Toronto Star has a cool article looking at the recent rise of Canadian comic book superheroes and asks the question on when they’ll make an appearance on television screens (and maybe even film). It’s a cool piece and obviously highlights role of Canadians in the superhero game. 🙂
To be clear I mean weirdos in the best possible way. Seriously, I love these guys.
This trailer debuted on Monday so there’s a good chance you’ve already seen but just in case you haven’t I thought I’d post it here.
Earlier this year I read Volume One of the current Guardians of the Galaxy series by Brian Michael Bendis. And I fell in love with it – with the characters, with the world, with the sarcastic sense of humour. The whole lot of it. I’m not sure how much the movie is going to use from this series versus older plot lines but there’s one thing I can say for sure – this is one endearing group of outlaws. If you’re not excited about this movie yet, you should be.
What did you think of the trailer? Have you read any of the Guardians of the Galaxy comics? Do you have a favourite?
Battling Boy (2013). First Second. Written and illustrated by Paul Pope.
Monsters roam through Arcopolis, swallowing children into the horrors of their shadowy underworld. Only one man is a match for them – the genius vigilante Haggard West. Unfortunately, Haggard West is dead. Arcopolis is desperate, but when its salvation comes in the form of a twelve-year-old demigod, nobody is more surprised than Battling Boy himself.
Magical t-shirts, space, crazy monsters? What’s not to love about this book?
Battling Boy is a demi-god who has been sent to Acropolis to prove himself. He’s been told very little about what he’s supposed to do and is only given some magical t-shirts with which to accomplish his goals. He goes in just as blind as the reader and together you discover just how crazy this world is and how much work needs to be done. This is the kind of story that I would have inhaled as a kid (and frankly still is). It’s action packed, dangerous and above all a little crazy. The villain is also incredibly creepy.
In terms of the artwork, I applaud Paul Pope’s unique style but found it a little abnormal for my taste. Sort of like how Ren and Stimpy used to make me feel – a.k.a unsettled. That’s not to say it was bad, just not my style.
Given my affinity for awesome super-heroines it should be no surprise that I was most enthralled with Aurora West, so I am very excited to see she is getting her own book later this year. However upon giving my copy to a nine year old boy I was quickly informed that in fact the t-shirts are the coolest part (and a trip to school for show and tell finds that others agree – I’m outnumbered!)
Gambit Volume 1: Always a Thief (2013). Marvel. Written by James Asmus. Illustrated by Clay Mann & Diogenes Neves.
When Marvel’s premiere thief sets his sights on his biggest score yet, he may just end up over his head. Desperately searching for a means to destroy the pilfered artifact that’s cursed him, Gambit journeys deep into the Guatemalan jungles in search of a lost temple – but finds an ancient god-monster accidentally loosed on Earth! It’s going to take more than just playing cards and southern charm to get out of this one! Then, coerced by a criminal mastermind, Gambit is sent to the United Kingdom to heist the greatest weapon in the history of man: Excalibur! How will Marvel’s premiere thief manage to dupe his extortionist while also escaping with a clear name? Be here as the X-Men’s ragin’ cajun kicks off his all-new solo career!
Gambit and Rogue were my OTP before that was even a term people used. I remember watching them on the old X-Men cartoon before school and loving every line of their Southern dialogue. And Gambit’s absence from the X-Men movies (let’s just pretend the Wolverine origin movie doesn’t count) was one of my biggest disappoints. So when I saw he was staring in his own comic series I knew I had to check it out.
I thought this collection started out on a strong note. Gambit is a lot more mature after everything he’s gone through but he is still himself and he is dying to return to his old ways (if only for a little while). But as it continued I began to lose interest. Primarily because he hardly interacts with any of the other X-Men. I know this is his solo series but I have a hard time believing the team/the school wouldn’t be a central part of his life/thoughts. The second reason was that this reads just like an Indiana Jones story, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but doesn’t feel particularly “X-Men.” This could have been any generic thief in my opinion. And finally the love interest. She fell completely flat to me. Her actions didn’t make any sense and ultimately she is completely forgettable.
Despite how initially excited I was for this series I don’t think I will be continuing with Volume 2.
Welcome to cover comments! A monthly feature where we break down what we think are the best and worst covers the month has to offer.
I am really digging what’s going on with the various Superman covers this month. So eye catching. But two definitely stood out as especially awesome.
Action Comics #28
I just love what they’ve done with the titles and the old fashioned look to Action Comics. They look classic but with an edge.
As always I adore the Batwing covers. The colours are so unique and pop right off the page.
Talk about jumping out at you. The painted cover, the dark shadows, Batgirl as a vampire…I need this comic! It’s dark and disturbing and different from what you normally see on Bat-books.
Sandman Overture #2
We may have lost J H William’s gorgeous art on Batwoman but at least there is still Sandman. And in Sandman he can let his creative flag fly. There is so much going on in this cover, I’m curious to know what every little bit represents even though I have read the main Sandman series.
Creepy Comics #15
This was probably my least favourite cover of the month. Not because the art is bad. The art is fine. But it’s just so silly. What she’s just running around the jungle naked but yet ready to kill things? And if she doesn’t care what she’s wearing why even bother with that stupid strip of clothing that covers nothing? But of course Jungle Women still have time to style their hair.
Tomb Raider #1
If the last cover was an example of what not to do, this is an example of them getting it right. Lara Croft looks bad ass here! She’s wearing logical clothing, she has not one but two weapons, she is not looking over her shoulder so that her butt is the first thing we see, and despite being wounded she is not depicted as “in distress.” Love everything about this.
Mind MGMT #19
I always love the art in Min MGMT but the last few month’s I’ve found the covers kind of blah. This feels like a return to the truly bizarre nature that is this series.
I love the mixture of styles going on here – from the fluidity to the red cloak to the neon sign reflection of his adversary. I’m not familiar with this series but this cover makes me want to dive in.
Star Wars #14
Favourite Dark Horse cover of the month. Just gorgeous. (Plus I’m such a Darth Vader fangirl). I bet it looks even more amazing in print.
Looks like we had better luck this month with DC & Dark Horse titles than we did back in November. Which ones were your favourites?
I’ve been pretty lucky recently. A lot of the trade paperbacks I’ve been picking up have been absolutely excellent. Here are three of my new favourites.
Rachel Rising. Volume 1 The Shadow of Death (2012) Abstract Studios. Written and illustrated by Terry Moore.
Rachel wakes up at sunrise on a shallow grave in the woods and discovers the freshly murdered body in the dirt is her own. With events of the previous night a blur, Rachel seeks out her boyfriend Phillip. But Phillip has a new girl now and Rachel is beginning to suspect she rose from the grave for a reason… revenge! Collects issues 1-6.
This is without a doubt one of the most underrated comics on shelves right now. It’s a dark and mysterious tale and it had me captivated from the very first few pages.
Rachel Rising is unsurprisingly about a girl named Rachel. Rachel is not your average girl though. She was dead and now she’s not. However before you get any wrong ideas, this is not a zombie comic. Rachel is not undead. She is alive again, with only a scar around her neck and bloodshot eyes as evidence of what happened to her. She’s a very mysterious character, you don’t find out a lot about her write away, revelation are slow and deliberate building onto the overall suspense of the story.
This comic is extremely dark. There is a lot of death and destruction and it will shock you. BUT it is not gory by any means, which is an impressive feat – to make me gasp in surprise without resorting to gore. The art is also completely in black and white. I wasn’t sure about this at first. It’s normally not my thing, but in this case I couldn’t imagine this comic in colour. The black and white and simple style really add to the creepiness of this story. It’s something terrible happening in the most normal of places.
If you enjoy horror, ghosts stories or simply comics with a lot of suspense I highly recommend Rachel Rising. It’s one of my new favourites.
Superior Spider Man Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy (2013). Marvel. Written by Dan Slott. Art by Ryan Stegman & Giuseppe Camuncoli
THEN!…Peter Parker spent a lifetime living up to the responsibilities his powers foisted upon him, but his story finally ended dramatically in the historic Amazing Spider-Man #700. NOW!…The new Amazing Spider-Man has arrived, and he is better in every single way. Smarter, stronger…Superior. And he’ll prove it, both to himself and the world, when he faces down the all-new Sinister Six! But is this all-new Spider-Man in cahoots with J. Jonah Jameson? And has Carlie Cooper figured out the Superior Spider-Man’s secret identify? Plus: Spider-Man and Mary Jane…reunited?! All this and the return of the villainous Vulture! It’s an all-new era of web-slinging excitement, and it all starts NOW! Collecting Superior Spider-Man 1-5.
The problem with characters that have been around for decades is that often times their stories can feel recycled or repetitive. So I really have to hand it to Dan Slott from bringing us a unique and daring new Spider Man plot arc.
Peter Parker is dead. That alone is enough to throw this series through a loop. But to make matters even more interesting, Doc Oc has taken over his body and taken up the mantel of Spider Man. And of course, being the self-important, genius that he is, Doc Oc believes he can be a superior Spider Man. And for a little while he manages it.
I like Peter Parker. I really do. I think that he is funny, and good natured and an all around great character. But I also love reading things from the villains point of view. I love when writers allow readers to really get inside the villains head and find out more about them, and that is exactly what Slott has done here. Is this new Spider Man a nice guy? Not really. He’s still helping people sure, but his motivations are a little more suspect. But he is an interesting character, who faces his own challenges, desire and obstacles.
I know this plot arc is rather controversial but I actually think it’s a nice change. It’s already been announced that Peter Parker will be returning eventually, so why not sit back and enjoy this look into the psyche of one of his most famous villains?
The Manhattan Projects Volume 1: Science, Bad (2012). Image Comics. Written by Jonathan Hickman. Art by Nick Pitarra.
What if the research and development department created to produce the first atomic bomb was a front for a series of other, more unusual, programs? Collecting the coolest new series of the year into one super science package. Collects The Manhattan Projects issues #1-5.
This is one of those comics that I feel like everyone is reading and yet I knew almost nothing about the story (except for the line above) before I cracked open Volume One. I actually thought it was about aliens. Like Area 51 inside the Manhattan Projects.
And there are sort of aliens. But there is much much more to this comic than that. Jonathan Hickman is incredibly good at making me believe the incredible. The Manhattan Projects centres around real people, but he takes some major liberties with their biographies. For example, Robert Oppenheimer. In the context of this story Oppenheimer is a twin, and his twin brother, Joseph, is also quite brilliant. However Joseph’s brilliance is more along the lines of Dr. Moreau or Dr Jekyll and he’s goes more than a little mad. The way this is written was so realistic I actually had to google it to make sure there wasn’t actually a Joseph Oppenheimer. I think that’s what makes this series so compelling. It may be filled with over the top science fiction but it is twisted up with real life people and facts and it makes you want to believe (like the X-Files).
The art is also quite unique. It has a way of throwing you off balance, and making you feel a tad uncomfortable. In this way it adds to the bizarre nature of the story.
The end of this volume will leave you desperate for more. You’ll need to know what else this group of mad scientists were getting up to behind closed doors.
Black Widow #2 (Marvel)
ANOTHER ISSUE IN JANUARY AGAIN??? YAY!
Pretty Deadly #4 (Image Comics)
First issue of 2014! Woot woot!
Hawkeye #16 (Marvel)
I love Hawkeye. Although #16 is out but #15 isn’t…
X-Men Vol. 4 #9 (Marvel)
I’m getting bored with this series so hopefully this’ll be interesting.
Marvel Knights: X-Men #3 (of 5) (Marvel)
Part 3. Let’s see where they’ll take this…
Hacktivist #1 (Archaia/Boom! Studios)
I’ve been excited for this for months. A comic created by Alyssa Milano and it’s inspired by Anonymous and the creator of Twitter.
Deadly Class #1 (Image Comics)
This sounds amazing…
Black Widow #2 (Marvel)
The first issue was extremely promising and I adore the artwork. I have high hopes for this series.
Harley Quinn #2 (DC Comics)
I’m still not sure about this series but I want to believe it’ll be good. Plus Poison Ivy is guest starring.
Hawkeye #16 (Marvel)
KATE BISHOP ON THE COVER!
Legends of Red Sonja #3 (Dynamite)
There’s been a dynamite team (Hehe) behind this limited series. And the amazing Nicola Scott is contributing to this installment.
Marvel Knights X-Men #3 (Marvel)
Another great limited series.
Pretty Deadly #4 (Image)
The art in this comic is just soooo good. I want to hang it all over my walls.
X-Men #9 (Marvel)
So many badass ladies. One book.
Rat Queens #4 (Image)
This comic is awesome.
Coffin Hill #4 (Vertigo)
Not enjoying the pacing of this story. This issue will determine whether I continue reading it.
Velvet #3 (Image)
Marvel Knights: Hulk #2 (Marvel)
LOVED issue #1.
Alex + Ada #3 (Image)
I’m enjoying this so far. Let’s see where this issue takes me…
Amazing X-Men #3 (Marvel)
I’m still really enjoying this series. Although my Nightcrawler bias might be showing.
Batgirl #27 (DC Comics)
Batgirl Wanted is over. Now let’s see what gothtopia is all about.
Coffin Hill #4 (Vertigo)
The witches of Coffin Hill may be my favourite witches.
Rat Queens #4 (Image)
Just love this series so much.
Velvet #3 (Image)
Ed Brubaker ❤