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Voltron Legendary Defender Returns to Netflix Next Week

The Paladins are primed and ready to face their biggest challenge yet as DreamWorks’ Voltron Legendary Defender returns to Netflix a week from today, June 15th with seven all-new episodes. Suspicious of Lotor’s alliance with Voltron, Galra oppressors continue to invade and conquer vulnerable planets throughout the universe. A hyper-focused Team Voltron feels the need to liberate helpless planets and begins a massive campaign to save millions of lives. But after the Paladins uncover some troubling information, they must engage in their most epic battle yet. Trailer and more details below!

Freedom Fighters: The Ray goes from CW Seed to Disc in August

BURBANK, CA (June 5, 2018) – The creative team behind hit live-action series Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow brings the acclaimed CW Seed animated series to a feature-length presentation in Freedom Fighters: The Ray. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Blue Ribbon Content and DC Entertainment, the action-packed film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment starting August 28, 2018 on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($19.98 SRP), DVD ($18.94 SRP) and Digital.

All his life, Ray Terrill has fought injustice, dreaming of making a real difference like his older brother, a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan. One day, he stumbles upon a dying Super Hero from another Earth and is stunned to find that this Super Hero looks just like him—because it is! The dying Ray Terrill of Earth-X transfers photokinetic energy to this Earth’s Ray, making him a Super Hero – The Ray. However, Ray quickly learns being a Super Hero isn’t all hanging muggers from streetlamps and fighting giant robots. As the evil Nazi New Reichsman of Earth-X, led by Overgirl, close in, The Ray must learn to harness his powers by coming to terms with his true self, even if that means also finally coming out of the closet to his parents. The fate of Earth-X depends on it!

Freedom Fighters: The Ray features a stellar voice cast led by Russell Tovey (Quantico) as The Ray/Ray Terrill. He is joined by Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton) as Black Condor/John Trujillo, Dilshad Vadsaria (Greek) as Phantom Lady/Jenny Knight, Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) as Overgirl, and Megalyn Echikunwoke (The 4400, 90210) as Vixen. The voice cast also spotlights Arrow actor Echo Kellum (Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific) and The Flash actors Danielle Panabaker (Dr. Caitlin Snow) and Carlos Valdez (Cisco Ramon/Vibe), reprising their live-action series roles in animated form.

The cast also includes Iddo Goldberg (Peaky Blinders) as Red Tornado, Sunil Malhotra (The Legend of Korra) as Jacob, Matthew Mercer (Critical Role) as Dollman/Green Arrow/Black Arrow, Colleen O’Shaughnessy (Sonic Boom) as Mrs. Terrill, Laura Post (Justice League Action) as Resistance Gunner, Christopher Corey Smith (Digimon Fusion) as Donald, Bruce Thomas (Legally Blonde, Army of Darkness) as Mr. Terrill, and Scott Whyte (City Guys) as The Flash/Blitzkrieg.

Ethan Spaulding (Justice League: Throne of Atlantis) directed Freedom Fighters: The Ray from a script written by Emilio Ortega Aldrich (Arrow), Lauren Certo (The Flash), Marc Guggenheim (Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Sarah Hernandez (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Elizabeth Kim (Arrow) and Sarah Tarkoff (Arrow, Vixen). Curt Geda (Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants) is the producer, and the executive producers are Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Black Lightning) and Marc Guggenheim.

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, Freedom Fighters: The Ray Blu-ray Combo Pack will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. The 1-disc Blu-ray will feature the Blu-ray disc, DVD disc and a Digital copy of the movie.


Street Date: August 28, 2018
BD and DVD Presented in 16×9 widescreen format
Running Time: Feature: 72 minute

Price: $18.94 SRP
Audio – English (5.1)
Subtitles – English SDH, French, Spanish

Price: $19.98 SRP
1 Blu-ray Disc, 1 DVD and Digital HD Copy
BD Audio -DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English
BD Subtitles – English SDH, French, Spanish


Freedom Fighters; The Ray is also available to own on Digital. Digital allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices.  Digital is available from various retailers including Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. A Digital Copy is also included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage.

Bumblebee Teaser Trailer promises Laughs, Action

Have we achieved Transformers fatigue? Paramount pictures hope snot with the Christmas release of their first spinoff, a feature film spotlighting the lovable Bumblebee. In addition to the bright yellow autobot, the film will star Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, Pamela Adlon, and Stephen Schneider. Travis Knight directs with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto & Don Murphy, Michael Bay all sharing producing credit while executive producers include Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner, Mark Vahradian, and Chris Brigham.

The teaser trailer broke the other day so take a look.

Watch Michael B. Jordan Burn in HBO’s Disc Release of Fahrenheit 451

New York, N.Y., June 4, 2018 – Imagine a society where books are outlawed and “firemen” have been tasked to burn and destroy any remaining literature, erasing history right before our eyes. This is the reality in Fahrenheit 451, a jaw-dropping new HBO Film starring Michael B. Jordan (HBO’s The Wire, Black Panther) and Oscar® nominee Michael Shannon (Shape of Water), available on Digital Download June 18, 2018 and Blu-ray™ and DVD September 18, 2018.

Based on Ray Bradbury’s classic sci-fi novel of the same name, the thought-provoking parable depicts a frighteningly plausible future where media is an opiate, history is purged and dissent is outlawed. The dystopian thriller centers on Montag (Jordan), a young fireman who forsakes his world and struggles to regain his humanity as he battles his mentor, fire captain Beatty (Shannon).

Directed by Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes), Fahrenheit 451 also stars Sofia Boutella (The Mummy), Lily Singh (Bad Moms), Laura Harrier (Spider-Man Homecoming), Martin Donovan (Ant-Man), and more. Also executive produced by Sarah Green, Ramin Bahrani, Michael B. Jordan, Alan Gasmer, and Peter Jaysen.

Blu-ray™ & DVD Bonus Feature:

  • Behind the Fire: Take a deeper look into Fahrenheit 451 as Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon, Sofia Boutella, and director Ramin Bahrani discuss Guy Montag’s character evolution and relationships.

Fahrenheit 451
Blu-rayTM and DVD
Street Date: September 18, 2018
Rating:        TV-MA
Runtime:    Approx. 115 minutes

REVIEW: Batman Ninja

In the 1950s, Batman was transformed into a variety of beings or wore a colorful assortment of costumes to goose sales. Thankfully, that silliness was retired with the New Look and wasn’t resurrected until the Elseworlds what if stories of the 1990s. That same approach has now crept from the page to the screen with Batman Ninja, out now on DVD from Warner Home Entertainment.

This anime-style adventure comes from director Junpei Mizusaki, (producer of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), working from a script by Kazuki Nakashima (Kill La Kill, Gurren Lagann) and character designs from Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai). As a result, it comes with a strong pedigree for the creative approach.

Rather than a posit an ancient Japan that needed a protector styled in the form of a bat, this gonzo story actually takes the heroes and villains of Gotham City and transports them into the past. It’s weird, wild, wacky and not at all to my taste so your mileage will almost certainly vary.

We have the Dark Knight (Kōichi Yamadera/Roger Craig Smith) sent to feudal Japan without his high-tech gadgets and has to go back to the basics to save the locals from the Joker (Wataru Takagi/Tony Hale), Catwoman (Ai Kakuma/Grey Griffin), Harley Quinn (Rie Kugimiya/Tara Strong), Two-Face (Toshiyuki Morikawa/Eric Bauza), Gorilla Grodd (Takehito Koyasu/Fred Tatasciore), Deathstroke (Junichi Suwabe/Fred Tatasciore), Penguin (Chō/Tom Kenny), Bane (Kenta Miyake), and Poison Ivy (Atsuko Tanaka/Tara Strong). Also transported are Alfred (Hōchū Ōtsuka/Adam Croasdell), Nightwing (Daisuke Ono/Adam Croasdell), Robin (Yuki Kaji/Yuri Lowenthal), Red Robin (Kengo Kawanishi/Will Friedle), and Red Hood (Akira Ishida/Yuri Lowenthal). Along the way, he finds new allies and becomes a ronin of sorts, a masterless samurai out to protect the innocent from the wicked, fulfilling a prophecy about a foreign bat ninja coming to save them.

I guess

 the creators thought they were getting one shot at this project and therefore threw in every trope you could ask for, making it feel weirdly familiar but also oddly humdrum. The most interesting turn comes when villains lose their memories and acclimatize to their surroundings. There’s also a nice twist with Grodd.

Produced in Japan, the Blu-ray release offers up both the original Japanese vocal cast and an English audio track. Visually, it is an amazing piece of animation, mixing traditional drawings with 3-D virtual realities so you’ve not quite seen a Batman animated feature like this before.

The Blu-ray comes with a handful of useful features delving into this project’s background. We start with East/West Batman (10:00) where Mike Carlin (Creative Director Animation, DC Entertainment), Ames Kirshen (VP Interactive & Animation DC Entertainment), Eric S. Garcia (Producer, English Screenwriter), Leo Chu (Producer, English Screenwriter), and Junpei (Director),  Mizusaki, Nakashima, and Okazak take turns discussing the challenges with bringing an American super-hero to Japanese storytelling.

Then there’s Batman: Made in Japan (15:00) which goes further into the traditional Japanese storytelling elements while focusing on Okazaki.


Of course, there’s New York Comic Con Presents Batman Ninja (40:00).

REVIEW: A Wrinkle in Time

Much has been made of the budget allotted to the big screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel A Wrinkle in Time and how Director Ava DuVernay was a woman tackling something so massive. That’s a lot of press and pressure on a risky venture considering the novel may be beloved but not in the public consciousness. Thankfully, there have been other hits and misses to take attention away from the fact that this entertaining effectively flopped.

The movie, out today on Blu-ray from Walt Disney Home Entertainment, is a solid if flawed adaptation, that somehow missed the magical touch to enthrall younger viewers. As a result, the film is hovering near the $100 million domestic gross with prognosticators estimating it will lose the studio at least that much.

And that’s a shame because it deserves to be seen. The movie is colorful, visual treat that fully realizes L’Engle’s worlds, from typical suburban America to otherworldly Camazotz. The color saturation works with the look and feel, especially when the fairy tale trio of Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) respond to Meg Murry’s (Storm Reid) plea for help in finding her father, Dr. Alexander Murry (Chris Pine), who disappeared four years earlier.

Meg is very much an idiosyncratic adolescent, unfashionably iconoclastic with unruly curly hair making her the object of derision by the cool kids led by her next-door neighbor Veronica (Rowan Blanchard). All she has is her sad mother Dr. Kate Murry (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), who just happens to be an undersized genius. (The movie leaves out his ability to read her mind as well as their twin siblings Sandy and Dennys.)

The Wallaces are portrayed as capable physicists, working in tandem, but Alexander has been most vocal about his theories on folding space, traveling from point to point through a tesseract (which has nothing to do with Marvel’s Cosmic Cube). One night, his theory becomes reality but he vanishes without a trace.

Now, four years have passed and Meg continues to sulk and act out until she’s visited by Mrs. Whatsit (who in the novel is a new neighbor, here she’s effectively Glinda the Good Witch). She’s come to help and the others arrive soon after because apparently Alexander is in the clutches of the It, an elemental force of evil that is spreading its tendrils across the universe, threatening Earth. We see a nice montage of the seven deadly sins visiting the supporting cast, adding some complexity to their cliché roles.

Meg and Charles Wallace, accompanied by Meg’s friend Calvin (Levi Miller), have to go save dad and we’re off across the galaxy that will forever change the children in the eternal struggle between good and evil.

It’s an engrossing story that sands down the novel’s details and hones in on the action. We see the power of not only love, but the need for self-confidence, and perseverance. If anything, the film suffers from big ideals and not a lot of character development so everyone, even the trio of supernatural beings, feel like models of archetypes than fully realized characters. The screenplay by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell fails the stellar assortment of performers, notably Kaling. Storm Reid is a welcome new performer as Meg.

The high def transfer, thankfully, captures all the color and spectacle making for pleasant home viewing. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack is adequate but pales compared with the visuals.

Perhaps because the film failed to explode into a hit, the extras are more perfunctory than magical. We have A Journey Through Time (30:28), the behind-the-scenes story; Deleted Scenes (9:36 ), totaling four moments with optional DuVernay commentary; Audio Commentary: DuVernay, First Assistant Director Michael Moore, Visual Effects Supervisor Richard McBride, Screenwriter Jennifer Lee, Producer Jim Whitaker, Film Editor Spencer Averick, and Production Designer Naomi Shohan, offering interesting insights but little new; Music Videos: “I Believe” by DJ Khaled and Demi Lovato (3:46) and “Warrior” by Chloe X Halle (4:02); and finally, a handful of Bloopers (1:36). (Bellamy Young has one scene and I kept expecting to see more from the actor, making me wonder why she took the part.)

Matt Miner and Eric Palicki Bring “All We Ever Wanted” to Kickstarter

Earlier today A Wave Blue World, a graphic novel, anthology, and art book publisher run and operated by Tyler and Wendy Chin-Tanner, launched their latest Kickstarter. Organized and edited by Matt Miner and Eric Palicki who both previously published This Nightmare Kills Fascists through AWBW, this comics anthology moves away from horror and into optimistic speculative fiction; more Star Trek than Mad Max. This latest anthology, All We Ever Wanted: Stories of a Better World, has nearly reached 20% of it’s goal in just a few hours.

I got the chance to chat with Matt and Eric about this exciting new anthology, which you can read below as well as seeing an exclusive preview page from Maria Frohlich’s story “It Looked Like Our Dreams.”

After the success of This Nightmare Kills Fascists, what made you both decide to tell such a different kind of story with your new anthology?

Matt: Eric and I felt that we’re already living in the beginning stages of the nightmare dystopian future promised to us by movies and books, and we wanted to do something uplifting, inspiring.  The stories are all filled with conflict and problems, but told against the backdrop of a better future. So, think more “San Junipero” Black Mirror and less “Shut up and Dance” Black Mirror.

Eric: While there are some positive, cathartic moments in TNKF, most of the stories –often without subtlety — hone in on what has become a depressing reality. It has gotten difficult to outdo the horror on the nightly news, so it felt appropriate to redirect our attention away from grounding ourselves in the moment and toward a better future.

It’s also nice to undermine readers’ expectations. Matt is primarily known as a horror writer, thanks to Toe Tag Riot, Critical Hit, Poser, and GWAR, and my last book, No Angel, also had a strong horror element. It’s nice to step out of our respective comfort zones.    

Matt: It’s nice I’m known as a horror writer now instead of the guy who writes political stuff.  You start your career with a series about animal liberationists and you’re branded that way for a long time.

Outside a few people including yourselves there are no repeat contributors in this volume. Why is that?

Matt: We simply have too many friends and colleagues we wanted to ask to be part of these anthology projects so we wanted to give more people a chance to contribute.  Our next anthology, presumably in 2019, might have some repeating creators.

Eric: The number of creators who approached me about joining TNKF during the campaign or, later, about appearing in the follow-up has been heartening. After filling two books with people whose work I admire, I still haven’t managed to fit everyone in. As with This Nightmare Kills Fascists, a few of the spaces are going to brand new voices, which is one of the most rewarding parts of this gig, and most of the TNKF creators I’ve spoken to have been really cool about ceding their place in the new book to give unsung or underappreciated talent a platform.

Is there anything you learned from doing This Nightmare Kills Fascists that you’ll be repeating or not repeating here?

Matt: I learned to keep a better eye on organization.  Putting together a huge book with dozens of creators is a massive undertaking and my spreadsheets tracking contacts, deadlines, money, etc are much more detailed this time around.  

This book has also helped Eric and I further hone our editorial skills and better do what it takes to help people tell their best story.

Eric: Editing TNKF opened my eyes to those moments when it’s good to provide firm editorial guidance and when it’s better to step out of the way and let the creators do their own thing. I’d like to think I’ve developed a more targeted approach to editing the stories in this new book.

I also think the division of labor between us is better this time around, or at least more logical. Matt is much better at the organizational aspects of planning and tracking, for example, so I’m happy to leave that to him rather than stepping in and ultimately making a mess.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign here to learn more. Backing at the $20 level gets you the physical copy of the anthology. Ends .

Carmen Carnero takes over X-Men Red

Marvel announced that this July, artist Carmen Carnero will join X-Men Red as the series’ regular artist alongside writer Tom Taylor. Carnero’s work for Marvel includes Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Cyclops, and The Punisher (where she holds the distinction of being the first female artist to ever draw the character’s ongoing series.)

She replaces Mahmud Asrar who was the series’ original artist and had been announced for issue #6, which will now be Carnero’s first. X-Men Red was the third color-coded mutant title, joining X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold earlier this year.

“It’s always special to return to where I was given my first opportunity in American comic books, especially a book so successful as X-Men Red is,” Carnero said. “It’s a lot of responsibility, but a welcome one! I’ve been really lucky, because the team’s lineup, all of it, it’s SO amazing and a dream for me. Jean Grey leading a super group formed by the best female and male mutant heroes? I can’t ask for more, especially having my favorite female characters as part of the group. And I already adore Gabby. It’s impossible not to!”

Carmen is bringing so much to X-Men: Red and we feel very lucky to have her join our team. While she can dazzle with big moments under the sea or Sentinels dropping out of the sky, it’s the way her characters all act so uniquely that’s blowing us away,” added Taylor. “Carmen has a rare ability to capture both complex expressions and subtle body language. Her characters breathe.”

Carnero made her American debut with illustrations in Crazy 8 Press’ ReDeus: Divine Tales and has been providing fill-in work for Marvel, DC Comics, and others ever since.

REVIEW: The Cardboard Kingdom

The Cardboard Kingdom
By Chad Sell
282 pages, $12/99/$20.99, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

All too often the Young Adult graphic novels crossing my desk live in worlds of fantasy and science fiction, borrowing heavily from what has come before, resulting in a colorful sameness to so many. As a result, The Cardboard Kingdom is a breath of fresh air.

Cartoonist Chad Sell has assembled a team of writers — Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez – to visit a multicultural neighborhood filled with imagination. The boys and girls like to play make-believe games but do so taking ordinary cardboard boxes and turning them into costumes, props, weapons, and the like to aid in their games. Consider it early cosplay training.

This vividly illustrated series of vignettes and short stories has a nice blend of Caucasian, African-American, Indian, and Latin American playing together and as with all friendships; there are strains, fights, and tentative steps at making up. Also unlike so many other YA works, the parents are not all supportive or all clueless, there’s a similar mixture of types, which adds an important dimension to the stories.

Sell’s artwork is clear, his storytelling strong and we see the children as they truly are and as they imagine themselves. Often, there are several silent pages where the writers let the visuals do the heavy lifting. While these are all short works, easily read in batches, there is a continuity throughout the long summer so you can follow a progression.

We watch the children experiment with being heroes, villains, and monsters along with rivalries and unexpected alliances. There’s Jack who wants to be a sorceress and while mom is okay with her son in a gown, but disapproves of his character’s meanness. Miguel and Nate seem to really like one another but struggle with those feelings while playing their traditional male roles. Amanda’s dad speaks little English and represents his Latin home’s conservative values setting up some at-home conflict. Then there’s Sikha, the oldest in the group, is left looking after her brother Vijay, because their single mom works long hours.

Everything builds up to the last all-out campaign before school begins, leaving the readers satisfied with their summer vacation to this imaginative and worthy neighborhood. This is aimed at 9-12 year olds and is highly recommended.

ComiXology Originals Launches

ComiXology announced on Friday it is releasing creator-owned comic books and graphic novels for the first time as part of its comiXology Originals program. The premiere digital comics service announced four new comiXology Originals titles – spanning fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and superhero genres via a livestreaming event on Twitch.  Readers can dive into the debut titles through a variety of ways: they are free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited and are also available for purchase on Kindle and comiXology.

The new comiXology Original releases include: Savage Game created by NFL player Ryan Kalil, written by Shawn Kittelsen, and art by Chris B. Murray; Superfreaks fromwritersElsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet, with newcomer artist Margaux Saltel; Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty from writer Richard Starkings, and artists Axel Medellin and Boo Cook; Ask For Mercy from writer Starkings and newcomer artist Abigail Jill Harding.

The debuts feature a host of industry firsts, including:

  • All issues of the Superfreaks series are available to read now – perfect for binge reading
  • In addition to digital, Savage Game is available in print exclusively through via Print-on-Demand
  • Collections of Elephantmen and Ask for Mercy will also be available in print via Print-on-Demand, with future comiXology Originals trade collections and graphic novels also available in print
  • Savage Game sees noted cover and fine artist Chris B. Murray’s interior art debut
  • Superfreaks artist Margaux Saltel also makes her series debut
  • Ask For Mercy artist Abigail Jill Harding makes her series debut

“We’re proud to offer these creator-owned titles where creators keep their IP rights and are motivated to bring their A-game to the benefit of readers everywhere,” said Chip Mosher, comiXology’s Head of Content. “Helping bring these incredible titles to fans lets us experiment with different release strategies like a binge-style drop of a whole series, high quality print-on-demand, and day-and-date inclusion in Prime Reading, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited.”

The new comiXology Originals titles were announced in tandem with a livestream event on Twitch, hosted by noted esports personality Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham. During the livestream, which was screened at viewing parties at Amazon Books retail locations and Amazon Pop-Up kiosks across the United States, comiXology unveiled its “Always Original” ad campaign that spotlights the characters featured in today’s new releases. Customers attending the viewing parties were offered free print copies of the Savage Game graphic novel on a first come, first served basis.

The company also teased the next wave of comiXology Original titles to be released in the coming months, announcing an impressive list of creators, including: Tyler Crook, Kristian Donaldson, Alti Firmansyah, Sam Humphries, Megan Kearney, Kel McDonald, Hope Nicholson, Mike Norton, MK Reed, Mark Sable, Tim Seeley, C. Spike Trotman, Jen Vaughn, and Magdalene Visaggio.  More details on upcoming releases will be unveiled during Comic-Con International San Diego 2018.

Customers can enjoy today’s releases on a variety of Amazon’s membership services. Prime Reading offers Amazon Prime members a rotating selection of over a thousand top Kindle books, magazines, short works, comic books, children’s books, and more – all at no additional cost. Kindle Unlimited offers over 1 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and select current issues of popular magazines for just $9.99 a month with a 30-day free trial at ComiXology Unlimited now offers over 15,000 comics, graphic novels and manga for just $5.99 a month with a 30-day free trial at All titles are also available as individual purchases on Kindle and comiXology.