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Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: "Into the Woods"


When looking at modern American musical theater, it is hard to imagine any other person having a bigger impact than Stephen Sondheim.  It is surprising, then, that Into the Woods is only our third film adaptation of a Sondheim musical, with Sweeney Todd seven years ago and West Side Story 53 years ago (it went on to win Best Picture).  With its blending of classic themes and characters from the fairy tales of the brothers Grimm as well as yet another witty Sondheim score, Into the Woods has been stewing as a film adaptation for a number of years.  Perhaps it is most fitting that the studio that would finally put the musical on film would be Disney, the company which made its name on fairy tale adaptations.  But could Disney and director Rob Marshall (Chicago) take a darker property like Into the Woods and make it appropriate for families without losing what fans have loved for years?

Wanting desperately to have a child, a Baker and his wife (James Corden, Emily Blunt) journey into the woods to undo a curse brought on their family be a witch (Meryl Streep).  On that journey, they come across numerous characters from Grimm fairy tales including Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) and Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford).  But as all these characters go to have their wishes granted, they learn that perhaps having those wishes granted is not the happily every after they wanted.

On the surface, the story of Into the Woods is not going to feel too new to many today.  With things in pop culture like Once Upon A Time and Fables, the blending of fairy tale characters is not an idea that feels perhaps as somewhat revolutionary as it did in 1987.  But it is this familiarity with the idea where Into the Woods has the biggest potential to surprise audiences.  By making them think they have seen this story before, the first half of the film is able to tease in ideas that are new; ideas which pay off big time in the second half.  One of Sondheim's lyrics, "wishes come true, not free" is the best explanation of the thematic arc of Into the Woods.  The film's exploration of not only wishes coming true, but the idea of childhood/parenthood and the importance of being a child, but also the importance of growing up allows for it to differentiate itself from what has come before.  Rob Marshall captures these moments wonderfully thanks to one of the best ensemble casts on film in 2014. 

Purists of the musical will be glad to know that the stage show is mostly intact, no doubt due to the fact that original writer James Lapine provides the screenplay.  Many of the show's darker moments lifted straight from the Grimm fairy tales are there, albeit most of them handled off screen to preserve that PG rating.  Two major songs are cut: the reprise of "Agony" by the two Princes and "No More," but the plot is not too affected by that loss.  A few small lyrical changes are made, but these also make sense in the way the movie sets up certain moments.

As Into the Woods is not a flashy, song and dance musical like Rob Marshall's Chicago, the aforementioned ensemble cast is really able to show off their acting chops.  Meryl Streep is the heaviest hitter, which should not come as a huge surprise.  The Witch is one of the more coveted female roles in musical theater, all due to a perfect performance by Bernadette Peters in the original cast.  Streep takes the reins of the role exceedingly well, delivering a performance which completely wipes away any memories of Mamma Mia.  This is easily her best work since Doubt.  Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt also give unsurprisingly great performances, though the former is definitely stronger.  James Corden is going to end up being one of the underrated aspects of the film, delivering one of the stronger vocal and acting performances in the cast, but mostly overshadowed by the more dynamic characters.  The fact that Blunt is getting nominations over Corden is a shame.  Johnny Depp's Tex Avery-inspired Wolf is the least exciting performance, but by no means terrible.  Those who don't like Depp will be glad to know his part is quite small.

Since this is a musical, it's best to take a quick moment to discuss the singing abilities of this cast.  Broadway caliber should not be expected, but this cast has some surprisingly amazing vocal talents.  Again, Kendrick, Streep, and Corden are the front runners for best singers in the entire cast, handling Sondheim's often difficult lyrics and music very well.  With their experience in professional theater, Lilla Crawford and Daniel Huttlestone as Red and Jack respectively tackle the Sondheim score well.  Chris Pine's Prince is perhaps the most surprising singing role as Pine is actually a beautiful singer.  It's a shame he only has two songs throughout the film.  The rest of the cast does a good to adequate job, with Depp once again being the weak link in the bunch.

Though Depp's mediocre performance could be seen as a negative, that is not really where Into the Woods  struggles.  Instead, the film's biggest weakness is its pacing.  On stage, the first act of the show can be a bit slow, but it is actually in the second half of the film where it feels like things take a jarring halt.  This is perhaps due to the second act having the most songs either shortened or axed completely.  The first half of the movie flows along nicely from one musical number and story moment to another, the second half introduces a brand new story element backed up with fewer songs, making the whole thing feel longer than it really is.  It is tough to say that putting those songs back in would help the story all that much, and it doesn't feel like an editing mistake, but the feeling of the movie being long is likely going to be the biggest complaint audiences take away.  In a year filled with numerous films which disappointed, however, a movie that feels just a tad too long but is otherwise complete is not too terrible a sin.

Last year Disney brought us Frozen, yet another fairy tale-inspired musical from the studio which further cemented their reputation as king of the animated movie.  It is when one considers that idea that Into the Woods, with its decidedly darker (yet often funny) story that takes these fairy tales and shows us why they are not always so happy, coming from a studio like Disney feels like a match made in heaven.  Disney and Rob Marshall are the ones who SHOULD have been telling this story from the beginning, and they do so well.  Sondheim's work is translated perfectly to the screen, keeping the themes of childhood, parenting, and wish fulfillment in tact.  Portrayed by one of the best ensemble casts of the year, Into the Woods is perhaps the perfect viewing choice this Christmas.  Do not be surprised if this film makes it on to the Best Picture list come Oscar season. 

Verdict:


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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Marvel March 2015 Solicits: Howard the Duck, Princess Leia, and Not Much Else


More solicits today!  Just one day after DC gave us an idea of what they have coming before their big move to Burbank, Marvel unleashes its March 2015 solicitations.  Frankly, this may be one of the more disappointing solicits in the last few months as there really isn't that much new and exciting stuff to talk about.

Nevertheless, I've been able to pick out 10 of the most note-worthy of Marvel's March 2015 crop of comics, which you can find below.  Thanks to Newsarama for the solicits as always.  Click the link for the full list.

1. The Quack is Back - So this new series announcement wasn't surprising at all.  Was there really any doubt after his post-credits appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy that Howard the Duck WOULDN'T come back?  With Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones on this book, expect it to be one of the better of Marvel's new series in 2015.

HOWARD THE DUCK #1
CHIP ZDARSKY (w) 
JOE QUINONES (A/C)

• HOT off the pages of the … the post-credits scene at the … the end of a … popular movie … HOWARD THE DUCK is back! Join him as he takes on the weird cases that only a talking duck can crack as the Marvel Universe’s resident private investigator!
• Let Sex Criminals’ CHIP ZDARSKY (a writer known mostly as an artist) and JOE QUINONES (an artist known mostly as a lover) guide you through his new world as he takes on THE BLACK CAT and MYSTERIOUS FORCES FROM OUTER SPACE!
• WAUGH!


2. Princess Leia Debuts - The return of Star Wars to Marvel comes full circle in March with the start of the Princess Leia mini-series.  While it is a bit disappointing that it is a mini, at least we get to see Mark Waid join fellow A-list talent like Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen in the Star Wars Universe.

PRINCESS LEIA #1-2 (of 5)
MARK WAID (w) 
TERRY DODSON (a/C)

• When Princess Leia Organa was captured by the Empire as a Rebel spy, she never betrayed her convictions, even in the face of the complete destruction of her home world, Alderaan. When her rescue came, she grabbed a blaster and joined the fight, escaping back to the Rebel Alliance and helping strike the biggest blow against the Empire—the destruction of the Death Star. But in the aftermath of that victory, the question remains...what is a princess without a world?

• Writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, S.H.I.E.L.D.) and artist Terry Dodson (Avengers & X-Men: Axis, Uncanny X-Men) bring us a story of Leia’s quest to help her people and find her place in the galaxy.


3. Hawkeye Gets a Fresh Start - The comic that started it all in Marvel's fantastic line of indie-inspired superhero comics.  Hopefully we get the final issues of Matt Fraction's run on Hawkeye before this, but Jeff Lemire will be taking off with his new series in March whether we do or not.  Lemire on his first Marvel book should be enough of a selling point for anyone.

ALL-NEW HAWKEYE #1
JEFF LEMIRE (W) 
RAMON PEREZ (A/C)

• Hawkeye returns in an all-new series featuring superstar writer Jeff Lemire in his Marvel debut and Eisner Award-winning artist Ramon Perez, as they bring you a fresh new look into the life of everyone’s favorite Avenger. With Kate Bishop, his trusted ward and protégé back at his side (not titles she would use), Team Hawkeye is thrown into an all new adventure spanning two generations of avenging archers. Past and present lives collide as Kate and Clint face a threat that will challenge everything they know about what it means to be Hawkeye.
• But no one puts Hawkeye in a corner.

• Hawkeye and Hawkeye take aim March 2015!


4. A Disney Roller Coaster Gets a Comic - Marvel's Disney Kingdoms line of comics just got a little more interesting.  With the announcement of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, not only does this open up the series of theme park ride-inspired comics to take the leap to be big hits, but this one may have the most intriguing idea yet.  A Western with a teenage female hero sounds awesome.

BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD #1 (of 5)
DENNIS HOPELESS (W) 
TIGH WALKER (A)

• Millions of fans have climbed aboard the “wildest ride in the wilderness”—and now Marvel hurtles you through the mists of time to reveal the never-before-told saga of how the dangerous gold mine of Big Thunder Mountain became the haunted legend it is today!
• Malevolent mine owner Barnabas T. Bullion is determined to shelter his teen daughter Abigail from the dangers of the Wild West, but this brave young hero has other ideas…which include robbing her own father’s mine as a masked bandit!

• Earthquakes! Floods! Dynamite-chewing goats! Can the denizens of Rainbow Ridge survive the clash between mankind’s greed and nature’s fury? And what is the protective power that dwells deep within the mysterious mountain? Surprises await you in the latest Disney Kingdoms saga by the acclaimed duo of Dennis Hopeless (Spider-Woman) and Tigh Walker (Avengers Undercover)!


5. Who is the New Thor? - That's right...we will still be asking that question come March.  And, from the looks of this solicit, we still may not know by issue's end.  I trust Jason Aaron, but Malekith showing up again may become a bit too grating.

THOR #6
JASON AARON (W) 
RUSSELL DAUTERMAN (A/C)

WHO IS THOR?

• That’s the question on everyone’s lips. Most especially Prince Odinson of Asgard. This issue, he starts to narrow down the list of suspects.

• Meanwhile, tensions continue to flare between the All-Mother and All-Father, Malekith forges his most dangerous pact yet, and Thor prepares to face her greatest challenge!





6. Spider-Gwen vs a New Vulture - Here's a nice bit of synergy for you.  Adrian Toomes, the elderly Spider-man foe also known as The Vulture made his first appearance in Amazing Spider-man #2.  Now, over 50 years later, Spider-Gwen will face her own Vulture in the second issue of her new series.  Given the swapped gender roles of this world, is it too far to assume this new Vulture is also a woman?

SPIDER-GWEN #2
JASON LATOUR (w) 
ROBBI RODRIGUEZ (a/C)

WHO IS THE VULTURE?!

• Gwen finds herself between a rock (this vulture) and a hard place (the entire NYPD)!

• Don’t miss this second issue of the Spider-Character who set the world on fire!





7. Spider-Man Moves from One Crossover to Another - Not a month after Spider-verse comes to an end and Spider-man will find himself on the cusp of yet another crossover, this one roping in Captain America and the Inhumans.  Hopefully this one sticks in a series of one-shots as the solicit implies, but I wouldn't count on Marvel being so nice.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN SPECIAL #1
JEFF LOVENESS (w) 
LUCA PIZZARI (a)

ATTACK ON NEW ATTILAN!

• A blockbuster three-part story spanning AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, INHUMAN and ALL-NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA starts here!
• Something BIG wants to destroy New Attilan. The fact that New Attilan is in the Hudson River puts Manhattan and Spider-Man right in its crosshairs!

• Jeff Loveness (The Jimmy Kimmel Show, DEATH OF WOLVERINE: LOGAN’S LEGACY) pens all three chapters with tremendous artists like Luca Pizzari and connecting variants by super star ADAM KUBERT!


8. Read Star Wars Episode IV - So we already know Marvel is publishing an omnibus of their old Star Wars comics, but you'd be crazy to assume they would save such a thing for only their richer fans.  March sees these comics slowly begin to be released in bite sized chunks, with this first hardcover re-telling A New Hope.

STAR WARS: EPISODE IV — A NEW HOPE OGN-HC
Written by ROY THOMAS
Penciled by HOWARD CHAYKIN
Cover by ADI GRANOV

The original comic adaptation of the greatest space-fantasy film of all is remastered for the modern age with all-new coloring by Chris Sotomayor! Weeks before George Lucas’ first STAR WARS film hit theatres, Marvel gave fans their first look at Luke Skywalker, boldly asking: “Will he save the galaxy, or destroy it?” You may know the answer, but that doesn’t spoil the fun of seeing STAR WARS: EPISODE IV — A NEW HOPE like never before…including scenes that never made the silver screen! When Princess Leia is taken prisoner, Luke, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 ride to the rescue and take on Darth Vader in his awesome Death Star. It’s six against a galaxy — one that’s far, far away and a long time ago! May the Force be with you, in the mighty Marvel manner! Collecting STAR WARS (1977) #1-6.

128 PGS./Rated T …$24.99


9. Journey to Weirdworld - Okay, I'm partly putting this one on my list because of its relation to my recent article breaking down Battle World in Jonathan Hickman's upcoming Secret Wars.  Weirdworld, Marvel's little known 1970's fantasy series, is set to be a part of Secret Wars and this new collection all but confirms it.

WEIRDWORLD TPB
Written by DOUG MOENCH
Penciled by MIKE PLOOG, PAT BRODERICK & JOHN BUSCEMA
Cover by DAVE COCKRUM

Welcome to Weirdworld, a land of legend and lore! Meet Tyndall, a lost elf on a dangerous quest — to the heart of evil and beyond! One that will unite him with the beautiful Velanna, and forge an alliance for the ages. Together with grumpy dwarf Mud-Butt, these warriors of the shadow realm will brave the City of Seven Dark Delights, face the fallen god Darklens and meet the Dragonmaster of Klarn. But will they ever find their way home? From the mind of Doug Moench, and brought to life with incredible artwork by such talents as Mike Ploog and John Buscema, comes a far-out fantasy masterpiece in the mighty Marvel manner! Collecting material from MARVEL PREMIERE #38, MARVEL SUPER ACTION (1976) #1, MARVEL FANFARE (1982) #24-26, MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL #11-13, and EPIC ILLUSTRATED #9 and #11-13.

312 PGS./Rated T+ …$34.99


10. You like Secret Wars?  We got your Secret Wars - Love Marvel events and have a spare $500?  You are going to LOVE March 2015.  Marvel continues to prepare its readers for both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Secret Wars and this HUGE collection includes just about everything Secret Wars you could ever want.

MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD BOX SET SLIPCASE

Get the complete legacy of Marvel’s SECRET WARS saga in this action-packed, eleven-volume box set! Featuring the original heroes-vs.-villains showdown on the Beyonder’s Battleworld, the big B’s journey to Earth and the line-wide crossover that ensued, Nick Fury’s highly hush-hush Secret War, and more! All the tie-ins, follow-ups and alternate takes — including a Spidey-centric look at the first Secret Wars, the wildest Thing adventure of all time, and a rematch of good and evil as a very different group get whisked to Battleworld! Plus: an entire volume full of all the special features we could find, as well as a poster showcasing Alex Ross’ sublime version of the iconic cover to SECRET WARS #1! This is one box set that goes above and Beyonder! Includes MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS: TO BATTLEWORLD AND BACK PREMIERE HC, MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS PREMIERE HC, THING: BATTLEWORLD PREMIERE HC, SECRET WARS II VOL. 1 PREMIERE HC, SECRET WARS II VOL. 2 PREMIERE HC, SECRET WARS II VOL. 3 PREMIERE HC, SECRET WARS II VOL. 4 PREMIERE HC, MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS AFTERMATH PREMIERE HC, SECRET WAR PREMIERE HC, BEYOND THE SECRET WARS PREMIERE HC, MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS: BEHIND THE SCENES PREMIERE HC; POSTER.

Rated T+ …$500.00


So what are you excited to see from Marvel in March of 2015?  Let us know in the comments below!

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GeekRecs: Comics Releasing 12/17


We know walking into your local comic shop or browsing the new titles on Comixology can be harrowing, particularly with the rising prices of comics. The GeekRex team feels your pain, so that's why each week two members of our team will collaborate and highlight the "must-buys" of every Wednesday, and we'll make sure we keep the tab under 20 bucks. Props to MultiversityComics for coming up with the great idea–we hope you like our spin on it!

This Week's Team: Harper and Cal


Catwoman #37 - $2.99

Is there a better posterchild for the dramatic turnaround of DC's most lackluster titles than Genevieve Valentine's Catwoman? Catwoman was something of an unholy mess for the first three years of its New 52 run, but Valentine pivots off a twist from Batman Eternal, putting Selina in charge of Gotham's organized crime empire and forcing her into the deeply political world of the city's notorious mob families. With a war brewing with Black Mask and the tenuous alliances between the major crime syndicates of the city, Valentine has found a novel plot, and her measured, tense storytelling is a perfect fit for a crime saga that could grow into the underworld equivalent of Gotham Central.

 
Elektra #9 - $3.99

Rarely do we get a book that has such gorgeous covers and equally gorgeous interiors. Blackman has been telling a really fun and intense story about everyone's favorite assassin, but the real star here is Mike Del Mundo. The layouts are unreal, and demand some serious re-reading just to soak it all in, but more importantly is the storytelling and acting he's able to portray with such violent elegance. One of my favorite books at Marvel right now, and definitely worth your four bucks! 

The Multiversity: Thunderworld #1 - $4.99

While the series overall has drawn both high praise and mild disinterest, last month's Pax Americana brought Morrison's multi-artist miniseries into the stratosphere–among it's many accolades, it won best single issue of the year at our Comics Rexie awards. Thunderworld is equally as anticipated, as Morrison teams up with frequent collaborator and excellent artist Cameron Stewart for a story set on Earth 5, the Fawcett Universe, where Captain Marvel and company rule the day. At the very least, it should be a ton of fun!
The Wicked + The Divine #6 - $3.50

The Wicked + The Divine recently ended its much-heralded first arc, and this issue marks the beginning of its second, "Fandemonium." Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie's series is a relentlessly inventive take on stardom, fandom, and faith, brought vividly to life with colors from Matt Wilson. The last issue ended with some pretty shocking twists, and I'm excited to see where Gillen takes us next.

Plus, if you don't read it, you won't understand the best joke of last issue's Sex Criminals, which featured a protracted The Wicked + The Divine porn parody. And I know how much you love jokes.

 

Wytches #3 - $2.99

While most know Snyder from his (fantastic) work on Batman, his roots are in horror. Thankfully he's got a wonderful outlet for his twisted ideas at Image, this time with Jock, who he previously worked with on The Black Mirror, arguably the best Batman story in the last five years. Wytches has so far lived up to the extreme hype, as the first two issues left me legitimately chilled. The story hasn't fully developed quite yet, so this is a great time to get on board if you've got a horror itch to scratch!





Total Price: $18.46






Pick of the Week

Young Avengers Omnibus, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

Gillen and McKelvie are two of the most relentlessly hip young creators working today. The pair got their start on a pair of Image books titled Phonogram about the intersection of music and magic, ground they've revisited for their much-loved current book, The Wicked + The Divine. In between, they did a follow-up to Gillen's much-loved Journey Into Mystery, bringing Kid Loki into the orbit of a new team of young heroes. But where previous Young Avengers runs had focused on youth-skewing beat-'em-ups with a soap opera twist, Gillen & McKelvie went all style all the way. Their take on the Young Avengers is a great pop album to Allan Heinberg's classic rock, a relentlessly joyous explosion of youth culture with some of the best work of McKelvie's career. And now, you can read the entire series in this single, hardcover edition!

Young Avengers Omnibus by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie collects Young Avengers #1-15 and Marvel NOW! Point One's Young Avengers prologue. It has a list price of $49.99, and is available now at Amazon, In Stock Trades, and most places comics are sold.






Looking for something interesting to pick up that isn't quite brand new? Love finding a surprising treat on the trade paperback shelf at your local comic book shop? Here's our recommendation for this week's graphic novel selection: - See more at: http://www.geekrex.com/2014/07/the-geekrex-comic-buyers-guide-72314.html#sthash.3Asbd9oL.dpuf
Looking for something interesting to pick up that isn't quite brand new? Love finding a surprising treat on the trade paperback shelf at your local comic book shop? Here's our recommendation for this week's graphic novel selection: - See more at: http://www.geekrex.com/2014/07/the-geekrex-comic-buyers-guide-72314.html#sthash.3Asbd9oL.dpu
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Monday, December 15, 2014

DC Comics March 2015 Solicits: Cancellations Galore!


It's that time of the month again!  Solicitation time!  First up is DC Comics, with its crop of comics expected to release in March of 2015.  March will be significant for DC Comics for a number of reasons, but the biggest being that this will be the last month we will see the regular New 52 series until June.  DC is making the big move from New York to Burbank, and we are getting the two month event of Convergence from April through May.  Another reason March will be big?  DC is using this cut off point to cancel a number of its series.  

Those and a few other series can be found below in my picks for the 10 most note-worthy March solicits for DC.  Thanks to Newsarama as always for the solicits.  Click the link to see the full list.

1. The End of (Most of) The Lanterns - This one was a bit of a surprise in the long list of cancellations coming March, mostly due to the number of titles in the line.  All of the Lantern books are done come March aside from Green Lantern and Sinestro.  The cancelled books are expected to reboot in June. [Solicitations for all below]

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40
Written by VAN JENSEN
Art and cover by BERNARD CHANG

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
John Stewart comes face to face with the failure that has haunted and defined him for years – the destruction of the planet Xanshi. Will he find salvation as history threatens to repeat itself? Plus, a moment that will forever alter the course of the Corps in a final issue that had to be extra-sized!


GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #40
Written by JUSTIN JORDAN
Art and cover by DIOGENES NEVES and MARC DEERING


Once and for all, Kyle will come to terms with his destiny as the White Lantern, filler of the Reservoir behind the Source Wall that keeps our universe from destructing. But how can he ever accept the fact that this role will soon kill him? The fate of the White Lantern will be revealed in this extra-sized final issue!









RED LANTERNS #40
Written by LANDRY Q. WALKER
Art by J. CALAFIORE


In this final RED LANTERNS issue, Guy Gardner begins to understand what being the Red Lantern of Earth really means. Will he succumb to rage once and for all, or can the former hero still find another path?













2. Arkham Manor is Closed Abruptly - This was yet another shock as the series is not only part of DC's recent efforts to follow Marvel's example and do some more indie-inspired cape books, but Arkham Manor currently only has two issues out.  Unfortunately that series will ultimately come to an end in March.  Bets on Gotham Academy being the only one to survive to this time next year?

ARKHAM MANOR #6
Written by GERRY DUGGAN
Art and cover by SHAWN CRYSTAL


Batman discovers who’s been murdering the inmates of Arkham Manor, but how will he be able to bring him to justice if he’s trapped inside with them?






3. Swamp Thing Also Ending - This one is a bit less surprising.  Swamp Thing has seen two of comics' most exciting writers since the New 52 began, and the cult favorite will come to an end at the close of Charles Soule's run this March.  Soule will presumably focus more on Marvel and indie work after this.

SWAMP THING #40
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art and cover by JESUS SAIZ


This issue’s cover is presented in a special sideways format.

4. Batman Eternal, Worlds End and Future's End...End - This one was also not as surprising as we were told from the onset of these weekly books that they would be coming to a close in March.  Batman Eternal is the only one somewhat confirmed to be coming back sometime later in 2015. [Solicits for each below]

THE NEW 52: FUTURES END #48
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO, JEFF LEMIRE, DAN JURGENS and KEITH GIFFEN
Art by PATRICK ZIRCHER
Cover by RYAN SOOK


“EYE AM YOUR FUTURE!”






EARTH 2: WORLD’S END #26
Written by DANIEL H. WILSON, MARGUERITE BENNETT and MIKE JOHNSON
Art by EDDY BARROWS, TYLER KIRKHAM, JORGE JIMENEZ, R.B. SILVA, ROBSON ROCHA and PAULO SIQUEIRA
Cover by ANDY KUBERT


Darkseid wins. All hail Darkseid!












BATMAN ETERNAL #52
Written by SCOTT SNYDER, JAMES TYNION IV, RAY FAWKES, KYLE HIGGINS and TIM SEELEY
Art by PAULO SIQUEIRA and others


This month in BATMAN ETERNAL: The epic Bat-story over a year in the making comes to a stunning end! Gotham City is in flames! Villains are running wild in the streets! Bat-tech has been corrupted! And the mastermind behind it all has put a knife in Batman’s ribs! How will the Dark Knight put an end to this nightmare…and how will it shape the face of Gotham City to come?








Anyway.  Enough with the endings.  On to somewhat happier stuff...

5. Endgame Finale - Okay one more ending, but luckily Batman will be back in June.  Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's big Joker story comes to a close, complete with tie-ins with other series.  I have a bad feeling this is going to end on an unbearable cliffhanger that will last until June.

BATMAN #40
Written by SCOTT SNYDER
Art and cover by GREG CAPULLO and DANNY MIKI

The finale of “Endgame” is here! Batman risks everything against The Joker! Who will laugh last?










6. The Multiversity Comes to a Close - Probably the saddest ending on this list.  Grant Morrison's The Multiversity has been one of the best superhero comics of the past five years, and will likely go down as one of the greatest superhero stories of all time.  It all comes to a close in March.  Are YOU ready?

THE MULTIVERSITY #2
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art and cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO

Every event in the history of the DC Universe has been leading to this! The final chapter of the greatest adventure of all time is here!
Issue #1 artist Ivan Reis reteams with mastermind Grant Morrison to end THE MULTIVERSITY and bring together the greatest and bravest heroes of the DC Multiverse to fight one last battle. But more than just some cabal of super-villains, they face the greatest evil that ever existed. An evil so massive, they actually may not stand a chance!
Who are the mystic Justice League of Earth-13 and what role does their leader Super Demon play in the crisis rising all around them? What shocking secret motivates the dark, nightmare henchmen known as The Gentry? And what is the final fate of Nix Uotan – the Super-God?!

You cannot miss this final, stunning chapter of Grant Morrison’s ultimate super hero epic!


7. Justice League versus Darkseid (Again) - Trinity War gave us the Anti-Monitor, and March will see Justice League begin to capitalize on that tease...just in time to take a two month break.  DC will be back to the normal New 52 in June as we see Darkseid War begin.  This will be the first time the Justice League has fought Darkseid since the beginning of the New 52 and Earth 2 is likely involved too.  So yeah...big stuff.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #40
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JASON FABOK

The prologue to this summer’s upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE event – “THE DARKSEID WAR”! It’s been building since JUSTICE LEAGUE #1. Now, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg and the rest of the DC Universe will come face to face with the two most powerful and dangerous entities in existence when both come for Earth. But why? To what lengths with the League have to go to survive? And what secrets about the League will be revealed?


8. Romita Takes Over Superman - So this is pretty neat for something that could very likely end in utter disaster.  March will see John Romita Jr. take over both writing and art duties on Superman.  This tease of Superman having a new power definitely intrigues me.  You have my attention.


SUPERMAN #40
Written by JOHN ROMITA, JR.
Art and cover by JOHN ROMITA, JR. and KLAUS JANSON

The spotlight shines on John Romita, Jr. as he goes solo to tell the story of the testing of Superman’s new power against the Justice League! But the appearance of an unexpected enemy could end the Man of Steel’s life!







9. Convergence Begins - Just as DC temporarily shuts down the New 52 for two months, we get a tease of the event which will have to hold us over until June: Convergence.  We already have a good idea of what is to come, but DC will likely try to guilt you into buying this prologue.

CONVERGENCE #0
Written by DAN JURGENS and JEFF KING
Art and cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER

Where do worlds go when they die?
The Earthquakes felt round the Multiverse, Superman’s lost days after “Doomed,” the World’s End – all these points will converge as the history of the DCU is spun from a new perspective, the perspective of a mad god and his arrogant child. The biggest story in DC history ties into literally every DC story ever told – and it all begins here.
Kingdom Come, Red Son, Wild West Justice League, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew – all the worlds you remember can still be found on Telos. Everything matters. Every story matters.

Don’t miss the start of DC’s April/May 2015 event with this special issue!


10. Movie Poster Variants - I end my list with perhaps the most exciting set of variant covers DC has ever done.  March will see DC celebrating some of the biggest hit films in the history of WB!  Everything from Harry Potter to The Matrix to The Wizard of Oz is spoofed and these are by far some of the best looking covers I have seen for variants in a while.  Below are some of my favorites.  You can find the full list at Comics Alliance

Aquaman #40 inspired by Free Willy.  Cover by Richard Horie

Detective Comics #40 inspired by The Matrix.  Cover by Brian Stellfreeze

Batman and Robin #40 inspired by Harry Potter.  Cover by Tommy Lee Edwards

Green Lantern #40 inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Cover by Tony Harris

Justice League Dark #40 inspired by Beetlejuice.  Cover by Jeff Quinones


What are you excited to see out of DC in March?  Which series are you sad to see go?  Let us know in the comments below!

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The GeekRex Podcast Episode 78 - Dragon Age: Inquisition Wrap Up


Now that the gang has had time to finish the massively long Dragon Age: Inquisition, we decided it would be a good idea to chat about it again. We all were very much enjoying the game, but does it stick the landing?

Music in this episode:
Trevor Morris - "Lead Them or Fall" (Dragon Age: Inquisition OST)

To listen to the latest episode of the GeekRex Podcast, check it out on the player below, on iTunes, or on Podomatic.



To listen to the latest episode of the GeekRex podcast, check it out on the player below, on iTunes or on Podomatic. - See more at: http://www.geekrex.com/2014/12/the-geekrex-podcast-episode-77-2014.html#sthash.beJzipoW.dpuf
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Best Covers of the Week, Vol. 52

Batman/Superman #17
by Darwyn Cooke
 
 Be forewarned–Cooke is at it again with some of his best this week! This is one of my favorites, with its sense of joy and relief, and the far background telling the story even further.

Rumble #1
by James Harren
 
Having the titles on the side is a bold choice, but leaves the art a different shaped frame that this cover takes great advantage of. It's creepy and weird, with lots of canted angles and great color!
 
 Multiversity: Thunderworld #1
by Cameron Stewart
 
Stewart brings a sense of retro-ism while still maintaining a real fun design and a modern sense of illustrated acting.
 
 Rot & Ruin #4
by Alex Ronald
 
A great take on an American classic, and creepy as all get out.
 
 Teen Titans #5
by Darwyn Cooke
 
Superheroes as rockstars is always a fun take (like Sauvage's take on Wonder Woman), and Cooke tackles it with such movement and pleasure.
 
 Shadow Show #2
by Charles Paul Wilson
 
I love the plethora of fantastic elements and the TinTin style. There's a ton of story here that I could pore over again and again!
 
 Godzilla: Cataclysm #5
by Dave Wachter
 
I love it for it's Stokoe-ness, first of all, but there's an excellent amount of detail and a a great color palette that evokes fiery end times and demonic monsters.
 
 Elektra #9
by Mike Del Mundo
 
As usual, Del Mundo comes up with a fantastically cool concept and executes it beautifully. Despite the monochromatic style, there's a killer amount of detail.
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #4
by Kevin Wada
 
It's exciting to see Wada spread his talents to other books, and there's something hauntingly beautiful about this one.
 
 Wonder Woman #37
by Darwyn Cooke
 
I'm sorry if you don't like Cooke–you're just wrong! Yet another incredibly exciting, dynamic portrait that captures the strength and world of the character. 


That's it for this week. What did I miss? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook!   

Hey! Loyal readers! I'm working on something special for the end of the year for us comic cover enthusiasts, so keep an eye out! If you have any suggestions for best covers of the year, send them our way!
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