Springfield, Illinois mayor J. Michael Houston literally gave a key to the city to Cobra Commander this week. Okay, technically he gave it to a cosplayer to promote an upcoming GI Joe convention there. But in the cartoon and comics, Cobra secretly ran Springfield so symbolically giving Cobra Commander a key to the city is a pretty cool reference for Joe fans. Read on to see more news than usual. Stuff on Star Wars, Lego, Simpsons, donuts, Grand Theft Auto, horror movies, books… a lot of cool stuff went down in the nerd world this week.
Entertainment Weekly broke the news that there will be 20 Star Wars books released to fill in the time period between Return of the Jedi and this Summer’s The Force Awakens. However, some of those books will be kids’ books or activity books. So who knows how many novels? The reason this is news is because all the previous books that comprised the so-called “Expanded Universe” of Star Wars are no longer really considered canon. So these new books are considered canon. Until a filmmaker feels like doing something that contradicts one of the books, I guess. Anyway, they also announced that the first gay character in Star Wars will be introduced, a female Imperial officer. I don’t know why the first one has to be a bad guy, but I also have a hard time believing C-3PO or Chewbacca are straight, so whatever.
Author Terry Pratchet passed away on Thursday at the age of 66. We was best known for his popular Discworld series. He wrote more than 70 books, completing his last one this past Summer. He died from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease.
Above is the trailer for a new horror movie that comes out in limited release today, with additional theaters next Friday. It’s called It Follows and the premise is that after having sex, teenage Jay realizes she is being stalked by something. It will never run, only walk, and it can look like a friend or a stranger. So she must always make sure there’s more than one exit wherever she is. And she has to find out how to stop it or pass it on. It looks pretty awesome and the reviews have been incredible. Put it on your radar. Here’s a list of where it will play.
Disney held a shareholder conference this week and announced that the first Star Wars standalone film will be called Rogue One. It will star actress Felicity Jones and be directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). They gave it a release date of December 16, 2016. They also confirmed that Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) will direct Star Wars VIII.
HBO released the above new trailer for Game of Thrones season 5. It’s looking likely that the show is going to start diverging from the books, consolidating storylines to begin its endgame. In Entertainment Weekly, showrunner David Benioff said: “Worlds are colliding. One of the things we’ve been most excited about from the beginning of the series is we’ve had all these fall flung story lines across Westeros and Essos which almost never cross. Now some of these characters start to head on a collision course for each other.”
The first three of ten episodes of Powers were released on the Playstation Network (and the first is free on YouTube). It’s an adaptation of the Brian Michael Bendis/Michael Avon Oeming comic book about cops in a world of superheroes. Unfortunately, the show seems to be a bit of a mess. It jumps around stylistically as though its not sure what kind of a tv show it should be. I’d be curious if anyone tried it and really loved it. Maybe I’m just approaching it wrong but it fell completely flat when I watched it.
Anyone remember Wizard: The Guide to Comics? For a while it was a super-influential magazine about comics in the 90s. Then it sort of evolved into a pure speculation rag that encouraged people to buy comics as an investment. That quickly crashed. Eventually the magazine just talked about all the comic book movies and tv shows but by that point, people could get the news faster and interact online. Wizard had started buying comic cons by then and now that’s their only real business. But now they’re launching their own online channel, kind of like Netflix. There’s an app for iOS and Android called ConTV (also available to watch online) and they have shows like “Fight the Living Dead” where people pretend to run away from zombies as a reality tv show and a trivia game show hosted by Bruce Campbell at the cons, about convention and comics lore. It’s up so click the link or download the app and let us know if it’s any good?
Meanwhile, Firefly actors Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk are crowdfunding a web series, Con Men, about them playing actors from a prematurely canceled sci-fi show. One has gone on to fame and fortune, while the other travels the convention circuit, meeting strange characters.
George Lucas apparently still likes Star Wars enough that he recently hid Manhattan comic store Midtown Comics to pick up the latest issues. That’s kind of cool. He also agreed to take a photo with the employee that rang him up. He never agreed to smile, though.
DMG invested nine figures in Valiant Comics’ movie and tv projects based on their superheroes. That’s a pretty massive investment. Quick, name some Valiant superheroes. They have Solar, X-O Manowar, Shaowman, Archer & Armstrong, and more. Did you remember that? DMG and Valiant must be hoping you do.
Wonder Woman finally got a new costume that’s a full body suit instead of a bathing suit. There are parts I really like, like the color scheme and the shoulder armor. I just don’t understand the knife guantlets at all. And the arrow flap over the crotch draws a lot of attention. I might have suggested leather skirt flaps. Or basically, just look at what worked for Xena!
Krispy Kreme has unleashed this monstrosity on the world. It’s a hot dog in a donut bun, covered with rasberry jam and bacon. While they released the image and name, they haven’t released the caloric information. We’re guessing it’s somewhere between “instant diabetes” and “heart attack”.
Lego just released this image. The Simpsons Kwik E Mart set will be in stores this May. It’s actually a really big set and surprisingly accurate. It opens up in the back and has aisles, coolers, heat lamp dog areas, and more.
In related Simpsons news, Game of Thrones actress Carice van Houten will soon appear on the show as a relative of Milhouse Van Houten. That’s pretty weird but funny.
And it really wouldn’t be right if we didn’t pay respects to one of the three men who created the Simpsons tv show, Sam Simon, who passed away this week from cancer. He and Matt Groenig did not get along and Simon left after the fourth season but he had a big role in building what we recognize today as The Simpsons. Even though he left less than amicably, he got to keep his executive producer title and get paid on future sales of the show so he was pretty wealthy and he funneled nearly all of it to charity before his death.
The BBC is going to make a documentary on the creation of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Reportedly, it will be a 90-minute feature about Sam and Dan Houser, the reclusive siblings who started the creation of Rockstar’s popular open-world game.