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    The science fiction novel is set 100 years after the collapse of America.

    News Kayti Burt
    May 17, 2017

    Netflix doesn't seem poised to slow down its content production pace anytime soon, which is fine with us. Especially given that Deadline just announced that the streaming content giant has bought the film rights to J.G. Ballard's Hello America, a science fiction novel set in a future, dystopian America. (Dystopians... so hot right now.)

    Written in 1981, Hello America takes place in an America a century following the financial collapse (and, in the novel, ecological collapse). The country has been largely abandoned... until a group of new pioneers decide to go on a voyage of rediscovery. What could possible go wrong? (Hint: the answer to that question involves a charismatic leader with a nuclear arsenal at his disposal.)

    Much of the novel is set on a steamship as it makes its way across the ocean from England, trying to determine the source of the nuclear fallout their departure country is currently experiencing. Hopefully, the film adaptation leans into this setting, as, in my opinion, there are not nearly enough science fiction films set on steamships.

    The Hello America film will be produced by Scott Free, aka Ridley Scott's production company. Scott Free is also producing War Party starring Tom Hardy for Netflix.


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    Neil Marshall's Hellboy reboot is on the way, and it could begin filming as soon as September! Here's our first look...

    News John SaavedraSimon Brew
    May 17, 2017

    We've got some promo art for the Hellboy movie reboot. Here's the Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen concept art (via IGN), drawn by Hellboy artist Mike Mignola...

    The art is currently on display at the Cannes Film Festival. Classy.

    In case you haven't heard: The upcoming Hellboy movie won't be directed by Guillermo del Toro. In fact, it won't take place in the movie universe del Toro crafted at all. This new Hellboy movie will be a reboot directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent), and David Harbour (Stranger Things) is set to star as the titular demon himself. The film will be R-rated.

    Hellboy creator Mike Mignola made the announcement on Facebook:

    According to THR, neither del Toro nor Ron Perlman, who played Hellboy in the original two films, are involved. It makes sense since just back in February del Toro announced that Hellboy III was not going to happen, seemingly ending the character's big screen efforts for good. 

    How far along is the reboot? Well, Millennium, the third studio to tackle a Hellboy movie, is in negotiations with producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin at the moment.

    According to THR, the Hellboy reboot could begin shooting as soon as September, and that’d suggest the movie could be in theaters in early 2019, if not sooner (that’s blatant release date speculation on our part, though).

    That said, there are still a few hurdles to negotiate, and a start date isn’t yet set. But it does seem that there’s a pressing sense of urgency behind getting Hellboy back on the big screen.

    The movie already has a working title, too - Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. The script is being penned by Andrew Cosby, Christopher Golden, and Mignola himself.

    That working title should raise some eyebrows as it refers to a specific character from the comics. To reveal too much about this character would be a MAJOR spoiler, so all I'll say is that the Queen of Blood is one of the most powerful witches in the Hellboy universe. If this reboot follows Mignola's comics closely, Hellboy is about to face quite the adversary. She has a particular taste for ripping out the hearts of her enemies...

    Cosby told SilverScreenBeat that we should expect a much darker film than past adaptations. Said Cosby:

    “I can’t really talk about specifics with regard to the story, which they’re keeping a pretty tight lid on at the moment, but I can say that this is a darker, more gruesome version of Hellboy. Neil said from the very beginning that he wanted to walk a razor’s edge between horror and comic book movie, which was music to my ears, because that’s what I was shooting for in the script, and precisely what Mignola does so well with the comics.”

    The writer also revealed that the first draft of the script is complete. 

    “Honestly, everyone has just been working overtime to bring that Mignola magic to the big screen. The script is done, but work will continue as we move forward, always trying to make it the best it can be.”

    More on the Hellboy reboot as we learn it!

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    The Disaster Artist, the movie about the making of one of the worst movies in cinematic history, is out in December from A24.

    News Gavin Jasper
    May 17, 2017

    If there was a Mount Rushmore for bad movies, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room would get a spot on that mountain. Celebrated in the same vein as TheRocky Horror Picture Show, the tragic drama has amassed a cult following since its release in 2003. Unlike most cinematic atrocities, there’s a weird draw to its existence. There’s a unique flavor to its badness and everything about it is utterly fascinating. That’s to be expected when your movie is written, directed, produced, and stars someone as enigmatic and unexplainable as Wiseau.

    So legendary is the movie and its creation that Seth Rogan and James Franco are adapting the book into a feature film, with Franco both directing and playing the role of Wiseau. His brother Dave Franco will be playing Sestero. The film, which screened as a work in progress at South by Southwest earlier this year, is now set for a Dec. 8 U.S. release from A24 and New Line Cinema.

    The story behind the movie is quite infamous. Greg Sestero played the role of Mark in the movie, and as a normal human being who got roped into this headshaking experience, he took it upon himself to write a book on the making of The Room. In 2013, he released The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Madethat explained the behind-the-scenes goings on and painted Wiseau in a light that made him increasingly bizarre, psychotic, disturbing, and even sympathetic.

    Here's a picture of the Franco brothers in makeup:

    Oh hi.

    The images don’t end there. See, the movie will feature the likes of Hannibal Buress, Kate Upton, Rogan himself, and Zac Efron. Efron will be playing actor Dan Janjigian, who had a brief role in The Room as violent and loud drug dealer Chris-R.

    Here he is in action:

    You can leave comments below or you can just leave them in your pocket.

    Gavin Jasper is more pumped for this movie than he is for Star Wars and Captain America. Follow him on Twitter, ha ha!


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    Need help figuring out where to begin your Star Wars adventure? Check out our beginner's guide to the canon timeline!

    Feature Megan CrouseJohn Saavedra
    May 19, 2017

    There's no doubt that Star Wars: The Force Awakens ushered in an entirely new generation of fans looking for more adventures in the galaxy far, far away. But with the whole issue of Legends canon vs. the new canon and a whole slate of new books, comics, and movies arriving in the next few fears, it can be hard to figure out where to start. Luckily for you, it's become a bit easier to dive into the canon materials now that a clear line has been drawn between Legends (pre-Disney) and new canon (post-Disney) stories, but that new material is quickly growing, too.

    In order to help new fans get a clear look at the official Star Wars timeline, we've put together a list of the most central Star Wars material and how it relates to the movies. What won't you see on this list? Some Star Wars Insider short stories, Star Wars Rebels Magazine comics, some Disney novelizations, such as The Princess, The Farmboy, and The Scoundrel, or upcoming books. Star Wars Insider stories have been included where we felt they contributed most to the overarching timeline, or even if we just felt they were particularly good.

    This timeline is intended to help you find the the best jumping-on point. (There's always the "pick up whatever you find first" approach, though.) Dates are sometimes approximate, and are based on years before (BBY) and after (ABY) the Battle of Yavin, equivalent to A New Hope, as per the official canon chronology.

    Buy all your Star Wars movies, books, comics, and merch here!

    32 BBY - Darth Maul

    Written by Cullen Bunn

    Art by Luke Ross

    Set before the events of The Phantom Menace and the villain's first demise at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, this comic book miniseries follows Darth Maul in the early days of his apprenticeship under Darth Sidious. While he's not allowed to engage the Jedi just yet, Maul still manages to come face to face with a young Jedi Padawan during one of his missions for the Dark Lord of the Sith. The events of the series show how the dark side makes Maul more powerful but also incredibly flawed.

    32 BBY - The Phantom Menace 

    Directed & Written by George Lucas

    Related Article: How The Phantom Menace Teaser Trailer Became a Cinematic Event

    29 BBY - Marvel's Obi-Wan & Anakin 

    Written by Charles Soule

    Art by Marco Checchetto

    This comic series, written by Charles Soule and penciled by Marco Checchetto, is Disney’s first foray into deep Prequel territory, without even The Clone Wars to hang on to. Devoid of any ancillary material. Obi-Wan & Anakin paints a slightly different picture of the iconic Jedi team-up than the Legends stories did before. Anakin is a headstrong tinkerer, but there is also an edge of vengefulness or self-hatred around him in the first issue, when he summons a hologram of Darth Maul that surprises and disgusts the Jedi Council.

    The series expands on how Anakin’s life as a slave affects the way he views the Jedi. This isn't an easy apprenticeship for either Jedi, but we know that it’s leading up to at least some camaraderie by the time of Padme’s attempted assassination in Attack of the Clones.

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    22 BBY - Attack of the Clones 

    Directed by George Lucas

    Written by George Lucas & Jonathan Hales

    22-19 BBY - The Clone Wars 

    Created by George Lucas

    Related Article: 6 Episodes That Will Make You a Fan of The Clone Wars

    21-17 BBY - Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

    Written by James Luceno

    Before Jyn Erso embarked on her fateful mission to steal the plans to the Death Star from the evil Empire in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, she lived on Coruscant with her parents, Galen and Lyra. Galen is a scientist who means to use his kyber crystal research to produce renewable energy for the galaxy, but his friend Orson Krennic has very different plans. The scientist doesn't know that he's actually helping create a weapon for the Death Star!

    19 BBY - Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir 

    Written by Jeremy Barlow

    Art by Juan Frigeri

    Although Mother Talzin appeared to have perished in The Clone Wars, she returns in what may or may not be a spiritual form during the many battles in Son of Dathomir. This comic miniseries, like Dark Disciple, was adapted from unused scripts from The Clone Wars, and is something of a battle royale, pitting Darth Maul against a variety of foes, including Count Dooku and General Grievous.

    Related Article: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Darth Maul

    19 BBY - "Kindred Spirits" 

    Written by Christe Golden

    Often, Star Wars Insider stories will tie directly to one of the recently released novels, exploring side characters or presenting scenes before or after the book. In the case of "Kindred Spirits," the author was also the same: Christie Golden penned this tale of Asajj Ventress finding an unlikely ally shortly before Dark Disciple. Readers interested in the bounty hunter persona Ventress adopted during The Clone Wars might especially appreciate the tone of this one, which also features another tough female character.

    19 BBY - Dark Disciple 

    Written by Christie Golden

    While fans clamored for more of The Clone Wars after the animated series’ cancellation, stories set in this era, and overseen by many of the same writers and producers, began to emerge in different formats. Some unaired episodes of The Clone Wars were aired during conventions or released online; others were adapted into comics, as in Son of Dathomir. Dark Disciple was one of the more high-profile results of this effort, as it is a full-length novel telling the story of Asajj Ventress after her story on the television show had ended.

    Ventress is reluctantly recruited by Quinlan Vos, a morally ambiguous Jedi in pursuit of Count Dooku. Dark Disciple is, in part, a love story, showing Ventress and Vos’ relationships with one another and how that affects their views of the Force. It’s also a war story, with the inventive action typical of The Clone Wars.

    Related Article: Our Review of Dark Disciple

    19 BBY - Revenge of the Sith 

    Directed & Written by George Lucas

    19 BBY - Marvel's Kanan 

    Written by Greg Weisman

    Art by Pepe Larraz

    If you watch Rebels but haven’t read Star Wars books or comics before, Kanan series is a good place to start. The stories alternate between the crew of the Ghost undertaking what at first seems to be a simple mission on Lothal, and Kanan’s memories of Order 66 and his training with his Jedi Master. This is a good way to learn about this fan-favorite character.

    Related Article: Why You Should Be Watching Star Wars Rebels

    19 BBY - Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith

    Written by Charles Soule

    Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli

    This series literally starts at the moment Darth Vader is born, a second after the end of Revenge of the Sith. Unlike Marvel's first Darth Vader series, this new ongoing book tackles the earliest days of Anakin's transformation into the feared Sith apprentice, more machine than man. 

    18 BBY - Ahsoka

    Written by E.K. Johnston

    What happened to former Jedi padawan Ahsoka Tano after leaving the Order in The Clone Wars? This is the story of what led Ahsoka down the path to becoming the Rebel agent Fulcrum. Anyone who loves the character's appearances in the animated series should read this book.

    14 BBY - "Orientation" 

    Written by John Jackson Miller

    Like "Kindred Spirits," John Jackson Miller’s "Orientation" has some of the same characters as the Star Wars novels that came out around the same time. It was packaged along with Lords of the Sith, but touches some other Star Wars material, too.

    Darth Vader is ostensibly the main character of the story, strutting his way around an Imperial training ship. But the other star of this story is Rae Sloane, a young cadet. Remember that name.

    14 BBY - Lords of the Sith

    Written by Paul S. Kemp

    Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine have crash-landed in the dangerous wilderness of Ryloth in this dark side road trip. Lords of the Sith also has a connection to Rebels and The Clone Wars: freedom fighter Cham Syndulla sees a potential advantage for his rebels and tries to assassinate the Sith while they’re working their way through the wilderness.

    The novel explores Vader and Palpatine’s tense power struggles as well as the things that bind them together. Lords of the Sith also has the new canon’s first LGBT character, the slovenly Imperial Moff Mors, who has her own character arc as the story goes on.

    Related Article: Our Review of Lords of the Sith

    14 BBY - Tarkin 

    Written by James Luceno

    Another tale from the dark side, Tarkin shows the history and martial rise of the man who would one day command the Death Star. James Luceno was known for writing big, encyclopedic novels in the Legends timeline—he’s particularly good at fitting different parts of the canon together and talking about the political landscape of the galaxy far, far away. The Tarkinnovel brings both of those things into the new canon, and tells the story of Tarkin’s attempt to retake an experimental starship from Rebel saboteurs.

    Related Article: Our Review of Tarkin

    11-5 BBY - Lost Stars 

    Written by Claudia Gray

    Although Lost Stars spans throughout the Original Trilogy, it starts beforehand, with two young people joining the Imperial Academy. It’s essentially a love story, with Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree still holding their feelings for one another even after Thane joins the Rebellion. This book is also a great look at the psychology of the people inside the two armies.

    The new Star Wars books have dispensed quickly with the idea that all Rebels are noble (or noble scoundrels) and that all Imperial loyalists are scheming. Lots of different things drive people to make their choices in war, and Lost Stars shows that. It also culminates in an exciting battle that ties into The Force Awakens. After reading this one, you’ll never look at Jakku quite the same way again.

    11-2 BBY - Thrawn

    Written by Timothy Zahn

    When the old continuity was turned into Legends, it meant that many of the greatest characters introduced in the old EU were no longer canon. It seems like even that couldn't keep the Empire's greatest tactician down, though. The cold, Chiss admiral Thrawn returns to continuity with this new origin story from writer Timothy Zahn, the man who created the character back in the 90s. 

    11 BBY - A New Dawn 

    Written by John Jackson Miller

    For fans of Rebels, A New Dawn shows the origins of some fan favorite characters and sets the tone for the new canon Imperials. It introduces the ruthlessly efficient Count Vidian, who goes up against Hera and Kanan when the fate of a planet is on the line. Joining them are the unlikely duo of conspiracy theorist Skelly and ex-Imperial surveillance officer Zaluna. Although it explains more about Kanan’s history than Hera’s (more about her can be found in the short story “Mercy Mission,” in the Rise of the Empire collection), A New Dawn is a good piece of the continuity puzzle for Rebels fans.

    It was also the first book in the new canon, making its title doubly appropriate. Author John Jackson Miller was well-known for Legends material, like the novel Kenobi and the Knights of the Old Republiccomic series, before he contributed the first book to the new canon.

    Related Article: Our Review of A New Dawn

    6-4 BBY - Servants of the Empire 

    Written by Jason Fry

    This four-book young reader series follows Zare Leonis, the Imperial cadet who helped Ezra escape the stormtrooper academy in season one of Rebels. Like Rebels itself, the series can be enjoyed by people outside of its grade-school audience, too. Part of the appeal is the characters: the story switches between Zare and his conflicted ideas about the Empire to his friend, hacker Merei Spanjaf, who launches her own investigations while trying to avoid being caught by her security expert mother.

    Zare is on the hunt for his sister, a promising, Force-sensitive Imperial recruit taken by the Grand Inquisitor. Like in A New Dawn, Rebelsfans will be able to find plenty of connections to their favorite characters.

    6 BBY-3 ABY - Battlefront / Battlefront: Twilight Company 

    Video Game Developed by DICE

    Novel Written by Alexander Freed

    Like John Jackson Miller, Battlefront: Twilight Company author Alexander Freed came to Star Wars novels through short stories and comics. His canon short fiction has appeared in Star Wars Insider before (“One Thousand Levels Down” and “The End of History”).

    Twilight Company visits some of the same locations available to players in the 2015 Battlefront video game, but its characters are new and unique. The cynical protagonist is Namir, a soldier who fights doggedly for the Rebellion’s cause without ever really believing that the cause is as noble as others do. He finds an unlikely ally in Chalis, a former Imperial governor whose ruthless plans for the Rebel squad’s success cause some dissent in the ranks.

    Related Article: In Praise of Battlefront's Everi Chalis

    5-2 BBY - Rebels 

    Created by Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, & Carrie Beck

    Related Article: How Rebels and The Clone Wars Saved the Prequels

    0 BBY - Rogue One

    Directed by Gareth Edwards

    Written by John Knoll, Gary Whitta, Chris Weitz, & Tony Gilroy

    0 BBY - A New Hope 

    Directed & Written by George Lucas

    Related Article: The 10 Unsung Heroes Behind A New Hope

    0 BBY - Marvel's Princess Leia 

    Written by Mark Waid

    Art by Terry Dodson

    Many of Marvel’s Star Wars comic series so far take place in the Original Trilogy time period. Before information about The Force Awakens was public, Marvel was already doing all it could with its re-acquisition of the Star Wars brand, launching three ongoing series (Star Wars, Darth Vader, and Kanan), along with a succession of miniseries. The Princess Leia story picks up immediately after the end of A New Hope, touching on Leia’s feelings—or lack thereof—about the destruction of her home planet.

    Although Rebel High Command wants her to keep a low profile, Leia makes it her mission to recruit surviving Alderaanians to the Rebel cause. They are in diaspora, but not all of the people she meets want to go to war. She’s helped by Evaan, a Rebel pilot with a not-so-favorable view of the woman she calls “ice princess.”

    0 BBY - Heir to the Jedi 

    Written by Kevin Hearne

    Heir to the Jedi was published right in the middle of the transition from Legends to new canon. Originally branded as part of the Empire & Rebellion series, along with Razor’s Edge and Honor Among Thieves, it alone of the three books in that series survived the cut-off. Kevin Hearne’s story explains how Luke learned the telekinesis he used in The Empire Strikes Back.

    Since Obi-Wan never taught him that, someone had to encourage Luke to use the Force—and in Heir to the Jedi, it’s Nakari Kelen, a fellow Rebel pilot with whom Luke goes on a mission to retrieve a Rebel codebreaker.

    Related Article: Our Review of Heir to the Jedi

    0 BBY - Marvel's Chewbacca 

    Written by Gerry Duggan

    Art by Phil Noto

    Some time after the events of A New Hope, Chewbacca finds himself comfortably crash-landed on the planet Andelm IV. He’s willing to have a bit of a nap before beginning a leisurely search for parts for his ship, but there are other people on the planet who aren’t so relaxed.

    A girl named Zarro and her father have been conscripted into working essentially as slaves in a mine run by a man who plans to profit off of the Empire. Chewie and Zarro hatch a plan to free her father in this fun, five-issue series with beautiful art by Phil Noto.

    0 BBY - Weapon of a Jedi  

    Written by Jason Fry

    Prolific Star Wars writer Jason Fry tells a quintessential Luke story in Weapon of a Jedi. A young Luke travels to Devaron on a hunch sent by the Force and discovers an ancient Jedi Academy where he can hone his skills—and where he fought with a lightsaber for the first time.

    Although we don’t know for sure whether the Jedi Temple on Devaron will affect the Star Warsuniverse going forward, it’s Luke’s best canon example of a place where Jedi can go to learn, and maybe influenced the academy he eventually built in the New Republic. The book also features flash forwards to Jessika Pava, the Resistance pilot who flew with Poe Dameron at the battle of Starkiller Base.

    Related Article: A History of Lightsaber Design

    0 BBY - Marvel's Star Wars & Darth Vader 

    Star Wars: Written by Jason Aaron, Art by John Cassaday et al

    Darth Vader: Written by Kieron Gillen, Art by Salvador Larroca

    Some of the best—and more surprising—stories in the Marvel Star Wars line come out of the ongoing series, which occur concurrently and crossed over in their first big event, “Vader Down.” The series follows both heroes and villains of the Original Trilogy, including Luke’s earnest, enthusiastic slide into learning how to use his Jedi powers; Vader’s conflicted relationship with Emperor Palpatine and the Sith legacy of betrayal and competition; and Han’s maybe-wife Sana Solo. 

    The longest-running Marvel Star Wars series so far are also the ones that most clearly show how Marvel is handling the core characters going forward, so check these out if you want to see what Luke, Han, and Leia are up to after A New Hope.

    Darth Vader recently wrapped and it's easily one of the best stories to come out of the new EU so far. You NEED to read this series!

    0 BBY - Smuggler’s Run 

    Written by Greg Rucka

    Smuggler’s Run is one in a series of three young reader books put out as part of the Journey to The Force Awakens line. Along with Weapon of a Jedi and Moving Target, Smuggler’s Run follows one member of the Original Trilogy trio and is bookended by scenes set in the Sequel Trilogy era.

    This one focuses on Han Solo and Chewbacca balancing living the lawless life with their work for the Rebellion. Written by Greg Rucka, Smuggler’s Run shows Han as he reluctantly takes on a mission to save a Rebel scout from the Empire.

    Related Article: The History of Han Solo's Blaster

    0 BBY-3 ABY - Marvel's Lando 

    Written by Charles Soule

    Art by Alex Maleev

    Lando, written by Charles Soule, with art from Alex Maleev, shows the suave baron-administrator before he got his title. Lando thinks he has scored big when he plans to steal a valuable starship, but it turns out that the ship once belonged to Emperor Palpatine (and Darth Maul), and there are plenty of unpleasant Sithly surprises in store.

    As well as featuring Lando himself, the comic has a lot of great supporting characters, including mysterious twin aliens and Lobot himself. Watching Lobot’s stoic expressions in The Empire Strikes Back will never be the same after reading this comic.

    0-3 ABY - Marvel's Han Solo

    Written by Marjorie Liu

    Art by Mark Brooks

    3 ABY - The Empire Strikes Back 

    Directed by Irvin Kershner 

    Written by Lawrence Kasdan & Leigh Brackett

    Related Article: Leigh Brackett and The Empire Strikes Back You Never Saw

    4 ABY - Moving Target 

    Written by Cecil Castellucci & Jason Fry

    Leia’s installment of the Journey to The Force Awakens series follows her on a mission to distract the Empire from the Rebellion’s growing fleet—the fleet that will attack the second Death Star at Endor. Her team travels through various adventures in their effort to do that, while Leia weighs her feelings about duty against the idea that she might be sacrificing some Rebel sympathizers in order to buy time for others.

    Like the other two Original Trilogy books in the line, Moving Target is a quintessential Star Warsstory with a few connections to other parts of the saga. The flash forward involves PZ-4CO, the blue droid seen in the Resistance base in The Force Awakens, interviewing Leia for her memoirs.

    4 ABY - Return of the Jedi 

    Directed by Richard Marquand

    Written by Lawrence Kasdan & George Lucas

    4 ABY - Shattered Empire 

    Written by Greg Rucka

    Art by Marco Checchetto

    The timeline between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens is a bit sparse right now, with the Aftermath trilogy expected to fill up the years after Return of the Jedi. Another novel, Bloodline by Claudia Gray, due out in 2016, is set about six years before Episode VII.

    However, Shattered Empire wastes no time in showing where Luke, Han, and Leia were immediately after Return of the Jedi, while also introducing Poe Dameron’s parents. Pilot Shara Bey and soldier Kes Dameron join the Original Trilogy heroes in mopping up what’s left of the Empire on Endor—and find some strange, Force-sensitive trees.

    4 ABY - Aftermath 

    Written by Chuck Wendig

    The first novel set after Return of the Jedi brings a new cast of characters to the story, Rebels who, with varying degrees of reluctance, find themselves embroiled with a meeting of the surviving Imperial officers. Remember Rae Sloane? She’s back, as an admiral this time—and she has her own plans for how to restore the Empire to both greatness and stability.

    Aftermath also stars Norra Wexley, an X-Wing pilot who fought at the Battle of Endor. She has become estranged from her son Temmin, who will one day become “Snap” Wexley of The Force Awakens’ Resistance fighters, and recruits him, plus a bounty hunter and an Imperial deserter, on a quest to find her missing husband. Aftermath will be followed by two sequels, Life Debt and Empire’s End.

    5 ABY - Aftermath: Life Debt

    Written by Chuck Wendig

    Related Article: 11 Things Aftermath Introduces to the Expanded Universe

    5 ABY - Aftermath: Empire's End

    Written by Chuck Wendig

    28 ABY - Bloodline

    Written by Claudia Gray

    Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray gives a clearer picture of the state of the galaxy before The Force Awakens than any other new canon entry. The New Republic has been standing strong for almost thirty years, and the events in the novel tips things toward the chaotic scenario we saw in Episode VII.

    Related Article: Our Review of Bloodline

    28 ABY - "The Perfect Weapon" 

    Written by Delilah S. Dawson

    "The Perfect Weapon" by Delilah S. Dawson was the first short story to feature one of the new characters from The Force Awakens. Like the young reader books listed earlier, it’s part of the Journey to the Force Awakens line, and was released as an ebook and excerpted in Star Wars Insider #163.

    Bazine Netal, the woman who informs the First Order of the Resistance fighters’ presence at Maz Kanata’s castle, works as a bouncer and hired gun in this story. It doesn’t take place at the same time as The Force Awakens, or particularly illuminates Bazine’s actions during the movie, but if you’re interested in her from the few glimpses in The Force Awakens, it might be worth checking out.

    28 ABY - "Bait" 

    Written by Alan Dean Foster

    The Star Wars Insider story that ties most closely with The Force Awakens so far is also tied to "The Perfect Weapon.""Bait" follows Grummgar, the alien seen lounging with Bazine in Maz Kanata’s palace. Like "The Perfect Weapon," it takes place at an unspecified time before the movie and shows a hunting trip that doesn't quite go as expected.

    28 ABY - Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens 

    Written by Landry Q. Walker

    Although four of the stories in this collection were released as ebooks in January, six of them, all by Landry Q. Walker, will only be available once the complete collection hits shelves in April 2016. The anthology tells selected tales from the lives of the denizens of Maz Kanata’s palace, including the Jakku lawman Constable Zuvio and the red-masked Crimson Corsair. The stories follow in the tradition of Legends'"Tales" anthologies that were set in the Original Trilogy, and have some surprising connections to the Prequels.

    34 ABY - Marvel's Poe Dameron

    Written by Charles Soule

    Art by Phil Noto

    34 ABY - Marvel's C-3PO Special

    Written by James Robinson

    Art by Tony Harris

    34 ABY - Before the Awakening 

    Written by Greg Rucka

    There’s something to be said about not having to answer every question about a large science fiction universe in a movie, but for people who have questions about The Force Awakens, this is the book that answers them.

    How did Poe Dameron become part of the Resistance? What was life actually like for Finn in the First Order stormtrooper corps, and why does he make his decision on Jakku? When did Rey hone her piloting skills? Before the Awakening answers all of these questions, as well as tell three fun stories suitable for young readers.

    Related Article: Our Review of Before the Awakening

    34 ABY - The Force Awakens 

    Directed by J.J. Abrams

    Written by Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt, & J.J. Abrams

    Related Article: 10 Reasons We Already Know Rey's Backstory

    Megan Crouse is a staff writer.


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    The Venom spin-off movie at Sony is definitely happening, and now Tom Hardy is confirmed to star as the slobbery one!

    News David Crow
    May 19, 2017

    It looks like a larger shared Spider-Man universe, whether it features Spidey or not, is back on at Sony Pictures. Everyone’s favorite symbiote anti-hero, Venom, will be swinging into theaters sooner than expected on Oct. 5, 2018, and now Tom Hardy is confirmed to be playing the one known to speak in the pural first-person while slobbering about brains and some such.

    Indeed, The Hollywood Reporter first broke on Friday that Hardy is entering final negotiations to star as Venom, and presumably his Eddie Brock alter-ego too. This is obviously a major get for Sony, which views Venom as the kickoff to a major web of interconnected movies. After all, Hardy has action movie credibility after work like Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and especially Mad Max: FuryRoad, and he just nabbed an Oscar nomination too for his work in The Revenant.

    Further, THR suggests that Ruben Fleischer, best known for his work on Zombieland (he also made 30 Minutes or Less), is in negotations to direct the picture, re-confirming our previous report that Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy) was no longer attached to Venom in its current form.

    Sony has since confirmed via Twitter that Hardy has been secured for the role.

    This will be the second major touchstone of 1990s comic book villainy Hardy will take on after previously portraying Bane to iconic results in Christopher Nolan's final Batman picture. However, as this is solely a Venom movie, presumably the film will seek to depict the eponymous character as an anti-hero--this was another facet of his existence in 1990s comics when the character became so popular that Eddie Brock turned from Peter Parker's worst nightmare stalker (and jilted lover in terms of the black gooey, H.R. Giger-esque symbiote) into a decent guy defending the poor from even worse predators and serial killers.

    Previously The Wrap reported Sony Pictures was continuing to have big plans for their Spider-Man license that extends beyond the new series of films starring Tom Holland, who is also appearing in Disney/Marvel Studios’ Avengers crossover events. The Venom movie will take on many of the characteristics of how the spin-off was originally conceived at Sony back when it would have dovetailed into Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man films. At the time Alex Kurtzman was set to direct. Currently, Kurtzman is busy in post-production on Universal Pictures’ The Mummy reboot, which is due out in June. A separate source close to Kurtzman appeared surprised about reports he was back in the picture to direct, and told Den of Geek that Kurtzman is right now focused on getting The Mummy completed and that they have heard nothing about his involvement in a Venom movie.

    Venom, a character best known for his original Eddie Brock alter-ego, first appeared in Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man #299 and was created by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane in 1988. And while he often has been a foil and antagonist to Spider-Man, The Wrap suggests that the Venom movie and any subsequent sequels would be separate and unrelated to the movies that are being co-produced by Marvel Studios. Again, sources have not confirmed the veracity of this. However, it certainly would be an excuse to take Venom to some darker places away from the MCU, much like the highly successful R-rated superhero films recently released by 20th Century Fox with Deadpool and Logan

    There was a Venom screenplay written by Dante Harper (Alien: Covenant) but it now appears that Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg are working on the current version. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing. Venom was previously played by Topher Grace in 2007’s Spider-Man 3.

    Venom Movie Release Date

    Currently, we have had the movie's October 5th, 2018 release date confirmed by Sony, which is also moving Fede Alvarez's The Girl in the Spider's Web to Oct. 19, 2018. A report on My Entertainment World indicates that it's scheduled to shoot this Fall, which would make sense if it's going to make that October 2018 release date.


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    We won't see Guardians of the Galaxy 3 for a while, but we know who we'd like to see in it!

    guardians of the galaxy 2
    The ListsMarc Buxton
    May 19, 2017

    The Guardians of the Galaxy movie was a high risk, high reward situation for Marvel. It was a film that tested the waters to see if characters removed from the perceived a-list of superheroes could make it as a film property. It worked. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opened big, and now Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is definitely happening.

    Fans already know that classic Marvel cosmic concepts like the Kree and the Nova Corps will appear again, but other great Marvel spacefarers are just waiting in the wings for the Marvel Studios machine to call their names. Here is a look at some choice Marvel cosmic characters and concepts that could potentially join the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy 3

    50. Wal-Russ

    First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #271 (1982)

    Created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema

    Hey, Disney, didja know you guys have the rights to a space walrus? Well, when the Mouse finds this little tidbit out, don’t be surprised if we see Rocket pal around with Wal Rus in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Wal Rus was Rocket’s right hand, um, walrus in the raccoon’s pre-Guardians days. Wal Rus was a staunch ally, a great pilot, and like any good space walrus, could turn his tusks into firearms.

    Wal Rus is good in a tussle and is sure to turn up in Marvel’s new Rocket Raccoon comic series. Disney does so love their talking animals, and here’s a marketable piece of walrus just ready for the Disney machine.

    Tusk guns, c’mon now, are we going to pretend that isn’t awesome?

    49. Terrax

    First appearance: Fantastic Four #211 (1979)

    Created by Marv Wolfman and John Byrne

    In the first film, the Guardians faced a space badass with a hammer. Well, for the next film; why not make it a space badass with an ax?

    Terrax is one of the most notorious killers in the Marvel cosmos and was even a chosen Herald of Galactus. We’re not sure if Fox has the rights to Terrax because of the whole Fantastic Four deal, but if they don't, Marvel would have a hard time finding a bigger threat to the Marvel cosmos than Terrax the Tamer, a monstrous force that fought the entire FF to a standstill and was instrumental in the formation of the New Warriors.

    Hell, Vince McMahon could make Terrax versus Drax the main event at WrestleManiaand I’d buy a ticket.  

    48. Monark Starstalker

    First Appearance: Marvel Premiere #32 (1976)

    Created by Howard Chaykin

    Why Monark Starstalker? Well, primarily it’s because the dude’s name is Monark Starstalker. If you are a company and hold the copyright on a swashbuckling space character named Monark Starstalker, by golly, it is your duty to exploit it.

    Starstalker is psychically connected to his ship, he can synch his senses with  robotic bird named Ulysses in order to see, he can appear as anyone through his perception bending nano-cloud, become invisible, and can avoid detection by machine. He is the closest thing Marvel has to a Flash Gordon or a Buck Rogers, and would be an excellent point of view character as Marvel expands their cosmic library of characters.

    Again, I repeat, he’s a blind space swashbuckler that uses a robot bird to see the universe. What James Gunn can do with that...

    47. Shuma-Gorath

    First appearance: Marvel Premiere #5 (1972)

    Created by Robert E. Howard, Steve Englehart, and Frank Brunner

    More of an entity that would most likely appear in Doctor Strange, but as the Guardians traverse the galaxy, it would be pretty cool to see them encounter something Lovecraftian. The coolest part about the cosmic horror Shuma-Gorath is that he was created by none other than Lovecraft contemporary Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan the Barbarian. It would be unforgettable to see some old school cosmic horror pop up in Guardians as well as allowing something created by the great Howard to be part of the Marvel Universe.

    Space can be a very scary place, and if the Guardians have the misfortune of peering beyond the void, Shuma-Gorath awaits. And let’s face it, whether we know it or not, we have all, at some point, wanted to see a tree fight a Lovecraftian nightmare.

    46. Starfox

    First appearance: Iron Man #55 (1973)

    Created by Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich

    He was an Avenger, an Eternal, and has the misfortune of being the brother of the Mad Titan, Thanos. Most of all, Starfox has been a cool and underutilized character in his own right, a roguish love god who enjoys the finer things in life and a great adventurous spirit. As Marvel continues to populate their Cinematic Universe with more and more of their great heroes, let us not forget about Eros, a potential Guardian who could act as a romantic foil in the budding Star-Lord/Gamora relationship or serve as a story point to further the coming of Thanos.

    45. Seekers 3000

    First appearance: Marvel Premiere #41 (1978)

    Created by Doug Moench and Tom Sutton

    The Guardians aren’t the only rag tag group of space misfits flying around Marvel space. They may be obscure, but the crew that appeared in Seekers 3000 is a fondly remembered concept by those lucky enough to have stumbled across their very few appearances in quarter bins.

    The basic concept is the last survivors of Earth looking for a new home, or something, but, the characters and ships are all well-designed and the concept very worthy of exploration. Heck, look at the ship on the cover of Marvel Premiere #41, a film appearance by the Seekers would be the closest thing we could possibly get to a Guardians/Star Trek crossover.

    44. The Stark

    First appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (1990)

    Created by Jim Valentino

    James Gunn and company would have to do some story gymnastics to figure out how this despotic alien race got a hold of Tony Stark’s technology, but fans would lose their minds if this advanced race of alien conquerors appeared. You see, the Stark are an alien race who use Iron Man armor and Stark Tech to conquer planets and spread mayhem. They wrongly worship Tony Stark with a religious fervor and use his inventions to spread terror throughout the galaxy.

    In the original comics, the Stark existed in the far future, but having this race of cosmic villains go up against the Guardians can provide a tether between the world of the Avengers and the world of the Guardians. Heck, Tony Stark joined the Guardians in the comics, the Stark can provide the story impetus to get the character fighting side by side with Star-Lord and Rocket, and we know we all want to see that.

    Just a reminder that the leader of the Stark’s name is Taserface. I just feel you should know that. Sound familiar?

    43. Doctor Minerva

    First appearance Captain Marvel #50 (1977)

    Created byScott Edelman and Al Milgrom

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 moved our team away from the villainy of the Kree, but you have to believe that some Kree could still be out there that have it in for the team that took out Ronan the Accuser. In the comics, Doctor Minerva was a cold and calculating geneticist that wanted to breed with the OG space hero Captain Mar-Vell. When Mar-Vell spurned her advances, Minerva swore to take revenge on the Kree champion turned Earth hero.

    In a future film, just replace Mar-Vell with Peter Quill and you have Guardians' newest lethal lady. Heck. Doctor Minerva would also be an amazing big bad in the coming Captain Marvel film with Brie Larson.

    42. Star Brand

    First appearance: Star Brand #1 (1986)

    Created by Jim Shooter, John Byrne, John Romita Jr.

    Originally relegated to Marvel's New Universe, the hero and concept of the Star Brand, a cosmic tattoo that grants its wearer incredible powers, has become a part of the Marvel Universe proper in the pages of The Avengers. Writer Jonathan Hickman brushed the dust off the Star Brand and created a new character to wield it, introducing a new symbol of cosmic might that could shake up the Marvel Universe proper.

    We all know Marvel loves to introduce concepts in the comics before they appear in a film, so it is conceivable that this new character could be a harbinger to a movie appearance. What better place for the wielder of the ultimate cosmic weapon than in the ultimate cosmic film franchise?

    41. Malevolence

    First Appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy #7 (1990)

    Created by Jim Valentino

    If Mephisto is to arrive in a future Doctor Strange movie, perhaps his coming can be complemented by his daughter Malevolence, a character who has faced the future Guardians in the pages of the '90s comic. She certainly is daddy’s girl, and like Gamora and Nebula she would seek to escape the shadow of her evil father. 

    40. Moondragon

    First appearance: Iron Man #54 (1973)  

    Created by Bill Everett, Mike Friedrich, George Tuska, and Jim Starlin

    She’s Drax’s daughter, that alone makes Moondragon a no-brainer for inclusion. She’s an insanely powerful telepath, during her heel days she roofied Thor, and she has been an Avenger, Defender, and a Guardian. But most of all, during her Guardians days, she gained the ability to transform into a giant dragon, and I for one need to see a raccoon with a machine gun riding a tree riding a dragon. Plus, y’know, Drax’s daughter.

    39. Molecule Man

    First appearance: Fantastic Four #20 (1963)

    Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

    Owen Reece was a sickly young man doted on by his mother. He was a mama’s boy who was abused by the world around him and after an accident, became one of the most powerful beings in the cosmos. With the power to control the very fabric of reality, Molecule Man is a cosmic threat trapped in the body of a man still mourning his mother, a villain who tugs on the heart strings. If Fox doesn’t have the exclusive rights to this reluctant FF villain, Owen Reese could be a worthy candidate for the big bad of Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Marvel’s best villains are the tragic ones, and the timid but nearly omnipotent Molecule Man is as tragic as it comes.

    38. Mangog

    First appearance: Thor #154 (1968)

    Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

    Mangog once defeated Odin in single combat and masqueraded as the king of the gods in order to drain all the gods of Asgard of their life force. So, tell that to Loki...Mangog was replacing Odin before it was cool. In his less glamorous days, Mangog served as a minion of Thanos, a little bit of character history that could serve to thrust the cosmic killer into the film spotlight. Thanos is going to play a huge rule moving forward and he is going to need minions, lackeys, and heavies. Why not use a creature that once defeated Odin to enforce Thanos’ will?

    Plus, we just need to see that awesome Jack Kirby design on the big screen.

    37. The Elders of the Universe

    First appearance: Avengers #28 (1966)

    Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck

    We’ve had The Collector and Grandmaster is on his way to Thor: Ragnarok, but we are dying to see the rest of the cosmic bigwigs known as the Elders of the Universe. The Elders are like the McLaughlin Group but with cosmic demi-gods instead of boring guys in suits. In the comics, it was the Elders that once wielded the Infinity Gems. Thanos took them down one by one to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet. It seems Thanos is going down the same path in the films so perhaps the Elders have a role yet to play.

    Many of the Elders would be perfect foils for the Guardians. Imagine The Champion against Drax or the Gardener against Groot. However you introduce this cosmic council of conceptual beings, they have been a cornerstone of the cosmic side of Marvel for decades.

    36. Kang the Conqueror

    First appearance: Fantastic Four #19 (1963)  

    Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

    Well, someone’s going to have to wield the Time Gem, right? It’s all a matter of TIME (get it?) before Kang pulls the villain card in a future Avengers film. Other than Ultron, Kang is probably the Avengers’ greatest adversary. Who doesn’t want to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe get timey wimey?

    Kang is an evil freakin’ version of Doctor Who, and this complex baddie can be eased into the Marvel Universe via an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Kang’s evil cannot be contained in one movie and it would be a blast to see Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Drax, and Gamora get up to some time shenanigans.

    35. Pip the Troll

    First appearance: Strange Tales #179 (1975)

    Created by Jim Starlin

    Most of the old school Infinity Watch are already part of the first movie, with Drax, Gamora, and Thanos all playing major roles. Well, it just doesn’t seem right to keep Pip, the Troll out of the proceedings. Pip was a long time ally to Adam Warlock just like Gamora and Drax and could add even more humor to the world of the Guardians. Hey...we hear that Peter Dinklage guy is pretty good, and he might just be making an appearance in Avengers: Infinity War.

    34. Eternity

    First appearance: Strange Tales #138 (1965)

    Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko

    I don’t care where and I don’t care how, but somehow, somewhere, Marvel MUST include Eternity in a film. He’s the living embodiment of reality, a universe given sentience- as drawn by Steve Ditko. This needs to happen. Eternity has more of a chance of appearing in a Doctor Strangemovie but, it would be really awesome to see the Guardians' reaction if they were to witness the entire universe...walking around...in a cape. They might be the Guardians of the Galaxy, but Eternity is the Galaxy. He should probably be voiced by Stan Lee or something. 

    33. Firelord

    First appearance: Thor #225 (1974)

    Created by Gerry Conway and John Buscema

    Not many comic beings come with the power levels of Firelord. First appearing in Thor, Firelord became a herald of Galactus, proving his cosmic badassery. Firelord served time with the future iteration of the Guardians and even joined a Guardians spin off team, the Galactic Guardians. This flame haired cosmic powerhouse is every bit as powerful as Thor or the Hulk and has a cool anti-hero vibe that would make him a perfect story engine for a future Guardians film.

    The visual alone could sell Firelord, with his flaming hair and fiery staff, Firelord would just pop on the screen. Firelord also has a fierce temper which could put him at odds with the Guardians or he could even join the team as a powerhouse that rivals Drax.

    32. The Spaceknights

    First Appearance: Rom #1 (1979)

    Created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema

    If Marvel had the rights to Rom you can bet your ass he would be number one on this list, but they don’t, so fans will just have to settle for the Spaceknights, which is okay because they are pretty awesome in their own right. Writer Bill Mantlo created such a riveting back story of the Galador/Wraith War in the pages of Rom, that Marvel could seriously make a trilogy of films about the conflict that would rival the scope of Star Wars.

    Rom was a toy designed by Parker Brothers and licensed by Marvel. It was really just a large space knight toy that made noises, nothing more, but Mantlo and company fleshed out the hunk of plastic to such a degree that the comic lasted much longer on the stands than the toy did on the shelves. In 2000, writer of all things cosmic Jim Starlin introduced Rom’s sons, Balin and Tristan, who become the first of a new generation of Spaceknights, which is a place Marvel films can start if they were inclined to brings the Spaceknights to the big screen. Marvel may not have Rom, but they have all the concepts introduced in Rom, and those concepts are strong enough to become a huge property.

    Swordsman

    First appearance The Avengers #19 (1965)

    Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck

    Mantis was a compelling and hilarious addition to the Guardians, and we want more of the bug lady! Did you know that the comic book version of Mantis was once engaged to the former combat mentor of Clint Barton? After Mantis joined the Avengers, she met and fell in love with the Swordsman. Mantis inspired Swordsman to give up his villainous ways and the two became quite the item. Well, until Swordsman died and was replaced by the spirit of a vegetable alien. But that’s a story for another time...

    With the Guardians on their way to Earth, it would be quite cool indeed if we learned more about Hawkeye’s past and tied that past into the next chapter of Mantis’ cinematic evolution. Swordsman is a master combatant that could hold his own against any Guardian and it would be fitting if one of Marvel’s strangest couples joined together in the always weird world of the Guardians of the Galaxy.


    30. Shocket Raccoon

    First Appearance Howard the Duck #1 (2016)

    Created by Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones

    If you thought Rocket was unique think again. Meet Shocket Raccoon, a female counterpart to Rocket genetically engendered by The Collector to breed with Rocket. Listen, Peter and Gamora are a bee’s eye lash away from hooking up, Drax and Mantis have this strange little almost romance going, so it’s time for Rocket to find love amongst the stars.

    Shocket is every inch the space badass as Rocket and would be a perfect companion for everyone’s favorite intergalactic trash panda. In the comics, Rocket and Howard the Duck help Shocket escape the Collector’s menagerie and all of a sudden, Rocket isn’t so alone in the galaxy. In every film, Rocket finds a bit more heart, maybe it’s time he gave that heart to a woman that was literally made for him. And listen, Shocket is an excellent pilot and likes to make things go boom. The Guardians can always use one more of those types.

    29. Supreme Intelligence

    First appearance: Fantastic Four #65 (1967)

    Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

    Forget Doctor Who’s the Face of Boe, the Supreme Intelligence is sci-fi’s original gross floaty head. The Supreme Intelligence is the master planner of the Kree, a race that featured so prominently in the Guardiansmovie and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. With a Ms. or Captain Marvel film so often talked about, we are going to have to meet the Kree boss sooner or later, and the next Guardians film could be the perfect place. The Supreme Intelligence is also the title Den of Geek editor Mike Cecchini forces his staff to refer to him as.

    28. The Beyonder

    First appearance: Secret Wars #1 (1984)

    Created by Jim Shooter and Mike Zeck

    Want to send a Marvel fan into paroxysms of glee? Just say three words: cinematic Secret Wars. How are the Avengers and Guardians going to end up meeting? (Because they will)

    Well, if not to stop Thanos, then how about Secret Wars, a gathering of Marvel’s greatest in a contest of champions? The Beyonder’s name still carries cache with fans who remembers Marvel’s first crossover event, but please Marvel, lose the soul glow ‘fro.

    27. The Stranger

    First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #11 (1965)

    Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

    The Stranger may have first appeared in the X-Men, but the mysterious space giant with the Ron Swanson mustache has long been a force in the Marvel Cosmos taking on the Silver Surfer, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and even the Champions (we love the Champions...someone has to). The Stranger played an important role in the Infinity Gauntlet opposing Thanos and has long been trying to inflict his will on the people of Earth, something that would surely piss of Peter Jason Quill and the Guardians should they ever run afoul of ol' space mustache here.

    26. Celestials

    First appearance: Eternals #1 (1976)

    Created by Jack Kirby

    We got a teasing glimpse of them in the first film, and had their story fleshed out by Ego, but the story of the Celestials is so epic it is more than worthy of further screen time. The Celestials are unknowable space gods who travel the cosmos judging if planets are worthy of life. Thumbs down means it’s all over.

    The Celestials were created by the cosmic deity Jack Kirby and have always been one of the more awesome spectacles of Cosmic Marvel. 

    This article is very long, hence the two pages....


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    From Spider-Man and Eddie Brock to Groot and Sub-Mariner 2099, the Venom costume certainly gets around.

    FeatureGavin Jasper
    May 19, 2017

    It’s fitting that the Venom costume is a liquid entity because the creature and the Venom identity have been used for all sorts of different roles. Spider-Man’s edgy new costume, Evil Spider-Man, violent antihero, corrupt government soldier, rogue government agent, space knight, and so on.

    Recently, Venom got yet another ongoing series. Even more recently, it was revealed that Tom Hardy (!) will play Eddie Brock (!!) in a solo Venom movie (!!!)  This time, he’s going to be back on the streets of New York City as a brutal murderer, but the actual identity of Venom is a mystery at this time. Mystery aside, it’s par for the course for Marvel, which has overtaken DC as the home of legacy heroes. Hell, three of Marvel’s A-listers are currently dead and each have multiple replacements.

    Let’s look at all the different heroes and villains that have worn the spidery blob. I’ve split it into three different types. We have the main hosts, such as Spider-Man and anyone who was treated as actual Venom in the mainstream books. Then there are the others, who wore the costume in continuity, but are considered more like footnotes. Lastly, it’s the ones that happened in alternate realities.

    PART I: THE MAIN CREW

    SPIDER-MAN (PETER PARKER)

    Back in the '80s, Marvel had their big Secret Wars event, created to sell toys and ultimately shaping how Big Two comics would be designed for decades to come. In an attempt to give the story extra importance, they used it as an excuse to change up Spider-Man’s costume into a black and white ensemble with some cool extras like unlimited webbing that came out of the back of his hands instead of the wrists.

    Fighting it out on Battleworld, Spider-Man’s red and blue costume got shredded up and he found what he thought to be a machine that stitches new outfits. What he unknowingly got was an alien parasite kept in a prison. It jumped onto him and took to him, wanting to live in a symbiotic relationship.

    While later versions of the story – especially in different media – would focus on how it made Spider-Man more aggressive, the big deal was more that it was controlling his body in his sleep and the very idea of it being alive freaked Peter out something fierce. Spider-Man rid himself of the creature, only to be antagonized by it for years.

    In main continuity, he became the host for Venom during the time when Peter’s body had the mind of Doc Ock. That led to a cool take where he had goo-based octopus tentacles coming out of him. Out of continuity, he became the host in one of the early Spider-Girl issues and in a disturbing What If storyline where it took over Peter’s cocooned body from The Other and transformed him into "Poison."

    EDDIE BROCK

    When people think of Venom, they mainly think of Eddie, even if he hasn’t been Venom for over a decade. A journalist, Eddie Brock’s life took a bad turn when he misreported on a masked murderer named the Sin-Eater and got the identity wrong. Acting like the antithesis of Peter Parker, he shifted the responsibility and blamed this tragic mistake on Spider-Man rather than himself or the unfairness of the world. When praying for forgiveness for considering suicide while at a church, Spider-Man’s discarded symbiote jumped onto him.

    From there, the two brought out the worst in each other and fueled their mutual hate-on for Spider-Man. Venom became Spider-Man’s cool, new, popular villain for several years, constantly stalking him in his personal life. Then for a time he got over his flawed axe-to-grind and moved to San Francisco to become a murderous vigilante.

    Venom’s time as Lethal Protector lasted five years and had a big collection of miniseries that was secretly a sixty-issue ongoing (restarting at #1 whenever a new arc started). As an antihero, Venom was essentially a less-competent Punisher. A monster using his vigilante status to justify his bloodlust, all while seeing himself as Adam West Batman.

    Brock went back to being a thorn in Spider-Man’s side, but not for long, as he simply stopped showing up in comics for years. When he did come back, it was for the sake of passing the torch to the next host.

    Since then, Eddie’s been given a new lease on life as Anti-Venom, which sadly didn’t last long enough. He lost his Anti-Venom powers and later became the host for Toxin, the spawn of Carnage. While still very pro-death when it comes to fighting bad guys, Brock at least realizes his past mistakes as a human being.

    PATRICIA ROBERTSON

    Ugh. This catastrophe.

    In the early 2000s, Marvel was doing their Tsunami imprint and one of the books to come out of it was an eighteen-issue Venomongoing by Daniel Way. It had incredibly little to do with Eddie Brock and instead was a rather mean-spirited mess of a series that didn’t get referenced again for about fifteen years.

    Here’s the gist of the plot and I swear I’m not making any of this up: the biblical story of Noah’s Ark was inspired by a bunch of nanites from space coming down and plotting to wipe out all of humanity. The nanites decided at the last second not to and left, but a handful of them stuck around and didn’t get the memo. So they spent centuries laying low in the form of a man with a bushy mustache, biding their time. Their master plan was to wait for an alien symbiote to be loose on Earth and then use it to cause the apocalypse. Somehow.

    In a fight with the Fantastic Four, Venom lost his tongue. A random dude found it and tried to sell it on eBay, but it was immediately stolen away by shadowy government people led by the bushy mustache nanites man. The tongue was used to clone the Venom costume and it was let loose in an arctic lab in a blatant ripoff of John Carpenter’s The Thing. Army lieutenant Patricia Robertson survived the massacre thanks to the help of The Suit, an Agent Smith knockoff with a weaponized smartphone.

    He is also made of nanites.

    Patricia ultimately became the host for the Venom clone and got jerked around and shit on far more than your average superhero character with absolute zero catharsis. This all led to an abrupt ending where Eddie Brock’s Venom symbiote merged with Patricia’s and the evil nanite man was all, “Heh heh. All according to plan.”

    He was never mentioned again, nor was Patricia. We didn’t see if she died, escaped, or what.

    ANGELO FORTUNATO

    Angelo did not last long at all, but he came with enough fanfare that he was sort of a big deal, mainly because of the Mark Millar/Frank Cho creative team behind him. Eddie Brock was slowly dying of cancer and decided he just wanted to end it all. Knowing that the symbiote would just find another host, he decided to use that as a final act of goodness by auctioning it off to the criminal underworld and giving that money to charity.

    Angelo Fortunato was the lacking son of a high-ranking mobster. The idea was that the symbiote would make a man out of him and he liked the idea because it meant girls would write fanfiction about him.

    ...Mark Millar wrote this, remember.

    As the new Venom, Angelo went after Spider-Man and did pretty well for himself, but the moment Spider-Man was able to get an advantage, Angelo folded and tried to escape. The symbiote – disgusted with his cowardice – removed itself from his body and sought out a new host.

    Angelo was in mid-swing during that decision. He...ummm...he did not survive.

    MAC GARGAN

    Gargan spent many years as the Scorpion and during the Marvel Knights Spider-Man storyline that introduced Angelo Fortunato, Gargan reappeared as finally free of his green armor. Acting as a henchman for Norman Osborn, he had a non-violent confrontation with Spider-Man and was apparently going to be refitted with a new, better Scorpion suit.

    Instead, the Venom symbiote found him. Gargan gladly became the new host, much to Osborn’s initial chagrin. As time would show, Venom would be Osborn’s go-to goon and would serve him as both a Thunderbolt and a Dark Avenger.

    In a time when Carnage was believed to be dead and Eddie Brock had his own thing going on, it made sense to have Gargan as a brutal, purely evil Venom with no shades of gray. While a bit of an afterthought in Dark Avengers, he did have his own miniseries called Sinister Spider-Man that was absolutely brilliant and featured having a tiny dog thrown into his eye via Bullseye.

    With the end of Dark Reignand Osborn’s time in power, the government decided to just remove the alien costume and figure it out from there. Mac Gargan went back to being the Scorpion and nobody’s cared about him since.

    EUGENE “FLASH” THOMPSON

    Formerly Peter Parker’s high school bully and later his rehabilitated friend, Flash Thompson was reintroduced with a story that showed him as a soldier losing his legs in Iraq. The government decided to make him the new host for Venom, though with enough precautions. He could only wear the symbiote for 24 hours before being separated. As Agent Venom, he did the government’s dirty work while keeping it a secret from loved ones.

    As this new Venom starred in his first of two ongoings, they played up his own addiction to Venom’s powers (namely the power to walk) and how it related to his preexisting alcoholism. This is something only vaguely touched in the Brock days, since most times he was separated from the creature and was forced to rebond, he treated it like a recovering addict having alcohol poured down his throat against his will.

    Flash’s initial status quo didn’t last too long and he became a fugitive from the law for a bit. By working alongside Captain America and earning Cap’s trust, he ended up getting a spot on the Secret Avengers. Shortly after, he joined the Thunderbolts until Cap asked him to join up with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

    When on Earth, Flash kept the symbiote in check via drugs and appealing to its nature, but in space, the costume became more erratic. Turns out it just needed to go back to its home planet and Bendis wrote a big pile of retcon about how the symbiotes are called Klyntar and they’re actually quite peaceful, but sometimes they need to be recalibrated, like with Venom. The symbiote got cleansed, lost all memories of its hosts other than its original host (an unnamed, violent alien) and Flash, became docile, and started looking like something out of Ben 10. Afterwards, Flash started having solo space adventures as the Agent of the Cosmos.

    His second ongoing just ended with him back on Earth, which will set up the new, new series.

    Let's head on to the second-rate hosts. Hoo-boy...


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    Want to know the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Look at The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon.

    Feature Vinny Murphy
    May 20, 2017

    In 2008, fresh off the success of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, Marvel Studios was ready to go ahead with their master plan: The Avengers. Lacking the film licenses to some of their own most popular characters, namely Spider-Man and the X-Men, Marvel sought to take Earth's Mightiest Heroes into the spotlight.

    With Iron Man now established and Hulk as recognizable as ever, this finally seemed realistic. However, there was still one big problem; The public simply didn't know much about The Avengers. Aside from an ill fated animated series in the '90s, the team had only ever had success on the comic page. Regulars like Captain America and Thor had some pop culture recognition, but nothing like Batman or Spider-Man. Betting hundreds of millions of dollars on solo cinematic success for them, let alone a team-up film, was a gamble.

    On October 8th, 2008, to help raise awareness for the brand, Marvel officially announced what became Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, an animated series set for release in October of 2010, a few months prior to The Avengers movie's projected July 2011 release. Earth's Mightiest Heroes would enlist many of the creative forces behind the successful, but egregiously short lived Wolverine and the X-Men (with which it would share a continuity) and initially feature Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man/Giant Man, and Wasp, all of whom were integral to projects already in development at Marvel Studios. Though rather blatant with their intentions, over the next few years many changes and adjustments would give this cartoon a unique place in Marvel history.

    After the project's announcement in 2008, a lot changed at Marvel. In August of 2009, Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment for over four billion dollars. Iron Man 2 had an impressive opening in May, and Captain America: The First Avenger and Thorwere both scheduled for 2011 release, with Avengers re-scheduled for the following summer. The biggest boost of all came with the news that the Avengers movie would be headed up by Joss Whedon.

    There isn't much verifiable information on what Marvel's plans were for The Avengers and the coming “phases” of the MCU before this point. What Marvel certainly did know was which characters they had access to. Earth's Mightiest Heroes, produced in part before even Zak Penn's first draft of the Avengersmovie was completed, seems to offer a little bit of insight into Marvel's intent.

    We probably shouldn't overestimate how much of what Marvel was planning for their upcoming movies made it into Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but the storylines may still give us insight into things to come. Many characters who would go on to (or already did) appear in MCU films are players in the world of EMH. Some of this can be attributed to Marvel simply being aware of their most compelling properties (not to mention which ones were simply available for use), but sometimes it showed a consensus on how the characters were to be portrayed in future projects.

    Marvel Cinematic Universe concepts, like the connections between Hawkeye and Black Widow, appear early in the show. Surprisingly, Widow isn't quite the central figure she is in the films. This may be connected to Marvel's original plans for Wasp and Ant-Man. Wasp, who finally appeared in Ant-Man, was in early drafts of TheAvengers, but Whedon cut the character from The Avengersmovie as it already had quite a large cast. But he actually had to fight a bit to keep Black Widow off the chopping block. There was apparently a point that the studio lacked faith in the female hero's marketability, but Whedon insisted that the helicarrier would feel like a “gay cruise” without her. This could explain both Wasp's prominence on EMH, and Widow's lack thereof.

    You can see the series' influence on the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Two, as well. Vision appears near the end of the series and the show made a point to feature both the Hank Pym and Scott Lang versions of Ant-Man, something that had long been mentioned as an aspect of the film through its many years of development. Though in EMHUltron is created by his comic book inventor Hank Pym, the big screen's version of both androids found a father in Tony Stark, as Hank Pym didn't finally make his way to the screen until after the second Avengersmovie.

    While the line-up was different (no Drax or Gamora and adding Adam Warlock and Quasar), the inclusion of the Guardians of the Galaxy served as an early sign that even early on, Marvel was playing around with properties that would eventually work well on the big screen. Guardians of the Galaxy is also one of the few Phase Two properties with a more visible timeline. Co-Writer Nicole Perlman began working on the script in 2009, during the production of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Perlman was part of the now defunct Marvel Writers Program,a group of screenwriters who were presented with numerous Marvel properties that the studio had interest in producing and were asked to choose which they thought they could develop. The Guardians, who were completely under Marvel Studios' control, were a logical seed to plant.

    In the cartoon, The Guardians are pursuing Michael Korvac and the 22 minute episode serves an abridged version of the comic book epic, The Korvac Saga, one that substitutes the Kree for the Badoon, which also helpfully connects Michael Korvac to another Marvel property we'll be seeing on the small screen in the near future, the Inhumans. Other episodes feature Quake and Mockingbird on a team investigating Kree hiding out on Earth, which doesn't sound all that far off Agents of SHIELD's recent Inhumans obsession. This was long before the Kree became household names thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of SHIELD.

    In Earth's Mightiest Heroes, both the original Captain Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers helped to stop a Kree invasion of Earth. The episodes are actually a quite concise origin story for Danvers, one with cinematic overtones. Even though Marvel Studios admitted to early plans to bring a Captain Marvel into Avengers: Age of Ultron, they decided to hold off, although Joss Whedon didn't make the call on this one. While we may have to wait until 2018 to see Mar-Vell or Carol Danvers, the gears on this have been turning for years.

    In 2007, Marvel's Kevin Feige confirmed the development of a Black Panther movie. After that, aside from a script from Mark Bailey that seems to have dissappeared to time, there wasn’t much to report. But Earth's Mightiest Heroes gave T'Challa his own episode, which made it clear how prominent an Avenger he is expected to be going forward. Panther's nemesis, Klaw, would be introduced during season one. Panther brought a more global feel to the show than the first film did, and this was likely the intent of the producers. Klaw has already appeared briefly in Age of Ultron (where he was played by Andy Serkis), and of course Black Panther made his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War. He'll finally get his own film in early 2018, just prior to the linchpin Avengers: Infinity War. In fact, by the time we get to Infinity War, virtually every major character from Earth's Mightiest Heroes may be on the screen!

    Bucky Barnes returned from the dead on Earth's Mightiest Heroes a solid 2 years before he would show up on film. Though appearing earlier in the series, perhaps the most intriguing story in EMHwas his affiliation with “Code Red”. Code Red acted as a sort of Anti-Avengers, featuring Bucky, Falcon, Red Hulk, and Doc Samson. The latter two, while never in Gamma form, did debut in The Incredible Hulk and in EMHare, to their surprise, working under the Red Skull, yet another character who was introduced and, to date, left in limbo. By coincidence or by design, Captain America: Civil Warfeatured three of the four Code Red members. 

    Why does that matter? Well, here's where we see what may be the first indications of a second generation of Marvel Cinematic Heroes. With a reported 9 film deal for Sebastian Stan, Bucky Barnes is at least part of plans to come. This along with the simple fact that actors are getting older and contracts are running out, we may need even more New Avengers.

    Ahh, New Avengers like Spider-Man or Luke Cage? Only time will tell.


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    The Cursed Child play has replaced most of its main cast as it heads into its second year on the West End stage.

    NewsKayti Burt
    May 22, 2017

    Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. (That's a Dumbledore quote, right?)

    The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast is mixing things up in London and we've got the photos to prove it. After a year of performing the roles of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, Ginny Potter, Albus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy, and Rose Granger-Weasley, the actors who premiered those parts are moving on.

    Jamie Parker, Paul Thornley, Noma Dumezweni, Alex Price, Poppy Miller, Sam Clemmett, Anthony Boyle, and Cherelle Skeete had their last performance of The Cursed Child on the West End stage last night (May 21st). The cast won nine Olivier Awards together in their run, including acting awards for Parker, Dumezweni, and Boyle. We were particularly impressed with Boyle's performance as misfit nerd and loyal friend Scorpius Malfoy.

    They will be replaced by the following actors: Jamie Glover, Thomas Aldridge, Rakie Ayola, James Howard, Emma Lowndes, Theo Ancient, Samuel Blenkin, and Helen Aluko. Check out their character portraits in the gallery above.

    It's sad to see the original cast go, but it's also understandable. After all, each performance of The Cursed Child includes two, two-and-a-half-hour parts — sometimes performed on the same day. It must be exhausting. I also can't help but wonder if any of these British actors will be making the trek over to America for the New York City debut of The Cursed Child when it debuts on April 22, 2018 at the Lyric Theatre

    It will be exciting to see what the new cast brings out in these characters and what the collective cast will bring out in this story as a whole.

    Click here to read our spoiler-free review of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (featuring the original cast).


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  • 05/22/17--12:00: Blue Beetle #9 Preview
  • An exclusive first look at Jaime Reyes in Ted Kord's costume, aka THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

    PicturesJim Dandy
    May 22, 2017

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    We've got a preview of this week's issue of Blue Beetle, which features Jaime Reyes in Ted Kord's costume.

    NewsJim Dandy
    May 22, 2017

    DC sent over an exclusive preview of this week's Blue Beetle #9. I was all ready to talk about Injustice 2 when I got this in my inbox, but then I saw the preview pages, shouted "that's scott Kolins drawing Jaime Rayes in Ted Kord's costume!" at my dog, and swooned for a second. I'm old enough that I still get pangs of "Ted Kord is the real Blue Beetle," even though Jaime is great in comics, Young Justice, and everywhere else he's showing up.

    So post-Rebirth, adding Ted in as a supporting character and acknowledging the history of the scarab and the mantle have been fantastic additions to Jaime's story. And damn, that costume is awesome.

    Also, not for nothing, but Jaime's character mechanic in Injustice where he switches back and forth between blades and regular hands is like having two characters in one. Injustice 2 is maybe my favorite fighting game of all time: impeccably balanced, packed with stuff to do, and with the standard, incredible Netherrealm fighting game story mode. Jaime and Firestorm are really great together there.

    Anyway, here's what DC has to say about Blue Beetle #9, which hits on Wednesday.

    Blue Beetle #9

    Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DeMATTEIS • Art and cover by SCOTT KOLINS • Variant cover by TYLER KIRKHAM

    The battle with the evil entity that’s been lurking under El Paso for thousands of years reaches its penultimate chapter! Jaime Reyes has wanted nothing more than to rid himself of the scarab on his back. But in order to save his city, his family and his friends, he must decide whether to become Blue Beetle again—only this time, the change will be permanent!

    Check out these preview pages!


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  • 05/22/17--12:37: Injustice 2 Review
  • Superman and Batman once again duke it out and this time it doesn't matter what their moms' names were. Here's our review.

    Release Date: May 16, 2017
    Platform: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC
    Developer: NetherRealm Studios
    Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
    Genre: Fighting

    Over the past several years, NetherRealm Studios has been churning out great fighting games. Back when Midway was making Mortal Kombat entries, they were known for being style over substance...until Mortal Kombat: Armageddon went for simply volume over everything. Their last hurrah, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, wasn't the success the company hopes, but at least you could tell that they were trying to improve the formula. If anything, they at least came up with a fantastic story mode.

    Then with Mortal Kombat 9, NetherRealm actually succeeded in making a genuinely good fighter that all gamers could enjoy (unless you were young and had strict parents). A couple years after that, they released Injustice: Gods Among Us, a sister game that took some of the same concepts, but with enough alterations to make it its own thing. Then they bounced back to Mortal Kombat X, where their ideas continued to progress.

    Now we have Injustice 2, which is essentially Injustice: Gods Among Us with Mortal Kombat X’s bells and whistles, all while finding new ways to evolve. NetherRealms even brought in the match-specific pre-fight dialogue where every pairing has several possible three-line intros! I love that stuff!

    Like its predecessor, Injustice 2 takes place in an alternate reality where Superman ruled the world as a despot, surrounded by the likes of Justice League members who had lost their way and a collection of supervillains pushed into doing his bidding. Eventually, he was taken down by Superman and the Justice League from the “mainstream” DC Universe and was taken into custody. Now Batman’s trying to rebuild from the ashes and put the world back the way it was, but not only does he have Superman’s allies plotting to spring their leader from prison, but Gorilla Grodd has a villain team doing villain stuff and Brainiac’s on his way to pick apart the planet.

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    The core game mechanics are almost exactly the same as the last game. Instead of rounds, it’s just two health bars. Each character has a trait that offers him or her a special ability that usually needs to be charged, including damage buffs, style shifts, and extra attacks. There are cinematic attacks in the form of supers and stage transitions, like where one combatant is knocked through a wall, goes through a sequence where he or she endures a ton of damage, and continues into another background. Then there’s the Clash Wager system where fighters bet part of their meter to determine whether a defensive character loses a bunch of health or regains a good chunk.

    So yeah, same engine as last time. The only real additions are a forward roll and the ability to break out of a combo in mid-air at the cost of part of your meter. There’s also the fact that now damage is point-based and everyone’s health is worth a different amount of points (kind of like how Phoenix took excessive damage in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to offset her strength). In the end, it’s nothing that anyone is going to rant and rave about in terms of selling point.

    What is new and exciting is the Gear System. As you play through Injustice 2, you're randomly rewarded costume pieces for various fighters and can earn different means to summon random costume pieces. These costume pieces not only cosmetically change the fighters in different ways, but they tend to alter their abilities. A new Bane mask could make him move faster or Robin’s pants can make him more durable. In the spirit of fairness, players online may very well turn off the Gear System for the sake of competitive play.

    Still, you’re going to need that RPG dress-up gimmick when you play through Multiverse, which is a slightly-more-elaborate version of Mortal Kombat X’s Living Towers. Various “alternate realities” appear that you can play through where the gameplay is affected by various factors. Maybe health refills keep randomly showing up or maybe your opponent builds meter too fast and his supers are one-hit kills. These realities are only temporary and can last as long as a week, a day, or even an hour.

    You can also gain gear loot by joining a guild, which is an evolution of Mortal Kombat X’s Faction Warfare. Only here you have more factions and there’s a member cap at 50 to prevent everything from being lopsided. By working with a guild, players can complete Multiverse missions and share the acquired gear and points with their comrades.

    Multiverse also has Battle Simulator, which is basically just Arcade Mode. If you want to go old school and see ending cutscenes, there you are.

    With a new story comes a pretty big overhaul of the roster. Big names like Lex Luthor, Shazam, Doomsday, Lobo, and Deathstroke are gone, replaced with other well-known characters like Supergirl and Poison Ivy as well as the more obscure Blue Beetle and Atrocitus. For the most part, the new characters are very welcome, especially the surprisingly great inclusion of Scarecrow. Not only is he a complete blast to use, but he’s voiced by Robert Englund. Seriously, whoever came up with having Freddy Krueger play Scarecrow has earned a day off.

    Similarly, the big bad Brainiac is a revelation. After years of Capcom putting off having Doctor Octopus in any of their games, NetherRealm eats their lunch by getting it done in their own way. He’s also voiced by the Re-Animator himself, Jeffrey Combs, and he voices the hell out of the villain. It’s also worth noting that despite being an unlockable character, Brainiac is a different beast as a final boss and is enhanced with some additional cheap-ass attacks. Though not cheap enough to put him in SNK Boss territory.

    Returning characters like Wonder Woman and Black Adam get a bit of a makeover. While it’s no Guilty Gear Xrd, the animation is noticeably less stiff and the heroes and villains feel more unique and faithful to their comic counterparts.

    NetherRealm has always been pretty fly in the Story Mode department, but the studio really outdid itself this time around. Like the other Mortal Kombat and/or DC Universe games, the story is played out in chapters in which each character has four fights surrounded by lots of cutscenes. Several chapters are shared by two fighters (e.g. Black Canary and Green Arrow, Aquaman and Black Adam). Each fight allows the player to choose who to go with, thereby leading to different scenes. There are two different endings you can get, but to see the second choice, you have to complete every single possible fight.

    Funny thing is, NetherRealm’s always gotten flack for the way their characters’ faces look (especially women), and there was a ton of criticism aimed at the early trailers. Not only did they clean up the faces in time for release, but the facial animations in Story Mode are amazing at times. Whether it’s Black Canary playfully emoting, teenaged Supergirl having a nervous breakdown, Superman trying to hold back his rage, or a truly disturbing depiction of a couple of heroes being mind-controlled, the cutscenes are a blast to watch. Granted, Story Mode refuses both stage transitions and altered outfits, but that’s to be expected.

    There is one thing that kind of annoys me, and I am fully aware that this is in no way a big deal, but I have to get it off my chest. I’m a big fan of the Injusticeprequel comic that came out before the first game and was such a hit that they never stopped releasing new issues. The game’s story has an odd relationship with the comic in that it leans hard on its events while needlessly retconning stuff. The first chapter, for example, rewrites the incident where Robin defects from Batman and throws a wrench in continuity.

    Normally, that’s all well and good because it’s only a comic tie-in, but then there are all these references to things that happened in the prequel comics. Most importantly, they use the comic’s explanation for why Green Arrow is around despite never really explaining it in-game. That's going to leave a lot of people scratching their heads and wondering why he’s not still dead. Then again, it’s just nice to have a storyline that’s about this rad alternate universe where the characters can hold their own and not, “Wait, let me call the REAL heroes to bail us out of this mess.”

    Injustice 2 is a solid fighter with a ton of content to keep you busy for...well, I’d say a long time, but Tekken 7’s out in a couple weeks. Anyway, despite the fact that NetherRealm didn't change much this time around, Injustice 2 still improves on an already fun experience with an awesome package and builds on the studio’s unforeseen momentum.

    Gavin Jasper thinks the Injustice theme doesn’t get enough love. Where are the YouTube metal covers, damn it?! Follow Gavin on Twitter.

    4.5/5
    ReviewGavin Jasper
    May 22, 2017

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    Who is Mon-El on Supergirl? We have a relatively simple history of one of the most confusing characters in the DC Universe.

    Feature Mike Cecchini
    May 22, 2017

    Warning: This article contains potential Supergirl season 2 spoilers.

    You know what my first thought was when that mysterious rocket crashed in the Supergirlseason 1 finale? I’m not joking. “Wouldn’t it be cool if Mon-El was in this rocket?”

    Well, guess, what? Mon-El was in that pod, and now we've (sorta) met him on TV, played by Chris Wood! 

    You know what this isn’t? A comprehensive history of Mon-El. Why? Because that would be really long, confusing, and potentially tedious. I’m just going to hit a few high points, specifically ones that I think might be relevant for Supergirl fans.

    For one thing, keep in mind that Mon-El was originally introduced via the Superboy comics (there was a kind of “test” Mon-El story that ran in Supermana little earlier, but I’d rather not confuse things further), in 1961's Superboy#89 by Robert Bernstein and George Papp. Essentially, Superboy finds a rocket with a boy who looks a bit like him, speaks Kryptonese, and who apparently came here from Krypton.

    Since he has no memory, they go with the name Mon-El, as he landed on a Monday. Simple, right? Of course not.

    See, it turns out Mon-El wasn’t Kryptonian at all, but from a planet called Daxam, and his actual name was Lar Gand (you know, the name his father used on the TV show). In the comics, the common Earth element of lead is as deadly to Daxamites as Kryptonite is to Kryptonians, and it doesn’t take long for Lar Gand to get sick. But unlike Kryptonite, which only has adverse effects when in close proximity, once a Daxamite has been exposed to lead, that’s it, they’re done for. The solution was for Superboy to stick poor Mon-El in the Phantom Zone, where he’d have no physical form, and therefore couldn’t die of lead poisoning. Or age. Or anything else.

    Look, I’m not sure I get it, either, but that’s the explanation they gave us, and it was good enough for readers in 1961, so don’t yell at me, OK? 

    Watch Supergirl Season 2 on Amazon Prime

    The cure for fatal Daxamite lead poisoning was eventually discovered one thousand years later, and Mon-El was freed from the Phantom Zone by the Legion of Super-Heroes, the team of teenaged heroes from the future that Superboy used to have adventures with. Mon-El became the resident Kryptonian-level powerhouse on the team when environmental complications (Earth ended up with faint traces of Kryptonite in the atmosphere) meant that Superboy couldn’t travel to the future to hang out with his pals anymore. The Legion still had a dark-haired, caped badass of their own, though, and Mon-El was a prominent member of nearly every incarnation of the team through the years.

    Those in-story/environmental complications eventually gave way to editorial ones, which made Mon-El’s story trickier. In 1986, DC Comics rebooted the Superman mythology completely, and with that, they eliminated his entire history as Superboy. Among other implications, this meant that Superboy never spent any time in the future as a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, which screwed royally with that team’s continuity. But it also meant that young Clark never encountered his “big brother” and named him Mon-El, sent him to the Phantom Zone, where he would be freed by the aforementioned Legion.

    So what’s a guy from Daxam to do?

    This was an enormous headache, and one that took years to resolve...and really never was to anybody’s satisfaction. It would take entirely too long to get into here, but the poor writers, artists, and editors in charge of the Legion and Mon-El had to do all kinds of gymnastics to explain things, which resulted in something like three different versions of Mon-El appearing over the course of a the next 15 years or so.

    I’ll get back to one of these down below, but stick with me.

    Eventually, because DC Comics continuity is a fluid thing, they allowed young Superman to have something of a history with the Legion again, and offered an updated version of Mon-El’s first appearance, one that involved a non-costumed teenage Clark Kent. It’s actually a wonderful little short story, written by Geoff Johns with art by Eric Wright. This played nicely with the elements already implied in the original Mon-El story, such as the loneliness of a young Clark Kent (who would desperately want to meet someone like him) and the inherent tragedy of Mon-El (who immediately loses the only friend he has). It's like a deleted sequence from Superman: The Movie or a lost episode of Smallville. In fact, come to think of it, how the heck did Smallvillenever play around with Mon-El considering how much of the rest of Superman's mythology it got to?

    The reintroduction of Mon-El as part of Superman’s history set the stage for him to (temporarily) take over in Metropolis while Supes was busy dealing with some other stuff during the ongoing New Krypton storyline. There are several characters and concepts from New Kryptonthat have made their way onto the SupergirlTV series in various forms, but this Mon-El storyline prominently featured such season 2 characters and concepts as Guardian (who isn't Jimmy Olsen in the comics), Cadmus, and the Science Police. I wish I could recommend these stories more highly, but I found them a little talky and bland. Your mileage may vary, of course.

    Now, remember what I said about that period where DC Comics editorial mandated that Mon-El and the Legion weren’t allowed to have connections to Superman’s history? 

    One solution was to change the very inspiration for the Legion in the first place. They had previously been inspired by the legend of how a young Superman took up the mantle of earth’s protector long before he was old enough to drink or vote. Once that was off the table, it was revealed that they were inspired by the legend of someone called Valor.

    Who is Valor? That would be Mon-El...ermm...Lar Gand!

    The villains of this year's CW DC TV crossover were the creepy looking aliens known as The Dominators. The Dominators were the villains of a DC Comics story called Invasion, and continued to bedevil the Legion for a number of years, as well. One of the points of Invasionwas that the Dominators were experimenting on humans in order to determine why Earth has so many metahumans running around stopping their plans all the time...and they wanted to find out if they could create their own.

    So, Lar Gand’s Mon-El identity had been retconned out of existence, and he was going by the nom-de-superhero “Valor” while fighting alien menaces in our time. Valor played a major part in stopping the Dominators during Invasion, and liberated one of their superhuman farms. He then helped them colonize other worlds, and those worlds eventually became the home planets that gave birth to many of the members of the Legion, and thus “the Legend of Valor” was born as the inspiration for the Legion a thousand years in the future. It’s kinda neat, right?

    Now, with the introduction of the Dominators, imagine if the CW decided to play with a varition on this story as the basis to seed a Legion of Super-Heroes TV series of their own, down the line. After all, we know that the Legion exists in SupergirlTV continuity, since we clearly saw a Legion flight ring in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude last season. I mean, it's pretty far-fetched, but then again, so was the idea we'd ever get to see a character like Mon-El on TV in the first place! 

    SupergirlSeason 2 has its own distinctive take on the Mon-El story, one that has very little in common with his comic book roots, which is fine. But if poor Mon-El ends this season being sent to the Phantom Zone, well, then it's only a matter of time before the Legion cure him, right? Right. There's still time!

    Mike Cecchini would trade every single superhero movie coming for the next five years for one awesome Legion of Super-Heroes TV series. Hire him to executive produce one on Twitter. 


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    In a heart-wrenching Supergirl Season 2 finale, Kara protects the Earth, but breaks her own heart in the process.

    This Supergirl review contains spoilers.

    Supergirl Season 2, Episode 22

    If Supergirl Season 2's penultimate episode was a rallying call to resistance, then the season finale was the cost of that resistance. Because, sometimes, doing what's right can break your heart, but it's the choice you can live with.

    When Supergirl is asked to choose between saving her world and keeping a person she loves in her life, she chooses to save Earth. And did anyone ever have any doubt that this is the choice our heroine would make? Some shows would have milked this dilemma for contrived angst, but this show knows its protagonist. She will not fail another homeworld. 

    No,Supergirl makes the smarter decision. The drama is not in a will-she-or-won't-she discussion, but rather in what happens after she does? This is where "Nevertheless, She Persisted" really stuck its landing, after a somewhat uneven and slowly-paced first half. Here's eveything that went to down in the Supergirl season finale...

    "Nevertheless, She Persisted" picks up where last week's episode left off: with Superman punching Kara in the face. The explanation? Rhea has infected him with silver kryptonite that makes him see his worst enemy (aka Zod) in Kara's place. (Why Rhea doesn't also use the silver kryptonite on Kara is unclear.)

    It was cool to see Superman and Supergirl fighting and the show did an amazing job of bringing this to life on a CW budget, but the punching went on a little longer than it should have. After all, Supergirl will never be able to compete with the big-budget superhero spectacle of the film world. Its strength lies elsewhere.

    This Superman v. Supergirl showdown felt a bit unnecessary, distracting from the larger themes of this story in favor of showing something cool that didn't have the stakes a season finale opening scene deserves. (Did anyone truly think that Kara or Kal-El would actually hurt one another? No.) The plot choice was slightly saved by its thematic tie-in to Kara and Kal-El's later conversation about who is the better hero. Again, however, this convo felt slightly forced, another example of the show trying too hard to prove its feminism like it used to do all the time in Season 1. I thought Supergirl had mostly grown out of the habit, but it reared its ugly head in the season finale.

    In general, it was hard to justify Superman's role in the season finale. As much as I love seeing Tyler Hoechlin as the Man of Steel and, even more delightfully, Clark Kent, I would much rather the show save him for storylines when his presence makes the most sense. Sure, it makes sense that he would show up when the planet was threatened, but there could have been a throwaway line that explained his absence.

    Instead, it felt like he showed up because it was the season finale, taking up the narrative space as Kara's mentor that could have been given to one of the many underutilized other characters already present on the show. I'm always happy to see Kal-El — and the scenes between the two still made me feel things — I'm just not sure they were the right choice for this episode.

    After knocking Superman out and getting the silver kryptonite out of Kal-El's system, Kara, Alex, and Kal-El return to a National City about to be destroyed by Rhea army. Armed with new information about ancient Daxamite law from the Fortress of Solitude, Kara challenges Rhea to a duel... for the planet. If Rhea wins, Earth is hers. If Kara wins, Rhea and her forces must leave.

    While Kara works on Plan A, Lena sets to work on Plan B: a device that will distribute lead throughout the Earth's atmosphere, making the planet toxic to Daxamites (and probably not so great for humans, either, but I digress). Kara prays that she doesn't have to use it, for it will make Earth unsafe for Mon-El, as well as the Daxamite invaders. But Supergirl has introduced a Chekov's device in a season finale. I think we all knew how this was going to end...

    Knowing that the season finale would probably end in Mon-El's forced departure didn't make watching it happen any easier. However you might have felt about the Mon-El plot, seeing Kara and Mon-El say their teary goodbyes was not only heartbreaking, but kind of the perfect thematic end for Mon-El's character arc. He came to Earth as a selfish, self-absorbed prince. Even though he has to leave his home and the woman he loves, he vows to be the man Kara always thought he could be: a hero.

    It's not fair that Kara shouldn't have all of the nice things in the world. After all, she is made of sunshine and rainbows and fluffy animated birds. However, sometimes the world breaks your heart. Not even superheroes are immune to that. And watching Kara pick endure that heartbreak is where the season finale really shines (not in any of the too-long fist fights that this episode is populated with).

    "The thing that makes women strong is that we have the guts to be vulnerable," Cat tells Kara in the best scene of this episode. "We have the ability to feel the depths of our emotions and we know that we will walk through it to the otherside." I don't always like Cat Grant's Feminist Speeches. Sometimes, they are a little over-the-too, (again) try too hard, or are kind of off-the-mark.

    This speech makes a point that doesn't get nearly enough focus in pop culture or in real life. Feminist culture can't just be about women who are strong in traditionally masculine strengths (stoicism, physical strength, unilateral decision-making), but about women (and men) who are strong in traditionally feminine traits (communication, empathy, and emtional intelligence).

    Supergirl's best feminism has generally been in its female relationships and in the way that it doesn't ask its Strong Female Character to have traditionally masculine strengths. For Season 2 to end its story on this note makes the unevenness of this episode easy to forgive. Alex and Cat reminds Kara (and us) that she is more than her love life. She is her other many, loving relationships. She is her role as a superhero. She is a journalist. She is infinitely complex. She will survive this. 

    Additional thoughts.

    Season 2 really dropped the ball on James Olsen this season. Bad. He barely even gets to appear in the season finale. He didn't even get to hang out with his best friend Superman. Rehabilitating his character needs to be a top priority in Season 2.

    Did everyone catch the Wonder Woman/Supergirl commerical? Because it was amazing. 

    Cat lists some of Kara's big bylines this year: Slaver's Moon, Alien Registry, Alien Fight Club. It sounds like a pulp science fiction trilogy from the 50s that I would totally read.

    Where did Mon-El end up? Will he come back? Discuss.

    I am very sad that Rhea turned to dust. Teri Hatcher was amazing on this show and we never got to see her in a scene with Dean Cain, which will always be one of my greatest sadnesses.

    Alex proposed to Maggie! Maggie doesn't actually say yes, but she really seems like she is about to.

    Cat knows who Supergirl is! This was one of the best casual reveals ever. It not only makes me respect Cat's character a bit more, but also says something about her own emotional intelligence. She realizes that Kara is more comfortable with Cat not knowing her secret identity, so she lets it go. 

    The final moments of the episode flash us back to Krypton, just before its destruction. We see two mysterious figures send a baby to Earth. (Could it be Doomsday?) Rather than protect Earth, this baby has a different mission: to reign. 

    What did you think of the Supergirl finale? Let us know in the comments below, then check out our Explaining the Supergirl Season 2 Ending.

    3/5
    ReviewKayti Burt
    May 22, 2017

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    We're focusing on the recent, Riddler-centric episodes of Gotham right now...

    FeatureMarc Buxton
    May 22, 2017

    Every week, we've been breaking down the Gothameaster eggs that you might have missed, whether it was a Batman reference or something dealing with the wider DC Universe (and we'll do it again when the show returns). This is our episode by episode guide to every DC Comics and Batman reference on Gothamseason 3. 

    Watch Gotham Season 3 on Amazon

    Let's get started...but beware of spoilers! Click the episode titles to go to full reviews.

    Gotham Season 3 Episode 19: All Will Be Judged

    - Having Martha Wayne’s infamous pearl necklace be the symbol of Bruce Wayne’s pain over his parents death was a really nice touch. After all, how many times in how many different forms of media have we seen those bloody pearls hit the wet pavement the night the Waynes were murdered? Those pearls might be the most famed and tragic object in comics and using them as the symbolic representation of Bruce’s inner agony over his parents’ death really emotionally worked on every level.

    - All the meditation and spirit walking that Bruce and Maybe Ra’s Al Ghul is doing reminds one of Bruce’s blue orchid hallucinations in Batman Begins. In that classic film, Ra’s was disguised as a man named Ducard and acted as  mentor to Bruce in the same manner the old monk is doing on Gotham. One still has to wonder if Gotham’s parallels to Ra’s in Batman Begins is a bait and switch because the beats are echoing just a bit too perfectly between film and TV.


    - The arm scythe used by the Executioner this week is similar to the ones used by The Reaper in the Batman: Year Two comic book story arc and by The Phantasm in the classic animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. A classic design for a very minor villain in The Executioner, that for some reason, Gotham has fallen in love with and keeps bringing out to play.

    Gotham Season 3 Episode 18: Light the Wick

    - This portion of the season may be called “Heroes Rise,” but it has certainly been a villain-centric drama. Can you think of another Batman story that has juggled the Court of Owls, the Talons, Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Firefly, Hugo Strange, Mister Freeze, Executioner, Mad Hatter, and maybe Ra’s Al Ghul? It’s like a Paul Dini fever dream as Gotham indulges bad guy ADD and jumps from one Bat rogue to the next like a hyper kid digging through a box of action figures.

    - Gotham is certainly going out of its way to make Barnes remind one of Bane, huh? From the wheeled gurney to the Dark Knight Rises-esque face mask, any second I feel like Barnes is going to ask someone if “The fire still burns.”

    - In the comics, the Court of Owls’ Talons’ weakness is extreme cold. Things went in the opposite direction this week as Firefly takes down a Talon using extreme heat.  Kind of odd that the Talon got taken down by a flamethrower when Mister Freeze is readily available and involved in the arc.

    - So why would the staff of Arkham Asylum allow Jervis Tetch to wear a prison grey Mad Hatter chapeau?

    Gotham Season 3 Episode 17: The Primal Riddle

    - Gotham went full Tim Burton in this episode as clone Bruce Wayne shoves Selena Kyle out of a high rise window. Of course, this scene is an homage to Batman Returns where Max Schreck (played by Christopher Walken) tosses Selina (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) out of an office building. When she hits the ground, the future Catwoman is on the receiving end of some weird ass and inexplicable cat CPR that transforms her into Catwoman.

    Of course in Batman Returns, Selina is a mousy secretary not a street smart teen thief but hey, Selina plummeting to her demise was almost a blow by blow of Burton’s Catwoman origin. And really, who the heck thought we’d ever see the cat CPR business again? I mean, it was strange and possibly ill-advised back in the '90s and now Gotham, a show that hasn’t really delved into the supernatural, plays that beat. It was strange in 1992 and it’s strange today.

    - Speaking of the original Bat films, Cory Michael Smith really has the bowler hat twist Jim Carrey thing down, huh?

    - DC Comics has had many supervillain teams. From the Secret Society of Super Villains to the Legion of Doom to the Secret Six and even the Suicide Squad, DC history is laden with teams of rogues, but there is no comic book precedent for a team consisting of Penguin, Poison Ivy, Firefly, and Mister Freeze. But you know what? I kind of like it and I would totally read a comic starring this rag tag band of freaks.

    Gotham Season 3 Episode 16: These Delicate and Dark Obsessions

    - Now, this episode of Gotham didn’t specifically state that Bruce Wayne was in Nanda Parbat, but I think we can safely assume that Bruce Wayne was in Nanda Parbat. How nutty is it that the home of Ra’s Al Ghul has played a major role in two on going DC TV narratives? Of course, Oliver Queen visited Nanda Parbat on Arrowand now we get to see Bruce Wayne’s first visit to the mystic home of Ra’s Al Ghul on Gotham.

    Oddly enough, the city of Nanda Parbat first appeared in Strange Adventures #205 (1967) in a Deadman story. Nanda Parbat was created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino and yes, Drake also created the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Lots of Arnold Drake getting multi-media love this week. Of course, a Nanda Parbat like city also played a huge role in Batman Begins and now it has become vital to the development of Bruce Wayne into Batman over on Gotham. If that was Nanda Parbat, of course.

    - But the question is, does Raymond J. Barry play Ra’s Al Ghul? Barry was called the Shaman, but the training of Bruce Wayne certainly harkens back to Ra’s’ training of Bruce in Batman Begins. Could the Shaman be a seriously in need of a dip in the Lazarus Pit Ra’s? So is Barry an old Al Ghul, is he one of the Demon Head’s decoys, is he Henri Ducard, or is he some kind of opposing force to Ra’s Al Ghul? Time will tell, but this direction is intriguing. Perhaps we will see a young Talia soon as well?

    - I don’t think we’ve ever had a real Penguin/Poison Ivy connection in the comics, but man, those two nutbags have an odd chemistry together, huh? I would totally watch a sitcom starring Ivy and Oswald.

    - I believe the idea of James Gordon’s father being killed by a drunk driver is a new idea presented in Gotham. Certainly, the idea of the senior Gordon being killed by the Court of Owls is new. But it’s an interesting wrinkle to think that Gordon and Bruce Wayne both lost their fathers at relatively the same ages due to some kind of shadow conspiracy. That certainly makes the bond between the future vigilante and future commissioner much more synergistic.

    - Man, how many overweight gunsels are going to betray Penguin? You would have through that good old Oswald would have learned his lesson with Butch.

    Hit the next pages for the previous episodes!


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    The science fiction novel is set 100 years after the collapse of America.

    News Kayti Burt
    May 17, 2017

    Netflix doesn't seem poised to slow down its content production pace anytime soon, which is fine with us. Especially given that Deadline just announced that the streaming content giant has bought the film rights to J.G. Ballard's Hello America, a science fiction novel set in a future, dystopian America. (Dystopians... so hot right now.)

    Written in 1981, Hello America takes place in an America a century following the financial collapse (and, in the novel, ecological collapse). The country has been largely abandoned... until a group of new pioneers decide to go on a voyage of rediscovery. What could possible go wrong? (Hint: the answer to that question involves a charismatic leader with a nuclear arsenal at his disposal.)

    Much of the novel is set on a steamship as it makes its way across the ocean from England, trying to determine the source of the nuclear fallout their departure country is currently experiencing. Hopefully, the film adaptation leans into this setting, as, in my opinion, there are not nearly enough science fiction films set on steamships.

    The Hello America film will be produced by Scott Free, aka Ridley Scott's production company. Scott Free is also producing War Party starring Tom Hardy for Netflix.


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    As we get set for Injustice 2, here's a look at the finest moments from seven volumes of the Injustice: Gods Among Us prequel comics.

    The ListsGavin Jasper
    May 17, 2017

    One of the more surprising successes from DC Comics’ repertoire in the past couple of years has been Injustice: Gods Among Us, the weekly digital comic that’s acted as a prequel to the Netherrealm Studios fighting game of the same name. Written by Tom Taylor and Brian Buccellato and drawn by the likes of Bruno Redondo, Mike S. Miller, Tom Derenick, and others, Injustice was strong enough to continue on for years despite the game itself falling into obscurity in-between installments.

    The first five volumes take place in-between the game’s prologue and the beginning of the game, where the dystopian, Superman-ruled world is visited by heroes from the classic DC Universe. As shown in the game, this all happened because the Joker messed with Superman a little too hard and Superman killed him in a fit of rage. Most of the other heroes and even some villains are on his side in terms of ruling over the world with an iron fist and the only ones interested in taking him down are Batman, Lex Luthor (secretly), and Harley Quinn. With each volume of the comic explaining the events of a different year, we bridge the gap and see what it was that made Superman grow into a cold megalomaniac. How did Hal Jordan lose his way? How come none of the other heavy hitters were able to stop Superman?

    After finishing up all five years, the series then became Injustice: Ground Zero, where it retold the events of the video game's story mode from the point of view of Harley. Now we're in the middle of Injustice 2, a prequel comic showing what's happened in-between the two games.

    So let’s revisit 40 of the finer moments in this run where what could have been a forgettable tie-in that nobody would remember instead became one of DC’s better titles.

    1. HARLEY AND GREEN ARROW (Y1: #5)

    The first four issues of Injusticearen’t all that good, mainly because it’s the Joker doing a mandated killing spree that Taylor had to write based on the in-game history. Having to write Lois Lane’s death never did sit right with Taylor and he’s tried to redeem himself for it in different ways through his various writings. It wasn’t until he was able to move away from the intro story that he could show some real personality and promise.

    Green Arrow apprehended Harley Quinn and chose to keep her in his Arrow Cave, since he didn’t like the possibility of Superman needlessly executing her too. What we got was a great dynamic where the snarkier member of the Justice League was silent and belligerent to an optimistic and excited criminal who admired him. It also introduced a couple of running gags, like Harley’s tendency to always carry a fake mustache with her at all times and the fact that Green Arrow really needs to rename his headquarters.

    2. SUPERMAN AND BATMAN TRY TO TALK IT OUT (Y1: #10-11)

    Year One was mostly about the crumbling of the World’s Finest. The friendship between Superman and Batman fell to pieces over disagreements and backstabbing. Superman chose to confront Batman, mostly as an excuse to vent. He felt that Batman was judging him for killing the Joker and imposing peace on the world, but at the same time he ranted about how Batman allowed all of this to happen by not killing the Joker first when the Joker seriously deserved it. The two argued back and forth, leading to Superman insulting Batman’s role as a father and Batman punching Superman in the face.

    From there, things calmed down and in one moment, we were reminded that they were friends. Superman inspected Batman’s hand for injuries and Batman admitted the truth: if he were in Superman’s shoes, he probably would have done the same thing. The problem is, Superman is supposed to be better. Superman offered Batman to follow him down his path of making the world a better place, but Batman just couldn’t bring himself to do it.

    3. FLASH’S FANBOY (Y1: #13)

    In the game’s story mode, the Flash was able to realize that he was on the wrong side, albeit too late. This issue dealt with him second-guessing Superman’s actions for the first time. In Australia, a group of people protested Superman’s insistence to keep countries from going to war “or else.” Superman and Wonder Woman told them all to disperse, but a man calling himself Galaxon stepped forth and challenged them. He got Rock Bottom’d into the pavement in a second.

    As Flash went off to go get an ambulance, Batman told him that he already called for one and instead gave him directions to a science research facility. It was the place where Galaxon was engineered. News of his incident hadn’t reached them yet, so a scientist gave Flash the tour, including Galaxon’s room. The walls were covered in inspirational images of superheroes, including a photo of him as a kid when he got to meet the Flash. Realizing that he just watched a man who idolized him get paralyzed for standing up for his people, Flash zipped away to run off this gut punch.

    In Year Five, Flash was told by Iris West that Galaxon committed suicide a year or so after the incident.

    4. CYBORG’s VIRUS (Y1: #15)

    When you get down to it, the comic is like DC’s own little version of Civil War, only we know the ending and we know that Superman is ultimately going to be in the wrong. It would be totally easy to simply have Batman be the paragon of virtue by default to show off just how wrong Superman really is, but Taylor doesn’t do that. Batman is an asshole and does some really scummy stuff.

    For instance, there’s a part where Superman and his allies went to Arkham Asylum to steal away all of the inmates without saying where they were going. Cyborg would open the doors and Flash would run off with the prisoners. Batman warned Cyborg to stop and when that warning wasn’t heeded, he pressed a button that shorted Cyborg out. Once he finally came to his senses, he couldn’t understand it. He just updated his firewalls and there’s no way Batman could have infected him.

    Then Cyborg realized that Batman infected him with the virus on the first week they met. Just in case. In the background, Killer Croc noted, “That’s pretty evil.”

    Batman pulled crap like that a lot in the first year. While Superman was wrong for the right reasons, Batman was terrible at proving why he himself was in the right.

    5. BLACK ADAM’S TAKEN DOWN (Y1: #19)

    With the Justice League trying to stop all war around the world, that would naturally put them at odds with Teth Adam, ruler of Kahndaq. A man not known for listening to reason, he fought the heroes, who eventually overpowered him. In a moment of, “How did nobody else thing of this before?!” Wonder Woman proved that she is Black Adam’s kryptonite. All she had to do was get him in the lasso and ask him what his magic words are.

    Shazam tried to plead with him and asked him point blank if there was any way to stop him. Adam, compelled to tell the truth, angrily said that he would tear apart anyone who tried to hurt Kahndaq, so no. He couldn’t be swayed. In his last moments before being forced to depower himself, Adam desperately begged Shazam to keep his country safe. Then he transformed into a powerless old man and was taken off the table until Year Five.

    6. SUPERMAN VS. KALIBAK (Y1: #22-24)

    With word that Superman was bringing peace to Earth, Kalibak found the idea laughable and figured it made the planet easy pickings for invasion. With Darkseid’s blessing, he and an endless stream of Parademons attacked Earth during a press conference where Superman was trying to better explain his actions to the frightened public. Kalibak completely underestimated Superman’s mindset in this act and paid for it.

    Kalibak doubled down and mocked Superman for caring too much about the lives of his enemies than his people, all while piling on hundreds of Parademons and pointing out that Superman could hear all the people being terrorized from around the world. Vowing this wouldn’t happen again, Superman vaporized the lot of them, then beat Kalibak to death, even when Kalibak tried to surrender. After a brief discussion with Flash, Superman decided that for the greater good, he’d have to reduce every single Parademon on Earth to organic confetti.

    He saved the world, but at the same time, Flash was disturbed that he basically gave Superman permission to kill and Batman knew that Superman’s actions were going to get progressively worse.

    7. MORAL CHESS (Y1: #26)

    Again, Superman and Flash had a conversation about the morality of what they were doing, though this time at their own leisure and not during an intergalactic invasion. In a cute gimmick, Superman had Flash quickly learn the rules of chess so that they could play while talking. This worked out so that any time one of them made a point in their argument, they would suddenly reach checkmate. Superman started off with all the good points, but soon Flash was able to run circles around his conversation and his skills by dropping checkmate after checkmate after checkmate.

    8. SUPER TWITTER (Y1: #28)

    This bit’s something that’s so stupid that it wraps around and becomes fantastic. Superman had had enough of Batman’s interference, so he decided that he’d just blurt out his alter-ego info to the world. Batman interfered with the satellite’s signal, putting them in the dark and also causing it to spiral down to Earth. Presumably, by the time Superman would have saved everyone in the satellite, Batman would have put some kind of contingency plan that would...do something? I don’t think Taylor thought that far ahead. Anyway, Robin was all, “No way, we’re doing this! Lex Luthor! Cyborg! Get Superman a Twitter account! Or at least an off-brand one that we can use in this comic!”

    And so, “Batman is Bruce Wayne” became the most retweeted line in this universe, ruining the Dark Knight’s core level of secrecy.

    While goofy, it did lead to a wonderful follow-up scene. Alfred came to Batman to tell him about the many, many news helicopters circling the manor and while he figured Batman had contingencies for his funds and various charities, Alfred had his own special list for just such an occasion. A short list of irreplaceable things to take with him in case Batman's identity was blown. His mother’s pearls, father’s stethoscope, etc. Batman thanks Alfred and suggested that perhaps he should remain at the mansion, but Alfred refused. After all, he was on the top of the list!

    9. GREEN ARROW’S DEATH (Y1: #33-34)

    It all led up to this moment. Superman didn’t simply lose his way over night. Various incidents and interactions pushed him in various ways, but it all came to a head in the moment he lost control and killed Green Arrow. Superman and Luthor had created a special pill that would give someone the strength of a Kryptonian (to explain in-game why Harley Quinn and Nightwing could fight Superman and Doomsday) and Batman created a plan to create a diversion to get Superman out of the Fortress of Solitude so that they could sneak in and steal it.

    What Batman didn’t count on was that Superman was keeping his parents in the Fortress for their own safety and how volatile that would make him. The incident escalated and it seemed like everything was against Superman, including fate. His friends betrayed him. His government betrayed him. The current love of his life Wonder Woman was critically injured. He was almost killed by Captain Atom. Batman wouldn’t stop trying to undermine him. Then in an act of desperation, Green Arrow deflected an arrow off Superman and it stuck into Pa Kent’s shoulder. Superman snapped and beat Green Arrow to death, but not before Arrow was able to fire the super pill off into the distance and make his sacrifice mean something.

    Afterwards, the Kents and the computerized ghost of Jor-El tried to reason with Superman, but he wouldn’t hear it. After he flew off to find Batman, the three moped about their failures as parents. It was one of the sadder moments as the AI Jor-El tried to console the Kents while saying, “I’m sorry I unleashed this on your world.”

    10. SUPERMAN VS. ALFRED (Y1: #36)

    Batman put the super pill into the Batcomputer in order to get the data to synthesize it. That meant having to keep Superman busy long enough, which was kind of hard because, you know, he’s Superman. Superman caught him and decided that he wouldn’t kill Batman. Instead, he broke him over his knee, Bane-style. He noticed that the pill was gone and the information was uploaded elsewhere, but when he tried to press Batman (physically) to spill the beans, he just got the harsh truth that no matter how heroic he pretended to be, he was actually resorting to torture. Before Superman could process this, a hand touched his shoulder. It was Alfred.

    Then Alfred buried his forehead into Superman’s nose. It was the perfect payoff for a man who sat back and watched his own family get torn apart over these 36 issues. Alfred verbally ran down Superman while stomping him so hard that his own shoe exploded into leather pieces. Once done, he took a second to clean his hands like a good butler and carried Batman off to the teleporter, telling him that there was nothing else in the cave worth saving. Damn.

    The moment this issue came out, readers were clamoring for an Alfred Pennyworth DLC in the game.

    11. BEST TEAM-UP EVER (Y1 Annual)

    Injustice: Gods Among Us Annual is such a great little side-story taking place before Green Arrow’s death. It mainly dealt with Lobo, the downloadable character from the game who otherwise had nothing to do with the main storyline. Due to the whole Kalibak incident, Darkseid hired him to take out Superman. Seeing how screwed he was against a Superman with no moral problems throwing the Main Man into the sun, Lobo instead took a job for Superman to track down Harley Quinn. One thing led to another and soon Harley had ingested one of the super pills.

    Harley went to the Arrow Cave, since Green Arrow was nice to her that one time, leading to some hilarious dialogue and facial expressions between the two of them and Black Canary. Lobo eventually tracked them down, but their combined abilities (mostly Harley’s newfound ability to tear someone’s head clean off) helped prevent them from being another three notches on Lobo’s belt. Then Harley used her psychological assets to convince Lobo that she was beneath him and he moved on.


    12. THE DEATH OF KYLE RAYNER (Y2: #2)

    As mentioned earlier, a lot of having to kill off Lois Lane chafed Taylor and it showed in his work. In one instance, he took the original “girls in refrigerators” moment and turned it on its head. Kyle Rayner was off doing space adventures and was on his way to go meet his girl. In this version of the story, Kyle was the one cornered and brutally killed for the sake of plot device.

    While the last several years of DC has painted Sinestro as more of an anti-hero, this one sequence solidified him as the true villain of Year Two. The horrifying way he and his Sinestro Corps took Kyle apart was genuinely sad and just a little scary.

    13. GORDON’S ALWAYS KNOWN (Y2: #6)

    As a way to stick it to Batman, Superman decided to have his foot soldiers take martial law on Gotham. This didn’t sit well for Commissioner Gordon. He walked over to one of Oracle’s secret hideouts and told her he knew everything. Once she let him in, she made a brief attempt to play dumb, but then he merely shouted her down. He knew about Batgirl. He knew about Oracle. He knew Batman was Bruce Wayne. He knew from the very beginning because he was a detective and he was damn good at his job.

    With Gordon cutting through the lies, he then told Barbara his own sad truth: he was dying of lung cancer. The last thing he wanted to do was save the world from Superman because it was only going to get worse.

    14. CH’P VS. SUPERMAN (Y2: #10)

    Superman’s megalomania eventually got the attention of the Green Lantern Corps. With Hal Jordan kept imprisoned, the Oans sent a bunch of Lanterns to Earth to pick a fight. Superman had a handful of his allies and a giant satellite laser on his side, but despite the many ring-slingers out to stop him, it was one of the tiniest who almost did the job. Ch’p the space squirrel was able to use his ring to manipulate the energy flowing through Superman’s skull, keeping his synapses from reaching his brain. Without Superman being able to even think right, the Man of Steel was there’s for the taking.

    Lucky for Superman, Sinestro was able to convince Lex Luthor that he was there to help and was allowed to enter the fray. Not noticed until it was too late, Sinestro sniped the poor, little squirrel and that was the end of their advantage.

    15. HARLEY’S DAUGHTER (Y2: #13)

    Black Canary found Harley squatting in the abandoned Arrow Cave and the two started fighting it out. Harley stopped once Canary started vomiting, realizing she was suffering morning sickness and was pregnant with Ollie’s child. She casually let it slip that she too was once pregnant and Dinah pressed the subject until Harley relented. Years ago, she was pregnant with the Joker’s kid. In a rare act of sense, Harley kept it a secret from Joker and left him for nearly a year to give birth to Lucy and hand her off to Harley's sister. Then when she returned to the Joker, Joker acted like he didn’t even notice Harley was gone in the first place, which Harley tearfully explained away as a hilarious joke.

    It’s rare to get a good scene that really gets the Joker/Harley relationship without feeling icky. Harley’s dependency on Joker’s abusive nature is shown perfectly here, but there’s none of the usual physical violence to back it up. It’s heartbreaking when Harley describes Lucy’s interests and the little girl comes off as an innocent version of Harley who will be spared the horrors of a clown crime lifestyle.

    16. SINESTRO VS. DESPERO (Y2: 15)

    Year One was about Superman succumbing to all sorts of different factors to the point of losing his way. Taylor made sure that it wasn’t just one thing making his turn to darkness a simple on-off switch. On the other hand, Sinestro spent Year Two stoking the flames of Superman’s psyche while turning Hal Jordan further to his side. The ease in which he was able to do this made it all the more hilarious because, really, Hal Jordan is a total meathead.

    Flying in from space, Despero crashed into a populated building in Chicago. Sinestro was on the scene first and made a heroic claim that Despero would not be terrorizing Earth, as that was under his protection. Despero wasn’t sure what the hell he was talking about and over the next few pages, it became pretty apparent that Sinestro had his Sinestro Corps rough up Despero, throw him to Earth, and let Sinestro take care of the rest. Sinestro used his ring to force Despero’s hands onto Sinestro’s throat and with Hal and John Stewart flying over as witnesses, Sinestro yelled, “Don’t make me do this!” before snapping Despero’s neck out of supposed self-defense.

    Hal believed every second of it.

    17. DAN DIDIO HATES THIS (Y2: 16)

    Remember about a couple years ago when the big thing was how the Batwoman comic was working its way towards a lesbian engagement and then DC shut it down? Then they went all, “No, we’re not anti-gay! We’re just anti-marriage in general!” when everyone made a stink about it? Fun times.

    In this issue, everyone was getting ready for the big fight against Superman, the Justice League, and the Sinestro Corps. Batman took to the radio to give a big speech about sacrifice and heroism and all that. He’d bring up family and we’d see Barbara and James Gordon saying their goodbyes. He’d bring up friends and we’d see Harvey Bullock getting drunk by himself. But most notably, it explicitly showed that in the Injustice: Gods Among Us universe, Batwoman and Renee Montoya were married. That rules.

    It was never referenced again.

    18. HAL JORDAN GOES YELLOW (Y2: 19)

    An argument between Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner escalated once Sinestro and Ganthet arrived. Guy tried to reason with him, but Hal was firmly on Superman’s side. Then as Guy saved Carol Ferris from some burning debris, Hal made the bonehead decision to smash Guy in the face and let Carol fall so he could save her. Ganthet chose that moment to strip Hal of his green ring, which was called for, but also really bad timing because, you know, Carol was falling to her death. Desperate, Hal begged Sinestro to save Carol, but Sinestro refused.

    “We need you in this war. Save her yourself.”

    With a yellow ring offered, Hal joined Sinestro’s brand and rescued Carol. A few issues later, Sinestro killed John Stewart and told Hal that Guy was accidentally responsible. Feeling that this big space battle between the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro Corps was Guy’s fault, Hal attacked him and tore his arm off, watching as the powerless Guy fell to Earth.

    Sinestro took out three of the Earth Lanterns in one year while turning the other to his side. Not bad.

    19. JIM GORDON’S LAST STAND (Y2: 20)

    The less cosmic members of Batman’s resistance took to overtaking the Hall of Justice, all hopped up on super pills. They successfully took out Flash, Robin, and Luthor, but Luthor spoke to Commissioner Gordon and told him that he was really a mole and that Barbara was in great danger. Cyborg was tracing Oracle’s signal and was going to figure out her location in moments. Using Luthor as a hostage, Gordon beamed up to the satellite and fired a warning shot into the metal side of Cyborg’s head.

    Even though Gordon was dying, he was still able to overpower Cyborg and knock him out by tearing off his metal face. As he and Luthor discussed, taking the super pill didn’t aid Gordon’s health. It only made the cancer stronger. He enjoyed the peaceful view from above Earth and spoke to Barbara and Batman through his communicator. He said his goodbyes, ending with the joke, “Batman. I guess...I guess I disappear on you for once,” before collapsing.

    20. SUPERMAN VS. BLACK CANARY (Y2: #21-23)

    This is a fight that had been building since the first issue of Year Two. Hell, since the moment Superman snapped and killed Ollie. Superman saw the Batwing flying towards him and figured it was Batman. He lasered it up into oblivion, only for Black Canary to fly out with a bat-jetpack on her back and a super pill in her system. With her sonic scream, she was able to paralyze Superman while spiking him into the ground. When they got up, she shot him in the chest with a kryptonite bullet. Yep, all was looking peachy as she kicked the crap out of him.

    What everyone forgot to pick up on was that there were a whole lot of Sinestro Corps soldiers dying around them and Superman was becoming an expert at instilling fear around the world. One of the empty rings flew to him and helped him remove the kryptonite bullet from his chest. He critically wounded Canary with his heat vision and showed off his badass new Sinestro Corps threads.

    Still, Canary had the last laugh. She had special contact lenses that allowed her to record the entire fight. No longer would Superman be able to use media smoke and mirrors to play off his actions as heroic. The world knew what he really was. Superman didn’t take it well and we got a dead Mogo and Ganthet out of the deal a few minutes later.


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    While Batman and The Flash unravel the mysteries of Rebirth, Jay Garrick finally returns as the DC Universe continues to impress.

    NewsMike Cecchini
    May 17, 2017

    This article contains minor spoilers for recent issues of Batman and The Flash.

    Still notable by their absence from DC's fine return to form with their Rebirth initiative are many of the core members of the Justice Society. Sure, Earth 2: Society recently wrapped, but that's not exactly the Rebirth version of the team that was first hinted at in the DC Universe: Rebirth special last year.

    Y'see, one of the side effects of the New 52 was that the concept of the Justice Society as Earth's first team of superheroes, who then inspired future generations, was lost. But Rebirth indicated that they did indeed exist, but were somehow wiped from everybody's memory. Of course, the reasoning for that appears to be meddling from none other than Watchmen's Doctor Manhattan, a plot point that has been a little contentious with fans, even if the general consensus is that across the line, Rebirth finally feels like the DC Comics we've been missing for a few years.

    And even those skeptical about how the whole "Watchmen characters in the DC Universe" thing will work out (including this writer) seem to be enjoying the slow build as more clues are revealed in a select handful of books. Things accelerated in April with "The Button," a four-part story that rolled out across issues #21-22 of both Batman (by Tom King and Jason Fabok) and The Flash (by Josh Williamson and Howard Porter). "The Button" sees the Fastest Man Alive and the World's Greatest Detective get together to finally figure out what the heck the Comedian's button was doing in the Batcave, and it ties into the reality altering events of Flashpoint, which is how we ended up with the New 52 in the first place.

    While I have thoroughly enjoyed the DC Universe again in the wake of Rebirth over the last year, "The Button" was one of those things that reminded me how uncomfortable I am with the whole Watchmen/DCU collision concept. Fortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly given the quality of the creative teams, "The Button" is a remarkably tight, personal story that not only expanded the scope of the current DC Universe, but wrapped up some lingering Flashpoint issues, as well. While Flashpoint is now generally considered to be a touchstone of DC lore, it has never exactly been a favorite of mine, so the fact that "The Button" turned out to be such a fun ride in spite of two major objections on my part is remarkable. But the biggest deal, the one that has the most impact for longtime DC fans, came in the story's final chapter in The Flash #22, with the return of original Flash Jay Garrick.

    OK, so...as someone who counts Garrick as his favorite speedster, the cover of The Flash #22 (art by Jason Fabok) is spectacular. While lightly updated, this is very much the classic Jay Garrick Flash look, and it fits in with the overall "respect the past but have a little fun with things" aesthetic of Rebirth redesigns. The cover that he's "burning through" is the original Flash Comics #1 from 1940, while his pose there is reminiscent of the cover of 2009's The Flash: Rebirth, the hugely influential comic by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver that helped set the table for The Flash TV series, among other things. 

    Jay's actual return in the story is illustrated by Howard Porter, and the full page reveal when he emerges from the Speed Force for the first time in years is positively triumphant. It's probably not my imagination that Porter's Jay Garrick looks a little bit like John Wesley Shipp, the actor who played Barry Allen in the 1990s Flash TV series and currently brings Jay Garrick to life on the current TV series.

    Despite all this, Jay's return is short lived, and we're going to have to wait a while longer before we get that Justice Society reunion we're all craving. But again, like what we saw in the book that launched Rebirth last year, the pieces are now in place for DC's first super team to return.

    The return of Jay Garrick mirrors the recent reset of Superman continuity over in the pages of Action Comics, and the quiet way DC has gone about the business of cleaning up the New 52. Rather than do another hard reset last year with the DC Universe: Rebirth special, they've rolled out these changes organically, often in the pages of other, larger stories, in ways that appeal to older readers and are unlikely to alienate new ones. Making Garrick the first member of the classic JSA to properly return is a bit of a meta treat, as well, since his first meeting with Barry Allen in 1961's The Flash #123 is what introduced the very concept of the Multiverse to the DC Universe, a signifier of the seismic changes to come.

    And make no mistake, "The Button" points the way to what's next for the DC Universe. In this case, it's Doomsday Clock, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, the book that will likely solve the Dr. Manhattan mystery and finally answer Rebirth's lingering questions. We have more details on Doomsday Clock right here.

    I may remain skeptical of using Watchmen concepts within the DCU, but I can't argue with results. Right now, DC is reinvigorating old concepts and perfecting its own message with a purpose that I haven't seen from them in nearly a decade. So far, the execution of Jay Garrick's return is another feather for their winged helmet. If it takes another year to reintroduce the rest of the Justice Society, I have a feeling it will be worth the wait.


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    Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and others will team up as The Defenders in 2017! And there's a new photo of them.

    NewsMike CecchiniJoseph Baxter
    May 17, 2017

    Marvel's master plan for teaming Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist (plus some members of their supporting casts) in The Defenders Netflix series is well underway, and we'll see it later this year. The Defenders showrunners are Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez (Daredevil Season 2), with Drew Goddard (Daredevil Season 1, The MartianLost) returning as executive producer. The Defenders is currently filming in New York City.

    Latest The Defenders News

    While we've already seen this team in the trailer, this new image of them suited up and ready to go, compliments of Empire, will still always be a treat.

    The Defenders Trailer

    The first trailer is finally here!

    Huge points for appropriate use of Nirvana's "Come as You Are."

    We did a full breakdown and analysis of the trailer, which you can read by clicking here.

    We last saw Elektra in the concluding moments of Daredevil Season 2, when the volatile romance between her and Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock ended – in an inevitable spin on her classic comic book fate – with her apparent death during a clash with clandestine ninja criminal organization the Hand by returning rival Nobu Yoshioka (Peter Shinkoda). However, as we also saw, the Hand, with post-mortem interest in Elektra, dug her up and placed her body into a sacred sarcophagus to be reborn as their new leader the Black Sky. Relevantly, the new promo for The Defenders gives us a slight tease for the end result of that macabre process.

    Thus, while expectations for The Defenders would presumably have a resurrected Elektra pegged as an ally, we could find our heroes on the wrong side of her signature set of sais, at least, initially, anyway. Since the Hand played a major role in the last Marvel Netflix series Iron Fist, showcasing a shakeup in its leadership, it will be interesting to see how things play out in The Defenders, with Elektra as the Black Sky, along with Sigourney Weaver’s billed main villain, “Alexandra.”

    The Defenders Release Date

    A security footage-style teaser video titled "Midland Circle Security Elevator B" features street level MCU heroes in a blindfolded Daredevil, bullet-ridden hoodie-rocking Luke Cage, suit-sporting Iron Fist, and a camera-shy Jessica Jones awkwardly sharing an elevator and some obligatory Muzak. However, the time code in the upper-right ending with "08:18:20:17" divulged the long-awaited crucial bit of info.

    With that oblique move, Netflix has officially revealed that The Defenders will premiere on August 18, 2017.

    The Defenders Story

    It's not much, but it's all we've got right now...

    Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal - to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.

    “Every one of them is following their own trail of bread crumbs, trying to unpack a mystery in New York,” showrunner Marco Ramirez told Entertainment Weekly. “We wanted them all caught off guard. Once they’re in that room together, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, s—, who are you?'”

    The Defenders Photos

    Hit the gallery to see some official stills. 

    [gallery:4]

    And how about this cool poster from Joe Quesada?

    You can also see a whole stack of set photos here.

    The Defenders Cast

    Charlie Cox will return as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, as will Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Finn Jones as Iron Fist, and Mike Colter as Luke Cage. Don't be surprised if some other characters we meet along the way join the party, like Jon Bernthal's Punisher. Expect supporting cast from each of their shows to at least make appearances, and that will likely include Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson.

    “We're incredibly excited to be able to bring our four street level heroes together in an epic tale woven by Doug and Marco whose work on Marvel’s Daredevil speaks for itself,” said Executive Producer/Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb in a statement when the showrunners were announced in April 2016. "They write and produce not only great action and adventure, but also the heart and touch of humor that's makes us Marvel. With the inclusion of Drew Goddard, we've got a team that's as formidable as the Defenders themselves."

    “This is the big one. Four amazing casts, four amazing series, now all in one amazing story,” added showrunners and Executive Producers Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to deliver the show that both we and the fans have been waiting for.”

    The first hero who isn't yet a headliner to be confirmed for the series is none other than Simone Missick's Misty Knight. “I believe I’m safe to say that I will be on The Defenders,” Simone Missick told The Wrap.

    Misty is a huge highlight of Marvel's Luke Cage Netflix series, so having her in The Defenders should be treat.

    The Defenders official Twitter account just keeps dropping casting bombs on us. The latest is that Elodie Yung will appear as Elektra. This show gets better by the day.

    They also confirmed that Jessica Henwick, who will first appear in Iron Fist, will reprise her role as Colleen Wing in the upcoming Defenders team-up series. Here's a brief snippet of Henwick kicking butt:

    The official Twitter account also confirmed what we already knew, that supporting characters from other Netflix shows like Luke CageJessica Jones, and Daredevil like Elden Hensen's Foggy Nelson, Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page, Scott Glenn's Stick, Simone Missick's Misty Knight, and other will be part of the series.

    Join Amazon Prime - Watch Thousands of Movies & TV Shows Anytime - Start Free Trial Now

    And it doesn't look like we'll get Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk in this one, unfortunately.

    Marvel's The Defenders Netflix series will consist of eight episodes (the usual count for their assorted solo series if 13), and Marvel has announced the director of the first two episodes. S.J. Clarkson, whose credits include episodes of Jessica Jones, Vinyl, and Orange is The New Black will occupy the big chair for those crucial first two installments.

    “S.J.'s take on the material is outstanding. We loved her work on “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” and couldn’t think of a more talented and accomplished person to helm the first two episodes of Marvel’s The Defenders,” said Marvel’s Head of Television and Executive Producer, Jeph Loeb in a statement.

    The Defenders Villain

    Sigourney Weaver was announced as the antagonist to deafening applause on the NYCC Main Stage back in October. Since then details have been scarce...until now.

    Entertainment Weekly has our first look at Sigourney Weaver as the mystery antagonist of Marvel's The Defenders Netflix series, although this still doesn't tell us a whole lot. We know her name is "Alexandra" and that's all they're telling us. At least for the moment.

    Here's a photo of her in character, which marks the first official set photo we have from the series at all!

    “We knew it would take something massive to pull these four characters from their individual worlds to work together,” Defenders showrunner Marco Ramirez told EW, “but also small enough that it felt like it existed in our world.” Start your speculation engines, comic fans!

     Last month, Ms. Weaver spoke to Movies.com a little about what to expect.

    "It has a wonderful cast, and we're doing it right here in New York, which means a lot to me...Basically the four heroes come up against this really nice woman, who I'm playing...It's been a blast and I really love my character. I love the shows, too, which I wasn't familiar with before doing this. A real love letter to New York. To me they're not superheroes; they're people with a gift. It's just a different scale, and I'm really enjoying the scale of it. The apocalyptic thing is a little harder for me to understand."

    EW also unveiled the first proper look at the team together:

    We'll update this with more information about The Defenders Netflix series as it becomes available.

    A version of this article originally ran on April 11th. It has been updated with new information.


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    The teaser trailer includes some easter eggs that longtime fans need to see.

    NewsShamus Kelley
    May 17, 2017

    It’s been a long time coming but we’ve finally got a solid look at the new Robotech comic. In this new trailer we not only see some new artwork but also some new twists!

    Right off from the artwork we can see that Roy and some other officers are invetigating the crashed SDF-1. Eagle eyed fans will note one of those officers helmets read, "Hayes." Could this be Lisa Hayes' father? We also see the tagline, "Following Carl Macek's Original Vision" once again. What does that mean? Could it mean more closely uniting the sagas without worrying about footage restrictions? We can't see wait to see.

    For some insight on the new comic, wrier Brian Wood spoke about the direction of the series and his familiarity with the franchise.

    Wood grew up as a fan of the original Americanized Robotech as a kid, messing with his antenna to try and get a decent picture of the show. He tried to get his hands on anything Robotech he could find, only managing to score a few issues of the original Comico series and The Art of Robotech.

    What stood out to him more than anything about the show was that his older sister would watch it with him.

    “(She was) probably in her early teens at the time, and why on earth would a teenage girl wake up at 5am or whatever it was on a weekend to watch robot cartoons with her little brother? That’s stuck with me my entire life, the fact that the characters and the drama was compelling enough for me and for her, even though we were very different types of people.”

    Woods points to Roy and Claudia as the characters he related to the most, along with Lisa. “I like her stern, follow the rules style.” Beyond the characters he also loves the ship designs, Veritech designs, “and the fast-paced style of the combat in the show - the winding, snaking missiles, Roy’s Skull-1 tail art, and the genuineness of the relationships."

    Even if Wood is a big fan of the original series, he knew he had to “aggressively modernize and streamline it” for the new audience picking up the comic.

    “I love the show, I just re-watched the whole thing, but there’s no getting around the fact its dated, and not everything in it ages so well (although I admit a lot of it was ahead of its time).”

    Woods points to JJ Abrams’ Star Trek as a prime example of how to both pay respect to what’s come before but also update it and that’s the approach Titan is taking with the comic. They’ll be introducing new elements that weren’t in the original show, as we can already see from the new artwork, but Woods says,

    “The main draw here is how we’re aiming to capture two audiences - the existing fans, and any other people who either don’t know where to start with Robotech, or maybe aren’t interested in it because the old episodes seem dated.”

    Woods stresses that he wants to share this franchise with everyone. The summary below should give fans a glimpse into just how Titan Comics will be going about that.

    Not just another retelling of the Macross saga ... In July, the story continues as we bring Carl Macek's original vision full circle. Taking into account every iteration of the series, this new Robotech #1 casts a fresh eye over classic characters like Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, Lynn Minmei, Roy Fokker, Claudia Grant, and Henry Gloval. Brian Wood and Marco Turini take us back to a Macross Island where *nothing* can be taken for granted.

    Check out these interior pages by Marco Turini which give fans even more hints at what's to come.

    Already we’re seeing some divergence from what we saw in the series. Roy is flanked by some guards on the flight deck from the first episode. Rick has a different flight suit and some neat shades. Why is Rick’s fanjet being pursued by fighters? We’re eagerly looking forward to the answers.

    Below are most of the covers released for the Robotechcomic series.  

    COVER A: STANLEY ‘ARTGERM’ LAU


    COVER B: KARL KERSCHL


    COVER C: BLAIR SHEDD ACTION FIGURE VARIANT


    COVER D: MICHAEL DIALYNAS

    COVER E: WALTRIP BROS. RETRO VARIANT


    COVER F: BLUE LINE VERITECH SKETCH VARIANT


    COVER G: 1:10 VARIANT - KARL KERSCHL (MINMEI)


    Stay tuned to Den of Geek for all things Robotech and get hyped for the comic series! Robotech #1 hits stand on July 26th.

    Shamus Kelley still needs some sweet Rick Hunter shades. Follow him on Twitter! 


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