Apr 132013

The mind can be a prison.

That’s the premise of Marvel NOW‘s X-Men Legacy series.  Written by the psychedelic pen of Si Spurrier (Gutsville, X-Club), X-Men Legacy follows in the footsteps of other C-List character-centric books like Immortal Iron Fist, Hawkeye, and Fearless Defenders by focusing on Charles Xavier’s son, Legion.  Formerly a schizophrenic super-villain, Legion has now found his inner peace by entrapping his numerous vile personalities in a brain prison.  Yes, brain prison.  This out-of-the-ordinary series is one of the most unusual, pleasing reads at Marvel right now, primarily because Spurrier is unafraid to venture into the weird realms of the X-Men universe.  The volume one trade paperback features the first six issues as well as a mound of mental distress.

Science = bad.

That’s the prime equation for Jonathan Hickman’s Manhattan Projects.  If you picked up the first collection of this psychotic series, you’re well aware of Hickman’s brilliance and the utter depravity of the scientists involved therein.  If you didn’t, the basic premise is that the Manhattan Project was a mere cover for what was actually occurring, i.e. time travel, alien encounters, robots, cybernetics, and vast A.I. computer systems.  From there Hickman throws in a slew of mentally unstable geniuses like Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Fenyman, each of which are hiding a dark secret, and you’ve got the madhouse pot boiler that is this series.  Now, volume two is being unleashed upon the unsuspecting public, this time with more alien disemboweling, evil FDR, and Russian cosmonaut dogs with machine guns.  Science = bad, Manhattan Projects = good.

Think bigger.

That’s Jonathan Hickman’s mandate for his recent relaunch of The Avengers.  Not has crazy as Manhattan Projects, Hickman’s Avengers has been all about expansion.  Spinning out of the Marvel NOW relaunch, this first volume of Avengers collects issues one through six, wherein Captain America puts out the call for new members in order to fight back a godly force on Mars.  All of this is building up to figuring out the original recipe for the universe.  This version of the Avengers moves far, far away from the Bendis era, with grand, epic adventures and huge comic book imagery!  Given that Jerome Opena (Uncanny X-Force) lends his fluid pencils to the affair, this is THE Avengers book to read if you loved the movie!

While the Avengers are fighting baddies on Mars, they are not, in fact, fighting the aliens from Mars Attacks!  However, nearly everyone else is!

IDW continues its annual tradition of crossover miniseries where some evil force ventures into the various property universes the company owns.  Previously, its been zombies and Cthulhu fighting the likes of GI Joe, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Transformers (Infestion v.1-2; check’em out!), but this time around it’s the Mars Attacks! martians versus the IDW universe!  Mars Attacks IDW includes each of the one-shot volumes released, featuring KISS, Transformers, Ghostbusters, Zombies vs. Robots, and, the best of the bunch, Popeye!  Each issue is drawn and written in a style appropriate to the character so, for instance, the Popeye issue looks like a 40s era golden age book being invaded by twisted, murderous aliens.  And the only thing standing in their way is a can of spinach and one pissed off sailor!  If you never thought you’d see such insane crossovers, your mind will melt when you lay eyes on this trade paperback volume!

Dec 292012

Anything Finn can do, Fionna can do better.  And in knee socks.

The highly successful Adventure Time comic series gains another tie-in miniseries this Wednesday!  Written by co-creator and storyboard artist from the television show, Natasha Allegri, Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake brings the girl power!  Spinning out of a stand-alone episode where the regular protagonists, Finn and Jake, where gender bent into women, this miniseries gives them the spotlight for six whole issues!  As the previous Adventure Time series have sold out as fast as the Ice Queen sliding down a snowy slope, if you want a copy be sure to put your name on the pull before Wednesday or be at the store early!

Vampires have been the new hotness for quite some time now, but they’ve never been Marvel NOW!  Uh, until now.

With this week’s Morbius, the Living Vampire #1, another of Spidey‘s villains gets an empathetic make over.  After breaking out of The Raft prison in Spider-Man #699.1, Michael Morbius is attempting to find his inner good guy and satisfy his natural hunger.  Written by Joe Keatinge, up-and-coming author of Hell Yeah and Glory for Image Comic, the first issue showcases his unique blend of stylistic indy paneling and catchy, quick dialog as well as moody horror.  As is often the case, C-list characters commonly make for the best reads at the big two comic companies (for evidence, see Swamp Thing and Hawkeye), given that the writers have a leeway to put the characters through their paces in ways that the A-list characters can’t be.  Trust me, it won’t suck.  Except, you know, in the ways that a vampire book should.

The other Marvel NOW! release for this next week is Johnathon Hickman’s Avengers companion book, New Avengers #1. Like FF to Fantastic Four, this series will share characters with the main title, as well as some plot elements, making them a shared story, of sorts.  And if you’ve read Hickman’s first issue of Avengers or any of his Manhattan Projects series, you know he’s capable of giant sci-fi craziness and incredible plot twists, both qualities which he will bring to characters of New Avengers.  Starring The Illuminati, the secretive, behind-the-scenes puppet masters of the Marvel Universe, the series will feature Black Panther, Iron Man, Reed Richards, Namor, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, and Beast desperately struggling to halt the collision of two universes.  And fans of the New Universe concept of yesteryear should take note, as it’s rumored to return in this book.

Thanks to a little timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly stuff, the third series of Doctor Who Character Builder Miniatures materializes in the store this Wednesday!  Yes, we know series two hasn’t arrived yet, but, you know, time travel.  Anyway, it really doesn’t matter as each set features different characters or key characters in unique costumes.  Set three includes the Doctor in his fancy green longcoat (circa season five), Amy with Silence marks on her face, an alternate universe Rory, River Song, an Ood, and many more (check them all out to the right).  Each figure is compatible with Lego’s, if you wish to build your own Doctor Who adventure set, or feel free to pick up one of Doctor Who Character Builder playsets currently at the store.

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.

Mar 032012

Tonight’s going to begin with a bit of List-o-Mania (Any Phoenix fans out there?). There’s such an abundance of new, exciting comics coming out this Wednesday that we’ve had to condense them into a easily digestible list.

-Age of Apocalypse: Building on the Uncanny X-Force story from last year, this new ongoing will follow the continued resistance against Apocalypse and his Weapon X goons in this beloved alternate Marvel reality.
-Beyond the Fringe: Collecting new short stories which take place in the universe of popular television show Fringe, this new miniseries will be written by series regular Joshua Jackson.
-Fairest: Focusing on key female characters from the Fables universe, this new series will chronicle their lost adventures. And it’s written by Fables writer and creator, Bill Willingham.
-Hell Yeah: Award winner, Joe Keatinge, pens a violent, edgy take on the superhero world. The spawn of the world’s first super people are working overtime to maintain the world their parents left behind.
-The Manhattan Projects: Johnathon Hickman (Nightly News, Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors) releases his newest Indy series. The minds behind the atomic bomb may have cooked up something even worse…and we’re going to find out what.
-Superbia: Combining romance and superhero books, this four issue miniseries reads like the Desperate Housewives of the cape & cowl sect, focusing on the significant others of the world’s most famous heroes.

Okay, how long did that take?

Oh, you don’t have a watch? Here, borrow the Doctor‘s. This replica of the 10th Doctor‘s timepiece, seen in the Human Nature/Family of Blood two parter, comes fully detailed with Gallifreyan engravings, lights, and a real metal chain. Complete your Doctor Who ensemble with this unique piece of memorabilia.


Sorry about that. Those guys can be pretty forceful.

As an apology, please enjoying looking at this amazing X-Force Archangel Fine Art Statue.