Archive for May, 2014


ShadowMoscow01-Cov-Chaykin

In the past few years Dynamite Comics has featured several great series and stories featuring Lamont Cranston, the enigmatic Shadow of the golden age of comics.  Today legendary comic book writer and artist Howard Chaykin brings another look at the character to modern audiences with The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow.  Chaykin serves as both writer and artist on this series, which reflects his passion for the post-war period and golden age heroes.

And the story begins at the end of sorts, with the Shadow deciding to retire.  It’s New Year’s Eve 1949, time to turn over a new leaf, and some intrigue is brewing on its own across the pond in London.  Here’s the summary from Dynamite Comics:

LAMONT CRANSTON, the man the world and the underworld know all too well as THE SHADOW, has had enough.  It’s time for the Mysterious Nemesis of Crime to hang up his cloak, his slouch hat, and his twin .45s, and retire from public life…

…But despite this momentous decision, MARGO LAINE and the rest of the Shadow’s AGENTS fear that mankind, teetering on the brink of nuclear Armageddon, may not be quite ready to be bereft of the Dark Avenger.

Chaykin produces some of his best artwork here.  Just check out these layouts of the opening pages of Issue #1 after the break:

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Rocket Raccoon Trailer 2

Well, it’s official.  I am more anxious to see Guardians of the Galaxy than any other coming Marvel film (sorry, X-Men Days of Whatever and Avengers 2), DC Comics film (Superman and Justice League who?), the final Hobbit (blasphemy!), or Star Wars VII (yep, that seals it).  As we promised Saturday, Marvel Entertainment rolled out a second big trailer Monday for this new superhero film.

Guardians trailer 2

It’s pure genius.  To make a big budget film about third tier characters that looks like it could take on Iron Man and trounce everything else.  And to market it like it’s Star Wars VII.  I want to shake the hand of whoever came up with the songs, too.  Bravo!  I’d bank on a sequel just from the trailers.  As the old gamblers say, “winner, winner, chicken dinner.”

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Warehouse 13 Pete and Myka

It’s finally time to say goodbye to Pete, Myka, Artie, Claudia, and Steve.  The Syfy Channel airs the last Warehouse 13 episode tonight.  What could have had a run for several more years was canned by the Syfy Channel last year, but not before fitting in six final episodes for a short fifth season.

As with the final seasons of other series that knew they were coming to a close, like Burn Notice, Monk, and In Plain Sight, the writing has really kicked in in the last season with Warehouse 13.  The craziest was the fourth episode of the season, “Savage Seduction,” which threw our crew into a cancelled Latin soap opera.  The main cast recited most of their lines in Spanish (subtitled) and the characters sometimes knew–and sometimes didn’t know–they were part of a show, thanks to a pair of Harvey Korman’s cufflinks.  Korman of course had issues staying in character on his many successful (and hilarious) years on The Carol Burnett Show.  Oh, how we will miss those kinds of artifacts!

Warehouse 13 finale

Last week we saw Claudia’s sister Claire being controlled by a borg lens.  So what will be the very last artifact to be thrown into the silver, purple goo-filled Neutralizer bag?

Here is the first three minutes of tonight’s finale, titled “Endless”–

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1000000 hits

Just a quick thanks to YOU, regular and new readers, for coming back and making the borg.com odometer tip over the 1 million benchmark today!

Every day since June 10, 2011, this site has been about what I want to read and watch and talk about, and I’ve hoped others would jump on board as I went along.  Thanks for coming on over.

Raquel Welch One Million Years BC

Special thanks to Elizabeth, Art, Jason, J.A.B., the Elite Comics flight crew, my 4-legged support staff, and my other pals for your friendship and prompting new ideas throughout the year.

And how about a shout-out to Joss Whedon.  He and the production crew of the new online release In Your Eyes secretly mailed out gifts (some substantial) worldwide to the first people who paid $5 to download his new film.  Press coverage of Whedon this weekend pointed hundreds of viewers to my 2012 San Diego Comic-Con article about Whedon (one of my favorite posts to write).  And that’s what pushed us over the 1 million mark today.  Very cool.

Onward and upward!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Guardians of the Galaxy new 2014 poster

Review by C.J. Bunce

In the past three hours Walt Disney Studios released a new “teaser for a trailer” that premieres Monday, May 19, 2014, and promotes a live Q&A with the cast (details below).  Guardians of the Galaxy won’t arrive in theaters until August 1, 2014, so we still have some waiting to do.  If you missed the first trailer, check it out here.  It’s one of the best previews for a superhero film we’ve seen in years.  But while you’re waiting for the movie, you’ll want to read two great trade editions of a Guardians of the Galaxy series that will give you some background for this motley band of space rogues.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers provides an update to these characters from the Marvel Comics stories of years past.  It collects the four issue “Cosmic Avengers” mini-series and the one-shot “Tomorrow’s Avengers” stories from 2013’s Marvel NOW! line.  Forget about mainstream, title-character superheroes.  The Guardians are exciting and down-right fun.  As a hook to bring these B-level heroes into the fore, Iron Man joins forces with the Guardians to protect the Earth from a nicely orchestrated attempt to eliminate Earth from the Galaxy’s stage prompted by a King from another world.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-1

That King of Spartax visited Earth 30 years ago while he was very young, had a brief encounter with a woman, and a boy was later born—Peter Quill aka Star-Lord.  Quill grows to dislike his dad, who he encounters years later.  Along the way he meets up with Gamora, the daughter of the well-known Marvel villain Thanos, known as “the most dangerous woman in the universe”.  Then there is the very large Drax the Destroyer, killer of Thanos, and a wrecking ball of an adversary. Which leaves the two best characters of the troupe, Rocket, a snarky, cocky, walking and talking raccoon with a vendetta against everything and everyone, and his trustee partner Groot, a brawny, walking and talking tree, whose only speech is the phrase “I am Groot” but who can be interpreted (via inflection, I’ll bet) to be saying any number of things by Rocket (think Han and Chewbacca).  (Can’t wait to see how Vin Diesel gets to play Groot).

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AWA_5-0

With Issue #5 available at comic book stores this week, Archie Comics’ groundbreaking Afterlife with Archie wraps its first story arc.  Bridging a classic group of characters with the horror and zombie genres, it may be the most mainstream route to buying into this zombie thing for those who haven’t been pulled over the fence yet with The Walking Dead.

Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has done the unthinkable, taking the most popular Golden Age non-superhero series full of 1940s and 1950s values–truly a title for all ages–and ripped Archie, Jughead, Veronica and Betty’s world from its seams.  And Francesco Francavilla brings some of his best work, and finest horror imagery, to the series.

Afterlife with Archie trade paperback

It all started when someone hit Jughead’s best pal, his dog Hot Dog, with a car.  From the pages of a Stephen King book, Jughead begins a quest that engages Sabrina the Teenage Witch to bring Hot Dog back from the dead.  What Hot Dog brings back with him was not foreseen, and the result is a fight for Archie and his remaining living friends to escape Riverdale, while they still can.

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Flash to the rescue Flash costume CW series Grant Gustin

This morning we revealed the first teaser here at borg.com for CW Network’s Fall TV series, The Flash. The general consensus seemed to be that the preview, first shown on Wednesday night’s season finale of Arrow, and the new Flash costume was underwhelming.

Never fear.

The CW Network just released a full-length trailer for The Flash.  It’s no Arrow, but it has promise.  Seeing Grant Gustin walking down a city street with Jesse L. Martin will have you thinking Law & Order is back.  Tom Cavanaugh appears to have a much bigger role than initially expected.  Danielle Panabaker looks as if she can fill in for the Felicity Smoak energetic friend and Candice Patton’s Iris West looks like she will step in as Barry Allen’s love interest early on in the series.

So check out this first real trailer for CW Network’s The Flash:

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New Flash supersuit If you watched last night’s season finale of Arrow on the CW Network, you already know how well superhero stories can be translated to television.  Arrow will likely go down as the best adaptation of a comic book property to hit the small screen.  Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to find the same spark but unfortunately couldn’t make it happen.  After all, superhero series need superheroes at least once in a while.

The ABC Network released 12 previews for new Fall shows this week, including many that seem likely not to make it very far, including Selfie, starring Karen Gillan and John Cho.  With these two mega-genre stars, someone should make a series that is more than a fluffy comedy.  Cho has already shown through a variety of TV appearances, such as in Sleepy Hollow last year, that he has plenty of range beyond his movie roles.  Gillan needs to move beyond the role of model, and we think Guardians of the Galaxy will give fans more of what they are after.

Here’s the Selfie preview, but you’ve been warned: ABC did not yet release a preview yet for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Agent Carter featuring Hayley Atwell’s character from Captain America: The First Avenger as she builds S.H.I.E.L.D. in the aftermath of World War II.

But the NBC Network did release this preview of another DC Comics series, Constantine, to replace the unfortunately cancelled Dracula (which featured Arrow’s Huntress actress Jessica De Gouw and Jonathan Rhys Meyers) for the Friday night line-up with Grimm: Continue reading

Affleck as Batman and new Batmobile

So there it is.

Zack Snyder has revealed the new Batmobile and our first look at Ben Affleck in his new Batsuit for the 2016 release Batman vs. Superman.  Somehow it makes you think this man in a rubber suit is going to beat the pulp out of the Man of Steel, doesn’t it?

It immediately calls to mind an amalgam of both Frank Miller’s Batman from The Dark Knight Returns:

Frank Miller Batman

Frank Miller’s Batman re-design from 1986.

and Jim Lee’s modern take on Batman first lauded in his “Hush” story arc:

Jim Lee Batman Affleck costume

Jim Lee’s 2002 era Batman.

Our first peek is a dark and gloomy image, which begs questions like “Is there any color to that wide bat emblem on his chest?”  And maybe, “Why so serious?”

Cascioli Batman Affleck suit Zack Snyder Trials of Shazam original art CJ Bunce

Mauro Cascioli’s take on Batman in 2006.

It also has the look we loved with Mauro Cascioli’s gritty Batman in his Trials of Shazam series.

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MissFury011-Cov-Worley  MissFury011-Cov-Tan

When I was a kid my favorite comic book monthly was the original Star Wars series that continued the adventures of Luke, Han, Leia, and the rest of the gang beyond “A New Hope,” meandering in and out of continuity through beautiful adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.  They even had an early issue before TESB called “The Empire Strikes.”  They created one of the best Expanded Universe characters to come along until Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Thrawn with one of our favorite borgs, The Hunter.  After years of reading I finally bought a subscription.  My first issue?  Issue #107.

If you are familiar with that Marvel Comics Star Wars line, you know that 107 was the final issue of the series.  Along with my first issue in the mail of Star Wars came a postcard with those dreaded words for fans of comic books and a message on the cover: “Last Issue.”  So much for my subscription.

Star Wars 107

Hey, why is everyone smiling?

So it was with a certain raised eyebrow that I learned this month that my favorite series, Dynamite Comics’ Miss Fury, that time travelling superheroine story with mobsters and Nazis and parallel Earths, is cancelled.  Tomorrow, comic book stores around the country will be selling Miss Fury, Issue #11, wrapping up Marla Drake’s story, at least for now.

I admit that when such things happen my mind’s eye recalls a headline (over a much more serious event) from decades ago on a street corner newspaper stand from the New York Post with the simple but effective boldface headline: “Bastards!”  In this case I mean this in the nicest possible way, of course.  Some titles get readership, some don’t do as well.  Economics determine what goes and what stays.  But keep in mind Miss Fury is a character who just celebrated her 73rd birthday.  As Arnie might say, “She’ll be back.”

So here is a preview from the beginning of the end, Miss Fury, Issue #11, courtesy of Dynamite Comics:

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