Sept. 15, 2014 | 10:46 a.m.

‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ trailer: Jennifer Lawrence in action star mode

Katniss Everdeen is ready to help lead the rebellion in the new trailer for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” the next installment in the blockbuster film franchise, which is set to arrive in theaters  Nov. 21. As Katniss, actress Jennifer Lawrence reluctantly finds herself the symbol of hope in the world of Panem, which is now in full on revolt against the autocratic Capitol. She’s forced to wrestle with her conflicted feelings while preparing to face off against the ruthless President Snow (Donald Sutherland). “I never wanted any of this,” Lawrence is heard saying at the start of the new clip. “I never wanted to be in the Games. I just wanted to save my sister.” Watch the new clip below. The trailer arrives on the heels of the release of a series of character posters spotlighting the “rebel warriors” […]
Sept. 13, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Destiny’ review: Mars is lovely; too bad about the war

Spaceflight over Mars in "Destiny." (Bungie / Activision)
THE PLAYER The opening moments of “Destiny” are mesmerizing. It’s a Mars landing, complete with sparkling views of our galaxy and crystallized red space dust. It’s a vision that looks lifted straight from photographs sent in by NASA’s Curiosity rover. It’s immediately inviting — optimistic, even. This is “present day” Mars, the game tells us, and considering that manned spaceflight isn’t a top legislative priority anymore, watching an astronaut leave a footprint on the surface of Mars is a reminder that a venture into the unknown can be downright inspiring. Then out come the rifles. What’s the fun, apparently, in looking for life on Mars if we can’t kill it? For all the innovation and sci-fi-meets-fantasy overtures here, “Destiny” ultimately doesn’t feel all that futuristic. It’s a refinement, rather than a reinvention, of the dominant video game genre on home […]
Sept. 12, 2014 | 11:00 a.m.

CBLDF ‘Liberty Annual 2014′: See ‘Emily and the Strangers’ excerpt

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Is there such a thing as too much imagination? A limit on new ideas? That’s what Emily the Strange and her band mate Willow are told by a fussy visitor in a story that’s part of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s and Image Comics’ 48-page, all-ages-appropriate “Liberty Annual 2014,” which benefits the CBLDF’s 1st Amendment work. And don’t worry — the young rock ‘n’ roll rebels aren’t going to stand for that your-thoughts-are-too-unruly business. “Emily and the Strangers in … The Idea Factory” has a story by Mariah Huehner (“True Blood: All Together Now”) and Emily the Strange creator Rob Reger, with art by Cat Farris — the same team behind the recent “Emily and the Strangers: Breaking the Record” miniseries at Dark Horse. Hero Complex readers can get an early peek at the story in the gallery above […]
Sept. 12, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

‘The Strain': Richard Sammel relishes evil role as Thomas Eichhorst

Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst in "The Strain." (Michael Gibson/FX)
It takes a certain mind-set to want to bring about the end of the world. For Richard Sammel, the German actor who plays emissary of evil Thomas Eichhorst in FX’s apocalyptic series “The Strain,” a relentlessly positive attitude and a misplaced sense of self-assurance are key. “Guillermo gave me a magic word,” Sammel said recently, referring to “Strain” co-creator Guillermo del Toro. “He said, ‘Richard, for every strong character, there is a cue word, and for Eichhorst, it’s, ‘Yes!’ I couldn’t do anything with it for quite a bit, but… at a certain point it just opened. Yes! He’s hubristic, egocentric, narcissistic. It’s the vampire version of Obama’s ‘Yes, we can!’ Yes, I can. Yes, I do the right thing.” Sammel’s wicked charisma and gleeful zeal have helped transform a character that easily could have tipped into sinister parody — […]
Sept. 11, 2014 | 3:38 p.m.

‘Annihilator': Frazer Irving crafts L.A. dreamscape for Hollywood tale

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A few years ago, comic book creator Grant Morrison talked to Hero Complex about “a big science fiction story set in modern-day L.A.” called “Annihilator.” This week, the title hits comic book stores — complete with its twisted view of Hollywood. The comic centers on hard-partying screenwriter Ray Spass, who is down on his luck and up against a deadline for a tent-pole script for a movie called “Annihilator.” Things become complicated once Spass is diagnosed with a brain tumor — his main character, Max Nomax, suddenly comes to life, leading Spass on adventures he didn’t bargain for. Hero Complex caught up with artist Frazer Irving, who has previously teamed with Morrison on “Batman and Robin” and “Seven Soldiers: Klarion the Witch Boy,” to get his take on the look and feel of “Annihilator” and what inspired the artist’s re-imagining […]
Sept. 11, 2014 | 1:20 p.m.

‘Batmobile': Zack Snyder tweets official photo of ‘Dawn of Justice’ vehicle

Zack Snyder has officially unveiled the new Batmobile that will be featured in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” his 2016 sequel to “Man of Steel.” Snyder released the image via Twitter late Wednesday in response to leaked photos of the vehicle that were making the rounds online. Here’s a real picture of the #Batmobile. http://t.co/47beaZqr6f pic.twitter.com/Ez1ILa8JeE — ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) September 11, 2014 Warner Bros. will now open “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” in 3-D on March 25, 2016. The film previously had been set to open May 6, 2016, opposite Marvel’s third “Captain America” film. The studio also recently revealed that it plans to release two DC Comics-based films annually starting in 2016: They will be released on Aug. 5, 2016; June 23, 2017; Nov. 17, 2017; March 23, 2018; July 27, 2018; April 5, 2019; June 14, […]
Sept. 08, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.

‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ set for release in June 2015

It’s official: “Batman: Arkham Knight” has a release date — the game will become available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on June 2, 2015. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment announced the new date Tuesday. The follow-up to 2009’s “Arkham Asylum” and 2011’s “Arkham City,” “Arkham Knight” is set one year after the conclusion of “Arkham City” and will offer players a chance to lead the Dark Knight on a mission through Gotham and take on the Scarecrow, who has united with a familiar crew of rogue’s gallery regulars. The game, developed by London’s Rocksteady Studios, will be released with two collector’s editions: “Batman: Arkham Knight” Limited Edition, and “Batman: Arkham Knight” Batmobile Edition. Both versions come with an art book featuring concept art from the game, a comic book, character skins from DC Comics and a statue of […]
Sept. 08, 2014 | 3:41 p.m.

‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': Lady Sif brawls with bikers [video]

The first season of Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” arrives on DVD Tuesday, giving fans the chance to review the 22 episodes of the series’ initial run before the ABC hour-long adventure returns for a second season Sept. 23. The release will include a number of behind-the-scenes featurettes and commentaries with the cast of the show, which tracks the weekly adventures of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his roster of operatives: Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), Skye (Chloe Bennet), Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). Hero Complex readers can get an early, exclusive look at some new footage and cast interviews from the episode “Asgardian Bar Fight,” which shows Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) teaching a lesson to some rowdy bikers under the spell of Lorelei (Elena Satine). Watch it below. The series has […]
Sept. 08, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Justice League: Forever Heroes': See Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke sketches

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With most of the Justice League missing — presumed dead by the world – and the Crime Syndicate in cataclysmic control, the pressure is on Cyborg. Or what’s left of him. In “Justice League Vol. 5: Forever Heroes,” a new hardcover volume out Wednesday, Victor Stone is badly injured, rended from the robotic part of Cyborg. It’s being inhabited by the computer virus and Crime Syndicate member called Grid, whose group of alternate-reality deranged Justice League doubles is at work cementing its control over the Earth it has invaded. Collecting “Justice League” Nos. 24-29, written by Geoff Johns with pencils by, variously, Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke, the book also provides looks into the Syndicate members’ pasts in their universe, and ties into the major DC story line “Forever Evil.” Hero Complex readers can get an early look at bonus […]
Sept. 06, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

Gamergate-related controversy reveals ugly side of gaming community

Noted pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian has been the target of online harassment. Above, a screengrab of one of her video critiques of the game industry on site Feminist Frequency. (http://www.feministfrequency.com/)
THE PLAYER This column is usually dedicated to discussing video games, but in the past week and a half, you’d be forgiven for not having the stomach to play one. I haven’t. Infighting, finger-pointing and the airing of dirty laundry have dominated the late summer in video games. For those who have played an online multiplayer game, this may sound like any other day in video games. But it’s not. Now the attacks are so threatening in nature that even the FBI has taken notice. A long-simmering schism among select, very vocal members of the gaming community and others in the industry has come to the fore over the last two weeks, resulting in unprecedented levels of death threats and harassment directed at game designers and writers — many of them women. This is not, to be clear, some trash-talking […]
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