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New York Comic Con 2013: Dark Horse Announces New Series Bad Blood and The Witcher Video Game Tie-In

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New York Comic Con 2013: Dark Horse Announces New Series Bad Blood and The Witcher Video Game Tie-InNew York Comic Con is in full swing, and Dark Horse Comics has already announced several new projects, two of which caught our horror-loving eyes: Jonathan Maberry’s new series Bad Blood and The Witcher, based on the games by CD Projekt RED.

Stay up-to-date on what else Dark Horse has up its NYCC sleeve via the Dark Horse Blog and Dark Horse Comics on Twitter (@darkhorsecomics).

BAD BLOOD
Dark Horse is set to publish a new creator-owned series from Bram Stoker Award winner Jonathan Maberry (Ghost Road Blues)—Bad Blood! With art by the Eisner Award–winning Tyler Crook (B.P.R.D., The Sixth Gun), this five-issue miniseries promises a vampire tale with an unlikely hero.

Being bitten by a vampire pissed him off, but seeing his best friend brutally slaughtered started a war. Trick Croft was an average college student—sort of—until vampires attacked. Then he found out his blood was poison to the bloodsuckers. And Trick will do anything to eradicate them.

“Bad Blood tells the story of Trick, a teenage slacker on the losing side of a fight with cancer. When he’s attacked by a vampire, he figures it’s game over. Except that the chemo drugs in Trick’s blood poison the vampire. As punishment, the vampires begin slaughtering everyone Trick loves. So he goes hunting for the vamps to try to destroy them,” writer Jonathan Maberry explains. “His only superpower? The chemo drugs in his system are deadly to the undead. His only ally? A heroin-addicted Goth chick. Bad Blood brings the pain in a downbeat tale of heartbreak, loss, and courage.”

Bad Blood #1 (of 5) is on sale January 1, 2014, in comic shops everywhere!

New York Comic Con 2013: Dark Horse Announces New Series Bad Blood and The Witcher Video Game Tie-In

THE WITCHER
From Paul Tobin, the Eisner Award-winning writer of Bandette, with art by Joe Querio (Lobster Johnson, B.P.R.D.) and covers by Dave Johnson (100 Bullets), comes a riveting comic based on The Witcher, a critically acclaimed series of dark fantasy RPGs with a character-driven, nonlinear story set in a gritty living world and inspired by a series of extremely popular novels that have been translated into nineteen languages. The comic series introduces a new adventure featuring Geralt of Rivia—a witcher, one of the few remaining monster hunters.

“We’re very happy to be working with Dark Horse Comics, which is one of the biggest and most interesting comic book publishing houses in the world. What makes it even more exciting is the fact that, for many of us, the Dark Horse logo has near legendary status, standing for classic stories such as Hellboy or Usagi Yojimbo. We’re very happy to be once again expanding the Witcher universe,” said Adam Badowski, head of studio for CD Projekt RED.

Traveling near the edge of the Black Forest, in the land of the Angren, monster hunter Geralt meets a widowed man whose dead and murderous wife resides in an eerie mansion known as the House of Glass, a place of endless rooms where horror waits around every corner. Geralt will have to use all his witcher prowess to solve the manor’s mystery and survive.

“We’re very excited to work with CD Projekt RED on The Witcher. With the rich world they have created, and an enthralling central character like Geralt, we feel The Witcher is ripe to tell a compelling story through comics,” said Nick McWhorter, director of custom programs at Dark Horse Comics.

With the two Witcher games already available, fans can get to know Geralt even before the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in 2014 on PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft. The Witcher games have collectively earned over 270 awards and sold more than five million copies worldwide.

The Witcher #1 will be available for purchase on March 19, 2014, in comic shops everywhere!

New York Comic Con 2013: Dark Horse Announces New Series Bad Blood and The Witcher Video Game Tie-In

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Superheroes You Never Realized Battled Xenomorphs

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Though horror movie fans haven’t gotten an outstanding franchise crossover battle since 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason, superhero movies have been at the forefront of bringing disparate characters together for some serious carnage. Upcoming films like The New Mutants and Spawn are courting horror fans by promising suspense and violence (refusing to shy away from previously taboo R ratings), but many don’t realize comics have been delivering terrifying crossovers featuring some of our favorite villains for years.

With the pending sale of 20th Century Fox to Disney, the future of the Alien franchise has been called into question. Though we may never learn the fates of characters introduced in 2017’s Alien: Covenant, horror and sci-fi fans might want to explore the vast universe unfurled in numerous comics and graphic novels. Not only do they delve into the lives of characters only briefly seen in films, you can find some unexpected crossovers that make Alien vs. Predator seem uninspired.

Superman and Batman are just the two most famous superheroes who have gone toe-to-toe with Xenomorphs in comics. Keep reading for a detailed summary of Alien franchise crossovers in comics.


Superman vs. Aliens

The Man of Steel first crossed paths with Alien’s titular extraterrestrials in a 3-episode series from Dark Horse Comics. Written and illustrated by Dan Jurgens, Superman vs. Aliens ran from July through September 1995. The story found Superman lamenting his isolation when a signal from deep space renewed hopes that there may be other survivors of Krypton’s apocalypse.

His hopes are dashed, however, when he arrives at the decimated city of Argo, where a Xenomorph infestation has wiped out the once-thriving community. Deprived of the powers he receives from Earth’s yellow Sun, Superman must face the Alien Queen while seeking a cure for the Xenomorph embryo growing inside him!

The Kryptonian would battle these fearsome foes again in Superman vs. Aliens II: God War in 2002; the 4-episode series from Dark Horse was written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated Jon Bogdanove. This time, Superman comes to the rescue when a renegade ship full of Xenomorphs crashes into the homeworld of The New Gods. In this series, Superman’s commitment to protecting all life is challenged, as he contemplates finding a suitable planet for the Alien Queen.


Batman vs. Aliens

Dark Horse released Batman/Aliens as a 2-part series in 1997; it was written by Ron Marz and illustrated and inked by Bernie Wrightson. The Caped Crusader uncovers a Xenomorph threat while investigating Mayan ruins, leading to a confrontation unlike anything Batman’s ever faced before. The clash continued in 2002’s Batman/Aliens II, a 3-part series written by Ian Edginton and illustrated by Staz Johnson.

This time, the Xenomorph plague hits Gotham, when a sealed vault reveals unsettling artifacts from a doomed mission to the South Pole. Mayhem reigns when face-huggers invade Arkham Asylum, where Batman must contend with a shadowy black-ops agency in addition to the relentless decimation caused by the Aliens.


Green Lantern vs. Aliens

Green Lantern versus Aliens (2000) is actually a continuation of a series that saw several iconic superheroes battling Predator’s intergalactic bounty hunters—but that’s a story for another article! This 4-issues series (also from Dark Horse and written by Ron Marz and illustrated by Rick Leonardi) kicks off with a never-before-told chapter in the story of Hal Jordan, widely considered the greatest of those to have carried the Green Lantern mantle.

Jordan’s decision to contain rather than destroy the Xenomorph threat will haunt his predecessor, Kyle Rayner, who joins a group of former Green Lantern Corps members to rescue residents of a planet overrun by Aliens. Ultimately, he must face the Alien Queen while struggling with the ethical consequences of annihilating an entire species, no matter how insidious it is—the same conundrum that tortured Jordan.


Judge Dredd vs. Aliens

In 2003, the Xenomorph plague hit Mega-One City hard in the 4-issue series Judge Dredd versus Aliens: Incubus, a collaboration between Dark Horse and Rebellion Developments; it was written by John Wagner and Andy Diggle and illustrated and inked by Henry Flint.

When the Alien threat emerges, Dredd first suspects there’s a connection to an underground fighting circuit, but this case will force him to seek the very origins of the nefarious species. In addition to protecting the residents of Mega-One, Dredd must also contend with an embryo growing inside him.


Others vs. Aliens

Other unexpected Alien crossovers that took place in comics worth mentioning include Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Space No One Can Hear You Slay! Courtesy of (you guessed it) Dark Horse and released in 2012, an ill-advised “spacecation” finds Sunnydale’s savior facing off against the galaxy’s greatest scourge. The species’ acid-blood makes Buffy’s usual method of dispatch uniquely problematic!

Back in 1998, the WildC.A.T.s crossed paths with horror fans’ favorite E.T.’s after an outer space escape pod crash lands in New York City. With StormWatch out of commission, the remaining team must rally all their resources to defeat an unprecedented threat in WildC.A.T.s/Aliens, a one-off first published by Image Comics, and later picked up by Dark Horse.

Perhaps the most bizarre matchup occurred in 2012 when Vampirella battled Xenomorphs in a whopping 6-episode series published simultaneously in digital format by Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse and (of course) Dark Horse Digital. Aliens/Vampirella takes place on Mars and also includes an ancient race of Martian warriors.

As creative minds and artists continue to collaborate, we can expect many more unexpected crossovers in the years to come. Whether any of these comic book match-ups featuring Xenomorphs ever come to fruition in the form of feature films, however, remains to be seen (though it seems unlikely).

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Jesper Kyd Returning to Score Vermintide 2

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From the cover of Kyd's first Vermintide OST

Get your headphones ready, Warhammer fans because State of Decay and Darksiders 2 composer Jesper Kyd is back to score the upcoming Warhammer title Vermintide 2! The game will be coming to PC and consoles early this year.

Kyd was inspired by Norse mythology, utilizing ancient tribal music as well as dark fantastical elements to build upon the acoustic soundscapes he composed for the first Vermintide game. Channeling his own Scandinavian roots, Kyd will blend Viking and Norse-inspired vocals with ritualistic percussion styles to create a unique soundtrack experience.

Three tracks from the score can be heard below.

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?

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Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler


While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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