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Firefly Returns…In Comic Book Form

WheresSerenityFans of Joss Whedon’s all-too-short sci-fi series Firefly have been campaigning for more adventures from Mal and the rest pretty much from the moment Fox canceled the damn thing. And all that attention did work in a way: we got Serenity, a big-screen bit of closure that was both awesome and characteristically heartbreaking for some of our favorite characters. But the Browncoats still didn’t want to accept that their favorite show was dead, and over the years there have been countless rumors about how Firefly might return as another movie, or a new show on Netflix, and so on. One medium where Firefly has enjoyed an extended life has been on the comics page, and now it looks like the crew of Serenity will be returning in that form once again.

Dark Horse Comics has published numerous Firefly/Serenity comics in the past, including mini-series, one-shots, and short stories. Now Dark Horse has begun teasing a new Firefly project (projects?), posting the above image and the following announcement on their blog:

Joss Whedon’s beloved Firefly series and Serenity film’s lifespan may have been short-lived, but managed to produce one of the most dedicated fanbases in the history of modern science fiction. Dark Horse is proud to be able to keep Mal and his crew flying with new comics and products. Look for the hashtag #WheresSerenity over the next few months on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for exclusive news on the future of the franchise at Dark Horse!

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Gene Modification Used To Extend Mice Lifespans By 20 Percent

mouseWhen I watched Don Bluth’s adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien’s The Secret of NIMH when I was a kid, my subconscious vision of the future involved a lot of genetically modified mice running around, hoarding intelligence in their little mice brains. But while science hasn’t necessarily turned rodents into geniuses yet, they have cloned them using limited means — quite quite a few times, actually — and now researchers at the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have
manipulated a single gene in order to extend the mouse’s lifespan by 20 percent. The study appears in a recent edition of the journal Cell Reports, and includes some additional work done by intramural researchers at the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Institute on Aging.

The research team, led by Toren Finkel M.D., Ph.D., from the NHLBI, focused the efforts on a gene called mTOR, one that is key in balancing metabolism and energy, and which may also be related to the increased lifespan associated with reducing caloric intake. The scientists altered some mice genes so that only 25 percent of the usual mTOR protein was produced, which is around the baseline for survival. The test mice were, on average, smaller than normal, but that was the only difference.

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Kevin Feige Plays Down The Guardians of the Galaxy/Star Wars Comparisons

GotG is NOT Star WarsGuardians of the Galaxy is Marvel Studios’ first entry into a larger cosmic universe. If the fourth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two is a hit with general audiences, there’s no telling how deep Marvel can dig into their comic book canon for future movies. But while the movie was described early on as being in the vein of Star Wars, Marvel producer Kevin Feige recently said that that comparison isn’t quite right.

In an interview with Empire Magazine, Feige says that they’re not making Marvel’s version of Star Wars with Guardians of the Galaxy. That description originated with comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, and Guardians director James Gunn has also compared the movie’s human lead, Star-Lord, as a mix between Peter Parker and Luke Skywalker. On the other hand, Feige says:

We’re not making this to make Marvel’s Star Wars. We’re doing this to explore the other side of the existing Marvel Universe. The fact that Peter Quill is a human from our time, that he carries a personal cassette recorder with him, already it’s very different. It’s not a long, time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it’s now in a galaxy far, far away.

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2013 Hugo Awards Honor Whedon’s Avengers, Vaughan’s Saga, And More

SagaThe annual Worldcon unfolded this past weekend in San Antonio. Texas, and that means one thing: the Hugo Awards. The Awards have been an annual event since 1955, and they recognize genre excellence across a wide span of categories. This year’s nominees included big-screen epics such as Joss Whedon’s The Avengers and The Cabin in the Woods (which should have won, in my humble opinion), and TV favorites such as Doctor Who and Fringe. Chances are, you love some of the nominees, dislike others, and have never even heard of some of them.

Here’s the full breakdown of this year’s Hugo nominees and winners!

Best Novel

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2001: A Space Odyssey/Gravity Double Feature Sound Awesome? Sign A Petition!

2001: A Space Odyssey - Gravity

In about a month, Alfonso Cuarón’s long-awaited science fiction epic Gravity will hit theaters everywhere. The follow-up film to 2006’s Children of Men has been gestating for seven years until cinematic technology caught up with Cuarón’s vision. The movie has already had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and screened at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, and critics are very impressed with Cuarón’s latest. In fact, Gravity has been earning comparisons to Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, in terms of both vision and scope. So why not watch them back-to-back?

Considering that Gravity and 2001: A Space Odyssey are a perfect match, an online petition has surfaced to urge Warner Bros. and theater exhibitors to package both science fiction movies together as one epic double feature. Warner Bros. owns the rights to almost every major release from Stanley Kubrick — including 2001 — and the studio is also the distributor for Cuarón’s Gravity. How convenient!

2001: A Space Odyssey is not only an amazing science fiction movie, but it’s also considered a “game changer” when it comes to the art of the motion picture. Before 2001, movies had never truly captured what it looks like to drift and move in the weightless vacuum of space, and now it seems like Gravity will build on that legacy.

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Transformers 4 Producer Confirms Dinobots, And Possible Titles Leak Online

DinobotsAs production gets underway on the fourth installment of the Transformers film franchise, there are still plenty of rumors surrounding what secrets the sequel might hold. A few days ago, a leaked call sheet hinted at an appearance by the the Dinobots, and their appearance has now been confirmed by one of the film’s producers. Moreover, newly registered URLs suggest several possible titles for the film, including Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura confirmed that Transformers 4 will indeed include the Dinobots during an interview with Beijing News. That story appears to be offline as of this writing, which may or may not mean anything. Here’s the quote:

I cannot disclose the specifics, but you can be sure that the joining of the Dinobots will give the audience new excitement. In addition to Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, the appearance of these classic roles changed, today the world’s coolest, most exciting cars will appear in the film, including China’s vehicles, whether you are a car enthusiast, you will feast your eyes and be shocked by them.