Tag Archives: Civil War

All New All Different Marvel – Week 39

Like all good summer comic book events, Marvel’s Civil War II has no shortage of crossovers. We get two important narrative pieces in tie-in issues this week, along with big news from HQ regarding Marvel’s post-event initiative. We were pretty curious as to how long we could keep adding weeks to that ANAD counter.

File_000 (6)The new creative team of Christos Gage and Kris Anka begin their run in Captain Marvel #6 with what amounts to more prologue for Civil War II. Confused as to how Carol and James “Rhodey” Rhodes had become so close in the lead-in stories prior to War Machine getting obliterated by Thanos? Or maybe you were just hoping for some steamy extended bedroom scenes to help you visualize who you’d rather see Marvel cast for the film version: Emily Blunt or Brie Larson? My money’s on Brie, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see Emily brandishing the Kree star…

Emily Blunt? Yes. Don Cheadle? He wishes.
Emily Blunt? Yes. Don Cheadle? He wishes.

Captain Marvel fixes up the Alpha Flight space station just in time to deal with an extra-powerful Dr. Minerva. And, oh the chaos that woman can cause. If only there was a way to foresee massive tragedy and prevent this kind of crap from happening! While the major conflict in the main Civil War title seems to be a brewing clash between the Inhumans and the rest of the superhero community, this Captain Marvel arc should provide more insight into the philosophical divide that separates Danvers and Tony Stark. You’ve got an Inhuman kid who can help you  predict and possibly prevent future catastrophes. Now, should you?

Continue reading All New All Different Marvel – Week 39

New Comics: She-Wolf

The first issue of She-Wolf, Rich Tommaso’s new Image series, hits stands this week. Gabrielle Catella, teenage wannabe witch, may or may not have successfully cast a shapeshifting spell on herself and now, in addition to dealing with all of the problems that come along with being a rebellious misunderstood eighteen-year-old, she prowls the suburban night as a werewolf, endangering boyfriends and catching hell from parish priests.

Like his previous Image book, the neo-noir Dark CorridorShe-Wolf puts Tommaso’s gorgeous linework and color palette on display. Upping the ante on the Paul Grist-inspired artwork that helped populate that prior book, we’re treated to a spooky dash of Richard Sala, with some of the pop art vibrancy of Gary Panter. Tommaso hit my radar after working with master storyteller James Sturm on Satchel Paige, and I’m excited for anything he’s working on. And what he’s got going on in this first issue is a lot of surrealist witchcraft and creepy Little Red Riding Hood symbolism. Werewolves are so much cooler than vampires or zombies, obviously, so let’s all move this book to the top of the pull list.

File_006 (2)And speaking of Dark Corridor, you can double your Tommaso pleasure this week, as the TPB collection of the entire series has just been released. Red Circle is Tarantino’s L.A., with just a few more hot rods and just the right amount of flayings. Tommaso seems to really love drawing interior body parts. Enjoy!
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New Comics: Han Solo

This week, New York Times bestselling author Marjorie Liu makes her return to Marvel Comics, partnering with veteran artist Mark Brooks to debut the most highly anticipated Star Wars series since, well, since the last Star Wars series.

Han Solo takes place just after A New Hope and the Battle of Yavin, opening with the titular character hustling the smuggling beat, looking for jobs to help pay off that Jabba debt (we all know how that works out, however). When a pair of Rebel agents proposition him to “borrow” the Falcon, Han Solo finds himself, once again, selling his unique talents and services to Princess Leia and The Rebellion for another no-questions-asked, top secret, fast-as-hell operation.

Leia is looking to rescue three Rebel spies, and the only way to do that is if a ship – and pilot – unaffiliated with the Rebellion participates in the Dragon Void, a legendary space race that draws the most well-known and well-trained pilots in the galaxy. Han Solo’s job is to simply recover the agents at each of the three requisite refueling stops. Of course, nothing could possibly be that simple…

Since the Star Wars license made its expected return to its new in-laws at Marvel,  the creative teams have been knocking out one outstanding series after another. Liu seems to have an excellent grasp of Solo’s character post-ANH, and Mark Brooks seems like he was born to draw aliens and spaceships. Hang on, Your Worship. We’ve got a very good feeling about this.
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New Comics: Merry Men

In recent years there has been some scholarly discussion regarding the real-life historical origins of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, including insight that suggests that it may have been Robert Godwinson’s sexual preference that led both to the outlaw’s exile as well as the naming of his band of brothers. Robin Hood and his Gay Guyfriends, or The Queer Quiver of Nottinghamshire, may have also been thrown around. I’m glad Merry Men stuck. It’s a helluva good band name. And a great title for the new Oni Press book from Robert Rodi, Jackie Lewis, and Marissa Louise.

The book is far more than just an opportunity to see burly dudes making out in the forest, however. It’s an interesting slice of history, showcasing Medieval England during the decades immediately following the Norman conquest. And in addition to challenging the conceptions regarding Robin’s orientation, the book also challenges the folkloric tradition that romanticizes these Merry Men as being nothing more than humble thieves, robbing from the rich and all that. This first issue features some arrows through throats, dastardly assassinations, and the tainted soul of the enigmatic is-she-a-she-or-isn’t-she Scarlet. You know, great comic book stuff.

they make out after this

It also totally has burly dudes making out in the forest.

Ed Luce variant cover
Ed Luce variant cover

Additionally, each issue promises historical profiles, delving into “The Queer History of England,” with an inaugural biography on Alcuin of York. And expect to learn more about Richard the Lionheart, the English king who has become something of a gay icon; the storyline suggests that Robin’s troubles may have begun in the royal bedchamber. Also, as great as Jackie Lewis’s standard cover is, for my money nothing beats that Ed Luce (Wuvable Oaf) variant. Little John, “master of the quarterstaves” indeed. Continue reading New Comics: Merry Men

New Comics: Paper Girls

So, clearly I’m not the only one who does this. I’ll be sitting on the couch, watching one of Netflix’s superhero shows, and I imagine a teenage me time-jumped from the past, staring in awe at the screen. “Is this Daredevil? That’s Elektra! This. Is. Awesome.” Yeah, and wait until you see what’s playing at the theater down the block, kid. “Wait a minute… those photos? Did the Giants win… the World Series? Three times?!” Yup. And remember how bad the Warriors were when you come from? “Hang on. Are you going to work in a t-shirt?” Ties are for weddings and funerals, buddy. No matter what Dad said. “Did I… did we take over the world?”

Brian K. Vaughan (Y the Last Man, Saga) and Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman, amazing album homages) are back with the start of a new storyline in the so-good-of-course-you’re-already-reading-it Paper Girls #6. And this time, we catch up with the titular young ladies as they step from the world of 1988 into 2016, and Erin Tieng comes face to face with her forty-year-old self.

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Young Erin and her friends react just as I’d imagine I would, if I was twelve years old again, staring at what couldn’t possibly be a home television set. BKV has always had a knack for characters that, while presented with totally unique and impossible situations, come to life with perfect credulity. And as much as we find ourselves sympathizing and caring about his cast members, whether a trio of newspaper delivery girls or a wannabe escape artist and his pet monkey, it’s those impossible situations that really make his stories stand out. And the mystery that started to unfold in the first volume of Paper Girls looks like it’s just getting started. Continue reading New Comics: Paper Girls

New Comics: Steve Rogers

At the conclusion of the recent Pleasant Hill event we learned that there was room in the Marvel Universe for three Captain Americas. The most recently anointed Cap, Sam Wilson (formerly known as The Falcon), still carries the shield (and the wings) and has been doing his damnedest to uphold the legacy. The Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes, who had taken on the role subsequent to the first Civil War, is leading the new Thunderbolts. And Steve Rogers, youthful vigor restored by a sentient Cosmic Cube, has a new shield with a classic design, and a share of the responsibility that comes along with wielding it.

We’ve also learned that there’s room on the comic book shelf for multiple Captain America books. Week 34 of All New All Different Marvel debuts Captain America: Steve Rogers, in which Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz tackle everything from the Pleasant Hill fallout to the underground swell of Red Skull’s Hydra resurgence. With this first issue, Spencer, who has also been writing the hell out of Captain America: Sam Wilson, may be establishing himself as the Captain America scribe for the 21st century. Sam isn’t the only one living up to a legacy.

An opening action sequence involving a suicide bomber on a train channels classic Joe Simon and Stan Lee bravado, while the goofball villainy of Baron Zemo’s latest recruits is a tip of the cap to Jack Kirby’s later work on Cap’s solo book. The social commentary of Mark Gruenwald and Steve Englehart resonates in Red Skull’s all-too-real rendition of Take Back America, and the final few pages offer up a jaw-dropping plot twist a la Ed Brubaker. No, I’m not spoiling it for you. I do as I’m told.

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New Comics: Civil War II

Marvel’s big summer event, teased two weekends ago for Free Comic Book Day and hinted at in various prologue-style tie-ins these last few weeks, finally gets it’s official beginning.

Okay, so it’s technically issue “#0” of Civil War II, but this clearly is where things get started. Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel, the team behind the outstanding event mini-series House of M and the far less memorable Siegereturn with a sequel, of sorts, to Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s seminal Civil War. Just in time to cash in on all the attention garnered by the new Captain America movie, naturally. We know how Marvel operates.

We also know that it’s a rare feat to come up with some truly original storylines in the capes-n-tights universes, so maybe we can forgive this creative team for, once again, rehashing old plot devices and trigger points. Or another way to look at it, I suppose, is that it’s Week 33 of All New All Different Marvel, which seems far too soon to give up on being either new or different. Whatever the case, here we go again. A tragic explosion and massive loss of life (see the aforementioned Civil War and Siege) results in a major moral quandary and divisive dilemma for the superpowered set.

What is different, and in keeping with a major development in this Marvel relaunch, is the role of the Inhuman population and that mysterious floating cloud of Terrigen mist. Deadly to mutants, but capable of unlocking latent alien powers in a certain percentage of humanity, the mist, and the awesome potential that it represents, is at the center of both the inciting event and the story as a whole.

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Free Comic Book Day 2016

This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of Free Comic Book Day, easily the best name for a very straightforward attempt at getting folks into comic shops and seeing what all the fuss is about. On the first Saturday of May, a variety of publishers, from big names like Marvel and DC to smaller outfits like Nobrow Press and Th3rd World Studios, partner with shops to offer a wide range of exclusive comics. Some books contain all new material, others are mixtape-style samplers of previously released work, and still others offer extended excerpts from new graphic novels. But the one thing that all these comics have in common is that they’re offered 100% free of charge.

one of the many All Ages titles, DC Super Hero Girls
one of the many All Ages titles, DC Super Hero Girls

While supplies last, obviously. And different stores have different policies limiting the number of giveaways. Check out the FCBD website for details on participating stores and, this Saturday, plan on visiting as many as you can! Most shops plan related events, contests, and other frivolity around FCBD. Drag along your uninitiated friend who loves Firefly but won’t pick up a funnybook and stick that Dark Horse freebie in her hands. Dress the kids up in their favorite superhero t-shirts and load them up with All-Ages books like Image’s Oddly Normal or DC’s Super Hero Girls. That guy in your office who won’t shut up about Enter the Dragon and wants to know if you caught this weekend’s UFC bloodfest? There’s a Bruce Lee treat for him as well.

Like music, movies, and ice cream flavors, there’s a comic book for everyone. Here are the FCBD offerings I’m most excited about, including the Previews solicitation information. Continue reading Free Comic Book Day 2016