The Dark Communion

My friend Joey Ruff has just published his first novel, and it’s now available on Amazon, with the Kindle version landing soon. The Dark Communion (Volume 1) is a massive 408 page supernatural thriller. I read an early draft and it was rather intriguing I must say. You can buy the book on Amazon right here (it’s only $15) and it will be available to order through libraries and Barnes and Noble stores soon.

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Remember Last Action Hero?

It should’ve been awesome. It wasn’t. Now free online is this great article about the troubled Arnie actioner/parody of 1993. It recently appeared in an issue of Empire, my favourite magazine and now you can read about the whole mess behind the film’s production.

Die Hard’s director. Lethal Weapon’s writer. And The Terminator himself. Last Action Hero should have been bulletproof. Instead, it brought a studio to its knees, sent its cast and crew insane and proved, really quite conclusively, that some movies are not… too big to fail.

Here’s the trailer to refresh your memory.

This Week’s Winners

I haven’t followed the monthly X-Men adventures since the ’90s, but I buy the occasional issue and know enough to understand what’s going on. Marvel’s new Point One one-shots are a good way to help new readrs get the gist though. Uncanny X-Men #534.1 by Kieron Gillen (who has been co-writing with Matt Fraction until now) and Carlos Pacheco is an entertaining newbie-friendly book. It opens with Kate Kildare, a superhuman PR specialist and Donald Evans, a respected photographer landing on the island of Utopia, where the few remaining mutants dwell to give the X-Men some spin so the public will love them more. That’s needed these days, as Magneto is now on the team, and he’s the focus of this issue. That’s not much bad guy bashing, but two pretend A.I.M agents (who are rather amusing) do get a smackdown. They threaten an earthquake in San Francisco and Namor (also a new X-Men member) tells them that, “Only Namor has the ability to make the earth move, and he reserves that privilege for one woman at a time.” It seems out of character, but it is funny. Kate’s chat with Magneto, which includes his philisophies, and a suggested costume change is the main plot of this issue. They chat about the difference between public relations and propaganda, Machiavelli, and if it’s better to be loved or feared. As a talky issue, it lays out Magento’s complex personality very well. Pacheco’s manga tendencies are softened with the inks of Cam Smith, Dan Green and Nathan Lee (yes, 3 inkers. Wow.) and Erik actually looks his age for once, rather than a generic bodybuilder with grey hair.

Superman/Batman Annual #5 – Reign of Doomsday. Superman’s spiky killer Doomsday has been doing the rounds in a few DC titles lately, and this annual picks up after JLA #55 and continues in Superboy #6. It features great art by Miguel Sepulveda, which looks kind of like a cross between Phil Jiminez and Jae Lee. James Robisnson writes this action packed issue. Despite the title, it doesn’t really feature Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, but rather Dick Grayson as Batman, and Supergirl. For most of the tale Kara (initially in her black costume) is stuck in safety of sick bay in the JLAWatchtower base as she’s sick. After receiving a diagnosis from  Dr Mid-Nite and advice from Dr. Fate, (or rather the man under the golden helmet, Kent Nelson), she gets her health and classic costume back and begins punching. Most of the action here is between cyborg Superman and Doomsday, as Cyborg Supes uses the Watchtower itself as a weapon. Doomsday however easily adapts to the attack and becomes Cyborg Doomsday, seen in an awesome double page transformation. Driven mainly by Cyborg Superman’s death wish narration, and a brief Dick and Kara team up inside, it also Blue Lantern Saint Walker and Mikaal Starman are stuck outside and see the Watchtower transform first into Cyborg Supes’ face and then DD’s. Sure it’s in the middle of a story arc I’m not following, but it looks great and Cyborg Supes has always been one of my fave DC bad guys.

Nonplayer #1 has received a lot of praise, and deservedly so. I actually read a preview digital copy last week, but loved it so much I picked up a print copy too, and it looks even more awesome on paper. I, and Mladen, talked about it in our latest podcast, but as every other reviewer who’s read this will tell you – get a copy of this unique sci-fi/fantasy/virtual life debut from Nate Simpson. If you can find a copy that is.

Thankfully a second printing will be released on May 11.

First Thor Photo

Here’s Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth (Kirk’s Dad in Star Trek) as Marvel’s god of thunder, Thor. Looks like a very faithful representation of his current costume. On a related note, if you’re watching Iron Man 2 this weekend, make sure you stay after the credits.

Shadowland Teaser

Poor Spidey. Marvel released this teaser image for a July launching mini-series, with the following info.

Shadowland: Battle For The Soul Of New York

SHADOWLAND #1 (of 5)

Written by ANDY DIGGLE

Penciled by BILLY TAN

Cover by JOHN CASSADAY

Wraparound Variant Cover by BILLY TAN

Rated T+ …$3.99

ON SALE JULY 2010

Free Mobile Comics Mag Debuts

This really is exciting, and now I get to share it. I’ve been writing for comics site Broken Frontier for a while now, and the last few months have seen it brought to another level (thanks to my fellow BFers who are  a lot more technically minded than me) and now we’ve just unleashed the FIRST free comics magazine for mobile devices. The press release is below, but fear not – if you’re like me and have yet to step into the iPad world, you can still grab the PDF from the Broken Frontier site.

On a related note, I recently interviewed writer extraordinaire Jonathan Hickman (The Nightly News, Fantastic Four, Shield) for the mag. It was my first ever phone interview and we talked for almost an hour. It was pretty awesome, I gotta say and he’s a very interesting guy. Well, my article stemming from that interview can now be read  in the digital pages of the brand new, first issue of The Frontiersman. Oh yeah.

Broken Frontier Launches The Frontiersman, the First Mobile Comics Magazine Free magazine debuts on iPad, goes weekly on May 4

Premier comic book news site Broken Frontier (www.brokenfrontier.com) proudly unveils The Frontiersman, the world’s first digital comics magazine for mobile devices. The magazine makes its debut on iPad with The Frontiersman #1, with new issues to be released weekly on Tuesdays as of May 4, 2010.

“We’re thrilled to offer comic fans a new way to experience the richness and diversity of the comics industry,” Broken Frontier’s Editor in Chief Frederik Hautain says. The Frontiersman will act as a digital companion to the main Broken Frontier website, where readers will still find their daily dose of comics news, reviews, blogging, previews and columns.

“BF isn’t going anywhere, on the contrary,” Hautain clarifies. “What we’re doing, is presenting our more in-depth articles and interviews in a format that allows you to enjoy them at your leisure without getting lost amid the boatloads of content that the web throws at you every day.”

The Frontiersman magazine app is available for free via iTunes. While the magazine can be optimally enjoyed on iPad, it can also be downloaded free of charge in PDF on the Broken Frontier website. The Frontiersman is developed in association withNetlash, the web development partner of Broken Frontier.

The first issue features interviews with Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. on Kick-Ass, Paul Gravett on Tove Jansson’s Moominexhibition, and Jonathan Hickman on S.H.I.E.L.D., its history and political relevance. The Frontiersman #1 also dives into the storied history of The Green Hornet and spotlights this week’s top comics.

The Frontiersman, Exploring the Comics Universe. Go mobile and download The Frontiersman #1 right now on iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/frontiersman/id368550228?mt=8) or as a PDF at www.brokenfrontier.com.

Nathan Edmondson and Brett Weldele Interview

Writer Nathan Edmondson (Olympus) and artist Brett Weldele (The Surrogates) have just launched a spectacular mini-series form Image called The Light. It’s a great new concept with suitably creepy and dramatic visuals. You can read my interview with the creative duo at Broken Frontier here.