #268 is that it’s a set-up, but it’s a set-up that’s done really well. It’s a drag not seeing an actual fight in the built-up fighting match, but this issues makes up for it by delivering an entertaining story. Easy recommendation for anyone interested in what the blue hedgehog is up to in the comic book world.

Sonic the Hedgehog #268 is now available in stores.

 

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Comic Review: Zombies vs. Robots #1

Posted By on January 23, 2015

Zombies vs. Robots #1

Image source: IDW Publishing.

Just like the man who discovered the great taste that chocolate and peanut butter make when together, IDW Publishing struck gold when it decided to pit robots and zombies against each other in Zombies vs Robots. The original 2005 series by writer Chris Ryall and artist Ashley Wood was a success that spawned three more series and a one-shot in later years. Now, IDW is ready to commit with an ongoing series by the original creative team, along with additional writers and artist for its first issue, like Steve Niles, Val Mayerik and Anthony Diecidue. Zombies vs Robots #1 takes the simple premise and prepares it for a continuous and entertaining run.

Zombies vs. Robots review

Issue one takes place one year after the robots nuked the hell out of Earth in order to eliminate the zombie menace. The story follows a dronebot named ORIS-1 that’s sent to Earth to observe the current situation between robots and zombies, as well as see if the planet is inhabitable for human life. After the main story, two shorts elaborating on the ongoing struggle between robots and zombies, from the point of view of the few humans that survived, followed. “Tales of ZVR” is a two-paged story of a child looking for his father. “The Orphan” focuses on another youth who’s alone in the world and looking for robotic parts for unknown reasons.

Zombies vs. Robots  review

Despite the grim premise, there’s a nice cheeky humor to Zombies vs Robots #1. The back and forth between the three founding scientists responsible for the zombie plague and what even lead to their ultimate demise, for example, is delightfully dark. The quirky tone is complimented by Diecidue’s artwork. Each panel is filled with beautiful illustrations that retain the horror presentation of these characters, while exaggerating them for an expressive, sketchy look. Action is limited here, but what’s shown is tight, such as the dronebot shooting off a zombie’s hand, or a Warbot firing all rounds at the undead. The artwork in “Tales of ZVR” by Wood is equally impressive, as it embraces the eerie and isolated theme of the story.

Zombies vs. Robots  review

The worst you can say about Zombies vs Robots #1 is that it’s ultimately a set-up for bigger and better things to come. As soon as the book catches the reader up with their “long time no see” mechanical and zombified friends, the main story is over. The additional stories are a nice compensation, but nonetheless predictable in storytelling. At the very least, the quick pace of the main story indicates future stories won’t be bogged down by unnecessary filler.

Zombies vs Robots #1 is a welcome return for the series. The adventure may be over too soon, but the book delivers enough action to ensure another visit by the reader. And besides, it’s zombies fighting robots! Who can say no to that?

Zombies vs Robots #1 is now available in stores.

 

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Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm Cast in X-Men: Apocalypse

Posted By on January 23, 2015

X-men Apocalypse

Image source: Marvel Comics.

20th Century Fox have found three new actors to carry on the role of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Bryan Singer, longtime director associated with the X-Men franchise, broke the news via his Twitter account.

Alexandra Shipp will play Storm, Sophie Turner will play Jean Grey and Tye Sheridan will play Cyclops.

Alexandra Shipp Storm

Shipp’s resume consist mostly of TV projects, such as playing the starring role of Aaliyah Haughton in the Lifetime channel’s biopic Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B. She will be taking over the role of Storm from Halle Berry, who played the character in the 2000 X-Men film.

Sophie Turner Jean grey

Turner is perhaps the best known out of all the new actors announced, as she plays Sansa Stark in the popular Game of Thrones series for HBO. She’ll be taking over the role of Jean Grey from Famke Janssen.

Tye Sheridan Cyclops

Lastly, Sheridan is known for his roles in Tree of Life and Mud. He’ll be replacing James Marsden as Cyclops.

X-Men: Apocalypse is set for a 2016 release. Singer will direct the next installment in the X-Men film franchise, as he did in X-Men: Days of Future Past last year.

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Melissa Benoist to Play Supergirl in Live Action CBS Series

Posted By on January 22, 2015

Melissa Benoist Supergirl

Image source: DC Comics.

DC Comics have confirmed reports of actress Melissa Benoist being cast as Supergirl in the upcoming Supergirl show for CBS.

“We may not be Kryptonian, but we still feel like we’re flying after this announcement,” DC Comics wrote. “Melissa Benoist has landed the title role in Supergirl, the new series in development by Berlanti Productions, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.” Benoist is best known for her roles in Whiplash and Glee. Another actress considered for the role, according to the Hollywood Reporter, was Claire Holt (Vampire Diaries).

Here’s how DC Comics describe the CBS Supergirl series:

Telling the story of Kara Zor-el, who escaped the destruction of her home planet before arriving on Earth, the show will deal with the 24-year-old Supergirl as she begins to embrace the powers our yellow sun provides her and gradually becomes the hero she’s destined to be.

Executive producer of the CBS adaptation of Supergirl is Greg Berlanti, who also shares the same duties for Arrow and The Flash on The CW, as well as  Ali Adler and Sarah Schechter. A crossover involving SupergirlArrow, and The Flash is being considered, as all three shows share the same creative team. CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler told Entertainment Weekly Supergirl will be a crime procedural that capitalizes on the character’s feminist traits and that her costume is “awesome.”

 

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Comic Review: Henshin

Posted By on January 19, 2015

Henshin Review

Image source: Image Comics.

Sometimes in life, the smallest decisions you make can end up having the biggest impact. Ken Niimura, the acclaimed artist behind I Kill Giants (written by Joe Kelly), takes that concept to its fullest in Henshin. Distributed by Image Comics, Henshin tells 13 unique stories by Niimura that demonstrate how seamlessly insignificant choices and events can significantly change the life of the protagonist. Even if all the stories presented here don’t live up to their potential, Henshin stays true to its definition of “transformation” by illustrating such wondrous tales of humanity.

Henshin Review

As previously stated, Henshin features 13 short stories written and illustrated by Niimura. The majority of the stories are stand alone, however, there are a few that connect with one another. The most obvious example of continuity are the stories detailing Niimura’s personal life as a struggling artist. Other stories vary in character, setting and tone. The first chapter, “No Good,” is about a teenage girl moving to her uncle’s house in Tokyo, to avoid school bullying at home. “The Bully Bros” tells a story of a family trying to hide their strange powers from the public, and how the youngest son struggles to keep it a secret, when entertaining the sons of his father’s boss. “The Victory Sign” is about two good friends that found each other through baseball.

Out of all the stories featured in the book, “The Victory Sign” is easily the strongest. The story begins with Kosuke and Keita drinking at a bar and recalling their high school days playing baseball. Without giving too much away, Keita’s admiration for Kosuke’s hard work in learning to bat, despite years of no visible improvements, was incredibly touching. The short stories about Niimura are lighter in tone and often humorous. Particularly the ones dealing with his love of cats, and how he became the caretaker of a mysterious feline.

Henshin Review

The art style Niimura uses for each story is similar, but differs subtly in character designs and layout. His artwork is simple and slightly crude, but charming and delightfully expressive. The backgrounds are also gorgeous to view. “Watermelon in Summer” makes the best use of Niimura’s backgrounds, with its nature setting that shifts from cozy to disturbing atmosphere. Overall, Niimura’s artwork fits the exaggerated and grounded images of his stories, without veering too much in one direction.

Henshin Review

If there’s a weak spot to Henshin, it’s that not every story in this graphic novel will stay with you for long, after you finished reading it. A common story trait in these chapters is presenting a common scenario with ease, then taking things up a notch with a shocking twist. These twists don’t come across as shock value, but do the job of grabbing you attention. However, when reading multiple stories with the same structure, it sorta becomes predictable. And in comparison to stories that focus more on character than unforeseen plot development, these twist-loving stories aren’t as compelling to revisit like the former.

At its worst, Henshin is a beautifully illustrated collection of shorts that you’ll only remember half of. At its best, Henshin illustrates Niimura’s amazing growth as an artist and storyteller in these diverse stories. Whether it be a one-time read, or a continuous investment, this book is worth a purchase. 

Henshin is now available in stores.

 

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We Almost Had a Justice League Episode About Martian Manhunter’s Oreo Addiction

Posted By on January 16, 2015

JLU Oreos

Image source: DC Comics.

Comic book writer J.M. DeMatteis talked about how he almost got Martian Manhunter’s addiction to Oreos on the airwaves.

On his official website, DeMatteis discussed the writing he did for animated series like Justice League Unlimited on Cartoon Network. DeMatteis wrote seven episodes of DC Comics’ animated superhero team-up, including an adaptation of Alan Moore’s For The Man Who Has Everything. However, there was one more episode in the pipeline. An episode so out-of-the-ordinary for the dramatic Justice League Unlimited that DeMatteis couldn’t believe he was actually approached to write it. Here’s how he described the situation that lead to the lost episode:

One day, way back in 2004, I got a call from two of the show’s incredibly talented writer-producers, Stan Berkowitz and Dwayne McDuffie.  They’d cooked up an idea—based, in part, on the Oreo addiction Keith Giffen and I had given to J’onn J’onnzz during our original Justice League International run—and wanted me to develop it into an outline.  At first I thought they were putting me on—the story, especially J’onn’s arc, was pretty outrageous, even by Giffen-DeMatteis standards—but they were dead serious.  I remember sitting in my office taking notes as the two of them laid out the beats of the wonderful, and very funny, plot—which, had the episode made it to air, could have been the JLU equivalent of Star Trek’s “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

Unfortunately, the Justice League Unlimited episode titled “Misfortune Cookies” was given a resounding disapproval from the higher ups. While the episode never came to be, DeMatteis shared his outline of the story in its entirety. It’s a long read, but well worth it for Justice League fans. Or, anyone looking for a good laugh. Here’s an excerpt from the script:

INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE J’ONN’S QUARTERS – NIGHT: Fire, Ice and GL converge…GL buzzing J’onn and asking him to let them in. J’onn, in a voice that sounds demented, feverish, demands that they go away, leave him alone. “J’onn, please,” Ice implores him, “whatever it is — ” “Go AWAY!” he roars. “That’s it,” says an angry and worried GL…

…who uses his power-ring to blast the door in. They rush in…

INT. J’ONN’S QUARTERS – NIGHT/CONTINUOUS: …to find the room in semidarkness. J’onn, sweating, eyes glazed…huddled in the corner, sitting on the floor, an empty Oreo bag on his lap. His belly has grown yet again…hanging over his belt. The entire room is floor to ceiling Oreo packages, some full, some empty. J’onn at first looks embarrassed, ashamed. Then angry: “I told you to go away!”

Again, the full outline of “Misfortune Cookies” is available on DeMatteis’ website.

 

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Shonen Jump Celebrates 3-Year Anniversary With 4 Free Issues

Posted By on January 16, 2015

Shonen Jump Anniversary

Image source: Viz Media.

Viz Media will celebrate the three-year anniversary of the North American Weekly Shonen Jump magazine by offering free issues for a limited time.

Beginning January 19th, four complete digital issues (Jan. 19; Jan. 26; Feb. 2 and Feb. 9) of Weekly Shonen Jump will be available on the official website. The free issues will also be available on the Viz Manga App and Weekly Shonen Jump app for iOS and Android devices. International readers in the U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand will be able to partake in the special promotion by app or through the Shonen Jump website.

Via the press release:

Weekly Shonen Jump is published digitally every Monday and features the latest installments of some of the world’s most popular manga, including Bleach, Blue Exorcist, Food Wars!, Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgment, Nisekoi, One Piece, One-Punch Man, Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign, Toriko, World Trigger and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal!

A new one-year memberships for $19.99 are available, as a special deal celebrating the digital magazine’s three-year anniversary.

 

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The Last: Naruto the Movie U.S. Limited Theatrical Release Set For February

Posted By on January 16, 2015

Naruto The Last Movie

Image source: Viz Media.

North American anime distributor Viz Media announced the theatrical schedule for the limited screening of The Last: Naruto the Movie.

The final movie based on the Naruto anime series will be subtitled in English and premier at the following theaters on February 20th:

State City Theater
AZ Tempe Harkins Theatres – Valley Art
CA Los Angeles Downtown Independent
CA Sacramento Tower Theater
CA San Diego Gaslamp 15 
CA San Francisco New People
CO Littleton Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Littleton
DC Washington Angelika Pop-Up
HI Honolulu Ward Stadium 16
MI Bloomfield The Maple Theater
MO Kansas City Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet
NJ Manville Manville 12 Plex
NM Albuquerque The Guild Cinema
NY New York Village East Cinema
OH Columbus Gateway Film Center
PA Pittsburgh Hollywood Theater
TX Dallas Angelika Film Center & Café – Dallas
TX Houston Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park
TX San Antonio Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Westlakes
UT Sandy Megaplex Theatres – Jordan Commons
VA Fairfax Angelika Film Center & Café – Mosaic
WA Seattle Grand Illusion

A special commemorative Naruto film poster will be given out to attendees, but supplies are limited.

Taking place between #699 and #700 in the Naruto manga, The Last takes place two years after the second-to-last chapter. Here’s how Viz Media described the movie:

In the film, the moon is approaching dangerously close to Earth! Unless something is done, the moon will disintegrate, showering the earth with gigantic meteorites. As the clock ticks towards the end of the world, can Naruto save the earth from this crisis?

While the movie delivers the action expected of a Shonen Jump series, The Last is also a romance, as it elaborates on the relationship between Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuga. Tsuneo Kobayashi (The Twelve Kingdoms, Emma: A Victorian Romance, Kurokami The Animation) directed the final Naruto movie, while manga creator Masashi Kishimoto wrote the original story and provided character designs.

Below is the official trailer for the North American limited theatrical release of The Last.

 

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Bloodshot Reborn #1 by Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan coming in April

Posted By on January 15, 2015

Bloodshot Reborn

Image source: Valiant.

A brand new beginning and creative team is set for Valiant Comics’ weaponized solider.

On April 15th, Valiant will release a new ongoing Bloodshot series by Jeff Lemire (The Valiant, Green Arrow) and Mico Suayan (Harbinger, Moon Knight). The new series promises to take the “cutting-edge commando Bloodshot” and “plunge him to his darkest, bloodiest, most mind-bending depths yet.” Here’s how Valiant described Bloodshot Reborn #1:

Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit – a private contractor trafficking in violence – very well.

Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving headlong into the violence that nearly destroyed him.

“Jeff Lemire is building something quite unlike any Bloodshot story you’ve seen before with this series,” said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. “Scary, thrilling, compelling – and sometimes even downright unsettling – Jeff has found a whole new way to unpack the battle-scarred psychology behind one of Valiant’s most enduring and iconic characters.

“Together with the incredible talents of artist Mico Suayan and colorist David Baron, the entire team is delivering a high-anxiety superhero comic that is just as blood-curdling to read as it is beautiful to look at. BLOODSHOT REBORN is great comics…and soon-to-be a prime example of how and why Valiant’s brand of storytelling continues to exceed expectations and defy the conventional.”

The first issue of Bloodshot Reborn will be accompanied by alternative comic covers from artists like Juan Doe (Archer & Armstrong), Mico Suayan (X-Men: Legacy), Dave Johnson (100 Bullets) and Lewis LaRosa (Punisher MAX). Below are the preview pages, covers and official listing of Bloodshot Reborn #1. 

BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 [VALIANT NEXT]
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by MICO SUAYAN with JEFF LEMIRE
Cover A by JUAN DOE
Cover B by MICO SUAYAN
Cover C by DAVE JOHNSON
Cover D by LEWIS LAROSA
Valiant Next Variant by MICO SUAYAN & TOM MULLER
Variant Cover by JEFF LEMIRE
Variant Cover by BUTCH GUICE
B&W Sketch Variant by LEWIS LAROSA
Blank Cover also available
$3.99 |40 pgs.| T+ | On sale APRIL 15 (FOC – 3/23/15)

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