Nov. 12, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
When Marvel took to ABC’s “The View” and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” in July to announce that a woman would become Thor and a black man would become Captain America in its comics, debate ignited over what in Asgard’s name the House of Ideas was thinking. Such dramatic changes coming simultaneously to two of the publisher’s classic marquee brands – names that front blockbuster film franchises at its sister company Marvel Studios – were celebrated by many people as positive progress, but others decried the decisions: “This is political correctness run amok,” “Affirmative Action Man” and “PC Avengers, Assemble!” read parts of some readers’ reactions posted on Hero Complex stories about the announcements. Whether they’re meeting fans or foes, the new Captain America and Thor represent two ongoing concerns for Marvel and the comics industry’s growth: minorities and women. […]
Nov. 11, 2014 | 9:43 a.m.
“All-New Captain America” No. 1, starring former Falcon Sam Wilson in the red, white and blue title role, launches Wednesday, and as the story unfolds in the coming months, writer Rick Remender, supporters and doubters will finally see how this change flies. That Sam would replace his longtime friend Steve Rogers as Captain America was announced by Marvel’s chief creative officer, Joe Quesada, on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” back in July, part of a two-part TV reveal that also saw ABC’s “The View” tell its audience that the comics giant’s next Thor would be a woman. Those choices were hailed by some as progress and derided by others as politically correct pandering and/or sales stunts. Rather than coming from an editorial edict, Marvel, Remender and “Thor” writer Jason Aaron have said, the ideas for the changes to the two […]
Nov. 02, 2014 | 5:59 p.m.
The convention is called Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo for a reason. “It wouldn’t be ‘Legends of Comics’ without this man right here, Mr. Stan Lee,” announced Mike Zapcic of the AMC series “Comic Book Men” as the annual event’s namesake crashed a panel discussion Saturday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. “I heard they were here,” Lee told the audience, referring to the panelists on the main stage — comic book creator Rob Liefeld, artist John Romita Jr. and creator and Top Cow Chief Executive Marc Silvestri. “They’re the greatest, they’re good friends of mine and I wanted to make sure you treat them OK.” Such were the moments fans soaked up at Comikaze Expo, which brought together so many facets of the pop culture community — the talent behind comics, cosplayers posing for photos, exhibition booths with artist prints […]
Oct. 28, 2014 | 1:31 p.m.
Captain Marvel will headline her own movie in 2018, Marvel announced Tuesday, and Black Panther, Doctor Strange and the Inhumans are on deck. Marvel’s new lineup was announced at a special event at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre, and comics creators took to Twitter to celebrate the news. Perhaps most compelling among the online reactions was that of longtime “Captain Marvel” writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, whose fans tweeted their support using the hashtag #CarolCorps — a reference to their informal network of admirers of cosmic hero Carol Danvers, the Air Force pilot formerly known as Ms. Marvel. Oh! Wow. — Kelly Sue Demonic (@kellysue) October 28, 2014 Did not see that coming. — Kelly Sue Demonic (@kellysue) October 28, 2014 That’s right before my birthday. Can you preorder movie tickets…? — Kelly Sue Demonic (@kellysue) October 28, 2014 Uh… so is […]
Oct. 27, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.
Wonder Woman is an epic character, and writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang promise a suitably epic ending to the saga they’ve created during the last three years. The duo, who have guided the superheroine’s solo adventures since DC’s New 52 reality reset in fall 2011, have memorably taken Diana of Themyscira’s classic origin as a girl made from clay and remolded it to make her the biological daughter of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, and Zeus (born of a love affair, not one of the Greek god’s tricky trysts). Tying Wonder Woman into the Greek pantheon — eventually replacing the felled Ares as god of war — has given her an extended family with whom every reunion is rife with conflict. In the final issue of Azzarello and Chiang’s acclaimed run (which also featured art by Tony Akins […]
Oct. 20, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
Oddly Normal is as conflicted as her name. The smart, sullen schoolgirl star of writer-artist Otis Frampton’s emotionally stormy all-ages Image Comics series is the daughter of parents from different worlds: Her father is an average-as-average-gets Earth guy; her mother is a most unusual woman – a witch from the fantastical Fignation. And being a half-witch girl – complete with naturally green hair and pointy ears — in a typical American school isn’t easy. A social outcast with a sardonic wit for self-defense, she feels like an outsider even in her own family, who live in the sole creepy Victorian manse on a street of cookie-cutter suburban houses. In an angry moment on her 10th birthday, as seen in last month’s well-reviewed first issue, she isn’t careful what she wishes for. “Oddly Normal” No. 2, out Wednesday, continues Frampton’s reboot […]
Oct. 10, 2014 | 2:30 p.m.
Just as Bigby Wolf is a fable no matter whether he’s in the mundane world or more mystical realms, so is his story “Fables” no matter what format it’s in. That’s the thinking that guides “Fables: The Wolf Among Us,” an upcoming Digital First comic series written by Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus, which is based on TellTale Games’ well-regarded “The Wolf Among Us” video game — itself a prequel to Bill Willingham’s lauded and long-running Vertigo comic “Fables.” Sturges, who has a fabled past writing the spinoff “Jack of Fables” with Willingham, and Justus will be joined by artists Stephen Sadowski (“Fairest”), Travis Moore (“JSA All-Stars”) and Shawn McManus (“Fables,” “Fairest”), with Chrissie Zullo (“Cinderella” miniseries, “Fairest: In All the Land”) creating the covers. The series, the debut Digital First title from Vertigo, DC’s imprint for mature readers, will […]
Sept. 29, 2014 | 12:51 p.m.
The spotlight was on Riverdale’s dark side during the “Afterlife With Archie” panel with writer and Archie Comics chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at Long Beach Comic Con on Sunday. “I’ve never felt like we should dial back the horror, but the challenge is, as horrific as the events get, at the core it is an ‘Archie’ book,” said Aguirre-Sacasa in a discussion with Hero Complex’s Blake Hennon at the weekend expo. Among the topics explored were Aguirre-Sacasa’s history with Archie Comics, the origins of “Afterlife” and what readers can expect in future issues as well as his upcoming “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” series. “Afterlife With Archie” chronicles Riverdale’s zombie apocalypse, which was instigated when Sabrina the Teenage Witch attempted to bring back Jughead Jones’ dog, Hot Dog, from the dead. The consequence: Jughead is the first human casualty […]
Sept. 29, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
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.
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 […]