Friday, February 27, 2015

Defense With The BoomStick


(Disclaimer: This post is an ongoing story set in a world where zombies have taken over and people are fighting to survive anyway they can. This is my story of survival)

Year 6. Week 27.

On our way to Texas. Supplies and personnel were left behind in Salt Lake City and now our team of forty is on the move to the gulf coast region of Texas. The ultimate goal is Corpus Christi for all the naval and air forces bases down there. If we're going to find the drones and gear we're wanting it’s going to be there.

We didn’t have any issues getting to Salt Lake City, beyond the sporadic walker on the road. There weren’t any massed hordes in our way or obstacles blocking our path. It went smoothly and now we're on the road again. Even with a safe haven for us survivors to live out our days in, I still find myself constantly moving and staying out beyond secure walls. After fighting to survive for so long that transition makes it rough and for most of us out here, again doing what we do makes living worthwhile.

Review - Joe Frankenstein #1


"The question is, who are you?"

If you're a pizza delivery driver, things might not be the best. You may have a girlfriend, you likely have little money to your name and you may not be related to Frankenstein. Or vampires. Or maybe you are and just don't know it. Regardless, it all makes for a fascinating tale, as in Joe Frankenstein #1 from IDW Publishing. The issue is written by Graham Nolan and Chuck Dixon, illustrated by Nolan, colored by Gregory Wright and lettered by Chris Mowry.

People Never Change With the Times in Hit: 1957

Hit: 1957 #1 Main Cover

Los Angeles is rife with glitz and glamour, but part of that atmosphere comes at a cost. There's a pretty violent history at times for the city, with individuals doing all sorts of intense things to get what they want. BOOM! Studios plans to delve even deeper into that sordid past, as Bryce Carlson and Vanessa R. Del Rey are returning for the next chapter in Hit: 1957. This new limited series is a follow-up to the Harvey Award-nominated miniseries Hit: 1955 and takes readers later in the violent decade of change for Los Angeles with familiar faces, new threats and more sharp, smart noir.

“Hit: 1955 took us deep into the gritty past of the City of Angels, and we couldn’t wait for Bryce and Vanesa to continue the story of their clandestine LAPD hit squad,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Vanesa’s artwork is stunning, Bryce’s noir-infused writing is sharp, and the stakes are even higher as we find Harvey Slater and ompany in 1957. We can’t wait for you to join us for another Hit!”

Crime is down in Los Angeles—at least, on the surface. Mickey Cohen has been quiet since his release from prison and the LAPD has seemingly regained control of the city. But the underground is a different story. Det. Harvey Slater and company have spent the last two years focused on Domino and his Syndicate’s unrelenting infiltration, but no matter how many people the hit squad kills, the real fight for Los Angeles rages on. Meanwhile, Slater’s being hounded by Internal Affairs, Bonnie Brae is missing, and everything is falling apart at the seams.

Hit: 1957 #1 arrives in comic shops on March 25th with a main cover by Del Rey for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JAN151099. A new cover by Terry Dodson has been added and can be ordered in any quantity under Diamond order code DEC148680. Also available in a limited quantity are a 10 Years Anniversary incentive cover by Trevor Hairsine and a retailer incentive cover by Dustin Nguyen. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is March 2nd. Full press release below.

Archie Comics Pits Sega Vs. Capcom


In 2013, Archie Comics collided two worlds. That crossover featured Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man, two representatives of the more storied franchises in video game history. It's 2015 now and Archie Comics feels there's more to their worlds that can be smashed together, as they're preparing to debut Worlds Unite. The new book will feature characters from both universes, including characters from Alex Kidd, Billy Hatcher, Golden Axe, NiGHTS, Skies of Arcadia and Panzer Dragoon, along with characters from Breath of Fire, Ghosts N' Goblins, Monster Hunter, Street Fighter, Okami and Viewtiful Joe series.

"This crossover event is unlike any other you've ever seen before," Director of Editorial Paul Kaminski said. "So sit back, grab a chili dog and an E-Tank, and prepare yourself for the ultimate multi-franchise crossover comic book experience!"

Worlds Unite begins in May with a special prelude comic available for free in comic book stores nationwide on Free Comic Book Day. The 12-part crossover event begins in Sonic Universe #76 and continues through the other Archie Action titles including Sonic Boom, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man. Full press release below.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review - Mister X: Razed #1


"It's like the neighborhood is cursed."

Mister X is an architect who's developed a city. That city is more or less like any other city, yet Mister X goes to great lengths to ensure that the city treats its citizens with the same level of respect that its citizens treat the city with. In Mister X: Razed #1, Dark Horse Comics brings readers into more events overseen by the mysterious guardian. The issue is written and illustrated by Dean Motter.

Archaia Brings The March of the Crabs to English-Speaking Audience

The March of the Crabs

The Earth is a great, big place. It's got a lot of countries and different civilizations. With those civilizations comes a lot of differing stories, one of which is about to be released to an English-speaking audience for the first time. This March, Archaia is pleased to announce the debut of The March of the Crabs Vol. 1: The Crabby Condition hardcover from French animator Arthur de Pins. Combining the slick look of Art Deco with tongue-in-cheek humor, de Pins tells the story of a hapless species of crab that is one of nature’s cruel jokes, and what it means when they start breaking out of their set evolution.

“Archaia has always taken pride in bringing beautiful European graphic novels to English-speaking audiences, and The March of the Crabs is a wonderful new addition to that catalogue,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Beautifully drawn and bitingly funny, Arthur de Pins’ striking work is poised to be a delightful new discovery for the industry this year.”

For centuries, the square crab has only been able to move side-to-side in one direction. But some brave crabs decide it’s time for revolution! A few of the brave crustaceans in an estuary on the French coastline decide it’s time to try and actually turn for once, but what could their evolution revolution mean for the human race?

The March of the Crabs Vol. 1: The Crabby Condition hardcover arrives in comic shops from Archaia on March 25th with a cover by creator Arthur de Pins for the price of $19.99 under Diamond order code JAN151150. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is March 2nd. Full press release below.

High Moon Returns as Webcomic (Again)


Remember ZUDA Comics? The DC Comics imprint was sort of Comixology Submit before the giant digital distributor made it easier for creative teams to get their works in front of interested readers. One of the greater successes of ZUDA Comics was High Moon, the Harvey Award winning series by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis. Now--eight years after the series first debuted--the creative team are poised to bring High Moon back to readers. The HighMoonComic.com site officially launches today with the first 8 pages of the story and will now be serialized by Bottled Lightning Inc, the creative studio run by Gallaher and Ellis, with 4 new pages running every Monday. Later this year, the site will debut original content continuing the High Moon saga.

“With werewolves, gunslingers, and the sumptuous artwork of Steve Ellis," said Molly Crabapple, "HIGH MOON will change everything you thought you knew about the Old West.” In HIGH MOON, former Pinkerton agent and current bounty-hunter Matthew Macgregor investigates a series of strange happenings in a small Texas town. Drought has brought famine and hardship to Blest. The summer heat pushes the temperature to unbearable heights during the day. The nights are even worse-- for the streets are haunted by strange, unnatural creatures. And even as Macgregor works to uncover the truth about the creatures, he struggles to keep his own supernatural nature a secret.

“It’s a thrill to have HIGH MOON back online,” said Ellis. “I could not be more excited to illustrate stories about Macgregor as he explores the weird and wild west.”

High Moon will be available exclusively online and digitally. It is the second webcomic to be serialized by Bottled Lightning Inc, following the young adult webcomic The Only Living Boy which launched last year. The series will be available on the new mobile-responsive HighMoonComic.com site, Tapastic and Comixology; readers can support Bottled Lightning via its recently launched Patreon Fan Club.

“HIGH MOON was our first collaboration,” said Gallaher. “We have so many more Macgregor stories to tell and fans of both HIGH MOON and THE ONLY LIVING BOY can expect more announcements soon. 2015 is going to be a big year for Bottled Lightning.”

Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review - The Black Hood #1


"My name is Gregory Hettinger. This is what happened."

Archie Comics is going through something of a change of heart recently. Gone are the carefree days of Archie and Veronica, only to be replaced by Afterlife With Archie and Sabrina. Some of their works are getting very dark very quick, adding a breath of fresh air into franchises that may feel a little stale. The next work to get their edgier approach is The Black Hood #1, written by Duane Swierczynski, illustrated by Michael Gaydos, lettered by Rachel Deering and colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick.

One Man Takes Up a Mantle of Unimaginable Power


Ed Brisson and Brian Level can do wonderful things together. The combination of the two makes for some great books, the latest being a new book about an average man who becomes an unwilling host to tremendous power. On May 13, Image Comics launches The Mantle #1.

"Brian and I have been talking about working on a project together for a few years now, so we're both thrilled to finally have the opportunity to do so," said Brisson. "The Mantle is, in my opinion, a really fun direction for a superhero book where not everything is black and white and where, by the end of the first issue, I think that readers are going to realize that what they think is happening... is not what's really happening."

The Mantle follows Robbie—just your average, run-of-the-mill guy—as he drunkenly stumbles out of a punk show one evening. On his way home he’s hit with lightning and wakes to find that he’s been chosen as the new host for The Mantle, a power set of unimaginable scope. Despite his lack of interest, he’s forced into action. The Plague, a being who has spent 50 years killing every previous host of The Mantle, is already coming for him.

The Mantle #1 hits stores on May 13. Cover A (Level) can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAR150475. Cover B (Phil Hester) can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAR150476. Full press release below.

Dark Horse Advises Androids on How to Pass as Human


Wouldn't it be helpful to have a field guide to preparing for the inevitable takeover by the robot overlords? Something that gives you a fighting chance to survive? Dark Horse Comics wants to give you the information you need to get by in a tough world, with Nic Kelman offering a handbook to help androids and artificial intelligence hide among humanity. Illustrated by Pericles Junior with a gorgeous cover by Terry Dodson, the novel takes the form of a field guide written by Android Zero (a.k.a. Zach), who helpfully provides sketches, graphs, flow charts, and further information on how androids can pass as human completely undetected.

Holding a bachelor’s in brain and cognitive science from MIT, Kelman is not only an acclaimed prose novelist but also an accomplished screenwriter, with original screenplays sold to Steven Spielberg, Roland Emmerich, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Warner Bros. Pictures, and more. Sure to appeal to fans of The Zombie Survival Guide, How to Pass as Human puts a new spin on a science-fiction tradition as a curious android questions his own creation and explores the purpose of his existence.

Releasing in October, How to Pass as Human will be available for $19.99. Full press release below.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review - Brik Jones: Attorney for Earth #1


"Brik Jones. Transfer to case 1314."

What do you get when a fighting lion works on comics? You get a publisher named Fighting Lion Comics publishing a book such as Brik Jones: Attorney for Earth #1, featuring an attorney tasked with defending an entire planet. The first issue is written and lettered by Phil Smith and illustrated by Giuseppe Cafaro.

BOOM! Studios Drops New Volume 1 Trade Paperback Collections in April

Lumberjanes Vol. 1 TP

April showers are known to bring May flowers. This April, BOOM! Studios will also use the month to bring a slew of new, volume 1 trade paperback collections to readers. April 2015 will see the trade paperback releases of Lumberjanes Vol. 1, Bee and PuppyCat Vol. 1, Translucid (complete miniseries), Clockwork Angels (complete miniseries), Thomas Alsop Vol. 1 and Cow Boy Vol. 1: A Boy and His Horse, its first time in softcover.

Lumberjanes Vol. 1 TP collects the hit series from the BOOM! Box imprint that features five rad ladies who fight monster baddies with the power of friendship. Written by Noelle Stevenson and newcomer Grace Ellis, and illustrated by Brooke Allen, this new series has taken comics by storm and has placed on many best-of-the-year lists. Lumberjanes Vol. 1 TP collects issues #1-4. Bee and PuppyCat Vol. 1 TP broke the record for the most-funded web series campaign on Kickstarter, and now popular creator Natasha Allegri, Garrett Jackson and more bring their whimsical adventures to comics for the first time. This quirky take on the magical girl genre comes to life with Bee, a not-so-graceful temp worker, and her partner Puppycat, the sour curmudgeon who helps her pay rent. Bee and PuppyCat Vol. 1 TP, published under the KaBOOM! imprint, collects issues #1-4.

Translucid Vol. 1 TP allows readers to discover the tortured psyche of a superhero, a story from Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez and co-creator Chondra Echert, the writers behind The Armory Wars saga, Key of Z and Kill Audio. The psychedelic superhero mindscape is brought to vivid life by artist Daniel Bayliss and colorist Adam Metcalfe. We call The Navigator a hero. We call The Horse a villain. The two have been locked in a battle for years, fighting for the soul of New York City. But are they just two sides of the same playing card? Translucid is a startling deconstruction of the classic bond between a hero and his villain, and shows what it takes to push a person to take up either mantle. Translucid TP collects the entire miniseries, issues #1-6.

Rush's Clockworks Angels TP is a testament to the band’s creative versatility—from concept album to novel to international tour. Now, Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart, New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson, and newcomer artist Nick Robles take it one step further with the Clockwork Angels graphic novel. Owen Hardy, like all the people of Albion, has lived his whole life under the rule of The Watchmaker. His entire existence is meticulously planned, down to the exact second. But not any more. Owen decides to go against the gears and finally start making decisions for himself. Featuring a new cover by Hugh Syme, the Clockwork Angels TP collects the complete miniseries, issues #1-6. In Thomas Alsop Vol. 1 TP, Chris Miskiewicz and Palle Schmidt have created a warlock for these modern times. Fans of John Constantine and Dr. Strange will love this new take on the magic-wielding hero who battles demons on the streets...and in his own mind. What would you do if you had the magical ability and responsibility to protect the island of Manhattan from supernatural forces of evil? Well, if you’re Thomas Alsop, you get a reality television show and make some money off of it. Thomas Alsop Vol. 1 TP collects issues #1-4.

Finally, Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse TP is written by Nate Cosby and illustrated by Chris Eliopoulos. The Eisner Award-nominated Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse is collected in softcover for the first time. Boyd Linney ain’t no ordinary 10-year-old. This here is the tale of the young bounty hunter, determined to round up his whole outlaw family. He travels across the Old West on an unstoppable quest to put his entire family in the clink—or die tryin’. This original graphic novel from the Archaia imprint also includes short stories by Roger Langridge, Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener, Mike Maihack and Colleen Coover.

Full press release below.

Valiant Entertainment Debuts Video Trailer for Bloodshot Reborn #1


Bloodshot's luck is anything but, well, lucky. He manages to make his way through life somewhat decently though, despite the constant threat of death and injury thrown his way. It's only a matter of time before all that danger catches up with him though and in Bloodshot Reborn #1, his ability to stay alive will be tested. Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan is planning to bring a harrowing tale to readers starting April 15.

“I think [Bloodshot's] a really fascinating character; he’s almost a modern Frankenstien,” writer Jeff Lemire told Entertainment Weekly. “This guy whose life was torn apart and he was turned into a monster, really—the most tragic part being whoever he was before this is lost to him now. He may have had a family. Who knows what his life was like? To me, that’s a very tragic kind of thing, and a very easy thing for a writer to hook into and explore.”

Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit – a private contractor trafficking in violence – very well. Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving headlong into the violence that nearly destroyed him.

Full press release below.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review - Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Little Mermaid #1


"You're going to open your eyes, Erica, and this will all have been just a bad dream."

Strip away the singing crab, careful flounder and over-protective king and The Little Mermaid is another story about youth finding their way as they get older. At it's core though it's much more; a blending of two worlds and understanding both. Zenescope is never one to shy away from taking those old classics and putting a spin on them, which explains their desire to publish Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Little Mermaid #1. The issue is written by Meredith Finch, illustrated by Miguel Mendonica, colored by Ivan Nunes and lettered by Ghost Glyph Studios.

Red Sonja and Conan Cross Blades Again in New Series from Dynamite Entertainment and Dark Horse Comics


Conan and Red Sonja can never seem to get enough of one another, crossing paths (and swords) seemingly every other day. Their merging travels does allow for two publishers in Dynamite Entertainment and Dark Horse Comics to merge in order to publish another crossover between the two aforementioned warriors. Following on the success of Conan/Red Sonja, Red Sonja/Conan will give Victor Gischler the chance to write a saga about the two fabled warriors. And it will feature cover artwork by Alex Ross, Ed Benes and Roberto Castro.

"I'm very excited to be working with two amazing iconic characters like Red Sonja and Conan. It's also pretty awesome that two comic publishers like Dynamite and Dark Horse can come together to make something like this happen," said Gischler "I think we're in for some top notch high adventure."

In Red Sonja/Conan, the crimson-tressed warrior and Hyborian berserker are reunited during an impromptu tournament of arms, a festive occasion that unexpectedly gives way to supernatural menace. The famous fantasy pair -- known for their camraderie in battle, the fiery tension of an unspoken passion, and the occasional rivalry towards each other as respected peers -- must unite to face a horde of demons set loose upon the land. While the events of Red Sonja / Conan take place one year after the continuity established in the Conan / Red Sonja series of early 2015, the script has been carefully constructed to appeal to returning fans and newcomers alike.

"Pairing up Red Sonja and Conan the first time was so much fun, we just had to do it again," says Dynamite Publisher and CEO Nick Barrucci. "The two have such an interesting history in comics between them, dating back to the late 1970s, and it seems that more than just sparks are destined to fly whenever this pair of star-crossed warriors meet. We at Dynamite are very proud to work alongside our friends at Dark Horse Comics to reunite these icons, and to deliver the best fantasy comic books ever made available on store shalves."

"We're extremely excited to see Dynamite complete this adventure fifteen years in the making between these two classic characters," says Dark Horse President Mike Richardson. "Dynamite has been a fantastic partner to work with on this critically acclaimed series and no doubt their story arc will be an excellent contribution to the Robert E. Howard legacy."

The new Red Sonja/Conan miniseries is slated for release beginning in Summer 2015. The current Conan/Red Sonja series, co-written by Gail Simone and Jim Zub, and featuring artwork by Dan Panosian, is available for purchase in stores now from Dark Horse Comics and Dynamite Entertainment. Full press release below.

Jonathan Case Makes The New Deal


Jonathan Case is back with a new, original graphic novel. That new work will give him the chance to take readers to an iconic era of American history in The New Deal. The New Deal harks back to the 1930s and the Depression era of New York City as Case explores class misconceptions, racial tension, and deft cat burglary through the lens of a bellhop and a maid in the Waldorf Astoria.

“It’s a fun opportunity because of the comedy caper and crime aspect. It’s seen through these characters that are on the outside of everything that’s happening in the social scenes,” Case said. “It’s a really interesting time period, set in 1935, 1936, and there’s a wealth of economic and social conflicts, and exciting things happening at that time, like women’s rights and race relations. Even though it’s a comedy and it’s played mostly for whimsical laughs, I get to explore some of those things I’m interested in.”

When a charming woman named Nina checks in to the iconic hotel with a high-society entourage, young Frank, a bellhop, and Theresa, a maid, get caught up in a series of mysterious thefts. The stakes quickly grow perilous, and the pair must rely on each other to discover the truth while navigating delicate class politics.

Releasing September 23 for $16.99, The New Deal displays Case’s love of black-and-white film through his lovingly researched art. Full press release below.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Defense With The BoomStick


(Disclaimer: This post is an ongoing story set in a world where zombies have taken over and people are fighting to survive anyway they can. This is my story of survival)

Year 6. Week 26.

Everything is loaded up and now it’s time to head out.

We got the trucks on the way toward Salt Lake City, heavily guarded and ready for anything that comes our way. The plan is to get these supplies to the Salt Lake City outpost and from there split into two groups, with one heading back to northern California to resupply the outpost there and eventually the rest of the gear ending up in Washington state government outpost. The other group is going on the hunt in Texas to all the military bases looking for the good stuff.

By good stuff, I'm referring to weapons, drones, armed drones, mobile command centers for them and enough ordinance to bomb a small country. With the amount of military bases that dot the Texas landscape, we should be able to find all manner of goodies. If any of those bases are in good enough shape, the plan is to setup a new outpost; hopefully, one on the gulf that will give us a new port to open up trade and shipping lanes with the Caribbean.

Review - Ei8ht #1


"The past is green. The present is purple. The future is blue. The Meld is something else entirely."

Science fiction is a very uneven genre at times, with some lamenting a loss of its halcyon days. That's not to say that all science fiction now is bad; rather, some of it is much better than others. A work that definitely stands above many other works is Ei8ht #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by Mike Johnson, illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque and lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot!.

Mark Waid Launches Dynamite Comic Book Series Justice Inc.: The Avenger


Dynamite Entertainment's assault on readers' wallets continues. The latest arrow in their quiver is a man named Mark Waid who will be scripting the upcoming Justice Inc.: The Avenger series, illustrated by Ronilson Freire. Waid will expand the Justice, Inc. universe of pulp heroes that include Condé Nast's The Shadow and Doc Savage. The new series will debut with a #1 issue in June 2015 and focus on wealthy industrialist Richard Henry Benson, the tragic, relentless vigilante and master of disguise known as The Avenger.

"Moreso than The Shadow," said Waid, "moreso than Doc Savage, the Avenger has always, always been my favorite pulp hero, and I've been aching to write this story since I was eleven years old. What a blast! Having the opportunity to dive into the psyche of a crimefighter as unique as Benson has been a lifelong dream -- I've been thinking about what his life and mind would be like ever since I read my first Avenger paperback back in the day. How does a man live his life when he has nothing to live for but justice? How does he navigate in a world of life and love and joy when his own features are frozen and stiff like putty, mirroring his cold, dead insides? There's so much here to unpack."

The Avenger originally debuted in September 1939 as the lead character in an eponymous pulp magazine, published by Street and Smith Publications. Writer Paul Ernst is credited with creating many of the earliest Avenger tales (published under the house writer pseudonym "Kenneth Robeson"), blending the qualities of contemporary pulp heroes like Doc Savage and The Shadow, as well as his own creations that included Seekay, The Wraith, Dick Bullitt, Old Stone Face, the Gray Marauder, and Karlu the Mystic. The Avenger appeared in numerous prose novels, radio programs, and comic books throughout the decades, most recently in Dynamite Entertainment's 2014 revival of the Justice, Inc. series written by acclaimed author Michael Uslan and illustrated by Giovanni Timpano.

In Justice, Inc.: The Avenger #1, Waid and Freire continue the adventures of Richard Henry Benson, a victim of a criminal attack that left his facial features forever deadened, gray in color and incapable of showing genuine emotion. And yet, the harsh stroke of fate gave him the ability to mold his face to match the appearance of anyone... a skill he could employ as the ultimate master of disguise. Driven to mete out retribution against those who would prey on the innocent, The Avenger finds himself on a collision course with a villain even more secretive, brutal, and unrelenting than himself: an Invisible Man.

"Since striking up our great partnership with Condé Nast a few years back, the team here at Dynamite has looked forward to the day that The Avenger would have his own series," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "We've been waiting for quite some time for the perfect writer to helm the project, and Mark Waid IS that perfect writer. He has a profound appreciation for the character, his history, and the genre of pulp adventure. Retailers will take heart that we've placed one of the most innovative, marquee writers on the project, and fans will surely be awestruck by the twists and turns in each and every Waid-penned issue of Justice Inc.: The Avenger."

Justice, Inc.: The Avenger #1 will be released with a number of cover options for fans to enjoy. The first issue will feature variant editions by Alex Ross, Walter Simonson, Francesco Francavilla, Marc Laming and Barry Kitson. It'll be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' March 2015 Previews catalog and will be slated for release in June. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Justice Inc.: The Avenger #1 with their local comic book retailers. Justice Inc.: The Avenger will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Chrononauts Arrives to Burgeoning Fanfare


Mark Millar is no stranger to top-notch works. He's made a name for himself with just about everything, including works such as Kick-Ass and Jupiter's Legacy. Pair him up with Sean Gordon Murphy and you've got another bonafide hit on your hands in Chrononauts. And March 18th is when the book hits stores.

In Chrononauts, Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly are two buddies who love to have fun. They’re also scientific geniuses. When their research leads them to a time-traveling adventure, will they use their knowledge for the good of all mankind? Or use the space-time continuum for their own ends? Chrononauts is the story of man’s first, televised steps through the time-stream and and everything going wrong in the process.

The final order cut-off deadline for retailers is Monday, February 23. Full press release below.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cluster #1 Sells Out Ahead of Second Printing


BOOM! Studios loves a sell-out, so they're ecstatic to hear that Cluster #1 has sold out. The sell-out precedes the inevitable second printing to fill demand. That doesn't mean that first print issues of Cluster #1 can't be found in stores, but if you don't happen upon one you can take solace in the second printing.

Created by writer Ed Brisson and artist Damian Couceiro, Cluster #1 tells a story set in a distant future where humans have discovered life on other planets. Faced with a shortage of manpower, and in order to protect their colonies across the galaxy from other species, Earth’s government has resorted to offering prisoners a chance to shorten their long sentences in exchange for serving as an interstellar soldier. More and more soldiers are needed as wars continue, so small crimes are met with long-term punishments. But when a group of prisoners-turned-soldiers are marooned on enemy soil, they’ll need to work together to survive and uncover the truth behind Earth’s role in deep space.

Cluster #1 second print ships with a new cover by Couceiro and carries a retail price of $3.99 with a Diamond Code of DEC148594. Orders close on February 23rd and it is anticipated to be in stores on March 11th. Full press release below.

Review - Secret Identities #1


"Could you guys use an extra hand?"

The benefit of having a secret identity is that you can do one thing in front of one audience without risking anyone tied to another audience. Many of those identities are no more moral than anyone who's not a superhero and they're subject to demonstrating the same flaws as normal individuals. Image Comics is going down an interesting road with the characters in Secret Identities #1. The issue is written by Jay Faerber and Brian Joines, illustrated by Ilias Kyriazis, colored by Charlie Kirchoff and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.

Gail Simone Headlines Epic Swords of Sorrow Event


Swords of Sorrow is poised to be a massive launch for Dynamite Entertainment in May 2015. Not only because it will bring together a slew of big name characters in Vampirella, Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris, Jennifer Blood, Chaos, Masquerade and Kato, but it also boasts Gail Simone leading the charge when it comes to writers. Additionally, Nancy A. Collins (Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella/Jennifer Blood), Mairghead Scott (Swords of Sorrow: Chaos), G. Willow Wilson and Erica Schultz (Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade/Kato) will also be working on the massive event as well. Subsequent months will debut related projects by additional female authors, including Leah Moore, Marguerite Bennett, Emma Beeb, and Mikki Kendall.

"Here's the thing: I love pulp adventure, always have," says Simone. "But as male-dominated as comics have often been, the pulp adventure world seems to be even more so. Most of the big name stars and creators are dudes, and that's fine, it's great. But it hit me... what if that wasn't the case? What if adventure pulps had also been written with female readers in mind, and awesome female characters in the spotlight? That's the scenario we are imagining, and it's just been a blast. The key players are Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Dejah Thoris, but it's such an epic-spanning, world-hopping event that we also have Kato, Jungle Girl, Lady Rawhide, Jennifer Blood, and so many more. It's the crossover I dreamed of when I was a kid, and now we get to make it happen."

Simone's core Swords of Sorrow story serves as the starting point for a new universe of pulp adventure. Illustrated by Sergio Davila, the series features the supernatural heroine Vampirella, Martian princess Dejah Thoris, crimson-tressed swordswoman Red Sonja, martial artist Kato, primal warrior Jungle Girl and many more. Drawn from a dozen worlds and eras to face off against a legendary evil that threatens their homelands, Dynamite's fiercest females must overcome their differences to harness the power of mystical blades -- the eponymous Swords of Sorrow -- in final conflict.

Simone also serves as the architect for all storylines tied into the event, providing direction to her personally selected team of writers. "We got the best writers around, gave them a fun combination of characters and just let them go wild," says Simone. "It's creators like G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, Nancy A. Collins and more, with book titles like Vampirella vs. Jennifer Blood, Kato vs. Masquerade, and Red Sonja vs. Jungle Girl. More about these tag teams will be coming soon, but it's just a ridiculous amount of fun to set these characters against each other, and I'm very proud of the astounding team of writers, who I hand-picked from among the very best of new female adventure writers. There's never been a crossover event in comics like this, ever."

Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite, says, "The prospect of Gail Simone helming this historic event (and I really think "historic" is the applicable term, because we've never seen such a far-ranging cast of female icons before) would have been enough to make the Dynamite team ecstatic ten times over... but then Gail took it to the next level. She proposed to make the event even bigger by creating a tapestry of interwoven stories, a work of art to which many of today's most revered female talents could contribute. What would have been a big event suddenly became a Grand Event, and we couldn't be more pleased with the incredible creators that she's brought together, working hand-in-hand with our editorial team to create some of the best comics of the summer."

The May Swords of Sorrow releases will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' March 2015 Previews catalog. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Swords of Sorrow #1 and related titles with their local comic book retailers. Swords of Sorrow will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital.

Full press release below.

Right Hand of Doom Beer Pairs Hellboy With Alcohol


Hellboy turns 21 this year, which is a milestone for any character. Turning 21 in and of itself is a milestone for anyone else, so it makes perfect sense that to celebrate Hellboy's 21st birthday, Dark Horse would team up with Rogue Ales to offer the Right Hand of Doom, a limited edition beer that will be available online beginning February 22, 2015 at www.rogue.com.

“When Dark Horse Comics published the first Hellboy story 21 years ago, I never thought there’d be a Hellboy beer,” said Mignola. “But I really can’t imagine a better time for Rogue to introduce the Right Hand of Doom beer. If Hellboy was real I guess he’d finally be able to buy me a beer.”

“Hellboy has appeared in graphic novels and comic books, prose novels, two animated features, two live action films, toy lines and all manner of merchandise,,” said Mike Richardson, President of Dark Horse. “Rogue Ales approached us with the idea of creating a heavy-handed, supernatural red ale and we loved the idea of two independent, Portland based companies coming together to create something new that would be both fun for fans and worthy of the Mike Mignola’s creative legacy.”

“This beer is dedicated to the B.P.R.D,” said Brett Joyce, President of Rogue Ales. “RIGHT HAND OF DOOM is brewed with all the same passion and intensity that Mike Mignola and Dark Horse have brought to Hellboy for the past 21 years.”

The Right Hand of Doom label features a Hellboy drawing by Mignola. The beer will be available for the first time publicly at an event at Things From Another World Comics store in Portland on Friday, February 20 at a signing with Mignola and fellow comic book superstars Matt Kindt, Eric Powell and Brian Wood. The event begins at 4 PM, with Mignola’s signing scheduled for 6 PM. The beer will be available nationally via http://buy.rogue.com/Rogue-Hellboy-Right-Hand-of-Doom-Red-Ale; pre-orders are now available.

Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


I was bored so the other day I started re-watching The X-Files on Netflix. I was a big fan of the show at the time although strangely I find a lot of it hasn’t stayed with me like other shows do. I don’t remember much about the major arcs-- only stray episodes that were good--so going back and rewatching it has been interesting. It’s very, very 90s in terms of the clothes, the characters and the anti-establishment, don’t trust the man kind of thing because the government is about to get you.

I’ve heard rumblings that The X-Files is going to return to television one of these days. Now, anyone who’s been reading these columns for a while knows I’ve got a thing for things coming back; Twin Peaks, comic book characters, video game series, whatever. I’m surprisingly lukewarm about this idea though. It sort of seemed to me that after a decade on TV that The X-Files has done what it needed to do. It captured our hearts and minds at that time. Going back there…I don’t know if that makes sense to me.

Review - Plunder #1


"They went after what they wanted. The world gave us nothing."

Being a pirate isn't always all it's cracked up to be, especially now. With sophisticated military operations capable of quickly ending any piracy situation, the idea of hijacking a massive ship with a small crew is becoming more and more outlandish. And even if the crew of pirates has been around the block a few times and have a system, it's doubtful that they'd be prepared for what they find on a ship in Plunder #1 from Archaia Entertainment. The issue is written by Swifty Lang, illustrated by Skuds McKinley, colored by Jason Wordie and lettered by Deron Bennett.

Ivar Plans to Break History


Ivar, Timewalker #5 is the fifth issue in a new series from Valiant Entertainment that offers up another time-traveling hero. His adventures may hit a wall though, if the new "Breaking History" arc is any indication. And Fred Van Lente and Francis Portela have big plans on May 27th, as Ivar recruits two pretty well-known, time-traveling hellraisers. Oh and they're embarking on an eons-colliding jailbreak from the end of existence itself!

"Changing history is an oxymoron, because if it’s history then it’s already happened…[but] Neela has discovered a way around that, and ways to actually change history," said Van Lente. "So, if Neela can perfect this method changing history, she will very much break history. That’s why Ivar and his brothers…are doing this impossible break-in. They’re going to 'break into' time to keep her from doing this."

Dr. Neela Sethi, the inventor of time travel has been captured by her evil future-self (because…time travel) and imprisoned at the end of the time! As the Big Crunch rapidly unmakes the universe around her, Neela faces a choice that may give her her life’s dreams...at the cost of the very universe itself. But to save her from the threat of her own future self, all hope now lies in the hands of Ivar, Timewalker. What happens when history’s most jaded time traveler puts together the best team he can find to save time itself? A combination of his estranged family, including his immortal brothers Armstrong and the Eternal Warrior; his inter-dimensional enemies like history’s most re-tweeted prankster The Lurker and a Bloodshot Nanite with one heck of an attitude problem! And that's just the start of history’s most unexpected saviors.

Ivar, Timewalker #5 is a jumping on point for the series, featuring covers by Steve Lieber, Raul allen, Clayton Henry and Robert Gill. It hits stores on May 27th, the same day as Ivar, Timewalker Vol. 1: Making History trade paperback collection. Collecting the first four issues of Ivar Anni-Padda and Neela Sethi's adventures through time and space for just $9.99, jump on board here the very same day that the next can't-miss story arc, "Breaking History," begins in a comic shop near you.

Full press release below.

University Life Gets Weird in Giant Days

Giant Days #1 Main Cover

College is a time of discovery and exploration. Learning that missing class isn't the end of the world and there a myriad of varying personalities to mesh with. For Esther, Susan and Daisy in Giant Days, it's also a time when things are going to get a little weird. BOOM! Box is getting John Allison and Lissa Treiman to collaborate on the work that plans to combine the humor of Lumberjanes with the wit of Scott Pilgrim.

“John has over a decade of hilarious webcomic strips chock-full of clever dialogue and unforgettable characters,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “For Giant Days, John is teaming up with phenom artist Lissa Treiman to tell a story about a group of buddies navigating their way through the craziness of university. Get ready: Daisy, Esther, and Susan may become your new best friends.”

Susan, Esther and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends because their dorm rooms were next to each other. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.

Giant Days #1 arrives in comic shops on March 18th with a main cover by Treiman for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JAN151155. Also available in a limited quantity are a 10 Years Anniversary incentive cover by Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb and a retailer incentive cover by Meredith Gran. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is February 23rd.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review - Frankenstein Underground #1


"Of course. The do what they always do. They must try to destroy anything they do not understand."

Frankenstein's monster was an abomination in literature. Literally, he was a mix of a bunch of different corpse parts sewn together and created out of one man's quest to be god. What he didn't think about was the creature's sense of being after being created. It's something that many have tackled in their approach to the character, but few feature the spin found in Frankenstein Underground #1 from Dark Horse Comics. The issue is written by Mike Mignola, illustrated by Ben Stenbeck, colored by Dave Stewart and lettered by Clem Robins.

Ninjak: The Lost Files Revealed in Ninjak #1


Ninjak is a man of great mystery. Informing the reader as to what makes him tick could be valuable to said reader. If only there were some way to do so. What about Ninjak: The Lost Files? An essential second feature from Matt Kindt and Butch Guice on March 11? Hitting stores in Ninjak #1?

More than just a typical back-up feature, each chapter of Ninjak: The Lost Files will be integral to the lead narrative of Ninjak's ongoing series. Not only will Ninjak: The Lost Files reveal the secrets of Ninjak’s training and origin for the first time in any medium, but also add new depth and dimension to the epic adventures of MI-6’s leading super-spy as he begins the hunt for the Shadow Seven – the clandestine heads of the terrorist Weaponeer organization – in the modern day.

Then: meet inexperienced MI-6 recruit Colin King on his first mission in the field as he learns the basics of spycraft and counterintelligence, and develops a volatile relationship with his first handler. Now: Colin King is Ninjak, the world’s foremost intelligence operative, weapons expert, and master assassin. And he’s tracking the Shadow Seven – a secret cabal of shinobi masters with mysterious ties to his training and tragic past.

Full press release below.

Dynamite Entertainment Teams With Brewing Factory for 3D Merchandise


Dynamite Entertainment's properties are well-known and run the gamut from Red Sonja to Green Hornet. Thrown into that mix also happens to be Vampirella, whose reputation is esteemed and merits plenty of attention. Attention in the form of a 3D bust from The Brewing Factory, the merchandise development company founded by Georg Brewer. The partnership will grow the Dynamite product line with new three-dimensional categories, most notably collectible statues and toys. The first projects will be a line of female character statues, Women of Dynamite, debuting with a Vampirella statue featuring the iconic comic book heroine and horror hostess (sculpted by Jason Smith and based on the artwork of J. Scott Campbell) and slated for release in June 2015.

"I've been really fortunate to work on some great projects these last few years, but my first love will always be comics," says Georg Brewer. "Working with Nick and Joe at Dynamite, and their talented comics creators, has been a blast! It's certainly been a fantastic way for me to get back to where it all started, and along with sculptor Jason Smith, we are creating an amazing line of statues."

Georg Brewer is an award-winning creative and production expert and former Vice President of Design & Product Development at DC Comics; well known for establishing DC Direct, the successful (and fan-favorite) collectibles business where he led creative development. In 2011, Brewer founded The Brewing Factory LLC, providing a wide range of creative, design, franchise development and brand management consulting services for new and established products and brands.

"We are extremely fortunate to work with someone of Georg's knowledge, skill, experience, and sterling reputation," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "His passion and expertise in the development and manufacturing of cool fan collectibles is second to none, and our being able to work with Georg is going to help bring fans additional great product lines featuring Dynamite's extensive library of characters. The debut product line resulting from our creative partnership will be Women of Dynamite statues inspired by J. Scott Campbell artwork, and from there, we will continue to delve into our expansive library of intellectual properties."

Full press release below.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review - Hellbillies #1


"You never know what's out there."

It's bad enough when you're in the illegal activities field to deal with the law. It gets worse when you've got to contend with nosy individuals seeking to intervene as well. What is expected regardless is an entertaining story, similar to one in Hellbillies #1. The issue is written and lettered by Jon Westhoff, illustrated by Bryan Boles and colored by Sean Fagan.

Fox Television Studios Teams With New Regency Television to Adapt Enormous


If there's a near future where the world isn't suffering from some sort of massive calamity, it's not really visited that often in media. Most of our future as humanity looks pretty bleak and Enormous isn't shying away from it either. It is entertaining, prompting Fox Television Studios and New Regency Television to partner up on an adaptation of the property. 20th Century Fox Television and New Regency Television are teaming up with producer Adrian Askarieh's Prime Universe Films to embark on the development of an event-series based on the best-selling action/horror comic book Enormous from publisher 215 Ink.

Set in the near future, the comic book series finds the world suffering a planetary resource crisis when a vast ecological cataclysm spawns The Enormous, massive beasts unlike anything ever witnessed. Displaced from atop the food-chain, humankind struggles to stave off extinction, and a shattered society scrambles for refuge in the wake of the monstrous rampage. Amid the ashes of Phoenix, Ariz., Ellen Grace, a former school teacher who lost everything and everyone she loved in the uprising, leads a search and rescue team into the ruins of the city in hopes of locating children orphaned by the cataclysm. But not all the remaining humans seek salvation, and in a world dominated by monsters, man is still the most dangerous animal of all.

Enormous originally debuted as an oversized one-shot graphic novella in 2012 and later served as the basis for a groundbreaking live-action short web film from Machinima – written by André Øvredal, directed by BenDavid Grabinski and produced by Askarieh's Prime Universe Films, Pure Imagination Studios and Machinima. Full press release below.

Celebrate Spring with Return of Usagi Yojimbo


The passage of seasons is a sure thing. Whether or not those seasons are as easily distinguishable compared to seasons past is a matter of debate, but the seasons do still transition. This year's transition to spring will be slightly more special, as this year the change will the return of a familiar rabbit in Usagi Yojimbo. Dark Horse will offer up a big return by Stan Sakai in Usagi Yojimbo #145.

For the first time since February 2012, Usagi is back in his ongoing series and there’s no stopping his adventures. Kicking off with a new story in Usagi Yojimbo #145, the series continues as Usagi finds himself caught up in a fight between his thief friend Kitsune and a ninja intent on getting the mysterious scroll Kitsune’s stolen, at any cost. One of NPR’s best books of 2014, the long-running series by Stan Sakai has garnered a vast amount of critical acclaim and the return of the Usagi Yojimbo ongoing series heralds the fantastic next chapter in Sakai’s incredible saga.

Full press release below.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Defense With The BoomStick


(Disclaimer: This post is an ongoing story set in a world where zombies have taken over and people are fighting to survive anyway they can. This is my story of survival)

Year 6. Week 25.

Having the upper-hand once again is pretty fun. With the speed of our convoy and the new toys we're using, these zombies don’t know where we are. Good thing too, because there were a lot more zombies back there than we thought.

Those drones we found have become lifesavers and got us thinking about something else. What happened to all those fancy military drones from back before the world went to hell? If we can find some of those baddies, then we're going to be in business of causing mayhem and destruction on any zombies in our path. When we got back to Kansas City this morning we attempted an uplink with the government forces in Washington state to see what they know.

So far our outreach to them has been unsuccessful, which isn’t necessarily a bad or worrisome thing...just communications are still a bit spotty. Hopefully we can have it all up and running again by tomorrow so we can begin planning a mission to go find and retrieve the drones and necessary equipment to run them. That mission will require a lot of heavy lifting with the amount of gear needed.

Review - Divinity #1


"We have a rocket and a plan that will take you farther than anyone has ever gone."

The political brinksmanship that comes with being a global superpower is certainly expected; in fact, it's often embraced by those superpowers. For every treaty or trade agreement signed, there's backroom deals and conversations where one country still demands dominance over the other. The lengths a country will go to achieve such dominance always makes for good entertainment, much of which culminated between the US and Russia during the Cold War. In Divinity #1 from Valiant Entertainment, that competition is on full display with potentially divine consequences. The issue is written by Matt Kindt, penciled by Trevor Hairsine, inked by Ryan Winn, colored by David Baron and lettered by Dave Lanphear.

Two Brothers Announced by Dark Horse


When Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá come together and collaborate on something, good things are bound to happen. They've united on plenty of great works in the past, but it's not enough to stop them from teaming up again for a new book from Dark Horse in Two Brothers. Two Brothers gives readers a deeply moving reading experience in the spirit of the twins’ previous books De:Tales and Daytripper.

Twin brothers Omar and Yaqub may share the same features, but they could not be more different from one another. And the possessive love of their mother, Zana, stirs the troubled waters between them even more. After a brutally violent exchange between the young boys, Yaqub, “the good son,” is sent from his home in Brazil to live with relatives in Lebanon, only to return five years later as a virtual stranger to the parents who bore him, his tensions with Omar unchanged. Family secrets engage the reader in this profoundly resonant story about identity, love, loss, deception, and the dissolution of blood ties.

Set in the port city of Manaus on the riverbanks of the Amazon, Two Brothers celebrates the vibrant life and diversity of Brazil. Based on a work by the acclaimed novelist Milton Hatoum, Two Brothers is stunningly reimagined by the award-winning graphic novelists Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.

Preorder your copy today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound or your local comics retailer. On sale October 27, 2015. Full press release below.

Valiant's 25th Anniversary Celebration Begins in May


Valiant is turning 25 this year and it's going to the biggest one yet. For its Silver Anniversary, they're starting the party in May on Free Comic Book Day and is slated to continue all summer long. In 1990, the first Valiant comics hit the shelves and then managed to go toe-to-toe with the industry's biggest publishers. Some of comics' greatest talents – Jim Shooter, Bob Layton, Barry Windsor-Smith, and more – joined the ranks with a who's who of up-and-comers – including David Lapham, Joe Quesada, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Sean Chen – to build one of the first true legends of the modern age of comics.

"Valiant has always been about creating stories that will stand the test of time 25 years from now, not reflecting on the successes of 25 years ago," said Valiant Publisher Fred Pierce. "As a member of the Valiant team across more than two decades, I can say that our 25th anniversary is an incredibly exciting turning point for us as one of the premier storytelling companies in comics. All summer long, we'll be revealing glimpses of where Valiant is headed next with special initiatives in print, digital, and licensing for one of our largest and most coordinated efforts to date."

Valiant is proud to announce the Valiant 25th Anniversary celebration – a months-long commemoration of the indelible heroes, volatile villains, and world-class creators that shaped Valiant into one of the most celebrated publishers in comics history. Spanning an all-star cast of Valiant's talents past and present, this summer's celebration of 25 years of Valiant begins on Free Comic Book Day with the Valiant 25th Anniversary Special, and will continue with all-new new releases across Valiant's monthly publishing line in print and digital, hardcover and trade paperback catalog, and roster of licensed merchandise.

"Even after two decades, many of the innovations Valiant brought to the industry shortly after its arrival in 1990 continue to be felt today," said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "For the 25th anniversary, we're celebrating that spirit of creative freedom that made Valiant such an influential force in the first place, and honoring those that made it possible for us to continue the mission of making the best superhero comics in the industry.

The year's can't-miss celebration officially kicks off on May 2nd in the FCBD 2015: Valiant 25th Anniversary Special that features two new stories. The first story pairs Jeff Lemire with Butch Guice to chronicle the fallout of The Valiant as Bloodshot rises from the ashes to unleash a never-before-seen prelude to Bloodshot Reborn. Then, Robert Venditti and Rafa Sandoval throw down the gauntlet for an action-packed introduction to the world of X-O Manowar and a new tale of Dead Hand. Mix in a little Ninjak, Imperium, Divinity, Ivar, TimeWalker and Rai, alongside special guests from throughout Valiant's decades-long history and a cavalacade of special surprises.

Full press release below.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Review - Fathom Kiani Volume 4 #1


"My dealings with them have been few, but I know enough to understand that they are dangerous. And reckless."

Americans have a reputation for being what some would call bullies. There's a sentiment around the world that our military might makes right and we can essentially take on any and all opponent with relative ease. Sometimes those opponents put up a fight, yet no matter how prepared we are we're still not ready to deal with forces beyond our control. In Fathom Kiani Volume 4 #1 from Aspen Comics, the might of the American military is tested by a hero from under the ocean. The issue is written by Vince Hernandez, illustrated by Giuseppe Cafaro, colored by Wes Hartman and lettered by Josh Reed.

Celebrate 10 Years of Mouse Guard with Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume 3

MG: Legends of the Guard Vol. 3 #1 Main

June Alley Inn has hosted many a night replete with stories of courage and adventure. It's a lot of fun to sit back and observe some of the fine anecdotes being bandied about by the inn's patrons. Things get even more exciting when those patrons are mice and their stories are conveyed in David Petersen's Mouse Guard. He's regaled readers with their tales for ten years, which is cause for a celebration in Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume 3 from Archaia Entertainment. The four-issue series features new tales and some of the best talent in the business, including Skottie Young, Mark Buckingham, Dustin Nguyen, Ramón K. Pérez, Becky Cloonan, Hannah Christenson, Nicole Gustaffson and more.

“David has created a huge, sprawling world that’s rich with possibilities—and it’s hard to imagine him ever running out of stories to tell,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “So when he opens the sandbox and brings other creators into the world of Mouse Guard, it’s always a celebration and an event. This is one of the biggest volumes of Legends yet, with some of the most talented creators in the industry, all bookended by David’s beautiful artwork and celebrating 10 amazing years of Mouse Guard. We can’t wait to share this with current and future Mouse Guard readers!”

In Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume 3 #1, mice of all furs and trades have once again gathered at the June Alley Inn to swap tales of courage, adventure, and craftsmanship over drinks. The storytellers can’t help but try to outdo one another, as the mouse who tells the best tale gets their bar tab cleared. This issue features stories by Young, Buckingham, and Christenson, while the scenes in the Inn connecting them all are by Petersen.

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Volume 3 #1 arrives in comic shops on March 11th from Archaia in its signature 8" x 8" format with a wraparound main cover by Petersen for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JAN151140. Also available in a limited quantity are a 10 Years Anniversary incentive cover by Pérez and a retailer incentive cover by Humberto Ramos. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is February 16th.

Full press release below.

Birthright Embarks on New Story Arc


Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan and Adriano Lucas are no strangers to success. Their work on Birthright is certainly garnering the attention of comic book fans the world over and on April 8, the second arc will kick off. And the new chapter in the fantasy epic will feature a cover by James Harren. In Birthright #6, Mikey’s return has divided the Rhodes family in unexpected ways. Where do they go from here?

Previously in Birthright, readers met the Rhodes Family—parents still coping with the grief of a missing child—after their young son Mikey disappeared one year ago. Just as the tragedy tears the family asunder and the possibility of his return looks bleak, Mikey reappears, but nothing could have prepared them for who he is now. Snatched from his life by beings from another world, Mikey became a hero whose destiny was to save the land of Terrenos. A grown man hardened by battles with dragons, trolls, and evil mages, Mikey is back to save Earth from the same peril that threatened Terrenos in Birthright.

The new adventure begins in Birthright #6, which arrives in stores on April 8 and can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code FEB150509. Cover B by James Harren can be ordered with Diamond Code DEC148492. Full press release below.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)


After giving this some thought, even I'm surprised about my own opinion on this. I suppose writing about Spider-man is kind of redundant at this point: the internets have kind of blown up with every possible opinion someone COULD have about Spidey's upcoming inclusion in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. But given the magnitude of this, I think It’d be kind of silly not to write about it.

My first though is I love this. See, I want to see all of the Marvel characters done by Marvel. They’re the ones who do their own stuff best. A Spider-man movie made by Marvel would probably be phenomenal. We’ve enjoyed all of the others, but you just know Marvel Studios will do it better somehow.

My second thought is that a standalone Spidey movie is unlikely. Mainly because I guess Sony is still making them and, well, we’ve seen five of them by now. We don’t actually need another Spidey move to get made and making him a character in an Avengers movie, a la Hulk, is probably just fine. The thing is, there's just too much money available to not keep making standalone Spider-man movies, which means we'll be seeing more of Spider-man in high school most likely.

My third thought is that Marvel needs to get X-Men back. C’mon! Let’s not forget that many years ago, X-Men was the comic that ushered in the current age of comic book obsession! We loved this comic and knew every X-Men character and you bought it and its many, many redundant spin-off books like an addiction. I want Wolverine in an Avengers movie. I want an X-Men movie done by Marvel Studios. Whoever brokered this Sony deal? Make this happen next. Please.

Review - Legenderry Red Sonja #1


If you're Red Sonja, you can handle your business. Whether it's helping others, enjoying a night of drinking and debauchery or fighting any and all comers, Red manages daily interactions with enthusiasm. How does she manage when she's in a new era though? One that's a little heavy on the steam and full of punk? In Legenderry Red Sonja #1 from Dynamite Entertainment, readers get a chance to check the scenario out. The issue is written by Marc Andreyko, illustrated by Aneke, colored by Impacto Studios and lettered by Dave Lanphear.

The Wyld Stallyns Are Back in Bill & Ted's Most Triumphant Return

Bill & Ted's Most Triumphant Return #1 Main Cover by Felipe Smith

When the most excellent Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan are on the scene, things are going to get hectic. Insane even. And watching them endure is quality entertainment, which is why BOOM! Studios is most honored to announce the return of the duo in Bill & Ted's Most Triumphant Return. Their return to comics is chronicled by Brian Lynch and illustrated by Jerry Garylord. What's more is that there will be back-up stories in each issue, including a short by Ryan North and Ian McGinty.

“San Dimas, California’s favorite sons, Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted 'Theodore' Logan, are making a most triumphant return to comics—and the telephone booth—this March,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Brian’s scripts are hilarious and Jerry’s art channels all the magic of Bill and Ted’s first excellent adventure. We couldn’t be happier! This series is going to rock as hard as the Wyld Stallyns.”

Following the time-traveling historic epic of Excellent Adventure and the turbulent life and death of Bogus Journey, Bill and Ted must now fulfill their destiny as the inspiration for galactic harmony. How can someone hate the Wyld Stallyns as much as the evil Chuck De Nomolos? With the power of time travel, Bill and Ted set their sights on turning a young 27th-century Nomolos’ non-non-heinous attitude into something most outstanding and metal! Plus, each story will have a back-up adventure.

Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return #1 arrives in comic shops on March 11th with a main cover by Felipe Smith for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JAN151113. Also available in a limited quantity are a 10 Years Anniversary incentive cover by Trevor Hairsine, a retailer incentive cover by Goñi Montes and a just added 10K Variant cover by Rob Guillory. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is February 16th. Full press release below.

Holy F*ck Gets Holy F*cked


When you're f*cked, it's a little difficult for things to get even worse. Sure, they can get worse, but the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim. That is, unless you're a book published by Action Lab Entertainment, in which case you get a sequel. On its surface, that doesn't seem so bad, but when the sequel is called Holy F*cked!, you know things will likely get worse before they get better. And Nick Marino and Daniel Arruda Massa are back for more ridiculous action featuring deities, demons and destructive violence.

Holy F*ck #1 was a hit with comic fans everywhere and retailers and fans have been responding in kind. Holy F*ck follows in the footsteps of other Action Lab: Danger Zone hits Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land and Southern Dog for it’s genre pushing nature. The creators are hard at work on a follow up, even as the world at large is just beginning to see what their wacky book is all about.

Holy F*ck Is a hysterical send up of 1980’s action movies starring Jesus Christ as he teams up with his old buddy Satan. A nun named Sister Maria recruits the duo of horny, drug-fueled reprobates in order to stop a group of ancient deities from triggering the apocalypse. But Holy F*ck isn't just controversial for the sake of attention, Marino's writing and Massa's cartooning make it a genuine comic book thrill to read too. Issue one hit comic shelves in January and is still in stock with Diamond distribution. Issues 2-4 are available for order and the trade paperback collection is in February’s Diamond Previews catalogue for an April 2015 release.

Full press release below.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Review - The Empty #1


"The rest is rot. Poison infects everything."

Humans fear the unknown. They grab onto things they know and hold onto them as anchors, relying on them as a solid foundation to which they can tether themselves and have a constant. Venturing into the unknown is a bold step for those on the fringes of civilization, but it must be done in the interest of human survival. In The Empty #1 from Image Comics, the world's inhabitants are forced to contend with such an unknown. The issue is written and illustrated by Jimmie Robinson.

Sexcastle Comes Out of Retirement


Retirement is for taking it easy. Kicking back and relaxing. It's not for being called back into duty. When you're Kyle Starks though, retirement means something different and in Sexcastle from Image Comics, the leading man is brought back into the fold. The World’s Greatest Assassin has left the world of killing and moved to a small rural town—only to be pulled back into the field in the original graphic novel from Image Comics coming in March.

"I was raised on 80s action movies, romanced by the genre: the big action, tough guy dialogue, ridiculous situations and fantastic villains,” said Starks. “I just wanted to make the best possible comic using that language and I'm excited to share it with as many people as I can.”

“Sexcastle is a perfect mix of homage and comedy, action and irony, loving tribute and hilarious send-up of the great, good, and ungodly-bad action movies of the ‘80s," says Matt Fraction. "I don’t remember the last time a debut book hit me this hard. Literally, this book punched me in the face. It’s THAT mean.”

Sexcastle is an exciting and hilarious action romp in the style of classic '80s action films and in the vein of Grosse Pointe Blank. It will be in comic book stores on March 18 (Diamond Comic order code JAN150621) and in bookstores on March 31 (ISBN 978-1-63215-300-5) and can be pre-ordered now. Full press release below.

Where Do Heroes Go When Worlds Converge?


Monday, February 9, 2015

Review - Imperium #1


"This--is what we fought for."

Finding the skills to equip one to essentially take over the world is no easy task. Some people are born with the abilities, while others fight tooth and nail to climb the ladder and make their play. Toyo Harada is a man born with a unique ability to sway any audience, which makes him one of the most dangerous men in the world. His true danger is on display in Imperium #1 from Valiant Entertainment. The issue is written by Joshua Dysart, illustrated by Doug Braithwaite, colored by Brian Reber and Dave McCaig and lettered by Dave Sharpe.

Caliber Comics Releases Three Graphic Novels


Caliber Comics is none too pleased with gaps in releases. In fact, few publishers will tell you they're actually trying to release new works spaced too far apart. Caliber Comics is going all out to make up for lost time though, announcing the release of three new graphic novels in Talismen: Return of the Exile, Strange Detective Mysteries and Carbon. Talismen: Return of the Exile is written by Steve Jones and illustrated by Barb Jones, Strange Detective Mysteries is co-created by Terry Pavlet and Sam Gafford and Carbon is written by Daniel Boyd, illustrated by Edi Guedes and colored by Alzir Alves. It also features an introduction by filmmaker John Sayles.

Talismen: Return of the Exile is a fantasy story that follows the adventures of Marine Corporal Ollie Steele who finds himself about to be executed by terrorists, when he is magically transported to the Plane of Imaginings, the land where dreams and nightmares come from. When a beautiful young woman with pointy ears named Astrina finds Ollie and takes him back to the quiet village of Donnelly, he is stunned to learn that they recognize him as the first of three Exiles prophesized to rescue them from Ba, the foul Ruler of the Realm of Nightmares and his shadowy first knight, Scath. Ollie may be in the world of imagination yet one that can be all too real.

"It has a maturity about it although it is a young adult graphic novel," says publisher Gary Reed. "The writing fits perfectly and the art has a lot of appeal. Barb does an excellent blend of manga and Disney with a little bit of Chuck Jones drawn in there.”"

In Strange Detective Mysteries, a unique techno science-fiction fantasy with a bit of steam-punk thrown in, several of the leading creative minds of the early 1900s are brought together to look into the death of Edgar Allen Poe. And what they discover is a conspiracy that threatens to destroy all of time and reality. The saga begins with famed Western lawman
Bat Masterson being summoned to a mysterious meeting in 1902 New York City. Upon arriving, he finds several other interesting individuals have also been summoned. These men are some of the most brilliant minds of the new century; H. G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini and Nikola Tesla. When they are finally greeted by their aged host, Robert Tyler, they find that this rich patron has brought them together to solve the mystery of the murder of America’s foremost literary genius, Edgar Allan Poe. And one with possible ties into the infamous 1988 Whitechapel Ripper.

Carbon is a supernatural horror story intertwined with environmental issues. Set in the southern West Virginia coalfields, Carbon tells the story of what happens when an evil coal baron discovers a "sacred" carbon coal vein buried deep in the Appalachian Mountains. This carbon coal can seemingly burn forever and he will now sacrifice the land and the people to extract the full deposit. However when he awakens and releases a hell the surface world cannot even imagine, the only thing that stands in the way of this ecological disaster, is a disgraced ex-pro baseball pitcher and a community of courageous coal miners.

“"Carbon is the main reason I got into graphic narrative," said Boyd. "It is a story I'’ve wanted to tell for well over 10 years. When thinking about coal issues, it all sprang from the realization that we’re all carbon. Plants, animals, and we humans, are the ingredients of this fossil fuel. What if you put the process in reverse?” said Boyd, who during that time has
transitioned from a successful movie-making career into creating award-winning graphic novels. “Coal is the epicenter of climate change and Carbon’s setting, West Virginia, is the epicenter of coal.”"

Full press release below.

Steal the Divine with Archaia's HaloGen

HaloGen #1 Main

In recent memory, when someone said "halo," you're most likely to think of a massive, genetically-enhanced super-soldier best known as Master Chief and with an affinity for fighting the Covenant, Flood and Prometheans. Rarely do you think of a sci-fi series that blends Prophet, Rocket Girl and The Fifth Element...until now that is. BOOM! Studios is making that association in HaloGen, featuring the talents of Josh Tierney, Afu Chan and Giannis Milonogiannis.

“Josh, Afu, and Giannis have already proven they know how to create sprawling worlds and well-rounded characters, and now they’re taking us into the deep reaches of space for a unique adventure,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “You’ll meet Rell this March in the pages of HaloGen, and her story is a very cool sci-fi thriller.”

In HaloGen, there’s a rumor on Cityship Q that the gigantic body of a dead god was found floating in space. Rell, an agent working for the HaloGen organization, is tasked with finding the location of the god and retrieving it by any means necessary. Using her ability to form hyper-realistic holograms, Rell is about to take on the first mission she might not be able to finish. HaloGen #1 arrives in comic shops on March 4th from Archaia with a main cover by Chan for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code JAN151145. Also available in a limited quantity are a 10 Years Anniversary incentive cover by Ramón K. Pérez and a retailer incentive cover by co-creator Milonogiannis. The Final Order Cutoff deadline for retailers is February 9th.

Full press release below.