Comics

March 10, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Superman’: Gene Luen Yang, John Romita, Jr. chart hero’s vulnerability

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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: Once Upon a Hard Time': Eric Powell nears a hard-hitting end

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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 […]
Jan. 08, 2015 | 6:34 p.m.

Image Expo: Brian K. Vaughan, Scott Snyder, Skottie Young reveal titles

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Brian K. Vaughan showed at Image Expo on Thursday that he’d meant it when he said comics are a “vastly superior medium” to film and television, announcing two new projects he’ll write in addition to continuing the award-winning, bestselling “Saga.” The acclaimed comics creator – who brought Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” to television and was a producer on “Lost” – has followed up on his proclamation from last year’s Eisner Awards by taking on more work in the medium than he has in years, teaming up with artist Steve Skroce on the limited series “We Stand on Guard,” which finds Canadian freedom fighters resisting an invasion of U.S. forces (including “giant … robots”), and with artist Cliff Chiang (“Wonder Woman”) on the ongoing story “Paper Girls,” about 12-year-old suburban newspaper delivery girls who encounter strange happenings. Vaughan’s announcements came […]
Jan. 08, 2015 | 12:00 p.m.

Alex de Campi, Carla Speed McNeil show ‘No Mercy’ at Image Comics

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A group of incoming Princeton freshmen heading to Central America to build schools may mean well, but they’ll find “No Mercy” abroad in Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil’s new series at Image Comics. The privileged, carefree teens are confronted with tragedy in an unfamiliar and unwelcoming land that separates them from their creature comforts. There will be blood. And emoji. Writer De Campi (“Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight,” “Smoke/Ashes”) and Eisner- and Los Angeles Times Book Prize-winning artist McNeil (“Finder”), with color artist Jenn Manley Lee (“Dicebox”), are creating eight issues (before a break and then more issues) with as many twists and turns as a narrow mountain road. “No Mercy” No. 1 is scheduled for an April release. Hero Complex readers get an early look at the debut issue’s first six pages — and a look at […]
Nov. 12, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘All-New Captain America’ lands at Marvel’s diversity front line

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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.

Rick Remender considers rewards, risks of ‘All-New Captain America’

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“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 talk of Comikaze: Stan Lee, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Deadpool

Katrena Woodson as Valkyrie of the "Thor" comics. (Jenna Schoenefeld / Los Angeles Times)
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, Black Panther get stand-alone films; Twitter rejoices

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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’ 35: Azzarello, Chiang end a ‘no-cheesecake’ Diana epic

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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': Otis Frampton discusses a young half-witch’s bad wish

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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 […]
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