Badass Travis Clevenger is back doing what he does but this time he’s getting drafted. This super-human profiler starts hunting down a dangerous power broker in “Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine” #2. If you qualify for this antagonist’s offer, you too can be super powered!
WRITTEN BY: Dan Jolley
ART BY: Leonard Kirk
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: November 13, 2013
Travis Clevenger is big, brilliant, sassy-mouthed, and tough. Although he looks a little too much like X-Men villain Sabretooth, Clevenger is too clever to even compare the two beyond appearances. The big, nebulous villain of the piece is Dr. Bradley Morgenstern, who is offering The Power Chip to those he deems worthy. That is a nice carrot to dangle in front of the entire world, isn’t it? Writer Dan Jolley knows how to set up a nice storyline here.
Artist Leonard Kirk always is a class act. He comes from the same school of amazing and dynamic art as Stuart Immonen which is indeed high praise. I always enjoyed Kirk’s artwork in the Geoff Johns era of
“JSA”. I’m well aware that this artist knows how to do great team books. I’ve no doubt he’ll continue to dazzle in this series.
I actually came upon the original series when I was digging through my collection in my comics-cave last week. How fortuitous the story picks up practically where it left off all those years ago. This story was ahead of its time. I guess the one good thing from all that CSI-ish TV is that readers are open to police procedurals, and jobs like profilers and forensics are cool now.
Creators Dan Jolley and Leonard Kirk are to be commended for rekindling this concept for the world outside of the Distinguished Competition where it was an admittedly odd fit. This character somehow feels less shackled down in this storyline than in its previous incarnation. Ironic, since Cleveneger has literally hopped into a universe without any known super humans. Here’s hoping that will allow the creators to go wild with their imaginations.
Reviewed by – Your Friendly Neighborhood Brady
Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten examine the scope of imagination and adventure, in their new Image Comics series, “Umbral”. Having already demonstrated an incredibly strong creative relationship, through their work on the post-apocalyptic series “Wasteland”, the smooth cohesiveness of the team’s combined talents on this new project comes as no surprise.
WRITTEN BY: Antony Johnston
ART BY: Christopher Mitten
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: November 13, 2013
“Umbral” presents itself as a dark and mysterious foray into the high fantasy genre of world-building and character creation. There’s a richness of imagination that pours through Johnston’s narrative, and it’s only spurred on by Mitten’s artistic vision. Furthermore, there’s an engaging mythopoeic conception of land, history, and life that is as generous as it needs to be for a successful debut issue.
While it’s always best to experience the art of speculative fiction firsthand, rather than reading a regurgitated summary that will never truly encompass the breadth of creativity, talent and foresight involved in the overall process of creation, here’s the rundown for sake of clarity. The Kingdom of Fendin is preoccupied in the exciting event of a highly anticipated solar eclipse. Taking advantage of this distraction is the bold and adventurous thief Rascal, and her surprising spell-casting partner in crime, Prince Arthir. Together, they embark on a seemingly uncomplicated journey to steal a powerful item from the Red Palace, only to be swept into a gruesome world of blood, death, and dark legends. The fate of the Kingdom now rests on Rascal’s shoulders as she tries to make sense of nightmare she fell into.
“Umbral” #1 is a great introduction to what is looking to be a distinguished and thoroughly thought-out series. The pacing of Johnston’s narrative in terms of plot development is not overbearing considering the intricate process of building a dark fantasy world, but it manages to be perfectly informative without giving too much away in order to maintain reader interest. Both writer and artist provide a variety of differently envisioned characters to help establish a feel for the time and setting. Moreover, they present a surprisingly filled-out Tolkien-esque map of the Kingdom of Fendin, which only shows how big the creative team is dreaming for this series.
The artwork is a collaborative effort between illustrator Christopher Mitten, and colorist John Rauch. They work in tandem to produce a dark, gritty, and a trope-heavy medieval European world — in terms of style, setting, and dress — and effectively find a balance between Rauch’s dark palette of purple and blues, and Mitten’s scratchy stroke techniques and bold inks. On the topic of bold inks, Thomas Maur’s letters are hard to decipher at times, specifically the dialogue provided for the evil spirits, but chalk that up to an understandable, though poorly executed creative choice. Mitten continues to establish himself as a stylistically recognizable and distinguished artist in the industry, and his work within this book and outside this series has been visually stimulating.
“Umbral” #1 proves to be another successful comics endeavor for Johnston and Mitten, and highlights many of the typical core elements of the high fantasy genre. Looking forward to more.
Reviewed by – ShadowJayd
Are the good cops in the dark and corrupt city of Arcadia? Is everyone dirty or on the take? There’s a new officer in town that may be above the corruption which makes him a target for both sides of this turf war in “X” #7. Will he and his squad become allies or one more target for our anti-hero to cross off his list? Read on, true believers and find out.
WRITTEN BY: Duane Swierczynski
ART BY: Eric Nguyen
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: November 13, 2013
The newest player to the game for Arcadia is Officer Danny Ruidoso, rookie cop and leader of the new Task Force X (isn’t there one of those already?). This ‘Suicide Squad’ may be aptly named since our titular hero tends to leave none of his enemies alive. We’ve got a rag-tag bunch of cops who appear who have never seen much action. Now, they have to track down the infamous “X-Killer”. Ruidoso, Tendler, Rizza, and Kendrick are tossed together to find the man known as X.
Writer Duane Swierczynski tries to build up some usable characters by establishing that not every cop in this town is immoral. They may come from all the obscure corners of the police force, but they still exist in Arcadia. The powers that be seem to want all their problems to destroy each other in the process. Mutual self-annihilation is always fun to watch. Perhaps down the line we’ll see “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” moves from X and the X-Killer Task Force.
The art by Eric Nguyen is back to being very angular and fluid. He really paints a distinct picture for each of the task force members which is a good move. He knows how to compose a good chase scene on foot. Ironically, his portrayal of the main character seems to fluctuate depending on whom he battles. X seems longer and lankier than in previous issues. For example, his big imposing figure is lost when tangling with former boxers like Officer Tendler.
The problem X has is that if he doesn’t kill his enemies, they really come back to haunt him. If he kills all of his adversaries, who will come back to seek revenge? Vigilantes with this M.O. always have this difficulty. It’s with a morbid curiosity I’ll keep turning the pages to see exactly how many bodies pile up before X fulfills his mission.
Reviewed by – Your Friendly Neighborhood Brady
“Hellraiser: The Dark Watch” continues to build on the mythology that Clive Barker started over 25 years ago. It’s clear that Barker and Seifert are confident in the new directions for Kirsty, Spencer, and D’Amour. The creators aren’t holding anything back, and it’s only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose. Check out the exclusive preview for “Hellraiser: The Dark Watch” #10 below from BOOM! Studios.
WRITTEN BY: Clive Barker, Brandon Seifert
ART BY: Tom Garcia
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: November 20th, 2013
Elliot Spencer’s last run-with Leviathan didn’t go as planned, but the lord of the Labyrinth has no idea what his former protege has in store for him…
Check out some killer new imagery from Bind, producer Dan Walton’s (Gutterballs, Hanger) directorial debut that filmed in Vancouver.
Darren Matheson, Sierra Pitkin, Alisha-Jo Penney, Sasha Neuhaus, Shayleigh Pruzina, Deborah Finkel ,Eliza Faria, Lynn Csontos, Mackenzie Mowat, Morgan Pasiuk, and Natasha Davidson all star.
In the film, “A family move into an abandoned orphanage and they soon learn that their charming orphanage has a disturbing history and is convinced they aren’t alone.”
Garage punk rockers Fidlar have been announced as the direct supporting act for The Pixies on the upcoming January N. American tour. The band will follow the tour by heading into the studio to record the followup to 2013′s self-titled debut album. The east coast tour will stretch for two weeks, beginning in Toronto, ON and finishing up in Richmond, VA.
Head on below to see the band’s video for “Cocaine”, which stars Nick Offerman. WARNING: The video is HIGHLY NSFW!
1/15 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
1/16 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
1/18 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
1/19 – Port Chester, NY @ Capitol Theatre
1/21 – Newark, NJ @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1/22 – New Haven, CT @ Shubert Theatre
1/24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
1/25 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall
1/26 – Washington, DC @ Strathmore
1/29 – Richmond, VA @ National Theatre
Naughty Dog has finally revealed the first single-player expansion for The Last of Us, which is arguably the greatest game on the PlayStation 3 as well as the console’s fastest selling title. The DLC is called Left Behind and it follows Ellie and her friend Riley, the latter of which was introduced The Last of Us: American Dreams comic series from Dark Horse.
The DLC was revealed via a teaser trailer, which you can watch after the jump. It isn’t much, but how much do you really need to see to get excited for this? Not much, right?
The Last of Us: Left Behind will arrive exclusively on the PlayStation 3 in Spring 2014.
Your favorite scum dogs of the universe, GWAR, are now immortalized in a Funny Or Die animated video entitled, appropriately enough, “The Animated Tales Of GWAR”! The sketch was two years in the making by animators Myke Chillian and Tommy Meehan and also features guest work by Weird Al Yankovic.
Chillian describes the show: “Lead singer Oderus Urungus loses his murderous-mojo prompting the rest of the band to embark on an Antarctic quest for the cure. Weird Al Yankovic guest stars.”
Oderus Urungus, who is as negative as ever, states, “I hate cartoons…cartoons are for kids, and kids are strictly for eating. But I just might have to back up a little and say that this is the greatest cartoon ever, even if I still hate it, just because it’s about US.”
Watch the video below!
Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth has released a second teaser video for their upcoming “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” music video, which will be the first single from their upcoming album The Satanist (out early 2014 via Metal Blade Records). The video was produced and directed by Grupa 13, the group that directed the fantastic “Lucifer” video, which you can watch below.
As I’ve stated before, I simply cannot wait for the new Behemoth album. I need this filthy, brutal, slab of metal destruction destroying my ear canals as soon as possible.
Birmingham, UK metal band Morgue Orgy is gearing up for the official retail release of their debut full length album The Last Man On Earth on January 13th, 2014. They’ve also decided that the holiday spirit is running strongly throughout their veins, so they’re giving the album away as a free digital download on Christmas Day, December 25th.
To give horror fans an idea of what to expect, the album opens with a song commemorating interspecies breeding between man and alien. From there, the band has songs about zombie hordes, scarecrow serial killers, and nightmarish circus troupes.
Keyboard player Paul Carter comments, “We want the listener to have an experience when listening to the full album, to feel the highs and lows, the intensity and the dynamics. We don’t want people to pull 2 songs off the album onto their playlist, we want people to listen to the whole album from start-to-finish.“
Morgue Orgy live:
Saturday 16 November – Asylum 2, Birmingham – 7pm
Friday 29 November – Zephyr Lounge, Leamington – 8pm
The Last Man On Earth track listing:
1: They Came From Outer Space
2: 4 Days
3: Phantasms of March
4: The Last of the Summer’s Wine
5: Barnum & 399
6: 70 Dead pt 2: The Scarecrow of Medan
7: Castle Freak
8: Waiting for the End
9: The Last Man On Earth (Diary of George)
10: IT LURKS BENEATH!!!
12: In the Smoke of the Green Ghost
I’m crazy excited for the arrival of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but I’m also understandably a little frustrated I won’t be able to grab either console as soon as I would like. My therapist told me I shouldn’t bottle up these emotions, otherwise I’ll return to my dark place and black out, only to wake up three days later covered in pig’s blood (at least I think it’s pig’s blood) with odd, almost alien markings covering my entire body. Since I’d rather that didn’t happen to me again, I’m going to express my emotions the only way I know how, by writing to you.
All this week I’ve been celebrating the end of a wonderful console cycle with features covering the best horror games of this generation — from AAA blockbusters to smaller indie efforts — as well as a recent look back at some of the most disappointing games.
Since I’d rather not end this on a such a sour note, I’ve decided to extend this celebration with a look at some of this generation’s best horror-themed DLC and expansions — see my picks after the jump!
Resident Evil 5 was a pretty big deal for me. I had high hopes for it since it was following up Resident Evil 4, and in the months leading up to the game’s release I had written a bunch of features for the site I was writing for at the time writing about Resident Evil 5 as if it was the biggest thing to ever happen to video games. This glowing coverage led to my becoming friends with Capcom’s PR team, which invited me to their midnight launch party in San Francisco. The event was open to everyone, but I was allowed to interview some of the voice cast, including Roger Smith (Chris) and Karen Dyer (Sheva), as well as the game’s producer, Jun Takeuchi. That was a moderately big deal for someone who had only begun his “games journalist career” three months earlier.
Now, I enjoyed Resident Evil 5 a lot. I know some of you didn’t, but that wasn’t the case for me as I spent well over a hundred hours with a friend enjoying its hugely addictive co-op. That’s not to say I wasn’t disappointed by a few things, like the incredibly short campaign that can be completed in about three hours and the overall lack of scares, but that didn’t ruin it for me. Far from it. Capcom eventually threw their horror fans a bone with Lost in Nightmares, which followed Chris and Jill as they B&E’d their way into Spencer’s other mansion, a big house that happened to look eerily similar to the one where the original Resident Evil was set.
Lost in Nightmares is creepy, builds up the tension in that classic survival horror style, is brimming with fun nods to the original game and has some genuine scares, especially if you play it on the hardest difficulty where the radar is deactivated. If you feel burned by the series’ more action oriented direction, this is worth checking out.
I immediately fell in love with Undead Nightmare, even though I’m not the biggest fan of Red Dead Redemption. It’s a great game, it just isn’t for me. Red Dead Redemption felt too empty. Every time I tried to play it I was overcome by an overwhelming feeling of isolation, which eventually turned into boredom. Thankfully, this standalone horror-themed expansion is anything but that.
It’s humorous, in a self-aware sort of way, lengthy and manages to be different. Sure, it has zombies and yes, zombies are overdone, even in late 2010, but Undead Nightmare transformed a bright, spaghetti western into a scary post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested western that’s worth playing because it’s fantastic in every way. It also has a Unicorn.
I didn’t think it was possible, but when Infinity Ward turned all of Duty into the biggest gaming franchise of this console generation with Modern Warfare, Treyarch was the underdog. Every other year they’d give us a game that was solid, even though it never quite reached the level of quality of Infinity Ward’s next game released the following year. Since then, the tables have turned, with Treyarch giving us the superior Call of Duty experience as Infinity Ward rests on their laurels, churning out the same game every year.
Part of the reason for this switch is Treyarch isn’t afraid to be silly. They embrace silly. They’re willing to think outside the box, to get creative and take risks. The zombie mode introduced in World at War was brilliant and it immediately took off because it was unexpected. With each new entry they’ve expanded on it, making it bigger and better with each new Call of Duty. Black Ops II’s zombie mode is basically its own game at this point.
For me, the greatest thing they ever did came in the Escalation pack, which added a new map titled Call of the Dead. In it, you took on the role of one of four survivors — Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy), Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) and Danny Trejo (Machete, Predators) — as they battle a horde of the undead led by George A. Romero. It really can’t get any better than that.
On October 19, 2013, Varèse Sarabande Records hosted a special Halloween Concert Gala as part of their worldwide 35th anniversary celebration at the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, CA. Conducted by Steven Allen Fox and performed by the Golden State Pops Orchestra, the concert featured some of Varèse Sarabande’s most terrifying releases from films including Psycho, Halloween, Ghostbusters, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The concert included performances by award winning composers including Marco Beltrami, John Debney, Christopher Young, Brian Tyler, and Nathan Barr, with several surprise guests.
But the highlight of the night was a surprise performance of Christopher Young’s “Ghost Rider Theme”, which saw the concert joined by Philm, which features ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. You can watch video of the performance below.
If you’re a State of Decay fan who’s been patiently waiting for that DLC Undead Labs promised us a while back, you might not have to wait much longer. A trailer recently leaked out for Breakdown, the first expansion for the best zombie game of 2013. It introduces a few of the features Breakdown will add to the game, including a sandbox mode and new playable heroes, weapons and challenges.
No word on how much it will cost us or when we can expect it, but I’m hoping it arrives soon. I wouldn’t mind a reason to return to that fantastic game.
Announced this year at SDCC, IDW will be rebooting the genetically enhanced blue solider with an all new “Rogue Trooper” series. The book finally has a creative team in novelist Brian Ruckley and artist Alberto Ponticelli (“Frankenstein Agents of SHADE”). Rogue Trooper was one of 2000 AD’s hottest characters back in the day, and now that IDW has hold of Judge Dredd, you can probably expect a crossover heading your way.
Official Press Release:
San Diego, CA (November 10, 2013) – As announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, the genetically modified G.I., Rogue Trooper is returning! Expanding the relationship started with the successful Judge Dredd series, IDW and Rebellion/2000 AD will return to the frontlines of Nu-Earth and Rogue Trooper with an outstanding creative team!
After storming the world of fiction with his debut fantasy novel, Winterbirth, the first book in The Godless World Trilogy, Brian Ruckley will report for duty as the writer of the brand-new series. Joining Ruckley, and bringing his dynamic and monstrous style back to IDW, Alberto Ponticelli (Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths) will be handling the art for the series. In addition to the standout creative team, Rogue Trooper will feature covers by esteemed artists Glenn Fabry (Preacher, Slaine) and James Stokoe (Godzilla: Half-Century War, Orc Stain).
“Rogue Trooper is likely the most recognizable 2000 AD character not named Dredd, and it’s extremely exciting to have the opportunity to reintroduce the character to an all-new audience,” editor Denton J. Tipton says. “Brian and Alberto are longtime fans of the strip, and will bring a fresh spin on Nu-Earth while retaining a healthy respect for the original material. And with gripping covers by Glenn and James, the series is practically going to leap off the rack right into your face.”
On the war-torn world of Nu-Earth, Rogue Trooper trudges across the poisoned planet in search of answers and justice. Haunted by betrayal, Rogue Trooper accepts a mission that defies the war that has ravaged the stategically important location.
“As a kid, I read the original Rogue Trooper strip from its very beginning, and was fascinated by the brutal, strange world and striking characters it presented,” said Brian Ruckley, “to now get the chance to revisit and re-imagine all of that for a new audience, and do it alongside such amazingly talented folk as Alberto Ponticelli, is just crazily exciting.”
Co-created by Gerry Finley-Day and renowned artist Dave Gibbons in 1981 for 2000 AD, Rogue Trooper became a showcase for some of Britain’s top artistic talent. In addition to Gibbons, Steve Dillon, Colin Wilson, Cam Kennedy, Brett Ewins, and Chris Weston have contributed art to the popular strip.
Beginning in 2014, Rogue Trooper will return to the comics page not only in this brand-new series, but additionally, IDW will begin re-producing the classic series from 2000 AD. Look for both in the coming year!
Complex has posted an extensive article with Spike Lee about the upcoming Oldboy remake, which hits theaters November 27th. Lee discusses how he looked at the Billboard Top 100 R&B/Hip Hop songs over the past 20 years and culled his selections from those lists as well as what song he feels his the best representation of Josh Brolin’s character Joe (“Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix). Head on below for the 147 track playlist (Spotify required to listen) and head on here for the full interview.
“Oldboy is a provocative, visceral thriller that follows the story of Joe Doucette, a man who is abruptly kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement, for no apparent reason. When he is suddenly released without explanation, he begins an obsessive mission to find out who imprisoned him, only to discover that the real mystery is why he was set free.“
Variety has a new addition to the Jurassic Park “reboot” as Chris Pratt, pictured, is in early talks to star in Universal’s Jurassic World. Pratt, best known for his role on “Parks and Recreation”, is breaking out big time, especially after his performance in Zero Dark Thirty. Next up? How about James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy?!
Unfortunately, Pratt would take on the role originally intended for Josh Brolin. Discussions are very preliminary, as scheduling and salary discussions, which were the original deal breakers for Brolin, have not been discussed yet.
Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson are also in talks to star.
Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) is directing the sci-fi adventure movie and also will co-write the script with Derek Connolly.
Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley will produce Jurassic World, which is set to begin filming early 2014.
The dinosaur reboot will hit theaters June 12, 2015.
Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage will write and produce the live-action adaptation of Mattel’s Monster High franchise for Universal Pictures, Variety reports.
Plot details are unknown, except that the film will be based on the doll franchise, popular with teen and tween girls, that centers on the perfectly imperfect teenage children of the world’s most famous monsters.
Schwartz and Savage will produce under their Fake Empire banner alongside Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who brought the project to the studio. Mattel’s Playground Productions is executive producing.
Phase 4 Films will be releasing Crave on VOD and in limited theaters on December 6, 2013.
Starring Josh Lawson (“House of Lies”, <>Anchorman 2), Emma Lung, Ron Perlman (“Sons of Anarchy”, Hellboy), Edward Furlong (Night of the Demons, T2), we now have the trailer for the Charles de Lauzirika-directed festival pic.
“A downtrodden photographer, haunted by the urban violence and decay around him, retreats into an inner world of dark fantasies. Those dangerous visions explode in reality with deadly consequences when his intoxicating new relationship with a beautiful young woman goes sour.“
Lionsgate released a third clip from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire that features the trainees prepping for battle.
The Francis Lawrence-directed sequel, in theaters November 22, “continues the story of Katniss Everdeen and the fictional, futuristic nation of Panem. Due to the events of the previous novel, a rebellion against the ruling Capitol has begun, and Katniss and fellow tribute Peeta are forced to return to the arena in a special edition of the The Hunger Games.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lynn Cohen, Patrick St. Esprit, Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Maria Howell, and Sam Claflin all star.
IFC Midnight releases Eric England’s twisted horror film Contracted on Friday, November 22nd. Written and directed by England, the film stars Najarra Townsend, Matt Mercer, Alice Macdonald, Katie Stegeman, Simon Barrett, Charlie Koontz, and Caroline Williams.
While it will be available on plenty of VOD outlets (including iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon Instant Video, GooglePlay, SundanceNow and more) for folks outside of reasonable driving distance to a theater, you should see it on the big screen if you get chance. And if you live in LA – there’s no excuse not to! We’ll be hosting a special screening on the 22nd at The Downtown Independent (251 S. Main St, Los Angeles, California 90012) at 10PM! I’ll be conducting a Q&A after the film with England and some of the cast! There will also be booze if you’re over 21. You can buy tickets HERE!
Check out an exclusive, nasty clip below! This sh*t is one of my biggest fears.