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DC Kicks Off New Line with Some ‘Damage’

In late 2017, DC Comics announced several new comic book series that would begin in early 2018. With a total of eight new titles set, DC is looking to establish some new characters, like Damage, while bringing back some old…Plastic Man, anyone? Innovation and creativity are key in the industry so it’s no surprise the new roster of heroes (are they all heroes?) are making their debut. Keep an eye out in the coming months for The Silencer, Sideways, The Terrifics, The Immortal Men, The Curse of Brimstone, New Challengers and The Unexpected. For now though, DC has satiated our appetite with the first of the eight new series, Damage.

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Gregg’s Fantastic Film Round-Up of 2017

Without question, this is my favorite article to write for Why So Blu. All of us WSB staffers start keeping track of the films we see from the moment January arrives. As the year progresses, we delete, we add and we rearrange our lists until late December arrives when it’s time to finally see what’s behind the curtain. Now for the inundated, these lists are not reflections of the most artistic films of the year. Each one is a reflection of that writer’s personal favorites from that year. Don’t flip out in the comments section if you were to see something like Rambo higher than The Sound of Music. Again, favorites, people. We’re not giving out Oscar nominations here (though some of the films we discuss are very Oscar-worthy). Anyway, it’s time to pull back that curtain.

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Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2017

Steelbook was the name of the game this year as the collectible tin Blu-ray cases seemed to have grown in demand greatly in 2017. Best Buy appears to have the majority of the market on these which certainly has me paying them visits more often than in recent years. Still, just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a Blu-ray by its clam shell. Fancy packaging aside, there were plenty of enticing choices to get your hands on this past year when it comes to the high def, home-viewing format. So without anymore time spent on my affinity for metal movie cases, let’s crack open that list!

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Gregg’s 2017 Album of the Year

If you felt like there was an overwhelming choice of new releases to listen to in 2017, you would be correct. Blockbuster headliners such as Taylor Swift, Eminem and U2 all released new albums this past year as did some fairly newer stars such as country singer Danielle Bradbery and pop hottie Dua Lipa. On the rap and hip-hop front, Lil Wayne has an album coming out on Christmas Day while Big Sean came out with his latest work last week. Did I listen to every album that came out this year to come to my conclusion? Of course not, that’s not realistic. However, after sifting through twelve months of various radio stations as well as a much more increased use of Pandora than in recent years, we have a winner.

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Best Comic Books of 2017

This past year saw some big events in the comic book world. The Suicide Squad went toe to toe with the Justice League. Image saw the last words written for one of its strongest series in Invincible. The Joker and the Riddler went fisticuffs on a catastrophic level in the pages of Batman (that read comes highly recommended from me by the way). Let us not forget the brilliance of small indie publisher Sabotage Industries and their title Shed. That came awfully close to making this list as its Alien Nation-vibe story brought civil rights to the forefront in a new light. It pitted the skin vs. skinless amidst an apocalyptic overtone with some magnificent writing and great artwork to boot. As with any ‘best of the year’ list, however, there can only be one champ in each category. So, while the aforementioned titles didn’t make this list, rest assured they are all enjoyable reads. Now onto the list…

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Gregg’s 2017 Game of the Year

With sales for PS4, Xbox One and PC titles running strong, the video game industry continues to do financial cartwheels year after year. And as technology progresses with such grand rapidity, fans of gaming demand more out of these titles with each passing year. The Madden football franchise continues to be a dollar bill powerhouse with its gargantuan following. Call of Duty revisited a pivotal point in our history with their WWII release that showed off some impressive cinematic sequences and gameplay footage in their TV spots. Let’s not forget Nintendo’s latest tool of the trade, the Switch, and their growing library of games that’s entered the fray as well.  Nevertheless, only one can be king. Which game gets the crown for 2017?

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Star Wars Battlefront II (PS4 Game Review)

It is finally here! It feels only like yesterday when I was at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando back in April of this year. Sitting in on the Battlefront II discussion panel with thousands of others, I was in awe of the stills and trailer we were given. The original Battlefront (original Xbox, PC, PS2) from 2004 is in my top three video games of all time. Its major flaw was controlling airborne vehicles, which was such a poor experience, but one that could be easily overlooked since the ground-based combat was such a thrill. Then there was Battlefront II. No, not the one just released last week, but the one from some years back which first introduced the opportunity to play as heroes and villains. Like the second Avengers film, it very much lacked the personality and feel of its predecessor. After a changing of the guard at Lucasarts via the Disney purchase, the long-awaited Battlefront follow-up arrived in 2015 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. It was arguably the best one in the series (speaking of all titles in the series, let’s not forget the Playstation Portable version called Battlefront Renegade which never got much coverage). While individual classes were gone in Battlefront (sniper, heavy gunner, etc.), the fully customizable concept of building your character was a big hit and allowed for a wide array of soldiers on the battlefield. All of that recap brings us to the much anticipated Battlefront II of 2017. How is it, you ask? Let’s take a look

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The Wizard of Lies (Blu-ray Review)

Inmate #61727054. Surely that’s a number that proves irrelevant to most of us. We live in a land where prisoners are more than abundant. However, some are more famous than others and few more so than inmate #61727054, better known as Bernard L. Madoff. Bernie Madoff lived up to his last name and ‘made off’ with a disgustingly enormous sum of $65 billion of other peoples’ money. Director Barry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam) brought this tale of financial deceit to HBO earlier this year in the form of the bio pic The Wizard of Lies starring Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff and Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife, Ruth Madoff. The film now makes its way to Blu-ray and we’ve got all the details on this disc from start to finish.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Blu-ray Review)

There is no mistaking the quality of programming that comes from HBO. Productions like Westworld, True Detective and Game of Thrones continue to wow audiences with their exceptional writing, acting and direction. As those series are currently some of the mainstays of HBO, it can be easy to overlook the original films that come forth from the cable giant. One such movie is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. There are a great deal of stories in our nation’s history that would never be told if it weren’t for the perseverance and preservation of a few determined folks. Mrs. Lacks’ story is one such case.

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Marvel Debuts Mace Windu / Captain Phasma Comics

Two Star Wars standouts got their own comic books this month and they were none other than Jedi Master Mace Windu and metallic marine Captain Phasma. To begin with, last week the (sort of) vice president of Jedi during the Clone Wars saw his own mini-series debut from Marvel. The five-issue series is written by Matt Owens and pencilled by Denys Cowan and features a story of Mace leading a small party of Jedi to the planet Hissrich to monitor the Separatists.

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The Movies That Got Away – How the Films We Missed Would’ve Changed Our Past Top 10’s

“There are only so many hours in the day.” That’s a statement we have all heard and probably even used ourselves. The same thing applies to movie watching and then some. There are only so many hours in a day and only so many movies we can get to in a year. Every year at least one person that sees my Top 10 list in January asks me, “Oh, so you’ve seen EVERY movie from last year?” No. Of course not.  That’s not realistic, but since I have a keyboard and an opinion, I’ll write about what I did see.  Still, that can leave a multitude of pictures out of a person’s viewing experience.  So what happens to those great films we missed?

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Gotham Throwdown! Riddler vs. Joker (Round 1)

Batman #25 came out in print and digital formats this past Tuesday, but it wasn’t the Caped Crusader that everyone was necessarily clamoring to read about this week. Turns out the greed of two of Batman’s biggest arch rivals have pitted their wits and forces against one another. Ladies and germs, this is a story that a lot of fans have been waiting for for sometime. In this corner, it’s the patron of purple pants! The man of masquerading makeup! The killer clown! It’s…THE JOKER! And over here in this corner, it’s the inquisitive interrogator! The curious questioner! The green gangster! He’s…THE RIDDLER!

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Cable Jumps Back to Save the Future

The son of the X-Men’s Cyclops will likely make his big screen debut in the next Deadpool film, but for now, all you fans of our favorite time-traveling mutant can whet their appetite on Marvel’s latest Cable series for 2017. Written by James Robinson and pencilled by Carlos Pacheco, Nathan Summers is back to start some ruckus! Don’t worry, he only destroys things for a good cause. In this case, it’s to save the integrity of the time continuum, so buckle up because we’re about to blast into the past with Cable.

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‘Shed’ Discards Typical Comic Book Feel

…and it’s a good thing. There are hundreds, even thousands of comic book titles published around the world today. Many come and go, while other stalwarts have staked their claim in fandom and become favorites of many. For those that are here today and gone tomorrow, however, it’s worth taking a look at why they disappear. Poor story, perhaps? Not enough publicity? I have no role in Shed‘s story, but I’ll do what I can to deliver the publicity because this title is so worth it.

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Imagine Dragons Releases Third Album

When their first album, Night Visions, was released in September of 2012, Imagine Dragons quickly started amassing a fanbase.  There are very few albums that not only grab, but retain my interest for months and years to come.  Night Visions did that in extraordinary fashion for me and many others and is still a record I go back to frequently.  Roughly three years later, the band came out with its sophomore album, Smoke + Mirrors.  For whatever reason, I never connected with it.  Nothing jumped out and grabbed me and I always found its debut track, “I Bet My Life,” to be rather noisy.  Critics were split on the record and I was bummed.  Still, it went gold in the U.S. and was successful overseas.  However, my musical concern grew.  Could they be the proverbial rookie flash-in-the-pan?  A one-and-done?

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‘Thrawn’ by Timothy Zahn

In 1991, author Timothy Zahn was tasked with the duty to write a trilogy of Star Wars novels that were the sequels to Return of the Jedi. From the get-go, these stories were magnificent and featured an array of new characters (Jacen & Jaina Solo) as well as ones we were already familiar with (Luke, Han, Chewie & Leia). One character that arguably stood out above them all in those books was the then newly created Grand Admiral Thrawn. He was such a hit with fans that even Disney couldn’t overlook him. It’s been out for about a month and a half now, but the alien commander has his own book.

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Friday the 13th – (PS4 Game Review)

In 1989, video game publisher LJN released the one and only Friday the 13th game for the NES. Based on the hit horror film franchise, you played as one of the Camp Crystal Lake counselors and made your way around the dreaded summer vacation spot to rescue children, kill zombies and ultimately face the man behind the mask himself, Jason Vorhees. Honestly, the game was done fairly well for its time and it was one of the earliest video games I beat.  Still, time marched on with gaming technology, but that late 80’s product was the only thing gaming fans of the demonic serial killer had.  Fast forward to May 26, 2017 and that appetite has been satiated.

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How DC Saved Aquaman

Aquman SquareHe talks to fish. He carries an underwater pitchfork. He looks like Biff the water polo star. The character of Arthur Curry has been the butt of numerous jokes and criticisms over the years. He’s been the proverbial punching bag of readers and critics alike. Yet somehow, despite all the knocks and jabs, Curry (a.k.a. Aquaman) has survived several decades. Though the Aquaman title has not achieved the commercial print success as some of his peers (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.), it has grown substantially in popularity in recent years, establishing itself a prominent foothold in DC’s line of top tier heroes.

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