SF Fantasy

Thu
16
Apr

Zenescope Co-Founder Ralph Tedesco Discusses COVID-19 Impact on Comics Publishing and Distributing

Zenescope livestream interview 2020-04-16

Critical Blast has talked a lot with retailers during the COVID-19 induced industry shutdown that has impacted the comic book supply chain nationwide, even in states where stores are not facing mandatory closures.

But while the end-user impact is important, we also want to make sure we shine a spotlight onto how the shutdown -- specifically the Diamond Distribution shutdown, which services as the bottleneck for the entire logistics model of getting comic books from publishers to consumers -- has impacted the publishers that bring us our weekly dose of fantasy, horror, action, and every other genre of four-color entertainment.

Sun
12
Apr

V: The Final Battle on Blu-ray

V: The Final Battle

In 1984, the country was fully caught up in the fever of the first trilogy of STAR WARS films, and television had stepped up to fill that void with programs like BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and the simplistically titled and high-minded sci-fi thriller, V.

The "V" stood for "The Visitors," who were aliens who had come to Earth under the pretense of helping mankind. But the show was actually the long-form version of Damon Knight's short-story, "To Serve Man," because the Visitors were actually lizard people wearing human skin disguises, here to plunder our resources and process human beings as a food source.

Wed
08
Apr

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge Hits Like a Hard "R" G.I. Joe

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge

MORTAL KOMBAT LEGENDS: SCORPION'S REVENGE opens, as one would expect, by presenting itself as the origin of Hanzo Hasashi (voiced by Patrick Seitz), a great warrior who returns to his village to find it completely eradicated, including his wife. His final vision before his death is the brutal murder of his young son.

Hasashi awakens in the Netherrealm, where he is about to be tortured for all eternity by a demon. But Hasashi's will is indomitable, and he manages to fight his way through an army of demons, to the door of Quan Chi (Darin De Paul), who offers Hasashi an opportunity to get his life and family back -- by obtaining the key to unlock Quan Chi's imprisoned master through a competition held between the many realms. The competition comes with an opportunity for revenge against the man who killed Hasashi's family. And so Scorpion is born.

Wed
26
Feb

Star Wars Fans Assign "The Mandalorian" Best Broadcast Series of 2019

Best Broadcast Series 2019 The Mandalorian Disney +

While fan response to the Disney STAR WARS films has been more starkly divided than the philosophies of the Jedi and the Sith, one thing everyone can seem to agree on is that the first ever STAR WARS live-action series, THE MANDALORIAN, is a unifying (wait for it) force. A western adventure set in another galaxy, the series is an original to the Disney Plus streaming service, and has been pleasing fans since its debut -- perhaps, in no small part, due to the presence of The Child, universally known to all as "Baby Yoda."

Sun
05
Jan

Soule and Saiz Give Fans a New Hope with Marvel's Star Wars #1 Comic

Marvel Comics Star Wars #1 2020

Over the last few years, the foundation of STAR WARS fandom has been a little shaky. We've seen one writer ignominiously ousted from the extended universe, several directors fired from the sequels and ancillary films, and controversy among the fandom over the way the final trilogy was handled from start to finish. Basically, if you're handed the reigns to do something with STAR WARS these days, you stand a good chance of slitting your own throat.

Mon
11
Nov

Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 106, "I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury"

Batwoman I'll Be Judge I'll Be Jury

It took six episodes, but BATWOMAN has delivered a one-and-done murder mystery that was both compelling and character elevating.

There's a new villain in town, who wears an executioner's mask and carries an axe. When he electrocutes a prominent Gotham City prosecutor, whose most famous case was the conviction of Jack Napier, aka The Joker, the GCPD fire up the Bat-signal, seeking help from the city's new bearer of the mantle. This infuriates Jake Kane (DOUGRAY SCOTT), leader of the Crows, and he vows to capture this killer before Batwoman (RUBY ROSE).

Tue
29
Oct

The Crew of the NSEA Protector Returns in Steelbook Edition of Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest 20 Year

Has it really been twenty years since TIM ALLEN, SIGOURNEY WEAVER, ALAN RICKMAN, TONY SHALHOUB, SAM ROCKWELL and DARYL MITCHELL took off aboard the NSEA Protector to explore the farthest corners of the galaxy -- only to have their voyage cancelled on a cliffhanger? See, GALAXY QUEST was just a television show, a science fiction classic beloved by fans and made into the centerpiece of conventions, much to the chagrin of the actors of the series -- Jason Nesmith, Gwen DeMarco, Alexander Dane, Fred Kwan, Guy Fleegman, and Tommy Webber -- who found themselves typecast into their roles and condemned to make a living through special appearances and autographing photos. The only one really into it is Nesmith (ALLEN), but when he overhears two teens talking about how pathetic his life must be, it shakes his confidence.

Wed
25
Sep

Dark Crystal Success Shows The Staying Power of a Good Story

Dark Crystal Age of Resistance

1982 movie The Dark Crystal is probably better categorized as a cult classic rather than as a bona fide classic. So its entrance into 2019 popular culture will have taken many by surprise. The Jim Henson Company collaborated with Netflix to produce a ten-episode prequel to the original film. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance explores the magical world of Thra, in which Gelflings look to rebel against the tyrannous rule of the Skeksis.

Thu
12
Sep

Lost Lovechild of Kubrick and Hitchcock: Empathy, Inc.

Empathy Inc

Director Yedidya Gorsetman and Screenwriter Mark Leidner have put together a sleeper hit of masterpiece proportions.

EMPATHY, INC. starts out simply enough. Joel (ZACK ROBIDAS) is a successful silicon valley executive, about to make a fortune with the release of a new technology. But his partner has been falsifying the results of the tests, with devastating financial results for Joel and the company he worked for. He is scapegoated into ruin, and he and his wife Jessica (KATHY SEARLE) are forced to move in with her retired parents.

Thu
18
Jul

More Than Two Months Past Game of Thrones Finale: Are You Still Suffering from Withdrawal?

Game of Thrones Withdrawal

Symptoms include low energy, headaches and irritability. If you don’t think you’re suffering that last one, ask your family or friends. They may have an answer different than yours.

But here’s some news that may cure your ills: Filming of the GAME OF THRONES prequel has begun in Belfast. It won’t have Jon Snow or Arya Stark, but maybe you can be satisfied that you’re dealing with the same bloodline, albeit a bloodline that is thousands of years older.

Before you place any bets on the prequel, such as which of your favorite characters turned out to be chips off the (very) old block, read an Intertops review, one of SBR’s top rated sportsbooks for entertainment wagers.

And be warned, there will be speculation and spoilers in this article.

Tue
09
Jul

Avellone's Crisis on Infinite Betties Continues at Dynamite

Bettie Page Unbound 2

David Avallone and Julius Ohta are taking the iconic Bettie Page to places she has never been before -- alternate worlds, alternate dimensions, and ultimately alternate Betties, as she races against time to stop Yog-Sothoth and the Elder Gods from invading our dimension and bringing about the end of...well, pretty much everything.

Fortunately, there's a key to stopping this invasion. More precisely, there are five keys, spread across five different dimensions. Bettie has acquired two of them, having picked up the second key in the first issue of this miniseries, where she found herself embodying a she-devil with a sword. Now she finds herself on a new planet, in a form where she's even stronger and stranger--a fanged vampire woman who can sprout wings and kick ass!

Oh yeah, and she's kind of hungry. For blood.

Wed
12
Jun

Set Phasers to Fail: Podcaster Redshirts after Shatner Death Twish

Shatner and LLAPawsper

There's a secret about Twitter that a surprising number of people haven't figured out yet. It's not just a leading social media tool, a great way to promote your brand, and a fun way to connect with people who share common (or uncommon) interests -- it's also public and "out loud" and whatever you say on it is seen by everyone and, if archived, lasts forever. Many have been the times an unwary person has spoken in anger, in jest, in drunken carelessness, only to find they've become an overnight sensation or a symbol of infamy.

Such seems to be the case when Star Trek fan, Heather Rae, took to Twitter with her "Hot Take."

Tue
11
Jun

Red Sonja Battles a Chaos God in Birth of the She-Devil

Red Sonja Birth of a She Devil 1

I'm familiar with Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith's creation, Red Sonja. But it's a passing familiarity. I recognize the character, I've read a few issues in my life. But there are years of story that I have not read, an entire mythology that I do not know.

Fortunately, I don't need to know any of that with RED SONJA: BIRTH OF THE SHE-DEVIL. Narrated by Ozzyus, the warrior who found and raised the red-haired little girl who grew up to be the scourge of despots, this tale from Luke Lieberman finds a somewhat younger Sonja on a quest to find a childhood friend, Shashana, who has been taken by Raka the Forsaken. To do what she has to do, Sonja is presented as a mix of ruthless and beguiling, strong and nubile. She dispatches warriors with ease, whether in combat or by drinking them under the table, and it would be a challenge to find a rendition of Red Sonja anywhere in comics sexier than the way Sergio Davila portrays her in this issue.

Mon
25
Mar

Cirsova Publishing Announces Fully Illustrated 70th Anniversary Edition of Leigh Brackett’s Stark Trilogy

Cirsova Stark Anniversary

Little Rock, AR, 4/1/2019— Cirsova Publishing has teamed up with StarTwo to create an all-new, fully illustrated 70th Anniversary Edition of Leigh Brackett’s original Eric John Stark Trilogy. Cirsova Publishing aims to bring the action, adventure and romance of Leigh Brackett to a new generation of readers.

First published in the Summer of 1949, Queen of the Martian Catacombs introduced the world to Eric John Stark, the black mercenary swordsman. Stark’s adventures continued on Venus in 1949’s The Enchantress of Venus, and the swordsman returned to the Red Planet in 1951’s Black Amazon of Mars. While Brackett would revisit the character in 1970s with the Skaith trilogy, the original novellas are significant as one of the last iconic Sword & Planet cycles of the pulp era.

Sat
02
Mar

New In-Canon Tarzan Story Debuts Today: Young Tarzan and the Mysterious She

Tarzan Mysterious She Burroughs Tierney

How often have you wished you could get just one more story out of a favorite author who has passed on to that great bookbinding plant in the sky? One more Ray Bradbury thriller, one more Agatha Christie whodunnit.

One more Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure with Tarzan.

If you nodded wistfully to that last statement, you're in luck, because today marks the debut of a new Tarzan story by Burroughs -- with an assist by Michael Tierney. YOUNG TARZAN AND THE MYSTERIOUS SHE is the product of an unfinished Burroughs tale that made its way to light through Tierney's relationship with the Burroughs estate. Initially thought to be contradictory with current Tarzan canon -- Jane Porter being the first blonde woman Tarzan meets, per Burroughs orthodoxy -- the story posed a perlplexing problem, one that Tierney took on and resolved, using established Tarzan lore so that nothing contradicts anything else -- making this tale legitimate canon in the Tarzan universe.

Mon
25
Feb

Best Series of 2018 Goes to Netflix and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

While Archie and the gang are going through subversive retranslating on The CW, the comic book publishing company's teenaged witch has had such a magical transformation that her adventures have gone over to Netflix.

The show is definitely catching on with our readers, despite some very strong competition from shows like HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE,  TITANS, and THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL. Ultimately, however, CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA managed to pull out a narrow victory over all comers, taking the top spot this year as BEST SERIES OF 2018.

Thu
07
Feb

Doctor Who Season 11 Not as Bad -- or as Good -- as Previously Reported

Doctor Who Season 11

Much ado was made about the iconic British sci-fi show, DOCTOR WHO, when the Doctor regenerated once more, this time into female form and played by JODIE WHITTAKER. More than that, the former showrunner, STEVEN MOFFAT, was leaving as well, putting the new direction of the show up in the air. Some fans were prepared to love the series, no matter what; others seemed determined to hate the series, no matter what.

The true measure of this eleventh season fell somewhere in between--not as bad as the naysayers put it, but nowhere near as good as the positive numbers indicated.

Sat
02
Feb

Cloverfield Producers Need to Look up Definition of Paradox

Cloverfield Paradox

The Earth is having a critical energy crisis. It's only hope lies with the experiments on an orbiting space station, where an international group of astronauts tries to fire up a super collider. If they are successful, they will provide a limitless source of free energy.

Of course, they may also rip a whole in space time, interact with parallel realities, and unleash demons on the world -- but those are just the ravings of Internet conspiracist Mark Stambler (GOTHAM's DONAL LOGUE), a theory he calls "The Paradox."

After some unsuccessful attempts, the collider works -- and then overloads. And the Earth is gone, and common knowledge has gone with it.

Fri
28
Dec

Exclusive Reveal! The Title of the Next ANGST Novel by David J. Pedersen is...

Angst Audiobook Cover

Fans of David J. Pedersen's ANGST series are in for a couple of treats, not the least of which is the newest installment of the epic "Midlife Crisis in Medieval Times."

The ANGST books have followed a pattern, beginning with the second book, of giving readers clues to the magical elements involved in each adventure, with titles like BURIED IN ANGST (Earth), BURNING WITH ANGST (Fire), and DROWNING IN ANGST (Water).

So what is the fateful title of ANGST 5? That's part of our exclusive interview. Watch here...

(Rather just listen? Plug in and take a listen to the CRITICAL PODBLAST podcast!)

Sun
09
Dec

Await Further Instructions Awaiting Cohesive Ending

Await Further Instructions

The Milgram family is full of tensions, both open and repressed. Son Nick (SAM GITTINS) hasn't been home for years, and gives no explanation as to why. He returns for Christmas, unannounced, and brings with him his girfriend, Annji (NEERJA NAIK), into an environment that's openly racist. His sister, Kate (HOLLY WESTON) is a stereotypical airheadh and two weeks out from delivering a baby, and her husband Scott (KRIS SADDLER) is a clueless sheep with muscles. Mom and Dad are poles apart from each other, with Bet (ABIGAIL CRUTTENDEN) trying to put on a cheery holiday face and ignore the stress, while Tony (GRANT MASTERS) is a follower of rules because they are laid down by those who know better.

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