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Oct 2012 29

by Rachel Allshiny

Like most people, I use my Twitter account in a variety of ways. I interact with my friends, share interesting parts of my day, report on protest actions I attend, and check for on-the-ground news from other parts of the country and world. I also follow a variety of politicians and aspiring politicians, despite my disenchantment with most who currently hold or seek to hold public office. It’s always useful to know what propaganda they are spreading.

When I received a direct message from Joe Biden last week, however, it didn’t feel like the personalized interaction I suspect his campaign had intended. It felt like an invasion of privacy. What was so compelling that he felt he had to reach out to me in the backwoods of Twitter, where I chat with my closest friends? Had he finally noticed that I’d been deleting his emails for the past year (and then some), to the point that now they automatically land in my spam folder? Had the President himself noticed this and asked his buddy to talk to me on his behalf? Y’know, to soften me up a little. Or maybe the Vice President just wanted to remind me that no form of “private” communication is truly private when it comes to the insidious reach of the government.

Whatever the reason, I was creeped out. Then I opened the message and read:

Oh! He just wanted me to use my loyal Twitter following to help get him re-elected. Well, when you put it that way…err…no…I REFUSE!

The following is my response, sent via Twitter to @JoeBiden and @Obama2012.

Dear @JoeBiden,

Thank you for your kind offer and for noting my influence on Twitter. I built that influence by encouraging critical thought and discourse in politics and all else. Therefore, I will be happy to retweet any @Obama2012 tweets on the following subjects.

1. The unconstitutional nature of indefinite detention of citizens under NDAA.

2. The number of civilian casualties caused by US drone attacks.

3. The immediate closure of our detention camp at Guantanamo Bay.

4. The need for ACTUAL energy independence, i.e. clean and renewable energy sources.

5. The importance of unions, including teachers’ unions, in securing workers’ rights.

6. The proper use of punctuation, even on Twitter (see previous item).

7. Working to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision re: Citizens United.

8. Addressing gender equality in terms beyond sexual, reproductive, or wages.

(More on 8: how insulting is it that even in discussions of equal rights we make women into sexual/reproduction objects.)

9. Making marriage available to all who seek it, regardless of the genders of those involved.

10. Single-payer healthcare.

11. Prosecuting war criminals for their crimes instead of whistleblowers for exposing them.

That’s a partial list, @JoeBiden. Please DM me again if @Obama2012 starts talking about any of those and I’ll be sure to follow/RT.

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Oct 2012 26

A.J. Focht

Warner Bros. has walked away the victor in the legal battle with the heirs of Superman co-creator Joseph Shuster. Warner Bros. retains rights to the Man of Steel. The big news here is Warner Bros. is moving forward with the Justice League movie. They will start on it next year and plan to release the Justice League movie in 2015.

Last week, it was revealed that Agent Coulson would be returning on the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. television series. Coulson isn’t the only Agent confirmed for the show, Ming-Na Wen has been cast as Agent Melinda May in the series. These are the only confirmed cast members so far. There is no word as to whether or not Cobie Smulders will be reprising her role as Agent Maria Hill. Joss Whedon is co-writing the script with his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.

It was a big week as the Iron Man 3 marketing campaign put their thrusters on over-drive. First, the official synopsis for the third movie was released as well as several new stills and posters. After fans finished ‘powering up Iron Man’s core’ in the Facebook campaign, a teaser trailer was released to introduce the full length trailer released on Tuesday. Iron Man 3 is set to release in theaters on April 26, 2013.

Captain America: Winter Soldier is currently in the casting phase, and it looks like Frank Grillo is taking the role of Crossbones. Crossbones is an assassin who worked for the Red Skull. Most notably, Crossbones is the man who killed Captain America after the Marvel Civil War. The film is scheduled to release on April 4th, 2014.

The Wolverine movie is coming to theaters on July 26, 2013. While the casting is long over, it looks like there is a last minute cameo appearance from one of the original X-Men. Rumor is that Famke Janssen will reprise her role as Jean Grey from the original X-Men trilogy.

There are more video game based movies on the horizon. It’s been a while since there has been news on the Mass Effect movie, but Legendary Pictures is still moving forward with it. Now Morgan Davis Foehl has been assigned with penning the script for the film. Mass Effect isn’t the only video game movie in progress. New Regency will finance and distribute the Assassin’s Creed movie with Michael Fassbender set to star in the film.

The first television spot for The Hobbit has been released. Sir Ian McKellen recently updated his blog to talk about the pros and cons of returning for The Hobbit. The run time of the film is slightly longer than was expected, coming in just under three hours long. The first Hobbit movie is completed set and ready for theaters on December 14, 2012. Also, it’s been revealed that Stephen Colbert will be making a cameo in one of the sequels.

The trailer for the Evil Dead remake is now online. The film promises not only the return of several of the best moments from the original film, but also more gore and depravity than any of the originals. Evil Dead is opening in theaters on April 13, 2013.

The third episode of the third season of Walking Dead has been widely hailed as one of the best episodes in the series. If a new episode each week isn’t enough to fill your zombiefied cravings, the new the Walking Dead Magazine is your one stop of all upcoming franchise news. The first issue recaps the comic series so far and covers what is coming up next in the television series. There are multiple interviews in the first issue, including an excellent and revealing interview with executive producer and writer Robert Kirkman. The cover story from the magazine gives readers an in depth look at the katana wielding Michonne. Kirkman describes Michonne as the ‘Boba Fett of the Walking Dead universe’ and gives more insight into the mysterious character. The Walking Dead Magazine is a must for fans looking for all the official news behind the comic book and television series.

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Oct 2012 18

A.J. Focht

Last weekend was New York Comic Con 2012. Out of all of the news announced, the most exciting might have been that Agent Coulson is not dead, and will be returning for the S.H.I.E.L.D television series. It wasn’t just the TV show that was mentioned; Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) had a few select words for the crowd:

“Have you heard of a thing called a Life Model Decoy? Have you heard of the Vision?”

Marvel is taking full advantage of its social media with their new campaign for Iron Man 3. They are ready to release the first sneak peak for the movie, but only after the fans “power up Iron Mans core” by likingthe movie’s Facebook page. If you want to see the Iron Man 3 preview a little sooner and approve of this type of social media marketing, make sure you toss them a ‘like’. Iron man 3 is set to release in theaters on May 3, 2013.

The official synopsis for Thor: The Dark World has been released. It promises that in the aftermath of Thor and The Avengers, Thor will traverse the cosmos and the Nine Realms in an attempt to restore order. His battle against an ancient army will bring him back to Earth and reconnect him with Jane Foster. The end of the synopsis says Thor will have to sacrifice everything to save us all. This could mean many things including that he will die or lose his powers and become Donald Blake. Thor: The Dark World hits theaters on November 8, 2013.

The Marvel cinematic universe has just grown to include everyone’s favorite blind superhero. The rights to Daredevil have reverted from FOX back to Marvel. The chances of Marvel rebooting the Daredevil movie into the new Marvel universe are high. Most of the film rights to Marvel’s mainstay superheroes are still owned by other companies so Disney and Marvel are likely to jump on this franchise, especially since the newest run of Daredevil has gained quite a following.

New photos from the set of The Wolverine have been released. They give first looks at the film’s villains. Svetlana Khodchenkova is pictured in her role as Viper. There are also shots of Will Yun Lee who will be playing Silver Samurai in the film. The Wolverine opens in theaters on July 26, 2013.

Another official synopsis has been released, this one for Kick-Ass 2. The antics of Kick-Ass and Hit Girl have stirred a new wave of masked heroes led by Colonel Stars and Stripes, who is played by Jim Carrey. Red Mist seeks revenge and is reborn as the first world’s first super villain, Mother Fucker. When he assembles his own evil league and starts killing masked heroes, only Kick-Ass and Hit Girl can save them. Kick-Ass 2 releases in theaters on June 28, 2013.

The first footage from the Evil Dead remake was screened at NYCC. It inspired a certain sense of déjà vu as we return to the infamous cabin in the woods. A group of kids enter the cabin and a boy in the group comes across the infamous Necronomicon. More clips were shown as well, including someone starting a chainsaw and the return of the raping tree. Evil Dead releases on April 12, 2013.

The Walking Dead has returned with a record breaking premiere. The Season 3 opener had 10.9 million viewers and it was the highest rated episode in the series’ history. The episode now holds the record for biggest telecast for any drama series in basic cable history. Check back next week for our preview of the new Walking Dead Magazine.

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Oct 2012 11

A.J. Focht

Avengers 2 has started casting and Emily Blunt and Ruth Wilson are both up for the new female role. The current rumor is the part will be Ms. Marvel, the Marvel movie universe’s first ‘super powered female’ (as Black Widow was just a master assassin). While the Marvel movie properties are currently divided between several companies, the X-Men producer would love to see a compromise made between Disney and Fox so the X-Men and the Avengers movies can crossover.

Iron Man 3 has resumed production in Miami, Florida. With only about seven months left until its release, the first trailer will premiere on the internet on October 23. Iron Man 3 will be the first of the movies in Marvel’s phase two, premiering on May 3, 2013.

Guardians of the Galaxy will be the next franchise Marvel launches into its cinematic universe. One of the most recognizable characters from the series is a fury little fellow with an affinity for explosions, Rocket Raccoon. Michael Rooker, who plays Merle in The Walking Dead, has tossed his name in the hat for the role. He pitched his case in a recent interview, having experience both doing motion capture and working with director, James Gunn.

Amazing Spider-Man 2, has already begun casting, and it looks like the part of Mary Jane Watson is up for grabs. Shailene Woodley is currently in talks to play Spidey’s girl next door. The movie is set to hit theaters on May 2, 2014.

Mary Jane isn’t the only important comic movie roll rumored to be filled. The Justice League may be set to feature Armie Hammer as the next Batman. The movie will supposedly start off a few years into Batman’s crime fighting career and is looking to be in theaters sometime in 2015.

The first look at Deadshot from the new TV series Arrow based on the Green Arrow has hit the internet. Unlike the loose take used in Smallville, it looks like Arrow’s Deadshot is going to be sticking with a more comic look. Arrow premiered this week on the WB.

Dr. Horrible 2 is moving forward. Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon gave an update saying they intended to finish the script and everything else this year so they can start shooting next year. There is no current release date set for the second movie, although the TV debut of Dr. Horribles Sing-Along was on the CW this week.

This Sunday October 14, The Walking Dead premiers its third season on AMC. The newest trailer has turned up the action, and sets a promising tone for the new season. The Walking Dead magazine will debut later this month. Check back in a few weeks for more coverage and review of the first issue.

Last week, I reported the NBC Munster’s remake, Mockingbird Lane has been put on ice. That might not be entirely the case. NBC is now trying to salvage the $10 million put into the project and they are looking at a made for TV movie.

Some legal issues in the comic world, Stan Lee’s former company, Stan Lee Media, Inc. has filed a claim against Disney for rights to some of the Marvel characters. It’s not clear yet what properties are tied up in the mix, the statement given mentions hundreds of characters created by Stan Lee:

“Defendant The Walt Disney Company has represented to the public that it, in fact, owns the copyright to these characters as well as to hundreds of other characters created by Stan Lee. Those representations made to the public by The Walt Disney Company are false.”

Source: CBM

A new web series, Batgirl: Spoiled premiered its first webisode this week. The series is a fan web-series not affiliated with DC or Warner Bros. at all. It follows the adventures of Stephanie Brown Batgirl, and her life in Gotham after a close call and a falling out with Oracle and Batman. The first episode is a great watch that I’d highly recommend you view.

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Oct 2012 05

A.J. Focht

CW’s show Arrow based on the Green Arrow from DC comics will be premiering next week on October 10. Before it premiers, catch a first look at the story of Oliver Queen’s return after five years exiled on an island. There is also a first look at Kelly Hu as China White. Jessica de Gouw, who is playing The Huntress, talked about the difficulties with the role, citing she researched the comics for her role.

Thor is Marvel’s premier fantasy based title. The movie blended the fantasy element with reality, and the sequel, Thor: The Dark World, is set to delve even deeper into the fantasy side. It has recently been announced the film will take place across all nine realms, not just Earth and Asgard. Producer Kevin Fiege hopes the studio’s choice to go with Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor will pay off in bring out the fantasy element. Thor: The Dark World is scheduled for November 8, 2012.

Superman is returning to the silver screen on June 14, 2013 in Man of Steel. “What Christopher Nolan and I have done with Superman is try to bring the same naturalistic approach that we adopted for the Batman trilogy. We always had a naturalistic approach, we want our stories to be rooted in reality, like they could happen in the same world we live in. It’s not that easy with Superman, and actually this doesn’t necessarily mean we will make a dark movie. But working on this reboot we are thinking about what would happen if a story like this one actually happened. How would people react to this? What impact would the presence of Superman in the real world have?” – Collider

A few months back, I reported there were talks of remaking The Munsters into a new show called Mockingbird Lane. It’s sad news with Halloween around the corner, but it looks like the series will not happen after all. The pilot was directed by Bryan Singer and starred Jerry O’Connel, Portia de Rossi, and Eddie Izzard as the Grandpa. NBC axed the show reportedly due to its ‘high-concept premise.’

On a final note, Stan Lee, in an effort to be more like Tony Stark, has had an electronic pacemaker put in. Lee took a short break from his convention schedules last week, and announced the news on Twitter. Lee comments that the pacemaker is “to insure that he’ll be able to lead thee for another 90 years.” I for one am glad the Generalissimo is doing well, and hope that whatever incidents that led to this (besides wanting to emulate Tony Stark) are now all fixed.

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Sep 2012 20

A.J. Focht

Marvel’s next new movie project will be the Guardians of the Galaxy. There have been a lot of rumors and worries in the fan community when it comes to Marvel’s space superheroes. It’s now official that James Gunn is rewriting the script as well as directing. If that doesn’t put your mind at ease, know that Joss Whedon has full faith in Gunn being the man for the project. As for the many rumors, there is one that we can put to rest. Nathan Fillion has confirmed he is likely to be too busy with his day job (Castle) to star in the film.

Has Marvel decided to retcon the death of Agent Coulson? In the Marvel Avengers Assemble UK release, the film has been edited to exclude the blade sticking out of Coulson’s chest. This could be a censorship issue, or it could be Marvel making the change in order to keep Coulson in continuity. The Avengers releases on DVD and Blu-ray in the US on September 25 and then we’ll know if the US version was edited as well.

Captain America is now President! Oh wait that was a SPOILER for this week’s issue of Ultimate Captain America. Despite this being a major event change in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, they felt the need to spoil it for everyone a day early. The news of the story broke a full 24-hours before the issue hit shelves and it came straight from Marvel.

Arrow, the new CW show about Green Arrow starts on October 10. There have been many rumors of what characters would appear in the show, and now eleven have been confirmed. You can expect all of the following lineup: Black Canary, Huntress, China White, Constantine Drakon, Deadshot, Deathstroke, Felicity Smoak, Merlyn, Speedy, and Walter Steele. There are still some rumored characters not confirmed, and no one knows much about John Barrowman’s character, other than he’s being called the ‘well-dressed man.’ There are also reports the Royal Flush Gang will be in the show and Kyle Schmid will play Ace.

The upcoming Star Trek film has an official name: Star Trek: Into Darkness. The J.J. Abrams sequel has finished initial shooting and will include most of the original cast, including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana. Star Trek: Into Darkness is scheduled to release in theaters on May 17, 2013.

Speaking of Star Trek, Michael Dorn, who played Worf on Next Generation, has been cast in the Castlevania movie. Dorn will be playing a werewolf in the Konami game inspired film, for which there is no current release date set.

One last bit of Star Trek related news. NASA is working on a warp drive. That’s right, a real life warp drive. Keeping the science simple, NASA wonders if we can indeed warp space and time to harness the power of warp bubbles. Essentially, the ship compresses the space ahead of it while expanding the space behind it to move forward at speeds of 10c (10x the speed of light). We are probably a long ways off from this technology, but we now know NASA is actually researching it.

This weekend at the comic store I work at, All C’s Collectibles in Aurora, Colorado, J. Scott Campbell will be doing a signing with all proceeds going to Aurora Rise. Campbell is best known for co-creating and writing Danger Girl, but he has done cover art for several comics including The Amazing Spider-Man and Witchblade. SuicideGirls was in attendance a few weeks ago when Aurora Rise had their first benefit event and silent auction, which raised $20,000 that went directly to the victims of the shootings. Campbell was unable to make the first event, but wanted to come out and support the victims of the shootings on his own time. While the second event will be smaller, it will include a silent auction with specialty items from Todd MacFarlane and much more. The signing takes place this Saturday, September 22, between noon and 3 PM MST. For more details visit the Facebook event page.

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Sep 2012 07

by A.J. Focht

A year ago, NBC buried their Wonder Woman pilot and all hopes of seeing the Amazon princess during prime time. The CW, known for their superhero television series such as Smallville and the upcoming Arrow, is now in talks to revive her with a Wonder Woman origins series. The prelude to the legend of Diana of Themyscira’s is being penned by Allan Heinberg. The CW is only working on a script now; the pilot has yet to be greenlit.

Henry Cavill, who will be playing Superman in the upcoming Man of Steel film recently spoke about the project in an interview. He wasn’t able to relay much, but he did say that beyond making Superman easier to identify with, they wanted to take a realistic approach to the movie. It seems likely that Man of Steel will be the first feature in the new DC movie universe, leading into the Justice League movie, and there have been rumors that it may cameo other Justice League members – namely Wonder Woman. Man of Steel will premier in theaters in June 2013.

Kick-Ass 2 is bringing back most of the main actors from the first film, including Chloe Moretz, Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and even Nicolas Cage. And a new big name has also joined the crew; Jim Carrey has been confirmed playing the part of The Colonel in the sequel. Kick-Ass 2 is set for a summer 2013 release.

With the release less than a year out, Star Trek 2 has wrapped up filming and is headed for post-production. In recent interviews, actors Chris Pine (Captain Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) both gave their opinions of the project. Pine insists he can’t give the movie enough hype, and that the threats are even greater this time around. Quinto said the project was more challenging, but bigger and bolder than the last. We will all know soon enough as Star Trek 2 is set to release on May 17, 2013.

J.J. Abrams’ new NBC series Revolution has released the full first pilot online early. The series deals with events fifteen years after a post-apocalyptic scenario where all electricity on earth shuts off. The pilot delivers tremendous performances and is a great hook into the series. It’s a must see for all fans of post-apocalyptic stories. That’s not all Abrams is working on though, he is also currently developing a ‘android buddy cop drama’ for FOX.

Last week’s premiere of Doctor Who, “Asylum of the Daleks” broke records for BBC America. The long awaited return of the Time Lord brought in record numbers, with 1.6 million tuning in to see the premiere. In a recent interview, Matt Smith discussed the upcoming season and the future of Doctor Who in general. On a final Doctor Who note, Neil Giman announced at his Hugo acceptance speech that he will be writing a second episode, which is slated for the second half of season seven.

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