Watch Max Bemis Build an Evil Empire

Or, read about it actually. Lowdown, and gorgeous covers from BOOM!’s new mini-series below, which debuts on March 5.

BOOM! STUDIOS ANNOUNCES ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ PRINT PROMOTION

FOR MAX BEMIS’ ‘EVIL EMPIRE’

Evil Empire Cover A by Jay Shaw

Evil Empire Cover A by Jay Shaw

Award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios is proud to announce the March debut of EVIL EMPIRE, the political thriller that asks: What would happen if modern society crossed the line and became the megalomaniacal force we’d always fought against? Instead of a story that picks up when this so-called “evil empire” is already in place, Say Anything lead singer Max Bemis (POLARITY) and artist Ransom Getty (Guarding the Globe, Suicide Squad) take us to the very beginning and show the devolution of society through the eyes of an outspoken, female hip-hop artist named Reese.

 

To add to the anticipation surrounding Bemis’ first long-form series, BOOM! has added a pre-Final Order Cutoff (FOC) incentive promotion for retailers. Similar to the DAY MEN #2 promotion, the publisher will have 50, limited-edition, screen-printed, and numbered prints created of one of Jay Shaw’s iconic cover images for EVIL EMPIRE. The “We The People” print promotion means that each one of the 25 top-ordering retailers will receive one print. Additionally, in keeping with the democratic nature of the series, 25 additional retailers, chosen at random, will receive one print each. Retailers have until the end of the day on Monday, February 10th to finalize their orders for EVIL EMPIRE #1.

 

“Max has created a provocative thriller in EVIL EMPIRE,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “At BOOM!, we want our comics to resonate beyond the page, and EVIL EMPIRE is the kind of explosive storytelling we love to get behind. We saw with POLARITY that Max is a bold new voice in the industry, and we were eager to work with him again. EVIL EMPIRE is an intense vision of a society’s dark transformation. It’ll turn some heads.”

 

WHY WE LOVE IT: After POLARITY, we just had to work with writer (and Say Anything lead singer) Max Bemis again, and his thrilling take on how a modern society could evolve into an evil empire is absolutely terrifying.

 

WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: Every fan of fiction is aware of the trope of the “evil, sinister empire” i.e. the Empire in “Star Wars.” Oftentimes, when we are introduced to these totalitarian establishments, they are already fully in power and it’s up to our hero to bring back order and peace. However, in EVIL EMPIRE, we explore how that would unfold in a real-world setting. How close to the precipice are we right now in the world we live in? Would we let it happen? More specific to this tale: Would we secretly WANT it to happen?

 

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Told through the perspective of an underground rapper named Reese, Max Bemis’ gripping story explores a scenario in which we watch modern society gradually evolve (or is it devolve?) into an evil empire.

 

 

Evil Empire Cover B by Robbi Rodriguez

Evil Empire Cover B by Robbi Rodriguez

 

Evil Empire Cover C by Jay Shaw

Evil Empire Cover C by Jay Shaw

 

 

Archaia’s The Joyners in 3D

Publisher Archaia (now part of BOOM! Studios) have been producing gorgeous graphic novels with great production values, and this tome, (a rare 3D presentation) will hit stands next month.

 

ARCHAIA INNOVATES WITH FIRST 3D GRAPHIC NOVEL WITH 

‘THE JOYNERS IN 3D’

 

Award-winning publisher Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios, is excited to announce the February debut of THE JOYNERS IN 3D, the first, full-length, original graphic novel presented in red-blue anaglyph 3D. The book is the culmination of almost three years of research, development, and painstaking execution by writer R.J. Ryan (SYNDROME) and New York Times best-selling artist David Marquez (Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, All-New X-Men).

 

“THE JOYNERS IN 3D is not only a labor of love and storytelling for R.J. and David, but a crowning achievement in presentation,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Archaia has consistently pushed the boundaries with the types of stories it publishes, and JOYNERS is no exception. I love that the use of 3D here is not a gimmick. It’s an essential tool for the narrative, and one you’ll enjoy discovering while reading the book.”

 

WHY WE LOVE IT: We’ve been fans of R.J. Ryan and David Marquez ever since we published their first collaboration (along with co-writer Daniel Quantz), SYNDROME. When they came to us with this idea—with Marquez proclaiming he and his studio assistant, Tara Rhymes, were going to teach themselves how to do all the 3D conversion—we knew it was exactly the ambitious challenge we love to take on. Add to that the fantastic book design by Eisner Award-nominated Jon Adams (TRUTH SERUM), and the final result simply blew us away.

 

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: On the surface, you’ll be attracted to THE JOYNERS IN 3D for its 3D novelty, but once you read it, you’ll be engrossed by Marquez’s line work, the visions of a possible future (flying cars, floating skyscrapers, and robot butlers!), and the haunting story of a successful businessman whose deteriorating life at home leads to a tragic conclusion. This is the idyllic 1960s Jetsons-inspired vision of the future turned on its head with a deconstructive eye in the spirit of Warren Ellis.

 

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Regardless of the technological advances made by the year 2062, people are still just as fallible as they’ve been for thousands of years. Brilliant engineer George Joyner and his team have just invented a revolutionary device that will change the course of human history, yet George is teetering on the edge of self-destruction thanks to his selfishness, narcissism, and relentless pursuit of success in the business world. THE JOYNERS IN 3D is the complete account of the sudden unraveling of the “perfect” family of the future, and the hubris that brings about George’s professional demise.

 

THE JOYNERS IN 3D arrives in comic shops on February 19th with a cover price of $29.95 under Diamond order code SEP130875. Every copy ships with a pair of custom “his” and “hers” 3D glasses. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use comicshoplocator.com or findacomicshop.com to find one! It’s also available for order directly from boom-studios.com.

The Joyners 3D

 

 

 

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.

Hacktivist_001_rev_Page_1

 

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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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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.

Loki Raganrok and Roll 1

Loki Ragnarok and Roll 2

BOOM!’s Third Shannon Wheeler Collection

Publisher BOOM! Studios are set to deliver the third volume of The New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler’s humorous pieces, with I Don’t Get it hitting comic book stores next week. Official details, and a few funny preview pages, below.

BOOM! STUDIOS RELEASES THIRD COLLECTION OF EISNER AWARD-WINNING SHANNON WHEELER CARTOONS

BOOM! Town, an imprint of award-winning publisher BOOM! Studios, is excited to announce the January 22nd release of I DON’T GET IT, a follow-up hardcover collection to Shannon Wheeler’s I TOLD YOU SO and Eisner Award-winning I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE FUNNIER books. As with the previous two volumes, I DON’T GET IT is a “best of” collection of cartoons Wheeler created for The New Yorker that were not accepted for publication. The New Yorker is a weekly magazine containing articles, short stories, and essays that focus on the cultural life of New York City.

“A new collection of cartoons from Shannon is always a highlight for me,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Shannon is one of a kind, a cartoonist with a singular voice and a gift for delivering sharp humor and biting observations. We’re thrilled to continue this award-winning tradition of collecting Shannon’s best cartoons that ended up on the cutting-room floor!”

Where do cartoons go when they’ve been bounced by The New Yorker? When they’re as funny as what’s floating in TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN creator Shannon Wheeler’s brain, they’re boiled down to the best of the bounced and presented in one laugh-out-loud volume. Featuring an introduction by Keith Knight (THE K CHRONICLES, THE KNIGHT LIFE), I DON’T GET IT is the latest collection of wheeler cartoons that will leave you wondering why they never made it to publication.

I DON’T GET IT arrives in comic shops on January 22nd with a cover price of $17.99 under Diamond order code NOV130881. Not sure where to find your nearest comic retailer? Use comicshoplocator.com or findacomicshop.com to find one! It’s also available for order directly from boom-studios.com.

i_dont_get_it_hc

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BOOM! Buys Archaia, Relaunches Site & Signs George Perez

BOOM! Studios surprised the industry two weeks ago by announcing they had purchased independent, and critically acclaimed publisher Archaia, which you can read more about here. Now they’ve unveiled their shiny new website. Official lowdown about that below. Oh, and they’ve also just announced that they’ve signed legendary artist George Perez to an exclusive deal. Wow.

BOOM! Studios is pleased to unveil their newly redesigned website (boom-studios.com) today. Beginning today, fans will find a fresh, modern look with an easier-to-navigate interface along with more social media integration.

The new boom-studios.com was designed by At Play Creative, the same design agency responsible for the redesigned BOOM! Studios logo that debuted earlier this year. The design team, led by Founder and CCO Gary M. Smith, worked closely and collaboratively with BOOM! to deliver a design that showcased the comic art first and foremost. At Play clients include ABC, Disney, and Hasbro among others.

In addition to a comprehensive online store, the relaunched website incorporates live feeds from BOOM!’s Twitter, Facebook, and BOOM!Pen Tumblr on a new Trending page with spotlighted Featured posts. The site includes information for Press and Retailers, with more to be added in the future. An Events page adds an easy reference point for all BOOM! convention appearances, signings, and launch parties.

BOOM! Studios New Site

Six-Gun Gorilla From BOOM!

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about anything from BOOM! Studios. Not because they aren’t making good comics; just because I haven’t read any of them for a while. Next month, however, that looks to change. Six-Gun Gorilla looks and sounds very cool indeed.

BOOM! STUDIOS REVEALS SIMON SPURRIER’S SIX – GUN GORILLA 

IN STORES IN JUNE

This June, BOOM! Studios launches a bold new mash-up of Western and Sci-Fi with SIX-GUN GORILLA. Because the only thing better than a gorilla in a comic book is a gorilla with gigantic, matching six-shooters.

Inspired by an obscure public domain character, SIX-GUN GORILLA is created and written by Simon Spurrier (X-MEN: LEGACY, CROSSED: WISH YOU WERE HERE) with interior art by Jeff Stokely (FRAGGLE ROCK, THE REASON FOR DRAGONS) and featuring a cover by Eisner Award-winning artist Ramón Pérez (A TALE OF SAND, WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN), SIX – GUN GORILLA is a pulpy mash-up of Western weirdness and lo-fi science fiction unlike anything else on the stands!

Welcome to “the Blister” — a bizarre other-world colonized by humans sometime in the 22nd century, which quickly became a hotly-contested source of fertile land and natural resources long ago exhausted on Earth. In this new frontier, a rogue gunslinger and his companion wander across a wilderness in the grips of a civil war, encountering lawlessness, natives, and perversions of civilization in a world at the crossroads between the past and the future. The fact that said gunslinger is a bio-surgically modified silverback gorilla toting a pair of enormous revolvers is neither here nor there.

“The words “Six-Gun Gorilla” have squatted in my psyche – as immovable as only a revolver-packin’ primate can be – since I first heard them. How could I pass up the chance to breathe new life into such an insane, evocative title (so sinfully neglected since its inception as a 1939 pulp serial)?” explained Spurrier, “In deference to its unknown writer, our new version has mutated into a comic unlike any other: a relentless blast of deconstructive weirdness, gunsmoke, surreal frontiers and Awesome Ape Action. Six-Gun Gorilla is a head-poppin’, civil-warrin’, wilderness-crossin’ epic with sly sci-fi notes: a love-letter to the Western genre, signed with a flourish by a black-furred and blood-drenched fist.”

SIX – GUN GORILLA #1 will arrive in stores on June 12th with a cover by Ramón Pérez and carries a retail price of $3.99 under Diamond order code APR130933. And don’t forget to ask your retailer about the incentive cover by James Harren (B.P.R.D.)!

6GG_01_CV_A

 

BOOM_SIX_GUNGORILLA_001v1_B

 Oh, and BOOM! are also the latest publisher to give us Robocop comics too.

Robocop_Teaser_R3

Michael Midas Champion

Next month a new all-ages series debuts from former Batman editor Jordan B. Gorfinkel. The pic below looks awesome, and the premise sounds cool too.

BOOM Studios Presents MICHAEL MIDAS: CHAMPION!

Behind Every Cape And Cowl There’s A Human Side.

This June, BOOM! Studios is proud to announce MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION by Jordan B. Gorfinkel and Scott Benefiel. Wrapping a classic fairy tale in superhero comic book clothing, MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION blends the heart of It’s A Wonderful Life, the majesty of The Princess Bride and the thrills of Spider-Man.

MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION is the inspirational life story of Michael Midas, who, as told by a grandmother to her grandson, grows from being a boy—dealing with a playground crush stolen from him by a tormenting bully—into a crimson hero who dons a mask and battles evil, particularly the bully of his youth, who has, naturally, become his supervillain arch-nemesis. Through his triumphs and trials, Michael becomes a superhero so dedicated that he loses touch of what’s important in life—his loved ones—puttting them and the whole Earth on a path to complete destruction. But given a rare second chance, can Michael Midas Champion set things right? Will he?

Chris Renaud, director of DESPICABLE ME and DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX, said, “MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION delivers a dynamic narrative and spectacular illustration while answering the question, ‘How do you balance a family and superpowers?’ Everyone can recognize their own life in the character of Michael Midas and that’s what makes it fun. I truly enjoyed reading this story.”

MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION is a full throttle, heart string tugging, all ages book filled with suspense, action, romance and wonderfully poignant scenes told in a cinematic wide-screen layout. A story that will touch a part of everyone that reads it.

Bonus: each issue also showcases an original short story, created by The Troika, the former Batman editors Jordan B. Gorfinkel, Scott Peterson and Darren Vincenzo, and special guests, including legendary Dark Knight writer/creator Denny O’Neil.

MICHAEL MIDAS CHAMPION will ship this July. This title is a six-issue mini-series which is accessible to all ages. Attention Consumers and Retailers–All six issues of Michael Midas Champion are complete, insuring on-time delivery and low-risk ordering.

Each issue will run 48 pages (with no interior ads) in a unique “Widescreen Comics” landscape format and will carry a $4.99 price point, with a Diamond Comics Distribution Order Code of MAY120978.

Extermination from BOOM! Studios

Here’s the press release about a June launching series from BOOM! Studios, plus the variant covers, and four text-free preview pages. Looks pretty good, and intense.

BOOM! STUDIOS LAUNCHES EXTERMINATION, ALL-NEW ORIGINAL ONGOING SERIES WRITTEN BY SIMON SPURRIER. FULL FIRST ISSUE ONLY $1.

This June, BOOM! Studios launches EXTERMINATION, an all-new ongoing super-hero thriller written by Simon Spurrier (X-CLUB, FEAR ITSELF: THE HOME FRONT, CROSSED, WOLVERINE: DANGEROUS GAMES) and drawn by rising star Jeffrey Edwards, with a full 22-page first issue for only $1!

WE LOST. THEY WON. In the wake of an apocalyptic alien invasion, the world’s greatest super-heroes and deadliest super-villains must form an alliance to prevent their own extermination. Two arch-enemies, Nox, a driven hero, and Red Reaper, a ruthless villain, form a volatile partnership for the greater good. The enemy of your enemy is your friend — but will they be able to ultimately put aside their bitter past to prevent global genocide? What happens when all the battle lines are redrawn and foes become unlikely allies in a desperate war for the fate of the very planet — and the outcome of a species?

Title ships in June with main covers by John Cassaday, Trevor Hairsine, Michael Gaydos, James Harren, and Frazer Irving, as well as James Harren and Trevor Hairsine sketch covers. There will also be a special 1:100, CGC certified 9.8 Near Mint sketch variant by legendary artist John Cassaday.

“Si Spurrier is a massive talent,” says BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “With EXTERMINATION, he’s boldly exploring the dark crevices of the entire superhero genre. Not to be missed!”

“I love the premise of this post-apocalyptic series,“ says BOOM! Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie. “At $1 for the first full issue and with this exciting cover line-up and a killer creative team, this book is ready to catch on fire.”

EXTERMINATION is written by Simon Spurrier (X-CLUB, FEAR ITSELF: THE HOME FRONT, CROSSED, WOLVERINE: DANGEROUS GAMES) and drawn by rising star Jeffrey Edwards.

Title ships in June with main covers by John Cassaday, Trevor Hairsine, Michael Gaydos, James Harren and Frazer Irving. As well as James Harren and Trevor Hairsine sketch covers, and a special 1:100, CGC certified 9.8 Near Mint variant by legendary artist John Cassaday. This title ships for $1 with a Diamond Order Code of APR120887.

EXT from BOOM! Studios

BOOM! don’t usually offer teasers for upcoming comics. That’s usually the modus operandi of Marvel. However, this looks kinda cool, in a Mark Millar type way. All we know is that it’s called EXT. Well, at least that’s the file name of the image below. Expect more info in the coming days or weeks.

And here’s the second teaser.

Steed and Mrs Peel #1 Review

Back in 1990 Grant Morrison wrote this series for Eclipse Comics based on the classic spy TV series, The Avengers. Thanks to BOOM! Studios it’s back in print and here’s my review of the first issue.

Preview below.

Adventure Time Comics at BOOM! Studios

Being a pop culture hound that I am, I’ve been aware of kooky, new cartoon series Adventure Time for a while now, but only actually watched it a few days ago when I stumbled upon it on TV. It’s like a crazy mash-up of Ren and Stimpy and Monty Python. Now, the fun is coming to comics, though since it’s coming from their all-ages imprint, I assume any of the more…subversive elements will be erased. Check out any random Adventure Time clips on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean. 

WHAT TIME IS IT?!

IT’S ADVENTURE TIME!

NEW ONGOING MONTHLY COMIC SERIES LAUNCHES THIS FEBRUARY

FROM BOOM! STUDIOS AND CARTOON NETWORK ENTERPRISES WITH RELEASE OF ADVENTURE TIME #1!

Cartoon Network’s smash hit animated comedy series Adventure Time is coming to BOOM! Studios’ all-ages imprint KaBOOM! in an ongoing monthly comic book series featuring all-new original stories! Hold on to your swords! Adventure Time #1 ships this February!

The highly-anticipated first issue from the monthly series features a story written by Ryan North, author of the smash-hit webcomic Dinosaur Comics, and drawn by Shelli Paroline, the artist of ICE AGE: ICED IN and MUPPET SNOW WHITE.

“It’s quite exciting to bring this series to comics. My wife and I are huge fans and sing Marceline’s ‘Daddy, why’d you eat my fries?’ song around the house all the time,” BOOM! Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ross Richie said. “Pendleton Ward has created a brilliantly original voice in this show and it’s a true ‘All Ages’ property that appeals both to kids and also has a substantial amount of adult fans. Watch for the waving snail!

“It was like a bomb dropped in the office when we announced Adventure Time,” says BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “Everyone at BOOM! was just as excited as any fan. Adventure Time is such a classic story at its heart- a boy and his dog on different adventures – but the genius of the show allows us to take a simple concept and get really creative with the presentation. Everyone we’ve worked with is a huge fan of the show and creator Pen Ward has been instrumental in bringing this comic book to life. ”

The ADVENTURE TIME comic series will follow Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, Princess Bubblegum and the other inhabitants of the Land of Ooo as they explore many varied adventures. Since its debut on Cartoon Network, Adventure Time has become a runaway hit, with explosive growth in ratings, huge critical and fan acclaim, a major presence at fan conventions and more, it’s clear fandom is obsessed and 2012 is the Year of Adventure Time! Don’t miss out on this new phenomenon—this first issue is sure to get snapped up! You can pre-order the books at your local comic shop. Don’t know where it is? Go to http://www.comicshoplocator.com Or you can stop by BOOM! Studios (www.boom-studios.com)and pre-order issue #1 or a subscription today!

ADVENTURE TIME #1 is written by Ryan North with art by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. This title ships with three covers in a 75/25 split by Chris Houghton and Jeffrey Brown in a 1-in-10 incentive by Chris Houghton, a 1-in-20 incentive by Jeffrey Brown, and a 1-in-30 Chris Houghton Wraparound Cover. This title ships in February, featuring a price point of $3.99 with a Diamond Code of DEC110939.

Additional information about future books in the Adventure Time comic series from KaBOOM! will be available in the coming months.

 

Valen the Outcast #1 Review

Originally titled simply Outcast, this new series debut is only $1, and do you ever get a lot of bang for that buck! Hyped as “undead Conan,” this new BOOM! Studios title written by Michael Alan Nelson with art by Matteo Scalera (Deadpool) lives up to that cool description with a rousing tale, and a fair bit of bloodshed.

Things kick off with King Valen Brand of Oakhaven as the last man standing of his armies, being captured by his enemy, the necromancer Korrus Null who tells the defeated ruler that he doesn’t want his kingdom, but “something else entirely.”

Flashing forward Valen is alive and well (sort of) and has just received a magic tattoo from the lovely Zjanna who is none too supportive of his death wish to reclaim what was once his. Through the next few pages we learn that Valen is indeed a member of the living dead and just wants his soul back.

It’s obvious Nelson is having a ball here, with a daring tale to be told and lively characters thrown together. I even noticed a subtle Star Wars, and Aliens, reference. Seeking the shifty Alexio Cordovan out from a rowdy tavern to be his guide through the dangers of Wraithendal, the pair aren’t off to a great start, but Valen finds an opportunist who gives him what he’s after and leads him to well, danger.

An unlikely fellowship is forged and the adventure begins, though Null has a surprising secret weapon.

Nelson does well to not cram in a lot of mythology and background information of the main cast. It’s done organically through the entertaining story. We have the comedic character, the sexy character and Valen, the outcast in every sense of the word. Having a murdered king who is now living and feared by the people he once ruled, and soldiers he once fought beside, is a great idea and gives a real emotional weight to Valen’s noble, though dangerous, quest. He’s a typical ruler, but also a man of quiet focus and inner conflict, willing to make the most of his current existence.

This is a great example of how to craft a premiere issue of a new series. It’s easy to follow, with enough hooks to grab the reader and bring them back for the second issue. It did take some digging, but apparently this is an ongoing series, rather than BOOM!’s typical mini-series, but this concept is certainly strong enough to live up to that scope.

Nelson is one of comics’ most underrated writers, who is consistently entertaining, as he’s proven with 28 Days Later, Hawks of Outremer and many other series, including one of my faves – Hexed. In fact, he’s been responsible for a lot of BOOM!’s output in the last few years.

Scalera’s art is dynamic and expressive, especially during the well realised battles, and although the background details aren’t ornate, he fills this fantasy world with great costume design and manages to make the tavern, the forest and the village square all retain the look of the sword and sorcery setting. Archie van Buren’s colours bring much life and intensity when needed too, particularly during Zjanna’s hectic fight with a few of Null’s soldiers.

At only $1, you’d be wise to pick this great action packed fantasy debut up.

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