An in-depth look at Sci-Fi events and news.

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Marvel Announces Release Dates Until 2019

Have you ever wanted to predict the future? Here’s your chance – Marvel have announced their release dates way up until 2019 and only some of the projects have been named. Can you tell which film is which? What might be Avengers 3 or a Black Panther movie or even a Black Widow solo film? Have a look through the dates, and let us know what you think. Bear in mind that these are American release dates – Marvel have tended to open their films slightly earlier in Europe.

  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron on 1/5/2015
  • Ant-Man on 17/7/2015
  • Captain America 3 on 6/5/2016
  • Marvel Untitled – 8/7/2016
  • Marvel Untitled – 5/5/2017
  • Marvel Untitled – 28/7/2017
  • Marvel Untitled – 3/11/2017
  • Marvel Untitled – 6/7/2018
  • Marvel Untitled – 2/11/2018
  • Marvel Untitled – 3/5/2019

 

Dr Who New Comic Review

Dr Who New Comic Review (… Phew)

Even as the Doctor regenerates and replaces massive cheekbones with hawk-like eyebrows, his comic book offerings is rebooted in two new series.  I’m reviewing the first offering of each, so in a strange way I too am a time traveler except instead of a tardis I have a train to my grandparents’ house and instead of a companion I have this bag of  spare clothes and instead of… I’m going to stop.

The two new series are for the 10th and 11th Doctor respectively ( the 12th Doctor’s comic book run will begin in October) and  in both we have just lost touch with companions (Donner and the Ponds). In each case the Doctor meets his new partner in this first issue: 10 meets the smart yet strained Gabriella who is trying to hold down 2 jobs in the family business while studying at night school; while 11 meets Alice a middle aged lady who is struggling after the death of her mother. Dr Who has never been a scientifically rigorous exercise in time travel, so it is characters – particularly companions – who provide the series with its draw. I think that both comics have strong potential here. Alice’s grief and the manner with which 11 must interact with her to both comfort and distract her puts a different edge on the usually exuberant Doctor. Much of 10s comic follows Gabriella; her family drama plays out well, her father’s concepts of family loyalty fighting her desire to live on her own terms. It’s too early to say how this will play out but the writers (Nick Abadzis [10], Al Ewing [11] and Rob Williams [11 - I know these look like their ages...])  have set up these relationships well.

Titan Comics have also done a good job of presenting the Doctor. 10 talks to himself while 11 bickers with Alice in the same way he did with Amy: “Don’t do cryptic… I already bagsied cryptic”. Fans of the television series will see their characters well represented here, if some drawing are slightly odd – Matt Smith’s face was not, last time I checked, actually twice as tall as it is wide. The art as a whole is less inspired. For 11 (Alice X Zhang, Simon Fraser and Gary Caldwell) it is colourful, but takes few risks. The style in 10 (Alice X Zhang, Elena Casagrande and Arianna Florean) is better, with a less cartoony feel, but while I enjoyed the detail in a few panels, the comic would have benefited from the same approach throughout.

While it is probably too early to tell, I felt the story in 11 was poorer than it could have been. There was Dr Who’s usual lazy portrayal of any non-Doctor authority figure as craven and stupid and the ending was too sentimental for my taste. Not a deal-breaker, but juxtaposed to the strong characterisation of Alice, there could have been greater depth. The comic hinted at a longer term story arc which might be more fulfilling on that level. I found 10 more satisfying in this regard, though little actually took place instead setting up the pieces to be resolved in a proceeding comic. I really hope Gabriella’s family get more treatment because I think there is real interest there.

Overall I enjoyed reading both comics though I would assert a preference towards 10 over 11 (I felt the same way about the TV series though, so perhaps it’s an accurate depiction). The comics are fun but both lack edge. I am up for convincing over the coming issues, but I’m not sold yet. That said, if you are a big Dr Who fan or someone looking for adventure, these are sure to be a hit and both have the potential grow into great series.

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‘American Gods’ TV Series in Development

Starz has announced a script to series development of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed urban fantasy novel “American Gods.”  The pilot script will be penned by Bryan Fuller (known best for the weird and wonderful shows such as Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, and Wonderfalls) and Michael Green (of, um, Heroes fame. But the first season was excellent!), who will also showrun the series.

Starz, who are notable for their eclectic taste in television shows – producing Torchwood: Miracle Day and Camelot – have taken on the project from HBO. HBO, who have already produced two blockbuster adaptation hits (True Blood and Game of Thrones), mysteriously declined the show. They broadly cited script problems with bringing it to life, but seeing as they’ve made a show where vampires get high on fairy blood and are given godlike powers from the Lilith of Hebrew myth, it would seem they had other problems with the story.

Neil Gaiman had this to say on the Starz news; “When you create something like ‘American Gods,’ which attracts fans and obsessives and people who tattoo quotes from it on themselves or each other, and who all, tattooed or not, just care about it deeply, it’s really important to pick your team carefully: you don’t want to let the fans down, or the people who care and have been casting it online since the dawn of recorded history. What I love most about the team who I trust to take it out to the world, is that they are the same kind of fanatics that ’American Gods’ has attracted since the start. I haven’t actually checked Bryan Fuller or Michael Green for quote tattoos, but I would not be surprised if they have them. The people at Fremantle are the kinds of people who have copies of ‘American Gods in the bottom of their backpacks after going around the world, and who press them on their friends. And the team at Starz have been quite certain that they wanted to give Shadow, Wednesday and Laura a home since they first heard that the book was out there. I can’t wait to see what they do to bring the story to the widest possible audience able to cope with it.”

Bryan Fuller, who is a dab hand at blending whimsy with reality said; “Neil Gaiman has created the holiest of holy toy boxes with ‘American Gods’ and filled it with all manner of magical thing, born of new gods and old. Michael Green and I are thrilled to crack this toy box wide open and unleash the fantastical titans of heaven and earth and Neil’s vividly prolific imagination.”

All in all, American Gods looks to be the next binge-worthy boxset.

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Want More Giant Robots? Pacific Rim 2 is Coming!

In this video, director Guillermo del Totoro has a very special message for all fans of giant robots everywhere.

“From now until April 2017, we’re gonna develop a new animated series for Pacific Rim, continue the comic book series we started with [Tales from] Year Zero, and most importantly, creating a sequel for the film. I’m working on this with Zak Penn and Travis Beacham, and we are all very happy to be bringing you more Kaiju, more Jaegers, kicking each others butts.”

So expect to see Pacific Rim in theatres in April 2017! Are you excited to be getting a sequel? Are you excited for the prequel comics?