Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review - Conan the Avenger #1

"I'm not unarmed. You brought me a sword."

Conan the Barbarian is a legendary warrior with a penchant for fighting his way out of tough situations. Those situations are usually rife with weapons, blood and violence. Every now and again, strange aspects of magic are thrown in for good measure, as they are in Conan the Avenger #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by Fred Van Lente, illustrated by Brian Ching, colored by Michael Atiyeh and lettered by Richard Starkings.

Dynamite Invites You to Ash's Wedding

This July will be a big month for everyone's favorite undead killer Ash. Not only will he have to contend with even more undead, but he'll also have to contend with marriage. That's right: Ash is getting hitched, courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment. In Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #1, Steve Niles and Nacho Tenorio join up with a slew of guest cover artists for a pretty monumental event where Ash and Sheila are reunited and Ash vows they will never be separated again. Can evil stop evil? This will be the question Ash has to answer, now that he has unleashed the Faceless Man on the land. Those artists include Jae Lee, Lucio Parrillo, Francesco Francavilla, Nick Bradshaw, Arthur Suydam and Stephanie Buscema.

"I think fans of the films will really enjoy what we're doing in Ash & the Army of Darkness," says Niles. "It was a dream come true for me to create the sequel we never got and I hope fans enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Now we head into the next chapter, the marriage of Ash and Sheila. This is pretty huge for the AoD universe because it means Ash is going to stay in the Dark Ages and be a father and husband. It's going to be a very strange and fun trip."

"Ash has always been a very important character at Dynamite, given Army of Darkness was our first book launched back in July of 2004," says Dynamite CEO / Publisher Nick Barrucci. "We've had a great relationship with MGM over the last 10 years and are grateful for their support and our ability to continue with such an iconic character and a great license. As we continue to celebrate our 10th Anniversary in July, it was very important to us that Steve Niles, someone who is an incredible talent, would be the writer of this milestone story continuing his stellar work from Ash and the Army of Darkness, and be the person to write such a defining moment in the life of Ash!"

Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' May Previews catalog and is slated for release on July 9, 2014. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #1 with their local comic book retailers. Army of Darkness: Ash Gets Hitched #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Cap'N Dinosaur Endears Fans

Kek-W and Shaky Kane might not have the most conventional sounding names out there, but when you combine them together you get something special. It's not Shaky Kek-W Kane, so get that idea out of your head. No, the duo together will create a one-shot called Cap'N Dinosaur, published by Image Comics and an homage to the classics.

"Shaky and I are trying to channel a free-wheeling old school spirit—harness the strangeness that used to infect comics back in the late 50s and early 60s,” elaborated Kek-W. “We want to inject some fun back into things. Reality is overrated!"

Cap'N Dinosaur pulls inspiration from mail-order-advertisements found in comic series of the 1950s and 1960s. When a mysterious drowned man falls out of the clear blue sky, The Cap’n and Honey Moon follow a trail which leads them to a deserted amusement park, but what they find will take readers’ breath away.

“Half the fun of old comic books were the mail order adverts,” said Kane. “So I figured that if the mail order adverts were to somehow feature in the story itself, well then you'd get the full fun!”

Cap'N Dinosaur arrives in stores on 7/16 and will be available for $3.99. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAY140606. Full press release below.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PAX East 2014 - Evolve

PAX East 2014 showcased a lot of stuff, including Turtle Rock Studio’s new game Evolve. Evolve is a 4v1 co-op team game where four hunters (each a different character type) hunt down the one monster. This is a game for fans of Left 4 Dead, as Evolve fits right into that feel of having to work as a team to accomplish the goal. In Evolve if you wander too far from the group you'll get picked off and killed. Each different player has a certain skill set that compliments the others and working together is the only way to bring down the monster.

In the spirit of four players working together, each player gets to choose from four different classes to play; the Trapper, Support, Assault and Medic. Using one of these four classes, the players get into the match and begin the hunt immediately to find the monster before it grows too big and powerful, which makes taking it down next to impossible. When playing the monster at the beginning of the match you want to avoid the other players as much as you can. The monster needs to eat the local wildlife to gain strength and level up. I had a chance to fight the monster at two different stages and fighting stage three was a real David vs. goliath battle, making each teammate crucial in winning the fight.

Review - Danger Girl: Mayday #1

"Shall we begin?"

Danger Girl is rife with exactly what her name implies: danger. She's been on many adventures in her time, but few of them have put her in a tough spot in Danger Girl: Mayday #1 from IDW Entertainment. The issue is written by Andy Hartnell, illustrated by John Royle, inked by Jose Marzan, Jr., colored by Romulo Fajardo and lettered by Neil Uyetake.

July Sees Blue Rose Bloom

Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay are keen on a blue rose. In fact, the duo are so keen that they're planning to reintroducing the Image Comics character in Supreme: Blue Rose, coming this July from Image Comics. The book has something of a teasing poem as well:

You are not dreaming.
We are trying to communicate with you.
Local reality has been reinstalled.
Things have gone wrong.
The revision has corrupted.
Finding Ethan Crane is your supreme priority.
We are speaking to you from the ultimate bunker within the structure of multiversal time.
Do not trust Darius Dax.
We are all going to die.

"One day I woke up with an idea, that came out of nowhere, for how to extend this most strange and storied of 'analogue' properties into a new space. A new floor on top of Alan Moore and Rob Liefeld's house,” said Ellis. “And, since I had some time on my hands that year, I emailed Image, and we got my friend Tula Lotay involved—and her work will be a revelation to people."

Supreme: Blue Rose #1 arrives in stores on 7/23 and will be available for $2.99. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAY140571. Full press release below.

Lady Zorro #1 Debuts in July

Lady Zorro is more than just a female version of Zorro. She's a pretty sophisticated fighter who can hold her own against just about anyone she matches up against. Matt Wagner introduced the character in Zorro Rides Again and now the new series is written by Alex De Campi and illustrated by Rey Villegas (with a special cover by Joseph Michael Linsner). Other cover incentives include a Steampunk cover by Sergio Fernandez Davila and a special retailer shared exclusive variant cover by Joseph Cooper.

"I'm thrilled to be able to take on Lady Zorro," says De Campi. "She's such a clean slate, having only appeared in three issues of the main Zorro book, and as a kid who grew up devouring swashbuckling adventure stories, being able to have my own lady heroine with a sword is like a dream come true. For those that don't know much about her, she's a Spanish gal whose family was killed by soldiers and, burning with vengeance, she decides she will become... a fox (Zorro means "fox" in Spanish). Unlike the noble, never-kills-if-he-can-help-it Zorro, Lady Zorro is a bit more bloodthirsty. We're joining her in exile up the coast of California, where she is cultivating roses... and forgiveness."

In the new series, Lady Zorro is called back to Alta California to recover a sacred Indian war axe, stolen by mercenary soldiers. Only she can stop an all-out war across the ranchos, and more deaths like the one that consumed her family…if she can stay on the mission. When an opportunity for ultimate vengeance presents itself, can she ignore it? Will the raging fire that drives Lady Zorro consume her... and all of Alta California with it? What follows is a violent, sexy tale of intrigue and swashbuckling as the female Fox must use all her wits and skills to get herself out of trouble.

De Campi expands upon the premise, "A wicked Spanish countess is buying up the local ranchos and has hired German mercenaries to wipe out indigenous peoples so she can have a vast cattle ranch. The evil countess has even tried to get her hands on Zorro's estates, so he must go back to Spain to try to stop her. But before he leaves, he recruits Lady Zorro to pick up her sword and mask once more, and steal back the important Indian artifact that would hopefully avert war between the Spanish settlers and the Indians."

Lady Zorro #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' May Previews catalog and slated for release on July 16, 2014. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Lady Zorro #1 with their local comic book retailers. Lady Zorro #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dark Horse Announces Andrew Vachss' Underground

Andrew Vachss is unapologetic about many things, one of which is set to leave readers with something to think about. Now, he's partnering with Dark Horse Comics in Underground, which is a work of speculative fiction connected to current events. It's based on a script by Vachss and is adapted by Chet Williamson and Mike Richardson, with art by Dominic Reardon. This original graphic novel will challenge readers to reexamine the way the media governs their own lives, in print, on air and online, with a chilling account of willingly-accepted oppression and individual autonomy for the comfort of fascism.

When all sources of “news” are so clearly biased that none can be considered even remotely trustworthy or reliable, there is no news . . . and “The Terror” descends. For decades, The Rulers have been using prisoner and slave labor to construct Underground, confident that all those who flee there will willingly trade their freedom for security. Now, “truth” is what the Rulers say it is, and The Rulers rule all aspects of the human existence. But even within this antiseptically evil world, a revolutionary movement is brewing. A new breed of journalists— “The Book Boys”—risk everything to graffiti the truth on Underground’s pristine walls. The intolerable act of creating a reliable source of truth––“If it’s written in blue, it must be true.”––is against The Rules ––a huge bounty has been offered for identification or capture of any of this crew.

The book hits comic shops everywhere on October 29 in a beautiful hardcover edition of Underground priced at $29.99. Full press release below.

Review - Helsing #1

"I call it what it is. Invention."

Van Helsing is a legendary man with no qualms about fighting any manner of undead or evil creature. It's a little known fact though that he has a daughter named Liesl, who keeps up her father's pursuits. That, of course, is when she's not trying to fill her calendar with enough social activities. Zenescope's Helsing #1 offers just that. The issue is written by Pat Shand, illustrated by Tony Brescini and Andres Esparza, colored by Fran Gamboa and J.C. Ruiz and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Wicked Studios Launches Dead for Hire on Kickstarter

Wicked Studios LLC, is an independent comic publishing company based in Lakewood, Colorado. They've just announced the launch of their Kickstarter campaign for their newest venture, Dead for Hire today. The work is by William Dvorak and tells the story of Ike Taylor, a onetime prize fighter, U.S. Marine and LA cop, now turned private investigator. He finds his murder in a Chinatown warehouse while investigating another murder. Normally that would be the end of the story, but Ike’s ghost haunts the warehouse for over sixty years until it’s demolished and his ghost is set free to roam modern day Los Angeles.

With his newfound freedom, Ike begins wandering modern L.A. trying to figure out what and why he was still trapped in the land of the living. Was he still here so he could solve his own murder? Or was he here to try and make amends with his onetime love, Maggie Cruz, and let her know how much she meant to him, or was he just here to pay back the bad Karma that he racked up while he was alive? Now a ghost on a mission, Ike finds his ex, who’s still alive and kicking, but at a hospital after a stroke, along with his granddaughter and her abusive boyfriend. Going to the hospital to visit his old flame, Ike runs into another ghost named Hanley Styles, a ghost that has been around for a long time and shows Ike how to use the bodies of brain dead patients to interact with the physical world, a notion that Ike at first finds repulsive, but soon warms to after he realizes he can’t help his granddaughter with her abusive boyfriend as a ghost.

Dead for Hire mixes many genres and themes from the supernatural and noir thrillers, to comedy and romance, all while looking at what it is that we feel is most important in life and what it means to live a life without regrets. Planned as an ongoing series, the team is offering a special limited edition cover for the first issue only on Kickstarter before they release the series to the larger public through other channels.

Full press release below.

Dynamite Teams With Ubisoft for Splinter Cell Echoes

When it comes to stories of espionage and high-stakes spying, very few in the industry handle it as well as Nathan Edmondson. He's played a big part in Black Widow and The Punisher, both of which are properties that rely heavily on such topics. Now, Dynamite is tapping him for a new partnership with Ubisoft to pen Splinter Cell Echoes, a new comic book series based on the franchise of the same name. He'll be paired with artist Marc Laming.

"With Ubisoft, Marc Laming and I had the unique opportunity to take on one of the most successful and recognizable franchises in video games," says writer Nathan Edmonson. "I'm telling a full and original story that stands on its own as an action-espionage tale that we're both proud of, bringing a narrative element to the thrill of the game in a way that only a comic can do."

Splinter Cell Echoes takes place between the events of Splinter Cell Conviction and Splinter Cell Blacklist. The comic book series bridges the gap between the two games with a realistic, original story that sets the tone for the opening events in Splinter Cell Blacklist. Sam Fisher, once a Splinter Cell--a clandestine elite operative operating in the shadows of the NSA--is now retired. His enemies, however, are not. Haunted by dreams and memories of his past, he struggles to put his life back together. But when a mysterious terrorist organization called KROWE begins pursuing targets around the globe, Sam's expertise is needed to uncover their endgame and stop them before the deadly plot unfolds.

"I've had a great time working with Dynamite on Kings Watch & Flash Gordon so it's really good news that the publisher is going to be the home for Splinter Cell Echoes. It's a rattling good spy-fi yarn full of the sort of story elements that Nathan does best. It's a tale that gives good fan service while equally accessible to folk who don't know the Splinter Cell world - this is a kick ass, globe-trotting secret operative without restraints," said Marc Laming.

Splinter Cell Echoes was previously only available in a limited print run as part of the Splinter Cell Blacklist Collector's Edition. Dynamite will release the project as a four issue mini-series shipping July to October, with a collection to be published shortly thereafter. The project will feature new covers by Laming and include bonus behind-the-scenes material in each issue from Ubisoft. Splinter Cell Echoes #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' May Previews catalog for release on July 2nd, 2014.

"We are very pleased to be working with Ubisoft on this project, and know that it is just the start of a great relationship between the companies," said CEO/Publisher Nick Barrucci. "This book looks and reads fantastic, and we really thought it deserved getting out to a broad audience via Dynamite. When you read the series, you'll see why Ubisoft entrusted Nathan and Marc to be able to tell a story in continuity with the games, definitely a high honor. Nathan Edmonson took a video game, and made it one of the best comics today. It doesn't shock me at all that Marvel entrusted him with such important properties with The Punisher and Black Widow. And with those books, he's knocking them out of the park! Combined with the art of the incredibly talented Marc Laming, it's just a perfect fit all around."

Full press release below.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Defense With The BoomStick

(Disclaimer: This post is an ongoing story set in a world where zombies have taken over and people are fighting to survive anyway they can. Originally it was a post of news and tips to help survivors make it one more day alive, but now it has became a story of my fight to survive and to keep on living.)

Year 5. Week 35.

We’ve made it. Finally, after the long trek we've all made it back to the northern California camp. They have their base up in the mountains near the Modoc National Wildlife Preserve, giving us plenty of fresh water and game to hunt. All in all, it's a pretty nice setup and the fact that they decided to take all these new folks in just makes it that much sweeter and safer. Now it comes down to sheltering and branching out the existing fortifications for all these new people.

The government forces we had along the route have continued on back towards Washington State to their base to rearm and reload it all. They plan on swinging back down this way to help resupply us as well as bring in material to create new walls and get more housing built. With all the prisoners we saved from the zombies in Carson City and all of us who were at the camp in Reno, space is a bit tight now. Expansion is the only option so we won’t be at each other’s throats after a few weeks like this. If we fall to a state like that we won't need the zombies to kill us as we'll do it for them.