Game of Thrones Review “The Watchers on the Wall” S4E9

This episode of Game of Thrones takes us to the Wall and beyond. Similar to Season 2’s Battle of Blackwater episode, the entire episode shows the siege of Castle Black. Whether or not you love this episode boils down to whether or not you like the Crows-Wilding story. In “The Watchers on the Wall,” we get some closure on a few subjects, but have some even bigger questions to ask. Oh, and there are SPOILERS abound here, so read at your own risk.

One of the biggest parallels is between the Night’s Watch and the Wildling army. The Night’s Watch has been led to believe that the Wildlings are savages, and the Wildlings believe the Crows are oppressors, but are they really all that different? Well, if you’re going off their wild sex adventures, then yes. Sitting atop the Wall, Jon Snow tries to articulate the experience of making love to Samwell Tarly. He uses such phrases as, “She had red hair.” Meanwhile, Tormund is boasting that he fucked a bear. A real life fucking bear, not the UrbanDictionary definition. Otherwise, there’s not a lot of difference between the two factions. As Sam reads through books to learn about all the terrible deeds that the Wildlings have done in the past. Maester Aemon encourages Sam to think about the stories the Wildlings must tell about the Men of the Night’s Watch. That’s when Aemon drops some jewels on Sam.

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“Love is the death of duty,” he says. This old man sees right through Sam’s fear. Hopefully Sam heeds the Maester’s words. Once Aemon Targaryen, brother to King Aegon IV, this guy is one of my favorite characters in the show. There’s a quote in there that made me forget that everybody was about to die; “You can imagine all manners of horrors befalling that poor girl and her child. Is it so difficult to imagine that an old person was once – more or less – like you?” Luckily for Sam, Gilly was able to slip by the Wildling elites and find her way to the castle gates. Sam takes Gilly down to a cellar room and then gives her a big ol smooch before promising he’ll come back. Note: Might be too soon, but Game of Thrones characters really need to stop promising loved ones that they won’t die.

Enough of that mushy stuff. It’s time to find out Where the Wild Lings Are. The battle horns have sounded and it’s time for battle. Sam gives Pyp some 411 on how to be a badass, since he is the guy that, you know, killed a White Walker. The speech that Sam makes about losing his identity and becoming “nothing” to make him lose all fear is pretty insightful, especially for Sam, who has come quite a ways from the frightened boy he joined the Night’s Watch as. This isn’t the only great speech. The episode is full of them. They aren’t quite on Tyrion’s level of “Let’s go fuck them in their asses!,” but these guys know what they’re talking about.

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It’s also nice to know that, even in the face of death, Alliser Thorne is still a gigantic douche. I’m just thankful he’s with the good guys; I’m already one “cunt” away from wanting him pushed down the Wall, but he’s just so funny. Even the scene where they accidentally drop the barrel down the Wall prematurely had me dying. He may come of a bit strong, but Alliser is a good leader, and a great fighter. On the other hand, Janos Slynt, who used to be commander of the City Watch at King’s Watch before Tyrion shit-canned him, is a coward to the tenth degree. He has no idea what to do while in command, and flees from the top the first chance he gets, hiding in the meat locker Gilly is in. Awkwardly, Jon is left in command.

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“Those are giants riding mammoths down there!” Why yes, Jon Snow, that is correct. Somehow, there are giants. And they are riding wooly mammoths into battle. The strategy of the Wildlings seem a bit off to me. This could be due to the fact that Mance Rayder, the guy who organized this whole party, is missing. Climbing the wall is just a distraction, but sending giants to blow through the outer gates is genius. Why does nobody go through the outer gate is beyond me. One of my favorite scenes has to be the video-game like scrolling of Castle Black, showing murder and mayhem from every direction. It really helps to show the chaotic and brutal nature of the battle.

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Let’s give it up for Ghost! It’s about time somebody let him out of his cage. Things always seem to be going well for Jon Snow when Ghost comes out to play. Snow goes full MC Hammer on Styr, the cannibalistic Thenn warrior who ate that kid’s dead parents. What a jerk. The war isn’t without its casualties, as two of Jon Snow’s best friends and allies have died. That’s not even the worst, as Ygritte’s hesitation leads to an Omar-esque death – getting shot by a little kid. Ygritte’s death was supposed to sad, and to an extent, it was. However, it was just too predictable. You knew there was no other way for her story to unfold than to die in Jon Snow’s arms, whispering with her last words “…you know nothing, Jon Snow…” It was SO cliché, but I suppose it had to happen that way.

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Perhaps Jon Snow really does no nothing. With the castle eventually reclaimed and the promise of impending attacks by the Wildling army on Castle Black, not to mention that the Castle is in terrible defense condition, Snow decides to embark on his own journey to kill Mance Rayder… by himself… with no weapons… without Ghost to protect him. It’s a terrible plan, but the idea of Snow going out on his own is one that I look forward to. Look, it’s not that I’m not sad that all these good characters are dying, but we grew up on Joss Whedon and The Wire; do your worst, George R.R. Martin.

 

Who won the Game of Thrones this episode?

Hands down, it’s got to be Sam. Love will make a person do strange things. In Game of Thrones, he has arguably grown the most out of any character since making his first appearance as an absolute coward in Season 1. It really all culminates after the talk he has with Maester Aemon about love. Realizing that he has something to really fight for, he grows some balls and tells Pyp to “open the fucking gate.” He is strong enough to continue fighting even when one of his best friends dies in his arms, even managing to put a bolt into a Thenn’s face. With Alliser out of commission and Slynt revealing himself a coward, who better to take command of the Night’s Watch than Sam, himself.

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Sadly, we’ll likely have to wait until next season to find out, as we have just one episode left in Season 4. Join us next week for the season finale,

 

All media credited to HBO

Game of Thrones Review “The Mountain and The Viper” S4E8

WOW, Okay, so… there will be SPOILERS here. There’s simply no way to talk about the episode without discussing the Mountain in the room.

One week off of Game of Thrones and I was a sad panda; I can’t even begin to think of how much this off-season is going to suck. “Mockingbird” set up what feels like a pivotal change amongst the varying characters. There is so much going on, it is hard to keep track at times. Given the name of the episode, we could only assume that this is where the big showdown happens; Oberyn Martell fighting for Tyrion Lannister’s freedom while The Mountain, Sir Gregor Cleagane, champions Cersei. While the rest of the episode doesn’t hold a candle to the fight, there so much going on here. In fact, the scenes at King’s Landing only take up maybe 10-15 minutes of the episode. Game of Thrones reminds me of a game of Skee-ball horse racing, playing all tables at once, trying to progress all the stories without letting any single story line get too far ahead.

This episode will forever be marked with a severe lack of foresight. All across the board, we come face to face with situations that could have been avoided with a little planning and a lot less pride.

You would think that with the Wildling army raiding and slaughtering nearby villages, maybe you should get your friend with no benefits out of there, Sam! He feels awful and he should. He stuck her in a gross whorehouse just so he wouldn’t the inconvenience of needing to let love in. The fact is that Gilly is not safe anywhere, and with the Wildling army encroaching, things don’t look too good for Castle Black and the Night’s Watch. They look so doomed to me at this point that I’m not really even interested in their outcome. Sorry, crows.

Daenerys has been the Breaker of Chains for quite some time, but there is one more set of shackles to be removed – the removal of Jorah Mormont from the friend-zone.  After selling out his Khaleesi to King Robert Baratheon to gain a pardon, he continued to stick by her side. But he also continued to spy on the Mother of Dragons for quite some time, which is confusing to me because there’s really no motive to do both, when he has the option to do either. In any case, the break-up between Jorah and his bestie is hard to watch. For almost four full seasons, Jorah has been her rock. Maybe this is just a sign that she doesn’t need the training wheels anymore. Or, more likely, it will mean that her reign will become even more unstable. It will be good to see them away from each other; Daenerys because Jorah was holding her back, and Jorah because he hasn’t really done much as a character in the series, regardless of his intriguing past. I could have done without the pathetic confession of love at the end though; being threatened to have your head thrown in Slaver’s Bay is not a cue to for romantic gestures.

Quick note: Last time Jorah received a royal pardon, it was accompanied by an attempted murder on the Mother of Dragons. Following the council meeting where Tywin agreed Daenerys needed to be taken out, it isn’t a stretch to think that there will be a follow-up to that – maybe resulting in the death of one of her dragons, or her newly-acquired boy toy, Daario.

Of all the failed romps this season, one romance that I do like unfolding is the one between Grey Worm and Missandei. It is probably the most organic in the entire show. Seeing Grey Worm grow as a person and as a commander is proof to me that Daenerys’ system works. It also means to me pretty plainly that one of them will die. Romance never lasts in Game of Thrones, even for people without genitalia. While it lasts, though, I look forward to seeing this relationship blossom, and for both characters to continue growing and learning from one another.

In other awkward parts of the world, The Hound and his traveling companion, (can you say traveling comedy show???) Arya Stark, finally make it to the Eryie, just in time to hear that Lady Lysa had died. Hound has a fittingly hilarious reaction, which is none at all, while Arya laughs heartily right in his face. It’s just so cool the way her character has developed. She chides The Hound for being too proud to use whatever means to kill somebody. This little girl, with her Needle, is giving murder critiques to the freaking Hound. It’s so amusing. Less amusing is the foreshadowing of that pesky neckwound, which is beginning to fester. I really hope that a gross bite-mark doesn’t ruin the best buddy cop duo in the realm.

Dude, my aunt is dead! LOL
Dude, my aunt is dead! LOL

There’s another tag team to watch out for, and they are just as dangerous. Peter Baelish and Sansa Stark have some explaining to do. Just a few days in, and he’s put his dirty ass shoes all over the Eryie’s couch. After pushing Liza down the Moon Door – seriously, worst house guest ever – he tries to lie his way out of the situation, but finds himself unable to convince the elites in the region. It takes the tears of Sansa, who finally unloads about just how shitty life has been for her, to save his skin with her lies. The tables have finally turned, and Sansa is able to manipulate others for a change. Could she be learning from Littlefinger the same way Arya has taken to The Hound, or is she being played again? I, for one, think the duo could work a two-man con game that would make American Hustle blush. I’m still a long way from liking her as a character, but I like the fact that she finally got the courage to give a little crap back to the world that’s thrown so much at her. At the end she emerges in a gorgeous dress, looking more and more like the creepy little clone of her dead mother that Baelish wants her to be. What’s up with the black hair? Well, it could be to mask her identity as a red-headed Tully, giving her away as Sansa Stark. Perhaps once she has won back the North (presumably), she will reveal herself as Lady Stark.

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Now to the main event, the reason you showed up early and bought expensive Ye Old Popped Corn – Viper vs Mountain! The outcome of this fight may mean the death of Tyrion Lannister. The scene where Tyrion and Jaime talk about their childhood is so humanizing and peaceful that you can’t help but smell the foreshadowing death in the air. The two genuinely love each other and joke about their slow cousin, who always wanted to smash beetles. Tyrion’s fixation with the smashing, and Jaime’s confusion at the fixation is a strong statement that Tyrion is a Lannister only in name.

Peter Dinklage was awesome in Days of Future Past as Bolliver Trask, but Tyrion Lannister is a role that only Dinklage could pull off. His presence, jokes and charisma have transcended the show itself, turning him into Game of Thrones‘ very own Daryl Dixon. His character may be coming to terms with death, but there’s no way they would let his character die, no matter the circumstance he finds himself in. We hope.

What about Oberyn? Surely he deserves some credit for winning 90% of the fight. Not really. His death made me even angrier than Robb Stark’s because I feel Oberyn had so much left to do. And not only was he exotic in the bedroom, he brought something entirely new to the show in terms of fighting style, something that I could watch for hours. In the end, his sad stubbornness cost him his life… and his face. Dear sweet baby Jesus…

It took me twenty minutes to realize what the outcome of the fight even means. When The Mountain punched out Oberyn’s teeth like he was holding a mouthful of Skittles, I was caught staring at a train-wreck. The remainder of the savagery was, hands-down, the most barbaric thing I have seen in my life, and I need to take some time to evaluate whether or not I’m okay with that. No matter how grossed out you were, you have to admit that this episode pushed the boundaries of television even further. The bar is set even higher now, and it will be up to some other show to take it even further.

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Now that Oberyn has had a head-on collision with Fuck Mountain, what is to happen next? Will Oberyn’s wife be allowed to return to Dorn? It’s not like you can keep that secret safe by killing her, but there’s no way this happens without Dorn flooding King’s Landing with a sea of rage. Fuck the King!

Who won the Game of Thrones this episode?

There’s a new bastard of the North in town, and his name is Ramsay Bolton. This twisted little shit is now heir to the North. Lord Mufasa Bolton takes Ramsay to the hilltops and explains how vast the North really is, and that one day it all be his – even the elephant graveyard! Ever since he captured Theon, cut off his manhood and shipped it to his family, I’ve never really been a fan of his. He stripped Theon of humanity and turned him into some weird pet. Over the past few episodes, though, Ramsay has become more affectionate towards Reek, rewarding Reek whenever he does something obedient. Perhaps the creepiest thing is that Reek loves Ramsay now, and although petrified of him, is willing to do tricks for his master with even the longest leash. By no means is this a relationship to model with your loved ones, but I can’t help but find it endearing in some sick way. Ramsay uses Reek to impersonate his former glory as Theon Greyjoy, and convince a weak stronghold to surrender without consequence. Then we get to see why the Bolton banner is a flayed man on a cross. It’s kind of their thing. Ramsay explains to Reek, “Traditions are important. Where are we without our history?” Ramsay is then removed his title of Snow and awarded the legacy of being a full-fledged Bolton. As frightening as it is to imagine Ramsay as the heir to the North, his success has been heavily tied to Reek and what he carries. Could Reek grow to become more like Varys? Or is he really just a tool of Ramsay’s hand?

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All media credited to HBO

“Respect My Craft” – Stephen Amell

In this consumer-based industry, it can be easy to forget the years of hard work that the people in the business put in. Behind every panel, it takes a skilled writer, artist, inker and colorist to make the product complete. Behind each scene goes hours of preparation. Hush Comics’ weekly article “Respect My Craft” will dive into the history of these comic book and pop culture greats that will hopefully give a new perspective on how the men and women behind the pen (or stylus) contribute to the collective awesome-ness of the nerd world, or at least give you a reason to invest in their work.

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Name: Stephen Amell

Profession: Actor

Notable WorkArrow (2012-present), Hung (2011), Private Practice (2012)

“We’re making a kick ass show. We will continue to make a kick ass show. And I will continue to interact and provide interesting content for our fans. Because I love our fans. If every once and a while, some dickweed wants to pull a headline out of thin air to generate page views, then that’s the price we pay.” – Stephen Amell

 

The quote you see above is from an angry Stephen Amell in response to a member of the media “leaking” fabricated rumors that Amell was in talks to be a part of the Justice League movie, announced for 2016. You see, that kick ass show that Amell was referring to is Arrow, one of the hottest television shows out right now – and possibly the best live-action superhero show ever on the small screen. I’m actually sitting here writing this article as I re-watch the Season 3 finale of Arrow. I realize that, even though this is really Stephen Amell’s breakout role – his presence on it has been a contributing factor to why it is so phenomenal.

The Canadian sensation has stayed humble through the transition into stardom. It hasn’t been an instant rise to fame for Amell; it took nearly a decade-long career to get casted as Oliver Queen in Arrow. Like many actors without a pedigree, he got his start with small roles in popular television shows. The first of which was Showtime’s Queen as Folk, where he played a spin instructor. Spin class, for those who don’t know, is a gym class where a group of people vigorously ride stationary bikes to the tempo of music. Vigorously. Ironically enough, Amell was actually a spin instructor in real life prior to breaking into the business – which he had been training for since taking acting classes in high school.

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Amell expanded his repertoire when he was cast on the gay super-natural soap opera, Dante’s Cove, home to some pretty risqué dude-on-dude scenes – Amell excluded, sorry ladies and/or fellas, if you’re into that. He proved early on that he is comfortable with his sexuality, playing a gay prostitute in the third season of HBO’s Hung, a role that he apparently didn’t tell even his parents about (probably because he didn’t have this awesome video to break the news with). Aside from playing Arrow, his role of Jason has been his longest-running. His openness to trying roles like this led to a slew of other opportunities, from CSI and NCIS to the award-winning Canadian shows like HeartlandRent-A-Goalie and ReGenesis. Amell also played Brady the Werewolf in The Vampire Diaries. The CW, the channel that hosts both TVD and Arrow, likes to keep their actors in the family, which led to his audition – and prompt casting – for the part of Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow.

If you’re going to choose a character to get type-casted as, a billionaire crime-fighter isn’t the worst. Green Arrow has been a dark horse favorite among DC Comics characters – which is great, considering he is often in the shell of Batman (oddly enough, Arrow will be competing with FOX’s Gotham drama based on the Dark Knight). Nothing comes easy to Queen, and it shows through the stream of flashbacks to the island Queen was stranded on.  This is such an impressive feat for Amell, who must portray both a character living a current-day double life, and a character in progression – a guy who goes from entitled douche to unlikely hero.

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The dreaded Salmon Ladder. Stephen Amell does his own stunts, thank you very much.

Now, Stephen Amell doesn’t just play a hero on television; he’s kind of one in real life. Most people by now have heard of Batkid, but just in case you haven’t, I will give a little background. Miles was a kid who had battled leukemia and was in remission. His one wish was to save the city of Gotham with Batman. The entire city of San Francisco was transformed in Gotham City and Batkid went around foiling the nefarious plots of many of Batman’s greatest foes. In what could be considered the greatest nod to Batkids work, Stephen posted a video on his Facebook as Oliver Queen with Diggle and Felicity. He is talking to his partners about how there is absolutely no criminals to fight thanks to the heroics of Batkid and thanks to him he gets to go out and enjoy dinner for a night.

It goes further than that. He has one of the best Facebook pages known to man, which he frequently uses to interact with fans and post hilarious memes making fun and promoting the show. Amell also found time to voice the Arrow version of the Green Arrow (regular version played by Alan Tudyk) character in the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game. Aside from posting memes, Amell uses social networking as a platform for the various cancer research causes that he believes in, stemming from his mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer. To name a few: he recently auctioned an autographed Arrow statue away (going for over $25K on eBay at time of writing) for a cancer patient, he attends fundraiser balls in the name of awareness (Boobyball and Fuck Cancer, to name a couple).

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How he manages to juggle being the hardest working actor in television with his wife, former America’s Next Top Model contestant, Cassandra Jean, and their baby girl, Mavi, is anybody’s guess. Plus, he’s now an expert archer, or at least what he told us at his panel at Emerald City Comic Con, he has the form of an expert archer. The humanitarian aspect he brings to the table, coupled with his work ethic – and workout ethic, sets him apart from the rest of the industry. How lucky we are to have Amell spearhead the superhero television revolution. Oliver Queen should take notes.

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None of the media in this article belongs to Hush Comics; it all belongs to their respective properties (DC Comics). Join us tomorrow as we continue our countdown to Denver Comic Con with the voice actor that raised a generation, Jim Cummings.

Game of Thrones Review “Mockingbird” S4E7

Game of Thrones: “Mockingbird” Review

After one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in Game of Thrones, where Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister shot down any hope of a Lannister family reunion. Cersei’s mockery of a trial enraged Tyrion to the point that he refused Tywin’s offer to join the Night’s Watch, which played right into Cersei’s plan to have him murdered when he called for a trial by combat. This past week, the Hush team had a passionate debate as to whom the trial would feature and tonight we found out who would square off.

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This season just keeps getting better and better, and the impending feeling that things as we’ve known them throughout the series will change immensely: Tyrion has completely severed ties with his family and put Jaime in a tough spot, Arya has grown into a killer thanks to her extended road trip with The Hound, Daenerys seems to be over-reaching and is unable to keep the territory she has seized, and Castle Black looks to be in for a doozy when the Wildling army comes to their doorstep – oh, and then there is the whole issue of the White Walkers approaching. There doesn’t appear to be one front-runner for the throne; something has to give somewhere.

Tyrion just can’t admit when he’s defeated, which makes for some damn good television. Tyrion is most entertaining and cunning when backed into a corner, but there aren’t too many people left to lean on. As habitual sister-raper and one-handed King’s Guard, Jamie Lannister, tries to remedy the situation, it’s evident that he doesn’t see Tywin for the monster he is. “You could kill a king, lose your hand, fuck your own sister; you’ll always be the Golden son.” It’s a believable relationship and adds to the heart-breaking fact that the King Slayer Bros. are breaking up the band. Tyrion is running out of choices for a champion, and when Cersei picks The Mountain as her champion and buys Bronn out, Tyrion is left in the cold. Bronn’s abandonment is not just unsurprising, but completely justifiable. Their break-up is even sadder than the one he had with Podrick, and it signifies Tyrion’s goodbye to the world he knows at King’s Landing.

The Mountain, played by Hafthor Bjornsson, is a 6'9" and 420 lb strongman competitor
The Mountain, played by Hafthor Bjornsson, is a 6’9″ and 420 lb Icelandic strongman competitor

Arya and The Hound have formed such an odd relationship. Arya let the cat out of the bag last episode when she mentioned that The Hound was a name on her list of people to murder, but they continue to help and protect each other while it is convenient. I’m not sure if there has been a symbiotic relationship formed between the two, but it seems they are both rubbing off on each other. Arya is becoming more ruthless, sticking Needle into the heart of one of her former captures with little second thought – as long as she knew his name before she did the deed. She has a code that’s stronger than Hound’s, which will come in handy when she uses that coin to call upon Jaqen H’ghar (valar morghulis). I thought it was a little weird the way The Hound opened up to Arya about being alone in the world, but I understood the point that the show was making. It’s also worth pointing out that an untreated wound is never good in Westeros – just ask Khal Drogo.

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Speaking of, Daenerys is having a hell of a time keeping everything under control. She has become a fully realized ruler, complete with slaughter without prejudice. She finally gives in to Daario, and even General Friendzone, Jorah Mormont, can’t get in the way of their fling. Jorah is trying to open Khaleesi up to the fact that enemies live in a grey area, not all are evil beings. The mantra “They can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one” is repeated. I love the fire with which Daenerys rules, but she is becoming arrogant, and not even her sexy dress can keep her from annoying me this week.

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This is one of the most involved episodes of the season, showing almost everybody’s story to some extent, inching the season toward a clashing finale. Brienne and Podrick get a lead on where to find the Stark girls. Podrick still keeps Tyrion in his heart, as evidenced by his rate of alcohol consumption. Their trip to the Eyre can’t be a safe one, as they found a solution much too quickly. There is some more interaction with Stannis Baratheon’s women, as well, but not much happens. Their story has become the least interesting in the show to me, but I know this will play into war with the White Walkers somewhere – perhaps they will be able to save the Wall, where thousands of Wildlings will soon be descending upon Castle Black, similar to how Tywin ruined his invasion of King’s Landing.

Oberyn Martell emerged in Tyrion’s cell, telling him a story about how much Cersei hated Tyrion for his disfigurement and the death of their mother during childbirth. It’s an incredibly hurtful story, even bringing Tyrion to tears. Martell sees that Tyrion has really only been a Lannister in name, and tells Tyrion that Oberyn will his champion in the trial by combat, exacting revenge on The Mountain.

 

 

Who won the game of thrones this episode?

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Deuces

You thought we forgot about Peter Baelish? Never. This man is just too damn crafty to leave out. Littlefinger and Sansa have arrived at the Erye, which is one of the strongest holds in Westeros thanks to its narrow Black Gates. While he is obviously using Lysa Arryn for his title, things are not all right in this twisted family. Sansa is adjusting to a safe life (maybe not that safe, but way better than being Joffrey’s rape-toy if Baelish wouldn’t have whisked her away) in the Eyre, and even feels comfortable enough to bitch-slap Lysa’s son, Robert, when he ruins her snow castle. I don’t know if it’s the contrast of the snow or if it was a cool filter, but the shots of Sansa in the courtyard are beautiful. Littlefinger is most dangerous because he can make people believe that his scheming is what they actually wanted to happen. He will have Sansa under his little finger so quickly, she won’t know what happened. And it starts with making the crazy lady fly. Now the sneaky lord has his own kingdom, complete with a miniature Catelyn Tully at his side.

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Hush Comics gives “Mockingbird” a A- for the all-inclusive and very progressive story, which seems to be driving our well-established character roles right off a cliff. The relationships can get a bit awkward at times, specifically Arya and the Hound, and Sansa and Baelish, but there is just so much bubbling up that it’s bound to pop soon. The ability to tackle so many different progressions and still tie them back into the big picture is a feat not many shows can pull off. There’s a week hiatus of Game of Thrones next week; take a vacation, go outside and enjoy the weather. We’ll be in Houston for ComicPalooza next week, but keep an eye out for our updates on the con and watch us back here in two weeks for “The Mountain and The Viper,” which will be the showdown of The Mountain and Oberyn Martell GoT has been building up to all season.

All media credited to HBO

 

 

 

Weekend Wrap-Up…May 18, 2014

In preparation for Denver Comic Con, we’ve been writing daily articles spotlighting guests at the con – called “Respect My Craft. Just last week, we wrote on:

Godzilla! Everybody’s favorite giant lizard monster is back at it. This opening weekend of Godzilla was the highest-grossing film of the year. This isn’t a very accurate representation of the movie, but it’s close enough. Expect our review soon.

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The Game of Thrones got really juicy last week, with Peter Dinklage giving one of the show’s best performances (I only wish it could have lasted longer). Tonight’s episode, “Mockingbird,” is sure to be a thriller. Judging by the name, I’d say Littlefinger (who carried around a mockingbird pin) and Sansa, our “Little Bird,” will get plenty of attention.

Speaking of GoT, creator George R.R. Martin gets animated with it, as he appears on Robot Chicken in this clip inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds.

The government actually has a zombie fallout plan. Tax dollars wasted or bigger conspiracy??

The first full trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar has dropped. There’s a big emphasis on Murphy’s Law, and finding life on another planet when the food source on ours runs out (we’ll always have Cheetos, right?). Matthew McConaughey and My Cocaine (Michael Caine) star in this sci-fi thriller.

Everybody calm down! The next DC Animated project announced is… Aquaman and his New52 origin story. I hope all you people who were complaining of too many Batman films are happy when Arthur Curry starts riding seahorses and talking to dolphins. Jokes aside, Geoff John’s Aquaman run to kick off the re-launch was pretty good, and made the masses respect the ridiculed character. There’s still a while until this comes out, but the next DC Animated film to come out will be Batman: Attack on Arkham.

The new teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy is out, and Rocket Raccoon’s voice is heard. Blam! I murdered you!

DC Comics has released the creative teams and covers to the HUGE September crossover for Futures End. They will feature 3D holographic covers, and if they’re anything like last year’s “Villain Month,” they will fly off the stands. Just beware, there is going to be an awful lot of cash-grabbing issues, most of which will be terribly written and uninteresting.

While Spider-Man might have been the originator of the superhero selfie, DC Comics will be releasing selfie-themed issues coming this August.

Cinderell-y, Cinderell-y night and day its Cinderell-y!  Next year the live action version of Cinderella comes out.  Considering Cinderella is Adrian’s favorite Disney movie of all time, this is pretty big news.  Check the teaser below:

Get ready to eat and read at Chipotle.  The restaurant chain is debuting literary cups with the likes of Toni Morrison, Jonathon Safran Foer, Malcolm Gladwell and many more contributing to musings that are sure to be written in perfect typography.

#Showoff

DC Comics is hooking up with NASCAR, which I can imagine won’t reach either demographic to get into the other, but it’s worth a shot.

While I’m still reeling off the news of Far Cry 4, there’s news afoot that Halo 5 will be coming to X-Box One next year.

This was bound to happen, and I mean that in a great way, Skylanders will be coming to IDW Comics.

Written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib

 

 

 

So Far This Week… May 7th, 2014

Two more episodes of Arrow left this season. There’s a war afoot in Starling City and there aren’t enough expletives to iterate just how great this show has become. Even Laurel is getting her hands dirty! Check out “Streets of Fire on CW tonight.

I know a lot of people (including myself) were skeptical of the upcoming Gotham series, but when the full-length trailer for the series was released, I couldn’t help but get giddy!

The first chapter of the next saga in The Walking Dead novels, Descent, has been released for our reading pleasure. Considering the way the Governor series fizzled out and died, I’m not sold that this will reanimate the series.

Another alum from HBO’s The Wire has joined the cast for Season 5 of The Walking Dead. The lucky newcomer is Seth Gilliam, who played Sergeant Ellis Carver in The Wire AKA Literally, The Best Show Ever. It hasn’t been announced who he will play, but my guess is that Pastor Gabriel Stokes will be making his way into the series soon…

Speaking of The Walking Dead, two of our all-time favorite patriarchs are facing off in a stand-off of the ages. Rick Grimes meets Walter White in this hilarious edition of Epic Rap Battle. We’re taking Heisenberg all the way.

Yeah, Mr. White! Science! A new horrifying species of wasp with the power to reanimate cockroaches has been successfully named the Dementor Wasp after its Harry Potter counterparts.

If you haven’t seen Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet, you gotta check it out! If for some reason you don’t want to, though, here are the post-credit scenes, which are for the upcoming X-Men movie (the Fox and Sony studios aren’t collaborating; this is more of a Marc Webb contractual agreement thing).

It’s Morphin’ Time! All the build up from celebrating the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers‘ 20th anniversary has culminated into a full-blown live-action reboot. Uh… Yay?

There’s no way you’ve had too much Batman in your life, right? With Son of Batman being released today, there’s already a sneak peek at the next DC Animated film, Batman: Assault on Arkham, coming out this August.

I know there’s been tons of news circulating about Batman’s 75th anniversary, but did you know this is also Marvel Comics’ 75th year in business? In November, Marvel will be releasing an omnibus in celebration. And they want YOUR input for what goes into it.

We didn’t catch this on time Sunday, but a full trailer for Star Wars: Rebels was released on the 4th. I’m super excited for this series and can’t wait to see Kanan in action. This looks even more promising than Clone Wars – and that’s saying a lot.

Star Wars Day might be over, but Vans keeps the force in their heart with a limited Star Wars line. Be a rebel and head over to Journeys to pick yourself up a pair.

I can’t put into words how excited I am for the next gen Batman game, Arkham Knight. Kevin Conroy comes along and makes it even worse by releasing this teaser. There’s gonna be big news at E3 this year.

Ew… Jimmy Fallon’s sleepover skits on The Tonight Show has become a household favorite of ours. This time, it was The Neighbors stars, Seth Rogan and Zac Efron. Ew.

The first issue of Burn the Orphanage: Reign of Terror dropped today. The over-the-top 80’s and 90’s video-game references helped me fall in love with Born to Lose, but the news of auctioning off original art towards cancer research is the real gem.

Game of a Thrones Review “First of His Name” S4E5

I took the Game of Thrones personality quiz and I ended up in the house of Stark. The unlucky Starks have been pushed out of buildings and publicly beheaded, so at first glance they don’t seem like a clan you’d want to roll with. Unless you happen to be Arya Stark. Then it’s ok.

SPOILER ALERT! READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK. (Too bad Catelyn Stark didn’t get the same warning.)

For some reason one quote from last week’s episode, Oath Keeper, kept running through my mind in anticipation of this week’s First of His Name. Littlefinger hissed, “Keep your foes confused.” This one liner was a subtle hint to prepare us for this week’s bombshell.

Tommen crown

We open with the crowning of King Tommen. He is clearly not torturing neighborhood cats or taping “kick me” signs on the backs of the socially inept like his deceased brother. Long live Joffery! Tommen is now Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, (for whatever that is worth.) With dragon-led slave rebellions and White Walkers adopting kids like Brad and Angelina, we’ll see how long his rule lasts. He seems unsure about his station, but excited about his new crush. Margaery still has her heart set on being queen. They share a tender moment from afar until Cersei interrupts. That moment offered Cersei a perfect opportunity to confront Margaery. Both women are now widowed queens. Both of their husbands had been murdered and they seem to understand that. Cersei, for the first time, shows vulnerability when speaking on how much of a monster her son was. She finally admits her discontent with Joffery and we see a side to her we thought never existed. But both women are still playing the game. The throne can be manipulated by whomever the king takes as council. Yet another hint from last week, this time from Tywin.

Danearys is reveling over her victory in Meereen. We find her in war council. News of Joffery’s death has reached her and she seeks to take King’s Landing. But every action has an opposite reaction. The slaves she had previously liberated have fallen victim to even worse circumstances. She proclaims, “I will do what queens do, I will rule.”

Dragon

Somehow this choice seems far more dangerous for the Lannisters. If Dany decides to create a new kingdom in the Westeros, everything around it may come crumbling down.

Littlefinger takes Sansa to the Bloody Gate and he is welcomed as Lord Bealish. Sansa is greeted by her bat-shit crazy aunt, Lysa Arryn, and somehow she feels safe. It is quickly revealed that Lysa poisoned Jon Arryn, former Hand of The King to Robert Baratheon, by the command of her lover Petyr Bealish! He also instructed her to write the letter to her sister Catelyn accusing the Lannisters of the deed. So Littlefinger is behind all of the fucked up things that have happened in the Westeros! And if that’s not crazy enough, he and Lysa have what must be the least sexy sex scene in the whole series without even being on screen. “Uuuuuughhgh!”

Lysa’s love for Bealish is real. Creepy, but real. In a fit of jealousy she confronts Sansa. The deranged lover reveals the plan to force Sansa to wed her child son Robin and become Lady of the Vale. Ew. Sansa is mortified and may finally realize that no one in the Westeros is to be trusted.

Tywin and Cersei have a heart-to-wallet talk. The Tyrells have the resources they need to run the Seven Kingdoms, with out them the Iron Bank of Braavos will foreclose on their property, regardless if they pass GO.

Arya is the baddest character on the show…say something! She recites the names on her kill list by camp fire. She can’t sleep until she says the names of those she means to slaughter.

Arya

The Hound tells her to be quiet, until she insists on completing the names. He is shocked to find out that his own name is the last on that list.

Cersei greets Oberyn. She wants revenge for her son and she hopes that she can manipulate him into a guilty verdict for Tyrion. She asks him, “What good is power if you cannot protect the ones you love?”

Dorne

In another heartfelt moment she asks that he look after her daughter Myrcella. He says that she is safe in Dorne, Cersei replies coldly, “Everywhere in the world they hurt little girls.” Can we say foreshadowing?

Bran, Hodor, Meera and Jojen are still Karl’s captives at Craster’s Keep. Locke found them as The Knight’s Watch prepared their attack on the deserters, but he has plans to kidnap Bran before Jon realizes his brother was ever there. Karl plans on raping Bran’s companion Meera when the siege begins. As Locke tries to escape with Bran, he uses his Warg ability and possess Hodor’s mind! In epic fashion he snaps Locke’s neck and the band is back on their way north to find the Three-eyed raven. But the GoT kill of the week goes to Jon Snow. In Mortal Kombat fatality mode he impales Karl through the mouth with his blade. It is one of the most gruesome scenes in the entire series.

Jonsnow

Finally, Ghost (Jon’s Dire Wolf) has his revenge on the final mutineer and is reunited with his bonded companion.

Next Week! The Laws of Gods and Men. We will see the liberation of Theon Greyjoy and the trial of Tyrion Lannister!

Pictures courtesy of nerdist.com and mtv.com

Sent from my iPad

So Far This Week… April 30th, 2014

Holy crap! Get ready to have your socks knocked off; this week brings in a lot of great news tidbits.

This Sunday is May the Fourth!  Hush Comics is lucky enough to be running a panel at StarFest to commemorate the holiday.  Come see us at 10 AM!

This Saturday, May 3rd, is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Head to your local comic book store for free issues of some of the biggest (and smallest, in the case of Mouse Guard) stories in the industry. Many local shops are holding insane sales for books, so it’s an amazing opportunity for new fans to dive in head-first to the comic book world. Don’t believe me? Just take Levar Burton’s word for it.

For more information on which books are available, this is your one-stop shop (figuratively, I mean, you still have to go to the shop to get the books. duh.). Also, Denverites, visit the Mile High Comics’ Jason Street Mega-Store for some awesome festivities on  Saturday.

If you’re like us, you like to occasionally use the ComiXology to supplement the physical copies of comics you buy at your local stores… RIGHT?? Well, since the acquisition by Amazon, there have already been some swift changes to the storefront. If you’re as confused as we are, check out this informational article.

Today marks the return of the Amazing Spider-Man to the comic book world. After over a year of Otto Octavius as Spider-Man (it’s complicated), Peter is back in command and with a new lease on life! And just in time for the movie, Amazing Spider-Man 2, to hit theaters.

Gwen Stacy herself challenged Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a lip-sync battle, which is quickly becoming my favorite recurring bit on the show. Emma Stone destroys Fallon – all she does is win, win, win.

Before last week’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Oathkeeper,” a trailer for the upcoming series called Leftovers. I’m still not too sure what it’s about, but I’m interested enough to check it out when it airs June 29th.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, the upcoming video game by Telltale Games is getting some narrative assistance from the story creator’s right hand man, Ty Corey Franck as a story consultant. With games like The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us, I’m sold with anything Telltale puts out.

Marvel is not just trending, but making it a priority for gender equality in their books. Our article on what Ms. Marvel means to us (and the world) is just the start. Now that Elektra, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, X-Men (all female cast) and the aforementioned Ms. Marvel have solo titles, it’s time for another leading lady to get her own series; Storm debuts this summer, written by Greg Pak – an interview from C2E2 can be found here.

Not even a year after the series’ Felina, and we’re still mourning the legendary Breaking Bad. Fans should check out this 8 minute-long tribute (seriously, whoever made this should win a freakin’ award) to the Heisenberg; while you’re at it, read our Breaking Bad Week articles. You’re God Damn Right.

Image Comics (The Walking DeadSagaDeadly ClassBlack Science…..) is trying to get some much-deserved cred with Humble Bundle, a site that lets users choose how much they pay for these works (sorry, there is a minimum payment lol). Here are some more details on the deal.

2014 is the year of the Bat…man 75th Anniversary, and July 23rd has been officially dubbed Batman Day! To celebrate, go to your local shop and pick up a FREE issue of a reimagined Detective Comics #27; Batman Day also coincides with the release of Grayson #1 and Robin Rises: Omega #1. Ah, it’s a good time to be a Bat.

The DC New 52 run of Batman has been arguably the best comic out since it went to print in 2011. A line of Greg Capullo-inspired action figures will be released soon (Batman and Talon coming this month). I want to buy an army of Talons, but I will likely settle for two.

Saturday morning cartoons meets Sunday night slow jams! Check out this awesome rendition of the classic Ducktales theme song.

Spider-Man is definitely the topic of choice this week, but DC and Warner Bros. can’t let Marvel steal all the shine. Zack Synder has been announced as the director to a Justice League movie to be released after Batman vs Superman.

Classic Frank Miller graphic novel, Ronin, is getting picked up by the SyFy channel. Hell yes.

Just in time for Star Wars Day, the initial cast for Star Wars: Episode VII has been released. What do you think?

To continue to expand upon its appeal to fourteen year old boys (just a good ribbing from a PlayStation person), X-Box One has launched WWE Network on consoles.

The Disney-Marvel connection will be in full effect this fall when Disney Infinity brings the big guns to its platform for its second iteration, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes. I haven’t gotten a chance to play the game, but it seems like a great game for kids.

DC’s adult alter-ego game, Injustice: Gods Among Us, is rumored to be getting a sequel out next year. I’m not too sure how a new installment will be justified, but I’m excited, nonetheless. We’ll have more news on that as it develops.

Village idiot Joe Dirt may be getting a sequel. Yeah, that’s where we’re at with comedies…

Game of Thrones Review “Oathkeeper” S4E4

One more Sunday, and one more episode of Game of Thrones. “Oathkeeper” is a prime example of GoT”s ability to tell several stories at once, and not add confusion, even with a large ensemble cast. “Oathkeeper” begins the same place that “Breaker of Chains” left off. The Mother of Dragons is continuing her quest to free all of the slaves in the Seven Kingdoms. By this point, she really has seem to found the winning formula. In no time, Meereen belongs to her army, which is swelling in size. It’s a sequence that feels a lot like the last season of Spartacus, but without the Romans. Well, karma is a bitch, and her name is Daenerys Targaryen. The graphic scene at in the season opener has really come back to screw the Meereen people when her army nails them all to planks. The woman who once had the gentle heart now firmly “answers injustice with justice.” It’s great character development and I can’t see why she won’t keep progressing as a serious threat to the throne. I’m also really liking the rise of Grey Worm. He’s struggling to find what is left of his humanity, but has enough depth to make viewers root for him. I couldn’t help but cheer when I saw Khaleesi raise the Targaryen banner over the city walls.

kill the masters

Back at King’s Landing, Tyrion is still in deep doo-doo. Dismissing both Podrick and Shae, as well as not being allowed visitation from Bronn, he has only one true ally in the realm – Sir Rapes-a-Lot, Jamie Lannister. Jamie is often criticized for coming to the defense of his pitiful brother, and pretty much started the war with Ned Stark when he thought he had taken Tyrion captive. However, being guilted into killing Tyrion by his crazy sister/lover has really driven a wedge in the relationship. That’s where the much-appreciated harsh honesty of Bronn comes in handy. Bronn validates Jamie’s instinct that Tyrion could not have murdered Joffrey. This is when I went nuts. Tyrion is no fool; he knows that Joffrey (and presumably Tommen) is Jamie’s child. Now that I think of it, Tywin might know, too. When discussing what makes a good king with Tommen, he referred to Robert Baratheon by name and not “your father.” Tyrion also understands that Cersei will not rest until both he and Sansa are dead. She’s totally losing it and I think we’re getting a glimpse of the Mad Queen in the making. Also, there’s big money out there for the person who creates a Kingslayer Bros. t-shirt.

bronn

Further validating that the awkward scene with Cersei was unnecessary, it looks like Jamie has really turned over a new leaf with his life. Or maybe, the relationship between he and Brienne has helped him see through the manipulation of his family. After Cersei’s order to track Sansa down and murder her leaves a bitter taste in Jamie’s mouth, he does perhaps the only noble thing he’s done in the entire series thus far. He gives the Valyrian steel sword forged from Robb Stark’s broadsword to Brienne as a reminder of the bond they made to return the Stark daughters to safety. Brienne also receives a squire for her trip – a familiar one at that! In a genuine show of appreciation, Brienne tells Jamie that she has decided to name the sword “Oathkeeper.”

skull juice

The Night’s Watch doesn’t get a lot of the love it should, because the events that take place in the North continue to be some of the most important in the series. As Jon Snow prepares to march to the mutineers and kill them before the wildling army gets to them first, the commanding officers are conspiring to get him killed, and there is a spy among them. Oh, and let’s not forget the freaking giant ice zombies. Life is not looking good for a crow. I mean, these mutineers are drinking wine out of the skulls of the men they killed. Meanwhile, we get to see the fate of all the sons that Craster was sacrificing to the White Walkers. This show was crazy enough without the prominent fantasy aspect, so how will have the White Walkers affect the dynamic of the show?

baby walker

Who won the game of thrones this episode?

My first instinct is to high five Tommen. Not only was his evil brother taken out of the picture, leaving Ser Pounce free from threats, but also making him the runner up with a legitimate mentor in Tywin. But the crown isn’t the only thing Tommen inherited from Joffrey; Margaery Tyrell has already promised herself to the young heir. Aside from having to pretend you miss your monster of a brother, this has been the best week for young Tommen. Unfortunately for him, though, he’s just a cog in the wheel.

necklace

The real winner here is Olenna Tyrell, who we learn is the real mastermind behind the Purple Wedding. She and Littlefinger both are moving pieces around the board when nobody even knows it’s their turn. When Olenna confesses her involvement to Margaery, she more or less pimps out her daughter to seize the attention of young Tommen. Of course, it takes a very opportunistic Margaery to pull it off, but you can see that Olenna is definitely pulling the strings. I love Olenna’s character because what she does, she does for the good of her house. She may have made a mistake by aligning herself with Littlefinger, a known conniver, but she looks to be the perfect match for his wit: noble enough to do the right thing, but smart enough to know when to abandon honor in exchange for survival. The best part of all of this is that nobody has suspected she or Littlefinger of this scheme.

So where do we go from here? It looks like Arya and Sansa are actually on track to get to the same place – Catelyn’s crazy sister with the boob juice. Meanwhile, Bran Stark has just made himself known to be alive in the very place Jon Snow marches to (and in the face of a wildling invasion. Will these be good Sark reunions or does this spell doom for the family of the North? Are Podrick and Brienne the new Westeros tag-team to watch? Can Dany take King’s Landing with the legion she’s amassed? Will Tommen end up chewed up and spit out by Cersei and Tyrion, or will he get himself some Margaery? Hopefully we’ll get some answers in next week’s episode, “First of His Name.”

All media credited to HBO

So Far This Week… April 23rd, 2014

If you didn’t catch it, Season 4 of The Boondocks kicked off Monday night with a hilarious guest spot from Michael B. Jordan. It wasn’t up to par with the Season 1-2 hilarity, but it was good to have it back. It made me realize how many crazy things have happened since The Boondocks were last on the air in August of 2010. Here’s a great read if you want to be in the know.

Happy Birthday to Game Boy! The iconic hand-held console turned 25 on Monday. From Game Boy to Game MAN.

Amazon Prime has made a major move in the bout with Netflix by striking a contract with HBO (sorry Thronies, no luck for you). However, you can still catch classic shows like The Wire and The Sopranos on the streaming service; check the link here for more details. Does this change your view about switching streaming services?

There is news of sequels abound… namely for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Super Troopers and The Goonies.

Ubisoft is currently working on adding a co-op mode to Assassin’s Creed: Unity. This could be the thing that finally gets me into playing the online modes for ACUnity drops Holiday season 2014.

Months after Quentin Tarantino lost his shit when somebody leaked the script to a film titled The Hateful Eight, he has dropped the suit (for the time being) and plans on continuing progress to create the film. Nobody wins here more than us.

If you thought the Cartoon Network show Beware the Batman was dead, you were almost correct. The poorly received show will be returning to CN, but airing at 3am on Saturday night – so pretty much still dead.

Looks like we should be gearing up for a video-game version of Kick-Ass 2 (check out our review here). I won’t lie – it looks terrible. As much as I love the franchise, it will take a whole lot of convincing to pay for something that looks this bad.

If you like picking apart each episode of Game of Thrones to predict the schemes and plot twists, but haven’t had time to catch up on the books like us, here is a little bit to get you through the weeks. Episode titles and descriptions give away more than I think they should, but it’s still fun to predict.

If I didn’t love Batman so much, I would say that DC Comics is overdoing it for their 75th Anniversary celebration. We can now look forward to Batman stealing the variant cover to almost every major DC book in July to commemorate the Dark Knight.

Oh boy, let the floodgates and scandal commence; whistle-blowers are blowing (poor choice of words) their whistles to uncover a “pedophile ring” among powerful Hollywood execs. If this really is the case, I hope justice gets served to the fullest.

On a lighter note (or maybe not) Chew, the Eisner Award winning comic book series about an FDA agent who uses psychic connection from the things (or people) he eats to solve crime mysteries, will be released in animated form, with The Walking Dead‘s Steve Yeun and Dr. Horrible‘s Felicia Day already down for voice acting.

It would seem the almighty Oprah Winfrey approves of comic books! The one in particular she advocated for on her show was March: Book One. Hush actually reviewed this book in honor of Black History Month; you can check it out here.