Wired has a neato little spotlight on writer/artist James Kochalka (American Elf) about his new videogame Glorkian Warrior, his role in the new animated/live action film Mars and more. Oh, and he also sings (see below). Read the interview here.
Fragrance manufacturer Diesel has put out a new men’s cologne, with their Only The Brave bottle now covered in red and gold. Fittingly so, as the fragrance is tying into May’s Iron Man 2. Fair enough, as all manner of products are getting in on the marketing ploy. The scent consists of, “top notes of lemon blossom, mandarin and coriander leaves,” and a bunch of other stuff. It’s been noted that an Iron Man fragrance consisting of mandarin is rather ironic, as Mandarin is one of his earliest foes. What’s more interesting, and rather surprising (and frustrating) is that the box’s artwork shows Iron Patriot, NOT Iron Man. What?! Usually Marvel licensing don’t drop the ball on stuff like this, but considering Tony Stark’s armoured alter ego is Marvel’s current golden boy and cinematic cash cow, this opportunity for further brand recognition is quite the missed opportunity.
For those not in the know, Iron Patriot is classic Spider-Man foe Norman Osborn (Green Goblin) who stole one of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suits, and had it rebranded with a Captain America colour scheme, when he formed his own Dark Avengers. In fact the interior pages on the box don’t even look like they’re from an Iron Man comic at all. Do the Diesel people not even know what he looks like?
The latest in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series of games is due out this year. Not much is known yet, but the live action teaser certainly shows that Future Soldier is an apt title. Game trailers are fast becoming better than what Hollywood can produce.
See what I mean?
Along with Chuck Dixon, Ron Marz is one of my favourite under-appreciated writers. I’ve interviewed Marz before, for Broken Frontier, and he’s always been a consistent and reliable writer with storytelling know-how that doesn’t need to revert to “adult” tactics to create an entertaining story. Most of his work recently has been with Top Cow, and now he has a new site (it launched last month.) Marz has been writing comic for years so has some good advice and anecdotes. Check out his ideas for an Hourman series for DC from a long time ago here, and discover how it relates to his new Velocity series.
Now here’s the perfect way to teach your kids the alphabet and pop culture at the same time. Courtesy of artist Neill Cameron you can view 26 renditions of awesomeness, such as, “F is for The Fantastic Four saving the Finnish ambassador from Fred Flintstone, who’s flinging flaming fajitas at his Ford Fiesta,” or the much simpler, “U is for Uhura and Ultraman on a unicorn underwater.” Hilarious, absurd and educational. See the whole alphabet here and check out Cameron’s site here.
Well, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven have done it yet again. After the duo showed their artistic chemistry with Civil War and Wolverine: Old Man Logan, they whip up another series to complete the Marvel triumvirate. The obvious comparisons would be the down and dirty baddies vs goodies of The Boys with the in your face antics of Kick-Ass (also written by Scot Millar and on Marvel’s creator owned Icon imprint). Fans of either of those series will lap this up. When it was originally announed in a shroud of mystery, Millar cheekily summed up the concept as, “What if someone with Batman’s resources had the moral fibre of the Joker?”
Of course, fanboys lapped that up like hotel bookings at Comic Con. This first issue reveals very little about the titular “world’s only super-criminal.” There’s no origin, or even a name. What we do know is that, “he targets a policeman, moves into town, selects a team from the local hoods,” and causes manic destruction with the precision and planning of a Die Hard villain. The latest target of the white clad man with too much evil and time in his hands is Blake Morrow, a middle aged Chief of Police who doesn’t tolerate profanity (which means he wouldn’t read this book) or crime in his beloved city of Washington. In fact he’s decreased it by a whopping 60%.
As this debut issue opens Nemesis is holding a bloodied Tokyo cop hostage and disregards his life in a manner that defines overkill. Let’s just say there’s an exploding hotel and a falling train involved. Nemesis then decides his next challenge is to be found in America, as he considers Morrow, “a worthy opponent.”
The rest of the issue is a wise set up. Nemesis and Morrow won’t actually meet until next issue I assume. Here the pale force of destruction lands on the wing of the President’s plane, Air Force One with a gun almost as big as him, just to prove the point that no-one’s beyond his cruel reach. With such wild antics, surely Nemesis isn’t Batman by way of Joker after all. Does he actually possess superpowers? I mean the term “superhero” and “supervillain” get applied to non-powered characters too. Hopefully that will be clarified next issue. It may not seem like a big deal, but if Nemesis does possess powers, he’d be the only one who does in this world. That would be an interesting approach; if Nemesis is just wreaking havoc on the world because he can and doesn’t have an also-powered superhero to do battle with. He treats humanity as a cat would treat an injured mouse, as a killer whale would approach a seal before devouring it.
Morrow is set up as an interesting foil, but the core of his being seems summed up in a few mere sentences – Catholic, popular, family man. Got it. However this intro comes after he blows apart 5 armed robbers (none of whom have hostages) in a grocery store. It takes 5 armed men to rob a food outlet? Did they think they were walking into Fort Knox? That rash action seems at odds with Morrow’s fatherly demeanour, but then again, maybe those strong arm tactics won him that 60% crime decrease. Again, if Morrow disposes with all bad guys with the same cold manner that Nemesis uses against everybody, that conflict could be interesting, but it’s something that has yet to reveal itself.
Nemesis doesn’t scream of originality. We’ve seen all this before in any Punisher series in the last 10 years, but Millar does have a track record that requires our trust in what he’s setting up here. Like Kick-Ass there is the feeling that something special is being created and we’re in on the ground floor, before Hollywood brings it to everyone’s attention, which may just happen if Millar’s wonderfully honest afterword is anything to go by.
Steve McNiven’s art isn’t as detailed as his Civil War and Wolverine: Old Man Logan work. He’s doing his own inking here so there’s less spectacle and more simplicity. The mass destruction just doesn’t have the same visual impact it should. Nemesis’ costume is perhaps comics’ most simple yet, with just a white body suit and mask. No room for holsters, even? Perhaps he really is super if he doesn’t need a utility belt, or even room for spare ammo. However, the contrast of blood on the plain white suit, plus the use of white instead of black to represent evil, I guess was enough of an impetus to create it.
Nemesis obviously knows Morrow (even if the reverse isn’t true) and via the we’ve-seen-it-before approach of terrorising the city through a TV broadcast calls his latest attack, “revenge for a stolen childhood,” and refers to himself as, “the black sheep of the Anderson family.” Those narrative hints and the promise of more Millar/McNiven magic is more than enough for now to keep me around on this new series.
I have an interview at Broken Frontier with writer Joe Harris about his career as a screenwriter of horror films, his stint at Marvel a few years ago and his new series, Ghost Projekt from Oni Press. Ghost Projekt debuted recently and is a great thrilling series. Steve Rolston’s art is equally creepy, and Dean Trippe’s colours just give a suitably eerie feel to the pages. Go and grab it now.
Oh yeah. This film, along with next month’s Kick Ass will again show the world the awesome diversity inherent in my beloved medium of comics. Directed by Brit Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and starring everyone’s favourite downtrodden gent Michael Cera as the titular hero who must defeat 7 evil ex-boyfriends to win the woman of his dreams, the long awaited trailer shows much promise. With slacker humour, video game design and all conquering charm it looks as good as I (and countless other fans of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s series from Oni Press) hoped. Behold the splendour and then wait for the film until August 13.
I used to love reading the X-Men titles in the early ’90s, as the team was so international. The different accents (Nightcrawler’s German, Colossus’ Russian, Rogues’ Southern,etc) were all handled superbly and it served to give the book a real global flavour. Image’s new Guardians of the Globe series looks to offer up more ethnicity, as the name suggests. Image sent sneaky teaser images last week, seemingly revealing who the new members of the super team would be, including Barack Obama and Harry Potter. Huh?! Of course, it was all a nice in-joke, referencing Marvel’s earlier teasers revealing their new Avengers team.
Now, the real Guardians are making their presence known. The latest one (after Outrun and Brit) is, a new character I believe, called Kaboomerang. With his”yeah mate,” quote and earthen colour scheme I assume he’s an Australian, and and Aboriginal. Now, as an Aussie myself I can say that yes, I say “mate,” and I have thrown a boomerang in my time, but really? The only other Australian character in mainstream comics I can think of is the (now deceased) member of Flash’s Rogues Gallery. Yep, Captain Boomerang, an overweight stereotype who threw boomerangs and wore a handkerchief around his neck.
Granted, Kaboomerang, by the ridiculously yet somehow cool name alone seems to be a tongue in cheek character created with a sense of humour. Thanks must also go to writer Robert Kirkman for putting an Aboriginal hero in a superhero team, as Gateway, the Aboriginal mutant who sometimes aided the X-Men hasn’t been seen in years.
To celebrate May 7′s Iron Man 2 Marvel are allowing Tony Stark to get all the attention on a few variant covers of their upcoming titles. Details below.
Marvel Unveils New IRON MAN BY DESIGN Variant Covers
Get a look at Iron Man like you’ve never seen him before! Marvel is proud to unveil even more of the stunning Iron Man By Design variant covers by some of the top artists of today!
Marvel urges retailers to check their orders on these hotly-anticipated variant covers, as Iron Man continues to garner mainstream media buzz! No Marvel fan can miss April’s Iron Man By Design variant covers!
DARK WOLVERINE #85 (FEB100573)
DARK WOLVERINE #85 IRON MAN BY DESIGN VARIANT (FEB100574)
Written by DANIEL WAY & MARJORIE LIU
Pencils & Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA
IRON MAN BY DESIGN VARIANT by SKOTTIE YOUNG
Parental Advisory …$2.99
X-MEN LEGACY #235 (FEB100561)
X-MEN LEGACY #235 IRON MAN BY DESIGN VARIANT (FEB100563)
Written by MIKE CAREY
Penciled by GREG LAND
Cover by ADI GRANOV
Variant Cover by DAVID FINCH
IRON MAN BY DESIGN VARIANT by DAVE JOHNSON
Rated A …$2.99
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #47 (FEB100575)
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #47 IRON MAN BY DESIGN VARIANT (FEB100576)
Written by DANIEL WAY
Penciled by WILL CONRAD
Cover by SIMONE BIANCHI
IRON MAN BY DESIGN VARIANT by HUMBERTO RAMOS
Parental Advisory …$2.99
The Melbourne based playwright/comics scribe (Star Wars: Invasion from Dark Horse, The Authority from DC/Wildstorm and Rombies from Gestalt) has more goodies coming out in the coming weeks. In the latest Previews catalogue the second issue of the new Invasion series is out, as is a Vader-related one-shot. Check out the info below. You might also want to listen to an interview with Taylor and his Rombies collaborator Skye Ogden as they discuss the genesis of the great concept, undead gazelles and political subtext.
STAR WARS: INVASION—RESCUES #2 (of 6)
Tom Taylor (W), Colin Wilson (A), Wes Dzioba (C), and Jo Chen (Cover)
On sale June 30
FC, 40 pages
New and vital knowledge sends Finn Galfridian with Jacen and Jaina Solo on a mission to the planet of Artorias. Though Finn does not know if his father, Caled, lives, if there is any chance, he must be warned of new dangers. It’s a hot and dangerous ride to Artorias, and the occupying Yuuzhan Vong are ready with a toothsome, ravaging welcome . . .
Meanwhile, Kaye and Nina, board their newly acquired Vong ship, embark on their own mission. It’s one they can’t refuse: rescuing captives held on a dead planet. There is no telling what peril will meet the rescue party . . .
STAR WARS ADVENTURES: THE WILL OF DARTH VADER
Tom Taylor (W), Brain Koschak (P), Dan Parsons (I), Michael Wiggam (C), and Sean McNally (Cover)
On sale Aug 11
FC, 80 pages
TPB, 5 1/4″ x 7 1/2″
Darth Vader is on a mission for the Emperor!
When the Rebellion’s hit-and-run attacks on Imperial cargo ships become too audacious to be ignored, Darth Vader is sent in to find the Rebel base and destroy it. But the base, hidden in the center of a constantly shifting asteroid field, cannot be attacked directly.
To reach his target, Vader will have to team up with a recently captured smuggler named Zika—and dealing with an unwilling, wisecracking partner may be more of a trial for the Dark Lord than the actual mission!
Inspired Mag has a post where you can watch 5 of this year’s Oscar nominated short films, including the excellent French experiment, Logorama, which must be seen. Really though, they’re all great looking films, including the latest Wallace & Gromit adventure, A Matter of Loaf and Death. Check them all out right here.
Well, the press release below says it all, but I don’t think anyone’s surprised to see Marvel doing something with this classic character. No news of new Marvelman adventures yet though.
Marvelman Returns In June!
Marvel is proud to announce the return of Marvelman to shelves everywhere with the release of Marvelman Classic Primer #1 in June! Who is the mysterious Marvelman? And just why is he one of the most enduring super heroes of all time? The answers arrives in this commemorative one-shot featuring interviews with creator Mick Anglo, superstar Neil Gaiman and more who contributed to this character’s history over the years! Plus, get all-new pin ups of key Marvelman characters by superstar artists Mike Perkins, Doug Braithwaite, Miguel Angel Sepulveda, Jae Lee, Khoi Pham and Ben Oliver! This landmark issue features two covers—one with the timeless art of Mick Anglo and another with the now-iconic rendition of Marvelman by Marvel Editor-In-Chief—and superstar artist—Joe Quesada!
Then, in July, thrill to the debut of Marvelman Family’s Finest #1, a new ongoing series reprinting Marvelman’s greatest adventures for the first time in the US ! Plus, no comics fan can miss Marvelman Classic Vol.1 Premiere HC, reprinting Marvelman’s earliest adventures in chronological order!
Now’s your chance to learn just why Marvelman is one of the most important characters in comic book history—it all begins in Marvelman Classic Primer #1, this June!
MARVELMAN CLASSIC PRIMER #1
Written by JOHN RHETT THOMAS
Cover by JOE QUESADA
Variant by MICK ANGLO
Rated A …$3.99
ON SALE IN JUNE!