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Marvel’s Annihilation 2099 to Rewrite the Future
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Marvel’s Annihilation 2099 to Rewrite the Future

New York, NY— April 17, 2024 — Over the last few years, acclaimed writer Steve Orlando has breathed new life into Marvel’s revolutionary 2099 future. This July, he returns alongside a lineup of superstar artists to go where no 2099 story has gone before in ANNIHILATION 2099!

Together with a lineup of incredible artists, including Nick Bradshaw, Ibraim Roberson, José Luis, Pete Woods, Ario Anindito, and Dale Eaglesham, Orlando will introduce a new cast of 2099 characters in a bold new vision of the galaxy-shattering Annihilation storyline. Taking place after last year’s Miguel O’Hara – Spider-Man 2099 series, ANNIHILATION 2099 will continue the tradition of introducing fresh takes on classic Marvel icons. Releasing weekly throughout July, get ready to meet Nova 2099, Starlord 2099, Red Hulk 2099, and Silver Surfer 2099, and witness the return of Dracula 2099. The thrilling saga will be perfect for both newcomers to the 2099 landscape and longtime fans, and it gears readers up for what’s to come for 2099 storytelling later this year.

Read on to discover what awaits!

ANNIHILATION 2099 #1
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by IBRAIM ROBERSON

WHO IS THE LAST NOVA?!

A remote town on a remote world is devastated by the ravenous, unforgiving Knull Set, a gang of raiders and thieves obsessed with offering all life up to the darkness. But that all changes when a stranger comes to town, a stranger from the stars who answers to his own code. The last survivor of Xandar… the last NOVA. Who is the Last Nova, and what great tragedy does he carry on his back? Is he the inheritor of the Nova Corps or its destroyer? Plus, in a special backup by Orlando and Dale Eaglesham, Dracula’s ship set course for the stars, seeking the brave new world his daughter Lilith forged for the vampires of Earth. But what tragedy does fate have in store for his journey and will he ever be reunited with his people?

ANNIHILATION 2099 #2 (OF 5)
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by JOSÉ LUÍS

A WAKANDAN TECH GODDESS!

STARLORD guards the solar systems of 2099! But she faces a villain like no other: Quasar, the Living Star! Born to a fallen star and raised on Planet Wakanda, Starlord risks her life to save a world against a sun gone mad!

ANNIHILATION 2099 #3
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by PETE WOODS

RAGE OF THE RED HULK!

Explorer Ross Romero’s team ends up mining Ego the Living Planet! What makes Ross transform into an ALL-NEW RED HULK whose cosmic strength and hyperspace jumps are fueled by the power primordial? And is the new Red Hulk’s power enough to defeat Terrax, the Planet Hunter?

ANNIHILATION 2099 #4
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by ARIO ANINDITO

A FAUSTIAN PACT TO SHAKE THE STARS!

His life cut short, Mephisto offers Jonah Marlo a deal– more time among the living in return for his soul. Now he collects souls for his master…as the SILVER SURFER of 2099! But he can do the devil’s bidding no longer! It’s Mephisto vs the Silver Surfer with a galaxy of souls on the line!

ANNIHILATION 2099 #5
Written by STEVE ORLANDO
Art by DALE EAGLESHAM

FIRST CONTACT WITH THE IMPALER!

After a derelict spacecraft crashes on an alien world, the wreck reveals a deadly discovery – DRACULA! But this is a planet terrified of the daylight, which Dracula couldn’t love more. Soon, he’s their hero. When a Darkhawk attacks from the stars, Dracula fights back! But does he want to save the planet or make it the first world in his new empire?

“2099 is back, and it’s going cosmic!” Orlando said. “ANNIHILATION 2099 has been the best kind of challenge — bringing even more cosmic into Marvel’s iconic cyberpunk line and keeping it all fresh, provocative, and surprising!”

“No pun intended, but Steve, Ibraim, Ario, Jose, Pete, and Dale have knocked this 2099 epic out of orbit!” Editor Mark Paniccia said. “Each issue is action-packed with a unique vibe and tone. There’s horror, western, 50’s sci-fi, superhero, and all COSMIC! It’s hard to pick a favorite, but they’re all so good! And Pete Woods’ character designs are incredible. I hope they make action figures of them all soon!”

“The heroes introduced in ANNIHILATION 2099 are each heroes I could write forever–each with their own tragic beginnings in the Mighty Marvel Tradition,” he continued. “And behind it all? An iconic horror antihero who is taking his vengeance to the stars. Red Hulk 2099! Silver Surfer 2099! Nova 2099! Marvel’s future goes intergalactic this summer, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it!”

Classic Taxi Driver Gets 4K Steelbook Treatment in June
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Classic Taxi Driver Gets 4K Steelbook Treatment in June

SYNOPSIS
Winner of the prestigious Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival (1976) and nominated for 4 Academy Awards® including Best Picture (1976), TAXI DRIVER stars Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s classic film of a psychotic New York cabbie driven to violence by loneliness and desperation. Co-starring Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle and Cybill Shepherd.
DISC DETAILS AND BONUS MATERIALS
4K ULTRA HD DISC Restored from the original camera negative, presented in 4K resolution with Dolby VisionEnglish 5.1 + mono

Special Features:
Making Taxi Driver Documentary
Storyboard to Film Comparisons with Martin Scorsese
Introduction
Animated Photo Galleries
20th Anniversary Re-Release Trailer

BLU-RAY DISC™
Feature presented in high definition, sourced from the 4K master
English 5.1

Special Features:
40-Minute Taxi Driver Q&A featuring Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster and Many More Recorded Live at the Beacon Theatre in New York City at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival
Commentary with director Martin Scorsese and Writer Paul Schrader Recorded by the Criterion Collection
Commentaries by writer Paul Schrader and by Professor Robert Kolker
Martin Scorsese on Taxi Driver
Influence and Appreciation: A Martin Scorsese Tribute
Producing Taxi Driver
God’s Lonely Man
Taxi Driver Stories
Travis’ New York
Travis’ New York LocationsTheatrical Trailer
CAST AND CREW
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Produced by Michael Phillips and Julia Phillips
Written by Paul Schrader
Cast: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Leonard Harris, Peter Boyle and Cybill Shepherd

SPECS
Run Time: Approx. 114 minutes
Rating: R
4K UHD Feature Picture: 2160p Ultra High Definition, 1.85:1
4K UHD Feature Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Mono DTS-HD MA
Dune Part Two Coming to Streaming April 16, Disc May 14
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Dune Part Two Coming to Streaming April 16, Disc May 14

Burbank, CA, April 9, 2024 – Coming off the heels of the critical and box office success of its continued theatrical run, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two debuts for purchase and rental Digitally at home on April 16.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, the critically acclaimed Dune: Part Two continues the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s acclaimed bestseller “DUNE.”

  • On April 16, Dune: Part Two will be available for early Premium Digital Ownership at home for 29.99 and for 48-hour rental via PVOD for $24.99 SRP on participating digital platforms where you purchase or rent movies, including Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV, Google Play, Fandango at Home, and more.
  • On May 14, Dune: Part Two will be available to own on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD from online and physical retailers. Dune: Part Two will also continue to be available to own in high definition and standard definition from participating digital retailers.

Dune: Part Two is directed by three-time Academy Award nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) from a screenplay he and Jon Spaihts wrote, based on the seminal bestselling novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert.

The film is produced by Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Villeneuve, Tanya Lapointe and Patrick McCormick.  The executive producers are Joshua Grode, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Herbert W. Gains, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert, Richard P. Rubinstein and John Harrison, with Kevin J. Anderson serving as creative consultant.

Synopsis:

Dune: Part Two explores the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a path of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee. 

DIGITAL, 4K, BLU-RAY & DVD ELEMENTS

Dune: Part Two Premium Digital Ownership contains the following special features:  

  • Filmbooks: House Corrino
  • Filmbooks: The Reverand Mother
  • Filmbooks: Water
  • Filmbooks: Lisan-al-Gaib
  • An Ensemble for the Ages
  • Chakobsa Training
  • Creating the Fremen World
  • Finding the Worlds of Dune
  • Buzz Around the New “Thopter”
  • Worm-Riding
  • Becoming Feyd
  • A New Set of Threads
  • Deeper into the Desert: The Sounds of the Dune
  • Inside Dune: The Spice Harvester Attack
  • Inside Dune: Gurney Hallaeck’s Revenge
  • Inside Dune: The Fight for the Imperial Throne

Dune: Part Two 4K UHD and Blu-ray contain the following special features:  

  • Chakobsa Training
  • Creating the Fremen World
  • Finding the Worlds of Dune
  • Buzz Around the New “Thopter”
  • Worm-Riding
  • Becoming Feyd
  • A New Set of Threads
  • Deeper into the Desert: The Sounds of the Dune

BASICS

Premium Digital Ownership: April 16, 2024
4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Street Date: May 14, 2024
4K Languages: English, Canadian French, Latin Spanish
4K Subtitles: English SDH, Canadian French, Parisian French, Latin Spanish

BD Languages: English, Canadian French, Latin Spanish
BD Subtitles: English SDH, Canadian French, Parisian French, Latin Spanish
DVD Languages: English, Canadian French, Latin Spanish
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Canadian French, Parisian French, Latin Spanish

Running Time: 165 minutes

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some suggestive material, and brief strong language.

DVD: DLBY/DGTL

4K UHD and Blu-ray: ATMOS TrueHD, DLBY/DGTL

PRODUCT                                                                                        ERP

4K UHD + Digital                                                                              $29.99
Blu-ray + Digital                                                                                $24.99
DVD                                                                                                   $19.99

The Credits

About Dune: Part Two

The saga continues as award-winning filmmaker Denis Villeneuve embarks on Dune: Part Two, the next chapter of Frank Herbert’s celebrated novel “Dune,” with an expanded all-star international ensemble cast. The film, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, is the highly anticipated follow-up to 2021’s six-time Academy Award-winning Dune

The big-screen epic continues the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s acclaimed bestseller “Dune” with returning and new stars, including Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet (Wonka, Call Me by Your Name), Zendaya (Spider-Man: No Way Home, Malcolm & Marie, Euphoria”), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning), Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (Avengers: End Game, Milk), Oscar nominee Austin Butler (Elvis, Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood), Oscar nominee Florence Pugh (Black Widow, Little Women), Dave Bautista (the Guardians of the Galaxy films), Oscar winner Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter, Hairspray), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences, Lady Bird), Léa Seydoux (the James Bond franchise and Crimes of the Future), with Stellan Skarsgård (the Mamma Mia! films, Avengers: Age of Ultron), with Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (45 Years,” “Assassin’s Creed), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Being the Ricardos). 

Dune: Part Two will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee. 

Villeneuve directed from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jon Spaihts based on Herbert’s novel. The film is produced by Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Villeneuve, Tanya Lapointe and Patrick McCormick. The executive producers are Joshua Grode, Herbert W. Gains, Jon Spaihts, Thomas Tull, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert, with Kevin J. Anderson serving as creative consultant. 

Villeneuve is again collaborating with his Dune creatives: Oscar-winning director of photography Greig Fraser; Oscar-winning production designer Patrice Vermette; Oscar-winning editor Joe Walker; Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert; Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline West. Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer is again on hand to create the score. 

This Must Be the Place by Michael Sweater
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This Must Be the Place by Michael Sweater

This book is one of the few records that a strip called Please Keep Warm ever existed. Well, there are launch announcements and excerpts elsewhere, but the actual GoComics strip has fallen into the memory hole, never to be seen again.

The strip launched in February of 2017; this book came out in the summer of 2017. When did the strip end? I have no idea. So this is probably the beginning, but it’s unclear how much more more might be lurking in creator Michael Sweater’s files, if anything. So This Must Be the Place  declares itself to be A “Please Keep Warm” collection, but my suspicions are that it’s the only one.

Anyway: This Must Be the Place starts with a five-page page-formatted comic – the bit excerpted in Vice – and then turns into a four-tier layout, with each tier (I think) an individual strip, for about eighty pages, and then has a few more page-formatted short stories at the end. (My assumption is that those are from anthologies, either during or after the life of the strip.) The whole thing runs 108 pages of comics, and it’s all consistent and coherent – all the same kind of thing. (That’s not always the case with new strips; creators often write their way into things and experiment, particularly if they’re shifting formats like Warm does.)

Four people live in a house together: the book starts out by centering Clover, who is a kid of unspecified years – probably elementary school, maybe even younger. She lives with her Uncle Stan, who is trying to write a novel; Catman, who I think has some sort of office job and is low-key the Krameresque goofball of the group; and Flower, who doesn’t seem to have any sort of central deal other than the fact that her sleeves are longer than her arms. Stan, Catman, and Flower all seem to be mid-20s, pseudo-slackers, the kind of characters who would probably be stoners if this strip appeared somewhere even slightly more counterculture than GoComics. Clover is mostly the center, and has the typical strip-comic kid’s random enthusiasms, energy, and big body language while her enthusiasms (death metal, skateboarding) are more “adult” coded.

It comes off as a slightly “alternative” take on a standard family comic strip – found family rather than nuclear, all that jazz – and the humor oscillates between those two poles. At it’s best, it finds a sweet spot in the middle, as with Clover’s death metal obsession – she loves it like a kid would, but also makes a demo and worries about promo like an professional. Each of the other characters has similar quirks that I’m leaving out here, including several members of the secondary cast who don’t live in this house.

It’s mostly “nice” with eruptions of “cool,” I guess – it might not have run that long because it is trying to be both of those things regularly, and the two audiences might not be hugely compatible. But Please Keep Warm makes its own consistent vibe, has fun with the way it tells stories, features amusing characters, and does pretty much what it sets out to do. That is all just fine with me.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

This Must Be the Place by Michael Sweater
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This Must Be the Place by Michael Sweater

This book is one of the few records that a strip called Please Keep Warm ever existed. Well, there are launch announcements and excerpts elsewhere, but the actual GoComics strip has fallen into the memory hole, never to be seen again.

The strip launched in February of 2017; this book came out in the summer of 2017. When did the strip end? I have no idea. So this is probably the beginning, but it’s unclear how much more more might be lurking in creator Michael Sweater’s files, if anything. So This Must Be the Place  declares itself to be A “Please Keep Warm” collection, but my suspicions are that it’s the only one.

Anyway: This Must Be the Place starts with a five-page page-formatted comic – the bit excerpted in Vice – and then turns into a four-tier layout, with each tier (I think) an individual strip, for about eighty pages, and then has a few more page-formatted short stories at the end. (My assumption is that those are from anthologies, either during or after the life of the strip.) The whole thing runs 108 pages of comics, and it’s all consistent and coherent – all the same kind of thing. (That’s not always the case with new strips; creators often write their way into things and experiment, particularly if they’re shifting formats like Warm does.)

Four people live in a house together: the book starts out by centering Clover, who is a kid of unspecified years – probably elementary school, maybe even younger. She lives with her Uncle Stan, who is trying to write a novel; Catman, who I think has some sort of office job and is low-key the Krameresque goofball of the group; and Flower, who doesn’t seem to have any sort of central deal other than the fact that her sleeves are longer than her arms. Stan, Catman, and Flower all seem to be mid-20s, pseudo-slackers, the kind of characters who would probably be stoners if this strip appeared somewhere even slightly more counterculture than GoComics. Clover is mostly the center, and has the typical strip-comic kid’s random enthusiasms, energy, and big body language while her enthusiasms (death metal, skateboarding) are more “adult” coded.

It comes off as a slightly “alternative” take on a standard family comic strip – found family rather than nuclear, all that jazz – and the humor oscillates between those two poles. At it’s best, it finds a sweet spot in the middle, as with Clover’s death metal obsession – she loves it like a kid would, but also makes a demo and worries about promo like an professional. Each of the other characters has similar quirks that I’m leaving out here, including several members of the secondary cast who don’t live in this house.

It’s mostly “nice” with eruptions of “cool,” I guess – it might not have run that long because it is trying to be both of those things regularly, and the two audiences might not be hugely compatible. But Please Keep Warm makes its own consistent vibe, has fun with the way it tells stories, features amusing characters, and does pretty much what it sets out to do. That is all just fine with me.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

What If?’s Craziest Idea Yet
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What If?’s Craziest Idea Yet

New York, NY— April 11, 2024 — It’s a milestone year for both Donald Duck and Wolverine, and this July, see their sagas boldy come together in MARVEL & DISNEY: WHAT IF…? DONALD DUCK BECAME WOLVERINE #1!

Announced this week at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy, this first-of-its-kind one-shot will celebrate everything the world loves about both these pop culture legends from their heart and humor to their epic rage! Crafted by two acclaimed Disney comic creators, writer Luca Barbieri and artist Giada Perissinotto, MARVEL & DISNEY: WHAT IF…? DONALD BECAME WOLVERINE #1 is the latest comic book collaboration between Marvel and Disney following the What If…? Disney Variant Covers of the last few years and the highly anticipated Uncle Scrooge and the Infinity Dime #1 one-shot comic out this June. Fans can look forward to even more exciting crossovers between Marvel heroes and Disney icons throughout this year and next! 

The comic will introduce Donald-Wolverine and all sorts of reimagined Disney and Marvel mashups in a wild adventure inspired by one of Wolverine’s most memorable story arcs, Old Man Logan. In addition, the saga will revisit some of the greatest moments in Donald-Wolverine’s history, including his time spent with Weapon X and the Uncanny X-Men!  

Travel to the near future, where chaos rules as Pete-Skull transforms Duckburg into a super-hero-less wasteland. Only Old Donald Duck can turn the tide, but he’s given up his battling days and prefers naps and his grandma’s apple pie over fighting villains. But when Mickey-Hawkeye comes knocking at the door with Goofy-Hulk at his side, Wolverine-Donald has to make a choice! Will a trip down memory lane change his mind to save the world? Or will the lure of the backyard hammock and a long nap keep him from popping his claws one last time?

On merging these two icons, Barbieri said, “Donald Duck and Wolverine are two characters that seem almost impossible to make coexist, but in fact, they possess very similar personalities: they are both hot-tempered and unlucky, but in adversity, they do not lose heart and always show that they have a big heart! Once this point was focused, writing the story turned out to be easy and fun!”

“I always thought Wolverine’s sideburns only looked good on Uncle Scrooge, but when I drew them on Donald Duck I realized they fit him perfectly too!” Perissinotto added. “Those pointy head tufts and thick sideburns go well with his shaggy being. I had so much fun adapting Wolverine’s hair to Donald Duck that I would do him like this all the time now!”

Stargazer Sets Debut for VOD Platforms and DVD on April 30
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Stargazer Sets Debut for VOD Platforms and DVD on April 30

Los Angeles, CA—Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group, has acquired North American VOD rights to the drama feature film STARGAZER. Starting on April 30, 2024, the film will be available to rent/own on all digital HD internet, cable, and satellite platforms in North America and on DVD.

STARGAZER tells the story of what happens when a naïve grad student, Grace Campbell, gets the chance to revive the reputation of a forgotten female astronomer, Cecilia Payne. Cecilia discovered the nature of the universe, but saw her genius stolen by men. For Grace, history threatens to repeat itself when she’s forced to partner up with Spike Randall, an aggressive journalist who just booked Grace an appearance on a new television talk show with Annette Gordon-Reed the very next day—but at what cost? A dancer named Diana eavesdrops through the library shelves where she’s working on a story of her own, a mythic ballet about sex and power in ancient Greece. Diana leads Grace on a long night’s journey under the influence as Grace flashes back to Cecilia at Harvard in the 1920s and fantasies transport both women. Grace will have to choose: Should she partner with a man she’s not sure she trusts, or kick Spike to the curb, go it alone, and stand up for Cecilia and herself?

Written by Rob Ackerman and Kate Ginna, STARGAZER was directed by Alan McIntyre and produced by Justus McLarty, Matt Bogart, and Rob Ackerman. STARGAZER features an ensemble cast that includes Kate Ginna (“Grace Campbell”), Matt Bogart (“Spike Randall”), Lei Nico (“Diana de la Palma”), and Annette Gordon-Reed as herself. One of Broadway’s leading men, Bogart, just completed filming a made-for-TV version of the hit show, Jersey Boys, playing one of the four leads opposite Nick Jonas. STARGAZER was an Official Selection at ten film festivals, including Soho International, Big Apple, and Philadelphia FirstGlance. It won Best Feature twice, among other awards, including two wins for Kate Ginna as Best Actress in a Feature.

“As a historian, I work to uncover the truth and correct the record. ‘Stargazer’ is a fantastical romp that tells the story of a forgotten genius named Cecilia Payne. It’s high time we heard it,” says Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and MacArthur Fellowship recipient.

Co-writer and lead actor Kate Ginna adds, “This movie is a cinematic tribute to Cecilia Payne, whose dedication to scientific truth inspired us to tell her story. We’re absolutely thrilled that audiences are going to share it.”

Freestyle Digital Media negotiated the deal to acquire STARGAZER with Stacey Parks of Media Sparks Entertainment. 

Ultimate Black Panther to Battle Moon Knight, Spidey vs Green Goblin
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Ultimate Black Panther to Battle Moon Knight, Spidey vs Green Goblin

New York, NY— April 11, 2024 — Readers can’t get enough of the new Ultimate Universe! Packed with fascinating versions of iconic Marvel characters and set in an unfamiliar world that was crafted by the Maker to be free of Super Heroes, Marvel’s new Ultimate line has been a mega success—demanding multiple printings and sparking intense conversation between fans! Each issue has peeled back another layer of how twisted this new Earth is, and how hard its burgeoning heroes will need to work to get it back on track. Right now, get a sneak peek at what’s to come with cover reveal and synopses for July’s four Ultimate issues.

Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto continue to spin the Spidey story of the decade in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #7. The start of an all-new arc, the issue picks up after Green Goblin and Spider-Man’s intense battle with the Kingpin, where they learned they aren’t as ready to reshape the world as they hoped. Harry and Peter get to work, while Ben and Jonah work on “the truth”… And problems for their resistance arise when Tony Stark checks in on Peter!

Black Panther undertakes a daring trial to face Ra and Khonshu in Bryan Hill and guest artist Carlos Nieto’s ULTIMATE BLACK PANTHER #6. While T’Challa has sought to grow his power, so too have the forces of Moon Knight… And with access to a unique new resource, Ra and Khonshu are stronger than ever! How will Wakanda stand in its resistance against the kings of the Upper and Lower Kingdoms? And is T’Challa prepared to bear the consequences of tapping into such dangerous wells of power?

More shocking secrets of the Ultimate Universe are revealed in Deniz Camp and Juan Frigeri’s ULTIMATES #2. Captain America reckons with the Maker’s dismantling of nations…by visiting the White House. Cap’s arrival leads to a massive brawl between the villain known as Midas and this young band of freedom fighters, but Midas has been holding a superhuman hostage as a power source! Plus, discover the dark history of what used to be the United States on Earth-6160…

The Ultimate Universe’s new generation of mutants face their first enemy in Peach Momoko’s ULTIMATE X-MEN #5. Maystorm isn’t the only mutant with electric powers – and Noriko Ashida, a.k.a. Surge, is here to make sure she knows it! A fun summer festival turns haunted and dangerous as spirits and surges collide! And, the shadow who has been haunting Armor finally reveals his true face!

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #7
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art and Cover by MARCO CHECCHETTO
On Sale 7/3

ULTIMATES #2
Written by DENIZ CAMP
Art by JUAN FRIGERI
Cover by DIKE RUAN
On Sale 7/10

ULTIMATE X-MEN #5
Written by PEACH MOMOKO
Art and Cover by PEACH MOMOKO
On Sale 7/17

ULTIMATE BLACK PANTHER #6
Written by BRYAN HILL
Art by CARLOS NIETO
Cover by STEFANO CASELLI
On Sale 7/24

Black Hammer: Visions, Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire’s friends
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Black Hammer: Visions, Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire’s friends

My standard complaint about the Black Hammer comics is that they’re mostly static, locked into an initial premise that wasn’t all that exciting to begin with. I suppose that’s in distinction to “real” superhero comics, which rely on the façade of change – someone is always dying, someone’s costume is always changing, someone is always making a heel-face turn, and worlds are inevitably always living and dying so that nothing will ever be the same – but it’s not self-reflective enough to count as irony.

But some kinds of stories aren’t supposed to change anything – the whole point is that they don’t, and can’t, change the things we already know. Jam comics by entirely different creators tend to fall into that bucket: they’re sometimes “real” and sometimes not, but even if they’re canonical, they don’t push the canon in any direction.

Black Hammer: Visions, Vol. 1  is a book like that – it collects four of the eight issues of the title series, each one of which was a separate adventure, by an entirely different team, set in the Black Hammer-verse. It’s all sidebar, all “I want to do this story” by people who will do only one Black Hammer story and this is it. So it’s self-indulgent in a somewhat different, more inclusive way than the main series.

Since the four issues here are entirely separate – and half of them have no credits within the stories themselves, making me wonder what comics editors do with their time if they can’t handle the most basic parts of their jobs – I’ll treat them each in turn.

Issue 1 has a story, “Transfer Student,” written by comedian Patton Oswalt and drawn by Dean Kotz, which is supposedly about Golden Gail but really is a light retelling of Dan Clowes’s Ghost World – I’m 99% sure Oswalt knew it was a comic first, and not just a movie – in the context of the pocket universe. This is pleasant and well-told and has decent emotional depth, but… We the readers know that the Enid character can never get out of this town: there’s nowhere else to go. She can’t go to college, find new friends, and have a different world to fit into. She is stuck in small-town hell, in the background of someone else’s depressive superhero story.

Oddly, the narrative doesn’t seem to know this. And that knowledge makes the reading of this story a substantially different experience than I think Oswalt wanted: this is a dark, depressing story with bone-deep irony, saying one thing and meaning the exact opposite.

The second issue sees Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins bring us “The Cabin of Horrors!”, a Madame Dragonfly-hosted horror tale. It features what could have been the sensational character find of 1996, Kid Dragonfly, and a nasty serial killer getting his comeuppance. This one feels the most like an actual random issue that could have been part of a larger comics line at the time – well, more like a Secret Origins retelling, cleaning things up maybe a decade later, but still in the same vein.

It’s a perfectly acceptable horror/superhero comics story, entirely professional and hitting all of its marks.

In the third installment, Chip Zdarsky writes and Johnnie Christmas draws “Uncle Slam,” the obligatory “I’m too old for this shit” story. The person too old for the shit is of course Abraham Slam; that’s been his main character note for the entire series. Here, he’s sixtyish, retired, running a gym and dating a woman who I think is meant to be a little younger than him but looks childlike (much smaller, very thin, drawn with a young face). But of course a new, more violent hero “takes his name” and he Has To Stand Up for Punching Evil the Right Way (Without So Much Death), which goes about as well as it ever does. He does not die, since he’s a superhero-comics protagonist, but other people do, and he loses a lot. The ending tried to move away from And It Is Sad, and would have been OK if this were a standalone story, but we know Abe gets back into the costume like five more times after this point, so it’s mostly pointless.

And in the last of these stories, Mariko Tamaki (of all people!) tells a story with Diego Olortegui art that I don’t think has a title. It’s a fun bit of metafiction, with our core heroes seen in multiple universes, as the viewers of and characters in and actors behind a popular TV show, with different relationships and interactions on each level. It is amusing, a fun exercise in moving the chess pieces around in unexpected but pleasant ways, but it doesn’t really turn into a specific story – it’s just a sequence of riffs on these characters and their interactions.

On the other hand, that’s the most successful and interesting thing in the book, so I can overlook the not-going-anywhere aspects.

So: all in all, it’s amusing and is pretty much what you would expect – random quirky takes on these characters and situations by other people, who each get to have one good idea for this setting and then go back to their real careers.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Madame Web Makes Disc Debut April 30
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Madame Web Makes Disc Debut April 30

SYNOPSISMadame Web tells the standalone origin story of one of Marvel publishing’s most enigmatic heroines. The suspense-driven thriller stars Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in Manhattan who may have clairvoyant abilities. Forced to confront revelations about her past, she forges a relationship with three young women destined for powerful futures…if they can all survive a deadly present.
DISC DETAILS AND BONUS MATERIALS
4K UHD, BLU-RAY™ & DIGITAL EXTRAS
o    Gag Reel 
o    Easter Eggs
o    Oracle Of The Page 
o    Fight Like A Spider 
o    Future Vision 
o    Casting The Web 
o    Deleted Scene 
DVD
o    Future Vision
o    Casting The Web

4K UHD, Blu-ray™ & DVD include a digital code for movie and bonus materials as listed above, redeemable via Movies Anywhere for a limited time. Movies Anywhere is open to U.S. residents age 13+. Visit MoviesAnywhere.com for terms and conditions.
CAST AND CREWDirected by: SJ Clarkson
Produced by: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Based on The: Marvel Comics
Story by:  Kerem Sanga and Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless
Screenplay by: Matt Sazama &  Burk Sharpless and Claire Parker & SJ Clarkson
Executive Producers: Adam Merims, SJ Clarkson, Claire Parker
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor, Tahar Rahim, Mike Epps, Emma Roberts, Adam ScottSPECS
Run Time: Approx. 116 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for violence/action and language
 
4K UHD: 2160p Ultra High Definition / 2.39:1• Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), English & French (Doublé au Québec)- Audio Description Tracks 5.1 Dolby Digital  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish • Color • Some of The Information Listed May Not Apply To Special Features or the Blu-ray disc ™
Blu-ray™: 1080p High Definition / 2.39:1 • Audio: English, French (Doublé au Québec), Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English & French (Doublé au Québec)- Audio Description Tracks 5.1 Dolby Digital  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish • Mastered in High Definition • Color • Some of The Information Listed May Not Apply To Special Features.
DVD: 2.39:1 Anamorphic Widescreen • Audio: English, French (Double au Quebec), Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English & French (Double au Quebec)- Audio Description Tracks Stereo • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish • Color • Some of The Information Listed May Not Apply To Special Features.