Captain America Corps #1

Text-free preview below of June’s new mini-series, starring a cavalcade of Caps. Well, a few anyway.


Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Captain America Corps #1 (of 5), from legendary writer Roger Stern and artist Philippe Briones. When bedlam breaks loose in a dystopic America, the Watcher calls together the nation’s greatest team to save our nation and the world! Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, U.S.Agent, American Dream, and Commander A must band together to cut the American public loose from the malicious control of Americommand. But can the Sentinel of Libertys, led by Steve and Bucky, work with one another before it’s too late?  Find out this June when Captain America Corps #1 (of 5) hits comic shops everywhere.


Written by ROGER STERN



Rated T+ …$2.99

FOC – 5/23/11, ON SALE – 6/15/11

Mark Schulz: Various Drawings Volume 5

The name of the book says it all, but Flesk Publications have just announced their latest art book collecting the great work of artist Mark Schulz. Details below. It’s out in June as does their Al Williamson (Flash Gordon) art book.

Announcing Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume Five From Flesk Publications!

Flesk Publications is pleased to announce the fifth volume of Mark Schultz: Various Drawings. This art book features a compendium of illustrations charting the artistic process from conception to final creation. Various Drawings Volume Five will appear in stores in mid-June. See our pre-order special through the Flesk Publications online store at the end of this newsletter.

This new collection showcases a generous selection of private art and commissions, along with a smattering of previously published pieces, all created by Mark Schultz over the past two years. A wealth of sketches, preliminaries, studies and finished art, this new installment will appeal to longtime fans of Mark’s work, as well as those discerning souls who seek only the best examples of modern imaginative illustration to add to their personal collections.

Despite being an acknowledged modern master of pencil and brush and ink, Schultz has never stopped expanding his visual vocabulary, never shied away from experimenting, never slowed in his relentless pursuit of graphic Nirvana. Nor has he forgotten his first loves and obsessions: pulp and noir-fueled dames, otherworldly SF and fantasy pinups, slavering dinosaurs and fearsome women, gleaming spaceships and alluring cosmic femmes.

Over fifty illustrations are featured in this volume—the majority not publicly shown until now. The book is 48 pages with gatefold at 8.5 x 11”. $19.95 softcover, ISBN: 978-1-933865-35-5 and $34.95 hardcover limited signed edition, ISBN: 978-1-933865-36-2 will be available. Pre-order the hardbound edition through the Flesk store for $29.95 through June 1. All pre-orders through Flesk ship by June 1. The hardbound edition is limited to 800 copies. Exclusive to this edition is a bound in plate reproducing an unpublished illustration. Each copy is numbered and signed.

Mark Schultz is an American cartoonist, illustrator and writer. His lifelong interest in the sciences and natural history informs his fictional work, highlighted by the award-winning Xenozoic Tales series and the undersea adventure SubHuman, as well as such non-fiction projects as The Stuff of Life, a Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA. He is the current writer for the comic strip Prince Valiant.

Stuart Immonen’s Centifolia

Love that name, and the cover too. Artist Stuart Immonen has done a bunch of comics over the years, including the awesome Nextwave (find out why it’s awesome right here) and now, thanks to the fine folks at AdHouse Books we can peek at his sketchbook. AdHouse have also published a similarly drool inducing approach with their James Jean sketchbooks. Below is a preview of Centifolia Volume II, which recently launched at the Toronto Comics Art Festival. Both volumes will be available for purchase this month.

Centifolia V2 marks Stuart Immonen’s return to his eclectic collection of work! Continuing where V1 left off, we find even more sketches, concept designs, illustrations and comics. Best known for his mainstream superhero work, Stuart is a multi-faceted creator and this publication proves it. Again, 32 of the 128 pages are full color, and Stuart’s attention to detail shows through in the publication’s design.

But wait! There’s more! AdHouse Books will also be bringing Centifolia V1 back in print! To help celebrate these two beautiful publications, there will even be a limited (100) slipcase edition created that includes a special S&N print and custom slipcase design.

Keaton’s Batman, Spielberg’s Tintin and Fillion’s Lantern

Actor Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice, The Other Guys) played Batman in the revolutionary 1989 film and its sequel, both with director Tim Burton. Now, in a much linked to I’m sure, chat with Hero Complex, he’s opened up about the current Batman films (he saw most of The Dark Knight) and his past in the costume. It’s an interesting chat, with Keaton opening up about the loneliness in England during filming, using Bruce Wayne as the key to the role, dropping his voice as Batman and a deleted scene that had him going from Bruce to Bats. It makes good sense actually.

There was a thing that never got in that was really interesting. I went to Tim and said that we should see if we could do a scene that showed the transition and Tim was really great about these things so we tried. I wanted to see and to show that transition when he goes from Bruce Wayne to Batman, the time when he’s about to don the suit and go out and wreak some havoc. That’s not a casual thing, obviously, it’s not putting on a jacket to go out for the evening. So what is that transition like? So there was a thing we did early on that showed him going into a sort of trance and it justified this shift in him. So we did that scene and it never made it into the film but I think helped me in a way. It was part of the way he became this other thing and even if you didn’t see it, it was part of the character and the way we created him. Tim was always open to that. Jack and Kim come to him, too, chipping in with ideas and it was a really creative environment.

The CGI Tintin, based on Belgian creator Herge’s classic series, has 2 posters and a trailer, all of which are effectively secretive and moody. Coming at us in December from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, this looks pretty cool really.

Finally, here’s a new clip from the animated Green Lantern: Emerald Knights film, starring Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly) as he tells Arisia about the first Green Lantern. The film is released on June 7. Below the clip are 3 images from the film and a new poster for the live action film showing off Abin Sur.

Ultimate Comics Covers

Kaare Andrews seems to have changed his already awesome style, to something even more awesome for the Ultimate Comics relaunch.


Acclaimed Artist Kaare Andrews Announced As Ultimate Comics Cover Artist

Prepare for Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn, signaling the biggest changes to ever hit the Ultimate Comics Universe! With all new titles and all new creative teams, fans new and old can’t miss out on this great entry point into the Ultimate Comics Universe. This August, following the traumatic events of Death of Spider-Man, Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn kicks off in August with Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1 Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1, and Ultimate Comics X-Men #1 & Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 in September –  each featuring covers by superstar artist Kaare Andrews!

“Kaare is doing the best work of his career with these covers,” said Marvel Senior Editor Mark Paniccia. “With Ultimate Comics Universe Reborn, all of the titles will be tighter than ever, so when it came time to think up  ideas and concepts for the covers – we wanted a sense of unity to tie the books together. At the same time we wanted striking covers that jump out at you on the stands. Kaare’s bold design sense made him a natural choice.”

A new era begins as our heroes struggle to find their place within the Ultimate Comics Universe so be the first to your comic shops this August to see what all the buzz is about in Ultimate Comics Ultimates #1 and Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1.





Variant Cover by ADAM KUBERT

Variant Cover by NEAL ADAMS

Rated T+ …$3.99






Variant Cover by ESAD RIBIC

Rated T+ …$3.99


Witchblade #144

Congrats to Top Cow! Witchblade is one of those series that sometimes gets a bad rap, but of the few issues I’ve read, it’s been consistently entertaining.

Anniversary Issue Includes Free Digital Download

Image Comics and Top Cow Productions are celebrating the 15th anniversary of WITCHBLADE with an oversized stand-alone issue by WITCHBLADE team Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic. To celebrate this landmark and usher the series into a new age of comics, Top Cow and Wowio have teamed up to offer a free digital copy of the 144th issue with each print copy. Participating retailers will receive cards with download codes to distribute with each copy sold which can then be downloaded at

“The number of comic characters and properties outside of Marvel and DC that have been published uninterrupted for fifteen years is a very exclusive club,” Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik commented. “We’re incredibly proud of the legacy of WITCHBLADE as an independently published, strong female-driven series and couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate!”
This oversized issue contains a retelling of Sara Pezzini’s origin story for the first time in the series’ history since the iconic heroine was created more than fifteen years ago. WITCHBLADE #144 will also feature two spellbinding covers, including a wraparound retrospective by regular series artist Sejic and an iconic painting by fantasy illustrator Jean-Sebastien Rossbach (Magic: The Gathering). It will also include a backup story by writer and Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik and artist John Tyler Christopher that promises to reveal the origin of Sara’s partner Patrick Gleason.

WITCHBLADE #144 (OCT100521), a 48-page full color comic that includes a free digital download card will be available in a store near you May 18th for $4.99.

Digital Visions #4 Review

This is another comic I’ve been sitting on for far too long, so it’s about time I mention it. Anthology comics are rare these days, although it’s great to see Dark Horse Presents back on the shelves, but indie books like these are are a good way to view some up and coming talents. From Visionary Comics, the fourth issue is out now and is free on Wowio. Yep, free.

The first of the three stories here is from Sam Johnson and Brunio Letizia. Entitled Voodoo Trespass, it follows Cabra Cini, who is a “Voodoo Junkie Hitwoman.”What a combo. Cabra’s latest case involves a dopey young man who killed his girlfriend while the pair were playing vampires. He took neck biting too far and ended up a murderer. Now the victim’s parents want revenge. We soon learn that Cabra swapped her cocaine addiction for voodoo and over the years has become rather adept, using “The Infinity” to teleport, which she does so to hunt down the vamp lover/ killer Tom Spelling.

On the way however, she runs into The Rook, the guardian of this secret dimension, as well as her abusive ex-boyfriend (who claims he’s currently in a coma in our world). With a brief battle and a hasty escape, Cabra meets Tom, and that’s where the story ends.

Johnson has done well to set up all that we need to know about the titular character in the first few pages. With her tough exterior , yet troubled past, and hints at a larger mythology, Cabra’s adventures are off to an intriguing start. Leitizi’a art is simple, but shows promise and the bold colour choices work well, especially when the black magic begins.

Gangland Avalon also mixes magic with action, and although this is the second part of the story, the opening page brings the reader up to speed. In short, a recent gathering of mob families ended badly, with main character “Stab Happy” Pelago earning his name. His narration guides us through the set up, with several characters (all of whom are tough killers), though it appears the action will kick in in the next instalment, with some discussion and a poisoning occuring in a restaurant making up the bulk of the story here. Writer A. David Lewis is perhaps the best known creator in this anthology, and his streamlined work with Michael Angelo Lee generates an interesting tale, with the focus on the gangster elements rather than the use of magic.

Finally, Deity: The Darkness and the Light centres on young blonde Jamie and her recent discovery that she’s a goddess and an alien race known as Ma’Shiva are trying to kill her. Thankfully, she has three protectors, but isn’t taking the threat seriously. There’s a lot of expository narration, from Jamie and her immense trust in herself (which you know can’t end well), the alien Valmek as he approaches his Lord Ogden and also Jamie’s boyfriend Zig. The script, dialogue and art all have a mid-90s approach that doesn’t scream originality and seems unnecessarily wordy. With a greater focus on action and some surprising character developments, creators Karl Altstaetter and Robert Lapton could be on to something.

Last Week’s Winners

Flashpoint #1. This new series from DC Comics is more than just the initial 5 issue mini-series that retains the name. There are 20 tie-in mini-series and one-shots. Phew. DC know that this is an important tale to tell though, and have enlisted writer Geoff Johns and artist Andy Kubert. It’s so important in fact, that on August 31, only a few days after the 4th issue of Flashpoint, the 5th and final Flashpoint ish will be published, and it will be the only DC comic released that week. Wow. I don’t think that’s ever been done before.

This is the kind of superhero comic that makes me happy to be  a reader of superhero comics. However, as is often the case in this genre, it’s also complex and will mean nothing to DC Comics newbies. Geoff Johns has guided the DC Universe for the last few years, specifically in Green Lantern’s books, and occasionally on the just finished Smallville, and his love of Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash is as evident as his love of Hal Jordan. I grew up reading Wally West, so he’s my scarlet speedster. Barry, to me, is an uninteresting lab technician with an outdated costume, who didn’t need to be resurrected. Really, even though his name may appear in the title, this series relies on more than him, thankfully. Basically, Barry wakes up at his office and discovers he’s now in a new world. His mother is alive, Cyborg is a prominet player, the powers of Captain Marvel have been divvied up between a bunch of kids, and as the last page reveals, Thomas Wayne is a more low-tech Batman, as it was his wife, and son Bruce who were murdered that fateful night in Crime Alley. With a war brewing between two angry royals – Wonder Woman and Aquaman, this is a good issue that reveals all the pieces of this intriguing alternate universe.

It’s great to finally see Andy Kubert on art, after he and his brother Adam came to DC ages ago and haven’t done heaps since. With Sandra Hope on inks, it has a realistic sheen, much like the quality she bought to Rags Morales’ pencils on the classic Identity Crisis. I’m a sucker for these kinds of  “what if” tales and although Marvel has been churning them out lately, DC hasn’t. This is a welcome return to such stories, with some cool new characters and reinventions of old ones.

Hellboy: Being Human. Written by Mike Mignola with moody art by Richard Corben, this one-shot is set in the year 2000 and focuses on mostly silent, but philosophical, Roger the Homunculus. I’ve never read Hellboy regularly, but enjoyed both films. Largely set in a rundown house in Carolina, Hellboy takes Roger out on his first assignment in the field. After believing it to be an easy case, the pair soon encounter some black magic, a freaky family of skeletons sitting at the dinner table and a vengeful woman. After some fisticuffs, involving a powerful fiery hand that causes Hellboy to be immovable, Roger must become the hero and discover his humanity. It’s all written with great subtlety rather than deep musings and the subdued colour palette and Corben’s attractively fluid line work make for an enjoyable done-in-one adventure.

Oh, and the Baltimore tale in the Free Comic Book Day offering, also from Mignola, with Christopher Golden and Ben Steinbeck, is awesome too. It follows Lord Henry Baltimore in WW1 vampire infested Europe. Baltimore: The Plague Ships is out in June and collects last year’s 5 issue mini-series.

Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors from Image Comics. Bad timing means this may be missed by those fed up with the villain as lead character tales, following films Megamind and Despicable Me. This has grander ambitions, and thankfully never resorts to cuteness though. With a well crafted intro revealing the origins of the school, an adored teacher who reads from William Blake, lots of simple (but with nods to classic characters) costume designs and some good dialogue, this series premiere by Mark Andrew Smith and Armand Villavert was a nice surprise, especially the ending which reveals that these kids are actually training for fake battles with heroes. It’s a great twist, as the final few pages show two “enemies” discussing where and how to fight (“You know – my equipment malfunctions or whatever.”) like wrestlers rehearsing for the big show. The students seem to be unaware of this, as they react with puzzlement to a former baddie/ current school groundskeeper who mentions that he didn’t die, but his character was retired.

It has a simple, yet very colourful visual style and even some funny moments, with the mishmash of costumed villainy and typical school cliques, bullies, daydreams and crushes.

Extra Sequential Podcast #40-Drugs!

72 mins. Our fave hallucinations and drug inspired, and induced, tales of sequential art. Also, attractive people in poor countries and more.


1: 36 NEWS

A doco for Alejandro Jodorowsky’s aborted Dune film

Rombies #0 free online

Sydney Opera House’s Graphic event in August

Fanboys rejoice in NBC’s decision to drop the Wonder Woman TV pilot

Spider-Man musical retool

Kevin Smith’s Six Million Dollar Man comic

Neil Gaiman gets picked on, and so does Batman


Locke and Key from Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Mythbusters and Eurovision

Devil from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan. 5 strangers in a lift start dying.

Daytripper from Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, about death and the beauty of life

Shaolin Cowboy by Geoff Darrow and its detailed art, a talking mule and a vengeful crab

27: 30 DRUGS!

Fictional drugs, hallucinations and superheroes who owe their existence to drugs, such as Captain America, Luke Cage, Cloak and Dagger and Karen Page.

Batman and Bane and their use of the drug Venom, and Scarecrow’s fear toxin.

Spice from Dune – the do-it all drug.

Drunkeness in Tintin and the surprising violence it brings, including an attempted decapitation of the lead character.

Tony Stark’s love of booze.

Pain pill hallucination in X’ed Out by Charles Burns.

Drugs in Marvel and DC Comics in the ‘70s.

The sordid, yet award winning, tale of Speedy/Arsenal.

Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing’s trippy potatoes, and Superman’s bad birthday dreams.

The Mask Strikes Back by John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke.

Preacher, and writer Grant Morrison.

I Am Captain America Variants

A dozen Cap-centred variant covers for a few June releasing comics below. I like the idea of the patriotic hero represented through ordinary folk. See the full list of the actual issues for these variant covers under all the perty pics.

Marvel Unveils I AM CAPTAIN AMERICA Variants

This June and July, celebrate the release of Marvel Studios’ anticipated summer blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger with the I Am Captain America series of variant covers! Featuring all-new artwork from a superstar cast of comics’ greatest creators – including Marvel’s own Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada, Marko Djurdjevic, Alex Maleev, Skottie Young, and Ed McGuiness! These I Am Captain America variant covers honor real world American heroes of every creed and calling that would be sure to make Steve Rogers himself proud.

Marvel urges retailers to check their orders on these hotly anticipated variant covers as Captain America continues to generate major mainstream interest in the months to come. No fan will want to miss the chance to see the First Avenger in a whole new light when Marvel shouts “I Am Captain America” this June!

Continue reading

Thor Sale

If you’re curious about this Thor fella, Marvel’s here to help with a 30% off sale on an annual subscription to their digital comics service, until the end of the month. Sign up right here.

How Smallville Should End

First up, I should admit that I’m not a regular Smallville watcher. I wasn’t interested until it left the high school villain of the week plots for the grander, DC guest star scenarios of the more recent seasons. I’ve only watched 2 complete series, and here in Australia the show hasn’t screened for years. In fact, the 9th season has only just been released on DVD, and season 8 is back on the air, at a rather unflattering and often changing timeslot. However, since the show’s final, 10th season is only days away from ending (on Friday, in the U.S at least)  it’s been getting a lot of deserved attention, including how it won’t end. I was daydreaming at work, so I typed this up quickly. It’s only 2 scenes, with hints at the growing DC Universe with Batman, a guest star that was never realised in the show, although it was originally a young-Bruce Wayne-grows-up premise before the studio big wigs settled on Clark Kent. Chloe, portrayed by Allison Mack was always a proto-Barbara Gordon/Oracle too.

The last line will be important in this show, and we know Tom Welling will whack on the Superman suit. We also know actor Michael Rosenbaum’s back as Lex Luthor after years away, so a memorable throwdown between the two has to be inevitable.

So, here’s my brief and largely unedited, script, with the dialogue appearing mid-scene. Yes, I know the formatting may be off, and I’m happier with my first scene rather than the not-quite-there last, but I just thought I’d share it anyway. After all, how often does a decade running show on Superman end?


ORACLE (laughs)

You misunderstand me, Miss Sullivan. We don’t need your help. I’m offering you a job.


A job? Thank you, Barbara, but I’d rather not be a mindless cog in WayneTech’s corporate machine, especially if it means moving to the hellhole of Gotham. No offense.


None taken, but you wouldn’t have to move. Gotham has a set of eyes and ears already – me. What we need is another pair of both, here in Metropolis.


Okay, I appreciate the cloak and dagger, but if you don’t start bringing some clarity to this conversation, I’m going to be on my formerly merry way.


Here’s the deal. I know all about your…nocturnal activities.


(interrupts) I…


Please. Hold the witty comments. Myself and my…boss need a woman of your skills. You know, almost as well as we do, that our world is on the brink of something terrifying and glorious. Your Wall of Weird was cute and all, and the Watchtower was a step in the right direction, but I’m here to tell you – you haven’t seen anything yet.


And you want to show me this big, bad world. Is that right?



(hands her a business card)

Don’t let your curiosity fade into ignorance and regret. Here’s where you can reach me – 24/7 and on the other side – that would be your starting salary. I look forward to working with you Chloe.


Lex in his classic purple and green power suit is facing Superman in his classic costume. Both men are hovering above the city’s skyscrapers, facing each other. Lex is defiant and filled with hate. Superman is heroic, preparing himself for what he sense will be the first of many violent encounters with his nemesis.


This is my city. Mine. No alien will dictate terms to the human race. You’re either my subordinate, as you should be, or you get out of my way.


That’s ridiculous. I’m not your competition Luthor. I’m just here to help.


The human race has proved time and again that it can help itself. We have achieved wonders. Miracles. We have perfected ourselves by sheer genius and determination and yes, I have plenty of both.


True, and the misguided pride to use them in all the wrong ways.


I didn’t land here with a pristine costume and the powers of a god! I turned myself into this! You can’t take fate from my hands alien. This city, this world is mine… and I’m not sharing.


In another life, we could’ve been friends. Don’t force my hand.



You don’t belong here. It’s as simple as that.


You know what’s simple Luthor? There is a right and a wrong in the universe, and the distinction between the two is not that difficult to make.


The bumper sticker ideology of a fool.


I know who I am Luthor, and I know that my fight against evil is just beginning. It’s a never ending battle.

Lex screams. The two men leap at each other. The action freezes just before they collide. John Williams’ Superman: The Movie theme rises.


 Well, you get the idea.

In related Smallville news, there’s this from Warner Bros.

Prepare for the SMALLVILLE Series Finale!

Relive each heroic moment by downloading the series now on iTunes.

To celebrate Warner Bros, Digital Distribution is giving fans the chance to get FREE Downloads of all 10 season premieres in HD and discounts on seasons 1-9, now for a limited time on iTunes.

Shadowline’s New Website

The headline says it all really.

ShadowlineOnline and Tales of Mr. Rhee Debut Today

Shadowline, LLC, Jim Valentino’s partner studio at Image Comics, home of such hits as MORNING GLORIES, GREEN WAKE, THE INFINITE VACATION, BOMB QUEEN and many more, has announced their new website at will go live today.

“We felt the website needed a complete overhaul,” said Shadowline President/Publisher, Jim Valentino. “We wanted a site that was easy to navigate, one where it would be easy to purchase our books, with all the latest news and other fun stuff. Our new site, designed by D.C. McQueen, has given us all that and more! We’re very excited to show it to the world!”

The launch will also debut Dirk Manning’s latest web-comic, TALES OF MR. RHEE, which will upload a new page every Tuesday and Thursday. 

Valentino continued, “Dirk gave us NIGHTMARE WORLD (now collected in two print volumes with a third set for an October release) and this is his latest venture. This brand new horror series is an excellent addition to our web-comics feature on the site.”

Dark Horse FCBD 2011 Comics

Dark Horse are giving away digital copies of their Free Comic Book day offerings from the weekend. Yay!


 If you missed out on picking up your Free Comic Book Day comics at your local comic-book store, you can get them from Dark Horse Digital for a limited time!

Downloads will be available starting Wednesday, May 11, and run through the end of the month!

Just hop on any computer or Mac iOS device (iPod, iPad, iPhone), go to, or the iTunes app store and download the free Dark Horse Comics bookshelf app!

Both Criminal Macabre/Baltimore and Avatar: The Last Airbender/Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be available for free download!

Make sure you check out these awesome titles from Dark Horse and support Free Comic Book Day! Ten years in the running!