Saturday, March 17, 2018

THE FANDOM ZONE 131: "The Real Deal" is Up!

"That other thing we talked about.  I want you to promise me that you'll do that, no matter what happens."
"No.  No, no, it's not important, especially now.  It's...That's...It's just symbolic.  It wouldn't even change anything."
"Symbols are important.  Institutions are important.  People need things to believe in, Fitz, especially now.  People need hope."
-- Phil Coulson and Leo Fitz, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: "The Real Deal" 

Finally back in The Fandom Zone, Karen and I have returned with another new episode of The Fandom Zone PodcastThis week's reviews of comics on television include:

Lucifer 3x16: "Infernal Guinea Pig"
The Flash 4x15: "Enter Flashtime"
Gotham 4x13: "A Beautiful Darkness"
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5x12: "The Real Deal"  (Episode #100)

In this episode, Karen and I talk about things like Karen's naturally curly hair, my meeting David Tennant, Ray Fisher, Ezra Fisher, and Matt Ryan at Wizard World Cleveland, Karen's recent migraine issues, our new review format, Charlotte being a big ol' control freak, wanting an episode of Lucifer like The Office, Cain and Abel not being the Cain and Abel from The Sandman, Mazikeen still being pissed off that Dr. Linda and Amenadiel hooked up, the Roy Orbison song "Mystery Girl", wondering why Barry didn't just run back through time only eight minutes to prevent a nuclear weapon from exploding, the return of Jay Garrick and Jesse Quick, Harry telepathically sharing the memories of his dead wife with his daughter Jesse, my shared moment with Sean Pertwee over bad karaoke, Poison Ivy's plant chestbursters, Bruce experiencing a vision of his future Batman self, Alfred as Secret Agent Man, the Joker dressing the Penguin up in a clown suit, the Michigan J. Frog Alien from Spaceballs, Deke trying way too hard to be cool, the long-awaited return of Deathlok, Ghost Rider's brother Ghost Runner, everyone being pissed that Coulson didn't tell them that he's dying, waiting for Yo-Yo's bionic arm replacements, expecting Fitz & Simmons' wedding to go horribly wrong, a sick Justina making for an unhappy Fandom Zone Podcast, teasing Karen's secret projectand more!

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

Be sure to come back soon as Karen and I review new episodes of The CW's iZombie, The Flash, and Black Lightning, and Fox's Gotham, right here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Final AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Trailer Teases Captain America vs. Thanos

Avengers Reassemble!

Marvel has released the final trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, giving us a look at the Black Order and what appears to be major confrontation between Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and supervillain Thanos (Josh Brolin).

The two minute, fifteen second trailer opens with an upside down view of Manhattan as we hear a voiceover from Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Thanos' adopted daugher, who says, "The entire time I knew him, he only ever had one goal...to wipe out half the universe.  If he gets all the Infinity Stones, he can do it with a snap of his fingers.  Just like that."

"Tell me his name again," replies Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.).


We then see images of Peter Parker (Tom Holland) leaving his school bus, putting on his Spider-Man mask, and web swinging off a bridge.

"We've got one advantage," Iron Man says in a voiceover as we see him flying after a spaceship.  "He's coming to us."

"We have what Thanos wants," Iron Man continues as Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) activates the Eye of Agamotto, "so that's what we'll use."

Steve and the other Avengers arrive in the African nation of Wakanda, where Steve shakes the hand of Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who is accompanied by his Dora Milaje bodyguards.  We then see T'Challa's sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) looking down at a hologram of The Vision (Paul Bettany) in the palm of her hand.

The trailer cuts to a different scene, where Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is talking with Iron Man, Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Spider-Man.  "Let's talk about this plan of yours," he says to Tony.  "I think it's good, except, it sucks, so let me do the plan and that way, it might be really good."

Tony rolls his eyes and replies, "Wow."

We then see Black Panther and Steve Rogers on a flying craft, leading the Wakandan forces into battle alongside Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Steve's longtime friend The Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan).

"The end is near," remarks Thanos in a voiceover as we see Thor (Chris Hemsworth) briefly blinding Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) with a burst of lightning, "and when I'm done, half of humanity will still exist."

We glimpse the larger Thanos squeezing Thor's head in the palm of his hand, causing his agony as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and the Black Order look on.  Thanos then crushes the Tesseract in the palm of his other hand.

As the battle in Wakanda begins, Thanos remarks in another voiceover, "Perfectly balanced, as all things should be."  We see Corvus Glaive torturing Doctor Strange, followed by Thanos saying "I hope they remember you."

This is immediately followed by Thanos' large Infinity Gauntlet coming down on Steve, who blocks it and struggles to hold it back with everything he has, much to Thanos' surprise.

A final scene has Spider-Man awkwardly meeting Doctor Strange, with Peter offering his hand, saying "I'm Peter, by the way."

"Doctor Strange," replies the Sorcerer Supreme.

"Oh!" exclaims Peter.  "Using our made-up names.  Then I am Spider-Man."  This is followed by a brief shot of Spider-Man swinging into the chaotic battle from before.

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

Avengers: Infinity War will arrive in theaters on April 27, 2018.

Ava DuVernay to Direct DC's THE NEW GODS Film Adaptation


Deadline is reporting director Ava DuVernay is closing a deal with Warner Bros. to direct a big-budget film adaptation of DC Comics characters The New Gods.  Back in December, DuVernay answered a question on her Twitter account stating that her favorite superhero was "Big Barda.  Many reasons."

According to the article, Warner Bros. has tapped Kario Salem (Chasing Mavericks) as the screenwriter, who will develop the story and work closely with DuVernay.  The article also claims there is no connection to other DC films, although New Gods character Steppenwolf was the featured villain in last year's Justice League.

DuVernay is best known for her films Selma, which was nominated for Best Picture in the 2015 Academy Awards, and for the recent adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.  In 2017, she was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature for her film 13th, and her other films include The Door, Middle of Nowhere, I Will Follow, and This is the Life: How the West Was One.

Created in 1971 by Jack Kirby, the New Gods first appeared in The New Gods (vol.1) #1 as natives of the twin planets of New Genesis and Apokolips. New Genesis is an idyllic planet filled with unspoiled forests, mountains, and rivers and is ruled by Highfather, while Apokolips is a nightmarish, polluted and ruined dystopia filled with machinery and fire pits, ruled by the tyrant Darkseid.  The two planets were once part of the same world, a planet called Urgrund (German for "primeval ground"), but it was split apart millennia ago after the death of the Old Gods during Ragnarök.

In Kirby's saga "The Fourth World", Darkseid sought the Anti-Life Equation, which would allow him to control the thoughts of all living beings.  Opposing him was Orion, his son raised by Highfather and his enemies on New Genesis.  Other characters caught in the deadly battle included the Forever People, Mister Miracle (the son of Highfather raised on Apokolips, who triumphed over a torturous childhood to become the world's greatest escape artist), and Lightray, the heroic warrior of New Genesis. Their adventures would take them to Earth where the war continued.

In the current DC Comics continuity known as The New 52, is was revealed that Darkseid and Highfather (Izaya) were some of the only survivors of a previous larger world, where they were brothers and peasants.  Their world was also inhabited by colossal beings known as Old Gods, who spent much of their time brawling with each other, feeding off the worship of the "mudgrubbers", whose lives were often lost in the battles.  One day, the man formerly known as Uxas, having tired of his idol's destructiveness, decided to spark a war between them which would in turn devastate their world fatally wounding his sister, Izaya's first wife. After which he opted to kill all the wounded Old Gods, steal their powers and bring about a new order.  One by one, the Old Gods were destroyed by Darkseid, who became more horrific in turn as he leeched their essence from them.  As Darkseid's schemes started to tear the planet apart, Highfather ran with his wounded Avia in hand towards one of the last and greatest of the Old Gods, acknowledging his time had come and passed he chose to pass on the last of his power to reward Izaya's beloved's devotion to them.  Empowered in a blinding flare of light, Highfather arose a New God to battle Darkseid.  The brothers, now equal, tore the world apart during their battle, leaving them to rebuild on the remains, which became Apokolips and New Genesis.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Danny Boyle Confirmed as Director of JAMES BOND 25

James Bond is about to go silver.

Metro USA has confirmed rumors that Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle will be directing the untitled 25th installment of the James Bond film franchiseDaniel Craig is set to return as James Bond, which will be his fifth Bond film after Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre.

When asked if he was going to oversee James Bond 25, Boyle responded, "We are working on a script right now.  And it all depends on that really.  I am working on a Richard Curtis script at the moment.  We hope to start shooting that in six or seven weeks, then Bond would be right at the end of the year.  But we are working on them both right now."

Boyle, 61, is an English director, producer and screenwriter who won Best Director at the 2009 Academy Awards for his 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire.  In 2010, his film 127 Hours was nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.  His other films include Trainspotting, T2 Trainspotting, Steve Jobs, 28 Weeks Later, The Beach, A Life Less Ordinary, and Shallow Grave.

Boyle also named James Bond 25's screenwriter.  "We’ve got an idea.  John Hodge, the screenwriter, and I have got this idea, and John is writing it at the moment.  And it all depends on how it turns out.  It would be foolish of me to give any of it away."

James Bond 25 is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 8, 2019.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

TITANS Rumored to Cast Curran Walters as Jason Todd

Could Titans be having a death in the family?

Heroic Hollywood is reporting that the upcoming DC Universe digital series Titans may have Curran Walters as Jason Todd, better known to DC Comics fans as the second Robin who grows up to become the superhero vigilante known as the Red Hood.

Twitter user @KylePuth has posted several reports from recent Titans filming of Episodes 6 and 7 in Canada, including the following post of a picture of himself with Curran Walters...
Another post three days later states that Puth has just seen Walters in costume, although he did not state the specific character he would be playing.  Episode 7 is rumored to be titled "Jason Todd", which certainly fuels this particular rumor.

Walters has appeared in the movie 20th Century Women and on episodes of the television series New Girl, Game of Silence, Girl Meets World, Too Close to Home, Alexa & Katie, and Speechless.

Created in 1983 by Gerry Conway and Don Newton, Jason Todd first appeared in Batman (vol.1) #357 as the son of circus acrobats Joseph Todd and Trina Todd, who were killed by a criminal named Killer Croc, and was later adopted by Bruce Wayne.  Distinguished by strawberry blond hair, Todd wore various pieces of Dick Grayson's old childhood disguises as a costume to fight crime until Grayson presented him with a Robin costume of his own. At that point, Todd dyed his hair black, and grew as the second Robin under Batman's tutelage.

In 1987, the character was revamped in Batman (vol.1) #408 by Max Allan Collins and Chris Warner.  Due to the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Jason Todd was reworked as a young street orphan who first encountered Batman while attempting to steal the tires off the Batmobile in Crime Alley, the very place where Batman's parents were murdered years before.  The son of Willis and Catherine Todd, Jason lived on the East end of Gotham in the Park Row district called Crime Alley.  Catherine was a drug addict who died of an overdose some time before he began living on the street.  Willis, a former medical student, was working as hired muscle for Two-Face and had disappeared suspiciously following a botched assignment.  Bruce Wayne saw that Todd was placed in a school for troubled youths—which turned out to be Ma Gunn's School for Crime.  Jason earned the Robin mantle a short while later by helping Batman apprehend the gang of thieves.  However, Todd didn't start wearing the Robin costume until six months of training.  Batman noted that while Todd didn't possess Dick Grayson's natural athleticism and acrobatic skills, he could become a productive crimefighter by channeling his rage.  He also believed that if he didn't help the boy, Todd would eventually become part of the "criminal element".

Over a year later, during the Batman storyline "A Death in the Family", Jason Todd discovered that Catherine Todd was not his biological mother, and he ran away to find the woman who gave birth to him.  After following a number of leads, Todd finally tracked his biological mother Sheila Haywood to Ethiopia, where she worked as an aid worker.  After being overjoyed to be reunited with his real mother, he soon discovered that she was being blackmailed by the Joker, using her to provide him with medical supplies.  Sheila was embezzling from the aid agency and as part of the cover-up, she handed her own son, having arrived as Robin, over to the Joker.  The Joker beat the boy brutally with a crowbar, and then left him and Sheila in a warehouse with a time bomb.  Sheila and Jason tried desperately to get out of the warehouse, but were still inside as the bomb went off.  Batman arrived too late to save them, and found Jason's lifeless body in the rubble.  Sheila lived just long enough to tell Batman that Jason died trying to protect her. Todd's death haunted Batman, and he considered it his greatest failure.  He kept the second Robin's uniform on display in the Batcave as a reminder.

Years later, while trying to discover the identity of a mysterious figure plotting against him, Batman discovered that Tim Drake, Jason's successor as Robin, has been kidnapped.  He confronted the kidnapper, and was stunned he discover that he was apparently an adult Todd, standing at his own desecrated grave site.  Batman subdued this mystery "Jason" and discovered that it was Clayface impersonating Todd.  However, Todd's actual body was missing from its grave.  It was later revealed that Todd had indeed died at the hands of the Joker, but when Superboy-Prime altered reality from the paradise dimension in which he was trapped by throwing punches against the barrier keeping him from the rest of the universe causing temporal ripples, Jason Todd was restored to life, broke out of his coffin, and was eventually hospitalized.

Todd later paid a group of mercenaries to help him return to Gotham.  Upon arriving, he enacted a plan to get revenge on Batman, whom he resented for refusing to kill the Joker and thus avenge his death.  After successfully capturing the Joker (who failed to recognize him), Jason contemplated burning his killer alive after dousing with gasoline.  However, Jason realized that he didn't want the Joker to die, but desired to punish the villain with Batman.  Jason spared the Joker and decided to wait for the right opportunity, later reappearing in Gotham City as the Red Hood.  Red Hood assumed control over several gangs in Gotham City and started a one-man war against Black Mask's criminal empire, eventually resolving his feelings toward Batman.

In 2011, DC Comics rebooted its continuity with The New 52, with Jason's new origin changing the manner in which Batman first met Todd (stealing medicine from Leslie Thompkins, after she had treated him from a brutal beating).  In this version, the Joker was responsible for orchestrating the major moments of Todd's life, such as his father's imprisonment and death, his mother's overdose, his introduction to Thompkins, and his adoption of the Robin identity.  He soon joined a group called the Outlaws, along with the superheroes Arsenal and Starfire.

This will be the first time the character will appear in live action, although the Red Hood has appeared in the animated project Batman: Under the Red Hood (voiced by Jensen Ackles).

Titans is expected to debut on the DC Universe digital service sometime in 2018.

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 107: "The Shakespeare Code" is Up!

"But are we safe?  I mean, can we move around and stuff?"
"Of course we can.  Why not?"
"It's like in those films -- if you step on a butterfly, you change the future of the human race."
"Then don't step on any butterflies.  What have butterflies ever done to you?"
-- Martha Jones and the Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who: "The Shakespeare Code"

You guessed it, my partner in time Jesse Jackson and I are back with a new episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  This time, we're joined by special guest companion Christine Peruski to review "The Shakespeare Code", the 2007 episode from Series Three of Doctor Who, featuring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones!

In this episode, Jesse, Christine and I discuss things like Jesse and Christine's Game of Thrones Sadness List, Christine's Doctor Who background, Torchwood being Jesse's Doctor Who gateway drug, Christine's favorite Doctors and companion, my meeting David Tennant at Wizard World Cleveland, David Tennant in Hamlet with Sir Patrick Stewart, my seeing the Globe Theatre in London, the Doctor relating to Shakespeare, Christine using Gwen Cooper's Welsh accent in an audiobook recording, the problem with Martha Jones being the Tenth Doctor's rebound from Rose Tyler, Martha as Doctor Who's first black lead companion, the difference between UK and American actors staying with a series before moving on to something else, the Carrionites and the magic on Doctor Who, the Harry Potter references
, my Reverse the Polarity segment, the correct pronunciation of J.K. Rowling, new feedback from Holly from Wisconsin and Paul from Australiaand more!

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

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

Be sure to come back in two weeks as Jesse and I review "Infamy of the Zaross", the 2017 Doctor Who audio adventure from Big Finish Productions, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, Billie Piper as Rose Tyler and Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler!  Look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

GHOSTWOOD 030: "The Tapes of Agent Cooper" is Up!

"Diane, what you are about to hear is deeply disturbing..."
-- Special Agent Dale Cooper, "Diane...": The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper

It is happening again...My co-host with the most Xan Sprouse and I are back with a new episode of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast!  This time, we review the 1990 Simon & Schuster Audio book "Diane..." - The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper, performed by Kyle MacLachlan as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and set during the events of Twin Peaks Season 1 and the Season 2 premiere.


In our latest episode, Xan and I discuss things like Xan's recent trip to Spain, Xan getting the 100-year-old Phantom of the Spanish Flu, the first Twin Peaks season being Josie-centric, picturing Laura Dern as Diane Evans listening to Cooper's tapes, Kyle MacLachlan getting nominated for a Grammy, Henry Winkler and the Ron Howard movie Night Shift, remembering our first iPods, Xan as a walking & talking Simpsons quote machine, wondering why you would rent-to-own a pocket cassette recorder, Xan as Kim Carnes, wondering if everyone in the Blue Rose Task Force is expected to wear black suits, the disposition of Cooper's worldly goods, the vanishing roadside diners, Cooper geeking out about finding an "R" under Laura Palmer's fingernail, wondering why Cooper's recording stops just as he holds up a small box of chocolate bunnies, wondering who exactly was the mysterious "J" in Laura's diary, Cooper trying to solve JFK's assassination, Twin Peaks breaking ground with fishes in percolators, Canadian geese being total dicks, Cooper needing a cold shower after finding Audrey naked in his bed, Leo Johnson killing Waldo the myna bird, wondering whatever happened to Eric Da Re, Donna Heyward being a total jerk to Dr. Jacoby and Harold Smith, the presence of Nichelle Nichols, our mutual love of Tron and Tron: Legacy, and more!

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

iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn -- RIGHT HERE
Ghostwood's Facebook page
Ghostwood's Twitter account

Be sure to come back in two weeks as Xan and I explore the roots of Twin Peaks and review David Lynch's first feature-length film, the surreal 1977 cult classic Eraserhead!  Look for more of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast on iTunes, YouTube, Libsyn, and the official Southgate Media Group website!