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Indie comics news: New "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" trailer and Valiant's EIC

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Second trailer and more posters for Michael Bay's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"!

In a year loaded with past and upcoming films based around comic books, Paramount's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" as produced by Michael Bay and directed by Jonathan Liebesman has seemed to get the tail end of the hype engine lately. However, lacking the promotional department of Disney hasn't meant being invisible, as a second trailer for the film has emerged online as well as a slew of new posters of the titular Turtles.

Unlike the previous trailer, this one shows all four Turtles as well as Splinter, the Foot Clan, and the armored Shredder in action. As with most summer blockbusters, the CGI effects are heavily showcased as most studios like to show off any budget north of $125 million. The trailer seems to follow tropes which will seem similar not only to fans of the TMNT from the comics or previous cartoons, but the first film adaptation in 1990. The hulking, CGI warrior Turtles act as a invisible (if not wisecracking) counter force against the Foot Clan until they are discovered by reporter April O'Neil and their lives become more complicated, and dangerous. Much like the original 1990 film, the death of Splinter is teased, and Raphael seems to be set to bare the brunt of focus as he has for the previous four film adaptations (1993's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III" was the only one which didn't offer Raph a greater subplot in comparison to his fellow Turtles). The film hits theaters August 8th.

The film stars Megan Fox as April O'Neil, Will Arnett as Vernon Fenwick, William Fichtner as "Eric Sachs"/the Shredder, Whoopie Goldberg as Bernadette Thompson (a feminized version of the Channel 6 boss Burne Thompson from the 1987 cartoon series) alongside Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, and Danny Woodburn as the CGI motion captured Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Splinter (respectively). As with the original films which featured actors in rubber suits, some of the characters will be voiced by other actors; Johnny Knoxville will voice Leonardo, while Tony Shalhoub will voice Splinter. Considering the Asian influences within the TMNT franchise, it could be considered backward that the film stars fewer of them than many of the original films of the 90's did. Bay's reputation as as filmmaker has not been enhanced by his successful but critically panned "Transformers" films, and the buzz on this film seems to be dwarfed by that for "Guardians of the Galaxy", which debuts a week earlier.

This movie represents the full manifestation of the $50 million investment Viacom made to acquire the property in 2009 (most of which went to co-creator Peter Laird, with $10 million to attain the media rights from the bankrupt 4Kids Entertainment). Although there has been a successful licensed comic with IDW and two seasons of a hit, toy-selling cartoon on Nickelodeon, such things are chump change compared to blockbuster film success. Thus, the pressure will be on for the Turtles to get their ninja act together in a summer dominated by Marvel licensed properties.

Warren Simons promoted to editor-in-chief of Valiant Entertainment!

In a breaking news story, Comic Book Resources had the scoop that current "executive editor" of Valiant Entertainment Warren Simons has been promoted to the lofty title of "editor in chief". He becomes only the fourth person to hold that title in Valiant's quarter century history - joining company that includes Jim Shooter, Bob Layton, and Fabian Nicieza. Before joining the relaunched Valiant in 2011, Simons had over a decade of editorial experience in comic books, including a run as a Marvel editor on such titles as "Immortal Iron Fist", "Daredevil", and "Marvel Knights 4" from 2004-2010. In an interview, he teased that the reborn Valiant will continue to expand and teased that the company would make a major announcement at next month's San Diego Comic Con.

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