Monday, November 30, 2009

Defense with the BoomStick



Hello out there. It's Brandon here and it looks like Monday has come upon us again mighty quickly. Been a busy weekend with attacks and distress calls going off around the Midwest keeping us busy. Without further delay I bring to you the news and tip of the week. First off the news. It looks like a bit of a slow week in the world. Not a lot of zombie activity in the inhabited areas and things have been quiet just about everywhere worldwide. For the wall being built in the New England region they have encircled the Canadian border side and now have that entire area surrounded and secure for refugees. The most accessible points of entry are the sea ports, as most land routes attract hordes of zombies to the one remaining land gate.

Also Alaska has seen a huge influx of refugees as well because zombies can’t survive in that condition, so head that way. Cuba is once again producing supplies and exports that they are willing to trade with anyone who can pay. With that we have the news and now for the tip of the week. Today I am going to go over a good method for clearing out a building when doing a search for supplies.

Now depending on the type of building light will be an issue if there aren’t enough windows so plan ahead. Find a point of entrance out of sight to not draw attention to yourself and establish a base room to operate out of. This will be your fall back point and place of rest while doing the search; if it’s a big building make sure to do it slowly if allowed the time. You want to make sure to sweep every room with two people teams at all times to insure each other’s safety. Focus on clearing the building first, but once that's complete then begin your supply collection and gather enough to not overburden yourself. Depending on what sort of surrounding the building is in while doing the search make sure to keep an eye on the situation outside to keep you escape window open.

Now if you're going to do a supply run in a supermarket then make sure to use the door on the side or back and do it during the day. If you do it during the day then there are no lights to shine through the big window and display a buffet for any zombies outside making it an overall safer situation. Keep low to the ground while maneuvering the aisles and if you do run into zombies while in the store try to take them out as quietly as possible with melee weapons or silenced ones. Never waste time once the building is secure; get all the supplies you can and get out otherwise you invite yourself to becoming on the menu for the zombies that are sure to be on the way. That's all for today. Until next week this is Brandon signing off and remember to keep fighting and keep surviving.

Review - The Anchor #2

It seems that Boom! Studios is really coming out with lots of new titles that are pretty unique lately. You’d think that with as long as comics have been around things would start seeming fairly recycled, but for some reason Anchor seems somewhat unique. The artwork is pretty traditional illustration, but the story so far has a pretty fresh feel to it. The Anchor, otherwise known as Clem, is an otherworldly figure who seems to guard this world from hell, while also protecting this world from the demons that make it through. What happens in one place seems to affect his being in the other creating some interesting opportunities for creative fights. In hell, Clem is constantly vigilant, embroiled in a constant war to keep demons and other foul creatures from being able to enter our world. On Earth, Clem is a solitary figure seeming distant from others and focused on his task. The task currently seems to be defeating five Furies that have been unleashed on the world. In Issue #1, he defeated the first of these, an ice monster threatening Reykjavik, by having his other self in hell hold a fire hound causing his hands to light on fire on Earth. This issue picks up in the aftermath of that battle. Read on for an overview of the issue and perhaps a preview of battles to come. This issue picks up with Clem walking out of the ocean near the cliffs surrounding a recently raided Abbey. The lone occupant remaining takes him in and allows him to recover. While caring for Clem, the education he received in between his nightmares was that of a holy man. Back in current times, Clem finally awakes uttering the word Strathclyde, an old term for Scotland used in ancient times. Clem realizes that the next Fury he must face is there as the mysterious figure from the last episode warns that he has defeated but one of the five furies. Clem, near death moments ago is suddenly up and says that he must leave. The reporters aching for an interview as well as the woman who gave him medical attention, Hofi, object. Hofi wants to go with him, and Clem seems to have a look of almost happiness on his face as she declares this. The scene shifts from here to a military facility briefly where it appears that at least someone who belongs in this world has an idea of what is going on. While the news reports the beginnings of what could be a cover up, one ominous figure begins scrambling forces to Reykjavik. In the meantime, Hofi has secured a boat to Scotland and she and Clem discuss his past. He is confused by the changes in the world since he walked out of the ocean to find himself in an abbey what seems like 1,000 years ago. The American forces that scrambled to Reykjavik in the meantime have arrived and are questioning Hofi’s partner Peter about the incident. These are not friendly people…I’m just saying. In the meantime Clem has arrived in Scotland at the park where the next Fury is hiding. He enters the forest and encounters a spirit who guides him to where “the horned man” is. The Fury seems to be a centaur looking beast with the skull of a great buck for a head. At his command are a herd of evil bucks or elks and he attacks immediately. It seems that the Fury is a twisted and evil spirit of the forest who sees himself as a representative for the voice of nature. Clem gets brutalized but then once again uses some clever fighting to gain the upper hand. Meanwhile back in the other world, the hell that Clem’s spirit holds his vigil, General Leling is getting frustrated by the constant reports of his forces being pounded to dust. It is NOT good to be this particular General’s messenger. The General has not lost hope though, because while the monk’s spirit may be tireless and better then any wall, he knows that the flesh is weak. The Monk exists in both worlds, and the death of one might be the death of all. As he eats the next heart, the Americans show up, and it appears that Clem might be in some trouble. This issue did a nice job introducing some of Clem’s background, including why he speaks like a holy man so much of the time, but we still really don’t know his origins. We know that he fights the forces of General Leling and Satan in Hell while defending the world from the monsters that are sent through. The battles are pretty brutal, but the focus of the comic so far seems mostly to be the journey. I like the variety of the demons in the book and the enemies seem really unique. I’m looking forward to the next issue and to see how those damn evil Americans impact Clem’s ability to protect us not only on Earth, but also from the forces of hell.

Preview - Gotham City Sirens #6

When you get Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman together you know that things will be mischievous. In Gotham City Sirens #6 the lovely threesome are faced with Mr. J's secret out in the open. What's the secret? Well, it's enough to jar Harley who adores Joker. Paul Dini and Guillem March are working on the sixth issue which hit stores last week (it might've gotten lost in the Thanksgiving fold). Enjoy a preview after the jump, courtesy of DC's The Source.

Marvel Digital Comics Subscription Cyber Monday

Oh Cyber Monday, you capitalism-driven creation. You loveable excuse for a followup to Black Friday, except without waiting in line at 3 AM and risking your life and safety for that TV that is $200 less than it should respectably be. What comic deals may be had on this day? Marvel's got one for you. Using the code "CYBER09" will net you 30% off a Marvel Digital Comics Subscription. Which drops the price from $59.88 to about $42 or so. Not bad right? Maybe Marvel will make Cyber Monday a new character in their universe if you subscribe with the code.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I kind of like this whole Red Hulk thing. I feel like it’s been terribly under-rated. My favorite bit is just trying to figure out who Red Hulk is. I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with some old Hulk villain who might be a plausible identity for the newest villain in the Hulk mythos. The rumor I keep hearing is that “Rulk” is going to turn out to be Glenn Talbot. Who’s that you’re saying? Talbot was that annoying military guy in Ang Lee’s Hulk- the guy who has a thing for Betty Ross and punches Banner in the stomach before being promptly FLATTENED by an angry Hulk. He’d certainly be ruthless enough- he has that dark, repressed side that comes out when you really get to know him. He’s supposed to be dead (although who knows, right?)- went down fighting the Hulk. Of course, that doesn’t mean the military and gamma rays couldn’t resurrect him. On the other hand- Glenn has a nephew whose sworn vengeance against the Hulk, Matt Talbot, and Glenn’s brother Brian is a member of the “Gamma Corps” (a group of superpowered individuals that the military has employed to take down the Hulk) and has had strands of Hulk DNA spliced into his body. While Matt blames the Hulk for his uncle’s death, Brian was abused by Glenn constantly. So maybe Red Hulk is just Brian’s pent up hostility? I mean, it would make sense- Rulk really is the worst bully you could ever come across. But I’ve got another set of candidates- how about the Hulkbusters? There was a whole array of people who were part of this defunct military unit who might want a little payback on Banner. I mean, the Hulkbusters were never exactly successful. Think one of them would have volunteered for ‘special service’? Of course, now there’s this whole Red She-Hulk fiasco. Where’d she come from? I’d be hard pressed to dream up some She-Hulk villain who might have stepped in to take on this role…and unless the Talbot family have some distant relation we don’t know about. There are some candidates from the Hulkbusters that I think might fit. Anybody else got any convincing theories?

Review - Die Hard Year One #3

Well what do we have here? The latest issue of Die Hard Year One that after reading shows this series kicking it up a notch. For those of you out there who loves Die Hard but haven’t been reading this comic you are missing out. You are getting the chance to see how it all started for John McClane as a rookie cop during 1976 on the streets of New York City. Following is my review of issue three and this one takes the story to a whole new level where there are three stories are now merging into one big crazy situation. This issue picks up with the young woman Rosie continuing her run from the two crooked cops who murder someone in front of her. She almost finds herself on a collision course with officer McClane, but he is intercepted by the Commissioner and the wife of the richest man in New York City wanting him for security on her boat. We then pick back up with the crooked cops talking to the other member of their group about losing the girl down by the pier. The same pier that Rosie shows up on, and they quickly pounce on the chance to grab her and get rid of her once and for all. Lady Luck shines upon her though and she winds up on the same boat that McClane is on, finally merging the stories together. So far they have all been compelling on their own but how it’s all playing out is blowing my mind. Sure enough the party is going on and McClane is having a good time while being hit on by the rich man’s wife. Eventually he bumps into Rosie and starts chatting her up, but then the boat gets held up by robbers. What is crazy is the robbers are the crooked cops still in their uniforms rolling up in a freaking police boat. They just don’t care what they do or how it looks and goes to show the mentality of New York City during the 70’s and I love that about this series. It doesn’t hold anything back, while taking over the boat the crooked cop’s crew start rounding up guest and then cap a cook in the back of the head. The same closet that they decide to shove the cook’s body into holds McClane and Rosie hiding. Back up on the top deck it looks like they plan on blowing up the boat as the end of the issue shows us the guy I think is running it all show up in a freaking mini sub. If that isn’t some James Bond stuff then I don’t know what because that is awesome they went there. This series is only getting better and better in my eyes. They have taken a character with so much depth and determination to show how it all began in this manner just blends perfectly. I would think this rivals some of the other Year One novels out there, because they have hit it head on. If you haven’t read the first two yet then you need to as you are missing out on a kickass comic. There you have it my review of Die Hard Year One issue #3.

Spider-Man episode 17

Yes, it's a slow news day. It's also probably a slow work day, if you're one of those unfortunate folk that have to work the day after Thanksgiving. So to help you pass the time check out episode #17 of Spider-Man, the fantastic animated show from 1994. In this episode, Spider-Mans progressing mutation is making him ill and prompts a visit with Professor X. He meets the X-Men but learns that the Professor doesn't "cure" mutants, and after Beast tells him about Dr. Herbert Landon he decides to check him out. Little did he know that paying Dr. Landon would involve a deathmatch between him, Wolverine and Hobgoblin. Enjoy the video after the jump.

Image United #1 moves to second printing

You think Image Comics is onto something with this whole Image United thing? I mean, beyond it being the first "reunion" of all the original Image Comics founders the book hopes to create a pretty epic crossover story. After reading the first issue I can tell you that the ambitions for awesomeness may be met, and clearly do other readers because the first print has already sold out. "As soon as I held IMAGE UNITED in my hand, I just knew these would go," said Marc Nathan, owner of Reisterstown, MD's Cards Comics & Collectibles and Promoter of the Baltimore Comic Con. "You just knew the covers were going to go. It was perfectly smart on Image's part to put them out this weekend - the best shopping week of the year. Everyone is coming to this weekend to shop, so you know people will be coming back for #2." So yes, it was smart for Image Comics to release it when they did. But did you know they OVERPRINTED the first issue? The fact that they anticipated the demand and still couldn't meet it just goes to show you how much people were wishing for this book. Writer Robert Kirkman agrees and want you to know it's a sign of excellent things to come. "With an overprint this substantial, this immediate sellout is a clear indication the founders and their pantheon of characters are as hot as ever. The greatest part about the sell out is this is just the beginning. The best is yet to come." The second printing of Image United #1 will hit stores December 23 for $2.99. Full press release after the jump. PRESS RELEASE - IMAGE UNITED'S MAMMOTH DEBUT COMPLETELY SELLS OUT UPON RELEASE! IMAGE UNITED, the Image Comics crossover of the century, sells out at a distribution-level despite significant overprint! 25 November 2009 (Berkeley, CA) - IMAGE UNITED, the six-part crossover featuring Image Founders Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino, made its debut today with a near-immediate sellout at the distribution-level. "As soon as I held IMAGE UNITED in my hand, I just knew these would go," said Marc Nathan, owner of Reisterstown, MD's Cards Comics & Collectibles and Promoter of the Baltimore Comic Con. "You just knew the covers were going to go. It was perfectly smart on Image's part to put them out this weekend - the best shopping week of the year. Everyone is coming to this weekend to shop, so you know people will be coming back for #2." IMAGE UNITED is a six-part crossover encompassing the entire Image superhero universe and features each Image founder illustrating their own characters. Since its announcement, the crossover has garnered headlines from the New York Times, USAToday and other massive media outlets with its once-in-a-lifetime approach to the superhero crossover. Despite a significant overprint, the first issue managed to sell out at a distribution-level in less than twelve hours. A new printing will be released to coincide with the second issue and features a cover by SPAWN and HAUNT creator Todd McFarlane. IMAGE UNITED writer Robert Kirkman said, "With an overprint this substantial, this immediate sellout is a clear indication the founders and their pantheon of characters are as hot as ever. The greatest part about the sell out is this is just the beginning. The best is yet to come." Added Image Publisher Eric Stephenson: "Working to pull this project together has been an amazing experience for everyone involved, but it's been even more incredible to hear the response we've been getting not only from fans but our partners in the retail community. Everyone's enthusiasm has been extremely gratifying and we can't wait for everyone to see how this whole project unfolds." IMAGE UNITED #1 2nd Printing, a 32-page full color comic book for $3.99, will be on-sale December 23. And for those who can't wait for the second printing, a special collector's edition of IMAGE UNITED #1 featuring a gold foil-stamped logo is on sale December 3. 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.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Just make sure you don't insult your son's new girlfriend while trying to find the one rival that will put a stop to your megalomaniac desires. Don't be that guy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Hidden S in Phone Booth

Five great underrated Superhero film/television performances... The list of great performances in superhero films is a short, but distinguished one starting with Christopher Reeves, Michael Keaton, Christian Bale and, of course, Heath Ledger. Despite these fine and memorable performances there are quite a few more that go unnoticed for one reason or another. Here are a handful of peformances worth a second look... George Reeve as Superman Christopher Reeves is often thought of as the gold standard for celluloid versions of the Man of Steel and it is true that his performance in 1978 helped make him a minor Hollywood star and helped usher in a degree of seriousness and quality for Hollywood superhero films. Having said that, George Reeves is still the best Superman on television or film to date. Why? Mainly the reasons have to do with G. Reeves' good-natured but authoritarian prescience as Superman AND Clark Kent. C. Reeves' Clark Kent was the wuss that the character has too often been portrayed as (unnecessarily so). George Reeves' portrayal of Clark Kent was as a competent professional newspaperman who was smooth and competent almost to the point of being suave. Physically, Reeve was no candidate for a Men's Health cover, but he did have the right barrel-chested, thick-waisted shape that the comics Superman had in the 50's. For what it is worth, it seems that Alex Ross in particular pays great homage to Reeves' portrayal in many of his Superman portraits. Thomas Jane as the Punisher This film is no undiscovered masterpiece, but it is a good film with a solid performance by a buffed up Thomas Jane. Of the Marvel films from this decade, it seems to in some ways be the most realistic and is more along the lines of one of the 70's style revenge flicks like Dirty Harry or one of the Charles Bronson epics with a cracked superman coming on strong for revenge. Jane, a solid performer (but so far not a star), was crucial casting as the actor commands audience sympathy as both a vigilante and a good father and husband. Marvel (usually a good caretaker of its properties) seems to have dropped the ball here as the sequel was a bungle with another actor (the intimidating but limited Ray Stevenson) and a different and superviolent tone*. The Punisher could be a property that would work well in episodic television, but at this point Punisher fans will have to make due with this solid effort and Jane's respectable performance. *Editor's Note: Marvel more than dropped the ball on this one. They dropped an hour and a half of your life that you'll never, ever get back. Gabriel Macht as The Spirit I don't know what happened with The Spirit. It was no disaster, but it's performance at the box office was such that it basically put the kibosh on any sequels (not to say anything of Frank Miller's career as a director, which seems to have stalled if not imploded). I hate when journalists say the audience doesn't "get it" but I think this might have been a time when the audience (and critics for that matter) really did not get it. In the middle of this is a great, witty turn by Gabriel Macht as the Spirit. Wittier than Bale's Dark Knight, less intense than Downey's Tony Stark and more fun than Ed Norton's Hulk; Macht has the kind of old-fashioned looks that might have made him a move star a generation or two ago. Unfortunately, there is nothing more out of fashion now than traditional movie star looks, so Macht might have to be satisfied with being a steady working actor. Too bad. Billy Zane as the Phantom Zane's performance as the Phantom is one of the most unusual in superhero films and probably one of the least witnessed as this film did poorly at the box office and is rarely on television. I actually interviewed Billy Zane when I lived in North Carolina for a straight-to-video film called Morgan's Ferry and I asked him about the film. He told me that he based his performance on some of the body language of the Phantom character of the strips and even some dance stuff from Gene Kelly. Looking at the film again there is some of that stuff in there which makes it the rare superhero film which has Gene Kelly as an influence. Beyond this, Zane got in admirable shape and from just a pure "look" standpoint he made a great looking Phantom in an unfortunately bad film. Matthew Goode as Adrien Viedt This is definitely a guilty pleasure pick in a list of guilty pleasures. Goode, a solid British leading man type cut out for Noel Coward plays and squiring Keira Knightley around, is cast as the "so heroic he has to be the bad guy" Adrien Veidt/Ozymandias in Zack Snyder's Watchmen. This film was a considerable and bitter disappointment to fan's of this work who had waited decades for a film treatment. Goode, in my mind, was the best thing in the film, mainly because he looked more at home in his ridiculous costume (unlike Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earl Haley) and actually seemed at home in his Egyptian inspired "Fortress of Solitude" lair. Goode even seemed convincing in his fight scenes; his performance is a small triumph of casting against type. Honorable Mention: Sylvester Stallone in Judge Dredd ("PREPARE TO BE JUDGED!)-Priceless stuff... The Hidden S

Review - The Waking #1-4


Editor's Note: This review has been pared down from what was originally presented. In our zeal to push this comic as best as possible it was brought to our attention that maybe telling too much of the story isn't the best way to sell a new comic. What follows is a revised review, devoid of too many important story details. Regardless you should be buying this series simply because Raven Gregory is behind it, and he knows a thing or two about writing comics.


Hey there kiddos! It’s time for another review for your reading pleasure. This week we bring you Zenescope’s The Waking from the mind of Raven Gregory. This comic is an interesting one and we’ll be reviewing four issues today. It appears that The Waking consists of a cop mystery/Walking Dead type of book.

I have no idea whether I’ll classify this as a zombie comic, but overall the story is really well written and there is a suspenseful sense that consistently hangs over this one.

Preview - Days Missing #4

The saga continues in Days Missing #4 by Matz and featuring art by Hugo Petrus. It's April 21st, 1519. Hernan Cortez and 500 soldiers have reached Mexico after fleeing Cuba. Meanwhile The Steward is anxious to prevent the wholesale slaughter of the indigenous people there and will go to great lengths to ensure the Spaniards' defeat. What entails is a battle of wits between Cortez and The Steward. The book is due in stores today and can be had for $2.99. Check out a sneak preview after the jump.

Frank Frazetta on holiday

I find myself struggling sometimes to get that perfect gift for the Frank Frazetta fan in my household. Sure the guy's done tons of art in illustrious career but how can you decide what specifically makes a good gift? What if I were to tell you that Image Comics is offering a collection of Frazetta's works? Is that something you'd be interested in? The Fantastic Worlds of Frank Frazetta returns this holiday season in a second collection of Frazetta's one-shots. It's expected that this thing is going to sell out faster than the Nintendo Wii two years ago so you may want to get a preorder in sooner than later. And it's not just a random assortment of some of his finer works. No sir/ma'am, it's something that fans will definitely want to pick up this holiday season. "THE FANTASTIC WORLDS OF FRANK FRAZETTA continues to honor the wide breadth of material beloved by fans of the master artist," Frazetta Comics editor Jay Fotos said. "We've gone to great lengths to ensure the newest volume will be released in time for the holiday season, but we highly encourage those looking to grab a copy to pre-order to ensure theirs is received in time as there will only be a limited amount of copies before the new year." The Fantastic Worlds of Frank Frazetta, Vol. 2 is an oversized, limited-edition hardcover that collects Neanderthal, Moon Maid, Sorcer and Freedom from the Frazetta Comics imprint. Each chapter presents a new adventure by creators such as Tim Vigil, Jay Fotos, Joshua Ortega, Chris Ryall, Nat Jones & others, all stamped with the Frazetta seal of approval. There's also never-before-seen bonus scripts, preliminary sketches, unused pages and much, much more. The 178-page full color tome will run you $29.99 and will be available December 24. A last minute Christmas gift sure but it at least it will be obtainable before Christmas. Full press release below. PRESS RELEASE - ENSURE YOUR TRIP TO FRANK FRAZETTA'S FANTASTIC WORLDS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! The second collection of tales from the master artist of sci-fi and fantasy comes in limited quantities this December! 24 November 2009 (Berkeley, CA) - THE FRANK FRAZETTA'S FANTASTIC WORLDS returns this holiday season with an all-new hardcover collection containing the second series of highly praised Frank Frazetta inspired and approved one-shots finally under one cover! Due to the extremely limited availability of copies before the new year, fans eager to purchase the volume are highly encouraged to put in their order into their local comic book store now now. "THE FANTASTIC WORLDS OF FRANK FRAZETTA continues to honor the wide breadth of material beloved by fans of the master artist," Frazetta Comics editor Jay Fotos said. "We've gone to great lengths to ensure the newest volume will be released in time for the holiday season, but we highly encourage those looking to grab a copy to pre-order to ensure theirs is received in time as there will only be a limited amount of copies before the new year." THE FANTASTIC WORLDS OF FRANK FRAZETTA, VOL. 2, an oversized, limited-edition hardcover, collects NEANDERTHAL, MOON MAID, SORCERER, and FREEDOM from Image?s bestselling Frazetta Comics imprint. Each chapter of THE FANTASTIC WORLDS OF FRANK FRAZETTA presents an all-new adventure by some of the comic book industry's most exciting creators including Tim Vigil, Jay Fotos, Joshua Ortega, Chris Ryall, Nat Jones & others, all inspired and approved by the master artist himself. This volume also contains many never-before-seen bonus scripts, preliminary sketches, unused pages and much, much more. THE FANTASTIC WORLDS OF FRANK FRAZETTA, VOL. 2 (Diamond SEP090290/ISBN 1607061619), a 178-page full color hardcover for $29.99, will be in comic book stores December 24, 2009. 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.

Berserker #4 just as gory as the others

If you're worried that Jeremy Haun is going to make Berserker #4 any less gory and visceral then your fears are unfounded. But there's nothing like a little friendly competition among artists as to who can out-gore the other. Berserker #4 will feature covers by both Haun and Dale Keown and both really escalate the violence. Keown did a variant cover for Berserker #3 where Aaron snarls through his opponent's blood and guts as he tears him in half, and for this issue it looks like he's going a step further. “In addition to producing a compelling story, both Jeremy Haun and Dale Keown seem to be engaged in a good natured competition to see who can produce the grittiest cover image” said Top Cow Publisher, Filip Sablik. Berserker #3 will arrive in stores on November 25th for $2.99. Full press release after the jump. JEREMY HAUN KEEPS TOP COW’S NEWEST SERIES STAINED IN BLOOD BERSERKER #4 BRINGS MORE BONE CRUSHING LOS ANGELES, Calif., November 23, 2009 – Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today the November 2009 release of Berserker #4. Berserker is the first comic book series Top Cow has released in conjunction with DiVide Pictures, the production company founded by Milo Ventimiglia of Television’s Heroes fame and Russ Cundiff. Written and created by screenwriter Rick Loverd (Boston Public, Friday Night Lights) with art by Jeremy Haun (Battle for the Cowl: Arkham, Chuck), Berserker #4 explores what happens when the Berserkers led by Midgard and Asgaard hunt down and push Farris and Aaron over the edge. As both rival groups compete to recruit these powerful young Berserkers to their respective causes, one wonders if there can truly be a winner. Will there be any hope for a return to humanity for Farris and Aaron after they awake from their frenzied rage? The graphic cover images for Berserker #4 by series artist Haun and series cover artist Dale Keown intensifies the violence depicted on previous published issue., Previous covers such as Dale Keown’s cover to Berserker #3, where series character Aaron snarls through his opponent’s blood and intestines as he tears him in half have certainly pushed the envelope, but the new images take things even further. “Top Cow is thrilled to collaborate with DiVide Pictures for the Berserker series,” said Top Cow Publisher, Filip Sablik. “In addition to producing a compelling story, both Jeremy Haun and Dale Keown seem to be engaged in a good natured competition to see who can produce the grittiest cover image.” Berserker #3 will arrive in stores on November 25th and features covers by Dale Keown and Jeremy Haun. Berserker #4 is priced at $2.99 as part of Top Cow Productions ongoing promotion to maintain the low cover price of $2.99 in 2009 for all their regular issues.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Arrivals: November 25, 2009

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Eve...I've officially made it so. It's also New Comic Book Day, and is a great day to stock up comics to get you through what's hopefully a four-day weekend (unless your employer/school doesn't give you Friday off). A slew of new comics are coming out this week but I think everyone knows the one that should be at the top of your list. Image United #1. Honestly, this book has been ten to fifteen years in the making. The glorious reunion of all the founding fathers of Image is upon us with all of them bringing their signature creations to the table. Todd McFarlane has Spawn, Erik Larsen Savage Dragon, Whilce Portacio Fortress (an original character), Rob Liefeld Youngblood, Jim Valentino Shadowhank and Marc Silvestri Witchblade/Cyberforce/The Darkness. Dale Keown's Pitt is also mixed in, as well covers by the last founding member Jim Lee. Robert Kirkman is the man tasked with bringing all these characters together in one cohesives storyline. The story pits the heroes (some anti-heroes) against the original Spawn, Al Simmons, in what will no doubt be an epic six-issue crossover that folks will be talking about for a while. There are about a zillion different covers (Image Comics may be taking this whole variant thing a little too far) and ultimately the cover you choose will probably be influenced by which of the characters you like most. Of course there will be variants of the variants as well so please don't kill yourself trying to get all the covers. Unless you've lying in bed awake every night since Image "broke up" waiting for such a reunion. Enjoy! New Arrivals: November 25, 2009

Defense with the BoomPick

It looks like Tuesday has come around again and it's time for new comics to come out tomorrow. An always joyous day for the comic fans as you get a chance to continue a tale or perhaps start a new one. Well my pick of the week isn’t a new tale, but the continuing struggle of one man's fight to save a young woman and stop those after her. Yes I am talking about Die Hard Year One #3 coming out tomorrow and showing you more backstory for our unlucky hero John McClane. In this issue we pick back up with our three tales slowly merging into one big story. With Rosie on the run from the crooked cops (who are trying to kill her for seeing them kill someone) she finds herself aboard a party boat. This same party boat is the one Officer McClane is doing security detail on and as always he is always at the wrong place at the wrong time. Needless to say all hell breaks loose on the boat when it's taken over by a certain group of people. Not going to go anymore into the story as I don’t want to ruin it, but trust me you will want to read this one as it’s a great comic. If you're still on the fence about this series check out my previous reviews of the first two issues and I'm sure you'll change your mind. I'll have a review of the third issue up tomorrow.

Preview - Devil's Handshake #1

Larry Hama has cut his teeth on G.I. Joe stories and chances are he's met Fumbles at least once. Writers like to diversify their bonds so to speak and work on other projects as well, projects such as The Devil's Handshake #1 from Archaia Studios Press. Co-written by Hama and Ryan Schifrin and featuring art by Adam Archer and Lizzy John The Devil's Handshake #1 focuses on the adventures of renowned treasure hunders Alaric Moebius and Basil Fox as they traipse the world. From the jungles of New Guinea to the deserts of Libya they're searching for a hidden pyramid with the power to end the world. The 48-page one-shot will set you back $5.95 and is in stores tomorrow (November 25). Enjoy a preview after the jump.

Review - Heroes Chapter 10 - Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving sense is strong with this episode. Mohinder's father has helped clear up Samuel's motives (via video) for the season as he explains the power that the mutants have in the aggregate. His viewing is interrupted by an angry Hiro, and rightfully so I suppose since he really wants to get Charlie back. He makes it clear to Lydia that he's not actually family and is actually being held against his will; this causes all sorts of questions to arise between her and Edgar. Their first question is why wasn't Joseph revived if Hiro fixed the past? She decides to seduce Hiro in order to "feel what he feels" which will supposedly help him find Charlie. Hiro doesn't know why he wasn't asked to save Joseph prompting another trip eight weeks to the past to discover the truth. I'm getting the sense that Samuel is actually not the preferred brother of the two. Lydia and Hiro show up when Samuel confronts Joseph about just about everything. The scene takes place in a beautifully moonlit field where Joseph admits that he's kept things from Samuel because he's too dangerous. Joseph refuses to tell Samuel the secret to his immeasurable power and as you can imagine that sort of thing doesn't go over so well with a psychopath. Samuel is even more upset when he finds out that Joseph sent for an agent (via compass) to come back and take Samuel away. Out of anger Samuel flings a rock at Joseph and nails him right in the neck, killing him. Hiro and Lydia view the whole thing and make a timely escape right before Samuel can find them snooping. As he lords over the gathering in the present he brings up another one of his reassuring lectures where he offers hope for the future. Clearly he's seen the video. And clearly he knows of a traitor, the traitor that killed Joseph. Edgar calls him out on killing Joseph but when he turns to Hiro for help Hiro doesn't offer it, mainly because he still needs to find Charlie. Right as Samuel is about to kill Edgar with a rock (it was a big rock) Hiro stops time to set him free and the two of them vow to kill Samuel, but not yet. Hiro also grows a pair and stands up to Samuel, telling him that he'll leave if he doesn't learn where Charlie is, prompting Samuel to call upon the dreadlocked memory man. Apparently his mind warp didn't go according to plan and Hiro is off to who knows where at this point. Lauren is in Washington, DC, where she runs into Bennett at the grocery store preparing for the upcoming holiday. She offers to help him with his meal preparation which is a thinly veiled attempt to hit on him. The hit worked because he took the opportunity to invite her to allay some of the ex-wife awkwardness. Claire probably won't be happy with this (and of course she's not). She expects the fireworks to fly when her mom and her boyfriend (Doug) arrive. Always a good sign when your ex-wife mistakes your date as the hired help. This is probably going to be one of those gender things but I don't really see that Sandra has any right to be upset about Lauren being there. Not to mention Doug being a complete tool that has been thrust into an awkward situation when true Primatech modus operandi is exposed (subtly of course). It didn't take Doug very long to piss me off with his whole "say what you're thankful for." Of course he would be thankful for his freaking dog Ms. Lovegood and Sandra (the two women in his life). This turns even more awkward in a hurry with Claire's admission of her desire to drop out of school. Claire bursts into her spiel about not fitting in at college. This is all between Noah and Claire (of course) because of their relationship and Sandra really knows nothing about it. I have to give insane props to Claire for shoving the knife in her arm and healing to show Doug that he has no idea what he's gotten into. I'll admit the looks on Sandra's and Lauren's faces were priceless in this scene as well. I don't really get why Lauren feels the need to approach Sandra about the evening's events but sure (I guess it gives her more character). I also don't get Claire saying Noah can't know what she goes through in lying to everyone. He did lie to his entire family for YEARS before the truth came out. Their night ended on a happy note. Gretchen showed up (courtesy of Noah) and her being there convinced Claire to stay in school. Sandra and Doug hit the road and Lauren offers Noah the chance to call her for dinner. Claire continues to show her maturity by swiping the compass from her dad and decides to take her Thanksgiving break to find out where it leads. Nathan has taken up residence at Peter's where he's watching him sleep. This is the perfect time for Ma Petrelli to show up with servants in tow to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for the three of them. It's of course also the perfect time for Peter to confront Angela about the events of last season. Does she really think that she'll pull her persuasion act AGAIN and actually fool Nathan and Peter? It's a little tired and her desire to gloss over and move on is rather repetitive, but at least she used her knowledge as leverage to keep them there. Thank you Nathan and Peter for cutting through the crap and getting right to the point. No more dragging out what we already know for countless episodes. Angela recounts the entire events of that fateful evening in the hotel and expects her sons' forgiveness. Hearing this has to be like encountering your actual clone in real life I've got to imagine...Nathan is handling it quite well. The both of them actually handle it by just staring into space no doubt collecting their thoughts and attempting to reconcile them. Until the power surge where Sylar wakes up. I guess that answers that question where the brief, glancing touch did put Sylar back in his rightful body. He's of course famished and chows down on some servant-prepared turkey. Right before he goes to kill Angela he kisses her and his ceremonial head-splitting is cut short by Nathan. Nathan is still in there and he fights his way to take back control of his (Sylar's body) and promptly bolts after fearing what his mom did to him. I like that Sylar isn't completely back yet and hopefully this whole back and forth will go on for a while. It adds a nice air of unpredictability in that Sylar can really appear at any time. For a holiday themed episode that was actually titled "Thanksgiving" there was some pretty solid overarching and unifying ideals. The episode focused on three families: Samuel's, Noah's and the Petrellis. I really liked the complete juxtaposition among the three families and the episode did an excellent job in describing the various dysfunctions. Claire continues to grow on me as she seems to mature every episode. Even Hiro was decent this week and showed he can stand tall against Samuel (except now he's banished himself to somewhere random). Lydia and Edgar know the truth about Samuel which will inevitably come into play later on in the season. Sylar/Nathan will basically be flipping the switch every week now, going back and forth. Next week boasts Peter with a nail gun and a scream of pain, supposedly Sylar/Nathan's. I'm sure that Parkman isn't gone for the rest of the season as I know he's going to have to reappear to work on this Nathan/Sylar thing again. I don't remember the last power that Peter grabbed but I think it was the healing, which means he could probably heal Nathan's body in the storage locker. He might have grabbed Parkman's power though so I'm not sure. I really like this season. So far everything has been done right. Maybe the shortened season (18 vs. 22 episodes) made it easier for the writers because they don't feel like they have to drag everything out for the sake of filling a season. The continuity has been pretty solid and this season has done phenomenally by focusing on three main character scenarios: Claire, Hiro and Parkman/Sylar/Nathan. This is when the show is at its absolute best because things are consistent and really make sense. I'm pumped for next week, which is something I haven't said in a long time. Editor's Note: You may have noticed that there's no rating added to this review. Omnicomic is moving away from providing numeric ratings for movies, TV shows and games.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Defense with the BoomStick


Ready to transmit. Hello there it’s Brandon and if you are listening then you know what time of the week it is. Bringing at you all the news you need to hear and knowledge that will keep you alive to help win the war against the zombies. No sense beating around the bush so let’s get to it. For the news, it’s been a whirlwind of things going on around the world. Looks like New Zealand has been just about taken over by zombies. There are a string of survivor towns throughout the countryside areas that are holding on, but it’s looking grim. The New England region is more secure now than last week after the completion of the huge wall, but the worrying side is the Canadian border that is showing an uptick in zombie battles throughout there. Immediately after this I caught a broadcast saying for no refugees to come towards that area from any direction except for the sea as they are killing anything near the wall or the border.

Also most of the castle safe zones throughout the United Kingdom are under siege, but are holding out and expanding their fortifications. I have received reports from my scouts that here in the United States more survivor towns are popping up in the old small ones that dotted the northern border with Canada in the most mountainous regions. They are allowing refugees to settle in their towns provided you aren’t infected and can bring some supplies in any form to help their overall cause. Now for this week I have a bit of bad news to tell you that there won’t be a tip of the week today. This week, we have a day to remember coming up on Thursday what presents me with my topic for today. This Thursday is Thanksgiving, a day of remembrance and being thankful for those few things we have in our life.

Anyone alive today and not holed up in a bunker has seen firsthand the destruction that this zombie plague has caused. It’s our everyday life that we must face and deal with or you are just dead, because laying down and dying isn’t an option. If we ever just give up and roll over for this enemy there is no becoming a prisoner; you're alive fighting or dying giving up. Getting off point there for a second, but today I just want to talk about taking a moment sometime this week to remember. I know remember all that has happened since the outbreak started is never a fun time as we have all loss people close to us and done things we never thought we would do. Wherever you are just take some time to be thankful that you are still alive and staying that way to make sure we outlast them all.

As an old teacher of mine used to always say: “outlast the bastard”. That's what we have to do if we have any chance of getting life back to something without a fear of death around every corner. Take that time to remember and to forge ahead with the goal of every person to get rid of all the zombies and live a life that means something. I know I have it a bit better as I was prepared for this outbreak if it ever happened (which clearly it did) but I've lost people as well and will take time to remember the fallen. That’s all for today as I've got work to do and zombies to kill. Until next week, this is Brandon signing off.

Preview - The Darkness #81

The Bog reaches its conclusion in The Darkness #81, and I'm sure Jackie couldn't be more thrilled. Jackie must overcome an ancient swamp creature known as the "Bog" in order to destroy all of The Sovereign's remaining vessels. Mix in an unkillable mercenary known as Scab and I'm guessing that it's going to be a bad day for Mr. Estacado. Written (and illustrated) by Phil Hester and featuring a new cover by Michael Broussard, The Darkness #81 will be in stores November 25 (Thanksgiving Eve) for $2.99. Check out a six-page preview after the jump.

PunisherMax #1 moves to second printing

Punisher is right up there with Deadpool (almost) as far as assassins with renewed popularity go. Sure, Punisher is more of a vigilante. But he's still fighting for the good guys right? Chances are if you're a Punisher fan you already picked up PunisherMax #1. If you didn't pick it up you may have to wait until the second printing, as the book is sold out at Diamond. The second printing due in stores December 23. Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon have crafted a story that spotlights a new bodyguard for the Rigoletto Family. It would appear that bodyguard is Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin. I'm guessing this is an early stage Kingpin...The second printing with inevitable variant cover will set you back $3.99 and probably isn't the best for children's reading. Full press release after the jump. PunisherMax #1 Sells Out and Returns With New Printing! From Frank Castle’s War Journal: Marvel announced that PunisherMax #1 sold out at Diamond (though copies may be available at the retail level). So what? You know how low crime rates have been since I came to town? I’m not taking any breaks, neither should the criminals. The PunisherMax #1 Second Printing Variant should help them out…maybe. But even I’ll admit they’ve got some heavy hitters on this one. That Jason Aaron kid might be a little young, but he’s got skills, I’ll give him that. And Steve Dillon (you say iconic, I say battle-tested)…I think I can trust him after 70 plus issues. He’s got a variant of his original cover in the works--the new one’s black and white, my kind of color scheme. The Rigoletto Family’s got a new bodyguard. He’s not just another schlub with a taste for the big time though. No, Wilson Fisk may just have what it takes to make himself Kingpin. That’s if I don’t take him out first. I strongly urge (don’t make me repeat myself) that retailers check their orders on PunisherMax. I don’t think I should have to explain myself but the press think it’s good enough. And the people who listen to those reporters think it’s even better. Fisk has got his heart set on moving up but it’s about time that I put him down in the PunisherMax #1 Second Printing Variant! PUNISHERMAX #1 SECOND PRINTING VARIANT (OCT098089) Written by JASON AARON Penciled by STEVE DILLON Cover by STEVE DILLON Explicit Content …$3.99 FOC—12/03/09, On-Sale—12/23/09

First Look - The Waking

Zenescope is nothing if not a fine purveyor of adult fairy tales. The stories tend to add a modern, sexy twist to timeless childhood classics such as Little Red Riding Hood and Alice in Wonderland. The thing is that usually those books actually stand pretty well on their own and have a story that exists outside of the traditional fairy tale mythos. So you have to excuse Raven Gregory's excitement for a brand new, creator owned property due out that doesn't have a fairy tale heroine. In The Waking, four police detectives are investigating two routine murders. Sounds like just about any show on television right? But there's a twist. See, in these cases the victims of the crimes are coming back from the dead with revenge on their mind. Not like just about any show on television. It's up to the detectives to find the source of the "awakenings" and decide whether or not Lady Justice is fair to the criminals. Or if vengeance is the better punishment for those wrongdoers. The book is due in stores in February and you can check out some promo art after the jump. I'm going to try and swing an interview with Mr. Gregory about the series and I'm sure Tom will have a review at some point. Stay tuned.