Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review - Jughead #1 (@ArchieComics)

"Jug! Did you eat your phone?"

There was a time when Archie comics were the best representation of comics in general. It's been a long time since then and in that time, many other comics have taken off and spawned billion-dollar film adaptations. You can't hold down a good universe though, which is why the reboot of the Archie Comics universe continues in Jughead #1. The issue is written by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Erica Henderson and lettered by Jack Morelli.

David F. Walker Returns to Shaft

John Shaft needs no introduction at all. Ernest Tidyman's private detective has reached iconic status and maintains a lasting legacy among fans of all media. Dynamite wants to contribute a bit more to that legacy by tapping David F. Walker and Dietrich Smith to pen an all-new comic book series called Shaft: Imitation of Life. The first issue will debut in February 2016 alongside Shaft's Revenge, the first Shaft prose novel in 40 years (also written by Walker), coinciding with the nationwide celebration of Black History Month.

"The idea for the new miniseries, Shaft: Imitation of Life, is one that's been in my head for a long time, and is something that I'm really excited about," says Walker. "This has been a really fun story to develop."

Imitation of Life takes place following the events of Walker's 2015 comic book miniseries, Shaft: A Complicated Man - a six-part storyline that won a 2015 Glyph Comics Award and was nominated for the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity. After a high-profile case puts him in the headlines, private detective John Shaft searches for something low-profile to keep him out of the spotlight and out of danger… and takes a missing person case that proves to be more difficult than he thought. At the same time, he is hired to be a consultant on a low budget film that may or may not be based on his life, and proves to be as dangerous as any job he's ever had. But when there's danger about, John Shaft won't cop out - even if it means squaring off against sadistic gangsters that want him dead.

Shaft: Imitation of Life #1 is slated to release in February alongside Shaft's Revenge, the first official prose novel written by anyone other than the character's creator. David F. Walker says, "Writing the first Shaft book in forty years has been not only an honor and a privilege, it has been a dream come true. Ernest Tidyman created one of the most iconic and enduring pop culture characters in John Shaft, a legacy that has reached across multiple mediums, and sparked the imagination of millions of people, myself included."

Full press release below.

Adoption is Dangerous in Last Sons of America

Adoption is a form of adapting, as it's typically taken on by people who may want to have kids but can't or who simply miss having kids. Obviously, those two cases don't capture every case, but there is still something to be said about a couple willing to alter their lives so dramatically in adoption where they're forced to adopt. In Last Sons of America by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Matthew Dow Smith from BOOM! Studios, the concepts of adoption and adapting are tied together more than ever.

“Phillip is a new talent and he’s about to make his mark with this intense, gripping story,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Paired with Matthew’s gorgeous artwork, Last Sons of America has a great concept at its core and asks the heavy questions—sometimes, the best intentions can take you down a dark path.”

After the attack known as Agent Pink made it impossible for anyone in America to conceive children, child adoptions—and more frequently, kidnappings—from other countries became the most lucrative business in the world. Brothers Jackie and Julian are adoption agents based in Nicaragua, and although they do their adoptions through legal means, they’re facing increased competition from straight-up kidnappers. When Jackie makes a desperate move and takes a seemingly homeless kid off the streets, he puts them in the cross-hairs of some very dangerous people.

Last Sons of America #1 (of 4) arrives in comic shops on November 11th with a main cover by Tonci Zonjic for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code SEP151104. Also available in a limited quality is a 10 Years incentive cover by Felipe Smith and a retailer incentive cover by Dow Smith. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is October 19th. Full press release below.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review - Rowans Ruin #1 (@BoomStudios)

"All the deaths at Rowans Rise. Every last one. They were murders."

A good ghost story has plenty of elements that make it good. Terrifying lore, ambiguous details and a touch of history thrown in for good measure. When those stories manifest themselves as they do in Rowans Ruin #1 from BOOM! Studios, there's a lot more to be scared of. The issue is written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Mike Perkins, colored by Andy Troy and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Dynamite Kicks Off 2016 with New Directions for Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris and Vampirella

Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris need no introductions. The characters have established legacies that have dominated comic book history, but that won't stop Dynamite from dabbling. In fact, the publisher has announced that each character will undergo new directions and costume redesigns in new monthly series in 2016. Following narrative direction from Gail Simone, the new titles promise unexpected storylines for its headlining characters, delivered by some of today's most innovative creators. Red Sonja #1 will launch in January, helmed by writer Marguerite Bennett and artist Aneke. Dejah Thoris #1 and Vampirella #1 will debut in subsequent months, written by Frank J. Barbiere and Kate Leth respectively.

"We're doing a monster makeover with these characters, and it's a joy to be part of this. Make no mistake, these are characters we love, badasses all; the She-Devil with a Sword, the queen of all vampire hunters, and the warlord princess. Characters do not get any better than that," says Simone. "Our mission here is to spruce up their look and remind people that these were the original female ass-kickers that inspired Xena, Buffy, and Leia Organa. They are the map others followed, and we get to bring them each a hot, new look from brilliant artist/designer Nicola Scott, as well as thrilling new mission statements for each of them."

Red Sonja #1 is scheduled for release on January 13, 2016, will see its titular heroine return to her homeland of Hyrkania, only to find it changed into an almost unrecognizable landscape. As envisioned by Gail Simone, the new series sends Sonja on a mission of infiltration, sabotage, and assassination when she discovers that her native people have been conscripted into the service of a Nazi-like regime. Dejah Thoris, a royal warrior who has served as a major supporting cast member of Dynamite's various Warlord of Mars series as well as the star of several solo Dejah Thoris series, will appear in a new #1 issue this coming February. Dejah Thoris would present a fall from grace for the Martian princess, as she embarks on a self-imposed exile, assuming a new identity and enlisting as a rookie soldier on the farthest, deadliest borders of her Barsoomian civilization. Vampirella #1, debuting in March 2016, will see a return to the character's roots as a horror hostess, as her costumed identity goes public... while privately, she uses her new celebrity status to uncover the links between silver screen killers and a real conspiracy of monsters.

Full press release below.

Return to Sin City with The Hard Goodbye Curator's Edition

Dark Horse Presents has always prided itself on offering cutting-edge, non-traditional stories. 25 years ago, one of the most famous stories to meet those criteria debuted in work in Sin City. Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, Kitchen Sink Books imprint is assembling Frank Miller's Sin City; The Hard Goodbye Curator's Collection, due for release in 2016. The work showcases the entire graphic novel scanned from the original artwork in Frank Miller’s personal archives and reproduced unaltered and at full size.

“The Hard Goodbye was my first crack at writing and drawing a comic book with total freedom,” said Frank Miller. “I am grateful to Mike Richardson and Dark Horse for helping make it such a big success. You can now see my work warts and all. You can see just how many mistakes I actually made!”

“We’re very excited to release this new ‘Curator’s Collection’ for The Hard Goodbye that brings a unique insight into one of the comic industry’s historic treasures,” said Dark Horse President and Publisher Mike Richardson. “Frank Miller has proved time and again that he’s a titan when it comes to artistic talent, and this deluxe, oversized edition is a celebration of his most influential work.”

Curator’s Collection is the Kitchen Sink Books term for oversized, archival deluxe collections accompanied by essays, interviews and unpublished work. Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye Curator’s Collection is the first volume in the planned Curator’s Collection series from the Kitchen Sink Books imprint at Dark Horse Comics. Retailing for $175, Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye Curator’s Collection will be an impressive book to own—a deluxe hardcover with a HUGE trim size of 15 x 21.5 inches, 224 pages, and smyth sewn binding under a cloth spine. Featuring an introduction from Sin City co-director Robert Rodriguez, an epilogue by publisher Mike Richardson and a new interview with Frank Miller about his artistic technique to accompany the interior artwork—this edition is not to be missed. Ships worldwide in June 2016.

Frank Miller will be signing an exclusive print of his original cover artwork for Sin City at New York Comic Con on Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM at the Dark Horse booth (#1636). This is a wristband-only event. (Wristbands distributed from the Dark Horse Comics booth by drawing at show opening on Friday and Saturday. Signing limited to a free poster that will be provided and one other comic, book, or piece of memorabilia. Some restrictions may apply.) Full press release below.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review - The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #1 (@AspenComics @tjhbigdogink)

"Hang on, Toto."

It's not often that a massive tornado comes along and whisks you away to a far-off land. There are some who have that problem though and Dorothy is one of them. In The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #1 from Aspen Comics and Big Dog Ink, Dorothy's quest to get home takes a slight detour out west. The issue is written by Tom Hutchison, illustrated by Alisson Borges, colored by Kate Finnegan and lettered by HDE.

Quarantine Studio Unleashes Bloodshot by David Aja 1/6 Scale Limited Statue

Quarantine Studio is about to add another feather to its cap. That feather comes in the way of the Bloodshot by David Aja 1/6 Scale Limited Statue, which is the first-ever officially licensed Valiant statue. The imposing, cold-cast resin statue recreates Aja's iconic cover for Bloodshot #1 and stands tall at nearly 15 colossal inches. Manufactured in cold-cast resin for maximum quality, this milestone collectible comes riddled with detail from the base of Bloodshot's boots to the top of his assault rifle and will be produced in a limited edition of just 300 statues worldwide--locked and loaded with twin side arms, a katana sword and an assault rifle.

"For 25 years, fans have been eagerly awaiting their first Valiant statue and we're immensely proud that the time has finally come," said Russell A. Brown, President of Consumer Products, Promotions, and Ad Sales for Valiant Entertainment. "Quarantine Studio has poured an incredible amount of time, talent and detail into giving Valiant's very first statue release the jaw-dropping debut that Bloodshot deserves. From top to bottom, this is a beautiful realization of one of Valiant's most enduring characters and a gloriously stunning interpretation of David Aja's vision."

The statue will release for $245 when its released in January 2016. It's limited to 300 statues, so fans of Bloodshot will want to move fast. Full press release below.

Wayward Takes Off in a New Story Arc

Jim Zub, Steven Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain have a good thing going with Wayward. The series has garnered lots of praise and Image Comics is poised to launch a new story arc in Wayward #11 this November. Not only that, but Cover A will be part one of five connecting covers—one per each issue in this story arc—that will fit together into a panorama illustration.

"Our second story arc ended with massive revelations and the repercussions of those will ripple across Japan and beyond,” said Zub. “The supernatural forces that hunt our teens have been thrust out into the open and a clash between the old world and new will push Tokyo to the brink of disaster. It's big crazy stuff and I can't wait for readers to see what we have in store."

Rori Lane has already faced unique challenges settling into her new life in Japan. She and an eclectic band of other gifted youths battled the dark underbelly of the supernatural. The battle was not without its losses, and it continues to rage. Wayward #11 Cover A is by Cummings and Bonvillain(Diamond code: SEP150583) and hits stores Wednesday, November 18th. Cover B by Nick Bradshaw (Diamond code: SEP150584) and Cover C by Karibu (Diamond code: SEP150585) will also be available Wednesday, November 18th. Final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, October 26th.

Full press release below.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Halo 5: Guardians Reveals Clues to Master Chief's "Death"

The official story is Master Chief is dead. Thing is, it's never that easy. Check out the latest trailer for Halo 5: Guardians below.

Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Cinderella (2015) 10th Anniversary Special #1 (@Zenescope)

"This isn't horde business. It's personal."

Cinderella never could seem to catch a break. Unless, of course it's Cinderella in Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Cinderella (2015) 10th Anniversary Special #1 from Zenescope, in which case she breaks a lot of enemies. The issue is written by Lou Iovino, illustrated by Ryan Best, colored by Thiago dal Bello and lettered by Matt Krotzer.

BOOM! Studios Takes The Spire #1 and Welcome Back #1 to Second Printing

BOOM! Studios has a couple of first issues that were pretty popular. So popular, that the first printings of them sold out pretty quickly and facilitated the need for a second printing. Those two books are The Spire #1 and Welcome Back #1, both of which have sold out at the distributor level. Welcome Back #1 second print ships with a modified main cover by series artist Jonathan Brandon Sawyer and carries a retail price of $3.99 under Diamond Code AUG158724. The Spire #1 second print ships with a modified main cover by series artist Jeff Stokely and carries a retail price of $3.99 under Diamond Code AUG158723. Orders for both issues close on October 5th, and they are anticipated to be in stores on October 21st.

Christopher Sebela and Sawyer explore the lives of reincarnated assassins in Welcome Back. Mali and Tessa have lived hundreds of different lives throughout time, caught up in an eternal cycle as they take part in a war so old that neither side remembers what they’re fighting for anymore. As Mali wakes up in her newest life, she suddenly becomes self-aware and starts to question everything, especially why she continues to fight. But elsewhere, Tessa is already on the hunt...

The Six-Gun Gorilla creative team of Si Spurrier and Jeff Stokely reunite in The Spire. The Spire is a mountain of metal and stone that rises from the toxic nowherelands; a city of twisting tunnels, grinding elevators, ancient machinery, and over one million human and non-human residents. Shå, the only citizen of her species, is Commander of the Watch: responsible for keeping order despite the racist views of those around her. When a string of grisly murders occurs on the eve of the new Baroness's coronation, Shå is tasked with bringing the killer to justice... and picking apart the wider mysteries tangled around the crime. But the city's new ruler seems sets to usher in a more xenophobic age and Shå swiftly finds she has far more than one enemy at her back.

Full press release below.