Zombie Cities Violence vs Compassion Review

I reviewed the second Zombie Cities anthology from Australian publisher, Silver Fox Comics, here at Broken Frontier.

Zombie Cities VC

Man of Steel Blu-Ray and DVD on November 12

The latest Superman reboot, which I reviewed here will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 12, with a host of extras. Although the film had some issues, I’m looking forward to watching it again, and even more curious to see the 2015 sequel starring Ben Affleck as Batman. Official press release and images below.

“‘Man of Steel’ soars high.”

– Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

A HERO WILL RISE WHEN

Man of Steel

ARRIVES ONTO BLU-RAY 3D COMBO PACK,

BLU-RAY COMBO PACK, DVD 2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION, 3D LIMITED COLLECTOR’S EDITION and DIGITAL DOWNLOAD ON NOVEMBER 12 FROM

WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Blu-ray Combo Packs include nearly 4 hours of special features

All disc versions feature UltraViolet

The fate of mankind is in the hands of one man when “Man of Steel”Ô arrives onto Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD 2-disc Special Edition, 3D Limited Collector’s Edition and Digital Download on November 12 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. In “Man of Steel,” Clark Kent is forced to confront his extraterrestrial past and embrace his hidden powers when Earth is threatened with destruction.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes “Man of Steel,” starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Kal-El under the direction of Zack Snyder.

The film also stars four-time Oscar® nominee Amy Adams (“The Master,” 2012), Oscar® nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” 2008), Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner (“Dances with Wolves,” 1990), Oscar® nominee Diane Lane (“Unfaithful,” 2002), Oscar® nominee Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It,” 1993), Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, and Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe (“Gladiator,” 1992).

“Man of Steel” is produced by Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer & Nolan, based upon Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster and published by DC Entertainment. Thomas Tull, Lloyd Phillips and Jon Peters served as executive producers.

Man of Steel” will be available on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack for $44.95, on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99, on DVD 2-disc Special Edition for $28.98, and as a 3D Limited Collector’s Edition for $59.99.  The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition, hi-definition and standard definition; the Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition and standard definition; the DVD 2-disc Special Edition features the theatrical version in standard definition; and the 3D Limited Collector’s Edition features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition, hi-definition and standard definition, and also includes a limited release metal “S” glyph with lucite glass stand.  The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD 2-disc Special Edition and 3D Limited Collector’s Edition include UltraViolet* which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition theatrical version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players. 

SYNOPSIS

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth.  As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do.  But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

“Man of Steel” Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and 3D Limited Collector’s Edition contain the following special features:

  • ·         Journey of Discovery: Creating “Man of Steel” – This immersive feature-length experience allows you to watch the movie with director Zack Snyder and stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane and others as they share the incredible journey to re-imagine Superman.
  • ·         Strong Characters, Legendary Roles – Explore the legendary characters of the Superman mythology and how they have evolved in this new iteration of the Superman story.
  • ·         All-Out Action – Go inside the intense training regimen that sculpted Henry Cavill into the Man of Steel and Michael Shannon and Antje Traue into his Kyptonian nemeses.  Includes interviews with cast and crew.
  • ·         Krypton Decoded – Dylan Sprayberry (Clark Kent, age 13) gives the lowdown on all the amazing Krypton tech, weapons and spaceships featured in “Man of Steel.”
  • ·         Planet Krypton – The world’s first exploration of Krypton and its lost society.

“Man of Steel” DVD 2-disc Special Edition contains the following special features:

  • ·         Strong Characters, Legendary Roles
  • ·         All-Out Action
  • ·         Krypton Decoded

Man of Steel 3D Release

MOS_3DBD Combo_2D SKEW (7-30)

MOS_3DBD Combo_Premium_BeautyShot

 

Comic Book Heroes Review

Marvel and DC Comics are the two biggest English language comic book companies in the world, and it is their varied superheroic creations that have dominated cinema screens for the last few years. The comic industry as a whole has benefitted from such exposure, but for every character that is now a household name, there are dozens of small publishers trying for their big break.

Gestalt Comics is one such publisher. Founded in Perth in 2005 by Wolfgang Bylsma and Skye Ogden, the pair have managed to increase their output and get the attention, and praise, they deserve along the way, but it certainly isn’t an easy journey, as Comic Book Heroes, a new documentary reveals.

Conceived by director Nick Dunlop, and airing on Australia’s ABC on August 13 and 20,  it is a fascinating, and sometimes painful examination of the cost of following one’s dreams. Not just the credit card breaking financial cost either. The physical and emotional turmoil that is experienced by the pair, especially, Bylsma is at times harrowing, as frustrations rise and expletives fly.

Bylsma lives in Western Australia, and Ogden in Japan and both men have given Dunlop access to their varied, and harried, lives. It is beautifully shot, making the most of the locations of sunny Perth, sunny San Diego, and crowded Tokyo. The divergence between two guys in the suburbs and those same two guys rubbing shoulders with 125,000 other people at the pop culture perfect storm that is San Diego Comic-Con, means Comic Book Heroes is a delight to witness. For comics readers and those who aren’t, the film is an intriguing, informative and inspiring examination of what it really takes to pursue a specific ambition. There are the highs such as winning awards, and gaining appreciative readers, but there are also lonely times in hotel rooms, distanced from loved ones, the sleep depriving commitment of multi-time zone conversations online and the moments of sheer panic and disappointment that surface when depending on others.

There are moments of humour too, especially with the glimpses of Ogden’s life in Japan, living with his wife and in-laws, but primarily it is a refreshing, raw and honest look at aiming, and achieving, success in the comics industry. It is a world that most people don’t ever witness, and Bylsma and Ogden serve as two likeable, relatable guides, inviting us in to the world of deadlines, travelling and stress. It’s impossible not to witness their unpredictable trials and feel sympathy, and to somehow offer encouragement through the screen, as their resolve and determination faces continual opposition. For anyone who wants to know what it really takes to follow one’s vision, Comic Book Heroes is a must see, as it breaks the barrier between pleasant daydreams and cold, hard reality.

Dunlop followed Gestalt for two years, primarily throughout San Diego Comic-Con in 2011 and 2012, and the majority of the publisher’s talented creators are along for the journey, discussing and promoting the products of their hard work. This crew includes writer Tom Taylor (The Deep) who has also had success, with gigs for Dark Horse and DC Comics, Christian Read (The Eldritch Kid: Whisky and Hate), Emily Smith (Unmasked) and Justin Randall, whose two volumes of Changing Ways have piqued the interest of some of the producers of TV’s The Walking Dead.

Gestalt’s already impressive artwork from their established work looks even more beautiful with subtle motion added, and colouring bleeding to black and white pages. This effect, plus the multiple locations means that Comic Book Heroes is much more than a series of talking heads. Well edited and fast paced, it is a riveting portrait of the maddening dedication, as well as the personal victories and personal sacrifices, of bringing creativity from the suburbs to the international stage.

CBH Doco

Ghost Volume 1 Review

A superheroine from the ’90s is back in the latest volume collecting the adventures of Ghost. You can read my review right here.

Ghost TPB Cover

God Is Disappointed In You Review

Don’t be put off by the title. This new novel from Top Shelf is actually rather funny and genuine.

Read my full review right here.

god_is_disappointed_in_you_cover_lg

Stalag-X #1 Review

My review of the debut issue of Stalag-X, written by acclaimed novelist Kevin J. Anderson is here at Broken Frontier.

Stalag-X 001

 

Man of Steel Review

Here it is – my thoughts on Superman’s newest big screen epic. We here in Australia didn’t receive the film until about 2 weeks after most other countries, but it was worth the wait.

Read my full review here.

Man of Steel Superman

The Victories: Touched Review

Writer/artist Mike Avon Oeming’s 5 issue mini-series, The Victories is now available as a Trade Paperback from Dark Horse.

I review the collection of the mature superhero tale here at Broken Frontier.

TheVictoriesTPB

Porcelain: A Gothic Fairy Tale Review

In the current May Previews catalogue, for items set for release in July, is a beautifully realised OGN from indie publisher Improper Books.

Read my review of Porcelain right here, and you can find a trailer for Porcelain here.

porcelain-a-gothic-fairy-tale-cover-benjamin-read-chris-wildgoose-improper-books

Star Trek Into Darkness Review

At Sight you can check out my brief Star Trek sequel review.

Read it here.

ST Into Darkness

Iron Man 3 Review

At Broken Frontier you can check out my review of Iron Man 3. We got it here early in Australia, like we did with Thor, and Tintin. It opens in the rest of the world this week.

iron_man_three_ver9_xlg

Stuff I’ve Been Reading

Including some good stuff, and some not so good stuff.

One of my goals as of late has been to read more novels, and that’s what I’ve been doing on my lunch breaks at work. Over the last few months I’ve read Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson. It’s kind of in the vein of World War Z, but I much preferred Wilson’s 2011 book, and Steven Spielberg has been attached to a film version for a while, but that’s now on hold. I also read, or rather almost finished Eric Van Lustbader’s The Bourne Deception. I picked it up for $5 at one of those discount book warehouses not far from my workplace, but with its expanding list of characters, and ties to previous novels in Lustbader’s Bourne books, I just couldn’t keep reading it every day when I knew I had other books waiting for me . I treat films the same way. I give them 30 mins and if they don’t grab me, I stop watching. The most recent film to suffer from my cinematic snobbery was Bachelorette.

Thankfully, even though I’m spending less on comics now, I still enjoy my weekly trip to the local comic book shops, and the library now holds new monthly issues of Marvel, DC and Image series. This is good news, and I hope many other libraries do this too. Two of the women who work there are impressively knowledgeable about comics, clearly beings fans, and I always make  a point to talk to them about sequential art.

This is how I’ve been reading Indestructible Hulk by Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu, and All New X-men by Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen and David Marquez. I’ve read the first 6 issues of the Green Goliath’s adventures, and it’s the best run I’ve read since Peter David’s game changing approach in the ’90s. So far it’s featured a sympathetic Bruce Banner who now works for S.H.I.E.L.D and features wit and drama, plus surprises like appearances by the Quintronic Man, and undersea tyrant Attuma. The latest issue is drawn by Walt Simonson and although his style is quite different from Yu’s, the legendary penciller known mainly for his epic run on Thor, excels here, plus throws in a mysterious retro look for the Norse hammer wielder too.

Indestructible Hulk is like Waid’s current work on Daredevil. It may not always be accessible to newbies, but it’s fun, intense superhero action.

Apart from Injustice: Gods Among Us, the videogame tie-in that’s rocketing up the sales charts, my other fave ongoing at the moment is All New X-Men. Yes, it’s yet another fresh relaunch, but this time it actually is fresh. In short, Beast, sensing his demise due to his growing mutations, gets so desperate that he travels back in time to the original five X-Men and asks them to see how dangerous, and cynical Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops has become. I’d say many of the readers who grew up reading the original X-Men adventures in the ’60s aren’t reading today’s version, but the naivete of the founding members clashing with their vastly different counterparts, and the far scarier world they left is a great set up. Stuart Immonen is one of my fave artists and his 5 issues kicked things off tremendously, and David Marquez carries on the oh so pretty visuals. Immonen is back for a while though, with the current ish (#9) showing what he can do with a great battle against giant robotic Sentinels.

hulk2012006_dc11_lr_0001_02

All New X-Men 9

 

This Week’s Winners

East of West #1East of West #1. Another month, another possible hit series from Image Comics. Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta bring us this inspired Western/sci-fi tale. It begins with three naked children (with the rude bits obscured obviously) appearing in the middle of the desert through a Stonehenge-like monument, but they are missing their fourth companion.

As is the case with Hickman, this is filled with big ideas, but thankfully they remain a springboard for an interesting story. The basis for that story is that after America’s Civil War, a meteor landed, and ended the hostilities, and created the Seven Nations of America. On the same day, Prophet Longstreet, and chief Red Cloud penned some important writings and promptly died, while years later Mao Zedong finished their work with his own writings, on his deathbed. These works came to be known as the Message. Like I said – big ideas.

In the future, three pale beings walk in to a bar, and seeing as two of the three are unwelcome Indians, and they’re in a bar filled with Union soldiers, a fight brews. Well, it’s a fight we don’t see until it’s over and then we see blood soaked pages, to be followed later by more of the same.

It turns out that the three warriors are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and yes, they are missing one, which I’m guessing will lead to a frenzied team-up, or cool showdown, or both.

Dragotta’s character designs are great. The three protagonists look like fighters from an unmade Street Fighter game, but with devoid eyes ready for cruelty. It makes them an interesting choice for lead characters actually, as so far, there’s nothing heroic or sympathetic about them, but we do know bad things have been done to them and they aim to seek justice. The first stop is the President, who must pay for his past crimes.

The setting is great too, and at times it merges Blade Runner with any John Wayne Western and it looks grand.

As an extra length debut, it’s very impressive and Hickman doesn’t get bogged down with huge concepts to make the tale impenetrable, and sets out the link between the kids at the start and the adults in the bulk of the issue, so we don’t feel frustrated at the lack of answers just yet. However, there are plenty of intriguing questions left.

SavageSkullkickers1Savage Skullkickers #1. Paying homage to Frank Cho’s recent Savage Wolverine #1 is this fun fantasy series by Jim Zubkavich and Edwin Huang. It’s actually issue 20, but is rebranded to have a little fun, so last month was Uncanny Skullkickers, next month it becomes Mighty Skullkickers, May sees it morph in to The All-New Secret Skullkickers and in June it becomes Dark Skullkickers. It’s hard not to love a series that takes such fun in ribbing the often frustrating reboots of Marvel and DC with such boldness.

Now, I haven’t read this series for months, and this is part two of a story entitled Eighty Eyes on an Evil Island, but it all made sense to me, and that’s a great bonus, as so few series these days are newbie friendly.

The playfulness kicks off immediately with a naked dwarf (one of the series’ heroes) landing in a pile of bones, while dialogue boxes from a narrator break the fourth wall, referring to the previous narrator, who died in issue 17.

After reading this issue I now regret not reading all the previous issues. I haven’t laughed this much from a comic since Axe Cop, and The Goon. There’s just so much to love here, from the dwarf’s ignorance of the deathly serious situation he finds himself in, to  his fellow warriors’ ape fighting in the jungle to the constant narration, and dialogue, that is just filled with superb comic timing.

There’s also a few bonus pages here, showing off the amazing fan art that shows Skullkickers has many talented fans, and after enjoying this issue, I can confidently say that it deserves even more. Well paced, funny, and two plots that both look to be heading to some far out places. Yep, Skullkickers is a fun comic. We need more of those.

It looks great too. Huang’s manga-ish art is just joyful and expressive and Misty Coast and Ross A. Campbell’s colours give the pages the vibrancy that the story and art demand. The whole package looks like an adaptation of a crazy anime that was never made, because it was too out there for any studio.

 

The Massive Vol. One Review

At Broken Frontier you can now read my review of the first collection of the excellent series The Massive from Dark Horse Comics.

Read it right here.

The Massive TPB

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