First trailer for Marvel’s Moon Knight!

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Marvel Studios and Disney have just released the first hotly-anticipated trailer for their upcoming Moon Knight series starring Oscar Isaac in the title role.

Its clear from the outset that it seems the show is clearly going to do a great job of capturing Mark Spektor’s disassociative identity disorder, and Moon Knight’s costume looks amazing. The series, which is written by Jeremy Slater, also stars Ethan Hawke as cult leader Arthur Harrow. The new Moon Knight six-part limited series is set to start streaming on Disney+ from the 30th of March 2022.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

The Scorched #1 Review

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The Scorched #1

Review by Paul Bowler

The Scorched #1 provides an action-packed debut for Todd McFarlane’s first superhero team book in the Spawn Universe. With the forces of Heaven and Hell about to collide, this ominous threat is too big for any individual hero to deal with, and a new power-packed supergroup assembles to face it. With members including Spawn, Redeemer, Gunslinger, Medieval Spawn and She-Spawn the team must learn to work together as they embark on an urgent mission to track down the deadly Plague Spawn in Russia. Helmed by writer Sean lewis (with additional dialogue provided by Todd McFarlane) and illustrated by Stephen Segovia and Paulo Siqueira, with colors by Ulysses Arreola and Nikos Koutsis, this giant 55 page first issue has three distinct narratives that collectively serve as an introduction, prologue, and epilogue all rolled into one. 

Although Spawn appears, he’s very much there just to set the team up in their new HQ and keep an eye on them from afar. Instead it is She-Spawn who leads the team as its unofficial leader. Her teammates also get time plenty of time in the spotlight too, with flashbacks, dialogue, and action sequences showcasing their motives and abilities.

Lewis also co-writes King-Spawn, so its perhaps no surprise that The Scorched has a similar level of gritty realism about it, blending war and horror as the team attack a Russian military installation where they battle armed troops and werewolves. The vastly different personalities of the Hellspawns and the Redeemer make for an interesting team dynamic to say the least. Lewis and McFarlane have also hinted about a shifting roster for this book, so I’m sure more characters form the Spawn Universe will appear over time to join the action. 

Segovia does the first half of the book and the Epilogue, with Siqueira handling mid-section in Russia, and their work complements each other very well indeed. Likewise, Arreolia and Koutsis works their magic with the colors, giving each character their own distinct hues. The action is brutal and visceral, almost gratuitously so at times. Highlights included Rosen’s transformation into Medieval Spawn, Gunslinger leaping into action guns blazing, and the Scorched battling hordes of werewolves is simply stunning. Andworld Designs lettering also notably gives each character their own distinct typeset which really helps fuel the team dynamic and bring their personalities to life.

The Scorched #1 rounds off McFarlane’s “Year of Spawn” in fine style. This book may have suffered delays because of the pandemic, but its been well worth the wait. What’s more  it skilfully brings together some of Spawn’s most well known characters from three decades worth of comics into one book, and that’s worth the price of admission alone!

Publisher Image Comics

Script /Plot Sean Lewis / Tod McFarlane (Additional dialogue)

Art Stephen Segovia / Paulo Siqueira

Colors Ulises Arreola / Nikos Koutsis

Lettering Andworld Design

Covers & Variants Todd McFarlane / Puppeteer Lee / Brett Booth / Greg Capullo / Don Aguillo / Marc Silvestri / Ryan Stegman

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Detective Comics #1047 Review

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Detective Comics #1047

Review by Paul Bowler

Arkham Tower looms over Gotham in Detective Comics #1047 like a dark ominous shroud. Yet beneath its gleaming high-tech facade and promises of new therapies from the mysterious Dr Wear, a terrifying darkness is waiting to be unleashed. But with Batman taking a break from Gotham City following the events of Fear State, the Bat-Family’s supporting heroes must step-up in the Dark Knights absence. If, like me, the solicitations for this issue made you think another year, another ‘Bat-Event,’ then you’d be wise you to think again as you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. The Tower: Part 1 kicks off a 12-part weekly Detective Comics event, Shadows of the Bat, written by Mariko Tarmaki, and the first chapter of its engaging and mysterious storyline draws you in right from the outset. 

Arkham Asylum has fallen and been replaced by Arkham Tower; a new facility built in the heart of Gotham itself and run by the enigmatic Dr Weir together with Dr Chase Meridian – a consultant appointed by Mayor Nakano. The issue is something of a slow burn to begin with,  as Tamaki builds the tension with scene setting flashbacks that shift between the Towers opening, Batwoman’s investigation of the new Arkham’s therapies, and a chilling portent within the pages of a hand made tarot scrapbook before plunging us full throttle into the carnage the Bat-Family must confront in the present-day when the inevitable riot break out in Arkham Tower. Tamaki weaves grim, action-packed descent into chaos for the Bat-Family, with action divided between characters either rushing to the scene while others are missing, or trapped inside the tower in dire peril. 

Featuring pencils by Ivan Reis and Inks by Danny Miki, Detective Comics #1047 looks absolutely stunning. Every panel is awash with rich detail and steadily gathering menace. The panel layouts are dynamically structured, moving from free-flowing to chaotically haphazard, all in perfect sync with the beats of the story. There’s intense close up drama, horror, and high-rise shocks cleverly interspaced with the Bat-Family’s interactions against the backdrop of Gotham and the terror unfolding within the tower itself. The vivid colors employed by Brad Anderson stylishly accentuates the mood and pace as the drama unfolds, and letterer Ariana Maher also does a fantastic job of making this surprisingly dialogue heavy issue a throughly engrossing and gripping read.

Batman may be out of town but he still plays a major role in this issues backup story: House of Gotham by Matthew Rosenberg. Its a dark, unsettling glimpse into the not-too-distant past, with an unflinching tale of the horrifying cracks in Gotham’s mental health system that one poor unfortunately soul could soon fall through. Featuring art by Fernando Blanco and colors by Jordie Bellaire, this bleak foreshadowing of the main storyline unfolding in Shadows of the Bat looks set to be every bit thrilling.

Detective Comics #1047 is like a gloriously dark and sinister mash-up of One Flew Over the Cuckoos  and The Towering Inferno. As comic book events go this one has certainly gotten off to a compelling start with its taut scraping and impressive artwork. Detective Comics #1047 is a terrific set up for Shadows of the Bat that poses just as many question as it does answers, let’s hope Tamaki can sustain the pace and keep the narrative on track for the duration of this immense storyline. 

Publisher DC Comics

Writer Mariko Tamaki

Pencils Ivan Reis / Inks Danny Miki

Colors Brad Anderson / Letters Ariana Maher 

Cover Irvin Rodriguez

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Doctor Who Eve of the Daleks Review

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Doctor Who Eve of the Daleks New Year’s Day Special

Review by Paul Bowler

Having survived the Flux the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and companions Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) are back to face the Time Lords dreaded nemesis, the Daleks in this festively themed New Year’s Day special! The Daleks return with a bang in Eve of the Daleks as the Doctor and her friends find themselves caught in a time loop with the Daleks hot on their heels!

The feature length special, written by showrunner Chris Chibnall is set on New Year’s Eve and guest stars Aisling Bea (from Channel 4’s This Way Up) who plays ELF storage facility manager Sarah, Adjani Salmon (of BBC2’s Enterprise) as Nick, the lovestruck customer who visits every New Year’s Eve, and Father Ted’s Pauline McLynn as Mary. Their lives turned upside down when they get caught up in an adventure with the Doctor, Yaz, Dan and the Daleks. The episode  cleverly utilises its core cast and single set  to great effect as it blends its rom-com elements with time loops, themes of loneliness, unrequited love, and of course lots of Dalek action!

Eve of the Daleks is essentially Doctor Who doing Groundhog Day with a Sci-Fi twist after the Doctor’s attempts to reset the TARDIS backfires, and the complex fun filled plot positively rattles along at a cracking pace from the outset. Jodie Whittaker excels as the 13th Doctor once again, the rest of the cast are also on fine form, and the action sequences are pretty spectacular as well. Director Annetta Laufer manages to strike just the right balance between the interconnecting plot threads, quirky humour and frenetic high-drama to keep everything on track.

This time though the Daleks are not just trying to end the universe. Instead this special squad of executioner Daleks have set their sights on the Doctor herself and are hellbent on getting some payback! 

Eve of the Daleks is fun run-around that milks its complex timey wimey laden premise for all its worth. The slapstick humour and goofy romantic sub-plot gets a tad overcooked in places, but the non-stop-action and great dynamic between the 13th Doctor and her companions more than makes up for any shortcomings. This is the first of three specials that will round off the 13th Doctor’s era in 2022 before the Time Lords imminent regeneration in the autumn. Eve of the Daleks provides a great showcase for the return for the Daleks as they battle the Doctor, while also providing an engaging coda for the events of Doctor Who Flux, and setting the stage for things to come. To top it all a surprise next time trailer heralds the return of the classic Doctor Who monsters the Sea Devils this spring in Legend of the Sea Devils!

Happy New Year Everyone!

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Spider-Man No Way Home Film Review

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Spider-Man No Way Home

Review by Paul Bowler

The Multiverse explodes into the MCU in Spider-Man No Way Home as the webslingers world collides with the narrative of the Avengers movies and the plots of the five previous Spider-Man movies that starred Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Spider-Man No Way Home also contains more Easter eggs, secrets and cameos than any superhero film we’ve seen to date. Tom Holland’s third solo outing as Spider-Man also manages to side-step the curse of the over cluttered threquel to be an action packed, emotional roller coaster ride that more than lives up to the hype.

After a brief recap of Spider-Man being unmasked at the end of the previous film, Spider-Man No Way Home sees Holland’s young superhero struggling to protect Aunt May (Maria Tomie), his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya), best pal Ned (Jacob Batalon) and Tony Stark’s former chauffeur Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) from the media swarm that has descended on his life thanks to J. Jonah Jamerson (JK Simmons) broadcasts claiming that Spider-Man murdered Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

To protect those he loves Peter seeks out Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) at his Sanctum Sanctorum to ask him to cast a spell that could make the world forget his secret identity. But when the magic goes awry the multiverse is breached, summoning every villain who knew his identity in the other dimensions and Spider-Man movies – Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe, Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Electro (Jamie Fox), Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Sandman (Thomas Haden) –  to converge on NCY in the MCU reality.

Director Jon Watts, who has been behind the camera since Holland began his solo adventures in Spider-Man Homecoming after his scene-stealing debut in Captain America Civil War, keeps the huge scope and scale of Spider-Man No Way Home on track along with returning screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. Highlights include a spellbinding chase between Spider-Man and Doctor Strange across the dimensions that echoes Christopher Nolan’s Inception, Spider-Man battles the rogues gallery of his deadliest foes, and there’s a thrilling showdown at the Statue of Liberty. But it is the films underlying themes of second chances what really drives the narrative of the movie the most as Peter Parker is put through the emotional wringer, the same is true for the multitude of returning villains as well, and even the core ethos of great power and responsibility that is the cornerstone of Spider-Man’s legacy gets powerfully reworked in the most unexpected way.

Tom Holland gives his best performance by far as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, the supporting cast are brilliant as well, and script is chock full of fun moments and clever call-backs  to enjoy too. Oh and be sure to stay for those credits as well! To say any more about Spider-Man No Way Home would totally ruin the thrills and surprises it holds. I’d been really looking forward to seeing this film and I throughly enjoyed it. Suffice to say, if you’ve been a fan of the MCU and the many different eras of the Spider-Man films you are going to be totally blown away by the fan-pleasing moments this action-packed movie delivers!

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Doctor Who Flux: Series 13 Review

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Doctor Who: Flux: Series 13 Review

Review by Paul Bowler

Doctor Who Flux blasted onto our screens this Halloween staring Jodie Whittaker as the 13th incarnation of the Time Lord, along with Mandip Gill as Yaz, and new travelling companion Dan played by John Bishop.  This series will also feature Game of Thrones actor Jacob Anderson as Vinder, and a host of monsters including the Weeping Angels, Sontarans, beings known as the Ravagers and many, many more! Series 13, or Doctor Who Flux as its subtitled, is the first time modern Doctor Who has told a single story across the space of a whole series (a move necessitated in part by logistics and COVID restrictions), but given Chris Chibnall’s history with serialised drama – most notably ITV’s smash-hit Broadchruch – its perhaps no surprise this format would have been adopted at some point during his tenure as show runner anyway.

Each of this seasons six episodes have been written by Chris Chibnall, apart from episode four which has been co-witten with Maxine Alderton who wrote 2020’s The Haunting of Villa Diodati. The workload behind the camera has been split between two directors as well, with Jamie Magnus Stone (Spyfall Part One, Ascension of the Cybermen and the Timeless Children) handling episodes one, two and four, with newcomer Azhur Salee on episode three, five and six. 

The new series kicks off with the appropriately Halloween themed season premier, The Halloween Apocalypse. Its Halloween time all across the universe, and horrifying forces are awakening. Everywhere, from an industrial excavation in Liverpool 1820, to the Artic Circle, and the void of deep space an ancient evil imprisoned since the dawn of the universe is starting to break free! Back on present-day Earth, in Liverpool, the life of Dan Lewis will soon change forever after he’s hijacked by an alien and propelled into an adventure with the Doctor and Yaz in the TARDIS. 

Doctor Who Flux certainly starts with a bang with The Halloween Apocalypse, plunging the 13th Doctor and her companions into what can best be described as season finale level action and intensity right from the outset, with the Time Lord hot on the trail of the canine looking alien called Karvanista (Craig Els) who has worked for the Division – the mysterious Time Lord cabal behind Series 12’s ‘Timeless Child’ reworking of the Doctor’s origins. Jodie Whittaker is assuredly confident in her role now as the 13th Doctor, with the Time Lord pushed to the edge as the TARDIS starts to malfunction just as she’s attempting to unravel the mysterious enigma known as the Flux.

Mandip Gill has also come into her own as Yaz since the end of Series 12, she’s not afraid to challenge the Doctor when it’s clear the Time Lord has been keeping secrets, and she’s adept enough with alien technology now to enable her to help Dan escape from his cage on Karvinista’s ship. Comedian John Bishop makes a welcome addition to this TARDIS team as Dan Lewis, a  fun everyman style character. Bishop brings a delightful sense of warmth and Liverpudlian humour to Dan, a classic audience associative figure, who gets kidnapped by Karvanista on Halloween, and ends up being rescued by Yaz and the Doctor – leading to Dan’s priceless reaction to stepping into the TARDIS for the first time. Jacob Anderson also debuts in the first chapter of Flux as Vinder, who is based on the intriguingly named Observation Outpost Rose in deep space, and is the first character to witness first hand the destructive power of the Flux – a cataclysmic force that’s sweeping across the cosmos.

Chibnall  is clearly setting up major aspects of Doctor Who Flux with the introduction of the Swarm.

With old enemies of the Doctor kicking around in the background waiting to make their move and an armada of Karvanista’s species spaceships on their way to Earth, it seems we are only scratching the surface of the forces gathering against the Time Lord. Sam Spruell’s ghoulish turn as the Swarm may prove to be one of the Doctor’s scariest and deadliest foes yet. Chibnall  is clearly setting up major aspects of Doctor Who Flux with the introduction of the Swarm, a former archenemy of the Doctor in their life as Division agents before their memories were wiped, whose his psychic connection to the Doctor leads to some of this episodes most dramatic moments, and chillingly he knows the Time Lord but the Doctor is left complexly on the back foot as she has no idea who he is. The Swarm also travels to Earth in a hauntingly creepy scene to revive his sister, Azure (Rochenda Sandall), who is hiding in human form in a remote house near the Artic circle. The Halloween Apocalypse is chock full of scary moments. The Swam is frighteningly powerful, seemingly draining his victims body and soul as he renews himself. The creepiest scenes though had Annabel Scholey’s mysterious character, Claire, who claims she’d taken “the long way round” (a phrase closely associated with the Doctor’s own journey to find Gallifrey), and has a frightening encounter with a Weeping Angel on her doorstep!

So, with the Doctor bewildered and the TARDIS on the run from the Flux, seemingly immune to even a face-full of time vortex energy shot from the time machines leaky crystalline central console, and seven billion spaceships from Karvanista’s dog-faced Lupari species about to prove they may actually be man’s best friend after all The Halloween Apocalypse proved to be a resounding success. I had to keep pausing the episode to answer to the door to trick-or-treaters, but other than that I thought it was a great action-packed series premier, with an epic scale, and a menacing new adversary to boot. All that and we got a doozy of a cliffhanger too, with the Doctor confounded by the Flux, and the warmongering Sontarans returning as well. The Halloween Apocalypse felt like proper old-fashioned Doctor Who again at last!

The Cloister Bell rings out in the ominous aftermath of the TARDIS being engulfed by the Flux as War of the Sontarans transports the Doctor and her companions into an unexpected encounter with one of her oldest and deadliest foes, the Sontarans, who have become a new faction during the Crimean War! This exciting second chapter of Doctor Who Flux marks a dramatic change of pace as Chris Chibnall sends the Doctor, Yaz and Dan off on three separate adventures – with the Doctor teaming up with renowned nurse Mary Seacole (Sarah Powelll) for the historical portion, while Dan returns home to contemporary Earth where Liverpool docks have been turned into a Sontaran ship yard, and Yaz finds herself transported to a mysterious temple on a planet called Time along with Vinder. 

Even though the Flux is rapidly obliterating the universe the Sontarans have eagerly seized the chance to use the Crimean War as a staging ground for their temporal assault on Earth’s history. The militaristic clone race of the Sontarans positively relish the chance to engage in what they perceive as a glorious conflict. Skaak / Sontaran Commander Riskaw, brilliantly played by Jonathan Watson, is the ruthless Sontaran leader who confronts the Doctor on the field of battle, Jodie Whitaker excels here as the Doctor intervenes spectacularly, and Dan Starky (who has played a number of Sontaran’s in the past, most notably Strax of the Paternoster Gang) stars as the injured Sontaran Svild who has hilariously suffered the indignation of been captured by the British and nursed by Mary Seacole. This is the first time we’ve really seen the Sontarans en masse like this since The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky (2008), and the battle sequences in War of the Sontarans mark a truly spectacular return to form for them.

War of the Sontarans is an action-packed, exciting and fun run-around for the 13th Doctor and her companions.

Jodie Whittaker really gets some great material to sink her teeth into with this episode as the Doctor struggles to prevent the British army going into battle against the Sontarans. The 13th Doctor is still desperately playing a game of catch up, with the TARDIS continuing to malfunction alarmingly, and even the Sontarans frustratingly seeming to know more about the Flux than she does. Whittaker’s Doctor and Sarah Powelll’s excellent turn as Mary Seacole makes for an inspired historical team-up with the Time Lord, the compassionate Mary Seacole’s moving words of wisdom about the futility of war resonate powerfully with the stories darker elements, and the Doctor’s disgust with General Logan (Gerald Kyd) after he blows up retreating Sontarans is perhaps one of the most ‘Doctorish’ moments of Whittaker’s era so far.

Dan Lewis is rapidly becoming one of my favourite NuWho companions, and John Bishop almost steals the show in this episode. We briefly meet Dan’s parents after he’s displaced back through time to present-day Earth, before he sets off to find a way to stop the ‘potato head’ aliens that have taken over Liverpool docks armed only with a wock and his wits! Fortunately Karvanista shows up just in tine to pull his fat out of the fire, the dynamic between Bishop’s and Craig Els’s characters is great fun, and one of the highlights of this episode. 

Yaz, who has also been displaced in time like Dan, ends up in the Temple of Atropos along with Vinder from Observation Outpost Rose. Mandip Gill gets to do all the fun exploring bits in War of the Sontarans as Yaz ventures into the temple (blagging her way through mystery and danger no doubt in part thanks to an ingenious note she’s written on the palm of her hand during an inspired note-to-self moment between adventures), and bizarrely encountering one of the Liverpool industrialists from 1820 before meeting a curious triangular automated Priest (voiced by Nigel  Richard Lambert) that asks if she can help repair the damage the Flux has done to the temple and the Mouri – silent quantum locked women held in stasis that miraculously maintain the very flow of time. Yaz also meets Jacob Anderson’s Vinder here, there’s clearly an instant chemistry between them, but Vinder’s character still remains a frustratingly unknown quantity at this point. 

The fear factor gets ramped up to the max when the Swarm and his sister, Azure, enter the Temple of Atropos. Sam Spruell and Rochenda Sandall’s scenery chewing performances continue to impress, although this time their characters are accompanied by a mysterious newcomer – the Passenger (Johnny Mathers). While the Sontarans are brutish, bloodthirsty and not the smartest aliens on the block, this trinity of terror are clearly seeking to capitalise on the damage caused by the Flux. Chris Chibnall masterfully juggles storylines and characters, providing just enough hints and revelations about the Flux and the Swam’s plans to keep us guessing and on the edge of our seats – especially given that chilling finger-snapping cliff-hanger!

War of the Sontarans is an action-packed, exciting and fun run-around for the 13th Doctor and her companions. The corruption of the TARDIS by the Flux, with even time itself seemingly damaged, has certainly raised the bar in terms of the sheer scope and scale of the danger the Doctor faces. With its stylish blend of historical and sci-fi action, awesome battle scenes, and callbacks to the Sontarans first appearances in 1973’s The Time Warrior, War of the Sontarans is easily one of Series 13’s best, and indeed the modern series’, most standout episodes.

After two bombastic scene-setting episodes, Once Upon a Time allows the 13th Doctor a chance to explore the events behind the universe spanning peril this Flux mini-series has set in motion. Time has been disrupted in the aftermath of the Flux and is running wild. The Doctor throws herself into the heart of the Time Storm in a desperate bid to save her friends from the Swam’s trap, and together they find themselves simultaneously lost and working collectively as they journey through their memories of the past, present and future while time unravels all around them.

The third chapter of Doctor Who Flux is at times both bewildering and brilliant, it reaches  for greatness, and ends up falling into the cracks somewhere between the two. We do finally start to get some answers though, especially concerning the nature and cause of the Flux phenomenon. Jodie Whittaker spots a reversed coat version of her iconic costume as the Doctor explores her unknown past and history with the Division on the planet Time as the Fugitive Doctor, alongside Yaz, Dan and Vinder who experience the Siege of Atropos with her as the Division’s ancient battle with the Swarm and Azure comes to a head. Jo Martin, who first appeared in Fugitive of the Judoon (2020), makes a welcome return as the Fugitive Doctor, another incarnation of the Time Lord, and her scenes offering sage advice as the reflection of Jodie Whittaker’s startled 13th Doctor provides some of the episodes most riveting moments.

Once Upon a Time focuses heavily on the Doctor’s time displaced companions as well. Mandip Gill gets some great scenes, with Yaz’s job as a Police Officer and home-life leading to some especially scary moments with the Weeping Angels, and relations between Yaz and the Doctor continue to feel the strain as the Time Lord’s obsession with recovering secrets from her past seems to threaten to drive a wedge between them. We also learned that Dan was once going to be married during a somber interlude with his would-be girlfriend, Di (Nadia Albina). Bishop really excels in these quieter, emotional scenes, and there’s a perplexing encounter in the 1820’s between Dan and Steve Orman’s Joseph Whilliamson that gets thrown into the mix to keep that unusual plot element spinning in the background as well. 

Most intriguingly though, we actually get some backstory to Jacob Anderson’s character, Vinder, in this episode. It seems Vinder was some kind of intergalactic whistleblower who exposed the throughly unpleasant Grand Serpent’s (Craig Parkinson) dealings and was excelled to Observation Outpost Rose for his troubles, whereby his forlorn messages to his nearest and dearest have been relayed to the newly introduced character Bel, played by Thaddea Graham.

Bel’s narration and story nicely distracts from the more complex aspects of the episode that has time playing games with everyone and the Doctor furiously negotiating with the etherial supersized Mouri. Bel and Vinder’s heartfelt journey in Once Upon a Time seemingly runs along parallel lines across time and space, Bel’s mission parameters knowingly tug at the heart-strings as Vinder’s true love while she single-handedly survives the apocalyptic aftermath of the Flux, evading Dalek patrols and becoming a one-woman army as she battles Cybermen – not bad for an expectant mum-to-be.

The monsters are out in force in Once Upon a Time, with Daleks, Weeping Angels, and the Cybermen all getting a piece of the action.

Sam Spruell’s and Rochenda Sandall’s double act as the gloriously evil Swarm and Azure didn’t really have much to do other than relish being menacing on the sidelines for most of this episode – despite sidekick Passenger actually being a living prison and far more crucial to the plot than expected. Matthew Needham returns again for the role of Old Swarm during the flashbacks to the era of the Fugitive Doctor’s adventure in the Temple of Atropos, however, he’s no match for Spurell’s gleefully villainous addition to the modern series’ pantheon of ‘big bad’s’. Fortunately Spurell is back on hand as Swarm by the end to ramp up the mystery and danger quota just in time for the next episode.

The monsters are out in force in Once Upon a Time, with Daleks, Weeping Angels, and the Cybermen all getting a piece of the action. It was an unexpected surprise to see the Daleks appear during Bel’s monologues, and it was great to see the Weeping Angles again. Although used sparingly, the Weeping Angels had probably the greatest impact, appearing in the Time Storm with the Doctor and creeping up on Yaz in the mirrors of her Police Car, and later striking at her again via a video game she was playing. The Cybermen also returned in force; battling with Bel in her spacecraft. These action-packed scenes were really exciting. However, as they’ve always been my favourite Doctor Who monster I was a bit disappointed that the Cybermen’s appearance related to little more than a cameo and didn’t really contribute  all that much to Once Upon a Time – especially considering how heavily the Cybermen’s presence was promoted for this episode.

If all those Moffat-style time-twisting highjacks Cibnall utilises wasn’t enough it also became apparent that Karnavista’s Lupari species must be extremely long lived, as events in this story surprisingly reveal they were hanging out with the Fugitive Doctor during her time with the Division. Vinder got to have that classic Doctor Who moment of entering the TARDIS for the first time as well (although curiously he seemed to know what a TARDIS was), even though his journey home ultimately ended up being one tinged with sadness, and Barbara Flynn made her first appearance as the enigmatic ‘Awsok’.

The term ‘Temporal Haze’ is bandied about a lot in Once Upon a Time, which probably best surmises what will probably become the Marmite episode of Doctor Who Flux. Covid  filming restrictions also clearly impacted on how some scenes were framed, the plot positively groans under the weight of its often incomprehensible narrative at times, and the scatter-shot dialogue made the episode feel more like the frenetic middle act of a MCU movie than a Doctor Who episode. Despite all that Once Upon a Time still managed to deliver enough shocks and surprises to gloss over most of its shortcomings. Jodie Whittaker’s engaging performance as the Doctor continues to keep everything on an even keel, her incarnation of the Time Lord seems to thrive amidst the chaos, and we also got a super scary cliffhanger with a Weeping Angel in the TARDIS to boot as well!

The Weeping Angels take centre stage for Village of the Angels and bring some good  old-fashioned behind the sofa scares to the fourth chapter of Doctor Who Flux. Chris Chibnall and Maxine Alderton craft a wonderfully creepy tale here with an eerie gothic horror vibe – a genre that Doctor Who has often drawn its influences from with great success in the past – and the episode provides lots genuinely chilling thrills as a result. After a Weeping Angel hijacked the TARDIS and brought them to the village of Medderton in Devon, November 1967, the Time Lord and her friends split up, with Dan and Yaz investigating the mystery of a little girl who has gone missing, while the Doctor meets Professor Eustace Jericho (Kevin McNally) who has been conducting psychic experiments with the help of Claire Brown (Annabel Scholery) – the same woman ambushed on her doorstep by a Weeping Angel in The Halloween Apocalypse. Medderton, or “The Cursed Village” as it is known, is a place haunted by Weeping Angels, where dark secrets lurk in the shadows, and in the graveyard there seems to be one gravestone too many.

Village of the Angels showcase the great dynamic evolving between Yaz and Dan. Mandip Gill and John Bishop are effectively dealt a two-hander by the scrip which sees their characters marooned in 1901 after a frightening encounter with a Weeping Angel. Yaz gets to use her Police skills and Dan gets all the best lines as they come to terms with being trapped in Medderton in the past along with the young girl, Peggy (Poppy Pollynick). It was also tragically sad how Mrs Hayward (Penelope McGhie) turned out to be an older version of Peggy, who’d been ridiculed for years for trying to warn everyone in the village about what happened there when she was ten years old. Poppy Pollynick’s reaction as the young Peggy to the horrific demise of her elderly carers Gerald (Vincent Brimble) and Jean (Jemma Churchill) in 1901, where the village has been taken out of time and space by the Angels, was another of this episodes most disquieting and standout moments. 

The Weeping Angels return with a vengeance in Village of the Angels.

The supporting cast are also superb, especially Annabel Scholey as the psychic Claire and Kevin McNally’s stalwart scientist and war veteran, Professor Eustace Jericho. Their scenes help establish and built the haunting atmosphere that permeates every aspect of this episode, with Jericho’s EEG printing out the image of an Angel, and Claire hallucinating that she has stone wings in one particularly disturbing moment. Claire’s precognitive abilities establish how she was able to know about and find the Doctor in the first episode and how she also knew so much about the Weeping Angels. From this point Village of the Angels goes into full on classic Doctor Who base under siege territory, with Weeping Angels surrounding the Professor’s house, and the Doctor, Claire and Jericho barricading themselves in the basement.

Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor positively excels in this environment, fending off the Weeping Angels, and desperately trying to keep Jericho and Claire safe. It is only when the Doctor telepathically enters Claire’s mind that she uncovers the terrifying truth. Claire has a Rogue Weeping Angel hiding inside her mind, the other Angels are a quantum extraction squad sent to find her, and what’s more, the Angels are working for the Division!

After the revelation in the Timeless Children it would seem the secret Time Lord organisation is still very much present and active in the universe. Jodie Whittaker gives a commanding performance as her Doctor has to grapple with peril on all sides, whilst trying to stay one step ahead of the Angels, and come to terms with the secrets of her past.

The Weeping Angels return with a vengeance in Village of the Angels. Ever since their first appearance in the highly acclaimed episode Blink (2007), the Weeping Angels have become one of the modern series’ most popular monsters. Village of the Angels plays out like a greatest hits of their scariest moments: from dust in the eye, to lurking in graveyards, with Claire’s torn-up drawing of an Angel notably reassembling as it projects itself into the room and then bursts into flames when the Doctor sets the sketch alight, there’s an underground tunnel with Angels growing out of the walls, and perhaps most unnervingly of all they use Professor Jericho’s own voice to play on his insecurities in an attempt to make him lower his guard.

Bel’s voyage to find her soulmate continues in a brief interlude to the main action, with Thaddea Graham’s character travelling to a barren world where she saves Namaca (Blake Harrison) when Azure and Passenger show up to rescue refugees that have gathered on the planet in the aftermath of the Flux event. Sadly Swarm didn’t appear in this episode but we did get to see Passenger’s powers in action. Jacob Anderson also featured during a brief mid-post credit scene, where Vinder discovers Bel is still alive after Namaca leads him to a holo-recording that she’d left for him. 

This episode had it all. Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor even got to utter the 3rd Doctor’s (Jon Pertwee) iconic catchphrase “reverse the polarity of the neutron flow” at one point! With the Rogue Angles dire warnings about what the Doctor will soon find out about herself Village of the Angels races towards its nail-biting cliffhanger. With Dan, Yaz, Peggy and the Professor trapped in 1901, they can only watch on helplessly across the divide of time to 1967 where the Doctor slowly turns to stone, wings growing on her back, as she is imprisoned as an Angel to be ‘recalled’ by the Division.

As cliffhangers go, this one was right up there with the  best, and it rounded off this brilliant episode in jaw-dropping style. Village of the Angels is the undisputed jewel in the crown of Doctor Who Flux, as riveting as it was scary, and easily one of the best episode of the 13th Doctor’s era.

In the penultimate episode of Doctor Who Flux the Doctor, Yaz, Dan and Professor Jericho must face their most perilous journey of all. Survivors of the Flux sees their quest to save the universe confounded by circumstance and insurmountable odds at nearly every turn. As the Doctor confronts her Weeping Angel captors while in transit to the Division, her stranded TARDIS team go tomb raiding in 1904 in order to decrypt an ancient text that can help them find their way back to the Doctor. 

Chris Chibnall skilfully manages to bring numerous plot threads together in Survivors of the Flux, with the Doctor’s opening monologue rapidly connecting the dots for the audience, and numerous characters story-arcs dramatically intersecting with one another as Flux races towards its conclusion. Of course, any enjoyment of this episode and its impact on the Doctor’s legacy depends very much on whether you liked the Timeless Child arc which set-up the Division as a secret means for the Time Lords to meddle indiscriminately with the development of the universe, and revealed that the Doctor was also the Timeless Child.

Survivors of the Flux reintroduces Barbara Flynn’s character, now called Tecteun, along with an Ood  (Simon Carew) servant, when the Doctor arrives at Division HQ’s bizarre vessel on the fringes of the multiverse. Here the mysteries of the Flux finally begin to unfold as the Doctor learns the Division has expanded across all of time and space, recruiting countless alien species, and now they want to take their mission to other universes – burning ours on their way out. What’s more the Division caused the Flux to prevent the Doctor uncovering the truth about their organisation and Tecteun was the Gallifreyan who found the Timeless Child and stole its genetic ability of regeneration for the Time Lords. She was also responsible for wiping the Doctor’s memories – memories which now tantalising reside in a fob watch. Jodie Whittaker gives a towering performance in this episode, running a gauntlet of emotions during her powerful exchanges with Tecteun, and Barbara Flynn is wickedly chilling as the Doctor’s cold-hearted ‘adoptive mother’.

Survivors of the Flux was a really ‘Ood’ and exciting episode.

One of the most fun aspects of this episode through was the light-hearted Indiana Jones style adventures in 1904 that Yaz, Dan and Jericho’s embarked upon. Mandip Gill really stood out here as Yaz has clearly taken charge of this TARDIS team in the Doctor’s absence, and calls all the shots throughout their globetrotting quest. The moment where Yaz watches the adaptive hologram recording the Doctor managed to secretly make for her was especially moving too.

Kevin McNally’s Jericho was another great addition to the team, gleefully sharing the comedy spotlight with John Bishop’s cheeky Dan Lewis, and proving to be the perfect foil to mix-up the dynamic between Yaz and Dan as bit as well. There were some brilliant moments as they encountered a hilarious Hermit in Nepal, Karnavista’s reaction to their attempt to get a message to him was priceless, and they also got to meet Joseph Williamson as the mystery behind the industrialists haphazard appearances throughout the 19th century in Doctor Who Flux were finally made clear at last.

Another surprise was seeing Craig Parkinson’s Grand Serpent return in a far more villainous capacity, this time on Earth under the alias of Prentis. It would seem this mysterious character has been manipulating UNIT since its formation, and has been present throughout the organisations illustrious history of dealing with extraterrestrial threats. I thought it was wonderful to see these early years of UNIT explored during this episode, with knowing call-backs to that ‘Post Office Tower business” from the 1965 Hartnell story The War Machines, and of course it was lovely to hear the voice of the late Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier when a snippet of dialogue from part four of Terror of the Autons (1971) rang out in the background. To top everything off Jemma Redgrave also returned as UNIT boss Kate Stewart and almost completely stole the show out from everyone in the process! All in all, it was fantastic to see UNIT back in Doctor Who again, especially that tense confrontation between Kate Stewart and Prentis. Mind you, I think having the 13th Doctor’s TARDIS in UNIT HQ during the 1960’s is bound to cause a few temporal hiccups!

While the supporting cast is slightly sidelined events in this episode do lead to some decidedly unexpected team-ups, with Bel and Karnavista’s missions becoming chaotically linked at the worst possible moment for them both, coragerous soldier Vinder and feisty modern-day scouser Di also find themselves in trouble when they inadvertently discover what the Ravagers have planned for the missing citizens of the universe. 

Tecteun’s scheme to burn our universe to cover up her own machinations possibly makes her the most monstrous person we’ve encountered so far in Doctor Who Flux. Everything builds towards a magnificently pitched cliffhanger, with the Lupari shield breached as the Grand Serpents allies – the Sontarans – attack Earth, while the Swarm and Azure show up to enact their revenge on Tecteun and destroy the Doctor. The special effects were outstanding as well, especially the backdrop of countless Weeping Angels featured during the Doctor’s conversion and the cosmic scale of Tecteun’s heinous plans for our universe. Survivors of the Flux was a really ‘Ood’ and exciting episode. Unlike the time twisting Once Upon a Time, Survivors of the Flux juggled all of its timey-wimey threads with consummate ease, every character and throw-away line was relevant to the overarching narrative, and it provided a fantastic set-up for the series finale as well.

All hope seems lost in the explosive final chapter of the Flux. The Vanquishers sees the Ravagers insidious campaign against the Division and the Doctor has come fruition as the forces of darkness take control. The monsters have won. Swarm and Azure are hellbent on unleashing a constant destructive loop as the Flux consumes the universe, Earth has fallen to the Sontaran empire, Kate Stewart is leader of the resistance against the Sontaran occupation, and the Doctor is tempted to delve into the lost memories of her past as the fate of her companions and the universe hangs in the balance! The Vanquishers strikes a fine balance between being both a stand-alone adventure with the Sontarans using Earth as a staging ground for their conquest of the universe and providing a conclusion to the six part Flux story arc. For the most part Chibnall succeeds in this by ingeniously turning the episode into a multi-Doctor story – of sorts – by splitting the Doctor into three personas across multiple time zones and locations. The Time Lord even saves herself form being tortured by Craig Parkinson’s intriguingly double pulsed Grand Serpent at one point, before reuniting with friends and allies alike. Claire (Annabel Scholey) returns to throw a proverbial psychic spanner into the works of the Sontaran Psychic Command and the Odd in Division HQ plays a pivotal role in helping to weaken the  effect of the Flux. Jacob Anderson and Thaddeea Graham’s star-crossed lovers Vinder and Bel also get a happy – if somewhat underwhelming – ending as well.

Chibnall really hit the landing with this one.

Jodie Whittaker’s amazing central performance and multiple portrayals of herself is the driving force of this complex episode. Her Doctor’s warmth and endearing personality makes light work the exposition heavy moments and keeps the narrative engaging. The Vanquishers showcases the 13th Doctor like never before, especially when ‘big bad’s’ Swarm and Azure taunt her with the mysteries of her past, but it is the quieter moments where her incarnation really shines. There are emotionally charged scenes with Yaz in the TARDIS as the Doctor finally admits she’s been keeping secrets from her, Steve Oram’s Joseph Williamson gets a moving farewell  from the Doctor, we also have 13’s first meeting with Jemma Redgrave’s tough-as-nails Kate Stewart (who fittingly also sends the Grand Serpent packing), and perhaps most heartrending of all is the scene where Whittaker’s Doctor realises Craig Els’ grumpy space-hound Karnavista once travelled with her during the Fugitive Doctor’s era.

The Sontarans are as ruthless as ever, invading Earth, exterminating the Lupari and even  luring the Daleks and Cybermen fleets into a trap – although I’m surprised either of these intergalactic superpowers actually fell for it but it certainly made for some spectacular special effect sequences as the Flux closed in. The Sontarans plans quickly came unstuck after Karnavista turned the Lupari ships against them, Professor Jericho (Kevin McNally) met a noble end, Di’s (Nadia Albina’s) inspired idea of using Passenger to absorb the Flux also helped save the day, while Swarm and Azure were fittingly vanquished, and the Doctor got a reckoning with time itself to round everything off. Even though the multi faceted resolution and drawn out coda got a tad convoluted, Chibnall really hit the landing with this one. So, with Karnavista, Vinder and Bel setting out on their own and a Masterful portent about the Doctor’s impending fate looming Doctor Who Flux concluded with the tantalising prospect. Namely that of the fob watch containing the Doctor’s forgotten memories being squirrelled away in the depths of the TARDIS for safekeeping by the Doctor, and best of all John Bishop’s character Dan joined the TARDIS team for more adventures in time and space.

Chris Chibnall delivered a truly epic saga with Doctor Who Flux. I really like how Chibnall drew influences from so many eras of Doctor Who and included plenty of fan-pleasing callbacks to the shows past. Although the Timeless Child reboot of the Doctor’s origins is no doubt still a dealbreaker for many, given its context post Flux it arguably complements the Time Lords legacy now rather than detracting from it. The entire cast, crew and production team clearly pulled out all the stops to make this series under the most difficult of circumstances during the pandemic – a commendable feat in itself. Doctor Who Flux had some outstanding episodes, high production values, and stunning visual effects. The reduced episode count and serialised approach offered a more concisely structured narrative, and with a veritable army of popular returning monsters to endanger the universe it got Doctor Who firing on all cylinders again – both creatively and dramatically.

Jodie Whittaker’s outstanding performance as Doctor was another major highlight of this mini-seres. Her incarnation of the Time Lord has come a long way since Whittaker’s bright and breezy debut in 2018’s The Woman Who Fell To Earth, and the 13th Doctor became an all-commanding presence that has positively flourished here during the crisis of the Flux. Mandip Gill has also excelled as Yaz, with the character finally shrugging off the trope of being the underdeveloped third wheel of the TARDIS team, and John Bishop was absolutely brilliant as new companion Dan Lewis.

Overall I think Doctor Who Flux turned out to be an extremely good season, one that was actually much better than I expected to be honest, and minor quibbles aside I throughly enjoyed it. I also took the decision to write a series overview of Doctor Who Flux this time around rather than individual episode reviews. It was nice to try out a new format, I’ve really enjoyed just chilling out watching Doctor Who Flux, and taking a step back from the treadmill of individual episode reviews for a change. 

Well, Doctor Who Flux might be over but the 13th Doctor will return to kick off 2022 in a New Year’s Days Special: Eve of the Daleks. This will be the first of three Doctor Who Specials airing in 2022, with the second arriving in the Spring, and Jodie Whittaker’s final feature-length Special (where the 13th Doctor will regenerate), to be shown during the autumn of 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations before Russel T Davies takes over from Chris Chibnall as the new Doctor Who show runner to usher in the programmes 60th Anniversary in 2023.

IMAGES BELONG BBC

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

New Spider-Man No Way Home Trailer Confirms a Multi-verse of Villains!

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The new Spider-Man No Way Home trailer has finally arrived and it brings a multi-verse of villains along with it! The action-packed trailer delves even deeper into Spider-Man’s latest struggle as the multiverse begins to fracture and allow several classic Spidey villains from the multiverse to come pouring out through the cracks. Staring Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, this trailer suggests that Peter’s interruptions while the Sorcerer Supreme was conducting his memory-wiping spell led to the multiverse cracking open, and they seam to be at loggerheads as they try to deal with the ramifications of what they’ve unleashed.

Of course we already knew Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock would return, and it would seem he has the most prominent role to play in the new Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer. There’s also brief appearances from Electro (Jamie Foxx), Sandman, Lizard, and the Green Goblin!

Rumours abound about at who else might appear in Spider-Man No Way Home but this trailer doesn’t give anything more away on that front. Spider-Man No Way Home looks set to be an epic MCU movie event, and is certainly one of the most hotly anticipated films of the year. Spider-Man: No Way Home will be swinging into cinemas on December 15 in the UK and December 17 in the US!

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Gunslinger Spawn #1 Review

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Gunslinger Spawn #1

Review by Paul Bowler

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Gunslinger Spawn #1 marks the launch of Image Comics second new monthly title to spin out of Tod McFarlane’s SPAWN UNIVERSE. Jeremy Winston / Gunslinger Spawn is arguably one of the most popular characters to emerge from the Spawn mythology in recent times. This new ongoing title will chart Gunslinger Spawn’s adventures from his Wild West origins to being uncannily marooned in the 21st Century. But as Gunslinger explores the unfamiliar world of 2021 it isn’t  long before this past comes back to haunt him with a vengeance!

Much like Gunslinger Spawn himself Todd McFarlane has brought a veritable arsenal of talent along for the ride  to make this 57 page issue, which features one main story and three back-up stories all written by Todd McFarlane, with Ales Kot providing additional plot / script for A Small Gift. Brett Booth handles the art for the main story and Thomas Nachlik, Philip Tan and Kevin Kean are on the backup stories, with inks by Adelso Corona, colors by Andrew Dalhouse, Nikos Koutsis, Marcello Iozzoli, Marcelo Maiolo, and FCO Plascencia, and the entire issue is lettered by Tom Orzechowski.

Picking up after the dramatic events of Spawn’s Universe #1, Gunslinger Spawn #1 sees the Gunslinger hit the road after finding himself inexplicably stranded in the present-day. He soon encounters slacker teen Taylor Bartlett. The ensuing hijinks highlights Gunslinger’s fish-out-of-water predicament, as the hellish high-planes drifter wrestles with concepts like gasoline, Google, and his young companions wry sarcasm. However, when they discover Taylor’s father is conspiring with the forces of Heaven the Gunslinger must charge to the rescue with all guns blazing!

The back-up’s delve into the mystery of Gunslinger Spawn’s past and greatly adds to the narrative of the main story in modern-day times : “The Lynching” has Gunslinger on the trail of an outlaw in the Wild West, “Weapons” reveals an important secret about his trademark revolvers, and “A Small Gift” features an iconic staple of the Westerns genre, a moody showdown in a run-down saloon. 

The high anticipation for this comic has made Gunslinger Spawn #1 one of the biggest superhero launches in twenty-five years, and for the most part it manages to live up to all the hype. McFarlane has crafted an issue filled with fan-pleasing moments for the Gunslinger, especially his past, and also cleverly woven the narrative into the present-day to make it a fairly easy jumping on point for new readers.  The art is also right on the money, with Brett Booth’s art probably being the biggest draw, and his fantastic artwork is nicely complemented by Nachlik, Tan and Kean on the backup’s.

Gunslinger Spawn originally made his debut as a cameo in Spawn #119 (2002). The characters distinctive aesthetic made him an instant hit and his recent return (which transported  Gunslinger from the Wild West into the present), saw him fighting alongside Spawn in Spawn’s Universe #1, and paved the way for the debut of his own ongoing series. 

As first issues go Gunslinger Spawn #1 covers all the bases and sets the stage for a great new series. The dynamic between Gunslinger and Taylor is great as well. Out of the three new titles launching this year in Todd McFarlane’s new SPAWN UNIVERSE, Gunslinger Spawn was the one I was looking forward to the most, and I’m excited to see Gunslinger’s adventures — past and present — unfold in this great new series. 

Publisher Image Comics

Script / Plot Todd McFarlane

Additional Script / Plot Ales Kot 

Art Brett Booth, Thomas Nachlik, Philip Tan and Kevin Kean 

Inks Adelso Corona

Colors Andrew Dalhouse, Nikos Koutsis, Marcello Iozzoli, Marcelo Maiolo, and FCO Plascencia Lettere Tom Orzechowski

Cover Artists Todd McFarlane, Brett Booth, Greg Capullo, Jason Shawm Alexander, Robert Kirkman, Tonton Revolver

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Dune (2021) Film Review

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Dune (2021) Film Review

Review by Paul Bowler.

Denis Villeneuve’s ambitious adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel, Dune, is finally here. Dune: Part One, follows the mythical emotional coming of age journey of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), a gifted young man born to face a destiny beyond anything he could’ve imagined on one of the most dangerous planets in the universe. When treachery strikes, Paul faces a battle for survival  on the harsh desert world of Arrakis as the fate of the future, his family and his people hangs in the balance.

Right from the first scene of Dune: Part One it becomes clear that French-Canadian director of Blade Runner 2049 Denis Villeneuve has taken the rich narrative of Frank Herbert’s epic 1965 sci-fi novel – which many have long considered unfilmable – and masterfully captured the essence of Herbert’s work in a way that beautifully presents the intricate universe of Dune with its fascinating ensemble of characters, political power-struggles, intrigue and mysticism. The film is the first in a two part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, with a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Villeneuve and Eric Roth that effectively covers the first half  of the first book.

Unlike David Lynch’s Dune, which was a disastrous and unfathomable flop that bombed at the box office 1984, David Villeneuve’s Dune manages to avoid the narrative pitfalls and correct many of that earlier film’s worst mistakes. The plot of Dune: Part  One is far more cohesive as a result.

Villeneuve wisely gives the characters and sweeping subtexts of Herbert’s novel room to breath, the special effects are breathtaking and the score by Hans Zimmer is magnificent. Fans of the book are sure to love every moment of Villeneuve’s thoughtful and respectful adaptation. Newbies might find the pace of the first hour a bit slow, but the sheer scope and scale of the film, along with its incredible visuals, effortless draws you in as Paul Atreides embarks on epic journey of discovery.

Once again, Dune: Part One sees the action unfold on the planet Arrakis, a commodity-rich world, where gargantuan sandworms lurk beneath the desert plains and the blue-eyed Fremen are locked in guerrilla warfare with their colonial oppressors from the ruthless House Harkonnen. Now the emperor has decreed that Barron Haekonnen (Stellan Skarsagard) must relinquish his governance over Arrakis to make way for the House of Atreides to take over, and ensure the further procurement of Melange, or spice as it is know, the priceless substance that can extend human vitality and is essential to maintain interstellar travel. The Atreides leader, Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac), seeks to make a treaty with the Fremen, but before his radical plans can be implemented, the bloated Baron Harkonnen and his hulking nephew Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista) launch a devastating attack to seize   back control of Arrakis. 

Caught in the crossfire of the Harkonnen’s coup is Leto’s young son and heir, Paul (the perfectly cast Timothee Chalamet), and his mystical mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson),  who is also an acolyte of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, and both mother and son possess enhanced Jedi-like physical and mental abilities. They manage to escape the carnage and with some help from Paul’s sword-master mentor and friend, Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa) along the way, Paul and his mother make the dangerous journey across sandworm territory to reach the Fremen, where Paul finally encounters the mysterious girl from his dreams, Chani (Zendaya). A ritual duel and haunting revelations await as Paul becomes further entwined with the Fremens’ messianic prophecies.

David Villeneuve’s Dune is mesmerising blend of intergalactic political intrigue, mystery, sci-fi monster action and adventure. Every moment of the 155-minute run time is well spent on melding characterisation and plot with accomplished ease, and although the ending is a bit abrupt it sets the stage nicely for the next chapter of Paul Atreides’ mission. Of course on the films release it wasn’t certain whether we’d actually get a part two and find out if Paul really is “The One”. Fortunately the film performed well at the box office (making $40 million during its opening weekend), and on 26th October 2021 Legendary, Warner Bros and director Denis Villeneuve confirmed that Dune: Part Two has now been officially green lit with a release date of October 20th 2023. Villeneuve’s inspired directorial vision and the films dazzling cinematography has brought Frank Herbert’s Dune to life on the big screen in the most spellbinding way imaginable. An awe-inspiring movie in its own right, Dune: Part One is everything fans could’ve  hoped for, and more!

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

DC FanDome: The Batman New Trailer!

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DC FanDome: The Batman NewMain Trailer!

The new, second trailer for The Batman has been released during DC’s 2021 FanDome event. The trailer offers a great taste of what this dark, noir style take on the legacy of the Batman will be like.

Thought the trailer was amazing and I’m excited to see this movie more than ever now. “The Batman,” with director Matt Reeves (the “Planet of the Apes” films) at the helm and with Robert Pattinson (“Tenet,” “The Lighthouse,” “Good Time”) starring as Gotham City’s vigilante detective, Batman, and billionaire Bruce Wayne looks set to be a box-office smash.

Also in the star-studded ensemble as Gotham’s famous and infamous cast of characters are Zoë Kravitz (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Mad Max: Fury Road”) as Selina Kyle; Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy,” “12 Years a Slave”) as Edward Nashton; Jeffrey Wright (the “Hunger Games” films) as the GCPD’s James Gordon; John Turturro (the “Transformers” films) as Carmine Falcone; Peter Sarsgaard (“The Magnificent Seven,” “Black Mass”) as Gotham D.A. Gil Colson; Barry Keoghan (“Dunkirk”) as Officer Stanley Merkel; Jayme Lawson (“Farewell Amor”) as mayoral candidate Bella Reál; with Andy Serkis (the “Planet of the Apes” films, “Black Panther”) as Alfred; and Colin Farrell (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Dumbo”) as Oswald Cobblepot.

“The Batman” is set to open in theaters 4th March 2022.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook