This has been an interesting year for comic book crossovers. From Marvel, we got Civil War II and from DC Comics we got Rebirth. Both have been widely successful as they have gone across many different issues connecting various characters together. Rebirth has been credited in realigning the DC universe and has substantially increased sales for the publication. It looks like DC is not yet done pushing interesting storylines together.
One of the linchpins of the Disney Afternoon was the superhero series Darkwing Duck. A kind of mallard-ization of Batman and The Shadow, it followed the adventures of the masked-hero as he fought to protect St. Canard from a tremendous rogues gallery including Bushroot, Megavolt, Quackerjack and Steel Beak. Only 91 episodes were produced, but as these things go, there’s a wider world of Darkwing in comic books, and in the over 20 years since the show first premiered on TV, the Terror that Quacks in the Night hasn’t lost any fans, and has actually gathered new ones. The recent BOOM! Studios series proved that again, but the series came to a close when the deal between Marvel Comics and Disney was closed. With a surplus of heroes at Marvel Comics though, it seems an upstart publisher is game to bring Darkwing back, re-publishing old stories and printing brand new ones. (more…)
What happens when a comic studio is given the freedom to pick through a movie studio’s old properties and make new stories about whatever they want? Well, in this case, it’s a continuation of one of John Carpenter’s most beloved action/comedy flicks, Big Trouble in Little China. Better yet, Eric Powell (The Goon) is involved in putting the story together. (more…)
I love a good action comic, even if it feels like something that just ripped off another action comic. If the art is done well and the dialogue is snappy and the superheroes are punching stuff, I’ll read it. When all that happens and someone found a fresh way to tell me a clever sci-fi tale full of superpowers, alien goop and end of the world madness, I consider that a bonus that’s impossible to pass up. Extermination #1 is a comic full of bonuses.
Here we go. Another weeks worth of comic books have arrived and it’s back to the racks and into the conversations. Now, if you keep up on the events inside the comic book industry you know that lately there has been a lot of legal battles. The big one being Marvel vs Ghost Rider co-creator Gary Friedrich over creator rights. Back in 2007 he sued marvel saying that the rights to the character belong with the creator, Marvel counter sued saying the money he made on the convention circuit totting himself as the characters creator was their money. He lost, Marvel won, and it’s not very good.
Creator rights is nothing new, pick a character or a creator and 90% of the time you are going to see some legal battle either happening or possible. Battles for the rights to Superman, Bill Finger being stiffed over everything he did for Batman. Marvel Comics general treatment of legends like Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. Hell, Image comics was created to defeat the work-for-hire model. Like I said it’s a long list.
That’s a different conversation for a different day. Right now I just want to pass something a long. Gary Friedrich is a guy that gave a lot for the love of comics, one of the workhorses, and now he can’t even say he created Ghost Rider, Ghost Rider for crying out loud. As a fan, I’m just bummed out by this. We could go on talking about this and each and every other ugly story like it, but I’m bummed out enough and want to get back to reading the comics I love and thank the creators, writers, artists and all involved.
Steve Niles has set up a fund for Friedrich to help him in this legal battle. If you love comics, help a man who’s getting beat up by the business.
Ok, like I said, we are here because we love comics, right? So let’s read some. This week I’ve purposely passed by any of the Marvel releases. Not out of some moral stance or self-righteous protest, more that with what we already talked about in mind they just seem ugly to me so I give them a miss. For the other big guys, DC Comics, honestly nothing really caught my eye past the ones I regularly read, maybe it’s six month post-new 52 burnout syndrome.
So we got three independents lined up.
A Titty McBoobsalot character from the 90’s gets a redux that is amazing and two beloved sci-fi properties get the comic book treatment with some mixed results.
The rapid fire, in your face, fast and dirty reviews you’ disagree with hit you after the jump. (more…)
It’s here, the last new comics Wednesday of 2011. It’s year end and what a year it has been, we’ve seen a lot happen in the last 365, both on and off the pages. We’ve seen the requisite deaths and resurrections (welcome back Johnny Storm). The Ultimate version of Peter “Spiderman” Paker bit the dust as well, and was replaced with half-black and half-hispanic controversy named Miles Morales. Speaking of deaths, the 20 year run of Wizard Magazine ground to an unceremonious halt, alleged victim of the decline in print media sales. On the upswing, digital comic sales have started the march to becoming the norm. Love the idea or hate it, comics being sold and enjoyed on iPads and other tablets has seen steady growth and now that every major comic book publisher has a Day-and-Date digital initiative in place its now fact more than fad. DC comics flushed the last 25 years of continuity and relaunched their whole main line back at number one, including drawing to an end the 73 year run of Action Comics. Not to be outdone, Marvel ended and relaunched the Uncanny X-Men, a book had a 544 issue run.
All these events and happenings and many other thing led to one unified truth. People were talking about comics again. Be it the ‘bad press’ from the death and recast of Spiderman, the total reboot of DC’s New 52, and yes even Superman loosing his underoo-on-the-outside look, people were talking.
Sales numbers have increased, new and lapsed readers have been brought in, and from my perspective I’d say it’s been a good one for the much loved industry. On a personal note, I know that my monthly spending on comics has taken a huge increase and my enjoyment of the work many of these creators put out on a weekly basis is double that. I guess in short what I am trying to say is a big thanks to all involved in the comic book industry and I look forward to what you bring in 2012. I’d list you off one by one, but that would take awhile.
Now that the fluffy statements are done, we should dig into some books, right? One that I won’t be covering today, but you should really really pick up is the recalled and now finally released DC Comics Elseworlds 80-Page Giant. Originally recalled shortly after its release in 1999 due to ‘questionable content’ involving a baby Superman in a microwave (and really, thank you for protecting us from that. Lord knows had more people seen it we would have gone through endless orphaned alien superbabies being placed in various kitchen appliances, it would have been a nightmare.) A few thousand squeaked out back in ’99 and I was lucky a few years back to pay a sizable chunk of money for one, and now YOU can pick up for too, for a less sizable chunk of scratch. Clocking with a $7.99 price tag, you do get your moneys worth. Talents like Mark Waid, Chuck Dixon, Kyle Baker, my personal favorite Ty Templeton and many many more, DC Comics Elseworlds 80-Page Giant is well worth the money. A hefty handful of stories and more packed in its pages, it gives you the weirdest and funnest view of DC Comics that you’ve seen in a long long while.
Alright, let’s settle in on this weeks books. On the way (and slightly inspired by re-reading Mark Waid’s work above) I find a nice ‘in’ on a deeply storied work that I have been wanting to get into. The DCnU’s wild wild west (or east, since it is in Gotham) swings into its second arc. The Cape proves to be one of the (if not the) most intriguing read I’ve had in a while. Oh, and Deadpool too.
Ready? Then lets begin.
Ahead of the release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes this summer, BOOM! Studios has launched an ongoing Planet of the Apes series, serving as a prequel to the original film saga. The first installment is out today, and it’s already setting major events in motion.
“The Long War, Part 1,” scripted by BOOM! veteran Daryl Gregory (Dracula: The Company of Monsters) and drawn by Carlos Magno, envisions a world where humans and apes enjoy an uneasy alliance. The apes are clearly dominant, having reduced all of human technology to almost nothing over the past few centuries, but the humans still enjoy a half-civilized existence, and even manage to find gainful employment (not slavery) as the apes march their own technological progress ever forward.
The peace is shattered when The Lawgiver, an ape chronicler and wise man, is gunned down by an assassin with a high-powered gun that was last known to have existed 500 years earlier. The furious apes -already divided between human haters and human lovers – immediately set in motion their investigations, led by Lawgiver’s granddaughter Alaya, a human sympathizer. Her childhood friend, human leader Mayor Sullivan, fights to keep the peace, but it’s clear that Lawgiver’s death is an event that even level-headed Alaya might not be able to cope with.
Click the jump for the rest of the review and the FIRST FIVE PAGES OF PLANET OF THE APES #1.