Articles by Jesse Schedeen

GAMING NEWS

Grand Admiral Thrawn Gets a Star Wars Comic

The Grand Admiral gets the spotlight he deserves. By Jesse Schedeen Always in motion, Marvel’s Star Wars comic book line is. At the Lucasfilm Publishing panel at SDCC today, it was revealed that Marvel’s next Star Wars mini-series will focus on fan-favorite villain Grand Admiral Thrawn. Star Wars: Thrawn is an adaptation of Timothy Zahn’s novel of the same name, which was released in April 2017. This comic book adaptation will be handled by two veterans of Marvel’s Star Wars line, writer Jody Houser (Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation) and artist Luke Ross (Star Wars: Darth Maul). The mini-series will debut in February 2018. Like the novel, the Thrawn comic will explore the titular character’s rise through the Imperial ranks and how he honed his fearsome reputation in the years leading up to his first in-canon appearance in the Star Wars: Rebels animated series. It’s not clear how closely the comic will follow the structure of the novel and if, like Rogue One, Houser will expand on the original story with new material. It was also revealed at the panel that Jason Fry has been tapped to write the novelization for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fry previously READ FULL…

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Meet the Evil Batmen of Dark Nights: Metal

The Dark Knights are ready to dominate the DC Universe. By Jesse Schedeen DC’s upcoming event comic Dark Nights: Metal will introduce a realm called the Dark Multiverse and the twisted, evil incarnations of Batman that rule that dimension. And at the DC Rebirth panel at SDCC today, DC gave fans their first real look at these so-called “Dark Knights.” Check out DC’s new teaser image below: Each villain is a twisted fusion of Batman and another iconic DC hero or villain. From left to right, this lineup of villains features The Murder Machine (Cyborg), The Red Death (Flash), The Devastator (Doomsday), The Merciless (Ares), The Drowned (Aquaman) and The Dawnbreaker (Green Lantern).  DC also previously teased the existence of a seventh, Joker-inspired Dark Knight called The Batman Who Laughs, but it seems we’ll have to wait longer to meet him. Each of these characters will star in a one-shot special spinning out of the events of Dark Nights: Metal this fall. Here are the five issues DC has revealed so far: BATMAN: THE RED DEATH #1 (on sale September 20) Written by Joshua Williamson Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico BATMAN: THE MURDER MACHINE #1 (on sale September READ FULL STORY…

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Geoff Johns Sheds Light on DC's Doomsday Clock

The Justice League is watching the Watchmen. By Jesse Schedeen DC’s second major panel of SDCC was a spotlight of acclaimed writer-turned-head of DC Films, Geoff Johns. The panel was mostly devoted to Johns reminiscing about his past at DC and the genesis of the DC Rebirth relaunch last year, though he did reveal some intriguing new details about the upcoming Doomsday Clock mini-series. If there was any remaining doubt that Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan is the unseen antagonist behind the events of DC Rebirth, Johns officially put those to rest when he confirmed that Doomsday Clock is a story about Superman finally confronting this all-powerful foe. Johsn said that Manhattan was really the only character with the means to bring about such massive changes to the fabric of the DCU, though he did admit to being very nervous about drawing the cast of Watchmen into DC continuity. He noted that he didn’t want Manhattan’s inclusion to be a mere gimmick. As the discussion unfolded, the panelists revealed a number of Doomsday Clock images drawn by series artist Gary Frank, including this teaser featuring a familiar tagline: Update: DC has made some of the other teaser images available READ FULL STORY…

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Finale Coming in 2018

The League has one final adventure left. By Jesse Schedeen Top Shelf Productions announced at SDCC today that writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O’Neill are reuniting for a sixth League of Extraordinary Gentlemen mini-series. Dubbed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest, this six-issue series will wrap up their sprawling literary crossover once and for all. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest teaser art by Kevin O’Neill. (Top Shelf) The Tempest is a follow-up to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 3, which wrapped up in 2012. The series will build on threads from the previous three volumes, the spinoff graphic novel The Black Dossier and the Nemo prequel trilogy. And from the sound of Top Shelf’s press release, The Tempest may well serve as the final word on both creators’ respective careers: Tying up the slenderest of plot threads and allusions from the three preceding volumes, The Black Dossier, and the Nemo trilogy into a dazzling and ingenious bow, the world’s most accomplished and bad-tempered artist-writer team will use their most stylistically adventurous outing yet to display the glories of the medium they are leaving; to demonstrate the excitement that attracted them to the field in the first READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

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Archie Comics Says Farewell to Sonic the Hedgehog

Say it ain’t so, Sonic. By Jesse Schedeen After 24 years, Sonic the Hedgehog will be leaving his home at Archie Comics and moving elsewhere. That news broke last night as Sega of America revealed (via the official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account) that they’re terminating their partnership with the publisher. Sega’s full statement reads: After 24 years of memorable storytelling, SEGA of America will conclude their Sonic the Hedgehog publishing partnership program with Archie Comics. This does not mark the end of Sonic in comics, but signifies SEGA of America’s decision to take a different direction for the series that will be announced at a later date. SEGA would like to thank Sonic’s amazing fans for their loyalty and passion over all the years. SEGA looks forward to providing more information soon. The exact reason for this decision is unclear, though there have been signs for months that the relationship between Archie and Sega was winding down. The ongoing Sonic the Hedgehog series ended with December’s issue #290, while issues #291 through 293 were solicited and canceled. Sonic was also notably absent from Archie’s Free Comic Book Day fare this year. This split also leaves READ FULL STORY AT…

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Comic Book Reviews for July 19, 2017

A new X-Men team forms and the Power Rangers look to the future. By Jesse Schedeen and Blair Marnell It was another big week of comics. Batman #27 explored the sad origin of a silly Gotham villain. Astonishing X-Men #1 introduced a brand new team of mutant heroes. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #17 kicked off a major new storyline for the series. And Sons of Anarchy’s Kurt Sutter made his return to comics with Sisters of Sorrow #1. Scroll down to check out our reviews for these and various other new releases, and be sure to let us know your favorite books of the week in the comments below. Aquaman #26 Written by Dan Abnett | Drawn by Stjepan Sejic Stjepan Sejic has done an amazing job in only two issues on Aquaman. Sejic’s art is so dynamic and mesmerizing that he’s elevating a good script by Dan Abnett into something even greater. Abnett may even be playing to Sejic’s strengths through Dolphin’s facial expressions and body language, which are her only ways to communicate with Aquaman. Sejic captures the subtleties of her face so well that it is easy to fill in the gaps and figure out READ FULL…

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #17 Review

Share. Can the Power Rangers handle peace? By Jesse Schedeen Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #17 is very much a fresh start for both the Rangers themselves and their readers. This issue marks the start of writer Kyle Higgins and artist Hendry Prasetya’s next major story arc. Predictably, it’s a bit of a slow burn for the series as it moves forward from the recent, climactic showdown with Lord Drakkon. However, it does afford the creators the opportunity to dig in a little deeper with their main characters and allow the team dynamic to shine all the more. This issue opens several months after the battle with Drakkon and the apparent defeat of Rita Repulsa. An era of unexpected peace has dawned across the world, a fact which inspires a mixed range of emotions throughout the team. Some Rangers, like Trini and Kim, would like nothing more than to enjoy their newfound peace and quiet. Others, like Jason, can’t quite seem to let their guard down. This issue only really hints at the challenges to come for the team, but it does just enough to build anticipation for the months ahead. Higgins takes full advantage of the fact that the Rangers…

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Sisters of Sorrow #1 Review

Share. These sisters have a mind for murder. By Jesse Schedeen Sisters of Sorrow sounds like a great concept on paper. A group of nuns wage a vigilante crusade on criminals in Los Angeles? And it’s written by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter and novelist Courtney Alameda? What’s not to love? Unfortunately, the execution proves sorely lacking in this first issue. One thing readers will notice right off the bat is that the cover is pretty misleading. Despite the gun-toting nun on the cover, the main characters appear to be sisters in a more general sisterhood sense. There’s no real religious element to the series (at least not yet), and that saps some of the novelty factor out of the equation already. This wouldn’t be a deal-breaker on its own, though. There’s still appeal in the idea of a feminist-flavored spin on vigilante stories Death Wish or The Punisher. A decade or two ago, this book would probably fall under the “Bad Girls” umbrella and feature a bunch of scantily clad femme fatales. At least there’s an effort to build a more grounded, believable world here. Despite this grounded approach, the book quickly runs into more fundamental READ FULL…

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Secret Empire #6 Review

Share. The Avengers try to keep hope alive. By Jesse Schedeen For all its flaws, Secret Empire deserves a lot of credit for showing a much greater ambition than is usually found in Marvel’s annual summer events. This is a story with devastating and far-reaching consequences for our heroes. It’s also a story that strives to be about something deeper and more meaningful than one team of costumed superhumans punching another. That ambition continues to fuel the series, even n issues like this where the plot only inches along. Secret Empire #6 revisits a number of ongoing story threads, but for the most part this issue is devoted to chronicling the epic showdown between Cap’s Hydra forces and the Avengers holed up in their desert hideaway. From the beginning, the odds feel very stacked against Hawkeye and his team, as this issue hammers home the idea that the Avengers are divided and and feuding precisely when they need to be united. There’s some strong character work to be had in the build-up to and during that confrontation. Tony Stark in particular stands out, with Nick Spencer using this battle as a means of revisiting the lingering trauma of Civil READ…

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Guess Who Showed Up in Astonishing X-Men?

The Shadow King knows. By Jesse Schedeen Marvel’s new Astonishing X-Men comic just dropped a major bombshell for X-Men fans. Warning: this article contains spoilers for Astonishing X-Men #1! This latest addition to the X-Men franchise introduced a new team of X-Men, one brought together by circumstance as heroes like Old Man Logan, Rogue, Bishop, Gambit, Beast and Fantomex are brought together to save Psylocke from a devastating psychic attack. Psylocke reveals to her teammates that the Shadow King has returned, more powerful than ever, and is currently trying to use the world’s psychics as a foothold to return to the physical world. Art by Jim Cheung. (Marvel Comics) Psyclocke uses her powers to send the X-Men into the Astral Plane to confront the Shadow King. However, the final page makes it clear that they’re in for a big surprise when they meet the Shadow King’s prisoner. Art by Jim Cheung. (Marvel Comics) That’s right, it appears that Professor Xavier isn’t quite as dead as he seemed. Could he be returning to lead the X-Men once more? The team could surely use his guidance these days. For those not up to date READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

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Batman #27 Review

Share. A new villain is born. By Jesse Schedeen Writer Tom King has taken a fairly risky approach to depicting the events of “The War of Jokes and Riddles.” That war has mostly unfolded in the background of the series, with King and his partners less concerned with chronicling the battles themselves than the effect they’re having on the major players and those innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire. That approach continues in Batman #27, the first of several interlude issues focused on the origin story of Kite-Man. This issue succeeds in transforming that villain from goofy comic relief to tragic, integral player in this devastating conflict. Not unlike The Killing Joke did for Joker, “The Ballad of Kite Man” sets out to explore the hellish circumstances that transform an ordinary man into a costumed lunatic. King immediately succeeds in painting Chuck “Charlie” Brown as a sympathetic figure, one unwillingly dragged into Joker, Riddler and Batman’s war and used as a hapless pawn by all three sides. The tone of this issue is equal parts absurd and fatalistic. There’s a an almost silly quality to the way Chuck bounces from one costumed character to the next, but also an READ…

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Astonishing X-Men #1 Review

Share. The X-Men are ready to astonish again. By Jesse Schedeen Marvel’s ResurrXion relaunch hasn’t exactly given the chronically troubled X-Men franchise the boost it needs. Too many current X-books are still underwhelming, while those that do succeed are the ones continuing storylines and status quos from before the relaunch. There’s no series that stands out by doing something new and exciting with the merry mutants. Fortunately, Marvel seems to have saved the best for last. Astonishing X-Men is just the sort of clean, streamlined, engaging X-book Marvel really needs at the moment. Astonishing was very clearly conceived to be that proverbial “If you only read one X-Men comic…” series. Writer Charles Soule goes out of his way to make this first issue inviting for newcomers or those who might not be up to date on X-Men continuity. There’s a very New Avengers quality to the team Souloe assembles here. This isn’t a formal team so much as a group of costumed heroes brought together by circumstance and forced to confront an overwhelming enemy. The team features a mix of fan-favorite characters, but apart from the obligatory Old Man Logan inclusion, these are mainly characters who aren’t being utilized READ…

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Spider-Man and Batman Dominate June's Comic Book Sales

Apparently readers really like Spider-Man and Batman. By Jesse Schedeen Diamond Comics has released its sales figures for June 2017. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 proved to be the top-selling comic of the month, with an estimated 224,620 copies sold (according to numbers crunched by Comichron). The other big sellers for June included Dark Days: The Forge #1 (130,651 copies sold), Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 (118,644 copies sold) and Batman #24 (116,037 copies sold). The top ten best-selling comics of June 2017 included: 1) Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) 2) Dark Days: The Forge #1 (DC) 3) Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 (Marvel) 4) Batman #24 (DC) 5) The Dark Knight III: The Master Race #9 (DC) 6) Batman #25 (DC) 7) Edge of Venomverse #1 (Marvel) 8) Secret Empire #4 (Marvel) 9) Secret Empire #5 (Marvel) 10) The Walking Dead #168 (Image) The latest volume of Image’s The Wicked + The Divine was the best-selling graphic novel of June, with an estimated 6,273 copies sold. It was followed by DC Super Hero Girls Vol. 3 (5,349 copies sold) and Motor Crush Vol. 1 (5,010 copies sold). The top ten best-selling graphic READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

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Who Is Marvel's New Sorcerer Supreme?

There’s a new Sorcerer Supreme calling the shots. By Jesse Schedeen Big changes are brewing for Marvel’s ongoing Doctor Strange comic, as the series is gaining a new creative team and a new lead character beginning in November. It seems that Loki will be replacing Stephen Strange as Sorcerer Supreme as part of Marvel’s Legacy relaunch. Doctor Strange cover art by Mike Del Mundo. (Marvel Comics) Loki’s new promotion comes as new writer Donny Cates (God Country) and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Vision) take over the series. Cates recently made his Marvel debut co-writing Captain America: Steve Rogers with Nick Spencer, and Marvel revealed that Cates has now signed an exclusive contract with the company. “I’ve wanted to write for Marvel since I was a little kid, so the opportunity to come into this incredible world and play with all of these amazing characters is a dream come true for me,” said Cates in Marvel’s press release. “Everyone at Marvel has been great to work with, and we’ve put our collective heads together to make some really special stories for the fans. I’ve never been more excited to tell the stories that I’m telling today. I READ FULL STORY AT…