Blake Hennon

Sept. 29, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Long Beach Comic Con: Lois Lane and the advancement of women in comics

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Lois Lane may be the most famous woman in comics, and the fearless Daily Planet journalist got her due from several “Ladies First: The Impact of Women in Comics” panelists during a wide-ranging discussion Saturday. Barbara Randall Kesel, a writer and editor who has worked at DC Comics, said the character’s portrayal “rises and falls with what is happening with women in the real world” – from being a “spitfire” like new career women in the ’30s and ’40s, to being diminished to “comedic foil” for Superman as women were being encouraged to relinquish jobs and focus on their husbands in the ’50s, to becoming a more feminist character as the equality movement has advanced. Lane is “a superhero without any powers,” popular artist Amanda Conner, who co-writes DC’s “Harley Quinn” series, said. “She’s got that assumption of authority – […]
Sept. 28, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Long Beach Comic Con: Mike Mignola happy to dwell in hell with Hellboy

Mike Mignola has gone to hell with Hellboy, and he has every intention of staying there. “I find the hell that I’ve created very, very cozy,” he told a crowd at Long Beach Comic Con on Saturday afternoon. “I don’t want to leave it.” So what’s so great about the “Hellboy in Hell” underworld where Mignola plans to spend most of, or maybe all, of the rest of his career? “If you could look inside my head, this is the world that’s in there,” the Hellboy creator said. “It’s entirely made out of the things I like,” which include old buildings and forests and exclude cars, planes and the pressure of trying to illustrate real places. “I just want to draw that world,” he continued. “The trouble is, that world’s really big, so it’s going to take a really long […]
Sept. 28, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

Batman 75: Toasting Robin(s), Batgirl, Batwoman at Long Beach Comic Con

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Much has been made of Batman in marking his 75th anniversary, and the comic-book talents gathered Saturday at Long Beach Comic Con for a panel celebrating the Dark Knight had plenty to say about various versions of him – but they also toasted the heroes he’s inspired. A highly anticipated new take on Batgirl, Bruce Wayne’s cousin Kate Kane (a.k.a. Batwoman) and a couple of different Robins all came up in the conversation among writers and artists who have told – or will tell – those characters’ tales, as did opinions about Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman, choice Bat-obscurities, fan passions and possible future projects. PHOTOS: 75 enduring images of Batman Babs Tarr, the new artist on the redesigned “Batgirl,” which begins with the Oct. 8 release of No. 35, said she’d been warned by her writer collaborator Cameron Stewart […]
Sept. 24, 2014 | 11:04 a.m.

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, more talk Season 2

B.J. Britt and Clark Gregg in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (Kelsey McNeal/ABC)
“It’s all connected.” That was the familiar refrain Tuesday night from Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” producers and cast after the ABC series’ Season 2 premiere aired. (And, if you’ve yet to see the new episode, consider pausing here and coming back after you’ve watched. Spoilers ahead.) Those words were clearly true from the new season’s get-go, as it started with a taste of the 1940s-set upcoming series “Agent Carter,” starring Hayley Atwell, with a strange and powerful obelisk her team boxed up back then driving the quick-paced, twisting-and-turning action for Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) present-day S.H.I.E.L.D. team. Season 2 picks up with S.H.I.E.L.D. still in shambles from the disastrous double-agents revelation of HYDRA and the destruction seen in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” that changed the course of the show. HYDRA is still active, there’s that obelisk, the mystery of […]
Sept. 24, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.

‘The Flash: Futures End': Venditti, Jensen discuss Wally West’s fate

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Barry Allen is in a race against himself – specifically, his future self – and Wally West’s life hangs in the balance. The time-bending story that writers Robert Venditti and Van Jensen launched when they took over “The Flash” earlier this year reaches a major turning point in “Futures End: The Flash” No. 1, out Wednesday, and the team discussed that, what’s to come and the challenges of introducing a new version of Wally for DC’s New 52 with Hero Complex in a recent phone interview. Fair warning: There are spoilers below (and in the gallery above), and if you’ve yet to read the new issue, you might want to stop reading now and come back later. Wally, originally introduced in 1959 as the white, redheaded nephew of Barry Allen’s girlfriend Iris West, was the Flash to readers from the […]
Sept. 12, 2014 | 11:00 a.m.

CBLDF ‘Liberty Annual 2014′: See ‘Emily and the Strangers’ excerpt

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Is there such a thing as too much imagination? A limit on new ideas? That’s what Emily the Strange and her band mate Willow are told by a fussy visitor in a story that’s part of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s and Image Comics’ 48-page, all-ages-appropriate “Liberty Annual 2014,” which benefits the CBLDF’s 1st Amendment work. And don’t worry — the young rock ‘n’ roll rebels aren’t going to stand for that your-thoughts-are-too-unruly business. “Emily and the Strangers in … The Idea Factory” has a story by Mariah Huehner (“True Blood: All Together Now”) and Emily the Strange creator Rob Reger, with art by Cat Farris — the same team behind the recent “Emily and the Strangers: Breaking the Record” miniseries at Dark Horse. Hero Complex readers can get an early peek at the story in the gallery above […]
Sept. 08, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Justice League: Forever Heroes': See Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke sketches

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With most of the Justice League missing — presumed dead by the world – and the Crime Syndicate in cataclysmic control, the pressure is on Cyborg. Or what’s left of him. In “Justice League Vol. 5: Forever Heroes,” a new hardcover volume out Wednesday, Victor Stone is badly injured, rended from the robotic part of Cyborg. It’s being inhabited by the computer virus and Crime Syndicate member called Grid, whose group of alternate-reality deranged Justice League doubles is at work cementing its control over the Earth it has invaded. Collecting “Justice League” Nos. 24-29, written by Geoff Johns with pencils by, variously, Ivan Reis and Doug Mahnke, the book also provides looks into the Syndicate members’ pasts in their universe, and ties into the major DC story line “Forever Evil.” Hero Complex readers can get an early look at bonus […]
Sept. 04, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

Gail Simone lets Catman loose in a fresh ‘Secret Six’ in DC’s New 52

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Now the secret can be revealed: Gail Simone is relaunching “Secret Six” in the New 52, and at its core is a mystery with an answer that she said all DC readers will want to know. The fan-favorite writer, who recently wrapped a well-regarded run on “Batgirl,” will introduce the new gang of rogues to root for in an ongoing series set to premiere Dec. 3, and she promises the same sort of “black humor and edginess” – and unpredictability – that won her previous run on the title a passionate following. “It’s so fun to write these characters that are really poor role models,” Simone told Hero Complex in a recent phone interview. Rather than “brightest heroes or the darkest villains,” the book lives in the gray area between, with “private detectives, mercenaries, bounty hunters, failed heroes,” she said. […]
Aug. 15, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Penny Dora': Michael Stock, Sina Grace realize a wish at Image Comics

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“Penny Dora and the Wishing Box,” Michael Stock and Sina Grace’s new all-ages Image Comics series, has its roots in a half-page story written five years ago – by, appropriately enough, an 8-year-old. The five-issue fantasy adventure about a young girl in suburban Southern California who finds that titular magical item at her doorstep on the day before Christmas began as a reinvention of the Pandora myth by writer Stock’s daughter, Nico. That short story made it into her school newspaper, and Stock, founder of the longtime popular Part-Time Punks club night at the Echo in Los Angeles and host of the same-named radio show, had her read it on his KXLU-FM (88.9) program. “I will still get calls from time to time from various people being like, ‘Whatever happened to the magic box?’” Stock told Hero Complex during a […]
July 28, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

Comic-Con: Waid, Quesada, Slott on Marvel’s 75th, Daredevil’s 50th

Daredevil is coming to television. (Marvel)
Who is the most important person in Marvel Comics history? Several audience members responded to Mark Waid’s question by shouting back “Stan Lee!” No, the Eisner Award-winning “Daredevil” writer told the crowd gathered for a panel about Marvel’s 75th and the Man Without Fear’s 50th anniversaries. But they were close: It’s Lee’s wife Joanie, Waid said. In 1961, Lee “was starting to feel burned out” after 20 years and about 10,000 issues of various genre stories under the direction of publisher Martin Goodman, said Waid, an expert on comics history, and was looking to do something else with his life. “It was his wife Joanie,” Waid continued, “who said … ‘If you’re done with comics and go away and do something else, at least take one last shot and do something that you really want to do… And if it […]
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