Thursday, September 30, 2010

Manga - The Other White Meat

Well…everyone envision your best manga sad face. As of writing this on Thursday afternoon I still have not seen the Bleach manga chapter released and I know that Naruto is on a week off so unfortunately there will be no recaps this week. That leaves me at a loss for topics as I don’t really have a recommendation for you all. If you’ve been following along and starting reading/watching some other titles that I’ve put out there in the past you should have plenty to occupy you.

I suppose I need to fill the next paragraph just for the sake of not missing out completely. I know! Let’s talk about a video game that has currently made it challenging for me to function in many aspects of life. Anyone ever played the Civilization series? Well their latest game came out – the fifth in the series – and it is apparently a mix of Civ Revolution for consoles a few years back and Civ IV for PC. It is awesome if you enjoy strategy games. If you google the phrase “just one more turn” – with the quotes – you’ll find that the seemingly normal phrase is very closely associated with the series.

We’ll see if the editor even runs this as we are clearly not a gaming blog, but sometimes something that completely encompasses one’s out of work thoughts simply must be shared. We’ll be back next week with our regularly scheduled programming.

Review – The Darkness: Four Horsemen #2

Jackie Estacado is a pretty scary guy when you think about it. He is a former mob hitman who now wields one of the primal formative forces of the Universe, The Darkness, as a weapon. Sure, light can be a bit of a downer when it comes to using his shadow formed minions, but he has plenty of other body shattering powers at his disposal should he need them. What if I told you he isn’t even the fourth scariest character in this four issue run?

How could I make such a claim? What if I told you the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were running around a small town causing people to eat out of their own stomachs – that is NOT a typo – and to generally just die horrible deaths in excruciating agony. Are you starting to see how it might be possible that The Darkness is almost a cuddly figure in this mini-series? Needless to say, Jackie has his hands full.

David Hine, Jeff Wamester, Jason Martin and Felix Serrano come out of Top Cow’s stable to bring their talents to this issue which is one of the more creepy stories I’ve read in The Darkness. The bloodshed is pretty gross, although not overstated and everyone dies a death very appropriate to who has touched them. Touched by Famine? Then prepare to eat yourself to death, just not in a pleasant way. War will give you uncontrollable rage, prompting you to battle even those you love most to the death. A brush with Pestilence will cause you to keel over or suffer a horrifying and specifically tailored series of illnesses. Finally we have Death himself, who will touch you and immediately number your days. Think Final Destination with more blood and gore.

Jackie faces off with these cleverly disguised bikers in town for a showdown that seems at first to be destined for success. The fires raging in the city that originally would have limited Jackie’s Darkness minions from doing their work are quenched by a sudden storm. The initial attack is brutal both in its depiction and artwork and in its seeming effectiveness. The tide quickly turns however as even his minions are affected by these four bikers powers.

After a little villain monologue by the Horsemen they regenerate and prepare to attack. Even the Darkness within Jackie can sense that something is not right. The bikers are simply waiting for a man that will release them from their bodies – a constraint which currently means they can only transfer their “gifts” by touch – and are cutting loose to pass the time. Two more players are heading to the town as well. One is a woman with white eyes found hitchhiking in the rain. The other is a sinister looking business man with black and yellow eyes flying to the town in a small jet.

I would assume that one will be the key to stopping the Horsemen while the other is the key to unleashing them from their human constraints. Who will win? I guess we’ll find out in two more issues. I’m definitely enjoying this departure from the all encompassing events leading to Artifacts taking place across the Top Cow Universe. The art and story are brutal and Jackie is facing a legitimate challenge. Everything is pointing to a fun final two issues. Check out the interiors below and pick this one up in stores when you see it.

 

Zenescope at New York Comic Con

That big comic, pop culture event that is New York Comic Con will be hitting the Javitz Center next weekend and Zenescope will be there. Since it's a short drive from their homebase in Philly, you can bet they're bringing a lot of Zenescope with them.

Booth #2335 will debut four brand new exvlusive issues (three by Mike Debalfo) that include Charmed #3, Grimm Fairy Tales #51 (in both Jets and Giants flavors) and Inferno #4. There will be only 500 of each cover priced at $15 ($10 when you buy one with another), so if you're looking to add these to your collection get to the booth quick. There will also be raffles that will feature multiple prizes, including a brand spanking new iPod Touch on Saturday afternoon.

Zenescope talent at the show will include Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, Mike Debalfo, Raven Gregory, Eric Basaldua, Nei Ruffino, David Seidman, Pasquale Qualano, Brent Peeples, Anthony Spay, John Paul Russ and Bigfoot. Yeah, you heard me: Bigfoot.

Full press release and variants after the jump.

We're inviting you to join us for New York Comic Con 2010, the biggest Pop Culture and Comic Con on the east coast from October 8th-10th at the Javits Center in Manhattan at Booth #2335 (located directly across from the DC booth).

Zenescope will be debuting four brand new exclusive issues, including 3 covers by Zenescope's own extremely talented cover artist Mike Debalfo who will also be signing and sketching at booth 2335 all weekend long. Zenescope will also have numerous other artists, creators and special guests on hand to sign throughout the convention weekend. Check out who's appearing below!

The Charmed Ones hit the big city in this CHARMED #3 limited edition NYCC Exclusive! This exclusive photo cover is limited to just 500 total issues and features the gorgeous trio of witches with a Times Square backdrop. It is available only at Zenescope's booth #2335 for $15 or just $10 when purchased with any other Zen Exclusive cover! This unbelievable football cover features Grimm's ultra-evil and ultra-sexy character Belinda as she shows her love for football in New York City. Just 500 total copies of this gorgeous cover by artist Mike DeBalfo have been printed. It is available only at Zenescope's booth #2335 for $15 or just $10 when purchased with any other Zen Exclusive cover!

Grimm Fairy Tales #51 New York Football "Sela" Exclusive Grimm Fairy Tales: Inferno #4 NYCC Exclusive

This unbelievable football cover features Grimm's beautiful, brainy and butt-kicking character Sela Mathers she shows her love for football in New York City. Just 500 total copies of this gorgeous cover by artist Mike DeBalfo have been printed. It is available only at Zenescope's booth #2335 for $15 or just $10 when purchased with any other Zen Exclusive cover!

This gorgeous limited edition cover by Zenescope exclusive artist Mike DeBalfo features Inferno's sexy, hell-bound heroine and New York native Mercy Dante. Just 500 total copies of this gorgeous cover have been printed. It is available only at Zenescope's booth #2335 for $15 or just $10 when purchased with any other Zen Exclusive cover!

RAFFLES!
We will also be raffling off some very cool prizes at the booth all weekend long, including an iTouch on Saturday afternoon! Swing by the booth for details on what you can win and how to win it!

Creators and Special Guests Appearing and Signing at Booth #2335

Joe Brusha: Zenescope CEO and writer (Grimm Fairy Tales, Neverland), Ralph Tedesco: Zenescope Editor-in-Chief and writer (Grimm Fairy Tales, Salem's Daughter), Mike Debalfo: Zenescope cover artist (Grimm Fairy Tales, Wonderland), Raven Gregory: Zenescope Writer (The Wonderland trilogy, The Waking, Charmed), Eric Basaldua: Cover artist (Wonderland, Grimm Fairy Tales, Neverland), Nei Ruffino: Artist and Colorist (Wonderland trilogy, Neverland, Grimm Fairy Tales), David Seidman: Zenescope artist and writer (Charmed, Se7en, Grimm Fairy Tales), Pasquale Qualano: Zenescope Cover artist (Grimm Fairy Tales), Brent Peeples: Zenescope interior artist (Sinbad, Grimm Fairy Tales), Anthony Spay: Zenescope artist (Grimm Fairy Tales, Monster Hunters' Survival Guide)

SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCES: Zenescope is also proud to announce the rare special guest appearance of Survivalist and expert Monster Hunter John Paul Russ (author of the upcoming Monster Hunters' Survival Guide) and Sasquatch aka BIGFOOT! Both JP RUSS and BIGFOOT will be promoting Zenescope's upcoming Monster Hunters' Survival Guide and are available to meet and for pictures all weekend long.

Last but certainly not least, do not miss the ultra hot ZENESCOPE BOOTH BABES as they don their latest sexy outfits and pose for pics throughout the weekend!

More Pages from Vampirella #1

Do you hear that? It's the buzz building for Dynamite Comics revamp (get it?) of Vampirella #1, launching this November. To celebrate the growing din surrounding the return of everyone's favorite sexy vampire, Dynamite has released more interiors from the first issue by artist Wagner Reis. The pages are devoid of writer Eric Trautmann, but this way you can play your own game of ad libs.

For example, the last interior that features a cop thrown through the windshield of a police car could read something like this:

Cop: ARRRGHH!

Vampirella: You didn't read Vampirella #1. What did you think would happen?

Check out the interiors after the jump.

The End for The Walking Dead?

I'm sure it's not the end but come December Image Comics will start the next arc in The Walking Dead #80. It's bad enough that Frank Grimes has to deal with zombies, but was it really necessary to throw flames and a colleague thrown over his shoulder? I know that Robert Kirkman said that no one is safe in the series, so hopefully artist Charlie Adlard illustrates some relatively fair way to die if it really is the end for Grimes. I wouldn't count on it though.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stan Lee's The Traveler Teaser Trailer

November? Read Stan Lee's The Traveler. Now? Watch the trailer for the book after the jump.

Preview - Carnage #1

Venom and Carnage are probably two of the best characters added to the Spider-Man universe. Love them or hate them, the two are some of the best representatives of true villains because of their pure insane approach to life. Carnage is making his way back to the comic book scene with his own book in Carnage #1 debuting October 20.

Created by Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain, Carnage is back and targeting Iron Man and Spider-Man and I'm sure there will be much madness, craziness and interiors after the jump.

Dancing Iron Man

It's not even Halloween yet someone has decided to take it upon themselves to don an Iron Man contest and throw down. I'd love to see a War Machine video response to this so we can have a Stomp the Yard type battle. You're awesome Mr. Kirby Ferguson. And yes, the robot is an included dance move.


Iron Man Dance from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Whilce Portacio Added as New Artist for Artifacts


When he's not illustrating Frank Castle's murderous revenge for the death of his family or the drawing X-Men dealing with social issues of the time, Whilce Portacio manages find time to work on another comic universe in Top Cow. As in, he's been tapped to illustrate the second arc for Artifacts, starting with issue 5.

The fourth issue will segue into the next four-issue arc where Portacio will replace Michael Broussard in joining Ron Marz on the universe spanning epic. Fans can check out the fifth book December 29. Full press release and alternate cover after the jump.

WHILCE PORTACIO REVEALED AS ARTIFACTS’ SECOND ARTIST

LOS ANGELES, Calif., September 29, 2010 – Top Cow Productions, Inc. is proud to announce Whilce Portacio as the new artist for the second ARTIFACTS story arc.

Portacio is best known for his work on The Punisher and Uncanny X-Men, helping co-found Image Comics and creating Wetworks. Most recently, he’s been attached to Uncanny X-Men for Marvel Comics.

ARTIFACTS recently made news as the publisher’s first title to ever sell out at the distributor level and go back for a third printing to meet demand. The limited series weaves together story lines from a number of Top Cow titles, including Witchblade, The Darkness, Angelus and Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box. The first arc, written by writer Ron Marz (Witchblade) and art by Michael Broussard (The Darkness, Unholy Union), kicked off with a mysterious figure seeking to put Armageddon into motion by bringing together all 13 artifacts.

ARTIFACTS will segue into the next four-issue arc with Portacio joining Marz on the project. The first chapter of Artifacts will conclude with a shocking cliffhanger and the second chapter shows no sign of letting up. With all of the players on the board, the antagonist manipulating the bearers of the artifacts moves to complete his plan for utter annihilation of the world. But how do the members of Cyberforce fit into the machinations of the supernatural?

Artifacts #5, a 32-page full color comic book, will be in stores December 29.

Solicitation - Magus #1

12-Gauge Comics has a question for you: where were you when magic came back? In the case of Magus #1 by Jon Price and David Norton (illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs, cover by Fiona Staples) humans have stumbled upon their innate ability to use magic. In Massachusetts (naturally) Ben and Darius find themselves in a group of powerful friends and must learn the secrets of magic.

Look for Magus #1 in December.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Arrivals: September 29, 2010


It's hard to believe but New York Comic Con is a mere two weeks away. Sadly, yours truly will not be in attendance as one of my best friends from college decided to get married on that weekend. There are two more Wednesdays between now and the show and those new comic days are events I can participate in. This Wednesday is no exception and features the release of something everyone needs in nomads. Yep, The Sanctuary is all about nomads.

Written and illustrated by Nathan Neal, The Sanctuary is Neal's first full-length graphic novel that explores the primal mysteries and inner workings of a Paleolithic cave-dwelling tribe. In it, a young nomad girl is offered up as an item of trade which doesn't sit too well with her, forcing her to seek refuge with a local cave-painter turned outcast. The pair decide to trip on shrooms and create some drawings that tell a story while simultaneously getting wrapped up in a power struggle between the alpha males and alpha females.

The 200 page graphic novel pulls a Tolkien and boasts its own Paleolithic language that, according to Comixology, "breaks new ground by bringing complex ideas to the page with primal immediacy and sophistication through Neal's adroit use of pantomime storytelling that provide many layers of symbolism and meaning." $22.99 price point gets you in the Neolithic door.

Enjoy!

New Arrivals: September 29, 2010

Return of the Dapper Men Trailer

Archaia has saved me the trouble of having to say something witty by providing their own text alongisde the debut trailer for Return of the Dapper Men. Enjoy the assault on your senses and mind.

RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN Trailer Debuts from Archaia

Imagine a land where Time itself has ceased to exist. Where children have played so long it’s almost become work, machines have worked so long they have begun to play and all the clocks have stopped at the same time. A land that’s about to change when 314 identical-looking dapper men rain down from the sky, bringing time back with them.

This is RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN, part fairy tale, part steampunk, all original, the highly anticipated graphic novel that’s already being hailed as “groundbreaking” and “an instant contemporary classic.” Featuring a Foreword by Tim Gunn (“Project Runway”) and pin-ups by 12 of today’s hottest artists, RETURN OF THE DAPER MEN is listed on Publisher’s Weekly Great Graphic Novels as Gifts and GraphicNovelReporter.com’s “Essential Reading” for Fall 2010.

Now, Archaia is proud to unveil this stunning new trailer, featuring an original score, animated artwork and an exciting glimpse into the graphic novel. RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN is a visually stunning fairy tale that combines steampunk with fantasy and science fiction with Renaissance style, brought to life from the minds of award-winning playwright and comic book writer Jim McCann (HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD) and critically acclaimed visual artist Janet Lee. Together, these two have created a world where J.M. Barrie, Lewis Carroll and Maurice Sendak meet Jim Henson and Tim Burton. All sharply dressed in a pin-stripe suit and a dapper bowler hat.

A limited number of copies of RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN: ADVANCE NEW YORK COMIC CON COLLECTOR’S EDITION will be available for sale at the Archaia booth (#2031) at New York Comic Con, October 8-10 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, and will be available wherever books are sold in November. To pre-order a copy, use ISBN code 978-1932386905.

Defense with the BoomPick


Another day upon us, bringing the end of the year closer and 2011 right around the corner. Always dread these long work weeks with the weekend never in view until we smack right into Friday. Luckily for you new comics come out tomorrow to break up the dreary nature of the week and from the looks of the list a good number are coming out. With new series starting or others continuing many choices for every comic fan to choose from and for this week I went with one of the continuing series comic in Driver for the Dead #2.

If you don’t remember Driver for the Dead is the tale of Alabaster Graves, a man with the task of inferring the deceased to their final resting place in one badass hearse. Now the deceased in Alabaster’s case are people who were able to do remarkable things or terrible evils in their lives with the use of magic, voodoo and the likes. This issue has him picking up the body of Moses Freeman, a man of awesome power that is being coveted by a Necromancer who wants to use Moses' power to bring about unspeakable evil to the world. It’s up the Graves to get the body safely to the Freeman family crypt and keep it out of the wrong hands. You folks that read the issue will find out the hiccups that are going to arise to stop him.

Preview - Loki #1

I once had a ferret named Loki. He was named that because my other ferret was named Spriggan and we wanted to keep the mythical theme alive (since then, I've gotten two dogs named Valkyrie and Odin). Loki was a fine name for a ferret considering their inquisitive nature, although I'm sure my ferret wasn't nearly as devious as the Norse god of the same name, featured in his own comic from Marvel.

Loki #1 is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and illustrated by Sebastian Fiumara and hopes to answer questions about Loki's motivations, which include scourge, lies and madness. You can check it out October 20 and peep some interiors after the jump to hold you over until then.

Lady Death a Rousing Success

Are you excited for Lady Death to return to comics? If you're a retailer it seems you are, as over 70,000 copies of Lady Death Premiere will be freely given to fans of the character. Lady Death Premiere is a 16-page comic featuring an original story that bridges the gap between the end of Lady Death Origins Volume One and the start of the new series. The issue is being released by Boundless Comics because Lady Death #1 has hit 50,000 preorders. The free issue is in stores Wednesday while Lady Death #0 starts the new ongoing series starting in December.

“Retailers are savvy. They know that when they place something free, something tangible, into the hands of a customer, it’s a welcome invitation,” says Keith Davidsen, the Director of Sales for Boundless Comics. “Sure, they’re going to target the existing LADY DEATH fans, and many readers will come right back on board. But beyond that, retailers are going to give these free comics to potential new readers, customers that they personally know are looking for something maybe a little edgier, a little sexier, than the regular superhero fare. For their effort, retailers are going to see happy customers returning to pick up the new series.”

Full press release after the jump.

NEW LADY DEATH SERIES SUPPORTED BY OVERWHELMING RETAILER RESPONSE

September 21, 2010 -- New publishing company Boundless Comics wishes to thank the retail community for lending their overwhelming support to the upcoming LADY DEATH ongoing series. With retailers’ combined investment in over fifty thousand giveaway comic books, added to numerous thousands handed out by the publisher at nationwide conventions, Boundless Comics proudly announces that over 70,000 copies of LADY DEATH PREMIERE, a special lead-in comic book, will be freely given to dedicated fans and curious newcomers.

With a new ongoing, monthly LADY DEATH comic book series slated for release beginning in December, Boundless Comics reached out to retailers across North America and the United Kingdom for participation in this bold promotional initiative. Designing LADY DEATH PREMIERE, a 16-page comic featuring an original bridging-the-gap story, Boundless offered PREMIERE to the retailer community as a giveaway item. Available to retailers in single units or as bundles (with built-in cover variants as incentives) at a minimal investment, the PREMIERE promotion resulted in preorders surpassing a staggering 50,000 copies.

“Retailers are savvy. They know that when they place something free, something tangible, into the hands of a customer, it’s a welcome invitation,” says Keith Davidsen, the Director of Sales for Boundless Comics. “Sure, they’re going to target the existing LADY DEATH fans, and many readers will come right back on board. But beyond that, retailers are going to give these free comics to potential new readers, customers that they personally know are looking for something maybe a little edgier, a little sexier, than the regular superhero fare. For their effort, retailers are going to see happy customers returning to pick up the new series.”

The Boundless Comics sentiment may be best summed up by the words of Brian Pulido, the creator of LADY DEATH and co-writer (alongside Mike Wolfer) on the new comics: “We can’t thank retailers enough for their tremendous support. We realize that retailers who pre-ordered LADY DEATH PREMIERE are making a long-term investment in the upcoming series, and doing so when times are tough. It’s our job to repay that vote of confidence by delivering a monthly entertainment experience that will keep readers coming back for more. Just you wait, we have some wild surprises in store.”

LADY DETH PREMIERE is slated for release in September 29, followed shortly thereafter by LADY DEATH ORIGINS VOLUME ONE, the first in a series of graphic novels collecting the history of Lady Death. The new ongoing series launches in December with LADY DEATH #0, priced at $3.99, and will continue monthly throughout 2011.

Created by indie press icon William Christensen in 2010, Boundless Comics publishes high-quality, action-oriented comics, as exemplified by its initial release, LADY DEATH by Brian Pulido and Mike Wolfer. For more information about Boundless Comics and their exciting new publications, please visit www.boundlesscomics.com.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Defense with the BoomStick


(Disclaimer: This post is set in a world where zombies have taken over and people live in small spots all over the world. It’s a weekly broadcast of news from around the globe and a tip to help survival.)

Here we have another Monday hitting us in the face with a new week in tow, bringing more tough work and hard choices. Can’t remember the last time we had a day around here without a zombie encounter to remind you of the world around us and how bad it is. Long week ahead for us around here and I don’t know why it happens, but zombie attacks always increase when fall hits. Without further ado let’s have the news and the tip of the week.

News today has more reports coming from those survivors that made it out of the government safe zone in South Carolina. Broadcasts have confirmed that a good number were found by rescue teams from the New England safe zone and brought back there, including a large number of civilians. Some good news in there for once as it’s been too much bad as of late including a little bit more bad news. Bermuda has had some setbacks to their secure zones and have been broadcasting a mayday request, seeking help from any who can. Word is Cuba has sent some ships with troops on board to assist in manning their borders and help stop the zombie threat from wiping all the survivors there out.

That’s all the news I have for today, now time for the tip of the week. For the tip today I'm going to talk about melee weapons and personal defense ideas as well.

In smaller cities and towns you can find plenty of material to make a melee weapon out of; everything from a wood board to a metal pipe and such will get the job done. To make a real effective melee weapon you should use road signs to make a sort of ax like weapon; by taking a yield sign or stop sign and cutting it off the post at a point that gives you a good two handed grip. I suggest these two signs in particular; because of the edges already on the sign it will work right off the bat, but using a rock you can sharpen the edges allowing an easier slice through zombie heads. If you manage to have shears or some sort of cutters you can cut the sign edges down a bit to shrink the sign, making it lighter to carry and easy for you to swing as well.

For personal defense there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of surviving. In general you should keep your hair short as possible and wear tight clothes with no loops or things that stand off of your clothes. Give zombies nothing to grab if you move around them, but sometimes you have to push zombies out your way this is where a personal shield comes in handy. A lot of different material can work for a shield, from pieces of metal, plastic tables cut up or even a door cut to the right size can work. The goal of making a shield is getting it to a manageable size that you can hold and add straps to so as to give you more support holding it, but also giving more leverage to shove zombies out your way.

That’s all I have for this week. Until next week remember to keep fighting and keep surviving.

Review - Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice

Zombies are freaking everywhere lately in everything from books, movies, TV shows to comics and of course, video games. One such game, Left 4 Dead 2 has been publishing their online comic by Michael Avon Oeming for the new downloadable content coming out for the game called “The Sacrifice”. The first two parts are out of this kickass zombie comic with plenty of blood, guts and bullets just giving you that wholesome feeling when taking on some zombies. I love the game, enjoyed the hell out of the first one and just downright enjoy those melee weapons from the second. The comics are intended to provide some backstory for the DLC, so read on for a review (spoilers ahead for those that haven't played "The Passing" DLC, with spoilers being who doesn't survive from the original foursome).

Now for Part 1 of right off the bat we have Bill in his last moments reflecting on all he wanted to do to help the others. During this moment what could possibly show up to finish Bill, my favorite one of the survivors, but three freaking Tanks. Bill being that same old bastard that he always is, needs to take a minute to light up a cigarette perhaps for the last time before doling out some whoop-ass on those Tanks. That is what makes Bill such an awesome character to have in a zombie apocalypse and I know I would want him in my group.

Flashing back a week, we get to see the four original survivors back in the farmhouse from the last stage in the first game, which is one tough ass final battle on expert. It gets damn hectic for those guys as waves of zombies are hitting them from the porch to the staircase, but luckily at that moment when it seems hope is lost rescue arrives. With everyone ready to move Zoey notices Bill missing and goes looking for him, only to find Bill completely destroying zombies on the staircase.

Of course their run for the rescue vehicle isn’t without incident as first a tank comes at them only to be set on fire and blown up by a propane tank, but then a smoker grabs Francis prompting some sniper action from Zoey to save his ass. That is what I am enjoying about the comic how it feels like playing the game, right down to that one tank that pops up at the end to mess up your survival. Little bit more happens in the issue, but don’t want to spoil it for you, let’s have part two.

Part 2 gives more insight into exactly what’s going on out there and why they are rounding up and testing survivors. Something isn’t right at this base as Zoey and Bill get tested; meanwhile Louis and Francis are being held in a cell. A new twist is added to the equation when the survivors find out they carry the virus and can spread it, but are immune to it. Meaning all the areas that the survivors have been too, they have infected any people along the way with the zombie virus. A nice twist I have to say and it would explain why every escape that the four makes always ends in disaster for them.

Things always go from bad to worse for these four unlucky survivors as the base alarm goes off, signaling a base evacuation and calling every zombie in the area straight to them. With Zoey and Bill making their escape having the doctor in tow, they head to get some weapons. For Louis and Francis although have to convince their guards to let them out and make their escape together. For those two it gets pretty hairy as they get hit with full frontal attack by zombies, throwing in a Witch and Boomer to top it all off.

A damn good high note to leave the issue on with Part 3 coming out this week and Part 4 coming out next week chronicling the final chapter of Bill’s life. Simply an awesome comic series based on a video game, just loved reading it and am looking forward to seeing how Bill bites it in the end. Check out the link below to read them for yourselves and enjoy some zombie killing. Part 3 should be available tomorrow (September 28) with Part 4 showing up next Tuesday (October 5), which is the same day as the new DLC.

http://www.l4d.com/comic/

The Walking Dead AMC Fan Trailer

Halloween will be here before you know it, which this year brings along with it The Walking Dead on AMC. Those attending NYCC will be lucky enough to see the first few full scenes at the show, but if you're not attending (or are and are a really big fan of the property) you can check out a trailer for the show. After the jump is a trailer animated by Daniel M. Kanemoto that features the artwork of Charlie Adlard & Tony Moore, "Fresh Blood" from the eels and music editing by Jeff Yorkes. It's pretty awesome.


THE WALKING DEAD "Opening Titles" from Daniel Kanemoto on Vimeo.

Solicitation - Lady Mechanika #1

I'm not sure that steampunk will ever take off so much that you start seeing movies about it, but it is popular enough to warrant comics. Lady Mechanika #1 is one such comic and the first issue is due in stores in December.

Written and illustrated by Joe Benitez (colors by Peter Steigerwald) the new supernatural action-adventure series follows the trials of the sole survivor of a psychotic serial killer's three-year rampage through London. Lady Mechanika was found abandoned in a laboratory where her limps were amputated and replaced with mechanical components. She uses her unique talents to pursue a career in special investigations as she continues to seek answers about her discovered state.

Check out the main cover above and the J. Scott Campbell variant cover after the jump.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


You ever notice that comics were, for a really long time…

…uhm…racist?

And sexist?

Or, er, at the very least- political commentary of the propaganda-sort?

Well to be fair, Marvel and DC were always a little bit ahead of their time. Lois Lane didn’t exactly embody the most stereotypically feminine traits (progressive, for the thirties, I think). And Marvel always had a knack for showing you just how complicated issues like war and prejudice really are. Still, somewherebetween the titanic masterpiece of X-Men’s social commentary and Cap shouting things like ‘Take that, Gerry!’, Marvel evened out as, well, much like they are today, really. Kind of like 'we’re just stating the issues, discuss amongst yourselves' kind of thing.

Still, a couple of bits and pieces got through that just weren’t right. Take Radioactive Man.

No, not the Simpsons’ version (you dork!).

One of Thor’s long-time villains, Radioactive Man, despite EASILY being one of the most powerful superhumans in the Marvel Universe, has never exactly been the threat that you kind of imagined he would be. A Chinese nuclear physicist from the People’s Republic of China, Chen Lu willingly exposed himself to a lethal dose of radiation. The goal was to find a way to stop Thor, who at the time, was singlehandedly threatening the Marvel Universe’s China’s plans to invade India (I’m not making this up.)

…WOW.

So, COMMUNIST-Chinese guy, got a big dose of NUCLEAR ENERGY so that he could help invade FOEIRGN COUNTRIES. Laying it on a little thick, huh, Stan? I mean I know it was 1963 and it was a different time. But…

Yeah, as far as embodying bad ethnic stereotypes, Radioactive Man isn’t exactly going to winning any cultural sensitivity awards. The fact that he always seemed to speak like a generic stooge and seemed like a bumbling idiot, despite being a physicist and controlling one of the most terrifying powers in all of Marvel-616, wasn’t exactly ramping the character up for greatness. NOW here’s the thing.

It’s a great time, in the history of comics (and-the world- I think) for diversity. I like to think that all those X-Men comics paid off and taught somebody, somewhere, something. And I think a lot of those culturally insensitive mistakes are getting reclaimed. And I kind of have a secret love for that process, really. It’s like Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. For years, Hank ran around saying things like ‘Oh Jan! You silly GIRL! When will you ever learn!?’ So what do the writers do with a relationship like this?

WELL…You make it what it IS, I think.

Hank and Jan had a terrible marriage (as indicated by every outraged fan’s angry letters to the writers and illustrators of Marvel comics). It was abusive and dominating in every sense of the word, culminating in a re-telling of their marriage coming to actual, physical blows. It was PAINFUL. But it made sense. So- Radioactive Man. Now, my favorite anti-hero figure in the entire Marvel U., suddenly in the last five years Chen has received more character development than he did in FIFTY. And what has that entailed?

Well, to begin with Chen’s powers are off the frickin’-wall dangerous! I mean, it's RADIATION that we’re talking about. The kind of isolation that he’s experienced, walking around knowing that he’s a living reactor of the kind of energy that most people fear the entire world will get wiped out with at the press of some lunatic’s button? No, it isn’t an easy life. Of course, the icing on the cake is Osborn insisting that Chen wear a radiation suit. Not because he needs to but because it will put people at ease. OH- and, in Osborn’s words, it will cover up Chen’s ‘clearly Asian features’.

Thunderbolts is filled with little, sick, ignorant bits like this. I mean, when you’ve got a team headed up by open racists like Baron Zemo and psychopaths like Norman Osborn- you’ve got to expect it, right? But that’s why I LOVE Thunderbolts because somewhere out there, in the history of America, stuff like this has happened. And I think Thunderbolts makes you wonder- has the world become a better place? Or have we just gotten a lot savvier about giving the public what they expect? Racism is off-camera these days. Everyone knows that diversity is synonymous with sensitive, but do we really seek to understand each other, or does diversity just get boiled down to a sound bite to help whatever television show or press event look good?

Part of where this is all coming from is my fascination with Thunderbolts a comic that I think is all about this kind of "greasing the wheels" politics. Originally I conceived as Thunderbolts as kind of a filler comic that Marvel threw together at the last minute to stand in for the Avengers during the whole Onslaught/Heroes Reborn business (which was risky, but I give them some credit for going there even if they reneged). After all, the comic is LITERALLY about the Avengers replacements; they just happened to be a bunch of opportunistic former Avengers enemies who saw a chance to ingratiate themselves with the general public and took it.

But it’s become such a great book about…politics, I think? And some of the dirty, not so enlightened things that the American media, military, and people are capable of? The Thunderbolts are not exactly the pony show that the reality television public get exposed to by their exploits. They’re hardened, violent criminals who Osborn is teaching to ‘work’ the system. STILL there’s that COUPLE who you see some potential in, you know? And therein lies the brilliance of the comic:

Songbird, Swordsman (now deceased, alas) and Chen, of course…you’ve seen them want more. Want to do better with their lives and maybe become those heroes that they’ve been pretending to be? Sure, they’ve got shady pasts, but maybe they could really BE the heroes that they’re playing at? Now, long story short- Radioactive Man. I’m thinking limited series, with him in the star role? Anyone else see the potential here?

Preview - Stan Lee's The Traveler #1

Stan Lee's The Traveler #1 by Mark Waid and Chad Hardin won't hit stores until November but BOOM! Studios is a little impatient about the book and figures you should see a preview like now. Enjoy the interiors after the jump.