Archive for April, 2016


Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes

Is this the era of camaraderie among comic book publishers?  Last year it seemed publishers including IDW Publishing, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Dynamite Comics were able to structure an unprecedented number of crossovers or mash-ups.  At Emerald City Comicon this weekend Dark Horse Comics and BOOM! Studios announced the latest and perhaps greatest mash-up coming our way in 2016:  Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes meets the characters created by Pierre Boulle in The Planet of the Apes in the new series Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes.

You also have the latest high-concept genre mash-up with The Planet of the Apes franchise bringing the science fiction component and Tarzan bringing the fantasy component to the story.  Tim Seeley (Revival) and David Walker (Power Man and Iron Fist) will serve as story writers on the five-issue miniseries.  Fernando Dagnino (Suicide Squad) is interior artist with Duncan Fegredo cover art.

Tarzan of the Apes    Boulle Apes

Note that this is not another “versus” story.  It’s actually a team-up.  In this new version of Tarzan, Tarzan and Ape Caesar were raised as brothers.  They are separated by slave traders, but are reunited when Apes battle Man, taking the battleground from the jungles of Africa to “the center of the Earth,” according to the announcement for the series.

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Six Mil B    Six Mil C cover

Dynamite Comics announced this week the return of Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man to a monthly series.  Writer Van Jensen and artist Ron Salas will continue Austin’s exploits through the end of the 1970s in The Six Million Dollar Man: Fall of Man.

The year is 1979.  Iran has seized American hostages. Columbian drug cartels run rampant. And Le Chic’s “Freak Out” dominates the charts.  Amid this deeply troubled world, Steve Austin — everyone’s favorite Six Million Dollar Man — is America’s best hope in its fight against innumerable enemies.  When Steve discovers disturbing secrets in OSI’s past, he uses his cybernetic upgrades to rebel against the agency… but he’ll face plenty of threats, like an enemy cyborg, and lasers, and ninjas!

Six Mil A

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Rogue One gif image

In Return of the Jedi, Mon Mothma told us many Bothans died to deliver information on the weaknesses of the second Death Star.  In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a former stormtrooper figured out how to take out the third galactic Navarone-inspired superfortress in a matter of minutes.  But how did the Rebellion find the plans to the original Death Star–the plans Princess Leia handed off to R2-D2 in Star Wars: A New Hope, which she later recovered thanks to a rescue by Luke, Han, Chewie, Ben, and C-3PO?

In the first trailer released today for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the global fan base is introduced to Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones), following in the steps of Daisy Ridley’s young female lead Rey from Star Wars: A Force Awakens last year.  With scenes that remind us of recent Star Wars MMPORGs (that’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game for those not in the know), the newest Star Wars entry takes us to the darker corners of the galaxy, into the process of creating a saboteur capable of destroying an entire planet.

Death Star in progress GIF

Plenty of coolness can be found here, from what appears to be a samurai warrior (Donnie Yen) to a Grand Admiral Thrawn-garbed fellow (Ben Mendelsohn), to a return to the Yavin IV hidden Rebel base, more AT-ATs, palm trees, a new dark stormtrooper variant, Genevieve O’Reilly (who played the young Mon Mothma in Revenge of the Sith), is back again, Forest Whitaker is a new bounty hunter, and is that Darth Vader going to meet with the Emperor?  Oh, yeah, and a rebel gal in a TIE Fighter pilot suit.  Count us in.

Check out this first trailer for the next big Star Wars flick:

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BWSea4TP-CovOGP

It didn’t take much to get us on board when we heard The Bionic Woman was finally getting its Season Four.  Following other classic genre properties like The Six Million Dollar Man, The X-Files, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jaime Sommers wasn’t going to make it back to the small screen very soon.  But with Dynamite Comics’ four-issue limited series first published in 2014, at least we had an opportunity to see where a new set of creators would have taken the character after we last saw her in her own series in 1978.

Those four issues are now available this week for the first time together in a trade edition.  You’ll find familiar faces like Steve Austin and Oscar Goldman, as well as plenty of cyborgs and Fembots.  But the star is still Jaime Sommers, and the series, written by Brandon Jerwa with interior artwork by David Cabrera, will take you back in time.

Bionic action figure cosplay

Bionic action figure cosplay with the Bionic Woman herself, Lindsay Wagner.

After the break, check out a giant 12-page preview of the new edition, courtesy of Dynamite Comics:

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Xena banner

In a time of ancient gods, warlords and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero.  She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle.  The power…the passion…the danger.  Her courage will change the world.

Xena: Warrior Princess, Sam Raimi’s Emmy Award winning fantasy television series that ran six seasons, is a classic among genre fans.  Lucy Lawless’s heroine Xena and her companion Gabrielle, played by Renee O’Connor, provided us with strong characters from the earlier Hercules: The Legendary Journeys series and took us through adventures even more fun than what we saw with Hercules.  A new television series is in the works, but meanwhile a new comic book monthly will fill the gap as we wait for that new series.

Next week, for the first time in eight years, Xena will headline a comic book monthly, published by Dynamite Comics.  The series will be written by Genevieve Valentine with artwork by Ariel Medel.

Xena2016-01-A-Land-34865    Xena2016-01-A-Land

Here is the description from the publisher:

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MissFury201601CovALotay    MissFury2016-01-Cov-B-Lau

We at borg.com could not have been more disappointed when the World War II/superheroine/time travel series Miss Fury was cancelled back in 2014.  We named Miss Fury the Best Comic Book Series of 2013 and our comments were even published in back-page advertising in every Dynamite Comics issue for months.  So we couldn’t be happier when we heard Miss Fury is returning in a new monthly series.  We previewed Issue #1 of Volume 2, arriving at comic book stores everywhere today, and love the intrigue in this latest chapter.  This incarnation of Miss Fury may remind modern audiences of Marvel’s Agent Carter.  By day she is smart and does her job.  By night she wears a dark supersuit and sleuths out secrets, beats the feathers out of anyone who gets in her way, and looks after her country’s interests while all the good men have gone away to fight a war.  With Miss Fury, think Agent Carter, but maybe an Agent Carter in a supersuit who is not above some bloody hand-to-hand combat.

Miss Fury has been around much longer than Agent Carter.  In fact she is probably the first superheroine in comics.  We discussed her previously at borg.com here and here.

Miss Fury image

Corinna Bechko serves as writer on the new series with artwork by Jonathan Lau and colors by Vinicius Andrade.  Someone has broken into Marla Drake’s offices in New York City.  Unfortunately for the thieves, Miss Drake aka Miss Fury is at those offices during the break-in.  What secrets did they get away with?  How will it affect her firm’s deal with the Brazilians, and how will it all tie back to the war effort?  Look for action, action, and more action in this new series.

As an added bonus for those who missed Dynamite Comics’s earlier reboot, a new second compilation trade paperback of Miss Fury, Volume 1 is hitting the stands:

MIssFuryVol2TPBCov300Final

Check out this preview of Miss Fury, Volume 2, Issue #1, courtesy of Dynamite Comics:

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Hellboy in Mexico

Mike Mignola’s Hellboy is doing some traveling in his next trade edition coming next week from Dark Horse Comics.  In 1856 the red, brick-armed, demon with sawed-off horns called Hellboy journeyed across Mexico in a five-month blur of drinking with wrestlers and fighting along the way against monsters.  A few months later some agents found him blacked out in a bar near Morales.  This is Hellboy In Mexico, Hellboy’s own Lost Weekend story.  It’s a good assemblage of funny encounters in nicely creepy locales.

Mignola serves as writer and creator of the stories, with artwork by Mignola, Richard Corben, Mick McMahon, Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba, and color work by Dave Stewart.  Corben’s work really shines.  He evokes the elaborate styling of Alex Niño in his Aztec environments, while Corben’s version of Dr. Frankenstein has a crazed Robert Crumb quality.  Mignola’s style is a constant, and his work–and the entire book–is a great start point for anyone who thinks they might like the character, or fans of the two Hellboy movies.

Hellboy in Mexico cover

Vampire hunting with luchadores, searching for Aztec gods, fighting evil turkeys and Frankenstein’s monster, drinking way too much tequila, and a bad marriage–this is one of Hellboy’s strangest, and maybe even one of the best, collections of his adventures so far.  Check out a preview below after the break.

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Tech Manual A

Although the film is taking its lumps in the critics’ arena, you can’t deny that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has plenty of clever new tech to show off, especially for the newest big-screen version of Batman.  Not only do we have a new Batsuit, we have Bat armor, and a new arsenal of fun toys aka weaponry.  And then there are the vehicles–a new Batmobile, a new Batwing.  Any art director that gets to dabble in the world of Batman knows what it’s like to be a kid with the keys to the candy store and whether you’re a fan or not of Zack Snyder’s story, he did manage to create an interesting new look for DC on film.

A new book from Titan Books takes a detailed and deep dive into the making of the movie. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Tech Manual, a full-color, quality hardcover released this month, is a nicely crafted behind the scenes tie-in, offering plenty of cross-appeal.  If you’re a fan of the movie, or if you’re a fan of Batman and Superman at all, you’ll enjoy this look behind the scenes at the props and costumes of the film.  If you’re a fan of the moviemaking process, you’ll appreciate the presentation of the set design in hundreds of images and interviews about the creative process.  And if you’re looking to cosplay Batman, Superman, or the new Wonder Woman, you now have unprecedented access to detailed costume photos, especially for Batman, with all you need to fabricate your own utility belt, cowl, cape, and Batarangs.

Bat Supes A

Most of the book is about Batman, primarily since the Superman of this new film is in essence the Superman from Man of Steel–so little was needed to be updated for this movie, whereas Batman and the Batcave were entirely re-imagined.  Superman and Wonder Woman and their costumes only receive a few pages each.  The book features concept art, blueprints, set design and construction detail, and graphic design pieces made for the movie.  Look for interviews with concept artists, the Batmobile builder, the propmaster responsible for weapon design, and director Zack Snyder, all providing insight into the movie’s visual narrative.

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Firefly Cargo Crate poster

Loot Crate and QMx has answered Funko’s Star Wars Smuggler’s Bounty bi-monthly box service with a new bi-monthly box for Firefly fans, the Firefly Cargo Crate.  Somehow Firefly licensees continue to keep coming up with interesting new ways for fans of the 14-episode series (and tie-in film) to show-off their fandom.  The first Firefly Cargo Crate is sure to appeal to both the average and die-hard fan, focusing on Jewel Staite’s Kaylee Frye, the Serenity’s lovable girly and tech-savvy mechanic.  Since the second crate’s theme will be Adam Baldwin’s Jayne Cobb, it appears at least for now each crate will feature a key cast member.

We were curious what Loot Crate would include for $39.99.  Certainly you’d expect at some point to see one of Jayne’s mom’s cunning hats or one of his T-shirts.  But Firefly fans already have those, right?  Luckily QMx has plenty of items to select from in its arsenal, and delivered the goods on its first crate.  Let’s look through what you get.

Kaylee Bear reveal at 2016 Toy Fair

The two big items are a QMx mini-master figure of Kaylee and a Kaylee plush Teddy Bear, first revealed this year at Toy Fair in New York City.  You don’t remember Kaylee having a bear on the show?  Think of this more like Funko Pops! only with bears.  They look great, are darned cute, and you can envision an entire line of these bears for all sorts of licensed franchises.  The Jayne version (shown above with the Kaylee version at QMx’s Toy Fair display) looks great, too.

Firefly cargo crate box

Next you have the smaller items:  you get a QMx QBits PVC figure of either Jayne or Simon, five QMx Kaylee “Shindig Parasols” to stick in your favorite beverage, two metal pins (one mailed separately with the Serenity and one featuring Kaylee’s quote “Everything’s Shiny Cap’n”), and a set of two extra playing cards for the Firefly board game (we got two sets in our box).  You also get a pair of concept art drawings of the Reaver ship on sturdy card stock.  We expect to see more paper inserts like this, and think this box is a great opportunity for inclusion of replicas from the show like the memorable paper money.

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Last Starfighter clip

Greetings, Starfighter.  You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada

It’s no secret that we at borg.com are fans of sci-fi videogames–especially if they are part of a classic sci-fi movie like Tron or The Last Starfighter.  Thanks to the freeware programmers over at RogueSynapse you can download a freeware version of a brilliant, true looking version of The Last Starfighter as seen in the movie right now, and spend the rest of the weekend mastering your Starfighter skills.

Grig and Centauri would be proud.  Our apologies to your spouse.  The picnic will probably get rained out anyway.

Oh, and you’re welcome.

Starfighter video game screen freeware

Those from the generation that lived through these early video games recall keying in entire games like this that were included in Games or Compute! magazine.  It looked just like this, only it went on for dozens of pages:

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