This is the DC equivalent of Deadpool 2 in comic form. I haven’t been checking in on creator Sam Humphries for a while now, though I was a fan of watching his rise to stardom at Marvel. His fun style translates well into the adventures of Harleen Quinzel.
This year at New York Comic Con we stopped by the Kabam booth to try our hands at the latest from Contest of Champions. The mobile game features Marvel characters in head to head fighting action and has the distinction of adding new heroes and villains into the Marvel Universe. Have you been following the adventures of Venompool, Civil Warrior and Guillotine?
No, you, haven’t because these are brand new properties introduced exclusively for Contest of Champions.
We spoke with Contest of Champions design director Tim Molyneux on the New York Comic Con floor and he talked us through his job and what we can expect from the future, including the introduction of mystic character Morningstar and other new characters soon to be unlocked on a tablet or phone near you.
Artist Dan Panosian is best known for his work on Marvel and Image books as penciller and inker. Remember those sweet fake X-Men books in the movie Logan? Yup, Dan did those too. Dan joins us today to talk about his bold new crime redemption story from Skybound, Slots. He also reminisces about the early days of Image Comics, why he decided to break into storytelling with Slots at Skybound/Image, and what the future holds for his hero, Stanley Dance.
* * * * *
FOG!: What can you tell us about Slots and your lead character Stanley Dance?
Dan Panosian: Stanley is the guy who made every selfish decision that most normal people would deem far too indulgent . We can all look back and wonder what our lives would be like if we took some left turns here and there. But generally we’re reasonable and responsible.
Stanley always listened to the devil on his shoulder and brushed off the angel. Consequently, he doesn’t have many friends or family left. Or chances for that matter. He’s pretty much done. That’s where we start off.
We’ve been a fan of your art for a long time, what made you want to tell this particular story as the writer and artist?
Skybound editor Sean Mackiewicz joins us today to talk about his latest writing project, Gasolina, from Image Comics. The desert drug lord adventure comic is already off into some interesting and somewhat scary places. Sean tells us what makes Gasolina burn so bright before the first issue hits the shelves later this month on September 20th.
* * * * *
FOG!: Sean, you’re known for your Skybound editorial position. What inspired you to shift gears and get behind the writer’s chair?
Sean Mackiewicz: Finding the right idea.
Skybound’s been very encouraging in allowing employees to pursue creative projects outside of their main job, and I just couldn’t shake this idea. Doing a modern-day western with incredible vistas and gun fights against cartels armed with some truly gnarly “weapons”… and balancing it with newlyweds just trying to navigate and survive this messed up situation? I like challenging myself.
‘LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain’ (review)
The DC Super Hero Girls are back in LEGO form for this latest animated feature, LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain. Starring Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin), Supergirl (Anais Fairweather) and Batgirl (Ashlyn Nicole Selich), the students of Super Hero High face an unknown threat and try to solve the mystery of the High School’s amnesia from being brainwashed.
Don’t expect The LEGO Movie twist on these familiar characters, quite the opposite, this movie, while bricked up, sits nicely in the Super Hero High storyline and current loose and fun take on the DC Universe established in 2015 with the DC Super Hero Girls brand since 2015.
There is lots to love in Reborn, Mark Millar’s highly anticipated team up with Batman artist Greg Capullo. These master storytellers comment on aging, the afterlife, superheroes and large scale fantasy in a way that only Millar can.
Millar’s strength always at the base is taking a genre and re-presenting it to the comic book masses. From Kick-Ass‘ Spider-Man fantasy to Kingsmen‘s James Bond/Nick Fury spy stories, the genre gets inverted in Millar’s world.
Reborn, is more Excalibur meets Dungeons & Dragons and Conan The Barbarian meets Willow, than it is a story of what might happen when you die. In the battle between Adystria vs. The Dark Lands we’re immersed in a colorful fantasy world with a hero’s journey.
He may be the latest-born writer on a regular G.I.Joe property, but Aubrey Sitterson has distilled his interpretation of the team into a military sci-fi property that earns the title “The Crown Jewel of the Hasbro Universe”. With a Transformer on the team and an awesome new headquarters, Aubrey joined us today to talk G.I. Joe, The Hasbro Universe and what we can expect after the latest Hasbro event First Strike!
* * * * *
FOG!: Yo, Joe! Thanks for taking the time to talk Joe with us! What brings you to the IDW Joe Universe? How did you end up taking over for this season?
Aubrey Sitterson: Last year I wrote the fan-favorite Street Fighter x G.I. Joe, which was not only beloved by readers, but by Hasbro themselves. They dug the high-energy take on the Joes, one where they all felt like unique characters, so when it came time to launch a brand-new G.I. Joe series, IDW knew exactly who to call!
Following Revolution, we’re seeing a brand new take on IDW’s Joe properties, certainly different than the ongoing Larry Hama G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero continuity. For one, it is integrated into the other Hasbro titles, as “The Crown Jewel of the Hasbro Universe”. Tell us what it is like to write a Transformer, Skywarp, on to the team.
What kind of question is that? How is it to write a big, mean, surly transforming robot that happens to be on a team with people he could literally crush beneath his foot? It’s AMAZING, Clay.
Captain Kid: Super-People Problems
Written by Mark Waid & Tom Peyer
Illustrated by Wilfredo Torres & Brent Peeples
Colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Lettered by A Larger World
Published by AfterShock Comics
Comixology Digital Release
Today sees the release of the collected edition ofCaptain Kid Vol. 1 (Aftershock Comics) from writers Mark Waid & Tom Peyer. Waid’s collected an impressive creative team, co-writing with The Atom‘s Tom Peyer with art by Wilfredo Torres (Jupiter’s Circle), and Brent Peeples (TMNT). The origin of the story starts with an idea Peyer (Legion of Superheroes, Tek Jansen) had ten years ago, finally bringing the story to light for Aftershock.
What exactly is Captain Kid, you ask? It is Mark Waid doing what he is best at, retelling familiar comic book superhero stories with a new twist. In the vein of Irredemable and Insufferable, Captain Kid takes the idea of your super powerful tight wearing hero but this time, he’s allowed himself to have a bit more fun with the palette.
Written by Tara Bennett and Paul Terry
With Forewords by John Carpenter
With Afterwords by Kurt Russell and Eric Powell
Published by BOOM! Studios
“I’m a reasonable guy. But, I’ve just experienced some very unreasonable things”.
— Jack Burton
The story of Jack Burton vs. David Lo Pan is one for the ages, and one who’s thirty year legacy owes a bit to it’s huge budget and legendary director John Carpenter’s overall vision. While it wasn’t the biggest hit at the box office, in fact it only made back $11 million of it’s astounding $25 million dollar budget, Big Trouble In Little China garnered a generation of loyal fans. Those fans regard the movie as a kung fu science fiction masterpiece destined for cable reruns and cult status.
In tandem, we’d like to present to you two books that take you deep below San Francisco and the furies that lay there. BOOM! Studios has released The Official Making of Big Trouble in Little China as well as The Art Of Big Trouble In Little China to reveal on set special effects secrets and in depth interviews with Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall round out editions celebrating this cult classic.
New York Times bestselling author of comics and video games Antony Johnston (Wasteland, Dead Space, The Fuse, Daredevil) joins us today to talk about his latest graphic novel The Coldest Winter. This is the prequel graphic novel to the upcoming film, The Coldest City starring Charlize Theron (Lorraine Broughton) and James McAvoy (Percival) about MI6 agents in The Cold War.
The Coldest Winter is for fans of the action spy genre and a good murder mystery. Antony bravely sends agents behind the Iron Curtain with no certainty of returning and the loyalty of his characters and the mission is always at the forefront.
When you are a spy, you must always watch your back!
* * * * *
FOG!: Thanks for joining us to talk The Coldest Winter, Antony! Is it cold where you are right now?
Antony Johnston: I live in north-west England. It’s always cold here.
This is the volume that precedes The Coldest City (soon to be a major motion picture). Were the volumes meant to be released in this order?
That’s a bit of an odd question. If I’d wanted to tell the story of The Coldest Winter first, I would have written it first instead of The Coldest City. So yes, that was always the intention.
Written by Ryan Ferrier
Art/Cover by Valentin Ramon
Published by IDW Publishing
In Stores January 25, 2017
The third arc of IDW’s D4VE starts in January, picking up when vacuum robot Roombo is assassinated and the world is left without a leader.
That’s where our hero D4VE steps in, hoping to fill in the roll as Earth’s (34RTH’s) savior once again.
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, D4VE has seen it all, from aliens to time travel to a big black hole threatening everyone’s existence.
In post-vacuum America, can D4VE be the one that makes everything great again?
Time will certainly tell.
The last volume, D4VE2, exalted D4VE to the Secretary of D-Fense. In his off-time, he’s struggling to maintain with his robot ex-wife S4LLY and raise his son, the mouthy and sexually fluid 5COTTY on the weekends. What we have here is Just your typical robot broken home. Why, you may ask, are robots ruling everything? They’ve taken over and beaten the meat puppet humans in an uprising (but not without learning human’s baser instincts and dank meme slang.
[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]
Paul Dini is a legend in television animation and the father of DC Comics’ Harley Quinn. Dini has a fondness for the holiday spirit, a yearn for the Yule, a sizzle for the season! His lesser known creation, the blonde spitfire and daughter of the Kringle, Jingle Belle, has had books released in issues by various outlets over the years, and most recently, IDW has collected the rebellious teenager’s tales into one big volume!
It will hardly fit in the Santa Sack at 340 pages! Jingle Belle: The Whole Package is available now, just in time for that Yankee Swap.
Paul joined us today over some mulled cider for some questions to give us the origin of Santa’s spawn, Jingle Belle.
* * * * *
FOG!: Paul, thanks so much for joining us! You are well known in the comics and superhero world for creating Harley Quinn and your work in animation. When did the first Jingle Belle comic come in to your head?
Paul Dini: In 1998 I was talking to Oni Press about doing some new original characters, and they gave me the chance to try out two ideas in Oni Double Feature. One was “Honor Rollers,” which was based on some guys I had known in boarding school, and the other was “Jingle Belle.”
Holy Cash Cow, Batman! Batman ’66 the Comic, The Toys, The Franchise…and now the Movie!
Which came first, Robin? The revisit or the reboot? What peril faces The Caped Crusader and The Boy Wonder fifty years after the debut of the Batman television series? Of course, reuniting the original cast would be impossible, but somehow Adam West, Burt Ward and Catwoman Julie Newmar are able to return to the booths to voice their famous characters.
These cherished after-school versions of The Not-So-Dark-Knight (West) in satin gloves and his ward (Ward) are revisited in Warner Animation’s Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.
I’m on record in these very pages of being a huge DC Animation fan, with only a few misses over these past few years. My favorite stories are when they take risks. This one, was risky for a number of reasons but truly I think they pulled it off once again.
Free Comic Book Day actually comes twice a year, and tomorrow, October 29th, the day wraps itself in gauze and dabs black makeup around it’s eyes.
That’s right, Halloween Comic Fest 2016 is here, at your participating LCS. Be sure to find grab bags of goodies, some Smarties and other healthy tricks at your local comic book store and as always, buy something, even a little thing to help out the store. Lots of stores have their own costume contests and more. Be sure to check with your store to see if they are participating or if they may have something else fun in store for the whole family!
And remember, kids, just like the speed limit, obey your store’s limits for free comics. If you are in an urban area riddled with comic shops this may be your opportunity to hit up more than your regular shop to be able to ‘collect ’em all’!
We’ve made some selections of Halloween Comic Fest 2016 books, labeled in creepy categories that have never seen the light of day, until now! Perhaps they were meant to be hidden forever! Klaatu Barada Nikto!
BEST COMIC FOR THE WALKING DEAD FAN
Afterlife with Archie Season 2 (Archie Comics
ZOMG! I can’t believe BLANK got BLANKED with a BLANK on this week’s The Walking Dead!
Almost as much as I can’t believe Archie has been publishing a daring ZombieVerse Riverdale comic from artist Francesco Francavilla and writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Zombie Jughead. That is all!
[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]
With CW’s Arrow going into it’s fifth season and 100 episodes (how did that happen?) spawning a superhero revolution on TV with the Arrowverse, a new spike has been given to the Emerald Archer’s popularity.
DC’s Comics recent Rebirth initiative made comic stores great again and writer Benjamin Percy was able to give Ollie back his goatee and reunites castaway with Black Canary along with selling a ton of Green Arrow Rebirth #1s.
We talked pre-Rebirth and post-Rebirth with Ben and Rebirth #1 cover artist and co-writer Juan Ferreyra at the DC Comics booth at New York Comic Con last week as Mr. Queen and Black Canary face the Island Of Scars.
FOG!: Hey guys, it’s an honor to talk with you, I’m a big Green Arrow fan, and I’ve been reading what you’ve been doing since before Rebirth. My first question is, did you feel like Rebirth was a good opportunity to revisit some things, or did you feel like you weren’t done telling part of your (New 52) story?
Ben Percy: When I jumped into the New 52, and first pitched Green Arrow, I wanted to write Black Canary into it, I was told, “You can’t do that”. I said, “He’s gotta have a goatee,” and I couldn’t do that.
I was also trying to do the novelist thing, which is playing the long game, which you should never do in comics! Because, I could have been kicked out after a few issues. But early on, I was keeping Ollie away from his costume, away from his bow and arrow in an effort to really get to know him as a person. It felt kid of schizophrenic prior to that in the New 52.
I really wanted to build up the character, and I had in my mind a Rebirth revitalization of the character, anyway. I was going to move towards that moment when he truly became Green Arrow. It just got sped up a bit for me.
I did have another storyline involving The Outsiders that I was working towards. There were a lot of hints in there, about that, but its fine. We got rid of that, we just jumped right into the new era.
For answers to the many questions Rebirth leaves the fans with, we headed to “Meet The Publishers” panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday afternoon.
The packed room full of Damian Waynes, Reys and our favorite, an older gentleman dressed as Wonder Woman, munching on some Kettle Korn.
DC Entertainment’s co-publishers, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee opened with the usual jokes and self-congratulation for the Rebirth line. Among the tidbits mentioned during the presentation:
- Dan admitted that last year’s lukewarm NYCC panel reaction was partly the catalyst for the line wideRebirth change.
- Respect for legacy and character relationships were two of the other main reasons for the change.
- 14 million Rebirth books have shipped, and the numbers were strong for Wave 1.
A superstar creative team of this caliber only comes together rarely to create a book that can change how comics are consumed and touch us with such personal stories. Scott Snyder (Batman, Wytches, American Vampire, Swamp Thing) writes A.D.: After Death for Image Comics with artist Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Essex County, Descender, Animal Man) contributing illustrations for this mostly prose comic book story.
These modern masters of comic storytelling joined Forces of Geek to talk about November’s upcoming first oversized volume in three parts of A.D.: After Death. The book proposes what it might be like if someone cures death itself.
FOG!: Thanks for joining us guys!, We’re here to talk about After Death. I gotta say, this is really different and unexpected, two huge talents coming together. How did this come about?
Jeff Lemire: Scott and I have been friends and colleagues for quite a while, and mainly working on superhero stuff together for a bit (Animal Man/Swamp Thing). We’re developed quite a friendship and this started when Scott mentioned the initial idea of the story to me a couple of years ago.
At that time it was just going to be a straight forward, 20-page comic, a sci-fi, high-octane bombastic story, as a fun side project. We just wanted a chance to work together. We sat down and started to work on it, and the scope of the project started growing and changing and evolving. It became a much bigger project, what it is now.
Scott, this is your story, correct? Is Jeff writing too?
Scott Snyder: I’m writing it, but everything in it, I’ve run by Jeff. He has been an incredible help, sound-boarding stuff, brainstorming it, troubleshooting. He definitely deserves a credit toward the creation of the story as well. Having someone who is such a terrific writer, I feel like I have only a quarter of the work! He’s a terrific artist, he’s drawing it, and he helps me with the story.
If anyone got off easy, it was probably me! (Laughs)
Dean Haspiel’s latest original comics creation lands on the scrolling pages of the Line Webtoon (browser and app) and introduces a new superhero universe in New Brooklyn. The Red Hook takes elements of Silver and Golden Age heroes, borrows from modern art and takes cues from Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics.
By releasing content weekly, the webcomic is not like anything you may have seen before. The pages tell their story by scrolling continuously from top to bottom on your screen (tablet/phone/computer screen), stopping at the chapter markers.
The setting is New Brooklyn, a borough seceding from the rest of the world that is not unlike Batman’sNo Man’s Land storyline. The American flag has been replaced by a white flag, not of surrender but independence.
James Bond Vol. 1: VARGR
Written by Warren Ellis
Illustrated by Jason Masters
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
ISBN: 9781606909010 | Price $19.99
Release date: June 22, 2016
Those fans of 007 may not have gotten all they wanted from Daniel Craig’s most recent performance of the MI-6 agent in Spectre last year, but may very well be delighted at what Warren Ellis has been able to do in the comic series from Dynamite.
Ian Fleming Publications and the Fleming Estate commissioned Ellis to approach the character for comics stemming from a licensing deal with Dynamite. The first story art is collected here in one volume, VARGR. Currently on stands is Ellis’ second arc with artist Jason Masters. More writers and artists including Andy Diggle (Green Arrow) will be brought on later this year to fill out more of 007’s modern comic continuity.
The Sheriff of Babylon Vol. 1: Bang. Bang. Bang
Written by Tom King
Illustrated by Mitch Gerards
Cover by John Paul Leon
Published by Vertigo Comics
ISBN: 978-1401264666 | Price $14.99
Release date: July 13, 2016
Crime and war in post-9/11 Iraq is captured in Sheriff of Babylon written by Tom King (Batman, The Vision) and drawn by Mitch Gerads (The Activity, The Punisher).
King draws on his experience as a CIA officer to create a deeply personal rich reflection of the Baghdad of 2004 through the eyes of a former cop and current military contractor Christopher, his Muslim Iraqi girlfriend Sophia and former Iraqi police officer Nassir.
By being exposed to the environment, King has created, along with the carefully researched accuracy of Gerads’ artwork, a military crime fiction of the highest order—it just so happens to be in comic book form.