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The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

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Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of  ‘The Week In Geek’  where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game, and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure. And so once more unto the geek dear agents, once more…

DC Set June 3rd As Wonder Woman Day…

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‘By the canescent collar of Cerberus’ will June be a month of serious Amazonian revelry and celebration, for not only will we be witness to the Themysciran Titan’s big screen solo escapades on June 2, but DC Comics have also announced that June 3 is officially Wonder Woman day! That’s right, my awesomely amazing Amazonian affiliates we’re talking a full weekend of wondrous festivity in the company of the world’s finest fictional female, so let’s all praise Hera.. for this truly is a gift from the glorious Greek Gods themselves!

Judge Dredd Will Soon Be Passing Judgement, In Your Living Room!..

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That’s right fellow Squaxx Dek Thargo, Ol’ stoney face himself – Judge Dredd will soon be invading your living rooms in the recently announced ‘Mega City One’ TV series!

The British comic book icon is set to star in his very own series thanks to 2000 AD owners Rebellion teaming up with IM Global. Rebellion have announced that development of the series is currently underway, and the cast will be unveiled soon. The series will be filmed in the UK and overseen by Rebellion themselves, which makes us supremely confident that it will remain ever faithful to the popular character.

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Rebellion owners, Chris and Jason Kingsley said: “We are very excited to be beginning the journey of getting Dredd’s Mega-City One on the television screen, thanks to the legion of fans who have kept up pressure on social media. We aim to make a big budget production that will please our fans and the general screen watching public alike.”

By Stomm, this is gruddamn Dredd-tastic news, updates as we hear them citizens!

Doomsday Approaches The DC Universe…

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Who or what is behind the reality shifting events of 2016’s biggest selling comic DC Rebirth? superstar scribe and DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns will reveal all when the mini-series ‘Doomsday Clock’ launches later this year.

“It’s Watchmen colliding with the DC Universe” Johns told SyfyWire, “It is the most personal and epic, most utterly mind-bending project I have worked on in my career.”

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At the beginning of the year Geoff Johns revealed his return to comic book writing by releasing a teaser image of Dr Manhattan on his Twitter stream, and his upcoming Doomsday Clock mini-series will ultimately reveal the intention behind Doc’s machinations, and their massive ramifications for the DC Universe, oh and Superman and Doc will clash in epic fashion!!

Alongside offering answers for Rebirth, the mini-series will also explore the the core nature of humanity that differentiates Superman and Dr Manhattan as characters (aside from them punching the hell out of each other, of course!)

Doomsday Clock releases this November…

Why not join us again next time friends for more Week In Geek

The Week In Geek… With Precinct1313

Welcome fellow agents of Precinct1313 to another episode of ‘The Week In Geek’ where we love to share our favourite Comic Book, Video-Game and Cult Movie news for your perusal and pleasure… and so once more unto the breach dear readers, once more…

Nintendo Switch Release Date And Launch Games Announced…

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You know, I have always been more of an Xbox than a Nintendo (and previous to Microsoft’s beast of a console, I was a SEGA… in fact I still am.) But the one thing I have always loved (and bought) were Nintendo’s handhelds. I have owned virtually every portable device they have launched since the classic Gameboy in 1989, which is why I am genuinely excited for the Switch, Nintendo’s first hybrid console.

The Nintendo Switch is the incoming flagship console from the legendary Japanese gaming giant, which effortlessly combines home and portable play into one very cool package, and I want one… right now! Set to be released worldwide on March 3, 2017 at a very reasonable £279.99 ($299.99) with a strong launch line up that includes – Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Dragon Quest XI, and Skyrim (that’s right folks, a portable version of Bethesda’s classic RPG… there goes my life.) 

Geoff Johns And Dr Manhattan – Dream Team…

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DC Entertainment’s President and comic book author extraordinaire Geoff Johns is returning to writing comics again this year, and has (heavily) hinted that he may be exploring the intriguing connection between Watchmen and the DC Universe. In a series of tweets Johns has confirmed his return to his oeuvre, with an accompanying image of Watchmen’s Dr Manhattan. Johns’ last comic authorship was last May’s “DC Universe Rebirth #1” in which he eluded that the electric blue super-human may have had a hand in creating the rebooted Rebirth timeline.

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The highly enjoyable one-shot also portrayed Batman discovering the iconic blood spattered smiley badge from Alan Moore’s groundbreaking 80’s mini-series, in the Bat Cave! Hold on tight dear readers, for this promises to be one hell of a wild ride!

Constantine Set To Return, In Animated Form…

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Everyone’s favourite chain smoking, mystical, demon fighting anti-hero – John Constantine is set to return to the small screen in a new CW animated series. Following on from his fantastic (yet criminally short lived) NBC live action show, the new animation will find Constantine actor Matt Ryan reprising his role in voice over form and is being produced by Greg Berlanti. We were honestly hoping for another live action depiction of the magical man of mystery, but I guess an animated rendering is better than no return at all, plus CW’s animated Vixen series has been rather wonderful, so all the signs point to this being equally as great.

Why not join us next time friends for more Week In Geek!

Seven Years Of The Watchmen

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“Rorschach’s journal – April 6, 2016. Seven years ago I starred in one of the greatest cinematic triumphs of all time. In it the streets were extended gutters, and the gutters were full of critics, and when the drains finally scabbed over, the fans looked up and shouted save us, and Zack Snyder whispered “Yes”.

Seven years ago today, the greatest piece of comic book fiction ever wrought was finally released on film by visual auteur Zack Snyder. His triumphant cinematic reworking of the supposedly unfilmable comic series from the eighties was hailed by the fans as a masterpiece of modern dystopian Superhero cinema, but received tepid reviews from critics (Mmmm, now this seems familiar).

(Warning: Spoilers ahoy)

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Who watches the Watchmen?  Ozymandias does…

The Watchmen limited comic series was released by DC Comics in 1986, it was a collaborative effort of three superstar British comic book creators, Writer Alan Moore, Artist Dave Gibbons and Artist/Colourist John Higgins. Moore originally posited to DC that he wanted to use their acquired Charlton Comics characters as the basis for the story, but DC’s managing editor of the time Dick Giordano, persuaded Moore to create new characters instead, as the usage of DC’s now integrated (into the DC universe) Charlton heroes would have rendered them almost unusable in future timelines because of the direction they would have taken as a result of Moore’s suggested storyline. 

Alan Moore is widely regarded as the greatest comic book author of all time, apart from Watchmen, Moore also introduced us to V for Vendetta, Batman: The Killing Joke and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but it is Watchmen that propelled Moore to the rank of numero uno in the highly competitive comic book market.

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Protagonist Rorschach narrates the story throughout with regular diary entries and monologues

Alan Moore’s writing usually takes a dark and dystopian route through pre-existing tropes, subverting and twisting characters to fit into his alternate timelines. Watchmen is a satirical look at superheroes, that reflects the era it was written, be it through the politics of the time (80’s Britain was a particularly political hot-bed) or emerging trends and people’s apprehension of the future.

Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985, and follows masked vigilante Rorschach as he and other retired members of the Superteam – Crimebusters, investigate the murder of one of their former colleagues – The Comedian. In Moore’s universe, costumed heroes first appeared in the 1940’s, and were a collection of former Police officers and disgruntled citizens who ‘masked up’ to take down an increasing number of criminals who had taken to wearing costumes to disguise themselves from recognition.

In the early eighties with the world on the brink of a nuclear holocaust, and with an outcry by the general populace against masked vigilantes, costumed heroes were outlawed, and most faded into retirement or (in the case of the Comedian and Dr Manhattan) went to work covertly for the Government. Rorschach though continued to fight crime unsanctioned, wanted by the Police he refused to abandon his principles and castigated his former team-mates for their cowardice in the face of the costumed vigilante ban.

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After the murder of The Comedian, Rorschach manages to convince former team-mates, Nite-Owl II and Silk Spectre II to come out of retirement and help investigate what he believes is a conspiracy to kill members of the Crimebusters. Moore’s take on Superheroes is not for the faint of heart, it is a mature and sometimes shocking take on a popular medium, set in a totalitarian, regressive society consumed with fear and anxiety.

Unto this premise comes visual mastermind director Zack Snyder, riding high on his successful conversion of Frank Miller’s “300” graphic novel, he set his sights on DC’s Watchmen, and in 2009 presented us with perfection in comic book to film form. His film mirrored its source material beautifully, condensing the story somewhat, but still supplying every nuance and important depth of plot that the original comic series conveyed. His choice of actors were astonishingly close to their fictional selves, especially the casting of Jackie Earle-Haley as titular protagonist Rorschach. This film has ultimately become the cornerstone of Zack Snyder’s career, only recently equalled (in our humble opinion) by his take on DC’s Trinity in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, which shares many similarities to Watchmen in both tone and visual style.

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Seven years on and Watchmen is now more highly regarded amongst its former critics, still loved by the fans and is one of the first ‘R’ rated (18 rated here in the UK) Superhero movies, long before characters like Deadpool were ever conceived for the big screen. Snyder’s film is visually enthralling, deep and concise in its portrayal of the original classic series, as much a must watch now as it ever was, not only one of the greatest comic book movies of all time… but literally one of the greatest movies of all time! 

watchmen emoWho Watches The Watchmen?… You Should!

 

Rorschach Returns?

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Who Watches The Watchmen? Hopefully We Do!

To an interminably die-hard Watchmen fan like myself, there can be no greater news than the live action return of Alan Moore’s fabled comic characters, and you know what, it’s looking like we are one step closer to seeing just that. Zack Snyder, director of the fantastic 2009 film adaptation of Moore’s groundbreaking graphic novel, has approached studio HBO with the (really rather marvellous) idea of a weekly Watchmen television series.  

As to what form the series may take, it’s rather early to predict at this time, but considering we have already been treated to the original 80’s tale, the series would more than likely take inspiration from the 2012 comic prequel series “Before Watchmen.”  These consisted of eight separate mini-series each following one of the main characters from the Watchmen and served as a forerunner to the original Moore series. Of course it could go the other way and create a wholly original story involving our volatile team of heroes, whatever form the show may take however, it is still exciting news. More Rorschach?… oh hell yes!

Watchmen Copyright: DC Comics

The Watchmen: Rorschach

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(Warning: Contains plot spoilers)

Watchmen originated from the mind of comic-book writer extraordinaire, Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, The Killing Joke) in 1986 with artwork by Dave Gibbons and John Higgins. Published by DC Comics, the project was originally submitted to them using the Charlton comics characters that they had recently acquired the rights to, Captain Atom, Blue Beetle and the Question amongst others were going to be the basis of the Watchmen themselves, but DC were reluctant to use any of it’s current characters outside of their existing timeline. Instead managing editor at DC at the time, Dick Giordano proposed the creation of new characters for the story and so, Captain Atom became Dr Manhattan, Blue Beetle became Nite- Owl, and the Question gave birth to the ‘paranoid, sociopathic’ masked vigilante … Rorschach. 

JACKIE EARLE HALEY as Rorschach Watchmen movie image

Rorschach is the main protagonist of the Watchmen, with the audience following along with him throughout the story through the use of both monologues and his regular diary entries. You could say that of all the Watchmen, Rorschach is the true hero of the piece, though at only a cursory glance he seems a very one note character, callous and sociopathic.

Rorschach initially comes across as an unapologetic vigilante who perceives the world around him in very black & white terms, there is only right and wrong, no middle ground, though under the surface he is very much a deeper character. Rorschach is the most relatable and empathetic of the group, the downtrodden everyman who has finally reached the point where he’s had enough of the cruelty, unjust and indifference of society at large, deciding to fight back and adopting a persona that would enable him to do just that.

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Rorschach was born Walter Kovacs in 1940, his father was unknown to him and he lived solely with his mother Sylvia. His mother was a prostitute who regularly entertained her ‘clients’ in their run-down home, she was abusive to her son both physically and mentally. At the age of eleven Walter got into a fight with two local neighbourhood bullies, unwilling to tolerate their abuse anymore, Walter fought back for the first time in his life, battering the two older bullies, leaving them hospitalised and in one case permanently scarred. Upon looking into Walter’s home life, the authorities saw the conditions that he was forced to live under and removed him from his mother’s care, and he was resettled in a local boys home.

Walter excelled from a young age at various sports and was also a very gifted boxer. He left the boys home at the age of sixteen, and found a job in a dress shop where he would cut and fashion fabric for the clothing, it was here that he came across the unique fabric that would eventually become his famous ink blot mask.

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Throughout the 1960’s Walter would fight crime as the masked vigilante Rorschach, and though his methodology was ruthless, he never killed any of the criminals, they would end up most of the time brutally beaten and hospitalised, but very much left alive. The incident that changed Rorschach and ultimately sent him down the path of his own destruction was the case of  the kidnapping of the youngster Blair Roche. Tracking down the killer to an abandoned shop, Rorschach found the the young girl’s charred clothing in a stove and observed the killer’s two dogs chewing on a human bone. This was the turning point for Walter, unable to hold in his rage and having no belief in the justice system at large, he killed the girl’s murderer and would from that point on continue to do so to all of the most violent of  criminals he came into contact with.

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Rorschach occasionally teamed up with another costumed crime-fighter, Dan Dreiberg, aka Nite-Owl to take down more prolific and dangerous criminals and gangs, and then eventually alongside Nite-Owl he joined the newly formed superhero team: the Crimebusters. This group reintroduced the idea of a team of crime-fighters, the first mass team up since the original Minute-men team from the 1940’s, the Crimebusters consisted of Dr Manhattan, Ozymandias, Captain Metropolis, Silk Spectre, the Comedian, Nite-Owl and of course Rorschach.

In 1985 the government of the time passed the Keene act which outlawed masked crime-fighters, the Watchmen disbanded apart from of course Rorschach himself who refused to give up the mask and retire from crime-fighting, both Dr Manhattan and the Comedian would continue to work secretly as government agents in various conflicts and war zones around the world.

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When Rorschach takes on the investigation of the recent murder of Edward Blake, he discovers that Blake was actually the civilian persona of the Comedian and concluded that he was probably killed in retaliation for him being an ex-member of the Watchmen. Convinced there is a ‘mask killer’ on the loose, Rorschach decides to warn his fellow team members and investigate the case further. During this investigation, Rorschach is framed by the killer of the Comedian after an unknown tip places him at the home of murdered Super-Villain, Moloch, Rorschach is captured by the police and incarcerated.

A very dangerous place for any crime-fighter considering half of the current inmates were incarcerated here by Rorschach himself, when an inmate attempts to stab him with a shiv whilst they line up in the prison cafeteria, Rorschach throws the boiling contents of a fryer in the face of his attacker, this elicits Rorschach’s famous quote, “none of you seem to understand, I’m not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me!” After his would be attacker dies, the prison erupts into a violent uprising and Rorschach with the help of recently out of retirement Watchmen, Nite-Owl and Silk Spectre escapes.

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With Nite-Owl at his side once more, Rorschach discovers that it is in fact their one time team mate, Adrian Veidt aka Ozymandias that perpetrated the death of the Comedian because he had unearthed Veidt’s plan to stop an impending nuclear war between the United States and Russia by killing millions of innocent people and blaming it on an alien attack, thus uniting the nations against this perceived threat. Upon discovering this information, Rorschach and Nite-Owl head off to Veidt’s Arctic base to confront him and stop his genocidal plan. 

By the time they reach him, Veidt has already enacted his plan and millions lay dead, as a consequence of  Veidt’s actions the warring world leaders do come together in mourning the loss of their people and a peace agreement is met, which to Ozymandias seems to validate his actions, with even the powerful Dr Manhattan understanding Veidt’s reasoning, “without condemning or condoning” as Manhattan puts it. Rorschach on the other hand  cannot agree to compromise his beliefs and decides to tell the world the truth behind the incident, he cannot allow himself to live with the knowledge of Veidt’s act, but also knows full well that if the truth gets out the world once more will be thrown into nuclear war and millions more will likely die, “never compromise, even in the face of armageddon” quotes Rorschach.

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Adrian Veidt – Ozymandias

Upon being confronted by Dr Manhattan as he tries to leave, Rorschach even though compelled to tell the truth to the outside world, believes he can never live with the deaths of millions of more innocents should the inevitable war happen and pleads with Manhattan to take his life, “do it!” he cries to which Manhattan regretfully obliges, killing Rorschach on the spot with a mere wave of his hand.

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“DO IT!”

Watchmen is not your typical comic-book tale, it is a deep psychological look at Superheroes and their beliefs, the Alan Moore masterpiece is a must read to all fans of the Superhero genre and to anyone with a love of great fiction. The 2009 Zack Snyder helmed movie of  Watchmen also comes highly recommended, and though it deviates ever so slightly (but necessarily) from the plot of the original comic, it is an amazing recreation of its source material and is my personal favourite comic-book movie to date.

New Comics Spotlight: Pax Americana #1

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Blue Beetle: The original Nite-Owl

Pax Americana #1 is another chapter in DC Comic’s ongoing Multiversity saga, the multiple universe spanning story that takes place on alternate Earths, giving the reader variant versions of their favourite characters, Pax Americana tells the story of Earth 4’s heroes and villains.

Written by Grant Morrison, this is definitely his version of the classic 1980’s award winning comic The Watchmen. Set on Earth 4, it tells its story in an intriguing new way (which I won’t spoil here – go read it friends), when the President of the United States is assassinated, heroes Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, The Question, Nightshade and Peacemaker come together to unearth the truth behind the secrets and lies of his assassination.

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The Question in full on Rorschach mode

What really cements it as a Watchmen homage are the DC characters chosen to star in this new Multiversity story, The Question is the original template for vigilante Rorschach, Captain Atom was the original Dr Manhattan and Blue Beetle is the character that Nite-Owl was based upon.  Morrison’s love of Alan Moore’s Watchmen shines bright in this comic, a fantastic story in its own right, and a must buy for all fans of The Watchmen.

Pax Americana #1 is written by Grant Morrison, with cover and interior art by Frank Quitely.