Friday, January 29, 2010

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Heroic age looks awesome! I am so stoked. It’s about frickin’ time- when was the last time you picked up a Marvel comic and didn’t feel utterly helpless? Avengers: Disassembled, Civil War, Secret Invasion… It’s time to ‘get back there’, to when the Avengers could own anybody that needed a whuppin’, and every hero wasn’t split on some deep political issue… I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’ve said it before- I think Brian Michael Bendis is one of the best things that ever happened to Marvel Comics (not that he isn’t going to be involved in Heroic Age- he is). But we’ve told the cautionary stories that we needed to, about power- culminating with Dark Reign. For me, I think Secret Invasion will be the most terribly under-rated of the set of stories from this era. It finally gave a classic, often misused set of Marvel villains their due. For years, the Skrulls were chumps. But they finally wised up and you saw the whole shape-shifting thing for what it was: really frickin’ scary! How cool (and weird) was it when Cage opened up that ship and all of those ‘heroes’ wearing older costumes came pouring out? You had no idea what was what, who was who- and of course everybody just started wailing on each other. Because hey, that’s what Marvel heroes do when they get confused. But still. You didn’t see that coming. Actually, the history of the Skrull race is really well thought out and developed, although only rarely alluded to by most writers. The Skrulls (like most sentient life in the universe, for better or worse) are the product of genetic manipulation by the Celestials. Originally, the Skrulls had three ‘races’ just like humanity did- a Deviant, aggressive line, a peaceful, immortal, Eternal line, and the main Skrull genetic stock. Unlike humanity, however, the Deviant race of Skrulls conquered and exterminated the other two lineage’s without any Celestial interference. That’s part of why the Skrulls are so brutal and war-like (and, frankly, ugly)- the race that are called ‘Skrull’ today really isn’t the original race: it’s the Deviant branch of that race. Actually, the Dire Wraiths from Rom (who only very, VERY rarely make appearances anymore- mostly do to the fact that Marvel has to pretend the entire Rom canon never existed) are an offshoot of the Skrull race themselves. They just happen to prefer a far more monstrous form than their cousins and have a knack for mystical dealings. But that’s a whole other story. Regardless of their deviant nature, the Skrulls retain a thrifty, industrious side. In time, their temperaments cooled- and while they governed an expanding empire, the Skrulls were more interested in technological achievement and trade than warfare. Until they met the Kree. In some ways, the Kree are even more…elitist than the Skrulls. Opportunistic, cut-throat, and xenophobic, the Kree have never been ‘privileged’ by the Celestials the way the Skrulls have. They didn’t have the wealth of inborn genetic potential and technology the Skrulls possessed. By the time the Skrulls met the Kree, they barely resembled the advance race that Earth has met up with from time to time- they were barbaric, resembling something from Earth’s middle ages. When the Skrulls decided that the Kree’s cousins, the Cotati, were more worthy of receiving valuable trade than the aggressive Kree- well, lets just say even a thousand years of technological progress doesn’t mean much when an angry Kree decides to kill you dead and take your stuff. This was a big turning point for the Srulls, and they embraced their war-like impulses like never before. The Kree-Skrull War has lasted for thousands of years, with the Kree almost forcibly moving their society forward technologically (and genetically) to compete with the Skrull, in sometimes unnatural, controlled and Nazi-esque ways. Actually, Hulkling of the Young Avengers is hoped by many to be a unifying force for the Kree and Skrull. The child of the Kree Mar-Vell and the Skrull princess Anelle, Hulkling could potentially bring the two burnt-out, war-torn empires together if he ever sat on a throne (either one, really). Still, bad-blood and prejudice between the Skrull and Kree run deep and isn’t likely to subside easily. Between Galactus devouring the Skrull homeworld, the Annihilation Wave ravaging dozens of worlds, and the failure of the invasion- the Skrull don’t exactly stand on solid ground anymore. They don’t have much of an empire left. Still, they're a force to be reckoned with- and still, potentially, a force that could be directed for good under the right circumstances.

Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #1 covers

Thank Radical for scratching that Aladdin comic itch for you with Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost #1, the first of a three part series about the most famous character for 1001 Arabian Nights. Written by Ian Edginton, and illustrated by Patrick Reilly and Stjepan Sejic, the 64-page first issue is all about Aladdin (of course). A sorcerer named Qasim starts to pay attention to him and realizes that he can use Aladdin to steal the magic of the Djinn of the Lamp. To do so however, Qasim needs a mystical ability carried in Aladdin's blood, and you can imagine he won't give it up so readily. The first issue hits stores February 3 for $4.99. Check out the alternate covers after the jump.

Red Skull on The Super Hero Squad Show Saturday

I love superhero cartoons as much as the next geek but I've never gotten into The Super Hero Squad Show. Having said that, this week's episode is a big one. Its Captain America's birthday and of course he just wants to relax alongside Nick Fury and co. Dr. Doom decides that's not good enough and he decides to thaw out Red Skull. And Red Skull is voiced by none other than Mark Hamill, so that should be a treat. The show airs Saturday at 7:30 PM on Cartoon Network. Check out some stills after the jump.

R. Crumb trading cards

Boom! Town is an indie imprint of Boom! Studios, and they've been on a tear lately. Their latest entry into the "niche" comic market are trading cards featuring the work of Mr. R. Crumb. The cards are brought to you through an arrangement with Denis Kitchen and Denis Kitchen Publishing. The set features 36 cards, each one a different character and matching bio. The entire set will cost you $11.95 and I can't really say that collecting them will be that much fun (seeing as how you get the entire set at once). That won't stop Kitchen from being excited though. “I’m pleased have the R. CRUMB TRADING CARDS kick off my new distribution deal with BOOM! Town,” said Kitchen. “I originally published this card set in the 90s. They were a big hit, but Kitchen Sink Press went under and they’ve remained out of print. Robert Crumb gave me permission to bring them back with some updates and cosmetic changes. Now a whole new generation of his fans can appreciate this handy overview of his best-known and quirkiest characters.” For those unaware, Crumb has been credited with founding the underground comix movement and is still regarded as its most prominent figure. His most recognized work is probably Keep on Trucking', a widely recognized work in the 70s. Full press release after the jump. BOOM! Town announces R. CRUMB TRADING CARDS January 28th, 2010 - BOOM! Town, a new imprint of BOOM! Studios, announced today the R. CRUMB TRADING CARDS. R. CRUMB TRADING CARDS are presented to you by BOOM! Town through an arrangement with Denis Kitchen and Denis Kitchen Publishing. “I’m pleased have the R. CRUMB TRADING CARDS kick off my new distribution deal with BOOM! Town,” said Kitchen. “I originally published this card set in the 90s. They were a big hit, but Kitchen Sink Press went under and they’ve remained out of print. Robert Crumb gave me permission to bring them back with some updates and cosmetic changes. Now a whole new generation of his fans can appreciate this handy overview of his best-known and quirkiest characters.” R. CRUMB TRADING CARDS contains 36 cards (all different characters with bios on the back) and costs $11.95. The Diamond Code for this item is JAN100823. About BOOM! Studios BOOM! Studios (www.boom-studios.com) is a unique publishing house specializing in high-profile projects across a wide variety of different genres from some of the industry’s biggest talents, including Philip K. Dick’s DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, The Henson Company’s FARSCAPE, and the original Mark Waid series IRREDEEMABLE. BOOM! recently launched its youth imprint, BOOM Kids!, with Pixar’s THE INCREDIBLES, CARS, and TOY STORY, as well as Disney’s THE MUPPETS, DONALD DUCK, UNCLE SCROOGE and WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES. This year, BOOM! Studios celebrates its fifth anniversary.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Manga - The Other White Meat

Welcome back for another review of the Bleach and Naruto manga from the past week. This week we find everyone fighting to save Ichigo against Aizen and more battling between Sasuke and Danzou. This Naruto battle has probably been one of the longest in the entire Naruto series. It just doesn’t seem to end. In Bleach we finally get to see everyone just attack the main bad guy together, which would seem to have been a good strategy a while ago. Who knows what that will result in. Keep on reading for the review and synopsis. BLEACH In Chapter 389 we open with Ichigo seeming confused as to why all the Vizard and Captains are willing to fight on his behalf. Shinji tries to explain that allowing Ichigo to fight on his own would be ridiculous as they all have a stake in the outcome. If they don’t fight and he loses, they will essentially feel like crap. With that Captain Hitsugaya attacks first from the front with Captain Kyouraku, one of the oldest and supposedly most powerful captains trying to flank and get inside Aizen’s defenses. The advances are blocked. This pretty much makes up all the action for the entire chapter. Everyone thanks Ichigo for being around and then charges in. Hirako Shinji, leader of the Vizard, seems happy that Ichigo brought Captain Unohana back with him, as in a fight she will be more useful according to him. I am MORE then a little curious why everyone seems terrified of the captain of the healing squad. I’m sure she will play a major role I just have no idea how. More captains say a few words to him and then leave. I’m also still curious where Ex-Captain Ichimaru Gin, Aizen’s ally, is hiding. Back in the current fight Aizen and Hitsugaya exchange words prompting the latter to lose his temper and, for lack of a better description, charge up. That's it. Two sword swings and a lot of talk. Kyouraku takes another swing, but as always seems to be playing games and not releasing his full power. Hitsugaya releases his Bankai and threatens Aizen and the chapter ends. NARUTO In Naruto the battle between Sasuke and Danzou rages on as Karin and Madara look on. Sasuke seems to be injured and Danzou uses his Izanagi, the forbidden jutsu of the Uchiha clan, to attack. Apparently Izanagi allows the user to turn reality into a dream, reappearing whenever he wants and not being injured as things happen to him. It allows you to turn yourself into an illusion, but after using it the Sharingan closes forever and can never be used again. This is why Danzou keeps having eyes on his arms close, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he has found a way to retain some vision in them. It is also a jutsu that has to remain active whether or not you are being attacked. Danzou tries to force an opening in Sasuke’s ultimate defense, Susano’o but Sasuke uses a creative attack to undo a summon and turn to attack Danzou as he moves in. Karin has been keeping track of what's happening in the meantime and has figured out that every 60 seconds another eye closes while Izanagi is active. She lets Sasuke know that, but much depends on only the ten eyes that are showing being implanted into Danzou’s body. Sasuke continues to attack even though they won’t hit, because if he hides Danzou can simply end the technique and save the eyes. Several clever attacks are used on both sides as the battle rages on. It's hard to describe how cool the fight between Sasuke and Danzou has been, and scary that Madara hasn’t even gotten involved. The chapter ends with both landing very damaging looking sword strikes to the other. The question remains, was that the real Danzou that got hit? We’ll find out next week!

Review - Die Hard Year One #5

When I saw that the next issue of Die Hard Year One was coming out I thought "what sort of mayhem and danger they are going to throw McClane into next?" As the first four issues felt like one complete story, I thought the series would be done, but behold we get to see the next step in his journey to become one badass cop. Die Hard Year One #5 is the latest issue in the series, and it doesn't disappoint. For McClane the only information he gets about the Son of Sam is from the papers, as he's not working that case like all the other detectives but instead doing a robbery case with another hardnosed detective. They are trying to get leads on the robber who has been hitting a number of massage parlors by shaking down a young kid handing out flyers. It's an entertaining exchange between the two cops and young kid as McClane has a bit of inner monologue going on that just cracked me up. They find out more about the suspect they're looking for. A punk determined to capitalize on the hysteria caused by Son of Sam to do a little no good himself offers some info about our massage parlor robber. Upon finding himself in front of a massage parlor he heads in to get a “massage” and we learn a little more of his intentions with a flash of his Uzi in addition to his feelings of not taking crap from anyone no more. This little scene of the young man helps set up a later part of the issue. McClane and co. question witnesses, with each witness giving a different take on what the guy looks like not helping the two cops much. They decided to see what comes from spreading a little cash around parlors to get some information. Around the same time we get to learn more about a young woman from earlier in the issue as she's in a bank trying to access a safety deposit box. We pick up some clues as to who she is, or moreso what sort of trouble she might be in as she is denied entry into the safety deposit box. We're then taken back the three men from earlier, possibly a small town organized crime family, discussing some sort of job that will get them paid for the work. Unfortunately, we don’t learn much more beyond this and what role they're going to play is uncertain, but it can’t be good. As they get a lead on their massage parlor robber he's in the process of robbing another place. Mind you all of these events have occurred on the same day and it’s not even 5 PM yet. The two detectives make their way to the parlor only to be stopped in traffic leaving McClane the hero, heading there on foot to be greeted with automatic fire coming out the door at him. Turning a simple robbery into a hostage situation where McClane and his partner are the only ones to deal with it, but no ideas coming to mind. A cliffhanger leaves the reader at the end of the issue with more questions and not a lot of answers. One of the great things that I enjoy about this comic is how they tell the story and the manner they do it in. Having all the different stories sort of mesh together in giving a piece of each one in succession, but not really showing off too much too soon, is awesome. Compelling storytelling makes this series such a fantastic read that keeps you guessing and wanting to know what is coming next. So far it does feel like they are doing sort of episodic tale in that the first four issues were one story of how McClane became a detective and now we see his mettle tested. Damn fine comic and I know I can’t wait for the next issue to see what happens next. Because of the multitude of characters involved who knows what that next big thing will be.

Preview - Pilot Season: Demonic #1

Say it with me now: Pilot Season: Demonic. There. Doesn't that feel better? Written by Robert Kirkman and with art by Joe Benitez (cover by Marc Silvestri), Pilot Season: Demonic focuses on a possessed Scott Graves. The demon inside him urges him to kill and he'll do it as long as he doesn't have to kill his wife and daughter. The series hit the shelves yesterday and is available for $2.99. Check out some interiors after the jump. So angry.

Marvel's Heroic Age

It's been a long time since the heady days of the Silver and Golden Ages in comics. Those days are best associated with the birth and rise of comics as a viable medium that corrupted youths and pushed the boundaries of decency. Or they just had really cool art accompanying way out there stories. Either way, I know I've been hankering for a new "age" in comics, and thankfully Marvel has come along to fill that need. Starting in May 2010 with the release of Avengers #1 is Marvel's "Heroic Age." See, the Marvel Universe has had a rough time as of late. After House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion and now Seige, the heroes have dealt with their fair share of madness. Hell, even Captain America was assassinated and Norman Osborn is President of the United States. The Heroic Age is a chance for the heroes to pick themselves up off the ground and start fighting back. “Our heroes have experienced some of their greatest trials and tribulations recently, but now there’s going to be a renewed hope among their ranks,” said Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer & Editor-in-Chief Marvel Entertainment LLC. “As our heroes emerge from the darkness, the Marvel Universe is going to be a more optimistic place than we’ve seen in a quite awhile. But that doesn’t mean we’re making things easy for our characters!” Full press release after the jump. MARVEL: THE HEROIC AGE Marvel Begins Exciting New Direction in May 2010 New York, NY (January 27, 2010) – Marvel Comics is proud to announce The Heroic Age, the dawn of an exciting new era of heroism in the Marvel Universe! Beginning in May 2010 with the release of Avengers #1, The Heroic Age ushers in a brighter Marvel Universe and a bold new era for the world’s greatest super heroes as they emerge from darkness with a renewed sense of hope and optimism, leading to the formation of all new teams with new members…and brand new characters! Titles branded with the Heroic Age banner offer a perfect jumping on point for readers new and old alike, as the top comic book creators in the world deliver a Marvel Universe like you’ve never seen before! Over the past few years, the Marvel Universe and its citizens have found themselves living in a dark age of despair. Beginning with the disbanding of the Avengers, the heroes of the Marvel Universe have been caught in a demoralizing downward spiral that has included the genocide of the mutant population, a divisive civil war between heroes, the assassination of Captain America, a worldwide subversive alien infiltration and invasion, and the media-fueled and publicly-supported ascension of the Green Goblin’s civilian identity, Norman Osborn, to power and control of the United States. Now, the heroes have united once again, stronger than ever and are prepared to face the dangers that lie ahead. “Our heroes have experienced some of their greatest trials and tribulations recently, but now there’s going to be a renewed hope among their ranks,” said Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer & Editor-in-Chief Marvel Entertainment LLC. “As our heroes emerge from the darkness, the Marvel Universe is going to be a more optimistic place than we’ve seen in a quite awhile. But that doesn’t mean we’re making things easy for our characters!” From the tone of the storylines, to the stunning new artistic look, The Heroic Age ushers in a dramatic new vision of the Marvel Universe. Marvel’s most elite characters will be at the center of The Heroic Age, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and more! David Gabriel, Senior Vice-President of Sales & Circulation, Marvel Entertainment LLC. added “We've been working out the details of The Heroic Age for about a year now. The plan is to give old and new fans alike the perfect place to jump into the Marvel Universe without feeling like they've missed out on anything that's come before. If there's a Heroic Age banner on one of the books, we're serious when we say 'the Marvel Universe Starts Here!” A new Age of Heroes dawns this May as The Heroic Age begins and changes the face of comics as you know them! Join Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, John Romita Jr, and more of the industry’s hottest creators as they bring a bold new era for the world’s greatest super heroes, with a stunning new look for the Marvel Universe!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Hidden S in Basterd...

The Hidden S has a modest proposal for Quentin Tarantino... 2009 was not a great year for comic book movies. X-Men Origins: Wolverine underperformed and, after literally decades of anticipation, Watchmen was a particularly bitter disappointment for most comic fans. Sherlock Holmes -a late entry- was in part inspired by a comic book version of the great detective and was a financial success but a bit too derivative of other recent films like The Da Vinci Code and some of the lesser Indiana Jones films. In some ways the most thrilling bit of comic book film were the two well-made and thrilling trailers for Iron Man 2 and Kick-Ass. These seem to be films to look forward to and rightfully so. Having said that, it may be time to recognize (a little late) the best comic film of 2009: Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. Tarantino’s work has always had footnote quips having to do with comic culture whether it is the “Silver Surfer” dialogue from Crimson Tide or the Kato inspired “Crazy Eights” from Kill Bill. From this, it is not much of a stretch to see some of the influence in “Basterds.” Of course Inglorious Basterds is not based on a comic, but Quentin Tarantino has clearly channeled the Jack Kirby dynamic into his film (he said as much in interviews). Inglorious Basterds plays fast and loose with its facts like other great Hollywood blockbusters have done in the past, such as Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (the British would have had something to say about the Nazis digging around in Egypt in the late 30's). SPOILERS AHEAD The playing around with historical facts is a typical comic book device that goes at least as far back a the Joe Simon illustration of Captain America punching out Hitler in Nazi HQ (months before the US entered WW2 by the way) on the cover of Captain America #1. By machine gunning Hitler and the German high command at the end of the film, Tarantino is connecting with this comic tradition. As for the “Basterds,” this motley crew of primarily Jewish American badasses is well within the framework of the universe in which Sgt. Fury and his Commandos occupied. Interestingly enough one of the Commandos, “Izzy” Cohen, is often considered the first clear example of a Jewish American character in superhero comics. The Commandos were a more diverse unit than the Jewish American squad in Inglorious Basterds. The Commandos numbered a Brit named Percival Pinkerton (one of the honorary “Basterds” is a Brit named Hicox), an African-American named Gabriel Jones (another historical inaccuracy as the US military was segregated until after the war) and an Italian named Dino Manelli. The Commandos fought a number of weird villains like Baron Zemo and the Red Skull (supervillans from the Captain America series) and crossed paths with a young Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic of course) as well as Captain America and Bucky. The similarities between classic war comics like Sgt. Fury (and DC’s Sgt. Rock for that matter) is clear in the universe of Inglorious Basterds; whether it is bluntly re-writing history or inserting some of the imagery from comics into the film such as having character introductions blared out in large caps (for example HUGO STIGLITZ). All of this begs the question a bit as to whether Tarantino will actually do a superhero film. There were some strong hints he was interested in Green Lantern, but Tarantino is a writer first and foremost so it appears he lost interest since there was already a green-lighted script (not his own) for the GL production. Tarantino’s style seems such a good fit for comic/superhero stuff that the mind reels when considering the possibilities. For example, he would be a perfect fit to bring African/African-American superheroes to life like The Black Panther or Luke Cage. It is easy to imagine him doing a Green Arrow movie, a Black Canary movie or a Hawkman movie. It remains to be seen if QT would do a film adaptation of Sgt. Fury or Sgt Rock (Eli Roth "the Bear Jew" would be great in either role) since he has already covered that territory here. Having said that, Tarantino is the director with the style most suited to these kind of films (Robert Rodriquez is in Tarrantino's ballpark, but he probably doesn’t have the following or name recognition that QT does). Hopefully, with the career bump that Inglorious Basterds gave Tarantino he might focus on developing a superhero project(s) and fulfill what seems like part of his directorial destiny… The hidden S

Iron Man 2 using AC/DC for Arc Reactor

Jon Favreau really likes Iron Man. He also really likes AC/DC. Going back to the first film, Favreau infused the movie with a pretty heavy dosage of the Australian rockers whose name was actually influenced by a sewing machine. Naturally, you'd expect that Favreau would use them again for the sequel, but not necessaarily in this way. Marvel Entertainment (in conjunction with Columbia Records) has announced plans to release an album called AC/DC: Iron Man 2 on April 19. The album will include 15 songs spanning 10 of the band's albums. It's a somewhat novel idea, and it really takes the whole "cross-pollination" of business thing to heart. "Music is an integral part of the Tony Stark and Iron Man experience, and we are pleased that Columbia and AC/DC are taking part in the franchise's phenomenon," said Tim Connors, Marvel Studios' Chief Operating Officer. "Through this relationship, the band is delivering fans supercharged Iron Man branded music through all our combined consumer touch points, from the movie to retail outlets and even virally with the debut of the new video." Pre-orders for the album are already available at Wal-Mart and Amazon (the Amazon preorder will actually net you a DVD and vinyl as well). The rockers have even shot a new video for "Shoot to Thrill" that has debuted online. It really just blends concert footage with scenes from Iron Man 2 (don't expect to see the film's ending in there). The music video is below, but you'll have to wait until May 7 to see Iron Man 2.

Boom! Studios announces Farscape: Scorpius

Why is it that characters named Scorpio or Scorpius are always the bad guys? Boom! Studios continues this trend with the release of Farscape: Scorpius #0, a series dedicated to the nefarious head honcho of villainy in the Farscape universe. He's a character that Farscape creator Rockne S. O'Bannon thinks needs the chance to truly shine as a villain. "What is it about villains that fascinates us so? Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter, Galactus, Magneto...and in the Farscape universe it's Scorpius," said Farscape show creator and FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS writer Rockne S. O'Bannon. "Fans of Farscape who've always wondered what's going on in that sick little black leather clad head of Scorpius's are in for a real treat. And readers who are new to Farscape but whose tastes run toward the freakish, shocking, and totally unsettling should find the Scorpius books the perfect dark entry into the ongoing Farscape world." Farscape: Scoprius #0 is written by O'Bannon, scripted by David Alan Mack and features art by Mike Ruiz. The issue will have covers by Nick Runge and Chad Hardin. It debuts in April, and until then you have the full press release (after the jump) to tide you over. No word as to whether Scorpius will pull a Hank Scporpio and give someone the Denver Broncos football team. BOOM! STUDIOS ANNOUNCES FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS A NEW ONGOING SERIES APRIL 2010 One of Science Fiction’s Greatest Villains Gets His Own Series! A Fresh Dose of Bad Attitude From Show Creator Rockne S. O’Bannon "What is it about villains that fascinates us so? Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter, Galactus, Magneto...and in the Farscape universe it's Scorpius." – Rockne S. O’Bannon Farscape show creator January 25th, 2010 - Los Angeles, CA – BOOM! Studios’ best-selling FARSCAPE series enters its second year with a fresh dose of bad attitude with the premiere of FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS – coming this April! Written by show creator Rockne S. O’Bannon, FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS brings one of the greatest sci-fi villains of all time to his own ongoing series. An excellent new entry point for Farscape fans that might have missed the previous BOOM! Farscape series, FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS finds everyone’s favorite black leather clad villain - Scorpius - deposed from his throne on Hyneria and making a bold new discovery that could put him back on top of the Uncharted Territories! Written by series creator Rockne S. O’Bannon and scripted by fan-favorite STAR TREK novelist David Alan Mack, FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS is the must have book of this spring. "What is it about villains that fascinates us so? Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter, Galactus, Magneto...and in the Farscape universe it's Scorpius," said Farscape show creator and FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS writer Rockne S. O'Bannon. "Fans of Farscape who've always wondered what's going on in that sick little black leather clad head of Scorpius's are in for a real treat. And readers who are new to Farscape but whose tastes run toward the freakish, shocking, and totally unsettling should find the Scorpius books the perfect dark entry into the ongoing Farscape world." "Our goal with the Farscape comics is always 'what is going to blow fans' minds?’ When Rockne told me his idea for this series I knew everyone reading these comics would freak,” said Farscape comics editor Ian Brill. “Farscape has some of the best fans in sci-fi and they deserve great stories. With FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS, Rockne and David Alan Mack are delivering a thrilling and intense experience. This is a book befitting the genius creation that is Scorpius." "What the creative team on FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS is accomplishing is exactly what attracted BOOM! to FARSCAPE in the first place...phenomenal sci-fi adventures in a mythology that knows no bounds," said BOOM! Studios Managing Editor Matt Gagnon. "Scorpius is always defined in our minds as John Crichton's resilient antagonist, but Rockne and the team, from the first issue, will prove that there's more to our favorite half-Scarran, half-Sebacean than meets the eye." Debuting on the SCI-FI Channel in 1998, FARSCAPE follows the adventures of astronaut John Crichton, who has a freak accident during an experimental space mission that catapults him across a thousand galaxies to an alien battlefield. Suddenly, he's trapped among alien creatures wielding deadly technology - a battle that 20th century sci-fi pop culture never prepared him for. Hunted by a merciless military race led by Scorpius, Crichton begins his quest for home from a distant galaxy. A groundbreaking award-winning sci-fi production, FARSCAPE from The Jim Henson Company and [HALLMARK] has become a global favorite. Named by TV Guide as one of television's "Best Cult Shows Ever" and most recently named by EMPIRE Magazine as one of the "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time," FARSCAPE is known for the overwhelming fan-based campaign that led to its miniseries production. The show has continued to find new audiences as it airs in syndication and is available on iTunes and DVD. FARSCAPE: SCORPIUS #0 is written by Rockne S. O’Bannon and scripted by David Alan Mack with interior art by hot newcomer Mike Ruiz. The debut issue features two covers in a 50/50 split, with art by Nick Runge and Chad Hardin, a 1-in-10 incentive cover and carries a Diamond Code of FEB100749. About BOOM! Studios BOOM! Studios (www.boom-studios.com) is a unique publishing house specializing in high-profile projects across a wide variety of different genres from some of the industry’s biggest talents, including Philip K. Dick’s DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, The Henson Company’s FARSCAPE, and the original Mark Waid series IRREDEEMABLE. BOOM! recently launched its youth imprint, BOOM Kids!, with Pixar’s THE INCREDIBLES, CARS, and TOY STORY, as well as Disney’s THE MUPPETS, DONALD DUCK, UNCLE SCROOGE and WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES. This year, BOOM! Studios celebrates its fifth anniversary.

The Last Days of American Crime #1 second printing

Clearly you comic book folk feel that Radical is doing something right with The Last Days of American Crime because the first issue is coming back for a second printing. Set to debut alongisde the second issue, the reprint of the first issue will give readers the chance to catch up on the trials and tribulations (can't have one without the other right) of Graham Bricke, a career criminal desperate for one last heist before all crime is tracked and preventable. No specific release date as of yet, but I would imagine in the next few weeks. Full press release after the jump and check out Tom's review of the first issue. THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME #1 SECOND PRINTING TO HIT SHELVES ALONGSIDE #2 January 26th, Los Angeles – Retailers and fans who missed The Last Days of American Crime #1 the first time around now have a second chance to pick up the newest critically acclaimed title from Rick Remender (Punisher, Fear Agent). Radical Publishing is pleased and proud to announce that the second printing of Remender’s newest sold-out crime masterpiece, featuring series artist Greg Tocchini (Marvel 1602: New World), will be hitting shelves again alongside the highly anticipated second issue. The Last Days of American Crime takes place in the not-too-distant future, where the U.S. government plans in secret to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts as a final response to terrorism and crime. To keep this from the public, the government creates a distraction, installing a new currency system using digital charge cards. Graham Bricke, a career criminal never quite able to hit the big score, intends to steal one of the charging stations, skip the country and live off unlimited funds for the rest of his life. But the media has leaked news of the anti-crime signal one week before it was to go live... and now Graham and his team have just a few days to turn the heist of the century into the last crime in American history. Critics and fans have raved over The Last Days of American Crime #1. "From cover art to opening pages, Last Days hits readers with an unflinching dose of pulp noir seediness and doesn't let up." – John Geddes, USAToday.com “…because there are no new stories, writers must perform a magic act in order to make the reader believe he is reading something new. Well, someone get Rick Remender a top hat and a wand because he accomplishes it in the down and dirty Last Days of American Crime. By infusing a classic noir heist with the tension of modern American politics, Remender gives us a great opening to a comic series – perhaps even on the level of Criminal or 100 Bullets.” – Andy Bentley, IGN Comics “The Last Days of American Crime” #1 is a good first issue that sets up the world and the crime at hand well. If you enjoy “Criminal” and other crimes books, you’ll probably get a kick out of this.” – Chad Nevitt, Comic Book Resources “Remender paces this first act with just enough information, bravado, and grizzled noir to keep a hungry reader satisfied.” – Noel Bartocci, Broken Frontier “This is crime fiction at its best. Remender totally immerses you in their world, and it's a hell of a ride.” – Sebastian Piccione, Project Fanboy Don’t miss your chance to join the heist of the century! Check out The Last Days of American Crime #1 second printing (Diamond Code: DEC098036) alongside The Last Days of American Crime #2 with covers by Alex Maleev (Diamond Code: DEC090978) and Greg Tocchini (Diamond Code: DEC090979). To find a comic store near you go to www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comic-book. About Radical Publishing Radical Publishing is founded by Barry Levine (producer for Hercules, Caliber, Freedom Formula, Shrapnel, Abattoir, Oblivion, The Last Days of American Crime and executive producer for the in-development Rex Mundi movie for Warner Bros., written by Jim Uhls and starring Johnny Depp) and entrepreneur Jesse Berger (executive producer for Hercules, Caliber, Freedom Formula, Shrapnel, Abattoir, Oblivion and The Last Days of American Crime). For their quality and excellence in 2008, retailers voted Radical Publishing the Gem Award for “Best New Publisher of the Year” from Diamond Comic Distributors. Radical brings the best writing, storytelling and fully painted cover and interior art to the global comic book market, from prominent international talents such as Yoshitaka Amano, Rainier Beredo, John Bolton, Tomm Coker, Clayton Crain, Stephen Crowe, Flint Dille, Marko Djurdjevic, Ian Edginton, Warren Ellis, Justin Gray, Paul Gulacy, David Hine, Joseph Kosinski, Clint Langley, Richard Lee, Alex Maleev, Leonardo Manco, Stephan Martinière, Francesco "Matt" Mattina, Steve Moore, Arvid Nelson, Steve Niles, Jimmy Palmiotti, Nick Percival, Vincent Proce, Steve Pugh, Patrick Reilly, Rick Remender, Luis Royo, Nick Sagan, Sam Sarkar, Stjepan Sejic, Bill Sienkiewicz, Nick Simmons, Jim Steranko, Arthur Suydam, J.P. Targete, Greg Tocchini, Andree Wallin, Dave Wilkins, Concept Art House, Haberlin Studios, Meduzarts Digital Environment Studio, Weta Workshop, Zombie Studios and many more. Radical Publishing currently has production deals with Spyglass Entertainment and Peter Berg’s Film 44 for Hercules; Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil for Caliber; and New Regency and Bryan Singer’s Bad Hat Harry Productions for Freedom Formula.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Arrivals: January 27, 2010

Did you see what Asylum Press is offering for Free Comic Book Day 2010? Their sampler almost puts Whitman's to shame. Unfortunately, the day of free comics is still a few months away, so what should you grab this week that costs, say, free+$2.99? How about Neverland #0? Zenscope (as they're wont to do) aren't content with completely retelling the tales of Alice, Little Red Riding Hood and Sinbad. Nope. They've turned their eyes to the second star on the right (and straight on till morning) in a story that isn't quite the way you remember it. In Neverland #0, Peter Pan is the villain that lures kids there for his nefarious deeds, while Hook is the only child that's escaped. Now, writer Joe Brusha has him returning to take back Neverland and restore it to a world where Rufio reigns supreme. Although I'm sure Rufio won't be involved, so don't get your hopes up. RU-FI-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The book was originally slated to debut December 2009, but it looks like things didn't quite work out as planned. Hopefully it's on your local store's shelf when you head out there to pick up your weekly pull. Enjoy! New Arrivals: January 27, 2010

Defense with the BoomPick

Time for new comics tomorrow and promising issues are upon us. Few standout comics I saw coming out this week and one I am excited for one, which is, of course, my pick. Part man and part machine that combine to make one badass cop none other than Robocop #1. Coming at you from Dynamite Comics is a fresh new story for our favorite cyborg cop from Detroit. Forget the last two movies that come out as this comic picks us up with Robocop right after the first movie; when it was awesome and simple kickass gunfights as Robocop takes care of some business. I am really looking forward to this comic because of the possible directions they can go with the character on top of the amazing amount of shootouts and blood that is sure to come in Robocop’s wake. Definitely picking this one up tomorrow and I suggest you do so also.

Light and Dark collide

If light and dark are to collide you have to make sure the battle lives up the billing. Based on Stjepan Sejic's cover for Angelus #3, it looks like the battle within the pages will be a collision. Written by Ron Marz, Angelus #3 addresses the relationship between the Angelus and the Darkness. Danielle Baptiste is faced with choosing her path after encountering Jackie Estacado at Mardi Gras. “Dani already knows that Jackie Estacado is a good friend to have,” said Marz. “She’s about to learn he’s a much worse enemy to have. The Angelus and the Darkness are eternal opposites, eternal enemies. Jackie’s not the sort to let friendship stand in the way of business, and letting the Angelus live is bad business.” No word on a precise release date, but the price of $2.99 is final. Full press release after the jump. LIGHT AND DARK COLLIDE! ANGELUS #3 LOS ANGELES, Calif., January 25, 2010 – Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today the March 17, 2010 release of Angelus #3, guest-starring The Darkness. Featuring the series’ critically acclaimed duo of writer Ron Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic, the 32-page Angelus #3 addresses the long-established relationship between the Angelus and the Darkness, who have been diametrically opposed since the beginning of time. Once confronted by sometimes ally Jackie Estacado, bearer of the Darkness, in the midst of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Danielle Baptiste, the newest bearer of the Angelus, will see if she can choose her own path. “Dani already knows that Jackie Estacado is a good friend to have,” said Marz. “She’s about to learn he’s a much worse enemy to have. The Angelus and the Darkness are eternal opposites, eternal enemies. Jackie’s not the sort to let friendship stand in the way of business, and letting the Angelus live is bad business.” The series follows the origin of the newest bearer of The Angelus, the primal force of Light in the Top Cow Universe, Dani as she struggles to rectify the Artifact she embodies with her private life. Dani attempts to find solace in her hometown of New Orleans and has brought her friend/romantic interest Finch with her, but forces around her may conspire against the fledgling Angelus bearer. The series also serves as a lead in to next year’s Artifacts event series. Angelus #3 will carry a cover price of $2.99.

Review - Heroes Chapter 16: The Art of Deception

Last I checked, this season of Heroes only has 18 episodes. With last night's being Chapter 16, that leaves only two chapters left before season four of the show finishes up. Is it worth hanging around for those last two chapters? In a word... ...yes. Sylar being Sylar the antagonist does wonders for advancing the storylines. He's really serious about changing his life and wants Parkman to go into his head yet again and repress his powers somehow. Parkman's trepidation was refreshing and showed that there's continuity and it wasn't conveniently forgotten how difficult Sylar made Parkman's life earlier. I also liked how Parkman was trying to do what Sylar asked but he couldn't do it, putting his wife and child in danger (per Sylar's MO). Anyways, what Matt did to Sylar was really, really f'ed up (both mentally and physically). Like, you almost feel bad for Sylar because he seemed to want to be helped, but I guess you can only threaten so many people before they want to get revenge. Peter Power Watch: Angela Petrelli's premonition power. Until he gets Parkman's power because Angela's power told him that Sylar is needed to save the world. Boy, is he gonna be pissed at Parkman. Claire and Gretchen had another moment in the car, and it's pretty apparent that this is what they want to happen. While Lauren answering the door first thing in the morning and awkwardly telling Claire about their relationship was, well, awkward, it did definitively say that Samuel gains powers with more "specials" around him. The writers have really made Gretchen grow on me, as she asks Claire if she really wants to be normal why does she feel so compelled to interfere? At least this time she didn't consciously try to get involved, but when you've got a sleazeball like Multiple Man roaming around you know word's getting back to Samuel about Noah and Claire's getting caught in the middle. What happens when you can move mountains and you're depressed? You roam the streets with a blanket draped over your shoulder while sulking. I actually loved when Samuel said that Lydia has become the empath to replace Joseph. It's a gradual progression that I really didn't notice and I have to give kudos to the writers for making a seemingly innocuous character more important. Anyways, I was genuinely convinced that Samuel was going to turn himself in until it was revealed that he was behind the massacre at the carnival. Bravo Samuel, bravo. And I love his reasoning: he needed a villain. Of course, villainy comes at a cost, so you just knew that someone close to Samuel would die at the carnival. Did anyone else love the irony of Emma arriving at the carnival amidst chaos, similar to that of the hospital at the beginning? I mean, I know the symbolism was obvious, but besides Emma tending to Samuel we're one step closer to my prediction: Samuel moving earth and Emma amplifying the waves. And Samuel's scorched earth policy for swaying the crowd was masterful. I mean, his powers of manipulation are right on par with those of Angela's, except he can do it with his words and actions. Magneto flows through his veins, as his plot to galvanize his fellow mutants over apparent human aggression is the perfect thing he needs to get them on his side. This episode was clearly a setup episode for the last two chapters. It really moved a lot of the pieces into place for the finale, and I like where everyone's at. I haven't really said this in a while, but I'm really excited for the last two episodes of the season. The story isn't anything we haven't seen before in comics, but Samuel is playing his role so masterfully that I'll buy it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Defense with the BoomStick


Monday's back and it was always a dreaded day back when there was a work week. Now everyday is a freaking bad day, but that won’t stop us from living now will it? Brandon here to share the news and my tip of the week, so let's get to it. For the news I haven’t heard too much chatter this past week...guess nobody really feels like talking. Seems most folks are hunkering down and not venturing out too much as of late.

I did catch a report from a British Naval vessel that was cruising by Guam and saw zombies have taken over a large portion of the island. All earlier efforts by the United States there have just about all fallen apart and I will keep you updated on it when I hear more. That looks to be all the news I have to share with you today. I did catch a new report about that guy named Tedd and seems he was last seen in Canada now. Now for the tip of the week. For my tip this week I'm going to discuss how to survive an attack on your home base or compound that you call upon to survive in.

If you find yourself under siege by zombies staying calm is most important. There is no way to just wait them out as the zombies will stay banging at your door until their dead or something else distracts them. You want to take care of the zombies as quick as possible to help keep more from showing up and giving your position away. A good idea for this is to have a system in place to distract them away from you, like an escape tunnel that leads you away from your camp and if needed can be used to make a run for it. This also is a good time to have firing slits in the front of your compound or ways to get on the roof to shoot down at the zombies banging on your walls.

If and when the fight is over clean up becomes the most important factor you need to take care of and burning the bodies is the best way to dispose of them. Make sure to take the bodies a certain distance away from your compound as to not draw any more attention to you and to not be overwhelmed by the smell. Knowing when to give up the fight is always a danger when confronted with zombies. This place might be your home, but dying to protect it isn't always the best course and I hope you are prepared to make that decision if need be. That’s it for this week. This is Brandon signing off and keep fighting, keep surviving.

Interview - Andrea Grant

Right before the New Year, G4TV aired a special called Women of the Web 2.0. One of those women was Andrea Grant, a phenomenally beautiful and diversely talented young lady who has successfully transcended geekdom with her work ethic. Ms. Grant was kind enough to take time out of her extremely busy schedule to sit down with Omnicomic and talk about MINX, her new webcomic, fasting and juggling multiple interests. Quick warning. Some of the images and links may be slightly NSFW-ish, so if you're in a strict work environment you may want to hold off on reading until you get home.

Solicitation - Pilot Season: Hardcore #1

I think it's safe to say that Top Cow has something spiffy going with this whole Pilot Season thing. Due this April is another incarnation of it in Pilot Season: Hardcore #1. The series is written by Robert Kirkman, with art by Brian Stelfreeze and cover by Marc Silvestri. Once the hard core is shot into your neck, the brainwaves of an assassin can be transmitted into your body. You can imagine that this could lead to random people being used for seemingly random acts of violence. Sometimes though those assassins can turn against the assassin brotherhood. The first issue is expected to ship April 14 for $2.99.

Preview - Fearless Dawn: Asylum Press Sampler FCBD Edition

Asylum Press isn't going to get left behind on this "Free Comic Book Day" business. No sir (or ma'am). And their first foray into the world of taking a revenue hit for the sake of drawing in more eyes has Asylum Press publisher Frank Forte excited. "I'm excited to be a part of Free Comic Book day for the first time, "explains Publisher Frank Forte, "readers will get a great sampling of the books we publish. Some of the titles are current and others will be published this fall. It gives retailers and fans a chance to see what's coming." How do fans get that chance? A sampler of course, featuring some of the works you can expect to see from Asylum Press in the near future. Those works include Fearless Dawn by Steve Mannion, Black Powder by Dwayne Harris, Warlash: Origins by Royal McGraw and J.C. Wong, Farmhouse by Elizabeth J. Musgrave and Szymon Kudranski, Warlash: Zombie Mutant Genesis by Frank Forte and EEEK! by Jason Paulos. Full press release and a SLEW of interiors after the jump. If knowing the preview book is free and these interiors don't entice you to at least pick up the book on FCBD 2010 then I don't know what to tell you. ASYLUM PRESS ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF A PREVIEW OF THEIR FEARLESS DAWN/ASYLUM PRESS SAMPLER FOR FREE COMIC BOOK DAY COMIC (Los Angeles) Frank Forte, publisher of Asylum Press, has announced the release of a preview Fearless Dawn/Asylum Sampler FCBD issue. "I'm excited to be a part of Free Comic Book day for the first time, "explains Publisher Frank Forte, "readers will get a great sampling of the books we publish. Some of the titles are current and others will be published this fall. It gives retailers and fans a chance to see what's coming." A great way to introduce Asylum Press to retailers and fans. Featuring a sampling on new and upcoming comics. Fearless Dawn By Steve Mannion features our favorite new heroine battling a troop of mutants. Black Powder, a bloody frontier adventure, by Dwayne Harris, can be described as a "Buckskin Apocalypse Now". Warlash:Origins features a tale of Bladeviper by Royal McGraw and J.C. Wong. Farmhouse is a tale of a drifter who falls in love with an artist undergoing an experimental art therapy regimen, by Elizabeth J. Musgrave and Szymon Kudranski. In Warlash: Zombie Mutant Genesis, our armored hero goes up against a horde of brain eating monsters, by Frank Forte. EEEK! by Jason Paulos, is an anthology of retro style horror tales. Title: FEARLESS DAWN:ASYLUM PRESS SAMPLER FCBD EDITION Issue Number: ONE SHOT Frequency of Publication: One Shot Writers’ and Artists’ Names: Frank Forte, Steve Mannion, Dwayne Harris, Royal McGraw, J.C.Wong, Jason Paulos, Elizabeth J. Musgrave,, Szymon Kudranski, Nenad Gucunja Intended Audience: general readers Genre: Action / Adventure/ Comedy Format: SC, 48 pgs, color saddle stitched Retail Price: FREE ISBN: 978-0-9818230-6-5 FEARLESS DAWN FCBD PREVIEW: http://www.asylumpress.com/FCBD_2010_Preview.html ABOUT ASYLUM PRESS: Founded in 1999 by Frank Forte, Asylum Press is a unique publishing house specializing in high profile projects from some of the industry's biggest names. Publishing superhero comics with Warlash: Zombie Mutant Genesis, continuing their tradition of horror with Undead Evil, Satan’s 3-Ring Circus of Hell, the upcoming Asylum of Horrors and Beyond Lovecraft, venturing into dark humor with Billy Boy The Sick Little Fat Kid and The Cletus and Floyd Show, Asylum Press continues to be on the cutting edge of comic and graphic novel.publishing. Asylum Press is distributed by Diamond Comics, Haven Distributors and Tony Shenton and Partners Publishers Group. www.asylumpress.com