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By otakuman5000 On 27 Mar, 2017 At 06:10 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarLogan

20th Century Fox

Run Time 2h 17min

Rated R

20th Century Fox has gotten a lot of flack over the years about their handling of the X-men cinematic universe. Some of the flack, this author feels MIGHT be warranted, other parts not-so-much. The success of Deadpool and the fact that Fox has basically let Marvel call the shots with the next wave of films is starting to show promise.

Now it is time to get back into the X-men Universe with the release of Logan. Directed by James Mangold, this is the last of the Jackman-Wolverine solo movies, and it is a thrill ride from the first frame to the last. Set in the not-too-distant future, Logan places you in a world where the mutants are all but extinct. The world actually resembles today, Xmen are now comic book characters, action figures, and pictures on t-shirts. Mutants are the stuff of legend and lore. So when people hear about the Wolverine, it is almost mythical.

The story is about an aging Logan, trying to help care for an ailing Professor X  in an outpost near Mexico. Along with Caliban, they have a pretty peaceful existence, until Logan is contacted by someone needing his help to save a young girl, and here is where things get interesting.

The next piece of the story without spoilers is the X-23 project. If you are a fan of the comic you know the story. For those who don’t, in Logan, the central focus is the little girl Laura aka x-23. She is the result of a government genetic program designed to create new mutants as weapons. Some of the doctors are not happy with what they are seeing, so they help some of the kids escape. Logan is sought out and this is where things get crazy. It is up to Charles and Logan to save her and make it to Eden.

The story between Laura, Charles, and Logan is the highlight of this film. The banter between those three is the glue that holds the movie together. There is a point in the movie where Logan refers to Charles as his “dad”, and it fits so perfectly. Laura is actually genetically Logan’s daughter and unwittingly acts like it throughout the film. The emotion is woven into the fabric and pacing of the film.

The emotion holds the story together, but it is the gritty action and fight scenes that keep the story moving. The scenes in this film are some of the most intense we have seen in the Wolverine cinematic universe to date. These scenes are also very satisfying and very relevant to the story.  Logan is trying to save his “family” while helping a cause that is is not 100% on board with. The pacing of the action sequences is a thing of beauty. The young actress playing Laura (Dafne Keen) is a great action star. She has the same disdain for people that Logan has at first, but as the story progresses, she learns she can count on friends.

Logan is the perfect way to showcase Hugh Jackman’s final solo Wolverine performance.  This film has what great films need, great writing, on point pacing, great performances, edge-of-your-seat action, and most of all, heart. You will not be disappointed with this film. This author recommends viewing it more than once.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 22 Mar, 2017 At 09:52 PM | Categorized As Books, Comics/Manga, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Robert E Howard was the legendary creator of Conan the barbarian. Conan has seen several comic adaptations over the years, including comics from Dark Horse Comics that have been running for some years now. But Howard made other great characters as well, notably Kull the Conqueror, a more cerebral take on the idea of the barbarian hero. Kull has also had adaptations in the past, from Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics, but they have not caught on as well.

Now however, IDW Publishing has acquired the license to produce new comics based on the character. Rather than retreading what was previously done, the writers are taking things in a new direction.

“‘Kull Eternal’ is that idea — using the Howard-penned tale (and one of my personal favorites) ‘The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune’ as its foundation, IDW will take Kull on a journey through time… a strange journey that will combine modern conspiracies and political intrigue with the supernatural and sword and sorcery underpinnings of the warrior king’s past. This will be Kull as he’s never been seen before… and yet as legendary as ever. A weird tale we hope is worthy of all the fantastically weird tales that have come before.”

This is a really cool take on the character, and one I personally will have to check out. I have been a massive fan of the work of Robert E Howard for years, including the Kull stories, and so really appreciate this new take on the lore. Here is hoping IDW has a successful run with the character.

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By Kira Nance On 22 Mar, 2017 At 09:35 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, International News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarArmy of Darkness fans rejoice! Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the beloved cult horror film Army of Darkness, Dynamite Entertainment (Red Sonja, The Shadow) has announced the upcoming launch of Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness, the next installment in the already successful comic book franchise. With issue #0 boasting a “S-Mart Special Pricing” of $0.99 Dynamite is hoping to appeal to AOD fans new and old who are always susceptible to a good “impulse buy”. The creative genius of Co-Writers Chad Bowers and Chris Sims (X-Men ’92, Awesome Hospital, Swordquest) along with artist Mauro Vargas (Crossed: Badlands, Destiny’s Fate) will lead us into the next phase of the Chosen One’s journey.  In Dynamite’s official press release, both publisher and writing duo expressed an almost childlike enthusiasm for the project.

“Army of Darkness, and really Sam Raimi’s entire filmography, is such a major influence on how we approach storytelling,” says co-writer Chad Bowers. “Being turned loose inside that sandbox and having a chance to add to the AOD mythology feels like something we’ve been working toward for years, and hopefully it reads that way, too. And I dare anybody to tell me Ash Williams isn’t the toughest ass-kicker in horror! What he lacks in brains, he more than makes up for by having a chainsaw for a hand. That’ll get you a long way in this world!”

“I saw Army of Darkness when I was nine, and I’ve literally described it as a life-changing experience. It might’ve been the most influential movie I’ve ever watched — in terms of the stories that I like and how much I love smartass everyman heroes that stumble into having to do the right thing — and almost everything I’ve written has had a variation on that idea kicking around in it,” says co-writer Chris Sims. “One of our big goals whenever we sit down to write a new story is to keep things moving fast enough that nobody has a chance to get bored, and with Ash, escalating those situations was so much fun.”

“Chad and Chris bring such vibrant life to their scripts; they translate their own enthusiasm so incredibly to the work, and they are Army of Darkness fans through and through. Teaming them with Mauro Vargas, an exceptional rising star (especially in the realm of hardcore horror), will ensure that longtime fans and curious newcomers are more than satisfied!” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “Celebrating AOD’s anniversary with a 99-cent introductory-priced #0 issue is a great way for our retail partners to welcome as many customers as possible to the world of Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness with minimal risk. Put copies on your store shelves and watch as impulse buys ensue — Ash is back, and we couldn’t be happier!” 

Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness will hit the shelves in June featuring a cover by artist Nick Bradshaw (Wolverine & The X-Men). Additionally, five variant covers will be available, with artists Pasquale Qualano (Doctor Who), Reilly Brown (Deadpool & Cable, The Amazing Spider-Man) and J. Scott Campbell’s “13th Anniversary Flashback” cover edition, making contributions.

By Nate VanLindt On 22 Mar, 2017 At 07:44 PM | Categorized As Books, Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Chances are you probably grew up reading either the ‘Hardy Boys’ or the ‘Nancy Drew’ novels.  Those old blue and yellow-spined hardcovers on your bookshelf filled with stories of the exploits of Frank and Joe and Nancy and Bess.   Just the mention of Franklin W. Dixon or Carolyn Keene brings back fond recollections for many of us, and they weren’t even real people.  All the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew stories were ghost written by contract writers for years.  The same goes for the ‘Bobbsey Twins’ books by Laura Lee Hope and the ‘Tom Swift’ novels by Victor Appleton Jr.    These books gave literally generations of young readers the basics of deductive reasoning and entertained them all the while.  The first Hardy Boys book was published in 1927 and the first Nancy Drew book in 1930 and they’ve been in continuous print ever since.

With their long-lasting popularity, it’s not surprising to see Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys occasionally resurface every decade or so for a facelift and some renewed book sales.  But one thing that most any fan would definitely not be expecting is the new comic series from Dynamite Comics entitled ‘Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie.’  ‘The Big Lie’ is everything that no one would expect from a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys team-up comic.  It’s gritty, violent, and hard-hitting right from the beginning.  The content is grim, the artwork has a rough retro feel, and the story is quite frankly, shocking.  It’s hard not to go into details without ruining the plot, but suffice it to say a fair assemblage of well-loved characters manage to make an appearance in issue one without things feeling crowded. On top of that, there are some surprising cameo appearances that might cause you to wax nostalgic.

Anthony Del Col of Kill Shakespeare fame manages to pull together tendrils of all our communal visions of Bayport from our childhood and weave them into the beginnings of a crime drama more reminiscent of an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street than a children’s mystery.   On top of that, Werther Dell’Edera’s minimalist art, which echoes notes of Darwyn Cooke but with more rough realism, perfectly rounds out the feel of the story.  Frank, Joe, and Nancy live very much in our present in this story and not in the picturesque Bayport that we read in novels as children.  People in this world are imperfect, petty, vicious, and most assuredly real.  It’s a novel approach to characters that have been relegated to childhood memories for far too long.

For those of you that weren’t raised on a steady diet of old clocks and tower treasures, never fear.  ‘The Big Lie’ stands well on its own regardless of your familiarity with the original source content.  It’s well-written, well-drawn and starts off a solid crime drama with a bang.  Issue one is at local comic book stores now, but it’s hard to expect anything but greatness from the forthcoming issues.  This one is a sleeper waiting to become a hit and whether you’re a fan of Frank, Joe, and Nancy or not, ‘The Big Lie’ is an absolute must-read for the indie comic reader.   One caveat however – this comic is definitely not for young readers.  It’s rated Teen+ and well deserves the rating.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Mar, 2017 At 08:43 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News, News, NINTENDO, ROG News, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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Here is some great news for fans of Splatoon and fans of comics. As part of the 40th anniversary celebration of CoroCoro, there will be a Splatoon full color comic book featured in  an issue due out April 15th,
But that is not all. There will be a Splatoon comic series appearing monthly, starting in the June issue. This is likely to coincide with Splatoon 2, as it will be a great bit of promotion for the game. Hopefully we can get these comics in the west as well, perhaps by Dark Horse, who seem to have a working relationship with Nintendo.

 

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By Kira Nance On 17 Mar, 2017 At 10:07 PM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, International News, Movie News, News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNetflix Japan has released a teaser trailer for Devilman crybaby, a new anime adaptation of Go Nagai’s iconic manga Devilman, said to be coming spring 2018. Known for it’s graphic violence, Nagai’s Devilman has inspired countless adaptations since it’s 1972 debut. In Nagai’s story, we follow Akira Fudo, a pure of heart youth who, embracing the fight fire with fire advice of his best friend Ry? Asuka, willingly integrates with an unlucky demon to prevent an impending resurgence of demons.

To fight a demon, one must become a demon“.

The official Netflix description is as follows:

A demon possesses a boy’s dead body to do evil. But after falling in love with a human girl, he has a change of heart. Based on Go Nagai’s hit manga.”

Directing the new anime is Masaaki Yuasa (Adventure Time, Ping Pong, Mind Games) and he appears to be embracing the Devilman spirit with open arms. Yuasa is well known and respected for his off-model deranged animation as well as his use of Gainax Endings.  Produced by Aniplex and Dynamic Planning (Go Nagai), Devilman will be available in 190 countries/territories, dubbed in 9 languages, with subtitles in 25.

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By otakuman5000 On 17 Dec, 2016 At 02:25 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Indie Spotlight, News, ROG News | With 1 Comment

No GravatarI had the pleasure of exchanging emails with the creators of the new indie comic Godhand, and boy, do they have a story to tell. Conrad Iwanicki is the writer of the comic and the artist is Ronald Nelson. Together, they have with a uniquely compelling story about a deeply “flawed” individual, along the lines of Deadpool and Batman.  Please take the time to check it out. What drives Conrad was the suicide of his mom, who is a Disabled Veteran two years ago.

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED FOR “GODHAND” Partial Proceeds to Benefit Veteran Mental Health Organization, Give An Hour Sneads Ferry, NC, December 16, 2016– Effective immediately, the official Kickstarter campaign has been launched for ‘Godhand’, a graphic novel. A relevant story propelled by an average guy going through the mundane motions of the corporate world. The lead antagonist, Bryce Powers (i.e. “Godhand”) finds himself at a fork in the road where he ultimately becomes the anti-hero. Written to substantiate that all who walk this world aren’t out of redemption’s reach, “Godhand” touches on a variation of descriptions: contemptuous, witty, poignant, cheeky, and harrowing. This graphic novel written by first-time author Conrad Iwanicki and illustrated by established American Manga artist Ronald Nelson, known for his work on (H)afrocentric, is, above-all-else, relatable, significant and noteworthy amongst modern comic literature and prose. While the ultimate objective is to self-publish and create a franchise with staying power, the story behind “Godhand” is both somber and inspiring. Iwanicki found the inspiration to create “Godhand” upon the recent suicide of his mother, Carrie Iwanicki [1962-2014]. A veteran of the United States military, she found herself in a compromising position, one familiar to countless veterans of our armed forces: lacking proper mental health care, disheartened, disconnected, suicidal. Page | 2 “My mom had a heart the size of the ocean, she truly lived to help others. Her suicide was senseless and fairly ironic considering a person that would help anyone couldn’t get the help she needed. With the success of ‘Godhand’, not only can I continue her legacy of selflessness, but hopefully I can do my part to stem the tide of 22 veteran suicides a day, so no other son or daughter has to experience the needless loss and sorrow I have.” -Conrad Iwanicki, Author Piecing together his personal relationship with the effects of the mental health of those who so selflessly give their services to our country and their families, Iwanicki will be donating proceeds from “Godhand” to the non-profit organization Give an Hour, “a national network of mental health care providers who give an hour of their time each week to help members of the military and their families cope with the “unseen wounds” associated with military service.” [www.giveanhour.org] A sample of dialogue and concept art can be obtained and viewed, respectively, at the website, www.godhandcomic.com. This project is in need of immediate funding to successfully reach its ultimate potential; more information on “Godhand” and how you can help is available on the Kickstarter campaign page now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1092670955/godhand-a-graphicnovel/description.

Please check it out and share this article with any veterans in your family. The free sample of the story can be found here.  Also check out and donate to Give an Hour.

Here are some concept art:godhand-bryce-turnarounds-page-001_1_orig godhand-punch1 godhand

By otakuman5000 On 7 Oct, 2016 At 08:04 PM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Editorials, Featured, NINTENDO, PC Games, Podcasts, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThis is our boss’ Andre Tipton aka Otakuman5000’s new show. The title is tentative, as for now, it is The Otakuman Hour/ The Andre Tipton Show.  Special Guests include Real Otaku Gamer’s own Sean Jacobs @NoirZillaGaming, Geekly Podcast’s @Melwheezy, DJ Killzown Jones @djkillzownjones. We talked about The Sony Destiny Deal, The NesBox Emulator for Xbox One, and cheating in gaming.

Since it is #VideoGameDay, we talk about the first game we played. And Otakuman5000 talks about his start in the Geek Culture Journalism.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 14 Sep, 2016 At 10:28 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Editorials, Featured, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarsimpsons

The Simpsons have had a long history with comics and some have been absolutely amazing. I recently had the chance to read Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium volume 4 and loved it. This collection has some of the best stories the series has ever had.

To highlight a few stories in particular, we have two stories of “Tales from the Springfield Bear Patrol”, a throwback to the season 7 episode “Much Apu About Nothing”. The stories are hilarious and help touch on ideas the show hasn’t used in decades. We see how inept the bear patrol is but they always manage to save the day (sort of).

Other stories include “Judge Dreadneck” a parody of Judge Dredd with Cletus in the role. This is the second best story in this collection, with loving references to not just the comic but also 80’s movies like Mad Max. This story is one of the reasons I love the comics. They have a creativity to them that the show now lacks.

The best story in this collection though, is “The Duffman Corps” a parody of Green Lantern with Duffman in the role. It is far better than it has any right to be, with the Duffman Oath, the villain Vinostro and the Guardians of The Party. This is one of the best comic parodies I have ever seen and I was laughing so loud while reading this, that I was out of breath more than once.

These are just 3 (technically 4) of the stories within and they are all amazing. This is a comic you should take the time to seek out. The TV Show may be out of steam but The Simpsons Comics are still going strong.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 13 Sep, 2016 At 05:21 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Editorials, Featured, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarlove-and-capes

I previously wrote about Love and Capes here, and now it is time for me to continue the discussion by talking about Love and Capes volume 2: Going to The Chapel.

We start off with Mark ( the crusader) planning to propose to his girlfriend Abby on Christmas ever. He is stopped, not by a villain but by her sister Charlotte who reveals that Abby would hate that type of proposal. What follows is one of the most amusing sequences in comics, as Mark comes up with idea after idea to try and propose.

Once that is done with, the volume really kicks into high gear. Abby and Mark grow closer than ever together while planning their wedding, Charlotte goes off to school in Paris ( thanks to Darkblade) and a new hire is made at Abby’s bookstore. The good times don’t last however as Mark and the rest of the super heroes are dragged off into a cosmic gladiator battle that leaves Abby alone….in more ways than one.  Thom Zahler does a really great job of breaking down the non super heroics parts of Super Hero tropes and ideas. Namely, if a super hero and their romantic partner fly off to another country, what happens when the partner becomes stranded in said country when the hero is pulled away. I thought it was excellent to show how the situation gets solved without Mark’s help. From their we deal with an evil clone that nearly destroys the romance between Mark and Abby and makes things awkward with his ex-girlfriend Amazonia. But you cannot keep a good hero down and Mark and his friends help put things right.

The next part of the comic is the best part for me. We get to see the fallout of such an event and what other characters do for support. Abby decides that the only way she will ever understand Mark is to get super powers of her own. This is accomplished thanks to Doc Karma ( who can read anyone’s mind but Abby’s), who can help her because Abby is doing this for love. It does have a warning though, as she will keep the powers until she decides she no longer wants them.  We then see Mark and Abby begin to understand each other better while working together ( and getting in some excellent jokes at the same time), while Amazonia begins to confide in Darkblade due to needing support. Abby excels for a time but Doc Karma’s warning proves true and she decide that powers are not for her. The circumstances surrounding Abby losing her powers show Zahler’s ability to write emotional scenes that really get to you, and you will feel deeply for Abby and what she is going through.

After that it is time for the wedding, but Zahler isn’t done yet. What follows is a time travel storyline, that while confusing ( and later issues joke about how confusing it is), show the depth of Abby and Mark’s relationship, as she will do anything she can to save him from an enemy. It is even pointed out in this issue that Abby has gone from being a bystander to being a badass in her own right. She is able to save Mark and foil the villain’s plan and Doc Karma then helps her return and get to the chapel for her wedding. Sorry for the lack of details but I am trying to cut down on spoilers.

Love and Capes volume 2 is a comic with excellent humor, drama and emotion. It takes the super hero concept and without trying, deconstructs then reconstructs the entire genre. It looks at what would realistically happen, then reminds us why we love these comics in the first place.

If you have not yet checked out Love and Capes, then I recommend you do so!