Mar 022013
 

Welcome to the bad old days.

The world is a pit of despair, Ultron is in charge, and there’s no hope for survival…except for a rag-tag bunch of heroes with a plan.  Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Invisible Woman, Taskmaster, Beast, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight are the last ditch effort for the Marvel Universe to continue existing, but something tell’s me they may have a chance.  This dystopian future tale is THE EVENT for the Marvel Universe this year, with three issues coming out a month for the next three months.  And don’t worry about crossovers with other series, because they’ve been kept to a minimum and left as non-essential; read’em if you want, don’t if not.  With the mad puppeteer of Marvel, Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Scarlet), having worked on establishing the implications of this tale over the last four years, Age of Ultron is going to leave its mark.  And for a series that epic in scope you need an artist that can match the tone.  Luckily, Bryan Hitch (The Ultimates, America’s Got Powers) was able to lend his deft talent at cinematic realism to the book!  Don’t get left behind like so many did with Avengers vs. X-Men, pick up issue one of Age of Ultron, or one of its many variants, this Wednesday!

Cullen Bunn has managed to blend sci-fi, horror, and western genres in the long lived Sixth Gun series with ease.  Now Bunn is applying the same strategy to a tale of viking carnage!  Helheim begins with a brutal siege on a tiny, seaside village by forces of evil.  But standing between them and the meaty townsfolk is Rikard and his horde of viking warriors.  Though you might think you know where this story goes from there, you’d be surprised.  This is only the beginning.  Bunn just rocked Marvel NOW! with his first issue of Fearless Defenders (you know we’ve been talking it up at the store!), an issue which also featured some viking fisticuffs, and aims to do the same to Oni Press with the start of this new ongoing series.  When you blend gothic horror, witchcraft, and zombies, you get Helheim!

Searching for images of Joe Casey’s Sex #1 resulted in some awkward moments at the store.  Yeah….

One of this month’s Image Comics releases, advertises itself as “a good reason to come into the comic store – to buy SEX!” Though it may be crass, it’s true.  Joe Casey has written everyone from Wolverine to Batman to The Avengers to Spider-Man, but he’s never written anything as chock full of debauchery.  A former superhero is forced to give up his vigilante lifestyle only to take to the streets for some much needed R&R.  However in a town like Saturn City, R&R can get rather S&M.  Follow Simon Cooke on his dark, dirty journey through the recesses of a town gone wrong in a post-modern superhero tale unlike any other in comics today.

And finally tonight, another twist on a classic tale.

No Place Like Home was one of my favorite miniseries from Image Comics last year thanks to its intelligent, inventive reworking of the classic L. Frank Baum fable, The Wizard of Oz.  Dee is a rocker from the city, but a rural kid at heart who must return home to Kansas after the grisly murder of her parents during a tornado.  After getting home and rekindling friendships with old acquaintances, Dee stumbles into a decades old mystery that ties together her parents, the two sheriff, a local drunk, and…a flying monkey?  Comic newcomers Angelo Tirotto and Richard Jordan dropkick Judy Garland and replace her with a twisted slasher film sprinkle with famous imagery and characters from the classic tale.  Oh, Tirotto claims this is only the beginning of an epic arc that’ll take Dee all the way over the rainbow.

Feb 162013
 

The Missouri/Kansas rivalry has seeped into basketball, politics, and history.  Now it’s found its way into comics.

Geoff Johns and David Finch spread the Justice League love to the land of stars and stripes with Justice League of America #1.  And, yes, we’re going to have the special Missouri and Kansas flag variant covers.  Now, as to the actual content of the comic.  IT’S GONNA BE AWESOME!  Geoff Johns has been writing Justice League since the beginning of the New 52, bringing his talent for reinvention to the big shots of the DC Universe, but now it’s his time to dig into the supporting characters.  An eclectic team C-List heroes like Hawkman, Stargirl, Vibe, Green Arrow, Catwoman, Martian Manhunter, and more are hired by the government as their own personal, super-powered task force.  The real selling point here is that Geoff Johns understands character.  He’s proven it time and again on ensemble books like Justice Society of America, Teen Titans, and Justice League, given an assortment of unusual characters, Johns will make you love them.

Prepare your bro hooves.

My Little Pony, the fan-favorite and cult hit cartoon, became a fan-favorite, cult hit comic book last year.  Now, another Pony book has arrived.  MLP Micro is a six issue miniseries that focuses on six of the most popular ponies of the series on their own unique adventure.  First up, this Wednesday, is Twilight Sparkle (yeah, you knew that’s who it would be).  Having fallen in love with a series of novels, Twilight sets out on a journey to find the books’ author when she finds out it never finished.  Alert the Bronies!

Jeph Loeb, author of Batman: Long Halloween, Ultimate Comics X, Dardevil Yellow, and much more, lost his son, Sam, about five years ago to cancer.  Sam, by all accounts, was a positive, joyful joker who made everyone smile and was always ready for an adventure.  In honor of Sam, Jeph Loeb has created a new Nova for the Marvel NOW! universe, Sam Alexander, imbued with all the qualities of his own son.  Outside of the personal connection, Sam “Nova” Alexander has a mysterious background that will be explained over the course of the series as he eases into his heroic moniker.  After making his debut in Avengers vs. X-Men and Marvel NOW! Point One, Sam is getting his own series with top-notch writer Loeb and stylized art master, Ed McGuinness!

Fresh on the heels of the announcement that 2013 will bring another release in the impressive Batman Arkham Asylum video game series, the third set of Arkham City action figures hit shelves this Wednesday.  As per usual, this set brings with it another version (the best, in my opinion) of the Batman himself, this time in his original costume, detailed to the extreme!  Fleshing out this assortment are three beloved characters, Deadshot, Talia al Ghul, and Nightwing, complete with his electrified batons.  Complete your Arkham rogues gallery by picking each of them up.

Nov 102012
 

You all better get used to hearing about Marvel Comics over the next couple of months, because Marvel NOW! is in effect.  Tonight we’ll highlight three of the five new Marvel NOW! series that start up this coming Wednesday, all of which are perfect jumping-on points for each of the book’s characters.

Since they’re the first family of the Marvel Universe, let’s start off with Fantastic Four #1.  Combining classic with current, Mark Bagley (Ultimate Spider-Man), a veteran of both Marvel and DC comics, lends his artistic talents to wordsmith Matt Fraction (Defenders, Fear Itself, Hawkeye, Immortal Iron Fist) for a fresh take on Marvel‘s oldest series.  Wanting to get away from the constant battles with Doctor Doom and Galactus, Reed and Sue Richards decide to take their family on a universe-spanning field trip.  The series will take a stand-alone approach to its issues, as the Fantastic Four land on a new planet or time period in each issue, getting into trouble each time as they try to teach Valeria and Franklin about the ins-and-outs of the galaxy.  And if you’re less of a reader and more of a collector, Fantastic Four #1 has variant covers in spades.  That’s a Scottie Young Baby variant, a Mark Bagley mural variant, a blank variant, and a couple more for good measure.

Brian Michael Bendis carved himself out a fairly comfortable niche in The Avengers corner of the Marvel Universe over the last ten years, so now it’s time for him to do the same with the X-Men.  All-New X-Men #1, his first X-Book, tells a story no other X-Men book has dared to tell before.  With the fallout of Avengers vs. X-Men, Cyclops and many of the original X-Men members are in drastically different positions from where they started, thus Beast decides to travel back in time, collect the original X-Men members, and bring them to the future to knock some sense into their present-day selves.  With art by the incomparable Stuart Immonen (Nextwave, Ultimate X-Men), All-New X-Men will look great and read crisply.

If you pick up only one of the Marvel NOW! series starting this month, pick-up Thor, God of Thunder.  Jason Aaron (Wolverine and the X-Men, Scalped, Ghost Rider), local writer, dares to tell a Thor epic to rival the classic tales of Walt Simonson.  A three-pronged narrative focuses on Thor of the past, Thor of the present, and King Thor of the future as all three versions contend with a threat the Asgardian has never faced before:  A serial killer of gods.  Along with Aaron’s time-spanning story, Esad Ribic’s (Silver Surfer: Requiem) painterly artwork turns the comic page into a mural, turning a simple comic book into a piece of mythology.  And since of book of this quality deserves it, variant covers abound, featuring artwork from Ribic himself, Scottie Young, and Daniel Arcuna.  Make yourself worthy of Mjölnir a pick up a copy.

Just as a reminder that there are other comic book publishers out there other than Marvel, let’s finish the night with a look at a new series from Image Comics.  Riding a wave of successful series like Manhattan Projects, Saga, Happy, and Revival, Image releases Great Pacific, a grand adventure in an unusual location.  Texas-born Chas Worthington is a trust-fund baby and a grade-A rich boy, inheriting the money of his oil baron father, but that doesn’t mean he has no principles.  Setting out to tackle a task unheard of in his social circle, Chas decides to eliminate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating mass of trash that continues to build in the North Pacific Ocean (it’s a real thing).  Martin Morazzo’s extremely detailed artwork renders every bit of debris and filth that Joe Harris’ scripts describe, making this another Image book to admire.

Aug 182012
 

Dun dun dundundun, dunna na na nana na na na NA!

Say it with me!

I am Iron Man!

If you’ve rocked out to the Black Sabbath tune, devoured the Robert Downey, Jr. films, and/or been reading about the alcoholic, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist for years, then you will want to snag these first time items quicker than a repulsor ray can blow away the Hulk.

First up, the Iron Man Neon Sign. Matching the Captain America Neon Sign from earlier this year, this one comes complete with a dual-purpose stand which can be used as an up right base or a wall mount. Also, as the preverbial cherry on top, the sign comes with a special edition Iron Man comic. And, yes, we are open to doing layaway.

Second, the fantastic looking Avengers Iron Man Statue from Kotobukiya. Pulling the design directly from the box office behemoth that was The Avengers, this glossy, detailed statue will decimate all other Iron Man memorabilia you have in your house through sheer awesomeness. Which means you may want to pick up the neon sign after you’ve already got the statue home and behind plate glass.

And since we’re in a statuey mood, let’s all just admire this fantastic new Black Widow Covert Ops variant statue from Bishoujo for a moment, yes?

….

….

Okay. Done.

Unlike the original version of the statue, this edition features Natasha in an alternate grey suit and wielding a stealthy knife instead of a massive sniper rifle. And, as you can tell, those are just the first of the statues, *cough*, ample features.

Before Avengers vs. X-Men there was Fear Itself. Marvel‘s previous universe spanning event incorporated both Iron Man and Black Widow as well as practically every other prominent hero to face off against a ransacking bunch of ancient Norse gods. Each of these gods manifested themselves within hammers, similar to our boy Thor‘s, which, when wielded, would infect the carrier with the god’s being. And who picked these hammers up, you might ask? Oh, just lightweights like The Thing, Hulk, and Juggernaut. So, as you might imagine, much world-shaking fisticuffs ensued. Written by former local boy, Matt Fraction, Fear Itself is an excellent jump-on point for curious Marvel readers, as well as an all around epic tale.

With epic in mind, there’s no other book coming out currently that’s better suited to the word than Prophet. Written (and occasionally illustrated) by Brandon Graham (King City), this reworking of Rob Liefeld’s original character is simply the strangest, most beautiful, unusual, brilliant comic you will read in many years. Set thousands of decades into the future, Prophet takes place all across the galaxy, following John Prophet, the last human, as he treks across Earth and other planets in search of his mission’s end. Graham has accomplished world-building on scale with Star Wars and Avatar with this book, filling his pages with dense wildlife, cultures, and equipment beyond general human imagination. Bridging sci-fi space adventure with Manga sensibilities, Prophet is a unique comic experience you won’t soon forget.