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Archive for December 2014

“This Was A Woman Who Had My Attention Immediately” – Brandon Jerwa Talks The Bionic Woman

Mark Rahner, writer of the Avenger Special, talks with Brandon Jerwa about Bionic Woman: Season Four, both on sale now.

MARK RAHNER: Let’s pretend we don’t know each other or do a podcast every week in Seattle, and just do a “professional” interview for the nice readers.

BRANDON JERWA: Yes, because when the world thinks of you and I, Mark, “professional” is the first word that springs to mind.

MR: Can you describe your childhood feelings toward The Bionic Woman? I’m just checking to see if they were like mine.

BJ: I have a feeling that we had the same feelings. Listen, this was a well-dressed, attractive, modern woman who could reduce a man to cinder with a glance, and also kick the engine out of a Buick Skylark. What do you want from a 7-year-old boy when you put such a thing in front of him? This was a woman who had my attention immediately.

MR: Does writing a Bionic Woman adventure now give you a sick, godlike feeling? Or rather: How does it feel to write her as a grown man?

BJ: After you read the first discussion board criticism about Jaime not wearing a particular outfit from the show, you start to gain perspective very quickly. There are plenty of people out there with grand impressions of any and every moment of Jaime’s life that wasn’t shown on TV, but I’m just a guy trying to tell a good story. I make my contribution, and it goes before the people for judgment. I try not to be too godlike about it, because I know these toys are going right back into the sandbox when I’m done.

MR: Catch us up. Although this sounds kind of unsavory after the last two questions: What are you doing with her now?

BJ: Season Four is exactly what it says on the tin: a continuation of the TV series. Jaime was left at a crossroads in her life, torn between her sense of duty to O.S.I., and her desire for a normal existence. Of course, when Oscar needs a favor, Jaime can never say no. This is a story about a mission that starts off simply enough, but also opens the door to show Jaime that she’s not the only one of her kind out there in the world.

MR: What’s your approach? And have you considered writing a comic book as an extra season of other 1970s show, such as Welcome Back, Kotter?

BJ: I should probably write a check to The Prisoner and the original version of The Stepford Wives, because I’m definitely paying tribute here. I wanted to do the kind of episode that a late-70s TV budget could never convincingly achieve. The story itself is a fairly simple “something-sinister-lives-in-every-house-but-mine” thriller, but the setting slowly unfolds to become a story point within itself. That changes the scale and scope of everything.

As for other 70s shows, I always felt like WKRP In Cincinnati was missing a strong coda. One more season would have really brought it home.

MR: Let’s talk about the art. Did you and David Cabrera have long e-mail discussions about how to depict Oscar Goldman’s toupee?

BJ: Some things are just universal, man.

MR: Have you given much thought to how Jamie Sommers might have used her bionics in normal, day-to-day situations? For instance, zooming in on her bionic ear, making the sound effect, and then showing her confronting another woman at a party? “I heard what you said about me!”

BJ: Right? And then she kicks her through the bathroom wall, and into the shower. THAT’S the next bionic thing I want to write: Easily Agitated Trailer Park Bionic Woman.

For more on The Bionic Woman Season Four, click here.

“This Was A Woman Who Had My Attention Immediately” – Brandon Jerwa Talks The Bionic Woman

Infamous: First Light And More Are Coming Free To PlayStation Plus In January

If you are a PlayStation Plus member, you are no doubt aware of the  of the free games you get given each month with the service. If you aren’t aware of that, well, I’m sorry to inform you you’ve been missing out on free PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita games. The service is really great and is easily one of the biggest draws of the PlayStation online infrastructure.

If you are a subscriber on the PlayStation 4, you’ll be getting Infamous: First Light and The Swapper for free. First Light is a standalone DLC that acts as a prequel to Sucker Punch’s Infamous: Second Son. Expect a lot of super-heroing around Seattle.

You’ll also get a copy of The Swapper, a puzzle platformer that centers around creating clones of yourself. It really was one of the very best games of last year and this should be near the top of your must playlist. The puzzles can be incredibly hard at times, but it’s melancholic yet intelligent story is well worth experiencing.

On the other PlayStation platforms, Prototype 2 and Ducktails Remastered are coming to PlayStation 3 on the service, while if you are a handheld gamer Whoa Dave! and Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition will be free on Vita.

There are a bunch of good games there. Have at ‘em.

Infamous: First Light And More Are Coming Free To PlayStation Plus In January

What You Need To Know about MARVEL COMICS Headed Into 2015

Expect big things from both events like SECRET WARS and from some surprising solo series such as THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL.

What You Need To Know about MARVEL COMICS Headed Into 2015

Expect big things from both events like SECRET WARS and from some surprising solo series such as THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL.

What You Need To Know about MARVEL COMICS Headed Into 2015

Expect big things from both events like SECRET WARS and from some surprising solo series such as THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL.

Happy New Year, From Bleeding Cool – It Starts Here In London!

I am told there are many exciting things planned for Bleeding Cool in 2015. But I’d like to take this moment to thank the folk who have made Bleeding Cool what it is this year, William Christensen, Mark Seifert and Jim Kuhoric at Avatar Press , Editor-In-Chief Hannah Means-Shannon for keeping me on the relative straight and narrow and wrangling the whole site and magazine together, fellow BC staff writers Dan Wickline and Patrick Dane, past staff writers Brendon Connelly and Linda Ge, and the many contributors from Michael Davis to Adi Tantimedh to Christine Marie. And not to mention the forum posters who keep me on my toes every day, the sources who make Bleeding Cool what it is and all of you for putting up with my typos and reading the site every day.

So a very Happy New Year, from London. Bleeding Cool is an international site, based in Illinois, but I happen to live and write in south-west London, UK. Where it has has just gone midnight, for me and Patrick. In five hours the party wave hits Hannah in New Jersey, six hours for the Avatar boys in Rantoul, and in eight hours Dan Wickline will be partying his ass off!

Hang on for the year ahead, we have quite the ride coming.

Rich Johnston, London, 2015. Just.

Happy New Year, From Bleeding Cool – It Starts Here In London!

Bleeding Cool’s 11 Best Series Of 2014

By Bill Watters

Once upon a time this would have been called best TV Series, but the world has definitely changed and the dynamic shift from traditional networks to cable and to Internet-only shows has forever changed the rules of the game. Now we can binge watch series whole seasons at a time as soon as they release. The main challenge for many of these shows is finding them; unless they appear on your suggested-to-watch list, you might not have even heard of some of them. Others of course, you’d have had to been in a deep coma for years to not be aware of their existence. As you’re relaxing around the fireplace and hopefully enjoying some downtime before the New Year begins again with a vengeance, here’s a roundup of some of our favorite shows of 2014.

11. The Americans (FX)

If you’re a fan of multi-episode story arcs and the spy or detective genre, then you should do yourself a favor and check out FX’s The Americans. It’s during the cold war at it’s final height (circa 1981) and the series follows two deep cover KGB spies posing as a true-blue American married couple in suburban Washington D.C. Created and produced by a former CIA officer, it gives a look into the cloak and dagger operations of the era. At it’s core, however, the series is about the family of the agents; they’ve been at this long enough to have raised two children and are trying to balance the secrecy of their true jobs with the real roots they’ve put down in their enemy country.

10. The Walking Dead (AMC)

I would have been flogged if TWD wasn’t included somewhere in a list of best-of series, and I do have to admit that in the latter part of this season the series has become interesting once again. After a deeply week latter half of last season and the beginning of this season (two season openers in a row we find our band of feisty zombie killers having found a seeming safe haven only for it to wind up being another trap – I know, stop me if you’ve heard this one before), and a number of character building episodes (full episodes of holing up in a house and character introspection and discovery get droll when done back to back). But then, midway through the season, it finally kicks back into gear with the band on the move and planning a rescue of some of their own. The last several episodes of the season are among the best we’ve had in a long while (perhaps since the massacre at the barn).

9. House of Cards (Netflix)

Let’s be clear at the start with this show, it’s not fast paced. Setting the bar for the current trend of “the slow burn” in dramas (basically meaning that you can stretch out the main story arc points over multiple episodes). It’s not to mean that the show isn’t a fascinating character study, and it has you sit on the edge of your seat waiting for the axe to fall or the train to strike. If you’re a fan of power broker or politics series, this is one that you can’t miss. If nothing else, this show is one of those that you know will wind up influencing future similar genre series for a long time to come.

8. Fargo (FX)

If you remember the 1996 original film of the same name, this series is “kind of” a sequel. Elements of the show will point back at what happened in the film, but it’s more of a homecoming to the familiar quirky charm of the characters. It should be noted that the same folks that will being you a apple pie are also capable of extreme violence and will wind up being for their own best interests, regardless of how many knit sweaters they happen to be wearing. Great cinematography, great cast, and if you’ve ever been told you have a dark or quirky sense of humor, this show may have been sent to you for the holidays.

7. Game of Thrones (HBO)

Game of Thrones has gotten past the stage of “that new series smell,” and now whether you like it or are starting to turn away from it will be based largely if you’re a fan of the books and if so, if you’re accepting of the series’ divergences. For me, I’m still very much a fan, but not as rabid as I once was. Death, politics, sex, wrapped in a Fantasy setting with more characters than you can shake a stick at, this show is still setting records for most watched episodes (and most torrented). If you’re a newcomer to the series, just be warned, don’t get too fond of any particular characters, as they may die with or without warning, even when they’re the main one on the poster (sorry Sean Bean).

6. The Newsroom (HBO)

In the past few decades, there’s no one else that’s been able to replicate the characters or dialogue that Aaron Sorkin has brought to the screen. The characters are smart, and the themes of the show topical for the day. Sure, as with his original series, West Wing, it’s not really going to appeal to adherents to the political far right, but for everyone else it’s a tragedy that this series has now wrapped up it’s news day with the close of it’s third season. It’s a series that follows a network newsroom, their personal dramas, and the world happens around them and their efforts to make a difference.

5. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Some have compared Orange to a female version of Oz, but beyond being a dramatic prison based series it’s focus is on the struggles of the individuals and their communities that form up behind the bars. In the most racially and culturally diverse show on the list (and in most series currently running) it shows the reality of the American melting pot. Many episodes involve exploration of backstories how the women found themselves in the prison, and in most cases they show them to be far more than the viewer expected them to be.

4. Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

This just hit recently onto the Amazon Prime viewing list and it’s simply amazing. It follows the members of the New York Philharmonic as a new (and young) conductor joins and turns their traditions on end. Most comedies these days are focused on camp and/or lowbrow humor; Mozart is more of the smart variety with a strong dash of drama. There probably hasn’t been a 30-minute comedy series this immediately engaging since BBC’s too short-lived Whites. Mozart’s tagline is “Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music,” and that really rather says it all.

3. Constantine (NBC)

Finally a comic-based series that actually stays close to the dark and gritty source material (as opposed to just waving hello at it from time to time). Arrow and Flash are fine in their own way, but they don’t have much in the way of teeth, and Constantine doesn’t hold back from killing characters or even innocents when the need arises. Many of the current comic series have been largely crafted to appeal to the CW-audience (which there’s nothing wrong with being a fan of, but for others there’s more to the dramatic range than interpersonal melodrama). Here Constantine is battling angels and demons alike. He would like nothing more than to be left alone, but they keep cropping up in his path.

2. Transparent (Amazon)

Transparent is a show that could only have been done in an honest and dramatic way in the last few years. Revolving around a family who discover that their recently retired father has come out as a transgendered woman, and how that revelation has in turn brought out the rest of the family’s guarded secrets. It’s not a popcorn fluff show, and it comes off as a rather honest depiction of the clumsy and awkward ways people do their best to discover themselves and to step out into the light. The entire cast is played (and written) with great skill, but the nod has to go to the show’s lead (Jeffrey Tambor) for carrying off the show to make it regularly reviewed as the one of the best new shows of the year.

1. Vikings (History Channel)

So whomever at History Channel first piped up and said, “Hey, let’s make a scripted show,” should be given a medal. In their first foray out of the gate they have created a historically based show that is beautiful, well written, exciting, and dramatic. For my money it’s got the best and strongest female lead (Katheryn Winnick) of any series currently out there. The ensemble cast follows the saga of Ragnar Lodbrok (Travis Fimmel) as they become the scourge of 8th century England and France.

Bill Watters is an event producer, photographer, reporter, and software engineer living in San Francisco. Currently loving writing about and photographing the national geek and fandom scene as well as the latest happenings on both big and small screen. @BillRW3

Bleeding Cool’s 11 Best Series Of 2014

Bleeding Cool’s 31 Best Interviews Of 2014

For me, interviews are a big part of what I look back on when I consider my experiences in comics at the end of the year. Whether taken from phone discussions, live at conventions, or via e-mail, interviews are how I’ve gained my greatest insights into the medium, and they’ve been a continual education for me. I’d like to thank those who engaged in interviews this year on Bleeding Cool again for sharing their perspective and wisdom with us, and with our readers.

Here are some of the highlights from the interviews of 2014 from myself, Rich Johnston, Dan Wickline, Adi Tantimedh, Alex Wilson, Nikolai Fomich, and Jeremy Konrad:

With Fred Van Lente:What If Our Modern World Was The Afterlife And Reincarnation Was Eternal Life?’ – Fred Van Lente In The Bleeding Cool Interview On Resurrectionists

With Craig Yoe: The Terror! Witness Craig Yoe’s Weird Love For Horror Comics And Their Enduring Legacy

With Christina Blanch: It’s Time To Study Social Issues Through Comics – The Bleeding Cool Interview With Christina Blanch

With the Electricomics Team:

Cracking The Tower Of Babel To Make Electricomics – Leah Moore In The Bleeding Cool Interview At Thought Bubble

Empowering Creators Through Electricomics – Mitch Jenkins In The Bleeding Cool Interview At Thought Bubble

Making Digital Comics In The Public Eye With Electricomics – Daniel Merlin Goodbrey In The Bleeding Cool Interview

With Eric Powell: It’s A Battle For The Goon’s Soul In 2015 – Eric Powell In The Bleeding Cool Interview

With Justin Jordan: ‘The Universe Is Actively Out To Torture And Destroy Us’ In Dark Gods – Justin Jordan In The Bleeding Cool Interview

With Max Brooks: Do Vampires Have What It Takes To Win A War? Talking With Max Brooks About The Next ‘Act’ Of The Extinction Parade

With Gerard Way: On Staying Human In A Killjoys World – Gerard Way In The Bleeding Cool Interview

With Miss Lasko-Gross: The Unintentional Rebel – Miss Lasko-Gross Discusses New Graphic Novel Henni, Plus Process Art

With Gabriel Rodriguez: Unlocking The Lockes And Finding Little Nemo – Gabriel Rodriguez In The Bleeding Cool Interview At Wondercon

With Paul Tobin: Paul Tobin Is A Terrible Person But So Is Juan Ferreyra – Talking Colder, Reading, Writing, And Casing Museums At NYCC

With Scott Allie:

Discussions With Scott Allie – Dark Horse’s Comedic Triumph In Buffy Season 10, Axes Out In The Goon, Facing Time In Captain Midnight, Staying Scary In Aliens, Monster-Heroes In Criminal Macabre And More

Discussions With Scott Allie – Dark Horse’s Strategies For SDCC 2014, Defining Creator-Owned, Prometheus, Fight Club 2, And The Whedon Threeway

With Donny Cates: (by Alex Wilson) ‘A Big-Rig-Conspiracy-Trucker-Story-Action-Blockbuster Full Of Love’ – Donny Cates Talks Ghost Fleet From Dark Horse

With Alan Moore: Alan Moore Reveals The Future In Crossed +100 – ‘What Would We Look Like Through Their Eyes?’

With Mike Mignola: It’s The Halloween Interview With Mike Mignola! Returning To Classic Hellboy And Old School Horror With A Master Storyteller

With Brian Bendis: (by Jeremy Konrad) Powers, United States of Murder Inc., Guardians Of The Galaxy And Beyond – The Bleeding Cool Mega-interview With Brian Bendis

With Alex de Campi: (by Rich Johnston) Bleeding Cool Talks To Alex De Campi. As Thrillbent Launches Valentine Vol. 2 And Makes Valentine Vol. 1 Free

With Joe Illidge: (by Nikolai Fomich) Love, Crime, History And Art – Joseph Illidge Talks The Ren, A Tale of the Harlem Renaissance

With Kieron Gillen: (by Rich Johnston) Talking To Kieron Gillen About His New Darth Vader Comic For Marvel’s Star Wars Line

With Scott Snyder:

‘The Wytches Are Just There Waiting. They Are Waiting For People To Come To Them’ – Scott Snyder In The Bleeding Cool Interview

Fearless Enough To Win An Eisner – Discussing The Wake’s Surprising Finale With Scott Snyder(SPOILERS)

With Joshua Williamson: What Would Really Happen If A Child Went On A Fantasy Adventure And Came Home? Joshua Williamson Talks Birthright From Image

With Grant Morrison: The Super-Dark, Super-Heavy Annihilator – Grant Morrison In The Bleeding Cool Interview At San Diego Comic Con

With the Rocket Girl team, Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare: A 15 Year Old With A Jetpack, New York Nostalgia, And Imagined Futures – Brandon Montclare And Amy Reeder Talk Rocket Girl Vol. 1

With Garth Ennis and Michael Dipascale: (by Dan Wickline) Garth Ennis And Michael Dipascale Talk Rover Red Charlie

With Vivek Tiwary: Vivek Tiwary’s Odyssey Writing The Fifth Beatle Graphic Novel And Film – Look! It Moves! By Adi Tantimedh

With Dinesh Shamdasani, Warren Simons, Fred Pierce, And Hunter Gorinson: Communist Gods, Time-Travelers, Assassins, And Being In The Now – The Valiant Next Roundtable With Dinesh Shamdasani, Warren Simons, Fred Pierce, And Hunter Gorinson

**************

And finally, lest we forget, with Shia LaBeouf: (by Rich Johnston) “Authorship Is Censorship” – Bleeding Cool In Conversation With Shia LaBeouf

Bleeding Cool’s 31 Best Interviews Of 2014

Platinum Games Working On New Project And Hope To Do More Bayonetta In 2015

I sadly admit that I never got to Bayonetta 2 this year, being one of the few empty marks on my ballot over the last 12 months. From what I’ve heard though, it really is one of the very best action games in quite a while. Developer Platinum Games have a very good record, Legend of Korra not counted, and I try to make sure to get to their games at some point or another. I’m sure Bayonetta will keep me going into the game-sparse January.

That is why it is good to hear that Platinum’s future slate is looking pretty full. In an interview with 4Gamer (via Siliconera), Bayonetta 2 producer Akiko Kuroda outlined some of the future plans for the company.

We’ve already began working on the next project, but it seems like it’ll be a little while longer until we can make an announcement. I hope that we can do something related to the Bayonetta series in 2015 as well, so please keep an eye out for more from Bayonetta!

I can’t possibly see how there could be a serious addition to the Bayonetta series as early as next year, but hopefully ‘related to’ will turn into something concrete in time.

Just to build on that enthusiasm, the game’s director Yusuke Hashimoto added:

Currently, a new project is in progress! We’re doing our best to develop something that will make you all say ‘I want to play it!’ and thank you for your continued support in 2015 as well!

This is on top of the already announced Xbox exclusive Scalebound. That games had a crazy trailer with headphones and a lot of dragons. It was all very outrageous and all very Platinum Games. Platinum make some excellent content, so here’s hoping each of these projects pan out. 

Platinum Games Working On New Project And Hope To Do More Bayonetta In 2015

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Review

I wasn't sure how to feel about this comic when it was originally announced. It's been years since Marvel has published a true, present-day S.H.I.E.L.D. comic. The closest analogue we've seen in recent years has been Secret Avengers. Aside from the sheer novelty of having a S.H.I.E.L.D.-branded comic on the stands again, the idea of Mark Waid writing a book that focuses on standalone stories and an eclectic cast of guest stars was certainly appealing. On the other hand, I'm not the biggest fan of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series. Sure, the show has improved in 2014, but I was left to wonder if characters like Melinda May or Fitz and Simmons really deserved to headline their own book.

Continue reading…