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    Looking for a good science fiction read? Check out these new science fiction books released in July 2018.

    The ListsKayti Burt
    Jul 5, 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 July (and, OK, early August) that we are most looking forward to here at Den of Geek.

    Best New Science Fiction Books in July 2018

    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.

    Buy The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

    Black Chamber by S.M. Stirling

    Type: Standalone (so far)
    Publisher: Ace 
    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...

    Read Black Chamber by S.M. Stirling

    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?

    Read Space Unicorn Blues by TJ Berry 

    Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio

    Type: First in the Sun Eater series
    Publisher: DAW
    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.

    Read Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio

    I Only Killed Him Once by Adam Christopher

    Type: Third in the Ray Electromatic series
    Publisher: Tor Books
    Release date: July 10

    Another Hollywood night, another job for electric-detective-turned-robotic-hitman Raymond Electromatic. The target is a tall man in a black hat, and while Ray completes his mission successfully, he makes a startling discovery―one he soon forgets when his 24-hour memory tape loops to the end and is replaced with a fresh reel…

    When a tall man in a black hat arrives in the offices of the Electromatic Detective Agency the next day, Ray has a suspicion he has met this stranger before, although Ray’s computerized boss, Ada, is not saying a thing. But their visitor isn’t here to hire Ray for a job―he’s here to deliver a stark warning.

    Because time is running out and if Ray and Ada want to survive, they need to do exactly what the man in the black hat says.

    A man that Raymond Electromatic has already killed.

    Read I Only Killed Him Once by Adam Christopher

    Infinity's End, Edited by Jonathan Strahan

    Type: Final anthology in The Infinity Project series
    Publisher: Solaris
    Release date: July 10

    Humanity has made the universe home. On the outskirts of the solar system, beyond the asteroid fields, deep in space, under the surface of planets, in the ruins of fallen civilisations, in the flush of new creation: life finds a way.

    From intelligent velociraptors to digital ghosts; from a crèche on an asteroid to an artist using a star system as a canvas, this is a future where Earth’s children have adapted to every nook and cranny of existence.

    This is life on the edge of the possible. 

    Featuring astonishing tales from Stephen Baxter, Alastair Reynolds, Naomi Kritzer, Paul McAuley, Seanan McGuire, Linda Nagata, Hannu Rajaniemi, Justina Robson, Kelly Robson, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Lavie Tidhar, Peter Watts, Fran Wilde and Nick Wolven.

    Read Infinity's End

    Condomnauts by Yoss (translated by David Frye)

    Type: Standalone
    Publisher: Restless Books
    Release date: July 17

    In the 24th century, Josué Valdés’ rise from an orphan in the slums of Rubble City, Cuba to one of the galaxy’s most accomplished explorers was nothing short of meteoric. Josué used to race cockroaches for cash on the streets until he discovered his true-calling: as a sexual ambassador for humanity and the Nu Barsa colony.

    Every so-called “condomnaut” knows that trade deals in the galactic community depend on sexual pacts, which makes every encounter a close encounter. While some condomnauts have been trained and genetically enhanced to meet the needs of any tentacled insectoid in the galaxy, Josué is a natural whose ego could eclipse the big dipper. Josué and his fellow intrepid condomnauts travel light years across the galaxy and discover that old rivalries—and prejudices—are never far behind. When the first extragalactic beings arrive in the Milky Way, and with them the potential to negotiate for extraordinary new technologies, Josué must call upon every ounce of his talent to seal the deal for his colony and all of humanity.

    Indirectly investigating current sexual mores, Cuban science fiction rock star Yoss plays upon stereotypes while making it clear that in Communist Cuba what is daring is not always funny and vice versa. Following the success of Super Extra Grande and A Planet for Rent, Yoss brings us another uproarious space adventure with Condomnauts, a wildly inventive and unapologetic tale that would make even Barbarella blush.

    Read Condomnauts by Yoss


    Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

    Type: Third book in the Wayfarers series
    Publisher: Harper Voyager
    Release date: July 24

    Return to the sprawling universe of the Galactic Commons, as humans, artificial intelligence, aliens, and some beings yet undiscovered explore what it means to be a community in this exciting third adventure in the acclaimed and multi-award-nominated science fiction Wayfarers series, brimming with heartwarming characters and dazzling space adventure.

    Hundreds of years ago, the last humans on Earth boarded the Exodus Fleet in search of a new home among the stars. After centuries spent wandering empty space, their descendants were eventually accepted by the well-established species that govern the Milky Way.

    But that was long ago. Today, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, the birthplace of many, yet a place few outsiders have ever visited. While the Exodans take great pride in their original community and traditions, their culture has been influenced by others beyond their bulkheads. As many Exodans leave for alien cities or terrestrial colonies, those who remain are left to ponder their own lives and futures: What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination? Why remain in space when there are habitable worlds available to live? What is the price of sustaining their carefully balanced way of life—and is it worth saving at all?

    A young apprentice, a lifelong spacer with young children, a planet-raised traveler, an alien academic, a caretaker for the dead, and an Archivist whose mission is to ensure no one’s story is forgotten, wrestle with these profound universal questions. The answers may seem small on the galactic scale, but to these individuals, it could mean everything.

    Read Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

    A Study in Honor by Claire O'Dell

    Type: Standalone (for now... but let's be serious)
    Publisher: Harper Voyager
    Release date: July 31

    Set in a near future Washington, D.C., a clever, incisive, and fresh feminist twist on a classic literary icon—Sherlock Holmes—in which Dr. Janet Watson and covert agent Sara Holmes will use espionage, advanced technology, and the power of deduction to unmask a murderer targeting Civil War veterans.

    Dr. Janet Watson knows firsthand the horrifying cost of a divided nation. While treating broken soldiers on the battlefields of the New Civil War, a sniper’s bullet shattered her arm and ended her career. Honorably discharged and struggling with the semi-functional mechanical arm that replaced the limb she lost, she returns to the nation’s capital, a bleak, edgy city in the throes of a fraught presidential election. Homeless and jobless, Watson is uncertain of the future when she meets another black and queer woman, Sara Holmes, a mysterious yet playfully challenging covert agent who offers the doctor a place to stay.

    Watson’s readjustment to civilian life is complicated by the infuriating antics of her strange new roommate. But the tensions between them dissolve when Watson discovers that soldiers from the New Civil War have begun dying one by one—and that the deaths may be the tip of something far more dangerous, involving the pharmaceutical industry and even the looming election. Joining forces, Watson and Holmes embark on a thrilling investigation to solve the mystery—and secure justice for these fallen soldiers.

    Read A Study in Honor by Claire O'Dell

    Best New Science Fiction Books in June 2018

    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.

    Read Free Chocolate by Amber Royer

    Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

    Type: Third book in the Machineries of Empire trilogy
    Publisher: Solaris
    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...

    Read Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee

    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.

    Read The Robots of Gotham by Todd McAulty

    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.

    Read Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn

    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.

    Read Apocalypse Nyx by Kameron Hurley


    A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White

    Type: First book in Salvagers series
    Publisher: Orbit
    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.

    Read A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White

    What science fiction books are you most looking forward to checking out in July? Let us know in the comments below or in our Den of Geek Book Club on Goodreads.


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    We're tracking down every Marvel reference in Ant-Man and the Wasp! Here's a complete guide for you.

    Feature Gavin Jasper
    Jul 6, 2018

    After seeing everything build up into Avengers: Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe hits another big milestone with its twentieth movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp. Peyton Reed’s sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man (AKA the moment when we just kind of accepted that Marvel could get away with nearly any concept and make it a hit) is in theaters now and acts as both a follow-up to the original and Scott Lang’s misadventures in Captain America: Civil War.

    Absent in Infinity War, Ant-Man only got a shout-out as being under house arrest. Now we get to see what that’s all about, taking place a short while before that big blockbuster. Here are some Easter eggs and references from Scott Lang’s Day Off.

    Lots of spoilers coming!

    THE WASP/JANET VAN DYNE

    Clever thing about the movie is that the title has a double-meaning. It’s both about Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne as well as Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. Janet had a short scene in Ant-Manin full costume in a flashback, but here she’s an actual character. Janet first appeared in Tales to Astonish #44back in 1963. Much like Hank, Janet was one of the original members of the Avengers and was even the one who came up with the team name at the end of the first issue.

    Wasp’s movie death/disappearance is, in retrospect, very similar to Bucky Barnes’ comic book death in the sense that she sacrificed herself and seemingly died to prevent an enemy rocket from killing innocents. Her return has more in common with Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Avengers.

    In the story Secret Invasion, Wasp was infected with tainted Pym Particles that turned her into a living bomb. Thor prevented her from causing massive destruction, but she still dispersed into nothingness. Towards the end of Bendis’ run, she was able to communicate with several Avengers and let them know that she was in fact alive and marooned in the Microverse. Hank and the others were then able to rescue her and bring her back to the normal world.

    GHOST

    Ghost was introduced in Iron Man #219(1987) by David Michelinie and Bob Layton. While the appearance and powers are on-point, the comic and movie versions are pretty different. For one, the comic villain is a white male and is obsessed with destroying corporations. His real name has never been revealed, but according to his origin, he was a brilliant programmer who was exploited, manipulated, and almost murdered by his bosses. While mostly a villain, he spent a good amount of time as an anti-hero member of the Thunderbolts.

    As far as I know, Ava Starr is a brand new character. Her father, on the other hand, is Egghead. Introduced in Tales to Astonish #28 (1962) by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Larry Lieber, Egghead was your run-of-the-mill mad scientist. But hey, he was a regular thorn in the side of Hank Pym, so that’s something.

    BILL FOSTER

    Hank Pym’s old friend first showed up in the pages of Avengers #32 (1966) and almost a decade later, he became a superhero. In the movie, he mentions working on something called Project Goliath, based on enlarging people, which is fitting since his hero monikers have included Black Goliath and just plain Goliath. He’s basically most well-known for being the big casualty of the Civil War comic series.

    Er, as long as you don’t count Captain America in the aftermath.

    JAMES WOO

    FBI agent James Woo has a long history in Marvel Comics. Originally appearing in Yellow Claw #1(1956) by Al Feldstein and Joe Maneely, Jimmy Woo was an agent out to oppose the Yellow Claw, one of your usual “yellow peril” racist comic villains of that era. He was later turned into a SHIELD agent and had a role in a task force put together to stop Godzilla back when said monster had its own Marvel series.

    Woo is mostly known for leading the Agents of Atlas, a team of obscure and forgotten comic characters from the 1950s. Originally, it was a one-off story from the What If series back in the 70s, but the concept was brought into canon in the mid-00s. Listen, if dorky SHIELD agent Phil Coulson can get a TV spinoff, I think dorky FBI agent James Woo can get an Agents of Atlas spinoff. The world is ready for Gorilla Man and his robot buddy.

    Even though this is Woo’s first actual MCU appearance, he did get namedropped on Agents of SHIELD as being a contact on Melinda May’s cell.

    SONNY BURCH

    Much like Ghost, Burch is another Iron Man villain being repurposed for Ant-Man. In the comics, Burch was only around for a single storyline back in 2003-2004. Introduced in Iron Man #73by John Jackson Miller, Jorge Lucas, and Phillip Tan, Burch had more in common with the film version of Justin Hammer than his own movie counterpart. Burch was a businessman who exploited a legal loophole that gave him ownership of some older Stark armor tech. Caring more for profits than regulations and quality, he tried to exploit this technology and it became publicly disastrous. He ended up shooting himself rather than face charges.

    GEOFFREY BALLARD

    Although he didn’t get much screentime, the FBI agent contacted by Burch and given the tip to catch Hank and Hope is a supervillain in the comics. With the villain name Centurion, he debuted in Black Goliath #4 (1976) by Chris Claremont, Rick Buckler, and Don Heck. Even though he first showed up in Bill Foster’s comic, he ended up being more of a Ms. Marvel villain.

    MISCELLANEOUS

    - Scott’s daughter Cassie early on remarks, “I wish we could shrink for real.” Much like with Bucky Barnes wielding the shield and Jim Rhodes cracking wise at the silver Iron Man armor, this sounds like foreshadowing. Teenage Cassie followed in her father’s footsteps in the comics as Stature, a member of the Young Avengers. With the rumors of Cassie being a teenager in Avengers 4, we’ll see if there’s more to this quote than meets the eye.

    - While being kidnapped, Scott is watching Animal House (1978). More specifically, he’s watching a scene where Pintlo (Tom Hulce) and Dave Jennings (Donald Sutherland) have a pot-fueled discussion about how there are galaxies within atoms.

    - Kurt talks up Baba Yaga, a bogeywoman of Russian folklore. She has at least made some appearances in Marvel Comics, usually in relation to Captain Britain.

    - Luis makes a strained reference to the Budweiser “Wassap” commercials which aired...in 1999. Almost 20 years ago. Oh my God. Why am I just now recognizing these gray hairs?

    - When Bill Foster notices a bunch of ants crawling through the lab, he lets out a hammy, “It’s them!” At first glance, this might seem like a basic line, but it’s almost definitely a subtle joke reference to Them!, the 1954 movie about giant ants. The same film is being watched by Scott, Hope, and Cassie at the end of the movie.

    - According to his cameo, Stan Lee apparently did a lot of acid back in the 60s. Sounds about right.

    - The mid-credits scene takes place during the final moments of Avengers: Infinity War after Thanos snapped his fingers. While Scott survives, Hank, Janet, and Hope aren’t so lucky. Even alive, Scott is stranded and the post-credits stinger adds a question mark to, “Ant-Man and the Wasp will return.”

    Any other references you noticed? Sound off in the comments!

    Gavin Jasper is going to be a good boy for the rest of this year and then ask Santa for an Agents of Atlas movie. Follow Gavin on Twitter!


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  • 07/06/18--22:16: Steve Ditko: 1927 - 2018
  • Steve Ditko, the co-creator of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and others, has died at the age of 90.

    NewsMike Cecchini
    Jul 6, 2018

    Steve Ditko, the writer and artist who co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, and created superhero pillars like Blue Beetle, The Question, Hawk and Dove, and others, has died. Ditko's professional comics career began in the 1950s, working primarily on horror and science fiction for an assortment of small publishers. But it was his work during the early days of Marvel where he stepped into the spotlight, overseeing the creations of some of the most important characters in comics history.

    Ditko is one of the three pillars of Marvel, along with Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Without Steve Ditko, Marvel as we know it would not exist. Ditko co-created Spider-Man with Stan Lee, and drew and co-wrote Spidey's adventures for 38 issues. Ditko's Spider-Man was a moodier, stranger character than the romantic, comedic leading man that he later became, but his stories were innovative, weird, and even a little dangerous. Marvel may have had greater commercial success with later eras of the character, but those Ditko issues of Amazing Spider-Man are essential reads for any comic book fan, and stretched the boundaries of what was expected from superhero storytelling in the early 1960s.

    While not as well known than his work on Spider-Man, the work Ditko did on Doctor Strange (a character he also co-created with Lee) is arguably his masterpiece. Nightmarish, surreal, and psychedelic, Ditko's Doctor Strange comics were adopted by the burgeoning counter culture of the '60s as the comic of choice for mind-expanding experiences, despite the fact that Ditko himself was a conservative who favored Ayn Rand's philosophies and never touched drugs himself. The Ditko era of Doctor Strange has arguably never been matched by any other creator, and is as definitive to the early Marvel style as the work Jack Kirby was doing on Fantastic Four or Thor.

    Ditko left Marvel over creative differences with Stan Lee. He found himself at Charlton, where he created Captain Atom, the Question, and the Ted Kord version of Blue Beetle, three characters who would eventually make their way to the pages of DC Comics and serve as the inspiration for the characters in Watchmen 20 years later. The Question was one example of Ditko sneaking objectivist philosophy into his comics work. That philosophy found itself unfiltered in Ditko's mysterious Mr. A character, as well.

    Ditko himself did work for DC Comics, creating Hawk and Dove (soon to be seen in live action on the Titans TV series) and the Creeper for the company. His time at DC was short-lived, and he spent a chunk of the 1970s working at various publishers, before returning to do more work for DC and Marvel. In particular, his second stint at DC yielded characters like Shade, the Changing Man, and a particularly underrated version of Starman.

    Ditko spent his later years producing more personal work for smaller publishers. He became increasingly reclusive, never embracing his legacy or place in comics history, and rarely granting interviews. While he was never as openly hostile to adaptations of his work as someone like Alan Moore is, he didn't have much time for the blockbuster interpretations of Spider-Man or Doctor Strange. Fortunately, creators that followed him, whether on the page or the screen, had plenty of time for his work, and if you are new to these familiar characters and haven't yet had the pleasure of acquainting yourself with the work of their creator, now is a perfect opportunity. 


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    T'challa has had to defend Wakanda from all kinds of threats, but perhaps Wade Wilson thinks too far outside the box for him to handle.

    NewsGavin Jasper
    Jul 9, 2018

    For the past few years, Deadpool has starred in various “versus” comics. A lot of the time, they’re mostly team-ups with a couple moments of clashing involved. Whether or not he’s getting top billing, he’s been in titles with Spider-Man, Punisher, Thanos, Gambit, Hawkeye, Carnage, Old Man Logan, and X-Force. What’s one more?

    This October, we’re getting Black Panther vs. Deadpool, a five-issue miniseries by Daniel Kibblesmith and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz. Sorry, Wade. You may get a ton of that rated-R box office money, but you don’t get that “Wakanda Forever” box office money. You get second billing in this one.

    So far we don’t know much about the story other than Deadpool really needs to get his hands on some vibranium and the best idea he has is to straight-up steal some from Wakanda. It’s Deadpool’s unorthodox actions up against a king who seems to have an answer for every contingency. It’s Marvel’s Deathstroke vs. Marvel’s Batman.

    Black Panther and Deadpool haven’t really interacted too much in prior years. Even their most well-known clash (a crossover from when Christopher Priest was writing both characters' comics) was during the time when Killmonger was under the Black Panther mantle. Otherwise, they crossed paths in Doomwar, where Black Panther decided to hire Deadpool as an unpredictable x-factor against Dr. Doom’s machinations. There was also Civil War II, where they not only fought, but T’challa swore to one day kill Deadpool for potentially spoiling him on Game of Thrones.

    Here's the official synopsis:

    For a reason he’d rather not disclose (because, well, it makes him look bad!) Deadpool needs a piece of Vibranium…and the only way to get Vibranium is to go through the Black Panther himself! But Deadpool soon learns that his unconventional methods don’t exactly work against the king of the most technologically advanced country on the planet…

    “Featuring a brawl you can only get in comics (for now anyway), BLACK PANTHER VS. DEADPOOL is the best of both worlds, equal parts Black Panther/Wakanda and Deadpool/Crazytown,” said Editor Wil Moss in a statement. “In bouncing these two characters off each other (and sometimes through each other), Daniel and Ricardo have found some really fascinating insights into what makes them tick as individuals.”

    Anyway, Black Panther vs. Deadpool #1 will be out on October 3.

    Gavin Jasper wonders what the over-under is on, “Is this your king?” jokes for this comic. Follow Gavin on Twitter!


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    In this exclusive first look, Nightwing's new squad of Titans assembles to track down a new superhuman.

    NewsJim Dandy
    Jul 9, 2018

    I'm of two minds about this exclusive preview of Titans#23 that DC sent us. On the one hand, everything that's come out of Dark Nights and Justice League: No Justiceso far has been really good. The bridge issues of Teen Titansand Titanswere both great; Detective Comicsis turning into Black Lightning and the Outsiders which is also great; and Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez and Jim Cheung's Justice Leagueis the best Justice League comic since Grant Morrison left.

    The recent Titans interlude was especially fun because it takes a mix of old Titans characters, drops in some great additions like Miss Martian and Natasha Irons, and then turns the book into an almost X-Men-esque hunt for new metas who caught some loose Source Wall energy to train them up in how to use their powers. This preview for the first issue of the new status quo for the book shows the team interacting and heading out to their first mission.

    On the other hand, Brandon Peterson's art is wonderful. His faces and action are so smooth and well-rendered. Ivan Plascencia's colors probably deserve a bunch of credit for the feel of this art (and we've put the sketch variant cover right next to the original one so you can see the difference), but there is a real palpable energy in Peterson's workthat makes the new setup for the series feel more exciting. That's not really an other hand, it's more of an "also in that hand, really it's just good check out the preview."

    Here's the official synopsis:

    Can anything stop the Metagene pandemic unleashed through the events of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE? The all-new Titans are on the case. Roll call: Nightwing, Donna Troy, Raven, Steel, Beast Boy and Miss Martian! But can even their combined might stand against new super-powered weapons of mass destruction birthed by the Metagenes? And (SPOILERS) how will the events of TEEN TITANS #20 come back to haunt the Titans? New enemies are out for blood in part one of "The Spark."


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    A genre-bending post-apocalyptic quest tells a prickly, powerful story about negotiating with ghosts both literal and metaphorical.

    Review Megan Crouse
    Jul 9, 2018

    Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace is one of our selections for Best New Science Fiction Books in July. It is the second book in the Archivist Wasp Saga.

    Everyone knows some feeling of loss, of old friends or places inaccessible and different, changed in the intervening years. Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace, the follow up to 2015’s highly-praised YA crossover Archivist Wasp, blends loss—of one’s childhood, of an entire society, of friends—with a genre-defying post-apocalyptic world with raw clarity and bloody poise. With strong, insightful characterization and a keen sense for tension, it’s a nigh-unstoppable candidate for one of my favorite books this year.

    Archivist Wasp followed a teenage ghost-hunter into the world of the dead on her mission help the ghost of a super-soldier find a lost comrade. Latchkey takes place three years later. Isabel, the ghost-hunter formerly known as Wasp, needs to delve into the ruins under her own village to keep people safe from cannibalistic raiders. Once there, she realizes that the history of the ghost she saved is buried in the same tunnels. 

    The mix of genre is one of the most remarkable things about this series. Post-apocalyptic cults and raiders meeting a world of superheroes feels natural and exciting in Kornher-Stace’s ruthless prose. She creates cinematic scenes with a texture rarely found in science fiction. Her world also focuses on a very large cast of women, including friendships between girls and girls learning to defend themselves specifically because they had been preyed on by a man. There’s no cattiness here, just the rough efficiency of hikers or sailors.

    Latchkey is a masterful example of sustained tension within story. As soon as one threat is resolved or one question answered, more are carefully apportioned out in their places. With most of her story spent in the labyrinth of the former laboratory, Isabel is faced with dangers from rock-fall and starvation to ghosts more powerful than any she has seen before. Fight scenes play out wonderfully, like a video game world given all the chance and messiness of the real one. This world’s ghosts are frightening and deeply detailed — weak ones “deliquesce” or float on the surface of water like plastic bags, while strong ones bleed silver energy and move too fast to see. The taxonomy of ghosts, so important to Isabel, is quickly and clearly explained to the reader during vivid fight scenes. 

    All of it is held together by the three central characters: Isabel, the unnamed ghost she rescued, and former super-soldier Catherine Foster. Isabel is suffering PTSD symptoms she doesn’t recognize, but forges onward, using ritual and breathing exercises to control her own racing thoughts. Characters with various levels of anxiety are becoming more common in fiction — Trail of Lightning has this as well, and it’s wonderful to see that realism here. Isabel in particular is nervous, self-sabotaging at times, but also utterly determined and good-heartened, forging forward to make things right. Her faith in her religion’s gods (which are themselves so prickly they might as well be made of barbed wire instead of stars), her restrained reactions, and her intelligence make her stand out. 

    So, too, does her relationship with the unnamed ghost she saved. Both are deeply good people with an inability to reach back when someone reaches out to support them. Their conversations left me frustrated by their inability to be honest with one another, but also understanding. Of course two people this damaged, who have staked so much of their hearts on completing nearly impossible missions, would be more comfortable with sibling-like barbs than with emotional honesty. 

    The landscape itself is memorable, as well, with Isabel and the ghosts walking through the halls where young children trained and surgically altered to become superheroes once lived. The fury the operatives feel for this place is palpable, as is their dependency on it — they never had any other childhoods. The story of what happened in there is played out not only through reenacted memories, but also through evidence found in the setting itself, "showing without telling" of the highest order. 

    Some aspects of Isabel’s work are stated more directly in Latchkey than in Wasp — ghostgrass, briefly mentioned in the first novel, becomes a major tool here. The descriptions never become repetitive or encyclopedic, though. Fantasy elements are treated with stable realism, although some more description of people and objects would have been appreciated.

    Latchkey builds on Archivist Wasp by making explicit some of the thematic connections between Isabel’s upbringing and the ghost’s, all the better for those revelations happening during moments of high tension. The themes of the previous novel are deepened and enriched. The Before-world itself is a ghost presence, stuck in the moment of its collapse, and Isabel and her friends have to negotiate the fact of its death along with the literal phantoms. 

    The ending, while it did have a dramatic choke-hold on my heart, was not as cinematic or climactic as the lead-up might lead one to expect, and that neat stack of tensions that ran throughout most of the novel loosens up toward the end. I’d also have liked Isabel to spend more time one-on-one with Foster, who at times becomes an avatar for the abusive super-soldier program instead of being given her own chance to talk. The past at times feels more like a superhero story than our world, which can take away from the otherwise cuttingly good themes of anger and loss. 

    Overall, the book is a haunted, beautiful landscape of humanity and the dead, a windswept field with no shelter from the weather, except when comfort is felt more as an absence of pain. “What was it called when what you were homesick for wasn’t a place?,” Isabel wonders. “Whatever it was, for the first time in years it was gone.”

    Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace will be available to buy on July 10th via Mythic Delirium Books, Amazon, or your local independent bookstore.


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    The expansion of Gaiman's seminal Vertigo story starts in these preview pages! Then in August.

    NewsJim Dandy
    Jul 10, 2018

    Neil Gaiman returns to the stories that made him a comics icon and helped make Vertigo a prestige destination for comics creators around the world this August, and it feels like he never left.

    The Sandman Universe#1 takes us back into the realm of the Dreaming, where Daniel, the most recent Dream of the Endless, has gone missing. Gaiman laid out the story for this one-shot, and left it to the ongoing creative teams of the four spin-off books to weave his threads together for their stories. Those books and creative teams, all working on this issue, are:

    • The Dreaming by Si Spurrier (X-Men: Legacy, Suicide Squad) and Bilquis Evely (Wonder Woman and an amazing Shaft book with Power Man/Iron Fist's David Walker that you should find). This series deals with the fallout of the missing Daniel and checks back in with Matthew the Raven, Lucien, Cain, Abel and Nuala.
    • The House of Whispersby Nalo Hopkinson (Sister Mine, The New Girl's Arms) and Domo Stanton (Moon Girl & DevilDinosaur). The House of Whispers appears with the House of Secrets and the House of Mysteries after a group of women capture the voodoo goddess Erzulie and crash their home into the Dreaming.
    • Luciferby Dan Watters (Limbo) and Max and Sebastian Fiumara (Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows) about...well Lucifer, to be frank. If that's not enough, describing it as "Lucifer gets stuck in his own personal hell"...actually probably might grab you.
    • And Books of Magicfrom Kat Howard (Roses and Rot) and Tom Fowler (Quantum & Woody, the second best Legion of Super-Heroes pitch I've ever heard) that follows up on the classic Sandmanspinoff and checks back in with Tim Murphy.

    Take a look!


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    With two games and hundreds of comic issues, the alternate universe of Injustice has given us many casualties. Here are the victims.

    Feature Gavin Jasper
    Jul 10, 2018

    Injustice: Gods Among Us andInjustice 2 are old news by this point. Even for the latter game, the DLC well has dried up and we're simply waiting for NetherRealm Studios' next Mortal Kombat game to pop up. Even though interest in the game has moved on, the comic prequel is still being released on a weekly basis and is still making the top ten in digital sales.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself. When the first game came out, writer Tom Taylor and a group of artists (mainly Bruno Redondo, Tom Derenick, and Mike S. Miller) launched a digital prequel comic based on the Injusticeuniverse. The comic became a surprise hit and the first volume was followed with an annual issue as well as a Year Two continuation of the series. The digital issues would eventually be released as print issues and later turned into trades. After hitting the end of Year Five, it moved on to a retelling of the game's story from Harley Quinn's perspective, and that was followed with a comic prequel for Injustice 2. There's even a He-Man crossover comic on the way.

    That’s kind of nuts.

    Sometimes comics based on trademarked properties get screwed over by sequels. For instance, there were comic follow-ups to Aliensthat were completely negated by the events of Alien 3. Considering the vast amount of deaths in the Injusticecomic, surely the sequel would screw with the timeline.

    Shockingly, that’s not the case. With one early exception, all the new characters in Injustice 2 are either ignored completely or simply not killed in the comic. It goes to show some high-quality communication between the writers and developer NetherRealm Studios. Together, the creators traversed the vast and violent landscape of the Injusticeuniverse to carve out stories for most of the popular DC roster. The characters you meet in Injustice 2 have survived the vicious comic book series and are ready to enter the ring.

    But what of those who didn’t make it out of that alternate universe alive? There are many heroes and villains who have fallen in order to make way for Superman’s Regime. Here are the victims of Superman and Batman’s great war.

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    STEVE TREVOR

    Injustice 2 Annual #1

    Going in chronological order instead of issue order, this one supersedes the rest due to taking part in World War II. In the Injustice universe, there were more differences than the big Superman/Joker catalyst. After all, Lex Luthor was Superman’s best friend. While Superman’s downfall and behavior were well-explained, they rarely got into why Wonder Woman was constantly vindicating his actions and acted so loyal in his quest for tyranny.

    In this universe, Diana discovers Steve Trevor on her island, as expected. The situation plays out an awful lot like the Wonder Womanmovie, except for two major differences. One, it's World War II instead of World War I. Two, Steve eventually betrays her and tries to steal the Lasso of Truth to help the Nazis because, oh yeah, he was also a German spy all along. Although he admits that he has feelings for her, Steve loves his homeland more and Wonder Woman responds by decapitating him with the lasso.

    Kind of sheds some light on her behavior through the series, even down to holding a candle for an evil fascist boyfriend.

    JIMMY OLSEN

    Year One #1

    The comic series opens with pure optimism. Superman finds out that Lois is pregnant. He calls Batman over and asks him to be the godfather. Batman even musters up a smile. Then things immediately go to Hell.

    Lois and Jimmy are given an anonymous tip about a corrupt senator doing corrupt things at the docks. Jimmy’s there to take photos, but it’s all a setup. The Joker steps out and shoots him through the camera. He then takes Lois hostage.

    Buy the Injustice games and comics here!

    SCARECROW

    Year One #2

    The search for Lois becomes immediate and frantic. Batman demands all the Justice League members stop what they’re doing and find her, even though many aren’t aware of her relationship with Superman. Flash discovers the dead body of the Scarecrow at STAR Labs. With the sack removed from his head, it’s apparent that he’s been killed by Joker gas.

    Even though Batman identifies him as Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow shows up again in Year Five. Now he's in Injustice 2. Whoops! We never do get any real explanation for that.

    LOIS LANE

    Year One #3

    And here’s the lynchpin of this universe.

    Superman’s search leads to a submarine. He finds Joker and Harley there, but he also finds Doomsday out of nowhere. Quick to act, Superman grabs Doomsday and sends him into space. What Superman is slow to realize is that he’s been poisoned. The Joker mixed kryptonite with Scarecrow’s fear gas and made Superman hallucinate Doomsday. Superman has, in fact, killed Lois Lane and their unborn child.

    Tom Taylor had no choice but to write this sequence because the game made it specific. The fact that he had to do it didn’t sit well with him and he tried to redeem himself when writing the comic Earth 2. In it, that world’s version of Lois Lane is resurrected by having her mind put into a robot body. He jokingly refers to introducing her via her robot body being thawed out as "unfridging."

    JESSE QUICK

    Year One #20

    For the sake of chronology, I’m going to skip around for the next couple entries for the sake of issues with flashbacks.

    Heh. Flashbacks.

    Joker rigged Lois’ heart to a nuclear device, so when Superman inadvertently kills her, he does the same to his home. It’s later shown that Lex Luthor (a good man in this world) survives the ordeal because he thinks ahead. He has a speedster on his payroll who is hired to throw him into his bunker in case of such a disaster. Unfortunately, the speedster tries to save others and is wiped out by the blast.

    Although she’s never identified, she mostly resembles Jesse Quick.

    KID FLASH AND BEAST BOY

    Year Three Annual

    The Year Three Annual explains why all the other major Teen Titans characters are missing outside of simply saying that the explosion killed them all. When the explosion goes off, only Superboy, Beast Boy, and Kid Flash (identified as Bart Allen) are in Metropolis. Kid Flash is taken out immediately due to running into the blast’s direction. Superboy attempts to shield Beast Boy at the last second, but fails to save his life.

    STEEL (JOHN HENRY IRONS)

    Injustice 2 #21

    During the Metropolis explosion, Natasha Irons is enjoying a romantic vacation in France. She receives a panicked and scrambled call from her uncle, explaining that something terrible has happened. In response to the explosion, he is putting all of their research in a safe place, protected from the radiation. Although he succeeds on that front, the building begins to collapse and the falling wreckage crushes him.

    Years later, Natasha would be able to uncover the hidden files and take up the Steel mantle.

    JOKER

    Year One #4/Story Mode

    The Joker is immediately apprehended. Batman visits him in prison to demand to know why he did all this. Joker admits that he’s grown tired of messing with Batman, so he moved on to Superman, deciding he wanted to see if he could break him. Batman’s all, “You’ll never break Superman because he’s freaking Superman!” but then Superman breaks through the wall and angrily impales Joker with his arm.

    Joker’s last breath is his last laugh.

    Although the playable Joker in the Injusticegame is the Joker from the mainstream DC Universe, his appearance in Injustice 2 is explained as a fear gas hallucination.

    NIGHTWING

    Year One #16

    Although a Nightwing is on Superman’s side in the game, it’s actually an older Damian Wayne. Batman is sure to point out that Damian murdered the original Nightwing, Dick Grayson.

    That puts Taylor in a tough spot because you have to sort of balance the act. He has to kill Dick but not in a way that’s too evil because even the super serious Justice League has to have boundaries at this point.

    As the story goes, Superman chooses to remove all the inmates at Arkham and place them in his own secret prison. Batman and Nightwing go to prevent this, but Robin sells them out to Superman. A gigantic brawl breaks out between Superman’s team, the Gotham heroes, and a bunch of Arkham inmates. In the midst of it, Nightwing and Robin have a bit of an argument and Robin responds by lashing out and angrily throwing his escrima stick at Nightwing’s head (something he’s apparently wont to do as he tried it earlier).

    Nightwing doesn’t see it coming because he’s busy fighting deranged murderers and gets nailed upside the head. It knocks him out, he lands neck-first onto a piece of rubble and he’s dead in a snap. Robin’s freaking out, Batman’s horrified, and everyone figures maybe it’s for the best to just back off on the fighting and not poke the bear for the time being.

    KALIBAK

    Year One #24

    Without the context of what’s been going on, Kalibak hears that Superman’s declaring a war-free Earth and figures it’s some hippy bullshit ripe for the picking. Under Darkseid’s permission, he and a bunch of Parademons invade Earth during a big Superman press conference. When Kalibak sees the anger in Superman’s eyes, he realizes that maybe he made a big mistake.

    Superman fries a bunch of Parademons and beats Kalibak enough to make him surrender. Superman won’t have it and smacks him around, demanding he fight back just as an excuse to kill him and make him pay for his crimes. Kalibak strikes against him, but gets put down.

    CAPTAIN ATOM

    Year One #32

    Batman’s team of rebels is mostly made up of low-level folks. The powerless vigilantes like Huntress, Batwoman, Green Arrow, and so on. Since Batman is on the same side as the President, it makes sense that he’d also have super-duper-soldier Captain Atom on his side.

    Near the Fortress of Solitude, Captain Atom proceeds to outfight Superman and lets him know that he’s under orders of the United States government to take him down. He wants to bring him in alive, but then Wonder Woman arrives and chops open his neck. Annoyed, Captain Atom points out that he’s about to explode, taking the North Pole with him.

    While mocking Superman for no longer being selfless, Captain Atom makes sure to fly to space and drags Superman with him. Wonder Woman follows but the explosion blasts her back to Earth and puts her in a coma for over a year.

    Superman survives.

    GREEN ARROW

    Year One #33

    This is another bit that’s mentioned in-game and we get to see it play out in comic form.

    The whole first volume leads up to this moment. Driven by grief and frustration, Superman’s tried to do what he feels is right. The government betrays him. Batman betrays him. Wonder Woman is gravely injured. Then he discovers Green Arrow in the Fortress of Solitude, trying to pocket some of the “super pills” that Lex Luthor and Superman created (they give people Kryptonian-level strength). More importantly, Green Arrow is in the same room where Superman’s been keeping Jonathan and Martha Kent for their protection and that just comes off as a threat at first glance.

    Green Arrow shoots an arrow at Superman and it deflects. It ends up finding its way into Jonathan’s shoulder. It’s that screw-up that finally sets Superman off and he angrily beats Green Arrow to death in front of the Kents.

    Although Ollie dies, he does at least fire an arrow with a super pill tacked onto it. It reaches Batman and the others, but Black Canary knows he isn’t coming back.

    When Superman comes down from his rage, he refuses to take responsibility and blames Batman for this death as well. The AI ghost of Jor-El apologizes to the Kents for unleashing this upon their world.

    As for Green Arrow, the end of Year Two has Black Canary brought to an alternate reality where she died and Ollie survived. The two end up together and return for Injustice 2.

    KYLE RAYNER

    Year Two #2

    Green Lantern Kyle Rayner missed out on the whole Superman situation because he was off Earth for an entire year. As he goes back to check up on everything, including his girlfriend (who may or may not be pieces of broken meat in his fridge. We’ll never know), he’s ambushed by the Sinestro Corps.

    As he’s captured, Sinestro pops in to say that he’s been paying attention to Earth and is really interested in playing a role. He can’t have Kyle around to interfere, so Sinestro pulls off his ring finger and allows him to suffocate in space. He also has Kyle’s limbs torn off because that’s scarier, I guess.

    Sinestro then goes to Earth and allows himself to be Superman’s prisoner, swearing that he’s there to warn him about the coming of the Green Lantern Corps.

    CH’P

    Year Two #10

    As expected, the Green Lantern Corps are sent to deal with this whole “Earth taken over by an overpowered tyrant” situation. Normally, Superman, Shazam, and Hawkgirl would be able to take on an army of those guys themselves, but the Corps has an ace in their sleeve that nobody expected.

    Ch’p the space squirrel may be tiny, but he’s also able to control light on a much tinier scale than anyone else. This includes preventing the synapses in Superman’s brain from working, meaning Superman is completely paralyzed.

    Sinestro convinces Luthor to let him free and he saves Superman by blasting a hole through Ch’p’s head. With Superman back in action, the Green Lanterns have no choice but to surrender.

    DESPERO

    Year Two #15

    This one’s morbidly hilarious. To get in the good graces of Earth’s heroes, Sinestro has the Sinestro Corps put the boots to Despero and blast him to Earth. Disheveled and annoyed, Despero finds Sinestro loudly ranting and raving about how Despero won’t hurt the innocents of this planet. Sinestro then uses his ring to force Despero’s hands around Sinestro’s throat.

    As Hal Jordan and John Stewart come to help, Sinestro snaps Despero’s neck and sadly tells his allies that it was the only way. Naturally, they don’t question it and think about how much Sinestro’s changed.

    JAMES GORDON

    Year Two #20

    According to Batgirl’s in-game ending, Superman killed Commissioner Gordon at some point, inspiring Barbara to don the Batgirl cowl once again. In the comic, Superman tries to intimidate Barbara into telling him where Batman is, then regretfully gives Gordon the news that according to his x-ray vision, Gordon’s suffering from lung cancer.

    Gordon decides there’s no longer a need to lie and lets Barbara know that he’s always been keen to her double lives as Batgirl and Oracle. Using the super pills, Gordon leads Gotham’s Finest to siege the Hall of Justice, all while knowing that the super pill is actually making the cancer stronger and killing him quicker.

    Although on his last legs, Gordon is able to stop Cyborg from tracking down Oracle’s whereabouts. He tears out the metal from Cyborg’s face, knocking him out of commission. Then, from the Justice League satellite, he looks at the beauty of Earth and says his goodbyes to Barbara and Batman.

    JOHN STEWART

    Year Two #23

    Batman’s resistance wages war on Superman’s Regime and the Green Lantern Corps is on Batman’s side, albeit against the wishes of all the Guardians except Ganthet. Superman, on the other hand, has the Sinestro Corps at his disposal. There are many casualties on both sides.

    John Stewart is in the middle of it all. He’s on Superman’s side, but he’s also a Green Lantern. He doesn’t want anyone to fight. Sinestro tries to coax him into helping out and as John admits how torn he is, Sinestro literally tears a hole through John’s chest.

    Sinestro then flies John’s dying body to Hal (who has become a Yellow Lantern by this point), telling him to get John to safety. John dies in Hal’s arms, making Hal a little too emotional to think clearly.

    GUY GARDNER

    Year Two #23

    When a distraught and angry Hal demands to know who is responsible for John’s death, Sinestro says that Guy Gardner did it by accident. Since Guy is the big mouthpiece in the whole “Let’s go get some Green Lanterns to beat up Superman!” concept, Hal freaks the hell out and it doesn’t help that Sinestro’s egging him on.

    Guy is overwhelmed and begs Hal to get a hold of himself. Instead, Hal gets a hold on Guy’s arm and tears it off, causing a powerless Guy to fall to his death.

    During the Injustice 2 comic, Hal constantly sees Guy standing nearby, cracking wise, as a manifestation of Hal's guilt.

    MOGO AND GANTHET

    Year Two #24

    As mentioned, Ganthet is in charge of the siege to stop Superman, and considering he’s an Oan, he’s tough enough to smack Superman around. Not only that, but he brought Mogo the Living Planet with him and he’s, you know, a living planet.

    The death of a random Sinestro Corps member causes the loose ring to find a replacement in Superman. A pissed off InjusticeSuperman and a yellow wishing ring are the makings for a pretty bad day and he proves his power by slamming Ganthet into Mogo and pushing them both into the sun.

    Yeah, that’ll do it.

    DR. OCCULT AND ROSE PSYCHIC

    Year Three Annual

    The annual issue came out after the entirety of Year Three, but it takes place before it, filling in some of the blanks. Batman hires the two-in-one duo of Dr. Occult and Rose as his agents with the mission of neutralizing Raven and Wonder Woman. Dr. Occult finds and assaults Raven, but she is quick to burn him to death with Hellfire. Rose is separated from the charred body. John Constantine – who had been stalking the mystics – appears and helps take Raven down.

    With Occult dead, Rose can’t survive. She fulfills her final mission by using magic powder to keep Wonder Woman’s coma going, but collapses. Her final words are a failed attempt to tell Batman not to trust Constantine. Immediately after, Constantine appears and robs her body of magic trinkets.

    JASON BLOOD AND HARVEY BULLOCK

    Year Three #3

    Batman recruits a handful of magic users to help his cause. The rebels hang out in Jason Blood’s house and start planning, but dumpy detective Harvey Bullock realizes that he’s completely out of his element and tries to leave. Detective Chimp, who mentions having worked with Gordon in the past, gets through to him and convinces him to stay.

    All of a sudden, there’s some kind of horrible force trying to get in through the door. Bullock attempts to close it, but can’t. Jason Blood steps in to do the same and begins to summon Etrigan to take his place. Before he can, the Spectre’s energies blast the door back, killing both men in one go.

    RAGMAN

    Year Three #8

    Constantine briefly captures Superman with the help of Ragman. The idea is to absorb Superman into Ragman’s magical attire, meaning Superman’s soul will have to spend years helping Ragman fight evil in order to atone. As Constantine points out, Superman’s literally killed a planet, so that might take some time.

    Speaking of taking time, the absorbing process takes too long due to Superman’s strength. He’s able to get help from Shazam, who defeats Ragman. Then the Spectre – on the side of Superman in all of this – appears and tears Ragman to pieces while Constantine knows there’s nothing he can do to save him.

    DEADMAN

    Year Three #10

    Deadman possesses the body of Shazam in order to save Constantine and talk some sense into the Spectre. He’s confused and horrified when he discovers that Spectre isn’t Jim Corrigan anymore, and instead sees a creepy smile (one of several red herring hints that Spectre is actually the Joker). Spectre pulls out his giant sword and cuts through Deadman, wounding his soul.

    Deadman goes to his boss Rama Kushna, who cannot save him. Deadman chooses someone to take his place. In his final moments, Boston Brand transfers his power into the soul of Dick Grayson, who gladly takes on the Deadman mantle.

    PHANTOM STRANGER

    Year Three #11

    Phantom Stranger feels that Spectre’s being a little weird and is interfering with man a bit too much, so he teleports him to space for a heart-to-heart. It doesn’t take long for Phantom Stranger to realize that something’s up with Spectre on a physical level. Spectre strikes against him, strangling Stranger while shoving him through the entirety of Saturn. Stranger sees the force within that’s making Spectre act like this and widens his eyes in horror.

    By the way, if you’re wondering, the Spectre is Mr. Mxyzptlk. Hence all the smiling and Joker-like gestures.

    KLARION

    Year Three #17

    A big battle breaks out between Superman and Batman’s groups, and Constantine points out that this isn’t going to end well. He calls to teammate Klarion the Witch Boy to teleport them out of there, but before anything can be done, Sinestro blasts Klarion to death with his yellow ring. Superman and Wonder Woman yell at Sinestro, which gives Batman and Constantine a moment to discuss their next contingency.

    Showing that you either go big or go home, Constantine summons Trigon to distract Superman and friends.

    DETECTIVE CHIMP

    Year Three #18

    As the heroes escape, Detective Chimp refuses to follow. As he tells Harley, he was conjured by Klarion in the first place. With Klarion gone, Chimp will soon cease to exist. Harley, who has become attached to the little guy, hugs him until he vanishes.

    Man, this story’s been kind of rough on Harley. Everyone she cares for dies on her.

    HUNTRESS

    Year Three #21

    The rest of Year Three sort of spins its wheels until it gets to the final issue. Once again, Superman’s side fights Batman’s side, only with Trigon fighting Mr. Mxyzptlk in the background. Huntress and Batwoman – both powered up with super pills – team up on Superman until Wonder Woman steps in. During the fight, she wraps her lasso around Huntress’ neck and accidentally tugs on it hard enough to snap it.

    Normally, this would just be an instance of killing off a random character because they aren’t in the game and, well, it’s the Injustice comic. What do you expect? Instead, this kill ends up being a bizarre editorial mystery, best explained with the next entry.

    RENEE MONTOYA

    Year Four #4

    A few years ago, there was a pretty big news story regarding DC editorial. The creative team on Batwoman left in a huff because they planned to have Kate Kane, a lesbian character, get married, or at least engaged, and DC wouldn’t allow it. When it became a big thing, DC doubled down by claiming that they don’t hate GAY marriage. They just hate ALL marriage! Which is stupid for other reasons, but whatever.

    Tom Taylor, writer of Injusticeat the time, had a one-panel scene showing that in this universe, Batwoman and Renee Montoya (who at the very least were an item in main continuity) are married back as of Year Two. It was rather nice and shouldn’t have been a big enough deal to affect anything in the story.

    Brian Buccellato took over during Year Three and, as mentioned, killed off Huntress. Huntress’ death has huge ramifications in regards to Montoya, who goes completely off the deep end. She starts drinking heavily. She calls up an ex to give a tearful goodbye, and goes on a suicide run to kill the ones responsible.

    In other words, she’s acting distraught in a way you’d expect from someone who lost their spouse. Over Huntress. Not that they aren’t friends and teammates, but Montoya is far more hurt and broken than when Gordon and Bullock are taken out. She has zero interaction with Batwoman (her wife), and even when Montoya dies, Batwoman barely has any reaction.

    In other words, one of three things happened:

    1) Buccellato seriously cannot tell Batwoman and Huntress apart, and the editor didn’t catch it.

    2) DC were really mad about the insinuation of two supporting characters being (gay) married and told him to switch Batwoman and Huntress’ roles as a way to sweep it under the rug.

    3) DC let him know that Batwoman’s planned to be in an Injusticesequel in some form, so no-go on killing her.

    Regardless, it’s suspect as hell.

    Oh, right. The actual death. Renee Montoya overdoses on super pills and calls out Superman for a public fight, beating on him until her heart gives out.

    HERCULES

    Year Four #13

    Year Four is about the Greek Gods stepping in to clown Superman and take over. This leads to a battle between the gods and Superman's regime. The heavy hitter is Hercules, who easily defeats Hal Jordan and then fights off both Wonder Woman and Superman, batting the latter into space. Shazam shows up and finally brings the demigod down. Hercules awaits his death, but Shazam refuses to commit murder.

    Instead, Superman zooms down from space and does Hercules in win one swift blow.

    ARTEMIS

    Year Four #23

    Wow, an entire ten issues before the next death?! Damn.

    In the end of this volume, both sides of the Injusticeconflict join forces to fight the gods. During the battle, Hera decides she’s finally going to take out Wonder Woman's mother, Queen Hippolyta. Artemis shoves her queen out of the way and takes the blast herself.

    Hera shows no regret for the kill and promptly gets taken down by Harley, Batwoman, and others.

    KILOWOG

    Year Four Annual

    The annual is a delightful prison break story starring Plastic Man as he tries to rescue his activist son, Offspring. Turns out the Justice League has placed all of the super criminals in an underwater prison with Metamorpho as the warden. Plas sneaks around and gets help from inmate Kilowog, who starts a riot by headbutting Bane.

    Superman and his heavy hitters appear outside the glass bubble protecting the prison, and it looks like all is lost. Plas reveals that he’s smuggled all the Green Lantern rings and throws them all out to their users. Outside the bubble, Sinestro freaks out and, despite the warnings of Jordan, blasts through the bubble and shoots through Kilowog before he can be a threat.

    That act works against Superman’s side and helps Plastic Man and Offspring free everyone, setting up the big Year Five story that a whole bunch of supervillains are on the loose.

    PARASITE

    Year Five #3

    The Regime’s quest to round up all the escaped villains gets a bit more complicated when Doomsday shows up on Earth yet again. Superman’s too busy trading blows with him, while Yellow Lantern and Cyborg aren’t having any luck fighting Parasite.

    Superman gets some unlikely help from Bane, who...puts...Doomsday...in a full-nelson...? Man, I don’t get how that works either, but let’s go with it. This frees Superman up to go bail out his buddies by grabbing Parasite and flinging him into the sun. When the others ask about why Parasite isn’t locked up with the rest, Superman just says he’s a special case and he’s been taken care of.

    HEATWAVE AND WEATHER WIZARD

    Year Five #10

    Two subplots in the first half of Year Five are about the Flash Rogues and Bizarro Superman. Batman recruits the Rogues (specifically Golden Glider, Heatwave, Mirror Master, and Weather Wizard) to help him because they’re honorable enough despite being bad guys. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor’s secretly trying to create a perfect Superman clone to combat the real deal, but the unfinished clone escapes and now believes himself to be the actual Superman.

    The two plotlines clash when Bizarro goes after the Rogues, because that’s what Superman would do. During the battle, he begins to realize his own lack of limits, such as initially being afraid of Heatwave’s fire, but then realizing it doesn’t hurt him.

    Things get messy when Weather Wizard offhandedly calls Bizarro “Fake Superman.” Bizarro fries Wizard and Heatwave with his vision, and the other two are only saved because Trickster (Alex Walker), who has secretly tagged along, convinces Bizarro that he’s his friend. Bizarro, not really understanding who or what he is, grabs Trickster and flies away to get answers.

    JASON BARD

    Year Five #16

    The Gotham detective starts his own anti-Regime group called the Joker Underground to rally against Superman and maybe do some terrorist stuff. Harley and Batwoman show up to tell them not to go about it this way, especially the part where he invokes the Joker’s name as a good thing. They try to talk Bard into altering the group and maybe connecting them to Batman’s Insurgency.

    As Harley and Batwoman ride off, Superman arrives, having heard about the Joker Underground. Hearing all these citizens chant the Joker’s name in defiance of Superman and his order, Superman gets downright pissed and mashes on the heat vision, taking out everyone in the building.

    TRICKSTER

    Year Five #18

    The Trickster tries to help Bizarro figure things out and makes an attempt to teach him how to keep his powers in check. For instance, when Bizarro sneezes, he definitely needs to cover his face, as the alternative almost kills Trickster.

    Bizarro takes to the Trickster as his little buddy, but his Frankenstein’s Monster mentality (the movie version and not the awesome DC Comics version) causes him to kill various civilians due to a misunderstanding. Trickster is mad at first, blaming himself for not being able to convey his thoughts better to the big lug, but is able to get over it. He and Bizarro are family. They only have each other, and they’re going to have a great future working together. As Bizarro flies with Trickster in his arms, Trickster tells him that they’ll be best friends forever. 

    That's the most blatant death flag you’ll ever see, which is what makes this scene so goddamn funny. A beat later, Bizarro sneezes. This time he remembers to put his hands over his face. It just takes him a moment to realize that he dropped Trickster onto the side of a mountain. Whoops.

    BIZARRO

    Year Five #20

    Bizarro brings the Trickster’s carcass to Lex Luthor, begging him to fix his friend. Luthor’s in a tight spot because on one hand, Bizarro will likely kill him once he realizes he can’t resurrect the dead and on the other hand, Superman will figure out that he created Bizarro. Luthor gets Bizarro to enter the Fortress of Solitude, where he has Doomsday waiting. By this point, Doomsday has been mind-controlled to do the Regime’s bidding as the ultimate weapon.

    Then Superman shows up, making it a three-way battle between Superman, Bizarro, and Doomsday with Luthor in control. Luthor realizes that he can put an end to Superman right there and now, but decides that he simply can’t murder him like this.

    Which...kind of lacks any gravitas when Luthor then has Doomsday snap Bizarro’s neck as a way to cover his tracks. Superman delivers Bizarro’s corpse to Luthor and tells him to do as many tests as he needs to do to figure out just where this thing came from.

    ALFRED PENNYWORTH

    Year Five #23

    Here’s the thing about Injustice: Gods Among Us: Alfred Pennyworth is the best. He exists to either be Bruce’s awesome paternal figure or to sass Superman. He even does both at the end of Year One, when he takes a super pill and kicks the shit out of Superman for destroying his family. By Year Five, he remains at Stately Wayne Manor, occasionally Skyping with Batman.

    Superman visits Alfred to strong-arm him into admitting where Bruce is, but Alfred claims that he doesn’t know, wouldn’t tell him regardless, and proceeds to show off his supreme inability to give a single fuck in the presence of the Man of Steel by casually insulting him and telling him to see himself out.

    Rather than just laser him on the spot, Superman gets prisoner Mr. Zsasz to escape and take care of Alfred. Zsasz kills Alfred in a knife fight, leaving Damian to discover the body. Superman figures that Alfred’s death will draw Batman out of hiding in the name of revenge.

    Luckily, Alfred's death is only temporary. In the Injustice 2 comic, Damian gets access to a Lazarus Pit and chooses to cross the other line Batman refuses.

    KING SHARK

    Year Five #28

    Flash is having a hard time figuring out his place in the world, what with Superman being a total dick, but also making the world safer. He goes to find Iris, who cut ties with Barry years earlier after his refusal to stand up to Superman. Flash then discovers that she's part of the rebellion as she and her allies are confronted by Regime soldiers Girder and King Shark. Flash has a crisis of conscience and tries to save Iris and the others, though he accidentally kills King Shark by impaling him through the mouth with a broom. Iris is disgusted by Flash's actions and the others refuse to trust him. Iris makes her own stand by surrendering to the Regime.

    HAWKMAN

    Year Five #32

    Hawkman visits Earth at one point because he feels Hawkgirl isn't fulfilling her hawk alien cop duties by hanging around Superman. Hawkman is sent packing and then gets sent on a mission by Batman to pick up some kryptonite in space. Hawkman earns it by offering Mongul thirty seconds of battle. Rather than bring it to Batman so that Superman could be imprisoned, Hawkman decides to fashion a kryptonite mace, which he uses to punk out Superman until the Man of Steel is a bloody and sickly mess.

    The Justice League pops in to disarm Hawkman, but the weakened Superman tells them to back off. Despite being ill from kryptonite poisoning, Superman offers to fight Hawkman one-on-one. Hawkman never stood a chance.

    MR. ZSASZ

    Year Five #36

    Mr. Zsasz killed Alfred and much to Damian's dismay, Batman refused to take his life out of revenge. With Zsasz incarcerated, it doesn't take long for the prince of assassins to sneak into his cell unnoticed and torture the criminal. He demands to know which of Zsasz's many scars represents Alfred. Damian finally finishes his work and we discover that Sinestro allowed this to transpire.

    For the first time, Hal Jordan starts to have second thoughts.

    METAMORPHO

    Year Five #36

    I'm not 100% on this one, but I'm going to call this one out as a death. The Wikipedia page for Metamorpho at least agrees with me (I know, I know...), he never shows up ever again, and he's got two gross, red wounds sticking out the back of his head there. He's PROBABLY dead.

    Batman and Lex Luthor need some schematics on a Mother Box. Deathstroke takes the contract because he's bored out of his mind in a Superman-ruled society. After taking out dozens of drones, he gets a real main event fight out of Metamorpho. Deathstroke fires a couple metal balls at Metamorpho's head, but he turns gaseous and they fly through. When it looks like Metamorpho has things well in hand and he's about to burn Deathstroke to death, the metal balls are remote controlled to bury themselves into the back of Rex's skull.

    Deathstroke is promptly taken down by Raven and Cyborg, setting up his first appearance in the game's story mode.

    BATWOMAN

    Year Five #40

    In the final issue of the original prequel story, Batman, Batgirl, and Batwoman are trying to open a portal into another world so that they can bring in some non-Regime versions of the Justice League to help out. While Batman is off dealing with Superman, the two bat ladies are dealing with faulty technology. It's the usual trope where some world-saving device isn't working the way it's supposed to and the only way it can is for someone to sacrifice themselves. Batwoman volunteers.

    By the time Superman realizes that Batman is merely distracting him, he flies over and sees the alternate reality portal working. He fires his heat vision at a screaming Batwoman and...that's all we see. After the fact, everyone involved is teleported to a different setting. Batwoman isn't stated to be outright dead, but there is some red coloring on the wall behind where she was. It's not explicitly blood, but...yeah. So much like Metamorpho, she's probably dead, but it isn't 100% certain.

    GOLDEN GLIDER

    Mentioned in Injustice 2

    Although Golden Glider survives the comic prequel, she's still taken down at some point before the crumbling of the Regime. The only confirmed name, Golden Glider is one of various Flash Rogues who are publicly executed by Wonder Woman. This is never outright shown, but it's explained to be the reason why her brother, Captain Cold, goes from retirement/bartending to joining up with Gorilla Grodd's Secret Society.

    LEX LUTHOR

    Story Mode/Ground Zero #19

    We move on to the actual game’s story and its comic adaptation, where InjusticeBatman pulls superheroes from the mainstream DC Universe to help liberate their world. They meet up with Lex Luthor, their man on the inside. As I've brought up earlier, InjusticeLex is a good man who has grown horrified at Superman’s actions. At the end of Act II, Lex enacts a plan that should stop Superman once and for all.

    Lex defeats Shazam in battle and blows up the Watchtower, which has Superman inside. Lex calls out Superman and aims his arm-mounted kryptonite gun. Right as Lex is about to make the shot, a hurt Shazam electrocutes him from behind, nixing the plan.

    Superman tears Lex from the battle armor and is furious that his own best friend betrayed him. Lex spends his final moments telling him that his “peace” is a joke. Superman crushes Lex’s neck and hears the words of onlookers all over as they whisper about seeing Superman kill his buddy Lex Luthor in front of the Hall of Justice. Superman flies off.

    SHAZAM

    Story Mode/Ground Zero #20

    The endless betrayals and ungratefulness of the public has finally taken its toll. Superman has snapped, falling farther than ever. He wants to raze Metropolis and Gotham to the ground to prove a point. Shazam – who just saved his life, mind you – calls him out on this and labels it insane, claiming the gesture spits on the memory of Lois.

    Superman blows ice over Shazam’s mouth to keep him from using his magic lightning. He then stares at him with his heat vision until two holes burn through Shazam’s hood and he collapses. As Solomon Grundy walks off to dispose of the body, the Flash finally comes to realize that the ends don't justify the means and defects.

    HARLEY’S HORDE (GARY, TERRY, PERRY, JERRY, BARRY, AND LARRY)

    Injustice: Ground Zero #18, Injustice 2 Annual #1

    These guys aren’t preexisting characters, but they’re important enough that they should probably get a mention. With Ground Zero being a retelling of the first game’s events from Harley’s perspective, it shows that her Joker-based gang of freedom fighters had more going on than what the game’s story mode showed us. Harley has an inner-circle of henchmen with generic names and although she can't tell them apart very well, she's basically an inverse Joker by treating them with respect and friendship. After all, she knows what it’s like to be a flunky.

    Gary gets killed by the mainstream universe’s Joker during Ground Zero via stabbing. The others go on to shed their Joker threads and instead base their appearances on Harley. They become Harley’s Horde in honor of their boss and help fight the Regime.

    Unfortunately, Harley doesn’t keep in touch too much after the adventure. The group still trains just in case, but then get attacked by Suicide Squad members Clock King, Magpie, Killer Moth, and Polka Dot Man, who are looking for Harley. The Horde fights them off, then goes to search for Harley themselves to warn her that people are after her. Before they make it to her secret headquarters, Deadshot snipes them all dead from a nearby rooftop.

    Basically, an after-the-fact explanation for why these guys aren’t involved in the Injustice 2 prequel storyline. Boo.

    AMANDA WALLER AND RICK FLAG

    Injustice 2 #2

    With things calming down in a post-Superman landscape, Amanda Waller tries to take advantage by creating the Suicide Squad. Her crew hunts down and captures Harley Quinn before putting a bomb in her skull. Harley laughs the whole thing off because she's friends with Batman now and solving missing person mysteries is Batman's deal. When Waller points out that they're very thorough about cleaning up their clues, Harley just laughs harder because, again, Batman.

    As predicted, Batman shows up. Well, not THE Batman. A Batman. A red-eyed Batman imposter shows up to announce that he's taking over the Suicide Squad operation and opens fire on both Waller and her right-hand man Rick Flag. The silhouettes show two headshots.

    Fake Batman turns out to be Jason Todd because Jason Todd is the freaking king of obvious Batman identity mysteries. It's Arkham Knight all over again.

    CLOCK KING, MAGPIE, KILLER MOTH, AND POLKA DOT MAN

    Injustice 2 #3

    Fake Batman is interested in taking over the Suicide Squad and all, but unlike Waller, there are some members that he doesn't feel jibe with his unseen master's vision. Despite Calendar Man (who is treated as a pathetic running gag through the Injusticecomics) pleading for his life, Fake Batman taps the detonators on his bomb as well as the bombs for Clock King, Magpie, Killer Moth, and Polka Dot Man. Those four all suffer from immediate head explosions. To Fake Batman's disgust, Calendar Man's bomb is faulty and he survives.

    DAN TURPIN

    Injustice 2 #6

    With Superman imprisoned, Bruce Wayne handpicked Dan Turpin as the warden in the world’s most critical supervillain prison. Said prison also has Damian pinned down, until his mother Talia comes to save him. Talia also brings along Damian’s never-before-mentioned sister Athanasia al Ghul, an original character that Talia chose to raise herself.

    Turpin shows up during the family reunion and Damian tells him to just walk away. Instead, Turpin tries to call for Batman. Without remorse, Athanasia shoots him dead and they move on.

    BLUE BEETLE (TED KORD)

    Injustice 2 #10

    After a day of training with the new Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), Ted Kord is slightly confused when Skeets, the robot from the future, tells him how much he enjoyed their time together. That night, Batman stops by Ted’s office to offer him a spot on his team of world-helping billionaires to clean up Superman’s mess.

    Once Batman is gone, Booster Gold appears, albeit slightly drunk and nervous. He makes it clear that Ted’s time is up and there is nothing either can do about it. Booster tried to stop it himself and spent several years imprisoned in some kind of time jail. Ted puts on his old tights and attempts to fight off the invading Suicide Squad, but it's no use. Katana chops his hand off and he's captured.

    Ra’s Al Ghul makes an example out of Ted, as well as some other wealthy victims, by having Orca and Killer Croc tear them apart. As promised, Booster appears before Ted in his final moments to comfort him, accept his new role as Jaime’s mentor, and share one last laugh.

    DIABLO

    Injustice 2 #23

    Ra’s Al Ghul has quite the army of soldiers to help him save the world by destroying chunks of it. Not only the League of Assassins and the blackmailed Suicide Squad, but also nature-based characters like Poison Ivy, Vixen, and Animal Man...and a couple surprises yet to be revealed. Their secret lair is also a sanctuary for certain endangered species.

    Batman puts together a team to infiltrate the sanctuary to rescue some kidnapped children of heroes. Blue Beetle is supposed to hang back, but he just has to play cowboy and burst into the stronghold during a critical moment where Batman and Ra’s could have presumably talked out their issues. The act kills one endangered animal with a falling shard of glass, which sets off Vixen. Then a big brawl kicks into gear with Ra’s helpless to stop it.

    Blue Beetle takes on Diablo and blasts him a little too hard. Diablo can’t control his flames and explodes to the point of wiping out all the animals. Everyone else survives, but it leads to escalation as Ra’s commands the assassination of nearly every politician in Washington DC, including all living Presidents.

    Batman is NOT happy with Beetle, to say the least.

    RED ROBIN

    Injustice 2 #37

    During the prequel run for the first game, it was explained that while some Teen Titans were killed, the others were written off in a different way. Superboy, Wonder Girl, Red Robin, and Starfire attacked Superman early on in his madness. Superman won by puncturing Superboy’s heart in such a way that it was fatal, but not immediately. His ultimatum was to send Superboy and the others to the Phantom Zone, where Superboy wouldn’t succumb to his injuries.

    Six years later, Catwoman tells Batman about the incident, so Batman and his crew go to the Fortress of Solitude to release them. Plastic Man ventures in and brings out Red Robin, Wonder Girl, and Starfire, but has to leave Superboy. As Batman and Red Robin are reunited and discuss the need for a new Batman and Robin team, something keeps Plastic Man from leaving the Phantom Zone.

    It turns out to be General Zod, who makes himself known by eye-lasering a hole through Red Robin’s chest. Tim dies in Batman’s arms.

    ZOD

    Injustice 2 #39

    So. Batman is PISSED. Dressed in special mech armor, Batman hunts down Zod and sprays him with the same kryptonite fear gas that started this whole mess.

    “I could never use it on Clark. Not after...what it made him do. But you… You killed one of my boys. You should be afraid of me. BECAUSE I’M GOING TO **** YOU UP.”

    Batman lays into him for a bit while Zod imagines being beaten up by a judgmental Superman. When he starts to clear his head, the android Amazo appears, under the control of Ra’s Al Ghul. Ra’s knows the threat of a loose Zod and takes care of it by having Amazo catch his fist and then snap his neck so hard that Zod’s head tears off. Amazo flies off with Zod’s head in hand while Batman is left in wonder.

    It isn’t all death and dread, at least. Using Zod’s headless body, Batman gets Dr. Midnight to perform heart surgery and give Superboy a replacement.

    PROFESSOR IVO

    Injustice 2 #48

    Ra’s uses Amazo as a way to wipe out towns and cities worth of people while leaving the animals and plants mostly untouched. Amazo is unleashed on Delhi, which leads to a big team-up where Batman and his allies are joined by Wonder Woman and Black Adam (with Flash secretly running around saving people, going against his probation). Of Ra’s Al Ghul’s faction, the group of Damian, Jason Todd, Vixen, and Animal Man decide that Amazo’s rampage was going too far. They find Professor Ivo and demand he stop his unbeatable robot.

    Ivo desperately tells them to leave him be, as Ra’s has his family captive and will kill them if he steps out of line. Jason explains the rough truth that his family had already been killed in a failed escape attempt. Horrified, Ivo agrees to help exploit a bug in Amazo’s system that will slow him down.

    Athanasia gets wind of what is going on and threatens to shoot Ivo if he complies with the rebels. Ivo remarks that he has nothing left to live for and presses enter to finish his hacking. Athanasia shoots him dead in response.

    AMAZO

    Injustice 2 #48

    During the great battle, Damian calls in Supergirl for help, even though her existence is only known to few. Supergirl grabs Amazo and brings him to the moon. Amazo overpowers her at first, but between Ivo’s tampering, a surprise assist from Blue Beetle, and Damian broadcasting directions, Supergirl is able to turn the tide. She pours on intense heat-vision followed by intense ice-breath to weaken him before punching his head into scrap.

    She asks Blue Beetle to keep her actions a secret and allows him to take credit.

    ANIMAL MAN

    Injustice 2 #49

    Anthanasia is not very happy about the betrayal, so she calls upon the Suicide Squad to catch the traitors before they can escape. Jason and Vixen get out of there and Damian gets captured. As for Animal Man, his eagle form struggles against Man-Bat, gets tangled in a Poison Ivy vine, and then a Deadshot bullet to the head finishes him off.

    Tom Taylor really should have personally told him that that was going to happen.

    TOMAR-RE

    Injustice 2 #53

    Ah, Tomar-Re. The most plug-and-play throwaway Lantern there ever was. I’m sure he’s done something important at some point in his existence, but all I’ve ever seen is him being used as a stock Green Lantern when you want to use an alien but you don’t want it to be someone too major.

    Anyway, he's investigating some kind of disturbance on the Green Lanterns’ prison planet and comes across Red Lantern kitty cat Dex-Star, who quickly slices his throat open.

    VANDOR AND B’DG

    Injustice 2 #61

    Not only do the Red Lanterns wreck shit, but Atrocitus adds Starro the Conqueror to their ranks. The cosmic starfish then goes on to infect various Green Lanterns with rage starfish that puts them under its spell. This includes the Guardian Sayd, making a bad situation much worse.

    Despite the pleas of Green Lantern B’dg, Sayd does not give in to the “remember who you are” trope and straight up vaporizes B’dg and Vandor.

    SINESTRO

    Injustice 2 #64

    After the events of the first Injusticegame, Sinestro isn’t doing so great. Hal Jordan hates his guts and not only are they in space prison, but his warden is his own daughter Soranik. At one point, Soranik wants to discuss her mother’s death, but Sinestro chooses not to delve into it other than expressing that he didn’t kill her. Soranik figures that her mother chose suicide over a life with Sinestro and Sinestro responds with silence.

    When the Red Lanterns attack, Soranik is taken over by Starro. Sinestro insists on getting a green ring and is granted one due to how desperate the situation is. He shows his worth by saving Hal’s life and inspiring him to unite the Corps against their foes. He also tears the starfish off Soranik’s face...at the cost of taking an impaling through the torso.

    Dying in front of his daughter, Sinestro admits that he was the reason her mother killed herself and wished he could have been a better man. As he dies, his ring goes to go find a replacement, finds its way into Soranik’s hand, and repeatedly announces that the replacement is already active.

    VEON

    Injustice 2 #64

    Don’t know who Veon is? Don’t worry about it. Throwaway Red Lantern, basically. Here, he blasts Starfire, which leads to Superboy and Wonder Girl giving chase. Before the fight can happen, Brainiac and his gross muscular system skull borg goons show up out of nowhere. Veon ignores his Teen Titan foes and instead picks a fight with Brainiac’s crew. He immediately pays for it with a fist through the side of the head.

    GORILLA GRODD

    Injustice 2 Story Mode

    Getting into the actual game’s storyline, Grodd leads the Secret Society of Supervillains, though he is secretly working under Brainiac. Late into the story, he takes on fellow kings Aquaman and Black Adam. While the player gets to choose which one beats him down, the aftermath is always the same. Aquaman jams his trident right into Grodd’s gut. Grodd weakly warns them about Brainiac’s power and merely receives another trident stab for his troubles.

    DOCTOR FATE

    Injustice 2 Story Mode

    Dr. Fate doesn’t have much to do with story mode for Injustice 2. He warns Black Canary and Green Arrow that shit is going to go down, but then he vanishes until Act III. There, with Superman and Batman teaming up and searching through Brainiac’s ship, Dr. Fate appeares before them and warns them that their war has brought chaos across the universe. The Lords of Order are in support of Brainiac, as he’ll bring order across reality.

    After losing a fight to Superman or Batman, Fate’s helmet falls off. Superman crushes it, cutting off Kent Nelson’s connection to the Lords of Order. He starts rambling about how the reunited World’s Finest could bring order to the world, but then Brainiac has him impaled with a giant metal wire. The wire retracts into the wall and Fate’s body melts into it.

    So with all that carnage going on, what can we take away from this? Simply, put: there’s nothing stopping NetherRealm Studios from bringing in Larfleeze.

    High-five!

    Gavin Jasper still thinks the lack of Booster Gold as a playable character is a travesty. Follow Gavin on Twitter!


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    The catch-all TV/movie/cartoon/comic streaming service is cracking the door for a select few fans

    News Jim Dandy
    Jul 11, 2018

    DC Universe, the stream-everything service coming this fall from DC Entertainment, is going to be available for sneak previews at San Diego Comic Con 2018.

    The DC Universe Experience will be open Thursday through Sunday at the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. They'll be demoing the service and unveiling exclusive memorabilia throughout the show. Additionally, they'll be providing immersive experiences with all of the streaming service's pending original programming. Visitors will be able to:

      • Explore Dick Grayson’s Titans loft and uncover clues to his whereabouts
      • Experience the mysterious creations of Dr. Niles Caulder in the Doom Patrol lab
      • Avoid succumbing to the deadly virus in the mystical swamps of Swamp Thing
      • Join earth’s newest superhero team in the Young Justice Watchtower
      • Create mayhem in the Harley Quinn chaos room

      In addition to the the original television programming, plans to give fans access to a curated version of their full library of superhero films, television shows and comics. There will be "curated playlists" of comics, ranging from the classics like Action Comics#1 or Legion Lost#11 to modern hits like Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batmanrun. It will also have a full DC Universe encyclopedia so we can once and for all settle the argument of who is the stronger energy projector, Warrior Guy Gardner or Gunfire.

      If you're going to be in San Diego for Comic Con and you'd like to go, you can preregister here. If you're not going to be in San Diego, though, stick with Den of Geek for all the biggest news!


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      Get your first look at Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween with this new, spooky trailer!

      News Chris LongoJoseph Baxter
      Jul 11, 2018

      Goosebumps 2 is arriving with more spooktacular cinematic goodness to reinvigorate the childhood memories of '90s kids and haunt a new generation. Now the film finally has an official title: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.

      Sony released the title announcement teaser with the help of a Hollywood dummy.

      The first Goosebumps, based on R.L. Stine's children's horror series of the same name, was one of the best family films of 2015, and was a box office winner for Sony after raking in $156 million. Now the studio is gearing up for the sequel. In the latest report from Variety, actors Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ken Jeong, and Chris Parnell are circling the project. We'll update when we have official confirmation.

      Until then, here's everything we know about Goosebumps 2...

      Goosebumps 2 Trailer

      The first trailer for Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween has arrived! Check it out below:

      Goosebumps 2 Release Date

      Goosebumps 2 has been goose-bumped to the later release date of October 12.

      With this move, as reported by Deadline, the sequel – previously booked for September 21 – will arrive conveniently closer to the genre-appropriate Halloween holiday.

      Interestingly enough, the date bump might just shed some light on the still-mysterious sequel status of star Jack Black. While reports from as recent as November implied that Black was not yet locked in to reprise his role as author R.L. Stine, the move away from the September 21 date seems to telegraph his return, since the actor will also appear in the September 21-scheduled gothic fantasy film, The House with a Clock in its Walls; a major production directed by gore auteur Eli Roth in which Black co-stars with Cate Blanchett and Kyle MacLachlan.

      Consequently, the moving of Goosebumps 2 away from that date to October 12 seems to imply that the studio is attempting to avoid awkward box office competition between two Jack Black films.

      Goosebumps 2 Details

      Goosebumps 2 has a new screenwriter, but it may be losing its star. According to Variety, Rob Lieber (whose credits include Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) will pen the script for the Goosebumps sequel. His treatment, according to the trade, is believed to not involve Goosebumps star Jack Black.

      Back in May, it was reported that Goosebumps 2 was moving ahead with the title Goosebumps: Horrorland with a January 2018 release. At the time, it looked like Darren Lemke would reprise his screenwriting duties. Now that Lieber is tasked with penning the script, we’ll have to see if the title of the film changes, and what Black’s involvement is.

      Goosebumps 2 Cast

      The return of Jack Black, who starred as a fictionalized version of R.L. Stine, is still up in the air. Stars Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, and Ryan Lee are expected back for the sequel. Rob Letterman will return to direct.

      Variety reported that Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ken Jeong, and Chris Parnell will also join the cast of Goosebumps 2, though that's not officially confirmed yet. 


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      Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's The Umbrella Academy returns with a whole new miniseries called Hotel Oblivion!

      NewsJohn Saavedra
      Jul 11, 2018

      It's been a long time coming but it's finally almost here! Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's The Umbrella Academy comic continues with a seven-part miniseries titled Hotel Oblivion, which catches up with our beloved heroes after the events of the first two arcs, The Apocalypse Suite and Dallas.

      The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1 will arrive on Oct. 3 from Dark Horse Comics. This is the first new Umbrella Academy story in almost ten years. 

      Way, who has been busy launching his imprint at DC Comics for the past few years, writing a Doom Patrolongoing, and working on his music, reunites with Ba (Two Brothers) just as the series is also being adapted by Netflix. The new book has actually been in the works for quite some time.

      In 2013, Way announced that he and Ba would start working on Vol. 3 AND Vol. 4 in 2014. The creator also teased new characters for the upcoming books, although it's unclear how much of that has made it into the finished product. 

      Here's the official synopsis of the book:

      The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion finds the Umbrella Academy scattered after Sir Reginald Hargreeves’ death. Number Five is a hired gun, Kraken is stalking big game, Rumor is dealing with the wreckage of her marriage, a rotund Spaceboy runs around the streets of Tokyo, Vanya continues her physical therapy after being shot in the head—and no one wants to even mention Seance until issue #2.

      We'll keep you updated as we learn more about Hotel Oblivion!


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      Five lucky winners can get a paperback copy of Francesco Dimitri's fantasy novel, The Book of Hidden Things!

      The Rest Spencer Mullen
      Jul 11, 2018

      Francesco Dmitri's The Book of Hidden Things is a stellar novel and has recently appeard on our list of best fantasy books of July. The book follows four old friends who formed a pact to meet up every year in a small town in Italy that they grew up in. But Art, the leader of the group who created the pact, decides to not show up one year. As the friends look for him, they discover a mysterious document that Art wrote, called The Book of Hidden Things. The novel is reminiscent of the works of Donna Tartt, Neil Gaiman, and Elena Ferrante. The Book of Hidden Things is Dmitri's first novel written in English, and he is often regarded as one of the best fantasy writers in Italy. Don't miss your chance to read the book!

      Click here to enter via our official giveaway page.

      Final entries will be accepted Monday, July 23rd! Five (5) winners will be drawn at random and contacted by email. Good luck!


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      The Walking Dead’s new showrunner, Angela Kang, goes into detail about the major changes showcased in Season 9.

      News Joseph Baxter
      Jul 11, 2018

      The Walking Dead heads into Season 9 as a pop culture juggernaut that lost some steam and eroded hard-earned goodwill amongst segments of its audience. Indeed, while the show’s depicted “All Out War” may finally be over, the patience-testing storyline yielded a pyrrhic victory for both Rick’s people and the show’s ratings, which has declined steadily. However, a much-needed refresh is approaching, headed by new showrunner Angela Kang, who is providing some new details about the changes (including a time-jump,) set for Season 9.

      “There’s a fun Western vibe that has emerged,” says new boss Angela Kang in an interview with EW, in which she sheds light on the tone of The Walking Dead in Season 9. Indeed, major tonal and aesthetic alterations lie ahead under Kang’s new stewardship, perhaps more than we had previously thought. The predominant theme here – in an era of the show’s timeline that will be set a few years after the events of Season 8 – is focused on the idea that nature is finally reclaiming the apocalypse-affected remnants of the old civilization.

      Driving this “Western vibe” idea home, the first photo of The Walking Dead Season 9 was provided in the EW piece (pictured above), prominently showing Danai Gurira’s Michonne on horseback, followed by members of ally communities who, using horse-drawn carriages, are so close the Oregon Trail experience, they’re probably in danger of dying from dysentery. As Kang explains of the show’s new/old aesthetic:

      “We’ll explore what happened as man-made objects and structures break down. Infrastructure like roads and bridges are changing and crumbling. And we’ll also explore what happens as resources are getting low.”

      While the zombie show (that never uses the “z-word,”) was always about how humanity itself had defaulted to primal rules, all the leftover luxury bells and whistles of the old world – notably cars – are starting to become moot concepts as all the gasoline has been used up and industrially manufactured parts are no longer available. Thus, society is turning its transportation needs back to beasts of burden, namely horses, which lends the series a quasi-historical atmosphere. As Kang further describes:

      “We are going into a period where a lot of the things that we’ve seen in previous seasons have broken down, so they’ve got these horses and carriages that are being drawn around instead of cars. Things are lit with oil lamps. People are using different kinds of weaponry. There’s a real grittiness to it that I think will be fun and fresh for the viewers.”

      Of course, all of this will take place after a significant time-jump from Season 8’s climactic All Out War armistice, which resulted in its primary instigator, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), sustaining a near-fatal injury (after Rick cut his throat,) and subsequently imprisoned in a cell in Alexandria, where the intent is to have him witness the fruits of a new era of peace and reciprocity amongst the neighboring communities. As Kang hints of the time-jump in a concurrent interview with Variety:

      “I really love the section of story that we’re telling. We’re playing with time. We’re playing with the style of the show a little bit. I think fans will enjoy the new look and feel that we have. Obviously, the show has an established feel that we want to keep. We love these stories about survivors and how they’re making their way through the world. That said, we want to keep things fresh, so I’ve had these great conversations with out DPs and our directors about amping up the look of the show. We’re doing some interesting things with sound this season too.”

      Pertinent to the notion of keeping things interesting, The Walking Dead is still a television drama about a zombie apocalypse, not a feel-good romp about post-apocalyptic farmers. Thus, the aforementioned peace and reciprocity experienced by Rick and company will inevitably be intruded upon by an antagonistic force; a role that readers of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic book series strongly speculate will be filled by a savage group of survivors who wear skin masks and weaponize large herds of the dead, known as The Whisperers.

      Consequently, there’s a lot to be optimistic about regarding The Walking Dead’s new direction under Angela Kang, even in the wake of the shocking development that star Andrew Lincoln is bound for a series exit. Moreover, the new showrunner is hardly new to the series itself, having been onboard as a writer since Season 2. While Kang replaces outgoing showrunner Scott M. Gimple, the collaboration between the two is still active, since Gimple has been elevated to the role of Chief Content Officer of The Walking Dead and spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead. As Kang tells Variety about working with Gimple in his new capacity:

      “Scott and I started on the show at the same time. We’ve worked together as colleagues in the writers’ room, then he was my boss, and now he’s chief content officer. We have a great relationship. He and I are in contact, but he doesn’t handle the day-to-day of the show at all, so I have the leeway to make decisions. I come to him regularly and bounce things off of him. He’s been a great friend and mentor. We work in the same office building, so we see each other and talk to each other.”

      The Walking Dead Season 9 is eyeing an October premiere on AMC.

      However, we will likely know a lot more about the situation after San Diego Comic-Con, where The Walking Dead will hold a unified TV franchise panel with spinoff Fear the Walking Dead on Friday, July 20 from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Hall H.


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      Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld is about to get another comic book movie, centered on his Image Comics character, Prophet.

      News Joseph Baxter
      Jul 11, 2018

      Prophet could be the next creation of Rob Liefeld to get a movie. With Liefeld’s Marvel Comics creation Deadpool having inspired the titular 2016 global box office smash, which globally grossed $783 million, along with this past May’s (currently) $727 million-grossing sequel, the idea of Hollywood delving further into his comic portfolio was an inevitability.

      Studio 8 has made a deal for the Prophet movie rights that, according to Deadline, ranges in the “mid-six against seven figures.” The deal will see Liefeld’s character – a creation that he introduced back in 1992 in the second issue of inaugural Image Comics title Youngblood– adapted as a movie with franchise designs. The character was the center of a few comic spinoff series and was even part of a two-issue 1997 crossover event with Liefeld’s Marvel creation, Cable. The character would be rebooted in 2012 as part of Image’s brand-wide updating.

      The classic arc of the character, Prophet, is bit of a twist on the Captain America dynamic, depicting a World War II-era homeless man, named John Prophet, who volunteers for a super-soldier experiment. However, rather than becoming a Nazi-punching red-white-and-blue boy scout, Prophet was turned into an enhanced warrior designed to be exploited by evil. However, his designer ultimately altered this evil designation and put Prophet safely into stasis. Consequently, upon his awakening in modern times, Prophet (much like Cap,) becomes a hero out of time, initially tangling with Liefeld-created super-team Youngblood, due to his post-stasis confusion.

      The Prophet movie project will see Liefeld onboard as a producer, joined by Adrian Askarieh (Hitman) and Brooklyn Weaver (Out of the Furnace), also joined in that capacity by John Hyde and Terissa Kelton. Studio 8 will be represented by the overseeing duo of John Graham and Guy Danella.

      As Liefeld explains to THR’s Heat Vision about the possibilities for the Prophet collaboration with Studio 8:

      "It makes sense that it's a destination that we can arrive at if we are successful. We're taking the best of Prophet to create the best cinematic version of Prophet that we can. He's very pure in his motives to help out his family and ends up becoming something completely different." Adding of Studio 8, "They did their homework, and not only did they do homework, they are true fans."

      While, the Image Comics-adapted Prophet won’t have the Marvel Studios (or Fox) mega-movie marketing machine behind it, the project might end up being helped by the tentpole of Netflix. That's because Liefeld signed a deal with the streaming giant back in March with designs to launch a series of movies that adapt his "Extreme Universe" branding of Image Comics characters, a category that very much includes Prophet.

      Of course, there are some dangers here. The “super-soldier out of time” origin story might come across as derivative, even if elements of Prophet’s story would later be mirrored by Marvel in 2005 when writer Ed Brubaker brought back the long-dead sidekick, Bucky, as the unfrozen brainwashed Winter Soldier; a story that would be adapted successfully in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

      Regardless, there’s certainly a good amount of comic book appeal going for the Prophet project, especially in the wake of the Deadpool-fueled renewed appreciation for everything Rob Liefeld, whose unique drawing style has always been a divisive topic amongst the comic fandom.

      We will keep you updated on the Prophet movie project as things develop.


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      How important to the future DCEU are those Justice League post-credits scenes? Spoilers await!

      News Mike Cecchini
      Jul 11, 2018

      This article contains major Justice League spoilers.

      The DCEU has deliberately avoided post-credits scenes since the dark days of Green Lantern. It's been a smart move to keep away from one of the hallmarks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but with Justice League, they just couldn't resist. They make up for lost time, too, as Justice League has not one, but two post-credits scenes. One is just for fun, but the other has larger implications for the DCEU down the line.

      I've already discussed the implications of the film's ending in general (which you can read here), so let's dig into these two, slightly nerdier elements of the movie...

      The Superman/Flash Race

      This is just good fun, and few things say "DC Universe" quite like a friendly race between Superman and Flash.

      Superman and Flash have raced numerous times in the comics. While the movie doesn’t show us who wins, I’m going to give you a hint: it has to be the Flash. Flash is often the victor in Superman/Flash races in comics, if for no other reason than editorial mandate. Look at it this way, if the guy whose whole thing is that he can run really fast can’t outrun another hero, then what good is he, right? Superman has enough going for him. Let Flash have this one, OK?

      The other one is a bigger deal as far as the future of the DCEU goes, though.

      Deathstroke, Luthor, and The Secret Society of Super-Villains

      Lex Luthor escapes from the Argus institution he's being held in (I don't think that's exactly Arkham Asylum?), in a maneuver that reminds me a little of his Superman II fakeout. We next see him on a pleasure yacht, dressed to the nines, and awaiting the arrival of an armored guest. 

      We’ve now seen the full transformation of Lex Luthor since the beginning of Batman v Superman, from corrupt but brilliant businessman/mad scientist to, well, fugitive mad scientist and potential supervillain. Hopefully future installments find ways to make him less infuriating, as well. But I digress…

      The man Lex meets is Slade “Deathstroke” Wilson (played by Joe Manganiello). Slade is, as far as we’re concerned, the most versatile villain in the entire DC Universe. Deathstroke is an assassin for hire, but also an anti-hero and a mean bastard. He’s familiar to Arrow fans (where he has been played to perfection by Manu Bennett), and he’ll be the star of his own solo movie eventually. Hell, you might also infer that the giggling inmate who "replaced" Lex in the cell was "helped" by the Joker.

      The suggestion of a supervillain team-up (and no, Suicide Squad doesn’t count, since they work for the government) is an intriguing one. For starters, it’s the one thing that the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t attempted, and for a studio that is looking for points of difference even as the tone of this movie felt more like its competition, a small army of recognizable bad guys taking on heroes would be a step in the right direction. In general, and in part because their licenses aren’t split between different studios, Warner Bros. has a stronger pool of villains to pull from with the DCEU than Marvel does, so now that the heroic side of things has been so well established, this would be a wise avenue for them to explore.

      So will they be the Secret Society of Super-Villains from the comics? The Legion of Doom from Challenge of the Super Friends? It doesn't matter as long as they have that cool headquarters from the cartoon! If nothing else, expect the next round of threats the Justice League faces to be decidedly more domestic, rather than another cosmic menace like Steppenwolf. I'm sure we'll get to Darkseid eventually.


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      A big black box with alabaster heads was found near Egypt's Library of Alexandria.

      News Tony Sokol
      Jul 11, 2018

      "We are simply passing through history," French archaeologist René Emile Belloq tells Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). "This is history." A mysterious black sarcophagus was unearthed on the northern coast of Egypt, in the vicinity of the Great Library of Alexandria. The box has not been opened in over 2000 years. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities dates the tomb to the Ptolemaic era. At over six feet tall, nine feet long, and five and a half feet wide, this is the largest sarcophagus ever found in Alexandria, according to Sciencealert.

      "An Egyptian archaeological mission from the Supreme Council of Antiquities uncovered the ancient tomb … during the excavation work carried out to inspect the land" of an Alexandrian "inhabitant before digging the foundations of his building at Al-Karmili Street in Sidi Gaber district," Alexandria, Dr. Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced to the Ministry of Antiquities Facebook page.

      Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, the Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, said the tomb was found 5 meters beneath the surface of the land. "There is a layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus indicating that it had not been opened since it was closed in antiquity. An alabaster head of a man was also found and most probably belongs to the owner of the tomb,"the Ministry of Antiquities  added.

      John DeSalvo, Ph.D. Director of the Great Pyramid of Giza Research Association, tells Den of Geek"this could be the most significant find of the last several hundred years." The author of Decoding The Pyramids: Exploring The World's Most Enigmatic Structures says he is "not convinced that it is 2000 years old. Just because it is found in a site that dates around that time, it may be older." DeSalvo speculates the tomb "could have been moved there or there are a dozen other possibilities that their dating is wrong."

      "The Egyptian authorities want everyone to believe the Great Pyramid was built by the ancient Egyptians, but most objective researchers believe it is much much older and predates Ancient Egypt," DeSalvo says. "What if we are talking about something that predated the Egyptian Dynasty?  Maybe they copied a more ancient civilization and that is where many of their mortuary practices came from, but they have no idea what they mean since that information wasn't passed down."

      DeSalvo says the unearthed tomb "does not represent the typical sarcophagus that is usually found." He points to the black granite, because "a sarcophagus of this material was never found so far, even for pharaohs and high officials."

      The Ministry dates the tomb back to sometime between 304 and 30 B.C., after the death of Alexander the Great, when the descendants of Ptolemy I ruled Egypt. Alexandria was the capital of Egypt at the time. The thick layer of mortar sealing the tomb means whatever is inside has been there for between 2,048 and 2,341 years. If a person is buried inside it, any clothing or jewelry they wore may still be intact.

      DeSalvo says researchers can test any "amulets, and also date the bandages so we can get a close date for the mummy."

      Late last year, archaeologists revealed they uncovered the graves of four children at an ancient site in Egypt. An ancient statue of a Nubian king with an inscription written in Egyptian hieroglyphics was discovered at a Nile River temple in Sudan. Archaeologists recently unearthed a 2200-year-old gold coin which depicted King Ptolemy III, an ancestor of Cleopatra. Experts in Southern Egypt discovered a marble head depicting the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Experts in Australia found remains of an ancient priestess in a 2500-year-old Egyptian coffin long believed be empty.

      In February, archaeologists found a hidden network of tombs in the Minya Governorate south of Cairo.  Another team discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb believe to belong to Hetpet, a women close to the ancient Egyptian royals of the 5th Dynasty, just outside Cairo near the country’s Giza Plateau. An artifact depicting the female pharaoh Hatshepsut surfaced in the United Kingdom, as did one of the oldest tattooed female mummies.

      A Greco-Roman temple was found in April which may shed light on the Siwa Oasis, one of the most remote settlements in Egypt, dating between 200-300 BCE. New research indicates King Tutankhamun may not have been a sickly youth and was actually a boy soldier.

      While DeSalvo guesses the tomb encases "someone of high standing in Egypt," the proximity to the library opens the possibility "that this sarcophagus was used to bury something more important like documents. If I could wish what is inside I would wish for papyrus, manuscripts, scrolls, of new information that may change our understanding of our history and our world."


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    • 07/12/18--08:33: Wonder Woman Gets New Writer
    • G. Willow Wilson takes over Wonder Woman for DC.

      NewsJim Dandy
      Jul 12, 2018

      DC's first big San Diego Comic Con 2018 announcement is out, and it's a big one. G. Willow Wilson, the creator of Kamala Khan, will be taking over Wonder Womanwith November's issue #58.

      “I’m delighted to be writing such an iconic character as Wonder Woman and to be working with DC once again,” said Wilson. “With more than 75 years of history, Wonder Woman has a wealth of backstory and drama to draw from, and I look forward to putting a spin on Diana and her supporting cast that’s both new, yet familiar. It’ll be a challenge to do her justice, but I like a challenge and can’t wait to get started.”

      Wilson's first arc on Wonder Womanis titled "The Just War," and she will be paired with Cary Nord (The Unexpected, X-O Manowar) handling art. The story arc sees Diana heading to Eastern Europe to track down Steve Trevor and his missing squad, only to run into Ares who is behaving oddly. His behavior is full of bizarre implications, the most dangerous of which is how he escaped his prison, Themiscyra.

      Wilson is best known for creating Kamala Khan, the Pakistani-American Captain Marvel fangirl and best Spider-Man reinvention since Ultimate Spider-Man. She's also written A-Forceand a great arc of X-Mena few years back. She did some work for DC several years ago, including a Vixenseries and a few books for Vertigo, but Wonder Woman is her most high-profile comic since she turned Ms. Marvelinto a sensation.

       


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      William Gibson's script for Alien 3 lives, thanks to Dark Horse!

      News John Saavedra
      Jul 12, 2018

      1992's Alien 3 holds an interesting place in Alien franchise history. It's a follow-up to the excellent Aliens that takes things in a completely different direction than what you'd expect, turning the lens toward the macabre and dystopian civilization Ripley now inhabits after going into a deep sleep at the end of the first film. Alien 3 was the first feature film directed by David Fincher (Gone Girl), who'd later go on to make cult classics like Sevenand Fight Club. In some respects, his turn at haunting poor Sigourney Weaver with a monstrous Xenomorph in a prison colony on a barely habitable planet was the dark prototype for his later films. 

      Unfortunately, Alien 3 was poorly received, critics specifically citing the writing and how the movie did away with fan-favorite characters from Aliens. Fincher himself hates the film quite a bit. 

      But there were other story ideas that could have perhaps saved the film. In fact, one of the scrapped screenplays that didn't make it into production was written by the brilliant William Gibson (Neuromancer), who is better known as the father of cyberpunk. While it seemed like Gibson's script was doomed to sit on a shelf, quietly waiting in hibernation like Ripley after escaping the Nostromo, Dark Horse Comics has come to the rescue. 

      Dark Horse, which is also responsible for the excellent Aliens: Dead Orbit miniseries, will turn Gibson's unproduced script into a five-part miniseries with art by Johnnie Christmas (Sheltered).

      Here's the synopsis:

      Following the deadly events of Aliens, the Union of Progressive Peoples intercepts the spaceship carrying the hibernating bodies of Ripley, Hicks, Newt, and Bishop. But unbeknownst to them, they have also picked up another deadly passenger whose discovery will unleash a race between two governments to weaponize the xenomorph in this horrifying and poignant Cold War-themed thriller.

      We have to say that this story does sound like a more logical progression for the series after the events of Aliens. The first two films are all about the Weyland-Yutani Corporation trying to get its hands on a xenomorph for less-than-honorable reasons. Now, the bad guys are closer than ever to turning the grotesque alien into the ultimate weapon. We assume only Ripley (and perhaps our beloved Bishop) can stop them?

      The first issue of William Gibson's Alien 3 arrives on Nov. 7. You can check out some preview pages above!


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      Friday the 13th boasts some of the strangest movie tie-in comics ever made. We hit the bloody highs and lows. Mostly lows.

      FeatureGavin Jasper
      Jul 13, 2018

      Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees has been part of pop-culture for decades. It shouldn’t be surprising that he’s had his share of comic book adventures, what with him essentially being a supervillain in a story with no superheroes. Granted, he’s a one-dimensional supervillain with an incredibly vague origin story, but he’s been memorable enough to land him a dozen movie appearances. Many have told his tale in comic form and since the early '90s, he’s been represented by three different publishers.

      The surprising thing to me is that the earliest Jason comic is only in the early 90s. For comparison, the RoboCop comics all stretched across the franchise’s entire existence. They were around for all four movies as well as the stretch where he was just about nostalgia. Jason Voorhees didn’t get the same treatment. For the most part, they missed the boat.

      Topps Comics first picked up the license and Jason’s comic book debut came in July of 1993. Two comics came out this month with Jason in them, so it’s hard to say what was his very first appearance. One of the two comics was Satan’s Six #4by Tony Isabella and John Cleary. We’re already bonkers out the gate here. Satan’s Six was part of the Secret City Saga, where Topps created a big story using a bunch of leftover Jack Kirby ideas that he never did anything with in the form of several miniseries that intertwined (think Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers). It didn’t last long enough to finish and with Satan’s Six, it’s no wonder.

      The comic is a comedy about the demonic Odious Kamodious, who has his own team of agents out to create chaos in his name, only they always screw up. In the very beginning of this issue, Kamodious gets in an argument with one of his demons Frightful and threatens to replace him. He summons Jason Voorhees, who proceeds to talk like Rorschach and try to kill anything nearby.

      Anyone else find randomly and casually tossing Jason into a superhero universe’s continuity really weird?

      Frightful and teammate Bluedragon go after Jason, but he responds by throwing them a couple times and saying, “HRMM,” a lot. Despite only appearing for a couple of pages, Jason says that six times. Kamodious summons him back where he found him and starts making a blatant reference about Jason going to Hell. The angelic Pristine interrupts and calls out how this was a pointless cameo to justify advertising Jason on the cover, which came at the cost of continuing their very story. And at that point, readers stopped caring.

      As Kamodious referenced, Jason was at the time starring in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, otherwise known as Friday the 13th Part IX. Based on the screenplay, the comic is written by Andy Mangels and drawn by Cynthia Martin.

      That’s how far down the pipeline we are. By this point, the movie franchise was in dire straits. By the time any comic company thinks of doing anything with Friday the 13th, we’re already at the ninth movie, which was the last Jason movie for eight years. The really bizarre one.

      If you haven’t seen it or don’t remember, Jason Goes to Hell is the movie where the FBI finally decides to do something about Jason and blows him to kingdom come in the first few minutes, onlit turns out that he can’t be killed unless stabbed in the heart by another Voorhees (though the comic keeps spelling it “Vorhees”). So Jason’s heart hypnotizes the coroner into eating it and he goes around vomiting the heart into people’s throats to change hosts until he can find and kill the rest of his bloodline.

      It’s an example of knowing that you have to do something new and fresh, yet still driving way off the road. Also, if you’re all about drawings of bare asses, this is the comic for you!

      But really, all anyone remembers Jason Goes to Hell for is that cameo at the end when Freddy Krueger pulls down Jason’s mask and cackles. That was the original “Nick Fury asks Tony Stark to join the Avengers” moment. It just, you know, took ten years, is all.

      Topps didn’t want to wait to give us a big slasher icon crossover and while they didn’t get the rights to Freddy, they got the next best thing. Okay, they didn’t get Michael Meyers, but the next best thing after that. No, they didn’t get Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof, but—Listen, they got Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, okay? More specifically, we got Jason vs. Leatherface, a three-part series by Nancy Collins, David Imhoff, and Jeff Butler.

      Despite being released in 1995, the chronology is very choosy, ignoring the history of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre stuff to make sure Leatherface and his brothers Cook and Hitchhiker are both alive. As for Jason, this takes place after Part VI, where he’s chained to the bottom of Camp Crystal Lake. Some corporate types have the lake drained of all the toxic grossness and Jason goes with it. He kind of wanders around, kills a bunch of people on train, and eventually comes across Sawyerville, where Leatherface and Hitchhiker are stalking some poor soul. Jason ends up getting in a scrap with them, where he disarms Leatherface (not literally for once), kills their victim, and then – in a surprising act – hands Leatherface his chainsaw.

      There’s this feeling of acceptance between the two parties, leading to Jason being practically adopted into their family. This leads to a really awesome moment where Cook asks him his name. Since these guys need to start calling him Jason and he doesn’t actually speak, Collins goes about it in a clever way.

      Through this partnership, we see the differences. While Jason is a ruthless murderer, he isn’t so much a sadist, at least not as much as the Sawyer family. He’ll kill the victims, but Hitchhiker will get on his case for doing it too quickly and not torturing anyone. Mainly, Jason gets along with them due to the way he sees his younger self in Leatherface. For once, he feels sympathy and it drives him to hate Hitchhiker for constantly being such a dick. From there, it becomes Jason vs. the three brothers, where Leatherface will protect his family, even if he does show appreciation for Jason standing up for him.

      There wouldn’t be any more Jason comics for a decade until Avatar Press picked up the license in 2005. I had a lot of bad stuff to say about Avatar in the RoboCop article, but here, the ugly, mean-spirited, blood-and-chunks-covered style is a perfect home for Friday the 13th. If anything, it’s a fitting response to how most of the Friday the 13th movies were edited to oblivion by the MPAA to hide all the gore. Now we can see Jason punch a guy in the head so hard that it comes out his ass!

      Avatar mostly released a bunch of one-shots, starting with Friday the 13th Special by Brian Pulido and Mike Wolfer. The Avatar Friday the 13th comics have some actual strong ideas mixed in there, but they also rely on doing the same thing over and over again...much like the movies, but in a different way. While every single comic of theirs has at least one softcore sex scene, there’s also a constant theme of the 1% screwing things up for everyone. Like in Friday the 13th Special, it’s about the children of the man who previously owned Camp Crystal Lake. The daughter, a shrewd businesswoman, insists on not letting that land go to waste despite the piles and piles of dead bodies showing why that’s a bad idea.

      To be fair, she goes about it the right way. If Jason’s hanging around the woods, just hire a ton of military guys to take him out. That basically took care of Jason in the very beginning of the ninth movie, didn’t it? Too bad being in a comic book has caused him to go through a major power creep, and he’s now able to power through having a huge chunk of him blown off by a grenade launcher, as it just heals up in seconds. Jason’s way too overpowered and that continues on for the next year of comics.

      Pulido and Wolfer would get back together to do a three-parter called Bloodbathand it’s easily the best thing to come out of the Avatar run. It has some serious dialogue issues, but the basic idea could have been the basis for a Friday the 13th movie and I would be totally okay with it. It actually comes across as a prototype for Cabin in the Woods.

      It has to do with Camp Crystal Lake being opened yet again, this time with ten teen counselors brought in early to get acquainted a day or so before the campers are said to show up. Their boss is Kevin Carny, a kindly southern guy who appears to be really laid back about everything. He wants everyone to be responsible during the daytime, but at night, they’re welcome to enjoy the hot tub, an excess of beer, and each other’s naked company. The counselors all hit it off and immediately pair up with no problem. In fact, they pair up a little too easily, like they were handpicked. Discovered through some really unnatural dialogue, they all come to realize that all ten of them are orphans and have no families. Strange. It’s almost like if something were to happen to them all, nobody would really care enough to look into it.

      Naturally, there’s more to Carny than meets the eye. Much like in Jason X, the military and corporations are very into the idea of bringing Jason in for the sake of studying his healing factor and weaponizing him. The camp is nothing more than bait. It helps that the protagonists, Violet and Rich, are actually fairly likeable and relatable compared to every other human character in Avatar’s comics. You end up getting a story of the would-be victims vs. the military vs. the unstoppable killer. It actually has a really good ending too, which will be ruined months later.

      Around this time, Avatar released the Jason X Special by Pulido and Sebastian Fiumara. Yes, a Jason Xcomic. The movie is already a few years old at this point and I don’t think anyone cared about it enough to clamor for more Jason X in any form, but here we are. As it turns out, when Uber Jason was blasted to a lake on Earth Two at the end of the movie, he was really back on the original Earth. A woman named Kristen, one of the few remaining humans on the planet, tricked the ship into turning back to Earth for the sake of getting her hands on Uber Jason.

      Kristen’s boyfriend Neil is dying and she needs some Voorhees DNA to potentially cure him. Even though she is able to capture Uber Jason with some nanites, you can imagine that this is a bad idea. It becomes a big, confusing mess, where Pamela Voorhees goes from being a voice in Jason’s head to being a machine ghost able to control all the nanites, leading to lots of human-like androids being slaughtered. Uber Jason is shot into space, where he stumbles across a party-based space ship.

      That leads us right into the two-parter Jason vs. Jason X by Mike Wolfer. Really? Is that even a contest? That’s like having the regular version of the Hulk fight a super-pissed off Hulk. The story of this one is more contrived than even the beginning of Jason Takes Manhattan. So there’s a piece of Jason’s skull and hockey mask from the Jason X movie that wasn’t part of the regeneration process that created Uber Jason. When that ship was blown up, the chunk of skull floated around in space until – TOTAL COINCIDENCE – it now drifts into the very party ship where Uber Jason is currently slaughtering everyone. The ship’s cloning machine builds a new body out of dead victims and Jason is reborn! Fully clothed too, which I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining about. I live my entire life without seeing his hockey stick.

      It takes the whole first issue for the two Jasons to meet up and the entire second issue is them fighting while anyone who crosses paths with the brawl gets chopped up. The fight brings them to Earth Two, where, big surprise, Uber Jason wins. He tears Jason’s brain out, shoves it into his own brain, and reminisces about his mother. He’s also chilling out in the woods near a lake, so even though the Jason X Special changed up the movie’s ending, this comic puts it back the way the writers found it. You know, just in case they were to ever make another Jason X movie.

      The last book from Avatar is Friday the 13th: Fearbookby Mike Wolfer and Sebastian Fiumara. It’s a direct follow-up to Bloodbathand is especially pointless. It’s basically about killing off anyone who survived Bloodbathwithout any real drama. Sure, it makes sense to have the government people behind the events of that story taken out, but there’s no actual plot. Jason just effortlessly kills everyone for two dozen pages.

      Also, the art is really bad in the sequential sense. It seems to go from point A to C from panel to panel with no sensical movement. For instance, in Bloodbath, they were able to stop Jason by freezing him. The only reason he was able to escape was Violet’s doing. Makes 100% perfect sense that they’d just try that again, right?

      And now Jason is able to shrug it off completely to the point that there’s no sign of him being frozen one panel later. What’s up with that?

      The ending suffers from the same problem. Violet is backed up to a window and Jason is coming. She decides to take her chances and makes a leap of faith, hoping the trees will break her fall. She jumps and the perspective makes it look like she’s at least ten feet away from the window. Suddenly, Jason has her by the neck and drags her back in.

      Anyway, Jason would then move on to the next publisher, Wildstorm, in 2007. Wildstorm mainly gave us a bunch of two-parters, but started it with a six-issue miniseries simply called Friday the 13th by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Adam Archer, and Peter Guzman.

      For the most part, it’s a basic, by-the-numbers Friday the 13th story in comic form, just handled competently. They’re reopening Camp Crystal Lake again. A handful of teens are brought in to clean up the cabins. Sex and drugs and beer are had. Jason shows up and starts killing people. Same old shit.

      At least the cast of victims isn’t so bad. They aren’t great, but they at least have more personality and dimension than the characters in the Avatar Press comics, easy as that is to do. The drawback is that for the sake of conflict, they’re almost all over-the-top in terms of being assholes. Like there’s a nerdy hippy guy who looks to be potentially psychotic and everyone shits on him for zero reason. For one of the characters it makes sense, since it’s established that she’s had to put up with his company for years and she’s a terrible person, but everyone else snaps at him like he’s Donnie from Big Lebowski.

      The comic plays up the supernatural aspects of Friday the 13th more than just Jason surviving taking a machete to the neck. Not only do they establish that the lake is haunted by the ghosts of a hundred murdered children, but the final issue even explains that the area is literally cursed due to some settlers murdering a Native American shaman.

      Otherwise, it’s nothing special.

      Marc Andreyko and Shawn Moll give us Pamela’s Tale, a two-parter where Pamela Voorhees explains her life story to a camp counselor while giving her a ride to Camp Crystal Lake. Naturally, she also murders her, but still keeps telling the story, mainly about raising Jason and how she’s been out to kill anyone she feels is responsible for his death.

      We also see Jason’s father depicted as a drunken wife-beater and massive dude (he had to inherit it from somewhere) who is killed because Pamela’s afraid that if she tells him she’s pregnant, he’ll beat her so badly that she’ll have a miscarriage. Oh, and she’s also whispering conversations with “Jason” much like she does at the end of the first movie.

      Jason’s birth defects are explained both between his father’s treatment of his mother and the fact that Pamela is constantly in places filled with cigarette smoke. It hits comedic levels once we see the doctor smoking a cigarette while delivering the baby. That’s dark as hell but I had to laugh.

      Jason Aaron and Adam Archer team up for How I Spent My Summer Vacation, another two-parter. I’m not sure if this is the best Friday the 13th comic, but it’s definitely the most fun. It’s about a little boy named Davie Falkner who is at summer camp. At Camp Crystal Lake. They opened the goddamn thing AGAIN! CRIPES! Anyway, Davie has a bone disorder that gives him a malformed head and will likely kill him in five years. While he has normal intelligence, he looks an awful lot like Jason’s young self, albeit with hair. He’s constantly teased for his looks, but that’s a picnic compared to having Jason Voorhees show up to kill everyone.

      After lots of campers, councilors, and cops are killed, Jason picks up Davie and drags him away, kicking and screaming. The only other survivor is the sheriff, who was so hopped up on meth that he accidentally shot up two councilors, and then hacked them up with a machete to cover his tracks and blame it on Jason. Finding out that Davie’s still alive makes him want to make sure he can kill the last witness.

      Meanwhile, we get what is essentially a Batman and Robin origin story with Jason and Davie. It’s awesome and I wish it was longer. Jason never speaks or makes any gestures, but he keeps Davie safe out of feeling like a kindred spirit. Jason would go kill people having a picnic, wrap their food in a blanket, return to Davie, and throw it to him. Davie goes from being dragged around against his will to following his new hero.

      Davie idolizes Jason for being like him, only able to not take shit from anyone who would bully him. That Jason is an even bigger bully than anyone else is lost on Davie, but it’s nice to see Jason make a connection for once in his after-life. Plus with the comedic psycho sheriff, Jason gets to actually play the role of anti-hero here. Granted, he still kills so many undeserving people, but the book is still sort of cute.

      Yet another two-parter comes in the form of Bad Land, which is by Ron Marz and Mike Huddleston. It’s about two different stories from different times that run parallel. One is a present-day story about a trio of hikers who come across a cabin in the middle of a huge storm and become victims of Jason. The other takes place a couple centuries earlier, where three fur trappers enter a teepee to escape a similar storm and come across a Native American woman and her baby. Horrible things happen to the woman and her child, shortly before her husband arrives. They blow his face off with a rifle shot and he runs off, only to plot his revenge.

      Yep. We have the Proto-Jason. It isn’t outright said whether he’s just super pissed enough to fight through the wound or if he’s a full-on murder zombie, but considering he lacks the wound when we see his rampage, it looks like the latter.

      Huh. Wonder whatever happened to that guy.

      The last normal type of Jason comic released by Wildstorm is The Abuser & the Abused by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andy B. Andy B’s art makes this easily the best-looking Friday the 13th comic by a landslide. Lot of great expressions and action in there.

      The issue is kind of an alternate take on How I Spent My Summer Vacation. It deals with a girl who is constantly abused. Her boyfriend beats her, her classmates make fun of her, her father and stepmother bully her, and no authority figure will help her in any way. She takes it upon herself to strike back against anyone who’s wronged her and part of her plan involves luring her boyfriend to Camp Crystal Lake (which is not open for once. Thank God). Then when Jason appears to do what Jason does best, the girl gets mad because this is her kill and the two murderers throw down. Totally worth checking out for the fantastic fight scene.

      Now we get to the grand finale in the form of two six-issue miniseries. Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash started in early 2008, based on a script treatment for a sequel to the Freddy vs. Jason movie that would never come to be. The Jeff Katz screenplay is adapted by James Kuhoric with art by Jason Craig. It’s generally okay. It’s nothing especially great or especially awful. It comes up with a satisfying enough story that brings together the three horror icons, has them play off each other, and gives us a big enough body count.

      Freddy is able to convince Jason to do his bidding by banging his mother. At least, that’s what Jason sees in his nightmare, where Freddy acts like his new step-father and has “Pamela” tell Jason to listen to his authority. Freddy wants him to fetch the Necronomicon and wouldn’t you know it, Ash Williams is working at a nearby hardware store for the holidays.

      What’s great about it is that we actually have a real protagonist to cheer for, who we know has enough plot armor to stay alive. The Freddy vs. Jason movie didn’t have anyone nearly as likeable as Ash. The main drawback is that Jason is the third wheel, mostly overshadowed by the other two co-stars. This becomes a bigger problem in the sequel, which I’ll get to in just a bit.

      Sorry, I was wrong. The main drawback is that despite Jason Craig’s art starting incredibly strong, it becomes rushed to hell by the time he hits the final issue. That’s too bad, since the final battle between the two is excellent outside of that. Freddy is pumped up with power from the Necronomicon and Jason is maskless and replaced his dismembered hand with a machete. Ash is bemused, noting the lack of originality.

      By the end, Freddy and Jason are both defeated for the time being, but the Necronomicon opens to a page that’s very reminiscent of the movie poster for Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors, only this time, Ash is leading the siege.

      That leads us to Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: Nightmare Warriors by the same creative team, though with Cruddie Torian doing a bit of fill-in work. Sadly, Jason Craig’s art takes a huge dive, even worse than before. Really, the whole comic is a gigantic mess, making it a perfect Friday the 13thcomic bookend to whatever the hell was going on with that Satan’s Six issue.

      It’s a real shame too, because I absolutely love the setup. It’s such a brilliant concept for a climactic finale to Freddy and Jason’s respective series. See, Ash is invited to join a support group of sorts made up of those who have survived encounters with Freddy and/or Jason. So you have a group made up of Maggie Burroughs (Freddy’s Dead), Dr. Neil Gordon (Nightmare on Elm Street 3), Steven Freeman (Jason Goes to Hell), Stephanie Kimble (Steven’s baby daughter from that movie all grown up), Alice Johnson (Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5), Jacob Johnson (Alice’s son, also grown up), Tina Shepard (Friday the 13th Part VII), and Rennie Wickham (Friday the 13th Part VIII). Then waiting in the shadows is maverick survivor and quasi-hero of the Friday the 13th franchise, Tommy Jarvis, who wants to take out Jason on his own terms.

      Also awesome is Jason’s redesign. For the first half, at least.

      After all the bullshit he’s been through fighting Freddy and Ash in the last book, Jason is barely holding together. He’s got so much battle damage that even if he’s freakishly strong, he looks like’s seconds away from falling apart. Between his jaw being completely fleshless and the bottom part of his hockey mask before destroyed, he’s got this badass skull goalie thing going on.

      Then Freddy ruins it by making Jason his general and using the Necronomicon to amp up Jason's appearance, cleaning him up and fixing his disfigurements. He also gives him long, black hair, making him look like a generic 90s vigilante. This also allows him to speak for once when he has his final battle with Tommy Jarvis.

      Certainly better than, “HRMM!” at least.

      As I said, the book goes completely full-on nuts, especially when it comes to Maggie Burroughs. She is actually Freddy’s daughter and killed him in the sixth Elm Street movie (the last canon one before Freddy vs. Jason). Here, she’s secretly evil and is working for her father. I guess they can get away with it because she’s the hero of the most hated Nightmare on Elm Street, but it’s never explained why she’s suddenly evil. Then not only does she start dressing like a sexy X-Men supervillain, but she starts making out with her father. And he puts his hand down her pants while grabbing her boob with the other. What. The. Fuck?

      Anyway, she’s crushed by a tank a couple of issues later while fighting Jason in the Oval Office. Strange, strange comic. The book has a lot of big ideas, but it’s completely incomprehensible.

      What I find interesting is the ending. Freddy’s attempt to cause Hell on Earth via the Necronomicon goes sour and they give him the most final death possible. He’s stripped of his powers, leaving a naked human form, begging for his life. Ash shoots him with his boomstick, killing him. Then some really ill-explained and badly-set-up time-travel happens where the warrant for his arrest from decades ago is now correctly signed, meaning he’ll never become the dream demon and so many deaths are negated. Not only is Freddy done, but he never really started in the first place!

      Jason, on the other hand, is stabbed through the chest by Stephanie (which is supposed to be the one thing that can totally kill him for good) and Tommy chops his head off, but his body is missing anyway because one day he’s going to go to space and God forbid we mess around with continuity!

      Gotta protect the sanctity of Jason X, man.

      That was the last we’ve seen of Jason Voorhees in comic form and there’s no sign of him coming back any time soon. Despite being such a cinematic icon, there’s only so much you can do with the character. He’s a walking plot device who isn’t allowed to be anything more, nor should he ever be. He’s just an excuse for shock value and mainstream comics have already gotten to that level of mean-spirited violence, making him nothing but obsolete.

      Poor guy. Finally DC Comics is about constantly tearing people’s arms off and Jason doesn’t get to play.

      Gavin Jasper thinks it’s fitting that Jason is a goalie, considering he's constantly out to stop people from scoring. Follow him on Twitter!


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      Phil Lord and Chris Miller will direct Artemis, the next movie adaptation of a book from the author of The Martian.

      News Joseph Baxter
      Jul 13, 2018

      Artemis, the recent novel by The Martian author Andy Weir, had already sealed a movie deal and procured a high-profile directorial duo in Phil Lord and Chris Miller even before it hit shelves and devices.

      Of course, director Ridley Scott’s 2015 film adaptation of Weir’s novel, The Martian, was a box office phenomenon for Fox, grossing $630 million worldwide, yielding seven Oscar nominations. Thus, it doesn't take intricate industry inside baseball knowledge to discern that the studio wants to replicate that success. Consequently, Artemis is on the fast track.

      Artemis Writer

      Geneva Robertson-Dworet will write the Artemis script, adapting Weir’s novel of the same name, according to Deadline. The gig represents yet another high-profile project for Robertson-Dworet, who recently burst onto the scene as the co-writer of the script for this past March’s release of the Alicia Vikander-starring Tomb Raider reboot. Auspiciously, her next work will credit her as co-writer of the March 2019 release, Captain Marvel, followed by work on a backlog of projects that consists of the Dungeons & Dragons reboot, hiatus-hit Spider-Man spinoff Silver & Black, sci-fi film Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, and 1980s toy line adaptation M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand.

      Working off Robertson-Dworet’s script, Phil Lord and Chris Miller will get to handle a space adventure for their next movie after all, since they are set to handle directorial duties for Artemis. Lord and Miller, the acclaimed directing duo of The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street comedy film franchise, made headlines when they were appointed to direct the spinoff film that would come to be known as Solo: A Star Wars Story. However, they’d make headlines again in June 2017 when purported differences of vision from the overseeing Disney/Lucasfilm monolith saw the duo unceremoniously removed from the project late into production, replaced by the experienced directorial hands of Ron Howard. 

      Artemis Story

      Artemis follows a character named Jazz Bashara, a swagger-rocking, wise-cracking, fortune-seeking criminal whose urban stomping ground happens to be located on the moon, specifically, Artemis, the first and only lunar city. While the moon metropolis mostly caters to rich tourists and eccentric billionaires, Jazz’s life of hustling leads her to a life-changing opportunity of a crime, which would allow her to pay off a long-owed debt. However, said opportunity thrusts her into the middle of a dangerous political conspiracy in which control of Artemis itself hangs in the balance. Indeed, it’s an antihero story that contains several Han Solo parallels, something that the excommunicated Solo directors, Lord and Miller, probably appreciate.  

      Artemis Details

      The idea of Artemis having a female protagonist was revealed in a December 2015 Huffington Post article. Of course, the concept is also validated by its very title, referencing the bow-wielding Greek goddess of the hunt.

      20th Century Fox and New Regency came together back in May to preemptively acquire the movie rights to Andy Weir’s next novel Artemis, reported The Tracking Board. Thus, the property achieved the prestige of a movie deal well before the novel's November 12, 2017 release date. The Martian producer Simon Kinberg is attached to the Artemis project, joined by Aditya Sood from Genre Films and executive Steve Asbell, onboard on behalf of the studio.

      Back in May 2016, Fox initially circled a pitch by Weir for a mystery screenplay, with plans purportedly in place for The Martian director Ridley Scott to produce via his Scott Free Productions and Simon Kinberg also attached to produce. However, after about a year, that endeavor shifted focus to a film adaptation of Weir’s then-upcoming novel, Artemis. Executive Michael Schaefer, who was with Scott Free during the 2016 developments, has fostered the Artemis project via his current company New Regency along with Asbell.

      It will be interesting to see if a movie project adapted from an Andy Weir novel that isn'tThe Martian can become a similar cinematic success and possibly achieve a measure of redemption for former Solo helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.


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