Archive for November, 2021


Review by C.J. Bunce

Insidious.  That’s the nature of the threat to all life in the trilogy of novels called Star Trek Coda, which winds-up in David Mack’s character- and action-packed novel Oblivion’s Gate, coming to bookstores tomorrow.  Star Wars gave us the Death Star, but at least you could try to negotiate with the Empire.  The enemy here is more like a virus, where resistance may–this time–actually really be futile.

For every effort worth fighting for, somebody will stand in the way, attempting to thwart actions even when they are aimed to benefit everyone.  In this tale that role falls to Will Riker, although readers will find a different twist, different from doppelganger Thomas Riker but also similar, more Tuvix actually.  And despite the twist this Riker is as brilliant as ever.  As with Coda book one, Dayton Ward’s Moments Asunder (reviewed here), and book two, James Swallow’s The Ashes of Tomorrow (reviewed here), Mack pulls some of our favorite supporting characters in for a swan song of epic proportions.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

When I was a kid in school, periodically we were given book orders, full of discount versions of books, but also posters and popular magazines like Dynamite, and lots of tie-ins with the latest news on current movies and TV shows.  Anything Star Wars was quickly added to our book order form, and that’s what Titan’s latest tie-in reminds me of most.  Star Wars Insider: The Galaxy’s Greatest Heroes looks at 16 of the biggest heroes of the franchise from the creators and actors behind them.  But after nearly 45 years, the book allows a greater opportunity for even more people behind the scenes to offer their commentary on fan-favorite characters, with something for every Star Wars fan.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The first two episodes–a full third of the series–have arrived for Marvel’s fourth live-action series of the year on the Disney+ streaming platform and it’s a good start, already faring better than those prior series.  Hawkeye is about Jeremy Renner’s unassuming superhero Clint Barton aka Hawkeye from the Avengers movies–and yet it isn’t.  Although the first episode gets off to a slow start, it’s Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, who replaces Hawkeye in the comics, who proves quickly she’s going to be an exciting fixture for the next iteration of the Avengers line-up.  She’s in good company, joining Black Widow’s Florence Pugh’s new Black Widow to take the franchise forward, along with Natalie Portman as new Thor in next year’s movie Thor: Love and Thunder, and Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk in next year’s series She-Hulk. 

Hawkeye is billed as a holiday show and it is, but it falls short in that department, probably because Marvel/Disney didn’t use a key arrow in its quiver: the creator of your second favorite Christmas movie.

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A galaxy of ships is getting even bigger.  Hero Collector’s famous collection of model ships of the Star Trek line continues with the launch of three new ships from Star Trek: Discovery.  The U.S.S. Discovery-A (Refit), Section 31 Deimos-Class and Cleveland Booker’s ship will ready fans for the show’s fourth season now getting underway.  These ships continue to fill in the giant Star Trek: Universe collection, which most recently showcased starships from Season 1 of Star Trek: Picard. 

Take a look at some high-quality images of these new releases below, now available for preorder here direct from Hero Collector and available soon here at Amazon:

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It’s the ultimate subscription box… or cube.  Only it’s a one-shot purchase that will give Star Trek fans something to look forward to for 24 days.  And it may just give your postal carrier a hernia.  It’s a hefty, giant reproduction of The Borg Cube in the first ever Star Trek Collector’s Advent Calendar, new this year from Hero Collector.  Collectors of Star Trek character pins will especially want to ask Santa for this prize, but it features enough variety that there is sure to be something to share with a house full of Trek fans.  It’s a box that reminds us of the old Firefly subscription crates–with similar variety and quality–a few big items and several smaller items.

The big wins include a first warp flight-inspired espresso mug for your raktajino, original series-era bridge screen-inspired coasters, and some NextGen socks, but that’s all we’re saying (OK, just a bit more below).  Act fast to get it soon: Pre-order here direct from Hero Collector, offered at a discount from SRP as of today’s date.  We didn’t find this available anywhere else.

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We’ve seen some good variants on classic board games introduced over the years by USAopoly, and this next merger will appeal to fans of Dungeons & Dragons’ recent years of comic book stories.  Clue: Dungeons & Dragons is a licensed update to the 2001 edition of the game with new characters, playing pieces, and gameboard.  It’s the game of Clue with a Dungeons & Dragons theme, a good way to pull in younger players who aren’t yet ready for roleplaying games, but want to join in with stories of fun fantasy adventurers like Minsc and Boo.

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Next year Firefly is getting a reboot–a jump start–as its current monthly series from BOOM! Studios winds down.  The series will be titled All-New Firefly, and it catches up with the crew of the Serenity following the events of the movie Serenity.  Kaylee Frye is now Captain Frye, stepping into Mal Reynolds’ shoes, taking on the same kinds of jobs fans of the TV series will be familiar with.

The series will be written by David M. Booher with artwork by Jordi Pérez.  Primary cover art will be by Mona Finden, with variant covers from Dan Mora, Ethan Young, Dani Strips, and Junggeun Yoon.

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Although Sarah Michelle Gellar herself is only 44, BOOM! Studios and 20th Television is taking Buffy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame into her 50s .  It’s a new limited monthly series called Buffy the Last Vampire Slayer Think Old Man Logan, Old Man Hawkeye, or Old Man Quill–or a much younger Old Laurie Strode or Old Sarah Connor–with a middle-aged, butt-kicking superheroine–and you’ll see where Buffy is heading.  And from the first looks at some variant comic book covers and concept art, Xander and Spike are coming along for the ride.  Take a look at some covers and art from the series below.

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Milla Jovovich’s badass superheroine Alice in the Resident Evil franchise, from 2002’s first film through five sequels–Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)–has given us the 21st century version of Ellen Ripley and Sarah Conner.  And speaking of Connor, the trailers for the next chapter of Resident Evil, a prequel called Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, looks a lot like Terminator 3–plus lots of zombies.

Check out the first trailer and a profile on Hannah John-Kamen’s character Jill Valentine, below:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s a rare thing.  For more than 50 years TV series have fought back after cancellation to snatch a TV movie or several (see The Incredible Hulk and Veronica Mars) or holiday special (see Columbo, Kojak, The Brady Bunch, and a lot of classic TV) or moved to another network (see Medium and Community) or extra seasons years later (see Twin Peaks and The X-Files) or even a big screen movie (see Serenity) but rarely capture the spark of the original.  Let Psych join Longmire and Leverage as the rare exception.  The second “sequel to a sequel,” Psych 3: This is Gus, arriving this weekend on Peacock, is a marked improvement on the first two movies, showing that James Roday (now reclaiming his real name as James Roday Rodriguez) and Dulé Hill′s hilarious crime fighting duo “still got it.”  Better yet, the entire gameplay of the storytelling is back, thanks to creator, writer, and showrunner Steve Franks giving fans a lighthearted mystery just as witty and silly and fun as an original episode from Psych′s eight-season run.

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