Friday, October 30, 2009

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

This editorial might be part and parcel to one I wrote a month or so prior. But I’m going to go here again. My award for the comic that has always had potential to be great but is only, finally, starting to tap into it? It has got to be Ghost Rider. So much has just gone right with this comic, lately. I think one of Marvel’s strengths in the last ten years or so is the freedom with which they’ve let their books distinguish themselves. For a long time, I think Marvel always made sure that every book you read was, at its core, a superhero book. Every individual title had its own themes and ideas, but even characters that felt a little off the beaten path in the Marvel U. had that kind of ‘team-up and fight the bad guys!’ feel to it. Now, granted, Marvel has always worked hard to distinguish their characters' personalities, motives, and struggles- and it shows in the complexity of the stories they tell. But lately, I just feel like they’ve gone that extra mile and let their comics be what they are. It’s like Annhilation. It feels like somebody, somewhere in Marvel was just like: "let’s go nuts with the space guys. I mean really, really hardcore Star Wars-ish nuts. And no, we don’t need Captain America and the Hulk running around with Silver Surfer, Adam Warlock, and Drax the Destroyer. Let’s just let one thing be one thing and the other be another." Ghost Rider has always, obviously, been a horror comic. I mean, how could it not be? It’s about demons, fallen angels and all that scary, biblical stuff. But it was sort of like…it could never quite go there far enough. Not that there aren’t some dark Ghost Rider stories out there- but it was the superhero thing. Ghost Rider needed to have his own superhero collectible trading card, so they had to keep just a bit of that comfort zone in there. Too much couldn’t change or happen. Ghost Rider had to be able to team-up with Spider-man to fight the Rhino or something, if someone thought that would sell a comic. But now? This comic is freaky. As freaky as I always kind of thought it would be. I mean really, really disturbing, alien stuff going on. I mean, on the one hand, Ghost Rider can have a little bit of a Law and Order kind of feel to it: Blaze gets drawn to some situation in which he’s supposed to meet out vengeance. We get some kind of passion play about who did what to who, and why- usually some very dark commentary on the depths people can sink to. But on the other- Ghost Rider’s "rogue’s gallery" is filled with the most heinous, unforgivable, demonic creatures you could possibly imagine. Not supervillians, but horrific monsters that prey on humanity. They’re the things that go bump in the night that most people never know even exist- Blackheart, Deathwatch, Lillith, Mephisto…they would all carve bloody swathes through the human race without thinking twice. Note that the Rider is the Spirit of Vengeance- as in something-horrible-already-happened and he’s trying to avenge it. The Rider’s villains corrupt unlucky souls, possess human bodies and warp their flesh into terrifying monsters, make walls bleed, all that fun stuff. It can be scary as &*$#. The other thing I love about Ghost Rider has to do with the nature of morality in the comic. Namely that it’s handled so…differently. It’s sort of like Blaze has this mandate, direct from the powers that be- some things AREN’T forgivable and the Rider is the ultimate barometer of what is and isn’t. Blaze doesn’t always like Zarathos and that entity's role, in the grand scheme of things- but Zarathos DOES exist. Sort of like, in the great cosmic wheel, vengeance HAS a place. It isn’t a choice- it’s a thing. It has to happen the way that it does. When Blaze is confronted with ethical dilemmas, it’s in this much grander, even theological, scope than most other characters. It isn’t "does a wrong make a right;" it’s "is God just? Is God God because God is perfect? Or could some other entity overthrow God and institute a cosmic law that is better?" Really, OUT there stuff. That last bit is just part of the central themes in one the most recent arcs, The Last Stand of the Spirits of Vengeance. Blaze’s latest nemesis is an angel (yes, an ANGEL, not a demon) named Zadkiel who is attempting to step in where Lucifer failed and seize control of heaven. Most people don’t realize this, but there’s been more than one Ghost Rider. Well, okay, there are Ghost Rider"s" (plural). But what I mean is, the actual title character of the comic has changed before. Blaze actually has a half-brother, Daniel Ketch (although neither knew they were related at the time) who became bonded to a part of Zarathos too (it’s a long story). The thing is, in the current arc, Ketch has allied with Zadkiel. He’s become convinced that the spirits inside each Rider are truly cursed and that he can ‘free’ each spirit’s host. The process by which Zadkiel has taught Ketch to separate spirit and host, however, results in the host’s death. So Ketch has offed a whole slew of Riders as an act of what he believes is mercy. Blaze vs. Ketch. What a frickin’ awesome fight. They're both trying to do the right thing, but they’re playing around with stuff so far outside the realm of normal human experience it's tough to really know what the right thing is. I loved seeing them both Penance Stare each other, and they both have a moment where they see their wrongs in their opponents eyes. Really, the whole thing has been epic. Highly recommended.

Preview - Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #1

The Radical Publishing train has just left the station and is rapidly gaining steam. So much so that they've got some new titles hitting stores in January that you might be interested in, one of which revives Aladdin. In Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #1 you've got the timeless hero of Agrabah (at least, there's where he's from in the Disney version of the movie). Written by Ian Edginton and featuring art by Patrick Reilly and Stjepan Sejic, the story is as follows. Aladdin has fallen under the eye of the sorcerer Qassim, a sorcerer who has spent his life searching for the Dreaming Jewel. Why in the world would a sorcerer be looking for something like that you ask? The jewel will allow Maugrah to steal the magic of the Dijinn of the Lamp and allow him to reshape the world in his image. Of course, he needs the blood of Aladdin because of it's mystical ability and Aladdin doesn't even know that his O Negative (note: this is Omnicomic's speculation) is so powerful. The book will hit stores in January 2010 for $4.99 and 64 pages. You'll be able to get one of three covers, one by Marko Djurdjevic, one by Arthur Suydam and one by Clayton Crain. The Crain one is a magical 1:10 incentive cover that you may need a genie to get a hold of. Check the other covers below.

Zenescope Limited Edition Prints

Anything that you label as "Limited Edition" is guaranteed to be a big hit. Most likely because the label really does mean supplies are limited, and if you don't get that order in sooner than later you'll miss out. Zenescope has a slew of prints available on their website that boast this label and are limited to 100 prints each. The prints include all their timeless heroines, including Goldilocks, Grimm Fairy Tales, Little Mermaid and even Pinnochio. Each one is 13x19 in size and will set you back $40. Most of them probably look familiar and that's because they're mostly archival images from previous covers. But hey, if you're looking for a Zenescope print you've got 24 to choose from (technically 2,400 if you look at each design's 100 print run). Check them out if you're looking to fill that appropriately sized 13 x 19 sized blank space on your wall. And we're talking Zenescope prints here, so don't yell at me if you click over and aren't ready to close the window immediately. Zenescope Limited Edition Prints

Witchblade #131 Albany Comic-Con variant

What's so special about Witchblade #131 that it gets it's own spiffy awesome variant? The Albany Comic-Con. The event takes place Sunday, November 1 and will feature the above variant cover for Witchblade #131. $10 grabs you the variant with a slightly blocky feel the main character. And there's the requisite tombstones and pumpkin to tie into the whole Halloween thing. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Batman and Robin #6 cover

I know what you're thinking: "Jonathan, why are you running a picture of a dude in pink on a motorcycle with Batman and Robin under the tire?" To that, the answer is simple. I really have no idea. Well, I sort of do. The above is the cover to Batman and Robin #6 and features the Flamingo. Batman Group Editor Michael Marts thinks quite highly of the avian-named villain not called Penguin. “If you think you’ve met Batman’s most dangerous, psychopathic, murderous foe…think again. Meet the ‘new crime’ in Gotham City—the FLAMINGO!” No word on an exact release date but I'd wager on "sooner" than "later."

Manga - The Other White Meat

Well folks, we’re back again with another edition of the manga wrap-up for Bleach and Naruto from last week before the new issues begin to pop up tonight for this week. We have a far shorter edition as Naruto was on break for the week and I do not have a new recommendation for other anime or manga to watch or read. So…read on to find out how Yammy responded, if he did at all, to Ichigo tossing him down almost effortlessly. BLEACH Our issue opens with Ichigo releasing his new mask upon coming to the realization that it felt different. Rukia certainly notices the new pattern and felt the difference in power. Do the progressive changes in the markings somehow indicate that Ichigo’s hollow side is slowly taking control? They both seem concerned, and Ichigo felt that the mask was much heavier then it had been. In his last fight with an espada (prior to beginning these reviews) Ichigo essentially died…again. Of course he came back in an evil form that was almost a full hollow and dispatched of his enemy. In the middle of a fight though it isn’t smart to let you guard down. Yammy stands up, and he is NOT happy. Ichigo is shocked that Yammy could survived an attack in his masked for, but all he really did was scratch Yammy’s neck. We get the Espada expounding on his strength and how wonderful he is, and he begins to hit Ichigo with an attack called a bala, a faster version of the typical hollow attack of a cero, basically a big energy attack. Ichigo states it doesn’t matter how strong the espada is, he will defeat him simply because he has to. There is one small problem though, Ichigo can’t summon his mask! The new form seems to have thrown off his ability somehow. Just when it seems like all hope is lost, in steps Captains Byakuya Kuchiki and Zaraki Kenpachi, two of the more powerful shinigami in soul society. They chop of Yammy’s arm…and the episode ends. It appears that they have been healed from their previous battles and are ready to rumble again. NARUTO Nothing… See you next week when hopefully this fight will end and we’ll have an interesting battle in Naruto to discuss. I’ll try to dig up some anime or manga to recommend to my loyal readers who after three weeks must number in the twos and threes.

Preview - Dark Wolverine #80

Whoever this Daken fellow is he's not a pleasant creature. Daken is actually the son of Wolverine and said son is a fan of mercilessly slaughtering people. In this issue Norman Osborn's publicity stunt fails and Daken decides that would be a perfect opportunity to create an even bloodier one. The interiors boast someone on fire, which can't be too pleasant. Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu join rising star artist Stephen Segovia have really done something awesome with this book, as people can't seem to get enough of it. “[Daken] is an interesting character. He's manipulative, sarcastic, poetic, and has the strength of his father. Way's dialogue is very enticing.” – Ryan Goulet, Comicsbulletin.com “Way and Liu develop a wonderful satirical attitude for Daken that enhances the quality of this character.” – Frank Stapleton, BrokenFrontier.com “Of all the Dark Reign storylines at the moment, Dark Wolverine is the one I am enjoying the most.” – Antony Ellis, thecomicaddiction.com Check out the madness in Dark Wolverine #80 when it hits stores November 25. Check out some interiors after the jump.

Barack Obama: The Comic Book Biography available

I know that people are alway keen to judge a President based on his (possibly her) first 100 days in office. And why wouldn't they? Those days mark the transition from the old to the new; the changing of the guard. President Obama is at about 300 days this point, which in IDW's mind is long enough to warrant Barack Obama: The Comic Book Biography. "Barack Obama proved change can happen," said IDW editor Scott Dunbier. "Now young people can discover how this man rose from humble beginnings to become the President of the United States. It's a compelling story and we're proud it has gotten so much positive attention." Now, admittedly, Obama has lived a life of many years to this point. And it's not a biography of his time as President. But doesn't it seem a little early to be crafting a biography (let alone of the President of the United States)? Even in comic book form. I mean, I guess people still want to know his story and haven't already heard it countless times throughout the course of the elections. I'm just not sure people want to hear it enough to want to drop $14.99 on an 80-page story that's incomplete. Power to IDW Publishing though for getting on this train. Clearly, Obama is something of a rock star the likes of which the nation hasn't seen since JFK. And I'm all for drawing more attention to the lives of US Government officials through a medium such as comic books. Just a little leery of such an endeavor as being a means for cashing in on the President's popularity. But who am I to judge IDW for filling a market desire? The book should be in stores as of this writing. Barack Obama: The Comic Book Biography available

Proof moving onto next season

With comics rising in popularity it's inevitable that they would begin to mimic other medium. For example, a TV show will finish off a season with a cliffhanger as an enticement to return as a viewer next season. Image Comics is following suit with their book Proof, as answers are about to be unveiled in the issue's second "season." Writer Alex Grecian and illustrator Riley Rossmo wants you to be excited. "While this season of PROOF is ending, the series is just beginning," Grecian said. "Not only do Riley and I have a couple of side projects such as his COWBOY NINJA VIKING, but PROOF takes a very big turn with issue #28. It's a natural place to take a short break. Rest assured we'll be back and when we start again nothing in PROOF will ever be the same." So what's the deal with Proof you ask? Special Agent John 'Proof' Prufrock (Bigfoot) works for The Lodge. The Lodge is an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting monsters from human beings. It's been hailed as a cryptozoological thriller and is looking to carry on the momentum that early issues of the series have established. Proof #28 will hit stores January 27 for $3.50. Full press release below. PRESS RELEASE - PROOF'S SEASON FINALE TO KICK OFF AN ALL-NEW BEGINNING IN 2010! The first season of PROOF ends with an all-new beginning on the horizon! 26 October 2009 (Berkeley, CA) - This January the first season of writer Alex Grecian and illustrator Riley Rossmo's ongoing cryptozoological thriller, PROOF, will come to an end as the two prepare an all-new season coming in 2010! "While this season of PROOF is ending, the series is just beginning," Grecian said. "Not only do Riley and I have a couple of side projects such as his COWBOY NINJA VIKING, but PROOF takes a very big turn with issue #28. It's a natural place to take a short break. Rest assured we'll be back and when we start again nothing in PROOF will ever be the same." In PROOF, Special Agent John 'Proof' Prufrock, also known as Bigfoot, works for The Lodge, an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting 'monsters' from the threat of human beings. Since its release the series has received critical acclaim, with three volumes of collections in print and a fourth, PROOF VOL. 4: JULIA, to be available during the hiatus. Both Grecian and Rossmo will remain the regular creative team in the new season, due out in 2010. Rossmo added, "Another reason is to give new readers a very easy jumping-on point. While we've certainly had a great response to the trades, we're making it even easier and more inexpensive than ever to jump on board. If you've never read PROOF before or only do so with the collections, the upcoming new season is your chance to become a regular reader." PROOF #28, a 32-page full color comic book for $3.50, will be in-stores January 27th, 2010. 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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Hidden S in Halloween

The Hidden S has a Halloween Treat for you… As most fans of popular culture know, the Dracula character from Bram Stoker’s original novel was directly inspired by a 15th century devil on earth Prince Vlad Dracula, better known perhaps by his nickname Vlad the Impaler. Vlad ruled Wallachia (which consisted mostly of what has become modern day Romania) in the 15th century and got his nickname due to his nasty habit of impaling his enemies on a stake. Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon, the best selling team responsible for the award winning 9/11 report: A Graphic Adaptation have turned their attention to a different kind of horror for their most recent graphic novel collaboration Vlad The Imapler (Hudson St. Press). Both men (well known for their versatility) have worked on and/or created such properties as Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost and Doctor Doom during their prolific careers. Omnicomic was lucky enough to interview both gentlemen about their most recent work, how the 9/11 report figured in this work and how the approach to this differed from their approach to Richie Rich… Omnicomic: Is Vlad misunderstood or is he 100% evil? Sid Jacobson: My guess is that Vlad was pretty close to the devil. This despite the fact that he is still looked at as a hero in Romania . He held the throne for awhile against what they considered the "infidel." Even though the so-called "infidel" helped him and his father get the throne. He did an awful lot of evil things, even for such an evil time. Ernie Colon: All evildoers, as any superhero will tell you, are acolytes of the devil. Omnicomic: Vlad seems to be a much more violent and warrior type character than Dracula, yet by all accounts Dracula was a direct inspiration from the Life and Times of Prince Vlad. Knowing both stories is it easy to see the connection? Jacobson: I think it's pretty easy to see the connection between Vlad and Dracula. They both were experts at blood-letting, but it's taken the vampire lots, lots longer to even approach Vlad's tonnage of blood. Colon: I don't know--Vlad seems to have spent a lot of time regarding himself in a mirror. Dracula had a lot of missing spots when he shaving. Omnicomic: This work is pretty violent in its content and imagery. Is there a secret to making violent writing and images palpable for a reader? Colon: Please! You're talking about Sid Jacobson, purveyor of many Richie Rich kidnappings, mad scientist plots for world rule and questionable human/robot relationships. Go ahead--ask him. Jacobson: If there is a secret to make violence writing and images palpable for a reader, I certainly do not know it. But I hope that what we did here is both palpable and entertaining for the reader. Omnicomic: There is a romantic element that has been projected onto the Dracula character of late. Is there any romantic dimension to Vlad the Impaler? Jacobson: I think Dracula and present day vampires somehow seem sexy and romantic to lots of readers. Our book has used sexy scenes more to show the man's violence and thoughtless appetite. Is that romantic? I don't know. Colon: Romance? You consider ultimate neck-nibbling romance? Or terminal sodomy? (Author’s note: I would have to say no to both) Omnicomic: Is there a connection or influence that you see between comic book supervillans and Vlad? Jacobson: There is probably some connection between Vlad and some comic super villains, but they're pussycats by comparison. Colon: Maybe their penchant for costly, swirling capes, perhaps? Posing in lighted doorways, arms akimbo and eyebrows impossibly arched? Omnicomic: Was there anything in your work on The 9/11 Report that connected to Vlad the Impaler? Jacobson: The 9/11 Report was quite different from Vlad the Impaler. In that previous book, we tried to explain something that was already written and make it easier to comprehend. I suppose we tried to make this character easier to understand, too, but to do so by creating a fictional graphic novel that was based on many facts but creating a story that we thought was possibly true. Colon: Not a thing for me. Omnicomic: You worked on some pretty wholesome stuff in the past like Richie Rich?. Was it cathartic to work on a something so completely different? Jacobson: Yes, we worked on Richie Rich and Casper and characters with younger and more lighthearted appeal. But before I worked on those characters, I edited Harvey 's horror and war line. I edited such titles as Chamber of Chills, Tomb of Terror, Witches' Tales, Warfront and War Battles. Ernie worked on some of the superhero characters of DC's line. So this wasn't entirely new for us. But was it cathartic? Not at least for me. It was just another way to express myself. Colon: The only catharsis is seeing villains hoisted by their own petard--preferably by their privates. (Photos courtesy of penguin)

Preview - Dark Avengers #11

The Dark Avengers are what you think, dark incarnations of members of the Avengers team. Sort of. Regardless, the team will face their greatest threat on November 18. In Dark Avengers #11 Brian Michael Bendis is joined by artist Mike Deodato and Greg Horn to tell the story of Norman Osborn's deteriorating mind, a missing Sentry and the Dark Avengers fighting an unstoppable enemy. And the work so far is garnering lots of accolades. “Brian Michael Bendis is doing some great work with characters like Norman Osborn and Mac Gargan.” – Jesse Schedeen, IGN.com “Mike Deodato, Jr. is in fine form…” – Jesse Schedeen, IGN.com “Bendis is doing some of his best team-related work on this series, giving us a team of unrepentant psychopaths and setting them loose (well, not loose, but barely controlled by a maniac) upon the Marvel Universe.” – Timothy Callahan, ComicBookResources.com “It's a fairly solid if not spectacular superhero comic given the twist that everyone is a bickering sociopath.” – Charles Webb, ComicsBulletin.com Check some interiors after the jump.

Strange Girl collection

January is the start of 2010. What a way to start it off with Rick Remender's work Strange Girl collected in a spiffy limited edition hardcover. "STRANGE GIRL is easily one of my most personal works and I've long hoped for a complete collection," Remender said. "Even more important to me is seeing illustrators Eric Nguyen, Jerome Opeña, Nick Stakal and Peter Bergting getting their beautiful work collected in such an edition. STRANGE GIRL was an important book for all of us and I'm happy to have readers get their first chance to experience the entire story in one collection." The Strange Girl Limited Edition Slipcase Collection contains all four volumes of the series in a new slipcase alongside a Strange Girl print by illustrator Michael Kaluta. Both are signed by Rick Remender and limited to 1000 editions. Strange Girl begins ten years after the rapture and focuses on a beautiful occultist and her pet demon. The two are on a road trip back to heaven and hope to meet God along the way and escape the hell on earth. The book is rife with social commentary and is all about religion and it's raw power. The collection will set you back $49.99 if you're one of the lucky first 1,000 editions. Look for it in stores January 13. Full press release below. PRESS RELEASE - RICK REMENDER'S COMPLETE STRANGE GIRL GETS COLLECTED THIS JANUARY! Rick Remender's complete post-apocalyptic epic, STRANGE GIRL, is collected in a limited edition slipcase this January! 27 October 2009 (Berkeley, CA) - Before PUNISHER and DOCTOR VOODOO, Rick Remender made his name writing the post-apocalyptic series STRANGE GIRL, which will be collected in its entirety this January as a limited edition slipcase collection. "STRANGE GIRL is easily one of my most personal works and I've long hoped for a complete collection," Remender said. "Even more important to me is seeing illustrators Eric Nguyen, Jerome Opeña, Nick Stakal and Peter Bergting getting their beautiful work collected in such an edition. STRANGE GIRL was an important book for all of us and I'm happy to have readers get their first chance to experience the entire story in one collection." STRANGE GIRL begins ten years after the Rapture, when a beautiful occultist and her pet demon embark on a road trip to the last open gateway to heaven, in hopes of befriending God and escaping hell on earth. A bare-knuckle, action-driven series, peppered with social commentary and dark humor, STRANGE GIRL is a story about the bewildering nature of religion, what would happen if the dark future predicted by many came true, and what a good person would endure for not having faith in advance of it. The STRANGE GIRL LIMITED EDITION SLIPCASE COLLECTION contains all four volumes of the critically acclaimed series in an exclusive new slipcase along with a Strange Girl print by legendary illustrator Michael Kaluta, all signed by series creator Rick Remender and limited to 1000 editions. Big Fan and Ratatouille star Patton Oswalt commented, “STRANGE GIRL is exactly that. Strange, plus she’s a girl. But it’s so much more. Redemption, demons, magic spells, hopelessness, friendship and belly-shirts. Rick Remender takes a loving, nostalgic look at the coming apocalypse.” STRANGE GIRL LIMITED EDITION SLIPCASE COLLECTION, a four-volume signed slipcase strictly limited to 1000 editions for $49.99, will be in-stores January 13th, 2010. 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.

Crumb's Book of Genesis

The Hammer Museum is located in Los Angeles. The folks that are out there are luck because of a new exhibit hitting the museum by R. Crumb. More specifically, his adapation of the first book of the Old Testament. The Old Testament isn't really what comes to mind immediately when you think "comic book adaptation." Crumb's work though is phenomenal and breathes new life into a seemingly age-old story. He's spent the last five years on the work and his exhibit at the museum features 207 individual black and white drawings that incorporates every word from all fifty chapters. Throw in a cover, title page, introduction and back cover and you've got the makings of something pretty freaking cool. Each drawing contains six to eight comic panels illustrating everything from Adam and Eve to Noah's Ark to Sodom and Gomorrah. His exhibit will be preceded by a solo exhibition at the following locations: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco) Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia) The Museum of Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) Whitechapel Art Gallery (London) David Zwirner (New York) Paul Morris Gallery (New York) Check out the link to the Hammer Gallery website and get schooled in Crumb's life (as much as two paragraphs can do). The illustrations from the Book of Genesis are pretty unique and really add a brand new take on the story that just about everyone knows by heart, religious or not. Crumb's Book of Genesis

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Arrivals: October 28, 2009

On Bored to Death the other night, Ted Danson's character George Christopher paired up the two main characters on a new comic book. His reasoning? "Comics are coming back right?" Yep. Comics have come back and are here to stay. Just like vampires. And zombies. Radical Publishing is another purveyor of the funny pages to capitalize on that trend this week with Federal Vampire Zombie Agency #1. I'm a big fan of both and highly advise you to pick this one up when you make your comic book run this week. The premise is actually pretty interesting. It recognizes that vampires and zombies do in exist. Naturally, the US government is quick to create an agency (appropriately called Federal Vampire Zombie Agency) to regulate their interactions with humans. The agency was on a lengthy hiatus; however, with the recent resurgence of both forms of the undead it's been shown to be necessary again. Writer David Hine and artist Roy Martinez have created the story of Landra, a descendant of the FVZA. Vampire, zombies, hot shotgun-wielding chick. Awesome. Check out Tom's review here. And check out the book in stores this week. Enjoy! New Arrivals: October 28, 2009

Defense with the BoomPick

Hello there and welcome back to Tuesday and the pick of the week. This week brings us a slew of new comics to choose from and might be a bit much. Well that's why we're here to help you sort it all out. I'm going to go with my pick which is Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors #5. This series has been an awesome read so far with the level of story that you can expect from having three powerhouse characters from the horror genre in it. I have to say these issues haven’t been as gory as the first meeting of these three, but the release of the Deadite army from the last issue is promises to increase the death toll dramatically. Needless to say you need should be picking this new issue up tomorrow as you will not regret it. Plenty of action and a touch of that classic Ash humor makes it a great read. Be ready to continue the battle for the entire world’s souls against the Deadite Army, Jason and worse Freddy.

Preview - Robotika: For a Few Rubles More Double-Sized Issue #1-2

If I'm alive long enough to see Skynet become self-aware there's always the possibility of Robotika. Wait a minute. ....................... So apparently "Robotika" isn't robot erotica. I was way off. It's a good thing too, because if Robotika was robot erotica then Archaia would probably be in an entirely different media genre. Robotika: For a Few Rubles More Double-Sized Issue #1-2 is written and illustrated by Alex Sheikman and is actually about hallucinogenic tadpoles, Black Legion mercenaries, Beppe the Gangster, the Queen, Digital Djhitis and the Three Yojimbos. They're not characters in some zany sitcom family, but characters caught in the middle to two rival gangs. At the center of the rivalry is a drug deal gone bad. It falls on Niko to fight his equal in Mister Saint in an effort to bring peace to the conflict. Check out interiors below, and the book should be in stores October 28. All 64 pages of it for $4.99. Pay attention to the mature rating though if you're an underage Omnicomic reader.

Astonishing X-Men music video

I'm not sure the burgeoning motion-comic trend really needs music videos accompanying new releases, but when you're Marvel I guess you can kind of set the trend. After the jump is a music video for the Astonishing X-Men motion comic that's due in digital stores October 28 (and by digital stores I mean iTunes). The song is "Rise Up" and features the musical stylings of David Ari Leon, Guy Erez, Bronx Style Bob, Christian Altman and the Marvel Music Group. Yes, apparently Marvel does have a music group (no word as to whether the new purchase by Disney will lead to a zany Randy Newman happy rendition of this song). If the music video isn't enough to make you want to purchase the digital comic then maybe the comic projected three stories high in Union Square at MarvelFest will. Just a thought. Peep the music with video accompaniament after the jump.

Review - Heroes: Chapter 6 Strange Attractors

I love when the show opens with the sexiness that is Sylar's long hair in a sex scene. What makes it even better is Parkman waking up after the act. Fun. Spoilers ahead. Will the real Sylar please stand up? He's constantly pulling at the fraying conscious of Parkman, continuing to play the head games with him. This leads to the inevitable breakdown between Matt and his wife as he's leaving her for a while. I forgot that she knew about his ability, so it's kind of refreshing that he just comes clean to Janice about his situation. He pleads with her to get away, to which she responds that she'll take Matty and leave instead. Thanks to the writers for not having Janice completely break down and lose it. Until she goes to get his partner for help. Sylar is just slowly eating away at his mind. Or is he? Parkman realizes that if he's inebriated that Sylar won't have nearly the same effect on him. Makes sense that alcohol impairs judgment. If you ever need to rationalize getting drunk just tell yourself that you're trying to get rid of Sylar's influence. I really, really like that Parkman has to get drunk to deal with his mental demons. Not sure if I can endorse the subtle symbolism of drowning your miseries in alcohol. Miseries that are defiant even in the face of an alcohol-induced stupor. Does Parkman think that getting drunk once is really going to push Sylar out once and for all? Parkman stirs and finds Janice and his partner waiting for him. No Sylar though. He gets his sobriety chip again to start the process anew. It's got to be a matter of time before Sylar rears his head again. Unless Parkman waking up is really an illusion. For the record I called it before Sylar was seen walking and throwing the apple. Which means that now Parkman has been pushed out of his body in place of Sylar. Bennett is sticking up for Jeremy, trying to absolve him of the murders he actually committed. The small town yokel sheriff is the only thing that stands in Bennett's way of adopting him as a son (maybe to make up for the one he lost in the divorce?). He calls on Traci for help, arriving in the appropriately product-placed Nissan. I would've guessed that the Haitian would be making an appearance, but the hot blonde aunt works just as well. She connects with him over their abilities and it's actually a decent scene. Earlier mentioned yokel sheriff however has other ideas and plans on using his journal entries as evidence of his anger. Once Traci realizes that he's not going to be released so easily, she calls in a favor to Dennis (the senator she works for I believe). She's greeted on the street by not Dennis but Samuel. I'm assuming that his compass tracks down the other mutants, which is the only way I can explain his suddenly being there. He's offering him a whole new world for herself and Jeremy at the carnival, and she refuses. I like that not everyone is being lured in by Samuel's ravings about the necessity of the mutants to have fun at the carnival. It didn't take Jeremy long to ruin his freedom (eing greeted by an angry mob will do that to you) and he ignores Bennett's pleas to save the man he just killed. The sheriff escorts him back in, but little does the sheriff know that Gil (deputy?) has taken him outside to extract revenge for his murders. Logically, this revenge is chaining his legs to the back of a pickup truck and having someone drive away. As if that's not enough, his body is left in the middle of the main thoroughfare for Bennett and Traci to find his body. This obviously leads Traci to reconsider Samuel's offer because why should a kid like Jeremy be invisible (figuratively of course)? Needless to say Traci is upset and tells Bennett to never call her again. Somehow Samuel knows what happened to Jeremy and he arrives to go all Magneto on the sheriff's office. Except with earth instead of magnetism. It's the vengeance I was expecting, only I was waiting for Traci to flood the town. I suppose tattoo chick tells Samuel when mutants are in danger and the brotherhood is quickly forming. Claire and Gretchen are having a sleepless night. You can cut the bi-curious tension with a knife! The whole angle is furthered by their intimate moment in the trunk of the sorority sister's car as a pledge kidnapping. Cue the incessantly annoying pledge sisters, scared of the situation they're in (screaming scavenger hunts will do that I suppose). They find themselves in a slaughterhouse pitted against another pair of would-be sisters. I understand the Halloween thing but I feel like we could've done without the whole "college co-eds in an abandoned factory" setting as a backdrop for discovering sexuality. And virginity. Gretchen continues her obsession with Claire by theorizing that the two of them are "strange attractors," opposite particles that are super powerful when united. Claire has suddenly gotten wiser and smarter somehow, as she's quickly put together that someone may be after Gretchen for whatever reason. Of course, her first thought is that someone has telekinesis as opposed to being invisible, so I'd expect the mutated sleight of hand to go on for a few episodes. Or not. Just a tad bit later in the episode Claire senses something afoot in the prep room. As Gretchen is being strangled by a chain, Claire knows someone is there and she takes a swing with a stick. She knocks invisible sorority sister off and what ensues is a quick fight that finishes with Claire impaled and invisible sister exposed from a meathook to the arm. She gets up to leave right as the other two would-be sisters are showing up. They arrive just in time to see Claire be pulled off the impaler and heal. This show does best when it minimizes the different characters shown in each episode. I like the volleying back and forth, as this week was all about Claire, Bennett/Traci and Parkman/Sylar. Samuel continues to loom in the background as an inevitable supervillain, although his motives aren't completely clear as of yet. I still think that the showdown between Sylar and Samuel is going to be pretty magnificent, however I worry that the good/bad storyline is getting played out and Sylar always playing the bad guy. Hopefully both guys can survive and continue a cat and mouse game. What would be even cooler is if Parkman loses it completely and becomes a bad guy. This week's episode was well thought out and relatively intelligent. It was much more character driven (as opposed to story driven) and nothing really felt forced for the sake of continuity. Parkman continues his slide towards full-out insanity, while Sylar continues his ascension to restoring his parts to a whole. Claire doesn't piss me off, and Bennett isn't going anywhere. Samuel dropping the sheriff's office will no doubt lead to repercussions down the road. Overall score: 80 out of 100

Monday, October 26, 2009

Defense with the BoomStick


Hey out there to all who are listening. Brandon here and I’m feeling lucky to be here after the events of this past weekend. Almost kicked the bucket a few times on this last mission I went on and lost some good people though. Not in the mood for small talk so let's get to the news and the tip of the week. To start there have been rumors about the government building up their fortifications in New England. They are actually attempting to build one giant wall to cordon it off from the rest of the country making a giant safe zone. At the moment it is not safe to head in that direction as all the noise and work they are doing is drawing zombies to them.
They have a solid offensive line keeping them safe with tons of hardware so be careful if you go that way as you could be shot mistakenly. Here's a bit of news from around the world. It seems that there are reports of strongholds in Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. New Zealand has been completely swept and is becoming a safe haven for refugees, but be warned as they are allowing people on a limited base for their safety. Now for the tip of the week. Today I’m going to talk about things to do that will keep you sharp and help keep you alive.

Once you get to a safe place that you decide to make your home it becomes easy for you to be complacent and lose a bit of that survival edge. One of the worst things about finding a safe place is that the feeling of death all around you can make you relax and not train as hard. There are some things you can do to combat this, such as maintaining your weapon and making sure it is clean and in working order. That is one thing you do not want to fail you in a life or death situation, for it to jam on you when a zombie is coming at you.

When you are out in the open with zombies everywhere you realize this and stay alert at all times even when sleeping, but lose that when safe within a building or someplace that you can survive at. To fight this you have to keep a constant watch over the place and just keep your mental sharpness with drills and not let yourself kick back, thinking the world is back to normal. Doing that will get you killed in a heartbeat and get your group killed if you're not careful. Also keeping your gear collected and not spread out aids you in case of needing to leave in a hurry. Well that's it for today. Got work to finish on the gear we brought back and to make it able to be used. Until next week this is Brandon signing off.

Lady Deadpool

Deadpool may have a girlfriend. Lady Deadpool. Rob Liefeld tweeted the above picture and captioned it with the following: "Introducing: Lady Deadpool. January 2010. Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth #7" Seems pretty self-explanatory to me.

Preview - The God Machine OGN Preview Book

You might say you're having a bad day when your girlfriend dies. Guy Salvatore is having a bad day. In The God Machine OGN Preview Book, Guy is mourning the death of his girlfriend. And each morning he's being accosted by monsters emerging from the bathroom mirror. Each day his friends at school at accosting him emotionally, making sure he's ok. Guy really just wants to be left alone. One day he decides to visit Sith's (his girlfriend) tombstone where he's greeted by the promise that Sith might be alive. This greeting comes courtesy of Good God, a beautiful goddess seeking the lost key to heaven alongside Evil God. Guy can see them, which is odd considering that they're supposed to be invisible to mortals. Chandra Free is writer and artist, and the book is now available in stores for $3.95. Check out some interiors after the jump.