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Marvel Announces Avengers: Infinity War, and Other Films Through 2019

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

On the heels of Warner Bros. announcing its slate of DC Comics, Lego, and Harry Potter movies through 2020, Marvel has announced its slate of releases through 2019. And there’s a lot for fans to be excited for.

Marvel announced new installments in the Avengers, Captain America, Thor, and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises. In addition, we’ll see several newcomers, such as Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans. The list reportedly represents the entirety of “Phase 3″ for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The logos can be seen below.

The list is as follows…

May 6, 2016  - Captain America: Civil War (Confirming an earlier report, as well as Robert Downey Jr’s involvement.)
November 4, 2016 – Doctor Strange 

May 5, 2017 - Guardians of the Galaxy 2
July 28, 2017 - Thor : Ragnarok
November 3, 2017 – Black Panther (starring Chadwick Boseman)

May 4, 2018 – Avengers: Infinity War, Part I
July 6, 2018 - Captain Marvel
November 2, 2018 - Inhumans 

May 3, 2019 – Avengers: Infinity War, Part II

Source and Images: Newsarama

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The Randy Orton Face Turn, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Hell in a Cell 2014 seems to have exceeded people’s expectations, which is always nice to hear. Sadly, I wasn’t able to catch the show. What really sucks about that, is I wasn’t able to see the Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins cell match. From what I’ve seen, they put on an awesome match, while paying tribute to a couple of the classic matches (Undertaker/Shawn Michaels and Undertaker/Mick Foley) in the process. Thankfully, WWE made the right call and put that match on last. I said it before the show, and I’ll say it again, there was no way Orton and Cena were going to top them. It also makes a nice statement about WWE looking toward the future.

And by God, Ambrose and Rollins are such stars.

Thoughts From WWE Raw:

Randy Orton goes on a verbal tirade against Seth Rollins to kick off the show. Alright, I’ve got to eat a little crow here. Last week I said, “Randy Orton is a great wrestler, but he’s just not a good talker.” Well, Orton proved me wrong in the very first segment of this week’s show. But keep in mind, what I was saying last week was how phony and heavily scripted Orton’s promos usually sound. This week, he ditched his usual slow pace and just ranted. It was awesome. And apparently, Orton went into anger management in 2006. Hey, I believe it.

With the RKO on Seth Rollins, the Randy Orton face turn appears to be in full swing now. That’s a good thing. It gives Randy an opportunity to freshen up his character, and opens the door for some new rivalries. I’m also interested to see if he can continue pushing the idea that the RKO can be hit any time and anywhere, as all those Vine videos so delightfully conveyed.

Team Cena vs. Team Authority booked for Survivor Series*groan* Well, it looks like we won’t get Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. And on top of that, we got another “You should turn heel, John” promo, this time from Triple H and Stephanie. Triple H’s part of it was fairly intriguing, with the notion that Cena’s getting beat up, and “can’t stop the future.” But still, it’s incredibly disappointing that we won’t be seeing Brock Lesnar for another month. What’s more, when we do see him, he’ll be against Cena again. Granted, Someone else (Randy Orton, perhaps?) could be added to the match. But it’s still disheartening.

Bray Wyatt cuts a return promo on Dean Ambrose after costing him his cell match. I still don’t understand some of what Bray Wyatt is saying in these promos that everybody loves so much. But I suppose as long as he understands it, and can motivate it, that’s what matters. Really intrigued by what we might see from this Wyatt/Ambrose program.

Dean Ambrose opts to assault Cesaro with a microphone instead of wrestling him. I hate to say this, but how far has Cesaro fallen since his big battle royal win at Wrestlemania? He’s so talented, and deserves so much better. But good lord, who hasn’t beaten this guy lately?

Ryback def. Bo Dallas. It looks like the returning Ryback is a babyface again. The timing of Ryback’s heel turn last year was odd. But it did give him a chance to develop his on-screen charisma a bit more. I get the impression that the somewhat unhinged personality we see him display on television is very much an extension of who he really is, which is how most good pro wrestling personas develop. It’s also nice to see another fresh face on the show.

Hulk Hogan shows up for another Susan G. Komen segment. I like Hogan in this role. It suits him well  at this stage in his career. They can use him on television without him stealing the spotlight, as he inevitably does, whether it’s intentional or not.

Incidentally, Jesse Ventura told an interesting story about Hogan on Piper’s Pit with Roddy Piper this week. I have no clue how much truth there is to it, but it sounds like the Hogan we know. He tells it during the last 15 minutes of the show.

Mark Henry heels on The Big Show during a tag team title match. Predictably, Mark Henry goes heel. Nothing wrong with that. Henry’s a guy the fans love to hate. I’m interested to see if they turn the “Sexual Chocolate” chants into something that pisses Henry off. They might as well. The fans chant it every time he’s in the ring.

Images from wwe.com.

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Benedict Cumberbatch Cast as Doctor Strange

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

After much speculation, the Marvel Cinematic Universe now has its Doctor Strange: Benedict Cumberbatch.

Deadline reports Cumberbatch, star of Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, will play the the character in a film of the same name. Doctor Strange is set for a July 8, 2014 release date.

The character made his debut in Strange Tales #110 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. A brilliant neurosurgeon, Stephen Strange suffers terrible damage to his hands after a car accident. While searching for a way to heal himself, he becomes a student, and later a master of the mystic arts.

Image from digitalspy.com.

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A Review of The Walking Dead, S5E3 – Sweet, Sweet Revenge

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

So what does it mean to be a good guy in the world of The Walking Dead? We continued to ponder that question this week. We certainly have several examples of what it means to be a bad guy, the latest being Gareth and his camp of cannibals. Those opening shots of the cannibals eating Bob’s leg, juxtaposed with the ones of the walkers were awesome. And then you had Gareth putting his hand against the glass, which was an awesome visual representation of the question, “What separates us from them?”

What’s been cool this season is that if you’ve been collecting the comics, you can actually read along with certain segments of the show. For instance, Father Gabriel’s confession, the dialogue between Gareth and Rick in the church, etc. I love how the show isn’t the comic book, but it’s always fun to see them intersect.

On to the good stuff…

Thoughts From The Walking Dead, S5E3:

Bob dies peacefully after revealing he was bitten during the events of last week’s episode. Not surprised to see Bob die this week, in a surprisingly tranquil manner. After last week’s cliffhanger, I think we needed an episode where the good guys got a win. Bob’s whole “tainted meat” tirade was pretty great. In all honesty, I’m surprised this character lasted as long as he did. But his death scene was extremely impactful, leaving both Sasha and the audience to wonder what good can come from so much carnage.

Rick, Sasha, and the others massacre Gareth and his group. Again, we blur the lines between good and evil. In that moment, the only real difference between Rick’s group and Gareth’s group was that the former didn’t eat their victims after they were dead.

After the massacre, Michonne picks up her sword again. Again, some great symbolism. Michonne ultimately has no choice but to pick up that sword, even though she doesn’t necessarily enjoy wielding it.

A hidden Carl holds his gun forth in defense as the cannibals taunt the group. I was actually proud to see Carl standing up for himself and his friends in such a scary moment. One can only wonder what Carl thought of his dad slicing Gareth up the way he did.

 Glenn, Maggie, Abraham, Rosita and Eugene leave the group to head for Washington. The group definitely needed to shrink, at least for a little while. Things were getting crowded. I was disappointed we didn’t see Glenn and Maggie give Rick a proper goodbye. Lord knows they may never see each other again. We haven’t spent a lot of time with our favorite post-apocalyptic couple this season. With Father Gabriel around, and the show taking plenty of cues from the comic book, I’m curious to see if they’ll have themselves a makeshift wedding.

Father Gabriel confesses to the group. Gabriel’s confession about locking his congregation out of the church in the wake of the apocalypse was just as awesome on television as it was in the comics. And I love that he has to describe it for us, so the whole scenario is left to our imagination. It never fails, what you picture in your head is always worse than what they give you on screen. But the question still remains: What happens to him now? His big secret is out. So from a storytelling standpoint, what do you do with him? Obviously he’s a coward. So do you keep him around to have him face his fears? Or do you kill him off to illustrate there’s no room for that kind of cowardice in the face of a zombie apocalypse. I’m very curious to see if he makes it through this season.

Front page image/image 2, and image 1 from amctv.com. Image 3 from wetpaint.com. Image 4 moviepilot.com.

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Joel Schumacher to Revisit Batman (You Read That Right)

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Joel Schumacher is the man many blame (justifiably or not) for killing the Batman film franchise with the 1997′s Batman & Robin. Now, the filmmaker may get a chance to revisit the character many blame him for blemishing.

Schumacher directed 1995′s Batman Forever, followed by Batman & Robin two years later. A third film, Batman Triumphant, was to have followed. It was cancelled after the poor reception to Batman & Robin.

However, Bleeding Cool reports this week that Schumacher is writing a 12-issue comic book series, which will be drawn by Dustin Nguyen, that will explore his original vision for the movies and “revisit his intentions for the three films.”

The site reports an announcement should follow as scripts for the issues come in.

Image from wegotthiscovered.com. 

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Save Us Dean Ambrose, Plus WWE Hell in a Cell 2014 Predictions

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Ugh. This is like eating stale bread.

We are, indeed, in the midst of what has become WWE’s annual autumn slump. Most of what we’re seeing is either tired and stale, or simply uninteresting. With any luck, Brock Lesnar’s next title defense will be at Survivor Series, which means Paul Heyman will have a reason to be on Raw every week again. I’m guessing some of these older rivalries will end here, too. So hopefully Hell in a Cell will mark the end of the autumn slump. Because good lord, we’ve got a Bella vs. Bella match on this show. It doesn’t get much worse than this.

STIPULATION MATCH:
Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella
Loser must become the winner’s personal assistant. 

What’s worse than having one Bella in the ring? Having two Bellas in the ring. Just keep it as short and as painless as possible, okay? As for who wins…I really don’t care. I’ve been fast-forwarding or muting any segment involving a Bella for awhile now, and this match certainly won’t put a stop to that. But since this whole “personal assistant” stipulation obviously favors the heel, my instinct is to go with Nikki.

Rob’s Prediction: Nikki Bella
WINNER: Nikki Bella

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

I believe I’ve said this before, but it really speaks to how shallow the WWE roster is right now that United States Champion Sheamus and Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler essentially switched challengers this month. Last week it was Ziggler vs. Miz and Sheamus vs. Cesaro. This month Sheamus has Miz, and Cesaro is with Ziggler. And as much as I hate to say it, because I’m a Sheamus fan, the guy is cold as the U.S. Champion. He’s capable of turning in some really good matches. But his persona desperately needs to be tweaked. As such, despite how hot The Miz’s partnership with Damien Sandow is, this match really doesn’t mean much. How long has Sheamus been champion, anyway? *checks the stats* May 5. And even then, I was calling for a Sheamus heel turn. The other day on The Ross Report, Jim Ross fantasy booked a United States Title win for Rusev, followed by an embittered Sheamus turning heel. Sounds like great booking to me. And with Survivor Series coming up next month, what better time for Sheamus to drop the belt? But for that to happen, he’ll need to get through Miz this month. That shouldn’t be too tall a task. Damien Sandow pinned Sheamus this past week on Raw. So a Miz loss here would further the developing storyline between those two.

Rob’s Prediction: Sheamus
WINNER: Sheamus

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

I’m just about ready for this one to be over. Both these teams have been lumped into six-man bouts in recent weeks, so we haven’t seen a lot of significant development in their rivalry. As such, they’ve gone pretty stale. So I say let this one die, and let’s find some new pairings. This one’s a toss up in terms of who wins, but I’m going to go with the Usos. They make great tag team champions, and think they’re the best duo to have against whatever up-and-coming teams may be on their way from NXT.

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

WWE DIVAS TITLE MATCH:
AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige

I’m ready for this one to be over too. I like the AJ/Paige pairing. But we’ve pretty much gone as far as we can go with the whole implied lesbianism thing. And bringing Alicia Fox into the story as Paige’s ally hasn’t brought anything too compelling into the story. So I say we just blow this one off, and let AJ move on to somebody else. As Paige and Alicia Fox have both been added to the next season of Total Divas, I’m not expecting them to go away any time soon. But my hope is that once she’s separated from the Divas Title picture, Paige doesn’t simply become another one of the girls.

Rob’s Prediction: AJ Lee
WINNER: AJ Lee

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

The cool thing about this match is these guys don’t need to say much to one another to make things compelling. Their ring work and their athleticism largely speak for themselves. While their pairing does speak to the lack of depth on the roster right now, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good pairing. Quite frankly, this is what the Intercontinental Championship should be about. It should be the worker’s title. And a 2-out-of-3 falls match is a hell of a way to showcase what great workers these two are. After Ziggler played championship hot potato with The Miz last month, I think it would do him good to keep the strap this month. Cesaro, of course, can come back to the well several times as far as I’m concerned. If these two are given the proper platform to perform on, they can do amazing things.

Rob’s Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler

The Big Show vs. Rusev

Oh c’mon. Like Rusev’s first loss is really going to go to the Big Show at an October pay per view? Yeah, right. Still, I’ll credit WWE with actually getting Rusev over as a dominant monster. Going through Big Show will do nothing but help him in that respect. As I said, I’d like to see him target Sheamus next, hopefully sooner rather than later. In light of current events, a Russian bruiser who captures the United States Championship could make for a hell of an act, especially with Lana doing the mic work. In any event, Rusev wins.

Rob’s Prediction: Rusev
WINNER: Rusev

STIPULATION HELL IN A CELL MATCH:
John Cena vs. Randy Orton
Winner gets a WWE Heavyweight Title shot. 

*sigh* John Cena vs. Randy Orton…again.

Even with their options somewhat limited as to who they can use on this show, it’s pretty ballsy of WWE to give us Cena vs. Orton on a pay per view in 2014. They got booed out of the building at the Royal Rumble. Why? It’s got nothing to do with their individual talents (at least from where I sit). It’s because we’ve seen this match so many times over the years. At this point, I’d say putting this match on a show actually detracts from a pay per view’s drawing power. I’ll say this much, WWE actually gave us a valid reason for putting Cena and Orton together: The winner gets a WWE Title shot. But then again, it was Dean Ambrose who defeated Cena to get into a cell match with Seth Rollins. So does it really make any sense?

In the end, I see Orton taking the win here, and hopefully moving one step closer to a babyface turn. Orton’s recent popularity on Vine may have sparked interest in a turn. But in truth, it seemed like Orton was moving that way already. And thankfully, an Orton turn would force WWE to shake things up a bit, and put some new dance pairings together.

Rob’s Prediction: Randy Orton
WINNER: John Cena

HELL IN A CELL MATCH:
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose

If WWE is smart, this will be the last match on the show. Not only will Ambrose and Rollins outperform Cena and Orton, their rivalry is the only one in the company that’s actually worthy of the cell. They were in the Shield together for over a year, then Ambrose targeted Rollins and managed to have a hell of a lumberjack match at Summerslam. To top that off, Ambrose has created one of the most compelling characters in WWE right now, and has made himself the perfect foil for Rollins.

I really think Dean Ambrose needs a win here. Hell in a Cell is a great arena for him, and it makes sense for him to pull out a win here. Ambrose certainly wasn’t at the top of WWE’s list of future main event stars. But circumstances being what they are, they may have no choice but to go with Ambrose. And that, my friends, is a good thing.

Rob’s Prediction: Dean Ambrose
WINNER: Seth Rollins

Images from WWE.com.

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Will Lex Luthor Join the Suicide Squad?

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Lex Luthor may soon be joining the Suicide Squad…at least in the DC Cinematic Universe.

Deadline reports this week that Jesse Eisenberg is in talks to play Lex Luthor in 2016′s Suicide Squad. In addition, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, and Margot Robbie are reportedly being sought for the David Ayer-directed film.

Luthor’s relationship to the Suicide Squad remains a mystery. But the premise for the film sees various supervillains recruited by the government for black op missions.

Eisenberg will debut his take on Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which comes out on March 15, 2016.

Image from nerdcoremovement.com.

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A Death of Wolverine Review – Going Out Like a Champ…or a Chump?

TITLE: Death of Wolverine
AUTHOR: Charles Soule
PENCILLER: Steve McNiven
COLLECTS: Death of Wolverine #1-4
PUBLISHER: Marvel
GRAPHIC NOVEL PRICE: $24.99
GRAPHIC NOVEL RELEASE: January 2015

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder 

Death of Wolverine is a surprisingly quiet story. Quiet in the sense that there were so many paths it could have taken with Logan’s death. He’s an X-Men and an Avenger after all. Half the Marvel Universe could have been incorporated into a big, explosive, cosmic battle, culminating in the death of this once immortal hero.

Instead, Charles Soule, Steve McNiven and the rest of the creative team give us something more reserved, and perhaps more personal for Logan. We see traces of his larger role in the Marvel Universe. But for the most part, it’s a rather intimate affair. It’s Logan, plus some characters that have a special connection to him. It’s not necessarily what you’d expect, but it has a nice feel to it.

Having lost his healing power, Logan is now a marked man. An unknown enemy has put a price out for his capture, and now Logan finds himself vulnerable in more ways than one. In the end, Logan does pay the ultimate price for that vulnerability. But as one might expect, he doesn’t go without a fight. And that fight brings him face-to-face with more than one person from his past.

Death of Wolverine isn’t terribly inventive or surprising. But does it need to be? We already know the outcome, after all. The story is structured like a mini farewell tour for Wolverine, as his quest to find the mystery villain brings him to Canada, Madripoor, and finally a site not unlike the facility where Wolverine as we know him was created. Soule, McNiven, and the creative team seem more intent on making us ponder and appreciate the character, which is fair enough. The execution has its flaws. But I tip my hat to this piece for its intentions, as well as the amazing artwork.

McNiven is definitely in top form here. His art has a lot of detail to it, and in Logan’s case a lot of soul. In the first issue alone, McNiven does an awesome job of showing us a man who’s emotionally and physically exhausted from decades of brutality and violence. Then we move on to hopelessness, pain, depression, and then a bit of that classic Wolverine rage. Over the course of the story, he also gets to draw Logan in a variety of costumes and scenarios. We get good ol-wife beater wearin’ Logan, Logan in costume, Logan in samurai garb, and even sharp-dressed Logan. Again, paying tribute to the character and where he’s been. McNiven is able to maintain that quality over all four issues, which demonstrates just how good he really is.

Under Soule’s pen, Logan seems a bit more introspective as he ponders his own mortality. At first he seems pretty depressed and despondent about the whole thing. But by issue #3 he seems to have found some hope that this change will allow him to live a normal life away from all the fighting. During a conversation with Kitty Pryde, Logan says: “No more doing something horrible and telling myself I’ve got until the end of damn time to make up for it.” The idea that, in the face of his own mortality, Logan has guilt over what he is and what he’s done is interesting. Soule revisits that idea during the story’s climax, which is appreciated.

The story also uses different colored text boxes to illustrate Logan’s different senses. Red for pain, blue for smell, yellow for sounds, etc. The novelty does wear off gradually. But it’s a good choice given who our lead character is, and the kind of story we’re in.

Perhaps the biggest flaw in Death of Wolverine is its need for breathing room. All things considered, Soule might have overcomplicated things. The first issue moves along at an appropriate pace, both setting the table, giving us some action, and establishing Logan’s mindset. But by issue two we’re shoving different characters in front of Logan, simply for the sake of having these epic fights. But they’re so condensed that they don’t necessarily have the time to be as epic or gripping as they could have been.

Take the Wolverine/Sabretooth fight, for instance. Theoretically, the entire story could have been built around one last fight between Logan and Creed, where one of Wolverine’s arch rival finally kills him. Instead, we got a daydream sequence (shown above), followed by a fight that featured Sabretooth in an oddly submissive position courtesy of Viper. And in the end, any potential consequences brought on by the fight (most notably Logan losing his eye) are undone when Kitty Pryde pops up with a dose of “regen serum.” What’s the point of taking Logan’s healing factor away if you’re simply going to give him a miracle cure when he’s in a jam?

I also wasn’t thrilled with the way Logan actually kicks the bucket. While staying spoiler free, it’s poetic in its own way. And again, I appreciated Soule’s nod to the journey Logan has been on as a human being. But in the end, Logan essentially takes himself out, and winds up looking more like a depressed Silver Surfer (if you’ve read the book you know why) than a dead Wolverine. So not only do we not give a villain the distinction of having killed our hero, Logan winds up going out like a chump. All those decades of blood and heroism, only to die like that?

Soule and the folks at Marvel seem to have had a decent take on Wolverine’s demise, and the artists are able to give us a stellar looking Logan. But in the end the presentation got watered down, and quite needlessly in certain cases. But regardless, the end result is the same. Wolverine is off the table…for now.

RATING: 6/10

Front page image and image 3 from comicbookresources.com. Image 1 from denofgeek.us. Image 2 from comicbookherald.com. 

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The Path to Brock Lesnar, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Another handicap match main event? Seriously? Filler, folks. That’s all we’ve been getting since Night of Champions. To make matters worse, injuries to the likes of Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns have left us with a positively painful lack of depth on the roster. You’ve got the same guys (Orton, Rollins, Cena, etc.) appearing over and over again, which does nothing but lend to the notion that they’re just stretching things out for the 3-hour format. Here’s hoping the likelihood of Brock Lesnar main eventing Survivor Series will lead to some more compelling television in the weeks to come. Still, the show wasn’t without its bright spots.

Thoughts From WWE Raw:

Mick Foley makes surprise appearance during Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins segment. These surprise appearances by guys like The Rock and Mick Foley are obviously being done to bring some buzz to some  shows that are otherwise not buzzworthy at all. But I’ll never say I’m not happy to see Mick on Raw. In all seriousness, he got the biggest reaction of the night, second only to cheap Kansas City Royals references. I won’t say the segment did much in terms of build up for the Rollins/Ambrose match. But Mick damn sure saved that segment. I see what they were going for, having Ambrose in there with a bunch of tools and a mannequin. But…no. It just wasn’t working.

Winner of John Cena vs. Randy Orton Hell in a Cell match will face Brock Lesnar for the title. This definitely helps this match from a drawing perspective. But we’ve still seen Cena vs. Orton so many times now, it probably won’t do any good in terms of the performance itself. I don’t have a good feeling about how the crowd is going to react to this one. We may see a repeat of the Royal Rumble, with the fans booing them out of the building.

Orton involved in four dialogue segments during the first hour of RawRandy Orton is a great wrestler, but he’s just not a good talker. I’m sorry, but he’s not. No matter what he’s talking about, it’s always the same boring, monotone stuff. He always comes off as heavily scripted (which he probably is), and it just doesn’t sound genuine. And that’s weird, because ad lib Randy Orton is usually pretty interesting. John Cena seemed to improv with him a bit during their segment (the whole Royals/World Series thing), and it brought out some more emotion and intensity in him. But everything else just feels like looking at and listening to a cardboard cut out.

“By the Numbers” vignette airs for Hell in a CellThis video package made me realize just how poorly Hell in a Cell has been promoted. Here you have a pay per view that features what many would consider the most dangerous match WWE puts on every year. It’s a match that’s given us so many great moments. And yet with less than a week left until the show, WWE is just now playing that up. A pair of Hell in a Cell retrospective segments each week might have not only helped with the pay per view vignette, but also emphasized the WWE Network really well.

Orton and Paul Heyman play up the “Class of 2002.” Yes, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, and John Cena all worked in Ohio Valley Wrestling together, and all made their main roster debuts in 2002. Myself and others have speculated about WWE going in this direction for some time. And it makes as much sense as anything else. If Randy Orton is staying a heel, then I suspect this idea will be part of the build up for a triple threat match between the three of them at Survivor Series. There’s another opening to incorporate the WWE Network.

Rusev assaults an “American soldier,” firing up The Big Show. About a month ago I said that nobody does the whole sappy, emotionally vulnerable promo quite like Mark Henry. But if anybody has him beat, it’s Big Show. Jeez, the two guys standing up for America are a little sensitive, huh? No wonder folks are clamoring for Kurt Angle.

So the thing with Rusev kicking a soldier, if he really was a soldier, didn’t do anything for me. Yes, it’s a very heelish thing to do. But the whole thing had a cheesiness to it that turned me off.

Damien Sandow pins Sheamus in a six-man tag. Well that’s pretty damn cool. The seed seems firmly planted for a Miz/Damien Sandow feud. And to his credit, The Miz gave an awesome reaction when Sandow got the pin.

Front page image, image 1, and image 2 from wwe.com. Image 3 from wwedvdnews.com.

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A Review of The Walking Dead S5E2 – “You’ll Burn For This”

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

I’ve got to hand it to The Walking Dead. It continues to be that show that makes me look at the clock, and dread the ending of an episode. This one wasn’t an edge-of-your-seat thriller. But we DID meet a pretty intriguing new character: Father Gabriel.

*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*

Thoughts From The Walking Dead S5E2:

Father Gabriel makes his television debut. Readers of the comic book know Gabriel Stokes, but TV-only fans are obviously meeting him for the first time. Seth Gilliam did an awesome job playing him as not only a coward, but a coward carrying a hell of a secret. In his own way, Gabriel is carrying a tremendous weight on his shoulders, and that’s something Rick can obviously sense.

The most chilling moment in the entire episode was seeing ”you’ll burn for this” carved into the church. It not only implies the gravity of what Gabriel must have done, but it plants a haunting image in your head of someone actually doing the carving.

I’m curious to see what they do with the Gabriel character once the secret gets out. Do you have him fall victim to the walkers? Does someone kill him? Or do they have him hang around and be part of the group? He could act as the group’s collective conscience, I suppose. But that role seems to be filled by Tyreese at the moment. Once we find out what he’s done, Gabriel could become easily expendable.

Bob is captured and mutilated by Gareth and the Terminus survivors. Not to harp on the comics too much here, but much of Gareth’s dialogue at the end of the episode was lifted from a scene in the comics which saw Dale in a very similar situation.

The Bob character has been a mystery to me for awhile now. He seems like an easily expendable character. But that almost seems too obvious. So what do you do with him?

I can only assume Bob was secretly bitten when the group was retrieving food. Why else would he have walked off and broken down like that in the midst of a celebration? The group does seem to be getting rather large, so taking a survivor or two out of the equation might not be a bad idea. But with The Walking Dead, you just never know.

Michonne moves on without her sword. It was nice to hear a little bit about the origins of Michonne’s sword, and how she became so proficient with it. It was also pretty damn cool to see her kill a zombie with, of all things, a wisk. But I suspect it won’t be too long before we see her pick a different sword up, and resume her blade swinging bad-assery. I suspect part of the reason she’s lost it is to illustrate to the audience she doesn’t need that weapon to be an ass kicker. I don’t think we really needed that hammered home, but it’s a decent route to take with her.

Carl convinces Rick to save Father Gabriel, is optimistic that the group can handle anything. I hope they’re careful with Carl, here. It wasn’t long ago he was essentially portrayed as the demon child. Now he’s all hopeful and optimistic again. I understand that Carl spent a lot of quality time with his dad last season, and that getting Judith back has probably restored a good portion of his humanity. But he doesn’t have to be naive, does he? If this show has taught us anything, it’s that being happy and hopeful usually means something bad is right around the corner.

Front page image/Image 1 and image 3 from amctv.com. Image 2 from zap2it.com. 

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