Review: Green Lantern New Guardians #6

Credits: DC Comics

Review: Green Lantern New Guardians #6

After five issues, the New Guardians are finally ready to fight their first threat as a team. Unfortunately the members are scattered across a ship the size of a solar system as their enemy descends upon them. Can Kyle pull them all together?

Well…yes and no.

First off, issue #6 is pure action. If you are looking for witty banter between teammates while building the team as a whole, then this is not the issue for you. It’s a shame because writer Tony Bedard has used the first five issues to give each member their own voice and setup the team dynamic to great success. However, besides the interaction between Kyle and Glomulus (who I am loving with each issue) the story does not feel like a “team” book.

The big bad, Invictus, has finally arrived and with the team scattered he begins taking each member down one at a time. Now Invictus, in this issue at least, is a one-note “villain”. He is interesting and strong enough to be a formidable baddie in this book, but the small problem is with the titular team.

Bedard uses this issue to showcase Invictus, but what of the New Guardians? Besides Arkillo, none of the others get a time to shine. There is little interaction between the members, which is replaced by Invictus preaching about how he is the good guy and the ring slingers are not.

Everything else about the book was good as Bedard’s character voices are strong. They are consistent with the earlier issues and the action was choreographed well. This is helped by Tyler Kirkham’s art which gives a vastness to the fights. The larger panels are really detailed and show the attacks of Invictus to be overwhelming. The colors are vibrant compared to the dark backgrounds of the battlefield which helps this action-filled book.

Ultimately, issue #6 was a good read. What kept it from being great was the lack of interactions between the members, and in a team book is a major flaw. Perhaps when the arc is over the issue will read better, but as it stands it was missing something.

Continue reading this title as seeds are planted in this issue, like Larfleeze’s connection to Invictus and the return of a team member, which have me awaiting next month’s edition. Despite this setback, Green Lantern New Guardians is still a great team book. Hopefully issue #7 will get to being just that.

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‘The Hunger Games’ stars dazzle on Oscars night

‘The Hunger Games’ stars dazzle on Oscars night

They may not have been among the winners or losers at this year’s Academy Awards, but some stars of The Hunger Games movie still dazzled on Oscar night.

Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games) and Liam Hemsworth (Gale in The Hunger Games movie) both appeared at the Vanity Fair party following last night’s awards ceremony.

Banks wore a green and navy blue polka dot dress, with a feathered bottom. Hemsoworth appeared with girlfriend Miley Cyrus.

Last year, Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence was a Best Actress nominee for her performance in Winter’s Bone. She helped announce this year’s nominees last month.

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Review: The Walking Dead episode 2.10, ’18 Miles Out’

Credits: AMCTV.com

Review: The Walking Dead episode 2.10, ’18 Miles Out’

On tonight’s The Walking Dead, “18 Miles Out”, the survivors dealt with philosophical questions of life and death. When is it ethically permissable to kill the living? And when is taking one’s own life an act of freedom and courage instead of cowardace and weakness? Needless to say, it was a pretty heavy episode. Read on for a run-down of the highs and lows of “18 Miles Out.”

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS. ALL OF THEM.

When the curtain rises on The Walking Dead the odds are against them and the situation is grim. With little preamble, we are thrust into the middle of a desperate fight for survival between Rick, Shane, Randall, and a whole passle of walkers. From there we back up a bit to figure out how our erstwhile heroes found themselves in such a pickle.

More than any other episode of The Walking Dead, “18 Miles Out” is definitely divided along gender lines. It is also one of the more cerebral episodes of the series, dealing directly with questions of life and death, murder and suicide. It pulls no metaphorical punches, and it certainly doesn’t leave a lot of room for interpretation.

At the farm, young Beth has finally left the catatonic state she entered when the zombie who used to be her mother was stuck through the head with a scythe. But she’s not sure she wants to live. Lori, Maggie, and Andrea all take different approaches to Beth’s suicidal ideation.

Lori, pragmatic maternal unit that she is, simply stops Beth from slitting her wrists and tells her that it’s worth hanging on. Sister Maggie does a little more than that, entering a shouting match with her little sister to beat a will to live into her head.

Enter Andrea, who not too long ago was having suicidal thoughts of her own. Andrea, who realizes that in a world gone to hell, where none of them will ever see the future they wanted for themselves, knows that it’s not important whether Beth lives or dies. To Andrea, what’s important is that Beth has the choice: To go on living in a world of horror and death, or to make it all stop.

In the end, Andrea’s right, as she leaves Beth an opening to attempt suicide. In the attempt, Beth realizes she doesn’t really want to die. It doesn’t make Andrea any more popular with Maggie and Lori, though.

And speaking of Lori: Can we have a moment to talk about internalized misogyny? In this episode more than any other, Lori speaks her mind about what she thinks a woman’s place is in the zombie apocalypse when she berates Andrea for taking the role of camp sharp-shooter instead of washing laundry like the rest of the women. What. The. Brains. This scene left me dumbfounded and shocked more than, y’know… all those scenes with extreme zombie mayhem.

Let us move on to the extreme zombie mayhem.

We all knew a confrontation was coming between Rick and Shane. The two former partners have a lot of baggage between them. At the end of the day, Rick is clearly the better man. But in the zombie apocalypse… does that matter? And when they do finally decide to fight––about Lori, about the baby, about Otis’s death, about Shane’s brutal tactics for survival––it’s in the worst place possible.

When they try to drop off Randall (aka the Wrong Place, Wrong Time Kid) eighteen miles or so from the farm, he lets on that he knew Maggie from school, and could probably find his way back to the farm if he tried. Well, we can’t have that! And thus enters our second philosophical question of the episode: Do they kill Randall to protect the rest of the group, or do they leave him to fend for himself?

The ensuing fight leads to the release of a flood of hungry walkers. Our Zombie Kill of the Week goes to Rick, who, while lying under the corpses of two walkers, shoots a third through the open mouth of the first. Any who doubt Rick’s bad-assery may see me after class.

And it is in this crisis that Rick proves he is a better man than Shane. As Shane is pinned down in a bus, he watches Rick and Randall run away. The scene is comparable to when Shane left Otis to save himself in a similar situation. But instead of escaping with his life, Rick returns in the car, distracting the zombies and rescuing Shane in the nick of time… regardless of the fact that Shane’s death probably would’ve saved a lot of trouble for everyone.

While Greg Nicotero and the special effects team definitely deserve props for the brilliant zombies in tonight’s episode (especially Rick’s triple kill), there was one image that stuck out even more than the grisly pack of zombies and the varying carnage. As the men are driving eighteen miles out, Shane spots a zombie shuffling slowly through a field of high grass. When they make their return to the farm, the same zombie is still shambling along. It hasn’t changed course. It hasn’t slowed down. It just keeps on going on.

Just like us all.

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Buffy, Dark Shadows, True Blood, Scooby ladies are named Hottest Women in Horror

Credits: HBO.com

Buffy, Dark Shadows, True Blood, Scooby ladies are named Hottest Women in Horror

Complex, Pop Culture website just listed their 25 Hottest Women in Horror and the list includes several vampire or vampire slayers from True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dark Shadows, and the animated Scooby Doo.

Number 20 on the list is Daphne Blake from Scaooby Doo. The sexy animated crime solver came across vampires several times throughout her many years and transitions, the best being Scooby Doo and the Legend of the Vampire.

Next at number 19 is Sarah Michelle Gellar who played Buffy Summers in both Buffy the Vampire Layer and Angel. She started young with her fighting vampires while in high school and continued until the fall of the hellmouth in the final episode. She still ives though through the magic of her comic book series.

Number 15 brings us to Anna Paquin, the telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie lives in Bon Temos, LA and was thrown into the supernatural world when she met Vampire Bill the first first episode of HBO’s vampire hit, True Blood.

Number nine brings us back to Buffy and the newt and sometimes better vampire slayer, Faith, played by Eliza Dusku. Faith shook Buffy’s world up and at times shook it on the spin off show, Angel.

The second True Blood hottie is a new addition but she has taken the show by storm, Janina Gavankar, plays the hot shape shifter, Luna. Luna has become the love interest of Sam this season and has helped him embrace his wild side.

At number three is the classic beauty, Nancy Barnett is here and not fogotten. The beautiful actress played Carolyn on Dark Shadows. She was the youth of the show and helped bring in young viewers. Her character, Carolyn will be played by Chloe Mertz in the new film by Tim Burton.

The top vampire sexy horror actress hits the number two spot, True Blood’s Jessica, the baby vamp claims that spot. Deborah Ann Woll, plays Jessica, the red headed hottie who whas sired by Bill Compton has the second spot of the horrors hotties. She definitely has spunk and has shaken both Bill, Hoyt’s and Jason’s world these past four seasons.

So, who do you think should have been added to this list. Please comment below.

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Batwing part 2: Solidifying his presence

Credits: Jay Fabok, DC Comics

Batwing part 2: The story so far

As evidenced in Part 1, BATWING is a title with great potential, however, it is one of the lowest selling Batman-related books and the last remaining DC Comics “New 52” solo series starring a black character, after the cancellations of STATIC SHOCK and MR. TERRIFIC. It is also the only DCU book set in Africa, giving it a unique perspective no other title can replicate. While the title is not in immediate danger of cancellation, there are things that can be done to help ensure its long term stability. Efforts by DC Comics, retailers and fans can all be beneficial.
Obviously, the efforts with the widest possible impact are those by DC Comics itself. Writer Judd Winick is already doing an excellent job of putting out intriguing characters and story. More people just need to give the book a chance. DC has already taken one positive step, bringing in Marcus To as the series’ new penciller with BATWING #9. The series and lead character will also get many more eyes on them as a participant in the first “New 52” Batman line crossover “The Night of Owls,” starting, again, with #9 in May.
Winick has also, seemingly, set the stage for one other element that would appeal to DC Universe fans in general: The Kingdom. It was rumored during James Robinson’s JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA run that he was planning to introduce an African version of the team starring Congorilla and the alien Starman, Mikaal Tomas. The changes to the DCU brought on by the “Flashpoint” event prevented that from coming to fruition. However, Winick has created his own equivalent to the JLA with the African “Big 7” team, The Kingdom. Inactive for years, The Kingdom returned to the spotlight when the murderous Massacre began hunting down the founding members. Rebuilding the team with established Africa-centric DCU characters would attract fans to the title, particularly since many of these characters have yet to appear in the “New 52” universe. Potential membership in a new Kingdom team would, obviously, include Batwing, but also Vixen, a longtime JLA member, B’Wana Beast, King Nnamdi, ruler of Gorilla City, and the aforementioned Congorilla. Incorporating Gorilla City into BATWING, even ancillarily, opens up the title to appearances by the classic villain Gorilla Grodd and The Flash.
Another possible DC effort would be beneficial in more ways than one. BATWING often shows the plight of the African people, dealing with poverty, corruption, disease and war on an ongoing basis. This coincides with a new charitable endeavor by DC Entertainment, titled “We Can Be Heroes.” DC has partnered with aid organizations Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps to bring relief to the hunger crisis affecting The Horn of Africa. DC has created an awareness campaign, starring members of the JLA, will match consumer donations up to $1 million and offers select products for sale, proceeds of which go directing to helping this impoverished part of the globe. Batwing, as the Batman of Africa, would also be a natural tie-in to this endeavor. A special issue of BATWING, addressing the Horn of Africa crisis with proceeds going to the relief effort, would not only bring attention to Batwing, but also raise funds to help those in need. And since the situation fits so organically within the setting of the BATWING series, it would not come across as a forced effort. Fans and retailers can help by taking to various social media platforms and expressing their interest in such an issue.
Which brings us to what the rest of us can do to stabilize this book. Social media is an excellent tool for spreading the word. One can let friends, family and customers know about BATWING through postings on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Twitter, especially, can reach a wide audience using hashtags like #Batwing, #DCNew52, #comics and #WeCanBeHeroes.
Pre-ordering is also an important component to any title’s success. Readers should be sure BATWING is on their pull lists with their comic book store. Additionally, the upcoming first BATWING trade paperback, due in stores July 28th, offers an excellent opportunity for new fans to catch up on the series. DC, however, will cancel a TPB release if enough copies are not pre-ordered. Be sure to reserve your copy now with your retailer or pre-order online at sites like Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
One other effective grassroots concept is that of the “Comic Swap.” One can find out more at the linked article, but, basically, fans of BATWING will offer to buy and read an issue of another title, if that person agrees to do the same with a BATWING issue. Afterward, both participants review their respective issues and post it either at their comic shop or online. Hopefully, they enjoy the series enough to continue reading it.
A combination of the above options would help ensure the long term publication of BATWING. A series offering a complex character in a setting unique to the rest of the DC Universe comics. BATWING can be purchased at Philadelphia area comic book stores. To find a shop near you go to www.comicshoplocator.com.

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Batwing part 1: The story so far

Credits: Ben Oliver, DC Comics

Batwing part 1: The story so far

Batwing may be a new character, but writer Judd Winick has already instilled David Zavimbe with a deep histroy in a mere six issues of the DC Comics New 52 series, BATWING. With only a short appearance in BATMAN, INCORPORATED #5 under his belt prior to the series’ launch, Batwing was a blank slate for Winick and, series artist, Ben Oliver. As the title prepares to join up with the rest of the Batman-related titles for the “Night of Owls” crossover event, BATWING brings plenty to the table. For those getting their first taste of Batwing during his debut adventure in Gotham City, here’s a full profile of the character and series.
David Zavimbe may be Batman, Inc.’s “Batman of Africa,” but he’s not a mere copy of the original set in a new locale. Zavimbe is a multilayered character and, unlike many of the cookie cutter heroes DC Comics has pushed the last several years, he is a man with blood on his hands. Zavimbe learned the meaning of justice in a world completely void of it. His passion for the virtue comes not from external forces, but a personal quest for redemption. When his parents died of A.I.D.S. complications, David and his brother, Isaac, were kidnapped from an orphanage and forced to be child soldiers in the “Army of the Dawn.” Led by the warlord, General Ayo Keita, the Zavimbe brothers quickly rose through the ranks of the army, earning themselves the nickname “The Dragonflies” for their ability to quickly and effectively dispose of Keita’s enemies. When The Dragonflies refused to ruthlessly kill women and children, they rebeled against the general and Isaac was seemingly killed in the resulting exchange.
David is able to escape, however, and after exacting revenge for his brother’s death, he ends up at a refuge for former child soldiers. The Children’s Harbor is headed up by Matu and David stayed there throughout his remaining childhood. Once an adult, David hoped to combat his past by eliminating the injustices plaguing the Democratic Republic of Congo’s city of Tinasha by joining its police force. Unfortunately, David quickly learned that the corruption permeated even the police; prompting him to go out on his own to protect the people of Africa. Shortly thereafter, during a fight with the drug and weapons dealing Blood Tiger’s men, David came under the attention of Batman, who gave David a hi-tech suit of armor and inaugurated him into Batman, Inc. as the Batman of Africa.
While readers still haven’t seen the full capabilities of Batwing’s armor, it is equipped with wings and a jet pack for flight, including an add-on for traveling longer distances, which also hampers David’s access to weapons systems. Those weapons include tasers, a flame thrower, a grappling hook and some form of puddy projectile. Batwing’s known resources are rounded out by The Haven, Batwing’s secret hi-tech base of operations. Oliver’s minimalist approach to storytelling, while excellent at conveying emotion and mostly effective at action, lacks in wide panel shots, preventing readers from getting an overall view of the state of Tinasha, as well as little more insight into The Haven other than a few large computer screens, a hospital bed and some blank walls. It fails to give readers a real sense of what the headquarters has to offer. The same can be said for Batwing’s armor, lacking any deep detail, however, this allows for easy upgrading of the armor as time goes on. The first instance of which is likely to occur when Marcus To takes over regular art duty with May’s #9, the first “Night of the Owls” tie-in issue.
And while all this history is being revealed, Batwing, must break from aiding Batman’s pursuit of Leviathan (as glimpsed in BATMAN, INC. #5), to stop a murderous monster known as Massacre. This machete wielding psycho is bent on killing the original members of the former African superhero team, The Kingdom. A team remembered by the general populace as heroes that liberated the country, Massacre is obsessed with making The Kingdom answer for crimes he feels they committed. Massacre has already successfully killed 3 members of the team, Earth Strike, Thunder Fall and Dawnfire, as well as an entire police precinct for daring to investigate him, at Zavimbe’s insistence. David also suffered a serious knife wound to the chest during the attack. The villain has also brought down The Kingdom’s former base of operations, The Citadel, during its opening as a Kingdom museum. Batwing was able to save the former armored hero, Steelback, and the team’s support man, Josiah Kone. The former revealed two of the 3 remaining Kingdom members, Razorwire and Staff, have relocated to Gotham City. BATWING #6 ends with Batwing hoping to reach them before Massacre, aided by the Batman “home team” of Batman, Nightwing and Robin. The last original Kingdom member, Deity, is rumored to be living out in the wild. Her current status is unknown.
BATWING’s supporting cast starts small. Assisted at times, of course, by Batman; Batwing’s main day-to-day assistance comes from his longtime friend and mentor, Matu. Staying with David into adulthood, Matu currently aids Batwing in his pursuit of justice and redemption. Working out of The Haven, Matu offers support during missions and frequent applications of medical attention afterwards. Seemingly, David’s only personal friend, Matu helps Zavimbe through his own inner demons. Officer Kia Okuru is the lone other survivor of the precinct tragedy. She was also the only other officer in the precinct not corrupted by bribes and influence. Together, David and Kia may be able to rebuild the precinct with more virtuous officers and from there start the clean up of Tinasha. The rescue of Daniel Balogun (Steelback) and Kone offers two potential new cast members. Since both have a background in technology and Kone, in particular, has experience offering support, the two could nicely round out operations in The Haven.
As evidenced above, Winick and Oliver have already established much in this young title, creating near limitless potential in the largely unexplored DC Universe version of Africa. While technically a Batbook, BATWING is far enough removed from the others that it can be enjoyed on its own with just enough flavor of the overall Batverse to satisfy Batfans.

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‘The Walking Dead’ star Jon Bernthal endorses President Obama

Credits: AMCTV.com

‘The Walking Dead’ star Jon Bernthal endorses President Obama

… as the presidential candidate with the best chance of survival in the zombie apocalypse.

In a recent interview with GQ, Jon Bernthal––who plays the morally ambiguous bad-ass Shane Walsh on AMC’s zombie drama (zom-dram?) The Walking Dead––said that when the dead rise to feast on the living, he’d want President Obama on his team.

GQ: Hey, Jon Bernthal! You play the darkest hearted survivor on The Walking Dead. In a real life zombie apocalypse, which presidential candidate would you want on your team?

Jon Bernthal: I guess Newt… No, shit man. I have to say Barack. He’s all inspired and would keep everyone doing their best. He’d give unbelievably inspirational speeches. Plus, he’s an athlete. Yeah, definitely Obama.

Well there you have it.

And Bernthal makes an excellent point: One must never underestimate the power of motivational speaking in an undead world. Who knows what Obama’s rousing speeches could accomplish in a world where the dead have cannibalized the living and the only hope to be found is in a dented can of Spam that might not be expired yet.

In that kind of environment, a leader who could inspire bedraggled survivors to not only survive, but live, would be worth his weight in bottled water and ammunition.

We should probably make some kind of statement here about how a candidate’s potential usefulness in a zombie survival scenario doesn’t necessarily equate to their success as Commander-in-Chief. But we won’t. Because we here at Zombie Examiner central firmly believe in making all major life decisions based on how they will affect our future survival in a zombified world.

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Anne Rice announces The Tale of The Body Thief has been optioned

Credits: Anne Rice

Anne Rice announces The Tale of The Body Thief has been optioned

Anne Rice announced on her Facebook page that Imagine Entertainment has bought the option to the rights to make her book The Tale of the Body Thief into a new movie.

In 1994, Interview with a Vampire brought Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt to the big screen and handsome vampires into our world.

Then in 2002, Stuart Townsend stepped into that some role of Lestat in Queen of the Damned.

Now, Lestat is back and this time the movie choice is the fourth book of The Vampire Chronicles Series, The Tale of the Body Thief. In this story Lestat is trying to gain back his hummanity after a long stint of depression.

After a failed suicide attempt, Lestat runs into a psychic who says that he can switch bodies and then Lestat begins his fight for his human life.

Who do you think should play Lestat this time? Please comment below.

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