Movie Review: Unstoppable

Oh yes my friends, Denzel Washington maintains his status as “reliably immoveable” from my top ten contemporary male thespians that can produce the kinds of performances that turn good films into timeless classics and somewhat questionable flicks into solid, cinematic adventures.  Unstoppable happens to side on the latter as the concept of “chasing down a …

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Read’s Reads: Heroes For Hire #1 Review

Ryan Read is at it again with a review of this week’s Heroes For Hire from Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and artist Brad Walker.

There is a new intro, new music – and a new haircut!


Ryan Read is at it again with a review of this week’s Heroes For Hire from Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and artist Brad Walker.

There is a new intro, new music – and a new haircut!

Ryan gives us a good background on the Heroes For Hire before getting into the review. Nice job as always, Ryan!

*Spoiler Warnings*



Spider-Man Movie: Irrfan Khan as Proto-Goblin?



The Hollywood Reporter reports that actor Irrfan Khan has been signed on to play another villain, “Van Atter” in addition to Rys Ifans who is rumored to play The Lizard. Annie Parisse is said to play Khan’s wife.

“Van Atter” could be a reference to the comic book character Nels Van Adder – the Proto-Goblin! Van Adder worked under Osborn as a research scientist and volunteered to be a test subject for a chemical developed by Osborn. However, a stabilizing agent wasn’t developed yet with the experiment causing Van Adder to kill, which led to differences between him and Osborn. Eventually, he was hunted by Gwen Stacey’s father, Captain George Stacey a policeman and his brother Arthur, Norman’s head of security. As the Proto-Goblin attempted to kill Norman, he was attacked by George and Arthur and believed dead when thrown out a window and into the river. His body was never found.


In related news, it looks like Peter Parker’s Mom and Dad will be appearing in the Spider-Man Movie as the Reporter said Cambell Scott and Julianne Nicholson have been signed on to play them. No word if it will be in the form of a flash back scene or a “live” role.

Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and swings into theaters in 3-D July 3rd, 2012!


Review: Iron Man/Thor #2







The Green Lantern Movie Has “The Touch!”


Check out the fan made tribute to the upcoming Green Lantern Movie featuring Stan Bush’s “The Touch!”

“The Touch” debuted in 1986’s animated Transformers: The Movie and to this day is still sung by fans of the Autobots and Decepticons.

You can find – and play- this iconic song on Rock Band and Rock Band 3! “The Touch” is available to download through the Rock Band Network.

A Rock Band contest has also been announced which you can find details about at StanBush.com and AuthorityMusic.com. Create a video with “The Touch” and Rockband – and you can be a winner!

Here’s the fan vid from Darth Andrea and be sure to check out her “Wheel of Time” column at InvestComics.com!


CosBlog: She’s just not that into you, Death


Over at the Cosmic Book News CosBlog, Ryan Read posted an article about Lady Death!

Here’s an excerpt:

The Thanos Imperative has come to a shocking end and the winner in all of this is of course Death. Yes, Lady Death did it all, she took out Lord Mar-vell of the Cancerverse, she hid inside of Thanos and then turned her back on him… again. She played Oblivion like a fine tuned violin and she got to consume an entire universe and make the Chaos King look like a chump. Yet… everyone seems to be wanting Death’s affection but she just turns her nose up at them and walks away. Only about two certain Marvel Characters have ever truly gained Death’s true affection, and they are the most unlikely two but who has Death given the middle finger to in the last few decades?


Spacenite 2: Benefit For Bill Mantlo



On December 2nd, 2010 Float World Comics will be having a Rom Spaceknight benefit for creator Bill Mantlo who was tragically paralyzed in a hit and run car accident fifteen years ago.

Digital prints of various artist’s interpretations will be on sale with proceeds to go to Mike Mantlo, Bill Mantlo’s brother and caregiver. The original artwork will be offered for auction on Ebay after the exibit ends.

You can view the artwork from the exhibit here: http://romspacenite.blogspot.com/.

In addition, a book featuring the artwork will become available this January.

You can donate via Pay Pal to the Bill Mantlo Fund as well (credit cards accepted).

Head on over to Float World Comics for more information.


WHO: Mike Allred, Jeffrey Brown, Michael DeForge, Tan Eng Huat, Ben Marra,  Luke Ramsey, Jon Schnepp, Matt Timson, and dozens more.

WHAT: ROM Spaceknight benefit art show for Bill Mantlo

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 6-10pm

WHERE: Floating World Comics

20 NW 5th Ave #101

Portland, OR 97209


Artwork on display until Jan. 2nd.


Talking About an Evolution: The Silver Surfer returns to Earth: An Interview with Greg Pak

By Byron Brewer, Managing Editor
Matt McGloin, Editor/Publisher


Spinning out of the pages of Chaos War is a tale of triumph and tragedy that will define a cosmic champion for a new generation!

Writer Greg Pak (Chaos War, Incredible Hercules) teams with fan favorite artist Stephen Segovia (Dark Wolverine) to bring you the next chapter in the life of the star-spanning Silver Surfer – and the man known as Norrin Radd!

The Sentinel of the Spaceways returns to Earth, a planet where he has been feared by a world he once swore to protect. What ramifications does this pose for his vow of service to the World Devourer, Galactus? And what new plot has the High Evolutionary (most recently seen in DnA’s Iron Man/Thor mini) looking at the Herald’s return with a big, broad smile?

If you are new to Marvel Cosmic and the Surfer, this five-issue limited series should be a great jumping-on point. If you are old Surfer fans like many of us in the CBN offices, you are relishing any chance to see this former Fantastic Four foe in solo action!

Cosmic Book News caught up with Greg Pak and quizzed the writer about his take on the Sentinel of the Spaceways.

Cosmic Book News: You have previously used the Surfer in a cosmic setting with “Planet Hulk” as the Silver Savage and enslaved to Skaar during Skaar: Son of Hulk. Per the first issue solicit we are told it will be a “Surfer we have never seen before“ and one set on Earth. What can you tell us in regards to that?

Greg Pak: We’re taking our hero into uncharted territory here — but it’s a move that’s true to the themes that have driven the character from day one. Long time Surfer fans (like me!) won’t want to miss this — it’s the next huge step for Norrin Radd. And brand new readers? Come on in — this is a great place to find out just what the Silver Surfer is all about in an emotionally charged, cosmically driven story in the heart of the Marvel Universe.

Cosmic Book News: As the Surfer is from an alien world, do you feel readers will be able to relate to the character as opposed to say a Nova, Quasar or even a Hulk which share an Earth-based origin? What is it about the Surfer that draws you to continuously use him in your books?

Greg Pak: The Surfer’s technically an alien from Zenn-La, but under that silver skin, he’s pretty darn human. Even the way he’d be horrified by the horrors of humanity in so many of those classic early stories is quintessentially human.

On the other hand, the Surfer has been possessed of a cosmic awareness of truths we puny humans can never fully comprehend — which has resulted at times in a chilling commitment to his day job as the Herald of Galactus, Eater of Worlds.

I’ve been drawn to the Surfer again and again because of that great contradiction — he’s an utterly relatable hero whose heart longs to do the right thing, but he’s bound to serve an avatar of horrific destruction. That combination of great nobility and terrible conflict is compelling and disturbing in all the right ways.

Cosmic Book News: For someone new who may have just been introduced to the Surfer in the pages of Chaos War, would can you tell them about the Sentinel of the Spaceways?

Greg Pak: The Silver Surfer is Norrin Radd, a man who saved his world from destruction by volunteering to become the Herald for the cosmic entity known as Galactus, Eater of Worlds. As the silver-skinned Surfer, Norrin must find new worlds for Galactus to consume — or risk upsetting the balance of the Universe and precipitating total destruction.

He’s also possibly the most original superhero character ever, with an insane design (silver dude on a surfboard???) that became instantly iconic through its sheer awesomeness. And “Silver Surfer” #1 is where you can rediscover this fierce hero all over again!

Cosmic Book News: With Chaos War, the Incredible Hercules summoned the Surfer to Earth to join him as a member of the new God Squad opposing the forces of the Chaos King. Do the events from Chaos War factor in?

Greg Pak: Yes. The Silver Surfer book spins right out of the climax of “Chaos War,” so folks who have been following that story should have fun seeing some of the repercussions. At the same time, the book is entirely accessible to folks who don’t know Chaos War from chamomile.

Cosmic Book News: How different will it be writing a Surfer on Earth compared to a Surfer in space? Do you need to take into consideration other parts of the Marvel “street-level” U.? Speaking of which will we be seeing any of the Surfer’s fellow Defenders or other terran heroes figure into this mini?

Greg Pak: There’s a ton of fun and drama in the contrast between the cosmic Surfer and the everyday life of mere mortals on Planet Earth. One of my favorite Surfer issues is the 1969 story that introduced physicist Al B. Harper, who was a regular guy and a fantastic foil for the Shining Sentinel of the Starways.

In terms of specific Marvel heroes that might show up, I’ll just say that an unexpected character from another series I’ve worked on recently will play a key role. And whatever you do, don’t miss issue #4. I’ll say no more.

Cosmic Book News: In regards to Earth, how does this return to Earth figure into the Surfer’s search for worlds for Galactus to devour? We know the High Evolutionary is no stranger to the Big G as well. Is Galactus a part of this mini?

Greg Pak: I can’t say too much for fear of spoilers. But that’s Galactus’s mug next to the High Evolutionary on the cover of issue #1, so stay tuned.

Cosmic Book News: The High Evolutionary has been appearing in various corners of the Marvel U. including Annihilation: Conquest, Uncanny X-Men, the current Iron Man/Thor mini,  as well as in the background of Jonathan Hickman’s “War of Four Cities” in Fantastic Four.  Do any of these threads figure into your adventure?

Greg Pak: Yes. But to say anything more right now would be telling.

Cosmic Book News: At times the High Evolutionary comes off as a benevolent figure while also being portrayed as the “mad scientist” antagonist. Which will we see here and does the HE’s agenda go further than just the Surfer?

Greg Pak: I was blown away by the High Evolutionary when I first met him in the pages of “Warlock” tinkering with Counter Earth. I see him as someone who’s obsessed with improvement, even perfection — which of course was part of his motivation for hunting the Surfer’s DNA back in the day. Whether you call him a villain or a hero may depend on your own perspective.

Cosmic Book News: You are teamed with artist Stephen Segovia who previously worked on Dark Wolverine, can you tell us what we can expect from Stephen?

Greg Pak: Cosmic madness unleashed — combined with beautiful naturalism and genuinely affecting attention to tiny emotional details. I’m ridiculously excited about what he’s doing and can’t wait ’til we can reveal more.

Cosmic Book News:  Anything you wish to add?

Greg Pak: Just because I’m having so much fun on the book, I’ve started a little feature on my website called “The Silver Surfer is Awesome.” (Pretty straightforward, huh?) Check out http://gregpak.com/silver_surfer for periodic uploads of panels from my favorite Silver Surfer stories of all time — and hit me up on Twitter @gregpak with your own suggestions of installments.

Also, please don’t forget to pre-order the book from your local comic shop! Pre-ordering helps everyone — you’ll definitely get the book when it comes out, comic shops know there’s a demand, and we have a better chance of continuing to be able to tell these kinds of stories. Here’s a handy link for finding your local store: http://comicshoplocator.com

Cosmic Book News: Greg, thanks for your time! We appreciate it!

Greg Pak: You guys have been incredibly supportive and I hugely appreciate it — many thanks!

“Silver Surfer #1 (of 5)” hits this coming February!


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Indie Comics Magazine Premieres in January Previews

Press Release

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:102:]]“Indie Comics Magazine is 64 pages of the best story and art from today’s independent comic book creators,” Editor Gary Scott Beatty announced today. “It’s also a valuable resource for anyone interested in the world of independent comics.”

Each issue will feature eight full stories from eight different creators, said Beatty. The first issue is scheduled for preorder in Diamond Comic Distributors’ January 2011 Previews catalog and is available only through Previews.

“It’s important to read done-in-one stories,” said Beatty, “to get a feel for what these creators can do.” Short biographies and contact information are included with the stories so readers can easily seek out more of the creators’ work.

“The sheer number of comic books, graphic novels and online entertainment available today is overwhelming,” Beatty explained. “We help readers cut through the reviews and hype to experience these creators’ raw talent.”

Indie Comics Magazine will present a variety of art styles and genres, said Beatty. “Adventure, superhero and ninja tales will appear side-by-side with comedy, romance and mystery. We plan a real variety show format.” He laughed. “Just call me the Ed Sullivan of indy publishers.”

Indie Comics Magazine is available only through the Previews order magazine at your local comic shop. The first issue premieres January, 2011. Find your local comic shop at 1-888-COMICBOOK (1-888-266- 4226) or online at http://www.comicshoplocator.com. Information about Indie Comics Magazine is online at http://indiecomicsmagazine.com.


Preview: The Armory Wars: In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 #6


PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios

Written by Claudio Sanchez, Peter David
Drawn by Chris Burnham
SC, 24pgs, FC, SRP: $3.99
COVER: Chris Burnham
Diamond Code: SEP100872

Wilhelm Ryan…ARRESTED! The most feared name in The Keywork may soon see the justice he has outran for far too long. But what is his loyal Red Army planning? All the while Al the Killer is investigating who Claudio really is. The saga from Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez and comics legend Peter David continues.

On Sale: November 17th, 2010

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Preview: Shadowland: Blood on the Streets #4



Penciller: Wellinton Alves
In Stores:
November 24, 2010


The Story: (hide) It’s the chilling climax for the odd squad of Misty Knight, Paladin, Silver Sable and The Shroud! The unlikely quartet believe they’ve
uncovered the real villain behind the mob murders. But the truth is even more shocking than they realize! To lay a trap for the death-dealing ninjas,
the four fearless fighters must execute a daring plan, coming together to face off against The Hand…and one of them must face an ugly truth!
Don’t miss this explosive, dark and bloody conclusion from Antony Johnston (DAREDEVIL) and Wellinton Alves (THUNDERBOLTS)! 32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

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Preview: New Mutants #19



Zeb Wells
In Stores:
November 24, 2010


The Story: “FALL OF THE NEW MUTANTS” comes to a close and the New Mutants lose the battle against Project Purgatory. Who has fallen? Who will no longer
be on the New Mutants? The most heart-wrenching issue of the series is courtesy of Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Leonard Kirk (DARK X-MEN,
CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI13). Part 5 (of 5) 32 PGS./Rated T …$2.99

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Movie Review: Skyline

Please, Don’t Look Up

A Film Review of Skyline

By: Lawrence Napoli


[[wysiwyg_imageupload:98:]]When I first saw the trailer for Skyline I assumed it represented the remnants of an impromptu ID4 (1996) sequel which Will Smith subsequently jettisoned for lacking vision, thus terminating all hope for that franchise to develop into at least a trilogy.  Alien attack films are fun!  They tend to be a much more positive spin on the disaster film genre because more often than not, it features the banding together of all humanity against a common foe.  This formula has become so refined by professionals and accepted by audiences of so many different backgrounds that I truly wonder if this is the only circumstance for which humanity would ever achieve some real level of world peace.  Skyline is certainly no exception in terms of its overall story, but what makes this film unique is how it digresses from certain rules that have been assigned to the construction of contemporary films in this blockbuster category. 

The most curious “rule violation” happens to set the restriction meter for all the aspects of filmmaking that are typical of alien attack, action films.  There was practically no money put into this film!  Actually the budget was estimated at $10 million dollars and for this type of project such a pathetic investment redefines the concept of “shoestring.”  The masterminds and co-directors of this film, Colin and Greg Strause, had no production experience outside the realm of visual effects, for which the duo has accumulated an impressive résumé.  Just to give you an idea, these men were involved with The Day After Tomorrow (2004), Constantine (2005), Fantastic Four (2005), 300 (2006), Jumper (2008), Avatar (2009) and Iron Man 2 (2010).  Suffice it to say, if you need something to appear on film/video that simply does not exist (except in fantasyland), these men are on the short list of top level talent that you contact.  Bearing this in mind, I can only imagine how they pitched the idea for Skyline and I assume it went something like this: We have an idea for a sci-fi thriller that will cost an investing studio 1/10thof the presumed budget for all films of this magnitude and it will look every bit as impressive because we have profitably proven records in visual effects and we can make anything look better than Hollywood!  I believe they had the executives of Universal at, “1/10thof the presumed budget,” for sci-fi blockbusters which traditionally start out at a $100 million dollar investment.  I would be shocked if the green light wasn’t instantly given at this point because as we all know; studio executives (like all business executives) ONLY care about being firmly rooted in the black.

And the Strause boys did not disappoint because the visual effects in Skyline are quite epic.  There are plenty of intricately detailed alien “mother” ships to see in addition to several other manifestations of alien invaders: from smaller fighters in the air to massive behemoths on the ground.  Honestly, the destruction of LA never looked better.  Therein lies another significant “rule violation,” because the visual effects of this film were truly relied upon as a crutch for the entire production and the story was laughable, if not completely forgettable.  The screenwriters for Skyline, Joshua Cordes and Liam O’Donnell, are a couple of dudes who worked with the brothers Strause in some of their past visual effect jobs.  Therefore, it is no surprise that the plot for this particular alien invasion is exceptionally watered down due to its heavy handed borrowing from films like ID4 and videogames like Resistance: Fall of Man.  Nothing in this film is something you haven’t seen before.  The dialogue follows suit in that it is as equally uninspiring as the plot.  Fortunately though, the audience is treated to an expedient body count so as to minimize the eye rolling factor and refocus on the alien eye candy.  Say what you will about the debatably “cheesy” story and lines of ID4, but that film truly kicked ass because it was an epic story told through very personal struggles of characters we cared about and their lines of dialogue sold enough audiences to gross over $300 million dollars at the box office.  Good writing is the reason why people like Stephen King get paid lots of money.

And speaking of the actors that helped produce the characters that the audience is supposedly required to care about, yet another “rule violation” occurs with the absence of any alpha level actor being attached to this production.  There isn’t even a Samuel L. Jackson being eaten by sharks within the first 5 minutes of the movie moment from Deep Blue Sea (1999).  Again, I refer to the allowed budget for this film and it is quite obvious why Eric Balfour from Dexter and Donald Faison from Scrubs are the top billed talent for Skyline.  Granted, the script’s pedestrian nature disallows even a cast comprising of Kevin Spacey, Sean Connery, and Tom Hanks (all agreeing to work for “scale,” i.e. nothing!) to turn this good looking movie into an actual good movie.  As a result, I’m not sure how much blame I can place on a cast of character actors.  But I can say that alpha personalities do add credibility to a production where the artistic foundation (story, script, actors, directors, effects, and scenery) is somewhat in question. 

Skyline is an experimental film from Hollywood.  If anyone has attended or heard stories about film school, “experimental” films usually involve things like short videos of staring at sill life, extreme close ups of genitalia, animation that is neither purposeful nor entertaining, people staring at each other and shameless nudity for the sake of nudity (not even pornography).  Experimental films tend to have one or two things that are interesting about them, while the rest leaves the viewer confused as to the purpose of the entire production.  Skyline is Hollywood’s answer to The Blair Witch Project (1999) and it doesn’t appear this film will be a success as it has only grossed $11.7 million at the box office at the time of this article’s composition.  Every now and then, the American audience does me proud and treats films that are trying to hoodwink your wallets they way they ought to be treated: by ignoring them.  Well done, all of you!  You deserve a treat.

That being said, if one is able to completely nullify the importance of plot, character and dialogue, Skyline is a truly remarkable feat if it is true that it was created for a mere $10 million dollars.  I would recommend this film to any amateur filmmaker or visual effects artist in that it is an impressive example of doing more with less.  This is what you get when the production staff is made of visual artists.  Do you think you’d get the best acting performance on film if the staff were comprised of only actors?  Whatever the result, it certainly would be more Jersey Shore than Shakespeare.