Category Archives: Spoiler

X-Classified Revealed As….

For months, Marvel has been teasing a project known only as “X-Classified.” The cover has been blacked out and creative team involved not listed. While there’s been some speculation that the series revolved around the upcoming Extermination storyline/event, we now know it’s something different.

WARNING SPOILERS BELOW

Today’s X-Men: Gold #30 features the wedding of Colossus and Kitty Pryde but, as spoiled by Marvel itself, we know that wedding doesn’t happen. Instead, Rogue and Gambit tie the knot and get married. This is what this ongoing series is about.

Mr. & Mrs. X is written by Kelly Thompson with pencils by Oscar Bazaldua. The main cover is by Terry Dodson with variants for the first three issues by J. Scott Campbell, Humberto Ramos, Skottie Young, Jen Bartel, and Phil Noto.

In January, Rogue and Gambit starred in a mini-series also written by Thompson.

To the surprise of everyone, the Marvel Universe’s hottest couple has tied the knot!

But there’s no time to enjoy wedded bliss when Rogue and Gambit find themselves tasked with protecting a mysterious package that just about everyone in the galaxy is trying to steal. What secrets does this package hold that everyone from the Imperial Guard and the Starjammers to Technet and Deathbirth (with an entire Shi’ar rebellion in tow!) will risk everything for?! Perhaps more importantly, is there anything worse than Deadpool crashing your honeymoon?

About that [Spoiler] at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story

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NOTE: This article contains spoilers. Don’t read unless you have already seen the movie! 

I really liked Solo: A Star Wars Story. I pretty much word-for-word agree with my colleague Brett in his review here, which you should also go read.

But several of my friends asked me the same question. . .  “What the heck? Darth Maul?”

His inclusion is brilliant. A theme of Solo is that everyone has a boss, everyone answers to someone. And so Han’s motivation almost the entire film is just to get a ship and fly away from it all — to be free. It’s a very interesting parallel to Maul, who continually flees from his would-be Sith masters/oppressors and trying to be his own man. However, Han Solo truly just wants freedom. Maul wants revenge.

It’s a masterful inclusion that not only works as perfect nerd candy, but also goes directly to the heart of the theme of the film.

A word on spoilers (looking sideways at you, Variety, and other mainstream outlets whose headlines scream DARTH MAUL!!!! without a thought of spoiling the movie. Of course, none of my friends are terrible enough to spoil the movie in the open– we’re asking in private messages, spoiler-devoted Facebook groups, and so on. Please be like them. Let people enjoy this, because, for me, it was one of the most beautiful reveals in the film. (The others were cameos by both Warwick Davis and Clint Howard and a mention of Teräs Käsi, a reference to the second worst Star Wars video game of all time.)

But back to Darth Maul. Most fans — even big fans — will go into this and say, “Wait. . .  isn’t he dead?”

I will admit, this was my first thought as well, since Maul met his final end on Tatooine in a beautiful duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels.

But then you remember, Rebels is taking place only a few years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope (or, in uber-nerdy in-canon parlance, Before the Battle of Yavin [BBY] or After the Battle of Yavin [ABY]). Maul died approximately 2-3 years BBY, and the events of Solo take place anywhere from 10-13 years BBY.

But, wait, how is Maul still alive after getting chopped in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi at the end of The Phantom Menace? 

To that, we need to go to to the Star Wars comics and The Clone Wars cartoon, which have a bunch of great Maul-centric episodes and arcs. Let me lay some of them out, and then you can use these handy links to watch them on Netflix. (Really, you should just watch all of Clone Wars. The first season is a bit uneven, but it gets REALLY good.)

Backstory:

Season 3, Episodes 12-14: Count Dooku has a secret apprentice, Asaaj Ventress (again, you should really watch the whole show!), and he is ordered to eliminate her and goes to replace her. His replacement is Savage Oppress, who bears a striking resemblance to Darth Maul (except he’s yellow instead of red).

Darth Maul Returns:

Season 4, Episodes 21-22: Brothers / Revenge: Savage Oppress goes on a quest to find his long-lost brother, who he feels is alive. He finds him — insane — on the junk planet of Lotho Minor, where he has built himself crazy spider legs out of junk and has somehow managed to stay alive. The one thing Maul clings to is revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he and Oppress leave on a mission to take it. They end up fighting Kenobi and Ventress, who only barely escape. This leads to. . .

Season 5, Episode 1: Revival:  Maul and Oppress rampage across the Outer Rim, beginning to put together an underworld gang of pirates. This is the first time Maul refers to himself as a “Crime Lord.” When the face off against notorious pirate Hondo Onaka teamed up with Obi-Wan, they escape again, only barely alive.

Season 5, Episodes 14-16: Maul and Oppress put together a crime syndicate backed by Black Sun, the Hutts, the Pykes (who are also namechecked in Solo as a rival gang to Crimson Dawn), and rogue Mandalore clan Death Watch. (Of note: Pre Vizsla, the leader of Death Watch, is voiced by none other than Jon Favreau, who also voices Rio Durant in Solo)

Together, under the name of  The Shadow Collective, they take over Mandalore, drawing in the Jedi and exacting a personal price on Kenobi. I maintain that the episode “The Lawless” is better than a lot of the prequel trilogy in its stakes, emotions, and cinematic achievement. Worth a watch, for this scene only:

At the end of “The Lawless,” we see Maul and Oppress defeated and in retreat and then facing off against a very angry Darth Sidious / Emperor Palpatine. At the end, he says, “Don’t worry. I’m not going to kill you. I have other uses for you.”

And then The Clone Wars was cancelled.

Luckily, some of the unproduced scripts outlined what Palpatine’s plans were for Maul, which were then published in the comic series Son of DathomirDuring this, we see Maul go to war against General Grevious and Dooku, and his Shadow Collective in ruins.

Apparently, from this, Maul has been working in the intervening years to form Crimson Dawn, the criminal group that Qi’ra and Dryden Vos work for.

Wait, but is all this canon, you might ask?

Yes. 100% it is.

Back when Lucasfilm hit the reset button on their Extended Universe and turned all of that content into “Legends,” they kept all six of the produced films as canon, along with The Clone Wars, and then all comics and books from thereafter would be officially canonized.

So, that’s how Darth Maul makes sense being included in Solo. One of the best things I can say about Solo is it makes me want a sequel. I’d love to see what happens next as the stories of Han Solo, the Hutts, Lando, Qi’ra, and Darth Maul all are destined to intertwine some more.

For more of my thoughts on Solo in podcast form, check out the Bored as Hell Podcast

Wait, What Just Happened in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9!? Spoilers Within!

new-rangerUsually, I like to stay away from spoilers, but this one is sanctioned by the publisher and it’s something that’s probably being missed by fans of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It also explains why the comic was sold out at two comic stores I visited today (likely under ordered so expect a new printing).

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 introduces a brand new mysterious Power Ranger with shocking origins. The comic from BOOM! Studios is out today in print and digitally.

This marks the first time a new Power Ranger has been created in “Mighty Morphin” continuity since the series debuted over 23 years ago. The mysterious new Ranger is a key architect behind the chaos that has plagued the Mighty Morphin team since the launch of the comic book series. This reveal is part of a long-term story with far-reaching effects and consequences.

The new Ranger, featuring an all-new costume, was developed by series writer Kyle Higgins (Nightwing, Hadrian’s Wall), main cover artist Jamal Campbell, Saban Brands, and BOOM! Studios. Check out the appearance of the mysterious new Ranger in the art below from the issue by artist Hendry Prasetya.

The identity of this new Power Ranger will be revealed in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11 by Higgins and Prasetya, on sale in January. December’s issue #10 will feature a “break in the action” story featuring a solo adventure centered on the Blue Ranger, Billy Cranston.

February’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #12 (also by Higgins and Prasetya) will reveal the origin of this mysterious new Ranger.

Expect both of those issues to sell out so make sure to pre-order through your local comic shop (or buy it digitally).

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The Return of the Long-Lost (SPOILER) to the DC Universe

It’s finally here! The oversized, incredible, universe-changing 80-page DC Universe: Rebirth #1 from the genius mind of Geoff Johns is out this Wednesday, May 25th, and with it comes a shocking surprise…

…the return of the beloved Fastest-Man-Alive, the Fiery-Haired-Flash, the Scarlet-Speedster, the “missing” Titan, Wally West!

Lost in the Speed Force until this moment, Wally will rejoin teammates Donna Troy, Arsenal, Garth, Lilith and Nightwing for Titans: Rebirth #1, hitting shelves June 15th.

In order to keep the mystery alive, DC solicited a cover featuring Donna Troy, leaving fans to wonder if the lost Titan would ever make a return. But now that Wally has appeared in the pages of DC Universe: Rebirth #1, we can safely say the secret is out!

You can check out how he makes it home by picking up DC Universe: Rebirth #1 this Wednesday, but you’ll have to wait until Titans: Rebirth #1 to find out how the Titans react to his incredible reappearance courtesy of Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, and Norm Rapmund in June.

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Aspen Comics in December 2015

LEGEND OF OZ: THE WICKED WEST #3

Tom Hutchinson – Story / Allison Borges – Art / Kate Finnegan – Colors

Take a trip back over the rainbow to an Oz you never knew existed! Dorothy Gale and her newfound friends have a new foe on their heels…and it isn’t the Wicked Witch of the West!

Featuring re-mastered content, creator commentary and whole lot more, don’t miss out on the newest BDI launch, LEGEND OF OZ: THE WICKED WEST!

LEGEND OF OZ: THE WICKED WEST #3 is in stores December 2nd, 2015!

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JIRNI Vol 2 #5

JT Krul – Story / V Ken Marion – Art / Juan Fernandez – Colors

When Ara uncovers a dark truth about an evil sorcerer’s cultish horde, will she be able to save them and herself in this epic finale to volume two!

Creator J.T. Krul, artist V Ken Marion, and colorist Juan Fernandez are proud to present the follow-up volume to Aspen’s smash hit series – JIRNI!

JIRNI vol 2 #5 is in stores December 16th, 2015!

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ETERNAL SOULFIRE #6

JT Krul – Story / Alex Konat – Art / Federico Blee – Colors

Miya is determined to revive the spirit of her murdered father, but at what cost? Don’t miss the climax to this pulse-pounding sixth volume of Michael Turner’s flagship series!

The first all new Soulfire series to make its debut since Michael Turner introduced you to his incredible magical adventure over 10 years ago, is ready to take you on the ride of your life and explore the world of Soulfire as you’ve never seen it before!

ETERNAL SOULFIRE #6 is in stores December 9th, 2015!

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LOLA XOXO: THE JOURNEY HOME Vol 1 TPB

Siya Oum – Story & Art

In the “Wasteland”, Lola, a fierce and resilient woman with a resolve fortified by a lifetime of survival on her own, must journey across the nuclear-decimated United States in order to find the family that was taken from her. As her quest for the truth begins, Lola uncovers the true inhumanity of the Apocalypse, as those who seek to hold power in a new frontier will do so at all bloody costs–including her life!

Siya Oum’s first created series is collected in its entirety, including a comprehensive cover gallery, concept art, and a whole lot more. Don’t miss out on the Lola XOXO: The Journey Home vol 1 TPB!

LOLA XOXO: Vol 1 TPB is in stores December 2nd, 2015!

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Dungeons & Dragons Comics Come to Humble Bundle

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS HUMBLE BUNDLEHumble Bundle, IDW and Hasbro, Inc. are re-teaming for a Dungeons & Dragons-themed comic book bundle. The award-winning publisher has faithfully adapted the iconic fantasy characters of D&D for comic books, and now fans will have the opportunity to pick up the full run in the Dungeons & Dragons Humble Comics Bundle presented by IDW for a limited time.  Customers can name their price for Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt, Vol. 1: Homeland, Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate, Dungeons & Dragons Vol. 1 – Shadowplague, Dungeons & Dragons Volume 2, and Dungeons & Dragons Volume 3.

Those who pay more than the average price will also receive Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt: Neverwinter Tales, Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Vol. 1, Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Classics Vol. 1, Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Classics Vol. 2, and Dungeons & Dragons: Cutter.

Customers who pay $12 or more will receive all of the above plus Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt, Vol. 2: Exile, Dungeons & Dragons Classics Vol. 1, Dungeons & Dragons Classics Vol. 2, Dungeons & Dragons Classics Vol. 3, Dungeons & Dragons Classics Vol. 4, Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Classics Vol. 3, and Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Classics Vol. 4.

That’s just for starters as even more books will be added mid-promotion on August 19.

As with all Humble Bundles, customers can choose how their purchase dollars are allocated.  Buyers of the bundle can specify the portion of the purchase price that they want to pay in support of the Hasbro Children’s Fund, which is dedicated to empowering childhood by bringing “the sparkle of Hope, the joy of Play and the power of Service” into the lives of the children who need it the most.

The promotion runs for two weeks and ends Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 11 a.m. Pacific time. Roll your d20 before time runs out!

Captain America: Civil War may have just split its teams

Marvel’s comics about Civil War basically boils down to this: Whose side are you on? Captain America’s or Iron Man’s?

The 13th instalment of the MCU picks up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off–with Steve leading the recently assembled New Avengers team in order to keep the humanity safe. However, after another international incident, involving the Avengers, results in collateral damage, there is political pressure, caused by the turned public sentiment against superheroes, to enforce a new system in which the governing body should decide when and how to enlist the team’s services. This fractures the Avengers as they need to try and protect the world from the newest and most menacing villain. Cap isn’t in favor of this as the government could do more harm than good as it has the power to determine who is a hero and who is a villain.

Rumoured to join Captain America are Scarlet Witch, The Winter Soldier, Falcon, Ant-Man and Hawkeye.

On the other side of the coin are Tony Spark, a.k.a. Iron Man, and Black Widow, The Vision, Spider-Man, and War Machine.

In addition, El Mayimbe teased the fans with the following:

“Can you guess which Avenger might be a double agent?”

Can you guess who the supposed double agent is? On which side are you on? Make sure to let me know in the comments.

Captain America: Civil War comes out on May 6, 2016

Did We Just Get Our First “Out” Transformer?

There’s some spoilers here, so if you don’t want to find out what happens in Transformers #44, out today from IDW Publishing, then you might want to leave and come back later.

Still here? Ok, lets begin.

needlenoseWritten by John Barber with art by Andrew Griffith, issue focuses on Tracks and Needlenose, brothers split due to the war. The issue focuses on their relationship and history before, and after the war. Needlenose in the beginning is swayed to Megatron’s cause by Horri-Bull. Needlenose’s cause is more about disenfranchisement, and haves and have nots, while Megatron was much grander and focused on the corruption of the ruling class as a whole. While the two views align, they’re not quite the same thing.

And now some more background about the relationship that was Needlenose and Horri-Bull. For those that don’t know, Needlenose and Horri-Bull teamed up post war harassing bots that took neither side in the war referred to as Nails. This led to a confrontation where Horri-Bull refused to back down in his harassment forcing Bumblebee to detonate a chip blowing up Horri-Bull’s head.

That incident has clearly stuck with Needlenose, who in a confrontation with Tracks in a bar declares that Horri-Bull was the “one bot I’ve ever loved.” Wait…. what!?

In the Transformers world there’s a concept called Conjux Endura. Some have said this is the idea of a spouse, but it might be better to describe it as power of attorney. It has come out more when a bot’s life is on the line and a decision has to be made. The concept isn’t universally accepted in the Transformers universe, with some dismissing close relationships like this as embarrassing.

firestar_nauticaFor those that have been reading IDW’s Transformer comics for a while now, this isn’t the first “male” bot pairing though, while it might be the first to use that word “love.”

In Transformers: More Than Meets the EyeChromedome and Rewind have been an inseparable couple for quite some time now. A “same-sex” couple that stay by each other’s side through the ages. At times the coupling to me felt more Maverick/Goose in Top Gun (yes, I chose that pairing specifically), but it’s hard to argue the two aren’t together in ways that are more than friends.

More recently, with the introduction of the female Transformer dominated world of Caminus, we’ve also been introduced to the concept of Amicua Endura, which Firestorm and Nautica (two female bots) are. This one though did have a different tone, with Firestorm referring to Nautica as her “best friend,” and they “lived together.” Later on the word “platonic” is used in reference to the concept. It’s a similar concept to Conjux Endura, but clearly more “best friend” than real relationship. In this particular case Sorority Sister might not be too far off either.

The only other instance where the word “love” was used was with Chromedome and Rewind. Upon his death, in a final message good-bye Rewind says something “he doesn’t say enough” “I love you.” If there were doubts about how deep the two’s relationship went, this scene clearly defined it.

In an email from Transformers writer John Barber in response to my inquiry, he said I’m “not reading too much into it.” And reminded me Needlenose and Horri-Bull weren’t the first.

Many might see a comic based on a toy line and dismiss it. But, for years now the comic has been one of the most politically, and socially aware comics on the market. It has not only explored revolution, governmental collapse, nation building, class warfare, and more. The series in the last year has introduced more female named characters than many comic universes currently have. Arcee, Windblade, Chromia, Nautica, Firestorm, Proxima, Acceleron, Velocity, Skystalker, Javelin, Exocet, Skimmer, a whole planet dominated by female bots in Caminus, and the all female combiner Victorion. The series has grown to not just be politically aware, but also one of the most progressive comics out there. The fact it can have a scene such as Needlenose as if it’s just an everyday occurrence is energon icing on the cake.

This series and universe is expanding its representation while other companies are retrogressively shrinking it. For that we should celebrate and give props where they’re due.

Spoiler Alert: Who’s That at the End of Guardians of Knowhere #1?

I feel like my Marvel character knowledge runs pretty deep, but the end of Guardians of Knowhere #1 left me scratching my head wondering who the hell shows up at the end of the first issue.

I did a lot of Googling, hit up the brain trust, and all of us are stumped.

Below is the mysterious character, and warning, it’s a spoiler…..

Are.

You.

Sure.

You.

Want.

To.

See?

Ok, check out the image below for this rather odd character.

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Anyone know who that’s supposed to be? You can check out the issue this Wednesday.