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Four More Images from Constantine: House of Mystery
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Four More Images from Constantine: House of Mystery

It’s basically Groundhog Day in Purgatory for the Hellblazer in Constantine: The House of Mystery, the never-before-seen centerpiece of the four DC-centric animated shorts that comprise DC SHOWCASE – CONSTANTINE: THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation

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, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, DC SHOWCASE – CONSTANTINE: THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY – which also includes the shorts Blue BeetleThe LosersKamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! – will be available everywhere on Blu-ray and in 4K on Digital starting May 3, 2022.

Matt Ryan (Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow) reprises his live-action and animated role as the Hellblazer himself in Constantine – The House of Mystery. In the all-new short, John Constantine wakes up in the eerie House of Mystery with no recollection of how he got there. Fortunately, Zatanna and his friends are all there. Unfortunately, they have a bad habit of turning into demons and ripping him to shreds, over and over again!  Constantine – The House of Mysteryis directed by Matt Peters (Injustice) from a script by Ernie Altbacker (Batman: Hush).

Zatanna torments Constantine in an unending number of methods in Constantine – The House of Mystery. Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) reprises her role from Justice League Dark: Apokolips War as Zatanna.

No Constantine tale would be complete without his pal Jason Blood and his rhyming alter ego, Etrigan. Ray Chase (Licorice Pizza) reprises his role from Justice League Dark: Apokolips War as Jason Blood/Etrigan.

Constantine never hesitates to negotiate with anyone, regardless of whether or not he has a sliver of leverage – and that’s extremely evident when he visits the cosmos to seek a release from his otherworldly prison. Matt Ryan (Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow) reprises his live-action and animated role as the Hellblazer himself in Constantine – The House of Mystery.

Steeple by John Allison with Sarah Stern and Jim Campbell
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Steeple by John Allison with Sarah Stern and Jim Campbell

I have two theories about John Allison’s best stories, or maybe two versions of the same theory. One goes that his best works are organized around triumvirates – I should perhaps say triumfeminates – such as Bad Machinery  and Giant Days , which allows the three main characters to bounce off each other in complicated ways. This theory goes on to say that the more straightforward, less convoluted Allison works are more likely to have two main characters (q.v., By Night ) who contrast each other in a more obvious way. [1]

The other theory is more straightforward: in every generation of Allison protagonists, there is a female character who embodies chaos, around whom reality itself sometimes bends, who is a force of nature, who both the complications of the narrative and the audience love. Shelly Winters, Charlotte Grote, Esther De Groot – that kind of character. The Allison stories that feature one of those characters are the best ones.

Steeple  is a contrasting-two-people story, and neither of them (yet?) have risen to the level of an Allisonian Chaos Magnet. So I might perhaps say at this point that it’s not quite as zany as his best work, but that might also be said, in a different way, that it’s more accessible and less likely to hare off in random directions for no obvious reasons.

This story is set in the same universe as Tackleford – though, like Giant Days, it touches other parts of that world only very lightly. We are in the small town of Tredregyn, Cornwall  – that’s in the far Southwest of England, for those geographically challenged, about as far you can get from Tackleford’s Yorkshire and still be in the same country. In Tredregyn, there are two churches. And, in each of those churches, there’s a young woman with good intentions.

Just arriving at the local parish – I think it’s CoE

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, and I think it’s St. something-or-other’s that only gets mentioned once in the book and which I can’t find now – at the beginning of the book is the new parson Billie Baker, to help out the Rev. David Penrose.

On the other side of town, there is a Church of Satan, run by Magus Tom Pendennis and Warlock Brian Fitzpatrick – though I had to look up their full names online; they’re just “Tom & Brian” in this book – where Maggie Warren does what she wilt as the whole of the law when she’s not slinging pints at the local pub. (First lesson: God pays better than Satan. Maggie needs a side job; Billie does not. Who knew?)

Billie and Maggie meet cute when Billie arrives in town, and become friends, even though their lives are deeply opposite to each other.

So that’s one major conflict: they’re friends but they work for (to put it mildly) competing organizations.

The other major conflict is weird supernatural stuff, as it often is in Allison: Tredregyn is in danger from a race of aquatic monsters who want to drag the town and surroundings back beneath the sea whence it came, and apparently they could be successful in this if the local priest doesn’t spend his nights punching said monsters in the cemetery. Penrose keeps asking for strong, burly assistants to aid him in biffing the salty foe, but his superiors keep sending him thin and weedy types. Like Billie, for example.

Now, those sea monsters are said to be sent from the devil, but they don’t seem, at least in this first storyline, to have any connection to the Church of Satan. So it may be that the devil has legions who know naught of each other, or perhaps the sea beasties are actually the spawn of Cthulhu or Belial or some different evil entity. Or perhaps the Church of Satan is the modern, free-living kind of Satanism, and has mostly or entirely sworn off actual evil in the sense of conquering the world and dooming souls to eternal torment and suchlike.

This first volume of Steeple stories – it doesn’t have a “Vol. 1” anywhere on it, though a second volume has since appeared, and a third is coming this summer – collected five comics issues, written and drawn by Allison with colors by Sarah Stern and letters by Jim Campbell. Each issue is basically a standalone story, mostly along the lines of Giant Days, so my assumption is that the hope was to do a few issues, assess, and then do more issues for years and years. That did not actually happen; subsequent Steeple stories have appeared on Allison’s webcomics site , so my guess is that the American comics market continues to Be Difficult.

As I said, both Billie and Maggie are pretty sensible

, though they are in one of those weird Allisonian towns. I could wish for a bit more mania and craziness from both of them, to juice the stories up, but these are early days yet. These five adventures are quirky and fun, and the status quo gets upended pretty seriously at the end, which I hope will lead to odder, stranger stories for the next batch. So far, I’m counting this as solid B+ Allison, with signs that it could ascend to the top tier quite easily. And it’s entirely standalone, thus being a good entry point for new readers.

[1] Potential counter-argument: what about things like Bobbins and Scarygoround, which have larger casts around whom the plots circle? How do they fit into this schema? There I pull out a timeline, and argue that the count of Allison’s central characters for a given story tend to diminish over time, and so, therefore, in about 2030 he will publish a comic featuring no central characters!

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

Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch by Dorkin, Thompson, Dyer, Dewey, Mignola and others
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Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch by Dorkin, Thompson, Dyer, Dewey, Mignola and others

It’s an odd thing: while actually reading a Beasts of Burden book, it’s entirely plausible – my disbelief is reasonably suspended. But both before and afterward

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, in retrospect, it all seems silly and I struggle to write about it in a non-dismissive way.

If that tone sneaks in, I don’t really mean it. But there is something inherently goofy about the whole series, and I do have to acknowledge that.

As seen previously in the original Beasts of Burden  (later subtitled “Animal Rites,” har de har har), and seen later in the follow-up series Wise Dogs and Eldrich Men , all animals can talk to each other and some animals have magical skills and abilities.

I don’t know if series creator Evan Dorkin meant it this way, but domesticated animals (dogs and cats so far) are on the side of Good, and wild animals (rats, corvids, some more exotic monsters) are on the side of a quite Lovecraftian Evil. The forces of Evil are led by the usual extradimensional entities in the final extent, but usually an evil human (alive or currently dead) in the immediate situation. [1]

The Good animals do coordinate with humans, some of the time, and there’s a long tradition of partnership, man and dog, but the dogs are fully capable of battling eldritch menaces without the aid of opposable thumbs. So the Beasts of Burden stories are mostly about dogs running around the woods around Burden Hill, Pennsylvania, barking at and biting monsters to save at least this small corner of the world from the Many-Angled Ones. I should add that they do have mages as well: a couple of the animals here can cast spells, but most of them are just the standard somewhat-stronger-tougher-and-longer-lived-than-normal.

Neighborhood Watch  is the miscellaneous collection of the series; it gathers all of the smaller and shorter series that came out in between the original series and Wise Dogs. So we have a couple of single-issue stories, a two-part epic, several anthology stories that were later stuck together into one comic book, and a crossover with Hellboy.

Hm, I may have discovered why I’m having trouble taking this seriously. When Hellboy wanders through one of your stories and puts a main character in his pocket, showing that what are massive supernatural threats to you are no big deal to him, the overall universe loses a certain amount of tension. Sure, these dogs might fail to stop any particular nasty thing, but that just means Hellboy or one of his crew will have to come in and quickly mop up. Sad, but not apocalyptic.

Anyway, these are miscellaneous stories, about (mostly) the same main cast as the other stories. Dorkin wrote or co-wrote all of them; Mike Mignola co-wrote the Hellboy story (semi-obviously), Sara Dyer co-wrote one other story. Art is by either Jill Thompson, the co-originator of the series, or Benjamin Dewey, who took over for a lot of this stuff and then did Wise Dogs. Lettering is credited to Jason Arthur and Nate Piekos: I don’t think they worked on the same stories, but I can’t tell you if it lines up as neatly as Arthur lettered Thompson and Piekos did Dewey.

And, as I said up top, I enjoy reading these stories even though I am in no way an animal person, particular a domesticated animal person. I suspect the people who really like them are much more heavily invested than I am, but that’s fine: we all like and react differently to different things. If you want comics about dogs fighting supernatural evil, I don’t know of any better option.

[1] Thinking far too deeply about it, I would love to see a series with the opposite premise: dogs and cats are the villains, because they have been tainted by human evil, and badgers or foxes or opossums or maybe raccoons are the heroes. Actually, yes, raccoons, maybe with corvids as advisors: that’s the one I want.

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

REVIEW: Spider-Man: No Way Home
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REVIEW: Spider-Man: No Way Home

What has made Peter Parker an enduring hero for the last sixty years is that he could be us. He is someone who has great highs and really low low, but strives to do right because that’s the way he was raised. As Peter he is bullied for being shy and withdrawn, for being smart, for not being popular. As Spider-Man, he is belittled, picked on, subjugated to immense criticism and faces impossible odds with regularity.

We root for him because he rarely gives up, always comes back for more, and always tries to make things right. When Peter’s (Tom Holland) secret identity was revealed in Spider-Man: Far from Home we knew this was going to be a new set of obstacles. Spider-Man: No Way Home opens with the world adjusting to the idea that this high school student is a super-hero or menace. We see its impact on him, Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and his friends. The hunched shoulders as he strides in the school hallways shows just how much he hates this.

So, of course, he tries to make it right. And as we know from the comics, the Parker Luck will make sure it’s not an easy solution. From there, the movie, out now from Sony Home Entertainment, things grow increasingly complicated.

On the one hand, this is Peter’s journey, a possible final act for Holland as the webhead, and he makes a tough matter worse and in trying to fix it, things grow chaotic. There will be a price to pay for asking Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to make the world forget the secret. It first comes in the form of villains drawn from across the multiverse, which to these characters, is a new concept to reckon with. It then comes in the form of a tragic death. And finally, a novel sacrifice to restore the status quo. In this regard, the film is near-perfect in tracing his journey, and Holland sells it with every frame.

On the other hand, this builds on the worlds-shattering events from WandaVision and sets up May’s Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and as a chapter of Phase Four, it opens up an entirely new front to be explored in subsequent films and television series. We even get Easter egg hints at future Sony-produced films such as the now-shooting Kraven the Hunter.

Screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers manage to service both requirements for the Marvel juggernaut without making things feel bloated. With Jon Watts back for the third installment

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, his sure hand maintains order, making certain everyone has their moment or two, starting with Ned (Jacob Batalon), who is shown to have mystic potential, and MJ (Zendaya), who has come to embrace her boyfriend’s weird life.

What’s especially pleasing is how human the villains feel, and watching Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), Elektro (Jamie Foxx), the Lizard (Rhys Ifans), and Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church) interact with one another and the teens is a pleasure.

Willem Dafoe’s tortured Harry Obsborn/Green Goblin was also a fine wild card in the mix.

And if super-villains are brought from the multiverse to Peter’s world

, so too can there be allies in the form of other Spider-Man, somewhat older (Tobey Maguire) and wiser (Andrew Garfield). The three interacting is a delight and we can sense the unique qualities each brought to their webbed roles. Nicely, each of them deals with leftover issues from their film series so you get triple closure for the price of one.

Should Holland never don the suit again, we are left satisfied. But, we’re also ready for the next chapter.

The movie is streaming or available on disc in the usual combo packs. The 1080p Blu-ray transfer is near-perfect, all the textures and colors pop nicely, either in the shadows, night, or daylight. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is equal to the visuals making this quite worth seeing on a home screen.

The disc boasts quite a bit of Special Features, some taking a victory lap after three films, others exploring the large cast of characters. Interestingly, there are no deleted scenes. We do the following: Bloopers & Gag Reel (4:01); Action Choreography Across the Multiverse (6:25); A Spectacular Spider-Journey with Tom Holland (6:16); Realities Collide, Spiders Unite (8:09); Graduation Day (7:07); Enter Strange (5:04); Weaving Jon Watts’ Web (7:18); Alternate Reality Easter Eggs (4:41); A Multiverse of Miscreants (6:38); A Meeting of the Spiders – Heroes Panel (7:23); The Sinister Summit – Villains Panel (8:44);  The Daily Bugle clips (4:15);  Stunt Scene Pre-Vis (3:35); and Theatrical Marketing Materials: Tom & Jacob Lie Detector (1:58), Tom’s Press Tour (1:03), and Georgia Promo (1:15).

Squirrel Girl 6-Episode Podcast Announced
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Squirrel Girl 6-Episode Podcast Announced

New York, NY— April 18, 2022 — It’s time to kick butts and eat nuts! Today, Marvel Entertainment and SiriusXM announced their newest original scripted podcast

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, Marvel’s Squirrel Girl: The Unbeatable Radio Show!, is now available on all platforms.

The six-episode podcast series is written by Ryan North, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, and has original music by Justin Huertas and Steven Tran. The series stars AT&T pitchwoman Milana Vayntrub as Squirrel Girl and features performances by Crystal Lucas Perry (Nancy Whitehead), Leo Sheng (Koi Boi), Davied Morales (Chipmunk Hunk), Peter Hermann (Brain Drain), Erica Schroeder (Tippy T. Squirrel), and Tina Benko (Rachel Oskar).

Squirrel Girl, created by Will Murray and Steve Ditko, has taken down Thanos and Doctor Doom – but now she faces something far more terrifying… living authentically. The new series follows Empire State University college student, Doreen Green, who has recently been outed as a super hero – The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! Hoping to unify her personas in the public eye, Squirrel Girl has created a new student radio show on ESU’s own college station. With the help of her best girl-friend, Nancy Whitehead as producer, and her best squirrel-friend, Tippy-Toe in the booth; Doreen is ready to help more people than ever with her greatest super hero advice. And when the going get rough, she can always lean on her heroic friends: Iron Man , Spider-Man, Chipmunk Hunk, Koi Boi, and Brain Drain.

However, with a call-in show comes caller anonymity and not all the folks on the line want help – some want to crime – and crime hard! When a suspicious caller wreaks havoc on New York City, Squirrel Girl and her friends will have to put their heroics to the test and prove that once and for all Doreen Green is the UNBEATABLE Squirrel Girl.

On the series, writer Ryan North says, “For me, a lot of the fun of the project initially was getting to work in a new medium, one where everything that happened had to be communicated through sound. Of course, once we started recording, my favorite part was hearing the actors bring these characters to life. Milana and Crystal are Doreen and Nancy, and the way Leo and Davied and Peter brought Koi Boi, Chipmunk Hunk, and Brain Drain to life was just exceptional.” North continues, “The podcast continues right where the comics left off, so long-time fans will feel instantly at home, but it’s also built for new people who maybe have never encountered the world of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl before.”

This is not North’s first foray into writing Squirrel Girl. His comic series, THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL, had a four-year run and garnered a devoted fan-following. Like the comics, the podcast series has Squirrel Girl’s same uber-positive, fun-loving tone that fans have come to know and love. And for fans who want even more of Doreen Green, North wrote an all-new Squirrel Girl vertical comic tie-in which launches today on Marvel Unlimited, Marvel’s digital comic subscription service. The SQUIRREL GIRL one-shot, which is a prequel to the podcast, is now available on the app in the exclusive Infinity Comics format.

The series is produced in association with Radio Point by Bernie Kaminski from Radio Point, and Brad Barton, MR Daniel, Zachary Goldberg, and Larissa Rosen from Marvel. It’s executive produced by Alex Bach and Houston Snyder from Radio Point and Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Daniel Fink, Lorraine Cink, Stephen Wacker, Ellie Pyle, and Jill DuBoff from Marvel.

The first episode of Marvel’s Squirrel Girl: The Unbeatable Radio Show! is available now on all podcast platforms. Fans can also get early access to next week’s episode starting today via the SXM App or by subscribing to Marvel Podcasts Unlimited on Apple Podcasts, which also has exclusive bonus content! Future episodes will be available exclusively via the SXM App and Marvel Podcasts Unlimited for one week before being available widely on Pandora, Stitcher, and all major podcast platforms in the U.S.

Agent Game Comes to Disc on May 24
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Agent Game Comes to Disc on May 24

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION 
A spy thriller about a mission gone wrong set in the world of CIA renditions, Agent Game arrives May 24 on Blu-ray™ + DVD + Digital from Lionsgate. Directed by Grant S. Johnson (Nighthawks), the movie features Academy Award® winner Mel Gibson (1995, Directing, Braveheart), Dermot Mulroney (Hanna, Hard Luck Love Song, The Purge), Annie Ilonzeh (Chicago Fire, Person of Interest, Charlie’s Angels), Jason Isaacs (The OA, Harry Potter franchise, Black Hawk Down), Katie Cassidy (Arrow, Gossip Girl, Melrose Place), Academy Award® nominee Barkhad Abdi (2013, Actor in a Supporting Role, Captain Phillips), Adan Canto (Designated Survivor, Blood & Oil, Mixology) and Rhys Coiro (Entourage, The Walking Dead, A Million Little Things). Agent Game will be available on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital for the suggested retail price of $21.99.  
OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
In this riveting spy thriller

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, no one is safe. Harris (Dermot Mulroney), a CIA interrogator at an Agency black site, finds himself the target of a rendition operation after being scapegoated for an interrogation gone horribly wrong. As the team tasked to bring Harris in begins to question their orders — and each other — Olsen (Mel Gibson), a senior intelligence officer, and his subordinate, Visser (Annie Ilonzeh), raise the stakes. Now, it’s up to Harris and some newfound allies to uncover the truth and turn the tables. 
BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES  

  • Audio Commentary with Director Grant S. Johnson 
  • Subterfuge: Playing the Agent Game 

CAST
Mel Gibson              The Expendables 3

, The Patriot, Braveheart 
Dermot Mulroney    Hanna, Hard Luck Love Song, The Purge
Annie Ilonzeh          Chicago Fire, Person of Interest, Charlie’s Angels
Jason Isaacs            The OA,” Harry Potter franchise, Black Hawk Down 
Katie Cassidy           Arrow, Gossip Girl, Melrose Place 
Barkhad Abdi          Good Time, Captain Phillips, Castle Rock 
Adam Canto             Designated Survivor, Blood & Oil, Mixology
Rhys Coiro               Entourage, The Walking Dead, A Million Little Things

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Year of Production: 2022 
Title Copyright: Agent Game © 2021 Sky Buddy LLC. All Rights Reserved. Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2022 Saban Films LLC. All Rights Reserved. 
Type: Catalog Re-Release 
Rating: Rated R for violence and language 
Genre: Action, Thriller 
Closed-Captioned: N/A 
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH 
Feature Run Time: 90 Minutes 
BD Format: 1080p High Definition 16×9 (1.85:1) Presentation 
BD Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master AudioTM 
DVD Format: 16×9 (1.85:1) Presentation 
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Audio 

Aquaman: King of Atlantis Shifts to June 21 Release
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Aquaman: King of Atlantis Shifts to June 21 Release

BURBANK, CA – Monstrous creatures, devious foes and incredible underwater adventures populate Aquaman: King of Atlantis

, an action-packed mini-series now coming to Digital and DVD (USA $14.99 SRP; Canada $19.99 SRP) as a feature-length animated film on June 21, 2022 courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the mini-series premiered on HBO Max on October 14 to rave reviews from both critics and fans alike. James Wan (Aquaman) served as executive producer through his Atomic Monster production company on this playful reimagining of the iconic DC Super Hero and tells an original tale about Aquaman’s first adventures as King of Atlantis.

Aquaman: King of Atlantis begins with Aquaman starting his first day on the job as king of Atlantis – and he’s got a lot of catching up to do. Luckily, he has his two royal advisors to back him up: the scholar Vulko, and Mera, the water controlling warrior princess. Between dealing with unscrupulous surface dwellers, elder evils from beyond time and his own half-brother who wants to overthrow him, Aquaman must rise to the challenge and prove to his subjects – and to himself – that he’s the true heir to the throne, and holder of the trident!

Cooper Andrews (The Walking Dead

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, Shazam!) leads the cast of Aquaman: King of Atlantis as the title character, and he’s joined by Gillian Jacobs (Community, Invincible, Injustice) as Mera, Thomas Lennon (Supergirl, Reno 911!) as Vulko, Dana Snyder (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Justice League Action) as Ocean Master, Andrew Morgado (Supergirl, Archer) as Mortikov, Kevin Michael Richardson (The Simpsons, American Dad!) as the Royal Announcer, Flula Borg (The Suicide Squad, Pitch Perfect 2) as Mantis, and Kimberly Brooks (DC Super Hero Girls, Batwheels) as Hammer. Also providing voices is Chris Jai Alex, Trevor Devall, Armen Taylor, Kaitlyn Robrock, Regi Davis, Ludi Lin, Robbie Daymond, Erica Lindbeck, Laila Berzins and Erica Ash.

Victor Courtright (ThunderCats Roar!) and Marly Halpern-Graser (Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) served as showrunners and co-executive producers. Courtright and Marly Halpern-Graser conceived the story for the mini-series/film, and Halpern-Graser, Bryan Condon (Right Now Kapow) and Laura Sreebny (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power) co-wrote the teleplay. The mini-series was executive produced by James Wan (Aquaman), Atomic Monster’s Michael Clear (Annabelle Comes Home), Rob Hackett (Swamp Thing), and Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!). Keith Pakiz (ThunderCats Roar) served as director on all three episodes of the mini-series.

The Boys S1-2 Come to Disc Ahead of S3
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The Boys S1-2 Come to Disc Ahead of S3

UPDATED: Sony announced on April 18 that the release date has shifted from May 3 to Mary 31.

SYNOPSES

SEASON 1
The Boys is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes — as popular as celebrities

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, as influential as politicians, and as revered as gods — abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. It’s the powerless against the superpowerful as The Boys embark on a heroic quest to expose the truth about “The Seven” and their formidable Vought backing.

SEASON 2
In a more intense Season 2 of The Boys, Butcher, Hughie, and the team reel from their losses in Season 1. On the run from the law, they struggle to fight back against the superheroes. Meanwhile, Vought, the hero management company, cashes in on the panic over supervillains; and a new hero, Stormfront, shakes up the company and challenges an already unstable Homelander.

SPECIAL FEATURES

SEASON 1 BLU-RAY AND DVD
• Deleted Scenes
• Blooper Reel
SEASON 2 BLU-RAY AND DVD
• Butcher: A Short Film
• Deleted & Extended Scenes
• Blooper Reel

CAST AND CREW
Cast: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capone, Karen Fukuhara, Nathan Mitchell, with Elisabeth Shue, with Colby Minifie, and Aya Cash

Executive Producers: Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, Ori Marmur, Craig Rosenberg, Phil Sgriccia, Rebecca Sonnenshine, Ken F. Levin, Jason Netter
Developed by: Eric Kripke

Based on the Dynamite Entertainment Comic Book Series by Garth Ennis; Illustrated by Darick Robertson

New Look at Forthcoming Constantine: The House of Mystery
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New Look at Forthcoming Constantine: The House of Mystery

Four animated shorts – representing distinctly different art styles and comics eras – comprise DC SHOWCASE – CONSTANTINE: THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY, the third compilation of Warner Bros. Animation’s DC-centric shorts.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, DC SHOWCASE – CONSTANTINE: THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY – which includes the shorts Blue BeetleThe Losers and Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth! – will be available everywhere on Blu-ray and in 4K on Digital starting May 3, 2022.

Everyone has their demons, but Constantine is dealing with an entire house full of them – including his beloved Zatanna – in Constantine: The House of Mystery, the lengthy anchoring animated short of the compilation set. Matt Ryan (Constantine

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, Legends of Tomorrow) reprises his role as the title character, while Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) is back for another turn as Zatanna.

The Question discovers a clue to the mystery at hand as the unlikely duo – along with a few other super pals – attempt to foil the nefarious plans of Doctor Spectro. Matt Lanter (Timeless, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 90210) stars as Blue Beetle alongside David Kaye (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) as The Question, and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Dr. Spectro.

Kamandi goes on the attack while Tuftan and Zuma watch as the adventure unfolds in Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth! Cameron Monghan (Gotham, Shameless, Reign of the Supermen) gives voice to Kamandi, while Tuftan and Zuma are voiced by Steve Blum (Star Wars: Rebels, Cowboy Bebop, Naruto franchise) and Adam Gifford (Masters of the Universe: Revelation), respectively.

Special Agent Fan Long fighting force – left to right, Johnny Cloud, Henry “Mile A Minute” Jones, Gunner, Pooch and Captain Storm – on a secret mission into the jungles of an uncharted island in the South Pacific. Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Book of Boba Fett) leads the cast as the mysterious Fan Long, while other standouts include Dean Winters (John Wick, 30 Rock) as Captain Storm, Dave B. Mitchell (Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms) as Gunner, Eugene Byrd (Bones, Arrow) as Mile-a-Minute Jones, and Martin Sensmeier (Westworld, The Magnificent Seven) as Johnny Cloud.

Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real by Brian Gordon
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Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real by Brian Gordon

If something works, you do it again. Brian Gordon’s Fowl Language comics – originally appearing online starting in 2013, and ramping up after he lost his cartooning-for-Hallmark-Cards job a couple of years later – were a hit online, and then a hit in their first book form, Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting.

So, a year later, Gordon’s book publisher, Andrews McMeel published a second collection of the Fowl Language strips, Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real . (For those counting on their fingers, that would be in 2017.)

It’s not entirely clear if the books reprint all of the strips, or reprint them in order – Andrews McMeel has been doing comic strips in book form for a long time, so I trust they know how to do this right, but this is not a continuity strip in any way. The only real markers of time passing would be the age of the kids, and, well, they’re ducks to begin with. Gordon might well draw them as small hellions for another decade, even as they act like tweens and then teenagers, just because that’s funnier.

So this second book is very much like the first: the kids are mostly in the same life-stage (very young, in their very first school years, the years when they scream and run around for no reason all of the damn time), and the attitude and style are still the same time.

The format has settled down a bit: nearly everything here is that odd Internet main-comic-and-then-a-bonus-panel format, with the main comic on one page and the bonus panel, typically an afterthought or secondary punchline, on the next page. I read this digitally, so each page was on its own, but the book is laid out with the main comic on a left-hand (even-numbered) page and the bonus on the right, so Gordon is not trying to make it a similar “reveal” to how bonus panels work online.

Again, it’s the same kind of jokes and humor as the first book, and the kids are still in the same life-stage: small children are exhausting, demanding, and at least borderline insane, with demands and passions that appear and disappear in a second but are all-encompassing while they last. And the father character has to deal with them, and swears more than is typical for “funny-kid” humor.

It’s durable stuff

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, and Gordon has a good cartoonist’s eye to make it work, both in his precise writing and his expressive drawing. (He did make cartoons for Hallmark for nearly two decades; he might not have done public-facing stuff with his name on it, but he’s been doing humor in public for a long time and has the chops to prove it.)

Like any book of cartoons, you need to both want a book of cartoons (they’re fun and breezy and may seem expensive for the time you spend reading them) and want cartoons about this (if you’re aggressively child-free, this is not for you). But if you do, and if you do, Gordon, again, is good at this and makes a lot of jokes that land really well. I also still think there’s a potential (and maybe actual; I haven’t checked) merchandise empire in his single-image comics – lots of these would be great as posters or T-shirts or similar.

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