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1. Mehcad Brooks is your new Jimmy Olsen in Supergirl

mehcad brooks Mehcad Brooks is your new Jimmy Olsen in Supergirl

When Melissa Benoist was cast as Supergirl last week for the CBS upcoming superhero drama of the same name, I had a feeling the Jimmy Olsen announcement could only be a few days away, given that the auditions for both roles were held pretty closely together.

Like magic, we now have a new Jimmy Olsen! Mehcad Brooks (Desperate Housewives, True Blood) will be playing everyone’s favorite Daily Planet photographer/giant turtle-based superhero. Actually, the latter probably won’t happen sadly, but Brooks will surely have a camera in hand at some point.

The Supergirl iteration of Jimmy is described as “a smart worldly photographer for CatCo, the media company where Kara works. He had previously been working and living in National City for mysterious reasons, and his salt of the earth nature piques Kara’s interest”.

I’m not totally up on my Supergirl lore, but National City doesn’t ring any of my DC Comics bells (other than being the former name of the company). I assume its something created specifically for the new series.

There are a number of roles still to be cast, including: Cat Grant, Hank Henshaw – the Supergirl obsessed director of the Department of Extra-normal Operations, Kara’s CatCo colleague Wynn Schott, and Kara’s sister Alex.

 

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2. Review: Casanova Acedia #1 Mo’ Memories Mo’ Problems

By: Lindsey Morris

casanova 195x300 Review: Casanova Acedia #1 Mo Memories Mo Problems

   Story: Matt Fraction

   Art: Fábio Moon

   Colors: Cris Peter

   Letters: Dustin Harbin

   Publisher: Image Comics

HARK! A new volume of Casanova has begun – the first since 2012 – and with it comes the promise of another harrowing adventure steeped in espionage, intrigue, and boobies from writer Matt Fraction and artist Fábio Moon.

Casanova Quinn (Quentin Cassiday) has been kicking around the comics world since 2006, when he hit the scene as a freelance jack-of-all-trades for any discerning client and/or worldwide spy organization. Since then he has been gainfully employed across timelines and dimensions, doing various jobs for his father’s E.M.P.I.R.E., as well as other things I’m not exactly equipped to explain because come on, this timeline is nuts.

At the beginning of this iteration, Cass is a man with no past and nothing to lose. A stroke of luck finds him employed with an older man in a similar position – acute amnesia. The rest of the story unfolds accordingly, as they hatch a plan to find out all they can about each other. For all of its separation from previous issues, this installment still finds itself planted firmly in the footing of its predecessors. The years since the last volume have apparently had no effect on the creative team, who continue to crank out work that blends seamlessly with the universe they’ve created, while also maintaining enough distance for the new story to grow.

In Acedia #1, the gorgeous pages by Moon come to the forefront of the story immediately. Cass is deranged, covered in blood and stumbling through the streets of Hollywood, California. Lit up in blues and oranges by colorist Cris Peter, this balance of warm and cool colors remains throughout the story, creating a surreal reading experience, and evoking a surprising breadth of moods.

Moon’s art is singular, blending thick and chunky linework into thin silhouettes and shapes that somehow remain elegant and defined, rather than bulky and dull. His style vacillates between great economy of line and incredible detail – always unafraid of using thick swathes of black ink wherever he deems appropriate, and to great success. The backgrounds are natural, replete with the imperfect lines that suggest the absence of a ruler, and perfectly matched to the figures in the foreground.

Character designs remain on point, especially those of the “Grey Men.” A garish pairing of geometric head-pieces and pinstripe suits, the pages with these figures stand out as some of the best in the issue. The fight between Cass and these characters is fast-paced, dynamic, and unforgiving. Rounding out the story is the final panel – an amalgamation of everything listed above. Copious black, varied line widths, and dry brush work together to create an ominous display of what’s to come.

As far as the writing goes, Fraction uses the bulk of the pages to set up the story between Cass and his employer. There are still all the trappings of a Casanova comic – dry humor, sexy encounters, ill-advised “plays on words,” etc. -  and they work as well as ever. A quote by French poet Guillame Apollinaire adds some literary levity to an otherwise straight-forward scene. So, you know, classic Fraction.

Making Acedia even more of a winner, though, is the back-up story featured at the end of the issue. Written by Michael Chabon and drawn by Gabriel Bá, The Metanauts promises to be the perfect accompaniment to its sister-story. Using the same outline as the main storyline, this short features characters both new and old, including a delightfully cynical rock journalist to whom every band is “a bunch of trumped-up corporate bullshit.”

Casanova continues to carve out its path in the comics world, holding steady to the formula that the creative team has been employing for years. “The rules are simple. The gun is always loaded. The safety is always off. The fucker always fires.”

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3. Review: Quantum & Woody Must Die But Not Just Yet

By Davey Nieves

Quantum & Woody Must Die #1
QWMD 001 COVER HAWTHORNE 195x300 Review: Quantum & Woody Must Die But Not Just Yet

Story : James Asmus (Gambit, Thief of Thieves)

Art: Steve Lieber (Hawkman, Whiteout)

Color: Dave McCaig

Letters: Dave Lanphear

Publisher: Valiant

 

 

 

 

Full disclosure, while I’ve read and enjoyed many of the relaunched Valiant titles like Bloodshot and Harbinger, however I never got around to reading the first Quantum and Woody series. Now curiosity has won me over and I decided to dive right in starting with Quantum and Woody Must Die #1. After belly flopping in the pool I can say Peter Venkman put it best in this classic line “ I’ve worked with better, but not many.”

Quantum and Woody is a weird book but then again that’s what you get when you have two brothers who don’t resemble each other in the least, whose father was downloaded into a goat. The duo also each has a power that complements the other. Woody shoots energy blast from his fingertips while Quantum has the ability to generate force fields. As if this story didn’t need any more stipulations, bracelets they must clang together once every 24hrs or they’ll die also bind them to each other. What truly makes them unique is the under the surface stuff a writer like James Asmus brings out in these characters.

In the opening of the series, readers are eased into their world as the pair seemingly puts a halt to an armored car heist by a team of rough-and-tumble females. This is really the beginning of something bigger as a sinister power-harvesting plot is revealed. Much to the apropos of the characters, they stumble upon the corporation carrying out this plan and destruction ensues.

The best parts of the book have very little to do with the action or the overall plot. Quantum and Woody’s strength is in exposing their faults, which Asmus does by letting us see the pair in a therapy session. Even a visit to a veterinarian becomes this funny segment like something out of morning radio. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the N.W.A references and racial humor in the book but I’m willing to bet I won’t be the only one. A big plus for Q&W newbies like myself or if you’re looking for something new to read; this first issue is very accessible to their world. Even the banter between the brothers never feels like too much of an inside joke.

Steve Lieber’s art seems right for a book like this but sort of feels as though it misses the mark a bit. Just flipping through the pages you can see the Allred like influence on the style, but the necessary blend of zany and lucid never balances enough. This series is meant to be strange and should take more chances with that license going forward and I fully expect that to happen with a Kubert school guy like Lieber on art duties. I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention something that really stuck out in the issue. Dave Lanphear’s lettering is standout in the book. Title cards, onomatopoeia, and presentation all function in carrying the narrative along smoothly. While lettering is vital to every comic book, it doesn’t always stand out like in Q&W.

Even with the hiccups, there’s more to enjoy than hate here. Quantum and Woody Must Die #1 is best described as an odd couple written by Arthur Conan Doyle on speed and it has me strongly considering adding it to my own pull list.


 

Follow Dave on twitter @bouncingsoul217 as he spouts random ideas for new businesses.  

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4. New CAF: the New South Festival 2015 in Austin

NewSouthColor New CAF: the New South Festival 2015 in Austin

There’s a CAF (comic arts festival) born every minute! Here’s a new one, the New South Fest in Austin. They have a tumblr and a FB page, and some art…and exhibitor applications are now open. The plan is an outdoor books and comics event to be held June 6th, 2015 at the French Legation Museum in Austin, Texas. “Our goal is to celebrate independent literature, alternative comics, small presses, and print culture. New South will be highly curated, focused, fresh, and irreverent.”

UPDATE: Oops should have dug a little more. This event seems to be run by Danithan Mejia of the Foxing Review, website under construction. And more information is available in this Kickstarter that didn’t make it.

Here’s the three Ws:

WHAT: New South Festival of Literary Arts & Cartooning is seeking exhibitors for its inaugural year. Its goal is to celebrate the best in independent literature, alternative comics, small presses, and print culture. New South is seeking individual illustrators/cartoonists, writers, indie book publishers, alternative comics publishers, literary magazines, and more! To apply, please visit newsouthfest.tumblr.com/apply

New South is a curated event. Due to space limitations, New South’s 2015 exhibitor list will be decided by a committee of organizers. More information for potential exhibitors:

  • Exhibitor applications will be open from February 2, 2015 – March 2, 2015.

  • Accepted exhibitors will be notified no later than March 16, 2015.

  • Remaining applicants will be put on a waiting list for possible dropouts.

  • Exhibitor Tables are $80 for a half-table (3’) and $120 for a full table (6’).

WHEN: Exhibitor applications will be open from February 2, 2015 – March 2, 2015.

WHERE: Applications can be submitted at newsouthfest.tumblr.com/apply

The website doesn’t indicate who’se behind this fest, but the logo indicates a little bit of a SXSW feel, and the art by Jim Rugg and someone whose style i don’t recognize suggest that it is already well on its way.

Austin is currently the home of a Wizard World in October and STAPLE, which is coming up on March 6-8.  Staple has good indie cred, and hopefully Austin’s strong maker and literary scene can support two shows.

More to come!

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1 Comments on New CAF: the New South Festival 2015 in Austin, last added: 1/29/2015
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5. Secret Wars: Miles Morales and The Ultimate Universe Enter Battleworld

By Davey Nieves

Ultimate End 1 Cover 198x300 Secret Wars: Miles Morales and The Ultimate Universe Enter Battleworld

The hour glass containing the remaining days of the Marvel Universe as we know it continued to drip grains of information today as the company announced the first of the books to be under the Secret Wars : Battleworld tie-in banner. Ultimate End #1 with the creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley will be the first to enter the fray. It’s only fitting that the duo who began the Ultimate universe way back in Ultimate Spider-Man #1 would be there for the end.

Miles Morales Ultimate Spider Man 12 Cover 198x300 Secret Wars: Miles Morales and The Ultimate Universe Enter Battleworld

In additon to the Battleworld news, it was also revealed that April’s Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man 12 would be branded under the current Time Runs Out and Secret Wars Banners. The issue was solicited as the end of the series and many speculated that it would be a lead in to Secret Wars.

This lovely David Marquez variant cover for Ultimate End #1 was also shown off today.

Ultimate End 1 Marquez Variant Dressed 198x300 Secret Wars: Miles Morales and The Ultimate Universe Enter Battleworld

 

We’ll have more info as it comes out of today’s call…


 

Here’s what we know from today’s call with the creative team:

  • It’s definitely coming in May.
  • While Ultimate End will be the definitive end of the Ultimate Universe the series will see crossover with Marvel 616 characters.
  • The events currently talking place in Bendis MM: Ultimate Spider-Man series will lead the character into Secret Wars. If you pay close attention then you’ve already seen some hints to the upcoming event and post Marvel U.
  • The Marquez variant cover featuring the Ultimates and Miles gives you a clue as to who will play prominent roles in the book. Yes, Ultimate Captain America will be in the series.
  • Bendis when asked who he’d like to have in the series from any universe replied “Batman, Bagley does an excellent Batman”
  • More books featuring the Battleworld banner will be announced in the coming weeks, no word on what universe they’ll come from.

Marvel as usual kept everything as close to the chest as they could, so no major story details about the series were revealed. We’ll talk later today about the reflections Bendis, Bagley, current editor Mark Paniccia, and former Ultimate editor Ralph Macchio had on the coming end and the legacy of the Ultimate universe.

 

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6. Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley

blackcross1 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley

Warren Ellis is having a crack at reimagining the Project Superpowers universe, and Blackcross #1 hits in March. We’ve had an advance peek and it’s not what might be expected, with a strong horror bent. Here’s some brand new pages of Colton Worley’s art to give you a  taste, as well as variant covers by Jae Lee, Gabriel Hardman, Declan Shalvey and Tula Lotay. 

 

All small towns have secrets. All small towns have ghosts. Blackcross, in the Pacific North West of America, has more secrets than most. And it is being haunted by something impossible. BLACKCROSS, a supernatural extension of the PROJECT SUPERPOWERS mythos, is a ghost story about something reaching out from the other side of the night, through the forest and mist of this remote town, to grasp at the hearts of a handful of people who may not find out that they’re the targets of a strange killer until it’s much, much too late.

 

blackcross2 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley blackcross3 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley blackcrss4 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley

 

 

Blackcross01 01 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 02 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 03 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 04 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 05 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 06 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 07l Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 09 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 14 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 15 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley Blackcross01 16 Preview: Project Superpowers: Blackcross #1 by Warren Ellis and Colton Worley

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7. A new edition of Street Angel is out today

sa2epreview 00001 A new edition of Street Angel is out today

Speaking of AdHouse, a second printing of Jim Rugg’s classic Street Angel is out today, the story of a homeless girl who fights crime while riding around on her skateboard. It was action packed, sad and beautiful.  Originally appearing in 2004, this book was, along with Scott Pilgrim, an early adapter of the “new mainstream” esthetic whereby comics broke out of both superhero and autobiographical tropes to reach a new, younger audience growing out of the manga boom. Originally published by Slave Labor the book had a cult following beforei being released by AdHouse last year. And now its in its second printing. Rachel Edidin has an overview of the book here.

The new edition has a pink pages and purple ink, making it perhaps the most perfect Street Angel edition of all. And just because I can here’s a preview:

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8. Sophie Goldstein’s The Oven coming from AdHouse

ad.theoven.preview 00001 Sophie Goldsteins The Oven coming from AdHouse

CCS just keeps turning out interesting new cartoonists. Sophie Goldstein is a recent grad whose works defies easy categorization, except to say that she’s got a great line and a keen eye, she writes stories and anything can happen. And now AdHouse is bringing out The Oven by Goldstein in April. It’s set in a totalitarian future where “dwindling resources have driven the human race into domed cities where population controls are strictly enforced. When a young couple goes looking for an anti-government paradise in the desert they may have found more than they bargained for.”

Biblio deets:
80 2C pages
5.5″ x 7.5″ SC
$12.95 US funds
ISBN 978-1-935233-33-6
Shipping April 2015
Diamond Order Code: FEB15 0903

And here’s a preview, AND a link to Goldstein’s 20 thumbnails for the cover image.

 

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9. Review: Munchkin#1. Fun Game, Fun Comic

By Davey Nieves

Munchkin #1
Munchkin 001 coverA 195x300 Review: Munchkin#1. Fun Game, Fun Comic

Writers: Jim Zub, Tom Siddell, John Kovalic

Illustrators: Mike Holmes, Rian Sygh, John Kovalic

Colors: Fred Stresing

Letters: Jim Campbell

Publisher: BOOM! Box

 

The world of table top card games is a universe in and of itself. Much like exploring space you have to be willing to come into contact with any life forms you discover. My sea crab nature prevents me from doing so but I can appreciate the cunning and strategy involved in crafting a game like D&D, Magic The Gathering, or Cards Against Humanity. Apparently I’m not the only one; BOOM! Studios BOOM! Box imprint decided to do a comic book series based on the popular card game Munchkin.

Originally a satire of fantasy roleplaying, the game has since taken on non-fantasy and non-gaming elements, and the new comic series is a direct reflection of that. For anyone that’s never played Munchkin; the game is more of a parody take on card gaming, only with a purpose. Kick open the door. Kill the monster. Steal the treasure. Screw over everybody you come in contact with. Welcome to the quirky world of Munchkin. The book features four stories set in and around the world of the game, featuring Spyke, Flower, and all the other characters, monsters, and settings players have come to love.

Let’s just talk about the best and worst of the stories found in this first issue, because there’s a fit for each. Jim Zub writes a great six page story dealing with one of the game’s most prominent themes, betrayal. One experienced character seemingly guides a noob through a dungeon as he’s simply trying to level up. The jokes in the story are sharp enough that you’ll ignore the “saw that one coming” ending. Tom Siddell’s “Humans Got No Class” story definitely lacks the punch that the others in the book capture. The story is about a group of players trying to lure their friend into joining the game only for the rug to be pulled out from under them. While it has its own charm, the punchline of the story just doesn’t make you laugh as much as the other tales did. Tom also writes a three page opening called “What is a Munchkin?” that’s hilarious.

Munchkin 001 PRESS 9 195x300 Review: Munchkin#1. Fun Game, Fun Comic

 

For a book that has three different artist; the style feels universal and not one bit out of place in this cover to cover satire on gaming tropes. Mike Holmes, Rian Sygh, and John Kovalic each illustrate a story (sometimes two) and each capture necessary whimsy the sight gags need to keep the readers attention. While Rian’s work is probably the smoothest of the three none ever feel foreign compared to the others.

Overall Munchkin is a fun read for fans and non-fans alike, but any lasting appeal will only land with hardcore fans. Bonus, there’s even an exclusive Up A Level card for players that ships with the first print of every issue. BOOM! Box knows who they’re selling this book to and have designed it that way. If you already know and enjoy the world of Munchkin go pick this up.

 


If you remember the word munchkin as something uncle Jesse called Michelle on Full House then follow Dave on twitter@bouncingsoul217

 

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10. Review: The Dying & The Dead Confounds and Amazes With Dense First Issue

by Zachary Clemente

TheDyingandDead 01 1 Review: The Dying & The Dead Confounds and Amazes With Dense First Issue

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Ryan Bodenheim

Colors: Michael Garland

Letters: Rus Wooton

Publisher: Image Comics

 
 
 
 
 

Leave it to a project helmed by Jonathan Hickman (East of WestManhattan ProjectsThe Nightly News) to be impeccably designed. The first issue of The Dying & The Dead brings together long-time collaborator Ryan Bodenheim as artist, colorist Michael Garland from Hickman and Bodenheim’s most recent Image series Secret, and lettering duties by Rus Wooton who currently works on both East of West and Manhattan Projects for a whopping 60-page issue; and the sheer amount of information conveyed is akin to a freight train dropping from the sky at terminal velocity. In a good way, I assure you.

Screen Shot 2015 01 27 at 9.45.36 PM Review: The Dying & The Dead Confounds and Amazes With Dense First Issue

Something I’ve always loved about Hickman’s stories is the extraordinary depth of interconnectedness represented in his work; there’s an undying theme that plays out in iterations, each a microcosm of the previous. This is very present in the first issue of The Dying & The Dead as context and story filter together through different points of view with tiered indicators of how far you’ve plumbed. Each story beat is accompanied by a new setting complete with new a new color set, each reflecting on the past, present, and future both in the narrative as well as what the reader has seen, is seeing, and will see. Despite this, I never really felt lost in way I was uncomfortable with – an important distinction I need to make. These first 60 pages gave us at least 5 locations, a dozen characters to track; each with hints of their own sprawling allegiances and feuds. With the wrong team, this would be a massively unpleasant hot mess, thankfully everyone on the book appears to be more than up to the task.

I want to delve into the colors of the book; as it’s a trend I noticed in Secret, but found less narratively successful than in The Dying & The Dead. This very well may be because it was initially a stylistic choice on part of Garland born from Hickman’s own proclivities and design background and with how well it works with Bodenheim’s strong character lines; but this time around it plays an indispensable role with how characters represent their part of the story and their connection to each other. Each “chapter” of the issue utilizes only 2 or 3 colors, leaning heavily into the representations achieved by contrast, saturation, and highlighting. I’d gander that with a normal coloring technique – this book would be considerably harder to follow and ultimately less successful.

Screen Shot 2015 01 27 at 9.29.10 PM Review: The Dying & The Dead Confounds and Amazes With Dense First Issue

Here’s the thing about this issue in relation to Hickman’s other work, especially that of his other Image titles; it doesn’t feel too big for its britches. Hear me out, that’s not meant to sound like a criticism, it’s actually kind of a compliment. Perhaps this is because of the more than double-sized nature of the issue, but it feels more comprehensive and that makes the overall scope feel smaller than one of his usual titles. I personally find this a great thing, especially as someone who sometimes has trouble getting friends interested in books. His worlds are huge and heavily mired with realistic linkages that affect the fascinating and varied characters in ways that, if not mirror, properly represent the way it seems to happen in reality.

It doesn’t feel like a huge leap, which is something I’m mostly thankful for as a huge leap from the likes of this team would probably be something akin to a new method of delivering single issues to readers by shooting them from the Moon. What it does feel like is a spectacularly crafted beginning to a promising series that will nestle very comfortably in the part of the brain slowing being re-written to fully appreciate Hickman’s work. The more that comes out, the more we’ll understand; just the way it was planned all along.

1 Comments on Review: The Dying & The Dead Confounds and Amazes With Dense First Issue, last added: 1/28/2015
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11. Is the Winter Soldier the heart of Agent Carter’s mystery?

carter Is the Winter Soldier the heart of Agent Carters mystery?

“The Blitzkrieg Button,” Agent Carter‘s fourth episode and mid-way point, may have actually been the beginning of the series’ true arc and end game.

After a fairly eventful season premiere, the show has been stuck in a combination of logistical battles and character development. Between episodes two and three, Carter and Jarvis go on a series of fetch-quests and authority ducking missions to track down the “bad babies,” dangerous weapons and inventions that Howard Stark says were stolen from him, and learn vague information about a Russian big-bad known as Leviathan. By the start of episode four, Stark is still suspected of treason against the United States for selling dangerous weapons on the black market; the only difference is that these inventions have been recovered.

This brings us to “The Blitzkrieg Button,” and kicks off what feels like the first glimpse at the show’s most important thread.

Now that Stark’s weapons are back, so is he. Popping in on Carter unexpectedly, he explains that he needs her to retrieve a device from SSR that he refers to as the Blitzkrieg Button, which he says will wipe out an entire city’s power. Though she is frequently underestimated, Carter’s no idiot – she can tell Stark is hiding something and wouldn’t have returned for a light switch. After pumping Jarvis for information (more on this in a minute…) she learns there is more to the device than Stark explained, and activates it herself, finding a vial of Captain America’s blood inside.

Though Agent Carter has shown us all along that our hero will not find respect in her line of work or era, it’s never been clearer than it is here. Agent Thompson tells it to her straight: Carter will never be considered an equal in their office. But outside of the office, she’s trusted Stark up to this point to give her more purpose, only to find out that she’s been used. Carter lashes out at him for lying, leading to the show’s best scene to date. Stark brushes off the lying as a bad habit and claims he’s using the blood to research its medicinal value, like vaccines and cures. Carter’s response buries him: “I think you are a man out for his own gain no matter who you are charging. You are constantly finding holes to slither your way into in the hope of finding loose change, only to cry when you are bitten by another snake.”

And although Stark is unlikely to end up completely in the villain corner, it seems like he’s complicit in a much larger issue. Chief Dooley follows a trail of clues to Nuremburg to speak to a Nazi named Mueller who has information on the Russians working for Leviathan. Dooley learns that the “Battle at Finow,” where the Russian Leviathan agents supposedly died, never took place – the Nazis only found piles of ripped and mauled bodies, already massacred in some other way. The SSR also learns Stark flew into Finow the day after this alleged battle.

OK, so if you’re keeping score – everything important in this episode revolves around one vial of blood. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though it was implied that HYDRA was responsible for turning Bucky Barnes into the Winter Soldier, it’s never been explicit. We’re still in theory-only territory here, but I’m hedging my bets on all of these events leading up to either the revelation of the Winter Soldier’s creation or the beginning of it via Leviathan. It would be a nice tie-in to present-day events, and with the involvement of Captain America writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, it would also make sense. We’ll see how that theory pans out over the remaining four episodes.

Some other items to chew on:

– Dottie, Carter’s friendly next-door-neighbor, is apparently an agent of some kind. Not a completely shocking turn, but an interesting one. That reminds me of someone else who had a next-door-neighbor who he thought was just a regular gal, but then it turned out she was an agent…

– Carter tries to get information on the Blitzkrieg Button from Jarvis, and notices that he tugs at his ear every time he states a fact that is untrue. Carter chalks this up to a poker tell, but my initial take on this was that Jarvis was intentionally hinting to her.  The tugging was just so… obvious? Then again, Jarvis isn’t super smooth.

– Agent Thompson is starting to get a little more personality. Some of Carter’s co-workers feel like caricatures, but I think his character might be one of the most realistic. He behaves like a man of the times but also seems to understand and have a bit of empathy for his co-workers, helping them in small and private moments.

– Agent Sousa, on the other hand, is just a little too good to be true. Too good, as in, I feel like he’s probably a double agent kind of too good?

6 Comments on Is the Winter Soldier the heart of Agent Carter’s mystery?, last added: 1/29/2015
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12. 2D Cloud announces ambitious 2015 slate, adds to staff

Minneapolis based 2D Cloud is an experimental comics publisher that’s looking to grow in 2015. They’ve added Blaise Larmee as Marketing Director and Melissa Carraher as Publicist. Larmee is, of course, a cartoonist of some repute himself. In the past they’ve put out acclaimed works by Anna Bongiovanni, Mark Connery and Noah van Sciver.

“We’re threading an expanding universe,” said 2D Cloud founder Raighne Hogan in a statement. “We’re publishing more books this year than the last five years combined, and looking to 2016 and beyond, our ambitions are equally sizable.”

They’re kicking things off with three new books, all “exploring adult themes around sex and cultural taboos.”

qvietWEBCOVERv2 2D Cloud announces ambitious 2015 slate, adds to staff

Andy Burkholder’s Qviet a “provocative collection of a multi-year series that takes a fearless look at the abstractions of sex, of seeing, and the fluid relations between the two. ”

3b cover 2D Cloud announces ambitious 2015 slate, adds to staff
Blaise Larmee’s 3 Books “comprises three separate, intertwining works, including the highly anticipated Ice Cream Kisses, and features a mix of media: intimate Skype video sessions, bleed-through drawings and monochrome paintings.”
Salz and Pfeffer cover 2D Cloud announces ambitious 2015 slate, adds to staff

Émilie Gleason’s Salz & Pfeffer “brings to life a pageant of abduction, damnation, hell, brainwashing, fart jail, magical kingdoms, and murderous machinations across a set of evocative pencil drawings.”

These three books will be out in the summer, but later in the year 2D Cloud will release graphic novels by Meghan Hogan, Justin Skarhus and Raighne Hogan, Gina Wynbrandt, and MariNaomi, and later on books by Anna Bongiovanni, Austin English, Blaise Larmee, and Lauren Monger.

I had an advance peek at Salz & Pfeffer, and it’s a rollicking adventure in surrealism. 2D Cloud’s books aren’t for everyone, or maybe even casual readers, but they are evocative and boundary pushing, and for people who want to see how far comics can go, they are well worth a look. If you want to check them out, they have a pretty healthy webcomics section up here.

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13. Hang Dai Editions to publish via Alternative Comics

3569a055 ac17 4f12 8d3c 5e94d3158733 Hang Dai Editions to publish via Alternative Comics2015, the year of the team up. Brooklyn’s Hang Dai Editions, a studio whose members include Gregory Benton, Dean Haspiel, Seth Kushner, and Josh Neufeld, will team up with Alternative Comics for distribution and some publishing in 2015.

Haspiel and Neufeld were previously published by Alternative during the early aughts when Geoffrey Mason ran the line. Current publisher Marc Arsenault is happy to welcome them back to the fold. “Josh and Dean were a big part of Alternative in the past—not just as creators. It’s nice to have that continuity. I’m looking forward to everything that comes out of their studio.”

The line-up includes the long awaited SCHMUCK by Kushner, delayed by his illness and now happily back on track following his miraculous recovery. And new work by Haspiel, Benton and Neufeld is always welcome. Here’s the lineup:

SCHMUCK by Seth Kushner and various artists

September 2015
184-pages. Full color.

SCHMUCK is a graphic novel memoir about one man’s awkward coming-of-age-quest to find love in New York City, written by SETH KUSHNER, with design by ERIC SKILLMAN and a forward by JONATHAN AMES. SCHMUCK is an anthology featuring art by 23 great cartoonists, including; Nick Bertozzi, Gregory Benton, Dean Haspiel, Josh Neufeld, Noah Van Sciver, Leland Purvis, Sean Pryor, Bobby Timony, Shamus Beyale, Ryan Alexander-Tanner, George Schall, Nathan Schreiber, Stephen Destefano, Jon Allen, Christa Cassano, Kevin Colden, Tony Salmons, George Jurard, Omar Angulo, Pierce Hargan,  Skuds Mckinley, James O Smith, Tim Ogline and cover by Joseph Remnant.

SMOKE by Gregory Benton

September 2015

64-pages. Full color.

After an accident on an industrial farm unhinges two young brothers from reality, they are guided through a weird and wonderful journey by Xolo, the mythological protector of souls.

BEEF WITH TOMATO by Dean Haspiel

September 201

5
96-pages. B+W comix and essays. (published by Alternative Comics)

A native New York bruiser is fed up with life in the dregs of a drug-addled Alphabet City where his neighbors are shut-ins and his bicycle is always getting stolen. He escapes from Manhattan to make a fresh start in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, only to face a new strain of street logic — where most everything he encounters is not as it seems. Emmy Award-winning artist Dean Haspiel returns to his semi-autobiographical roots with BEEF WITH TOMATO, where he explores the emotional truths between prime and primate.

THE VAGABONDS #4 by Josh Neufeld

March 2015

24-pages. Full color.

Josh Neufeld’s The Vagabonds #4 serves up a spicy blend of journalism, social commentary, memoir, and literary fiction. This issue features Neufeld’s story of racial profiling at the U.S./Canadian border and three collaborations with Neufeld’s wife, writer Sari Wilson. Throw in a couple of light-hearted travel tips, and The Vagabonds #4 is chock-full of the thought-provoking and witty comics Neufeld is known for.

HEART-SHAPED HOLE by Dean Haspiel

April 2015

24-pages. Full color.

Billy Dogma and Jane Legit punch the apocalypse right in the kisser as their eternal war of woo breaks a Trip City-wide hymen.

SECRET SAUCE COMIX Vol.1 by Seth Kushner and various artists

April 2015

28-pages. Full color.

Seth Kushner’s new anthology features a mix of fumetti/cosplay, indie/sci-fi, and Silver-age inspired heroes by way of THE BROOKLYNITE, drawn by Shamus Beyale, COSTUMED CHARACTERS, layouts by Dean Haspiel, and YOUTOPIA, illustrated by Charles Stewart.

Hang Dai’s previous books are also available

SCHMUCK COMIX #1
–Seth Kushner’s semi-autobio webcomic gets a print edition with three stories written by Seth and drawn by Jon Allen, Shamus Beyale and Noah Van Sciver. Cover by Gregory Benton.
PSYCHOTRONIC COMIX is Dean Haspiel’s anthology of memoir and Silver Age inspired genre featuring The Red Hook, Tommy Rocket, A-Okay Cool, and NY Stories.
FORCE OF NATURE by Gregory Benton, follows an artist through a lush forest as he searches for a lost sketchbook.
THE VAGABONDS #3
–After an eight-year hiatus, Josh Neufeld’s The Vagabonds returns with its third issue — now published by Hang Dai! Many things have changed in the interim: Neufeld produced three books, became a father, and won a year-long journalism fellowship. This issue highlights Neufeld’s journalistic work over the past few years, including reportage on Hurricane Sandy, the Arab Spring, the education wars (with writer Adam Bessie), and the life of a “comics journalist.”
STAKE–
A lone woman fights the odds in this no-holds-barred short companion piece to B+F by Gregory Benton.
POCKET BOOK 2 by Gregory Benton
Drawn from life, pages from Gregory Benton’s sketchbooks create a loose narrative. Travel through the NYC subway, take in a concert or two, and wash up on the beach.

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14. Review: Gotham Academy #4 Just Schooled You Son

By Davey Nieves

Gotham Academy #4

STK659751 198x300 Review: Gotham Academy #4 Just Schooled You Son

Story: Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan

Art: Karl Kerschl

Color: Msassyk, Serge LaPointe

Letters: Steve Wands

Publisher: DC Comics

 

Written by Becky Cloonan(DEMO, Killjoys) and Brenden Fletcher(Batgirl, Assassin’s Creed), Gotham Academy #4 continues its mystery as young Olive Silverlock uncovers the ghost of the north hall. The academy itself is much like Gotham City, written with an atmosphere that makes it feel living but never outshines the characters. Along the way Olive’s relationship with her ex-boyfriend Kyle continues to reach a breaking point as a possible new interest literally catches her. It’s not just her love life that’s bending. Like any young girl, Olive finds fitting in has challenges of its own. In this issue her self-esteem will be tested as she stumbles upon gossip she might not be ready to deal with.  Readers are enticed with more details as to Silverlock’s forgotten summer and the burning question of what happened to her mother.  These pages flow so well together that once you hit the end of the book it feels like a crime not to dive right in to the next issue. One of the very few minuscule problems I’ve had with the series is the way issues leave readers on a cliffhanger but subsequently pick up moments after it in the next chapter. Hopefully with the major punch this issue ends on that won’t be the case for issue five.

While the book is a rich ensemble full of unique voices from Olive’s sister figure the spunky young Maps all the way through to Headmaster; issue four is more Olive’s book as you really see her three sides. Who she is among friends, who she is to herself, and the part of her she doesn’t know. Moments in the book like her confrontation with the “ghost” of Jane Cobblepot illustrate it best.

Gotham Academy is consistently a pretty book. It plays with a Manga influence that in most other American titles would be a deterrent. Karl Kerschl’s (Majestic, Teen Titans) line work is the first part of this recipe. Where a lot of Manga-style books stumble is in the framing of their shots. Kerschl’s work doesn’t suffer from that one bit as everything feels like a natural camera position. When you add the colors of MSASSYK and Serge LaPointe it makes the page vibrant in a way few books are. The end result feels like a hybrid of Anime, cinema, and emotional Disney animation.

The series isn’t without imperfections of its own, since the first issue there’s a stumble that merely tugs on you in the way a fly tugs on an elephant. It probably only knows it’s there but doesn’t really ruin their day.  Gotham Academy has so many moving parts that some thing feels as though it falls by the waste side when I’ve seen it. Bruce Wayne’s brief appearances; they almost feel shoehorned in. Granted the book is only in the orbit of the Batman universe by association, but that means the series should get to a point where it only needs Bat appearances when absolutely necessary. It’s a minor complaint that does little to hinder the enjoyment overall, but you know… internets.

Growing up in the 90’s, for me it was all about: Batman: The Animated SeriesPepsi, and the band Rancid. Perhaps what stood out to me most about TAS was how much I cared about the players who weren’t Batman. Two-Face, Leslie Thompkins, one and done Charlie Collins, even Gotham City itself were all stories I invested in. As of late, Bat group editor Mark Doyle has added books to the bat-ecosystem that have captured a similar type of magic previously only on Fox Kids programing. Gotham Academy has been an underrated prime example of it. Issue four continues its unfolding of the institution’s connection to Gotham’s lore through the lens of adolescence.

Ultimately, Gotham Academy is a niche audience book that outstretches its boundaries by being energetic and refreshing. While its Young Adult nature might not appeal to the hardcore superhero crowd; there’s a good story about a troubled girl trying to find herself, which in a way makes her relatable to millions of people out there. If the Gotham Academy team is a band, then issue number four is their Let’s Go. What’s scary and exciting about that is the possibility that issue five could be their And Out Come The Wolves. For the non-punk rock fans out there, what that boils down to is Gotham Academy #4 figures out the strengths of the series. Issue five could be where everything fires on all cylinders and I have no doubts that it will be a book I can enjoy being a 72yr old man and then pass on to my adolescent niece. In short the definition of all age storytelling.


If words like Gretzky, Clutch, Zayn, and Archie are in your vocabulary then feel free to follow and unburden your anger at Dave on twitter @bouncingsoul217

 

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15. Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews

HEADER 669x1028 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews

Valiant has done an incredible job looping endless previews and press information to the various news outlets. While last week’s batch of previews was filled with ongoing titles from Valiant Entertainment like X-O Manowar, Unity, and the upcoming Quantum and Woody mini-series. This new batch features some of the upcoming Valiant next launches leading with the much anticipated Ninjak #1.

Then: Meet inexperienced MI-6 recruit Colin King on his first mission in the field as he learns the basics of spycraft and counterintelligence, and develops a volatile relationship with his first handler.

Now: Colin King is Ninjak, the world’s foremost intelligence operative, weapons expert, and master assassin. And he’s hunting the Shadow Seven – a secret cabal of shinobi masters with mysterious ties to his training and tragic past.

$3.99 US | T+| 40 pgs. | ON SALE 3/11/15 (FOC – 2/16/15)

42 201x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews 51 195x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews 6 195x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant PreviewsThe character of Ninjak has been building in the Valiant Universe naturally since the first year of the publisher. It’s going to be interesting to see how the comics market reacts to one of the most highly sought after Valiant ongoing series since The Valiant. Unfortunately, Marvel and DC are also moving pieces of their line around in some pretty major ways at the moment, but that certainly won’t discount the strong upcoming creative team for the title with Matt Kindt, Butch Guice, and Clay Mann. Who doesn’t love the idea of a ninja working for MI-6. The idea is enough to drive not 20, but 40 pages of story content at a cool $3.99 price point. Possibly the most intriguing part of the series is how the comic is flashing forward between the early exploits of Colin King, all the way to the Batman-esque excellence of the current Valiant Universe Ninjak.

Take a look at the full preview here.

 I 1 195x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews I 2 197x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews I 3 212x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews I 4 210x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews I 5 212x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews I 6 205x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews I 7 208x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant PreviewsValiant’s most heinous supervillain team is also returning for a follow-up issue with Imperium #2, featuring none-other-than Joshua Dysart manning the helm of the comic alongside artist Doug Braithwaite on art. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but evil Professor Xavier, a robot, scientist, alien-assassin, and terrorist walk into a bar.

 A psychic dictator, an inhuman robot, a mad scientist, a murderous alien and a super-powered terrorist are about to try and take over the world…and you’re going to be rooting for them every step of the way. THIS IS IMPERIUM.

$3.99 US | T+| 32 pgs. | ON SALE 3/4/15 (FOC – 2/9/15)

One of Valiant’s most ambitious series yet, Divinity is also shifting towards a second issue. This is another title with Matt Kindt at the helm, featuring a character of color with the power of a god. The lead in Divinity is also soviet cosmonaut, believe me, we couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried. This comic ships in a larger format also sporting the relaxed $3.99 price tag with a 32 page second issue.

 

DIV 2 195x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews DIV 3 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews DIV 4 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews DIV 5 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews DIV 6 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews DIV 7 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant PreviewsX-O Manowar kicks off Dead Hand in a few months. The story features Aric killing some robots, that’s all you need to know. We covered the current arc of Armorines in the pages of X-O Manowar that is set to directly lead-in to the upcoming storylines.

This is it…X-O Manowar…face-to-face with a ROBOT ARMY HELLBENT ON THE DESTRUCTION OF EVERYTHING! Blast off with New York Times best-selling creator Robert Venditti (ARMOR HUNTERS,Green Lantern) as he begins the most shocking arc yet of his seminal run on Valiant’s flagship series!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale MARCH 4 (FOC – 2/9/15)

 DH 1 195x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews DH 2 300x228 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews
DH 4 202x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews
DH 5 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews DH 6 210x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews DH 7 206x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews
There’s STILL MORE, Ivar Timewalker #1 was the latest issue of Valiant Next that came to store shelves. The comic is still revealing the full scope of it’s premise thus far, but Ivar does indeed walk through time. In the first issue of the story, he prevents a scientist from inventing time travel. The series looks to continue to pick up steam from here.

Can a man resigned to forever walk through time truly make up for the mistakes of his past? And just who is the mysterious sociopathic leader of Oblivi-1, and why does she have such an interest in Ivar and Neela’s time traveling team-up?

Find out here as Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry – the team that brought you ARCHER & ARMSTRONG – continue their clock-stopping race to the end of time and back!

$3.99 US | T+| 32 pages, full color | ON SALE 3/18/15 (FOC – 2/23/15)

IT 1 195x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews IT 2 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews IT 3 200x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews IT 4 200x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews IT 5 200x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews IT 6 200x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant PreviewsIssue #2 of The Valiant stepped on the gas, and illustrated the full potential of the writing present from Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt fusing the story with the wonderful art of painter Paolo Rivera. The Immortal Enemy’s appearance last issue was the stuff of nightmare fuel. The vision that Rivera brought to the comic propelled the series to one that demands reader attention.

The Immortal Enemy has all but won and only Bloodshot and The Geomancer are left to stand against his darkness. Are they willing to save humanity if it means losing their own – and each other?

$3.99 US | T+| 32 pages, full color | ON SALE 3/25/15 (FOC – 3/2/15)

TV 1 195x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews TV 2 204x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews TV 3 195x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews TV 4 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews TV 5 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews TV 6 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant Previews TV 7 198x300 Nice Art: Rivera, Braithwaite, Mann, and more Shine in Valiant PreviewsWill Ninjak’s ongoing make a splash in the direct market? Keep your eyes peeled to the sales charts during February and March, and pick up these comics on store shelves.

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16. Preview: Kiani Stars in Aspen Comics Sister Act

By Davey Nieves

As Aspen Comics announced towards the end of last year the Fathom universe’s anti-hero Kiani would get a new volume in her saga. Written by Vince Hernandez, with Giuseppe Cafaro on art, this February will see Fathom: Kiani Vol.4 #1 hit stores.

Following the catastrophic destruction of the Volna, the Russian Government’s secret Blue research facility, the United States has decided to take action against the rising threat of the Blue. However, in Africa, Kiani and Anika discover that their family bond is stronger than any one army—as their fight to survive above the surface will lead to a revolution amongst the people that will change the landscape of the human race forever!

Fathom: Kiani #1 will be out February 11th, 2015. Check out the preview below including a painfully cute cover by MLP artist Agnes Garabowska.

01 FAK4 01 CMYKcrop 98x150 Preview: Kiani Stars in Aspen Comics Sister Act 00 FAK4 01 CMYKcrop 98x150 Preview: Kiani Stars in Aspen Comics Sister Act 02 FAK4 01 CMYKcrop 98x150 Preview: Kiani Stars in Aspen Comics Sister Act 03 FAK4 01 CMYKcrop 98x150 Preview: Kiani Stars in Aspen Comics Sister Act FathomKiani v4 01d Valentine 99x150 Preview: Kiani Stars in Aspen Comics Sister Act FathomKiani v4 01c Agnes 99x150 Preview: Kiani Stars in Aspen Comics Sister Act FathomKiani v4 01b Konat 99x150 Preview: Kiani Stars in Aspen Comics Sister Act FathomKiani v4 01a Cafaro 99x150 Preview: Kiani Stars in Aspen Comics Sister Act

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17. Jason Momoa discusses Aquaman at Sundance

jason momoa Jason Momoa discusses Aquaman at Sundance

Upcoming Aquaman star Jason Momoa, who will be making his debut as the character in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, fielded a few related questions during a panel at the Sundance Film Festival.

While you can listen to the full audio of the panel, here are the relevant bits pertaining to his role as Orin:

On the subject of meeting Zack Snyder regarding the role and having to lie about his involvement:

Well, things are going to be a little different. When I first went in I met with Zack (Snyder). His idea is pretty amazing. When I went in, he told me – my jaw kind of dropped. My jaw doesn’t normally drop. What he has planned for the DC world and definitely for Aquaman is something that, you know – I think I was brought on for a certain reason and they got some really cool plans for him. I’m really excited for everyone to see it.

Last year, when I was on this panel I was like eating chicken breasts and in training when I wasn’t supposed to talk about anything. I wasn’t supposed to say anything until 2016. So I told a bunch of people that they could punch me in the face if I was on it, so I’m going to get hit a couple times. But they finally released it. I was supposed to keep it a secret for 3 years.

When a 78 year old, long-time Aquaman fan asks him about Aquaman’s appearance in the new films:

Well, just going off what you’ve seen so far ma’am, I don’t think he is going to be blonde or white. I can’t really tell you because I haven’t shot it yet. I hate to disappoint. But um, you know, I’m a little different than what those others… I hope you watch it with an open heart.

POSSIBLE SPOILER…

At one point in the panel, the moderator points out that Michael Shannon was seen at Sundance wearing an Aquaman shirt, and directly asks Momoa regarding the rumored involvement of the actor in Batman v Superman. Momoa responded with silence and a dodge, pointing out how important the Aquaman role was to him and his Polynesian roots.

Regardless of rumors, it looks like we’ll have a dark haired/Conan-esque Aquaman, likely in the Peter David mold. I’m into it, but your mileage may vary.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016. Aquaman is scheduled to release on July 27, 2018.

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18. CAF update: APE and Short Run get dates; ELCAF gets a day and Lineworks NW gets guests

ape CAF update: APE and Short Run get dates; ELCAF gets a day and Lineworks NW gets guests

Whew the comics arts festival circuit news is flowing thick and fast; we’re in the middle of application season and hearts and minds are turning to tabling. And the CAFs are answering back with news.

§ First off, the revamped APE (Alternative Press Expo) has revealed its dates and location: October 3-4 2015 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose. This is by all accounts a fine spot for a show, and the new San Jose-based APE sounds like its off to a good start. There is a one day overlap with CXC in Columbus, but what are ya gonna do—even the CAF circuit is busting out these days.

SRlogoBig600 CAF update: APE and Short Run get dates; ELCAF gets a day and Lineworks NW gets guests

§ Short Run, the indie themed event held in Seattle, has announced its dates: Saturday, October 31st at the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center.

2015 banner CAF update: APE and Short Run get dates; ELCAF gets a day and Lineworks NW gets guests

WHAT?! That’s right: get ready for a “scary” good time with Short Run as we take over Halloween afternoon with comix, zines, art books, mask-making, experimental animation, and much more. There will be both tricks and treats with 250 exhibitors under the Space Needle.

WHERE??!! Yes, it’s true: our beloved Washington Hall will be under construction this entire year as they make much needed renovations. In 2015, we’ll be returning to Seattle Center (site of the very first Short Run festival), and this time, we’ll be in the grand, expansive Fisher Pavilion. We are excited to offer both exhibitors and attendees wider aisle space in this new venue!
WHO?… Well, stay tuned! We’ll be announcing our 2015 special guests soon, as well as opening applications for this year’s exhibitors. We had such an incredible experience with our international guests last year, that we will continue to bring comix artists from around the world to Seattle.

Sounds like a good time.

§ ELCAF (The East London Comics Festival) has announced it’s expanding to two days this year, June 20-21, at a venue to be named later. This show has been getting a strong reputation for indies and it’s doubling in size. Applications are also open. (h/t Zainab)

tumblr static 16w0pjwdaocg4ccw4w80g0w88 CAF update: APE and Short Run get dates; ELCAF gets a day and Lineworks NW gets guests

§ Finally, April’s Lineworks NW, the Portland, OR based indie fest has announced its first four guests: Daniel Clowes, Lisa Hanawalt, Lisa Congdon and Jay Howell. Clowes and Hanawalt are best known for their comics; Congdon is afire artist and Howell does animation designs for such things as Bob’s Burgers. All four have heavy multi-media portfolio, and mixing up a CAF with guests from allied arts and animation is a very smart move and probably something we’ll see a lot more of.

More CAF news coming! If you have info on a show you would like to pass long, please email The Beat at comicsbeat at gmail dot com.

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19. Report: Disney have their hearts set on Chris Pratt as the next Indiana Jones

chris pratt 1000x667 Report: Disney have their hearts set on Chris Pratt as the next Indiana Jones

Between Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie, Chris Pratt was probably THE action/adventure star of 2014. With Jurassic World coming up in June and The Magnificent Seven about to begin shooting, that momentum doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.

If Disney has their way, we may very well see Pratt attached to another big franchise: The Indiana Jones series.

Ever since acquiring the rights to the swashbuckling archaeologist from Paramount in 2013 (who had held onto film rights even after the Lucasfilm purchase by the House of Mouse), the studio has been looking to reboot after the moribund reaction to Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There were rumors floating around that Bradley Cooper would get the nod that were eventually dismissed, but now Deadline is hearing that Pratt is their go-to guy.

Its still a rumor at this point, but something to keep an eye on in a world where we’re about to get a Mad Max revival (and I call that a great thing, by the way).

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20. Magneto Meets His Last Days in Secret Wars

By Davey Nieves

LAST DAYS 195x300 Magneto Meets His Last Days in Secret Wars

Marvel pulled another piece out of their Secret Wars puzzle box today when they announced, on Newsarama, the ongoing Magneto book by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Javi Fernandez would be under the umbrella of the Last Days banner during Secret Wars. Starting with May’s issue #18, the master of magnetism faces off against the end of the world in a four issue story the writer described as being about Magneto’s legacy. He’ll see the events leading up to end of the Marvel 616 and attempt to use every bit of his power to halt them.

MAGNETO 018 small 198x300 Magneto Meets His Last Days in Secret Wars

The arc is also set to feature appearances from Briar, the Marauders and various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who’ve been in pursuit of Magneto throughout the series. Readers will also see a surprise appearance in the form a character related to Magneto with a controversial past. With the terminability surrounding these Last Days tie-in books it would suggest an end to the series and maybe even the character himself upon conclusion. Could Marvel be revealing what characters won’t make it into Secret War? Magneto was a major part of the original 1984 Secret Wars, but it looks also though he may not even make it to this one. When asked if this would be the series finale Cullen Bunn had this to say: “If the book were to end, I think this arc would wrap things up quite nicely,” Bunn explains. “But what I’m doing also positions Magneto for some really exciting stuff that’s coming up. Really, do you think something like the end of the world is going to stop the Master of Magnetism?”

No other story details were revealed but we expect to hear more soon as the rest of the tie-in books are revealed including titles for the other two banners Battleworld and Warzones!.


 

What do you think of Marvel’s latest tease? Could Marvel leave Magneto out of their new world order?

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21. Heavy Metal locating its comics in Portland

deadline death 01 Heavy Metal locating its comics in Portland

Since relaunching early last year, the new Heavy Metal has been relatively quiet, relaunching Hoax Hunters under their banner and pursuing their multi media plans mostly behind the scenes. However, a recent appearance at Wizard World Portland has revealed plans for locating the comics operations of the company in Portland, OR where they’ll pursue a model that takes advantage of their well known branding:

“We’re looking at (comics) properties in the same way we look at television and film,” says Krelitz, who attended Wizard World Portland last weekend.

“We have a much better economic model than anyone will offer in the marketplace.  We have a merchandizing company that’s one of the biggest in the world.  Not only are we not going to fleece you to get your self-published book, we’re going to help your brand building.”


The new Heavy Metal is run by film producer Jeff Krelitz and former music exec David Boxenbaum, with comic only part of a film, tv and licensing model. According to the piece, they plan to launch eight titles this year, 12 more next year and more than fifty over five years. “We’re positioning to be a premiere publisher,” Krelitz told Steve Duin, author of the above piece.

While things ramp up, the regular Heavy Metal website is publishing some short comics such as “Deadline of Death” by Jason Paulos, (shown above) a satisfyingly ECish tale of a deal with the devil to work for Marvelous Comics. Short version: do not make a deal with the devil.

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22. Say hello to the new Ghostbusters

ghostbusters Say hello to the new Ghostbusters

It’s been widely-reported that Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot would include an all-female lineup. Though there is no official confirmation that this is a done deal, Feig tweeted a picture today – albeit with no commentary – of actresses and comediennes Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. Though only McCarthy is officially signed on to the movie, it seems unlikely Feig would tweet the actresses’ photos if negotiations weren’t basically finalized.

McCarthy and Wiig have previously worked together on Bridesmaids, and Jones and McKinnon are currently cast members on SNL.

I’m personally a fan of the casting news – three out of the four leading ladies are between the ages of 41-47, with McKinnon being the ‘baby’ of the group at age 31. It’s nice to see Hollywood recognizing that talent doesn’t magically expire at the age of 29.

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23. Interview: Rob Anderson Talks about the Procedure Behind ‘Creature Cops’

By Matt O’Keefe

Comics Experience, an online school for individuals who want to create and publish comics, has already been making waves in the industry as the birthplace of new talent like Morning Glories alum Nick Spencer and Strange Nation writer Paul Allor. Now CEX is branching into publishing, collaborating with IDW to deliver creator-owned comics made by some of its brightest students. I spoke to, Rob Anderson, whose miniseries Creature Cops will be be released through the imprint, about his road to Comics Experience and IDW and his interest in writing an animal-based procedural.

How did Creature Cops come together?
The origin of the idea came in two parts. The first part was around 2000, when I read a news story about a performance artist who convinced a French geneticist to create a “transgenic” rabbit by injecting a rabbit egg with jellyfish proteins. The resulting rabbit glowed green under certain light. Aside from this rabbit being used for some sort of “art statement,” it just seemed like this sort of thing would probably get out of control some day.

The second piece fell into place when I was volunteering at a local animal shelter. At some point, I started thinking about how hard an Animal Control Officer’s job can be, and I got interested in writing a story about them. And then it struck me how MUCH harder the job would be, if they were dealing with transgenic animals. When I took one of Andy Schmidt’s Comics Experience writing courses, I pitched it as my class project. I eventually produced that short story, and some other shorts, and got interested in doing a full miniseries. Luckily, I hooked up with artist Fernando Melek via the Internet through Stone Tower Studios and Lucas Urrutia. That was the final piece of it coming together as the mini-series you see today.

How did the feedback you received from peers at Comics Experience influence the series?
After that initial short story, I took Andy’s Advanced Comic Book Writing course. In that course, I outlined the whole series and wrote a draft of the first issue. It really helped me sharpen my focus on the characters and the setting. In fact, by the end of it, I scrapped the entire first issue, the outline, and much of the set-up–but not the characters–and started over. While I was receiving a lot of positive feedback, I could also see things that weren’t working, and I stepped back, focusing much more on the characters and their initial story arcs.

By the time I began posting the reworked mini-series on the Creators Workshop later, the basics were still there — the same characters, the animals, but the story was much tighter and focused.

You received feedback from a number of peers, but still had an editor in Paul Allor. What did he bring to the table?
Paul and I have collaborated on so many projects at this point. We met back around 2010, when the Creators Workshop was just founded. I’ve edited a lot of his work, he’s edited a lot of mine, and we’ve been a sounding board for each other on more projects than I could count at this point.

My general process is, I’d do what I considered a solid draft, then I’d wring it out on the Creators Workshop–ask folks to tear it apart and note every problem they had with it. I’d revise it on that basis, then bring in Paul, with his knives sharpened, to really tell me straight out what was working and what wasn’t. If I was having a hard time sorting out conflicting reactions by other readers — and my own instincts — I’d talk that through with him as well. I trust him to always tell me the brutal truth, and he expects the same from me. So, from major issues to the most minor technical thing, he was there to give a (trusted) outside opinion, to argue, to encourage, whenever I needed it. He’s an incredibly talented individual and it’s been a pleasure watching his career take off, from his creator-owned work on things like Strange Nation from Monkeybrain comics, to all his work-for-hire on things like TMNT and GI Joe. I can’t wait to read his own CE/IDW title, the war drama/love story TET!

A9763866 9BE2 49FD 80AC A4AA85E5DEAB 197x300 Interview: Rob Anderson Talks about the Procedure Behind Creature Cops

How did the opportunity arise to be published at IDW?
Creature Cops (along with TET) is being published as part of a new publishing alliance between the online educational company, Comics Experience and IDW Publishing. All the projects were developed in Comics Experience’s online community, the Creators Workshop. The new publishing alliance is focused on developing new talent, and CE founder Andy Schmidt was very familiar with Creature Cops, from the courses and the Workshop. When the publishing alliance was coming together, Andy asked me if I’d be interested in having Creature Cops as the first out of the gate, and I said “yes” immediately.

What interested you in doing a comic book procedural?
My interest really started with telling a story about Animal Control Officers, and the characters I had in my mind. Once you start thinking about telling a story about cops, then the idea of it being a procedural is a fairly natural progression. But my interest was driven more by the characters (human and animal), then in writing a procedural, per se. I don’t really think of Creature Cops as a pure procedural. There are procedural elements as they work one of the cases, but it’s more about the characters and the challenges they face.

CA8C3849 C442 4DB3 B8CF 09DAFE3E62F3 197x300 Interview: Rob Anderson Talks about the Procedure Behind Creature Cops

Why do you think procedurals are relatively uncommon in this medium?
I think it’s less that procedurals are uncommon and more that superheroes dominate. I’d argue MOST non-superhero genres are–relatively speaking–less common than superheroes, if you’re looking at market share. Having said that, I’ve been reading comic books since the 1970’s, and this is the best era I’ve seen for people who want to read a diversity of genres in a diversity of formats, from traditional comics in print or digital to things like webcomics.

But procedurals, specifically? They’re a sub-genre of crime, and crime comics are everywhere. Maybe procedurals are less common due to the challenges of pacing it in a comic book form. I approached Creature Cops a bit differently than other comics I’ve written, and I used multiple, interwoven storylines to a much greater extent, so I don’t think it just reads like a step-by-step recitation of an investigation.

One concern I’ve seen raised about procedurals-as-comics is a financial one. It costs nothing to watch and only $2 to own a 42-minute episode of a cop drama. A similar story told as a comic over three issues costs six times that. Is that a concern for you?
Creature Cops has been a labor of love from the beginning, so the economics of television drama versus comic books really didn’t factor into it at all for me. I just had a story I wanted to tell, and I hope folks enjoy it! If someone enjoy the medium of comics, and the story interests them, hopefully they’ll check it out, rather than focusing on some calculation related to TV shows.

8D7D4FAD 9487 448B 98EE FE4E60931DD5 197x300 Interview: Rob Anderson Talks about the Procedure Behind Creature Cops

Between this, Rex: Zombie Killer and your contributions to My Little Pony, the bulk of your comic book writing has featured animals as protagonists. Is that a niche that you think needs filling or is it more fueled by where your interests lie?
It’s definitely driven by my interests. From childhood to today, I’ve always loved animal stories in all media — from novels like Homeward Bound and Watership Down, to comic books like WE3, possibly my favorite comic book of all time. Even the original Planet of the Apes movies, which I was crazy for as a kid, featured talking animals, obviously.

Ironically, Creature Cops is probably the farthest from that, of what I’ve written. There’s no talking animals, and the main protagonists are the human officers, although there are some animals who are important characters as well… from the Panda Dog to the Horned Mastiff.

Obviously, procedurals are intended to go past the first whodunit. Do you have plans/hopes to continue Creature Cops after this initial miniseries?
I’d love to continue Creature Cops, if it’s sustainable in practical terms. From the creative side, all of the officers have pretty extensive backstories and lives, so there’s so much to explore. And I have a ton of case ideas, some influenced by real-life animal control issues, others purely from my imagination. It’s a hoot playing in this world, and I’d love to return to it someday.

What other projects are you working on right now?
I have a couple other projects in development, but nothing far enough along that I can discuss yet. However, I am looking at getting the Rex, Zombie Killer collection out as a trade paperback and digitally in the near future for anyone interested in checking out more of my work.

Creature Cops #1 (of 3) comes out from IDW Publishing tomorrow 1/28 at your local comic book shop and on ComiXology.

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24. Loki & Mighty Avengers Meet Their Last Days

By Davey Nieves

Marvel not one to let irons cool announced on CBR and Comicbooked that two more books would join Magneto on the Last Days list of possible casualties during Secret Wars. Loki: Agent of Asgard and Captain America & The Mighty Avengers will both see issues under the Last Days tie-in banner. Both books will be written by current series scribe Al Ewing and he had cautious excitement over both.

MightyAvengers LastDays Loki & Mighty Avengers Meet Their Last Days

Mighty Avengers will be a two-part story about Cap Falcon’s Avengers squad dealing with the upcoming cataclysm on a global scale. Ewing didn’t give many story details but did offer two interesting tidbits about it. This story, which buttresses the events of the current Time Runs Out arc in the Avengers books, will pick up right where it leaves off and return the team to a positon of being “Avengers for the people.” To play on this, Ewing will tell the events of the Mighty Avengers final moments through the eyes of as he put it, “most unexpected Mighty Avenger of all – you! The person reading this!” When asked who he would choose to write for his dream team, Ewing jokingly offered a list of some heavyweight non-Marvel characters: Doctor Who, Acroyear, , Zoidzilla, ROM, Pinsor, Bill S Preston Esquire, Indiana Jones, Ren Hoek and Superman.

 

Loki14 677x1028 Loki & Mighty Avengers Meet Their Last Days

Loki: Agent of Asgard also joins the impending doom of Last Days. May’s Agent of Asgard #14 kicks off a four part arc chronicling how the cast will spend the final hours of the current Marvel universe. With issues 11-13 focusing on the repercussions of Loki killing his child incarnation in the form of a trial; issue 14 will start a pressed countdown through the remanning moments of the world as they know it. Ewing did mention we’ll see the ramifications both in Asgard and on earth through Loki’s friend Verity Willis. What’s most exciting about this tie-in is how eclectic the series has been thus far, which sets it up to end its place in the current Marvel U with both a bang and a whimper.

When asked about the finality a suggestive banner like LastDays has, Ewing would neither confirm nor deny anything. All of the writers orbiting Secret Wars aren’t taking being on the ship at the end of the Marvel Universe lightly, as Ewing would put it “I suppose part of me is always wondering what I’d do if I was given the brief of “this is the final story of so-and-so”… well, now that moment is here! In the present day! And it turns out this is the story I’d do.” With Loki and the Mighty Avengers squad joining Magneto on the possible hit list, it remains to be seen who in the Marvel universe will be left to draw arms in Secret Wars.

Despite living in the age of the hype machine, it appears Marvel still know how to make the wait for May feel that much longer. Who else do you think will have their Last Days numbered?

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25. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service gets an omnibus

kurosagi corpse delivery Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service gets an omnibus
If you have room on your shelf for ONE MORE omnibus series, make a little room for Dark Horse’s just announced omnibus series for The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki’s manga is a dark humored tale about five college students who form a special team to help spirits move on. It’s a readily accessible and enjoyable series that even non manga experts can get into.

The first volume drops in August, with 640 pages for only $19.99.

Dark Horse has mad a lot of success with their various omnibus lines—those Star Wars collections are still available!—and manga editions for Lone Wolf and Cub and more. The problem is finding room for them all by digging through those longboxes for the older, smaller editions.

What Omnibii do YOU collect?

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