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Happy Holidays from Third Rail Design Lab!

Joao and I would like to wish you all a safe and happy holidays. Here’s a pair of Carol Danvers pics for our annual holiday release. I drew 80s era Ms. Marvel, and Joao did the contemporary Captain Marvel look. Prints available shortly. Cheers from your pals at Third Rail Design Lab~

Blame it on SKRULLS! – Robots Root 25 July 2017

It’s gonna be raining SKRULLS IN PLAID soon enough, cousins! Onward… into Robot’s Root:

  • Lots of #SDCC material we haven’t talked about or did so piecemeal, so here:
    • Gifted trailer (fox) – not optimistic, though I do generally prefer Jamie Chung over no Jamie Chung. As much as I love references between films or between TV and film series that show connections in the story, it’s fraught with challenge and often doesn’t work (or goes in one direction only, awkwardly)… so I give them a little bit of credit for making Gifted it’s own continuity, and not sharing with Legion or the films. That said, it’s fraught with mainstream viewer confusion and seems like a matter of time before James Marsten or whomever will show up on one of these shows anyway… that’s a bad example I guess, being a recast victim.
    • New Defenders trailer, with slightly more cohesion. I’m 100% on board. Doubly so, now that they’ve announced a new showrunner for Iron Fist S-2. Granted it’s the guy who brought you the Elektra film, but still. Also, Misty Knight added, so there’s that.
    • Stranger Things S02 trailer completely owned my attention.
    • Talk about coming from behind, so to speak: Star Trek Discovery is looking sharp!
    • Westworld S02 trailer here, which I didn’t watch, because please please please blackout.
    • I saw Spidey with my man Lung the other night, and during the same tired Justice League trailer he turned to me, fueled by some tequila, to be fair, and announced the JL film was going to “kick ass”… I have been far less optimistic just from the monotony of the early trailer images of the dark mucky muck fighting environment and the blah generic dark mucky muck Parademons, and my personal grievance, the horribly written ‘You… me… the others…’ followed by WW asking again about ‘the others’… UGH UGH UUUUUUGH. That said, new trailer brings the hope back, doesn’t it? Plus, news of Flash now being a Flashpoint storyline is encouraging too. I love multiverse stuff. Speaking of, Steppenwolf in the new trailer says a few choice things: he mentions Lanterns… and he says THIS world will fall, like all the others. More multiverse business!

    • And the Alex Ross references are DOOOPE. Meanwhile, the buzz on the supernet is about how Henry Caville’s MI6 mustache is causing much digital post-editing of reshoot material on Whedon’s JL-fixery. Setting aside the fact that this sort of thing isn’t as uncommon as people seem to think, I was amused by a tweet by McQuarry, hard at work on MI6, that basically said that if they had to add a fake mustache to Cavill on MI6 it would need to be held on by staples. Funny, not just because it sidesteps that they could be adding it digitally just as easily (but shouldn’t as it’s their time and contract now, for Cavill, not JL) but because it’s a clever way of reminding people that the MI films are all action and will be fun and kinetic. Good move!
    • So Captain Marvel will be set in the 90s and feature the Skrulls. I’m really, REALLY, enthused about this. Different time period, use of my favorite Marvel alien race, just ripe for drama and betrayal, etc… all the interesting things we get design-wise by going early 90s… I mean, I’m thrilled. Now, how to shunt Carol to the modern era afterward? We aren’t going to be burying Brie Larson’s radiance in makeup… already did that, and understandably so, with Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter.  As for how Marvel is playing in the FF toolbox, remember, all sorts of things have been cooking behind the scenes between Disney Marvel and Sony Marvel and Fox Marvel… here’s concept art, which is quite reassuring, costume-wise.
    • Probably the most exciting material that has been officially released from the show (ie. not Infinity War mumble grumble) is the new Ragnarok trailer, which causes aneurysms of yeee. The idea that a lot of this film was improvised (and not in an IM1 way) despite Disney scrutiny makes me very happy. That’s what you hire Waititi for. I’m looking at YOU, Star Wars Disney.
  • I do like the cinematic Spidey suit a LOT. I’m much less enthused about what people are calling the Iron Spidey but is really just Limited Edition Gold Foil Variant Spidey from Infinity Wars. I wish we were getting the ‘Superior Spider-Man’ concept suit instead.
  • Here’s some generally underwhelming Ant-Man and Wasp poster art. I’m surprised. Meanwhile, Michelle Pfeiffer joins as Janet Van Dyne? Interesting pairing with Michael Douglas. Bring on the de-aging FX!
  • I’m really interested in Ed Piskor’s experimental X-Men project. First, his Hip-Hop Family Tree series was and is amazing. But beyond that, I guess I have a personal interest in the ‘grand summary’ concept of distilling a metric ton of continuity into a single story. I’ve loved mini-series or other projects that poke into different periods in ‘original continuity’ Marvel* and on a highly specific, and self-promoting note, it’s essentially what I’m doing with the TRDL Universe: there’s a huge amount of content in the timeline for this world, described in the sourcebooks… I could never illustrate it all… but I CAN illustrate snapshots in the timeline, weaving a common thread between them, which is what we have cooking. Anyway, I’m stoked on the project.

 

*I say ‘original continuity’ because all the callbacks seem to be written by writers like me who are my age and have been reading since I have, and are going back to the pre-retcon era of Marvel, ie. prior to the relaunches and rewrites and universe redefinitioning that Marvel succumbed to, the way DC had since the 80s… to me it’s everything from the 60s to the very early 90s, and then more or less into the early 2000s, after which Marvel continuity ate itself, orobouros style. Admittedly, we’ve played fast and loose with continuity from the golden age… but I mean, I don’t even know how time WORKS at Marvel anymore. Even beyond the multiversing and universe rewriting and dimensional folding and all this, and even beyond largely ignoring the lack of aging of many characters and the fix of truncating time so that events in the 60s happened ‘a few years ago’ in current continuity, etc I bristle when we see a retelling of early stories, set in continuity, where people are using cell phones and modern affectations… I get that it’s a paradox, that we can’t let the X-Men be birthed in the 60s while at the same time not have the original X-Men be in their late 60s/early 70s… but I guess for me, that’s what I WANT to see. Aged heroes, young next gen people picking up the costumes, etc. One of the most interesting things in Marvel continuity has been when Steve Rogers would lose the serum and be suddenly a senior (with abs)… and recently, with Old Man Logan shunted into main continuity, same deal. But comics are written, traditionally for tweens and teens in a three year looping window of attention span, and I get that. Anyway.

I Will Not Kill You – 11 Aug 2016

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Well, I’ve been waiting all day for this one. No disappointments, other than that they should have never revealed Vader, period. But hot damn.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frdj1zb9sMY

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Watch carefully for this scene!

Meanwhile, somewhere in space, this is happening:

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ITEM: Brad Kremer just released a digital animated homage to the opening sequence in Akira, and it burns, IT BURNS. With white hot rage that i cannot see a digital or live action version of this film that is this faithful to the imagery and tone that made the original OAV so good.

“This project started many years ago when both Dean and I lived on Tybee Island. I came to Dean with the idea to do a tribute “trailer” to Akira. As a long time fan of the original film he of course loved the idea! As we brainstormed the story that we wanted to explore from the film we settled on focusing primarily on the bike. The Akira bike is one of those iconic symbols that still remains relevant today similar to the Millennium Falcon or Marty McFly’s beat up DeLorean.
Since that first day when Dean and I began this journey we have both moved a number of times. But we always kept the project alive with a lot of late nights (mostly from Dean), re-edits and re-renders, and a lot of discussions about how to improve it. And so, after countless hours of modeling and rendering we are ready to share with you this short tribute to the masterpiece that Katsuhiro Otomo created and shared with us so many years ago. We hope you enjoy!”
https://vimeo.com/178071267

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ITEM: Die Antwoord have taken to IG to accuse David Ayers and his design team of apeing their steez. I think it’s mostly a stretch. But three watches, hey!
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter … ebook-post

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ITEM: Meanwhile, Ayers describes SS as an ‘anarchic punk rock art film’ and states it was never envisioned as an R-rated film, which we know. I can’t help but think he is protesting long and hard that there wasn’t a hellstorm of studio interference after BVS in the editing room, but I also think he’s been savvy ie. anti Trank, and resisting the defensive urge to bite the studio hands that fed him. Which actually isn’t very punk rock… but look, I think when they sign on to these big tentpoles they go in knowing the final product will be a mutation beyond their original vision, and some directors, like Ayers, takes it as part of the game, and considers it behind the curtain business not to be vented about, and others are less prepared, and complain. And I say all this, prior to writing or recording my review of the film, as someone who saw many flaws, or particularly missed opportunities, and especially noticed signs of heavy editing… but still REALLY had fun, so haters gon’ hate, and I appreciate Ayers for standing up for the commercial product he created. Additionally, I like his connections between choice and addiction, though it wasn’t as apparent in the film. PS, he indicated Joker killed Robin, not Harley.
http://geektyrant.com/news/david-ayer-d … -art-movie

Also, also, laughably these dudes are trying to sue because of not enough Joker, etc. I love it. Good luck, kids. It is QUITE apparent they cut a lot of Joker out of it, and not just from Leto’s running commentary, either. The trailer material alone, the narrative… and in fact, as an aside I’ll talk more about later, I LIKE that what they DID leave in paints the Joker/Harley romance as a love affair rather than a perpetual mindfuck of domestic violence.
https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comment … ng_to_sue/

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ITEM: William Gibson was online in this post the other day, answering reader’s questions about T H E F U T U R E. As usual, he amazes me.
http://io9.gizmodo.com/ask-sci-fi-legen … 1784987666

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ITEM: According to scuttlebutt being copied and pasted everywhere, Aquaman’s main villain will be Black Manta. I mean, OF COURSE. Does he HAVE any other villains? I love that head. (thatswhatshe)
http://io9.gizmodo.com/black-manta-will … 1785102267

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ITEM: Speaking of Aquaman, Momoa is apparently finalizing negotiations on the Crow, over Guinness. Or something. I see self0indulgent hashtags and I stop reading.
http://mashable.com/2016/08/10/aquaman- … w87c0CekqY

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ITEM: This just in, if you have a 3D TV (as I do) and you want every last bonus item (which I don’t) then you have to go get the Blu-Rays AGAIN. Dodge! I haven’t used the true 3D feature in my TV forever…
http://io9.gizmodo.com/sorry-you-have-t … 1785105334

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ITEM: Good news re: Captain Marvel… they are tweaking the backstory to be less like Green Lantern. Bad news re: Captain marvel… there is an origin story PERIOD.
http://geektyrant.com/news/marvel-is-ch … en-lantern

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ITEM: As was reported last week, the Tinkerer is apparently in Spidey: Homecoming, and being played by Michael Cherrus. Now, what just started floating around is that the Shocker makes an appearance. Awkward contemporary name references aside, if true, I do hope it is, as we talked about on the Robot-Kraken Podcast, a matter of multiple villains employed to decoy or work together ehind someone else’s agenda, and not just a pile-on. (“PAWNS jump Queen!”)
http://geektyrant.com/news/michael-cher … homecoming

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New costume alert: spidey deeper in disguise, courtesy of my son.

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ITEM: Your Mignola moment for today: Grim Death, a prose novel coming later this year…

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ITEM: I LOVE what they did with Vader’s cape in this cover art.

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This, on the other hand…

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ITEM: Finally, I’m still obsessed with No Man’s Sky, even though I have no intention of playing it. I don’t have that kind of time! I don’t have ANY time. But I love the idea of an open world space exploration game where the planets and their denizens are fractally-generated. So next level.
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games … ExploreCTA

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Lots to know in advance if you plan to dive right in…
http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/ … 77ed482b7f

Because it can get ugly…
http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/11/12429 … ree-ps4-pc

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But hey, good luck looking for that Giant Snake seen in the promo material a few years ago, but yet to have been discovered and documented among all the early release and current users…
http://kotaku.com/the-hunt-for-no-mans- … 1785157062


_________________
Chief of Ninja Group
SUPEESU. MADDONISSU.

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