First there was Mad Max in 1979. Then Road Warrior in 1981, the film that put Mel Gibson on the international stage. And the trilogy was complete with Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. Or so we thought. Is another Mad Max movie the sign of the Apocalypse? How about a Mad Max movie minus Mel Gibson, but with Tom Hardy in an origin story for the villain Bane from The Dark Knight Rises? No, that’s not right. Hardy just gets to wear another mask like Bane’s. His agent must really like Tom Hardy in that mask. Check out the first trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road after the break and you’ll see what we mean.
And is it the Apocalypse or post-Apocalypse? Will we get to see just what turns our world into the Australian desert wasteland where only those with 40-year-old muscle cars survive? Mad Max Rockatansky (yep, that’s really the character’s last name) is an Australian ex-cop facing a future world that is as bleak as any post-apocalyptic franchise has envisioned. This time he is joined by a rough and tough Charlize Theron.
At its release it will have been 30 years since we last saw Mad Max meet Tina Turner’s Auntie Entity at Bartertown’s Thunderdome. But George Miller is still making movies and after decades of stops and starts the movie is just around the corner.
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:
While DC Comics fans were waiting for an online release to surface from Comic-Con of a teaser for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which doesn’t arrive for two more years and still hasn’t made it to the Web, Warner Bros. and MGM released a giant preview for the last film in The Hobbit trilogy–the last of Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy J.R.R. Tolkien series.
With a great title that seems to fit the dark and violent scope of this last chapter, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies looks to be another winner. In addition to the exclusive Comic-Con poster released earlier this weekend that we posted here, another version features Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins.
But this first preview… a peek at Smaug devastating Lake-Town… War-goats!
Thranduil in battle… Thorin calls for war… Dark times are ahead for fantasy fans, and we can hardly wait.
Check out this first trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:
WELCOME TO EARTH-4
A Weekly Column with J. Torrey McClain
I got to drive 125 miles south and east yesterday to visit the horde of awesome that is Comic-Con. As usual, it was a blast and I wish I had the mutant ability of Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man to see every panel, hang out at every booth, visit every place outside the Con and then at the end of the day, try every dessert at Café Zucchero. However, I am just one man in one place at one time in this universe. So, let me break down my small piece of Saturday in San Diego.
– As a Los Angeleno, the two banes of my existence in this metropolitan monstrosity are traffic and parking. Driving down took only two hours and I found a lot that only charged $5 for 12 hours. It doesn’t get much better than that.
– At forty minutes before high noon, I made my way to room nine and the line forming outside. The line kept on filling and filling and soon I was glad to have foregone any extra time on the floor, for I got to see “Berkeley Breathed: The Last Comic-Con Panel!” The whole session consisted of Breathed joking about himself, his love of merchandising and his “tiff” with Bill Watterson. Sitting in the room laughing made evident the comic quickness of the mind behind Opus and Bill the Cat. It made me miss “Bloom County,” “Calvin and Hobbes” and “The Far Side,” all bits of my past that now only show up in collections (like the future upcoming collection of Breathed’s work “Academia Waltz” from his time at the University of Texas.) The bit of the panel that will stick with me the most is about how times have changed and how the comic pages have begun to fade. Pieces of art, comedy and commentary that were in 100 million newspapers on kitchen tables 30 years ago, now barely make it out of the tin boxes in the vestibules of IHOPs.
– I may have missed the “Saga” panel at 1 pm, but I caught Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples during the “Strong Female Characters” panel two hours later in the same room. June Brigman, Colleen Coover, Sara Mayhew, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Paul Tobin, Vaughn and Staples talked about what it takes to make strong female characters, how they approach it and listed some of their current favorites. The story that will last with me though came from the moderator, Maggie Thompson. She told the story of her husband reading to their daughter a run of “Fantastic Four” every night before bed. As a gift for their daughter when she was away in college they gave her a bound collection of a great many of those same stories. When she received them and started to read the stories, she angrily called her mom and yelled that these were not the stories her father had read to her. It turns out that her father had read her all of Reed Richard’s lines as the words said by Sue Storm. He didn’t want the only female superhero in the story to be the one that fades and hides.
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:
In its fourth year operating across from San Diego Comic-Con, Nerd HQ will be streaming live panels on the Web with archived panels available for viewing after the panels each day as they have done for past years. Click here to see all of last year’s panels.
Nerd HQ offers an alternative to catch a few panels away from the SDCC venue, and is ideal for those who didn’t get tickets in time for the big show but will be in town this weekend, although tickets sold out quickly for Nerd HQ this year. Seeing several Nerd HQ panels will cost you lots more than a ticket to SDCC, so the online version is the next best thing, and for those not in San Diego this weekend, an easy way to share in the vibe going on right now in Southern California.
These are full panels, held in a small venue, which will give those who have not attended a big Con an idea of what they’re missing.
Here are some of the panels held so far this week at Nerd HQ:
A Conversation with Firefly’s Adam Baldwin
A Conversation with Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Seth Green
A Conversation with The Hobbit’s Evangeline Lilly
Whether or not major genre properties are hosting panels or booths at Comic-Con 2014, studios released some great images on Wednesday preview night and the first full day of the show yesterday. The biggest is probably the above photo of Ben Affleck as Batman from the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, not coming to theaters until 2016. The image was nicely timed to the DC Comics celebration week for the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance.
Warner Bros. also released the first poster for the latest movie in the Mad Max series, to star Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. It’s called Max Max: Fury Road, and won’t hit theaters until next year, but that didn’t stop releasing some advance images from the film, including this image of Theron:
and this image of some post-apocalyptic recycling of cars:
The Amblin Entertainment/Legendary Pictures/Universal sequel to Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park trilogy, Jurassic World, netted us a teaser poster for the June 2015 release:
Jurassic World will star Chris Pratt, star of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy, which also had a new poster reveal for its IMAX 3D version:
We thought we’d share some of the best exclusives and other offerings scheduled to be available at San Diego Comic-Con International this weekend for those of you who just can’t decide what to spend your money on. There’s too much to be able to see everything at the big Con, so we’ve listed booth numbers so you can make sure you don’t miss out on those toys, posters, and comic books that you simply must have.
But first, how about some early SDCC reveals, like this image of Roy Harper’s new Arsenal costume from CW’s Arrow:
and this great new SDCC 2014 exclusive poster for the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies:
And what’s better than news of a new comic book series tie-in from IDW Publishing for Orphan Black?
Now on to the exclusives:
From the Weta Workshop (Booth #3613) you can get this Smaug scales T-shirt inspired by The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies:
and a pre-release copy of the new book The Art of Film Magic, signed edition:
From Alex Ross Art (Booth #2419) pick up original comic book art or limited prints, or this great 10-print edition portfolio of some of Alex Ross’s Marvel Comics work:
BOOM! Studios (Booth #2229) will be selling several exclusive cover variant comic books, including RoboCop #1:
WELCOME TO EARTH-4
A Weekly Column with J. Torrey McClain
First things first, I have no clue if the Comic-Con app will work during Comic-Con, as hundreds of thousands of people in such a small area tend to overload the capability of wireless networks. However, this isn’t about this weekend. It’s about now. It’s about finding all of the cool stuff possible and figuring out how to maximize my visit to Comic-Con 2014.
When you open it, a big advertisement for Constantine or The Blacklist as NBC sponsors the app. If the app has gotten this better, I for one am willing to submit to our Comcast overlords for this one brief moment and think about their TV shows. I can live with this ad and not feel a bit of impatience.
Once you watch the ad, or as soon as you hit skip after reflecting for the appropriate entertainment masters inspired time, you get to a page that lists venues, shows, awards and some of the highlights of the weekend. There’s a square for Game of Thrones which gives the straight dope on an “immersive experience” at the Omni Hotel including authentic costumes. There’s a square for the offsite Horton Square Theater venue where “Weird Al” Yankovic will appear on Saturday. There’s a square for the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival that lists the panels associated with CCI-IFF, but unfortunately doesn’t include the films to be shown. However, if I may paraphrase what the kids were saying six years ago, there’s a feature on the app for that.
Click on the drop down menu in the upper left of the screen and right below the discovery section of the app you’ll find the schedule, the most wonderful part of the app. Do you want autographs? Filter the schedule to where you just see the autograph sections. Want to see the films of the aforementioned CCI-IFF? You can see the whole list of movies playing at the Marriott. For me, it’s all about the programs. I can just filter those and check out what is happening day by day, as a menu bar at the top separates Wednesday from Thursday from Friday from you get the idea. I can focus on any segment of the con I want. What’s happening with anime panels? Filter out everything but the anime programs. Costuming? Art? Whatever you want, you can list, or you can just list it all and see how to fit together a puzzle of extracting all the juicy goodness from Comic-Con. Then just tap the star next to what you want to remember and ta-da, presto, chango; we’ll get to it later.