Nerd Bytes is all the news nerds love to hear about from the comic book, movie, television, video game, and other nerdy industries. We know you can’t catch it all in your fast-paced lives, so we catch it for you, and post it here in easy to read Nerd Bytes. One stop shopping for the Nerd Brain! Enjoy!
WHO BYTE: The waiting is almost over for Dr. Who fans who have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of who will be the twelfth Doctor to make the Tardis his or her home. By the time this article posts on Sunday August 4th you should have your answer. The BBC network, at 7pm UK time, will finally reveal the answer in a Lebron-like live show hosted by Zoe Ball. American readers who don’t want to miss the show make sure your computers are fired up at 2pm EDT/ 11am PDT to see the outcome. Matt Smith and Steven Moffat will join Ball on the show along with the new Doctor. Speculation has been rampant for months and I’m sure one of the speculated actors will be the choice. I have a feeling that regardless the outcome, there will be a decisive split between fans of, and against the decision. There always seems to be an argument following every such change. Stay tuned! UPDATE: It was just announced that the 12th Doctor Who will be Peter Capaldi (The Hours, The Thick of It). From the crowd reaction at the live announcement show, the fans are pleased! Matt Smith called it a canny choice, and wished Capaldi luck! Check out our in-depth coverage (HERE)
X-MEN BYTE: The Avengers have been dominating the news these days with their epic Infinity event, but they aren’t the only heroes in the Marvel Universe that will be having a big fall (pun intended). The X-Men are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, and Marvel Comics is giving the readers the gifts. X-Men: Battle of the Atom will be the first X-Men crossover event since Second Coming in 2010. This event is the brain-child of Jason Aaron (Wolverine and the X-Men), with assists from Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men), and Brian Wood (X-men). Bendis said of the collaboration, “Jason Aaron came to us with this idea. Jason pitched big and he scored. Jason came to everyone with the bare essentials of this idea and everybody got really excited about it because it was all the things we liked about the X-Men. It spoke to the legacy of the entire franchise while at the same time focusing on the future.” Battle of the Atom will focus on the issue of the original X-Men, who have come to the present timeline in Bendis’s All-New X-Men. The current X-Men are split between helping them and sending them back to their time. A mysterious new team of future X-Men have no such questions! Their only goal is to send the original crew back to the past by any means necessary. One can only wonder what effect their presence has already had on the often abused time-line of the Marvel Universe. X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 by Bendis and artist Frank Cho will hit the shelves in September. The story will continue in Uncanny X-Men, All-New X-Men, Wolverine & The X-Men and X-Men into October, ending with X-Men: Battle of The Atom #2 by Aaron and an as yet unknown artist. The three writers have guaranteed that the mutant side of the Marvel Universe will never be the same.
SUPERMAN v BATMAN BYTE: The whole world is still buzzing with the announcement of the upcoming Superman/Batman movie. Speculation about whether they will fight or be a team, who will don the Cowl of Batman, and what, if any effect will this have on the future Justice League movie have been the most prevalent questions. Maybe one of them has been answered, or maybe it’s just a coincidence. Zack Snyder has a history of adapting the work of Frank Miller. Snyder directed 300, and is the screenwriter for the sequel 300: Rise of an Empire. So it’s not at all surprising Snyder would seek out Miller to have a conversation about his upcoming Superman-Batman movie. A ‘source close to Miller’ said, “He’s [Miller] going to be meeting up with Zack in the next few days to go over the plans for the Superman film so things should be clearer after that”. It seems that this film will be a Superman film, with Batman as a prominent supporting character, which is exactly the opposite of Miller’s original Dark Knight story. Could it be that this movie might be some sort of retelling of the Dark Knight from Superman’s point of view? No one is willing to admit to anything at this point. For now Miller’s meeting with Snyder will be nothing more than a couple of friends getting together for a chat about a Superman Movie. There will certainly be more to come on this story!
LEGENDARY BYTE: Now that Grant Morrison has finished his run with Batman: Incorporated its time for his next gem. It may just be the upcoming Annihilator from Legendary Comics. The publisher has released the cover for the first issue of the book as illustrated by series artist Frazer Irving. The cover gives readers a brief glimpse into the mind of Morrison. This story is described as screenwriter Ray Spass’s struggle with writing the next big screenplay. His troubles are compounded as he is diagnosed with a brain tumor. This tumor may kill him or it may be the best thing that could have happened to him (yeah I know, Morrison at his best). The tumor has the side-effect of bringing fictional anti-hero Max Nomax to life. He is caught in an epic struggle against the authoritarian artificial life form Vada and it’s chief assassin, Jet Makro. Ray’s tumor contains the memories of Nomax, transferred there as he escaped from an impossible prison into reality. Ray needs to use the memories to finish his screenplay. Nomax also needs Ray to finish his screenplay so he can get his memories back and figure out how to defeat Vada and save his universe, before the assassin Jet Makro finds Nomax and Ray. Confused? Good, that’s just the reaction Morrison thrives on.
STAR WARS BYTE: I’m not sure how this byte got past San Diego and made it all the way to the European Celebration, but the fans that attended were certainly pleased. They were given a preview of the concept art for the new animated series Star Wars Rebels. Executive producer Dave Filoni unveiled drawings by concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, giving fans a glance into the future of Star Wars Rebels. Additionally executive producers Simon Kinberg and Greg Weisman sent a video message to the attendees outlining the time period of the story and some basic plot points. They explained that Star Wars Rebels will take place in the 20 years between Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The series is said to be set in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire begins to take shape.
THOR BYTE: As the eagerly awaited sequel to Thor inches ever closer, Marvel Studios has released another new poster image of the film. Thor: The Dark World is promoted as Thor’s desperate attempt to protect his love, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) from an attack by the denizens of the dark world of Svartalfheim. It seems that even old animosities between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) must be put aside to save the human woman. After the less than stellar premier of Wolverine last week is Marvel bumping up the promotion schedule to insure the success of Thor: The Dark World? I don’t think so. Wolverine didn’t flop by any means. It will certainly make a nice profit world-wide, but it didn’t meet the lofty expectations set for it. My opinion, as if anyone asked, is that the X-Franchise has lost steam due to the convoluted continuity mess created by the previous films. Thor has no such past and shouldn’t be affected by any of it. The best thing that could happen is for Marvel Studios to get back the rights to the X-Men from 20th Century Fox. It’s one of the few franchises that I would agree desperately needs a reboot!
KIRBY BYTE: In case you missed it, the movie Argo, was pretty cool. It’s the “based-on-true” story of how the CIA put together a fake Sci-Fi movie as a cover to extract six Americans trapped in Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. In order to make the movie as real as possible they needed to have storyboards drawn up for the production. The artist tasked for this job was comic legend Jack Kirby, and why not, Argo took place during “The King’s” heyday! Michael Parks played Kirby, in the movie, in more of a cameo appearance. The art he “created” played a larger part in film, specifically in the final escape scenes. The pieces were from the personal collection of Jim Lee. They were originally from a 1967 Roger Zelany film that never happened, called Lord of Light. The two pieces are now part of the Heritage Auctions’ Aug. 1-3 Vintage Comics and Comic Art Signature® in Dallas and they are expected to sell for at least $10,000 each.
MARTIN BYTE: George R.R. Martin, creator of the Wildcards series, and the books that became Game of Thrones, and Avatar Press are teaming up to delve into the world of Horror with a new comic series called Skin Trade. William Christensen, publisher of Avatar Press said, “Skin Trade is a horror book, not a fantasy book. It is also a four-issue series.” Martin explained that Skin Trade began as an award-winning novella that appeared in the Dark Visions anthology in 1989, winning the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella later that year. Martin said of his work, “I lived in Chicago for a number of years. There are stockyards and bad neighborhoods in it. I always thought there was great potential for this story, it is actually being optioned right now. So you might see Skin Trade eventually as a movie. Martin seems very please with the team adapting his work, in this case writer Daniel Abraham and artist Mike Wolfer. “You learn if it’s not on the page it won’t be in the scene,” Martin explained. “The same goes for comic books. If you don’t put it in the script it, won’t show up on the page.” Skin Trade #1 is available now. Issue #2 will go on sale on August 28, 2013.
IMAGE BYTE: Howard Chaykin is a legend in comics. The creator of such acclaimed stories as Satellite Sam, American Flagg, and Black Kiss, Chaykin has certainly built a reputation for great storytelling. This time he’s heading west, Century West, to be exact. The new Image Comics graphic novel due out in September, is his ode to the West and the origins of the modern world. The story follows the growth of Century, Texas, from sleepy one horse town to a twentieth-century boom-town. Three men come from the east as settlers and establish themselves as Texas Rangers. Watch as the growth of the town affects these men just as their growth is affected by the town. It’s the American West on a grand scale.
VALIANT BYTE: The Harbinger Wars will soon be over. Does that mean the end of the great story telling at Valiant Comics? Not a chance. The next epic story line is just around the corner. Unity is a title that old school Valiant fans will remember, much like they did Harbinger Wars. In the original 1992 story, the Mothergod decides to destroy the Valiant Universe in order to rewrite reality and restore her own universe. Unity 2000, written by Jim Shooter and penciled by Jim Starlin was slated to run for six issues, but only three issues ever went to print. Shooter intended to tie together the story lines and characters from the original Valiant Universe (VH1, 1991–1996), and the Acclaim Comics Valiant Heroes characters (VH2, 1997–2000). To accomplish this Shooter introduced another alternate universe (VH-0) which was his version of what the Valiant Universe would have been like if he had been allowed to stay with the company in 1992. According to Shooter the plot of the crossover would have resulted in the destruction of VH-0 as well as most of its characters. VH-1 and VH-2 would then combine into a new universe. That story was never completed, but the current Valiant Comics company has no such internal issues. They have even been recently referred to as one of the “must-read publishers of 2013”. Unity has been teased for several months now, as if readers of the new Valiant Universe of titles need any more convincing. As you can see in the attached image heroes from all over the Valiant Universe are together, and they don’t look too happy with X-O Manowar. If you want to find out why you’ll have to wait for November. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
NERDITORIAL: A few months ago I was an aspiring writer who had lots of ideas but never followed through on them. I procrastinated, or lost interest in the ideas quickly, or found other reasons in a busy life to do anything other than write. I was reading a comic book one day at the end I flipped to the letter column and read a letter to the writer asking advice on how to get noticed as a fledgling writer. His answer was simple. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Write every day, keep honing your craft until there’s so much of you out there that someone has to notice”. I took this to heart and started writing here at Word of the Nerd (Thanks Bryan!). I wrote press-releases, articles, editorials, reviews, previews, really anything I could get my hands on. Soon I was inspired to start working on my stalled projects again. This week I took a project, a self-published Kickstarter project, by a writer who used to work here at WOTN, called Prairie City Response (click it to see the article). It started out as a simple preview, but I decided to contact the writer, Marshall Edwards, and interview him for the piece. My simple preview turned into something quite different. I was inspired by Marshall’s decision to chase his dream. The more I learned about him the more I related to his story. Now, I’m not ready financially or otherwise to just chuck it all and chase my dream, but I am invigorated and inspired. I will continue to write every day, and I will make time to write my projects and seek to further that dream even if its only one baby step at a time. I challenge all of you to do the same. Chase the dream, do what you love to do, and maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a way to profit from it, financially and spiritually! See you in the Funny Papers!