Friday, February 12, 2016

Review - The House of Montresor #1 (@ActionLab)

"I'm impatient for the journey to be over."

Things get tricky when inheritance is on the line. Family members turn against one another, lawyers read out demands by the deceased and others are caught in the middle. Sometimes those demands include strange things like living in strange houses for a certain amount of time to "earn" the inheritance. Action Lab Comics tells such a story in The House of Montresor #1. The issue is written by Enrica Jang and illustrated by Jaso Strutz.

Valiant Prepares for Summer of 4001 A.D.

The year is 2016 to just about everyone in the world, which means this will be the summer of 2016. For Valiant Entertainment though, this summer is the Summer of 4001 A.D., their next big event that brings together Rai, X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Shadowman and a surprise guest. To build up the fervor for the event, Valiant is announcing a new set of series and one-shots tying into the crossover.

"From HARBINGER WARS to ARMOR HUNTERS and, most recently, BOOK OF DEATH, Valiant has quickly earned a reputation for producing some of the best and most accessible event comics anywhere in the industry. Now, with 4001 A.D., our writers, artists, and editors has made it their mission to not only match our previous successes in event-level storytelling, but surpass them entirely," said Valiant Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons. "Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain have done a wondrous job of making 4001 A.D. a complete world unto itself – one that is packed with lost heroes, 100-foot-tall suits of sentient alien armor, and city-sized robots floating on the edge of space."

The fight for the future begins on May 4th in 4001 A.D. #1 (of 4) – the first of the all-new, standalone event series following Rai and the 41st century's most formidable heroes into the fight against New Japan from Matt Kindt and superstar artist Clayton Crain. Then The Summer of 4000 A.D. explodes out of the pages of 4001 A.D. #1 (of 4) with the return of Rai's award-winning ongoing series in Rai #13.

One hundred years from today, Father – the benevolent artificial intelligence that governs the island nation of Japan – will gain sentience. To defend its borders, Father will take drastic action by launching Japan into space…where its people can thrive in isolation, away from the overpopulated and resource-deprived planet below. Over the centuries, as New Japan orbits our increasingly unstable world, it will become a model society – one built on peace, prosperity…and Father’s control.

A thousand years from today, Father will create the first Rai, founding a lineage of technologically enhanced heroes engineered to defend New Japan and sworn to protect it from all enemies. For hundreds of years into the future, the Rai will single-handedly enforce New Japan’s justice well…and serve Father without question. Now, at the dawn of 4001 A.D., the latest Rai is about to inherit the dark truth behind the origin of his kind…and discover the sinister secret at the heart of Father’s existence. For New Japan to live, Earth must die…and as Rai challenges his former master for the first time in more than a millennium, the lone guardian of New Japan will be cast out of his own Father’s kingdom…

Exiled from the only realm he’s ever known, Rai now walks the ravaged world of 4001 A.D. in search of forgotten heroes like himself…on a mission to collect the last surviving legends of a broken planet…and to forge a rebellion with the power to bring the most advanced civilization in history crashing back down to Earth. Earth must rise. Father must fall. Rai! Eternal Warrior! X-O Manowar! Bloodshot! Shadowman! Geomancer! And more! The war for the ultimate fate of humanity begins in 4001 A.D. #1 (of 4) by superstar creators Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain – and continues in May and beyond as "THE SUMMER OF 4001 A.D." rages on…and changes the future of the Valiant Universe for all time!

"The Valiant Universe has always spanned multiple time periods, not just the present. But perhaps more so than anywhere we've explored thus far, the future of 4001 A.D. is loaded with exciting developments for Valiant's most beloved characters – many of which we've been planning for years," said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "Now, for the first time, 'THE SUMMER OF 4001 A.D.' is giving us the opportunity to build on the revelations at the heart of last summer's BOOK OF DEATH event and reveal the true and lasting impact that our heroes' modern-day exploits will have on the course of human history. From RAI to X-O MANOWAR to BLOODSHOT to SHADOWMAN, each of these new installments of 4001 A.D. will cover a sometimes shocking, sometimes poignant, but always vitally important milestone moment that informs the ongoing narrative behind Matt and Clayton's epic series. Which is to say nothing of the top-secret new character that will appear in the fourth and final 4001 A.D. one-shot – they are truly something special and are going to leave our longtime fans speculating for a long, long time."

Full press release below.

Dynamite Entertainment Teams With Humble Bundle for Biggest Names in Fiction

Dynamite Entertainment loves itself some Humble Bundles, but their latest is one that's definitely worth eschewing humility and crowing about. That's because this Humble Bundle is one of the most jam-packed collections of comics and prose ever. The "pay what you want" model offers readers the chance to unlock over 120 comics, comprising over 3,500 pages of content. This includes works from Charlaine Harris, Garth Ennis, Aaron Campbell, Patricia Briggs, Lewis Carroll, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Scott Beatty, David Liss, Francesco Francavilla and Tom Clancy among others.

"Dynamite has been incredibly fortunate to work with some of the greatest names in fiction," says Dynamite CEO/Publisher Nick Barrucci. "This year marks the fifth anniversary of New York Times Bestseller Charlaine Harris' first-ever graphic novel adaptation of her series, Grave Sight, as well as the anniversary of Dean Koontz's incredibly suspenseful graphic novel adaptation of Fear Nothing. We wanted to mark the occasion by gathering together the work of numerous phenomenal writers into one great bundle, titles like Shaft: A Complicated Man (the 2015 Glyph Award winner by writer David Walker) and Legends of Red Sonja (a celebration of so many sensational authors, spearheaded by the talented Gail Simone). This will give fiction fans a low cost way to check out Dynamite's wide catalog of literary all-stars, and all in support of three great causes. This bundle is packed with something for fans of comics and prose, and also supports three great charitable organizations that we feel help those in need: the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and Doctors Without Borders."

As an added value, Dynamite and Humble Bundle will make a mid-promotion announcement, adding additional titles to be unlocked for anyone who purchases above the average price at that time. All who purchase at this tier or higher will be granted access to these special additions, regardless of when they buy in. Upon purchase, you can choose where the money goes-between Dynamite and three charitable causes (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation) via the PayPal Giving Fund.

"It's always a lot of fun to work with our good friends over at Dynamite," says Kelley Allen, Director of Books at Humble Bundle. "This promotion is chock-filled with mega star authors, artists and creators to the hilt!"

Full press release below.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review - Predator: Life and Death #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"So, Mr. Lorimer...what kind of trouble are you walking us into?"

When it comes to warriors, few are as even-matched as the Predator. The alien has capabilities that make it a ruthless and cunning combatant, but despite all that Predator can still get away with capitalizing on human stupidity. Predator: Life and Death #1 from Dark Horse Comics is the latest to pit Predator ingenuity against humanity's military bravado. The issue is written by Dan Abnett, illustrated by Brian Thies and colored by Rain Beredo.

Dark Horse Delivers The Art of Doom

Dark Horse has got to staff a ton of gamers because they're always releasing pretty phenomenal art books based on some of the best video games around. That trend continues on June 8 with the release of The Art of Doom, teaming the publisher up with Bethesda Softworks. The Art of Doom is a massive art tome from id Software’s highly anticipated first-person shooter Doom. The iconic game that defined a genre, Doom is considered one of the most influential games ever made and returns as a brutally fun and challenging modern-day shooter experience on May 13, 2016.

From the massive UAC facilities on Mars to the depths of Hell, uncover never-before-seen sketches and concept art from Doom. The book also features an exclusive look at the development of the relentless demons of Hell, devastating, over-the-top weapons, and the iconic Doom marine. The Art of DOOM also includes commentary from the developers at id Software, the studio that pioneered the first-person-shooter genre and invented multiplayer Deathmatch.

Preorder your copy today at your local comic shop (FEB160013). Full press release below.

CW Introduces Viewers to Jughead and Betty

CW isn't shy about the kind of network that it is and the shows it puts on. Those shows are typically filled with lots of teenage angst, but some of their more recent hits have blended in a bit of the superhero, comic book flair. While one of their newest shows in Riverdale is more comic book than superhero, that still doesn't mean that it shouldn't get the same amount of attention. In fact, the show's in the news for casting both Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart).

Reinhart’s Betty is described as “sweet, studious, eager-to-please and wholesome, with a huge crush on her longtime best friend, Archie.” Sprouse’s Jughead is described as “a heartthrob with a philosophical bent and former best friend of Archie Andrews.” The one-hour drama will be written by Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and produced by Warner Brothers Studios and Berlanti Productions and has been described as a subversive take on the classic Archie mythos. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter, Jon Goldwater, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa serve as executive producers.

The live-action series offers a bold, subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring small-town life and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade. The show will focus on the eternal love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper, and rich socialite Veronica Lodge, and will include the entire cast of characters from the comic books—including Archie’s rival, Reggie Mantle, and his slacker best friend, Jughead Jones.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review - The Imposter #1 (@21pulp)

"Because there's something I've been putting off for a long time."

A superhero's identity if the most important power any superhero has. It's crucial in protecting their loved ones and allowing them to live a part of their life outside the public eye. Still, an identity doesn't stop those around heroes from finding it out and it's what those who discover the secret do with the knowledge that defines them. The Imposter #! from 21 Pulp offers an amplified take on discovering a secret identity. The issue is written by James Patrick, illustrated by Martin Symanski, colored by Osmarco Valladao and lettered by ET Dollman.

Bacchus Gets Introduced in A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #1

If March 16th isn't marked on you calendars yet, it should be. That's the day when fans will get to meet Bacchus in the pages of A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #1 by Rafer Roberts and David Lafuente. Imprisoned in Armstrong’s satchel for centuries, Bacchus now commands a legion of monsters, goblins and golems bent on escaping back into the world of man and enacting revenge on their captor… Can Archer single-handedly combat the godly embodiment of intoxication himself – and rescue his best buddy – without becoming lost amongst Armstrong’s endless repository of bizarre artifacts and historical oddities in the process?

Meet Armstrong: Since the ancient city of Ur, this immortal adventurer has spent the last 7,000 years drinking and carousing his way through history alongside some of the greatest merrymakers the world has ever known. Meet Archer: A sheltered teenage martial arts master and expert marksman that was raised for a single purpose – to kill the devil incarnate. Little did he know that this undying evil was actually Armstrong (he’s actually a pretty good guy…once you get to know him) and, since hitting the road together, the two have become great friends and even better partners.

Archer is about to set off on his most dangerous mission yet – a quest into the mystic reaches of Armstrong’s bottomless satchel to liberate his friend and comrade from the clutches of the mad god Bacchus! (Okay, so, Armstrong went into the satchel himself to get a bottle of whiskey that he kinda misplaced and got stuck. It’s like the Amazon warehouse of arcane treasures in there…and he doesn’t exactly have a maid service.)

Full press release below.

The Three Stooges #1 Hits Stores in April

It's been a while since The Three Stooges have really held a place in the eye of the public. Sure, there was the movie a few years ago, but that more or less bombed at the box office, sending the characters back into obscurity. That obscurity is lifted in April and, for the first time ever, a comic is going to be produced with their actual likenesses rather than cartoon-inspired versions. It will also mark the 70th anniversary of the last original shorts filmed featuring Larry, Moe and Curly. Under license from C3 Entertainment, American Mythology Productions (AM) will launch The Three Stooges as a full-color, 32-page comic book featuring their return to the printed page.

"How can you get more iconic than The Three Stooges? Literally generations of children have grown in adulthood with profoundly fond memories of Larry, Moe, Curly, Shemp, and The Boys. The staying power of their humor is exactly why we wanted them at American Mythology. We are determined to create new, original stories in the true spirit of these entertainment legends,” said Michael Bornstein, American Mythology’s Publisher. “We’re very honored to bring The Boys back to comics!”

The new adventures of Larry, Moe and Curly will be produced by an array of creators including S.L. Gallant, Bill Galvan, Greg Larocque, Mark Wheatley, Brendon & Brian Fraim, Andrew Pepoy, S.A. Check, J.C. Vaughn and Mark L. Haynes, among others. Each creator participating in the program is a huge fan of The Three Stooges and is excited to be telling stories that honor their legacy. The Boys will be featured in the comics section of the February 2016 edition of PREVIEWS from Diamond Comic Distributors, listed under “American Mythology Productions,” on pages #280 - 281. It carries a $3.99 U.S. cover price.

“Comic books are the vanguard of creativity, and The Three Stooges have a long history in comics. We’re very pleased to have them associated with American Mythology Productions,” said Ani Khachoian, Executive Vice-President of Licensing, Merchandising and Distribution for C3. “Their passion for The Boys is equal to their passion for great comics, and we think it’s an excellent match.”

Full press release below.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review - Vampblade #1 (@ActionLabDanger)

"This is for sure the worst day this shop has ever seen."

Origin stories are part of the fabric of comic books. They set the stage for new characters to have an impact for a publisher in new ways, but sometimes it's hard to not stand on the shoulders of characters who have come before. Witchblade is one such character and Vampblade #1 stands on her shoulders in Vampblade #1 from Action Lab Danger Zone. The issue is written and colored by Jason Martin, illustrated by Winston Young and lettered by Adam Wollet.

Valiant's 4001 A.D. FCBD Special Grows

Free Comic Book Day is nearly upon us and Valiant is a Gold-level publisher for the day. Their offering Valiant: 4001 A.D. FCBD Special is great and all, but it's not great enough. Valiant wants to go bigger and bolder, which is why they're expanding the issue to forty pages. The book will include looks at Divinity II from Kindt and Trevor Hairsine and A & A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong from Rafer Roberts and David Lafuente, plus an all-new slate of teasers and a new excerpt from Faith.

“Between FAITH, A&A: THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, DIVINITY II, and 4001 A.D., 2016 is quickly shaping into a banner year for Valiant. Free Comic Book Day is the perfect opportunity for new fans to find out why now is the perfect time to jump into the most critically acclaimed publisher in comics today," said Valiant Publisher Fred Pierce. “Whether you've come to Valiant through the national spotlight surrounding FAITH, or have been with us since the beginning, this year's Free Comic Book Day release is going to give everyone a good reason to get excited about what the future holds."

Matt Kindt and Clayton Henry kick things off with the prelude to 4001 A.D.. Before Rai begins his crusade to unite the 41st century's most formidable heroes behind the battle for New Japan, his story starts here with a brand-new tale that will only be available on Free Comic Book Day. The rest of the book can be picked up on Saturday, May 7th.

Full press release below.

UDON Entertainment Sells Out Kill la Kill and Steins;Gate

Readers are pretty keen on superpowered school uniforms and microwave-enabled time travel. So keen, in fact, that UDON Entertainment is going back to the print as two of their most recent publications have proved wildly popular in Kill la Kill Vol. 1 and Steins;Gate Vol. 1. The two books have completely sold through their initial print runs, with fans snapping them up in droves.

Kill la Kill Vol. 1 and Steins;Gate Vol. 1 are already tough to find in stock at many physical and online retailers, speaking to the resoundingly strong sales performance of both books. In response to voracious fan demand, UDON is already moving forward with second print runs for both titles, with these reprints scheduled to be available at retail by March 2016. In the meantime, Steins;Gate Vol. 2 is available now in finer comic book stores and book retailers everywhere, as well as various online retailers. Steins;Gate Vol. 3 is planned for release in April 2016, with Kill la Kill Vol. 2 scheduled for release just prior to that, in March 2016.

Full press release below.