March 04, 2015 | 10:44 a.m.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer: Watch Marvel heroes stand and fight

The new trailer for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” has arrived, showcasing the villainous artificial intelligence at the center of Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated Marvel sequel. “Age of Ultron” reunites Marvel superheroes including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in a battle against Ultron (James Spader), the evil AI with a robotic body. “I was designed to save the world,” Ultron says at the beginning of the new clip. “People would look to the sky and see hope. I’ll take that from them first.” The clip then goes on to preview images long on spectacle, but also small moments between the characters, too — with Downey’s Tony Stark confessing to Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner his role in creating Ultron, and later, Johansson’s heroine sharing […]
March 03, 2015 | 1:17 p.m.

Games: ‘Kirby,’ ‘Alto’s Adventure’ balance cuteness, elegance

'Kirby and the Rainbow Curse' relies on the player to draw multicolored ropes. (Nintendo)
THE PLAYER Nintendo’s Kirby returns with an adventure that turns players into amateur artists and a new mobile game spins snowboarding into one of the world’s most graceful sports. Below, a look at recent and recommended games. ‘Kirby and the Rainbow Curse’ Pink, puffy and potent, “Kirby and the Rainbow Curse” is Nintendo at its most aggressively cute. But just because Kirby looks like a piece of bubblegum, don’t write the veteran Nintendo character off as child’s play. Though Kirby hasn’t been around as long as his peers Mario or Donkey Kong, since introduced in the early ’90s he’s won a reputation as an experimental shape-shifter. Sometimes, Kirby has the power to inhale much larger foes. Other times, he can turn into a rocket. Then there was a time when Kirby was just a piece of yarn. Here, Kirby, still looking […]
March 03, 2015 | 8:00 a.m.

‘Descender': Jeff Lemire explores the intimate heart of new sci-fi comic

Dustin Nguyen's "Descender" cover. (Image)
After nearly five years working under an exclusive contract at DC Comics, Jeff Lemire is a free agent again, and 2015 looks to be a landmark year for the prolific comic-book creator. In addition to new for-hire projects at Valiant (“The Valiant” and “Bloodshot: Reborn”) and Marvel (“All-New Hawkeye”), Lemire is working on four creator-owned titles: “Descender,” “Plutona” and “AD: After Death” at Image, and “The Black Hammer” at Dark Horse. Debuting Wednesday, “Descender” is the first of Lemire’s new creator-owned books to see release, a science fiction ongoing with artist Dustin Nguyen that follows a boy robot, TIM-21, as he makes his way across the galaxy on the run from anti-machine bounty hunters, armies and more. “I had wanted to do more science fiction,” Lemire said. “I had finished a book for Vertigo last year called ‘Trillium,’ which was […]
March 01, 2015 | 7:19 p.m.

Magruder and ‘M.F.K.’ win the Dwayne McDuffie Diversity Award

Nilah Magruder, winner of the first Dwayne McDuffie Diversity Award for her web comic "M.F.K." at the Long Beach Comics Expo. (Jevon Phillips / Los Angeles Times)
Nilah Magruder, a storyboard and concept artist in Los Angeles, and her web comic “M.F.K.” won the first Dwayne McDuffie Diversity Award on Saturday during a celebratory panel at the Long Beach Comics Expo. “I feel like Jell-O,” Macgruder said. “I am completely overwhelmed and it’s really exciting. I never expected this because there are so many good nominees. It’s a complete honor.” The other nominated titles and creators are: “Hex11” by Lisa K. Weber and Kelly Sue Milano (HexComics),  “Ms. Marvel” by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel), “The Shadow Hero” by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew (First Second Books) and “Shaft” by writer David F. Walker and artist Bilquis Evely (Dynamite). Magruder’s “M.F.K.” is about Abbie, who wants to get to the mountain range Potter’s Spine, scatter her mother’s ashes and then live out her life […]
Feb. 28, 2015 | 8:06 p.m.

A moment of silence, an outpouring of affection for Leonard Nimoy

Mamie Stiger, left, Idalia Mejia, Alfredo Garcia, Jr., Richard Casillas and Sywa Sung give the Vulcan salute in memory of actor Leonard Nimoy at the Long Beach Comic Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
The death of Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the “Star Trek” TV and movie series, touched millions of lives around the world, perhaps none more deeply than fans of science fiction and fantasy for whom Spock was a guiding light. So it was only fitting that a day after Nimoy’s death at age 83, the Long Beach Comic Expo — a two-day comic book and pop culture convention — celebrated his life and legacy with tributes both big and small. Not long after the doors opened at the Long Beach Convention Center, thousands of attendees observed a moment of silence while holding up their hands in the iconic Vulcan salute that Nimoy originated. The salute symbolized Spock’s universally known motto, “Live long and prosper.” “Obviously, when we heard it everybody was floored,” said Gabriel Fieramosco, the expo’s marketing manager […]
Feb. 28, 2015 | 9:29 a.m.

‘The Order: 1886′ has ambitious ideas about game narratives

Galahad  gives "The Order" a leading man in the classic Hollywood mold (Ready at Dawn)
THE PLAYER “The Order: 1886” wants to be a popcorn flick as badly as it does a video game. It’s a hybrid of interactive and cinematic techniques, putting forth the thesis that someday the two media will be intertwined. The game tells old tales — the Knights of the Round Table and werewolf-like creatures make appearances — and it does so with new twists, such as transporting the medieval and the supernatural to a technologically advanced Jack the Ripper-era London. But let’s back up. Within “The Order” is a gun. This gun is special. It fires a round of bullets that leave clouds of smoke, clouds that could be ignited into gloriously bright flames. “The Order” is a lot like this gun. It takes its aim — ambitiously so — and then blows it up. Often, this story of class […]
Feb. 27, 2015 | 3:48 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ key art spotlights Tyrion as a dragon looms in fog

got-s5-poster-crop
The new key art for the “Game of Thrones” fifth season has arrived to help promote the upcoming fifth season of HBO’s epic fantasy. Set to premiere April 12, the new season of the wildly popular series adapted from the work of author George R.R. Martin will introduce a large roster of new characters as it continues to follow the mixed fortunes of the key houses of Westeros. The provocative image shows the looming figure of a dragon in the mist looking down over Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) aboard a ship. A recent trailer for the season showcased an interesting conversation between Tyrion and Varys (Conleth Hill), suggesting that the disgraced dwarf might help the Seven Kingdoms install the right monarch on the Iron Throne. “The Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the […]
Feb. 27, 2015 | 11:43 a.m.

‘Supergirl': CBS show casts Dean Cain, Helen Slater in mystery roles

Helen Slater and Dean Cain. (Kelsey Edwards; Warner Bros. Television)
Dean Cain and Helen Slater have joined the cast of CBS’ “Supergirl” in unspecified roles. Warner Bros. Television confirmed that the stars will appear on the new show, which will focus on 24-year-old Kara Zor-El, played by “Glee” alumnus Melissa Benoist. Although it is unclear what characters Cain and Slater will bring to the screen, the news sparked widespread speculation that the duo would portray Kara’s Earth parents. Cain, of course, famously starred on the 1990s series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”: Slater starred in the critically panned 1984 film “Supergirl,” which also featured Faye Dunaway. Written and executive produced by “No Ordinary Family” team Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”) and Ali Adler (“Chuck,” “Glee”), with Sarah Schechter (“Pan”) also executive producing, “Supergirl” will see Kara working as an assistant to media mogul Cat Grant alongside Jimmy […]
Feb. 27, 2015 | 11:37 a.m.

Leonard Nimoy, ‘Star Trek’ and beyond: A video retrospective

Actor Leonard Nimoy delivers his famous Vulcan greeting at his home in Bel Air in 2002. (Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)
Leonard Nimoy, known more familiarly to fans around the world as half-Vulcan logician Mr. Spock, died at home in Bel-Air at age 83 on Friday. While former cast mates and famous fans shared their memories of the actor, director, writer and artist through social media, many just wanted one more minute with Nimoy through his most famous work on screen. Full coverage: Leonard Nimoy Here are a few of Nimoy’s career highlights, both performing and revealing the back story behind those performances. “Bonanza” episode “The Ape” (1960) This western series’ run on NBC was long, but Nimoy’s time was short. He appeared in the show’s second season as a gambler looking to avenge the murder of his call girl ladyfriend Sherry at the hands of a man described as looking like “an ape.” “The Twilight Zone” episode “A Quality of […]
Feb. 27, 2015 | 9:50 a.m.

Leonard Nimoy dies at 83: A look back at his life in pictures

Leonard Nimoy, famous for his "Star Trek" role as Mr. Spock, has died. Click through the gallery for a look back at his life and career. (Ric Francis / Associated Press)
Leonard Nimoy, who played the iconic “Star Trek” character Mr. Spock, died Friday in Bel-Air. The 83-year-old actor had end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition he blamed on a smoking habit he had given up 30 years ago. Nimoy will forever be inseparable from Mr. Spock, his ultra-logical half-Vulcan alter ego. But over his long and productive career, Nimoy accomplished much more both in front of and behind the camera. Here’s a look at some highlights, with accompanying photos in the gallery above. Nimoy began his acting career in the 1950s, landing his first title role in 1952’s “Kid Monk Baroni,” about a street thug turned professional boxer. The movie flopped at the box office, and Nimoy spent years in relative obscurity, with parts in films such as “Them!” (1954), “The Brain Eaters” (1958) and “The Balcony” (1963). He also appeared […]
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