20 Oct

C.C. Show Notes Ep. 41

community

For the week of February 16th 2015.

Podcast RSS

· This Week’s Comic News:

No news this week as we discuss the All-New Marvel #1 issues from the last two weeks.

Marvel #1 issues from October 7th:
(Marvel.com)

All New All Different Point One #1 (Marvel)
Writer: Various,
Artist: Various,
Cover Artist: Mundo, Mike Del
In the aftermath of SECRET WARS, it’s an All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe, and this is your one-stop entry point to the changes and mysteries that have developed during the eight months that have passed! Featuring new stories of DAREDEVIL, CARNAGE, CLASSFIED, CLASSIFIED, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. and CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS!

Contest of Champions #1 (Marvel)
Writer: Ewing, Al
Artist: Medina, Paco
Cover Artist: Medina, Paco
Welcome to the BATTLEREALM–a broken section of space-time where cosmic beings gamble for the ultimate power while their unwilling pawns fight for their lives and a chance to return back to Earth. Who will survive… THE CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS?

Avengers #0 (Marvel)
Writer: Various,
Artist: Various,
Cover Artist: Rocafort, Kenneth
The kickoff to the All-New AVENGERS line begins here, with new stories of the ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS, SQUADRON SUPREME, A-FORCE, NEW AVENGERS, ULTIMATES and UNCANNY AVENGERS! Someone is carefully studying the movements of the Avengers and those in their orbit-but do they mean to harm, or help? Find out the first clues in this special launch issue!

Invincible Iron Man #1 (Marvel)
Writer: Various,
Artist: Various,
To be revealed.

Doctor Strange #1 (Marvel)
Writer: Aaron, Jason
Artist: Bachalo, Chris
Cover Artist: Bachalo, Chris
Who do you call when things are coming out of your dreams and trying to kill you? Or when your daughter is cursing in Latin and walking like a spider? Or when your dog keeps screaming at you to strangle your neighbors? Doctor Strange, of course. He’s the only person standing between us and the forces of darkness, but has he been paying his tab? Every act of magic has a cost and Jason Aaron (THOR, ORIGINAL SIN) and Chris Bachalo (UNCANNY X-MEN) are going to put Stephen Strange through hell to even the scales.

Marvel #1 issues from October 14th:
(Marvel.com)

Captain America Sam Wilson #1 (Marvel)
Writer: Spencer, Nick
Artist: Acuna, Daniel
When Steve Rogers was restored to his natural age, he chose one of his closest and most trusted allies to take up his shield. Now Sam Wilson, formerly the Avenger known as Falcon, carries on the fight for liberty and justice as the all-new, all-different Captain America!

New Avengers #1 (Marvel)
Writer: Ewing, Al
Artist: Sandoval, Gerardo
Cover Artist: Sandoval, Gerardo
EVERYTHING IS NEW. In the wake of SECRET WARS, the old order changeth – and Bobby DaCosta, Sunspot, is just the man to changeth it. Welcome to AVENGERS IDEA MECHANICS – a super-scientific global rescue squad of tomorrow’s heroes… today! America doesn’t want them! S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t know what to do with them! But Earth might not survive without… the NEW AVENGERS!

Uncanny Avengers #1 (Marvel)
Writer: Duggan, Gerry
Artist: Stegman, Ryan
Cover Artist: Stegman, Ryan
New team, same mission. Steve Rogers has formed a new Avengers unity squad compromised of humans, mutants and…Inhumans? A new threat to the Avengers is revealed. Wait, is that Deadpool on the cover? Is he seriously an Avenger now?

Comics Worth Reading:

DC Comics: Bombshells  #3(DC)
Writer: Bennett, Marguerite
Artist: Sauvage, Marguerite
Cover Artist: Lucia, Ant
A dark ritual is performed in a German cabaret, and a supernatural servant is brought forth to serve the Reich- has Zatanna been manipulated by The Joker’s Daughter? Plus, Batwoman leaves Gotham City, and Amanda Waller introduces her to an unearthly ally. And Wonder Woman gets into combat as she joins Mera on the European war front.

Harrow County #6 (Dark Horse)
Writer: Bunn, Cullen
Artist: Crook, Tyler
Cover Artist: Crook, Tyler
It’s said that everyone has an evil twin-and in Emmy’s case that may be true! But if Kammi is evil, she’s also charming, clever, and sweet, and she could lure Emmy down a dark and dangerous path-one that leads ever closer to fulfilling the legacy of the long-dead witch Hester Beck!

Star Trek/Green Lantern #4 of 6 (DC/IDW)
Writer: Johnson, Mike
Artist: Hernandez, Angel
Cover Artist: Laming, Marc
The crossover event of 2015 continues here, as Starfleet and the Green Lantern Corps team up in the middle of a ring-powered galactic war! The evil Nekron has arrived in the Star Trek universe… with his eye on resurrecting the planet Vulcan itself! Don’t miss out on the latest chapter of this franchise-spanning epic!

Rebels #7 (Dark Horse)
Writer: Wood, Brian
Artist: Woodson, Matthew
Cover Artist: Lotay, Tula
A standalone one-shot story featuring the lush artwork of Matthew Woodson (Northlanders, Meathaus), this issue takes the American folktale of Molly Pitcher and brings to it fresh relevance as a poignant commentary on the subjects of veterans’ rights and women in combat. Not to be missed.

Topic of the Week:

Spooky Comics: Come prepared to discuss your favorite scary, spooky, or halloween inspired comics.

  • Aliens: Labyrinth » 4 issues, VOLUME » Published by Dark Horse Comics. 1993.  One of the creepiest, most disturbing, and most influential Aliens stories of all time.
  • Several Aliens books and movies borrow scenes and concepts from this story, including the recent Prometheus movie.
  • Issue #3 describes the events from his youth that cause Dr. Church to become an expert on Xenomorph behavior. The story is chilling and tense from beginning to end

This Month’s Highlights:

Where we each callout the 1 or 2 books we’re most looking forward to. Also –any key #1’s or good jumping on points?

*Your Pull List for October 21, 2015

Black Canary #5(DC)
Writer: Fletcher, Brendan
Artist: Guerra, Pia
Cover Artist: Wu, Annie
The secrets of Ditto’s bizarre abilities come to light-and Dinah and her newfound nemesis Bo Maeve come face to face! It’s not gonna be pretty

Star Wars FASE #4 of 4 (Marvel)
Writer: Rucka, Greg
Artist: Checchetto, Marco
Cover Artist: Checchetto, Marco
* Concluding the first new-canon comic tale set between episodes VI and VII! * As the Empire Shatters around them, Rebel heroes fight for a better tomorrow! * Greg Rucka (Punisher, Cyclops, Wolverine) and Marco Checchetto (Punisher, Avengers World) take us into the more recent long, long time ago!

Empty Zone #5 (Image)
Writer: Alexander, Jason Shawn
Artist: Alexander, Jason Shawn
Cover Artist: Alexander, Jason Shawn
We learn Corinne’s dark secret and everything crashes down in pure destruction as she takes on a gang of thugs that are half-animal.

Cognetic #1 (BOOM!)
Writer: TynionIV, James
Artist: Donovan, Eryk
Cover Artist: Donovan, Eryk
What’s to Love: The creative team behind the award-nominated Memetic are back with another apocalyptic tale! In Cognetic, Tynion and Donovan offer a look at the fundamentally human desire for control-that deep-seated belief we all feel in our darkest moments that if we had total, absolute power, we would be able to create a perfect world. What It Is: Every human believes that they are self-reliant, self-determined individuals, each set on their own course. They’ve built civilizations, they’ve built culture, they’ve built lives… But what if that isn’t the right track? What if there is a singular mind ready to take back control and finally right the destiny of mankind and build a better tomorrow? Cognetic is the story of a powerful psychic being that once controlled one-third of the world’s population as a part of its hivemind, and his return to humanity in modern-day New York City. It’s a psychic action thriller, precariously positioned on the edge of outright apocalypse. It’s also the story of a young woman, the assistant to the director of the FBI, who might be the only one who can save humanity, but at a terrible, terrible cost. Each issue in this miniseries is oversized with 48 pages!

Steam Man #1 of 5 (Dark Horse)
Writer: Miller, Mark Alan
Artist: Kowalski, Piotr
Cover Artist: Kowalski, Piotr
The Old West, but not as we know it. Giant steam-powered robots are created to take down invading Martians and armies of killer albino apes in an all-out brawl. The Steam Man, a giant metal man operated by a team of monster hunters, seems to have the town protected and the West under control, until a crazed and powerful vampire comes to town to bring forth the apocalypse!

*Your Pull List for Oct 28, 2015

Art Ops #1 (Vertigo)
Writer: Simon, Shaun
Artist: Allred, Michael
Cover Artist: Allred, Michael
In this new series by Shaun Simon, co-writer (with Gerard Way) of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, and legendary artist Michael Allred (iZOMBIE), art not only imitates life, it becomes it! When rogue figures from famous works of art come to life and escape their frames, it’s up to Reggie Riot and the agents of Art Operatives to track them down before they wreak havoc on the unsuspecting public. But Reggie has secrets of his own that may affect his ability to interact with these living works of art—and he wants no part in the agency his mother ran before him. Pop culture will never be the same.

Black Magick #1 (Image)
Writer: Rucka, Greg
Artist: Scott, Nicola
Cover Artist: Scott, Nicola
The hammer falls this Halloween! From New York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning writer GREG RUCKA (LAZARUS, Stumptown, Gotham Central) and superstar artist NICOLA SCOTT (Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Earth 2)! Detective Rowan Black works robbery/homicide for the Portsmouth PD, but her greatest mystery is the truth about herself

Gotham By Midnight #10 (DC)
Writer: Fawkes, Ray
Artist: Ferreyra, Juan
Cover Artist: Sienkiewicz, Bill
After the shocking ending of the Internal Affairs investigation into the Midnight Shift, Drake and Corrigan find themselves on the run from the GCPD! Can Corrigan face The Spectre once and for all in order to save Drake

Love Vol. 2: The Fox HC (Magnetic Press)
Written by Frédéric Brrémaud / Illustrated by Federico Bertolucci
It’s not easy being one of the smaller predators in the woods, competing with an entire woodland population for scraps along the food chain. But when nature throws cataclysmic weather into the mix, it becomes a race for survival – and love. Follow an agile, intrepid fox through a day’s journey through the woods in this beautiful all-ages title that explores genuine natural behavior through the dramatic lens of Disney-esque storytelling, like a nature documentary in lavish, wordless illustration.

· Panelist Goodbye:

You can find me at zebunation.com. Also at Trollthedice.com

 

 

 

13 Oct

Previews -October 2015

949

 

Comics.Community PREVIEWS Worksheet for October Previews.

Here are my picks for the show that never was in October:
Dark Horse
#1’s
1. Alabaster the Good the Bad & the Bird #1 (Dec 9th)
alabasterWriter: Kiernan, Caitlin R.
Artist: Warren Johnson, Daniel
Cover Artist: Ruth, Greg
A new evil haunts the sun-scorched back roads and ghost towns of the American South-murderous twins who command a legion of ghouls. Once again, Dancy Flammarion must face down demons: both those who walk the world unchallenged and those in her own shattered mind.

Returning
1. Rebels #9 (Dec 9th)
rebelsWriter: Wood, Brian
Artist: Mutti, Andrea
Cover Artist: Lotay, Tula
Before the Revolutionary War, across the Ohio River Valley, numerous forts were built to claim and hold valuable territory. Meet Stone Hoof, a young Native American who falls in with a crew of white settlers during the French and Indian War.

2. Harrow County #8 (Dec 9th)
harrowWriter: Bunn, Cullen
Artist: Crook, Tyler
Cover Artist: Crook, Tyler
Kammi has rallied the forsaken haints to her dark cause. Now Emmy may have to make a profound sacrifice if she hopes to protect her kith and kin at the heart of Harrow County.

OGN
Sherlock Holmes Crime Alleys HC (Feb 3rd)
ripperWriter: Cordurie, Sylvain
Artist: Nespolino, Alessandro
Cover Artist: Toulhoat, Ronan
When members of England’s literati begin disappearing without ransom or a trace, Sherlock Holmes springs into action! But the mastermind behind the abductions may prove too cunning even for the great detective!
DC Comics
#1’s
1. Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 of 6 (Dec 9th)
BMTMNTWriter: TynionIV, James
Artist: Williams II, Freddie
Cover Artist: Williams II, Freddie
DC Comics and IDW team up for the crossover you never saw coming as two of the greatest entertainment icons meet for the first time! In Gotham City, a series of deadly raids leads Batman to believe he’s up against a group of highly trained ninjas known as the Foot Clan! Somehow, they’ve crossed over to another dimension and are determined to take advantage of the situation while looking to get back home. But they haven’t come alone: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo are hot on their trail. Get ready for excitement as heroes and villains from both worlds clash and team up in an epic battle that threatens the very fabric of reality!

Returning
1. Dark Knight III Master Race #2 of 8 (Dec 23rd)
DK3Writer: Miller, Frank
Artist: Kubert, Andy
Cover Artist: Kubert, Andy
The unexpected finale to the Dark Knight saga continues as Carrie Kelly gets caught…that is, she finds herself…she gets into-well, you’re just going to have to read it yourself.

 

2. Black Canary (2015-) #7 (Dec 16th)
canaryWriter: Fletcher, Brendan
Artist: Wu, Annie
Cover Artist: Wu, Annie
It’s the deafening finale of the band’s debut tour! Dinah will have to scream louder than she ever has before

 

3. Gotham By Midnight #12 (Dec 23rd)
gothamWriter: Fawkes, Ray
Artist: Ferreyra, Juan
Cover Artist: Sienkiewicz, Bill
The final battle for the soul of Gotham City begins, and The Spectre might be facing more than just the ancient spirit called Ikkondrid. What will Corrigan and the Midnight Shift do if they discover that The Spectre is on the wrong side of this fight after all?
IDW Publishing
#1’s
1. Judge Dredd (ongoing) #1 (Dec 16th)
dreddWriter: Farinas, Ulises
Artist: McDaid, Dan
Cover Artist: Farinas, Ulises
‘Mega-City Zero,’ part 1! Ushering in a brave new era, Judge Dredd awakens to find that Mega-City One has been sent back to the Stone Age, with city blocks overgrown and nary a citizen to be found. Witness as Dredd struggles to unravel the mystery as he copes with being just an ordinary Joe…

2. X-files X-mas Special Special #1 (Dec 23rd)
Writer: Harris, Joe
Artist: Smith, Matthew Dow
Cover Artist: Menton3,
Special Season 11 tie-in! Just in time for the holiday season, the Lone Gunmen learn of the impending arrival of some unwelcome visitors. But before they can raise the alarm, they receive some other unexpected guests…

Returning
1. Star Trek/Green Lantern #6 of 6 (Dec 9th)
STGLWriter: Johnson, Mike
Artist: Hernandez, Angel
Cover Artist: Mooney, Stephen
It’s the final chapter of the crossover event of 2015! The dead have risen. Heroes have fallen. The last survivors of Starfleet and the Lantern Corps join together to fight the greatest threat the galaxy has ever known. Who will be left standing? Don’t miss the shocking events that will change the future of both franchises forever!

2. Sherlock Holmes: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution #5 of 5 (Dec 2nd)
sevenpercentWriter: Tipton, Scott
Artist: Joseph, Ron
Cover Artist: Jones, Kelley
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution comes to an action-packed conclusion as Holmes, Watson and Freud race to prevent a world war, and Holmes’ darkest secret is revealed!

 

Image Comics
#1’s
1. Image 1sts -Reprints- for $1. (Dec 2nd)
Bitch Planet, Descender, ODY-C, Wayward,

Returning
1. Monstress #2 MR (Dec 2nd)
monstressWriter: Liu, Marjorie M.
Artist: Takeda, Sana
Cover Artist: Takeda, Sana
Maika fights to cross the wall.

 

 

2. Faster Than Light #4 (Dec 9th)
fasterthanlightWriter: Haberlin, Brian
Artist: Haberlin, Brian
Cover Artist: Haberlin, Brian
AUGMENTED REALITY ENHANCED Meet The Neighbors. What happens when you meet a highly advanced species to form a new alliance BUT you can’t even stand to look at them? Also, Forest must root out the truth when a collection of space vagabonds try to sell him their home planet.

3. Head Lopper #2 (Dec 9th)
lopperWriter: MacLean, Andrew
Artist: MacLean, Andrew
Cover Artist: MacLean, Andrew
Norgal and Agatha pass through a dark forest with a particularly grim history, where they meet a strange little creature named Gnym. Is he a friend? Or does he just want to see undead giants squish the Head Lopper to meat-jelly? All this… And more! MAJOR PLOT POINT Villain, Servin Lulach’s origin story is introduced.

OGN
Manhattan Projects Vol. 6 TP (Dec 16th)
Writer: Hickman, Jonathan
Artist: Pitarra, Nick
Cover Artist: Pitarra, Nick
The sixth volume of the award-winning Manhattan Projects. The Sun Beyond the Stars. Collects THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #1-4

Collection
Empty Zone Vol. 1: Conversations With the Dead TP MR (Dec 16th)
emptyzoneWriter: Alexander, Jason Shawn
Artist: Alexander, Jason Shawn
Cover Artist: Alexander, Jason Shawn
Collects EMPTY ZONE #1-5

 

 

Marvel Comics
#1’s
1. A-force #1 (Dec 16th)
aforceWriter: Wilson, G. Willow
Artist: Molina, Jorge
Cover Artist: TBD,
A-FORCE, ASSEMBLE! From the ashes of Battleworld, Marvel’s newest hero SINGULARITY has risen and entered the Marvel Universe. But she didn’t make the journey alone. To combat the most fearsome threats from across the multiverse, Singularity will summon the world’s mightiest team of Avengers to her side: SHE-HULK. CAPTAIN MARVEL. DAZZLER. MEDUSA. NICO MINORU. Together, they are A FORCE to be reckoned with! Rated T+

2. Daredevil (2014-) #1 (Dec 2nd)
Writer: Soule, Charles
Artist: Garney, Ron
Cover Artist: Garney, Ron
Back in black and on his home turf, Daredevil begins again in New York City as a new enemy emerges. Meanwhile his alter ego, Matt Murdock, is on a new side of the law in the District Attorney’s office. Fighting crime in the shadows, prosecuting bad guys in the light, it’s a whole new chapter for our man without fear-including the arrival of the devil’s advocate. Welcome to Hell, Blindspot. Rated T+

3. Squadron Supreme #1 (Dec 16th)
squadronWriter: Robinson, James
Artist: Kirk, Leonard
Cover Artist: Ross, Alex
They’re each the sole survivor of a lost Earth and they’ll do anything to protect this one, whether you like it or not. The Squadron Supreme — comprising Hyperion (Avengers), Nighthawk (Supreme Power), Dr. Spectrum (the Great Society), Blur (DP7) and Power Princess — are a team that doesn’t ask permission or what the rules are. To them all that matters is the safety of Earth and if you stand in the way…that’s your problem! Tell that to the Squadron’s first target — Namor, destroyer of Dr. Spectrum’s homeworld, who will have to pay for his crimes…but at what cost to the people of Atlantis. Rated T+

Returning
1. Captain America White #5 of 5 (Dec 30th)
CAWhiteWriter: Loeb, Jeph
Artist: Sale, Tim
Cover Artist: Sale, Tim
This is it! The long awaited finale to Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s epic Captain America story! Rated T+

 

2. All New Hawkeye #2 (Dec 9th)
Writer: Lemire, Jeff
Artist: Perez, Ramon K.
Cover Artist: Perez, Ramon K.
A reluctantly reunited team Hawkeye struggles to rebuild trust and rectify past mistakes. But they’re put through the ringer when their mission brings them face to face with The Mandarin! It’s a turbulent trip down memory lane in this exciting issue that takes Kate and Clint back to the future.
Boom Studios
#1’s
1. Jim Hensons Storyteller Dragons #1 (Dec 2nd)
hensonWriter: Bayliss, Daniel
Artist: Bayliss, Daniel
Cover Artist: Bayliss, Daniel
What’s to Love: We explored the many different myths and legends about witches in Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Witches, and we’re thrilled to rejoin the Storyteller and his faithful dog as they explore a whole new set of stories about dragons from talented creators with beautiful and unique styles. What It Is: Dragons have taken many different shapes in cultures across the world, from serpents and ‘worms’ to thunderbirds and the classic European firebreather. In this first issue, Fabian Rangel Jr. (Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard) and artist Daniel Bayliss (Translucid) bring us ‘Son of the Serpent,’ inspired by Native American stories about the Horned Snake and the Thunderbird.

Returning
1. Wilds End Enemy Within #4 of 4 (Dec 23rd)
wildsendWriter: Abnett, Dan
Artist: Culbard, I.N.J.
Cover Artist: Culbard, I.N.J.
Synopsis: Fawkes and Alph discover the alien crash site from weeks earlier.

 

2. Klaus #2 (Dec 2nd)
klausWriter: Morrison, Grant
Artist: Mora, Dan
Cover Artist: Mora, Dan
Synopsis: As the downtrodden people of Grimsvig struggle under totalitarian rule, Klaus stealthily evades the guard and slips magical, living toys into the poorest of homes to lift their spirits.

OGN –
Collection –
Escape From New York Vol. 1 TP (Dec 9th)
escapeWriter: Sebela, Christopher
Artist: Barreto, Diego
Cover Artist: Bradstreet, Tim
What’s to Love: ‘I thought you were dead.’ ‘Call me Plissken!’ We could seriously quote John Carpenter’s gritty cult classic all day. Expanding Carpenter’s world of Big Trouble in Little China in comics has been a dream, and now we’re diving into the war-torn ‘future’ of Escape from New York with the most reluctant anti-hero in action flicks, Snake Plissken! What It Is: Snake Plissken is back! Picking up right at the end of the cult classic film, Snake heads south to get away from it all, but trouble follows him to Florida where a militant family leads an attempted secession from the rest of the U.S.! Collects issues #1-4.

Misc Indie Titles

1. Glance Backward HC -Magnetic Press- (Dec 2nd)
glanceWriter: Paquet, Pierre
Artist: Sandoval, Tony
Cover Artist: Sandoval, Tony
Eleven-year-old Pepe’s world turns inside out when he finds himself pulled inside the walls of his own home, seemingly trapped in a strange and surreal place. As he searches for a way out, he discovers a myriad of strange, intriguing, and frightening characters, who ultimately lead him to complete the greatest journey of them all: growing up. A powerful coming of age tale everyone can identify with.

2. Resistance: Orbital (Vol. 6) Paperback -Cinebook– (December 7, 2015)
orbitalby Sylvain Runberg (Author),
Serge Pellé (Illustrator)
The Confederation is on the brink of civil war! After fleeing Confederate space, Caleb and Mezoke are hiding among a community of exiles disgusted by the corruption and violence infecting the galactic government. Caleb is recovering slowly, just as Angus, the living ship, is doing on a different world. But a powerful, dangerous psychic link seems to exist between them, and all are actively hunted by both the authorities and a terrorist group. When running ceases to be the answer, the only option left is resistance…

3. Providence #6 of 12 -Avatar- (Dec 30th)
Writer: Moore, Alan
Artist: Burrows, Jacen
Cover Artist: Burrows, Jacen
Fans and critics alike are hailing Alan Moore’s Providence as the horror event of the year! Mild mannered newsman Robert Black is uncovering a mysterious undercurrent of fear as the pieces of the Lovecraftian puzzle slowly begin to make a coherent picture. The dramatic tension is building with each incredible ad-free 40 page issue and this issue begins the big unveils. The work has been researched and developed by Moore and Burrows over the course of several years. And the end result is an amazing tome of Lovecraftian influenced nightmares where Moore has written every cover, every single page, and every nuance of this work to create his most fully-realized vision to date.Fans of Moore’s immersive style and meticulous grasp of storytelling will be thrilled to add this essential piece of comics history to their collections! Available with Regular, Pantheon, Portrait, Dreamscape Wraparound, Women of HPL, and a special Ancient Tome Incentive cover, all by collaborator Jacen Burrows.

Misc Merchandise
1. DC Business card cases -Flash & WW- (Jan 6th)
Let your clients know their assignments will be done in a flash, with The Flash Business Card Case! Featuring a glossy finish and emblazoned with Barry Allen’s iconic sigil, this PREVIEWS Exclusive card case will let everyone know that you may be the fastest man alive!

2. New Ships for Star Wars X-Wing based on Rebels cartoon (Dec 23rd)
The Ghost, Imperial Assault Carrier, inquisitor’s Tie Fighter,

3. Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 Trivial Pursuit (Nov 18th)
Test your knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 300 questions from the first 10 films! Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 Trivial Pursuit features: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor, and Captain America.

10 Jul

Monthly Comics Update -June 2015

Comics Update June 2015

Here’s everything I read in June. I’m giving my thoughts here because I wasn’t on the Comics.Community podcast much last month and had no way of expressing my incredibly valuable insights.

Marvel

Not a great month for Marvel even though I bought several titles. I was disappointed in several of my regular books and even the one new title I bought. That said, Secret Wars is still amazingly good. If this was the new Marvel continuity going forward I wouldn’t be upset and it would be a damn bold move on their part.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1
This is the story of how the world would have been different if the events of Civil War and One More Day hadn’t revealed Peter’s secret identity and erased his marriage to Mary Jane. It’s also a subtle middle finger to all the fans who hated those two controversial events by reinforcing the idea that Peter Parker can’t be Spider-Man, and can’t be a true hero, if he has other responsibilities like a wife and family.

Bull-snot, I say. Bull-snot.

SECRET WARS #3
The saga of Battle World continues to twist and turn as doctors Doom and Strange each reveal some secrets and also make plans for the future. Also, some loose ends show up in the forms of 616 and Ultimate characters who were missing at the end of Time Runs Out.

The writing and worldbuilding in this event have been better than I could have ever expected. I’ve decided to appreciate each issue as it comes just in case the excellence can’t be sustained for the entire run. If the writing falters then at least I’ll have this time to appreciate what they’ve produced thus far.

STAR WARS #6
I’m falling out of love with the new Star Wars comics. The writing and art seem to be dipping in quality. It’s not a bad comic, but it is sliding from its lofty perch atop my pull list and will probably be cut from the list altogether after this month.

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #6
Darth Vader was the one Star Wars title that was holding its ground on my pull list, but now this one seems to be losing steam and losing focus on what made it so good. The best part of this book was the tension between Vader and the Emperor.

As Sith Lords, their master and apprentice relationship is always hanging on a thread because there can only be one master and one apprentice. Meaning, Vader is always trying to supplant the Emperor as master and the Emperor is always trying to replace Vader with another pupil. Now that the tension between the two is somewhat diffused, so is the book.

STAR WARS: PRINCESS LEIA #4
This story hasn’t really grabbed me, mainly due to the annoying characterization of Leia as such a reckless character. It seems she’s headed towards a character arc where she grows into the more responsible leader that we know from the movies and comics, but it’s an arc that I’ve already seen before.

Ms. MARVEL VOL 3: CRUSHED
Crushed is how I felt after reading the first half of this volume. I had to double and triple check that it was the same creative team on this volume as previous volumes because the writing and story took a dramatic turn for the worse. The language seemed very juvenile and ill-conceived both for the narration and the dialog. Basically, I didn’t like it.

I didn’t have a problem with the story of Kamala being stabbed in the back by her first crush, though the execution was very rushed, but everything before that happened was dreadful. The second half of the book picked up a bit, but the overall mediocrity of this volume has me questioning my own giddy feelings for Ms. Marvel.

Ms. MARVEL #16 Last Days

A few lingering melancholies from her heartbreak in “Crushed” aside, this was a nice bounce-back from the disappointment of Vol. 3.

Issue #16 gets us back to what made Ms. Marvel such a great hero. People in Jersey City need help, so she rushes to the rescue with no questions asked.

Last Days is a tie-in to the big finale of the old 616 MCU and serves as a snapshot of where certain heroes are at as this world ends and Battleworld begins. Also, a nice cameo on the last page makes me interested to see what happens in the final, final issue of Last Days.

DC

With Convergence mostly in the rear-view mirror, DC is starting to unveil what it might look like going forward. If inconsistency was a super power, DC would be Class 5,000.

The new “TRUTH” storyline running through DC comics is… something? I guess. At this point I just don’t understand why all this truthiness is suddenly so important. I see the impact it’s having and how it affects the characters, but I just don’t understand the greater point of the storyline.

Anyway, at this point anything is better than convergence and this new direction is at least somewhat interesting.

BATMAN #41
Batman is gone. Gotham needs Batman. There is a new Batman. Enter the Robo-Batman. Not an original story by any means, but they’ve managed to add a new twist to it by introducing a new high-tech corporation into Gotham City that’s trying to help Gotham by giving the GCPD their own version of Robocop dressed as Batman. So far, it’s been fun. Which is just about all you can ask for from DC these days.

BATMAN/SUPERMAN #21
The world is all about Batman v Superman these days so this book is trying to set up as many “versus” situations as it can. A newly depowered Superman vs. a newly roboticized Batman is the latest scenario that actually puts Batman on the more powerful footing for a change. The first fight was short and sweet, but it looks like they’re going for a rematch next issue that might actually have some stakes.

BLACK CANARY #1
The only DC comic I was truly happy with this month was the new Black Canary title. This is a spin-off of the highly popular and entertaining Batgirl comic wherein we learn that Black Canary wants to give up the superhero lifestyle for a more normal life and therefore decides to be a rock star. Why not, right? Well, in this book we learn the why not.

It looks like this book will be a fun ride, but I wish this first issue had taken a little more time to focus on the band and their life on the road before all the superhero craziness got introduced. I know it’s a “superhero” comic, but I still wish they had let it not be one for at least a few issues.

CONSTANTINE the HELLBLAZER #1
Hmmm. Uh huh. Ehhh. Uhhh. Hmmm. These are the noises I was making as I read issue one of the new Hellblazer comic book. Spoiler, I didn’t like it. I didn’t hate it either, though. There were some good points. Some nods to the character I knew from the first 100 issues of the original Hellblazer. However, by the end of this book I was left feeling like I had just read someone’s Cliff’s Notes version of John Constantine. It’s like the writer was checking off the boxes of what the character was supposed to be like without actually understanding who he is. Or rather, who he once was.

By the end of the issue I had come to the realization that the Constantine I knew only exists in those first hundred issues from way back when. Maybe even the first 50, if I’m honest. Maybe this new John will resonate with a new audience. I hope he does because I’ve already got my version of the character frozen in memory and locked away in back-issues for all time.

Perhaps John Constantine was the perfect character for the perfect time. The end of the 80’s. End of the Cold War. Fear of the future. Suspicion of the past. Old cultural institutions devouring themselves as they crumbled into obsolescence. It was a changing world in 1988, when the first issue of Hellblazer hit the shelves. It was a scary, worrisome, time for many and John Constantine wasn’t the hero who came to save the world or make it better, he was the hero who didn’t give a piss and just came to watch it all burn.

WONDER WOMAN #41
So, after recent events, Wonder Woman is now a god. THE god, in fact. THE god of Mt. Olympus anyway. Baby Zeus and momma Zola are safe. Queen Hera is part of team WW now. The rebellious Amazons are safely incarcerated and everything is going just fine. I guess that means it’s time for a new costume!

The reasoning behind the new costume is solid. She’s shedding the old costume she donned as a girl for a more grown up look. That’s fine. Most people can relate to that idea… I just wish the costume was actually more grown up looking. It looks terrible, to me. It has no style, garish colors, and it looks like someone chewed up every comic book costume ever then vomited out a gross amalgamation of them all.

Anyway, there’s a new mystery brewing. Someone on earth knows she’s the god of war, yadda, yadda, yadda, the costume sucks.

Image

A slim month for Image comics this month, but the one title that I did pick up was well worth it.

EMPTY ZONE #1
Man. I can’t stop thinking about this comic. The moment after I finished the last page, I had to go back and start reading it again to figure out what I missed. Turns out that I didn’t actually miss anything. I just failed to understand what I had read.

This is a very exciting new series that I can’t wait to keep reading. The setting is a strange mix of futuristic with post-apocalypse that very much reminds me of proper Cyberpunk. The main character is a tortured enigma whom, after one issue, I have dubbed “the cybernetic John Constantine” for the way she’s tortured by literal and figurative ghosts from her shadowy past. She also has some mysterious connection to and control over technology that reminds me of Constantine’s relationship with magic.

A book like this is why I read comics. Go read it for yourself.

Dark Horse

Perhaps through necessity Dark Horse is slowly but surely moving away from their licensed titles and towards more new creator owned titles. This should be a good thing, and it is, but their titles just don’t have quite the same appeal as Image comics. Not yet anyway.

The Dark Horse comics I bought this month are good, but not great.

HARROW COUNTY #2
I’m enjoying the creepy and mysterious vibe that Harrow County is putting out, but I will admit that the story is a bit slow with the details of what exactly is going on. I’m rather enjoying the slow burn of this story, though I do understand that it might not be for everyone.

REBELS #3
More American Revolution! That’s a good thing. Read your history people!
In this issue our hero, Seth, meets up with the legendary patriot Ethan Allen and decides to join him on a military campaign. This does not sit well with Seth’s new bride, but… freedom and stuff. Seth’s reasoning for leaving home once again are short and not well explained, but he’s a patriot dammit! So, his reasons are self evident.

This is a very slow comic with a lot of historical and political references that might (let’s just say it) bore the snot out of some comic book readers. I, however, am soldiering on like a good patriot to see if things pick up once the actual war begins in earnest.

IDW

IDW seems to be hedging their bets by publishing nice, safe, license based titles that are sure to sell alongside more risky and risque titles that might not appeal to a wide audience. This observation is, of course, based on my own pull list that includes a wacky sci-fi comedy, a lesbian time-travel romance, and a licensed title that has somehow managed to create a crossover event with itself.

D4VE #5
The conclusion to D4VE is pretty much what I thought it would be as soon as the new aliens were introduced into the story. This made for a more exciting, yet more predictable, story and really changed the flow of the book from a story about a guy/robot past his prime to a guy/robot looking for redemption. It wasn’t a bad change, but it was a bit disappointing to me because it felt like I was reading the Incredibles, except with lewd robots instead of Pixar cartoons.

GHOSTBUSTERS: GET REAL #1
Hrm. A neat idea poorly executed. Getting the comic book Ghostbusters together with the Animated Ghostbusters via a dimensional rift is a fun idea, but we JUST had basically the exact same thing happen with the TMNT/GB crossover and the 1st issue of this crossover showed no signs of being much different or superior to the previous crossover.

THE INFINITE LOOP #3
More wacky timey-wimey adventures with Teddy and Ano, complete with fairly graphic lesbian sex! Yowza. That was a little startling to see in a comic, but I’m a bit of a prude. It’s not that I disapprove, it’s just that my delicate sensibilities weren’t quite prepared. I guess I’m not European enough. Anyway. I continue to enjoy this French import by IDW.

This issue shows us what a status quo might look like between time travelling lovers who can create pocket dimensions that shift and change with their moods and whims. Then it abruptly shakes that status quo to the core with a mind-bending plot twist that leaves one of one of our heroes with a terrible choice to make. Should she save her love, or save the entire universe?

*Note – After reading these reviews again I’ve realized that I was pretty harsh on the month of June. I really do like comics. I swear!

18 Jun

E3 2015 Microsoft

E3 2015 Day 2

My thoughts on video game press conferences in general is that they’re a big waste of my time. Not that they’re a waste of everyone’s time, because clearly they create buzz and excitement, but watching developers and executives awkwardly introduce their games is not how I want to spend my time.

That being said, I did watch the guys from Kinda Funny do their pre and post conference livestreams all day on Sunday and Monday, so I must have some interest in these press conferences.

Anyway, I’ve watched and read all that I need to know, and so I’m separating the announcements from each publisher into three categories based on how much they matter to me. Your results may vary.

Major Announcements: Things that I care about or that I feel are important to gaming as a hobby.

Minor Announcements: Things that I may be interested in, but don’t have any deep feelings about, or things that might be interesting to a large segment of gamers who are not me.

Inconsequential Announcements: Things that have no interest to me and will probably only interest a small subset of gamers.

Microsoft

The XBOX One was in desperate need for games to play, and Microsoft delivered its player base a welcome influx of games to look forward to in the very near future. Big games. Small games. New games. Old games. The XBONE now has them all.

360 compatibility was a big step that instantly adds games to the XBONE library. Even if it only allows people to port over their XBLA games and a few select others, it’s still a big move for Microsoft and their player base.

This was exactly the press conference Microsoft needed, at exactly the right time; before the holiday shopping season.

  • Major Announcements

-HALO 5 OFFICIAL
Microsoft kicked off its E3 with a confident and varied showing, mixing blockbuster reveals and a slew of independent games. There was new gameplay footage of Halo 5: Guardians as 343 Studios look to expand the universe. Impressive four-player co-op and splendid sci-fi visuals were the order of the day.

-GEARS 4 ANNOUNCED
Microsoft announced Gears of War 4 for the Xbox One; due out ‘holiday 2016’.

Gears 4 is also the first game in the series developed by The Coalition (formerly Black Tusk Studios) after initial creators Epic Games sold the rights to Microsoft.

The footage I saw showed a pair of CoG soldiers running from a raging storm as the environment crumbled around them. The chainsaw bayonet and other Gears staples were showed off, as was a mysterious new enemy. Is it the return of the Locusts, or something worse?

Microsoft also announced that there will be a remastered version of the first Gears of War. Gears of War Ultimate Edition will have 1080p and 60fps gameplay, and a beta for the multiplayer.

-FORZA 6 RELEASE DATE
I’m not much of a Forza fan, but it is a big game with a large fan base. Beautiful cars zipping around scenic tracks with all the power the XBOX ONE can muster will be coming your way December 15th 2015.

-NEW TOMB RAIDER
“Rise of the Tomb Raider” will be released for the Xbox One this holiday season. The cinematic shown at E3 was well directed, featured bears, bows, and jumping off cliffs, and portrayed Lara Croft’s tomb raiding as a coping mechanism for the mental trauma she endured in the last game. Interesting stuff.

Gameplay footage showed that Lara is still more survivor than badass action hero, but it does build a nice character arc for her. The developers have taken a cinematic approach to this series by introducing Lara as a novice, accidental, tomb raider the first game. Then making her more capable and determined to find her true self in the sequel. Hopefully, a probable third game is where she’ll adopt the gun-toting badassery she’s known for.
As far as reboots go, the new Tomb Raider series may be the best ever when all is said and done.

  • Minor Announcements

-RECORE ADVENTURE GAME
There was a look at ReCore, an action-adventure video game designed by Keiji Inafune and Armature Studio. The game will be released exclusively for Xbox One in the second quarter of 2016.

The cinematic for this game was about a girl and her robot dog. It appears that “ReCore” refers to the memory core of the robots in this world, which can be swapped into new hardware as a form of upgrading or repairing your robot pal.

-XBOX INDIE
Xbox focussed heavily on its ID@Xbox program for independent developers, with showings for several games from smaller studios and Indie developers.

Side-scrolling platformer, Cuphead, was the indie game that caught my eye due to its amazing 1930s cartoon art style. The developer’s appreciation and dedication to that style is heartwarming, even if the game is about making a deal with the devil.

-360 COMPATIBILITY
Xbox One backward compatibility is rolling out  this year for a select list of games. Mass Effect is the only game on the limited roster that I’m interested in, but hopefully the list will grow over time.

360 discs do not play natively but trigger a download of a compatible file, while downloadable titles appear automatically.

  • Inconsequential Announcements

-SEA OF THIEVES
There was a new Rare game announced, an open-world pirate adventure named Sea of Thieves. It looked a bit too kid-friendly for my tastes, but if I had a younger child who played games then this looks like a good one. Reminded me of World of Warcraft in terms of visual style and mechanics. Also, it’s an MMO.

-RARE REPLAY ANNOUNCED
Collection of 30 classic games from Rare studio. I love the idea of retro games being re-released on new consoles, but there isn’t much here that I’m personally excited about. Battletoads and Perfect Dark are probably the biggest names on this list.

-NEW XBOX CONTROLLER
A new ‘Elite wireless’ controller was unveiled and it’s cool, but I already have two controllers that seem to work just fine. Maybe when one breaks I’ll consider going ‘elite.’

-HOLOLENSE VR HEADSET
Microsoft used Minecraft to demo its augmented reality headset, Hololens. Minecraft really is the perfect game for VR because of its low-fi graphics and first-person immersion, but I still don’t care and I definitely don’t want any kind of headset to play games with.

11 May

Page to Screen May 2015

page

Here are my rankings for movies & TV based on comic books that were produced in 2015.

 

 

 

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Fans are always asking for movies that feel like watching a comic book come to life. Well, this movie provides that feeling in spades. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s the most comic book of any comic book movie, ever.

2. Daredevil (Netflix season 1)
Where AoU was a flawed but fun adaptation, Daredevil was a nearly perfect example of how to integrate comic book characters and stories into a more believable world. This series was possibly the most well-written comic book adaptation ever.

3. The Walking Dead (season 5)
The second half of season 5 saw Rick Grimes and crew return to civilization in a way that made them and us consider the possibility that living a nomadic and barbaric life might actually be the best way to survive. The show took time to breath and explore both its characters and its central themes of survival and family. It’s still the most mature comic book adaptation in many ways.

4. Agent Carter (season 1)
Benefiting from a series limited to only 8 episodes, Agent Carter was able to pour all of its writing, ideas, and fabulous 1940’s nostalgia into a neat little package. Peggy Carter is the most likable hero in the MCU other than the good Captain himself, and this series was a great vehicle for her. It wasn’t a perfect show, but it was very good and it left me wanting more.

5. Agents of Shield (season 2)
Season 2 of AoS has been much more consistent than season 1, with far fewer filler episodes, but it still falls short of other adaptations in the writing and visual departments especially when compared to its sister show, Agent Carter. Still, it gives us a weekly dose of the MCU and does so with likable characters who struggle and evolve over the course of each season. It doesn’t provide many great moments, but it does provide a heaping helping of good ones, and very few bad ones. (Edit: The season 2 finale was bonkers and provides several great moments that viewers will be talking about all summer. #Donttakefishoil, #FitzSimm….oh, #SecretAvengers)

6. Constantine (season 1)
Like many shows, Constantine got off to a slow start but was carried along by the charisma of its lead actor. In this case Matt Ryan played the smarmy, good-for-nothing, anti-hero known as John Constantine about as well as one could on network TV. This TV version is a bastard with a heart of gold, whereas the comic book version is just a bastard. Unfortunately, by the time the show caught up with the character there were already rumors that it wouldn’t be back for a season 2. Hopefully it gets renewed somewhere because it was just hitting its stride creatively near the end.

7. The Flash (season 1)
Season 1 has been a blur (boo! yes I went there!) and has included way more story and lore than any one season of a show has a right to include. So far we’ve been introduced to a cross-over with Arrow, Metahumans, FireStorm, The Atom, The Rogues, Reverse Flash, time travel, and Gorilla Grod. Even Agents of SHIELD didn’t move that fast in season 1. This fast-paced storytelling has managed to cram a lot of comic book goodness into one season, but at times I find myself needing a break and skipping an episode or two before I get back into the series. It’s the same problem I had with the first few seasons of Arrow, so it’s no surprise this show is produced by the same people. While Flash is one of the best offering from DC in 2015, it still has a ways to go before it competes with any of the Marvel shows.

8. Teen Titans Go! (Animated)
I can’t say that I watch this show very often, or that I like it as much as other Teen Titan cartoons, but it is consistently delightful and probably the best animated comic book property still being produced.

9. Gotham (season 1)
Season 1 was a real roller coaster of emotions for me as the show had the potential to be very good but consistently fell short of that mark. Gotham gave us a few strong episodes but also too many weak ones. The writing and characterization on this show fell short in many ways, particularly when compared to a show like Daredevil. Daredevil showed how to include campy and complex comic book lore into a TV show with finesse and sophistication, whereas Gotham used ham-fisted cameos and on-the-nose writing whenever faced with its own Batman lore. The worst offense for Gotham came during the season finale when I realized that after 22 episodes none of the characters actually changed or became anything more than what they were at the beginning of the show.

10. Arrow (season 3)
Hoo boy. This is the most wildly inconsistent comic book show on TV. Some episodes are good, some are bad, a few are better than good, and too many are terrible. The characters go through wild mood swings for improbable reasons and it too often resembles a daytime soap opera more than a superhero show. I like the Arrow as a character, and the actor who plays him, but the supporting cast is too inconsistently written and the plots have too many holes for me to keep watching every week.

11. iZombie (Season 1)
It seems like a nice show, but honestly I haven’t given it much of a chance. The first problem with it is that it’s not a comic that I’m familiar with. Secondly, it’s on at the exact same time as AoS and I typically watch my shows in real-time. Finally, and this may be the most petty complaint, I don’t like seeing the main character eat brains. No matter how she tries to dress them up with real food, it still turns my stomach.

12. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015, animated)
I was not impressed by this animated offering in the slightest. The animation was fine, but not great, and same can be said for the voice acting, but the dialog and characterizations were incredibly disappointing. The versions of the DC characters in this adaptation were all of the worst versions of the characters. I actually got so frustrated with them that I cut this movie off after about 30 minutes.

13. Powers (PSN season 1)
I only watched the pilot episode, but was so disappointed in what I saw that I didn’t bother exploring how to find the other episodes. The writing, acting, and overall look of the show was not very good and I was particularly disappointed in the production values of the sets. The leading man, played by Sharlto Copley, seemed compelling, but he just couldn’t prop up the entire production.

 

Properties I did not watch in 2015:
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Ultimate Spider-Man (Animated)
Avengers Assemble (Animated)
Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (Animated)