Review: Darth Vader #2

How do you follow up a solidly good first issue that teased at plenty of future plot points? By focusing the second issue on just one of them. Darth Vader #2 by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca is out today in which the creative team does precisely that. After the disaster of the Death Star’s destruction, Vader is in disgrace and now must follow the commands of Grand General Tagge as a part of the grand plan to strike back against the Rebellion… one corvette at a time. (Spoiler Alert: Vader does NOT win Coruscant’s Next Top Model in this issue. Sorry.)

Surprisingly, this series is turning out to be very character driven which is something I wouldn’t necessarily expect from a book about Darth Vader. As proven with the previous issue, Gillen definitely knows what he’s doing with Vader but the character that really stood out to me in this issue was Tagge. (That’s Grand General, by the way, not just General.) With the exception of Palpatine, it floors me that anyone in the Empire would have the balls to speak to someone as imposing as Darth Vader like Tagge did. If you thought how Tarkin acted in A New Hope was impressive… just read issue #2. This is a characterization that seems like it will pay off further down the line along perhaps before Vader discovers more about the Rebel pilot’s identity…

On the art front, Larroca continues to draw a pretty darn good Vader. He’s got a great eye for detail that translates to not just the iconic costume but also to things like holograms or distant ships through a viewport. Also, I’m not sure who’s having more fun with all these explosions: Gillen writing them or Larroca drawing and Edgar Delgado coloring them. Artistically speaking, having Larroca on interior art and Adi Granov on covers is a winning combination for this book.

Can we start spelling poor Kieron Gillen’s name right in the opening credits though?  This is two issues in a row now where they’ve gotten it wrong.

Darth Vader #2 is another solid showing from the creative team and I’m definitely excited for the next issue.

Tosche Station Radio #103: Arguing like it’s 1996

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Should the new Jedi be the same as the old? We answer that question on this week’s Tosche Station Radio!

Kicking off the show, the hosts highlight what’s New on the Blog.Bria explained why KOTOR needs three video games and a TV show. She also reviewed Sabine’s Sketchbook, Star Wars #2 and Darth Vader #1, and the Rebels episode “Vision of Hope.” Nanci started Dark Force Rising for the Thrawn Trilogy retrospective and reviewed “Call to Action”

In Fixer’s Flash, the hosts have been catching up on Agent Carter and think you should be watching it too. Nanci read Heir to the Jedi. Both of the hosts spent the weekend at Disney World and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Oh, and something about a Disney Star Wars Cruise.

Deak’s Dirt starts with a bit of Marvel. Spider-Man is coming to the MCU and there’s a new Daredevil teaser. In Celebration news, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker will be in attendance! On the literature side of things, John Jackson Miller, Christie Golden, and James Luceno will be there as well. Finally, Tosche Station will be recording a podcast LIVE at Star Wars Celebration! Our slot is Sunday at 10:30.

Bigg’s Bull$&#* features the usual grab bag of Standalone and Rebels rumors. What characters might be showing up in the animated series? Listen in to find out.

This week on Camie’s Concerns, some online conversation had the hosts wondering just how closely the new Jedi in the sequel trilogy should mirror the old Jedi. Our take? It’s a bad idea to be a carbon copy of the Old Order and we discuss why.

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

Spider-Man to Appear in Marvel Cinematic Universe While 4 Marvel Release Dates are Pushed Back

spider-man newspaperSony and Marvel Studios have formed a Spidey-based partnership, according to Marvel’s official site:

Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.

Notably, the release refers to the character as “Spider-Man” rather than “Peter Parker,” with one exception:

“Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker’s story into the future,” added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.

While Belgrad doesn’t explicitly state that Peter and Spidey are one-and-the-same in this case, it is implied. If they are indeed the same, it will be the second film reboot of Peter Parker as Spider-Man in less than five years and the third film version of the character in less than fifteen. I’d find a film starring Mile Morales, the current Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate comics universe, to be a breath of fresh air, but if don’t get to have that, perhaps they’ll at least get more creative with Spidey’s casting this time and choose an actor who isn’t white.

In addition to the news that they and Sony will be working together on Spider-Man, Marvel has pushed back the release dates of four previously announced films, possibly to give the new Spider-Man film some space. Thor: Ragnarok, previously scheduled for July 2017, will now be released on what had previously been Black Panther‘s release date of November 3, 2017, Black Panther will now come out on Captain Marvel‘s old release date of July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel is getting Inhumans‘ previous date of November 2, 2018, and Inhumans will now be released on July 12, 2019. You can read Marvel’s full announcement on the moved release dates here.

Cumberbatch Confirmed as Doctor Strange, We are Less Than Pleased

ITV3 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2012 - LondonToday Marvel confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame will indeed be portraying Doctor Strange in the 2016 film of the same name.

And we sigh. We sigh so heavily.

I have nothing personally against Cumberbatch and find him to be a talented actor but just what proportion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is made up of white dudes? Of the fourteen Marvel films focusing on a single hero that have been announced and/or released, only two are not about a white guy.

Two. Out of fourteen. And we had to wait six years for even that much.

A big reason so many people are so excited about the Black Panther and Captain Marvel films, besides them simply being great characters who deserve the full cinematic treatment, is because we have been waiting for years to see a film starring someone who is not a white dude. Yes, we’re finally getting a film about a character of color and a film about a woman and that is wonderful and that is progress. But Doctor Strange was an opportunity to even the scales a little more and make the MCU a little bit more diverse.

While Doctor Strange is typically portrayed as white in the comics, there is no reason why he has to be white–or even male–in an adaptation. Marvel’s previously cast actors of color as characters who were white in the comics, casting Idris Elba as Heimdall and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. This isn’t without precedent. Heck, Warner Brothers cast Jason Mamoa as the star of Aquaman a few months ago. If Aquaman can be played by a person of color, there is zero reason why Doctor Steven Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, can’t be as well.

Marvel had an opportunity to make things a little less overwhelmingly white-dude-ish, to stop focusing on just one sort of character the vast majority of the time, and Marvel didn’t take that opportunity. At this point, they’ve already built two phases of movies around films focusing on white male characters, setting up those movies and those characters as the foundation for all that comes after. I had hoped that they might try to bring a little more balance and diversity to their universe. I am disappointed.

Tosche Station Radio #98: Five Year Plan

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Its five years of Marvel movies this week on Tosche Station Radio!

Kicking off the show, the hosts discuss What’s New on the Blog. The tension in Nanci’s Thrawn Trilogy retrospective is off the charts. Shoshana started her Jedi Apprentice retrospective! In Rebels news, Nanci reviewed “Out of Darkness” and Brian reviewed “Empire Day.” Bria reviewed Mockingjay and told us why Bria Tharen needs to be in Rebels.

Fixer’s Flash features Nanci writing, Brian failing to purchase video games, and Bria costuming. Surprise surprise.

This week Deak’s Dirt starts with a Hollywood Reporter article on the security surrounding The Force Awakens. Solicitations for Marvel’s Darth Vader comic, which arrives in February. The Princess Leia miniseries will debut in March, and the Star Wars comic will be the first to arrive, in January. According to Tracy Cannobio at Lucasfilm, Rebels will go on hiatus next week and will return on January 5. Check out this AWESOME Celebration Anaheim video!

When are we going to see a trailer for The Force Awakens? Who knows, but we discuss it on Biggs Bull$#*@ anyways.

Marvel announced a bunch of movies, and Bria joins us to discuss them on Camie’s Concerns this week. There’s a whole lot of stuff to be excited for!

Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Nanci and Brian are the co-founders and writers of Tosche-Station.net. You can find Nanci on Twitter with the handle @Nancipants and you can find Brian with @LaneWinree.

This podcast has been brought to you in part by Her Universe and Audible.com.

Her Universe - Flaunt Your World - www.heruniverseshop.com Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at audible.com!

Marvel Announces New Films Including Captain Marvel and Black Panther

Some dreams do come true.

Some dreams do come true.

This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. Marvel has finally announced solo films starring characters who are not white dudes.

Earlier today Marvel had a special media event, where they announced the titles and release dates of all of their upcoming movies through their Phase 3, including Captain Marvel and Black Panther.

Captain Marvel and Black Panther are getting movies.

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Me, as I type this.

Black Panther, which will star Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, is slated to be in theaters November 3, 2017 and Captain Marvel (which will indeed be about Carol Danvers, something Feige blessedly confirmed) is scheduled for July 6, 2018.

Black Panther will be Marvel Studio’s first solo film starring a person of color and Captain Marvel will be their first starring someone who is not a cis man, unless they surprise and delight us with the casting for Doctor Strange.

In addition to Black Panther and Captain Marvel, Marvel also announced seven other movies, including Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which is had its release moved from July 2017 to May 2017. Here’s a handy chart of all of them and their release dates:

Captain America: Civil War May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange November 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 May 5, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok July 28, 2017
Black Panther November 3, 2017
Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1
May 2018
Captain Marvel July 6, 2018
Inhumans November 2, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2
May 2019

You can read more about event and the films here at Marvel’s official site.

Edit: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 info has been added. Thank you, Bria, for pointing out that it was missing!

Disney CFO: Star Wars to follow the Marvel model

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 1.09.21 PMFrom THR, Disney CFO Jay Rasulo says that Star Wars will be looking to Star Wars as it markets itself going forward.

Walt Disney, the parent of Lucasfilm, intends on doing for Star Wars what it did for its Marvel superheroes — including broadening the appeal to female and international audiences and moving lots of toys and other products, said CFO Jay Rasulo on Wednesday.

“We are doing what we do for our Disney franchises … with Star Wars, and it is mirroring Marvel, but we already know the path, so it’s going to go faster, smoother, with the same goals,” Rasulo said.

Emphasis added. It’s certainly nice to see a high level Disney exec at least pay lip service to reaching out to the female demo in its marketing and content creation. However, with the lack of Marvel products geared towards the female audience currently on the shelves (where’s Gamora?), one wonders if anyone told marketing and merchandising that this was the plan.

Marvel’s First Act: Reprinting Their Classic Comics

Those expecting something a bit more noteworthy might be somewhat underwhelmed by today’s news, but it is something. The official site announced today that Marvel would be reprinting their classic Star Wars comics in an all-new hardcover omnibus.

The comics will be released in a multi-volume set starting with the first omni containing issues #1-44 plus Annual #1. And yes, this will be released under the Legends banner.

Volume one has a list price of $125. Head to the link above for more information.