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Ready Player One Brings VR to Home Video

Burbank, CA, May 22 – Join an immersive virtual universe when Ready Player One arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. From Warner Bros. Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Village Roadshow Pictures, along with filmmaker Steven Spielberg, comes the action adventure Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse, Mud), Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Bates Motel) and Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One – A Star Wars Story, Bloodline). The ensemble cast also includes Lena Waithe (Master of None), T.J. Miller (Deadpool, Silicon Valley), Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Simon Pegg (the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible movies) and Oscar® winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Dunkirk).

Three-time Oscar® winner Spielberg* directed the film from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline. It is based on the novel by Cline, which has now spent more than 100 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers List, recently climbing to the No. 1 spot, as well as reaching No. 1 on Amazon’s Most Read Fiction chart. Ready Player One was produced by Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Dan Farah. Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris deFaria and Bruce Berman served as executive producers.

Ready Player One will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack for $44.95, Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and DVD for $28.98. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the theatrical version in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc featuring the theatrical version and a Digital version of the movie. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition, a Blu-ray disc with the special features in hi-definition, a DVD with the film in standard definition and a Digital version of the movie.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Ready Player One will feature Dolby VisionTM HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame.

Also, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D discs of Ready Player One will feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

Ready Player One will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.

Fans can also own Ready Player One via purchase from digital retailers beginning July 3.

SYNOPSIS

In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spend their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone—the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the OASIS to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends—known as the High Five—are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS and their world.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

“Ready Player One” 4K Ultra HD 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

  • Game Changer: Cracking the Code
  • Effects for a Brave New World
  • Level Up: Sound for the Future
  • High Score: Endgame
  • Ernie & Tye’s Excellent Adventure
  • The ’80’s: You’re The Inspiration

Ready Player One Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

  • The ’80’s: You’re The Inspiration

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS

On July 3, Ready Player One will be available to own in 4K HDR from select digital retailers including iTunes, Google and Vudu. It will also be available in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices from select digital retailers including Amazon, FandangoNow, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others.

On July 24, Ready Player One will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

BASICS

PRODUCT                                                                                SRP
4K Ultra 3D Blu-Ray Combo Pack                                     $44.95
Blu-ray Combo Pack                                                             $35.99
DVD Amaray (WS)                                                                $28.98
Standard Street Date: July 24
EST Street Date: July 3
DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French
BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French
BD Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese
Running Time: 140 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language

Team Flash vs. the Thinker in The Complete Fourth Season

BURBANK, CA (May 16, 2018) – Just in time for the fifth season premiere of the highest-rated series on The CW, you will be zooming into stores to pick up The Flash: The Complete Fourth Season as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases the Blu-ray and DVD on August 28, 2018. With nearly 4.2 million weekly viewers, The Flash is currently The CW’s highest-rated series.* Fans will be able to catch up on the fourth season as they speed-watch all 23 electrifying episodes, including the epic DC Crossover, new featurettes, the series’ 2017 Comic-Con Panel and more. The Flash: The Complete Fourth Season is priced to own at $49.99 SRP for the DVD and $54.97 SRP for the Blu-ray which includes a Digital Copy. The Flash: The Complete Fourth Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

*Source: Nielsen National TV View, 2017-18 broadcast season to date (09/18/2017 – 03/18/2018), Live + 7 Day ratings; excluding movies, sports, repeats, specials, less than 3 telecasts.

In Season Four, the mission of Barry Allen, aka The Flash (Grant Gustin), is once more to protect Central City from metahuman threats. First, he’ll have to escape the Speed Force. With Barry trapped, the job of protecting Central City falls to his family – Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin); his fiancée, Iris West (Candice Patton); and Wally West/Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale) – and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs – Dr. Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker), Cisco Ramon/Vibe (Carlos Valdes) and brilliant scientist Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh). When a powerful villain threatens to level the city if The Flash doesn’t appear, Cisco risks everything to break Barry out of the Speed Force. But this is only the first move of a life-or-death chess game with Clifford DeVoe aka The Thinker (Neil Sandilands), a mastermind who’s always ten steps ahead of Barry, no matter how fast he’s running.  Shocking surprises come fast and furious in all 23 action-packed adventures featuring The Fastest Man Alive.

“After four seasons on the air, The Flash continues to be the one of the most popular shows on The CW,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “We’re thrilled to offer loyal fans 25 hours of entertainment with the complete fourth season and captivating extra content.”

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, The Flash: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. In addition to featuring all 23 episodes of season four in high-definition as well as a digital copy of the season, the 4-disc Blu-ray will also include all four crossover episodes, a tremendous value and collectors opportunity.

The Flash stars Grant Gustin (Arrow, Glee), Candice Patton (The Game), Danielle Panabaker (Justified, Necessary Roughness), Carlos Valdes (Arrow, Once), Keiynan Lonsdale (Insurgent), with Tom Cavanagh (Ed, The Following), and Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order). Based on the characters from DC, The Flash is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Riverdale), Todd Helbing (Spartacus, Black Sails) and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, Riverdale, Black Lightning, Supergirl).

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2017
  • Inside the Crossover: Crisis on Earth-X
  • The Elongated Man
  • Flash Time on Amunet Black with Katee, Eric and Sterling
  • The Fastest Mind Alive: The Thinker

23 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. “The Flash Reborn”
  2. “Mixed Signals”
  3. “Luck Be A Lady”
  4. “Elongated Journey Into Night”
  5. “Girls Night Out”
  6. “When Harry Met Harry…”
  7. “Therefore I Am”
  8. “Crisis on Earth-X: Part 3”
  9. “Don’t Run”
  10. “The Trial of the Flash”
  11. “The Elongated Knight Rises”
  12. “Honey, I Shrunk Team Flash”
  13. “True Colors”
  14. “Subject 9”
  15. “Enter Flashtime”
  16. “Run, Iris, Run”
  17. “Null and Annoyed”
  18. “Lose Yourself”
  19. “Fury Rogue”
  20. “Therefore She Is”
  21. “Harry and the Harrisons”
  22. “Think Fast”
  23. “We Are The Flash

DIGITAL

The fourth season of The Flash is also currently 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 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.

BASICS

Street Date: August 28, 2018

Order Due Date: July 24, 2018

BD and DVD Presented in 16×9 widescreen format

Running Time: Feature: Approx 1,380 min

Enhanced Content: Approx 138 min

DVD
Price: $49.99 SRP
5 DVD-9s
Audio – English (5.1)
Subtitles – ESDH, Spanish, French

BLU-RAY
Price: $54.97 SRP
4-Disc Elite 4 BD-50s
BD Audio –DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English
BD Subtitles – ESDH, Spanish, French

Win a copy of A Wrinkle in Time Combo Pack

You can enjoy Ana DuVernay adaptation of  A Wrinkle in Time at home starting Tuesday, or you can buy the Blu-ray release on June 5. Better yet, enter our contest and win the Combo pack!

The adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel boasts a stellar cast and stunning visuals that have to be seen. To win the one copy, please tell us about your reaction to this mind-bending tale of children exploring other realities. What did you feel when you first read the novel or saw the film? Post your answers by  11:59 p.m. Friday, June 1. The decision of the ComicMix judges will be final. The contest is open only to residents of North America.

BURBANK, Calif. (April 23, 2018) — Just in time for summer break, Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, from acclaimed director Ava DuVernay, comes home May 29 on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD and Movies Anywhere and June 5 on Blu-ray™, 4K Ultra HD™, DVD and On-Demand. The stunning story of an ordinary girl’s extraordinary adventure through time and space offers exhilarating entertainment and positive messages for the whole family—encouraging self-confidence, inclusion and pushing imagination to the next level.

Families who bring home A Wrinkle in Time will go behind the scenes to meet the talented crafts persons, actors and filmmakers who brought to life every spectacular detail of this triumphant tale. Bonus material includes an extended featurette providing inside access to the A-list cast and crew; insightful audio commentary from director Ava DuVernay and team; deleted scenes; bloopers; and two music videos, including “I Believe” performed by GRAMMY®-nominated music mogul DJ Khaled and featuring GRAMMY®-nominated singer-songwriter Demi Lovato.

More than 50 years after Madeleine L’Engle’s young adult novel A Wrinkle in Time was awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal, the big-screen retelling of this timeless classic takes audiences on a transformative journey, exquisitely illustrated through jaw-dropping visual effects, a stirring musical score and diverse, star-studded cast. Three celestial guides, Mrs. Which (two-time Academy Award® nominee Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Oscar®, Golden Globe® and Emmy® winner Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Emmy nominee Mindy Kaling), come to Earth to share their wisdom and love with struggling eighth-grader Meg Murry (Storm Reid) as she journeys across dimensions with classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) and younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) in search of her father (Chris Pine), a world-renowned physicist who mysteriously disappeared four years ago.

As fantastical as the film’s premise and imagery may seem, A Wrinkle in Time centers on a universal human need that feels particularly relevant and relatable today. “This is a story about belonging,” says DuVernay. “It’s about a girl who just doesn’t feel strong in her mind, body and spirit. But through this epic journey, she finds her strength and learns that the center of the universe starts inside her. It’s about Meg feeling like she belongs in the universe and has a mighty part to play… as do we all.”

Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season sees Star CIty Under Attack

BURBANK, CA (May 16, 2018) –The CW’s longest-running DC series will be coming to a city near you on August 14, 2018 as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray and DVD. Averaging 2.3 million Viewers weekly for each original episode, Arrow is the #3 series on The CW season-to-date amongst Adults 18-34, behind only The Flash and Black Lightning.* The release contains all 23 exhilarating episodes from the sixth season, plus the show’s 2017 Comic-Con Panel, the crossover featurette and much more. Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season is priced to own at $44.98 SRP for the DVD and $49.99 SRP for the Blu-ray which includes a Digital Copy. Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

*Source: Nielsen National TV View, 2017-18 broadcast season to date (09/18/2017 – 03/18/2018), Live + 7 Day ratings; excluding movies, sports, repeats, specials, less than 3 telecasts

Following the devastating explosion on Lian Yu, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returns home to confront a challenge unlike any he’s ever faced: fatherhood. Oliver is determined to embrace this new role while continuing to serve and protect Star City as both Mayor and The Green Arrow. But enemies past and present, including Black Siren (Katie Cassidy), Vigilante (Johann Urb), Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), Cayden James (Michael Emerson) and others, threaten him on all fronts. And bonds within the ranks of Team Arrow—veteran John Diggle (David Ramsey); tech genius Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards); former police captain Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and brilliant inventor Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum), plus newest team members Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) and metahuman Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy)—have become dangerously decayed. The future of Star City is at stake in all 23 of Season Six’s ferociously fast-paced, can’t-miss episodes.

“Just in time for the season seven premiere on The CW, fans can catch up on all 23 gripping episodes from the sixth season,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “Arrow retains a solid fan base who can continue to build their collections with this latest season and enjoy the new behind-the-scenes extras included in the set.”

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. In addition to featuring all 23 episodes of season six in high-definition as well as a digital copy of the season, the 4-disc Blu-ray will also include all four crossover episodes, a tremendous value and collectors opportunity.

Arrow stars Stephen Amell (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows), David Ramsey (Dexter), Willa Holland (The O.C.), Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn), Echo Kellum (Sean Saves The World), Rick Gonzalez (Reaper) and Juliana Harkavy (Dolphin Tale), with Katie Cassidy (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Paul Blackthorne (The River, The Dresden Files) . Based on the characters from DC, Arrow is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Supergirl, Riverdale, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Marc Guggenheim (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Wendy Mericle (Desperate Housewives) and Sarah Schechter (The Flash, Supergirl, Blindspot, Black Lightning).

BLU-RAY & DVD FEATURES

  • The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2017
  • The Split of a Man: Deathstroke
  • Inside the Crossover: Crisis on Earth-X
  • Revenge in Ones and Zeros: The Story of Cayden James

23 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. “Fallout”
  2. “Tribute”
  3. “Next of Kin”
  4. “Reversal”
  5. “Deathstroke Returns”
  6. “Promises Kept”
  7. “Thanksgiving”
  8. “Crisis on Earth-X, Part 2”
  9. “Irreconcilable Differences”
  10. “Divided”
  11. “We Fall”
  12. “All for Nothing”
  13. “The Devil’s Greatest Trick”
  14. “Collision Course”
  15. “Doppelgänger”
  16. “The Thanatos Guild”
  17. “Brothers in Arms”
  18. “Fundamentals”
  19. “The Dragon”
  20. “Shifting Allegiances”
  21. “Docket No. 11-19-41-73”
  22. “The Ties That Bind“
  23. Life Sentence

DIGITAL

The sixth season of Arrow is also currently 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 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.

BASICS
Street Date: August 14, 2018
BD and DVD Presented in 16×9 widescreen format
Running Time: Feature: Approx 1,380 min
Enhanced Content: Approx 116 min

DVD
Price: $44.98 SRP
5 DVD-9s
Audio – English (5.1)
Subtitles – ESDH, Spanish, French

BLU-RAY
Price: $49.99 SRP
4-Disc Elite
BD Audio –DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English
BD Subtitles – ESDH, Spanish, French

Death of Superman Video Details Released

BURBANK, CA (May 16, 2018) – The Man of Steel meets his ultimate match when Doomsday comes to Earth – hell bent on destroying everything and everyone in his path, including the Justice League – in the all-new, action-packed The Death of Superman, part of the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the feature-length animated film arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting July 24, 2018, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD August 7, 2018.

The Death of Superman will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($39.99 SRP), Blu-ray™ Deluxe Gift Set ($39.99 SRP), Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and DVD ($19.98 SRP), as well as on Digital ($19.99 HD, $14.99 SD). The Ultra HD Blu-ray™ Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray™ disc in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray™ disc featuring the film; the Blu-ray™ Deluxe Gift Set includes a collectible Superman figurine; the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack features the film in hi-definition; and the DVD features the movie in standard definition. The Ultra HD Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray Combo Pack™ include a digital version of the film.

The Death of Superman ultimately finds Superman in a fight to the finish when the Man of Steel becomes the only hero who can stand in the way of the monstrous creature Doomsday and his unstoppable rampage of destruction.

As the inaugural film in the DC Universe Movies series, Superman Doomsday told an abridged version of “The Death Of Superman,” DC Comics’ landmark 1992-93 comic phenomenon. But with a runtime of 75 minutes, the film focused on a core, singular storyline. The new, animated The Death of Superman, the first of a two-part film experience that will conclude with Reign of the Supermen in early 2019, restores many of the moments and characters that fans hold dear to their hearts.

The all-star cast is led by Jerry O’Connell (Crossing Jordan, Stand By Me), Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians) and Rainn Wilson (The Office) as the voices of Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively. The potent trio is joined by the DC Universe Movies’ returning voices of the Justice League: Jason O’Mara (The Man in High Castle, Terra Nova) as Batman, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Rent, Daredevil) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Nathan Fillion (Castle, ABC’s upcoming The Rookie) as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, Matt Lanter (Timeless) as Aquaman, and Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Ugly Betty) as The Flash.

The cast also features Nyambi Nyambi (Mike & Molly, The Good Fight) as Martian Manhunter, Rocky Carroll (NCIS) as Silas Stone, Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) as Hank Henshaw, Toks Olagundoye (Castle) as Cat Grant, Max Mittleman (Justice League Action) as Jimmy Olsen, Charles Halford (Constantine) as Bibbo Bibbowski, Jonathan Adams (Last Man Standing) as the Mayor, Paul Eiding (Ben 10: Omniverse) as Pa Kent, Jennifer Hale (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) as Ma Kent, Trevor Devall (Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay) as Dabney Donovan & Bruno Mannheim, Rick Pasqualone (Mafia II & Mafia III video games) as Turpin, Amanda Troop (Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts) as Sawyer, Erica Luttrell (Salvation) as Mercy, and Cress Williams (Black Lightning) as John Henry Irons.

Producer Sam Liu (Gotham by Gaslight, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract) co-directs The Death of Superman with Jake Castorena (Justice League Action) from a script by New York Times best-selling author Peter J. Tomasi (Green Lantern: Emerald Knights). Executive Producers are Sam Register and James Tucker (Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay, Justice League Dark).

“As Superman celebrates his 80th anniversary, we felt the time was right to finally tell the unabridged version of this iconic story,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing. “This is a landmark tale in comics history, and we wanted to bring the entire story – with all the characters and details the fans have clamored for – to animated life.”

The Death of Superman Enhanced Content

Ultra HD Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Deluxe Gift Set, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and Digital
The Death of Superman: The Brawl That Topped Them All (Featurette) – Experience the battle between Superman and Doomsday like never before as creators of the iconic comic and the new film explore the nuances of “The Greatest Fight” with the help of a martial arts expert.
A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie, Reign of the Supermen – An exciting look at the next film in the two-part saga that brings the epic and emotional story of a world without the Man of Steel to life.
From the DC Comics Vault: Legion of Superheroes, “Dark Victory: Part 1” – After eliminating Imperiex, Brainiac 5 takes over his army and plans to take over the universe. With Superman thought to be dead, the other Legionnaires must stop him before it is too late!
From the DC Comics Vault: Legion of Superheroes, “Dark Victory: Part 2” – The Legion faces Imperiex in a final battle, while a traitor lurks in their midst.

DVD
A Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Next Animated Movie, Reign of the Supermen – An exciting look at the next film in the two-part saga that brings the epic and emotional story of a world without the Man of Steel to life.

BASICS
Street Date: August 7, 2018
Run Time:  72 minutes
Languages: English

Pacific Rim Uprising & DeviantArt hold Kaiju Contest

Your last name may not be Pentecost, but you can still help avert the apocalypse. Pacific Rim Uprising will be available via download on June 5 and on Blu-ray/DVD June 19, 2018. To celebrate, we want to see what your Jaeger would look like on your turf and give you prizes for it!

Create your own Jaeger and place it where you live, anyplace in the world you may be–maybe it’s posing in your actual backyard, protecting the town square, or defending a local landmark. There are tons of options! Your Jaeger can be inserted into a photo or you can artistically recreate the location.

First, Second, and Third Place winners will be chosen by Steven S. DeKnight, Director of Pacific Rim Uprising! To see entries to date, go here.

Book-A-Day 2018 #144: Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat!, Vol. 1: Hooked on a Feline by Kate Leth, Brittney L. Williams, and Natasha Allegri

Continuity is a bitch.

For example, how old is Patsy Walker? She first appeared as a teenager in 1944’s Miss America Magazine #2, which would make her an octogenarian in 2018. If we use her in-universe high school graduation date — 1964, after twenty years of high school — she’d still be in her early seventies.

Even the superhero version of Patsy should be in at least middle age, given that she was on the Defenders in the mid-’70s. Admittedly, she’s been dead at least once, which might have provided some rejuvenation — but, still, there’s no reason she should be running around like a crazy Millennial when she’s clearly Greatest Generation.

But Marvel Comics has a powerful interest in keeping Patsy Walker as a property they can exploit, and they know well that the Wednesday Crowd doesn’t buy comics about old ladies. [1] And there are creators with inexplicable fondness for any random character you could name, which of course includes ol’ Patsy.

(And Marvel did realize, not all that long ago, that women are actually half of the human race, and so making more comics by and aimed at women might not be as stupid an idea as they’d insisted for the past four decades. We all know about the backlash to that, because superhero comics fans get really shirty when they get an inkling the world does not revolve around them.)

So, yes, we got a rebirth of Patsy Walker, befuddled Millennial, who seems to have been born no earlier than the first Nirvana album (as opposed to Benny Goodman) and who somehow is still clueless about life despite being a superhero for forty-five real-world years. Hey, it’s a living, right?

The first collection of the recent Patsy comics is Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat!, Vol. 1: Hooked on a Feline . It’s written by Kate Leth, with the first five issues here drawn by Brittney L. Williams and the last drawn in a radically different style by Natasha Allegri.

It apparently launched out of a She-Hulk series that had Patsy as a supporting character, since she’s just been laid off as an investigator as this series starts. (Which is fine, since my understanding is that law firms tend to contract for investigative services as they need them, not keep people on staff as full-time snoops.) And, I guess because “comics for women” these days means “young and free-spirited,” Patsy’s life is in turmoil — she was living in a broom closet and has essentially no possessions.

But the young and free-spirited young female protagonist is also indomitable, and so Patsy is equal to all of her obstacles — quickly finding a new place to live with a new roommate, reconnecting with old friends, and hatching a plan to start a superpowered odd-jobs service. (I frankly find it hard to believe that business services companies and tech start-ups haven’t already leveraged superpowered individuals into multiple billion-dollar businesses, but nothing actually happens in the Marvel Universe unless the star of a comic makes it happen.)

Meanwhile, the comics that Patsy’s now-deceased mother wrote about a fictionalized version of Patsy and her friends — which are now, what? the equivalent of The Babysitter’s Club in this timeline? — are being republished, because Patsy’s old frenemy Hedy owns the rights. This deeply annoys Patsy, not least because she isn’t getting a cent from them.

There’s also some actual super-heroing, mostly against a supervillainess who even the plot admits is a cut-rate Enchantress and whose plot is basically to gather a bunch of lousy brand-new powered villains, have them break stuff, and then profit through the miracle of Underpants Gnomes. It doesn’t work, of course — funny, isn’t it, how naughty dentists always make that one fatal mistake?

Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat  is fun and zippy and youthful and energetic, even if I personally think Ms. Walker should be a lot less youthful than she’s shown here. The art is crisp and very colorful — Allegri has a different, almost chibi-esque style for the last issue here, but the coloring ties it all together and it’s art with a similar feel and bounce to it.

Very little of this had to be about Patsy Walker — any minor superhero with a complicated past would do, and they pretty much all have complicated pasts by this point. But it’s a fun story, and doesn’t take any of the superhero furniture seriously, and actually tries to find a socially useful purpose for people who can do weird things. That’s all good stuff. So, of course, this series only ran seventeen issues.

[1] Although a superhero midlife crisis comic — where the main character isn’t drawn to look late-twenties like everyone else all the time — could be interesting. We get the “why do I spend my time punching guys with panty hose over their heads” Superhero-No-More! plotline regularly, but it’s never tied to the fact that Random Hero X has been doing this for decades like a treadmill.

Patsy Walker could be a good choice for a Lady of a Certain Age comic, with her long history of never being that major and actually being divorced from the Son of Satan — that catty dialogue writes itself. It’s a good question: is she really supposed to still be in her twenties after everything that’s happened to her in seventy-four years of comics?

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

Book-A-Day 2018 #143: The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay

I can’t prove this is the best strategy, but I tend to read a book first and then research it afterward, when I’m trying to figure out what to write here. As you may have noticed, I can be opinionated, so I try to minimize the chance of having strong opinions about something before I read it — oh sure, it never entirely works, since you have to know something about a book to even want to pick it up, but I think it helps.

So when I tell you that I had a suspicion that The Last Dragon was based on something, I mean exactly that: a suspicion, lurking in my head as I read the book and particularly Neil Gaiman’s introduction. The book itself just said that it was a graphic novel, written by Jane Yolen and painted by Rebecca Guay.

Now that I have finished reading it, I can google away. And so I find from Yolen’s site that it was based on something: her 1985 story “Dragonfield.”

Does that change anything? Well…not really. I don’t think I’ve ever read the original story, and it’s not like Last Dragon is set in a wider fantasy universe or anything. This is just one story about one place and one group of people. But if you’re a huge Jane Yolen fan, you might know the story — so think of this as a consumer notice.

Last Dragon is vaguely medieval, in the sense that things seem to have been the same way for a long time. There’s no sign of lords or wars or that kind of thing — it’s the usual fantasy medieval world, with only as many details as the story needs. There’s an archipelago where dragons used to live, long ago before men came. When men came, they killed all the dragons, of course — that’s what men do.

It’s now two hundred years later, and dragons are barely a memory in the town of Meddlesome, far out at the end of those islands. But we the readers know one lost dragon’s egg has emerged and hatched, and that there is one dragon, growing and eating, not too far from Meddlesome.

But in that town, there’s a herbalist who has three daughters — a serious, hardworking one; a dreamy, wool-gathering one; and an inspired, driven one. That third daughter, Tansy, is our heroine, as of course she must be — it’s always the youngest child of a matched set.

Eventually the dragon is found and the threat understood, but it takes a while: meeting the dragon is generally equivalent to being eaten by him, so there are only rumors and fear for a while. Meddlesome knows it must slay the dragon, but those skills are long dead. A few young men set off to find a hero, and come back with someone who looks like a hero.

And, eventually, the heroine becomes part of a plan that bears an odd resemblance to the plot of A Bug’s Life. (But, again, the original story here was from 1985; much earlier.) And the title is both true and, in the end, not true, when there is no longer a “last dragon.”

This is a relatively simple fantasy story, with a dragon that is a destructive force but nothing more. It doesn’t talk, like those of Tolkien or Le Guin, doesn’t hoard treasure, doesn’t have old secrets. It’s just a big, destructive animal that’s difficult to kill — but “difficult” is not the same as “impossible.” There are moral lessons along the way, but fairly benign and positive ones.

Guay brings a painterly feel to this story — the cover doesn’t well represent her work inside, for whatever inexplicable reason. Her work here is generally realistic, but becomes flatter at times, perhaps for that fairy-tale feel. It’s evocative art that grounds the world well — these are real places and people, and a dragon of flesh and blood and fire.

Last Dragon is a perfectly nice little fantasy story: I didn’t love it, but I liked and respected it. It may just be that I have seen far too many stories about dragons for far too many years to be able work up much enthusiasm for this fairly basic version. If you’ve read much less fantasy yardgoods than I have, it shouldn’t bother you.

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

Book-A-Day 2018 #141: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill

Alan Moore is a deeply self-indulgent writer, always wallowing in his particular obsessions and loves. He gained huge fame for the times his obsessions lined up well with those of a wide audience — and, of course, for being really good at making compelling stories out of those obsessions.

But the downside of being a writer driven by obsessions is that they can leave you vulnerable to making a major work hinge on something really trite.

For example, the central premise of the three-part third major “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” story, Century , is essentially that everything in the western world went to hell about 1969. To put that another way: the world is now a fallen place, utterly broken from the paradise it was when Alan Moore was younger than sixteen.

Well, duh. Most of us call that growing up. It takes a Baby Boomer to apply mystic, cosmic significance to his personal adolescence.

(A quick consumer note: I read Century as the three individual volumes — 1910, 1969, and 2009. They’re squarebound, and I had them on a shelf, but I’m not totally confident they would count as “books” to most people. The series has since been published as a conventional single volume, though, and that’s what I’m linking to.)

Now, admittedly, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has been extraordinarily self-indulgent from the beginning, and that was the point. This is a world stuffed full of Moore’s versions of everyone else’s characters and ideas, all done his way, so that everything makes sense in his mind. (I said something similar at greater length recently when looking at the LoEG spinoff Nemo Trilogy . And, ten years ago, I was less positive about the second-and-a-half League story, Black Dossier.) Very few fictional worlds develop wikis by third parties to explicate all of the background details, but LoEG demands them: I doubt anyone but Moore actually knows at first-hand what all of his references are, but just reading the story requires that you catch at least a third of them.

That can be entertaining or tedious. Which it is depends partially on the reader’s fondness for outbreaks of cryptic crossword clues in the middle of a piece of fiction, and partially on the creators’ deftness in weaving those clues in. It also depends, I’d say, substantially on the tone of the story — the first two League stories were Victorian adventure tales, somewhat modernized but still with the pace and energy of a story told for young and rambunctious boys. Black Dossier replaced that with reams of metafiction, and was vastly less successful.

Century comes about half the way back: it’s inherently episodic, since it takes place in three discrete years over the course of a century. But the core of the plot is a relatively straightforward “stop not-Aleister Crowley from midwifing an Antichrist,” which is very Boy’s Own. (It does make Century oddly resemble a Hellboy story a lot of the time, which can be a bug or a feature.)

But Century has a League focused entirely on the menage surrounding Mina Murray, perhaps because characters invented much later than 1910 are still owned by someone else. And, frankly, Alan Quatermain was always boring, and never more so after being rejuvenated as his own son. Orlando is deliberately shallow and trite, and a little of that goes a long way. That leaves Mina to carry the whole story herself, which is too much pressure for a character Moore wants to use as the 3682nd installment of that trite tale, The Immortal With Ennui.

So Century is one part spot the reference, one part rolling ones eyes at Orlando, one part realizing Alan is on panel but so bland one failed to notice him, and about five parts wondering if Hellboy could just appear and punch the evil magician already. (Oh, and one part Threepenny Opera, often staged as if this was an honest-to-God musical, with Jack the Ripper dancing fronting the whores he hasn’t killed yet — have I mentioned yet how deeply self-indulgent the whole thing is yet? It’s deeply self-indulgent.)

Alan Moore has a remarkable mind, full of dazzling ideas and connections that he can sometimes make clear to the rest of us. And Kevin O’Neil is an incredibly simpatico artist for this series, able to draw everything Moore throws at him across the course of a century of history. Century has some remarkable scenes and moments, but they don’t quite cohere into anything like a single plot. If you can accept that for the sake of the ideas and connections — and nearly every fictional character of the 20th century, stuffed in around the edges somewhere — go for it.

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

Book-A-Day 2018 #139: Jonah Hex: Shadows West by Joe R. Landsale, Tim Truman, and Sam Glanzman

Time never stops. And so the once-hot revisionist takes on a neglected character get neglected themselves, and re-emerge in a new format for something like an anniversary.

Or, maybe, y’know, Jonah Hex was always a  quirky character, even in the context of Bronze Age western heroes — already pretty far out on the branch of quirky and unusual — beloved by a small cult rather than particularly popular at any time.

Well, whatever.

If you’re confused, here’s the short version of a typically long and convoluted comics history: Jonah Hex was a scarred Western hero in ’70s DC comics, jumped into a post-apocalyptic future for the ’80s because all the other cool kids were doing it, and has bumped around the fringes of various DC media properties since then, mostly back in Western mode as if Hex never happened. Some of the best stories about him were three mini-series in the ’90s, all from the same creative team: written by Western/horror/thriller/Texas novelist Joe R. Lansdale, penciled by Tim (Scout , Grimjack) Truman, and inked by Sam Glanzman.

And, eventually, those three miniseries were all collected together, under the title of the third miniseries: Jonah Hex: Shadows West .

(It can be surprising to realize that miniseries you missed “a few years ago” and still intend to check out is now just shy of twenty. Again, time never stops.)

The first Lansdale/Truman/Glanzman story was Two-Gun Mojo, which started out the “weird West” direction slowly — Lansdale has an introduction about that story where he points out that he thought Hex already was a character with a lot of supernatural stuff in his stories, but that when he went back to re-read the ’70s comics, that had all been in his head. Nearly everything in this tale of a traveling medicine man and his “zombie” freak show could be explained with comic-book rubber science — it doesn’t have to be supernatural. But it could be.

Two-Gun Mojo also immediately showcases just how much chaos and destruction surround Hex: he manages to escape, in the end, but he tends to be the only one who does.  And it’s got Truman in the full flower of his mature style, full of little lines going everywhere and loving depictions of every millisecond of violence. (It’s a style that can’t be easy or quick, which may be why Truman tones it down by the third story, Shadows West.)

In the middle of the book is the quintessential modern Hex story, Riders of the Worm and Such, the one that also almost put a legal kibosh on the series and its creators. You see, Landsale wrote in a pair of evil, creepy brothers named Johnny and Edgar Autumn, and Truman drew them to somewhat resemble the actual Winter brothers. It may have been meant as a weird homage, but the Winters were not pleased, and sued to have the comics suppressed on defamation grounds.

(Pro tip: if you’re writing a real person into a story, even under a thin veil, make sure you have their approval if you want to make your fictional version cartoonishly evil. Saves a lot of time and aggravation.)

Riders starts from much the same place as Two-Gun — Hex is in a jam, with a bounty on his head, trying to get away — but quickly gets more baroque and clearly supernatural. Lansdale is at his best with the deeply weird, and Truman draws great monsters, which leads to great dialogue and action sequences.

Shadows West, the last of three stories, is shorter than the other two — only three issues rather than five. It also has that less-obsessively detailed Truman art style, which means Hex’s world doesn’t feel quite as real or lived-in. It’s supernatural almost from the beginning, and the plot is a little more simplistic and obvious — mostly an extended chase sequence. It’s still fun, and still the same kind of story as the first two, but there’s just less of it, in a whole lot of ways.

But the whole package is impressive: three big weird Western stories, four hundred pages, with one very distinctive lead character and a wickedly twisted take on the Old West. The world needs more weird comics; buy this one to encourage the world.

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