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Shadow Service #1 from Vault Comics

A small yet potent comic book publisher, Vault Comics made its industry debut in 2016 and prides itself on publishing “original, creator-owner science fiction and fantasy comics” as mentioned on the company’s website. Vault has an already impressive array of titles which continues to grow. One of the more recent of those is an ongoing series titled Shadow Service.

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Disney Announces ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’ Series

Earlier this year the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars debuted on Disney+ to a great degree of fanfare and excitement. It was an appropriate closure to the show with some new characters introduced along the way. While the story of sisters Rafa and Trace seemed to just kind of evaporate, there were others that sparked curiosity as viewers approached the arrival of Order 66, most especially the quartet known as the Bad Batch. Now there’s news that Disney+ plans to release a full on spin-off series revolving around this ragtag group of specialized clones.

 

 

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7500 (Movie Review)

As movie theaters are on the advent of opening in the very near future, one could not squander an opportunity for something new until that happens. The German film 7500 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 500 Days of Summer) was actually released in 2019 but is just now making its way to North America. Directed and co-written by Patrick Vollrath (Ketchup Kid), the 92-minute drama features a minimal cast on a short budget, though it manages to make the most out of everything.

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Star Wars: Dooku – Jedi Lost (Audio Drama Review)

Though it has been a few months since the release of the Star Wars: Dooku – Jedi Lost in both audio and print form, it was only recently that I concluded the nearly six and a half hour audio format of the story from Random House Audio. It is important to note that this is not an audio book, but rather an audio drama, and the difference between the two is quite significant. There is a full cast of actors complete with the musical accompaniment of John Williams’ work and cinematic sound effects to boot. As for the book form, it is important that fans know it is not a novel and instead reads exactly like a script. With all that in mind, let us take a deeper look at Dooku – Jedi Lost.

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Comics Are Back! and also Doctor Aphra #1

Well it’s about time! Pick your poison, as chances are whatever anyone’s hobbies are, they have likely been slowed, ceased or altered in some way. Comic books are no exception as many have been left reading old back issues or even nothing at all. That has all taken a solid turn for the better during the virus lockdown. To being with, digital comics made their splash last week with print comics releasing this week. Among the first out was Marvel’s long-awaited reboot of Doctor Aphra.

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‘Haunting’ Comic Series Launches on Kickstarter

New entertainment is certainly hard to come by these days, no thanks to the global pandemic we are all carefully navigating through. Film projects came to a screeching halt weeks ago, movie releases are delayed, TV shows are on repeat, and Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest distributor of comic books in North America, has ceased delivery of all titles. Despite the wet blanket COVID-19 has become, you cannot keep a creative mind at bay, even through our current circumstances. Enter comic book writer/creator Phil Falco who is the mastermind behind the new spectral series, HAUNTING.

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AfterShock Comics Unleashes ‘Artemis & the Assassin’

Aftershock Comics released a new title this past week and it has been on my radar since Tuesday to get that story under my belt. Like so many around the globe, I’ve been relegated to working from home for at least a few days, which has mean no drive to work. Considering my commute is an hour each way, that time has been spent catching up on some much needed reading and Aftershock’s latest effort, Artemis and the Assassin, was destined to be part of that. Created by Stephanie Philips (Descendant), this series is already off to a heart-pounding start.

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‘X-Ray Robot’ is Curiously Magnetic

One can always rely on the smaller publishers (Image, Dark Horse, etc.) to create some of the more curious and quirky stories in the comic book world. Dark Horse is no exception with its latest effort, X-Ray Robot. As the old adage goes, you should never judge a book by its cover, but I found the sci-fi-heavy, pop culture-laden front of issue #1 to be so much in my wheelhouse, that I could not deny a chance to at least read what the book’s description was all about.  Once I saw dialogue about inter-dimensional travel and the origins of the universe, I was all in to kick back and see what this title had to offer.

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Dark Horse Fires Off First Issue of ‘Bang!’

Looking for a break from your standard super hero tales? Tired of interdimensional villains trying to step on Earth? Dark Horse has a flavor that is off the beaten path, though not one that hasn’t been done before. Written by Matt Kindt (X-O Manowar) with artwork by Wilfredo Torres (Black Panther), we delve into a tale of espionage and cryptic novel-writing in Bang! that will throw you for a loop before you can say ‘Agent Thomas Cord’.

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Superman: Red Son (4k Blu-ray Review)

In 2003, DC Comics did a total 180 with the world’s most popular superhero. The mega publisher released a three-issue mini-series titled Superman: Red Son. The Mark Millar-written tale (also known for his work on Kick-ass) could be construed as a “what if” in the sense that instead of Kal-El landing in Kansas after the destruction of Krypton, his escape pod crashed in the Soviet Union. Clark Kent is a name you won’t see in this story. Superman, however, is a name you’ll hear as he serves under USSR communist leader Josef Stalin in DC’s latest animated feature, Superman: Red Son directed by Sam Liu.

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‘Bloodshot’ Eyes Prize Above Mediocrity

Back in 1989, a startup comic book publisher known as Valiant had arrived on the scene. The company made it a point to offer up characters a little more complex than your average super hero as these newly developed personalities had allegiances and demeanors that were not always so clear cut. Some of their more premier characters and successful titles include X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and one in particular known as Bloodshot. The story of Bloodshot featured an expert soldier maimed by war and reclaimed by science only to build a better soldier. With a repeatedly wiped memory and the ability to take a ridiculously inhuman beating, Bloodshot has become the first Valiant character to hit the big screen.

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DC’s ‘Plunge’ is No Routine Dive

Debuting in February under DC’s Black Label (for readers age 17 and older), comic book writer/creator Joe Hill proudly released his latest effort, Plunge. Hill is best known as the mastermind behind the best-selling Locke & Key series, which is now a popular Netflix series. Plunge offers up a very different feel from its mainstream predecessor, though there is no less suspense in this nautical adventure. At two issues in, things are ramping up in this superbly paced story.

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Honey and Blue Make Their Musical Mark

February is a cold, cold month here on the north coast. Most people are hunkered down somewhere indoors, save for your skiers and other winter sport aficionados. It is certainly a little out of the norm to see any kind of outdoor gatherings, let alone a festival. Wait, festival? Here? In Cleveland? Uh, yeah. The Brite Winter Festival entered its 11th consecutive year and is dotted with various food trucks, ice carving demos, and of course the highlight of the event, the music.

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Coin Releases Third Album ‘Dreamland’

Last week, Nashville-based indie rock band Coin presented the world with their third album, titled Dreamland. The band’s first outing, a self-title record, was a largely upbeat, go-after-it-and-get-it feel accompanied with a couple tunes which occasionally slowed the pace. The second album, How Will You Know if You Never Try, featured an array of songs that seemed to have matured from its predecessor. That is not a negative connotation by any means as they were two, for the most part, different sounding records that validated the Coin’s multi-faceted persona. With the close of February comes Dreamland, the band’s first album in nearly three years.

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New Marvel Titles & Free Comic Book Day

With Free Comic Book Day a little over a month away, comic book publishers are busy promoting their titles that will be released on the fan-favorite, unofficial holiday. Until then, there is still plenty to get excited over, especially from the good folks over at Marvel who always have a slew of new titles up their sleeve. With a new series released this week, free titles on the horizon and an old face getting his own series this spring, there is indeed plenty to prepare for, Bub.   Snikt!

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‘Goalie’ Tells Real Life Story of Terry Sawchuk

Directed by Adrianna Maggs, who is best known for her writing on TV series like Frontier and Saving Hope, the film Goalie takes audiences behind the scenes of late NHL goalie Terry Sawchuk. Sawchuk’s career took place from 1949 to 1970 where he was a seven-time all star and four-time Vezina Trophy winner (best goalie). In that span, he amassed 103 shutouts and 445 wins eventually supplanting him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Still, his accolades on the ice were never medicine for his off-ice struggles. Maggs guides us through Sawchuk’s tragic story.

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Darth Vader Returns to Marvel

Technically he never left, but the black-clad Sith Lord has had two ongoing monthly series from Marvel in recent memory with this being the third. The most recent was the 25-issue series that was absolutely brilliant from start to finish (and one I hated to see come to an end). While that prior series took place during the tale end of Order 66, the new series picks up during the events of The Empire Strikes Back when he and Luke faced off in person for the first time.

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Biopic ‘Goalie’ About Legendary Netminder Terry Sawchuck

As an avid hockey fan and former player, I nearly did a backflip when I caught news of the upcoming film about hall of fame goalie Terry Sawchuk. While he played for numerous teams in the NHL, he was best known for his time with the Red Wings from 1949 throughout much of the 50’s and into the early 1960’s.  Now the late, great Sawchuk gets his own movie.

DARK STAR PICTURES will release the critically acclaimed GOALIE, starring Mark O’Brien (Marriage Story), Kevin Pollak (The Usual Suspects, “The Marvelous Miss Maisel”), and Georgina Reilly (“City on a Hill”) On Demand and Digital February 25. It based on the true story of hockey player Terry Sawchuk and is directed by Adriana Maggs.

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