June 23, 2014 | 1:57 p.m.
For 20 years, robots have never had to be in disguise at Botcon – the annual celebration of all things Transformers that took place at the Pasadena Convention Center last weekend. Botcon isn’t necessarily a hype machine for the June 27 release of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” — the convention began in 1994, long before Michael Bay took the helm of the film franchise – but it does transform nicely into one. Overall, though, it is geared more toward the group of stalwart fans that have the same sensibilities that helped rocket the mechanical aliens to popularity some 30 years ago when it began as a Hasbro toy line in 1984. ———— For the record: In an earlier version of this post, it was stated that Pirate Clone Pounce and Pirate Clone Wingspan were Autobots. They are, of course, Decepticons. […]
April 25, 2014 | 1:57 p.m.
“Star Wars” obsessives got some good news and bad news Friday when Lucasfilm officially announced the fate of the “Star Wars” Expanded Universe, the loosely interlocked series of books, comics, video games and other ancillary products that have served to fill out the imaginary universe George Lucas established in his six original films. First, the bad news: Fans can forget trying to decipher the future of “Star Wars” from the hints of the past. Lucasfilm is officially writing off all Expanded Universe properties that have been produced to date. While many of the books and stories will remain available, they now will be labeled with a “Legends” banner. Despite the popularity of the Timothy Zahn-authored novels set in the years after “Return of the Jedi” or the “Dark Empire” comic books, those stories will have no bearing on what happens […]
April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.
Batman’s 75th anniversary celebration kicked into high gear at WonderCon in Anaheim last weekend with an all-star panel that included superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, definitive Dark Knight voice actor Kevin Conroy and voice actor/writer/Adam-West-”Batman” super-fan Ralph Garman. Before heading upstairs to entertain a capacity crowd in a Bat-cavernous room, Lee (“Batman: Hush,” “All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder”), Conroy (“Batman: The Animated Series,” “Batman: Arkham” video games) and Garman (co-writer of the upcoming “Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet” comics miniseries) sat down with Hero Complex to talk about getting in Batman’s head, memorable adventures in their years with Bruce Wayne, and the powers of the artists drawing Caped Crusader comics now. Hero Complex: The three of you have worked or are working on quite different versions of Batman. For each of you – to […]
March 27, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.
Sunday will mark 75 years since Batman first appeared in “Detective Comics” No. 27, and if you thought DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. were going to let that go unmarked, then you’re crazy enough for Arkham Asylum. Today marks the beginning of brawling billionaire Bruce Wayne’s yearlong diamond jubilee, with the launch of the anniversary celebration’s online hub, www.Batman75.com, and the release of a commemorative logo that will feature on many DC comics and Warner Bros. products. And, Gothamites, July 23 is Batman Day: There will be celebrations at comic shops, bookstores and libraries, complete with a free Caped Crusader comic special to the occasion. The months ahead also bring the “Batman Eternal” weekly comics series, the first-ever home video release of the ’60s “Batman” television series starring Adam West, convention events, a 25th anniversary edition DVD of Tim Burton’s […]
March 07, 2014 | 8:30 a.m.
“Star Wars” fans let out a collective howl of anguish last year when it was announced that one of the casualties of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm was the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” The fan-favorite series was canceled without a satisfactory conclusion, yanked from the schedule of Cartoon Network, where it had aired since 2008. That ultimately made way for a new series, “Star Wars Rebels,” set to premiere on the Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD. So, when word came that the final 13 episodes of the show’s sixth season would become available to fans on Netflix, the news was met with good cheer. As of Friday, viewers can check out “The Lost Missions,” which will join the previous five seasons on the streaming video service, including some director’s cuts of those earlier episodes. “The Lost […]
Feb. 25, 2014 | 1:42 p.m.
The Emmy-nominated third season of “Adventure Time” is out on Blu-ray and DVD today, and Hero Complex readers get an exclusive first look at a video clip from the bonus features. The massively popular Cartoon Network series, created by Pendleton Ward, follows Finn, a human boy, and Jake, his magical shape-shifting dog, as they fight monsters and rescue princesses in a whimsical, post-apocalyptic candyland called the Land of Ooo. The third season’s home video release includes episode commentaries for all 26 episodes, an interview with Ward and an alternate show introduction, not to mention a custom slipcase which transforms the video box into a figurine of BMO — Finn’s sentient video game system, camera, alarm clock and, of course, loyal friend. Hero Complex readers get an exclusive look at a bonus video clip (watch it above), featuring storyboard artist and […]
Feb. 20, 2014 | 1:16 p.m.
“The Wind Rises” opens in select U.S. theaters Friday before an expanded release next week, and a new clip has been released, spotlighting a scene from what legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki has said will be his last film. The Studio Ghibli film, which is up for an Academy Award next month, tells the story of real-life Japanese engineer Jiro Horikoshi (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who designed the Zero fighter plane. Inspired by the work of Italian aeronautical designer Caproni (Stanley Tucci), Jiro grows up dreaming of flying and designing beautiful planes. After his nearsightedness keeps him from realizing his goal, he instead becomes one of the world’s most innovative airplane designers. The tale follows Jiro through key historical events including Japan’s devastating 1923 earthquake, a tuberculosis epidemic and economic troubles that preceded the nation’s plunge into World War II. […]
Feb. 12, 2014 | 6:41 p.m.
The upcoming animated series “Star Wars Rebels” has introduced another new character — one of the show’s heroes, the so-called “cowboy Jedi” Kanan. In the series, which is set to premiere in the fall on the Disney Channel but will air regularly on Disney XD, Kanan, voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr., is a former Jedi Knight who survived the Emperor’s massacre of the order in “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” and has gone into hiding. He no longer uses his lightsaber for fear of being discovered, and he’s ultimately turned from the path of the Jedi. But, as the series rolls out, Kanan just might find his way back toward the way of nobility and light. According to “Star Wars Rebels” executive producer Dave Filoni, “He’s a gunslinger that needs to put the gun away and […]
Feb. 08, 2014 | 9:20 a.m.
“The Lego Movie” features Will Arnett tacking Batman’s brooding cool guy image to its logical extreme — idiocy. Directed by “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” and “21 Jump Street” filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, “The Lego Movie” follows everybrick Emmet (Chris Pratt) as he tries to stop an evil tyrant (Will Ferrell) from gluing the universe together. Batman, the narcissistic goth boyfriend of Lego resistance fighter Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), speaks in a growl, only builds with black bricks and dismisses Emmet’s every building idea. In an interview with Hero Complex, Arnett shared how he and the filmmakers found their post-Christian Bale Batman sound, how much input DC Comics had into the character and what his personal Lego-building style is. Hero Complex: At some point in the last 10 years or so our culture started taking superheroes very seriously, and none more […]
Jan. 10, 2014 | 10:05 p.m.
Sunday’s episode of “The Simpsons” features a whimsical sequence that pays tribute to Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary animation director and animator and cofounder of animation Studio Ghibli. A clip from Sunday’s episode (watch it above) includes references to many of Studio Ghibli films: Otto Mann, the show’s school bus driver, is transformed into the Catbus from “My Neighbor Totoro”; Springfield’s police Chief Clancy Wiggum appears as a pig, like the hero of “Porco Rosso”; Marge’s sisters Patty and Selma Bouvier ride brooms like the young witch in “Kiki’s Delivery Service”; Mo resembles the scarecrow Turnip-Head from “Howl’s Moving Castle”; and the Kwik-E-Mart becomes the castle itself. The episode also includes references to “Spirited Away” and other Miyazaki films. PHOTOS: Hayao Miyazaki, an animated icon The episode, titled “Married to the Blob,” focuses on Comic Book Guy, the owner of Springfield’s […]