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1. Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers

When Marvel announced Girl Comics four years ago it unleashed a firestorm of outrage (just check out the comments if you care in the link). Now they are announcing a whole month of variant covers by female artists and everyone thinks it’s A-OK! Because suddenly women read comics.

The event will celebrate Women’s History Month in March but also spotlight some of Marvel’s most popular artists. “2014 was a huge year for Women of Marvel, both in our comics and behind the scenes,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso in a statement. “Marvel now has more titles starring female leads than ever before, the Women of Marvel panel is one of the most highly attended at conventions, and the weekly Women of Marvel podcast continues to grow.  In 2015, we intend to continue that tradition, and March’s Women of Marvel variant covers — featuring 20 of the best female artists in the industry – is just the beginning.”

Here’s the complete list…and eight covers released so far, by some of the top cover artists out there such as Sana Takeda, Sara PIchelli, Colleen Doran, Amanda Conner and MORE. Can’t wait to see the whole list!

  • All-New Captain America #5 by TBD
  • All-New Hawkeye #1 by SHO MURASE
  • All-New X-Men #39 by FAITH ERIN HICKS
  • Amazing Spider Man 16 Doyle WOM Variant Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers
  • Amazing Spider-Man #16 by MING DOYLE
  • Ant Man 3 Cook WOM Variant Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers
  • Ant-Man #3 by KATIE COOK
  • Avengers #42 by TBD
  • Black Widow #16 by VANESA DEL REY
  • Captain Marvel #13 by AFUA RICHARDSON
  • Deadpool #43 by TBD
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 25 Henderson WOM Variant Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #25 by ERICA HENDERSON
  • Inhuman #13 by JILL THOMPSON
  • Legendary Star Lord 10 Takeda WOM Variant Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers
  • Legendary Star-Lord #10 by SANA TAKEDA
  • Ms. Marvel #13 by TBD
  • New Avengers #31 by SARA PICHELLI
  • Rocket Raccoon 9 Lee WOM Variant Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers
  • Rocket Raccoon #9 by JANET LEE
  • SHIELD 4 Doran WOM Variant Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 by COLLEEN DORAN
  • Superior Iron Man #6 by TBD
  • Thor 7 Hans WOM Variant Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers
  • Thor #6 by TBD (Above image by Stephanie Hans)
  • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 by GURIHIRU
  • Uncanny Avengers #3 by AMANDA CONNER
  • Uncanny X Men 33 Stacey Lee Women of Marvel Variant Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers
  • Uncanny X-Men #33 by STACEY LEE

 

 

2 Comments on Marvel unveils Women of Marvel Variant Covers, last added: 2/1/2015
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2. Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright

By Davey Nieves

EFFIGY #1

Effigy 2015 001 000 195x300 Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright

 

Story: Tim Seeley

Art: Marley Zarcone

Colors: Ryan Hill

Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

Publisher: Vertigo

 

 

Gloomy, hard-hitting, make no apologies stories have been the status quo for fans who pick up any Vertigo book. After all this is the line that gave us The Sandman, Y: The Last Man, and The Wake.  Effigy by Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash)and Marley Zarcone may only get two out of the three, but this book is a rare occurrence where that’s actually what makes it a must read.

Writer Tim Seeley crafts a story about unhealthy obsessions that feels like it could only be told in this day in age given how many cautionary tales childhood actors have turned into. Effigy follows Chondra Jackson, a once bubbly star of a futuristic kids-as-cops series called Star Cops who after a downward spiral of typecasting and an ill-advised sex tape bottoms out into the life of a far less glamorous small-town cop. The night-and-day portrayal of Chondra captures her disconnect prom prominence exquisitely. This first issue doesn’t read so much as a behind the music type story, but more of a caution as to what the world around you can become when live most of your life in the clouds then have to deal with crashing towards reality. As she goes from being a glorified meter maid to a true detective we’ll see the high price of fame take it’s toll on those close to her and complete strangers who probably want to love her to death… literally.

Marley Zarcone’s art starts strong with so much energy in telling the back story of Star Cops. Then by design it settles into a more rural style. While not quite as energetic, it plays into creating a dichotomy of Chondra’s two lives. At first glance Ryan Hill’s colors seem like such a basic job, but when you see the panels containing more visual effects; it actually works in better highlighting these moments. The art does more than just add to Chondra’s already engaging story, it buttresses the –child-star to messed up adult– dark tunnel the audience is going to be taken through.

In a week where you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a good comic, Effigy carves out a noticeable place for itself and on your pull list. Issue one sets up a world of glamour, ritual murder, and mystery that could lead to this series being one of Vertigo’s best 2015 books.


Dave has never been a child star but had a childhood crush on Winnie Cooper and Stephanie Tanner here more about it @bouncingsoul217

0 Comments on Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright as of 1/30/2015 6:53:00 AM
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3. Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright

By Davey Nieves

EFFIGY #1

Effigy 2015 001 000 195x300 Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright

 

Story: Tim Seeley

Art: Marley Zarcone

Colors: Ryan Hill

Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

Publisher: Vertigo

 

 

Gloomy, hard-hitting, make no apologies stories have been the status quo for fans who pick up any Vertigo book. After all this is the line that gave us The Sandman, Y: The Last Man, and The Wake.  Effigy by Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash)and Marley Zarcone may only get two out of the three, but this book is a rare occurrence where that’s actually what makes it a must read.

Writer Tim Seeley crafts a story about unhealthy obsessions that feels like it could only be told in this day in age given how many cautionary tales childhood actors have turned into. Effigy follows Chondra Jackson, a once bubbly star of a futuristic kids-as-cops series called Star Cops who after a downward spiral of typecasting and an ill-advised sex tape bottoms out into the life of a far less glamorous small-town cop. The night-and-day portrayal of Chondra captures her disconnect prom prominence exquisitely. This first issue doesn’t read so much as a behind the music type story, but more of a caution as to what the world around you can become when live most of your life in the clouds then have to deal with crashing towards reality. As she goes from being a glorified meter maid to a true detective we’ll see the high price of fame take it’s toll on those close to her and complete strangers who probably want to love her to death… literally.

Marley Zarcone’s art starts strong with so much energy in telling the back story of Star Cops. Then by design it settles into a more rural style. While not quite as energetic, it plays into creating a dichotomy of Chondra’s two lives. At first glance Ryan Hill’s colors seem like such a basic job, but when you see the panels containing more visual effects; it actually works in better highlighting these moments. The art does more than just add to Chondra’s already engaging story, it buttresses the –child-star to messed up adult– dark tunnel the audience is going to be taken through.

In a week where you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a good comic, Effigy carves out a noticeable place for itself and on your pull list. Issue one sets up a world of glamour, ritual murder, and mystery that could lead to this series being one of Vertigo’s best 2015 books.


Dave has never been a child star but had a childhood crush on Winnie Cooper and Stephanie Tanner here more about it @bouncingsoul217

0 Comments on Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright as of 1/30/2015 1:11:00 AM
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4. Inhumans Enter The Secret Wars Battleworld

By Davey Nieves

Yesterday we learned Miles Morales and the rest of the Ultimate universe would enter Secret Wars Battleworld in Ultimate End. Today Marvel announced superstar writer Charles Soule would bring the Inhumans into Battleworld with the new ongoing series Inhumans: Attilan Rising. The scribe will be joined by artist John Timms for what Marvel calls “a tale of romance and intrigue” that affects the entire Marvel U.

Inhumans: Attilan Rising joins the current Inhuman and recently announced Uncanny Inhumans ongoings to total three core Inhuman books Marvel will be publishing come May along side solo Inhuman characters like Ms.Marvel. Attilan Rising is poised as a sweeping war epic that puts the royal couple Blackbolt and Medusa front and center. What’s most exciting for Soule about launching this book in the coming mega-event Secret War is being able to give these characters a new context. In Soule’s words, “Things don’t have to be the way we’re used to seeing them.” No other major story details were revealed as Marvel continues to keep the shroud of secrecy looming over Secret Wars.

Both the Dave Johnson and W. Scott Forbes covers for issue one were shown today, check them out below.

Inhumans Attilan Rising 1 Cover 198x300 Inhumans Enter The Secret Wars Battleworld

Inhumans Attilan Rising 1 Forbes Variant 198x300 Inhumans Enter The Secret Wars Battleworld

5 Comments on Inhumans Enter The Secret Wars Battleworld, last added: 1/30/2015
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5. Inhumans Enter The Secret Wars Battleworld

By Davey Nieves

Yesterday we learned Miles Morales and the rest of the Ultimate universe would enter Secret Wars Battleworld in Ultimate End. Today Marvel announced superstar writer Charles Soule would bring the Inhumans into Battleworld with the new ongoing series Inhumans: Attilan Rising. The scribe will be joined by artist John Timms for what Marvel calls “a tale of romance and intrigue” that affects the entire Marvel U.

Inhumans: Attilan Rising joins the current Inhuman and recently announced Uncanny Inhumans ongoings to total three core Inhuman books Marvel will be publishing come May along side solo Inhuman characters like Ms.Marvel. Attilan Rising is poised as a sweeping war epic that puts the royal couple Blackbolt and Medusa front and center. What’s most exciting for Soule about launching this book in the coming mega-event Secret War is being able to give these characters a new context. In Soule’s words, “Things don’t have to be the way we’re used to seeing them.” No other major story details were revealed as Marvel continues to keep the shroud of secrecy looming over Secret Wars.

Both the Dave Johnson and W. Scott Forbes covers for issue one were shown today, check them out below.

Inhumans Attilan Rising 1 Cover 198x300 Inhumans Enter The Secret Wars Battleworld

Inhumans Attilan Rising 1 Forbes Variant 198x300 Inhumans Enter The Secret Wars Battleworld

2 Comments on Inhumans Enter The Secret Wars Battleworld, last added: 1/31/2015
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6. 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.”

1 Comments on Review: Casanova Acedia #1 Mo’ Memories Mo’ Problems, last added: 1/29/2015
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7. 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.  

0 Comments on Review: Quantum & Woody Must Die But Not Just Yet as of 1/1/1900
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8. 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.

 

1 Comments on Secret Wars: Miles Morales and The Ultimate Universe Enter Battleworld, last added: 1/29/2015
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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: 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

 

1 Comments on Review: Gotham Academy #4 Just Schooled You Son, last added: 1/28/2015
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11. 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)

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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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12. 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.

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13. 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.

 

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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?

2 Comments on Loki & Mighty Avengers Meet Their Last Days, last added: 1/30/2015
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14. 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.

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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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15. Dark Horse Gives Nathan Drake The Art Book Treatment

By Davey Nieves

The pantheon of PlayStation has a rich library of quality games, but few have impacted the art of storytelling like the UNCHARTED franchise. Developed by Naughty Dog, the studio behind The Last of Us, the UNCHARTED series is this era’s Indiana Jones. The series protagonist, fortune hunter Nathan Drake has achieved mascot like status for the PlayStation brand. With the success of previous entries The Art of The Last of Us and The Art of Naughty Dog, Dark Horse Comics and Naughty Dog are launching The Art of the UNCHARTED Trilogy in April 2015.

The three games which spanned the life of the PlayStation 3 console fill this book with never-before-seen art from Naughty Dog spanning UNCHARTED: Drake’s Fortune, UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves, and UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception, with insightful commentary from the games’ creators, this epic volume is an incredible opportunity to own a piece of UNCHARTED history.

“With each UNCHARTED game we make we strive to set a new bar for video game art, design, and tech,” said Erick Pangilinan, art director at Naughty Dog. Over the course of the last decade there hasn’t been a game developer that has raised the bar with each outing like Naughty Dog. Combine this with Dark Horse Comics eye for building gorgeous bookshelf prize collections and this feels like a book that could itself be a treasure in the game’s history.

No word yet on whether or not The Art of The UNCHARTED Trilogy will have any glimpses at the series highly anticipated fourth console installment Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End which is also set to release sometime in 2015 on the PlayStation 4.

unnamed 2 Dark Horse Gives Nathan Drake The Art Book Treatment

 

Available in April, The Art of the UNCHARTED Trilogy retails for $39.99 and can be preordered now from AmazonBarnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

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16. Ten Moments in Boom! Studios History

By Davey Nieves

In 2015, BOOM! Studios celebrates 10 years of publishing comics, and to commemorate this milestone, the publisher has assembled what it considers to be its top 10 moments of the past decade—all highlights that contributed significantly to the company’s founding, rise, and continued growth. Straight from the mouth of BOOM! it reads as a chronological time line of the publishers history.

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December 2004: Comics writer Keith Giffen, in Los Angeles for a comic book convention, has a beer on a Saturday night with Ross Richie and pushes Richie to start his own comic book publishing company.

 

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June 2005: The first BOOM! Studios book, Zombie Tales #1, ships (6/29/2005), showcasing work from Mark Waid (Daredevil), Keith Giffen (Future’s End), and Dave Johnson (100 Bullets). BOOM!’s focus on original content over the next decade spawns bestsellers like Irredeemable, The Woods, and Lumberjanes as it launches the careers of next-generation talent like Rafael Albuquerque (The Savage Brothers, American Vampire), Emma Rios (Hexed, Pretty Deadly), Aaron Kuder (Key of Z, Green Lantern: New Guardians), Jordie Bellaire (Malignant Man, Captain Marvel), and Russell Dauterman (Supurbia, Thor), among many others.

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December 2006: BOOM! Studios publishes its first licensed comic book, Warhammer: Damnation Crusade #1. BOOM! goes on to work with some of the biggest brands in the world, including 20th Century Fox, Disney, Cartoon Network, MGM, Peanuts Worldwide, Paws, and The Jim Henson Company.

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July 2007: Mark Waid is named Editor-in-Chief and goes on to become the company’s Chief Creative Officer, contributing numerous original titles to the company’s lineup before returning to freelance writing in December 2010.

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March 2009: The first KaBOOM! (previously BOOM! Kids) comics, Incredibles: Family Matters #1 and The Muppet Show Comic Book #1, ship (3/25/2009). BOOM! Studios is the first Disney licensee to be granted the ability to generate new canon material for any Pixar property.

 

January 2010: Voted on by comic shop retailers, BOOM! Studios wins its first “Best Publisher Under 4%” Diamond Gem Award for 2009. It is awarded this honor four more times since, earning the award five out of the last six years. The publisher wins its first Harvey Award for Roger Langridge’s work on The Muppet Show Comic Book (8/28/10) that same year and its first Eisner Award for Shannon Wheeler’s I Thought You Would Be Funnier a year later (7/22/11).

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June 2013: BOOM! Studios announces its acquisition of Archaia (6/24/13) (publisher of titles like Mouse Guard, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, and The Killer), adding the company as a wholly-owned imprint alongside its other imprints, KaBOOM! and BOOM! Box, and expands the range of diverse content Archaia publishes.

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August 2013: “2 Guns” opens in theaters (8/2/13) starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. The film is based on the BOOM! Studios five-issue series created by Steven Grant and illustrated by Mateus Santoluoco.

 

October 2013: BOOM! enters into a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox for feature films (10/2/2013) and then signs a first-look deal with Fox for television the following year (8/20/2014).

 

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February 2014: Former DC Comics President & Publisher Paul Levitz joins BOOM! as a consultant and a member of the Board of Directors. Levitz categorized his role as the voice of experience that says, “Well, we tried to attack that problem this way [at DC Comics]; it didn’t work that way. Maybe times have changed, but let’s think about what the issues were and try to find a way around what the dilemmas were.”

As for the future, Boom! Studios has an entire year full of announcements lined up and are already off to a great start with their new book Burning Fields. It looks like the next ten years could be even bigger for the little publisher that could.


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17. X-Cessive Much? Fox Reveals an X-Men TV Show is Entering Negotiations

x cited 300x169 X Cessive Much? Fox Reveals an X Men TV Show is Entering NegotiationsHow many superhero television shows can launch before our brains collectively X-plode? Fox is challenging our expectations by confirming the company is actively looking into making an X-Men television show a reality. TV Insider broke the news and shared quotes from Fox Entertainment Chairman, Gary Newman, who announced the info to the outlet at the Television Critics Association Press Tour. As Newman states, the show cannot debut before the upcoming 2016 – 2017 television season.

He shared the following quote:

It’s in negotiations…We’re cautiously optimistic, we had a good meeting with them. That will not be on a fast track creatively. This is just the deal, now we have to find the creative.

Does anyone else care to run down a few superhero shows entering their second and third seasons?:

Arrow

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

What about a couple comic book shows in the middle of their first season?:

The Flash

Constantine

Marvel’s Agent Carter

Gotham

Plus, just a few of the television shows currently in development or about to debut:

Supergirl

The Marvel Netflix shows (Daredevil, AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders)

Vixen

Powers

Titans

In addition, there are an assortment of X-Men films coming to the screen as well:

Deadpool (2017)

Gambit (2017)

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Long-live the failed Generation X show and every other comic book series we forgot to mention on this list. TV Insider stated that Fox still needs the blessing from Marvel, so the road to an X-Men show is going to be a long one.

1 Comments on X-Cessive Much? Fox Reveals an X-Men TV Show is Entering Negotiations, last added: 1/28/2015
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18. Interview: Artist Nate Stockman and writer Kel Symons talk about their work on REYN

by Edie Nugent

REYN art 213x300 Interview: Artist Nate Stockman and writer Kel Symons talk about their work on REYNLong-distance collaborators Kel Symons and Nate Stockman who worked together on I LOVE TROUBLE for Image have banded together again for their new sword and sorcery series REYN, also for Image, which saw it’s first issue debut this week. I spoke with Symons and Stockman about how they formed their partnership, what it’s like collaborating across the ocean, and how Dungeons and Dragons inspired their work.

Comics Beat: What brought the two of you together to work on REYN?

Kel Symons: I “met” Nate (closest we’ve ever come is a Facetime call) a couple years ago as I was wrapping up the end of my first comic series for Image (my first comic series ever, actually) I LOVE TROUBLE. My original co-creator left to do other things before we got our sixth and final issue, and the colorist, Paul Little – who returns for REYN – recommended Nate. At the time I needed somebody fast, because we were already weeks behind schedule and the book was pushed – I just wanted the last story to fall into place so I had a complete trade volume to publish. But aside from being fast, Nate was really good. And a joy to work with. I was off to do THE MERCENARY SEA next at Image, but was thinking up new ideas I could bring to Nate. We had a series of email and video conversations last year that led to the creation of REYN.

Nate Stockman: Yep it was like Kel said. Our short collaboration on I LOVE TROUBLE was very enjoyable so we had a desire to work together again on something new.

Comics Beat: Technology has really paved the way for collaborations that, due to distance, would not have happened 15 years ago. What challenges do you face due to the remote nature of your interactions and how have you adapted to overcome them?

KS: We haven’t had ANY hiccups in terms of production or communication. In fact, the process and our partnership on REYN runs so smoothly that before issue 1 hit the stands this week we had the first five issues fully drawn, colored and lettered. This is our first mini-arc for the series, which will later comprise our first trade volume. Honestly, I have no idea how creators separated by great distances did things before the internet – the idea of sending original artwork back and forth to the creative team actually makes me nervous just thinking about that. I wonder how many comics got lost along the way.

CB: What excited you about telling/illustrating a story within the realm of fantasy? What do you feel REYN brings to the genre that readers haven’t seen before?

NS: For me, Creating a world from the ground up is a huge amount of fun. I love character design and having a diverse land populated by monsters and beasts is an artists dream. There’s a great mix of action sequences and quiet moments which I both enjoy. I like giving a bit of extra personality to our characters in the way they act or hold themselves. I find breathing life into the land of Fate very exciting!

KS: Longtime fantasy and sci-fi geek here, so playing in that sandbox is always going to be fun for me. If I were 12, Reyn would be a great character to roll up in D&D. It’s fun toying with the swords & sorcery tropes, and I told Nate that I’d love the art to look like it was airbrushed on the side of a custom van in 1976. In terms of something new we’re bringing to this genre, it’ll probably take a couple issues for that to get up fully up to speed. But right from the start I wanted to add some Old West to the mix. Reyn’s freelance swordsman borrows heavily from Western mythos – the solitary but reluctant hero who does the job not because he wants to but because he’s given little choice. In Reyn’s case he’s haunted by voices and visions. He’s also not someone I think you can fully expect to be a “hero.” He’s very much cut from the same cloth as Leone’s The Man With No Name.

CB: Were there any surprises along the way? Any characters that changed their look or personality from what you’d originally envisioned?

NS: It definitely takes a couple of issues for me to get used to drawing the cast. Around issues 3 or 4 I start to get a better handle on how I want them to look. I find myself really enjoying drawing Seph and I really enjoy drawing her interactions with Reyn. They have a fun partnership going forward.

KS: So far, no real surprises (but my favorite part of writing is when a character says or does something that surprises me). But as for changes, I think my original concept for Reyn was much more altruistic and chivalrous… then I wrote a first draft of the script and found him pretty bland. That’s when I sat back, looked at it, and decided to approach him from a different, slightly coarser angle.

CB: What do readers have to look forward to in the coming issues?

KS: Quite a lot I think (and hope!). Next issue will have a little more with the Venn, M’Thall. And in issue 3 Reyn and Seph meet up with the other Followers of Tek and the main quest is begun – this introduces a variety of new characters, but it’s still the Reyn and Seph show. Issues 4 and 5 is where things go off the rails we’ve laid down – without getting spoiler-y, there will be some unexpected turns, answers to some of the questions folks may have, and probably even more questions posed. Also Reyn’s interaction with Aurora becomes more defined.

NS: Yeah, I can’t wait to introduce readers to more of Seph’s people. They’re a cool bunch! Opening up and exploring more of the land of Fate is going to be really exciting too. It’s a challenge bringing it to life but it’s one I relish! I’m very much looking forward to issues 4 and 5 coming out. They’re my favourite issues story and art wise! There’s a lot of cool stuff to come! The reaction to the first issue has been quite positive in general. The main criticism being it can feel cliche in areas. I think if readers stick around they’ll be pleasantly surprised regarding that.

REYN #2 comes out on February 11, 2015

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19. Review: Burning Fields Burns This Mother Down

By Davey Nieves

BURNING FIELDS #1

 

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Story: Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel

Art: Colin Lorimer, Joana Lafuente

Publisher: Boom!

 

In 2014, Curse did something I didn’t think possible. It told a werewolf story that didn’t suck. The 21st century has been all about glamourizing horror to some extent. It was awesome that a book like Curse could come along and craft a raw story about one of the monsters that’s never really received their due, the Werewolf. Now in 2015 the team of Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel, and Colin Lorimer are back to work through more of their demons while sending a chill up your spine.

Their new book, Burning Fields is an analog combination of old school horror like The Thing in combination with the geopolitical drama of a Zero Dark Thirty. Where it plants its feet and sets itself apart is in the perpetual insecurity these pages bring and that is far from a bad thing.

Burning Fields is the story of Dana Atkinson, a dishonorably discharged army investigator, who’s pulled back to the Middle East when a group of American oil technicians disappear under bizarre circumstances. Dana is a true badass with the inner demons to match. In the first few pages we see her razor wit in arguing with her former commander and later her toughness as she dispatches would be assassins. The first issue also touches on the unstable political nature of the Middle East as we see both the American Military and Iraqi people’s side of the conflict. Indeed this entire opening issue leans heavy on tensions of various kinds from interpersonal to political and still manages to let the characters build through this tense fog.

BurningFields01 PRESS2 194x300 Review: Burning Fields Burns This Mother Down

Colin Lorimer’s illustrations are perfect for a dramatic horror story like this one. He’s no stranger to emotional drama having done books like X-Files, Harvest, and of course Curse. What sets Burning Fields apart from his previous works is how he masterfully brings out the necessary emotion on a page and seamlessly shifts it to a different mood without jarring the audience. On one page he can capture the turmoil in Dana’s eyes to evoke distress while on the very next page call forth the restlessness of local Iraqis in a marketplace standoff. To go along with this exquisite line work are Joana Lafuente’s colors. She uses tones similar to what Patricia Mulvihill used towards the end of 100 Bullets and gets the same moodiness on the pages in a very horror friendly way.

If there’s any flaw with the book it’s that it may not feel necessary to have eight issues by the end of the story. My only minor gripe about issue one was that I’d like to have known more about the supernatural evil Dana uncovers in the oil field which could have cut it down to seven issues. Being fully on for all eight issues I hope they allow all the volatile elements in the story to be breathe enough.

Boom Studios isn’t known for the number of original books but the quality of them. Burning Fields has the potential to not only join Irredeemable, Incorruptible, 2 Guns, and Curse but also surpass them.

 

 

 

 


Talk to Davey on Twitter about Comics, cats, and relationships. He prefers it be about cats. 

 

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20. Cowan, Hudlin, and Dingle Relaunch Milestone Media

milestone poster 1000x602 Cowan, Hudlin, and Dingle Relaunch Milestone Media

While diversity in comics has made strides in the Big Two in the past couple of years, Denys Cowan still wants to see a greater shift in comics:

dwaynephoto Cowan, Hudlin, and Dingle Relaunch Milestone Media“We’ve never just done black characters just to do black characters,” Cowan said. “It’s always come from a specific point of view, which is what made our books work. What we also didn’t do, which is the trend now, is [to] have characters that are, not blackface, but they’re the black versions of the already established white characters — as if it gives legitimacy to these black characters in some kind of way — [that] these characters are legitimate because now there’s a black Captain America.”

That’s why Cowan is one of the men instrumental in bringing back a new incarnation of Milestone Media. Milestone Media 2.0 co-founders Reginald Hudlin, Denys Cowan, and Derek Dingle are at the helm once again for a new version of the Milestone publishing imprint. The Washington Post broke the news, and made mention of the late Dwayne McDuffie’s influence on the Milestone line.

The original Milestone company debuted in 1997 under McDuffie and the rest of the co-founders. Returning to the imprint are characters new and old. Milestone also created Static Shock, a hero that has a live-action deal with Warner Bros.. If all goes as planned, it was noted that we can expect more news at the upcoming 2015 San Diego Comic-Con as Milestone spreads towards multiple publishers and media companies. Deals making the new imprint possible have been in development for two years.

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21. Review: POWERS #1 More True Than Any Detective

By Davey Nieves

POWERS #1

STK658701 197x300 Review: POWERS #1 More True Than Any Detective

 

Story: Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming

Colors: Nick Filardi

Letters: Chris Eliopoulos

Publisher: ICON

 

 

 

 

Powers by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming is a book that’s moved around a lot. It started as an initial pitch to DC, then came to life at Image, and found a home under Marvel’s Icon imprint. With the book getting ready to make its big move to PlayStations everywhere, (We got a quick peek at the debut episode and it’s dynamite) the powers behind Powers are back with a new ongoing series that doesn’t miss a beat.

This newest Powers series is set a few months after recent events. Having barley survived the most harrowing case of her career and government corruption, Deena Pilgrim has written a cash cow tell all book. Not everything is roses for Pilgrim as she still continues to investigate crimes involving people with superhuman abilities otherwise know as powers. The force is in the midst of a new powers boom with loads of new cases when a never before seen ability is discovered in a gruesome murder at sea.

Bendis called this first issue a perfect jumping on point for readers new and old. However it doesn’t quite feel that way if you’re brand spanking new to the Powers universe. That’s not to say this issue is a bad story in any form because there’s so much to enjoy from cover to cover. While Deena Pilgrim is a vital character in this universe; the book doesn’t do much to set up the conscious of the series, Detective Christian Walker. In fact you really won’t see him in MOST of these pages. It’s a bit odd that the detective doesn’t take center stage in this new number one when Sony and Bendis have made a huge deal about Sharlto Copley(District 9, Elysium) playing Christian Walker on the show. The way the premiere of Powers TV show goes down; Walker will definitely be a character reading about if you’ve never picked up Powers. A monthly publishing schedule doesn’t leave much time for this new series to put its best foot forward with Walker’s PlayStation original debut on March 10 and not capitalizing on how huge this multimedia endeavor could be would be criminal.

This new number one feels so far along in the world and it slightly stumbles in letting the exposition grow naturally, but even a flashback or more context would have helped anyone who’s new to Powers care about the characters. Just the opposite, if you’re a fan of the series there’s loads for you in this book. The procedural drama flow of the series is as spot on as ever and the dialogue is solid witty repartee. There’s even a spread with a ton of Easter egg jokes about current events by both of the big two publishers.

Powers universe would be hollow without the visual storytelling of Michael Avon Oeming. He hasn’t lost a step with this book. Oeming’s work continues to have an emotional noir appeal to this gritty world. His art plays so much with expression that it never feels like any characters make the same face twice. That’s a very rare thing for an artist who has to draw twenty something pages on a deadline every month. Pay particular attention to the boat scene, it may not be very gruesome but the subtlety there makes it gut-wrenching.

We’ll talk in the next few weeks about what we saw from Powers TV debut. As far as the first issue of this new series goes; it isn’t a jumping on point new readers will understand right away but it is definitely worth adding to this weeks haul for anyone curious about the property.


Dave is currently in the middle of a Lego Batman 3 binge on PlayStation 4. Bother him on PSN and Twitter @bouncingsoul217

 

1 Comments on Review: POWERS #1 More True Than Any Detective, last added: 1/22/2015
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22. Review: high fantasy tropes reign, but REYN #1 also surprises

by Edie Nugent

REYNcover 202x300 Review: high fantasy tropes reign, but REYN #1 also surprises

Written by: Kel Symons

Art by: Nate Stockman

Colors by: Paul Little

Lettering & Design by: Pat Brosseau

Logo designer: Tim Daniel

Publisher: Image

 

REYN #1 does quite a bit of world-building for a first issue, in fact the very first page has an astonishing amount of information contained in several narration boxes. The scene opens in a place known as the Barrens: a cracked, dry wasteland bereft of life, save a few leafless tree skeletons. Through the dust clouds emerge an armored rider whom the narration calls a Warden. Described as beings of legend who protected the lands of Fate following something called the Great Cataclysm, it seems at least one of the Warden warriors has now returned.

The nameless Warden soon comes to the aid of a local farmer, rescuing him from the attack of a giant bug who has burrowed up from under the farmlands. While the art has a overall has an interesting look to it — the character’s faces in particular have a bit of a medieval woodcut style to them — the perspectives in this scene and a few others seem a tad confused. My favorite moment of the book happens after this fight, when the Warden drops to his knees & raises his sword in tribute to Aurora Morningstar, aka the Mistress of Light whose will he serves. Far from solemn, the Warden asks if he could just have a bit of a break before she “haunts” him again.

While that moment plays against high fantasy expectations, the next scene reverts from this bit of freshness and sees the hero seduced by the buxom farmers daughter — on orders from her father. It would have been better had she come for a roll in the hay of her own accord. Later, the Warden comes across a group of slaves being led to the Menica mines to work off sentences for crimes of desertion and vagrancy. Among them we see a cloaked figure whose appearance is half salamander, half ninja turtle, who escapes the notice of the Warden. He races to tell his brother M’thall, busy playing Jabba the Hutt with a slave girl, of the Warden’s appearance. M’thall disbelieves, saying the Wardens disappeared thousands of years ago.

Soon the Warden arrives in the town of Ledwain  and we meet a woman named Seph. At this point the tale switches to her narration which makes a nice change from the male dominated story-line. She identifies the Warden as Reyn, and explains that she is a healer from a long line of ancient people known as the followers of Tek. While too often women in fantasy narratives turn out to be healers, this healer also possesses Susan Storm-like energy fields and handily saves herself from an onslaught of soldiers who brand her a heretic. The book draws to a close as Reyn and Seph team up to take on the remaining regiment.

Reyn #1 is something of an uneven start to the series, but fantasy fans will likely be intrigued by the world introduced and the potential in the pairing of Seph and Reyn.

0 Comments on Review: high fantasy tropes reign, but REYN #1 also surprises as of 1/22/2015 9:11:00 PM
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23. Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X-O Manowar, and Unity!

Unity 014 CoverA Larosa 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity!Ever since the relaunch of the publisher, Valiant Entertainment has always been up to something new. This morning, fresh previews of ongoing series from the publisher were scattered across the internet.

Unity is in the middle of a great story-arc featuring a cast of characters called The United. The team of villains have been expertly hand crafted by author Matt Kindt to go up against the current Unity roster. After taking a break around the big Armor Hunters storyline and getting the chance to pick up the pieces, it’s been excellent to get some added characterization with these heroes. The addition of Faith is a strong new aspect that will likely to add something new to the team dynamic. Excluding on-again off-again Unity member X-O Manowar, this comic now has a direct male to female split in the cast.

UNITY #14
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU
Cover by LEWIS LAROSA (NOV141693)
Handbook Variant by FRANCIS PORTELA (NOV141694)
Variant Cover by RYAN LEE (NOV141695)

A world on fire! Unity vs. The United!
A dark secret at the heart of the Unity team has led the world to the brink of global war. Only Unity and their international counterparts, The United, can broker a peace…but that might not work, seeing as how they’re trying to kill each other. All hope lies with Unity’s newest team member, who may not be able to shoulder the weight of the world!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JANUARY 28

 Unity 014 Variant Lee 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 001jpg 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 002jpg 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 003 300x230 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 004 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! Unity 014 005 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity!

Next up, Valiant shared a few pages of Quantum and Woody Must Die! The title is a four-issue mini-series written by author James Asmus with art from Superior Foes of Spider-Man alumni Steve Lieber. The comic continues it’s irreverent tone with this solicitation text also provided by the publisher, where it seems that Quantum and Woody are trying to beat Sex Criminals at their own game.

QUANTUM AND WOODY MUST DIE! #1 (of 4)
Written by JAMES ASMUS
Art by STEVE LIEBER
Cover by MIKE HAWTHORNE (NOV141684)
Variant Cover by JOHNNIE CHRISTMAS (NOV141685)
Variant Cover by CHIP ZDARSKY (NOV141686)

They came. They saw. They pissed off a whole lotta folks. And now a team of mystery vigilantes has singled out the world’s worst superhero team for complete and utter destruction. Their first target: their minds! But who are these all-new enemies? Are Quantum and Woody hitting it off with a sexy duo of cat burglars? And, dear god, what have they done to the goat? Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Sex Criminals isn’t the only comic that can quote Queen, comics fans – here come Quantum and Woody! (Or so they think! [Trippy, right?!])

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JANUARY 28

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X-O Manowar is in the middle of a brand new arc focusing on The Armorines as the title makes way for the upcoming Dead Hand story-arc. The creative team has been in constant stride on this comic with Robert Venditti writing the narrative, and Diego Bernard on pencils. In the solicitation text, something new is teased regarding a fail-safe melded into place by a mysterious figure.

X-O MANOWAR #32
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by DIEGO BERNARD
Interlocking A & B Covers by RAUL ALLEN (NOV141696/NOV141697)
Variant Cover by RYAN LEE (NOV141698)

The bleeding-edge commando unit codenamed: ARMORINES has finally undermined the X-O Manowar armor and the man inside it – Aric of Dacia, one of the most feared men alive. But who are these hardened men and women, and just who orchestrated their lethal combination of technology and cunning? The new generation of ARMORINES are more than just mercenaries…and the figure pulling their strings is about to activate a fail-safe that will leave the world reeling.

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JANUARY 28

XO 032 001 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 002 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 003 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 004 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 005 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 006 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 CoverA Allen 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity! XO 032 CoverB Allen 195x300 Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X O Manowar, and Unity!

1 Comments on Valiant Previews for the Ages: Quantum and Woody, X-O Manowar, and Unity!, last added: 1/23/2015
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24. Howard the Duck Dies on a Marvel Variant Cover (Not Really)

Screen Shot 2015 01 23 at 10.09.18 AM 218x300 Howard the Duck Dies on a Marvel Variant Cover (Not Really)Howard the Duck’s life is in jeopardy, or so the newest Marvel variant cover on the first issue of his ongoing series makes us believe. The new comic book has an interesting new cover that shows Howard in various stages of life. Towards the end of the the seven cycles, fans get a sneak peak at a gravestone.

Howard the Duck #1 will be available for purchase on March 4th.

The gravestone states:

Here Lies Howard T. Duck 1973-2015. “Valiantly gave his life during the Secret Wars.”

Will Howard die before the debut of his ongoing series?

With Chip Zdarsky’s irreverent sense of humor, it’s likely that this is some kind of hoax. The very last image in the evolution cover shows Howard alive and well. As Newsarama states, the duck is playing a part in the upcoming Secret Wars story as he is attached to the “New Quack City” region in the crossover.

To figure out some of the nuts and bolts on how the cover actually works, Marvel sent out a video. It’s important to note that all these covers are numbered and unique.

Marvel stated that the idea for this slightly gimmicky variant cover was born out of the successful launch of the recent Ant-Man #1 shrinking cover.

Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing David Gabriel explained:

“The Ant-Man #1 Shrinking Variant was such a successful experiment, we knew we wanted to try it again right away,” Gabriel said. “Each one of these variants is numbered and completely unique, showcasing a different Howard at a different size. Waugh!”

 

1 Comments on Howard the Duck Dies on a Marvel Variant Cover (Not Really), last added: 1/24/2015
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25. The Beat Podcasts: More To Come – Miss Lasko-Gross interview

logo pod more to come 1400 300x300 The Beat Podcasts: More To Come   Miss Lasko Gross interviewBrought to you by Publishers Weekly, it’s More To Come, the weekly podcast of comics news, interviews and discussion with Calvin Reid, Kate Fitzsimons and The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

 In this week’s podcast Calvin Reid interviews acclaimed comic creator Miss Lasko-Gross about her background in comics, her new graphic novel ‘Henni’ – a story about religious extremism, feminism and funny animals, the growth of a graphic novel and more on PW Comics World’s More To Come.

Download this episode direct here, listen to it in streaming here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the Publishers Weekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

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