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    BOOM! Studios released a one-shot anthology expanding on Royal Rumble moments and it's a must-read for WWE fans.

    Feature Gavin Jasper
    Jan 16, 2018

    While it’s a piece that desperately needs an update, once upon a time I wrote about the history of WWE comics. Since 1991, they’ve bounced from publisher to publisher and have had many, many different incarnations. Each one had its own problems and nobody was able to truly hit the potential of mixing wrestling with comics. Some came close, but most were there to be laughed at instead of being laughed with.

    BOOM! Studios has been pretty successful for the most part. Their take on the WWE franchise has been more of a hit than a miss. Little emphasis has been about building on brand-new adventures and more has been on taking moments and storylines from the past and expanding on them. Sometimes there are issues, like how the comic portrayed Seth Rollins’ main event heel run as a plucky antihero trying to succeed on his own terms, when in fact his actual run made him one of the most cowardly wrestlers of all time. Otherwise, it’s a wonderful way to play with the license and deals with the limitations of a fictional show that takes the form of a sports event.

    The format works out well enough. The BOOM! WWE comics take two forms. You have the WWEongoing, which for the first year centers around the Shield break-up storyline and features one or two unrelated backup stories. Then there are the one-shots, which are usually centered around some kind of event, such as WrestleMania.

    Last week, BOOM! released WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Special. Within its 40 pages, there are four tales that each take place during a different year. More specifically, it’s 1992, 1991, 2018, and 2016. Each one is very different and each one feels incredibly on-brand for the wrestlers portrayed.

    First up is “To Be Number One” by Lan Pitts and Rodrigo Lorenzo. This is the immediate aftermath to Royal Rumble 1992. In a time when the WWF Championship was vacated, the Royal Rumble match was used to figure out the new champ. Ric Flair came out on top due to both his perseverance (entering at #3) and taking advantage of a tiff between Sid Justice and Hulk Hogan.

    Hogan, by the way, is not referenced once in this story. You know how it is.

    The story is about Flair’s entourage, Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect, reluctantly warning him about how much of a target he’s about to become. Not only are the top names remaining from the Hogan Era still there to seek the championship like Undertaker, Sid, and Randy Savage, but there’s also a “new generation” of talent like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels who intend to rise up and make their names by taking down the Nature Boy.

    Despite some good dialogue and art that’s on point, this story doesn’t really have much to actually say. Though it does feature one thing that comes up regularly in both the WWE comics and on WWE TV: the dismissive claim that, “Yeah, you were a big deal elsewhere, but this is WWE and this is different!” When used on TV, it’s usually there to bury the wrestler and his accomplishments, but seeing as it appears at least three times in the WWE comics, it has a different context. After all, we wouldn’t be reading these comics if these guys weren’t that good and proved to be successful.

    Next is “Mr. Royal Rumble” by Kevin Panetta and Dominike “Domo” Stanton. This one takes place backstage at the yet-to-actually-happen-in-reality 2018 Rumble match where the New Day get Kofi pumped for this entrance. The 8-page story has the trio reminisce about all the crazy tricks Kofi’s done every year since 2012 to stave off elimination.

    In comic form, the three excitedly flashback to times when Kofi walked around on his hands, jumped from the barricade to the ring, and used a chair as a pogo stick. They also take a second to mention that they barely remember Tensai despite him being a major part in one of Kofi’s stunts.

    Again, there’s not that much to it, but it’s the two stories that follow that truly make the issue – and BOOM!’s WWE stuff in general – worth checking out.

    The third story is “Randy Savage: Not Show King” by Ryan Ferrier and Kendall Goode. It’s a comedic take on something that always stuck with me as a kid. See, back at Royal Rumble 1991, "Macho King" Randy Savage shattered a scepter over the Ultimate Warrior’s head, causing Warrior to lose against Sergeant Slaughter and lose the WWF Championship. When it came time for the Rumble match itself, nobody came out for #18’s entrance. It later became apparent that that was Randy Savage’s number and he simply no-showed.

    For me and my friends, there was speculation. Did the Ultimate Warrior chase him out of the building? Did the Ultimate Warrior get to him? Was Savage just smart enough to high-tail it before Warrior regained consciousness? We got the gist, but they never really explained it on the air.

    Ferrier and Goode fill in the blanks by showing an amazing tale of the Macho King and Queen Sherri stealing Jake Roberts’ car in order to escape the Warrior, who follows on foot because he's a maniac. Things continue to get increasingly silly from Jake’s bizarre monologues to seeing Warrior and Savage duke it out in a family restaurant. Everything escalates until crashing into a hilarious finale punchline that makes me want to say, “This happened in kayfabe. This is canon.”

    Again, Hulk Hogan is not even referenced despite winning that Rumble match.

    The final story is “I Am Phenomenal,” co-written by AJ Styles and Michael Kingston (who has been writing his own wrestling-based series Headlockedfor well over a decade) with art by Daniel Bayliss. This one goes back to Royal Rumble 2016, where AJ Styles made his surprise WWE debut. Now, while the actual event played up AJ as a shocking development by focusing way too long on Roman Reigns’ confused face, the comic treats it as a known deal for everyone backstage. The fans are in the dark, but guys like Kevin Owens and Cesaro get their chance to interact with him.

    Part of the happenings plays into the frustrating corporate take that AJ Styles was a young rookie go-getter, even though the guy was around during the latter days of WCW. He’s accomplished and pushing 40 by this point, yet marketing wants to name him “The Rookie Redneck” and a certain top name refers to him as “kid.”

    Considering how successful AJ would become in WWE, this has to be a cathartic piece for him to be involved in writing. He’s looked down upon for being successful outside of the company when in fact that should be a good thing. Getting a top outside talent is like a movie studio getting the rights to a critically acclaimed book, only WWE sometimes makes it more like Fox and the Fantastic Four franchise, using it as tissue paper so nobody else can.

    This attitude is used to build on and form context for some developments for AJ’s first year in the company so that his Rumble entrance seems less about a mystery man showing up and more about the first step to a kickass run in the big leagues.

    Soon we’ll be getting comics about Raw’s 25th anniversary and another one-shot of WrestleManiastuff. Personally, I hope we get more interesting expansions of open-ended WWE moments. Maybe they’ll do a storyline that finally explicitly explains that the Big Boss Man lifted the briefcase back in King of the Ring 1999. Or how about that weird thing where Wyatt Family Daniel Bryan time-traveled back into the late-80s and appeared on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event?

    It happened!

    Gavin Jasper hopes next year we can get a story about Mantaur worked in there. He was in a Rumble match! Follow Gavin on Twitter!

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    The Shadowhunters will be back on Freeform for a third season. Here's everything we know about Shadowhunters Season 3...

    News Kayti Burt
    Jan 16, 2018

    Good news, Shadowhunters fans! The Freeform series has been renewed for a Season 3. It has an official release date and everything.

    The latest news? Chai Hansen has joined the cast as Jordan Kyle, a new character in Season 3. Jordan and Simon become friends and roommates in the new season, so it makes sense Alberto Rosende would be the one who introduces his new castmate to the fandom...

    Here's everything else we know about Season 3...

    Shadowhunters Season 3 Release Date

    Shadowhunters Season 3 will hit Freefrom on Tuesday, March 20th at 8 p.m. ET. The upcoming season will have 20 episodes.

    Shadowhunters Season 3 Trailer

    Shadowhunters debuted a trailer for Season 3 at NYCC, complete with some Jace/Clary action, Simon and the Seelie Queen, and Magnus adjusting to his new life. Check it out...

    Shadowhunters Season 3 Cast

    Arrow's Anna Hopkins will join the Shadowhunters Season 3 cast as Lilth. The role is recurring.

    Also joining the Shadowhunters team is Hamilton's Javier Muñoz. Muñoz will appear as one of Magnus' warlock rivals.

    Season 2 showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer will be staying on as showrunners for the third season, along with executive producers McG, Michael Reisz, Matt Hastings, Mary Viola, Martin Moszkowicz and Robert Kulzer.

    Though Shadowhunters has dipped somewhat in the ratings since its Season 1 premiere, it has one of the most passionate fanbases of any Freeform show (or TV show, really). More news as we hear it.


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    Straczynski is also known for his work on projects like Sense8, World War Z, and The Amazing Spider-Man.

    News Kayti Burt
    Jan 16, 2018

    J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of TV shows like Babylon 5 and Sense8, has a new project on the horizon: a memoir. Harper Voyager US just announced they will be publishing a non-fiction book, called Saved by Superman, from the writer. It will be the imprint's first memoir.

    In addition to his TV contributions, Straczynski has worked on film projects like Changeling, World War Z, Thor, and on comic book series like The Amazing Spider-Man, where he enjoyed a seven-year stint. It sounds like the memoir will focus not as much on Straczynski's adult writerly accomplishments, as how the creator first began writing. According to the press release from HarperVoyager:

    This memoir chronicles the author's struggle growing up surrounded by poverty, violence, alcoholism and domestic abuse. The result is an inspiring account of how he wrote his way out of some of the most harrowing conditions.

    Speaking about the draw of the story, HarperVoyager's editorial director David Pomerico said: "His childhood was so absolutely beyond anything I could think someone could survive. He didn't just come through—he thrived. And it is that story which is going to be an inspiration to artists and loners. It is simply captivating in its own right."

    Saved by Superman will include a foreword by Neil Gaiman. It will be published in 2019. 

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    Russell Tovey has the best answer for where The Ray would belong in the live-action pantheon of CW superhero shows.

    Interview Kayti Burt
    Jan 16, 2018

    Fans of the live-action Arrow-verse were introduced to Russell Tovey's The Ray in this year's big CW superhero crossover. However, fans of the character have an opportunity to learn more about the character and his backstory in The Ray: Freedom Fighters, an animated prequel to the "Crisis on Earth-X" event. In it, we learn more about Ray Tirrell, a reporter who gets light-based powers during the course of an investigation.

    Den of Geek was part of a group of reporters who had a chance to speak to Tovey at the DC in D.C. event last weekend. He spoke about the process of creating the character, and what his future live-action hopes for Ray Tirrell look like.

    "I did the animation at the same time I was filming the crossover event," said Tovey. "I was filming the crossover event, then, on the weekends, I'd have the animation. They fed into each other."

    Pulling double duty on Ray gave Tovey a chance to really dive into the character. 

    It's a script that covers 12 episodes that really shows the background of The Ray, of Ray Tirrell. So, for me, going into the other show, it was free research. As an actor, you always want to develop a character and you want to find out who their parents are, where they're from, what their favorite food is. You sort of do these notes, just to give you some truth. But, having this animation, as well as doing the live-action, fed into each other. It was a gift, really. It helped me out a lot.

    While Tovey said the character of Ray is very different from who he is as a person, he did note his past struggles with sexual identity as personal experience he could draw inspiration from in creating the character.

    "Ray Tirrell struggles with his sexuality," said Tovey. "I'm gay and, when I was younger, I always had a lot of issues with myself, coming to terms with who I was, what my future was going to be. Who I was in the world, who I was going to tell, how I was going to deal with that, how I was going to tell my family, coming out. So there are big things that I can absolutely relate to in Ray Terrell's world."

    While Ray may have aleady appeared in the live-action part of the Arrow-verse, there aren't any plans (that have been announced) to have the character make another appearance in live-action form. However, as we saw with the Vixen character, The CW is definitely open to crossing its characters between the two formats.

    Where does Tovey see Ray fitting into the Arrow-verse?

    Why can't The Ray have his own show? He can come on and visit. He can do crossovers. He could have his own shit going on. I would feel excited about that if you could actually flesh out the writing, give him his own world. That was my confident, arrogant answer.

    That being said, Tovey is excited to see where the animated show goes, saying that he'd like to see many more seasons of The Ray: Freedom Fighters in animated form.

    "The stories could go on forever," said Tovey. For now, the first six episodes of The Ray: Freedom Fighters are available to watch via CW Seed.

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    Matt Smith will play Charles Manson movie The Family. American Psycho’s Mary Harron to direct.

    News Tony Sokol
    Jan 16, 2018

    The creative team behind the film American Psycho will be taking on another psychotic episode of Americana, the aftermath of the Charles Manon family murders. Former punk rock journalist Mary Harron, who directed and co-wrote American Psychoand the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol, is reteaming with screenwriter Guinevere Turner for the film adaptation of Ed Sanders’s best-selling Charles Manson 1971 novel, The Family. Matt Smith of The Crown is reportedly in talks to star as Manson, according to the Tracking Board.

    The upcoming film will also add elements from the book The Long Prison Journey of Leslie van Houten: Life Beyond the Cult, which gave a firsthand account of Karlene Faith,  who was appointed as van Houten’s social worker at the women’s prison she was incarcerated at.

    “Guinevere Turner’s script was a revelation,” Mary Harron said in a statement. “The story has been told many times before but never from this perspective or with such insight.”

    The Family will center graduate student Karlene Faith, who worked with three of young women in the Manson Family cult after the late sixties murder spree that took the lives of nine people, including actress Sharon Tate. Manson’s followers committed the killings on the cult leader’s orders after being brainwashed.

    The convicted followers were sentenced to death for the murders, but the death penalty was lifted in the state of California and they were sentenced to live behind bars.

    The Family, is being produced by Jeremy M. Rosen and Kevin Shulman of Roxwell Films.


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    Deadpool's oft-co-conspirator gets her own series from one of Deadpool's architects.

    NewsJim Dandy
    Jan 16, 2018

    Marvel announced the return of Gail Simone to their characters with Domino, a new series due out in April. Simone, who has been working mostly at DC for the better part of the last decade, was one of the writers to make Deadpool fertile ground for his popularity explosion in the last few years. So with Domino playing a featured role in the upcoming Deadpool 2, it seems she's getting back to Marvel and getting in on the action.

    The new series sees Neena find herself on the wrong side of the entire rest of the Marvel mercenary community. “My favorite characters are always the unpredictable ones, and with Domino, you literally never know which way the dice are going to roll,” said Simone. “I love her, and I can't wait to show her best bad side!” In a completely unexpected development, writing this paragraph has made me simultaneously nostalgic for GW Bridge, Risque, Grizzly, and Six Pack, and also excited for the new book.

    Joining Simone on art is David Baldeon (Monsters Unleashed, Nova). "I am a fan of Gail’s work, and I’ve been wanting to work with her for a long time now. The fact that it is with a character like Domino is the icing on the cake!" said Baldeon. The book promises "risque, hardcore action." I believe they mean "slightly indecent or liable to shock, especially by being sexually suggestive" and not "Warpath's resurrected ex-girlfriend who can implode matter," but who knows? Baldeon also said he redesigned her look to be in line with her character traits, and, from the image below, current X-Book branding.

    Simone's most recent comics work has been on Wonder Woman/Conan at DC, the spooky as hell Clean Room with Vertigo, and Crosswinds with Image, and she is most commonly known as the author of one of the greatest runs on Wonder Woman of all time. She hasn't had a story published at Marvel since 2013, a backup in Deadpool #27. Her first big-2 series was a run on Deadpool and its spin off, Agent X, starting back in 2002, where she cranked up the series's trademark slapstick and infused the book with surprising heart.

    Simone's new series, Domino, is out on April 11th. For more on this series, Weapon XDeadpool 2, why I ship Colossus and Domino, or any updates that involve a swimming pool full of pancakes, stick with Den of Geek!

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    Because of some kind of licensing mix-up, Archie Comics can't publish their new Dick Tracy comic.

    NewsMike Cecchini
    Jan 16, 2018

    He's not on his way, after all.

    You might remember about a month ago, I got perhaps inordinately excited over the news that Archie Comics was going to publish a brand new Dick Tracy comic book series, the first original Dick Tracy material outside the newspaper strips in nearly 30 years. The project, by Michael Moreci, Alex Segura and Thomas Pitilli was to be a reboot of sorts, telling of Dick Tracy's early career in the post World War II era.

    Unfortunately, at least for the moment, it appears that the project has been fitted with cement shoes and tossed off the end of a pier. Co-writer Alex Segura broke the unfortunate news via Twitter. "So, this is not-great news... [we] were very much looking forward to creating this comic for you guys. But due to a mistake on the licensor's part, we won't be able to make that happen. To say we're bummed is a huge, huge understatement."

    I know how bummed I am over this news, so I can only imagine how the creative team on the book must feel. Part of my excitement over the Dick Tracy announcement wasn't just because I'm hungry for new takes on comics' most celebrated detective, or because the creative team seemed like a great fit (although both of those are true), but it was the first ray of hope that whatever weirdness always seems to hang over the Tracy rights was going to be untangled.

    There appears to be stuff going on with the Dick Tracy rights that would probably give a lawyer pause (and I'm no lawyer...I'm barely even a writer). It's not clear what caused the Archie Comics project to hit a snag with the licensor. It's worth noting that we haven't seen Dick Tracy appear outside of newspaper comic strips since the 1990 movie starring Warren Beatty. I wrote more about why Dick Tracy 2 never happened here. While this doesn't appear to be the same problem, something always seems to stop Tracy-related projects, whether it was a proposed comic from Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming or a TV series starring Bruce Campbell.

    In any case, I hope that whatever this is it's just a temporary roadblock. Archie seems like a great home for Dick Tracy, and the take that Moreci, Segura, and Pitilli were working on sounded like a lot of fun. 

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    Get your first look at Mon-El as he was always supposed to look in this new image from Supergirl Season 3.

    News Mike Cecchini
    Jan 17, 2018

    They're finally going for it!

    Since his introduction on Supergirl, Mon-El has been, shall we say, a divisive figure among fans. Whether it was his occasionally regressive views or just the fact that certain segments of the audience felt that maybe Kara belonged with a different love interest in the first place, it's been a bit of a bumpy ride for Chris Wood's Mon-El.

    But one thing that all of fandom has been able to agree on is that Supergirl has put absolutely no effort into the poor guy's appearance.

    Mon-El spent most of season two in street clothes, and then they gave him a "not even trying" black jumpsuit thing for some action scenes in the latter half of that year. When word got out that Supergirl Season 3 would feature the Legion of Superheroes, well, surely this was a sign that Mon-El would finally get some more exciting duds, right? After all, he's been hanging out in the 31st Century with a team of metahumans, they must have some fashion sense.

    Instead we got...

    Well, at least Saturn Girl looked cool.

    Anyway, the crushing disappointment of yet another black leather "superhero" costume aside, the show has so far gotten the general spirit of the Legion down pretty well, and Mon-El is far more mature and less irritating than he had been in the past. That's a small victory. 

    But we're about to get a much more significant win. Tucked away in a midseason premiere teaser for the CW superhero shows comes a look at a very different Mon-El, and one that looks exactly like we always hoped he would.

    The CW shows have been nailing their superhero designs lately (Barry's season 3 suit on The Flash is wonderful), and this might be the best one they've ever done. It's got elements of different eras of Mon-El history, from the "Valor" years to more recent comics, and still includes the triangular crest tribute to Kara in there, too.

    I don't know why it's all smoky and out of focus. That had better not indicate that this is a dream sequence. I will accept this as a flash-forward to the 31st Century and his time with the Legion in their appropriate time period. But...don't tease me like this CW. 

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    We have an official opening date for The Cursed Child on Broadway.

    NewsKayti Burt
    Jan 11, 2018

    From the moment Harry Potter and the Cursed Child first opened in London's Palace Theatre last summer, American fans have been asked when the sequel to the Harry Potter book series will come to New York. It's happening, Potterheads.

    In recent news, The Cursed Child cast has officially begun rehearsals for the Broadway production. The play released this video which shows the returning and new cast members getting to know this play in its new context. Check it out...

    Here's everything we know about the play's Broadway debut...

    The Cursed Child Broadway Cast

    It's official! Seven of the cast members from the original West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be debuting the production on Broadway.

    According to Variety, Jamie Parker (Harry), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione), and Anthony Boyle (Scorpius Malfoy), who all won Olivier Awards for their roles, will be returning for the Broadway production. I enjoyed Boyle so much in the role, I wrote a whole feature about the character and his interpretation of it.

    Sam Clemmett (Albus Potter), Paul Thornley (Ron), Poppy Miller (Ginny), and Alex Price (Draco) will also be returning from the original West End cast. New members of the 28-member cast include: Byron Jennings, Kathryn Meisle and David Abeles.

    The Cursed Child Broadway Release Date

    We have an official release date! According to Entertainment Weekly, The Cursed Child will open on Broadway on April 22, 2018 in the Lyric Theatre.

    The Cursed Child Broadway How to Get Tickets

    The next round of tickets will go on sale on February 7, beginning at 11 am E.T. for the performances running from March 16, 2018 to March 9, 2019. In order to access them, you must become a Ticketmaster Verified Fan.

    Go to the official site for more information.

    The Cursed Child Broadway Theater

    The Cursed Child will open at the Lyric Theatre. Producer Colin Callender said of the discussion:

    We are still subject to planning, but assuming we get the go ahead, we will have the theatre of our dreams that will be intimate enough for a drama, yet big enough for us to follow in the footsteps of the London production and continue to provide low priced tickets throughout the auditorium.

    This explains why Cirque du Soleil's Paramour just unexpected announced plans to leave the Lyric Theatre, which will be closed for "renovations" in April. 

    It sounds like the renovations will be a complete Potter-driven retrofit that will include making the theater slightly more intimate (going from 1,900 to 1,500 seats to accomodate the tone of the show) and remodeled the front of the house as well so that the immersive experience begins as soon as fans enter the building. 

    Hopefully, we'll also get something as cool as the giant nest atop the Palace Theatre...

    Producer Sonia Friedman told Pottermore that the creative team headed over to New York in September to look at potential venues for The Cursed Child, and settled on The Lyric Theatre. Between now and the spring of 2018, the theater will undergo a massive, multi-million-dollar transformation.

    Set designer Christine Jones said of the planned transformation: "The hope is that this theater will have its own soul and its own identity, very much a New York theater from the period and not just a recreation of what was made in London ... It's an incredibly unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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    Everyone's favorite cyborg Jesus allegory makes his return as new BOOM! Studios' RoboCop comics go even further into the dystopian future.

    NewsGavin Jasper
    Jan 18, 2018

    The RoboCop property has jumped from comic publisher to comic publisher over the years. I have more details in this big pile of words, but the latest stop has been at BOOM! Studios. Several years ago, they not only did one-shots taking place in the world of the RoboCop reboot, but they also did a twelve-issue series that acted as a follow-up to the original movie, pretending that RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3 never happened.

    It was really good, but then BOOM! was quiet for a while.

    Last year was the 30-year anniversary of RoboCop’s release in theaters and surely that put a light bulb over someone’s head. RoboCop...thirty years

    In April, BOOM! will be releasing RoboCop: Citizens Arrest #1 by Brian Wood and Jorge Coelho. The story takes place three decades after the original movie, meaning we get to see how the dystopian the world of Omni Consumer Products has evolved unchecked. Usually, comics about RoboCop going further into the future means battles with SkyNet, but this time there’s a different kind of online threat.

    Police officers as we know it no longer exist. Justice is crowdsourced among the public via spying and smart phone use. Bringing criminals to OCP’s attention will net you some cash. What could possibly go wrong?

    It hasn’t exactly been said how Murphy himself settles into this, but I’m sure bitterness and loneliness is a start. I guess we’ll find out in April.

    The main cover is drawn by Nimit Malavia with variants by David Rubin and Jim Towe.

    Gavin Jasper feels that in the battle of RoboCop vs. Terminator, RoboCop has the better theme song. Barely. Follow Gavin on Twitter!

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    The Den of Geek Book Club is a place to geek out about our favorite science fiction, fantasy, and horror books.

    NewsKayti Burt
    Jan 18, 2018

    Hello, all!

    We have launched a Den of Geek Book Club as a place to recommend, discuss, and obsess over our favorite fantasy, science fiction, and horror books. Join us in discussing our latest pick...

    January/February Pick: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

    Binti by Nnedi Okorafor is a Hugo Award-winning novella about a young African woman who leaves her home on Earth for the first time to attend an intergalactic university on another planet. On the voyage, something goes terribly wrong, forcing Binti to rely on her mathematic skills and her culture to survive.

    Learn more about Binti and Nnedi Okorafor's other work.

    The Afrofuturist space adventure novella is unlike anything I have ever read, coming from one of the most exciting authors working in science fiction right now. The story continues in two follow-up novellas already published.

    Head over to our Den of Geek Book Club page to join in the discussion! And stay tuned for more Binti content over the next month, including a review of the third novella in the Binti series: The Night Masquerade.

    December/January Pick: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

    The City of Brass, S.A. Chakraborty's debut novel, is the start of a rich, imaginative new historical fantasy series. Set in the 18th-century Middle East, The City of Brass follows Nahri, a young woman living in Cairo who gets pulled into a magical world of djinn, and Ali, a young prince living in the djinn city of Daevabad.

    Read our full review of The City of Brass.

    The dual perspective narrative follows both young people as they try to navigate a world of complex political and cultural allegiances where the interpersonal often clashes with the political in ways that threaten to tear them apart.

    Head over to our Den of Geek Book Club page to join in the discussion! And stay tuned for more The City of Brass content throughout the following month, including an interview with author S.A. Chakraborty.

    November/December Pick: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

    Our second book club pick was Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz, a science fiction story of robots, pirates, and identity in the year 2144.

    Autonomous is a gutting tale that follows robot Paladin and drug pirate Jack as they fight for identity, autonomy, love, and freedom in a world where people can be owned and big pharmaceutical companies have immense power. (There, um, may be some parallels to our own world...)

    Read our full review of Autonomous by Annalee Newitz.

    Want to take part in the discussion? Head over to the Den of Geek Book Club on Goodreads to see what kind of discussion happened around the book, and feel free to join in. Or listen to our podcast interview with Annalee Newitz.

    Buy Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

    October/November Pick: The Name of the Wind

    Our first Den of Geek Book Club book was The Name of the Wind, the first book in Patrick Rothfuss'Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy.

    I know, I know. This book came out a long time ago. However, it just celebrated its 10th anniversary, complete with a gorgeous 10th anniversary edition from DAW. It will soon be turned into a movie and TV show, with musical producer support from Kingkiller Chronicle superfan Lin-Manuel Miranda.

    Read our interview with the artists behind The Name of the Wind's 10th Anniversary Edition.

    In other words, whether this is your first time reading or your 15th, it's a great time to discuss this modern fantasy classic! Head over to our Goodreads Book Club page to see what kind of discussion happened around The Name of the Wind, and to add your own thoughts on this modern fantasy classic.

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    A look at this month's Den of Geek Book Club pick, and the exciting speculative fiction work of Nnedi Okorafor.

    Feature Kayti Burt
    Jan 18, 2018

    This month's Den of Geek Book Club pick is Binti, the first installment in a novella series about a young African woman, the eponymous Binti, who leaves her home on Earth for the first time to attend an intergalactic university on another planet. (Yes, Binti is a total badass.)

    "My tribe is obsessed with innovation and technology," Okorafor writes in Binti, "but it is small, private, and, as I said, we don’t like to leave Earth. We prefer to explore the universe by traveling inward, as opposed to outward. No Himba has ever gone to Oomza Uni. So me being the only one on the ship was not that surprising. However, just because something isn’t surprising doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with."

    I don't want to ruin any of the narrative progressions that occur in the less than 100 pages of this novella, but I will say what was already a scary choice for Binti becomes much scarier when the ship she and her fellow incoming students are traveling on is boarded by a hostile group of jellyfish-like aliens.

    In the pages that follow, Binti must rely on her mathematical prowess and the tools of the Himba culture to survive. It is a story that deals with issues like trauma, communication, and the complications of leaving home in a wondrous space adventure format that will leave you ready to jump on the next spaceship, despite the dangers.

    The story continues on in Binti: Home, which was released last year, and Binti: The Night Masquerade, which was released just this week, expanded the world and this character in satisfying directions. I chose Binti as the Den of Geek Book Club pick for this month because it is a speculative fiction unlike anything I have ever read before, an Afrofuturist space voyage with an incredibly relatable protagonist. It adds some much-needed diversity—in protagonist, in setting, in theme—to our speculative fiction.

    Read Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

    I also chose Binti because it is a quick read for those who are feeling too overwhelmed to complete a full novel, but one that expands onward for those who want to stay in this world (as most of you surely will). Perhaps most of all, I chose Binti because it is a great introduction to the wondrous work of Nnedi Okorafor, if you've yet to encounter the Nigerian-American author.

    Odds are, you've probably seen the name Nnedi Okorafor before. If you didn't catch the publicity around Binti, which won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novella, then maybe you saw her Ted Talk? Or perhaps you took notice when HBO announced it would be developing Okorafor's Who Fears Death into a TV series with George R.R. Martin as a producer and Okorafor herself heavily involved?

    Or maybe you were intrigued when, in 2017, Okorafor made her first foray into comic book fiction, contributing a short story to Edge of Venomverse: War Stories before moving on to an ongoing series with Black Panther: Long Live The King. Illustrated by André Lima Araújo, the book sees Wakanda's capital city in a state of panic after losing power, and T'Challa facing off against a massive monster only he can see.

    Read Black Panther: Long Live the King

    Okorafor is one of the most intriguing speculative fiction authors working right now, across all mediums and formats. Her identity as a "Nigamerican,"as she terms it, infuses her stories with a unique perspective that isn't often explored in mainstream speculative fiction—a reminder of how many kinds of stories are out there for all of us, no matter our own identities, to enjoy and learn from.

    "As far as my own mission, I wouldn't say that I have a mission," Okorafor told NPR in a 2016 interview. "I know that I was writing these stories because, one, I enjoyed writing stories. Two, I had all of these stories to tell. Like, I'd look around at my relatives, and I listened. And I wasn't seeing these stories that I wanted to see being told. It's not so much a mission. It's just that I love stories, and so I write them and so I produce them."

    Come talk all things books, Binti, and Nnedi Okorafor with us at the Den of Geek Book Club on Goodreads.

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    Win a copy of Binti, this month's Den of Geek Book Club pick!

    NewsKayti Burt
    Jan 18, 2018

    This month's Den of Geek Book Club pick is the Afrofuturist novella Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, the story of a young African leaving home to attend the best university in the galaxy.

    On the way, things go terribly wrong, leaving Binti to fight for survival with only her mathematical skills and some keepsakes from home as tools.

    Binti is the Hugo Award-winning start to a novella trilogy that concluded this week with the release of Binti: The Night Masquerade. In other words: it's the perfect time to start this series.

    And we're here to help! We're giving away one copy of Binti to one Den of Geek 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 aliens are over in our Goodreads group.

    Final entries will be accepted Friday, January 26th! 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!

    Buy Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

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    DC will unveil a new Superman costume in Action Comics #1000 that should look very familiar to fans.

    NewsMike Cecchini
    Jan 19, 2018

    So let's try this again.

    DC Comics has notoriously been tinkering with Superman's costume for the last five or six years. And their quest to change it dates back even further than that. See, for years, Superman's red trunks were considered hopelessly old-fashioned, and perhaps an indicator of why Supes doesn't quite match Batman's popularity in the pop culture consciousness or some other such nonsense. DC Editorial had, for years, been looking for an excuse to modernize Superman's costume, and the red trunks were always in the crosshairs.

    In 2012, with the launch of DC's New 52 line, Superman was given a new, trunks-less costume, one with an ill-advised segmented armor look and a high collar. There was nothing wrong with it, necessarily, especially since there was a good in-story reason for it to exist (it's Kryptonian ceremonial gear). But most artists never could quite agree as to how "armor-y" it should look. This was tweaked by John Romita in 2015, with a softened, slightly more traditional (but still trunks-less) look. Movie and TV versions have all followed suit, with Henry Cavill's big screen Superman and Tyler Hoechlin's TV Man of Steel wearing variations of the non-trunks costume. Even animated series Justice League Action has left the trunks behind.

    That was then tweaked again for DC's Rebirth initiative, initially losing not only the red trunks, but the red boots as well (swapping those out for blue ones) and then yet again last year during Superman Reborn. Honestly, this current design has been pretty appealing, melding elements from the movies with a traditional Superman comics aesthetic.

    But with the momentous Action Comics #1000 on the horizon, it's time to change once again, and in this case, it means a return to a more traditional Superman costume, with Jim Lee given the honors of bringing back the red trunks, while keeping a few movie-esque flourishes. 

    Check it out on the cover to Action Comics #1000...

    Action Comics #1000 represents a watershed moment in the history of not just comic books, but entertainment, literature and pop culture,” said Lee in a statement. “There’s no better way to celebrate Superman’s enduring popularity than to give him a look that combines some new accents with the most iconic feature of his classic design.”

    Action Comics #1000 will boast an all-star lineup of creators. It includes a 15-page story from current Superman creative teams Peter J. Tomasi and artist Pat Gleason, as well as another 15 page story from legendary Superman writer/artist Dan Jurgens. This will see the DC Comics debut of Brian Michael Bendis, who will pen a 10 page tale with Jim Lee on art. 

    Perhaps most exciting, the issue will also feature a story by Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner along with Geoff Johns and art by Olivier Coipel. Additionally, Marv Wolfman will script a tale for previously unseen work from legendary Superman artist Curt Swan.

    Other talents involved with the issue include Paul Dini with José Luis García-López; Tom King with Clay Mann and Jordie Bellaire; Brad Meltzer with John Cassaday and Laura Martin; Louise Simonson with Jerry Ordway; Scott Snyder with Tim Sale and more to be announced.

    That, boys and girls, is a stacked lineup of talent. This might be the most ridiculous assemblage of talent on a Superman book since 1984's Superman #400, one of the greatest single issues in the title's history, which was packed to the gills with work by everyone from Will Eisner and Jack Kirby to all-time great Superman writer Elliott S! Maggin.

    “The one-thousandth issue of Action Comics is an incredible milestone in pop culture and a testament to the vision of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster,” added DC publisher Dan DiDio. “Without this book, along with Siegel and Shuster’s fertile imaginations and boundless creativity, the superhero’s place in literature may have been wildly different, if not altogether nonexistent.”

    Action Comics #1000 arrives in April.

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    After Legends of Tomorrow returns from its midseason hiatus, the team will acquire the services of a certain speedster sidekick.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Jan 19, 2018

    Warning: Current spoilers for Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash.

    Keiynan Lonsdale’s character on The Flash, Wally West, a.k.a. Kid Flash, is about to go from forgotten sidekick to literal legend. That’s because EW is reporting that the yellow-suited speedster will soon join the time-traveling superteam of Legends of Tomorrow.   

    Indeed, after The Flash saw the hero’s young brother-in-law and Flash-in-training essentially complete his character arc, transformed and trained into the hero he always aspired to become, he was left with little to do but twiddle his thumbs at super-speed once Barry returned from his hiatus in the Speed Force. Thus, after an appearance in December’s “Crisis on Earth X” crossover, Wally was abruptly pulled from the series, with the excuse of him going on a sojourn to Cambodia.

    While Legends of Tomorrow will make its midseason return in February with Season 3, Episode 10 (replacing Supergirl, which will go on hiatus), the Legends debut of Wally West/Kid Flash will occur on the following week in Episode 11, which airs on February 19. He will reportedly join the team in an official capacity in Episode 13, which airs on March 5. As executive producer Phil Klemmer explains of the addition in a statement:

    “We loved working with Keiynan in our series premiere — the episode in which we learned that in between Seasons 2 and 3 he had been fighting crime in Central City with Nick Zano’s Nate Heywood. So, when his character stepped away from Flash to go on walkabout, after being dumped and feeling somewhat estranged from his family and team, we knew that Wally West would fit in perfectly on Legends.”

    While the titular team of Legends of Tomorrow has showcased numerous iterations in its three-season existence, The CW series – currently in a mid-season hiatus – left off with its largest vacancy yet, with the exit of dual-person hero Firestorm, with Victor Garber’s Professor Martin Stein killed off and Franz Drameh’s Jefferson “Jax” Jackson leaving the team. However, besides the teased addition of Matt Ryan’s John Constantine, the addition of Kid Flash is an exciting prospect for the evolution of the ever-evolving team. Moreover, it’s the perfect place for Kid Flash to do his thing, since the first half of The Flash Season 4 has proven that there’s no room for two speedsters on a single show

    As Klemmer further elaborates:

    “Our show is about a collection of unlikely heroes who all began their journeys questioning who they are and where they belong — only to find those answers while traveling through time and having wacky adventures. So now, Wally West is not only back in the company of old friends from the Arrowverse, he’s fighting alongside a former enemy and career arsonist Mick Rory/Dom Purcell. By the end of this season, Wally will learn that the Legends have a different definition of what it means to be a hero.”

    Legends of Tomorrow will return from its midseason hiatus on The CW Monday, February 12 at 8 p.m.

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    New series Black AF: Widows & Orphans takes the story global

    NewsJim Dandy
    Jan 19, 2018

    Less than a month out from the release of Black AF: America's Sweetheart, the first expansion of the Black universe that we loved a ton, Black Mask Studios announced another book that is quite literally full of Black worldbuilding.

    Black AF: Widows & Orphans is a new series by regular Black writer Kwanza Osajyefo, this time with Tim Smith 3 doing interior art. In it, Anansi and Hoodrat, two characters introduced in the orignal series, take on a human trafficking ring. It by virtue of its premise jumps into questions of economics, security and history that, when coupled with race, power and justice that were raised in the original series, makes for a fascinating addition to the series' universe. "The series asks a genuinely disturbing questionin a world where only black people have superpowers, what price do they fetch on the black market?” said Smith.

    Smith designed the characters for the original series, but handed off sequential art duties to Jamal Igle for the book. Some of his prior credits include X-Men and Spider-Man comics, and with his stylish eye for design, this makes the excitement for this book justified.

    Along with an incredible looking cover for Widows & Orphans, Black Mask also released lettered preview pages for America's Sweetheart. The first graphic novel work for artist Jennifer Johnson has all the charm and character you'd hope for in a comic about the first public superhero in a world where only black people have powers, who calls herself Good Girl. It's got an Archie/Marguerite Sauvage crispness to it that looks like it matches the tone of the premise perfectly.

    Black AF: America's Sweetheart is out in February. Black AF: Widows & Orphans will be released in April. For more on the world of Black, stick with Den of Geek!

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    What happens when Godzilla comes to the Marvel Universe? Wonderful things, that's what.

    FeatureMarc Buxton
    Jan 21, 2018

    Talk about a mash-up for the ages! In the glory days of the Bronze Age, Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, the star of a zillion rubber suited monster films, the greatest monster that ever flattened a city, arrived in the Marvel Universe. While this scenario would give filmgoers of today an aneurysm of pure joy, it was par for the course of the anything goes comic scene of the 1970s. But that doesn’t make it any less awesome that Godzilla met, fought, teamed up with, and terrified some of Marvel’s greatest icons.

    One of the wackiest parts of this book is that even though Marvel lost the rights to Godzilla after the book was canceled, some of the characters introduced in the Godzilla, King of the Monsters comic (including Godzilla himself-sorta) became part of the Marvel Universe. We’ll get into those characters in a bit but first, a little about the Godzillatitle.

    Godzilla, King of the Monsters was first published August 1977 and ran twenty four issues until 1979. The book was written by Doug Moench and drawn by Herb Trimpe. Trimpe was one of the greatest Hulk artists who ever lived and his work on Godzillamet the high monstrous standards he established on his run of Incredible Hulk.

    Marvel’s Godzilla was thoroughly bugnuts and introduced some awesome new Kaiju for Godzilla to fight. But the book also put Godzilla against some of Marvel’s mainstays. So let’s journey back to the days of bell bottoms, disco, and coked up baseball players with strange facial hair and take a long, fun look at the Marvel characters that faced the King of Monsters, Godzilla.

    Nick Fury

    Godzilla #1 (1977)

    Well, Godzilla and Nick Fury never actually fought but how awesome would that be? Nick Fury was the first Marvel mainstay to pop up in Godzilla(the very first issue in fact), but it seemed like when Fury saw the thousand feet of nuclear terror that is Godzilla, he did what any great boss would do, he delegated the hell out of it to his underlings.

    Which brings us to…

    Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, Gabriel Jones, and Jimmy Woo

    Beginning in Godzilla #1 (1977) and pretty much appearing in every issue of the series

    Man, that’s a who’s who of SHIELD, huh? We have former Howler and SHIELD mainstay Dum Dum Dugan, we have Marvel’s first African American character in Gabriel Jones, and we have Marvel’s first Asian American character, a hero that actually predates the Marvel Age, the future leader of the Agents of ATLAS, Jimmy Woo. These weren’t generic soldiers for Godzilla to step on, they were tried and true Marvel legends and they had themselves a nuclear lizard to corral.

    Now think about this, Dugan, Jones and Woo have fought Hitler AND Godzilla and if that’s not a reason to love comics, I don’t know what is.

    Buy Marvel's Godzilla Comics on Amazon

    Anyway, under Fury’s orders these three SHIELD agents formed the  "Godzilla Squad" and basically became the human protagonists of the Marvel series. Remember when you were a kid watching Kaiju flicks and when the human characters came on screen, you would go get some chocolate milk and a PBJ with the corners cut off? Yeah, in the Marvel version of Godzilla those “dull” humans were three awesome and classic SHIELD agents. Beat that, Toho!

    Doctor Demonicus and Batragon

    Godzilla #4 (1977) Art by Tom Sutton

    While not exactly a legend, Doctor Demonicus was one of the very few characters introduced in the pages of Godzilla that stuck around in the Marvel Universe long after the House of Ideas lost the publication rights to the King of Monsters. That being said, Toho had Godzilla face off against Mothra, Gidorah, Hedorah, Mecha Godzilla, and Rodan while Marvel had Godzilla go up against this La Parka looking douchebag.

    Demonicus was once Douglas Birely and used some bit of nonsense called the Lifestone to mutate animals into Kaiju. Okay, that’s kind of cool. After he tried to take down Godzilla with his mutated menagerie, Demonicus later appeared in the pages of Shogun Warriors (and God, I really need to hit the 25 cent bin and get a run on that gem of a title), Iron Man, and West Coast Avengers.

    I mention Batragon here just because the monster’s name is almost Baragon, a famed Toho Kaiju who had the distinction of taking on Toho’s version of Frankenstein in Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965) and also made a brief appearance in Destroy All Monsters (1968). Marvel’s Batragon was killed by Godzilla in its first appearance. Dick.

    Anyway, while Batragon went to the big Monster Island in the sky, Demonicus would pop up now and again and serve as a reminder that if Demonicus was still around in the MU, than Godzilla existed in continuity as well. So there.

    The Champions

    Godzilla #3 (1977)

    What can be more Bronze Age (Bronze Age-ier?) than the strangest and most makeshift super team of them all going up against God-freakin’ zilla. For those of you not savvy with the finer points of Bronze Age trivia, The Champions were a Los Angeles based super hero team made up of a bunch of heroes that had absolutely nothing in common. It consisted of two classic X-Men (Iceman and Angel), a demon (Ghost Rider), Scarlett Johansson, a god (Hercules) and sometimes, a little known Russian woman who had darkness powers (Darkstar, because what else would you call a Russian chick with darkness powers).

    Sadly, Ghost Rider and Darkstar did not appear in this issue but the rest of the team did after Godzilla came on shore in San Francisco. After hopping aboard the Champscraft (CHAMPSCRAFT!), the Champions arrived to stop Godzilla from taking out the Golden Gate Bridge (hey Hollywood, Marvel did it first!). It was pretty awesome to watch Hercules topple Godzilla with his bare hands, but tell me, what the hell was Black Widow supposed to do? Out-espionage Godzilla? Silliness.

    Anyway, we did get to see Iceman try to freeze Godzilla which is all sorts of awesome but the four Champions were no match for the beast and Godzilla took off without even registering the Champs. Sadly, we never got to see a demonic biker versus a radioactive dinosaur but the very idea of that clash pretty much defines everything my eight year old mind desired.

    Red Ronin

    Godzilla #6 (1978)

    Red Ronin was a giant Shogun Warriors looking piece of awesome that SHIELD built to take down Godzilla. It was supposed to be piloted by James Woo of SHIELD but when the designer's grandson Robbie stole the armor to help divert Godzilla in one of its rampages, boy and robot became bonded and Marvel had its own version of Ultra Man/ Johnny Socko/ Jet Jaguar.

    The Red Ronin armor and Robbie became a consistent part of the Godzillatitle and like Doctor Demonicus, Ronin even stuck around after the book was canceled. Red Ronin popped up in the pages of Iron Man and even took part in a Civil Warcrossover of all things. It was also part of Marvel’s Mega Morphs toy tie-in title and I’m pretty sure only I and Den of Geek’s own expert on all things strangely and wonderfully esoteric Gavin Jasper remembers that bit of business.

    Whatever the case, thanks to Moench and Trimpe, Marvel now had its own Kaiju stomping mech and it was glorious.


    Godzilla #10 (1978)

    I really, really wanted to find a place for Yetrigar on this list because he’s a giant Kaiju Yeti thing and I kind of love him in a bromance (not furry) sort of way. And lo and beyond, that Yetrigar here appeared in an issue of West Coast Avengers, so it totally counts!

    Yetrigar was a Sasquatch encased with ice infused with and driven mad by radiation. It ran afoul of Godzilla and even took part in a three way dance with Godzilla and Red Ronin. Godzilla defeated the awesome looking beast but it was to return when Bobbi Morse, yes the very same Bobbi Morse on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, revived the beast to distract her teammates so she could attend to a private matter.

    Wow, she revived a giant Sasquatch as a ruse, that’s dedication and the whole thing really needs to be adapted on ABC at some point because you all know that the way to make Agents of SHIELD better is with a giant, radioactive Yeti thing.

    Sadly, not a giant Dum Dum Dugan

    Godzilla #17 (1978)

    The cover of Godzilla#17 is almost the greatest comic book cover in history. It shows a seemingly giant Dum Dum Dugan about to take down Godzilla. One would think, nay wish, that Dum Dum somehow grew to enormous height and was ready to bare knuckle box Godzilla. Sadly, very sadly, this was not the case as this issue saw Dum Dum and SHIELD use Pym Particles to shrink and capture Godzilla.

    So we were treated to a tiny Godzilla which is totally adorbs but we were deprived of a giant Dum Dum Dugan which is a tragedy, really. Imagine, Dum Dum’s mustache hairs would have been like suspension cables.

    Sewer Rat

    Godzilla #18 (1979)

    Just to show that Moench and Trimpe had balls the size of Mothra eggs, the two legends had Godzilla go up against a New York sewer rat. Now, those rats can be pretty damn scary but this vermin was no match for the pint sized, Pym shrunken Godzilla. It might not have been much of a fight, but damn, is that one of the coolest covers ever or what?

    Fantastic Four

    Godzilla #20 (1979)

    And then there was the time the Thing punched Godzilla in a giant shark tank. Thing. Godzilla. Sharks. How are you not buying this on eBay right now?

    During this issue, Godzilla is still affected by the Pym Particles but now is the size of a human. But Godzilla is still the King of Monsters and still gives the entire FF a run for its money. Sadly, there was never a Godzilla versus Galactus brawl but a nerd can dream.

    Devil Dinosaur

    Godzilla #21-22 (1979)

    Things get timey wimey because why not just add time travel to the Bronze Age insanity of Godzilla. After the FF fished Godzilla out of the shark tank (and for that reason, I’m out, HA!), the team uses Dr. Doom’s time machine to shoot Godzilla back to prehistoric times because awesome. There Godzilla meets Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy and fights off recurring Devil foes the Lizard Men. The time platform grew unstable (because reasons) and exploded, transporting a size restored Godzilla to the present.

    But of course Godzilla met Devil Dinosaur because how could Marvel resist? The only thing that would have made these two issues more awesome would have been if Marvel recruited Devil's creator Jack Kirby to draw Devil Dinosaur going up against Trimpe’s masterly crafted Godzilla.

    The Avengers

    Godzilla #23-24 (1979)

    Godzilla arrived from the prehistoric past pissed off and ready to rumble. The FF knew that they would need more help as they barely were able to take down a human sized Godzilla so they recruited the Avengers to help. So fans got Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Yellowjacket, Wasp, Vision, and Scarlet Witch versus Godzilla. How’s that for a marque clash of the titans?

    The Avengers were able to force Godzilla to retreat but the beast rallied and fought back more furious than ever. Where the FF and the Avengers failed, young Robbie succeeded. The boy who controlled Red Ronin tearfully begged Godzilla to leave New York alone. Godzilla understood and went out to sea.

    J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle

    Godzilla #23-24 (1979)

    During the tussle with the Avengers and the FF, J. Jonah Jameson, Robbie Robinson, and the Daily Bugle popped up. One funny gag saw Jameson verbally going off on Godzilla in his office when suddenly Godzilla’s eye appeared outside Jameson’s window. It’s a good thing Jameson was wearing dark trousers I tells ya.

    Fun fact: I am actually the very proud owner of the Trimpe original art from that sequence.


    Before the door was shut on Godzilla at Marvel, when the King of Monsters was swayed from destroying New York by young Robbie, Marvel’s flagship hero bid Godzilla a fond farewell. It was a heartfelt send off as the very symbol of the Marvel Universe said goodbye to a monster that had a too short stay.

    But technically, things weren’t over just yet. Marvel may have lost the rights to Godzilla, but the monster in these awesome stores stayed in continuity. Soon, in the pages of Iron Man, writer Denny O’Neil and artist Luke McDonnell created a mutated dinosaur and established that this new dino was the mutated beast that rampaged across New York, went back in time and teamed up with Devil Dinosaur, and fought a sewer rat. Godzilla was gone in name only as O’Neil and McDonnell established that all those great Moench and Trimpe tales actually took place in the Marvel Universe whether Toho’s lawyers liked it or not!

    Of course, Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing would continue Godzilla’s four color legacy, but before that, the King of Monsters left a blazing footprint across the Marvel Universe in some of the most insane comics published in the 70s.

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    The long-tenured writer trades in his take on a billionaire jet-setting industrialist for Iron Man

    NewsJim Dandy
    Jan 22, 2018

    In an interview with Vulture, Dan Slott, who has written an astounding 189 issues of Spider-Man comics over the past decade, announced that he's leaving the character with Amazing Spider-Man #801. His next project will be "the gem of the Marvel Cinematic Universe," Iron Man.

    According to Slott, his departure with issue #801 has been planned in his mind since "Spider-Verse," the story arc that saw the Spiders-Man of the Multiverse unite to battle Morlun and his family that somehow hit shelves four years ago. Because of the release schedule for that book, and the logistics involved in creating it, Slott said he stepped back and looked at the process and thought, "Okay, I think something inside me broke." 

    Slott's Iron Man will focus on Tony's status as the ultimate self-made man. "He looks at a challenge and goes, 'How do I machine my way out of this?'" said Slott. He contrasts Tony with Captain America and Thor around him, pointing out that of the big three on the Avengers, only Iron Man made himself a superhero. Honestly, Slott's Tony sounds a bit like Lex Luthor, but without the resentment of Superman.

    To try and pin down Slott's best work in an ouevre that would take months to reread is a fool's errand (spoilers: the best story is "No One Dies," and even he agrees in the Vulture piece), but perhaps his most ambitious was Superior Spider-Man, the comparatively brief run where Spider-Man's brain was overwritten by Dr. Octopus, with Otto slowly realizing the burden and responsibility of being Spider-Man, and against all odds becoming a hero. In addition to gathering every Spidey in the multiverse and turning one of Peter Parker's deadliest foes into the hero himself, Slott's stories have also attempted to rehabilitate The Clone Saga; reimagined almost the entire rogue's gallery; and given us the most terrifying tale in Spider-Man history: a bedbug outbreak in Manhattan.

    As an aside, the most interesting thing about Slott's 189 issues of Spidey comics isn't his longevity with the character in an era when creators are frequently treated as disposable cogs in an intellectual property factory, but that it's actually way more common than one would expect for creators to have runs like this - see Brian Michael Bendis's several-hundred issues of Ultimate Spider-Man (both of them), Robert Kirkman's gross of Invincible and 175 issues of The Walking Dead, Erik Larsen's 225+ issues of Savage Dragonor Bill Willingham's 150 issues of Fables.

    For more on Slott's Iron Man, what's next for AmazingSpider-Man, or a mathematical algorithm that calculates overall quality of an arc that factors for longevity, consistency, and Jim's personal preferences, stick with Den of Geek!

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    What has Wolverine been up to since he was turned into an adamantium statue? We're about to find out!

    NewsJim Dandy
    Jan 22, 2018

    James Logan, the real Wolverine, has been on a walkabout through the back pages of various Marvel comics this month in *rubs bridge of nose, sighs heavily* "post-credits scenes," and come April, we get more info on how he came back.

    The Hunt for Wolverine is a 40-page one shot from Logan-murderer Charles Soule and artist David Marquez (Civil War II). “Steve McNiven and I took on the incredible task of killing Wolverine back in 2014--it was one of my earliest projects at Marvel, and such a huge opportunity. Intimidating, tricky, all of that--but ultimately, I think we created a book (alongside Jay Leisten, Justin Ponsor, and Chris Eliopolous) that we're all really proud of,” said Soule. “There's really only one project that could top it--being part of the story that brings Logan back!"

    The Hunt for Wolverine kicks off a mystery that carries through different books and different genres in May. The Adamantium Agenda will be a straight action story; Claws of the Killer will be horror; Mystery in Madripoor is dark romance; and Weapon Lost will be a noir tale. According to Soule, all of these will tie together later in a big, splashy return for Logan in the summer.

    Logan Classic has been dead since 2014. Soule and Steve McNiven took him on a tour through important locations from his history, then poured a bunch of adamantium on him, making him into an oxygen-free statue. Since his death, the mantle of Wolverine has been passed to Laura Kinney, his teen girl clone from the Weapon X project, in the absolutely delightful All-NewWolverine; elderly, grumpy Wolverine from an alternate future where he killed all his friends in Old Man and his son from the Ultimate universe in X-Men Blue All-New Wolverine also has Laura's "younger sister" (another clone) Gabby and an actual pet wolverine, Jonathan. That book is too pure and beautiful for this world.

    The Hunt for Wolverine hits stores on April 25th.

    For more information on Logan, Old Man Logan, girl Logan, son of Logan, Mrs. Logan, second girl Logan, or Logan Lucky, stick with Den of Geek!

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    The out-of-time duo faces off with Zod's son in this exclusive preview of Action Comics #996.

    NewsJim Dandy
    Jan 22, 2018

    Dan Jurgens writes good Superman comics.

    This isn't really a revelation. It's not like there was any particular issue over the last 25-odd years that made comics fandom all jump up at the same time and shout "HOLY HELL THAT WAS INCREDIBLE" (though if this were a "Dan Jurgens draws good Superman comics" conversation, I might make the case that Superman #75 qualifies there). Viewing the body of the man's work on this character, though, it's hard to look at all the iconic moments Jurgens has had a hand in and point to something that wasn't at least eminently readable, and often it's been his work that helped glue together our collective understanding of the character. 

    His most recent run has been on Action Comics, where he started out examining a Lex Luthor honoring the memory of a fallen Superman, but quickly shifted to telling classic Superman fare: Clark in Metropolis, saving everyone he can; Lois being a tremendous journalist; and a collection of classic villains and concepts woven together with some great pace and a hint of melodrama.

    In this exlusive preview of Action Comics #996, Superman and Booster Gold (a Jurgens creation who has been an incredible addition to the DC Universe) are stuck in a future where Zod and family have their own planet, while Lois skydives into a conflict-torn country to use her journalistic connections to save her dad. Here's what DC has to say about the issue:

    ACTION COMICS #996 Written by DAN JURGENSArt by WILL CONRADCover by DAN JURGENS and TREVOR SCOTTVariant cover by NEIL EDWARDS and JAY LEISTENRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.“Booster Shot” part four! Superman and Booster Gold are out of time, and they’ve found themselves marooned on a strange planet sometime in the future. So why does this planet’s infrastructure look…Kryptonian? The answer shakes the Man of Steel to the core as the ruler of this planet reveals himself…the son of Zod reigns supreme!

    Conrad's art is clean and classic in the preview. Check it out!

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