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Jun 202014


Welcome to Four-Color Bullet for the week of June 18, 2014.

Over at Marvel this week, the Owl sets up shop as San Francisco’s new crime boss, and the one guy who could help Daredevil take him down has switched sides, in Daredevil #4;  In the Original Sin tie-in, Nova #18, Sam sets out to help solve the murder of the Watcher, but is the Nova Corps’ youngest member getting in over his head?  And in this Original Sin tie-in, the Avengers are sent fifty years in the future, where they come face-to-face with the consequences of their actions, in Avengers #31.

On DC Comics’ side of the fence, Firestorm is in trouble, and the horrifying future is revealed to Plastique, in Futures’ End #7;  Harley gets more than her pride wounded when she starts a bar fight after a roller derby match, and she and Poison Ivy team up to find out who hired those assassins, in Harley Quinn #7; A great escape! Gumm’s death trap defeated! The Dynamic Duo, Green Hornet, and Kato parting ways?! In this week’s Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #3.

The long-awaited, unedited, and complete adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s Star Trek episode,  The City on the Edge of Forever hits comic shop shelves today, from IDW.

From Valiant, the best Harbinger story ever continues, as the series makes its way to its bound-to-be-explosive 25th issue, in Harbinger #24.
And from Dark Horse this week, Dracula has double-crossed the team and he’s taken the Vampyr book … and Xander! Now, Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang have to get them both back before the Lord of Vampires figures out how to use the book for his own ends, in Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #4.
Written by Jason Aaron Art by Mike Deodato Jr. MARVEL

Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mike Deodato Jr.

Marvel’s murder mystery is halfway over and the questions just keep on coming. Last issue, Bucky went rogue and did the unthinkable, Moon Knight and Gamora are stranded in space, and now, the trail leads to one impossible suspect. This series just keeps getting better, turning into one of my must-reads every month. Jason Aaron’s writing is solid, and even though I’ve complained about Mike Deodato Jr.’s shadowy art, it works really well with this particular issue. And half of the reason I’m reading this is because of the pairings of investigative teams. I love that although Dr. Strange is Marvel’s expert on magic, he still needs the Punisher around for his ballistics expertise. And I’m not much for buying every tie-in to the series, but the ones I’ve read are actually really good. Still more questions than answers at this point, but I’m enjoying this event more than anything else Marvel’s done in the last year and a half. Just a really well done, thoughtfully crafted story. Here’s hoping the center holds.

Written by Harlan Ellison, David Tipton, and Scott Tipton Art by Juan Ortiz and J.K. Woodward IDW PUBLISHING

Written by Harlan Ellison, David Tipton, and Scott Tipton
Art by Juan Ortiz and J.K. Woodward

Harlan Ellison’s classic Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever is regarded as the best episode of the series by anyone who even remotely claims to be a Star Trek fan. But the version we’ve seen on television differs widely from Ellison’s original screenplay, and very few fans have ever had the chance to see the screenplay in its entirety, the way Ellison intended. Writers Scott and David Tipton, who are no strangers to IDW’s Star Trekverse, have adapted Ellison’s complete and unedited screenplay to comic book form.  Series artist J.K. Woodward does some amazing painted artwork, providing a much larger sense of wonder, especially to the mysterious entities guarding the time portal.

Ellison’s screenplay was edited for television to an episode length because it was just too long. The first issue of the comic adaptation, however,  goes much slower, and barely scratches the surface of what’s to come. But that is far from a complaint. I see it as a good thing, only because the actual episode moved too quickly, and we couldn’t really appreciate Kirk and Spock’s plight, or the moral dilemmas. Slowing it down, though, should provide lots of room for story and character development.
One final thing. Ellison cleans up something that always seemed … I don’t know … silly to me. In the original episode, McCoy injects himself with a drug that has him acting like a bumbling crackhead, practically falling all over himself through the time portal into 1930. In this version, he’s replaced by a lieutenant on the Enterprise who deserts the crew when he’s exposed as a drug dealer. So it’s easy to see why that particular scene didn’t make it into the episode, since Star Trek was Gene Roddenberry’s grand and unsullied vision of the future. No drug dealers allowed.
I think this one’s going to be good, and just different enough to keep die-hard fans of the original episode interested. There’s nothing more satisfying than reading a good story the way it’s supposed to be told.
And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. Feel free to comment or email me at your leisure.  But before I go, it is with a heavy heart that I announce that one of my favorite books will be ending in September. IDW’s Ghostbusters will be ending with issue 20 as it concludes the Ghostbusters ’30th anniversary Mass Hysteria story. Readers of  Four-Color Bullet know that Ghostbusters  was consistently one of my favorites, and I am heartbroken to see it go. I, and the rest of the gang here at Krypton Radio, wish writer Erik Burnham, penciler Dan Schoening, and the rest of the Ghostbusters team at IDW the best as they move on to other projects.
Even with Ghostbusters ending, it’s still a good time to be a comics fan. See ya next week!
Jun 072014
Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy

Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy

by Nur Hussein, staff writer

Karl Urban was born 42 years ago today in Wellington, New Zealand, and we would like to wish him a very happy birthday.

Urban’s early acting career was very much based in New Zealand, where his post-college acting credits include theatre and TV commercials in his home country. The world at large (and sci-fi fandom) started to see Urban when he played recurring characters in the wildly popular Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. He played the role of both Cupid and Julius Caesar in both those series. Since then, Urban has slowly become a staple of sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV.

In 2002, Urban had his first Hollywood role, as a supporting actor in the Steve Beck film Ghost Ship. Later in 2002, we saw him in the first high-profile movie he had been in; he played Éomer in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Éomer was the brother of Éowyn and nephew of the king Théoden of Rohan. Although his character had his role somewhat diminished in Peter Jackson’s adaptation, Urban did play the character memorably. We see him charging into battle both at Helms Deep and in the following film, The Lord of the Rings: The Return Of The King where Urban’s Éomer was a formidable, borderline suicidal warrior.

After The Lord of the Rings, we found Urban popping up in more and more genre films. He was Vaako in the Chronicles of Riddick (2004) and Riddick (2013) and the Black Hat in 2011′s Priest. He was cast as the protagonist of 2005′s video game adaptation film, Doom (which flopped at the box office). The game’s iconic protagonist was nameless, but in the film he is called Staff Sergeant John “Reaper” Grimm.

Most recently, we saw Urban play the younger version of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot series: Star Trek in 2009, and Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013. While the films have garnered good to mixed reviews, one thing a lot of people agree on is that Urban’s McCoy is an almost dead-on interpretation of the character people remember, formerly played by DeForest Kelley in the original Star Trek.

In 2012, Urban played Judge Dredd in a new rebooted movie, Dredd. The movie, as well as Urban’s performance was lauded by fans and critics alike. Despite this, it didn’t perform very well at the box office, but did better in video releases. It is worth checking the movie out just for Urban’s take on Judge Dredd, it’s one of genre’s underrated movies.

On the television front, Urban’s recent role in genre is as a human detective John Kennex in the robot-filled sci-fi cop drama, Almost Human. Sadly, Fox cancelled this series after only one season.

As a well-loved actor in genre, we hope to see Urban in more roles to come. Have a wonderful birthday!


Jun 012014
René Auberjonois

René Auberjonois

by Nur Hussein, contributing writer

Today we wish to extend a very happy birthday greeting to René Auberjonois, the actor whom we know and love from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where he primarily played shapeshifting alien, Odo.

Auberjonois was born in New York in 1940. His father was a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and his grandfather was a post-Impressionist painter. He is related to Napoleon Bonaparte on his mother’s side.

Theatre was where Auberjonois’s early acting career started, and he has appeared all over the United States, including Broadway where he starred alongside Katherine Hepburn in the 1969 production Coco. He earned a Tony award for that role. In 1970, Auberjonois starred in the film version of M*A*S*H as Father Mulcahy. Since then he has appeared in numerous films and television shows.

Auberjonois’s foray into Star Trek actually started with a film role in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country where he played Colonel West, a Starfleet conspirator in the Chancellor Gorkon assasination. His scenes however did not appear in the theatrical release, but were later restored on home video releases.

The Star Trek role that everyone knows Auberjonois for is Constable Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, an alien with shapeshifting abilities (a Changeling) from the Gamma Quadrant. His character was the chief of security on the Deep Space Nine station, and his race of people were featured heavily in the series’ mythology arc that spanned multiple seasons. Besides Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Auberjonois also guest-starred in one episode of Star Trek Enterprise as the character Ezral.

Auberjonois’s other genre roles include guest roles on the Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Stargate SG1 and Warehouse 13. Outside of genre, he was a series regular on Boston Legal alongside other Star Trek alumni such as William Shatner and Jeri Ryan. He has also done extensive voice acting work, the most famous of which is probably the character of Chef Louis from Disney’s animated film, The Little Mermaid. He has also lent his voice talent for book narrations, and has narrated many of the Pendergast series of novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

René Auberjonois has had a very long and fruitful career, and we wish him many more productive years ahead. Happy birthday!


May 302014
Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien

Colm Meaney as Miles O’Brien

by Nur Hussein, contributing writer

Lá breithe shona dhuit
Lá breithe shona dhuit
Lá breithe shona a Colm Ó Maonaigh
Lá breithe shona dhuit!

-Happy birthday song in Irish

Today we celebrate the birthday of Colm Meaney, the guy you probably know best as Miles O’Brien of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Colm Meaney was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1953, and his interest in acting began at fourteen. He went on to the Irish National Theatre’s Abbey Theatre School and became a professional actor.

He made his TV debut in 1978 on a British police series called Z-Cars. He would go on to make appearances in TV, doing guest roles in series such as Moonlighting, Remington Steele and Tales from the Darkside before a frequent recurring role in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Meaney appeared in the very first episode, “Encounter At Farpoint,” as a then-unnamed crew member. He later appeared in many more episodes as Transporter Chief O’Brien, and in Season 4 he got himself a first name, too (Miles). Miles O’Brien was the everyman of the Star Trek universe, and Meaney said of his character, “there was a terrific kind of humanity in O’Brien”. He never joined ST:TNG as a cast regular, preferring to work on an episode by episode basis. When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiered, the character of Miles O’Brien joined the station and Meaney became a primary cast member for its entire run. Meaney has appeared in the most number of Star Trek episodes of any series second only to Michael Dorn.

Outside of Star Trek, Meaney has appeared in genre show Stargate Atlantis as the recurring character Cowen. His character was the chief of a race of humans called the Genii. He’s also lent his voice to animated characters on the Simpsons and Gargoyles.

Meaney has popped up in numerous film and TV roles outside of genre, too. He appeared in the acclaimed Irish film The Commitments as Jimmy Rabbite, Sr., which was based on a novel by Roddy Doyle. Meaney would later appear in two more film adaptations of Doyle’s novels (The Snapper and The Van). He won Best Actor in the 2003 Irish Film and Television Awards for his role in the Irish film How Harry Became A Tree. Also, he was nominated for a Golden Globes award in 1994 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical) for his role in The Snapper.

Happy birthday, Colm Meaney! Have a great day with some great craic. Sláinte!