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Convergence of the Secret Wars

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Bob's Bloviating, Hey Fanboy!, HOLD322 | 0 comments

Hello, fanboys and fangirls, my given name’s Robert, but to those dozens of loyal Hold 322 listeners I’m better known as Ultimate Bob. As our show’s “staff of writer” it is my obligation to bring to you a weekly blog containing my ideas and opinions concerning comic books and all other things nerdy / geek. This week’s blog will be about the universe spanning events currently happening at the two big comic book publishers: Convergence at DC, and Secret Wars at Marvel.

When not hanging with celebs, JC and I do hasty research.

When not hanging with celebs, JC and I do hasty research.

Like many of you, we at Hold 322 have known Convergence and Secret Wars were on the horizon for some time now, but to be honest, until very recently I didn’t know the full scope of what they would entail or what the lasting impact of either event would be on their respective milieus. So in preparation for this blog, the radioactive professor JC Carter and myself did some hasty research (mine into Convergence and his into Secret Wars) and what follows is what we found out. Of course, what we found out is a lot, so put your safety helmet on, strap in securely, and let’s dig right in.

 

Brainiac_1Convergence:
The basic story idea of the event is that Superman’s enemy Brainiac (aka Computo, as Ultimate Stan dubbed him on Hold 322) has been collecting characters from different DC eras/timelines/continuities (such as pre-crisis, post-crisis, Zero Hour, etc.), and keeping them as specimens on his massive collector-ship. For whatever reason (I’m guessing boredom) he releases them all to see what happens. This means that this month (April) and next month (May) we get a nine part Convergence limited series and a slew of various one-shot Convergence related titles featuring all the mixed up, disparate characters released from Brainiac’s collector-ship.

When this is all over in June, there will be some ongoing changes at DC; most notably, 24 new ongoing titles will be Black_Canary_new_52added to the publisher’s monthly offerings. I won’t list them all in this blog (you can find them elsewhere on the internet with your fancy Google machine) but I will give my thoughts on a few of them for you. First off, Black Canary will get a new solo series set to be written by Brenden Fletcher, with art by Annie Wu. In a February press release, DC co-publisher Jim Lee said, “…fans of the Arrow television show may want more stories about Black Canary. Now they can find modern, fresh takes on the character in the pages of her standalone series…” But I have to wonder, will Fletcher (who has been the writer of Batgirl since Gail Simone’s departure from the book) write the Black Canary series in the same vein as the Arrow television show? I certainly hope not. The character as portrayed on the show is a far cry from the one that longtime comic book fans have known and loved. On Arrow, she is a terrible fighter and has no powers; not to mention the clear differences in personality and identity. I guess we’ll just have to see what Fletcher and Wu have in store for us in June.

Cyborg-New-52Cyborg (aka Victor Stone) will finally get his own monthly book, written by David L. Walker, with art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. I hope this series works out well, because Victor has been one of my favorite characters since he was included in the Justice League with the launch of the new 52 more than three years ago. He’s a tragic figure in many ways (father never openly loved him, and an accident has left him more machine than man) but he’s still managed to put aside his self pity and be an elite hero. I think this series has great potential and I hope that’s not wasted.
I’ll be interested to read Earth 2: Society (by writer Daniel H. Wilson and artist Jorge Jimenez), so I can continue to follow the adventures of the heroes I’ve come to love from Earth 2, Earth 2: World’s End, and Worlds’ Finest. I think the book Harley Quinn/Power Girl (by writers Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner and Justin Gray with artist Stephane Roux) offers a real odd couple, and I’m guessing though that this will be the new Power Girl created in a lab accident in the pages of Worlds’ Finest, and not Kara from Earth 2. I’m glad that Red Hood and the Outlaws is being broken up into two books (Red Hood/Arsenal by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Denis Medri, and Starfire by writers by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor, with artist Emanuela Lupacchino) and I hope the character of Starfire will be returned to one young girls can fully embrace as a fan favorite once again. There’s also a new book by Garth EnnisMaxwell Klinger (with art by John McCrea) called Section Eight. I didn’t know Ennis was a fellow fan of the classic TV series M*A*S*H, but it’s awesome that Corporal Klinger will finally get his own comic book series. (That was a joke, by the way, though I wish it were true.) And finally, I think it’s a good idea to have Vertigo creator Ming Doyle writing the new reboot of Constantine: the Hellblazer.

Jimmy and Superman by John Romita JrAside from all the new monthly titles, 25 established bestsellers will continue on in June from where they left off before Convergence; most with the same creative teams still in place. One change though will be that Geoff Johns will be stepping down as writer of the Superman series, though John Romita Jr. will remain as artist. I don’t know much about the writer taking over (Gene Luen Yang), but I wish him the best of luck following in Johns’ footsteps, and look forward to seeing what he has planned for the Man of Steel in the months to come. Another change is who will write Justice League United. The series will continue without original series writer Jeff Lemire who has jumped ship for Marvel where he’s now the new scribe for Hawkeye. The creative team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo will remain on the Batman series, though Snyder has promised a dramatically different book than what we’ve seen before. I’m curious to find out what that will entail.

Jim and Dan not only run DC, they are the new lords of Burbank; a fictional city just like Gotham.

Jim and Dan not only run DC, they are the new lords of Burbank; a fictional city just like Gotham.

But beyond new monthly titles, it appears that the biggest change Convergence will bring to the DCU is that it will essentially end the New 52 era as we’ve known it, and place much less emphasis on continuity, with a greater focus on creative freedom for their writers. In the previously sighted press release from February, DC’s other co-publisher, Dan DiDio said: “In this new era of storytelling, story will trump continuity as we continue to empower creators to tell the best stories in the industry.” I hope this plan works and we really do get great stories each and every month, but for that, only tell will tell.

 

And now, Secret Wars:
Basically, Marvel will strive to take all their divergent universes and continuities and smash them all together for a few months to see where the pieces land. The most notable and lasting result from all of this will be the end of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, and the inclusion of Miles Morales (the Ultimate Spider-Man) into the regular 616 Marvel continuity. While the Secret Wars rage on, there will be a plethora of new (mostly temporary) titles for you to read, if

You got your wish, True Believers... Millie is back for Secret Wars! Huh?

You got your wish, True Believers… Millie is back for Secret Wars! Huh?

you feel so inclined, and have that kind of time / cash on your hands. All of this will begin in May, with three main titles giving you the core of the sweeping storyline. These are: Secret Wars by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Esad Ribic; Secret Wars: Battleworld by Ed Brisson, James Stokoe, Josh Williams and others (this will be an out of control anthology series tackling everything from Punisher 1602 to Iron Man 2099, and every M.O.D.O.K. in between. I’m tired just thinking about it); and Secret Wars Journal by various writers and artists (this will be another anthology series; a smorgasbord of Marvel stars getting a slice of war-time turmoil with such characters as Misty Knight, Millie the Model, Night Nurse, Paladin, characters from the Young Avengers and the X-Men, and a host of others from all over the Marvel universe).

Also in May we’ll get the first 13 book wave of other Secret Wars related titles. Just to mentA-Force-Coverion a few of them, we have: Spider-Verse (yay!) by Mike Costa and Andre Aruajo (featuring Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man India, Spider-UK, Spider-Man Noir, and Mayday Parker); Planet Hulk by Sam Humphries and Marc Laming (no relation to the original Planet Hulk storyline; this one is about a Steve Rogers—instead of Moon Boy—riding around on Devil Dinosaur, fighting every Hulk ever… what was being smoked in the Marvel office the day this idea got green lit?); Old Man Logan by Brian Michael Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino; Ultimate End (which is, of course, about the end of the Ultimate Marvel Universe) by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley; Inhumans: Attilan Rising by Charles Soule and John Timms; Secret Wars 2099 by Peter David (who thinks Jeff Bell has the greatest voice ever) and Will Sliney; Deadpool’s Secret-Secret Wars (damn funny name) by Cullen Bunn and Matteo Lolli; and the much anticipated A-Force by G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Molina (featuring an all female Avengers team).

Why'd you crazy kids ever have to break up? *sob*

Why’d you crazy kids ever have to break up? *sob*

Well, damn that was a lot of titles, right? Sure was, but wait, there’s more! In June we get another 22 titles! A few notables are: Future Imperfect by Peter David and Greg Land; 1872 by Gerry Duggan and Evan Shaner (which looks to me to just be Marvel’s version of DC’s All-Star Western); Runaways by Noelle Stevenson and Sanford Greene; Marvel Zombies (Not again!) by Si Spurrier and Kev Walker, Star Lord and Kitty Pride by Sam Humphries and Alti Firmansyah; Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies (it takes a bad idea to kill an even worse bad idea) by James Robinson and Steve Pugh; Thors by Jason Aaron and Chris Sprouse, Ghost Racers (Is that about the ghost of Speed Racer?) by Felipe Smit and Juan Gedeon; Amazing Spider: Renew Your Vows (in which Peter Parker and Mary Jane are still married) by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert; 1602 Witch Hunter Angela by Kieron Gillen, Marguerite Bennett and Stephanie Hans (no Neil Gaiman?); X-Men 92 by Chris Sims, Chad Bowers and Scott Koblish (based on the 90’s cartoon that JC Carter only pretends to hate); Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps (this one had better be about Rebecca Frost and Danielle

Listen to Hello Sweetie every Wednesday at hellosweetiepodcast.com

Listen to Hello Sweetie every Wednesday at hellosweetiepodcast.com

UberAlles from the Hello Sweetie podcast. Why, you ask? Did you not see their awesome Cosplay at the last Con here in Salt Lake City? That’s why, duh) by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kelly Thompson and David Lopez; Giant-Size Little Marvel: AvX by Scottie Young; and Guardians of Knowhere by Brian Michael Bendis—seriously, how does he write so many books?

Well, shoot, there couldn’t possibly be more new titles spawning out of all this, could there? Yep. In July we will then get 8 more titles, because 35 just weren’t enough! They are: House of M by Dennis Hopeless; Siege by Kieron Gillen, Felipe Andrade, various artists; Red Skull by Joshua Williamson and Luca Pizzari; Spider Island by Christos Gage, Tom DeFalco, Paco Diaz and Ron Frenz; Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders by (okay, this one might be good just based on the creative team of) Al Ewing and Alan Davis; Hail Hydra by Rick (Mind Bubble) Remender and Roland Boschi; Civil War by Charles Soule and Leinil Yu; and finally, I hope, Age of Apocalypse by Fabian Nicieza and Gerardo Sandoval.

Whew. I’m exhausted, and you’re probably not even still reading this. I’m struggling to understand why Marvel thinks their readers want or need this many new, random titles to read, but we’re going to get them all the same. So in conclusion, despite some potential highlights, Convergence and Secret Wars may both just be excuses for writers at both DC and Marvel to wax nostalgic, and for their publishers to try for a quick money grab. If you intend to read all the new titles offered from both events, do our planet’s trees a favor and get them digitally; otherwise, that’s way too much paper wasted for stories that may or may not be worth your time to read them.

That's me!

That’s me!

Well, I think that concludes this week’s blog. Remember to subscribe to this here blog so you can join us for next week’s awesome bloviation from yours truly. Be sure also to listen to each and every episode of Hold 322, available every Tuesday from iTunes, Stitcher and Hold322.com; and if you wanna be just as cool as all the other cool kids are, you can follow me on the Twitter for all my insightful and zany tweets @Robert_A_Easton. Thanks for reading, friends.
Ultimate Bob
Alons-y!

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164 – Hold 322 – RIP Herb Trimpe

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in HOLD322, This Week | 1 comment

sabrinameetshellboyThis week on the World’s Greatest Comic Book podcast… Olivia Munn is Psylocke. Dominic Cooper is the Preacher. Katee Sackhoff is creating and starring in her own Sci-Fi TV series. Michelle MacLaren has left Wonder Woman citing creative differences. And Constantine is NOT cancelled. In comics, Archie is hunted by the Predator, Thor takes on the Destroyer and the Mighty Avengers wrap up their various plot threads in time for Secret Wars. And speaking of Secret Wars, Bob asks: “What’s going to happen with Convergence and Secret Wars?”

All this and the main reason we’re not getting a Hulk movie any time soon! Face front, true believers! It’s Hold 322!

#164 Hold 322 Podcast 

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Save Constantine

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in Bob's Bloviating, Hey Fanboy!, HOLD322 | 0 comments

Hello, fanboys and fangirls, I’m Robert, but to those dozens of loyal Hold 322 listeners I’m better known as Ultimate Bob. As our show’s “staff of writer” it is my obligation to bring to you a weekly blog containing my ideas and opinions concerning comic books and all other things nerdy / geek. This week’s blog will be about why Constantine is a great TV show, and how we, the fans, can do our part to ensure it gets a second season on the air.

Even Matt Ryan loves the show, see!

Even Matt Ryan loves the show, see!

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a tweet from Constantine producer and showrunner Daniel Cerone that mentioned his efforts to convince NBC to renew the series for a second season. He will (if he hasn’t already) be pitching his ideas for a second season to the network this month, most certainly suggesting ways he’ll improve on what is already a damn good show—thus (hopefully) boosting disappointing ratings—and then NBC will decide the show’s fate; by the end of May, at the latest. This will be a fairy monumental task for Mr. Cerone, and not because the show is terrible (it’s good, but there are ways it could be even better), but because, as I stated earlier, ratings for Constantine have been a bit too low.

I could blame the poor ratings on a Friday night time-slot, or poor marketing on NBC’s part (I know DC has been consistent in running ads for the show in all their books), but that may not be entirely fair. Most people these days (not me, I’m poor and don’t have cable or the internet at home, alas) don’t have to stay home on Friday night (or any other night for that matter) to watch a TV show, because they can watch it later on Hulu, On Demand, or recorded on their digital recording devices, etc. If enough fans were watching Constantine this way, it would offset poor ratings of a live broadcast; at least it should. I don’t work for NBC and don’t know how they operate when it comes to post-live-broadcast viewership, but if I did run a TV network, I’d place a lot of value on it.

Anyhow, I really have enjoyed watching Constantine this past year—though I wish we’d have gotten a full 22 episode

"Are you serious, John?" Zed asks. "NBC hasn't already given us a second season? Ridiculous."

“Are you serious, John?” Zed asks. “NBC hasn’t already given us a second season? Ridiculous.”

season, because I don’t feel the show had enough time to realize its potential. I think it’s a fair criticism that Constantine, far too often, fell prey to the “freak-of-the-week” formula, but it almost always takes a network show most of a full length season to find its unique voice and really hit its stride. What I feel has worked for Constantine thematically is that it (as Jeff Bell said on this week’s Hold 322) uses elements of religion and mythology without alienating believers or non-believers. It’s a show with protagonists who are not at all saintly–aren’t anywhere close to perfect—but they realize it is their responsibility to stand against the forces of darkness, even at great loss to themselves, simply because they know that if they don’t, no one else can.

The show’s cast is also tops, in my opinion. Last year, when they first announced that a Constantine TV show was in development, all of us on Hold 322 had opinions on which actors could or should play the title character, but none of us had Matt Ryan of our radars. To be honest (as JC carter admitted on this week’s Hold 322), none of us even knew who he was, but he is absolutely spot on as John Constantine. I can no longer imagine anyone else being able to play the role as well as he has. The other three members of the show’s regular cast: Charles Halford as Chas Chandler, Harold Perrineau as Manny, and the beautiful Angelica Celaya as Zed, are all also very well suited for their roles, and have provided many memorable moments to the series so far.

The awesome cast!

The awesome cast!

In the service of full disclosure, as I’ve mentioned on the podcast (and to strangers on the bus), Charles Halford was my acting teacher way back in 2001. He taught me a lot about acting for film, and I still consider him a friend, though we haven’t hung out in years. This said, the fact that I know him personally may have heightened my curiosity to watch the show, but has no effect on my esteem for his performance as Chas. True, there have been episodes where he has had little more to do than say “hi John”, but on episodes where Chas has been more central to the story (such as when he had to defend his daughter’s soul from the nefarious Felix Faust), Charles has shown superb depth of character and a strong screen presence.

constantine-poster-600x818If you agree with me that Constantine deserve a chance at a second season, you can help in a few ways. You (and all your friends whom you can convince to join with you in the effort) can watch past episodes of Constantine on whatever (legal, non pirated) services it might still be available on; you can use the hash-tag #SaveConstantine on twitter (be sure to tweet it @NBC while you’re at it), and you can sign the Save Constantine petition online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-constantine/

Well, I think that concludes this week’s blog. Remember to subscribe to this here blog so you can join us for next week’s awesome bloviation from yours truly. Be sure also to listen to each and every episode of Hold 322, available every Tuesday from iTunes, Stitcher and Hold322.com; and if you wanna be just as cool as all the other cool kids are, you can follow me on the Twitter for all my insightful and zany tweets @Robert_A_Easton. Thanks for reading, friends.
Alons-y!

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163 – Hold 322 – Daredevils

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in HOLD322, This Week | 0 comments

daredevil-posterThis week on the World’s Greatest Comic Book Podcast… we’ve been a little busy this past weekend… Daredevil premiered, after all… we have our take on that, AND the first gay Mormon superhero, DC leaves New York and pisses off retailers, and Paul Bettany as the Vision! In TV news, James Best has passed away, David Lynch left Twin Peaks, and Dark Matter is coming to SyFy. Bob asks about Constantine.

All this and porn parodies show up the Marvel/DC movies again! Face front, true believers! It’s Hold 322!

163 Hold 322 Podcast

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Blind Links

TV Links

 

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Ultimate Bob’s Starcraft Cast

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in Bob's Bloviating, HOLD322, Movies! | 0 comments

Hello, fanboys and fangirls, I’m Robert, but to those dozens of loyal Hold 322 listeners I’m better known as Ultimate Bob. As our show’s “staff of writer” it is my obligation to bring to you a weekly blog containing my ideas and opinions concerning comic books and all other things nerdy / geek. This week’s blog will be about my ideas for a feature film based on the bestselling, now classic 1998 video game, Starcraft.

 

starcraft_logo

 

It's a Zerg! Eek! Run!

It’s a Zerg! Eek! Run!

For several years now, it has been one of my dreams to write (and be paid lots of money for) a Starcraft screenplay. Given the chance I’d also love to produce or even direct the project. Of course none of those things are likely to happen, but since I’ve heard no news of a Starcraft film already in development, I can still dream about it, right?
I don’t want to use this blog to discuss all my ideas for the script, since it would follow fairly closely the story-line from the original game (and it’s expansion, Brood Wars) with only a few changes made to better make the story into a two hour film, but what I do want to write about are my ideas for the cast; at least for the seven main Terrain characters: Jim Raynor, Sarah Kerrigan, Arcturus Mengsk, Samir Duran, Edmund Duke, Alexei Stukov and Gerard DuGalle.

It's a Protoss! Cool! Run!

It’s a Protoss! Cool! Run!

Zerg and Protoss characters would likely be done by voice actors (preferably ones who did the voices for the games) and would be CGI or animatronics, so I won’t bother writing down casting ideas for them in this blog, either.
For anyone reading this blog who hasn’t played the game, the Zerg and the Protoss are alien races who battle with and against the human (Terrains) in the game. Also, go buy the game and play it as soon as you’re done reading this blog. You’ll love it, it’s freaking awesome!

Anyhow, without any further ado, this would be my first choice for a Starcraft cast:

Bradley Cooper as Jim Raynor

Bradley CooperJim Raynor_Illustrated Version

Jessica Chastain as Sarah Kerrigan (later, as a Zerg, the Queen of Blades)

 

Jessica ChastianSarah KerriganSarah Kerrigan as Zerg Queen
Jeff Bridges as Arcturus Mengsk

 

Jeff Bridges as Arcturus Mengsk
Idris Elba as Samir Duran

 

Idris ElbaSamir Duran
Billy Bob Thornton as Edmund Duke

 

Billy Bob ThorntonEdmund Duke_game image
Christoph Waltz as Alexei Stukov

 

Christoph WaltzAlexei Stukov
And Sir Ben Kingsley as Gerard DuGalle

 

Ben KingsleyGerard DuGalle
What do you think Starcraft fans? Did I get it right, or am I up in the night? Let me know in the comments what Hollywood actors would be in your dream Starcraft cast.
Well, I think that concludes this week’s blog. Remember to subscribe to this here blog so you can join us for next week’s awesome bloviation from yours truly. Be sure also to listen to each and every episode of Hold 322 available every Tuesday from iTunes, Stitcher and Hold322.com, and if you wanna be just as cool as all the other cool kids are, you can follow me on the Twitter for all my insightful and zany tweets @Robert_A_Easton. Thanks for reading, friends.
Alons-y!

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162 – Hold 322 – Star CraftTrekWars

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in HOLD322, This Week | 0 comments

TIFF_dp_FireplaceOnlineThis week on the World’s Greatest Comic Book Podcast! GLAAD honors Rat Queens, Ryan Reynolds models his Deadpool costume, the Muppet Show could be returning to TV, and IDW and DC are joining forces with Star Trek and Green Lantern! On TV, we have updates on our favorite shows from past and present, and even Stan throws his hat into the ring! In comics, JC reviews Content with Kaos from Hound Comics (and issues corrections for his previous review), and we continue with our hold updates! Bob asks: “What do you remember about the original Starcraft?”

All this and Listener Mail! Face front, true believers! It’s Hold 322!

#162 Hold 322 Podcast

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HOLD 322 LINKS 

‘Rat Queens’ wins GLAAD Media Award – Robot 6 @ Comic Book ResourcesRobot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

First Deadpool Movie Costume Image Is So Casual – /Film

ABC Eyes ‘Muppet Show’ Revival – Spinoff Online – TV, Film, and Entertainment News DailySpinoff Online – TV, Film, and Entertainment News Daily

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope: Roy Thomas, Howard Chaykin: 9780785193487: AmazonSmile: Books

IDW and DC Team up for Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War 

Talkie TV 

the next mind-bending chapter is coming! | The X-Files on Fox

Masi Oka Reprising Hiro Role In Heroes Reborn | Comicbook.com

AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ summer companion show gets its title

Hawkgirl Cast in Arrow/The Flash Spinoff | Comicbook.com

Stan Lee Teams with ‘Downton Abbey’ Producer Carnival on ‘Lucky Man’ | Variety

Nathan Fillion’s New Series Con Man Just Added A Ton Of Sci-Fi Stars

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