The summer movie season is officially here, and along with an impressive lineup of films arriving in theaters this month, there’s also a heap of cool comics and collectibles hitting shelves. Basically, May is a great month to be a geek.
From Peter Parker’s big return to the screen and comics (he’s been out of commission in Marvel Comics continuity for over a year now, just in case you haven’t been following along at home), to some big books befitting the King of all Monsters, there’s more than enough to drool over in this week’s list of highlights.
So without further ado, let’s get on with the geeking out, shall we?
What to Read
May is certainly a big month for Marvel’s web slinger, and there’s just as much Spider-Man action in comics this month as there is on the big screen. Both The Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 and Giant-Size Spider-Man #1 arrive on shelves over the next few weeks, and both comics offer a nice primer on Spidey’s current place in the Marvel Comics universe and the events that brought him to this new beginning of sorts. After a tumultuous year for the wall crawler in the comics world, these two two issues provide a nice jumping-on point for anyone who leaves the theater after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and heads to the comic shop looking for more adventures starring the ol’ Webhead.
The first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was published 30 years ago this month, and IDW Publishing is commemorating that anniversary with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 30th Anniversary Special, a 48-page anthology of all-new stories written by Turtles cocreator Kevin Eastman and some of fans’ other favorite authors of TMNT tales. The book will also sport a cover by Eastman and fellow TMNT cocreator Peter Laird – their first collaboration in many, many years.
With the imminent arrival of Godzilla in theaters, it makes sense that there should be a book or two featuring the city-stomping monster hitting shelves this month, too. While IDW Publishing has a bunch of great comics featuring Godzilla, the only book connected with the cinematic version of Godzilla is DC Comics’ upcoming Godzilla hardcover graphic novel. The book’s synopsis doesn’t offer many clues about how it fits in with the movie’s narrative, but it does promise to delve into the mystery of “monumental forces of nature” that make things so difficult for humanity in the new film.
If you picked up the first issue of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude, you’ll probably want to get your hands on Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude #2 this month. This time around, the issue focuses on teammates Groot and Rocket Raccoon, so if you’re anything like me, you’ve got $ 4 set aside already for this one.
Star Trek fans (Trekkies? Trekkers?) will want to keep an eye out for Star Trek: Khan this month, as the new graphic novel takes a deep dive into the history of the modern, cinematic version of Khan Noonien Singh portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness. Promising to explore some of the questions regarding Khan that Into Darkness left unanswered and fill in some of the blanks in Khan’s timeline, the 124-page comic is definitely worth picking up for any Star Trek completists out there.
Good characters never seem to stay dead, and that proved true for Star Wars villain Darth Maul, who apparently had quite a few adventures in the franchise’s comic book universe after his seemingly final scene in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. This month, a four-part series kicks off that explores the secret of Darth Maul’s return to the land of the living. Star Wars: Darth Maul – Son of Dathomir #1 hits shelves, and the story is based on an unaired story from The Clone Wars television series – which makes it even more compelling.
A while back, I recommended a few issues of The X-Files: Conspiracy crossover series, and now the entire story will available in a collected edition. It’s The X-Files universe merging with Ghostbusters, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Crow. Need I say more?
As always, you should be able to find (or order) all of these books at your local comic shop, or locate them online if that’s not an option.
What to Watch
Well, if you haven’t seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2 by now, you’re clearly missing out. The sequel to Marc Webb’s 2012 reboot of the Spider-Man franchise raked in some big numbers in its opening weekend, and although critics seem a bit polarized on the film, mainstream audiences are loving it. (And you can count me among the film’s fans. It’s a lot of fun.) Haven’t seen it yet? Get thee to a theater!
Spidey isn’t the only icon returning to the screen this month, and he’s going to face some stiff competition at the box office when Godzilla premieres May 16. Director Gareth Edwards’ monstrous blockbuster is generating all sorts of buzz in the run up to its release, and I’m probably not alone in counting the days until Godzilla throws down with a host of massive creatures in the middle of a city. My 12-year-old self never thought this day would come, but it’s finally here.
While I don’t share the love for X-Men: First Class that many of my friends and colleagues have for Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 film, I’ll admit that the trailers and other clips released thus far for its sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past have been impressive (to say the least). Colossus and all sorts of other mutants battling massive Sentinels? Count me in. Still, I can’t help wishing for one more opportunity to see Alan Cumming in action as Nightcrawler. Sigh.
Oh, and just in case you’re looking for a movie to bring home this month, both the sci-fi drama Her (which earned Spike Jonze an Oscar for his screenplay) and I, Frankenstein (which is likely to earn a few Razzie nominations) will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray May 13.
What to Put on Your Shelf
Clever bottle openers are nothing new, but anything that provides an excuse to quote lines from Aliens (especially Bill Paxton’s lines) is worth calling out. Diamond Select Toys’ Alien Head Metal Bottle Opener will be available this month, and then it’s all “Game over, man! Game over!” for pesky bottles.
Mattel Toys’ new line of 4” DC Multiverse figures pays tribute to some of DC’s classic big-screen characters, and the Terence Stamp version of Zod from Superman and Superman II is appropriately kneel worthy. In addition to the DC Multiverse 4” General Zod, the line also includes masked and unmasked version of Tim Burton’s Batman (as played by Michael Keaton), and the Penguin (as played by Danny DeVito) from Batman Returns. It’s a little bit of retro-toy love for some of the movies that make any geek of a certain age feel a little nostalgic.
Everyone likes to talk about Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, but without Wedge Antilles, the Rebel Alliance wouldn’t have lasted past Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. In honor of the greatest pilot in the Star Wars universe, eFX Collectibles has created a Wedge Antilles X-Wing Pilot Helmet replica based on the headgear worn by Wedge in Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strike Back. This pricey ($ 600!) piece of movie memorabilia was created in a limited run of 750 pieces, so you don’t have to worry about paying all that money only to find that everyone on your street has their own Wedge helmet. And hey, is any price too great when it comes to a piece of galactic history?
The recent RoboCop remake didn’t manage to make anyone forget about the 1987 original, and this new, extra-articulated RoboCop Play Arts Action Figure based on Peter Weller’s mechanized alter ego serves as a nice reminder that ultraviolent classics never get old. Produced by Square Enix, the figure comes with a pile of accessories – including parts for displaying RoboCop with an open leg holster – and the sort of price tag (around $ 80) that usually accompanies higher-end collectibles of this sort. Of course, if your tastes run more toward the 2014 version of RoboCop (to each their own, I guess), there are figures based on that version of the character available in both silver and black paint schemes, too.
And that’s it for this month’s roundup of the shiniest geekery hitting shelves – and screens – over the next few weeks. Tune in next month for more things to spend your hard-earned cash on!
Question of the Week: What’s on your must-buy list 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 his personal blog can be found at MindPollution.org. You can find him on Twitter as @RickMarshall.
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