Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Following up their Blu-Ray releases of The Land That Time Forgot and At the Earth's Core, Scorpion Releasing and Kino Lorber will now be completing the Amicus/Edgar Rice Burroughs trilogy in high-definition. The disc is set for release this November with extras to be announced. For a little more info check out https://www.facebook.com/scorpionreleasinginfo/posts/417521865073937.
Friday, July 24, 2015
If ERB Inc. has their way John Carter still lives. In an interview with the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, ERB President Jim Sullos does confirm that there is interest in the property but the failure of the Disney/Andrew Stanton film has many cautious about approaching it again, at least on the big screen. "“There may be more interest in a television series than a sequel to the film,” Sullos comments in the article. There is also brief mentions of the comics and the upcoming board game so head over to http://www.sfvbj.com/news/2015/jul/24/preview-mars-or-bust/ for a little more information.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
No clever opening, just a review.
Last time our incomparable Dejah Thoris was abducted by a creature demanding a mate, leaving John Carter knocked off his feet. And fast than you can say Bride of Frankenstein, Dejah discovers the shocking truth about her abductor-he's a Hormad, one of the monstrous creations of Ras Thavas who survived the bombing of the Toonalian Marshes and has been rebuilding himself with mixed results. Meanwhile Carter and a fellow red man Tolan head off to the Dead Palace of Ishak to save Dejah and stop the creature before he can finish his next project, a woman Hormad!
With homages to both ERB and Mary Shelley, this issue is a good combination of the former's creativity and spirit and the latter's bloodcurdling horror. Writers Ron Marz and Ian Edginton does a good job crafting the tale, especially in again presenting a heroic princess who is smart and resourceful without resorting to sword wielding to solve everything. The other plus is referencing the Hormad and the events of Synthetic Men of Mars, which opens the door for allowing more creatures and characters from the novels to show up, which we can hope happens soon.
Ariel Medel provides the art and it's a good job, from the Hormad's cool appearance (the fact that it has several sets of eyes throughout its body is creepy) while capturing and maintaining the character designs of the past issues. Backgrounds are a little non distinct and do become lost but otherwise its a good job that backs up the story.
With this issue Barsoom fans will find enough here to enjoy. Until next time faithful readers.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Our heroes are back but can they survive the "Night of the Long Knives!"
Following her rescue from the catacombs beneath Helium, Dejah Thoris and Kantos Kan manage to eliminate their captors and raise the alarm. But with only the royal family and Sola to fight off the assassins, things look grim until John Carter and Tars Tarkas arrive with a Thark army to provide support. Things look to be under control until a final twist leaves everyone shocked and Carter seeking vengeance.
This issue lives up to its title as the entire issue is pretty much one long sword fight, stretched out for 20 plus pages. That leaves no fat and provides a rousing, suspensful rush as the characters find themselves facing overwhelming odds. Where the issue does jolt the reader is in the final pages, where Chris Claremont throws in a tragic event that shakes not only John and Dejah but the reader as well. I won't spoil it but fans might be surprised at how grim it gets before the finale.
Handling art duties is the team of Mike Vosburg and Ernie Chan and both bring a good style and steady craftsmanship to the design and execution of this issue. There is enough to show off here, from rousing action to character that both excel at and make the issue eye catching from start to finish.
Two issues left to go folks. Next time prepare the final chapter of "The Master Assassin of Mars" story. Back later with more comic goodness.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
After a brief posting earlier on the publisher's web site, Entertainment Weekly has posted the actual opening and first chapter to Chuck Wendig's Aftermath, the novel that will bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens and reveals that the Empire did not go quietly. Head over to http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/16/star-wars-exclusive-actual-opening-aftermath-reveals-tragic-violent-uprising to read the preview and leave any thoughts below.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
With the announcement of Modiphius' new John Carter of Mars table top games, I thought we would take a brief look back at the last time players went to Barsoom. Flash back to 1979, before home video games and Mobile App games, when SPI released John Carter, Warlord of Mars for the burgeoning fantasy/sci-fi role player game (this was even before Dungeons and Dragons cornered the market). As the box itself describes it:
"John Carter, Warlord of Mars relentlessly searches for his mate, the incomparable Dejah Thoris, across the hostile Martian surface, pursuing the dastardly villain who has abducted her and fled to a distant city. John Carter must fight his way through monsters and men to rescue Dejah Thoris from the evil designs of her captor. The city contains numerous hiding places and secret passages from which our hero must ferret out the prize. Playing cards for Random Events, Movement, Acquisition, and Maneuver both hinder and help him as he continues his valiant quest. Simple probability charts determine the outcome of each exciting twist of events in the game."
Probably the most interesting thing is, outside of the various comic books, this was the only licensed John Carter of Mars release for a long time, at least until the Barsoom action figures released as part of the Tarzan: The Epic Adventures toy line in the mid 1990s. With the new game coming out I wonder how much more interest will be in this game and if it will be republished at some point (especially since the one available copy for sale on Amazon is going for a 130 bucks). For a more in-depth look at this game check out https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1155176/capsule-overview-game-component-manifest and stay tuned.
Monday, July 13, 2015
While there wasn't much reportedly revealed during the Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. panel at Comic-Con this past week (except the notable absence of news about next year's Tarzan at both ERB and the Warner Bros. panels) one announcement did come out that will excite fans-a series of upcoming tabletop games from Modiphius Entertainment that will start this December with John Carter The Role Playing Game and future games to follow. For more info about this game the future games Swords of Mars and Warlord of Mars check out http://www.modiphius.com/john-carter.html.
Friday, July 10, 2015
While there was no new trailer, the team behind The Force Awakens did deliver a behind the scenes reel for tonight's Comic-Con Panel that shows the return of practical effects, the actors on set (including our first official glimpse of Carrie Fisher in costume) as well as some comments from JJ Abrams, Mark Hamill and others. So sit back and enjoy!
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Comic-Con is now officially underway and here's a cool surprise-the first glimpse of the next season/series of Doctor Who! Some old monsters, friends and unexpected appearances (yes that is Arya Stark herself at the end) make up the clip, along with Peter Capaldi's new hair and guitar skills. Check it out below and leave any thoughts.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
It looks like the Queen of the Jungle is about to meet the Lord! Dynamite Entertainment has announced they have acquired the comic book rights to Sheena, Queen of the Jungle and that the first story will team her with Tarzan himself. Not only does this mark Dynamite's latest comic title but also the first "official" Tarzan comic book they'll be releasing since making their deal with Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. last year. For more comments check out http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/sdcc-dynamite-launches-sheena-queen-of-the-jungle-with-tarzan-team-up and stay tuned for more news from this week's San Diego Comic-Con.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Let's jump ahead shall we?
Following the discovery that the Rebel pilot responsible for the destruction of the Death Star is his own son, Darth Vader returns to Tatooine, bringing archaeologist Doctor Alphra with him to investigate the ruins of the Lars homestead and the home of his old mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. Finishing up there, the two split up with Vader returning to his duties, mainly handling unwanted competition for the Empire's new ally Jabba the Hutt. Meanwhile Alphra brings together a group of bounty hunters for a get rich quick scheme that just happens to involve an Imperial transport and a confiscated fortune.
Moving from issue 2 to 7 I know I'm missing a lot of back story here (not to mention some cross over with the main Star Wars comic series) but again there is enough here to make it easy to come in and not feel confused. Like the first two issues writer Kieron Gillen's strongest suit is his way with Vader, showing us a cold person (more machine than man if you like) now dealing with betrayal and the revelation that his son is alive and working with the Rebels. That overcomes the repetitive events of the rest of his story, from another Imperial raid on the criminal underworld (which was in no. 2) to more bounty hunters, even though fans will enjoy the cameos.
Helping immensely is the artwork by Salvador Larroca, which again captures the characters and universe wonderfully. From the recognizable images of Vader, the homestead and even Bossk and the IG droid designs, this is clearly from the same universe, handled with skill and attention to detail that sometimes have gotten lost in past comics.
So fans of this series again will find much here to enjoy while waiting for December. Have fun and a safe weekend and until next time, the Force will be with you.
Friday, July 3, 2015
OK I know most of you have seen this but now it's in higher resolution. For those who haven't this is a promo reel for director Kerry Conran's attempt at John Carter of Mars back when Paramount owned the film rights and it still looks like it would have been an amazing film. What's even more interesting looking at it now-in better quality-is how much scope and size Conran was planning that was completely absent in Andrew Stanton's final movie. Take a peek and ponder what could have been.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
It's been a while since we've heard anything about David Yates' upcoming Tarzan but now we have some new comments on the film from the new Tarzan himself. While at the recent Edinburgh International Film Festival, Alexander Skarsgard fielded some questions from fans and was asked about his take on Tarzan and provided a response you can watch below. We'll wait and see if we finally see some footage or official photos from the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con (the annual ERB Inc., panel promises some sneak peek of the film while Warner Bros. itself has not announced the film during their panel) so watch the video below and stay tuned (and thanks to Tarzan 2016 https://twitter.com/tarzanmovie2016 for the link).