You wanna see Josh Trank’s Thing?

Catch the first glimpse of the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing from Josh Trank’s upcoming comic book superhero film, The Fantastic Four.

International poster of Fantastic Four movie

International poster of Fantastic Four movie

(Via CBR)

While most readers are familiar with the Fantastic Four from the 2005 film and the 2007 Rise of the Silver Surfer sequel (AKA the lousy comic book movies before Iron Man arrived), the comic book is from 1961.

In case this kind of stuff matters to you- The Fantastic Four property is not owned by Marvel Entertainment as far as motion picture rights go. The rights were sold to 20th Century Fox (who also own the movie rights to Wolverine and the X-Men), so this is unrelated to the Avengers movies and the Spider-Man films (now co-owned by Marvel/Disney and Sony).

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (who would go on to unleash a horde of heroes, villains and monsters upon the world including the Hulk, the X-Men, Thor, Ant Man and many more), the FF was a clever blend of horror/science fiction with superheroics with some family drama thrown in. While the company was a success at one time, Lee was practically running the show himself and was ready to throw in the towel before his wife urged him to try doing what he wanted for once.
The Fantastic Four was a hit and earned the tagline: World’s Greatest Comic Magazine (Lee may have exaggerated). The team was made up of Reed Richards, a brilliant scientist with his head in the clouds, the caring and brave Sue Storm, her younger hot-headed brother Johnny and the gruff pilot Ben Grimm. Exposed to cosmic rays, they developed super abilities that matched their personalities; Reed who was able to adapt to any situation became super-pliable, Sue who was invisible to Reed became invisible, Johnny’s fiery persona was made flesh as a human flame while Ben’s tough exterior became a nearly impenetrable rocky hide. Each team member took a new name with Ben moodily referring to himself as ‘The Thing.’

Of all four team members, I have a soft spot for the Thing. His tough guy attitude hides a soft interior and a big heart. He cares deeply for his team which is more of a family than anything else. However, his temper is so short he goes on a rampage at the slightest provocation. He’s a monster who is also a hero.

However, rather than just being a monster, Ben Grimm is a person too. He has pajamas. He likes to watch sports, drink beer, eat big sandwiches. He’s a regular guy… made of orange rocks.

This is the third live action version of the Thing and I have nothing but compassion for the special effects crew as the character is so cartoony. The 2005/07 version was criticized as looking too fake but… what should it look like? Is he made of actual rocks? The initial Kirby design looked more like dinosaur hide than rocks. Should they go in that direction? Since the new film by Josh Trank (of Chronicle fame) has a grim and realistic slant, the Thing should look realistic as well.

But look at the various ways in which Ben Grimm has appeared over the years below and tell me… what would you do?

On August 7th, The Fantastic Four movie will be released (in a summer that also brings Ant Man and Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron).

Visit the most happening nightclub of the 60’s, Wayne Manor

Stately Wayne Manor…
Was never like this!

The hottest place in the San Francisco suburb of Sunnyvale is Wayne manor, named after Batman’s straight self, Bruce Wayne. At the Manor, the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin are painted in throbbing colors on the walls, and villains cackle in fluorescents. Behind a plate-glass screen girls dressed like Robin lead the crowd in the Batusi. Batman sells tickets at the front door, the maitre d’ is the Joker, and drinks are served by Wonder Woman.

I was clearly born in the wrong decade. A nightclub built in an old bank, Wayne Manor was initially created as a South Bay Whisky A Go Go. The owner Joe Lewis’s son suggested a Batman theme (listen to your children, nightclub owners) and he went all out with wild colors on the wall, costumed staff and such. It became a huge hit when the 1966 TV series launched a year later and soon attendees were doing the Batusi!


Things like this just blow my mind. While today superheroes are marketed to young and old alike (with varied results), to hear of a nightclub based on the caped crusader is just amazing. But what better time than the 1960’s? Musical acts included Sly and the Family Stone, Music Machine and the Coasters.

Batman and Robins

For more info and images, visit this site.


For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the images below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

Black Hood #2 (Francesco Francavilla Regular Cover), $3.99
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes #5 (Of 6)(Cover A Christopher Mitten), $3.99
Regular Show 2015 March Madness Special #1 (One Shot)(Cover A Rian Sygh), $4.99
All-Star Western Volume 6 End Of The Trail TP, $14.99
Aquaman #40 (Paul Pelletier & Sandra Hope Regular Cover), $2.99
Batman ’66 #21, $2.99
Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet HC, $22.99
Batman And Robin #40 (Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray Regular Cover), $2.99
Batman Eternal #51, $2.99
UltraComicsMultiversity Ultra Comics #1 (Doug Mahnke Regular Cover), $4.99
Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #8, $2.99
RedSonjaAltered States Red Sonja #1 (One Shot)(Billy Tan Virgin Variant Cover), AR
Altered States The Shadow #1 (One Shot)(Billy Tan Black & White Variant Cover), $3.99
Django Zorro #5 (Of 7)(Cover B Francesco Francavilla), $3.99
Twilight Zone Shadow And Substance #3 (Cover B Francesco Francavilla), $3.99
Doctor Who Figurine Collection #38 (Jabe), $20.00
Dalek_EaglemossDoctor Who Figurine Collection #39 (Genesis Dalek), $20.00
Marvel Fact Files Special #5 (Deadpool), $32.95
Star Trek The Official Starships Figurine Collection Magzine #37 (Andorian Cruiser), $20.00
Star Trek The Official Starships Figurine Collection Magzine #38 (Delta Flyer), $20.00
Star Trek The Official Starships Figurine Collection Magzine #39 (Romulan Drone), $20.00
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth #22 (Cover A Matt Frank), $3.99
Miami Vice Remix #1 (Of 5)(Cover A Jim Mahfood), $3.99
Big Hard Sex Criminals HC, $39.99
WytchesWytches #5, $2.99
Daredevil #14, $3.99
DarthVader_3Darth Vader #3 (Adi Granov Regular Cover), $3.99
New Avengers #32, $3.99
Uncanny X-Men #32 (Chris Bachalo Regular Cover), $3.99
Doctor Who The Eleventh Doctor #10 (Blair Shedd Regular Cover), $3.99
Michael Moorcock’s Elric Volume 1 The Ruby Throne HC (2nd Printing), $14.99
Michael Moorcock’s Elric Volume 2 Stormbringer HC, $14.99
Alien Nostromo Hat Replica, $24.99
GameraGamera 2 S.H.Monster Arts Action Figure, AR
G-Gundam Master Asia S.H.Figuarts Action Figure, AR
Star Trek Starfleet TR-590 Mk IX Science Tricorder Replica, AR

RiffTrax: The Hideous Sun Demon

It’s time to take another journey into absurd horror with the crew of RiffTrax.

SunDemon_PosterThis is the tale of a man who transforms into a violent lizard creature whenever he’s in the sun too long. No, he’s not the third wheel love interest in an upcoming Twilight reboot, he’s The Hideous Sun Demon!

It’s the late 50s, a time when exposure to radiation still caused fun stuff, like superpowers and shape-changing, as opposed to less fun stuff, like, y’know, death. After some radioactive material falls off the toy train the scientists use to transport it through the lab (actual plot point, not a joke) mild-mannered genius drunk Dr. Gilbert McKenna is changed forever. Sunlight turns him into a reptile man-monster, presumably because that’s the rubber suit that was cheapest to rent when they made this movie. But not cheap enough for them to rent the bottom part of the suit, apparently, because he runs around in totally soaked khaki pants for roughly half the movie. Why are his pants so wet? That’s just part of the mystery!

It’s a superhuman dose of old-fashioned nuclear mutation fun, stay out of direct sunlight and join Mike, Kevin and Bill for The Hideous Sun Demon!

Click here to order

Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (the Smog Monster) 1971

A tadpole from space grows to gigantic proportions when exposed to the atmosphere of a polluted Earth. It becomes deadly and attacks a marine biologist and his son who are searching for answers. The young boy has a vision of Godzilla returning to defeat the dreaded Hedorah and, like a good friend… Godzilla is there to beat some tail.

The ‘smog monster’ Hedorah is a force to be reckoned with. Developing amphibious ability, it takes to land then changes again into an airborne monster spreading a deadly vapor trail in its wake. A nightmarish vision of viscous ooze with a baleful gaze, Hedorah is something at home in the realm of H.P. Lovecraft, godfather of fear.

The 11th installment in the Godzilla franchise, Godzilla Vs. Hedorah is a weird one, even by guys in rubber suits standards. Blending the eco-conscious message with light entertainment, horror and the youthful psychedelic movement results in a movie that is either unwatchable or amazing depending on who you ask. Personally, I think it’s a lot of fun.

With a greatly reduced budget, director Yoshimitsu Banno employed some unusual and new tricks with Godzilla Vs. Hedorah including animation sequences and musical numbers. There are also scenes in which the screen is split up into twenty four ‘TV screen’- like images depicting multiple reactions at once in addition to Hedorah itself. This is an impressive device that quickly establishes the drama in a visually compelling way.

It’s a far cry from the 1954 original that so easily captivated me. Without trying to sound corny, Godzilla Vs. Hedorah is another creature entirely. Godzilla is more of a heroic figure and the monster is nearly impossible to interact with, let alone fight. The populace seem ready to accept extinction and even have a final knees up before the two monsters go toe-to-toe.

Unlike many members of my generation, I was not raised with these movies, so I am only now discovering the wonderful world of Kaiju. With the upcoming Attack on Titan film and the Pacific Rim sequel, this kind of thing is in fashion (oh and there are the new American Godzilla films too).

Godzilla Vs. Hedorah is streaming on Hulu but you can also find it on blu-ray or DVD. It’s a lot of fun and the perfect way to spend a night in with a friend and a gooey pizza.


The Godzilla Collection (Vol 1 and 2)

The Godzilla Collection (Vol 1 and 2)

Godzilla Vs. Hedorah [Blu-ray]

Godzilla Vs. Hedorah [Blu-ray]

Diamond Select Toys Godzilla Classic Minimates Series 2 Box Set

Diamond Select Toys Godzilla Classic Minimates Series 2 Box Set

SPACE: 1999 – Dragon’s Domain

Cover by Nicolas Fraser

Cover by Nicolas Fraser

Written by Christopher Penfold, directed by Charles Crichton
Transmitted on 23 October 1975

It was the eight hundredth and seventy seventh day since our moon left Earth. We were between galaxies drifting through empty space, when Tony Cellini began to believe that he was closing for a second time with his mortal enemy.

Doctor Helena Russell is logging the history of Tony Cellini, a once respected astronaut now a damaged husk of his former self. One evening Cellini receives a vision and a nightmare that only he survived comes back to life and into a wild fury of violence. He knocks a pilot unconscious and attempts to steal an Eagle transport but is stopped short of taking off when the Captain becomes involved. Only Captain Koenig believes there is some merit to Cellini’s wild story. The events awaken some old memories for the crew of Moonbase Alpha, going all the way back before it was launched into its strange journey through space.

Cellini was involved in a failed deep space mission aboard the Ultra Probe. The newly discovered planet Ultra was a mystery and appeared to be similar to Earth. However as the Probe drew closer, a vast graveyard of bizarre alien vessels was seen orbiting the planet. After docking with one of the ships, the Ultra Probe crew became embroiled in a deadly battle with a creature that defied explanation. Only Cellini survived and drifted back home over the course of six months.

The black box recorded contained no details to support Cellini’s tale and the World Space Commission placed the fault of the mission squarely on Cellin’s shoulders. Throughout it all, Koenig never backed down from believing that his friend was not insane. Unfortunately, he was right and the ‘dragon’ that claimed the lives of the Ultra Probe crew and untold other alien lives has returned.

Dragon’s Domain features a truly bizarre monster that became lodged in the subconscious of every child who saw it back in the day. The ‘dragon’ is essentially an evil doorway made up of a mass of tendrils, a giant glowing eye and a gaping maw. It devours people and spits out the still smoking remains of each victim. Conventional laser-based weapons are useless against it so in the end a hand ax is deemed the ideal weapon.

One of the weirder and more grizzly episodes of Space:1999, Dragon’s Domain is a memorable one. The entire adventure has an unusual air of fantasy blended with horror that leads the viewer into an entirely unknown world where anything is possible.

Space:1999 celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a deluxe Blu-ray box set. Of course, the set is only available in the UK, but from the reviews I have read it is well worth the investment.


For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the images below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

Doc Savage The New Adventures Volume 8 The War Makers SC, $24.95
Lumberjanes #12 (Cover A Carolyn Nowak), $3.99
Batgirl #40 (Cameron Stewart Regular Cover), $2.99
Batman Eternal #50, $2.99
New 52 Futures End #46, $2.99
Strange Sports Stories #1 (Of 4)(Paul Pope Regular Cover), $4.99
Altered States Doc Savage #1 (One Shot)(Cover A Billy Tan), $3.99
DC Batman Automobilia Figurine Collection Magazine #53 (Batman #52 Joker Roadster), $20.00
DC Batman Automobilia Figurine Collection Magazine #54 (Legends Of The Dark Knight #80), $20.00
Star Trek The Official Starships Figurine Collection Magazine #36 (Oberth Class), $20.00
Manhattan Projects The Sun Beyond The Stars #1, $3.50
Nixon’s Pals HC, $19.99
All-New Captain America #5 (Stuart Immonen Regular Cover), $3.99
All-New X-Men #39 (Alexander Lozano Regular Cover), $3.99
Amazing Spider-Man #16.1 (Arthur Adams Regular Cover), $3.99
Moon Knight #13, $3.99
Princess Leia #2 (Of 5)(Terry Dodson Regular Cover), $3.99
Doc Savage Double Novel Volume 80 SC (James Bama Variant Cover), $14.95
Doc Savage Double Novel Volume 80 SC (Robert G. Harris Regular Cover), $14.95
Shadow Double Novel Volume 93 SC, $14.95

Iron Man Robert Downey Jr pays a special visit

We live in a unique time when superheroes are ruling pop culture in film, TV and occasionally the comic shop. Comic Cons attract trillions of avid attendees throughout the year (I may be exaggerating but it gets really crowded is all I know). It’s cool that I can get my son a nice Iron Man helmet that lights up but couldn’t something be done with these iconic characters? Why not take the power that these heroes have and make some real magic happen?

This is exactly what happens below when Robert Downey Jr. hand-delivers a 3-D printed prosthetic arm (designed by Albert Manero and Limbitless Solutions) to a little boy. It’s very touching and cool but it also hammers home the message that we are capable of so much and superheroes don’t just exist on the screen or page, they’re also in the real world.

The Collective Project_Manero

“[…] this video is the work of The Collective Project, and while the addition of Hollywood talent in the arm’s presentation gives a ton of PR value, the work being done by Albert Manero and Limbitless Solutions is just as interesting. The group is making affordable, 3D-printed prosthetics for children … and then giving away the plans so others can do the same.

“Here’s a quick bit of background from the Microsoft blog:

Limbitless’ first arm – for an active boy named Alex – cost less than $350 in materials, much cheaper than the $40,000 price tag of some prosthetics. But the team’s volunteers donated the arm for free, after pooling together their “coffee money.”

“We were all bound to the belief that no one should profit from a child in need of an arm,” says Manero.

(Via Polygon)

A healer is the only hope in a war-ravaged world in The Shaman

In a year of sequels and comic book movies, Shaman shines as a unique and imaginative science fiction epic. Whereas most films of this kind focus on soldiers, robots or other such things, it’s unusual to see a healer as the only person who can end a war that has ravaged the planet for nearly a century.

Watch the trailer below:

the-shaman-posterThe dark year 2204, in a world that has seen 73 years of continuous war.

The face of conflict has changed. People kill people but they now rely on giant, intelligent battle machines to fight. Meanwhile, mankind has re-discovered the arts of magic and Shamanism and the Generals on both sides use well-trained spiritual warriors to face the threat of machines. Shamans have special senses; they are experts in all aspects of the “unseen” and the “beyond”. They believe that every person, animal, plant and object has a soul. When crossing the border to the Netherworld, the Shaman can find this soul and interact with it. That is what makes him such a deadly, highly effective weapon. They track and convert the souls of their enemies’ giant battle machines in a psychological soul-to-soul confrontation. But Shamans are not invulnerable. They are just people and can be killed like anyone else.

Shaman Joshua Van Kern and his squire Lene embark on a mission to convert a giant battle colossus and succeed where troops have failed.

No word yet on a US screening, but it has garnered attention at the Tribeca Film Festival, so that situation may change soon.

(via io9)

Daredevil shows no fear

Daredevil Noir

To control a city ruled by crime, Daredevil becomes a man without fear.

Blinded by radiation in a moment of selfless courage, Matt Murdock was raised by his father, a prize fighter known as Battlin’ Jack Murdock. Matt was urged to be a better man and solve his problems with his head rather than his fists. Matt hit the books, but found that he had acquired a special radar sense that replaced his sight in remarkable ways. He trained as fighter and gymnast in secret, while his father attempted to cut ties with the crime boss known as the Fixer and and make it as an honest boxer. Finally, Battlin’ Jack was given the instruction to throw a bout and refused. He paid with his life and this taught Matt a valuable lesson, the overwhelming power of the criminal element.

Matt Murdock graduated law school and formed a practice with his old roommate ‘Foggy’ Nelson. The pair took on hard cases, always taking the side of the underdog. But when he found that some criminals escaped the law or bent the legal system, he took to the streets as Daredevil, a ruthless vigilante who moved like lightning and beat his foes into submission with a billy club.

But how can Matt equate his actions as Daredevil with his oath as a lawyer? How can he save his soul as he becomes embroiled in a dark realm of blood and violence? His path is not an easy one and it takes a will of iron and boundless courage to walk it.

First published in 1964 in a story by Bill Everett and Stan Lee, Daredevil came into popularity thanks to the stylish artwork of Gene Colan. He later rocketed into stardom when a young Frank Miller transformed the title into a film noir-ish homage to Will Eisner’s The Spirit. The new streaming series from Netflix will take on this vibe of a gritty and tortured man fighting against the Kingpin of crime.


The battle for the soul of Hell’s Kitchen has begun in the latest trailer for “Marvel’s Daredevil,” only on Netflix April 10!

Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) matches fists with the criminal element and wits with Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) in the action-packed preview for Marvel’s first 13-episode Netflix original series. Plus get a new look at Karen (Deborah Ann Woll), Foggy (Elden Hensen), Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), Stick (Scott Glenn), and more!

While you wait for April 10 to roll around, follow @Daredevil on Twitter and like “Marvel’s Daredevil” on Facebook for all the news on the Man Without Fear.

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