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Friday, June 30, 2017

DC Rebirth: One Year Later


It's been one year since DC Comics relaunched their fictional universe with all-new number one issues in what they called "DC Rebirth."  After looking at the Top 300 Comics sales list for May 2017, I thought it might be interesting to see how well the latest DC Universe relaunch is performing in the long term.

As expected, the big winner of the DC Rebirth relaunch is Batman.  As one of DC's biweekly titles, Batman had the unenviable task of following an incredible run by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo during The New 52 era, but writer Tom King and rotating artists David Finch and Mikel Janin have more than proven themselves.  Issues #22 and #23 charted at #3 and #7 respectively in the Top 300, although #22 was part of "The Button" crossover storyline with The Flash that featured an lenticular cover.  

And speaking of The Flash, that series is definitely the surprise winner of DC Rebirth. Issues #22 and #23 chart at #4 and #23 respectively, with The Flash #22 featuring "The Button" crossover with Batman and a lenticular cover.  The creative team of Joshua Williamson and Carmine Di Giandomenico have been positively killing it, a welcome improvement from The New 52, where the title languished around the Top 50 mark.

All-Star Batman, from Scott Snyder and various artists, has also been strong and charts at #15, an impressive feat considering the book costs $4.99 a month.  Unfortunately, the title is ending with issue #14 this September, presumably because Snyder is moving on to New Challengers later this year, which means DC will lose one of its strongest sellers.

Detective Comics also does well, proving fans can't get enough of Batman books as long as they're done decently.  Issues #956 and #957 come in at #19 and #20 on the Top 300, showing that the idea to feature Batman and a team of Batman-related heroes was a good one.  It's a shame though, that Batwoman does well as a team member here but her solo series only comes in at #81.

After the main Batman titles, Justice League turns up in the #21 and #22 position, apparently showing a little fatigue after spending most of Rebirth's first year around the Top 10 spot. Writer Bryan Hitch has received considerable criticism online from fans tired of the rather dull and lifeless storylines without recognizable villains, so perhaps some of them are finally giving up on the series.  #21 and #22 is still nothing to sneeze at though, so I wouldn't expect a creative change any time soon.

Thankfully, Superman is close behind, with issues #22 and #23 charting at #25 and #28 on the Top 300.  Writer Peter Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason continue performing as a solid creative team after their terrific work on Batman and Robin as part of The New 52.  DC Rebirth has been wonderful to Superman fans, restoring the Pre-Flashpoint Superman with Lois as his wife and the addition of Jon Kent, a.k.a. Superboy.  Who knew that making Superman a cool dad was exactly what the character needed?

Another big surprise is Titans, which charts at #31 for issue #11.  Dan Abnett seems to be the first writer since Geoff Johns to really "get" the Titans, as he successfully balances the superteam heroics with the awareness that the team's close friendship with one another feels like family.  The art by Brett Booth could be better, especially with his rather cartoonish facial depictions, but as with Justice League, DC isn't about to mess with the creative team as long as the sales hold up.

As for the rest, there are only a few standouts of note.  Wonder Woman got a creative boost from Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp, but the creators' final issue arrived this week and replacement writer James Robinson won't arrive for another six issues.  Dan Jurgens has been telling solid Superman stories once again in Action Comics, while Dan Abnett has been doing some serious worldbuilding in Aquaman although sales haven't been kind. Hopefully, that will change with the stunning work from new artist Stjepan Šejić.

For anyone wondering, here are the DC Rebirth titles I started off with one year ago:

Action Comics                                                Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps
All-Star Batman                                              Harley Quinn
Aquaman                                                        Hellblazer
Batgirl                                                             Justice League
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey                           Nightwing                          
Batman                                                           Suicide Squad
Cyborg                                                            Supergirl
Deathstroke                                                    Superman
Detective Comics                                            Superwoman
The Flash                                                        Teen Titans
Green Arrow                                                    Titans
Green Lanterns                                               Wonder Woman

And now, here are the DC Rebirth titles I'm currently getting, with new additions in bolded italics:

Action Comics                                                 Hellblazer
All-Star Batman                                              Justice League
Aquaman                                                        Justice League of America
Batman                                                           Nightwing
Batwoman                                                     Suicide Squad                     
Batman                                                           Supergirl
Cyborg                                                            Superman
Deathstroke                                                    Teen Titans
Detective Comics                                            Titans
The Flash                                                        Wonder Woman                                                

An overall net loss of four books, but pretty much consistent.  The most noticeable losses here are both Green Lantern titles, which continue being unable to meet the high bar set by Geoff Johns before Flashpoint, and both Batgirl titles, which aren't as strong as Gail Simone's or even Cameron Stewart and Brent Fletcher's runs in The New 52.  Harley Quinn is exactly the same book I ended up dropping during The New 52 and the lower sales are beginning to reflect that I'm not the only one who wants a change.  

The good news about DC Rebirth is that one year later, none of the original books have been cancelled.  (Okay, All-Star Batman is ending, but that seems more of a creative decision rather than sales.)  However, the bad news is that a number of titles emphasizing diversity have failed to catch on and probably won't make it to 2018, such as Cyborg, Blue Beetle, New Super-Man, and Superwoman.  Also, DC still hasn't figured out that the only Hellblazer we want to read involves top-notch British creators telling stories of true horror that aren't watered down with "swearing" using skull symbols.  It seems odd though, that DC doesn't have anything lined up to replace these books yet, unless you count their upcoming Dark Matter line with the aforementioned New Challengers and Jim Lee's The Immortal Men.

Oh, and I should mention that the main reason DC Rebirth is performing so well is probably due to the superb initial offering of DC Universe: Rebirth #1, followed by more of DC recapturing what their readers enjoyed prior to The New 52.  Unlike Marvel, which remains clueless about what its core readership actually wants, DC learned from the mistakes of The New 52 and addressed those mistakes with an engaging mystery woven throughout the Rebirth era.  Even better, there's still more to come, with Geoff Johns wrapping up that mystery in Doomsday Clock, Snyder and Capullo returning for the Metal event, and teasing hints that the Justice Society of America and the Legion of Super-Heroes will finally be back in play relatively soon.

Once again, it's a great time to be a DC Comics fan.  On to Year Two!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 088: "World Enough and Time" is Up!


"Well, I am that mysterious adventurer in all of time and space known only as Doctor Who. These are my disposables, Exposition and Comic Relief."
-- Missy to Jorj, Doctor Who: "World Enough and Time"

That's right, my partner in time Jesse Jackson and I are back with a new episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  In this episode, Jesse and I review "World Enough and Time", the eleventh episode from Series Ten, starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, Matt Lucas as Nardole, and Michelle Gomez as Missy!

This time, Jesse and I discuss things like Jesse being Captain Grumpy, yet another regeneration tease, reaching the ultimate version of Capaldi hair, Tony Bennett, Dark Matter, Missy posing as "Doctor Who", Steven Moffat's passive/aggressive relationship with Doctor Who fans, me being freaked out by Dark Jesse, Kung Pow!: Enter the Fist, a surprise call from Jesse's son Chris, finally seeing the origin of the "real" Cybermen, the Master's love of disguises, Bill becoming the new Danny Pink, the Cybermen getting their own "Genesis of the Daleks", what those Cybermen handlebars actually do, wondering how Missy doesn't remember posing as Mr. Razer, the poem "To His Coy Mistress", the Big Finish origin of the Cybermen Spare Partsmy Reverse the Polarity segment, new feedback from Holly from Wisconsin and Paul from Australia, and more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

Google Play Music -- RIGHT HERE
iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Stitcher -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn --  RIGHT HERE
Next Stop Everywhere's Facebook page
Next Stop Everywhere's Twitter account

And hey, if you'd like to pick up the officially official Next Stop Everywhere t-shirt, you can find it on TeePublic right HERE!  Help support the show and feel free to post pictures on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back next week as Jesse and I review "The Doctor Falls", the twelfth and final episode from Series Ten, starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, and Matt Lucas as Nardole!  Look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Marvel Officially Debuts First INHUMANS Trailer


Lockjaw.  It's all about Lockjaw.

Marvel has officially released the first trailer for the upcoming ABC series Inhumans, based on the Marvel Comics superteam.  The trailer was first leaked a couple of weeks ago, presumably from showrunner Scott Buck if the "Scott B." watermark was any indication.

The Inhumans are a race of hybrid alien-human superbeings who have undergone a transformative "terrigenesis," a process that unlocks sometimes strange, but uniquely powerful gifts.  After a military coup, the Inhuman Royal Family escape to Hawaii, where they must save themselves and the world.  The series stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Serinda Swan as Medusa, Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, Iwan Rheon as MaximusEme Ikwuakor as Gorgon, and Ken Leung as Karnak.

The one-minute, 55-second trailer opens on the moon, inside the Inhumans' city of Attilan, where we hear a voiceover from Maximus, who warns Black Bolt, "Sooner or later, the humans are going to find us up here.  You should've known this day was coming."

We see the Inhumans' Royal Family sitting rather somberly at a dining table.  We continue hearing Maximus as he addresses the Royal Family.  "Are we supposed to follow our king and remain as silent as he is?  We need to go to Earth now.  We've been hiding here too long, let's go to our rightful home!"  Black Bolt and Medusa don't appear to agree with Maximus on this one.

Maximus address a large gathering of Inhumans, saying "If we were on Earth, we would have a glorious planet to live on, thrive on!"

"You're talking about betraying your brother," remarks Medusa as we see Maximus and his men holding her captive.  "You're talking about treason."

"You're blind to his intentions," advises Karnak.  "Right or wrong, he's dangerous."

We see Crystal, Medusa's sister, being led away by armed guards as we hear Maximus once again.  "What I'm talking about is freedom, freedom for all Inhumans."

Maximus confronts Black Bolt, seeming held in isolation.  "Are you going to use your voice to kill your only brother?" he says, as Black Bolt seethes and is about to do just that.  Armed guards come in to protect Maximus, but suddenly, the Inhuman bulldog Lockjaw teleports in and teleports right back out with Black Bolt, freeing him.

Lockjaw and Black Bolt arrive on Earth in Hawaii, materializing right in the middle of downtown traffic.  We see a glimpse of Black Bolt's cousin Triton (Mike Moh) and Auran (Sonya Balmores) dodging gunfire in a rainy forest, which is followed by a brief scene of Black Bolt in a standard Earth two-piece suit, running down the street being chased by police.

"We will not let anyone or anything stop us!" remarks Maximus to the Inhumans as we see fleeting images of the Royal Family being hunted.  "We will create our destiny.  Nothing can keep us from being free!"

Lastly, on Earth, the police start hitting Black Bolt with collapsible batons, causing him to grunt in pain, which sends a police car flying.  A quick scene follows of Lockjaw heeling and wagging his tail playfully.

If you'd like to check out the trailer, you can view it below thanks to the official Marvel Entertainment account on YouTube...




The first two episodes of Inhumans will first debut in IMAX theaters on September 1, 2017, followed by the ABC television series that premieres on September 29, 2017.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

GHOSTWOOD 010: "The Return, Part 7" is Up!


"I think I'm high!"
"Oh good lord, Jerry."
"I don't know where I am!"
-- Jerry Horne and Ben Horne, Twin Peaks: "The Return, Part 7"

It is happening again...My co-host with the most Xan Sprouse and I are back once again with a new episode of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast!  This time, we review "The Return, Part 7" from the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks!

LET'S ROCK!

In our tenth episode, Xan and I discuss things like Skype product placement, Ashley Judd cheating on Wesley Crusher, Star Trek: The Next Generation, shit shovels being the red herring of the 21st century, wondering if Jerry Horne was abducted in Ghostwood forest, finally finding (most of) the missing pages of Laura Palmer's diary, the Annie Blackburn scene in Fire Walk with Me finally mattering, speculating where the final missing page of Laura's diary might be, the return of Warren Frost as Doc Hayward, Sheriff Frank Truman's really cool desk monitor, Groucho Marx in Animal Crackers, the implication that Richard Horne is the son of Doppelganger Cooper, wondering who pulled Major Briggs' fingerprints 15 times, Diane's great apartment, Gordon Cole as Jack Crawford or Dr. Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, wondering if Doppelganger Cooper or Good Cooper spent that last night with Diane, wondering what the talk between Diane and Gordon will be about, Xan admitting she watched Pixels, Janey-E taking care of business, the sudden reappearance of the Doppelganger Arm, wondering if Josie is staging a comeback in the Great Northern Hotel, the really bad sweeper at the Roadhouse, wondering if One-Eyed Jack's is still around, Andy being WAY too trusting of suspicious bad guys, German metal bands Rammstein and Laibach, my first exposure to Motörhead, Animal from The Muppets as BOBand more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn --  RIGHT HERE
YouTube -- RIGHT HERE
Ghostwood's Facebook page
Ghostwood's Twitter account

Be sure to come back next week as Xan and I review "The Return, Part 8", the surreal next episode of the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks!  Look for more of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast on iTunes, YouTube, Libsyn, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

HAN SOLO Directors Fired, Ron Howard is Top Pick for Replacement


There are a lot of Star Wars fans having a bad feeling about this.

According to Variety, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the directors of the upcoming untitled Han Solo film, have been fired by LucasFilm after clashing with producer Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas' successor.  The decision comes as the film still has several weeks left to shoot.  An additional several weeks of reshoots have been planned to take place later this summer.

Kennedy said in a statement, "Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways."

Kennedy promised a new director would be announced shortly.  Variety's sources say that Ron Howard is in talks to take over the film, but there's no deal yet.  Joe Johnston is also reportedly under consideration.

The film is centered on a young Han Solo, the roguish smuggler who later meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley Cantina in 1977's Star Warsand his adventures with his Wookiee partner Chewbacca, including their encounter with Lando Calrissian.

The cast includes Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Woody Harrelson as Han's criminal mentor Beckett, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

"Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project," said Lord and Miller in a statement.  "We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true.  We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew."

According to the article, "Miller and Lord were stunned to find that they were not being granted freedom to run the production in the manner that they were accustomed to. They balked at Kennedy’s tight control on the set."

Variety's source with knowledge of the production said the chemistry between the directors and Kennedy was never right.  "It was a culture clash from day one," said their source. "She didn’t even like the way they folded their socks."  In addition, Kennedy reportedly didn't approve of their shooting style and process of interacting with actors and crew.  "They weren’t given the leeway to do what they had to do," claimed the source.

The article also claims Lord and Miller also clashed with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who has been involved with several Star Wars movies, since The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Kasdan reportedly also questioned many of their directing decisions.  "Kathy, her team and Larry Kasdan have been doing it their way for a very long time," said Variety's source. "They know how the cheese is made and that’s how they want it made.  It became a very polarizing set."

The article continued, "Some insiders believe that while Kennedy wants to make a splash by hiring young indie directors such as Gareth Edwards (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), she’s ultimately unwilling to empower them to make their own creative decisions."

The Han Solo film is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 25, 2018.

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 087: "The Eaters of Light" is Up!


"That's the trouble with hope.  It's hard to resist."
-- The Twelfth Doctor to Missy, Doctor Who: "The Eaters of Light"

That's right, my partner in time Jesse Jackson and I are back with a new episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  In this episode, Jesse and I review "The Eaters of Light", the tenth episode from Series Ten, starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, Matt Lucas as Nardole, and Michelle Gomez as Missy!

This time, Jesse and I discuss things like Jesse and I spending Father's Day, the return of original series writer Rona Munro, fun with Roman numerals, a Scottish Doctor in Scotland, using the TARDIS just to settle an argument, Nardole rocking his bathrobe and beanie, the mystery of the Ninth Legion, Nardole easily settling in with groups he encounters, Bill's sexuality being "restrictive" compared to the Romans, wondering why Nardole carries around a bag of unpopped popcorn, Missy once again stowing away aboard the TARDIS, Missy's quest for redemptionmy Reverse the Polarity segment, new feedback from Holly from Wisconsin and Paul from Australia, and more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

Google Play Music -- RIGHT HERE
iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Stitcher -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn --  RIGHT HERE
Next Stop Everywhere's Facebook page
Next Stop Everywhere's Twitter account

And hey, if you'd like to pick up the officially official Next Stop Everywhere t-shirt, you can find it on TeePublic right HERE!  Help support the show and feel free to post pictures on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back next week as Jesse and I review "World Enough and Time", the eleventh episode from Series Ten, starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, and Matt Lucas as Nardole!  Look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

WATCHMEN TV Series in Development at HBO


"Nothing ends, Adrian.  Nothing ever ends."
-- Doctor Manhattan to Ozymandias, Watchmen

The Hollywood Reporter stated yesterday that HBO is developing an adaptation of the critically-acclaimed DC Comics maxi-series Watchmen, with Damon Lindelof in talks to oversee the project as showrunner.

Lindelof, 44, is best known as the co-creator and showrunner of the ABC series Lost and as the co-creator of the HBO series The Leftovers.  He also served as writer and producer of the movies Star Trek Into Darkness, Prometheus, Tomorrowland, and Cowboys & Aliens.

According to the article, Lindelof originally read the comics as a kid in the 1980s and the series continues to influence his work.  "From the flashbacks to the nonlinear storytelling to the deeply flawed heroes, these are all elements that I try to put into everything I write," he told Comic Book Resources in 2009 ahead of the Watchmen film by director Zack Snyder. The article also claims that Lindelof has read Watchmen multiple times and praised Snyder's film.  "It's the most married-to-the-original-text version of Watchmen that could've been made," he told the Observer at the time.  "It's OK with me if people don't understand it because they don't deserve to understand it."

Snyder is no longer attached to the drama project from Warner Bros. Television, which was first rumored to be in preliminary discussions with HBO back in 2015.

Created in 1986 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen was a 12-issue maxi-series set in an alternate reality that closely mirrors the contemporary world of the 1980s, but with the presence of superheroes that has altered the outcome of real-world events.  In keeping with the realism of the series, the costumed crimefighters of Watchmen are commonly called "superheroes", but only one, Doctor Manhattan, possesses superhuman powers. The war in Vietnam ends with a U.S. victory in 1971 and Richard Nixon is still president as of October 1985.  When the story begins, the existence of Doctor Manhattan has given the U.S. a strategic advantage over the Soviet Union, which has increased tensions between the two nations. Eventually, superheroes grow unpopular among the police and the public, leading to the passage of legislation, the Keene Act, in 1977 to outlaw them.  While many of the heroes retired, Doctor Manhattan and a veteran superhero known as The Comedian operate as government-sanctioned agents.  Another, Rorschach, continues to operate outside the law as a vigilante.

In October 1985, New York City police investigate the murder of a man named Edward Blake.  With the police having no leads, Rorschach decides to probe further.  Discovering Blake to be the face behind The Comedian, Rorschach believes he has discovered a plot to terminate costumed adventurers and sets about warning four of his retired comrades -- Dan Dreiberg (formerly the second Nite Owl), the emotionally detached Doctor Manhattan and his lover Laurie Juspeczyk (the second Silk Spectre), and Adrian Veidt (once the hero Ozymandias), a successful businessman.

After Blake's funeral, Manhattan is accused on national television of being the cause of cancer in friends and former colleagues.  When the U.S. government takes the accusations seriously, Manhattan exiles himself to Mars.  As Manhattan is one of the United States' greatest military powers, his departure throws humanity into political turmoil, with the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan to capitalize on the perceived American weakness. Rorschach's concerns appear vindicated when Adrian Veidt narrowly survives an assassination attempt, and Rorschach himself is framed for murdering Moloch, a former supervillain, and imprisoned.  Nite Owl and Rorschach work to uncover the conspiracy surrounding the death of The Comedian and the accusations that drove Manhattan into exile.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

GHOSTWOOD 009: "The Return, Part 6" is Up!


"Fuck Gene Kelly, you motherfucker!"
-- Albert Rosenfield, Twin Peaks: "The Return, Part 6"

It is happening again...My co-host with the most Xan Sprouse and I are back once again with a new episode of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast!  This time, we review "The Return, Part 6", the sixth episode of the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks!

LET'S ROCK!

In our ninth episode, Xan and I discuss things like characters not liking Dougie, Cooper interacting with Sonny Jim, needing a Dougie prequel called Fire Walk with Dougie, Dougie and Janey-E's garmonbozia decor preference, quirky actor Jeremy Davies, Janey-E impressing the loan sharks, the return of that traffic stoplight, Mike the one-armed man being fed up with waiting for Cooper to get his act together, the Twin Peaks Savings & Loan bank manager getting forced retirement, the long-awaited introduction of Laura Dern as Diane Evans (!!!), Richard Horne meeting up with Red, Red being more than he seems, returning to the intersection from Fire Walk with Me, Richard Horne becoming the Biggest Douche in the Universe, the return of Harry Dean Stanton as Carl Rodd, that familiar utility pole from Fire Walk with Me, Ike "The Spike" Stadtler, Deputy Chief Hawk finding the missing pages to Laura Palmer's diary, the return of Heidi the giggling German waitress, our show download numbers for May 2017, "The Return" giving us something new instead of just a nostalgia tripand more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn --  RIGHT HERE
YouTube -- RIGHT HERE
Ghostwood's Facebook page
Ghostwood's Twitter account

Be sure to come back next week as Xan and I review "The Return, Part 7", the next episode of the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks!  Look for more of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast on iTunes, YouTube, Libsyn, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Casting Breakdowns Revealed for DC's TITANS Series


Titans...almost together.

That Hashtag Show has managed to obtain the casting breakdowns for Titans, the upcoming live-action series for DC Comics' new digital service that was announced at the end of April.

Production on the series is expected to begin this September in Atlanta, and it appears as though casting for the series is already in process.  The four character names provided appear to be attempts to conceal the identities of the various Titans, but from the descriptions below, it appears they belong to Nightwing, Raven, Starfire, and Beast Boy, respectively.

[John Crossland] (NIGHTWING/DICK GRAYSON) Male, late 20s-early 30s, Caucasian. Equal parts charm and impenetrability, John is a cop. He has a nice smile, tired eyes and a cool, distant manner. However, when provoked, his eyes are so lethal “they drain a man of every last bit of spleen.” John is haunted by the murder of his family. Unbeknownst to those around him, he is also a vigilante. In the shadows, he fights with the commitment and conviction of an artist, the brutal grace of a dancer. Mentally and physically, he is covered in a map of scars. And though he fights to escape his past, it is often a losing battle…SERIES LEAD

[SARAH] (RAVEN/RACHEL ROTH) Female, Mid teens, Open Ethnicity. Troubled, bullied, often scared but unwilling to show it, Sarah is a loner more comfortable hiding in her hoodie than making friends. Haunted by a dark force inside her, Sarah experiences violent episodes that she cannot understand or control. She is also plagued by recurring nightmares that lead her across the country in search of help…SERIES REGULAR

[Casey] (STARFIRE/KORIAND'R) Female, 20s, Open ethnicity. Casey is a tall, stunning woman, her beauty so magnificent it’s almost inhuman. Elegant, refined and mysterious, she is on the hunt to discover who is trying to kill her and why. And those after her are in for a surprise because she’s more deadly than anyone they’ve ever encountered…SERIES REGULAR

[JAX] (BEAST BOY/GARFIELD LOGAN) Male, Mid-late teens, Open Ethnicity, Asian preferred. Funny and charming, this amateur thief’s humor hides his insecurities and past pain. Not the toughest kid on the streets, he’s learned to survive in the world with his wit and quick-thinking…SERIES REGULAR

Titans is expected to premiere on DC's digital service sometime in early 2018.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

THE FANDOM ZONE 107: "Heavydirtysoul" is Up!


"She's not my boss."
"Uh-huh.  I may have a virus making me freakishly strong and mildly insane, but even I know you were a sidekick to your brother and you're a sidekick to Barbara."
– Tabitha Galavan and Leslie "Lee" Thompkins, Gotham: "Heavydirtysoul"

You guessed it, Karen and I are back with a HUGE new episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast! This week's reviews of comics on television include:

Fear the Walking Dead 3x01: "Eye of the Beholder"  (Season Premiere)
Fear the Walking Dead 3x02: "The New Frontier"
Gotham 3x21: "Destiny Calling"
Gotham 3x22: "Heavydirtysoul"  (Season Finale)
iZombie 3x10: "Return of the Dead Guy"
Iron Fist 1x11: "Lead Horse Back to Stable"

This week, Karen and I talk about things like Karen's new Felix from Orphan Black Funko figure, Travis using his Maori heritage to his advantage, Jake sticking up for his asshole brother Troy, why you should never look into a wall air vent during a zombie apocalypse, Darwyn Cooke's DC: The New Frontier, Travis finally taking himself off the board, connecting Jeremiah to the missing Ofelia, Strand getting a sweet new ride, Madison embracing her Ricktatorship, wondering if Madison is preggers, Ra's Al Ghul finally getting a decent live-action adaptation, The Fandom Zone's official pronunciation of Ra's Al Ghul, Twitter outrage over Bruce stabbing Alfred in the chest, Butch becoming Solomon Grundy, Stabby Babs being dead...for now, not wanting to see Harley Quinn on Gotham, Bruce's reset of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Executioner's Clobberin' Time, the Penguin planning the opening of the Iceberg Lounge, Ravi being a Millennial stereotype of not knowing phone numbers, Peyton being a dominatrix to Liv, the Smothers Brothers, Claire not being down with real-life dragons, Karen and I comparing staple scars, Davos not getting why Danny was chosen to be the Iron Fist, Claire not being down with Colleen even though she bought her delivered pizza, some Gotham feedback from Justina, remembering the late Adam West, and more!

You can now check out episodes of The Fandom Zone using...

Google Play Music
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And if that isn't enough for you, you can also check us out on YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!  Oh, and if you're interested in an officially official Fandom Zone Podcast t-shirt that all the cool kids are wearing, you can get those on TeePublic HERE as well!  Feel free to post a picture on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back next week as Karen and I review the Season 2 premiere of Wynonna Earp, Episode 12 of Iron Fist, and new episodes of Fear the Walking Dead and iZombieright here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 086: "Empress of Mars" is Up!


"We are both surrounded by noisy males.  I would value your opinion."
-- Iraxxa to Bill Potts, Doctor Who: "Empress of Mars"

That's right, my partner in time Jesse Jackson and I are back with a new episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  In this episode, Jesse and I review "Empress of Mars", the ninth episode from Series Ten, starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, Matt Lucas as Nardole, and Michelle Gomez as Missy!

This time, Jesse and I discuss things like Jesse breaking his "Must watch new Doctor Who before bedtime" rule, Mark Gatiss being hit-or-miss, wondering why the Doctor and Bill went to NASA, the Doctor's diplomatic relationship with the Ice Warriors, the lack of political correctness in the 19th century, racial diversity in modern casting, the Wonder Woman movie, Missy and the TARDIS' mysterious dematerialization, Missy's sudden concern for the Doctor's health, the unexpected return of Alpha Centuari after 40 years, "Empress of Mars" as the prequel to the Jon Pertwee era Peladon storiesmy Reverse the Polarity segment, two feedbacks from Holly from Wisconsin, tweets from Ken from Chicago, some audio feedback from Judi Dionne, wondering how the Thirteenth Doctor will be announced, and more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

Google Play Music -- RIGHT HERE
iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Stitcher -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn --  RIGHT HERE
Next Stop Everywhere's Facebook page
Next Stop Everywhere's Twitter account

And hey, if you'd like to pick up the officially official Next Stop Everywhere t-shirt, you can find it on TeePublic right HERE!  Help support the show and feel free to post pictures on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back next week as Jesse and I review "The Eaters of Light", the tenth episode from Series Ten, starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, and Matt Lucas as Nardole!  Look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX in Talks with Jessica Chastain for Lilandra


Professor X is about to have a star-crossed romance.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the upcoming Fox movie X-Men: Dark Phoenix is in talks with Jessica Chastain for the role of Lilandra, the film's villain.  Lilandra is described in the article as "the empress of an alien empire called the Shi’ar, who leads the quest to imprison and execute Dark Phoenix, leading her into conflict with the X-Men."  The film will be written and directed by Simon Kinberg, making his directorial debut.

Chastain, 40, is probably best known as Maya in Zero Dark Thirty and Melissa Lewis in The Martian, and has appeared in a number of films including Crimson Peak, The Huntsman: Winter's War, Interstellar, and Jolene.  Her TV appearances include episodes of Journeyman, Dark Shadows (2005), Veronica Mars, and Law & Order: Trial by Jury.

In addition, the article states that Fox has closed deals for the return of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult to reprise their respective roles of Professor Charles Xavier, Magneto, Mystique and Beast.  

Sophie Turner will also reprise her role as Jean Grey, who becomes the cosmic force known as Dark Phoenix in the classic X-Men storyline "The Dark Phoenix Saga" by Chris Claremont and John Byrne.  The storyline was very loosely adapted for the Brett Ratner movie X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006.

Also returning from the movie X-Men: Apocalypse are Alexandra Shipp as Storm, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler.  

Created in 1976 by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, Lilandra Neramani first appeared in X-Men (vol.1) #97 as the sibling of D'Ken, Deathbird, and an unnamed older sister.  Lilandra was born on the Aerie (now known as Chandilar, native world of the Shi'ar).  Deathbird, the oldest of the surviving three, was denied the throne for "unspeakable" crimes involving the murder of her mother and older sister and was exiled.  The throne went to D'Ken, who turned out to be a power mad dictator.  Lilandra became a Grand Admiral of the Imperial Guard, part of the Shi'ar fleet, but turned against D'Ken, when she found out about his plans involving the M'Kraan Crystal. Branded a traitor, Lilandra fled to Earth, hoping to find allies among its large population of superheroes and found them in Charles Xavier and his X-Men.  She began sending visions of herself to Xavier as she traveled to Earth.

Finally meeting Xavier in person, she was captured by Erik the Red and uncovered D'Ken's plot to gain ultimate power. She was saved by the space pirates known as the Starjammers and the X-Men, and reunited on Earth with Xavier.  She ultimately invited Xavier to accompany her to the Shi'ar throneworld.  The X-Men, in particular Phoenix, managed to stop D'Ken's plan, who ultimately was banished after being driven mad.  Lilandra took the throne as Majestrix-Shi'ar (empress of the Shi'ar Imperium) with Xavier as her official consort.  In "The Dark Phoenix Saga", she staged a trial by combat to determine the fate of Phoenix.  However, a short while later, her position was usurped by Deathbird, who had made a pact with the Brood and the Badoon.  She managed to escape along with the X-Men, and Lilandra became Majestrix-in-Exile on Earth.  She became a freedom fighter and allied herself with the Starjammers until she was able to take back her throne.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 2, 2018.