Friday, February 26, 2010

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Matching. It sucks. No, I don’t mean dating-internet matching, although I’m sure that has its painful moments. I mean job matching. I didn’t ‘match’ in my graduate program’s internship hunt. So now I’m going through a whole new round of interviews…it’s pretty stressful. Times like this I feel like I need the process to be sped up. Times like this I appreciate Judge Dredd. Okay, I know what you’re thinking- Dredd? That terrible Sylvester Stallone movie from the early nineties? Ick, right? But wait, my friend- like so many experiences you may have had at the movie theater of late- don’t you realize that what you see on the big screen might not reflect the quality of the actual book? Actually, I liked Stallone AS Dredd. I even like Rob Schneider as his tag-along companion. It was a good cast job…just not a great movie. Not even sure what went wrong really. Can’t dwell too much on it, either…head hurts… The setting for Dredd (or 2000 A.D. as Dredd’s original comic was titled) is one of the best developed for a character, I think. It’s comparable to Star Wars, Dune, and other science fiction classics, where the idea was to have great characters, but first to have a great setting such that the environment the characters existed in made them seem real, alive (at least in the context of their world)…organic. Did you know that Dredd ages in real-time? Yeah, really- the comic has been in print since 1977. So Dredd has aged thirty plus years since his comic began. Now, the fact that Dredd is a genetically enhanced clone who is given rejuvenation treatment doesn’t exactly show his age…but yeah. Over sixty, these days. The basic premise behind Dredd is probably something most people know- it’s the future, life is hard, and in order to become more efficient and maintain order ‘judges’ are empowered with the right to carry out sentences on the spot- even death sentences. Of course, there’s a lot more to this setting than the core features I’m writing about here. Did you know there are undead judges from a parallel universe (aren’t there always evil, undead duplicates from a parallel universe?)? Judge Death, who freaks me the *&%$ out, lived in a parallel Earth with a history similar to Dredd’s and finally came to the conclusion that life creates crime. And therefore, life had to stop. Things got pretty ugly from there. But I digress. Now, 2000 A.D.’s backdrop is a pretty brilliant setting to explore issues surrounding the nature of justice. How much does society benefit from…well…a swift kick in the ass rather than a bunch of legal-mumbo-jumbo? On the other hand, when does authoritarianism go wrong and fall into the wrong hands? In one of my favorite Judge Dredd stories, Judge Cal (named after the insane and infantile roman emperor, Caligula) is appointed Chief Judge, becoming the most powerful man in Mega City One. Cal sets many numerous policies that Dredd and his companions are sworn to uphold- he even makes his goldfish deputy chief. Should you follow a law, just because it IS the law? Is order what hold society together- that is, it really doesn’t matter what laws are enforced, just that they ARE enforced? Or is it a matter of how just the law itself is? Stuff like this rolls through the pages of Dredd all the time. It’s the Law and Order of superhero science fiction. In a recent story, Dredd has started to advocate for ‘mutant’ rights, a particularly unpopular stance. Of course, mutants in Dredd aren’t spandex wearing superheroes. They’re awful, twisted deformed human beings who are cast out of Mega City One to live in the ‘cursed earth’ (a radioactive wasteland covering much of northern America, scorched during numerous international conflicts that went nuclear). Concealing a mutant child is a crime- after all, letting one radioactive baby stay could spike the chance that others will be born. Originally, Dredd was fair with mutants. Okay, maybe ‘fair’ isn’t the right word…impartial, at least. That is, he would be friendly, even kind to non-violent mutants. Still, if one tried to climb over the city walls- Dredd would shoot them dead. Why? Because it’s the law. This kind of disparity is what the comic is all about. Dredd may feel sympathetic towards mutants and the harsh life they are condemned to live- but he also rests comfortably on the knowledge that in order for human society to exist, order needs to be sought without hesitation or compromise. So, succinctly put, Dredd will kill you dead if it’s the law. Because without the law, society crumbles and that’s how nuclear wars get started. But yeah, recently, Dredd has begun to advocate for mutant-research and rights. So Dredd isn’t above changing the law- but it needs to be done the right way in order for society to exist. Through petitions, proposals, and time. In the meanwhile, everybody coming over that wall will get shot. Still, it’s interesting to see how even a character as hardened as Dredd change over time, in an authentic way. Another interesting tidbit- Dredd is currently diagnosed with terminal cancer. It’s just another bit that rounds out his character. Dredd might not have that much time left. He’s doing everything he can to leave the law and the judge system in better shape than it has been during his time. Really, just very dynamic storytelling in this book of late.

Preview - Prelude to Deadpool Corps #1

Rob Liefeld might be onto something with this "Deadpool" character. In Prelude to Deadpool Corps #1 Liefeld adds to the mythos that is Deadpool by giving him a corps to run with. The first issue of five features Wade Wilson being asked to save the universe, but he'll need the help of Lady Deadpool, Headpool (Zombie Deadpool Head), Kidpool and Dogpool. I would imagine things will get crazy with that many 'pools. The book should be in stores today and features a Dave Johnson cover (Ed McGuiness variant). The next four issues feature penciling by Whilce Portacio, Philip Bond, Paco Medina and Kyle Baker respectively. Peep some interiors after the jump.

Penny Arcade Book Tour

When they're not crashing castles or finding hominid aliens, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik are crafting a webcomic called Penny Arcade. The comic covers all things pop culture and has garnered quite a following (there's even a Penny Arcade Expo which, this year, will be in Omnicomic's backyard in Boston). Everyone that follows anything are always excited when that serial is put into a compilation, and The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade: The 11 1/2 Anniversary Edition is such a compilation. Holkins and Krahulik have compiled their strips into this book and every chapter "gathers into a coherent beam of savory trivia, strange facts, formerly mysterious origins, biographical information, interviews, inaugural conventions, an unlikely charity, and comic strips." Yeah, it's definitely worth the $16.32 on Amazon. The dup are embarking on a book tour to promote the book, which started February 23 in Seattle and ends March 31 in St. Louis. Check out all the stops in between after the jump. Penny Arcade Book Tour Schedule FEBRUARY 23 – SEATTLE UNIVERSITY BOOK STORE – 7 PM 4326 University Way Northeast Seattle, WA FEBRUARY 24 – SAN MATEO BELMONT LIBRARY – 7 PM 1110 Alameda De Las Pulgas Belmont, CA FEBRUARY 25 – HUNTINGTON BEACH BARNES & NOBLE – 7 PM 7881 Edinger Ave #110 Huntington Beach, CA FEBRUARY 26 – LOS ANGELES MELTDOWN COMICS – 7 PM 7522 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA MARCH 26-28 – BOSTON PAX EAST 2010 *Signing March 28 @ 1:30 PM* Hynes Convention Center 900 Boylston St Boston, MA www.paxsite.com MARCH 30 – NEW YORK KINOKUNIYA – 5:30 PM 1073 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY MARCH 31 – ST. LOUIS MAD ART GALLERY – 7 PM 2727 South 12th St St. Louis, MO

Superman: Secret Origin Gary Frank cover #5

Not much to say about Gary Frank's variant cover for Superman: Secret Origin #5, which hits shelves March 31.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Manga - The Other White Meat

Why hello there! Thanks to all three of you that stop by every week to chew on the progressions of the Bleach and Naruto manga series. This week there is no new Bleach being released so I’m going to hold off on reviewing the manga from last week for now. However, in light of the recent reports regarding Nick Simmons' Incarnate book published by Radical Comics I’ll just weigh in briefly on that. In Naruto however, we shall continue to strive on. NARUTO In Chapter 483 Sasuke and Sakura are facing off for the first time in a long time. Kakashi however has come to the site where Sakura left Sai, Lee and Kiba (along with his dog companion Akamaru) behind using a powerful sleeping gas. Kakashi wants to protect them but instead hides their bodies quickly and moves to stop Sakura. I think everyone knows that if Sakura attacks Sasuke she will die. He is a beast. Sakura meanwhile continues to speak about wanting to join Sasuke, and he insists that she prove her desire by killing Kiran, who is down for the count after Sasuke ran her through to finish his epic fight with Danzou. Sasuke also states his goal to crush the leaf, and Sakura approaches with the intent to try to kill him. Sasuke is about to use Chidori, an assassination lightning jutsu to kill Sakura, and she is toast, when Kakashi arrives to save her. Kakashi orders Sakura to take Kiran and leave, declaring that it is his fault Team 7 (originally comprised of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura before Sasuke allowed revenge to destroy him) broke up. He was a bad captain and mentor for all of them. For the first time Sasuke takes on the truly insane look of a supervillain when asked to stop and claims that he will stop when his entire clan (the Uchiha) are brought back from the dead. Sasuke and Kakashi face off as Naruto rushes to the scene. I have a bad, bad feeling that Kakashi is going to die within sight of Naruto, who has already lost so many people close to him. As much as I rail on comics and manga series where no one ever dies, Kakashi is simply too important to the series, and I hope he doesn’t die in this fight. I know…I’m a hypocrite. BLEACH In lieu of a chapter review this week I’d like to weigh in on what I see of the side-by-sides of Nick Simmons’ Incarnate. There is no doubt in my mind, judging from the Livejournal site linked to in the previous post here on Omnicomic, that this book should be shut down immediately. Radical must see the same thing as companies tend to be pretty protective of their properties. Even the weapons used are the same. The white haired man with the sickle weapon could be ripped directly from the fight between everyone’s favorite Bleach badass Zaraki Kenpachi and the Espada Nnoitera (spelled differently in different places). It is the Espada’s weapon and a practical tracing of Zaraki’s form. Some of the writing is even completely similar. For Radical’s sake, because they produce a lot of quality work, I hope they don’t end up legally liable but at this point I don’t see any way that something won’t happen. They really should have seen this as it is identical. I’m actually shocked that anyone thought they could get away with this. Nick Simmons will have to stick to being the famous son of a rock legend because I doubt anyone will touch his work again. Well, I don’t want to excessively bash, more then I have that is, anyone involved but this was not an honest mistake. Basically characters were traced and the weapons were switched around. Hopefully the suspension of the series will be enough to satisfy any copyright/rights holders, but I am definitely curious to see where this goes from here.

Sean Phillips joins Dark Tower: The Gunslinger

Stephen King has successfully found a new revenue stream for his Dark Tower series in the comics from Marvel. Because the series is so successful, King can really pick whomever he wants to work on the creative team behind the book. This power to choose has led him straight to Sean Phillips to join Peter David, Robin Furth and Richard Isanove on the Dark Tower: The Gunslinger team. Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel’s Senior Vice President, Development & Planning, Print, Animation and Digital Media, said, “Marvel is absolutely psyched to have Sean Phillips join the Dark Tower creative team. Though Jae's artistry will be missed, Sean's gift of phenomenal storytelling and visual fireworks will keep the Dark Tower: The Gunslinger compelling, stunning, and true to its canon. Fans will have much to rave about in the coming months.” Dark Tower: The Gunslinger #1 hits stores this May, where you can check out Phillips' work on display. Full press release after the jump. Acclaimed Artist Sean Phillips Joins DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER Marvel is proud to announce that Eisner Award-winning Sean Phillips (Incognito, Criminal, Marvel Zombies) has joined the New York Times best-selling Dark Tower creative team! Philips joins the acclaimed team of Peter David, Robin Furth and Richard Isanove in the select group of creators entrusted by Stephen King himself to bring the adult adventures of his most personal creation to life in Dark Tower: The Gunslinger! Philips exclaims, “Well, I've bought the hat and the gun and holster. And I’ve got the lead pencil right here that'll do the job!” Phillips’ fellow Dark Tower collaborators couldn’t be more pleased with their new teammate. “Here’s to the beginning of our new Dark Tower adventure! Sean is a wonderful artist, so I can’t wait to see his depictions of Mid-World. We will all miss Jae [Lee], but we’re really lucky to have Sean. Peter and Richard will continue their amazing work, so I think Roland is ready to saddle up and move forward to the Mohaine Desert. Readers, bring plenty of sunscreen. You’re going to need it” said Robin Furth. Peter David added, “I'm very much looking forward to seeing Sean's depiction of Mid-World and the superb manner in which he'll be telling Robin's stories. Jae left him sizable boots to fill, but I have every confidence that Sean is more than up to the challenge, and I'm looking forward to dialoguing his peerless pencils.” “The past four years spent in Midworld have been the most enjoyable and creatively fullfiling of my professional life. Jae has taken me further than I thought possible in the artistic field and I am ecstatic to now have Sean along for the ride. I'm sure he'll quickly feel at home within our little functional family, with the wise guidance of Robin, Peter's perfect prose and under Ralph's despotic thumb” explained Richard Isanove. Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel’s Senior Vice President, Development & Planning, Print, Animation and Digital Media, said, “Marvel is absolutely psyched to have Sean Phillips join the Dark Tower creative team. Though Jae's artistry will be missed, Sean's gift of phenomenal storytelling and visual fireworks will keep the Dark Tower: The Gunslinger compelling, stunning, and true to its canon. Fans will have much to rave about in the coming months.” A bold new chapter in Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga begins in Dark Tower: The Gunslinger #1, as Sean Phillips brings you a vision of Gilead like you’ve never seen before! DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER #1 (of 5) Written by ROBIN FURTH & PETER DAVID Art & Cover by SEAN PHILLIPS & RICHARD ISANOVE Variant Cover by JAE LEE & RICHARD ISANOVE Parental Advisory …$3.99 ON-SALE MAY 2010

Boondock Saints In Nomine Patris

12-Gauge Comics is carrying that Boondock Saints torch into the comic realm with a two-issue limited series this May called "In Nomine Patris." Written by Boondock Saints creator/writer/director Troy Duffy and J.B. Love (art by Guus Floor and Chris Brunner), the story is a companion to the recent movie (which hits home March 9). The two-issue series was conceived as sort of a "deleted and extended sequence," expanding on the characters on story in All Saints Day. The McManus Brothers seek to uncover the full extent of their family's legacy of violence, which of course means vengeance won't be far behind. Full press release after the jump. Official Press Release It’s official! The BOONDOCK SAINTS make the move to comics this May, in the two issue limited series “IN NOMINE PATRIS” from 12-Gauge Comics. TROY DUFFY’s original BOONDOCK SAINTS film is one of the most successful independent movies of all time, with a fiercely loyal and devoted fan base. Now, on the heels of the recent theatrical release of THE BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY, this new limited series marks the first official story to take place outside of the cult-hit films. Already tagged as both “Certified Cool” and a “Staff Pick” by Diamond Comic Distributors, THE BOONDOCK SAINTS: IN NOMINE PATRIS is destined to take the comic book marketplace by storm. Written by BOONDOCK SAINTS creator/writer/director TROY DUFFY and comic scribe J.B. LOVE, (with art by newcomer GUUS FLOOR and covers by CHRIS BRUNNER) “In Nomine Patris” is the perfect companion to the recent movie (coming to DVD and BLU-RAY March 9th). Conceived as a "deleted and extended sequence", the comics expand on the story and characters in ALL SAINTS DAY and delve deeper into the secret origin of the "Original Saint", IL DUCE. Join the McMANUS BROTHERS as they uncover the full extent of their family’s legacy of violence, leaving a path of vengeance in their wake! This is just the beginning of the Boondock Saints in comics! THE SAINTS ARE COMING! THE BOONDOCK SAINTS is ™ and ©2010 Boondock Saints, LLC. All Rights Reserved. THE BOONDOCK SAINTS Comic Series is ©2010 INNFUSION INC + Boondock Saints, LLC. All Rights Reserved. About the Publisher 12-Gauge Comics was founded by Keven Gardner in 2004 and currently publishes some of the most successful and critically acclaimed independent comic books in the marketplace today, including the recent hit LUKE MCBAIN, featuring country music mega-star TRACE ADKINS as the lead character. 12-Gauge members Jason Pearson, Brian Stelfreeze, Cully Hamner, and Doug Wagner are creating new and innovative multi-media concepts for the company, including Pearson’s run-away hit BODY BAGS and THE RIDE, which debuted as the top-selling black and white comic of the year in 2004. 12-Gauge helped develop THE O.C.T. (Occult Crimes Taskforce), an original comic book concept co-created and starring actress ROSARIO DAWSON. 12-Gauge has found a niche in the music industry; packaging comics for the rock band Coheed & Cambria, with other music-related projects currently in development. For more information, please visit www.12gaugecomics.com or email info@12gaugecomics.com.

Nick Simmons: Plagiarist?

In Role Models, Seann William Scott's character is obssessed with KISS and he even lauds Gene Simmons' ability to parlay the band's success into women and fame. His son Nick Simmons definitely capitalized on the name to get a break at Radical Publishing but word is spreading on the internets that he may be a plagiarist. An iReport by ryuji90 (which CNN goes to great lengths isn't vetted by the organization) points to a website comparing Simmons' "art" to the art of very popular manga in Bleach. Simmons is credited as the creator, writer and penciller in Incarnate, so while the coloring might not be his work the base pencils are. Now it's one thing to look at an artist's work and see similarities in other work...imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Yet when you look at the side-by-side comparisons, there's a lot more similarities beyond just style and feel. The images from Incarnate look to be straight copies from Bleach. Now, I'm not one to point fingers and say Simmons intentionally did this; I mean, he could've been reading Bleach and subconsciouly drew the exact same scenes for Incarnate. The side-by-sides though are pretty damning regardless of how you look at it. Radical Publishing has posted an official response on their MySpace page, and it reads as follows: We at Radical Publishing, Inc. and Radical Comics, Inc. are quite concerned to hear the news surrounding Nick Simmons’s Incarnate Comic Book. We are taking this matter seriously and making efforts now to contact the publishers of the works in question in an effort to resolve this matter. We have halted further production and distribution of the “Incarnate” comic book and trade paperback until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Rest assured that Radical is taking swift action regarding this matter and will continue in its efforts to maintain the integrity and protect the intellectual property of artists throughout the world whose creative works are the bedrock of our Company and the comic book industry. Give credit to Radical for taking swift action on this matter, but the conspiracy theorist in you has to wonder if they've known about this the whole time (I'm going to lean towards no). It's next to impossible to know if any work is copying something else until the "originator" comes forward with the claim, and 9 out of 10 times the "originator" is someone just looking to capitalize on the success of the "copier" (the so called patent trolls). Radical has halted printing of Incarnate until the matter is worked out amicably and to the satisfaction of all parties. When I first saw Incarnate #1 I had a nagging feeling it looked familiar, but then again, I don't read manga so it really all looks similar to me. And Simmons was obviously going for the manga style in his book, so I can't really fault him at first glance for copying the artistic style from another manga such as Bleach. It's looking though that he used the original for more than just inspiration and this could get really ugly for Simmons. If the plagiarism claims turns out to be true it will obviously be devastating to Simmons' burgeoning career as an artist and writer. Check out the images below and judge for yourself (colored ones are from Incarnate).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review - Hero Tomorrow

The comic book industry boasts a problem of supply and demand. There are a ton of great artists and writers out there (supply), but only so many properties you can consume at any given moment (demand). This means that breaking in is pretty much impossible unless you're that good or you can prove that Stan Lee is related to you somehow. Hero Tomorrow is a movie that looks at what a creator goes through as he attempts to get his big break: landscaping job, drugs, basement living, girlfriend who has no business being with him and spandex. The end result isn't what you would expect. The film was actually released way back in 2007 and was scribed by newcomers Milo Miller & Ted Sikora. Set in Cleveland, OH, Sikora's directorial debut features Perren Hedderson as David, a struggling comic creator with a mane of dreadlocks and a Native American inspired blanket in his basement room. His room happens to be right across from a room full of toy trains as he lives with his best friend (Bryan Jalovec as Greg) and his dad (Pat Milo). Yeah, times are tough. David has created a character named Apama, a Native American inspired wendigo of sorts that fights crime (a la Spider-man). A quick internet search shows Apama to be wife of the first ruler of the Seleucid Empire, Seleucus I Nicator. Intersting. David is struggling to maintain his relationship with Robyn (Jocelyn Wrzosek), an aspiring fashion designer who works at the local comic book shop (also named Hero Tomorrow). When she's not putting up with comic book store readers hitting on her and her mom's absentee parenting, she's also dealing with David's incessant whining. The entire premise of the movie is basically we're all aspiring to be something. David is waiting to get his big break, while working a landscaping job for his best friend Greg's fledgling business that is waiting for its big break. Meanwhile Robyn is attending fashion shows in hopes of getting her big break as a fashion designer; she actually designs and crafts an Apama costume for David to wear. He wears the costume for inspiration at first, but that inspiration quickly turns to necessity as he becomes obssessed with the character he's created. The movie essentially follows a pretty predictable track as Apama takes to the streets, fighting the evildoers (teens smashing pumpkins and stealing kids' candy) and righting wrongs. The film's ending is somewhat cryptic (and surprising) in that you're not really sure where Robyn and David are going to go next in their lives (or where they've been for the 18 month gap in between). Wrzosek (pronounced Ro-zak) positively steals she show as Robyn. She shows the widest range of emotions of anyone in the film and, as really the only female role, protrayed the most well-acted and realistic character. I get what Hedderson is trying to pull off in the sense that he's struggling, but his portrayal came across more as whining than anything. I understand it sucks that you have to cut lawns in your spare time while you're trying to get your work off the ground, but I didn't get the impression that he made much of a marketing push. He was best friends with the comic book store owner, but Apama was nowhere to be seen in the store. Couldn't he have put together a few issues of the book somehow? The movie has garnered tons of positive feedback and is widely considered to be the darling of the indie comic movie genre. The story is very belivable and, as anyone in David's position can attest to, it is difficult to get your character (the best ever) noticed in a sea of Batman, Superman, etc. Hero Tomorrow serves as both an affirmation and a sober reminder of the difficulties creators face in breaking in. Hero Tomorrow Hero Tomorrow Blog

Zenescope Presents Sci-Fi and Fantasy - The Perfect Mate

I've got to hand it to Zenescope for tapping into that old school comic vibe with their latest work Zenescope Presents Sci-Fi and Fantasy - The Perfect Mate. The cover screams pulp and the 48 pages within blends horror, fantasy and sci-fi in a frightening view of the not so distant future. Those 48 pages? All one-shots. Crazy right. A lonely, socially awkward man named Andy Wussler buys a cybernetic girlfriend and realizes that buying love can lead to all sorts of unpredictability. Written by Joe Brusha, penciled by Claudio Sepulveda, colored by Joel Chua and a cover by Al Rio (additional artwork by Jason Embury and Mike DeBalfo, lettering by Crank!), Zenescope Presents Sci-Fi and Fantasy - The Perfect Mate is currently available on Zenescope's website (and most likely in a comic shop near you.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold the Videogame

Batman: The Brave and the Bold has gained quite a following. Considered to be the best animated Batman not named Batman: The Animated Series, the show features Diedrich Bader providing a somewhat whimsical, deadpan flair to Batman. Fans of the show will be excited to know that a video game adaptation (?) of the series is in the works, slated for release this fall. Batman: The Brave and the Bold the Videogame gives gamers the chance to play as Batman alone or with a superheroic partner, including Robin, Green Lantern, Blue Beetle and Aquaman (among others). Nintendo is pushing their Wii/DS connectability as well, as connecting the two systems will unlock Bat-Mite on the Wii version (controlled by a DS). And what would a Batman game be without his gadgets? Gamers can also expect to have at their disposal Batarangs and his Granel Gun. “Batman: The Brave and the Bold the Videogame further illustrates the diverse appeal of the Batman brand and the gameplay is a fun, vibrant extension of the animated series,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President of Development and Production, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The game’s co-op play offers kids, families and Batman fans an interactive way of experiencing the cartoon’s iconic characters.” I think it goes without saying that you're not going to get Batman: Arkham Asylum intensity here. Instead, I'd advise you get this game if you have kids in your household or are really just that big a fan of Batman. Although, with Warner Bros.' recent purchase of Rocksteady Studios in addition to this game, they may be getting really, really serious about making Batman a viable video game franchise. Full press release after the jump. You can also check out Omnicomic interviews with Bader and Will Friedle from way back when the show was just starting. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces Batman: The Brave and the Bold the Videogame Hit Animated Series Brought To Life on Wii™ and Nintendo DS™ for Kids and Families to Play Together BURBANK, Calif. – February 23, 2010 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, on behalf of DC Comics, announces Batman: The Brave and the Bold the Videogame, an action-adventure videogame based on the popular animated series, available this fall for Wii™ and Nintendo DS™. In the game, fans play alongside Batman and many of his allies in the DC UNIVERSE to take on dozens of popular villains. Batman: The Brave and the Bold the Videogame fully immerses fans into the vivid animated world of the successful TV series where kids can play as Batman or together with family and friends in two-player co-op mode. Players can choose from iconic characters ROBIN, GREEN LANTERN, BLUE BEETLE, along with drop-in heroes such as AQUAMAN to help solve puzzles and fight foes. The game provides maximum replay value to those who own both the Wii and Nintendo DS versions by allowing them to connect the two systems to unlock BAT-MITE as a playable character. Players can control him with the Nintendo DS to wreak havoc or fight alongside the main characters in all levels of the Wii videogame. “Batman: The Brave and the Bold the Videogame further illustrates the diverse appeal of the Batman brand and the gameplay is a fun, vibrant extension of the animated series,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President of Development and Production, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The game’s co-op play offers kids, families and Batman fans an interactive way of experiencing the cartoon’s iconic characters.” In Batman: The Brave and the Bold the Videogame, players embark on an exciting journey through crime-filled alleys, alien planets, abandoned underground cities and mysterious laboratories. Further lending to the authentic cartoon feel of the game is the inclusion of Batman’s iconic gadgets such as Batarangs and his Grapnel Gun. For more information, please visit www.BraveandtheBoldVideogame.com.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Arrivals: February 24, 2010

Come this time next week we'll be in the third month of 2010. At the moment though, we're still in February, smackdab in the middle of Punxatawny Phil's six more weeks of winter. Tomorrow is smackdab in the middle the week at Wednesday, meaning it's that time for new comics. This week, in addition to Blackest Night #7 and Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box #1, you should be checking out We Will Bury You #1. The story boasts four writers in Brea and Zane Grant, Kyle Strahm and Ben Templesmith and is set in 1927. The same year that the silent film ended and the first man completed a solo transatlantic flight a zombie virus pulled a bubonic plague and decimated the human race. Who's left? Two unlikely heroines fighting to survive the streets of New York that are a lot more dangerous than before. 32 pages and $3.99 later this book will be on your shelf or in your longbox. Enjoy! New Arrivals: February 24, 2010

Defense with the BoomPick

Feels like only yesterday we had new comics come out and the ones I got had me laughing my ass off. Actually within the first page of one comic I was laughing because of a reference they did. For my pick this week you might have seen it coming, but for those who didn’t my pick is Deadpool #20. I was bit surprised when I saw this was coming out only a week after the last issue graced the shelves of our comic book stores. It seems you just can’t keep Wade Wilson down for long as this next issue has him and Spider-man teaming up to track down someone as good and deadly as Deadpool himself. The name of the guy they are looking for is Hit-Monkey. Yes, that’s right he’s a monkey. Between the three of these guys you aren’t going to find a faster, more agile and perhaps hilarious group of supers to put together. I see this issue going to a different level in terms of action and of course the jokes.

Solicitation - The Iron Saint Volume 1 Trade Paperback

The Iron Giant was a fantastic movie. Iron Man is a pretty kickass superhero. The Iron Saint? Let's just say he's a man that's got the role of reformed hitman down pat. The Iron Saint Volume 1 Trade Paperback hits stores May 26 from Top Cow and collects Jason Rubin's original comic series (which was previously released as Iron and The Maiden. The series takes place in an alternate-universe 1930s where said reformed hitman and a debutante get caught amidst a three-way power struggle between the government, a religious sect and an underworld criminal organization. Sounds a lot like another Top Cow property. Written by Rubio and featuring art by Joel Gomez and Francis Manapul (cover by Chris Bachalo), the series has been called "Best New Ongoing Series" by CBR. All 176 pages will be available for $14.99 this May.

Dark Horse in the Denis Kitchen

If R. Crumb refers to your work as "oddly compelling" things are sure to be strange. This June Dark Horse will be placing meticulously on a comic book store shelf near you The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, the first collection of work by the underground cartoonist and acclaimed publishing pioneer. Not only that, but Neil Gaiman himself will be providing a funny and insightful introduction alongside an essay by Charles Brownstein (provided for context and career overview). The book contains 200 illustrations, most of which haven't been seen since their original publication in the late 60's and 70's. Some of them have never really been seen at all. The book was designed by John Lind (winner a 2009 American Graphic Design Award for his work on Underground Classics), the 200 page, 9x12 hardcover will cost $34.99 when it hits stores June 9. R. Crumb feels that it could be good. “I always thought it was rather a shame that Kitchen became a publisher and businessman to the neglect of his artistic talent …he was a gifted and exceptional artist …I think his downfall was women …the big sap!” Full press release after the jump. DARK HORSE announces publication this June of... THE ODDLY COMPELLING ART OF DENIS KITCHEN Collection brings Kitchen, the artist, to the forefront Introduction by Neil Gaiman and essay by Charles Brownstein "I think ‘Oddly Compelling’ is a very good title for a book of Denis Kitchen's work, and describes it very well." — R. Crumb Feb. 23, 2010 - Milwaukie OR - A well-known personality in the comics world, Denis Kitchen has worn many hats: as a longtime publisher, founder of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, book author and literary and art agent. But his career as a pioneering underground comix artist has been overdue for rediscovery. First announced for publication from his own Kitchen Sink Press over 20 years ago, but never produced, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen is the first collection of work by the underground cartoonist and acclaimed publishing pioneer. In addition to his comix, this book features a wealth of unpublished material: paintings, covers for underground newspapers and comix, rare strips and illustrations and historic photos of Kitchen and many of his contemporaries. Acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman provides a funny and insightful introduction and an essay by Charles Brownstein (Eisner/Miller) provides context and a career overview. The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen finally brings Kitchen the artist to the stage. This compendium includes approximately two hundred illustrations, most unseen since their original publication in the late '60s and '70s, many not seen even by serious comix fans. “I always thought it was rather a shame that Kitchen became a publisher and businessman to the neglect of his artistic talent …he was a gifted and exceptional artist …I think his downfall was women …the big sap!” — R. Crumb Designed by John Lind, winner of a 2009 American Graphic Design Award for his work on Underground Classics, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen will appeal to fans of underground comix and comics history and will allow a new generation to discover Kitchen's curious body of work. The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen is a full color, 200 page, 9x12 hardcover priced at $34.99. Currently offered in this month's Previews catalog with a Diamond Code of FEB100040. The book goes on sale June 9, 2010.

Shane Black to Direct Doc Savage

In news that will surely make Mark happy (as well as countless other Doc Savage fans), Variety is reporting the Columbia Pictures is dusting off the old property and preparing it for a triumphant return to the big screen. And it's got a director attached and everything! According to Variety, Shane Black has been tapped to direct the film about the Man of Bronze, based on a script by Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry. "Doc Savage is an icon, a character with limitless possibilities," said Columbia co-president Matt Tolmach of the character, who is by turns a scientist, physician, adventurer, inventor, explorer and researcher. "We have had a great experience working with Neal to bring another classic character of the era, the Green Hornet, to a new generation of fans, and we think he and Shane make the ideal team to bring Doc Savage back to the bigscreen." Black has a short albeit action-packed resume. He did the screenplays for Lethal Weapon and Long Kiss Goodnight, as well as directing Robert Downey, Jr. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (CRIMINALLY underrated if you ask me). Personally, I'm not up to date on my Doc Savage lore so I couldn't tell you how Black will do with the property. I can say those three movies above were decent films that I certainly don't mind watching repeatedly. Well, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is probably the only one I could watch repeatedly, but Black directed that so it's got to bode well for Doc Savage right? No timeline has been set for the film, and I don't even think Bagarozzi and Mondry have anything more than just a faint outline of a film in their mind. I'm sure it won't be the same as the first Doc Savage movie, Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze from 1975, although the title will most likely be similar if not the same. That movie featured Doc in the Fabulous Thirties, sucked into the mystery of his father disappearing in the wilds of South America and Savage contending with Captain Seas. I've just started the "rumor timer," so feel free to commence speculation about who could play a good Doc Savage (I'm going to say Chris Pine). Remember, the clock is ticking until they announce it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Defense with the BoomStick


Anyone out there receiving me?

Brandon here and I'm bringing to you the news and tip of the week. Been another busy week for us around here and from the reports I have gotten in it seems busy around the world as well. Without delay here is the news from the week. Starting us off is news out of Greenland that they are losing more ground against the advancing zombies. The few settlements left on the island have been requesting any sort of aid, but don’t expect much to occur. I passed the transmissions on to my government contact see if they can help, with their operation going on not sure what sort of help they can provide. News from Taiwan is they're getting an influx of zombies coming from the mainland and are getting swamped.

Not seeing them hold out much longer either and it’s a troubling note that I have been hearing from more places coming under attack and not making it. Unsure if this is a trouble that is going to befall everyone around the world, but is something to keep an eye on. If you see a bunch of zombies make sure to take care of them and do as little as possible to attract attention. Now for the tip of the week. For my tip today I will discuss possible best case scenario locations where one might find supplies at.

At this point in the world finding supplies might be a bit tough since most food in stores has been taken by other people. You might be able to find cans of food here and there, but your best bet is to check individual homes. Hopefully you are trying this method in a more rural area where houses are few and far between, making it less likely to run into zombies. When searching a house try and identify the kitchen as usually there is a door leading out of it and into the outside. Once you've determined where the kitchen is from a safe distance figure out how long you're going to stay in there. If in a party decide how many will go in and when the others follow if trouble happens. As always you must move quick and try not to linger, because no matter what zombies just have a way of finding us with the longer you stay more chance of getting attacked.

While walking through forests or fields be on the lookout for orchards or fresh fruit that will be on the trees. While in the fields you may find farm houses, which are the best location for this task as most have stockpiles of supplies and preserved food. They are a safer bet to check for supplies than a small town, but sometimes necessity takes over and these small towns are your only choice. When entering these towns make sure to stick to back alleys and backyards to keep out of sight. Make sure to leave a small backup force to keep watch and to watch over the groups' gear of the scout team, because they should travel as light as possible when going for supplies.

Always try back doors on buildings to keep your noise level down and at least give you a good entry point and an out of sight exit as well. While on the road look for little stops that could be a good spot to check for supplies in between checking the farms, making traveling on the road just a bit easier. Remember when checking for food or ammo always keep one eye on your surroundings so a zombie can’t get the drop on you. That’s it for today until next week this is Brandon signing off. Remember to keep fighting and keep surviving.

Review - Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box #1

Top Cow is pretty keen on their heroes bearing ancient artifacts that grant them some immeasurable powers. Sara Pezzini is the current bearer in the long line of the Witchblade, and Jackie Estacado is the current bearer of The Darkness. Top Cow has tapped Rob Levin and Bryan Hill to add two more bearers to the Top Cow stable in Finn and Glori in Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box #1. The series opens with Michael Finnegan in possession of the Glacial Stone while Glorianna Silver is in possession of the Ember Stone. Glori is tasked by Wulfgar Olafsson, her mentor and teacher, to seek out Finn and the Glacial Stone to unite the Broken Trinity. Finn has a "teacher" of his own in Kenshin Kawakami, who can be effectively called a "badass with a samurai sword." The two of them (Glori and Finn) are being coached to prepare for the other to attempt to take their stone for reasons yet unknown (other than to unite the Broken Trinity). Crazy right? The "Pandora's Box" part of the story comes in with the Disciples of Adam, a group of super-elite soldiers that are seeking to open up the box. The Disciples are led by Adam Legion, a man that has no qualms about dropping members of the cloth to find a compass for whatever reason. (The writers are also either ex-military or have been playing a lot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with the "stay frosty" line; always approve). I'm assuming that Legion is also looking for either (or both) stones, but that will most likely be described in future issues. The first issue ends with a somewhat interesting "twist" that suggests the two stones could be reunited a lot sooner than anyone thinks. After reading this first issue, you get a little carsick because in the first ten pages or so the comic hits about five countries...sort of a whirling dervish of a comic if you will. Levin and Hill are very adept at crafting a comic that doesn't waste words and I'm a HUGE fan of Alessandro Vitti's artwork which does an exceptional job in bring their words to life. I've never really gotten into Witchblade (nothing against the comic as I've heard fantastic things...plus I'll leave that to Tom) but I'm kind of digging Broken Trinity: Pandora's Box. There's a good bit of action and story with some religion thrown in for good measure. The first issue hits stores this week for $2.99. Check out a preview below of some interiors.

Preview - Wonder Woman #41

Batman and Superman have had their fair share of tussles throughout their superhero "careers." I'd wager that Wonder Woman and Power Girl haven't had nearly as many a battle, but Wonder Woman #41 will add one more to that tally. Gail Simone is keeping up her Wonder Woman kick and Wonder Woman #41 features art by Chris Batista and Fernando Dagnino. The issue hits stores this week and you can check out some interiors after the jump.

New Kick-Ass trailer

New trailer for Kick-Ass. You need to enter a birthdate that puts you at at least 18 years of age, as this trailer has more violence, language, blood and all-around awesomeness. Enjoy (if you're of age of course).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

Aliens vs. Predator. When did it all go so horribly wrong? When I was a kid I waited for that film to be made. I pined for that film to be made. I have always loved the James Cameron/Ridley Scott universe. I just love the way it looks and feels- it’s dark, it’s gritty, it’s filled with hot, sweaty action scenes out in the jungle or in big metal steel factories that pour hot molten slag into giant vats…in a word, it’s kick-ass. I think what I love the most, however, is this- ultimately Alien, Predator and Terminator are survival horror movies. Most ‘cheap monster’ horror movies don’t require a lot of explanation for the horrific evil that the characters are fleeing from- all you really have to know is that the thing the people in the movie are running away from will kill them dead. And, frequently, that’s what it goes on to do. Now, sometimes little explanation is a nice touch in it’s own right. I still think that one of the scariest things about Dawn of the Dead (both the original and the remake) is that you don’t really know why zombies exist- you just wake up one day and all of civilization has collapsed because of them. Maybe it’s some genetic fluke- but on the other hand, maybe that seemingly-crazy, religious fanatic on TV talking about the end of the world and sins past is on to something. You can’t know. It’s scarier, in the context of that movie, to not know. But I love the depth in the films I’m writing about. The first two films in each of these franchise had plot, character development…they gripped me, as a kid. Not just because they were scary but because they had this complexity to them that made them feel real. I mean, yeah, a horrible robot that goes evil and tries to kill you might be an exciting movie. But the idea that it’s come back in time to prevent the birth of the future savior of the human race- or the fact that it was designed by a satellite weapons program that began to surpass it’s own programming…there was this epic feel to Terminator, beyond Schwarzenegger just running around blowing stuff up. Could you change the future? Is there really ‘no fate’? Or is time like a machine- a closed circuit, no begging or end? For me, Alien fell apart after the second movie. I mean, Alien 3- Charles Dutton. It’s hard to go wrong with Charles Dutton in a movie, right? What an awesome actor. But I just hate that Newt and Hicks are dead. Out of nowhere. Just dead. I love that the second movie ends with Ripley finding two people who know what she’s been through. Having her as the constant ‘sole survivor’ began to hurt the films a little bit… I mean yeah, I can see it in the first movie. But after that? The other characters added complexity, making Alien more than a slasher movie. Actually, Dark Horse comics had some follow up stories after Aliens that, as far as I’m concerned, should have BEEN Alien 3. A lot of them revolved around Newt, grown up. She was, of course, a lot like Ripley- having been practically raised by her after returning to Earth. I have this FIRM memory, in my mind, of going to the theaters and seeing a teaser trailer for Alien 3 that suggested that the film would take place on Earth. The tagline for the original movie had been "In space no one can hear you scream." I could have sworn I read something like "on Earth, everyone can hear you scream."* I could be dreaming this up, but I swear that was the original premise of the third film. Somewhere along the way, they mashed it up. *Editor's Note: Tedd's actually right here. According to a message board post from 2000 by Quatermass76, the trailer Tedd is referring to was created before David Finch was brought on board. He took the film off Earth, which would have made a trailer referencing Earth just silly, thereby banishing the trailer to the DVD special features. What an incredible film that would have been, right? What if the Weyland-Yutani Corporation got a specimen back to Earth and it broke free. Entire cities overrun, hived…an entire planet falling prey to those things…scary stuff. Alien had a lot going for it. I love that the film’s designers took the time to design reasonable forms of future space-travel, colonization, military weaponry… synthetic androids. That, and did you ever notice the other ‘alien’ in Alien? That big, weird looking thing in the first film that the crew stumbles upon when they go aboard that ship? It’s got an open chest (or whatever resembles a chest for that species)? See, the aliens the crew runs into aren’t the ones manning that spaceship. They’re intelligent, sure, but not that intelligent. We never know anything about the deceased alien the crew encounters- but I just like that it’s a cool way to round out the story as to how these things ever got loose in the first place. Some other race (maybe explorers) maybe knew what the things Ripley and the crew fought were or maybe they didn’t- but regardless, the things got loose and started reproducing. We never know anything about the race the crew stumbles upon- only that another space-faring race exists, somewhere, and their own ship fell prey to these things. Last but not least, I have got to hand it to Predator for just being a different KIND of horror movie. I mean, I could go on about the little touches are in each film that flesh out the Predator ‘race’ (and yes, that IS an Alien ‘head’ mounted on the wall of the Predator spaceship at the end of Predator 2). But I just have to give it up for how the first movie makes you feel. Here’s what I mean: Most survival horror movies are simple. Formula: unsuspecting people forced into horrible situation, viewer left to guess at whose personality and skills will best help them survive, although, ultimately, you recognize from the get go that very few will. Now, Predator: enter an elite company of trained, military BADASSES. These guys seem unstoppable- they mow through their enemies like they were nothing. So then they run into this thing- the Predator. And you think "wow, they’re in for a fight." Which is what they think. A fight. They do everything right, proper military style, and get ready to duke it out with this thing. The thing is? It isn’t a fight- at least, not anymore than a hunter shooting a deer is "fighting" that deer. It’s a SLAUGHTER. One by one elite commandos drop like flies, becoming unnerved and making mistakes. Until finally, only Governor Schwarzenegger remains. So like I said- just different. You just don’t see it coming, exactly. It hits you in a different spot, I think. Anyway, the roundabout way of making my point is this: Alien vs. Predator was AWFUL. TERRIBLE FILMS. Why were these made? Now, the original Dark Horse comic series was epic. A survivor horror masterpiece even. I think it’s a great synthesis of both films, not just in terms of the fiction, but even how the movies feel. Seemingly animals, the Aliens have a way of surprising even their Predator ‘superiors’ and the results are monstrous and horrendous. Predators, on the other hand, are merciless and human beings rank as little more than interesting cattle. The ensuing conflict is terrifying. If you want to see it done right, like it was back in the day, I highly recommend you check out this first series…

Review - Atomic Robo Volume 4 #1

Red 5 Comics is still a relative unknown when it comes to comics, and it's a shame really. One of their latest releases, Atomic Robo Volume 4 #1, is actually a great joyride of a comic that features Atomic Robo, vampires, scientists, an interviewee named Rex Cannon and Jenkins. The issue starts the "Revenge of the Vampire Dimension" storyline and should serve as an active warning about messing with quantum dimensions. The issue chronicles the frenetic first day of new hire Dr. Bernard Fischer at Atomic Robo's place of employ, Tesladyne HQ. Like anyone else in 1999 he was looking to parlay his academic knowhow into a job at a tech firm, and what better tech firm than Tesladyne HQ alongside THE Atomic Robo himself. The interview quickly turns into the first day on the job for Fischer and while most of us can commiserate with his "trial by fire" first day I don't think we've experienced anything close to what he experiences. He makes his way through it though, and Atomic Robo is perplexed by how the vampires got into their dimension and what exactly happened to temporarily halt the invasion. Writer Brian Clevinger's dialogue is almost nonchalant and is pretty good at conveying that intimidating first day. Shaw is characterized as a geeky scientist who prefers to watch amoeba split then Jenkins split vampires, but his character should be something of a foil to Robo's. The art by Scott Wegener (with coloring by Ronda Pattison and lettering by Jeff Powell) is almost Saturday morning cartoonish but I like it. It keeps the feeling of the comic relatively lighthearted and reminds you that this isn't a comic you should be viewing as a grand treatise on life. Honestly, this issue screams Hellboy and the BPRD. That's definitely not a bad thing, nor do I think Red 5 is intentionally trying to capitalize on the success of the Mike Mignola creation. What they are doing though (at least in my mind) is creating a story that readers can relate to on some note and isn't as fantastical as Hellboy. The storyline is only four issues and I'm curious to see what Dr. Fischer has up his sleeve for figuring out which dimension the vampires came from and how exactly that door got closed. The issue hit stores this week and marks a milestone for Red 5 Comics in that it's the first time in their history that they've got three different titles on the shelf (in addition to Drone #3 and ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction #6).

New Bettie Page Statue from Dark Horse

I like Bettie Page, even though she was well before my time. The "Queen of Pinups" spawned an entire new look for women and is emulated even today. Thanks to Dave Stevens, Ms. Page experienced newfound popularity as of late, as Stevens included her in his The Rocketeer comics way back in 1982, and due to their lasting popularity Page herself has become a staple in the popular psyche. Dark Horse is planning to take her presence a step further through an arrangement with the Stevens and Page estates to create a limited-edition statued based on one of Stevens' best Bettie Page images. In collaborating with Stevens' close friend Kent Melton, Dark Horse went over Stevens' numerous Bettie Page images and found what the pair to belive the most accurate reprensentation of the buxom queen. “We have enormous respect for both Dave and Bettie, and we felt an obligation to make this piece a home run,” David Scroggy, Dark Horse’s vice president of product development, remarked. “Dave was a tough critic, especially when it came to his own work. We knew we had to satisfy him, so we were meticulous in every detail. I think we might have succeeded.” The statue, which will be a numbered, limited edition (quantity still to be determined), stands approximately thirteen inches from base to top, and comes prepainted and presented in deluxe packaging. It will also include an oversized certificate of authenticity reproducing the Dave Stevens illustration that inspired it. It'll be available August 2010 and will set you back somewhere in the neighborhood of $150. Full presser after the jump. An image of the statue is after the jump and is at the edge of being SFW. NEW BETTIE PAGE STATUE FROM DARK HORSE DELUXE HONORS THE WORK OF DAVE STEVENS FEBRUARY 18, MILWAUKIE, OR—One of the main factors in the resurgence of interest in 1950s glamour icon Bettie Page can easily be traced to Dave Stevens, who made her a character in his The Rocketeer comics, which started in 1982 and remain popular today. Dark Horse has made a special arrangement with the estates of both Bettie Page and Dave Stevens to create a limited-edition statue based on one of Stevens’s best Bettie Page images. Dark Horse called on Dave’s close friend and sometime collaborator Kent Melton, a top sculptor with whom he had always hoped to do a project of this sort. Dark Horse and Melton went over Stevens’s many Bettie Page images, and the result is the most accurate representation of the pair’s many conversations on the subject. “We have enormous respect for both Dave and Bettie, and we felt an obligation to make this piece a home run,” David Scroggy, Dark Horse’s vice president of product development, remarked. “Dave was a tough critic, especially when it came to his own work. We knew we had to satisfy him, so we were meticulous in every detail. I think we might have succeeded.” Kent Melton observed, “Dave and I talked frequently about how female anatomy should work in sculpture. When I started to sculpt, it felt almost as if Dave were there guiding me. The piece came together quickly, almost as if we’d rehearsed it over the years.” The statue, which will be a numbered, limited edition (quantity still to be determined), stands approximately thirteen inches from base to top, and comes prepainted and presented in deluxe packaging. Also includes an oversized certificate of authenticity reproducing the Dave Stevens illustration that inspired it. Dark Horse has a long association with both Dave Stevens and Bettie Page, having served as one of the original publishers of The Rocketeer and produced over 150 licensed Bettie Page items. This beautiful new statue made its premiere appearance at Toy Fair this past weekend and is scheduled for a worldwide release in August 2010, carrying a $150 price tag. About Dark Horse Comics Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, and comics legend Will Eisner, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton, Trigun, Serenity, and Domo. Today, Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic-book publisher in the United States and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of licensed comics material.

Solicitation - Velocity #1

Be honest. You've been wondering where Velocity has been. The Top Cow Pilot Season winner was on a hiatus but makes her return May 26 with Velocity #1 by Ron Marz and with art by Kenneth Rocafort (alternate cover by Chriscross). In it, Carin Taylor is the fastest woman in the world and she's going to need that speed to save her life and the life of Cyberforce. A former Cyberdata scientist seeks revenge against Cyberforce and it's up to Velocity to fight this threat. Check out the alternate cover after the jump, and keep an eye out for the first issue in stores May 26.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Manga - The Other White Meat

So things have been progressing wonderfully in both series for a change and I’m curious to see what happens next in each. In Bleach we still have the “boss fight” of this arc going on, and I have a feeling it might continue for a month or two. In Naruto, Sakura is tracking down Sasuke to have a showdown with him and attempt to kill him, or at least so we believe. Let’s get right into the action shall we? BLEACH The battle with Aizen continues. At the end of our last chapter it appeared that Aizen had been run through by Captain Hitsugaya, but if there is one thing this series has taught us lately it's that Aizen always has a trick up his sleeve. Chapter 392 opens with Ichigo looking shocked at the results of what happened. Everything thinks that the captains have done it and that the fight is over. The others involved in the battle, Soifon, Kyouraku, and Shinji let their guard down as it appears to be over. The vice-captains begin to celebrate a little and their spirits are up when suddenly the formerly mortally injured Hinamori, one of the vice-captains, gets up and starts walking away. Hinamori was formerly in love with Aizen, who was the captain of her division. Shinji then notices that Gin hasn’t moved yet, and it seems odd that if his leader was in trouble he wouldn’t have tried to do something to help. It's at this point that Ichigo yells out, “What the hell are you doing!!?”, and Aizen releases his hypnosis effect on everyone to reveal that he was actually Hinamori on the ground as two of the vice captains fall to his blade. Hitsugaya has actually pierced Hinamori through the heart. Hinamori was Hitsugaya’s childhood friend and the captain begins to completely lose his mind. In the meantime, Aizen on the ground asks why they ever thought he wasn’t using his hypnosis, and he cuts down all of them. Looks like Bleach is off for a while starting this week so I’ll have to come up with something else for next week. I’m a little confused though, because if Ichigo isn’t under the hypnosis, why didn’t he say something sooner? What was he waiting for? He should have seen this coming the whole time. Oh well… NARUTO If you can believe it, Naruto was actually the more boring chapter this week! In chapter 482 Naruto has snuck away from Yamato in order to go after Sasuke and Sakura against Kakashi’s wishes. Madara tells Sasuke that he overused his eye and he almost has gone blind and he should take it easy, and then takes Danzou’s, or I guess Shisui’s sharingan that is in Danzou’s head, eye for his own use. Sai attempts to stop Sakura from going after Sasuke on her own, but when her teammates attack she hits them all with some kind of gas that knocks them out and moves out on her own. The clone of Sai informs Kakashi that Sakura has gotten away from everyone, which impresses her former master. In the meantime Madara says that Sasuke should kill Karin because she knows too much. Karin has a flashback to when she first met Sasuke at the Jounin trials many years ago and that is where she fell for him. Just as Sasuke is about to finish her Sakura shows up and says that she wants to join Sasuke. Back in Madara’s lab, which he's teleported to, he finds that Danzou has crushed Shisui’s eye before dying. It is also revealed that Madara has a HUGE stockpile of Sharingan eyes for some nefarious purpose. Madara is a scary, scary guy. The episode ends with Sasuke and Sakura facing off. Who knows what will happen next. There was great development in this chapter. I have no idea how Naruto manages to progress so many storylines in such a short space and not make it seem totally cluttered. Until next time everyone!

Review - Drone #3

You ready for another review already? I'm sure you are. Today I'm reviewing Drone #3 from those fine people over at Red 5 Comics, and this is a book I've really enjoyed reading so far. With a great amount of action the creators manage to pack into this comic I can’t imagine what they are planning for the next one. First a quick recap, and then review time. For those who haven’t been reading this series here's the deal. There's a new sort of unmanned robot that the Army uses featuring a sort of Drone system while the soldier is safely back in the United States. While they are out on a test run during a war in Kazakhstan the team is ambushed and all killed except for one technician named Cat. Unknown to the rebel soldiers, one droid was hacked by a group of guys in Texas and he manages to fight them off and saves the lone survivor running into the woods. They are heading towards where all the U.S. troops are at in the city of Almatay, but with the rebels after them, the battery running low on the drone and everyone out of ammo things get interesting. There's also a Chinese agent in the United States specifically in Texas tracking down the hackers to kill all of them. Now with that said this issue shows the Drone and Cat reaching the outskirts of the city while the war rages on down below them. Going through the get to know you phase between the guy controlling the Drone named David and Cat about why they think this happened and who they are. When the two make it down to a main road next to the city the rebels are coming at them, leaving them to come up with a plan. For the guys back in Texas the agent has gotten closer to finding them as one of the guys who went for coffee spots him and alerts the others. Eventually the guy gets to door banging it down only to discover they took off already getting the satellite signal for the Drone while in the car. This leads to an awesome gunfight car chase that was freaking hilarious to read. I have to say these guys have some ingenuity about them and their going to need it because of all the crazy stuff going down halfway around the world. This is where the hilarious nature of the car chase comes in as while the guys are being shot at and chased in the Texas, the Drone and Cat are being chased as well. Whenever David gets shifty crazy in Texas the Drone bounces all over the road slamming into cars and what have you. This is where we find ourselves at the end of this issue with the rebels now in full control of the Drones and looking to cause some destruction. The guys in Texas are hiding out in a television station attempting to use the satellites there to confuse the signal and slow down the guy trying to kill them. From the looks of the last panel it doesn’t look to be working all that well with him closing in on their location and finishing the job. Keeps you definitely interested in seeing how this all plays out and what sort of damage the rebels are going to cause. If you haven’t been reading this series go back and pick up the first two as it's worth to read.