June 06, 2014 | 2:52 p.m.

‘2001’ and beyond: Neil deGrasse Tyson names his top 10 sci-fi films

Neil deGrasse Tyson has taken television audiences on a tour through the universe with his series, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which concludes its 13-episode run on Fox Sunday and on National Geographic Monday, before arriving on Blu-ray Tuesday. But when the acclaimed astrophysicist turns to the skies for entertainment, what does he like to watch? Hero Complex reached out to the man himself to find out. Find his picks for his 10 favorite sci-fi films — and one distinguished runner-up, in his own words below. I like big-budget science fiction films. My list, with two exceptions, bears this out. I want science fiction films to stretch the talent and imagination of visual effects experts. And the film above all else should create a vision of the future we either know that we don’t want, or know that we do. The […]
Feb. 09, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.

‘Before Watchmen’ first look: Comedian’s dark travels in Vietnam

Edward “The Comedian” Blake didn’t get much face time in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ landmark graphic novel “Watchmen” — he takes a header off a balcony before the story even opens. The character failed to get much more exposure in Zack Snyder’s 2009 film adaptation of “Watchmen,” but writer Brian Azzarello and artist J.G. Jones have been more than making up for his absence with their six-part “Before Watchmen: Comedian” limited series, tracing the checkered past of the not-so-funny tough guy. Cover | Digital Combo Cover | Variant Cover | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 As the series reaches its penultimate chapter, we find Blake continuing his Forrest Gump-like journey through mid-20th century history. He’s rubbed shoulders (and even rubbed out) some very notable names, and now he’s in Vietnam, traveling further and […]
Nov. 12, 2012 | 1:22 p.m.

Zack Snyder on ‘Watchmen’ legacy as ‘the anti- “Avengers” movie’

Director Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” was released in theaters in 2009, but the film has been in a near constant state of revision since then. First there was the director’s cut released on DVD, then there was “Tales of the Black Freighter,” a separate adaptation of the comic-within-a-comic in the original “Watchmen” book. Then there was an “Ultimate Cut,” with the “Black Freighter” segments re-edited into the film, giving it a three-and-a-half hour running time. Now, there’s a new edition of the film, billed as the most complete “Watchmen” yet released, which combines the full “Ultimate Cut” of the film with Alan Moore’s original graphic novel. The set hits stores Tuesday. Snyder, deep in post-production on “Man of Steel,” took time out to talk about the film’s continuing appeal to viewers and how it means even more today than when it […]
Nov. 08, 2012 | 12:43 p.m.

Zack Snyder on directing new ‘Star Wars’ movie: No thanks

Take Zack Snyder off the shortlist of directors vying to helm one of the three new “Star Wars” movies that are now in the works. The director of “Watchmen” and “Man of Steel” knows a thing or two about spectacle and handling massive franchises with a rabid fan following, but taking on “Star Wars” may be too daunting, even for him. “I don’t think I’d be interested in [directing it],” Snyder said during a recent interview. “I’m a huge ‘Star Wars’ fanatic. I just think doing [episodes] seven, eight and nine is just a slippery slope. It’s a whole other mythological experiment I’m excited to see, but it’s a lot of effort.” PHOTOS: ‘Star Wars’ at the box office Word of the new films came Oct. 30 with the announcement that the Walt Disney Co. had agreed to acquire Lucasfilm […]
Oct. 12, 2012 | 7:00 a.m.

‘Rorschach’ No. 3 first look: Chip Kidd takes on variant cover

Chip Kidd, one of the most celebrated book cover designers in publishing, is taking on Rorschach, one of the most twisted and controversial characters in comics. Kidd is bringing his design skills to a variant cover for “Rorschach” No. 3. The comic, which goes on sale on Nov. 21, is the next installment in the antihero’s “Before Watchmen” series, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Lee Bermejo. Issues No. 1 and 2 set Rorschach against corpse-carving serial killer The Bard and crime lord Rawhead in a gritty 1977 world. Despite initial outcry and criticism from fans of the original 1986-87 “Watchmen” series by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, the DC prequels are gaining traction. Kidd, who has worked as a designer for Alfred A. Knopf since 1986, is no stranger to the world of comics. His graphic […]
Sept. 07, 2012 | 11:00 a.m.

‘Watchmen’ prequel: First look at ‘Comedian’

“Watchmen,” the most praised graphic novel in history, opened with a simple question that led to a complicated answer: “Who killed the Comedian?” Now the DC miniseries “Before Watchmen: Comedian” looks to answer a different question about the brutish antihero: What were the dark mileposts of his life? Edward “The Comedian” Blake, one of the most darkly compelling characters in comics, was created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, but now writer Brian Azzarello and artist J.G. Jones have taken on the challenge of filling in new chapters of his seriously unfunny history as the U.S. government’s elite black-ops killer. Hero Complex readers are getting an exclusive first look at “Before Watchmen: Comedian” No. 3. Check it out in the gallery above, or click on the links below for a larger version, and let us know what you think in the comments. The first two […]
June 18, 2012 | 12:38 p.m.

If ‘Watchmen’ is a bible, then are the prequels heresy?

With just two issues published (and the third arriving Tuesday), the DC Comics expansion of the “Watchmen” mythology is still a Rorschach test — people look into its ink and find shapes that suit their own imported opinion, hope, outlook or agenda. The passion and debate stirred up DC’s “Before Watchmen” prequels is the subject of the fifth episode of “Hero Complex: The Show,” which is a special on-stage edition featuring my interview with DC Comics co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio at the recent Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. “Before Watchmen” may end up as the biggest story of the year in comics, but so far there’s more to say than to see. The “Before Watchmen” plan is a major mosaic with 35 pieces to it (that’s 34 issues spread across seven separate titles and then the single-issue coda of “Before Watchmen: […]
June 11, 2012 | 9:43 a.m.

‘Watchmen’ prequel: Exclusive preview of ‘Silk Spectre’ No. 1

Last week,  the first issue of “Before Watchmen: Minutemen” was the shot heard ’round the world for comic book fans. The 32-page book — featuring the writing and artwork of Darwyn Cooke — added, for the first time, a new chapter to “Watchmen,” the 1980s epic that still stands as the bestselling and most acclaimed graphic novel ever. “Watchmen,” by the British tandem of writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons,  was first published in a 12-issue limited series that began in September 1986 and — with its scale, intricacy, literary aspiration, storytelling formats and sheer craft — would drag the entire medium up the pop-culture staircase of ambition. The mythology and rhythm of “Watchmen” was so singular that, as the years passed, it seemed entirely natural that it sit on a shelf by itself. Now that bookcase is going to get crowded. “Before Watchmen” […]
June 07, 2012 | 4:55 p.m.

‘Minutemen’: Darwyn Cooke goes past the darkness of ‘Watchmen’

“Before Watchmen” has arrived. After months of hot-button debate (and plenty of hot-air declarations),  the first installment of the six-issue “Minutemen” miniseries is now on sale. The issue, written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke, is the vanguard arrival of  DC’s “Before Watchmen” initiative, which widens the mythology of “Watchmen,” that 12-issue epic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons that (in a collected single-book form) stands as the medium’s most acclaimed and influential graphic novel. (Moore is bitterly opposed to these new “Watchmen” efforts while Gibbons has accepted payment but kept himself at arm’s length.) Comics superstar Cooke, meanwhile, is never shy around controversy and we caught up with him to talk about camping out on sacred ground. HC: Would you describe yourself as a passionate fan or a disciple of the original 12-issue “Watchmen” series by Moore and Gibbons? DC: I […]
April 10, 2012 | 3:38 p.m.

Dave Gibbons on his ‘Watchmen’ guilt, ‘Secret Service’ ambitions

The first issue of “The Secret Service” arrives Wednesday from the very intriguing tandem of writer Mark Millar (“Kick-Ass,” “Wanted”) and artist David Gibbons (“Watchmen,” “Give Me Liberty”), and we’ve got some preview pages in the gallery above (you can view larger versions below). We caught up with Gibbons in a transatlantic phone call to talk about the new work and the echoes of a certain 1980s masterpiece that is back in the news these days. HC:  “The Secret Service” gets off to quite a start in this first issue. What are you finding most interesting about the project so far? DG: It’s slightly unusual in that it’s not a superhero book, and I’m really pleased it isn’t a superhero book, we’ve got enough of those. That isn’t to say that this is not a book about heroes or some larger-than-life situations. It […]
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