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  • 11/20/17--23:45: Watchmen HBO Series Updates
  • There's a pilot order (and more) in the books for the HBO Watchmen TV series.

    News Mike Cecchini
    Nov 20, 2017

    With The Leftovers having wrapped its final season to wild critical acclaim, Damon Lindelof is sticking around HBO to develop a Watchmen TV series. Yes, you read that right. Watchmen is finally getting the prestige cable drama that fans have wanted for as long as prestige cable drama has been a thing. HBO has not only placed a pilot order for the series, but ordered "back up scripts" as well for more episodes. In other words, it's all but certain this thing is getting picked up.

    Lindelof's vision is apparently unrelated to a Watchmen series discussed by Zack Snyder (who directed the film version) and HBO back in 2015. It's not clear how far those particular talks got, or what the actual plan for it was. After all, with Snyder involved, it seems unlikely it would have been a re-adaptation of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel. According to Variety, the Lindelof version is "starting over from scratch" and has nothing to do with those previous discussions.

    The big question, then, is just what will this new series be? Is it another adaptation of the graphic novel? Zack Snyder's 2009 adaptation has its defenders, and visually it's certainly faithful enough to the comics, but it was admittedly limited by the constraints of a movie runtime. A TV series could spend more time exploring the flashbacks to the Minutemen era, or fleshing out some of the supplementary text material that happens in between the comic chapters.

    But recent quotes from Damon Lindelof would seem to indicate that this might be a brand new adaptation of Watchmen, rather than a prequel or some other expansion of the world. "That comic was written in the mid '80s, [but it's] more timely now," he told a crowd at Vulture Fest (via THR). "These are dangerous times...and we need dangerous shows." 

    In 2013, DC Comics released a series of Watchmen prequels, appropriately titled Before Watchmen, from an assortment of creators not named Moore or Gibbons. They were met with what can charitably be described as a mixed response from fans and critics. Nevertheless, there's plenty of existing material to fuel a Watchmen series for several seasons. Then again, Lindelof and friends might not have to delve into the spinoffs to flesh out an adaptaion of the graphic novel. There's enough going on in any one of the original's twelve chapters to fuel multiple episodes. Meanwhile, DC Comics just launched the first official sequel to Watchmen with Doomsday Clock.

    Watch the Watchmen movie on Amazon

    Watchmen writer Alan Moore has been notoriously outspoken about his disapproval for all adaptations and spinoffs, and that's unlikely to change here. Lindelof added that they're "trying to find a way to do it that honors [Alan Moore]" although they're under no illusions about what Moore's feelings on it would be. But for the rest of us, the chance to see this series given another chance at the screen, perhaps one that's a little less stylized than the movie version, is certainly appealing. There have also been rumblings of an R-rated animated movie, but that seems less likely with the HBO series in the works.

    We'll update this with new information as we get it.

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    Warner Bros. may be wary of making more Superman movies in the DCEU, but there are possibilities beyond Man of Steel 2.

    Feature Mike Cecchini
    Nov 21, 2017

    This article contains Justice League spoilers.

    Despite how cagey Warner Bros. was about keeping Henry Cavill’s Superman out of most of the marketing for Justice League, we always knew that his return would be a key moment, not just for the movie, but for the entire DCEU. And while it took a few years to get there, the final act of Justice League makes it pretty clear that the studio is finally ready to give audiences a classic interpretation of the character. Or, they would be, if Superman hadn’t been such a difficult business proposition on screen over the last decade or more.

    The good news is that Henry Cavill is still contracted for one more turn in the cape. The bad news is that Justice League fell well short of expectations at the box office for its opening weekend, making it the fourth troubled Superman movie in the last 11 years. This will have ramifications for the entire DCEU slate going forward (Justice League 2 has no release date), and the implications for the Last Son of Krypton aren’t particularly encouraging. There's not much reason for Mr. Cavill to stick around at the moment.

    The simplest proposition, Man of Steel 2, seems the least likely to happen. Even the most ardent Superman fan will likely agree that an earthbound Superman story revolving around Metropolis and the Daily Planet is going to be a tough sell. After all, once you’ve done two full blown alien invasions, it’s tough to follow that. Cramming Superman’s death and return into two movies where he was relegated to co-star not only robbed that big story of the spotlight it deserves, but lowers the stakes for the character in the future. Once you’ve beaten death, what’s left?

    While it would be great to see a Justice League 2that centers Superman as the leader and inspirational figure that the current film hinted at, it doesn’t seem likely right now. If the Flashpoint movie still ends up getting made (this has no director and no release date, so don’t hold your breath), there’s a chance we could see a version of Superman who was raised in captivity by the government from the moment he landed on Earth. There has been idle chatter about adapting Red Son, which deals with a Superman who grew up in the Soviet Union, and the attendant world-changing ramifications that would bring. Neither of these non-traditional takes sounds terribly appealing to Superman fans waiting for a Richard Donner-esque return to glory.

    But it would be a mistake for Warner Bros. to turn their backs entirely on Superman. They just need to adjust their thinking a little. These are some low risk ways they can get one more flight from Cavill, continue to exploit their shared universe of the DCEU, and use Superman to introduce (or reintroduce) characters:

    Take Him Off-World

    The DCEU hasn’t been shy about playing up Superman’s inherently alien nature and the “stranger in a strange land” elements of the character. Getting him out of Metropolis and out into the cosmos where he can cut loose will help mitigate any fears that audiences won’t accept another “traditional” Superman movie. By doing this, Warner Bros. could help reinvigorate a far more toxic franchise.

    Green Lantern Corps currently has a 2020 release date, but little else. The intention is for GLC to play up the interstellar nature of the Corps, and keep the action away from Earth. Writer Elliot S. Maggin often played with the idea that Superman was a source of fascination for the Guardians of the Universe on Oa, and his classic Bronze Age story “Must There Be a Superman?” in which the Guardians worry that Superman is interfering with the proper development of human civilization, would be the perfect jumping off point to get Supes into space. There’s your first act, and then Kal-El and the Corps can go to town on the alien menace of your choice.

    Adding Superman to the Green Lantern Corps movie (I’m not suggesting giving him a ring, calm down) hits three important DCEU notes. Moments of it can be a loose adaptation of a classic DC Comics story (they love doing this), it removes Green Lantern Corps even further from the DOA 2011 Green Lantern movie, and the theme of Superman wondering whether he can do more good out in the cosmos rather than potentially stunting humanity’s growth would be in line with the sometimes somber tone of the DCEU.

    On a similar note, WB could use Superman to solve one of the problems they caused in Justice League. Steppenwolf was a woefully underdeveloped villain, and Jack Kirby’s epic (in the actual sense of the word) Fourth World and New Gods concepts weren’t well served on screen. If we’re ever going to see Darkseid, we need to care about the war between the planets New Genesis and Apokolips, and in order to do that, they need screen time.

    Several of Jack Kirby’s earliest Fourth World stories involved Superman coming into contact with various New Gods and Forever People, and his longing to be among beings who are more like him. Let Orion and Lightray come to earth to enlist Superman’s aid in their cosmic war, similar to how these concepts were introduced in Superman: The Animated Series. Superman becomes the audience’s POV character, we no longer have to worry about him automatically being the most powerful person in the room all the time, and the DCEU can properly introduce Darkseid without having to stage yet another invasion of Earth.

    In any case, I would swim through lava to watch a Guillermo del Toro-directed New Godsmovie, with or without Superman. I have been trying to will this into existence for years. Please help me. Anyone. It’s becoming a problem.

    Team Him Up with Established Stars

    Even without Justice League 2 being a priority, there are plenty of stars in the orbit of the DCEU. Dwayne Johnson has long expressed a desire for his Black Adam to “throw down” with someone like Superman, and Johnson and Cavill have made some teasing posts on social media together. Johnson’s Black Adam will no longer be introduced in 2019’s Shazam movie, and instead has a standalone movie of his own coming.

    But despite the star power of Johnson, Black Adam isn’t the most recognizable character in DC’s stable (for that matter, neither is Shazam these days), but Superman certainly is, and an easier match for a team-up (or throwdown) than say, Batman. Check out the Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam animated movie for a natural way to let these characters bolster each other. The Rock is often referred to as “franchise viagra” and, frankly, Superman’s box office takings have been stuck at about half-mast.

    Although my personal dream would be to re-team Superman with DC’s two safest cinematic bets: Batman (whoever he may be) and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. The DCEU loves adapting the broad strokes of classic comic stories, so a big screen version of the Watchmen creative team of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ “For The Man Who Has Everything” would tick all the appropriate boxes, without the pressure of it being a full blown Justice League sequel (which at the moment seems about as improbable as Man of Steel 2).

    “For the Man Who Has Everything” is the superhero story that has everything. A powerful alien puts Superman into a hallucinatory coma, causing him to live in a dream world where he grew to maturity on a Krypton that never exploded, all while Batman and Wonder Woman fight for their lives. This could play almost like Inception (or a Twilight Zone episode) with superheroes, and it would allow another big screen appearance for Krypton, the visual and world-building highlight of Man of Steel. In a way, this story, which forces Superman to confront and make peace with his guilt at being the sole survivor of his world, would feel like a fitting sendoff for Cavill’s Superman.

    The full DC superhero movie release schedule can be found here. Maybe we'll get a Superman story added to it one of these days.

    Mike Cecchini thinks about Superman stories too much. Pelt him with Kryptonite on Twitter.

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    How George Lucas brought Star Wars to the big screen after years of drafts and dealing with Hollywood.

    Feature Ryan Lambie
    Nov 29, 2017

    Since selling Lucasfilm, George Lucas has been very vocal about why he stopped making Star Warsfilms. The short of it is that making these movies is very hard work, that it takes it toll on a person, and that dealing with public scrutiny while making a film of that magnitude impedes the creative process. And it's a very interesting thing, the creative process behind the Star Wars saga, a franchise that came from the mind of one man, from one evolution of the script to the next. One only has to look at the earliest draft of the original Star Wars movie Lucas wanted to make to see all the work that goes into just writing these movies. That very first draft of the script is almost unrecognizable from what we eventually got on the big screen. 

    It's like Star Wars, but refracted through a strange lens. Here's Han Solo, but he's green, like the Toxic Avenger, and has gills. Here's Luke Skywalker, but he's a powerful general with a white beard and a flinty look in his eye.

    All this can be found in what is now commonly called The Rough Draft of The Star Wars, originally written by George Lucas back in 1974. A kind of mid-point between the somewhat vague ideas Lucas first had for his space fantasy movie earlier in the decade and the fourth draft - which was used as the shooting script for the 1977 film - The Star Wars is a jarring document from the franchise's early history.

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

    In 2013, Dark Horse produced an eight-part series of comics based on the Rough Draft, adapted by Star Wars historian JW Rinzler and illustrated by Mike Mayhew (no relation). That series has been collected together in one book, and again, it offers an intriguing insight into how Lucas conceived and reworked his ideas, and gradually amalgamated his influences into something new.

    Lucas' lifelong interest in science fiction received its earliest expression in THX-1138, an unsettling dystopian thriller that was initially a 15-minute student film made in 1967 (full title: Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB), and later remade as a feature starring Robert Duvall in 1971. But Lucas really wanted to make something completely different from THX: something more hopeful, more fantastical.

    Although Lucas was left exhausted by the process of making the drama American Graffiti(1972), he continued to think about ideas for a space fantasy epic while that film was in post-production. Star Wars legend tells us that the names of two now famous characters - R2-D2 ("Reel 2, Dialogue 2") and Wookiee - came during the latter stages of American Graffiti's making.

    Made on a tiny budget, coming-of-age drama American Graffitiwas a huge box-office hit, and was nominated for five Oscars. It was that unexpected success which would ultimately give Lucas the creative latitude to make something as risky (and potentially expensive) as Star Wars.

    Lucas' ideas first took shape in The Journal of The Whills. Less than two pages long, and yet to be officially published in full, it introduced a warrior named Mace Windy and a character called Chuiee Two Thorpe being trained as a Jedi-Templar. Even at this early stage, some of the names that would appear in Lucas'Star Wars films had already made their first appearances.

    By May 1973, Lucas had worked up a synopsis for something called The Star Wars. Although influenced by such writers as Frank Herbert (writer of Dune) and EE "Doc" Smith, as well as old Flash Gordon matinee serials, The Star Wars' primary influence was Akira Kurosawa's 1958 film The Hidden Fortress. In fact, Lucas' approach to The Hidden Fortresswasn't unlike The Magnificent Seven, the Western based on Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. Lucas took The Hidden Fortress' story, about a princess and her family escaping from a more powerful rival clan, and turned it into a galactic civil war set in the 33rd century.

    Nevertheless, it was this treatment that, after several unsuccessful attempts to sell the Star Wars concept to other Hollywood studios, finally found interest at 20th Century Fox. There are also signs that the elements which would one day form the big-screen Star Wars are beginning to take shape. There's an evil Empire, a giant space fortress, a general named Luke Skywalker, a planet called Yavin, and a violent confrontation in a space port cantina. As if through a haze of half-formed concepts and borrowed plot elements, something concrete was beginning to coalesce.

    The Rough Draft, completed one year later in May 1974, marked another significant breakthrough for Lucas. Although still some distance from what audiences all over the world would recognize as Star Wars, it's so significant because it's the first properly completed screenplay to emerge from Lucas' typewriter. Sure, it's rough around the edges, with lengthy slabs of scene description and some odd tonal shifts, but there are signs everywhere that the pieces are beginning to move into place. The draft also marks the first appearance of the now-famous opening text crawl:

    "Until the recent GREAT REBELLION, the JEDI BENDU were the most feared warriors in the universe. For one hundred thousand years, generations of JEDI perfected their art as the personal bodyguards of the emperor..."

    Kane Starkiller is one of the last of these Jedi Bendu. Hiding from the now evil Empire and their allies, the Sith, Starkiller lives in hiding with his two sons, 10-year-old Deak and 18-year-old Annakin, on the Fourth Moon of Utapau. AsThe Star Wars opens, the Starkillers are found by the Empire and attacked by a deadly member of the Sith. Although the Sith warrior is no match for Kane Starkiller's superior fighting skills, the villain succeeds in killing his 10-year-old son. 

    Their cover blown, Kane and Annakin head to Aquilae, where the fellow Jedi, general Luke Skywalker, is about to engage in a full-blown confrontation with the invading Empire and their colossal space fortress. Annakin, a talented but somewhat callow youth, must learn to master his Jedi training and help rescue Princess Leia, whom the Empire has kidnapped with a view to using her as a means of controlling the people of Aquilae.

    Whether you read the original screenplay or Dark Horse's comic book adaptation, there are at least two striking things about The Rough Draft. The first is just how hard-edged it is: sure, it's a space opera, but the tone's closer to something like Dunethan a fairytale set in space. Although a little of this draft's harshness and violence remained in 1977's Star Wars - the horrifyingly casual deaths of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, the blood-spattered severed arm in the Mos Eisley cantina - we can only imagine what young audience members would have made of seeing a 10-year-old boy mercilessly slain by the Sith in the opening five minutes.

    The second thing to note is the sheer number of characters Lucas stuffs into his 129-page script. While some are recognizable and quite likable - not least Han Solo, who's the same cynical rogue we all know and remember, despite his frog-like appearance - others are downright bewildering. There are two seasoned Jedi (Kane Starkiller and Luke Skywalker), Princess Leia's extended royal family (including two young brothers called Biggs and Windy), a young rebel spy named Whitsun, and numerous other bit-players and nefarious villains. 

    Despite his name, Annakin is the closest thing we have to a proper Luke Skywalker - he's a young Jedi with much to learn, and proves himself to be quite a hero by the story's end. But he's also a difficult character to like: witness, for example, the moment where he first meets Princess Leia, who initially refuses to be rescued. Annakin's solution? A solid punch in the face. ("Starkiller punches her square on the jaw and knocks her out cold.")

    Lucas would be the first to admit that he struggled with writing screenplays, and the stress of the whole process often made him feel quite ill. There's a sense, going through The Rough Draft, of a writer feeling his way around his subject, of having certain scenes clear in his mind - an assault on a battle station, laser sword fights, and so forth - but not the tone.

    The Rough Draft also suffers for the lack of a specific point of view, with the action frequently chopping between different sets of characters without a solid protagonist at the story's core. R2-D2 and C3PO are in here somewhere, but Lucas hasn't yet made them the audience's waypoint into the saga, as he would in the second draft (another idea inspired by The Hidden Fortress). Their distinct personalities aren't in place yet, either. Instead of the plucky, bleepy R2 and the cowardly yet earnest Threepio, we get a pair of bickering robots who are both as infuriating as each other. Reading The Rough Draft for the first time, it's quite a surprise to see Artoo (or Artwo, as it's spelled here) speaking English ("You're nothing but a dim-witted, emotion-brained intellectual!"). 

    The more endearing nuances of Lucas' characters didn't appear until later. The comedy pairing of R2-D2 and C3PO worked so well in the final film because R2-D2's cheerful whistles and chirps (not to mention bravery) served as a counterpoint to C3PO's whining verbosity. Similarly, Princess Leia needs the now-familiar hint of saltiness and sarcasm to really make her character resonate - in The Rough Draft, she's little more than a stubborn love interest for Annakin.

    Having said all this, The Rough Draft, particularly in the form presented by Dark Horse's comics, really begins to pick up pace towards the second half, and it's exciting to see how many of the action scenes already appear here in nascent form. There's a moment of peril in a trash compactor, a rip-roaring space battle, and fights between Wookiees and the Empire (a clear precursor to the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi).

    Lucas' friend and mentor Francis Ford Coppola liked this latest draft, yet Lucas clearly realized that his story was still too dense - or, at the very least, too expensive to shoot. In subsequent drafts, Lucas juggled around character traits and names, taking the attributes of Kane Starkiller, with his largely robotic body, and applying them to Darth Vader. He gradually chopped away extraneous characters and chunks of plot, too, such as the somewhat odd strand that sees the young boys Biggs and Windy put into hypersleep and ferried around the galaxy hidden in oval metal containers. 

    Through repeated rewriting and reordering, Lucas gradually drew closer to the Star Wars we recognize today. The second draft, published in 1975, reintroduces Han Solo and Chewbacca as friends and renegade pilots, Luke Skywalker as an ordinary farm boy rather than a grizzled general, and Darth Vader as the black-clad Lord of the Sith. Draft three, subtitled From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller, brings in Obi-Wan Kenobi and generally tightens up the story and the depictions of the characters - the sniping banter between Leia and Han Solo, for example, is now present and correct.

    It was The Rough Draft, however, that provided Lucas with the road map to Star Wars' future. Although certain ideas were edited out for what would ultimately become Star Wars' shooting script, they would turn up again later on. Annikin's depiction as a somewhat aggressive young upstart would be reprised in the Anakin character we'd see in the Star Wars prequels, and The Rough Draft's bearded general Luke Skywalker is markedly similar to the young Obi-Wan in the prequels, too.

    The Dark Horse adaptation of The Rough Draft, with its design work inspired from Ralph McQuarrie's early production art, is a fascinating entry point to Star Wars' creative development. Through it, we can see how Lucas was slowly working out how he could make a modern fairytale with a technological edge, blending eastern religious ideas with classical myths and pulp sci-fi action.

    As an early version of Star Wars' oft-repeated motto proves - "May the force of others be with you" - Lucas still had a lot of work still to do. But The Rough Draft provided a solid foundation on which the now iconic franchise could be built.

    *This article originally ran on Sept. 4, 2014.

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    Enter to win a copy of this month's Den of Geek Book Club pick: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz...

    NewsKayti Burt
    Nov 29, 2017

    Have you heard the news? Den of Geek has started a book club, and this month's pick is the sci-fi robot pirate Autonomous by Annalee Newitz. 

    Autonomous imagines our world as it might be in the year 2144. This is a world divided not into nation-states, but economic zones. This is a world where pharmaceutical companies have immense power, and anything — or anyone — can be owned. Read our full, glowing review here.

    We're giving away one copy of Autonomous to one book club member.

    Entry is simple!

    - Join the Den of Geek Book Club over on Goodreads (if you haven't already).

    - Let us know what your favorite human-equivalent robot stories are in our Goodreads discussion thread.

    Final entries will be accepted Wednesday, December 6th! For shipping purposes, the winner must be from the United States. One (1) winner will be drawn at random and contacted via Goodreads message. Good luck!

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    Prospects for The Night Manager Season 2 becoming a reality are increasingly promising.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Nov 29, 2017

    2016's lavish spy-centric miniseries, The Night Manager, was an impressively slick television event. Adapting the 1993 novel of the same name by the iconic English espionage author John le Carré, the miniseries, a joint intercontinental offering from the BBC and AMC, starred Tom Hiddleston as an ex-soldier-turned-hotelier who is thrust into the world of an amoral arms dealer played by Hugh Laurie. While, its six-episode run did come to a seemingly satisfying conclusion, fans will be delighted to hear that a second season is on the horizon.

    The Night Manager Season 2 News

    It appears that plans for The Night Manager Season 2 are moving forward, with the acquisition of a writer. According to Deadline, Matthew Orton, an up-an-coming scribe, has been tapped to write the second season of The Ink Factory-produced joint BBC/AMC John le Carré novel-adapted TV series.

    Orton’s first credited greenlit screenplay, Operation Finale, is currently in production. Directed by Chris Weitz of The Twilight Saga: New Moon and The Golden Compass, the fact-based 1960s-set film depicts the secret agent operation to bring Argentina-hidden Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann to justice. That film's cast includes Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Haley Lu Richardson, Nick Kroll, Mélanie Laurent and Joe Alwyn.

    Orton will also write the script for director Ridley Scott’s upcoming historical war epic, Battle of Britain, as well as political thriller Reason of State.

    The Night Manager Season 2 Renewal

    In a joint statement, issued back in March 2017, producing studio The Ink Factory and broadcasters AMC and the BBC announced that a prospective second season of The Night Manager was in early stages of development. Said statement also quickly points out that no commitment had been made to produce Season 2, with the triumvirate stating that “nothing is definite yet and we have nothing to announce.” However, it does somewhat corroborate what Season 1 director Susanne Bier told Broadcast earlier that week that the Season 2 script was “slowly being developed.” Yet, it does seem unusual and/or promising that a “grain of salt” type news tidbit was proliferated in an official statement.

    The Night Manager utilized elegant aesthetics and suspenseful action, put through the lens of top-notch performances from a spectacular cast, with stars Hiddleston and Laurie supported by names like Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Debicki, Tom Hollander, Alistair Petrie, Adeel Akhtar and Tobias Menzies. It also reaped awards season riches, earning Primetime Emmys for director Susanne Bier and the musical score by Victor Reyes. The Golden Globes, however, yielded performance accolades, with wins for Tom Hiddleston (Best Actor), Hugh Laurie (Best Supporting Actor) and Oliva Colman (Best Supporting Actress).

    While Season 1 of The Night Manager played out the events of the book, it did so with notable changes to the ending, seemingly delivering apparent just deserts to Laurie’s arms dealer Richard Roper as he’s whisked away by his cheated terrorist clientele; a stark contrast to the character’s more auspicious fate in le Carré’s novel. Yet, even with the miniseries succumbing to a happier ending, things were left open-ended enough to see the further travails of Hiddleston’s Jonathan Pine for Season 2. Of course, with such a task requiring the continuing compounding of anachronisms to le Carré’s source material, the risk runs higher of bastardizing the integrity of the story. Director Bier offers a cautious caveat to Broadcast (via Variety) explaining:

    “We all very much want to do a season two but the thing we absolutely do not want is to do something that does not live up to the level of season one. That would be a really bad idea.”

    Of course, the aspect of “money talks” will also come into play when it comes to the prospects for Season 2. The miniseries aired in over 180 countries, garnered accolades and seemed to evoke a generally positive response, barring the tangential outrage from le Carré purists over its array of alterations. With big-name stars now enjoying the loose schedule of recurring limited event television, exemplified by Tom Hardy’s renewed FX series Taboo, it’s quite feasible that The Night Manager could become an intriguingly sophisticated recurring small screen side hustle for Tom Hiddleston. Whether that ultimately happens remains to be seen.

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    We talked to the writers of the new Star Trek: Discovery tie-in comic about crafting a compelling story within the constraints of canon.

    Interview Kayti Burt
    Nov 29, 2017

    If you're anything like me, you're counting down the days until Star Trek: Discovery returns from its midseason hiatus in January. Luckily, the holiday weeks aren't completely devoid of new Discovery material to, um, discover.

    IDW just published "The Light of Kahless," the first in a four-part Discovery comic book tie-in series set before the events of the series. The story follows the character of T'Kuvma, the Klingon leader set on uniting the houses of the crumbling empire in the TV show's two-part premiere.

    Den of Geek chatted with the comic's authors, Mike Johnson and Kirsten Beyer (who is also a writer on the TV series), about how the prequel story fits into Discovery canon, why T'Kuvma is such an interesting character, and their favorite Star Trek stories ever...

    Den of Geek: How was the decision made to make this comic about the Klingons and T’Kuvma specifically? Were there other narratives discussed?

    KB: As soon as we knew that the Klingons were going to play a major part in the series, it was clear to us that a deeper exploration of their motivations and the history of these specific individuals was both fertile ground for story and essential to Discovery.

    With the majority of the conflict presented from the point of view of the Starfleet characters, we wanted to make sure that the Klingon story was as fleshed out as possible and the comics always seemed like the perfect place to do that.

    What do you think makes T'Kuvma an interesting character?

    KB: Where to begin? We meet this character as a warrior who is determined to unite the Klingons against the Federation by starting a war. He travels on a ship covered with the sarcophagi of his ancestors (something we’ve never seen in Klingon culture) and is obsessed with the idea of ending the homogenization of alien cultures by the Federation.

    Understanding how T'Kuvma came to be and where his beliefs came from as well as the internal workings of the Klingon Empire during this period are essential questions that the series can't delve into as deeply as we can. Everything about T'Kuvma is fascinating, both in how he resembles traditional Klingons and where he clearly departs from them. Beginning to answer those questions was both a challenge and a thrill.

    MJ: I think T'Kuvma subverts the audience's expectations of what a Klingon is, how a Klingon speaks and acts, what they stand for, and that starts with his first words in the show, the "We come in peace" speech. Right away we see that there is much more to this character than simply the aggression and bluster we've seen from other Klingons.

    How much of this story comes from conversations had in the Discovery writers room and how much of it is new story that you two were able to create yourselves? Was any of this originally in Discovery?

    KB: We develop all of our story independent from the room, but since I'm in the room on a daily basis, we always know exactly where the writers are in terms of their development of the ever evolving Klingon story.

    Although this is rare in the development of tie-in media, in the case of the Klingon story developed for T’Kuvma, our work actually informed the work in the room and over time many of our ideas were integrated into the series. Usually, the reverse is true, but this time we were far enough ahead of the process that our history became critical to the understanding of the writers and eventually the actors.

    MJ: We're really lucky in that the people running the show are open to and interested in the stories that can be told across media, whether in novels or comics. That's not always the case with tie-in novels and comics.

    Tell me about finding the balance between telling a new story, having it fit within the canon established by the show, and surprising the reader.

    KB: Have you ever walked through a mine field? That's what it feels like every day. Creating story for well-established areas of canon is challenging enough. Doing it while new story is being created every day that can impact and change what we are doing is just hard.

    It's also incredibly exciting and rewarding. We are fortunate in that the producers are dedicated to the idea that our stories should shake hands with theirs and there is a constant flow of information both ways.

    Obviously, the show always takes precedence, but so far, we have managed to carve out small pockets of story that will allow us maximum creative potential and minimal impact. Mostly.

    Tell me about your partnership in writing this.

    KB: This has been one of the best parts of creating these comics. I came to this having never developed story for comics. Mike is obviously a veteran. From the beginning, however, we realized that we both come to story in a similar way and have common interests and processes.

    Early story is created in conversation, a simple dialogue from which the best ideas are obvious to both of us and we build from there. I usually write the outlines of the stories and then Mike digs in and turns those outlines into the comic scripts.

    Once the story is in the hands of the artists, both of us continue to suggest changes so that the final product is something that pleases us and our editor. It has been a fabulous working relationship and one that serves the show and the comics well.

    MJ: Kirsten and I hit it off right away both as writers and fellow Star Trek fans. I think the best writing partnerships are those where there's a clear division of labor. Kirsten knows how to make the stories tie in to the show in the best way, and I'll script based on that, and then give the scripts back to her for fine-tuning. It's a very reciprocal and collaborative process throughout.

    There has been some criticism of Discovery that the Klingon representation is not as nuanced and fleshed out as may have been intended. Was that something you were thinking about when shaping this comic book story?

    KB: Our initial instinct that, despite everyone's best intentions, the Klingon story was likely to end up getting less attention than the Starfleet story led us to determine that the first story we told should be one that fleshed out the Klingons and T'Kuvma in particular as much as possible.

    We understood that a great deal of work was going into the reimagining of the Klingons and their culture for the series. But, having watched seven hundred plus hours of Star Trek, we also knew that, ultimately, this was going to be the story of how Starfleet and the Federation handles this threat. The comics were perfectly suited to fleshing out areas that the show would have to shorthand, not for lack of interest, but simply for lack of time.

    MJ: I think by now fans of the show have come to see that the Klingons in Discovery are, in fact, more nuanced than almost any others we've seen in the past, particularly when it comes to L'Rell and her journey. We hope the comics add even more detail and resonance to the Klingons' portrayal, and that the comics will enhance fans' future viewings of both current and future episodes.

    Is there anything you can tease about upcoming installments of the "Discovery" comic book series?

    MJ: Not without getting jettisoned out of the airlock.

    Mike, the "IDIC" comic is wonderful. You’ve written a lot of Star Trek stories within this comic book world. For you, what makes for a good Star Trek story? Are there elements that you try to include in every Star Trek story you tell? How did the idea for "IDIC" come about?

    MJ: I'm so glad you're enjoying it. "IDIC" came about because we were looking to do a big six-issue arc like "The Q Gambit". I had a blast writing the Mirror Universe versions of the Kelvin crew, and started to think about what other alternate versions we could show. That evolved into what you see in "IDIC".

    I think the best Star Trek stories combine the speculative imagination of the best science fiction with the kind of character-driven emotion that the best stories in any medium have.

    Kirsten, you wrote my favorite Discovery episode so far, "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum." (So, thank you!) For you, what makes a good Star Trek story? Why did you think it was necessary or interesting to tell this story amidst the larger Discovery narrative so far? What was it like for you to see the finished product, with performances, visual effects, etc.?

    KB: Thank you! That’s very kind of you to say. For me, a good Star Trek story is first, simply a good story, one in which interesting characters confront obstacles that push them to new understandings of themselves and the universe they inhabit.

    In the case of "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum," it seemed the time had come to get a slightly different perspective on our war, and the potential repercussions for those who don't necessarily have a stake in it but will be affected nonetheless. Creating an alien species that would have a direct and powerful impact on our characters and bring new insights to them about themselves and their relationships was a great deal of fun. And a huge challenge.

    I learned so much about the process of creating story for television in writing and producing this episode. It was my first step into a new world. I couldn't have asked for more talented partners in our producers, our actors, our director, or our production team. It was a joy from beginning to end and I can't wait to do it again.

    Last question! What are your favorite Star Trek stories of ALL time? This could be an episode, an arc, a comic book, a movie, a novelization, whatever.

    KB: It's so hard to choose as there have been so many stories that fired my imagination and moved me deeply. Among the episodes I would mention "Living Witness" and "Yesterday’s Enterprise." For the films, "Wrath of Khan." Among the novels, "The Final Reflection" by John M. Ford and David Mack’s "Destiny" trilogy.

    MJ: My favorite episode is "Measure of a Man," favorite novel is "Spock's World," favorite movie is a tie between "Voyage Home" and the 2009 film.

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    Supergirl producer Andrew Kreisberg has been fired after an investigation triggered by sexual harassment allegations.

    News Mike Cecchini
    Nov 29, 2017

    Andrew Kreisberg, executive producer of prominent DC superhero TV shows Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrowhas been fired by Warner Bros. TV Group after an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual harassment. The initial report from Variety which surfaced two weeks ago had 19 sources, 15 women and four men, who came forward to accuse Mr. Kreisberg of inappropriate conduct, alleging a "toxic" and "hostile" work environment that involved unwanted touching, kissing, and sexual comments. 

    A statement released to Varietyreads:

    “After a thorough investigation, Warner Bros. Television Group has terminated Andrew Kreisberg’s employment, effective immediately. Greg Berlanti will assume additional responsibilities on both “The Flash,” where he will work closely with executive producer/co-showrunner Todd Helbing, and “Supergirl,” where he will work closely with executive producers/co-showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller. We remain committed to providing a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions.”

    The allegations detailed in the initial Variety report contained multiple allegations from both men and women alleging inappropriate behavior from Mr. Kreisberg towards staffers, and a fear to report him to Warner Bros. TV's HR department out of fear of retaliation.

    “Warner Bros. Television Group recently concluded its investigation into the allegations against Andrew Kreisberg," added Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. "We encouraged and supported this investigation, we believe and support the individuals who came forward, and we agree with the studio’s decision. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of all our colleagues — coworkers, crew and staff alike.”

    RAINN, the National Sexual Assault Hotline offers 24/7 help for victims. You can reach out or donate to them here.

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    This primary antagonist of Riverdale Season 2 has some deep Archie Comics ties that you may not realize.

    Feature Chris Cummins
    Nov 29, 2017

    This Riverdale article contains spoilers.

    The character of Archie Andrews made his debut when he appeared as a support story in Pep Comics #22 in December of 1942. At the time, Pep was arguably the most successful publication from MLJ Comics. With the first appearance of Archie, interest in all things Riverdale became the company's primary focus and it wasn't long until they changed their name to that of their red-headed breakout star.

    But what often gets ignored is how many other characters MLJ/Archie already had in their stable. Most notably there was The Shield, a patriotic superhero who pre-dated Captain America, as well as other heroes like The Hangman, The Crusader, and The Black Hood.

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    That's right, the origin of the same character who is currently wreaking havoc on Riverdale dates all the way back to 1940 when The Black Hood first showed up in the ninth issue of Top-Notch Comics. Or at least it's kind of the same character, as the Hood's history gets pretty complicated pretty fast.

    Created by Harry Shorten and Al Camy, The Black Hood is the crime-fighting alter ego of police officer Matthew "Kip" Burland. Donning the mystical headgear from which he got his name, Burland would go out and fight bad guys without the sort of fuss, muss, or bureaucracy that marred his day job. His coloring out of the lines style of bringing the guilty to justice struck a chord with the noir-obsessed readers of the era and the Hood's popularity soon earned him a radio show that ran for one year and 120 episodes. Unfortunately archiving in the 1940s isn't quite what it is now, and the series was largely lost to the ages.

    Below is what is considered to be the only surviving episode of the show. It's still a rather entertaining listen, if obviously dated.

    With Archie taking up most of MLJ's attention and resources, it wasn't long until The Black Hood was retired. But the character still had plenty of life left in him. When Archie formed their equivalent of The Avengers, The Mighty Crusaders, in the 1960s, The Black Hood was front and center. After interest in that title waned, the Hood experienced a brief period of dormancy before a new incarnation of the character -- Thomas "Kip" Burland, who was the nephew of the original Hood -- debuted in 1979.

    "No evil can escape the merciless vengeance of The Black Hood," says our hero on the cover of his comeback, glass shattering all around him as he leaps out at readers to catch their attention. This revival came courtesy of Man Thing co-creator/all around comics inspiration Gray Morrow and famed DC creator Neal Adams. The late 1970s was a fascinating period for Archie Comics. With their various comedy titles and digests devoured by fans each month, the company decided to return to its roots and bring back their heroes through their Red Circle imprint.

    Eventually, these stories were compiled for the (regretfully) short-lived Superhero Digest Magazine that aimed to do for the MLJ heroes what the regular Archie digests did for their characters...namely act as an impulse buy for parents and kids at supermarkets and drug stores across the country, serving as an introduction to the wonderful world of comics along the way. Quickly, lack of demand and/or low sales put an end to the hero centric digest, although stories featuring the MLJ characters would pop up in the main line of Archie digests throughout the 1980s.

    The Reagan era also saw a renewed push for the Red Circle line, with The Black Hood getting another short run and the character also appearing in a revival of The Mighty Crusaders. Perhaps due to the fact that these heroes were obscure from a mainstream point of view compared to a, say, Spider-Man or Batman, or maybe because readers wrongly believed that the same company who put out titles like Archie's T.V. Laugh Out couldn't possibly tell gripping, gritty tales in this genre, these books were largely ignored and relegated to the three-for-a-dollar section of stores (which is where this writer first discovered the wonders they possess). And then, it seemed like they would be untethered from Archie for good when DC got the license for the characters from the early 1990s (including several stabs published by Impact) but that too failed.

    Then the unexpected happened. Archie became one of the most risk-taking companies in the industry. Light years away from the dark times that had Al Hartley licensing the characters for Spire Christian Comics, Archie was releasing headline-grabbing titles like Life with Archie: The Married Life and Afterlife with Archie. Then in 2015, spearheaded by Archie's Alex Segura -- himself a brilliant noir/mystery writer -- the Dark Circle imprint was born.

    Pre-dated by Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel's short run on The Fox and a testing of the waters via digital exclusives featuring the MLJ staples, Dark Circle brought back the characters of The Black Hood, The Shield, and The Hangman and grounded them in a realistic and often grim world. Although uniformly excellent, the best of the batch was Duane Swierczynski's run on The Black Hood. This time around, the story shifts its focus to Greg Hettinger, a Philadelphia cop who is disfigured when he takes a bullet to the face while trying to break up a gang fight outside of a public school. During this melee, he kills the previous Black Hood, Kip Burland. His brain addled from a growing addiction to pain killers, he begins working as a Death Wish-styled vigilante, a move that is only heightened after Hettinger is framed for his involvement with drugs.

    The inital "The Bullet's Kiss" story arc included compelling visuals from Michael Gaydos, replete with Philly landmarks aplenty that just add to the book's commitment to reality. It also makes some subtle statements on the opiod epidemic tha result in a story that is both compelling and timely. A new "Season 2" storyline went three issues, but the current run of the Hood is currently on hiatus. (Whether or not he turns up in the upcoming, and seemingly lighter, The Mighty Crusaders remains to be seen).

    This massive infodump brings us back to Riverdale. Who exactly is The Black Hood on this series? That question is shaping up to be season two's central mystery. From the third episode we can glean a few things. First and foremost, he sees Riverdale as a city in moral crisis. In his letter to Alice Cooper he notes that those he has attacked to date he views as sinners that he must cleanse. "I am the wolf, you are the flock, this is the bloodletting," he writes.

    Then there's the fact that everyone so far has some link to Archie, which could be a red herring that exists to repair the season one problem of having the show's main character regularly sidelined from the action. But it does indeed seem as if he is being targeted. Or at least he was at first. (Moose, Midge and even potentially Ethel aren't really in Archie's orbit on this series).

    So who and why? The first and most obvious answer seems to be someone hired by Mr. Lodge to screw with Archie. We don't know anything about Hiram's history with Fred Andrews, but we do know that he seems to be a smoke and brimstone kind of guy -- which is absolutely in line with the Hood's Old Testament-esque anger. For all we know, Fred and Hermione could have had a thing in high school that Hiram is still pissed about, so when he learned about the pair rekindling their romance, even briefly, he could have gone off the deep end.

    Who else? Maybe Sheriff Keller. Him actually being a crook explains his utterly inept crime-fighting skills. He wants Riverdale to be in chaos.

    Honestly though, it's most likely to be someone we don't know yet but will become important later.

    In the past, even when The Black Hood has been seen as a vigilante he still had good intentions. His television counterpart seems straight up evil. So what's the deal? From a practical perspective, Archie already had the IP and the Hood looks cool, so they could use him without the aggro in creating a new character. This take on the character, whoever is secret identity is, is clearly different from all that has gone before. You can expect to see elements from previous Hoods incorporated into him, but like Riverdaleitself, this guy is a bold new take on something that has been kicking around for decades. And isn't that the most exiting part of all of this?

    Read the full Den of Geek NYCC Special Edition Magazine right here!

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    The Avengers: Infinity War trailer draws inspiration from multiple eras of Marvel Universe history. We're here to figure it all out.

    News Jim Dandy
    Nov 30, 2017

    The first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War is here, and it is jammed with new information, new characters, and new looks! So while this isn't quite a shot by shot breakdown (Look at Iron Man's head. Back and to the left. Back, and to the left...wait, wrong movie), we're pretty sure we've got everything you need to get a better handle on what's going on in the biggest, most cosmic Marvel movie of them all.

    In case you haven't watched it yet (or just want to watch it again), here's that Avengers: Infinity War trailer...

    We dug through it shot by shot so I could make a JFK joke to see what we could figure out about the upcoming capstone to the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

    The New Costumes

    Let's start with new looks. That's human Vision! And it doesn't look like he's using an image inducer or anything. Could the Mind Stone have let him switch between human and synthezoid?

    Looks like Peter took up Tony's offer for that Iron Spider costume. This looks like a cross between his comics Iron Spider costume (the red and gold Iron Man-esque outfit that Tony made him in Civil War) and Ben Reilly's costume at the tail end of the Clone Saga. That's how much goodwill Spider-Man: Homecoming bought Marvel, by the way: they can put an obvious Clone Saga reference in a movie and we're still excited for it.

    Hot Ryu! Wait I mean Hot Captain America! Seriously, we've been hearing stories about this beard since Marvel first started showing footage of Infinity War at cons, and it is every bit of what was promised. Cap may or may not be going under the "Nomad" moniker in this movie, but we'll see.

    This isn't so much a new look for Thor as it is the same look he had for about 30 seconds at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, but you can see the eyepatch on here, too.

    This is a pretty radical departure for Black Widow. It's actually referencing the second comics Black Widow, Yelena Belova, who was created in Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee's late '90s Inhumans series and ended up being an evil foil for Natasha.

    We also got a look at some new characters!

    The New Characters

    Fighting Black Panther here is an Outrider, an alien race bred to be Thanos's assassins throughout the galaxy. They first appeared in Jonathan Hickman and Jim Cheung's epic Infinity crossover, where they looked a little bit like if the Venom symbiote latched onto a Xenomorph from Alien.

    In other words: dope.

    This is our first look at Proxima Midnight, one of Thanos's Black Order. She's a super badass fighter with a spear that never misses and kills on contact, and we see here her throwing it at Cap, and him promptly catching it.

    She was created by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Deodato in the pages of New Avengers back in 2013.

    Proxima Midnight is married to Corvus Glaive, another member of the Black Order. Glaive is Thanos's second in command, a master tactician who is unkillable as long as his arced, golden glaive is intact. I can't be certain that's him in this shot - the spear here bears more than a passing resemblance to Loki's sceptre - but that leg looks too big to be Loki's, and "gathering the Mind Stone" seems to be something Glaive would be tasked with.

    Glaive was created, like the rest of the Black Order, during Jonathan Hickman's run on Avengers/New Avengers/Infinity.

    The trailer also gives us a few neat teams, which seems to indicate that they're trying to give us different insights into the characters.

    Guardians of the Galaxy

    It's not a huge surprise based on where Thor was left at the end of Thor:Ragnarok, but we get confirmation here that he finds his way to the Milano to hang out with the Guardians of the Galaxy. What is a little surprising is how little time was spent with this group - given Thanos is a cosmic character, a massive threat, and has been lurking in the background of both Guardians films, they seem primed to play a huge role in his eventual defeat.

    But the vast majority of this trailer is spent on Earth. 

    Secret Avengers

    Those are the Secret Avengers! Created in 2010, the Secret Avengers was basically Marvel's espionage team, and everyone who's not Wakandan in this shot - Cap, Bucky, Black Widow, Hulk, War Machine, and Falcon (in the cartoon at least) has been a member.

    There's plenty of info about what to expect in the movie hidden in here, as well.

    This shot looks like it's the first time Banner and Natasha are seeing each other since the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. It should be an emotional reunion, if Hulk's actions in Thor: Ragnarok are anything to go by. 

    There appear to be two main settings for the action: New York, where Peter's spider-sense goes off...

    ...thanks to the arrival of Thanos' ships...

    ...and gets his ass handed to him by Thanos in a fight that looks like it takes place on or around his ship...

    ...and at some point, Hulk connects with Iron Man, Dr. Strange and Wong...

    Science bros team up with Magic Pals. Watching Banner and Tony interact with the magical corner of the Marvel Universe for the first time is going to be fun.

    Hulk then at some point travels to Wakanda to join the other Secret Avengers in fighting off Thanos's army.

    Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet

    Thanos's plan is, as usual, to collect all the Infinity Stones into his Infinity Gauntlet for...some reason. We see Loki offer him the Tesseract, which we know from the first Avengers movie is the Space Stone. This is what Loki stopped and grabbed from Odin's vault at the end of Thor: Ragnarok.

    Thanos drops it in the Gauntlet.

    Where it resides with the Power Stone.

    In the trailer, he talks about having fun while we see him getting ready to pound the living heck out of Iron Man. That doesn't necessarily track with comics Thanos, who wants the Gauntlet so he can kill the whole universe to impress the lady-presenting personification of the universal concept of Death, who is totally friendzoning him. Comics Thanos is a nihilist, and nihilists don't have fun.

    He's probably going to add that Mind Stone to this soon, and then we're really gonna be in trouble.

    So what's his play here? RAMPANT SPECULATION TIME: I think they're going to turn movie Thanos into comics Apocalypse. Someone trying to gather enough power to defeat the Celestials (who have been conspicuous in several Marvel movies in the latest wave, from Guardians of the Galaxy through Thor:Ragnarok). I think he's rolling over the Avengers to get his hands on a full Gauntlet, and I would not be shocked to see the sequel to Infinity War be some kind of team up between Thanos and the Avengers against Arshem the Judge.

    For more information on Avengers: Infinity War including how and why my speculation is incorrect, stick with Den of Geek!

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    Tony Isabella's return to Black Lightning continues!

    NewsJim Dandy
    Nov 30, 2017

    DC is giving Black Lightning a bit of a push ahead of his show premiering on the CW early next year. That push is coming in the form of a new miniseries resetting the character, who has been basically missing since the New 52 relaunch six years ago, and what they've started is pretty fun.

    The first issue of Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands was a great showcase for the character, and a breath of fresh air from original creator Tony Isabella. His Jefferson Pierce felt natural and comfortable, and the issue dropped us in a world that, despite being DC Universe Cleveland (and thus, largely unexplored), felt immediately rich and familiar. And why isn't Clayton Henry more famous? Every book he pencils is fun, with great action and solid character work. This was no exception. 

    DC sent over an exclusive first look at the next issue of the miniseries, out on December 6. Here's what they have to say about it.

    BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD, DEAD HANDS #2 Written by TONY ISABELLAArt and cover by CLAYTON HENRYWrongly accused of killing a gang of armed robbers, Black Lightning must stay ahead of the police while fighting to remove a deadly arsenal of high-tech weapons from the streets of Cleveland...and while facing civilians who are no longer certain he’s one of the good guys. As teacher Jefferson Pierce, he must also try to keep drug dealers away from his students. Meanwhile, Detective Colavito investigates mystery man Tobias Whale. Beware: news in this city breaks without pity.

    Take a look at these preview pages. Once you get over the masthead change, you'll probably like what you see.

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  • 11/30/17--11:36: What's Next for Supergirl?
  • Steve Orlando tells us what makes Supergirl so great, and hints at some of her next big challenges.

    InterviewMarc Buxton
    Nov 30, 2017

    It’s Supergirl’s world, we just live in it. Fans are not only loving every second of CW’s Supergirl on TV, they're also being treated to a superb Supergirl comic each and every month from DC Comics. Since the Rebirth era of Supergirlbegan, writer Steve Orlando has taken Supergirl’s print adventures to the next level of intensity. At New York Comic Con, we got to sit down with Mister Orlando and discuss how the CW show influences his writing on Supergirl, what’s next for Kara Zor-El, and the surprising return of a great old character from the Superman mythos.

    Den of Geek: For those not reading the book, where is Kara currently and what might the future bring?

    Steve Orlando: We just saw the arrival of the Fatal Five in "The Girl of No Tomorrow." It was all about breaking Supergirl’s perception and legacy… we know that the idea of the Super Family is infectious so to break them, you have to change the ideal.

    In the previous arc, we revealed that Supergirl’s father Zor-El was actually Cyborg Superman. And the world found out that Supergirl was working to rehabilitate Zor-El - a murderer. That was revealed to the city, and that’s put her in a new position because the reality is the Super characters are invulnerable. You can’t hurt them physically, but you can hurt them emotionally.

    Supergirl is in many ways too good for us, and that hurts her more than anything else, because when the people of National City see that she was helping her father, people think they should not be helping him but protecting them. Her greatest strength, her compassion, has turned her into a pariah. She’s now an outlaw in National City.

    Let’s talk about the ever present, awesome elephant in the room. Does anything from the TV series inform your Supergirl?

    The hope. We always want to lead with the comics, but the show understands very well … Supergirl doesn’t do things for a trophy or a cookie and her perception of people doesn’t change even if they start to doubt her. The shows gets that… Yeah, she can punch the moon out of orbit, but her strength is when she takes the high road. The show understands that, we understand that. We live in different universes. Kara is 16 in the book and 21 in the show, but who Supergirl is doesn’t change.

    So when writing the book, do you ever think, “God, I wish I had Winn for her to talk to?”

    In a way, but the relationship I like the most from the show is with Cat Grant, and we have her. We don’t have to pay Calista Flockhart, so we’re never going to lose her.

    Kara took a dark direction at beginning New 52 where she was very conflicted with her cousin Superman. Was there a decision to refocus on them as a unit?

    The goal of Rebirth was not rewrite continuity but to steer characters back to their core themes. So for me, all of those New 52 things happened, but she’s ready to move on. In issue #14, we bring some of it up. Those events strengthened them. The less idyllic relationships are, the more respectful they are. So she was at odds with Kal, and she was a Red Lantern, but now the bond means so much more. If you don’t have to fight for something, it loses value.

    Due to the current political situation, is Kara more important than ever and has anything politically changed your approach to the book?

    I think she’s more important than ever due to the reasons I said. It’s all about compassion. That notion is vital. She says what I say, “Compassion is not getting to pick and choose who you care about.” That means more than ever.

    There are stories coming up where we explore this. I’m co-writing issue #19 with Vita Ayala… it’s honestly a story I’ve been waiting to tell with Kara since I started the book. It’s going to be called “One Life” or something close and it’s about how Supergirl could help one person. It’s not about hitting someone, it’s about being there and standing with someone. It’s about how she can change a life. I spoke to Vita who is Puerto Rican and non-binary, and we wanted to find what more Kara could do. What I always found evocative about Marvel’s Civil War comic by Mark Millar was when Cap was sitting in a diner saying, “I should be playing softball with the Make-a-Wish kids right now.”

    There’s so many lives that Kara could impact, not with her fighting with Brainiac, but by being invulnerable. She can be there for so many people. It’s coming up in #19, and I think it’s going to be my favorite issue.

    Are there any classic Supergirl or Superman heroes or villains you are dying to get your hands on?

    Well, we’re doing Strange Visitor…

    (Let’s pause here, readers, and give you a bit of a history lesson. Strange Visitor first appeared in Superman #149 (1999) and was created by Randall Frenz and Ron Frenz. Strange Visitor’s costume and powers were patterned after the loved by some, reviled by others Electric Blue Superman. Yes kids, for a while, Supes gained electricity powers and added this light blue, energy crackling look. After Superman reverted to normal, a woman named Sharon Vance gained electric powers after being struck by lightning while she was aboard a plane. The strike caused Vance to be merged with an alien being named Kismet and transform into pure electric energy.  Vance was a childhood friend of Clark Kent and was placed in Superman’s old electricity containment suit. She was a fun character that hasn’t appeared in years, but Orlando is bringing her back in the pages of Supergirl.)

    I love the electric costume. We hinted at Strange Visitor in issue #3, she was in a containment tank… she’s coming back in the next arc. No one draws the electric blue costume like my artist on Supergirl Robson Rocha. I love the way the character looks, and I love the character of Strange Visitor. Getting a chance to bring Sharon back is so exciting to me.

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

    Feature Megan CrouseJohn Saavedra
    Nov 30, 2017

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens ushered in an entirely new generation of fans looking for more adventures in the galaxy far, far away, but with the whole issue of Legends canon vs. the new canon and a whole slate of new books, comics, and movies arriving in the next few years, it can be hard to figure out where to start. Luckily for you, it's become a bit easier to dive into the canon materials now that a clear line has been drawn between Legends (pre-Disney) and new canon (post-Disney) stories, but that new material is quickly growing, too. 

    In order to help new fans get a clear look at the official Star Wars timeline, we've put together a list of the most central Star Wars books, comics, and games and detailed how they relate to the movies and TV series.

    What won't you see on this list?

    Most Star Wars Insider short stories, Star Wars Rebels Magazine comics, Forces of Destiny shorts, some Disney novelizations, such as The Princess, The Farmboy, and The Scoundrel, or upcoming books. Star Wars Insider stories have been included where we felt they contributed most to the overarching timeline, or if we felt they were particularly good.

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

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

    32 BBY - Marvel's Darth Maul

    Written by Cullen Bunn

    Art by Luke Ross

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

    Buy Marvel's Darth Maul

    32 BBY - The Phantom Menace 

    Directed & Written by George Lucas

    Buy The Phantom Menace

    29 BBY - Marvel's Obi-Wan & Anakin 

    Written by Charles Soule

    Art by Marco Checchetto

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

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

    Buy Marvel's Obi-Wan & Anakin

    22 BBY - Attack of the Clones 

    Directed by George Lucas

    Written by George Lucas & Jonathan Hales

    Buy Attack of the Clones

    22-19 BBY - The Clone Wars 

    Created by George Lucas

    Buy The Clone Wars

    21-17 BBY - Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

    Written by James Luceno

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

    Buy Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

    19 BBY - Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir 

    Written by Jeremy Barlow

    Art by Juan Frigeri

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

    Buy Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir

    19 BBY - "Kindred Spirits" 

    Written by Christe Golden for Star Wars Insider #159

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

    19 BBY - Dark Disciple 

    Written by Christie Golden

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

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

    Buy Dark Disciple

    19 BBY - Revenge of the Sith 

    Directed & Written by George Lucas

    Buy Revenge of the Sith

    19 BBY - Marvel's Kanan 

    Written by Greg Weisman

    Art by Pepe Larraz

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

    Buy Marvel's Kanan

    19 BBY - Marvel's Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith

    Written by Charles Soule

    Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli

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

    Buy Marvel's Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith

    18 BBY - Ahsoka

    Written by E.K. Johnston

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

    Buy Ahsoka

    14 BBY - "Orientation" 

    Written by John Jackson Miller for Star Wars Insider #157

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

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

    14 BBY - Lords of the Sith

    Written by Paul S. Kemp

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

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

    Buy Lords of the Sith

    14 BBY - Tarkin 

    Written by James Luceno

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

    Buy Tarkin

    11-5 BBY - Lost Stars 

    Written by Claudia Gray

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

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

    Buy Lost Stars

    11-2 BBY - Thrawn

    Written by Timothy Zahn

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

    Buy Thrawn

    11 BBY - A New Dawn 

    Written by John Jackson Miller

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

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

    Buy A New Dawn

    6-4 BBY - Servants of the Empire 

    Written by Jason Fry

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

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

    Buy Servants of the Empire

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

    Video Game Developed by DICE

    Novel Written by Alexander Freed

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

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

    Buy Battlefront

    Buy Battlefront: Twilight Company

    5-2 BBY - Rebels 

    Created by Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, & Carrie Beck

    Buy Rebels

    3 BBY - Leia: Princess of Alderaan

    Written by Claudia Gray 

    After winning fans' hearts with the political novel Bloodline, Claudia Gray returned with a young adult novel about Leia's youth on Alderaan and her first missions with the Rebel Alliance. Leia: Princess of Alderaan focuses on the princess and her parents, Breha and Bail, but also includes cameos from characters such as The Last Jedi's Amilyn Holdo, Captain Panaka, and Grand Moff Tarkin.

    Buy Leia: Princess of Alderaan

    0 BBY - Guardians of the Whills

    Written by Greg Rucka 

    A fun look at Jedha before the decidedly less fun events of Rogue OneGuardians of the Whills captures Baze and Chirrut's voices well and shows what Jedha City was like before its destruction. 

    Buy Guardians of the Whills

    0 BBY - Rogue One

    Directed by Gareth Edwards

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

    Buy Rogue One

    0 BBY - A New Hope 

    Directed & Written by George Lucas

    Buy A New Hope

    0 BBY - 5 ABY: Battlefront II/ Battlefront II: Inferno Squad

    Video Game Developed by EA DICE, Motive Studios, Criterion Software

    Novel Written by Christie Golden

    A prequel to the video game Battlefront II, the novel Inferno Squad introduces players to Iden Versio, special forces commander and daughter of Imperial loyalist Admiral Garrick Versio. Assigned to infiltrate a group of Saw Gerrera's Partisans, she and her team grapple with the morality of both the Empire and the violent splinter group of the Rebellion. 

    The video game's campaign follows Inferno Squad from shortly before the destruction of the Death Star to the Battle at Jakku, where the Empire finally fell. Fans who read the novel will have much better context for the relationships between the characters in the campaign, which also introduces playable versions of Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren. 

    Buy Battlefront II

    Buy Battlefront II: Inferno Squad

    0 BBY - Marvel's Princess Leia 

    Written by Mark Waid

    Art by Terry Dodson

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

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

    Buy Marvel's Princess Leia

    0 BBY - Heir to the Jedi 

    Written by Kevin Hearne

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

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

    Buy Heir to the Jedi

    0 BBY - Marvel's Chewbacca 

    Written by Gerry Duggan

    Art by Phil Noto

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

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

    Buy Marvel's Chewbacca

    0 BBY - The Weapon of a Jedi  

    Written by Jason Fry

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

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

    Buy The Weapon of a Jedi

    0 BBY - Marvel's Star Wars & Darth Vader 

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

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

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

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

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

    Buy Marvel's Star Wars

    Buy Marvel's Darth Vader

    0 BBY - Marvel's Doctor Aphra

    Written by Kieron Gillen & Simon Spurrier

    Art by Kev Walker et. al.

    After becoming a breakout hit in the comics, Doctor Aphra became the first Star Wars character who never appeared in the movies to helm her own comic book series. Her title reveals her history, including her parents and how she became a rogue archeologist. 

    Buy Marvel's Doctor Aphra

    0 BBY - Smuggler’s Run 

    Written by Greg Rucka

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

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

    Buy Smuggler's Run

    0 BBY-3 ABY - Marvel's Lando 

    Written by Charles Soule

    Art by Alex Maleev

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

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

    Buy Marvel's Lando

    0-3 ABY - Marvel's Han Solo

    Written by Marjorie Liu

    Art by Mark Brooks

    Buy Marvel's Han Solo

    3 ABY - The Empire Strikes Back 

    Directed by Irvin Kershner 

    Written by Lawrence Kasdan & Leigh Brackett

    Buy The Empire Strikes Back

    4 ABY - Moving Target 

    Written by Cecil Castellucci & Jason Fry

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

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

    Buy Moving Target

    4 ABY - Return of the Jedi 

    Directed by Richard Marquand

    Written by Lawrence Kasdan & George Lucas

    Buy Return of the Jedi

    4 ABY - Marvel's Shattered Empire 

    Written by Greg Rucka

    Art by Marco Checchetto

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

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

    Buy Marvel's Shattered Empire

    4 ABY - Aftermath 

    Written by Chuck Wendig

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

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

    Buy Aftermath

    5 ABY - Aftermath: Life Debt

    Written by Chuck Wendig

    Buy Aftermath: Life Debt

    5 ABY - Aftermath: Empire's End

    Written by Chuck Wendig

    Buy Aftermath: Empire's End

    28 ABY - Bloodline

    Written by Claudia Gray

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

    Buy Bloodline

    28 ABY - Phasma

    Written by Delilah S. Dawson

    The history of the First Order's feared enforcer is revealed secondhand through a Resistance spy interrogated by the First Order. The Phasma novel explores the irradiated planet Parnassos and the way Phasma first met Brendol Hux, shedding some light on the premier stormtrooper without explaining everything behind the mask. 

    Buy Phasma

    28 ABY - "The Perfect Weapon" 

    Written by Delilah S. Dawson

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

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

    Buy "The Perfect Weapon"

    28 ABY - "Bait" 

    Written by Alan Dean Foster for Star Wars Insider #162

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

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

    Written by Landry Q. Walker

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

    Buy Tales from Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens

    34 ABY - Marvel's Poe Dameron

    Written by Charles Soule

    Art by Phil Noto

    Before he destroyed Starkiller Base, ace Resistance pilot Poe Dameron was already taking on missions from General Leia and fighting the good fight against the First Order. This comic book series shows what Poe was up to before he met Lor San Tekka on Jakku. 

    Buy Marvel's Poe Dameron

    34 ABY - Marvel's C-3PO Special

    Written by James Robinson

    Art by Tony Harris

    Want to know what was up with Threepio's red arm in The Force Awakens? This touching one-shot tells the story of a droid adventure for the ages that is surprisingly full of emotion. Who knew droids could feel so much?

    Buy Marvel's C-3PO Special

    34 ABY - Before the Awakening 

    Written by Greg Rucka

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

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

    Buy Before the Awakening

    34 ABY - The Force Awakens 

    Directed by J.J. Abrams

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

    Buy The Force Awakens

    34 ABY - Marvel's Captain Phasma

    Written by Kelly Thompson

    Art by Marco Chechetto, Andres Mossa 

    Set immediately after The Force Awakens, Captain Phasma follows the titular stormtrooper captain out of the trash compactor in which she was imprisoned at the end of Episode VII. She quickly finds her way to an inhospitable planet in pursuit of Sol Rivas, a First Order lieutenant and the only person who knows that Phasma lowered Starkiller Base's shield. The comic shows how Phasma escaped and some of the tough choices she had to make in the aftermath.

    Buy Marvel's Captain Phasma

    34 ABY - Canto Bight

    Written by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, John Jackson Miller 

    The Canto Bight novella collection includes four stories set in the lavish casino city from The Last Jedi. Its varied visitors include a down-on-his-luck gambler, a casino servant, and a salesman who won a trip to the city. 

    Buy Canto Bight

    34 ABY - The Last Jedi 

    Directed by Rian Johnson

    Written by Rian Johnson 

    Buy The Last Jedi

    Megan Crouse is a staff writer.

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    Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo was a key part of Leia's past - and so was Crait. What does this tell us about Star Wars: The Last Jedi?

    Feature Megan Crouse
    Nov 29, 2017

    Princess Leia’s story seems to be at the core of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There's no doubt that Carrie Fisher’s legacy will live on despite her sudden passing in late 2016, and the experience of watching The Last Jedi will surely be touched by the fact that this is her last Star Wars film. With Han Solo dead and their son at the head of the First Order, Leia's role in Episode VIII seems pivotal. 

    Some fans believe that what appears to be a confrontation with Kylo Ren, in which he faces his mother from the cockpit of an attacking TIE Fighter, is stitched together from different parts of the film and does not indicate a mother versus son space battle at all. Whether or not the scene plays out exactly as presented in the trailer, we know that Leia will continue in her role as a leader in the Resistance and mentor and commanding officer to Poe Dameron, Finn, Rose, and Paige Tico. She also may or may not be set up for a reunion with her brother, Luke Skywalker, whose life on Ach-To has been dramatically interrupted by the arrival of Rey, who wants to convince the Jedi Master to return to the fight against the First Order. 

    In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said that Episode IX would have been Carrie's movie (as Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are the centerpieces of the first two installments of the Sequel Trilogy). Former Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow also confirmed that Leia would have had a part in the story of the movie. That will no longer be the case. A digital reconstruction of her likeness was used in Rogue One, and Lucasfilm considered piecing together previously filmed scenes to posthumously add Leia into Episode IX. However, it was later confirmed that she will not be replaced with a digital double, and that her role in Episode IXtherefore would need to be written out.

    Luckily for her fans, Fisher completed her scenes for The Last Jedi. We've not seen much of what those scenes look like and there's no indication of how Johnson has constructed her exit from the franchise. A Nov. 14 TV spot called “Darkness Rises” shows Leia in her role as Resistance leader, granting Poe permission to “jump in an X-Wing and blow something up." Another bit of footage shows her on what looks like the surface of Crait, a mournful look in her eye. 

    Mark Hamill has also said that The Last Jedi will answer a question posed in The Force Awakens: Why didn’t Luke react to Leia while she was fighting with the Resistance during his exile? Perhaps, if the twins reunite one last time, we'll get that answer.

    Until then, there are still tons of Leia adventures to be had in the Expanded Universe. Like the books in the Journey to The Force Awakens series, Journey to The Last Jedi give some hints at what's in store in the new movie. The lone young adult book in the tie-in line, Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray, explains how Leia joined the Rebellion and shows how her parents' work with the resistance group - as well as her diplomatic training, first romance, and first sacrifices - shaped her to become the leader we know her as today.

    Most importantly, he book features the first appearance of the planet Crait and Leia’s friend, Amilyn Holdo, both of which will appear in Episode VIII. Here's what Leia: Princess of Alderaan reveals about The Last Jedi...

    Amilyn Holdo

    Vice Admiral Holdo, portrayed by Laura Dern on screen, met Leia for the first time at an outdoor survival class she took as part of her diplomatic training when they were teenagers. Leia considers her odd at first, because Holdo is easily distracted and constantly daydreams. Holdo acts flippant toward danger while expressing her excitement (“…if we stumble into a crevasse!”) but is also observant and kind towards her fellow students.

    As Leia gets to know Amilyn better, she learns that Amilyn’s home planet of Gatalenta is a peaceful world where people practice acrobatic meditations and often wear drab-colored clothing. Amilyn's own joyousness is a rebellion against her traditional culture. During their time together, Amilyn helps Leia understand the variety of different traditions in the galaxy, and Leia helps Amilyn become more comfortable with herself. Although she seems to still be wearing colorful clothes by the time of The Last Jedi, Leia notices that the teenage Amilyn begins to wear more muted colors as she finds a balance between her own personality and the traditions of her homeworld.

    By the time of The Last Jedi, Holdo has become a vice admiral in the Resistance and clashes with Poe Dameron over how to lead the fight. “She enters the Resistance to shake things up,” Laura Dern told EW.

    Oscar Isaac had said that Poe “doesn’t want to just wait and let things happen” and “doesn’t necessarily agree with the way Holdo sees the role of the Resistance in this particular moment.”

    Does this mean that Holdo urges Poe to hold back? Maybe so. Her laissez-faire approach in Leia: Princess of Alderaan might certainly be at odds with Poe’s more aggressive desire to blow things up. It wouldn't be out of character for Poe to disapprove of his superior officers, either. Poe has gone against the wishes of the larger Resistance before, such as when he and Leia coordinated a secret mission against a First Order collaborator in the middle grade book Before the Awakening. With both Poe and Amilyn having such strong personalities, it might take a lot to get them to see eye-to-eye in The Last Jedi.


    With its dramatic white sand, red dirt, and sparkling vulptices, the appearance of the planet Crait in the trailers for The Last Jedi helped stir up excitement for the film. In Princess of Alderaan Leia first spots Crait in some old space traffic data at the Empire's Calderos Station, the site of an Rebel attack. When Leia visits Crait, she notes “salt several centimeters thick” — the same terrain will Resistance ski speeders will cut through in The Last Jedi decades later.

    Leia has a bad feeing about the planet’s eerie wind and blood-red coloration, but Crait turns out to be the location of a small base for her allies in the Rebellion, and specifically for her father, Bail Organa. It’s here where she learns that her father is part of the Rebellion and that he's been hiding his activities from her in order to keep her safe.

    Leia realizes that, even if her parents want to keep her safe by concealing their work, her own investigations have already gotten her involved in the Rebellion. In this way, Crait could be seen as the birthplace of Leia’s military career.

    The Rebel base there is a small one, but it’s likely that this is how Leia knew to return to Crait when she needed to establish a new Resistance base in The Last Jedi. The planet would be out of the way enough for its significance not to be apparent to the First Order. Of course, we know from the trailers that the First Order eventually catches up with the Resistance on Crait...

    Crait will also feature in The Last Jedi: The Storms of Crait,  a single-issue comic coming out on Dec. 27. The comic will bring both Leia and Luke to the planet and might explain more about how the Resistane set up their base of operations there. 

    These two new additions, Crait and Amilyn Holdo, might be tied together in The Last Jedi. Could Leia’s work on the base on Crait be the reason Vice Admiral Holdo is in charge of the fleet when Poe confronts her? Maybe Leia is occupied during the ground battle while Poe and Holdo argue in the fleet.

    As the second act in the Sequel Trilogy, The Last Jedi is likely to include at least some defeat for the Resistance, digging them into a predicament from which they will have to escape before the (presumalby) triumphant end of Episode IX. Could Crait be The Last Jedi's Hoth - the site of a defeat? 

    Revisiting Leia: Princess of Alderaan after seeing Episode VIII should be interesting, and fans who become interested in Holdo through the movie will certainly find more about her here.

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  • 11/30/17--12:15: Why Batman Doesn't Kill
  • Kevin Conroy, perhaps the greatest Batman of all time, gives us a definitive answer for why the Caped Crusader doesn't kill.

    News John Saavedra
    Nov 30, 2017

    For a generation of kids growing up in the 1990s, voice actor Kevin Conroy was the definitive Batman. Conroy has voiced the Dark Knight in pretty much every cartoon featuring the character since 1992, with only a few exceptions. He was even the voice of Batman in the critically acclaimed Arkham Asylum games. Conroy's performance on Batman: The Animated Seriesis so iconic that you'd recognize it anywhere as the voice of the Dark Knight.

    Imagine our elation when we caught up with Mr. Conroy for a chat about Batman: The Animated Series at New York Comic Con. We spoke to Conroy about several aspects of the show, including whether the actor thinks Batman would ever kill. As you probably know, killing a bad guy is the one line the hero won't cross. Breaking some bones? Sure. Scaring them into submission? All in a night's work. But when it comes down to it, Batman won't pull the trigger (despite all of the times he's carried a gun in the comics, especially in the early days).

    When it comes down to it, Conroy, a guy who knows Batman better than most, doesn't think will ever kill. 

    "I personally don't think Batman kills and I love that about him," says Conroy. 

    The actor points out a pretty practical reason why Batman shouldn't kill and how it benefits DC and the many creators who work on the character.

    "That was something they established early on and it ended up benefiting them so enormously because years later they realized, 'Wait a minute, we have this rogues gallery of crazy villains and they're all in Arkham Asylum. Let's get em! Let's get them out of there and let's open it up.' And then you had the whole Arkham series of games that they were able to do out of that."

    Conroy, who is a big fan of the Arkham Asylum games, which feature Batman facing off against the Joker and many of his other infamous villains, is relieved that the Dark Knight didn't kill any of the bad guys before they could appear in the series. 

    "If he'd killed any of those people, they wouldn't have been available, you know what I mean? I love the fact that he doesn't kill."

    We all know that no comic book character stays dead for long, but Conroy does raise a good point. Den of Geek will bring you more from our conversation with Kevin Conroy in the next few days!

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    How long until Cap, Iron Man, and company need to renegotiate their multi-film Marvel contracts? We did some digging…

    The Lists Rob LeaneNick Harley
    Nov 30, 2017

    This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

    Contains spoilers for all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films up to and including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of household names - some pre-established, and some that the studio made themselves. This is a franchise with so much star power that even small roles are taken by the likes of Glenn Close.

    To maintain this level of impressive casting over its long-form storytelling style, Marvel Studios gets most of its cast members on multi-film contracts. We did some digging to find out how many films everyone has left Where official information is available, we've used that as a source. We've tried to fill in the gaps with our own guesswork. We'll keep this incredibly long list up-to-date as we learn more.

    The Avengers


    Tony Stark / Iron Man

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk(cameo),Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War and the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4

    The first superhero that Marvel Studios presented us with was Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark – a casting masterstroke that would become the benchmark for all future Marvel heroes. At the moment, RDJ is only scheduled for Spider-Man: Homecoming and Infinity War, with the latter possibly writing him into super-retirement. Could he continue as a consultant past that point? Well, Marvel would probably need to renegotiate.


    Steve Rogers / Captain America

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World(cameo),Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming (cameo)

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4

    It’s widely known that Chris Evans has expressed an interest in departing superheroics to focus on film directing instead. More recently though he's been speaking openly about being up for anything that Marvel want to do with Cap.



    Films appeared in so far: Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok

    Confirmed upcoming films:  Avengers: Infinity War and the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4

    Despite not appearing in Civil War, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth is still very much in the Marvel fold and after Ragnarok, he may finally be considered an MVP. Now he has two more films lined up, as far as we know. Maybe one day he'll pass on the hammer to someone else, but that won't happen any time soon.


    Bruce Banner / The Hulk

    Films appeared in so far: The Avengers, Iron Man 3 (cameo), Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War and the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4

    Mark Ruffalo has made no secret of the six-film deal that Marvel has him on. Seeing as cameos don’t count towards that, he still has three films left, making him among the few stars of the original Avengers movies who is on the hook for continuing past "Phase 3" and Kevin Feige's fabled Avengers 4 finale. This is all great news, however the solo movie is still not happening.

    related article: Hulk Movies Marvel Should Make


    Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, likelyAvengers 4

    There’s isn’t a clear answer out there on how many Marvel movies Johansson’s Black Widow has left. She said her contract has "morphed" and "mutated" in recent years when Collider asked. She's since been confirmed for Avengers: Infinity War. Hopefully, she'll still one day get that solo movie.

    Since the official cast list for Infinity War's sequel hasn't been fully announced yet, we can't really confirm which characters will and will not stick around. Some actors have said they're in both films, but ScarJo isn't one of them. However, even if her standard six-film contract is up in 2018, recent set photos from what is believed to be work on Avengers 4 would seem to confirm she'll be back in 2019 too.


    Clint Barton / Hawkeye

    Films appeared in so far: Thor (cameo), The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity WarAvengers 4

    Renner is believed to have a standalone Hawkeye movie on his contract, but that doesn’t seem very close to happening. We totally support his avenging though, which is handy because he is on-board for Avengers: Infinity War. Hopefully, that means he's in Avengers 4 as well, but it's yet to be confirmed. However, as Renner will have only appeared in four films by 2019 in a non-cameo role, it is quite conceivable then that Marvel will make use of their contracted star to keep the Avengers 4 roster stuffed.


    James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine / Iron Patriot

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4

    While it is hardly confirmed that War Machine will be appearing in anything after 2018's crossover epic, Gwyneth Paltrow already let slip she's enjoying working with Don Cheadle on the set of Avengers 4.


    Sam Wilson / Falcon

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War

    Anthony Mackie is in Infinity War. He confirmed his involvement by chatting about the script and Falcon's place in it at a Wizard World event. However, there is no word yet whether he will be involved in the fourth Avengers movie, even though he almost certainly has more films left on his contract, as the standard deal is six movies (he'll have appeared in five after 2018). Macke also previously joked about signing a contract for "like 50" movies..


    Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch

    Films appeared in so far:  Captain America: The Winter Soldier (cameo) Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War

    "We'll get to see where she goes in Infinity War," director Joe Russo told recently on the topic of Scarlet Witch. It seems safe to assume she'll appear in Avengers 4 given that she is a fan favorite who has only appeared in two major films (plus they've already killed off one Maximoff). But time will tell.


    J.A.R.V.I.S. / The Vision

    Films appeared in so far: As J.A.R.V.I.S.: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ulton. As The Vision: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War.

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, apparently Avengers 4

    The exact length of Bettany's contract is unknown, however, he does appear to be in both upcoming Avengers movies. This is good news for fans, as the fact that he has an Infinity Stone in his forehead that imbues him with life--and that Thanos will inevitably rip that from him in Infinity War--is by definition quite vexing. However, Bettany let it slip to Collider that he is going to be involved in shooting Avengers 4. If he signed a new contract beginning with Age of Ultron, he also could conceivably be in at least two more Marvel movies after 2019.


    Scott Lang / Ant-Man

    Films appeared in so far: Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films:Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4

    His days of breaking into places and stealing shit are done. Instead, Scott Lang will have to find something else to do in Ant-Man's sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp

    Rudd has described his contract as ‘three-plus-plus’ deal, which should see him hanging around for quite a while. He's listed on multiple variations of the cast list for Infinity War, and has appeared in a charity video from the set of Avengers 4.

    related article: Every Marvel Easter Egg in Ant-Man


    Hope van Dyne / Wasp

    Films appeared in so far: Ant-Man

    Confirmed upcoming films: Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers 4

    Ant-Man and the Wasp will send Lilly's character Hope Van Dyne into full superhero mode. That film takes place after Infinity War, leaving Hope / the Wasp to join the team-up party in Avengers 4.


    T’Challa / Black Panther

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: Black PantherAvengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4

    Word on the street is that Chadwick Boseman has signed up for five films. If the character is as much of a hit as we expect in 2018, we imagine we'll be seeing him in more than just one film after Avengers 4.

    related article: Marvel's Black Panther Movie Should Go Right to the Source


    Peter Parker / Spider-Man

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming 

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4, Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel (co-produced with Sony)

    Tom Holland has said he signed a six film contract, and we know that he will be with the Avengers until the end of Phase Three at least. He also has one Homecoming sequel already well into production and while it is murky, it seems likely Sony and Marvel Studios will continue their collaboration into a third Homecoming movie. After that though the future is less certain for the wallcrawler since Sony and Marvel would have to come to a new deal.


    Doctor (Stephen) Strange

    Films appeared in so far: Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok (cameo)

    Confirmed Upcoming Films:Avengers: Infinity War, Probably Avengers 4

    Doctor Strange is in Avengers: Infinity War. He's even in the trailer! He is not officially confirmed for the 2019 follow-up, however. But as he has a stunt double listed on IMDb, we imagine it's a good bet to continue expecting the Sorcerer Supreme, especially as he likely signed the standard six movie contract (which was apparently a sticking point that led to Joquin Phoenix backing out of the role).


    Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel

    Films appeared in so far: None

    Confirmed upcoming films: Captain Marvel and Avengers 4

    The Academy Award winning actress will be making her Marvel debut in her own (overdue) movie in 2019's Captain Marvel. However, that spring release is a prequel of sorts to most of the MCU, as it takes place in the 1990s. This likely means it will be a precursor of sorts to the conclusion of the Infinity crisis in Avengers 4 where Captain Marvel will crossover with fellow Avengers.

    Guardians Of The Galaxy


    Peter Quill / Star-Lord

    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2        

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

    After the release of the first Guardians, Pratt told GQ that he's signed up for "two more Guardians plus another couple.”

    Pratt has since featured in Guardians 2, and is confirmed to be working on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. Also, Guardians 3 has already been announced with writer-director James Gunn teasing on Facebook that the threequel "will conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy."

    We imagine that there may be some new contracts drawn up after Guardians 3.



    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2       

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4 Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

    She’s said nothing about her contract publically, but we know she's in Infinity War and Avengers 4. The original Guardians gang will return for Vol. 3.



    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2       

    Confirmed upcoming films:Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

    Dave Bautista also hasn’t said much about his contract in the public realm, but we can glean his next two Marvel projects from the info available. It’s actually Thanos he needs to kill, so we're particularly looking forward to his appearance in Infinity War.


    Body of Rocket / Kraglin

    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2        

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

    One of the Guardians franchise's unsung heroes is Sean Gunn, who portrays the physical form of Rocket Racoon via motion capture and improvises a fair few lines. He also plays the Ravager-turned-Guardian Kraglin, noted for yelling “Captain’s gotta teach stuff!” in the first film.

    The length of his Marvel contract is unclear, but he’s definitely back for Guardians 3 and Infinity War. It remains to be seen if he'll be any better with Yondu's whistling weaponry by then.


    Voice of Rocket

    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2        

    Confirmed upcoming films:Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

    Finding the right voice for Rocket was a difficult one, with various comedians, voice actors and film stars all coming in to read test lines. In the end, Marvel went with Bradley Cooper, and we expect they got him on a long contract. At the very least, we'll hear his voice in the next Guardians and two Avengers movies.


    Voice of Groot

    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2     

    Confirmed upcoming films:  Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

    As above, see here. Vin Diesel will return in Avengers 3 and 4, and Guardians 3. Beyond that is a mystery, and so are the exact specifics of his contract.



    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

    This powerful empath joined the Guardians gang in Vol. 2, and is lined up for Infinity War and presumably the two other Guardians-heavy movies after that.



    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    Confirmed upcoming films:Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4

    "I have so many plans for Nebula… I love Nebula," director James Gunn told Yahoo. "To me, she’s the Boba Fett of the movie… She’s the one that you really dig because she’s the cool one that we need to get more of. I hope to god that we get a chance to see a lot more of Nebula."

    It's since been confirmed that she'll be back for Infinity War, and she later confirmed to us at Den of Geek that she'll be in Avengers 4. Depending on what happens with her and Thanos' arcs in that one, it could make sense for Guardians 3. We'll have to wait and see.



    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    Michael Rooker has been listed on a few cast rundowns for Infinity War, but it's unclear if that was just a ruse to protect the spoiler that Yondu dies in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We suspect it was. His send-off in Guardians 2 felt pretty final, didn't it?

    Saying that, we'd welcome any dream sequences that Rooker wants to appear in.


    Starhawk And The 'Original' Guardians Of The Galaxy

    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Sly Stallone debuted as Stakar Ogord - aka Starhawk - in Vol. 2 with a brief performance that culminated in a post-credits scene. Therein, Starhawk and his shiny friend Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum) met up with Aleta Ogord (Michelle Yeoh), Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), Krugarr and Mainframe (the latter of whom is voiced by Miley Cyrus). 

    In the comics, this gang were the original Guardians team that existed before Star-Lord's team. In the film universe, they are Ravager faction leaders that used to be firm friends. They have plans to steal some shit, but it remains to be seen which film that will happen in.

    "My plan is to see more of him," director James Gunn told the Toronto Sun, talking about Sly's character, but he wouldn't be drawn on how/when this will shake out. 

    "I’m not sure about him appearing in Vol. 3," Gunn said, "We’ll have to see about that, but it’s our plan to see more of Stallone. Kevin [Feige, MCU overlord] and I are working on what is going to become of the Marvel Cosmic Universe and where it’s going to go. We plan to see the rest of them in the future."

    The "rest of them" he mentioned, presumably, are the Ravager chums that Starhawk met up with at the end. Color us intrigued. 

    related article: A Movie Fan's Guide to Guardians of the Galaxy Comics




    Films appeared in so far: The Avengers (cameo), Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron (cameo).

    Confirmed upcoming films:Avengers: Infinity War

    While there isn’t a specific number out there, it’s assumed that Marvel has Josh Brolin on one of Marvel's heftiest contracts. He’ll dominate Phase 3, for sure, thanks to Infinity War.

    It's unclear right now if Thanos will still be around for Avengers 4, which was stripped of its Infinity War Part II title and hasn't yet been given a new one.

    Either way, Thanos could well have cameos and mentions in other Phase 3 films, despite skipping Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We wouldn't even be surprised if he cameoed in Captain Marvel, never mind the likelihood of him appearing in Avengers 4.

    related article: What to Expect from Avengers: Infinity War



    Films appeared in so far: Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok

    Confirmed upcoming films:Avengers: Infinity War 

    He’s believed to be on a six film deal, so we’d expect two more films after Ragnarok. Which ones, though? One is definitely Infinity War, so the sequel to that also seems apt, yet remains unconfirmed.


    James ‘Bucky’ Barnes / The Winter Soldier

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films:Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4

    He’s on a nine-film contract! We know from the trailer he is in Infinity War, and actor Sebastian Stan has since confirmed to Cinema Blend that he is in Avengers 4. That leaves four more movies on his contract. Could we be headed for Captain America: The Next Generation?



    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Elizabeth Debicki's golden villainess (although, arguably, she did have an understandable motive for hating the Guardians) will obviously return at some point. Once her creation, Adam [Warlock, one assumes], is cast, we'll add him to this list.

    Where Marvel plans to slot them in remains a mystery.



    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    He's immortal and a Marvel character, so there's every chance that Ego's death from Guardians 2 could be undone at some point. But, as far as we know, there are no further Marvel films on Russell's slate right now.


    Adrian Toomes / The Vulture

    Films appeared in so far: Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Micheal Keaton played Adrian Toomes / The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. This could well be a recurring role, especially if Sony decides to resurrect its Sinister Six flick at some point.


    General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross

    Films appeared in so far: The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    One of the big surprises of Civil War's cast was the return of William Hurt to the MCU. Since he played an important role in that film, he could well return again. The actual length of his contract is a mystery though.


    Ulysses Klaue

    Films appeared in so far: Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Confirmed upcoming films: Black Panther

    Andy Serkis' cuttlefish-hating baddie will return for Black Panther, but the length of his contract is unknown at this stage. Could he return after Black Panther? Who knows!


    Erik Killmonger

    Films appeared in so far: None

    Confirmed upcoming films: Black Panther

    Marvel made waves when they announced that Creed star Michael B. Jordan would be joining the MCU to face off against Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther. The film will see Jordan will be reunite with his Creed director Ryan Coogler, and who knows if Jordan's role will turn into a Loki-esque situation in the MCU.


    Helmut Zemo

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    He's still alive at the end of Civil War, so don't rule out a comeback for Zemo at some point. However, Bruhl hasn't let slip the details of his Marvel contract at this stage. 


    Baron Mordo

    Films appeared in so far: Doctor Strange

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Chiwetel Ejiofor played one of Stephen Strange's tutors in the mystical arts in the Doctor Strange movie, building up to a huge heel turn right at the end of the movie. That post-credits scene needs to resolved at some point.

    As it stands, though, Marvel has yet to find space for Doctor Strange 2 in its slate. If/when it's finally announced, we'll be sure to update this article.



    Films appeared in so far: Doctor Strange

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    The Hannibal star made the best of a not-particularly-great villain role in Doctor Strange, but if he has any Marvel plans beyond that, they're being kept under wraps. We wouldn't be surprised if he was a one-and-done baddie, to be honest.



    Films appeared in so far: Thor: Ragnarok

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Blanchett played the Goddess of Death in Thor 3, and some sources are already suggesting that she might stick around for supporting villain duties in Infinity War. We'll keep you posted on that front.


    Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    After Winter Soldier came out, Grillo told Collider this: “I have a multi-contract deal with Marvel. The movie was an origin film for that character. If you know the comic, he has a significant presence. So, knock wood. With Marvel, you can’t say very much, but I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll have some fun in the next few Marvel movies.”

    Could he somehow bounce back despite the very explode-y events of Civil War, then? Time will tell.


    Phineas Mason / Tinkerer 

    Films appeared in so far: Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    A recognizable, if fairly minor, Spider-Man villain, Michael Chernus' (Orange is the New Black) Tinkerer will likely be on hand to help more baddies in the future.


    Herman Schultz / Shocker

    Films appeared in so far: Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    He barely became the Shocker in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Marvel has to have bigger plans for this guy, right? 


    Emil Blonsky / The Abomination

    Films appeared in so far: The Incredible Hulk

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    They had him on a three-picture deal, but the lack of standalone action for the Hulk seems to negate the need for an Abomination return. Perhaps that could change one day, especially given that William Hurt returned for Civil War.


    Justin Hammer

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man 2, "All Hail The King" (short) 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    “Ah! I was hoping to come back in one of the Avengers films and come after Gwyneth Paltrow, because that's what they set-up, that I was going to get revenge on Gwyneth for getting me arrested or something,” Rockwell told Vulture of a possible Marvel return.

    “I could do a Cape Fear thing with Gwyneth. But they've got a lot of mojo in there already, so I don't know if they need another pirate like me in the mix there! [Laughs.] Maybe S.H.I.E.L.D. is the way to go.” We’d color this one as unlikely, in all fairness.

    related article: 25 Iron Man Villains Who Deserve to be in the Movies


    Johann Shmidt / Red Skull

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: The First Avenger

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    Hugo Weaving told Collider: “I [signed a multi-picture deal] for Captain America. I think the tendency, with those films, would be to probably not bring a villain back. […] And it’s not something I would want to do again. I’m glad I did it. I did sign up for a number of pictures and I suppose, contractually, I would be obliged to, if they forced me to, but they wouldn’t want to force someone to do it, if they didn’t want to. I think I’ve done my dash with that sort of film.”

    We probably won’t see him again, then. The Red Skull could be recast, though, if necessary.

    S.H.I.E.L.D. Personnel (and retirees)


    Nick Fury

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man (cameo), Iron Man 2, Thor (cameo), Captain America: The First Avenger (cameo), The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age Of Ultron (cameo)

    Confirmed upcoming films: Captain Marvel and Avengers 4

    On the press tour for Kong: Skull Island, Samuel L. Jackson told MTV he is yet to receive a call for Infinity War. It is hard to tell if that is just industry spin to keep it a surprise, but he has his eyepatch already plenty busy. He is confirmed to have a supporting role in the 1990s-set Captain Marvel, and he is also expected back for Avengers 4, which appears to conclude what Nick Fury began in The Avengers. So whether there is an Infinity War cameo in between all of that is perhaps moot.


    Phil Coulson

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, "The Consultant" (short), "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Thor’s Hammer" (short), Thor, The Avengers

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    As you already know, Coulson has been reprised by Clark Gregg in Agents Of SHIELD on TV. But will he ever get to reunite with his heroes on the big screen? Apparently, he was considered to appear in Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, but it looks like the movie universe will continue to avoid Coulson for the foreseeable future. 


    Maria Hill

    Films appeared in so far: The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    At the time of The Avengers, Smulders said she was signed on for “plus this one, seven more I think.” By our counting, she should have five films left by now.

    She’s didn't appear in Civil War though, so we’re not sure where we’ll see her next. We’re assuming – like Samuel L. Jackson – that her Agents Of SHIELD cameos don’t count towards the seven. Her next Marvel appearance is currenly unknown. She's rumored for Infinity War though.


    Peggy Carter

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: The First Avenger, "Agent Carter" (short), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man (cameo)

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    With Peggy Carter dead in the modern timeline, it's not seeming likely that Hayley Atwell will return in any more big screen Marvel films. There could feasibly be more flashbacks, but there are no plans at present of which we know.

    related article: A Guide to Agent Carter Comics


    Younger Howard Stark

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: The First Avenger, "Agent Carter" (short) 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    We’d wager that Marvel may have had Dominic Cooper on a one film deal, seeing as they don’t seem to have plans to return to the WWII era on the big screen. His appearances on the Agent Carter TV series prove that he's game for more if Marvel is, however.


    Older Howard Stark

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man 2, Ant-Man (cameo), Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    How’s that for a gap between appearances? Marvel may not have John Slattery on a massive contract, but he could pop up again if Marvel delve into more flashbacks. 


    Hank Pym

    Films appeared in so far: Ant-Man

    Confirmed upcoming films: Ant-Man and the Wasp

    Michael Douglas has confirmed on Facebook that he will re-grow the goatee and reprise the role of Hank Pym in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Apparently, he was only on a one film contract to start with, so Marvel had to strike up a new deal to bring him back.


    Sharon Carter / Agent 13

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: None  

    "They're just sort of planting the seed for this character," Van Camp told MTV. "I think Marvel likes to sprinkle little bits of things for fans, and anyone who is a Captain America fan will know that Agent 13 is Sharon Carter."

    While she hasn't told the world how long her contract is, we'd expect her to be back multiple times.


    Cameron Klein

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    The unsung hero of two Marvel films – he refused to launch the ships for Brock Rumlow in The Winter Soldier and got those Helicarrier’s "full of people" in Age of Ultron. Unsurprisingly, there’s no word out there on whether Marvel has signed Aaron Himelstein up for more appearances yet.

    At the very least, Marvel could recruit him for TV. Or could he be a second-generation Coulson-alike, recruiting new heroes for the greater good in Phase 3? Okay, our S.H.I.E.L.D. speculation may have gone too far.

    Supporting Stars



    Films appeared in so far: Thor: Ragnarok

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    That scene in Ragnarok seemed pretty final, didn't it? Not unless he's just "sleeping" again. It's not like Odin has proven himself to be very forthright or trustworthy when it comes to sweating the details of things.


    Howard The Duck

    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy (cameo), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (cameo)

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    It's unclear if Seth Green is on any sort of official contract, but MCU overlord Kevin Feige was quoted as saing this this recently: "You know, the fun thing about Howard is he shows up where you least expect him, so like who knows where he’s going to appear next?"

    We'd expect those cameos to keep coming, then. He's like the waterfowl version of Stan Lee. 


    Pepper Potts

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming (cameo) 

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4 

    While her contract concluded with Iron Man 3, she and Marvel have clearly come to some amicable arrangements. After seemingly (and lamely) being written out off-screen in Captain America: Civil War, she appeared for a fan-pleasing cameo in Spider-Man: Homeocming. She also has talked gamely about appearing in the final two slated Avengers films. 

    related article: A Movie Fan's Guide to Marvel Comics


    Jane Foster

    Films appeared in so far: Thor, Thor: The Dark World 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Natalie Portman didn't return for Thor: Ragnarok. In fact, Portman told The Wall Street Journal that she's "done" with Marvel altogether, as far as she knows. While a final cameo in Avengers 4 wouldn't be amiss, there does not appear to be much love lost in this relationship.


    Happy Hogan

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4

    It came as a bit of a surprise to us - what with Jon Favreau's manifold other projects as an actor/director - but Happy Hogan returned alongside Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He apparently has at least cameos teed up in the next two Avengers movies as well.



    Films appeared in so far: Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Confirmed upcoming films: Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel

    As the love interest to Tom Holland's Peter Parker, Zendaya's Michelle debuted in the 2017 solo Spidey flick. While is not official, she did sign on for a contract and has indicated that she is set to return for the untitled 2019 sequel.


    Aaron Davis

    Films appeared in so far: Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    As the uncle of the kid who will become the second Spider-Man, we doubt we've seen the last of this lovable (and ever growing in popularity) actor, writer, musician, and all around pop culture renaissance man.


    Maggie / Cassie Lang

    Films appeared in so far: Ant-Man 

    Confirmed upcoming films: Ant-Man and the Wasp 

    We’d expect Scott’s estranged family to appear in Ant-Man and the Wasp, including Judy Greer and impressive child actress Abby Ryder Fortson.


    May Parker

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    It hasn't been confirmed Aunt May will return for the untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel... but she has to.


    President Ellis

    Films appeared in so far: Iron Man 3

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    The MCU's POTUS has popped up on Agents Of SHIELD since debuting in Iron Man 3. He was also seen in a photo during The Winter Soldier. It doesn't sound like Marvel is finished with him yet then.


    Everett Ross

    Films appeared in so far: Captain America: Civil War

    Confirmed upcoming films: Black Panther

    We don't know yet his fate in Black Panther, but assuming how good an actor Freeman is, we doubt that his ride or contract with Marvel will stop there. 


    Erik Selvig

    Films appeared in so far: Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War

    The mighty Stellan Skarsgård told us exclusively that he's on a five-film deal with Marvel, and that he only has one more film to go as the scientist Erik Selvig (unless he and Marvel manage to negotiate an extension). It'll apparently be Avengers: Infinity War.


    Darcy Lewis

    Films appeared in so far: Thor, Thor: The Dark World

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    At one point, we would have said Kat Dennings was a shoo-in for Ragnarok, now it appears unlikely she'll be returning to the MCU despite likely still having more movies on her contract.


    Ian Boothby

    Films appeared in so far: Thor: The Dark World 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Same as Dennings above.


    Lady Sif

    Films appeared in so far: Thor, Thor: The Dark World 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Jamie Alexander was invited to return for a one or two-day shoot for a cameo in Thor: Ragnarok but apparently could not make it work due to scheduling conflicts with her NBC series Blindspot. Talk about a fortuitous delay since if she had returned for Ragnarok, she would have been as blandly and unceremoniously killed off as the rest of the Warriors Three. Kevin Feige has even mused that it leaves the fate of Sif open to revisiting in a later sequel. Sometimes delays are our friends.

    Idris Elba



    Films appeared in so far: Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    Contract length undisclosed. But given that he was the lone supporting cast member beside Tom Hiddleston from the original Thor who hasn't been abruptly killed off, Marvel clearly still has plans for this underused thespian.



    Films appeared in so far: Thor: Ragnarok

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    The Grandmaster is chums with The Collector in the comics. In the movies, all we know is that he's played by Jeff Goldblum, he looks amazing, and he orchestrates the bout betwixt the Hulk and Thor. No clue if Goldblum signed up for more. 



    Films appeared in so far: Thor: Ragnarok

    Confirmed upcoming films: Possibly Avengers: Infinity War

    This Creed star made a huge splash in Thor: Ragnarok, playing an ancient warrior woman who also had a touch of Han Solo scoundrel in her demeanor. She landed so well, rumor has it she is getting at least a cameo in Avengers: Infinity War, but this is not confirmed.



    Films appeared in so far: None

    Confirmed upcoming films: Black Panther

    The Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o will join the MCU as Nakia, a member of the Dora Milaje, the royal bodyguards of T'Challa (we glimpsed them in Captain America: Civil War). Now, you don't just cast talent like Nyong'o to be a bodyguard, so I'd expect a meaty part. Her continued involvement likely depends on Black Panther's in the MCU. 



    Films appeared in so far: None

    Confirmed upcoming films: Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War

    As the head of the Dora Milaje, Gurira will keep her record of playing characters that you don't want to mess with going. As we said above, her future likely is tied to Black Panther's, which at least for Gurira includes a role of some importance in Avengers 3


    Nova Prime

    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    There wasn't space for Nova Corps in Vol. 2 in the end, and it remains to be seen if/when Glenn Close and her cohorts will return to the MCU.


    Rhomann Dey

    Films appeared in so far: Guardians of the Galaxy 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    Since Nova's involvement in the MCU going forward is unclear, we've no idea what the chances of John C. Reilly returning are.


    The Collector

    Films appeared in so far: Thor: The Dark World (cameo), Guardians of the Galaxy 

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War

    He "just didn't fit" into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, according to James Gunn, but we doubt we've seen the last of The Collector in the MCU. He's already shot some material for Infinity War, which makes sense, given that - as far as we know - he's still the proud owner of the Aether Infinity Stone.


    Criminal Trio

    Films appeared in so far: Ant-Man

    Confirmed upcoming films: Ant-Man and the Wasp

    When Collider asked, Michael Pena wasn’t sure if he had signed for three or five movies. It seems a fair assumption, then, that we'll see these guys return for Ant-Man's sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp.


    The Ancient One

    Films appeared in so far: Doctor Strange

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Swinton's first MCU appearance came in Doctor Strange. It might also be her last, barring a resurrection or a dream sequence or some sort of magic vision thingy.


    Christine Palmer

    Films appeared in so far: Doctor Strange

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    If Doctor Strange 2 does happen (which it surely will, eventually), we'd expect Rachel McAdams to return. She's not disclosed her contract details publicly. 



    Films appeared in so far: Doctor Strange

    Confirmed upcoming films: Avengers: Infinity War

    You saw the trailer. Wong is back and saving the day as usual.

    Extreme long shot potential returnees


    Samuel Sterns

    Films appeared in so far: The Incredible Hulk 

    Confirmed upcoming films: None 

    This bumbling scientist was meant to become The Leader, but never did. Tim Blake Nelson signed a three-picture deal to transform into said supervillain. That arc was pretty much written out in The Avengers' tie-in comic Fury’s Big Week though.


    Leonard Samson

    Films appeared in so far: The Incredible Hulk

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Hulk’s psychiatrist becomes a hero in his own right in the comics. At this stage though, if Marvel make another Hulk movie, it’ll probably be a clean slate supporting cast wise. William Hurt made a comeback, however, so who knows? Burrell is surely on a multi-film contract like Tim Blake Nelson.


    Betty Ross

    Films appeared in so far: The Incredible Hulk

    Confirmed upcoming films: None

    Her father - Thunderbolt Ross - returned for Civil War, but the fact that Marvel has now paired Bruce up with Natasha has us fairly confident that we won't see Betty Ross return. The length of her contract was never announced publically, but you can bet that Marvel had anticipated at least one The Incredible Hulk sequel for her. 

    Marvel could make a pretty decent movie with all the actors they have on multi-film deals that will never be used, couldn't they? Let us know if we've missed anyone important off this list. We'll do our best to keep it updated.

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    Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's The Umbrella Academy is coming to Netflix. Here's everything we know about the series...

    News John Saavedra
    Dec 1, 2017

    Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's The Umbrella Academy is coming to Netflix as a live action series. The comic book series, which debuted in 2007, was first optioned as a movie before Dark Horse signed a deal with Universal Cable Productions to adapt the comic as a TV series. 

    The live action series follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes -- The Monocle, Spaceboy, The Kraken, The Rumor, The Séance, Number Five, The Horror, and the seemingly powerless Vanya -- as they work together to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams due to their divergent personalities and abilities. 

    Way began writing The Umbrella Academy just a year after the release of My Chemical Romance's magnum opus, The Black Parade. The series is 15 issues of Eisner Award-winning goodness that has continued to inform Way's career as a comic book writer, especially with his current run on Doom Patrol and his Young Animal line at DC. Artist Gabriel Ba has also done some of his best work on the series. (If you want something really great by Ba, check out Daytripper, which he created with his twin brother, artist Fabio Moon.)

    The Umbrella Academy has been on a bit of a hiatus since 2009. Only two volumes, The Apocalypse Suite and Dallas, have been released thus far, although Way and Ba plan at least two more volumes. The third volume is called Hotel Oblivion, and it's been in the works since at least 2013 when Way tweeted out an update with some sketches of new characters. Way and Ba had agreed to begin work on Hotel Oblivion in 2014, but a lot's happened since then. Besides his music projects, Way has his own line of comics and two comic book series to write.

    While it's not likely the Umbrella Academy will return on the page any time soon, fans will at least gave the show to look forward to.

    Here's everything else we know:

    The Umbrella Academy Cast

    Netflix has revealed the core cast of the show. Here are the actors who will portray the members of the Umbrella Academy:

    Ellen Page (X-Men: Days of Future Past) will star as Vanya, who is estranged from the rest of the family because of her lack of powers. Vanya is a very important character in the first arc of the comics, as she goes through a bit of self-discovery that puts her at odds with the superheroes she once called a family.

    Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones) plays Luther, aka Spaceboy. He has super-strength, and after a terrible accident during an expedition to Mars, his head had to be transplanted onto the body of a gorilla. Ehem...

    Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton) will play Allison, aka The Rumor, who can alter reality by lying. 

    David Castaneda (El Chicano) is Diego, codenamed The Kraken. He is sort of a fuse between Aquaman and Batman. He can hold his breath indefinitely, which gives him an advantage when in water, and is an expert knife thrower.

    Robert Sheehan (Misfits) is perfectly cast as Klaus aka The Seance, the most morbid character of the group. His powers, which manifest only when he's barefoot, include levitation, telekinesis, and the ability to contant the dead. In the comics, Klaus is killed at one point but rejected from both Heaven and Hell.

    Aidan Gallagher (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn) is Number Five, simply codenamed The Boy. He can effortlessly travel in time and does not age due to a temporal condition. 

    The Umbrella Academy Release Date

    Netflix has given the series a 10-episode order that will arrive sometime in 2018. 

    The Umbrella Academy Poster

    Here's the first promo poster for The Umbrella Academy:

    The Umbrella Academy Details

    The Umbrella Academy will be produced by Universal Cable Productions. Steve Blackman (Fargo, Altered Carbon) will serve as executive producer and showrunner, with additional executive producers Bluegrass Television and Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment. Gerard Way will serve as co-executive producer. The pilot script was adapted from the comic book series by Jeremy Slater (The Exorcist).

    In 2016, Slater talked to Collider about his script:

    I definitely wrote the pilot for The Umbrella Academy. I think it’s really exciting. I think it’s really surprising and funny. I took the job because I’m such an immense fan of what Gerard [Way] and Gabriel [Ba, the artist] did with that book. It’s one of those things where I would rather be the guy to screw it up than sit back and let someone else come in and do the bad adaptation. So, I was really adamant about taking the job, but the only way I was going to do it was if I could make it weird and make it true to the spirit of the book. There’s a lot of weird shit in The Umbrella Academy, and it would be very easy to sand down some of those weird edges and make it more familiar to American audiences. I’m fighting very hard to not let that happen. We’re shopping around the pilot, at the moment. We’re trying to find the right home for it and trying to find someone as excited as we are.

    Rawson Marshal Thurber (Dodgeball) was originally tied to the project when it was still being considered for the big screen. He told CBR in 2016 that the series would be too difficult to adapt as a film, citing the weirdness of the book as something that could be lost in translation at a big studio. 

    Slater echoed Thurber's thoughts in his interview with Collider:

    I think the relationships and the dynamics are so rich in that book that, if you tried to distill it down to 90 minutes, everyone gets reduced to a cartoon and a caricature. It really is The Royal Tenenbaums with superpowers. In order to do justice to that premise, you need time to unpack those characters, and dig into what makes them tick and the different relationships that they have with each other. There is so much fertile material there to tell really interesting, really funny, really unique stories that to compress it all into an hour and a half and throw in a bunch of giant action sequences, you’re going to wind up with some total mish-mash. It’s going to be Mystery Men. It’s going to be yet another wacky comedic superhero movie that no one really wants to see. It has its own unique DNA, and I think people should respect that DNA, or they should not do the project.

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    The Batman Ninja trailer puts the crimefighting struggles of the Dark Knight through the lens of warring ninja and samurai.

    Trailers Joseph Baxter
    Dec 1, 2017

    The idea that Batman exists as a stealthy, gadget-wielding, contemporary crime-fighting nocturnal ninja may seem like a given at this point, but it’s a fairly recent trope that was ignited by movie and comic book reinventions and far from the 1939 vision of a costumed rope-swinging detective of creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger. However, upcoming anime Batman Ninja not only embraces said trope, but creatively utilizes it as the basis for an inventive interpretation of the mythology.

    Batman Ninja Trailer

    After months of teases, going back to July at San Diego Comic-Con, the Batman Ninja trailer has arrived, or, should I say trailers, since we two of them were released.

    As we can see Gotham City has been traded for a highly-stylized quasi-historical version of feudal Japan, where Batman’s crimefighting endeavor sees him take the form of an armored, sword-swinging samurai/ninja hybrid. The solitary, honor-based lifestyle of the samurai suit Bruce Wayne well here and we can see that he’ll face a traditional DC Comics rogues gallery consisting of Catwoman, Two-Face, Gorilla Grodd and, most notably, the Joker, who exists here as a purple-armor-clad cackling samurai whose skills easily match that of Batman’s.

    Batman Ninja is the brainchild of writer Kazu Nakashima (Futagashira) and designer Takashi Okazaki (Samurai Jack). Junpei Mizusaki will serve as director, breaking a long hiatus from 2005 anime Zoo.

    With the feature being in Japanese with English subtitles, Kôichi Yamadera will voice Batman and Wataru Takagi will voice the Joker.

    Batman Ninja Poster

    Here’s the teaser poster for Batman Ninja, showing the familiar sight of a mid-air Batman, only decked out in his ninja gear and ready to wreak havoc amongst the criminals and general ne’er-do-wells that dare to deal out injustices in his version of feudal Japan.

    Batman Ninja Release Date

    While Batman Ninja has yet to announce a specific release date, the feature is expected to arrive on DVD/Blu-ray sometime in 2018.

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    The Riverdale companion series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is moving over to Netflix.

    News John SaavedraChris Longo
    Dec 1, 2017

    Netflix now owns what could be a big piece of the Archieverse. The streaming service made a straight-to-series order for a new Sabrina The Teenage Witch TV series, based on the Archie comics graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

    Billed as a companion series to the CW hit Riverdale, Sabrina was in development at The CW as reported back in September. The series will move to Netflix with a commitment for 20 episodes over two seasons.

    According toTHR, a list of potential leads is being revisited now that the series order is officially confirmed. Riverdale reimagined Archie Comics in a pulpy, Twin Peaks meets Gossip Girl light. If Sabrina follows its source material, fans should expect something spooky and dark, a departure from the classic Sabrina The Teenage Witch TV series from the ‘90s.

    The Netflix series is based on Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack's horror comic, and will tell the story of Sabrina's occult origins. The dark coming-of-age story deals with horror, the occult, and witchcraft, and sees Sabrina struggle to reconcile her dual nature of being half-witch and half-mortal while protecting her family and the world from the forces of evil. No word on whether we'll see the comic's villain, Madam Satan, in the show, but we wouldn't bet against it.

    Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the pilot script and Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti will be executive producing.

    The series was originally set for the 2018-19 season. Netflix now plans to shoot the two seasons back-to-back, so we’ll keep you updated on potential Sabrina release dates. The move to Netflix shows the popularity of Riverdale on the service. The show saw massive ratings gains on The CW in season two after Netflix aquired the streaming rights for season one.

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  • 12/02/17--12:15: New Mutants Return in March
  • Rosenberg & Gorham take New Mutants, X-Force, & X-Factor on a supernatural trip through the cosmos.

    NewsJim Dandy
    Dec 2, 2017

    Just ahead of the team's movie debut, Marvel is re-re-re-re(?)-introducing the team to the comics with New Mutants: Dead Souls in March.

    The team is comprised of Magik, Boom Boom, Wolfsbane, Strong Guy and Rictor, a mix of classic New Mutants characters, X-Factor members (both the government team and X-Factor Investigations), and old X-Force hands, so there are plenty of intricate ties between them to keep the character development interesting. The book has art from Adam Gorham (Rocket), and is written by Matthew Rosenberg (4 Kids Walk Into A Bank), who has been quickly gaining prominence at Marvel.

    “We pack [New Mutants: DeadSouls] full of nods to the history of the team and hints about their future, and enough creepy moments, epic battles, offbeat humor, and dysfunctional family dynamics to make a book worthy of the title The New Mutants,” said Rosenberg.

    The team is brought together by Karma to investigate paranormal events occurring throughout the universe. Along the way, they discover a mystery behind Karma's intentions that will evolve over the course of the miniseries. The first issue of New Mutants: Dead Souls will be out in March 2018.

    For more on this comic, the New Mutants movie, or for news on the most recent amazing appearance of the team (Al Ewing's New/U.S.Avengers), stick with Den of Geek!

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    Disney's negotiations to acquire most of 21st Century Fox's assets *cough* X-Men and Fantastic Four *cough* have come back to life

    News Alec Bojalad
    Dec 2, 2017

    Rumors of the Disney/21st Century Fox deal's demise may have been exaggerated.

    Walt Disney, Co. and 21st Century Fox have resumed discussions involving Disney acquiring Fox's movie studio, 20th Century Fox, FX, FXX, and other assets according to the Wall Street Journal

    News of the potential acquisition made waves throughout the entertainment and finance industries just last month. To the point where 21st Century Fox suspended trading activities. The initial reports were cautious, perhaps due to the hurdles the similar Time Warner and AT&T deal faced. Now Disney and Fox have re-engaged.

    WSJ's report offers a clearer look at exactly what Disney would potentially acquiring. 20th Century Fox is indeed the centerpiece of the deal - both the movie studio and respective networks. Fox's 39% holding in U.K. sattelite TV provider Sky PLC and India's Star TV would be included in the deal as well. As would the aforementioned FX and FXX. 

    Fox is apparently interested in pivoting to mostly sports and cultural commentary, meaning Fox News and the sports network FS1 would stay put.

    Rupert Murdoch is the majority shareholder of 21st Century Fox with 39% of shares and he will reportedly make a final decision by year's end. 

    The appeal of certain 21st Century Fox assets to Disney remain obvious and apparent. Disney is quickly cornering the movie blockbuster market with its Marvel and Lucasfilm brands. Not only would acquiring 20th Century Fox studios remove a major competitor, it would strengthen the Marvel brand by adding properties like X-Men and the Fantastic Four to the stable. 

    The societal and economic implications of the deal are certainly up for debate. But the potential for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to get all of its superhero friends under one tent is undoubtedly appealing to us all.

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