Captain Salvation Debuts

As mentioned on Bleeding Cool, where the comments have not been kind, there’s now a new Christian superhero – Captain Salvation. Created by Joshua Carpenter with art by Greg Waller (who has worked as a colourist on such hardcore Avatar series like Crossed and Black Summer) you can find out more about the hero right here. Yes, the website needs work, as the Free Resources and Character Bios are dead links, and there’s no previews.

However their Facebook page is filled with stuff, including videos. Sure, jaded fanboys may roll their eyes at this sort of stuff, but I for one I’m glad there’s increasing Christian alternatives for parents who’d understandably be concerned at today’s mature superhero offerings.

On a related topic, the Encounter radio show on Australia’s ABC Radio 810 had a recent special on comics and religion, which aired on December 19. You can listen to it and download the transcript here. The show is described like this:

This week Encounter talks to the Kuwaiti creator of 99 comic book superheroes who are endowed with an attribute of Allah. We explore the way comics in India have become regarded by some Hindus as sacred texts; find out why Torah portions that are read each week in synagogues around the world, now have a humorous comic to accompany them; and talk to a Christian theologian who thinks Superman and Jesus have a lot in common.

You can discover more Christian comics here.

Death of Spider-Man Covers and Final Fantastic Four

So the Ultimate version of Spider-Man is being killed in February. Below are two covers for the x-over series.

Your First Look At McGuinness and McNiven’s DEATH OF SPIDER-MAN Covers!

Marvel is proud to debut the awe-inspiring covers to Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #153 & #154 from superstar artists, Ed McGuinness and Steve McNiven!

DEATH OF SPIDER-MAN launches in February, running through issues of both Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates and changing the way you see the Ultimate Universe…because there are no rules!

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #153 (DEC100542) [DoSM Prelude]

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #153 PICHELLI VARIANT (NOV108155)

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Pencils by SARA PICHELLI & DAVID LAFUENTE

Cover by ED MCGUINNESS

Variant Cover by SARA PICHELLI

Rated T+ …$3.99

FOC—1/10/11, On-Sale—2/2/11

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #154 (DEC100543) [DoSM Prelude]

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Pencils by SARA PICHELLI & DAVID LAFUENTE

Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN

Rated T+ …$3.99

ON-SALE IN FEBRUARY

FOC—1/31/11, On-Sale—2/23/11

ULTIMATE AVENGERS VS. NEW ULTIMATES #1 (of 6) (DEC100544)

ULTIMATE AVENGERS VS. NEW ULTIMATES #1 (of 6) HITCH VARIANT (DEC100544)

ULTIMATE AVENGERS VS. NEW ULTIMATES #1 (of 6) CHO VARIANT (DEC100544)

Written by MARK MILLAR

Pencils & Cover by LEINIL YU

Variant Covers by BRYAN HITCH & FRANK CHO

Rated T+ …$3.99

FOC—1/17/11, On-Sale—2/9/11

Fantastic Four is ending in February’s FF #588 apparently. Cover below.

Fantastic Four: Final Issue

FANTASTIC FOUR #587 (NOV100584)

FANTASTIC FOUR #587 SPOILER VARIANT (NOV100585)

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN

Penciled by STEVE EPTING

Cover by ALAN DAVIS

Spoiler Variant Cover by TBA (On Sale 2/2/11)

FOC – 1/3/11, On Sale – 1/26/11

FANTASTIC FOUR #588 (DEC100592)

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN

Penciled by NICK DRAGOTTA

Cover by ALAN DAVIS

Rated A …$3.99

FOC – 1/31/11, On Sale 2/23/11

As an added bonus, here’s a teaser image, also from Marvel, for a new X-Men story that’s set for a May debut. All we know is that it starts in Giant Size X-Men #1 and continues in X-Men #11.

New Young Justice Clip

The pilot aired in the States in November and the first season kicks off on Jan 21. Hopefully, they’ll show it here in Oz too. Here’s a new clip from the show centred on the teenaged superheroes from DC Comics. Yes, it does look awesome.

Talking With Gods in Melbourne

At the Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square in Melbourne you can see the new doco about comics writer Grant Morrison. It will be shown on Friday January 28 at 6:45 pm and tickets will be available soon.

The trailer is below and here’s the official site for Talking With Gods.

9/11 Heartbreaker Review

This short but emotional tale is definitely worth a look. To be honest, some may be put off by its somewhat crude renderings but writer/artist Craig Staufenberg does an admirable job of keeping the tale focused, which is not easy considering its dealing with memories rather than any strict narrative.

9/11 Heartbreaker is Staufenberg’s first book, and as a 28 page one-shot it holds up well. It follows an unnamed young woman and her reflections on the tragic events of September 11. There’s no dialogue as all the text is conveyed through captions. It may be hard to believe that Staufenberg took 2 years to create this as it’s not an intricately realised book, at least visually, but there is a sense that every word was chosen with great care and each page does have a certain resonance. Of course, 9/11 was such a universal day for the world, regardless of where you were and Staufenberg wisely shows no images from the day and avoids all the politics behind it all. What he does bring to the surface is the power of quiet reflection, but it’s not a depressing book to read.

The young woman at the centre of this tale meets Peter, a photographer at a karaoke bar who records students’ recollections of 9/11 for his site. Most of the plot here is driven by the woman’s inner thoughts, but also memories of others, including a student from Peter’s site and her friend Mary, who wonders why signs on the subway ask passengers to be alert for any suspicious activity, when the subways are so run down, that they shouldn’t even bother protecting them.

Inspired, the woman travels to various locations and takes photos of places and statues of historical significance. Like I said, it’s a somewhat quaint book, where not a lot necessarily happens. However, I couldn’t help but be charmed by it and the last few pages are surprisingly touching. I hope Staufenberg continues writing stories, as there’s some obvious talent on display and although some may be put off by the hand lettering and simple (though colour) art, I found it added to the project as a whole, making it seem real and relatable.

The Best of The Best of 2010

No, that title’s not a typo. As the year draws to a close and we all say things like, “Where has this year gone?!” in disbelief it’s also the time to vaguely recall what the last 12 months have delivered us. Comics sites are of course filled with the best of lists, and we’ll be doing one when we return to our podcast early next month. However, here’s a rundown of some lists which you may or may not agree with. However, most of them unsurprisingly agree on a few excellent standouts, such as Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, Batwoman and X’ed Out. Off the top of my head, the standouts for me this year were The Light, Action Comics, Brightest Day and Frankencastle and for the worst I’d have to say Superman: Earth One and Batman: Odyssey. Sorry DC!

CBR’s staff create a multi-part series on the best individual comics of the year. Part 1 is here.

You can also vote on the biggest comic event of the year including Al Simmon’s return to Spawn and the death of The Atom (Ryan Choi) and the biggest news story including the Gaiman/McFarlane lawsuit and DC’s restructuring, and the oddest story of the year. You can also check out the 12 best X-Men related happenings.

Newsarama have a bunch of similar voting options available plus their best of the year and what to watch in 2011. There’s also nifty entries on the characters, creators and series to keep an eye on next year.

MTV’s Splashpage have their Top 10 interviews including Tom Welling, Jon Favreau and Mark Millar.

MTV Geek let some creators pick their Top 3 and also have their best webcomics of 2010.

Amazon have their best selling comics and OGNs including the much maligned Twilight: The Graphic Novel.

Comic Attack have a look at the best manga and a look at some great toys and figures coming at us next year.

Publisher’s Weekly’s list of best comics is under their best books list.

Lastly, here’s IGN’s list, broken down into categories such as best anthology, best art team and best collectible.

Phew, that’s a lot of links. If you’ve been in and out of comics for this year, or more, though these lists will certainly help you catch up on the series, characters and creators to prepare you for 2011.

Scott Pilgrim Gallery

I really need to get the Scott Pilgrim DVD. It looks like it’s filled to the top with some sure to be amazing extras. Anyway, here’s a great selection of Scott Pilgrim art inspired by the film and the Bryan Lee O’Malley comic from Oni Press which inspired it. Some of my faves are below.