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Review: Animal Man #5

I’m just going to throw this out there — THIS BOOK IS COMPLETELY INSANE! And I love every single moment of it!

Jeff Lemire and his entire artistic crew have created something that is equal parts disturbing and fascinating. A cornucopia of twistedness that assaults the senses, Animal Man is a book that is beyond expectations for any genre! It is something that worms it’s way inside you and nestles within, scratching you tediously until you want to scream! 

Issue five is a blur, a quickened pace to the story because there is a true need to run. The third Hunter has stalked it’s prey long enough and now it must feed. And Buddy Baker’s family is the main course! Buddy, Maxine and “Socks” rush to save them, but who will be there to save the trio once the Hunter sets its gaze upon them? Maxine makes a decision that will not only forever change the dynamic of the book, but that of the entire DCnU as well! There is only one hope for triumph over the Rot, but it lies in the pages of another book! 

Look at the cover to this book. It is one of the most horrific covers I have ever seen! Now, imagine a book that mimics that grimacing emotion on every page and you will understand Animal Man. It is completely amazing how Travel Foreman can conceive of such horrific images and still be able to sleep! There is a section of the book where the Hunter shows Buddy just how the Rot will change Maxine when they get their hands on her. It is quite disturbing and yet utterly amazing! The caliber of talent on this book, from art to prose, is unfathomable! Other than Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing, you will find nothing like this book on the shelves today. 

If you are not reading this book you are missing out on something that will change your mind about the landscape of comics today. It is a rare and wretched book that deserves more than just a mere moment of your time. And once you read one issue, you will be hooked like a rotting piece of meat on the end of barbed wire! Ewwww! But oh so good!

Movie News

Review: Uncanny X-Force #19.1

Enter Now: The Age of Apocalypse! Nuff’ said!

Remender’s Uncanny X-Force #19.1 is the set up issue for Age of Apocalypse, which debuts on March 7th. And like most “set up” issues, Remender lays the landscape wide open for us as to what we will expect from the regular series. If this new series is half as good as what Remender gives us — I’m sold!

Following the A.O.A. versions of Jean Grey and Sabretooth back to the Age of Apocalypse after their mission with X-Force, Remender shows us just what has been going on while they were on leave. Apocalypse (Wolverine version, in case you were wondering) has taken his fight against all humanity up to the next level. All humans, and their mutant sympathizers, are to be exterminated on sight, but there is one group that has a plan that might just be able to turn the tide of genocide. A group of humans that have perfected their fighting abilities since early childhood, in order to survive long enough to fight back. Those that have made it this far, and have stood up in the face of terror, have been dubbed — The Exterminated!

Remender has out done himself again! Mixing familiar characters with new ones, and letting the newer ones have a resounding voice throughout is something quite unique. Especially when the new characters are so well crafted that they could have carried the book by themselves! The entire past and present of the character Prophet was told in a mere four pages, and yet it was so good that I am completely vested in this character already! There is a depth that Remender gives to his characters that makes them so much more than the sum of their parts. He truly gives them a “voice” that once you’ve heard, it becomes a siren song that you need to hear over and over again.

There is so much going on in this book, that you never notice there are no Uncanny X-Force members even in it! Remender has invested so much time between the readers and the A.O.A. characters in the last few months, that it doesn’t feel out of place at all. Plus, the things that go on within the story are so shocking, you could really care less what is going on with the core team! No spoilers here! But I will say, that it’s a good thing they introduced so many new characters. It’s kind of tough to write a book with no one in it! Go Black Legion! That’s not really a spoiler — is it? Oh, Man!

Go get this book and get in on the ground floor of the new series, Age of Apocalypse! The only way the month of March could get any better, was if Remender was writing the series himself!

Movie News

Review: Avengers X-Sanction #2

Falcon has been taken down from above and Captain America has been beaten into submission. Next on Cable’s hit list? Iron Man!

Issue one ended with Cap and Cable fighting each other, with Cap losing at gunpoint. The final panel has a resounding “BLAM!” across it and you are left pondering the fate of America’s star spangled hero. Issue two tells us that Cap has been stun gunned and harnessed into a chair that can scramble his neurological system. Cable doesn’t want him dead –yet! Then he decides to take on Iron Man, and every other Avenger, until they can tell him why the alternate future he just left didn’t have Hope there to save it. Oh yeah, Cable is also dying from his techno virus and only has twenty-four hours to accomplish his task!

I have to say, this one is just not working for me!

I’m sorry, but there is nothing in the first two issues, of this four issue mini, that has made me want to see where the story is going. It has no heart or emotion, save the continual moaning from Cable that he needs to save his “daughter.” There is nothing that grips the reader and makes you care about any of it. The fight scenes, though rendered well by McGuiness, are quick and bland — it is only four issues mind you. And the battle set-ups are continually the same. Cap sees Red Wing flying toward a freighter with no Falcon in sight, lets follow him and get captured. Iron Man sees Red Wing flying toward a freighter with no Falcon around, lets follow him and get captured. At this point, one has to wonder if Cable is paying Red Wing off with small rodents in order to betray his human cohorts! The story is just not there, and to have Cable come back from the “dead” after such a great send off in X-Men for this — it tarnishes the great ending of Second Coming.

I know this mini-series is just a set up for Avengers vs. X-Men, but I really expected more from the amazing talent of Jeph Loeb. Only the absolute collecting purists need to buy this book. Otherwise, spend your four dollars on lunch while you read something better!

Movie News

Mark Millar: “Is the Big Two about to become the Big Three?”

supercrooks“Is the Big Two about to become the Big Three?”
That’s the question Mark Millar poses during his Millarworld Editorial in the pages of Kick-Ass 2 #6. And with the lineup he’s bringing to Millarworld in 2012 — he damn well has a shot!
According to Mr. Millar, 2012 will see some HUGE books coming out, but we’ll have to wait a little bit to get them in our hands. Patience is a virtue after all, and it will be well worth it!
March is when we will see not only one new series come out of the Millarworld stable — but two! First will be Supercrooks, with art by fan favorite Leinil Francis Yu. Shipping almost simultaneously will be The Secret Service, drawn by comic legend — Dave Gibbons! This book was also co-conceived by the Kick-Ass film director, Matthew Vaughn! Then in April, we will finally see the long awaited Hit-Girl series, by Kick-Ass veteran artist John Romita Jr! 
Around the end of summer, Millar will launch an as yet to be named book that he is calling, “a vast superhero epic, something as wide in scope as the Lord of the Rings, for a superhero audience!” Nothing can make that sound more exciting, unless you factor in that superstar artist Frank Quitely will be doing the art chores! 
hit-girl 2And finally in November, fans will get to see one of the most insane, brutal and disturbingly cunning books back on the shelves, as Steve McNiven draws the coolest killers around in the pages of — Nemesis 2!
All these artistic legends led by the crazy intelligence of one Mark Millar? Is there any doubt that the Big Two might actually have to look over their shoulder in 2012? And remember boys, the toys in the Millarworld aren’t as precious as yours! Anything goes, and it usually does, which is exactly what fans want! And I will be the first in line to get the most exciting and original books on the shelves today — Millarworld books!
If that wasn’t enough for you, you can travel across the pond and go to Millar’s own Kapow Comic Convention! Tickets are on sale now for this London based event that takes place on May 19th and 20th. Be sure to visit for all the insane details!
Image sources: CBR
Movie News

Review: Invincible #86

Marvel Cosmic has been eating DC’s spacedust for months.  Now add Image to the list of publishers leaving Marvel behind in the spacedust.

Invincible #86 will be a delight to any cosmic fan.  The showdown between Nolan and Allen comes to a head with the fate of all life on Earth in the balance.  Oliver plays a pivotal role in this issue – and while his decisions may surprise some new readers –  long term fans of the series will appreciate that Oliver is acting perfectly in character.

Kirkman is back on point with this issue, a welcome trend that I hope continues as the focus for next issue looks to be Earth since The Coalition of Planets is coming to pay a visit. Walker’s art will delight the most hard core of fans and Plascencia’s colors are eye popping as usual.

Cosmic fans will want to read this issue.  It doesn’t require familiarity with the back story to be enjoyed – and it might just make an Invinci-fan out of you if you aren’t one already.  Don’t take my word for it though.  Pick up an issue and see for yourself why Invincible is in the top tier of cosmic comics and is likely to stay there.

Movie News Reviews

Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The Game’s a Foot!

A Film Review of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

By: Lawrence Napoli




Who doesn’t love a good mystery?  It is a question that reveals mankind’s innate curiosity with the unknown or unfamiliar in order to identify the variables and explain the inexplicable so as to allow ourselves to be comfortable in our own environment.  Sherlock Holmes, the definitive, master, gentleman detective is a character that is plagued by a hypersensitivity to that which is and naturally drawn to any scenario that is simply put, undefined.  Ever the avenging agent of order, Holmes’ fiction involves the solving of many a mystery which leads to the incarceration of several citizens of ill repute, yet no individual ever seemed to stand a proper challenge.  The mystery itself was always Holmes’ true foil as it seemed no less than a cabal of criminals was required to stump old Shirley for more than an hour.  This was the Sherlock Holmes that graced the silver screen in Guy Ritchie’s first adaptation in 2009.  The sequel: A Game of Shadows, presents a much more personal confrontation for Holmes as the audience is introduced to Professor James Moriarty who is every bit an intellectual equal, yet far less of a gentleman who isn’t concerned with collateral damage and harming the innocent in order to get whatever he wants.  As such, Holmes must approach this new investigation in a different manner which, of course, translates into a slightly different movie-going experience which happens to place a heavy emphasis on action.

One of the major strengths to these Guy Ritchie adaptations has been the writing: both dialogue and the overall plot.  This continues to be the case for the most part in A Game of Shadows, but I was extremely surprised to find out that no member of the original (and rather large) writing team returned to pen the sequel.  Relative writing novices Michele and Kieran Mulroney are responsible for this script which is usually a tell tale sign of a film franchise taking a turn for the worse.  Thankfully, the writers were up to the task of measuring up to the success of the original.  Any scenario involving Holmes’ arch nemesis must be compelling and complicated without being totally convulsive.  GoS certainly has several interesting plot elements in place such as more dynamic settings and the introduction of several new characters, but when the film ends the viewer finds him or herself with a somewhat predictable story.  Anyone who has seen The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) will notice some carbon copying at work.  The story attempts to compensate by adding more action sequences than the first film.  Although these scenes were well shot and certainly added to the pacing, it seemed to snowball at times and despite the fact that Sherlock Holmes is known to be an apt combatant, I never got the impression he was Neo from The Matrix.  The witty banter between Holmes and Watson is a perfect evolution of the relationship established in the first film.  This hilarious dialogue keeps the over-indulgent action grounded by dialing back on the intensity without losing the audience’s attention.  I was particularly satisfied with the genuine, plutonic love demonstrated between Holmes and Watson which could not have been more perfectly depicted than the very last scene in the film.

As for the action in A Game of Shadows, wow, I could use a LOT less slow motion effects please.  Those of you who may believe I exaggerate with my Matrix reference, rest assured that this comment is right on the mark.  I cannot fault Guy Ritchie entirely for this because I understand the need to keep the visual style to his films memorable, but sometimes too much when it comes to visual effects sacrifices the effectiveness of the action in the first place.  Please see the Star Wars prequels in reference to that comment.  It remains to be seen if the global audience will fully accept Sherlock Holmes as an action franchise, but to fully sell out the story in this regard would be a mistake.  Holmes’ story revolves around the investigation of a mystery and when half of a feature length film is devoted to explosions, fisticuffs and gunplay, that mystery doesn’t have as much screen time to shine.  Too many dialogue driven scenes in sequence do have the potential of overburdening an audience with too much exposition and breaking those up with action is an effective way to avoid that result.  Good old fashioned choreography and framing can still produce effective balance to the pacing without running the risk of diluting the impact of repeated digital effects.  Please take note, Mr. Ritchie.  

Top marks to all of the acting performances in A Game of Shadows.  The individual efforts of the supporting cast are the kind one would expect from actors promised much more screen time and/or prominent roles.  Noomi Rapace as Madam Heron, Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes, Rachael McAdams as Irene Adler, Geraldine James as Mrs. Hudson and Eddie Marsan as Inspector Lestrade all show that even an actor that embraces a small role can have a significant impact on the overall quality of a film.  Stephen Fry stood out in particular because no one in their right mind would ever accept the possibility that he and Robert Downey Jr. could be related in any way if they were to simply stand next to each other.  Fry’s snobbish line delivery and nuances in dialect play off perfectly from Downey’s and the repartee between them makes for an undeniable connection that pays off every time the two share screen time. 

A good villain is invaluable to any film and Jared Harris’ portrayal of Moriarty may not be one for the ages, but is very respectable and doesn’t back down to Robert Downey Jr. in any way.  Harris has a keen ability to counter every verbal jab Downey throws which is essential for his character.  Although he also demonstarates the proper demeanor of calm, control and supreme confidence, I didn’t feel he was as menacing as the faceless entity this character was portrayed as in the first film.  Perhaps this is the way Moriarty is written in the Sherlock Holmes novels, but as a fan of film, I would like to see a little bit more pure evil. 

In the end, this film is all about Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson and although these two characters are featured less as a duo and promotes the interplay between Holmes and Moriarty as a higher priority, these two actors once again deliver performances that should not be missed by anyone.  The key relationship between their characters is far more than the prototypical funny man vs. straight man routine as both have individual moments of hilarity and poignancy.  Their friendship is far beyond a simple “bro-mance” as the audience is able to feel the sense of true family between them.  Law and Downey remain the essential components to these Sherlock Holmes films and despite the arching narrative’s tendency to move these characters apart, it is essential for these films to see them stay together. 

Not to take anything away from Jude Law (because he is a fine actor and clearly does a fine job in this film), but Robert Downey Jr. ought to be recognized as a great actor for the vast array of fine performances he continues to add to with his efforts in A Game of Shadows.  The argument could be made that the difference between Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes is merely an English accent, but the fact is that these are two very different types of “train wreck characters” that exude similar charisma in very different ways and it takes more than a great performance to communicate this; it takes a great actor.  All Downey needs is a custom built drama with nothing but Oscar gold in mind to definitively place him alongside the all time greats. 

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is not a perfect film, but is easily the best action/adventure feature during this holiday season.  Families that have teenage children will have a very fun time, but be forewarned, the English dialect throughout is very thick so those who are befuddled by the likes of Harry Potter may find themselves asking “What did he just say?” once too often.  This film is an action-buddy-comedy mixed with a period piece with brains and if that doesn’t appeal to you, I’d recommend Justin Bieber’s self congratulatory Never Say Never or a new classic like American Idol’s notorious flop From Justin to Kelly.  In this season of giving, even bad films need to have paying viewers.  Otherwise, bad films would never be made . . . wait a minute!

Movie News

Review: Batman #4

Explosions rock Batman as he continues on his quest stop the Talon, the Court of Owls menacing assassin. But it’s not the explosions that will cause the most damage, it is Batman’s disbelief that the Court of Owls even exists that will hurt him the most! Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo continue on their quest

Movie News

Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #3

  So far, the first day at the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning has gone off without a hitch. The school has been overrun by Frankenstein monsters with flame-throwers, the New York state inspectors have been turned into a Sauron and a Wendigo, and the very grounds of the school have been taken over

Movie News

Review: Green Lantern Corps #4

A small band of Green Lanterns have been stranded on the planet Xabas, surrounded by executioners that have a far greater grasp of “will” than any Lantern — ever! All hope is lost and Guy Gardner’s interrogation of one of the murderers has proven fruitless. That is, until Guy has a surprise visitor, someone he

Movie News

Interview: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan On “Black Light”

(Editor’s Note: The following interview was conducted at the New York Comic Con on Saturday, October 15th, 2011)


Immerse Yourself In The Darkness

Interview With Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan & Stephen Romano on Black Light


By: Chris Bushley



black light novelBack in October, our friends at Mulholland Books sent Cosmic Book News an advanced copy of one of the most intriguing, multi-faceted books I have read as of late — Black Light.

This is the debut novel by the screenwriters of the Saw franchise, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, in conjunction with the enigmatic Stephen Romano (The Riot Act). It is a literal “bullet train ride” of a read, hitting you with every emotion. From lust, fear, sorrow and utter revulsion, you can’t help but get caught up in this whirlwind tale of a man with incredible skills, trying to find out just what really happened to his parents so long ago. 

Black Light is the story of Buck Carlsbad, a paranormal expert that has the unique ability to pull a “mark” (ghost) into himself in order to finally set them to rest. He is a walking amalgam of genres, ghost hunter, martial artist, reluctant lover, but mostly he is a man set off on a quest of self discovery — one that may leave him broken and dying for his efforts. The character of Buck is one of the richest characters that I have ever read. He exudes confidence yet is emotionally stunted, he is completely bad-ass and yet internally broken, he is the every man, yet so much more! He is completely fleshed out, from external shell to the subtle nuances, an original character brought together from all the coolest aspects of a thousand archetypes.
The novel itself is a rare find within the confines of the Horror genre. It is not bound by the shackles of the “in your face splatter fest” that is all too often relied upon in the modern Horror novel. And considering the trio of authors on this book, one would expect to constantly be immersed in gallons of gore. But the obligatory acts of violence are used sparingly, creating a sort of horrifying crescendo when they occur, making the scenes reverberate within in you so much more than they ever would have! 
This is a great book that bends the senses and thrills until the final page. But you don’t have to take my word for it.
You can hear what the authors had to say about their collaboration right here, in this CBN exclusive interview from the New York Comic Con. From Black Light, to the movie, to Stephen Romano’s new novel and more, the creators gave us some of their time to sit and chat about it all.
comic books

Photo Credit: John Gulager

Cosmic Book News:  Steven [Romano] is a veteran novelist, but this is a first for Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. The two of you have written so many screenplays in the past, why was this the perfect time to come out with a novel?
Patrick Melton:  Well, Marcus and I had dinner with an editor, John Schoenfelder, who follows this sort of template that Guillermo del Toro followed with Chuck Hogan, where they collaborated their ideas to make a book. And we talked about this idea we had about this guy, a paranormal expert who has these skills, and he takes a job that takes place on a bullet train. John said, ‘Great I love it!’ and that’s the beginning. That’s when Stephen was brought in because of his literary expertise, and that’s how it all came together.
Cosmic Book News:  Buck Carlsbad, the main character, is such an amalgam of characters. He has many different facets, from his martial arts skills to his ghost hunting expertise. With three writers on the book, who was the quintessential “voice” of Buck?
Patrick Melton: It began as a screenplay that Marcus and I wrote, right after Feast actually! But when we wrote it, it was when “ghost stories” were going out of vogue and the “torture porn,” as we call it, came in. So we jumped on the band wagon!
Stephen Romano:  And oh, what a band wagon it was!
Cosmic Book News: So, did you adapt the screenplay into the novel? Is that essentially where it came from?
Patrick Melton: So, we never showed anyone the screenplay. We wrote, like, a treatment and our editor shared it with Stephen who helped to “pulp” it up more than it was at the time. Which was the direction we were going. And he added a lot of the film noir elements to it.
Stephen Romano:  Plus expanding it a little bit, making it a little bit more epic in certain ways. Making the stakes a little higher, adding a cast of characters that was maybe a little more expanded. John Schoenfelder and I would throw these ideas at Patrick and Marcus, and they really liked them. So, to answer your question directly, I’d write stuff and show it to them and they’d say, ‘Oh wow cool’ or ‘This needs to be changed,’ and it was great! A real collaborative effort, a lot of fun!
Cosmic Book News: You guys are known for a lot of slaughterfest, in your face grotesque scenes. But, with Black Light, the gore is kept to a minimum. Was it intentionally pulled back to showcase Buck as a character and the things he endures, as opposed to just shock value?
Marcus Dunstan:  With Black Light, the ideas was to put a twist on the supernatural that would ground it a little more. Patrick and I loved the idea of taking something that isn’t confined by a 90 page format that didn’t need to hold back in any case to its concept. So, this supernatural terrain allowed us to go back to our childhoods and pepper it with visceral images and viscous entities. There is still cutting, there is still nail, claw and there is anger. But it feels more real and it doesn’t have to push as hard to get you there.
Stephen Romano:  It’s more along the lines of a non-stop action adventure kinda thing. But we do have the token torture sequence in there, but it’s not like we’re trying to rehabilitate our image either. We’re just trying to tell a really good story. I think when you’re known for doing certain things, it’s harder to do other stuff and I think this was, at least for me, really refreshing.
Cosmic Book News:  The character of Buck Carlsbad has a lot of quirks. His use of urns, his no drinking and his use of a Walkman. Who’s brilliant idea was it to use Warrant’s song Down Boys? That thing was in my head for the duration of the book!
Patrick Melton:  Well Stephen was in a hair band when he was young! Which is quite ironic!
black light

Photo Credit: John Gulager

Stephen Romano: I was! I’m a big fan of hair metal! The thing with Down Boys is it’s about life worn stuff, and people don’t really think about the deep meaningful side of lyrics to songs like that. We wanted to make Buck a more interesting character in ways that were original. You don’t see a private eye listening to Motley Crue, it just ain’t gonna happen! So, anytime we could make him quirky and interesting and come up with a reason for it within the context of the character — we went for it! It made it much more fun to write! On that note, we intended to dedicate the book to Jamie Lane who died just before the book came out. But, unfortunately our publishing schedule didn’t allow for that. But in future editions it will say, “For Jamie.”
Cosmic Book News: The title, “Black Light,” actually refers to Buck’s ability to see what the dead see, and he can actually bring back objects to the mortal plane. How did the name come about?
Patrick Melton:  We always had the concept that he could go into this other plane, but at one point John said, ‘You gotta name it something cool!’ And Stephen said, ‘What would Andy Wharhol call it?’
Stephen Romano:  Actually that was John [Schoenfelder]. He said, ‘You have to come up with a post-modern expression that defines it. What would Andy Wharhol call it?’
Patrick Melton: Hmmm, Black Light? It was originally titled “Black Jack Nine.” Which, for some reason sounded too cute or cool for them [Stephen and John].
Stephen Romano: I think Black Light is a better title! The idea of pulling something out of the “black light” was an idea given to us by our editor, he really did drive a lot of what we were doing in terms of really pushing for originality.
Cosmic Book News: The book has a lot of potential for not just a sequel, but a series of books. Is there a possibility of that seeing fruition?
Marcus Dunstan: Buck Carlsbad has pissed off people on two realms of existence. He has set off a number of possible courses to take as he wrestles with his “gift.” 
Patrick Melton: We had a lot more room to set up Buck’s world, more so than when doing movies. We got the chance to set him up, his world, his past; we had the chance to set up these other characters as well. There are characters that don’t sort of play up as much as you’d think because we are leaving them to do things in the future. So, the idea was to set a full plate and then have subsequent adventures with Buck. We have discussed a sequel as a group, but a lot of it comes down to [this book’s] success and if Mulholland Books wants to do more. So we will see!
Cosmic Book News: Well if we have to wait for a sequel, let’s talk about the movie!
Patrick Melton: The book came out [with] intentions to make it into a movie. So Mike De Luca is the producer, who did Social Network and MoneyBall.
Stephen Romano: The great thing about De Luca is that he is not just a legendary producer, but he is also a writer. He wrote [John] Carpenter’s In The Mouth Of Madness and the last Freddy movie before they rebooted it.
That’s great. He was the first guy we wanted to work with.
Cosmic Book News: How faithful will the movie stay to the novel? Will it be more gory?
Stephen Romano: The novel is pretty gory.
Marcus Dunstan: At the same time, whenever you can cloak it in the supernatural, I think there is a way to break fingers, tackle ghosts, ingest, regurge — whatever you have to do, but keep it within that PG-13 net that has grown quite violent in its own right.
Cosmic Book News: Who would you cast to play Buck? Would you bring in an unknown actor or go with someone that would draw in a crowd?
Stephen Romano: Who do you want to see as Buck Carlsbad?
Cosmic Book News: No one cares who I want as Buck!
Patrick Melton:  Marcus has this deep, deep love of Manhunter. So we want William Peterson circa 1985!
Cosmic Book News: Well, the Back To The Future Delorian is down the hall, we could possibly make this happen!
Patrick Melton: We will cast William Peterson from now, but give him the “Benjamin Buttons” treatment! 
Patrick Melton:  But in all seriousness, you guys know the names as well as we do. I mean you could say Jason Statham is tough, but he often has roles that don’t show off his charming side, not since Snatch really. But I don’t think he does an American accent, especially not a Texas one!
Stephen Romano: You had mentioned Matthew McConaughey.
Patrick Melton: He would be an interesting guy, just because he has that Southern charm and he can be tough! I heard he was great in Killer Joe, it hasn’t come out yet, I think it was at Sundance. But he’s also from Austin, Texas which would be great!
Stephen Romano: I think your idea was pretty good about casting a relatively unknown guy, maybe somebody that was on a show, like The Wire. Somebody who is a good actor but not yet a superstar, then surrounding them with Gary Oldman types. But don’t put me in charge of that ’cause I’ll just hire Kristen Stewart as Bethany Sin! [Laughter] But she’s not going to vomit for us!
Patrick Melton: We like to say regurgitate!
Cosmic Book News: Before we wrap up, you guys have a lot of things going on right now. Can we here a little bit about them? 
Marcus Dunstan:  Next year, we will see the release of Piranha 2 3DD and The Collection, the sequel to The Collector! And Stephen has some fantastic news of his own as well!
(Editor’s Note: We were informed Marcus was working with Guillermo Del Toro on the sci-fi monster blockbuster, “Pacific Rim,” currently filming in Toronto, ON. However, this was deemed “top secret,” but the news has since come out.)
Stephen Romano: I recently signed a deal with Simon and Shuster to release my first solo thriller. Currently it’s called, “Resurrection Express.” I always refer to it as ‘Mission Impossible meets The Bourne Identity, directed by Quentin Tarantino.’ It’s going to be a wild one! It’s not Horror, but a straight up thriller like Black Light is!
Cosmic Book News: Thanks to Mulholland Books for contacting us, and a thousands thank to Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan and Stephen Romano for taking the time out of their insane schedules to hang out with the CBN staff! It was an amazing time and we appreciate it whole heartedly!
“Black Light” is currently available at and at fine book stores everywhere.
For more on Stephen Romano, head on over to his official site:
You can check out “Black Light” on Facebook as well.
Comic Book News Marvel

Advanced Review: Avengers: X-Sanction #1

The crossover event of the year is finally upon us! The solicits have been out, the press has been geared up for months, even the NYCC was all a buzz about the ramifications Avengers: X-Sanction will bring to the future of the Marvel Universe. Loeb and McGuiness have brought Cable back from Marvel's ever expanding

Comic Book News

Advanced Review: Fatale #1 (Brubaker, Phillips & Stewart)

  From the critically acclaimed creative team that brought fans both Criminal and Sleeper, comes their new work of pure genius — Fatale!   Taking place between the years 2011 and 1956, fans are enthralled within the pulp noir world that this trio always creates so poetically. Following Nicolas Lash, in the present, we find

Comic Book News

Review: Swamp Thing #4

  In the desert, something is building a kingdom. It is not built with brick or mortar, or by the hands of man. It is built with pain and flesh. Disease and sinew are it's bonding agent, and it is growing bigger by the day. In the desert, where few things can survive the brutal

Comic Book News

Review: Animal Man #4

  Buddy Baker has always known he was special. Animal activist, father, superhero; the man does it all! But when his link to his animal powers begins to grant him with strange new abilities, he begins to question his role in the grand spectrum of things. A role that now casts him in the shadow

Comic Book News

Review: Invincible #85

  Since the end of The Viltrumite War arc, Mark has been biding his time on Earth doing quite a bit of soul searching.  The pace of the storyline had slowed a bit – and some fans were beginning to wonder where Kirkman was heading.  With #85 hitting the stands, now we know right where

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Review: Severed #4

Snyder, Tuft and Futaki converge to create a book that surpasses anything in the horror genre, actually — it surpasses everything in any genre! There is a richness to this story, one that transcends the confines of a comic book and elevates the tale into the realm of classic American horror. It is an eerie

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Review: Butcher Baker, Candlestickmaker #5

Directly from the pages of The Boys, comes a tale of the history of their fearless leader — Billy Butcher! Garth Ennis has finally given his fans an inside look at the horrific events that made Billy Butcher a stone cold, calculated killer of supers. From his abusive father, to the utterly heart breaking death

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Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #3

Chaotic, craziness jumps off the pages of Scott Lobdell's fan favorite Red Hood and the Outlaws! But don't get lost in the nexus of insanity, there is an intriguing tale hidden just beneath the surface that allows us to see our "heroes" in a whole new light! To describe this book in one word would

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Advanced Review: Green Lantern Corps#3

The Corps has their back against the wall, broken, beaten and excepting of their fate. This could be the end of the Corps "honor guard," and the cover says it all — "Beware the Ring Slayers!" Tomasi gives new meaning to the phrase "action-packed!" From start to finish, we are continually assaulted by scenes of

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Review: Batman #3

The Court of Owls has taken roost within Gotham, and neither Bruce Wayne nor the Batman will ever be the same! Scott Snyder conjures up an eerie tale of hidden secrets and a haunted past. A tale that will send shivers of excitement down your spine as glimpses of Gotham's past emerge before you, as

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Review: Mister Terrific #3

Issue three of the DCnU's sci-fi, cosmic epic has hit the stands — and I couldn't be happier! When Eric Wallace told the CBN staff that something in issue three would change the status quo of Mister Terrific — he wasn't kidding! The tectonic plates of his whole existence have begun to shift, and Mister

Comic Book News Marvel

Timelord Reviews Point One #1: Nova: “Harbinger”

This take on Nova made my teeth hurt from all the grinding I did of them.

Where do I start?
Characterization:  Hated it.  After Annihilation, we had a Nova who had finally broken away from the teenage Peter Parker-ish personality, acquired an Alpha-Plus power set, and through his wartime experiences had evolved into a respected leader of men.  Now, Loeb and Brevoort hand us something more akin to the silly side-kicky teen Nova most recently seen in the alternate universe Marvel Adventures Superheroes “all ages” book.  This new and not very powerful Nova easily gets his ass handed to him by Terrax while shouting “Nooo!” like a little girl.  He then flies away from the battle crying — that’s right, I said crying — he’s drawn with tears flowing from his eyes as he whines about what an “Epic Fail” he was in his mission.  Seriously Mr. Loeb?  Seriously Mr. Brevoort?  This is your understanding of Nova and of Cosmic? Epic fail indeed on the part of both of you.  This weak characterization will not attract new fans, will alienate old fans, and will only reinforce the disrespect of the character by those who never bothered to learn about the true renaissance of the character in Annihilation.  Maybe Nova’s tears were triggered by the disrespect of this characterization. If Marv Wolfman bothered to read “Harbinger” — I’m sure he was as saddened as all the rest of us long term fans by this concept rape.
New Uniform:  Hated it.  This uniform looks like a bad combination of Mega-Man, Tron, and Power Rangers.  It’s sure to turn off every non-fan of manga-influenced art.  To add to the disrespect — the ranking system of the uniform is incorrect.  This Nova wears a Denarian star on his helmet and Centurion stars on his chest.  What’s his rank? I don’t know.
Storyline:  Hated it.  The writers of the Superhero Squad cartoon appear to understand Nova and Cosmic well enough to identify all the old cliches and skewer them.  Sadly, “Harbinger” trots out all the old cliches with a straight face.  Weak teenage Nova faces a vastly superior foe, makes bad or impulsive decisions, gets beaten up, fails his mission and has self-esteem problems, etc.  Let me guess what’s next.  The Phoenix Force destroys Xandar leaving the entire Nova Corps and all of Xandar dead except for this new Nova who then journeys to 616 Earth to warn the Avengers the Phoenix is coming and ask for their help.  He takes up residence on Earth and becomes a teen sidekick for The Avengers.  The “Lone Ranger”  teen Nova rides again! (Playing second fiddle to Cap, Thor, and Iron Man of course).
When I first saw the solicits for “Harbinger” I was afraid we were in for a Kyle Rayner treatment of Nova.  Now I’m desparately hoping this is a Kyle Rayner treatment.  I really hope this is an alternate universe version of Nova (who is not named Rich Rider) and not some brutal retcon of 616 continuity ignoring everything that happened between Annihilation and Thanos Imperative.  Why? Because we can then forget about this version and work to bring our 616 Rich back from being marooned in the Cancerverse.
There was never any reason for a new Nova to be created.  Rich could’ve easily been brought back from the Cancerverse to play a big role in this Phoenix storyline.  This reboot of Nova stems from a mistaken belief by editorial that a teen rookie Lone Ranger Nova will attract more fans than a powerful more mature young adult military commander Nova.
I’m glad Marvel Editorial finally wants to make Nova a star by promoting him and involving him in the major upcoming storylines.  I just wish they’d shown that kind of love to Nova right after Annihilation.  If they had, maybe Volume IV would still be being published.
Comic Book News Marvel

Review: The New Avengers #18

Bendis is up to his old tricks again, dipping into the well of past ideas and spinning them in a new way. But this time, it was done precisely, with a keen eye for detail and made perfect sense! I am overjoyed at the return of The Dark Avengers, and felt pure excitement by the

Comic Book News Marvel

Review: Uncanny X-Force #17

The Dark Angel Saga continues here, and our heroes finally get some help from some A.O.A. friends of their own!  Hands down, Rick Remender out does himself each and every issue! His mind churns out some of the most insane, and yet the most enjoyable, books on the shelves today. If you want to know

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Advanced Review: Suicide Squad #3

I have read every incarnation of Suicide Squad and Adam Glass' take is hands down — the best version ever! Some may say that this is just an action junkie book, filled with third tier characters that no one even cares about. But it is so much more than that! It is an intriguing espionage book,

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Review: Invincible #84

As Invincible closes in on the final stretch to issue #100 it looks like many interesting changes for the character are in store.  Issue #84 finds Mark soul searching in earnest about all the decisions he has made and how these decisions have ultimately affected humankind for better or worse.  He makes a touch decision

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Review: Batman: Detective Comics #3

The Dollmaker has torn the streets of Gotham asunder — literally! Jim Gordon has been taken captive, Batman has been poisoned, and the little girl that everyone has been looking for –just might be linked to numerous deaths. This will take all of Bruce Wayne's detective skills just to live through the night!  Tony Daniel

Comic Book News Marvel

Advanced Review: Uncanny X-Men #1

As one man surrounds himself with friends and students, the other brings criminals and tyrants into his inner sanctum. This is no longer a game, too many have died in the years of gene wars to warrant anything less than utter deviance. One man will save them all, but to what ends must he go