How I Would Have Done It: Power Rangers Super Megaforce by Jerry Whitworth
Since taking back the franchise, Saban Brands has had difficulty finding its groove with Power Rangers. Samurai and Super Samurai were seen as short, lackluster seasons (that ideally would have been a single season, counted as such among fans). Megaforce, the twenty year anniversary of Power Rangers, kept hinting toward introducing some means of celebrating the advent only to instead be simply a lead-up to Super Megaforce. In this latest season, the rangers of the previous season gain a power-up to their previous abilities that allow them to morph into any former ranger identity. A handful of episodes in and they’ve heavily made use of popular Power Rangers season S.P.D. and employed suits from a season that largely didn’t air in America (Gosei Sentai Dairanger whose KibaRanger, Daizinryu, mecha, and monsters were used in the second season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers). Thus far, episodes have mostly relied on the base material footage with extreme action and had little in the way of story (even footage shot for Power Rangers exclusively has thus far involved characters in their suits or congregating in the Command Center). Of course, as Power Rangers has traditionally made much of its profits from toy sales and the twentieth anniversary has spawned the popular Legacy collection toyline and DVD sets, it’s likely this move is intended to help sell products based on the new season making the episodes thus far glorified toy commercials. Reviews as of this writing have made note of the idea of selling past ranger transformations (and associated action figures and ranger keys merchandise) and of the transition of animal-based zords to a pirate theme for no given or apparent reason (the latter a major gripe with Turbo, the season that almost ended Power Rangers). Add the fact that towards the end of Saban’s first run and most of the Disney years of the franchise delved deeply into expanding plot, thus saving and maintaining the series for over a decade, and the seemingly mindless or inane effort for the latest crop of Power Rangers (which has included major stumbling blocks for returning cast members) may turn the celebration into a wake. It’s likely with this in mind Saban has decided to skip the next season of the source footage in order to return to the dinosaur theme (with Power Rangers Dino Charge) which the series was created upon in hopes the nostalgia factor can make up for the poor production. Lets see my take on how the season could have went.Read More
Gotham High: Shadow of the Bat by Jerry Whitworth
It was announced last month significant changes are in store for the Gotham television series coming to Fox. Originally suppose to feature a young James Gordon fighting crime in the city of Gotham, the series is now instead going to star a pre-teen Bruce Wayne and his journey to ultimately don the cowl of Batman in the series finale (more-or-less following the formula of Smallville). Slated to appear are other familiar faces like the Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, and Riddler. Of course, the idea is hardly an original one. In terms of Smallville, fans speculated character Adam Knight was a sly way of the show’s producers have Batman in the series despite his franchise being unavailable (Adam a homage to Adam West and Knight a wink to Dark Knight). However, not only did this prove to be false, writers for the show said it was never their intention to take that route. Jeffrey Thomas and Celeste Green developed an animated series called Gotham High after Thomas submitted the idea of a high school for Batman and his rogues and allies to DC Comics. The series, which featured over a dozen characters from Batman, would sadly be canceled before production started. Paul Dini and Kevin Smith, two heavyweights in the annals of geekdom, also collaborated on a proposed live action series in Shadow of the Bat featuring Bruce Wayne in a private school filled with familiar faces (Dini having already developed the series Tower Prep, essentially X-Men meets The Prisoner starring a teenage Batman-like character). With all of these prior attempts in mind, lets examine some possibilities in the new series.Read More
Review of Neverland: Age of Darkness by Jessica Curtis
Story: Joe Brusha
Writer: Dan Wickline
Colors: Renato Guerra
Pencils: Luca Claretti
After defeating Pan and rescuing John and Michael from Neverland, Nathan Cross is struggling to adapt to a normal life with Wendy. Nothing is ever so easy when it comes to Cross and his special talents are soon taken on by the Realm Knights. During Cross’ speculation of his life and the changes since he left Neverland you cannot help but get pulled into the story and the absolute irony of it. While Cross is grateful that his life hasn’t ‘gone down the drain’ a team of soldiers are down in the sewers investigating a portal that has suddenly appeared.Read More
Review: JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time by Jerry Whitworth
Part of some bizarre”stealth release,” JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time is a direct-to-video animated film available only in US brick-and-mortar Target stores released January 2014. Discovered by eagle-eyed fans who learned of the film through a Target store mailer roughly a week before its premier, absolutely no foreword was provided of the film be it an official announcement or from any of those involved making mention of it, its discovered existence largely a happy accident. Even more strange, several of the players behind the hit animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender worked on the film but little mention of this fact has been played up by Warner Bros. In any event, the film’s plot features a quasi-team-up of the Super Friends and Legion of Super-Heroes when a plan by the Legion of Doom goes awry seeing the group’s leader Lex Luthor emerge in the future. Once there, he acquires the means to time travel while uncovering Superman’s secret origin and returns to the past to make sure Superman never came to exist. Following the rogue are Karate Kid and Dawnstar, two applicants for the Legion of Super-Heroes who are responsible for Luthor’s release and who alert the Justice League of America of the coming threat. First, lets examine some of the themes of the film.Read More
The Hunter Should Take a Shot at Hollywood
By Jerry W. Vandal
Spider-Man is held tightly in the grasp of the Vulture as he flies low through the car packed streets of New York City. A news crew is bobbing and weaving through traffic as it attempts to keep up with the embattled foes. Vulture releases Spider-Man into the trunk of a car causing the arachnid hero to collide into and bounce defenselessly to the ground. The Vulture flies slightly overhead and grins victoriously. And then he looks up to see a silhouetted man barreling towards him. The burly man latches onto Vulture with a bear-hug like hold and drives the winged criminal onto the hood of a taxi (insert an appearance of Stan Lee as he peaks out of the window of his now wrecked cab). Vulture is out for the count.Read More
Same Bat-Series, New Bat-Features by Jerry Whitworth
Following a deal cut between Warner Bros and Fox over the Batman television series of the 1960s starring Adam West and Burt Ward (giving WB access to Fox’s original content in the franchise), fans knew it was only a matter of time before the series, long absent from home media, would finally find its way to DVD (albeit with a healthy dose of hesitation). A recent surprise announcement from comedian and late night television host Conan O’Brien on Twitter would provide fans the news they’ve waited nearly five decades to finally hear: Batman is coming home. Simply stating the series would come to DVD sometime in 2014, the three seasons of the famous show is said to have saved the Batman franchise at DC Comics (which had lagged in sales following the nationwide assault on the comic book industry in the 1950s, Batman kept alive through the efforts of Julius Schwartz and Carmine Infantino starting in 1964). Following the premier of Batman, not only would sales of Batman’s books thrive, the character became a cultural phenomenon in the United States (and in some ways across the planet) as DC Comics put the character front and center in titles like Justice League of America, World’s Finest Comics, and The Brave and the Bold (beginning to edge Superman out of his long held limelight at the company). The television series featured big name actors like Vincent Price, Milton Berle, Joan Collins, Cesar Romero, and Burgess Meredith (Clint Eastwood was considered to appear as Two-Face until the character was viewed too gruesome for the show’s audience). As with many DVD releases, perhaps as exciting for the series to be made available for home consumption is the desire for what special features will be included in the collection (especially for such a long awaited series). Lets take a look at some of the special features we may expect to see included with the set.Read More
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Sideshow Collectibles is very excited to announce a line of 1:4 Scale Premium Format Figure collectibles based on the upcoming film Captain America: the Winter Soldier are coming soon!
Each 1:4 Scale Premium Format Figure will feature authentic likeness to the actors, such as Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan, as their on screen characters – Captain America and Winter Soldier.
These upcoming Marvel must-have’s will be reporting for Pre-Order duty soon!
Plus, enter for a chance to win one of TWO(2) Hot Toys Captain America – Rescue Version Sixth Scale Figures today!Read More
Saturday, January 25 at 6 p.m.
Free copy of BOOM Studios’ new comic book CURSE signed by co-writer Michael Moreci when attendees sign up to become a Heros Initiative member
LOS ANGELES, CA (January, 9, 2014) In conjunction with the release of the new comic book CURSE by BOOM! Studios, Aw Yeah comic book store in Skokie, Illinois will be hosting a Hero Initiative membership party, Saturday, January 25 at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the membership drive will benefit Hero’s Initiative, the non-profit organization that aids comic creators in need.Read More
Superheroes in the Snow – Ion Empathy
The deepest outer space has an estimated background temperature of about minus 455°F. That’s what it feels like if you’re on the East Coast.
Don’t worry – your favorite Superheroes have gone through the same thing. Only with better resistance to the freezing cold than you or I have.
If you’d like to send me an image of your favorite Superhero in freezing weather, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add it to this article! Please tell me where the image came from if you know so I can credit them in this article.
1. Superman out side of the Super Museum from the Enjoy Illinois blog.Read More
Top 10: Seasons of Power Rangers by Jerry Whitworth
With the announcement by Shout! Factory that the final seasons of Disney’s Power Rangers run is coming to DVD next year (not to mention the awesome upcoming legacy collection in a collectible red ranger helmet), fans will finally be able to own the entire Power Rangers series on DVD. In the twenty years Power Rangers has been on the air, the series has been through many transitions as powers and zords changed and cast members came and went leading to new rangers almost every season as the norm today. Even the people who brought the series to the masses has changed hands as the show was fostered by Saban’s brand before being scooped up by Disney where Saban bought it back some years ago. Perhaps the one force that has stayed with the show longer than most (if not the longest) is Koichi Sakamoto, who joined Power Rangers with its third season as stunt coordinator and whose growing presence has ushered in arguably the most action packed seasons of the series (Sakamoto directed the upcoming anniversary reunion and season finale episode “Legendary Battle” of Power Rangers Super Megaforce based on the film Gokaiger Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle). Lets take a look now at the absolute best seasons of Power Rangers over its twenty years.Read More
Comic Art Commissions Artists Holiday Art 2013
The artists at Comic Art Commissions were asked to share their Holiday art and here are the ones I received from all kinds of artists – both traditional and digital. If you like the art you see – go to their Comic Art Commissions page and “Send Message” to them asking about commissions!
The ’80s – Geek Edition: Part Seven – Video Games by Jerry Whitworth
The earliest video games arose in the 1950s for the computer before expanding into the arcade market in the early ’70s and the at-home consoles that came soon after (making the newfound medium accessible for most people). While Magnavox and Coleco were early developers of consoles, undoubtedly the bigger success story was Atari. Founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, the company found early success with the game Pong before manufacturing the Video Computer System (VCS) console to the mass market. Launched in 1977, the VCS would be the best selling Christmas gift of 1979 (with the newly released game Adventure for that console that year selling a million copies becoming one of its top sellers of all time). The success of the VCS and growing popularity of video games inspired Mattel to develop the Intellivision as a direct competitor to Atari’s console which proved to be another hit (in a real way establishing the idea of one household having more than one gaming system). Atari, undeterred, had a move of its own in 1980 by porting the popular arcade game Space Invaders from Taito to the VCS (Williams Electronics would spawn the game Defender, which used Space Invaders and Asteroids! as inspiration, for the arcade in 1980 which was ported to the VCS two years later). Further, Atari continued producing arcade games as well, releasing the popular game Missile Command for the market that year (a port made for the home market that same year). However, a game would premier in the arcade market in 1980 that changed everything.Read More
From Page to Screen: The Defenders by Jerry Whitworth
Recently it was announced Marvel has inked a deal with Netflix to produce four series (thirteen episodes to a series) on four street level super hero characters. Series in the deal will be based on Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones culminating into a crossover mini-series called The Defenders. In the comics, the Defenders was known as the “non-team” generally featuring the most powerful heroic characters at Marvel (founded by Doctor Strange, Hulk, and Namor the Sub-Mariner with Silver Surfer soon after) who found it challenging to work with others that were joined by characters that generally were not at that time in the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, or Champions (like Nighthawk, Hellcat, Valkyrie, Son of Satan, Luke Cage, and Daredevil). What seems to be suggested, however, with the upcoming Defenders is something more akin to the Marvel Knights, an imprint at Marvel that generally focused on street level characters and has been used by fans to describe such heroes (like Spider-Man, Daredevil, Wolverine, Punisher, Luke Cage, and Moon Knight). Lets take a look at the four characters from the upcoming Defenders and what we may expect in their series.Read More
By Jerry W. Vandal
Thor: The Dark World introduces Malekith the Accursed to the cinema world—a dark elf bent on bringing Asgard and the other eight realms into the dark. Malekith played by Christopher Eccleston (G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra) is not a poor soul whose trying to get back at the world for some awful event in his life. He’s not a character trying to make the world better through his own image. He’s just not a very nice dark elf. While I don’t think Eccleston is captivating in the way that recent portrayals of Joker, Loki, Dr. Octopus or Magneto (both Fassbender and Mckellen)have been, I do think he served his role and it was a different to see a villain who was motivated simply by a need for destruction for the sake of destruction. Malekith is evil—there is no redemptive quality in him the way there is Loki. He’s a little two dimensional, but I think for Thor 2, that’s allowed to fly because Malekith isn’t the real story in this movie. His search for the Aether (a mystical energy that has substantial power) helps move the story along and gives Thor a direction in which to throw his hammer. That’s it though. He’s another conquest for Thor. And it’s an entertaining conquest—though not a thought provoking one. The bigger conflict in Thor: The Dark World is the familial relationship at the head of Asgard.Read More