‘Batgirl’ #7 review

‘Batgirl’ #7 review

‘Batgirl’ #7 is written by Hope Larson with pencils, inks & cover by Chris Wildgoose. Colours are by Mat Lopes.

Synopsis

‘Son of Penguin’ part one! Babs is back in Burnside! But everything’s… different-friends, school, even Burnside itself. Batgirl must determine her next steps when she realises that the shady new tech mogul moving into her neighbourhood is none other than the estranged son of the Penguin!

Review

Batgirl is back in Burnside, a creative goldmine for the series. After a spell in Asia which stretched the books artistic muscles ‘Batgirl’ needed to get its groove back. Over the closing months of the New 52 era ‘Batgirl’ was one of DC Comics most consistent titles. It had killer artwork, great stories and most importantly a great cast.

With Barbara travelling for a while ‘Batgirl’ lost much of the supporting cast and with it much of its heart. Characters like Frankie and Alysia both appear pretty quickly in this issue and instantly help the world of ‘Batgirl’ feel much more real. It’s not that Barbara isn’t entertaining enough to carry the book by itself. It’s more that she needs people around her to propel the series forward. Without that it tends to stagnate and resort to stories about her love life.

That being said ‘Batgirl’ #7 does spend some time circling Barbara around Ethan Cobblepot in a romantic way. First though it reintroduces us to the world of Burnside and its new status quo. Having put Barbara in charge of Gordon Clean Electric before the end of New 52 it feels like a course correction to said her back to school here. Now she’s studying to be a librarian. A classic trait for the character which is a nice nod to old school comics.

A lesson learnt from the New 52 era seems to be the connection ‘Batgirl’ has to other series. Crossover events aside Barbara spent much of her first stint in Burnside separate from the rest of the Bat-family. Rather than have this Rebirth feel like a retreading writer Hope Larson instead includes a small moment for Barbara to catch up with Nightwing. Small moments like this really help to make ‘Batgirl’ be its most well rounded.

Overall this is a strong reintroduction with a compelling story. Ethan Cobblepot is clearly to become the focus. Here he is only a supporting character but one with enough intrigue to keep the reader interested. Outside of the story the artwork is back on form.

As I said earlier the previous issues in Rebirth have stretched the series artistically. This issue brings ‘Batgirl’ back to a sleek modern style which really suits its ethos. Chris Wildgoose brings a bit more depth to the art than Babs Tarr. Her artwork, though amazing, often caricatured an anime style. Wildgoose has similarities but has more of an American flare. Still the series looks great from start to finish.

Verdict

‘Batgirl’ #7 is another Rebirth for the series. It’s a little like Barbara’s travels were a mini-Rebirth and this is now the series really finding its stride. There are great ties to the Bat-family and her supporting cast is back. The story is a slow burn but seems to be going to great places.

7/10

‘Batgirl’ #7 is available in store and online now!

Batgirl #7 cover art

Details of new ‘Arkham’ game leak online

Say what you will about the ‘Arkham’ franchise but it has been incredibly successful. From ‘Arkham Asylum’ to ‘City’ through to pre-quel ‘Origins’ and finally ‘Knight’. Even the short spin-off ‘Arkham VR’ for Playstation. Each game has been a huge money spinner for Warner Bros. and for the studios who made them.

Most fans will know that after creating the first, second, fourth and fifth games studio Rocksteady were stepping away from the franchise. That left Warner Bros. Montreal to swoop in and take back the reigns.

Their work on prequel story ‘Arkham Origins’ wasn’t bad but it didn’t live up to Rocksteady’s standards for many fans. Now a disgruntled WB employee has spilled their guts all over Reddit and whatculture.com has brought us a great breakdown of what they learnt about new game ‘Arkham Insurgency’.

We’re only paraphrasing so head to whatculture.com for the full story!

Batman - Arkham Origins

1. It’s another prequel.

Rather than follow on from the rather climactic ending to ‘Knight’ WB Montreal are going back in time again. ‘Origins’ was set during Bruce’s third year as Batman whereas the Rocksteady games covered his eleventh and twelfth years. Plenty of story to mine in the intervening period. Rumour has it ‘Insurgency’ will take place three years after ‘Origins’.

2. Conroy and Hamill are out.

Much like ‘Origins’ the new game will feature Roger Craig Smith as Batman and Troy Baker as Joker. Fans have lauded over Baker’s Joker in his various appearances whilst Craig Smith has had a lacklustre response.

3. Using the ‘Arkham Knight’ game engine.

As whatculture.com points out WB Montreal has had an easy ride at times. For ‘Origins’ they were gifted Rocksteay’s city framework for Gotham. For ‘Insurgency’ the leak reports that the engine built for ‘Knight’ has been gifted to them also.

4. Playable Robin?

The leak also reports that Robin will be a regular playable character throughout ‘Insurgency’. This is following the hugely positive response to fight sequences in ‘Knight’ which allowed players to switch characters. Presumably as this story will be a prequel Robin will this time be Dick Grayson who has appeared as Nightwing in other games.

His costume will reportedly be based more on the New 52 era of the comics. In terms of timeline Robin has been working with Batman for two years when the game starts.

Joker - Arkham Origins

5. Joker.

Well we just told you that Troy Baker is back as Joker. So it should come as no surprise that he is once again included in the games story. The overall story arc of the game is that Arkham Asylum and Blackgate have both seen huge break outs and Gotham is once again overrun with criminals. The leak reports that Joker is the main one leading the breakout but that he is NOT the games main villain.

6. One of the other villains is…

… The Court of Owls! The leak doesn’t give a great deal away about their involvement in the game but if they are anything like they are in the books then this could really set this game up to be great.

7. There will be boss battles.

No elaboration in the leak on this one. Just news that they will make a return after a weak appearance in ‘Knight’.

8. Locations.

‘Insurgency’ will reportedly feature a costal expansion of Gotham not seen in previous games. It sounds a little odd so we’ll reserve judgement on that one until we see it. The leak does state players will be able to explore regions similar in size to that of ‘Knight’ and access to Wayne Manor and the Batcave will be included.

9. Back to the old school Batmobile.

For haters of the tank seen in ‘Knight’ there’s good news from ‘Insurgency’. With the story being set in the past the Batmobile is back to a similar appearance to that seen in ‘Asylum’.

The leak specifically states that there is no battle mode with this Batmobile. Instead Batmobile combat will consist of chase sequences and disabling slow opponents.

Batman - Arkham Origins

10. There’s still a blocked off section of Gotham.

This was inevitable. We’ve yet to have see any ‘Arkham’ game which features a representation of normal life in Gotham. The leak goes on to say that the GCPD has blocked off a section of the city in which they have totally lost control. This will likely be the games main playable arena.

11. Revamped combat.

WB Montreal are giving the combat model an overhaul. The leak states that combat has been expanded to better accommodate 1-on-1 fights. Though the basic premise sounds the same it has been made more complicated to avoid the repetitive nature.

12. Skins.

Over the course of the franchise Rocksteady set the standard in downloadable content and playable skins. The employee behind the leak provided a list of skins that fans can expect to unlock in the game:

Arkham Asylum, Knight, Origins, Begins, BvS, New 52, Rebirth, Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, Adam West Batman, Anime Batman, Batman: Noel, Classic Batman, First Apperance Batmance, Knightfall, Beyond, Earth One, Earth Two, Flashpoint, Red Son, Green Lantern Batman.

The report does state there will be several more skins available.

13. Riddler collectibles & raceways.

whatculture.com highlights that although removing the tank sections is a huge plus for ‘Insurgency’ one of the downsides is the continued inclusion of the Riddler raceways.

It is reported that there are around 100 Riddler trophies throughout the game. It it noted that although the number of trophies may have reduced from previous games they were now much more difficult to find and obtain.

14. Villains, villains and more villains.

We’ve already mentioned Joker and The Court of Owls. How about a roster of supporting characters made up of:

Maxie Zeus, Dollmaker, Killer Moth, Anarky, Two-Face, Blockbuster, Ventriloquist, Cornelius Stirk, Tweedledee & Tweedledum, Dusan al Ghul, Mad Monk, Dala and of courses Riddler.

15. DLC.

The leak reports that ‘Insurgency’ will feature DLC like all the recent ‘Arkham’ games. The report goes in to greater detail on one of those story DLC packs which will focus on Hugo Strange and his relationship with Bruce/Batman.

Take this with a pinch of salt until the game is officially announced by WB Montreal. Hopefully we’ll have some solid news on this soon. Stay tuned!

Is David Ayer teasing Black Mask for ‘Gotham City Sirens’?

David Ayer is up to something. The ‘Suicide Squad’ director tweeted the below message last night which has fans wondering what he is up to.

Back in December it was confirmed that Ayer’s next DCEU project would not be ‘Suicide Squad 2’. That gig is possibly going to Hollywood anti-hero Mel Gibson. Instead Ayer was confirmed to be working with old pal Margot Robbie on a ‘Gotham City Sirens’ film.

Could this latest tweet tease that the villain (or one of the villains) in the film will be Black Mask?

Mel Gibson offers update on ‘Suicide Squad’ 2 talks

On the night ‘Suicide Squad’ won its Oscar director Mel Gibson offered an update to the press on his talks to direct its sequel.  Whilst speaking with Entertainment Tonight Gibson was asked if rumours that he was to direct the film were true. His response?

I don’t know. I just met some guys about story points. It’s not a done deal or anything. But it’s just fun to shoot the bull when it comes to stories. And if we can elevate any kind of concept it’s good. We’ll see.

We’ll likely have to wait a little longer to find out if he’s got the gig. In the meantime you can checkout the interview snippet in the player below!

 

‘Suicide Squad 2’ currently has no release date. We’ll update you as soon as it is officially announced.

[source: ET]>/h4>

BBC releases first teaser for ‘Orphan Black’ season 5

BBC America has unveiled the first teaser trailer for ‘Orphan Black’ season 5. The fifteen second trailer gives away very little about the final batch of episodes.In fact it doesn’t even feature any footage. Just an ominous voiceover by Tatiana Maslany declaring:

We would die for each other. But we will live for each other.

Little is known about the final season at this stage. With three months still to go until the show premieres fans can expect a little more secrecy before plot lines begin to hit the press. Its safe to say that given the precarious position each of the clones were in at the end of season 4 there may not be a huge time jump.

‘Orphan Black’ recently broke the mould for science-fiction shows by picking up its first mainstream Emmy award. Lead actress Tatiana Maslany was awarded the 2016 Emmy for ‘Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series’ having lost out to Viola Davis in 2015.

For those outside the clone club: ‘Orphan Black’ follows the life of Sarah Manning. After witnessing a woman’s suicide, street-wise chameleon Sarah assumes the stranger’s identity, who happens to look just like her. Expecting to solve all her problems by cleaning out the dead woman’s savings, Sarah is instead thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery as she realizes the dizzying truth: she and the dead woman are clones.

As Sarah searches for answers, she discovers the chilling fact that there are more people like her out there – genetically identical individuals who were planted in unsuspecting birth parents and nurtured in completely different circumstances. With no idea who created the clones, she’ll need to discover the reason in a hurry as an assassin is killing them one by one.

You can checkout the teaser in the player below.

‘Orphan Black’ stars Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning, Alison Hendrix, Cosima Niehaus, Helena Manning, Rachel Duncan, Beth Childs, Krystal Goderitch, M.K. and various others. Also starring are Jordan Gavaris as Felix Dawkins, Kevin Handard as Arthur Bell, and Maria Doyle Kennedy as Siobhan Sadler. The series was created by John Fawcett and Graema Manson and is produced by Temple Street Productions; BBC America and Bell Media.

‘Orphan Black’ airs on BBC America in the US and streams via Netflix in the UK. Season 5 premieres on Saturday, June 10th at 10/9c.

Three new ‘Power Rangers’ TV spots released

It’s now under a month to go until ‘Power Rangers’ hits cinemas worldwide. Here in the UK there’s been very little promotion ahead of the March 24th release. But in the US the marketing wagon rolls on. Today three new TV spots have been released and each one contains a few small snippets of new footage.

We’re preparing to start our countdown to ‘Power Rangers’. Starting Thursday, March 9th we’ll be releasing a daily countdown via our social media channels. Look us up on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to follow the countdown and checkout the new TV spots in the players below.

 

 

 

Sabans Power Rangers follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove (and the world) is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover that they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so they will have to overcome their real-life issues and band together as the Power Rangers before it is too late.

Directed by Dean Israelite, Saban’s ‘Power Rangers’ stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, featuring Bill Hader, with Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks. The screenplay is by John Gatins. Story is by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless and Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney. Producers are ‘Power Rangers’ creator Haim Saban, Brian Casentini, Wyck Godfrey, and Marty Bowen.

‘Power Rangers’ hits cinemas on March 24th, 2017.

Task Force X in 'Suicide Squad'

And the Oscar goes to…. ‘Suicide Squad’

Yes you did read that correctly. ‘Suicide Squad’ has indeed won itself an Oscar!

Despite a critical lambasting and segregating its audience in to loves and haters ‘Suicide Squad’ has picked up the award for ‘Best Makeup & Hairstyling’.

The award goes to Alejandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson. Their hard work brought some unique looks to Harley Quinn, Joker and Diablo.

Say what you will but ‘Suicide Squad’ is now an Oscar winning film.

The 'X-Men: DoFP' Cast

Simon Kinberg offers update on ‘X-Men’ franchise

Producer Simon Kinberg has been deeply involved with 20th Century Fox ‘X-Men’ franchise for some time now. He had a hand in writing some of the early films before helping reboot the franchise with ‘X-Men: First Class’ back in 2011. Kinberg is still actively working in the ‘X’ world and in recent interviews has offered updates on where Fox plan to take the franchise in the future.

Kingberg on ‘Gambit’

‘It’s in active development,’ Kinberg said. ‘It’s a movie that we hope will be ready to go by the end of this year and shoot next year. We have two or three X-Men related movies this year so it can wait for a moment. The process has been that Channing [Tatum] is as determined about getting the character right as Ryan Reynolds was about Deadpool and Hugh [Jackman] was about this Logan movie. We know that when we get those right, the movie succeeds so we want to make sure we get Gambit right because we want him to be the beginning of a whole new franchise.’

Kinberg on re-casting Wolverine

‘We haven’t started talking about that,’ he explained. ‘The truth is, we really approached this as, this is really the end of Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine and it very well be the end of Wolverine in the movies. Beyond that, we’ll figure out if there is some other version of him. We haven’t gone down that road. We really approached this as if it were the end.’

Kinberg on directing the next ‘X-Men’ movie

‘I can tell you that the stories of me directing it are premature, but I can also tell you that we are in prep on what the next X-Men movie will be. We can’t confirm what the next movie will be, but I can talk a little about, frankly, what I would do differently if I were to make X-Men: The Last Stand again, which had the Dark Phoenix storyline. I think the big mistake we made with that movie – and if anybody is to blame for it it’s the writer, and I was one of them – it’s that we made the Dark Phoenix the subplot of that film, instead of making it the main plot. The Dark Phoenix story is the biggest, and in many ways the most epic, saga of the X-Men comics, so you can’t make that the B-plot of the movie. If we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to re-tell that story – and certainly, what we did with the end of Days of Future Past gave us the opportunity to re-tell it – I think we all would want to give it the justice and the space to breath that it deserves.’

It seems like there’s a lot going on in the ‘X-Men’ world right now. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have retired. Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are at the end of their contracts. This is a real period of change. Where would you like to see the franchise go next?

Patrick Stewart confirms ‘X-Men’ retirement

Many of us expected that ‘Logan’ may be Sir Patrick Stewart’s final outing as Professor X. Overnight the veteran of the ‘X-Men’ franchise confirmed the news to the press. Speaking at a screening of ‘Logan’ Stewart had this to say:

A week ago, Friday night in Berlin, the three of us sat, watching the movie, and I was so moved by it, much more moved than I had been the first time of seeing it. Maybe it was the company of these two guys, but the movie ended and, this is an admission, but at one point [Hugh] reached out, and he took my hand in those last few minutes, and I saw him go [mimes wiping a tear from his eye] like this, and then I realised I had just done the same thing. Then, the movie ended… and we were going to be taken up on stage, but not until the credits were over. So, we had some time to sit there and, as I sat there I realised there will never be a better, a more perfect, a more sensitive, emotional, and beautiful way of saying au revoir to Charles Xavier than this movie. So, I told [Hugh] that same evening, I am done too. It is all over.

As the only two stars of the first ‘X-Men’ film to still be regularly appearing it makes sense for them to bow out together. If ‘Logan’ reviews are to be believed this will ensure both actors leave the franchise on a high. All that remains is for us to say thanks for the memories. We will miss you.

Ben Affleck congratulates Matt Reeves on ‘The Batman’!

Last night the internet went in to overdrive as Warner Bros. announced that Matt Reeves will direct ‘The Batman’. Fans were concerned at Warner Bros. decision to not include a quote or any mention of Ben Affleck in the official press release.

Those fears were put to rest last night when Affleck himself tweeted Reeves to congratulate him on taking over the directors chair.

His tweet even included a nice screenshot straight from Batcave! DC Chief Geoff Johns was quick to echo Affleck’s comments:

Matt Reeves was, of course, thankful of the congratulations in his own tweet.

Now these three can get down to work on creating the best version of Batman that they can. We’ll bring you news on the production schedule and official release as soon as details are available.