Posts with «cartoons & comics» label

Marvel’s X-Men ‘97 will pick up from where the 90s animated series left off

Disney+ has released the first trailer for its upcoming animated series X-Men '97, and it feels like a blast from the past for fans of the animated series that aired in the 90s. Its story picks up from where the old series left off, with the trailer showing how the team makes an effort to work together after the death of Professor X who was seriously injured by the end of the Saturday morning cartoon. That means viewers can expect the same roster of mutants from the original show, including Cyclops as team leader, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Beast, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee and Bishop. By the end of trailer, we also get a glimpse of Magneto, who apparently inherited everything Professor X had left behind. 

X-Men: The Animated Series was arguably the best adaptation of the comic books. The new show has a similar look and feel to it, but its animation quality thankfully looks a lot better. It features voice actors already known for the role, including Alison Sealy-Smith as Storm and Cal Dodd as Wolverine, but it also features new ones like Ray Chase as Cyclops. According to Entertainment Weekly, Divergent star Theo James is also part of the cast, but showrunner Beau DeMayo refused to reveal who he's voicing other than saying that it's a "fan-favorite character." Marvel Animation's X-Men '97 starts streaming on Disney+ on March 20 and will have 10 episodes in all. The streaming service has yet to reveal its release schedule, but it typically adds an episode a week for its shows — whether it'll also release an episode every Saturday morning remains to be seen. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

A One Piece anime remake is in the works from Netflix and Wit Studio

Right now’s a really good time to be a One Piece fan. Netflix announced on Sunday that it’s working with Wit Studio — the animation studio behind the early seasons of Attack on Titan and Vinland Saga — for a new anime adaptation of the long-running series. It’ll start fresh from the East Blue saga, or the beginning of Eiichiro Oda’s manga, which is now in its final saga and expected to wrap up in the next few years.

One Piece follows the adventures of the rubber-limbed pirate Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, known as the Straw Hats. Both the manga and the original anime series have been ongoing since the late ‘90s. And, just this summer, Netflix released a live-action One Piece adaptation that was surprisingly well received considering Hollywood’s track record with live-action anime remakes. 

As many have been preparing for the inevitable void that will be left when the manga and original anime come to an end, the latest announcement couldn’t be better timed. There’s little information available about the new series at this stage beyond the fact that it will be called The One Piece and “will recreate the story of the original One Piece manga.” We don’t have a release date yet, but Netflix says it’s in production now.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Netflix teases the live-action YuYu Hakusho series before it arrives in December

The live-action adaptation of the classic shonen manga and anime YuYu Hakusho is hitting Netflix on December 14, and the streaming service has given fans some idea of what they can expect in a short teaser video. Live-action adaptations of anime shows are a hit or miss. Some, like Netflix's Death Note, were generally panned and poorly received, while others like the Rurouni Kenshin movies starring Takeru Satoh and Netflix's One Piece had managed to win over existing fans and new audiences alike. 

As a long-time fan of Yoshihiro Togashi's YuYu Hakusho, I have witnessed fellow fans dread its arrival after the streaming service published the first posters for the series. Certain actors were a miscast, they said, and even the actors in YuYu Hakusho's stage production had better costumes and styling. The teaser, however, actually looked pretty good, and fans seem to be hopeful that the show will end up becoming of the better anime adaptations out there. 

When Netflix announced the series' streaming date, it hinted that it will not be an exact copy of the manga and the anime. "The series breathes new life into the story, and fans old and new can expect to encounter their favorite characters in ways that have never been seen before," it said. The teaser's too short to reveal most of the changes the show has made, but eagle-eyed viewers might find some in the video below. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Echo will be the first Marvel show to hit Disney+ and Hulu simultaneously

Not too long ago, Marvel Studios seemed indestructible. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe has faced some significant setbacks over the last few years. As laid out in a Variety report this week, Marvel has been contending with a number of issues such as box office disappointments, while Jonathan Majors (who portrays the MCU's latest centerpiece villain) is awaiting trial for assault and harassment charges. Marvel also seemed to be stretching itself thin between its many movies and TV shows amid reports that visual effects staffers were overworked.

Perhaps with all of that in mind, Marvel is trying something a bit different with its next streaming series in a bid to get fans back on board. Echo will be the first Marvel show to arrive on Disney+ and Hulu simultaneously. On top of that, for the first time since its former Netflix shows, Marvel will return to TV-MA-rated fare and drop all five episodes of the series simultaneously on January 10. However, Echo will only be available on Hulu until April 9.

Echo will be the first superhero series to have both a deaf and a Native American character in the central role, as Variety notes. Maya Lopez/Echo (Alaqua Cox) first appeared in Disney+ series Hawkeye in 2021, though she's more of an anti-hero.

The show's first trailer shows Echo squaring off against a returning Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio). Based on this evidence, the series looks to have a darker, more adult-oriented tone that's more aligned with the likes of Daredevil (that show's titular character appears briefly in this trailer) and Jessica Jones than Ms. Marvel or Loki.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Netflix animation event dropped trailers for Tomb Raider, Devil May Cry and Sonic

Netflix held a virtual event called DROP 01 to celebrate its forthcoming slate of animated projects. The showcase was an absolute cornucopia of trailers and announcements for animation fans, particularly those who enjoy video game adaptations (all of us.) It started with a global livestream of Castlevania: Nocturne’s first three episodes ahead of the official premiere later today.

After that, the hits kept on coming. We knew there was a Devil May Cry anime being produced, adapting the popular game series, and now we have a trailer. There’s no release date, other than “coming soon”, but the show’s being produced by Capcom and animated by Studio Mir, the same folks behind The Legend of Korra, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf and My Adventures With Superman. In other words, we should be in for a good time.

Sonic Prime is coming back for season three and there’s a trailer to prove it. The new episodes focus on the fallout of chapter two as the speedy hedgehog faces off against Nine Tails for the fate of the entire Green Hill Zone. Netflix makes games now and also showed off a trailer for the related mobile title Sonic Prime Dash.

It’s been nearly three years since the announcement of a Tomb Raider animated series, leaving fans wondering if the show would evaporate into vaporware heaven. Worry no longer. It’s real and it’s coming soon. Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft is a team effort between game developer Crystal Dynamics and media dynamos Legendary Television. It’s being drawn by Powerhouse Animation, the studio behind Castlevania and Masters of the Universe. There’s no release date on this one yet but it looks nifty. 

Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix isn’t exactly a video game adaptation, but it’s inspired by the world created in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. As such, Ubisoft is on board, as is Netflix’s animation wunderkind Adi Shankar. This is a cyberpunk show, through and through, with the unusual addition of Ubisoft mascot Rayman. The series releases soon, on October 19.

We don’t have that long to wait before Scott Pilgrim Takes Off graces our screens, as it premieres on November 17. To hype up fans, Netflix dropped a sneak peek with an actual scene from the show. The eight-episode series brings back every single cast member from the movie, including Michael Cera, Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans and Aubrey Plaza.

It wasn’t all video game adaptations. Netflix also showed off trailers for the cinematic anime Blue Eye Samurai, a new season of Masters of the Universe: Revolution and a series based on Astro Boy called PLUTO. Prepare to go cartoon crazy in the coming months.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Creator of The Wolf Among Us universe releases it to public domain

Bill Willingham, the creator of the comic book series Fables, says you now own his work, fully and for all time. Willingham has released his work, which served as the basis for Telltale Games' The Wolf Among Us, to public domain — mostly because he can't afford to sue DC Comics. In a lengthy post on his Substack page, the artist went pretty in depth in explaining his beef with the publisher. He said the people he negotiated with 20 years ago had already been replaced by people "of no measurable integrity, who now choose to interpret every facet of [their] contract in ways that only benefit DC Comics and its owner companies."

Based on Willingham's account of what happened, DC would routinely overlook his input on things like artists for covers or formatting for new collections. That's pretty innocuous compared to his other allegations, though, including getting royalties late or DC under-reporting royalties so as not to pay him what he's owed. But the artist said that the company recently went beyond these "mere annoyances" and tried to forcibly take Fables' ownership from him. 

He mentioned Telltale Games in particular, when he talked about how DC execs allegedly admitted that they believe they could do anything with the property. That's including not protecting the integrity of its stories and characters from third parties — Telltale Games, in other words — that want to radically alter them. Further, he apparently gets no money from DC licensing his work to third parties.

While Willingham knows that he's still bound by his contract with DC and cannot release anything Fables related without the company's consent, he argued in his post that you're not. "[Y]ou have the rights to make your Fables movies, and cartoons, and publish your Fables books, and manufacture your Fables toys, and do anything you want with your property, because it’s your property," he said.

DC, however, has disagreed with Willingham and his interpretation of their contract and copyright law. "The Fables comic books and graphic novels published by DC, and the storylines, characters, and elements therein, are owned by DC and protected under the copyright laws of the United States and throughout the world in accordance with applicable law and are not in the public domain," the company told CBR in a statement. "DC reserves all rights and will take such action as DC deems necessary or appropriate to protect its intellectual property rights."

It's unclear if this development will have any effect on Telltale's The Wolf Among Us 2, which is scheduled for release in 2024. The game was supposed to be available this year, but the developer chose to push back its launch, because it needed time to switch from using Unreal Engine 4 to 5 and that involved changes to personnel and the development process. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Netflix's 'Scott Pilgrim Takes Off' teaser hits all the right notes

Netflix is getting the band back together with Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, an anime adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series. The company has dropped the first teaser for the eight-episode show, which centers around the titular character and his attempt to win a battle of the bands contest while facing off against the seven evil exes of his new girlfriend.

The anime follows on from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a 2010 film based on the graphic novels. The main cast of Edgar Wright's movie are reprising their roles in the series, including Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Ramona Flowers), Kieran Culkin (Wallace Wells), Chris Evans (Lucas Lee) and Brie Larson (“Envy” Adams).

The teaser apes many of the visuals of the movie and graphic novels, such as Scott blocking a flying attack from Matthew Patel with his arm and the rehearsal space of his band, Sex Bob-Omb. You'll also see Ramona dragging Scott through space toward a door with a star on it and the lovebirds sitting next to each other on a swing set. I don't remember seeing any dinosaurs in the film, though.

Bryan Lee O’Malley, the creator of the graphic novel series, is one of the showrunners, while Wright is an executive producer. Abel Gongora of animation studio Science Saru (Star Wars: Visions, Devilman Crybaby) is the director of the show. Scott Pilgrim Takes Off also includes new music from Anamanaguchi, the terrific chiptune band behind the soundtrack of the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World video game.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is my favorite movie of the 2010s, and this teaser gets the look and the spirit of the universe spot on. I'm already counting down the days until Scott Pilgrim Takes Off hits Netflix on November 17th.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

New ‘Star Wars: Ahsoka’ trailer teases a full-on ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ reunion

The August premiere date of the highly-anticipated Disney+ Star Wars: Ahsoka series is rapidly approaching and there’s an action-packed new trailer that’s sure to delight fans of the animated Star Wars: Rebels series. It’s filled to the brim with live-action appearances from beloved Rebels characters like Hera Syndula, Sabine Wren, Chopper, Ezra Bridger and even series antagonist Grand Admiral Thrawn.

The show takes place in the same timeline of The Mandalorian, but stars Ahsoka Tano, former apprentice of sand-hating Anakin Skywalker. Tano (Rosario Dawson) never appeared in the prequel films but was a mainstay in the Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon before moving onto Star Wars: Rebels and, finally, season two of The Mandalorian.

Fans have long-surmised that Ahsoka would follow-up the cliffhanger ending (no spoilers) from Rebels, and they're definitely getting their wish. The trailer's packed with call-backs to the cartoon, even lingering on an animated still that appeared in the series finale back in 2018. For long-time franchise fans, the trailer boasts the very first live action appearance of Grand Admiral Thrawn, played by Lars Mikkelsen.

Thrawn was the primary villain in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire book trilogy that followed the adventures of Luke Skywalker and the gang after the events of Return of the Jedi. Those books aren’t canon, because Luke went on to become a blue milk-loving hermit or whatever, but Ahsoka looks to be incorporating certain elements from the novels, as have recent seasons of The Mandalorian. Many fans speculate that the juiciest parts of Zahn’s books will make up the basic plot of the forthcoming ‘Filoni-verse’ movie, a crossover event featuring all of the newer TV characters.

Ahsoka premieres on August 23rd, with two episodes dropping at the same time before heading to weekly installments. In addition to Dawson and Mikkelsen, the series stars Natasha Liu Borzizzo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eman Esfandi and recently-deceased character actor Ray Stevenson.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Hulu debuts hub for adult animation and anime

Animation is big business for Hulu, as the streamer’s roster of cartoons regularly rank in the top ten for hours watched on the platform, thanks to shows like Bob’s Burgers, Futurama, King of the Hill and many more. Seeking to capitalize on the popularity of adult animation, Hulu’s launching a sub-brand to house all of its animated and anime-based content, as originally reported by Variety. Animayhem is now the home for legacy content like the above titles and original content like Solar Opposites and Koala Man.

All told, the hub/sub-brand allows access to 2,600 episodes of traditional animated programming, spread across 46 series, and a whopping 18,400 episodes of anime, spread across 435 series. That’s over 20,000 episodes of cartoon goodness, for those keeping count. As such, Hulu is advertising the platform as the streamer’s “Animation Destination.”

The surprise-launch of Animayhem comes just two weeks before the latest Futurama reboot, and that’s just the start of the streamer’s plans for animation domination. Hulu’s ordered new episodes of Mike Judge’s King of the Hill and it plans on having a heavy presence at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, promising an immersive experience called “Hulu Animayhem: Into the Second Dimension.”

In the meantime, the hub’s already available as part of the standard Hulu subscription, so go ahead and binge Archer, Family Guy and all the hundreds upon hundreds of available anime series like One Piece and Naruto.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

‘Dead Cells’ is getting an animated series in 2024

Developer Motion Twin just announced an animated series based on the game Dead Cells that releases in 2024. The series is being produced by French studio Bobbypills, who also handled the animated trailers for the game and its many DLC releases. The cartoon series seems to follow the game’s narrative, as it’s set on a “cursed island” with a population of “monstrous creatures” and “prophecies depicting a flame-headed hero.”

The series is being co-produced by French anime distribution service the Animation Digital Network. The first season of the Dead Cells cartoon will consist of ten episodes, each around seven to ten minutes long. It will also be exclusive to France, at first, before getting a global release at some point after the initial premiere. There’s a short teaser trailer that doesn’t reveal too much but does give a sense of the animation style.

Developer Motion Twin promises that the forthcoming animated series will not sway its commitment from providing constant updates and new content for the original game. Dead Cells is available on just about every platform in existence, including PC, consoles and mobile devices, having sold an astounding 10 million copies during its lifespan. For the uninitiated, the critically-acclaimed game is a roguelike/metroidvania hybrid that casts you as—surprise—a flame-headed hero trying to escape a cursed island.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at