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.
The biggest news so far released by Warner Bros. about the next DC Comics universe TV experiment was that former Superman Dean Cain (Lois and Clark) and former Supergirl Helen Slater (Supergirl) would have guest roles on the series Supergirl, a Smallville-esque series likely to arrive in 2016. Laura Benanti (Royal Pains, Life on Mars (U.S.) was revealed to play Kara’s Kryptonian mother, Alura Zor-El, leading Supergirl from afar as Jor-El did for Kal-El in the various Superman incarnations. And Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl, the series lead, will be played by Melissa Benoist (Whiplash, Glee).
Other roles cast include Calista Flockhart as Kara’s boss, media mogul Cat Grant. Kara’s love interest will be Jimmy Olsen, played by Mehcad Brooks (Necessary Roughness, Dollhouse), Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy) has been cast as Kara’s foster sister Alex, and David Harewood (Robin Hood, Doctor Who, Homeland) will play Department of Extra-Normal Operations chief Hank Henshaw.
We now have our first views of the new Supergirl supersuit Benoist will don as the latest superheroine in the DC Universe. The designer is Academy Award winning costumer Colleen Atwell, who also created the CW designs for Arrow and The Flash. The suit is similar to many past comic book versions:
The slate of the women’s side of the DC pantheon is finally making some headway. We’ve had a look at Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman from Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice and Katie Cassidy’s Black Canary from Arrow:
The Funko booth at Toy Fair 2015 is packed full of new action figures today. Their ReAction and Legacy lines have taken off to the point that it’s hard to keep track of it all. Coverage of Star Trek has been the biggest news, in addition to the four figures we previewed here at borg.com Friday, Funko revealed figures and cards for the Kirk, Scotty, the Gorn, and the Orion animal woman. Also on display are Breaking Bad, an Al Pacino line including Taxi Driver and Scarface, Tomorrow Land, The Karate Kid, The Fifth Element, and some incredible Legacy figures for Firefly.
Our first Quint sighting. We’re going to need a bigger shelf.
For those that don’t appreciate the retro-style likenesses in the ReAction line, we think you’ll be impressed with Funko’s Legacy line, which is similar to the higher end Star Wars Black series. We think you’ll also love the Terminator 2 line, including two sculpts of Sarah Connor, the metallic T-1000, and new Arnold figures.
Funko really nailed it with their choice of figures for their line for The Fifth Element.
But we think the most eagerly awaited reveal, and most talked about figures since the Funko announcement in December, is for the Jaws line. Perched atop the display at today’s show, there’s a Brody, Hooper, and Quint, and a nicely rendered shark.
Now that’s a shark.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
It’s a line by Alexander Pope in his 1709 poem, and Oliver Queen played out the saying fully in Arrow’s mid-season finale. Unwisely confronting the League of Assassin’s far more powerful Ra’s Al Ghul and covering for sister Thea by posing as the killer of Sara Lance, Oliver met his end. “Where Angels Fear to Tread” is also the title of the story arc that took the original run of DC Comics’s Green Arrow one hundred issues to get to–the original fall of the Emerald Archer. In the mid-season TV finale it was literally a fall–off a cliff after a pretty undeniable death via Ra’s Al Ghul’s sword.
But we all know that the death of a superhero is short-lived 99 percent of the time. In Issue #101 of DC Comics’ long-running Green Arrow monthly series Ollie met an untimely death in an exploding airplane, and yet the series continued for 36 more issues–without Oliver Queen. Series star Stephen Amell may have given a clue to a similar direction for the return of the series in January via a Facebook post after the show:
“Despite the title, our show is bigger than any one character. We’re going to prove that to you.”
The original, explosive death of Oliver Queen.
So we may see a period during the last half of Season 3 without Ollie. But a note to the show writers: just don’t take it too far.
It feels like the series has barely begun and the writers have taken the big leap. Where can we go from here? Taking a superhero book forward without the title superhero in the 1990s comic book series was a risk, and split those fans who were loyal to the classic Green Arrow and those willing to accept a second Green Arrow–Connor Hawke, Oliver Queen’s son, as a new Green Arrow. Three years was a surprisingly long run without Ollie, but ultimately the series was cancelled. Oliver was to be resurrected years later by Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks in a second successful Green Arrow series.
Still an entire month to wait until Arrow returns to the CW Network, and we’re got another great trailer released this weekend. The best part of this latest trailer? We hear the days of flashbacks to the island are going away, to be swapped out with Oliver Queen’s secret past honing his skills in Asia, and we see some of that here.
And the trick of showing Oliver finally hooking up with Felicity Smoak last season may have set fans up for a real relationship this season. Black Canary will return and sister Laurel Lance looks to be finally getting her life back. And what’s more fun than seeing former Superman Brandon Routh taking on a new recurring role in the DC Universe as Ray Palmer?
Check out this new trailer for Season Three of one of our favorite series, and maybe the best superhero series ever, Arrow:
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
What’s better than when all the new TV series line up just right? This coming Fall the networks have at least one great genre series every day of the week returning, including several new supernatural crime dramas: the CW’s Flash, ABC’s Forever, BBC America’s Intruders, Fox’s Gotham, and NBC’s Constantine. Well, the networks have at least one genre show per day except Thursdays, so it’s not exactly “just right.” But we could use a day off from TV anyway. And isn’t that what DVRs are for? Strangely enough, nearly all of these series have a supernatural crime element of some sort, with plenty of superheroes and time travel, too. Interesting.
Below we have the best of the Fall line-up with trailers for all but NBC’s Grimm.
Haven, Season 5 and its 26 brand new episodes begin Sunday, September 11, 2014, on the Syfy Channel. Here is a preview of the new season:
Sleepy Hollow, Season Two, begins Monday, September 22, 2014, on Fox, following the new Gotham series. Here’s a trailer for the new season of Sleepy Hollow:
Nerd HQ wrapped this weekend’s panels for charity with some good Q&A sessions. If you haven’t seen earlier Nerd HQ panels, we at borg.com have been covering them since 2011 here when we saw Scott Bakula in San Diego at the inaugural event. Check out this link for past panels. We even got immortalized at the beginning of Zachary Levi’s introduction of Bakula as Levi was momentarily startled by a certain Tenctonese alien in the crowd in this video (“Ma’am, do you realize you have no hair on your head?”):
We’re still finding photos on the Web Comic-Con visitors snapping photos of us in that Alien Nation cosplay.
This weekend posted the first days of the panels from this year’s Nerd HQ here and here. Nerd HQ wrapped with more panels Sunday. Making his first appearance at Nerd HQ was the man playing one of our favorite characters, Arrow’s Oliver Queen, Stephen Amell:
The Winchester brothers returned again for this Supernatural panel with Mark Sheppard:
More big news emerged from San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. A new comic book series for Haven and Galaxy Quest… a sneak peek at Arrow Season 3, a Star Trek crossover with Planet of the Apes… details and art from Marvel’s new line of Star Wars comic books… new actors to star in Marvel’s Ant-man… more content from Avengers 2… and new giant monster movies are coming soon from Legendary Pictures.
But the biggest news that almost “broke the Internet” was from DC Entertainment: the first look at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and her new costume from the 2016 release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s a nice Cliff Chiang-inspired pose for the Amazon warrior. So we now have three images of the DC Comics trinity:
We’ve got a pretty dark superhero movie in our future.
The next big news came from a Marvel Comics panel–the creative line-up for Star Wars comic books under Disney:
Marvel Comics announced that January 2015 will see the first of Marvel taking over the Star Wars comic book line from Dark Horse with three initial series. Kansas City’s Jason Aaron will write and John Cassaday will serve as artist on a series taking place just after A New Hope, where the original 1978 Marvel Comics line began and the current main Dark Horse title takes place. Above is the cover art by Cassaday for Issue #1.
A series beginning in February 2015 will follow Darth Vader after his TIE Fighter is knocked away by Han Solo at the end of A New Hope, to be created by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca.
And March 2015 will see a series following Princess Leia after the destruction of the Death Star, from writer Mark Waid, artist Terry Dodson, and colorist Rachel Dodson.
Here are four pages of early stage art for the main Star Wars series:
Happy New Year!!!
So what do we do now? How about a look at the start dates for our favorite TV shows? Many are already in progress, like Almost Human, Arrow, Dracula, Grimm, Major Crimes, The Michael J. Fox Show, New Girl, and Sleepy Hollow. Some don’t have new season premiere dates yet, like Bates Motel, Continuum, Doctor Who, Heroes of Cosplay, Mr. Selfridge, and Warehouse 13.
The most anticipated series is very likely the three-episode third season of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, finally coming back to PBS this month.
The biggest question is whether Haven will get renewed for a fifth season on Syfy. The end of Season 4 was really getting better and Syfy just can’t leave us with that cliffhanger finale.
Update yours DVRs! Here’s what we’re going to be watching in 2014 at borg.com:
Almost Human – Season 1 continues January 6 on Fox
Arrow – Season 2 continues January 15 on CW
Bates Motel – Season 2 begins in March to A&E
Well it’s been one long year, with plenty to do and see, plenty of good and not-so-good to read and watch, and we’re certain we read more and reviewed more content this year than ever before. And that in no less way was true for TV watching. At the same time we waded through all that Hollywood had to offer and honed in on the genre films we thought were worth examining. We went back and looked at it all and pulled together our 25 picks for our annual Best of the Best list. Today we reveal the best content focusing on the moving image, and tomorrow we’ll run through our picks for the best in print and other media. We hope you agree with many of these great creations of the entertainment industries, and wish everyone a great 2014!
Year’s Best Fantasy Fix — The Wizard of Oz in Theaters. It’s a film that has been viewed on TV so many times you might take it for granted. It’s historically been on many movie reviewers’ Top 20 movies of all time. But when you watch The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in the middle of a year of modern blockbusters you realize how it can stand up against anything Hollywood has to offer today, even after 70 years. Remastering the print for a new generation to see it in theaters was a highlight for movie watchers this year.
Year’s Best Sci-Fi Fix — Almost Human, Fox. Like Continuum last year, the new series Almost Human created a future world that is believable and full of extraordinary technologies based in today’s science and touching on social issues of any day. And even putting aside its buddy cop and police procedural brilliance, every episode plunged us into future police grappling with incredible technologies–DNA bombs criminals use to contaminate a crime scene, identity masking technology to avoid facial recognition video monitors–it was the best dose of sci-fi in 2013.
Best TV Series — Orphan Black, BBC America. What rose above everything on TV or film this year was BBC America’s new series, the almost indescribable Orphan Black. From its initial trailers that piqued our interest, to the surprise series consisting of one actress playing multiple roles that dazzled from out of nowhere, magical special effects, and a unique story of clones and X-Files-inspired intrigue propelled Orphan Black to be our clear winner for Best TV Series of 2013.