The Fantastic Four comic book series has been a fan favorite since its original run, dating back to 1961. All good things, as they say, must come to an end and Fantastic Four’s days are numbered. It has been announced that FF will be concluding its run in June of 2015, much to its fans’ displeasure. Cynical fans have been quick to point out that the cancellation date coincides quite nicely with the release of the Josh Tank helmed Fantastic Four big screen reboot, which is leading many to speculate that the cancellation of the comic series is due to Marvel’s attempt to sabotage the new movie. While it may appear to be a valid conspiracy theory, and everyone adores a good conspiracy theory, this one is made entirely of whole cloth. (more…)
Back in the hallowed 90s, Marvel Comics decided that one era of heroes wasn’t good enough, so they decided to take readers to the future, the year 2099 to be precise. Punisher, Doctor Doom, The Hulk, Ghost Rider, The X-Men, all had doppelgangers 100 years after the existence of the present day Marvel Universe, but naturally, the most popular was Spider-Man 2099. And because everything old is new again, we’re going to revisit the world of 2099 when Peter David brings the 2099 Spidey, and his alter ego Miguel O’Hara, to the present day in the all-new Spider-Man 2099. (more…)
During NYCC our Anne Sisk got a chance to spend some time with Epic Mickey 2 and some of the behind the scenes talent that is working to make it a reality. This is her report:
Disney follows up their Wii hit, Epic Mickey, with the multi-platform Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, available November 18th. This time Mickey and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit team up for more adventures, bringing new features to the franchise.
The most notable difference this time around is that the characters actually talk. Oswald (voiced by Frank Welker) and Mickey (voiced by Bret Iwan) are joined by Gremlin Gus (Carey Elwes), Yen Sid (Mike Himselstein) and the Mad Doctor (Dave Wittenberg). Finding the right voice for the Gremlins, based on the abandoned Roald Dahl/Disney collaboration, was important as Gremlin Gus serves as a guide through the game.
Expanding on the demographic-crossing appeal of Epic Mickey (the audience split evenly across gender and age ranges), Epic Mickey 2 hopes to foster further engagement by introducing a co-player option. There are tasks within the game that require character-specific skills (like Mickey’s paintbrush wielding or Oswald’s ear-powered flight), so be prepared to play with a friend or switch between characters to make it through the levels.
Epic Mickey 2 also offers a more customized game, adapting based on the style of play. Inkwells that help Mickey and Oswald along fill with invisible or indelible ink, depending on the way each player tackles challenges. Running through levels on the lookout for a fight? Inkwells fill with indelible ink, helping you make it through unscathed. More of a lover, less of a fighter? You’ll probably get invisible ink instead, letting you sneak through the tough spots. The ink does eventually wear off, through both time and damage.
This time, you can also outfit your characters in different, collectible costumes. Costumes, once assembled, add advantages to gameplay – in addition to looking quite snappy. You can take advantage of costumes at the various Photo Op Areas throughout the game.
Want something more out of your gaming experience? Keep an eye out for the 150 pins hidden throughout the Epic Mickey 2 world. All pins are available on a single play-through (though it might take a very observant and very obsessive single play-through to get them all). Collect pins and show them off in your main gallery – or use them for their (rumored) influence within the game.
Epic Mickey 2 also brings you an improved camera system and a better mapping system, resolving some player complaints from the original game. There are new worlds to explore, including Nature’s Wonderland and the Rainbow Caverns. And this time, the world has gone musical. Musical cut-scenes make the game feel just a bit more like a classic Disney production.
Having had the opportunity to play through a bit of the game, it looks fantastic. The co-op seems natural, playing to each character’s strengths. The worlds are vibrant with a hint of the slightly-askew (understandable because this is Oswald attempting to recreate a world he’s never actually seen). The game is tricky enough to be interesting, but not so fidgety as to be disheartening.
I asked about the possibility of a shared component – some co-operative system, or at least a way to share those pins that we kept hearing about. That’s not in the plan for this game, unfortunately, so I started to worry about the longevity of the gaming experience. Make it through the levels and, well, that’s it. The team behind Epic Mickey 2 has taken that into consideration it seems, creating boards rich in detail, full of hidden elements to find and areas to explore. Add to that the collecting drive for both the pins and the costumes and it feels like Epic Mickey 2 is a game that can last beyond the initial play-through.
Launching in concert with Epic Mickey 2 is the standalone Power of Illusion, available only on the Nintendo 3DS. Based on Disney’s Castle of Illusion, The Power of Illusion presents a bit of forgotten video game history while embracing the pure joy and simplicity of the 16 bit, side-scrolling game. Defeat Mizrabel by rescuing more than thirty classic characters from her traps. Once you rescue a character, he shows up in your fortress. Help that character out and he’ll update your fortress for you. The goal is to free all of the characters and end with a fully-restored castle.
What aren’t we getting with the release of Epic Mickey 2? Unfortunately, a few things. There won’t be a collectors’ edition of the game released in North America – though, there is one planned for other markets. Likewise, the Epic Mickey 2 graphic novel will not be released to North American markets, making Peter David’s adaptation a must-find-on-eBay release.
You can’t believe how active he is, bouncing right in front of you and talking about a litany of projects that make a man 1/3 his age exhausted by the prospective workload.
Stan Lee doesn’t stop, he never has, and you half wonder if he ever will. Right now, the co-creator of some of Marvel’s most well known and beloved characters has set his sights on conquering viral videos, launching Stan Lee’s World of Heroes — a Youtube channel with shows from Lee, fellow comic writer Peter David, reality TV star Adrianne Curry, journalist Jenna Busch, and others.
Lee talked about why he would start a new project, his cameos, his favorite cocktail, and what he thinks of all these comic book reboots during a brief roundtable following the World of Heroes panel at New York Comic Con. Here now is that interview:
On starting a new project after all he has done:
Oh, because it’s fun. It’s not like working. Everything I do is like playing. If you think about it, I’m with glamorous people, and we’re doing things that we hope entertain other people. People seem to love what we’re doing and come over and thanks us for it. Who would ever want to give that up?
On his numerous cameos in the Marvel Movie Universe:
Those cameos, I love them. In fact I was talking to somebody who’s connected to DC and I was saying to him just before: “You’ve got to get me a cameo in a DC movie.”
On his favorite cocktail:
Anything I drink with you on Cocktails with Stan (he says to Jenna Busch). No, my favorite drink, if you mean real drink is a screwdriver, but I ask for half as much vodka as you’d normally put in it because I can go crazy with liquor.
It was at this point in the proceedings that I could see that time was winding down — Stan had a flight to catch, so I quickly asked the Fearless Leader a couple of questions of my own.
Stan, you had a hand in creating so many iconic characters, now we’re in the era of reboots. Is there any character you’d want to go back and change if you could?
Stan Lee: Yeah, there was one character I did called Diablo, a villain, and I liked the name and we were on a fast deadline and we did the story. And I can’t remember to this day what his personality was or what his deal was or what the hell he was all about. Diablo is the only character I don’t think I did a good job on.
Quick follow up: The reboots that have been going on, do you think that they’ve had a negative effect on what you and your contemporaries did?
Stan Lee: No, I think you need those reboots because you can’t keep doing the same things over. If you stop to think, even the books; every month, month after month and so many versions. It’s not just one Spider-Man book there’s I don’t know how many Spider-Man titles that come out and it’s the same thing with all of them.
You can and should check out Stan Lee’s World of Heroes on YouTube by clicking here.
We feel it is our duty at the ol’ NerdBastards to present you with all the awesomeness that occurs withing our Nerd realm. We give you now; The Amory Wars it’s the brain child of Coheed and Cambria front man Claudio Sanchez. Each album the band releases corresponds to a series of comics. So not only do you get the comic it’s got it’s own fucking soundtrack. That’s not to say that the comic makes no sense without the music. This little guy holds it’s own against the big boys- no problem. (Suck it, Superman)
The full story after the jump…