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Black Widow: Venomous Sees Natasha Become Symbiote Hero

Black Widow: Venomous Sees Natasha Become Symbiote Hero

New York, NY — Last year in the pages of Al Ewing and Torunn Gronbekk’s hit run of Venom, Black Widow became host to a symbiote of her own, and the results have been deadly! This July, dive into this startling development as Natasha fully embraces her new place in the symbiote hivemind in BLACK WIDOW: VENOMOUS #1!

Announced earlier in AIPT’s new Venom Monday column, the one-shot will be written by rising star Erica Schultz, known for her thrilling work on Daredevil: Gang War and Hallows’ Eve, and drawn by superstar artist Luciano Vecchio, currently delivering a breathtaking saga in Resurrection of Magneto. Together, they’ll unleash Natasha Romanoff’s full potential as a symbiote warrior, just ahead of Venom War, an upcoming symbiote event launching later this year that will see every symbiote star choose a side in an explosive conflict between Venom father and son duo, Eddie and Dylan Brock!

THE WIDOW’S BITE IS VENOMOUS! Natasha Romanoff, the infamous spy known as the Black Widow, didn’t go looking to bond with an alien symbiote. But a good spy works with all the tools available to her, and when one of the most powerful and versatile weapons in the universe lands in your lap…you take it. Now she just needs to figure out how to work with a weapon with its own drives and desires. Redefining Widow’s relationship with her symbiote, and setting the stage for her appearance in Venom War!

“Who doesn’t want to write Natasha Romanoff? And with a badass symbiote, it didn’t take much to convince me,” Schultz said. “Luciano Vecchio’s art is so amazing. It’s been so fun to delve into Nat’s spy craft techniques, and you just may learn something new about her.”

Cover by LEIRIX
On Sale 7/31

Imaginary available on Electronic Sell-Through May 7, Disc and Digital May 14

Imaginary available on Electronic Sell-Through May 7, Disc and Digital May 14

SANTA MONICA, CA (April 2, 2024) – Keep your new best friend forever when IMAGINARY arrives on Electronic Sell-Through May 7 and Blu-ray™ (+ DVD and Digital), and DVD from Lionsgate. IMAGINARY stars Chauncey the Bear, Blumhouse’s latest horror icon, now ready to play in your imagination at home! But remember, Chauncey is not imaginary, and not your friend. Alongside Chauncey are his human castmates DeWanda Wise (Jurassic World Dominion), Tom Payne (“The Walking Dead”), Taegen Burns (“The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers”), Pyper Braun (Desperation Road), Betty Buckley (Carrie), Matthew Sato (“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”), and Veronica Falcón (“Ozark”).

When Jessica moves back into her childhood home with her family, her youngest stepdaughter, Alice, finds a stuffed bear named Chauncey. As Alice’s behavior becomes more and more concerning, Jessica intervenes only to realize that Chauncey is much more than the stuffed toy bear she believed him to be.
Lionsgate and Blumhouse present a Tower of Babble production. Written by Jeff Wadlow & Greg Erb & Jason Oremland. Directed by Jeff Wadlow.
On May 7, Imaginary will be available on Electronic Sell-Through for $14.99, and on May 14, Imaginary will also be available on Blu-ray™ (+ DVD and Digital) for $39.99 and on DVD for $29.96.

  • DeWanda Wise                Jurassic World Dominion, The Harder They Fall
  • Tom Payne                      “Prodigal Son,” “The Walking Dead”
  • Taegen Burns                  “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers,” “Blue Ridge”
  • Pyper Braun                     Desperation Road, “Erin & Aaron”
  • Betty Buckley                  Split, The Happening, Carrie
  • Matthew Sato                  “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”
  • And Veronica Falcón       “Ozark,” “Perry Mason,” The Forever Purge


  • Audio Commentary by Producer-Cowriter-Director Jeff Wadlow and Executive Producer-Actress DeWanda Wise
  • Meet Your New Imaginary Friends
    Meet the cast of Imaginary as they discuss the meaning behind their characters and the terrifying creatures of the Never Ever. They also discuss the universal childhood experience of imaginary friends and how that plays such a crucial part in how they worked through this film.
  • Frills and Thrills
    Costume designer Eulyn C. Hufkie uncovers the real-life inspirations behind her designs for the leading ladies of Imaginary. 
  • Crafting the Beasts of Imaginary
    Meet Mark Viniello, Claire Flewin, Richard Landon, and Tim Huizing, the Spectral Motion team and puppeteers behind Chauncey the Bear and Bear Beast. Prepare to be amazed as they guide you through a captivating showcase, unveiling their remarkable creations. Immerse yourself in the behind-the-scenes and feature footage that reveals the magic behind each practical effect and how they breathe life into the world of Imaginary.
  • Bringing Nightmares to Life
    Step into the realm of nightmares as you embark on the Never Ever created by production designer Meghan C. Rogers. We’re guided through the home’s terrifying rooms, each infused with an unsettling sense of dread. We unveil the builds, craftsmanship, and attention to detail that brings Jessica’s nightmares to life, from the writing on the walls to the haunting crawl space entrance into Never Ever. Here you’ll gain insight into the twisted world of Imaginary. 
Iconic Original Karate Kid hits 4K on June 18

Iconic Original Karate Kid hits 4K on June 18

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the coming-of-age classic — from Academy Award®-winning director John G. Avildsen (1976, Rocky) — that will leave you cheering! There is more to karate than fighting. This is the lesson that Daniel (Ralph Macchio), a San Fernando Valley teenager, is about to learn from a most unexpected teacher: Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita in his Academy Award®-nominated performance, Best Supporting Actor, 1984), an elderly handyman who also happens to be a master of the martial arts. His training and these vital lessons will be called into play when an outmatched Daniel faces Johnny (William Zabka), the skilled leader of the Cobra Kai — a vicious gang of karate school bullies — in a no-holds-barred karate tournament for the championship of the Valley.

• Restored from the original camera negative, presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision
• English Dolby Atmos + English 5.1 + English Stereo
• Special Features:
o ALL-NEW: Commentary with the Creators of Cobra Kai Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
o ALL-NEW: Over 30 Minutes of Deleted Scene Dailies – go behind the scenes of this classic favorite like never before with raw footage from a variety of unused scenes!
o 4 Deleted Scenes
o Remembering The Karate Kid Featurette
o Theatrical Trailer
• Feature presented in high definition
• English 5.1
• Special Features:
o Blu-Pop™ Pop-Up Track
o Commentary with Director John G. Avildsen, Writer Robert Mark Kamen and Actors Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita
o “The Way of The Karate Kid” Multi-Part Making-Of Featurette
o “Beyond the Form” Featurette
o “East Meets West: A Composer’s Notebook”
o “Life of Bonsai” Featurette

Directed By: John G. Avildsen
Produced By: Jerry Weintraub
Written By: Robert Mark Kamen
Cast: Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki “Pat” Morita, Elisabeth Shue, Martin Kove, William Zabka

Run Time: Approx. 127 minutes
Rating: PG
4K UHD Feature Picture: 2160p Ultra High Definition, 1.85:1
4K UHD Feature Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible) | English 5.1 DTS-HD MA | English Stereo DTS-HD MA

Fungirl: You Are Revolting by Elizabeth Pich

Fungirl: You Are Revolting by Elizabeth Pich

I’ve gotten out of the habit of reading individual comics issues – because I first got out of the habit of buying them. There were a lot of factors there, but an already-ebbing stream turned to nothing after the 2011 flood destroyed all of my existing floppies. Since then, if it’s not in book form, I basically don’t read it.

But my library app – Hoopla , another silly name because everything Internetty is required to have a silly name – includes individual issues, all mixed in their general “Comics” section in a way that sometimes makes it hard to tell if something is a book or a floppy. (Well, they all have page counts: that’s a big clue. When I forget to check that, it’s entirely on me.) So I now can read floppy comics, at least some of them, about as regularly as I want.

I still haven’t really done it much.

But I did read the big collection of Fungirl  comics by Elizabeth Pich recently, and noticed there were two other newer “books” – both fairly short – and decided to give this one a go on a recent busy Saturday.

Fungirl: You Are Revolting  is 32 pages, so I’m pretty sure it was a floppy comic in its corruptible, mortal state. It calls itself a “one-shot,” which is mostly a floppy-comics term. (Books can be in a series, but rarely see the need to announce that they’re not.) And it, like the first book and all things Fungirl, is resolutely not for younger or more impressionable readers.

There’s one story here, following from the end of the big book. Becky, Fungirl’s roommate, is off at med school in another town, so Fungirl is looking for someone to rent Becky’s old room. Quirkily, Peter (Becky’s boyfriend) is both lampshaded as “not living here” – so he’s not going to take over the sublet – and also there all the time, including first thing in the morning in his sleeping clothes, looking like he is living there. But that’s the premise, so no complaints.

A potential roommate arrives, after a portentous dream of Fungirl’s. She’s dressed all in pink, Fungirl immediately lusts for her, she takes the room, and she never gives her name. The plot from there is mostly sex and jealousy: Peter is trying to quell his worries about Becky, away in a distant city with people who are not him, and Fungirl starts screwing New Girl, who is crazy, or has a big secret, or something like that.

It all escalates quickly, and New Girl is not what she seems. I’m not sure what she is – after the dream opening, the whole thing might even be a dream – but she is something, and Fungirl has to Stop Her. I won’t spoil the way Fungirl does stop her, but it’s both very on-brand and very adult.

Fungirl is still wild and wacky, her stories boundary-pushing and frantic. I’m glad to see there’s one more book: this is like nothing else and very funny in its demented, deeply female-centric way.

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

Luc Besson’s Influential La Femme Nikita gets 4K Steelbook in June

Luc Besson’s Influential La Femme Nikita gets 4K Steelbook in June

From director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) comes the must-see thriller about a vicious street punk turned sexy, sophisticated, and lethally dangerous assassin. Starring Anne Parillaud, Jeanne Moreau, and Jean Reno, La Femme Nikita is “slick, stylish, and tremendously entertaining” (The New York Times)! Rescued from death row by a top-secret agency, Nikita (Anne Parillaud) is slowly transformed from a cop-killing junkie into a cold-blooded bombshell with a license to kill. But when she begins the deadliest mission of her career, only to fall for a man who knows nothing of her true identity, Nikita discovers that in the dark and ruthless world of espionage, the greatest casualty of all…is true love.

• Restored from the original camera negative and presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision
• French & English 5.1 + French 2-Channel Surround
This 4K UHD release does not include a Blu-ray™

Directed By: Luc Besson
A Gaumont-Gaumont Production-Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica France-Italy Co-Production
Original Screenplay By: Luc Besson
Cast: Anne Parillaud, Jean Hugues Anglade, Tcheky Karyo

Run Time: Approx. 117 minutes
Rating: R
4K UHD Feature Picture: 2160p Ultra High Definition, 2.35:1
4K UHD Feature Audio: French, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Ultimate Gewn Stacy Arrives in April’s Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Gewn Stacy Arrives in April’s Ultimate Spider-Man

New York, NY — Since launching in January, Jonathan Hickman and Marco Checchetto’s ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN has become the ULTIMATE hit! Each issue has demanded multiple printings as daring storytelling shifts to the Spider-Man mythos hook longtime comic readers and new fans alike! The series has introduced devoted family man Peter Parker, his wife Mary Jane Watson-Parker, their two precocious kids, and Peter’s beloved Uncle Ben. On sale in April, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #4 will debut another member of the iconic Spidey family—GWEN STACY!

In this exciting new universe, Gwen never met a tragic fate. Instead, she married Harry Osborn and now co-runs Oscorp Industries. Learn more about this ambitious power couple when the Parkers and Osborns go on a double date! Amidst cocktails, small talk is quickly dispersed as this fearless foursome discuss exposing the dark corruption that shaped their world. Little do they all know that the two men at the table have already taken matters into their own hands by suiting up as the vigilantes Spider-Man and Green Goblin!

See the new Ultimate Universe’s take on Marvel’s “It Girl” on a new ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #4 variant cover by Mateus Manhanini as well as never-before-seen interior artwork from guest artist David Messina. Messina will bring his acclaimed style to the title for two issues before series artist Checchetto returns in June’s ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #6.

REVIEW: Wednesday: The Complete First Season

REVIEW: Wednesday: The Complete First Season

“Wednesday’s child is full of woe.”

When Charles Addams was helping turn his amusing gothic New Yorker cartoons into a television series, the little girl needed a name, and he used a line from an old-time children’s poem. He’d been at the drawing board with these characters since 1938, although Gomez and Morticia’s daughter didn’t arrive until 1944. At different times, she was older or younger than her sibling, Pugsley.

Ever since her arrival, Wednesday has been a fixture, her pale skin, pig-tailed black hair, and solemn expression imprinted on future generations of Goth girls. From Lisa Loring to Christina Ricci, the live-action look has endured as the character has aged from her purported six years old in the original series pilot to 18 in the 2010 Broadway musical adaptation.

Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, no strangers to teenage angst after a decade-plus at Smallville, settled on a 15-16-year-old incarnation for their delightful Netflix series Wednesday. Removing her from home, she is sent to attend school at Nevermore Academy, where she intends on honing her detective skills but makes friends, finds young love, and far more than she bargained for in eight captivating episodes.

Tim Burton’s macabre touch is seen throughout, and he finally gets a chance to work on the property since he was first circling the 1991 film adaptation. The off-kilter characters and set decoration all feature his hallmark touches, making the show visually compelling.

At first, she doesn’t want to make friends, fall in love, or interact with anyone, but as she gets to know her roommate, Enid (Emma Myers), she finds herself drawn into the lives of others. Then, when someone dies, she begins to investigate, bringing her in contact with the Vermont locals who have an uneasy relationship with the school.

This is Ortega’s show, and she is front and center, called up to be brilliant at almost everything, mental or physical. Today, mention the show, and you immediately think of her memorable dance sequence, which apparently exhausted the actors. She shines here, enlivening every scene she is in, and communicates so much through her deadpan expression.

She’s ably surrounded by a fine supporting cast, including Gwendoline Christie as Larissa Weems, the principal, who was once a roommate with Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones, when they attended Nevermore; Ricci as Marilyn Thornhill, the botany teacher/dorm mother to Wednesday and Enid; Joy Sunday as Bianca Barclay, a siren; and Percy Hynes White as Xavier Thorpe, an art student. Wednesday is also accompanied by Thing (Victor Dorobantu), the disembodied hand that she has grown up with, maybe the only being she truly cares about.

The series has been renewed for a second season, and a spinoff focusing on Uncle Fester (Fred Armisen) was recently announced. This single-disc Blu-ray is a great way to see the series, with a sharp 1080p digital transfer and fine DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track. Sadly, no Special Features were included.

Doom Patrol’s Final Season Comes to Disc in April

Doom Patrol’s Final Season Comes to Disc in April

BURBANK, CA (March 21, 2024) — Season 4: DC’s unlikeliest group of heroes, the Doom Patrol, are ready to save the world… kind of. After suffering horrific accidents that gave them superhuman abilities, Cliff/Robotman (Brendan Fraser), Larry/Negative Man (Matt Bomer), Rita/Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby), Jane/Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), and Vic/Cyborg (Joivan Wade) were each left scarred, disfigured, and ostracized – until mad scientist Dr. Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton) brings the outcasts together to treat and protect them. Gritty and irreverent, Doom Patrol follows this part support group, part superhero team as they take on evil, otherworldly forces determined to destroy humankind – even if it wants nothing to do with them.

Featuring all 12 episodes from the fourth season, Doom Patrol: The Complete Fourth Season is priced to own for $29.00 SRP (BD) / $19.99 SRP (DVD).

Also available on April 9, is Doom Patrol: The Complete Series on Blu-ray and DVD, which includes all four seasons of the series in one set for $84.99 / $59.99 SRP.

The series is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television with Jeremy Carver, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Chris Dingess and Tamara Becher-Wilkinson serving as executive producers. The series is based on characters created for DC by Arnold Drake, Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani.

Season Four Episodes:

  1. Doom Patrol
  2. Butt Patrol
  3. Nostalgia Patrol
  4. Casey Patrol
  5. Youth Patrol
  6. Hope Patrol
  7. Orqwith Patrol
  8. Fame Patrol
  9. Immortimas Patrol
  10. Tomb Patrol
  11. Portal Patrol
  12. Done Patrol
Daredevil Celebrates 60 Fearless Years in April

Daredevil Celebrates 60 Fearless Years in April

New York, NY— March 22, 2024 — In April 1964, fans witnessed the birth of a new superhero icon in Stan Lee and Bill Everett’s Daredevil #1, and in the six decades since the Man Without Fear has headlined some of the most acclaimed runs in Marvel Comics history. This April, celebrate the character’s incredible legacy with DAREDEVIL #8. In addition to the main story continuing Saladin Ahmed and Aaron Kuder’s hit run, the special super-sized issue will be packed with guest talent, including legendary creators from Daredevil’s history!

Ahmed and Kuder’s DAREDEVIL finds Matt balancing his new duties as a Catholic Priest with an ongoing war against mysterious demonic entities targeting those close to him. After discovering that the demons are the living embodiment of his own seven deadly sins, Matt and Elektra are ready to go on the offensive. In DAREDEVIL #8, the duo finally confronts the unsettling truth of the mysterious new gang terrorizing Hell’s Kitchen. In the midst of that chaos, an old foe with the blood of Matt’s closest allies on his hands returns and ushers in the next phase of what’s shaping up to be one of the most thought-provoking and pulse-pounding Daredevil eras ever!

Fans can also look forward to these other stories:

  • Ahmed teams up with rising star Tommaso Bianchi (Alien: Black, White & Blood) showcase why Elektra is truly a woman without fear as she single-handedly goes up against a whole army of the Heat on a daring rescue mission! 
  • Return to the 80s with visionary Daredevil scribe Ann Nocenti and acclaimed Marvel artist Stefano Rafaelle as they present a vintage flashback adventure of Daredevil taking down Turk and his fellow mobsters within the confines of a steamy bath house.
  • Daredevil: Gang War writer Erica Schultz and Marvel’s Stormbreaker artist Jan Bazaldua spotlight Elektra’s current role as mentor to Alice, her young ward from Chip Zdarsky’s Eisner-nominated run!
  • Women of Marvel writer Elsa Sjunnerson and artist Erica Koda show how Matt Murdock inspires generations—both in and out of costume!
  • Daredevil: Black Armor writer D.G. Chichester and superstar artist Ken Lashley bring you a never-before-told showdown between Daredevil and the Punisher set during Chichester’s landmark ‘90s run.
  • And Ty Templeton delivers more of his iconic Daily Bugle funnies!
Usagi Yojimbo, Book 1: The Ronin by Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo, Book 1: The Ronin by Stan Sakai

We all have holes in our reading, some more surprising than others. I started reading “comics” seriously about 1986, when I went off to college to a town (Poughkeepsie) with a good shop (Iron Vic’s) and bought mostly the weirdest stuff I could find on the racks at that time. There’s a lot that I’ve read since then, sometimes by following the same creators and ideas, sometimes by deliberately paying attention to new things (manga! YA! Eurocomics!). But no one can read everything – no one wants to read everything, to begin with, and it’s not physically possible now, if it ever was.

So I’ve known who Stan Saki was almost since that first trip to a comics shop in 1986 – maybe even earlier, since my kid brother might have already been reading Groo before then – but I’ve never sought out his central series Usagi Yojimbo, which started in anthologies (the old-fashioned kind, single issues published on a semi-regular schedule) in the mid-80s. As I’m writing this, I looked up the details , discovering that there are thirty-eight Usagi collections to date – well, I don’t know if I’ll make it to the end, but let’s see if I can read at least a few of them.

To make clearer my ignorance: I think the only Sakai book I’ve read – I have read his stuff in anthologies and collections, and works he contributed to but doesn’t own, to be clear – was The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy , a pre-Usagi short series of stories I saw a decade ago.

So this is a thing I could have paid attention to, and maybe should, but didn’t. And, nearly forty years later, I finally got to the beginning: Usagi Yojimbo, Book 1: The Ronin .

It collects eleven stories, originally published in random single issues, mostly the anthologies Albedo and Critters – all of the scattered Usagi stories from before the main series began in 1987. (This book was also published in 1987, back in the era when trade paperbacks were random and occasional rather than the expected next step of every series. That’s a sign of the initial interest or importance of Usagi, I think.)

The stories are episodic, but the world and backstory is clear from the beginning – it’s an anthropomorphic version of late Edo-era Japan, with different clans and groups drawn as different animals. Our hero is Miyamoto Usagi, a rabbit samurai formerly in the service of an (I think unnamed) lord who was betrayed by one of his generals at the battle of Adachigahara and died there. Usagi now wanders the country, working as a bodyguard (Yojimbo). I gather Lord Hikiji, the evil feudal leader who betrayed Usagi’s master, is the major background antagonist of the series, and he shows up here, both in person and through his minions.

So this book is a mixture of early world-building – the very first story tells us the story of Adachigahara in flashback – and random wanderings, which I gather stays the pattern of the series throughout, with longer stories that seem to fall into both categories (“mythology” and “monster of the week,” to use not-quite-accurate borrowed terms).

The art is crisp and clear from the beginning, though some angles (especially Usagi looking up) and some of the smaller panels of battle scenes are not as clear as I might like – these are shorter stories, that likely had page limits, and Sakai was trying to tell expansive stories from the beginning. 

I often have a quizzical reaction to anthropomorphic stories – wondering why that style was chosen, and if there are world-building hints buried in the choice of creatures – but this seems to be the old, traditional style of anthropomorphism: the creator’s style aims this way, he’s leaning into it, and that’s all it means. The style is slightly disjoint from the bloody, mostly serious and mostly historical matter, but that doesn’t seem to be meant as a source of irony: it’s just the way Sakai tells stories.

These are good stories, though they seem somewhat derivative (of samurai movies, mostly) at this point in the series’ history. That’s not a fatal flaw – lots of things are derivative, maybe most things – but it is pretty central. On the other hand, going in any reader knows this is a long-running comic about a rabbit samurai, so all of the potential deal-breakers are right up front. The good news is that it was strong and assured from the first page: if you are interested in rabbit-samurai stories, you can start with Book 1 very easily.

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