Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Alex de Campi
Penciller: Fernando Ruiz
Inker: Rich Koslowski
Colorist: Jason Millet
Cover Artist: Andrew Pepoy
#BFF’s, Battle Friends Forever…
The end is nigh but what started out as a “you can’t be serious” concept turned out to be a ridiculously fun excursion into post-millennial farce. Issue 4 of Dark Horse Comics‘ Archie Versus Predator finds the last few Riverdale residents intact preparing for their ultimate fight for survival, while also attempting to stay well appointed in the best of togs.
With a cover blurb like “Frenemies No More” it’s no spoiler to tell you that our forever teenage gal rivals Betty and Veronica make formidable foes for the extraterrestrial hunter in the finale.
Author Alex de Campi has kept the plot unpredictable and the action on high, ramping up the body count on an issue by issue basis. The swift scenarios almost make you forget that iconic characters are meeting their demise in the bloodiest of ways.
From here I’m totally prepared to learn that My Little Pony is the God-Head overlord of the Engineers in Prometheus 2. Mr. Ridley Scott, if you’re listening, the old Hollywood axiom “If you can’t make it bigger, make it funnier” applies.
New York City’s Chelsea Pier complex was the site for the 2015 Sweet Suite event designed to alert traditional press outlets and the exponentially expanding blogger community to the play industry’s newest goodies. This season’s gathering, mounted by the folks at Adventure Publishing Group (APG) (Toy Insider, The Toy Book, The Licensing Book) was the biggest ever, encompassing the wares of almost 100 vendor/sponsors. See the link loaded list of participants on the Sweet Suite Sponsor List.
Sweet Suite 15 was a sensory riot with so many wonderful items vying for deserved attention. To document the afternoon APG president and Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht conducted on-site interviews with the industry sponsors and attendees were banging out Tweets, Instagram pictures and videos posts by the hundreds (thousands?) It was especially cool to find The Verve Pipe’s Brian Vander Ark providing the live soundtrack performing songs from the group’s Are We There Yet album.
As an information gathering excursion co-editor Adriana “Andy” Melendez and I have found the invitation-only opportunity to be invaluable, often leading to months worth of pre-holiday roll-out features about the newest toys.
It’s also a perfect platform to explore new products and have an easy-going tet a tet with their creators. Heck, I got so “toy-tipsy” I was even cajoled into donning an “Amy Poehler” wig for the gals at the Goldie Blox booth. Do blondes have more fun? I can’t say for sure but it likely beats being a balding 60 year old guy in a baseball cap.
What caught our collective eye? I know Andy was particularly taken with the I Am Elemental action figures and their empowering message for young ladies. I zoned in on Crayola’s “Color Alive” Easy Animation Studio and Hexbugs’ newest Vex Robotics kits (including an operational Zoetrope). Both were still in early development when first spied at the New York International Toy Association Fair last February.
I also enjoyed a thorough demo and up close look at the eye-popping next-gen graphics of Activision’s Skylanders SuperChargers multi-platform game. Anki Overdrive’s track hugging robotic race cars promise to be an exciting experience, and Madame Alexander Doll’s mirthful Muppets will be available just in time for ABC’s Muppet TV relaunch.
Also ready to launch in the vanguard of inevitable Stars Wars mania is Build-A-Bear Workshop‘s Darth Vader and Chewbaca bears.
Expect us to be reporting on those items and many other products in depth as they reach their release dates in the coming weeks. In the meantime enjoy this teaser gallery of pictures from the event.
Enterprising Young Crew…
Fans of the backstories of their favorite Star Trek characters will be thrilled to learn of IDW Publishing’s just announced Star Trek: Starfleet Academy mini-series.
Slated for launch in December 2015, IDW says the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy books will not only tell the school days tales of Kirk, Spock and Uhura, but will also offer an adventure that ties in the “current” crop of cadets from everywhere in the galaxy.
IDW editor Sarah Gaydos likens the stories to those of Harry Potter’s Hogworts days, as well as the young X-Men’s tutledge under Professor Xavier, and they are suggested as a good entry point for new readers. The 2009 movie reboot has already shown us Cadet Kirk could be quite a problem child, so I expect lots of rule breaking and some detention in the offing. Maybe even an intergalactic “breakfast club.”
Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrot will write the series with Derek Charm handling the artwork. Johnson, Charm and Gaydos will be part of a panel discussion at SDCC on July 10 at 4pm with plenty more to relate about this series and other IDW projects. Walt Disney fans will also want to check the IDW booth (#2743) schedule for when Charm is signing convention exclusives of his Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse issues.
Silver Anniversary Reflections…
The academy series will launch right on the heels of IDW’s 50th Star Trek issue that promises to be loaded with special content, and begins a three parter that brings the plot line of the classic TV episode “Mirror/Mirror” (Oct 1966) into the new ST universe.