Hello, Skiffy and Fanty crew! It is I, your resident Geekomancer, back from my travels on the internet through memes and gifs and pilots and digital bundles. And this time, I’ve brought back word of recent goings-on in the geekiverse. A TV pilot for an award-nominated comic, a new story for a beloved geek icon, and the latest developments in a cable TV juggernaut. Enjoy!
iZombie – 1×01 “Pilot”
Loosely adapted from the Eisner-nominated Chris Roberson/Michael Allred comic series, but also showing notable (un-credited) similarities to Diana Rowland’s My Life as a White Trash Zombie, iZombie shows the Veronica Mars team of Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright returning to the world of procedural crime with a female lead and strong voice-over elements.
Veronica Mars fans will find a lot to grab on to in this show, and the pilot comes across fairly well-formed. I can’t say I’m super-excited about Yet Another Specialist Procedural Crime Show, but the character plots for Liv, the titular lead, as she deals with the implications of being undead. I couldn’t help but think of Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls, which also have some similarities in concept and/or tone. If you like quirky crime procedurals or enjoyed Veronica Mars, this is worth a look. But I’d also take some time to check out the other touchstones mentioned above.
Princess Leia (2015-)
(Mark Waid, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, Jordie Bellaire, VC’s Joe Caramagna)
Marvel recently regained the license for the Star Wars universe comics (unsurprising given Disney’s acquisition of the property in 2012) and re-launched the Star Wars line. One of the launch titles is Princess Leia written by Mark Waid — with Pencils by Terry Dodson, Inks by Rachel Dodson, Colors by Jordie Bellaire, and Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna.
What I really like about the Princess Leia series so far is the way that it presents Leia as impulsive and restless — refusing to settle for the role of figurehead and diplomat and instead pushing ahead to pursue her own agenda in gathering the remaining Alderaaneans. We also meet Rebel pilot Evaan, a fellow Alderaanean who is my favorite new character in the Marvel comics so far.
The art by the Dodsons is rich, balancing the photorealistic with the more universal, and the charmingly non-realistic colors by Jordie Bellaire help set the comics apart from the films while showing the connection.
Issue #2 dives into Leia’s back story as a young princess on Alderaan, already more interested in martial skills than those of state. The second issue also shows the Marvel editorial debut of Heather Antos, recently a freelance editor of titles such as Stronghold and Unlawful Good. I met Antos at NYCC last year, and her enthusiasm for and attention to the craft of comics is infectious, so I’m excited to watch her inevitable rise in the editorial ranks.
The Walking Dead
Season 5, Episodes 11-14
The Walking Dead TV show has become a cable juggernaut, growing and diverging from the comic series (which remains a comics juggernaut). The latest arc is drawn from the comics series but is being deployed in a rather different fashion. Spoilers for these episodes follow.
Coming to the Alexandria Safe Zone, the road-weary and repeatedly bereaved group finds respite in an community that was built to be self-sufficient, making it an ideal refuge in the zombie apocalypse. But the group blanches under the leadership of the Alexandria group, who mostly have not faced the horrors our main cast endured, especially the recent encounters with the people of Terminus.
But even as the content of the show shifts toward more social matters and away from bare survival, providing powerful looks at the struggle to lay down arms and perhaps put down roots, The Walking Dead continues to fall down on race — killing off yet another one of their most interesting characters.
This fatality rate for black men on the show is so high, it’s become a Meme — The Black Highlander. Given that the show started in Georgia, the percentage of black characters has been distinctly low, and even as that has increased, the Black Highlander rule has continued to apply. So even as the show grows and develops, it still frequently falls down in terms of representation.
Many viewers have noped out of the series due to the way that the show dives into the grimmest of grim, indulging in the gristly and pushing its leads to incredibly dark places. But for those who remain, the current arc provides an interesting change of pace, setting the stage for my favorite kind of zombie stories — tales of how people relate to one another in the post-disaster world, how they re-build.
There’s your geeky update for March. So now it’s over to you, dear readers. What comics, movies, TV shows and other geeky media have been getting you excited of late? Tell us in the comments and spread the love.