Dark Matter and Lobster Johnson Reviews

Two Dark Horse reviews of mine are now up at Broken Frontier.

Dark Matter #1 is a new mini-series from the writers of TV’s Stargate.

See a preview below and my review here.

Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1 is the debut of a new mini focused on the pulp-like hero from the pages of Hellboy. I enjoyed it more than the sci-fi Dark Matter.

Preview below and my review here.

Spidey and Star Wars on TV plus Supes on Console

Similar to Cartoon Network’s upcoming DC Nation block of programming is Marvel’s version, led by the long in the works Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. It launches on April Fool’s Day (yes, true) and is called Marvel Universe. It will feature not only Spidey, but also the return of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon and some other animated and live action bits and pieces.

Talking about overdue TV series, the Star Wars live action show at least has a name – Underworld. Producer Rick McCallum says that there have been 50 scripts completed so far, and that the show will focus on the seedy underbelly of the Star Wars Universe. I’m keen to see this, so I hope that despite the budgetary issues it gets made.

Superman, unlike Batman, hasn’t had a good video game in a long time. Here’s some great concept art from  a 2008 Supes game that never came to be unfortunately. It would’ve featured Darkseid, Kalibak and more and was code named Blue Steel, just like the Jamie Lee Curtis film, or Zoolander’s facial expression!

A game that has been made though is this new one called Marvel: Avengers Alliance which will launch on Facebook sometime this year. Just before the film, I’d imagine.

Avengers vs X-Men

This ambitious, and sure to be popular, 12 issue series from Marvel starts in April. The title says it all really, but here’s a summary of what to look out for, and below are 2 promo pieces of artwork showing the kind of face offs we can expect.

That’s Iron Man vs Magneto, and Psylocke vs Black Widow, and here’s friends and Fantastic Four members Spider-Man and Iceman, and weather wielders Storm and Thor.

The Lone Ranger Vol. 4 Review

Now up at Broken Frontier is my review of the fourth and final collection of the previous The Lone Ranger series from Dynamite Entertainment. The new series launched last week.

I was pretty impressed with this Trade Paperback by creators Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello. It was the first time I’ve read any Ranger comics and it was highly entertaining. Catch my review here and a preview here.

Extra Sequential Podcast #74-Tintin Review

46 mins. The boy reporter from the mind of Belgian writer/artist Herge finally comes to the big screen, with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson as his guides. We discuss what we liked and didn’t like and the questionable addition of the third dimension. Also, improper pronunciations and tough butlers.

LISTEN TO IT HERE

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

GET IT ON iTUNES HERE

You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

1: 06 NEWS

Alien cathouse in Nevada

Akira movie on hold

Bandai stops producing anime and manga

Pics of Superman and Batman: Earth One OGNs

Chip Kidd’s Batman: Death by Design talk

8:22 TINTIN MOVIE REVIEW

You get two perspectives in one review, with Mladen’s Tintin knowledge and my lack thereof. We also mention it’s troubled past, Indiana Jones, violence, lack of merchandising and the difference between action and adventure. Oh, and Super Ted.

 

Batman and Superman: Earth One Pics

In 2010 the OGN, Superman: Earth One was a huge, if controversial, success. Of course a sequel was always going to happen and we’ll get it this year and here are two just released pics from the same creators – J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis, and here’s what the pair say about their new project.

“The overwhelming success of volume one of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE – 37 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list for graphic novels – meant we had to ensure that Volume Two was even better,” said Straczynski. “We couldn’t just rest on our laurels. (And does anyone actually rest on laurels? Are there gatherings of laurel-resters? If so, why haven’t I been invited? These are the questions that keep me up at night while the rest of the world dreams.) Thematically, if Volume One was about Clark figuring out where he belongs, then Volume Two is about Superman trying to figure out where he belongs in all this, even as the world does the same at their end. How far can he push his power before he becomes something other than what he intended to become? In the midst of all this Clark gets his first apartment, becoming entangled with a beautiful woman next door, Lois starts trying to figure out what it is about Clark that doesn’t add up, and a new and terrifyingly strong version of the Parasite is born from what was previously a serial killer…and now Superman has to confront someone who is not only as strong as he is, but can drain his power completely. In the aftermath of one of the massive battles that threatens to tear apart Metropolis, Clark for the first time feels what it’s like to be normal, to be mortal, to be vulnerable…to be us. In the end, Volume Two is about power: its use and abuse, and its place in the world, to be used for good or for evil.”

“Working on VOLUME TWO gave me a chance to re-create one of Superman’s villains, the Parasite,” said Davis. “In doing so, I decided to develop the character in stages as the fights progress throughout the book. There are three stages of evolution: going from frail to the strongest villain Superman has ever faced. EARTH ONE Parasite is one of the most complicated and disgustingly beautiful characters I have ever designed! I came at VOLUME TWO in more of a movie sense, choreographing the fight scenes differently from one another, adding a little more muscle to Superman this time around as he is a practicing superhero, while drawing the “Geek” Clark Kent, who loves a sweater! I always kept the old in mind while bringing in the new. SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE – VOLUME TWO is the book of 2012, so save those pennies!”

 

Batman: Earth One by writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank will also arrive this year. Below are pics (yes, that’s Alfred) and here’s what the creators have to say.

“Gary and I are tackling BATMAN from the beginning, before he knows what he’s doing and with a very different ultimate goal in mind,” said Johns. “He’s never left Gotham. And our Gotham and the people in it are very gray. Our heroes unlikely. Our villains hidden. Our story is only beginning with volume one.”

“It’s essentially the first piece of the jigsaw,” said Frank. “He’s not the Batman people know, but he might be one day. He’s certainly not yet a superhero. The fun is to watch him piece the persona together drawing on his experiences and the influences of those around him and, at this stage, the idea of becoming a ‘superhero’ hasn’t even entered his head.”

Lastly, on sale February 28 is the DVD and Blu-Ray of DC’s next animated film, Justice League: Doom, and here’s the back cover showing the usual impressive array of extras.

WAI-CON Convention in Perth

Just after Australia Day is the annual WAI-CON anime convention in Perth, Western Australia. It’s being held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on January 28 and 29 and will feature booths, screenings, cosplay, gaming, panels and more. Tickets are on sale now.

Check out more info at their site.

Comic Character Blobs

An artist known as Captain Bob From Outer Space has designed a rather diverse and cute series of blobified versions of Marvel and DC characters. It’s pretty impressive, especially with the number of alternate costumes and D-List characters he’s put his attention to.

Check out much more, including Batman, Spider-Man and X-Men right here.

Click to blow it up.

Free Knights, Pinocchio and Dragon

There’s usually free comics floating around the net. Here’s 3 recent, good ones.

Slave Labor Graphics are offering the first issue of their zombies in King Arthur’s court mashup series, Knights of the Living Dead. It’s by Dusty Higgins and Ron Wolfe, and the second digital issue is only 99c.

If you like Higgins’ artwork, then you can also grab the first issue of his and Van Jensen’s Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer: Of Wood and Blood right here. It’s also from Slave Labor Graphics and is being serialized digitally for now. This is the 3rd and final volume of what is a pretty good series.

Finally, the landmark 175th issue of Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon series is now free for anyone who has a Graphic.ly log in. If you don’t have one for the digital comic store, now’s your chance, considering you’ll also get this double sized tale of the much loved heroic finhead.

Winter Soldier #1 Preview

Bucky Barnes, AKA the former Captain America didn’t stay dead long after being killed in last year’s Fear Itself mini-series. Now he’s back, and below is a great, text-free preview of his February 1 launching debut issue.

Captain America’s Former Sidekick Takes Aim In WINTER SOLDIER #1!

Steve Rogers most trusted partner and a former Captain America, Bucky Barnes, must tackle his greatest challenge yet as Winter Soldier #1 hits store shelves everywhere this February! After going toe to toe with the Nazis and being assumed dead for decades, Bucky Barnes went through hell and back as the Soviet Union rebuilt his war torn body into their own one man army known to all as the Winter Soldier. But what if he wasn’t the only one?

From the blockbuster creative team behind Captain America, Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice send Bucky back into the shadows to take down the remaining ex-Russian sleeper agents and dismantle their diabolical plot. Teamed with the Black Widow, the former Captain America will have his hands full when he finds out that he trained them all AND that Doctor Doom is involved! With the entire Marvel Universe thinking he’s dead, Bucky will have to tackle this threat head on with limited resources. Get in on all the action this February in Winter Soldier #1!

WINTER SOLDIER #1 (DEC110588)
Written by ED BRUBAKER

Pencils by BUTCH GUICE

Colors by BETTIE BREITWISER

Cover by LEE BERMEJO

FOC – 1/9/12, ON SALE – 2/1/12

Section Zero Webcomic

I don’t remember Section Zero when it first came out 11 years ago, but I am a fan of the creators so it’s good to see it return as a web comic.

3… 2… 1… ZERO!
Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett Re-launch SECTION ZERO as Web Comic

Lost civilizations! Alien beings! Strange creatures from beyond time and space! Tom Grummett and Karl Kesel’s creator-owned comic SECTION ZERO returns on January 2, 2012 at www.madgeniuscomics.com, once again Protecting Mankind From Everything That Doesn’t Exist!

SECTION ZERO was originally part of Image’s Gorilla Comics imprint back in 2000, alongside Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen’s Shockrockets, Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s Empire, George Perez’s Crimson Plague, and Todd Dezago and Mike Wieringo’s Tellos. But personal problems— “My fault,” says Kesel, “I got divorced.”— forced SECTION ZERO to go on indefinite hiatus after only three issues.

“I never had more fun than when Tom and I were working on Section Zero,” Kesel states. Grummett agrees. “Section Zero had this energy and excitement, and a weird little garage-band kinda feel that just crackles off the page. I’d argue it’s the strongest stuff we ever did together.” Whenever either appeared at a con or store signing, they’d be asked “Are you ever going to finish Section Zero?” Both felt it was a matter of when, not if. “I always wanted to find some way to get back to Zero,” Kesel emphasizes, “but life kept getting in the way.”

And life often zigs when you think it will zag. “I remarried, and my wife and I decided to adopt a baby. Suddenly I became very aware of my legacy— of having something to leave behind for my kid— and for me that meant finding some way to do creator-owned comics again. The easiest way to do that nowadays is on the web.” Kesel launchedwww.madgeniuscomics.com on Halloween 2011 with “Johnny Zombie Christmas— a Heartwarming Tale of Yuletide Terror.” But he knew that story would end by Christmas. He wondered what to follow it up with, and instantly thought of Section Zero.

“There Is No Section Zero” was the comic’s original tag-line, and as far as Kesel is concerned “There is no Section Zero… without Karl and Tom.” Kesel contacted Grummett, who didn’t need to be asked twice. Kesel smiles, “We’ll be squeezing it in around our day jobs”— Kesel is currently inking Spider-Man Season One, and Grummett is penciling Avengers Academy— “but we will finally finish what we started.”

Kesel assures new readers “the web comic starts at the beginning. We launch with a 5-page Prologue on Monday, January 2nd, then we’ll post the first 3 issues of Section Zero, 3 pages every Thursday. Once that’s done, it’ll be all new material. And that gives us the time we need to make that new material!” Fans who have read the original comics will still want to check out the postings. “I’m tweaking the dialogue a bit here and there— partly to make it read better, partly because my idea of what the story’s about has changed slightly over the years. Plus, Richard Starkings at Comicraft— who is insane in the best possible way— insisted on ‘freshening” the lettering— so we’ve got a new font and new placements and the book has a slightly different look.”

Kesel points out: “if not for Richard, Tom and I may not be bringing back Section Zero right now. In my various moves I had lost track of the book’s original coloring and lettering files— which killed me, since Ben Dimagmaliw had done such an amazing job coloring it— but Saint Starkings dug through his archives and found copies of everything! Gotta say, Christmas came a little early for me when I heard that.”

What can readers expect in Section Zero? “Oh, prehistoric creatures that won’t stay extinct, albino alligators in the New York City sewers, the usual,” Kesel says. “I just wrote a pretty intense scene with a troll, and we’ve got something coming up set in the most chaotic, out-of-control place on earth— a kid’s daycare center! But the thing I’m most excited about is— well, when we started Section Zero I made a big deal that it took place in real time, that the characters aged. And I’m sticking to that. So after we post those first three issues there’ll be a solid black splash page with just the words ’12 Years Later…’ And I know it sounds strange, but that gap has only made our comic stronger and better. It made very clear to me what the story is really about.”

“Section Zero is about to step out into the unknown once again,” Grummett adds, “this time as a web comic. I’m expecting the same kind of steep learning curve I faced our first time out, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m also looking forward to playing with these characters again, and trying to field the curve-balls Karl will be pitching at me. We’ve thrown out the old maps… and we’re making new ones as we go.”

Upside Down Trailer

I’m a sucker for good imaginative sci-fi films and this one looks a doozy. Upside Down is directed by Juan Diego Solanas and is a French/Canadian co-production starring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess (from the great, romantic One Day).

Check out the new trailer for the film at Canal+’s site.