Turn off the Lights
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WonderCon 2019: Spotlight on Donny Cates
April 13, 2019 | Comic Features
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WonderCon 2019: Spotlight on Tom King
April 6, 2019 | Comic Features
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Top 10 Female Super Villains
January 27, 2019 | Comic Features
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L.A. Comic Con: Conversation with Comic Artist Greg Capullo
November 14, 2018 | Comic Features
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L.A. Comic Con: Conversation with Comic Artists Ryan Stegman and Chris Burnham
November 7, 2018 | Comic Features

Comics

4.5
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Ultimate Comics X #2 – Review

Our story begins with a mystery. Who is Karen Grant? Who is this mutant dying her hair before heading to work? Then of course she uses her powers to move things around the room, another clue to the puzzle. It remains a mystery because the clues are so vague that at first glance, this could be any female mutant.

Dave is a mall cop in love with Karen, our mystery mutant, since the moment he saw her. He’s planning to ask Karen to marry him after work. That is the narration of the issue, and it has nothing to do with the story. There are many well-executed narrations that do not give a play by play of what is happening in the story. In fact when done right they are very powerful and moving. Ultimate Spider-Man has a perfect example of this: The Ultimate Venom storyline has Peter fighting Eddie Brock after becoming Venom. The entire narration is a letter from Peter’s father, and although it happens in the past it still indirectly ties in with the events happening in the fight.

Jeph Loeb (Ultimatum, World War Hulks) uses a misplaced narrative in an attempt to humanize one the Ultimate universe’s mutants left in hiding afterUltimatum. I applaud Loeb for trying to grow as a writer but this is his third failed attempt of this narration type. He tried it in Ultimates #1, failed. He tried it in Ultimate Comic X #1, failed. The narrations themselves are not half bad but they are distracting from the story and do nothing to move the plot forward.

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C2E2 Marvel News: Thor: The Mighty Avenger

Marvel announced a new monthly Thor title this weekend at C2E2 (Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo).  Thor: The Mighty Avenger, will be written by Roger Langridge (The Muppet Show) and drawn by Chris Samnee (Avengers VS Agents of Atlas) and is scheduled to begin in July.

According to Langridge, “the book will have an overarching plot that spans through the first year of the book, but that each issue will act like a one-shot.” This seems to be a growing trend at Marvel. For example, series like the Fantastic Four are doing the same thing. Langridge also stated that Mr. Hyde would be the villain to jump start the series and followed by some re-imagined Asgard and Avenger villains. The series will also at some point feature all of the original Avengers and several other Marvel characters that the team wanted to use. Hopefully the book can hold its own and not become another cameo-of-the-month title like Moon Knight or Wolverine: Origins.

Head to Marvel’s new section to see all of Chris Samnee’s promotional art and character sketches.

9.0
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Avengers: The Origin #1

Origin is a modern retelling of the first meeting of the Avengers.  At the focal point of the story is Loki, who has been cast out of Asgard for acts against his half brother Thor.  Cast-out, but not without his magic, he decides to launch yet another attack on his half brother. He tricks the Hulk into nearly derailing a train full of people.  The Hulk, having the worst publicist in the world, is painted as the villain and the military is mobilized after him.  Rick Jones and his band of merry hackers send an encrypted message to the Fantastic Four asking for them to help the Hulk. This of course interferes with Loki’s game. He can’t stop the message, but he can send it to someone else. This is the story of how Loki, unknowingly created the Avengers.  It’s such a weird origin tale. I cannot recall another team/heroes origin where the villain of the story created the hero and that’s what makes it interesting.

Joe Casey (Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Elephantmen) and Phil Noto (Beautiful Killer, The New West) knock this issue out of the park. Casey is already very familiar with the Avengers and modern takes on older storylines, but he meshes the two together perfectly in this book.  Fans of Avengers that miss the good old days of the founding members can take comfort in this. Each character speaks and acts like their golden-age self, which is to say that the Hulk is without a doubt the Hulk. Not an inspired version of the character. Probably one of the strongest interactions of characters is between Ant-Man and the Wasp. They’re just working out of Pym’s garage not rich and famous. But there’s a real sense of home and uncertainty between them. They’re just starting off as superheroes and unsure what that means. 

9.0
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Star Wars – Purge: The Hidden Blade

Do you remember when Darth Vader was a bad ass? When he would choke someone out just for speaking out of turn? Well that Vader is still alive and well in the comic universe. Purge, follows Vader as he over-sees the construction of the At-At’s being built on the planet Otavon 12. After an attack on the base he decides to hunt down a powerful Jedi he senses, even though the emperor has instructed him otherwise.

The book is very action heavy, especially since we’re talking about old school Vader who doesn’t whine and screw around. Haden Blackman (Star Wars) does a great job of telling a simple story that itches the nostalgic Star Wars area of the brain. Vader is vindictive towards the unknown Jedi that he is hunting. Just the intensity of his dialog and actions give the strong impression that he hates him. Vader has several awesome one-liners that just highlight how evil he is and make you cover your mouth while reading them.

The art is in the style of Dark Horse’s other Star Wars books and Chris Scalf (Battlestar Galactica) does a great job of keeping that feel of the world.  Vader is drawn to look intimidating and even without the use of facial expressions. Most importantly, Vader is without a doubt, Vader. He acts like a bad ass, he’s drawn like a bad ass and he’s not to be messed with. Scalf draws spot on Star Wars’ creatures, vehicles and light sabers that again capture the old school feel.

9.8
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S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

Shield, does not destroy the Marvel Universe that you know and love… at least not in the first issue. It does lay down the framework for one of the largest retcons (retroactive continuity) in Marvel’s history. Shield’s history spans throughout the ages, and begins with the first Brood attack on earth. The Brood is an alien race that takes over their host body in order to infect and colonize the planet of their choosing. However, they are defeated by Imhotep, an Egyptian warrior holding a spear and a shield.

Jonathan Hickman (Nightly News, Red Mass for Mars) tells the story of Leonid, a teenage boy that is taken to the Immortal City, an amazing sub-city underneath Rome. He is taken before the high council of the city and the order of Shield is explained to him. Hickman cherry picks great historical figures as agents of Shield to give the overall impression that they are everywhere. In one such case Galileo creates a device to stop Galactus from eating earth years before Reed Richards was ever forced to do so.

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