Want new Terminator but can’t wait until the next movie? The fine folks at Dark Horse have got just the thing for you! Beginning this week is Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle, a 12-issue miniseries chronicling the end of the Machine War and promising to divulge the ultimate fates of both John Connor and SKYNET. Written by none other than J. Michael Straczynski (who else could wrap their mind around all that timeline nonsense?) and pencilled by Pete Woods (Deadpool, Superman), The Final Battle takes place (more or less – damn time travel) after the events of 2009′s Terminator Salvation film.
On the same night in 2003 Simon, a resistance fighter under the command of John Connor, materializes in Houston while in Dallas three Terminators arrive together. Both factions are searching for Thomas Parnell, a serial killer who just escaped from a medical transport after being sent to prison for a string of killings three years earlier. At the same time (but not) John Connor is planning his assault on SKYNET’s time travel installation in 2029 Colorado; one he seems to believe he may not survive. In the enemy camp, Dr. Serena Kogan (the mind behind Marcus Wright’s Terminator hybrid, played by Helena Bonham Carter in the film) and the machines are putting the final touches on their time bubble technology as well as a new Terminator prototype. Before locating their primary target, the trio of machines back in 2003 locate an important future ally.
Fans of the Terminator franchise should rejoice not just in the story this series will tell but in the fact that it’s helmed by some of the best talent in the business. In typical Terminator fashion, just about as many questions are answered as are raised in this first issue. The genesis of the original movie is alluded to while the need for Parnell is a big red question mark. Being a fellow inmate, is he another project of Dr. Kogan’s as Marcus was? Hopefully this is just one of the burning questions that will be answered as this exciting new series continues.
NECA continues to roll out their new line of action figures from this summer’s blockbuster film Pacific Rim. The first series of figures were released to coincide with the premiere of the movie and the 7″ version of the main Jaeger piloted by Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), Gipsy Danger, quickly sold out in stores everywhere and prices on Amazon and other online retailers skyrocketed to 2 and 3 times the intended MSRP of $24.99. Originally slated for an August debut, the deluxe Gipsy has finally been released on the market and is well worth the wait.
Standing an impressive 18″ tall and weighing in at 3 pounds, this incarnation of Gipsy Danger is nothing if not substantial. The larger size allows for much more detail than the original 7″ figure which is demonstrated in a vastly more intricate paint job and in-depth sculpting including battle damage from Kaiju encounters. 14 points of articulation at the head, shoulders, elbows, hands, waist, hips, knees, and ankles make this figure extremely poseable.
The 18″ and 7″ figures next to each other for scale
Hinged feet are a great help to keeping the bulk of the body supported, especially when the arms are extended. That brings us to one of the coolest features of this toy: the 8-inch detachable chain swords. The figure comes with two blades and they can be attached to both forearms just behind the hands. My only real negative comment regarding this figure is that the swords can be really difficult to attach due to their flexibility. Back in the positive column, the 18″ version includes a light-up chest and headlight controlled by an inconspicuous switch between the shoulder blades.
This is the definitive collectible for any diehard fan of Pacific Rim. If you’re having trouble locating it in stores, it’s available on Amazon for $159.99 as of the time of this posting or www.urban-collector.com for $149.99. Check out the gallery below for more photos.
What could be more exciting in a comic with a real world look and feel thank exploding drones? The U.S. plunging head long into World War III? Genetic-targeting chemical weapons, that’s the kicker right there. Maybe it’s the shocking sub-plot that writer Matt Hawkins weaves into the third chapter of “Outbreak” which features some frighteningly real and plausible situations cast into the thrilling backdrop of comic fiction. With Rahsan Ekedal providing some of his most “explosive” (no pun intended) art work to date, Think Tank ups the ante in a big way with issue eleven, as Dr. David Loren’s work for the U.S. Government may have a hand in its ultimate demise.
I simply cannot spoil, in good conscience, what happens in this issue. Let’s just say David uses his prowess to escape his captivity and search for Mirra. Yet there’s a lot more going on, as a probable World War III looms on the horizon, as Clarkson and Senator Mitchell’s orchestration of this could have disastrous consequences (oh, you will see in the opening pages of this issue). Can David possibly help stem the tide of war, or is this a catastrophe he cannot possibly fix with his intelligence.
Reflecting upon Think Tank #11, it’s striking just how plausible the action, suspense, and situations in this book could actually exist in reality. Hawkins’ research has led to a complete fleshing out of both character and realistic situation, as the world contained in Think Tank stands on the brink as powerful forces conspire to destroy it. Everything clicks into place, from the sub plots, the over all look and aesthetic of the technology, and the character of David whose life just continues to be awash with problem after problem. All these things add up to pure, undiluted, thrilling entertainment. It’s the comic you should be reading monthly, with all the trapping of great story telling. Issue #11 is out December 4th, and if you have been reading, don’t miss out on what could be the biggest and best issue to date!
There’s nothing like being thrown in the deep end and told to swim. Image Comics‘ latest debut series Black Science, from Rick Remender (Uncanny Avengers, The Last Christmas) and Matteo Scalera (Secret Avengers, Indestructible Hulk), begins with as much introduction as Doctor Who taking your hand and telling you to run. That, however, is not a bad thing when it’s done with some of the most eye-catching, gripping visuals this reviewer has ever seen. Like Heavy Metal, almost every page could easily be a metal or progressive rock album cover. The book begins with Dr. Grant Mckay and his associate Jen running from some very pissed-off fish people riding giant eels. Yes, you read that right, and it only gets crazier from there.
Mckay, founder of the Anarchist League of Scientists, after a lifetime of bucking the academic system and against all warnings embraced black science and punched a hole through reality, beginning a Sliders-esque journey through bizarre alien worlds across what he calls the Eververse. This first issue follows him on a mad dash through a bizarre and fantastic swamp planet in search of fresh water for the pillar he designed that allows him and his team to jump from world to world. Most of the narrative is a running admonition of himself for his actions that led him and his group of scientists (not to mention his children, for reasons unknown) to find themselves stranded in this very alien, very hostile place.
I’ll admit it took me a couple read-throughs to feel like I had a good grasp of what was going on but I can’t say as I minded because the artwork is so stunning, a true feast for the eyes, that I would have felt almost cheated to slip this book back in its sleeve after only one go-round. The title page alone, splashed across two pages, is enough to keep you entertained for several minutes and each successive spine-spanning masterpiece afterwards begs to be blown up and framed. Black Science is an action-packed, intense roller coaster ride from start to finish that lives up to all the hype that preceded it and the passion put into every page is palpable. This is one book that can and hopefully will run for many years to come.
The second arc of the new Aphrodite IX starts here! After the Drones’ attack on Genesis and her exile to the Northern desolate zone, Aphrodite finds herself trying to carve out a new, solitary existence. Unbeknownst to her she has already been discovered by two separate factions. Tracked down by Marcus’ hunter friend T’mark and his pack as well as a new and unknown group led by a mysterious yet familiar figure. Back in Genesis, Marcus’ newfound religious fervor is helping him to reunite the previously fractured clans against a common enemy.
At the other end of the spectrum, the cyborgs of Speros are licking their wounds after their massive assault against the Gens was crushed, destroying most of their military might. We’re treated to their version of a birth as the newly appointed Executor Jezebel welcomes her first child and schemes with Aphrodite’s former handler Burch on how to move forward after their defeat. Back in the desolate zone, Aphrodite and her drake Valr’x are tested by the newcomers. Initially worried by the loss of her tactical computer, Aphrodite soon finds herself reveling in the freedom it provides and discovers, among other things, that she now has an emerging personality without its restraints. Upon passing the test, a new and unexpected ally is made in Aphrodite XV and some of IX’s questions are answered, setting the stage for an exciting new chapter in her story.
Matt Hawkins keeps the pace brisk, diving into new territories while updating old ones, keeping the reader well-advised for future payoffs. Stjepan Sejic has changed gears from painted visuals to drawn but, while still incredible , I find myself missing the photo-realism and breathtaking detail of the first five issues. That being said, it does help to set apart this new arc and I did enjoy the greater range it seemed to give to Aphrodite’s facial expressions especially. Science class delves into today’s and tomorrow’s definitions of Singularity as well as immortality and why it may not be as far-fetched as one might think. As always a fascinating and singularly unique read, Aphrodite IX is headed into some exciting new areas and anyone not already reading would be crazy not to start now.