April 24, 2015 | 6:10 p.m.
Welcome to another edition of Paycheck Friday, a roundup of some of Hero Complex’s favorite geek merchandise including books, games and toys. Young Bobby Drake was outed during a conversation with Jean Grey in this week’s issue of “All New X-Men,” making Drake’s Iceman one of the most high-profile LGBTQ superheroes in Marvel comics. In light of this occasion, this week’s paycheck goes to our local comic book shop to pick up some of our favorite comics featuring queer characters that hit the shelves this month. It’s only fitting to start with “All New X-Men” No. 40 written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Muhmud Asrar. An ongoing series since 2012, “All New X-Men” centers on younger versions of the five original X-Men members who were brought from the past to face their future counterparts. The issue follows “The […]
April 24, 2015 | 2:11 p.m.
Provocative comic artist Frank Miller is returning to ‘The Dark Knight.” Miller is at work on a second sequel to his 1986 classic,”‘The Dark Knight Returns.” DC Comics said in a release that this will be the conclusion of the saga. Titled “The Dark Knight III: The Master Race,” the work is being co-written with Brian Azzarello. Artists have yet to be announced, but the comic will arrive this year. “The Master Race” will run for eight issues and be published twice per month. “Batman remains my favorite comic book hero and a sequel to ‘Dark Knight’ is going to be daunting,” said Miller in a statement, “but we’ll do our best.” Miller tweeted Friday a picture of promotional art for the series, adding, “I hope that by now my silence is deafening.” It was Miller’s first tweet since October 2011. “We are […]
April 23, 2015 | 11:38 a.m.
In this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday, we remember “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” a 12-issue maxi series published by DC Comics 30 years ago this month. It was an event so significant that DC Comics history is often discussed in terms of before-“Crisis” and after-“Crisis” eras. (For those who missed last week’s introduction, Throwback Thursday is a new weekly series exploring the rich history of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comics.) The series, which ran from April 1985 through March 1986, involved nearly every important character on DC’s roster and dealt with many of the publisher’s pesky continuity issues. Over the years, special issues introduced alternate Earths within universes that had different versions of the DC superheroes and villains. Some characters, such as Superman, Flash, the Atom and Green Lantern, had conflicting storylines, origins and powers, leading to arguments among fans […]
April 22, 2015 | 3:45 p.m.
Girls can like superheroes too. DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. have heard the rallying cry of geek women everywhere and are launching “DC Super Hero Girls,” a new universe featuring some of their most iconic female characters re-imagined for girls ages 6-12. The announced lineup includes Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy and Katana (redesigned in age-appropriate attire, of course), a combination that will allow girls to explore their affinity for both superheroics and supervillainy. “’DC Super Hero Girls’ represents the embodiment of our long-term strategy to harness the power of our diverse female characters,” said Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment in a press release. “I am so pleased that we are able to offer relatable and strong role models in a unique way, just for girls.” “DC Super Hero Girls,” set for an initial launch […]
April 22, 2015 | 1:54 p.m.
Marvel Comics’ “Ms. Marvel,” DC Comics’ “Multiversity,” Image’s “Saga” and Monkeybrain’s webcomic “Bandette” topped the roster of nominees for the 2015 Eisner Awards — considered the Oscars for comics. The nominations were announced Wednesday, with DC, Marvel and Fantagraphics topping the list of publishers. DC and Vertigo (DC’s imprint for edgy, offbeat comics) received 14 nominates plus four shared. Marvel was close behind with 12 nominations plus six shared, and Fantagraphics garnered 15 nominations. Image Comics, which led last year’s nominations field with 17 nods plus three shared, this year had seven nominations and seven shared. Image’s nomination count was once again aided by “Saga,” which last year won the painter prize for artist Fiona Staples as well as its second consecutive awards for continuing series and writer Brian K. Vaughan. Vaughan, who is also known for his television work […]
April 22, 2015 | 10:48 a.m.
Chip Zdarsky is evolving. Originally created as a pseudonym for newspaper illustrator Steve Murray, the persona of Chip Zdarsky allowed Murray to create illustrations and comics that would have posed conflicts with his day job at Toronto’s National Post, but that veil of anonymity has been pulled away over the years as Zdarsky’s profile rose in the comic-book community. Working with writer Matt Fraction as the artist of Image Comics’ “Sex Criminals,” Zdarsky won an Eisner Award for best new series last year, and in 2015, he takes on his first major projects as writer: a new “Howard the Duck” series for Marvel Comics with artist Joe Quinones, which debuted in March, and the creator-owned “Kaptara” for Image Comics with artist Kagan McLeod, which launches this week. “Back in the day, it was a lot of fun,” Zdarsky said. “I […]
April 22, 2015 | 7:00 a.m.
Magic, a Medieval fighting tournament and a mysterious stranger set the stage for the “Last Man” graphic novel series, by French comics creators Bastien Vivès, Michael Sanlaville and Balak. “Last Man,” which won the Prix de la Serie at the Angoulême International Comics Festival earlier this year, is available in English for the first time from publisher First Second. The six-issue story follows Adrian Velba, a young fighting school pupil preparing to enter his kingdom’s gladiatorial contest. When his partner falls ill the day of the tournament, Adrian’s luck appears to improve with the arrival of Richard Aldana — a stranger who fights without magic and has little knowledge of the local customs — and the pair team up to take on the kingdom’s most legendary fighters. The tale’s first installment, “The Stranger,” was released in English in March to critical praise. “The Royal Cup,” the second issue, […]
April 01, 2015 | 6:00 a.m.
Long before Scarlet Witch, Batgirl or even Wonder Woman, women were shaping the comics business. “She Makes Comics,” a feature-length documentary that had its premiere at last month’s Long Beach Comic Expo, traces the enduring impact women have had on the industry. Chances are its deeper than many remember. While increasing diversity in pop culture, and comics in particular, is an of-the-moment issue — no less than three panels at this weekend’s WonderCon will explore the subject — women have been a guiding force in the modern comics industry since at least the early 20th century. “She Makes Comics” contains the footage to prove it. The film goes behind the scenes and features interviews with dozens of influential industry figures, ranging from comics pioneer Joyce Farmer, Comic-Con International organizer Jackie Estrada, comic book editor Janelle Asselin and founding editor of DC’s edgy imprint Vertigo Karen […]
March 10, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.
Acclaimed cartoonist Gene Luen Yang is heading to DC Comics this June for his very first ongoing monthly comic book project, and he’s starting in a dream position. He’s taking over “Superman” from outgoing writer Geoff Johns, who thrust the book back into the spotlight when he took over last year with artist John Romita Jr., a staple of Marvel Comics making his first appearance on a regular DC title. Yang joins the team as part of a line-wide rehaul at DC Comics that includes 24 new titles and fresh creators on many of its established series, and his presence is a strong indicator of DC’s renewed focus on quality stories by bold minds in the industry. The writer and artist of such graphic novels as the Eisner Award-winning “American Born Chinese” and “Boxers & Saints,” Yang often explores culture […]
Jan. 29, 2015 | 6:00 a.m.
The Goon has never had too much trouble with things he can punch — zombies, robots, hobos. But the coven terrorizing his town is striking at his soul. In writer-artist Eric Powell’s four-part “The Goon: Once Upon a Hard Time,” which picks up right after the heartbreaking, hell-raising end of the recent miniseries “The Goon: Occasion of Revenge,” the big guy is on a collision course with the supernatural enemies who want to add his spirit to the power of the unnamed town’s curse. Among the many Eisner Awards that Powell has won with his tough-to-not-like crime-boss creation is one for humor publication — but that was 10 years ago, and as the Goon enters his 50th issue at his longtime Dark Horse Comics home, it’s a dark time. It might even be the end. Hero Complex readers can get […]