New Comics 7/11/18

Comics_HeroesIt Came Out On A Wednesday #1, $1.99
Batman Death And The Maidens TP (New Edition), $19.99
Blue Beetle Volume 3 Road To Nowhere TP, $16.99
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #48 (Cover A Doug Mahnke), $2.99
Ragman TP, $16.99
Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heroes Volume 2 HC, $49.99
Superman #1 (Cover A Ivan Reis & Joe Prado), $3.99
League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen The Tempest #1 (Cover A Kevin O’Neill), $4.99
Weatherman #1 (Nathan Fox 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Cover A Ryan Ottley), $5.99
Daredevil #605, $3.99
Marvel Masterworks Captain America Volume 10 HC (Direct Market Variant Edition Volume 262), $75.00
Star Wars Darth Vader #18 (Cover A Giuseppe Camuncoli), $3.99
True Believers Fantastic Four Galactus Hungers #1, $1.00
True Believers Fantastic Four Hulk Vs Thing #1, $1.00
True Believers Fantastic Four Marvel Two-In-One #1, $1.00
True Believers Fantastic Four Vs Doctor Doom #1, $1.00
DC Comics Batman Vinimate, AR
DC Comics Batwoman Vinimate, AR

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Doctor Who – The Bodysnatchers

Body_snatchers_cover.jpgStrange goings on are afoot in Victorian London. Massive creatures stalk a local factory late at night and the owner, Nathaniel Seers, is not the man he once was; having transformed from a once kind and friendly individual into a cold and stern man. The Doctor and Sam arrive just in time to see a man devoured by a monster from the sea. Noting the time period, the Doctor calls upon the aid of his old friend Professor George Litefoot who had proven so helpful against the dreaded Magnus Greel a number of lives ago. Against an army from another world utilizing bizarre technology, the Doctor and his friends must take up arms against the Zygon horde for the future of the humanity.

The Body Snatchers is something of a mish-mash of stories, combining The Talons of Weng Chiang with Terror of the Zygons (two of my all time favorite adventures), although the novel gets quite gruesome at times. Set during a time when men were worked to the bone in unsafe factories, corpses were stolen in the night, grisly pub punch ups grew relentless in their brutality, bodies washed up with regularity from the Thames and bodies of children were uncovered with the thaw, nestled together into frozen blocks… it’s all quite unsettling.

The flippant and witty Eighth persona of the Doctor along with the unflappable Sam Jones and the quaint gentleman George Litefoot, provide some offset to the violence. However, the Zygons themselves, a monster that strangely only appeared once in the classic series are powerfully threatening. Their organic technology and bizarre physiognomy are fleshed out (if you can excuse the term) in this novel, even expanding the race into different strata from warrior to scientist and different genders as well. Fans of Zygons have a lot to chew on here.

A lovely blend of Victorian adventure and mystery along with body horror alien invasion, The Body Snatchers is a memorable and thrilling entry in the adventures of the Eighth Doctor.

Doctor Who: Vampire Science

Vampire_science_coverFrom the 1980 adventure State of Decay, vampires have been a major part of Doctor Who lore. In the televised story, the Fourth Doctor explained that the Time Lords have a sworn responsibility to eliminate all vampires as part of his people’s war with the creatures many centuries ago. That said, it is surprising that there are so few stories on TV in which the Doctor faces this moral conundrum. Happily there are quite a few novels.

Following up on the rather challenging novel, The Eight Doctors, Vampire Science is an enthralling adventure which challenges the intelligence of the Eighth Doctor as well as his nerve. In the opening chapter it appears that the Doctor has embarked on an all-out war against the vampires, cornering one in an alley and stabbing it in the chest. A young woman named Caroline witnesses the whole affair and it has such an impact that years later she has a scrapbook of vampire stories in the news and follows any clues when she is not busy trying to cure cancer.

The Doctor and his companion Sam rejoin Caroline after her boyfriend becomes kidnapped by a clan of vampires and finally the Doctor shows his hand. He has no intention of wiping out his enemies. He intends to cure them, or at least create a food substitute to prevent them from preying on the living. To accomplish this he must walk a very fine line and risk the trust that his followers have in him. He must also try to reduce casualties as much as possible and escape death himself.

The vampires operate out of a kink nightclub (which strangely serves coffee and salad) and has strata of social structures. The old guard are barely cognizant of their surroundings while the ‘youngsters’ (turned in 1957) are wild and dramatic, led by a charismatic grandstander Slake, who is more than happy to borrow from pop culture vampire myths. But the young gang is far more deadly than they appear while the old guard is led by a brilliant woman named Harris with hundreds of years of medical knowledge who has secret controversial plans for their future.

When Harris and the Doctor pool more than their resources, they become entangled in blood. Harris has the challenge of convincing her people that they can trust a Time Lord, a mythical being who should be sworn to exterminate the vampires. And the Doctor has the soldiers of U.N.I.T. chomping at the bit to charge in guns blazing. Yet the Doctor is determined to find a solution that does not include genocide and instead a promising future of hope.

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Sam Jones

The new companion Sam Jones has a spotty rep with fans. A seventeen year old who is very passionate and fiery while also being quite mopey and catty… she’s a perfect teenager. Early on Sam is attacked by a vampire and spends much of the book seething with revenge. She is also very jealous of Caroline who moons over the Doctor. She struggles to find common ground with the Doctor who, in her opinion, has sided with murderous creatures who suck the life out of innocents. At the same time, she tries to take the high road and extend compassion to her enemies no matter their undead status. That said, she’s not above taking matters into her own hands and getting them very dirty. I’m not sure where the negative reaction comes from for Sam, but so far I quite like her.

Paul_McGann_EighthDoctorVampire Science is a very dense book filled with twists and turns and plenty of nerve-wracking moments. The Doctor is also still coming to terms with his new incarnation and is oblivious to the impact his attractive new face has on others. His added responsibility for Caroline is especially trying as she becomes enthralled by the appeal of a dreamy bachelor who travels through space and time (Russell T Davies was obviously paying close attention to this. There are some lovely scenes in the TARDIS in which he shows Caroline a room filled with butterflies which flutter in his hair as he welcomes it all. This is a romantic Doctor, no longer the scheming manipulative 7th incarnation. This Doctor lives in the moment and is far more impulsive than previous personas.

After the slog that was The Eight Doctors, Vampire Science was a welcome change. Filled with drama, action, horror and even humor it is a grand start to the new Doctor.

Star Trek invades SDCC2016

StarTrek_Kirk

“I’m back.”

Star Wars may be ruling the screens today, but 2017 will be the year Paramount Strikes Back with the revival of Star Trek on the new streaming service, CBS All Access.

The latest iteration of Trek jump-started by the seizure-inducing JJ Abrams movie is rumored to reaching its conclusion with Beyond, warping into cinemas on July 14th. In its place, the new TV series is something of a mystery.

When SDCC begins on July 21st, expect to see the familiar crest of the Federation all over your news feed as Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies and Hannibal) will reveal some key details on the simply titled Star Trek.

We have seen five weekly TV programs and twelve feature films (with number 13 on the away), so the question is what can we expect from a new Trek?

Will this be set within established continuity? There is a rumor that this series will take place after the fifth movie, the Undiscovered Country. Will it explore the uncharted future past era of The Next Generation? Are we going to see another set of actors playing the popular Kirk, Spock and Bones roles following the Abrams story? Or will it be an anthology series dipping into the many periods of Trek past and future?

We may have to wait until next year to get all the details, but in a few weeks, we will know more when Star Trek takes over SDCC with a barrage of panels and an outdoor screening of Beyond.
StarTrek_NX01_Refit
NX-01 refit via: http://startrekships.tumblr.com/post/66805328781/nx-refit-art

Via i09:
News just broke that Bryan Fuller, the executive producer of the still-untitled 2017 CBS Star Trek series, will have a panel in the biggest room at Comic-Con, Hall H, on July 23 during the afternoon. It’s called Star Trek: Celebrating 50 Years and he’s expected to reveal news about that show, and chat with members of each Trek cast. Announced so far are William Shatner, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, and Scott Bakula.

That panel alone would be super cool, but it’s just the bridge of the Enterprise.

Paramount previously announced they’re hosting the world premiere of Star Trek Beyond right outside the convention, at the Embarcadero Marina Park. That event is “the first-ever outdoor IMAX premiere” and “will include appearances by the film’s cast and crew, and a live concert performance by the San Diego symphony orchestra.”

But wait, there’s more. Just announced are five more Trek panels happening during the convention. They are as follows.

“Trek Talks: Science, the Smithsonian and ‘Star Trek’” (Friday, July 22, 6:30 p.m., Room 5AB)
“‘Star Trek’: The Rodenberry Vault” (Saturday, July 23, 12:30 p.m., Room 5AB)
“Trek Talks: ‘Star Trek’ and NASA Boldly Go” (Saturday, July 23 6 p.m., Room 5AB)
“‘Star Trek’ the Official Starships Collection: Designing and Filming Starships” (Saturday, July 23, 3 p.m., Room 28 D/E)
“‘Star Trek’: Five Decades of Comics” (Friday, July 22, 1:30p.m., Room 8).

Are you planning to attend the SDCC? If so, please drop a line!

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Poll:

What’s your favorite Trek?

Bonus!
Watch the Star Trek New Voyages episode: Mind Sifter!

 

Moon Knight fan video

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Created as a horror hero in Werewolf By Night by Doug Moench and Don Perlin, Moon Knight may appear as a Batman archetype on the surface, but he is far more complicated under the silly costume and moon-shaped ‘batarangs.’

A soldier of fortune, Marc Spector discovered the temple of the Egyptian god Konshu during a mission to loot the nearby treasure. Betrayed by his employer and left for dead, Spector is resurrected by the worshipers of Konshu and reborn as an avenger of the night, the ‘Fist of Konshu.’

After returning to the US, he creates two identities, a millionaire playboy Steven Grant and the taxicab driver Jack Lockley. These numerous alternate identities coupled with the voice of a vengeful Egyptian God explain away the fact that he is dressed entirely in white fighting in the darkness. Spector wants to be seen, he is a vision of terror to the criminal underworld, spreading the gospel of Konshu.

Violent, insane and self-destructive, Moon Knight dresses head-to-toe in blinding white so that his prey can see him descending from the sky like a furious specter. While he does share some similarities with DC Comics’ Batman, it’s clear to see that Moon Knight is much further off the reservation.

Moon Knight has had many iterations over the years. In 2014, warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey revived the character in a bizarre street-level horror/suspense anthology series. The approach clicked and while I was reticent to accept a version of the vigilante who had tossed aside his costume for a white suit… it kinda fits. A fan-made movie condenses the first five issues of the series and (while it does have a very awkward ‘rap’ moment), it is worth a look.

The latest version of Moon Knight is absolutely amazing. It began with Spector in an insane asylum straight out of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest which I found questionable but has quickly developed into something far more outlandish and unsettling than I could imagine.
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I have no doubt that Marvel is eyeing Moon Knight as a contender for their next streaming series alongside Iron Fist and The Punisher. It’s just a matter of time before the Fist of Konshu gets his comeuppance.

Recommended: Moon Knight Vol.1 From the Dead

Hail Hydra

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Poster by Eric Tan

 

This phrase, popularized in the second Captain America film, The Winter Soldier , is making front page news across the country. For the initiated, Hydra is an evil terrorist organization that first appeared back in 1965. While James Bond and MI6 had ‘Spectre,’ Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. had Hydra. These guys were so evil that they creeped out the Nazis.

In recent years, Hydra has been presented in comics and in film/tv as an organization so insidious that it had secretly infiltrated certain aspects of government over a long game tracking back to its inception on WWII. As of this week, that infestation has spread to the star-spangled Avenger Captain America.

The fate of a fictional character is making front page news. That means one of two things, America is a very sad place where pop culture icons are more important than actual news involving real people in actual places… or these cultural icons are important.

Avengers - Captain America_PosterAs a cynic, I’m torn. I want to brush the dust off my shoulders and stand tall with my imaginary degree of comic book lore, stating that these ‘funny books’ actually mean something and have a direct impact on our culture… but I’m also frustrated by two things; one is that it is indeed not as important as real news pieces which could uncover insidious deeds or help those in need and there are far more people today with opinions on Captain America than there were yesterday. And they are not buying the comic book.

comic-book-rack-1975I have a pretty basic rule when it comes to these things; if you want to play along, you pay admission. I’m down to talk about comics with almost anyone, but my pet peeve is the uninformed angry person on the street with maybe a t-shirt and a dvd supporting their interest and a vague memory of the character. This happens all the time and it always annoys me. If you want to get outraged, join in, read the book and have an informed opinion rather than just outrage.

Upset about Blue Beetle’s death? Why didn’t you buy *one* of his comics. Furious over Spider-Man’s new status quot? Why does your collection stop at 1996? Personally pained over Batman’s death? Well… get in line.

Strangely, Nick Spencer,  current writer of both Captain America: Sam Wilson and the newly released Captain America: Steve Rogers series (as well as the hit series Morning Glories), is all a-flutter with the attention and assures readers that there is more to come.

Via the Daily Beast:

When you decide to do something like this, you understand obviously that people aren’t gonna throw you a party for it. You understand that this is the kind of story designed to upset people and shock people and worry people. That’s the response you’re supposed to have to something like this, when you’re seeing a bad thing. So, yeah, this is certainly the kind of response I expected, but in terms of the magnitude of it and just how many people are chiming in, that part’s unreal. That surpassed any expectation that I had.

I think it just comes down to [the fact that] this character, particularly since the movies, has really exploded in popularity. Obviously he represents a lot to a lot of people. They’re emotionally invested, which is good. The worst thing that could have happened today is people shrugging, or even being reasonable. That would’ve said that we didn’t stick the landing on it. So this is what we wanted, we just have even more of it than we imagined.

we’ve been holding onto this for about 16 months now, so it’s been well over a year that we’ve been keeping this under wraps. And that was a hugely gratifying thing, especially in the last couple of months as we started work on the issue. There’s an artist drawing it [Jesús Saiz] and a letterer [Joe Caramagna], and you start to worry because obviously the book is getting passed through a lot of hands and there’s something tangible out there that can get leaked. So yeah, I mean all the credit in the world goes to Tom and everyone at Marvel, they really went above and beyond to keep a lid on this. They took a lot of special measures that we’ve never had before—and it worked! We managed to keep this until it started leaking out last night, which was inevitable because that’s when the book started arriving at various places. But yeah, it was a big success. I was really surprised. I thought for sure it would be ruined.

One of the first things most people will probably think is, “But hasn’t he spent the last 75 years fighting Hydra?” How do you reconcile the twist with the character’s history?

48807535.cached.jpgI can’t say a lot on that front, but what I can say is that that is not a huge point of concern in the story. That question will be answered, at least for the most part, in the next issue. That wasn’t something that we wanted to drag out. We wanted to make that stuff as clear as we could upfront. So now that we’ve gotten the big surprise, we’re going to go back and explain some things to you so that you, as a reader, have a much clearer vantage point. But your vantage point may differ greatly from the characters in the Marvel universe.

There’s a lot of uproar online about how this storyline insults the legacies of Captain America’s Jewish creators, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.

Look, everybody who’s working on this story loves Captain America. I know that it may not seem like it today. But this book is edited by Tom Brevoort, who has been protecting this character’s legacy for a very long time now. He’s not gonna let me do anything that he thinks is going to endanger that character’s legacy and how the character is perceived. It’s always difficult when you’re at this point in a story, because you don’t just wanna tell people, “Everything’s gonna work out great!” Because that certainly may not be the case here. But what I think I can say with confidence is that with this story, our intention and our hope is that in its own unique way, it reinforces what everybody already knows about Captain America, which is his power as a symbol and what that means. We are approaching it from a different angle, but I think it illuminates the character in a way that we’ve never seen before.

It’s always tough. The eternal divide is the reader wants the character to succeed, to be happy, to win. Our job is often to put the characters through things and that can often be mistaken for a lack of respect or care for the character. It’s just the reality of what draws people into these stories, whether you realize it or not, and this is going to be a major test for a lot of characters in the Marvel universe.
(read more here)

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So there you have it from the guy who is actually writing the book that has earned him death threats and the ire of millions of lapsed comic book fans across the globe, suddenly invested in a character they had forgotten about until yesterday.

Oh, and on that other thing bouncing around the Twittersphere? Nick Spencer had some diplomatic words for the Captain America’s boyfriend movement.

Have you been watching the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend campaign unfold?

Yeah. I think the only thing I can say there is it speaks to people’s passion for the character. Which probably isn’t much of an answer, but people strongly identify with these characters, they’re strongly invested in these characters’ lives, and I think that this is a reflection of that energy.

More as it comes… but keep buying the books.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

Not into the physical books? Get thee to comixology or Marvel.com for digital comics offerings.

THIS WEEK AT YOUR COMIC SHOP 5/11/2016

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

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(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.

StarWars_EmpireStrikesBack.jpgStar Wars The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume 1 The Empire Strikes Back HC, $24.95
Adventure Time Enchiridion Edition Volume 5 HC, $49.99
Baker Street Peculiars #3 (Of 4)(Cover A Andy Hirsch), $3.99
Massive Library Edition Volume 1 HC, $39.99
Batman_52.jpgBatman #52 (Guillem March Regular Cover), $3.99
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman Volume 3 TP, $17.99
Complete Peanuts Volume 5 1959-1960 TP, $22.99
DitkoSteve Ditko Archives Volume 6 Outer Limits HC, $39.99
Wallace Wood Presents Shattuck HC (not verified by Diamond), $24.99
Atomic Robo And The Ring Of Fire TP, $19.99
Popeye Classics #46 (Cover A Bud Sagendorf), $4.99
Avengers_9.jpgAll-New All-Different Avengers #9 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99
Black Panther #2 (Brian Stelfreeze Regular Cover), $3.99
Darth Vader #20 (Mark Brooks Regular Cover), $4.99
Doctor Strange #6 (Chris Bachalo 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $4.99
Marvel Mighty Colors Board Book HC, $7.99
Marvel Mighty Numbers Board Book HC, $7.99
Spider-Man Storybook Collection HC, $16.99
Ant-Man Little Golden Book HC, $4.99
Courageous Captain America Little Golden Book HC, $4.99
Guardians Of The Galaxy Little Golden Book HC, $4.99
Incredible Hulk Little Golden Book HC (Reissue), $4.99
Iron Man Eye Of The Dragon Little Golden Book HC (Reissue), $4.99
Mighty Avengers Lights Out Little Golden Book HC (Reissue), $4.99
Mighty Avengers Little Golden Book HC (Reissue), $4.99
Mighty Thor Little Golden Book HC (Reissue), $4.99
Spider Man High Voltage Little Golden Book HC (Reissue), $4.99
Spider Man Trapped By The Green Goblin Little Golden Book HC (Reissue), $4.99
Doctor Who The Twelfth Doctor Year Two #5 (Cover A Simon Myers), $3.99
James Bond 007 Classics Trading Card Box, AR
James Bond 007 Classics Trading Card Collectors Album, AR

Star Trek Axanar

Prelude_to_Axanar_poster.jpgWhile we await the release of the third and final new Star Trek film for some time and the upcoming streaming TV series, it may be a good time to give a closer look at the fan-funded project Star Trek Axanar.

Christian Gossett and Alec Peters utilized the resources of special effects experts and several actors and actresses familiar to fans of Star Trek and cult sci-fi in general (including Battlestar Galactica’s Richard Hatch). They raised $101,000 (well over the $10,000 goal) via Kickstarter and released Prelude to Axanar for a limited release.

Set during the Four-Year War, Axanar serves as a bridge between Enterprise and the Original Series. A glimpse is even given of NCC-1701 craft in dry dock!

Star Trek Axanar strives to accomplish something few of the Star Trek projects from Paramount has, to fit into canon. Not only does it feature actors reprising their roles, but it also sets up plot threads connecting to classic Trek stories such as Patterns of Force and Whom Gods Destroy – one of my personal faves.

This is the best thing to happen for Trek fans in decades and the screening of the 21 minute prelude earned acclaim from professional critics. Then this happened:

On December 29, 2015, CBS and Paramount Pictures filed for an injunction and damages in the US District Court for the Central District of California, stating Axanar works infringe their rights by making use of the Klingon language and “innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes.”

On March 28, 2016, Axanar Productions filed a motion to dismiss or strike Paramount and CBS’s claims, saying the elements mentioned in the court filing are not protected by copyright and it is seeking premature relief from a work, the Axanar film, that does not exist.

At a time when (reportedly) Paramount is urging its staff to refrain from making their feature films ‘too Star Trekky’ (witness the high-octane trailer for Star Trek Beyond), it is truly painful that a project like this is being shelved.

Will we see Star Trek Axanar? Given that the film’s creators worked so hard to get this project off the ground and the product to date is so good that it has Paramount suing… it’s a possibility.

Bookmark this page for more.

Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick

268ee323f1e8756717ed55d4c5681414.jpgVia CultBox: American writer Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) wrote 44 novels and 121 short stories, with the movies Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck and The Adjustment Bureau all based on his works.

Bryan Cranston commented: “This is an electric dream come true. We are so thrilled to be able to explore and expand upon the evergreen themes found in the incredible work of this literary master.”

Executive producer Ronald D. Moore said: “As a long-time fan of Philip K. Dick’s work, it’s a tremendous honour and thrill to be part of this series. His short stories are a treasure-trove of material for artists to draw from and I think this will be a very exciting project.”

Dick’s daughter Isa Dick Hackett added: “I’m thrilled to be working with this exceptional team to bring my father’s short stories to life. Often the source for big, high concept feature films, these short stories represent some of the most dazzling conceptual work of his career, and the fact that they will be adapted by such a diverse set of creative voices is truly an honour.”

Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick will premiere on Channel 4 in the UK.

No word yet on a domestic release, though Netflix could be a possibility.

A look back… Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1998)

david_hasselhoff_nick_fury.jpgAs fans across the nation (it already premiered overseas) await the release of the latest superhero epic, Captain America: Civil War, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look back to a simpler time when comic books were not looked upon as fodder for mega blockbusters. To a time when they were quickly forgotten TV movies of the week. To a time when the Hoff was Nick Fury.

At the time, Hasselhoff was in a position to reinvent himself, to a degree (keep in mind, this was Baywatch era Hoff) and acting as a tough-as-nails action hero sorta suits him. Even with the extremely limited resources, the TV movie is pretty good. It’s faithful to the source material (something fans complain about even in the face of the super successful feature films) down to the characters and vehicle designs. Aside from some cringe-worthy performances, the cast is pretty good too. And, it may be the headaches caused by eyestrain, but David Hasselhoff makes a picture perfect Nick Fury.

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Nick Fury by Lee Weeks

So while we sit in the comfy recliner or stadium seats tonight (or maybe later this weekend), enjoying a scintillating display of computer graphics, brilliant cinematography and high octane acting, remember that this torch was carried by so many during a time when no one… *NO ONE* cared for the silly books. And yet, some tried to do them justice. Yes… even the Hoff (and Rex Smith, too… I guess).