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- 05/25/18--13:48: _Earthsea: Ursula K....
- 05/29/18--08:59: _The Strange History...
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- 05/30/18--08:24: _Alan Rickman Letter...
- 05/30/18--13:10: _Locke & Key TV Show...
- 05/30/18--13:35: _Best New Fantasy Bo...
- 05/30/18--13:40: _Best New Science Fi...
- 05/31/18--13:15: _The Crow Reboot Los...
- 05/31/18--14:01: _The Magic Order Tra...
- 05/15/18--14:22: _The Right Stuff Aut...
- 06/02/18--19:45: _How Involved Was Th...
- 06/04/18--15:04: _Wonder Woman Meets ...
- 06/05/18--13:55: _Will the Doctor Doo...
- 06/05/18--16:34: _Archie 1941 Explore...
- 06/05/18--18:58: _Return to the World...
- 06/05/18--20:21: _Power Rangers Revea...
- 06/06/18--08:28: _How Justice League ...
- 06/06/18--08:36: _The Many Deaths of ...
- 06/06/18--08:56: _Wolverine Returns t...
- 06/06/18--14:11: _Rainbow Rowell Anno...
- 05/25/18--13:48: Earthsea: Ursula K. Le Guin’s Fantasy Franchise Could Get New Film
- 05/29/18--08:59: The Strange History of Deadpool in Other Media
- 05/29/18--11:15: Star Wars Canon Timeline: Where to Start
- 05/30/18--08:24: Alan Rickman Letters Detail Actor's Perspective on Snape
- 05/30/18--13:10: Locke & Key TV Show Heads to Netflix With Big Changes
- 05/30/18--13:35: Best New Fantasy Books in June 2018
- 05/30/18--13:40: Best New Science Fiction Books in June 2018
- 05/31/18--13:15: The Crow Reboot Loses Star Jason Momoa and Director Corin Hardy
- 05/31/18--14:01: The Magic Order Trailer Shows Netflix Mark Millar Comic Book
- 05/15/18--14:22: The Right Stuff Author Tom Wolfe Dies at 88
- 06/04/18--15:04: Wonder Woman Meets the Dark Gods and the Star Sapphire Corps
- 06/05/18--13:55: Will the Doctor Doom Movie Still Happen?
- 06/05/18--16:34: Archie 1941 Explores How WWII Impacts Riverdale
- 06/05/18--18:58: Return to the World of the Dresden Files With Brief Cases
- 06/05/18--20:21: Power Rangers Reveals Future History of Green Ranger
- 06/06/18--08:28: How Justice League Changes the Fabric of the DC Universe
- 06/06/18--08:36: The Many Deaths of the Joker
- 06/06/18--08:56: Wolverine Returns to the Marvel Universe in September
- 06/06/18--14:11: Rainbow Rowell Announces Carry On Sequel Wayward Son
Producer Jennifer Fox has acquired the film rights to Earthsea, the epic fantasy novel series of Ursula K. Le Guin.
Earthsea appears to be on the verge of finally getting a film adaptation. The sprawling fantasy novel series, arguably the magnum opus of author Ursula K. Le Guin, is right up there with (for example,) J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth works, in terms of volume and supplementary material, but its representation in the live-action adaptation realm is nowhere near as prominent. However, that could soon change, thanks to a producer’s recent acquisition of the film rights.
Jennifer Fox, a producer from films such as Nightcrawler, The Bourne Legacy, Michael Clayton and Syriana, has optioned the film rights to the Earthsea franchise, reports Deadline. Apparently, the move completes a transaction that was started by author Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away this past January. With the deal sealed, we can expect Earthsea to, at long last, reach a new level of mainstream awareness with a big screen treatment with franchise designs. The project will be executive-produced by Theo Downes-Le Guin, son of the author.
Earthsea stems back to Le Guin’s 1964 short story, The Word of Unbinding. The mythology is set on the eponymous world of Earthsea, a fantastical Earth-like planet that lacks major continents, instead composed of a series of archipelagos on which human society lives an Iron Age-like existence, rife with things like magic and dragons. The stories frequently focus on magical themes and the Taoist concept of existential balance.
The mythos came into prominence with Le Guin’s 1968 novel, A Wizard of Earthsea, a bellwether piece of fantasy literature by which many genre authors claim influence. That book follows the story of a young mage, named Ged, an attendee of a school of wizardry (think that concept influenced anyone?) who accidentally unleashes an evil force into the Earthsea world and embarks on an odyssey to undo his mistake. – Le Guin would release five Earthsea novels overall from 1968-2001, having also supplemented the mythos in those later years with more short stories.
There have been adaptations of Earthsea over the years, notably the 2004 Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy,) TV miniseries, in which X-Men's Shawn Ashmore played book protagonist Ged, with a cast consisting of Kristin Kreuk, Isabella Rossellini and Danny Glover. However, the miniseries was critically lambasted as unoriginal and (as the author herself publicly noted,) guilty of the casting infraction of whitewashing, since its mostly-white cast stand in stark contrast to Le Guin’s literature, which describes the inhabitants of Earthsea as having red-brown skin.
Additionally, an anime adaptation, called Tales from Earthsea, was released in 2006 from director Goro Miyazaki (son anime legend Hayao Miyazaki). Yet, that version also failed to impress Le Guin, who wasn't a fan of the liberties taken with its aesthetics. While there's been talk of other Le Guin movie adaptation projects in recent years, such as Planet Exile and, more recently with The Telling, the late author has seemingly given a stamp of approval to Jennifer Fox's pitch, which raises the prospects for this film project.
We will keep you updated on this exciting Earthsea movie project as the news arrives!
As Deadpool swims in his box office money like he's Scrooge McDuck, we take a look back at all the movies, cartoons, and games he's been in.
Deadpool's second outing has been a financial success, as expected. It's kind of crazy. With all the superhero movies coming out between DC and the various Marvel-related studios, it’s incredibly rare to see a relatively new character become a big deal. Really, think about it. The Avengers and Justice League characters are all old hat. Guardians of the Galaxy is a bunch of old characters with a fresh coat of paint.
Deadpool, on the other hand, was just a crappy Deathstroke knockoff who looked kind of cool. It took years for him to grow into an actual character. It took longer for him to actually catch on, first among the comic fans and later among the larger geek culture circles. The guy became an internet icon and shows up on t-shirts and every square foot of a nerd convention floor. Now he's A-list and is practically a household name.
Throughout his nearly 30 years of existence, Deadpool’s made plenty of appearances outside of comics. He has guest-starred in cartoons, played the token goofball in Marvel ensemble video games, starred in his very own game, and...well...there’s that other movie appearances.
You know what? Let’s just get that one out of the way.
Deadpool at the Movies
2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine is rather infamous for its portrayal of Deadpool. He suffers from the usual Fox treatment where they decide to make radically different characters, tack on an established character's name, and then call it a day. It’s much like how the second Fantastic Four movie made Galactus into a cloud, but it’s totally okay because there’s a split second where its shadow sort of looks like Galactus’ helmet. Or how Silver Samurai was a mech. Or how Psylocke was...whatever Psylocke was in X-Men 3.
It worked with the Vanisher, so even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Ryan Reynolds briefly played an unpowered Wade Wilson early in the movie and it was every bit as good as it should have been. Ever since playing Hannibal King in Blade Trinity, fans had been wanting him to play the role. Too bad Reynolds took one big powder and came back at the end as a mouthless science experiment with Baraka claws and laser eyes.
You know, like the Deadpool we know and love.
The only thing that in any way came close to redeeming it was a post-credits teaser that showed up for certain reels of the movie that revealed that despite being decapitated, Deadpool was still alive and his mouth had been torn back open. Like, it could have been salvaged by a decent enough writer. Maybe.
But hey, the huge backlash led to a surge in Deadpool’s popularity and ultimately led to the new movie being a thing. You should totally be thankful for this movie.
Around the same time, Marvel released a straight-to-DVD set called Hulk Versus, which featured Hulk vs. Thor and Hulk vs. Wolverine. The latter one had the two rivals take on Weapon X, which included the likes of Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Omega Red, and Deadpool. Deadpool was played by Nolan North and despite having a pure villain role and being just another henchmen, the depiction was so on-point that it made X-Men Origins look even more clown shoes than it did at default.
Deadpool added some much-needed color to the story via his snide remarks and physical comedy. To me, the absolute highlight is a moment where he shoves a grenade in Hulk’s mouth, runs side-by-side with Wolverine for several seconds with Hulk only several feet behind them, and yells, “I think we lost him!”
If anything, it showed us that Deadpool COULD work. At least, as a cinematic antagonist for Wolverine.
Despite Deadpool's failure as a box office character, there was still an attempt to get Fox to make a new movie. Originally, Fox didn't seem very interested in all, but there was a slight shot in the arm when a 2010 version of the screenplay -- written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick -- was leaked to the internet. Showing that it had more to do with the Joe Kelly run of the character than...whatever was going on in Origins, the internet reaction was more positive.
There was just enough of a foot in the door to get a CGI proof-of-concept made with Ryan Reynolds doing the voice. Fox remained uninterested, but one of the parties involved leaked the footage to the internet and there was a huge exclamation of, "WHY ISN'T THIS MOVIE BEING MADE?!"
Fox was all, "Oh. Okay, fine. We'll make it, but we're limiting your budget. In fact, we're limiting what we already limited."
And so, on February 12, 2016, Deadpoolwas released in theaters. It made a crazy amount of money and acted as a huge "told you so" for anyone who flipped over a table during Origins. Do I really need to go over the movie's plot here? Or the sequel?
Not only was the movie successful as a lesser-known superhero flick, but it did gangbusters with an R-rating. If anything, that opened Fox's eyes and showed that not only could they get a little saltier with their X-products, but they could also toss in some variety with their movies. Not everything needed to be an X-Men superhero blockbuster adventure. They could do action comedies and gritty dystopian dramas and whatever the hell New Mutants is going to be.
Deadpool is so successful as a cinematic star that they're even doing X-Force as a spinoff of his movies. Crazy.
Deadpool in Video Games
Deadpool has had plenty of play in the video game world. His first appearance was in 2005’s X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, where he was voiced by John Kassir, who made him sound kind of like a sarcastic Michelangelo. Deadpool acts as a boss character about halfway in, tricked into working for Mr. Sinister.
By completing the game, you can replay with Deadpool unlocked. Of the three unlockables, he’s the only one who really makes any sense, considering the other two are Iron Man (why is he in an X-Men game?) and Professor Xavier (why would you even want to play as him in a melee battle scenario?).
Deadpool comes back for the two follow-ups, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Ultimate Alliance 2. While he remains a colorful addition to the cast who always tosses in some 4th wall-breaking dialogue, his sidekick Weasel ends up getting kind of a big role in the first Ultimate Alliance. He’s involved in this big cliffhanger with Black Widow, but that’s completely forgotten about for Ultimate Alliance 2’s plot and Weasel’s totally ignored.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was given its own tie-in for the consoles and unlike the movie it’s based on, the game is actually pretty well-regarded. Granted, Deadpool is still Weapon XI and it’s still stupid, but at least the fight between the two is bloody as all get-out.
Ultimate Deadpool made a rare and...not quite in-character appearance in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, a game based on the idea of 616 Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir, and Spider-Man 2099 teaming up. In the comics, Ultimate Deadpool has made only one major appearance as a military man who hates mutants so much that he had himself enhanced into some kind of cybernetic killing machine who kills mutants on an illegal internet show for kicks. In the game, he’s brought back and is more like his goofy 616 self, more about telling jokes than being bitter and bigoted. Even this alternate reality version of Deadpool is voiced by Nolan North.
Deadpool made his long-awaited first appearance in a fighting game with 2011’s Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, once again portrayed by North. There are a lot of neat touches with Deadpool’s inclusion. His inter-company rivalry with Dante from Devil May Cry. The way he jokes about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark when facing Spidey. Quoting the Konami X-Men arcade game when facing Magneto. Accidentally getting his butt violated by Morrigan Aensland in the intro movie (which I guess got the ball rolling for Deadpool’s recent history of succubus sexual relations). The way he wields his own health bar as a weapon at one point.
But really, the best part is how he uses Ryu’s Shoryuken years after the classic scene where he used the same move on Kitty Pryde in the comics in order to goad Wolverine into a fight.
Thumbs up for having Slapstick show up apropos of nothing. This is years before they were on a team together.
I can really go on and on about Deadpool’s video game appearances, but truth be told, he’s become a regular fixture due to the many, many releases that are simply centered around Marvel as a whole. When you make something like Lego Marvel, about all the superheroes, of course you’re going to get Deadpool shoved in there somewhere to be the jokey guy. And of course he’s going to be voiced by Nolan North...except for in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online where he’s voiced by Tom Kenny.
Wait. Hold on a sec, I’ll be right back.
*types “Deadpool Spongebob” into Google Image Search*
Huh. Not nearly as much fanart as I expected. Go figure.
2013 gave us Deadpool’s very own game in the appropriately-named Deadpool. Yet again, North voices him. The game is M-rated, which is fine for the violence, but all the sailor mouth dialogue seems really forced. Yes, Wade. You can swear now. That’s neat. Or at least it would be if you didn’t wear it out in the first five minutes.
It’s your average hack ‘n’ slash and they got Deadpoolcomic scribe Daniel Way to write the game. While the game’s direction is certainly cute, Deadpool himself is incredibly one-note. Then again, Daniel Way wrote the game, so that's what you get. It’s just Deadpool saying jokes, acting horny (because, again, M-rating), and being a dick 24/7. There’s nothing especially deep about the story where he’s out trying to kill Mr. Sinister. He just does it for the flimsiest of reasons and we get a bunch of cameos out of it.
Plus it overuses the whole “inner voices” gimmick and that’s just the worst.
One cool thing about Deadpool's video game appearances is that not only is he in the mobile fighting game Marvel: Contest of Champions, but you can also play as his hulking, symbiote-wearing, alternate universe counterpart Venompool.
Deadpool has seen things you people wouldn’t believe. A giant foot crushing Mr. Sinister. Mayor Mike Haggar knocking out Galactus with a lead pipe. All those moments...will be lost in time...like tears in the rain... Time to move on to the next entry.
Deadpool on TV
So let’s go way back. Way, way back to the early 90s. Deadpool was a nothing character. He fought the New Mutants, had unique word bubbles, and maybe crossed paths with Wolverine once. Despite all that, he still made three minor appearances on the X-Men animated series. The cartoon was known for its inexplicable use of Marvel cameos. Like Dr. Strange and War Machine stopping by for literally two seconds. Or how one minor character was revealed as Immortus for no real reason, with no explanation of who that was, and it was never brought up ever again.
Despite all of that, Kitty Pryde never showed up once in all five seasons. Even though the previous X-Men cartoon was named after her.
Anyway, Deadpool. In an early episode, he appeared briefly when Xavier entered Sabretooth’s mind with no context given of what he was about. A later episode had Morph transform into him briefly to get under Wolverine’s skin. Again, no context given. Then there was a weird little scene where the dark corner of Xavier’s psyche became sentient, messed with Wolverine, and briefly turned into Deadpool to attack him. Still, no context on who that guy was.
Not that they had much of a choice. Using the term “dead” in a children’s cartoon is a BIG no-no. Especially X-Men, which took a huge beating from standards and practices on a regular basis. Even some all-ages Marvel comics (ie. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man) had to play with the fact that they could have Deadpool show up, but he couldn’t actually say his own name.
At least that’s not the case in Ultimate Spider-Man. Deadpool appears in an episode, fittingly titled “Ultimate Deadpool,” where he’s voiced by Will Friedle. Considering the show’s not-so-grounded, logic-defying, humorous style, Deadpool fits in pretty well. They do away with his comic self’s backstory and instead make him kind of a failed protégé of Nick Fury. He’s what would happen if Spider-Man were to lose his way and become a greedy sociopath with no moral compass. It’s worth checking out if you’re able to stomach the show’s flavor.
Once was enough for me.
Deadpool has ended up getting some play in Japan as well, oddly enough. In the X-Men Anime, he makes a very minor cameo where he helps the X-Men save some civilians and doesn’t get any lines or do anything unique. It’s just fan service.
Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, on the other hand? That’s another story. Disk Wars is a recent anime series from Japan and it’s completely bonkers. The plot is that the main Avengers – Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Wasp – have been affected so that they exist as tiny holograms living inside disks. Five kids are able to wield them like Pokemon and can make them flesh and bone for five minutes at a time to fight evil. Like I said, totally batshit.
And you know what? It’s actually not bad! The cast of the show is massive and you get everyone from the Guardians of the Galaxy to Iron Fist to Predator X. Despite the weird concept, the writers actually seem to care about making lemonade out of the lemons.
More than that, before the 2016 movie, it was probably the BEST depiction of Deadpool outside of comics. I'm serious.
Deadpool appears in two episodes, “The Forbidden Hero Appears” and “Chris and the Moment of Truth.” He’s voiced by Takehito Koyasu. Outside of having rather clear skin (we see him walk around in his boxers with his mask on), he’s absolutely perfect. It’s really amazing how well they balance him out. At times he’s a goofball who knows he’s a cartoon character, complaining about how the kids get too much screentime compared to the heroes and insists to the children watching at home that he’s incredibly popular in America. At times he’s a well-meaning maverick who does things his own way. Yet despite all that, he also finds time to be a self-hating scumbag who can give us a moment or two of actual pathos.
The first episode is low on action and high on jokes, but the second episode is so worth checking out. It’s Deadpool and Captain America having a badass fight with Baron Zemo. Go look for it online. It’s seriously great.
Right now there's a follow-up series called Marvel Future Avengers that drops the Pokemon gimmick, but keeps the kids around. Takehito Koyasu has reprised his role as Deadpool and there's a fighting chance that we might even get to see Gwenpool show up at some point.
More recently, there was supposed to be a Deadpoolanimated series on FXX headed by Donald Glover and Stephen Glover. Due to too many arguments with the higher-ups, the show never came to be. Ugh, Fox, we've been through this...
Deadpool is a complex character who can be one-dimensional if you want to be lazy. While his comics are hit and miss, it's great to see that outside of comics, whenever he hits, he hits as hard as possible. Hopefully they can keep on hitting in years to come.
Gavin Jasper found out that there’s a Deadpool pinball game too! Wonder who voices him in—oh, it’s Nolan North. Follow Gavin on Twitter!
Need help starting your Star Wars adventure? Check out our beginner's guide to the canon timeline!
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 before and after A New Hope, as per the official canon chronology.
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.
32 BBY - The Phantom Menace
Directed & Written by George Lucas
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.
22 BBY - Attack of the Clones
Directed by George Lucas
Written by George Lucas & Jonathan Hales
22-19 BBY - The Clone Wars
Created by George Lucas
21-17 BBY - Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
Written by James Luceno
Before Jyn Erso embarked on her fateful mission to steal the plans to the Death Star from the evil Empire in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, she lived on Coruscant with her parents, Galen and Lyra. Galen is a scientist who means to use his kyber crystal research to produce renewable energy for the galaxy, but his friend Orson Krennic has very different plans. The scientist doesn't know that he's actually helping create a weapon for the Death Star!
19 BBY - Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir
Written by Jeremy Barlow
Art by Juan Frigeri
Although Mother Talzin appeared to have perished in The Clone Wars, she returns in what may or may not be a spiritual form during the many battles in Son of Dathomir. This comic miniseries, like Dark Disciple, was adapted from unused scripts from The Clone Wars, and is something of a battle royale, pitting Darth Maul against a variety of foes, including Count Dooku and General Grievous.
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.
19 BBY - Revenge of the Sith
Directed & Written by George Lucas
19 BBY - Marvel's Kanan
Written by Greg Weisman
Art by Pepe Larraz
If you watch Rebels but haven’t read Star Wars books or comics before, Kanan series is a good place to start. The stories alternate between the crew of the Ghost undertaking what at first seems to be a simple mission on Lothal, and Kanan’s memories of Order 66 and his training with his Jedi Master. This is a good way to learn about this fan-favorite character.
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.
18 BBY - Ahsoka
Written by E.K. Johnston
What happened to former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano after leaving the Order in The Clone Wars? This is the story of what led Ahsoka down the path to becoming the Rebel agent Fulcrum. Anyone who loves the character's appearances in the animated series should read this book.
14 BBY - "Orientation"
Written by John Jackson Miller 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.
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.
13-10 BBY - Solo: A Star Wars Story
Directed by Ron Howard
Written by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan
11-5 BBY - Lost Stars
Written by Claudia Gray
Although Lost Stars spans throughout the Original Trilogy, it starts beforehand, with two young people joining the Imperial Academy. It’s essentially a love story, with Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree still holding their feelings for one another even after Thane joins the Rebellion. This book is also a great look at the psychology of the people inside the two armies.
The new Star Wars books have dispensed quickly with the idea that all Rebels are noble (or noble scoundrels) and that all Imperial loyalists are scheming. Lots of different things drive people to make their choices in war, and Lost Stars shows that. It also culminates in an exciting battle that ties into The Force Awakens. After reading this one, you’ll never look at Jakku quite the same way again.
11-2 BBY - Thrawn
Written by Timothy Zahn
When the old continuity was turned into Legends, it meant that many of the greatest characters introduced in the old EU were no longer canon. It seems like even that couldn't keep the Empire's greatest tactician down, though. The cold, Chiss admiral Thrawn returns to continuity with this new origin story from writer Timothy Zahn, the man who created the character back in the 90s.
11 BBY - A New Dawn
Written by John Jackson Miller
For fans of Rebels, A New Dawn shows the origins of some fan favorite characters and sets the tone for the new canon Imperials. It introduces the ruthlessly efficient Count Vidian, who goes up against Hera and Kanan when the fate of a planet is on the line. Joining them are the unlikely duo of conspiracy theorist Skelly and ex-Imperial surveillance officer Zaluna. Although it explains more about Kanan’s history than Hera’s (more about her can be found in the short story “Mercy Mission,” in the Rise of the Empire collection), A New Dawn is a good piece of the continuity puzzle for Rebels fans.
It was also the first book in the new canon, making its title doubly appropriate. Author John Jackson Miller was well-known for Legends material, like the novel Kenobi and the Knights of the Old Republiccomic series, before he contributed the first book to the new canon.
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.
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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.
5-2 BBY - Rebels
Created by Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, & Carrie Beck
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.
0 BBY - Guardians of the Whills
Written by Greg Rucka
A fun look at Jedha before the decidedly less fun events of Rogue One, Guardians of the Whills captures Baze and Chirrut's voices well and shows what Jedha City was like before its destruction.
0 BBY - Rogue One
Directed by Gareth Edwards
Written by John Knoll, Gary Whitta, Chris Weitz, & Tony Gilroy
0 BBY - A New Hope
Directed & Written by George Lucas
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.
0 BBY - Marvel's Princess Leia
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Terry Dodson
Many of Marvel’s Star Wars comic series so far take place in the Original Trilogy time period. Before information about The Force Awakens was public, Marvel was already doing all it could with its re-acquisition of the Star Wars brand, launching three ongoing series (Star Wars, Darth Vader, and Kanan), along with a succession of miniseries. The Princess Leia story picks up immediately after the end of A New Hope, touching on Leia’s feelings—or lack thereof—about the destruction of her home planet.
Although Rebel High Command wants her to keep a low profile, Leia makes it her mission to recruit surviving Alderaanians to the Rebel cause. They are in diaspora, but not all of the people she meets want to go to war. She’s helped by Evaan, a Rebel pilot with a not-so-favorable view of the woman she calls “ice princess.”
0 BBY - Heir to the Jedi
Written by Kevin Hearne
Heir to the Jedi was published right in the middle of the transition from Legends to new canon. Originally branded as part of the Empire & Rebellion series, along with Razor’s Edge and Honor Among Thieves, it alone of the three books in that series survived the cut-off. Kevin Hearne’s story explains how Luke learned the telekinesis he used in The Empire Strikes Back.
Since Obi-Wan never taught him that, someone had to encourage Luke to use the Force—and in Heir to the Jedi, it’s Nakari Kelen, a fellow Rebel pilot with whom Luke goes on a mission to retrieve a Rebel codebreaker.
0 BBY - Marvel's Chewbacca
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Phil Noto
Some time after the events of A New Hope, Chewbacca finds himself comfortably crash-landed on the planet Andelm IV. He’s willing to have a bit of a nap before beginning a leisurely search for parts for his ship, but there are other people on the planet who aren’t so relaxed.
A girl named Zarro and her father have been conscripted into working essentially as slaves in a mine run by a man who plans to profit off of the Empire. Chewie and Zarro hatch a plan to free her father in this fun, five-issue series with beautiful art by Phil Noto.
0 BBY - 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.
0 BBY - Marvel's Star Wars & Darth Vader
Star Wars: Written by Jason Aaron, Art by John Cassaday et al
Darth Vader: Written by Kieron Gillen, Art by Salvador Larroca
Some of the best—and more surprising—stories in the Marvel Star Wars line come out of the ongoing series, which occur concurrently and crossed over in their first big event, “Vader Down.” The series follows both heroes and villains of the Original Trilogy, including Luke’s earnest, enthusiastic slide into learning how to use his Jedi powers; Vader’s conflicted relationship with Emperor Palpatine and the Sith legacy of betrayal and competition; and Han’s maybe-wife Sana Solo.
The longest-running Marvel Star Wars series so far are also the ones that most clearly show how Marvel is handling the core characters going forward, so check these out if you want to see what Luke, Han, and Leia are up to after A New Hope.
Darth Vader recently wrapped and it's easily one of the best stories to come out of the new EU so far. You NEED to read this series!
0 BBY - 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.
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.
0 BBY-3 ABY - Marvel's Lando
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Alex Maleev
Lando, written by Charles Soule, with art from Alex Maleev, shows the suave baron-administrator before he got his title. Lando thinks he has scored big when he plans to steal a valuable starship, but it turns out that the ship once belonged to Emperor Palpatine (and Darth Maul), and there are plenty of unpleasant Sithly surprises in store.
As well as featuring Lando himself, the comic has a lot of great supporting characters, including mysterious twin aliens and Lobot himself. Watching Lobot’s stoic expressions in The Empire Strikes Back will never be the same after reading this comic.
0-3 ABY - Marvel's Han Solo
Written by Marjorie Liu
Art by Mark Brooks
3 ABY - The Empire Strikes Back
Directed by Irvin Kershner
Written by Lawrence Kasdan & Leigh Brackett
4 ABY - Moving Target
Written by Cecil Castellucci & Jason Fry
Leia’s installment of the Journey to The Force Awakens series follows her on a mission to distract the Empire from the Rebellion’s growing fleet—the fleet that will attack the second Death Star at Endor. Her team travels through various adventures in their effort to do that, while Leia weighs her feelings about duty against the idea that she might be sacrificing some Rebel sympathizers in order to buy time for others.
Like the other two Original Trilogy books in the line, Moving Target is a quintessential Star Warsstory with a few connections to other parts of the saga. The flash forward involves PZ-4CO, the blue droid seen in the Resistance base in The Force Awakens, interviewing Leia for her memoirs.
4 ABY - Return of the Jedi
Directed by Richard Marquand
Written by Lawrence Kasdan & George Lucas
4 ABY - 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.
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.
5 ABY - Aftermath: Life Debt
Written by Chuck Wendig
5 ABY - Aftermath: Empire's End
Written by Chuck Wendig
7 ABY - Last Shot
Written by Daniel Jose Older
After years of friendship, Han and Lando reminisce about getting older while facing the same old trouble these two always seem to get into. This is a must-have tie-in novel to Solo: A Star Wars Story.
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.
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.
28 ABY - "The Perfect Weapon"
Written by Delilah S. Dawson
"The Perfect Weapon" by Delilah S. Dawson was the first short story to feature one of the new characters from The Force Awakens. Like the young reader books listed earlier, it’s part of the Journey to the Force Awakens line, and was released as an ebook and excerpted in Star Wars Insider #163.
Bazine Netal, the woman who informs the First Order of the Resistance fighters’ presence at Maz Kanata’s castle, works as a bouncer and hired gun in this story. It doesn’t take place at the same time as The Force Awakens, or particularly illuminates Bazine’s actions during the movie, but if you’re interested in her from the few glimpses in The Force Awakens, it might be worth checking out.
28 ABY - "Bait"
Written by Alan Dean Foster 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.
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.
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?
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.
34 ABY - The Force Awakens
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt, & J.J. Abrams
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.
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.
34 ABY - The Last Jedi
Directed by Rian Johnson
Written by Rian Johnson
As you might expect from a 10-year role, Rickman had a complex relationship with the Harry Potter films.
Alan Rickman was a brilliant actor known for many iconic roles, but for the millennial generation, in particular, his legacy is inexplicably intertwined with the character of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. Rickman played the role over the course of eight films spanning a decade of his life, working under four different directors. As you might expect, this led to a complex relationship with the role, the nuances of which are hinted at in some recently released letters to and from the late actor.
The letters are part of a collection to be released for auction by Neil Pearson Rare Books. In one letter from Harry Potter producer David Heyman, Heyman wrote to Rickman: "Thank you for making HP2 a success. I know, at times, you are frustrated but please know that you are an integral part of the films. And you are brilliant."
In another note, written by Rickman while he was filming The Half-Blood Prince, the sixth film in the series, the actor wrote, "It’s as if [director] David Yates has decided that this is not important in the scheme of things i.e. teen audience appeal" in relation to the character of Snape.
Of course, not all Harry Potter-related notes are ones of frustration. One letter from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling reads: "Just back from weeks away and had to send a line about what you wrote in the souvenir programme for Hallows II. Thank you for doing justice to my most complex character…"
Included in the collection is also a note from Daniel Radcliffe, thanking Rickman for gifts he received, including a copy of Catcher in the Rye and three children's drawings of Harry Potter characters (two of which are of Snape). The collection also includes two "Dobbys," awards created within the Harry Potter production team to honor the cast and crew. Rickman won two: one for "the best backstory" and one for "being Alan Rickman."
Other, non-Harry Potter notes in the collection include letters from actors Kate Winslet and Nicole Kidman. The collection is valued at £950,000 (more than $1,260,000).
Everything we know about the Locke & Key TV show, which is now headed for Netflix.
The Locke & Key TV project has had a rough time! Back in July 2016, THR revealed that Hulu gave the show adaptation of writer Joe Hill's IDW horror comic book series a pilot order, with Carlton Cuse (Lost) set to serve as showrunner. While Andy Muschietti (It, Mama) was on tap to direct the pilot after Doctor Strange's Scott Derrickson had to withdraw, more changes appear to be afoot on this project's long road to a series order.
Third time's the charm? Try fourth time, since the latest attempt arrives after Hulu passed on the project! However, Cuse is still involved and odds seem better than ever that this beloved comic will be done justice.
Locke & Key News
After a recent unfortunate setback, Locke & Key fans can finally rest easy knowing that it’s about to close in on a home with Netflix. – Except that there’s a major catch!
While the project’s once-promising prospects with Hulu suddenly evaporated two months ago when the streaming platform passed on a pickup, it appears that a much-bigger fish, Netflix, has shown interest. Consequently, the streaming giant, according to THR, is finalizing negotiations for a series order deal that will see Locke & Key join the murderer’s row that is the Netflix original content lineup.
However, Netflix’s prospective pickup of Locke & Key will reportedly require crucial caveats that will bring the project back to the drawing board. Along with expectations to license the rights for the IP (from Joe Hill’s IDW comic book,) and redevelop the drama with IDW Entertainment, Netflix wants to scrap the Hulu pilot entirely, including the cast, headlined by Frances O’Connor, and its director, Andy Muschietti, who is no longer available, since he’s hard at work on It Chapter 2 (but will be credited as an executive producer on the series). – So, that’s huge.
Therefore, should the Netflix deal for Locke & Key get completed, it’s going to be a long while before the project finally surfaces.
Locke & Key TV Show Cast
Here's the main cast of Locke & Key, as gathered for the now-nixed Hulu pilot. It will be interesting to see if Netflix keeps anyone around.
Frances O’Connor was to play Nina Locke. The story would have centered on O'Connor's Nina, who, after her husband’s gruesome murder, takes her three children to move into their ancestral home in Maine, the Keyhouse. However, the Keyhouse has centuries of connections to the supernatural, serving as a dimensional portal through which malevolent demons wish to cross. Moreover, the magical keys connected to the house – forged from the metallic remains of demons who’ve tried to cross the portal – contain powers beyond comprehension.
O’Connor, an English actress, is known from roles in films such as The Conjuring 2, The Hunter, Bedazzled and, notably, in Steven Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence as the mother figure to Haley Joel Osment’s proverbial Pinocchio. She’s also fielded numerous TV runs, most recently on Cleverman, as well as The Missing, Mr. Selfridge and Cashmere Mafia.
Sam Robards (Twisted, Gossip Girl) was to play Nina's ill-fated husband, Rendell Locke. Interestingly, this casting would have been an A.I. reunion, since Robards played the husband of O'Connor's character in that film.
Jack Mulhern (Walking to the Waterline) was to play Tyler Locke, the teenage son of Nina and Rendell. As the oldest of the young Locke siblings, Tyler finds himself as the man of the house, by default. This, of course, complicates his already-complicated adolescent existence enough. However, once his family moves into the supernatural-phenomena-plagued Keyhouse, his problems will exponentially increase.
Megan Charpentier (It, Mama) was to play Kinsey Locke, the middle child.
Jackson Robert Scott (It, Fear the Walking Dead) was to play Bode Locke, the youngest member of the Locke family. Bode is an optimistic, imaginative eight-year-old who is especially tuned into and vulnerable to the supernatural possibilities of the Keyhouse.
Nate Corddry (The Circle, The Marvelous Ms. Maisel) was to play Duncan Locke, Rendell’s younger brother and uncle to the trio of children. The actor also happens to be a younger brother to actor/comedian Rob Corddry.
Owen Teague (It, Bloodline) was to play Sam Lesser, a young man who’s suffered abuse, who is influenced by a spirit to carry out a murder that’s crucial to the story.
Danny Glover was to play a cameo role as Joe Ridgeway, an English teacher, described as “eccentric,” who works at Matheson Academy. There, he becomes a mentor to the Locke children and friend to their recently-widowed mother, Nina (Frances O’Connor). Yet, Joe knew Nina’s (brutally murdered) late husband, Rendell Locke, and is also aware of some of the tragic secrets that he withheld; secrets that are connected to his mysterious ancestral home, the Keyhouse, in which Nina and kids have now taken up residence.
Locke & Key Details
In 2016, IDW Entertainment released news that Locke & Key writer Joe Hill (he wrote the story for the comics, with art by Gabriel Rodriguez) was on board to write the pilot and executive produce the TV show adaptation as a straight-to-series project. It's unclear how Hulu and Cuse's involvement might change that plan, but Hill had previously said in a statement:
I love this story. The seven years I spent working on Locke & Key was the happiest creative experience of my life, and there still isn’t a day when I don’t think about those characters and miss visiting with them. The six books of the series are very like six seasons of a cable TV series, and so it feels only natural to bring that world to the little screen and to see if we can’t scare the pants off viewers everywhere.
Locke & Key begins with the story of three siblings returning to their family's ancestral home following the brutal and mysterious murder of their father. As they explore the house and its surroundings, it becomes clear that there are wonderful and terrible things lurking on the grounds. It is a comic book horror classic.
Previously, a TV show adaptation made it all the way to the pilot stage, but never garnered a pick-up. The episode was screened at Comic Con in 2011 and, as someone who was there for said screening, I can vouch for its awesomeness — a character-driven exercise in horror that deserved to continue its story.
The TV adaptation had Josh Friedman as a showrunner (The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Avatar 2) and an all-star cast that included Miranda Otto, Sarah Bolger, and Ksenia Solo. Check out the trailer...
Sadly, this version of Locke & Key never made it past a pilot, but the pop culture world seems better poised to embrace an on-screen version of this horror comic now. Not only are there way more comic book adaptations on TV and film, but Joe Hill has become more of a household name, especially with the recent film adaptaion of Horns. Hopefully, this adaptation is good and garners enough of an audience to ensure its continuation. Universe, you owe us this.
Looking for a good fantasy read? Here are some of the best new fantasy books to be released in June 2018.
Summer, one of our four favorite seasons to read, is upon us. Here are some of the fantasy books coming out in the month of June (and a few from early July... and one from late May) that we are most looking forward to checking out. Is your most-anticpated June fantasy read on the list?
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Type: Hardcover repackage of the first book in the (so, so good) Villians series
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: May 29
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates―brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find―aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge―but who will be left alive at the end?
In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn't automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
Brief Cases by Jim Butcher
Type: Short stories from the Dresden Files series
Release date: June 5
The world of Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue--and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you'll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection.
From the Wild West to the bleachers at Wrigley Field, humans, zombies, incubi, and even fey royalty appear, ready to blur the line between friend and foe. In the never-before-published "Zoo Day," Harry treads new ground as a dad, while fan-favorite characters Molly Carpenter, his onetime apprentice, White Council Warden Anastasia Luccio, and even Bigfoot stalk through the pages of more classic tales.
With twelve stories in all, Brief Cases offers both longtime fans and first-time readers tantalizing glimpses into Harry's funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold.
The Memory of Fire by Callie Bates
Type: Second book in Waking Land series
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: June 5
Thanks to the magic of Elanna Valtai and the Paladisan noble Jahan Korakides, the lands once controlled by the empire of Paladis have won their independence. But as Elanna exhausts her powers restoring the ravaged land, news that the emperor is readying an invasion spurs Jahan on a desperate mission to establish peace.
Going back to Paladis proves to be anything but peaceful, however. As magic is a crime in the empire, punishable by death, Jahan must hide his abilities. Nonetheless, the grand inquisitor’s hunters suspect him of sorcery, and mysterious, urgent messages from the witch who secretly trained Jahan only increase his danger of exposure. Worst of all, the crown prince has turned his back on Jahan, robbing him of the royal protection he once enjoyed.
As word of Jahan’s return spreads, long-sheathed knives, sharp and deadly, are drawn again. And when Elanna, stripped of her magic, is brought to the capital in chains, Jahan must face down the traumas of his past to defeat the shadowy enemies threatening his true love’s life, and the future of the revolution itself.
The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston
Type: First in a trilogy
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release date: June 5
After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magician Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the sorcerers who rule the city. He failed. Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods – Walker will burn them all if he has to. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s killed a god...
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Type: Third book in the An Ember in the Ashes series
Release date: June 12
Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister's life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. But she knows that danger lurks on all sides: Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor's volatility to grow her own power--regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But in the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.
And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender--even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.
Starless by Jacqueline Carey
Type: Standalone (so far)
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: June 12
I was nine years old the first time I tried to kill a man...
Destined from birth to serve as protector of the princess Zariya, Khai is trained in the arts of killing and stealth by a warrior sect in the deep desert; yet there is one profound truth that has been withheld from him.
In the court of the Sun-Blessed, Khai must learn to navigate deadly intrigue and his own conflicted identity…but in the far reaches of the western seas, the dark god Miasmus is rising, intent on nothing less than wholesale destruction.
If Khai is to keep his soul’s twin Zariya alive, their only hope lies with an unlikely crew of prophecy-seekers on a journey that will take them farther beneath the starless skies than anyone can imagine.
Witchmark by C.L. Polk
Type: Standalone (so far)
Release date: June 19
In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.
Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans' hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.
When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhoarse
Type: First book in the Sixth World series
Publisher: Saga Press
Release date: June 26
While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.
Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.
Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.
As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.
Welcome to the Sixth World.
Black Chamber by S.M. Stirling
Type: Standalone (so far)
Release date: July 3
1916. The Great War rages overseas, and the whole of Europe, Africa, and western Asia is falling to the Central Powers. To win a war that must be won, Teddy Roosevelt, once again the American president, turns to his top secret Black Chamber organization--and its cunning and deadly spy, Luz O'Malley Aróstegui.
On a transatlantic airship voyage, Luz poses as an anti-American Mexican revolutionary to get close--very close--to a German agent code-named Imperial Sword. She'll need every skill at her disposal to get him to trust her and lead her deep into enemy territory. In the mountains of Saxony, concealed from allied eyes, the German Reich's plans for keeping the U.S. from entering the conflict are revealed: the deployment of a new diabolical weapon upon the shores of America...
City of Lies by Sam Hawke
Type: First book in the Poison Wars series
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: July 3
I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me...
Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he's a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state.
But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising...and angry.
The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri
Type: Standalone (for now)
Publisher: Titan Books
Release date: July 3
Four old school friends have a pact: to meet up every year in the small town in Puglia they grew up in. Art, the charismatic leader of the group and creator of the pact, insists that the agreement must remain unshakable and enduring. But this year, he never shows up.
A visit to his house increases the friends' worry; Art is farming marijuana. In Southern Italy doing that kind of thing can be very dangerous. They can't go to the Carabinieri so must make enquiries of their own. This is how they come across the rumours about Art; bizarre and unbelievable rumours that he miraculously cured the local mafia boss's daughter of terminal leukaemia. And among the chaos of his house, they find a document written by Art, The Book of Hidden Things, that promises to reveal dark secrets and wonders beyond anything previously known.
Francesco Dimitri's first novel written in English, following his career as one of the most significant fantasy writers in Italy, will entrance fans of Elena Ferrante, Neil Gaiman and Donna Tartt. Set in the beguiling and seductive landscape of Southern Italy, this story is about friendship and landscape, love and betrayal; above all it is about the nature of mystery itself.
Which fantasy books are you most looking forward to checking out in June? Let us know in the comments below or in our Den of Geek Book Club on Goodreads.
Looking for a good science fiction read? Check out these new science fiction books released in June 2018.
Books, books, books! Summer is a great time to dive into science fiction and explore other worlds. Here are some of the science fiction books coming out in June (and, OK, early July) that we are most looking forward to here at Den of Geek.
Free Chocolate by Amber Royer
Type: First book in The Chocoverse series
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release date: June 1
Latina culinary arts student, Bo Benitez, becomes a fugitive when she's caught stealing a cacao pod from the heavily-defended plantations that keep chocolate, Earth's sole valuable export, safe from a hungry galaxy. Forces arraying against her including her alien boyfriend and a reptilian cop. But when she escapes onto an unmarked starship things go from bad to worse: it belongs to the race famed throughout the galaxy for eating stowaways. Surrounded by dangerous yet hunky aliens, Bo starts to uncover clues that the threat to Earth may be bigger than she first thought.
Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee
Type: Third book in the Machineries of Empire trilogy
Release date: June 12
When Shuos Jedao wakes up for the first time, several things go wrong. His few memories tell him that he's a seventeen-year-old cadet--but his body belongs to a man decades older. Hexarch Nirai Kujen orders Jedao to reconquer the fractured hexarchate on his behalf even though Jedao has no memory of ever being a soldier, let alone a general. Surely a knack for video games doesn't qualify you to take charge of an army?
Soon Jedao learns the situation is even worse. The Kel soldiers under his command may be compelled to obey him, but they hate him thanks to a massacre he can't remember committing. Kujen's friendliness can't hide the fact that he's a tyrant. And what's worse, Jedao and Kujen are being hunted by an enemy who knows more about Jedao and his crimes than he does himself...
The Robots of Gotham by Todd McAulty
Type: Standalone (for now)
Publisher: John Joseph Adams
Release date: June 19
After long years of war, the United States has sued for peace, yielding to a brutal coalition of nations ruled by fascist machines. One quarter of the country is under foreign occupation. Manhattan has been annexed by a weird robot monarchy, and in Tennessee, a permanent peace is being delicately negotiated between the battered remnants of the U.S. government and an envoy of implacable machines. Canadian businessman Barry Simcoe arrives in occupied Chicago days before his hotel is attacked by a rogue war machine. In the aftermath, he meets a dedicated Russian medic with the occupying army, and 19 Black Winter, a badly damaged robot. Together they stumble on a machine conspiracy to unleash a horrific plague—and learn that the fabled American resistance is not as extinct as everyone believes. Simcoe races against time to prevent the extermination of all life on the continent . . . and uncover a secret that America’s machine conquerors are desperate to keep hidden.
Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn
Type: Second book in Star Wars: Thrawn series
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: June 24
“I have sensed a disturbance in the Force.”
Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root—its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor’s favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs—including the Death Star project—the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission. But the Emperor knows it’s not the first time Vader and Thrawn have joined forces. And there’s more behind his royal command than either man suspects.
In what seems like a lifetime ago, General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic, and Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo, officer of the Chiss Ascendancy, crossed paths for the first time. One on a desperate personal quest, the other with motives unknown . . . and undisclosed. But facing a gauntlet of dangers on a far-flung world, they forged an uneasy alliance—neither remotely aware of what their futures held in store.
Now, thrust together once more, they find themselves bound again for the planet where they once fought side by side. There they will be doubly challenged—by a test of their allegiance to the Empire . . . and an enemy that threatens even their combined might.
Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley
Type: Book 1.5/1.7 in the Bel Dame Apocrypha series
Publisher: Tachyon Publication
Release date: June 26
Ex-government assassin turned bounty-hunter, Nyx, is good at solving other people’s problems. Her favorite problem-solving solution is punching people in the face. Then maybe chopping off some heads. Hey—it’s a living.
Nyx's disreputable reputation has been well earned. After all, she’s trying to navigate an apocalyptic world full of giant bugs, contaminated deserts, scheming magicians, and a centuries-long war that’s consuming her future. Managing her ragtag squad of misfits has required a lot of morally-gray choices. Every new job is another day alive. Every new mission is another step toward changing a hellish future—but only if she can survive.
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White
Type: First book in Salvagers series
Release date: June 26
Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she's washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she got something real--the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.
Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world--until she witnesses Mother murder a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah has only one lead: the killer also hunts Boots.
On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler's ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice.
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
Type: First book in The Lady Astronaut series
Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: July 3
On a coldspring night in 1952, a meteorite falls to earth and destroys much of theeastern seaboard of the United States, including Washington D.C. The Meteor, asit is popularly known, decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for aclimate cataclysm that will eventually render the earth inhospitable to humanity.This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earth’s effortsto colonize space, and allows a much larger share of humanity to take part inthe process.
One of thesenew entrants in the space race is Elma York, whose experience as a WASP pilotand mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’sattempts to put man on the moon. But with so many skilled and experienced womenpilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elmabegins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too―aside from some peskybarriers like thousands of years of history and a host of expectations aboutthe proper place of the fairer sex. And yet, Elma’s drive to become the firstLady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions may notstand a chance against her.
Space Unicorn Blues by T.J. Berry
Type: Standalone (for now)
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release date: July 3
Having magical powers makes you less than human, a resource to be exploited. Half-unicorn Gary Cobalt is sick of slavery, captivity, and his horn being ground down to power faster-than-light travel. When he's finally free, all he wants is to run away in his ancestors' stone ship. Instead, Captain Jenny Perata steals the ship out from under him, so she can make an urgent delivery. But Jenny held him captive for a decade, and then Gary murdered her best friend... who was also the wife of her co-pilot, Cowboy Jim. What could possibly go right?
Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio
Type: First in the Sun Eater series
Release date: July 3
It was not his war.
The galaxy remembers him as a hero: the man who burned every last alien Cielcin from the sky. They remember him as a monster: the devil who destroyed a sun, casually annihilating four billion human lives—even the Emperor himself—against Imperial orders.
But Hadrian was not a hero. He was not a monster. He was not even a soldier.
On the wrong planet, at the right time, for the best reasons, Hadrian Marlowe starts down a path that can only end in fire. He flees his father and a future as a torturer only to be left stranded on a strange, backwater world.
Forced to fight as a gladiator and navigate the intrigues of a foreign planetary court, Hadrian must fight a war he did not start, for an Empire he does not love, against an enemy he will never understand.
What science fiction books are you most looking forward to checking out in June? Let us know in the comments below or in our Den of Geek Book Club on Goodreads.
The Crow reboot movie experiences yet another exodus, with star Jason Momoa and director Corin Hardy officially gone.
While The Crow’s titular vengeance-seeking spirit famously said, “it can’t rain all the time,” he probably couldn’t fathom the comically bad luck of the remake project, which just lost its star and director.
The Crow reboot project has been the film industry’s equivalent of Teflon for about the past decade, since Sony Pictures can’t seem to find a star or director to stick around. However, after years of turnovers, the team of would-be star Jason Momoa and would-be director Corin Hardy felt like an auspicious pairing, and, last we heard, the project was finally on track to begin production in a little over a month… until it wasn’t.
Indeed, in a bit of news that’s simultaneously astonishing and predictable, The Crow reboot movie has, once again, lost its star (in this case, Jason Momoa,) and its director (in this case, Corin Hardy), according to Deadline. While even the Momoa/Hardy reboot team (pictured below from last year,) had stopsand starts over the past few years (Hardy even quit at one point in 2016), it is now being reported that “creative and financial difficulties” with producer Samuel Hadida – head of financing studio Davis Films – ended up serving as the final straw for this collaboration. The Hadida drama also stems from the producer’s apparent inability to close the deal with Sony Pictures, which apparently made the studio’s exit from the project imminent.
Indeed, of all the setbacks experienced by this plot-appropriately cursed production, this may be the most vexing, since the film had been in full pre-production with director Hardy, and it occurs as cameras were scheduled to roll in Budapest within five weeks. Moreover, as recent as March, Sony had set the release date of October 11, 2019, which seemed to be a surefire sign that The Crow reboot would, at long last, fly. Now, unfortunately, the project’s been pulled back to terra firma.
The Crow story adapts the original 1989 graphic novel of James O’Barr, who’s remained very active during the reboot project’s tumultuous process (we’ll probably hear him chime on this latest development soon enough). The property is, of course, best known from director Alex Proya’s 1994 film adaptation starring Brandon Lee, in which the star was killed during an on-set accident. While there were soft-rebooted sequels in 1996’s The Crow: City of Angels and subsequent straight-to-video follow-ups in 2000’s The Crow: Salvation and 2005’s The Crow: Wicked Prayer, the property never quite recaptured its 1994 pop culture splendor.
At this point, some seven years after the project was initially announced, Jason Momoa now joins a (frankly, impressive) list of would-be stars of The Crow reboot, which consists of Bradley Cooper, James McAvoy, Norman Reedus, Luke Evans and Jack Huston. Moreover, Corin Hardy joins a legacy line that included names such as F. Javier Gutiérrez and (in a previous reboot iteration,) Rob Zombie. It will certainly be interesting to see how/if the project moves forward from this point.
Of course, the exiting duo aren’t lacking for work. Jason Momoa will parlay his DC Extended Universe role as Aquaman toward the James Wan-directed Aquaman solo movie, which arrives on December 21 of this year. Corin Hardy’s directorial work will next be seen in The Conjuring spinoff film, The Nun, which arrives on September 7.
Netflix's first comic book, The Magic Order, will arrive as a partnered project with Mark Millar's Millarworld.
Mark Millar’s next Millarworld comic book project will make its arrival under the purview of a most curious backer: Netflix. That’s because back in August 2017, the monolithic streaming company acquired the publisher, adding a new multimedia dimension to its own proverbial queue. Now, Millarworld’s first Netflix-era title, The Magic Order, is teasing its imminent debut with a trailer. (Yes, comic books have trailers now.)
The Magic Order Trailer
The Magic Order trailer showcases some terrific tidbits in motion comic style. While it's a "Wizarding World" in its own right, Millar's concept is more sinister than even a sinister Slytherin could fathom, since it's a world in which magicians – once revered – are being systematically murdered, Order 66 style.
The Magic Order Release Date
The Magic Order will manifest as a six-issue comic book series, set to hit comic shops on June 13. It will also be available for purchase in digital format.
It will be written by Mark Millar and feature the art of Olivier Coipel, whose prominent works include Marvel’s House of M, runs on New Avengers and X-Men (with a crossover between the two teams) and Thor, along with DC Legion of Superheroes titles such as The Legion, Legion Lost, and Legionnaires.
The story of The Magic Order will, as its title suggests, center in a world imbued with magic. However, with the additional element of monsters and real-world-rooted crime, Millar has put together a pastiche that is being touted as “magic meets the mob.” Here, five families of magicians are sworn to protect an embattled world from an enemy that’s picking them off. In a true superhero dynamic, by day the families live amongst the normal folk unnoticed, but by night, they put on their (figurative and literal) hats as sorcerers, magicians and wizards to fight the forces of darkness.
For Millar, the writing visionary behind a multitude of live-action-inspiring comic book works such as Marvel’s Civil War, Ultimates and Old Man Logan, along with Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass, Empress and Superior, this first Millarworld outing as a Netflix subsidiary had to bring something unique to the new landscape. As he expresses in a statement:
“We wanted to make a splash with our first book for Netflix and this is it. I love dark fantasy and there’s an enormous gap in the market for something like this. Netflix hiring Olivier has also made me the happiest guy alive. I’ve been after him for almost ten years so to finally have our names in the same book is an absolute honor.”
There is, of course, the additional narrative here that Netflix’s acquisition of Millarworld is designed – in a manner akin to Disney’s acquisition of Marvel and Warner’s acquisition of DC Comics – as a way to concoct comic book-adapted properties with complete autonomy. Indeed, it would not be putting the cart before the horse to posit that The Magic Order seems all but certain to make an eventual transition into a live-action Netflix project.
The world’s press loses an iconic Gonzo journalist as Tom Wolfe passes at age 88.
New Journalism pioneer Tom Wolfe, who wrote The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, died of pneumonia in a New York hospital at age 88, according to Variety. The news was announced by Wolfe’s long-time agent Lynn Nesbit.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, on March 2, 1930, Wolfe was a star baseball player at his high school and also edited its newspaper. He graduated Washington and Lee University, after he’d turned down Princeton University. The author and journalist started as a regional newspaper reporter at Massachusetts’ Springfield Union before moving onto The Washington Post. He moved to New York join the New York Herald-Tribune in in 1962.
Wolfe first came to national prominence after publishing The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which followed Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, in the 1960s. He cemented his reputation with Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers and The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, collections of his articles and essays. He also edited a volume of work by writers Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer and George Plimpton, titled The New Journalism.
New Journalism mixed traditional journalism for stylized journalism, and “saturation reporting,” where a reporter would shadow the subject, observes them over an extended period of time. From 1965 to 1981 Mr. Wolfe produced nine nonfiction books. In 1979, he published the book The Right Stuff about the Mercury Seven astronauts. The book was made into the 1983 film of the same name, which was directed by Philip Kaufman.
“He was a very courageous guy,” Gay Talese, a New Journalism pioneer, said, according to The Wall Street Journal. He “already was celebrated for his journalism and nonfiction when, “What does he do? He goes out and writes a best-selling novel.” Wolfe’s first fiction novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, was published in 1987. Brian De Palma adapted it to film. It took him 11 years to finish his second novel, A Man in Full, which was published in 1998.
Wolfe critiqued art critics in The Painted Word in 1975, and the architectural decline in From Bauhaus to Our House in 1981. He published The Kingdom of Speech, which elicited controversy over his criticism of Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky’s works in 2016.
Wolfe, who coined the term “the me decade” for the 1970s and “radical chic,” was also known for the distinctive tailored white suits he started wearing in 1962. He is remembered for his sense of humor and his penchant for needling sacred cows. He is survived by his wife Sheila, the cover designer for Harper's Magazine, his daughter Alexandra, and son Tommy.
The Hate U Give author Angie Thomas was at this week's BookExpo chatting about the film adaptation of her bestselling book.
The Hate U Give is one of the most successful young adult novels of the past year. The story of a 16-year-old black girl named Starr Carter who sees her childhood best friend gunned down by the cops has struck a chord with young people and adults alike who are finally starting to see more diverse protagonists and stories that better represent the America we live in.
The novel is getting a feature film adaptation starring Amandla Stenberg, with George Tillman Jr. (The Longest Ride) in the director's chair and a script from Audrey Wells (Under the Tuscan Sun). Set to come out in October, the film recently wrapped production and the book's author. Angie Thomas was in attendance at this week's BookExpo in New York City where she spoke about her involvement in the making of the film.
"I was consulted a lot," said Thomas during a BookExpo panel on book-to-film adaptations. "I have to say that the director, especially, he consulted me a lot. He still consults me a lot during post-production. He calls me just about every week about stuff. And, for me, that's an honor because it shows that he respects the source material and the source that is came from."
Thomas noted that this isn't always the case when it comes to book-to-film adaptations.
"I always tell the readers: I didn't make decisions, but they did consult me and they talked to me and they asked for my input," said Thomas. "And, for me, that's a big thing because, sometimes, when books are made into movies, authors are left out of the conversation and I can't say that that's what happened to me."
Thomas spent several weeks on the set of The Hate U Give film adaptation, which filmed in and around Atlanta. Giving an example of the kind of input she had as a creator visiting the set, Thomas told a story about noticing a photo of Starr's boyfriend on the wall in Starr's bedroom set. Those who have read the book know that Starr's father doesn't know about Starr's boyfriend, so it's not very likely she would have a picture of her boyfriend on the wall.
"And they took that and they were like, 'You're right,'" said Thomas. "And readers would notice that. That's the thing about, especially young adult readers, they would notice that picture on the wall and they would say, 'No, it shouldn't be there.' And who are they gonna come at? Me. So they took it down. It was sometimes the small things like that where I was consulted and then, too, on the larger things. So, I was very involved with the project and I'm happy with how it turned out."
The Hate U Give hits theaters on October 19th. For more information on the movie, check out our news hub. Angie Thomas' next novel, On the Come Up, will be released in 2019.
Diana gets pulled out of her war with the Dark Gods for a new spacefaring one in Wonder Woman Annual #2.
Frazer Irving should be put on a Green Lantern comic immediately, please. This is not to say that the crew working on the Lantern books is bad or anything. They're doing a very good job, in fact. But some people are born to draw space epics, and Irving is one of them. Especially because of the fact that he inks and colors himself, putting him on literally any Lantern Corps book seems like a no-brainer.
Apparently someone at DC agrees. In this exclusive preview of Wonder Woman Annual #2, the Star Sapphires pull Diana out of her conflict with the new Dark Gods who emerged on Earth following the events of Dark Nights: Metal. They bring her to Zamaron, with their busted central power battery and new, ominous dark god monolith floating over it. Here's what DC has to say about the issue:
WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #2
Written by JAMES ROBINSONArt by MARC LAMINGCover by YASMINE PUTRI“Star Light”! An enormous, divine threat has the Star Sapphires in its sights—and only Wonder Woman can protect them! She’s wielded their ring before, but the Corps has changed since then...is even their combined power enough to stop a god?
Take a look at this gorgeous flashback.
A lot has happened since Noah Hawley’s Doctor Doom project was announced and the Legion visionary has an update.
While Noah Hawley will continue taking fans down a stupendously surreal rabbit hole with FX’s Marvel Comics-inspired TV series, Legion (which was just renewed for Season 3), his reveal at 2017's San Diego Comic-Con of a movie about the ultimate Marvel villain, Victor Von Doom, a.k.a. Doctor Doom, is especially intriguing. While the Doctor Doom movie project could be profoundly affected by the $52 billion deal that will see Disney acquire 21st Century Fox, Hawley’s latest update cites other obstacles.
Back in January, Hawley told Rotten Tomatoes that Doctor Doom was still in play and that he’d placed the task of writing the movie script on his immediate backlog. Now, jumping to the present in June, it appears that Hawley has been diligent in that task. However, it's on hold for now. As he tells Vulture:
“I wrote a script that I really like and the studio really likes.” Adding, “It needs a little work.”
Unfortunately, for the Doctor Doom project, it appears that another major movie, the fact-based astronaut infidelity drama starring Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm, Pale Blue Dot, will require Hawley’s immediate attention, since he’s set as its director and co-writer. While Hawley reveals that he’s revising the Doom script, he admits that his work on Pale Blue Dot will put it on the back burner. As he explains:
“It’s hard for me, at this exact moment — because I start shooting another movie in five weeks — to do that work. So, I mean, my hope is to go back to [the Doom movie] after [Pale Blue Dot].”
One might think that the idea of Fox’s Marvel Comics properties – which include X-Men and Fantastic Four– being placed under the same Disney-owned corporate umbrella as the continuity-connected Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and television shows would raise the prospects of Hawley’s Doctor Doom. However, it should be noted that Disney’s MCU has yet to release any project that’s centered on any villain; a stark contrast from Sony, which has grandiose plans to spin-off its new joint-studio MCU-adjacent Spider-Man movies with villain-centric spinoff movies, notably with the Tom Hardy-starring Venom. Consequently, the idea of villain movies not playing into Disney's MCU modus operandi remains a potential source of derailment for Doom.
When it comes to the merger, Hawley, seems to maintain to the notion that no news is good news. As he states:
“They may have a plan of their own in a desk drawer. I just don’t know. So, I think there’s sort of a sense of uncertainty.”
With the critical and financial failure of 2015’s Fantastic Four– the second cinematic iteration within the short span of a decade – still permeating in the circles of Fox, the inevitable relaunch will need an astoundingly original approach. Thus, the idea of introducing the Fantastic Four into the real estate of the MCU with a film centering on their definitive rival, Doctor Doom, might get moviegoers to buy into a movie brand that’s still remembered for the (pre-MCU era) 2005 film and its 2007 sequel, in which Julian McMahon played Doom, and the controversy-mired 2015 reboot effort, in which Toby Kebbell played Doom.
With a visionary the caliber of Hawley onboard to write and even rumored to direct this (allegedly genre-mixing) Doctor Doom movie, it could be an opportunity delivered to Disney on an armor-plated platter. Perhaps it could also be the first time we get a proper, comic-accurate, version of the immolated armor-wearing despot, who's traditionally depicted as the dictator of a fictional small European nation nestled in the Carpathian Mountains, called Latveria. Indeed, Hawley remains hopeful on Doom's prospects, stating in the recent Vulture interview:
“I think the studio would like to make it. I think we’re all just trying to figure out how and when we’re gonna do that.”
For now, you can expect Hawley’s work to manifest with the FX series, Legion, which continues its Season 2 run and looks forward to Season 3, which presumably arrives next year.
*This article was originally published on January 8, 2018 and has been updated with new information.
A new mini-series will follow Archie and the gang as they face an uncertain new world.
With the world continuing to be a garbage fire raging out of control, there is something to be said for stability. But when it comes to the comics industry, these are things that are perennially in short supply.
Except of course in Riverdale. The past decade has repeatedly illustrated how Archie Comics has accomplished the miracle task of redefining themselves from being a static, mired-in-the-past company whose bread and butter was the sort of disposable reliability that made their digests a supermarket checkout staple to one that repeatedly takes new risks to advance these characters to the next stage in their evolution. Along the way, they've had to endure much belly-aching from Archie purists and criticisms claiming that Archie is just trying to throw a bunch a different things to the way to see what sticks. But let's examine just a small fraction of their recent track record, shall we?:
- The introduction of Kevin Keller, Riverdale's first gay character.
- The bizarre and involving Life with Archie: The Married Life magazine.
- Inspired team-ups that have had the Archie gang hanging with, among others, the Predator, The Ramones, and, coming soon, Adam West's Batman.
- The establishing of a horror line that includes the highly successful (and, admittedly much-missed) titles Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, along with the second wave of books: Jughead: The Hungerand Vampironica.
- The launch of the noirish and very adult Dark Circle line.
- The debut of Riverdaleon the CW, and its various tie-ins.
- Stellar reboots of Jughead and Josie and the Pussycats.
Arguably their most enduring recent property is the reboot of the core Archiebook that was spearheaded by Mark Waid. The influence of this book's modern take on the characters is a clear influence on Riverdale, a show that has increased Archie's visability in ways that hardcore Archie fans -- this writer included -- never could have dreamed of. So imagine our shock we learned of the news that Waid will be once again teaming with co-writer Brian Augustyn (The Flash), and artist Peter Krause (Irredeemable) for Archie 1941, a five-issue limited series that will transport readers back in time 77 years (none-too-coincidentally to the very era when the characters first appeared) to see how their post-high school lives are impacted by World War II.
The press release makes very clear that this will be a more grounded-in-reality take than the Twin Peaks-ian going ons over at the CW:
“Deep-diving into the characters and their parents from a whole new perspective, Brian Augustyn and I have been able to find a new, rich vein of stories to be told as America edges into World War II and what it'll mean to the kids,” Waid said. “It's been an exciting project made only more thrilling by the chance to be able to work alongside my longtime co-conspirator on Irredeemable and Insufferable, Peter Krause!"
Lending his signature style to the iconic Archie Comics characters, Krause has added a realistic touch to the teens fans have loved for generations. "How would Archie and the gang look in 1941? That is my responsibility, and my honor,” he added. “I’ve had great fun going through reprints of Sears catalogs and diving into online photo troves. Along with great colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick and wonderful lettering by Jack Morelli, we’ve done our darnedest to make it all look good."
It won't be all gloom and doom, as readers are also promised "the humor, heart, milkshakes, and dates that come with any Riverdale tale." It's unclear what lasting impact this mini-series will have on Waid's ongoing Archie book, but given his time commitments elsewhere we are a bit nervous as to what the future may hold there. Stay tuned.
Here's a look at the first issue of Archie 1941, showing something rarely glimpsed in Riverdale...graduation day:
Even with the disquieting choice of ditching Jughead's whoopee cap -- an enduring anachronism that was in style when the character debuted/when this book is set -- we are on board to see how Archie and friends grow into their roles as part of the Greatest Generation. The first issue of Archie 1941 will be released on September 12.
Brief Cases, a collection of Dresden Files-set stories that center around the theme of parenting, are fun for old and new fans alike.
Dresden Files fans, this is the book you've been waiting for.
True, this is not the newest novel in the Dresden Files. (Peace Talks, the sixteenth installment in the series, still doesn't have a release date.) But Brief Cases, a collection of several of Butcher's excellent short stories and novellas from within the universe of Harry Dresden, offers not only excellent short narratives that dabble between the scenes of the novels, it provides a new story about Harry Dresden's newest challenge: becoming a father.
In Brief Cases, Butcher carefully selects stories that bring the theme of parenting, and Harry's opinions about it, to the fore—as well as the importance of children, even to stone-cold criminals, within the world of The Dresden Files.
But the collection isn't just for Dresden fans—readers who only know a little about the setting are quickly brought up to speed and can enjoy each of these brief glimpses into the work of Chicago's only professional wizard without the full context of the novels.
Breaking down the stories...
Of the twelve stories contained in this volume, the first is a prequel, set in the days of the Old West, which could easily be a launching point for a spin-off series. Warden Anastasia Luccio, a character of whom Butcher says in his introductory note, "I've always ... wished she could have more stage time," faces off against a group of warlocks alongside Wyatt Earp and an ill-tempered näcken (read: fairy horse) named Karl. The Old West setting is a joy, even though—or perhaps because—Anastasia despises it. And nothing says weird west like Wyatt Earp fighting the raised dead. (Wynonna Earp fans, take notice.) The collection is worth the read just for the intro story alone.
The other stories fall within the timeline of the novels, most of them narrated by Harry Dresden himself. In "AAAA Wizardry," Dresden frames a story of one of Harry's failures by having Harry share it with a class of young Wardens. Putting Harry in front of a class actually works very naturally, and the story allows readers to get a broader sense of how magic works within the world, and the dangers that non-wizard sensitives face.
"Curses" has its rough moments in a post-#MeToo world (Bob the skull is a more cringe-worthy character than he was when introduced almost two decades ago), but the story of how the Billy Goat Curse on the Chicago Cubs came to be has a delightful supernatural twist that shows a true love for the sport. "Jury Duty" shows what happens when the White Court and crime lord Marcone use the justice system and Harry Dresden to resolve a turf war.
Three of the stories (previously collected together as Working for Bigfoot in a special-edition hardcover) feature Harry's misadventures with Irwin, the son of a Bigfoot and a human, as he goes from being a large and troubled elementary schooler to an accomplished college football star in love with a vampire who doesn't know her own powers.
As previously mentioned, Harry's own complicated relationship with parenting comes to the fore in these stories in particular; long-time readers know that Harry's father died when he was young, and his frustration with River Shoulders, the Bigfoot, over not doing more to reveal himself to his son is palpable, building to a climax in the final of these stories. Because the stories take place over a span of time in the series, readers have the chance to watch the characters—particularly Irwin, but also Harry and River Shoulders—grow, which makes this trilogy among the most satisfying in the book.
Several of the stories are narrated by side characters other than Harry: along with Anastasia, Marcone gets to voice his own story in "Even Hand"; Harry's apprentice Molly narrates both "Bombshells" and "Cold Case"; and former medical examiner Waldo Butters explores his first day as a Knight in "Day One." Seeing each of these stories in the context of the tales narrated by Harry gives not only a larger scope to the world, but also showcases Butcher's use of voice. While his general style is evident throughout, the nuances of the point of view characters in their unique narrations adds flavor to the normally Dresden-shaped lens readers get on the world.
The best story...
The best story in the collection is saved for last—and one of the things that makes it so delightful is that it's structured from the points-of-view of three different characters, discussing the events of the same day. Harry, his ten-year-old daughter, Maggie, and Foo Dog Mouse each narrate their unique conflicts of the day, each challenge tailored directly to the characters.
In the first version, told from Harry's point of view, it seems like a pretty typical Dresden Files story: Harry discovers a warlock in the zoo on his first outing with his daughter. The stories have all been leading to the types of choices Harry will make after discovering he has a child of his own, and what kind of parent he will decide to be, and this narrative beautifully explores those themes.
But, then, we get more: Maggie can see the types of creatures only children can defeat and, despite her anxiety and her worries that her dad won't want her because she's broken, she must figure out how to confront her fears by facing them... incarnate. Maggie's child-voice feels authentic, if precocious, and she's a pitch perfect counterpoint to her father.
But why are there two unique challenges tailored to the Dresdens? Mouse reveals that there was more than either human knew was at stake, and does so in a glorious doggy voice, simultaneously embracing and criticizing humans for not understanding the most important things in life. It's a fantastic new piece and a showstopper for the collection.
Dresden Files fans are sure to get joy out of having these previously anthologized pieces together all in one cover, especially with a new short story to tide them over until Peace Talks is released. Newcomers to the series will find plenty to keep them engaged with the world—and might help them overcome the intimidation that being new to a fifteen book series can bring. There's plenty to enjoy here, and this newest installment is definitely worth picking up.
An original graphic novel will feature Tommy and may settle a twenty year old fan debate.
Aww man, time for some stories of Old Man Tommy! If you ever wondered what the hell Tommy's been up to since we last saw him in the series (Super Megaforce) then BOOM! Studios and Saban Brands have you covered. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Soul Of The Dragon is an original graphic novel that will reveal "a powerful, untold chapter in the life of hte lengendary original Green Ranger." We've got the official description below.
It’s been a long time since Tommy Oliver has served as a Power Ranger. He’s defeated space witches, brought down evil armies, protected the galaxy, but now Tommy leaves protecting the world to the Power Rangers at Space Patrol Delta. But when his son goes missing, it’s up to Tommy to discover a secret in his past, in order to save his future. Now Tommy will call on all his training, his friends, and maybe even some of his enemies as he sets out on his most important mission: find his son and bring him home.
So here's the real question for the hardcore fans. With Tommy having a son is that the one that was hinted at in the Power Rangers Zeo christmas episode? If you remember in "A Season to Remember", there was a flash forward to the future where Tommy was talking with his grandson. We never saw Tommy's son but we did see he was married to Katherine. So does that mean Katherine and Tommy are confirmed married in this comic?
For many years fans have aruged whether that flash forward was canon so this comic might be just the place to settle it. Although it's unclear at the moment whether this comic will take place in the TV continuity or the newer BOOM continuity.
“Tommy Oliver has been part of the Power Rangers for the past 25 years,” said Jason David Frank, who played Tommy in the original series. “We've seen him morph into so many different Power Rangers. Now in Soul Of The Dragon we get to see an in-depth story of the life of Tommy Oliver as a Power Ranger and person. We go deeper into the multiple Rangers Tommy has become throughout time- I'm excited for all of you to see how Tommy evolves into the Legendary Power Ranger he is and the legacy he will leave behind forever."
Deeper into the multiple Rangers Tommy has become? More Dino Thunder Tommy stories, please! Below you can find the cover of this original graphic novel and the design for the older Tommy.
Does anyone else get an Old Man Logan vibe from this comic? JDF is a self professed huge fan of Wolverine and with him being a "special consultant" on this comic the influence can't be far off. We'll see once it's released!
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter!
We have exclusive details from Scott Snyder on how the new Justice League series expands on the DC Universe in new and unexpected ways.
Scott Snyder is probably DC Comics’ heaviest regular hitter working now. He started with the company at Vertigo, winning an Eisner for American Vampire. Then he hit a home run with “The Black Mirror,” a note-perfect Batman story in the pages of Detective Comics, and that led him to become the anchor of the New 52 era of Batman, crafting a defining run with artist Greg Capullo. Then he got to be the mastermind behind DC’s first post-Rebirth crossover, the absolutely bonkers Dark Nights: Metal, a book that, in addition to being ridiculously fun and very personal, also brought the full DC multiverse and all its crazy timelines back into play.
Now, in the wake of Metal, Snyder is taking over as writer on a new Justice League series. Mr. Snyder talked to us about his approach to breaking his characters down and building them back up and applying it to the League - specifically The Flash and the revelation that there’s another fundamental force that Flashes can tap into: the Still Force.
With the full cosmic scope of the DC Universe now in the picture, it means a slightly new approach is needed to tell Justice League stories. "The goal with Justice League is to have every arc focus on two characters in the League, even though everybody is sort of in every arc," Snyder tells us. "The goal is to expand everybody's mythology, show how amazing these characters are, and then show you secrets that you didn't know about them and about their mythos."
Each arc in Justice Leaguewill be four or five issues, allowing different pairings to take the lead. "In the first arc, we're really focused on Green Lantern and Flash," Snyder says. "And one of the things that's huge about our reveals about Flash and how they connect to Flash War is that the Speed Force has embedded within it other forces that have always balanced and counteracted it in ways that Barry has never completely understood."
In other words, just as Snyder's Batman introduced new elements of Gotham's history to great effect on Bruce Wayne, early on in Justice League we're going to learn something new about the team members and the DCU as a whole. In the case of Flash, it's called the Still Force, and, according to Snyder, it will "have a lot of influence on both where [Barry] goes as a character and also his past."
"The Still Force is an energy in the universe that's trying to slow everything down entropically, trying to stop everything, trying to bring everything to a standstill," Snyder explains. "And it has its own characters, it has its own figures that are connected to it who might not even know they are. And it's a complete enigma to Barry at this point."
But as its name suggests, the Still Force isn't something that is exclusive to speedsters. One of the important pieces of Justice League will be the introduction of the Legion of Doom, familiar to longtime fans as the antagonists of the classic Challenge of the Super Friends animated series. And one of that team's members might be particularly suited to harnessing it. "One of Barry's greatest villains, Gorilla Grodd, might have a leg up on him when it comes to figuring out how to control this thing," Snyder hints.
But the Still Force is only one of the new elements that will be introduced to the DC Universe
"The idea, really, is to show that these characters think they know their powers, think they know their mythologies, think they know even sometimes their histories and their missions," Snyder says. "And then to sort of blow those things up."
It won't stop with Flash. Green Lantern mythology is also set to be expanded.
"We revealed the cover, not long ago, that had Jon Stewart seemingly powered by an invisible emotional spectrum, ultraviolet, infrared, those kinds of powers that have been locked away and possibly known about by Sinestro for a long time," Snyder says. "So similarly, it's almost like with each pair of characters in each arc, we want you to feel as though you're learning things about their mythology you never knew existed, just as they are. They're challenged by bigger forces, bigger enemies, bigger conflicts and bigger mysteries than we've ever tried before with these guys. We want everything to feel new and unfamiliar."
And part of what makes the DC Universe bigger is its infinite realities approach to storytelling. Dark Nights: Metal opened up DC's multiverse in a way not seen since Grant Morrison's Multiversity, but with Justice League, another wild, alternate timeline/reality warping DC Universe concept will make its return: Hypertime.
"We have a very big story — not to spoil too much — called the Something of Hypertime," Snyder says. "I don't wanna give away what it is, whether it's like the Death, the Birth, anything like that. But that's coming both in Flash and in Justice League. This is our opus. This is my DC love letter/opus/soap opera that has started all the way back in Batman, but really ratcheted up to the whole DCU in Metal."
Hints of this are already being seeded in the weekly Justice League: No Justice miniseries, which Snyder is co-writing with James Tynion IV and Josh Williamson.
"No Justice sets up all the different books and tributaries by which we're going to be continuing it," Snyder says. "We're building out from this so that that story that we're doing in No Justice right now with the Omega Titans, and all of it's starting because the Source Wall broke, Amanda Waller tries to hack Brainiac...all of that stuff plays forward. So when you see Hypertime or one of the four energies, for example, that Brainiac references in No Justice...when that starts to go and what happens to it in No Justice happens, that greatly affects Hypertime, the Speed Force, the Still Force, all of that stuff."
All of this couldn't be more different than the Gotham-centric mythology Snyder and collaborators built up over five years on Batman. Snyder admits that "Batman will always be my favorite character" but he feels that Justice League is "the heart and soul of the line."
"Our goal is to be like the DC that you knew and loved and always enjoyed reading about not only is still there, but is invigorated and vibrant and robust and being done in a new way," Snyder says. "So none of it is looking backwards in nostalgia. All of it is like, 'Oh, Hypertime's coming back? Well, it's coming back in a new way. Martian Manhunter's back? Well, where has he been?' That's a big story. What happened to Hawkman? Where did he go? In Metal, you saw that he was somewhere trying to find out a secret. Well, here you go. Batman might have to go back to Barbatos, so the Dark Multiverse — now I'm spoiling too far ahead."
"While I think people have done incredible work on it over the years that I've been at DC, the thing that I've really wanted to bring back is a connectivity and a sort of core-hub feeling that this book lies right at the center of everything you're reading about in other books," Snyder says. "So even though the books function independently — you don't need to read Justice League to know what's happening in Aquaman, what is happening in Aquaman is reflected in Justice League. Our book is sort of, to me, a spotlight on all the great stuff happening around the DCU."
It turns out that Snyder has known he was taking over Justice League for over a year and he has a story plan that stretches "all the way through the end of 2019." And as you can expect, with each arc, new secrets of the DC Universe will be revealed.
"There will be really big points throughout this two-year plan I have on Justice League where the story blows out into other books or gives touch points that these books can react to and build story on if they want," Snyder says. So get ready for potential revelations about Aquaman and Wonder Woman (the focus of the book's second arc) or Superman and Martian Manhunter (the focus of the third arc).
"The thing that I felt was missing in some ways from Justice League was the connectivity," Snyder says. "That feeling that they're not just seven big characters that exist on the Watchtower and fight aliens and fight the biggest stuff and wrestle with their role with civilians and all that stuff. I always loved the version where it was like, 'They are the hub and they meet everybody.' In the first issue of Justice League, you're gonna see Vixen and Animal Man and Dr. Fate and Swamp Thing and The Atom. I promise you, you will get how big we're going from page one."
So it's no accident that the League is once again calling its most familiar headquarters home: The Hall of Justice.
"The Hall of Justice, to me, is the hub, it is the central core of the Justice League group," Snyder says. "So every group within Justice League — and also just any superhero at all — has access to this, and some of them even have portals to their team bases within the Hall of Justice. We want you to feel like when you pick you a DC book, Justice League speaks to and is connected to all those things that you're enjoying, gives you hints and even drivers towards things that will be happening soon, either because of events in Justice League itself or because of some of the great story planned in the books outside of Justice League."
One thing that can never be questioned, though, is Snyder's enthusiasm. "This story is going to weave through every Crisis, every historical DC story that we've done, to build to something very special," he promises. "Arc by arc, pair of characters by pair of characters, mythology by mythology, my goal is to have this be my giant DC soap opera opus. I mean, I have no plans after this. If I never made another superhero comic, I want this to be the one I can go out on. This is my dream to get to write this book, and I have such good partners in James Tynion and Josh Williamson, and artistically Jim Cheung and Jorge Jimenez. I have all the tools at my disposal and the partners that inspire me, I feel like, to make something that I hope is the best thing I've ever done in superheroes.
"These are the greatest characters in the world and my favorite people that have ever taken them, like Grant Morrison and others, they go out there and they risk falling on their face to do something really game changing and big. That's my goal."
Justice League #1 is in stores today.
There have been many stories to kill off the Clown Prince of Crime, but Batman's greatest enemy isn't so easy to get rid of for good.
In fictional worlds of heroes and villains who can shrug off bullets like they were nothing, there exists “plot armor” for the lesser folk. Plot armor is the reason why Frank Castle can mosey through a room with an uzi in each hand and somehow kill every single enemy while somehow never getting shot in any vital area. It’s why Stormtroopers have the worst aim and why the red-shirted Enterprise dudes have all the bad luck.
I’m having a hard time coming up with someone with stronger plot armor in comic books than the Joker. Hell, even Frank Castle died at least twice in continuity. The Joker should be dead a million times over, not just due to his injuries, but because with all the lives he’s taken, surely somebody would have murdered him by now. But again, not only does he take vicious beatings, if he isn’t apprehended at the end of a story, he usually falls off a cliff or is at the heart of an explosion or gets hit by a truck.
Then he’s back the next time, no worse for the wear.
The Joker’s been revealed as a playable character for Injustice 2. This is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser because the entire story revolves around Joker being dead. Like, really dead. The previous game had another Joker visit from another reality, but he seems to be off the table this time around. So what is he? Another alternate universe Joker? A hallucination brought on by fear gas? A copycat? A clone? Did he simply come back from the dead?
But that’s what the Joker’s all about. While the comics won’t ever truly get rid of him, there are many continuities that have done away with Mr. J. Yet even then, the Joker is never really gone. He tends to haunt and taunt Batman in one way or another via his violent legacy. For someone with such an ill-defined identity, he sure is a fixture in the universe.
HONORABLE MENTION: TIM BURTON JOKER
Jack Nicholson’s Joker completely ate it at the end of Tim Burton’s Batman. He fell from a great height while dragged down by a gargoyle. We saw the body. Dude was absolutely dead.
And he stayed that way! After that first movie, the most mention Joker got in that universe was a brief allusion in Batman Forever when Batman told Robin that revenge leads to emptiness.
We almost got a bit more of him, though! Before Batman and Robin ruined the concept of fun and killed that franchise, Joel Schumacher was originally going to do a fifth movie in that universe. Batman Triumphant, which you can read more about here, would have revolved around Scarecrow and Harley Quinn as the new villains. Scarecrow means fear gas and that would have meant Batman getting a hallucination sequence.
What would Batman fear the most? Probably the skin-dyed dirtbag that killed his parents. And so, had the movie existed, we would have had a scene of Jack Nicholson Joker confronting Batman during a psychological breakdown.
The movie would have been a dumpster fire, but...man, part of me is bummed we never got it.
Similarly, an unused Superman vs. Batman script from the early '00s would have included a plot point where Lex Luthor cloned the Joker to bring him back as part of a scheme to traumatize Bruce Wayne out of retirement and trick him into fighting Superman. Probably the most sense-making reason to connect Lex and Joker.
Sunsoft made Batman: The Video Gamefor NES and the story was the general plot of the movie, only with lots and lots of ninjas and robots added because Batman needs something to fight. The ending is roughly the same, though Batman’s a bit more cold-blooded. He beats the Joker down, tells him, “You killed my parents,” and then tosses him to his doom. We see Joker’s lifeless corpse and roll credits.
Then a year later, they released Batman: Return of the Joker. The Joker’s back with some scheme involving stealing explosive metals and...he’s back. He’s alive again. Somehow. Neither the game nor the manual have any explanation. Just go with it.
Upon further review, both the Genesis and arcade adaptations of the movie make it vague whether or not falling from the top of a cathedral is enough to take out the Joker, so maybe Jack Nicholson's Joker is more resilient than anyone ever realized.
FRANK MILLER JOKER
Dark Knight Returns features one of the most chilling incarnations of the Joker, who comes out of a catatonic state the moment he finds out Batman’s back on the streets. Joker’s killing spree goes farther than the 1980s comic-reading public was used to and Batman ALMOST has it in him to kill the Joker for good. Since killing Joker is neither a horseshoe nor a hand grenade, Joker finishes the job by snapping his own neck and making it look like Batman’s finally gone over the line, thereby making him a prime target of the authorities.
Enduring one massive beating and a fake death (which people regard as “totally beat Superman in a fight” for some reason) later, Batman is fine.
Many years later, Frank Miller made his sequel Dark Knight Strikes Again, otherwise known as, “that mess.” In a story that focuses on Lex Luthor and Brainiac while including lots of DC heroes and Hal Jordan’s dinosaur space penis, the Joker appears a couple times as a looming threat. He kills the Creeper, Guardian, and even Martian Manhunter while bringing up the mystery of who he could possibly be.
Joker II shows up at the end of the comic as the final boss showdown. He is, in fact, Dick Grayson, whose only mention in the original story was not being on speaking terms with Bruce. As the story goes, Batman fired him for being an incompetent whiner once upon a time and rather than celebrate being free of the lunatic that is Miller Batman, Dick instead went a bit mad and allowed Luthor and Brainiac to give him shape-shifting/quick-healing powers.
Even though he’s capable of surviving decapitations and the like, Joker II is eventually done in by being knocked into some lava. Can’t heal if there’s nothing left of you.
Back in the late-90s, Alan Davis and Mark Farmer put together a three-issue Elseworlds story called The Nail. This “what if” tale shows how the DC Universe would have formed had Superman’s rocket not been discovered by the Kents. Without Superman as a symbol, metahumans aren’t exactly looked upon with love and astonishment. It’s more of an X-Men deal where the public’s mood is, “Thanks for saving the world...I guess.”
As part of the comic’s big villain conspiracy (and I won’t spoil who’s behind everything), the Joker is armed with a pair of gauntlets made from Kryptonian tech. They make him virtually unstoppable and he proceeds to liberate Arkham and then make the Bat-villains fight each other to the death for his amusement. Batman, Robin, and Batgirl appear and Alan Davis leans into things to finally answer the question, “What would it take for Batman to murder the Joker?”
The answer: have the Joker use his telekinetic gauntlets to slowly and painfully tear Robin and Batgirl to pieces while forcing Batman to watch. Jesus. Yeah. That’ll do it.
With some assistance from Catwoman, Batman’s able to free himself, damage the gauntlets and snap Joker’s neck. While the public display and selective context makes the Justice League look bad, nobody takes the incident harder than Batman himself. Both the graphic deaths of his sidekicks and the realization that he murdered a man sends him to the brink of sanity. It’s the comfort of Catwoman, who becomes Batwoman, that keeps him from falling apart.
Regardless, once the story is over, Batman gives himself up to the police. He’s acquitted of murder charges, but chooses to leave the Justice League.
Several years later, we get Another Nail, which basically exists to give upbeat closure to a story that had a bunch of downers. Batman continues to fight crime in Gotham, but he starts hearing the Joker’s laughter. Due to the convoluted plot of the miniseries, things are screwy with the afterlife and the Joker is able to escape Hell.
Threatening to kill Batwoman, Joker – who has Carnage-like powers – fights Batman. Batman attempts to sacrifice himself by tackling Joker back to Hell, but the spririts of Robin and Batgirl rescue him. Batman finally decides to get on with his life and rejoin the Justice League.
KINGDOM COME JOKER
The Joker’s death in Kingdom Come is a major turning point for society. After Joker murders Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and a lot of other people at the Daily Planet, he’s apprehended by the police. We’ll never know how Superman would have instinctively dealt with his loss as new superhero hotness and Cable pastiche Magog stops by to vaporize the handcuffed Joker.
Magog is put on trial, everyone and their mother is pretty okay with the Joker being murdered in any way, and Superman leaves in a huff. This causes a new dawn of “superheroism” where it’s less about heroism and more about people in cool costumes getting into fights with no care for anything but themselves. You know, kind of like a Zack Snyder movie.
While the Joker doesn’t come back from the dead, he does inspire one troublemaker to become the new Joker’s Daughter (otherwise known as Harlequin). Although we never get much on her, as she’s mostly a recurring background character, she represents the chaotic world where the mighty can do what they want while the weak are left deal with the consequences.
It does remind me that one of the most clever moments in the whole comic is when Batman betrays Lex Luthor and admits to only joining up with him in the first place in order to see what Captain Marvel’s deal was. As he puts it, Captain Marvel is a wild card and if there’s anything Batman hates, it’s a wild card.
BATMAN BEYOND JOKER
Batman: The Animated Series is arguably better than sliced bread and its dark future Batman Beyondwasn’t bad either. Despite taking place years in the future, the writers were stingy on the details of what became of a lot of the old guard. While we got to see what became of Mr. Freeze and Bane, bigger deal characters like Robin and Joker were glazed over.
At most, during the show’s run, we saw that the Joker was replaced with an ever-changing circus-themed gang called the Jokerz. That was cool and all and fits into the nature of this list, but Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker went beyond just that.
In the dying days of the Animated Series era, the Joker kidnapped and tortured Tim Drake Robin. He warped the poor boy, made him squeal about Batman’s secret identity, and then transformed him into a giggling child version of the Joker. Depending on which version you watch, Tim would get his revenge by either shooting Joker in the chest or electrocuting him to death.
In the Beyondera, the Joker appears yet again, making the futuristic Batman Terry McGuiness question the many ways that’s possible. In the end, the Joker turns out to be Tim Drake, unknowingly taken over by a secret implant that transforms him into having the Joker’s DNA and personality. Terry is able to put an end to this Joker by frying the implant with an electric joy buzzer.
DIGITAL JUSTICE JOKER
Speaking of the future, there’s this Elseworlds taking place towards the end of the 21st century. While the Joker presumably died of old age, considering Batman retired, he lives on in the form of a sentient computer virus and...
For God's sake, look at that thing. Actually, better idea, let’s not. Just...next entry.
RED RAIN JOKER
Throughout the '90s, Doug Moench and Kelley Jones did a trilogy of Elseworlds stories based on the very simple high concept of Batman being a literal "bat man." In the story Red Rain, Batman gets bitten by a vampire and fights Dracula. It’s pretty rad. Batman wins and Dracula’s dead for good.
A couple of years later, they do a sequel called Bloodstorm, which is based on the very human Joker leading Dracula’s horde for the sake of taking over the criminal underworld. Vampire Batman teams up with Selina Kyle, who also goes literal by being a werecat. Selena’s love is the only thing keeping Batman from going all-you-can-eat-buffet, so once Joker kills her with a crossbow, Batman has nothing left to keep him in check. Although part of him tries to fight it, he still powers through multiple crosses and holy water to snap Joker’s neck and feed on his blood.
Being that Batman is the smartest dude, he knows to shove a stake through Joker’s heart just in case because Vampire Joker is the last thing we need.
It’s moot, since not only has Batman killed his rival, but he’s given into his vampire instincts. He has his buds Alfred and Commissioner Gordon stake him to prevent any further benders.
Those two, unfortunately, never got around to removing his head, so despite being rendered immobile, Batman is still kicking. A few months later, Alfred removes the stake because Alfred is dumb as hell in this world. Not only does Batman have a taste for blood while being driven insane from months of his body rotting, but it’s implied a few times that ingesting Joker’s specific blood makes him even more out-of-control.
Yeah, things do NOT end well for any named character in that final chapter.
BATMAN 666 JOKER
During Grant Morrison’s lengthy run on Batman’s comics, he wrote a one-off story it Batman #666 that depicts Damian Wayne as a more ruthless Batman in the future who may or may not have sold his soul to the actual devil. There are two alternate follow-ups to this story. One of which has Damian adopt and raise Terry McGinnis, leading to a take on the Batman Beyond era.
Then there’s a path where everything goes wrong. The Joker has died and while we don’t know the details, we do know that the madman had his own failsafe. In his death, he releases a virus that transforms its victims into Joker-like monsters, like a clown version of 28 Days Later.
Damian Batman finds a baby who appears to be immune to the virus, but his attempts to use the child to create a cure leads to disaster when he discovers that the baby is merely a carrier. Overwhelmed by infected clown people, Damian watches in horror as Gotham is nuked to contain the outbreak.
I think I like the first future better.
In the Rocksteady Arkhamtrilogy, Joker suffers from injecting himself with Titan, otherwise known as Super Bane Juice II: Turbo. In the aftermath, he’s dying, so he figures he’ll inject his own poisoned blood into Batman’s veins to push Batman into finding a cure. I’m guessing Joker saw that episode of South Park where Cartman had AIDS and had a moment of inspiration.
Though Batman cures himself, Joker shivs him. Either because he thinks Batman’s going to leave him to die or because shivving seemed like a good idea at the moment. That makes Batman drop the antidote and Joker succumbs to illness and dies, laughing at Batman’s claim that he was totally about to give him the antidote after all.
Then in Arkham Knight, we discover that having Joker blood in your system plus breathing in Scarecrow’s fear toxin transforms you into superhero Fight Club. Joker appears in visions while Batman (and some other soon-to-be-dead saps who also have Joker blood) gradually becomes Joker-like in behavior and appearance.
Batman ultimately wins out by turning the two infections against each other and confronting Joker with his own fear: being dead and forgotten. Batman goes back to normal and gets back to his mission of handing Scarecrow a knuckle sandwich.
The Batman prequel series features Jerome Valeska, as played by Cameron Monaghan. Jerome is what I’d call the How I Met Your Mother of Jokers. He’s the Joker, but not really. Maybe. He could be. He might not be. He’s possibly a red herring. Or he can lead to the actual Joker. We’ll just have to wait and see to get an answer.
For all intents and purposes, he’s the Joker. Pretty much.
The charismatic psychopath and showman is killed off early in the second season during an attempt on the life of the adolescent Bruce Wayne. He gets stabbed in the neck by Theo Galavan in an act of betrayal, but dies with blood covering his lips as he smiles. Various people watch footage of Jerome on TV and go into giggling fits, including two guys who laughingly murder a homeless person, then turn on each other.
With that not being enough for viewers, they then go and bring Jerome back to life via televised comic book science. So maybe he’s the Joker after all! Or not. Again, How I Met Your Mother.
Coincidentally, Jerome’s father, a fortune teller, claimed that Jerome would leave behind a legacy of death and madness. Sounds about right.
The Injusticestoryline is the aftermath of the Joker growing bored of messing with Batman and moving on to Superman. Using some kryptonite-laced fear gas, Joker gets Superman to hallucinate that a pregnant Lois Lane is Doomsday. Lois’ heart is linked to a detonator that nukes Metropolis upon her thrown-into-space death.
This especially puts Superman in a bad mood to the point that he appears before the captured Joker and impales him with his fist. Over the next five years, Superman doubles down on his decision and ultimately transforms into a frustrated dictator.
Over the years, as Superman’s hold on the world becomes more frightening, Jason Bard starts up a protest group invoking the Joker’s image. Superman doesn’t take this well and fries a whole lot of them in a fit of anger. Even then, the Joker Clan grows to become an anarchist underground counter to Superman’s regime. Even though Harley Quinn’s grown to despise the Joker and what he stood for, she chooses to become the leader.
Then a handful of superheroes from the regular DC Universe are brought in via portal. Inadvertently, Joker is one of them. He quickly takes over the Joker Clan and wins over the heart of Harley, undoing years of personal progress on her part. Eventually, that world’s Lex Luthor helps Harley break the spell and she not only beats the shit out of that Joker until he begs his world’s Batman to take him home, but her more loyal Joker Clan members rebranded themselves as the Harley Horde.
Even with that all cleaned up, we’re now about to get another appearance by the Joker. A Joker. What’s his deal?
Who's to say? There are just so many options.
Gavin Jasper appreciates that Flashpoint Batman killed the Joker a couple hours before the world exploded. That’ll get you the last laugh. Follow Gavin on Twitter!
What has Wolverine been up to since he was turned into an adamantium statue? We're about to find out!
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 he's finally returning to Marvel, yellow costume and all, in September.
Logan Classic has been dead since 2014. Charles 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 several characters, including Laura Kinney, his teen girl clone from the Weapon X project, in the absolutely delightful All-New Wolverine; elderly, grumpy Logan 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 had Laura's "younger sister" (another clone) Gabby and an actual pet wolverine, Jonathan. That book is too pure and beautiful for this world.
Logan's return began in The Hunt for Wolverine, a 40-page one shot from Soule and artist David Marquez (Civil War II), which then led into a number of one-shots, and several Wolvie appearances around the Marvel Universe. But now things are getting real, with his proper return on September 19 in the pages of (you guessed it) Return of Wolverine...by original Logan-murderers Charles Soule and Steve McNiven.
“Wolverine’s body has been missing. The entire Marvel Universe has been looking for him, because he’s a very important part of the Super Hero puzzle. And at long last, he will be found,” says Soule in a statement from Marvel. “I thought this was a real opportunity to do things that would make him feel new and fresh in a way; if you come back from the dead, it should mean something. One of the outwardly physical manifestations of that is that now, from time to time, his claws—once they’re popped—they can heat up. They can get really hot.”
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!
Rainbow Rowell is writing a follow-up to Carry On, her 2015 novel about queer wizards in love and danger.
Carry On, Rainbow Rowell's follow-up to her fandom-centric Fangirl, is at once both a clever, cathartic critique of the Harry Potter series and other Chosen One narratives and its own fantastical love story—and now it's getting a sequel!
Rowell announced during last weekend's BookCon that she would be writing a follow-up to her young adult book about queer wizards Simon Snow and Baz and their friends at Watford School of Magicks. The upcoming young adult novel from the author of Eleanor & Park and Marvel's Runaways already has a cover, thanks to the brilliant Kevin Wada. Check it out...
No, that's not Harry Styles on the cover of Wayward Son, but, yes, it does look like him...
(It%u2019s not Harry. But it is a Gucci-ish suit that Baz wears in the book. @kevinwada made it gorgeous.)
— Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell) June 5, 2018
Details on the book thus far are relatively sparse, though Rowell has answered a bunch of questions via her Twitter, including confirming that Penelope and Agatha will be back for the sequel as well as other main characters Simon and Baz.
— Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell) June 5, 2018
Wayward Son Release Date
When can we expect Wayward Son? There's no specific date yet, but it is slated for a 2020 release. Rowell said that the specific release date will depend on the writing and editing process, which is, you know, always the case with books.
— Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell) June 5, 2018
The book is not yet available for pre-order, but Rowell has shared a Wayward Son playlist, which is maybe even better?
More news on Wayward Son as we hear it. In the mean time, check out the young adult books we're most looking forward to this year. Or come chat nerd books with us over at the Den of Geek Book Club.