Unless you’ve been living under a particularly large rock the last few days, you’re undoubtedly already very familiar with the newly unveiled Mortal Kombat X. What you might not know is how developer NetherRealm Studios is planning on mixing the formula up with the latest game by introducing exciting new features that will have a monumental impact on how it plays. One of the more intriguing new features is the addition of fighter variations.
Each fighter will have three different variations that each dramatically changes their abilities and how they fight. For example, anyone who plans on stepping into the iconic boots of Scorpion will have Ninjutsu, Hellfire and Inferno to choose from.
On top of that, Mortal Kombat X will feature numerous new fighters, a few of which were even revealed in the gameplay footage that debuted on Monday night. Most are still under wraps, but we do have confirmation that the winged woman, giant, and the little guy who’s seen riding him in Monday’s footage are known as D’Vorah, Torr, and Ferra, respectively.
You can see the character selection screen and fighter variations in the video below. They also reveal another newcomer in it: Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade’s daughter, Cassie Cage.
Mortal Kombat X releases in 2015 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Suda 51 has brought us a slew of unusual games over the years, including Lollipop Chainsaw and No More Heroes, as well as the fantastic and hugely underrated Shadows of the Damned. His next game is Let it Die, a brutal, horror-themed free-to-play fighter that we still don’t know much about. It looks like a mixture of Manhunt and Mortal Kombat, as fighters seek each other out in a strange, dirty warehouse-like environment so they can take them out using crudely constructed weapons.
In a recent interview with Famitsu, translated by Gematsu, Suda 51 offered some details on Let it Die, which they’re describing as an “extreme action game” with asynchronous multiplayer and survival aspects.
One of their goals is to grant meaning to death. Part of their plan for accomplishing this is to let players create and use their own avatar to fight with in-game. They’re also going to gradually populate the world with slain player avatars, so when your character dies, they have a chance of showing up in a friend’s world.
Let it Die already sounds radically different from most other fighting games, but Suda 51 and friends aim to take that a step further by having every player spawn with nothing but a pair of whitie tighties and a gas mask. If you want gear, you’ll have to find it, and while there will be more than one way of going about procuring equipment for your fighter, one way is to defeat other fighters and take it off their corpses.
Let it Die will release exclusively on PS4 in 2015.
In case you missed its initial reveal, Deep Silver has unveiled Dead Island 2 — the official follow-up to the original Dead Island. It’s being developed by the team that brought us Spec Ops: The Line, one of the darkest and most memorable shooters I’ve ever played. Seriously, that game is grim.
Dead Island 2 is still largely shrouded in mystery, but a few details were dished out in a recent interview with Bernd Diemer, Game Director at Yager.
According to Diemer, the game world will be comprised of three different locations, including the San Francisco Bay Area, a substantial portion of Los Angeles, and a third area that they aren’t talking about just yet. They’re describing the game internally as the “world’s smallest MMO,” as it features 8-player co-op. Unless you specifically opt out of the multiplayer, you will always be playing in a world inhabited with up to seven other players.
Check out the full interview with Diemer below.
Sony just revealed a new title that’s being built from the ground up for their Project Morpheus virtual reality headset, and it looks creepy. The game is called The Assembly, and it’s being described as a mystery game, though after watching its debut trailer I’m also noticing a bit of sci-fi horror in there, too. It’s being built from the ground up with the Morpheus headset in mind, so VR functionality won’t be an afterthought.
This eerie CG trailer offers a lot of questions and no real answers. Thankfully, The Assembly developer Patrick O’Luanaigh was able to offer a few details on the game in a post on the PlayStation Blog.
The Assembly includes lots of the gameplay mechanics that we found worked well in VR. For example, you get to control two different characters at various points, and in VR, you really notice details like their different heights, sounds and voices. Rather than playing as a silent character, we found that playing the role of characters in the story works really well, and helps make The Assembly feel quite different to most other VR projects.
The game has a rich story written by Tom Jubert, a talented young writer behind indie hits like FTL, Penumbra and The Swapper. Players are flung into the underground world of The Assembly, a secretive collection of scientists, academics and engineers who believe morality in society is preventing scientific advancement and are committed to discovering a universal theory of everything, at any cost.
The Assembly is a PS4 exclusive.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment released this first clip from Joy Ride 3: Road Kill now on Digital HD, a few weeks before its June 17 Blu-ray and DVD date.
The new sequel finds director Declan O’Brien (Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines) in the driver’s seat for another deadly detour. Our review is embargoed until next Monday. Take that information as you will.
In the third film, “The nightmare begins when a group of young street racers take a desolate shortcut on their way to the Road Rally 1000. But a chance encounter with Rusty soon turns deadly as he stalks, taunts, and tortures his next victims with deranged delight. It’s a full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal chill ride packed with killer twists and turns!“
Starring Ken Kirzinger (Freddy vs. Jason) as the infamous Rusty Nail, the Joy Ride 3: Road Kill Blu-ray and DVD is loaded with extra features including a variety of deleted scenes, featurettes, behind-the-scenes content, and a gruesome unrated version of the film. They include: Pre-Vis Sequences, Road Rage: The Blood, Sweat and Gears of Joy Ride 3, Riding Shotgun with Declan: Director’s DIE-aries, Finding Large Marge and Audio Commentary.
We've been buzzing about Mortal Kombat X for a few days now, and with E3 in full swing, we've kept a close eye on things and have gathered some new goodies for you! Read on for new screenshots, video, fighter announcements, and more!
Including staples like Scorpion and Sub-Zero, there were four more characters on display at the event - Cassie Cage, Kotal Kahn, Ferra (who rides piggy-back on the hulking Torr), and D’vorah, who is part insect.
MKX takes place 25 years after the events of the last Mortal Kombat, and Cassie and Kotal are descendants of Johnny Cage and Shao Kahn, respectively. Characters can choose between 3 different fighting styles prior to entering a match; in total there were 24 fighter slots (mostly greyed out), but that number can change of course between now and release.
Check out some new screen shots below along with an on-camera chat with creator Ed Boon courtesy of the PlayStation Blog.
Mortal Kombat X is slated for a release sometime in 2015.
“Shutter” is finally getting to a place where I feel safe to jump on board. The course of each issue has drastically changed from month to month making it hard to feel like, as the reader, I am in trusty hands. What I initially thought would be an adventure comic featuring a strong but flawed female ex-world-explorer now feels very little about that at all. But if the comic stays the course after this week’s issue, I’ll definitely be along for the ride.
ART BY: Leila De Duca
RELEASE: June 11, 2014
Review By: Bree Odgen
Like I said, the first issue of “Shutter” was slower and focused on establishing a character profile for our heroine, Kate Kristopher. In a painfully bizarre out-of-the-blue twist, we are thrown into a fight between robots, anthropomorphic rats, and mobster cats. The shift from character building to world building was so insane that all the attributes felt out of place, misused. There was no organic lead into the new storyline so I got lost. Not until this month’s issue do things start to settle in.
The plot of issue #3 seems to appropriately shift focus to the two most interesting story elements thus far: the Mahees Lane Gang and Kate. More importantly, it sets out to start Kate down the rabbit hole of her family history. And it leaves us on a delightful cliffhanger, making us wonder if she’s safe even with the people she grew up trusting. At this point, you wonder if anyone is truly on her side.
Each issue of “Shutter” has a variety of storylines that are set apart via differing illustrations. While I love this type of storytelling in theory, the actual shifts in the story feel so abrupt and different that it pulls me out. I appreciate the boldness in this storytelling, but sometimes the boldness must give way to continuity.
The world-building is another sticking point for me. I’ll admit, I’m getting used to it, it’s starting to work. But overall I feel like there is no continuity in the world-building. Basically anything and everything can be and is anthropomorphized. The giant mobster felines mixed with steampunk robots were hard enough to blend together, but the pumpkinhead nurse was just not gelling with the others. I’m of the school of thought that even fantasy must have a rhyme or reason to it, there must be something relatable, and some element of it must be grounded in reality. Unfortunately I don’t feel that way with much of the “Shutter” world-building.
All-in-all I was excited about the main two storyline in this week’s issue and I think they makes comic worth checking out in the months to come. Given that this comic has drastically improved from even just last month’s issue, I’m excited to see where it brings us in the following issues.
Written by T. Blake Braddy, @blakebraddy
The Forest is kind of like MineCraft as written by Lucio Fulci and designed by Crytek. In it, players crash-land on a vast and beautiful landscape covered with trees, flowers…and cannibals. To survive, players must build shelters, develop weapons, and hunt for food, not to mention avoid or deter the multitude of threats that surround them in this open world. The game looks beautiful, and the enemies are not run-of-the-mill people eaters, which gives this bright, exotic landscape an ominous, LOST-ish feel.
It is in an early alpha stage, so there’s plenty to be fixed, but the team working on The Forest is committed to developing a surreal, creepy, yet varied experience. Michael Mellor, Ben Falcone, and Anna Terekhova of Endnight Games gave some great and cryptic answers as to where The Forest is headed and how it will change as the game reaches its final release form.
BD: The game is in Early Access. Clearly you have a vision for where you want it to go. What would you like for the final product of The Forest to look like? What changes to the world, environment, and game complexity will you be implementing?
We wanted to release a base that showed what our vision is for the game. We plan on opening up more areas of the world to explore, more caves that go deeper and deeper. As well we will be adding more wildlife and revealing more mutants.
Things like sound design, improved graphics and performance, deeper simulation aspects and more things to build and construct will all be added over the course of the alpha. There are also a few big surprises we have in store and not yet ready to reveal.
BD: Is anything big being developed right now that you are adding soon that players would be really interested to know?
We have a lot of really cool stuff in the works. Along with bug fixing we also want to release some cool new things with each update. We haven’t revealed everything yet but we have a pretty solid roadmap. The current plan is to release every two weeks or for the bigger updates, every month. The first update is coming in a few days. (June 16th)
BD: How long do you plan on being in the alpha / beta stages of development?
Our current plan is to aim to have the final ready in six months. However as the game develops we will get a much clearer picture. There are a lot of features and improvements we want to make and don’t plan on releasing final until we, and the community really feel it’s ready.
BD: I read on the Steam page that a team of only four people created this game. How long have you been working on it, and how did you manage to create something so visually interesting in that period of time?
Most of the team has been working on the game for over a year now. We have also made use of some very talented freelance artists and coders from around the world.
BD: Plenty of games in this subgenre of survival sim focus on a very simple aesthetic, or stylized retro-ish graphics. The Forest, on the other hand, is going full tilt on the visual side of things. What prompted that decision?
We have always wanted to see how far we can go with graphics. Coming from a VFX background we knew we could create something really interesting.
BD: Tell me a little bit about the people who live around the crash site. Where did the inspiration come from to use cannibals as a complicating, dangerous element?
The inspiration for the cannibals came from 80’s Italian cannibal films. We wanted a smart enemy who could climb trees, mourn their dead and in general be an interesting threat in the world.
This isn’t the 80’s anymore, and so we didn’t think we could get away with a native cannibal threat such as in the traditional cannibal film, and so instead created a mutated human concept, we haven’t revealed exactly who they are but over the course of the alpha as more of the cave systems are opened up, who they are and what they’re doing in the world should start to become clear.
BD: I didn’t get very deep into the game – I need to work on my survival skills! – so could you talk also about how the inhabitants play into a larger mythology of the world, or is that being kept secret?
We don’t want to reveal too much about the inhabitants and how they connect to the world. Its something we want players to form their own ideas about as they explore more and as the alpha progresses. Safe to say however that its a really important focus for us, making the inhabitants feel like they belong and have a history with their environment.
BD: The game includes a “peaceful mode,” so it seems like you also have an interest in making survival situations as deep and interesting as the enemy attacks. What are the different ways players can approach the world in The Forest?
The peaceful mode is going to be the exact same game, just with the enemies turned off. Although we always saw the core game involving enemies, if players want to turn them off they can approach it as a pure survival experience.
BD: Tell us about how co-op will be integrated into the game. How many players will be able to play simultaneously?
We’re hoping to have 2 players to start and possibly build from there. Adding real people to a situation suddenly makes it interesting in a completely different way and it’s something we’re excited to explore more.
BD: Has anything surprised you about how people are playing the game, versus how you imagined people would be playing it? Does that affect how you tweak player experience?
Its been really awesome to see the different playthroughs on YouTube. there has been a surprising amount of strategies used by different players. We did not expect players to be so fascinated about killing seagulls on a yacht, for example.
BD: How has fan support helped keep the team focused? What sorts of suggestions have been most helpful in steering you in the Alpha phase?
Its been really great getting feedback for the game. Everyone is very enthusiastic and it really helps motivate us. We have had tons of ideas and suggestions emailed to us. Right now the most helpful things have been people providing us with detailed bug reports so we can go in and fix them properly.
BD: There is certainly combat in The Forest, but survival is obviously the main component of gameplay. Do you think gamers’ tastes are shifting slowly away from destruction as a means for entertainment?
We think the combat and survival are both essential components of the game. You need the threat of violence and destruction to build tension from the peaceful moments when you’re exploring or crafting. That said, it would be entirely possible to build a great experience purely around survival, its just not the focus of our game.
BD: Similarly, what do you think open-world survival games have to say about the concept of making your own play, rather than being compelled to do what the developers have laid out as “necessary?”
Giving the player freedom gives them a lot more possibilities in what the gameplay is in the world. Open world games also have lots of potential to create real tension/horror, as you’re not on a linear path the player can feel genuinely disoriented and unsure what may happen at any moment.
BD: What is the plan for Oculus Rift integration? Do you have plans to port it to Mac or release it on consoles at any point?
We are planning on releasing an Oculus update soon. There are still a few things we need to work out before it is ready for the public. Regarding Mac, at the moment we are a very tiny team so our main focus is the PC version. Once that is complete we will look into putting it on other platforms
After just three issues, “Lumberjanes” proves to be one of the best all-ages comics of this year. In the midst of fighting off three-eyed mutant beasts and surviving their way through a dastardly tunnel full of ancient booby traps, the “hardcore lady types” of the Lumberjane summer camp show real heart and character, each girl more unique than the next.
ART BY: Brooke Allen
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: June 11, 2014
Review By: Bree Odgen
The Lumberjanes have landed themselves, literally, in a deep cave full of insane booby traps including talking stone giants. They work their way through the tunnel slowly and methodically beating all the traps thanks to a skill or physical attribute that is unique to each girl. The individuality of the girls is used like a rung in the ladder that leads them out of whatever disastrous situation they find themselves in. It will always likely be their personalities and the way they work together that save these ladies.
So… these girls are my absolute favorite. They show the perfect amount of complexity for a teenager while being likable and utterly darling at the same time. At times they are fearless, funny, outlandish, and unstoppable. They will embrace magic and mysticism at the drop of a hat and in the same breath, be terrified or sad about their situation. Stevenson and Ellis have crafted the perfect teenage girls to give you realistic emotional whiplash while still being tough and intelligent. They are the new generation of Power Puff Girls. They are quirky and tough and adorable.
Perhaps the most impressive part about “Lumberjanes” is its subtlety in exploring the diversity of tween girls in the 21st century. What could have so easily become an issue book about misfit teens roughing it in the woods against magical elements has completely thrown all the clichéd expectations away and instead has succeeded at the elusive exploration of diversity. Each girl has carved out a great niche for herself to fit her own big personality, but the book isn’t out their individual niches, it’ about life when they all fit together.
When you mix together the quirky writing, eccentric made-up slang, relatable personalities, and the occasional fantastical element, with the outrageously fun illustrations and the amazing lettering (seriously, I’m so into the lettering on this comic) you get a stellar comic that’s perfectly distinctive and too cool for its own good.
“Red City” #1 kicks off Image’s latest series, a Tech Noir tale that delves into the criminal underworld on the Mars of the future as well as the political intrigues surrounding the solar system at large. While not as dark or compelling as the best entries into the genre it presents promise that could be fulfilled in the issues to come.
ART BY: Mark Dos Santos
RELEASE: June 11, 2014
Review By: Ooknabah
The classic noir tropes are all in place: Cynical narration from our protagonist, dirty cop-turned Security Officer Cal Talmage, a femme fatale in the mysterious woman known only as Angel and a varied cast of shady characters populating writer Daniel Cory’s vision of Mars. His world is established firmly in this debut issue, although principally through huge chunks of expository dialog and narration. While staples of the noir genre, these asides occasionally feel forced, as Cal seems aware that he is speaking to an audience in 2014, one that requires detailed explanations to the minutiae of the universe.
Thankfully, as the story moves forward, the pace picks up and the dialog gains a liveliness borne of a writer clearly having fun playing with his genres. It’s nothing that science fiction or noir fans haven’t seen before, but it is well done and will get even better as Cory becomes more familiar with his characters’ voices. As it stands, a lot of ground is covered in this first issue, laying out several threads to be picked up, including an in medias res opening that, while typical, does the job of adding action to an otherwise mostly talking heads filled story and setting up the stakes for what is to come.
Mark Dos Santos’ art does the necessary job of creating the future Mars and its inhabitants, and while his cartoonish style lends some character to the many conversations that fill the 24 pages, it’s not until the climax of the issue with some evocative use of shadows that it rises above mediocrity. This isn’t helped by the drab palette employed by colorist Chris Fenoglio, which feels washed over in a grey that does little to evoke any mood or energy. The premise might provoke the look and style of classics like Blade Runner, instead the visuals are muted, with little other than aliens here and there to making it distinguishable from another genre.
The individual elements are far from knocking the comic out of the park, they do create a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Freed from the confines of an introductory chapter, I’m interested in seeing where the story will go and to see the creative team find their collective stride. Tech noir fans are not awash in modern offerings, so this books is well worth checking out. Let’s all hope its worth continuing to do so.
Ooknabah AKA Brent Hirose is a writer, actor and gigantic nerd from Vancouver B.C. You can listen to his podcast about that at HugeNerds.Podomatic.Com or check out his many other projects at BrentHirose.com
Did you snag a copy of Stephen King's latest, Mr. Mercedes, when it was released on June 3rd? If so, we'd love to hear your thoughts, especially now that we know it's Part 1 of a proposed trilogy with Part 2's title already announced!
King took to Twitter to reveal the news, including word that the second installment will be titled Finders Keepers.
We should be hearing more about that soon so stay tuned!
MR. MERCEDES is the first novel in a projected trilogy. Hodges, Jerome, and Holly will return in FINDERS KEEPERS next year.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) June 10, 2014
Mr. Mercedes Synopsis:
In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.
In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.
Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.
Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.
Bee and PuppyCat is the pudding-covered child of Natasha Alegri who draws and co-writes the book. She also works as a storyboard revisionist for Adventure Time and is the person responsible for the wildly popular Adventure Time gender-swap “Fionna and Cake.” Bee and PuppyCat acts like a spiritual successor sharing the same unique tone and similar lead characters. Originally an animated short, after an exceptional reception by the public and a hugely successful Kickstarter Bee and PuppyCat will now be made into an online show on Frederator Studios’ Youtube channel, Cartoon Hangover.
ART BY: Natasha Alegri
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: June 11, 2014
Reviewed By: Torbin Chimners
The issue picks up immediately where the first issue left off with Bee and PuppyCat having just arrived in a black void where Temp-Bot lives. It gives them their next temp job: to repair a music box for an unknown client on Snowglobe Planet.
The dialogue here is superb, it captures the characters perfectly. You can really hear Bees distinctly awkward-but-cute voice and the robotic-but-aloof voice of Temp-Bot. A lot of this can be credited to Britt Wilson’s unconventional lettering that naturally flows with the characters and their emotions. It feels like a lot of time and care was put into it unlike the norm of uniform letters in a box. That’s not all this comic does that’s different. I won’t spoil it but this issue in particular has an excellently implemented additional feature that you’re going to want to have your phone at the ready for.
Altogether Bee and PuppyCat #2 feels like an experience rather than simply a straightforward read. It’s got laughs and it’s got tender moments. This first little arc actually wraps up quite nicely and leaves some dangling mysteries for future stories, which I didn’t expect from this series but whole-heartedly embrace. Get on board the Bee and PuppyCat train now so in a couple years you can tell all your friends that you liked it just after it got cool.
Torbin Chimners AKA Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter @Vulgar_Rhombus
20th Century Fox rides in with the “Retaliate” promo for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the awesome Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The new footage is absolutely bonkers, and features a cavalry of apes shooting guns like out of an old Western!
In theaters July 11, Matt Reeves directs with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Judy Greer and Jocko Sims starring.
In the sequel to the prequel, “A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.”
Who knew Michael Bond’s much loved children’s books would eventual come to this?
Just a day after the CG-animated/live action Paddington hit the Web, a new meme has gone viral that puts everyone’s favorite bear in horrific situations. It’s trending as #CreepyPaddington and even has a blog devoted to said memes.
Take a look at a few below and just do a simple search on Twitter for a billion more.
Okay, so we've lost count of how many TV spots there have been for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes thus far. All we know is this flick just keeps looking more and more badass by the second. Need more proof? Here ya go!
Look for the film in theatres on July 11th. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smith-Mcphee, Enrique Muriciano, and Kirk Acevedo. James Franco has a minor cameo.
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.
For more visit the official Dawn of the Planet of the Apes website, "like" Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on Facebook, and follow Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on Twitter (#DawnOfApes).
Around this time last year we told you that Jennifer's Body director Karyn Kusama was working on an indie flick titled Invitation, with Luke Wilson attached to star. It seems as if those plans have changed, and we've got the latest casting news for ya today!
The Wrap reports that Prometheus star Logan Marshall-Green (pictured) and "Boston Public" actress Marieh Delfino have accepted the female director's Invitation, which will also co-star Tammy Blanchard, John Carroll Lynch and Michelle Krusiec.
Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi wrote the script, which stars Marshall-Green as a man faced with mounting evidence that something sinister has taken hold of his ex-wife, who is hosting a dinner party that harbors a terrifying agenda.
Delfino will play a UCLA professor in the movie, which Hay and Manfredi are expected to produce with Martha Griffin and XYZ Films.
Production is scheduled to start this month.
“Abe Sapien” #13 comes with a fresh jumping on point to encourage new fans to pick up this great ongoing. Scott Allie and Mike Mignola really handed us a curve ball with last month’s issue and this month really shows the type of creative shake up the team injects to keep the story moving. Filled with great story telling and fantastic art work this book should be on everyone’s pull list.
Review by: GreenBasterd
Abe Sapien has spent the duration of his ongoing series searching for clues and connections to the mass destruction going on in the world and his mysterious transformation. After a run in with a particular scummy piece of man in the previous issue Abe has finally made some headway. Having “feelings” that are reminiscent of Fenix’s (oddly enough the b*tch who shot him) abilities have been leading Abe all around America and now lead to a new destination. After finding a family who have been using horse tranquilizers to subdue their transforming son, the group stumble upon a very eerie situation represents the sense of foreboding that’s been following Abe around.
The issue begins with the sudden change in Abe’s demeanor; after the terrible situations he has constantly found himself in, all of which have ended badly, he has finally been able to focus on the good he can do. This starts with saving the young woman Grace from a hillbilly psychopath. Since saving Grace, Abe has certainly become more proactive, you can tell that Allie made this change in character purposefully as this issue has been dubbed a starting off point for new fans.
The art of this book is incredible as has become customary when dealing with either of the Fiumara brothers as illustrators and the ever talented colourist Dave Stewart. The images by Sebastián are quite powerful especially at the beginning where the raw monstrous side of Abe Sapien is on full display as he covers himself in the pulp of another man. The story has a dark feel and is reflected through the art as the panels remain highly shadowed and dark. Though the meat of this issue is slow the end of the issue sparks to life again and really allows for the artistic team to display their full repertoire with powerful imagery.
This issue is also special because it has a short story at the end of Abe in days past, this maybe short but it is sweet and reinforces the caring side of him that has been prevalent throughout the series. Making for another powerful issue coming out from Dark Horse this Abe Sapien creative team continues to deliver top notch storytelling with incredible art work.
This Friday marks IFC Midnight's theatrical and VOD release of Alex de la Iglesia's Witching and Bitching (review), which promises to be one of the most batshit crazy experiences any of us have ever witnessed.
While we wait, we've got some goodies in store for you today, which should whet your appetite for the madness!
The ensemble cast boasts some of Spain’s biggest film and TV stars, such as Mario Casas (I Want You), Hugo Silva (Sex, Parties and Lies), and Carmen Maura, who earned a Best Actress award at San Sebastian in 2000 for her role in Commonwealth. Further cast members are Terele Pavez, Carolina Bang, Secun de la Rosa, Pepon Nieto, and Jaime Ordonez.
When a bank heist in the city doesn't all go according to plan, José and Tony find themselves in possession of some hostages and speeding through the mountains of Spain, hoping to quietly slip over the border. Not wanting to give up his custody days to his ex-wife, José has also brought his son along, for both the robbery and the ride. Little do they know that this is only the beginning of their troubles. When they decide to make a stop in a small tavern in the Basque countryside, the group encounters a series of local wackos. Falling victim to a mysterious spell, they soon find themselves the honored guests of a fractured family of witches who are preparing for an ancient ritual. More colorful characters begin to enter the picture, including a pair of hapless cops hot on the trail, a defecting vixen witch and José's controlling ex-wife, and the situation spirals further out of control, heading towards a jaw-dropping climax.
From its opening moments involving a shootout between a series of street performers in costume (including Minnie Mouse, the Invisible Man and Jesus), it's clear that director Alex de la Iglesia is in top form here. Capturing all the wit of his previous films, but employing a much more streamlined energy, he serves up the laughs, action and thrills in spades. Creative effects and frenetic, tongue-in-cheek jokes make for a visual inventive comedy with plenty of scares and surprises along the way. So grab your iron dentures and sharpened utensils. Dinner is served.
Tackling the issue of genetically engineered food, Wildfire #1 is the story of Dr. Beth Silva and her team of bioengineers who decide to demonstrate an untested new process of accelerated plant growth to show up a group of GMO naysayers called Green Aware, unwittingly starting the greatest wild fire that Southern California has ever known via mass dandelion infestation. This book is dense, dry, and reads like a sequel to Birdemic with less interesting characters.
Review By: Epic Switzer
Sci-Fi-Horror, and more aptly the disaster genre, has a rich history of examining contemporary social fears and then magnifying and exploiting them to amuse audiences. Those that have been successful rely on metaphor; they create a larger than life threat to represent a real cultural anxiety. Godzilla as a metaphor for nuclear war and Invasion of the Body Snatchers as a metaphor for communism are just two example of the staying power that a strong character or story can have within the zeitgeist when it is handled with finesse and subtlety.
Then there is Wildfire #1, which follows in the tradition of a divergent path. One popularized by recent Roland Emmerich fare and the aforementioned Birdemic, in which the disaster it wrought directly by human negligence or, in the case of Wildfire #1, science overstepping its bounds. These tales are meant to be cautionary and informative, often coming across as heavy handed or preachy. They can, however, be forgiven by carnage-hungry audiences if the explosions are big enough. Aside from a rather dull splash on the first page of L.A. on fire, this book has 0% mayhem.
Now, to be fair, this is issue #1, so some set up is to be expected. After all, 2012 doesn’t open with Cusak whipping down the street as volcanic fissures emerge beneath him does it? No, it starts with scientists in India talking about neutrinos and solar flares and a rapid temperature rise in the Earth’s core and blah blah blah. This is Wildfire #1.
I found myself skimming the paragraphs found in almost every dialogue bubble because I didn’t understand and didn’t care what the characters were saying. Here is the dialogue on one page:
“The Time is 3:45 PM, Tuesday August 12th. This is Dr. Dan Miller preparing to conduct trail A16-4 for ACR. This trial has a 5% increase in phosphorus in the soil mix. Four of our transgenic beansprout seeds are buried at a depth of three inches in our nitrate treated soil compound. As in previous trials, adding liquid fertilizer mixed with ACR to stimulate gibberellin hormone growth.”
Did you read all of that? Neither did I.
Personally, I didn’t find the art interesting enough to drive forward all this sci-babble. There is some interesting use of border design to accentuate heightened emotion when characters are speaking, but after the 3rd or 4th time you see it it becomes less ingenious and you start to wonder why people are always shouting at each other.
I really did not enjoy reading this book. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have potential, but I found there weren’t enough interesting characters in play with unique motives. There was far too much heavy-handed discussion about the ethics of GE food, and it was almost entirely devoid of havok. Avoid this one until further notice, unless you happen to be Roland Emmerich.
Epic Switzer AKA Eric is an aspiring filmmaker and screenplay writer living in Los Angeles. His work tends to focus on the lighter side of entropy, dystopic futures, and man’s innate struggle with his own mortality. He can be found on twitter @epicswitzer or reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since it's the 30th anniversary and all, the internet is currently in the midst of a Ghostbusters frenzy, and it's quite frankly a beautiful thing. On tap for you today are two little things that we feel will be of interest to super fans so read on if you ain't afraid of no ghosts!
First up, Film Dumpster caught up with star Ernie Hudson to talk about the long-gestating Ghostbusters 3, wherein he remarked that it's definitely happening, though he has no idea when the cameras will start rolling. Okay, so it's a bit of non-news, but it's still worthy of a mention.
You can check out the full interview below, which was filmed at the Niagara Falls Comic Con.
Also below you'll also find a fun 30th anniversary Ghostbusters infographic, courtesy of SDRS Creative. It's jam-packed with lots of information about the film that you probably never knew so definitely give it a look!