Category: Comics & Books


Bettany Vision

We’ve talked about and sat through many a movie marathon in the past four years here at borg.com, with The Lord of the Rings Marathon, The Dark Knight Marathon, the first Avengers Movie Marathon, the Cornetto Marathon, and The Hobbit Movie Marathon.  But those won’t quite compare to what’s coming your way, spanning two days, April 29-30, 2015.  For those willing to spend more than 27 hours in the theater, you can soak up the entire Avengers series of movies in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” plus Guardians of the Galaxy as a bonus– eleven movies in total–at the Ultimate Marvel Movie Marathon.  It all leads up to the premiere of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron in advance of its May 1 national release.

You can buy advance tickets now here, but don’t wait too long as shows in many cities will sell out.  Major chains are all participating, including AMC Theaters, Cinemark, Megaplex, and Regal Entertainment Group, among others.  Check out this insane schedule:

April 29

6:00 p.m. IRON MAN

8:25 p.m. THE INCREDIBLE HULK

10:35 p.m. IRON MAN 2

April 30

1:00 a.m. THOR

3:10 a.m. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

5:30 a.m. THE AVENGERS

8:48 a.m. IRON MAN 3

11:15 a.m. THOR: THE DARK WORLD

1:45 p.m. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

4:20 p.m. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

7:00 p.m. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (in RealD® 3D)

avengers-marathon

Some theaters are planning a double feature with 2012’s The Avengers plus Avengers 2.  Check local listings for showings as the premiere date gets closer.

And after the break, check out the third full trailer for Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, with a peek at Paul Bettany’s new villain, The Vision.

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The X-Files Year Zero trade paperback   BOOM_BigConJob_001_A_Main

Something old, something new, and another issue of your favorite mash-up await you this Wednesday at your local comic book store.  The brilliant mini-series The X-Files: Year Zero gets a trade paperback release.  The series was borg.com‘s Best TV/Movie-Tie-in on last year’s Best of 2014 List.  Writer Jimmy Palmiotti, whose run on All-Star Western and his creator-owned Trigger Girl 6 rank among the top of our favorite comic book stories, has something completely new with his mini-series The Big Con Job.  Has-been classic TV actors on the convention circuit decide to band together to rob San Diego Comic-Con in this quirky new series.  And Issue #3 of IDW Publishing’s inspired crossover of classic Star Trek and Planet of the Apes, The Primate Directive is here.

If you’re a subscriber to the Star Trek/Apes series, check out this great cover coming your way:

Primate_Directive_issue_3_sub_cover Joe Corroney

First up, a look at The X-Files Year Zero trade paperback.  It includes a nice cover gallery of the great pulp covers that were variant covers for the mini-series.  After the break, check out all our previews:

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Heir to the Jedi Star Wars cover

This week will see the release of the third novel in the new Expanded Universe of Star Wars under Disney ownership, with Kevin Hearne’s Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi.  As with the first new canon novel Star Wars: A New Dawn, (previously reviewed here at borg.com) the title carries some secondary meaning.  The first major tie-in novel years after Return of the Jedi was Timothy Zahn’s successful Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, and there is a certain subtle nostalgia element to the similar title here.  The novel recounts some solo missions by Luke Skywalker after he destroys the Death Star at the end of A New Hope, and it is all told by Hearne in the first person voice.

Telling a story in the first person takes some real mastery, and if not done right it can result in some clunky storytelling issues.  Telling a story from the mind of a key character like Luke Skywalker brings with it its own problems.  The biggest problem is that everyone who grew up with Luke has their own view of what makes the character tick, and giving readers a canon view–a “this is the right and only view of Luke”–perspective makes it easy to throw off a segment of readers.  Although I think Heir to the Jedi will certainly appeal to a new generation of readers, particularly those who have not read several of the newly labeled Legends novels, Hearne gives us a Luke that is not altogether that likeable, smart, or savvy a hero as you might hope for.

This may be because Luke is too close to being that whiny farmboy in A New Hope.  It could be because he has no mentor now that Obi-Wan is dead.  Too many times, however, I had to ask myself, “would Luke really say or think that?” or “Would Luke act that way?”  As an example, by the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke seems to have a real friendship with astromech droid R2-D2.  Yet here, he seems to treat R2 like an appliance or a tool, albeit a valuable one.  I had similar issues in the seventh Harry Potter novel with Harry’s response to the death of his owl Hedwig–Harry barely seemed to react at all, despite his earlier devotion to his good feathered friend.  I didn’t see the same camaraderie here between Luke and R2 as we find in The Empire Strikes Back.

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D4VE_01-pr-1    D4VE variant cover 1

It’s not every day a cool new mash-up comes your way.  When you think comedy meets sci-fi, Spaceballs, Galaxy Quest, Men in Black or Guardians of the Galaxy may come to mind.  Today IDW Publishing is releasing the first book in a new limited edition comic book series that has a new spin on sci-fi comedy, called D4VE.

D4VE (not D-A-V-E) is a robot in our future.  Hey–all good robots must have a number in their name.  (Ain’t that right, B-9, B-4, R2-D2, C-3PO, IG-88, and 4-LOM?)  D4VE is also everyman.  Or at least everyrobot.  And he’s going through a mid-life crisis.

D4VE excerpt

Imagine a world with a Planet of the Apes ending for mankind, but with humanoid robots left to run the show–as if that friendly android Chappie, from the coming film of the same name, is fruitful and multiplies and his kind decimate the Earth.  Only in a light-hearted way.

Check out a preview of Issue #1, after the break, courtesy of IDW Publishing.

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Orphan-Black1   orphan-black-issue-1-cover-2

Fans of the BBC America’s Orphan Black just can’t get enough of one of the best science fiction series around.  Tatiana Maslany, the series star who plays every variant of the show’s clones, has the toughest job on television, playing in nearly every scene of its first two seasons.  The “Clone Club”–the name of the show’s fans–has cheered the series into its third season, returning to TV this April.  Tomorrow, the Clone Club gets to pursue the further adventures of Sarah, Alison, Cosima, Helena and all the rest as Orphan Black, a new monthly comic book series, begins.

We’re read a review copy of Issue #1 and writers and show creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett with Jody Houser have matched the voice of Sarah perfectly with Maslany’s character on TV.  In fact Issue #1 is a recap of sorts, an introduction to the characters and world of Orphan Black for those new to the series that made borg.com‘s Best of lists for 2013 and 2014.

OrphanBlack_01-pr_Page_1   orphan-black-issue-1-cover

Szymon Kudranski serves as series artist.  His style is very simple, yet his take on the characters easily evokes the images of the actors behind the roles.  As for variant covers, look for at least a dozen variants coming your way.

After the break, check out a preview of Issue #1, courtesy of IDW Publishing:

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PKD cover art

Have you ever tried to track down a specific edition of your favorite book, or wanted to remember a great cover from a book you no longer have?  If you’re a fan of the works of Philip K. Dick, you now again may be able to find any classic cover image from his short story compilations and novels.  That’s when a great online archive of hundreds of covers of Philip K. Dick artwork vanished from the Internet, presumably through the cancellation of the web domain kept by the archivist.

Several Philip K. Dick fans on message boards have searched for the old links and website, and why it is gone, to no avail.  We thought it was a shame that this scholarly information was not readily accessible.  Thanks to the Internet’s Wayback Machine (that’s Wayback, not WABAC, Mr. Peabody fans) and a heads-up from borg.com writer Jason McClain, we were able to not only capture the links to each photo preserved in the Wayback Machine, but also clean up lost references that were not visible to viewers on the old website or via the Wayback Machine.

So after the break, here it is, for your research or art-admiring pleasure, an archive of links to hundreds of U.S. and international images of the covers of the books of Philip K. Dick, searchable by title and country.  If you notice any broken links, please let us know in the comments and we’ll try to update them here (but obviously not on the source site).  And if you find any of the handful of missing images noted below, let us know as well.  The original archive has not been updated in two to five years (at least), so more recent covers are not included below.  And one more note: If the Wayback Machine is under maintenance these links will not work.

Happy viewing!

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Mulligan and friend in Far from the Madding Crowd

If you haven’t yet seen Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow in the David Tennant era Doctor Who episode “Blink,” then you haven’t seen one of the top episodes of television from any genre.  We placed it in our Best of the Best category here at borg.com back in 2012.  Mulligan went on to star in another critically acclaimed genre film, Never Let Me Go, where she played one of several clones created solely to serve as a supply of replacement organs should the original person ever need them.  It’s a must see if you’re a fan of Gattaca or The Handmaid’s Tale.  She’s also starred in Inside Llewyn Davis with Star Wars Episode VII star Oscar Isaac, and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in An Education.

Mulligan has taken on plenty of historical costume drama films, and adaptations of classic novels in particular, including Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  This year Mulligan adds Thomas Hardy to her repertoire with the big-screen adaptation of his 1874 novel Far from the Madding Crowd.

far-from-the-madding-crowd

Check out this first trailer for Far from the Madding Crowd, after the break:

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Terminator 2 Sarah Connor ReAction action figure Funko  Arrow Oliver Queen Funk ReAction

This weekend we revealed the latest in Funko’s more than 20 licensed films and TV series in its 2015 ReAction action figure line first discussed at borg.com here and here, and now we have images of the carded figures and sculpts for most of the new figures.  We also have links to allow readers to be among the first to pre-order them all from online collectibles store Entertainment Earth.  We’re still waiting for final images for Jaws, Gremlins, Fight Club, and CW’s The Flash, but we have pre-order information for all of those plus images and links to pre-order the new ReAction line for CW’s Arrow, The Fifth Element, Terminator 2, The Boondock Saints, Taxi Driver, and Breaking Bad.  We shared links for the first figures in the new Star Trek original series line last week here.

Click on the images below to see full-sized images of figures and cards and to pre-order each from Entertainment Earth.

Breaking Bad Heisenberg  Fifth Element Diva Funko ReAction

And after the break check out an exclusive new Predator figure.

Still yet to be revealed are figures from The Dark Crystal, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Big Lebowski, Scarface (although Al Pacino’s figure was previewed this weekend on the showroom floor at Toy Fair 2015), V for Vendetta, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, The A-Team, The Munsters, Tomorrowland (also previewed at Toy Fair), and Aliens.

CW’s Arrow

Arrow Green Arrow ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure Arrow Dark Archer ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure Arrow Black Canary ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure Arrow Deathstroke ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure

Terminator 2

Terminator 2 Sarah Connor ReAction Action Figure Terminator 2 Terminator ReAction Action Figure Terminator 2 John Connor ReAction Action Figure Terminator 2 T-1000 ReAction 3 3/4-Inch Retro Action Figure

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abrams-star-wars-comics

Review by C.J. Bunce

With three new Star Wars comic book series beginning this year as the license returns to Marvel Comics, we’re taking a look at the second book in Abrams Books’ series of hardcover art house books on the franchise, Star Wars Art: Comics.  From the series that also brought us Star Wars Art: Posters, Star Wars Art: Concept, Star Wars Art: Illustration, and Star Wars Storyboards, Star Wars Art: Comics hones in on sequential art found in the comic book medium.

Star Wars and comic books have been in lock-step since Star Wars first hit theaters, thanks to George Lucas and an early meeting with writer Roy Thomas and artist Howard Chaykin.  The transcript of that meeting is included as an appendix to the book.  Beginning with the first comic book adaptation from Marvel and running through the Dark Horse years, Abrams has compiled a solid overview of thirty years of interpretations of the myth and magic of the Force.

Star Wars original cover art to Star Wars Howard Chaykin

Plates from cover and interior artwork were hand-picked for the book by George Lucas.  Star Wars Art: Comics is worth its price alone simply for the clear photos of Howard Chaykin and Tom Palmer’s original cover art for Marvel’s Star Wars Issue #1 and Dave Cockrum and Rick Hoberg’s original artwork to the oversized edition, both also featured on the book’s binding under the jacket.  Al Williamson’s stunningly rendered imagery from his adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back pepper the volume as well.

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Netflix Daredevil

The CW Network revealed Brandon Routh’s latest supersuit–for his role as The Atom, Ray Palmer’s alter ego from the DC Universe playing out this month Wednesday nights on Arrow.  Unlike the classic Captain America-esque suit, this live-action version has more in common with the classic Marvel Ant-Man garb.  It’s a cool outfit and seems to fit his role on the show, much different than anything else seen in the series so far.  We’re sure Routh, awesome as Superman and everything else he tries, will make it work.

Check it out:

Brandon Routh Arrow as The Atom Ray Palmer February 2015

Look for Routh in the supersuit for the first time on the February 25, 2015, episode of Arrow.  He’ll then be in a team-up with Grant Gustin’s running man on a future episode of The Flash with the most comic book title yet: “All-Star Team-Up.”

Netflix has also released the first full trailer for its new series, Daredevil.  So far it looks like it could be as good as Ben Affleck’s movie version (good or bad, depending on whether you liked that effort or not).  Check it out for yourself, after the break:

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