Review-Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1

The DC multiverse has been blown wide open, following the shocking events in ‘Death metal #7’. A new and exciting future begins in Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1.

Due to extenuating circumstances Clark Kent has left Earth and has in-trusted its protection to his son, Jon Kent. Who is far too young for such responsibility, Jon feels the best way to protect Metropolis is to seal it up in a bottle and lock it away. Earning him the ire of its citizens, the military, and Supergirl.

In the bottled city heroes like The Guardian and Shiloh Norman (Mister Miracle) protect it from within, all whilst trying to find a way to break out of their new prison.

The first issue is really interesting because we’re just dropped into the events. Metropolis has been bottled for six months and is on the brink of collapse. The story is fresh, with very vibrant art from Cully Hamner. This feels very different from anything I’ve read before, which I wasn’t expecting. We’re given a fantastic exploration of the bottled city, six months in. The city is full of hate, rage, anger and fear. Reading this through the lens of this past year certainly adds to its impact. There’s always a sense the city could explode, at any moment.

Writer Sean Lewis has crafted a compelling story, with a young Superman completely out of his depth. Jon is no longer the happy-go-lucky kid we once knew, he’s older, jaded and cynical. He’s been given a huge responsibility and it’s absolutely crushing him. Lewis explores the mistakes a human with the powers of a God can make.

Review-Wake Up: Why the world has gone nuts

Whether you love him or loathe him, agree or disagree with him. You can’t ignore Piers Morgan. He’s on your TV. He’s been debated in Parliament. Even if you’ve got him blocked or muted, he’s on your Twitter timeline.

Through years of influential roles in journalism and broadcasting, Piers Morgan has positioned himself as a high-profile cultural commentator. He’s a divisive figure, best-known for his abrasive and combative interview style. For the past few years, he’s been the co-host of Good Morning Britain, an ITV show that boasts impressive viewing figures. It’s his experiences co-hosting this show, that provides the backdrop for his book. ‘Wake Up’ deals with issues of gender, Hollywood hypocrisy, identity politics and, free speech.



The book was originally intended to be a series of short essays, where Morgan would give his opinion on modern life. But then Covid 19 happened so the focus shifted. It’s told in diary form written between January-July 2020. Morgan examines all of the hot topic subjects one by one, as they occur. 2020 has been such a crazy ride, that I’d forgotten half the events Morgan talks about at the start of the book.

He makes some compelling arguments and he makes them well – for example when calling out Hollywood hypocrisy, he cites Natalie Portman’s speech at an awards show. Portman decried Hollywood’s lack of female directors, despite owning a production company that has only hired one female director, Natalie Portman.

At times, the book can come across as tabloid sensationalism and, I disagree with Piers Morgan on a lot of issues. However, I found Wake Up to be an interesting, engaging and entertaining read. Morgan argues that cancelling people isn’t the answer, instead, we should listen and find common ground. On that, I agree with him.

New Star Trek: Picard prequel book on the way

As a Star Trek fan, I loved seeing Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis appear as William Riker and Deanna Troi in Star Trek: Picard. In the series, we saw the two former Starfleet officers living a peaceful life on the planet of Nepenthe.

In a prequel book titled Star Trek: Picard: The Dark Veil, written by veteran Star Trek author James Swallow. We learn how they came to be on Nepenthe.

This is the second Star Trek: Picard prequel book. The first was Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope.

The synopsis reads:

The Alpha Quadrant is mired in crisis. Within the United Federation of Planets, a terrorist strike on the shipyards of Mars has led to the shutdown of all relief efforts for millions of Romulans facing certain doom from an impending super­nova. But when the USS Titan is drawn into a catastrophic incident on the Romulan-Federation border, Captain William Riker, his family, and his crew find themselves caught between the shocking secrets of an enigmatic alien species and the deadly agenda of a ruthless Tal Shiar operative. Forced into a wary alliance with a Romulan starship commander, Riker and the Titan crew must uncover the truth to stop a dev­astating attack—but one wrong move could plunge the entire sector into open conflict!

Star Trek: Picard: The Dark Veil goes on sale in January 2021.



New Trailer! Doctor Who Time Lord Victorious #1! Tenth Doctor! Daleks!

Time Lord victorious, is a thrilling new multi-platform adventure for the Tenth Doctor (as played by fan-favorite David Tennant) that sees the shocking return of his deadliest enemies: the Daleks! But things aren’t what they seem – time is all wrong, and something is coming that terrifies even the Daleks…

The first of two oversized issues kicking off the BBC’s highly anticipated multi-platform Doctor Who epic, Time Lord Victorious!

Artwork revealed for Titan’s Time lord victorious

A thrilling new adventure for the Tenth Doctor (as played by fan-favorite David Tennant) that sees the shocking return of his deadliest enemies: the Daleks! But things aren’t what they seem – time is all wrong, and something is coming that terrifies even the Daleks… The first of two oversized issues kicking off the BBC’s highly anticipated multi-platform Doctor Who epic, Time Lord Victorious!

Pre-order now from your local comic shop, Forbidden Planet
and ComiXology.

Review-Torchwood: The Hope

The Big Finish Torchwood range is always advertised with “This release contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners” never has that statement been truer, than with this release. One of the many things James Goss excels at, is bleak. After giving us all nightmares with Corpse Day. He’s back with The Hope.

Megwyn Jones is one of the most hated women in Britain. She used to run a home for troubled children in an isolated part of Snowdonia called The Hope. For a long time there were rumours about what was happening there, and then one day it was realised that the children had gone missing.

Ever since, Megwyn’s kept her peace. Is she innocent? Is she guilty? Where are the bodies?

An audio play about a convicted child-murderer is never going to be an easy listen. However, James Goss has carved something of a masterpiece here. This is an audio that definitely rewards repeat listening.

Burn Gorman and Tom Price had such brilliant chemistry, in Corpse Day that I’ve been waiting impatiently for a follow up, ever since. Their chemistry is still present and their scenes together are pure gold. Andy’s eternal optimism is a perfect foil for Owen’s eternal pessimism. They also get a chance to shine separately, in scenes that are up there with the most horrific in Torchwood’s history. Siân Phillips is mesmerising as Megwyn Jones, you instantly dislike Megwyn-but you’re also fascinated by her.

The Hope couldn’t be any further away in tone, than last month’s ‘Serenity’. But that’s what makes this series so great. I enjoyed Torchwood on TV. But Big Finish Torchwood, is Torchwood at its absolute best.

Review-Buffy #1

It’s sometimes strange to think that Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been off the air, longer than it was ever on. Yet it continues to capture the imagination of the original audience, as well as picking up a new generation of fans a long the way.

Buffy began life as film, then became TV series-launching a successful spin-off, Angel. There have been variations of Buffy comics over the years, but they mostly carried on the adventures seen on TV. Boom! Studios have bravely decided to reboot the entire story, it’s still the Scooby gang. But with subtle differences, they’re teenagers in 2019-Willow is more confident than she ever was in the show and she’s gay from the get go, Robin Wood is a teenager and not the school principal, Joyce has a boyfriend, Cordillera is nice, Drusilla isn’t crazy, Xander is a tad geekier and to an extent, so is Buffy.

There’s no big introduction to Giles, he’s just there. Willow and Xander meet Buffy in a very different way, all of which allows for less exposition.

Jordie Bellaire has successfully captured the uniqueness of Sunnydale, the personalities of the characters, the shorthand in which Buffy, Willow, and Xander speak to each other. All whilst crafting a new story. That’s no easy task.

If you’re a fan of the Buffy TV show, you’re sure to find this entertaining. It can however, take a while to forget everything you know about the series. I’ve read this twice, because my first read had me stopping every page saying “Well, that’s different”. But, Boom! Studios has hit the ground running, with this reboot. This first issue is exhilarating.

Book review-Doctor Who:Scratchman

Roughly 40 years ago, one Thomas Stewart Baker sat in the pub with his Doctor Who co-star, Ian Marter and started writing a Doctor Who movie, Doctor Who meets the Scratchman.

Ultimately, it never secured the required funding and the un-produced film became the stuff of legend. Tom Baker later had to apologise, after kids started sending their pocket money to the BBC. After he joked that fans could fund it.

Over the years, you’d hear a rumour here and there at fan gatherings and meet ups. Some people even claimed they’d read it. It sounded bonkers, the fourth Doctor going up against the devil and at some point, pinball would be involved..

Now, after years of speculation and “what ifs” Tom Baker- with the help of James Goss, has adapted the screenplay into a novel.

The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at a remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, who are preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn’t go to plan – the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them.

With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claims to be the Devil. Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. And the Doctor’s worst nightmares are coming out to play…

Baker and Goss have taken full advantage of the novel medium. There’s a sense of freedom here, that a film probably wouldn’t allow. The story takes its time and feels like the fourth Doctor era, but it’s also clearly influenced by the big sci-fi/horror films from the 70’s. Mostly John Carpenter’s work, but I also got hints of Wicker man and the Omen. This blend makes for an intriguing read.

The first half reads very much like a standard Doctor Who story, it’s the second half that gets whacky, outlandish and high-concept. I don’t want to spoil it. It’s a bit far-out and some may feel it makes the book a bit disjointed. But it worked for me.

This is the most fun I’ve had with a book for years. Tom Baker claims this will be his last time writing a Doctor Who book, if that’s true then he’s left us with an entertaining read. However, I’m hoping he can be talked into another.

Tom Baker writes Doctor Who novel

Doctor Who legend Tom Baker, has written his first Doctor Who novel. Based on his original idea for a film Doctor Who: Scratchman sees The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive on remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn’t go to plan – the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them.



Tom Baker said:

“I love the improbability of Doctor Who. Reason plays no part at all. As in religion, the overriding thing is faith. It may be improbable, but just believe in it and it’ll all come right.”“When I was approached about the book, I thought, ‘Why not?’ I’m always on the lookout for a novelty. I’m very enthusiastic as I get close to darkness.”

 

Doctor Who Meets Scratchman began out of boredom somewhere in the 1970s, an idea for a story formed by Tom Baker and Ian Marter between set takes and pauses in filming during the Fourth Doctor era.

Despite great enthusiasm and valiant attempts, funding Scratchman proved difficult (Baker accidentally made a newspaper appeal to the British public for help, and found himself deluged with children’s pocket money – which he had to return.)

For a long time, Scratchman was forgotten, until a script was found in 2006. It was donated to the British Film Institute by former Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner before his death in 2002.

 



 

 

Review-The women who lived: Amazing tales for future timelords

The Women Who Lived is a A 224 page hardcover book that features profiles of 75 women from the history of Doctor Who.

From Sarah Jane Smith to Bill Potts, from Susan Foreman to Agatha Christie, to the Thirteenth Doctor. Doctor Who has featured many heroic women, who have helped prevent alien invasions or thwarted maniacal plans. Pick a female character from Doctor Who’s rich history, she’s in here.

This book explores their adventures and celebrates their legacy.

Each profile is written by Christel Dee and Simon Guerrier and accompanied by beautiful full page art pieces. A team of female artists, at various stages in their careers were especially assembled for the project. The book includes artwork from Sophie Cowdrey, Emma Price and Rachel Smith to name a few.

The profile pieces are written with genuine affection, Dee and Guerrier have put a lot of love into this and it shows. The decision to have a team of artists work on the book, is an inspired choice. Each artist brings their own unique talent. Which brings out the uniqueness of the characters, whilst also clearly defining their era.

All of this is collected under a stunning new cover by Doctor Who artist Lee Binding.

This is a must buy for the Doctor Who fan in your life.