Archive for January 3rd, 2013



Kickstarter project: Hyper Heroes

Written by on Jan 3, 2013
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Kickstarter project: Hyper Heroes

Teenage life, school typecasting, bully attacks, unrequited love… and hyperpowers. Or at least some of the above.

Hyper Heroes is a light-hearted, all-ages (but thoughtful) superhero comic, with teen hijinks, good-natured comedy and the occasional superhero fight. You can read it here! Oh, and it’s a Kickstarter project too – which means you can help support it financially and, in exchange, become a hyperhero yourself. That is, if the project succeeds.

hyper

According to the project’s Kickstarter page, the Hyper Heroes comic started “…as a school hobby, where it gathered a huge cult following of about 9 people… But hey, they were the story’s protagonists. Because that’s the point of hyper heroes: the reader is the protagonist! And we don’t mean it in a “characters the kids can identify with” way. We’re literally saying our readers are the characters. As in, we take your (or your kid’s or your loved ones’) face and mannerisms and put them in a comic book hero, and we give the character skills and special powers based on your real-life strengths and qualities. And yes, that character then has a starring role in a superhero story.”

hyper2

So, this comic lets its readers have an actual role in the story as a superhero. And if there’s an ongoing Kickstarter project, then you’re still on time to join. Yes, this means you can go over there and ask for your own hyperhero right now.

We all know mainstream superhero comics have very little space for new names; but the indie comics market isn’t crazy about non-satiric superhero stories either. This means even getting Hyper Heroes to where it is now has been a challenge from day one. However, this hasn’t stopped them from getting there… and they’re still going at it.

Their next step is to make the Hyper Heroes Kickstarter project into a reality. And there’s where you can help. Simply visit the project and, if you like it, back it. And become a comic book hero!

hyper3




Happy #3 Sells Out, Gets New Printing

Written by on Jan 3, 2013
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Happy #3 Sells Out, Gets New Printing

It’s a “HAPPY” New Year for Grant Morrison’s and Darick Robertson’s Image Comics miniseries as its third issue, released on December 19, has sold out at the distributor level. Every issue of the skewed take on a classic holiday story has received a second printing, and reviews of HAPPY #3 demonstrate why: consistent excellence from superstar creators:

“An excellent issue full of amazing art with great plot and character development.”
– Weekly Comic Book Review

“There seems to be nothing Robertson can’t do well: his sense of facial expression and body language are top-notch, his scenery is enthralling, and his handle on sequential motion rivals some of the very best.”
– Multiversity Comics

“It’s about an ugly world and the strength of innocence and belief. It’s solid stuff, even if it’s a bit over the top at times. Morrison delivers, as usual.”
– IGN

The second printing of HAPPY #3 (NOV128183) will be in stores on January 30.

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.




IT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS ON HOLIDAY

Written by on Jan 3, 2013
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IT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS ON HOLIDAY

February will bring with it a special Valentine to readers of Michael Allred’s IT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS. Chynna Clugston-Flores, creator of Blue Monday, is teaming up with series writer Jamie S. Rich for a standalone issue about a fan-favorite character from the MADMAN universe, Mr. Gum.

Like the other members of The Atomics, Mr. Gum is a former beatnik who developed superpowers after being exposed to alien spore — in his case, the power of elasticity. He and the other Atomics are on a galactic concert tour, and IT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS #6 is a not-so-typical day off. To impress a girl, Mr. Gum decides to prove his rock-star status, and ends up tangling with more trouble than he bargained for. And possibly a giant space monster.

“Mr. Gum was probably the character I was most sad not having as a regular in It Girl and the Atomics,” said writer, Rich. “He’s your typical fast-talking, wise-cracking rubber man, and I’ve always thought he was a blast. I wrote a four-page bit with him in Liberty Comics a couple of years ago, and it was like unleashing my Id. A chance to write visual and verbal jokes!”

Clugston-Flores’s art is known for its manga-influenced style, high energy, and mod sensibilities, the perfect combination for the space adventures of an ex-Beatnik. She also has experience, being the first artist besides Michael Allred to draw It Girl, in a one-shot published by Oni Press when Rich was editor there.

“When I was casting about for someone to have pop in for fill-in issues, Chynna was just a natural choice,” said Rich. “Particularly for Mr. Gum. The three of us have a shared sense of humor: me, Chynna, and Gum.”

“I was very excited to get a chance to draw an entire comic dedicated to Mr. Gum, a personal favorite, and be involved with It Girl again, as well as collaborate with Jamie after so long! Jamie’s right about our sense of humor, and Mr. Gum certainly personifies it when he’s at his worst (or rather, most amusing, in my opinion!),” added Clugston Flores. “Not to mention being given the chance to draw aliens, monsters, and insert some of my own ’80s pop culture references at random in the art without anyone seeming to mind.”

IT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS #6 will be in stores on January 23!

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.




Morbius #1 Review

Written by on Jan 3, 2013
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Morbius #1

morbius1

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Marvel
Marvel.com
Writer: Joe Keatinge
Pencils:Richard Elson
Pages: 24
Price: 2.99
Color
Rating: Teens and up

Publishers Blurb:
MARVEL NOW! Somewhere inside Dr. Michael Morbius is a good man who just needs a second chance. After escaping The Raft, Morbius is desperately trying to live in a world that has turned its back on him. However, his redemption may be worse than his sin.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Following the events of ASM 699.1 Morbius is once again a free man or free vampire I guess would be the correct term. Michael Morbius has been a living vampire for quite some time but things may be about to change forever. He has been both villain and anti-hero over the years but in this Marvel Now! Issue 1 we get an entirely different view of the character. He is easily at the lowest point of his life and perhaps most vulnerable after escaping the Raft. Eventually he finds himself living homeless on the mean streets of Brownsville. The interesting thing about this issue is that he just really seems to have no idea of where he is going in life.

When an unfortunate turn of events sets a gang of ruthless thugs on his trail Morbius does the best he can to survive their attacks, while simultaneously trying to fighting off his need to feed on human blood. Unfortunately things just don’t work out in his favor. That is where the big twist of this issue comes in to play. Morbius the living vampire is killed… but I’m guessing this is where the real story begins. What happens when a living vampire dies? It’s a question that easily provokes discussion. After all Morbius was always something of an anomaly in the Marvel universe. Not quite a vampire in the conventional sense of being undead. That may be about to change and who knows what repercussions it will have.

I was pleasantly surprised with this issue overall. Launching a solo title for Morbius is a risky maneuver. Most recently he has been a guest star or supporting cast member in various different books. He hasn’t had his own title since 1995. This new book could mean big things for Morbius but that all depends on how the story is handled. I am eagerly awaiting the 2nd issue because I have the feeling that Morbius could be a sleeper hit. This is just going off my gut of course. Marvel Now! has had its share of both good and bad titles since it launched. Luckily most of them have come off far better than any of DC’s New 52. If you are in the mood for something different I would definitely recommend picking up Morbius #1.




Invincible #99 Review

Written by on Jan 3, 2013
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Invincible #99

Rating 2/5
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Pencils: Ryan Ottley
Inks: Cliff Rathburn
Colors: John Rauch
Pages: 29
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Rating: Parental Advisory 17+

Publishers Blurb:
Invincible Vs. Dinosaurus for the fate of the world! Could this be the end of Mark Grayson?!

Reviewers Comments:
Invincible #99 is a book comprised of only two pages types. There are 18 splash pages and one spread. For those unfamiliar with the terms I will elaborate. A splash page is one panel that fills an entire page. A spread is similar except it comprises two pages. Using this many of either is not something that is common in comics. The last time I remember seeing anything quite like this was Superman #75. Infamously used in Death of Superman issue, every page and subsequent panel amounted to a clock counting down. At the end of the countdown Superman died.

That’s not what happens here of course. Issue 99 is part 2 of the “Death of Everyone” arc leading up to the milestone of issue 100, where supposedly things will change forever. What happens here maybe a precursor to those changes but for the moment the story hits a metaphorical brick wall. The bulk of the issue is Invincible fighting his once oh let’s say ally Dinosaurus who has decided to wipe out a significant portion of the world’s population. The grand scheme is to offset a far worse future calamity that would befall humanity. Of course Invincible takes offense to the idea. The rest of what we see is reactions to the event by various members of expanded cast of the series.

There are many reasons I dislike this issue. The most obvious is this it doesn’t move the story further. It’s nothing but a filler fight. It’s sandwiched between two actual pieces of a story but it fails at being one on its own. The heavy use of splash pages I mentioned earlier makes me feel like they didn’t have a strong enough story for three real issues. So they stretched a fight sequence into a full book. Of course it’s not really a full book is it? Well I guess that depends on who you ask.

I was a fan of Invincible early in. I liked its fresh take on the super hero genre. Over time however it too began to succumb to many of the same issues of convolution that plague most of Marvel and DCs books. As of now I feel like the book is stagnant and this issue is an exclamation point to that. Will the “Death of Everyone” reinvigorate the title? I don’t know.

One last thing before I put a bow on this there are a few panels at the end that really bugged me. It’s roughly the end of the fight sequence. Invincible is fully costumed while fighting Dinosaurus. Then a building falls on them both. Dinosaurus clears the wreckage holding Invincible by the back of the neck. Why is this interesting you may ask? Well because for seemingly no good reason Invincible is now completely naked. How did it happen? I don’t know. Is it an error? Anything is possible. It’s just weird though isn’t it? Did his costume get caught on something as the building collapsed? Or did Dinosaurus feel his foe just needed to be unclothed and shredded it himself. We may never know why it’s in there but it is.




Vampirella Strikes #1 Review

Written by on Jan 3, 2013
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Vampirella Strikes #1

Rating: 2/5
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Tom Sniegoski
Pencils: Johnny D.
Pages: 32
Price: 3.99

Publisher’s Blurb:
Fearful that her monstrous nature is taking control, Vampirella takes solace in some extreme violence, and conversation, all topped off with a nice glass of Merlot, in a Boston tavern overrun by the demonic in the first part of this six issue story. Living in a world of growing supernatural threats, Vampirella never knows what she will be facing from one moment to the next, but what she finds waiting for her in her Boston Brownstone when she returns from a night of hunting is the most unexpected of all. Angels of Heaven sent by God . . . and they want Vampirella to work for them.

Reviewer’s Comments:
Issue #1 of Vampirella Strikes is visually stunning the art and tone really shine. The story on the other hand is predictable to say the least. There is dialogue present that is beyond clichéd. After all was said and done I could have sworn I had read this entire issue before or something eerily similar. The worst part is I really wanted to like this book.

Let’s go down the list shall we.

Vampirella a female altruistic vampire lead facing down the denizens of the underworld? Check. An ongoing war between the powers of heaven and hell? Check. Angels seeking the aid of said vampire on Gods behalf? Check. You can probably guess where I’m going here. It really seems like there is nothing original to this issue. I can’t speak for the series as a whole yet of course. There just doesn’t seem to be much substance here.

I really hope the book gets better honestly I do. I have been a huge Vampirella fan for years but what we get here is an entirely uninspired first outing. At least give us back Vampirella’s trademark skimpy outfit. That may make it easier to tolerate the narrative they have packaged. Vampirella books have never been the most innovative or interesting but they were solid stories. They combined action, horror and eye candy in a winning formula. Here all we get are played out tropes and story that feels like it’s the pilot of the CW’s next young adult supernatural/action drama.




Uncanny X-Force #35 Review

Written by on Jan 3, 2013
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Uncanny X-Force #35

Rating: 5/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Rick Remender
Pencils: Phil Noto
Colors: Frank Martin Jr.
Number of Pages: 21
Price: 3.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb: Final issue! Rick Remender’s landmark run comes to a conclusion with one of the most shocking moments in X-Force history. What will become of what's left of X-Force?

Reviewer’s Comments:
The Final Execution Saga draws to a close and brings with it the conclusion of Uncanny X-Force. This is the final issue of easily one of the best Marvel titles in recent history. The previous issue gave us several visceral moments but this one is all about wrapping up loose ends.

We witness Wolverine lay Daken to rest and get insight on just how deeply he has been affected by his son’s death. There is an extremely touching moment between Evan (Genesis) and Deadpool that is both heartfelt and beautiful. Last but not least we get some well-deserved closure for Psylocke.

All things considered it’s a bittersweet ending to say the least. When I think about it though there is really no other way the book could have ended. Especially for a team of killers that set out to do the dirty work that no one else would or could for that matter. While the cast may have changed over time X-Force never lost its singular purpose.

Rick Remender’s narrative has stayed consistent through the entire run of the series. Along the way there may have been a few stumbles but nothing that affected the title in the long run.

This of course is only the end of this iteration of the book. Uncanny X-Force volume 2 is on its way as part of the Marvel Now! Re-launch. All I have to say is that the new creative team has its work cut out for it. This was a book that always kept you guessing and more often than not shocked you with just how far things were taken. Is issue # 35 good? The answer is a resounding yes. It’s a fitting and well-crafted ending that delivers us an intricate web of loss, perseverance and hope.




Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 Review

Written by on Jan 3, 2013
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Avenging Spider-Man #15.1

Pencils: 3/5
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Christopher Yost
Pencils: Paco Medina
Number of Pages: 21
Price: 2.99
Rating: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Coinciding with the end of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, a look back at the greatest conflict in comics history: Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus!

Reviewer’s Comments:
Peter Parker is dead following the events of ASM #700. Avenging 15.1 picks up right after and brings us a day in the life of the new Superior Spider-Man. This issue is mostly introspection on the part of Dr. Octopus. Adjusting to his new life and reflecting on who he was.

There is some light action but otherwise the book is more character driven. Otto spends much of his time analyzing why he always used to fail at taking Spider-Man out. He eventually realizes that it was his own hubris that doomed every attempt he made. If that wasn’t enough he also has to reconcile his own memories against those of Peter.

The real point of all of this is to set him on to the heroic path of being Spider-Man. While picking up on the small idiosyncrasies of being Peter Parker. We also get to watch the development of the new spider suit. I’m sure we will start to see all the new bells and whistles on it once Superior Spider-Man launches.

Overall I liked the book but the story but it just didn’t grab me. Of course this is just a point one book and they tend to be mediocre. I think Superior Spider-Man could be a strong title but this issue is nothing special. Chris Yost is kind of trapped stringing together this issue and #700. There are legions of fans out there very pissed off at Dan Slott at the moment. He may be able to bring some back around and maybe even bring in some new readers but he has to tread carefully. The diehard fans will probably hold out for the return of the real Peter and that may cause some serious slumps in sales.




Deathmatch #1 Review

Written by on Jan 3, 2013
Filed in: Boom Studios Reviews, Comic Book Reviews  |  No Comments »

Deathmatch #1

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: BOOM
Writer: Paul Jenkinks
Pencils: Carlos Magno
Colors: Michael Garland
Number of Pages: 29
Price: 1.00

Publisher’s Blurb: THE SUPERHERO BATTLE ROYALE YOU CAN’T GET FROM MARVEL OR DC! A powerful and mysterious supervillain has imprisoned the world's greatest superheroes, forcing them to fight to the death until there is but one victor. It's kill or be killed as we settle the score on all those hypothetical superhero match-ups in the ultimate DEATHMATCH. Written by industry legend Paul Jenkins (SENTRY, INHUMANS) and drawn by comics superstar Carlos Magno (PLANET OF THE APES, TRANSFORMERS), DEATHMATCH is a dark, psychological deconstruction of the superhero genre that can’t be missed.

Reviewer’s Comments:
Thirty two super powered individuals enter only one leaves. That’s the basis for Boom! Studios new book Deathmatch. One of a string of recent titles that pit superheroes against each other in battles to the death. While things may seem straightforward they really aren’t. Everyone involved in the matches have their memories temporarily altered or wiped. This helps make it easier for a character that would never kill to cross that line without realizing it. After the match is over the survivor is returned to the rest of the group.

Many of these are familiar archetypes and are analogues to various mainstream characters. In a way it kind of feels like back when you were a kid. You would set up your best action figures and have a battle royal to determine who the best was. The antagonists so far are as mysterious as the reason for the entire tournament. Exceedingly powerful forces that can strike godlike individuals down like they are putting a misbehaving kid in timeout.

The mystery of what’s going on is an effective way to hook readers. However having so many newly created characters that we have no real connection to makes it easier not to care who lives or dies. The development needs to ramp up quickly to give us some one or a group to root for. Of course doing that can also mess with the seemingly random nature of who lives or dies.

Despite the fact that this is a first issue and a (sort of) crossover it’s a surprisingly good read. The characters are as fleshed out as they can get in a situation like this and their designs are really striking. Not just the typical spandex and armor crowd. I have to admit while I followed the promotion for the book I thought it looked really uninteresting. So far I have been pleasantly surprised and am looking forward to watching the series unfold.






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