Darkness, dread, and isolation are not themes unfamiliar through the vast landscape of Batman titles of yesteryear and today, but this week’s newest entry into the lore certainly ranks very highly in all of the aforementioned categories. And for that we applaud the creators, including writer Ray Fawkes and artist Ben Templesmith. Templesmith’s images are beautiful and disturbing in one, which only makes the story all the more effective. And what is that story? Well, if it were possible to blend seasoned bits of Constantine, X-Files, and Sherlock Holmes into one Gotham Goulash, you might be on to what is being cooked up for your eyes.
Fans of the supernatural, macabre, and dark world of Batman should give themselves an early Christmas present and pick up this book. You really won’t go wrong. And for the weak-kneed, sheltered lot of us out there, there’s always that My Little Pony book….just kidding.
Not too much of the Spider-Verse has really excited our team, but this week it has our attention with the release of Spider-Woman #1. Written by Dennis Hopeless with art by Greg Land, the debut issue is really part of a larger story that weaves itself through a multitude of Spider-Man related titles, which is the major drawback for this story. If you have not followed the Spider-Verse storyline or if you are unfamiliar with Jessica Drew as Spider-Woman, this is probably not the book for you. The issue begins as a pretty obvious chapter in the larger story and there is no real “get acquainted” exposition, relying on your familiarity with the source material. Outside of this, however, the book is well written with just the right levels of humor and action to make for some entertaining reading. Land’s art is pleasing to the eye and the “prohibition Spider-Man” and Silk characters are perfect companions to Jessica.
Also out this week is Punisher #12, which features Castle’s return to the streets of Los Angeles (after spending the last few issues in South America), with the help of his old friend (Rachel Alves-Cole from the Rucka Punisher run)…a nod to Nathan Edmonson for acknowledging the awesome story that preceded his and the continuity that it represents. For those waiting for Frank to dish out some justice to Dos Soles, your time has arrived. And he even sends an epic message to the Howling Commandos, who are still hot on his trail and determined to bring the greatest anti-hero in the Marvel stable down.
Spinning off the pages of the latest Marvel event, Axis, Tony Stark’s old demons have come back to haunt him setting off a dark new chapter for Marvel’s armored avenger. Writer Tom Taylor (Injustice: Gods Among Us, Earth-Two) takes the reigns for this new direction with the help of artist Yildiray Cinar (Huntress). Extremis 3.0 is unleashed by Tony Stark in what could be his biggest revenue-generating brainchild yet, but at what cost on the buying public? And what does Pepper Potts think of Tony’s plan? Rest assured, she has never been shy about giving Tony her honest opinion, but her concerns run deeper than the Stark Industry business agenda. And her contingency plan contains some surprising elements.
For those mature readers out there, Vertigo has a new release called The Kitchen which follows a group of street-wise females who earn their respect on the streets of New York when the men in their lives aren’t there to provide ill-gotten gains. We are sure it’s not for the squeamish, but Vertigo has given us some good titles over the past couple of years including the now-running Coffin Hill and New Deadwardians (favorites of ours). Check it out!
Once per month, we will be taking a look at movies released for the upcoming month, and telling our readers where we would be spending our movie dollars each week, based on the look of the trailers. Links to the chosen trailers will be provided so you can see just what we are so excited about. Movie release dates are subject to change.
Fridays in November are cold and often dreary, so let’s head to the theaters to shake off the malaise and have some fun! The seventh brings with it the release of the much-anticipated Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey as an astronaut and father who decides to go on a mission that may very well save mankind (no, not from a giant asteroid a la Armageddon). Christopher Nolan (Legend of the Dark Knight) directs. The Theory of Everything stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as Stephen and Jane Hawking, in their early years of life, love, and the pursuit of knowledge. Disney’s Big Hero 6 will set out to bring the superhero concept to the next animated level. We are betting on this one to be a Box Office juggernaut with cineplex’s chock full of kiddies and parents alike. Horror movie Jessabelle will try to capitalize on an audience who still has not gotten Halloween out of their systems, with a Cajun flavored haunting tale. The Better Angels is a biopic of sorts following the early years of Abraham Lincoln in what could be a very interesting entry, starring Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, and Wes Bentley. Frodo, er, we mean Elijah Wood continues with his move into the horror/thriller genre with Open Windows. The movie is being labeled as the Rear Window for a new tech generation as Wood attempts to save the life of his webcam infatuation from a sadistic killer. We are betting Alfred Hitchcock would be underwhelmed at the comparison. And On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter, documentary filmmakers bring us another look at the sport/recreation of motocross forty years after the original documentary aired. Our pick this week has to be with Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Last year’s big serious sci-fi extravaganza was Gravity, which while beautifully shot, had a less than impressive story. It seems we may have the opportunity for both in this release.
November 14th Foxcatcher is an amateur wrestling drama that serves as some new territory for actor Steve Carrel who takes on the role of famed sponsor John DuPont. Channing Tatum is Olympian Mark Schultz with Mark Ruffalo playing his brother in what appears to be a pretty riveting drama. Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels reunite in Dumb and Dumber To (sic) in what appears to be a sequel that recalls the quality of Ace Ventura 2. Get some new material guys! Jon Stewart directs Rosewater, a true story about a journalist who spent over a 100 days being tortured in an Iranian prison. The Toy Soldiers is a whoa is me drama about life in the 80’s, which looks utterly obnoxious (yes, we are getting very opinionated in this column…ha). Tommy Lee Jones and Hillary Swank are an unlikely pairing transporting three crazy women across Nebraska state lines in the frontier drama The Homesman. Kirk Cameron puts Christ back in Christmas in Saving Christmas. And finally, Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays a teen vocal phenom who struggles to handle her fame in Beyond the Lights. Looking at this line up, it appears that Foxcatcher is the winner. Check out the trailer below.
We already know what movie will rule the pre-Thanksgiving box office. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One will undoubtedly be the movie most people will venture to, but what other movie fare is out there for us? Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley star in the WWII drama about a team of British codebreakers called The Imitation Game. The third entry into another horror series, this one called V/H/S: Viral will spell doom for those who pursue the underground home movies that feature terror-filled and other-worldly phenomena. The Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal gets the big screen documentary treatment in Happy Valley. And Extraterrestrial will compete with V/H/S for that 18-35 male demographic as alien visitors show up to probe helpless victims foolish enough to chase the lights in the sky, featuring the GREAT Michael Ironside. At the risk of ticking off the Katniss fans out there, we’ll be putting our movie dollars into The Imitation Game. Though we also had a good chuckle at the Extraterrestrial trailer, which could end up being kind of fun, plus it has Michael Ironside darn it! Check both trailers out below (if you dare).
After all the turkey has been eaten and the football games are over, those of us who have the good fortune of having Friday off from work will be able to sleep a bit late and then think about some of that Christmas shopping that we’ll be needing to get around to. Since Black Friday crowds are not our proverbial cup of tea, however, we’ll need something else to do. Laughs will be in the offering as Horrible Bosses 2 hits theaters, starring Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. As well, families will have a nice option as the famous tuxedo birds from the awesome Madagascar movies get their own film in the simply titled Penguins of Madagascar. Remote Area Medical is a film about a group that offers medical services to rural folks who have no hospital and insurance access. Before I Disappear is a drama/comedy about a guy who is down on his luck, drug addled, and ready to check out on life when a relative calls and asks him the favor of watching her child. More horror ensues when a scary childhood storybook takes on sinister reality in The Babadook. And those of you looking for some Discovery-channel style big screen features will get the documentary Antarctica: A Year on Ice. Since Thanksgiving is a family weekend, we’ll be checking out those hilarious penguins with the whole crew in tow.
It is one day before Christmas and a young girl finds a mysterious box on her doorstep that holds within it a magic unseen. With the power to grant wishes, Penny will come to understand that things that are too good to be true can often bring one more trouble than pleasure.
Penny Dora & the Wishing Box is being sold as an all ages adventure, and can be a great story to share with your kids (not to mention the kid in you). Artist Scottie Young has plugged this Michael Stock written and Sina Grace drawn tale, and we could not agree more. Image has been churning out some awesome books, and we hope their streak continues!