Category Archives: Comics

Free Comic Book Day Adventures In Florida

Free Comic Book Day in Florida is quite different from my experiences in Chicago. There are no decent stores in St. Petersburg, FL where I live so I traveled to north Tampa to Heroes Haven for my first stop on my FCBD tour.

At 9:45 in the morning there were about 400 people lined up to get into Heroes Haven at 10am. I was all the way at the back of the line. The wait was worth it as the store had a packed lineup of creators, well-known and up and coming, like Marvel Comics’ Mike Perkins and freelancer Jamie Jones.

My goal was to check out as many stores as possible Saturday but after meeting Heroes Haven’s marketing director Ivan, I end up talking about the industry and spent most of my day there. Around 2:30pm I took a 30-minute drive to Coliseum of Comics in New Tampa. They have several locations in Central Florida and this was their grand opening. Not going to lie, it was rather boring. There were three people in costume hiding in the back of the shop. After that I hopped in the car for 60-minute drive to New Port Richey’s Yancy Street Comics. They also had a huge lineup of creators headlined by Greg Land. This store was inside a mall which gave it a sterile feel. At Yancy I did run into a Chicago guy and a great artist in Angel Medina. He’s worked on Spider-Man and Spawn, his style is very Todd McFarlane.

Through all my travels it was a good day, saw some friends, met some new creators and got some free comic books.

News Talk Florida Questions Amazing Spider-Man #1

Peter Parker is Peter Parker again, and Amazing Spider-Man #1 hits your local comic book store one-day before Amazing Spider-Man 2 launches in theaters. Everyone should rejoice because everything is back to normal…. right? That’s a big huge wrong! On page two Dan Slott embarks down another giant wormhole by re-writing the origin of Spider-Man. Allegedly another person was bitten by the radioactive spider as well! And guess what? It’s a female character, how conventionally original. Welcome back to the 90’s the land of frighteningly bad written comics and 101 symbiotes.

This review is from the Pop Culture section of News Talk Florida.

As far as judgement by a single issue, Slott does a good job recapping the Doc Ock chaos that is now Parker’s life. The jokes and free spirit are back, which are core character traits of Spider-Man and anyone that has read Amazing Spider-Man knows it’s just a matter of time before it all comes crashing down. There was a nod to Amazing Spider-Man 2 with a quick reference to Electro, he was without his traditional mask and blue.

Humberto Ramos is where he should be drawing Spider-Man even if Parker destroys his red and blue costume and ends up running around in web underwear for most of the issue. Ramos’s style works well conveying Slott’s jokes and action. The detail and emotions in a character’s face is what puts Ramos in the upper echelon of artists.

It’s mind-boggling the need to rewrite the past in comic books. Superior Spider-Man for all its faults was an attempt to create a new future. Marvel and DC need to do more of this and less of rebooting the past.

Story: 7.5/10 • Artwork: 8.5/10 • Overall 8/10

Review: ‘Southern Bastards’ #1

Aaron And Latour Knock ‘Southern Bastards’ #1 Out Of The Park

If you’re looking for a replacement for ‘True Detective’ stop what you’re doing and pick up ‘Southern Bastards.’

This review is from the Pop Culture section of News Talk Florida.

Jason Aaron does what all great writers do, create awesome gritty characters. In one issue Aaron brings to life Earl Tubbs and sets Tubbs up for an epic battle against Craw County, Alabama. Old Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood and Charlton Heston have nothing on Tubbs.

Jason Latour brings the book to life but what works best for Latour is his color palette choices to convey action and emotion. The colors used for day, night and flashbacks work perfectly. Latour succeeds as a creator because Tubbs looks original. You can tell that one of Latour’s influences in Frank Miller from body styles to action scenes.

The book does have a certain Dark Knight Returns feel in story as well. What separates Aaron from Miller is Southern Bastards is written from personal history. Aaron and Latour take the reader on an emotional action-packed journey and their letters at the end of the first issue really drive home why this book will succeed.

Story: 9/10 • Artwork: 9/10 • Overall 9/10

Review: Infinity #3 – Hickman Is A Master At Science Fiction

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Infinity #3
Written by Jonathan Hickman.
Illustrated by Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver.

• Prison break.
• Stealing a worldkiller.
• The fall of Attilan.

This could be the first time I’ve read Captain America used properly in a cosmic crossover. Captain America battling Thanos one-on-one is ridiculous (this could be a bad nerd debate right now), but Captain America in charge of an armada is a brilliant move by writer Jonathan Hickman. Steve Rogers is supposed to be the greatest soldier America has ever seen and even more so, a strategist. The way that Rogers holds his own among the cosmic characters is what keeps the book grounded and show that Hickman understands the characters and how to use them in a group setting. The relationship that Hickman is developing between Thor and Rogers, two warriors preparing for battle, this subplot shines through.

“Strike like lightning on the darkest night, scorch the heavens… rain fire down on them,” said Thor (Infinity #3)

The problem with all big event books is that you feel like your missing out on something! You can’t just read Infinity 1-6 and get the whole story. I read issue three and I felt like I missed something (Avengers #19, New avengers #10). You need to read the additional books to get the complete story. This becomes awkward for new reader and bothersome for current readers that have to spend more money.

Infinity issue three is broken up into three chapters; “Submit or Perish,” “World Killers” and “What Maximus Built.” The difference in art style is so great that it disrupts the story. The way Dustin Weaver draws eyes is quite different that Jerome Opena. With that said the second to last page Weaver nails it with Black Bolt.

I say this a lot, but all I want a comic book to do is make me want to read the next issue. Infinity 4 of 6 can’t get here soon enough.

Story: 9/10 • Artwork: 8/10 • Overall 8.5/10

Review: Image Comics – Zero #1

Zero #1
Written by Ales Kot.
Illustrated by Jordie Bellaire, Michael Walsh.

Mature Readers

SAVING THE WORLD. ONE MURDER AT A TIME. Edward Zero is the perfect execution machine – a spy who breaks the rules to get things done. When a stolen device appears in the center of a long-running conflict, Zero comes to retrieve it. The problem is, the device is inside a living, breathing, bio-modified terrorist and there’s an entire army after it.

“Five years later, the agency find out the truth about it, and about everything I have done since,” final sentence from Zero #1.

Edward Zero is the newest spy to hit the comic book world. Writer Alex Kot delivers a strong first issue with solid ending to where you want to read issue two, now. The main character Zero is your stereotypical Wolverine, Jason Bourne type character. Zero has all the traits; gruff, rogue and an absolute killer.

The book takes place in 2038 with flashbacks to 2018. Kot does a good job of introducing all the main characters, telling a single issue story and adding a few twists along the way.

Zero has a very independent feel to it in reference to the artwork by Michael Walsh. On one hand the art gives a gritty feel but in some action scenes it looks rushed and the backgrounds look simple. Jordie Bellaire’s use of color filters on panels were affective and added to the story.

Story: 9/10 • Artwork: 7/10 • Overall 8/10

Review: Walking Dead #114 – “We’re Going To War.”

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Walking Dead #114
Written by Robert Kirkman.
Illustrated by Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn.

To explain “Walking Dead” #1-114 would take a lot longer than a 500-word blog post. What I would recommend is picking up the first trade paper back of the series. Libraries carry TPB now, it’s free! Do it!

If you’ve never read, watched or heard about “Walking Dead,” the setting is the zombie apocalypses. Robert Kirkman has crafted this not so perfect world where people are just trying to survive. The zombies are the backdrop, the key to this series is the interaction between humans. The battle between those who continue to fight for humanity and those who have completely lost it. Over the course of 114 issues there have been several evil men that have tried to destroy humanity but there has been one soul that has stood up to them time and time again, Rick Grimes.

This is a non-superhero comic book but Rick is your hero and Kirkman has tried to breaking him for more than 100-issues straight.

“Walking Dead” #114 is the build up of a story-arc that started in a gut-wrenching 100th issue that introduced a very evil gentleman named Negan and his baseball bat “Lucille.” This is a mature audience book (R-rated) and Kirkman gives Negan a dialogue that makes me squirm in my chair. What ever is the highest level of evil that is Negan. Kirkman plots Rick and Negan against each other in a power struggle and Rick’s son Carl is the perfect instrument to break Rick’s will.

What Kirkman does extremely well is scare the reader in way that you’re afraid to buy issue 115. Something bad is going to happen and that usually means that a character that you care about is going to die. I don’t want to spoil anything for new readers or viewers of the television so but Kirkman is a very cruel writer.

As far as a breakdown of the issue, Kirkman has raised the bar so high with epic issues in the past, therefore I’ve seen this setup before. My questions is, “What bag of tricks can Kirkman conjure up this time around?” The issue comes a crossed flat. If this happened in the TPB of the story-arc I can just continue to read but in the comic book world you have to wait 30-plus days. It’s a completely different style of writing and a hard one to master. You have 22-pages to hook a reader and then have him or her come back a month later to buy another.

I was expecting a better last page of the book and it just wasn’t there but I’m still afraid to buy the nest issue!

Story: 8/10 • Artwork: 8/10 • Overall 8/10

Cover: Walking Dead #115
The_Walking_Dead_115_2013

Review: Infinity #2 – Science Fiction At Its Best

Infinity #2 2013
Infinity #2
Written by Jonathan Hickman.
Illustrated by Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver.

• The Inhumans pay the tribute.
• Victory in deep space.
• The secrets of Thanos.

To explain a complex comic book with more than 20-years of history it is much easier to direct you to the Wikipedia page on Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. Once you’ve  read this then you can start reading “Infinity.”

Jonathan Hickman is a very complex writer, when I think of him I envision the editor and chief of “Popular Mechanics.” I have had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions and he thinks on a different level than most humans. Hickman is the man who I would like to see write a Star Trek film, he sees the best in humanity and looks at the universe through a different lens.

What Hickman does best in “Infinity” so far is that he inspires you to want read up on your Marvel Comics cosmic history. If you’re a science fiction fan you will enjoy this book. Even though Captain America always looks like a dork in a space-suit, Hickman builds the story with solid dialogue and backs it up with history. The mighty Avengers and the Skrulls have been battling each other for more than 40-years. Hickman realizes the history that he has been given and doesn’t publish anther “Operation: Galactic Storm.”

Jerome Opena and Dustin Weaver deliver a book that Marvel has published a million times before. The art is generic to Marvel’s style, realistic with a sketchy quality, this is not a bad thing, but we have seen it before. What separates “Infinity” from other books is the layout and design. Hickman has a graphic design background and you can tell. There is a non-traditional look to the “Infinity” and a fragmented feel that I believe is intentional.

Overall “Infinity” #2 keeps you engaged and makes you wish for issue three by the end, that is all you can ask for in a comic book.

Story: 8.5/10 • Artwork: 8/10 • Overall 8.25/10

THE WALKING DEAD #115 COVERS REVEALED

TheWalkingDead115Teasers_Reveal3
The 10th anniversary celebration begins as the first of 10 connecting covers by Charlie Adlard and Dave Stewart is unveiled.

This October is the 10th anniversary of THE WALKING DEAD, and we’re excited to announce that issue #115 will have 10 connecting covers in celebration. The covers, when viewed together, form an image that highlights significant moments from the past 10 years of the series. Each of the 10 individual covers will also depict a special moment from a year of THE WALKING DEAD’s illustrious history. These covers are drawn by series artist Charlie Adlard, with colors by Dave Stewart.

Each weekday for the next 2 weeks, we’ll reveal a part of the connecting covers for issue #115. The first cover shown reveals a memorable moment that takes place during THE WALKING DEAD’s third year.

THE WALKING DEAD #115 goes on sale on October 9, 2013 and is available for pre-order with local comic book retailers now!

Source: Image Comics Media

Fanboys Remain Calm: Affleck as Batman is a good idea

Hello Readers ,

benbatman

This is a bit of a first for me I typically do reviews and interviews but I wanted to take a moment to touch on the overtly negative reaction to the news that Batman/Bruce Wayne will be played by Ben Affleck in the sequel to Man of Steel. While I have been enjoying all of the Batman quotes in a Bostonian accent and general Batffllec Twitter rants I have to admit that I’m actually ok with the news of Affleck as Batman. My issue isn’t  with anyone having a negative opinion, but more so the blind hate and negativity for an actor that’s had a more successful than not movie career. I think this is also a very smart move on WB’s part. Why not have Affleck be Batman? I’m sure there were more than a few conversations happening about him being the one to direct Justice League and or the next Batman movie anyways. This now establishes him and allows him hypothetically to start creating his new take on the world and character himself. I know its Zach Snyder directing the film but it would be crazy not to think that he wouldn’t go to an Oscar winning director for advice and opinions on the movie. This gives him someone  in Affleck whose opinion I’m sure he respects an opportunity to help build momentum into the next Batman or Justice League film and is a great idea.

There are going to be people out there that point to him being Daredevil and how awful that movie was. Daredevil wasn’t a bad movie because of Ben Affleck as Daredevil , it was a bad movie because it wasn’t a well written or directed movie to begin with. It was largely changed by Fox and the love story shoved into the movie slowed the pace down and created an unrealistic soap opera aspect to the film. It’s not a mistake that I’m sure Ben Affleck would be willing to make as an actor again. Id rather point people in the direction of Hollywood land or the Town to see that Affleck has more than enough talent to handle a character with dual personalities.

Finally both Michael Keaton and Heath Ledger had just as strong a backlash when it was announced that they were going to be cast as Batman and Joker respectively in their respective movies and I think its safe to say that turned out pretty well. At the very least I think everyone should reserve judgement until they see footage or watch the film. Creating nerd rage and petitions for the sake of effecting the franchise in a negative way doesn’t mean you care more for the characters or subject matter. Besides in the long run we all know who’s the best Batman / Bruce Wayne to have ever played the character.

 

kevin-conroy

 

 

 

 

 

and I’m out!

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Mike DeVivo

ZERO Delves into the Effects of War

New Image Comics series by Ales Kot will feature a new artist with each issue

“War is a disease,” Ales Kot said in an interview with Multiversity Comics, “and it seems that a large part of humanity is obsessed with it.” The writer of comics that range from the stream-of-consciousness apocalyptic tale CHANGE to DC Comics’ Suicide Squad draws on this point of view, developed in his native Czech Republic, for his new series ZERO, out from Image Comics in September. “I’ve seen, first-hand, what kind of damage war inflicts on people, and how often the wounds become obscured as the decades progress,” he said.

ZERO is named for its main character, secret agent Edward Zero, a sociopath who solves problems with violence, a perfect execution machine. He’s built his life around certain principles, but ZERO is the story of what happens when his carefully maintained systems break down and Zero must fight not just a war out in the world but one within himself as well.

Each issue will end with this internal struggle producing an indelible change in Zero, and so each issue will be drawn by a different artist. The first issue, in which Zero encounters a bioengineered terrorist whose body is a bomb, is drawn by Michael Walsh, who previously worked on the critically-acclaimed time travel Image series COMEBACK, written by Ed Brisson.

Subsequent issues will be drawn by comics stars like Mateus Santolouco (Dial H, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Morgan Jeske (CHANGE), Tradd Moore (THE STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHER STRODE), and Tonci Zonjic (WHERE IS JAKE ELLIS?). Kot will write each issue based on the strengths of the artist, and the series will be colored by Jordie Bellaire (THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS, NOWHERE MEN).

Kot has also spoken about ZERO to iFanboy, PreviewsWorld, Technoccult, and Den of Geek. Advance praise for ZERO has begun rolling in, as well, including these accolades from two of the biggest writers in comics:

“With Zero, Kot continues to push boundaries of both form and content to stunning and inspiring effect. A new kind of spy thriller written with scope, intelligence and flat out gripping storytelling, Zero is easily one of my favorite reads of the year.”
—Scott Snyder (SEVERED, American Vampire, Batman: Zero Year)

“A first issue is the buy-in of the great game, story. This is Zero, and it’s where all the action is. Have a seat.”
—Jonathan Hickman (EAST OF WEST, MANHATTAN PROJECTS, Avengers)

ZERO #1 is available for pre-order in the July issue of Previews (Diamond code JUL130415). Variant covers by Becky Cloonan (JUL130416) and Chris Burnham (JUL130417) are also available for pre-order.

Source: Image Comics

Paul Jenkins Signs With Boom! Studios

PAUL JENKINS ANNOUNCES HIS EXCLUSIVE HOME… AND IT GOES BOOM!
May 31st, 2013 – BOOM! Studios is honored to announce that Eisner Award-winning writer Paul Jenkins (DEATHMATCH, FAIRY QUEST) has made this publisher his home for comic projects for the foreseeable future.

Jenkins broke into the comic industry in 1988 as editor and production manager for Mirage Studios’ TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, before establishing himself as one of the industry’s top sought writing talents. After a four year run on Vertigo’s HELLBLAZER, Paul enjoyed a decade long stint at Marvel Comics writing a variety of commercially successful and critically acclaimed projects, including the Eisner Award-winning INHUMANS, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, and ORIGIN. While working for Marvel, Paul also created the Sentry. Jenkins has also written for a swath of other comic publishers including DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Top Cow. In addition to his comic book work, Jenkins is a prolific award-winning video game writer with credits on GOD OF WAR, THE DARKNESS, TWISTED METAL BLACK, and INCREDIBLE HULK: ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION.

Paul_Jenkins_Boom_2013

In an open letter to the industry shared exclusively with Comic Book Resources, Paul explained, “I am fully committing to working with BOOM! Studios, where I have already enjoyed more creative freedom in the last six or seven months than I can possibly articulate.”

Jenkins began his relationship with BOOM! Studios in 2012 with DEATHMATCH, an ongoing series, which answers the question of how would emerge victorious in a no holds, barred battle between a variety of popular super hero and super villain archtypes. BOOM! also published the serialization of FAIRY QUEST, Paul’s successful Kickstarter with artist Humberto Ramos (SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN). He added, “I know that I am only ever going to be happy if I am allowed to create by a collaborative publisher who truly wants comics to be worth the cover price.”

Announcements for Jenkins’ future plans for original comic projects will be forthcoming.
“I suppose there comes a time in everyone’s life where they think about the good old days and wish they were ‘home’,” summed up Jenkins. “Well, I am lucky enough to be home. I hope readers will see what BOOM! Studios is doing in their cool little corner of the creative world.”

Source: Boom Media

X-Men#1 – Brian Wood’s All Female X-Team is here. Is it any good?

X-Men-1X-Men #1

Writer: Brian Wood

Artist: Oliver Coipel

After a lot of backlash and judgement before the issue even came out X-Men #1 by Brian Wood and Oliver Coipel finally made it to shelves this week. While it isn’t Brian Wood’s first crack at writing the X men its received the largest amount of attention because this is the first X- team comprised entirely of a female cast. The results are very good. Brian Wood instantly creates a threat that is unique but rooted in X-Men mythology. It’s a bold move to have a book start out with a mysterious villain but Wood does an excellent job of following those first few scenes with a very familiar character in Jubilee.

He writes Jubilee here as a caring and lost young woman with a new responsibility in the form of an adopted baby. Her plan is to return home to the X-Men her family and give this baby the same sense of security she had. It seems that if anyone is going to be our eyes as the reader in this series its going to be Jubilee. On the way back from a flight from Bulgaria to New York Jubilee is being followed and contacts the Jean Grey School. The other members that make up the team are Rachel Grey, Storm, Kitty Pride , Rogue , and Psylocke. Half of the group goes to Jubilees aid and the other half wait back at the school.

While the rest of the issue has some action sequences here and there its primary focus is on character development which I liked. These characters all feel very fleshed out already in issue one. Wood nails Rogues confident demeanor, Psylocke’s calm and hardened attitude, and Storms matriarch personality very well. Each character has their moment in a book that reads very fast but does a great job of building towards an imminent threat.

The other part of the team is Oliver Coipel and as most of you would expect the book is absolutely gorgeous. His pencils are extremely detailed. Each female character looks unique and he finds away to take very classic elements of the character and make them feel fresh again. Jubilees new baby is about the cutest thing ever and characters facial expressions are varied and solidify Brian woods dialogue firmly on each page. His use of panels also is very open-ended which looks great but at times can detract from the story. That is my only criticism for what is in all a very beautiful book.

Wood ends this book on a pretty interesting cliffhanger which adds incentive to pick up the next issue. I’m sure some people will roll their eyes at the thought of yet another X book. However Brian Wood’s and Oliver Coipel’s X-Men is worth your money. This book has gotten unnecessary flak and should be one of the books you add to your pull list. Some people are probably still going to be caught up in the politics and gender issues but not Wood. His focus is to write a very entertaining and engaging story. After reading this issue the only thing I was thinking is why hasn’t someone did this sooner. He takes what could have been a cliche or negative concept to some and delivered a very high quality start to a new series.

Review Score- 9/10

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Marvel to Attend Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con 2013

Wizard-Main-Header
Marvel To Conduct Programming Panels, PortfolioReviews At Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con

Marvel Entertainment will host two programming panels and conduct two portfolio reviews at the 2013 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con, Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The panels are entitled “MARVEL: Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way,” set for Friday at 5 p.m., featuring Barry Kitson, Phil Noto, Koi Pham, Leinil Yu and talent scout C.B. Cebulski helping aspiring artists find out the answers on how to get their foot in the door and make their job MARVEL.

Saturday’s panel, “MARVEL: From NOW! to Infinity,” will take place at 4 p.m., with editors Tom Brennan and Jake Thomas, Noto, Pham, Yu, Cebulski and other Marvel guests taking questions on what’s to come in the Marvel Universe.

Additionally, Marvel will be accepting portfolios on Friday and Saturday, and talent scout and others will conduct reviews on Saturday and Sunday from 2-3:30 p.m. in Room 110.

Source: Wizard World Media

JOE QUESADA’s Variant Cover to AGE OF ULTRON #10

ALL OR NOTHING – Marvel Unveils Superstar Artist JOE QUESADA’s Variant Cover to AGE OF ULTRON #10!

Marvel is proud to unveil Marvel Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada’s, jaw dropping wraparound variant cover to Age of Ultron #10 – featuring ANGELA! To save the Marvel Universe, Earth’s Mightiest made the most controversial decision of their lives resulting a disaster unlike any they’ve seen before. But with one final shot to make things right, can they turn back the hands of time and restore everything to its former glory? And if they can’t what happens next?! Age Of Ultron #10, by the jam packed, blockbuster creative team of Brian Michael Bendis, Bryan Hitch, Carlos Pacheco, Brandon Peterson, Alex Maleev, Butch Guice, David Marquez and Joe Quesada, leaves no stone unturned and has an ending nobody can see coming!

Source: Marvel Comic Media

AgeOfUltron_10_VariantQuesada

Green Lantern #20 Review

GLGreen Lantern #20 brings to a close the bombastically epic run of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern, comprising over 100 issues of will-powered science fiction.  It has been just short of a decade since Johns made a name for himself as the man who put the green ring back on Hal Jordan’s finger in Green Lantern: Rebirth.  Since that time we have seen the meteoric rise of Hal Jordan and Green Lantern-properties, including several ongoing comic book titles, animated features, an animated series and even a (disappointing) Green Lantern film.  In the pages of the comic book itself, Johns has redeemed Hal Jordan, raised the stakes on a universal level and fundamentally changed/strengthened the Green Lantern mythology.

Green Lantern #20  is not only the grand finale to Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern saga, but also the current GL book-spanning story arc “Wrath of the First Lantern.”  While that story tediously dragged along in most of its chapters, the finale is the crazy summer blockbuster ending that Green Lantern deserves.  Volthoom, the “First Lantern” in question, continues his maniacal plan to remake the universe as he sees fit.  The issue isn’t really about Volthoom’s plan however, but it’s more of a tale that yet again reaffirms how strong of a hero Hal Jordan is.  The finale is a “greatest hits” of sorts for Johns and his Green Lantern universe, as we see staples from every major event that has occurred under Johns’ guidance, including Blackest Night and Sinestro Corps WarGreen Lantern #20 has appearances from every major character from the Green Lantern books of the past decade including Kyle Rayner, Larfleeze and of course Sinestro.  One of the high points of the issue is the narrative choice to flash forward to “Beyond Tomorrow,” where a young Green Lantern recruit wants to hear the story of Hal Jordan.  It’s a nice touch that allows readers to reflect on what has come before as well as closing the door on an era.

Of the comic books that I have read this week, this month or even this year, Green Lantern #20 was the one that truly amazed me.  The entire issue is a reminder of how awesome Geoff Johns has made the Green Lantern ongoing series, and it made me smile throughout the entire read.  Johns is at the top of his game with his final issue, giving closure to as many characters as he can while bringing things full circle to where he began.  Regular artist Doug Mahnke handles the majority of the artwork, while past series artists like Ivan Reis and Ethan Van Sciver make cameo contributions as well.  Mahnke ends on as much of a high note as you could possibly hope for.  Though he has his roots in horror and the grotesque, Mahnke has always given a more streamlined approach to Green Lantern that has resulted in some truly beautiful visuals.  The finale alone highlights Mahnke’s skill as an artist, with more single/double page spreads than you could will into existence with a power ring.

Green Lantern #20 is a fantastic farewell of a comic spread across 64 pages with no ad breaks, barring those with (worthy) industry praise for Mr. Johns.  Like many others, I hopped on the Green Lantern bandwagon sometime after the success of Green Lantern: Rebirth.  Thanks to Geoff Johns I have grown to love a character and mythology that I wouldn’t have given a second thought about 5 or 6 years ago.

Geoff Johns is a man who took a B-List superhero and made him a pop culture phenomenon.  He’s a guy who took the simplest and most obvious idea of a rainbow array of Lantern Corps and sold it without coming off as completely ludicrous.  Most importantly Geoff Johns is a visionary writer who truly believes in his work, which is why it’s so astoundingly successful.

Thank you Geoff Johns for sharing the Green Lantern universe with those of us who didn’t know any better.

“In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night…”

 

Final Grade: ★★★★★ 5/5 Stars

ELEPHANTMEN AT THE HALF-CENTURY MARK

ELEPHANTMEN AT THE HALF-CENTURY MARK

Fiftieth issue of Starkings’ sci-fi epic in July

ELEPHANTMEN, Richard Starkings’ epic science fiction series exploring the ramifications of genetic experimentation, war, and racism, is reaching a milestone this July: its 50th issue. ELEPHANTMEN debuted in 2006, published by Image Comics, a spin-off of Starkings self-published (and now Image title) HIP FLASK.
elephantmen50-cover

Following a group of human/animal hybrid super-soldiers who are struggling to integrate themselves into a society that is often hostile to their very existence, the series has gone on be collected into six hardcovers and trade paperbacks. It has featured art by Ladrönn, Boo Cook, Chris Burnham, Shaky Kane, and Axel Medellin, and the cover of ELEPHANTMEN #43 is among the work that earned Brandon Graham a “Best Cover Artist” Eisner Award nomination.

“Fifty issues! One more and ELEPHANTMEN is as old as I am!” marveled creator and writer Starkings, who also owns the well-respected comics lettering studio Comicraft. “When we launched the series in 2006, I thought maybe I had six issues in me, yet here we are, seven years later and six ELEPHANTMEN collections in stores and another in preparation for release this summer!”

ELEPHANTMEN #50, “Blue Collar Blues,” has a cover by renowned comics artist Frank Quitely, and comes after the close of the monumental “Sleeping Partners” story arc. It brings the story into the intimate sphere of one Elephantman, following his everyday life with its struggles and small triumphs. The issue is illustrated by series regular Axel Medellin and Gabe Bautista and also includes a re-presentation of ELEPHANTMEN #1, with art by Moritat, and a gallery of covers by Brandon Graham, Camilla d’Errico, J. Scott Campbell, Brian Bolland,, Chris Weston, Ladrönn, Ian Churchill, and Ed McGuinness.

ELEPHANTMEN #50 will be in stores on July 17 and is available for pre-order from the May issue of Previews (Diamond code MAY130418). The revised and expanded ELEPHANTMEN VOLUME 1, which now includes issue #0 with art by Ladrönn and an introduction by Jonathan Ross, will be in stores on May 22. The newest collection, VOLUME 6: EARTHLY DESIRES, due in stores in July 10, is also available for preorder (MAY130420).

Source: Image Comics Media

Regular Show #1 A comic so good it will make you have a punchies competition

Regular-Show-1-cover-ERegular Show #1

Written By: KC Green

Art By:Alison Strejlau

Back Up Story and Art By; Brian Butler

The Regular Show #1 comic is a good example of what Television properties should be. Extensions of their characters done faithfully in the medium of comics. For those of you not aware Regular Show is Cartoon Networks second most popular show aside from Adventure Time. Fun for all ages and its characters are always endearing. It even won an Emmy in 2012 for best Animated short for the episode “Eggsicellent”.

Writer KC Green doesn’t play try to change anything that makes the show so fun to watch and its the right call. Rigby and Mordecai are still the main focus. KC nails their dialogue perfectly. Mordecai is still the chill easy-going of the two and Rigby is a spaz that is always seeking attention and approval from Mordecai.. Benson instructs Mordecai and Rigby to clean the local grounds during an out door concert. As if that wasn’t bad enough the band doesn’t rock at all. Out of sheer boredom Rigby and Mordecai decide that it would be way cooler if they could start a Mosh-pit in the crowd. They consider it impossible to do given the crowd, but within earshot of Muscle Man and Hi Five Ghost. Always up for a challenge Muscle Man accepts and it just gets funnier from there.

The rest of the story is too good to ruin but I will say it involves a Demon , Benson , and a giant rescue plan by the end. Artist Alison Stejlau manages to handle the art in this issue very well. The characters look how they should and yet she does a tone of great work during some more of the Mosh-pit sequence that really pops off the page. Specifically her layouts during these sequences are extremely creative and create a kinetic feel while you read that gives this book that sense of anything can happen craziness that works so well for the show.Not to mention the short by Brian Butler is just as funny seeing Rigby and Mordecai in line waiting to ride the Face Melter coaster…which is a coaster that melts faces. Again its simple but you appreciate just how good simple is when it involves these characters.

Kaboom! has another hit on their hands (given the fact that Diamond has already reported Regular Show selling out) and as long as the creators continue to free up their stories and aim for absurdity this book will stay in my pull list. There are far too few books that you and your kid can read and laugh at together. This is one of those books. Oh and for the record I don’t have a kid, I only assume your kid will like this book as much as I did END DISCLAIMER.

REVIEW SCORE: 8.5/10

MIKE DEVIVO

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

 

A CRIMINAL MASTERMIND GETS GHOSTED

A CRIMINAL MASTERMIND GETS GHOSTED
A new Image/Skybound mini-series in July

Criminal mastermind Jackson T. Winters has spent the last decade languishing in prison after his last heist went horribly wrong. Now, in return for breaking him out, a rich eccentric tasks him with capturing a ghost for the millionaire’s macabre collection in the new Image Comics/Skybound mini-series GHOSTED.
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Written by Joshua Williamson and drawn Goran Sdzuka, with Miroslav Mrva on colors and Eisner nominee Sean Phillips (FATALE) providing covers, GHOSTED, set to debut in July, is a dark supernatural mystery crossed with a classic caper. Expert thief Winters must assemble a completely different kind of team than the one he lost ten years before, made up of ghost hunters and paranormal experts. But the haunted house they enter may be more of a match than they’d bargained for.

“For years my obsession has been to do a book that took place in a haunted house; a crime and horror title, one that was fun but went to some dark edgy places,” said writer Williamson. “‘Gritty’ has become a sort of pop word to describe a certain kind of book but it really is the best way to illustrate Ghosted.”

Williamson isn’t shy about putting his characters’ dark sides on display, either. “One of my favorite things to write are the bad guys. The underbelly of the crime world. Characters that are tortured, and are kind of jerks. Ghosted has plenty of that and has been a blast.”

Williamson spoke about GHOSTED at Comic Book Resources in March, after the title’s announcement at Emerald City Comicon, and at PreviewsWorld. The first issue of the five-issue miniseries is set to go on sale on July 10. It can be pre-ordered now (Diamond Code MAY130405) from the May issue of Previews.

Source: Image Comics Media

REGULAR SHOW #1 SELLS OUT IN 48 HOURS GOES TO SECOND PRINT

May 20th, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – BOOM! Studios is proud to announce that REGULAR SHOW #1, an all-new, all-ages ongoing comic book series based on Cartoon Network’s Emmy® Award-winning series created by J.G. Quintel, has sold out at the distributor level in 48 hours and the publisher had to rush to a second printing. Initial orders for the first issue were the highest of any KaBOOM! series to date.

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Comic book fans should keep in mind first printings of REGULAR SHOW #1, which shipped with six main covers, may still be found at the local comic shop nearest you. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use comicshoplocator.com or findacomicshop.com to find one!

The highly anticipated series is written by web cartoonist K.C. Green (GUNSHOW) and illustrated by newcomer Allison Strejlau. Join Mordecai, a blue jay and Rigby, a raccoon, a couple of best bros in their twenties just tryin’ to chill for a bit, man. But when you’re livin’ in as crazy a world as they are, no day can be called…regular!

REGULAR SHOW #1 second print ships with a luchador-themed cover by Phil Jacobson (UGLY DOLL) with a retail price of $3.99 and is available for order under Diamond Code MAR138354.