Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DVD NEWS: Gina Torres puts a sexy spin on evil as Superwoman in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

Gina Torres mixes equal parts evil, sexy and powerful of conjure the hypnotic voice of Superwoman in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, an all-new DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movie arriving TODAY, February 23, 2010 from Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation.

In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, a “good” Lex Luthor arrives from an alternate universe to recruit the Justice League to help save his Earth from the Crime Syndicate, a gang of villainous characters with virtually identical super powers to the Justice League. What ensues is the ultimate battle of good versus evil in a war that threatens both planets and puts the balance of all existence in peril. Torres plays Superwoman, the evil doppelganger to Wonder Woman and one of the leaders of the powerful Crime Syndicate.

Torres had an unanticipated assist in bringing about the powerful, yet sultry voice of Superwoman, coming into the booth in the final days of a bad flu that slightly lowered her vocal range and added a smoky sexiness to the outstanding performance. Even more impressive is her perfect match with the voice of Owlman, James Woods – considering the two actors recorded on opposite coasts, weeks apart, and have never met each other.

She is well known throughout the fanboy realm for her standout roles in Joss Whedon’s Firefly/Serenity and Angel, her performance at Cas in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, as well as 28 episodes in Cleopatra 2525. Torres has since been a mainstay across primetime television with recurring roles on 24, Alias and Standoff, in addition to guest appearances in CSI, Without a Trace, Boston Legal, Bones, Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Criminal Minds, Dirty Sexy Money, The Unit, FlashForward, Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries, to name just a few.

Torres has also spent some time in the animated world, working with Warner Bros. Animation as Vixen on Justice League.

Gina Torres (Serenity/Firefly) is the voice of Superwoman in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the next DC Universe animated original movie. The film will be distributed February 23, 2010 by Warner Home Video. (Photo courtesy of Gary Miereanu)

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is an original story from award-winning animation/comics writer Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League). Bruce Timm (Superman Doomsday) is executive producer, and Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight) and Sam Liu (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies) are co-directors. The full-length animated film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Blu-Ray™ and Special Edition 2-disc version DVD, as well as single disc DVD, On Demand and For Download.

Torres spent a few minutes after her recording session – and last week during the Los Angeles premiere of the film at the Paley Center for Media – to chat about her performance as Superwoman, the importance of strong female role models, the acting strengths of Whedon alums, her childhood obsession with Wonder Woman, and the fun of allowing her evil side to come out and play. Listen up … or else.

Superwoman flies into battle in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the next DC Universe animated original movie. Gina Torres provides the voice of Superwoman. The film will be distributed February 23, 2010 by Warner Home Video.

As you stepped into the sound booth to voice Superwoman, were you actually feeling wickedly sexy, delightfully cruel and ultimately powerful … or was that all just acting?

I'm so glad they called me to do Superwoman, (she laughs) because I was in the mood to get back in there and be a badass. Superwoman is one of those super heroes that knows her power, and is very comfortable in her power. And it's all cat – it's no mouse with her. She likes to bat around her prey and she really enjoys what she's doing.

In the booth, you sort of have to become this person. When you're not on stage with other actors and you're not on camera, you really get to free up your body and do all kinds of things that maybe aren't as pretty on camera. You get to have a good time getting your whole body involved in the interpretation.

Have you ever had a relationship with comic books?

Do the Archies count? (laughs) I was a big Archie fan. I love Veronica – I want to look like Veronica. Betty was great, but Veronica was the girl. And that whole “Sugar, Sugar” (singing) thing was great. I'm telling my age – I'm really only 28. My sister is older (laughs). I was listening to her 45s.

I don't want to disappoint any comic book fans out there, but I'm a girl so I really wasn't reading the super hero comic books much. But it's done great things for my marriage. The husband loved the idea of me playing Superwoman. And my girlfriends said, “Well, that's just kind of you every day, isn't it?” So I’m happy.

Superwoman can’t decide whether to kiss or kill Batman in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the next DC Universe animated original movie. Gina Torres and William Baldwin provide the voices of Superwoman and Batman, respectively. The film will be distributed February 23, 2010 by Warner Home Video.

So there was no super hero role playing games when you were a kid?

I absolutely played Wonder Woman when I was a kid. I had the lasso, the whole bracelet thing, I even had my twirl down. I just knew that I was going to be taken back to Paradise Island, because that's really where I belonged. I was this small little Amazon just waiting to express myself, waiting for my true mother to come and get me. (laughs)

Can you give me an idea of what Superwoman’s motivations are in this film?

Let's see. Superwoman is motivated by power and money and sex, and sex and money and power. Who can’t relate to that?

Good answer. Not that Superwoman is a role model, but do you feel like women have enough super hero representation these days?

What do you mean Superwoman is not a role model? Isn't she a role model? She rules the world (laughs). She's Superwoman! (laughs). What I love about super heroes, and Superwoman in particular, is that in that comics world they're all curvaceous. There aren't really any skinny bitches in the world of comic books. They've got muscle. I like that. I appreciate that. They're strong. And it's important to have strong images of women out there, women who aren't afraid of expressing themselves, women who aren't afraid of taking chances, women who aren't afraid of their own power. Unfortunately, being a woman in society means that sometimes you have to sort of quell what is instinctually broad and magnificent and magical about you. I think a lot of people feel that way. I don't know if that's necessarily relegated to being a woman, because we're all so worried about fitting in and not sticking out. So what's great about this whole genre is that it's all about sticking out. It's all about being magnificent to the highest power.

You're a terribly nice person by everyone's perception. What’s your trick for turning on the villainy in a performance?

Oh, there is no trick to capturing villainy. (laughs) The rumor is that I'm a nice person. I love that rumor. Everybody has different sides to them. Everybody has that inner villain that you want to break out and express. It's a good time going out there and letting her come out. Lock good Gina in the closet … and have evil Gina come out and play.

You've been in this universe before, most notably as Vixen for Justice League. Do you have an attraction to the medium or just when the situation presents itself?

I love voiceover work. It's wonderful, it's expressive. It's a way of using a part of my instrument that I'm comfortable and familiar with. The voice is such a vital part of crafting a character. I'm so pleased that I have the kind of voice that prints well and that people want to hear. I've had friends actually say, “You know, I was in the kitchen, and the television was on and I heard you.” I love hearing that there's something familiar about my sound, and that to some people it's soothing.

Superwoman (voiced by Gina Torres) and one of her Made Men ponder what to do with a beaten Batman in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the next DC Universe animated original movie. The film will be distributed February 23, 2010 by Warner Home Video.

The DC Universe animated original movies have been blessed with numerous members of the Joss Whedon alumni association – from Adam Baldwin and Nathan Fillion to David Boreanaz and James Marsters, to name just a few. Is there something about the Joss experience that lends itself to this universe?

Joss has an attraction to a certain kind of actor. Obviously, we're all so very different in our own way. But when he's choosing a world, he really does inhabit it quite completely. I mean, it is an entire universe. It is a Whedonverse, which is why I believe he's so successful when he creates these worlds that one can get lost in. All the inhabitants in it require, without sounding self-serving, a kind of intellectual whimsy. You have to understand where you are and be true to it and at the same time let it go and let it fly and enjoy it for what it is – for the maniacal, for the fantasy, for the tragedy of it. I think all of these actors have lent themselves to these kinds of projects because we've been in that place. And so we can come here and say, “Yeah let's have fun. I know where we are and let's just go and have a good time.”

You’ve got significant sci-fi fantasy experience. Is that by choice or happenstance?

I would say that I was dragged into the sci-fi genre. (laughs) I wouldn't say kicking and screaming. I actually went willingly. But it wasn't something that I sought out. I grew up in New York, born and raised, and cut my teeth in the theatre. I did a lot of off-Broadway, and some Broadway. Sci-fi was certainly not where I thought I'd be making my bread and butter for this period of time. It's been a pleasant surprise, certainly. I find that it's a niche that I'm comfortable with. What else are you going to do with a strong, almost six-foot girl? Give her a gun. Give her superpowers. (laughs) And you give her a hefty belt with things attached to it. Yeah!

Can you quantify the passion of the fanboys out there?

That passion of the fanboy is immeasurable. And it is priceless. And it is necessary when you're doing these things because you don’t quite realize while you’re doing the work that you're in a bubble. And it's not until you're released into the world that you realize that you're making an impact and that you're making somebody's day brighter and someone's universe broader. It is great fun to be confronted with these guys and gals.

For more information, images and updates, please visit the film’s official website at www.JUSTICELEAGUECRISIS.com.

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COMIC NEWS: The Last Unicorn Launches at WonderCon

The six-issue miniseries of Peter S. Beagle’s enduring tale to debut with
exclusive WonderCon cover

Peter S. Beagle's acclaimed and enchanting fantasy, The Last Unicorn, has delighted fans for more than forty years. Now, IDW Publishing is pleased to launch The Last Unicorn comic book adaptation of Beagle's acclaimed novel at WonderCon, one of the country’s leading comics and pop culture conventions, held April 2nd through the 4th in San Francisco. Under the close direction of Beagle himself, writer Peter B. Gillis, illustrator Renae De Liz and her husband, colorist Ray Dillon, have all joined forces with IDW to capture the depth of this heartfelt story. Beagle will be a guest of WonderCon and host a panel to discuss his famous story. A signing at the IDW booth with an exclusive variant cover number one issue will follow.

“I’m delighted that IDW is doing this adaptation of my book,” says Beagle, “and by the real effort everyone there has made to stay true to what I wrote. Together with the creative team of Peter, Renae, and Ray, they are achieving something I honestly hadn’t believed possible and I cannot wait to debut it at WonderCon.”

The Last Unicorn was originally published in 1968 and became an instant classic, selling more than five million copies worldwide. Beagle created some of the most delightful and real characters in modern fantasy fiction, and also wrote the screenplay for the incredibly popular animated film that was adapted from his novel.

By turns darkly humorous and deeply moving, The Last Unicorn follows what may be the very last unicorn on her journey to discover what happened to the rest of her kind. The unicorn encounters a magical cast of both good and evil characters during her quest, as she explores a world transformed by the lack of unicorns, and by the selfish disillusionment of a king.

The Last Unicorn #1 (of 6, $3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in stores in April 2010. Diamond order code FEB10 0936.

About IDW Publishing

IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro's The Transformers and G.I. JOE, Paramount's Star Trek; Fox's Angel; the BBC's Doctor Who; and television's #1 prime time series CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; YOE Books, a partnership with YOE! Studios; and is the print publisher for ComicMix.

IDW's original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at IDWPublishing.com.

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Collection brings Kitchen, the artist, to the forefront

Introduction by Neil Gaiman and essay by Charles Brownstein

"I think ‘Oddly Compelling’ is a very good title for a book of Denis Kitchen's work, and describes it very well." — R. Crumb

A well-known personality in the comics world, Denis Kitchen has worn many hats: as a longtime publisher, founder of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, book author and literary and art agent. But his career as a pioneering underground comix artist has been overdue for rediscovery.

First announced for publication from his own Kitchen Sink Press over 20 years ago, but never produced, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen is the first collection of work by the underground cartoonist and acclaimed publishing pioneer. In addition to his comix, this book features a wealth of unpublished material: paintings, covers for underground newspapers and comix, rare strips and illustrations and historic photos of Kitchen and many of his contemporaries.

Acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman provides a funny and insightful introduction and an essay by Charles Brownstein (Eisner/Miller) provides context and a career overview.

The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen finally brings Kitchen the artist to the stage. This compendium includes approximately two hundred illustrations, most unseen since their original publication in the late '60s and '70s, many not seen even by serious comix fans.

“I always thought it was rather a shame that Kitchen became a publisher and businessman to the neglect of his artistic talent …he was a gifted and exceptional artist …I think his downfall was women …the big sap!” — R. Crumb

Designed by John Lind, winner of a 2009 American Graphic Design Award for his work on Underground Classics, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen will appeal to fans of underground comix and comics history and will allow a new generation to discover Kitchen's curious body of work.

The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen is a full color, 200 page, 9x12 hardcover priced at $34.99.

Currently offered in this month's Previews catalog with a Diamond Code of FEB100040. The book goes on sale June 9, 2010.


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Super7 announces full product details and a new website for the company's first collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd.: the highly anticipated Star Wars Stormtrooper Super Shogun.

Children growing up in the 70s and 80s had their lives touched by two pop culture phenomena: the Star Wars saga and Jumbo Machinder toys (marketed in the US as Shogun Warriors). Acclaimed toy design firm Super7 has combined Star Wars characters with the towering Japanese Super Robot aesthetic to create a collectible that could only have been imagined in the past. This marks the first authentic Super Shogun produced in over twenty-five years.

The Star Wars Stormtrooper Super Shogun stands a whopping 24 inches tall, and includes all of the features that you expect from an authentic Jumbo: free rotating wheels on the bottom of his feet, and a spring-loaded Rocket Punch firing fist. Utilizing the same techniques implemented by Japanese toy manufacturers in the 1970s, the Super Shogun is constructed from durable, blow-molded polyethylene with a painted vinyl helmet. The figure is articulated at the neck and shoulders, and includes a removable, highly-detailed BlasTech E-11 laser blaster, which even features a posable stock that unfolds from below the barrel. Collectors of both Japanese and Star Wars memorabilia are sure to be impressed with the care taken to fuse the disparate concepts into one unique entity.

Packaged in a dynamically illustrated gift box, each Stormtrooper is individually serial numbered as part of this one-time limited edition production run. As a special bonus, metallic foil stickers are included to allow fans the option to customize the torso with the character name in English or in Japanese.

Star Wars collector and Lucasfilm's Head of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet says he can't wait to get his hands on one. "I collected both Shogun Warriors and Star Wars toys, and to me this is the perfect mash-up. I've been following this piece since I saw the first internal prototype, and its awesome size and cool features (a firing fist!) along with its limited availability put this high up on the must-have list."

Tom Franck, renowned Japanese toy expert and possessor of one of the largest collections of Jumbo Machinders in the world, remarked "Toys like this just aren't made anymore and it would be easy to produce a modern-era product that is similar to the original Jumbo Machinder line in name only. Throughout the prototyping and manufacturing process, Super7 has stayed true to the distinct aesthetics of the Jumbo Machinders. It is so exciting to see the return of a classic, and I cannot wait to add it to my collection."

In celebration of the impending release, a dedicated mini-website has launched at STARWARS.SUPER7.COM containing additional product specifications, photos, and more. The home page features a countdown clock highlighting the date that the first preorders will begin being accepted online. The site will be updated regularly and will serve as the headquarters for all future Super7-Lucasfilm collaborations.


Founded in 2001 as a magazine devoted to the obsessive-compulsive world of Japanese toy collecting, Super7 embarked on a mission to become the premiere outlet for information and reference for the obscure oddities of the toy universe The success of the magazine immediately led to Super7 collaborating with Japanese toy manufacturers to create exclusive toys and various special editions, evolving overtime to Super7 designing and manufacturing its own collectible toys.

Super7's philosophy is to make products- toys, books, magazines, T-shirts, and even their own retail store in San Francisco- that its collector founders would want, resulting in Super7's products being recognized by fans as original, unique, and most of all, genuine.

Lucasfilm Ltd is one of the world's leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully integrated entertainment company.

In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects and audio post-production, LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems and PC; Lucasfilm Animation, and Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties Additionally, Lucas Online creates internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses

Lucasfilm's motion-picture productions include five of the 20 biggest box-office hits of all time and have received 19 Oscars Together, the company has been honored with 41 Academy Awards and 107 Oscar nominations, while its television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards

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COMIC NEWS: Hero Initiative auction and Tom Brevoort "Trade books"


Yea, verily! Almost 50 Stan Lee-signed books on eBay!

The trading is over…so let the bidding begin!

Marvel Comics Editor Tom Brevoort brought trading back into comic collecting with his yearlong “Take My Trade” program that took place on his blog at Marvel.com. Tom wanted to see if he could trade all the way up to a vaunted Fantastic Four #1 if he swung the right deals with fans…and he did! When it was all said and done, Tom decided to donate the books he traded for along the way to a worthy cause—the Hero Initiative.

Hero got Marvel founder Stan Lee—and in some cases, legendary Marvel artist John Romita as well—to autograph all the books, which will be auctioned off starting Monday, February 22, at 1 PM Eastern time. Approximately 10 books per week will be auctioned at via Hero’s eBay page at http://qurls.com?i=48837 until all 48 books are gone!

All books—including the Fantastic Four #1 as well!—have been graded by CGC, Comics Guarantee Corporation, and have encapsulated as part of their prestigious Signature Series. All books will also come with a Certificate of Meaninglessness from Brevoort, noting that they were part of “Take My Trade.”

“It was outstanding and humbling to experience the extreme generosity that comic fans showed both by taking part in this fun little trading event, and by giving far more than they asked for in return. I think that’s a testament to the power of the good work the Hero Initiative has been doing to help comics creators of years past who’ve fallen down on their luck—Marvel fans were much more motivated to participate knowing that the end goal was to give back to some of the talents that entertained us all over the years. Now my great hope is that these books generate a staggering amount of capital to continue that good work—so come on, get in there and bid, generously!” sais Brevoort.

About The Hero Initiative

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterday’s creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

Since its inception, The Hero Initiative has had the good fortune to grant over $400,000 to the comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today. For more information, visit www.heroinitiative.org or call 626-676-6354.

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TV NEWS: Smallville Trailer and Clips

The CW has released a trailer and clips on the upcoming Smallville episode: Conspiracy

Smallville Trailer - Conspiracy

Smallville Webclip - Conspiracy


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