Archive for April, 2016


Rom #1 Subscriber Cover b, by Tom Whalen    Rom #1 R1 Cover B, by Michael Golden

We first previewed the return of the classic borg series Micronauts here at borg.com back in January.  Now borg.com Hall of Fame inductee ROM, the original Hasbro cyborg blinking-eye spaceman action figure made famous in a line of 1970s-1980s Marvel Comics, is returning next month for Free Comic Book Day with an ongoing series beginning in July from IDW Publishing, titled simply ROM.

Rom first appeared in ROM Spaceknight #1 (December 1979) by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.  Based on the Parker Brothers toy designed by Scott Dankman, Richard C. Levy, and Bryan L. McCoy, the early cyborg action figure was considered a failure in the toy industry, only selling between 200,000 and 300,000 figures.  But the comic book series went on to continue in 79 issues.

Rom #1 R1 Cover C. Art by P. Craig Russell, colors by Lovern Kindzierski     Rom #1 Main cover by J.H. Williams III

With a #0 issue as its launch point, ROM is back in a series written by Christos Gage and Chris Ryall with artwork by David Messina and several great cover variants available.  ROM faces off against the Dire Wraiths in the first story, “Earthfall”.

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Wynonna Earp gun

By Elizabeth C. Bunce

We at borg.com have been big fans of several recent series on SyFy, notably those coming from Canadian showrunner Emily Andras (Lost Girl, Killjoys).  Well, Andras is back with an all-new series that we previewed here that looks to be just as fun, once again with a powerful female lead.  Based on the IDW comic of the same name, Wynonna Earp is a paranormal Western, in the tradition of the anthology Dead Man’s Hand, (reviewed here) and borg.com favorite All-Star Western, featuring Jonah Hex (reviewed here).

On her twenty-seventh birthday, Earp family black sheep Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano, Haven, The Listener) returns home to Purgatory (presumably Alberta) to attend her uncle’s funeral, and inherit the family curse: She’s become the Earp Heir, the only person capable of wielding her great-great-granddaddy’s Colt .45 Buntline Special, known as “Peacemaker.”  See, Purgatory and the Earps are haunted by the ghosts–or Revenants–of Sherriff Wyatt Earp’s kills.  And every generation of Earps must hunt down the undead again, until all 77 have been dispatched for good.  The trouble is, Wynonna wasn’t actually the Heir–that dubious honor ought to have belonged to elder sister Willa.  But Willa and their father were killed by Revenants when Wynonna was just a kid, leaving Purgatory, Wynonna, and younger sister Waverly unprotected.

Doc Holliday Wynonna Earp

The series has just aired its third episode (Episode 4 airs Friday, April 22), and it’s off to a fantastic start.  Andras has a great knack for blending excellent worldbuilding, sci-fi and paranormal elements, winning characters, and humor.  Scrofano is sharp-tongued and swaggering, a perfect modern-day gunslinger, and she’s backed up with an excellent supporting cast.  Shamier Anderson (Defiance) plays Agent Dolls, special agent of the Black Badge Division, a sort of Men in Black-style “cross-border” paranormal task force, and Dominique Provost-Chalkley as overeager little sister Waverly is a funny and delightful sidekick.  But the standout is Tim Rozon (Being Human, Lost Girl) as the mysterious Henry, immediately identifiable (though not identified) as the ghost of Doc Holliday, sporting a lazy drawl and unclear motives that make him absolutely captivating–utterly unrecognizable from his vile Lost Girl character.

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Firefly Dictionary

One of the most popular subjects for readers here at borg.com, Firefly is a franchise we always watch out for.  We try to jump on anything new that springs from Joss Whedon’s unique world.  One of the ironies of the short-lived series is that the producers, studios, and creators really don’t license many books or collectables compared to the volume released from the big science fiction franchises.  Star Wars and Star Trek continue to flood the market with new content and products.  What that usually means is as a consumer you must pick through a lot to find something truly new and interesting.  Not so with Firefly.  Each of the books we’ve reviewed have all been something any Firefly fan should go for.

Same goes for the newest book published this month for Firefly fans: Firefly: The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Dictionary in the ‘Verse.  Without a doubt the earlier published deluxe hardcover Firefly: A Celebration, Anniversary Edition is a Firefly fan’s best friend.  A Celebration had it all, from scripts to interviews and photos of every detail of the show including blueprints of ships, concept art, props, and costumes.  Check out our review here published previously at borg.com.  But Firefly: The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Dictionary in the ‘Verse makes a worthy companion to that book, honing in on the use of language in the ‘Verse and not in a merely trifling way.

Browncoat S dictionary

This book is intelligently written for both a cosplayer wanting to emulate characters and language from the show, to those interested in understanding how the series writers, including Whedon himself, used word choices to build backstories for characters, to show their wealth, their roots, and how the characters reveal their own needs, both subtlely and overtly, to others.  How do you create a language for a society 500 years in our future that is true to the past and appropriately modern?

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Planet of the Apes movie poster

Those original “damned, dirty apes” that launched a nearly 50-year franchise that shows no signs of stopping are coming back to the big screen this summer for a limited screening release.  Fathom Events is partnering once again with Turner Classic Movies and Twentieth Century Fox to bring Planet of the Apes to your local theater.  Astronaut Taylor, played by Charlton Heston, and the best apes of the movie series, Roddy McDowell’s Cornelius and Kim Hunter’s Zira, will dazzle once again in what the American Film Institute has voted to their best sci-fi/fantasy Top 100 list as the #59 most thrilling movie of all time, with one of the top twelve film scores–by the master composer Jerry Goldsmith–of any genre, ever.

If you haven’t seen the original, be prepared for one of the best pay-offs in all of science fiction.  Oh, and that quote… although we think we hear Heston call ’em “damn, dirty apes” we appreciate the AFI correcting the grammar to “damned, dirty apes,” listing Heston’s line as the #66 most memorable movie quote of all time.

Old Planet of Apes 1968 poster

As usual, TCM host Ben Mankiewicz will provide a contextual introduction to the film.  Here are the dates, details, and how to get tickets for one of four local screenings:

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returnofthetril_800_600_81_s

Alamo Drafthouse announced it will be bringing the original Star Wars trilogy to cities across the country this August with an epic “Return of the Trilogy” theatrical event.

The original Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi will screen back-to-back-to-back as one triple feature.

While many dates and locations are still to be announced, “Return of the Trilogy” screenings will take place at venues in more than 20 cities throughout the month of August.  All three of the films will be presented in their 1997 re-release format. Tickets for most markets will go on sale at ReturnOfTheTrilogy.com on May 4th, otherwise known as Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be With You.

star-wars-trilogy-triple-bill-quad-poster

More than just an epic triple-feature, each “Return of the Trilogy” show will be in its own unique celebratory event, featuring specially curated video content before and between films, contests, props to bring the power of the Force to life, and other special surprises.  And coming dressed as your favorite Jedi, scoundrel pilot, or rebel scum will be very much encouraged.

Here is the initial list of cities:

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Diectors Cut Wrath of Khan Mondo

The most lauded production in the Star Trek catalog is getting a facelift.  Coming this summer, Paramount is releasing Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in Nicholas Meyer’s popular director’s cut version for the first time in Blu-ray format.  It’s one of several releases this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise.

Long referred to as among the best science fiction films of all time, Wrath of Khan has been digitally remastered in high definition with a higher picture quality than available before.  It will include both the Director’s Edition (previously only available on DVD) and the original theatrical version.  The Blu-ray also includes a new, nearly 30-minute documentary entitled “The Genesis Effect: Engineering The Wrath of Khan,” which details the development and production of the film through archival footage, photos and new interviews.  Two hours of previously released material fills out the disc set.

Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan (1982) 2

Pre-order it now here from Amazon.com to get it when it is released June 7, 2016.

Director Nicholas Meyer was recently tapped as chief writer for the next Star Trek TV series, coming in 2017.  He also directed the other Star Trek film competing for “best of the best” cred, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Here are the complete specs for the Blu-ray release:

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Doctor-Strange-Poster

Not since Robert Downey, Jr. was cast as Tony Stark has the studio really nailed its casting efforts as with Benedict Cumberbatch’s match to the classic comic book character and lead in Doctor Strange.  A new trailer is out, along with a new poster (above).

This latest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry is directed by Scott Derrickson, known for his horror work in films like Deliver us From Evil, the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, so expect a darker Marvel film coming your way.

Doctor Strange co-stars Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes, State of Play) as Christine Palmer, Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia, Snowpiercer) as The Ancient One, Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity, The Martian) as Baron Mordo, Amy Landecker (Revenge, Early Edition), Scott Adkins (Expendables 2, The Bourne Ultimatum), and Michael Stuhlbarg (Hugo) as Nicodemus West.

Strange

Check out the first trailer for the film:

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Topps Empire Strikes Back Abrams

Coming next week is the latest volume from the partnership of Abrams ComicArts and Topps Trading Cards as they document some of the greatest non-sports trading cards ever released.  Complete with a photo of the famous stick of bubble gum on the cover, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back–The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume Two reproduces–for the first time–all 352 cards and 88 stickers in a single deluxe hardcover volume.

It’s the next book in the now long line of great trading card books from Abrams.  It includes four bonus trading cards made exclusively for this edition, and a wax pack-style book jacket like the similar excellent releases Bazooka Joe and His Gang reviewed here at borg.com, Mars Attacks 50th Anniversary Collection reviewed here, and Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series reviewed here.  Abrams ComicArts and Topps released the first compilation of Star Wars trading cards just last year–Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One, reviewed here at borg.com.  An introduction and commentary throughout Volume Two is provided by Gary Gerani, the original editor of the Star Wars Topps series who worked with Lucasfilm to select the photographs for the sets and wrote the card titles for The Empire Strikes Back series, too.

Yoda Topps card    ESB Topps title 2 card

Gerani recounts reading the script for Empire in advance of the release, and learning the real #1 secret that Lucasfilm was trying to keep under wraps.  And it wasn’t about Luke Skywalker’s parentage or a bounty hunter with little actual screentime.  Hint: It may be related to a certain spectacular new “muppet from space”.

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Cap and Black Panther

The final marketing push begins for Captain America: Civil War, with an onslaught of interviews and new promos released by Marvel Studios in the past two weeks not unlike the volley dished out last month by DC Entertainment to entice fans to see the opening weekend release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

We’re hoping this sequel gets a better reaction from fans.

The release is under a month away.  We will finally see the Black Panther and a new Spider-Man, and even Ant-Man joining in with the Avengers team.

Have you chosen your side?  Who will win?  Who will survive?

Civil War Iron Man suit

Check out these eight recent trailers and clips, including a sneak preview from the MTV movie awards this weekend:

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Batman+v+Superman+The+Art+of+The+Film

What you might be surprised to find in Titan Books’ new hardcover book Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Art of the Film, is how much the book is a book of ideas.  Inasmuch as many of the ideas made it to the screen, so many didn’t, as revealed in dozens of pages of concept art.  It’s what most “Art of the Film” books are about, but because of the polarizing effect the movie has had on fans of the characters it is also helpful in seeing what the director and writers were going for–what they were trying to convey on the screen.

Although the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Tech Manual, reviewed last week here at borg.com, has more cross-appeal beyond fans of Batman and Superman, this coffee table style book is more for fans who loved the film, those wanting to understand it better, and those looking for an archive of Batman designs for reference.  Fans who like the movie and want a “souvenir book” will appreciate the close-ups of the supersuits and vehicles from the film, the colorful page layouts, and the roughly chronological plot points that re-tell the story from a creator’s standpoint, from idea to final rendering on the screen.

Batman_v_Superman_Dawn_of_Justice_The_Art_of_the_Film excerpt A

Actors including Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Jeremy Irons, and Jesse Eisenberg, explain the motivations behind their characters.  Commentary surrounding images are provided from director Zack Snyder, the film’s production designer, art director, hair stylist, concept artists, director of photography, and costume designer, but most of the explanations for ideas behind the concepts come from producers including Deborah Snyder, and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos.

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