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    Anne Rice pours out another book as the vampire Lestat receives his Blood Communion.

    News Tony Sokol
    Aug 20, 2018

    "This is my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. Take this, all of you and drink it," an old superstar once said. The rabbi Jesus of Nazareth also offered up at least a quarter pound of flesh but current Eucharistic recipient Lestat is no cannibal. The breakout star of Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles novel series will receive a sanguine transubstantiation when her upcoming book Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat spills out on October 2.

    The eleventh book in the series will tell how Lestat came to rule the vampire world. He didn't do it by hosting Goth nights. He went toe-to-toe and fang-to-fang with all usurpers. The book will also get into how the Blood Communion was created so already doubly departed Vampire Chronicles characters can be resurrected for long-time readers.

    It just might be the dawn of a new vampire era for the Rice dynasty, Anne and her son Christopher have also been dropping teasers for the Interview with a Vampire-inspired series coming Hulu.

    "I frequently post about the forthcoming Vampire Chronicles TV series, but Lestat's adventures continue this October in print with the release of BLOOD COMMUNION." Christopher Rice tweeted on August 14. "Barnes & Noble is releasing a special SIGNED edition. You can pre-order it here."

    The publisher offered up the following synopsis:

    The Vampire Chronicles continue with a riveting, rich saga--part adventure, part fairy-tale--of Prince Lestat and the story of the Blood Communion as he tells the tale of his coming to rule the vampire world and the eternal struggle to find belonging, a place in the universe for the undead, and how, against his will, he must battle the menacing, seemingly unstoppable force determined to thwart his vision and destroy the entire vampire netherworld.

    In this spellbinding novel, Lestat, rebel outlaw, addresses the tribe of vampires, directly, intimately, passionately, and tells the mesmerizing story of the formation of the Blood Communion and how he became Prince of the vampire world, the true ruler of this vast realm, and how his vision for all the Children of the Universe to thrive as one, came to be.

    The tale spills from Lestat’s heart, as he speaks first of his new existence as reigning monarch–and then of his fierce battle of wits and words with the mysterious  Rhoshamandes, proud Child of the Millennia, reviled outcast for his senseless slaughter of the legendary ancient vampire Maharet, avowed enemy of Queen Akasha; Rhoshamandes, a demon spirit who refuses to live in harmony at the Court of Prince Lestat and threatens all that Lestat has dreamt of.

    As the tale unfolds, Lestat takes us from the towers and battlements of his ancestral castle in the snow-covered mountains of France to the verdant wilds of lush Louisiana with its lingering fragrances of magnolias and night jasmine; from the far reaches of the Pacific’s untouched islands to the 18th-century city of St. Petersburg and the court of the Empress Catherine.

    Lestat was supposed to have finally been put down in the final installment of Rice's Mayfair Witches book series. But long time fans didn't have to hold their breaths very long. Certainly not as long as Lestat did when he visited the mythical nautical kingdom of Atlantis in the previous book, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis.

    Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat will be available for purchase on October 2.

    Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City's Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.

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    Geoff Johns is working on a new Shazam series for DC. Here's everything we know...

    NewsMike CecchiniJim Dandy
    Aug 21, 2018

    Over the last two years, DC Comics has found its soul again. Kicking off with the Rebirth one shot in spring 2016, DC combined a kind of back-to-basics approach to its heroes with a knack for matching the right creative teams to their characters. We've had some potentially all-time great creative runs on Green Arrow, Batman, and The Flash, potentially all-time great comic series such as Mister Miracle, and recent all-star launches like the Brian Michael Bendis Superman books and Scott Snyder's Justice League.

    But where has Shazam been in all of this? Well, the right creative team is finally in place. 

    Coming this November is a new Shazam series from Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham (Fantastic Four, Detective Comics). The new book spins out of backups that ran through early arcs of Johns' Justice League, the book that launched the New 52 in 2011. The stories reset Billy Batson and his world, recasting Batson as a mouthy ass with a heart of gold who eventually realizes that his foster siblings are the most important thing to him. He then shares his power with them, creating the new Shazam Family and imbuing each with a piece of his power. The artist on those backups was Johns' art partner on Doomsday Clock, Gary Frank. Likely due to the intricateness of the art on that Watchmen sequel, though, Frank is unavailable for this new Shazam book, so the art duties will be handled by Eaglesham.

    Eaglesham is an industry vet, having drawn some of the best issues in "No Man's Land," the year-long 1999 event in the Batman comics that saw Gotham isolated and removed from America because of an earthquake and a feckless, incompetent government; some of the best issues of Jonathan Hickman's epic Fantastic Four run; and some of the best issues of Johns' run on Justice Society of America

    The cover of the first issue is pretty perfect...

    And here's the official synopsis:

    Teenager turned super-hero Billy Batson struggles to balance school and superheroics! (Guess which one is more fun?) But when Shazam unlocks a shocking secret deep within the Rock of Eternity, it challenges everything he knows about the worlds of magic and his family’s future as its champions! Also, witness the bizarre team-up of Dr. Sivana and Mr. Mind as they set off to build a society all their own! Don’t miss the start of an epic run in the making as “Shazam and the Seven Realms” begins!

    Johns recently freed up from his executive duties to focus more on writing and was the writer of the New 52 Shazam reboot, which is the basis for the 2019 movie starring Zachary Levi in the title role. Usually, when there's a movie about to drop, DC puts together a big launch for a character, so we're likely to see something special when this new Shazam series hits on November 21.

    Mike Cecchini is the Editor in Chief of Den of Geek. You can read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @wayoutstuff.

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth introduces new aquatic villains to the DC Universe.

    NewsMike Cecchini
    Aug 21, 2018

    There's always a bonus to a major superhero movie release. Not only do we get (hopefully) a good superhero movie (and so far, Aquaman is looking pretty darn cool), but it always puts comics publishers on their best behavior, making sure to showcase their best talent and tell the biggest possible stories about the character getting the big screen treatment. Aquaman is getting a killer creative team on his solo book, but one series isn't enough for the King of Atlantis, and so DC is putting together a massive Justice League story that plays to Arthur's strengths.

    Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth will run through assorted DC titles throughout the month of November, but the key story will take place across two one-shots, the main Justice League book, and (of course), Aquaman. Here's everything you need to know...

    Things kick off with Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 by James Tynion IV and Howard Porter on October 31...

    The Ocean Lords—ancient sea gods with a grudge against Aquaman and Wonder Woman—invade the Earth with an alien army and flood the globe. As Batman, Superman and the Flash race to stop the waters from rising and turning everyone into aquatic monsters, Mera seeks the advice of an old enemy, and Arthur must face down Black Manta…or lose his connection to the ocean forever!

    "Drowned Earth" continues in Justice League #11 by Scott Snyder and Francis Manapul on November 7...

    The Justice League is scattered across the Seven Seas, pursued by the Ocean Lords and their army of alien mercenaries and constantly at risk of turning into fish monsters. You know, just a day at the beach. Their only hope lies in the crippled Aquaman, who believes the road to victory lies in unleashing equally vengeful gods on Earth’s oceans. Meanwhile, Batman guards the Totality in the sunken Hall of Justice, where no one can attack him…or can they?

    And then there's Aquaman #42 by Dan Abnett and Lan Medina on November 21...

    As Aquaman and Wonder Woman race home from the Graveyard of Gods to turn the tide against the Ocean Lords, Arthur learns a stunning secret about his past! Armed with the knowledge that the Justice League may be fighting the wrong enemy, Aquaman must confront the ocean lords and learn the truth before the cosmic flood resets all life on Earth!

    Followed by Justice League #12 by James Tynion IV and Frazer Irving (seriously, they really brought some killer artists to this party), also on November 21...

    It’s Batman, in a full-body cast, versus the Legion of Doom! Get a ringside seat for the craziest fight in comics as a bedridden Batman battles The Joker, Lex Luthor, Gorilla Grodd and Sinestro! Meanwhile, Aquaman locks tridents with Poseidon and Mera discovers an ancient secret that could change the fate of Atlantis—and the entire Earth—forever!

    Before everything wraps up in Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 by Scott Snyder, Francis Manapul, and Howard Porter on November 28.

    Aquaman faces the truth behind Atlantis’ past and must find a way to reclaim the power of his birthright or watch the floodwaters drown everything he has ever loved! With the world at stake and the Justice League on their last sea legs in their battle against the Ocean Lords, Arthur makes the ultimate sacrifice to return balance to land and sea!

    That should give you something to talk about over Thanksgiving dinner.

    Mike Cecchini is the Editor in Chief of Den of Geek. You can read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @wayoutstuff.

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp are taking over Green Lantern at DC!

    NewsJohn SaavedraMike Cecchini
    Aug 21, 2018

    Green Lantern will be the next DC hero to get the Grant Morrison treatment. DC is relaunching Green Lantern with Morrison and artist Liam Sharp at the helm in November. The new series will put Hal Jordan back in the spotlight as the main Green Lantern of the DC Universe.

    "Instead of the big, epic, 12-part stories, we’re focusing down on the everyday life of a space cop. Basically, it’s no more apocalypse-ending storylines," Morrison told IGN. "The basic concept is that [Hal Jordan] is like a space cop that patrols a sector of the universe where anything can happen. We’ve made it more like a police procedural."

    Here's the official synopsis for The Green Lantern #1...

    "In this debut issue, when Earth’s space cop, Hal Jordan, encounters an alien hiding in plain sight, it sets off a chain of events that rocks the Green Lantern Corps—and quite possibly the Multiverse at large—to its very core. There’s an inter-galactic conspiracy afoot, as well as a traitor in the GL Corps’ ranks, so strap in for more mind-bending adventures in this masterpiece in the making."

    Morrison and Sharp revealed that their series will focus solely on Hal, foregoing the other human Lanterns and many of the familiar alien ones. Instead, the new Green Lantern book will reintroduce long forgotten alien Lanterns as well as new ones. As we've seen in his past DC work, Morrison is a big fan of bringing back characters, settings, and elements from the past. He did this during his Batman run by bringing back characters like Bat-Mite and the concept of Zur-en-Arrh. 

    They also revealed the Guardians of the Universe will have a role in the book as "police chiefs who run the Corps from the station." Basically, Morrison and Sharp are really doubling down on the space cop tone of the book. 

    "We’re doing Hal Jordan where, you know he’s a good cop, but is he really a good guy?" explained Morrison. "And we’re looking into his relationships and how he deals with people. And also the fact that, if you’ve got a job as a space cop, it’s hard to be stuck on the planet Earth. He has other lives on other planets. We’re gonna be looking into a lot of things that I don’t think we’ve seen a lot with Hal Jordan before."

    At SDCC, DC co-publisher Jim Lee said that the book will see Morrison and Sharp "question what the notion of justice [in space] is."

    "We just presume that it would be the American style of justice that would rule all the 3,000 some-odd sectors of the universe, but when you think about it there's only several human Green Lanterns," Lee said. "There are many more other Green Lanterns that come from different worlds, different cultures, and their sense of what justice is feels like would be very, very different."

    IGN also revealed some art for the book. Here's an awesome piece from Sharp:

    "We're really going back to basics," Sharp said. "Hal is very much the unreconstructed Hal that you remember from those old days. I love that he's really adrift. He can't even hold down a job. He's a pilot and then he's an insurance salesman. All of that kind of stuff is in there and he's just sort of insubordinate. He doesn't really want to have a job so he's just drifting."

    The Green Lantern#1 arrives on November 7.

    Read the Den of Geek SDCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    The Vicious and Shades of Magic series has a middle grade book out this month, and it's filled with ghosts.

    InterviewKayti Burt
    Aug 21, 2018

    V.E. Schwab has long been opening speculative fiction doors for young adult and adult readers with bestselling books like Vicious and the Shades of Magic series. Now, she's venturing further into the world of kid readers, with City of Ghosts, a supernatural story about a 12-year-old girl named Cassidy Blake and the ghosts she sees.

    When Cass falls into a river, she almost dies, but is saved by a boy named Jacob who happens to be a ghost. When the "corporeally-challenged" Jacob pulls Cass back from the dead, she pulls him a little bit into the world of the living in return, and they become best friends.

    "And so you have a girl who's not all the way alive, a boy who's not all the way dead, and suddenly she has this ability to see ghosts," Schwab told Den of Geek at San Diego Comic-Con, explaining the premise of her story.

    Cass' ability is made more complicated by the fact that her parents, better known as the Inspecters, have their very own book series in which they explore the history of paranormal activity in different places.

    "They don't know that their daughter can see ghosts and they get a television show traveling to the most haunted cities in the world," said Schwab. "And this girl, who has done a pretty good job of avoiding ghosts, now finds herself dragged forcefully into some of the most haunted places."

    Parents, amirite?

    Set in Schwab's hometown of Edinburgh (the author splits her time between the Scottish city and Nashville), City of Ghosts is the first in a planned series set in the world's most haunted cities. For Schwab, Edinburgh was the perfect place to set the first installment in the series.

    "[In Edinburgh], people talk about ghosts the way they talk about going to the grocery store," Schwab explained. "There's this sense of normalcy that they attribute to the paranormal that I found utterly fascinating. They don't put it up on this like, folk-loric pedestal, they don't dismiss it as superstition. They treat it like, 'Oh I saw one once, I was doing...' They treat it in the same way you would talk about seeing a celebrity or seeing anything else, and I love that."

    City of Ghosts comes complete with a map at the beginning of the book that shows Edinburgh from Cass' perspective, including all of the places she visits in the story. It's a format Schwab plans to continue for each book in the series, the next of which will be set in Paris. Schwab has already begun doing research for that one, visiting the Catacombs of Paris, which is home to more than six million skeletons, and the Père Lachaise Cemetery, which is the size of 89 city blocks.

    "All of the ghost stories in the series, asides from the primary one that is my plot, are all real. So they're all local legends," said Schwab of City of Ghosts' supernatural stories. In Edinburgh, this includes the legends of graverobbers-turned-murderers Burke and Hare; George Mackenzie, the poltergeist who lives in Greyfriars Kirkyard; and the drummer at Edinburgh Castle.

    "There's a really lovely plaza in Edinburgh that just happened to be a mass execution ground," explains Schwab. "And, when you're walking there now in 2018, you're like, 'This is like a really cute plaza with lots of shops and stuff.' But if you're Cassidy, the main character, who can feel the veil pulling on her, she steps into this plaza and it looks beautiful and, all the sudden, she's being wrenched through the veil into a realm where she sees that this was a place of mass executions... It was the hanging square, essentially. So I love the dichotomy of this town, this city, which is essentially a fairy tale, having this really dark underbelly to it."

    In some ways, City of Ghosts has been a long time coming for the bestselling author. Schwab has published 14 books under the names V.E. Schwab and Victoria Schwab, but the seeds for City of Ghosts, or at least a proper ghost story of some kind, have been with Schwab since college.

    "Really, the very, very first book I ever wrote while I was in college, never sold, had one or two seeds that even ten years later I just loved," Schwab said. "Those seeds were not in the right garden. They were not planted in the right place but there was something to them. [The story] was about the line between the living and the dead."

    The line between life and death is a common topic for Schwab, who also explores the theme in a more adult context in her Villains series—the first of which, Vicious, came out in 2015, and the second of which, Vengeful, will hit bookshelves next month. In the Villains series, some people develop extraordinary powers after enduring near-death experiences (or, more accurately, experiences in which they are brought back from the properly dead). Sydney Clark is one such character in Vicious; she develops the power to bring others back from the dead.

    "I thought, what if I took Sydney Clark, from Vicious, and gave her the exact same power and created a different world building system?" Schwab said. "What does her power look like if, instead of being a super villain/hero figure who can resurrect the dead, what if the exact same accident results in the ability to cross the veil between the living and the dead?"

    Enter Cassidy Blake, a character who owes something to a character who has come before, but who is entirely her own, dynamic protagonist—not least of all because she lives in a totally different context: the middle grade market.

    Schwab's Villains may be far too adult for the eight to 13-year-olds in your life, but if you're a young adult or adult who loves Schwab's work (and, if you've read Schwab's work, odds are you love it), and who wants to open a speculative fiction door for a younger person in your life, City of Ghosts is the perfect opportunity.

    City of Ghosts is now available for pre-order via Amazon and your local independent bookstore.

    Kayti Burt serves as a staff editor covering books, TV, movies, and fan culture at Den of Geek. A long-term lover of all things science fiction and fantasy, she is an unabashed defender of the power of speculative storytelling and a proponent of sentimental TV. Read more of her work here or follow her on Twitter @kaytiburt.

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    Batman is teaming up with two of his most dastardly villains, Penguin and Two-Face, this fall!

    News John Saavedra
    Aug 21, 2018

    Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer -- words Batman will be living by this fall when he teams up with Penguin and Two-Face, two of his most dangerous rogues, in upcoming issues of Batman and Detective Comics. As if almost marrying Catwoman wasn't enough, Batman will be working with villains to stop major plots against the city and his Bat family, but can the bad guys stay on the right side of the law long enough to actually help the Dark Knight?

    It all begins in September when comic book veterans James Robinson (Starman) and Mark Brooks (Ultimate X-Men) take over Detective Comics with issue #989. The story sees Batman investigating a murder that puts him in a direct collision with Two-Face and his minions. But it's really in October and November that we'll see the shocking team-up come into fruition when Harvey Dent "asserts control" over his twisted half. 

    Check out the cover and solicit for Detective Comics #992, which shows Two-Face going into battle guns blazing alongside the Caped Crusader and Jim Gordon!


    written by JAMES ROBINSON
    art and cover by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO
    variant cover by MARK BROOKS

    There’s a new Dynamic Duo in Gotham City—introducing Batman and Two-Face! What the what?! The Dark Knight is forced to team with old friend and current enemy Harvey Dent to stop a Kobra-sponsored terrorist attack. Can Batman really trust his life to a coin flip? Even worse, Bats and Two-Face are of two minds over recruiting the two Fireflies for help—if Batman’s gonna work with so many villains, he may as well join the Legion of Doom.

    ON SALE 11.14.18
    $3.99 US | 32 PAGES
    FC | RATED T

    Meanwhile, over on Batman, Tom King and Mikel Janin tackle the story of what happens when Penguin finds himself stuck in the middle of a war between Batman and a mysterious foe. Does he team up with the Bat or join the forces working to bring down the Dark Knight once and for all? To our delight, it's the former, as the Caped Crusader and Cobblepot become pals for a story arc!

    Here's the cover and solicit for November's Batman #58:

    BATMAN #58

    written by TOM KING
    art and cover by MIKEL JANIN
    variant cover by FRANCESCO MATTINA

    The Dark Knight waddles into a turf war with the Penguin! Still reeling from the attacks on his Bat-Family and reputation, the Caped Crusader looks to track down the mysterious operator lurking behind the scenes in Gotham City. As the hunt rages on, Batman runs “a fowl” of Oswald Cobblepot. But the Penguin is on Batman’s side for once, and the crime boss sees dangerous things on the horizon. How can he convince the Caped Crusader he’s on the level?

    ON SALE 11.07.18
    $3.99 US | 32 PAGES
    FC | RATED T

    Batman's newest pals might be a serious call for help. The Dark Knight keeps looking for love in all the wrong places. One of these days, he may not survive the night...

    More on poor, confused Batman as we learn it!

    John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine here!

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    In a new oral history book of Battlestar Galactica, the cast and creators recount the story of Starbuck's death.

    News Kayti Burt
    Aug 21, 2018

    Entertainment Weekly has a sneak peek into So Say We All: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Battlestar Galactica, a new book that dives deep into the iconic science fiction series. The snippet focuses on the third season choice to temporarily kill Katee Sackhoff's character, Starbuck, off of the series, a decision that came as a shock not only to fans, but to the cast and crew of the show, who were initially left in the dark about the fact Sackhoff would be returning a few episodes later.

    Almost 15 years later, this writer is still upset about the narrative choice, which resulted in a half-baked plot about Starbuck's greater destiny as some kind of Christ figure, leading the last vestiges of humanity to Earth. In the Say So We All snippets, the writers try to explain themselves (she typed, with love)...

    "We didn't really know how we were going to pay things off yet, because it was such an organic process on Battlestar," explains writer and producer David Weddle. "I was up for the preproduction in the first couple days of shooting on 'Rapture' and 'The Eye of Jupiter.' Katee Sackhoff came up to me and said, 'So what’s the deal with the mandala? What does that mean?' Of course I didn’t know yet, and I said, 'Well, we’re still developing that. It’s kind of premature to talk about it.' I was tap-­dancing."

    Sackhoff put forth her idea. At this point, showrunner Ronald D. Moore had already talked to Sackhoff about Starbuck having a larger destiny, and Sackhoff wondered if the mandala triggers a recollection of the mandala in her own past that she now interprets in a completely different way.

    "I came back to the writers’ room in L.A.," continues Weddle, "and the story up on the board for the episode that they were going to have Brad and I write. In it, Lee and Kara are orbiting this planet with a lot of cloud cover, and while they’re doing their missions, they talk about their fraught relationship. I said, 'Well, we kind of have done that over and over. Can’t we try to advance it in some way? And here’s what Katee Sackhoff has to say.'"

    Ron just grabbed that and ran with it and said, 'Yes. Let’s do that.' Then we got the idea of the cloud around the planet starting to look to her like the mandala, and then this whole theme of her always tiptoeing up to the edge of death. You know this might be a vehicle for exploring that.

    From there, the idea for Starbuck's temporary death eventually came, a narrative twist that the BSG writers didn't have a definite end in mind for when the plan was first hatched. Weddle calls the plan to kill off Starbuck's character "an incredible, radical idea none of us would have ever dared to think of." 

    Of course, in an attempt to keep Starbuck's imminent return from the dead a secret, the BSG writers didn't tell the rest of the cast or crew about temporary nature of Sackhoff's departure.

    "This was one of the stupidest things that David [Eick] and I did in the entire run of the show," recounts Moore. "You’re right at the cusp of social media and the internet starting to ferret out spoilers from shows. Various plotlines are getting blown online for the first time. This is becoming a thing that none of us had ever had to deal with before. Our feeling was this was only going to work if the audience thinks we mean it, and the characters mean it. We’ll take her name out of the main credits, we want this to be a shock. Katee knows she’s coming back and we swear her to secrecy, so then, of course, it just becomes a fiasco and Katee is telling everyone she’s leaving the show."

    Edward James Olmos, who played Commander Adama, was particularly against the departure. Apparently, when he read the script, he declared: "The show will never be the same." Edward James Olmos is officially all of us.

    Olmos' resistance to the apparent cast change led Sackhoff to tell Olmos the truth. He turned around and told the whole cast, but, of course, the audience was kept in the dark, leading to a narrative experience that, while impressive and admirable in its determination to manipulate the viewer, never felt like it was worth it.

    Battlestar Galactica remains one of my favorite shows of all time and I appreciate the fact that the writers room was so organic in the development of its story. I don't think a TV show should have to have a plan from the beginning, especially given how many elements of TV production are outside of the writers' control. That being said, I still think this was a dumb plot that didn't make sense within the show's larger mythology that only served to undermine the realism of this world and the integrity of this objectively wonderful TV character.

    In related news, you better believe I am going to consume every page of this book. So Say We All: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Battlestar Galactica (by the wonderful Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman) is available for purchase starting today.

    Kayti Burt serves as a staff editor covering books, TV, movies, and fan culture at Den of Geek. A long-term lover of all things science fiction and fantasy, she is an unabashed defender of the power of speculative storytelling and a proponent of sentimental TV. Read more of her work here or follow her on Twitter @kaytiburt.

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    We're giving away some sweet Hocus Pocus-themed swag that will be the envy of all your friends this coming Halloween season.

    Feature Kayti Burt
    Aug 3, 2018

    This giveaway is being done in partnership with Disney Hyperion, who provided a copy of the book and merchandise for the contest.

    Hocus Pocusremains a Halloween classic. The story of teen boy Max Dennison, who moves from California to Salem, Massachusetts only to accidentally bring a trio of soul-sucking witches back to life, is a mainstay of the annual autumnal celebration. The movie ends with Max, his crush Allison, and little sister Dani, vanquishing the Sanderson sisters without losing their souls in the process. Now, 25 years after the film's initial release, we're finally getting more of the story.

    Hocus Pocus & the All-New Sequel, written by A.W. Jantha with illustrations from Matt Griffin, is a two-part young adult novel that features both a novelization of the original film, as well as a sequel that follows Max and Allison's 17-year-old daughter, Poppy, as she faces off against the Sanderson sisters her parents defeated all those years ago.

    Den of Geek has partnered with Disney Hyperion for a special giveaway of the two-part novel, along with some sweet Hocus Pocus-themed swag. In addition to the book, one winner will receive: custom Sanderson Sisters cookies, a branded "Witch, Please" t-shirt, and a mug. Basically, you'll be all set for the coming Halloween season.

    Here's who to enter the contest: 

    - Join the Den of Geek Book Club!

    - Introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself! message thread. (Be sure to mention it was the Hocus Pocus giveaway that brought you to the group!)

    Final entries will be accepted Friday, August 10th! One (1) winner will be drawn at random and contacted by Goodreads message. The winner must live in the United States. Good luck!

    The books hit stores on July 10th, so, even if you don't win the giveaway, you can still check out the stories yourself!

    Read Hocus Pocus & the All-New Sequel

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    Director Jon M. Chu plans to return for China Rich Girlfriend, alongside the screenwriters from Crazy Rich Asians.

    News Kayti Burt
    Aug 22, 2018

    Warner Bros. would be silly not to move forward with a Crazy Rich Asians sequel. Not only has the delightful rom-com of a movie made an impressive $35.3 million in its first five days in theaters, but it is changing the face of Hollywood in the process. Not to mention, there are two more books in the Kevin Kwan series on which the film is based just waiting to be adapted.

    According to THR, while the sequel has not yet been officially greenlit by Warner Bros., director Jon M. Chu is planning on returning for a follow-up, with producers Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, and John Penotti, as well as screen writers Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim set to return as the studio moves forward with development. Chu has a film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights on the docket before returning to the world of Crazy Rich Asians. Warner Bros. has the option for all three books in the trilogy.

    The second book in the trilogy is called China Rich Girlfriends and follows Nick's cousin Astrid (Gemma Chan, in the film) as she reconnects with her first love Charlie Wu (played by Harry Shum Jr. in the film's mid-credits epilogue). The book also follows Rachel (Constance Wu) and Nick (Henry Golding) as they go to China to find Rachel's father, and Kitty Pong (Fiona Xie), the actress we see dumping Alistair (Remy Hii) for Bernard Tai (Jimmy O. Yang) in the first film.

    More news on the Crazy Rich Asians sequel as we hear it.

    Kayti Burt is a staff editor covering books, TV, movies, and fan culture at Den of GeekRead more of her work here or follow her on Twitter @kaytiburt.

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    Bryan Hill and Dexter Soy will keep the legacy of Batman and the Outsiders going for DC.

    NewsJim Dandy
    Aug 22, 2018

    Bryan Edward Hill's run on Detective Comicshas won him no small amount of critical praise (including from 'round these parts here), and that success has led to what we've suspected for some time now: he's getting to relaunch The Outsiders, a team that hasn't had their own series in years.

    Hill will be joined by Dexter Soy on art for Baman and the Outsidersin December, a team book that keeps Batman working with Black Lightning, Orphan, the Signal, and Katana. “All I’ll say is, it is a team book with Batman in it, but the safety is off,” Hill told the Washington Post. “Hopefully it will be surprising and thrilling in ways that I don’t think people will quite expect."

    Hill, who broke out in comics in the pages of Top Cow's Postal, also has a new book coming as part of Vertigo's relaunch. American Carnageis the story of a half-black, half-white FBI agent who goes undercover passing as a white man to infiltrate a white supremacist militia. The first issue was distributed at San Diego Comic Con, and has been getting rave reviews. He's also the writer behind The Wild Storm: Michael Cray, the corner of the Warren Ellis-helmed Wildstorm reboot that has Hill's title character murdering assorted DCU analogues.

    Batman and the Outsidersfirst showed up in 1983 from comic legends Mike Barr and Jim Aparo. Black Lightning, Batman, and Katana were on the original team, along with Metamorpho, Geo-Force, and Halo. The book originally grew out of a dispute between Batman and the Justice League, leading to him creating his own team to tackle threats the League was uninterested in. This current incarnation was teased in the closing pages of Justice League: No Justiceas a group that rather than tackling issues the League couldn't or wouldn't, will be going after the threats that the League shouldn't. That's pretty great.

    For more on The Outsiders, the Titans, the Teen Titans, the Challengers, or the various and sundry Leagues running around the DCU, stick with Den of Geek!

    Jim Dandy writes extensively about comics for Den of Geek. Read more of his work here.

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    Showtime throws a horror show party at Kill Creek, the most infamous haunted house in the country.

    News Tony Sokol
    Aug 23, 2018

    In House on Haunted Hill, Vincent Price's eccentric millionaire throws a ghastly dinner party to impress enemies and alienate friends. In Scott Thomas' novel Kill Creek, famous horror writers spend a night in a haunted house in Kansas for a live-streamed publicity stunt. The Showtime premium cable network is developing the book into an hour-long drama with Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson and Underground co-creator Misha Greene, according to The Wrap.

    The screenplay is being written by Thomas, who will executive produce the film with Green, Adam Gomolin, and Andrew Lazar (American Sniper), Elisa Ellis (Narcos) and Derrickson, who will direct the production for Showtime and Platform One Media, with Katie O’Connell Marsh (Narcos) as co-producer.

    In the book, which was honored as the American Library Association’s Horror Book of 2017 and shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award, best-selling horror author Sam McGarver and three other masters of the macabre spend Halloween night in one of the most infamous haunted houses in the country. Each of the writers specialize in a different type of  horror fiction: T.C. Moore writes erotic thrillers, Sam McGaver is teaching while waiting for his breakout hit, Daniel Slaughter is a devout Christian whose characters conquer monsters with the power of God on their side. Daniel recently lost his teen daughter Claire, and with her went his faith and his flock of faithful Christian horror fans.

    The last novelist invited to the house is the legendary Sebastian Cole, who is the grandfather of modern horror. But all those scary imaginations wake up an entity bent on make them a part of the house’s legacy.

    According to local legend, the house already claimed four lives.

    There is no word yet on when Kill Creek will start production.

    Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City's Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.

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    The Kate Daniels series is set to come to its epic conclusion in September.

    FeatureAlana Joli Abbott
    Aug 23, 2018

    It's the end of an era.

    Since 2007, over the course of ten core books, writing team Ilona and Gordon Andrews (writing as Ilona Andrews) has treated readers to the delights and dangers of a post-Magipocalypse Atlanta. What began as a couple of episodic novels about a down-on-her-luck merc evolved into a story with a far larger arc, one that is about to culminate in a battle between a leveled-up Kate Daniels and the greatest power—and evil—in the world.

    Join the Den of Geek Book Club!

    The Kate Daniels series has more snarky humor than you can shake a stick at, shapeshifters with plenty of sex appeal (not to mention loyalty and honor), and so much real-world mythology packed in the Andrews team could teach a course. The overall effect has had these books as staples of the New York Times bestseller lists upon their respective releases.

    The final book in the main series,Magic Triumphs, releases on August 28, 2018. Stay tuned for our review, but, in the mean time, if you have yet to pick up these books and are daunted by the size of the series, we’re here to make it a little easier to slip into the world. Once you start, you’ll want to stick around...

    The premise of Kate Daniels' world? Technology and magic can coexist in balance, but they go through cycles. Too much magic? The magic crashes and gives technology a chance to rise. Too much technology? Magic rears its head and starts eating skyscrapers.

    In the time of Kate Daniels, technology ruled the world, and magic decided it needed a turn to come back, leaving the world in flux: sometimes, magic has the upper hand, in what’s called a magic wave. But then the magic fades, and tech returns. Cars run, telephones work, and even computers manage to hang onto their files. But when magic reasserts itself, people have to get by in cars that have been converted to start with chanting and run on magically fueled water—or better, trust their horses to get them where they need to go. Guns may work during tech, but if you’re not sure whether the tech will hold, it’s best to rely on a trusty sword.

    As the series begins, Kate Daniels works for the Mercenary Guild. The father who raised her is dead, and she discovers that her guardian has been murdered. There’s no chance she won’t get in on the action, so she turns to the Order of Merciful Aid, the organization for which her guardian worked, to get involved in the investigation. Since Kate’s best techniques for getting information involve making herself enough of a nuisance that the guilty parties try to have her killed, she expects to be turned down.

    But when the Order offers her the opportunity to find out what happened, she leaps on it, despite her problems with the Order. Technically a branch of law enforcement, the Order helps people who can’t afford the Mercenary Guild’s rates, but whose problems aren’t enough to get the attention of the Paranormal Affairs Division (PAD) of the regular police force. But the Order solves problems their own way, and what they view as mercy isn’t always what the people they’re helping find merciful.

    The investigation puts her in the path of the Pack—shapeshifters ruled by the Beast Lord, Curran Lennart, an incredibly powerful lion shifter—and the People, necromancers who pilot undead, controlling the blood-thirsty cravings of vampires by riding in their brains and directing their actions. With the secrets she’s keeping, she’d rather steer clear of both, but to solve the murder, it’s just not an option.

    And to continue with a series, especially one where she shares a strong attraction with Curran, she can’t avoid them either. They’re the world shapers—and Kate herself soon becomes a force to be reckoned with.

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

    For myth nerds, there is a huge payoff in each book. While there’s plenty of invention here, the Andrews stuff each novel full of references to real-world mythology and folklore. “We were both avid readers as children, mythology and fantasy being among our favorites,” Gordon explained in an interview with USA Today. “It seemed natural for us to include these myths in the stories.”

    Readers of the series encounter creatures from Greek, Celtic, Slavic, Egyptian, and a host of other mythologies. Kate herself is well-versed in fantastic beasts and how to kill them, and she usually ends up explaining the consequences of particular creatures and beliefs to those around her, making it easy for readers who aren’t familiar with the stories to keep up. For readers who already love their mythology, they know from the first mention of Morrigan that things are not going to go well.

    Fans have long known they can turn to the Ilona Andrews website for extras, because every world has stories that don’t get told in the main arc. Starting with posts on their blog, the pair rewrote several scenes from the early novels from the point of view of Curran, giving them away to their readers for free. When readers fell in love with Andrea, Kate’s gun-toting friend at the Order, and the dashing werehyena who is determined to win her heart, they were rewarded with a whole novel featuring the pair, in which they have to save Atlanta while Kate and Curran are on a different mission. Several short stories, novellas, and side-novels have been published to open the door to alternate points of view, different voices, and different adventures. This is a storytelling world that rewards its readers' engagement.

    If you start reading and decide you want everything there is to read, the books and extras are helpfully compiled in chronological order on the authors’ website. And despite the end of the full Kate Daniels story arc, readers have been promised that, in addition to Andrews’ other series, there’s at least one more Post-Shift novel to come.

    It can be hard to reach the end of a series, even when you know that the characters may continue to appear in the future, but it's also a comfort, because it means that all those loose ends that promised resolution truly to get resolved. But while readers who have spent over a decade with these characters may be sad to see the end, readers just picking up the series now can be assured that all the hints and secrets introduced early on in the series do come into play—and reach a triumphant conclusion. Whether you're relying on a tech car, a magic converted SUV, or a trusty and unflappable horse, you're in for a heck of a ride.

    Read the first book in the Kate Daniels series: Magic Bites. And stay tuned for our review of the last book in the series: Magic Triumphs.

    Alana Joli Abbott writes about books for Den of Geek. Read more of her work here.

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    Castle Rock is full of easter eggs and references to the work of Stephen King. Here's what we've found so far...

    Feature John Saavedra
    Aug 23, 2018

    This Castle Rock article contains spoilers.

    Castle Rock is Hulu's homage to Stephen King's work, and it's full of callbacks to the horror classics that have made the writer such a beloved part of our pop culture for the last 40 years. From veteran actors to characters we've met in King's other nightmarish stories to haunted locations, I've found quite a few easter eggs and references to Uncle Stevie's work that should be of interest to Constant Readers. 

    This is still a work-in-progress, which means that you're welcome to call out easter eggs and references on the show that I might have missed. Just hit me up on Twitter or in the comments below.

    The Cast

    In a metafictional way, several of the show's cast members act as callbacks to past King movies:

    - Sissy Spacek, who plays Ruth Deaver, was the star of the very first movie adapted from the writer's work: 1976's Carrie, directed by Brian De Palma. Spacek played the troubled Carrie White, an ostracized teenage girl who develops psychic abilities and uses them to get revenge on those who bullied her. 

    - Bill Skarsgard, who plays The Kid, recently donned a clown costume to become the big-screen version of Pennywise the Dancing Clown in Andy Muschietti's IT adaptation. 

    - Melanie Lynskey, who plays Molly Strand, first appeared in Rose Redas Rachel Wheaton. In case you missed it, Rose Red was an ABC miniseries from 2002 written by King about a group of psychics that investigate a haunted mansion in Washington. 

    - Ann Cusack, who plays Warden Porter, is a recent King alum. She recently appeared in a few episodes of Mr. Mercedes as a character named Olivia Trelawney. 

    - Terry O'Quinn, who plays Dale Lacy, showed up as Sheriff Joe Haller in the great werewolf movie from 1985, Silver Bullet

    - The brilliant Frances Conroy, who plays Martha Lacy, recently starred as religious cult leader Nathalie Raven in The Mist TV series. 

    - Chosen Jacobs, who plays Wendell Deaver, also starred as Mike Hanlon in last year's IT adaptation. 

    The Characters

    - Alan Pangborn, played by Scott Glenn, has seen some things during his time in Castle Rock. While we meet him as a retiree on the show, the former sheriff has also appeared in other King stories. Pangborn most famously appeared in the novels The Dark Half and Needful Things, but has also shown up in the novella "The Sun Dog" and been mentioned in the novels Bag of Bones and Gerald's Game

    Castle Rock isn't the first time Pangborn has been on screen, either. In fact, he appeared in TWO movies in 1993, played by Michael Rooker in The Dark Half and Ed Harris in Needful Things

    One last fact about Pangborn: in the show's continuity, the former sheriff leaves Castle Rock, moving to Texas to live out the rest of his days, but returns to the haunted town to be with Ruth Deaver. That's a retcon of what happened at the end of Needful Things, though. Alan actually remarried after the death of his wife Annie and son Todd, getting an all-too-rare happy ending with Polly Chalmers and their new home in New Hampshire. 

    - Jackie Torrance carries a very famous name, although it's revealed that she gave herself the name to spite her parents. Castle Rock's street historian is related to the crazed Jack Torrance (she's his niece) but doesn't seem to have any symptoms herself. Her real name is Diane, apparently. 

    - While Molly Strand isn't a callback to any particular character from a past work, she does have a very special ability that Constant Readers can't miss: the shining. The telepathic ability first exhibited by little Danny Torrance and Overlook Hotel chef Dick Hallorann in the 1977 novel The Shining also haunts Molly, who can see, hear, and feel what others are thinking as well as see at least one ghost, that of the Reverend she murdered.  

    The Locations

    - The town of Castle Rock itself has appeared or been mentioned in several Stephen King stories and novels. Castle Rock, along with Derry and Jerusalem's Lot, make up a big chunk of King's haunted Maine. It's a pretty messed up place to live but that hasn't stopped anyone from living there.

    Castle Rock is the main setting of novels The Dead Zone, Cujo, The Dark Half, and Needful Things. It's appeared in the novellas "The Body,""The Sun Dog,""Drunken Fireworks,""Gwendy's Button Box," and "Elevation, as well as the short stories "Uncle Otto's Truck,""Mrs. Todd's Shortcut," "It Grows on You,""Premium Harmony." The town is also mentioned in a few of the writer's other works.

    - Shawshank State Penitentiary is Castle Rock's most infamous landmark. The prison first appeared in the 1982 novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and then in the Oscar-nominated film starring Tim Robbins, 1994's The Shawshank Redemption

    The prison has also appeared in the novels Dolores Claiborne, It, Blaze, and Bag of Bones, as well as the novella "Apt Pupil." It's also been referenced in four other King TV series: The Dead Zone, Under the Dome, Haven, and 11/22/63.

    - Juniper Hill is the mental hospital where Henry Deaver plans to take the Kid once he's out of prison. This asylum has appeared in the novels It (most famously the home of psychotic bully Henry Bowers), Insomnia, Needful Things, Gerald's Game, The Tommyknockers, Bag of Bones, The Dark Half, and 11/22/63 as well as the novella "The Sun Dog."

    - Henry asks Jackie about Nan's Luncheonette, a local food joint in town. Jackie informs him that it closed down after it was discovered Nan was operating the place as a brothel. Nan's Luncheonette has also appeared in Needful Things, The Dark Half, It, and "The Sun Dog."

    - Several characters frequent the Mellow Tiger Bar. This watering hole has also appeared in Needful Things.

    Other Frights

    - The show references a particular rabid dog several times. This is, of course, a callback to the murderous St. Bernard Cujo who terrorized Castle Rock after he was bitten by a rabid bat in the 1981 novel Cujo. Donna and Tad Trenton were attacked by Cujo and forced to hide from the dog inside of a Ford Pinto for three days. 

    - Warden Dale Lacy mentions "the strangler" when talking about the past horrors that have occurred in the town. This is a reference to Frank Dodd, a former sheriff's deputy in Castle Rock who raped and murdered several women in the 1979 novel The Dead Zone

    - Lacy also references "the boy's body out by the train tracks." That's a callback to the 1982 novella "The Body," which was later made into the movie Stand by Me in 1986.

    - Hanging in the warden's office at Shawshank is a picture of former warden Samuel Norton, as portrayed by Bob Gunton in The Shawshank Redemption. It's mentioned that Norton committed suicide in the office. 

    - Ruth Deavers fears that a stray dog Alan buried in the back of their house is still alive. She later sees the dog in a vision in their bedroom. This is a nod to 1983 novel Pet Sematary.

    John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9

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    The studio behind Danger Mouse and Count Duckula also gave us some less well known takes on Terry Pratchett's Discworld universe

    Feature Juliette Harrisson
    Aug 24, 2018

    This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

    There have been a number of attempts to bring Terry Pratchett’s Discworld to the screen over the years, two of which have – so far – actually managed to make it to air. The better known is probably Sky’s live-action dramas, which aired during holiday seasons between 2006 and 2010 and adapted Hogfather, The Colour Of Magic/The Light Fantastic (as one mini-series under the title The Colour Of Magic) and Going Postal. Less well known, however, are Cosgrove Hall’s 1997 animated adaptations of two Discworldnovels: Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters.

    Cosgrove Hall had previously done an animated adaptation of Pratchett’s Truckers, an earlier children’s novel unconnected to the Discworld series, in 1992. The animation studio, which was in business 1976-2009, was best known for children’s programming, including beloved favourites Danger Mouse and Count Duckula. Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters, however, did not alter any of the more ‘grown-up’ aspects of their stories (such as questions of paternity, or drinking alcohol to forget) but presented remarkably faithful adaptations of their source texts.

    There are many elements to the world of the Disc – fantasy and fantastical characters and landscapes, fully realised and three-dimensional characters (once you get past the first couple of novels), high drama and action-packed climactic sequences. Most importantly of all, though, these novels are, first and foremost, comedies. They are dramatic and moving and many other things, but it is absolutely essential that they are funny.

    One of the things these adaptations get really right is the comedy. The six-part stories (six 22-minute episodes) are fast-paced and preserve many of the jokes from the original books. The series also enhanced jokes from the books with appropriate on-screen interpretations – for example the solemn chanting of the Fools’ Guild in Wyrd Sisters, which sounds like medieval monks, is especially inspired.

    You can see this in the casting, which represents the cream of British comedy crop in the mid-1990s – Wyrd Sisters stars two Absolutely Fabulous alumni (Jane Horrocks and June Whitfield) with Annette Crosbie, of One Foot In The Grave fame, as Granny Weatherwax. Soul Music features Graham Crowden, from Waiting For God, and Neil Morrissey, from Men Behaving Badly. The series’ biggest casting coup, though, was an absolutely perfect bit of casting – Christopher Lee as Death. Lee later voiced Death for Sky, after their first Death, Ian Richardson, passed away himself, but Lee was Cosgrove Hall’s first choice, and a more perfect match of voice and character is difficult to imagine.

    The studio made a solid choice of stories for their two stand-alone productions. Wyrd Sisters is perfect for an independent Discworldstory. While Granny Weatherwax had appeared in an earlier novel (Equal Rites), Wyrd Sisters is the story that introduces the Lancre coven of Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick, so it requires no prior knowledge for the story to work. The plot riffs on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, so it’s a great entry point for Discworld novices, as the familiar elements of the story can help people get into this fantastical world of witches, ghosts and anthropomorphic personifications.

    Soul Music is a more surprising choice, as it’s a direct sequel to an earlier novel, Mort. However, it works well enough – you don’t really need the backstory of Mortfor the story to be understandable, though of course it does spoil the plot of its predecessor (including a re-creation of the climax of that story). It’s interesting that both TV adaptations of Discworld novels have chosen stories starring Death’s grand-daughter, Susan Sto Helit. Presumably the universality of the abstract concept of Death, combined with Susan’s deadpan delivery, has both visual and comic appeal to adaptors. It’s odd that no one has yet started with Mort, but perhaps the timeline complications that might introduce for future adaptations (it involves the kingdom of Lancre missing out on 15 years of the outside world’s time in Wyrd Sisters, during which Susan Sto Helit grows from a baby to a teenager) put them off!

    These series are products of the 1990s, so they’re a great opportunity to indulge in some nostalgia. 90s computer graphics! Cheesy electronic muzak for the opening sequence! Bouncy cartoon background music for the funny bits! Some of the sound effects even sound exactly like some of the sound effects on Red Dwarf, which is a bit distracting, to be fair.

    Of course, these productions are not perfect. The action has that stilted feel of not-high-budget animation. Most of the use of accents reflects the implied accents of the books very well (Soul Music’s Imp Y Celyn – or ‘Bud of the Holly’ – is Welsh, for example) but Wyrd Sisters’ The Fool is specifically supposed to come from Lancre, and yet has a completely different accent from the local witches. And there are the issues associated with any TV adaptation – for many viewers who have read the books, these may not reflect quite what they had in mind, as nothing will ever entirely reflect what someone sees and hears in their own imagination.

    There are always rumors circulating of new Discworld adaptations, announcements of new Discworld adaptations and requests for new Discworld adaptations – the latest being the BBC’s planned CSI Discworld-style series The Watch. We do know that the BBC’s adaptation of Pratchett’s non-Discworld co-authored novel with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, will be coming out next year. I think these cartoons prove that a funny, effective, entertaining adaptation of a Discworld novel is far from impossible – fingers crossed we get another one soon!

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    Avengers: Infinity War helmers Joe and Anthony Russo want to direct Cherry, a movie adapting the tragic biography of Army vet Nico Walker.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Aug 24, 2018

    Cherry, a biographical chronicle of the PTSD and addiction-afflicted life of its author, Army vet Nico Walker, was the center of a serious bidding war among studios for the movie rights, one that ultimately saw AGBO – the upstart shingle of Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo – offer $1 million to buy it outright. Indeed, it appears that the revered Marvel movie maestros won’t be content to just put their names in the producer column, since they are looking to direct.

    The Russos’ AGBO is currently in negotiations to adapt Cherry, reports Deadline. The book by Nico Walker (released on August 14,) auspiciously appears to be on the verge of a movie deal less than a fortnight after its arrived. The book, which is already receiving notable acclaim for first-time author Walker, is also a timely tome amid the current opioid epidemic, also serving as a potent account of the PTSD experience. The Cherry project has attached Jessica Goldberg, creator/executive-producer/writer of Hulu’s The Path, to pen the screenplay.  

    Cherry chronicles Walker’s experiences, starting as a college freshman in Cleveland whose romantic woes, lead him to join the Army as a medic in 2005 – during the height of the Iraq War – in which he served until 2006. Consequently, his experiences on over 200 combat missions leave him with a serious (tragically undiagnosed,) case of PTSD, leading him down a road of addiction to opioids, notably heroin; an addiction that doesn’t leave him upon his return to civilian life, resulting in desperate attempts to replenish funds as a bank robber. After hitting 10 banks in the Cleveland area, Walker was arrested in April 2011, which led to a guilty plea in 2012 for which he received an 11-year sentence. However, the incarcerated Walker would become the focus of a Buzzfeed article about his tragic story, which led to him connecting with a publisher.

    Would-be Cherry directors Joe and Anthony Russo – already lauded for their previous Marvel movie work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War– currently reside in the stratosphere of the industry for their work on this year’s Avengers: Infinity War, which earned over $2 billion worldwide, setting up a 2019 follow-up effort, the yet-to-be-titled Avengers 4, that’s in a very good position to surpass that number. Consequently, the Russos’ prospective tenure on the Cherry movie immediately gives the project major weight, prospectively serving as the siblings’ attempt at awards season adulation. Moreover, it’s a story that's close to home for the Russos, who grew up in its Cleveland setting and saw opioid addiction claim the life of a friend.

    We will keep you updated on the Russos’ Cherry movie project as things develop!

    Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    The Harley Quinn/Gossamer crossover works because of how similar Harley is to Bugs Bunny. No, seriously.

    News Jim Dandy
    Aug 27, 2018

    Back when this new wave of DC Comics/Looney Tunes characters crossover was announced, I said "I'd be happy if this comic was just "Hair Raising Hare" but with Harley." Joe Quinones, the former artist on Howard the Duckand a man of apparently impeccable taste, agreed and gave us that precise image as the variant cover to this preview of the issue that DC sent our way.

    Really, this pairing has the lowest bar to clear for competence, but the highest upside potential from any of these crossovers. Because while there have been several good ones (and not just second-best-comic-of-2017-Batman/Elmer Fudd Special -Lobo/Road Runnerand Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunnywere incredible), none of them made sense on an existential level the way this one does. Because when you're going for laughs with Harley, she's basically Bugs Bunny. God help us all, I'm about to get nerdy about comedy.

    Bugs works because he's a funhouse mirror held up to burlesque tropes. Not necessarily with the over the top slapstick violence, but with razor sharp satire and that chummy, "ain't I a stinker" fourth wall breaking, the cross-generational appeal of early Looney Tunes comics came from using comedic stylings that were refined by guys like Abbott and Costello or Red Skelton on burlesque tours. Harley works the same way: ridicule, audience inclusion, and the occasional ultraviolence.

    So matching Harley with Bugs' foil from one of the five greatest cartoons of all time (don't @ me) is a really natural fit. Keeping her with her regular writing team means we are safe to expect another good Harley Quinn comic at the very least. And from what we can see in this preview, that's what we're getting! Here's what DC has to say about the issue.

    art by PIER BRITO
    backup story written by SHOLLY FISCH
    backup story art by DAVE ALVAREZ
    cover by AMANDA CONNER
    variant cover by JOE QUINONES
    A violent storm leaves a large crate washed up on the beach at Coney Island. When Harley breaks it open to see what’s inside, she suddenly has a new playmate to add to her cast of friends—a large, furry, orange beast called Gossamer. It’s all fun and games until a giant robot attacks them. But who sent it? Harley immediately suspects only one man, but is it really The Joker behind this destructive rampage?

    This is an extra-long preview, by the way, so set aside some extra time to check it out!

    Jim Dandy writes extensively about comics for Den of Geek. Read more of his work here.

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    Jinxworld is back! Wondering when you'll get more Powers, Scarlet, or more of Brian Michael Bendis' creator owned books? Here's the scoop.

    InterviewMarc Buxton
    Aug 28, 2018

    Months back, Brian Michael Bendis shocked the world by jumping from his two decade home of Marvel Comics over to DC Comics. Bendis began his DC sojourn in the world of Superman, but that is just the tip of the Fortress of Solitude. With his arrival at DC, Bendis has promised a new dedication to his series of creative owned titles collectively known as Jinxworld. Many of these titles, such as PowersUnited States of Murder Inc., and the all-ages Takio (with artist Michael Avon Oeming), and Scarlet with Alex Maleev have experienced delays and cancelations over the years that have frustrated fans and Bendis himself. But now Jinxworld is back, and ready to take the comic book market by storm.

    Joining these established Jinxworld titles will be Pearl with Bendis’ Jessica Jones co-creator Michal Gaydos and Cover with David Mack. Pearlis the story of a young assassin trying to navigate the world of the Yakuza and Cover asks what happens when comic creators become super spies. Along with the new titles, all the classic Jinxworld titles will soon return. Brian Michael Bendis told us what to expect from these titles and what led to this renewed focus on the Jinxworld imprint.

    Den of Geek: To what do we owe this renewed focus on Jinxworld?

    Brian Michael Bendis: Well, a few things. My birthday last year was a landmark birthday, so you can’t help but sit on your porch and take stock of everything. I’m healthy. My kids are healthy. I love me wife. But what can I do? What am I missing? Where have I dropped the ball? Absolutely, it was my passion and dedication to my creator owned work. My passion was always there, but behind the scenes, no one was seeing what we were doing because I wasn’t committed to it. That is embarrassing to me, and let’s fix it. On top of that, I announced to my friends, “I’m going to spend the year and create 50 things. They’re not going to be fifty amazing things, but I’m going to spend a year and force myself to lock down 50 ideas…written down that are brand new and not done before.”

    From that, six months later, the offer from DC comes and them saying, “We think you should return to Jinxworld, we’re fans of it and it’s annoying to us that you haven’t got back to that.” So whatever we were going to do next, if I resigned at Marvel or if I didn’t sign anywhere, it was going to be with a fierce rededication to Jinxworld. What was great was that DC wanted that from us and came to us with a robust partnership plan to really publish the shit out of these books. I was relieved. It was exactly what I wanted. If I had to write Santa a letter, that’s exactly what I would have asked for. I called my collaborators and said, “Hey, you guys want to stop what you’re doing and get back to what we’re supposed to be doing?”

    And then I got sick. Then I ended up in the hospital. The weeks went by and sometimes, there were days I was blind and there were days I was told, “You’re not getting out of here.” There was genuine care with collaborators visiting and talking comics. Greg Rucka sitting right next to me talking about Superman quietly. These things impassioned me and emboldened me. I said, "I have to get the fuck out of here and tell these stories.” I desperately wanted to do that. So, you’re holding the results of all of that. I was lucky enough to get out and got to work.

    At the same time, as we were putting the books together, as I was being reintroduced to the history of DC and people were talking about what Kirby was doing when he came over, not that I’m anywhere in his ballpark, it’s the idea of someone moving from Marvel to DC and what he was creating then and how old he was. I wrote a very serious letter to my collaborations. I said, “It just occurred to me, and sure I almost lost my life, we are of an age where we have all the facilities as creators. We know our craft, we’re on that road. We’re at an age where we know why we’re telling out stories and what we’re telling. Sometimes, when you’re a younger creator, you find out later why you did it. We know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We are at the height of our powers. Sometimes people get better when they get older, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes it dwindles. But this is it. Let’s acknowledge that, let’s not pretend this isn’t our moment."

    All four of the guys started kicking ass and inspiring each other. I was sitting there and seeing pages of Pearl and Cover and Murder, and the only people who benefit are the readers and me.

    Pearl with Michael Gaydos

    Tell us about the genesis of Pearl? When did the idea percolate? Was it originally slated for Marvel?

    It was never pitched to Marvel, but it was definitely going to be the next book me and Gaydos did. We had like a year before any of the things I just talked about and we decided the next thing we did after Jessica Jones would be creator owned. We had a whole year to percolate on why we were doing this book and what this book is and what’s special about it. I really focused on making sure there are things in the book you’re not going to see anywhere else. Things that are unique. Little things, big things… these things are sometimes people’s whole entertainment budget, so you want to make sure you handle everything with care. So, we were talking, and the very first conversation, and you’ll see this with all the Jinxworld launches, they started with another conversation or another idea, and then you say, “No, the real idea is this…”

    It started with me becoming obsessed with other people’s obsessions. Tattoos was one of those. The art of tattoo. Because I was told when I was a boy that if you get a tattoo you’re not going to heaven and about Holocaust tattoos, it always had a different connotation to a young Jewish kid from Cleveland than it did elsewhere. Here where I live in Portland … it’s a big part of the culture. It started with this and I asked all my friends who are covered, “Talk to me about this…talk to me.” That story made me start chasing people, and that got me talking to other people and artists and it ended with people saying, “Hey, you know I’m part of the Yakuza,” and I was like “Oh, really?” Then you realize the connections that are all in the book, the fantastic connection between art and violence that has always been there. But it’s also about truth and beauty, a fascinating dichotomy. It made us realize that there’s a story to tell here. And then Mike Gaydos started buying tattoo guns and immersing himself. We got such a great plot and I started wanting to know more about Pearl.

    Suddenly Mike says, “There’s someone in my family, they have a skin condition and if they get marked, you can’t see it unless they get angry, and then it fills in. I talked to this tattoo artist and asked, “If this person tattoos himself with an empty gun with this condition, would that work? And they said,” Yeah.”

    Pearl has a skin condition and you can’t see it until something is really about to happen. That idea, her art is her body, and I got so excited. So that’s where Pearlcame from.

    This certainly is a setting and a world you’ve never really touched that much before in your creative owned work? What drew you to a tale of the Japanese underworld?

    When you do as much work in the organized crime genre as I do, it’s all so good, all so fascinating. People from all walks of life thrown up against walls and forced to face their fears, forced to face their mortality. But all organizations and cultures are different than the other ones. It’s a Venn diagram of similarities, but there’s honor, duty, and family. But as generations go by and there are some values that corrode.

    Who is Pearl and what is she looking for?

    Pearl is a tattoo artist, an apprentice of her mother; they run a tattoo shop in San Francisco. Her whole life has been immersed in the Yakuza. All she wants to do is come up a master artist at the level of her mother. But the world itself has constantly frustrated her. With her family gone, it’s just her and her shop. It’s the choices made for her versus her choices. It’s one of my favorite things, the idea of living in a world where choices are made for us versus the things we want. She’s about to meet her doppelganger from another clan. This opens her eyes to the idea she doesn’t have to live the life she’s living.

    How long is Pearl planned to be?

    Pearl was six issues, but we had a very good week last week. We’re debating whether or not to keep going or do other things. We are so excited with how well she did in a tough market place for brand new things. I guess people felt a lot of love towards Jessica Jones and were willing to give us a shot. We debuted strong. I’ll let you know next month. I told Mike, “We have some awesome choices and they’re all good.”

    Scarlet with Alex Maleev

    Where does the new volume of Scarlet pick up?

    The new volume of Scarlet picks up in a very surprising place. The entire city of Portland has been shut down by the revolution started by Scarlet and the gang at the end of the last arc. You do not have to read the last arc to enjoy this. It opens up and the bridges of Portland have been blown, the city has been shut off and surrounded by US army, and Scarlet will be heard.

    Real life politics have kind of lapped the world you created in Scarlet, how has this changed your approach?

    This is my absolute favorite subject that only I care about. I’m writing a book that started eight years ago. Everything about the world that the book is reflective of has shifted under its knees. And yet everything about the book remains true. On top of re-debuting the book, we’re also doing a pilot for Scarlet on television. I’m helping adapt the first story while doing this new story and they’re both potent to where we’re living right now. What’s interesting is that in this book you’re seeing a city under siege. This is an insanely over the top idea when I first wrote it and it doesn’t feel totally insane anymore. Because what we’ve learned every day this year is that normal is not what you thought it was.

    In this politically charged climate, do you have any fears of presenting a situation that parallels the real world?

    No, we’re not a political book. I must say, what Scarlet fights against, her one point, her only point is that corruption should not be allowed. That corruption is rampant and has gone so far out of control that we can’t even breathe, and she wants it to stop. And every time she tries to stop it a corrupt person gets in her way and she has to push back. I have not met anyone who read this book who is pro-corruption. That’s not a political issue. There are corrupt people everywhere. She’s not fighting cops, she’s fighting bad cops. She’s fighting people who have betrayed decency. When that badge is betrayed that’s worse than a criminal.

    Powers with Michael Avon Oeming

    When can we expect more Powers and where do we pick things up?

    There’s a whole Powersgraphic novel all ready and ready to go this Christmas.

    So no more single issues?

    No, we just have enough for a graphic novel, but they’ll be more. I hear from fans everyday bummed out there’s no third season of the TV series, so I said, “Let’s give them a big thing. They’ve been waiting. Let’s give them a whole book for Christmas.”

    United States of Murder Inc. with Michael Avon Oeming

    What is the focus of the new volume?

    It’s United States versus Murder Inc. It’s the government versus the five families who’ve had kind of a Cold War that’s not going to be so cold anymore when the leads of our book are told to shut it down.

    Takio with Michael Avon Oeming and Olivia Bendis

    When can we expect more Takio?

    There will be more Takio later next year. I have Olivia plotting this year.

    Good! Because in this market we need Takio.

    I know and I was genuinely surprised that when I went to DC, they asked for it. How they’re publishing YA material, I’m so happy. And it has the benefit of Olivia being young enough to do writing.

    Cover with David Mack

    Talk about the genesis of this project? Where did the germ and idea come from?

    This is a very special book for us; this is David Mack and I collaborating again. I truly believe he’s a genius. I’ve known Mack since he was a teenager. What we’ve done is taken all the stuff we’ve gathered over the years in our life as comic creators and applied it to the spy genre. There’s a lot of truth in this book. I’ve spoken at Langley and David worked for the State Department. We’ve met a lot of interesting people and we thought what a fun way to express our love of comics, of fiction, and the spy genre at the same time.

    What comic creators would actually make great spies?

    Funny you should say that because I reached out to them and asked, “Would you like to do a variant cover as yourself as a spy?” So I asked people who I thought would make great spies. That’s Nick Derington from Mister Miracle. There’s Bill Sienkiewicz. I’m going to do one. David is going to do one. And Ivan Reis is doing a variant. We did people you don’t see variants from normally.

    More Jinxworld...

    Any plans to return to the world of Jinx and Goldfish?

    I must say, after the story I just told you, I’m looking at a bunch of brand new ideas and brand new collaborations. That’s a lot more interesting to me at the moment than a return to. That doesn’t mean I won’t wake up tomorrow with a fever and say, “Oh my God, I know what to do with Jinx.” I’ve had the personal fun experience of adapting both those graphic novels in screenplays so I’ve already had fun. Not fun for you, I know, but I’ve already scratched that itch and this list of new ideas are just there and I have to do it.

    Can we hope for more Brilliant with Mark Bagley?

    This one I’m sad about because Mark Bagley is exclusive with Marvel. This was on my pros and cons list for going to DC because we love making comics together.

    The latest volume of Scarlet debuts on August 29. 

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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    On what would have been his 101st birthday, we take a moment for Jack Kirby, an undisputed titan of comics and culture.

    FeatureRand Hoppe
    Aug 28, 2018

    How is it that the work of Jack Kirby, which contains some of the most colorful characters and influential mythology of the last century, still manages to feel so personal? Comic books are now known at least as much as source material for exciting movies as they are for being currently published graphic stories. Kirby’s work has been adapted into roughly a dozen of the most successful feature films of recent years, with more on the way all the time.

    Jack Kirby may primarily be known as a great and influential comic book creator, but above all else, he was a storyteller. He understood the powerful impact that stories, any stories, could have. His mother and other elders told stories that enraptured him as a boy. The stories in the newspaper comics and in the movie theaters did the same.

    Jack drew as a child, he drew as a teen, he drew as a young man, and he drew well into his old age. Kirby learned that he, his pencil, and a piece of paper could engage the mind and emotion of the audience as much as his own mind had been engaged. He learned that science fiction could serve the same function in the present as mythology had in the past. He knew, from his time spent with his gang of buddies in New York City’s toughest ghetto, the Lower East Side, his fellow soldiers on the battlefields of Europe during World War Two, and the life-long love he shared with his wife Roz, how we all used drama and myth to help cope with the best and the worst of times.

    Early on, Kirby’s drawings became more than just lines on a page, they became the raw material for stories. Jack Kirby was there at the beginning of the comic book as it is known in America.

    Comics were the perfect place for his distinctive stories, and through his career he drew literally thousands of pages of them, often at the almost superhuman rate of four pages a day. He helped shape what was initially considered disposable entertainment into the enduring art form we know today. Jack, along with his one-time boss, Will Eisner, his partner Joe Simon, and Jack “Plastic Man” Cole, learned the new creature of the comic book was a unique, valid narrative art form. They took comic books seriously, and it showed. It was no surprise that Jack would later put that seriousness to work in epic tales like “Mother Delilah” in the pages of Boys’ Ranch, “The Galactus Trilogy” in The Fantastic Four, or “The Glory Boat” in The New Gods.

    Between the comic book boom of the early ‘40s (where, in addition to superhero work like Captain America, the Simon & Kirby team developed the Young Allies, the Boy Commandos, and the Newsboy Legion, setting the stage for other, better known bickering teams of adventure comics characters), his distinguished service in combat during World War II, and the superhero renaissance of the jet age, the S&K team invented the incredibly successful genre of romance comics during the late 1940s.

    And that was only the beginning.

    In case you’re one of the uninitiated, let me give you an idea of the sheer scope of Kirby’s work as a comic book writer and artist over his fifty year career. Get ready, because this reads like a greatest hits collection of some of the most recognizable characters in popular fiction...

    Jack was there at the birth of Marvel Comics as we know it and helped bring Captain America into existence. He created or co-created (with Stan Lee) future box-office sensations like The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The Avengers, Nick Fury, and the X-Men. Groot began life as a Kirby-drawn short story long before he became a beloved supporting character in Guardians of the Galaxy, and if you look closely, you can even spot one of Kirby’s cosmic Eternals in an easter egg in that film. You’ll be seeing Black Panther and The Inhumans on the silver screen soon enough. There’s more, but you get the idea.

    Before detailed credits in comics became the norm, many young readers would still recognize Kirby’s stories. The art pulled them in like no other. Readers recognized the eyes, the hands, the staging, the action. When creator credits proliferated in the 1960s, Kirby’s name became associated with dynamic action, compelling drama, and mind-blowing concepts. No one did comics at the level Kirby did.

    When DC lured Jack away from Marvel, which seemed like an unthinkable creative coup, the cover of his first issue of Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen (which had previously been a rather milquetoast tertiary Superman title before Jack imbued it with a psychedelic energy and dynamic storytelling that the normally staid DC wasn’t known for at the time) proudly proclaimed that “Kirby is here!” In 1970, comics companies didn’t engage in that kind of promotion, but such was the power and influence of Kirby’s work at the time.

    At DC, an entirely new mythology sprang from his pencil. His Fourth World comics brought a host of characters and concepts that DC Comics and Warner Bros. continue to use to this day. These concepts became a cornerstone of DC’s own cosmic mythology, an element that had been sorely lacking in their books until that time. Perhaps his most memorable contribution to DC lore was cosmic warlord Darkseid, a character with power-levels that could match Superman, but whose motivations were far more layered than merely using his strength to cause destruction.

    Darkseid and the New Gods made their way into action figure lines and animated series, and their influence can be seen reflected in pop culture titans from Star Wars to Masters of the Universe. The villainous Steppenwolf will face off against the Justice League in their big screen debut this November. Darkseid and The New Gods probably won’t be far behind.

    So, yes… Jack Kirby helped bring many of your favorite superheroes to life, and they are the current lifeblood of blockbuster cinema. But decades before dystopian futures were a sub-genre of their own in Hollywood, Jack produced OMAC and Kamandi for DC Comics. He explored themes of ancient aliens back at Marvel in The Eternals. Even his lesser known latter-day creations like Captain Victory are brimming with the kind of mythic interpersonal sci-fi dynamism Kirby brought to all his work.

    Jack Kirby was a storyteller above all else. Science-fiction, action-adventure, mythology, romance...he put himself into all of those stories. It just so happened that when he told his stories, many of these characters became the superheroes we know and love.


    Visit for information on how you can support the future efforts of the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center. 

    In honor of Jack Kirby's birthday, please make a donation to The Hero Initiative, dedicated to helping comic book creators in need.

    This article was first published in the October 2015 issue of Den of Geek Magazine.

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    Fans of the Kate Daniels series get the ending they deserve in this high-stakes novel that never forgets its characters.

    ReviewAlana Joli Abbott
    Aug 28, 2018

    This Magic Triumphs review contains spoilers for the book, as well as the previous installments of the Kate Daniels series.

    The final volume in the 10-book Kate Daniels series from Ilona Andrews is finally here. Fans (like me) who have been following the series since it launched in 2007 have been eagerly anticipating this release, knowing that, like a good anime series, this is the conclusion of the full story arc. The Andrews team (husband and wife co-authors) ties up so many loose ends with this novel it’s like getting a birthday present wrapped with a very complex, beautiful bow.

    If you haven’t read any of the Kate Daniels books to this point, the authors in their introduction recommend you go back to the beginning of the series first, and I couldn’t agree more. (Here’s a longer explanation of why you should be reading this series.) While some of the plot is straight forward, the relationships among the various characters, some of whom have taken nine previous novels (plus multiple short stories and novellas) to get to know, depend on having background.

    If you take the plot out of the context of these relationships, the book won't be remarkable. It’s the relationships that make this series so worthwhile. So, go ahead and grab Magic Bites and the next eight books, and then come on back for this review. It’s okay. We’ll wait...

    Magic Triumphs begins with a short prologue chapter showing Kate giving birth to the son previously revealed to her in visions. And, as happens if you’re the daughter of the greatest power in the world since magic reawakened, Kate’s father tries to steal the baby when Kate’s at her weakest. But, as also happens when you’re the daughter of the greatest power in the world, Kate’s no slouch and, even post-labor, she’s not willing to give in. She defends her family with everything she’s got—a huge theme in this book—before slumping back into post-labor oxytocin bliss, holding her newborn.

    Jump ahead thirteen months: Kate and husband Curran (former Beast Lord, a special high-powered kind of shapeshifter known as a First, and current leader of the Mercenary’s Guild) are rocking the new parent thing. If they’re a little overprotective, it’s because people are literally trying to kill them a lot of the time, which makes their paranoia understandable. When Teddy Jo, a modern incarnation of Thanatos, Greek god of death, shows up at the door of Kate’s investigator’s office because he’s encountered something that makes him agitated, Kate knows something is very wrong. When she arrives on the scene of an abandoned town—and later, discovers a puddle of human remains that shows the humans were boiled so their bones could be extracted—it’s a bit much for even Kate to handle.

    As it turns out, there’s a new Big Bad on the scene, even worse than Kate’s father, Roland. Where Roland wants to conquer everything, this new enemy is ready to destroy: to raze the world and everything in it. Which means that Kate is running out of time to find allies to stand against this overwhelming force—and it may mean she has to reconcile with the father who’s been trying to subjugate her.

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

    This is not the novel I was expecting. Magic Binds, the penultimate book in the series, concludes with a face-off between Kate and her father. She literally charges toward him on the field, ready to kill him—even though it will mean her own death—and he retreats, vanishing from the conflict. I had expected for the final story to revolve entirely around that conflict, again contrasting Roland, the Big Bad of the series, with Kate, the daughter who wants desperately to overcome her family heritage by using her powers for good.

    Instead, while that conflict is spectacularly resolved, for most of the novel it takes a back seat to a threat even more dangerous. Magic Binds introduced an enemy to Kate’s family back in the days when magic still reigned in the world. The kingdom that Kate’s father an aunt ruled was attacked by magical forces. According to Kate’s somewhat-resurrected aunt, Erra, who she once had to kill to keep from destroying Atlanta (dysfunctional doesn’t begin to describe Kate’s family), Roland and Erra hunted that enemy down and killed every last one of them, destroying even their legend. Lucky for Kate, they didn’t eradicate the legend completely: though it takes some time to track down someone who can identify the villain, Kate finally finds her answers to who the villain is and how she can begin to stand against him.

    That thread of plot—discover a crime, figure out who’s perpetrating it, find out how to confront them, and plan the battle strategy—is the basic structure behind several of Kate’s prior adventures. The use of mythology (and more modern fantasy references) is as delightful as always, and the particular monster they confront here is suitably inhuman to make the consequences if he were to win terrifying.

    But more than the story, it’s the interwoven threads of the characters that elevate this novel. Series favorites make their reappearances: Saiman, the shapeshifting frost giant magic expert; Luther, the caustically-funny wizard from Biohazard; Nick, Kate’s almost-brother who runs the local Order of Merciful Aid and hates her (yet holds her kid when she hands him over); Hugh, a villain fans wanted to see redeemed so much he’s gotten his own spin-off series; Ghastek and Rowena, Masters of the Dead who formerly opposed Kate and are now utterly devoted to her; the Witch Oracle, back in their giant tortoise; bouda alpha Andrea (whose parenting advice is suitably best-friend caliber and equally annoying); Roman, the volhv (priest) of Chernobog, god of evil, who was the officiant at Kate and Curran’s wedding; Julie, Kate’s ward who has become a power in her own right; and the list goes on.

    The complicated relationship between Kate and Roland continues to tread that fine line that heroes and villains walk, knowing that they are two sides of the same coin, here with the added love of kinship that makes the ultimate conflict almost unbearably hard. The novel also introduces Conlan, who, despite being adorable at thirteen months old, is never written in a saccharine way; it’s obvious that the Andrews team has plenty of parenting experience, and they bring that to bear with familiarity and love.

    First-time readers picking this up will be mystified—there’s absolutely too much going on here that relies on prior knowledge of the characters and the series—but for readers who have followed the core novels since the beginning, this is a compelling conclusion that leaves most of the characters with the endings they deserve, while still opening doors for future adventures in the world that allow Kate and Curran a happy retirement into something like a normal family life. While this was not the novel I was expecting as the conclusion of the series, it is absolutely the novel the series deserved.

    Alana Joli Abbott writes about books for Den of Geek. Read more of her work here.

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    Tom King and Mitch Gerads told us about how Mister Miracle, the best superhero book around, came to be.

    InterviewMike Cecchini
    Aug 29, 2018

    It's tough to discuss Mister Miracle, the 12-issue comic series from Tom King and Mitch Gerads, without immediately slipping into hyperbolic praise that runs the risk of over-selling the book, raising expectations to an almost impossibly high degree that almost no comic could expect to meet. Nevertheless, King and Gerads'Mister Miracle is an era-defining work of comic art, the kind of book that once it completes its run and gets collected as a "graphic novel" will sit proudly on bookshelves next to other DC classics like Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's The Dark Knight Returns, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier, and Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman. Even if you're not familiar with Jack Kirby's Fourth World characters, which this book is based on, you'll find plenty to love.

    Mister Miracle strips the godliness out of the New Gods, and puts the title character, the world's greatest escape artist, in a situation he can't escape from. It eschews typical superheroics in favor of a startling vulnerability, a perspective-altering narrative, and beautiful, uncluttered art. We spoke with King and Gerads about how the book came to be, and some of the deeper meanings hidden within the panels.

    Watch the video for some excerpts or read the full interview below!

    Den of Geek: How did you go about pitching the concept of this Mister Miracle series?

    Tom King: I didn't really pitch it, I don't think. This was a consolation prize for us messing up something else. Mitch and I were supposed to do something called “The War of Jokes and Riddles” which ended up being a Batman story. We had planned it out and it was supposed to be this dark series, like The Wire in comics, which was gonna be great for Mitch, and my editor called me and said, “We have great news for you...We want you to do Jokes and Riddles in the main [Batman] series and I was like, “That' just canceled my book!” And they said "No it's great."

    So I went to drinks with [DC Comics co-publisher] Dan DiDio...and then he drunk me under the table and I was washed out of my mind and he asked “How can I make this up to you?" I said, “Just give me something to write and I'll write it, whatever it is dude.” And he said "How about Mister Miracle?"

    I don't think we've pitched anything since then.

    And you went right to Mitch for art on this?

    Tom King: No, because we still had some plans that we might do some Batman together. Mitch had done The Activity, Sheriff of Babylon, and The Punisher. These are all sort of grounded dudes with guns and alleyway kind of comics. And I thought [since] we're gonna do a cosmic comic, Mitch is brilliant at what he does but he can't do that, too. I mean, there's limitations. It just turns out I was completely wrong and there are no limitations to Mitch Gerads.

    How do you guys work together, because so much of this book feels almost experimental. You had half an issue where there's all this cosmic mayhem happening and Barda and Scott are talking about remodeling their house. Mitch, how does that come together because so much of that falls on your shoulders?

    Mitch Gerads: It's funny. A lot of people ask, "Oh, do you guys talk on the phone all the time?" We text and direct message on Twitter and stuff daily, but not really about the book. I get a script and I read it, and I'm like 99% sure I know what Tom's thinking, and I feel he's the same way. We both try to top each other. Then the book comes out. Most of our conversations aren't even about the craft of the book.

    Of course, plenty of other creators have touched Mister Miracle after Jack Kirby, but you're really following him. How do you do it?

    Tom King: You can't out-Kirby Kirby. You can't do cosmic better than Kirby did it. You can't do more ideas per page than Kirby did. He's gonna get there first. He's gonna be smarter than you. He's gonna have a better imagination. The way we paid tribute to him was instead of doing more Kirby, we almost did anti-Kirby. We tried to be the yin to his yang. He did a story that was huge and cosmic and mind-blowing and we're like, "What if we took all of that cosmic, mind-blowing stuff and we turned it into a metaphor for one man's depression, one man's struggle?"

    We paid tribute to him by showing how what he did so big, if we put it on small, it can be hugely impactful. Rather than copy Kirby, we responded to him, and I think that worked. If you think of Kirby [when he created Mister Miracle] he was in his fifties. This is 1968 through 1972, or in that area when the world was turning around. A new generation was coming up that was toppling an old one, and the world seemed very strange. People were being assassinated and the politics of the moment were utterly insane. We're in another moment now where the world seems insane. It seems to be slipping from our fingers. The world we thought was under our feet is moving, and we can borrow from his metaphor to talk about our time. We can do what he did again.

    What do you think is the ultimate message of your Mister Miracle?

    Tom King: I was a philosophy major and I never understood why anyone reads literature. I was like, "Why do you look for secret messages in literature when you could just write out the message in philosophy?" The lesson of life or the lesson you get with age is that there are some things you can't put into words. There are truths about the world that are expressed better in stories. That's why the Bible is more impactful than The Republic. So, for me to say what the ultimate message is, is impossible, because that's why I wrote this story.

    So what happened to me and how Mister Miracle started out, was in April of '16. I had one of those first season of The Sopranos panic attacks. The kind where you think you're going to die and you end up in the hospital, and you're saying to the doctor, "I'm either dying or crazy, so please tell me I'm crazy." and the doctor says, "Don't worry, you're just insane." You're like, "Thank God!"

    I had that moment, and after that the world turned upside-down. Both in politics and sports, things happened that I didn't think could be possible in my lifetime, and it felt to me that there was some disconnect between what's creating the anxiety, and how to deal with that anxiety. How do you deal with a world that seems like it's falling apart around you? I found myself putting myself back together, in terms of my mental capacity by turning to my family and turning to my children.

    It's about putting yourself back together in a time of anxiety, being able to live your life in a time of anxiety, hopefully.

    Mitch, how do you translate some of that? You can feel that anxiety on the pages, especially in the earlier issues. How did you get that across in the context of all of these strange, cosmic characters?

    Mitch Gerads: The real strength is that Barda and Scott are the only two gods that don't want to be gods. They just want to be normal people and have their house in the suburbs and their cats. You know, the grand American dream. That's the reader's way into that normalcy, but again they come from the Fourth World, this crazy place of gods, so they have to deal with that as well. You're allowed this human experience into that. Through Scott, through Barda, through every character, I just try to get in their head and I know my own anxieties about the world and things like that.

    I do photo reference for everyone, for all my shots. I can act in front of my timer on my iPhone. I couldn't act in a movie or anything like that, but in front of my timer I think I'm pretty good. And then there's other tricks, like the glitch effects that happen every once in a while. The “Darkseid Is” panels, which force you to stop and live that anxiety for that one panel. You can't go anywhere else, you have to stop there. There's all those little tricks to make people a little bit uncomfortable. I think the most fun part of the book, is not the idea of making people uncomfortable, but the idea of really imparting an emotional response just from a comic book.

    Would you ever consider revisiting the Fourth World, or is this your final statement on these characters?

    Tom King: I think it's my final statement. As soon as I say that, I'll re-do it in two years. But for now, until you make a liar out of me, I don’t think I want to write a thirteenth issue of Vision. I don't want to write a thirteenth issue of Mister Miracle. This is a complete story and it's meant to be read, almost like a novel at the end.

    Mister Miracleis on sale monthly from DC Comics. The next issue, #11, arrives on September 11. The series will conclude in October with its twelfth issue.

    Mike Cecchini is the Editor in Chief of Den of Geek. You can read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @wayoutstuff.

    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!

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