Jonathan Hickman Image Expo Interview – Life changing events

The Comic Vault finished off the Image Expo with a stop by our friend Jonathan Hickman.

Hickman talks about how Image changed his life and what he hopes Image Expo becomes in the future. He also gives a plug for “Manhattan Project” and “Secret.”

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Artwork by Ryan Bodenheim

A man gets shot in London, a law firm gets broken into in Washington, an accountant gives away the password to his computer, and something put to sleep 20 years ago awakens. What is the unsavory relationship all these things share, and how could it bring down two of the largest governments in the history of the world?

It’s SECRET, a brand new, ongoing, monthly comic from the creators of A RED MASS FOR MARS.

Brought to you by award-winning writer JONATHAN HICKMAN and break-out talent, RYAN BODENHEIM, SECRET is an espionage thriller that takes a deep look into the shadow world existing between the government and private security firms.

32 Pages/Full Color
Est. Ship Date 4/11/12

Here are the covers to “Manhattan Project” and “Secret.”

Blair Butler Image Expo Interview – Heart #4 and her love of MMA

The Comic Vault was able to catch up with Blair Butler on Sunday morning, the last day of the Image Expo. Butler had a great time talking about the meaning of Image Expo, her book Heart, MMA and her hatred of makers.

Butler works on G4’s “Attack of the Show” and covers comics and mixed martial arts.

Butler takes her passion of comics and MMA to a new height with her comic book Heart. Butler uses her love of MMA to bring fans a book that no one is writing. Notice how she is grateful to the fans that buy a copy of “Heart.” The owner of Golden Apple Comics in Southern California who supplied Heart for her signing throws a few markers at Butler towards the end of the interview.

Butler went on a rant on Saturday, when asked the question “What would you do to survive the Zombie apocalypse?” Here answer was to grab a Toyota Prius and hideout in a Costco until it smell too bad for eating canned beans. In her rant she mention Prius a minimum of 10 times. Just so Toyota knows, Butler is available to be your next spokeswoman.

Heart #4 will be in your local comic book store soon.

Heart #4
Written by Blair Butler.
Illustrated by Kevin Mellon.

Mature Readers
MINISERIES CONCLUSION! It all comes down to this. The shocking outcome of a pivotal fight forces M.M.A. brawler Oren ‘Rooster’ Redmond to reconsider his future inside – and outside – the cage. Don’t miss the conclusion to this violent tale from artist KEVIN MELLON (LOVESTRUCK) and writer BLAIR BUTLER (G4’s ‘Attack of the Show’).

“A Comic Show” – 2.29.2012 (Justice League #6)

There’s not that much out this week cuz its the 5th Wednesday of the month!
BUT we did get in the insanely awesome JUSTICE LEAGUE #6, so its worth your time to go to the comic shop anyway!
We also got in Batman Beyond Unlimited #1, and a bunch of awesome Marvel collections!
Tony Drawfriend stopped by again to give an update on how Dungeons & Doritos #1 is selling and to PLAY WITH HAND PUPPETS?!
Seriously, if you have a comic related prop you want to see in the video, send it to us! We will make it work! Thanks Alex Diaz for making us puppets!- acomicshoptv

A Comic Shop
114 South Semoran Blvd.
Winter Park, FL 32792
p. 407-332-9636

My friend Aaron Haaland owns one of the coolest comic book stores in the world – A Comic Shop! Aaron takes comic book related events to the next level. Check his store out on Facebook!

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

Image Expo recap and photos

Image Expo was February 24th thru the 26th at the Oakland Convention Center just minutes away from the Image Studios in Berkley, CA.

Every Image founder (Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Erik Larsen, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino and Rob Liefeld) gathered for the weekend except Jim Lee but Walking Dead writer Robert Kirkman stepped in Lee’s shoes. DC Comics did not allow Lee to attend the show because of a conflict of interest.

The vibe at Image Expo was a heavy dose of creator owned property. Image Comics has made their publishing company a destination for established writer to publish books that main stream publishers i.e. Marvel and DC Comics would not.

Todd McFarlane and Marc Silvestri encouraged up-and-coming creators to get off their ass and make a creator owned book. Even as a journalist I was extremely motivated by the founders enthusiasm and passion for the industry.

What made this convention special was the intimate setting, because this was Image’s first convention the attendance was low. This gave every guest an opportunity to meet and chat with even the most popular people in the house.

The Comic Vault was able to interview Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Brian K Vaughan and Blair Butler. Every guest seemed relaxed and not bothered, which happens at San Diego Comic Con because of the insane craziness of population.

Image Expo will grow in popularity and size but for the people who attended the first expo their memories will be golden.

Ed Brubaker Image Expo interview – Dennis Leary, noir and tragedy

The Comic Vault was able to catch up with Ed Brubaker on Day 2 of the Image Expo. We were able to get to the origin of why Brubaker is so good at writing noir books. There was an interesting discussion about a Captain Stacy – Dennis Leary comic book at a spin-off from the new Amazing Spider-Man film. Then there was an awkward silence when Brubaker returned a text message. There is a slight reference to the splash-pages of early Image comics and the lack of writing. Brubaker also gave us an update on Captain America and the immediate directions it’s going. One little fun fact is Brubaker can not write in a hotel, he needs to be at home. This explained why he was only at the Image Expo for about 24 hours.

Todd McFarlane Image Expo interview – comics, steroids in baseball, hockey and t-shirts

Saturday morning after an IGN interview Todd McFarlane traveled over from San Francisco for the Image Expo and an interview with the Comic Vault. McFarlane talked about the meaning of the Image Expo, baseball collectibles, steroids in baseball, his favorite football player and his future.

Wait for the random guy who walks in the back ground with a giant Spawn poster.

Marc Silvestri Image Expo interview – Marc brings the heavy about the Image Expo

For our second interview of the day the Comic Vault was able to interview Marc Silvestri in a much quieter area than the McFarlane interview. With his wife Bridget in the room, Silvestri was very candid with the hour plus session of interviews. Silvestri brought the heavy with the meaning of the Image Expo and the purpose of Image Comics. There will be a “Darkness” movie announcement made at the Image Expo this weekend but we have to wait for the announcement (I believe that they will either name a writer or a director for the project).

Silvestri was in story-teller mode with memories of his friend skipping school to go to a Cubs game. You can tell from the following interviews that Silvestri brings a passion to the comic world with his grandiose personality.

Matt’s Image Expo interview schedule: McFarlane, Brubaker, Butler, Vaughan and Silvestri

Image Expo is this week in Oakland and Matt Sardo from the Comic Vault is here to cause a ruckus. Be on the look out for tweets, pictures and videos (follow Matt @comicvault). Here are the interviews that we have currently line-up for the week but Matt will crash a few more interviews as well.

Robert Kirkman and friends are currently chatting it up at the Twelve Bar at the Oakland Convention Center. Let the stalking begin!

10:30 – 10:45AM Todd McFarlane
11:30 – 11:40AM Marc Silvestri
4:15 – 4:30PM Ed Brubaker

11:45 – 12:00PM Blair Butler
2:30 – 2:45PM Brian K Vaughan

Tweet Matt @comicvault with your questions for his guests.

Review: Prophet #22 “You Throw like No Necks and Outsanders.”

Written by: Brandon Graham & Simon Roy
Artist: Simon Roy
Colorist: Richard Ballermann
Letterer: Ed Bisson
Cover: Simon Roy
Publisher: Image

Prophet_22CoverExcuse me while I ramble for a bit, but where the hell did this comic come from? Yes I know it’s a revived Liefeld comic from the 90’s but has it always been about weird sci-fi shit? I thought it was known for having an excessive amount of bullets and detail? People hyped the hell out of #21 and I dismissed like a fool because I’m not a fan of Liefeld properties in general and had too much on my plate. A buddy of mine forced this comic on me and I’m glad he did. It’s my favorite kinds of story: something new and totally unpredictable.

I have no idea what the fuck is going on but here’s what I’ve been able to figure out so far: After a long hibernation John Prophet is released from his underground life-pod to find himself on a distant future Earth. He is on a mission and makes his way across  this wasteland of techno-dessert and tribal insect aliens. He’s fought off mutant wolves, multi-mouth sheep-like creatures and even had sex with some weird alien thing. He uses this blue, glorpy gel thing as a disguise thing or something. Actually I’m not sure what he uses it for but it looks like blue jellyfish cape. Oh yeah, and the planet is thick with insectoid creatures. If the aliens from District 9 had a baby with Dark Crystal creatures they would look something like this. I think the main alien things are called Xiux-Guin. They have 4 eyes, 4 arms, and a mouth at the bottom of their long sinewy necks. Their hands have 3 fingers, and stand on their 4 legs like an awkward cockroach centaur.

In this issue John plods through a graveyard of dead robot giants and burned-out pods and comes across a Taxa caravan, a temporary oasis from the violent world. He finds employment shoveling Cikade which is basically giant alien shit that people use as building material in order to keep swarms of flying insects out. John makes a few enemies with some Xiux-Guin showing them up and throwing knives, even though he throws like “No Necks and Outsanders.” Later, Prophet commits a giant tribal faux-paux and that leads to all sorts of mayhem forcing him to flee from a horde of pissed-off cockroach centaurs. This leads him to discover a long lost human artifact that he can possibly use to escape. All sorts of hell breaks loose.

The story is a survivalist sci-fi mystery mixed with adventure and espionage and is told in a straight forward writing style that’s not overly descriptive but feels dream-like. Everything is alien and foreign to me. If Charles Burns, H.G. Wells and the guys that wrote Aeon-Flux sat down and collaborated on a story you might get something like this. It’s future primitive tale with only one human (so far) struggling against a planet hostile and strange creatures.

prophet-22-9I really love this kind of deep sci-fi, but can sometimes looks terrible (I’m looking at you Land of The Lost). Thankfully that is not the case here. Simon Roy illustrate this brutal future Earth beautifully. He uses a style that blends the best part of Geoff Darrow’s line work with Joe Kubert-like contour shading. My only slight knock against the art is the appendages of the aliens can look a bit clumsy at times.  The proportions seem a bit off and are longer than needed. Perhaps the creatures was designed appear more like tubes than limbs, it just wasn’t the best creative decision. I would have liked to see some tapering towards joints, or bulking up closer to the torso. Basically anything to give it some variation and not look so chunky. However it does appear consistent with the world as the dinosaur-sized  spider-elephants have a similar look. And I wouldn’t change a thing about those beasts! The coloring is close to what Chris Sotomayor did for Planet Hulk, but less on the Photoshop airbrush side of things. He has more of a watercolor approach akin to a printmaker coloring intaglio etchings. I also have to mention the lettering really quick. Ed Brisson uses a unique technique of putting the translation bubbles, straight over the xenomorph hieroglyphic text. It’s visually appealing and I immediately understood what was going on. Point for storytelling, point for originality and point for design.

Prophet really is a strange new world. This book has really grabbed me and I can’t wait to see more. There’s no comic on the shelf like this right now. Everything is unexpected and fresh, with bizarre twists and shocks lurking around every corner. Forget everything about the Liefeld series of the ’90’s. You don’t need any of the backstory to enjoy what is happening here. It’s the perfect place to jump on. Don’t sleep on this book!

Story: 9/10
Art: 8/10

Follow me on twitter and tell me what you think @the_hellhounds


New Wrath of The Titans Trailer Looks Good…Really Good

Seeing this second Trailer I have to admit I’m all in for the sequel. Its nice to see them create something from scratch and at the same time go completely insane with the creatures and character designs. I have a feeling this is going to be a film that surprises a lot of people when it comes out. March 30th needs to get here already. Wrath of the Titans stars Sam Worthington , Liam Neeson , Ralph Fienes , Danny Huston, Bill Nighy , and a ton of monsters.

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Sam Mendes’ First SKYFALL Video-blog (James Bond 007)

The first video blog by director Sam Mendes from the set of the 23rd James Bond movie, “SKYFALL.”

From Wikipedia:

Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film, produced by Eon Productions for MGM, Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment.Directed by Sam Mendes, it features Daniel Craig’s third performance as James Bond and Javier Bardem as the film’s villain. Judi Dench reprises her role as “M” for the seventh consecutive film. Craig has confirmed that the events of the film are not directly related to Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. The film is due to be released in the UK on 26 October 2012, which includes IMAX venues.

Phonogram Creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie Tease possible followup

Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie struck creative gold when they launched their series Phonogram  for Image Comics. The first Series Rue Britania focused on the idea that Music is magic and introduced us to the world of phonomancers. It was highly acclaimed and led to both creators creating a follow-up book titled The Singles Club . Matt Wilson came on to do colors for the series which was a limited run focusing on a wide group of characters some phonomancers, others not who all went to the same club.

Gillen and Mckelvie have since went on to work for Marvel . Gillen working on Journey Into Mystery and Uncanny X-Men while Mckelvie is wrapping up art duties for the  X-Men season 1 Hardcover. The creators had always wanted to continue working on their Phonogram series but it was cut short . Now just before the Image Expo this awesome and simple message has been released giving fans of Phonogram something to smile about.

This just became one of my most anticipated titles of 2012

Obviously there is a direct reference to the title Track from Daft Punk . Gillen has said that the track itself had a lot to do with the inspiration for the series .  What does it all mean ? Maybe its a reference to another Phonogram series, it could be focusing on dance music and electronica . Or are they creating a Daft Punk comic book? At this point what I’m most happy about is that Image is giving these two amazing creators the freedom to blow my mind again. What are your thoughts ?

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on Twitter @pandasandrobots

Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #6 – This casino’s more diverse than the Mos Eisley Cantina

Wolverine and the X-Men #6
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Nick Bradshaw [Pencils]; Walden Wong, Jay Leisten, Norman Lee & Cam Smith [Inks]; and Justin Ponsor & Matt Wilson [Colorists]

The Jean Grey School in financial trouble!  Kitty Pryde infested with millions of microscopic Brood!  That’s where Wolverine and the X-Men #5 left us, and where #6 picks up at.

In an attempt to solve the school’s financial troubles, Wolverine heads off to an intergalactic casino with genius mutant problem child Quentin Quire, a.k.a. Kid Omega.  The plan is to use Quentin Quire’s telepathic and telekinetic abilities to pull off an intergalactic casino con.  How space money works on Earth or why they didn’t just do this on an Earth casino, I’m not sure.  I do know, however, that this plot allowed Nick Bradshaw to draw the most diverse array of aliens in one place outside of the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars.

Regardless of where the casino is, the opportunity to put Wolverine and Quire in a one-on-one situation and continue to play Quire’s rebellious nature off of uber-badass authority figure Logan carries a ton of possibility for interesting situations, and Jason Aaron doesn’t waste the opportunity.  The payoff is great and keeps this the most “fun” of the X-books.

Meanwhile, Kitty’s situation becomes more dire as there are too many Brood inside of her for Beast and his team to handle.  To make matters worse, the S.W.O.R.D. Paramedic team is taken out by the mysterious alien guy from the previous issue.  Who this guy is remains a mystery, as well as why he keeps regular-sized Brood on a leash and what exactly he has to do with Kitty’s infestation, but he does have sinister intentions for Broo, the Jean Grey School’s Brood student.  (By the way, I’m still not sure how he ended up at the school.  He was just kind of there when the book started.  Anyone want to fill me in?)

Anyways, Aaron keeps this issue fast-paced and ends it with a couple of cliffhangers.  The highlight of the issue, at least for me, is hands-down integrating Krakoa in as a sort of external security system for the school. It would be easy to just ignore the living mass of land after the first story arc, but Aaron’s doing a good job of giving everyone face time when it makes sense to.  On a final note, I’m not sure why this issue had four inkers and two colorists, but the important thing is that I couldn’t tell otherwise when reading it.

Go ahead and pick this one up, along with issue #5 so you’re not just jumping into the middle of the story.

STORY: 9/10
ART: 9/10 

Review: Howard Lovecraft and The Undersea Kingdom – C’thulhu for Kids

Written by: Bruce Brown & Dwight L MacPherson
Art by: Thomas Boatwright
Letters: E.T. Dollman
Cover: Erik Fokkens
Publisher: Arcana

HowardLovecraftUnderseaWhat if Inspector Gadget was written by H.P. Lovecraft? What if Calvin and Hobbes was Howard and C’thulhu? Well you’d get something akin to this book. It’s really kind of pastiche of both. This is a follow-up to 2009’s Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom a 71 page Graphic Novelette containing an all-ages H.P. Lovecraft type story. I’m assuming you all know what kind of story Lovecraft spun back in his day. Tales of elder gods, the horror of space and time, ancient cults, men turning into fish creatures, and mountains of madness. You know, kid stuff. When all is said and done I’m actually surprised how well this reinvention of Lovecraft lore works. It’s the kind of story you can let a pre-teen read and have fun with and not drive him to brink of sanity. More importantly you can read it and enjoy it yourself as it’s not dumbed down with fart jokes or demon slapstick.

“Howard Lovecraft’s family has been imprisoned on a far-flung alien planet, Spot hopelessly captured, and he is slowly becoming a mindless Fishman. Accompanied by his insane father, a pistol-packing constable, and his hungry cat, they must face the all-powerful ruler of the Outer Gods, a revengeful old enemy, an army of deadly monsters, and a lethal world called Yuggoth, to save the day. All Howard has to do is surrender his father’s Book. But that would mean certain doom for all of mankind!” – synopsis via Comixology.
Story-wise this plot is a bit slippery. Brown and MacPherson kind of throw you off in the deep end and see if you can make heads or tails of the mystery un-folding. I didn’t read the first book in the series, so perhaps that would have helped me with the set-up. I have to admit I floundered for a bit and didn’t really grasp what was happening until the end of Chapter 2 where Howard flat-out spells it out: “King Abdul took our family and House to his Undersea Kingdom and won’t let them go until I give him the book.” The cutting between different worlds threw me for a bit at first as well. I didn’t understand if C’thulhu’s (aka Spot) world was imaginary or a world inside the book Howard was reading or what. The power and importance of the book is never really explained. I’m assuming it’s the Necromonicon and it’s very powerful, but as a new reader to the series it was left open-ended. The stakes would be higher if it was explained how the world would shatter if the ruler of the Outer Gods got ahold of this thing.
That aside I really did enjoy the characters and their interactions while all this plot was unraveling. Once the story draws you in its easy to lose yourself in this world. Spot is an awesome sidekick for Howard, and is able to send an astral projection to Howard’s world when he sleeps like from the Lovecraft line “In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”He fends off all kinds of Shoggoth’s and horrors along the way. The constable is a lovable ol’ cook as well. Kind of like Tackleberry from Police Academy but with a sense of humor and a cat. He kills all kinds of nasty demons along the way and really flexes the whole gung-ho protector trope. Which is probably a good thing since Howard himself is a bit of a scaredy cat and needs all the help he can get. I usually get annoyed with leads like this, but the writers were sensible enough to make him a balanced character. Yes, he is quick to panic and freak out, but deep down the kid has some guts and chutzpah and pulls it together when it really counts. And I didn’t find myself wishing for his death, so that’s a good thing. He’s enough of a spitfire that you want to see him succeed. The dad is a dangerous nutter and you can see why he was put in a sanitarium. He makes the journey edgy and you can never really trust him. I like that it really flips the typical family dynamic on its head. You definitely cannot trust the parents in this and that is something younger kids will easily relate to. I know I did.
Calvin and Hobbes, Ed, Edd n Eddy, Bloom County, and Fractured Fairytales; this is the kind of cartooning vein that Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom draws from. It’s a loose but confident brush style that looks like it could be in syndication at national newspaper. The watercolor background are kind mushy and vague. Sponges and brush sprays help work up the texture, giving the panels a bit of depth. When it works best, there’s lots of trees and mist conjuring a dark vibe suitable for elder gods. Sometimes it all gets a bit too soft and muddy for my tastes, but overall it’s not distracting and fits the tone of the narrative. It’s an odd color palette with lot’s subtle purples used for flesh shadows, bright neon-green glowing eyes and cyan knock-outs for the spectral astral projections of Spot. I especially love how the Shoggoths are rendered as black amorphous columns of tentacles with bright red membranes cracking through. Royal blue speckles pepper the appendages and represent the leathery texture of skin and the odd suction cup. These bold stylizations are a nice touch and look really fresh and modern. It’s a welcome counter balance to Boatwright’s whimsical drawing style. Overall the lighthearted art feels right for this book and does the Lovecraft Mythos justice.

Kids are going to love this book because it’s about one of them, and there’s all sort of cool monsters and trouble going on. The adult reading this to them will get a kick out of all the eldritch Lovecraftian references (like when one Howard starts growing gills and fins ala’ one of the “Deep Ones” from The Shadow Over Innsmouth). When my nephew gets a bit older you can be sure I’m going to read this to him. The best part is I won’t have to feel guilty about him being too scared to sleep, because while it’s chock full of Lovecraftian trimmings, ultimately it’s light on the horror and heavy on adventure. That’s exactly what this sort of thing should be. I predict this doing really well. In fact, I can totally see this being pitched to Nickelodeon or the Cartoon Network for a series. Howard Lovecraft and The Undersea Kingdom is currently available on Comixology, and will hit the comic shops, Amazon and bookstores on March 21st 2012.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Follow me on twitter and tell me what you think @the_hellhounds

Review: Uncanny X-Force #22 – Who is Weapon III?

Uncanny X-Force #22
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Greg Tocchini and Dean White [Color Art]

The pace picks back up in the third part of Rick Remender’s Otherworld odyssey as Psylocke continues her efforts to help Fantomex escape from her brothers in the Captain Britain Corps and Nightcrawler convinces Wolverine that X-Force should help the people of Otherworld fight back against the realm’s demonic invaders.

In case you’ve been out of the loop, Otherworld is a realm that serves as an in-between spot for all of the realities in the Marvel Multiverse.  Basically, that means it has all of the doorways to the mainstream Marvel Universe (i.e. Earth-616), the Ultimate Universe, the 2099 Universe, the Age of Apocalypse, the Negative Zone, etc.

Otherworld itself is something out of a Tolkien book, with dragons, castles, and sorcery.  It’s also home to the Captain Britain Corps, who see fit to punish individuals from any reality for whatever crimes they feel they should intervene in.

(Clearly, they miss a lot of them because a TON of villains are still alive, but stay with me here.)

X-Force ended up here in issue #20 after the Corps abducted Fantomex and Psylocke in the middle of the night.  They put Fantomex on trial for the assassination of the child clone of Apocalypse and sentenced him to being removed from existence.  Psylocke, however, rescued Fantomex, as the two have been involved in an increasingly complex game of cat and mouse.

Remender throws in a conversation between the two in this issue to add further confusion to where exactly Fantomex stands in the situation, and also to underscore how well Fantomex can manipulate others.  It’s an excellent character trait to draw attention to.  After all, this is a guy whose power set includes misdirection–the ability to distract others with a realistic illusion.

Unfortunately, Psylocke and Fantomex’s escape is cut short by the Skinless Man, who we find out is Weapon III and has a long history with Fantomex, a.k.a. Weapon XIII.  He’s given a sensible enough reason for being in Otherworld, and it ultimately makes even more sense that Remender continues to explore and add to the story of the Weapon Plus program given that three members of X-Force–Wolverine, Deadpool, and Fantomex–were all involved in it in some way or another.

As all of this plot is unfolding, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Deadpool are taking refuge in a village on the verge of being besieged by the hordes of a demonic goat.  Nightcrawler, who is seemingly coming around to his new teammates after leaving behind his own X-Men in the Age of Apocalypse, convinces Wolverine that they should fight to help the people of Otherworld before finding their friends.

This change in attitude for AoA Nightcrawler draws the first big parallel between him and his deceased Earth-616 counterpart since the differences between the two were highlighted two issues ago.  It really adds additional layers to a familiar character who isn’t really the character fans are ultimately familiar with, reminding them that while he is different due to the state of his home universe, Kurt Wagner is still Kurt Wagner at the end of the day.

Plus, it leads to a fun exchange about narcissistic personality disorder between Wolverine and Deadpool as they head off to kill the demonic goat monk thing attacking Otherworld.

Overall, another great issue in Remender’s run.  If you’re new to X-Force, I’d recommend starting a little further back in the series, but this storyline is fun and just different enough from earlier stories to keep things interesting without veering too far into left field.

And I promise I’ll never make another poor sports analogy as long as I’m writing reviews.

STORY: 8/10
ART: 8.5/10 

Review: Deadpool #51 – A “Make-Believe” Gang War

Deadpool #51
Writer: Daniel Way
Art: Ale Garza, Sean Parsons [Inker], Dommo Sanchez Amara [Colorist]

Deadpool’s elaborate game of chess–a game he doesn’t really know how to play–keeps getting weirder and more out of control as his quest for death continues.

You see, Wade found out that there was a serum capable of negating his healing factor and allowing him to die, so he enlisted the help of his X-Force teammates to help him find it.  To do so, he convinced them that the Kingpin had it.  Meanwhile, he had his friend HYDRA Bob tell the Kingpin about the serum, which of course led to the Kingpin sending his agent Typhoid Mary and the ninjas of the Hand to find it.  Unbeknownst to anyone else, Deadpool also told Wolverine’s son, Daken, about the serum, causing Daken to go out looking for it for his own reasons.

Meanwhile, nobody realizes that Tombstone, fresh out of prison, had the serum made so he could get revenge on Deadpool for putting him there in the first place.

Of course, with X-Force gunning for the Kingpin and Kingpin sending his henchmen to find the serum, the two factions are bound to collide, and the issue opens with a fight that includes a beautiful sequence of Wolverine and Typhoid Mary plummeting from the side of an apartment building.

Of course, having a brawl like this in the middle of New York City is undoubtedly going to attract some unwanted attention from other hero types (keep in mind here that X-Force is supposed to remain a secret), so Deadpool covers their tracks the following day by initiating a “make-believe gang war.”  What he doesn’t account for is that Kingpin and Tombstone would be in contact with one another, or that Daken would figure out that Tombstone had the formula, which is sure to set up the type of shameful disaster that Wade is all too familiar with being a part of.

Overall, this issue maintains the pace of the last one while adding even more layers to the story.  After 51 issues, I’m still amazed that Daniel Way has maintained the level of consistency that he has on this book.  Especially notable are the exchange between Deadpool and Wolverine following Deadpool’s provocation of the gang war, and the interplay between Kingpin and Tombstone once they begin to catch on to what’s happening.  The fact that you can tell Way enjoys what he does makes reading Deadpool that much more enjoyable.  The switch in artists from Carlo Barberi to Ale Garza is somewhat noticeable, but not distracting, as the art still possesses a similar flow and overall style.

If you haven’t checked out the first part of this story in #50, go ahead and pick up both issues.  This is shaping up to be one of the best arcs in the series.

STORY: 9/10
ART: 9/10 

“A Comic Show” – 2.21.2012 (Megacon recap)

This week I recap Megacon and talk about the new hotness in comics! Aquaman, Secret Avengers, X-Force, Wolverine and the X-Men, Prophet, and Superior all rocked!

The biggest deal book for us was DUNGEONS & DORITOS #1 by our very own fallen brony, TRIFORCE MIKE PANDEL! And I have one of Mike’s best friends and the artist of his book Tony Baldini! Watch it, and if you’re not local you can buy it from – acomicshoptv

A Comic Shop
114 South Semoran Blvd.
Winter Park, FL 32792
p. 407-332-9636

My friend Aaron Haaland owns one of the coolest comic book stores in the world – A Comic Shop! Aaron takes comic book related events to the next level. Check his store out on Facebook!

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

Jim Lee goes to the Darkseid: Justice League #6 cover

DC Comics Tuesday morning released the Jim Lee cover to Justice League #6 written by Geoff Johns. Justice League #6 will be in your local comic book store on February 29th, 2012.

Justice League (2011) #6
Written by Geoff Johns.
Illustrated by Jim Lee.

The Justice League is united at last against Darkseid! The awesome consequences of this high-stakes battle will resonate within the series for years to come! Geoff Johns and Jim Lee end their historic first arc with a bang!

5-page preview: Secret Avengers #23 – Death? & Venom

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Secret Avengers #23 will be in your local comic book store this Wednesday but we have a five-page sneak peek for you. Secret Avengers #23 marks the starting point for writer Rick Remender and his side-kick in the art department Gabriel Hardman. It appears that Venom will join the team and someone will me there maker! This looks like an action pack issue. Are you excited?

Secret Avengers #23
• Who are The Descendants? • In this issue an Avenger will die to find out! • JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH TO FIND THE ONE THEY CALL ‘FATHER’!

“Game of Thrones” Season 2 sneak peek

With “Game of Thrones” Season 2 quickly approaching, HBO has released a featurette of the upcoming season with the title “Working As An Extra.” “Game of Thrones” Season 2 will air on HBO on April 1st, 2012.

From HBO:

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all will play the ‘Game of Thrones.’

A new original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series. Winter is coming soon to HBO.