Category: Fantasy Realms


As Guerrilla’s PlayStation 4 action game Horizon Zero Dawn: The Complete Edition arrives on the Steam gaming platform today, a new comic series begins, expanding on the storyline.  In Titan Comics’ monthly series Horizon Zero Dawn, a hunter heroine named Aloy adventures across a post-apocalyptic land dominated by magnificent, robotic creatures.  Aloy joins another hunter heroine, the noble Talanah, after the events of the game, as humanity fights for survival on a new earth.  Co-created by one of the writers of the Horizon Zero Dawn game, the comic catches up with Aloy as she meets a new breed of mechanized killers.  Check out a preview of the first issue of the series below.

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Before the actual Ghostbusters returns next year with its sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife, you can relive the theme in a new Amazon series.  Another new 2020 television series previewed at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con 2020 that is coming your way features the stars of the popular Cornetto trilogy horror-comedies Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End, and Hot Fuzz (plus Paul, and the series Spaced).  Nick Frost takes the lead over Simon Pegg this time in Truth SeekersPegg plays his boss, the head of a broadband company who may have his own secrets.  The eight-episode, half-hour series follows Frost as Gus, an Internet installer who is also a ghostbuster.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Come, let us be quick.  The crumbling world will not wait for heroes who pause.

Returning with a story at the very foundations of Dungeons & Dragons today is fantasy author R.A. Salvatore with the final novel in his latest Drizzt Do’Urden trilogy and his 34th Drizzt novel overall, Relentless.  In this third act everything is at stake for the friends of the dark elf ranger, especially for his mother, his father, and his wife, as Salvatore takes readers back to the very circumstances of Drizzt’s birth–and reaches far into his future.  The plot switches from skirmishes and battles to the careful ministrations of dark influences in the matriarchal society of Menzoberranzan and the reactions and responses of everyone to them.  Available here at Amazon today, the release is also nicely timed to the forthcoming 5th edition of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden–Salvatore first presented Drizzt in the Ten Towns of that realm three decades ago.

Plus, bugbears, yochlolk, and glabrezu–oh, my!

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Last year at San Diego Comic-Con we got our first look at season one of His Dark Materials, BBC and HBO’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s popular fantasy novels, so it’s no surprise the second season trailer premiered at this year’s Comic-Con@Home.  Logan star Dafne Keen returns as Lyra to lead a cast including Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ariyon Bakare, Andrew Scott, Amir Wilson, and newcomers to the series this season, Terence Stamp, Jade Anouka, and Simone Kirby.

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The showrunner and cast of History’s Vikings, including showrunner and writer Michael Hirst and actors Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, and Clive Standen, who we saw at their first Comic-Con back in 2013, invaded Comic-Con this weekend with a new preview for the last time.  That’s a virtual invasion, because of course this year it’s San Diego Comic-Con@Home, but as panels go this was just as you’d see at any ordinary SDCC, but without the lines and squinting from the back of Hall H.  Hirst and actors Fimmel, Winnick, and Standen were joined this year by actors Alex Ludwig and Jordan Patrick Smith, to discuss the fates of Fimmel and Winnick’s characters on past episodes, the six seasons of the series, and what’s next.

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In a normal year for San Diego Comic-Con, we at borg would be taking photos and checking out the new products, panels, and movie trailers, and trying to share as many as possible.  But first we’d go through the badge line and get our annual, over-sized haul bag, which we’d probably keep folded up anyway because it makes it difficult to move around.  But with that bag is the annual “Comic-Con book,” which is not a comic book, but an official book about half of a medium-sized city telephone directory (what’s a telephone directory?).  The book would be full of discussions about anniversaries of comic and pop culture events and salutes to individuals who have gained some portion of iconic status for fanboys and fangirls everywhere.  But you never read this during con week.  Why?  You’re too busy trying to cram in all you can before the show is over.  Sometimes you don’t even find this book until two months after you get back home after the con and are revisiting your swag.  This year, the SDCC staff has made it possible for everyone to download a copy of that book.

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Why do you wear a mask?

I think they are just terribly comfortable.  I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

Since–like everyone else–actors are unable to do their jobs until the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, many have offered up some of their time over the past 120 to 150 days to provide fans with extra interviews, table reads (like the Community table read we discussed here at borg), and comic-cons at home, creating some content for the fan base we wouldn’t have otherwise had access to without this strange new normal of sheltering at home, social distancing, and masks.  If you don’t subscribe to or know what Quibi is, you may have missed the latest–an ensemble of actors from popular to more obscure re-enacting scenes from Rob Reiner’s fan-favorite fantasy, comedy, and romance, The Princess Bride.

The style is all intentionally low budget–think of the kind of backyard films you might have made as a kid, and in fact, the film is called Home Movie: The Princess Bride But it’s great fun, all filmed with quarantine safety rules in place (those filming together were already living together), and the kind of thing any classic film fan base would be overjoyed to see created.  The best part is learning who had actual historical costumes in their closet to work with (Mad Men man Jon Hamm had a Renaissance shirt in his closet, as did comedic actors Neil Patrick Harris and David Spade, and Rogue One’s Diego Luna), those who didn’t, and who might be better actors than you’ve given them credit for.

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In the past ten years at borg, the best fantasy adventure series we encountered was both a series of novels and a television series.  When you think of epic adventures we may immediately think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, George Lucas’s Star Wars, cinematic international stories of Akira Kurosawa like The Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, and Rashomon, classic fantasy like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Conqueror, and historical fiction like Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, C.S. Forester’s Lieutenant Hornblower, and even further back into the past tales like Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte De’Arthur, the Maya’s Popul Vuh, the Old English Beowulf, the Old Norse Poetic Edda, and even the stories of Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey.  All of these are tapped for inspiration by writers in one way or the other each year.  But there’s an equally incredible series from the past century that has been read by more than 300 million readers that we’ve recommend, which fully belongs among these classic works–Jin Yong′s Legend of the Condor Heroes, and the third volume, A Snake Lies Waiting, will be coming soon to a bookstore near you.  We have a first look at the cover for the volume 3 above and the fourth volume, A Heart Divided, below, arriving in bookstores next year.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The new Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition adventure Mythic Odysseys of Theros has an inspired twist on the mythology and real world of the Ancient Greeks, creating a bit of a mirror fantasy setting that is still nicely footed in that world.  The new campaign, which arrives online and in game shops July 21, has a very different look and feel from your typical D&D sourcebook.  You’ll harken back to when you first imagined living among a pantheon of dueling Gods, and encountering your first images of hydras, hippocamps, krakens, and chimera (or watched Clash of the Titans).  And a book full of some enticing new maps will keep you absorbed in hours of roleplay this summer, even if you’re needing to make it all work with your friends over Zoom instead of in person.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

On the heels of heavy-hitting, big-budget, high-energy, and fun Netflix direct-to-TV action movies as good as theatrical releases like 6 Underground and Extraction, it’s a shame Netflix’s next direct-to-TV release action movie is more misfire than fireworks.  Academy Award-winning actor Charlize Theron stars as a leader of the next take on Assassin’s Creed in Skydance Media’s The Old Guard, with a script by Greg Rucka based on his comic book mini-series (with artist Leandro Fernández), directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees).  Unfortunately poor dialogue, a weak script, slow pacing, and uninspired execution in the face of so much good alternative content available makes Netflix’s latest one easy to skip.

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