April 22, 2014 | 7:30 p.m.

’24: Underground’ writer Ed Brisson sends Jack Bauer to Ukraine

Mary Lynn Rajskub and Keifer Sutherland  in the new Fox series "24: Live Another Day." (Kelsey McNeal / Fox)
Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer doesn’t return to the screen until May 5, whcn “24: Live Another Day” premieres with a two-hour kickoff event marking the series’ ninth season on Fox. But this week, writer Ed Brisson takes Bauer to Ukraine in IDW’s five-issue miniseries “24: Underground,” which tracks the character’s experiences between seasons. Brisson, 39, is no stranger to putting his own stamp on well-established fictional universes, having made his name on such titles as Marvel’s “Secret Avengers,” as well as “Sons of Anarchy” and “RoboCop” comics adaptations. For many fans, though, the Vancouver-based letterer-turned-writer is best known for his original titles, including his Image series “Sheltered,” “Comeback” and “The Field,” the latter of which debuted earlier this month. Brisson, who self-published his own work for more than 17 years before his recent breakthroughs, has already had a banner year. […]
April 22, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Justice League United’: Jeff Lemire readies ‘big, fun space adventures’

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The move to Canada and the debut of a Cree superheroine may not be the biggest changes for Jeff Lemire’s new Justice League team: The writer says he’s tired of “grim and gritty” and will be moving the heroes toward “big, fun space adventures.” “Justice League United” No. 0 arrives Wednesday from the Toronto-based Lemire and his U.S.-based British artist collaborator, Mike McKone, and begins assembling a team of DC characters that hail from the stars to the street: extraterrestrials Martian Manhunter, Supergirl and Hawkman, with earthlings Animal Man, Stargirl, Green Arrow, Adam and Alanna Strange — and the newly created Equinox, a teenage girl from Moose Factory, Canada. Developing the 16-year-old heroine, whose civilian name is Miiyahbin, has been a passion project within his DC work for Lemire, who has explored his native country in creator-owned projects including “Essex […]
April 21, 2014 | 2:42 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones’: Women in a ‘difficult world,’ say show runners

Tommen )Dean-Charles Chapman), Cersei (Lena Headey) stand beside the boy of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) in Sunday's episode of "Game of Thrones," titled "Breaker of Chains.
 (Helen Sloan/HBO)
Anyone who watches HBO’s lavish fantasy series “Game of Thrones” understands that it’s not easy for any character to  live in the cutthroat world of Westeros, defined as it is by treachery and death. But navigating the brutal environment can be especially fraught for the women who have a central role in the narrative. (If you missed Sunday night’s episode, “Breaker of Chains,” you might want to stop reading now.) In the latest installment of the hit show, Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) arrived at the city of Meereen with her army of Unsullied at her back, determined to continue to free the slaves in the cities of the East. But even as she wins the affections of the underclass, she’s also making powerful enemies. QUIZ: Test your ‘Game of Thrones’ knowledge Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) finally escaped […]
April 21, 2014 | 1:21 p.m.

‘Game of Thrones’: Twitter reacts to Cersei scene, champions Daenerys

The Lannisters pay their respects to the fallen King Joffrey. With Lena Headey,  Dean-Charles Chapman, Jack Gleeson and Charles Dance.
Credit:  (Helen Sloan / HBO)
Sunday’s episode of HBO’s sprawling series “Game of Thrones” dealt with the fallout from the much-discussed Purple Wedding, but the installment also managed to churn up its own controversy on Twitter. (If you haven’t seen the episode, “Breaker of Chains,” you should probably stop reading now.) The hour was packed with grizzly drama but nothing quite like the dismal encounter between Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the incestuous brother-sister pair whose relationship has sunk to a new low. To say it plainly: Right next to the dead body of King Joffrey, their doomed love child, Jaime Lannister rapes his sister as some sort of twisted punishment for being a “hateful woman.” Ever since Jaime returned to King’s Landing, with a stump where his sword-fighting hand used to be, Cersei has given him the cold shoulder. For some reason, Jaime […]
April 21, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

WonderCon: IDW inks Gabriel Rodriguez; Buscema’s Silver Surfer, more

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Acclaimed “Locke & Key” artist Gabriel Rodriguez is now exclusive to IDW, formalizing a long relationship that later this year will bear “Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland” with Eisner Award-winning writer Eric Shanower. The announcement came on IDW’s “Greatest Panel in the Known Universe” on Saturday at WonderCon in Anaheim, where the two discussed the previously announced miniseries alongside a slew of creators with announcements, including Brian Lynch and his wild, hell-on-wheels one-shot “Monster Motors.” And, in a panel later that day on the publisher’s highly regarded Artist’s Editions, editor Scott Dunbier, recently nominated for an Eisner Award for his work on the oversize archival books, announced that a volume of Walt Simonson’s “Manhunter” will arrive in September and one of John Buscema’s work on “Silver Surfer” will be coming in October. Simonson is also the subject of a 22-page Portfolio Edition of his 1970s […]
April 20, 2014 | 8:19 p.m.

WonderCon: Zack Whedon, Christos Gage on ‘Serenity,’ ‘Buffy’ comics

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Before the “Dark Horse: Whedonversity” panel got started, there was an impromptu singalong among fans in line. A man with a guitar and a female singer performed the theme song from “Firefly,” and then fellow Browncoats joined in the singing of “The Hero of Canton,” the mistaken celebration of the man they call Jayne. Fans’ fervor for the short-lived Joss Whedon sci-fi western series, its follow-up “Serenity” film and the “Avengers” director’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV show endures, and in the pages of official canonical further seasons in Dark Horse comics, the characters’ adventures continue. Zack Whedon, who is writing the six-issue “Serenity: Leaves on the Wind,” which is set nine months after the events of the 2005 film, that series’ artist Georges Jeanty and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10″ writer Christos Gage talked with the crowded room, […]
April 20, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.

WonderCon: Valiant First opens up; Robert Venditti on Armor Hunters

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After re-imagining a universe first seen in comics in the 1990s, the revived Valiant Entertainment is marking its third year by launching a series of books intended to give potential new readers a spot to jump on. The Valiant First books, detailed at the publisher’s Saturday panel at WonderCon, begin with April 30’s “Rai” No. 1, by writer Matt Kindt and artist Clayton Crain, which Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani said is set in 41st century Japan, a land ruled by an artificial-intelligence figured called Father, and will have the title character investigating the first murder in a thousand years. Armor Hunters, which “X-O Manowar” writer Robert Venditti described as a “Seal Team 6 of outer space” including “cuddly-looking death robot” Ginger, plays a major role in Valiant titles over the next several months. Their self-titled four-issue miniseries by Venditti […]
April 20, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.

WonderCon: Mark Waid on ‘Original Sin,’ more from Marvel panel

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Marvel’s next big comics event is “Original Sin,” and the concept — the Watcher has been murdered and familiar superheroes have terrible secrets — could give some pause. Eisner Award-winning “Daredevil” and “Hulk” writer Mark Waid would be one, if he wasn’t privy to the plans. The self-described “hard-core traditionalist” said his first instinct was to worry that the story line would make the heroes “look like jerks.” But that’s not the case, he told the All-New Marvel Now panel crowd Saturday at Wonder-Con in Anaheim. “I am proud of being part of a team of writers and artists and editors who didn’t take this opportunity to make the characters uglier, that ‘Original Sin’ is not about tarnishing the nobility of the Marvel characters, not about just screwing with and overriding stuff you already know just for the shock value,” […]
April 20, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

WonderCon: Batman 75 celebration has Jim Lee, Bruce Timm, Kevin Smith

In 75 years of stories, Batman’s greatest obstacle has always been his humanity, Kevin Smith told an applauding capacity crowd in a Bat-cavernous space Saturday at WonderCon. “That’s the only thing that stops him,” the filmmaker said, “and you see the frustration as he’s portrayed throughout every medium…. It’s only when he hits the ceiling of his humanity that he can possibly be stopped. And, as we’ve seen, even then sometimes he overcomes it.” Smith, who hosts the “Fatman on Batman” podcast, was joined on the Batman 75 celebration panel by his “Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet” comic co-writer Ralph Garman, superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee (“Batman: Hush,” “All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder”), essential Caped Crusader animator Bruce Timm (“Batman: The Animated Series,” “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm”), longtime popular Bat-voice actor Kevin Conroy […]
April 19, 2014 | 11:00 p.m.

WonderCon 2014: Fox bets big on dystopia with ‘Apes,’ ‘Maze Runner’

Twentieth Century Fox is trading heavy on dystopia this summer. During its panel Saturday at WonderCon, the studio presented three not-so-optimistic views of the future with “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Maze Runner” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” “Dawn” is intended to be a bridge between the studio’s surprise hit “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and the 1968 classic “Planet of the Apes.” Director Matt Reeves was joined onstage by cast members Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and Andy Serkis, who returned as the intelligent ape, Ceasar, from the previous film. The new movie, which is set to open July 11, picks up years after the end of “Rise,” which concluded with a lethal virus wiping out most of the population. Reeves said the first third of the new film and the opening of the […]
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