Terminator: Enemy of my Enemy #1 Preview

Releasing from Dark Horse Comics on February 19 is the first issue of a new Terminator mini-series, called Enemy of my Enemy. It’s written by Dan Jolley (Bloodhound, Prototype 2) with art by Jamal Igle (Supergirl). Here’s the official description.

In 1984, Kyle Reese protected Sarah Connor from a cyborg that would stop at nothing to terminate her. In 1985, Skynet targets a scientist whose discoveries threaten its future, but this time there is no resistance fighter sent back to face it! With only enemies around her, what chance does Elise Fong stand against the perfect killing machine?

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Moon Knight and Dead Boy Detectives

Thankfully, libraries have great comics collections these days. Sometimes I’ll go to my local one and pick up a few random Trade Paperbacks. There’s not necessarily an order to what’s on the shelves, but it’s a good opportunity to grab something I’ve been meaning to read for a while, or something that I’m curious about. My last two choices fall in to the latter category.

Moon Knight: Down South collects issues 26-30 which are the final issues of the 2006 series. I don’t know a lot about Moon Knight, and many compare him to the closest thing Marvel has to Batman, which is understandable.The character has been around since 1975 but has some things that set him apart from his fellow superheroes. Namely, his great white costume, the fact that he has multiple personalities (and secret identities!), and has  lunar/mystic theme to his identity and powers. I’ve read very little of the character, but I know the basics, but for anyone unfamiliar with Moon Knight, this will tell you what you need to know. Wiki will help too. There is a recap page which tells you about the events leading up to this, but essentially, MK is on the run and has “killed” one of his identities and is hiding out in Mexico.

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This was a surprisingly good read. Written by Mike Benson, and with art by Jefte Palo, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read. MK hardly appears in costume, until the end, and despite the cover, The Punisher only shows up for a few pages too. Most of this tale is focused on Jake Lockley and a job he’s been given, to rescue a Mexican land mogul’s daughter from some corrupt cops. Everyone isn’t who they seem, and the two luchadore brothers are  a great addition, and have real personalities. They could’ve been an annoying gimmick, but Benson makes them work, and Palo grants them great visuals, plus the amazing covers of the original issues by Gabriele Dell’otto are included here. (Mexican wrestling masks, Kevlar vests, and big guns). This is grim, bloody (but not overly so) and mature. There are a lot of adult themes and blanked out profanity here, but it’s all a great reminder that Moon Knight is an interesting character, as hopefully his latest series launch by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey will show when it debuts in March.

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Furious #1 Review

Furious #1 CoverBryan J.L. Glass and Victor Santos’ last team-up was on Mice Templar from Image Comics. This time, they give us something completely different. Whereas Templar is epic and far reaching, Furious from Dark Horse is more contained, but no less spectacular.

Yes, the last few years have seen almost as many superhero parodies/deconstructions and re-imaginings as straightforward superhero tales themselves, but brightly coloured beings with amazing powers will always be an intriguing prism through which to examine the best and worst of humanity. Fame does the same, and when those two things are combined, you get Furious. This premiere issue is smart and thrilling, and as anyone who’s read the preview can attest, it looks great too.

The titular character describes fame as a spoiled brat which always screams for more. Two months ago she debuted, calling herself The Beacon, but a loss of cool on camera meant the media gave her a new unwanted name – Furious.

This is a mature comic, with mature language, and an intensity and desperation that floods the pages. Furious is a wonderfully nuanced character. Glass employs a delicate touch here, making certain that she is frightened and uncertain, but with noble intentions. She only wants to do good with the abilities she’s been given but she soon realizes that the old saying is true. No good deed does indeed go unpunished.

There’s more at work here than just another jaded look at “superheroes in the real world.” Glass has something interesting to say about what’s expected about those rare, skilled individuals who we so easily put on a pedestal. What does that do to the individual? What does that do to those of us expecting them to be miraculously better than us? Public meltdowns are increasingly common of course, and that just adds to the authentic and relevant approach Furious is aiming for.

Santos’ art is angular and dynamic as always and his colour choices are meaningful – well-lit and exciting when Furious is flying after a distraught mother kidnapping her child, and full of shadow during scenes of Furious’ anger and doubt.

Eagle-eyed readers will see some interesting visuals, such as the nod to Santos’ recent Polar OGN, and Glass also nods to some of his fellow talented creators in a back-up collage page showing some in-world reactions to Furious’ debut. There’s also a familiar figure in one scene that made me do a double-take and just reminded me that Glass and Santos are building an intriguing story with more layers than a lasagne.

Furious is a young woman with some standard superpowers (speed, strength, flight) and although her origin isn’t explored here, it’s not really needed. Furious brings her hurt past with her to her present decision making, and that’s make for an interesting protagonist. Underneath the bright costume and the desire to just do good, is a fragile woman who just wants acceptance, and who doesn’t want to be judged by a bad deed or two.

The remaining three issues are sure to be as dazzling and provocative as this debut. It’s obvious that the story is perched on a rickety rollercoaster track. It will all lead somewhere dangerous and exciting.

Furious #1 will be released from Dark Horse Comics on January 29 and you can even participate in a unique press conference on Twitter with the star of the comic!

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Daredevil #36 Preview

I’m about a year behind on this great series that continues to wow readers and critics alike. Below is a preview of the final issue of Daredevil (for now), as it relaunches in March anyway – with the same creative team! There’s a great interview with the duo at Nerdist that explains it though (interview excerpt and pretty preview pics after the jump).

The End? Or the Beginning? Your First Look at DAREDEVIL #36!

This February – Matt Murdock’s life comes crashing down in DAREDEVIL #36 – the fearless final issue from critically acclaimed storytellers Mark Waid & Chris Samnee! After the shocking events of last issue, there’s nowhere left for Matt to run. The Man Without Fear stands alone against the villainous hate group known as Sons of the Serpent. And their climactic clash is about to take place on a different kind of battlefield – in a New York City courtroom! But how much is he willing to sacrifice in the name of victory? It’s time for the Man Without Fear to show how fearless he really is. And the truth may shock you! It’s all been leading to this – and the seeds sown here bear bitter fruit for Daredevil in 2014! You don’t need a radar sense to know this one will be big! Don’t miss the epic finale this February in DAREDEVIL #36!

DAREDEVIL #36 (DEC130738)

Written by MARK WAID

Art & Cover by CHRIS SAMNEE

FOC 1/27/14, ON-SALE 2/19/14

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Hacktivist #1 Preview

Out now from BOOM! Studios is the premiere issue of a new four issue mini called Hacktvist, from a concept by TV star Alyssa Milano (Charmed). Below is a nice looking preview, plus BOOM!’s official description.

WHY WE LOVE IT: From the creative mind of Alyssa Milano, with artist Marcus To (Huntress, Red Robin), and writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, Hacktivist is a fast-paced cyber-thriller about friendship and freedom in a time war.

WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: Fantastic characters and stunning action set pieces, beautifully illustrated by Marcus To (Cyborg 009, Red Robin) and Eisner-nominated colorist Ian Herring (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand).

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Ed Hiccox and Nate Graft are young, brilliant, and the co-founders of YourLife, a social networking company that has changed the way the world stays connected. In secret, these best friends are also “sve_Urs3lf,” the largest, white-hat hacking group on the planet, exposing information and sparking revolutions across the globe.

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City of Wanneroo Pop Culture Festival

City of Wanneroo pop_culture_festivalIt’s always encouraging when libraries or local governments encourage arty and creative activities. The City of Wanneroo, here in Western Australia recently started their Pop Culture Festival, with a focus on cosplaying, but also a discussion, and workshop wit writer/artist Justin Randall (the excellent horror comic Changing Ways), as well as an anime film festival.

Go here for further info.

Read Deadpool: The Gauntlet For Free

The first issue, that is. As of last week, Marvel have been distributing free copies of the first issue of Deadpool: The Gauntlet, a 13 part series that is made specifically for their new Infinite Comics line. It will all be collected on paper at some point.

I’d like to take this opportunity to let you now that there are always some good freebies to be had at your generous comic book shop. It’s always promotional material, but I’ve grabbed heaps of plastic Green Lantern rings, posters, coasters, bookmarks, temporary tattoos, etc for my nieces and nephews (and occasionally myself), over the years. You don’t get that kind of stuff at a digital store! I have nothing against digital stores by the way. I o prefer reading on paper, and socialising with my fellow witty comics clerks and readers though.

There’s aslo Comic Shop News, which is a free weekly newspaper which covers the latest releases and announcements, and interviews. Your comic shop may not carry copies though. It’s been running for years and is a good way to catch up on all the news in the comic book biz if you’re not one to jump online for such things.

Free Deadpool: The Gauntlet

Drawn + Quarterly’s Upcoming Releases

Publisher Drawn + Quarterly have just released the list of diverse goodies they’ll be releasing in 2014. Possibly the most diverse publisher of graphic novels from days gone by, and comics creators from around the world, D+Q always have an eclectic list of goodies.

Check out their full list of upcoming releases right here for something other than the typical American/superhero approach to sequential art. Pascal Girard’s Petty Theft sounds interesting (“What’s an endorphin-loving cartoonist to do? In a bid to distract himself, Pascal throws himself into his other pleasure: reading. And while at the bookstore one day, he spies a young woman picking up his own book. But then she darts out of the shop without paying. Bemused, he decides to figure out why she did it.”) Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet’s Beautiful Darkness, and the funny Benson’s Cuckoos by Anouk Rickard look very interesting too.

The best part is – you can read a few pages of these releases at the link above! Yay!

Pascal Girard Petty Theft

Curse #1 Review

Curse_01_rev_Page_1Released last week was the debut issue of this new four issue mini-series from BOOM! Studios. It’s got werewolves in it. With Teen Wolf and the new series Bitten starring Laura Vandevoort (Supergirl on Smallville), could werewolves be the new vampires or zombies? If Curse, has anything to say about it, then yes, and what it does say, it says in style.

Written by Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel and with art by Colin Lorimer, and Riley Rossmo, Curse is so far, a horror debut executed very well.

The creators may not necessarily be household names in the world of comics, but they have some impressive titles on their resume, with Moreci’s work on Hoax Hunters, and Daniel’s on Enormous, both with Image Comics. Lorimer created UXB in the pages of Dark Horse Presents, and Rosmo has crafted the art for Drumhellar and Cowboy Ninja Viking, both from Image Comics.

As you can see by the preview pages after the jump, it starts in a most intriguing fashion. Two men – one chained, and one angry. Then we see how they got there.Well, we get hints as to how they got there in this premiere.

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It’s All Happening With The JLA

The Justice League of America. My favourite superteam! Grant Morrison’s run in the ’90s is oen of the best superhero series I’ve read. I haven’t been reading much of the New 52 version though, but it looks like some interesting developments are happening.

Namely, bald baddie Lex Luthor is joining them! This is actually a good idea. He’s proven that he is  a resourceful genius, and after the events of Forever Evil, things are changed. He’s also bringing Flash baddie Captain Cold with him. Writer Geoff Johns is a huge fan of Cold, so that’s no surprise. He’s given him great prominence in the last few years. That means Superman and The Flash are being replaced by their own enemies which will certainly bring the friction.

“With fame and spotlight comes scrutiny and detractors,” said Johns, adding Luthor is breaking new and unfamiliar ground.

“I think the most interesting thing is that Lex doesn’t realize what it’s like to be a super hero, what the life is like. You make enemies, they attack you on a personal level. And he’s just Lex Luthor. He has no codename, no mask,” he said. “He has to deal with the ramifications of that.”

Lex Luthor's League

Look for Luthor’s JL debut in Justice League #30 on April 23.

JLA doesn’t stand for Justice League of America anymore. Well actually it still does, but now there’s a new League too – a Canadian League that is. Marvel have had a Canadian superteam for years (Alpha Flight), but I don’t believe DC ever has, until now. Members include Stargirl, Martian Manhunter and ( a now Canadian) Adam Strange, whose sci-fi travelling between worlds will figure prominently in the new series.

Justice League United, written by Jeff Lemire (Animal Man, Sweet Tooth), with art by Mike McKone (Teen Titans, Marvel’s Avengers Academy) also launches in April.

“It was really important for me to try to reflect different aspects of our country,” the writer says. “I thought it’d be great to create someone who represented that aspect of the culture.

“I’ve gotta say I’ve put more work into this book than I have for anything I’ve ever done for DC. It’s been really fulfilling, and hopefully on top of all that it’s a big fun action-adventure superhero comic that people will enjoy.”

JL United

Finally, Man of Steel 2, which features both Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman (and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman) has been delayed a whopping ten months (possibly due to Affleck’s recent leg injury), which means it will now be released on May 6th, 2016 rather than its original date of July 17, 2015. That’s okay though, as 2015 will be a stellar year for films anyway, with Star Wars: Episode VII, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Jurassic World, Terminator: Genesis, and new Fast and Furious and James Bond films.

X Volume One Review

X Big BadDark Horse’s focus on bringing a few more superheroes in to their line as of late makes sense. They are not normally associated with brightly clad cape wearers, but apart from Marvel and DC Comics no publisher is really.

X is a character who debuted in the pages of Dark Horse Presents, and his solo series ran from 1994 until 1996. That was the time I was becoming fully engorged on comics, and I do recall X at the time, although I never picked up any of the character’s tales. It was also a good time for the publisher, with the success of Mask, Barb Wire and Sin City getting attention, and they’ve only eclipsed that success in the years since.

Of course, comics readers are a nostalgic bunch, so bringing back X makes sense, plus there’s already some familiarity with the hard core character.

This Trade Paperback, entitled Big Bad, collects the relaunch which began in April 2013, in particular issues #0-4, plus a few sketchbook pages of character designs. Written by Duane Swierczynski (Cable and X-Force, Punisher, for Marvel), with art by Eric Nguyen (Batman: Arkham Unhinged, based on the Arkham series of videogames), this is a good (re) introduction to X and the nasty city he inhabits.

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Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #1 Preview

Cinemagoers around the world will now be familiar with the name, The Winter Soldier thanks to the advertising for a certain Marvel sequel called Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Comic fans will already be familiar with the identity of the Soldier, and eagle eyed viewers of the trailer will have already pieced it together – he’s Bucky Barnes, Cap’s former (and once presumed dead) partner. It took years to tell the tale of Bucky’s resurrection in the comics thanks to scribe Ed Brubaker, but the film will hopefully cover it in entertaining fashion in two hours. There are still a lot of blanks in Barnes’ history though, and the February 12 debut of this 5 ish mini will cover some of them. Text-free preview below.

Bucky Barnes Strikes in WINTER SOLIDER: THE BITTER MARCH #1!

Bucky Barnes has been called many things – Avenger, Invader, and even Captain America. But to many, he’s known by only one name – The Winter Solider! A name that carries a bloody legacy reaching deep into the pages of history. And today Marvel is proud to present your first look at WINTER SOLDIER: THE BITTER MARCH #1 – a new limited series from blockbuster writer Rick Remender and fan-favorite artist Roland Boschi!

At the height of the Cold War, S.H.I.E.L.D. sends their top operative, agent Ran Shen, deep into enemy territory to retrieve two Nazi scientists that could be the key to winning the war. But they aren’t the only ones who want these high value scientists. The Soviet Union have unleashed their most ruthless agent – THE WINTER SOLDIER! His mission: acquire the scientists by any means necessary – or kill them before they fall into enemy hands!

“In the late 1960s, a S.H.I.E.L.D. mission gone wrong begat the creation of the Iron Nail, the foe whose schemes and strategies are bedeviling Captain America in the present in his own series,” says Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. “WINTER SOLDIER: THE BITTER MARCH tells the story of that fateful mission, and the events that set S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Ran Shen onto the path that would result in him becoming the dreaded Iron Nail.”

Don’t miss the intrigue, adventure, romance, and action in this high-octane, pulse pounding thriller that will have grave consequences for the life of modern day Captain America when WINTER SOLDIER: THE BITTER MARCH #1 hits comic shops this February!

WINTER SOLDIER: THE BITTER MARCH #1 (of 5) (DEC130640)

Written by RICK REMENDER

Art by ROLAND BOSCHI

Cover by ANDREW ROBINSON

Variant Cover by IN-HYUK LEE

Animal Variant by CHRIS ELIOPOULOS

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Lobster Johnson: Get The Lobster #1 Preview

Being released from Dark Horse Comics on February 5 is the first issue of another mini-series focused on popular pulp hero Lobster Johnson. He has a lot of mini-series, that guy, but the quality always seems to match the quantity.

Get The Lobster is written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola with John Arcudi, with ever gorgeous art by Tonci Zonjic.

A Manhattan sporting event goes terribly wrong as the ref is killed in front of a live audience by two crazed—and seemingly bulletproof—wrestlers. Who is behind this new reign of terror?

“The necessary thrills to justify every cent spent on this comic.”—Comic Book Resources

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A Different Kind Of Loki

The most loved bad guy since…umm..well another bad guy doesn’t spring to mind, but thanks to that talented thespian (and dancer! look at him go!) Tom Hiddleston’s three turns as the evil Loki in recent Marvel films, Loki has never been more popular. And along come publisher BOOM! Studios with a new take on Loki. This looks pretty wild, and it’s released on my birthday!

LOKI GOES FROM MISCHIEF TO METAL IN NEW ORIGINAL SERIES

FROM BOOM! STUDIOS

Award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios is pleased to announce the February debut of LOKI: RAGNAROK AND ROLL, a heavy metal twist on Norse mythology. Writer Eric Esquivel (FREELANCERS) and artist Jerry Gaylord (FANBOYS VS. ZOMBIES) show what happens when you take the classic Norse god Loki and throw him into a rock and roll band in the underground goth clubs of Los Angeles in this new BOOM! original series.

“LOKI: RAGNAROK AND ROLL is one of those crazy mash-up ideas that, when you see them put together, is immensely entertaining,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Combine that with the talents of Eric and Jerry—two of BOOM!’s home-grown talents—and it makes for the perfect recipe for a rockin’ good time!”

WHY WE LOVE IT: Up-and-coming writer Eric Esquivel first caught our attention with Thor: The Unkillable Thunder Christ, and wowed us with his work on FREELANCERS. When he told us he wanted to bring those sensibilities to the trickster god Loki, we had to say, “Yes!” Pairing him with FANBOYS VS. ZOMBIES artist Jerry Gaylord sealed the deal.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: Loki steps out of the shadow cast by his thunderous brother as Norse mythology crosses over with the only thing on Earth as wild and crazy—rock and roll!

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: What happens when Odin banishes Loki to Earth? He finds a world of outcasts that appreciate his style! While his kin sharpen their weapons, he picks up an electric guitar.

LOKI: RAGNAROK AND ROLL #1 arrives in comic shops on February 19th with a cover price of $3.99 under Diamond order code DEC130966.

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Loki Ragnarok and Roll 2