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- 01/11/18--15:44: _The Goldfinch Movie...
- 01/13/18--10:16: _Superman Leads a Fi...
- 01/13/18--11:05: _Thor 4: The Marvel ...
- 01/13/18--13:10: _DC in D.C. 2018 Liv...
- 01/15/18--15:50: _Power Rangers: Shat...
- 01/15/18--16:08: _Best New Comics in ...
- 01/15/18--17:20: _Tom King to Write S...
- 01/16/18--10:09: _Black Lightning: A ...
- 01/16/18--10:15: _The Umbrella Academ...
- 01/16/18--12:13: _WWE Royal Rumble 20...
- 01/16/18--12:41: _Shadowhunters Seaso...
- 01/16/18--13:52: _Babylon 5 Creator J...
- 01/16/18--17:18: _Russell Tovey on Th...
- 01/16/18--19:32: _New Domino Series C...
- 01/16/18--21:34: _New Dick Tracy Comi...
- 01/17/18--12:35: _Supergirl Season 3 ...
- 01/18/18--11:28: _RoboCop: Citizens A...
- 01/18/18--17:08: _Den of Geek Book Cl...
- 01/18/18--17:23: _Binti & The Wonders...
- 01/18/18--17:40: _Den of Geek Book Cl...
- 01/19/18--14:34: _New Superman Costum...
- 01/19/18--16:04: _Legends of Tomorrow...
- 01/19/18--19:38: _The World of Black ...
- 01/21/18--16:11: _Marvel's Godzilla C...
- 01/11/18--15:44: The Goldfinch Movie: Luke Wilson Joins Ansel Elgort
- 01/13/18--11:05: Thor 4: The Marvel Villains We Want to See
- 01/13/18--13:10: DC in D.C. 2018 Live Stream: America Through the Lens of Superheroes
- 01/15/18--15:50: Power Rangers: Shattered Grid Teams Revealed
- 01/15/18--16:08: Best New Comics in 2018: Winter and Spring Recommendations
- 01/15/18--17:20: Tom King to Write Sanctuary Comic About Superhero Trauma
- 01/16/18--10:09: Black Lightning: A Comics Reading Guide for the TV Fan
- 01/16/18--10:15: The Umbrella Academy Release Date, Cast, & Everything Else We Know
- 01/16/18--12:13: WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Special is Wrestling Comics Done Right
- 01/16/18--12:41: Shadowhunters Season 3 Release Date, Trailer, Cast
- 01/16/18--13:52: Babylon 5 Creator J. Michael Straczynski To Pen Memoir
- 01/16/18--17:18: Russell Tovey on The Ray's Live-Action & Animated Future
- 01/16/18--19:32: New Domino Series Coming From Marvel
- 01/16/18--21:34: New Dick Tracy Comic Canceled Before Publication
- 01/18/18--11:28: RoboCop: Citizens Arrest Shows Us Alex Murphy 30 Years Later
- 01/18/18--17:08: Den of Geek Book Club Pick: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
- 01/18/18--17:23: Binti & The Wonders of Nnedi Okorafor
- 01/18/18--17:40: Den of Geek Book Club Giveaway: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
- 01/19/18--14:34: New Superman Costume Coming to Action Comics #1000
- 01/19/18--16:04: Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 Adds Kid Flash, Keiynan Lonsdale
- 01/19/18--19:38: The World of Black Expands to...the World
- 01/21/18--16:11: Marvel's Godzilla Comics Were Monstrously Weird
The John Crowley-directed film has also cast Sarah Paulson, Jeffrey Wright, and Aneurin Barnard.
Warner Bros. and Amazon Studios are putting together a talented cast for their movie adaptation of Dona Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning thriller The Goldfinch. Luke Wilson just signed on to play the father character to Ansel Elgort's Theodore Decker.
The Goldfinch is the story of a young man who, after surviving a terrorist attack at the Met that killed his mother, is drawn into New York City's art underworld. At one point in the narrative, Theodore ends up in Las Vegas with his father, a failed actor and alcoholic, which is where Wilson comes in.
Brooklyn's John Crowley is helming the feature film, which also stars Sarah Paulson (as Xandra), Jeffrey Wright (as Hobie), and Aneurin Barnard (as Boris). According to Variety, Willa Fitzgerald is also in talks to sign on as Kitsey Barbour.
The Goldfinch film is slated to begin shooting later this month. It is being co-financed, with Amazon Studios investing more than a third of the film's budget (estimated to be roughly $40 million, according to Variety). While Warner Bros. will distribute the film in theaters, Amazon will have streaming rights.
More news on The Goldfinch film adaptation when we hear it.
It's zero gravity time in this exclusive preview of the wonderful story in Superman #39.
Every once in a while, it's really nice to take a break from the regular action in Superman stories and look at Superman as an in-universe inspirational figure. It's easy to get bogged down in grumbly life-or-death battles and lose sight of him as a guy just trying to do as much good for as many people as possible. So when you get stories like Superman delivering presents to kids on Christmas Eve, or building a house at super-speed for Habitat for Humanity, or this one from Superman #39, it's a wonderful change of pace.
DC sent over an exclusive first look at the issue for us, and may have also dropped an advance copy of the issue on the ground and pushed it towards us with their toe, knowingly raising their eyebrows the whole time. Having read it, I can assure you that these are not tears, my eyeballs are just sweating.
Series regular writers Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason give Clark a breather this issue and have him and his friends in the Justice League take a group of kids from Metropolis Children's Hospital to the Justice League Watchtower to hang out for an afternoon. I would throw a spoiler warning up if it was warranted, but there isn't really anything to spoil about the issue - it's just a lovely, sweet reminder of the good these characters do in and out of the comics, full of joy without a hint of cynicism. Honestly, it's a breath of fresh air.
Barry Kitson steps in for some fill-in art, and that's a hell of a sentence to write. He does a magnificent job of showing the awe these kids feel, and nailing some subtle character moments with the League. There are a couple of nice bits at the start and the end that add to the pleasantness of the issue, and along with a great cover from Chris Burnham, the art here is every bit as top notch as you'd expect. Superman #39 is out Wednesday, January 17th.
Check out the preview.
Chris Hemsworth wants Thor 4 to happen. So do we. Here are the Marvel villains we want to see him fight on screen.
While Thor: Ragnarok certainly brought a certain sense of finality to that corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and things aren't likely to get any easier for the God of Thunder in Avengers: Infinity War, it would appear that his story is far from over. Chris Hemsworth recently said he thinks Thor 4 (hey, that rhymes!) could happen and we would be 100% okay with that particular turn of events.
But after a story the size of Ragnarok, what could be next? Thor has some awesome enemies in his list of mythic, nefarious, and sometimes human rogues, some of them well known, and others (perhaps thankfully) are somewhat forgotten. This could be our last chance to see some of these characters make it to the big screen.
If Marvel Studios is listening, here is a list for future possible villains to take on Thor and his surviving Asgardian pals!
Between Loki, Malekith, the Destroyer, and Kurse, Thor has had his hands full with mythic threats from all over the Nine Realms. What he has yet to face is a worthy human adversary. One of the most fascinating aspects regarding Thor is the perception that he's a god (it's just a perception, of course). How would this change established world religious views?
Charles Blackwood is a modern day warrior of the Biblical God. He is sworn to protect the world from any and all pagan symbols. Imagine a film Crusader as part of a Westboro Baptist Church type organization sworn to destroy Thor (God hates gods?). Crusader’s power stems from his unwavering faith in his God, a power that diminishes if he ever questions his Lord. How would Crusader’s faith hold against Thor?
A cinematic clash of modern day Crusaders and Asgard could be pretty intense if pulled off correctly. The Crusader might not be Thor’s biggest marquee baddie but there is a lot here to work with thematically. It would also make sense if Asgard is going to set itself up on Earth after the events of Thor: Ragnarok.
Ah, Bloodaxe, the perennial Thor villain of the '90s, that magical era when it was law that every new character had to have blood, wind, rage, or axe in his name. But Bloodaxe is actually pretty cool with a connection to one of Thor’s greatest foes, Skurge (yes, that Skurge!).
The coolest twist surrounding Bloodaxe is that he is actually a she! A woman named Jackie Lucas, lover of mulleted hero Thunderstrike, was secretly cursed by the Axe to become Bloodaxe. But it’s probably best to keep Thunderstrike away from the Marvel Movie Universe...the world is not ready for our '90s shame.
While usually a benevolent race, the Asgardians and Odin’s past sins are many. Odin himself once committed genocide against the Vanir, a rival race of beings that warred with the Asgardians. Mangog is a creature made up of the rage of the billions and billions of Vanir that Odin slew.
Mangog is Odin’s sins made flesh, and a chance for Sir Anthony Hopkins to return as Odin (via flashback). Mangog is one of Jack Kirby’s more nightmarish and striking designs and would make a fearsome image on screen.
Later on in Marvel lore, Mangog was a minion of none other than Thanos! See how easy this would be?
No, not The Simpsons character! One of Thor’s oldest foes, Radioactive Man, aka Chen Lu, is another Earthbound villain. A loyal Chinese soldier, the Radioactive Man purposely exposed himself to radiation in order to serve his country better as a super-agent. It was established in the first Avengers film that the world’s governments started freaking out when Thor arrived on Earth.
The Radioactive Man could be China’s response to Thor’s arrival, especially if he's going to be hanging around on Earth more in Thor 4. Radioactive Man can show film audiences the political ramifications of having a being like Thor around and allow the usually fantasy-based franchise to explore some new themes and conflicts. As a recurring Avengers villain and a member of the Thunderbolts, Radioactive Man certainly has the cache to warrant a future film spotlight.
Zarrko, the Tomorrow Man
A time-traveling despot from the 23rd Century, Zarrko could introduce the element of time travel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You just know Kang will show up sooner or later in the Avengers films and Zarrko’s presence can be a precursor to that inevitable main event.
Listen, it would be Thor versus an evil freaking Doctor Who, what more do you need to know?
He was one of Thor’s earliest villains and has been used to great effect by Mark Waid over in the pages of The Indestructible Hulk, proving the villain translates well in the modern era. Thor and Asgard versus an evil Time Lord. Film it!
Y’know what…no, I can’t do it. I made Zarrko work, but I can’t work miracles.
Another product of Odin’s relentless smiting, Fafnir was the last survivor of an evil race that used a mystic pool to transform himself into a mighty dragon. Fafnir has a power set that sets him apart from more mundane dragon adversaries (I’m looking at you, Fin Fang Foom) as he has the ability to cast illusions and shape-shift.
Thor’s encounters with Fafnir as rendered by Jack Kirby resonate to this day with eyeball-punching power and would translate well into film. Fafnir has been a pawn of Loki and Kurse so he does have ties to established film villains. Plus, hello, Kirby dragon!
Karnilla, the Norn Queen
A frequent ally of Loki, Karnilla can be a way to finally introduce Balder the Brave into the cinematic world of Thor. Karnilla can kind of be seen as the female Loki (except when Loki is the female Loki), a powerful sorceress with a chaotic nature and a huge ego. She is deeply in love with Balder and would do anything to win his affections while the hapless and innocent Balder is addled by her attentions, an amusing and complex dichotomy between the two Thor mainstays.
Karnilla is directly responsible, along with Loki, in granting powers to the villainous Wrecker, another villain ready for a film appearance. Her cunning, beauty, and love of Balder make Karnilla a multi-faceted threat to Thor and company.
Is she even still alive after Thor: Ragnarok? Who knows!
There are seven of them, they all have hammers, and they are all established Marvel badasses working for the Serpent. In the comic crossover event Fear Itself, the Serpent was the daughter of the Red Skull using dark Asgardian magics to bring fear and darkness to Earth in order to punish Odin, and transformed some Marvel mainstays into the Worthy to do it.
A familial connection to the Skull is certainly doable in the Marvel Movie Universe and now that other members of the Worthy, like Thing and Juggernaut, are available for Marvel to use, the idea of familiar heroes and villains corrupted by dark magic would certainly make for an intense film. Imagine audience reaction when the Hulk is revealed as Nul, Breaker of Worlds and goes hammer to hammer against Thor. That's a rematch, right there.
In the pages of Invincible Iron Man, writer Matt Fraction proved how terrifying a nihilist with the powers of turning someone to stone can be.
The Gargoyle received his powers through the ever-popular chemical accident but the film can make him a minion of Loki or any other Asgardian puppet master, or a struggling artist trying to get publicity by turning a god into a statue. As Marvel’s Medusa (but French), the Gargoyle has been a joke for too long and deserves some respect. There’s a worshipping false idol joke here somewhere, but I’m not finding it.
Now that audiences are more than comfortable with the concept of the Asgardian gods existing side-by-side with humanity in the Marvel Universe, it might be time to explore the other pantheons. Crossover those Greek gods with Thor and the Asgardians and you have one wholly unique storytelling experience.
In the Marvel Universe, Pluto’s status of god of the underworld can bring into play the nature of death in the Nine Realms and allow Kevin Feige and company to bring Hercules into the fold. Who says Ragnarok only has to effect Asgard? Maybe Thor can save Hercules from Pluto’s realm, or Hercules and Thor are forced into a competition by Loki and Pluto? Whatever the case, the Greek gods getting showcased in Thor is a natural progression as each installment branches out into new realms...and offers Marvel more spinoff opportunities down the road.
Yeah, Mephisto appeared in Ghost Rider, but it doesn’t count because it was Ghost Rider. Mephisto started out as a Silver Surfer villain but has become an all-purpose tempter that has plagued all the heroes of the Marvel Universe, including Thor.
Mephisto has entered into pacts with Loki and Hela over the years, and let’s face it, what fan would pass up seeing Thor versus the Devil versus Loki on the silver screen? A duel of liars with Thor in the middle. Film…This!
Wrecker and the Wrecking Crew
As stated previously, there is a bevy of Earthbound villains waiting for Thor, and if that's where the big guy is gonna hang his winged helmet for a while, then it's time we see these guys. The Wrecker and the Wrecking Crew are some of Thor’s greatest Earthbound baddies. They are no strangers to god-bashing as they violently took out Hercules in Roger Stern’s classic Masters of Evil story in the pages of The Avengers, plus they were created by the machinations of Loki and Karnilla, so there is a deep Asgardian connection.
There could be drama and infighting between the members of the Crew to give the film an extra edge. Between the crowbar, the wrecking ball, and the hammer, this would be like Bob Villa’s worst nightmare, but pretty awesome for Marvel fans.
Ulik and the Trolls
Fans got the Dark Elves in Thor: The Dark World, so why not take things in the other direction and go with the Trolls of Nornheim? So, the Dark Elves were pretty cool, but they weren’t really much of a physical threat to Thor (‘cept Kurse...Kurse ruled), they were kind of just really aggressive ballet dancers in mime masks. The Trolls are brutish and merciless, and their greatest warrior, Ulik, is the worst of the bunch.
For a time, Ulik even replaced Thor on Earth by disguising himself as the god Tanarus when Thor was believed dead. An earthly showdown between Thor and a disguised Ulik would be pretty cool. They're probably as annoyed about the fate of Asgard as anyone else, and want to take it out on somebody.
The legend and history of the Frost Giants are deeply ingrained in the cinematic Thor’s mythology. As Loki descendants, the presence of the Frost Giants are never far away and fans know Laufey and his people are just itching for revenge after the way the gods defeated them and Loki used them in the first Thor movie. Perhaps their Frost Giant god, Ymir, will want revenge for the slight his proud race suffered. Or maybe he survived Ragnarok and wants revenge.
Ymir is one of Kirby’s most grandiose creations, a walking, angry glacier fueled by hatred of the Asgardians. The final battle between Frost Giants and Asgard is just an epic waiting to be told, and Ymir could be Thor’s greatest challenge if this conflict comes to fruition.
Where Pluto would provide the master villain for Thor if the Asgardians meet the Greek Pantheon, Ares would provide an arch rival, a foil, and possibly a future Avenger if the God of War were to show up in a Thor film. Ares’ 2006 mini-series by Michael Avon Oeming and Travel Foreman was a critical darling and the character eventually became a full-fledged Avenger. This journey could be mirrored in a film.
Ares is a complex character with a son who is the center of his world; he is constantly torn by his duties to the gods and his duties as a father. Really, Ares’ story is so gripping it would make a fine movie of its own someday, but until then, the God of Thunder versus the God of War is just too awesome to resist.
Ares could be the perfect adversary for Thor, a great anti-hero, and if Marvel is brave, a future film franchise.
Amora the Enchantress
One of the greatest romances in the Marvel Universe was Skurge and Amora. At first, Skurge seemed like a pawn for Amora to exploit, but in recent years it has been revealed that Amora had deep feelings for Skurge, the only man who ever was truly devoted to her. This star-crossed love would make any movie plot soar as Amora wants someone to answer for Skurge's fate.
The Enchantress is every bit as cunning as Loki and would be a perfect foil for him. The ready-made love triangle (rhombus, hexagon?) with Thor, Jane, Sif, and Amora’s sister, Lorelei is just too much melodrama to resist. Then again, both Jane and Sif were strangely absent from Ragnarok, so it's tough to imagine they'd show up in Thor 4. Again, Amora was a founding member of the Masters of Evil and it is about time Marvel focus their energies on a worthy female adversary for their heroes. It can be argued that she is the greatest villainess in the Marvel Universe and it is time the world came under Amora’s spell.
Gorr, the God Butcher
A villain has to be pretty damn evil to land in this top spot when he was just introduced in 2013, but Gorr is just that vile. While many on this list are gods, Gorr is devoted to the destruction of all gods. Yes, he is an alien serial killer that preys on gods.
Long ago, Gorr’s family was killed as a result of a battle between the gods on Gorr’s world, after which, he devoted his life to punishing the beings that dare calls themselves divine. In Aaron’s tale, Thor must team with his brash, younger self and his older post-Ragnarok self in order to defeat Gorr, so get ready for a trifecta of Hemsworth...Three Thors versus one bloodthirsty god butcher. This was the biggest Thor story that didn't have the name Kirby or Simonson in the credits and is the standard to which all modern Thor stories will be held to.
Watch the live stream of DC in D.C. this MLK weekend!
Warner Bros. Television Group and DC Entertainment are heading to Washington D.C. this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend for the ultimate superhero fan event of the year!
The event, aptly named "DC in D.C.", is set to take place Friday, January 12, and Saturday, January 13, 2018, at the Newseum. The event intends to explore current issues in the United States—pop culture, entertainment, and enlightenment—all through the lens of superhero fictions. Comic book artists and writers will join various guests from politics, government service, entertainment, business, academia, and more in a series of panel discussions.
"DC in D.C." will also showcase the world premiere of The CW's upcoming DCTV series Black Lightning, based on the first black DC superhero with his own standalone comic title; panel discussions with stars and producers from Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and other DC-brand shows; prominent DC Comics writers and artists; and a premiere screening of the highly anticipated DC animated film Batman: Gotham By Gaslight among other exclusives.
DC in D.C. 2018 Live Stream
Follow along with the "DC in D.C" 2018 live stream here:
DC in D.C. 2018 Schedule
From the official press release, scheduled participants include:
- The stars of Black Lightning—Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, Damon Gupton and James Remar—along with executive producers Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil
- Executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, Black Lightning, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl, upcoming Titans) plus television series stars Caity Lotz (Legends of Tomorrow), Candice Patton (The Flash), Danielle Panabaker (The Flash), J.W. Cortes (Gotham), Russell Tovey (Freedom Fighters: The Ray) and others to be announced.
- DC comic book writers and artists such as DC Entertainment’s Jim Lee, Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Shea Fontana, Agnes Garbowska, Tom King, Steve Orlando, Alice Randall, Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley, Mark Russell, Mariko Tamaki and DC Entertainment’s Geoff Johns, the best-selling author of Rebirth and Doomsday Clock.
For more details on events, panels, as well as other highlights, please visit dcindc2018.com or follow @warnerbrostv and @DCComics on Twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag #DCinDC!
The biggest Power Rangers team-up ever draws in Rangers from many different seasons.
The Power Rangers comic is about to unleash a huge event with Power Rangers: Shattered Grid (running through Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Go Go Power Rangers) and thanks to IGN we know what seasons some of the Rangers will be drawn from.
Dino Super Charge, RPM, Time Force, Ninja Steel and Dino Thunder.
We know for sure Jen, the Pink Time Force Ranger will be there and she'll be the one to kick off the events.
In May 2018 BOOM! Studios and Saban Brands will also unleash a free comic that ties into the ongoing event. See below for the press release and we'll explain just why it's a big deal.
BOOM! Studios and Saban Brands announce the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS 2018 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY SPECIAL. Arriving in comic shops worldwide on Free Comic Book Day (May 5th, 2018), this FREE comic is a tie-in to the hotly anticipated POWER RANGERS: SHATTERED GRID comic book event and features the story of how Zordon turns to the Morphin Masters for help in the Power Rangers’ darkest hour as the Rangers battle Lord Drakkon—an evil version of Tommy, the Green Ranger, from an alternate reality. The issue will be written by Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and Ryan Parrott (Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers) and illustrated by Diego Galindo (Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Dog Men).
Morphin Masters? Okay, if you aren't the most hardcore of Power Rangers fans you might not recall what the hell the Morphin Masters are. Basically, there was an early MMPR episode where Zordon casually name dropped the Morphin Masters in relation to the Power Eggs in the episode "Big Sisters". The kind of throwaway line MMPR was known for but for years fans have speculated what the hell the Morphin Masters were. Well knowing how insane the Power Rangers comics can get with continuity we're excited to see their take on it.
Check out the cover of the comic (which sadly doesn't feature any Morphin Masters.)
Shamus Kelley can not get over the inclusion of the Morphin Masters! Follow him on Twitter!
We want to keep you up to date on all the best new and upcoming comics out there!
Editor's Note: Be sure to bookmark this page for new comic book recommendations as the year goes on!
The monthly Previews catalogue presents comic fans with a daunting task: to weed through 700 pages of variant covers to porn comics that nobody reads so you can find the comics, trades, collectibles, action figures and games that you might want; preorder them; and save comics. That’s why we at Den of Geek have decided to do your job for you: each month, we’re going to go through the catalogue and find the ten most interesting things you need from Previews.
Superboy Book 1: Trouble in Paradise
The '90s are still a thing, right? It doesn't get more '90s than Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett's immensely enjoyable tales of young Conner Kent...before he was even called that.
In the aftermath of the “Death of Superman” and the return of the Man of Steel, the new Superboy moves to Hawaii! But as his powers develop, the young clone of Superman must learn to be a hero as he battles villains including Sidearm and Knockout, and faces the effects of the dread clone plague! Collects issues #0-11.
This picture isn't entirely accurate. The main image for the article is what shows up in Previews if you're looking to preorder the second omnibus-sized hardcover edition of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's critically acclaimed, surprisingly sensitive comic adaptation of an abridged list of Urban Dictionary sex positions. The above picture, the book titled Down,Boy, is in fact what you would see if you removed the dust jacket from the first oversized hardcover collection of Sex Criminals. My local comic shop had a copy sans dust jacket sitting on the front table when I first went in, but it sold before I could come back and buy it and I have regretted it ever since. Don't be that guy.
BIG HARD SEX CRIMINALS HC VOL. 2NOV170713(W) Matt Fraction (A/CA) Chip Zdarsky
When Jon and Suzie have sex, time stops-literally. What happens next? They rob banks, of course. Now they must try to stay out of trouble, too-and also love-but mostly trouble, yet everything keeps on complicating and getting all feelings-y and stuff.
Gathering together for the first time in full glorious color on oversized pages and almost entirely in the right order comes the pulse-quickening, pants-tightening, heart-pokening third and fourth arcs of the award-winning, bestselling, can't-believe-this-is-actually-our-jobs sex comedy SEX CRIMINALS, with bonus content (some created exclusively for this volume) and a modesty cover beneath the dust jacket to enable shame-free public consumption.
Collects SEX CRIMINALS #11-20
This is just a fresh printing of a book that Dark Horse has had on shelves for a couple of years now, but this collection of Hiroaki Samura's acclaimed manga is being reissued to coincide with Takashi Miike's glorious, majestically gory film based on it. This book looks fantastic, and went on forever, so if you're looking for a series to disappear into for the new year, you've found it.
BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL OMNIBUS VOL. 1MAR178639(W) Hiroaki Samura (A/CA) Hiroaki Samura
A cursed, seemingly immortal warrior aids a young girl in her quest for revenge. Samuramassive manga series spawned an anime run, a spinoff novel, an art book, and a live-action film! Intense and audacious, Blade takes period samurai action and deftly combines it with a modernist street idiom to create a style and mood like no other work of graphic fiction! Collects volumes 1-3.
THE SILENCE OF OUR FRIENDSNOV171692(W) Mark Long, Jim Demonakos (A/CA) Nate Powell
As the civil rights struggle heats up in Texas, two families-one white, one black-find common ground. This semi-autobiographical tale is set in 1967 Texas, against the backdrop of the fight for civil rights. A white family from a notoriously racist neighborhood in the suburbs and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houston's color line, overcoming humiliation, degradation, and violence to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman. Semi-fictionalized, this story has its roots solidly in very real events. The Silence of Our Friends is a new and important entry in the body of civil rights literature for older teens and adults.
CS Pacat and Johanna The Mad's story about competitive high school fencing feels like some really fun sports manga, but without any of the cultural gaps that some readers tend to hit in the less fantastical manga genres. It's real and earnest and well drawn and characterized, and it has the added benefit of being about fencing, which is IRL super badass. Although I wish the International Olympic Committee would lean into all this fancy new wireless technology already and introduce a new fencing discipline: Team Swashbuckling.
FENCE #3NOV171355(W) C.S. Pacat (A/CA) Johanna the Mad
As Nicholas works to become a better fencer, Seiji takes an unexpected interest in his journey.In Shops: Jan 17, 2018SRP: $3.99
Joan Cornella is MESSED UP. His first book, Mox Nox, is one of the most darkly funny things I've ever read. His comics are half Cyanide and Happiness, half The Far Side, half French silent cartoon. The fact that he doesn't put words in the comics adds a degree of difficulty, and the fact that he pull it off and still manages to make screwed up dark comedy with just body language and staging makes him a borderline genius.
ZONZONOV161564(W) Joan Cornella (A/CA) Joan Cornella
Following the success of Joan Cornellà's first book, the viciously funny Mox Nox, Zonzo continues the tradition with 50 all-new strips of smiling psychopaths (human and anthropomorphic) and (often literal) side-splitting farce. Cornellà's humor mixes the absurdist comedy of Michael Kupperman with transgressive, political incorrectness.In Shops: Jan 18, 2017SRP: $14.99
Al Ewing and Mike Del Mundo is a killer combo. We've raved about Del Mundo's work before, but it's worth repeating: a painter who can tell a story like this with sequential art is a wizard. What we haven't talked about extensively is the work Al Ewing has done in the weirdest corners of the Marvel Universe. On Ultimates and Ultimates 2, Ewing dug his teeth into the abstract concepts of the Marvel cosmic world - Eternity, Chaos, Order, Logos, Galactus, Ego, the very multiverses themselves - and made them insanely fun to read about. The concepts introduced, and the joy with which Ewing wrote, made these books some of my all time favorites. He's not quite hitting the same level with Royals, but that's largely because the Inhumans are tougher raw material to work with. But he's still doing great work, and Judgement Day is the capstone to the story he's been telling. You should definitely check it out.
INHUMANS: JUDGEMENT DAY #1NOV170940(W) Al Ewing (A) Michael Del Mundo (CA) Daniel Acuna
THE INUMANS FACE THE WRATH OF THEIR CREATORS!The Royal Family has spent months tracking down Primagen, the element that birthed Terrigen and could save the Inhuman race from its slow extinction. But to get it, they confronted the Progenitors - beings older than the Earth itself. They stole fire from the gods. And the gods are angry. The fate of planet Earth once again sits in Black Bolt and Medusa's hands. The Progenitors are here to end their experiment once and for all - and our world with it. Who will be able to stand...on Judgment Day?Rated T+In Shops: Jan 24, 2018SRP: $4.99
Lion Forge is doing some really interesting stuff to build their new superhero universe. The growth of their Catalyst Prime line (and the alternative that they're providing to creators disillusioned with the Big 2) is a seriously underplayed story from the comics industry in 2017, and will likely get bigger as we move forward. But that's not why we're looking at Incidentals. We like this because Larry Stroman should draw a lot more comics. He got a handful of issues on the second wave of X-Factor that were fantastic; and he co-created Tribe for Image right before the company's '94 bloodbath. He's been involved in the industry a bunch since then, but having him on something regular is wonderful, and should be encouraged.
INCIDENTALS VOL. 1NOV171753(W) Joe Casey (A/CA) Larry Stroman
Bo Vincent Chen is a billionare who gained superpowers on the night of "The Event", and he's been plagued by nightmares ever since. His covert team of superhuman operatives is fighting against enemies from all sides to save the superpowered teenager called Seven, but time is running out, and internal conflicts may rip the group apart before they complete the mission. The bigger problem is the secret Bo is keeping from his team, about the real danger heading to Earth.In Shops: Jan 24, 2018SRP: $14.99
We've raved about Divinity before, but that was before two successful follow ups (so far) brought Abram Adams deeper into the Valiant Universe. The original praise stands, though: this was one of the oddest, quietest, weirdest superhero comics of its time, and Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine maintained that over the full arc of Abram's story. It is one of the best comics Valiant has put out, and that's even knowing we're only about halfway through Eternity, the third and final volume of the story that wraps a couple of weeks before this hardcover collection comes out. So while this edition is a bit pricey and a little bit of a flier, it's probably a safe bet.
DIVINITY COMPLETE TRILOGY DELUXE HCNOV172041(W) Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire, Joe Harris, Scott Bryan Wilson, Eliot Rahal (A) Trevor Hairsine, Clayton Crain, CAFU, Robert Gill, Francis Portela
For the first time anywhere, experience all three sold-out volumes of the visionary science-fiction saga that refined the Valiant Universe for the 21st century in one stunning, oversized deluxe hardcover! At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union - determined to win the Space Race at any cost - green lit a dangerously advanced mission. They sent a man farther into the cosmos than anyone has gone before or since. Lost in the stars, he encountered something unknown. Something that... changed him. Long thought lost and erased from the history books, he has suddenly returned, crash-landing in the Australian Outback. The few that have been able to reach him believe him to be a deity - one who turned the scorched desert into a lush oasis. They say he can bend matter, space, and even time to his will. Earth is about to meet a new god. And he's a communist. How long can it be before the first confrontation between mankind and DIVINITY begins?From the minds of New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (X-O MANOWAR, Mind MGMT) and superstar artist Trevor Hairsine (X-Men: Deadly Genesis) comes the first complete collection of the multiple Harvey Award-nominated series that Entertainment Weekly calls "a mind bending battle for the ages"! Collecting DIVINITY #1-4, DIVINITY II #1-4, DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE #1-4, DIVINITY III: KOMANDAR BLOODSHOT #1, DIVINITY III: ARIC, SON OF THE REVOLUTION #1, DIVINITY III: SHADOWMAN & THE BATTLE OF NEW STALINGRAD #1, and DIVINITY III: ESCAPE FROM GULAG 396 #1, along with the never-before-collected DIVINITY #0, and over 20+ pages of rarely seen art and extras!
In Shops: Jan 31, 2018SRP: $59.99
Robert Kirkman walks away from his epic superhero tale after a gross of issues. Invincible has been in many ways the perfect second-wave Image title, wearing every influence on its sleeve: from the extremeness of the gore, to the dedication to move in near-real-time, to Kirkman insisting on telling his story and that's it, it seems to have taken a bit from the flagship titles of different founders to become something better. Invincible has looked great since issue 1, and the story Kirkman has told never stopped being interesting, emotional, or just plain fun. It will be missed, and it should certainly be lauded.
INVINCIBLE #144NOV170577(W) Robert Kirkman (A) Cory Walker (A/CA) Ryan Ottley, Nathan Fairbairn
SERIES FINALE"THE END OF ALL THINGS," ConclusionFinal issue. Everything since issue one has been building to this. Nothing can prepare you.In Shops: Jan 31, 2018SRP: $5.99
Stroman's creative partner on those X-Factor issues also happens to be the author of the most widely beloved Aquaman stories of all time: Peter David. DC is finally collecting all his work in one place, starting with this book which gives us the hook-handed Arthur Curry that many (if not most) of us grew up with.
AQUAMAN BY PETER DAVID VOL. 1NOV170357(W) Peter David (A) Kirk Jarvinen (A/CA) Brad Vancata, Martin Egeland
Peter David's classic run on Aquaman begins in this volume collecting AQUAMAN: TIME AND TIDE #1-4 and AQUAMAN #0-8. From his abandonment on a reef to his upbringing by a dolphin to his first encounter with surface dwellers, these tales chronicle the origin and ascension of the mythic figure known as Aquaman.In Shops: Feb 07, 2018SRP: $29.99
Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1: Beware Their Power
Guy Gardner rejoins the Green Lanterns of Earth, Kilowog leads the battle against the Rocket Red Brigade, while Hector Hammond and Star Sapphire join forces to try and kill Hal Jordan. Plus: a night out on the town leads to ruined romances and nightmare visions. Collects GREEN LANTERN CORPS #207-215 and TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS ANNUAL #2.
This is the first issue in a weekly series set to come out in February, timed well to coincide with Valentine's Day. And let me tell you, if Alex De Campi promises twisted romance, she will deliver romance, and she will deliver twisted. De Campi is an immensely talented comics writer, whose other Image series, No Mercy, is positively merciless (but also a great read). The first story of Twisted Romance tells the story of Heartbreak Incorporated, an agency in 1978 New York City dedicated to breaking couples up. Katie Skelly, the main artist on the first book, is a great cartoonist, and Sarah Horrocks (on the backup story) does really interesting things with the form. This promises to be fun.
TWISTED ROMANCE #1 (OF 4)DEC170607(W) Alex De Campi, Sarah Horrocks (A) Magen Cubed (A/CA) Katie Skelly
FOUR-ISSUE WEEKLY MINISERIES EVENT! Critically acclaimed writer ALEX de CAMPI teams up with some of comics' hottest artists to create tales of love gone wrong, right, and everywhere in between.
ISSUE ONE: "OLD FLAMES" In New York City in 1978, there are thousands of ways for people to get together. There's only one agency dedicated to tearing them apart: Heartbreak Incorporated. But who is the handsome seducer who runs the agency, and what is the secret he's hiding? Drawn by KATIE SKELLY (My Pretty Vampire). Backup comics story by SARAH HORROCKS (Goro, The Leopard) and prose story by MAGEN CUBED (Crashers).In Shops: Feb 07, 2018SRP: $3.99
Box Brown has already won a ton of critical love for comics about Andre the Giant and (yes) Tetris. His next subject is like a cross between the two: a gifted performer who would often pretend to be a series of cubes. Andy Kaufman has been the subject of many a biography, filmed and prose, but to my knowledge, this is the first comic about his life. There's a lot of comic of the year buzz behind this already, and based on Brown's track record, it's deserved.
IS THIS GUY FOR REAL GNDEC171601(W) Box Brown (A/CA) Box Brown
Comedian and performer Andy Kaufman's resume was impressive - a popular role on the beloved sitcom Taxi, a high-profile stand-up career, and a surprisingly successful stint in professional wrestling. Although he was by all accounts a sensitive and thoughtful person, he's ironically best remembered for his various contemptible personas, which were so committed and so convincing that all but his closest family and friends were completely taken in. Why would someone so gentle-natured and sensitive build an entire career seeking the hatred of his audience? What drives a performer to solicit that reaction? Graphic novelist Box Brown takes on the complex and often hilarious life of Andy Kaufman.In Shops: Feb 07, 2018SRP: $19.99
Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunleavy apply their Comic Book History of Comics and Action Philosophers formula to a history of US Presidents, and since this biggest event each February in the entire world is President's Day, we get the George Washington and Abe Lincoln entries. I blazed through Action Philosophers, so I'm here for this. I'm just not sure how long Action Presidents can last. I feel like it'll get ridiculous after 44 or so issues.
ACTION PRESIDENTS BOOK 1: GEORGE WASHINGTONDEC172081(W) Fred Van Lente (A/CA) Ryan Dunlavey
ALA award-winning author-illustrator duo Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey bring George Washington to life like you've never seen him before, as the hero of a non-fiction comic-style biography in a hilarious, all-too true, fully illustrated paper-over-board middle grade adventure. We all know that George Washington was our first President and a hero of the American Revolution. But did you also know that he didn't want to be president, never thought he would fight in a war, and had teeth so bad that he hated to smile? Told through bold and hilarious comic-style illustrations, the first Action Presidents book features the all-too true history of the ultimate founding father, prime patriot, and awesome American, George Washington.In Shops: Feb 07, 2018SRP: $9.99
Gene Luen Yang's New Super-Man is wonderful. It is a fresh look at what makes Superman great from a different perspective. Yang has built a world around Kenan that is as interesting as the characters - it's got the geopolitics of a good Priest book, with a dash of mad science and some DC history. New Super-Man is almost like an alternate origin, an origin for the Superman myth, and it's outstanding.
NEW SUPER-MAN AND THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF CHINA #20DEC170317(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Brent Peeples, Richard Friend (CA) Philip Tan
"SEAS OF CHANGE" part one! It's the dawn of a new era for the Justice League of China! The New Super-Man of China and his teammates have struck out on their own, and even the Ministry's newly formed Lantern Corps is no match for this renegade force to be reckoned with! But as China's superhero community reorganizes itself, trouble is brewing in North Korea...and from the depths emerges a new metahuman that will change everything.In Shops: Feb 14, 2018SRP: $3.99
Speaking of No Mercy, De Campi's collaborator Carla Speed McNeil joins Adam Warren in this series to basically make Garbage Pail Kids jokes set in the Empowered universe. None of that should be misconstrued as criticism, by the way. McNeil's got real game and can do zany comedy as well as anybody in comics. Expect bizarre hilarity.
EMPOWERED & SISTAH SPOOKY'S HIGH SCHOOL HELL #3DEC170081(W) Adam Warren (A/CA) Carla Speed McNeil
Narrowly escaping death by music class singing competition, Empowered and Sistah Spooky hit a new low in their hellscape ordeal when they stumble into . . . THE LADIES' ROOM! While a trapped Emp drowns in her own tears in a bathroom stall, can Spooky avoid being shattered-literally!-by a Hell-powered magic mirror? o First Empowered comic book series in standard comics format. o Carla Speed McNeil is the Eisner Award-winning creator of Finder.In Shops: Feb 21, 2018SRP: $3.99
Josh Williamson is in the middle of a fantastic run on The Flash. It's really the perfect comic companion to the TV show, hitting many of the same notes and really enjoying the policework angle on Barry. But Deathbed is on here because Riley Rossmo is a stupefyingly good artist. He takes stuff that should otherwise be trash, like a Metal tie in about Batman becoming the Joker, and makes it incredible to look at. This series is about the world's most interesting man telling his stories on his deathbed, so he should have plenty to work with.
DEATHBED #1DEC170406(W) Joshua Williamson (A/CA) Riley Rossmo
Myth, hack, sex symbol, stark raving lunatic-all of these words have been used to describe Antonio Luna, the world's greatest living adventurer. Or at least he was until 20 years ago, when he mysteriously vanished from the public eye. Now the ninety-year-old has returned and claims to be on his deathbed. Which is where Valentine Richards, a failed novelist turned reporter, comes in. Val is hired to travel to Luna's remote castle home and uncover where the old star has been all these years, and just how much of what he says is actually true. But once Val starts to hear Luna's tale, she finds herself entering into an insane world of psychedelic violence and explosive supernatural adventure. This brand-new series is a bold collaboration between Joshua Williamson (THE FLASH, FROSTBITE) and Riley Rossmo (THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHED). Before it's through, they promise to take you to the Moon and back-and everywhere in between-plus some places that are totally off the map.In Shops: Feb 21, 2018SRP: $3.99
Marvel's in a weird place lately. The team books have been tough, but when you get past the big flagship books and dig into the idiosyncratic solo books with a strong creator voice, and that's where you find the gems like Mockingbird or Vision or Iceman. That's fully what I expect here: Daniel Kibblesmith has yet to write a comic that wasn't a blast. And let's be honest, Lockjaw is the best.
LOCKJAW #1DEC170875(W) Daniel Kibblesmith (A) Carlos Villa (CA) Ed McGuinness
WHO'S A GOOD BOY? Part 1 At long last, the dog has his day! Lockjaw spends most of his time defending the Inhuman empire alongside Black Bolt and Medusa. But when he gets a message that his long-lost litter mates are in danger, he'll spring into action to save them! But wait - Lockjaw has brothers and sisters? Can they teleport? Are they Inhuman? Can they possibly be as gosh-darned cute as their big brother? All the answers are here! Get ready for an adventure worth fetching for! Rated TIn Shops: Feb 28, 2018SRP: $3.99
I had like, six jokes written within five minutes of seeing this entry. But I keep coming back to the solicit text: it reads completely serious. I know it won't be - the bear will turn out to be a really hairy man who needs a waxing, or Supergirl's cousin or something. But this book is fascinating to me, just on the off chance that it might be played completely straight and end up being bestiality fanfic.
MY BOYFRIEND IS A BEAR GNDEC171719(W) Pamela Ribon (A/CA) Cat Farris
Bear meets girl.
Nora has bad luck with men. When she meets an (actual) bear on a hike in the Los Angeles hills, he turns out to be the best romantic partner she's ever had! He's considerate, he's sweet, he takes care of her. But he's a bear, and winning over her friends and family is difficult. Not to mention he has to hibernate all winter. Can true love conquer all?In Shops: Apr 11, 2018SRP: $19.99
Comics Merch Highlights: Winter and Spring 2018
THIS SHIRT IS...being manufactured in a medium for some reason.
NOV172289(A) Chris Burnham
The influence of Jack Kirby splits on these two new shirt designs. Darkseid features the art of Chris Burnham screenprint in full-color on a smoke grey shirt. Based on the Animated Superman series, AS: Darkseid is also imprinted in full-color on a white shirt. Very cool, very different. NOW AVAILABLE for sale in Canada and U.K.In Shops: Feb 28, 2018SRP: $19.95
So for those of you who aren't toy people, Play Arts Kai figures are made by Square Enix (yes, the Final Fantasy people). The figures, when they're based on comic characters are always super articulated, immaculately made, but super overdesigned, so busy they give you a headache. Black Panther in the header is from the Play Arts series. And look at it! There are SO MANY LINES on it.
This Flash figure is from the Justice League movie, and they appear to have made no changes to the costume.
JUSTICE LEAGUE VARIANT PLAY ARTS KAI THE FLASHSEP178074
From Square Enix. Your favorite DC Comics heroes are redesigned by the artists of Square Enix for the new Justice Leauge Variant Play Arts Kai Series! These figures sport new anime-inspired costumes and designs that capture the essence of the familiar characters while giving them a unique style. Each figure includes variant parts and character-appropriate accessories, plus a display stand. Window box packaging.In Shops: May 30, 2018
Getting to 250 issues of a comic without running multiple interim volumes and then hastily renumbering and trying to count the different books as the same run when you realize you're approaching a bunch of milestones is almost unheard of these days, so the 250th issue of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero would lead the list of March books on that alone. But then you see that it's a Snake Eyes issue, and what looks to be the debut issue of a new Snake Eyes at that? This book at IDW is a direct continuation of Larry Hama's Marvel series that brought so many people of a certain generation to the characters, and to comics as a medium. Dude knows what he's doing. Expect more of that here.
G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO #250JAN180450(W) Larry Hama (A/CA) Netho Diaz
"Dawn of the Arashikage," Part 5! Here it is-the conclusion to the latest explosive chapter in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero lore! Dawn Moreno has battled dangerous enemies and her own inner demons as the ghost of the dead Snake-Eyes threatens to possess her mind and her very soul. Will she survive the psychic onslaught, or be lost to the dark memories of the mysterious ninja for all time? Find out in this special oversized milestone issue! * The birth (and rebirth) of an all-new Snake-Eyes! * A landmark issue!In Shops: Mar 28, 2018
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites TP (Order Code JAN180121)
There are two hooks to this new collection of several classic Beasts of Burden stories. The first is the critical praise its received through the years. Artist Jill Thompson could fill a swimming pool with all the Eisners and Harveys she's won for this book and swim around in it, Scrooge McDuck style. It is a stunning work of comic art.
The second is the hook. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it's a series about a group of dog paranormal detectives who investigate NO COME BACK I HAVEN'T FINISHED YOU CAN WAIT FIVE MORE WORDS TO BUY IT.
BEASTS OF BURDEN: ANIMAL RITESJAN180121(W) Evan Dorkin (A/CA) Jill Thompson
Black magic, demonic frogs, and zombie road kill are just a few of the problems plaguing this seemingly sleepy little town. Beneath the quiet streets a rat cabal plots vengeance, while in the local cemetery the dead leave their graves. With the human residents unaware of the supernatural danger, it's up to a determined crew of dogs (and one cat) to keep their community safe. Lives will be lost, and bonds forged as the beasts of Burden Hill battle against an unknown evil rooted within their town. Award-winning comics creators Evan Dorkin (Milk & Cheese) and Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) come together to share the lives of some unlikely heroes. This volume reprints the comic-book series Beasts of Burden issues #1-4, the short stories from the Dark Horse Book of Hauntings, the Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, the Dark Horse Book of the Dead, and the Dark Horse Book of Monsters, "Stray,""Unfamiliar,""Let Sleeping Dogs Lie," and "A Dog and His Boy," published by Dark Horse Comics.In Shops: May 09, 2018
If you're a fan of the Marvel Cosmic universe from the era that James Gunn is mining for the Guardians of the Galaxy movies - pre-Bendis, when the space crew interacted with the Avengers sparingly and all had distinct voices and felt impactful - you really should make a point of checking out Gerry Duggan's run on All-New Guardians of the Galaxy, which culminates in this new Infinity crossover. While Star-Lord and Gamora are still pretty heavily informed by their movie characterizations, Duggan and series artist Aaron Kuder have succeeded in capturing some of the grandeur of the cosmic characters, and have fitted the Guardians into a similar role to where Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning had them. Plus, Kuder is getting great at being a Frank Quitely clone, at least in his figure drawing.
INFINITY COUNTDOWN #1JAN180879(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Aaron Kuder (CA) Nick Bradshaw
The Saga of the Infinity Stones begins! As the Infinity Stones reappear around the cosmos, the ultimate race for power is on!! Battles will be fought, blood will be spilled, lives will be lost... all as the greatest cosmic heroes and villains vie for possession of the Power Stone, towering over a remote asteroid, somehow grown to the size of a building. Watch as the path to Infinity opens before your eyes and the END lies near... Rated T+In Shops: Mar 07, 2018
Comics is the BEST medium for historical nonfiction like this. Graphic storytelling is great at adding character to bone-dry recitations of place and time, and it's also outstanding for helping readers suspend disbelief on things that are true but should probably be disbelieved anyway. Julia Wertz's history of some of the oddest joints in New York City likely falls into the latter category, and she's a good enough cartoonist to make it a must read.
TENEMENTS, TOWERS & TRASH HCJAN181298(W) Julia Wertz (A/CA) Julia Wertz
In Tenements, Towers & Trash, Julia Wertz takes us behind the New York that you think you know. Not the tourist's New York, but the guts, the underbelly, of this city that never sleeps. With drawings and comics in her signature style, Wertz regales us with streetscapes "Then and Now" and little-known tales, such as the lost history of Kim's Video, the complicated and unresolved business of Ray's Pizza, the vintage trash and horse bones that litter the shore of Brooklyn's Bottle Beach, the ludicrous pinball prohibition, Staten Island's secret abandoned boatyard, and the hair-raising legend of the infamous abortionist of Fifth Avenue, Madame Restell. From bars, bakeries, and bookstores to food carts, steet cleaners and apartments both cramped and grand, Tenements, Towers & Trash is a wild ride in a time machine taxi from the present day city to bygone days of yore.In Shops: Mar 14, 2018
Look, this is probably going to be great. Greg Smallwood was a breakout hit on Moon Knight, and there's no reason to believe he won't be as good or better here. My question is where does this madness end? Afterlife with Archie is incredible, with zombie Riverdale. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was also great, making Sabrina the bride of Cthulu. Then we got werewolf Jughead, and now vampire Veronica. What's next? Betty as the Reanimator? Moose becomes a puppet and traps people in elaborate, murderous escape rooms? Devilry with Dilton?
VAMPIRONICA #1JAN181214(W) Greg Smallwood, Megan Smallwood (A/CA) Greg Smallwood
NEW ONGOING SERIES! When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her blood lust?In Shops: Mar 14, 2018
Strangers in Paradise's Terry Moore has been getting a lot of love for telling a realistic, human tale about PTSD that also includes aliens and a talking gorilla.
MOTOR GIRL HCJAN181089(W) Terry Moore (A/CA) Terry Moore
When a UFO crashes into Samantha's junkyard, she is happy to make repairs and send the little visitors on their way. But E.T. is smitten with the Marine veteran and now an industrial giant wants to buy the land to install their anti-UFO weapon. With the help of her buddy Mike, a 600lb. gorilla, Sam is always prepared to defend those who can't defend themselves, but who will save Sam from the PTSD and shrapnel that threaten her life? To survive, Sam must ultimately face the greatest battle of her life - reality. Available in softcover and hardcover editions.In Shops: Mar 28, 2018
Superman #42 (Order Code JAN180340)
There's a lot to like about this arc. Boyzarro is a lovely concept, a nice development of one of Superman's most entertaining villains. Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are a great pairing, responsible for an incredible run on Batman & Robin and on this volume of Superman. But let's be honest here: I am buying this 100% for bizarro Krypto in glasses and Grumpy Streaky.
SUPERMAN #42JAN180340(W) Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason (A) Patrick Gleason, Patrick Gleason
"BOYzarro RE-DEATH" part one! It's a bizarre, Boyzarro world-and we just live in it! When Superboy comes face to face with Boyzarro, the Son of Bizzaro, a strange transformation begins to take place. But that's not all that the Kents have knocking on their door! Superman versus Bizarro round one am not just the beginning!In Shops: Mar 07, 2018
From the solicit text: "For fans of Octavia Butler, Sailor Moon and...David Cronenberg..." Yup. I'm in.
PRISM STALKER #1JAN180614(W) Sloane Leong (CA) Darius Ou (A/CA) Sloane Leong
For fans of Octavia Butler, Sailor Moon, and the biopunk horror of David Cronenberg comes PRISM STALKER, an ongoing sci-fi adventure series by SLOANE LEONG. Vep is a young refugee raised away from her devastated home planet as an indentured citizen in a foreign colony. She works tirelessly for her insectoid hosts, but there is no exit in sight in this viscous, dripping citynest. The eye of opportunity is closing. Her duty is to her family and her siblings, but what more can she do for them here? The answer appears faster than she is ready for.In Shops: Mar 07, 2018
For a guy who wrote a pop punk ballad about falling in love in the Holocaust, "surprisingly sensitive" is kind of blunted as a description. But Max Bemis was, when he came into comics, a surprisingly good comics writer. His Marvel miniseries, Worst X-Man Ever, was a lot of fun and an interesting look at mutant powers. His first book for BOOM! was Oh, Killstrike, where a neurotic guy has a Cable ripoff come to life and teach him how to be a better man. Lucy Dreaming sounds like it has a passing resemblance, and that's a good thing.
LUCY DREAMING #1JAN181322(W) Max Bemis (A/CA) Michael Dialynas
Max Bemis ( Moon Knight writer and lead singer of Say Anything) and Michael Dialynas ( The Woods ) present a sweeping, coming-of-age fantasy about living your dreams.literally. In her dreams, Lucy is the hero of all her favorite stories, living each night as a grand adventure. These journeys will teach her more about herself and the real world around her than she ever expected!In Shops: Mar 21, 2018
I see Justice, Devil, Magician, Death, and Strength, but I see nothing about Money, Power or Respect. This DMX comic seems to have missed the point.
ROUGH RIDERS: RIDE OR DIE #2JAN181150(W) Adam Glass (A/CA) Pat Oliffe
Volume Three of the hit AfterShock Series! A young and scared H.P. Lovecraft joins the Rough Riders as they ride again against an ancient evil. This threat has returned to our earthly plane from the great beyond, and is hellbent on killing anything in its path. Our heroes soon learn that these unfortunate souls are not deceased, but instead have been turned into an ARMY OF THE DEAD! And the true nature of this ancient evil will change one of our beloved members forevermore! Created and written by Adam Glass (executive producer of Supernatural and writer of Suicide Squad) with artwork by Patrick Olliffe (Untold Tales of Spider-Man).In Shops: Mar 28, 2018
King is developing a series about "a crisis center for superheroes" for DC Comics.
Comics writer (and former CIA counter-terrorism operations officer) Tom King, the man behind recent titles like Marvel's The Vision, DC's Batman and Mister Miracle, announced an upcoming project at this past weekend's DC in D.C. event.
The new series will be called Sanctuary, and it will center the subject of superhero PTSD and other forms of trauma, giving the comic book world's masked crusaders a place to go to help them process their trauma.
"The DCU has a bunch of superheroes and all they do is fight, every time, and that must have a psychological effect on them, right?" said King during the "Battle and Trauma in Comics" panel on Saturday. "You can't live a life of violence and not feel that violence deep in your heart."
Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman act as parental figues of sorts for the DC world, said King. They care about helping other heroes deal with trauma for two reasons...
One, because they're good people, but two, if superheroes feel trauma and it drives them a little mad, that's a danger. So, as both a practical and a compassionate matter, they've set up something called Sanctuary, which is a place that you can go, modeled on veterans' crisis centers—which is an interesting name for them—and talk about this trauma and admit that this had an effect on you.
Den of Geek asked King about how the idea came about during a roundtable interview following the panel.
"Dan DiDio, my boss who doesn't get enough credit for all the good stuff he does, he came to me and said, 'I want to do something big and I want to talk about a big issue of something deep,'" said King. "It was vague, and I wanted to write something about PTSD and its effect on things. This was such an instant, easy idea: The idea that people who are living a life of trauma would be affected by that trauma."
Fo King, helping other heroes work though their trauma is part of the Trinity's "sworn duty to help people."
"It's one of the most logical things that's existed," said King, "so of course it would exist in DC, and of course Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman would get together to help superheroes who've been through this, and to help themselves get through it."
Check out the full "Battle and Trauma in Comics" panel below at the 3:39:45 mark.
With the new TV series arriving on the CW, we have a guide to Black Lightning comics for those of you who want to dig deeper into history!
Like so many classic DC heroes before him, Black Lightning is on his way to the CW. If the other Greg Berlanti produced DC super shows are any indication, Black Lightning should be another hit for the DC factory over at CW. And really, Black Lightning is such a worthy hero to be considered for television consideration. Black Lightning was the very first black superhero to star in his own DC title and has remained an important part of the DC Universe ever since.
We are so excited to see Jefferson Pierce and his family come to life that we dove into our collections to check out some important reads in Black Lightning history.
Join us as we proudly present a Black Lightning reading guide to get you charged up for the series debut of CW’s latest DC superhero TV show!
Black Lightning Year One
In 2009, writer Jen Van Meter and artist Cully Hamner presented a modern retelling of Black Lightning’s origin in Black Lightning Year One. Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden's original origin story was repurposed for a new audience.
In Black Lightning: Year One, Jefferson Pierce returns to Suicide Slum and takes on his old foes the 100 and Tobias Whale. Along the way, the story explores what drives Pierce to take to the streets and clean up some of the worst neighborhoods in the DC Universe. This is a no frills series that will give new readers great insight into what makes Black Lightning tick.
Justice League of America
When famed novelist Brad Meltzer took over writing duties on Justice League America, he brought Black Lightning with him. Black Lightning may not have been a Leaguer for long, but while he was part of the ranks of the JLA, the hero fit right in with the other iconic heroes of the DCU. During his tenure as a JLAer, Lightning helped the League rebuild Red Tornado and participated in an epic team-up with the Justice Society and the Legion of Super Heroes.
These stories proved that Jefferson Pierce belonged in the big time and presented some of the most epic stories involving this important DC character. As big as these stories are, Pierce never lost his connection to his people or his roots and became a perfect everyman sort of super hero.
Black Lightning: Cold, Dead Hands
Black Lightning co-creator Tony Isabella is back to guide Jefferson Pierce through another adventure.
Isabella hasn't missed a beat and has the Rebirth-era Jefferson Pierce cleaning up the streets of the city he grew up in. Cold Dead Hands proves you can go home again and presents the perfect Black Lightning adventure for those who want a ground floor read if you're looking to get into comics after catching the TV show.
Want to dig a little deeper into Black Lightning history? We can help you out with that, too!
Black Lightning Vol. 1 (1977)
In the first volume of Black Lightning, Isabella co-creator Trevor Von Eeden introduced the world to Jefferson Pierce, an Olympic level triathlete, a brilliant physicist, and a nurturing school teacher. Jefferson returns to teach at his alma mater Garfield High and quickly wins respect from his students. He soon falls afoul of a drug gang known as the 100. After the death of a student at the hands of the gang, Pierce dons the Black Lightning suit for the first time.
At first, Pierce uses a belt to enhance his strength and give him control of electricity. Soon, things would be retconned so Pierce had meta-human powers of his own, but through all the power changes Pierce had undergone, it was his heart and determination to protect his students from corruption that marked Pierce as a great addition to the DC Universe. A lot of the dialogue is pretty dated, and modern readers may have a tough time getting past that, but we had to include the stories where the legend began.
Batman and the Outsiders
After the cancellation of his own series, Black Lightning popped around the DC Universe. He, along with Katana, Metamorpho, Halo, Geo-Force, and Looker, eventually landed in a new Batman formed team known as the Outsiders.
Black Lightning quickly became the heart of the team and was looked to by Batman to teach the inexperienced members of the Outsiders how to be heroes. The former teacher easily fell back into the role of mentor and educator and served as a staunch member of the Outsiders for many years. The Outsiders was the book that truly integrated Black Lightning into the overall tapestry of the DC Universe, and hopefully the Black Lightning TV series will eventually incorporate some of the other members of the team.
Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's The Umbrella Academy is coming to Netflix. Here's everything we know about the series...
Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's The Umbrella Academy is coming to Netflix as a live action series. The comic book series, which debuted in 2007, was first optioned as a movie before Dark Horse signed a deal with Universal Cable Productions to adapt the comic as a TV series.
The live action series follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes -- The Monocle, Spaceboy, The Kraken, The Rumor, The Séance, Number Five, The Horror, and the seemingly powerless Vanya -- as they work together to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams due to their divergent personalities and abilities.
Way began writing The Umbrella Academy just a year after the release of My Chemical Romance's magnum opus, The Black Parade. The series is 15 issues of Eisner Award-winning goodness that has continued to inform Way's career as a comic book writer, especially with his current run on Doom Patrol and his Young Animal line at DC. Artist Gabriel Ba has also done some of his best work on the series. (If you want something really great by Ba, check out Daytripper, which he created with his twin brother, artist Fabio Moon.)
The Umbrella Academy has been on a bit of a hiatus since 2009. Only two volumes, The Apocalypse Suite and Dallas, have been released thus far, although Way and Ba plan at least two more volumes. The third volume is called Hotel Oblivion, and it's been in the works since at least 2013 when Way tweeted out an update with some sketches of new characters. Way and Ba had agreed to begin work on Hotel Oblivion in 2014, but a lot's happened since then. Besides his music projects, Way has his own line of comics and two comic book series to write.
While it's not likely the Umbrella Academy will return on the page any time soon, fans will at least gave the show to look forward to.
Here's everything else we know:
The Umbrella Academy News
Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba took to Facebook to announce that filming for The Umbrella Academy has begun in Toronto. Here's a little teaser pic:
The Umbrella Academy Release Date
Netflix has given the series a 10-episode order that will arrive sometime in 2018.
The Umbrella Academy Cast
Netflix has revealed the core cast of the show. Here are the actors who will portray the members of the Umbrella Academy:
Ellen Page (X-Men: Days of Future Past) will star as Vanya, who is estranged from the rest of the family because of her lack of powers. Vanya is a very important character in the first arc of the comics, as she goes through a bit of self-discovery that puts her at odds with the superheroes she once called a family.
Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones) plays Luther, aka Spaceboy. He has super-strength, and after a terrible accident during an expedition to Mars, his head had to be transplanted onto the body of a gorilla. Ehem...
Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton) will play Allison, aka The Rumor, who can alter reality by lying.
David Castaneda (El Chicano) is Diego, codenamed The Kraken. He is sort of a fuse between Aquaman and Batman. He can hold his breath indefinitely, which gives him an advantage when in water, and is an expert knife thrower.
Robert Sheehan (Misfits) is perfectly cast as Klaus aka The Seance, the most morbid character of the group. His powers, which manifest only when he's barefoot, include levitation, telekinesis, and the ability to contant the dead. In the comics, Klaus is killed at one point but rejected from both Heaven and Hell.
Aidan Gallagher (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn) is Number Five, simply codenamed The Boy. He can effortlessly travel in time and does not age due to a temporal condition.
The Umbrella Academy Poster
Here's the first promo poster for The Umbrella Academy:
The Umbrella Academy Details
The Umbrella Academy will be produced by Universal Cable Productions. Steve Blackman (Fargo, Altered Carbon) will serve as executive producer and showrunner, with additional executive producers Bluegrass Television and Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment. Gerard Way will serve as co-executive producer. The pilot script was adapted from the comic book series by Jeremy Slater (The Exorcist).
In 2016, Slater talked to Collider about his script:
I definitely wrote the pilot for The Umbrella Academy. I think it’s really exciting. I think it’s really surprising and funny. I took the job because I’m such an immense fan of what Gerard [Way] and Gabriel [Ba, the artist] did with that book. It’s one of those things where I would rather be the guy to screw it up than sit back and let someone else come in and do the bad adaptation. So, I was really adamant about taking the job, but the only way I was going to do it was if I could make it weird and make it true to the spirit of the book. There’s a lot of weird shit in The Umbrella Academy, and it would be very easy to sand down some of those weird edges and make it more familiar to American audiences. I’m fighting very hard to not let that happen. We’re shopping around the pilot, at the moment. We’re trying to find the right home for it and trying to find someone as excited as we are.
Rawson Marshal Thurber (Dodgeball) was originally tied to the project when it was still being considered for the big screen. He told CBR in 2016 that the series would be too difficult to adapt as a film, citing the weirdness of the book as something that could be lost in translation at a big studio.
Slater echoed Thurber's thoughts in his interview with Collider:
I think the relationships and the dynamics are so rich in that book that, if you tried to distill it down to 90 minutes, everyone gets reduced to a cartoon and a caricature. It really is The Royal Tenenbaums with superpowers. In order to do justice to that premise, you need time to unpack those characters, and dig into what makes them tick and the different relationships that they have with each other. There is so much fertile material there to tell really interesting, really funny, really unique stories that to compress it all into an hour and a half and throw in a bunch of giant action sequences, you’re going to wind up with some total mish-mash. It’s going to be Mystery Men. It’s going to be yet another wacky comedic superhero movie that no one really wants to see. It has its own unique DNA, and I think people should respect that DNA, or they should not do the project.
BOOM! Studios released a one-shot anthology expanding on Royal Rumble moments and it's a must-read for WWE fans.
While it’s a piece that desperately needs an update, once upon a time I wrote about the history of WWE comics. Since 1991, they’ve bounced from publisher to publisher and have had many, many different incarnations. Each one had its own problems and nobody was able to truly hit the potential of mixing wrestling with comics. Some came close, but most were there to be laughed at instead of being laughed with.
BOOM! Studios has been pretty successful for the most part. Their take on the WWE franchise has been more of a hit than a miss. Little emphasis has been about building on brand-new adventures and more has been on taking moments and storylines from the past and expanding on them. Sometimes there are issues, like how the comic portrayed Seth Rollins’ main event heel run as a plucky antihero trying to succeed on his own terms, when in fact his actual run made him one of the most cowardly wrestlers of all time. Otherwise, it’s a wonderful way to play with the license and deals with the limitations of a fictional show that takes the form of a sports event.
The format works out well enough. The BOOM! WWE comics take two forms. You have the WWEongoing, which for the first year centers around the Shield break-up storyline and features one or two unrelated backup stories. Then there are the one-shots, which are usually centered around some kind of event, such as WrestleMania.
Last week, BOOM! released WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Special. Within its 40 pages, there are four tales that each take place during a different year. More specifically, it’s 1992, 1991, 2018, and 2016. Each one is very different and each one feels incredibly on-brand for the wrestlers portrayed.
First up is “To Be Number One” by Lan Pitts and Rodrigo Lorenzo. This is the immediate aftermath to Royal Rumble 1992. In a time when the WWF Championship was vacated, the Royal Rumble match was used to figure out the new champ. Ric Flair came out on top due to both his perseverance (entering at #3) and taking advantage of a tiff between Sid Justice and Hulk Hogan.
Hogan, by the way, is not referenced once in this story. You know how it is.
The story is about Flair’s entourage, Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect, reluctantly warning him about how much of a target he’s about to become. Not only are the top names remaining from the Hogan Era still there to seek the championship like Undertaker, Sid, and Randy Savage, but there’s also a “new generation” of talent like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels who intend to rise up and make their names by taking down the Nature Boy.
Despite some good dialogue and art that’s on point, this story doesn’t really have much to actually say. Though it does feature one thing that comes up regularly in both the WWE comics and on WWE TV: the dismissive claim that, “Yeah, you were a big deal elsewhere, but this is WWE and this is different!” When used on TV, it’s usually there to bury the wrestler and his accomplishments, but seeing as it appears at least three times in the WWE comics, it has a different context. After all, we wouldn’t be reading these comics if these guys weren’t that good and proved to be successful.
Next is “Mr. Royal Rumble” by Kevin Panetta and Dominike “Domo” Stanton. This one takes place backstage at the yet-to-actually-happen-in-reality 2018 Rumble match where the New Day get Kofi pumped for this entrance. The 8-page story has the trio reminisce about all the crazy tricks Kofi’s done every year since 2012 to stave off elimination.
In comic form, the three excitedly flashback to times when Kofi walked around on his hands, jumped from the barricade to the ring, and used a chair as a pogo stick. They also take a second to mention that they barely remember Tensai despite him being a major part in one of Kofi’s stunts.
Again, there’s not that much to it, but it’s the two stories that follow that truly make the issue – and BOOM!’s WWE stuff in general – worth checking out.
The third story is “Randy Savage: Not Show King” by Ryan Ferrier and Kendall Goode. It’s a comedic take on something that always stuck with me as a kid. See, back at Royal Rumble 1991, "Macho King" Randy Savage shattered a scepter over the Ultimate Warrior’s head, causing Warrior to lose against Sergeant Slaughter and lose the WWF Championship. When it came time for the Rumble match itself, nobody came out for #18’s entrance. It later became apparent that that was Randy Savage’s number and he simply no-showed.
For me and my friends, there was speculation. Did the Ultimate Warrior chase him out of the building? Did the Ultimate Warrior get to him? Was Savage just smart enough to high-tail it before Warrior regained consciousness? We got the gist, but they never really explained it on the air.
Ferrier and Goode fill in the blanks by showing an amazing tale of the Macho King and Queen Sherri stealing Jake Roberts’ car in order to escape the Warrior, who follows on foot because he's a maniac. Things continue to get increasingly silly from Jake’s bizarre monologues to seeing Warrior and Savage duke it out in a family restaurant. Everything escalates until crashing into a hilarious finale punchline that makes me want to say, “This happened in kayfabe. This is canon.”
Again, Hulk Hogan is not even referenced despite winning that Rumble match.
The final story is “I Am Phenomenal,” co-written by AJ Styles and Michael Kingston (who has been writing his own wrestling-based series Headlockedfor well over a decade) with art by Daniel Bayliss. This one goes back to Royal Rumble 2016, where AJ Styles made his surprise WWE debut. Now, while the actual event played up AJ as a shocking development by focusing way too long on Roman Reigns’ confused face, the comic treats it as a known deal for everyone backstage. The fans are in the dark, but guys like Kevin Owens and Cesaro get their chance to interact with him.
Part of the happenings plays into the frustrating corporate take that AJ Styles was a young rookie go-getter, even though the guy was around during the latter days of WCW. He’s accomplished and pushing 40 by this point, yet marketing wants to name him “The Rookie Redneck” and a certain top name refers to him as “kid.”
Considering how successful AJ would become in WWE, this has to be a cathartic piece for him to be involved in writing. He’s looked down upon for being successful outside of the company when in fact that should be a good thing. Getting a top outside talent is like a movie studio getting the rights to a critically acclaimed book, only WWE sometimes makes it more like Fox and the Fantastic Four franchise, using it as tissue paper so nobody else can.
This attitude is used to build on and form context for some developments for AJ’s first year in the company so that his Rumble entrance seems less about a mystery man showing up and more about the first step to a kickass run in the big leagues.
Soon we’ll be getting comics about Raw’s 25th anniversary and another one-shot of WrestleManiastuff. Personally, I hope we get more interesting expansions of open-ended WWE moments. Maybe they’ll do a storyline that finally explicitly explains that the Big Boss Man lifted the briefcase back in King of the Ring 1999. Or how about that weird thing where Wyatt Family Daniel Bryan time-traveled back into the late-80s and appeared on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event?
Gavin Jasper hopes next year we can get a story about Mantaur worked in there. He was in a Rumble match! Follow Gavin on Twitter!
The Shadowhunters will be back on Freeform for a third season. Here's everything we know about Shadowhunters Season 3...
Good news, Shadowhunters fans! The Freeform series has been renewed for a Season 3. It has an official release date and everything.
The latest news? Chai Hansen has joined the cast as Jordan Kyle, a new character in Season 3. Jordan and Simon become friends and roommates in the new season, so it makes sense Alberto Rosende would be the one who introduces his new castmate to the fandom...
We are thrilled to welcome Chai Hansen (@ch8i) to the #Shadowhunters family. He will be playing Jordan Kyle in #ShadowhuntersSeason3. Here's an exclusive video from Chai himself: https://t.co/UD1wF1IkTmpic.twitter.com/mMq1NcUaZo
— Shadowhunters (@ShadowhuntersTV) January 15, 2018
Here's everything else we know about Season 3...
Shadowhunters Season 3 Release Date
Shadowhunters Season 3 will hit Freefrom on Tuesday, March 20th at 8 p.m. ET. The upcoming season will have 20 episodes.
Shadowhunters Season 3 Trailer
Shadowhunters debuted a trailer for Season 3 at NYCC, complete with some Jace/Clary action, Simon and the Seelie Queen, and Magnus adjusting to his new life. Check it out...
Shadowhunters Season 3 Cast
Arrow's Anna Hopkins will join the Shadowhunters Season 3 cast as Lilth. The role is recurring.
Also joining the Shadowhunters team is Hamilton's Javier Muñoz. Muñoz will appear as one of Magnus' warlock rivals.
Season 2 showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer will be staying on as showrunners for the third season, along with executive producers McG, Michael Reisz, Matt Hastings, Mary Viola, Martin Moszkowicz and Robert Kulzer.
Though Shadowhunters has dipped somewhat in the ratings since its Season 1 premiere, it has one of the most passionate fanbases of any Freeform show (or TV show, really). More news as we hear it.
Straczynski is also known for his work on projects like Sense8, World War Z, and The Amazing Spider-Man.
J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of TV shows like Babylon 5 and Sense8, has a new project on the horizon: a memoir. Harper Voyager US just announced they will be publishing a non-fiction book, called Saved by Superman, from the writer. It will be the imprint's first memoir.
In addition to his TV contributions, Straczynski has worked on film projects like Changeling, World War Z, Thor, and on comic book series like The Amazing Spider-Man, where he enjoyed a seven-year stint. It sounds like the memoir will focus not as much on Straczynski's adult writerly accomplishments, as how the creator first began writing. According to the press release from HarperVoyager:
This memoir chronicles the author's struggle growing up surrounded by poverty, violence, alcoholism and domestic abuse. The result is an inspiring account of how he wrote his way out of some of the most harrowing conditions.
Some news for those who've followed my work over the years. The one story I never told because it was too hard: my own. Took years to get transform the strange turns into a straight-line narrative, but finally it's done and will be coming out spring '19 (non-competitive window). https://t.co/a7WexqotKJ
— J. Michael Straczynski (@straczynski) January 16, 2018
Speaking about the draw of the story, HarperVoyager's editorial director David Pomerico said: "His childhood was so absolutely beyond anything I could think someone could survive. He didn't just come through—he thrived. And it is that story which is going to be an inspiration to artists and loners. It is simply captivating in its own right."
Saved by Superman will include a foreword by Neil Gaiman. It will be published in 2019.
Russell Tovey has the best answer for where The Ray would belong in the live-action pantheon of CW superhero shows.
Fans of the live-action Arrow-verse were introduced to Russell Tovey's The Ray in this year's big CW superhero crossover. However, fans of the character have an opportunity to learn more about the character and his backstory in The Ray: Freedom Fighters, an animated prequel to the "Crisis on Earth-X" event. In it, we learn more about Ray Tirrell, a reporter who gets light-based powers during the course of an investigation.
Den of Geek was part of a group of reporters who had a chance to speak to Tovey at the DC in D.C. event last weekend. He spoke about the process of creating the character, and what his future live-action hopes for Ray Tirrell look like.
"I did the animation at the same time I was filming the crossover event," said Tovey. "I was filming the crossover event, then, on the weekends, I'd have the animation. They fed into each other."
Pulling double duty on Ray gave Tovey a chance to really dive into the character.
It's a script that covers 12 episodes that really shows the background of The Ray, of Ray Tirrell. So, for me, going into the other show, it was free research. As an actor, you always want to develop a character and you want to find out who their parents are, where they're from, what their favorite food is. You sort of do these notes, just to give you some truth. But, having this animation, as well as doing the live-action, fed into each other. It was a gift, really. It helped me out a lot.
While Tovey said the character of Ray is very different from who he is as a person, he did note his past struggles with sexual identity as personal experience he could draw inspiration from in creating the character.
"Ray Tirrell struggles with his sexuality," said Tovey. "I'm gay and, when I was younger, I always had a lot of issues with myself, coming to terms with who I was, what my future was going to be. Who I was in the world, who I was going to tell, how I was going to deal with that, how I was going to tell my family, coming out. So there are big things that I can absolutely relate to in Ray Terrell's world."
While Ray may have aleady appeared in the live-action part of the Arrow-verse, there aren't any plans (that have been announced) to have the character make another appearance in live-action form. However, as we saw with the Vixen character, The CW is definitely open to crossing its characters between the two formats.
Where does Tovey see Ray fitting into the Arrow-verse?
Why can't The Ray have his own show? He can come on and visit. He can do crossovers. He could have his own shit going on. I would feel excited about that if you could actually flesh out the writing, give him his own world. That was my confident, arrogant answer.
That being said, Tovey is excited to see where the animated show goes, saying that he'd like to see many more seasons of The Ray: Freedom Fighters in animated form.
"The stories could go on forever," said Tovey. For now, the first six episodes of The Ray: Freedom Fighters are available to watch via CW Seed.
Deadpool's oft-co-conspirator gets her own series from one of Deadpool's architects.
Marvel announced the return of Gail Simone to their characters with Domino, a new series due out in April. Simone, who has been working mostly at DC for the better part of the last decade, was one of the writers to make Deadpool fertile ground for his popularity explosion in the last few years. So with Domino playing a featured role in the upcoming Deadpool 2, it seems she's getting back to Marvel and getting in on the action.
The new series sees Neena find herself on the wrong side of the entire rest of the Marvel mercenary community. “My favorite characters are always the unpredictable ones, and with Domino, you literally never know which way the dice are going to roll,” said Simone. “I love her, and I can't wait to show her best bad side!” In a completely unexpected development, writing this paragraph has made me simultaneously nostalgic for GW Bridge, Risque, Grizzly, and Six Pack, and also excited for the new book.
Joining Simone on art is David Baldeon (Monsters Unleashed, Nova). "I am a fan of Gail’s work, and I’ve been wanting to work with her for a long time now. The fact that it is with a character like Domino is the icing on the cake!" said Baldeon. The book promises "risque, hardcore action." I believe they mean "slightly indecent or liable to shock, especially by being sexually suggestive" and not "Warpath's resurrected ex-girlfriend who can implode matter," but who knows? Baldeon also said he redesigned her look to be in line with her character traits, and, from the image below, current X-Book branding.
Simone's most recent comics work has been on Wonder Woman/Conan at DC, the spooky as hell Clean Room with Vertigo, and Crosswinds with Image, and she is most commonly known as the author of one of the greatest runs on Wonder Woman of all time. She hasn't had a story published at Marvel since 2013, a backup in Deadpool #27. Her first big-2 series was a run on Deadpool and its spin off, Agent X, starting back in 2002, where she cranked up the series's trademark slapstick and infused the book with surprising heart.
Simone's new series, Domino, is out on April 11th. For more on this series, Weapon X, Deadpool 2, why I ship Colossus and Domino, or any updates that involve a swimming pool full of pancakes, stick with Den of Geek!
Because of some kind of licensing mix-up, Archie Comics can't publish their new Dick Tracy comic.
He's not on his way, after all.
You might remember about a month ago, I got perhaps inordinately excited over the news that Archie Comics was going to publish a brand new Dick Tracy comic book series, the first original Dick Tracy material outside the newspaper strips in nearly 30 years. The project, by Michael Moreci, Alex Segura and Thomas Pitilli was to be a reboot of sorts, telling of Dick Tracy's early career in the post World War II era.
Unfortunately, at least for the moment, it appears that the project has been fitted with cement shoes and tossed off the end of a pier. Co-writer Alex Segura broke the unfortunate news via Twitter. "So, this is not-great news... [we] were very much looking forward to creating this comic for you guys. But due to a mistake on the licensor's part, we won't be able to make that happen. To say we're bummed is a huge, huge understatement."
I know how bummed I am over this news, so I can only imagine how the creative team on the book must feel. Part of my excitement over the Dick Tracy announcement wasn't just because I'm hungry for new takes on comics' most celebrated detective, or because the creative team seemed like a great fit (although both of those are true), but it was the first ray of hope that whatever weirdness always seems to hang over the Tracy rights was going to be untangled.
There appears to be stuff going on with the Dick Tracy rights that would probably give a lawyer pause (and I'm no lawyer...I'm barely even a writer). It's not clear what caused the Archie Comics project to hit a snag with the licensor. It's worth noting that we haven't seen Dick Tracy appear outside of newspaper comic strips since the 1990 movie starring Warren Beatty. I wrote more about why Dick Tracy 2 never happened here. While this doesn't appear to be the same problem, something always seems to stop Tracy-related projects, whether it was a proposed comic from Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming or a TV series starring Bruce Campbell.
In any case, I hope that whatever this is it's just a temporary roadblock. Archie seems like a great home for Dick Tracy, and the take that Moreci, Segura, and Pitilli were working on sounded like a lot of fun.
Get your first look at Mon-El as he was always supposed to look in this new image from Supergirl Season 3.
They're finally going for it!
Since his introduction on Supergirl, Mon-El has been, shall we say, a divisive figure among fans. Whether it was his occasionally regressive views or just the fact that certain segments of the audience felt that maybe Kara belonged with a different love interest in the first place, it's been a bit of a bumpy ride for Chris Wood's Mon-El.
But one thing that all of fandom has been able to agree on is that Supergirl has put absolutely no effort into the poor guy's appearance.
Mon-El spent most of season two in street clothes, and then they gave him a "not even trying" black jumpsuit thing for some action scenes in the latter half of that year. When word got out that Supergirl Season 3 would feature the Legion of Superheroes, well, surely this was a sign that Mon-El would finally get some more exciting duds, right? After all, he's been hanging out in the 31st Century with a team of metahumans, they must have some fashion sense.
Instead we got...
Well, at least Saturn Girl looked cool.
Anyway, the crushing disappointment of yet another black leather "superhero" costume aside, the show has so far gotten the general spirit of the Legion down pretty well, and Mon-El is far more mature and less irritating than he had been in the past. That's a small victory.
But we're about to get a much more significant win. Tucked away in a midseason premiere teaser for the CW superhero shows comes a look at a very different Mon-El, and one that looks exactly like we always hoped he would.
The CW shows have been nailing their superhero designs lately (Barry's season 3 suit on The Flash is wonderful), and this might be the best one they've ever done. It's got elements of different eras of Mon-El history, from the "Valor" years to more recent comics, and still includes the triangular crest tribute to Kara in there, too.
I don't know why it's all smoky and out of focus. That had better not indicate that this is a dream sequence. I will accept this as a flash-forward to the 31st Century and his time with the Legion in their appropriate time period. But...don't tease me like this CW.
Everyone's favorite cyborg Jesus allegory makes his return as new BOOM! Studios' RoboCop comics go even further into the dystopian future.
The RoboCop property has jumped from comic publisher to comic publisher over the years. I have more details in this big pile of words, but the latest stop has been at BOOM! Studios. Several years ago, they not only did one-shots taking place in the world of the RoboCop reboot, but they also did a twelve-issue series that acted as a follow-up to the original movie, pretending that RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3 never happened.
It was really good, but then BOOM! was quiet for a while.
Last year was the 30-year anniversary of RoboCop’s release in theaters and surely that put a light bulb over someone’s head. RoboCop...thirty years later...hm.
In April, BOOM! will be releasing RoboCop: Citizens Arrest #1 by Brian Wood and Jorge Coelho. The story takes place three decades after the original movie, meaning we get to see how the dystopian the world of Omni Consumer Products has evolved unchecked. Usually, comics about RoboCop going further into the future means battles with SkyNet, but this time there’s a different kind of online threat.
Police officers as we know it no longer exist. Justice is crowdsourced among the public via spying and smart phone use. Bringing criminals to OCP’s attention will net you some cash. What could possibly go wrong?
It hasn’t exactly been said how Murphy himself settles into this, but I’m sure bitterness and loneliness is a start. I guess we’ll find out in April.
The main cover is drawn by Nimit Malavia with variants by David Rubin and Jim Towe.
Gavin Jasper feels that in the battle of RoboCop vs. Terminator, RoboCop has the better theme song. Barely. Follow Gavin on Twitter!
The Den of Geek Book Club is a place to geek out about our favorite science fiction, fantasy, and horror books.
We have launched a Den of Geek Book Club as a place to recommend, discuss, and obsess over our favorite fantasy, science fiction, and horror books. Join us in discussing our latest pick...
January/February Pick: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor is a Hugo Award-winning novella about a young African woman who leaves her home on Earth for the first time to attend an intergalactic university on another planet. On the voyage, something goes terribly wrong, forcing Binti to rely on her mathematic skills and her culture to survive.
The Afrofuturist space adventure novella is unlike anything I have ever read, coming from one of the most exciting authors working in science fiction right now. The story continues in two follow-up novellas already published.
Head over to our Den of Geek Book Club page to join in the discussion! And stay tuned for more Binti content over the next month, including a review of the third novella in the Binti series: The Night Masquerade.
December/January Pick: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
The City of Brass, S.A. Chakraborty's debut novel, is the start of a rich, imaginative new historical fantasy series. Set in the 18th-century Middle East, The City of Brass follows Nahri, a young woman living in Cairo who gets pulled into a magical world of djinn, and Ali, a young prince living in the djinn city of Daevabad.
The dual perspective narrative follows both young people as they try to navigate a world of complex political and cultural allegiances where the interpersonal often clashes with the political in ways that threaten to tear them apart.
Head over to our Den of Geek Book Club page to join in the discussion! And stay tuned for more The City of Brass content throughout the following month, including an interview with author S.A. Chakraborty.
November/December Pick: Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
Our second book club pick was Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz, a science fiction story of robots, pirates, and identity in the year 2144.
Autonomous is a gutting tale that follows robot Paladin and drug pirate Jack as they fight for identity, autonomy, love, and freedom in a world where people can be owned and big pharmaceutical companies have immense power. (There, um, may be some parallels to our own world...)
Want to take part in the discussion? Head over to the Den of Geek Book Club on Goodreads to see what kind of discussion happened around the book, and feel free to join in. Or listen to our podcast interview with Annalee Newitz.
October/November Pick: The Name of the Wind
Our first Den of Geek Book Club book was The Name of the Wind, the first book in Patrick Rothfuss'Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy.
I know, I know. This book came out a long time ago. However, it just celebrated its 10th anniversary, complete with a gorgeous 10th anniversary edition from DAW. It will soon be turned into a movie and TV show, with musical producer support from Kingkiller Chronicle superfan Lin-Manuel Miranda.
In other words, whether this is your first time reading or your 15th, it's a great time to discuss this modern fantasy classic! Head over to our Goodreads Book Club page to see what kind of discussion happened around The Name of the Wind, and to add your own thoughts on this modern fantasy classic.
A look at this month's Den of Geek Book Club pick, and the exciting speculative fiction work of Nnedi Okorafor.
This month's Den of Geek Book Club pick is Binti, the first installment in a novella series about a young African woman, the eponymous Binti, who leaves her home on Earth for the first time to attend an intergalactic university on another planet. (Yes, Binti is a total badass.)
"My tribe is obsessed with innovation and technology," Okorafor writes in Binti, "but it is small, private, and, as I said, we don’t like to leave Earth. We prefer to explore the universe by traveling inward, as opposed to outward. No Himba has ever gone to Oomza Uni. So me being the only one on the ship was not that surprising. However, just because something isn’t surprising doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with."
I don't want to ruin any of the narrative progressions that occur in the less than 100 pages of this novella, but I will say what was already a scary choice for Binti becomes much scarier when the ship she and her fellow incoming students are traveling on is boarded by a hostile group of jellyfish-like aliens.
In the pages that follow, Binti must rely on her mathematical prowess and the tools of the Himba culture to survive. It is a story that deals with issues like trauma, communication, and the complications of leaving home in a wondrous space adventure format that will leave you ready to jump on the next spaceship, despite the dangers.
The story continues on in Binti: Home, which was released last year, and Binti: The Night Masquerade, which was released just this week, expanded the world and this character in satisfying directions. I chose Binti as the Den of Geek Book Club pick for this month because it is a speculative fiction unlike anything I have ever read before, an Afrofuturist space voyage with an incredibly relatable protagonist. It adds some much-needed diversity—in protagonist, in setting, in theme—to our speculative fiction.
I also chose Binti because it is a quick read for those who are feeling too overwhelmed to complete a full novel, but one that expands onward for those who want to stay in this world (as most of you surely will). Perhaps most of all, I chose Binti because it is a great introduction to the wondrous work of Nnedi Okorafor, if you've yet to encounter the Nigerian-American author.
Odds are, you've probably seen the name Nnedi Okorafor before. If you didn't catch the publicity around Binti, which won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novella, then maybe you saw her Ted Talk? Or perhaps you took notice when HBO announced it would be developing Okorafor's Who Fears Death into a TV series with George R.R. Martin as a producer and Okorafor herself heavily involved?
Or maybe you were intrigued when, in 2017, Okorafor made her first foray into comic book fiction, contributing a short story to Edge of Venomverse: War Stories before moving on to an ongoing series with Black Panther: Long Live The King. Illustrated by André Lima Araújo, the book sees Wakanda's capital city in a state of panic after losing power, and T'Challa facing off against a massive monster only he can see.
Okorafor is one of the most intriguing speculative fiction authors working right now, across all mediums and formats. Her identity as a "Nigamerican,"as she terms it, infuses her stories with a unique perspective that isn't often explored in mainstream speculative fiction—a reminder of how many kinds of stories are out there for all of us, no matter our own identities, to enjoy and learn from.
"As far as my own mission, I wouldn't say that I have a mission," Okorafor told NPR in a 2016 interview. "I know that I was writing these stories because, one, I enjoyed writing stories. Two, I had all of these stories to tell. Like, I'd look around at my relatives, and I listened. And I wasn't seeing these stories that I wanted to see being told. It's not so much a mission. It's just that I love stories, and so I write them and so I produce them."
Win a copy of Binti, this month's Den of Geek Book Club pick!
This month's Den of Geek Book Club pick is the Afrofuturist novella Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, the story of a young African leaving home to attend the best university in the galaxy.
On the way, things go terribly wrong, leaving Binti to fight for survival with only her mathematical skills and some keepsakes from home as tools.
Binti is the Hugo Award-winning start to a novella trilogy that concluded this week with the release of Binti: The Night Masquerade. In other words: it's the perfect time to start this series.
And we're here to help! We're giving away one copy of Binti to one Den of Geek Book Club member.
Entry is simple!
- Join the Den of Geek Book Club over on Goodreads (if you haven't already).
- Let us know what your favorite aliens are over in our Goodreads group.
Final entries will be accepted Friday, January 26th! For shipping purposes, the winner must be from the United States. One (1) winner will be drawn at random and contacted via Goodreads message. Good luck!
DC will unveil a new Superman costume in Action Comics #1000 that should look very familiar to fans.
So let's try this again.
DC Comics has notoriously been tinkering with Superman's costume for the last five or six years. And their quest to change it dates back even further than that. See, for years, Superman's red trunks were considered hopelessly old-fashioned, and perhaps an indicator of why Supes doesn't quite match Batman's popularity in the pop culture consciousness or some other such nonsense. DC Editorial had, for years, been looking for an excuse to modernize Superman's costume, and the red trunks were always in the crosshairs.
In 2012, with the launch of DC's New 52 line, Superman was given a new, trunks-less costume, one with an ill-advised segmented armor look and a high collar. There was nothing wrong with it, necessarily, especially since there was a good in-story reason for it to exist (it's Kryptonian ceremonial gear). But most artists never could quite agree as to how "armor-y" it should look. This was tweaked by John Romita in 2015, with a softened, slightly more traditional (but still trunks-less) look. Movie and TV versions have all followed suit, with Henry Cavill's big screen Superman and Tyler Hoechlin's TV Man of Steel wearing variations of the non-trunks costume. Even animated series Justice League Action has left the trunks behind.
That was then tweaked again for DC's Rebirth initiative, initially losing not only the red trunks, but the red boots as well (swapping those out for blue ones) and then yet again last year during Superman Reborn. Honestly, this current design has been pretty appealing, melding elements from the movies with a traditional Superman comics aesthetic.
But with the momentous Action Comics #1000 on the horizon, it's time to change once again, and in this case, it means a return to a more traditional Superman costume, with Jim Lee given the honors of bringing back the red trunks, while keeping a few movie-esque flourishes.
Check it out on the cover to Action Comics #1000...
“Action Comics #1000 represents a watershed moment in the history of not just comic books, but entertainment, literature and pop culture,” said Lee in a statement. “There’s no better way to celebrate Superman’s enduring popularity than to give him a look that combines some new accents with the most iconic feature of his classic design.”
Action Comics #1000 will boast an all-star lineup of creators. It includes a 15-page story from current Superman creative teams Peter J. Tomasi and artist Pat Gleason, as well as another 15 page story from legendary Superman writer/artist Dan Jurgens. This will see the DC Comics debut of Brian Michael Bendis, who will pen a 10 page tale with Jim Lee on art.
Perhaps most exciting, the issue will also feature a story by Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner along with Geoff Johns and art by Olivier Coipel. Additionally, Marv Wolfman will script a tale for previously unseen work from legendary Superman artist Curt Swan.
Other talents involved with the issue include Paul Dini with José Luis García-López; Tom King with Clay Mann and Jordie Bellaire; Brad Meltzer with John Cassaday and Laura Martin; Louise Simonson with Jerry Ordway; Scott Snyder with Tim Sale and more to be announced.
That, boys and girls, is a stacked lineup of talent. This might be the most ridiculous assemblage of talent on a Superman book since 1984's Superman #400, one of the greatest single issues in the title's history, which was packed to the gills with work by everyone from Will Eisner and Jack Kirby to all-time great Superman writer Elliott S! Maggin.
“The one-thousandth issue of Action Comics is an incredible milestone in pop culture and a testament to the vision of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster,” added DC publisher Dan DiDio. “Without this book, along with Siegel and Shuster’s fertile imaginations and boundless creativity, the superhero’s place in literature may have been wildly different, if not altogether nonexistent.”
Action Comics #1000 arrives in April.
After Legends of Tomorrow returns from its midseason hiatus, the team will acquire the services of a certain speedster sidekick.
Warning: Current spoilers for Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash.
Keiynan Lonsdale’s character on The Flash, Wally West, a.k.a. Kid Flash, is about to go from forgotten sidekick to literal legend. That’s because EW is reporting that the yellow-suited speedster will soon join the time-traveling superteam of Legends of Tomorrow.
Indeed, after The Flash saw the hero’s young brother-in-law and Flash-in-training essentially complete his character arc, transformed and trained into the hero he always aspired to become, he was left with little to do but twiddle his thumbs at super-speed once Barry returned from his hiatus in the Speed Force. Thus, after an appearance in December’s “Crisis on Earth X” crossover, Wally was abruptly pulled from the series, with the excuse of him going on a sojourn to Cambodia.
While Legends of Tomorrow will make its midseason return in February with Season 3, Episode 10 (replacing Supergirl, which will go on hiatus), the Legends debut of Wally West/Kid Flash will occur on the following week in Episode 11, which airs on February 19. He will reportedly join the team in an official capacity in Episode 13, which airs on March 5. As executive producer Phil Klemmer explains of the addition in a statement:
“We loved working with Keiynan in our series premiere — the episode in which we learned that in between Seasons 2 and 3 he had been fighting crime in Central City with Nick Zano’s Nate Heywood. So, when his character stepped away from Flash to go on walkabout, after being dumped and feeling somewhat estranged from his family and team, we knew that Wally West would fit in perfectly on Legends.”
While the titular team of Legends of Tomorrow has showcased numerous iterations in its three-season existence, The CW series – currently in a mid-season hiatus – left off with its largest vacancy yet, with the exit of dual-person hero Firestorm, with Victor Garber’s Professor Martin Stein killed off and Franz Drameh’s Jefferson “Jax” Jackson leaving the team. However, besides the teased addition of Matt Ryan’s John Constantine, the addition of Kid Flash is an exciting prospect for the evolution of the ever-evolving team. Moreover, it’s the perfect place for Kid Flash to do his thing, since the first half of The Flash Season 4 has proven that there’s no room for two speedsters on a single show
As Klemmer further elaborates:
“Our show is about a collection of unlikely heroes who all began their journeys questioning who they are and where they belong — only to find those answers while traveling through time and having wacky adventures. So now, Wally West is not only back in the company of old friends from the Arrowverse, he’s fighting alongside a former enemy and career arsonist Mick Rory/Dom Purcell. By the end of this season, Wally will learn that the Legends have a different definition of what it means to be a hero.”
Legends of Tomorrow will return from its midseason hiatus on The CW Monday, February 12 at 8 p.m.
New series Black AF: Widows & Orphans takes the story global
Less than a month out from the release of Black AF: America's Sweetheart, the first expansion of the Black universe that we loved a ton, Black Mask Studios announced another book that is quite literally full of Black worldbuilding.
Black AF: Widows & Orphans is a new series by regular Black writer Kwanza Osajyefo, this time with Tim Smith 3 doing interior art. In it, Anansi and Hoodrat, two characters introduced in the orignal series, take on a human trafficking ring. It by virtue of its premise jumps into questions of economics, security and history that, when coupled with race, power and justice that were raised in the original series, makes for a fascinating addition to the series' universe. "The series asks a genuinely disturbing question—in a world where only black people have superpowers, what price do they fetch on the black market?” said Smith.
Smith designed the characters for the original series, but handed off sequential art duties to Jamal Igle for the book. Some of his prior credits include X-Men and Spider-Man comics, and with his stylish eye for design, this makes the excitement for this book justified.
Along with an incredible looking cover for Widows & Orphans, Black Mask also released lettered preview pages for America's Sweetheart. The first graphic novel work for artist Jennifer Johnson has all the charm and character you'd hope for in a comic about the first public superhero in a world where only black people have powers, who calls herself Good Girl. It's got an Archie/Marguerite Sauvage crispness to it that looks like it matches the tone of the premise perfectly.
Black AF: America's Sweetheart is out in February. Black AF: Widows & Orphans will be released in April. For more on the world of Black, stick with Den of Geek!
What happens when Godzilla comes to the Marvel Universe? Wonderful things, that's what.
Talk about a mash-up for the ages! In the glory days of the Bronze Age, Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, the star of a zillion rubber suited monster films, the greatest monster that ever flattened a city, arrived in the Marvel Universe. While this scenario would give filmgoers of today an aneurysm of pure joy, it was par for the course of the anything goes comic scene of the 1970s. But that doesn’t make it any less awesome that Godzilla met, fought, teamed up with, and terrified some of Marvel’s greatest icons.
One of the wackiest parts of this book is that even though Marvel lost the rights to Godzilla after the book was canceled, some of the characters introduced in the Godzilla, King of the Monsters comic (including Godzilla himself-sorta) became part of the Marvel Universe. We’ll get into those characters in a bit but first, a little about the Godzillatitle.
Godzilla, King of the Monsters was first published August 1977 and ran twenty four issues until 1979. The book was written by Doug Moench and drawn by Herb Trimpe. Trimpe was one of the greatest Hulk artists who ever lived and his work on Godzillamet the high monstrous standards he established on his run of Incredible Hulk.
Marvel’s Godzilla was thoroughly bugnuts and introduced some awesome new Kaiju for Godzilla to fight. But the book also put Godzilla against some of Marvel’s mainstays. So let’s journey back to the days of bell bottoms, disco, and coked up baseball players with strange facial hair and take a long, fun look at the Marvel characters that faced the King of Monsters, Godzilla.
Godzilla #1 (1977)
Well, Godzilla and Nick Fury never actually fought but how awesome would that be? Nick Fury was the first Marvel mainstay to pop up in Godzilla(the very first issue in fact), but it seemed like when Fury saw the thousand feet of nuclear terror that is Godzilla, he did what any great boss would do, he delegated the hell out of it to his underlings.
Which brings us to…
Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, Gabriel Jones, and Jimmy Woo
Beginning in Godzilla #1 (1977) and pretty much appearing in every issue of the series
Man, that’s a who’s who of SHIELD, huh? We have former Howler and SHIELD mainstay Dum Dum Dugan, we have Marvel’s first African American character in Gabriel Jones, and we have Marvel’s first Asian American character, a hero that actually predates the Marvel Age, the future leader of the Agents of ATLAS, Jimmy Woo. These weren’t generic soldiers for Godzilla to step on, they were tried and true Marvel legends and they had themselves a nuclear lizard to corral.
Now think about this, Dugan, Jones and Woo have fought Hitler AND Godzilla and if that’s not a reason to love comics, I don’t know what is.
Anyway, under Fury’s orders these three SHIELD agents formed the "Godzilla Squad" and basically became the human protagonists of the Marvel series. Remember when you were a kid watching Kaiju flicks and when the human characters came on screen, you would go get some chocolate milk and a PBJ with the corners cut off? Yeah, in the Marvel version of Godzilla those “dull” humans were three awesome and classic SHIELD agents. Beat that, Toho!
Doctor Demonicus and Batragon
Godzilla #4 (1977) Art by Tom Sutton
While not exactly a legend, Doctor Demonicus was one of the very few characters introduced in the pages of Godzilla that stuck around in the Marvel Universe long after the House of Ideas lost the publication rights to the King of Monsters. That being said, Toho had Godzilla face off against Mothra, Gidorah, Hedorah, Mecha Godzilla, and Rodan while Marvel had Godzilla go up against this La Parka looking douchebag.
Demonicus was once Douglas Birely and used some bit of nonsense called the Lifestone to mutate animals into Kaiju. Okay, that’s kind of cool. After he tried to take down Godzilla with his mutated menagerie, Demonicus later appeared in the pages of Shogun Warriors (and God, I really need to hit the 25 cent bin and get a run on that gem of a title), Iron Man, and West Coast Avengers.
I mention Batragon here just because the monster’s name is almost Baragon, a famed Toho Kaiju who had the distinction of taking on Toho’s version of Frankenstein in Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965) and also made a brief appearance in Destroy All Monsters (1968). Marvel’s Batragon was killed by Godzilla in its first appearance. Dick.
Anyway, while Batragon went to the big Monster Island in the sky, Demonicus would pop up now and again and serve as a reminder that if Demonicus was still around in the MU, than Godzilla existed in continuity as well. So there.
Godzilla #3 (1977)
What can be more Bronze Age (Bronze Age-ier?) than the strangest and most makeshift super team of them all going up against God-freakin’ zilla. For those of you not savvy with the finer points of Bronze Age trivia, The Champions were a Los Angeles based super hero team made up of a bunch of heroes that had absolutely nothing in common. It consisted of two classic X-Men (Iceman and Angel), a demon (Ghost Rider), Scarlett Johansson, a god (Hercules) and sometimes, a little known Russian woman who had darkness powers (Darkstar, because what else would you call a Russian chick with darkness powers).
Sadly, Ghost Rider and Darkstar did not appear in this issue but the rest of the team did after Godzilla came on shore in San Francisco. After hopping aboard the Champscraft (CHAMPSCRAFT!), the Champions arrived to stop Godzilla from taking out the Golden Gate Bridge (hey Hollywood, Marvel did it first!). It was pretty awesome to watch Hercules topple Godzilla with his bare hands, but tell me, what the hell was Black Widow supposed to do? Out-espionage Godzilla? Silliness.
Anyway, we did get to see Iceman try to freeze Godzilla which is all sorts of awesome but the four Champions were no match for the beast and Godzilla took off without even registering the Champs. Sadly, we never got to see a demonic biker versus a radioactive dinosaur but the very idea of that clash pretty much defines everything my eight year old mind desired.
Godzilla #6 (1978)
Red Ronin was a giant Shogun Warriors looking piece of awesome that SHIELD built to take down Godzilla. It was supposed to be piloted by James Woo of SHIELD but when the designer's grandson Robbie stole the armor to help divert Godzilla in one of its rampages, boy and robot became bonded and Marvel had its own version of Ultra Man/ Johnny Socko/ Jet Jaguar.
The Red Ronin armor and Robbie became a consistent part of the Godzillatitle and like Doctor Demonicus, Ronin even stuck around after the book was canceled. Red Ronin popped up in the pages of Iron Man and even took part in a Civil Warcrossover of all things. It was also part of Marvel’s Mega Morphs toy tie-in title and I’m pretty sure only I and Den of Geek’s own expert on all things strangely and wonderfully esoteric Gavin Jasper remembers that bit of business.
Whatever the case, thanks to Moench and Trimpe, Marvel now had its own Kaiju stomping mech and it was glorious.
Godzilla #10 (1978)
I really, really wanted to find a place for Yetrigar on this list because he’s a giant Kaiju Yeti thing and I kind of love him in a bromance (not furry) sort of way. And lo and beyond, that Yetrigar here appeared in an issue of West Coast Avengers, so it totally counts!
Yetrigar was a Sasquatch encased with ice infused with and driven mad by radiation. It ran afoul of Godzilla and even took part in a three way dance with Godzilla and Red Ronin. Godzilla defeated the awesome looking beast but it was to return when Bobbi Morse, yes the very same Bobbi Morse on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, revived the beast to distract her teammates so she could attend to a private matter.
Wow, she revived a giant Sasquatch as a ruse, that’s dedication and the whole thing really needs to be adapted on ABC at some point because you all know that the way to make Agents of SHIELD better is with a giant, radioactive Yeti thing.
Sadly, not a giant Dum Dum Dugan
Godzilla #17 (1978)
The cover of Godzilla#17 is almost the greatest comic book cover in history. It shows a seemingly giant Dum Dum Dugan about to take down Godzilla. One would think, nay wish, that Dum Dum somehow grew to enormous height and was ready to bare knuckle box Godzilla. Sadly, very sadly, this was not the case as this issue saw Dum Dum and SHIELD use Pym Particles to shrink and capture Godzilla.
So we were treated to a tiny Godzilla which is totally adorbs but we were deprived of a giant Dum Dum Dugan which is a tragedy, really. Imagine, Dum Dum’s mustache hairs would have been like suspension cables.
Godzilla #18 (1979)
Just to show that Moench and Trimpe had balls the size of Mothra eggs, the two legends had Godzilla go up against a New York sewer rat. Now, those rats can be pretty damn scary but this vermin was no match for the pint sized, Pym shrunken Godzilla. It might not have been much of a fight, but damn, is that one of the coolest covers ever or what?
Godzilla #20 (1979)
And then there was the time the Thing punched Godzilla in a giant shark tank. Thing. Godzilla. Sharks. How are you not buying this on eBay right now?
During this issue, Godzilla is still affected by the Pym Particles but now is the size of a human. But Godzilla is still the King of Monsters and still gives the entire FF a run for its money. Sadly, there was never a Godzilla versus Galactus brawl but a nerd can dream.
Godzilla #21-22 (1979)
Things get timey wimey because why not just add time travel to the Bronze Age insanity of Godzilla. After the FF fished Godzilla out of the shark tank (and for that reason, I’m out, HA!), the team uses Dr. Doom’s time machine to shoot Godzilla back to prehistoric times because awesome. There Godzilla meets Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy and fights off recurring Devil foes the Lizard Men. The time platform grew unstable (because reasons) and exploded, transporting a size restored Godzilla to the present.
But of course Godzilla met Devil Dinosaur because how could Marvel resist? The only thing that would have made these two issues more awesome would have been if Marvel recruited Devil's creator Jack Kirby to draw Devil Dinosaur going up against Trimpe’s masterly crafted Godzilla.
Godzilla #23-24 (1979)
Godzilla arrived from the prehistoric past pissed off and ready to rumble. The FF knew that they would need more help as they barely were able to take down a human sized Godzilla so they recruited the Avengers to help. So fans got Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Yellowjacket, Wasp, Vision, and Scarlet Witch versus Godzilla. How’s that for a marque clash of the titans?
The Avengers were able to force Godzilla to retreat but the beast rallied and fought back more furious than ever. Where the FF and the Avengers failed, young Robbie succeeded. The boy who controlled Red Ronin tearfully begged Godzilla to leave New York alone. Godzilla understood and went out to sea.
J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle
Godzilla #23-24 (1979)
During the tussle with the Avengers and the FF, J. Jonah Jameson, Robbie Robinson, and the Daily Bugle popped up. One funny gag saw Jameson verbally going off on Godzilla in his office when suddenly Godzilla’s eye appeared outside Jameson’s window. It’s a good thing Jameson was wearing dark trousers I tells ya.
Fun fact: I am actually the very proud owner of the Trimpe original art from that sequence.
Before the door was shut on Godzilla at Marvel, when the King of Monsters was swayed from destroying New York by young Robbie, Marvel’s flagship hero bid Godzilla a fond farewell. It was a heartfelt send off as the very symbol of the Marvel Universe said goodbye to a monster that had a too short stay.
But technically, things weren’t over just yet. Marvel may have lost the rights to Godzilla, but the monster in these awesome stores stayed in continuity. Soon, in the pages of Iron Man, writer Denny O’Neil and artist Luke McDonnell created a mutated dinosaur and established that this new dino was the mutated beast that rampaged across New York, went back in time and teamed up with Devil Dinosaur, and fought a sewer rat. Godzilla was gone in name only as O’Neil and McDonnell established that all those great Moench and Trimpe tales actually took place in the Marvel Universe whether Toho’s lawyers liked it or not!
Of course, Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing would continue Godzilla’s four color legacy, but before that, the King of Monsters left a blazing footprint across the Marvel Universe in some of the most insane comics published in the 70s.