The Tattered Man Review

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are accomplished, and underrated writers. They’ve proven their skill over the years on titles such as Jonah Hex and Radical’s Time Bomb. Here, however the result is underwhelming, at least for readers who know who Ragman is. The classic DC Comics character has seen a slight resurgence recently, and that’s the problem with this one-shot. The two characters share so much in common; WWII origin, created as a Jewish form of protection and as a vehicle of justice, and a body made up of material patches and swirling tendrils that drives its host to kill bad people.

If you don’t know who Ragman is though, you’ll enjoy this a lot more. Really, it needs another 20 pages at least. There’s no real depth in the characters here, but as a 40 page, visually powerful hard cover for only $5, it’s worth a look.

It begins with 3 druggies looking to score some cash for their next hit. It’s Halloween, so they look even freakier. The trio bust in to an elderly man’s place, but he has nothing of value, until Danikka notices a box, and despite the man’s explanation of the terror inside (in what is the most gruesomely effective sequence in these pages) she opens it. There’s a brief fight between David (the guy in the cool skeleton costume, just like the villain in the original Karate Kid!) and Zeke, who shoots the old man, his visiting daughter and David.

Then David becomes possessed by The Tattered Man in his dying moments, kills Zeke, and a few more thugs, and tells Danikka to clean up her act and look after the surviving granddaughter. It all moves fairly quickly and there’s a sense that this is being set up for more tales down the road, despite The End stamped on the final page. There’s a few bonus pages featuring words from the writing duo and some sketches from artist Norberto Fernandez, but it still feels a tad lightweight.

The real selling point is Fernandez’s work. He’s not a particularly known name yet, but this a great showcase for his abilities. Beyond the Nazi flashbacks and profanity and dark streets, the art here truly sells the nastiness of the story. Fans of The Darkness should lap this up. Palmiotti’s and Gray’s next book in a similar format is the Western-with-a-difference Trail Blazer, which looks more promising.

1990’s Captain America Film

It’s actually not as bad as I thought. Starring Matt (son of famed author J.D) Salinger and based on the star spangled Marvel comics hero, things kick off immediately, with the Nazis taking a young boy from his family, and subjecting him to some kind of experiment involving electricity and an eye mask. Weirdly, all the dialogue is in Italian, without subtitles. From there, things move briskly, but here’s a few highlights.

We see Steve Rogers, with a limp at home, with his family, one of whom looks suspiciously like Howard Stark from Iron Man. Steve signs up for Project Rebirth and after some close ups of his expanding calf muscle and bolts of electricity, he emerges , looking just the same, but without  a limp. During this transformation, we see our first fanboy cameo in army man Bill Mumy (Lost in Space, Babylon 5).

The Nazi Red Skull is not a Nazi. He’s an Italian, and has the bad accent to prove it. We later learn that he’s also responsible for the deaths of JFK and Martin Luther King Jr and is the head of a worldwide crime cartel.

Cap jumps in a plane and we see the usual army attire over his Cap costume, making him look pretty cool, and kinda like the version seen years later in The Ultimates comics.

After a brief battle between Red Skull and his “American brother” Captain America, the former is tied to a missile and lands in the Arctic. Cue lots of spinning newspapers as the decades pass and a frozen Cap is revived, and quickly runs off. Real heroes don’t get pins and needles!

And he keeps on running, even from Ned Beatty who knows who he is. Fanboy cameo no.2 – Beatty was in Superman: The Movie and Superman II. He avoids some biker thugs, led by the Skull’s daughter, looks astonished at a bikini clad babe on the beach and finds the house of his WWII sweetheart Bernice and her daughter Sharon both played by the same actress, with a blonde wig and old age prosthetics as required. Just like Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future II!

The Red Skull, now without the red, has had plastic surgery and looks like Punisher villain Jigsaw. He also kidnaps the American President, played by (fanboy cameo no. 3) Ronny Cox, who was bad guy Dick Jones in Robocop.

Steve and Sharon travel to Italy to discover the Skull’s true identity. He never wears the Cap uniform during these scenes, but does wear loafers, uses a bicycle as a getaway vehicle and drives a Mini.

Steve pust on his battered Cap costume again, says, “Gee whiz,” does a few flips and saves the day. The actual rubber suit isn’t too bad, and was perhaps the first to feature fake abs. There’s some shield slinging, a punching President and victory for freedom.

Skull has a few good lines, such as, “Let us see if your heart is bigger then my hate,” and “We are both tragedies. Now I’ll send our tortured souls to rest.” They don’t save him from becoming a dummy and falling off a cliff though. It ends with an unnecessary voiceover about the President and a comic picture of Cap behind the credits.

If you’re a jaded fanboy, you can start watching the film here before you see July’s Chris Evans starrer. At least that doesn’t have rubber ears on the costume.

Susan Storm: Superhero Sandwich Maker

In this week’s issue of FF (that’s Future Foundation, spinning out of Fantastic Four) Invisible Woman displays perhaps the most practical use of superpowers ever seen – making sandwiches. I’m not sure if that’s somewhat awesome, or just plain lazy.

Written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Barry Kitson (a nice surprise to see his clean lines in a superhero comic again), I’m also not sure if this should be a slap in the face for the representation of superheroines. I guess not, as it’s probably just supposed to demonstrate how adept and relaxed she is with her telekinetic/forcefield creating abilities.

I wonder if she also applies a similar approach to cutting her nails and washing the dishes though.

Extra Sequential Podcast #42-Terry Pratchett

54 mins. We focus on the sparse comic adaptations of the popular Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. We also discuss whether we should be offended by the possible embarrassment of Geek Day. Also, Mladen’s legs, Kris’ musical tastes and Spider-Man on American Idol.


NEWS 1:42

Ninja Turtles relaunches at IDW

Smallville’s finale and the joyous response it has yielded

The award winning Changing Ways OGN from Justin Randall and Gestalt

The Penguin in the Arkham City videogame


The goofy horror of DC’s Batman: Gotham After Midnight
IDW’s Rocketeer Adventures new anthology series
Vertigo’s brand new debut sci-fi anthology Strange Adventures #1
The Doctor’s Wife episode of Dr. Who, as penned by comics writer and novelist Neil Gaiman (he’s on the left in the photo below)
Kirby Genesis #0 from Dynamite, using Jack Kirby’s undeveloped character concepts
Alan Moore’s sex-obsessed exploration of the Cthulhu mythos in Neonomicon
In honour of Terry Pratchett Day we check out the rare comic adaptations of some of the many Discworld novels.

Daredevil #1 Preview

After the recent Daredevil Reborn mini-series, and Black Panther taking over the Man Without Fear title, the original Daredevil, Matt Murdock returns in a July relaunch. Preview of the first four, and unfinished fifth, page below.

Your First Look At DAREDEVIL #1!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Daredevil #1, from the creative dream team of Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin! Daredevil’s exciting new journey begins as he retakes the alleys and rooftops of New York City with monumental life changes, new enemies, new friends and a new role in the Marvel Universe! Billy club in hand, Matt Murdock must tackle his greatest challenges yet, but will he be welcomed back to New York with open arms? Who will stand in his way and can Daredevil be trusted?  Find out as Daredevil soars to new heights in the double-sized Daredevil#1, this July!

DAREDEVIL #1 (MAY110660)





Written by MARK WAID



Variant cover by JOHN ROMITA SR.

Variant Cover by MARCOS MARTIN

Variant Cover by NEAL ADAMS

Blank Cover also available

Rated T+…$3.99

FOC – 6/27/11, ON SALE – 7/7/11

Boba Beats Predator

According to a poll on Dark Horse’s site, Boba Fett would beat a Predator, or so 66% of voters believe. I find the outcome of this battle to be dubious.

Green Arrow #12 Preview

Below is a preview of this week’s issue of Green Arrow.

The monumental conclusion to BRIGHTEST DAY occurred in the Star City’s forest. With the re-emergence of Swamp Thing, the forest’s role was no longer clouded with mystery. But what does that reveal mean for Oliver Queen, Galahad, Etrigan the Demon, and the others who had been protecting it?

 hits stores today and is written by J.T. Krul and features art by Diogenes Neves, Vicente Cifuentes and Oclair Albert, a cover by David Aja, and a variant cover by Joe Prado and Rod Reis.

Ultimate Comics X #5 Preview

Art Adams just doesn’t do enough interior art these days and although I’m not a huge fan of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, I have been picking up this series, mainly for Adam’s art, although Jeph Loeb’s story ain’t too shabby either.

Your First Look At Jeph Loeb and Arthur Adams’ ULTIMATE COMICS X #5!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Ultimate Comics X #5, from comics superstars Jeph Loeb and Arthur Adams, featuring the return of Ultimate HULK! A vicious attack on Wolverine’s son from a vengeance-fueled Sabretooth sends our heroes straight to the Hulk for help!  Find out as the series that Aint It Cool News calls “pretty damn awesome,” barrages towards its smashing conclusion, setting up enormous changes heading into Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn, only in Ultimate Comics X #5!

Written by JEPH LOEB
Pencils & Cover by ARTHUR ADAMS
Rated T+ …$3.99

FOC – 6/6/11 ON-SALE – 6/29/11

Image Opens The Vault

Press release, and pretty cool cover, below about a new mini-series from Image Comics by the creative team of Caliber from Radical Publishing.


Image Comics Reunites Sarkar and Gastonny In New Series

Image Comics is pleased to announce that writer Sam Sarkar and artist Garrie Gastonny (Warren Ellis’ Supergod), the team behind Caliber: First Canon of Justice, have reunited to unlock the horror and action within their new miniseries THE VAULT.

THE VAULT is about a small team of treasure hunters, struggling to excavate a dangerous and legendary treasure pit before a massive storm hits Sable Island, the “Graveyard of the North Atlantic.” Equipped with all the latest technology, the scientists believe they are prepared against all of nature’s fury, but nothing can prepare them for what they are about to unleash.

“THE VAULT is kind of a contemporary Pandora’s Box story,” explained creator and writer, Sam Sarkar. “Though it appears on the surface to be a pretty straightforward story, it has most of its mythology buried deeply. It gets uncovered both literally and figuratively as the pit gets excavated.”

When asked how THE VAULT found its home at Image, Sarkar replied: “Well, I’m incredibly fortunate that most of the lasting gifts of Caliber were the relationships it helped to cement. Chief among them, David Elliott. Dave and I have soldiered through quite a few storms personally and professionally, and when I asked him to edit THE VAULT, he didn’t hesitate. There are few people I trust as much. I asked Dave what he thought the best way to release THE VAULT would be and Image was at the top of his list of publishers to approach. I’ve always been a fan of Image, not just because of their model, but because of the quality of titles they have represented and continue to represent.”

THE VAULT #1 (1 of 3), a 32-page full color comic book, will be on sale in stores July 27th for $3.50 and is available to order in the June 2011 edition of Diamond Previews (Diamond Order Code: JUN110501).

Star Wars Can Be Cute

See? If you really want to impress your girlfriend after she squeals, “They’re so adorable!” you’ll name them all. Maybe.

There’s almost 70 inhabitants of George Lucas’ world there, all courtesy of artist Mikey Turvey.

Ninja Turtles Are Back-With IDW

Good news Turtles fans! Official details from IDW about their new series below, and here’s an insightful interview with co-writer Tom Waltz.

IDW Publishing and Nickelodeon today announced that the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic series, featuring the beloved “Heroes in a Half-shell,” will premiere in August 2011. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be back in action and ready to fight off evil once again, with an impressive creative team led by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman!

Starting in August, IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will kick off with a brand new installment of the original series, led by Eastman and co-writer Tom Waltz (Silent Hill: Past Life, Infestation: Outbreak). Phenomenal new-comer Dan Duncan will bring the Turtles to life with dynamic interior art, while Sam Kieth and Walter Simonson provide eye-catching covers for issues one and two, respectively. Eastman will also provide layouts for Duncan‘s art, as well as variant covers.

This first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series will feature new and exciting storylines that maintain the “turtle power” core beloved by millions of fans. Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael reunite to bring their ninja aptitude and teenage attitude in these all-new, action-packed adventures based on the original series. The first story arc will tell the origin story of the Turtles and introduce a new villain, the fearsome mutant alley cat, Old Hob. Featuring a cast of familiar characters, including Master Splinter, April O’Neill, Casey Jones, and true to the spirit of the original comics created by Eastman and Peter Laird, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are bigger and badder than ever, and ready to rock old and new fans alike.

IDW and Nickelodeon have a long-term partnership to offer an all-new installment of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics and graphic novels. IDW’s new comics are part of a larger initiative to bring Turtles to a new generation of fans, starting with these new storylines from the original series that recapture the magic of the original Turtles comics. Additionally, in fourth quarter 2012, Nickelodeon will premiere a new CG-animated version of the wildly popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.

Batman and Robin #23 Review

Taking over from Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are Judd Winnick and Guillem March. Well, Winnick is writing all three issues of The Streets Run Red arc that starts with this ish, with artist Greg Tocchini joining him for the conclusion.  Here March is assisted by fellow artist Andrei Bressan. March takes the first 10 pages, with Bressan (who I’ve never heard of before) taking the final 10. I can only assume limited time was the reason why art duties are shared, but thankfully it’s not too jarring. March’s work is always attractive, with his fluid style, and Bressan fits right in.

Winnick has been the main writer in defining Jason Todd’s dark character in the last few years. After the second Robin was resurrected after his murder at the hands of Joker in the classic ’80s story, Death in the Family, he’s been ousted from the Bat family and taken up a new mantle as crim killer Red Hood. After a great flashback (look at the stunning opener below), Batman (Bruce Wayne) visits Jason at Arkham Asylum, who (in a rare appearance showing his natural red hair) tells Bats that he wants out of Arkham, or as he puts it, “I will not be housed in your kennel for freaks.”

Jason’s character is darkened even more here. He’s Punisher with a sly confidence. There’s a great scene in a shower (not like that) in which Jason torments the aptly named Martin “The Beaver” Littleman, and later in the yard makes a few vengeful crims look rather foolish. Soon, the bodies start piling up, Batman asks questions and the issue ends with Jason’s daring rescue en route, by four animal looking gunmen.

The dialogue here is the real star. With Jason and Bruce riffing on their recent resurrections, and the differing views they have on each other, plus Dick and Damian (the current Robin) also showing up, there’s a lot of frank discussion about Jason’s murdering and psychotic tendencies, and it really reveals how great the supporting cast is.

For long time readers of Batman and co. only, but a must grab if that’s you.

Green Lantern Narration Trailer

Green Lantern opens next month. Awesome. Here’s the latest trailer for the DC Comics starring  movie. This one is narrated by Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean) in his role as Tomar-Re. It seems a tad odd to hear his Aussie accent and I don’t know if this handy exposition will appear in the film, or if it’s just for the benefit of GL newbies watching the trailer. Seeing as Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is new to the GL mythos in the film too, I’d imagine at least some of the narration will appear in the finished film though.

Extra Sequential Podcast #41-BlueSpear Interview

54 mins. Our interview with two lovely gents from English publisher Com.x. Also wrestling, the fake apocalypse and yes, Arnie’s love child.


NEWS 1: 21

Tintin on the big screen

Supanova Pop Culture Convention in Perth and Sydney in June. Get your tix now.

Batman villain Bane as played by Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises is revealed. Well, some of him anyway.


Our first ever interview via the wonders of Skype. English creators Eddie Deighton (co-publisher of Com.x and co-writer of  BlueSpear) and Andi Ewington (co-writer of BlueSpear and writer of 45-whcih we talked about here) talk to us about the 45 spinoff one-shot BlueSpear, which comes out in July.

The chaps talk about the business behind publishing Original Graphic Novels rather than monthly issues, what they look for in a story pitch, how they find new talent, advice for new writers and publishers, and a lot of laughs.

Also mentioned are subjects as diverse as our lack of sporting knowledge, amusing convention tales, the classic Marvels, I Kill Giants, Kingdom Come, and creator Bryan Talbot.