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Batman: Arkham Knight Announced, Trailer Debuts

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

News broke his week that Batman: Arkham Knight, the next, and reportedly final game in the Arkham series, will be released later this year. The trailer is embedded below.

The game is set for release on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and was developed  by Rocksteady Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It’s official description follows…

“In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever. Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile, which is drivable for the first time in the franchise. The addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City.”

Source: Newsarama

Image courtesy of bleedingcool.com.

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Still Pining For Punk, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Thoughts From Raw:

- So there it is, then. No CM Punk. Not this week, and not at Wrestlemania XXX. I’ll give WWE credit for two things: They acknowledged the elephant in the room right away, and they picked the perfect guy to do it with. Paul Heyman’s promo was beautifully done. He sucked us in, and then he heeled on the fans and turned the whole thing into a segment about Brock and The Undertaker. So my hat’s off to him for that…

Still, this sucks. That’s really all I have to say about it at this point. I’m not particularly mad at Punk or WWE. It just really sucks that a man who has contributed so much to mainstream wrestling in recent years, who ultimately did break through the company’s glass ceiling, and who the fans in Chicago were screaming for, is apparently gone. And he’s going to miss out on a landmark Wrestlemania. It sucks. It really, really sucks.

Also, AJ Lee, Punk’s real-life girlfriend, was conspicuous by her absence this week. No doubt her match would have been showered with chants for him.

*sigh* But moving on…

- While the fans seem to have lost the battle for CM Punk, we seem to have won the Daniel Bryan fight. Batista’s heel turn, combined with all this drama about Bryan not being Wrestlemania-worthy seems to be an indicator that Bryan will help close out the big night. My only questions at this point regard the specifics of how he’ll get there.

- HA! The return of the “Asshole!” chant! I missed that!

- I was surprised that Batista’s big heel promo took place on Smackdown, which obviously has a significantly smaller audience than Raw does. Still, he’s saying all the things the fans seem to be wanting him to say: Bryan’s not a star, he’s what a champion is supposed to look like, etc. Batista is so much more natural as a heel, and you can tell he’s having more fun that way. So kudos to WWE for bringing back “Heeltista,” the Batista I wanted to see back from the very start.

- So the Usos win the WWE Tag Team Titles not at Wrestlemania, but on Raw a month beforehand? Is this so we can pull back the curtain on the live episode of Main Event and see the Authority ultimately wants the Outlaws as champions? Why didn’t they just take the straps at Elimination Chamber, then? Did they do it to counter the crowd’s negativity over CM Punk? Why are we getting belt changes on TV shows instead of pay per views? Still, the Usos deserve the belts. You can’t deny that. They’ve earned the right to call themselves the tag team champions.

- Jeez, Mark Henry just can’t catch a break, can he? The man who was once a monster heel is now fodder for Brock Lesnar. No disrespect to Lesnar, but Henry deserves better. In a perfect world, these guys would get a pay per view match. They don’t even have to give Henry the win, but at least he’d be able to get more than one offensive move in.

- William Moody, a.k.a. Paul Bearer, is definitely a worthy addition to the WWE Hall of Fame. Oddly enough, when I think of that character, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t his work as The Undertaker’s manager. My most vivid Paul Bearer memory is what I’ll refer to as the promo about “The Undertaker’s secret,” which of course, turned out to be the seed that grew into the debut of the Kane character. I’ve embedded the promo below. As you’ll see, Moody was a hell of a performer, and a bona fide Hall of Fame talent.

- Dolph Ziggler got a great rub from Aaron Paul tonight. And likewise, sending Paul out there with Ziggler made sure the guy didn’t get eaten alive by the crowd, or at least drowned in “CM Punk” chants.

- Fantastic six-man tag tonight between The Wyatt Family and The Shield. I was happy to see Seth Rollins at the center of the dissention we saw in the Shield. It certainly can’t all be about Roman Reigns, can it? That sequence of aerial maneuvers was just amazing. He became his own human highlight reel.

- During the Sheamus/Christian match, the announcers took shots at Jim Ross, and have Christian some snark about his body. We know you’re there, Vince. We can hear you…

All images from WWE.com.

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First Look: Grant Gustin as The Flash

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

This week, The CW released an image (shown right) via press release which gives fans a slight glimpse at what Grant Gustin will look like in-costume when The Flash makes its television debut.

The release also indicated the pilot will begin filming next week.

The suit was designed by Colleen Atwood, an Academy Award winner who has also worked on Arrow.

In addition to Gustin, The Flash will star Jessie L. Martin as Detective West, Rick Cosnett as Eddie Thawne/Reverse Flash, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost, and Candice Patton as Iris West.

Image from newsarama.com.

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A Review of The Walking Dead, Vol. 20 – The Art of War

TITLE: The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War – Part One
AUTHOR: Robert Kirkman
PENCILLER: Charlie Adlard
COLLECTS: The Walking Dead #115-120
FORMAT: Softcover
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $14.99
RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2014

***WARNING: The following review contains spoilers for The Walking Dead, Vol. 20 – All Out War, Part One***

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

More than any collection we’ve seen so far, The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War – Part One illustrates that the true threat to humanity’s existence is humanity itself. As zombies freely roam the Earth, and threaten to literally eat them alive, our survivors continue to kill one another off. There’s a raw, naked truth to that, which is ultimately one of the keys to this series’ longevity and success.

Fifteen issues after Negan smashed Glenn’s skull in with a baseball bat covered in barb wire (“Lucille,” as he affectionately calls it), the F-bomb dropping leader of the Saviors finally finds himself at war with Rick Grimes and his group of survivors. And to say the least, there will be casualties…

One of the characters readers will close this book thinking about is Holly, who essentially sacrifices her life to save Rick’s. Personally, I can’t say I’ll miss her much. Her main contribution to the book consisted of a love triangle, which also involved Abraham and Rosita. None of that did anything for me, but Kirkman and Adlard do give her a very strong exit. She’s defiant when confronted by Negan, and in the end proved tougher than fans may have given her credit for.

Holly’s predicament also allows Negan to have what is undeniably a character moment at the end of issue #17.  When one of his henchmen is about to rape a bound Holly, Negan bursts in and says, among other colorful statements, that after the Saviors win the war they have to be able to work with the people they’re fighting against to rebuild society. He also recites what is apparently one of the cardinal rules of the saviors: “We don’t rape.” The scene ends with Negan assuring Holly that “We aren’t monsters.” Granted, what happens to Holly later in the book would suggest otherwise. While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Negan demonstrate something resembling compassion, it IS the first time we’ve heard him talk about a plan for the grander scheme of things. We see that he’s not just a big, sadistic, foul-mouthed bully, but a man who, in his own way, wants to rebuild society. Thus, a comparison can be drawn between Negan and Rick.

Interestingly enough, a comparison could have also been drawn between the Governor and Rick. Like the Governor, Rick has a child in his life. But the Governor’s young daughter ultimately became a zombie, whom he nonetheless cared for as if she were alive and well. Considering how we’ve seen Carl’s life endangered in this series, and how Rick’s sanity has at times been put to the test, it’s not far fetched to imagine Rick becoming twisted and sadistic like the Governor if something were to happen to his son. Similarly, were Rick not the compassionate leader that he is, he could have easily become a bizarre brute like Negan. It’s a similar dynamic to the one comic book writers discuss in relation to Batman’s rogues gallery. To an extent, many of them are a reflection of what Bruce Wayne could have been, had he taken a different path.

Sadly, Holly isn’t the book’s only casualty. Shiva, Ezekiel’s loyal tiger companion, goes out defending him from a zombie attack. As one might expect, it’s a touching moment, which strikes Ezekiel at his core. As such, his relationship with Michonne takes a turn, resulting in a pretty powerful exchange where she attempts to give him a wake up call. It’ll be interesting to see where his character goes now that his “gimmick” is gone. As for Shiva herself, readers should likely be thankful she didn’t hang around too long. When you do something outrageous, like give a character a pet tiger, the last thing you want is for the novelty to wear off. And the way Shiva went out, combined with what we learned about her shared backstory with Ezekiel in the previous book, made it a really impactful exit. Charlie Adlard deserves extra praise for his renderings of the tiger. It’s not like we’ve seen an abundance of animals in The Walking Dead, so it’s cool to see him flex some different muscles in that respect.

As ever, I’m curious to see what happens to Negan as the series progresses, and whether he’ll meet the same fate as the Governor once All Out War comes to an end. But for now, The Walking Dead is at a fever pitch thanks to Kirman’s use of that character to shake things up. And in all likelihood, as far as character deaths in All Out War are concerned, Holly and Shiva are just the tip of the iceberg.

RATING: 9/10

Want more of The Walking Dead? Check out Vol. 14: No Way OutVol. 15: We Find OurselvesVol. 16: A Larger WorldVol. 17: Something to Fear, Vol. 18: What Comes AfterVol. 19: March to War

Front page image from craveonline.com. Image 1 from author’s collection. Image 2 from thewalkingdeadwiki.com.

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Godzilla Trailer Debuts Online

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

The trailer for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla, featuring the iconic Japanese movie monster, made its online debut this week. The trailer can be seen below.

The movie reportedly “pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.”

Directed by Gareth Edwards, the movie stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olson, and Bryan Cranston. It hits theaters May 16.

Front page image courtesy of beyondhollywood.com.

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The Dead Man Rises, Hulkamania Lives, and Other Ponderings From WWE Raw

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Thoughts From Raw

 - All in all, I don’t think this week’s Raw was quite as epic as a lot of fans hoped it would be. I think a lot of us were expecting tonight to be the night that Daniel Bryan was somehow inserted into the main event of Wrestlemania. That, of course, didn’t happen. But we did close on a very high note with the return of The Undertaker, and indeed, what some of us have been expecting for quite some time was made official: The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX. Paul Heyman was almost too on-the-nose with his promo about Lesnar needing history to conquer at the big dance. But when the gong hit, it was worth it. Considering his limited acting ability, Lesnar actually did a pretty good job of looking intimidated by the Dead Man. And seeing ‘Taker “stab” Brock in the hand with the pen was a great little moment, with the chokeslam serving as a great final exclamation point. This match should be a hell of a draw. I don’t think anybody needs to be convinced that Brock Lesnar can beat up just about anybody. Even the Lord of Darkness…

- This week, WWE finally acknowledged the elephant in the room: The fans booing Batista. Thankfully, they’re also acknowledging the fans’ outrage over what’s been happening with Daniel Bryan. Jerry Lawler even brought up the fact that Batista returned right in the middle of Daniel Bryan’s hot streak. But it appears that for now WWE is sticking to its guns with Batista and Randy Orton at Wrestlemania XXX, and possibly giving us a grudge match between Bryan and Triple H as one of the semi-main events. The only way I see Bryan getting into the main event at this point is if they put a stipulation on the match with Triple H, i.e. if Bryan beats the Game, he gets into the Batista/Orton match. This could provide a nice segway into a Bryan/Batista rematch at Extreme Rules, in which Batista could finally heel on the fans. We’ve still got more than a month to go until Wrestlemania. Things can still happen.

Of course, Hulk Hogan’s return got an epic pop. But after that, it was pretty much your standard Hulkster shtick. But hey, better that than a match. And I think the “host” role suits Hogan just fine. Let him jack his jaw and do his whole nostalgia routine. And if he has to get physical once, so be it. But I don’t need to see Hogan in a match at Wrestlemania XXX. In all honesty, I don’t think I’ve really wanted to see a Hulk Hogan match in over 10 years.

Great outing between Big E. and Cesaro. The latter’s strength never ceases to amaze me. And whattaya know? Big E. really is named Ettorre. Ettore Ewen, to be exact. I guess the name Big E. suits him pretty well then, doesn’t it?

- The segment with John Cena and the Wyatt Family was pretty solid. My biggest criticism of Bray Wyatt tends to be that his promos are sometimes too out there to be effective. But these past few weeks, he’s kept his feet on the ground, and done some pretty good mic work. I don’t think you’ll find a duo who personifies that old school hero/villain dynamic than John Cena and Bray Wyatt.

- It looks like Christian might be heeling on us, which is fine with me. Christian has proven he can do very well in either role. Personally, I’m just happy they’re doing something with him. Knowing WWE, they could have easily let him fade into the background and be just another guy. Hopefully, he’ll get a Wrestlemania match out of this.

All images courtesy of WWE.com.

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Harold Ramis Dead at 69

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Harold Ramis, a major force behind some of the best comedies of the last four decades, has died at the age of 69.

Ramis had been dealing with complications resulting from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis since 2010, which ultimately resulted in his death at his Chicago residence early February 24.

In addition to starring in films like GhostbustersStripes, and National Lampoon’s Vacation, Ramis worked behind the camera on some of the most famous comedies of all time, including…

Meatballs (co-writer)
- Caddyshack (director, co-writer)
-  Stripes (co-writer)
- Ghostbusters (co-writer)
- Groundhog Day (director, producer, co-writer)
- Analyze This (director, writer)

Bill Murray, who worked with Ramis numerous times over the course of his career, made the following statement to TIME via his lawyer: ”Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off broadway, MeatballsCaddyshackGhostbustersand Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.”

Source: Chicago Tribune

Image from biography.com.

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A Review of The Walking Dead, S4E11 – The Road to Sanctuary

By Seth Miller
Staff Writer, Part-Time Ninja

- Things are seemingly starting to look up on this show. This week continues the themes we have seen since the prison fell: Why do you keep going in a world in which you have lost everything? Michonne is trying to rebuild something of her old life with Carl. Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita are fighting to save the world. I am enjoying these little personal journeys the characters are taking, but I give it three weeks before everything goes to hell.

- I was extremely creeped out by Michonne trying to make Carl laugh. Granted, I understand why she is doing it, and it’s good for both she and Carl that she is trying to reach out. The writers have done a great job of building this relationship and it fits.

- I liked the opening and it established Abraham very well. He takes out the zombies with the sort of glee you’d expect from a man who lives his job. He is a guy who has been out in the wasteland for so long, and has become so acclimated to the environment that zombies are more like a nuisance. He also is a man with a purpose, even if that purpose will not end well. He may be rough around the edges, but he is not a terrible person. He actually cares about losing Glenn to the wasteland and tries to help him in his own way. I like him in the comics, and they have done a really good job translating him to television.

 - Eugene may (supposedly) know the cure to the zombie apocalypse, but he is the single worst shot you’ll ever find. It has been a year since the apocalypse, you get a group of people to follow you, you maintain a mullet (not the best decision), but you still haven’t cracked the mystery of how to use a gun. A hole horde of zombies right in front of him and he hit the truck! Given that the show can differ from the books, I don’t like Eugene’s odds…

- I was even more freaked out by the intruders who broke into the house Rick was sleeping in. It was great to remind viewers that humans on this show are usually more dangerous and these are some evil bastards. One of them kills another over a bed? How did they manage to work together for so long? However, I loved Rick’s parting gift when he left the bathroom door open and unleashed a walker on the intruders.

- “Zombie apocalypse really sucks” moment of the week: Michonne finding the dead family in the house she was clearing out with Carl.

- Zombie kill of the week: Abraham taking out the walkers in the beginning. He has adopted a “whistle while you work” policy when it comes to zombie killing.

Front page image/image 1 from hypeable.com. Image 2 from screenrant.com.  

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Heroes to Return to NBC in a 13 Episode Miniseries

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Heroes, once a hit TV show on NBC, will return to the network in 2015 in a 13 episode miniseries focused on new characters in a standalone story arc.

A brief teaser can be seen below.

NBC has announced the series’ creator and original executive producer will be at the helm of the 13 new episodes. A digital series will reportedly be launched prior to the airing of the episodes, so that the various new characters may be introduced.

“The enormous impact Heroes had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. “Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment. We’re thrilled that visionary creator Tim Kring was as excited about jumping back into this show as we were and we look forward to all the new textures and layers Tim plans to add to his original concept.”

Salke added the network “won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in.”

The original Heroes series ran from 2006 until its cancellation in 2010. The series focused on the lives of otherwise ordinary individuals as they dealt with the emergence of their super powers. The show starred Hayden Panettiere, Ali Larter, Milo Ventimiglia, Zachary Quinto, among numerous others.

Source: ComingSoon.net

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TMZ Reports Hulk Hogan is Returning to WWE (UPDATED)

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

TMZ reports this week that Hulk Hogan will be returning to WWE this Monday night on Raw.

WWE has followed this report up with an announcement that Hogan will be hosting Wrestlemania XXX.

The celebrity news site noted Hogan has been training at the WWE performance center (as evidenced by the photo at right), and apparently plans to get physical in the ring.

TMZ reports Hogan is also slated to appear at Wrestlemania XXX, though it is unclear what that role will be.

Image from tmz.com.

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