Tag Archives: Jeph Loeb

Review: Wolverine #312 – Listen runt!

Review: Wolverine (2010) #312
Story: 8.5/10 • Artwork: 8/10 • Overall 8.25/10

This is a great Wolverine book to pick up if you want to go insane trying to figure out Wolverine’s origin. Jeph Loeb has fun with the character and Sabertooth only says two words in the book. Sorry about the Star Trek jokes.

Written by Jeph Loeb. Illustrated by Simone Bianchi.

Wolverine (2010) #312
• Sabretooth is back – but which one is the real one?
• Where has Sabretooth been and whose side is he on this time?
• The identity of the red-headed woman who came to Wolverine’s rescue is revealed

Follow Matthew Sardo on twitter @comicavult
If you would like to be part of the weekly chat as a guest email Matt at sardo@chicagocomicvault.com

Marvel TV invades Comic-Con

Marvel Television Tuesday afternoon announced that they will premiere footage of “Avengers Assemble” and “Marvel Mash-Up” featuring “Hulk and the Agents of Smash” at Comic-Con this year. The Marvel Television Presents panel is on Saturday, July 14 at 10:30am in Room 6BCF.

Marvel Television Unveils Historic “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” First Look & More At Comic Con International in San Diego!

Next week, Marvel Television returns to Comic Con International in San Diego and they’re coming with the biggest Super Hero television exclusives of the summer! Join Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television, for the Marvel Television Presents panel as he unveils the world premiere first look at Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, the most anticipated new animated super hero series of 2013! Plus, check out an all-new Marvel Mash-Up featuring the Fantastic Four, experience Hulk and The Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and watch a full, all-new episode of Ultimate Spider-Man before it airs on Disney XD! You’ll also learn what’s coming next in the world of Marvel Knights Animation…and it’s astonishing!

Fans attending this panel will also receive one of the limited edition Ultimate Spider-Man button, available only at this panel and while supplies last!

“Marvel Universe on Disney XD has been a huge success thanks to our devoted fans and we want to make sure they get the first look at the future of Marvel Television,” explained Loeb. “And if you’re not a Marvel fan yet, I promise you’ll be one after we’re done showing you all this cool animation!”

The Marvel Television Presents panel is on Saturday, July 14 at 10:30am in Room 6BCF. Please note that no video or audio recording equipment may be used at this panel during any time.

We Want YOU To Join The Marvel ReEvolution! but not retailers

Marvel Comics announced their ReEvolution yesterday at SXSW and as a former retailer the comic book industry now enters very interesting waters.

Marvel announced a new online reader the Marvel AR, the first augmented reality app from a comic book publisher. They also announced the Marvel ReEvolution which is an expanded platform for traditional comic books. This will start with Avenger vs X-Men #1 on April 4th, 2012. Your comic book will come with a bar code for expanded content like extras on a Blu-ray.

“Now fans will have access to more behind-the-scenes material from their favorite Marvel products than ever before—and it’s all absolutely free,” said Peter Phillips (SVP/GM, Marvel Digital Media) in Marvel’s press release, but someone has to pay for the extra content.

The last announcement from Marvel was their Marvel Infinite Comics an all digital line of comics. With the first series Avengers VS X-Men #1 Infinite written by Mark Waid with art by Stuart Immonen to début on April 4th as well. This will be a very interesting test sample for Marvel Comics.

Is this the end of the monthly comic book?

Is this the first step in eliminating retailers?

What other books will go all digital?

Can Marvel make money with all digital content?

We Want YOU To Join The Marvel ReEvolution!
Top Comics Publisher Announces Historic Initiative To Reshape The Comic Industry

New York, NY—March 12, 2012—The Marvel ReEvolution is here—and comics will never be the same! The future of comic book publishing was unveiled yesterday to the raucous crowd at SXSW Interactive’ s ScreenBurn Arcade courtesy of industry superstars Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief, Marvel Comics), Peter Phillips (SVP/GM, Marvel Digital Media) and Jeph Loeb (Head of Marvel Television) during the historic Marvel: House of Ideas panel

An industry first, the Marvel ReEvolution seamlessly brings the worlds of print and digital media together for a comics experience like no other. The first two elements of this exciting new initiative were revealed as Marvel Infinite Comics, a new comic book format, and Marvel AR, the first major augmented reality app from a comics company. And fans will not have to wait long to get in on the action as they will both be released with the hotly-anticipated Avengers X-Men #1 on April 4th, when the two biggest Super Heroes teams in the world go to war!

“Marvel’s always led graphic fiction industry in digital media innovation and the Marvel ReEvolution is a quantum leap into the future of publishing,” said Dan Buckley. Publisher & President of the Print, Animation & Digital Divisions, Marvel Worldwide, Inc. “We see print and digital product as complementary, not competitive—so we’ve made sure that not only do we have new digital content but also digital products that enhance the printed page. The release of Avengers VS X-Men #1, the biggest story we’ve ever told, is the activation point for the re-evolution of comics as a whole.”

Marvel Infinite Comics represent a new form of comic book storytelling, using tablets and smartphones as a new canvas for storytelling, taking advantage of modern technology while staying true to medium’s greatest strengths. The first comic released in this format will be Avengers VS X-Men #1 Infinite, from acclaimed creators Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen and available on April 4th for purchase on the Marvel Comics app, free with the redemption of the code found in print copies of Avengers VS X-Men #1 or included with the purchase of the digital version.

“We call these Marvel Infinite Comics because the storytelling possibilities are, frankly, infinite. Writers and artists now have a whole host of new tools at their disposal to redefine the comic book medium,” said Alonso. “Current tablets and smartphones, along with comiXology’s Guided View technology, allow us to develop new, full length stories for a different medium that are very much truly comics—but experienced by readers in a way no other major company has ever executed.”

The Marvel AR app, powered by Aurasma, will be released in April for iOS and Android devices. By opening this app and scanning select Marvel products featuring the Marvel AR logo, you’ll unlock exclusive content starring the world’s most popular Super Heroes — including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and many others! Go behind the scenes of your favorite comics, see new footage, hear from creators, catch yourself up on past events and more!

“Marvel AR is a perfect example of how digital innovation not only gives added value to print comics, but also brings a delivers an entirely new reading experience,” explained Phillips. “Now fans will have access to more behind-the-scenes material from their favorite Marvel products than ever before—and it’s all absolutely free.”

4 New Covers Avengers Vs. X-Men

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Marvel Comics Thursday released four new Avenger Vs. X-Men tie-in covers coming out in June. The covers include art by Jim Cheung, Ed McGuiness, Alan Davis and Mark Brooks.

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #5
Written by MATT FRACTION
Pencils by JOHN ROMITA JR.
Cover by JIM CHEUNG

AVX: VS #3
Written by JEPH LOEB & CHRIS YOST
Pencils by ED MCGUINNESS & TERRY DODSON
Cover by ED MCGUINNESS

SECRET AVENGERS #28
Written by RICK REMENDER
Pencils by RENATO GUEDES
Cover by ALAN DAVIS

X-MEN LEGACY #268
Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Pencils by RAFA SANDOVAL
Cover by MARK BROOKS

Avenger VS. X-Men cover gallery – 10 covers

Marvel Comics used all day Thursday and Friday releasing all the Avenger VS. X-Men tie-in covers for the month of May. In Avengers #26 Thor returns to his roots with the Walt Simonson cover and interior art.
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AVS: VS #2
Written by KIERON GILLEN & STEVE MCNIVEN
Pencils by SALVADOR LARROCA & STEVE MCNIVEN
Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA
ON SALE THIS MAY

AVENGERS ACADEMY #29 & 30
Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Pencils by TOM GRUMMETT
Covers by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI
ON SALE THIS MAY

NEW AVENGERS #26
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by MIKE DEODATO
ON SALE THIS MAY

AVENGERS #26
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by WALTER SIMONSON
ON SALE THIS MAY

VENGERS: X-SANCTION #3 SECOND PRINTING VARIANT (DEC118178)
Written by JEPH LOEB
Pencils & Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
Rated: T+ …$3.99
FOC – 2/13/12, ON SALE – 3/14/12

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #4
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Pencils by JOHN ROMITA JR.
Colors by LAURA MARTIN
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
ON SALE THIS MAY

X-MEN LEGACY #266
Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Pencils by RAFA SANDOVAL
Cover by MARK BROOKS
ON SALE THIS MAY

UNCANNY X-MEN #12
Written by KIERON GILLEN
Pencils & Cover by GREG LAND
ON SALE THIS MAY

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1 (JAN120638)
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1 SILVESTRI VARIANT (JAN120640)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art by Cover by MARK BAGLEY
Variant Cover by MARC SILVESTRI
Rated T+ …$3.99
FOC – 2/13/12, ON SALE – 3/14/12

SXSW, look out for Marvel Comics


Marvel Comics announced Thursday that they will be at SXSW on March 11th, 2012 to unveil “Marvel’s revolutionary new ways to read comics.” According to Marvel Comics they plan to make SXSW an annual event.

Marvel Entertainment Makes History At SXSW Interactive’s ScreenBurn Arcade in March 2012
Leading Entertainment Company Unveils Groundbreaking New Publishing Initiatives

This Spring, Marvel Entertainment takes Austin, Texas by storm in its inaugural appearance at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival with the Marvel: Digital House of Ideas panel at SXSW ScreenBurn! In this historic event on Sunday, March 11 at 1pm on the IGN stage at the Palmer Events Center, Axel Alonso (Marvel Comics Editor in Chief), Jeph Loeb (Head of Marvel Television) and Peter Phillips (SVP & GM, Marvel Digital Media Group) unveil Marvel’s bold new multimedia plans that includes the premiere of Marvel’s revolutionary new ways to read comics. Not only does this mark the first major appearance by a comic book publisher in SXSW history, but Marvel is coming armed with the big news—and exclusive animation footage—that can’t be missed by any fan in attendance! Best of all, this event is free and open to the public, so everyone can be on hand to see Marvel’s newest innovations.

“Marvel’s always been the industry leader in graphic fiction & digital media and with the announcements we’ve planned, we couldn’t have picked a more appropriate show than SXSW,” said Dan Buckley. Publisher & President of the Print, Animation & Digital Divisions, Marvel Worldwide, Inc. “We’re big believers that both print and digital can work hand-in-hand to bring more readers to comics than ever before—and if you’re at SXSW Interactive you’ll be the first to see just how we’re going to do that.”

Since the launch of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited in 2007, the first major digital comics program in comics history, Marvel has been on the forefront of digital comics publishing with innovations such as the landmark Marvel Comics app in 2010. Since then, Marvel has expanded its digital comics offerings to numerous platforms, while also becoming the first comics company to offer free digital copies with select print issues and comic shop coupons with the purchase of a digital comic.

“We are very excited to have Marvel on board for the ScreenBurn portion of the 2012 SXSW Interactive Festival,” said Hugh Forrest, Director of SXSW Interactive. “The presence of this industry leader is another indicator of the growth and maturation of the event. Marvel’s addition to the SXSW lineup will add even more flavor to the mix of creative energy that fills Austin in March.”

After the Marvel: Digital House of Ideas panel concludes, fans in attendance will receive a limited edition lithograph (while supplies last) and a chance to have it signed by Alonso & Loeb in a special Marvel signing session.

“Marvel’s fans are the best in the world—bar none—and I’m excited to meet more of them at SXSW” said Alonso. “We have exciting new plans that you’ll see implemented with the release of Avengers VS X-Men #1 that’ll take the biggest comics event in history and make it even bigger!”

Stay tuned to www.marvel.com and www.sxswscreenburn.com for more details on the Marvel: Digital House of Ideas panel and Marvel’s plans for SXSW.

5-page preview Simone Bianchi’s Wolverine Revolution

Simone Bianchi released a five-page preview of Wolverine Revolution on his website simonebianchi.com. It was announced at New York Comic Con last year that Jeph Loeb would write the resurrection of Sabertooth with art by Bianchi. There is no release date set for Revolution. Loeb and Bianchi killed Sabertooth off in Wolverine: Evolution back 2007.

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REVIEW: Wolverine #300, or is that Wolverine #3000? Dude’s EVERYWHERE.

Wolverine #300
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Adam Kubert & Paul Mounts [Chapters 1, 4 & 7], Ron Garney & Jason Keith [Chapters 2 & 5], Steve Sanders & Sotocolors [Chapters 3 & 6]

Wolverine #300 doesn’t just mark the return of the series to its original numbering (assuming that’s how Marvel worked this out), it also marks the beginning of Jason Aaron’s final story arc on the book — Wolverine’s return to Japan.

Last issue (Wolverine #20), the stage was set for a war between the Yakuza and the Hand as a result of the Silver Samurai’s death way back in the “Wolverine Goes to Hell” storyline that began in the first issue of this volume of Wolverine.  Wolverine’s well-known for being an X-Man and an Avenger, but his history as a samurai (he’s like 200 years old, you know?) is something that some fans may not be up to speed on.  This super-sized issue, and the story arc in general, seem to be a great primer on that so far.  It features his Japanese love interest, his adopted Japanese daughter, the aforementioned Japanese mafia and ninjas, and the son of the Silver Samurai.

Oh, and Sabretooth is back from the dead.  How this happened has yet to be explained, but if the teasers for next issue (and 2012 in general) are any indication, there will be answers soon.

Overall, this is exactly the kind of story fans of the Ol’ Canucklehead have come to know and love.  It strikes the right balance of ultra-violence and pulp fun — see the in-flight fight between Wolverine and a plane full of ninjas in the opening pages, or Sabretooth with a jetpack, for example — rounded out with smart dialogue and solid writing.  There are really only two or three spots in the book where the story seems to jump around inexplicably (when the Yakuza approach Sabretooth in the Japanese brothel, and when Wolverine and Sabretooth are suddenly in the Hand temple after being in an underground tunnel), but considering the amount of action condensed into this issue, it’s somewhat forgivable.  Although, I did find myself checking to see if my copy was missing pages like a recent issue of Secret Avengers I purchased…

The art remains solid throughout, as well, which is surprising given the three art teams that worked on this issue.  I didn’t even realize three teams of artists worked on this issue until I looked at the credits again afterwords.  It’s almost that seamless, although the Steve Sanders and Sotocolors chapters are noticeably more polished than the others.

Like the main story, the back-up story — which presumably teases the upcoming “Sabretooth Reborn” story by Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi — also left me wanting to see what happens next.

Overall, a solid 300th issue — if it really is the actual issue 300.

STORY: 8.5/10
ART: 8.5/10 

[amazon_link id=”B006U41W4S” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]BUY Wolverine #300 on Amazon[/amazon_link]

AVENGERS: X-SANCTION variant covers, all of them…

Click on images for larger images and slide show!
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Marvel Comics released all the variant cover images of AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #1-4 today. AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #1 will be in you local comic book store on December 14th.

All Star Covers To AVENGERS: X-SANCTION Revealed!

 

Next week, the road to Avengers VS X-Men begins in Avengers X-Sanction #1 from the blockbuster creative team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness! And just in time to witness Cable go head to head against Earth’s Mightiest, three prolific artists who put their stamp on Cable join us for more as Marvel unveils their variant covers toAvengers X: Sanction. Stephen Platt, Ian Churchill & Steve Skroce join Marvel’s CCO, Joe Quesada, superstar artists Ed McGuinness and Leinil Yu on amazing covers for the biggest chapter in Cable’s life!

 

“When Cable came back we knew it had to be big, but I had no idea that we could get superstars STEVE SKROCE and IAN CHURCHILL — who I had a blast working on the monthly Cable comic back in the day – and, making his return to Marvel, STEPHEN PLATT to all do variant covers for AVENGERS X-SANCTION!” exclaimed Loeb.  “This series is a celebration of everything we love about Nathan Summers and it wouldn’t have felt complete without all these guys onboard.”

 

Cable’s actions will send shockwaves throughout the Marvel Universe and with these special variants featuring brawls against each of Earth’s Mightiest, no fan can miss them!

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

4-Page Preview: AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #1

Marvel Comics released a 4-page preview of AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #1 on Thursday claiming this book was the first steps towards Avengers vs. X-Men. I’m sure the time traveling will not get confusing at all. X-Sanction will be in your local comic book store next Wednesday December 14th.

The Top Secret First Step Towards AVENGERS VS X-MEN Is Revealed!

 

The opening salvo in the upcoming war between the Avengers and X-Men is fired in next week’s Avengers: X-Sanction #1 from the chart topping team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness! The time-traveling mutant known as Cable, has returned from the future with 24 hours to save the world…by destroying the Avengers?! What makes Earth’s Mightiest Heroes such a threat to a better tomorrow? Cable’s on a mission to prevent the tragedies that lead to the events of Avengers VS X-Men…and every move he makes irrevocably changes the direction of the Marvel Universe!

 

“On the eve of the biggest Marvel event—maybe ever—Ed McGuinness and I are thrilled to be the lead-in for Avengers VS X-Men,” said Loeb. “Hopefully longtime fans and first time Cable, X-Men and Avengers readers will be excited by a story that can be read entirely on its own — and at the same time has lots of stocking stuffer-esque surprises just in time for the holidays.”

 

It all begins with Cable versus Captain America…and only one will emerge victorious! The Avengers and X-Men are on a collision course…and the first steps towards war are taken in Avengers: X-Sanction #1, available in comic stores and on the Marvel Comics app next Wednesday!

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

Hello Valhalla, it’s Me Thor. Ultimates #4 Review

Note: This review contains a major spoiler, if you haven’t read the issue yet, you probably shouldn’t read this yet. Unless you don’t care about that sort of thing.

Last we left off in the Ultimates, Jonathan Hickman has been picking up the pieces of Jeph Loeb’s mess that he made of Ultimate Thor, in the pages of the Ultimates. Thor who had been left powerless was given a redesigned version of his super soldier armor so that he could go on a suicide mission to stop the rapidly expanding City the Children of Tomorrow had built.

The issue starts off with a bang as Thor teleports directly into the city and begins fighting the Children of Tomorrow as he discovers them doing experiments on Ultimate Captain Britain, who he manages to save. Thor than presses on fighting, and finds himself beaten, only to discover who is the leader of the Children of Tomorrow (Which doesn’t get revealed to us quite yet, but more on that later.)  Thor and Captain Britain get beaten pretty badly, and then the man hallucinated Odin and then all of Valhalla. Where he is told that he actually is Valhalla now. It ends with Thor and Captain Britain getting out alive, and giving Nick Fury, Hawkeye, a debrief, where he reveals to them and us that the man who is the “Creator” of the Children of Tomorrow, Ultimate Reed Richards.

Hickman has been doing a brilliant job cleaning up this mess. I actually am finding myself caring about the Ultimates again. I also am really enjoying the focus on Thor. Sometimes, I feel in the 616 the Norse speaking gets to be too much, and I find myself opting out of the book. I am very intrigued to see what Hickman has up his sleeve, and also stoked to see that Ultimate Reed is back, and what kind of psychotic plans he has for the City and the Ultimates.

Esad Ribic’s art has also been outstanding, his reveal shot of Reed was great, also loved the splash of Thor seeing Valhalla. This one is a must read, for any fan of the Ultimates, Ultimate Thor, and Ultimate FF.

Story 9/10

Art 9/10

Follow Nick on Twitter @nicosandila

Our Underwear #7 – Parker in the front, lurker in the rear.

by John Velousis

Part 1 – How NOT to get to the point

There’s a saying that goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men can sometimes get all fucked up and out of control despite our best intentions, which pave the road to hell with idle hands.” Or something like that, I don’t really read the Bible much. Well, this last fortnight, I found out that saying is totally true!

Dig it: Two mags written by Jeff Parker were released on October 5: Thunderbolts #164 and Hulk #42. I was going to review them in my usual wacko manner, which would involve talking about some other comic book entirely, or no comic books at all, like anybody even cares anyhow, right? My REAL goal was to give Mr. Parker some kudos (or props or big ups or straight real fine azza blintz chummie, depending on your generation) for wrapping up no less than FIVE storylines in Hulk #41. My circumlocutious [scenic-route-taking] plan involved getting TO the plot-wrapping-up thing by talking about how these damn kids nowadays don’t wrap up plots enough, dammit; by way of example, I would have maybe mentioned Brian K. Vaughan’s plotting in Ex-Machina. In case you didn’t read that, what happened is that a guy (who later gets elected Mayor of New York) was given dominion over machines by extra-dimensional entities. The entities wanted they guy to prep our dimension for invasion, but he didn’t want to, even though they kept trying really hard to change his mind. Anyhow, the way Vaughan dealt with those alt-universe assholes when he ended the series is: he didn’t.

Window to the soul
Everybody likes boobs, right? Boobs, package, coupla camel-toes by Amanda Conner

My problem is that art is just too big. Think of every connection and/or comparison between artworks as a tree, okay? Well, trees have lots of branches. If nothing else, what I want to teach people is that trees have a lot of branches. So, I was going to get to Ex-Machina by finally explaining in detail why superhero comics are like Lars von Trier. If you’ve read one of my other columns mentioning this superhero/von Trier shit, you could be forgiven for assuming that I’m just saying something absurd for its own sake. That thing where I said that I once single-handedly beat the shit out of three attacking collies? Never happened. I DO believe that I could win a fight against dogs, but it hasn’t happened yet. But the Lars von Trier comparison IS A REAL THING that truly will see the light of day someday. Well, if daylight was a thing that hit computer screens. So I started writing it, the stream of ideas was supposed to flow kind of like this:
Lars-O-Mania! (Dogme 95 and The Five Obstructions) >< limitations of form/writers’ exercises & improv games (“Okay, folks! We need a profession, a locale, an accent, and a mental illness!”) >< superheroes likewise impose a limitation (talk about Nick Spencer’s device in T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents {“Why did God harden the Pharaoh’s heart?”}) >< necessary maintenance of a perpetual status quo in corporate-owned properties and its effect on story lines >< Vaughan crapping the bed in Ex-Machina >< Parker!

The problem with this strategy, aside from everything about it, is that it requires an endless series of explanations about each element. One cannot just say, “You know how Lars von Trier had the whole Dogme 95thing, then he had his old film teacher remake his favorite film five different ways?” The reason is because you DON’T know (probably), so I would have to tell you! To make a long story short (AS IF!), I had written about 500 words of my Intro To Lars von Trier symposium when I realized that I should probably try a more direct approach. That’s what this is. Obviously.

I'll bone that for a dollar
Erika Moen makes a boner. Moener. Check out Bucko (by her & J.P.) today!

Part 2 – Did Jeff Parker have long hair and favor sleeveless shirts once, or did I just dream that?

Here, then, is the next stab I took at writing about Parker’s work on Hulk and Thunderbolts. It summarizes his career, except it doesn’t get to the point where he starts writing Hulk and Thunderbolts.

Parker Art Tec 806
Art by Jeff Parker from Detective Comics #806. The servant? ALFRED!

Jeff Parker’s career in comics is an odd one. Plenty of the current generation of comics writers had their beginning as writer-artists: Ed Brubaker, Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, Jeff Lemire. Outside the mainstream (represented, as ever, by Marvel and DC), in fact, creators tend to seldom do anything BUT both, artists like Eric Powell, Jeff Smith, David Petersen, the amazing Chris Giarrusso, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and nearly all the major indie auteurs from the previous generation: Daniel Clowes, Peter Bagge, the Hernandez Brothers, Dave Sim, Jeff Smith, Jeff Nicholson, Paul Chadwick, etc.

Brubaker drazzz
From Lowlife #1 by Ed Brubaker. I own every issue of Lowlife, but I don't let it go to my head. Hey, where's his hat?

It’s a lot rarer for a comic book professional to break through as an illustrator and THEN become a writer / artist, or a full-time writer, but when these guys DO make the switch, they seem to be astoundingly good at it. I could cite the example of Tony Daniel if I wanted to make myself look like a complete asshole. The guys who actually PROVE my assertion there are people like the great Mike Mignola (Hellboy and B.P.R.D.), the brilliant Luna Brothers (Ultra, Girls, and their masterpiece to date, The Sword), and the subject of this piece: spelunking Portlander Jeff Parker.

Catwoman 11 from Comic Vine
Catwoman #11 cover by Jeff Parker

Parker’s earliest pro work, as I’ve said, was in illustration. His first listed work in the Comic Book Database was as penciler for a couple of issues of Wonder Woman in 1994 (illustrating for another former Double Threat, Bill Messner-Loebs), inked a piece in Negative Burn #13 – which also had an Alan Moore story which was penciled by Neil Gaiman (WHITRIFUK?), did artwork in many of DC imprint Paradox Press’s “Big Book of…” series – illustrating pieces about important artists such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Burt Reynolds. From 1994 to 2003, only piece of writing cited by the CBDB is a short in Negative Burn #36 entitled “Volt 2000“, which he also penciled and inked, and which was evidently good enough to earn him the right to draw that issue’s cover as well. Then came his original graphic novel, The Interman. (Rating Review Grade Score: 8 / 10 – hell, why not buy it here?)

Parker did EVERYTHING on The Interman. He wrote, penciled, inked, colored, and even LETTERED it! Would-be collaborators can go pound sand as far as The Interman is concerned. It’s a splendid 130-ish page treat of a tale about a genetically engineered man created to adapt. His intended purpose is to be a super-soldier for the military (isn’t everybody’s?), but this flies in the face of his being a pretty nice guy. Parker displays an intuitive grasp of dialogue, plotting, and character – put that shit together and you call it storytelling, kids. My favorite panel in the whole thing has the story’s best joke AND a piece of authentic Greek profanity. This dude even does RESEARCH! Or maybe he just knows a Greek person.

I don't even KNOW 'irella!
More Jeff Parker art, couldn't find the comic's name. Swamp Grundy?

Jeff Parker’s work as an idea man has some distinguishing characteristics – one of the better ones is the amount of thought he puts into through lines. By this I mean character traits, motivations… he’s good at focusing on an action and visualizing its impetus. As an artist, he gets details right. In The Interman, the titular character is made of the genetic material of hundreds of donors. As such, it’s no accident that his look is multiracial, with his predominant look naturally being Asian, as they’re the most populous people. This is a skill that Parker has brought to bear throughout his work, as in the underrated and bravura Fall of the Hulks: Alpha {which has THIS great line of dialog, from big-headed Banner-Hulk foe The Leader: “[Dr.] Doom claims to be beyond base human traits, yet he is nothing but them.”} In FotH:A, Parker shows how a secret cabal of Marvel Universe mad scientists have been influencing [heretofore-unexplained] events in Marvel history behind the scenes, plus he ties all of this together with over 20 issues of Jeph Loeb’s red Hulk comic that, I daresay, did NOT put a ton of thought into character and motivation. This isn’t to say that seeing the whole Marvel U get slapped around is of LESSER artistic merit. Hell, it isn’t like Loeb dedicated his work to glorifying something TRULY worthless, like, oh, say, Smokey and the Bandit. No, what I’m saying is that Parker took this and fleshed it out into something yet greater. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The Interman brought Mr. Parker’s authoring skills some attention. From that point, he began alternating art gigs with writing work. The drawing stuff was all over the place, but the writing work’s main venue was in Marvel’s family friendly Marvel Adventures line, starting with a story in Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #4 called “Goom Got Game.” With titles like “Doom, where’s my car?” (Marvel Adv. Fantastic Four #12) and “Ego, the loving planet” (M.A. Avengers #12), and with plotlines where Spider-Man’s use of the Ultimate Nullifier caused a baseball game with Galactus, Parker’s fun and funny scripts quickly attracted a loyal internet following. Among his fiercest devotees were bloggers such as Chris Sims, the internet’s ne plus ultra of guys-who-like-seeing-face-kicks. Parker’s last illustration-only work was in late 2005’s version of Amazing Fantasy #15. From then on, he would write everything he worked on, occasionally slipping in some drawing duties as well.

President ThingBeard
'Strewth! Hulked Out Heroes #2 (W:J.P. A:Humberto Ramos,Carlos Cuevas,Edgar Delgado)

Most comic book fans are likely conversant with Parker’s career as a writer from this point onward, so I’ll just gloss over the details: In late 2006, he was given writing duties on two new titles for Marvel: X-Men First Class, and Agents of Atlas. Both continued to display a powerful antidote to the overdose of grim ‘n’ gritty that had lain on comics for some time. Atlas, in particular, seemed to be chronicling Parker’s endless wager with himself to keep reaching ever-higher peaks of superhero hijinks. Senselessly, though, it never sold well enough to avoid cancellation, despite multiple jump-starts and crossovers with every Marvel property possible. But Mr. Parker was to seize glory from the jaws of defeat: upon the demise of Atlas‘s last regular series, [TO BE CONTINUED.]

Hulk # 43 comes out this Wednesday, October 19.