In the past few decades of the 50 year tenure of James Bond on film it’s really hard to beat Daniel Craig’s first turn as James Bond in 2006’s Casino Royale. As action goes it’s practically a perfect film, particularly considering that it’s a bit of an origin story–an overdone trope in genre movies. But despite continuing with an actor who was truly believable as Bond, its 2008 sequel, Quantum of Solace, only muddled along with uninteresting villains, and the 2012 follow-up Skyfall, although interesting, delivered the message that this Bond may be too old to be Bond.
So it’s a relief that James Bond is going back to the basics in SPECTRE–the 24th film in the ongoing series–as hinted in its first trailer released this weekend. Sure, the support team is still here, like Naomie Harris’s Miss Moneypenny, but this Bond is clearly on a new solo mission, and it’s not just a tangential adventure. Tying back to the destruction of the late M’s MI6 office building, Bond is off again to seek some revenge.
Better yet, perhaps we will now learn more about the mysterious Mr. White, played by Jesper Christensen, who has appeared in the first two Daniel Craig Bond movies, but each time as a shadowy figure whose motives and secrets remain hidden. After being caught by Bond at the end of Casino Royale, he managed to escape in Quantum of Solace. We were led to believe he worked for an organization called Quantum, but does he really work for SPECTRE?
After the break check out the first trailer for SPECTRE:
How does he do it? How does Tom Cruise keep churning out exciting movies, over and over again? We can count 27 of his movies that we’d watch all over again, out of a total body of work of 37 movies. Taps, The Outsiders, Top Gun, Rain Man, Far and Away, A Few Good Men, The Firm, Jerry Maguire, Minority Report, The Last Samurai, Collateral, War of the Worlds, Valkyrie, Jack Reacher, Oblivion, Edge of Tomorrow–any actor would love to have just a few of these in their portfolio, and Cruise was the lead in all but two. (We hid several Tom Cruise movies in a review of Jack Reacher a year ago here at borg.com–can you find them all?). Then you have Cruise’s own version of James Bond–only there he is Ethan Hunt and the series is Mission: Impossible.
The fifth entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise is coming your way soon. Each of its predecessors had something new to offer, although none better than Brian De Palma’s 1996 original, derived from the classic TV series. Mission: Impossible co-starred Jon Voight, Ving Rhames–a staple for the entirety of the series, and Kristin Scott Thomas. Every action director wants to try his hand at making a Mission: Impossible movie. Director John Woo helmed Mission: Impossible II in 2000, co-starring Brendon Gleeson and Dougray Scott. In 2006, J.J. Abrams and writing duo Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci gave it a try with Mission: Impossible III. This best of the sequels so far co-starred Philip Seymour Hoffman and Michelle Monaghan, Billy Crudup, Lawrence Fishburne, and brought comedic actor Simon Pegg into the mix. Then in 2011 Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol, directed by Brad Bird of The Incredibles fame, added Jeremy Renner to the team.
After the break, check out the new preview released this weekend for Mission: Impossible–Rogue Nation:
We’ve already shown some photos of a great set of little green army men as well as the best Arrow cosplay from Planet Comicon 2015, but we have a few more images to share. Not surprisingly, with a new Star Wars film due out by year end, Star Wars cosplay could be seen everywhere this past weekend. One couple, shown above, expertly recreated the Clone Wars villain Asajj Ventris and Jedi Shaak Ti.
It’s hard to beat all the great Imperial armored soldiers that appear at Cons these days. This speeder bike trooper was no exception. If you’re not willing to create your own outfit, ANOVOS and other companies now make it possible for anyone to wear screen-accurate Star Wars costumes.
Several homemade remote-controlled astromech droids could be found skimming across the convention floor. Who wouldn’t want one of these at home? I remember when I first saw an R2 unit at a Con more than a decade ago and it was the highlight of the show. Now we take these awesome robots for granted.
Boba Fetts were everywhere, too, but we really liked this steampunk riveted helmet take on the mysterious bounty hunter.
In addition to great creators from outside the Midwest, like Black Widow artist Phil Noto (as we mentioned here at borg.com yesterday), the great thing about returning to a Con year after year is running into all our friends who write, sketch, or paint incredible works for a living. Planet Comicon 2015 was no different.
Take for instance Des Moines artist Ant Lucia (pictured above). Three years ago Ant was just beginning to put together great genre characters like DC superheroes and Star Wars characters in a unique retro style of poster art. Flash forward to 2014 and an entire month of cover art at DC Comics was devoted to his creations, and statues based on his DC Bombshell designs are selling off the shelves in every town across the country. Ant’s beautiful designs are second to none, and there’s not a more deserving guy to achieve such success from his ideas.
Other creators at Planet Comicon this weekend with national success included Jason Aaron, who had his own rock star sized line of fans getting his new Star Wars series autographed, as well as artist Freddie Williams II, drawing sketches for fans and signing copies of his Legendary Starlord series, among other works.
Pictured above are artists Damont Jordan and Bryan Fyffe. Damont had a new “spirit fox” print available that blew us away, and he churned out sketches for fans all weekend long. And we noticed other artists at the Con were coming to Bryan’s booth to buy his framed art for their own homes. Bryan has the best eye for design of anyone we know, and creates a variety of inspired multi-media works. His most recent commercial illustration was for some major franchise properties, as well as the cover of John Renehan’s new novel The Valley. Check out some of his work at his website here.
The three-day Planet Comicon comic book and pop culture convention wrapped yesterday in Kansas City. The highlight of the day for thousands of attendees was the one-day visit to the show by Stephen Amell, star of the CW Network’s Arrow TV series. If you’ve been reading borg.com for very long, you’ll know I’ve been tracking the show as the world’s biggest Green Arrow fan, including spending the night with 7,000 other fans in San Diego for the show premiere with Amell and his co-stars back in 2012.
After hanging with his cousin (and CW star of The Flash) Robbie Amell last night at the Elite Comics after party at the Alamo Drafthouse, we got to meet Stephen today. As you’d expect, fans were happy to meet him, and he kept a cheery disposition throughout a whirlwind day of signing autographs and being featured on a panel at the convention.
Because he was only at the show for one day, that meant plenty of lines to get to see him–lines that barely even looked like lines.
But as typical with attendees at comic book conventions, everyone handled it all with great attitudes.
Plenty of fun was in store for everyone attending Planet Comicon 2015 this weekend. With the Big 12 Championship basketball tourney between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Kansas Jayhawks, downtown Kansas City was booming Saturday. At the third annual Planet Comicon at the Kansas City Convention Center at Bartle Hall, actors, writers, artists, cosplayers, vendors, and tens of thousands of fans of everything from comic books to toys and from Doctor Who to Walking Dead continued the convention tradition of sharing their common interests in a positive and exciting environment.
Elizabeth C. Bunce and your humble editor from borg.com were back again meeting up with creators and friends from past years (this year as Daniel Craig’s Jake Lonergan from Cowboys and Aliens and Kate Beckinsale’s Anna Valerius from Van Helsing). Check out the great little green toy army men cosplayers at the show above.
Kent McCord, known best for his role on the classic TV series Adam-12, shared some great stories about working with Martin Milner, Jack Webb, Harry Morgan, and Stephen J. Cannell. What better than to spend the day chatting with someone who has starred in shows like Dragnet and Unsub?
We also had a great time with Mitch Pileggi, co-star of one of the all-time best genre TV series, The X-Files. He talked about the possible renewal of his role of Director Skinner on a rebooted X-Files series and working with Judith Light on TNT’s reboot of Dallas as Harris Ryland.
The biggest pop culture and comic book convention ever in the region begins today. It’s the third annual Planet Comicon to be held in its new venue–the Kansas City Convention Center at Bartle Hall. This year is even bigger than last year’s show, with more vendor space and more creators in Artists Alley. Set-up began yesterday morning and continued until late last night.
We discussed some of the media guests previously here at borg.com. You can get a current line-up at the Con’s website here.
Don’t know where to begin? Start here, with this short list creators and attractions to check out:
- Amanda Lynn Chainmaille Creations, Booth 812
- Elite Comics, Booth 2214 at the Pillar
- Kansas City Costume Company, Booth 928
- Wildman Drinking Horns, Booth 1017
- Writer Jason Aaron, Booth 153
- Artist Rob Davis, Booth 1036
- Author Kevin Dilmore, Booth 323
- Artist Bryan Fyffe, Booth 2740
- Artist Greg Horn, Booth 2730
- Writer/Artist Phil Hester, Booth 536
- Artist Damont Jordan, Booth 2739
- Artist Ant Lucia, Booth 2745
- Writer Jai Nitz, Booth 540
- Artist Phil Noto, on the wall past Booth 2745
- Writer/Artist Ande Parks, Booth 538
- Writer Seth Peck, Booth 139
- Artists Nathen and Keven Reinke, Booth 1436
- Artist Greg Smallwood, Booth 542
- Author Dayton Ward, Booth 323
- Artist Freddie Williams II, Booth 2776
- Artist Darryl Woods, Cosplay Showcase
In light of actor John Wesley Shipp taking on the role of Barry Allen’s dad in CW’s The Flash reboot series, we figured the show’s writers couldn’t avoid doing what we all want to see anyway. And that would be? Revealing that the new series isn’t really a reboot, but a sequel–that Shipp, who originally played Barry Allen, is somehow the same Barry Allen, and Grant Gustin is either his son or some part of him, some kind of Kid Flash.
This idea was bolstered when the 1990s The Flash series co-star Amanda Pays returned as Dr. Tina McGee for the December 9, 2015 episode, “The Man in the Yellow Suit.” They didn’t even hide her as some different character. For those of us who still view the 1990s The Flash series as the best superhero TV series ever, we couldn’t ask for more. Well we could, and that would include Mark Hamill returning as The Trickster. For years fans of Hamill wondered what he was up to, and then he surprised us by showing up out of nowhere as a villain on TV.
Ask and ye shall receive.
The CW Network has released a new preview for its next three episodes, airing Tuesday nights March 17, March 24, and March 31. And it looks like Mark Hamill is back 25 years later in a story that flows from his original story line.
Check out the preview, after the break:
Much like was done for the successful Supernatural TV series from the CW Network (like the book we reviewed previously here at borg.com), Titan Books has released a new full-color photographic archive book for fans of the Arrow TV series. Arrow: Heroes and Villains is the first of three books coming our way this year featuring Oliver Queen and his cohorts.
More like a fan magazine or souvenir book in trade paperback form, with photos of the actors and details about their characters, Arrow: Heroes and Villains is the kind of book I would have been after for my favorite shows as a kid. Most of the photos are marketing shots for the characters, but it also includes snapshots from the series. Enough text is provided to get anyone who missed the first two seasons of the series caught up with each character and the major storylines up to the beginning of season three. It’s mainly an in-world book about the world of Oliver Queen, but also has interviews with show creators, and offers a behind the scenes look at the character development of key roles.
Grab a copy and get it signed by series star Stephen Amell next Sunday at Planet Comicon in Kansas City.
Split into two parts, plus a look at the Suicide Squad, Arrow: Heroes and Villains provides an essay on each of Oliver Queen, his parents, Thea, Walter Steele, Laurel and Sara Lance and their parents, John and Carly Diggle, Felicity Smoak, Tommy Merlyn, Roy Harper, Barry Allen, Frank Pike, and McKenna Hall.
Starting this Wednesday, March 11, 2015, through April, expect to see more of an angry alien duck coming your way. Last seen in the coda to last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Howard the Duck’s presence was a surprise for everyone. And Marvel Studios swears we won’t be seeing him in a movie coming anytime soon. Yet the nostalgia for Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik’s mad-as-hell duck hasn’t waned any. He’s getting his own series–his second monthly and third overall, including a mini-series 14 years ago–and 20 other Marvel titles will feature variant covers incorporating Howard.
We have a preview of the new Howard the Duck, Issue #1 after the break.
Look for variant covers for the following series:
ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #6
ALL-NEW HAWKEYE #2
ALL-NEW X-MEN #41
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #17
DEADPOOL #45 (a.k.a. Deadpool #250)
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #26
LEGENDARY STAR-LORD #11
MS. MARVEL #14
ROCKET RACCOON #10
SUPERIOR IRON MAN #7