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Archive for February, 2014


TOSHIRO TPB CVR 4x6

A new borg is coming in a mash-up of steampunk and horror.  Steam-powered tanks will clash with katanas in a new graphic novel, Toshiro, from Dark Horse Comics coming in June.  Writer Jai Nitz (Dream Thief, Tron: Betrayal, Kato) and artist Janusz Pawlak have created a “mechano-samurai” named Toshiro whose adventure story will take readers across a Victorian clockwork world, “battling horrors too dark for mankind.”

According to Dark Horse:

With his mysterious partner, the world-famous adventurer Quicksilver Bob, Toshiro must face Earth’s greatest foe yet: the soul-stealing, zombie-creating jellyfish from beyond.  Janusz Pawlak’s jagged inks and moody watercolors create a world of dread and mystery.

toshiro_tpb_page

Toshiro bends and blends genres to make something altogether new.  Janusz and I wanted to play with Victorian steampunk, alternate history, Lovecraftian monsters, and the magic of Tezuka’s Astro Boy to tell a story,” said writer Jai Nitz.  “We wanted to wear our influences on our sleeves, but do the hard work of creating something new.  I think this book will appeal to any fans of adventure.”

Keep checking back as borg.com will preview Toshiro in June 2014.  Toshiro arrives in comic book stores June 4, 2014, but you can pre-order it now at Amazon.com.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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Travis Fimmel as Ragnar and Alyssa Sutherland as Aslaug in Vikings

Expect more Viking intrigue and action, more Viking drama, and a realistic historical look at Viking life in Season Two of Vikings, premiering tonight at 9 p.m. Central/10 p.m. Eastern on the History Channel.  The series introduces new characters and shakes up the very fabric of the universe centered on the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok.  Based on Viking sagas and characters from Norse mythology, Vikings is a series filled with both political posturing, hand to hand combat, giant sailing vessels, and a realistic look at the Viking world.

Last week I interviewed series lead Travis Fimmel, who plays Ragnar, and series newcomer Alyssa Sutherland, who has a key role in Season Two as Aslaug, a princess who drives a wedge between Ragnar and his family.

Vikings Season 2

Fimmel sees his role as the Viking warrior as the best project he has yet taken on.  “It’s definitely my favorite.  It has a lot to do with Michael Hurst, who created [Vikings].”  He credits his positive experiences on Vikings to the crew for the show.  “The Irish people do a tremendous job.  They’re very talented and very efficient and really make the best of the budget we have.”

The series is filmed an hour south of Dublin, Ireland.  During filming Fimmel lived in the country on a lake near one of the Vikings sets.  Although he plays the leader of the Viking tribe, he sees himself as just one of the crew off the set.  “I don’t let them treat me any differently–We all make fun of each other… We all get on very well.”

As you’d expect, filming the epic Viking longboat scenes is as much fun as it appears.  “We had a lot of tremendous fun on the boats.  This year we go out on the ocean–and it’s just beautiful.  Beautiful landscape.  The boat stuff’s really enjoyable.”

Ragnar and Floki season 2 episode one

Fimmel confirmed that full-scale longboats are used for the series, created based on historical research, and not just filming models or CGI creations.  “They’re made to scale.  They definitely float and definitely work and definitely sail.”

Alyssa Sutherland, who was introduced in the last episode of Season One as a temptress of sorts for Ragnar, portrays a princess from Norse mythology who played a pivotal role in the legend of Ragnar.  Sutherland also gets some scenes on the Viking longboats in Season Two.  “This season I got a bit of boat time, she said.  “We were really lucky.  It was this gorgeous day.  The perfect day to be out in the boat in the islands.  You really do feel a part of it.”

Alyssa Sutherland in Vikings

As the daughter of Sigurd and the shield-maiden Brynhildr, Sutherland’s character Aslaug is decked-out in beautiful, historically drawn ninth century costumes.

Sutherland said it was a treat to be able to work with the talented Vikings costume designer, Emmy Award winner Joan Bergin.  “Right at the beginning of the season when I went in for my first fitting, before I went in to see her I knew [the costumes] were going to be stunning…  She just knocked my expectations right out of the park.  It was fabulous.”

The authentic costumes help inform Sutherland’s character and performance.  “Working in these costumes–it’s so much easier to get into character when you have something on you that makes you feel so much a part of it…  Costumes are a really important part of your character and feeling you really are that person…  They really are gorgeous.”

Aslaug and friend in Vikings

Working on the set of Vikings brought some authenticity to the experience for Sutherland, and that authenticity helped her to portray the character of Aslaug. “Everything–every detail, from the sets, the costumes, the hair and the make up, the props… Absolutely everything has so much detail in it.  I’ve been on other sets and it feels a little bit like a set.”

She says with the Vikings series, it’s a different experience.  “Everything is so realistic.  It’s really hard to describe unless someone sees it.  It just makes being in character and being a part of the story so much easier for an actor.”

Catch the Season Two premiere of Vikings tonight at 9 p.m. Central/10 p.m. Eastern on the History Channel.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Harold Ramis and Bill Murray in Stripes

Harold Ramis passed away Monday, and one of the best comedy geniuses left us.  Caddyshack, Stripes, Animal House, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Orange County, Meatballs.  You just can’t count the total number of laughs we would have missed without this guy.  Millions?  More like billions.  The entire Earth would probably be swinging differently but for the impact of the writer, director, actor, comedian.  He understood comedy like no other–nobody–and one of the best proofs of this can be found in this 2009 interview.

I don’t know why that line is so damned funny, but it is.  All hail Harold Ramis.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

XFiless_TMNT01_cvrA   XFiless_TF01_cvrA

The X-Files conspiracy continues this month in The X-Files Conspiracy: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The X-Files Conspiracy: Transformers.  The Lone Gunmen: Richard “Ringo” Langly, Melvin Frohike and John Fitzgerald Byers, take over the leads from Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in these new cases.  They are great crossovers and great fun, and worth checking out.

Conspiracy is a six-part crossover event from IDW Publishing.  Part 1: The X-Files Conspiracy Issue #1, Part 2: The X-Files Conspiracy: Ghostbusters, Issue #1, and Part 3: The X-Files Conspiracy: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are all available from your local comic book stores now.  Part 4: The X-Files Conspiracy: Transformers is being released tomorrow, but we’re previewing the Transformers Issue #1 and sharing a few pages of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Issue #1 today courtesy of IDW Publishing.

Click here to see the preview for The X-Files Conspiracy: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Click here to see the preview for The X-Files Conspiracy: Transformers.

Next month keep an eye out for part five of the series, The X-Files Conspiracy: The Crow, featuring Eric Draven, available at comic book stores everywhere.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Lee Majors PSA flu

Thanks to a tip from Firstline Media on Twitter, we bring to you a useful public service announcement (PSA) at a time of year when a new round of flu seems to be sweeping across the country.  Lee Majors has donned his Six Million Dollar Man jumpsuit and turtlenecks for an important new mission.

Check out this PSA and take heed, and any Bronies out there should pay close attention:

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Heroes Reborn NBC banner

What we thought was going to be another ad for the DVD release of Gravity actually was a teaser for the return of Heroes to NBC.  NBC released a few details to the press before the Olympics Saturday night teaser premiere, revealing a new Heroes TV series will be returning in 2015.  NBC and creator Tim Kring will be holding the details close to their vests until Heroes Reborn draws closer, but we’re thinking there is no way to move the series forward and call it Heroes without at least Hayden Panettiere as invincible ex-cheerleader Claire Bennet, Milo Ventimiglia as power-borrower Peter Petrelli, Masi Oka as time traveler Hiro Nakamura, or the always awesome Jack Coleman as Claire’s dad, the horned-rimmed glasses guy.

NBC has ordered 13 episodes for the new mini-series, an entire season for any other property. Could this be a try-on that could be continued if the first year is successful?

“The enormous impact Heroes had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening,” said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke.  “Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment.  We’re thrilled that visionary creator Tim Kring was as excited about jumping back into this show as we were and we look forward to all the new textures and layers Tim plans to add to his original concept,” Salke continued.  “Until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in.”

Heroes Reborn - how about bringing back Jack Coleman as HRG

Masi Oka is currently on Hawaii Five-O on CBS, Hayden Penettiere is on Nashville on ABC, and Milo Ventimiglia is filming a series on the Crackle online network coming off of his Mob City mini-series in TNT.  Ali Larter, who played Tracy Strauss and her mirror twin on Heroes, last filmed a mini-series on TNT and continues her string of big screen movie projects, and ex-cop Greg Grunberg is making a string of movies.  Although he’s been seen on ABC’s Scandal, Jack Coleman also had a key role in the last season of USA Network’s Burn Notice last year.  USA Network is an NBC sister network.  Could that mean a possible connection to have Coleman’s character lead the new mini-series?  Something like Agent Colson on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?  Coleman is our top pick, and we think HRG is the most likely driver of a new series.  But why stop there?

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Buffy Season 10 issue 2

Wouldn’t it be great if we were looking forward to a live action continuation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, now in its tenth season?  Well it’s not in the cards, but we can look forward to Dark Horse Comics’ third comic book series continuing the exploits of Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang beginning this month with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, Issue #1, created by Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs.

Buffy Season 10 Issue 1 cover A

We have a first look at three covers for Issue #1, and Willow, Xander, Spike, Faith, and young Giles are back.

Here is a short preview of Issue #1, courtesy of Dark Horse:

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eva green 300 rise of an empire poster

If you can get past 300: Rise of an Empire being another Zack Snyder movie, and another Zack Snyder 300 movie, you might just go to this one because it looks like it could be a solid popcorn movie.  But a better reason would be to watch Eva Green and Lena Headey face off in a fantasy action flick.

Rise of an Empire is loosely based on Greek battles before, during, and after the battle of Thermopylae, the focus of Frank Miller’s graphic novel on which the original 300 film was based.  History buffs will find it difficult to get past most of the costuming and strange masked legions of Xerxes and his allies.

rise-of-an-empire-banner

This movie trailer suggests Lena Headey’s Queen of Sparta is part of a plot to avenge the death of her husband from the original film, King Leonidas (Gerard Butler).  Eva Green plays Artemesia, based on an actual commander of the Persian navy, and the only female commander according to the Greek historian Herodotus in books 7 and 8 of his Histories.

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legenderry 1 cover

You’d need to be paying close attention or you might have missed that Dynamite’s new steampunk series Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure is a steampunk genre story about Britt Reid, the classic publishing magnate who takes on the disguise of the Green Hornet, and his tryst with Vampirella, here a social butterfly and owner of the Scarlet Club.  The covers and promos don’t shout either Vampirella or the Green Hornet.

Immediately you’re taken to a place unfamiliar–a mixture of times and places.  A mysterious woman is being accosted by masked street thugs and she escapes into the steampunk speakeasy, as Reid and Vampirella are engaged in a clever Benedick and Beatrice-esque lover’s quarrel.  Vampirella doesn’t look like any prior version of Vampirella–she’s a classic beauty and not a bit vampish.  The appropriate geared and copper weapons are drawn by the men on hand, but there is no need.  Vampirella doesn’t need a man to defend her or anyone in her own pub as she cuts them to pieces. The police arrive and learn nothing, as Vampirella and Reid begin this detective story, all in the first issue of the monthly series.

Legenderry exclusive cover

Fables creator Bill Willingham serves up an evocative tale complete with a radio personality named Felix Avalon who offers up word-on-the-street celebrity gossip of the 1920s to 1940s variety via listeners’ “wireless”–the old-time radios.  You can almost hear that drone of the snappy and crackling narrator voice from the days of classic radio plays.  Although Willingham offers up some meaty dialogue and is expert in a classic dialect, it is artist Sergio Fernandez Davila and character costume designer Johnny Desjardins who bear the bulk of delivering all the steampunk vibe, with settings full of geared-up fixtures and equally geared-up costumes and props.

Could this be Steampunk Noir?  It’s hard to place this in an era of the 19th century or the 1920s, 1930s or 1940s. There’s a bit of Casablanca to this story, too, with dialogue such as “it wasn’t anyone else’s doorstep you landed on. It was mine.”  It’s probably a blend of all of the above eras, a time and place similar to that unplaceable setting of the realm of fairy tales Willingham is so used to writing in.  It is definitely fun imagery to see Kato driving the Green Hornet in a horse carriage instead of his famous 1960s roadster.

Six Thousand Dollar Man

Yep, it’s the Six Thousand Dollar Man.

It’s being planned for this series to encounter other classic licensed characters in Dynamite Comics’ arsenal, including Red Sonja and The Phantom.  Issue #3 is coming to comic book stores next month—Will Willingham and Davila give us their take on a steampunk Bionic Man?  Look out in Issue #3 for the premier of the Six Thousand Dollar Man.

Grab your copies of Issues #1 and #2 of Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure now, at comic book stores everywhere.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Rocket and Groot

If you were wondering what kind of tone would be set for the off-the-wall Marvel Studios release Guardians of the Galaxy, you need wait no further.  Just released a few minutes ago is the world premier of the first full-length trailer that aired on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Karen Gillan in Guardians of the Galaxy

Check out this big cast: Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket Raccoon, Vin Diesel voicing Groot (which looks awesome), Zoe Saldana as Gamora–who gets a lot of time in this preview, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser (Lee was in The Elfking in The Hobbit), Karen Gillan sans hair as Nebula, Benicio del Toro as The Collector, Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, Michael Rooker as Yondu, and John C. Reilly as Rhomann Dey.

Here’s the trailer:

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