Batman V Superman images previewed in Entertainment Weekly

Batman_V_SupermanThe paperweight that thinks it is a magazine Entertainment Weekly has premiered some interesting images from the upcoming ‘dukeroo’ between the iconic heroes Batman and Superman. The new images depict the civilian identities of Batman and Wonder Woman (Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince) as well as a fully coiffed Lex Luthor and more.

While I viewed the Man of Steel as a decidedly strong step in the wrong direction, taking the colorful world of DC Comics into a world of muted grays and blues… I want this movie
to be a success.

I also want that Batman V Superman tee director Snyder can spotted wearing on set.

Directed by Zack Snyder with a script by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg and is scheduled for release on March 25th, 2016.

Alien Identity ignores 3rd and 4th film

The 1979 Alien film directed by Ridley Scott with a sharp script by Dan O’Bannon and mold-breaking designs by HR Giger remains a landmark in sci-fi/horror/ The subsequent films are, at best, homages to the first and while I agree that James Cameron’s 1986 ‘Aliens’ is a thrilling action movie and don’t *detest* the David Fincher film, it all goes downhill pretty fast.

That of course does not stop the creation of spinoffs and sequels. However, one fan is mounting a quest that could realize the dream of a third movie capturing the terror and impact of the first and using the ideas of the second.

Unofficial sequel Alien Identity is set after Aliens, brings back Newt and reintroduces actors Carrie Henn and Ricco Ross…

James Cameron, like many Alien fans, was incensed by Alien 3′s decision to kill off Newt and Hicks, two supporting characters that made Aliens such a perfect sequel. But a new, unofficial tribute film called Alien Identity will attempt to rewrite history, saving Newt from her grisly fate at the start of Alien 3and sending her off on a new sci-fi adventure.

The story will pretend that the events of Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection were mere “cryo-sleep nightmares” and will catch up with Newt 14 years after the events of Aliens. This time, Elle Viane Sonnet will play the now 20-something Newt; Carrie Henn, who played Newt in Aliens, will return as her mother Anne in a flashback sequence.

alien-identityWritten and directed by Adam Sonnet, Alien Identity will be funded through Kickstarter, with a campaign scheduled for launch in the coming months.
Like several other recent tribute films, Alien Identity has been given the go-ahead by 20th Century Fox, a studio seemingly relaxed about unofficial, fan-made spin-off films. If you haven’t seen it yet, Predator Dark Ages is one such recent example, and well worth a watch.

Director Neill Blomkamp is set to tinker with the Alien chronology himself in the forthcoming Alien 5, which will bring back Michael Biehn’s Hicks. Will it also revive Newt? We’ll have to wait and see. Until then, Alien Identity promises to give the character a new lease on life.

Read more:


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 links 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.

Baltimore The Cult Of The Red King #3 (Of 5), $3.99
Lone Wolf And Cub Omnibus Volume 9 TP, $19.99
Absolute Y The Last Man Volume 1 HC, $125.00
Action Comics #42 (Aaron Kuder Regular Cover), $3.99
Detective Comics #42 (Francis Manapul Regular Cover), $3.99
Omega Men #2 (Trevor Hutchinson Regular Cover), $2.99
Vertigo Quarterly SFX #2 (Nathan Fox Regular Cover), $7.99
Justice Inc The Avenger #2 (Cover A Francesco Francavilla), $3.99
Masks 2 #4 (Of 8)(Cover A Butch Guice), $3.99
SpiritWill Eisner’s The Spirit #1 (Cover B Matt Wagner), $3.99
Grant Morrison’s 18 Days #1 (Cover A Jeevan Kang), $1.00
Batman Classic 5-Minute Batman Stories HC, $12.99
Wicked + The Divine #12 (Cover A Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson), $3.50
Amazing Spider-Man #19.1 (Yasmine Putri Regular Cover), $3.99
Darth Vader #7, $3.99
Future Imperfect #2 (Greg Land Regular Cover), $3.99
Princess Leia #5 (Of 5), $3.99
Secret Wars #4 (Of 8)(Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99
Years Of Future Past #2 (Arthur Adams Regular Cover), $3.99
Doctor Who The Twelfth Doctor #9 (Brian Williamson Regular Cover), $3.99
Cowboy Bebop Crew Coffee Mug, $9.99
Godzilla 1954 Body Knocker, $13.99
Godzilla 2000 Millenium Special Color Edition S.H.Monster Arts Action Figure, AR

Mr. Steed, You’re Still Needed

The Avengers - John Steed by Robert Hack

The Avengers – John Steed by Robert Hack

One of my personal heroes has passed today, Patrick Macnee, star of several television program and cult films such as the Twilight Zone and the James Bond film A View to a Kill. He is of course best known for playing the bowler-hatted action man John Steed for nine years in the ITV series The Avengers. The most wildly imaginative program I have ever had the good fortune to have watched, the Avengers was beloved in my household growing up and my appreciation of it has only deepened over the years.

Modeled on his father (a diminutive dandy and race horse trainer), Macnee developed John Steed as a gentleman’s gentleman and action man. The character was initially a secondary hero to Dr. David Keel. As time wore on, Steed became the focus of the Avengers and served alongside a line of lovely ladies including Honor Blackman, Dame Diana Rigg and Linda Thorson.

Just as the character of Steed was not intended to be the lead, Macnee had not intended to be an actor as his intention was toward being an actor’s agent. His performance as John Steed in the Avengers was very formative to me as a child. The combination of courage, wit, intelligence and a playful adventurous flair remains the finest example of a leading man to me. A modern day icon, the character of Steed was just as important to me as Tom Baker’s Doctor Who or Adam West’s Batman.

I have no idea what that says about me… but Steed makes up an important part of my heroic ideal trifecta.

Gone but not forgotten, I can’t conjure an image of Patrick Macnee without imagining his winsome indefatigable grin.

From The Incredible World of Spy-Fi

Via BBC News:

Actor Patrick Macnee, star of The Avengers TV series, has died in California at the age of 93.

The Briton, best known for playing John Steed in the 1960s television series, died at home with his family at his bedside, his son Rupert said.

Macnee also played roles in theatre, appearing on Broadway, and served in the Royal Navy during World War Two.

A statement on the actor’s website read: “Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories.”

The statement added: “Patrick Macnee was a popular figure in the television industry. He was at home wherever in the world he found himself. He had a knack for making friends, and keeping them.”

He died peacefully at his home in California’s Rancho Mirage on Thursday, Rupert said.

James Bond ally

Born in London and educated at Eton, Macnee first appeared in the West End while still in his teens.

He played a number of minor roles – including one in Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film version of Hamlet – before rising to fame in the original Avengers series between 1961 and 1969.
He returned when that series was reprised in the 1970s, appearing alongside Joanna Lumley’s Purdey and Gareth Hunt’s Mike Gambit.

He also appeared in the 1985 James Bond film A View to Kill, playing an ally of Roger Moore’s Bond character.

‘Ahead of their time’

In a 2014 interview with The Lady magazine, Macnee said he believed The Avengers was a success because it “did something different and did it better.”
He told the magazine: “It was beautifully written, the ideas were very good, way ahead of their time and they incorporated fantasies for people who dreamed of doing exciting things.”

The WhoMobile


Actor Jon Pertwee remains one of the most iconic actors to have played Doctor Who. Even his successor, Tom Baker recognized the stately and grand presence Pertwee exhibited. Traditionally a song and dance man, Jon Pertwee was at a loss for how to follow famed actor Patrick Troughton as the mysterious Time Lord. When he was given the direction to ‘be himself,’ he was amused as he had no idea who that was! Luckily, the actor was very charismatic, dashing and a fan of modern machinery and cars. This resulted in the creation of a personalized mode of transport outside of the TARDIS, a custom-made futuristic car referred to as the ‘WhoMobile.’

Here’s a quick write up via Retro Thing:

You have to be a bit of a character to take on the lead role in Doctor Who. When Jon Pertwee took over, it was the series’ first venture into colour. These new earthbound adventure brought massive popularity to the show and its star, turning in an impressively popular [five] year run. Known before the role as a comedian, Pertwee played the role straight proving himself to be a great choice for the Doctor. In his real life he was a gadget fan, as well as a sportsman and car enthusiast – all perfect traits for a time traveler. It was while at an appearance at an auto dealership that he met car customizer Peter Farries, which is where the story of Pertwee’s 1973 Whomobile began.

The vehicle was never called the “Whomobile” in the show, though Pertwee does refer to it as such in his memoirs. It was actually designed under another name, “The Alien”. Pertwee and Farries sketched out the fantasy car. Other car customizers said it would take several moldings to create such an unusual shape in fiberglass, but Farries did it in only two. The completed car was 14 feet long, 7 feet across, with fins that reached 5 feet into the air. There are no doors, you have to hop in over the wing, and once inside the driver and uncomfortable passenger are faced with the blinky lights of a prop computer, and a real television with dual rear antennae.

While the WhoMobile (also known as ‘The Alien’) was only featured on screen a couple of times, Jon Pertwee used the vehicle in public appearances, making it a hallmark of Doctor Who. A miniature version was produced, and boy howdy would I faint if I found one!


It made such an impact that back in the 1990’s when Dapol was producing a toyline based on the series, a WhoMobile was actually planned for release. It never graced the toy racks, but we do have this image to dream about.


Pertwee gifted the car to a bereaved fan who owned the car until it was put up for auction in 2010. The WhoMobile is currently privately owned but is still used to promote Doctor Who. It recently appeared at the Who Experience and as the 12th Doctor continues to emulate the 3rd persona with a red-lined jacket followed by a velvet ensemble in the 9th series, it may only be a time before a new signature vehicle is seen.


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 links 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.

Archie Vs Predator #3 (Of 4)(Cover C Paul Pope), AR
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan Omnibus TP, $24.99
AstroCity_24Astro City #24, $3.99
Dr Fate #1 (Sonny Liew Regular Cover), $2.99
JLA_1Justice League Of America #1 (Bryan Hitch Regular Cover), $5.99
Mad Max Fury Road Furiosa #1 (Tommy Lee Edwards Regular Cover), $4.99
PrezPrez #1 (Of 12)(Ben Caldwell Regular Cover), $2.99
Project Superpowers Blackcross #4 (Of 6)(Cover B Declan Shalvey), $3.99
EightballComplete Eightball Volumes 1-18 HC Box Set, $119.99
Astronauts In Trouble #1, $2.99
Annihilation Conquest Omnibus HC, $125.00
Armor Wars #2 (Paul Rivoche Regular Cover), $3.99
Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #9, $3.99
VaderDarth Vader #1 (Director’s Cut), $5.99
Magneto #19 (Declan Shalvey Gwengneto Variant Cover), AR
Moon Knight #16, $3.99
Squadron Sinister #1 (Carlos Pacheco Regular Cover), $3.99
Thors #1 (Chris Sprouse Regular Cover), $3.99
Kaijumax #3 (Zander Cannon Regular Cover), $3.99
Kaijumax #3 (Ryan Browne Variant Cover), $3.99
Alter Ego #133, $8.95
Back Issue #81, $9.95
BaymaxBig Hero 6 Baymax Before And After Previews Exclusive Light Blue T-Shirt LG, $18.99
Star Wars Luke Skywalker & Princess Leia ArtfxStar Wars Luke Skywalker And Princess Leia ARTFX+ Statue, $119.99

Damian Lewis possibly the next Bond

Since the Dr. No feature film back in 1962, James Bond has been synonymous with action, adventure and questionable attitudes towards women. Of course the film series only saw real success after Goldfinger in 1964, but it is considered an institution today alongside Star Wars, Batman, Indiana Jones, the Terminator, Herbie the Love Bug, etc.

JamesBondThere have 6 main actors to play 007 in the films with Daniel Craig’s final outing ‘Spectre’ to be released in November of this year. After that, who will take up the signature pistol?

The current theory is that Damian Lewis will be the next Bond in an as-yet unannounced James Bond story. The franchise took a major step backwards during the Pierce Brosnan era (say what you will… but Die Another Day was dire) but Casino Royal brought back Bond’s reputation as a modern icon. Removing the gadgets and quips, the new Bond was all gritty action and fury. Skyfall paid homage to the legacy of the films and Spectre seems to embrace more of the classic themes and ideas. It could be an ideal time to bring in a fresh face as well.


Via THR:

It may well be a shameless attempt to generate column inches, but one U.K. bookmaker has, out of the blue, slashed its odds of Homeland star Damian Lewis being named the next James Bond.

William Hill revealed on Monday that it had dramatically dropped Lewis’ price from an outsider 25/1 to near-favorite 3/1, just short of hot tip Idris Elba, currently 5/2, and putting the actor firmly in contention ahead of Tom Hardy (4/1), Henry Cavill (5/1) and Michael Fassbender (7/1).

“This is an unprecedented gamble, as for no apparent reason we have seen bets of up to £200 [$312] on Damian Lewis being named as the next Bond. This could well be significant and might herald the end of Daniel Craig as the world’s most famous spy,” said a spokesperson.

Lewis has previously hinted at his desire to play the famed superspy, joking in 2013 that the Scottish heritage outlined in Skyfall had “paved the way perfectly for a red-headed Bond.”

Even though the net is awash with this story, there are so many actors who were considered or screen tested that were never chosen James Bond. I thought this would be an interesting time to address some of them:

NivenDavid Niven, the gentlemen actor, was author Ian Fleming’s preferred choice for the part. He was understandably disappointed by the studio’s choice of Sean Connery. Niven did get a chance to play Bond (after a fashion) in the Casino Royal spoof film.

TheIpcressFile1965Michael Caine was well-known as a spy in 1965’s The Ipcress File and Funeral in Berlin (1966) so he wasn’t interested in making a living out of being a spy.

There are so many actors who were considered for the role but never played James Bond such as Oliver Reed (no, really). I would love to know the reason why Terrance Stamp (renowned for his portrayal of General Zod in Superman II) or William Gaunt (of the Champions) was never Bond. I’m grateful beyond belief that actors such as Sam Neil, Christopher Lambert, Mel Gibson, and James Brolin were passed on.

But imagine my surprise when I learned that Paul McGann auditioned for the part of 007.

Yes… Doctor Who was almost James Bond.

So until it is official, don’t believe the hype. Personally, I hold out hope for Idris Elba.

All-New All-Different Marvel (kinda)

The Marvel Universe that we have known for decades is gone, but not forgotten. After the incursions of multiple realities fractured the superhero community, the end result has been Battle World; a reality of floating islands broken off from other existences.

The Secret Wars story line (no relation to the other Secret Wars) is an admittedly direct attack on the Convergence in DC Comics. Multiple mini-series have spawned including Old Man Logan, Planet Hulk, X-Men Inferno, a married Amazing Spider-Man and much more. It’s a mad shuffle of ideas that, after it has settled, will result in a very different (yet familiar) Marvel Universe.

Don’t believe me? Check out the images below…

allnewalldifferent_marvel_1 allnewalldifferent_marvel_2

Red Wolf, a redesigned Daredevil, two Wolverines, two Spider-Men, and many new or divergent iterations of other characters can be seen in these two images with Iron Man retaining center stage in each image (odd, given his status quot in the conclusion of Time Runs Out). Wolverine, a character who died last year, appears to be coming back in the guise of Old Man Logan (from the popular storyline written by Mark Millar). His clone daughter X-23 will be donning the familiar costume while Logan sports a more casual look. The Thing will be joining the Guardians of the Galaxy and Johnny Storm will be with the Inhumans.

Everything is new again (again).

But what about the Hulk?

Perhaps the most shocking revelation post-Secret Wars is that the new Hulk will not be Bruce Banner. I started reading the Hulk monthly book regularly since the Paul Jenkins days through Bruce Jones, Greg Pak, Jeff Parker, Jason Aaron, Mark Waid and even Jeph Loeb.

It’s not an easy thing to be a Hulk fan. He is constantly getting batted around all over the place as the character changes from villain to hero, amnesia to full knowledge, etc. There have been some great stories, but overall it’s been a mess. The announcement of an all-new Hulk (again) is something Hulk fans are wearily ready for but… let’s hope Marvel can get it ‘right’ this time.

In the meantime, here’s the current rumor…











I have to admit that if this is correct, it’s a pretty bold and inventive solution to an overly complicated character. It may not make everybody happy, but it’s a pretty cool rumor in my opinion.

Lego Doctor Who

who_legoI’ve been playing lots of Lego games with my son (I practiced a lot for two years beforehand so I can keep up). The upcoming Lego Dimensions opens the door to near limitless potential… including Doctor Who.

Content involving the intrepid Time Lord has been confirmed so this fan-made trailer may not be too far from the mark.

We shall see when Lego Dimensions is released in September.

Mad Max: Fury Road (1979)

mad-max-fury-roadGeorge Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road isn’t just a film, it’s a wild explosive ride that has awakened the era of late 1970’s-80’s nostalgia. Sure, this has been coming for a while with the seemingly endless sequels and prequels to films such as Alien, Predator and Terminator and the callbacks to this era of dystopian futures, technology gone mad and monsters from the edge of a nightmarish dimension.
However, Fury Road offers no reference point, little to no backstory and very little actual dialog. It’s a world of violence reduced to a car chase along a desolate landscape. As MST3K creator Joel Hodgson pointed out, it’s a weird remake of Hanna Barbera’s Wacky Races.

WackyracesMiller has stated that the home video release of Fury Road will feature a black and white version (which he insists is essential) and I applaud this approach.

One fan has taken this approach to enhancing the retro look and feel of Mad Max a step further with a trailer for Fury Road that pays homage to the seminal film.

And it’s wonderful.
(subscribe to PLAYBACK Collective‘s channel for more)

I recently watched Mad Max on blu-ray for the first time in decades. My memory was that the plot revolved around oil and gangs vying for survival at any cost (no doubt my memory was mismatched with Road Warrior and Beyond Thunder Dome). But Mad Max isn’t concerned with these things. In the first film of this epic, we are witnesses to a world dissolving into chaos, ruled by violence and set on destruction with our ‘hero’ Max caught in the eye of the storm. This makes Mad Max a much grimmer and more upsetting film than I recalled. The innovative action sequences and weird characters are few and far between. It’s Hell on Earth. And in the 80’s, this vision of the future was all too familiar.

I wonder what it means that such a vision is in vogue again.

Can’t we just get beyond Thunder Dome?