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Science Fiction

Go to the Rats. Again.

This one we found thanks to Facebook of all things. Gizmodo has an article about efforts at Fox to bring Robert C. O’Brien’s world of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH to television — almost 40 years after Don Bluth and company gave us The Secret of NIMH as an animated film. Here’s what they say about the new project: “NIMH, which seems to be its working title, will be based on Robert O’Brien’s 1971 book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and possibly its two sequels Rasco and the Rats of NIMH and R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH, written by O’Brien’s daughter Jane Leslie Conly after his death. According to Deadline, Fox — already home to animated series Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and more — has already issued a script commitment for the series, but has yet to hire a writer.” They go on to note, “In 2019, the Russo brothers of MCU fame were reportedly going to executive-produce a live-action remake of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH for MGM, which the studio had announced back in 2015. There’s no word on how this new adaptation may affect the former, but there’s also no guarantee Fox’s version will ever get made, either.” We hadn’t heard about that! It’s interesting that Gizmodo remembers Secret of NIMH as “terrifying” for children, whereas most cartoon fans from the time remember it fondly as a giant leap forward for animation, from a time when the industry was not looking all that great in America.

image c. 2021 MGM Studios

On to a Larger Universe

A couple years ago we told you about Star Beasts, an independent comic series written by Stephanie Young and illustrated by Allyson Lassiter. Well now Oni Press have picked up the series and compiled it together into a new softcover graphic novel. “Bandit is a pup on Earth who leaves his family to join the secret order of the Star Beasts – cosmic creatures sworn to protect Earth and spread goodness throughout the universe. Only thing is, he’s having trouble fitting in. But when powerful relics are suddenly stolen, the Star Beasts must band together to find the deadly galactic fossils before Pluto’s evil emperor, Khaos Krill – he wants to build the Novataur, an ancient monster that could wipe out all of Earth’s species!” Look for it on shelves later this month.

image c. 2021 Oni Press

… and Next Come The Kaiju

The description goes like this… “WWII. The Pacific. A mythic adventure unfolds as three American soldiers — a disgraced ex-cop, a mobster trying to escape his past, and an intelligence officer with mysterious motives — investigate a top-secret Japanese superweapon: A deadly force of trained dinosaurs!” It’s called Operation Dragon, and it comes to us from writers Bill Groshelle and Brendan Cahill, with illustrations by artists Germán Peralta and Kristian Rossi. This new graphic novel is available in hardcover, later this month from Dark Horse.

image c. 2021 Dark Horse Press

Dogs… In… Yeah, you know…

Netflix continues to present us with animation that is at very least worth checking out. The latest is called Dogs in Space. “In this animated comedy adventure, in the not-so-distant future genetically enhanced dogs are sent across the universe in search of a new home for the human race. It’s a giant cosmic game of fetch, as the canines seek a planet that will save humanity and — more importantly — let them return to their beloved owners… The series is created by Jeremiah Cortez, who is also executive producer alongside Adam Henry. The voice cast includes Haley Joel Osment (Kominsky Method), Sarah Chalke, Kimiko Glenn (Into the Spider-Verse), Chris Parnell (Archer), David Lopez, Debra Wilson (MADtv), and William Jackson Harper.According to Animation World Network, Dogs in Space is due on Netflix this fall.

image c. 2021 Netflix

The Rat Returns

Nearly three years ago we told you about Solo: Survivors of Chaos, the premier graphic novel from award-winning cartoonist Oscar Martin (Tom & Jerry comics). Well this summer, Mr. Martin returns with Solo Volume 2! “Warner Bros Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Oscar Martin, creates a unique dystopian world of chaos, where every day is a fight to survive. In a future ravaged by nuclear wars, the Earth has given birth to an array of new mutated species, which have grown and repopulated the land. But this new world is far from peaceful, and life in it is often short and brutal…” Find out more when Solo Volume 2 hits the shelves this June, in hardcover from Titan Comics.

image c. 2021 Titan Comics

Fur-ry Phone Home

Mad Cave Studios (home of Battlecats, as you may recall) has a new science fiction comic book series we just discovered, They Fell From The Sky. The summary for issue #2 explains it pretty well: “What do you do when you find a crash landed alien in the woods? Well, if you are Tommy Murphy you take it to the vet. After getting discharged, the newly named furry creature, Orion, is ready to discover all of the luxuries this small town has to offer. Can Tommy keep him in check, or is he reaching for the stars?” Issues are available now, written by Liezl Buenaventura, with art by Xavier Tárrega and DJ Chavis.

image c. 2021 Mad Cave Studios

Sweets On The Way

Oops! Remember last year, when we mentioned that Netflix was creating a new animated series based on Jeff Lemire’s critically-praised comic Sweet Tooth? Well either the news was incorrect, or else Netflix changed their mind about the format, because they just released a teaser trailer — for the new live action series. “Based on the beloved DC Comic, and Executive Produced by Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr., Sweet Tooth is a post-apocalyptic fairy tale about a hybrid deer-boy and a wandering loner who embark on an extraordinary adventure.” All episodes will begin streaming on July 4th.

image c. 2021 Netflix

Ho! Kay…

Interesting story out of Variety (by way of Animation World Network): “Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard is attached to helm a computer-animated adaptation of the beloved 1980s Rankin Bass animated series Thundercats for Warner Bros., from a script Wingard will write with frequent collaborator Simon Barrett (You’re Next, The Guest)… The original series, which aired from 1985 to 1989, was revived for a single season Cartoon Network in 2011, and then again in 2020 under the title Thundercats Roar. But as a feature film, Thundercats has been a tricky project to crack for the studio, which has hired a small parade of screenwriters and producers since at least 2007 to bring a movie to life. The underlying story is at once relatively simple — a team of humanoid cat-people (or cat-like humans) like Lion-O, Panthro, and Cheetara fight the evil wizard Mumm-Ra on the planet of Third Earth — and surprisingly complicated, with a mix of technological space sci-fi and swords-and-sorcery fantasy.” Read the article at Variety for much more on this latest take on our friends from Thundera.

image c. 2021 Cartoon Network

It’s A Lost Art

For those who remember the early days of CGI animated TV series… IDW brings us a brand new Transformers: Beast Wars comic series. “Celebrating 25 years of Beast Wars! In the future, the planet Cybertron belongs to the scientific-minded Maximals and the action-oriented Predacons! When a crew of Predacons, led by the successor to the Megatron name, steal a golden disk and a ship capable of traveling through time, it’s up to Optimus Primal and his Maximal crew—Rattrap, Rhinox, Cheetor, and new character Nyx—to catch them! A brand-new Beast era begins in an oversized first issue by Erik Burnham (Ghostbusters) and Josh Burcham (Transformers Galaxies).” Issues are available now.

image c. 2021 IDW Publishing