Author Archive

Will Deadpool Be PG-13?

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Many a comic book fan rejoiced last week when it was announced that a Deadpool movie will finally hit theaters in 2016. However, it may not be the movie some are hoping for…

Shmoes Know is reporting the film will have a PG-13 rating, which could considerably water down the notoriously bloody actions of Deadpool. This, reportedly, was from the mouth of director Tim Miller.

The site reports: “I heard from the director that they finally figured out the script, and it was right before this was announced, that they figured out, and you guys are all going to hate this, that they figured out how to make it PG-13 and therefore not lose its soul – that’s a quote - of the script so they can make it.”

Obviously this should be taken with a grain of salt, as the only official news we have regarding Deadpool is that Miller will direct, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick penned the script, and the release date is set for February 12, 2016.

Image from independant.co.uk.

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The Fall of the Roman Empire? Plus, A Look At WWE Night of Champions 2014 (UPDATED w/ RESULTS)

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

So we’ve got no Roman Reigns for this show, huh? Meh. I can live with that. Reigns wasn’t really a major element in this show’s drawing power. Come to think of it, this match only has one thing going for it in in that respect: The John Cena/Brock Lesnar rematch. However, Reigns’ injury does create an interesting opportunity. He was originally set to face Seth Rollins, right? Seems like a heck of a chance to bring Dean Ambrose back, doesn’t it?

In any event, let’s look at what we’ve got here…

WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH:
Sheamus (c) vs. Cesaro

At this point, why not just give the belt to Cesaro? Sheamus’ run with the title hasn’t made him more relevant, and it certainly hasn’t done anything for the title. So I say we just give it to Cesaro. The upside, of course, is that this could be a pretty good match. Make no mistake about it, both these guys can go. And I legitimately feel bad for both of them, because they’re both worthy of being higher on the card than this. They just seem to be stuck in limbo. But who knows? Maybe another US Title run will elevate Cesaro ever so slightly.

Rob’s Prediction: Cesaro
WINNER: Sheamus

WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH:
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. The Miz

I been a fan of what these guys have been doing since Summerslam, what with the “private” photo leak angle, and then adding R-Truth to the mix. It seems cheap. Why not play up the diversity in their credentials? At one point, Ziggler set a record for amateur wrestling victories at Kent State University, and was scouted by WWE. In contrast, Miz went the reality TV route. It’s great storytelling material. But unfortunately we got bad attempts at humor. I see Ziggler retaining here, hopefully continuing what should be a pretty lengthy reign with the IC Title. Ziggler could help re-establish that title as the worker’s title, and how freakin’ cool would that be?

Rob’s Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
WINNER: The Miz

TRIPLE THREAT MATCH FOR WWE DIVAS TITLE:
Paige (c) vs. AJ Lee vs. Nikki Bella

They’re going to make Nikki the champion. They just are. They’re going to take the title away from two genuinely talented women, and give it to the mannequin that looks and talks like a Kardashian. Am I mean? Maybe. But I’m also right, aren’t I? I suppose theoretically they could have Brie come out and cost her the title. But having Nikki win the title would tie into Total Divas quite nicely, as would the inevitable Brie vs. Nikki match for the belt. I’ll say this much for Total Divas, it’s prompted WWE to make their women’s division a priority. They’re doing it all wrong, but at least it’s a priority.

Rob’s Prediction: Nikki Bella
WINNER: AJ Lee

WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
The Usos (c) vs. Goldust & Stardust

I like that the Usos have helped make the tag belts matter a little more. They’ve held them since March, and consistently defended them against credible opponents. What I don’t like is that they made Goldust & Stardust (as opposed to “Gold & Stardust, which sounds ridiculous) go heel for this program. I can only assume the reason is because WWE doesn’t want them getting more cheers than the Usos. Fair enough, I suppose. But it just seems forced. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them go babyface again the next night on Raw. The Usos will keep the belts here, of course, and hopefully keep them until an upstart team from NXT comes up to challenge them. It’s going to be The Ascension, right? That’s what I keep hearing…

Rob’s Prediction: The Usos
WINNERS: Goldust & Stardust

Mark Henry vs. Rusev

Imagine my surprise when the “Mark Henry rallies America” segment main evented Raw this past week. Supposedly they had Cena, Heyman, and Lesnar in the middle of the show to combat Monday Night Football. But one would’ve thought they’d choose to end the show with Reigns and Rollins. But no, instead we got more America vs. Russia. I’ll say this for Rusev: I buy him now. He’s no longer just a big brute who’s incapable of emoting. With his massive size, his athleticism, and Lana’s help, he’s become a genuine player. And no doubt he’ll continue to be one after he goes through Mark Henry at Night of Champions. Hopefully they keep this one short and sweet, though. I’m not expecting much in terms of quality.

Rob’s Prediction: Rusev
WINNER: Rusev

Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton

Here’s a throw together match if I’ve ever seen one. How did this one start, again? Orton attacked Jericho two weeks ago because “It’s the season premiere!” Yeah, nothing lazy about that. I’ll be interested to see if these two go at it again next month at Hell in a Cell, or if Jericho is tapped to be Brock Lesnar’s next challenger (more on that in a bit). Either way, I suspect Jericho will come out on top here. He’s lost to Bray Wyatt in two big matches. I’d say he’s due for a win.

Rob’s Prediction: Chris Jericho
WINNER: Randy Orton

WWE HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Paul Heyman

This should be the match we thought we were getting at Summerslam. The successor to the match we saw at Extreme Rules 2012. After the squash at Summerslam, Cena deserves to come out fighting in this one. And I’m sure they’ll give us something good. But make no mistake about it, Cena should lose again. There are rumors circulating about WWE putting the belt back on Cena, which I don’t see the logic in at all. The Brock Lesnar of 2014 should be the Brock Lesnar we should have gotten when he first came back. The monster no one can stop. The “Beast Incarnate” who holds the WWE Championship hostage, until a newcomer joins the fray and finally beats him. Until Wrestlemania XXXI, Lesnar should be undefeated. And it’s the job of guys like John Cena, The Big Show, Chris Jericho, or whoever they decide to put in front of Lesnar, to tell that story. Because it’s a good story. It’s a compelling and timeless story, really. And what we should see at Night of Champions is the next chapter of that story.

Rob’s Prediction: Brock Lesnar
WINNER: John Cena (by DQ)

Images from WWE.com.

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Ben Affleck Talks Batman’s Anger

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Can Ben Affleck relate to a character like Batman? Apparently, the answer is yes.

In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Affleck talked about how he himself deals with anger, and how it’s helped him in playing the role of Batman.

“For me, anger is so deeply buried and contained that when it does kind of come out, it comes out in stronger bursts,” Affleck said. “I tend to be respectful, polite, get along, put up with, put up with, put up with… then, when it finally emerges, it’s not something I have a ton of control over. I’m not gonna go into a Wolverine berserker rage, but I do have a, I do… That is an interesting thing that you point out. That’s my personality… By the way, that’s a character flaw, I think. I should sit down and say, ‘Listen, I just want to let you know what happened there wasn’t OK’, instead of going, let it go, let it go, let it go … ‘Ah, that’s not a big deal’, until finally you just pop!”

Affleck’s first go-around as the Caped Crusader will be in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which comes out March 26, 2016.

Source and Image: ComingSoon.net

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A Justice League: Forever Heroes Review – Feelings. Nothing More Than Feelings…

TITLE: Justice League, Vol. 5: Forever Evil
AUTHOR: Geoff Johns
PENCILLERS: Doug Mahnke, Ivan Reis
COLLECTS: Justice League #24-29
FORMAT: Hardcover
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: 
RELEASE DATE: 

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Books like Forever Heroes tend to frustrate me. They run alongside event comics like Blackest NightCivil War, or in this case, Forever Evil, providing us with valuable insight into certain characters and their actions. But without the main plotline to follow, books like this are essentially useless. It’s like only watching the even numbered episodes of a TV drama. You continuously have to catch up with each new issue. The solution, of course, is to publish all the issues together, which we typically get in some sort of big omnibus. But for now, books like Forever Heroes stand as islands unto themselves. That’s a shame in this book’s case, as there’s some cool stuff here.

Set during the events of Forever EvilForever Heroes gives us an abbreviated backstory of almost every member of the Crime Syndicate of America. The plot thread that ties the issues together deals with Grid (essentially an evil version of Cyborg) and his quest to feel emotions. But when Cyborg returns, he’s out for justice. And he’s bringing back up: The Metal Men!

Indeed, Forever Heroes is tasked with introducing the Metal Men into the New 52. These heroes made up of various types of metal (Platinum, Mercury, Gold, etc.) have been a part of the DCU since the ’60s, but one can argue they haven’t been relevant in decades. I’ve been a regular DC reader for decades, and I’ve yet to receive a valid reason as to why I should care about the Metal Men, or their scientist creator Will Magnus.

Still, Johns gives us a decent start here. He establishes who the Metal Men are, and how they came to be. He also gives them a certain underdog appeal, by casting them as a failed government experiment, who now must return as one of the world’s last lines of defense. That’s a great role for them. They’re also selfless, which is obviously endearing. Cyborg also makes for a fitting partner for them. And Johns does get you to care about the romantic tension between Magnus and Platinum.

On the down side, there’s a certain awkward, corny factor to the Metal Men’s dialogue. For instance, this is one of Gold’s first lines in issue #28…

“Name’s Gold, bro. I’m one of the most malleable and conductible metals in existence. And I’m also the most desired throughout the globe — worth over $15 million by myself. I’m the Metal Men’s brilliant leader, literally speaking. Aren’t they lucky?”

Not with dialogue like that, they aren’t. That’s certainly not the only line in the book that’s needlessly clunky and expository. Some of this sounds like fiction written for grade schoolers. We know they’re made of metal, and everybody more or less knows that gold is valuable. So why not just leave it alone and let the characters be in a room together?

Metal Men dialogue notwithstanding, it’s not a bad introduction, per se. The Metal Men are an endearing concept. The question is, where do you take them from here? How do you make them a commodity in the DCU? The first Metal Men story of the New 52 is done, but hopefully the second one will give us a clue as far as that question goes.

In contrast to the selfless Metal Men, you of course have the entirely selfish Grid, an addition to the Crime Syndicate created by Johns in Trinity War, who essentially acts as an evil version of Cyborg. While the Metal Men actually feel too many emotions (according to Magnus), Grid is a lifeless robot desperately searching for a chance to feel any emotion. That’s a great juxtaposition. Forever Heroes sees Grid search through the Syndicate’s backstories looking for something to incite feeling. Johns does a nice job of keeping him unsympathetic and ruthless, and Grid manages to give Cyborg a nice character moment at the end of the book.

The Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Power Ring, and Johnny Quick characters aren’t new, but Johns mixed with bits and pieces of their pre-established history with his own work to give them some mostly cool backstories. Granted, they’re all essentially the classic DC mythos turned upside down. For instance, the New 52 Owlman is Thomas Wayne Jr., Bruce Wayne’s older brother, who killed his parents and brother with the help of Alfred. Power Ring, the Crime Syndicate’s version of Green Lantern is a cowardly janitor at Ferris Air who is terrified of the ring entity, Volthoom. Johnny Quick and Atomica are a sort of supervillain Bonnie and Clyde. The only backstory I wasn’t a fan of was Ultraman’s, which unfortunately starts out the book. In that instance, Johns and Ivan Reis went so far on the opposite end of the moral spectrum that it almost became funny.

Forever Heroes also allows us to dive into Owlman’s longing to connect with the Dick Grayson of our Earth. We’re  not given a lot in terms of their interaction with one another, but I like the notion of Thomas Wayne Jr. wanting to make a connection with Dick, even though he’s not the same Dick he knew on Earth 3. And Johns tosses in a nice twist at the end of issue #25 that adds an extra dimension to their relationship.

Obviously Forever Heroes is supplemental material for Forever Evil. It’s not the best supplemental stuff I’ve ever seen. But Johns is definitely in his element here, working with frequent cohorts Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke. And the book is noteworthy for introducing the Metal Men into the New 52, flaws and all. So all things considered, it’s not the worst thing you could spend money on at the comic shop. Just make sure you also have Forever Evil next to it on your shelf.

RATING: 6.5/10

Front page image from kingrexkidd.blogspot.com. Image 1 from insidepulse.com. Image 2 from offthecomicstore.blogspot.com. 

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Are the Teen Titans Headed to TNT?

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

It’s going to be a big fall TV season for DC Comics fans. Between Arrow returning to the CW alongside a new Flash show, Gotham coming to Fox, Constantine coming to NBC, and a Supergirl show reportedly in the works, there’s a lot to look forward to.

Now, TNT is throwing its name into the hat, as the network is reportedly preparing to order a pilot for Titans, a series based on the DC Comics Teen Titans comic book series.

The show would reportedly be based around characters like Nightwing, Starfire, and Raven.

Akiva Goldsman is attached as the writer. Goldsman won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for 2001′s A Beautiful Mind. He’s also written screenplays for plenty of comic book movies, including Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, and I Am Legend.

The Teen Titans characters are no stranger to television, at least as far as animation is concerned. Teen Titans premiered on Cartoon Network in 2003, and ran until 2006. A sequel series, Teen Titans Go!, began airing on the network last year. The characters were also featured on Cartoon Network’s Young Justice show.

Image from voicesfromkrypton.com.

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Batmobile From Batman v. Superman Revealed

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Via Warner Bros. and Ain’t It Cool News, we now have our first look at Batman’s new ride.

Images of the Batmobile from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice have emerged online. Largely colored gray, the vehicle features two doors that open vertically, exposing a two-person cockpit.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice opens March 25, 2016.

Source and Images: Newsarama

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John Cena and Paul Heyman Sell the PPV, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Just a warning folks, this one consists of mostly complaints. I was not happy with Raw this week.

Thoughts From Raw:

Paul Heyman urges John Cena to “give in” to defeat Brock Lesnar. I wasn’t as thrilled with this segment as a lot of other people were. Mick Foley even took to Twitter and called it “Quite simply one of the greatest interviews ever!” Respectfully, I disagree. It had nothing to do with either man’s performance. It’s just that we’ve seen this segment before. It’s the whole “This is who I am, and I won’t change!” speech. Off the top of my head, I can think of four people he’s done this with: Kane, The Rock, CM Punk, and Daniel Bryan. Mind you, Heyman might have orated his side of it better than the others. But the fact is, this is a rerun. Still, it’s interesting to see Heyman and Cena in the ring together. And at this point, Lesnar vs. Cena is still a hot match. So it didn’t hurt the build up by any means.

Roman Reigns def. Randy Orton via disqualification. I don’t know what the deal is with this match. It bored everybody at Summerslam, and it bored everybody again on Raw this week. It just seems like these guys are wrestling in a vat of molasses every time they get together. I assume they’ll be wrestling at least one more time on pay per view, but at this rate a Randy Orton/Roman Reigns match might actually deter me from buying a show.

Jerry Springer returns to Raw, does an in-ring segment with the Bellas. Poor Jerry. He’s actually a very eloquent speaker. But this…this was just not good. As ever, this was like watching the popular girls in high school have an argument. Good lord, I just…don’t…care. And what’s more, I really don’t think the fans care either.

Also, “Brie Mode” will never be a thing. Ever.

Adrian Neville & Sami Zayn def. Tyson Kidd & Tyler Breeze. This was the best segment on the show, for my money. All these guys were obviously hungry, and they showed it to us this week. Neville seemed to be the stand out guy, and seemed to have won the crowd over. And here’s hoping they’re able to bring the Tyson Kidd/Natalya storyline they’re doing on NXT to the main roster once he’s ready to come back up.

Bray Wyatt def. Chris Jericho in a steel cage match. In all honesty, since the creation of Hell in a Cell, steel cage matches don’t really do it for me anymore. But Jericho and Wyatt pulled off a decent one this week. My only big complaint was Wyatt crab walking toward the cage door, which was more goofy than anything else.

Dolph Ziggler shows the world The Miz’s “leaked” photos. I’m usually a fan of Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, and Damien Sandow. But I wasn’t a fan of what they did here, especially in light of Melina and Velvet Sky being among the victims of this mass cloud hacking. I rain on what little humor this segment actually provided, but that’s where I’m at on this one. By the way, do we have to keep calling him Damien MIZdow? If we’re going to keep him with Miz, can’t he at least have his name back?

Images from WWE.com.

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No Iron Man 4 For Robert Downey Jr.

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is as strong as ever (see Guardians of the Galaxy), there’s one character who won’t be seeking solo stardom again any time soon: Iron Man.

Robert Downey Jr., who has played Tony Stark/Iron Man in three Iron Man films, as well as The Avengers, recently told Variety the following regarding a possible Iron Man 4: “There isn’t one in the pipe. No, there’s no plan for a fourth Iron Man.”

While the actor is contracted to return for two Avengers sequels, he is reportedly reluctant to return for any more.

When Downey was asked if he would “let” another actor play Tony Stark, he joked: “I like that the idea is that it would be up to me, like I’m casting director for Marvel.”

Downey’s next appearance as Iron Man will be in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which hits theaters May 1, 2015.

Image from rottentomatoes.com.

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A Death of Wolverine #1 Review – Old Story, New Consequences

TITLE: Death of Wolverine #1
AUTHOR: Charles Soule
PENCILLER: Steve McNiven
PUBLISHER: Marvel
PRICE: $4.99
RELEASED: September 3, 2014

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

While I haven’t exactly had my eye on the man called Logan lately, two elements attracted me to Death of Wolverine. Firstly, the notion that it would be a (more or less) self-contained story, told in four weekly issues. You wouldn’t need to do any research or back tracking to get into the story, and it wouldn’t drag like a lot of event comics do. Secondly, Charles Soule is the writer. Soule impressed me with this work on Superman/Wonder Woman, so I was interested to him work with Wolvie in a story that’s pivotal, to say the least.

When we open the book, Logan has lost his healing power. The issue doesn’t dive into the how and the why of it, it simply sets that notion on the table and keeps moving. (FYI, Logan got infected with a virus that suppressed the ability.) But now that our hero is vulnerable, a price has been put on his head and the bad guys are coming out of the woodwork to take him down. The question is, who has their sights set on Logan? Who is it that’s put him in harm’s way like never before? We find out at the end of this issue, and it’s someone we know quite well.

Of course, Death of Wolverine isn’t a new concept by any means. There’ve been a lot of “Logan fights his way through a lot of people” stories before. Hell, a few years ago we actually had Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine. So it’s not an uncommon story motif. And let’s not even get into superhero deaths. Coming into Death of Wolverine, we’re not even asking who or what will kill him, but rather how long he’ll actually stay dead. Still, the Wolverine vs. The World plot is as good as any to use if you’re going to kill off Logan. It’s a perfect way to give us some of his trademark violence and rage along the way.

We open the issue with a quiet scene, a calm before the storm (shown left). The reveal on pages four and five then gives us a strong sense of foreboding, and just what that storm will consist of. Soule stays pretty quiet from a narration standpoint, letting McNiven’s art do the talking. Considering the character we’re dealing with, and the quality of artist we have, that’s a wise move.

Soule also uses red, one-word caption boxes with white lettering to indicate intense pain, which Logan isn’t used to feeling the way normal people do. He simply tosses a body part out there (“Neck, “”Head,” etc) and lets the reader fill in the blanks. I’m interested to see how this trend progresses as we get closer to Logan’s demise.

Our villain for the issue is Nuke, a character created during Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil run. I’d just as soon not talk about Miller after Sin City: A Dame To Kill For bombed so badly. But the character serves his purpose here. He’s a meathead and a brute for Logan to beat up and get information from. He’s the kind of character Logan wouldn’t necessarily bat an eye over if he was his normal self. But now a fight with Nuke takes a different toll. Plus, McNiven and the artists make him look pretty good.

While it’s hardly a work of stunning originality, Death of Wolverine does what it sets out to do: Make me want to see how Logan dies. Soule’s writing rings true to the character, and the art sets the tone nicely. I’m curious to see where we go from here.

Front page image and image 1 from comicbookresources.com.

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Dwayne Johnson Announces His Role as Black Adam in Shazam

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

After much speculation, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has made it official via Twitter this week: He will play Black Adam in the upcoming Shazam movie from Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema.

Johnson tweeted: “‘Kneel at his feet or get crushed by his boot.’ My honor to become.. #BlackAdam #TheAntiHero #DCComics” The tweet was accompanied by an image of the Gary Frank art used for the cover of Justice League #21.

Variety later provided an update, reporting that Warner Bros. subsidiary New Line Cinema would produce the film, and Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After, Jack the Giant Slayer) will serve as screenwriter.

Toby Emmerich, president of New Line Cinema, told Entertainment Weekly that Shazam would be different from other comic book movies, and ”will have a sense of fun and a sense of humor. But the stakes have to be real.”

In the DC Comics universe, Black Adam is the arch nemesis of Shazam (formerly known as Captain Marvel). He’s been portrayed as both an outright villain, and an anti-hero. Judging by Johnson’s tweet, this film will portray him as the latter.

Reportedly, Shazam may reach theaters as early as July 2016.

Image 1 from wwe.com.

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