Category Archives: Featured

Unboxing :: Eaglemoss STAR TREK STARSHIPS Special Editions

The collectable line of starship models unveiled some very special new editions that include never before realized “hero” ships and an entire new collection starring the vessels featured on the just premiered hit original series Star Trek Discovery.

Eaglemoss Collections has expanded on its series of collectible models to meet the demand and expectations of its dynamically enthusiastic fanbase. The expansive final frontier of their signature line of Star Trek Starships Collection now includes “oversized” versions of the famous ships named Enterprise including Kirk’s Constitution-class from The Original Series stunningly depicted in rich die-cast detail and measuring a little over 8”.

The most recent addition to the “oversized” line includes Archer’s NX-01 which is now available for pre-order, and joins the Galaxy-class and Sovereign-class ships. Though the Enterprise is without a doubt the most famous of all the starships in the Federation’s Starfleet, the flagship isn’t the only vessel to have served with widely popular distinction. Throughout Trek history there have been many ships of the line that have stood out, or are still blazing a legacy for themselves.

Special Editions Indeed

Recently unveiled at New York City Comic-Con the Eaglemoss design team wasted no time in bringing to the forefront several key, new ships into the collection, some for the first time manifesting into physical representations of themselves — especially after winning fandom imagination over with their thrilling adventures within the pages of some of Pocket Books most memorable Star Trek novels.

Among the first ships to attract attention was the much anticipated release of the USS Titan. Captain Will Riker’s first command is mentioned (but not seen) in the last film to feature TNG crew Star Trek Nemesis. It was then made famous in the series of novels that continued the mission to broker peace between the Federation and the fractured Romulan Star Empire. The Luna-class USS Titan ship registry NCC-80102 was distinct in origin since it was designed by a fan.

It was one of the first times that the Star Trek brand extended to its audience an opportunity to become part of its history by creating the next “hero” ship to lead the Federation into the farther reaches of space. The honor went to Sean P. Tourangeau who was selected among hundreds of candidates with his exceptional design of the exploratory vessel that featured the Enterprise’s one-time first officer and his own intrepid crew.

The Luna-class ship was intended to serve multiple functions and featured a modular design which included a structural pod was placed just aft of the saucer section and above the ship’s bridge, and served as the ship’s main science and observation area. Once fully outfitted the USS Titan was dispatched on its first mission to Romulas. Ironically it mirrored the design aesthetic of the Sovereign-class and the Intrepid-class.

The Eaglemoss Collections model is beautifully detailed and captures the relevancy of the Titan which is now so well established that it is even featured within the recently released Fourth-Edition of the Star Trek Encyclopedia. Fans of the novels which continued the exploits of Capt. Riker and Counselor Troi who serves alongside her husband onboard the Titan will no doubt appreciate the effort taken to realize this ship design for the collection.

Going Even Deeper

Following the tradition in excellence of the novelizations which have extended the continuity of Star Trek adventures especially expanding on the timeline established for The Next Generation and the rest of their fellow 24th-century inhabits, another crew that has emerged with great distinction is that of the spin-off series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Though settled on an outpost at the edge of the final frontier, once the show went off-air its cast of characters widened their horizons.

Though the Dominion War played out as a major arc during the remaining final seasons of DS9 there were several repercussive storylines that emerged from that epic confrontation. One particular story threat lead to the introduction of the USS Aventine which would be commanded by Ezri Dax, a character featured prominently in the final season of the show. The majestically styled Vesta-class ship with the registry of NCC-82602 became an instant fan favorite.

The model was introduced at New York City Comic-Con as a “convention-premiered” Special Edition which convention goers scooped up, but has recently resurfaced on the Eaglemoss shop website and is available now. The accompanying magazine delves deep in the creation of this ship which rivals that of the Sovereign-class ship in scope, though it is unique in that it is among the first Starfleet vessels to feature the experimental Quantum Slipstream Drive.

The USS Aventine is now the second recent “Special Edition” release in the Eaglemoss line, joining the Titan, to introduce a ship from the novels as a physical model! Another vessel that was made into a model was the larger-size Special Edition release of the SS Enterprise (Refit) which had been intended to appear had the series ran a longer course.

A New Discovery

The latest original series Star Trek Discovery has also yielded its own particular line of collectible ship models from Eaglemoss that are now available for pre-order to ship in January. Many eager fans were treated to the prototype at NYCC of the series premiere “hero” ships the USS Shenzhou and the USS Discovery itself. These models will be slightly larger than the usual starship models in the line with the Discovery coming in at nearly 10 inches long.

Visit the Eaglemoss Shop https://shop.eaglemoss.com website to reserve your Special Editions now.

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iReview :: THE FLASH – “The Flash Reborn”

Season 4 of The CW series The Flash returns and with it a new set of problems for Team Flash as they try to carry on without the Scarlet Speedster…but wait!

The Flash is back — literally! After stepping into the speed force at the calamitous climax of Season 3 and preventing his own future-self from carrying out a mad plan to steal time right from under him, our hero Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) returns to fight another day! By the end of the Season 4 opener entitled “The Flash Reborn” Barry is running headlong in defense of his one true love Iris West (Candice Patton), after she is abducted by a sword-swinging samurai that is threatening to destroy Central City!

It’s as if Barry had hardly been away! At least that’s what they’d like you to think, but after Barry makes the decision to step into the light — a decision that he looked to have accepted rather quickly in readily at the end of last season — he left the rest of “Team Flash” in a rather precarious position. The ceremonious defeat of the Speed God, Savitar left a vacancy in the Speed Force prison that through the world asunder! The villain had escaped before and forced speedster-in-training Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) to take his place.

When Barry entered the energy field to rescue his Kid Flash, he found himself confronted with his own inner demons, and questioned the decisions that he’d made — some of which altered the timeline and created a “Flashpoint” — significant consequences of which cost Barry the trust of some of his teammates and contemporaries. Before ultimately relenting to the Speed Force, Barry is assisted Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) the Flash from Earth-3, who agrees to take Wally’s space in the Speed Force prison, while Barry returns to challenge his enemy.

With Great Power…

Though Barry made good on his promise to free Jay who is rescued by the timely intervention of tech-wizard Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), and the team is able to ultimately stop Savitar, without someone to inhabit the Speed Force prison the energy field begins to run amok and if left unchecked could destroy Central City, if not the entire planet. It’s clear to both speedsters Barry and Jay what has to be done! Barry decides to make the ultimate sacrifice and enters the Speed Force, especially after it appears to him as his deceased mother Nora (Michelle Harrison).

Leaving behind his friends, family and fiancee, Barry encourages them all to carry on without him and insists that Iris never look back and “keep running”! That’s exactly what Iris has been doing since Barry disappeared six months ago. When Season 4 of The Flash opens up, the episode entitled “The Flash Reborn” Iris has been keeping the team in gear and running the logistical heroics while her brother Wally as Kid Flash and Cisco as Vibe take on new threats attacking Central City. Even Iris’ father Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is in on the act!

Iris is doing such a good job running things in Barry’s absence that perhaps the group fears she is losing site of the bigger picture; not allowing herself to grieve the loss of her lover or perhaps come up with a way to get Barry back! Cisco is determined to achieve the latter and enlists Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) who left S.T.A.R. Labs in order to deal with her own emerging alter-ego “Killer Frost”. Cisco finds Caitlin bartending in a seedy dive, and encourages her to help him find Barry — Snow agrees, and without Iris’ consent put their plan in motion!

A Rebirth!

Given the attacking samurai’s threat to destroy Central City if The Flash doesn’t present himself to him, the group have precious time to put their plan into affect. With Caitlin’s ingenuity Cisco has come up with a plan to “fool” the Speed Force into relinquishing Barry, but when they launch their initiative, they are almost immediately met with a bombastic failure! All sparks and no fire, they are unable to produce Barry — and Iris is none too happy when she discovers what they’ve been up to, but unbeknown to them — their plan has worked!

The Flash — “The Flash Reborn” Pictured (L-R) Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West, Candice Patton as Iris West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

They indeed have freed Barry Allen but what has returned from his adventures in the Speed Force is not the same man that they remember. Barry is communicating in an incomprehensible gibberish and writing a series of glyphs across floors and walls that although appear to have a structure are at least for the moment undecipherable. Barry appears healthy, and according to Caitlin in the “best health of his life” but his mind appears unable to process the shock of the time he’s spent in the Speed Force. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking and the samurai is gearing up for a fight!

Wally decides to give him exactly what he wants and dons Barry’s Flash suit to apprehend the foe, but is immediately put in his place and meets the sharp end of the samurai’s sword through his leg. With little other alternatives left to them and Barry still in a state of shock, Iris decides to place herself in the villain’s crosshairs and turns herself over as its hostage, hopeful that it might trigger a reaction in Barry. Her gambit pays off and Barry springs into action, immediately sliding into hero mode and into his newly designed Flash suit courtesy of Cisco!

The Flash rescues Iris and makes short work of the samurai, which is in fact a “samuroid” — an android disguised as a Japanese warrior, but the real mystery is who is behind its sophisticated design and deployment? Team Flash on the other hand is happy to have Barry back and it appears he’s back to his old self, but Barry has no memory of his time in the Speed Force — he only remembers walking in and the next rescuing Iris from her captor. He also doesn’t have a clue about the gibberish he was speaking or the cryptic symbols he was writing.

Elsewhere in a very high-tech lair a pair of nefarious individuals discuss the reappearance of the hero and how The Flash will factor into their plans! From his dangerously styled throne The Thinker (Neil Sandilands) contemplates his next move!

Recharged!

As far as Season Openers go The Flash kicked things off rather brightly with “The Flash Reborn” which has many clear indications that this year the cast is shaking off some of the restraints and trappings of the previous years. The most obvious difference is the introduction of a “big bad” that isn’t a speedster — The Thinker, who has made numerous appearances throughout the history of the character in the comics and started out (in fact) as an arch-nemesis of Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, is a serious departure from adversaries seen before.

It appears that this year Barry will be facing an enemy that is as quick on his feet as our own hero, but who is far more super-charged when it comes to brain power, which will undoubtedly play very interestingly as Barry attempts to put the pieces back together of his own missing time. You don’t really suspect that he’s forgotten everything about this time in the Speed Force? After all he’s built up a much faster velocity that helped him take down the samuroid, and he’s obviously still very much in love with Iris — so we can expect to see the pair get hitched this season, no doubt.

The group dynamic has also evolved greatly and it’s still good to see that the core cast chemistry is very much intact. Cisco and Caitlin are genius level best friends and with the pair getting a handle on their own metahuman powers it will be exciting to see how this dynamic duo translate those power levels when suiting up and taking on other metas. Iris and Joe are at the core the beating heart of the series, especially after the premature departure of Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp), and it’s exciting to see that their relationship is also on an interesting trajectory.

Iris has evolved into a very independent personality and is now even comfortable giving her own father advice; seeing them engage as adults, a loving father and daughter, has become an integral component of The Flash. The same can not be said about Wally West, who makes up the third part of the West family and who appears much more focused and acting recklessly even after facing the dangerous situations set before them. As Kid Flash, Wally is making many mistakes, and is perhaps is need of some serious mentoring, though not the kind that Barry might be able to make.

Missing from the season opener was another speedster, Jay Garrick who at the end of last season appeared to be sticking around especially after Barry took his place inside the Speed Force. With Barry putting it all together still, Wally should turn to someone with some genuine experience like Jay — an experience that hasn’t really been explored inside the narrative of the series, at least not yet. With Barry about to face a new enemy that might be capable of out-thinking him, Jay Garrick would prove an asset to the team, if only to get Wally up to speed!

All in all, “The Flash Reborn” lives up to igniting a fresh perspective on this now long-running series that has surpassed its predecessor Arrow and stands unique among its spin-offs Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. With a silver screen “Flash” about to join the league, The Flash on television is proving it has blockbuster potential, and can keep pace with its own competition all the while carving its own path. Hopeful that it remains true to its character development, The Flash Season 4 proves it is still able to strike lightning!

The Flash has indeed returned to The CW Tuesday nights, with new episodes airing @ 8/7c.

The “FLASH WAR” is Coming! | DC Comics News

The Speed Force may not be big enough for all of our Scarlet Speedsters when Barry Allen prepares to match pace with his protege Wally West in DC Comics New Age of Heroes! The DC Comics multiverse has been plunged into the “Dark Ages” with the advent of the recent Metal story arc, several revelations have been suggested, and one more fast-moving premonition was inserted into the impending melee. During a recent panel at New York City Comic-Con The Flash scribe Joshua Williamson who has contributed to the Metal epic crossover introducing the Dark Universe counterpart Batman: The Red Death also challenged the NYCC audience to chime in on who was their favorite “Flash”. At the panel which was focused on DC’s Metal & New Age of Heroes Williamson asked the crowd: “Let’s see who’s the best Flash: Is it Barry, or is it Wally?” The audience was honestly split down the middle; both Scarlet Speedsters have carved out a legacy that have singular reignited the importance of The Flash character

Source: The “FLASH WAR” is Coming! | DC Comics News

Things Are Getting DARK as DC Comics METAL Continues

As METAL continues to heat things up the DARK NIGHTS stake their claim in the DC Comics Universe!

First a little backstory! The Dark Universe is descending across the DC Comics multiverse! The latest major crossover event Metal continues to reshape the course of the mainstream continuity, all part of a major push to reignite the legacy initiative inspired by the “Rebirth” rebrand. A consequence of the less-popular “The New 52” relaunch of 2011 that rebooted the major characters and completely eradicated others from, the imprint is now juggling a series of epic events to realign, retcon and return things to what they were!

Metal is a story set within the Earth-0 (or “Prime” Earth) continuity which is considered the first-earth of the multiverse, or the plane on which the DC Comics primary pantheon of characters exist, although most of those characters backstories and origins have been a little wonky ever since the “Flashpoint” event. In that story Barry Allen, the hero known as The Flash attempted to rewrite his own history and went back in time to prevent the murder of his mother Nora. Altering that bit of his storyline had a dramatic impact on the entire timeline!

With no other choice but the fix the mistake of that particular incursion, The Flash returns to the scene of the crime and attempts to set things right, but the universe — in its infinite wisdom — has other plans for him and intervenes! The result was a bolder, younger, braver world — “The New 52” continuity along with the reemergence of the multiverse. Since then the universe appears to have taken matters into its own hands and is presently struggling to set things right. The “Rebirth” event is helping to put things back, but there is more danger on the horizon…

A Dark Universe

Batman scribe Scott Snyder insists that the makings of the Metal arc have been hinted at ever since he began his infamous run dictating the story of the fabled Caped Crusader. In the now legendary The Return of Bruce Wayne story arc written by Grant Morrison, that details the adventures of a time-displaced Batman, Snyder began to introduce elements of a dangerous figure that has always had a direct influence in shaping the existence of The Batman. When The Batman was most recently confronted by his arch-nemesis The Joker, it cost him a great deal — Bruce Wayne was literally reborn!

As is often the case, resurrections come at a great price. Something is stirring in the heart of Gotham City! A huge mountain appears out of nowhere in the heart of the city and inside is a mystery millennia in the making, and it’s all connected to the metallurgical discovery of a metal — a new element — one not unfamiliar to longtime DC Comics readers. 9th metal is often associated with one of the imprint’s classic heroes, the archeologist Carter Hall also known as the winged Hawkman and his paramour Hawkgirl. Both characters have resurfaced within the pages of Metal and will have a significant affect as the story continues to progress.

It would appear that The Batman though has the most crucial part to play in this earth-shattering event that has revealed the existence of a “Dark Universe” — and evil alternate, alternate universe that is a sinister contrast to the multiverse we’ve all become more familiar with. In fact the negative realm appears to function in a very obvious and start contrast to our own mainstream multiversity. It’s been well established that Superman the Man of Steel, is essentially at the core and a constant within the multiverse, an infinite influence throughout many of the known worlds.

The Kryptonian refugee stands as a primary force, almost always alongside a version of Batman and Wonder Woman — the heroic trinity. But in this Dark Universe it’s becoming obvious that The Batman is the primary template, and is in most cases catering to his base instincts, running afoul of his own heroic instincts and preferring to connect with his darker side. Regardless of the consequences, The Batman appears to be of service to only his own devices be they selfish or determinate.

And it would appear now that these evil counterparts are working together and seeking to claim the DC multiverse for their own! The Dark Universe it appears does not exist as an infinite element to its counterpart, the multiverse — it was never meant to exist. Each of its worlds eventually fall to their own cataclysm, and it seems that this crisis is inevitable! Seeking to change the circumstances of their predicament, the Batmen of the Dark Universe have arrived!

And no one is safe!

“Dark Nights” part of the current Metal story arc is currently playing out as part of the DC Comics crossover event of the season.

iReview :: MADONNA’S Rebel Heart Tour Live!

Just in time to wrap up the summer season the undisputed Queen of Pop: Madonna releases the REBEL HEART TOUR Live on CD (as well as Blu-ray and DVD)!

Masterfully Madonna has demonstrated that in order to succeed in entertainment today, an entertainer must entertain! Record sales (or Digital Downloads) as they are most commonly referred of in today’s market, are only an introduction to what the artist is “thinking”. Tracks are longer referenced to relegated to success by how much radio play they get — (Does anyone even have a radio anymore?) it’s just not the way that musicians really remain relevant anymore.

The live concert stage has evolved into the new and more immediate medium by which an artist can truly rate just what their standing in popular culture is. Appearing on the scene more than 35 years ago and significantly synching her place on MTV proving that indeed “video had killed the radio star”, Madonna thumbed her nose in the face of her critics and revealed her naysayers for the hacks they were. Anyone that perceived her as a pop-tart, one-hit wonder, has eaten their words.

Madonna excelled at reinvention without really jumping onto the scene as such a manipulative commodity; this was an artist that existed for the provocative and edged on the titillating euphoria of grabbing attention! Her talent was always in pushing people’s buttons, and Madonna chose a platform by which she would always be guaranteed a spotlight in. Popular music gave her an audience and MTV a platform, and when that platform no longer was viable, Madonna evolved.

Rebel Heart

By the late 1990 it was evident that Madonna was not going anywhere! She’d just released her most well-reviewed album and critical success Like a Prayer, divorced her first husband and embarked on the most complex endeavor of her career The Blond Ambition Tour and revolutionized the way that pop artists performed live! Nearly three decades later, she continues to push the limits of her stage and arena tours and her most recent endeavor is no exception!

Available now as a digital download audio recording (also on a 2-disc CD) Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour (Live) is a fantastic example of her dominance as a live artist and unrelenting force in popular culture. The recording lifts from the more than 80 stops on this landmark world tour that promoted her most recent studio album of the same name. Rebel Heart may have only appeared a nominal success on the charts, but its accompanying spectacle perfectly played to Madonna’s audience.

Madonna carefully orchestrates her live performances, preferring to refer to them as installations than a concert, and the Rebel Heart Tour is elaborate in its detail. The opening of the show introduces Madonna as a “warrior goddess” — a medieval figure — surrounding by heavily armed guards who fall inline just as she begins with a rendition of the song “Iconic” before entering into the party track “Bitch I’m Madonna”.

It’s a beautifully crafty way of opening up her show in very heavy garb that evolves into a more Byzantine crafted look. Madonna learned during one of her previous forays on the stage that although the new songs beg to be performed, it’s significantly better branding to lace some of the classics throughout the setlist. Early on in the show, she performs “Burning Up” a classic from her very early days, and a pumped up rock guitar arrangement.

The rest of the setlist ranges back and forth from more contemporary hits to the clear nostalgia of “Holiday” which rounds out the end of the blockbuster performance. Among the standouts are of course the club anthem “Living For Love” and the title track “Rebel Heart”, but among the most endearing numbers is the ironically funny “Unapologetic Bitch”. During the show Madonna pulled up a who’s who of celebrities whom she had her way with — unapologetically.

Live Indeed

Anyone who has ever attended one of Madonna’s live shows understands the unrelentingly overwhelming feeling of good will and enchantment that falls over the audience. It’s an experience you wish you could bottle and keep stacked on your shelf like an exotic sweetener you would like to add every morning to your coffee. There’s plenty of that unabashed joy and frivolity all over the Rebel Heart Tour (Live) that many will want to revisit.

There’s an elation that comes over you brought upon by an intoxicating overload of your senses from the music, dancing and the visuals, and especially the feeling that if you reached out you could touch Madonna — you see her smile and you know that she feels the same way!

Rebel Heart Tour (Live) by Madonna is available now for download on iTunes.

DC Comics Reveals a “REBIRTH” Mystery in “The OZ Effect”

After months of speculation a mysterious adversary of the Man of Steel’s steps into the light and prepares to throw asunder everything that Superman has ever believed!

When DC Comics promised that it’s “Rebirth” rebranding would return many of its long-standing titles to a more proper state of familiarity, reestablishing years of legacy and working to retcon much of the unfavorable reaction that it received for “The New 52” era or reboots, many dedicated readers felt that perhaps the imprint had heard their cries! The “Rebirth” rebrand introduced an even more dense conundrum that was initiated with the return of Wally West!

The one-time Teen Titan, turned Flash had seemingly been eradicated from current continuity, along with much of the Golden Age heroes, and Superman had died — only to be replaced by his “pre-Flashpoint” counterpart; the “post-Crisis” Man of Steel that was apparently saved during the “Convergence” crossover event. Another additionally confounding mystery has also presented itself and that’s the fact that a decade of time has apparently been stolen!

Someone has been watching from the shadows, and we’re getting closer to learning the identity of the being that was powerful enough to steal time from our heroes, although most fans have already gathered there’s only one being capable of moving so fluidly between time and have such an adverse affect on the multiverse, but another shrouded agent who calls himself “Mr. OZ” has been exerted his own influence especially over the life of the Man of Steel.

The lenticular cover to ACTION COMICS #987 on sale now from DC Comics!

Who’s Watching?

It’s been theorized that the “someone” responsible for affecting the continuity is none other than the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan from the classic Watchmen series. There have been many clues to have lead us in that direction, but as for that other mystery man — Mr. OZ — who has been manipulating elements mostly connected to the world of Superman, that character’s identity has finally been revealed — and big surprise — it’s not exactly who you thought it might have been.

In the latest issue of Action Comics #987 feat. Superman the Man of Steel finally confronts Mr. OZ and after month’s of speculation it’s none other than (SPOILER ALERT) — Jor-El! That’s right! Mr. OZ is Superman, Kal-El’s Kryptonian father who so many years ago sent his son rocketing to Earth in order to survive the destruction of their home planet. Jor-El sent his infant son to Earth knowing that under our yellow sun, he would grow invincible and be gifted with unique abilities.

After some reflection though Jor-El is now regretting his decision, and has instead been plotting from the sidelines, setting in motion events to reveal humanity for the monsters that they truly are, convinced that his son — now Earth’s greatest hero, Superman — is not worthy of their protection. As the shrouded Mr. OZ, Jor-El manipulated the events that lead to the “resurrection” of Superman on Earth in a battle of wills against the mischievous Mister Mxyzptlk.

That event was chronicled in the recent “Superman Reborn” story arc that also cemented Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s marriage and place within the present continuity and firmed the legitimacy of their super-son Jon.

The OZ Effect

With the reveal of Mr. OZ’s identity marking the first part of this story event, and after the recent investigation by The Flash and Batman in “The Button” narrative that brought those characters back to the world of “Flashpoint” and back again, this latest part of the “Rebirth” chronicle is bringing everything closer to the upcoming “Doomsday Clock” limited series that is promising a final show down between the DC Comics heroes and those of the Watchmen continuity.

In the meantime, readers will have to digest and come to terms with this latest twist — one that places Jor-El not-necessarily on the side of the angels. If this is truly the Man of Steel’s long-thought dead father, how did he survive all these years and why has he been keeping his identity a secret? Why did Jor-El keep and capture some other heroes including Tim Drake, Red Robin a partner of the Caped Crusader?

What could Jor-El have in store for Superman, and does he indeed play an overall part in the entire “Rebirth” storyline, what role does he play in the scheme of things. What does this mean for Superman and his wife Lois, not to mention their son Jon?

“The OZ Effect” Part 1 is written by Dan Jurgens with art provided by Viktor Bogdanovic and is featured in Action Comics #987.