Friday, July 3, 2015

Review - The Spire #1

"...she's coming! She ain't normal!"

One of the best aspects of fiction is its ability to transport the reader to a new and strange world. Visiting those worlds stokes the imagination, while at the same time presenting tales filled with intriguing characters. The Spire #1 from BOOM! Studios presents a unique world with even more unique characters. The issue is written by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Jeff Stokely, colored by André May and lettered by Steve Wands.

Dark Circle Announces The Web

Dark Circle Comics is quickly becoming a solid publisher in its own right and the announcement of a re-imagining of The Web only bolsters that case further. The new series will be written by Dave White and feature art by Szymon Kudranski and is due in stores in early 2016. The series stars Jane Raymond, a 14-year-old high-schooler in suburban New Jersey who idolizes a hero known The Web. Finding herself with mysterious powers much like her idol, Jane's struggle to balance her new life as a superhero while also dealing with family issues will put this new hero to the ultimate test.

Larry Hama Tapped to Pen Call of Duty: Black Ops III Comic

Due out later this year, Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the latest in what's now become an annual foray into the world of military combat. To say it's got a fanbase would be an understatement, but there's enough there that Dark Horse can team up with Activision and Treyarch for a comic that will have plenty of readers. What makes it even more appealing is the fact that the book will be written by Larry Hama and illustrated by Marcelo Perreira.

The Call of Duty: Black Ops III comic book series follows an elite group of cybernetically enhanced soldiers as they wage a secret war across a futuristic, war-torn world transformed by technology. In the first issue, the elite squad infiltrates Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to take down a double agent . . . but as they close in, the operatives uncover something much more sinister at hand.

Fans of the franchise can get a free Call of Duty: Black Ops III minicomic at SDCC at Dark Horse's booth #2615. The first issue hits stores November 4. Full press release below.

Alyssa Mliano Re-Teams with Archaia for New Installment of Hacktivist

Digging deep into a world of espionage, political theater and cyber-crimes is fascinating. Alyssa Milano teamed up with BOOM! Studios for Hacktivist, a book that combined all of the above. Now, they're revisiting the property in Hacktivist Vol. 2, set to debut in July. This go-round, writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing will team with Marcus To for a new limited series.

“We’re living in a time when the inherent possibilities and dangers of the digital world grow more consequential every day,” said BOOM! Studios President of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik. “The first Hacktivist series only scratched the surface of using social media as a catalyst for change, and this new series will dive even deeper into the very grey world of hackers. We’re very excited to have the entire team Hacktivist back.”

It’s been six months since Tunis. Nate Graft’s life was turned upside-down after his best friend Ed Hiccox died, but he’s since pulled things together and is now in charge of VIGIL, the front line of America’s ongoing cyber operations. Just when things are starting to gain some semblance of control, YourLife, the government, and Nate come under attack by a new breed of hacker...who call themselves .sve_urs3lf. Using Nate and Ed’s former handle, they want to know the truth of what happened in Tunis, and they’re calling for blood. Nate’s blood.

"I'm so happy to be able to continue to explore these special characters, their partnership, their friendship and their hacktivism,” said Milano. “It was great to work with this unbelievable team again and I can't wait for readers to experience this next chapter."

Hacktivist Vol. 2 #1 (of 6) arrives in comic shops on July 29th with a main cover by To for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code MAY151082. Also available in a limited quality is a 10 Years incentive cover by Sonny Liew and a retailer incentive cover by To. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is July 6th. Full press release below.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Start SDCC at CBLDF Welcome Party with Image and Comixology

If you've got tickets to SDCC 2015, then you're good to go. You've got your transportation and lodging all set. You're making plans for panels and lines. And you've got your eye on some exclusives. If you've been looking for the right kickoff party to attend for the show, then Image Comics, Comixology and CBLDF have you covered with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's Comic-Con Welcome Party. The shindig pops off on Thursday, July 24, starting at 8 PM at the Westgate Hotel. The first 200 attendees will receive a free gift bag, with exclusive items from Image Comics, McFarlane Toys, comiXology, and CBLDF.

Confirmed attendees so far this year include Scott Snyder, Jock, Jeff Lemire, Kieron Gillen, Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, Tim Seeley, Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Jonathan Hickman, Joshua Williamson and even more are expected to drop in over the course of the night. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab will be debuting their Profanities series, with a selection of limited edition Expletives that will only be available at the CBLDF Welcome Party. Proceeds from every sale at the CBLDF Welcome Party benefit CBLDF. The show will also have an all-new tote bag featuring art by Vanesa R. Del Rey, an embroidered Comic-Con souvenir patch and new CBLDF t-shirt, both designed by Brian Wood and the CBLDF-exclusive variant of Star Trek Green Lantern from IDW Publishing and DC Comics.

If you're interested, you can RSVP here. Full press release below.

Review - Onyx #1

"Before anything even more dangerous arrives."

If you're Tony Stark, you've got the means and know-how to put together a fancy suite replete with offensive and defensive capabilities. That suit goes a long way towards helping protect the Earth against whatever manner of enemy attacks it. The world of Onyx #1 from IDW Publishing doesn't have Tony Stark, which means it needs to rely on an intergalactic hero to save the day. The issue is written by Chris Ryall, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, colored by Jay Fotos and lettered by Shawn Lee.

Dynamite Announces Release of The Art of Jose Gonzalez

Vampirella as a character is world-renowned and easily recognizable. A character doesn't get that way without a little help from various writers and artists having a go at depicting her stories and Jose Gonzalez is one of the best-known Vampirella artists. Now, Dynamite Entertainment is paying homage to both the creator and the artist in The Art of Jose Gonzalez, a 250-page hardcover collection of his illustrations from fantasy and horror comic books, commercial advertising, personal commissions, and more. Narrated by author, artist, and historian David Roach, the massive tome also features an introduction by fan-favorite painter Joe Jusko.

:Jose Gonzalez is widely regarded as the definitive Vampirella artist," says Roach, "and his run on the strip from 1971 to 1983 is, for many fans, one of the high points in the character's long and illustrious history. He is justly famed for his exquisite and provocative drawings of beautiful women, including not just Vampirella, but the glamorous movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, particularly Marilyn Monroe. Gonzalez was far more than just a comic book artist; he was an inspired and prodigiously gifted illustrator whose work was printed around the world, although very little has been seen by his fans up until now. The Art of Jose Gonzalez is the culmination of more than 30 years collecting on my part, and I have scoured the world for rare book covers, illustrations, and unpublished artwork to compile what I hope will be seen as a comprehensive tribute to a great but enigmatic artist, much of whose life and art has been hidden until now."

For nearly two decades, Jose Gonzalez was hailed as the premier Vampirella artist, drawing the fiery vixen for Warren Publishing in the Seventies and Eighties. Renowned for bringing to life the most beautiful women the art world has ever seen, Gonzalez's career spans from drawing British romance comics to movie stars, book covers to commercial advertising. For the first time ever, author David Roach covers Gonzalez's entire career, transcending his vast body of Vampirella work to explore the full breadth of the master's creations.

"The book features artwork from all periods of Jose Gonzalez' life and career, from his prodigious childhood drawings to the private commissions of his later years with artwork sourced from some of the world's leading collections," says Roach. "His work on Vampirella is celebrated by chapters covering his legendary Frontis drawings and the best of his private commissions, most taken from the original artwork. It will also include three of his finest Vampi strips: 'Return Trip' and 'Spawn of the Star Beast' (both printed from the original art), along with the legendary lost Vampirella strip, 'The Wrathmore Curse', never-before-printed in America. But before finding acclaim in the United States, Gonzalez had spent the previous decade as one of the leading romance artists in Britain and the book collects together the very finest pages from this little-known and hard-to-find period. Later on, the artist turned towards illustration, creating a series of astonishing movie star portraits, book covers and personal drawings for his native Spain and across Europe. These illustrations -- much of them featuring his trademarked beautiful women -- reveal him to be among the very finest illustrators of his generation, ranking him alongside such American greats as Robert McGinnis, Gil Elvgren, and Coby Whitmore... and will come as a revelation to even his most devoted fans. The final chapter is a lengthy gallery section featuring the unpublished artwork I was lucky enough to find from private collections across Europe and America; it includes many of the best commissions he drew for collectors and the cream of his astonishing fine art drawings taken from his three solo exhibitions.

"I have been a Gonzalez obsessive for almost 40 years and had built up what I thought was a truly comprehensive collection of his work, but the process of compiling the book has been a revelation to me, and I feel will be for his fans, as well. I simply had no idea of the sheer breadth and quality of his artwork and hopefully the book will spark a major reassessment of the artist's work. While compiling the visual elements of the project, I have also spoken to many of his friends and colleagues from the Golden Age of Spanish comics and the legendary Warren magazines, resulting in a comprehensive biography of a truly extraordinary man. Gonzalez was almost universally regarded by his peers as a genius, seemingly able to draw with any materials he picked up and with the ability to create incredibly realistic portraits entirely from memory. He was also a talented performer, singer, and lover of nightlife with scant regard for convention… or deadlines! In life and art, Jose Gonzalez was truly unique. As a fan, as well as a comic book artist myself, I have been determined to put together a fitting tribute to a great talent and in many ways the book is the culmination of a lifelong obsession which I hope will thrill long-time Vampirella fans along with lovers of great drawing and pin-up art."

The Art of Jose Gonzalez will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' July Previews catalog corresponding to items shipping in September 2015. Full press release below.

Lara Croft Returns in Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen

Tomb Raider was a reboot of the series that debuted to plenty of acclaim and praise. And rightfully so, as the new game took the character back to her roots and built a sound game around her. Of course, there's another game due out this year called Rise of the Tomb Raider, prompting Square Enix to team up with Dark Horse for a new comic called Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen. Written by Corinna Bechko and illustrated by Randy Green, Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen hits stores October as the first issue of a five-issue miniseries.

“Lara is incredibly fun to write,” Bechko told Polygon. “She doesn’t suffer fools, she’s smart, and she’s talented. She’s always ready for action, but she’s not afraid to think through a problem either. And she doesn’t ever wait around for someone else to save her. There’s a lot of satisfaction in writing a character like that.”

In this all-new adventure, Lara must stop a group of cultists from causing world-wide cataclysmic devastation, and ancient ivory artifacts hold the key to both salvation and destruction! It’s a race against time in Lara’s new quest, filled with incredible action, dual pistols, and non-stop adventure.

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Dark Horse on a new Lara Croft comic,” said Rich Briggs, Brand Director at Crystal Dynamics. “This globe-trotting series is filled with the dual gun-wielding action and confident flair that nostalgic Lara Croft fans will love. It’s a great companion to the existing Tomb Raider comics, and offers fans another way to go on a high-octane adventure with Lara.”

Full press release below.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review - 8House: Arclight #1

"It passed this way. Whatever it is..."

The intersection between magic and technology always makes for an interesting read. Today's modern world is short on the former and heavy on the latter, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for both in stories. 8House: Arclight #1 from Image Comics is a story that blends both together well. 8House Arclight #1 is written by Brandon Graham, illustrated by Marian Churchland and lettered by Ariana Maher.

Go Go Power Rangers...Comic

Earlier in the year, someone released a gritty "reboot" of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, offering a glimpse into a more mature and adult version. The movie was greeted with general praise, showing that there was still an audience for the multi-colored combatants. BOOM! Studios wants in on the action and they're partnering with the Saban Brands for comics based on the property, starting with a set of six exclusive, one-page comics that will debut at San Diego Comic-Con in July. The comics will be based on Saban’s iconic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers television series.

"At least half of the team here at BOOM! grew up with Power Rangers, so having the opportunity to expand the legacy of this pop-culture icon is a dream come true," said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. "We have big, big plans that will build on the core universe of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. We can’t give too much away just yet, but the story we’re kicking off with is vast in scope. Fans of BOOM! know we treat the existing properties we collaborate on with a focus on authenticity and quality. That’s the same sensibility we’re applying here. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have an awesome fan base and we can’t wait to show them how much fun we’re having.”

The initiative kicks off July 8th at San Diego Comic-Con, where BOOM! Studios will be exhibiting at booth #2229. The publisher will have an assortment of six double-sided, one-page comics in blind bag packaging available for sale. Each comic will focus on one Power Ranger and feature a pin-up image by Goñi Montes on one side, and a one-page comic written by Mairghread Scott and illustrated by Daniel Bayliss on the other side. The six comics are designed to be read as individual parts or can be stitched together to form one full story.

“BOOM! Studios has developed an awesome new collection of Power Rangers comics,” said Mary Rafferty, Senior Vice President of U.S. Consumer Products for Saban Brands. “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which launched as a global sensation more than two decades ago, is such a special part of the Power Rangers franchise. We are excited to share the classic story of these original Power Rangers in a brand-new way.”

Full press release below.

Cullen Bunn Headlines Voltron: From the Ashes

Everyone nows Voltron. If you grew up in the 80s, Voltron was a staple of your youth. Dynamite Entertainment is tapping into that youth by publishing Voltron: From the Ashes, an all-new six-issue miniseries written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Blacky Shepherd. Set two hundred years after the events of Dynamite's previous Voltron series, the miniseries will introduce a new team to pilot the five lions that form the Defender of the Universe. The debut issue will launch in September 2015 and feature cover artwork from Alex Milne.

"You don't grow up in the day and age of my childhood without developing a deep and abiding love for Voltron,"says Bunn, "so writing the adventures of such an iconic giant robot is a real thrill and a treat. With this story, I hope to show a couple of different sides of Voltron, one vibrant and exciting like the old cartoons, and one a little more dark and even frightening. This dichotomy should be a lot of fun for readers and allow me to explore different sides of the characters involved. For me, Voltron has this mythic quality that I really want to delve into, and I'm excited to see what fans think of my contribution to the Voltron legend!"

Voltron: From the Ashes #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' July Previews catalog corresponding to items shipping in September 2015. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Voltron: From the Ashes with their local comic book retailers. Voltron: From the Ashes will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital. Full press release below.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

X-O Manowar Hits 50 in 2016

Long live the king. X-O Manowar #50 hits stores in 2016.