It's the first full week of November, and that means it's time for another column packed with recommendations for the upcoming month. Given the Thanksgiving holiday on the horizon, it seems appropriate that this week's Geek Beat offers up a cornucopia of comics, games, novels and other projects to get you prepped for – and excited about – the big-screen projects hitting theaters this month and beyond.
From Thor: The Dark World to RoboCop, this week's column features tie-ins, further reading, spin-offs and all matter of compelling content that will (hopefully) make the wait a little more tolerable for whatever your most anticipated movie may be.
Ender's Game arrived in theaters just a few days ago, and whether you haven't had a chance to see the blockbuster adaptation of Orson Scott Card's celebrated sci-fi novel yet or you just want to dive a little deeper into the story, the Ender's Game comics published by Marvel Comics between 2008 and 2012 offer a nice mix of adapted material and brand new stories set within the sci-fi saga's universe. The comic book iteration of Ender's Game encompassed nine story arcs, beginning with the five-issue Ender's Game: Battle School. All of the stories are available now in collected form, so give them a look if you want to know more about the series.
A new trailer for the upcoming RoboCop remake is scheduled to debut this week, so this could be the perfect time to revisit – or visit for the first time – some of the comic book adventures of Detroit's cyborg officer of the law. Cinephiles will certainly want to get their hands on Frank Miller's RoboCop, a collection of the nine-issue series that adapted Miller's original, uncensored screenplay for RoboCop 2. You can follow that up with the current RoboCop: Last Stand series, which is based on Miller's similarly unused script for RoboCop 3. Both series have their share of fans and critics, but there's no denying that they take the main character in a very different direction than what we know from the films.
As has come to be expected with Marvel movies, the looming premiere of Thor: The Dark World offers no shortage of tie-in material across the entire spectrum of geekery. While the official Thor: The Dark World mobile game (see the trailer posted below) hasn't been winning over critics, it is free, so it won't cost you anything to find out for yourself. (And hey, if there's an opportunity to play as Thor's horse-faced alien pal Beta Ray Bill, it's worth checking out.) The free-to-play Marvel MMO Marvel Heroes is also getting in on The Dark World action by announcing trickster god Loki as the game's newest playable character. Not only is the newest addition to the game's roster sporting a movie-accurate costume, but he also has a passing resemblance to Tom Hiddleston.
Oh, and just in case all this talk of Thor has you heading for your local comics shop, you can probably find copies of Marvel's two-part Thor: The Dark World - Prelude series that fills in the gaps between Thor, The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World.
On a related note, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is apparently planning an episode that ties together the world of the television series with Thor: The Dark World. If you're excited about that November 19 episode, you might also want to snag a copy of The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 this month. The issue collects some of the key moments from the history of S.H.I.E.L.D. in comics, including the origins of Nick Fury Jr. and Phil Coulson, as well as the story of how Hawkeye and Black Widow were recruited.
If you're as enamored with Hasbro's robots in disguise as I am, you'll probably want to run (not walk) to pick up the first issues of IDW Publishing's big Transformers crossover event this month. Transformers: Dark Cybertron is unfolding across all of the publisher's Transformers series (yes, it has more than one) and takes things in a grim direction for the remaining Cybertronians both on their home planet and in the stars. No matter how you feel about the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction sequel from Michael Bay's film franchise, anyone with affection for Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and the rest of the Transformers will love what IDW's been doing with the 'bots.
With the arrival of a new game from the Assassin's Creed franchise this month, it's difficult not to think about what the movie based on the series will look like when it finally hits theaters. Along with checking out some of the surprisingly good comics based on the franchise – most notably Assassin's Creed: The Fall, Assassin's Creed: The Chain, and the upcoming Assassin's Creed: Brahman – you should definitely view the impressive Assassin's Creed: Lineage short film released in 2009. Not only was the three-part movie produced by the game's developer, Ubisoft (which will also be overseeing production on the upcoming feature film), but Lineage also features the voice cast of the game in the roles of their live-action counterparts. Basically, it's the closest we're going to get to seeing the movie right now, and it's well worth watching. (You can watch the full movie below.)
Finally, if your collection of Superman memorabilia wasn't feeling grim and gritty enough in the wake of Zack Snyder's Man of Steel reboot, take heart: NECA has unveiled its new “Black Suit Superman” ¼ Scale Figure based on Henry Cavill's memorable (and occasionally controversial) version of the Kryptonian superhero. The figure stands over 18” tall and has a fabric cape and over 30 points of articulation – which means you can position him punching, kicking and otherwise destroying (directly or indirectly) every other figure in his vicinity, just like on the big screen! Sadly, the figure isn't available until January 2014, but you can head over to NECA's website to keep tabs on its exact release date.
And that's it for this month's recommendation roundup, folks! Feel free to add any of your own recommendations in the comment section, as I'd love to know what you're reading, playing, and watching this month!
Rick Marshall is an award-winning writer and editor whose work can be found at Movies.com, as well as MTV News, Fandango, Digital Trends, IFC.com, Newsarama, and various other online, print and on-air news outlets. He's been called a “Professional Geek” by ABC News and Spike TV, and is still not quite sure how he ended up writing (and talking) about comics, video games and movies for a living. His personal blog can be found at MindPollution.org, and you can find him on Twitter as @RickMarshall.
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