Archive for May, 2013


Riddick and pal

Imagine a movie where Khan from Star Trek is trapped on Seti Alpha VI and Jabba the Hutt puts a bounty on his head and sends several mercenaries to track him down.  Now imagine this takes place in Jurassic Park and Ridley Scott’s aliens invade.  Oh, and Battlestar Galactica’s Kara Thrace is one of the bounty hunters.  And better yet, Khan is played by Vin Diesel.

sci fi and fantasy mix in Riddick

Imagine no further.  Just check out the new trailer to the latest installment in the Chronicles of Riddick, titled Riddick:

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Buck Rogers banner

There’s no rest for the weary, and one of borg.com‘s favorite writer/artists, Howard Chaykin, seems to be proving that, producing new stories and art everywhere you turn.  In 2013 he is working on two new comic book series that take a nostalgic look back to the middle of the 20th century.  Chaykin is serving as series artist on Satellite Sam, and artist and writer bringing Buck Rogers and the 25th Century back to comics.  Where the Buck Rogers monthly will be a straightforward classic take on the character, Satellite Sam will look at a TV serial character like Buck Rogers and the actor behind the role.

Satellite Sam Issue 1 cover

Chaykin and writer Matt Fraction (Hawkeye) take a dark look at the Golden Age of television with Image Comics’ Satellite Sam.  The innocence portrayed in 1950s television is contrasted with real life Hollywood when Carlyle Bishop, star of the TV series Satellite Sam is found dead in the not so glitzy part of town.  His son Michael finds a box of sleazy photos, which opens up a detective story into a life far different from that portrayed on TV.  It sounds a bit like it may reflect the type of short and complex lives of real-life actors George Reeves (The Adventures of Superman) and Bob Crane (Hogan’s Heroes) in a Sunset Boulevard setting.

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The Movement banner

If you’re tired of the same superhero teams that have been around for the better part of a century (and even if you’re not) two new comic books offer new teams to get to know.  Remember Marvel Comics’ New Universe in the 1980s?  Star Brand, Nightmask, PSI-Force, Justice, D.P. 7, Kickers, Inc., Mark Hazzard: Merc, Spitfire and the Troubleshooters–I read them all.  Nightmask and Star Brand even returned this year in the NOW! series event.  But if you’re looking for something different from The Avengers of the Justice League, give these two books a look.

TheMovement1

First, coming in two weeks is the second issue of The Movement from DC Comics.   Gail Simone has crafted a new world within the DC Universe yet apart from the current New 52 activities.  She’s created a new team of street urchin types defending the poor and the downtrodden from bad guys and the corrupt police force that should be protecting everyone.  Artist Freddie Williams II has created a cool looking super force with Mouse, the “prince of rats” who enlists rodents in his crusade against the forces for bad, Virtue, who seems to be the leader of the team and has psychic abilities, Tremor, who can control her environment, such as causing an Earthquake with her touch, Katharsis, who is a character that resembles Huntress, but sports a set of mechanical wings and in Issue #1 was all badass against corrupt cops, and finally Burden, who has super powers but believes he is possessed.

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Allie Brosh Hyperbole and a Half Depression Part Two copyright 2013

If you haven’t seen Paul Giamatti’s incredible performance as comic book writer Harvey Pekar in the 2003 film American Splendor you should add it to your Netflix queue.  The movie follows the Cleveland born and raised Pekar and his rise to fame as underground comic book creator, writing about relationships, holding a job, wrestling health issues, writing about life.  Better yet, track down any of his books.  His book Our Cancer Year, which won both a Harvey Award and American Book Award, was written with his wife Joyce Brabner, recounting his tumultuous yet ultimately successful battle against lymphoma.  It’s an account that takes comic book writing to another place entirely.  His American Splendor series has been praised by many in the field, including other writers like Neil Gaiman. His stories were drawn by a myriad of artists including Cleveland neighbor Robert Crumb.

Harvey wrestled with anxiety during his life and suffered from depression.  He died from an accidental overdose in 2010 shortly after he learned he had a recurrence of cancer–his third fight against the disease.  If you ever are questioned about comic books as a serious medium, you can point to Harvey Pekar and that should stop anyone in their tracks.

Harvey Pekar Joyce Brabner Our Cancer Year

Last week a friend sent me a link to website written by a woman named Allie Brosh who uses comic art to talk about her life and experiences, blogging much like any number of people across the Web.  She’d been offline for a long while and returned with an incredible post last week.  Check out this story in comic art form, titled Depression Part Two.  There is something very compelling and striking about her creative way of storytelling.  If you have ever known someone who suffers from depression, or you yourself think you may suffer from depression, you may find your friend or yourself in Allie’s work.  The Bend, Oregon, based blogger has received thousands of comments already for her post about depression, and if the story itself doesn’t convince you that “you’re not in this alone” then all the commenters who have written about being touched by her story should.

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Declan Shalvey RoboCop cover excerpt

BOOM! Studio announced this week that Steven Grant will be writing an adaptation of Frank Miller’s unproduced original RoboCop 3 screenplay, in an 8-issue mini-series titled RoboCop: Last Stand.  The series will be illustrated by Korkut Oztekin with cover art by Declan Shalvey and is expected to wrap up Miller’s early vision of the future cop.

Boom RoboCop panel from early comic book series

Grant also wrote an adaptation of Frank Miller’s script for Robocop 2 with Avatar Press.  Now holding the RoboCop rights previously held by Dynamite Comics, BOOM! is planning on releasing that earlier series as a deluxe hardcover.  Marvel, Dark Horse, Avatar, and Dynamite have all previously published RoboCop titles, making BOOM! the fifth publisher to take on the classic borg policeman.

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Agent Coulson is back

Agent Coulson lives!

Like all characters in comic books, dead doesn’t really mean dead.  And we couldn’t be happier that Marvel Studios is bringing back Agent Phil Coulson, who, played by Clarke Gregg, was the unlikely lynchpin of every one of the recent interconnected movies based on Marvel Comics’ characters.

In the marathon opening night for The Avengers, Agent Coulson served as our guide, speaking directly to viewers as he introduced Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man 2, and Captain America: The First Avenger.  In The Avengers, we saw what was unquestionably the most emotional scene of the franchise as Coulson was killed by Loki.  Or so we thought.

Check out the preview for the ABC Network’s new TV series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:

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Gravity movie poster 2013

Gulp.  Houston, we have a problem.

The last preview for a movie that made me feel like the new teaser for the sci-fi film Gravity was the gut-wrenching preview for Open Water.

Although it seems like the studio doesn’t care that we see what must be the key scene in the film, this one looks to set up a pretty scary situation of man vs. nature.  It asks the obvious question: How the heck are they going to get themselves out of this disaster?

Check out this new teaser trailer for Gravity:

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Major Hadfield as Major Tom

Twitter just won’t be the same anymore.

International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield, along with flight engineers American Tom Marshburn and Russian Roman Romanenko, returned safely to Earth aboard a Soyuz space capsule Monday night at 9:31 Central Time, landing by parachute in Kazakhstan.

We at borg.com have been watching Canadian astronaut Hadfield and his stunning photography on his Twitter feed since we became addicted to Twitter.  In fact I got addicted to Twitter almost entirely because of Hadfield’s tweets and have been raving about his photos and commentary for months.  Probably no person in Earth’s history has shared such a perspective and love for Planet Earth as Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.  Through his stunning photography of the details of Earth from so far away, like images of Stonehenge from outer space, hundreds of cities alight at night, and hidden paradises and geological formations among unreal blue seas, Hadfield has shared his rare world view with thousands of Twitter followers.

Ground control to Cmdr Hadfield

Hadfield has been orbiting Earth for five months.  He and his fellow astronauts undocked from the space station at 6:08 p.m. Central Time for his three-hour ride home.  It was Hadfield’s first trip home in a Russian Soyuz capsule–he had traveled in space shuttles in past missions in 1995 and 2001.

As a farewell to the space station, Hadfield, who sports a Major Dad moustache, released a video of a slightly modified version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, the “ground control to Major Tom” song, this time referencing his Soyuz ride home among other personal references.  It is the first music video made in space, including Hadfield’s own vocals and guitar, put together by Hadfield and the crew and musicians back here on Earth, over the past several months.

Planet Earth and Hadfield

Hadfield has been a huge presence on Twitter, with more than 850,000 followers as of Monday night.  Hopefully Hadfield will continue posting photos taken aboard the space station, and sharing his great insights about Earth from above.  And I can’t wait to see him host Saturday Night Live (rumor intentionally started here in the hopes it comes true).

Moonrise by Cmdr Chris Hadfield

Enjoy this superb music video, where you can see someone clearly fulfilling a dream that began 44 years ago when Bowie first released the song and when Neil Armstrong first walked on the surface of the Moon.

The best rock video ever?  The best YouTube upload ever?  The coolest thing ever done in outer space ever?  Yes, yes, and yes.  And someone should point out this video to J.J. Abrams on how to effectively use lens flares.  Right on!

And frankly, Hadfield’s heartfelt rendition of the classic rock tune leaves Bowie’s original in the dust.  You might just tear up a bit when you think how awesome it is Hadfield did something we all wish we could do–as Bowie’s lyrics take on new meaning–and how Hadfield has shared his experience with everyone in such a cool way.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Inside Llewyn Davis

The Coen Brothers have never made a movie on my favorites list since Raising Arizona, although No Country for Old Men had a lot going for it with great acting by Josh Brolin and Kelly MacDonald.  And I’m probably the only person on earth that isn’t a fan of Fargo.  But a story about the 1960s New York folk music scene might entice me to check out the Coens’ new StudioCanal period flick Inside Llewyn Davis.

The Coens are great at selecting key character actresses and using genre favorite Carey Mulligan in another period film seems to be a great choice as the love interest of what seems to be the stereotypical brooding, misunderstood musician, the title character played by Oscar Isaac.  Isaac has appeared in Robin Hood and The Bourne Legacy, but this is clearly his big leading man break.  Who doesn’t want to be in a movie with Bob Dylan singing the background music?

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Mama gets a break from pups

Happy Mothers Day to mothers of all varieties out there, and especially to ours!

We hope you find a way to get a break today*!

borg.com Staff

*Photo above of mama after she walked into her kennel to get a break from nursing pups.