Archive for April, 2020


Review by C.J. Bunce

While most of the comic book industry is on hold resulting from the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we’re looking back to some recent books you may want to give a try while you’re sheltering at home or recuperating from work and in need of some good distractions.  One of those books continues a series bellwethered by one of our favorite artists, J.K. Woodward, known for his beautiful illustrations in the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover miniseries Assimilation², the IDW adaptation of Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever, the covers of the Star Trek/Green Lantern crossover miniseries, the jaw-dropping, photo-real paintings bringing the crew of the USS Enterprise-D into the mirror universe in Mirror Broken, and Star Trek 20/20, a tale of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in his USS Stargazer years.  Continuing his expanded universe of Star Trek’s mirror realms is the winter release Star Trek Voyager: Mirrors and Smoke, where Woodward partnered with writer Paul Allor (Clue, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe) to at last bring the characters of Star Trek Voyager (my own favorite Star Trek television series) into Trek’s infamous mirror universe.

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If you’ve finally caught up with the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard, now would be a good time to go back and check out IDW Publishing’s three-part prequel comic book series, which is scheduled to be released in trade paperback form this summer.  Star Trek Picard: Countdown is IDW’s latest Star Trek prequel series, following series like the stellar Star Trek: Countdown, where comic book readers first (and last) saw retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek canon, and Star Trek Discovery: The Light of Kahless, the lead-in to the Star Trek: Discovery TV series.

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picard

Now that the series has wrapped, a new hardcover book from Titan is taking a look at the long-awaited return of Patrick Stewart as beloved Star Trek Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Via a series of interviews with cast members and key crew, Star Trek: Picard–The Official Collector’s Edition provides fans of the CBS All Access streaming service show Star Trek: Picard with insight into the latest generation of Starfleet tales.  Now a retired admiral, Picard sets off on what might be a lost cause, protecting a young woman who may have ties to Data, the android who gave his life to save Picard the last time we saw the characters on the big screen in 2002’s Star Trek Nemesis.

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cthulhu 1

Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

We’re big fans of James Lovegrove here at borg.  This time, I managed to beat C.J. to one of the books!  Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows is the first volume in Lovegrove’s The Cthulhu Casebooks trilogy, an alternate history of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson’s adventures that sets the record straight about their real cases, those steeped in the paranormal and supernatural.  As the series title suggests, the trilogy draws on the canon not just of Arthur Conan Doyle, but of Lovegrove’s “distant American ancestor,” H.P. Lovecraft.  The result is a lively and somehow entirely natural mash-up.  (See our previous review of the final volume, Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea-Devils, here).

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extraction clip

Review by C.J. Bunce

Thor’s gotta Thor.  In the first scene of the new Netflix action drama Extraction, we catch up with Chris Hemsworth in Australia jumping off a Brazil-esque cliff with the same nonchalance he applied to cut the head off of Thanos.  Here Hemsworth plays Tyler Rake, an ex-soldier turned mercenary with nothing left to live for, taking on his next assignment–a suicide mission for anybody else that he accepts with that bravado the actor regularly taps into whether he’s saving a Starfleet ship in Star Trek (2009) or the Earth from aliens in Men in Black International.  This is another role perfectly suited to Hemsworth’s charm and humor, although the humor part is dialed back this round.

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Baby Yoda 1

Plenty of genre television is out there right now for viewers at home to consume.  But discovering that one that is so exceptional is truly an exciting thing.  So you might stumble through Tales from the Loop or Locke & Key or Briarpatch and give up before you even get to the halfway point, but then you land on The Mandalorian and know what great genre television has the potential to be.

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COVID Sesame Street

Your favorite characters from Sesame Street will be featured in a special town hall episode this weekend to help kids and parents discuss questions and concerns about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  This pandemic can be scary for kids, so The ABCs of Covid 19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Parents will tackle issues including education, anxiety, screen time, and playdates.

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Leverage cast b

The rich and powerful, they take what they want.  We steal it back for you.  Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys.  We provide… Leverage.

Some television series work because the cast has a chemistry that drives viewers back for more each week.  Even if they have a repeat framework, it doesn’t matter, and even if you swap out a character or two (or more) along the way, it still works.  If you watch police procedurals or crime dramas, it’s why you come back for more, whether it’s Law & Order, Castle, or Without a Trace, all the way back to The Equalizer or Dragnet, and even earlier… the list goes on and on.

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Marvin

It looks pretty close.  About like Who Framed Roger Rabbit as far the artwork is concerned.  And the voices are close, too.  If it’s anything like another reboot of a classic animated property, Blue Sky’s The Peanuts Movie–which deftly re-created the looks and voices of Charlie Brown and his friends–this may be something worth checking out.  It’s the latest Warner Brothers property making its way to the new HBO Max streaming service coming in May.  Yep, Looney Tunes are back.  The artwork, the bright colors, the classical music, those familiar animal friends (and Marvin and Elmer).  Yes, the trailer for the new cartoons looks pretty darned close.

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Perry Mason seriesThe next detective-mystery crime series from HBO is going to be a bit different for fans of the 1950s-60s television series and even the original novels by Erle Stanley Gardner.  Moodier, darker, and grimier, HBO’s Perry Mason is coming to the cable network with an eight-episode season in only 60 days from now.  The first trailer has arrived with the look of The Untouchables and LA Confidential, and the lead lawyer looking more like Columbo than Raymond Burr’s neat and pressed professional.

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