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.

Mar 302013
 

Polarity may tell you that car accidents can cause superpowers, but, please, don’t believe it.

Do, however, enjoy the fictional psychedelically tale  that Say Anything frontman, Max Bemis, weaves in his Boom Studios miniseries.  Rule one of writing is to “write what you know”, and Bemis has taken that to heart in Polarity by focusing the story around a bipolar rocker who gets in a car wreck and finds his disorder is actually a special ability.  And if you’ve found you have superpowers and a rocker, you’re probably going to play your guitar with you mind and punch bad guys in their mugs.  You might also choose to include a special downloadable song with each issue.  

This next year brings with it a number of amazing looking video games, primary among them is The Last of Us.  Serving up some gorgeous post-apocalyptic New York landscapery, this game stars a teenage girl and a grizzled older man surviving against the elements and hordes of roving marauders.  Dark Horse‘s The Last of Us: American Dreams tells the tale of how the girl, Ellie, made it through the initial years of the apocalypse before she met her guardian.  Written by one of the creators behind the video game, this miniseries is an essential read before playing the game.

Sean Murphy produced the artwork for the surreal toyland adventure series Joe the Barbarian, showing the comic world how expressive, expansive comic storytelling is done.  Last year Murphy brought his scratchy style to Vertigo and the series Punk Rock Jesus.  Now, all six issues are out in a handy trade paperback presentation.  Religion and television are crammed together in the series as a cloned version of Jesus, named J2, becomes the star of a hit reality show.  How J2 affects those closest to him as well as the entire country, is what the series becomes interested in discussing.  Profanity, lewdness, vulgarity, and sacrilegious debauchery are the order of the day in Punk Rock Jesus, so pick it up if you dare.

Let’s be honest, everyone who saw The Avengers last summer loved it.  However, only about a third of those people understood who the purple-chinned dude was in the after credits scene.  No matter which person you are, you’re going to want to pick up Marvel‘s Thanos Rising miniseries.  Jason Aaron brings a hefty dose of the legendary epicness he’s been serving up in Thor God of Thunder to this soon-to-be-classic series detailing Thanos’ rise to power.  Brought to life not only by Aaron’s stellar words, but also Simone Bianchi’s tapestry-esque paneling; a painterly equivalent to Esad Ribic’s art on Thor.  Plus, this series will lead into the upcoming arcs of both Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova, two of the hottest Marvel NOW books on the shelves.

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.

Dec 152012
 

Before we get into the pimping of cool merchandise, everyone at Pulp just wants to give a special thank you to everybody who came out last Wednesday and made Dennis Hopless’ signing a HUGE, HUGE success.  We’re all very proud of Dennis and watching him rise to prominence as a Marvel writer, so it’s nice to see so many of our customers are ready to support him.

Now with the mushy stuff out of the way, let’s talk about another kind of mushy stuff.  I mean seriously, was anyone not shocked speechless after Avengers Arena #1?!!  Well, luckily, you don’t have to wait that long to see which hero bites the dust next and what the fallout will be regarding the first major death of the series, because issue #2 drops this Wednesday.  That’s right, only a week after issue #1, you get to have another helping of violent, grisly teen drama served to you on a platter.

And, not surprise here, Cable & X-Force #2 also ships this Wednesday, providing answers for the Phalanx infection that seems to be encroaching on the pleasant beach at the end issue #1.  Plus more firing of absurdly giant guns.

Comic readers have spoken and Marvel has listened.  Because of the outcry for more female creators and characters in comics, Marvel has begun to publish a number of series either written or drawn by women, as well as many featuring the superheroines of the universe.  First among them is the most recent ongoing Captain Marvel series.  Written by the quirky Kelly Sue DeConnick, Captain Marvel brings Carol Danvers back to prominence by bringing her name and costume out of the dark ages of comic sexism and into the modern era.  The first issue of the collection will bring any new reader up-to-date while the second storyline sends Carol back in time to team-up with one of her airwomen idols of World War II.  Certainly a great gift for a daughter or niece looking to get into comics.

Remember, the D is silent.

Read the story before seeing the film with the first issue of Django Unchained.  Usually film-to-comic adaptations are weak sauce, but a there’s a couple special aspects of this series that set it apart from the others.  Foremost, R.M. Gueara, the artist of Jason Aaron’s gritty, legendary crime epic Scalped, lends his chalky, scratchy pencils to Tarantino’s vision, grounding the book in a moody atmosphere.  Also, given that Gueara did little other work while working on Scalped, Django Unchained offers another rare chance to see his skill at work.  Along with the artwork, the book’s plot and dialog is lifted directly from Tarantino’s screenplay, including scenes that didn’t make it to the theatrical cut of the movie.

With the cold weather encroaching this winter, there’s only one acceptable way of warming yourself up:  wrapping a schizophrenic, murdering superhero around your shivering body.  And if that’s your plan, there’s only one of those around, and that’s Deadpool, baby!  So, grab yourself a merry little Deadpool Hoodie this season, whether it’s in medium, large, extra large, or double XL.

No one will question why you’re talking to yourself in public ever again.

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.