May 06, 2013 | 1:05 p.m.
For a man about to start a war, Geoff Johns seems calm. Upbeat, even. Upstairs from Golden Apple Comics in Hollywood in an office lunchroom ahead of a signing for Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, DC Comics’ chief creative officer, sporting just-tearing-at-the-knee jeans, a red plaid shirt and a weathered Aquaman baseball cap, occasionally pets his bulldog while discussing the summer event he and collaborator Jeff Lemire are scripting in their respective “Justice League” and “Justice League Dark” titles, and together in “Justice League of America.” (You can see a larger version of Ivan Reis and Joe Prado’s triptych cover for the first issues here.) “Trinity War,” which unfolds in six parts across those three series’ July and August releases, with tie-ins including “Trinity of Sin: Pandora” No. 1 (written by Ray Fawkes), is DC Comics’ biggest event since launching […]
April 28, 2013 | 11:15 a.m.
Success couldn’t come at a worse time for Buddy Baker. As “Animal Man” No. 20 lands Wednesday, its titular superhero/actor is still grieving the death of his young son Cliff, who was felled trying to protect him. He’s also newly estranged both from his wife, Ellen, who has their child daughter, Maxine, and from the Red, the fauna life force that continues to give him his power to draw on animals’ abilities. At the end of the wrenching, funeral-centered Issue 19, the hero remarks, “I’ve never felt so alone in my life.” But soon, the trappings of newfound fame may make him wish the world would leave him alone. “It’s really using Buddy and using the superhero genre as a way to explore celebrity and our modern society’s obsession with celebrity,” series writer Jeff Lemire says of the new story […]
April 27, 2013 | 11:00 a.m.
REVIEW Golden-age publisher EC Comics’ rise and fall was tied to its horror titles “Tales From the Crypt” and “The Vault of Horror,” which were so sharply written and beautifully drawn that they quickly became fan-favorites in the early ’50s — while also freaking out some authority figures, who were bothered that these stories were so gory, so irreverent, so effective. When comics fans sum up the EC saga, the focus is usually on how the company excelled at twisty tales of murder, then had to tone that down in the wake of congressional investigations into the link between comics and juvenile delinquency. Eventually, EC survived the furor by turning to humor, becoming a success again thanks to Mad magazine. Yet EC in its heyday was about more than just violent criminals and the shambling undead. The company was also […]
April 04, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
Think Superman and Batman are intimidating to criminals? Try writing for both of them. As Scott Snyder adds the upcoming “Superman Unchained” to his duties on the acclaimed, high-charting “Batman” and other projects, the Eisner Award-winning writer says he has to put on “horse blinders” to focus away from the pressure. He cites the “golden rule” of the class he teaches at Sarah Lawrence College: You can only write the comic that you’d like to read. “And with a story like this,” he said, “or with Batman, you have to follow that rule … and believe that because you love the characters enough, that in the DNA of that story will be the things that everybody else loves too – hopefully.” The new series, drawn by superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, arrives in Superman’s 75th anniversary year. […]
April 03, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
EXCLUSIVE One of the Marvel Universe’s most psychotic supervillains is coming back for a new reign of terror: The homicidal creature called Carnage will be loosed on the world in a new miniseries set to debut in July. The five-issue “Superior Carnage,” written by Kevin Shinick (“Avenging Spider-Man”) with art by Stephen Segovia (“X-treme X-Men”), finds the nightmarish threat where he was left at the end of last year’s “Minimum Carnage” story line — incapacitated and in captivity. Cletus Kasady, the serial killer whose body hosts a vicious alien parasitic “symbiote” that transforms him into a super-strong, ravaging red terror of fangs and tendrils, is catatonic, and the creature in his blood has been sedated. But as the new story begins, a certain other Marvel villain, one with a frightful intellect, wants to revive — and try to control — […]
April 02, 2013 | 12:03 p.m.
Writer John Layman works closely with two highly unorthodox detectives – one is a billionaire who stalks the night in a cape and cowl, the other is a federal agent who quite literally takes a bite out of crime. The Phoenix-based comics creator had developments to detail about both his Batman series for DC Comics and “Chew” for Image Comics at WonderCon in Anaheim over the weekend. The latest “Detective Comics,” arriving Wednesday, is an extra-thick case file. The 80-page volume marks the title’s 900th issue but is numbered 19 because of DC Comics’ New 52 continuity revamp and series relaunch. Titled “Mystery of the 900,” it features the New 52 debut of Kirk Langstrom, inventor of the grotesquely and perilously transformative Man-Bat formula. The issue also moves toward next month’s conclusion of the larger story of Penguin henchman-turned-usurper Ignatius […]
March 27, 2013 | 9:39 a.m.
Superman is turning 75. When Superman first leaped (not flew, mind you) onto the pages of “Action Comics” No. 1 in 1938, the Man of Steel heralded the beginning of the superhero comics genre, paving the way for Batman, Spider-Man and many more spandex-wearing crime fighters. But there is only one Superman. His super-speed, super-strength and a noble devotion to truth, justice and the American way have helped make Superman the most enduring figure in comics, inspiring several landmark portrayals in television, on stage and in film, including the upcoming “Man of Steel,” in theaters June 14. “It’s precisely because we have so many dark heroes (Batman), and fraught ones (Spider-Man), that we’re aching for a big blue Boy Scout who knows right from wrong instinctively, and never wavers from the light or is sidetracked by anxieties,” said Larry Tye, who wrote […]
March 08, 2013 | 12:46 p.m.
International Women’s Day is being honored today with that singular cultural touchstone: a Google Doodle. The doodle drawing of faces of women around the world artistically honors the advancement of women’s rights — one of the chief goals of International Women’s Day — and the fact that a woman’s work, it seems, is never done. Hero Complex is celebrating International Women’s Day in the best way it knows how: with a photo gallery of women from film, TV, games and comic books who embody female empowerment and, let’s face it, kick booty. (Yes, we said “booty,” but only because the L.A. Times censors made us.) Beyoncé as Wonder Woman? Now we know there’s a long list of complaints about women in genre. Chiefly, that they are hyper-sexualized sidekicks who do little more than bust out of their curve-hugging costumes. And, […]
Feb. 22, 2013 | 3:01 p.m.
The relatively quiet reveal Wednesday [Feb. 20] in “Batwoman” No. 17 that the titular character proposed to her girlfriend marked a departure for DC Comics, which recently has utilized headline-grabbing shocks to boost its sales following its New 52 realignment. [Updated 8 a.m. PST Feb. 28: DC has now reportedly dropped this type of branding for the month of April.] Consider it convenient timing for DC, which has been subject to significant criticism for its decision to bring in vocally anti-gay writer Orson Scott-Card to write the upcoming “Adventures of Superman,” and who made a great deal about “Earth 2” Green Lantern Alan Scott being gay, before killing off his fiancé in the very first issue. DC has in the past earned accolades from the gay community for its portrayal of Batwoman, winning two recent Outstanding Comic awards from the […]
Feb. 22, 2013 | 8:38 a.m.
Cowabunga! A ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” remake is on the way. But perhaps the bigger news is this: Actress Megan Fox and director Michael Bay are reuniting for the “TMNT” redo. The director took to his website Thursday night to announce the news: “TMNT: We Are Bringing Megan Fox Back Into the Family” Bay and Fox famously clashed while working on the first two “Transformers” movies. At one point during an interview with a British magazine, Fox compared her director to Hitler. Bay lashed back with some tart words of his own, questioning Fox’s work ethic: “I’m sorry, Megan. … I’m sorry that I’m making you show up on time.” Shia LaBeouf wages Twitter war They parted ways for the third installment in the series, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley stepping in to play the part of […]