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    Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, and US Avengers cross over to start the new year.

    NewsJim Dandy
    Sep 29, 2017

    The first third of Marvel's 2018 will be spent engrossed in what looks to be a huge Avengers crossover. Announced today, "Avengers: No Surrender" will weave through all three Avengers comics - regular Avengers by Mark Waid; Uncanny Avengersby Jim Zub; and U.S. Avengers by Al Ewing. The series will come out weekly for the first 16 weeks of the year. Pepe Larraz will draw the first month's worth of books, while Kim Jacinto will draw the second month, and Paco Medina the third. 

    Details about the story are light for now. We do know so far that the story spins out of the Marvel: Legacy one-shot and kicks off with the Earth being stolen. Every Avenger ever will be called on to deal with a threat from that book (presumably "The Host" that Loki was calling forth). They're also slated to face off against Thanos' Black Order and the Lethal Legion, an old Avengers villain group that has, through its various incarnations through the years, covered just about every bad guy from Paste Pot Pete to Sabertooth to the Absorbing Man.

    The crossover kicks off in January's Avengers #675. For more on "Avengers: No Surrender" or its prequel book, Invaders: No Mercy which doesn't exist except as a way for me to make a 300 joke, stick with Den of Geek!


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    Marvel's Inhumans is the culmination of nearly 50 years of comic book storytelling.

    Feature Marc Buxton
    Sep 29, 2017

    The Inhumans are here. Marvel’s latest TV series has arrived on ABC and you just know that they’ll be more Easter eggs than you can shake a teleporting bulldog at. Don’t worry, we've got you covered as each and every week, we will spell out all the little bits of comic book fan service that Inhumans springs upon fandom.

    So dive in kids, and get to know all the bits of comic business than inspired Marvel's Inhumans...

    The first shot of the new series is of the moon which is very appropriate. As old time Marvel fans know, the moon is a very important in Inhumans lore. When the Inhumans were first introduced to the world by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four #45 (1965), they lived in a hidden location in the Himalayan Mountains. For years, Inhumans and humans lived with a sort of uncomfortable unawareness of each other. When the Inhumans came to be known to the world at large, humans grew more and more mistrustful of the hidden race. It was at that point that King Black Bolt decided to relocate his people to the Blue Area of the Moon.

    What the hell is that, you ask? The Blue Area of the Moon is a hidden from human eyes portion of the moon’s lunar landscape that possesses a breathable atmosphere that was created by the Skrulls millions of years ago. The Area was used by Uatu the Watcher as his base of operations and became a familiar setting to the Fantastic Four as the team journeyed their many times to help their big headed, bald pal. Always tight with the Inhumans, the FF helped locate Black Bolt, Medusa, their subjects, and the entire city of Attilan to the Blue Area when pollution created by mankind began to sicken the Inhumans. This exodus happened in Fantastic Four #240 (1982) by John Byrne.

    Speaking of Attilan, the city has long been the refuge of the Inhumans since Jack and Stan introduced the race in 1965. Attilan has long been called The Great Refuge and has served as a place where the Inhumans can be shielded from humanity. As we said, Attilan was originally hidden in the Himalayas when mankind’s technology became advanced enough to stumble on the Refuge.

    Attilan is a Kirby creation at its core. Like Asgard, when Kirby rendered Attilan it was a sight to behold. Gleaming golden spires, archaic and futuristic technology and architecture, and wonderfully strange beings inhabited the city and Kirby’s sense of ownership of the setting was palpable in every panel.

    Triton

    The fish man Triton was the first Royal Family member to appear on the new ABC series. Before we talk about Triton, we have to ask, why would he be wearing a raincoat? Does the fish person not want to get wet? That’s just silly.

    riton usually runs around shirtless and with bare legs because wearing a heavy raincoat would be dopey if you’re only power is swimming really quickly. Oh yeah, we’re going to get mileage out of this kids, strap in. Questionable wardrobe choices aside, Triton has long been one of Black Bolt’s most loyal followers. The seafaring Inhuman was one of the first to appear in Kirby and Lee’s Fantastic Four #45 and over the years, he was a constant presence wherever the Royal Family turned up. Lee must have liked the fish man because Triton even appeared in a few back up features in the pages of Thor. Triton is a staunch ally of Namor the Sub-Mariner because those fishy folk tend to stick together. It was really cool to see Triton make his live action debut after so many years, even if it was for only six seconds.

    Medusa

    Our next major Inhuman power player to make a TV debut is the queen of the Inhumans, Medusa. Medusa was one of the only Inhumans to debut before Fantastic Four #45. Medusalith Amaquelin Boltagon first appeared in Fantastic Four #36 (1965) and was brought into Marvel continuity as a member of the Frightful Four. Joining Medusa and Wizard were Sandman and Paste Pot Pete (please Marvel, find a way to include Paste Pot Pete in Inhumans...please). At this time, Medusa suffered from amnesia and had no memory of her past. She was used as a living weapon by the Wizard in his attempts to take down the FF. Lee and Kirby really played up her mysterious past, until she was reunited with her Inhuman brethren. Medusa is an example of early brilliant Marvel continuity as her lost past become the narrative line into the introduction to the Inhumans. 

    Black Bolt

    Blackagar Boltagon is one of Marvel’s most mysterious and powerful characters. The voiceless King of the Inhumans and husband to Medusa has reigned over the Inhumans since Fantastic Four #45. The TV series pretty much captured Black Bolt’s mannerisms and his regality while skimping on his iconic costume. In the comics, Black Bolt wears a black mask topped by his signature tuning fork symbol. Blackagar also has bat-like wings that are so badass and cool that I can’t wrap my head around why the series jettisoned them. Yeah, the series got the color patterns right, but how do you add his that little tiara thing but forgo the wings?

    Since his very earliest appearances, Black Bolt has been fascinated with humanity and has tried to achieve racial harmony with his human brethren. Recently in the comics, Black Bolt was responsible for spreading the Terrigen Mists around the world creating millions of more Inhumans. Of course on TV, that event happened on Agents of SHIELD and had nothing to do with Black Bolt and the Royal Family. To conclude things with the Silent King, recently in the comics, it was revealed that Black Bolt owns a Karaoke bar on Earth and the TV series better acknowledge this because it’s just too cool for words. C’mon Marvel, you took the mask and wings, give me something here.

    Since we’re talking about Black Bolt, we might as well mention that the Royal Family crest that repeats throughout the show as a visual motif is a mirror of the tuning fork thingie that the comic versions of Black Bolt and Lockjaw have on their heads. It’s nice that Marvel incorporated the familiar image somewhere in the show...

    Gorgon

    The next big deal Inhuman we will cover is Gorgon. Gorgon served as a harbinger to the arrival of the Inhumans in Lee and Kirby’s Fantastic Four #44 (1965), where the earthquake making, hooved Gorgon shows up to find the still suffering from amnesia  Medusa. Gorgon has long been rivals with the Thing and has served as Black Bolt’s Inhuman captain of the guards. The comic book Gorgon is much more satyr like in appearance, but TV’s Gorgon perfectly captured the kindly brute’s courage and brashness. Recently in the comics, Gorgon has been crippled and is forced to use a huge wheelchair or exo-skeleton in order to achieve mobility.

    Karnak

    And now we have Karnak. Karnak is a disciplined martial artist who has the power to find a weakness in anything. Karnak can stop a tank with a single chop or bring down a mountain with a whistle. Gorgon and Karnak are the closest of allies and family, but they have a serious adversarial relationship which carries over nicely to the TV series.

    Karnak is one of the greatest strategists in the Marvel Universe and Black Bolt often looks to the disciplined monk for help bringing down even the most powerful enemies. Karnak used to be portrayed as having a monstrous oblong head that he would conceal beneath a distinctive battle helm. These day, comic book Karnak sports a hoodie and facial tattoos which is obviously where the TV version of Karnak takes its inspiration. Recently, Marvel published a short Karnak series written by the great Warren Ellis and that series serves as a guide to how creepy and awesome Karnak can truly be.

    Maximus

    On the new TV series, Maximus is probably the Inhumans character that is most different from his comic book counterpart. In the comics, Maximus is known as Maximus the Mad, while on TV he is more like Maximus the Slightly Creepy. The classic Maximus has a great deal in common with Loki while TV’s Maximus is more like a mash up of Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings and some douchebag corporate middle management type.

    But that’s not the comic book Maximus. The classic Maximus has been the Shakespearean antagonist in the Inhumans epic. He is an unpredictable force of nature that has served his family as many times as he has turned on them. In the TV series, Maximus is reviled because he is a plain human with no terrigen powers, but in the comics, Maximus has the power to muddle, wipe, and confuse the minds of others. He is a genius level intellect and a constant creator of chaos. Hopefully as we move forward, TV’s Maximus will become more than just a slacker Ramsey Bolton.

    What is Terrigenesis?

    So I guess we’re going to hear the word terrigenesis six million times on Inhumans, so let’s cover it. Since the Inhumans' earliest appearances, it has been established that at puberty, they're exposed to the terrigen mists and granted random powers. The terrigenesis can cause physical transformations or grant those exposed any kind of powers. It’s actually a pretty cool concept that sets Inhumans apart from mutants.

    Crystal

    The story of Crystal and her star crossed romance was the original emotional center into the epic tale of the Inhumans. Crystalia Amaquelin instantly fell in love with Johnny Storm, the Human Torch when first meeting Marvel’s first family. The Torch and Crystal’s forbidden romance became the focal point of the first Inhumans stories and in many ways, Crystal has always been the Torch’s great love. The Torch and Crystal’s bond became the catalyst between the long friendship between the FF and the Inhumans, and Crystal even joined the Fantastic Four when Sue Storm Richards was pregnant with her first child.

    For those not in the know, Crystal has had a long and storied presence in the Marvel Universe. She was married to and had a child with the mutant Avenger known as Quicksilver, she joined the Avengers, and she even led her own team of Inhumans (The All-New Inhumans) on Earth after the terrigenesis began to spread. It will be interesting to see if TV’s Crystal will fall in love with a human and recreate the bond that once united two races in the pages of the FF.

    Lockjaw

    The TV series pretty much got Lockjaw perfect. I mean, he’s a giant teleporting bulldog, it’s impossible to mess that up (I suppose you can randomly give him a raincoat). Lockjaw first appeared with the rest of the Inhumans in Fantastic Four #45. For a while, comic Lockjaw was said to be a sentient Inhuman and not a dog. You see, the Thing was told that Lockjaw was an Inhuman that went through terrigenesis and was transformed into a giant canine. This turned out to be a rib and in truth, everyone’s favorite humongous bundle of cute is in fact just a really big, super powered dog. Throughout his history, Lockjaw has struck out on his own and even formed his own team of animal heroes, the Pet Avengers. And how that hasn’t been an animated series yet is completely beyond me.

    Who the hell is this guy?

    The name of the prescient young Inhuman boy that has become Maximus’s pawn is very reminiscent of recent Inhuman comic book addition Ulysses. First off, I’m not even going to try and spell this young Inhuman’s name. His moniker sounds like that noise that Curley Howard made when he got scared. Anyway, Ulysses is an Inhuman that was introduced in the pages of Marvel’s Civil War II. He was about the same age as the precognitive young Inhuman introduced in the premiere. Ulysses caused no end of trouble when the heroes of the MU began battling over whether they should arrest the people who committed acts of evil in Ulysses’ visions. I don’t think young Bnnyannagh or whatever his name is will have that sort of effect on the MCU, but there are some interesting parallels between Ulysses and Maximus’ precog patsy.

    The Cutting of Medusa's Hair

    Medusa’s haircut was taken right out of the comics. In the absolute classic 1998 Inhumans maxi series written by Paul Jenkins with art by Jae Lee, Maximus violates Medusa by shaving her living locks. It was a shocking moment, but it led to an absolutely stunning revenge by Medusa that defined her inner strength for years to come. In the comics, the haircut led to an awesome conclusion, on TV. I have a feeling the haircut was simply done just to save on the FX budget which is a damn shame. I hope the series proves me wrong because Medusa’s revenge is freaking epic.

    Maximus’s psychic toy (Let’s just call him Not Ulysses) is forced to work in the mines as a member of the Inhuman labor class because he did not clearly display any terrigen powers. In the comics, the Inhumans have a slave class known as the Alpha Primitives. The Primitives toil to keep Attilan functioning but are treated like pack animals. When they are first introduced, the Alpha Primitives have no rights in Inhuman society and are just expected to function quietly and efficiently. At first, the Primitives seemed simple and content, but some of the members of the royal family began to be troubled by essentially having a slave class in the otherwise free society of Attilan. Crystal in particular had empathy for the Primitives while Maximus often used the Primitives as foot soldiers in his many attempts to overthrow Black Bolt’s rule.

    All this holds true to the introduction of a forced working class in to the TV series as Maximus is using the unpowered residents of Attilan’s discontent to feed his rebellion. It’s interesting that this TV dynamic is kind of the reversal of the classic mutant human dynamic over in the X-Men. In the X-Men, the powered mutants are the subjected class while humans rule, and now on TV’s Inhumans, the situation is reversed. The MCU already played it’s Alpha Primitive card on ABC a few seasons back on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD where Hive and Doctor Radcliffe created a bunch of savage, ape-like, Inhuman powerhouses that they called Primitives. So between the idea of a subjugated Inhuman slave class and Radcliffe’s frothing Inhuman minions, ABC has gotten a lot of distance from the concept that began with Stan and Jack’s creation of the Alpha Primitives in Fantastic Four #47 (1966).

    By the way, just to end this on a happy note, in the comics the Primitives were freed before the wedding of Crystal and Quicksilver back in Fantastic Four #150 (1974).

    Auran

    All this brings us to some Inhumans created in the past few years. Auran was first introduced in Inhuman #7 (2014) and was created by Charles Soule, Pepe Larraz, and Ryan Stegman. Unlike the villainous TV Auran, the comic Auran is a yellow skinned Inhuman private investigator that possesses floppy ears and the ability to hone in on any spoken word. So if she was looking for me, she would listen for the words “pizza pocket” or “Bossk” and probably have a good chance of finding me.

    In the comics, Auran is a hero and a detective extraordinaire who sort of looks like a kangaroo. She has a bunch of daughters and is a really fun and heroic character so one wonders why Auran was made a generic, leather clad baddie on TV.

    Yes, that is Eldrac!

    And we end with the strangest Inhuman of all and one I’m delighted was included on TV. Eldrac, the sentient door was introduced in Fantastic Four #577 (2010) and was created by Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham. And yes, I said sentient door. Eldrac was once a mid-level Inhuman politician, and when he lost power he underwent terrigenesis and was transformed into a architectural being that had the power to open gateways anywhere he wishes. Yes, there are two Inhumans with teleportation powers and one is a doorway while the other is a dog. I love comics. Props to Marvel for leaning into such a wonderfully weird character in a show that kind of shies away from the more oddball elements of the Inhumans.


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    The War of Jokes & Riddles comes to an end, and we have an exclusive first look at Batman #32

    NewsJim Dandy
    Oct 2, 2017

    "The War of Jokes and Riddles" has been wild. A gang war between the Joker and the Riddler because neither gets the other's schtick is brilliant, and it's given Janin a chance to draw a scowly, angry Joker. It has been phenomenal. Additionally, we got the payoff to 2+ years of "Kite Man! Hell yeah" jokes, and unbelievably, King managed to make Kite Man an emotionally resonant Bat-villain. Everything about this arc has felt huge, and the leadup to the payoff was paced perfectly. But the real question we have going into this issue is "holy crap Olivier Coipel is drawing DC stuff again can you put him on a Legion book, please?"

    Here's what they have to say about the issue:

    BATMAN #32 Written by TOM KINGArt and cover by MIKEL JANINVariant cover by OLIVIER COIPEL“THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES” finale! This is the finale everyone will be talking about for years to come! In BATMAN #24, we gave you the question; in BATMAN #32, you get the answer. As the Riddler and The Joker desperately fight for supremacy in Gotham City, Batman reveals how far he had to go to end the war. Now, knowing Batman’s greatest sin, Catwoman must make her decision: Will she marry Batman?

    Batman #32 is in shops on Wednesday, October 4th. For more news about Batman, or for an article (eventually, I promise) about why Abnett/Lanning/Coipel Legion is the best Legion of Super-heroes, stick with Den of Geek.

    DC sent along an exclusive first look at this week's finale to "The War of Jokes and Riddles," the blockbuster latest arc in Tom King's Batman series. Check it out...


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    Superman will face off against Doctor Manhattan in the new DC event, Doomsday Clock. Check out a trailer for the new series!

    NewsMike Cecchini
    Oct 2, 2017

    One year on from the launch of DC's Rebirth initiative, which has fairly successfully cleaned up the detritus of the ill-advised New 52 relaunch of 2011, DC is getting ready to answer the big questions posed from the start. There was a ton of Watchmen imagery in that initial Rebirth special, and more sprinkled through the background of assorted ongoing DC Comics titles since then, with the implication being that Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan was the mysterious force responsible for the damaged, cynical tone of the New 52.

    Which brings us to Doomsday Clock, the natural culmination of all of this. DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns has been absent from comics since last year's Rebirth special, but he's returning, along with artist Gary Frank, to answer some questions with Doomsday Clock this November. Johns and Frank are responsible for some of my favorite DC work of the last decade or so, having worked wonders on Superman with stories focusing on Brainiac and the Legion of Super-Heroes, so if anyone is going to take on a seemingly impossible task, I feel a little better knowing it's them.

    DC has been releasing little trailers with Geoff Johns teasing fans with more details in the lead-up to the big panel at New York Comic Con this week. Here's the latest...

    Here's the earlier trailer, as well...

    “It's time. Last year, the DC Universe confronted the legacy of Watchmen in Rebirth the way Watchmen confronted the legacy of superhero comics three decades ago,” explains writer Geoff Johns in a statement when the project was first announced back in May. “Thematically, and metaphorically, there was no better choice than to use Dr. Manhattan. If you’re going to have a conflict between optimism and pessimism, a battle between the very forces of hope and despair, you need to have someone who personifies the cynicism that has leaked into our hearts and also has the ability to affect the entire DCU.”

    Doomsday Clock is a story for fans who love the DC Universe and Watchmen and want to see what a master of this genre creates when he puts them together,” says Gary Frank. “As for my artistic approach to the series, each panel is extremely detailed and I am constantly thinking through the position of every single element.” 

    DC also revealed Frank's covers for Doomsday Clock #1. Check 'em out...

    The first is Frank's extraordinarily Gibbons-esque Watchmen-themed cover.

    Then there's the Superman variant, which is a fine reminder that Gary Frank is probably the best Superman artist of the 21st Century, and nobody makes Supes' new costume look better.

    And finally there's this lenticular/Rorschach variant...

    DC has gone back to the Watchmenwell within recent memory with their Before Watchmen titles, none of which were particularly inspiring. Still, Johns is careful to point out that this isn't a Watchmen sequel. "It is something else," Mr. Johns said in an interview with Syfy Wire back in May. "It is Watchmen colliding with the DC Universe. It is the most personal and most epic, utterly mind-bending project I have ever worked on in my career."

    Perhaps even more encouraging, this isn't going to be a typical superhero comic crossover event, and instead, Doomsday Clock will be entirely self contained. "We had no interest in doing a crossover with this," Johns told Syfy Wire. "There will be DC characters throughout this, but this focuses in on only a handful. There is a lot of focus on Superman, and Doctor Manhattan. Doctor Manhattan is a huge focus, and his reasons for being here, and doing what he does, ultimately have to do with Superman. And there are many, many more characters to be involved, but it is a bit early to discuss."

    The focus on Superman is intriguing. Superman was a character who felt particularly directionless for much of the New 52 era (although that has recently been fixed), and of course Dr. Manhattan is the only super-powered being in the Watchmen universe. Johns and Frank will be exploring how these two characters affect each other. Superman, of course, is the epitome of the hope and optimism of the DC Universe while Dr. Manhattan is...not that.

    Even the title, Doomsday Clock, has significance for both Superman and the broader Watchmen theme. The "doomsday clock" was a visual and thematic point throughout Watchmen, and, of course, the presence of the word "Doomsday" in that title should have significance for Superman fans, as that's the name of the monster who killed the Man of Steel.

     As someone who has been rather against the prospect of bringing Watchmen concepts into the DC Universe (so much so that I wrote an entire article, which turned out to be very wrong, explaining how those Watchmen references in Rebirth weren't meant to be taken literally), I have to confess that "The Button" which ran through the pages of Batman and The Flash and dealt directly with some of the fallout from both Flashpoint and the Rebirth special, was an excellent read. I've even warmed to elements of Flashpoint I previously had little time for. If Doomsday Clock is as careful with this tricky concept as DC has been with all of this so far, it might just work. 

    We'll find out when Doomsday Clock is released on November 22nd.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!


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    Everything we know about the Locke & Key TV show coming to Hulu.

    News Kayti BurtJoseph Baxter
    Oct 2, 2017

    The Locke & Key TV series has a home! Back in July, THR revealed that Hulu has given the show adaptation of IDW's horror comic book series a pilot order, with Carlton Cuse (Lost) set to serve as showrunner. Andy Muschietti (It, Mama) will be directing the pilot after Doctor Strange's Scott Derrickson had to withdraw, due to his commitment to the Snowpiercer TV series.

    Third time's the charm? After two previous attempts to bring fan-favorite comic Locke & Key to the screen (once for TV, and once for film), IDW Comics finally seems committed to make a Locke & Key TV show happen. With Hulu on board now and Cuse involved in the project, odds seem better than ever that this beloved comic will be done justice.

    Locke & Key News

    Danny Glover has joined Locke & Key for what is being designated as a cameo role. He will play Joe Ridgeway, an English teacher, described as “eccentric,” who works at Matheson Academy. There, he becomes a mentor to the Locke children and friend to their recently-widowed mother, Nina (Frances O’Connor). Yet, Joe knew Nina’s (brutally murdered) late husband, Rendell Locke, and is also aware of some of the tragic secrets that he withheld; secrets that are connected to his mysterious ancestral home, the Keyhouse, in which Nina and kids have now taken up residence.

    Glover, a veteran actor, is, of course, best known as the cautious straight-laced police detective partner, Murtaugh, to Mel Gibson’s destructive Riggs in the classic Lethal Weapon film trilogy. His vast film credits also include Predator 2, Angels in the Outfield, Dreamgirls and Saw. Glover’s also no stranger to television, earning Emmy nods in 2000 for Freedom Song, 1996 for Fallen Angels, 1989 for Lonesome Dove and 1988 for his title role in Mandela. He’s also fielded runs on Touch, Brothers & Sisters and ER.

    In other Locke & Key news:

    Jack Mulhern joins the cast to play Tyler Locke, the teenage son of Nina and Rendell. As the oldest of the young Locke siblings, Tyler finds himself as the man of the house, by default. This, of course, complicates his already-complicated adolescent existence enough. However, once his family moves into the supernatural-phenomena-plagued Keyhouse, his problems will exponentially increase.

    The role is quite the coup for the recent college-grad newcomer, Mulhern, whose only previous onscreen role goes back nearly two decades ago – as a small child – in the 1998 drama Walking to the Waterline, which was written/directed by his father, Matt Mulhern.

    Locke & Key TV Show Cast

    Frances O’Connor has joined Locke & Key as its leading lady to play Nina Locke. The story will center on Nina, who, after her husband’s gruesome murder, takes her three children to move into their ancestral home in Maine, the Keyhouse. However, the Keyhouse has centuries of connections to the supernatural, serving as a dimensional portal through which malevolent demons wish to cross. Moreover, the magical keys connected to the house – forged from the metallic remains of demons who’ve tried to cross the portal – contain powers beyond comprehension.

    O’Connor, an English actress, is known from roles in films such as The Conjuring 2, The Hunter, Bedazzled and, notably, in Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence as the mother figure to Haley Joel Osment’s proverbial Pinocchio. She’s also fielded numerous TV runs, most recently on Cleverman, as well as The Missing, Mr. Selfridge and Cashmere Mafia.

    Regarding O’Connor’s starring role in Locke & Key, IDW Publishing's David Ozer expresses in a statement:

    "We are thrilled to have the multidimensional talents of Frances O’Connor to breath color and life into this pivotal character in our series, and along with a stellar production team in place, we have no doubt that we will be able to bring Joe Hill’s creative vision to the small screen."

    Locke & Key has also cast Jackson Robert Scott (It) as one of its child leads. According to Deadline, Scott will play Bode Locke, the youngest member of the Locke family. Bode is an optimistic, imaginative eight-year-old who is especially tuned into and vulnerable to the supernatural possibilities of the Keyhouse.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!

    Locke & Key Details

    Last year, IDW Entertainment released news that Locke & Key writer Joe Hill (he wrote the story for the comics, with art by Gabriel Rodriguez) was on board to write the pilot and executive produce the TV show adaptation as a straight-to-series project. It's unclear how Hulu and Cuse's involvement might change that plan, but Hill had previously said in a statement:

    I love this story. The seven years I spent working on Locke & Key was the happiest creative experience of my life, and there still isn’t a day when I don’t think about those characters and miss visiting with them. The six books of the series are very like six seasons of a cable TV series, and so it feels only natural to bring that world to the little screen and to see if we can’t scare the pants off viewers everywhere.

    Locke & Key begins with the story of three siblings returning to their family's ancestral home following the brutal and mysterious murder of their father. As they explore the house and its surroundings, it becomes clear that there are wonderful and terrible things lurking on the grounds. It is a comic book horror classic.

    Previously, a TV show adaptation made it all the way to the pilot stage, but never garnered a pick-up. The episode was screened at Comic Con in 2011 and, as someone who was there for said screening, I can vouch for its awesomeness — a character-driven exercise in horror that deserved to continue its story.

    The TV adaptation had Josh Friedman as a showrunner (The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Avatar 2) and an all-star cast that included Miranda Otto, Sarah Bolger, and Ksenia Solo. Check out the trailer...

    Sadly, this version of Locke & Key never made it past a pilot, but the pop culture world seems better poised to embrace an on-screen version of this horror comic now. Not only are there way more comic book adaptations on TV and film, but Joe Hill has become more of a household name, especially with the recent film adaptaion of Horns. Hopefully, this adaptation is good and garners enough of an audience to ensure its continuation. Universe, you owe us this.


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    Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Justice League movie!

    NewsDen Of Geek Staff
    Oct 2, 2017

    This article contains some Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spoilers.

    This is the one that the DC Extended Universe is building towards. Five years after The Avengers showed us that it was possible to pull off a non-mutant superhero team on the big screen, we'll finally see a JusticeLeaguemovie. Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder has wrapped filming on Justice League, from a script by Batman v Superman's Chris Terrio. 

    Justice League Trailer

    Here's all the footage that has been released so far...

    The new Justice League trailer!

    The first trailer:

    And here's a look at the first footage that arrived at SDCC 2016! This was our first glimpse of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman working together on the big screen.

    We did a full analysis on this footage right here.

    Justice League Movie Release Date

    Justice League is scheduled for a November 17th, 2017 release. The complete DC superhero movie release calendar can be found here.

    Justice League Movie Villain

    In order for the Justice League to form, they need a threat with power levels that only a team of heroes could take down, right? 

    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made it pretty explicit that Darkseid is on his way to this world, and there were several visual cues for those who are interested. We broke those down (along with lots more comic references in the movie) right here. But he isn't the villain of the Justice League movie. A deleted scene from Batman v Superman released online offered a look at a monstrous creature on a Kryptonian ship, who turned out to be another Fourth World related despot (and Jack Kirby creation), Steppenwolf.

    Steppenwolf is basically Darkseid's cousin, a powerful warrior from Apokolips who wields a pretty crazy energy axe. 

    Ciaran Hinds (you may know him as Mance Rayder on Game of Thrones which makes him a particularly cool choice for this part) is playing Steppenwolf in the film, and the actor spoke about how they got him into character. "Basically they’re going to construct something, digitally, and then they will use my eyes and mouth,"the actor told The Independent. Hinds describes Steppenwolf as "old, tired, still trying to get out of his own enslavement to Darkseid, [but] he has to keep on this line to try and take over worlds.”

    Here's what Steppenwolf looked like in that Batman v Superman deleted scene:

    And here's Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder. You may start your Photoshop engines accordingly...

    It's still inevitable that we'll see Darkseid in these movies, and he'll probably still be a presence in the first one. DC Comics used him as the catalyst for the formation of the Justice League in the current comic book series. He's a pretty big gun to burn this early, though, so holding him back for Justice League Part Two sound about as logical as anything else we've heard.

    Hit the next page for more info on the cast and story!


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    Spider-Man and Rey will star opposite each other in Doug Liman's adaptation of Patrick Ness's YA novel.

    News Nick HarleyJoseph Baxter
    Oct 2, 2017

    Chaos Walking, at first glance, may seem like just another YA novel adaptation in a field increasingly filled with failed, forgotten attempts. However, two of Hollywood’s hottest new names (riding under the Disney IP umbrella,) in current Spider-Man star Tom Holland and Star Wars sequel star Daisy Ridley are auspiciously joining forces to headline the Lionsgate film project based on Patrick Ness's 2008-2010 novel series.

    The premise of Chaos Walking centers on a dystopian future (admittedly, a worn YA standard), this time taking place on a planetary colony in which the survivors live in fear of a virus known as "The Noise," which symptomatically manifests a stream of visions, images, words and sounds shared by everyone else. In essence, it could be seen as a metaphorical social media malady.

    Chaos Walking News

    Daisy Ridley has posted the first image from the Chaos Walking set, showing herself and co-star Tom Holland filming on location in costume.

    In the future-set sci-fi epic, Holland plays Todd Hewitt, a boy from an all-male planetary colony, on the verge of manhood, when forced to flee home from the secrets he's learned after a bizarre viral outbreak that carries the primary symptom of hearing the thoughts of fellow denizens. However, his journey in the wilderness leads him to a surprising first encounter with the opposite sex in a wayward girl named Viola Eade, played by (a blonde) Ridley.

    Chaos Walking Cast

    Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) plays protagonist Todd Hewitt.

    Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) co-stars as Viola Eade.

    Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) plays the villain, Mayor Prentiss.

    Demián Bichir (Alien: Covenant) plays Ben.

    Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy creator) plays Cillian.

    Nick Jonas is the latest cast addition, booked to play Davy Prentiss Jr., reports THR. The character is described as a young soldier in the army of Mayor Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen), who is also apparently his son. Davy is, at least in this chapter, defined by jealousy as his dad seems to be mentoring his longtime rival Todd Hewitt (Holland), seemingly ignoring his own flesh and blood. – Sounds a bit like the Peter Parker/Harry Osborn dynamic that Holland’s Spider-Man: Homecoming was missing.

    Jonas, of course, was introduced to the world as part of a trio of sibling Disney performers the Jonas Brothers, notably seen in musical projects such as the Camp Rock series. However, his transition into real acting has been steady, notably on the mixed-martial-arts-centric Audience/DirecTV original series Kingdom, which just concluded its three-season run on August 2. He’s also been seen on Fox’s Scream Queens and notably fielded a recurring role as a creepy villain on CBS’s Hawaii Five-0, playing Ian Wright, a homicidal hacker who gives the task force a handful of problems.

    Chaos Walking Details

    The young actors currently leading the Spider-Man and Star Wars franchises, respectively, will be in front of the camera before Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow). No one knows exactly when the film will go into production or what the potential release date may be, considering the hectic schedules of the talent involved, but anticipation is high. Holland’s work in the MCU, Ridley’s completion of the Star Wars trilogy, and Liman’s appointment as the director of Dark Universe, a.k.a. Justice League Dark surely are first priority.

    Eclectic screenwriter Charlie Kaufman once took a pass at the script when Robert Zemeckis was attached to the project back in 2012, but Jamie Linden (Money Monster) developed the latest draft with Gary Spinelli (American Made) and Lindsey Beer (Barbie). Chaos Walking is part one in author Patrick Ness’s sci-fi trilogy, which you can read the synopsis for below:

    Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

    We’ll have more details about the project as they become available.

    Chaos Walking Release Date

    Chaos Walking will disrupt the order of movie theaters when it arrives on March 1, 2019.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!


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    See Star Wars: A New Hope in a new light with 40 stories delivered by today's top sci-fi writers. We review From a Certain Point of View!

    From a Certain Point of View is a grab bag of stories accessible to Star Wars fans both new and old. As long as you’ve seen A New Hope, there will be something for you here. The 40th Anniversary Star Wars short story collection follows in the tradition of Before the Awakening and other anthologies, but increases the ambition with 40 stories from 40 different authors. I can imagine it being a logistical hassle, so props to the editors who wrangled together both new and fan-favorite writers for this collection. The stories vary widely, but I found that the good outweighed the silly.

    With the stories being what they are, there is potential for jokiness, intentional or otherwise. Each story shows part of A New Hope from the perspective of a side character. They’re presented in order, with Luke, Leia, and Han causing ripples in the lives of the characters around them. That means some of the stories feel like they could be comedy sketches or trivia oneupmanship instead of narratives: Did the Imperial officer who let the escape pod go over Tatooine lose his job? Why didn’t the Jawas wipe R2-D2’s memory? Some of the stories lean into this: Mallory Ortberg’s “An Incident Report” is droll and made me laugh out loud. Comics and a surprisingly earnest epilogue from the point of the Whills by Tom Angleberger provide some more smiles. 

    Other stories, though, just felt self-consciously silly in a way that took me out of the narrative. The one that follows the officer who cleared the escape pod to leave is serviceably written but feels self-congratulatory in its cleverness. An Aunt Beru story supposes that she is writing from the afterlife, but mostly just feels too meta. A Boba Fett story evokes Robot Chicken instead of Temeura Morrison. 

    Mur Lafferty’s story falls squarely in the middle, with a good solid character arc as one of the Modal Nodes figures out her priorities and gets out of a tough spot with Greedo. It’s wink-nudge aspects were softened by the fact that it has a framing device: it’s allegedly an excerpt from a favorable memoir. 

    One of my favorite stories in the collection comes in this first act. “The Kloo Horn Cantina Caper” by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction is an intricate and hilarious riddle about the denizens of the Mos Eisley cantina. The droll wordplay worked very well for me in context: it might say as much about my sense of humor as it does about the book, but I laughed out loud at “Myo, a terrible liar, lies.”

    Another notable tale is Griffin McElroy’s “Stories in the Sand,” which seems at first to be a cutesy explanation for R2’s intact memory but turns out to be an affecting story that hooks neatly onto the themes of Star Wars as a whole. It’s about finding one’s place, and more specifically about the experience of not being in that place to start. A lot of characters want to leave Tatooine, and the section covering that planet shows people tugged toward goodness and adventure by the tiniest brush with Han, Luke, and Leia. It’s a great way to tie each story to the themes of the movie. 

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    Both Obi-Wan stories in the collection were also standouts. Claudia Gray’s evocation of the Force brings the kind of sincerity I had hoped for, and characterizes Qui-Gon as a heartfelt spirit who believes that Obi-Wan’s capacity “to stand and wait, to have that much patience and fortitude” makes him more of a Jedi than war ever could. A Yoda story which also looks back at the Prequel Jedi is best left unspoiled, but provided one of my favorite tidbits from the new canon. 

    The middle act on the Death Star is appropriately grim, featuring some Imperials who see the error of their ways and some who do not. “Of MSE-6 and Men” is a sort of workplace romantic comedy without enough of chemistry and comedy for it to work, with wink-nudge connections to scenes in the movie. 

    I was most excited to get to the rebels showcased at the Yavin IV base, and the collection did not disappoint. Greg Rucka and Alexander Freed bring a one-two punch of stories of rebels for whom Yavin doesn’t feel like a victory. I’m always on the lookout for female characters in Star Wars who don’t fit the action hero mold, and Rucka’s Nera Kase is my new favorite side character for her critical role as fighter crew coordinator. Her story is practical and sad, and I felt for her. Freed always brings something new to Star Wars, and his utterly grim Mon Mothma story in future tense shows it. 

    Other stories have a bad case of the “small universe” syndrome that feels silly alongside less self-conscious franchise fiction. It seems plausible enough that a stormtrooper who was mindtricked on Tatooine was also stationed on the Death Star, but when actually reading it, that story comes off as a bit trite. The elevated role of the Dianoga also reads like an attempt to assign a huge amount of importance to a character which already served an important plot point in the movie.

    However, even the stories that weren’t quite to my taste did include tightly-written character arcs. Unlike my other favorite franchise’s attempt in Halo: Fractures, each story in From a Certain Point of View feels complete and shows a character changing over a very short amount of time.

    A collection like this serves many purposes: to draw in new fans, to give established fans a new way to look at the canon, and to let writers create their own love letters to a franchise that has had a huge impact on both fantasy and science fiction. I think it succeeds at most of these things. You’re not necessarily going to like every story in the collection, but that’s sort of the point. The variety will appeal to a lot of different fans. If, like me, you like about two-thirds of them enough to call them new favorites, I think the collection is worth it. 

     

    4.5/5
    ReviewMegan Crouse
    Oct 3, 2017

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    Steve Ellis and David Gallaher wax High Moon...get it?

    InterviewJim Dandy
    Oct 3, 2017

    Steve Ellis and David Gallaher first launched High Moon ten years ago, back during DC Comics' foray into webcomics with Zuda. The Harvey Award-winning series mixed supernatural horror and bright, hard westerns for a series that was fresh, kinetic, and tons of fun to read. Until Zuda shut down, depriving High Moon fans of the series' planned ending.

    Until now.

    Super Genius Comics and Papercutz, the studio behind Gallaher and Ellis' newest project The Only Living Boy, announced earlier this year that High Moon would be coming back. They are remastering and reprinting the first two volumes, and republishing the third volume with additional material and an ending, finally. And for shelf porn nerds, all three are being released in horizontal, landscape editions with a slipcase cover to hold the set. We had a chance to chat with Gallaher and Ellis about how much fun coming back to High Moon is.

    What did you both draw from to make High Moon? I see a little Tombstone, a little Leone, a little Coppola’s Dracula, a little Lovecraft.

    DG: As a teenager, there were three things I loved: comics, mythology, and theatre. With High Moon, I had the opportunity to blend all of those things together. There’s hint of August Wilson, a dash of Conan, and a smattering of Celtic mythology.

    SE: For me, the western stuff is only a part of it so probably a lot of horror comics for the visuals. Comic creators like Sergio Toppi, Frank Frazetta, Bernie Wrightson, Mathieu Lauffray, Brom, and movies like City of Lost Children and Pan’s Labyrinth.

    DG: I also pulled a lot of inspiration from old-time radio shows like Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, and Have Gun — Will Travel. John Meston, the co-creator of Gunsmoke and actor William Conrad were huge influences. I particularly liked how savage and visceral they made the Old West feel. It felt important to have monsters that personified that level of brutality.

    Despite the fact that this is, at its core, a story about cowboys and werewolves, there’s a through-line of realism running in the first volume - grazing rights and robber barons both play into the story. How much research went into High Moon, and how important was it to ground the story in the real Gilded Age west?

    DG: I wanted the world of High Moon to feel authentic. I spent a lot of time researching the costuming, the architecture, the geography. I felt in order to have the mythic, we also needed to have a bit of the mundane. For example, before the invention of paperclips, citizens used to hold a pile of papers together with pins. The world needed to feel lived-in and I spent months putting thought into how the characters fit into and moved within the space. The Gilded Age is a fascinating era and I hope we’ve given it some level of respect, despite all of the werewolves.

    The last chapter of the first volume is a series of well-sold big twists hitting one right after the other. Was it tough to weave them all together? Did you have to work backwards from the climax to make sure that everything was appropriately teased ahead of time?

    DG: High Moon involves a lot of structured storytelling. I have very elaborate outlines that sketch out when each element of the story is going to be revealed, when a cliffhanger will occur, and when we might blow up a town of bring in a monster. By Page 4, for instance, we’ll set the scene. By Page 8, we’ll set up our first minor cliffhanger. By 16, when we’re about a quarter of the way through the story, we’ll set up our first major cliffhanger.

    SE: We like to play with readers’ expectations, but there’s always a method to the madness.

    What is it about westerns that makes them so much fun? They’re certainly a blast to read, but it seems like you both had a ball creating High Moon as well.

    SE: I think that the gritty roughness of the world they are set in and the feeling that anything can happen because the world is so untamed makes them exciting. And there’s a certain unpredictability about the characters and the world that keeps the environment constantly changing. It’s certainly been a lot of fun.

    Why come back to High Moon now, ten years and multiple collaborations together later? What do you focus on when you read it now that’s different from when you were putting it together? Any spots where you look at it and say “Damn, we NAILED that”?

    SE: The intention was always to finish High Moon and this really felt like the right time to do it. 

    DG: Agreed and we had a really positive relationship with Papercutz working on The Only Living Boy, so their Super Genius imprint felt like a good home for our little werewolf western.

    SE: And the new volumes look freaking fantastic!

    DG: Yeah and the thing that really strikes me about re-reading High Moon now is how dialogue looks and feels on the page. When we first started making the series, I put a lot of time into making sure it had a good bit of local color and colorful anecdotes; this is embarrassing to say, but I’d forgotten good portion of that folksy charm I’d added.

    SE: Yes, during the flurry of creation you kind of forget the nuances of the story. There are of these great details that had escaped me. And as for us “nailing it” there are a bunch of spaces where I’m really happy with how we handled things! In particular the end of the first chapter really works for me.

    DG:There’s a scene in Chapter 2, about half way through the story that nearly brings me to tears. What it says about forgiveness, betrayal, and adversity really speaks to me. I think Steve really hit all of the right beats and way able to bring a real depth of emotion to those scenes.

    This isn’t the first time High Moon’s been in print, but the last time DC did it, right? Were there any challenges in moving the work from webcomic to publication?

    SE: When thought about remastering the book, we put a lot of thought into how it would look on the stands, how readers and booksellers might stack it on their shelves.

    DG: We put a lot of time and effort into trying different formats, but credit to Jim Salicrup at Super Genius, who thought about making the book available in a larger format with a vertical slipcase. It looks stunning. Christy Sawyer helped us re-letter the first volume — and it really sings. We’re really proud of of this project looks and feels.

     

    The plan is for 3 volumes - 2 volumes of remastered, rereleased material, and a third that brings the story to a close. Has the ending changed substantially from where you originally envisioned it?

    DG: We’ve always had a quite specific endpoint to High Moon, one that I think brings justice to their characters and their adventures. When I first thought about this series, way back in 2004, I had a crisp, brilliant moment of how I wanted it all to end. Readers have been waiting a long time to see how the story all ends…

    SE: I know I have.

    DG: Yeah, I can’t wait.

    High Moon: Bullet Holes and Bite Marks is in stores on October 18. For more news and updates on the upcoming volumes, stick with Den of Geek! 


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    Presenting a complete guide to every Marvel and X-Men Easter egg you might have missed in The Gifted!

    News Jim Dandy
    Oct 3, 2017

    This article contains nothing but spoilers for The Gifted season 1 episode 1. You have been warned...

    With The Gifted, the X-Men get a TV show that's not a weird '60s trip or some early '90s Matt Frewer nonsense. And because they're digging through 50 years of continuity, we're here to help you catch every reference, joke, allusion or sight gag we can.

    Click on the blue titles for the full episode review!

    The Gifted Episode 1: eXposed

    - The first mutant we're introduced to is Blink. Clarice Ferguson was created by Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira in 1994 as part of the Phalanx Covenant event. She was a member of the Generation X era of students, but she died helping them escape their techno-organic captors. Despite only being around for about four issues, she was massively popular, and given a high profile role in the big X-crossover "Age of Apocalypse." She was one of only a handful of characters to be exported from that timeline, and eventually her mainline Marvel universe form was resurrected.

    Later on, we find out that she can't teleport somewhere if she can't see where she's going. That is not traditionally part of Clarice's power set - that's actually Nightcrawler who has that issue. 

    - The second mutant we see is Thunderbird, later confirmed to be John Proudstar. John was a member of the Giant Sized-era team, a native American with enhanced strength and senses that he often used as a tracker. He was created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum in 1975, and he died shortly after his introduction, killed at the hands of Chris Claremont and Count Nefaria.

    - We then round out the team with a new character created for the show, Marcos Diaz, who can shoot beams of light of varying intensity from his fingers; and someone we later discover to be his girlfriend: Lorna Dane.

    Polaris was created by Jim Steranko and Arnold Drake in 1968, and for the longest time she was partners with Alex Summers, Havok. Lorna has, at varying times, thought she was the sister of Savage Land villain Zaladane because both of their names ended with Dane, and that she was the daughter of Magneto, because they both have magnetism powers. Of course, that's not terribly far fetched in a world where Cyclops discovered who his true father was by seeing his own reflection with a mustache: she is, in fact, the daughter of Magneto.

    - We first meet one of the main characters in a school hallway drawing a wolf. The main family is named Strucker, which is a pretty big red flag, especially when there are prominent sibling Struckers, but it doesn't look like much will come of it here. Andy and Lauren Strucker are both students at the school, and we later find out that they both have mutant powers: Andy is a powerful telekinetic, while Lauren can generate force fields. This is very different from their comics counterparts, where they were known as the Fenris twins, and their powers were being '80s Eurotrash cartoons. Also they could fly and shoot energy beams from their hands whenever they were in physical contact. DO NOT google what happened to them later on.

    -When we first meet Andy, he's drawing a wolf or a wolverine while his parents talk to the Principal. I have two different theories on this: one is that it's a reference to his comics grandfather, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. The Baron was a Nazi bigwig with a mechanical, energy-shooting claw for one hand. You may remember him from getting his ass kicked in the opening moments of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

    - For a second, I got excited that the school they were attending was Bayville High, from the great but mostly forgotten X-Men Evolution cartoon. Alas, it was Bellville.

    - After her capture, Lorna is kept in a clear plastic prison cell, which is very reminiscent of the glass cell they kept Magneto in in X2

    - Anti-mutant laws and hysteria have a long history in the comics, starting with the Mutant Control Act that was the basis for the original "Days of Future Past" story in 1981's Uncanny X-Men #141. Since then, we've seen the Mutant Registration Act (1984), the Superhuman Registration Act (2006), the Sokovia Accords (Captain America: Civil War and Agents of SHIELD), and Proposition X (2009), among others.

    - The cracked-slate looking guy in mutant underground headquarters is Shatter, a mutant created by DC Comics chief creative officer Geoff Johns in the four months he worked for Marvel back in 2002. Shatter is a mutant who discovered his power of indestructability when he attempted suicide. The gunshot only left the one break on the side of his head.

    - "Sentinel Services" is a reference to the classic X-Men baddies, the Sentinels. These giant mutant-hunting robots first showed up in 1965, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. They started out as giant purple and blue robots, and have since evolved into everything from giant pets in Sean McKeever's Sentinel to microscopic nanites in Grant Morrison's legendary run. They also played a huge role in X-Men: Days of Future Past the movie, where they and their creator, Bolivar Trask, were the main-ish villains.

    - Speaking of Stan Lee, we get the requisite cameo from the Marvel legend walking out of the bar as Stephen Moyer walked in.

    - Okay, follow up theory time...

    I think this takes place on the same timeline as Logan, only ten years earlier and before the introduction of the x-gene killing GMO corn. First of all, the references to the X-Men and the Brotherhood ("We don't even know if they exist right now.") feel reverential to the point where the teams have become part of the myth, which tracks with the comics Laura had on her in the movie.

    Meanwhile, there are a ton of Wolverine easter eggs. There's Andy's drawing, which could have been a wolverine. There's Marcos's phone ringtone, which is, I believe, the portion of the 90s X-Men cartoon theme song that tracks to Wolverine's appearance. Then there's everything at the bar, from the song ("Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" by The Animals) to the glowing picture of the wolverine behind Marcos, seems to be designed to reference Wolverine and the movie Logan.

    Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments. We'll be back with more The Gifted next week!


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    In an age of adaptation, we still don't have a faithful adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic genre novel.

    Feature Kayti Burt
    Oct 3, 2017

    Mary Shelley's gothic novel Frankenstein is a story constantly being retold — but almost never has it been retold faithfully. In 2015, we got Victor Frankenstein, the latest in screen adaptations bearing the Frankenstein name, but having little to do with the original text. 

    This habit of less-than-faithful adaptations of Shelley's work goes back a long time. The history of Frankenstein adaptations is the history of hodgepodge narrative parts continually being stitched, torn, and re-stitched back together into an amalgamation of what has come before. But, when "before" is 200 years of stage and screen adaptations, source material and inspiration bleed together, and the "original" becomes distorted — like a game of temporal telephone. 

    But past the narrative convolution that comes with the passage of time, Frankenstein has seemingly always been a text that eschews faithful adaptation. From the very beginning, on the stage and as one of the first films ever made, Mary Shelley's original vision of a man and the creature he created has rarely been its own...

    How Frankenstein Came to Be

    For those with an interest in English literature, feminism, or the birth of modern science fiction, perhaps the story of how Frankenstein came to be is as famous as the book itself. The basic tale was first written down by an 18-year-old Mary Shelley (then Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin) in 1816 while she and lover/future husband Percy Shelley were visiting Lord Byron in Switzerland.

    Dubbed “The Year Without a Summer,” the eruption of Mount Tambora had the Europe of 1816 in the clutches of a volcanic winter, leaving the idle group with little to do in the form of outdoor recreation while staying near Lake Geneva. 

    Instead, the literary colleagues took to reading German ghost stories to one another, leading to the challenge that they each pen their own ghost story. And thus, one of the first works of modern science fiction was born. Frankenstein, as a full novel, would be published anonymously two years later on New Year's Day in 1818.

    Do you Know the Story of Frankenstein?

    For those unfamiliar with the source material, Frankensteinis an epistolary novel, told in a series of letters from Captain Robert Walton to his sister, as well as in his journal entries (it should be noted that this narrative framing very rarely makes it into screen or stage adaptations).

    Glory-driven Walton is on an Arctic expedition when his crew finds a cold and broken Victor Frankenstein. They pull him aboard, and Dr. Frankenstein relays the story of the monster he created to Walton--the monster he is pursuing across the ice.

    It is a story of creation and abandonment and family. The Creature is arguably much more of the heroic, sympathetic protagonist here than Frankenstein, whose sin is not in playing God (though some have made that argument) but rather in leaving his creation alone in a confusing, cruel-to-difference world.

    Unlike so many of his on-screen interpretations, the Creature of the novel is eloquent, thoughtful, and — at least at first — inspired by the beauty of the natural world. Later, he uses his gift for language to articulate his anguish, telling Frankenstein, "I am content to reason with you. I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces and triumph; remember that, and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me?"


    The First Frankenstein Plays and Movies

    If none of this plot or backstory sounds familiar, it’s probably not your fault. (Well, you could read Frankenstein, which is one of those classics that holds up remarkably well.) Most screen adaptations pick and choose what they want from the original material, more often drawing inspiration from the 1931 movie starring Boris Karloff than Mary Shelley.

    But a full two decades before director James Whale made the iconic horror film, Frankenstein was already a movie star — in fact, the story was one of the first committed to film. Frankenstein's adaptation to the screen happened roughly a decade after cinema itself was invented, making this self-admittedly "liberal adaptation" from Edison Productions one of the first movies ever.

    One of the notable changes form the novel in the 12-minute film is a happy ending for Frankenstein and his new wife, Elizabeth (spoiler alert: in the book, the Creature kills Elizabeth on their wedding night, and Frankenstein himself later dies on the ice. Pretty bleak).

    Of course, the decision to make Frankenstein into one of Edison's earliest motion picture productions did not happen in cultural isolation. There is an adaptation path to be traced between the publication of the novel and the creation of films like this 1910 classic and the 1931 version.

    According to this Film School Rejects article, 1823 — the first year Frankenstein was adapted to the stage — had five separate plays on the stage. It was these early stage adaptations that first introduced the character of Victor Frankenstein’s assistant Fritz, who would later evolve into the Igor we know from so many later movie adaptations. 

    The Boris Karloff film actually drew inspiration from a 1927 stage play by Peggy Webling, rather than the novel itself. And, moving forward into the era of such classics like Young Frankenstein or not-classics like the recently-released Victor Frankenstein, one could easily argue that most subsequent Frankenstein adaptations have more to do with James Whale’s 1931 film — and its 1935 sequel The Bride of Frankenstein — than they do with Shelley’s work.

    The Most Faithful Adaptations to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

    Though many Frankenstein adaptations are more interested in the 1931 film or some action-oriented blockbuster (yes, I,Frankenstein, I'm looking at you), there have been attempts at a more faithful version over the years.

    Kenneth Branagh took a stab at a faithful retelling of Frankenstein with his 1994 film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The movie does a slightly better job articulating the nuances of the Creature than most other adaptations, but still falls short of the mark. The film also changes the ending in a particularly jarring way, not only bringing the Creature's bride to life, but giving her Elizabeth's head and memories. Yikes.

    David Crow makes a good argument on this site that Penny Dreadful's interpretation of the Creature in the form of Caliban is one of the most faithful versions of the character ever brought to screen.

    Everything from the Monster's raven hair to his loquacious love for John Milton was transferred to television in tact. However, if you're looking for an adaptation that not only takes on the iconic character, but the full story, I would recommend the National Theatre's stage version undertaken in 2011.

    British film director Danny Boyle brought Frankenstein to the stage starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. The two well-known actors alternated the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature every performance, creating a more literal thematic connection between the two characters. Two sides of the same coin. Two creatures eventually brought down by their guilt, hate, and anger.

    The production was a relatively close adaptation of the original novel (with the problematic addition of a rape scene), and was broadcast to cinemas around the world through National Theatre Live, meaning that this adaptation, in some sense, was also a screen one.

    However, the performance has yet to be released on DVD and, according to the theater, never will be if the play's creators have anything to say about it. The Powers That Be prefer that the ephemerality of the performance be preserved. One can only hope this means Frankenstein will find its way to cinemas again for more encore performances.

    Why Does Frankenstein Resist Faithful Adaptation?

    Why is Frankenstein so rarely adapted with a sense of fidelity? One need look no further than the earliest stage adaptation — Presumption: or the Fate of Frankenstein (1823) — to at least partially answer that question. Chris Baldick's book In Frankenstein's Shadow details how the play made great efforts to appease conservative backlash (many found the novel subversive and atheistic).

    The production was nonetheless boycotted by a "friends of humanity" group, prompting the play's management to release the following statement: "The striking moral exhibited in this story is the fatal consequence of that presumption which attempts to penetrate beyond prescribed depths, into the mysteries of nature." 

    Furthermore, director Richard Brinsley Peake introduced the Frankenstein's assistant character who "prepares the audience to interpret the tale according to received Christian notions of sin and damnation by telling them that 'like Dr Faustus, my master is raising the devil.'" 

    Almost two centuries later, Daniel Radcliffe plays an incarnation of this character designed to explain to the audience how they should feel about Frankenstein's playing God in Victor Frankenstein. 

    The Importance of the Female Perspective

    As the daughter of anarchist philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (who died 11 days after Mary's birth), Mary Shelley was a fascinating woman, one with much to say in a culture not-so-interested in what women had to say about it. 

    One of the reasons Frankenstein so endures is because of its examination of the arrogance of man and the failings of a world without empathy — a theme that, of course, can be explored by anyone, but one that doesn't seem to get a lot of play in works undertaken by privileged white men.

    It seems important to note, at this point, that most of the Frankenstein adaptations (though certainly not all) have been undertaken by men who are perhaps less culturally-motivated to consider the more traditional way life is brought into this world. After all, due to the limitations Western society places on both genders, while science has historically been a man's domain, child-rearing has historically been a woman's.

    Journalist Sady Doyle recently responded to Victor Frankenstein director Paul McGuigan's recent assertion that Mary Shelley's original work is "dull as dishwater," by outlining the convincing theory that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein as a sort of revenge for her sister Fanny (given name: Frances), who was abused for being illegitimate and eventually killed herself, writing in her suicide note: "You will soon forget there was ever such a creature as..."

    There are many interpretations of the Frankenstein story — many of them autobiographically-based. This is one of the reasons it is such a good story. But a parent's neglect and the toll it plays not only on the child, and everyone in his life, is certainly a central one. And one that is often neglected in Frankenstein adaptations in favor of exploring the themes of science, nature, and man's hubris speficially in relation to his work. These interpretations are not mutually exclusive, but the latter is often valued over the former.

    It is perhaps easy to look at Frankenstein, and its two male protagonists, and to adapt it with little attention to the importance of women and other socially-devalued characters in the story. After all, they are all periphary characters. But they are the characters who suffer the most. Or at least the ones who suffer the most with the least amount of power to change their fates.

    Victor and his Creature are constantly suffering, but they have created their own suffering and have many chances to alter their own destinies. Elizabeth and the Creature's female companion are never granted that same power.

    The Future of Frankenstein Adaptations

    As this Den of Geek article points out, faithfulness does not equate to quality. Some of the most faithful screen adaptations of books are the worst, while some of the least faithful adaptations can become something better. There are too many variables involved, too many possible permutations to make sweeping generalizations. And, in the world of Frankenstein adaptations, for example, Whale's 1931 film remains the classic, one that continues to influence culture in its own important ways.

    However, it would be nice to get a modern Frankenstein adaptation that is more readily available than Danny Boyle's stage version and more complete than Penny Dreadful's Creature — if only for all the high school English teachers who need something to show when they are out sick.

    Sadly, as far as I know, there are currently no faithful Frankenstein adaptations in the works. What is happening in the Frankenstein adaptation world? Well, there is a Bride of Frankenstein reboot in pe-production. The film will be part of a larger crossover monster film universe currently being created by Universal. So, yeah.

    Perhaps of more interest to hardcore Frankenstein novel lovers out there, there are also two Mary Shelley biopics in the works. In A Storm in the Stars, 17-year-old Shelley will be played by Elle Fanning. The film will tell the story of the relationship between the young author and Percy Shelley, as well as the ways in which Mary Shelley feels out of step with her time. A Storm in the Stars boasts a female writer, Emma Jensen, female producers, and a female director, Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadja).

    The second Mary Shelley biopic in the works, Mary Shelley's Monster, stars Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner as the author. While A Storm in the Stars will focus on Shelley's pre-Frankenstein life, Mary Shelley's Monster will look at Shelley from age 18 to 21. We will see the anonymous publication of the novel, as well as Shelley's transition into marriage and motherhood. The film also has a female director — relevantly, Penny Dreadful's Cory Giedroyc — and a female write in Deborah Baxtrom.

    Perhaps interest in Mary Shelley's life will eventually drum up some excitement for a more faithful retelling of her most famous story. In the mean time, we'll have to make do with what we've got: one of the best genre novels of the last few centuries.


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    In a video interview, Jim Carrey reflects on his time as the Riddler in Batman Forever, and why he and Tommy Lee Jones did not get along.

    News David Crow
    Oct 3, 2017

    If you were not around in 1995 when Batman Forever came out, it’s hard to convey just how big the movie was upon release. Val Kilmer, fresh off minting his movie star bonafides via Tombstone, was playing a suaver and more seductive Caped Crusader, Nicole Kidman’s status was just recently on the rise in the U.S., fast food cross-promotions were everywhere, and you couldn’t escape that Seal son about kisses and roses, even if you wanted to. (Not that you should…) Still perhaps one of the biggest gets for the franchise’s younger fans was the addition of Jim Carrey as the Riddler. A comedian who became an overnight sensation with slightly less mature audiences following Ace Ventura and The Mask, his casting was hailed as the equivalent of getting Jack Nicholson to play the Joker.

    However, some older moviegoers were less keen. And that includes Tommy Lee Jones, who played the Riddler’s glorified sidekick and fellow fiend, Two-Face. Jones’ cool disdain toward Carrey has become infamous over the years, and it’s something Carrey still remembers well. Hence he talked a little about it again while chatting with Norm MacDonald this week.

    In the third season of Norm MacDonald’s online talk show (via EW), Norm MacDonald Live, Carrey recalled, “I was the star, and that was the problem.” Leaving the viewer to fill in the gaps of what that means, Carrey elaborated by recollecting his much talked about awkward dinner chat with Jones in a restaurant.

    “I went over and said, ‘Hey, Tommy, how you doing?’ And the blood just drained from his face like he had been thinking about me 24 hours a day. … It was before the biggest scene we have together in the movie. The blood just drained from his face. He started shaking and he got up and … he must have been in mid-kill-me fantasy or something. He went to hug me and said, ‘I hate you. I really don’t like you.’ I said, ‘Gee man, what’s the problem?’ I pulled up a chair, which probably wasn’t smart. And he said, ‘I cannot sanction your buffoonery.’”

    At the time, it was probably hard to imagine anyone feeling that about Carrey, however times change and it seems Carrey understands a bit more about why anyone during an earlier time would say that to the man who wore a sport coat with electric, neon lights in the shape of question marks lighting up the soundstage.


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    Following the tragic loss of life in Las Vegas due to gun violence, Netflix has cancelled Marvel's The Punisher panel at New York Comic Con.

    News David Crow
    Oct 4, 2017

    It seems a television series revolving around a character known for the bullets he fires and the skull emblem he uses to commemorate their victims has some drawbacks in a culture inundated by gun violence, including even Comic Con. Indeed, despite Frank Castle being an iconic Marvel Comics New Yorker, Marvel’s The Punisher panel at New York Comic Con has been understandably cancelled by Netflix.

    The streaming service, which has marketed The Punisher panel for weeks—including hinting it would be where we would learn the release date for the hit series—and Marvel Television released a joint statement acknowledging that due to the major loss of life and tragic events that unfolded this week in Las Vegas, cancellation was the most appropriate action.

    “We are stunned and saddened by this week’s senseless act in Las Vegas,” said the statement. “After careful consideration, Netflix and Marvel have decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for Marvel’s The Punisher to participate in New York Comic Con. Our thoughts continue to be with the victims and those affected by this tragedy.”

    The series of course stars Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, a vigilante who takes the law into his own hands… by way of lots and lots of firepower. Spun off from a popular appearance during the second year of Daredevil, Bernthal’s Punisher is highly anticipated by fans, including those attending NYCC. However, it is a very prudent choice given that the United States has just endured its worst mass shooting yet, with 58 people having been murdered and a further 500 injured by a madman with many, many guns.


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    Evan Narcisse and Paul Renaud will look at the history of T'Challa & Wakanda in Rise of the Black Panther.

    NewsJim Dandy
    Oct 4, 2017

    As part of Marvel's gaggle of hype-building announcements ahead of NYCC 2017, Marvel released details of a new book created by a familiar face to comics internet-dwellers.

    Evan Narcisse, lately of io9 fame, was announced as the writer of a new prequel of sorts to the hit Black Panther series running now. Rise of the Black Panther is a 6-issue mini starting in January that will take a look at T'Challa's early days leading Wakanda away from its historical isolation, and onto the global stage.

    Narcisse's art partner on the book is Paul Renaud (Generations: all the Captains America). Narcisse worked with Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer of the Black Panther ongoing, on the shape of the story. The book will also look at T'Challa's parents - his predecessor as king, T'Chaka, and the mother he never knew.

    Narcisse has long been one of the most talented writers about comics on the entire internet. His understanding of the way comics work, his thoughtfulness and his skill at conveying his points made him the envy of many comic observers. He also promised in an interview that there would be panther mechs, so this is an easy one to get excited about.

    For more on panther mechs, or for news on any other mechs announced at NYCC 2017, stick with Den of Geek!


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    Adam Warlock will return in an upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy!

    NewsJim Dandy
    Oct 4, 2017

    Ahead of NYCC, Marvel Comics dropped a bomb on their cosmic universe. Or at least a weird, human-sized cocoon: Adam Warlock is slated to return in Guardians of the Galaxy #150.

    Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder will kick off the new arc in January. Marvel's release promised that it would tie into the ongoing story that we started to see the outline of in All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #10 - the Guardians are on a quest to recover the Infinity Stones Gems (you can have the Infinity Gems when you pry them from my cold, dead, old-ass fingers), and Adam Warlock, as a long-time bearer of the Soul Gem, makes perfect sense here.

    Warlock was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1967, but also by Gil Kane and Roy Thomas in the 1972. But it wasn't until Jim Starlin put him in one of the trippiest, oddest comics of the '70s that the character took off. He became an underground sensation, and one Starlin kept coming back to, from The Infinity Gauntlet in 1991 to 2016's The Infinity Revelation. In between, he was also a main character in what is widely considered to be the best arc featuring Marvel's cosmic characters: the Abnett/Lanning Marvel Space era that started with Annihilation: Conquest (or Annihilation: Nova to be more precise) and ended with The Thanos Imperative

    For more news on the Guardians of the Galaxy from NYCC 2017, or for random thoughts as I reread that era of Marvel Cosmic, stick with Den of GeekRealm of Kings: Imperial Guard is really good!


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    With New York Comic-Con upon us, check out Marvel LIVE!, Marvel's NYCC live stream!

    News Ivan Huang
    Oct 5, 2017

    Starting October 5, Marvel Entertainment is bringing New York Comic-Con to you with their own NYCC live stream, Marvel LIVE!

    Hosted by TWHIP! The Big Marvel Show’s Ryan Penagos and Lorraine Cink, the NYCC live stream will cover the best of New York Comic-Con 2017, from booth events and panels to gaming stations and exclusive signings.

    NYCC Live Stream Videos 

    Marvel's NYCC live stream begins this Thursday 3:00 PM ET, and will be broadcasted on their webpage, their Facebook, and this YouTube video:

    Marvel LIVE! Schedule

    October 5

    Hello From NYCC 2017! (3:00 PM)

    THWIP (3:05 PM)

    Black Panther (3:35 PM)

    Marvel Booth Tour (4:00 PM)

    Eat the Universe (4:40 PM)

    Kabam Character Reveal (5:00 PM)

    Punisher Mini-Panel (5:30 PM)

    Marvel’s Next Big Thing Panel (6:00 PM)

    October 6

    Kabam Contest of Champions (2:15 PM)

    THWIP (3:00 PM)

    Interview (3:30 PM)

    Hip-Hop Signing (4:00 PM)

    Cosplay Interview (4:30 PM)

    TBD Signing (4:50 PM)

    Lego Stage Event (5:20 PM)

    LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 (6:00 PM)

    Marvel Legacy: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (7:00 PM)

    October 7

    Hulu and Marvel Television Present Marvel’s Runaways (12:30 PM)

    Kabam Contest of Champions (1:10 PM)

    Hello From NYCC 2017! (2:00 PM)

    THWIP (2:05 PM)

    Interview (2:35 PM)

    Eat the Universe (3:00 PM)

    Interview (3:30 PM)

    Marvel Becoming (3:54 PM)

    Interview (4:20 PM)

    Marvel LIVE (4:40 PM)

    Interview (4:45 PM)

    Netflix Presents Marvel’s The Punisher (5:15 PM)

    October 8

    Marvel Television Presents: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (10:45 AM)

    Kabam Contest of Champions (11:15 AM)

    Hello From NYCC 2017! (12:00 PM)

    Marvel Cosplay Competition (12:05 PM)

    Marvel Quickdraw (1:00 PM)

    Kids Costume Contest (1:25 PM)

    MARVEL: Cup O’Joe: Q & U (2:05 PM)

    Marvel Legacy: Avengers (3:10 PM)

    Celebrating 100 Years of Jack Kirby: The King’s New York (4:10 PM)


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    Exclusive: Karen Gillan discusses Nebula’s role in the Avengers: Infinity War films and preparations for next year’s reshoots.

    News David Crow
    Oct 5, 2017

    When I am first able to speak with Karen Gillan, it’s a little later than expected. We had been scheduled earlier that day to discuss her new action-comedy epic, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. However, a last minute and entirely understandable necessity had occurred: Ms. Gillan was needed back in Atlanta where filming is already underway for the still untitled Avengers: Infinity War sequel (or simply Avengers 4). Nebula needed to make sky tracks again.

    Once able to connect, Gillan is cheerful and ready to discuss Jumanji in that familiar Scottish inflection. But as she had only just completed 2018’s upcoming third Avengers film—which is to feature the first crossover between Marvel Studios’ enormous stable of costumed do-gooders and Guardians of the Galaxy’s groovier misfits—one might wonder if she’ll be done shooting Avengers movies any time soon?

    No,” Gillan says with a decisive laugh. “Nebula is very much needed on-set tomorrow and for the rest of the year.” Indeed, Gillan goes on to add that directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been filming Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 back-to-back, and they have already prepared reshoots to continue well into 2018.

    Says Gillan, “So this is the longest shoot in the world. It’s been going since January, and it goes right up until December. And then it goes into reshoots—like immediate, more additional photography—next year. So it’s like an ongoing thing, which is really cool, because it feels like a whole family now.” Gillan even compares it to her time on television's own beloved sci-fi epic, Doctor Who. “There were a lot of crew members who were on Jumanji who’ve gone onto [Avengers]. So I’m just like, ‘Okay, this really is my next family.’”

    It’s also probably a good time for someone like Nebula to have a family, considering that she is finally facing her greatest personal demon: an alien demigod who wishes to rain hellfire down upon everyone else. For at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Gillan’s blue and cycloptic anti-heroine was off to confront her malevolent father Thanos (Josh Brolin), who also happens to be the main villain of at least Avengers: Infinity War. So it would seem likely that these Avengers sequels will finally give Nebula her big moment, right?

    “I’ve been sworn to secrecy,” Gillan demurs. “But I definitely think that all of what we’ve been building towards, with all the backstories between Nebula and Thanos, is definitely going to come to a head in the Avengers film, and she’s definitely going to confront all of those traumatic memories. I definitely think she is going to have her moment.”

    It’s one that Nebula and the Marvel Cinematic Universe at-large have been long anticipating. It’s also one that has had an impact on Gillan, right down to preparing her for her role in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. In that new spiritual sequel to the 1995 original, Gillan plays a shy girl… trapped inside the body of a Lara Croft-inspired warrior woman. It’s a part that Gillan was very game for tackling, and which Marvel inadvertently prepared her for.

    “I’ve done quite a lot of stunt work before,” Gillan says of prepping for Jumanji. “I sort of trained up through the Marvel system on that. And so when it came to this, I was like, ‘I can do this,’ but I was not ready for the amount of fighting that I had to do. I mean it was just hard work. There was one particular fight scene in the movie that is so long, and I had to do the whole thing in one-take. You wouldn’t know it’s one-take from the way it’s edited, but we definitely shot the whole thing in a oner at one point.”

    The fruit of all that work, and its fisticuff payoff, will only be fully experienced when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opens on Dec. 20. But this month’s special edition of Den of Geek Magazine does include our complete preview of the film, and our discussion with Gillan, as well as Jumanji director Jake Kasdan.

    As for the Avengers movies? The first one is not even out until May 4, 2018. However, everyone has already learned the very good reason Gillan was needed on-set the next day: In full Nebula regalia, she took part in the cast and crew’s encouragement to donate to Hurricane Harvey relief. You can watch the video, and discover how to donate, below.


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    Netflix has given a series order to Raising Dion, a sci-fi story about woman raising a super-powered young son.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Oct 5, 2017

    Another superhero series is joining Netflix’s original content lineup. However, this one won’t quite fit with its existing Marvel small screen scene. Raising Dion, an independently-created superhero sci-fi story that carries a heartfelt family twist, has been given a full series order by the streaming giant.

    Netflix has announced that Raising Dion will arrive on its platform with a 10-episode series order. The story stems from a 2015 short film and comic book of the same name, created by Dennis Liu. It depicts the innately unconventional parenting task of a widowed African-American woman, whose 7-year-old son Dion possesses an array of potent superpowers (telekinesis, energy projection, invisibility, etc.). Yet, despite its fantastical premise, the focus rests more on the realistic implications that one would have when raising a child who has a normal sense of wonder and mischief, but happens to possess incredibly dangerous abilities. Indeed, the sight of the mother packing a pistol while watching some men-in-black types outside her door drives home the idea that threats are everywhere.

    Discussing the Netflix pickup, creator Dennis Liu expresses in a statement:

    “I started this project many years ago because I wanted to see more diverse representation on film and television and I’m excited to partner with Netflix, who I know shares that commitment. More than ever, we need more stories told from different points of view and my hope with Raising Dion is to create a cinematic experience for all families that will lift your spirits and make you laugh and cry.”

    Helping Liu in that endeavor with Raising Dion will be appointed showrunner Carol Barbee, who has also written the script for the first episode. Barbee, a veteran television writer/producer, has been attached to a wide variety of series, notably in the sci-fi/action arena, with Falling Skies, Touch, Hawaii Five-O and Jericho, as well as dramas such as UnREAL, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and Judging Amy. She is joined by exec producers in Macro’s Charles D. King, Kim Roth and Poppy Hanks, along with Kenny Goodman and Michael Green.

    Intriguingly enough, also joining Barbee as an executive producer on Raising Dion will be actor Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Chronicle, Fantastic Four), who is onboard via his Outlier Society Productions. Moreover, Jordan will also appear on the series on occasion, playing the late father of the titular super-powered-sprout, who (at least, in the original short,) is implied to have been a military man who was cut down in action.

    Regarding Michael B. Jordan’s presence on the series, Netflix VP of Original Content Cindy Holland states:

    “We haven’t seen this type of superhero story before — an origin myth full of imagination, wonder and adventure, all grounded in the experiences of a modern single mother. Michael B. Jordan is an exciting and dynamic talent, and I’m excited to see him, Macro, Carol and the team translate Dennis’ unique vision to television.”

    Raising Dion does stand as a potentially unique family-centric take on an increasingly crowded superhero/sci-fi genre, also carrying much of the same X-Men-esque drama about society’s depicted fear of superpowered people; something that will undoubtedly be rooted in socially topical themes.

    There’s no word yet on when Netflix expects Raising Dion to arrive.


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    Ray Fawkes and Inaki Miranda dive into the supernatural corners of Gotham City.

    Feature Jim Dandy
    Oct 5, 2017

    This article was originally published in the Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine. Click here to view the full issue!

    DC’s Rebirth initiative has done wonders for their line of books, but one area that’s remained curiously unexplored is the supernatural. That will change in October when Ray Fawkes (Constantine) and Inaki Miranda (Catwoman) launch Ragman. The series will introduce Rory Regan to current DC continuity. We spoke with Fawkes and Miranda about the tone of the book and how much fun it is to draw a guy covered in semi-sentient rags.

    Den of Geek:What drew you guys to Ragman?

    Ray Fawkes: I’m kind of nuts about a lot of the DC supernatural characters. After Gotham by Midnight ended, and it came time for me to pitch things to DC, Ragman was one of the first characters I put forward. There’s a lot about him that I find really interesting. To me, the core of Ragman is that he’s one of the few heroes that comes from the same humble roots as the people he tends to defend. Emotionally speaking, I like building on that. Ultimately, the people he’s concerned about are the people down on the street. They’re the people he lives with, the people he’s always been around. To me, I find that really appealing and very unusual for a superhero.

    Inaki Miranda: To me, it’s Ray’s premise and script. It’s my first exposure to the character, and I just loved it. What I got is a sense of superheroes, but at the same time [an M. Night] Shyamalan movie [like] The Sixth Senseor Unbreakable, moments where you can feel the grip of the character. That, combined with the action scenes, [made it] perfect for me to have fun. And then it’s playing with Gotham, my favorite city of all time.

    DOG: Tell me about the feel of the book.

    RF: It’s a horror story, because what we want to get into is the vulnerability of people who are in despair. Rory himself is suffering from PTSD from his service in the military, and his attempt to do what he thought was the right thing. We’re seeing it through Rory’s eyes, from the inside, where there’s suffering and there’s pain, and he has been given the power to see the creatures in the DC Universe who take advantage of that suffering. Some of them are supernatural. He’s going to deal with them.

    This is not a lighthearted romp, but it is a superhero story, definitely.

    IM: I approach it the same way. It’s very eclectic visually for me. There’s the superhero [story], but there’s also the horror atmosphere. It really has everything.


    DOG: Ragman’s powers provide a lot of opportunities for inventive visuals. How wild are you getting with how you’re presenting the story?

    IM: As much as possible. I feel really free with this book. This is an origin story, so we get to see throughout the miniseries an evolution of Ragman’s power. I think it’s issue four where you can see how moldable the rags are. I’m making him behave a little bit like a dark Spider-Man with the rags, jumping throughout the city. There’s no real limit to him.

    DOG:What’s the craziest thing that we’re going to see from the first arc? What’s your favorite thing so far that you’ve worked on here?

    IM: The double-page spread when you first see Ragman.

    RF: Yeah. For me, I really enjoyed the different shapes Ragman takes. I think some of them are going to surprise the readers. Once Rory really hooks his mind into what he can do with the Cloak of Rags, Inaki did a good job of going nuts with what can happen. This is a character unlike anyone else in the DC Universe, and we’re really highlighting that. We’re celebrating it. I’m excited to see readers react to how far we go with it.

    Ragman #1 will be in comic shops and online on Wednesday, Oct. 11.


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    Get a jump on your holiday shopping list with our book guide!

    The RestKayti Burt
    Oct 5, 2017

    This article was originally published in the Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine. Click here to view the full issue!

    ‘Tis almost that time of the year again: the holiday gift-giving season. Or, as we like to call it, the perfect excuse to buy more books. Whether you’re looking for a gift for yourself or for someone special in your life, here are our top genre book picks for winter 2017.

    Autonomous, Annalee Newitz, OUT NOW - Tor Books

    io9 founder Annalee Newitz’s debut science fiction novel Autonomousis a story about the future of intellectual property law, told from the dual perspectives of Jack, an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, and Paladin, an indentured military bot hot on Jack’s trail. While Jack works to create an antidote, the latest corporate-made smart drug, Paladin grows physically and emotionally closer to their human International Property Coalition partner Eliasz. Set on Earth in 2144, Autonomousasks the question: What does freedom look like in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?

    The Name of the Wind (10th Anniversary Edition), Patrick Rothfuss, OUT NOW - DAW

    With The Kingkiller Chronicle becoming a movie, TV series, and even a video game, there’s never been a better time to dive into Patrick Rothfuss’ beloved fantasy world. DAW is releasing a 10th anniversary hardcover edition of the first book in the series, The Name of the Wind, which tells the story of Kvothe, a magically-gifted young man who grows up to be one of the most notoriously powerful wizards that the world has ever seen. Complete with illustrations from Dan Dos Santos, a brand new author’s note, and an appendix detailing the world’s calendar system and currencies, the deluxe edition includes 50 pages of extra content. The perfect gift for the fantasy nerd in your life!

    Provenance, Ann Leckie, OUT NOW - Orbit

    Imperial Radch series author Ann Leckie is back with another science fiction story set in the same universe as her Ancillarybooks. Provenanceis a novel about a young woman named Ingray who lives on a planet called Hwae. In an attempt to earn the approval of her foster mother, she unwittingly stumbles into an interplanetary conspiracy. As you do. Exploring themes of power, privilege, and birthright, Leckie’s much-anticipated return to this science fiction world is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the holiday season.

    Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler, edited by Alexander Pierce and Mimi Mondal, OUT NOW - Twelfth Planet Press

    Octavia Butler, the author of The Parable of the Sower and Kindred, is one of the most important science fiction authors of all time; this book aims to celebrate her contribution to the genre. Luminescent Threads is an anthology of letters and original essays written to, for, and about Butler by writers and readers for whom her work has meant something. A follow-up of sorts to the Locus Award-winning Letters to Tiptree, Luminescent Threads is a book for anyone who has ever loved Butler, or for those who want to learn more about her legacy.

    FOR TEENS: The Afterlife of Holly Chase, Cynthia Hand, November 7 - HarperTeen

    If you’re looking for a young adult option during the 2017 holiday season, then look no further than The Afterlife of Holly Chase, the contemporary teen retelling of A Christmas Carol that you probably never asked for, but will nonetheless enjoy! The novel tells the story of Holly, a 17-year-old ghost girl who didn’t use the insight provided to her five years ago when she was visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. Now Holly is a Ghost of Christmas Past, helping other misers see the error of their ways and watching her friends and family move on without her. But this year, everything will change…

    Artemis: A Novel, Andy Weir, November 14 - Random House

    A heist… on the moon. Do we have your attention? The latest novel from The Martianauthor Andy Weir, follows criminal Jazz Bashara, one of the many struggling inhabitants of the moon’s only city, Artemis. Jazz is a contraband smuggler who gets in over her head when she tries to commit the perfect heist but falls into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself. We probably had you at “author of The Martian,” right?

    FOR KIDS: The Legends of Luke Skywalker, Ken Liu, October 31 - Disney-Lucasfilm Press

    Disney has compiled an amazing group of authors to pen the books in their Journeyto Star Warsseries. In the lead up to The Last Jedi, this includes Ken Liu, the author of The Grace of Kings and the translator of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem. Liu wrote the junior novel The Legends of Luke Skywalker, which follows a group of children on their way to casino world Canto Bight. The narrative acts as a frame for six tales about the legendary Luke Skywalker. Throughout the book, the children debate about whether or not Luke Skywalker is real or a myth. Read The Legends of Luke Skywalker with the kids in your life and decide for yourself.

    Further Reading…

    Blackwing, Ed McDonald, OUT NOW — Ace

    William Shakespeare's The Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh, Ian Doescher, OUT NOW — Penguin Random House

    It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, October 17 — HarperCollins

    Vallista: A Novel of Vlad Taltos, Steven Brust, October 17 —MacMillan

    The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, Philip Pullman, October 19 — Random House

    Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, Mark Frost, October 31 — MacMillan

    Persepolis Rising (The Expanse #7), James S.A. Corey, December 5 - Orbit


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