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By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Jun, 2017 At 09:56 AM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Movie News, News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The hit 1993 animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm will be coming to Blu Ray in a 1080p HD Remaster.

 

Warner Archive announced the release yesterday and fans have been very receptive already.

 

BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM(1993) (BD)
NEW 2017 1080p HD REMASTER
Presented in both the original theatrical 16×9 aspect ratio (1.78:1) AND open matte 4×3 (1.37:1) aspect ratio
Run Time 76:00
Subtitles English SDH
DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 Stereo – English
COLOR
BD 50
Theatrical Trailer (HD)

When the city’s most feared gangsters are systematically eliminated, the Caped Crusader is blamed. But prowling the Gotham night is a shadowy new villain, the Phantasm, a sinister figure with some link to Batman’s past. Can the Dark Knight elude the police, capture the Phantasm and clear his own name?

Unmasking the Phantasm is just one of the twists in this dazzling animated feature. Discover revelations about Batman’s past, his archrival the Joker and Batman’s most grueling battle ever — the choice between his love for a beautiful woman and his vow to be the defender of right. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is “a mystery that is genuinely absorbing, suspenseful and moving” (Cincinnati Enquirer).

According to twitter, the release will be next month.
This author remembers seeing the movie in his childhood (not in theatres but some years later) and being absolutely wowed. Seeing it again recently, it truly holds up well. This is a great movie.

 

No GravatarI recently had the chance to talk with one of the best comic creators working in the industry right now, Thom Zahler. We discussed his comics, his influences and his advice for new creators. have a read below.

 

 

 

 

 

JB: What were some of your favourite comics growing up?

TZ: I cut my teeth on Superman and the Justice League books. Especially when I was younger, the DC stories were 1-3 part stories that ended, which was kinder when you don’t have any control over when you buy your next book. Firestorm became my favorite because that was the first #1 I ever bought. In the world before reboots and constant renumbering, getting a #1 was special. Oddly, Firestorm was a very Marvel-style character.

 

JB: Who were your favourite artists and writers? Who had the most influence on you?

TZ: As a kid, Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger. Curt drew Superman and he was everywhere. Kurt drew so slick and so perfect, his stuff was just gorgeous. Go back and find his stuff. Such a strong and smooth line, and he made simple look good. He wasn’t designed for everything, but his Shazam stuff was transcendent. And Perez took it to another level for me.

 

JB: You went to the Kubert school, what was that experience like?

TZ: I always describe it as boot camp for artists. We had two classes a day, five days a week. I did 100 assignments before I went home for Thanksgiving. Just the volume of work gets you better. I learned a bunch of new methods and materials, grew so much as an artist, and forged some of my closest friendships.

 

Ultimately, I appreciate that Joe was teaching us to be Will Eisner. I can create a book, top to bottom. It gives me a flexibility to produce books that are important to me. I don’t know how much I appreciated it when I was in school, but I’m so grateful for it now.

 

 

JB: Can you describe some of the major influences on Love and Capes?

 

TZ: Darwyn Cooke, Bruce Timm and the DC Animated art style were huge for the look of the book. A cartoony style was something I fought for a long time, but when I got on the right book and I started doing it, I realized it was my wheelhouse. All that time trying to draw like Curt Swan or George Perez and apparently my art brain doesn’t work that way. But cartoony animated stuff, that’s my jam.

 

Writing wise, Berke Brethed’s Bloom County was a giant influence. It may not seem like it, but Love and Capes had a four panel beat structure. Essentially, it was Bloom County comic strip style jokes stitched together. It was also a comedic metronome for me.

 

The banter comes from my love of TV and sitcoms. Aaron Sorkin, Friends, How I Met Your Mother all loomed large in my head. When writing. It’s hard, because words take room and you have to structure them so the cadence is right there, as opposed to delivered by an actor. But I thought I did well with it.

 

JB:  You mention in your books, some of your influences, and how you put one of your pre-professional creations into the comic. At what point did it hit you that you are a professional comic creator? That moment where you felt a sense of wow at the situation. Do you ever stop feeling like a fan, or do you just appreciate being a fan in new ways?

TZ: That’s a great question! I’m not sure. I felt like a professional artist for years, being a graphic designer for an ad agency. But feeling like I was a full-fledged cartoonist, whatever that means, probably not until IDW picked up Love and Capes. Self-publishing was awesome, but when someone else is putting their money into publishing your work, that’s a different level. And it’s been iterative. IDW made the trades, then started publishing new issues, and then hired me on My Little Pony which was my first non-creator owned writing gig. Ultimate Spider-Man was my first animated TV gig. There’s always another rung on the ladder.

 

I don’t think I’ll ever feel comfortable. But I think that keeps me hungry and growing.

 

JB:  Have you ever considered going back to Love and Capes? Maybe a spinoff featuring Charlotte?

 

TZ: I think about it all the time. Love and Capes is very special to me, but that’s also why it’s so hard to return to. The birth of their child was the planned ending for the series, and I really felt like I stuck that landing. I don’t want to overstay my welcome or go out on a false note. I think stories need to end.

 

That said, if I ever have the RIGHT story, I’ll come back in a heartbeat. It’s interesting you mention Charlotte, because she might be my favorite character. She never found a boyfriend in the series because I couldn’t manage to write anyone worthy of her. I’ve toyed around with shifting the focus to Darkblade and Amazonia, different love, different capes. But I haven’t felt that inner voice telling me “This story, right now.”

 

JB: Your comic Time and Vine is one of the most intriguing ideas I have ever seen. How did you come up with that idea? How long were you working on it before you made it a comic?

 

TZ: I blame Kurt Busiek. I seem to recall him tweeting something about a wine comic and the idea just came to me. It wasn’t the next story idea I had, but it quickly took over my writer’s brain. I was on a walk one day and the structure of the story just came to me and it was so right. Once that happened, I was committed.

 

The time travel aspect locked down pretty quickly. I knew what the story required and the rules worked pretty well. I don’t think there are any cheats or paradoxes. Magic helps a lot.

 

I hope it’s a powerful story. If I do it right, it’ll be my Up. And if you’ve heard me talk about how much I love that movie, you know what that means to me.

 

 

JB: What was it like working on the My Little Pony comic? That franchise has a very dedicated fanbase, so did that make working on the project any different?

 

TZ: I try to respect the fans for sure. I’m a huge Star Trek fan, so I know about loyal fanbases. But the best Trek movie was written by Nick Meyer, who wasn’t a huge fan. I hoped to bring that outside perspective to it when I started. Now, I am a fan of the show, and I am a fan of the fans. But, if I’m doing it right, I also have the distance from the property to write interesting stories. Using Trek as an example again, I’m not sure I would have been bold enough to write Kirk feeling old, having a child, or killing Spock. But those were all great choices… bold choices… by someone who knew what a good story was and not just what they wanted to see.

 

 

JB: What advice do you have to new writers and artists trying to break into the industry?

 

TZ: Keep learning and be persistent are the big ones. And make something. There are less middle range publishers who would pay you to do sample pages like when I broke in, so you’ve got to publish on the web, or Comixology, or self-publish.

 

But that’s the big thing to me. It’s never a static game board. The rules keep changing. I came out of Kubert with the skill of hand-lettering. But computer lettering was on the horizon. Which meant that I was riding a wave. I could get hand lettering work, but I had to decide if I wanted to adapt to keep getting more work. I’ve learned how to color on the computer, how to draw on the computer and so on. I never wanted to self-publish, but it became the solution to the problem in front of me.

 

Basically, your job isn’t being a cartoonist. Your job is being employed.

 

 

JB: What are some projects you would like to work on, licensed properties or otherwise?

 

TZ: Star Trek, Star Trek, Star Trek! I love Trek so much, and co-wrote a short story for Pocket Books. I’d love to do more.

 

And I’d love to do a traditional superhero book. I think my sensibilities are just enough off-center to do something quirky while still writing a standard superhero book. Superman, Iron Man, Firestorm… I’d love to take a shot at those.

 

 

JB:  Do you have anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

 

TZ: I’ve got a new project that just dropped from Webtoons, too! It’s called Warning Label and it’s about a girl named Danielle who’s been cursed by her ex-boyfriend that anytime she gets asked out, they get a warning label of all the things they need to watch out for. You can check it out at:

http://www.webtoons.com/en/romance/warning-label/list?title_no=1051

 

Time and Vine is in Previews now. And I’ll have a couple more My Little Pony issues coming out this summer, too!

JB: Thank you again for doing this.

 

TZ: My pleasure!

 

 

You can follow Thom on Twitter @thomzahler

 

 

Love and Capes and Long Distance are both available at Amazon.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 30 May, 2017 At 06:53 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, News, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Fighting Games are one of my favourite genres, and my favourites are the ones made by NetherRealm Studios. I was beyond excited for Injustice 2when it was announced, and now after playing the game, I realized this is the perfect fighting game for comic book fans.

I do not mean to throw shade at Marvel vs Capcom, but I simply feel that given the direction that series is heading in, Injustice is more of a fighting series for longtime comic fans who want to see their favourites duke it out. We have a wide variety of characters, and some great alternate skins to give us more variety. Not only that, but the character choices are so diverse and taken from  all over the DC franchises, that there is something for everybody. Characters like Swamp Thing, and Scarecrow offer variety, while favourites like Batman and Flash are holding things down. Personally, I found Blue Beetle to be the character I was drawn to the most, as he had great characterization and was simply so much fun to play.

The combat in this game is extremely well done. It is great for fighting game fans of all kinds, from beginners to experts and offers a lot of variety. In addition, there is a lot of content for the players who do not plan on going online all that much, and there is plenty for those who do. it is hard to strike a proper balance with content but NetherRealm did it. Once again, they knocked it out of the park with an amazing story mode that serves as one of the best DC Comics movies, and this time adding in some changes that actually do make a difference in what happens. I like that NetherRealm is innovating on what they built and are not just relying on the same things. Injustice 2 tries things differently from its predecessor and succeeds at doing the,. I do have some complaints though, when it comes to the animations, especially in story mode. They seem a little off, and the faces just look strange to me. That said, this is a minor complaint, and I can easily live with it.

The game’s multiverse mode offers countless hours of replayability and gear collecting really does add more depth to the game. If you are a purist however, the game has modes that don’t use gear, once again making this a game that offers something for everyone.  I honestly feel as if this tops Mortal Kombat X in terms of game design, and that this is the superior fighting game. It has better music as well, and I must say that the soundtrack to the game is superb. the announcers are better, and the sound effects are improved. Combat offers more variety and just feels more polished. This is a masterpiece of the genre and is meant for players like me, and it is meant for hardcore fighting game fans and for casual fans and for comic fans.  NetherRealm Studios and WB Games have made a fighter that reaches a wide audience, and that merits praise. I highly recommend this.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 8 May, 2017 At 12:22 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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WB Games sent out the following

 

 

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced the Injustice 2 Championship Series Presented by PlayStation®4, a global esports program for the upcoming Injustice 2 video game from NetherRealm Studios.  The 2017 series has Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment teaming up with ESL, Gamelta esports Professional League, GameStop, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Twitch to further build the fighting game community around the world.  The program offers amateur and pro players throughout North America, Europe and Latin America a chance to compete in different programs for a portion of a $600,000 USD prize pool.  The best players from these different programs will qualify for the Injustice 2 Championship Series grand finals that will take place this fall.

Injustice 2 Pro Series

The Injustice 2 Pro Series kicks off May 26 broadcast live on Twitch (twitch.tv/netherrealm), with a four-month online and offline season drilling down to the top 16 players from around the world.  The 16 finalists from across North America, Europe and Latin America will advance to the Injustice 2 Pro Series Finals for a throw-down.  The Injustice 2 Pro Series Finals will take place September 17 in Los Angeles.

 

Injustice 2 GameStop Hometown Heroes

The Injustice 2 GameStop Hometown Heroes tournament offers an all-new way for gamers in the United States who are not competing in the Injustice 2 Pro Series to participate in a program and battle for cash prizes. Operated by ESL, open online qualifier tournaments will begin June 4.  Eight Regional Finals tournaments will take place in local GameStop retail locations on August 12, leading up to the Injustice 2 GameStop Hometown Heroes Finals at the 2017 GameStop Consumer Expo in Las Vegas, August 27.

 

Injustice 2 Path to Pro Tournament

European fans will have a chance to participate in the Injustice 2 Championship Series with the Injustice 2 Path to Pro Tournament.   Operated by ESL on PlayStation®4, the competition will open on May 20 for players in the Benelux Union, France, Germany, Nordic territories, Italy, Spain and U.K. who are not participating in the Injustice 2 Pro Series. The Injustice 2 Path to Pro Finals will be held online on August 19 with 12 finalists from the participating territories.

 

Injustice 2 Liga Latina

Players from Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru get their chance to battle it out in Injustice 2 Liga Latina.  Operated by Gamelta esports Professional League, online and offline qualifier tournaments will be held for each region beginning in May.  The best players from each of the countries in which the program is offered will face off in the Injustice 2 Liga Latina finals on August 13.

 

In addition, fans in Brazil will have a chance to compete in a regional tournament.  More details for Brazil will be coming soon.

 

For more information, or to sign up for an Injustice 2 Championship Series Presented by PlayStation®4 tournament, visit www.injustice.com/esports.

 

Injustice 2 is the super-powered sequel to the hit game Injustice: Gods Among Us that allows players to build and power up the ultimate version of their favorite DC characters. Featuring a massive selection of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains, players can personalize iconic DC characters with unique and powerful gear earned throughout the game.  Additionally, for the first time, gamers can take control of how their characters look, fight and develop across a variety of game modes.

This is awesome news, and it shows WB games and NetherRealm Studios have a commitment to a eSports scene, Injustice 2 looks amazing, and will be a hit for casual players and those who just want single player, but this shows that the developers and publisher have not forgotten the competitive scene.

Hopefully the tournament will be awesome.

Source: PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 May, 2017 At 07:10 AM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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NetherRealm Studios and WB Games have released the first trailer for the DLC for Injustice 2. The trailer reveals 3 DLC characters, Starfire, Red Hood and from Mortal Kombat, Sub-Zero and promises 6 more coming.

There have been multiple rumors of who the DLC characters might be, and this confirms some of them. Do you like this DLC pack? Who would you like to see in the game instead?

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Apr, 2017 At 02:27 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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WB Games and NetherRealm Studios have released a new trailer for Injustice 2, this time showing off none other than the Joker.

 

Though killed by Superman, the Joker continues to haunt the lives of all those touched by his madness. By destroying Metropolis, he set the events in motion which made enemies of Superman and Batman. If he were alive to see the chaos he’d created, he would surely be smiling

 

 

The Joker looks to be one of the most brutal characters in the game, which is fitting considering his character. Check out the trailer below.

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 27 Apr, 2017 At 05:31 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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NetherRealm Studios  and WB Games have released a new trailer for Injustice 2. This one shows Darkseid, the god king of Apokolips. Darkseing has some truly unique mannerisms and gameplay mechanics, such as the use of his range attacks Darkseid is nothing if not his own.

A being of pure hate incarnate, the lord of Apokolips Darkseid demands the total subjugation of all existence. His merciless obsession has left a wake of suffering and obliteration as he seeks the Anti-Life Equation. With his invincible body, limitless strength, army of Parademons, and the annihilating power of his Omega Beams make him not only a threat to this world, but to every world within reach.

 

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Apr, 2017 At 11:28 AM | Categorized As News, News, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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WB Games and NetherRealm Studios have released the new story trailer for Injustice 2. This  explains the new threat of Braniac and why the alliances are shifting.  We get a good look at how Braniac plays and how he will affect everything.

Take a look below

We plant to have a review of Injustice 2 shortly after launch.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 6 Apr, 2017 At 12:16 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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NetherRealm Studios and WB Games have released the fourth story trailer for Injustice 2. This one gives us a lot more context on what will happen and the overall plot, while also showing off some characters and the new divisions. I just hope they aren’t showing too much, and leave some surprises because the story mode does look interesting. Injustice 2 looks like a much bigger version of the first game, and it is exciting to see it come together. We will have a review around launch time.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 6 Apr, 2017 At 12:33 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWB Games and NetherRealm Studios have released a new Injustice 2 trailer, this time to show off Captain Cold. The character seems to take a lot of influence from the Mortal Kombat series and Sub-Zero in particular, while also bringing some new mechanics to fighting games by NetherRealm Studios. Captain Cold shows just how much the game is shaking things up, and it is likely he will be a fan favourite, especially if the rumors are true that Mr. Freeze will be an alt. outfit for him.

 

Sworn to ending all crime, the Regime hunted down and brutally executed every member of the Rogues, including Captain Cold’s sister. Using his skills as a thief and his iconic Cold Gun, Cold now seeks his vengeance. He’ll gladly use the Society to achieve it.

See the trailer below.