Archive for the ‘Previews’ Category
As a little kid, most of my favorite movies were either super-saccharine 90′s Disney flicks or the grisliest horror the 1980′s had to offer. Therefore, it is with great honor that I was able to secure a preview for BOOM! Studios’ Hellraiser #1, written by one of the masters of horror (and the series’ creator), Clive Barker.
While preparing for this review, I took the liberty of re-watching Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, and that totally insane video where Pinhead plays poker with Lemmy Kilmister. Then I tried watching Hellraiser: Bloodline. After being bored out of my skull after only a few minutes, I realized that without the guidance of Barker, this franchise seriously disinterested me.
Thank God he’s back in charge of the Cenobites. Barker’s twist on the happenings of the amoral servants of Hell remains as creepy and as imaginative as ever. Pinhead still goes on being extremely articulate and frighteningly intelligent, all the while manipulating those into helping him achieve his goals. Everything about the character will seem familiar to fans of the original film, which is welcome when compared to some of the downright goofy things he said in the later films (“Welcome to the worst nightmare of all… REALITY!”). The issue still explores the line between pain and pleasure prevalent in the films, with the first issue featuring both the most violent and sensual panels I’ve seen in a comic produced by BOOM! Both of these mental states are skillfully drawn by Leonardo Manco (Hellblazer, Hellstorm, every other comic that ever had the word “hell” in the title), which ultimately leads to one emotional and frightening comic.
My only real complaint (which might be my own fault) is that I’m a little confused as to where in continuity the story actually takes place. Pinhead appears to be flanked by the Female and the Chatterer, both of whom were killed in Hellbound: Hellraiser II and never seen again, yet a reference is made to Kirsty Cotton’s marriage in Hellraiser VI: Hellseeker. Perhaps somebody who has seen more of the later sequels can clear this up. Either way, enjoy the (totally for mature audiences) preview to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser #1.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
BOOM! Studios has given me permission to present to you a downloadable PDF for “At the Tolling of a Bell,” an original, self-contained eight-page Hellraiser story by Clive Barker and Leonardo Manco not slated for public release until the trade paperback collection in, like, forever from now! Basically, we’re giving you some free comic book goodness from an industry legend! Enjoy!
If you were born in the mid-8os like me, you have fond memories of watching the Disney Afternoon line-up of cartoons. Nothing beat coming home from first grade, plunking down in front of the TV, and binging on Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, TaleSpin, and Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers all in a row. BOOM! Studios has already released their surprisingly popular Darkwing Duck book so the next logical step would be to tap into another property that we’re all nostalgic for.
With Darkwing Duck writer Ian Brill taking on scripting duties, BOOM! is taking a crack at the Chip ‘n Dale franchise by not only giving the beloved series its own title but immediately making it an ongoing. Add Marvel Super Hero Squad artist Leonel Castellani, and this book seems like it’d be perfect fare for the kids, not to mention the grown ups who still ong for the feel-good nineties.
Thing is, this book seems to be geared more for people who grew up watching the show rather than those unfamiliar with the characters. While the team tries to recover something called the super-key and fight a bunch of crazed animals who are all surrounded by a weird red aura (none of which is explained at all yet), the book gives us little peeks into the pasts of Gadget, Monterey Jack, and even Zipper which help explain why the characters are the way they are. As a former fan of the show, Brill does an amazing job of keeping the characters just as they were. Chip is still the same unlikeable douchebag he was on the cartoon, Dale is still cracking jokes left and right, and Zipper still wants to be the most heroic housefly that’s ever lived (two week life span be damned).
If you’ve enjoyed Brill’s work on Darkwing Duck or were a fan of the old series, chances are that you’ll get a kick out of this book, out Thursday.
Now I guess we just gotta hold out for BOOM’s inevitable TaleSpin comic (half-joke?).
It always kind of bums me out when two great things come out at once and only one of them gets a lick of attention. After twenty minutes in my local shop, it seemed like everybody was singing the praises of Kick-Ass 2 and nobody was talking about (or picking up, for that matter) BOOM! Studios’ Soldier Zero #1. And, for reals, those folks are missing out.
Soldier Zero is the story of Stewart Trautmann, a former Army captain who was paralyzed after his convoy ran over an IED in Afghanistan. Attempting to go about his post-war life with his brother and prospective lady-friend, Stewart finds himself in another freak accident when a dying alien crashes into him. He gets Abin Sur’d (yup, that’s a verb now) and develops superpowers (including the ability to stand) and an admittedly bitchin’ looking suit. But the question remains, what was the alien doing near Earth in the first place?
Soldier Zero was created by Stan Lee and is the first in a series of three books from BOOM! Studios produced under his guidance (the other two being The Traveler and Starborn).Soldier Zero follows Lee’s tried and true old formula for a superhero origin: take an underdog and make him realize his full potential. Paul Cornell (Captain Britain and MI-13, Action Comics) is the man in charge of making a book out of this character and he does so eloquently, quickly fleshing out our hero’s civilian life while simultaneously showing the alien’s dramatic final space battle. Plus, Javier Pina’s (Suicide Squad, Manhunter) art is visually spectacular as well (particularly the space action shots).
For what is more or less a quick origin story, this book is a damn fine read. If you have a love of all things Green Lantern Corps or Guardians of the Galaxy related, I have a feeling that this book will be right up your alley.
OH SNAP, PREVIEW PAGES.
Vampires are everywhere right now (really, X-Men? Really?) and when I saw that a book with a title like Dracula: The Company of Monsters was coming out on BOOM!, my first thought was, “Oh, shit, not you guys, too!” But then I saw a glimmer of hope shining through my funk of apathy for the genre: Kurt Busiek.
Dracula: The Company of Monsters, written by Busiek (Avengers, Astro City) and Daryl Gregory (Pandemonium) and illustrated by Scott Godlewski (Codebreakers), tells the story of Evan Barrington-Cabot, a research and development guy at a corporation that’s fallen on hard times. His boss (and uncle), Conrad, has a three-point plan to save the company:
- Resurrect Dracula
Pffft. Yeah, no way that can go awry.
It’s refreshing to have a vampire book that’s actually doing something (gasp!) original. It’ll be interesting to see why anybody would ever actually want to resurrect Dracula rather than, you know, do something sane. What’s he gonna do, sic him on his competition? Wait. Oh, shit. Now that I said that, that’s awesome. I hope that’s where this book is going.
Anywho, here’s the first 12 pages of the first issue! That’s, like, half the book for free!
I’ve always been a bit curious about foreign comics. Aside from a few old Astérix comics I’ve flipped through, I’m pretty much in the dark about any comics from the non-English speaking world. Meanwhile, over in France, Delcourt Productions has been reprinting translated versions of a bunch of American and Japanese comics including Invincible, The Goon, and BECK. Well, it looks like BOOM! is out to return the favor, starting with a 2007 comic originally printed by Delcourt, 7 Psychopaths.
7 Psychopaths written by Fabien Vehlmann (Spirou, Green Manor) and brilliantly illustrated by Sean Phillips (Criminal, Marvel Zombies) tells the tale of seven people with varying mental disabilities on a mission to hopefully end World War II by parachuting into Germany and assassinating Hitler. Yeah, something tells me that’s the kind of thing that’s easier said than done.
If this sounds like something you’d be into, check out the first seven pages below.
Oh, by the way, BOOM. If you want to keep releasing English translations of foreign comic books, I certainly won’t complain (especially if some Gil Jourdan comics start popping up).
Christmas came early this year! This morning, I woke up to a five page preview of BOOM! Studios‘ upcoming Darkwing Duck title. I’ve been a little nervous ever since the miniseries was announced because this thing has the potential to completely ruin my childhood. I needn’t have worried. Darkwing is safe under the stewardship of writer Ian Brill and artist James Silvani. Brill’s Darkwing effortlessly blends irreverence with cantankerousness, Launchpad is an idiot, and Megavolt shows up with a stupid, stupid, scheme. Disney Afternoon enthusiasts will get a kick out of seeing Darkwing back in action, people who hate happiness won’t be interested.
Check it out!
The soaring popularity of Alan Moore‘s League of Extraordinary Gentleman and Vertigo’s Fables has inspired a slew of seeming copycats, enough that at this point the meta-literary comic could be given its own sub-genre. This month, IDW offers up Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery’s Kill Shakespeare, a story that “pits Shakespeare’s greatest heroes against his greatest villains.”
The greatest challenge of a meta-literary comic is to integrate its source material without alienating readers unfamiliar with it. Thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio, everyone and their mother knows the basic plot of Romeo & Juliet. Kids who went to public school might recall Hamlet and Macbeth, but believe it or not there are perfectly intelligent people who’ve never actually read a single work of Shakespeare. (Because modern society is hopelessly pedestrian and the public education system is broken I tell you, BROKEN! Ahem.) Kill Shakespeare #1 clears the source material hurdle handily, making itself accessible to readers who don’t exactly know their Shakespeare. The plot more than holds up without having read Hamlet or Richard III, though of course a working knowledge of Shakespeare makes reading Kill Shakespeare a delightful exercise in Brit-Lit geekery. (Lady Macbeth as an evil villain? Yes, please!)
Kill Shakespeare‘s action sequences are, well, action-packed. While Hamlet and pals (yes, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern) are sailing to England, their ship is overrun with pirates, resulting in a six page battle rendered larger-than-life by artist Andy B. My 14 year old brother could easily be tricked into reading this book, believing it was nothing more than a totally sweet comic about pirates, ghosts and kings. (You know, if the title didn’t make it clear that it’s all derived from Shakespeare, which is like, you know, smart stuff.)
Perhaps Kill Shakespeare‘s strongest selling point is how well the book captures the epic scope of Shakespeare’s works, binding them into a merged universe. These stories aren’t just pretty poetry, even his comedies are dirty, grimy, gritty, bloody, dramatic, and to be honest they lend themselves so much to a comic book meta-universe aesthetic that I can’t believe no one’s tried it before.
You could give Kill Shakespeare to your pre-teen kids, thus tricking them into reading Shakespeare of their own accord. In fact, if I were a high school English teacher I’d be ordering Kill Shakespeare in bulk.
Fun book. I read it drinking coffee because it was the MORNING and I’m not a total alcoholic. (Geez guys). But if it’s 3pm or later, get your paws on some homemade honey mead and check out Kill Shakespeare #1, in stores April 14.
When I was a small child, my favorite book was Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I loved this book for the pictures. I didn’t especially relate to a wild-child having a tantrum and being sent to his room. I did not own a wolf suit. I had certainly never been across a great sea to a land full of monsters. Even though I was very well behaved, especially compared to Max, I did have an active imagination. I was enthralled at the sight of such fantastic creatures appearing from the walls of my own room. My favorite part of the book was where Max proclaims that the Wild Rumpus is to begin and the subsequent pages of text-less scenery. I would stare intently at the expressions of the characters. I noticed where they were looking, or who they were looking at. I would imagine how they must feel in that moment and what this might lead them to do next. Where the Wild Things Are instilled in me a love for children’s books that survived my adolescence and continues in my adulthood. To me, an interesting picture – however stylized or juvenile – is more interesting than the most epic, passionate, or complex story. Something about a single moment of time captured by an artist’s clumsy ink leaves me with so many questions and fantasies that children’s illustrations remain among my favorite diversions.
Without any reflection upon these facts I read Wall-E #1. Before we continue, I should mention that I have not seen the Disney/Pixar film this comic is based on. Garnering media buzz and recommendations from my friends, this critically acclaimed, commercially successful film has been at the top of my “See This Movie” list for a year and a half. Regrettably, having such a list doesn’t actually get me into the theaters or excited about my Netflix queue, and so Wall-E remains at the top of a list I largely ignore. Still, when I saw this series I was naturally interested.
Reading Wall-E was like reading 22 pages of Wild Rumpus. I was blindsided by an instant appeal to my love of story through pictures. It may seem obvious that a guy who loves kids books is a comic fan. They do, after all, bear many similarities. But, it really isn’t the same thing. Not to me. When I read a comic I’m more interested in text, dialog, wittiness, and the language of the story in general. The pictures of a comic book are a stylistic choice in presentation that gives a sense of action and movement that plain text writing does not. No, this is an appeal to the pictures themselves. Pictures are the story rather than its aid.
Since I did not see the film I can only assume the bleak and spacious vibe was established by Pixar and that the creators of the comic are continuing rather creating the feel. Though I cannot give credit to Torres and Luthi for the concept I must give them credit for telling a fascinating and emotional comic with basically zero dialog. Not since New X-Men #121 have I read such an interesting book while relying solely on images and expressions to convey story. This last bit is a particular credit to Morgan Luthi for getting emotion out of a robot.
As a comic who’s audience is children, Wall-E has its share of slapstick comedy and goofiness. If you have kids I’m sure they’ll love watching a cute robot caper around having adventures. And if you enjoyed the film then I’m sure you’ll find entertainment in this book. But, if you’re like me and can spend 20 minutes looking at a cartoon-ey picture wondering what sits just beyond the borders of the image, or what an incidental character might be thinking, or what the tree in the background would feel like if you could touch it, if you’re like this at all, then Wall-E bears a quality that too few comics possess.
Even as a good guy, Max Damage is a dick – and that’s what makes Incorruptible awesome. The long-awaited (at least by us ) follow up to Mark Waid’s Irredeemable – which features the Plutonian, a Superman-esque hero, going very, very bad - Incorruptible is the story of a villain going straight. Mild spoilers ahead, folks.
But Max Damage barely knows where to start. He kidnaps a cop so he can get his very own Jim Gordon, he stops sleeping with his underage sidekick, he turns his henchmen over to the police, he torches 4.2 million dollars. Instead of, you know, donating it to a children’s hospital or something – Max may have decided to switch sides, but his motives for the change thus far seem damned self serving, which to anyone who’s been reading comics for more than 10 seconds is a sure sign that someone’s a villain at heart.
So far, it seems that all Max understands of being heroic is simply to do the opposite of villainy; the classic motivations for heroism elude him. Indeed, his choice to switch sides seems rooted in his animosity for the Plutonian. Whatever side the Plutonian is on, Max is on the other. Still, Max is acutely aware of the fact that he may be the only person on the planet with a chance of stopping or at least staving off the Plutonian’s rampage.
Incorruptible isn’t a redemption story, at least not yet. Max wanted a world he could be a bastard in, but with the Plutonian rampaging, there might not be a world at all before long (see: Singapore). But Incorruptible doesn’t simply re-hash Lex Luthor’s “If Not For You, I’d Be Beloved!” sentiment, or drop us onto Earth-3. Max may have decided that it’s time to take a stand against the Plutonian, he may have decided that in order to do so he’s got to renounce petty villainy, but at heart, Max isn’t selfless enough to pull off the full hero act.
Than again, neither was the Plutonian. Maybe our heroes need to be a little selfish. You know, so they don’t snap and kill us all.
Incorruptible, like Irredeemable, and Empire before them, is Mark Waid at his best, dissecting the nuances of superhero/supervillain psychology with an understanding of the genre that eclipses many other writers. Incorruptible is a great ride, whether you’ve read Irredeemable or not. Check out the preview below and pick up the book this Wednesday.
We all have that one family member who manages to do the one thing that totally annoys you. The cousin who got evicted and needs to live on your couch “for a while.” The teenager who takes the car out for a joyride and gets in “a small accident, no big deal.” The brother who is too busy being stupidly famous to realize that he left a mysterious and potentially dangerous artifact in the back of that sportscar he just sold. Wait, what?
Well, this is BOOM! Studios’ Dingo. Rick Asher is the world’s biggest rock star, and he’s done something stupid. He’s sold a Ferrari just before leaving on a world tour and he forgot a little something in the trunk: a mysterious box that contains something that can cause something bad to happen. And, no, I’m not being vague to shy away from spoilers, I honestly have no idea what’s in the box. Naked photos? Marsellus’ soul? The list of KFC spices? Whatever it is, Rick’s tough-as-nails brother Dingo (and his newfound gigantic canine companion, Cerberus) will stop at nothing to get it back.
This four-issue limited series is written by Michael Alan Nelson (28 Days Later, Fall of Cthulu), who I am quickly becoming a fan of. He’s beginning to show his versatility as an author, shying away from the horror-oriented comics he usually writes and venturing into new territory including (GASP) humor. It is also drawn by Francesco Biagini (Dead Run), who does some interesting juxtaposition between panels, as well as an amazing job drawing the sorta-creepy looking Cerberus.
Needless to say, I’m curious to see where this story is going and will wholeheartedly recommend it. But you don’t have to take my word for it! Check out the preview of Dingo #1 below and see for yourself.