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DC’s Weekly Titles To End March 2015

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By Andrew D Duffy

 

Co-Publisher Dan Didio has used his Facebook page to announce that Batman: Eternal, Futures End and Earth 2: Worlds End will be ending in March of next year.

unnamedIt wasn’t long ago that DC made a big deal about the launching of, not one, not two, but three weekly series. But, in a somewhat strange move, Batman: Eternal, (whose third issue is out this week) Futures End (launching in May) and Earth 2: Worlds End (launching in October) have already been given end dates. This has been met with bemusement in some corners of the comic consumer community, given that two out of the three weekly comics have yet to even hit the shelves for the first time.

unnamed (2)In his statement, Didio expressed his hope that this “clears things up”. He also clarified that Batman: Eternal would be taking “a brief hiatus” whilst the other series come to a conclusion, all in “the same week”. This is perhaps unsurprising, given the positive business impact of a high selling weekly Bat-title. Indeed, that these three comics have now been given clear dates in which their stories will unfold could well boost their prospects of being bought into by the fans. The worry surrounding the expense of picking up three weekly comics is lessened by a finite life-span, which suggests a complete tale told in just under a year at most.

The return of Eternal would no doubt serve as an opportunity to feature a new story, a fresh chance for readers to jump in to a new adventure, with their favourite Gotham City cast. Such a difference between the first and second iterations could allow for a new title, or at least a new #1, if they mark it as a second volume.

That DC would cut off the financial boost of three successful weekly comics seems unlikely, so it could be that these will be followed up not too long after next spring by brand new weeklies.

Only time will tell.

Geek Retreat’s Birthday Countdown! 10 Days

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We’re really looking forward to Geek Retreat’s birthday, on the 4th of May (the day after Free Comic Book Day!)

10 days and counting until we turn 1 full year old. How time flies eh?

To celebrate this momentous event, we’re going to be holding an all day celebration on the 4th. A birthday party for Geek Retreat and you’re all invited!

Among the planned activities in store we have a cosplay competition, where you can win some incredible prizes, including tickets to X-Men :Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy! We have an all day “instant raffle” going on all day too.

“How does the instant raffle work?” we hear you ask… Well you will be given a raffle ticket for every purchase over £5. If the number on the ticket is the same as on any of our prizes, you get to take that prize, right then and there! See, instant win!

We’ll have music, cake (of course) and plenty of in store games for everyone to take part in.

We want to celebrate, not only a whole year of Geek Retreat being open, but also how proud we are to be a part of the geek community.

Hope to see you guys there!

 

 

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Grayson: The Future of the Boy Wonder

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By Peter James Duffy

 

The Comic-Gods giveth, and the Comic-Gods taketh away. Just as they reveal the date for Grant Morrisons The Multiversity, they also reveal the new series, Grayson.

Dick Grayson is an icon.

He was the original Robin the Boy Wonder, a character integral to Batman lore, older than The Joker, and more recognisable than most of the Justice League. He’s featured in comics since 1940, he’s been in three major movies, more than half a dozen TV series, two radio serials and at least nine video games. So, he’s made a bit of an impact.

So what does the future hold for that laughing, fighting young daredevil who scoffs at danger? DC have announced that he will be staring in this new, title which will be replacing Nightwing after issue 30. Written by Tim Seeley and Tom King, Dick will become an agent of the spy organisation Spyral. This follows on from Dick having his identity revealed in Geoff Johns Forever Evil. The, now presumed dead, hero joins the incredibly sketchy spy agency created during Grant Morrison’s Batman run.

unnamedThis makes very little sense. Dick Grayson, as Bruce Wayne’s ward would be a very famous face, especially after he was revealed as a superhero, so I struggle to see him moving around the world unnoticed. He may be presumed dead, but one doesn’t instantly forget a famous face upon their death. In fact, few things create more publicity, especially if it occurs as a focal point of a huge cataclysmic invasion by supervillains. I doubt Richard has ever been as famous as he will be after Forever Evil, which isn’t ideal when taking up a career in espionage. The image of Grayson we have been supplied with shows Dick pointing a gun at us, a gun. I struggle to comprehend how someone raised as by Batman would ever take up fire-arms, even when he was on the police force he refused to use his standard issue. Will he be killing people? When you consider the nature of his new line of work, it seems highly likely that he will be required to assassinate targets on a regular basis. The concept of this comic is not only imbecilic, it is also offensive. When you consider the career of Dick Grayson, from Robin to Nightwing to Batman, he’s lead The Teen TitansThe Outsiders and the Justice League. It is clear to see that Dick Grayson is a superhero, and to make him anything less is simply an insult to the character.

unnamed (2)So why is DC taking Dick down such an unusual road? Clearly a change like this to such a recognisable and popular character would have been carefully planned out in advance. So what is the intent behind this move? It is no secret that Co-Publisher Dan Didio tried to kill off Richard in the past and that he believes Robin being all grown up, and having adventures of his own, ages Batman too much. However, Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer at DC, is credited as one of those responsible for stopping Didio. Not to mention he’s the creative powerhouse behind many of DC’s best selling series. Could it be that in “Grayson” they have found a compromise? Perhaps they will allow Dick to survive, but only if he is pushed as far away from Batman as possible. No one but Bruce will know Dick is still alive. He will be unable to contact any of his former friends or family, not even Alfred, the man who raised him as much as Bruce did. Apparently the faithful retainer, who has always kept Batman’s greatest secrets, just can’t be trusted. So Richard will never be able to play a role in any major events or crossovers, which certainly fits an ongoing trend of moving Batman’s older sidekicks outside of Gotham. Nightwing moved to Chicago, Jason Todd went off around the world in Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Tim Drake features mainly in Teen Titains. If you include Stephanie Brown being airbrushed out of ever being a Robin, and now Dick becoming a spy who has to pretend to be dead, one can see a certain pattern. DC is hoping that “out of sight, out of mind” will allow them to keep Bruce Wayne looking young while not having to get rid of popular characters.

DC are in this position as a result of the New 52‘s soft reboot of Batman, squeezing decades of history and four different Robins into their compressed timeline was always going to be a stretch. The sensible thing to do would have been to set things back to the original Dynamic Duo. Robin will always be defined by Dick Grayson, he set the mould and eventually he’ll always have to come back to the role. I would have had more respect for DC if they’d been courageous enough to recast him as Robin when they rebooted the rest of their line. Of course this would undoubtedly been an unpopular move. Not only would it mean doing away Tim Drake, Damian Wayne and Jason Todd, (characters who have all established a significant fan-base) but it would also mean erasing Dick’s history as Nightwing.

unnamed (1)Nightwing has been a consistently popular character. A lot of fans like seeing Richard out having his own adventures. They like his story, they enjoyed seeing him grow up in comics and, for many of them, Nightwing has been around longer than they have. However, this kind of change was forced on dozens of other heroes; just look at Wally West, he’d been Kid Flash since 1959, and then was the Flash from 1987 to Flashpoint, when he simply ceased to have existed. Characters like Superman and Wonder Woman lost almost all of their entire history, Superman lost interest in the woman he’s pined after since Action Comics #1, Wonder Woman was no longer fashioned from clay, but a daughter of Zeus. If there was ever a time to reboot Robin, it would have been here, but instead DC are trying to be all things to all people and the result is Grayson.

DC should have rebooted Batman the same way they rebooted the rest of their universe. It would have upset many and it would have cost them short term, by disrupting such a popular stable set of characters. Failing to do so has led to them taking him in a terrible new direction, in order to cover up the problems they could have addressed in said reboot. These kinds of moves make a mockery of DC’s claims of long term planning. They don’t know what’s coming next and they’re panicking. I think we can expect more haphazard changes by DC, as they try to keep the New 52 looking like its fresh and exciting. This means beloved characters are going to be swept up in the wake and suffer consequences worse than death.

Dick Grayson deserves better.

 

25 New Stills From Supernatural: Bloodlines Pilot!

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Who’s excited for next week’s Supernatural?

If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, next week will see the “back-door pilot” of Supernatural: Bloodlines, a spin-off to the hugely successful CW horror show.

The series will feature a mob like rivalry between two “families”; werewolf vs shapeshifter. Set in Chicago, it will abandon the “on the road” feel that is the bedrock of Supernatural and the travelling brothers. This show will focus on Ennis Roth and David Lassiter, a “newly minted hunter” and a Shapeshifter who is desperate for a normal life.

The episode, imaginatively titled “Bloodlines” will feature an introduction of the main characters and the mafia-like “underbelly” that they’ll be fighting in their city. Of course, this underbelly will be filled with ghouls, goblins, and of course… werewolves and Shapeshifters

The CW has, in an effort to whet our appetite for the episode and spin-off, released 25 brand new images.  Giving us a glimpse into what it has in store, and from the looks of things it’s a Wraith meets Freddy sort of a deal.

The episode is set to feature much less of the Winchester bros, instead choosing to focus on the new characters. So, are you looking forward to seeing how it pans out?

 

Click the thumbnails to see larger images. 

UGC Movie Review – Transcendence

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By Peter James Duffy

What makes us human? What is consciousness? Should we create Artificial Intelligence? If we do, could we control it?

Transcendence certainly poses some very big questions, ones that are becoming increasing relevant as humanity draws closer and closer to what some call an inevitable point in technological advancement; the Singularity. For those not versed in advanced computer theory, singularity is the point where an A.I. becomes smarter than humans. What would follow the occurrence of the singularity is the subject of a great deal of discussion. Some experts even say it would be impossible to predict the actions of an intelligence, which could easily grow thousands of times more advanced than our own. Transcendence is here used as a synonym for the singularity and is the tale of a human consciousness uploaded into a computer.

Okay, that’s the science-y bit done, now for the film itself.

Don’t go in looking for a blockbuster, because you won’t find one here. The aim of this film is to raise questions in the minds of its audiences, to get us to look into A.I. theories, and to talk about it with our friends. In that field, I think it must be counted as a success. In terms of story, it relies heavily on the moral dilemmas involved It takes as much time as it can to explore the ideas, while still trying to move the plot along and prevent the film just turning into a lecture. The film making itself was handled wonderfully, it was well paced, the cinematography was at times simply stunning, and I couldn’t fault the performance of the cast. The story has you constantly thinking, questioning who is in the right and who can be trusted.

Transcendence, while being accessible to the layman, will no doubt leave those with significant knowledge in the field of A.I. pointing out a number of plot holes. Anyone applying too much logic to the film will be left with the conclusion that the characters, we’re told are geniuses, are in fact rather idiotic.

This is not a film for a fun day out; it’s a film for careful consideration, for those who want a more complex look at those questions at the start of this article than you’ll find in most Sci-fi films. It doesn’t try to answer these questions, it knows that would be a fool’s errand, but it also knows that these are issues which need to be taken seriously. Personally, I found this to be a very enjoyable film and I would recommend it to anyone with more than a passing interest in science fiction, if for nothing else, the conversations that are bound to arise from watching it.

7.5 out of 10.

American Newscaster Stephen Colbert Revealed As Agent Of Hydra!

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Anyone familiar with The Colbert Report, a satirical news show starring the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert, knows that the opening credits changes every week or so.

Aside from being awesome for their over the top, self aggrandising patriotism, they also try to keep with the times. At one point Stephen runs through a bunch of floating words, whilst holding the American flag and one of those words changes regularly to reflect current trends and events.

It’s been revealed recently that the opening credits of The Colbert Report have carried quite a sinister message.

That message is…. Hail Hydra!

It would seem that Colbert is not as all American as he sets himself up to be.

cr_03033_06_col_v6This becomes all the more worrying because for years the presenter’s wall has been adorned with Captain America’s Shield. Colbert received the Shield after Cap died in the comic; Marvel reported that it had been willed to him, upon. Captain America’s death. This was no mere replica either; it was a commissioned one of a kind that had resided in the Marvel offices for many years.

Marvel published this Tweet, which they were sent by an “Eagle-eyed Marvel fan”

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So now the seedy underbelly of The Colbert Report can be seen. The man who holds, what is for all intents and purposes, Captain America’s official shield is actually a secret agent of Hydra. What is the world coming to!

Not only is Colbert the keeper of Cap’s Shield, but he has also featured, running for President, in Marvel comics and even appeared on this fun The Amazing Spider-Man variant cover.

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Of all the political pundits, why did it have to be Marvel’s darling that turned out to be an agent of Hydra… or perhaps that was his design all along!

 

 

Superman Short: 75 Years In The Making.

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It’s Batman’s 75th anniversary this year, which makes him one year younger than his Kryptonian Justice league team mate. Last year marked Superman’s 75th birthday too and in honour of this event, Zack Snyder and Bruce Timm, both highly recognisable names in DC film and animation, created this incredible little short movie.

75Directed by Jay Olivia (Batman: Assault on Arkham) the short shows Superman flying and punching his way through the years. He transforms and battles new villains, throughout his 75 year history right up until now.

It’s a fantastic short with some great little touches for Superman fans, along with music that’ll set your childhood mind a flutter. This is definitely a fitting tribute to the “Man of Steel” and his long history.

Can’t believe we missed this when it first hit the web last year, but really glad to have found it now, well worth watching!

It’s also, apparently included on the Man of Steel blu ray, so that’s a nice treat for those of you who own it.

Geek Retreat’s Birthday Challenge – We Want Your Stories.

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In 12 days it’ll be Geek Retreat’s first birthday! Hurrah!

So, in honour of Geek Retreat’s first year in action, we (here at the website) want to know your stories about the store. We want to hear your best days, maybe your first day there, how you discovered it, your moment of triumph! Anything you want to tell us and your fellow geeks about.

We know, by our conversations with customers and the comments on facebook, that Geek Retreat has had quite an impact on the folks who come into our store. But, being site minions, we don’t get to come in and experience this as much as we’d like. We’re so proud to be a part of this community and want to share you’re experiences here, on the website.

Our favourite stories will be collected together and published on the site, in the days leading up to our first birthday.

We only have two requests. That your stories be under 700 words and that you keep the language family friendly.

Just email your tales of wonder to the Editor Minion at [email protected] (Please email them in and don’t submit via facebook or other social media, it helps us keep track)

 

 

Joss Whedon’s New Movie Available To Rent Online Now!

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We recently posted the opening scene to Joss Whedon’s new movie, In Your Eyes; a paranormal romance story about two strangers who experience each other’s feelings and emotions.

The film made its debut at the Tribecca Film Festival yesterday, and then immediately after it was released at… everywhere else.

Confused?

Immediately after the film had its premiere showing, it was released online to rent for $5 across the entire world.  No muss, no fuss, no waiting!

Whedon is famous for his unconventional distribution and production models. He’s a big believer in using the internet as a way to cut out the middle man in distribution of media content. He released a short video announcing his plans and states in it:

“This is exciting for us because it means we get to explore yet another new form of distribution — and we get $5,”

We’re particularly happy about this news because his last movie, Much Ado About nothing didn’t even show on cinemas in Glasgow. Except for a limited, (and we mean limited) release at the GFT. So now we don’t have to wait for DVD releases, which we’d have to order online because none of the local stores sell them. Nope, we can just watch it online, for whatever the British Pound equivalent of $5 is. (It’s £2.98)

You can rent the movie at the films website here.

And you can check out Whedon’s announcement here

True Blood Season 7 Trailer!

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Many of us are bereft over the summer, with some of the best shows on hiatus or breaking before next season, or sometimes even cancelled.

There’s still some light in the darkness though. No I’m not talking about Game of Thrones, although that’s definitely something to ease the pain. I’m talking about something a little more, what’s the word?

Mental, yes mental is the word.

trueblood1Fans of the HBO series, True Blood know exactly what I’m talking about. The show is off the scales crazy in terms of content. We have Vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, witches, faeries, werepanthers… yep, I said werepanthers. It’s that kind of show. All of these creatures hanging out in one small town, where even the human residents take some beating, in terms of oddness.

True Blood returns this summer (June 22nd) and after last seasons cliffhanger/complete landscape shift it’s certainly going to be an interesting watch. We were left with a strange new virus that infects and drives vampires crazy. The infected vampires, roam the night and are presumably the new threat for the coming season.

Looks like we’re in for a fun ride, as usual.

 

Farscape Movie Is A Go!

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Wondercon brought many treats for Geeks in attendance over the weekend. The debut of Terry McGinnis’ return to the animated universe in the Batman Beyond Animated short being one of them.

But there were also some gifts for fans who couldn’t attend.

One such gift was in the form of news that Farscape the movie has been confirmed!

farscape_moya_crew_wallpaper_by_yasmeanie-d4azzh4According to TV.com Rockne O’Bannon (one of Farscape’s creators) was at a Wondercon panel and confirmed that it’s not just in the works, it’s definitely going ahead.

We here at Geek Retreat are trying to remain calm in the face of this news, although by “remain calm” we mean jumping up and down like school children who’ve just been told that their school is being transformed into an amusement park.

Farscape-Aeryn-CrichtonIt’s been ten long years since the miniseries event, which closed off the entire show, hit out screens. We were delighted for the miniseries, since the show’s sudden cancellation had left so many loose ends and Peacekeeper Wars helped close most of them off. It bid a fitting farewell to this remarkable show.

Turns out, not so much a farewell as a see you soon.

Here’s a quote from the TV.Com article:

“Just a little bit of, maybe interesting, information to report. ;-p Texting me from WonderCon, a very good friend of mine (@PaulBurrows) just left the Showrunners Panel at the Con. A panel member, non other than Rockne O’Bannon, the co-creator ofWarehouse 13, Defiance, and Revolution… who was also Farscape’s creator and showrunner – has indeed CONFIRMED a Farscape movie is happening. “

 

So how excited are you for this news??

Assault on Arkham Trailer!

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DC have just released the new trailer for Batman: Assault on Arkham. it’s an animated movie, based on the incredibly popular and critically acclaimed video game series.

Untitled-6This movie see’s the suicide squad attempt to take on the Joker, before he detonates  “dirty bomb” somewhere in the city of Gotham.

It’s already got a good start, having Kevin Conroy voicing the Batman (as if anyone else would be acceptable) and Troy Baker giving another turn as the joker, who he played with psychotic style in the video game series. Not to mention they’ve got the C.C.H. Pounder voicing Amanda Waller, which she’s already been doing, brilliantly, in the DC animated universe for some time now.

Directed by another DCAU regular, Jay Olivia who has been responsible for several Young Justice episodes, Justice League: War and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. 

This animated feature has a pretty good pedigree so far and we have high hopes for it. It’s also got a nice tag line…

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From the looks of the trailer it’s going to be pretty epic.

 

Ready For Your Hogwarts Online Education?

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Looking to expand your mind and take some online courses?

How about Advanced Potions?

Maybe Divination?

I know everyone could benefit from a crash-course in Defence Against the Dark Arts. Who knows when death eaters might become a problem at your local supermarket. Wouldn’t you like to be prepared?

HP siteIf any of the above courses sound like your cup of polyjuice potion, then you’re in luck!

Hogwarts is Here is an online “university” where you can enroll and gain a thorough magical education. In other words, a dream come true for Potterheads across the world.

The site is not officially endorsed by JK Rowling, but even so it’s of an incredibly high standard. The site looks as good as any online university, fictional or not. One can only hope that it’s not immediately shut down when the powers that be get wind of it. Or perhaps they’ve already gotten permission, who knows.

HP pic 2Either way this is a truly exciting prospect for any Harry Potter fans, mourning the loss of their favourite books and movies, after Harry’s adventures ended.

The site is completely free to join and take part in. You use the fictional currency of the wizarding world to buy textbooks and other needed essentials.

You even get your very own, personalised Hogwarts Acceptance letter!

You even get your very own, personalised Hogwarts Acceptance letter!

The best thing about this site is that, for all intents and purposes, it’s as real as you can get. You “buy” (remember everything is free) PDF versions of text books and take tests online, which are graded. It’s an online course, even if the content is all fiction. Although I wouldn’t recommend putting it on your CV… unless you were applying for a job at Geek Retreat that is.

For some of us, the idea of going back to school and taking tests is the definition of terrifying. But for a lot of fans, this is the best thing to happen since they realised you could actually visit Platform 9 ¾ at Kings cross.

 

Terry McGinnis Is Back In This Clip From Upcoming DC Short!

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Fans of the Batman Animates series will be pleased to see this clip that DC have released for, what they’ve dubbed, “Batman Month”.

It’s the 75th anniversary of Batman this year and as part of the celebration they’re going to be releasing a Batman Beyond animated short by Darwyn Cooke. Which means that the Bat’s protege will be taking center stage once again!

This clip gives us a taste of what is to come in the final short, which will makes it’s debut at Wondercon.

Looks like he’ll be battling a “possessed” batman, or Batman under mind control, going by his glowing red eyes.

Check it out here!

 

 

Super-Heroes With Part Time Jobs.

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38 Year old Artist Chow Hon Lam has created his “Part Time job” series.

It’s a sequence of adorable little pieces which portray Super-Heroes in possible “alternate” professions.

Some of these are so perfect. Iron Man is sorta obvious. The Invisible woman and Deadpool’s jobs are pure genius. Spider-Man’s is just too cute and Batman, well Batman’s is the one that brings the whole set together!

In a recent interview with Enfuzed, the artist said:

“The “Part Time Job” project actually started with a batch of 6 superheroes with their Part Time Jobs, surprisingly it received very good responses from people. I decided to continue this project and create more “Part Time Jobs” for them. Those superheroes definitely can do more jobs with their abilities beside save the world.”

Check out this amazing series below.