Saturday, May 27, 2017

Spider-Man Spinoff SILVER & BLACK Finds Director

Sony's Spider-Verse is growing.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that Sony Pictures is preparing another Spider-Man spinoff movie, Silver & Black, focused on the Marvel Comics characters Silver Sable and Black Cat.

According to the article, Gina Prince-Bythewood will direct the movie, which is planning on a fall production start.  She is best known for the films Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees, and recently directed the Cloak & Dagger TV pilot based on the Marvel Comics superheroes.

Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal are producing the project.  Chris Yost, who worked on the upcoming Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, is writing the most recent draft.  Lisa Joy, co-creator of HBO's Westworld, also worked on the script.

Silver & Black is the second project relating to Spider-Man, after Venom, which will star Tom Hardy and will be directed by Ruben Fleischer.

Silver Sable was created in 1985 by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man (vol.1) #265. Silver Sablinova grew up in the small European state of Symkaria, and was trained as a mercenary by her father Ernst, who ran a Nazi-hunting group.  She first encountered Spider-Man while hunting the international criminal the Black Fox to recover valuable gems stolen by the thief.

She was later hired by a South African republic to neutralize the international terrorist Jack O'Lantern. She enlisted Spider-Man's aid against the Sinister Syndicate, and first formed an alliance with the Sandman.  Some time later, she joined forces with Spider-Man, Paladin, Solo, and Captain America to track down Sabretooth and the Red Skull, who masterminded a plot to pit the United States against Symkaria.

In the recent Ends of the Earth storyline involving one of Doctor Octopus' schemes, Silver Sable recovered Spider-Man and Black Widow after the Avengers were defeated by the Sinister Six.  She joined them in an attack on a Sahara facility controlled by Doctor Octopus, with the three successfully defeating Sandman after Spider-Man's allies at Horizon Labs helped determine a means of identifying the one particle of sand containing Sandman's consciousness.  She was apparently drowned by the Rhino in the final battle when Rhino pinned her to the ground in a flooding corridor in Doctor Octopus' base, with Rhino preferring to die after the loss of his own wife and knowing that Spider-Man will blame himself for the death even if Doctor Octopus' plan is stopped.  She returned, having survived, to request Spider-Man's help in thwarting a recent coup of Symkaria organized by Norman Osborn.  Sable explained that she survived her confrontation with the Rhino by using her suit to cloak herself, distracting him long enough for her to escape, using her 'official' death to discreetly hunt down most of her enemies.

Black Cat was created in 1979 by Marv Wolfman and Keith Pollard, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man (vol.1) #194.  Felicia Hardy was born in Queens, New York, and her father Walter pretended to be a traveling salesman, but was actually a world-renowned cat burglar who, before his arrest, encouraged her to never settle for second best. As a freshman at Empire State University, Felicia was raped by her boyfriend Ryan.  Hating the idea of being a victim, she trained herself in various fighting styles and acrobatics, intent on killing her rapist.  Finally, after months of preparing, she set out for revenge, but before she could find him, Ryan was killed in a drunk driving accident.  Furious that she was denied the chance for revenge, Hardy decided to utilize her new skills to follow in her father's footsteps. After amassing a fortune in stolen items, Felicia adopted her costumed identity as Black Cat.

She first donned the Black Cat costume in order to break her father out of prison.  On the same night, she met Spider-Man.  Unfortunately for Felicia, her father died, and she then faked her own death.  Despite her antipathy towards men, Felicia felt a kinship with Spider-Man, who was the first man she felt she could trust and she grew to believe herself in love with him.  Felicia looked for a way to earn his trust and continued with the Black Cat persona as a misguided attempt to attract his affection.  Seeing the good in Felicia, Spider-Man made every attempt to have her criminal record expunged and the two became involved romantically for some time before breaking up.

In recent months, Felicia's dark nature regained control and she poured gasoline around her apartment, burning a collection she spent years acquiring.  Spider-Man soon arrived and Peter tried to convince her that this wasn't her, but she told him that the Felicia he knew was gone and she was done being who others want.  She said that she controlled her fate and anyone who stands in her way will also be gone.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

THE FANDOM ZONE 104: "World's End" is Up!

"You know, Robot May was way more supportive."
– Phil Coulson to Melinda May, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: "World's End"

You guessed it, Karen and I are back with another HUGE new episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!  So huge, in fact, we're splitting it up into two parts!

This week's reviews of comics on television include:

Supergirl 2x21: "Resist"
Gotham 3x18: "Light the Wick"
Lucifer 2x16: "God Johnson"
The Flash 3x22: "Infantino Street"

iZombie 3x07: "Dirt Nap Time"
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4x22: "World's End"  (Season Finale)
Arrow 5x22: "Missing"
Iron Fist 1x08: "The Blessing of Many Fractures"

This week, Karen and I talk about things like my new Twin Peaks Funkos, Karen's inconvenient pizza delivery, Rhea padding her supervillain street cred, Cat returning to her old office, President Marsdin failing the naturalized citizen test, Cat pretending to not know Kara is Supergirl, Tom Hardy as Venom, Bane vs. Thea Queen, how to pronounce the word shaman, the Court of Owls killing Bruce's parents to use Bruce, Selina not being okay with being thrown out of a window, Emily Gilmore and the Daughters of the American Revolution, Jim Gordon ruining his girlfriends and turning them evil, Mazikeen fixing up a date for Chloe, wondering why The Flash writers don't come up with a way to bring Captain Cold back from the dead, Heat Wave being horrible for a robbery, Lyla wasting everyone's time, Iris being killed by Savitar (or was she...?), Major's awkward ghost pepper moment, Don-E buying out Blaine, Karen's synesthesia, Ravi and Peyton's weird bonding moment over a brain juicer, Mack being way too desperate to stay with his virtual daughter, Daisy being framed for shooting Glenn Talbot, Simmons almost being Whedoned, Coulson's bargain with Zarathos to become Coulson Rider, the awkwardness of being arrested in a diner, the possible tease of S.W.O.R.D., Thea filling Quentin in on alternate universes, Oliver's backup Team Arrow being a better group than the actual Team Arrow, the return of Manu Bennett as Deathstroke, Zhou Cheng from The Immortal Iron Fistand more!

You can now check out episodes of The Fandom Zone using...

Google Play Music
 -- HERE 
iTunes -- HERE
Direct Download MP3s/Libsyn -- HERE
The Fandom Zone on Facebook -- HERE
The Fandom Zone on Twitter -- @FandomZoneCast

And if that isn't enough for you, you can also check us out on YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!  Oh, and if you're interested in an officially official Fandom Zone Podcast t-shirt that all the cool kids are wearing, you can get those on TeePublic HERE as well!  Feel free to post a picture on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back next week as Karen and I review the season finales of Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow, Episode 9 of Iron Fist, and new episodes of Gotham, Lucifer and iZombieright here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 083: "Extremis" is Up!

"Okay, Bill.  Miss Potts.  I’m the only person you’ve ever met or will ever meet who is officially licensed to kick the Doctor’s arse.  I will happily do the same to you in the event that you do not align yourself with any instructions that I have issued which I personally judge to be in the best interest of your safety and survival.  Okay, Bill?"
-- Nardole to Bill Potts, Doctor Who: "Extremis"

You guessed it, my partner in time Jesse Jackson are back with a new episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  In this episode, Jesse and I review "Extremis", the sixth episode from Series Ten, starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, and Matt Lucas as Nardole!

This time, Jesse and I discuss things like Steven Moffat ruining some episodes with unnecessary tricks, Jesse not being happy with two-parters, wondering why the Doctor hasn't traveled time and space to fix his blindness, the new Beatles Channel on Sirius XM, Missy being almost executed once again, I Dream of Jeannie, the timeline of the Mystery Vault, Nardole trying hard to be a badass, Moira being really clueless about Bill's sexuality, Bill telling the Pope he's going to hell, wondering if River Song will make one last appearance in the Steven Moffat era, my Reverse the Polarity segment, some feedback from Holly from Wisconsin, the premiere of Twin Peaks' return on Showtime, and more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

Google Play Music -- RIGHT HERE
iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Stitcher -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn --  RIGHT HERE
Next Stop Everywhere's Facebook page
Next Stop Everywhere's Twitter account

And hey, if you'd like to pick up the officially official Next Stop Everywhere t-shirt, you can find it on TeePublic right HERE!  Help support the show and feel free to post pictures on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back next week as Jesse and I review "The Pyramid at the End of the World", the seventh episode from Series Ten, starring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, and Matt Lucas as Nardole!  Look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Sticher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Monday, May 22, 2017

DAMN Good Television -- TWIN PEAKS: "The Return, Parts 1 & 2"

It is happening again.

At long last, Twin Peaks is back in all its surreal glory, but are you ready?  If you haven't seen the show's first two episodes yet and you don't want them spoiled for you, then please step back from your computer or whatever electronic device you're reading this on and stop reading now.  If, however, you're wise enough to know that reviews with spoilers are always more interesting than the ones without them...well...LET'S ROCK.

As foretold by Laura Palmer in the original Twin Peaks series finale, David Lynch and Mark Frost's saga of sex, murder and the supernatural returned to television last night, 25 years (and change) since we last saw FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper smashing his forehead into his hotel room bathroom mirror and revealing that he had been possessed by the dark, otherworldly entity known as BOB.  This unresolved cliffhanger (among others) has haunted the souls of many Twin Peaks fans (including myself) for over two and a half decades, and we have a chance for some answers.

Or, as it turns out, a whole bunch of new questions.  

Showtime's revival of the 1990-91 cult classic is pure Lynch, embracing his dark and twisted Eraserhead roots and not anywhere close to phoning it in.  If you expected a standard TV reunion where you get to see your favorite characters again in a simple nostalgia fest, you're in for a rude awakening.  A ton of new characters are introduced, new WTF mysteries are in play, and most importantly, Lynch and Frost don't care if you're a Peaks Noob that needs to be caught up on what happened before.

"The Return" begins with brief flashback teaser where Laura Palmer told Cooper he would see her again in 25 years, and then get the new opening credits.  Because this is 2017, the original two minute, thirty second opening has been chopped in half to one minute fifteen, but the new overhead shot of Snoqualmie Falls looks glorious in HD and Angelo Badalamenti's theme remains untouched.  We see the billowing red curtains from the Black Lodge, followed by a dizzying CGI pan across the zigzag Black Lodge floor that sums up "The Return" perfectly -- familiar, yet different from what you remember, and very disorienting at times.

The tone of the new series is distinctly more serious, along the lines of the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, but there are moments of quirky, offbeat humor that remind you of what made the original series so endearing.  Classic characters Dale Cooper, The Giant, and Dr. Lawrence Jacoby reassure us this is still the same series, and then we get our first new subplot, a strange glass box hooked up to machinery in a top secret facility located in New York.  New character Sam Colby is tasked with constantly watching the box, simply to see if anything appears, which he does until a young woman named Tracy turns up with coffee.  With the security guard missing, Sam invites Tracy in to keep him company which ultimately leads to the two having sex.  The box begins to turn black, however, and a terrifying creature appears inside before breaking free and hacking them to ribbons in a moment of pure, unbridled horror.  Once again, sex leads to terrible violence on Twin Peaks.

More horrible images follow, as a woman named Ruth is found dead in her apartment, her head completely severed and left on the bed pillow, but with a headless man's body placed underneath the covers.  The fingerprints of a local high school principal named Bill Hastings are found all over the room, which leads to his quick arrest.  Placed in a holding cell, Hastings tells his wife he had a dream he killed Ruth, but swears up and down he didn’t do it.  His wife doesn’t believe him, and Bill has the same shaken look Laura Palmer's father Leland had in the original series, so we know how that turned out.

We then catch up with BOB, still joyriding in Dale Cooper's body 25 years later.  BOB, it turns out, has remade Cooper's body in his image -- long hair, tanned skin, etc. -- and has made a life in South Dakota doing all kinds of seedy activities of pain and sorrow.  It turns out that BOB is expected to return to the Black Lodge, but of course, BOB isn't ready to go back just yet and has other plans.

We also catch up with more old friends at the Twin Peaks Sheriff Department, as we learn Andy and Lucy Brennan now have a 24-year-old son named Wally.  Deputy Chief Hawk gets some foreboding warnings about Cooper from the Log Lady, who is heartbreaking as we see actress Catherine Coulson looking frail with an oxygen tube shortly before she passed away in real life.  Hawk goes to Glastonbury Grove, seeing that unsettling circle of sycamore trees and hinting that he may be the one that pieces together what happened to Cooper all those years ago.

Laura makes good on her 25-year promise and sees Cooper once again in the Black Lodge, kissing him and whispering something into his ear in a recreation of the famous dream sequence from Episode 3 of the original series.  Laura tells Cooper it's finally time for him to leave the Black Lodge, then we see Mike the one-armed man introduce Cooper to what I can only described as an electrified tree that Mike calls "the evolution of the Arm", the Man from Another Place from the original series.  Hey, The Man from Another Place did say "When you see me again, it won't be me," right?

Things take an even darker turn when Laura tells Cooper "I am dead...and yet I live" then removes her face briefly to reveal blinding white light.  Suddenly, the Black Lodge begins to shake and tremble, Laura in particular, and it appears as though something came through the roof/ceiling and ripped Laura away.  Leland appears, tasking Cooper to "Find Laura", and then all hell breaks loose when the Electric Tree's doppelganger opens up the Lodge's zigzag floor and flushes Cooper downward into water, ultimately spitting him out in, yes, the mysterious glass box from earlier.  And presumably, this means the creature that hacked Sam and Tracy to bits was the Electric Tree's doppelganger.

As Cooper ends up resuming his descent into wherever on the way out of the Black Lodge, the second episode starts wrapping up with Laura's mother Sarah watching a seriously violent nature show at home, perhaps leading to another of her visions.  This is followed by a return to the Bang Bang Bar, a.k.a. the Roadhouse, where we learn that the bar is now a place where Twin Peaks hipster millennials hang out with their Generation X parents to listen to bands like the Chromatics.  The sole purpose of this scene seems to be to reintroduce classic characters Shelly Johnson and James Hurley, and close out the second episode on a more upbeat note.

But...yeah, all kinds of questions abound.  Who's financing the scientific research into the Black Lodge?  What's happening with Dale Cooper?  What happened to Laura?  What the F#@% were the Electric Tree and its doppelganger?  What's the deal with Bill Hastings? When will the FBI become involved again?  Where's Audrey, Bobby, Big Ed and Norma?  Is Invitation to Love still on?  And when are we finally going to see the White Lodge?  

Sixteen more hours to go.  I can't wait to enjoy the ride.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

THE FANDOM ZONE 103: "The Primal Riddle" is Up!

"I'll allow you to call me Ed because we have a history, but my name is...The Riddler."
– The Riddler, Gotham: "The Primal Riddle"

With Karen back in The Fandom Zone, it's time for a HUGE new episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!  So huge, in fact, we're splitting it up into two parts!

This week's reviews of comics on television include:

Supergirl 2x20: "City of Lost Children"
Gotham 3x17: "The Primal Riddle"
Lucifer 2x15: "Deceptive Little Parasite"
The Flash 3x21: "Cause and Effect"

iZombie 3x06: "Some Like It Hot Mess"
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4x21: "The Return"
Arrow 5x21: "Honor Thy Fathers"
Iron Fist 1x07: "Felling Tree with Roots"

This week, Karen and I talk about things like dueling Guardians of the Galaxy publications, The Princess Bride, Rhea wanting Lena Luthor as her daughter-in-law, James ("Don't call me Jimmy") Olsen scaring people with his Guardian mask, why the Court of Owls didn't kill Bruce Wayne when replacing him with Five, Selina's big Batman Returns homage, Firefly's big Johnny Paycheck moment, the Riddler loving to put on a show, wondering why Gotham City made Aubrey James mayor again, the Riddler being a pawn in the game of life, the Rutger Hauer movie Wedlock, Trixie introducing herself as "Trixie Morningstar", Lucifer using Trixie to learn how to use his emotions, Lucifer's Triple Decker, Karen's weird multiple sclerosis research, the return of King Shark, why wacky comedy episodes don't help build tension toward a season finale, Julian's out-of-character fondness for emojis, Liv being on scatter brain, Rose McIver as Tinkerbell, the truth about Blaine's memory loss, Blaine getting the zombie cure recipe, the awkwardness of Coulson getting romantic with May's LMD, AIDA as Sylar from Heroes, AIDA flipping out over Fitz, wondering why Oliver can't kill one more bad guy, the big Deathstroke mask on Lian Yu fakeout, the welcome return of Karen's Thea impression, Wild Dog missing his court date, Harold chopping his own finger off, Harold asking his son Ward to dump bodies in a river for him, Ward finally getting tired of his dad's bullshit, Madame Gao revealing that she knew Danny's dad, Harold's finger vs. Iron Fist, some feedback from Justinaand more!

You can now check out episodes of The Fandom Zone using...

Google Play Music
 -- HERE 
iTunes -- HERE
Direct Download MP3s/Libsyn -- HERE
The Fandom Zone on Facebook -- HERE
The Fandom Zone on Twitter -- @FandomZoneCast

And if that isn't enough for you, you can also check us out on YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!  Oh, and if you're interested in an officially official Fandom Zone Podcast t-shirt that all the cool kids are wearing, you can get those on TeePublic HERE as well!  Feel free to post a picture on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back next week as Karen returns to help me review the Season 4 finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Episode 8 of Iron Fist, and new episodes of Supergirl, Gotham, Lucifer, The Flash, iZombie, and Arrowright here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

BLACK LIGHTNING Debuts Electrifying First Trailer

Bad Guys, prepare to get lit up.

The CW has released the first trailer and a new synopsis for the upcoming drama series Black Lightning, based on the DC Comics superhero.  The 2 minute, 50 second trailer gives us our first look at the new series, and here's the updated synopsis... 

Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his superhero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad.

Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community.

The trailer begins in 2005, with Black Lightning wearing a look similar to when he was a member of the Justice League of America in the comics.  We hear a voiceover from Annisa, who says "Black Lightning was a savior who kept our streets and our schools safe.  He was hope personified.  But he was also Jefferson Pierce, my father."

We see Lynn talking to Jefferson, as he recovers in their bathtub, presumably after fighting members of The One Hundred.  "You've been on the streets fighting the One Hundred for years.  Let someone else do it.  The girls need a father."

"Baby," replies an exhausted Jefferson, "I promise.  No more."

We jump ahead to 2017, as we hear more of Annisa's voiceover.  "He tried to keep his promise to my mother.  Said that he saved more lives as the principal of Garfield High than he ever did as Black Lightning.  But without Black Lightning, violence in the streets by the One Hundred gang multiplied.  The anger was just under the surface for all of us.  The whole city was ready to explode.  He could only bury who he was for so long."

Next, we see Jefferson working on a new prototype Black Lightning suit, as we hear him in a voiceover say "The city is getting more and more dangerous every moment.  I'm just trying to keep you safe."

We see Black Lightning beating up some of the One Hundred gang at a motel and also see a brief glimpse of Anissa developing her own powers, possibly hinting at her becoming Thunder at some point.

Annisa's voiceover continues, "If you mess with me, my sister, my mother, or the innocent in this city, you're gonna get lit up."

In the final scene, we see Jefferson chatting with his daughters, admitting "Sometimes...I can come off a little overprotective."

Annisa and Jennifer quickly agree, making Jefferson smile.

If you'd like to check out the new trailer, you can view it below thanks to the official CW account on YouTube...

Black Lightning is expected to debut sometime in early 2018 on The CW as a midseason replacement.

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Debuts First Full Trailer

At last, Discovery has been discovered.

During the CBS Upfront presentation at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery debuted the show's first full trailer.  The 2 minute, 25 second trailer gives us our first good look at the Discovery cast, along with an interesting new look for the Klingons.

The trailer opens on a strange new world that appears to be a barren desert planet, ten years before the events of the original Star Trek series.  We see the Discovery's First Officer, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) following Captain Phillipa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) across a sand dune.

"Captain, where are we going?" Burnham asks.  "We have no map, and you can't set a course without a star."

"It's hard to imagine you've served under me for seven years," replies Captain Georgiou. "Commander Burnham, I think it is time we talked about you having your own command." She uses her communicator to call up to the Discovery for both of them to be beamed up.

We then see Burnham on the Discovery bridge, as a voiceover from a hologram of Sarek (James Frain) remarks, "Great unifiers are few and far between, but they do come.  Often such leaders will need a profound cause for their followers to rally around."

As we glimpse some members of the bridge crew, Captain Georgiou asks Science Officer Saru (Doug Jones), "What am I looking at?"

"Object of unknown origin," replies Saru.

We cut to a private meeting between Captain Georgiou and Commander Burnham, with Burnham saying, "We've come all this way, Captain.  It would be irresponsible to leave whatever that is unknown."

The Sarek hologram asks Burnham "What have you done out there on the edge of Federation space?" just before we see Burnham activate a thruster suit similar to what Spock wore in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

We then glimpse the Klingons, now with a new makeup design, as the Discovery engages them.

Next, we flash back to Burnham as a human child being raised on Vulcan.  Sarek tells her "You will never learn Vulcan.  Your tongue is too human."

In a different scene, Burnham remarks "I'm trying to save you.  I'm trying to save all of you." This is followed by a quick conflict between Burnham and Georgiou, as Georgiou insists Starfleet doesn't fire weapons first while Burnham says they have to.

The last scene shows Saru speaking with Burnham, informing her rather ominously, "My people were biologically determined for one purpose alone, to sense the coming of death.  I sense it coming now."  Well, since the Captain of the Discovery is supposed to be Jason Isaacs as Lorca, it seems like Captain Georgiou isn't going to be around very long.

If you'd like to view the trailer, you can check it out below thanks to the official Star Trek account on YouTube...

Star Trek: Discovery is currently scheduled to debut on CBS sometime in Fall 2017, possibly later, with the remainder of the episodes airing on CBS All Access.