Friday, 30 May 2008


Michael Turner’s aquatic strumpet returns to the comics field with this teaser for the new series from Turner’s Aspen company. The reader may feel a little short changed with this issue, as much of it has already been given away as part of this year’s Free Comic Book Day shenanigans a while back. Plus, it’s a bit light on content anyway. What there is though is decent, if not really that inspiring. There’s some nice setup material and the necessary exposition, but little else. The art, pencilled by Ale Garza and inked by Sal Regla, is very attractive, and fills the characters out a but more than Turner’s own comic book style does, which is cool to see, but it doesn’t stop the book looking a little like something Crossgen would have published (especially in the colour palette used). The script, by JT Krul, is serviceable but maybe a little flat in places, relying too much on monologues instead of dialogue, which makes the whole thing feel too much like an advert. I guess it is exactly that really, and its going to be interesting to see where this goes when the comics series starts for real. It looks great, but this issue is a bit of a let down, aside from the superb and rather eye catching cover featuring Aspen herself.

Thursday, 29 May 2008


All of us here at and The Last Picture Show would like to pass along our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Alexander Courage, who it has been reported passed away on May the 15th. Born in 1919, Mr Courage was the composer behind the legendary theme tune to the original Star Trek series, including the famed Enterprise fanfare. His work was instantly recognizable and hugely memorable, and stands as a testament to a great talent. As well as Star Trek, he also contributed music to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space and many more iconic genre shows, as well as working as an arranger and orchestrator for many of the great composers of the last century, including movie greats John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith. I do hope that some of his work is used in the upcoming Star Trek movie from JJ Abrams.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008


Well this is jumping the gun a bit isn’t it? Not a frame shot, and is there even a script yet? Already there’s a Witchblade movie site, and, get this, a teaser poster available. The poster looks superb, but who is the girl in the glove? The role of Sara Pezzini hasn’t been cast yet (although rumour has it that Megan Fox is up for the role), and they’re going to have to float some names soon if the hype and production machines are to get underway on the Witchblade movie properly. It was only announced recently, so it does make me wonder how much work has already been done on the project. I do hope they stick with the glove design as it appears on this teaser poster. The version that appeared in the TV movie and subsequent series was cool but not cool enough. This one looks pretty much exactly how the gauntlet looks in the comic book series, which is what fans wanted all along anyway. Hopefully this time we’ll also get to see the real Witchblade armour in all its glory. Megan Fox would certainly have the presence for it, and she does have a strong resemblance to the comics incarnation of Ms Pezzini. One question though; Will the Darkness make an appearance in this new movie? We will keep you posted on the latest developments.

Friday, 23 May 2008


In a rather random move, a movie adaptation of the gritty Marvel superheroes title RUNAWAYS is heading to the big screen. Now, I’m all for superhero movies, and even moreso for Marvel movies, but this has taken me somewhat by surprise. Its going to be interesting to see how the stylized artwork of the comic series is adapted for a live action film. The plot, that of the kids of supervillains who run away and join up as a force for good, has given Marvel Comics some very strong storylines that rely heaviliy on characterization as opposed to action. There’s a great deal of action to be enjoyed, but it is mostly a character piece, which is cool and should make for a great film. Hopefully. I’m not that sure how it will be accepted by a mass audience though. I mean, who’s heard of Runaways outside of comic fandom? Personally I’d rather see a new Generation X movie. I alway7s had a soft spot for the cheap TV movie from 1996 and would love to see a new version with a cast that actually fit the character descriptions this time. The Runaways movie is due for release in 2011, alongside the CAPTAIN AMERICA, IRON MAN 2 and ANT MAN Marvel movies.

Thursday, 22 May 2008


Doctor Who writer, comics scribe and all round fanboy idol Paul Cornell, along with his other half, are currently recuperating after a nasty car accident that took place last Tuesday. Both were injured in the collision, but are on the mend and essentially okay. All of us at Starstore and The Last Picture Show wish Paul and Caroline all the best for a speedy recovery.

Aside from his work on Doctor Who on TV and in books and audio, Paul is an established novelist and comics writer. His recent first issue of Captain Britain and MI:13 sold out of its entire print run within the first week of publication, and Marvel Comics are now going for a second print, so keep an eye out for that hitting the shelves! A respected advocate of comics and British Science Fiction, Mr Cornell’s work is highly regarded in fan circles, and we look forward to his future projects.

Hope you both get well soon!

(Regular updates on all things Doctor Who, including our TARDISWATCH features, can be found at The Famous Starstore Blog)

Monday, 19 May 2008


Laura Dern has recently stated that her character from the original JP movie, Dr. Ellie Sattler, features heavily in the fourth instalment of the legendary Dinosaur franchise. This is cool, but is that project even still on the go? Last I heard there was an insane script featuring superpowered mutant dinosaurs sent out to war against the Jurassic Park dinosaurs. Yeah. X-Dinos. Hmm. Another Jurassic Park movie would be brilliant, but I’d want Michael Crichton involved somewhere. The Lost World was far from perfect, but it was still a very strong film in many respects, and it sure beat the hell out of that train wreck that was Jurassic Park 3. So whats the score at the moment? I pray they aren’t going with that mad script and that something good can come of it. The first Jurassic Park is a milestone in cinema history, and I hope that if a fourth is made then it does the legacy justice.

Thursday, 15 May 2008


Fraggle Rock, that bastion of bizarre 1980s puppetry genius, is all set to make a comeback on the big screen in an all singing, all dancing live action musical extravaganza. I love this idea. Its so mad it may just turn out brilliant. DVD sales of the first 3 seasons have been so strong that it has made the prospect of a return very viable. Created by the Jim Henson company, the show became a hit with kids in the 80s and has struck a chord with viewers ever since those early days. The Weinstein Co. are to adapt the Fraggle Rock series for the big screen with a script by director Cory Edwards. Lisa and Brian Henson will be acting as producers for the project. You know, I think this is going to be lapped up by kids and those who remember Fraggle Rock from its original run. I certainly fall into the latter category, and will probably be in line when the thing gets released. I mean, with THAT theme tune, how could you not want to see the Fraggles back onscreen? The story, like the classic TV series, concerns the main Fraggles (and new characters) emerging from their magical home and being mistaken for aliens. Here’s hoping that we get to see the Doozers back onscreen too! This project has been reported to be live action, and I am hoping that the Fraggles aren’t CG, or at least for the most part. It would be great to see them run and jump and interact like fully rendered characters, so some CG is unavoidable, but they do need to mostly be traditional puppets for the transition to work. Anyway, I think we’ve got something to look forward to here. And yeah, I can’t get the theme tune out of my head either now :/

Monday, 12 May 2008


According to Variety, the long-running comic book franchise Witchblade is heading for the big screen. Set to be a co production between Top Cow, Arclight and Platinum studios, the film will be the first big screen outing for the legendarily sultry superhero. She did, of course, turn up on TV in one TV movie and a series that lasted for two seasons, starring Yancy Butler as the feisty brunette Sara Pezzini. The anime incarnation of Witchblade has also proved to be a success, but in cinemas, I think we’re in for the finest version yet. The comics mythology has some clout in the movie, and Top Cow’s Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins will be on hand as Executive producers. Here’s hoping the film lives up to the promise shown in the years of comic book stories. I hope it doesn’t dwell on the origin story for too long. The trend for comic book origin movies is becoming a bit stale. Sure, deal with the origin but don’t let it take over the whole film. There’s been a hell of a lot of fans garnered since the comic began in 1995, and the audience is gonna want a bit more than two hours of being told what they already know. It is hoped that the Witchblade feature film will begin production in September.

Friday, 9 May 2008


The forthcoming new Street Fighter movie, based on the immortal beat 'em up video game franchise, now has an official release date. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is set to be released in the US on February 27th, 2009. A UK and worldwide release will follow soon after. The film, starring Smallville's Kristen Kreuk as the adorable (and lethal) lead character, is the first live action Street Fighter project to get off the ground since 1994's atrocious Jean Claude van Damme clunker. Thankfully it looks like it is going to be a rather more serious and entertaining affair this time. While Kristen may not have the perfect look for the character (lovely as she is), he certainly has the background, with training in dance, gymnastics and martial arts. This is one character that is certainly more than just a pretty face. The film also stars Moon Bloodgood, who will also be appearing on the big screen in the eagerly awaited Terminator Salvation movie alongside Christian Bale. While it is known that M Bison will show up in the Chun Li film, details are sketchy on the other Street Fighter characters that are to make an appearance.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


It has been reported that NECA are to expand their range of officially licensed ALIEN figures this year with the addition of two new items, namely 9 inch and 18 inch versions of the original Alien creature itself, as seen in the legendary first movie! The creature that first thrilled audiences back in 1979 with Ridley Scott’s science fiction masterpiece has become a staple of SF fandom, adorning myriad posters, Alien action figures and collectibles since then, and across the sequels and the AVP spinoff movies. Now NECA have produced two very special figures, and if I remember rightly, the 18 inch version is the FIRST EVER 18 inch Alien action figure to be produced. Both the regular figure and the deluxe 18 inch figure are due to ship later this month, and thus should arrive in the UK in early June. The figures ;look superb, and it is great to see that the designs have closely matched those of HR Giger, who, of course, designed the creatures in the first place. After the various AVP figure versions of the Alien, it is wonderful to see NECA going right back to the original source material and creating something spectacular. I can see both of these figures being a major hit for NECA, and I can’t wait to get them in. Now, if only someone would make a new Alien Queen set of some description, to fill the void left by the retirement of McFarlane’s gorgeous set from 2001. Any takers? That said, an 18 inch Predator action figure would also be a great idea, but a Predator based on the original 1987 film and not the modified versions from the AVP flicks. That would be a massive release, both in terms of interest and the size of the figures! Getting back to the basic essence of these creatures is something that has been missing from both the movies and the merchandise in recent years, and it looks like NECA have put the style back into the range with these new releases.

Monday, 5 May 2008


Marvel studios have announced the tentative release dates for their next batch of superhero movies, including the first sequel to the current smash hit IRON MAN movie. Check these out:

IRON MAN 2 - April 30th, 2010

THORJune 4th, 2010


Apparently, the Captain America movie is to be titled: THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA, a title that is, hmm, not to great really is it? Mind you, all these go some way towards us getting an AVENGERS movie, so it’s all good.

Saturday, 3 May 2008


Iron Man is currently filling cinemas with fans and converts to the superhero movie genre, and The Incredible Hulk is on his way to start smashing things to pieces, so where next for Marvel Comics related movies? Let’s take a look at some of their current slate of forthcoming projects…


These don’t have a date yet, but I’m sure they’ll be rushed into production as soon as possible, judging by the reaction to this first movie from Marvel Productions.


The latest entry in the Punisher series of movies will be released later this year. With a completely different cast to the last one, it remains to be seen whether or not it will be a hit.


These two projects are both slated for release this year, but have they even started shooting yet? That Iron Fist movie has been talked about ever since Ray Park (who is to play the title character) was in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. That was nine years ago!!! As for Deathlok, would anyone really go and see it? If it is marketed as something other than a superhero movie, it would probably stand a chance. Otherwise I’d say DVD bargain bin fodder.


The first two X-Men Origins films are due next year, following the early years of both WOLVERINE and MAGNETO respectively. The Wolverine movie, starring Hugh Jackman in the role again, is halfway through production now, but the Magneto one is yet to commence. The Magneto movie tells the story of his young days, and will not feature Ian McKellen in it at all.


A Power Man movie? If you say so. Apparently due in 2009, here’s another one with rather limited appeal, but I’m curious to see how it turns out.


A fourth Spider Man movie is on the way next year, but with a whole new cast, a new director and a new direction. I hope they don’t reboot the series again…


Marvel’s own big blue boyscout is said to be arriving on screens next year. This one could be important, as it would set up the proposed Avengers movie very nicely.


Okay, we have Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Spidey and so on already onscreen. We’ve almost got a full set, so this 2009 slated release is looking like a certainty. Especially after the extra scene at the end of the Iron man movie...


Also due next year (2009 is getting crowded isn’t it?) is the Silver Surfer’s solo movie, which is shaping up to be brilliant. The demand for a Surfer film has pretty much killed any call for another Fantastic Four. I guess that’s something…


The year after that we’re apparently in for movies of Nick Fury, Ant Man (Why?), and Doctor Strange. Where’s the Thor movie? It is going to be interesting to see how many of these films actually get made. I’d say we’re due another Daredevil too, please. Get Frank Miller to make it, or at least write it. Thanks...

Friday, 2 May 2008


For once the critics and the audiences are in agreement- the Iron Man movie is about as good as superhero movies get. Reviews have said it is brilliant pretty much across the board, and fans seem to agree. The film has opened to massive audiences everywhere and looks set to be a huge hit. The film seems to have struck the right mixture of humour, action and drama that every superhero movie dreams of pulling off. This is very exciting for comic movie fans the world over, as it means that our beloved genre is getting a bit more critical and commercial kudos, thus ensuring its future.

The Iron Man story, of a billionaire discovering the error of his ways and using his wealth and technology to make amends seems to have translated to the screen perfectly, and the casting of Robert Downey Jr couldn’t be better. If ever a man was meant to play Tony Stark onscreen, it’d be him. Aside from the scale of this film and its suitably heroic storyline, there are nods to various other forthcoming projects (stay until after the end credits to see what I mean. No really, you MUST see the extra bit), which hints at the Marvel Comics movies universe starting to edge towards becoming a coherent world in which characters from different films may interact. In the end, this will only serve to make the films better as they will all have to play alongside each other as well as being strong standalone tales.

Iron man really is about as good as the genre gets. It is huge, fun, scary, thrilling and uplifting, and is a great introduction to those outside of comics fandom to one of the industry’s most interesting and compelling characters. Two sequels are apparently on the way, and the first of those is already secure following the first film’s massive opening weekend. Now out in the UK too, we can all revel in the first big screen outing for the red and gold wonder. Here’s to Iron Man.

A full review will be posted soon!

Thursday, 1 May 2008


Here we are, in the midst of the fourth series in the Doctor’s new era of adventures, and it is time for the long-term fans to sit back and take stock for a moment. The shops are full of merchandise, the newsagents are packed with magazines with Doctor Who content, childrens’ walls are covered with Daleks, and their shelves full of DVDS. In addition, there is still a massive legion of old-school fans out there that, for the fourth year running, are able to cry out “I told you it was brilliant!” at all the people that slagged the show off while it was off the air. Make no mistake about it, the Doctor Who adventures are the biggest thing to happen to UK television screens in a very long time. A bona fide phenomenon, it has crossed age barriers, generation gaps, and doesn’t talk down to its viewers both young and old.

Yes, I am a gloating Doctor Who fan, and I readily admit it. We put up with so much before the show came back, that I’m damned well enjoying our moment of vindication while it lasts, if you don’t bloody mind. There was a time I remember only too clearly when the only new Doctor Who that was regularly coming out consisted of the BBC novels and the Big Finish audios. Reading a Doctor Who novel on public transport before the show came back made you something of a social leper. Not only were you into this shoddy old science fiction show, but you were displaying your love for it by actually paying money for a tie-in novel. You know what? Yes I did. The very idea of Doctor Who is a wonderful thing that really has done a great service to the country by coming back- a real hero, simply trying to help those in need with no desire for personal gain.

That, in this current climate of pointless violence and the gimme gimme mine min mentality is a breath of fresh air, and children have been introduced to a classic hero in a very modern guise. Hearing about kids’ reactions to the first series was wonderful for someone in my line of work. Their imaginations had been opened up to all the possibilities that science fiction could bring up, and families finally had something they could enjoy together again. That is massively important on many levels. Here is something that every generation can find something in, and they can find it in a format that doesn’t get bogged down with politics, shady characters or the acquisition of wealth. They are very simple stories told in a direct manner, but they are done in such a way that anyone can enjoy them.

It has come to a beautiful point in the evolution of Doctor Who’s new era, in that we are now literally going along for the ride and wondering where the enigmatic Time Lord will take us next, what we will see there, and how we will face the dangers that these journeys bring. The BBC are still releasing Doctor Who novels (albeit in a different manner) AND Big Finish are still producing their exemplary range of licensed Doctor Who audio plays, but now we also have Character Options bringing us all manner of Doctor who action figures and Doctor Who collectibles, as well as other companies bringing us posters., T shirts, magazines and much more. The new golden age of Doctor Who continues, and after this series is over, there is still the Christmas special to look forward to, and three more specials next year, followed by series five in 2010. After that, who knows where the Doctor will take us next? Hit the randomizer and let us discover the universe alongside our hero.