Gnomes, Trolls and Elves, Oh My: Enter the World of The Shannara Chronicles

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“This is the ideal place for all of us lunatics who love to live in the world of the imagination.”
John Rhys-Davies

John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings) returns to New Zealand and the land of Elves (this time as an Elf himself) on the set of MTV’s new series, The Shannara Chronicles, based on the best-selling books written by fantasy author Terry BrooksJon Favreau (Iron Man) co-produced the series along with Smallville and Into the Badlands creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, in concert with Brooks.

Starring John Rhys-DaviesPoppy Drayton (Downton Abbey), Aaron Jakubenko (Spartacus: War of the Damned’s), Austin Butler (Carrie Diaries, Arrowand Manu Bennett (Arrow, Spartacus), the series follows the adventures of three teens on their own epic quest.

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The locations are lush and beautiful, as one has come to expect from New Zealand productions, and the sets look grand. MTV hopes to cash in on the sword and sorcery/LOTR craze with Shannara, and what little I’ve seen, looks promising.

Here’s a glimpse into the world of The Shannara Chronicles debuting Tuesday, January 5, 2016 on MTV at 10pm EST.

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REVIEW: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 10 #11 PART 1: DARE TO LOVE

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Buffy Season 10 Issue #11 Cover by Steve Morris

A THORNY PATH…

They say the path of true love never doth run smooth and roses have their thorns… Cliche, but true, and quite the understatement for Buffy and her friends. Relationships are complicated at best, and romantic relationships are probably the hardest thing to get right, for anyone… For vampire slayers and demon hunters, this is doubly true.

Complications abound and hi-jinx ensue when Buffy and the Scoobies find a little down time to examine their feelings and their broken relationships. With the rules of magic being re-written (with Willow’s help) and the world more aware of its presence, you’d think it’d make life a little easier, right? Of course, no episode (or issue) of Buffy can be completely angst-free, and at some point, this issue’s big bads have to surface. For once, I’d say they’re almost welcome.

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Buffy Season 10 Issue #11 Variant Cover by Rebekah Isaacs

Meanwhile, a Harry Potter-like, 12-year-old Rupert Giles continues to struggle with his second adolescence. Painful enough for any pre-teen, but never mind a pre-teen with a middle-aged man’s memories… Memories of a full life and lost loves. A second childhood might be welcome to some, but not for him. Poor Giles hasn’t had much luck in the romance department either, and when an old flame shows up, things go from bad to mortifying. How many ways can we spell awkward?

However, the script seems to flip for our resident uber-geek and reformed super-villain, Andrew Wells (portrayed in the series by Tom Lenk). When did he get a life? I must have blinked and missed something.

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Andrew Wells (Tom Lenk) during his “super-villain” phase (note the Death Star on the van).

LOVE AND MONSTERS…

Issue 11 is classic Buffy fun (Christos Gage masters the Whedon/Buffyverse voice), with more than a few moments that are reminiscent of some real life dating horror stories I’ve heard friends recount. Including the indignity of speed dating (which I can gladly say I’ve never had to endure). I’ve only ever heard it work out for one couple I know (ah bless). Of course, the ending, though not surprising, will be satisfying for most fans (including me), however, with Part 2 (and Valentine’s Day) on the horizon, I can’t allow myself to be lulled into a false sense of security. This is the Buffyverse, after all.

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Buffy Season 10 Issue #11 Birthday Variant by George Jeanty and Tariq Hassan

FINAL THOUGHTS…

I love Steve Morris’ cover art, as always, so much so, I’ve often considered them suitable for framing. But papering my walls with Buffy comics might seem a bit much, no? Maybe if I was 12 again (it would be the coolest room ever), but I digress, as I often do…

For this installment, artist Megan Levens replaces Rebekah Isaacs (who provides the Issue 11 variant cover), and Megan does a great job picking up where Rebekah left off.

For more on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 from Dark Horse Comics, check out my reviews at Skeletonpete.com.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10: Issue 11 is due out tomorrow, Jan 21, 2015! Get it at a comic book store near you!

Buffy Season 10, Issue 8: Return to Sunnydale Part 1 (Halloween Issue) Review

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Buffy Season 10 Issue 8 Cover by Steve Morris from Dark Horse Comics


WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T GO HOME?

17 years have passed since Sarah Michelle Gellar first burst onto our TV screens, staking vamps and slaying other fiends, as the feisty, wise-cracking valley-girl Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s been more than a decade since Buffy and friends left Sunnydale, and our TV screens, for good. The former home of our beloved Slayer and fellow Scoobies, sucked into the Hellmouth – gone forever. The gang settled in Santa Rosita and vowed never to return…

This year, Dark Horse Comics debuted Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 with Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs crossing over from the Angel and Faith series (also from Dark Horse), to take the helm for Joss Whedon’s and Dark Horse’s flagship book. Written by Gage, and beautifully illustrated by Isaacs, the Scooby Gang are back and better than ever.

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Buffy Season 10 Issue 8 Variant Cover by Rebekah Isaacs from Dark Horse Comics

In this latest installment, Buffy and company must return to Sunnydale. And in a world where the rules of magic are being re-written, there is no telling what consequences spell-casting will have, especially that close to the Hellmouth, the epicenter of evil.

Even worse, the playbook Buffy has been using since first becoming a Slayer is missing. The Vampyr book, first given to her by her mentor and Watcher Rupert Giles (played in the series by Anthony Stewart Head), has been taken. By what, or whom, is anyone’s guess.

Meanwhile, has anyone seen Andrew?

But that’s not all, folks…

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Buffy Season 10 Issue 8 Preview Panel

MYTHICAL MONSTERS, FISTICUFFS AND FUN

There’s a new – yet ancient – enemy to fight, more innocents to save (though you might wonder why), more banter, and still more cauldron-sized trouble brewing. Just remember, the road to hell was paved with… well, you know how it goes. That’s all I’ll say…

Issue 8 features guest artist Richard Corben, known for his comics in Heavy Metal magazine, and a variant cover by Rebekah Isaacs. It is also just in time for Halloween – which most us of know – is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest… Something to consider…

Issue 8 is an entertaining, quick read and left me wanting more… A must for Buffy fans, both old and new. I’m sure there’s a hell of a pay off, so stay tuned for the next issue.

For more on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 from Dark Horse Comics, check out my reviews at Skeletonpete.com.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10: Issue 8 is due out tomorrow, October 22, 2014! Get it at a comic book store near you!