May 18, 2015 | 5:23 a.m.
SHANGHAI — Two sexy female Captain Americas, a Superman, a Catwoman and Japanese anime schoolgirls come to life were milling around the second floor of the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center when Yang Wanjing emerged from a curtained booth, trembling. Unlike many of her counterparts at the first Shanghai Comic Convention, she had decided to forgo a costume. But the 23-year-old automotive quality-control clerk nevertheless was living out her personal fantasy, plunking down $115 — 20% of her monthly salary — for a fleeting meeting with her idol, Mads Mikkelsen of the NBC show “Hannibal.” Bashfully clutching photographic proof of her star encounter (“I look terrible next to him,” she lamented), Yang struggled to compose herself. She seemed unsure of whether she had just made the best decision of her life — or the worst. “All fans are idiots, in […]
May 15, 2015 | 5:40 p.m.
For this week’s installment of Paycheck Friday, Hero Complex’s roundup of some of our favorite toys, books and other geek merchandise, we turn to the post-apocalyptic world depicted in “Mad Max.” Now in theaters, “Mad Max: Fury Road” follows Mad Max Rockatansky’s (Tom Hardy) quest for survival in a desert wasteland after civilization has collapsed. It is a world where, as director George Miller described to The Times in a previous interview, “all the bad things we see in the news come to pass: all the economic collapse, oil wars and water wars, even stuff we never see coming.” With that in mind, this week’s paycheck goes to re-creating a scaled-down version of this post-apocalyptic world to liven up your workspace. First, to set the appropriate mood, we recommend picking up the “Mad Max: Fury Road” soundtrack. While the standard […]
May 15, 2015 | 1:59 p.m.
“Shadowhunters” has cast its villain. Alan Van Sprang (“Reign,” “Survival of the Dead”) will play Valentine in “The Mortal Instruments” TV series, ABC Family announced Friday. Based on the bestselling YA urban fantasy book series by Cassandra Clare, “Shadowhunters” follows 18-year-old art student Clarissa “Clary” Fray (Katherine McNamara) as she becomes entangled in the world of so-called Shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons — after her mother is attacked and taken by a demon. In order to save her mother, Clary must immerse herself in a world of faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves, uncover family secrets, and tap into powers she never knew she had. Van Sprang will portray the mysterious and cruel Shadowhunter Valentine, a “brilliant, cunning and dangerously handsome” man who wields “immense power,” according to a character description in an ABC Family press release. “His […]
May 15, 2015 | 12:07 p.m.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is revving into theaters this weekend, accompanied by rave reviews and high box office predictions. But when the original “Mad Max” film arrived in the U.S. in 1980, film critic Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times called it “a textbook example of how not to make a film.” Champlin criticized nearly everything about the movie, including young lead Mel Gibson (“boyishly bland”), the villains (“indistinguishable vrooming beings”), the set, the supporting characters and the “inappropriate” soundtrack. “You are left with a lot of burnt rubber and bent metal and little evidence of creative imagination,” Champlin wrote. Champlin certainly wasn’t the only critic who wasn’t impressed by George Miller’s low-budget, post-apocalyptic action flick. The New York Times’ Tom Buckley criticized its “flimsy” plot and said the film was “ugly and incoherent, and aimed, probably accurately, at […]
May 15, 2015 | 9:00 a.m.
DC Comics has announced that August will be DC Bombshells month, and Hero Complex readers get a first look at the variant covers for “Batman,” “Catwoman,” “Detective Comics” and “Superman/Wonder Woman.” For the uninitiated, Bombshells is a line of collectible statues that reimagines classic DC characters in the vintage style of World War II-era art. The Bombshells line has expanded to other items such as posters, apparel and accessories, and DC made it the variant theme last June, with titles such as “Batgirl,” “Harley Quinn” and “Superman” receiving the Bombshells treatment. DC Bombshells variants: ‘Batman’ No. 43 | ‘Catwoman’ No. 43 | ‘Detective Comics’ No. 43 | ‘Superman/Wonder Woman’ No. 20 DC has also announced a new Bombshells comic book series written by Marguerite Bennett with art by Marguerite Sauvage. “DC Comics Bombshells,” which begins in July, will be an […]
May 14, 2015 | 2:51 p.m.
It’s dinosaurs, dinosaurs and more dinosaurs in the new trailer for “Lego Jurassic World,” the video game set to hit shelves June 12. Just as it plays out in the 1993 film “Jurassic Park,” the first dinosaur we see in the trailer is a Brachiosaurus. Among the other familiar dinosaurs depicted are a Compsognathus, a Tyrannosaurus rex, a Triceratops and Velociraptors. Even the Indominus rex from the upcoming “Jurassic World” film makes an appearance. “Lego Jurassic Word” features over 20 different types of playable dinosaurs (that’s right, you can play as a dinosaur), and while the title is pegged to the upcoming film, all four movies from the “Jurassic Park” franchise are represented in the game. Developed by TT Games, “Lego Jurassic World” is the newest franchised Lego game joining other titles such as “Lego Lord of the Rings,”” Lego […]
May 14, 2015 | 1:33 p.m.
With “Mad Max: Fury Road” crashing into theaters Thursday evening, this week’s Throwback Thursday column recalls the first installment in the “Mad Max” series. Australian director George Miller’s dystopian tale starred Aussie actor Mel Gibson as protagonist Max Rockatansky, a widower on a quest for vengeance, and introduced the young actor to an international audience. “Mad Max” made its debut Down Under on April 12, 1979; American audiences had to wait until May 2, 1980. Though critics were split, public reception was positive and the film grossed nearly $100 million worldwide and earned a nomination for best original screenplay (by Miller and James McCausland) from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. The film was also nominated for best film and direction and won for editing, original music score and sound. Not everyone was impressed. Los Angeles Times movie […]
May 14, 2015 | 11:22 a.m.
Ready for another round of light as a feather, stiff as a board? Sony Pictures is currently working on a remake of “The Craft,” Hero Complex has confirmed. Leigh Janiak will direct and co-write the film with Phil Graziadei. The 1996 teen supernatural thriller starred Robin Tunney as a transfer student who arrives at a Los Angeles Catholic school and befriends a group of misfit amateur witches played by Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell and Rachel True, completing their coven. Tunney’s character, Sarah, is a natural witch, whose power comes from somewhere more pure than those of her self-taught friends. This eventually leads to conflict as the other witches strive to increase their magical powers. The original film was directed by Andrew Fleming, who co-wrote the film with Peter Filardi. Janiak made her directorial debut with the 2014 horror film “Honeymoon,” […]
May 14, 2015 | 9:43 a.m.
Comic books have proved to be an exceptional medium for autobiographical material, allowing creators to interpret their lives through a combination of words and pictures unique to their individual perspectives. After a few years working on one-off gag comics, cartoonist Dustin Harbin began exploring more personal storytelling by chronicling his life from 2010 to 2012, a project that began as a creative exercise and ultimately became a valuable, therapeutic part of Harbin’s life. Choice installments from those two years are collected in “Diary Comics,” from Koyama Press, which debuted at this past weekend’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival and hits comic stores this month. A native of North Carolina who grew up just outside of Charlotte, Harbin says his introduction to comics came from his mother, who would pick up random issues from yard sales. “If there was one with Spider-Man […]
May 13, 2015 | 8:26 p.m.
Marc Guggenheim may be enjoying a good run right now as “Arrow,” which was picked up by the CW for another season and has its season finale Thursday night, but the showrunner/executive producer is introducing another action-adventure series, in comic book form, later this year called “The Adventures of Jonas Quantum.” Published by Legendary Comics, and with art by Freddie Williams II (Justice League America, The Flash, Robin), Guggenheim introduces us to Jonas Quantum, a “maverick hyper-genius with the power to cure death in the morning, time travel in the afternoon and unlock transdimensional wormholes at night” — as the release goes. Quantum has infinite intelligence, which will make for a very inventive and conceptual book, but will also mean that the character doesn’t play well with others. Hero Complex caught up with Guggenheim on the eve of the “Arrow” […]