Thursday, September 30, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from September 26th to 30th, 2021 - Update #16

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:

ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE NEWS:

DISNEY - From Deadline:   Tim Federle will direct and Madhuri Shekar will write "Sister Act 3" for Disney+. Whoopi Goldberg will reprise her role as "Deloris," the nightclub singer turned nun.  Goldberg will also produce the film along with Tyler Perry and Tom Leonardis.

SCANDAL - From VanityFair:  Film, TV, and Broadway titan, Aaron Sorkin, says that scandal-ridden bully and super-producer (and Sorkin's collaborator), Scott Rudin, got what he deserved.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:   OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network has signed a deal for a 20-episode third season of "All Rise," the legal drama that CBS cancelled in this past May.  The Warner Bros TV-produced series will air on OWN beginning in 2022.  Star Simone Missick and most of the cast will return.

TELEVISION - From EOnline:  Ellen Pompeo remembers that time she called Denzel Washington a "m*therf*cker."

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Eleven years after dumping it, NBC is reviving its beloved crime drama, "Law & Order," for a 21st season.  No premiere date has yet been announced.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  J. Michael Straczynski is set to write and executive a reboot of his 1990s science fiction syndicated TV series, "Babylon 5," for The CW.  The series ran for fives seasons (1994-99), including a pilot film (1993) and five other television movies.  The pilot TV movie and the series' first four seasons were syndicated via the "Prime Time Entertainment Network."  Season 5 aired on cable network TNT.

SCANDAL - From Deadline:   Grammy-winning recording artist, R. Kelly, has been found guilty on all nine counts in his federal sex trafficking and racketeering trial in Brooklyn. Sentencing is set for May 4th, 2022.

CELEBRITY - From GQ:  Oscar-nominated, box office champion, Will Smith, is the cover feature in November 2021 issue of "GQ." "Introducing the Real Will Smith" is the title of the article.

TELEVISION - From TheHill:  "Saturday Night Live" is adding a comedian, James Austin Johnson, to its cast who's been dubbed the world's greatest impersonator of former President Trump.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 9/25 to 9/27/2021 weekend box office is "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" with an estimated 13.3 million dollars.

From Negromancer:  My review of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."

CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertainment:  Former child star, Dante Baco (who played "Rufio" in Steven Spielberg's 1991 film, "Hook") talks about his career and transition from child to adult actor.

MARVEL - From THR:   On Friday, Sept. 24, Marvel Entertainement filed a series of lawsuits against the estates of a group of comic book creators who created many of their most popular characters.  Those creators, all deceased, include Stan Lee, Gene Colan, and Steve Ditko.  The dispute is over something called "copyright termination," but you can read more at the article.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Director Joel Coen and actor Frances McDormand answer questions about their new film, "The Tragedy of Macbeth," which also stars Denzel Washington and opened the 2021 New York Film Festival.

POLITICS - From YahooNews:  Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA's secret war plans against WikiLeaks qne Julian Assange.

OBITS:

From THR:  Actor and former Disney child star, Tommy Kirk, has died at the age of 79, found dead on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.  Kirk was best known for the films he made for Walt Disney Studios from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s.  These include "Old Yeller" (1957), "The Shaggy Dog" (1959), "Swiss Family Robinson" (1960), and "Son of Flubber" (1963), to name a few.  He also played boy detective, "Joe Hardy," of "The Hardy Boys" on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in 1956.  The late Walt Disney reportedly personally fired Kirk from the studio in 1963 when he learned that the 21-year-old was involved in a gay relationship.  Kirk was elected as a "Disney Legend" in 2006.

From Deadline:  British film editor, Jon Gregory, has died at the age of 77, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.  Gregory was nominated for a "Best Film Editing" Oscar nomination for his work on "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017).  He was a four-time BAFTA nominee, including for his work on films like "Four Wedding and a Funeral" (1994) and "In Bruges" (2008).  Gregory is also known for his work with director Mike Leigh, including on films "Naked" (1993) and "Secrets & Lies" (1996).


Nominations for 22nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards Have Been Announced; Winners Announced Nov. 18th

The Latin Recording Academy® Announces 22nd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards® Nominees

Vying for Song Of The Year: "A Tu Lado," "A Veces," "Agua," "Canción Bonita," "Dios Así Lo Quiso," "Hawái," "Mi Guitarra," "Patria Y Vida," "Que Se Sepa Nuestro Amor," "Si Hubieras Querido," "Todo De Ti," "Vida De Rico"

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Latin Recording Academy® has announced the nominees for the 22nd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards®, the preeminent international honor and the only peer-selected award celebrating excellence in Latin music. The Latin GRAMMYs® are voted on by The Latin Academy's international membership body of music creators who represent all genres and creative disciplines, including recording artists, songwriters, producers, mixers and engineers.

    “Our Academy strives to support the Latin music community through inclusive awards that spotlight the most current representation of excellence in the field”

This year's Song Of The Year category comprises a diverse group of songwriters that reflect the diversity of Latin music and its worldwide power, which transcends language and country of origin. Latin music has gained global popularity. Not only is the Latin community one of the largest and fastest-growing demographic groups in the U.S., but its music is more popular than ever.

In addition, this year's Best New Artist category, which includes Giulia Be, María Becerra, Bizarrap, Boza, Zoe Gotusso, Humbe, Rita Indiana, Lasso, Paloma Mami, Marco Mares and Juliana Velásquez, features an incredible slate of nominees. The Latin Recording Academy takes pride in the diversity within this category, as it has been an ongoing commitment of the organization to ensure that all creators see a future for their music in the industry.

“Our Academy strives to support the Latin music community through inclusive awards that spotlight the most current representation of excellence in the field," said Manuel Abud, CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. "Today, we are proud to unveil the nominees for the 22nd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards — a gifted and diverse group of artists whose global music has broken down cultural barriers around the world."

The 22nd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards nominees were selected from more than 20,000 entries across 53 categories and reflect an expansive range of artists who released recordings during the eligibility period (June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021). All songs that are considered for nominations must contain a minimum percentage of lyric content in Spanish or Portuguese that ranges from 51% to 75%, depending on the category. The only exceptions are for Best New Artist, where artists and groups are not eligible if they have established their public identity in a language other than Spanish or Portuguese, and Best Classical Contemporary Composition, where the work must have been composed by an Ibero-American.

The Latin Academy's online entry process allowed members and record labels to submit entries digitally during the COVID-19 pandemic and paved the way for a very successful virtual screening and nominating process that enabled the participation of a large majority of voting members, regardless of their location. The final round of voting to determine Latin GRAMMY winners will begin on October 8.

The Latin Academy is celebrating the 22nd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 18, 2021. The safety of guests, nominees and performers is the most urgent priority. The organization is closely monitoring industry, county, state and federal health guidelines while continuing to plan this year's ceremony and auxiliary events.

The 22nd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards telecast will air live on Univision at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT). The broadcast will also air on TNT (cable) at 19.00 (MEX)/20.00 (PAN-COL)/21.00 (VEN)/22.00 (ARG/CHI). Additional international broadcasting partners will be announced at a later date.

Preceding the telecast is the Latin GRAMMY Premiere® ceremony, where the winners in most categories will be announced. This long-established afternoon full of unforgettable performances and heartfelt acceptance speeches will be held at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on November 18, 2021.

Following is the list of nominees for some of the General Fields. For the complete list of nominees in the 53 categories, please visit LatinGRAMMY.com.

Album Of The Year:
Vértigo — Pablo Alborán
Mis Amores — Paula Arenas
El Último Tour Del Mundo — Bad Bunny
Salswing! — Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta
Mis Manos — Camilo
Nana, Tom, Vinícius — Nana Caymmi
Privé — Juan Luis Guerra
Origen — Juanes
Un Canto Por México, Vol. II — Natalia Lafourcade
El Madrileño — C. Tangana

Song Of The Year:
"A Tu Lado" — Paula Arenas & María Elisa Ayerbe, songwriters (Paula Arenas)

"A Veces" — Diamante Eléctrico, songwriters (Diamante Eléctrico)

"Agua" — J Balvin, Alejandro Borrero, Kevyn Mauricio Cruz Moreno, Derek Drymon, Mark Harrison, Stephen Hillenburg, Jhay Cortez, Alejandro Ramirez, Ivanni Rodríguez, Blaise Smith, Tainy & Juan Camilo Vargas, songwriters (Tainy & J Balvin)

"Canción Bonita" — Rafa Arcaute, Ricky Martin, Mauricio Rengifo, Andrés Torres & Carlos Vives, songwriters (Carlos Vives & Ricky Martin)

"Dios Así Lo Quiso" — Camilo, David Julca, Jonathan Julca, Yasmil Jesús Marrufo & Ricardo Montaner, songwriters (Ricardo Montaner & Juan Luis Guerra)

"Hawái" — Édgar Barrera, René Cano, Kevyn Cruz, Johan Espinosa, Kevin Jiménez, Miky La Sensa, Bryan Lezcano, Maluma, Andrés Uribe & Juan Camilo Vargas, songwriters (Maluma)

"Mi Guitarra" — Javier Limón, songwriter (Javier Limón, Juan Luis Guerra & Nella)

"Patria y Vida" — Descemer Bueno, El Funky, Gente De Zona, Yadam González, Beatriz Luengo, Maykel Osorbo & Yotuel, songwriters (Yotuel, Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo, El Funky)

"Que Se Sepa Nuestro Amor" — El David Aguilar & Mon Laferte, songwriters (Mon Laferte & Alejandro Fernández)

"Si Hubieras Querido" — Pablo Alborán, Nicolás "Na'vi" De La Espriella, Diana Fuentes & Julio Reyes, songwriters (Pablo Alborán)

"Todo De Ti" — Rauw Alejandro, José M. Collazo, Luis J. González, Rafael E. Pabón Navedo & Eric Pérez Rovira, songwriters (Rauw Alejandro)

"Vida De Rico" — Édgar Barrera & Camilo, songwriters (Camilo)

Best New Artist:
Giulia Be
María Becerra
Bizarrap
Boza
Zoe Gotusso
Humbe
Rita Indiana
Lasso
Paloma Mami
Marco Mares
Juliana Velásquez

Disclaimer: This release has been prepared with label copy information and recordings provided by labels and the Latin Academy members. Modifications to the official nominations list may occur based on further review of the information provided.

For more information and the latest news, please visit the official Latin Recording Academy website at LatinGRAMMY.com (#LatinGRAMMY).

Facebook: LatinGRAMMYs | Twitter: @LatinGRAMMYs | Instagram: @LatinGRAMMYs


ABOUT THE LATIN RECORDING ACADEMY:
The Latin Recording Academy is an international nonprofit dedicated to nurturing, celebrating, honoring and elevating Latin music and its creators. Established as the global authority on Latin music, the membership-based organization composed of music professionals produces the annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, The Biggest Night in Latin Music®, which honors excellence in the recording arts and sciences, in addition to providing educational and outreach programs for the music community through its Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation®. For more information, please visit LatinGRAMMY.com.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Disney+ Releases First Official Trailer for "Welcome to Earth" Starring Will Smith

First Official Trailer for the Disney+ Original Series, From National Geographic, ‘Welcome to Earth,’ Hosted by Two-Time Academy Award® Nominee Will Smith, Now Available

The Six-Part Series Is Executive Produced by Academy Award-Nominated Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, Protozoa Pictures, Jane Root’s Nutopia, and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios

‘Welcome to Earth’ Premieres This December on Disney+

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Disney+ revealed the first official trailer for the six-part original series “Welcome to Earth,” streaming this December. The visually stunning Disney+ series, from National Geographic, follows two-time Academy Award® nominee Will Smith on an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world to explore Earth’s greatest wonders and reveal its most hidden secrets. Will Smith debuted the breathtaking trailer this morning on his social media accounts.

Executive produced by visionary Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan,” “Requiem for a Dream”), Protozoa Pictures, Jane Root’s Nutopia and Westbrook Studios, Will is guided by elite explorers on an awe-inspiring journey, getting up close and personal with some of the most thrilling spectacles on the planet — from volcanoes that roar in silence to deserts that move beyond our perception to animal swarms with minds of their own.

The top-of-class adventurers leading Will through these incredible experiences include marine biologist and National Geographic Explorer Diva Amon, polar expeditionist Dwayne Fields, engineer and National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin, National Geographic Photographer Cristina Mittermeier, and mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer. Combining breathtaking cinematography with Will’s boundless curiosity and enthusiasm, the epic series is an exciting, multisensory ride through Earth’s most mind-bending portals.

The trailer for "Welcome to Earth" is here.

“Welcome to Earth” is produced by Nutopia, Protozoa Pictures and Westbrook Studios for National Geographic. For Nutopia, Jane Root and Peter Lovering are executive producers, and Graham Booth co-executive produces and directs the series. For Protozoa, Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel executive produce. Westbrook executive producers are Will Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter and Miguel Melendez. Matt Renner and Chris L. Kugelman serve as executive producers for National Geographic. The series’ music is composed by Daniel Pemberton (“Trial of The Chicago 7,” “Steve Jobs”).

SOCIAL HANDLES AND HASHTAGS:
#WelcomeToEarthSeries
@DisneyPlus
#DisneyPlus
@willsmith (Instagram and Facebook)
@diva_amon (Instagram), @DivaAmon (Twitter)
@exploreralbert (Instagram and Twitter)
@dwaynefields (Instagram and Twitter)
@erikweihenmayer (Instagram and Twitter)
@mitty (Instagram), @cmittermeier (Twitter)


About Disney+:
Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. As part of Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Disney+ is available on most internet-connected devices and offers commercial-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content. Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment, the service is also the exclusive streaming home for the latest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as part of a bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported), and ESPN+. Visit DisneyPlus.com to subscribe and/or learn more about the service.

About National Geographic Partners:
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 133 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

About Protozoa Pictures:
Protozoa Pictures, based in Chinatown NYC, is headed by Darren Aronofsky and his partner, Ari Handel. Their credits include Aronofsky’sπ, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, THE FOUNTAIN, THE WRESTLER, BLACK SWAN, NOAH, mother! and his upcoming film THE WHALE; as well as Pablo Larrain’s JACKIE, Yann Demange’s WHITE BOY RICK, Lance Oppenheim’s documentary SOME KIND OF HEAVEN, Josef Kobuta Wladyka's CATCH THE FAIR ONE and Tobias Lindhoff’s THE GOOD NURSE. Their TV credits include ONE STRANGE ROCK for Nat Geo, the upcoming WELCOME TO EARTH and LIMITLESS for Nat Geo, BLACK GOLD for Paramount+, and KINDRED for FX, directed by Janicza Bravo.

About Nutopia:
Nutopia is known for creating award-winning, factual series on a global scale, and a new genre of television, the “mega-doc,” which combines epic cinematography with action-driven drama or high-end documentary and A-list talent. The company, which was founded in 2008 by Jane Root, former President of Discovery Channel US and Controller of BBC2, and co-founder of Wall to Wall TV, has become synonymous with creating high-quality, notable content for buyers that include Netflix, Disney+, CNN, National Geographic, BBC, PBS, HBO Max, and A+E Networks. Recent projects include “Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth” for Disney+ and Nat Geo’s Shark Fest; “Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer” for PBS; “A World of Calm” for HBO Max, “Babies” for Netflix, and Emmy Award-nominated “The World According to Jeff Goldblum.” Nutopia also produced, the much-honored National Geographic series “One Strange Rock” Emmy Award-winning series “How We Got to Now” and “America: The Story of US.” Upcoming projects include “Limitless,” with Chris Hemsworth, and “Welcome to Earth” with Will Smith for Disney+.

About Westbrook Studios:
Westbrook Studios is a subsidiary of Westbrook Inc., the media company launched in 2019 by founders Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Miguel Melendez and Ko Yada, focused on empowering artists to tell stories that connect the world. Led by Co-Presidents, Terence Carter (Television) and Jon Mone (Film), Westbrook Studios is home to a rapidly expanding footprint in premium motion picture and television projects. In TV, Westbrook Studios recently launched Amend: The Fight for America, a powerful, six-part, Netflix docuseries that uses a groundbreaking, multimedia narrative format to explore the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. Upcoming TV projects include an unprecedented two-season order from Peacock for Bel-Air, the dramatic reboot of Will Smith’s iconic ‘The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ based on Morgan Cooper’s 2019 viral short film and set to premiere in 2022, the recently announced adventure series Welcome to Earth, set to premiere on Disney+ later this year, and season 4 of the beloved series Cobra Kai set to launch on Netflix in December. In film, upcoming Westbrook Studios projects include the highly anticipated KING RICHARD, based on the life of Richard Williams, father to tennis greats Serena and Venus; EMANCIPATION which sold to Apple in the largest festival acquisition deal in film history; the remake of the 1980s classic PLANES, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES, starring Will Smith and Kevin Hart; the upcoming sports drama REDD ZONE, starring Jada Pinkett Smith; and the recently announced live action musical fantasy film, SOUL SUPERHERO.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Comics Review: DEJAH THORIS VERSUS JOHN CARTER #3

DEJAH THORIS VERSUS JOHN CARTER, VOL. 1 #3
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

STORY: Dan Abnett
ART: Alessandro Miracolo
COLORS: Dearbhla Kelly
LETTERS: Simon Bowland
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joseph Michael Linsner; Alessandro Miracolo; Sebastian Fiumara; (Rachel Hollon cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated Teen+

Based on the characters and stories created by Edgar Rice Burroughs


Dejah Thoris and John Carter are characters that first appeared in the serialized novel, Under the Moons of Mars (The All-Story, 1912), written by Tarzan creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs.  When it was first collected and published in hardcover, the novel was re-titled, A Princess of Mars (1917), the first of Burroughs' “Barsoom” novels, which were set on Barsoom, a fictional version of Mars.

Dejah was the title character of A Princess of Mars, the princess of the Martian city-state/empire of Helium.  John Carter was a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War who was transported to Mars via “astral projection” where he got a new body that was similar to the one he left behind on Earth.  John made several trips back and forth between Earth and Barsoom, and Dejah and John were married and had two children.

John Carter first appeared in comic books in the early 1950s, and Dejah has become a prominent comic book character since 2010 via Dynamite Entertainment.  Now, the star-crossed lovers are the stars of Dynamite's new comic book, Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter.  The series is written by Dan Abnett; drawn by Alessandro Miracolo; colored by Dearbhla Kelly; and lettered by Simon Bowland.  The series finds Dejah and John caught in a war to save Mars from an ancient race, “The Longborn,” that has returned to reclaim the planet, and their surprising ally, the rogue scientist, Rotak Gall.

As Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter #3 opens, Dejah Thoris, Queen of Helium, is a prisoner of Rotak Gall in Dar Shadeth, a ruined palace from ancient days that is also far from civilization.  However, where she is in Dar Shadeth is “outside of the present” because of Gall's use of “arcanotech.”  Dejah will learn that “The Longborn” have new plans for her, and Gall is activating those plans.

Meanwhile, John Carter fights through Gall's “Black Pirate Synthetics,” hacking and slashing to find Dejah so that he can rescue her.  But what is John's part in Gall and The Longborn's plans?

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter #3, the third issue of the series that I have read and only the third Dejah Thoris or John Carter comic book I have read.

I found the first two issues of Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter to be likable, although I thought the second issue was stronger.  I enjoyed this third issue so much that I wish I could read more of the series right this very moment.  The art by Alessandro Miracolo still reminds me of the kind of art that readers would find in a Flash Gordon comic book, and that is appropriate.  Miracolo's art and Dearbhla Kelly colors sell the idea that this story takes place on a faraway world full of action, adventure, aliens, monster, hybrids, and ancient gods.  This is pure, lovable primordial science fiction and fantasy.

Writer Dan Abnett, a veteran comic book scribe, kicks the story into the next gear once again.  With each issue, Abnett raises the stakes, and this third issue offers a shocking and frightening vision of the immediate future for Dejah and John.  Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter is a thoroughly enjoyable read, and this third issue suggests that the fourth might be even more exciting.

I highly recommend Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter to fans of Dan Abnett's comic book work.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Dynamite's Dejah Thoris and Barsoom comic books will want to try Dejah Thoris Versus John Carter.

A-

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Comics Review: SONJAVERSAL #8

SONJAVERSAL, VOLUME. 1 #8
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

STORY: Christopher Hastings
ART: Pasquale Qualano
COLORS: Kike J. Diaz
LETTERS: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
EDITOR: Nate Cosby
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joseph Michael Linsner; Jae Lee with June Chung; Jung-Geun Yoon; Lucio Parrillo; Gracie the Cosplay Lass (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2021)

Rated Teen+

Based on the characters and stories created by Roy Thomas, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Robert E. Howard


Conan the Barbarian #23 (cover dated: February 1973) saw the debut of a high fantasy, sword and sorcery heroine, Red Sonja.  Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith, Red Sonja was loosely based on “Red Sonya of Rogatino,” a female character that appeared in the 1934 short story, “The Shadow of the Vulture,” written by Robert E. Howard (1906-1936), the creator of the character, Conan the Cimmerian.

Red Sonja remained a fixture in comic books from then until about 1986.  In 2005, Dynamite Entertainment began publishing comic books featuring differing versions of the character.  One of those is a spin-off title, Sonjaversal, which sees Red Sonja battle parallel versions of herself from parallel universes.  Sonjaversal is currently written by Christopher Hastings; drawn by Pasquale Qualano; colored by Kike J. Diaz; and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

Sonjaversal #8 opens in the far reaches of space aboard a space ship called “The Ark,” which carries that last of the nearly extinct human species.  Giant monsters from Hell attacked Earth, but no matter how powerful they were, Purple Sonja turned them back … until the day came when she couldn't.

Now, in this far-flung future, Purple Sonja and her mech, S.O.N.J.A., act as scouts for a space pilgrimage for the remaining members of humanity that have fled Earth and are looking for a new home.  However, the kaiju from Hell have returned, and they have grown bigger without the gravity of Earth to hold them down.  The radiation of space has also made them meaner, but Purple Sonja and S.O.N.J.A. are up to the task.  Sonja's task is about to get harder after she gets a visit from an old enemy, Hell Sonja!

THE LOWDOWN:   Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Sonjaversal #8, which is the third issue of the title that I have read.

Sonjaversal #8 is also my favorite issue of the series … so far.  I enjoyed the sixth issue of Sonjaversal; then, I also found myself really liking Sonjaversal #7.  Writer Christopher Hastings has a knack for delineating the adventures of these parallel Sonjas, whether they are supernatural detectives, vampire hunters, or mech warriors.  His scripts are interesting and quite entertaining.

The art team of illustrator Pasquale Qualano and colorist Kike J. Diaz make this issue fly.  Qualano turns in some really good anime-inspired art, and Diaz's coloring is a purple and purple-hued sci-fi and fantasy wonderland.

I am recommending Sonjaversal #8 and the series, in general, to you, dear readers.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Red Sonja will want to try Sonjaversal.

B+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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Comics Review: VENGEANCE OF VAMPIRELLA Volume 2 #22

VENGEANCE OF VAMPIRELLA VOLUME 2 #22
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

STORY: Thomas Sniegoski
ART: Michael Sta. Maria
COLORS: Omi Remalante, Jr.
LETTERS: Troy Peteri
EDITOR: Joe Rybandt
COVER: Lucio Parrillo
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Ben Oliver; Stephen Segovia; Michael Sta. Maria; Lucio Parrillo; Leon De La Chance (cosplay)
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2021)

Rated Teen+

Vampirella is vampire and female superhero created by the late author and science fiction and horror expert, Forrest J Ackerman, and comic book artist, Trina Robbins.  Vampirella first appeared in Vampirella #1 (Sept. 1969), the debut issue of a black and white horror comics magazine from Warren Publishing.  Writer-editor Archie Goodwin changed the character from a hostess of horror comics to a leading character in her own stories.

Vampirella publications were published by Warren into 1983, and after Warren's bankruptcy, Harris Publications obtained the character and published new and reprint Vampirella comic books into the mid-1990s.  In 2010, Dynamite Entertainment obtained the character and has been publishing new Vampirella material since then.

One of Dynamite's Vampirella comic book series is Vengeance of Vampirella, which was also the title of a Harris Comics series.  Vengeance of Vampirella Volume 2 is written by Thomas Sniegoski; drawn by Michael Sta. Maria; colored by Omi Remalante, Jr.; and lettered by Troy Peteri.  The series focuses on a reborn Vampirella, fighting the forces of chaos to save humanity and then, trying to live in the world after the fight.

Vengeance of Vampirella Volume 2 #22 finds Vampirella and her traveling companion, Jeannine, on the road … and in trouble.  They came across a middle-age couple, Phil and Agnes, in need of protection.  Appreciative of the help, Phil and Agnes offered Vampirella and Jeannine a hot bath and a home cooked meal in their hometown of Surette.  Vampirella finds Surette strangely undamaged compared to virtually everywhere else, but their hosts assured her that their peace and quiet was the result of luck.

That luck, however, is a dragon named “Mandrasath,” who protects Surette … as long as the townsfolk offer him sacrificial victims.  Well, between Vampirella and Jeannine, which is the sacrifice?  And which is the one destined to bring it all down?  The answers will surprise.

THE LOWDOWN:  Dynamite Entertainment's marketing department recently began providing me with PDF review copies of some of their titles.  One of them is Vengeance of Vampirella Volume 2 #22.  It is the third issue of this series that I have read, and one of a growing number of Vampirella comic books that I have recently read.

Writer Thomas Sniegoski offers a nice change of pace with his scripts for issues #21 and #22.  The story is of a familiar type, one now called “folk horror,” but Sniegoski is giving us the Vampirella twist.  Vengeance of Vampirella #22 is the best issue of the series that I have read, yet.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, mainly because I thoroughly enjoy seeing scheming, murderous assholes getting their comeuppance and a lot more.

The art and storytelling by Michael Sta. Maria still recalls classic Warren Publishing Vampirella, but in this issue, he draws some tightly-paced and expertly delivered action.  I tore through this comic book, so I look forward to Michael giving us more kick-ass action.  Omi Remalante, Jr.'s rich colors amp up the fantasy violence, which makes the gore all the sweeter.  And letterer Troy Peteri – he presents a word balloon symphony of grunts, growls, howls, and the screams of pain, glorious pain.

Since I reviewed issue #20, I have been saying that I wanted more Vengeance of Vampirella Volume 2.  Yeah, I want more, and I want you to join me.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Vampirella will want to try Vengeance of Vampirella Volume 2.

A-

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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Monday, September 27, 2021

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DC Comics Shipping from Lunar Distributors for September 28, 2021

DC COMICS:

Action Comics #1035 (Cover A Daniel Sampere), $4.99
Action Comics #1035 (Cover B Julian Totino Tedesco Card Stock Variant), $5.99
Batman Reptilian #4 (Of 6) (Cover A Liam Sharp), $4.99
Batman Reptilian #4 (Of 6) (Cover B Cully Hamner), $4.99
Batman Reptilian #4 (Of 6) (Cover C Declan Shalvey), AR
Batman Superman #22 (Cover A Ivan Reis & Danny Miki), $3.99
Batman Superman #22 (Cover B Gary Frank Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Batman Urban Legends #6 (2nd Printing Nicola Scott Cover), $7.99
Batman Vs Bigby A Wolf In Gotham #1 (Of 6)(Cover A Yanick Paquette), $3.99
Batman Vs Bigby A Wolf In Gotham #1 (Of 6)(Cover B Brian Level & Jay Leisten Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Checkmate #4 (Of 6)(Cover A Alex Maleev), $3.99
Checkmate #4 (Of 6)(Cover B Matt Taylor Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Deathstroke Inc. #1 (Cover A Howard Porter), $3.99
Deathstroke Inc. #1 (Cover B Francesco Mattina Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Deathstroke Inc. #1 (Cover C Adam Hughes Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Deathstroke Inc. #1 (Cover D Gerardo Zaffino Team Foil Card Stock Variant), AR
Deathstroke Inc. #1 (Cover E Dima Ivano Card Stock Variant), AR
Detective Comics #1043 (Cover A Dan Mora)(Fear State), $4.99
Detective Comics #1043 (Cover B Lee Bermejo Card Stock Variant)(Fear State), $5.99
Detective Comics #1043 (Cover C Kael Ngu Card Stock Variant)(Fear State), AR
Harley Quinn #7 (Cover A Riley Rossmo)(Fear State), $3.99
Harley Quinn #7 (Cover B Derrick Chew Card Stock Variant)(Fear State), $4.99
Harley Quinn #7 (Cover C Kael Ngu Card Stock Variant)(Fear State), AR
Icon And Rocket Season One #3 (Of 6)(Cover A Taurin Clarke), $3.99
Icon And Rocket Season One #3 (Of 6)(Cover B Doug Braithwaite Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Justice League #68 (Cover A David Marquez), $4.99
Justice League #68 (Cover B Alexander Lozano Card Stock Variant), $5.99
Justice League Volume 8 Death Metal TP, $16.99
Legends Of The Dark Knight #5 (Cover A Giannis Milonogiannis), $3.99
Legends Of The Dark Knight #5 (Cover B Riley Rossmo Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Legends Of The Dark Knight #5 (Cover C Jorge Fornes Card Stock Variant), AR
Locke And Key The Sandman Universe Hell And Gone #2 (Cover A Gabriel Rodriguez), $6.99
Locke And Key The Sandman Universe Hell And Gone #2 (Cover B J. H. Williams III), $6.99
Locke And Key The Sandman Universe Hell And Gone #2 (Cover C Kelley Jones), $6.99
Mister Miracle The Source Of Freedom #5 (Of 6)(Cover A Yanick Paquette), $3.99
Mister Miracle The Source Of Freedom #5 (Of 6)(Cover B Valentine De Landro Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Robin #6 (Cover A Gleb Melnikov), $3.99
Robin #6 (Cover B Francis Manapul Card Stock Variant), $4.99
RWBY Justice League #6 (Of 7) (Cover A Mirka Andolfo), $3.99
RWBY Justice League #6 (Of 7) (Cover B Simone Di Meo Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Superman ’78 #2 (Of 6) (Cover A Ben Oliver), $3.99
Superman ’78 #2 (Of 6) (Cover B Bryan Hitch Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Superman Action Comics Volume 5 The House Of Kent TP, $17.99
Superman And Lois Lane The 25th Wedding Anniversary Deluxe Edition HC, $34.99
Superman Son Of Kal-El #3 (Cover A John Timms), $3.99
Superman Son Of Kal-El #3 (Cover B InHyuk Lee Card Stock Variant), $4.99
Teen Titans Beast Boy Loves Raven TP, $16.99
Wonder Woman Black And Gold #4 (Of 6) (Cover A Tula Lotay), $5.99
Wonder Woman Black And Gold #4 (Of 6) (Cover B Joshua Middleton), $5.99
Wonder Woman Black And Gold #4 (Of 6) (Cover C Matias Bergara), AR
Wonderful Women Of The World TP, $16.99


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Review: First "VENOM" is Surprisingly Entertaining and Unexpectedly Good

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 57 of 2021 (No. 1795) by Leroy Douresseaux

Venom (2018)
Running time:  112 minutes (1 hour, 52 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language
DIRECTOR:  Ruben Fleischer
WRITERS:  Scott Rosenberg and Kelly Marcel; from a screen story by Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg (based on the Marvel Comics)
PRODUCERS:  Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, and Matt Tolmach
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Matthew Libatique (D.o.P.)
EDITORS:  Alan Baumgarten and Maryann Brandon
COMPOSER:  Ludwig Göransson

SUPERHERO/FANTASY/ACTION

Starring:  Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate, Melora Walters, Peggy Lu, Ron Cephas Jones, Stan Lee, and Woody Harrelson

Venom is a 2018 superhero fantasy-action film directed by Ruben Fleischer.  The film is based on the Marvel Comics super-villain/anti-hero characters, Eddie Brock/Venom, to which several comic book writers, artists, and editors contributed in the creation of, most especially artist Todd McFarlane and writer David Michelinie.  It is also the first film in the “Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters” series.  In Venom the film, a troubled television reporter gains superpowers after bonding with an alien entity that is part of an invasion force.

As Venom opens, a space exploration probe belonging to the bio-engineering corporation, Life Foundation, discovers a comet covered in strange lifeforms.  The probe returns to Earth with four samples of these lifeforms, but one escapes.  Later, Life Foundation CEO, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), has realized that these lifeforms are “symbiotes,” and that they cannot survive without human hosts.  However, soon after the symbiotes bond with humans, the humans' bodies start to reject the aliens.  Drake is obsessed with finding the perfect human hosts for these symbiotes, even if his experiments lead to the deaths of many humans.

Six months later, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a failed television reporter and former star of “The Brock Report.”  He previously had a run-in with Drake, but fate has given him the opportunity to infiltrate the Life Foundation.  That is how Eddie has an unfortunate encounter with a symbiote that calls itself “Venom.”  Eddie struggles to adapt to what he calls the “parasite” inside his body and is shocked to learn that there are millions more like Venom out in space.  But Eddie will need Venom's help to stay alive when Drake and Life Foundation discover his strange union and come after him to retrieve their property – the symbiote Venom.

Except for his early comic book appearances, I have never been a fan of Venom, but I am a fan of Venom the movie.  He is one of those characters whose potential reveals itself in the movement that television and film offers.  The visual-effects crew of Venom does excellent work in creating Venom as a fascinating and alluring CGI character; noisy, chaotic, obnoxious, inconsistent, and aggressive work for this character.  In fact, there are many inconsistencies in what is supposed to be the nature of human-symbiote relationship, especially in what are the rules of Eddie Brock and Venom's merger, but I found this movie to be too much fun for me to pay attention to logic.

Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and Riz Ahmed as Carlton Drake make the most of two characters that are not that well developed, and the characters make a good adversarial pair.  Even acclaimed actress and multiple Oscar nominee, Michelle Williams, manages to make Eddie's ex, Anne Weying, seem like something more than an obligatory female character.  But still, the gold in Venom is the special effect that is Venom the character.  I like Venom enough to watch a sequel...

7 of 10
B+

Monday, July 5, 2021


The text is copyright © 2021 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.

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