Guest Essays

June 24, 2013 | 6:12 p.m.

‘Batman/Superman’s’ Greg Pak: 4 reasons why I love the Man of Steel

Superman and Batman are teaming up in a new comic series by writer Greg Pak (“X-Treme X-Men,” “Justice League: Darkseid“) and artist Jae Lee (“Before Watchmen: Ozymandias,” “Inhumans“). “Batman/Superman” issue No. 1, out Wednesday, features the DC heavyweights’ fateful first meeting in the New 52. In a guest essay for Hero Complex, Pak pays tribute to the Man of Steel, who turns 75 this year. This coming Wednesday, the first issue of “Batman/Superman” hits comic book stores, written by yours truly with art by the brilliant Jae Lee. It’s my first DC comic book and my first stab at writing Superman. And I absolutely love it. So in this 75th anniversary year of Superman’s first appearance in “Action Comics” No. 1, here’s a quick list of why I love the big guy. 1. Superman’s an Everyman This seems contradictory, doesn’t […]
July 15, 2012 | 4:01 p.m.

Comic-Con Batman panel — an owl’s eye view

A masked individual at DC's Batman: Beyond the Night of the Owls panel.
Kyle Higgins, best known as the writer of  “Nightwing” for DC Comics,  is a guest blogger for Hero Complex at Comic-Con International this year.    I was a part of DC’s “Batman: Beyond the Night of the Owls” panel with Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Gail Simone, Gregg Hurwitz, Scott Lobdell, David Finch, J.H. Williams and Jonathan Layman. I thought it’d be fun to take some pictures from our POV, as DC handed out a surprise gift to everyone in attendance. The creepiest image is, fittingly, from Scott’s phone. You’ll know it when you see it. — Kyle Higgins RECENT AND RELATED ‘Dark Knight Rises’: Nolan’s masked ambitions Dark Knight Rises’ hits the road Bat flight, Cat fights, Gotham falls Hans Zimmer explains Christopher Nolan’s secrecy Hathaway: Catwoman modeled on Hedy Lamarr Christopher Nolan opens up about Bane choice Christian Bale says […]
July 15, 2012 | 1:42 p.m.

Comic-Con: Nightwinging it through Artists’ Alley

Eddy Barrows' original Nightwing pages
Kyle Higgins, best known as the writer of  ‘Nightwing’ for DC Comics,  is a guest blogger for Hero Complex at Comic-Con International this year.    Of all the sights and sounds that Comic-Con International has to offer, my favorite is Artists’ Alley. This is the area in the far south end of the convention hall (next to Hall H) that features hundreds of incredibly talented artists, most of whom have original pages, prints, commissions, sketches and so forth available for purchase. For comic fans, this place can become mesmerizing. Hours slip away unnoticed. As I was heading down to meet up with Francis Manapul, I passed an exhibitor’s booth called Comic Art Ink. What caught my eye was something I was quite familiar with, yet had never seen up close: Eddy Barrows’  original Nightwing pages, from our first seven issues of the […]
July 13, 2012 | 5:50 p.m.

Comic-Con: Meet our Gotham City guest blogger …

My name  is Kyle Higgins. I’m a writer, currently headlining NIGHTWING for DC Comics, and I have no idea how many years I’ve been coming to Comic-Con. OK … that last part’s kind of an exaggeration. However, after wrapping my second night of the show and sitting down to write my intro-post for Hero Complex (at the ungodly hour of 3 am), it does momentarily stump me as to how many years in a row this has been. After careful examination (coupled with the use of past Batman films’ release dates as a frame of reference), I realize this is only year five. As many creators can attest to, the variety of hotels, motels, trolleys, panels, parties, Hyatt bar excursions, hustling for work, and seemingly unchanging (but progressively more crowded) downtown, San Diego can provide for quite the homogenous experience, if […]
June 28, 2012 | 5:14 a.m.

James Bond at 50: The sadist who loved me?

This is the golden anniversary of “Dr. No,” the film that introduced moviegoers to the most famous spy of them all: James Bond of her majesty’s secret service. To mark the anniversary, we’ll be running edited excerpts from Bill Desowitz’s just-released ”James Bond Unmasked,” which features interviews with all six Bond actors. If you missed it, here’s Part One . “There are moments of great luxury in the life of a secret agent.” That’s the opening line in Ian Fleming’s second novel, “Live and Let Die” (1954), and one of the hallmarks of the Bond franchise has been taking us vicariously to the most exotic places in the world. Jamaica was the first with its tropical eye candy, easy fishing, calypso music, plentiful beer and rum, and Caribbean cuisine. No wonder Fleming adored it (Goldeneye, his retreat, inspired the title of […]
June 04, 2012 | 7:59 a.m.

Marvel in the Civil Rights era: A noble Panther, a gritty Cage

In crime novels such as “The Jook,” “Bangers” and “The Underbelly,” Gary Phillips draws some scary chalk outlines around the City of Angels but in real life the author has nothing but love for his native Southern California. Born in 1955, he grew up amid the tumult of the Civil Rights era, Watts ’65  and the Vietnam War — and he also was in prime position to take in the Marvel Comics revolution. Phillips has gone from comics fan to comics creator (“The Rinse,”about a money laundryman in San Francisco, is now in trade paperback from Boom! Studios), but in the following guest essay he reflects on the Marvel Universe of his youth and one of its major Marvel innovations: The black superhero. PHOTO GALLERY ABOVE: BLACK SUPERHEROES UNMASKED (BE SURE THE “CAPTIONS ON” OPTION IS SELECTED.) I grew up on […]
Jan. 13, 2011 | 9:31 a.m.

‘The Empire Strikes Back’: Sweet memories of the ‘impish’ Irvin Kershner

GUEST ESSAY Writer and filmmaker Peter Briggs reflects on this week’s star-studded event celebrating the life and art of the late Irvin Kershner. “The Empire Strikes Back.”  Four simple words that are guaranteed to stir the heart for fans of the fantastic. That famous title was coined by “Star Wars” producer Gary Kurtz, as a throwaway phrase during a news conference in Germany when describing the aspirations of the “Star Wars” sequel. Happily, it stuck. It’s unfair to encapsulate a wide and varied cinematic career with just one movie, but for any “Star Wars” fan, those four words are instantly synonymous with only one individual. Perhaps not even George Lucas, who created and continues to feed the wellspring of imagination that is the ongoing “Star Wars” saga. Nor Kurtz, who against the odds produced a movie that arguably surpassed its original. Or screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, […]
Dec. 26, 2010 | 12:56 p.m.

Did George Lucas change cinema with ‘Star Wars’ prequels?

GUEST ESSAY George Lucas should have stopped after three original “Star Wars” films — that’s a common sentiment among Jedi fans of a certain age and disposition, and they passionately point to Jar Jar Binks, an over-reliance on CG effects and numbing dialogue as the unforgivable sins of the second live-action trilogy, which began with “The Phantom Menace” in 1999 and closed out with “Revenge of the Sith” in 2005. But are old-school fans missing the true value and actual innovation represented by the prequel trilogy? Yes, they are, says Kevin McLeod, who has made online games for productions in other media, including those for”A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and the television show “Jericho.” Here, in a guest essay for Hero Complex, he makes a case for the idea that the prequel trilogy was in fact a landmark moment in cinema. George Lucas […]
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