New Comic Wednesday: January 25, 2012
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise Part 1, Writer: Gene Luen Yang, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko Artist: Gurihiru Cover Artist: Gurihiru
January 24th, 2012
01:18 PM ET

New Comic Wednesday: January 25, 2012

Hello again, fellow comic readers!

The recommendation this week will, with any luck, help you forget a certain big-budget live-action film that disappointed both fans of the series that inspired it and people who'd never seen the series.

I've been looking forward to the release of Dark Horse’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise Part 1” from the moment it was “advance-solicited” (a geeky comics-industry way of saying “announced”).

Our friend Daniel Dean from Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia, is excited too. And apparently we’re not alone.

Dean said he’s been “fielding questions from kids who saw ads for it online and parents who earmarked the solicitation for purchase come January.”

As to his own excitement? “My wife and I are big fans of the series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender.’ We were this close to naming our dog after one of the characters,” he said.

Young and old, a lot of very devoted fans have been attracted to the series, which ran on Nickelodeon from 2005 until 2008. That’s evident in events ranging from the AV Club's series of in-depth dissections of the show's themes and threads, to the electricity last week when advance previews of a follow-up series, “Avatar: Legend of Korra,” were leaked. FULL POST

Comic Longbox week in review
The new DC Comics logo shown with Superman
January 20th, 2012
03:44 PM ET

Comic Longbox week in review

Here's a look at some of the stories that had comic book fans geeking out this week:

DC Comics introduced a new logo along with a new identity for DC Entertainment to showcase it's rich portfolio of brands, stories and characters across all media platforms. The new identity is reflective of the company’s mission to fully realize the value of a rich portfolio of brands, stories and characters, distinguished by incredible breadth and depth across publishing, media and merchandise. (via The Source)

The CW has ordered pilot for "Arrow," an hourlong superhero drama based on DC Comics’ "Green Arrow," CNN can confirm. "Arrow" would be written and executive produced by "The Green Lantern" co-writers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim and "Fringe" and "Vampire Diaries" alum Andrew Kreisberg. (via CNN Marquee Blog, more info in TV Guide)

IDW Publishing announced a digital comics event that has been 5 million years in the making: "TRANSFORMERS: Autocracy." Exclusively digital, this 12-part series will be released as eight-page chapters every two weeks, through June. Each episode will be 99 cents. (via IDW Publishing)

io9 got an exclusive look at the cover art for the upcoming Marvel Comics "Avengers Vs. X-Men: Colossus versus Red Hulk". (via io9)

Mezco announced an Earthworm Jim articulated figure.  Jim - an intergalactic hero - comes complete with a game-accurate plasma blaster as well as his famous ultra-high-tech-indestructible-super-space-cyber-suit (and an alternate bendy unsuited worm body as well). The 6" tall Earthworm Jim features 8 points of articulation. Shipping is available July 2012, but you can pre-order one now for $17.00. (via Plastic and Plush)

Did we miss something? Let us know if you come across news you that your feel your fellow Geeks would want to know in the comments or on twitter @CNNGeekOut

Master User week in review
Lolth of the Underdark (this evil half-lady, half-spider god) is the big baddy in D&D Online's Forgotten Realms expansion.
January 20th, 2012
02:29 PM ET

Master User week in review

Here's a look at some of the stories that had master gamers and other computer-loving nerds geeking out this week:

Fez-O-Rama announced pre-orders for the D20 Fez. Embroidered in deep red on an even deeper red velvet background with the namesake number in gold. This elegant fez is the perfect topper for those times when you know luck is on your side and you want to be sure everyone else in the room is aware of it too. (via Major Spoilers)

Wizkids added two new photos of ships, Federation ship USS Defiant and the Klingon Bird of Prey Regency 1, from their upcoming "Star Trek HeroClix:Tactics" game. (via WizKids)

Wizards of the Coast released the "Haunted Temples" map pack including three foldout battle maps for D&D. This pack contains three full-color, double-sided, 21” x 30” battle maps with 1-inch scale grids. One map features two exciting, never-before-seen encounter locations: a crumbling cathedral and a haunted chapel with adjoining cemetery. All three maps provide attractive, reusable terrain suitable for any D&D campaign. (via Wizards of the Coast)

Dave Graffam Models released Crane House, a new paper "print and build" model for tabletop gaming that fits into the Rakes Corner line of tabletop printable scenery. (via Daves Games)

Fantasy Flight Games announced that hand-painted Arkham Horror Monster Figures are now available. The figures are designed to work with Fantasy Flight Games' Lovecraftian board game. Each monster's base is designed with a slot to accommodate a monster token from the "Arkham Horror" or "Mansions of Madness" board games. (via Fantasy Flight Games)

Open Design released the "Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design," a 240-page book of in-depth essays on what makes RPGs tick. The book gives time-tested advice from the top designers in the industry. This compilation includes all three volumes of the "Kobold Guide to Game Design" series — now with new material by Wolfgang Baur, Mike Stackpole, and others. (via Kobold Quarterly)

Wizards of the Coast announced the April release of limited-edition reprints of the original core rulebooks for the "Monster Manual," "Player's Handbook," and "Dungeon Master's Guide." These premium versions of original D&D rulebooks feature new cover designs. Available in limited quantities as a hobby channel exclusive in North America, proceeds from the books will help support the Gygax Memorial Fund—established to immortalize the “Father of Roleplaying Games” with a memorial statue in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast announced the first ever expansion pack to "Dungeons & Dragons Online" (DDO). Developed by Turbine, "Menace of the Underdark," will launch in this summer and will allow players to adventure within the Forgotten Realms setting and the vast subterranean world of the Underdark. The digital expansion will feature new additions like an increased level cap and a new Druid class. (via G4tv)

Wizkids announced the June release of their second major set of Pathfinder Battles miniatures. Pathfinder Battles: Rise of the Runelords Part I will include a range of new figures. The release of the pre-painted Pathfinder Battles: Rise of the Runelords miniatures will support the release of Paizo’s 420-page "Rise of the Runelords" hardcover, which collects and updates six "Pathfinder: Adventure Path" publications (via iCV2)

Did we miss something? Let us know if you come across news you think your fellow geeks need to know about in the comments or on twitter @CNNGeekOut

Thank you, Mr. Lucas
George Lucas presented Darth Vader with Spike TV's award for ultimate villain at the "Scream 2011" ceremony.
January 19th, 2012
03:53 PM ET

Thank you, Mr. Lucas

Dear Mr. Lucas:

After reading about your decision to retire from making blockbuster films - your last being the new movie, “Red Tails” - I wanted to reach out and say thank you.

Thank you for many things, but most of all, for creating one of the greatest sci-fi/fantasy universes, ever, in “Star Wars.” Your universe allowed an 8-year-old boy to believe that heroes still win, and being the good guy is not only OK, but cool.

The original three "Star Wars" movies are three of the, in my mind, greatest movies ever made. No matter what changes were eventually made to them, the films provided me with years of entertainment. They continue to do so. To this day, “The Empire Strikes Back” is still my go-to movie when I am sick, or just need a good pick-me-up.

It is true that your fans have not always been kind to you for the way you manage the "Star Wars" universe. I, for one, have been very vocal in my thoughts on the changes and tweaks you made to your movies.

You said in this week's New York Times interview, “Why would I make any more (‘Star Wars’ movies) when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” I can understand how much it hurts to hear people tell you that you are screwing something up that you put so much time and soul into.

But I ask you to look at it this way: If we, the fans of “Star Wars,” did not love the movies you created so much - the ones that we loved when they came out and still watch today - if we the fanboys did not love what you created, then why would we get mad that it was changed?

I am sure you won’t take it this way, and I wouldn’t either in your shoes, but please take it as a compliment that we do get mad. These movies had such a big impact on our lives. We don’t want to see them ever change, even though we are all smart enough to know that everything in this world must change on some level.

Again, Mr. Lucas, I want to say thank you. You and your vision are truly a gift to fans like me. Without my parents and the likes of you, Tolkien, Gygax and Miller to name a few, I would not have grown up to be the person I am today. And I believe that person is a better person because of what you all created.

Thank you, sir.

Your fan and your critic,

Topher Kohan

P.S. I see you left the door open to come out of retirement and make an "Indiana Jones 5". Thank you for thinking of us that way, but it is OK if you don’t do that. Really, it’s OK.

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Filed under: Fandom • Star Wars
New Comic Wednesday: January 18, 2012
“Wonder Woman #5” was written by Brian Azzarello, with art by Tony Akins and cover by Cliff Chiang.
January 18th, 2012
01:47 PM ET

New Comic Wednesday: January 18, 2012

Hello again, fellow comic readers!

The Amazon Princess spins her golden lasso around me in DC Comics "Wonder Woman #5"!

I want so much for there to be a good "Wonder Woman" comic, but her storyline has often left me wanting. This week’s pick, DC Comics "Wonder Woman #5," by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, comes the closest so far to changing that perspective.

Talking about "Wonder Woman" with Daniel Dean from Titan Games and Comics in Smyrna, Georgia, led me to the question: Why is this title so hard to pull off?

Dean said, “Wonder Woman is a tough nut to crack for both writers and readers despite her iconic nature and fond memories of her title in years past. Actually, scratch that: She's difficult because of those reasons.”

Wonder Woman has become a bit of a mishmash: Anybody who truly cares about her seems to want a very specific vision of the Amazon Princess, and I've never met two people whose visions completely overlap.

“I certainly have an ideal Wonder Woman in mind, but nobody has ever quite nailed it for me,” Dean said.

Perhaps it's an obsession with fixing "Wonder Woman" - rather than writing and art teams focused on producing awesome comics - that caused her story to remain persistently unreadable. Azzarello and Chiang succeed here because they are doing something different with Wonder Woman - read: not better - and it's rare that a gamble works for this title. FULL POST

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