Friday, May 29, 2009

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Superhero comics and sexual frustration go together like peanut butter and jelly. Comic book women are hot. Superhot. It gets to me. But who’s the hottest? How do you choose? There are just too many. Personally, I’m quite partial to Carol Danvers these days- she’s assertive, confident and compassionate when other people get hurt. That’s sexy. Of course, Kevin Smith’s depiction of Felicia Hardy (A.K.A. the Black Cat) in Spider-man: The Evil That Men Do makes it perfectly clear who he thinks is the hottest superheroine. Wow. I’m happy to hear Scarlett Johansson is going to play the Black Widow. The Russian accent, that got-it-together doesn’t take shit attitude- she’s like the ultimate Bond girl. And is there a single woman on the X-Men who isn’t hot? Seriously. Psylocke- no woman could look that good in real life. I am probably going to get serious flak for what I’m about to write, but the small cult following who understand me here will understand me here: She-Hulk is hot. Not because she’s got scary, rippling musculature- but because she’s uninhibited, fun, smart, sexually aggressive…all that good stuff. I’ve always had a thing for Susan Richards. I can’t help it. I’m not exactly sure what being attracted to the ultimate supermom implies about my psyche, exactly, but I really don’t care. She’s got the girl-next-door thing going on, I think. Emma Frost is one I struggle with. It isn’t that she isn’t hot- it’s that sometimes she’s almost inhumanely hot. It’s like she’s this perfect caricature of every adolescent comic reader’s wet dreams. Still, the fact that she is scantily clad on the cover of every damn X-comic there is these days suggests that a million fan boys can’t be wrong, right? I was always partial to the Enchantress from Thor. She knows she has it going on and that you’re into her. Literally, because she used Asgardian magic to make you into her. Wonder Woman is the obvious choice. She’s smoking. Everybody knows it, even if they make fun of the outfit. DC has a few other beauties tucked away- Talia Al Ghul kind of does it for me. She’s dangerous, driven and practically genetically bred to perfection…and Birds of Prey is chock full of sexy, smart and passionate women that it’s hard not to fall in love with. And wow, how about the total Power Girl obsession lately? Can’t say I blame anyone though. Personally, I was always partial to Starfire from Teen Titans. They always had this really interesting depiction of her as being blazingly honest and forward about everything- including sex. If Dick Grayson ever complains about anything in his life, ever, than Batman and Superman should smack him really hard. This is by no means a complete list- by all means, anyone else got any thoughts? I may have to sit down for a while and try to calm myself.

Tim Gunn joins Iron Man

Of the plethora of ways that title could be read, I'm guessing you didn't come up with the one right way. That is, the crossover featuring Iron Man and Project Runway. In Models, INC. #1, Marvel seeks to begin what is surely a first in the industry: the successful crossover of comics and fashion. The four-issue miniseries protrays a Fashion Week gone horribly wrong. Written by Paul Tobin and illustrated by Vicenc Voillagrasa, the event typically full of glitz and glamour is instead full of murder. Of course, the only people around are models, which means beauties such as Patsy Walker, Mary Jane Watson and others must stop the carnage before more people are killed. But there's more! Tim Gunn, host of Project Runway will be featured in a special ten-pager written by Marc Sumerak. The story, titled "Loaded Gunn," features a display at the New York Museum of Fashion showcasing an exhibit of Iron Man's armor. Apparently a certain villain has issues with Tony Stark's tastes and crashes the event, leaving Iron Man to save the day with help from Tim Gunn. The book goes on sale August 26 for $3.99 (that includes the actual issue and the Tim Gunn ministory) and comes in at 40 pages. Above is the main cover, but a variant cover by Phil Jimenez is below. Tim Gunn joins Iron Man

The Red Circle

The Crisis is over, but that doesn't mean that things are going to get any better in the DC Universe. Which means new heroes must step up to make it a better place. J. Michael Straczynski will be creating a series of one-shots in August that will look at the current state of affairs in the DC Universe. Above is a teaser image from DC, and the written text is below. In the wake of the recent Crisis, new heroes --and new threats-- seem to be appearing across America. In this collection of recent Planet pieces on several of these new arrivals, we invite you to find a broader pattern at work -- the possibility that perhaps something links these seemingly disconnected events. Writer J. Michael Straczynski is currently preparing a new series of reports on the subject, which will seek to answer the many questions our initial coverage has posed. These reports will be published under the banner of "The Red Circle." Watch for them arriving on your newstands weekly throughout the month of August." These will no doubt set up the next mega storyline in DC, but in the meantime, stay tuned.

Army Of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama coming this August

Who doesn’t love Bruce Campbell and his portrayal of Ash from the Evil Dead series? Me? Nope. I'm a huge fan and his work and simply love Army of Darkness. Everyone knows that Dynamite Comics is the place for all things Army of Darkness, with their various crossovers and compelling storytelling that takes our hero Ash on many adventures. He's about to go on another one however that involves our new President in a four-part series coming out this August called Army of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama. This special Army of Darkness mini-series event is written by Elliott (Army of Darkness/Xena) Serrano, illustrated by Ariel Padilla and features covers by Todd (Amazing Spider-Man) Nauck. Ash has faced every adversary under the sun from the endless onslaught of the deadites, to fighting both Freddy and Jason at the same time, to battling Xena, to taking on the undead horde in the Marvel Zombies series and even taking on a deranged Santa Claus. He's done it all. Now he faces one of his toughest challenges yet: a comic-con convention. But this ain't any ol' comic book convention. This one features a special appearance from the president of the United States of America - Barack Obama! How do things go from there when Ash and Obama are in the same place at the same time? And did I happen to mention that the Necronomicon is there doing the thing it does best - turning ordinary humans into the demon possessed undead! I know I am dying to find out what happens to our plucky hero and new President in this unique situation, so go pick up the first issue when it hits your comic stores this August for the price of 3.50. And if you're feeling extra excitement then pick up the foil cover version for 19.99. Army Of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama coming this August

Sam Raimi spills it (sort of) on Spider-Man 4 villains

Unfortunately not in the way you think. In a recent interview with MTV Splash Page, Sam Raimi said that he knows which villains (I think we should assume by now it will be plural) writer David Lindsay-Abaire is including in the screenplay. But that doesn't mean he's going to stick with them. “I’m trying to, with the writer, find Peter Parker’s story primarily,” Raimi said of what factors will weigh on his selection of supervillains. “And find the right conflict for him to come up against. So that either he can grow as a human being and overcome this thing, or perish. It’s more about finding the villain that represents the best story for Peter.” Does this mean Spidey is going to be more cerebral? Well, if you think about it, Spider-Man/Peter Parker has always had that angst-ridden identity crisis thing going on. I don't feel that the Spider-Man cadre of villains react to Spider-Man in the same way as the Rogue's Gallery react to Batman. That being said, we've been seeing a lot of Dr. Connors in the first three films, so maybe we'll finally see the villain turn into Lizard. Raimi could also be on his horror kick and really go the Morbius route as has been rumored earlier. The whole statement "or perish" would lead me to believe that he will be facing a truly menacing villain that could quite possibly kill him. Of course, Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Venom or Sandman could have all killed him, but I never got the sense his life was in danger because of their approaches to villainy. Lizard would have that true savageness, while Morbius is a vampire and would have more of a killer instinct. As long as they don't make the story that Morbius bites Spider-Man, thus giving him Spider-Man powers that Peter has to overcome while finding a cure for vampirism. Both Morbius and Lizard were doctors that got their powers from the lab, so I could see the story making sense. Or, if we're really lucky, Venom isn't dead and makes a comeback. And we meet one Cletus Kasady and get what will quite possibly be one of the best comic book movies ever made in Maximum Carnage. It makes sense, especially considering Venom was basically a throwaway character in the third film. And those two together are really the only ones that will truly threaten Peter Parker's life and make him rethink quite a few things. Comic movies are all about the dark, mature themes these days, and I really couldn't see anything darker than Carnage killing Mary Jane while Peter Parker looks on. Sam Raimi spills it (sort of) on Spider-Man 4 villains

Preview: Project Superpowers: Meet the Bad Guys

Alex Ross never ceases to amaze me. He is pretty much singlehandedly running it over at Dynamite Comics. Not to say that there aren't other stellar talents over there, but it seems like Ross has his hand in everything. His latest is an introduction of sorts, as he'd like you to meet the bad guys. Project Superpowers: Meet the Bad Guys #1 features the Green Lama and the debut of Blood Lust. And somehow Red is connected to Green, and more than just the Yuletide way. The story is plotted by Ross, but written by Ross and Joe Casey. Chasen Grieshop (the Dynamite proclaimed next Dynamite artistic sensation). The first issue of the four part series will be available in August, so get it on your list if you're interested. Preview: Project Superpowers: Meet the Bad Guys

Batman: Arkham Asylum Joker Trailer

The Joker will be a playable character in Batman: Arkham Asylum. That is, if you happen to own a PS3 and get the game for said system. I was planning on getting it for the Xbox 360, however, after watching the newly released trailer for the Joker I might be changing my mind. The first words out of the Joker's mouth are "plans, plans, plans, plans." Clearly, Eidos really took Heath Ledger's Joker to heart here when creating this incarnation. Yeah, it is Mark Hamill voicing the Joker, but I'd say this version is is a little darker than his Batman: The Animated Series Joker. Regardless, he looks and sounds awesome. And he's in his own video! You can check out the video after the jump, or head on over to Gametrailers and check it out there. It's a win-win!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: Soundwave

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is seeing its release date move closer and closer. To get you prepped for the film and help you identify which characters are in the movie not named Optimus Prime, Brandon and Tedd will be bringing you Autobot and Decepticon profiles each week up to the film's release. Expect one Autobot and one Decepticon each week. And the good thing about these profiles is that they will be Baysplosion free. Original Debut: Transformers #1 (1984), Marvel comics Transformed Vehicle: Soundwave’s alternate mode is a handheld microcassette deck. In this mode, Soundwave can monitor and jam radio transmissions of almost any kind. He can also monitor electrical activity in the human brain- essentially allowing him to ‘mind read’. The tapes in Soundwave’s deck-mode are actually Soundwave’s memory encoded into a recordable form. Soundwave has perfect recall of his experiences then-he only has to bring up the right tape and play it. In addition, the tapes can detach and form secondary, autonomous units. Often, these units transform into ferocious, animal-like minions- like Ravage (jaguar) and Lazerbeak (bird of prey). Comparison: Soundwave’s depiction in the upcoming Michael Bay movie is a matter of debate among Transformer’s fans. Ostensibly, Bay has worked to make the scale of each transformers alternate mode on a par with their robot mode- so it’s unlikely that Soundwave will transform from a full-sized robot into a small boombox. It’s possible that Soundwave will be depicted as smaller in size, or that he’ll have a new alternate mode. Background: One of the most memorable transformers from the original lineup, Soundwave’s most distinguishing feature has gotta be his monotone, emotionless voice and personality to match. In almost every incarnation, Soundwave is a Decepticon-leader's righthand-man. Loyal and thorough, Soundwave usually works closely with a ranking Decepticon to design and implement complex strategies. He is intensely loyal and will follow orders without question- even illogical and inhumane ones. He’s a little bit like the Gestapo for the Deceptictons. From his tech readout: “It is said Soundwave can hear a fly sneeze. Uses anything he hears for blackmail to advance his status. Opportunist. Despised by all other Decepticons.” Quote: “Cries and screams are music to my ears.” On a side note, I find this fan-made “Inside the Actor’s Studio” featuring Soundwave a pretty poignant and hysterical example of the character’s popularity: Check out the other profiles from the Autobots and Decpticons featured in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. And be sure to check out the film in theaters and IMAX June 24. Arcee Bumblebee Demolishor Devastator Ironhide Jetfire Megatron Optimus Prime Ravage Sideswipe Scorponok Starscream

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: Ironhide

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is seeing its release date move closer and closer. To get you prepped for the film and help you identify which characters are in the movie not named Optimus Prime, Brandon and Tedd will be bringing you Autobot and Decepticon profiles each week up to the film's release. Expect one Autobot and one Decepticon each week. And the good thing about these profiles is that they will be Baysplosion free. Name: Ironhide Original Debut: Marvel Comics Transformers #4 Transformed Vehicle: Ironhide has been many different vehicles over the years. In 1984he was sort of a minivan but was not considered a "true" Transformer as they designed him to have a human driver control him. More recent incarnations of him have seen Ironhide as a Hummer, Ford pickup truck, and for the new movie coming out this year Michael Bay has envisioned him as a GMC Topkick truck. General Description: Ironhide is one of Optimus Prime’s oldest friends and the Autobots weapon specialist. He's probably had enough replacement parts to build a small army, but Ironhide doggedly refuses to roll over and die for anyone. He'll fight to the bitter end and take down more than his fair share of Decepticons in the process. Ironhide doesn't always see "optic to optic" (get it?) with Prime, despite their friendship. He's perhaps the more practical of the two, and more than a little trigger happy, so he can be more willing to push the Autobot code to the limit if he thinks it will get the job done faster. He has more guns than a small third-world country, and he may or may not have blown up a planet with said guns. During the war on Cybertron against the Decepticons, Ironhide was given the task of training new Autobots, which usually consisted of missions to rescue a captured comrade. Also, because of his toughness and rough demeanor Ironhide has become resistant to psychic interrogation techniques. His weapons include laser cannons mounted on each forearm with missile launchers connected around the outside of the right forearm laser cannon. Ironhide has appeared in numerous different media outlets from the TV series to IDW Publishing comics to Titan magazines and many more. He is a dedicated fighter and lifelong Autobot and will stop a nothing to attain victory using all the weapons in his arsenal. Qoutes: “I’m just saying we could. It’s an option.” "High tech circuitry is no replacement for guts." "I grind Decepticons into garbage any way I can." Check out the other profiles from the Autobots and Decpticons featured in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. And be sure to check out the film in theaters and IMAX June 24. Arcee Bumblebee Demolishor Devastator Jetfire Megatron Optimus Prime Ravage Sideswipe Scorponok Soundwave Starscream

DC's Animal Man coming back

Animal Man made a triumphant return when he hit stores yesterday (technically today because of the holiday, but you know what I'm getting at) in The Last Days of Animal Man #1. Written by Gerry Conway and featuring art by Chris Batista and Dave Meikis (Brian Bolland did the cover), the first of six issues take place in 2024 in San Diego that has long since stayed classy. The heroes are growing tired, the villains have grown nastier and Buddy's own hometown of San Diego has struggled for years to recover from a cataclysmic typhoon. Buddy Baker doesn't even know himself without his powers or family. The DC MySpace page has some interiors from the first issue, or you can check them out after the jump. The book should be in stores, so if you like what you see then by all means head out and pick it up. The Last Days of Animal Man #1 on MySpace

G.I. Joe Movie adaptation coming to comics in July

The movie, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra won't be in theaters until August 7th. In the meantime, IDW wants you to know they've got you covered. The publisher is prepping a four-issue weekly comic book will essentially be a comic adaptation of the movie of the same name. Readers can expect to get the excellent writing of IDW's Denton Tipton and artwork of Casey Maloney. "G.I. JOE was an essential part of my childhood. I saw COBRA agents around every schoolyard corner," said Andy Schmidt, IDW's G.I. JOE editor. "It is an honor to be part of an intensely fun and uniquely relevant group of characters. As a lifelong G.I. JOE fan, to be associated with the wide release of the new G.I. JOE film in particular is a once in a lifetime opportunity." I'm excited for the film after seeing the trailer, which makes the movie look better than it actually should. And being able to read this in the weeks leading up to the film's release will add some hype to the actual film. The only downside I can think of is if the movie sucks, well, then expect the comic books to suck. But no G.I. Joe fan should miss out on getting this book. G.I. Joe Movie adaptation coming to comics in July

Comic book scripts

It's really hard to make a name for yourself in the comic book industry. You may have a great idea for a character, but chances are it's really just a slight twist on a past character. Or you may be one of the most artistic people you know, but there are at least 100 other artists out there submitting their work to the same editors you are. So no easy ticket into the field. That's why it's so refreshing to find a site such as The Comic Book Script Archive. The site is an excellent starting point for artists and writers because it allows you to download comic book scripts from some pretty well-known writers. Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis and Matt Fraction, just to name a few. And throw in some Neil Gaiman, Geoff Johns, Mark Millar and Alan Moore just for good measure. The scripts are in Word format, and you can also check out the webpages of the respective writers. By reading the scripts, you can get a great idea as to how panels should be laid out and how the story should flow. You may think that this would really be best for writers, but artists should check them out as well to get a sense of illustrative pacing. Also, if you're published a script that you’d like to donate to the list (or know of a few scripts that should be added) you can contact the webmaster at the site at Citizentim@gmail.com. The Comic Book Script Archive

The Art of Top Cow hiting stores in July

The Art of Top Cow should probably be called The Art of Marc Silvestri, as that's what the majority of the 320 pages of the book focus on. And that's definitely not a bad thing, because Silvestri knows his way around the pencils and paper. Fear not however, as there are other artists present in the book. Artists from the famous Top Cow Artist "Pit." These artists include Michael Turner, Dave Finch, Joe Benitez, Eric Basaldua, Dale Keown and Stjepan Sejic just to name a few. The 320-page will hit stores July 29 and will be presented in an oversized 10” x 12” hardcover with a two-sided dust jacket that folds out into a unique poster that features a cover featuring the collaborative efforts Silvestri and long time colorist painter Steve Firchow. I'm going to assume that the price will lean more towards the high side, but I would think that it's definitely going to be worth it. Full press release after the jump. THE BEST OF MARC SILVESTRI AND THE TOP COW ‘PIT’ - THE ART OF TOP COW LOS ANGELES, Calif., May 26th, 2009 – Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today that they will release The Art of Top Cow, a 320 page hard cover coffee table book. Scheduled to be released in July 2009, The Art of Top Cow celebrates the artwork of Top Cow CEO and founder Marc Silvestri as well as alumni of the famous Top Cow Artist “Pit.” This definitive art collection chronicles the visual impact that Marc Silvestri’s artwork and his personal training of the in-house artists of Top Cow had on the face of comic art. The Art of Top Cow reproduces the best artwork from 16 years of Top Cow’s publishing legacy, featuring fan-favorite properties such as The Darkness, Witchblade, and Cyberforce. Famous alumni of the Top Cow “Pit” included in The Art of Top Cow are artists Michael Turner, Dave Finch, Joe Benitez, Eric Basaldua, Dale Keown, Stjepan Sejic, and many, many more. Never-before-seen photographs and behind-the-scenes stories compliment the artwork in The Art of Top Cow, illustrating the rise of Top Cow’s place in the comic market. “Marc Silvestri is one of the greats among comic artists and this volume will showcase that, but the true impact Marc has had on the comic industry is in the legacy of artists he has trained,” commented Filip Sablik, Top Cow Publisher, “You only need to look at top projects in the industry to see alumni like Finch, Benitez, Turner, Tan, Manapul, Choi, and many, many more.” The Art of Top Cow hard cover is presented in an oversized 10” x 12” hard cover with a two-sided dust jacket that folds out into a unique poster and features a new cover collaboration between Silvestri and long time colorist painter Steve Firchow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thor in 60 seconds

The Thor movie is gearing up with a full head of steam, however you might not be completely in the know about the character. Marvel has an excellent feature up that looks at Thor in 60 seconds. It's actually a really good primer explaining his powers, origins and some of the big events in his life. For example, did you know that Thor weighs 640 lbs and is 6'6" tall? And his real name is Thor Odinson (real original Marvel...Odinson...Odin Son). Click the link for more info, and use it as a primer for the film. There will be a quiz on Thor next week, so be sure you brush up on your notes. Thor in 60 seconds

The Terminator: Death Valley #1 free

The latest Terminator movie, Terminator: Salvation, has pretty much come and gone. The reviews weren't too kind to it, and it's about to be lost in the impending sea of upcoming movies. Dark Horse is still pushing on with their Terminator kick however, and their latest offering on the iTunes Store has just gotten a little more delicious. See, Dark Horse has gotten on board with this "iPhone" contraption and have created a Dark Horse app for it that allows fans to check out Dark Horse comics on the go. Not only that, but the app is optimized for viewing, so no more pinching and expanding compressed PDFs to try and read a comic. To get you on board with their offering, Dark Horse is presenting the first in their series of Terminator comics, The Terminator: Death Valley #1, free of charge. There are currently four issues available for purchase on the iTunes store, and with the first one being free that means you only have to buy three if you're interested in the series. You can also check out the Terminator game available on iTunes as well, just to be sure that your iPhone is completely pimped out with Terminator media. I'm sure the first three films are available for purchase up there somewhere as well. The Terminator: Death Valley #1 free

New Superman film to be all about fighting

Scott Mednick isn't exactly a household name. Chances are though you've come across his work as executive producer for 300 and Superman Returns. He won't be involved with the "reboot" reboot, but he still has a valuable opinion about its possible direction. And in talking to MTV Splash Page, that direction involves more fighting. “In retrospect, hearing from audiences, watching reactions, and having the film get out there, the core fans wanted Superman to kick some serious butt. And we lost several of the villains when the island started to crumble and the large slab fell on them,” Mednick said of the one aspect of the film he would reconsider. “A lot of the fans wanted to have Superman just beat the crap out of them. So that’s an interesting, fan-based point of view, and you have to listen to those fans and try to weigh their wants, needs, and wishes are along with the storytelling.” This was definitely my biggest complaint about the film, was that it was too cerebral. It's kind of like DC and Warner Brothers saw how successful Batman Begins was in its take on Batman/Bruce Wayne. The thing is however, that Superman/Clark Kent isn't the same character. He doesn't have the same cerebral aspect to him...it's more of an outsider aspect. What's more, Superman's powers inevitably end up with his strength and invincibility saving him time and again. And Superman Returns didn't really give him a battle to showcase that. Sure, he lifted an entire island into outer space, but there were really no brawls through the streets of Metropolis. It's kind of the same thing with Ang Lee's Hulk, in that Hulk didn't have a fight that capitalized on his unique powers (the Hulk reboot did however). So if the next Superman movie is Doomsday or Darkseid well, that would be awesome. New Superman film to be all about fighting

Brian Michael Bendis + Joe Quesada = Amazing Spider-Man #600

I've got to get off this Twitter kick. It really seems like something that would be completely asinine, but then a certain comic book author posts a comment that could possibly send comic book fans into a tizzy. On Brian Michael Bendis' Twitter feed, the following comment is written: "Brian Bendis and Joe Quesada working together on something in ASM 600?? yes!!" What could ASM 600 mean? Probably the 600th issue of Amazing Spider-Man, one that is rapidly approaching. Now, this issue is kind of a big deal, mainly because it will be the 600th issue of Spider-Man. So it makes sense that Marvel would pull out the big guns for the issue and create some sort of epic conclusion or one-shot aspect to the issue. Joe Kelly is currently writing Spider-Man, and as of now the series is at Amazing Spider-Man #595. So that 600 is right around the corner (I believe ASM is bi-weekly, which put the issue's release date on August 5th. There are also rumors that Stan Lee may even collaborate on the issue for a story with Joe Quesada, but I don't know that Lee has a Twitter that I can confirm that with. Hopefully this is true, as Bendis brought some gravity to ASM and would be a welcome writer even if for only one issue (no disprespect to Kelly whatsoever though).

Madman Atomic Comics ends its run in August

It's hard for me to imagine a comic book ending with a musical epilogue. Mike Allred is intending to help me imagine such an event with the end of Madman Atomic Comics. Madman Atomic Comics #17 will end a two year run for Allred on the series, the longest of its tenure. Not only that, but the final issue will also tie into his Red Rocket 7 series to keep continuity with his long-awaited album The Gear: Left of the Center of the Universe. Yeah, that's a lot of tie-ins and continuity. The album will see a limited release that will be in advance of the mainstream addition that will include exclusive tracks. The Madman series will return to Image Comics at a future date in an unannounced form. So on your calendars, mark August 19 for the issue of Madman Atomic Comics #17 for $3.50 and the album The Gear: Left of the Center of the Universe for $12.99. You can get a signed edition of the album for $22.99. Full press release below. PRESS RELEASE - MIKE ALLRED AND THE GEAR END MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS THIS AUGUST! Mike Allred ends his acclaimed series with big bang and a musical epilogue! 19 February 2009 (Berkeley, CA) - MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS comes to an end this August as creator Mike Allred wraps up an entire series' worth of stories in a final blockbuster issue and his new album, THE GEAR: LEFT OF CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, both featuring the return of characters from his highly praised hit RED ROCKET 7. "MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS marks the end of an era, but definitely not the end of MADMAN at Image," Allred said. "MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS was a really fun time for me, Laura, Madman and friends. Working at Image gave us an unprecedented freedom with the book, allowing us to experiment like never before! I hope fans have enjoyed the trip thus far and will be back with us on the next leg once we get to it!" MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS #17 wraps a nearly two year run for the series, the longest for Allred and MADMAN in terms of consecutive issues, seeing his beloved superhero series finish off stories in the making since its inception as well as experiment in ways it never has before. Allred's run produced some of the most acclaimed issues of his career, including his tribute to the entire history of comics wherein each panel featured a different style of a famous creator. The final issue will also tie in his RED ROCKET 7 series in continuity for the very first time, leading in to his second, long-awaited album, THE GEAR: LEFT OF CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. THE GEAR: LEFT CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE amps up the psychedelic space rock influences hinted at on the first album and features special guest musicians including The Dandy Warhol's Courtney Taylor-Taylor. Furthermore, August's release is a limited edition Direct Market exclusive released well in advance of the mainstream edition and will include tracks not available anywhere else, including iTunes. MADMAN will return in a different form at Image Comics to be announced at a later date. MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS #17, a 32-page full color comic book for $3.50, will be in stores August 19th, 2009. THE GEAR: LEFT OF CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, a full-length audio CD for $12.99 with a signed edition available for $24.99, will be in stores August 12th, 2009. The RED ROCKET 7 collection (paperback -JUL082187, hardcover - JUL082188), a 209-page full color paperback for $16.99 and hardcover for $49.99, is available now. Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. There are currently five partners in Image Comics (Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into four major houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, and Image Central). Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor, and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. Visit www.imagecomics.com.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Arrivals: May 28, 2009

This weeks pick is more of the international variety. From DC Comics comes Batman in Barcelona: Dragon's Knight, written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Diego Olmos. Barcelona is hit by a string of bizarre murders, and for some reason the Dark Knight ends up investigating said murders. I guess his detective nature is not bound by language or geography. Olmos is actually from Barcelona, so the illustrations of the city can be expected to be true to life and beautiful. Coupled with a cover by Jim Lee, this book should definitely be top notch. And it's a 48 pager. Remember, new arrivals are delayed by a day this week because of the Memorial Day holiday. Enjoy! New Arrivals: May 28, 2009

Defense with the BoomPick

Well today is Tuesday and all of you readers out there know what that means. It is new comic book day tomorrow. Or is it? Since Memorial Day was yesterday, that puts new comic book day behind one day. That ain’t gonna stop me from bringing you my pick of the week though. Today I am swinging towards the DC side of comics and picking Gotham Gazette #1: Batman Alive. Written by Fabian Nicieza and with art by Dustin Nguyen, Guillem March, Jamie McKelvie, Chris Cross and Alex Konat (and Nguyen on cover duty), a new Dark Knight is coming to Gotham to watch over this turbulent city and bring crime to its knees. In addition to the lone watcher of the city, this new comic tells the tales of four individuals each fighting a different sort of injustice in their own way. Will good prevail or will Gotham be taken over by the seedy underbelly? If you have to know then pick this one up Thursday at your local comic book store and get ready for a new adventure.

Josh Adams - DC Comics House of Mystery #13

Neal Adams was Omnicomic's first interview. And we're damn proud of it. But I figured that you may be curious as to what his progeny are up to. That's why I'm proud to bring you the following interview with Josh Adams, son of Neal. You can check out his work in DC's House of Mystery #13, where he shares pages with the likes of Neal Adams, Eric Powell, Sergio Aragones, Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham. Enjoy. Omnicomic: I think the first question is what’s it like being the son of Neal Adams? Josh Adams: Well, for most of my life he was just Dad. I mean he was Dad, who drew comics and as his son I thought the world of him. It really wasn’t until my early teen years that I realized my father’s impact on the comic industry, in all aspects. Now my opinion of my father didn’t really change upon that realization, he’s my father, aside from realizing he couldn’t actually fly and was not bulletproof, he still was my father and I grew up thinking he was Superman. Obviously his career is going to affect mine, he was and is a father AND a teacher to me. He created an environment that allowed me to truly enjoy the serious study of drawing/drafting. I looked forward to him coming home in the evenings so I could sit next to him (he has a very big desk,) and tackle the drawing challenges he gave to me. The short answer to your question though: It causes a lot of people to ask me what is it like being the son of Neal Adams. Omnicomic: What did you read while you were growing up? I’m sure there was quite a bit of Batman and Green Lantern mixed in there. Adams: Well, I passively looked at comics, I guess. I actually read a lot of Ren and Stimpy comics, and Dr. Seuss books. It wasn’t until the X-Babies got their own special one-shot book that I actually fell in love with comics. Now, that said, I don’t read comics that often. I’m a fan of the artwork and the storytelling. I often determine whether or not I will give the book a try by whether or not the artwork is of a good quality in both aesthetics and storytelling. Omnicomic: Since you never really read comics growing up, did you always want to be an illustrator? Is there any other job you thought you'd be doing at this point in your life when you were a kid? I guess, what did you want to be when you grew up? Adams: Well, gosh, there are so many things I wanted to be; a pro wrestler, a rock star, an actor, and it was the worst in high school. I pulled myself in so many directions but it wasn't until I was stretched so thin that I was able to find my strong point. The part of me that remained strong when everything was getting weak, illustration, and my passion, comics. Omnicomic: Neal Adams was actually Omnicomic’s first interview at NYCC 2008 (I still have no idea how we pulled that off). Did you want to get into comics because of your dad? Do you feel like his style influenced your style at all? Adams: It’s hard for his career not to have influenced what I would do. That said there was a long period of time where I was searching for my calling, but in the end comics are what I am passionate about. And regarding my style, yea, my father’s work was what defined comics in my childhood, it became the natural standard for me to reach for. Omnicomic: House of Mystery boasts some serious talent (Neal Adams, Josh Adams, Eric Powell, Sergio Aragones, Matthew Sturges, Bill Willingham). How did you get hooked up with these guys to be part of this issue? Adams: My father brought me in on the project as sort of a test. It’s not often someone makes their first published work for DC Comics these days. Omnicomic: Personally, do you think you passed your father's "test" (being brought onto the House of Mystery project)? Adams: Well I guess it's not really for me or him to decide. It's really for the fans to decide. If the fans like it, the publishers take notice and then I become a worthwhile commodity. Sometimes getting into comics is about who you know, sometimes it's simple math, if this guy sells books, then pay him to draw books. If this guy "A" sells more books than guy "B" then guy "A" is more valuable and worth more than guy "B." It' funny how that works. It's unfair for me to say my father was testing me. He is fully aware of my ability and what I should be doing. Throughout his career he has taken artists who simply need to be "discovered" and got them work for Marvel and DC. This is just that, he just happened to have been the one who taught me almost everything I know about comics...aside from what I learned from teachers like Klaus Janson, Joey Cavalieri, Phil Jimenez, David Mazzucchelli and other comic professionals. In short, I'm ready for this business, it just has to get ready for me. Omnicomic: Were you intimidated at all working with some of those guys? Did you have any interaction with them at all, or was it more that you just did your part? You know, I am a big fan of Eric Powell and the Sergio is like family to me, so it was certainly a bit of pressure, but for that most part that just makes my work better. I believe that as an illustrator whoever is the final judge of your work doesn’t care how old or how young you are, simply how good you are, so when I turn in my pages I’m not just doing work in the same book as these guys, I am competing for the attention of the reader. Omnicomic: What can you tell us about your story in House of Mystery #13? Adams: It’s short…as is every story in this issue. I can tell you that I am not the only one making my comic book debut in this story but writer/novelist Chris Roberson is making his comic book writing debut on this little story. Hopefully the readers will think we both merit future work at Vertigo/DC. Omnicomic: Do you think you’ll work on the next issue? Adams: I’m sure issue 14 is well into production and artists have been nailed down for a couple issues in advance. I have no part of it. Omnicomic: Where does your illustrative career go from here? Adams: Trying to stay in the mainstream, I’m stating that this is my year to be put on the map. So we’ll see what happens. Omnicomic: Anything you’re reading right now that people might not be aware of but should be? Adams: Hey, I’m a young comic book artist trying to make an impact, I don’t have a free minute of time to read. I’m chained to my desk. You should be telling me what I should be reading! Omnicomic: If you could pick one writer to illustrate for, who would it be? Is there any one character/team you're dying to take a crack at? Adams: I’d like to work with Mark Millar, whether is stories are good or bad, at the very least he will give you something that gives you chills to draw. I know I get chills when I read it, by way of either properly executed controversy or a payoff that you feel like you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Things to draw…I’d love to draw Batman. People have been telling me that I’d be perfect to draw the new Batman, because my father drew the Bruce Wayne Batman, it would be like taking on the mantle of definitive Batman 2.0 artist/creator. Omnicomic: Anything you want to plug while you have the floor? Adams: My website is www.whatwouldjoshdo.com and it is due for a relaunch either late June or beginning of July which will feature exclusive looks at my projects as I draw them, my portfolio and sketchbook, access to my products, and webcomics. I’m also drawing a very special issue of Captain Action and I hope to give you readers something amazing to read. It’s being written by the awesome Steven Grant who left me plenty of room to cut loose and show you what a superhero is all about. Also expect me, my older brother Joel Adams and my father, Neal Adams to all collaborate on a story in an issue of Kindergoths. It’s a book that doesn’t fit any of our styles but it should be fun anyway.

Interiors: The Darkness #77

The Darkness is plugging along, a mere 23 issues away from 100. Which leaves us currently at The Darkness #77. Jackie is facing off against his deadliest foe as the Legacy continues their numbering of The Darkness. Not only that, but Jackie is also being hunted by an ageless beauty with red ribbon in her hair. She also has information that is somewhat unnerving for Jackie, so you'll have to read to find out. Check out some of the interiors after the jump, and be sure to pick up the issue this week in stores.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Defense with the BoomStick

Today is a good day. You know why today is a good day? Well if you can remember from before this war started that today is Memorial Day. A day to remember all the outstanding people that we have lost to past wars, who gave their lives to insure our way of life and keep us safe. This day still holds true even with recent events in mind, but now it is more of a global day of remembrance as we have all lost someone fighting this zombie war. So today I want everyone to take a moment to remember the fallen and the ones we have lost to keep us alive and continue this fight till we win. No tip for today but to do what you can to honor those memories and those heroes. Keep fighting and keep surviving and we will win for the ones we have lost. Oh, and if you happen to have a grill available and some meat you've been saving, now's the time to cook it. Brandon Out.

Katee Sackhoff the new Typhoid Mary?

First, let me caveat this with a massive "take this with a grain of salt" type thing. Golden Apple Comics, a comic book shop in Los Angeles recently had someone visit their store, who proceeded to buy all the Typhoid Mary comics they had. In a brief posting, the blog mentioned that Katee Sackhoff (of Battlestar Galactica fame) is hoping to get a part in a Marvel movie. Commence intrigue now. Now this could go one of a few ways. The first is that Sackhoff heard from someone that Marvel was looking for someone to play Typhoid Mary and wants to get ready for it if Marvel comes calling. Another way is a Dardevil reboot. Typhoid Mary is Daredevil's love (besides Elektra), and rumors have been floating that the character was slated to be the latest in a string of comic book movie reboots. A third more interesting notion was actually postulated by one of the commenters on the website. Commenter Monolith seems to think that Fox may be looking for Typhoid as a character in the Deadpool film. Such an idea would definitely be intriguing and at the very least set up what should be a no-holds barred acrobatics battle between the two. It would also be a great way to introduce the character to an audience that knows relatively little about her, but would see the Deadpool movie because of Ryan Reynolds. Or she could just really like Typhoid Mary. It could either way. Katee Sackhoff the new Typhoid Mary?

IDW giving away special edition Transformers comic at BotCon

Needless to say Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is one of the most anticipated movies coming out this year. With the first one being simply awesome (as it was full of action, transforming robots and a hot Megan Fox) the sequel is looking to rock even harder. That being said, if you're a huge fan of Transformers then you are probably heading to BotCon 2009 in Pasadena, California this May 28-31 to celebrate 25 years of Transformers. If you are going, then make sure you pick up IDW Publishing's special convention edition of a Transformers comic. At BotCon, you will have the chance to meet some of the creators behind the Transformers comics. In addition to that, they are giving attendees the opportunity to pick up a limited edition copy of the Transformers Revenge of the Fallen Movie Adaptation #1 with a BotCon exclusively drawn cover. They will only be giving this out while supplies last so if you are heading out that way then make sure to pick up this gem as soon as you get there. IDW Represents at Transformers Convention

Marvel having 15% Memorial Day Sale

Who doesn’t love a sale on the things that matter right? Well have I got good news for you true believers out there. If you happen on by the Marvel shop, they are currently having a 15% off sale on everything they have. Although you have to hurry, as this sale ends tonight at midnight, sort of a Memorial Day tribute sale. So head on over to the Marvel website and pick up some fine merchandise today at a discounted rate. Marvel Shop: 15-percent off everything now!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I feel like if there is a single character in the X-Men canon that has been frequently misused and reinterpreted by various writers, this is it. I’ve been a fan of this character for a long time- his complicated backstory and every individual writer’s habit of reorganizing his personality with little regard for the way previous writers have portrayed the character has forced him into relative obscurity. Who the hell am I talking about you ask? Alex Summers. AKA Havok. He first appeared in X-Men # 54 in 1969-as Scott Summers’ brother. It wouldn't be until four issues later that he would appear as his own man in X-Men # 58. Like his older brother, Scott “Cyclops” Summers, Alex is kind of a walking mutant energy “battery.” It might not look like it at a glance, but some might consider Alex’s power even more debilitating than his older sibling’s. Alex’s backstory begins as one synonymous with his brother’s. Alex and Scott’s father was an Air Force test pilot. By a strange mishap, a plane carrying the Summers family actually collided with a Shi’ar scout ship. Alex’s parents pushed the two boys out of the plane, giving them the only spare parachute. And with that, the Summers brothers became orphans. (Sidenote: but not really. Scott and Alex’s father, Christopher Summers, actually survives the plane crash and goes on to lead the Starjammers- sort of a bunch of intergalactic pirates/bounty hunters/Robin Hood-esque doo-gooders- under the name Corsair.) The energy thing clearly runs in the Summers family, and some could argue that Alex got it the worst. Alex’s body constantly absorbs and retains cosmic energy. I can’t quite confirm this, but "cosmic energy" may refer to the same form of radiation that gave the Fantastic Four their powers, or even that cosmic heroes like the Silver Surfer and Quasar draw on. Don’t quote me on that. His body stores the energy for a time- but sooner or later he needs to release it. This mutant power allows him to dispel the energy in the form of super-heated plasma. He has to be careful to focus the release into a single blast- otherwise plasma will jet out of his body from all possible angles, blanketing friend and foe alike. Physically, it’s exhausting for Havok to focus his blasts- if he becomes fatigued, he tends to lose control and release the energy in an omnidirectional blast. Alex is also immune to the plasma he generates. In addition, his older brother’s concussive force blasts don’t harm (or ‘push’) him. A sort of genetic fluke, Scott also happens to be immune to Alex’s powers. Over the years, his fine control over his abilities has improved substantially. He can fine-tune the release of energy from his body so that it’s minimal- practically undetectable to the human eye. The end result is the dosage of plasma released just gives an intended target a headache (instead of, you know…getting burned/blown up). He's often even used various containment suits to help him focus and restrain his mutant power. Alex and Scott walked away from the trauma of losing their parents mostly unscathed, but they both ended up in an orphanage in Nebraska. Unfortunatley for both of the boys, the orphanage happened to belong to one Nathaniel Essex- A.K.A. Mr. Sinister. A fanatical geneticist, Sinister tampered with both boy’s lives- and genetic structures- unchecked. He even took steps to bury the memory of such tampering within both brothers' psyches. Sinister took considerable pains to inhibit any potential for Scott to use his powers against him (it seems- emphasis on seems- like Scott’s power is one of the only things on the planet that Sinister is afraid of). What most people don’t know is that he also hired a young boy to bully and provoke Alex once he had reached puberty, hoping to manifest any latent mutant power. It worked- Alex incinerated the hired goon in one hot minute. Sinister repressed this memory, however, and took steps to repress Alex’s X-gene as well. While Scott went on to lead the X-Men, Alex lived a somewhat normal life blissfully unaware of his own mutant potential- until college. It’s a long weird story, but Alex had a run in with another cosmic-radiation-driven mutant named Ahmet Abdol, or The Living Monolith. Abdol tried to use Alex’s powers to bolster his own. The X-Men came to the rescue and Alex’s mutation re-emerged. Eventually, Alex became an X-Man- although he has often functioned as more of a ‘reserve’ member than a full-time one. Most notably, he’s had a long- and often tragic- romance with fellow mutant and teammate Lorna Dane, A.K.A. Polaris (rumored to be Magneto’s third child, by the way). Alex’s relationship with the X-Men has always been lukewarm. He’s been an on-again off-again member, who has always seemed somewhat reluctant to be involved in Xavier and his brother’s affairs. I’d like to think the reasons why are complicated, and are, to me, the essence of the character. Look at it this way- A. Alex’s power is dangerous, and on some level he’s always known it- repressed memory or not. B. Alex has had more of a ‘normal’ life than his brother- at least, through the first half. He’s giving up a lot more by joining the X-Men C. Alex is insecure on any team with his brother on it. Alex tends to be a natural leader- but it doesn’t always shine out so clearly because he’s insecure. Being around his brother doesn’t help matters. Like every little brother, he wants to distinguish himself. Alex’s frustration with his life is subtle- but make no mistake, he’s got to be in the top ten mutants who have suffered the most. The full scope of his history is way too long to address here, but a couple of interesting notes- At one point, Lorna’s body was possessed by a particularly nasty Marauder (Sinister’s mutant-hunters) named Malice. Malice was particularly adept at playing on Alex’s fear of hurting others- let alone the woman he loved. For me, the ultimate bizarre-tension between Alex and Scott happened during the Inferno storyline of the 80s, and didn’t necessarily involve an out-and-out fight. Again, weird long story, BUT- Sinister managed to create a clone of Jean Grey, named Madelyne Prior. At a time when Scott though Jean had died, he had met and married Madelyne (this was a good thing in Sinister’s book, since he wanted to ‘breed’ the two). Later, upon Jean’s return from death, Scott abruptly abandoned Madelyne. Now, granted, Alex- and pretty much everyone in New York city- is under a great deal of demonic influence during Inferno, but Alex ends up shacking up with Madelyne. So, you know- he slept with his brother’s ex-wife. Who was really just a near-identical clone of the woman who was his brother’s current wife at the time. Does sibling rivalry get creepier than that? At some point, Alex ‘died’- only to end up traveling through a bizarre alternate marvel universe. These adventures are catalogued in the comic that was known as Mutant X, which I like to describe as “What If…?" on crack.

Batman: Arkham Asylum Poison Ivy reveal

Add another hot villain to the ever-growing awesomeness that we're hoping to be Batman: Arkham Asylum. In the latest in a series of reveal videos released by Eidos, we're introduced to botanist Pamela Isley. You probably know her better as Poison Ivy. Her condition is result of an experiment gone wrong (aren't all case like this the result of failed experiments), and she know has chlorophyll running through her vains. Which gives her some spiffy abilities, such as: Ability to encourage and control the growth of plants Natural pheromones that enable her to control others Poisonous touch Phyiscal strength from plant genes Unhealthy desire to rid the world of fauna and make it safe for flora Check the video after the jump.

Preview: Superman #688

Kal-El, we hardly knew ye. Superman #688 features Mon-El is standing in the place of Superman. Protecting Metropolis is going well until Mon-El suffers a power a loss, meaning he has only his wits about him to defend the city from the likes of Lex Luthor. And there's a spy within the Science Police (feign intrigue). Superman #688 is on sale May 27th. Interiors after the jump.