Image Expo Recap

This past week Image Comics held their annual expo to showcase all their new and upcoming comics. These days quite a few of my monthly comics are Image titles (Pretty Deadly, Sex Criminals, Rat Queens…) so I was pretty excited to see what they have up their sleeves for 2014.

And they did not disappoint. There are some AMAZING comic stories being published in the coming months and some of my favourite creators are attached to them. Here are some of my highlights.

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C.O.W.L

Creators: Kyle Higgins (Batman, Nightwing), Alec Siegel (Captain America, Avengers), and Rod Reis (Justice League)

Expected Release Date: May 2014

C.O.W.L takes readers back to 1960s Chicago, in a time when the once-celebrated superhero labor union C.O.W.L. struggles to maintain their public image and regain the confidence of the people. A rise in “super powered” individuals dates back to the closing days of World War II after the deployment of the atomic bomb. In response, Geoffrey Warner (then known as The Grey Raven) spearheaded the campaign to bring heroes together in Chicago…and struck a contract with the city for the heroes’ services. But while C.O.W.L. once stood as a beacon of hope against an epidemic of organized crime and a loose “brotherhood” of villains, the organization is now in a position where it must prove its worth to an ever more disillusioned public…while overcoming great threats from both inside and outside its offices.

Why I’m excited: This sounds like Mad Men meets Watchmen. I love the time period, I love the Chicago setting  and I love the idea of a superhero union.

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Bitch Planet

Creators: Kelly Sue DeConnick (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble) and artist Valentine De Landro (X-Factor)

What’s it about?

Sure to be a campy, kick-ass adventure, BITCH PLANET is the story of five leading ladies ready to bust out of their prison cells (but you know in space).

Why I’m excited: Kelly Sue is an auto-buy for me. I currently read Avengers Assemble, Ghost and Pretty Deadly and think she’s beyond talented. Plus not one, not two but five leading ladies. Bring it on!

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The Fade Out

Creators: Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

What’s it about:

It’s about the death of a Hollywood starlet in the 1940s that’s described as being “epic” in scope and dealing with World War II, suggests a return to more straightforward crime fiction from their current horror series Fatale

Why I’m excited:

Ed Brubaker is king of the noir. And he is a comic god. Another auto-buy.

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Casanova

Creators: Matt Fraction (SEX CRIMINALS, SATELLITE SAM), Fábio Moon (Daytripper, Serenity), and Gabriel Bá (Daytripper, The Umbrella Academy), Micheal Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay)

What’s it about?

This is actually the return of an old character – Casanova Quinn. Casanova escaped the complicated and stressful life of a dimension-hopping, identity-shifting, sexually voracious killing machine and we last saw him wandering out of the wreckage of a UFO that landed in the Hollywood Hills.
It’s our Los Angeles. It’s our Earth. And he remembers absolutely nothing of his past. I have to admit I’m not familiar with. But Fraction promised this would be a great jumping on point for new readers, especially since the character himself can’t remember what happened in the earlier books.

Why I’m excited: Did you read that creator list? I love Micheal Chabon’s novels and Daytripper is one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read. And of course everybody’s favourite Matt Fraction. I’m not 100% sold on the premise but with this team I’m willing to give it a shot.

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Ody-C

Creators: Matt Fraction and Christian Ward

What’s it about:

A reinterpretation of Homer’s The Odyssey that takes place in space, and gender swaps every character in the story.

Why I’m excited: More Matt Fraction! Also gender swapped classics are my jam.

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Creators: Rick Remender (BLACK SCIENCE) and artist Greg Tocchini (Uncanny X-Force, Last Days of American Crime

What’s it about?

Low is a science fiction adventure set in the distant future after the Earth has been ravaged by solar radiation and humanity has retreated below the sea and surface to survive.

Why I’m excited: That cover was what initially caught my eye. I hope that’s actually what the internal art is like because it is gorgeous. I’m also on a huge science fiction kick right now and I think this could prove to be an incredibly thought provoking story if done right.

Restoration

Creators: Bill Willingham (Fables, Elementals) and Barry Kitson (Batman, Fables)

What’s it about?

On Restoration Day, magic comes back into the world. This is not good news. The magic and gods of legend and lore are not just oral history, but real…and now they’re back.

Millennia ago, a group of some of the more forward-seeing movers and shakers in the world got together and decided to remove magic from the world—our world. They called themselves The Brotherhood of the Cauldron, because, in the first stages of their massive project, they would feed captured magical items and beings into a large magic cauldron, which would render them down into their most basic magic essence, which could then be bottled and stored away, much like we store the unwanted residue of our nuclear programs.

The world settled down into manageable natural laws that were always the same for everyone. Magic was gone. Until one day something terrible went wrong and the gods and monsters broke loose. Suddenly, all at once, magic came rushing back into the world. Now the gods wish to keep their freedom—and magic—while the rest of the world seeks to imprison them. Will there be war? And who will win?

Why I’m excited: Magic, gods, a secret brotherhood, Bill Willingham….need I say more?

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Shutter

Creators: Joe Keatinge teams up with artist Leila del Duca

What’s it about?

Kate Kristopher, once the most famous explorer on Earth—an Earth that’s far more fantastical than the one we know, filled with demons, gorgons, phantom ninjas, and various other monsters of lore—is forced to return to the adventurous life she left behind when a family secret threatens to destroy everything she spent her life protecting.

Why I’m excited: Female led comic, female artist on board and they’ve described it as a contemporary Indiana Jones

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Wytches

Creators: Scott Snyder (Batman, Superman Unchained, SEVERED) and Jock (Batman, Wolverine, SNAPSHOT)

What’s it about?

Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying.

Why I’m excited: I think Scott Snyder is doing a great job on Batman but I think he is at his absolute best when he is writing horror comics like American Vampire and The Wake and now Wytches.

 image expoThe Wicked & The Divine

Creators: Kieron Gillen (THREE, PHONOGRAM, Young Avengers) and Jamie McKelvie (PHONOGRAM, SUBURBAN GLAMOUR, Young Avengers)

What’s it about:

Twelve gods will be briefly reincarnated in order to perform miracles like superheroes and bask in celebrity fame. But for the first time, there may be a thirteenth god reincarnated, and lucky number thirteen is tipping the delicate balance.

Why I’m excited: This is the announcement I am the most excited for. This week I am mourning the end of Young Avengers so it was a huge pick me up to see Gillen and McKelvie will be reuniting for another fantastic, drama packed series.

What announcements from this year’s Image Expo caught your eye?

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New Comics Day: Our January 8th Pull List

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR. Not only is it 2014 and marking a brand spanking new year but it’s also the year of the BATMAN. This is a great way to transition into our pull list for this week with the release of Detective Comics #27!

ARDO’S LIST

Detective Comics #27

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This one is a big one guys. Batman is celebrating 75 years since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Created by Bob Kane, this character has lived out in our hearts in many incarnations whether on TV, Film, Book and, of course, comics. DC Comics has released a mega special issue of their New 52 Detective Comics #27 with an all star roster of Batman creators both old and new. It’s an extra special issue I’m excited for 🙂

Black Widow #1

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One of my most anticipated ongoing comics of the year, I have no words. I just want to read it. So much.

Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #4 (of 5)

Marvel Knights Spider-Man

I’ve been enjoying this series a lot and am interested to see what Matt Kindt takes us next…

CHRISTA’S LIST

Black Widow #1

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I am beyond excited for this! The artwork alone is enough for me to snatch it up.

Sex Criminals #4

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Really enjoying this series. It’s quirky and totally out there but a lot of fun

Young Avengers #15 

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It’s the final issue and I could not be more heart broken. This series consistently rocked my socks and I just want to cling to the creator’s legs until they agree to come back.

 

 

Review: Before Watchmen – Minutemen/Silk Spectre

Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre (2013) DC Comics. By Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner.

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The critically acclaimed and Eisner Award-winning creator of DC: THE NEW FRONTIER Darwyn Cooke lends his talents MINUTEMEN. As the predecessor to the Watchmen, the Minutemen were assembled to fight against a world that have more and more rapidly begun to spin out of control. Can these heroes from completely different backgrounds and with completely different attitudes on crime come together? Or will they fall apart before they begin?   SILK SPECTRE takes an introspective look at the WATCHMEN feature player’s struggles with her overbearing superhero mother and her scattered path toward taking the mantle of the Silk Spectre. With gorgeous art by co-writer and illustrator Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL, The Pro), SILK SPECTRE takes a very different perspective at the world of BEFORE WATCHMEN. Collects BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN 1-6 and BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE 1-4.

I was wary of reading any of the Before Watchmen comics after hearing how strongly Alan Moore was opposed to them. I love the original and I wanted to respect the creator’s wishes. But ultimately curiosity got the better of me and I decided to check out at least one volume. I chose this one because I always wanted to know more about Silk Spectre (since it seemed like she got a raw deal overall) and I enjoy Amanda Conner’s artwork.

The first half of this collection is the story of the Minutemen – the group of heroes that proceeded the Watchmen. It’s narrated by Hollis Mason, who has decided to write a first hand account of their adventures and wants to make sure it’s ok with the rest of them. I found it a bit hard to follow at first but before long I was caught up in all the twists and turns and scandals. Seriously so much scandal.

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The Silk Spectre half is significantly less dark and is really more of a coming of age story than a superhero tale. We watch her grow from just another flower child to the hero she was trained to be. It’s a interesting story, though a times a bit fluffy and the secondary characters are a tad forgettable. The artwork is fantastic thought – bright and energetic and it makes up for the weak spots in the story telling.

If you enjoyed Watchmen and aren’t ready to leave the world and the characters behind this collection is worth a shot. It’s not as brilliant as the original but it is a compelling and fun read, and much better than I expected it to be.

3.5 out of 5

– Christa

Comix Reviews: Week of October 23 2013

I have such a back log of comic reviews to write! I’m going to do my best to catch up this week.

You’ve been warned

– Christa

Sex Criminals #2

Image. Written by Matt Fraction. Art by Chip Zdarsky. Cover by Chip Zdarsky.

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So who’s the boy with the same sexy-time time-stopping gifts as Suzie? Meet John, who until last night thought he could freeze time with his junk. At long last not alone, what kind of horny hijinx will he and Suzie get up to together? What ANY of us would do if having sex stopped the whole world: We’d do crimes.

The first issue led us through Suzie’s sexual awakening. We saw how she struggled with her unqiue…gift growing up and how she had no one to talk to about. Issue #2 spends more time on Jon’s experience. Like Suzie he also found there was no one to talk to – but he deals with things a bit different. Through Cumworld. His sexual awakening feels familiar to many a teenage boy. Curiosity and a whole lot of porn. But unlike many teenage boys he has unlimited access. Anything he’s even remotely curious about he can check out. I like that this issue is approaching issues of sexuality from both genders. Suzie and Jon are both excellent well balanced characters. This series has definitely hooked me and I’m looking forward to learning more about Suzie and Jon as people and as buding bank robbers.

4 out of 5

– Christa

Wolverine and the X-Men #37

Marvel. Written by Jason Aaron. Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli. Cover by Ed McGuinness.

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    X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM, PART 8! Wolverine, who just lost his healing factor, takes a mortal hit! And a surprise ending that changes everything in the X-Men Event of 2013!

I found this to be a huge improvement over the last installment. I could actively follow what’s going on!  Although that being said there is only one issue left  and I am still totally clueless regarding the bigger picture. I think we all are. I’m really looking forward to reading how they wrap everything up and finding out what was at the centre of this crazy event. Confusion aside it’s been a lot of fun and nice to see all the X-Men reunited (even if they are fighting one another). This is an action heavy issue, which is great for pacing but all of the fight scenes and splash pages seem to come at the expense of detail. Character expressions in particular felt a bit rushed.

3 out of 5

– Christa

Young Avengers #11

Marvel. Written by Kieron Gillen. Art by Jamie McKelvie. Cover by Jamie McKelvie 

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They say you can never go home. For the Young Avengers, it’s not true. They can go home. It’s just that if they do, the universe may end. Better not go home then, eh? WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOUNG AVENGERS? YOU’VE DECIDED TO GO HOME? GAHHKKH! YOU GUYS! Is Kate Bishop an enemy in waiting? Is this the last we see of the loveable/strangle-able Kid Loki? Are rhetorical questions a cheap device when writing solicits? All answers revealed, except the last one, which you’ll have to work out by yourselves.

We’re almost at the end of the Mother Arc! It’s been a long one but overall a solid one. There’s been a lot of interesting developments and I’m excited to see what Loki has up if sleeves – if anything. Maybes he’s been bluffing his way through the whole time. Who knows? As always Gillen’s writing is well paced and there are plenty of funny moments to giggle at.

I’m always a fan of McKelvie’s art but in this issue it was especially noteworthy. Loki’s transformation in particular.

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He is no longer the child we have become accustomed too. This feels like a good lead in to his own series and a chance for the other Young Avengers to reclaim the spotlight (and if I could put in a request for more Kate and Noh-Varr I would be very happy).

Oh and Tom Hiddleston fans? You’re going to love the new look.

4.5 out of 5

– Christa

New Comics Day: Our December 18 Pull List

CHRISTA’S PULL LIST

Ghost #1 (Dark Horse)

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New series by Kelly Sue Deconnick. Auto buy every time.

Avengers Assemble #22 (Marvel)

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Speaking of Kelly Sue – Since I am temporarily without Captain Marvel I decided to try out her other Marvel series the other week. Though it was an Inhumanity tie in, it stands pretty well on it’s own. Plus it was Spider Girl, Spider Woman and Black Widow. This is definitely an Avengers series worth checking out

Harley Quinn #1 (DC Comics)

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I read issue #0 of this and think it could have potential. I like that Harley seems to break the fourth wall a lot in this series and I could easily see this becoming DC’s Deadpool if they play their cards right

Pretty Deadly #3 (Image)

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This is just Kelly Sue Deconnick week isn’t it?

Red Sonja #6 (Dynamite)

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My surprise favourite comic of the year!

Saga #17 (Image)

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Just read it. You’ll understand.

Umbral #2 (Image)

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The first issue of this was incredibly beautiful and I am a sucker for any sort of magical fantasy world. High hopes for this series.

X-Men #8 (Marvel)

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Part 2 of the Muertas story arc. Monet has joined the team and I’m personally excited to see an unfamiliar face on the team.

Young Avengers #14 (Marvel)

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Second last issue! If you’ll excuse me I’ll be over in the corner devouring an entire pint of ice cream.

ARDO’S PULL LIST

Harley Quinn #1

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Excited to see where this goes after issue #0…

Pretty Deadly #3

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I’m in love with this series. So good.

X-Men Vol. 4 #8

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I’m luke warm about this series. Hopefully it’ll find it’s tempo from the first few issues…

What are you reading?

New Comics Day: Our December 11th Pull List

So sorry we missed last week! The holidays make remembering days of the week more difficult. Here’s what’s hitting shelves this week

CHRISTA’S PULL LIST

Batgirl #26

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Coffin Hill #3

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Lazarus #5

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Lunita #1

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ARDO’S PULL LIST

The Double Life of Miranda Turner #2

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Lazarus #5

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Coffin Hill #3

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Marvel Knights: Hulk (2013-) #1 (of 4)

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Alex + Ada #2

Alex + Ada