Josh News: Christmas 2015 & New Years Eve Edition: Butterfly Painting

     It's been a long year, lots of school, lots of work, lots of an internship, some surgery and a whole shit load of writing.  Hopefully I can maintain the output through the coming year for all of you readers out there.

     Here's a Christmas gift I painted for someone, and apologies for the image quality, I hadn't realized how strange it would look on camera due to the glossy coating I put over it.  It looks 20 times better in person.

     In other news this blog passed 300K visits like a week ago when I wasn't looking.  In addition I have a video channel prepared so I can start adding video content early in 2016!  To top that off, I'm going to try a bunch of new things, including potentially adding a fiction thread for stories and comics, some art as I've gotten the itch to create again, and so on.

     To all of you readers, Happy New Years!


TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan: Platinum Games' Possible Box Art Leak

     While neither Platinum Games, nor Activision, have officially announced the game, there's a very strong possibility that the rumored upcoming game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is quite real and on the way.  After hearing about it through a ratings board listing, we now have what might amount to a promo or box art via Xbox Live watchdog Lifelower.

     Until the official word is given, we are crossing our TMNT fan fingers that Platinum IS making something as on par with what they did with Transformers: Devastation.

     TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan is listed for release on PS4, PS3, PC, Xbox One, and the Xbox 360.
          (According to the ratings board listing it was first spotted on)

     Sources [ Lifelower (Tweet) ] via [ Gematsu ] via [ Destructoid ]

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]


Doctor Strange: Revealed

     There's a ton of new info on Marvel's Master of the Mystic Arts over at Entertainment Weekly, with some highly interesting takes on how magic will look and work in the first film to tackle the metaphysical realms for the studio.

     As Producer Kevin Feige says (about the picture above),
“These gestures are ways of creating the magic. It’s a beautiful thing, it’s balletic, it’s very dynamic," says Benedict Cumberbatch. "And once the boys in the backroom get to work on it, there’s going to be crazy s--t going on."
     Then with the following picture shows what might be, at least concept art-wise, our first indication of what the astral plane might look like on film.  It's very surreal and definitely evokes the 60's drug-induced psychedelia they are referencing for the film.

     And for this image, Feige has something really cool to say about it:
"When this comic appeared in the early '60s, it really informed, in a way that is pretty amazing, a lot of the psychedelic '60s as we know it. I don’t know that they were doing anything weird in the bullpen in Marvel, but certainly the stuff they were doing inspired all those people who were doing mind-expansion experiments at the time. So, that's inherent to the property. And that's our mission statement for the visual effects on this movie."
     I hope this starts to break from the typical Marvel film fare and goes into the weird.  They've been playing too predictably, and need to shake things up, and this first foray into the odd otherworldly realms could be the first step into the Strange Tales type stories that could breathe new life into Marvel's cinematic universe with some esoteric mysticism.

     Doctor Strange hits theaters November 4th, 2016.

     Source [ Entertainment Weekly ] [ EW Gallery ]

X-Force: Possible Film Line-up and Thoughts

     Following a post of Greg Semkow's X-Force conceptual art, there's been much speculation of the potential future feature film.  It seems on deck to be fast-tracked due to the immense popularity of Deadpool's marketing, and the image features the "team's line up from the script" which was written by the writer/director of Kickass 2, Jeff Wadlow.

     Right off the bat we have mainstays Cable and Domino, along with Warpath, Cannonball lrocketing around in the back, and an unknown female on the left.  I've seen a lot of rumors that it could be Feral, Wolfsbane, or Boom-Boom, but I'm thinking either Psylocke or X-23 are far more likely.  X-23 especially because Hugh Jackman is leaving the character of Wolverine, and that would leave a large opening for a human slaughter machine that is their legacy.  I mean seriously, an assassin of the Wolverine bloodline capacity (well, technically a female clone in X-23's case) would be perfect for the black ops wetwork dealings that X-Force is known for.

    I'm not too intrigued by the art as it is, but it is just conceptual.  Cable should be older and far more grizzled, and as I've mentioned before I think Stephen Lang would be perfect for the role.  Warpath already has been in X-Men: Days of Future Past (Booboo Stewart), and if the unnamed woman is Psylocke, she too is already cast (Olivia Munn) for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.  There's plenty of options

     Over the last couple years we've been getting things trickled out, after Days of Future Past, the idea was to focus on X-Force, but apparently that was put on hold because the Deadpool test footage was so well received.  That is good because we know that X-Force creator Rob Liefeld had already read the script and said it was, "Beyond impressive."  He also confirmed that BOTH Cable and Deadpool were in it.  It makes sense to capitalize on Deadpool's popularity despite him not appearing in the artwork above.

     Since Wadlow had stated the team would have 5 members, and that he was a fan of Wolverine, Colossus, Deadpool, Domino and Psylocke, I have to wonder how the art has a mostly different team.  Unless the members come and go depending on the mission?  Or there could be casualties.  There's also always the possibility for cameos galore.

     Personally, I really hope X-Force is a go, and that they follow the precedent Deadpool is setting in shooting for a more mature audience.  This is supposed to be the dark side of the X-Men, doing the dark works that shouldn't be out in the public.  It needs to be bloody, dark, and well-written.  I've complained time, and time, and time again about how they've played Wolverine as too angsty and not as badass as they should have been.  He's the best there is, and we want to see that on film.
     Here's a snippet from a post I did on 11.05.2013:
     "Fox, why can't you get a Wolverine done by a decent writer and director?  Where's the team that can compete with Nolan's on The Dark Knight level?  I've written enough on the subject of handling this character so poorly plenty of times.  About teen angsty Logan mopery, bemoaning his past, and the need for real grit in the series.  If Marvel (Edit: Fox) wants to create a series worthy of a man who is the best hunter/killer, they need to really hunker down and focus.  We do NOT need another one-note-Wolverine film.  He needs to grow as a character, and that still hasn't happened in the X-Men film franchise.  Fans are sick of watching him cry into his beer."
     We want the dark and grim.  It doesn't have to be the whole X-Men universe, but at least with the killers of the mutant world, it makes sense.  It's time to lose those kiddie gloves.

     Sources [ ComicBook ] [ ComicBookMovie ]


Deadpool: IMAX Trailer: Mega-Chimichanga Time!

     Deadpool is really hitting the marketing hard, but every bit of it has maintained a level of appropriate to the character hilarity, and I welcome it greatly.  In the newest trailer, we get a very delicious reason to upgrade and see the film in IMAX theaters.

     Deadpool hits theaters Feb. 12th, 2016.

     That'll be just in time to send the giant chimichanga a Valentine card.


The Unbelievable Gwenpool: Getting Her Own Series Finally

     In a completely predictable occurrence, Gwenpool's immense popularity has led to her getting her own ongoing comic series.  Beginning as essentially a joke cover for Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars issue 2- combining Gwen Stacy with famed Merc-with-a-mouth Deadpool into the wonderful creation dubbed Gwenpool, she has since gotten turned into both a 3 page back-up story in Howard the Duck 1 and then she received her own one shot issue titled Gwenpool Christmas Special.

     The series will be continued by the same team that was responsible for the Christmas Special- consisting of writer Christopher Hastings with art by Gurihiru.

     In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hastings gives us some insight into what we can expect from this upcoming series:
Can you tease a little about what we’ll see from her series, now that you have the freedom to really play around in the world? What can fans expect to see from this character they’ve grown to love? 
Her whole deal is, she’s from the world that she claims to be — some sort of “real world” — and knows of the Marvel universe as a fictional one. So the series is a lot about her believing she’s in a fictional world with no consequences. She’s seen everyone come back to life at some point, and it sort of seems like she’s living in a video game. And then the book is going to be the universe fighting back at that. Like, “you can’t really get away with everything” is kind of the struggle there. It’s also sort of, she just assumes, “I’m obviously a main character so I need to be a superhero” even though she has no powers. 
Okay, let’s put the pressure on: from a creator’s perspective, what do you want fans to know about this series? 
I think it’s just so much fun, and we are telling an interesting story here. We’re not just making up a reason to buy comics based on a popular cosplay character. There’s so much to explore with this new character and all of her weird little quirks and things like that and I really had to make some very hard decisions in what we could tell in those very short little 10-page comics. It was super fun exercise in trying to make something entertaining in a short little period of space. I’m really excited to have the space here to really let it breathe a little bit. 
     Gwenpool is set to begin in April 2016.

          Hopefully not as an elaborate April Fool's Day joke.

     Source [ Entertainment Weekly ]

Batman: Arkham Knight: Season of Infamy DLC Release Trailer

     Batman: Arkham Knight's newest, and possibly final DLC from Rocksteady, is a massive villain-filled story add-on and is brought to us today with a nice debut trailer for the content.

Season of Infamy DLC missions include:
Shadow War: Picking up after the events of Batman: Arkham City, Batman’s devout moral code is pushed to its limits as Ra’s Al Ghul’s health rebounds with the help of the League of Assassins. 
In From The Cold: Mr. Freeze returns to Gotham City, where he is immediately entrapped in Scarecrow and the Militia’s plan to destroy Batman. The Militia has kidnapped Nora and will return her to Freeze in exchange for Batman’s capture. 
Beneath The Surface: The World’s Greatest Detective and Nightwing venture out to investigate Iron Heights, a flying airship prison that housed Killer Croc, after it crashed in the waters surrounding Gotham City. 
Wonderland: The Mad Hatter makes things personal as the villain lures Batman into a demented, hallucinatory battle of wits across Gotham City and within the pages of a twisted story book.
     As shown in the trailer, there is a monstrous amount of new skins, challenges, and all-around goodies being released for our Holiday joy.  But I think best of all- is actually a tidbit from a couple days ago, when Sefton Hill heavily implied there'd be more work between Rocksteady and Batman in the future.

     The Season of Infamy DLC is available today.

     Source [ Comic Book Resources ]


Arkham Knight: Season of Infamy DLC: Mr. Freeze Returns (as does Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, and Ra's al Ghul)

     It's been a long road for the Batman Arkham games, and December 22nd brings Arkham Knight's "Season of Infamy" DLC.  Returning bad guys are plentiful and they all get an extra area made for them specially.

     Mr. Freeze returns, Ra's al Ghul and the League of Shadows has risen from the Lazarus Pit, Killer Croc is prowling a downed aircraft, and Mad Hatter is talking crazy at the GCPD building.  New areas to explore and tasks to complete alongside capturing the villains.

     In addition to the story DLC, also available will be the Arkham Asylum Batmobile skin and the Christian Bale costume he wore in Batman Begins.

     The end of the video gives us a nice teaser for the future, when Dax Ginn asks Sefton Hill, "So Sefton, are you saying, categorically, that this is the end of the road for Rocksteady and Batman?"

     And Hill's response is, "Well..."

     The end of the game leaves the potential for more to come, probably with a wider DC Comics universe base- Arkham Knight had references to Lex Luthor and a really blatant homage ending reminiscent of the Frank Miller classic comic series The Dark Knight Returns- leading me to believe Bruce Wayne faked his death to go Batman full-time, and then they'll bring in at least Superman, if not all of the JLA, into the video game series.

Disney Infinity 3.0: Vignocchi Talks the Future of Infinity: An Unannounced Special Character in 1st Quarter 2016! (And an Unannounced Playset!)

     Disney Infinity's VP of Production John Vignocchi had an interview with Dis Kingdom's Abraham Larios Jr. with a bunch of interesting things about the future for 2016.

     To me the important things are-

     First- In addition to the Marvel Battlegrounds playset, we will see at least one more playset for sure.  Vignocchi was asked about his phrasing about playsets and, "When asked to clarify if he meant to say playsets as plural, JV said that the word Playsets with an “S” on there is on purpose and correct!"
     Furthermore, on the topic of Marvel Battlegrounds, no release date has been officially announced, and the Power Discs will be used in a much different fashion than they have been for the last few years.  They'll be used in "a unique way" which is quite intriguing to think about what they might be cooking up.  On top of that the playset itself will also play very differently than any of the previous sets have, and has been labelled a "game changer" for Disney Infinity while still in the Beta.

     And Second- Vignocchi mentioned while talking about the figure release slate, that Boba Fett has been pushed out from his originally expected release date in January, but still remains in the first quarter of 2016.  Nick and Judy from Zootopia will also be in that time period but then going on, "he mentioned that during quarter one, another special character that has not been announced or leaked yet."
     That's right, a character that hasn't been leaked or announced yet will be arriving in the first quarter 2016!  They have not confirmed if they'll be a Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars character.  We know that Ant-Man, Vision, and Black Panther have been leaked by Amazon, and there has been rumor and speculation that one other character might be coming some day, and I really hope that's who it is- Kim Possible.  Of course, we'll just have to wait and see.

     Peter Pan is still set for an August/September release and his final design is going to be revealed to the Toy Box Master Artist group by Avalanche Studios before being shown to the community later this year.  Captain EO is stuck in a kind of limbo.

     Darkwing Duck though, he is another story.  As Larios writes:
"Darkwing Duck on the other hand, seems may be closer to becoming a reality. JV told us about a conversation he had with John Blackburn this past week. He said he was having an argument with John Blackburn about a character for an upcoming project that JV was supporting inside of Disney Infinity. John then said to him that he rather do Darkwing Duck than that character he was proposing. JV said that John really put him back on his heels because in the midst of a heated argument about a character, he dangled one that is so close and personal to him as one that they could officially bring."
     That is a very loaded paragraph.  Darkwing Duck is very possible, but then so is the mystery character that was dangled in his face, which could be anyone.  What makes this so cool, is that it is one that Vicnocchi himself is psyched about, and by the sounds of it, he was genuinely surprised by not only the suggestion- but the likelihood of it actually officially happening.
 The future of Disney Infinity is looking good.
     Source [ Dis Kingdom ]


Spaceballs 2: The Farce Awakens: Considered by Yogurt Himself (Mel Brooks)

     Following hot on the tails of The Force Awakens being released Mel Brooks has officially stated that a sequel to his cult-classic 1987 spoof of Star Wars, Spaceballs, might be in the works...

     ...sort of...  

                   ...all right, it was almost a year ago.

     Back in January Brooks told Adam Corolla on the "Take a Knee" podcast that there were some ideas floating around for Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money, that in itself being a joke from the original film.
     This is by no means a confirmation, but simply a re-consideration of an interview he had early in 2015.  I spotted an article over at the Escapist Magazine from earlier today that the writer might not have known this was from nearly a year ago, but still- it makes me wonder if Brooks is still thinking about this.

     A lot of the original cast has either died (John Candy, Dom DeLuise, Joan Rivers) or left acting as Rick Moranis had, but there's still a chance.  If Brooks finds a way to pull out a can of Liquid Schwartz and hope that Moranis returns and they can convince Bill Pullman and Daphne Zuniga to return, there could be a whole new generation of Spaceballs.  Even the original writer had some ideas for a sequel, as Brooks told Parade in 2014, "Tom [Meehan], who wrote it with me, has great ideas and I would love to do Spaceballs 2."

     For now we can only cross our Schwartzes and hope Brooks mentions some news about this in the near future.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Rambling Review and Thoughts *SPOILERS AFTER THE BREAK*

     I'll try to avoid the major spoilers for those of you that have not seen the film.

     Right off the bat, they get the crawling text perfectly, it even has that slight wobble, which is an almost imperceptible addition that points to the amount of detail that carries through the whole film.  I can't say that this fully makes up for the Prequels and the altered versions of the Original Trilogy, but this film has set the film back on the path to the light side.
     Many of the shots in the film visually call back to A New Hope, and plenty of the story mirrors the steps taken then.  A good call on the creators' part.

     What is even better, is early on there's a joke by Poe Dameron in a troublesome situation, that at first seems off-key and a little awkward making it feel out of place, but the magical thing here is- it actually works.  And it works very well.  The film keeps this effect going through it's entirety.  They've balanced the humor and seriousness so neatly that I was rather surprised by it.  I mean, there's an extra hilarious scene with two Stormtroopers backing away from a room they hear Kylo Ren raging in, and it definitely feels like a nod to the Tag & Bink Star Wars comics.

     Now Abrams as a director tends to try and make every scene stay in motion, with either people or the camera continually in action- normally I am really bothered by this, but he's finally used it to wonderful effect because the scenes where the camera doesn't move are even more impactful because of it.  They hold extra tension because we aren't playing catch up as a viewer, we become much more focused on what is happening in the moment.  Once again though, many of the scenes echo those from the Original Trilogy, leaning on that for extra weight, and it does the job quite wonderfully.  This is shown most spectacularly through Kylo Ren.  He outwardly appears to be the new form of the Sith, an indomitable dark lord toppling everything in his path, but inwardly he struggles to find the right way to go- and ends up falling on old habits in taking the easy path to the dark side and trying really hard to hold on to the anger and pain to make him strong.  He fears that he might be pulled back to the light side.  They've been so reliant on the Original Trilogy and fearful of making a whole new path, but you know, I don't mind it.  It feels familiar and wonderful at the same time.
     The Force Awakens clings to the oldie-but-goody mentality while creating an overlay of a new story.  The film is clearly miming the Original Trilogy, but the foundation for the franchise's redemption is there inside, waiting to be awoken.

     To be fair, there are a few things that bothered me, such as the over-the-top action with the aliens shortly after Han and Chewbacca meet up with Rey and Finn, the truly ludicrous size of the Starkiller base, and the super dramatic, overly lengthy pause in the last lightsaber fight where clearly Kylo Ren would've taken action seeing the person obviously accessing the Force.  Or the fact Captain Phasma was put in a ton of commercials and has a very small role in the film.  Or why are the "rebels" still called rebels, when they essentially destroyed the Empire and are still mostly in control, and the general coincidental paths crossing.  BUT!  I can overlook most of these things, because the rest of the film has done such an amazing job.  The Force is balancing again, the magic is returning to the series, and The Force Awakens is getting things back on track for future Star Wars generations.

     In the end the film is extremely entertaining and I will end this part of the review with the quote from Han that perfectly sums up what The Force Awakens is- a return of the Force, "Chewie, we're home."

     If you'd like to read more (my complaints, spoilers, and thoughts) click read more below.


Captain America: Civil War: A LEGO Playset Movie Spoiler?

     It looks like one of the upcoming LEGO sets for Captain America: Civil War has a potential spoiler attached to it: Ant-Man as Giant Man.

     Personally, I had been hoping Scott Lang would've cranked the dial the opposite direction and fussed with the regulator at the end of Ant-Man so he could get huge and squash Yellow Jacket,I mean they hinted at the giant growth with the garden gnome, Thomas the Train, and the massive ant, but I guess it made much more sense to keep Ant-Man more in the shadows until Civil War hits theaters when they might need an extra edge against a big gun opponent like Vision, a secret weapon of sorts to even the odds.
     Granted, this isn't a guarantee, as the Ant-Man movie final battle set had a black-clad Hank Pym Ant-Man suit that wasn't in the film, but the odds have been raised from micro to giant sized potential with this play set.

     Captain America: Civil War arrives in theaters May 6th, 2016.


Star Wars: Cancelled Darth Maul Game May Not be Force Awoken

     Last we heard Game Fly's CEO Dan Borth was hoping that the previously cancelled Darth Maul focused Star Wars game would be "resurrected, " but things aren't looking too good for it right now.  Game Informer has an exclusive interview well worth the time to read, that makes it sound like EA doesn't want to let anyone else play with their precious Star Wars license.

When we last talked, you said you were hoping to talk to EA or Lucasfilm? Has this happened? 
I never personally talked to them, but they sounded pretty non-interested. I think the whole thing could be summed up with "No comment." We didn't even have a conversation, really, and I think the thing that is most depressing is that we didn't even really talk about it. ... It really feels like [EA] has an exclusive party going on, and they're just not interested in talking about anyone else joining the party. It's more like, "Nobody outside of EA is going to do stuff, end of story.”
     With such a money-making franchise and EA's cash-grab mentality, this is exactly what it looks like.  They don't want to let someone get even a sliver of the pie.  Which is kind of stupid because the Reddit AMA went viral and incited a huge amount of fan support and it would end up making EA money without their need to actually do anything other than publish the finished product.

     When asked if they had been asked to stop making the game, Borth said, "No."  That could be a hopeful thing, but he follows it by clarifying and saying that it's pretty clear the project isn't going anywhere, and that they (and the Star Wars community in general) are not being listened to.  That is very disheartening to hear, because we'll end up with more half-assed mobile Star Wars games like Uprising, Galaxy of Heroes, and Commander.  Nothing with the heft and quality of The Force Unleashed, which is a huge disappointment for many hardcore Star Wars gaming fans.  Even Battlefront wasn't nearly as great as it could've been- I mean they didn't even bother to include a campaign mode.  We'd like some real plot driven stories and expansion to the Star Wars universe through way of the video gaming experience.  Way to go EA.

     Seriously EA (and Disney), as a gamer and a lifelong Star Wars fanboy, listen to your buyers:

Star Wars: Lightsaber Escape: May the Phone be with You

     Google has created a wonderful little web game that ties directly to your phone that gives players the ability to turn their phone into a more elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

     Using this link [ Star Wars: Lightsaber Escape ] with Chrome on both your computer browser and your phone, and follow the instructions to play a neat little rail-shooter, or more appropriately, a rail-lightsaber-er.  It's a cool little game to hold you over until you can see The Force Awakens, or play the Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars: The Force Awakens play set which arrives tomorrow.

     In addition Google had made a nice little Easter Egg for users that put "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away" into the search bars.


Marvel Future Fight: Huge New Update! All New, All Different Costumes and Spider-Verse Characters Arrived

     Yesterday, the second best Marvel Comics related game (the first would be the ever-amazing Marvel Heroes 2015!), the free-to-play mobile game Marvel Future Fight received a monstrous update just in time for the holidays!

     Developer Netmarble has combined the Daily and Bonus missions, Villain Siege and Dimension Rifts can now be entered at will, four more characters have received 6 star skills, and we get a bunch of new characters and costumes.

     The new characters we get are all Spider-Verse related- we get Miles Morales' Spider-Man, Silk, and the current fan-favorite Spider-Gwen.  The costumes for the 7th series are mostly from the All New, All Different material- there's the Superior Spider-Man, Black Bolt, new suits for Sister Grimm, Gamora, and War Machine, as well as Captain America's Winter Soldier costume and Captain Marvel's classic black and red Ms. Marvel suit.


Star Trek Beyond: First Official Trailer

     The first trailer for Star Trek Beyond has dropped and it looks to be, once again, more about the over the top action sequences and less about the meaningful exploration of the human condition that it rightfully should be.  But, that being said, it still looks like it'll be entertaining as hell, and Leonard "Bones" McCoy steals the trailer with his perfectly placed cynical wit.

     Star Trek Beyond hits theaters July 22nd, 2016.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Issue 50 IDW Comic Short Review

     The big issue 50 hits hard.  This is the culmination of the entire series up until now.  It comes down to the two timelines from the feudal Japan and the present with the characters.

     What a massive undertaking, the issue is double-sized and features a multitude of a cast.  There's the we lose Metal Head, Donatello returns, the Foot are taken under new management.  Many threads of storyline come together into one Gordian Knot and are deftly sliced by the creative team to end old ones and at the same time create a new path to go down.

     This issue primarily deals with the relationship between the Shredder and Splinter.  Through the parallel stories we get a sense that Shredder may be able to be redeemed, and the Splinter wasn't always the master of calmness.  And the way it urns out in the end is both horrifying and wonderful.  The Shredder is offered a way out through Seppuku and takes it, Splinter ends it honorably as his kaishakunin.  The Foot is now under Splinter's control.  The way this was handled was beautiful, it offered both parties a way to change their reincarnated fates to something new.  Which also ties in to the possibility of the Krang being the ones to be interfering, or causing it, with the reincarnation through the DNA sampling from the feudal Japan era.

     By the end we find that this is a huge turning point for the whole direction of the book.  Besides Splinter becoming the father to the Foot a ton of other things change.  Karai heads off to Japan, Michelangelo leaves his brothers after seeing what Splinter did, Leatherhead is becoming more than just muscle with Fugitoid, Alopex might be led into darkness by Kitsune, and things are generally looking bleak and somehow hopeful at the same time.  Exciting times are coming.

     Now for the sad news, it's been said that the amazing and very cinematic art by Mateus Santolouco will be leaving.  His style was a tremendous driving force behind how great some of these past 50 issues have been.  When the writing was questionable, at least the art maintained a high quality.  It'll be sad to see his work go.  And so I don't leave people out, the panels showing the past were drawn by Cory Smith, who also did a great job.
     Tom Waltz did very well with the script, with help from TMNT creator Kevin Eastman and Bobby Curnow, Ronda Pattison's colors were top-notch, and we can't forget letter-er Shawn Lee's work.  Well done all of you on this issue, it was quite a feat in both ending and tying up stories while making a whole new batch of things for all of us readers to look forward to..

LEGO Marvel's Avengers: Open World Trailer

     With the newest trailer for LEGO Marvel's Avengers, I see they've taken the best part, of thee best LEGO video game- the open world of New York City from LEGO Marvel Super Heroes- and expanded on it.

     Hopefully developer Traveller's Tales have learned from the last few games what they need to fix to make this game stand out as a masterpiece.  I've mentioned in old reviews that the game is becoming better with each new installment, but some the flight controls and continuous plague of bugs and glitches keep holding them back.
     Seriously, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes' open world New York City felt densely populated, and extremely fun to explore and play around in, unlike the mostly empty open world of either LEGO The Hobbit, or the open world Middle Earth of LEGO Lord of the Rings.  They had gotten that New York City done nearly to perfection, and it looks like they're bringing that element into the new game's entire level design.  With a few tweaks they might now have a jaw-droppingly perfect LEGO game, but we'll have to wait and see.

     LEGO Marvel's Avengers will be available January 26th, 2016.

Deadpool: All I Want for Christmas is the New Trailer

     Yesterday, 20th Century Fox aired a Deadpool promo on during Sportscenter confirming the release of the new trailer to be arriving on Christmas Day.  And making this announcement as shiny as Colossus' Osmium-skinned ass is there are both red and green band trailers according to the Alberta Film Ratings site.

    Ryan Reynolds stars as the merc-with-a-mouth Wade "Deadpool" Wilson in what will most likely be the most accurate, funny, and bloody comic adaptation ever.

     Deadpool hits theaters February 12th, 2016.


Star Wars: Uprising 2.0: The Game Finally Gets Lightsabers and The Force

     The official 2.0 update synopsis:
"Embark on a quest to unlock the power of the light and dark sides of the Force, as you seek your path to one of the Galaxy’s rarest weapons for the elite few, the Lightsaber." 
      I'm actually glad I waited to post my full review of Star Wars: Uprising, as now the free-to-play mobile MMO game has added the two biggest missing items from a Star Wars title- the Force and lightsabers.  There's actually a ton of new additions to the game, including more missions and gear.  The whole list of changes can be found on Kabam's official Uprising forum.

     The game was originally supposed to be merely an underworld type group escaping a planetary blockage and breaking the grip of the Empire's remnants taking place in between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.  It's pretty interesting they are changing the game and adding these things for the 2.0 update.  I mean, now that they've added the most magical part of this universe I may actually return to the game.

X-Men: Apocalypse: Full Official Trailer Has Arrived

     Bryan Singer sure knows how to cut damn good trailers.  X-Men: Apocalypse has brought to us images of the iconic villain coming throughout history and wreaking havoc by initiating the end times and a rebirth from the old world.  An intriguing take on the Egyptian god-man, but how will they handle the celestial technology from his backstory as Marvel still holds those film rights?

     With all they've gotten here and all the mutants, I wonder if we'll get to have a sneak cameo appearance by Proteus- acting as a deus ex machina against Apocalypse?  Very, very doubtful as their stories never really crossed.  But then they have shifted a lot of things around to make these films work in this timeline anyways.
     Regardless this trailer looks pretty awesome.

     X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters May 27th, 2016.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows: First Official Movie Trailer

     Paramount has released the trailer for the second Michael Bay produced TMNT film, subtitled Out of the Shadows, not to be confused with the TMNT game of the same name.  The trailer features Casey Jones in action, our first good look at Bebop and Rocksteady in their post-mutated state, Baxter Stockman's crazy science, the new Shredder, a new take on the turtles' party wagon, tons of over the top action, a dash of humor, and a possible Krang invasion.  That's plenty of half-shell hero entertainment for all of us fans.

     As a long time fan, I'm going to try and reserve judgement again.  The first film was much better than I had anticipated, but still not nearly as good as it could have been.  This one looks like the direction has gone a little different, the CGI for the turtles and Bebop and Rocksteady looks like it might not be quite finished yet, and they are still putting in the slow motion action pieces

      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows hits theaters June 3rd, 2016.

     For more of my turtle related posts [ TMNT ]


Street Fighter V: Thoughts on Why R. Mika's Butt Slap was Removed

     After about a month of fan speculation as to the reason Capcom removed R. Mika's trademark booty smacking taunt animation from Street Fighter V, we get producer Yoshinori Ono's thoughts.

     Ono claims the change was not due to external pressure, leading people to think it is not censorship, but rather, going on to explain:
"These changes have arisen internally. We decided to remove it because we want as many people to play, and we do not want the game something that might make someone uncomfortable."
     Coming from my own perspective as a long-time Street Fighter player this is absolutely ridiculous.  Rainbow Mika's butt is still in full view throughout matches, and whether she slaps it or not as a taunt, it's a move that is completely and without a doubt within her character's personality.  It makes sense, if Cammy or Chun Li were to do it, it would be outrageous, but not for Mika's silliness.  This is taunt is from a move where she literally sits on someone's face.  Her tag-team wrestling partner, Yamato Nadeshiko, and Mika fly ass first at their opponent smashing their face between their cheeks and then into the ground.  I would also like to note that Mika's partner, Yamato's name is derived from a Japanese phrase for the idealized perfect woman.  Regardless, this hilarious move is part of her wrestling style and flare.
     And for those that would find this one peculiar move "uncomfortable," you might want to reconsider the rest of the entire game.  The game is about beating the ever-loving crap out of people.  If beating someone up makes you less uncomfortable than seeing someone slap their own ass, that's on you.
     Even if you were to find that one small thing uncomfortable, would that mean you wouldn't play the game at all?  Probably not.  So those that would be uncomfortable to begin with most likely are not even playing the game any ways.  This feels more like they're trying to prevent the current outrage culture in video games from having something to latch on to and complain about.  I mean they've already altered Cammy's entrance shot to something more appropriate, but they've not yet addressed all the funny boob jiggling.  It just seems like it was a decision that while not censorship, may have been done for fear of incurring some that would cry foul.

     Sources [ UOL Jugos ] via [ [ Destructoid ]


Fat Princess Adventures: Available Today for Our Cake Eating Pleasure!

     In keeping with the series' wonderful humor and art style, the legend of the Fat Princess returns in a new game with lots of destruction, laughter, and cake.

     Fat Princess Adventures hit the PSN Store today for the PS4.  I'm hoping I'll be able to get this later tonight for some serious cake-fueled Diablo-esque dungeon raiding slaughter-fests.

     As an added bonus, anyone that purchases it before December 15th gets the DLC "Weapons of Might" for free!


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Official Trailer 2 Arrives

     After Monday's little teaser we receive the entire 2nd trailer for Batman v Superman.  It is shaping up to be much better than I'd hoped.  Eisenberg is still seeming a bit odd as Luthor, and is that Doomsday looking a lot like a cave troll straight out of Lord of the Rings?  And if it is, is it Luthor or Zod that has become the beast?  Well, it could be something from Wonder Woman's realm, but by the looks of it, it'll probably be Doomsday.

     Still no sign of the rest of the Justice League, but I have a feeling they'll only be in the film for about 5 minutes total at the end.

     Batman v Superman hits theaters March 25th, 2016.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Platinum Games Developing "Mutants in Manhattan"

     Over on the Australian classification board, an interesting item appeared- a multiplatform Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game subtitled "Mutants in Manhattan."  And what's even better about this little tidbit of exciting info is that it's being developed by Platinum Games.

It's about time we get a new TMNT game.
     The last two games by Platinum were pretty decent, The Legend of Korra and Transformers: Devastation (both with Activision), so we might expect a very distinct take on the franchise.  Although Activision is currently listed as the publisher, they've yet to release a comment or any official announcements about the future title.  We can only hope that Platinum will give it a better treatment than Red Fly who had all the rudimentary elements for a great game but couldn't quite make it work with Out of the Shadows.

     Because this is still in the purely speculative phase, at least until there's an official announcement, we have so many options that the game could be like.  Will it be a open world 3rd person beat-em-up game or a simple, but effective, callback to the old arcade brawlers?  I mean it can't be just a coincidence the title is so close to TMNT: The Manhattan Project.  Will it be retro-based on the old 80's TMNT cartoon, or perhaps another take on either the current Nickelodeon series or a possible tie-in with the Michael Bay produced TMNT sequel to the 2014 film?  There's so much potential to work with here!

     Regardless, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a game worthy of the TMNT namesake.

     For more of my Turtles related posts [ TMNT ]

     Sources [ AllGamesBeta ] [ Destructoid ] [ GameInformer ]

     *Picture from TMNT: Out of the Shadows