Stephen Gerding, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Darth Vader hot air balloon riiiiises in New Jersey sky

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A Jedi Master or Sith Lord might use the Force  to levitate themselves, but this weekend, they’ll just need a little hot air.

The 33rd annual New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is under way, and this year’s special balloon designs include a pair of Star Wars-themed entries, with Yoda and Darth Vader vying for bragging rights as the show’s most popular.

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Meet Furiosa, the Jedi, in mind-blowing ‘Mad Max,’ ‘Star Wars’ mash-up

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I never really considered it before, but the desert planet of Tatooine really is a perfect match for the sandy, post-apocalyptic reality inhabited by the denizens of George Miller’s “Mad Max” epic. Thankfully, YouTube user Krishna Shenoi realized exactly that, and put their considerable skills to work, creating exactly the sort of story we’re unlikely to ever see on the big screen.

The mash-up merges footage from the currently-in-theaters “Fury Road” with bits and pieces from across the “Star Wars” films. The result is something you never knew you wanted — and yet once you’ve watched it, you’ll find yourself wondering how we could live in a world where it’s not a reality.

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Celebrate ‘Ant-Man’ with appropriately sized menus, photos at Alamo Drafthouse

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While multitudes of moviegoers will flock to theaters this weekend in order to take in Marvel Studios’ latest release, as best as I can tell, only those attending a showing at Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX will get the full “Ant-Man” experience.

Alamo is more than a movie theater; it’s a full-fledged restaurant, where patrons eat and drink while enjoying a night at the movies. For “Ant-Man,” Alamo has replaced its usual menus with special theme-sized copies, complete with a magnifying glass.

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Heroes and villain collide in epic fanmade ‘Justice League’ trailer

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Though the lack of existing footage from Warner Bros. upcoming Justice League prevented the studio from even thinking about giving fans a look at the anticipated film (production has not even begun on the movie) that didn’t stop YouTube user AlexLuthor from using his imagination — and not inconsiderable editing skills — from creating his own trailer for the upcoming superhero blockbuster.

Using the speech Russell Crowe’s Jor-El made for his son, Kal-El, as the voiceover, and incorporating footage from Star Trek, Conan the Fast & Furious franchise, The CW’s Flash and, yes, the new trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, AlexLuthor has crafted an impressive, action-packed teaser that incorporates the entire announced Justice League roster, and pits them against an inspired choice of foe.

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Batman, Superman collide with ‘Thomas & Friends’ for unexpected mash-up

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It really shouldn’t come as a surprise when two very different, yet very popular franchises come together for a special crossover or mash-up. And yet, I don’t think anyone could have seen this one coming: Thomas the Tank Engine meets the DC Universe.

Debuting on YouTube, a new cartoon short features the cast of the pre-school juggernaut franchise as Superman, Batman and Cyborg tackling a pair of iconic DC villains to save the day.

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SDCC: Doctor Who teams with Batman in new ‘LEGO Dimensions’ trailer

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Peter Capaldi provides the voice of the Twelfth Doctor in a new trailer for the upcoming LEGO Dimensions video game. The Doctor Who expansion pack will team the time traveling hero — every incarnation ever! — with Batman, Wyldstyle and Gandalf as the team race to save the universe, LEGO War Doctor, Cybermen and Daleks be damned!

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Dallas comic shop opens late in anticipation of same-sex marriage ruling

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While it’s always annoying to arrive at your local comic shop only to discover that they’re closed during business hours, customers of Dallas store Red Pegasus Games & Comics are discovering today that sometimes there’s a good reason for the inconvenience.

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WWE’s Stardust insults, challenges ‘Arrow’ star Stephen Amell

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Stardust may have lost his match last night on Monday Night Raw, but that didn’t keep the WWE’s resident supervillain from continuing his recent Twitter war with television superhero and longtime WWE fan Stephen Amell.

After kicking off his pre-match ritual by leaning over the guardrail and hissing in the face of the Arrow star, Stardust (aka Cody Rhodes) was unsuccessful in his bid to defeat the high-flying Neville. Of course, if you take commentator JBL’s word for it, Stardust’s poor showing was due to being embarrassed “right out here in front of his nemesis, the Arrow.”

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Donate to charity for a chance to party with Robert Downey Jr.

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Last week, Robert Downey Jr. simultaneously revealed the Iron Man-themed poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron and promised a “big announcement” arriving eight days later.

While the aforementioned announcement isn’t slated to arrive until Thursday, Downey took to social media again today to promote his and Marvel Studios’ involvement in a promotion for Julia’s House, a children’s hospice charity.

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‘Ms. Marvel’ rockets to the #1 slot on Marvel’s digital sales chart

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It looks like Marvel’s emphasis on reaching a female audience may be paying off for Ms. Marvel.

The first issue of the teenaged superhero’s series debuted last Wednesday to a chorus of critical acclaim, just one day after Marvel editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso spoke with The Washington Post about the publisher’s enhanced focus on female characters and creators — along with Ms. Marvel, new series have been launched (or will be launched) featuring female heroes Black Widow, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel and Elektra; under the “All-New Marvel NOW!” initiative. “While we don’t have any market research, the eyes don’t lie,” Alonso said in his interview. “If you go to conventions and comic book stores, more and more female readers are emerging. They are starved for content and looking for content they can relate to.”

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Ennis teases reunion with Goran Parlov on Punisher miniseries

parlov_punnyAfter teasing it in August, Garth Ennis has reaffirmed his inevitable return to the world of Frank Castle.

In an interview with Comic Book Resources promoting Titan Comics’ “Battle Classics” collection, which Ennis is curating, the writer dropped some new details about his as-yet unscheduled Punisher miniseries.

“I finished it last summer,” Ennis said. “I think [artist] Goran Parlov is finishing up another story before he gets stuck in.” Parlov, who teamed previously with Ennis on the recently concluded 13-issue Fury MAX and the Marvel MAX volume of The Punisher, is now working with writer Mark Millar on the Image Comics series Starlight.

Ennis first wrote Frank Castle in 1995’s Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, and has since tackled the vigilante in a number of series and miniseries, based both in and out of Marvel’s mainstream continuity. His most recent turn with the character in the 2009 weekly Punisher War Zone, illustrated by his frequent collaborator, Steve Dillon.

Marvel had no comment on the project, echoing its statement when word of the project first surfaced in 2013: “Stay tuned.”

Kupperberg-era Doom Patrol joins the fight against Crime Syndicate

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With a little more than two years under its belt, DC Comics’ New 52 still has plenty of corners left to explore and hundreds of characters of varying levels of popularity to re-introduce. (Where are you, Wally West?) So when I saw Celsius, Negative Woman and Tempest pop up in this week’s Justice League #24, I couldn’t help but smile a little.

Combined with the New 52 Robotman, who’s sporting a look very similar to the one Cliff Steele had when that version of the team debuted in 1977’s Showcase #94, we officially have Paul Kupperberg’s Doom Patrol joining the ever-growing ranks of “new” heroes opposing the seemingly all-powerful Crime Syndicate. But certainly more interesting than that, this panel, almost a throwaway, fills out the current DCU in a way we haven’t seen much since the early days of the relaunch.

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Affleck’s Bat-casting is now disrupting board games

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The Internet virtually ripped in two when Warner Bros. announced Ben Affleck as its new Batman, with message boards, social media and comment sections exploding with opinions on whether or not the Oscar-winning director has the acting chops to do the Dark Knight justice, much less convincingly go toe-to-toe in an all-out battle with Superman.

And while we’re still a good two years away from finding out how well the actor fills the boots left vacant by the departing Christian Bale, Affleck’s casting isn’t done upsetting the cosmic balance just yet. Yesterday, Good Job Brain, a podcast dedicated to quiz shows and trivia, tweeted a photo illustrating how something as simple as casting a new Batman can have implications that reach far beyond the world of comics and film … to family game night.

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Chris Davis strikes Superman pose for ‘Orioles Magazine’

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A few weeks ago, I posted an item about baseball’s reigning home run leader Chris Davis, aka “Crush” Davis, aka the Hulk, aka Thor. Despite being the ones that bestowed upon him the “Crush” moniker, however, the Baltimore Orioles seem determined to make Davis’ visage and power synonymous with a different hero: Superman.

With the All-Star break fast approaching, Davis is not only heading into the middle of the 2013 season with 32 homers (a club record, and only one away from his previous season-high), he’s also gracing the cover of this season’s second issue of Orioles Magazine. For his photo shoot, the first baseman struck an iconic pose — DC Comics is now referring to as #Clarkkenting — tearing open his contract-signing outfit to proudly display the now familiar orange and black t-shirt given away to fans on Chris Davis appreciation night earlier this summer.

The magazine is available inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards for $5, or you can subscribe online for $25.

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What is Marvel’s ‘Share Your Universe’?

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When the art for Joshua Hale Fialkov and Leonard Kirk’s “Hunger” was released earlier today, the Adi Granov-illustrated covers had a slightly different treatment from what we’ve seen since the publisher’s Marvel NOW! initiative launched. Nestled in the red band at the bottom of the cover is the phrase “Share Your Universe,” positioned directly next to the now-familiar “Bonus Digital Edition” bug.

With Marvel referring to its online Fan Network as “Your Universe” for some time now, and the word “share” is linked to various social networking mediums, the possibility also exists that the publisher is gearing up to launch its own social media network. Of course, the phrase’s proximity to the digital comics logo could give fans the impression that the House of Ideas may be actively encouraging those who buy print copies of their purchases to share the codes with other readers.

When approached by ROBOT 6, Marvel was tightlipped about the new cover addition, simply stating, “As some press noticed in a recent retailer update, Share Your Universe is something important that we’re announcing in July.”


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