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By Jonathan Balofsky On 9 Aug, 2016 At 01:52 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News, ROG News, Television | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarMarvel and Netflix have released a new trailer showing off the new Luke Cage TV series. The series looks true to the comics while adding its own bend. Netflix has done a great job with the Marvel properties so far and this will hopefully be no different.

Check out the trailer below.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 24 Jul, 2016 At 05:18 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Movie News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments
Justice

No GravatarAt San Diego Comic Con today, a new trailer was released for the upcoming Justice League movie. The trailer shows off the various cast members and hints at the plot threads that will be present. You can check out the trailer below,

 

By Shelli Anpan On 21 Jul, 2016 At 08:07 AM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Conventions, Featured, News, News, Otaku Events, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarHi everyone! Shelli Anpan here to bring you a peek inside the halls of San Diego Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), the largest pop culture convention in the United States.

Originally geared towards the comic and graphic novel aficionados, SDCC has since grown over the past several decades to encompass all forms of art and geekdom, including (but not limited to) TV shows, big budget movies, video games, and detailed replicas. To learn more about SDCC and its history, click here.

With almost 24-hour programming, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when attending a convention of this magnitude. To narrow it down a bit this year, here are my Top 5 for Day 1:

  1. #TheHallofFaces
    All 4 Days, L Street Fine Art Gallery
    As a huge fan of the Game of Thrones television series, this is definitely a must-see. Going off of the listed description, “The Hall of Faces activation will allow guests to enter the House of Black and White and ‘Become No One’.” Praise to the many-faced god!
  2. #SuperheroIRL
    6:30PM – 7:30PM, Room 24ABC
    Everyone has encountered bullying in some way, shape, or form in their life, inspiring writers and artists to create (super)heroes to overcome them. Nonprofit Pop Culture Hero Coalition harnesses the idea of the superhero and applies those ideals to the real world. With the advent of Internet and prevalence of cyber-bullying and recent physical attacks around the globe, heroes in the real world are needed now more than ever to stand up and be beacons of hope and strength against the bullying, against the hatred.
  3. “Geek Couture” Fashion Show
    6PM – 8PM, Harbor Ballroom, Manchester Grand Hyatt
    Although I probably will not be able to attend the Fashion Show as it conflicts with the #SuperheroIRL panel, I still can’t wait to see what beautiful works of wearable art will be showcased this year!
  4. CBLDF: Navigating The Powers & Perils of Banned Books
    12PM – 1PM, Room 30CDE
    Ever wonder why graphic novels are attacked by censors? This panel will discuss just that and and how to successfully integrate them into the classroom.
  5. Exclusives!
    Last, but not least, I’m super excited for exploring the Exhibit Hall! For all first-time con-goers, the Exhibit Hall is where you’ll find all the popular, rare, and exclusive paraphernalia you could ever desire. These include comic books, original fine artwork on canvas, highly detailed sculpted collectible figures, video games, apparel, and accessories. SDCC is well-known for their w exclusive merch, which can only be purchased at the convention. Of course, you’ll probably be able to find that special exclusive on eBay later for an arm and a leg.

That’s all for now, but to get live news and visual within the con, follow me on Twitter (@ShelliAnpan)!

Are you going to SDCC? Do you wish that you could go? Tweet at me and let me know what you want to see, and I’ll do my best to take you there!

By Amy McGarey On 15 Jul, 2016 At 12:11 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Movie News, News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarEarly this morning, Entertainment Weekly debuted 4 new photos from the new Wonder Woman movie to be released next summer. The pictures were released a week prior to Comic-Con as part of a special Comic-Con issue of Entertainment Weekly.

Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins and will be an origin story for Diana Prince. The movie will take place during World War I. Chris Pine (seen below) co-stars as Diana’s love interest Steve Trevor.


After Wonder Woman releases in June 2017, Gal Gadot will go on to appear in Justice League which is set to be released the following November and is already in production.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

By Jonathan Balofsky On 9 Mar, 2016 At 10:27 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews, Reviews, ROG Humor, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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Archie comics have a reputation ( mostly deserved) of being a kiddie comic that plays things way too safe and comes off as cheesy. In recent years however, the company has taken steps to shed that image. From Afterlife with Archie (Archie with zombies and not for kids at all) to new horror comics with Sabrina ( again definitely not for kids), the company has done a lot to push Archie out of the niche it was stuck in. That said, would anyone have predicted a crossover with the Predator franchise? Or even more, a crossover that is aimed at older readers that unlike the crossover with the Punisher in the 90’s, doesn’t hesitate to show violence?

This comic is insane. I was amazed at what they put into the comic, from references to the movie protagonists, to lines being quoted. Seeing Reggie call himself a “Gosh Darned Sexual Tyrannosaurus” left me speechless. The violence was not hidden at all. Seeing Archie characters get their heads ripped off and blood splattered is a far cry from the cheesy comics of previous years.

The art is of high quality and almost eerie in how the Predator is drawn to resemble the Archie style. The story? Archie and the gang go to Costa Rica after winning a contest and during the heat wave a teenage predator comes to Earth to hunt. The predator is drawn to Betty and Veronica’s fighting and follows the gang back to Riverdale where things really hit the fan.

The writing is witty and clever and after you get passed how disturbing this can be, its actually a fun read. Although its called Archie vs Predator, the story focuses more on Betty and Veronica and their fight against the predator. Everyone else gets caught in the middle.

Be aware this is NOT a lighthearted story. Like Afterlife with Archie, this one is not for kids, or the faint of heart. If you are easily disturbed by dark imagery, then this comic is not for you. This is a comic where anyone can die and who makes it out at the end is rather surprising.

The hardcover collection includes mini comic crossovers between other Dark Horse comics and Archie characters, my favourite being Hellboy meets Sabrina.

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In the end, I have to recommend this, but be warned once again, this is a very dark comic.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Jan, 2016 At 03:38 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarSuperheroes are awesome. We can all agree on that, but sometimes we need to look beyond the super heroics. What if I told you there was a comic book that was essentially a super hero sitcom? And that there are 4 volumes out that you can read now?

Love and Capes was created by Thom Zahler, an extremely talented cartoonist, who applied TV sitcom writing to comic book superheroes. The result was an amazing comic book that will provide hours upon hours of entertainment.

Volume 1.

 

We begin the comic by seeing bookstore owner Abby Tennyson on a date with her boyfriend, accountant Mark Spencer. They’ve been dating for a few months and Abby thinks Mark is a great guy. But Mark has a secret. He is the most powerful super hero on the planet, The Crusader. Mark decides to reveal his secret to Abby after talking with his friend Darkblade (a Batman analogue with some of the wittiest lines) but really should have thought of a better way and he learns you should really catch people when they faint.

 

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After getting over the initial shock, Abby starts enjoying the perks of being a superhero’s girlfriend

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….and the downsides, like Super Ex-Girlfriends in the form of Amazonia, one of the top heroes, as well as the fact that Mark will constantly be in danger and on call, thus interrupting dates as well as leaving her worried.

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Fortunately Abby has her sister to rely on for support…and vice versa as we see later. Love and Capes is an amazing exercise in showing a supporting cast. Yes there are awesome characters like Doc Karma (and his love of TV shows that haven’t been released on DVD stateside) who perfectly captures the kookiness and awesomeness of the Ditko era Doctor Strange and Arachnerd (3 guesses who he is based on and the first 2 don’t count).

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However, we also have excellent supporting characters like the aforementioned Charlotte, Mark’s parents and the rest of Abby’s family.  The superheroics are off panel and the focus is on the human side. We see Mark get jealous of other heroes and the reason why become a plot point. We see Abby grow more and not just as a superhero’s girlfriend but also as her own character with her own interests, as does Charlotte and Darkblade whom we learn more about. The last part of volume 1 deals with Mark and Amazonia’s former relationship and its at the end w see why Mark and Abby go so well together. That they are a good couple. If that sounds sappy I’m sorry because the comic is also incredibly funny and witty.  The drawings are excellent and evoke both classic and new TV cartoons.

 

If you like comics you owe it to yourself to get this.

 

 

 

By Garrett Green On 10 Feb, 2015 At 06:35 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Movie News, News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarNo, it’s not April Fool’s Day, no you aren’t dreaming. It’s really happening. Spiderman will appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

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Sony Pictures and Marvel studios have reached a deal to introduce Spiderman into an upcoming Marvel movie. After that, Sony and Marvel will co-produce the next Spiderman movie which is set to release on July 28. 2017. The two companies are also discussing the possibilities of bringing in MCU characters into the new Spidey films. Sony will continue to finance and distribute the movies, and well as own and have final creative say on the films. However, Kevin Feige and Marvel will be co-producing films from here on so expect to see heavy involvement from Marvel.

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The question on everyone’s mind though is if Sony and Marvel are continuing from the Amazing Spiderman Movies or if we are getting our third reboot of the wall crawler. While the press release say one way or the other, the language does make it seem we are getting a new Peter Parker. Specifically the press release says “… the ‘new’ Spiderman…” It also states that Sony and Marvel “…will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger.” Take from that what you will but one can speculate from that phrasing that they will introduce a new actor to portray the Sony-Marvel Spiderman.

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I don’t know about you but I’m pretty excited about this news. Personally, I feel Marvel will get the future Spiderman films onto a better track than where it was headed. I hope all those spin offs (Secret Agent Aunt May? Really???) will be axed and create a better focus on the films than setting up spinoffs. And while I didn’t dislike the Amazing Spiderman films nor the Andrew Garfield I think Marvel will do a much better job. But since Sony has the last say we just have to wait and see what they can do. You can read the full press release here.

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By Garrett Green On 11 Nov, 2014 At 05:23 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Editorials, Featured, International News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarIn 1999, a blond haired brightly dressed ninja made his debut in Shonen Jump Magazine. 15 years, and 200 million copies in print world wide, and 700 chapters later, Naruto has published is final chapter.

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Widely popular in Japan and United States, as well as other countries, the series has enjoyed a steady following of dedicated and casual fans alike. It was one of Jump’s “Big Three” along with Bleach and One Piece when all three were the driving force behind the magazine. And while Bleach has taken a hit in popularity and One Piece is still insanely popular, Naruto has been, for the most part, a constant hit for Jump. Of course, it’s popularity has gone through ups and downs but mainly it’s almost always been in the upper tiers for Jump.

Naruto began with a mischievous orphan boy who longed to become Hokage (leader of his ninja village) and prove his worth to the villagers and fellow ninjas. Dwelling inside, unbeknownst to him, lies the Nine Tailed Fox. A being of incredible power and anger, the Nine Tailed Fox nearly destroyed his village when he was an infant. Those who remember the incident treat Naruto as a monster and a nuisance, while their children follow suit and treat him as an annoyance. Through hardships, friendships, and betrayal he forges his own creed, his ninja way, by which he lives his life and makes strong bonds with friends who once wouldn’t give him the time of day and grows to become a powerful ninja in his own right.

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The manga is known for its stylized action and comedy. While it started out in a more comedic tone it didn’t shy away from battles and deaths, becoming progressively darker as the sees went on without losing it’s initial charm. And while, in my own opinion, the end became a bit over the top and the final battle a but underwhelming, the story wrapped up nicely with a good payoff for the long term fans who stuck it out. The last few chapters felt a bit rushed but the final chapter was a giant love letter to the fans who wanted to see what became of the many characters we came to know and love (or hate in some characters cases).

Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of Naruto, has announced with the end of the main series that there will still be more Naruto to come. “The Last: Naruto the Movie” will be released in Japan on December 6. The movie takes place two years after the last major arc in the manga but before the final chapter.  There will also be a new mini series beginning in spring of 2015 following all new characters in the Naruto Universe. Kishimoto has announced that there will be more to come.

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Whether you loved, hated, and didn’t even know what a Naruto was, the cultural impact of the series can be felt all over the world. It was a good 15 years. We laughed, we cried, we asked “what the heck is going on?” Whatever emotions you had, Naruto has been a larger part to the anime community and won’t be forgotten anytime soon. The anime is in the final arc of the manga, not accounting for added filler arcs it should end soon as well. Some 15 years, 600+ episodes, 7 movies, 50+ games and unfathomable amount of merchandise later, Masashi Kishimoto and Naruto have both deserved a good long rest. Thank you for the many years of entertainment. Dattebayo!!

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No GravatarThe week of October 27th has been slam packed with all kinds of Marvel Cinematic Universe announcements. Perhaps as a way to combat the recent popularity of DC tv and movie popularity, Marvel Studios has just revealed upcoming plans for Phase Three of the MCU with movies planned up until 2019.

At Disney’s El Capitan theater in Los Angeles, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, announced plans for Captain Marvel and Black Panther to get their own movies, along with other sequels and new franchises.

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The Schedule

Captain America: Civil War (May 6th, 2016);
Dr. Strange (Nov. 4th, 2016);
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5th, 2017);
Thor: Ragnarok (July 18th, 2017);
Black Panther (November 3, 2017);
Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1 (May 4th, 2018);
Captain Marvel (July 6th, 2018);
Inhumans (November 2nd, 2018);
Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2 (May 3rd, 2019)

Black Panther will star Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed Jackie Robinson in the movie 42 as well as James Brown in Get On Up. In case you’re not familiar with who Black Panther is, he’s the ruler of a fictional African nation called Wakanda. Vibranium, the metal used in Captain America’s shield, is mined there which has caused the country to be rich and highly technologically advanced. Chadwick Boseman is slated to appear as Black Panther in a total of five upcoming Marvel films, beginning with Captain America: Civil War.

Captain Marvel was also announced to get her own movie, as it was confirmed that this would be the Carol Danvers version of the superhero. She will be Marvel’s first female character to get her own film. This might be disappointing to fans of Black Widow, who were expecting her to have the first female Marvel Universe film, but Feige reassured us that Natasha Romanov would be heavily featured in the rest of the Avengers movies. So far there is no actress confirmed to play Captain Marvel.

Also announced this week is the actor portraying Doctor Strange. Rumors began with actors such as Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, and Joaquin Phoenix. However it’s been confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Hobbit) will be portraying the surgeon-turned-Sorcerer Supreme.

Making an event out of announcing Phase Three, Marvel Studios has decided to “go big or go home,” combating DC’s announcement of a Wonder Woman movie and success of Gotham and Constantine. Your move, DC.

 

Baltimore-Comic-Con

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Baltimore Comic Con is a small but wonderful comic book convention held in Baltimore, Maryland. It is held at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year it was held from September 5th to September 7th, 2014.

Although this was my first year attending as press, I went last year as well.

One writer that was an absolute pleasure to meet was Tom King. He took the time to autograph Grayson #1 and A Once Crowded Sky for me. Although Tom spoke many praises for his work on Grayson, he expressed his passion and love for his novel: A Once Crowded Sky.

Here is a quick synopsis from Amazon on A Once Crowded Sky:

A tour de force debut novel from a former CIA counter-terrorism officer, A Once Crowded Sky fuses the sensibility of bombastic, comic-book-style storytelling with modern literary fiction to bring to life a universe of super men stripped of their powers, newly mortal men forced to confront danger in a world without heroes.

The superheroes of Arcadia City fight a wonderful war and play a wonderful game, forever saving yet another day. However, after sacrificing both their powers and Ultimate, the greatest hero of them all, to defeat the latest apocalypse, these comic book characters are transformed from the marvelous into the mundane.

After too many battles won and too many friends lost, The Soldier of Freedom was fine letting all that glory go. But when a new threat blasts through his city, Soldier, as ever, accepts his duty and reenlists in this next war. Without his once amazing abilities, he’s forced to seek the help of the one man who walked away, the sole hero who refused to make the sacrifice–PenUltimate, the sidekick of Ultimate, who through his own rejection of the game has become the most powerful man in the world, the only one left who might still, once again, save the day.

A Once Crowded Sky

I look forward to reading A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King and reviewing it for everyone.

Another person that was a pleasure to meet and watch and listen to at a panel was Charles Soule. He offered his talents on Death of Wolverine, as well as other works like She Hulk and Inhuman.

Death of Wolverine

Since this convention was local to where I live, my absolute favorite comic book store was present and I had to make a stop at Third Eye Comics’ booth! If you’re not familiar with Third Eye Comics and live in the Maryland area, I highly recommend checking them out. Everyone, from Steve, the owner, to all the other workers take the time to learn your name and what you enjoy. They are an absolute joy to be around and indulge in your comic book needs.

Baltimore Comic Con may be small, but is absolutely worth the experience. I highly recommend at the very least taking a day out to enjoy.

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