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FANDOM FIVE: Top Geek News of the Week

A roundup of what's making fanboys and girls sweat.

"Thor"
Zade Rosenthal/Marvel

We humbly inaugurate our new Heat Vision weekly feature: Fandom Five, tracking the most important new developments in the world of comic book films/TV and other fanboy-oriented media. Are people Ka-wowed or Persnickety-Snick'd?

1) All Hail the Mighty Thor

Word is out on Thor and it's pretty good. We're not seeing the pic until the U.S premiere on May 2, but its opening overseas and those who have seen it suggest Marvel has a hit on its hands. While hardly an across-the-board triumph, reviews have been extolling Chris Hemsworth's star-making performance, Kenneth Branagh's directing, the beauty of Asgard and the tons of action.

2) Batman: Year One Rises

We broke the news of the voice cast of the feature-length animated version of Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's Batman: Year One, and the talent associated with the project has tongues wagging: Bryan Cranston as a young James Gordon, Ben McKenzie as Bruce Wayne, plus Eliza Dushku and Katee Sackhoff. Sounds good. (Get it? "Sounds" great? Because they're doing voices, see? OK, we'll stop.)

3) Are You Sick of Jeremy Renner Yet?

You might be very soon. Renner will star in the new, Matt Damon-free Bourne movies for Universal. He isn't replacing Damon; there will be a new spy that operates in the same universe as Jason Bourne but isn't Bourne. Got that? It'll be totally different while also being totally the same. Some might argue that the 40-year old is too old to begin a franchise, but we think it's actually a canny move by Universal: Renner, who has scored Oscar nominations two years in a row, will appear in supporting but crucial roles in this Christmas' fourth Mission: Impossible movie, then as Hawkeye in next summer's The Avengers. So when The Bourne Legacy hits, his build-up will be just about right. Unless audiences tire of him.

4) Winter Is Coming in Season 2

Game of Thrones scored a second season pickup from HBO after only one episode aired. One of the best shows on TV (this Sunday's installment is probably just good as the first) mixes the requisite pay-cable sex and violence with some great political drama. And speaking of dramatic machinations, am I the only one who thinks of the Warner Bros. executive situation when I see all these princes jockeying for the title of king?

5) Dark Horse Presents Comics Are Back

The black-and-white comics anthology which made its mark back in the 1980s and early 1990s as a platform for Sin City, Hellboy, Concrete and more returns to the shelves, this time as an 80-page color monthly. There's a mix of veterans (Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin), indie voices (Carla Speed McNeil, David Chelsea), a new Concrete story and a first-look at Frank Miller's Xerses, among others. Like most anthologies, it's hit-and miss, but if this new run has a similar impact as the original, then watch out.