Planet of the Apes #14

5 Stars – BOOM! Pick of the Week!

Man against ape.

Seems like a simple concept and for decades it has been the driving force behind the groundbreaking science fiction franchise, The Planet of the Apes.  But while that dichotomy has always provided a wealth of allegories and storytelling opportunities, the lines have now become blurred.  The division between man and ape is becoming harder to define through the actions of leaders on each side and the desperate alliances each side will forge to maintain control.

For reasons I wish I could explain, and now wish I could change, I fell out of the habit of reading BOOM! Studios’ Planet of the Apes series.  And upon my return this is the world, described above, that I was reintroduced to.  Ten years have passed since the events I last read and enjoyed and the world, or perhaps ‘planet’, has changed dramatically.  Ten years of relative peace have been maintained though the apes preserve a strong upper hand in this new age.

But what about those blurred lines and desperate alliances?  I’m getting there, trust me.

Skintown, the former refuge town for humans, is once again under ape control and is once again referred to as it proper title, Southtown.  Driving home the conflict between man and ape many locations are referred to by both their ape name as well as the human name in the comic’s captions, for instance: The Great Sea (Ape nomenclature)/Atlantic Ocean (human nomenclature).  A fantastic addition by the writer, Daryl Gregory, to take the reader even further into the division between man and ape in this time of alleged peace.

Now, to those blurred lines and compromises.

In the heart of the ape capital city the Lawgiver, the ape leader, raises a human child as if it were her own flesh and blood.  And stranger still, the leaders of the humans find an unexpected ally in the Great Khan, the self appointed King of the Apes, who shaves himself to reflect a more human appearance and his queen is a human.

See what I mean?

Despite the dramatic nature of these proceedings, they are much more than gimmicks and Planet of the Apes has lost none of its drama and potency thanks to Gregory’s writing and the still impressive artwork by Carlos Magno.  And below the surface, hidden behind the dramatic, are more secrets and more betrayals.  The ten years of peace is nearly at its end, but this time when the fighting starts it will not be as simple as man against ape.

Planet of the Apes #14 will hit stores Wednesday, May 16th and retails for $3.99.

Japan, the United Nations & the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Coming up: Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Tsuneo Nishida, explores where the United Nations is headed, and Japan’s role within the UN system on May 16; and Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Columbia University, discusses the pros and the cons of the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative on May 17. Please be sure to visit our spring exhibition, Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945.

May 10—17, 2012


amb_large_240.jpg CORPORATE PROGRAM
Japan & the United Nations

Wednesday, May 16, 6 PM

Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Tsuneo Nishida, discusses where the United Nations is headed, and Japan’s role within the UN system.
REGISTER


Bhagwati_240.jpg CORPORATE PROGRAM
Trans-Pacific Partnership: Pros & Cons

Thursday, May 17, 6 PM

Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Columbia University, will discuss both the pros and the cons of the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative.
REGISTER


003_unidentified_240.jpg EXHIBITION
Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945

Through Sunday, June 10

Showcasing the spectacular craftsmanship and sophisticated design associated with both Japan and Art Deco style, this exhibition is the first in the U.S. to explore a little-known brand of pre-WWII modernism borne of competitive ingenuity and vivacious cosmopolitanism.

Upcoming Events


111224_after311_240.jpg CONFERENCE/SYMPOSIUM
Japan After 3.11 – Recovery & Healing

Tuesday, June 5, 6 PM

 
OFFSITE EVENT at SUNY Global Center
116 East 55th Street (between Park & Lexington Avenues)
REGISTER


AD_2012_5headshot_240.jpg SPECIAL EVENT
Japan Society 2012 Annual Dinner

Thursday, June 7, 6:30 PM

Japan Society’s 2012 Annual Dinner will feature a special dialogue between David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, and Gillian Tett will follow the keynote speech. 


ogawa_6161_240.jpg LECTURE
The French Connection: The Changing Role of Japanese Women Ceramists

Friday, June 8, 6:30 PM

Five of Japan’s leading female ceramic artists, spanning two generations, discuss the impact of French culture on their artistic training and how it has affected their careers at home and abroad. 
RSVP


DSC_12-(c)-GUAN-BARL_240.jpg MUSIC
Let’s Enka! with JERO

Saturday, June 9, 7:30 PM

With his smooth voice and hip-hop stylings, JERO has breathed new life into this sentimental Japanese music genre often associated with themes of one’s hometown, lost loves and sake. 
TICKETS

Dark Horse Works With THQ on Exclusive DARKSIDERS II Prequel Comic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 14, MILWAUKIE, OR—As announced through Best Buy, fans eagerly awaiting Darksiders® II can get an exclusive Darksiders prequel comic from Dark Horse Comics when they preorder the Best Buy exclusive Darksiders II: Angel of Death edition for Xbox 360 ® or PlayStation® 3!

With a stunning cover from game creator Joe Madureira, this Best Buy exclusive print issue takes place before the events of Darksiders II, as Death travels to Earth to hunt down and confront a rogue demon!
Written by Andrew Kreisberg (Batman Confidential, Green Arrow and Black Canary, FOX’s Fringe) and drawn by Roger Robinson (Batman: Arkham City, Azrael), Darksiders II: Death’s Door reveals essential secrets from the world of the upcoming game!
Preorder your copy of Darksiders II today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Darksiders II
Awakened by the End of Days, Death, the most feared of the legendary Four Horsemen embarks on a quest to redeem his brother’s name. Become the terrifying force which everything fears but nothing can escape.
The original Darksiders®, released in January 2010, received critical acclaim including the Best Fantasy Game 2010 award from IGN. Darksiders followed the story of WAR, wrongly accused of starting the apocalypse, on a quest to reclaim lost honor and take revenge on those who wronged him.
About THQ
THQ Inc. is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. THQ, Darksiders, Vigil Games and their respective logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc.

About Dark Horse Comics
Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, Will Eisner, and best-selling prose author Janet Evanovich, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and the Occultist. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, Mass Effect, Serenity, and Domo. Today, Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic-book publisher in the United States and is recognized as both an innovator in the cause of creator rights and the comics industry’s leading publisher of licensed material.

A look at Punk vs Bryan

Punk’s one-of-a-kind wrestling style borrows from extensive training at various stages of his career. Citing everyone from Ace Steel to William Regal to Fit Finlay, among others, for tutoring, Punk is also influenced by moves made big in prominent Japanese promotions, as well as his own background in muay thai and Brazilian ju-jitsu. In his arsenal are varieties of kicks and open handed strikes, not to mention risky dives that reflect his background as a caution-to-the-wind indy star. Trademarks include a combinion corner knee strike into a bulldog, as well as a flying elbow smash, in homage to Macho Man Randy Savage. Punk will finish with either an Anaconda Vise, an arm-trap triangle choke made prominent by Hiroyoshi Tenzan, or his Go to Sleep fireman drop knee lift, innovated by KENTA.

 

Bryan, like Punk, draws a lot influence from William Regal, in fact even moreso. The European uppercuts and suplex variations fit Regal’s M.O., but Bryan personalizes his tool chest with more top rope and out-of-the-ring dives. At times regarded as the best technical wrestler in the world, Bryan’s ju-jitsu training in UFC icon Randy Couture’s Las Vegas facility has refined  incorporates many submissions into his matches, including the rarely-seen, but once ever-present, Cattle Mutilation bridging underhook hold. 99% of the time, Bryan will finish his foes with a hammerlocked crossface once known as the Lebell Lock (named after its inventor, Judo grandmaster Gene Lebell), now known as the YES! Lock to accommodate Bryan’s gimmick. This will come after Bryan has worked over the arm and shoulder in the match’s early stages.

 

The match will be great in my opinion because these are two great wrestlers who came a long way..here is a match from 2004 between them two but the end is cut off for some reason but bryan wins by submission.

 

WWE RAW 5/7 Review

Before we begin, a special birthday shoutout to Owen Hart who would have been 47 years old today. He was one of my favorite wrestlers ever. His death brings me a lot of sadness even 13 years after his passing, but the memories he gave us during his career are everlasting, so for that we should always be thankful. “Enough is enough and it’s time for a change.” RIP Owen.
Live from Greensboro, NC this is the Raw Deal…
The show begins with the video package highlighting the angle that ended last week’s Raw with John Laurinaitis attacking John Cena with the help of Lord Tensai.
No Nickelback song to start the show. Good. People power in full effect. John Laurinaitis made his entrance. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to the show. Laurinaitis called himself the leader of WWE and that he won’t allow anybody to challenge his leadership skills. He was upset about Cena calling him an idiot and a corporate jackass. That’s why he lost his temper last week. He said “Brock Cena” at one point. What he meant to say is that Brock Lesnar hurt Cena’s arm and he hurt Cena’s pride. He said WWE’s Board of Directors didn’t punish him for his actions because they realize he’s tough but fair. He asked that Cena was not there tonight so that he could rest his elbow and have no excuse while he loses to JL at Over The Limit. This boring Laurinaitis continued as he talked about his wrestling career. They showed pics of him holding titles in Japan. They showed pics of him putting people in submission holds. He called himself Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock all rolled into one in terms of his star power. He said when WWE asked him to wrestle for them years ago he said no. He said his match with Cena was bigger than Cena/Rock and Cena/Lesnar. The whole promo lasted about 7 minutes. Crowd was hot for parts of it, but died down. It went on too long. Finally the music of WWE Champion CM Punk hit.
Punk said Laurinaitis never amazed him. He said Laurinaitis had no clue what the people wanted to hear or see. Punk was rocking the full beard again so I guess his match with Daniel Bryan will be a beard on beard showdown. He said the WWE Universe doesn’t want to see Laurinaitis. The crowd cheered. They don’t care about his time in Japan. Punk said this is about Laurinaitis putting all of his chips on Lesnar and then Cena beat him. He said he was like a hyena to pick the bones after Lesnar did the damage to Cena’s arms. Punk said the reason he had to go to Japan was because there wasn’t anybody that wanted to pay to see him wrestle. Punk called him a joke then and now. He said he’d watch Over The Limit to see John Cena beat Laurinaitis. JL asked him if he was finished. Punk asked if he was done, but the crowd cheered so he continued. Punk: “You’re stupid, you’re ugly and you have no friends. You’re also a gigantic toolbox. I’m finished now.” Laurinaitis said he could beat Punk now, but he’s not going to. He told Punk he would be facing somebody that went to Japan to hone their skills. He told Punk that he’d be facing Lord Tensai. Punk said he accepted that and looked forward to it almost as much as he expects Cena to make Laurinaitis tapped out. Punk dropped the microphone to end the promo after 15 minutes.
Analysis: It wasn’t an epic pipe bomb promo from Punk, but it was a reminder of his long standing issues with Laurinaitis. I thought Laurinaitis’ solo work was pretty lackluster and crowd killing. It went on too long. He’s not good enough on the microphone to talk to the crowd like that. When Punk got out there it was better. It felt a bit out of place since they are feuding with different people. However, there was nothing wrong with it really. The Punk/Tensai match is fresh too, so hopefully they book it in a smart way whether it’s at the top of hour two or in the main event slot of the show. I’d assume Cena is there in some capacity although if he gets the week off it wouldn’t be that surprising either.
Backstage, Big Show was walking. He gets his IC Title rematch coming up next.
(Commercial)
Backstage, Show was walking to the ring. Still? Laurinaitis walked up to him. He was mad that Show didn’t show him respect. As he walked away, Show did an impression of Laurinaitis using the JL voice. Eve walked up to Show, so she heard him imitating Laurinaitis. He headed to the ring. Not sure what the point was of that unless this will lead to something where Laurinaitis sends somebody out there to screw Show out of the win.
Before the IC Title re-match, they showed pictures of Extreme Rules when Cody Rhodes regained the IC Title he never should have lost. Then Show put him through a table. Cody entered first followed by Big Show right after.
Intercontinental Title: Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show

 

Show dominated the action early with big chops followed by a body slam. Rhodes came back with a boot to the face and a Disaster Kick. Show came back by flipping him across the ring. Rhodes rolled out to the floor. He asked for his title. Show cut him off before he could walk away. Then Cody ran out the other side of the ring. He ran up the aisle with his title. Match went about three minutes.
Winner: Big Show via Countout

 

Post match, Big Show asked for the microphone. He told Cody not to take the coward’s way out. Cody left. Eve’s music started out. She’s rocking the business suit attire. That’s a lovely short skirt.
Eve told him to apologize for making fun of JL’s voice. She said he had to apologize to her, to the fans and to Laurinaitis. He said “I’m sorry.” She said she didn’t ask him to say “I’m sorry.” She told him to apologize. Eve reminded him that outside of this business there’s not a lot of use for a 400 pound 40 year old freak. They don’t mention age much on WWE TV, but that was a good way to get Show angry. Show: “I apologize for making fun of John Laurinaitis’ voice.” He was serious. Then he left. Eve was pleased with that.
Analysis: ¼* That finish is overdone. They even did it on Smackdown with Swagger walking out on Brodus Clay. It seems like every other week there’s a “heel walks away for a countout” finish. There are other ways to book finishes without having somebody lose. Instead, it’s the same thing over and over again. Where’s the creativity? The Eve/Show segment was okay. She’s good in the bitchy heel role. Better than her stale babyface work at least.
Later: Punk vs. Tensai. Also Orton & Sheamus vs. Jericho & Del Rio. That should be a good tag match.
(Commercial)
They replayed the tag title win of Kofi Kingston and R-Truth last week. Kofi Kingston made his entrance along with R-Truth, who of course adds Little Jimmy into his entrance. Love how he holds the rope open for Little Jimmy too. What a gentleman. Vickie Guerrero introduced Dolph Ziggler, who also had Jack Swagger with him.
Kofi Kingston w/R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero & Jack Swagger

 

This match has happened probably 30 times on television in the last few years. They have had a lot of matches. They’re always good. They showed AW (All World no longer Abraham Washington) watching the action along with Rosa, Primo & Epico. So a team with a manager got a manager too. Meanwhile, Mason Ryan showed up into the shot as well. Back in the ring, after Dolph got some early offense with a nice dropkick Kofi was able to get control with his usual offense. Kingston hit the SOS for a count of two. Swagger and Vickie successfully distracted Kingston, so Ziggler was able to capitalize with the Zig Zag for the win. The match went about 3 minutes.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

 

Analysis: *1/4 They’ve certainly had better matches. This was only three minutes though, so can’t blame them for that. It followed typical WWE booking where a champion loses a match that is not for their title. The Mason Ryan thing is noteworthy because the rumor is he may be used as Ziggler’s bodyguard although plans can always change.
They showed John Cena talking to a techie as Michael Cole informed us he’d be doing an interview. Cena had his left arm in a sling. The idea is he’s not actually at the show. Interview is after the break.
(Commercial)
Back from break, Michael Cole was in the ring. Cena was “live via satellite.” John thanked the fans for their support. He said there are no broken bones, but he has to have his elbow drained twice a day. Cena said doctors didn’t want him to compete and recommended he take a few months off. He said he wasn’t going to listen to them because nothing would stop him from competing. Cena said the Board of Directors contacted him and he told them not to reprimand him because he wants to get his hands on Laurinaitis. Cole said he was impressed with what Laurinaitis has accomplished in his career. Cole suggested that Cena could be scared of Laurinaitis. Cena said he’s scared that Laurinaitis is so bad that he’s going to hurt himself because Cena could get his hands on him. He said he’s excited that he’ll get to attack Laurinaits the way all the superstars and fans want to do. Cena: “In 13 days at Over The Limit I will kick John Laruinaitis’ ass!” That’s the end of the promo.
Analysis: It didn’t seem like a legit “live” promo. It could have been for all I know. Cena’s likely at the show and they just did it backstage, but there were points where it seemed off. Anyway, the point of the angle is to get sympathy heat for Cena. The crowd cheered him. No risk of boos when he’s not in the arena live. It was an interviewed that lasted under five minutes. If that’s all we get of Cena tonight then I’m okay with that.
Backstage, Layla & Kelly Kelly were walking. They’re in tag action next.
Plug time: When you’re done here, be sure to check out the great work of my buddy Brandon Stroud at With Leather for daily sports comedy and his awesome Best & Worst of Raw column every Tuesday afternoon. It’s worth your time. Give it a look!
(Commercial)
In the ring, Natalya and Maxine were waiting for their opponents. Good. Big fan of both. At the announce table, Beth Phoenix joined in at the commentary table. They said that at Over The Limit it will be Layla defending the Divas Title against Beth Phoenix.
Layla & Kelly Kelly vs. Natalya & Maxine

 

Fast paced action early. Kelly attacked Natalya on the floor to prevent some cheating. Layla ended up finishing off Maxine easily with the Lay Out neckbreaker. The match went about one minute.
Winners: Layla & Kelly Kelly

 

Analysis: NR Wow that was ridiculously short. Natalya and Kelly didn’t even tag in. Kelly knocked her off the apron, Natalya took a bump to the floor and Layla ended up finishing off Maxine with the Lay Out very easily. What does that accomplish? Obviously the focus is on Layla and Beth, but giving them only one minute of in-ring time doesn’t do anybody any good.
Tag match is next at the top of hour two: Orton & Sheamus vs. Jericho & Del Rio.
(Commercial)
They plugged Santino’s Foreign Exchange show on WWE’s Youtube channel. It’s usually pretty funny from what I’ve seen.
In the ring, Ricardo Rodriguez gave a big introduction for Alberto Del Rio, who came out in a 2012 Ferrari worth $377,000 according to Cole. They mentioned that it would be Sheamus vs. Del Rio for the World Title at Over The Limit. I don’t think anybody believes Del Rio will win, nor should they. Del Rio got moved to Smackdown. No legitimate reason was given for it, but I think it was a numbers thing in that Smackdown needed more top of the line heels. I would have preferred Ziggler in the spot personally. Chris Jericho made his entrance. Big pop for Randy Orton. The World Champ Sheamus came out last to a good ovation as well.
Sheamus & Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho & Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez

 

There are no current feuds for Orton and Jericho so perhaps that could get started here. The faces had control early. Sheamus destroyed Jericho with the ten punches while he was between the ropes. That’s a good spot that generates a good reaction. Jericho avoided a powerslam by shoving Sheamus into the ring post. Del Rio kicked Sheamus in the injured left arm while he was out on the floor. The left shoulder of Sheamus is still bandaged to sell his recent beatings at the hands of Daniel Bryan. I love when injuries are sold for longer than a week. Three minutes into the match we head to break for the vintage floor to commercial spot.
(Commercial)
Back to the action, Jericho was in control of Sheamus for about thirty seconds. Sheamus ended up getting the hot tag to Orton while Jericho tagged out to Del Rio. Orton hit a powerslam on Jericho while Rodriguez distracted the ref to allow Del Rio to hit an enziguiri to Orton for account of two. The heels worked over Orton for a bit. Orton hit a dropkick to Jericho. Cole said you don’t see Orton throw many of them. What? He has one of the best dropkicks and does them all the time. Jericho slowed Orton down to prevent the tag. He gave him a reverse chinlock: “ASK HIM!” Orton rolled him up for two. Jericho gave Orton an enziguiri. Del Rio tagged in and dropped Orton’s left arm onto his own knees. He yelled out “destiny” as he tried to put on the Cross Armbreaker. I guess he still says “destiny” then? Okay. Hot tag to Sheamus while Del Rio brought in Jericho. Sheamus hit a high knee to Jericho. Then he powered out of Walls of Jericho and hit the Irish Curse backbreaker. Del Rio ran in, so Orton gave him a RKO. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick. Jericho moved out of the way. The Brogue Kick hit Orton in the face. Sheamus was stunned. Jericho ended up hitting the Codebreaker. He pinned Sheamus for the win after 13 minutes.
Winners: Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio

 

After the match, Jericho grabbed the World Title. He said he should be the champion. The heels celebrated as they left. Sheamus tried to help Orton up. Orton didn’t want it. Then he hit Sheamus with a RKO, which left the World Champion out on the mat.
Analysis: ***1/2 This was your typical very good middle of the show tag match that allowed all four guys get a chance to shine. They’re all big names who have established signature moves that the crowd popped for. It’s a formulaic tag match that always works. No complaints here. We need more of these on a regular basis. The booking decision is interesting because now it seems as though we could get a Fatal Fourway at Over The Limit rather than the already announced Sheamus/Del Rio match.
Later tonight, an update on Triple H’s condition and the future of Brock Lesnar.
Also later is CM Punk vs. Lord Tensai.
(Commercial)
Backstage, John Laurinaitis was with Eve. She said she’d go talk to Big Show.
All of a sudden, Laurinaitis was joined by Jericho, Del Rio and Orton. All of them wanted a title shot against Sheamus. They started brawling. All of a sudden Sheamus showed up and all four guys were brawling. The faces took care of the heels. Sheamus got in Orton’s face because they each hit the other guy with their finishers. Sheamus: “You bring it fella!” Laurinaitis announced the World Title match will now be a Fatal Fourway between Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho & Randy Orton. My guess was right. Cool. It will be better this way.
Brodus Clay made his entrance with his dancers Naomi and Cameron. He referred to his fans as Funkateers now. He said it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday so we better call our momma. Miz came out complaining that he has a match with…this. Miz: “If I wanted to see King Hippo dance I’d play Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.” Great line. He wants Brodus to call his momma so he can tell her that “I’m the Miz and I’m awesome.”
Brodus Clay vs. The Miz

 

Cole said this was a true test for Clay. Brodus knocked him to the floor. Cameron and Naomi laughed at him. Like a dummy, Brodus chased him back into the ring. Miz stomped away. He hid a running boot to the face for a count of two. Miz hit his corner clothesline. He hit a double axehandle off the top for two. I don’t think Brodus has sold this many moves during his run as the Funkasauras. Miz hit a dropkick to Brodus’ knee followed by a high knee to the jaw. Then he gave him a chinlock. Brodus powered out of it with a slam. He gave him a battering ram headbutt. Miz countered a charge with a boot to the face. Brodus hit an overhead suplex. Big splash connects for Brodus for the win after about 5 minutes.
Winner: Brodus Clay 
Analysis: * That was the longest Brodus match they’ve done since he’s been the Funkasauras. The crowd wasn’t really rallying behind him while Miz was on offense, but they did pop for his signature moves that led to his victory. Miz is going to be filming The Marine 3 very soon, so don’t be surprised if he keeps losing until they write him out for a month or so.
They aired a video package about the Be A Star anti-bullying campaign.
Up next is an update on the Brock Lesnar/Triple H story.
(Commercial)
Back from break, we got a video package of Brock Lesnar injuring the…wait for it…left arm of Triple H. Left arm injuries come in threes since Cena and Sheamus are also dealing with left arm issues.
Michael Cole called it a broken arm for Triple H, who also had ligament damage. He’s having surgery. They showed a pic of him with the metal brace on his arm and that Triple H will be live next week.
They extended an invitation to Brock Lesnar. Instead, it was Paul Heyman who walked out. CM Punk tweeted a pic of him backstage and said he’d be on his way to the ring. Awesome. “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman and I am here tonight as the representative for Brock Lesnar.” He said Lesnar’s been underappreciated by WWE’s audience since day one. He said things are different now than they were ten years ago when he first represented Lesnar. He said Lesnar feels betrayed by the WWE Universe and “Brock Lesnar should not have to feel that way.” He said Lesnar was the only man in history to win the NCAA Heavyweight Championship, the Undisputed WWE Championship and the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Heyman called Lesnar an honest man. He told us he’d be an ass kicking machine and that’s what he’s been. We found out that #PaulHeyman was trending. He read an official statement from Lesnar to the fans. “And I quote.” That was funny. He read a letter saying that he’s mad at how he’s been treated. He didn’t regret what he did to Cena or Hunter. He said Hunter lasted nearly an hour with Undertaker, but he couldn’t last a minute with Lesnar. He said he doesn’t care about Triple H, the fans or WWE corporate because “I, Brock Lesnar, am never coming back because I, Brock Lesnar, quit.” Heyman left.
Analysis: It’s just an angle, of course. It was nice to see Heyman again although I wish the crowd was louder. It will be interesting to see if Heyman returns when Lesnar does, but I’m not sure if that will happen. Hunter’s “broken arm” injury will allow them to save the Lesnar/Hunter match for Summerslam most likely. Heyman was very good in his role. That’s not a surprise. He’s one of the best talkers ever.
We got a short recap of the Punk/Laurinaitis segment that started the show.
Punk walked to the ring for his match with Lord Tensai in the main event.
(Commercial)
Backstage, Big Show talked to some actors from some USA Network show that I totally missed. They’re detectives on their TV show, so they wanted to investigate to help Big Show. They started impersonating Laurinaitis. Big Show laughed. Eve showed up. Big Show stopped. Then the scene ended. So I guess Big Show is scared of Eve? Is that the point of these segments? I’m kidding. He’s scared of JL’s power obviously and they’re using Eve as a way to make it look like JL was being an evil man.
CM Punk made his entrance. John Laurinaitis stopped his music before he got to the ring. He informed us that the main event would be Punk vs. Lord Tensai and Daniel Bryan. I was waiting for Bryan to be on the show. They went to break just before it hit 11pmET, which means this will likely be a short match.
(Commercial)
Lord Tensai & Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk

 

The match was already underway as we returned from break at 11:00pmET. Tensai was overpowering Punk. Bryan tagged in and hit Punk with some kicks to the chest. Punk and Bryan hit cross body blocks at the same time. Tensai hit a delayed suplex. Tensai hit a running splash on Punk. Bryan tagged in. He missed a flying headbutt as Punk moved out of the way. Punk made his comeback by giving Bryan a slingshot into the corner followed by a sidekick and a neckbreaker. Punk hit his running knee followed by the bulldog combo. The crowd cheered a bit. They weren’t as loud as they should be. Punk went for the Go To Sleep. Bryan slipped out. Tensai made a blind tag as Punk knocked Bryan out of the ring. Tensai decked Punk with a clothesline. A corner splash missed. Punk decked him with a kick to the face. Sakamoto distracted the ref, so Bryan grabbed the top rope as Punk climbed to the top. Tensai capitalized with a double choke bomb to put Punk down. Tensai spit the green mist into his hand and then gave Punk the Claw. He gave him the STO with the Claw combo to put Punk down. He covered for the victory after 6 minutes of action that we saw.
Winner: Lord Tensai

 

Analysis: ** So the guy that isn’t in the WWE Title match pins the WWE Champion while the guy that is in the WWE Title match looks like a loser out on the floor? I understand why they did it with Tensai getting the win, but it would have meant more if Bryan made Punk tap out.
Post match, Bryan attacked Punk. He put him in the Yes Lock. Bryan yelled at him “you’re not better than me” and of course yelled “yes” repeatedly. The show ended with Bryan celebrated the attack on Punk.
Analysis: That’s how I would have ended the match. Instead, they ended the show that way, which is effective in terms of wrapping it up by having the last impression be of the WWE Champion getting attacked by his top challenger. It was a fine ending. Not great, but not bad either.
——————-
Three Stars of the Show

 

1. Paul Heyman – Welcome back. Please stick around.
2. Chris Jericho – All the guys in the tag match deserve praise. I picked him because he was finally booked to win something.
3. CM Punk – Nice promo to start and good job of taking the beating in the main event.
The Scoreboard

 

6 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2012 Average: 6.11
2012 High: 9 (January 30)
2012 Low: 4 (January 9 & April 23)
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 4, 7, 5, 8
Final Thoughts

 

I gave this week’s Raw a 6 out of 10. That means it was an average show. As you can see from the scoreboard above, the average is just above a 6. The theme of the show was “don’t cross the boss.” The whole point was to show that John Laurinaitis isn’t just a powerful man, but he’s an evil man as well. Babyfaces such as Big Show, John Cena and CM Punk have all felt his wrath over the past two weeks.
It was awesome to see Paul Heyman in a WWE ring again. It’s been too long. Hopefully this will lead to more appearances on his part, but I have no idea if there’s any deal in place or it was a one time thing. The fact that it even happened one time was a nice surprise, so hopefully there are other appearances down the road. I think Lesnar would benefit from Heyman cutting his promos for him when he returns in a few months.
The tag match at the top of hour two was fun. It was definitely the best match on a show that lacked really good matches because of all the talking segments. I think adding Orton and Jericho to the mix at Over The Limit gives the World Title match some much needed star power. Plus, what else were they going to do? They need to be on the card.
I’m sure some will complain about Bryan going after the WWE Title on Raw even though he’s a Smackdown guy while Jericho goes for the World Title on Smackdown even though he’s a Raw guy. Clearly it doesn’t matter anymore, so why complain? I’m just glad they’re the two guys they picked to cross over brands to be in these main title matches. They’re two of the best performers in the company, so if you’re going to pick anybody it might as well be them. No complaints from me.

Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair Digital Comics No. 4-6 Now on App Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 10, 2012- Santa Barbara, California – zuuka Comics, developer of the Cut The Rope digital comic engine, announced today the launch of Issues No. 4-6 of Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair Comic series. Based on the original classic arcade game released in 1983, the first-ever digital release of Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair Comic is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store.

* In Issue No. 4, Dirk the Daring has one day left to save Princess Daphne from the clutches of the the deadly dragon Singe and while there may not be snakes, hydras and zombies, there’s pits of boiling lava standing in his way. Oh, and threatening mud men too.

* Issue No. 5 sees Dirk going further into the Dark Kingdom, making it almost impossible for Halvern and Leraene to track him. And with the duo finally loosing complete sight of him, Dirk’s adventures are only beginning… including trying to make it past a flaming pit of fire and clever little goons who want nothing more than for Dirk to fall into the flames.

* Unearthing a giant cavern full of gold, Issue No. 6 has Dirk praising the saints until he notices the deadly dragon and captured Princess Daphne. Will Dirk free the princess from the evil dragon or tempt fait too far and meet his doom? Lead on, adventurer… your quest awaits.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 4.0 or later
* 31.5 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair Comic App is available for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Issue No. 1 is free, and issues No. 2-6 are available for $1.99 each through In-App Purchase.

About zuuka:
zuuka publishes zuuka Comics, iTalk and iStoryTime – an interactive storytelling experience delivered to the convenience of your mobile device – which features a series of illustrated and narrated books created by parents for kids. iStoryTime books have been highlighted in the New York Times, LA Times, CBS Early Show, theiPhoneMom, CNET and is decorated with Publisher’s Innovation Award, PTPA Media’s Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval, the Children’s Technology Review’s Editor’s Choice Award and Reader’s Choice for Best Apps for Kids. With over 100 titles to choose from including favorites such as Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Peter Pan and Binky the Pink Elephant, iStoryTime books are an excellent tool for both educating and entertaining children ages two years and up. These storybooks can be enjoyed in several different modes ranging from automatic to manual, depending upon the development and preferences of the user. Copyright (C) 2012 zuuka. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Partners in Preservation: Help Japan Society Win a Grant to Restore our Landmarked Building’s Façade

 

 

 

 

Japan Society is one of 40 landmarked buildings in New York City competing for restoration grants from Partners in Preservation sponsored by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Help Japan Society win a grant by voting for us once daily until May 21, 2012.

VOTE NOW!

If you’re having trouble voting, please go to the Partners In Preservation website for troubleshooting issues.

New Art Book Explores Fiendish Art from Fantasy Master Tom Baxa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles, CA—May 10, 2012—Dark fantasy art fans and gamers alike will rejoice at today’s release of veteran fantasy illustrator Tom Baxa’s new art book Blood Rituals: The Art of Tom Baxa. Baxa’s art for notable games like Dungeons and Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, World of Warcraft tcg, Darksun, L5R, Shadowrun, miniatures and more has been in high demand for years, and is available now for the first time in this one comprehensive collection.

Said longtime Tom Baxa fan and veteran illustrator Dave Dorman, “Tom’s characters step right out of your most horrific fantasy nightmares with exquisite detail. For gaming and horror fans, this is the art book to buy this month.”

Tom Baxa’s paintings are known for their energetic and dramatic feel; his characters crackle with an in-your-face threat that is both menacing and captivating at the same time. His confident brushstrokes, painterly approach, and rich color sense imbue each painting with life.

Blood Rituals: The Art of Tom Baxa highlights this master illustrator’s work and shows an impressive and inspiring range of inventiveness. His creature designs are intriguing and spark the imagination, compelling viewers to ponder the character’s culture, influences, and all too often, tortured lives. Gruesome monsters with gnarled flesh are ripped and scarred until any semblance of normalcy is eradicated and a new form of wretchedness is unleashed. Baxa’s range shines through with additional sections on his Wicked Fairies® characters, his short stories, sketches and evocative personal work.

Blood Rituals: The Art of Tom Baxa is available through Diamond Distributors at comic and game shops everywhere, or by contacting the Comic Shop Locator Service at 1-888-266- 4226 or www.comicshoplocator.com. Blood Rituals is on page 352 of Previews May 2012; Diamond item code is MAY121402. Marketing artwork for this book is available upon request.

About Thomas M. Baxa
Thomas M. Baxa has been illustrating fantasy creatures that haunt the imagination for over 24 years in game industry where he has contributed to countless games including Dungeons and Dragons, Shadowrun, Vampire, Magic the Gathering, and World of Warcraft tcg. He is a highly sought after illustrator and concept artist, designing characters for games, books, miniatures, video games, and film, while developing his own properties and managing his website www.BaxaArt.com.

Canadian Comic Creators Cross Channel to Kill Shakespeare in Bard’s Country

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Diego, CA – The creators of IDW Publishing’s Kill Shakespeare comic book series look to court controversy this month by bringing their take on Shakespeare and his characters to the birth country of the Bard himself this month on a two-week signing and convention tour of England.

“Colonists” Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col will be appearing at the Bristol Comic Expo as well as the Kapow! Comic Convention this month, along with a number of store signings in London, Manchester, Leeds and Stratford-upon-Avon. Series artist Andy Belanger will be joining the duo for the Kapow! Convention and a London signing. The trip to the U.K. is the final leg of their spring 2012 convention tour, which has seen them make appearances all over North America as well as at the Middle East Film & Comic-Con in Dubai last month.

To prepare for the tour IDW Publishing is proud to announce that they are releasing a fourth printing of KILL SHAKESPEARE VOLUME 1: A SEA OF TROUBLES. Originally released in April, 2010, this is the first half of the series that pits the Bard’s greatest heroes against his most menacing villains in a quest to track down and kill – or save – a wizard by the name of William Shakespeare.

IDW is also proud to announce that Del Col and McCreery have received their second straight Joe Shuster Award nomination for Best Writing in a comic series. The duo is pitted against such talents as Jeff Lemire and Kathryn Immonen in the category.

“We’re quite interested to see what people in England think of our take on the Bard,” says McCreery. “We expect some nay-sayers but we’re eager to show everyone that this project is just as vital a reflection of the Bard’s work as anything coming out of the Globe Theatre or Stratford-on-Avon.”

Kill Shakespeare has been in hot water before after Shakespearean scholar Kimberly Cox denounced the series as “bullshit” and said that “these guys really are helping to kill Shakespeare.” However, the adventure series, which incorporates Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Puck and others, has received high praise from media such as the New York Times, NPR, BBC, CBC and Fangoria. The series has also spawned a 90-minute stage show that debuted in association with Toronto’s acclaimed Soulpepper Theatre company in November of 2011 and is scheduled to tour to various locations across North America this fall.

The current signing schedule includes:

Sat, May 12 – Sun, May 13 – Bristol Comic Expo
Wed, May 16 – Travelling Man (Manchester)
Thu, May 17 – Travelling Man (Leeds)
Fri, May 18 – Forbidden Planet London Megastore
Sat, May 19 – Sun, May 20 – Kapow! Comic Convention

Published by IDW Publishing, more information about the series can be found at www.killshakespeare.com. The graphic novel is available at all major comic and book stores and digitally through iTunes or ComiXology.