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!
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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.
The original G.I. Joe, Joe Coulton, takes his fight to Transformers home world of Cybertron, tying together the Hasbro Comic Universe event of 2017, First Strike!
Today we spoke with writer Mairghread Scott and editor David Hedgecock to talk about Hasbro post-Revolution and how Micronauts, M.A.S.K. and ROM fit into this epic story.
Earth formally joins the Cybertronian Council of Worlds but there can’t be universal peace with Dire Wraiths and Cobra out there for the Joes and Transformers to take on!
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FOG!: For those not caught up in the Hasbro shared universe, where is a good place to start to get caught up on Revolution that can carry you to the events of First Strike?
Mairghread Scott: Well let’s start with what First Strike is. Cybertron and Earth are having their first joint diplomatic event. Explosions, fighting, no one knows what’s going on and before anyone on Earth can figure it out the feed cuts out. All we know is that it looks like Cobra is laying waste to Cybertron and there’s seemingly no way to get there.
But a little thing like interstellar travel isn’t gonna stop Scarlett and her team of G.I. Joes, who gather all the help they can to make it to Cybertron and try to save day. Unfortunately, the Cybertronians they’re trying to defend are often as much of a threat to them as the people they’re fighting.
We’ve got Optimus vs. Destro. Storm Shadow and her ninjas cutting down Decepticons. This is the story where you get to see the world’s most elite soldiers riding and dying with the universe’s most powerful warriors.
So what do you need to read get onboard?
G.I. Joe are the good guys, Cobra are the bad guys and the Transformers are everything in between (literally). But of course, if you want to go back and read our previous issues, they’re totally worth it and available on Comixology now.
The League has a great interview up today with Tom Scioli, writer/artist on Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #5 things are really heating up on Cybertron! … Spoiler Warning - we suggest Machete Order if you MUST include the prequels in your Star Wars viewing experience. Today, heavy breathing Daddy Darth Vader gets a new comic set right after the events in IV (A New Hope). … Lots of bad guys this week as Gail Simone’s Secret Six #2 returns to get to the bottom of Catman’s secret!… Picks this week from LeaguePodcast.com!
Don’t forget Scott McCloud at the Brattle on Thursday celebrating the release of The Sculptor and his return to comics. Read our interview with Scott on DigBoston.com. From the mind of comics master Richard Corben (Heavy Metal) comes Rat God #1. …Yo Joe! The Autobots face both The Decepticons and Cobra in this all-out psychedelic Kirby-esque space battle in Transformers vs. G.I.Joe #5. Hear an awesome interview at LeaguePodcast.com with Tom Scioli! … Picks this week from League Podcast!
Back in July, IDW Publishing and online comic book college Comics Experience penned a deal to publish creator owned books.
The first of these is Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit by Rob Anderson.
Rob joins us today to talk about the hybrid critters in the book and the cops that wrangle with them!
FOG!: Rob, thanks for joining us! Tell us about Comics Experience & IDW’s publishing collaboration, Creature Cops! Are you the first book?
Rob Anderson: Creature Cops is, indeed, the first book coming out of the recently announced publishing alliance between IDW and Comics Experience. I’m pretty excited to be first out of the gate.
Creature Cops: Special Varmint Unit is about animal control officers in a near-future world similar to our own, where gene-spliced animals are commonplace.
It’s an ensemble-style police drama, where the animal cops just happen to be dealing with panda dogs, gator-snakes…and griffins!
Comics Experience is an educational company and runs an online community for comic book creators called the Creators Workshop.
I developed Creature Cops in CE courses and the Workshop, and all the creator-owned books IDW/CE will be published are coming out of that “talent incubator” (as CE founder Andy Schmidt likes to call it).
[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]
You’ll see all the news this week about NYCC beating out SDCC this week in attendance, so it’s notable that I got my ass to the Con on a Yo! Bus for four days of bumping into fans, dizzying cosplay and one heck of a good time. For an early evening panel after spending my whole day traveling, the seats at the Javits Center welcomed us for one of my favorite publishers.
We took a look at the popular licensed properties held by IDW from the IDW & Hasbro: Transformers, Ponies & More panel at New York Comic Con, Day 1 - Thursday, October 9 2014 at 6:15pm.
My only question is, why did my favorite book for life - G.I. Joe get relegated to peeling potato duty. I mean, “ & More”?
That’s a bit insulting to our nation’s Special Mission Force!
But Senior Editor John Barber and Mike Costa made up for it — by announcing Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra, the next installment in the Cobra Files seasons.
Plus, some more “Truly Outrageous” announcements, nearly missed by the regular Friday through Sunday Con visitors!
Learn how we can increase your sales, develop your brand, and generate interest in your site.
Last week saw the debut of JC De La Torre and Ray Dillon’s Star Mage from IDW. We caught up with JC for a MIGHTY Q&A about his influences, the Kickstarter process and merging a classic war-in-space tale with magic to give us an identifiable teenage hero!
Clay N. Ferno: Thanks for joining us, JC! Care to tell us how you got from Kickstarter to IDW with Star Mage? It seems like the response so far is spectacular!
JC De La Torre: Thanks so much for having me. It was such an interesting process to get to where we are now. The story of Star Mage actually started out as a novella that I was dissatisfied with. It just didn’t feel like it was coming together as I hoped. I happened to be reading an IDW Doctor Who comic and that dim light bulb of mine had a momentary flicker and I realized that Darien’s story belonged in a visual medium — what better place than with comics?
I started doing research and whatnot. I knew I wanted high quality artwork and I can barely manage stick figures — so I needed to hire an artist. I went through several potentials before realizing that if I truly want the best art, I needed to pay for a pro. I found Ray Dillon and he was exactly what I was looking for. I paid for the first issue out of my own pocket but to continue the series we were going to need some help, so we turned to Kickstarter. If our Kickstarter failed, Star Mage would have been DOA. It was thanks to those supporters, my defenders of the realm as I like to call them, we kept the lights on and allowed us to continue to develop the series.
IDW knew of the project thanks to Ray, who had previously done work with them and got some of the artwork of Issue #1 in front of Chris Ryall of IDW. There were a ton of starts and stops in the first year and a half developing Issue #1. There were days where it truly seemed like we’d never finish — but IDW stood by us through and through. When we finished Issue #1 and realized due to his demanding schedule Ray wouldn’t be able to finish the series, they trusted me to find another artist of the same caliber. Franco Cespedes took over and once we got our first three issues in the can, the IDW machine began churning.
Response to Issue #1 has been overwhelming. We’re very close to a sell-out of our initial run and we just had a signing at Heroes’ Haven Comics in Tampa where the line was out the door, the store sold out of their copies and we actually had to dip into our convention stock to be able to support the masses. The reviews have been mostly positive so it appears to really be well liked.
It’s very exciting.
[READ MORE at 13th DIMENSION.COM]
80s Transformers writer Simon Furman puts the Autobots and Decepticons to bed one last time with the last issue of Transformers: Regeneration One #100. The resurrected Marvel series comes to an epic conclusion at IDW, 20 years later! Issue #100 of what was supposed to be a Four-Issue Limited series all those years ago! … David Lapham’s acclaimed crime story Stray Bullets: Killers #1 continues at Image for standalone stories in a complex and compelling world. … Fire Bad! Monsters and Madman# #1 Good! Pitting Frankestein’s Monster and Jack the Ripper puts Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) back into the drivers seat of our nightmares. … Picks this week from LeaguePodcast.com.
After a visit to the town called Christmas in the Time of the Doctor, Who fans are sure to miss Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.
Just the day before, on Tuesday, December 45th, IDW Publishing marked its regeneration cycle by releasing a 53 page year end special in tribute not only to Matt but to the publisher’s claim to the Time Lord.
Since 2008, IDW was the first US publisher to have the comic rights through the BBC to new stories with the tenth and eleventh doctors, and this book is a sign off for them. Written by longtime Doctor Who television and comics writer Paul Cornell and drawn by Jimmy Braxton (Cornell’s partner on Batman: Knight and Squire).
Rarely does a single issue deem itself worthy of a run on the Cosmic Treadmill, but as the New Year, a new Doctor, and the next 50 years of Doctor Who are all converging on a timey wimey convergence, this one is definitely worth picking up.
[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]
I like myself some Superman, heck, I even like Lex in a way.
When it comes to new superhero comics, I have a go-to theme that I like too, and that’s of the Superman gone bad vs. the world and the super villain gone good to stop him.
While that’s not exactly the case here, as seen in The Mighty or Irredeemable, but Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver’s Edison Rex (Monkeybrain comics) transforms the world’s most formidable super bad guy into the man who will save the world. It won’t be easy for him, and it also won’t be easy for him to shake his bad public perception as he puts on the hero hat. IDW Publishing has released the first volume of the digital first Monkeybrain comic, a great independent comics gift idea this season.
When Valiant, Protector of Earth, is exposed to knowledge of why he is really here (aliens from a doomed planet sent his RNA here to conquer our race) by criminal genius Edison Rex, he chooses to kill himself instead of wait to be activated by his doomed planet’s signal. Fans of recent issues of Superior Spider-Man will catch this trope immediately, as Edison Rex makes an equally hard decision. No longer having to use his inveterate hate for Valiant, he decides to take up the mantle of superhero! Of course his loyal female sidekick M’Laizz has her eyes set on world domination still, and needs some convincing. Much like Strax the Sontaran from Doctor Who, M’Laizz does go along with the plan, no matter how helpful to the puny human race!
This comic is like rolling around naked in a million dollar bills on your bed, or a million comics (though you could probably guess my preference as to the best paper to roll on!). Roberson has tapped into and referenced so many comic stories from the Silver Age to now, and not just Superman, but Thor, Howard the Duck, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Bizarro Superman, Invincible, Fantastic Four, Fortress of Solitude, Cerebro, Superman robots, throw a little Grodd and The Venture Bros. and you have got just the first volume! Rao only knows what’s in store next! (Actually, the next six issues are available on ComiXology, Issue #12 drops on Wed. Dec. 4!)
[READ MORE AT FORCES OF GEEK]
Aw, Yeah New 52! Our favorite all ages comic artist/writer team and famous cartoonists Art Baltazar and Franco put down the pen and pick up the typewriter for Green Team Teen Trillionaires #1 this week. Let the 1% finance your next important project! They’ve got more money than Scrooge McDuck! Art by Ig Guara … What’s going on with the glitchy tech in Mega City One? Judge Dredd investigates while being targeted for being killed by a fellow Judge. Judge Dredd #7 from Duane Swierczynski is THE LAW this week! … A new take on Little Red Riding hood takes the form of Akaneiro #1 from Dark Horse, based on American McGee’s new Spicy Horse video Game and Japanese folklore. … Picks LeaguePodcast.com.
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Can we bring some hope, some superheroes to the Back Bay this weekend, please? Obviously the true heroes, the first responders, runners, Back Bay workers, reporters and real actual people are more important to have in your thoughts this weekend. We’re fighting back the tears as we write to tell you to make it to Boston Comic Con this weekend to celebrate togetherness, hope and fictional heroes that give so many hope in even the darkest days. If you think it is a silly endeavor, that’s fine too. In fact, most adults enthusiastic about the convention’s announcement on Tuesday recognize the convention as a place to cosplay and embrace a passionate hobby, and to take a well deserved break from watching the news. As for the kids, please let them enjoy this day dressed up like The Flash or Wonder Woman and think that heroes are real. Because they are. I met a few on Monday.
You know the day started pretty regular for me on Monday, and enjoying the holiday meant some quiet time in the office. My boss’s young nephew was playing Marvel Super Hero Squad and we talked Spider-Man of course. Before leaving with his aunt, to catch the rest of the race and experience the Boston Marathon for the first time, I slid him last year’s Free Comic Book Day Ultimate Spidey and Avengers comic to say goodbye. Luckily, they turned around before making it downtown and headed home. I stayed working until all of our days were destroyed by the bombings.
I won’t apologize for expressing my feelings on the day here, this particular Earth Prime Time is a coping mechanism.
The rest of the day was phone calls, cancellations, making sure staff was safe and watching twitter and Facebook feeds, along with WCVB’s coverage on television.
I rightly was dealing with the present, and remembering walking down a barren Boylston St. on 9/11 on my way home to Mission Hill from Milk St. Close friends were dropping into the Middle Eastwith stories and encounters with the blasts. After being reassured that Cambridge Police would check in on the club, I went home to restlessly attempt to sleep.
Tuesday, the same news feed from Facebook greeted me immediately. Boston Comic Con group declared,
“Boston Comic Con is happy to announce that the convention will go on this weekend as scheduled!”
Damn hell frakkin’ right, it will. Right there. Where it all went down. And you know what else is happening? Our party at McGreevy’s on Saturday night. What more protection could the League and pals need than the Dropkick Murphys associated sports bar just 1,200 steps from Fenway Park.
As the President said, “If you want to know who we are, who America is, how we respond to evil—that’s it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid.”
Admittedly, both statements got me worked up and woken up and ready to do this thing. Critiques of false patriotism, faux hometown pride mixed with partisan and religious opinions of the bombings and how they affected our city are all swept away like tiny Roman numerals from a Risk board for me to sort out when this weekend is over. I’ve got strong counters to most of what I’ve been hearing people soapbox about for the past few days but I am going to concentrate on actively participating in a highlight of my year each year, the Boston Comic Con.
[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]
THE ANSWER! #2 (OF 4)
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Mike Norton
Colorist: Mark Englert
Publication Date: February 27, 2013
Publisher: Dark Horse
UPC: 7 61568 22480 1 00211
My favorite punk band, Swingin’ Utters released a new song this week, “The Librarians are Hiding Something”.
We know it’s true, right. I mean why do we have to be quiet all the time? Are we going to wake Cthulhu in there?
Devin McKenzie has a secret in her library. She loves to stay up late playing computer quiz puzzle games. What Devin didn’t know was that those games were an aptitude test for a suspicious secret organization called the Brain Trust.
Our costumed hero, The Answer, is decked in all black with utility belt and merely an exclamation point on his mask.
At the end of issue #1, The Answer has rescued Devin, for now because all of her gaming has flipped an alarm and send bad guys after her. The Answer makes with the punching and rescuing as issue #2 opens up in a bus station in Cincinnati, a few cities away from her native Chicago.
The Brain Trust wins this round it seems because Devin is easily seduced into the cult of literati, and The Answer is drugged and locked down by Brain Trust for observation.
Lots to enjoy here with this book and if only four issues will make a fun trade for those that like their superheroes quippy like Deadpool and Spidey. Right now we know more of Devin, and she is smart so likely she can think her way out of any impending threat or trap. No origin or backstory provided for The Answer himself but the dialog and jokes about spandex are hilarious.
You honestly can’t go wrong with the creative team. On art is Mike Norton (Battlepug, It Girl andThe Atomics) and on the script is Marvel NOW! writer Dennis Hopeless (Avengers Academy, Cableand X-Force). This is super fun comics and we can appreciate Devin for the strong and smart female lead that she is.
DOCTOR WHO: PRISONERS OF TIME #2 (OF 12)
Writer: Scott and David Tipton
Artist: Lee Sullivan
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Publication Date: February 27, 2013
The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who is here, and IDW celebrates with a limited series starring each Doctor inDoctor Who Prisoner of Time, Issue #2 out this week.
This book is a treat for Who fans, and offers a great introduction to the other Doctors.
Most of us perhaps grew up with Tom Baker episodes and reinvigorated our fandom with the 2005 series. This issue stars the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, and two companions Zoe and Jamie.
The trio Vworps into an intergalactic shopping mall, where one store sells various and sundry Police Boxes. Theirs being the only TARDIS, the ship is disguised among the merchandise as they explore the bazaar.
Suspecting illegal slave trade, by a species called Voraxx, the Doctor cruelly sets up Jamie as bait and the companion is captured. Zoe and The Doctor peruse bikes in the shoppe, (one bike being a replica of the iconic penny farthing trike from The Prisoner, a cult BBC spy show on television the same time as the second Doctor’s series).
The Voraxx beam away as Zoe and The Doctor follow them onto their Prisoner Slave ship. They spring Jamie and discover a pair of classic Who monsters - The Ice Warriors! (http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Ice_Warrior)
Lots of classic BBC action and a right tribute to the classic Doctors from brothers Scott and David Tipton (IDW Star Trek, Star Trek/Doctor Who: Assimilation).
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Artist: Carlos Magno
Cover: Whilce Portacio
Publication Date: February 27, 2013
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Looks like a new sub-genre of versus battle comics has arrived. Also shipped to stores this week was the more high profile Marvel NOW! Avengers Arena #5.
Both books are based on the Hunger Games/Battle Royalepremise of pitting contestants and in both comic book cases, superheroes,against each other to the death in order to survive.
Paul Jenkins and Carlos Magno have set up their own comic book universe wherein there are a variety of heroes and anti-heroes who may have been fighting for years.
While the Avengers book is using Marvel properties, Jenkins created 32 new characters with dossiers and faux ‘first appearance’ info featured at the back of each issue.
Vol. 1 of the trade paperback has been solicited from Boom! for April 17 at a bargain $9.99.
Onto the battle for this issue! Hater has preternatural sense of his surrounding and also PTSD from military service. He would be a match to The Punisher mixed with some of Daredevil and Wolverine’s powers. Hater has been pitted by the unseen puppet masters against The Mutate. The Mutate is a beastly human with a catlike face. The Mutate is dedicated to worldwide peace, though proves here that he can follow his killer instincts when attacked.
A fun part of the book is the tournament bracket pages on the back right before four of the character dossiers. Each issue you can make your own bets as to where the tournament is headed.
Also in this issue are reveals of who or what is holding our new favorite heroes in the DEATHMATCH arena. Will the fedora-sporting Rat (think Watchmen’s Rorschach … ‘HURM’) break the code of ‘The Game’?
Keep on this one in issues, folks. The trade will be fun but the cliffhangers will kill ya.
[READ MORE at FORCES OF GEEK]
Comic books are moving toward the television model in a number of ways. Season numbering has taken over and we are proud to put the footwear references aside to give you an exclusive interview with writer Fred Van Lente as he puts on his battle helmet for Season 3 of G.I. Joe from IDW Publishing, on shelves today.
DIGBOSTON: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today about your new number one G.I. Joe issue from IDW.
FRED VAN LENTE: Thanks for having me.
Last summer we saw the Summer of Valiant and your take on Archer and Armstrong. Tell me, what are the first things you think about when relaunching popular characters. Is it like when you get to jump on an arc of Spider-Man, or is there more pressure on you?
Spider-Man was a fairly unique situation, just because I was writing with six other people. When flying solo, I guess I try to get to the essence of the property, which is pretty easy with G.I. Joe — it’s an archetypal “war” story, with an eternal battle between two opposing forces, one representing democracy, the other tyranny.
G.I. Joe fans are a particular breed. For example, I saw more toy fans than comic fans when Larry Hama was in Boston for a signing last year.
I’m signing with Larry for the book’s release date in February—I can’t wait!
Are you getting “YO JOE!” a lot when you walk down the street these days? Are people asking you to sign their H.I.S.S. tanks? I can almost guarantee someone is working on a Fred Van Lente custom figure for the next JoeCon.
Not on the street, but definitely on Twitter.
It’s a really great fan community I’m thrilled to be a part of.
So in recent years we’ve had such great writers on G.I. JOE the likes of Chuck Dixon,Mike Costa, Christos Gage and of course the Admiral Larry Hama. Will your Joeverse acknowledge the IDW G.I.Joe vs. Cobra run, wherein a coup for the Cobra Command was at the forefront and a Cobra Commander was killed?
I don’t think so… To be honest, there’s been so many books and I’ve been trying to read as many as I can, but I’ve only been on the job since July, so it’s been a bit of a challenge… Our run is a continuation of Dixon’s G.I. Joe run, but we also reference G.I. Joe Origins heavily.
[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON.COM]
KISS returns to comics and superstar artist Jamal Igle (The Ray, Superman) assures us that every page is lookin’ good. Jamal and IDW Publishing’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall return to the comic book Dynasty for a brand new number one issue with a story called ‘Dressed to Kill’.
Jamal was a guest on LeaguePodcast this past December and had a table at this year’s Boston Comic Con to promote his New 52 limited series, The Ray. He promised the League some big news when we ran into him, but had to keep the jewels to himself … until now.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, Jamal. We know you are a very busy man. You’ve got another awesome book coming out this week starring hard rock band KISS!
You know the League members are huge fans of your work. We talked not too long ago about your reboot of The Ray with Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. The KISS book is written by the big guy, Chris Ryall [Publisher/Editor-in-Chief] at IDW.
How many times have people said, “You wanted the best, you got the best” to you since the book was announced?
Not as much as you’d think. It’s been interesting, because a lot of the announcements about what we were doing were coming from the KISS website, so every so often I’d get friend requests from KISS fans. So now people send me links to old concert footage or photos they’ve taken of and with the boys.
[READ MORE at DIGBOSTON]
The 2013 Star Trek sequel has wrapped filming but there is more to see in the JJ Abrams Trek timeline while we boldly wait for a release date.
The Boston Sci-Fi/Fantasy Meetup group had a hand in selling out Coolidge Corner Theatre on Monday to wrap up Season 7 of the theatre’s Science on Screen series with Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Before the screening of the scratchy print, NOAA‘s Dr. David Wiley educated the audience on his research on humpback whales in Stellwagen Bank and how the magnificent creatures use their flukes to create giant splashes to trap dinner.
We trapped our own meal—fruit roll-ups from the concession stand and Cokes. Just like when we first saw the film in 1986.
[READ MORE AT DIGBOSTON.COM]
We’re doing an artist and fanboy edition for you starving comic fans out there this week! First up is Dursin’s favorite artist Terry Moore with another instructional book, How to Draw - Beautiful. Step by step instructions to go from drawing stick figures to Toulouse-Lautrec dancing girls in weeks! … If you can draw a box, you are halfway to drawing a robot in disguise! That’s right, friends, IDW publishes a definitive guide to drawing Transformers in How To Draw Transformers - Prime. We wish we had this book as a kid! … Wrapping up this segment showcases one of the most dynamic artists in the business Humberto Ramos (Amazing Spider-Man). Humberto and Sam Humphries drop Fanboys vs. Zombies #1 for just a buck! Save your money for art supplies! … Supportive words and pictures this week from LeaguePodcast.com!
Jonah Hex teams up with Amadeus Arkham to fight a giant bat to the death in All-Star Western #6! … Great movie ideas are being developed in comics every month, and we can only hope that a book called Nazi Zombies has been snatched up by a major studio. … Avast, readers, you get what you pay for, and you didn’t pay for this solicitation of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero Annual #1! … Will the LeaguePodcast weekly comic picks continue to ram boyhood soldier fantasies down your throat? The answer is yes!
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