Apr 062013
 

Regular-sized Batman is cool and all, but Li’l Batman is where it’s really at!

Dustin Nguyen, artist extraordinaire known for his covers and interiors on Batgirl and Batman: Streets of Gotham, brings his painterly pencils and ability to cute the reader out of existence to the Batman universe.  Batman:  Li’l Gotham #1 is the beginning of a new ongoing series featuring short stories packed to the brim with tiny versions of every famous Gotham resident.  Think Charlie Brown noir.  The first issue is a cavalcade of holiday tales featuring Batman, Robin, The Penguin, and more.  If you’re kids having been begging for some Batman, but you’ve kept them away from Scott Snyder’s recent run for obvious reasons, Li’l Gotham is the answer.

Zombies.  Robots.  Aliens.

Generally, a combination of the above three creatures would be a bad thing.  In the case of IDW‘s The Colonized miniseries, it is actually a very good thing.  Written by Chris Ryall, the creator of Zombies vs. Robots, and graced with covers by the reclusive Dave Sim (Cerebus), The Colonized blends horror and sci-fi by dropping aliens into the middle of a zombie apocalypse.  A surviving member of a zombie resistance camp has his hands full when a spacecraft lands in the middle of town and a government agent begins pulling tricks in order to nab the compounds gun stash.  What follows is when there’s no leader for the martians to be take too.

Your mind is not your own.

Matt Kindt, the ingenious comic creator behind Revolver, 3 Story, and the Justice League of America back-up stories, has been writing one of the most unusual, inventive comics being published for the last year and few have noticed.  Now, that may be because one of the agents from the books has been blocking your interest to hide its secrets or it may be because it’s far outside the norm of mainstream comics.  Basically, Kindt has constructed an intricate world of espionage based around the Mind MGMT agency, a secret organization that uses mental powers to control the ebb and flow of history.  They can wipe your mind, insert memories, make you hate your lover, stop you (or themselves) from feeling pain, or plant subconscious suggestions in the media, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Kindt uses every last inch of the comic page to tell his story, even writing secret code in the margins and on the back cover of each issue.  This first hardcover collection includes the first six issues of the series…or maybe that’s just what it wants you to think?

The Fantastic Four have always been my least favorite Marvel team.

That is, until Matt Fraction took over the series with Marvel NOW!  For the last six issues, Fantastic Four has proven to be one of the best Marvel series on the stands right now.  And if you’ve missed these first issues, don’t fret because Fantastic Four v.1:  New Departure, New Arrivals comes out Wednesday.  Not only does this volume contain the first three issues of the  main Fantastic Four series, but also the first two issues of FF, the companion series.  This first arc involves the departure of Marvel‘s first family, as  Reed and Sue take their kids on a cosmic field trip, and their replacement by four stand-in Fantastics.  Fraction balances classic Marvel storytelling in Fantastic Four and post-modern wackiness in FF beautifully, offering two entirely different reads in one great package.

Nov 242012
 

Say what you will about Arrow on The CW, that it’s Gossip Arrow or Smallville-lite, but the show’s improved as it has continued, often by subverting expectations (He’s arrested by episode four?!).  Now, bridging off the television show is the new Arrow #1 by Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg, the creators and head writers of the show, and classic Green Arrow artist Mike Grell.  Before Jeff Lemire revitalizes the current Green Arrow series with issue #17, Arrow #1 can be your go to book for classic fat-cat bashing and Robin Hood-daring Green Arrow adventure.  Plus, the acting’ll be better in your head than it is on the show.

And if we’re talking about classic pulpy comic adventure there is no book that’s ever existed that sums the idea up better than Dynamite‘s Masks miniseries.  Starring a combination of the greatest pulp heroes to be created, that being The Shadow, The Spider, Zorro, The Green Hornet, and Kato, Masks pits this cadre of avengers versus a fascist police state, recently instituted by a corrupt criminal government.  And if that list of pulp heroes isn’t enough, over the course of the series many more characters will join in the fray.  Considering how the epic level of epicness that this series entails, Dynamite had to get an A-list artist to draw the thing.  How about Alex Ross.  Yup, the entirety of issue #1′s interiors are drawn by the legendary artist of Kingdom Come, Marvels, Justice, and about a million iconic covers, Alex Ross, who it also should be noted hasn’t drawn interiors for a comic in about four years.  And if that wasn’t enough, Jae Lee, Francesco Francavilla, and Alex Ross all lend their talents to the book’s various covers.

Get a brohoof ready, because IDW is dropping the sparkly magic this next Wednesday.  That’s right, the cultural phenomenon that is the redux of My Little Pony has now spread to the world of comics.  I know most of you will frown and complain, but, somewhere secretly inside you all is a Bronie waiting to get out.  Well, maybe that’s an overstatement, but they are out there and they are excited about this series.  Featuring four cover variants, one of which is drawn by Jill Thompson, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is written by popular female comic writer, Katie Cook and features all your favorite ponies.  So, overcome you bias and buy one of Twilight Sparkle.

The Fantastic Four has left the planet to whisk their children around the universe on a field trip of different cultures and races, but no worries, they’ll only be gone, to our perspective, for four minutes.  Sounds fine, right?  Did I mention who they’ve left to guard the keys to the castle?  Yeah, just Ant-Man, Medusa, She-Hulk, and a pink-haired celebutant in a Thing suit.  Okay, it may go badly.  With Matt Fraction writing a classic Marvel tale in the main Fantastic Four series, his crazy, post-modern sensibilities have to have somewhere to go and that is FF #1.  Joined by popular alt-artist Mike Allred (Madman, X-Force, Daredevil), this Marvel NOW! series is going to bring the unusual in a very, very good way.

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.

Apr 202012
 

Close, close in a gaming store not so far away…

STAR WARS CARD SLEEVES!!!!!

Yes, hum the theme song in your head if you must. Fantasy Flight has released an exceptional limited run of specialty Star Wars backed card sleeves. So, play Magic with the man who shot first or catch’em all with Lord Vader or throw them on any other card game that needs some sci-fi spice. But whatever you do, pick them up before an X-Wing comes along and vaporizes them because there will not be any prequels here.

Of course, if space battles and laser swords aren’t your thing, maybe the other limited edition Lord of the Rings sleeves will be. Slip them over your favorite standard sized cards to give them a Samwise Gamgee to their Frodo Baggins. Or grasp the One Ring to rule all other swag-less individuals. Whatever you choose, wield them responsibly.

You want to kick your Warhammer Fantasy RPG game up to level 4? How about level 5? Then let Hero’s Call be Fantasy’s version of the Spinal Tap speaker! Chocked full of new hero and GM options for careers, action cards, talents, spells, and region options, this player’s resource is loaded with must-have ingredients for kicking your game up a couple levels.

Bringing Cthulhu to the deck-building party, Penny Arcade: Rumble in R’Lyeh is both a standalone game and an expansion for last year’s Penny Arcade: The Game, Gamers vs. Evil! So, players can enjoy Eldar God gaming goodness in the base 2-4 player version of the game or combine it with the previous game for excessive nerd overload. Rumble in R’Lyeh specifically adds Gold cards to the gameplay, which must be acquired through the use of Token and Power cards. Totally worth it when they have names like Gunhorse (a horse made of guns, duh!), Sad Zombie, and Gabe’s Gross Mouth.

Bridging books and board games, the Where the Wild Things Are board game from the Tales to Play series, lets families take control of Max’s journey to the land of the Wild Things. Each player controls a different Max miniature game piece on his trek through the becoming king of the Wild Things. Players draw cards and roll dice to decide their success or failure across the illustrated game board. Great gameplay and Wild Thing miniatures for the whole family.

Gamers have been waiting for this next exapnsion since somewhere around the dawn of man. Yes,  has finally arrived. Adding not only a fifth player ability to the game, but a new item dubbed decoration. Players may now trade their resources for this item in an effort to gain further points. Club someone if you have too, fight a t-rex, do whatever you have to for a copy of this valued expansion.

Apr 142012
 

Kansas City is lucky enough to be home to many successful, talented, prominent comic writers and artists. Primary among them is Jason Aaron. As writer of Wolverine and the X-Men, Wolverine, Incredible Hulk, Scalped, and Avengers Versus X-Men, Jason is easily one of the top writers at Marvel Comics and, because of that, we’re happy to have him come sign at Pulp this Wednesday. Jason will be signing not only the newest copies of Incredible Hulk, Wolverine and the X-Men, and Avengers vs. X-Men, but also all of his previous work. He’ll be at the store from 3 to 7, so make sure to come pick your books up around that time. Also, due to mass demand for the AvX series and the need to have copies for Jason to sign, that issue will go on sale at 3 when Jason arrives. Come out and make him feel welcome.

Stieg Larsson’s worldwide bestseller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, has been made into two films already, but neither of them will compare to the new Vertigo comic adaptation launching this year. But before the actually series comes out, you all will get a chance to sample it with this Wednesday’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo special sample issue. And remember, the first volume of graphic novels will be out this November.

Following in line with Dynamite‘s other recent pulp hero reworkings, such as Lord of the Jungle and Warlord of Mars, the new Shadow series is sure to be a good read. A large factor in that assumption is that Garth Ennis, author of such gruesome, disturbing series as The Boys and Crossed, will be penning the series. Each of the issues covers will also be drawn by some of the industry’s greatest artists, including John Cassady, Alex Ross, and Jae Lee. The Shadow knows…that you will buy a copy.

One of the quickest comic series of recent memory to rise to legendary status has to be The Ultimates by Mark Millar. Millar’s modern take on classic characters like Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and Hawkeye turned the book into a dynamic, drama-filled read offering versions of these characters like you’ve never read before. Many fans have read his first two volumes of that amazing series, but not as many realize he went on to write four other volumes of the book. Luckily, all four of these stories, featuring battles with vampires, Ghost Rider Vice Presidents, Australlian Hulks, and intense, city demolishing conflicts, are all collected in the new Ultimate Avengers by Mark Millar Omnibus. This oversized hardcover is the easiest way to catch up on these follow-up series, the last of which ties in with the Death of Spider-Man storyline of Ultimate Spider-Man. Grab a copy before Nick Fury redacts the entire thing.

Speaking of the Death of Spider-Man storyline, the trade paperback ships this Wednesday. Collecting the last issues of the series before the relaunch with Miles Morales, this volume details Peter’s final battle with the Green Goblin, resulting in his death. If you picked up the series and have been loving it, you owe it to yourself to pick up, not only, this volume, but the entire series.