Read Hexed #1 For Free

The Hard Cover collection of BOOM! Studios’ wonderful magic centred mini-series, Hexed came out in 2009 (and was the first printed publication to quote this humble blog on the inside cover!) and now you can read the whole first issue for free at Newsarama, which I highly suggest you do. It’s written by Michael Alan Nelson with cheeky visual flair from artist Emma Rio,who has since gone on to draw Strange, Runaways and Osborn at Marvel.

If you like what you see, the TPB (with the cool Paul Pope cover, below) has just been released, collecting the whole original 4 issues for the first time in affordable Soft Cover.

Booming Peanuts

With two simple images released today, rising indie publishers BOOM! Studios have announced that their BOOM! Kids line is now called Kaboom!, and that the first series under that banner is a biggie – Charlie Brown and co. Whether Peanuts will be reprints or what, we don’t know as yet. Great scoop though.

Malignant Man from BOOM! Studios

This new series from BOOM! sounds interesting. It’s co-written by James Wan, but I can’t seem to confirm anywhere that it’s the same James Wan of the Saw franchise fame. Strange.

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER!

ENTER THE STRANGE TWISTED SCI-FI WORLD OF MALIGNANT MAN

A BRAND NEW ORIGINAL SERIES BY BOOM! STUDIOS COMING THIS APRIL!

This April enter the twisted sci-fi action epic MALIGNANT MAN, where a doomed cancer patient discovers the sickness thought to kill him will transform him into something more powerful than he could ever imagine! Written by James Wan, fan-favorite author Michael Alan Nelson (28 DAYS LATER, DINGO) and art by international sensation Piotr Kowalski, MALIGNANT MAN is sure to be the most exciting original sci-fi series on comic book stands this April!

“MALIGNANT MAN will shock and awe!” says BOOM! Studios Marketing Director Chip Mosher. “If you’re looking for an epic adventure that’s action packed, pulse-pounding sci-fi at its very best, you can do no better than BOOM! Studios’ newest series MALIGNANT MAN!”

MALIGNANT MAN tells the story of Alan Gates, a cancer patient with a terminal diagnosis, who’s resigned to his fate…until he discovers that his tumor is actually a mysterious parasite! Granted a second lease on life and incredible, otherworldly powers, Alan must fight against an evil army buried beneath society’s skin, all the while unlocking the secrets of his forgotten past. Dark, twisted, and unlike anything else on the stands, MALIGNANT MAN is a sci-fi thriller that can’t be missed!

MALIGNANT MAN is written by James Wan and Michael Alan Nelson (28 DAYS LATER, DINGO) with art by Piotr Kowalski. This title ships in April with A and B covers in a 50/50 split by Trevor Hairsine and Rael Lyra respectively and carries a Diamond Code of FEB110851.

Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers #1 Preview

Based on the cartoon that ran for 65 episodes from 1989 to 1990 comes new adventures from Chip and Dale, starting in December. Being a child of the ’80s, I certainly remember the ‘toon. Now BOOM! Studios are catering to your nostalgia with a new series starring the chipmunk detectives/adventurers.

Official details and great looking preview below.

It’s the return of your favorite furry flatfoots in an all new original ongoing series! Coming on the heels of BOOM!’s bestselling DARKWING DUCK ongoing series, BOOM! continues the the Disney Afternoon Revolution with CHIP ‘N DALE RESCUE RANGERS as the diminutive detectives embark on all-new original adventures! This is the series that will have you singing that song you can never forget: ‘Sometimes some crimes go slipping through the cracks. But these two Gumshoes are picking up the slack. There’s no case too big, no case too small, when you need help just call -Ch-ch-ch-Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers!’

CHIP ‘N DALE RESCUE RANGERS #1 is currently available for pre-order from your local comic shop. To contact or find the local comic shop nearest you be sure to use the Comic Shop Locator. CHIP ‘N DALE RESCUE RANGERS is written by fan-favorite DARKWING DUCK author Ian Brill, with art by MARVEL SUPERHERO SQUAD’s Leonel Castellani and ships with two covers in a 50/50 split by Leonel Castellani and Magic Eye Studios respectively, with a 1-in-10 incentive cover by Jake Myler. CHIP ‘N DALE RESCUE RANGERS #1 carries a Diamond Code of OCT100886 and is shipping this December.

Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero #1 Review

Everyone knows who Stan Lee is. Of course, most non-comics readers probably think he created Superman and draws for Marvel now or something, but his reach is deservedly wide. Since he left the writing desk long ago he’s now more known for his appearances on TV shows about “real” superheroes and cameos in Marvel films.

No-one expects Lee’s writing to be as revolutionary as the days in the early ‘60s when he gave the world Spider-Man, X-Men, etc but he has nothing to prove anymore and it’s great to see that even as he approaches his 90th birthday he’s still active. BOOM! Studios surprised everyone with their “Stan’s Back” teaser earlier in the year and now we know what it’s all about. Stan Lee’s Soldier Zero is the first cab off the rank, with two more ongoing series (November’s The Traveler and December’s Starborn) to follow, all overseen by Lee and created by others. Paul Cornell is the scribe behind Soldier Zero, with Javier Pina supplying art and Dave Johnson as the designer of the main character. That’s an impressive line-up.

Captain Stewart Trautmann meets a fellow wheelchair bound citizen Shannon in the first few pages of this tale before catching up with his brother James and letting the exposition flow freely. That includes the fact that Trautmann was wounded in the Afghanistan war and is hoping for a relationship with Lily, a woman he works with at the Astrophysics department of Caldon University.

Waiting for a meteor shower with fellow staff members, and students, Trautmann reveals to Lily how he ended up in the wheelchair in an effective flashback to his war service and the pair share in a few awkward moments.

Throughout this issue short scenes of a suited alien attempting to escape a laser firing spaceship show up and in the last third the alien’s world and Trautmann’s collide. Elements of Green Lantern and Firestorm reveal themselves in the use of a human in an intergalactic war and two beings sharing the same body, but Pina’s expressive visuals and likeable lead may just pull this one ahead of the feeling that we’ve seen all this before. So far it’s too early to tell but with the talents involved and deeper themes at work it may just be more than a simple idea given life because of the selling power of Stan Lee’s name on the cover.

Lee has made a very impressive career out of “ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances” scenarios and Soldier Zero looks set to be another one. It’s not something we haven’t seen before, with even Mark Millar’s recent Superior just beating this book to the punch, with a wheelchair bound human becoming host to a powerful being, but the dialogue hear rings true and Trautmann’s doubt about his soldier’s past, coupled with the frustrations of his limited maneuverability and how the world sees him, should make for an interesting mix now that he has a powerful alien suit giving him all sorts of freedoms, and scary powers.

There’s a 6 page preview of the November launching The Traveler, another Stan Lee series by Mark Waid and Chad Hardin. It looks to be another simple tale (bad guy from the future chases a woman while a good guy shows up to protect her) but in Waid’s hands it could be as awesome as Irredeemable.

I’m surprised all 3 of these series are ongoing, I must say. I would’ve thought a mini-series would’ve been the safer bet, but then again, BOOM! (and Stan Lee of course) have a habit of surprising readers. Soldier Zero is a great place to get in on the ground floor of a new superhero series with an accessible feel and attractive art. If you’re sick of convoluted epics and want something more streamlined yet still entertaining, this isn’t a bad place to begin.

Dingo TPB Preview

On sale this Wednesday June 23 is a bunch of BOOM! goodies, including the latest issues of 7 Psycopaths and 28 Days Later, as well as more kid friendly material such as Disney’s Hero Squad: Ultraheroes and The Incredibles. Also available will be the Dingo TPB from the always reliable writer Michael Alan Nelson. Preview and official description below.

Written by Michael Alan Nelson
Drawn by Francesco Biagini
TPB, 120 pgs, FC, SRP: $16.99
Diamond Code: FEB100746
ISBN13: 9781608860197

The writer of HEXED and FALL OF CTHULHU brings you an all-new, all-nasty graphic novel! Dingo is man trying to get back something that was taken from him. A box. The contents of which will make Dingo stop at nothing to get it back. It’s a mystery that starts in Los Angeles and takes him to Vegas and beyond. Add in a very dangerous ex-wife, the biggest dog on the planet, and dark magic and you’ve got a recipe for disaster that’s a mix of pulp and urban fantasy. Don’t miss writer Michael Alan Nelson’s critical hit!

Hawks of Outremer #1 Review

Writer Robert E. Howard is most famous for creating Conan, but his tragic life also created a wealth of other characters and tales, some of which have also been adapted by Hollywood, such as Kull the Conqueror and the more recent Solomon Kane. Hawks of Outremer is one of those lesser known stories. Hawks is the name of a trilogy of tales centered on Cormac Fitzgeoffrey in the Third Crusade. The final was incomplete at the time of Howard’s suicide in 1936 and was eventually finished by writer Richard L. Tierney before being published in 1979. So, not the most auspicious character to begin a new comic with, but BOOM! present an intriguing tale here.

This is a world torn from history, with Irish Christian soldier Fitzgeoffrey doing the kind of work that hairy warriors do best – seeking vengeance and wreaking havoc. The issue opens with Cormac visiting a rowdy tavern near Turkey in 1190 A.D. where he proves that the rumours of his death in battle are merely that. After a catch up with a fellow Crusader, in which he tells the tale of his new sword and his undiplomatic meeting with King Richard while slaying some unbelievers, the adventure begins in earnest. Upon learning that Gerard, an old friend who once saved his life has been killed, Cormac becomes enraged and hunts for Baron Conrad, the man who denied Gerard aid, ready to give him what-for.

I was rather impressed by Hawks. Having not read Howard’s original tales, I’m unaware of how much adapting went into this issue from writer Michael Alan Nelson (who incidentally provides BOOM! with some of their best series, such as Hexed). However, the dialogue is boisterous and fantastic. Each page is littered with words that you just want to say aloud with manly gusto and a tankard of ale. Case in point – “I am no French she-knight to fear wading in the muck,” and “I name you liar, traitor and coward, dastard, poltroon and villain!” Awesome.

Nelson has grounded this in a subtle, yet believable world, devoid of Conan-like sorcery and has scattered characters that are eager to defend their faith or own self interests, and with Cormac in such a harsh environment of religion and politics, there’s room for many grand tales yet. Artist Damian Couceiro does a great job of keeping things real. With an approach similar to the fluid simplicity of Cary Nord (Dark Horse’s Conan series) he gives a rough hewn texture and weight to both people and places and fills the fighting scenes with just enough bloodshed as to not be over the top.

The ending of this debut issue is rather open, so where Cormac goes from here could be anyone’s guess, but I’m sure there’s probably a conspiracy of sorts to be unravelled and heads to be bashed or removed, in the remaining 3 issues. I’ll be there.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering Outremer refers to the states governed by the Christians after the Crusades, and the soldiers would be the Hawks. So there you go.

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