Blast Off #28: Cartoon Flashbacks and the Toy Wars they Spawned

The Team Focus Blast Off is back with a special guest, C.A. Huggins, author of Labor Pains.

In Blast Off #28, Huggins and I discuss some of the classic cartoons of yesteryear, legendary toy wars in Brooklyn, comic books (shout out to Larry Hama) and some of the movie adaptations that have killed fond memories of Transformers and G.I. Joe G1.

Huggins also discusses his trick for scoring more G.I. Joe’s than everyone else on the block.

Listen to the Blast Off with C.A. Huggins below:

Tune in regularly for more discussion by Subscribing to the Team Focus Blast Off on iTunes.

Follow @bagshooper and @C_A_Huggins on Twitter.

‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ Concludes Series

The Batman: Arkham franchise is coming to a close – at least that’s what Warner Bros wants us to believe.

batman arkham knightToday, Warner Bros Interactive and Rocksteady Studios announced that Batman: Arkham Knight will be the final chapter in the Arkham series. Of course, just like Halo or Mass Effect, all that means is that this round of the series is coming to a close and the story will most likely continue on in some other form.

In today’s gaming climate, franchises rule development dollars. This is like when Jay-Z says he is going to retire and announces a final album, then hits you with two or three more records. So don’t think this is the end of Batman. You don’t just drop a breadwinner, especially one that you’ve been releasing year-after-year like Madden.

As far as Batman gaming goes, it will be nice to see what the next series in Warner’s DC lineup will look like. Perhaps they will take what worked from the Batman: Arkham series and combine it with the rich roster of Lego DC Superheroes or Injustice: Gods Among Us to give us a Justice League game. That could be pretty cool – if done, right – especially on the PS4 or Xbox One.

For the Batman lovers out there, this guy included, here’s the announce trailer. Game on.

Batman: Arkham Knight will be available on the PS4 and Xbox One. Sorry, last gen folks – prepare to be phased out.

Check Out Grant Gustin’s New Threads as ‘The Flash’

Grant Gustin Flash

While fanboys find something new to debate about the Man of Steel sequel seemingly every week, they are singing ‘Kumbaya’ when it comes to CW’s TV versions of their comics, especially the adaptation of Green Arrow in the hit series, Arrow and it’s already been used to introduce TV viewers to a larger DC universe by launching a spinoff show, The Flash, whose pilot is currently in pre-production. It stars Grant Gustin (Glee, 90210) and produced by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and David Nutter, the team who brought us Arrow. DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer and one of the modern-day writers who has a long and legendary run on the character, Geoff Johns is involved in co-writing the pilot with Berlanti and Kreisberg.

Gustin made his debut as Barry Allen, AKA the Flash, in two episodes of Arrow, The Scientist (208) and Three Ghosts (209). Now DC Entertainment has released this first image of Gustin in the classic silver age Flash costume as designed by multiple Oscar-winning costume designer, Colleen Atwood, who did more stellar work from what we can see in this released photo. It’s just a teaser, but it gives more faith–a major commodity for fans of comic books–that the upcoming pilot is on the right path. Sporting a darker shade of red than the comics, this skin tight design looks to fit in line with Atwood’s other work on Arrow.

This comes off the heels of the recent casting news for CW’s other DC Comics TV show in production, Gotham in early February that included Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Essen, Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, and Donal Logue as Det. Harvey Bullock. This series is rumored to be inspired by the popular series, Gotham Central and act as series about the Gotham police department during the time after Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered.

So as the world turns and burns prematurely for the big screen universe, the small screen world of the DCU is gaining steam.

esoTarik #10: ‘Batman Arkham Origins’ and its Educational Parallels to New York City

**Note video contains minor story spoilers

You’ve heard the phrase “art imitates life.” Well, guess what? Video games do to.

esoTarik Episode #10 is a journey into Warner Bros Interactive’s new game, Batman: Arkham Origins, the prequel to Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. This episode of esoTarik will explore the similarities between the mental craziness of Gotham City and its educational parallel to NYC.

Be sure to check out past episodes of esoTarik for more.

‘Thor’ star Jaimie Alexander sets sights on ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Batman Vs. Superman’

Jaimie Alexander, who stars as Lady Sif in Thor: The Dark World, is vying for the role of Wonder Woman in Warner Bros upcoming Batman vs Superman flick as well as a solo film focusing on DC Comics’ famed Amazonian.

Although the actress is already in negotiations with Marvel Studios to return for a Thor 3, the actress recently revealed that she has also had spoke about the Wonder Woman role with Warner Bros.

In an interview with Forbes, Alexander stated: “I would love for DC to put Wonder Woman in one of their upcoming flicks, either in her own movie or Batman Vs Superman, or just something even to introduce her.”

Just last month Warner Bros’ president of development Greg Silverman stated that they would take Wonder Woman’s film introduction “very seriously” moving forward.

“Wonder Woman is an amazing character,” Silverman stated. “I think it’s a great opportunity both for box office success, but also to have an amazingly powerful female superhero. We are taking it all very seriously.”

So what do you think? Would Alexander make a great Wonder Woman? She certainly thinks so.

Alexander added, “Being in the comic book world, we know a lot of the same people at DC and Marvel, so we hear a lot of things, but it’s all speculation right now. But I would absolutely love that.”

‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ – Black Mask makes some ‘Changes’

“Winter is coming” to Gotham City.

Now that Grand Theft Auto V is behind us – that is if you’re still not finishing up some of the side quests for 100% completion – we’re pumped for the next big, pre-nextgen game of the fall.

Batman: Arkham Origins is the third installment in Warner Bros’ hard-hitting franchise. The launch trailer gives you a taste of story, some Alfred beef and a little bit of that Dark Knight growling that Christian Bale made famous.

Batman: Arkham Origins hits PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U on Oct 25.

Watch the History of Superman in 2-Minutes (Video)

Let it be known that I’ve been a fan of Superman since I was a kid. From Christopher Reeves and the Super Friends to Justice League Unlimited, Smallville and The Man of Steel, I’ve always been in awe of Krypton’s last son. Sure, there are times when the Kansas boyscout in him gets annoying and there are so many other Kryptonian survivors that it’s hard to refer to him as Krypton’s only survivor, but he’s still a-okay in my book.

This animated video sums up Superman’s impressive 75-year history in 2-minutes – starting with his first appearance in Action comics. You’ll get to see the many faces of Superman, including an animated version of Reeves. It’s truly impressive and one of the finest DC shorts I’ve seen to date.

Blast Off #26: Memoirs of an Invisible Comic Con 2013

The Team Focus Blast Off returns after surviving another Comic Con. We share our highs and lows of NYCC 2013, the absentee presence from DC Comics and discuss some of the hotter independent comics that you’ve been missing out on. We also reminisce about the glory days of NYCC before it was pushed to the Fall season and some of the cooler new Fall TV programs worth checking out in a post Breaking Bad world.

Listen to the Blast Off below:

Tune in regularly for more discussion by Subscribing to the Team Focus Blast Off on iTunes.

‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ Ultimate Ed – Little to no compromise for pocket-sized port

Much like Mortal Kombat (2011) in 2012, Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition for PS Vita is a port of a console fighter that includes all of the previously released DLC. However, unlike MK, Injustice does not take a graphical hit or have any noticeable technical downgrade when shrunken down for the portable — it is as close to the console version you would hope for.

Jack Mathews, who is the technical director and Co-Founder of Armature Studio, spoke of the PS Vita version of Injustice and said, “We optimized the system to have the same [backgrounds], use some touch elements and make the game work at 60 FPS.” In regards to the only major change from the console to portable transition, touch-based action, Mathews said “We had the temptation to add more, but we wanted to keep it as true to the console version as possible.”

Injustice for Vita will not be cross-playable with PS3 players and is said to be on par with the Wii U version of the online multiplayer. That should mean the Vita version will excludes online lobbies and any sort of iOS connectivity.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition releases on PS Vita and every other system on November 12 and on November 15 for PS4.



Ben Affleck Says it’s ‘Awesome’ to be Batman and can Handle Any ‘Snub’

So you’ve been moaning and groaning ever since the news came out that Ben Affleck will be starring as Batman (aka Bruce Wayne) in coming Man of Steel movie, directed by Zack Snyder.

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. And Ben knows it. The next Dark Knight appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to discuss kid jokes and becoming the next caped crusader.

Right away, Ben let’s us know that Snyder’s vision is different from Christian Bale’s Batman. So at the very least, we can hope that we won’t hear Affleck doing a bad Bale-affected voice, while yelling “Swear to meeeee!”

Affleck also let’s fans know that the studio anticipated the Internet uproar over the casting and also shared past criticism from the web gods over other castings for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight franchise. Basically, the point is wait and see. Don’t groan until after the movie – or at least until after the next San Diego Comic Con when we should get a tease of the new film.

Here’s the interview with Fallon: