While Logan has long since died in the comics universe (with the exception of Old Man Logan), he remains very much a centerpiece in Fox Studios’s X-Men franchise, played by Hugh Jackman. During a recent interview with MTV about his upcoming film Pan, Jackman waxed poetic about his time coming to an end, and named Tom Hardy as a potential Wolverine successor. While Hardy is certainly no stranger to gruff roles, this statement got our minds thinking. Who else could snikt their way into our hearts?
While scouring through pages and pages of muscled actors was a good time in itself, I came up empty, even after momentarily considering younger, and slightly hairier, actors such as Zac Efron (more of a bishounen type Logan Howlett in my opinion), Game of Thrones alum, Joe Dempsie, and Aiden Turner, who has experience playing short and hairy in the Hobbit trilogy. Yet each of these candidates would look utterly ridiculous in the trademark chops and hairstyle, something Jackman managed to pull off without looking ridiculous, which brings me to my next point.
Could they just kill off Wolverine? Sure! However he has brought in the money, and had a starring role in each X-Men movie. An argument can be made for X-Men: First Class, but let’s be honest, he stole the show with his perfect one-liner cameo! My money would be on an alternate universe Wolverine (or even a Wolverine adjacent hero like Daken or Laura) making an appearance to explain away the change in actor.
Granted, the when and how of recasting Jackman remains to be seen, since Wolverine 3 is currently slated to hit theaters on March 3, 2017, along with rumors of several cameos in upcoming Fox films.
Since we had such a hard time nailing down the perfect actor, how about we join forces? We just created an Instagram account, and we want to compile YOUR Wolverine choices!! Use the hashtag #WhoIsLogan to submit an actor’s photo and caption it “I am taking part in the Hunt for Logan Challenge with @Sub_Cultured!”
Taking place after Return of the Jedi, Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath tells the story of a group of people dealing with the transition between the downfall of the Empire and the rise of the New Republic. This comes after a move by Disney/Lucasfilm to put aside the previously published canon, that was established through comics and other novels, and start clean with the Clone Wars series and the films. With a clean slate and a movie release approaching in December, fans are eager to rediscover the Star Wars universe with Aftermath.
One of the more striking aspects of the book, and potentially the goal of the new canon, is the shift away from the previous generation of core cast. Of course it wouldn’t be a Star Wars narrative if the staple lines weren’t included. You can always bet there’s somebody uttering, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” The cast in Aftermath is designed to reflect the attitudes of the galaxy as the story develops, each one adapting to the new status quo amid the war between the New Republic and the Imperials.
My favorite character is by far the ex-loyalty officer, representing the disillusioned and tired Imperials. His story was an interesting development and watching his interactions with other Imperials and the other core characters was a highlight. The bounty hunter gave us some good insight into what is happening with the criminal underworld: what’s happening to a galaxy that doesn’t take to bad guys as well as it used to? Lastly, there’s the mother and son. The mother went off to war to find the husband that went to do the same, leaving the son behind to raise himself and now the two are thrown back together to pick up the pieces. The relationship between parent and child is a theme that runs through out the book, as we see parents teach their offspring the way of the galaxy and how they interpret the cycle of war and peace.
Much like how Han, Luke, and Leia were forced to depend on each other to defeat the Imperials, this new group is banded together by the threat of an Imperial attempt to regroup after the events of Return of the Jedi. They each have their own moralities and differences, but learn to adapt them to thwart the Imperials from establishing a foothold against the New Republic.
Adaptation is the key focus for the New Republic and Imperials as well. The New Republic is struggling to maintain its identity of freedom and democracy while maintaining a semblance of order and security in a war torn galaxy. This was the same type of conflict that transformed the previous republic into the Empire and that’s a idea that sticks around throughout the book. The Imperials are faced with reinventing their own identity from once being the most powerful organization in the galaxy to the new “Rebel Scum,” and are forced to survive using the tactics once employed by their enemies in the Rebel Alliance. For me the best part of the story came from the Imperials scrabbling to figure out what their next move is; ultimately there is an interesting conclusion that I didn’t really see coming.
Overall I would say this book is probably something like Avengers 2 for the Star Wars universe. A great blockbuster that was full of everything we could’ve expected, but at times felt the burden to help introduce the next phase of the story. Just like Avengers 2, Aftermath isn’t without its faults. How the story is structured, with seemingly frequent interludes breaking up the action, is a little annoying at times. Keeping that in mind, Aftermath is still an extremely important book for Star Wars fans. It’s the first branch of canon growing toward Force Awakens, so it’s a valuable bit of story to tide us over till December. However, it might not be as fun for people who are new to Star Wars. To keep with the metaphor, it would be like watching Avengers 2 and not having watched any other movie before it; you just wouldn’t get the point. If you are a fan of the Thrawn trilogy, the part of the old canon that used to be where Aftermath now stands, you would enjoy the parallels between it and Aftermath. In total I would say Aftermath has me excited to see where the story is going, and even more excited to see Force Awakens in December!
If you’re interested in other Star Wars books establishing the new canon, check out our review of Heir to the Jedi.
September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month in the US, which gives us a great opportunity to feature our favorite Hispanic comic creators. From capes to the very last man, these writers and artists have contributed years of talent and creativity to the industry and have definitely earned more credit than we can dish out in a single month. Be sure to check out part 2 and part 3 as well!
Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon
Twin Brazilian-born brothers are giants of the industry who have collaborated on several titles including Daytripper and BPRD. Bá remains always in our hearts as the stellar artist of the too brief run of Umbrella Academy with writer Gerard Way.
This half-Chilean artist is best known for her collaboration with writer Brian K. Vaughan on the iconic Y-The Last Man. It’s sort of like being best known for inventing the lightbulb. It is impossible to give Guerra enough credit for her brilliant work on a series that has introduced comic books to so many first-time readers.
We talk about 100 Bullets fairly often here at Sub-Cultured, and the art of Argentine Risso is probably more than half the reason. Risso has been in comics for decades and has drawn iconic characters for both Marvel and DC.
All of the artists on this list boast unique styles, but this Chilean artist’s work on the superb Locke and Key teases the line of disturbing, but settles firmly on genius. In 2015 he won an Eisner Award for Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland and was the first Chilean artist to do so.
This Mexican Marvel artist is currently all over the Marvel universe on covers of big titles like Thor, X-Men, and controversial A-Force.
Without question, this Cuban-American artist, and former Editor-in-Chief over at the tiny shop that is Marvel Comics, is an industry titan. It’s been some time since he was known primarily as a penciler but he’s stepped back into the creative sphere as the Chief Creative Office over at the home of the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and The Avengers.
As an Eisner Award winning artist of Hawkeye and The Immortal Iron Fist, this Spanish artist pushed the superhero genre to new and exciting levels. We can’t wait to see what he will be working on next.
This Puerto Rican artist and writer does a ton of freelance work with publishers like IDW. She has published two graphic novels, Valkyrie Squadron and Misfortune High.
This Mexican artist has dabbled in producing creator-owned content, including Crimson, and founded the Cliffhanger imprint at Wildstorm. He has worked on both Spider-Man and X-men titles and his manga-influenced style found a too brief home on a post-Vaughan Runaways.
Celebrate you favorite Hispanic creators this month by singing their praises in the comments!
In Charlyne Yi’s (actress, musician and, for brevity’s sake, all around creative) new adult-illustrated story collection, the writer and artist promises to take readers into her tortured mind of daydreamed parables. If this was her aim, then we suggest that Yi delivered. Oh, the Moon unfortunately reads just like it was inspired by barroom prophets and the vampire-hours kept by newly-minted and caffeine-stimulated young adults.
Be honest, is there anything more trepidatious than a friend’s insistence that you just have to listen to the wild dream that he or she had last night? Has the subsequent retelling ever really interested you or did you feign even passingly engaged attention? Is a half-remembered tale of your friend walking down the aisle in a dress made of pigeons that then turned into a pack of howling monkeys before the groom revealed himself to be Bart Simpson a model of good story-telling? It’s possible that I’m just a bad friend. If so, perhaps the sudden non-sequiturs that compose the narratives of Oh, The Moon’s longer stories are perfectly constructed out of transitional and-then-this-happeneds.
However, I’m just going to go ahead and insists that while a twist can be fantastical (especially in fantasy) it still should function as part of a larger story. Even a wrench, like those that form the epically silly journey to the grocer in Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately, The Milk, is framed and grounded in motivation and has a logical beginning and end. In Oh, the Moon, a man sells his soul to the devil for a tall hat, travels to the get it back at the behest of his lady-love, is for some reason led inside of a giant frog, and then dies soulless after getting struck by droplets of bile in the frog’s stomach. Only from the similarities in the artwork is it even clear that from page to page you are reading the same story.This isn’t the case for every entry in the collection, it is but certainly categorical of most of them
The art, however, does deserve some further mentioning. It’s delightful and plentiful. Yi has some real talent and each story is told with a unique style that shows that she has a range that deserves to be comparison to works like Tim Burton’s superb illustrated poetry collection The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories. The art proves that Yi has a future in this strange but wonderful medium of adult-oriented illustration, even if her individual tales fall short of engaging story-telling.
Oh, the Moon by Charlyne Yi releases November 3rd from HarperCollins and is available for pre-order from Amazon, and local book retailers.
Like most of you, I was still reeling from the shock of the end of Life Is Strange Episode 3, where we find out what happens to Chloe by saving her dad from the car accident in our little time-travel adventure. Episode 4 jumps right into the story at that point in the alternate timeline – where William is alive, Joyce never marries David, and Chloe is paralyzed from the neck down from an accident. On the meta level, weird things are still happening like they have been in our “original” timeline in Arcadia Bay that we’ve had for the first 3 episodes.
This is the backdrop Dark Room plunges us into, and is in my opinion, the most emotional episode in the series so far. The episode’s opening is beautiful and sweet as Max gets used to this new alternate reality and new relationship with Chloe, until she (and you) are forced to make a very difficult choice regarding her life. What really impressed me about it was how giving the alternate timeline’s Chloe a severe disability never portrayed her as a victim – there were a number of scenes where Max and Chloe were hanging out and having fun just like we’re used to in the original timeline. And in the background, while you were walking around the Price house without Chloe, what players see is a family surrounded in mountains of debt trying to make ends meet and pay for medical care, showing the very real emotional and financial hardships this kind of tragedy can bring. After agonizing over that choice and rewinding as many times as I possibly could before locking a decision in, I was relieved to see that either choice brought you back our timeline. I’m not sure how this game would even progress without Chloe.
The big “rewind” scene in Dark Room takes place shortly after that, in the form of an encounter with Frank – the not-so-lovable drug dealer, who Chloe loathes and who has ties to her friend Amber. This scene, no joke, took me roughly 30 minutes to get through until I was satisfied with the choices that I made. With over five choice branches and combinations, the majority of which end up very very badly, I was on the verge of outlining my own flowchart before I finally came out on top. Every other option was horrendous. DONTNOD actually furnished a flowchart for that scene in a rare behind-the scenes look, and though while running through that scene I shouted numerous times “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME??” at my screen, it’s really cool to see how complex a (sans rewind) 5 minute scene can be on game’s decision engine. You can check out the flowchart in the gallery below (click or right-click/download to blow it up to full size).
And that complex logic, with all of its twists and turns, broke the fourth wall and spilled over into my real life discussions with people. You see in a lot of other episodic games, the choice engines generally brought you right back to a main timeline with only subtle differences in details with no real alterations on the plot. Dark Room really shows how this game differs from other popular titles like The Walking Dead. You were able to see some of the short term consequence from Chrysalis in Out of Time and Chaos Theory, but Dark Room was the first episode where some real differences took place in the main storyline due to your choices.
I was at work and a friend asked me if I had finished playing Episode 4 yet, and my response was:
“Not yet. I’m still at the part where you’re visiting Kate at the hospital.” He looked at me for a second confused, and asked when that was because he didn’t remember the scene.
“Huh? But in my game Kate died.”
So I had a full and complete scene in my version of the game that he never got to see, because of the differences in a 4-question scene way back when. Consequently he’ll be replaying that, as will I, to see the other potential events that cascade from the other side of that particular coin.
The new mechanic in Episode 4 was possibly one of my favorites. After collecting a slew of clues from around Blackwell and Arcadia Bay, Max and Chloe (i.e. you) go to work on an evidence board matching up license plate numbers, code names and GPS information to get answers for what’s going on. Matching the right clues got you to the next bit of the mystery – and when it’s over, you get a sense of CSI pride for making it work.
The culmination of the episode was a collection of scenes that was some of the most tense and harrowing sequence of events I’ve seen in a video game. After assembling the clues and investigating what happened to Rachel, Max and Chloe find information find the titular dark room in what was one can only be described as legitimately frightening. Scenes around the famed Vortex Club party follow where Max is looking to get answers. I’m not going to tell you what happens, because it’s something you have to see for yourself and honestly I’m not sure I have the right words (I know, and I call myself a writer) to describe the shocking and quite frankly, unsettling conclusion to the episode.
Having started on the journey with Max and Chloe way back in Episode 1, we see the wow factor of the mechanics make way for storytelling, and subsequent episodes show what it can accomplish through the video game medium. DONTNOD hasn’t shied away from making the audience emotional and uncomfortable, and situations in-game have made me more uncomfortable that some actual decisions I’ve had to make in real life. Dark Room continues that trend with a hard crescendo and takes a very dark turn in plot and character development. The sheer number of events, both personal and meta, with the knowledge that there’s only 1 day left for Max to fix this adds a lot of anticipation and a sense of urgency while finishing this chapter, and continue to deliver with endgame twists and turns.
Setting up those kind of logical trees with this kind of depth is not easy. Everything has to be mapped out down to the last detail for it to work smoothly and have real short and long-term consequence. How do I know how hard that is? Because over a decade ago as a 19 year old sophomore in my Digital Logic class for engineering school, mapping out the logic for something as simple as the coin return on a damn vending machine took a couple retries to get right.
The release date for the upcoming and final episode is next month on October 20th, and if you haven’t gotten a chance to play this series through then I highly recommend that you do before Episode 5: Polarized comes out to play.
For some of us, ReedPOP’s New York Comic Con is like Christmas: there’s jolly folks you only get to see once a year, everyone is in a festive spirit, and there are scores of gifts to purchase (mainly for ourselves!). It’s an absolute blast for those craving a huge convention akin to the geek Mecca that is San Diego Comic Con, but much more comic oriented. This convention is an immersive and inclusive experience that aims to bring the energy, passion and color of the entire universe of popular culture to every corner of NYC.
This year boasts big names from Marvel and DC, including writers Amy Reeder, Scott Snyder, and artists Marjorie Liu, and Humberto Ramos, among many more, even manga creator Masashi Kishimoto in his first trip to the USA (Naruto). Topping our list are also creators Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, We Stand Guard, and new work Paper Girls), Annie Wu (Black Canary), Charles Soule (basically everything at Marvel) and Marguerite Bennett (Bombshells, and basically is writing amazing things at every publisher).
If you’re not interested in the floppy, stapled pages of comics, there’s still tons for you to enjoy, such as panels ranging from screenings of upcoming shows, to the round table fun with the cast of Once Upon A Time, to what you can expect in the coming year from Funimation, Capcom, and more!
Maybe your tastes run more toward the art of cosplay? No worries, you have the chance to be among a sea of fellow cosplayers, and show off the long hours put into the labor of love that is cosplay. Just make sure to find us so we can take your photo!!
Lastly, who can forget the stars lovingly sitting behind tables signing each of their fan’s loved items? NYCC is bringing an armful of our favorite stars and there’s also a huge roster of voice actors from your favorite cartoons, and in some cases, actors who hit you right in the nostalgia.
NYCC rolls into the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on October 8th and runs until October 11th. Grab your tickets while you still can, from the official convention website or get your buns to the downtown Midtown Comics location to buy tickets while they still have them! We hope to see you in New York, and if you’re so inclined, join in our fun with our upcoming NYCC Instagram challenge!