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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Stan Lee’s The Traveler #1 Preview

Legendary creator Stan Lee has a few new series coming out from BOOM! Studios, starting with The Traveler. Below is a preview, official info and some of the covers from the November releasing title.

STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER #1, currently available for Comic Book Retailers to order from Diamond Comic Distributors and Haven Distributors, is written by Eisner and Harvey Award-nominee Mark Waid (KINGDOM COME, IRREDEEMABLE) with art by Chad Hardin (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and ships with seven covers, including A & B covers in a 50/50 split by Scott Clark and Chad Hardin respectively, a 1-in-25 incentive by Joe Benitez, 1-in-50 Undressed Scott Clark Variant, 1-in-75 Undressed Chad Hardin, 1-in-150 Undressed Joe Benitez Variant and a special 1-in-300 Stan Lee signed variant cover with all new cover art by Paul Rivoche. STAN LEE’S THE TRAVELER #1 carries a Diamond Code of SEP100889 and is shipping this November.

Happy Birthday Mark Waid!

The legendary writer is now 48. Waid is one of the few writers who cemented my love for comics almost 2 decades ago. His run on Flash and the excellent Kingdom Come  mini with artist Alex Ross made me want to follow him anywhere and I pretty much have since discovering him. He’s doing great work as the Editor In Chief of BOOM! Studios, and as the writer behind their flagship series, Irredeemable. Here’s a list I totally agree with of Waid’s Top 10 books for those unfamiliar with the legendary world creator.

Here’s to 48 more Mr. Waid!

Incorruptible #1 Review

It only seems like yesterday that a website opened up simply declaring, “Mark Waid Is Evil.” Some speculated that it was created by a group of fanboys who for some reason disliked the work of the legendary writer of Kingdom Come and great runs on The Flash and Spider-Man. What it really was was a clever marketing ploy from BOOM! Studios, the indie publisher that Waid is the Editor In Chief of.

The slogan proved true when Irredeemable launched (now in it’s 9th issue) from the writer and artist Peter Krause that focused on hero turned bad, The Plutonian. Like many others, I’ve been bowled over by the dark superhero series, and now it’s joined by a spin-off, Incorruptible. Also written by Waid, and with art by Jean Diaz this series is the other side of the coin, representing a villain turned hero in the wake of The Plutonian’s gruesome acts of destruction.

It begins with Max Damage’s gang pulling a heist, after waiting impatiently for their leader who’s been gone  a month. He now shows his new colours, and he’s on the side of the angels, surprising cops and villains alike in an impressive action sequence on a bridge. It’s then off to Max’s hideout where he shows his new attitude to his sidekick of sorts, the appropriately named Jailbait and a police captain.

It’s obvious that this ties firmly into the structure of Irredeemable and is definitely not just a mere tie-in series quickly pumped out to cash in on the success of that series. There’s no real hints as to Max’s origin, and we know from BOOM! that he changes his name from Max Damage to Max Daring, but that’s not set up just yet. In fact not a lot happens here. It feels like the first few minutes of a Lethal Weapon film; all action, high-stakes drama and tough men with weapons, but Waid makes it all so charming and appealing.

I like Peter Krause’s work on Irredeemable, but Jean Diaz’s work is superior. Overall, this series after only one issue, looks set to be even more grungier than it’s originator. Jailbait seems like a Garth Ennis character, and the conflict between our new hero and her, plus all his former villainous team-mates, and the distrust of the remaining heroes should play out brilliantly.

Plus that last page is a doozy and it appears as though Max’s early encounter with The Plutonian became his life turning moment with good reason. Irredeemable demands a high quality story of anything associated with it. Incorruptible looks to be a more than capable sparring partner.

Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #3 Preview

Being released tomorrow is the third issue of Top Cow’s Cyberforce/ Hunter-Killer mini-series. Here’s what the Cow have to say about the issue, plus a few perty pics from artist Kenneth Rocafort. Looks good, hey?

Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #3

(W) Mark Waid (A) Kenneth Rocafort (Cov) Rocafort, Whilce Portacio

The reason for Morningstar’s alliance with Cyberdata becomes clear and the teams of Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer team members rush to destroy key facilities around the world. Only Morningstar is one step ahead and has a deadly welcoming party ready!

Featuring a cover by series artist Rocafort as well as a variant cover by Whilce Portacio (Spawn).

Cover A – Kenneth Rocafort

Cover B – Whilce Portacio

Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #4 Covers

Hitting stores on November 18 is the penultimate part of the pretty, and action packed Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer series. Details from Top Cow below.



Top Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today the upcoming release of the penultimate installment of Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #4 the first crossover between Top Cow’s Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer teams. Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #4 is written by Mark Waid (Amazing Spider-Man, Strange), who co-created Hunter-Killer with Top Cow’s CEO and founder Marc Silvestri in 2005, with artwork by Kenneth Rocafort (Madame Mirage, Pilot Season: The Core), who drew the final four issues of the initial Hunter-Killer Season One series.

In Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #4, both the Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer teams have discovered that Morningstar and Cyberdata are working towards a frightening global-spanning goal, but will the two teams be able to trust each other enough to survive the encounter against their true foes?

Silvestri created Cyberforce as the first comic book title to be produced by his newly-formed company in 1992. Hunter-Killer was created in 2005 by Silvestri and Waid. Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer picks up after Hunter-Killer: Season One wrapped up.

Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #4 will arrive in stores on November 18th and features covers by Rocafort and Whilce Portacio (Image United).

Two cover variants will be offered for Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #4, one by series artist Rocafort and another by Top Cow “Artist Pit” alumni Joe Benitez (Soulfire, Teen Titans). The fully colored Benitez cover is revealed for the first time now.

Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #4 will retail for $2.99 as part of Top Cow’s own initiative to keep all of their regular comics priced at $2.99 for the duration of the 2009 calendar year.



Mark Waid Is Incorruptible

BOOM! Studios “let slip” about this new series during their presentation at Comic-Con this year and now here is the official announcement. Mark Waid’s excellent dark superhero series, Irredeemable is getting a spin-off of sorts. When first I heard the title, I thought it might be a prequel detailing The Plutonian’s descent from heroism to villainy. That’s not the case, but it sounds intriguing enough.



Incorruptible #1 Cvr AThe Flip Side To This Year’s Break-Out Smash Hit IRREDEEMABLE!

A New Ongoing Series That Asks The Question: What Happens When A Villain Becomes A Hero?

Issue #1 covers by John Cassaday and Tim Sale

Incentive cover by Jeffrey Spokes

Last April BOOM! Studios showed the world that “Mark Waid Is Evil” with the smash hit series IRREDEEMABLE. Now Mark Waid is INCORRUPTIBLE. A new ongoing series launching this December, INCORRUPTIBLE asks the question: What Happens When A Villain Becomes A Hero? Written by Mark Waid and sporting sensational interior art by hot newcomer Neil Edwards (SQUADRON SUPREME) INCORRUPTIBLE features covers by John Cassaday (ASTONISHING X-MEN) and Tim Sale (BATMAN: LONG HALLOWEEN).

INCORRUPTIBLE showcases super villain Max Damage, who had an epiphany the day The Plutonian destroyed Sky City. That day, when The Plutonian turned his back on humanity, Max Damage decided to step up. Now Max Damage has changed his name to Max Daring and turned from his formerly selfish ways to become… INCORRUPTIBLE. The flip side to this year’s break-out smash hit IRREDEEMABLE, examining the hard, difficult road to changing your ways and making a difference in the world…

Incorruptible #1 Cvr C“While you don’t need to be reading IRREDEEMABLE to enjoy this new series, INCORRUPTIBLE continues that complex study of caped morality at the end of the world,” says Managing Editor, Matt Gagnon. “Readers will be shown a shockingly different perspective of The Plutionian’s world, where a super-villain, pushed by an insurmountable force, dares to be INCORRUPTIBLE. ”

INCORRUPTIBLE is an ongoing series written by Mark Waid, with sensational interior art by sizzling hot artist Neil Edwards (FARSCAPE). INCORRUPTIBLE #1 ships with two covers in a 50/50 split, featuring art by John Cassaday (IRREDEEMABLE, PLANETARY) and Tim Sale (BATMAN: HAUNTED KNIGHT, HEROES), and also has a 1-in-10 incentive cover by Jeffrey Spokes. INCORRUPTIBLE carries a Diamond Code of OCT090784.

Mark Waid Was Evil

I just ran across this site recently and it appears that perhaps a prequel to BOOM! Studios’ successful Irredeemable Series is forthcoming. The series launched with the simple tagline, and associated site with only the words, Mark Waid Is Evil. It certainly got people talking about the dark superhero ongoing series by legendary writer Mark Waid.  Let’s hope this new series show just why The Plutonian turned his back on humanity and heroism.

Mark Waid Was Evil

Irredeemable #5 Review

Irredeemable #5Man, Mark Waid really is evil. More than the clever marketing slogan that launched this series, it’s becoming increasingly real as I read each new issue of this superhero-turned-bad series from BOOM! Studios. When I saw Waid at Comic-Con he was all smiles and thankful nods. If I see him again, I think I’ll avoid eye contact and walk slowly away.

With lines like, “On the upside, however, this is a boom time for map makers,”and, “Let’s call it even,” once noble superhero The Plutonian stamps his evil intent upon the world. His former team-mates of The Paradigm are inching their way to something that may one day resemble success and doubts over The Plutonian’s ex-girlfriend, Bette surface. The Paradigm are the sort of superhero archetypes we’ve seen before, and Waid humorously acknowledges that fact through the character of Volt, a black electricity wielding hero.

Waid does a great job once more of unleashing superpowered bitterness and child-like rage through his main character’s behaviour, and Peter Krause’s art is not overly rendered, but done with a darkness that fits into Waid’s plots. One glare or wry smile from The Plutonian is more than enough here, and that Hitchcock level of restraint from showing violence makes these pages work a treat.

As “slipped” at BOOM!’s Comic-Con panel, a new series called Incorruptible could be on the way, and with a title like that I can only assume it offers a look at The Plutonian’s past before the mysterious turning point flipped his switch. Waid wisely gives us glimpses at the character’s happier past in Irredeemable, but if BOOM! provides a look at The Plutonian’s two states of mind in separate, though perhaps concurrently running, series it opens up this tale to an even deeper reading experience.

The $10 TPB of the first four issues of this great series is out now, and seeing as #5 is only 99c you can get the whole mad tale thus far for less than $11. I bought mine yesterday because it’s one of those books you have to own to pass to your non-fanboy friends, despite any possible doubts they may have. This isn’t “just another superhero series,” and that’s what makes it so brilliant.

Irredeemable #4 Review

Irredeemable #4There’s a real weight behind this title thanks to the power of the name behind it. I grew up on many Mark Waid written comics. He was one of the creators that cemented my love for sequential art, and primarily superheroes. I can picture Waid typing away at the keyboard with an evil cackle, twirling his moustache and then perhaps tying a damsel to the closest railway tracks while he creates this series. Irredeemable is the product of Bizarro Waid.

With a handy catch up page here, newcomers can understand what’s gone before. However, the summary can’t contain the emotional wallop that Waid and artist Peter Krause have created in the previous issues. If you are new to this title, grab the TPB in August, which is even more tempting as it’s only $9.99.

Basically however, The Plutonian is earth’s greatest superhero, or rather, he was. Now he’s joined the dark side and is fed up with humanity, which is entirely understandable really. We all get that way at times, while suffering fools in our daily lives. However, we don’t have superpowers and the best of us will often show our contempt with a stern word or a rolling of the eyes. Imagine if we had superpowers and then hrew a tantrum. Then things would get real ugly, real quick.

The Plutonian’s former team-mates of super group, The Paradigm are desperately trying to find clues from their ex-friend’s past, in order to discover his weakness. It’s a race against time and they are only making small steps towards an uncertain victory. In this issue, The Plutonian continues his world-wide rampage and in a great scene at the United Nations, shows the world that it is unwise to unite against him, or to lie to him. Singapore suffers tragically at his hands while other countries can only hope to appease his wrath by offering him sovereignty over their people.

Waid’s timing and Krause’s emotional renditions work well together, to reveal the human face of devastation, and the sheer desperation of The Paradigm who show what true heroism really is. However, I feel an urge to know more about The Plutonian’s turning. So far only hints have been given, and there are no real further clues in this fourth issue. We can’t be expected to feel any kind of sympathy for The Plutonian, but a greater level of understanding is due. Rooting for The Paradigm is mandatory, but The Plutonian, while scary due to a lack of humanity also lacks any motivation for evil so far. He’s the bad guy because of what he does, but we still have no concrete idea as to why. The Paradigm apparently know very little about The Plutonian, and perhaps will come to question their trust over the years of a man, or super man, they knew little about.

In this issue is also an 8 page preview of Poe, which launches in July. Written by J. Barton Mitchell, with gloomy art by Dean Kotz it shows famous scribe Edgar Allan Poe as a widower in a mental health facility, facing nightmares about a dead girl, while his brother tries his best to help him. It’s a pretty good intro to the series and looks gothic enough in its approach.

Irredeemably Cheap

In August you can grab the first 5 issues of the mega-awesome dark superhero tale, Irredeemable from BOOM! Studios for just $11 – American. Written by Mark Waid with art by Peter Krause, it really is a guilty pleasure. The TPB collecting the first four issues will be released on the same day as the new 5th issue, for only 99 cents. That’s an evil bargain!

Irredeemable TPB Ad

Irredeemable #3 Review

Irredeemable #3 CoverBasically all you need to know about this series is that it is centered on The Plutonian. He used to be a great goodie and he’s turned into an evil baddie. It’s a great and simple premise, but writer Mark Waid has fashioned it into quite the complex tale. As any scribe knows, or is at least told, no-one wakes up in the morning and decides, “I think I’m going to be evil today!” Every well crafted villain, especially in comics is motivated by what they see as a genuine cause. Lex Luthor is motivated by his ego, Magneto is motivated by belief in mutant superiority, and so on.

The beauty of Irredeemable is that we are given glimpses into The Plutonian’s reasons for turning evil; the emotional erosion that gradually forced him to turn from humanity. As he says here he lives in “a world of miserable, bitter, ungrateful paramecium who lash out at you in a state of perpetual rage for not solving their problems fast enough.” It’s part of a great speech and gives concrete words to the years of frustration he’s obviously felt as the world’s most loved superhero.

This ish opens with a voyeuristic, though unrevealing, sex scene. Apparently the ex-hero likes to watch, and has lost someone dear to him. Like the previous issues, there is carnage here as his former team-mates from The Paradigm discover a Batcave-like hideout of Inferno, one of The Plutonian’s friends. After Inferno’s death, his secret identity became public, so the Paradigm members go there in the hopes of finding some clues as to how to stop The Plutonian’s rampage.

A few supervillains have the same idea, and just when it looks like The Plutonian will team up with them, he shows that he’s not really that interested in making any friends.

Peter Krause’s art is freshly realistic, but not overly so. Some of his costume designs seem somewhat outdated, but it must be difficult to come up with new superpowered analogues. We’ve seen a lot of them, and Mark Waid has created a many over the years.

This isn’t the best issue of the series, but it does move the tale forward. The danger would be in not humanizing The Plutonian, while only throwing us tantalizing glimpses of the past, a la Lost. However it’s obvious that Waid has thought about the past, present and future of Irredeemable and is having as much corrupted fun throwing it at us as we are with reading it.

The Unknown #1 Review

The Unknown #1 CvrNot that Mark Waid needs to prove himself anymore. Long ago he elevated himself into superstar status but since leaving The Big Two, and taking up residency with BOOM! Studios, the writer has varied his output considerably. Moving away from his mastery of superheroes (though he still has something to say on the topic, as can be seen in the astonishing Irredeemable), he seems to be embracing every genre he can get his hands on, from crime in Potter’s Field, to kid-friendly adventure in The Incredibles and now to the mysteries of science in his latest series.

The Unkown is a 4 ish mini that follows Catherine Allingham. Apparently she’s a very smart woman – the world’s smartest person in fact, though we are only given hints as to why. The take charge private eye only has 6 months to live, thanks to an incurable, and growing, brain tumour. She seems very confident and as focused as a laser beam, assumedly because of her limited time left on this earth, but perhaps she was like that before her death sentence.

The first few pages aren’t a flattering start. They’re staged quite awkwardly, with page transitions that need to be re-read to get a sense of time. Catherine wakes up to a hallucination (that occurs again, twice) of a creepy Frankenstein lookalike, before making it disappear thanks to some pills. She’s then called into a murder scene and deduces the culprit almost immediately before heading home. On the way she meets James Doyle, a perceptive bouncer. Before Doyle knows it, he’s teaming up with the famous detective and on a plane with her to Vienna. It is there that the new partners find twin scientists working on a huge machine. The Faderbauer brothers claim they are victims of the world’s first quantum crime, while Catherine discovers what their machine is capable of measuring.

This left me unimpressed. It’s a great premise, to be sure. The world’s best investigator chasing down the world’s last mystery – life after death. Well, this mission isn’t stated in this story, but that’s what the promos tell us. Presumably, Catherine is on a quest to grasp what has eluded mankind since it first discovered death – what happens next. Motivated by the tumour that’s robbing her remaining days, she’s in a hurry. That makes sense and is intriguing. The problem here is that we not given any real glimpse into who Catherine is. Hopefully that will come in future issues, but I found myself wanting to know more about Doyle than her. The way Waid handles Catherine kind of reminded me of how some writers handle Batman. To prove his proficiency, they make him always appear to be the smartest person in the room. He easily solves dilemmas and dashes to the next one, leaving those in his wake appear helpless. Catherine is not so much a character as a force of nature, merely a blur of multi-tasking self-reliance. Now that can work, but there’s no anchor to her humanity. She’s not aggressive, or rude or cocky, which in the hands of a lesser writer she easily could have been. It’s just that there’s no awareness of her as a real person.

Minck Oosterveer’s art is great though. Similar to John Paul Leon, with his use of blacks and muted textures, he can draw pretty much anything. It all looks real and never awkward. Felipe Martin’s colouring is perhaps too restrained however, though it does add a noir feel with the use of shadows and silhouettes.

I’d be a foolish man to give up on Waid. He knows what he’s doing and BOOM! has had a superb recent history with strong female characters, such as with Hexed. Hopefully Catherine Allingham can be one more, but it’s not immediately obvious just yet.

Irredeemable #2 Review

irredeemable_002aSure, the first two issues of this excellent series from BOOM! Studios have sold out, but second printings will be available very soon. I heaped my praise on the first issue (as did many others) and will do so again now.

Irredeemable is a new series from writer Mark Waid. If you have any interest in comics, you owe it to yourself to Google that name and pick up whatever you can find with his name on it at your LCS or bookstore. Waid is legendary. The classic Kingdom Come is as good as he gets, though it means more to long-time readers, though he’s proved with all the monthly assignments he’s had over the years, (The Flash, Captain America, etc) that he knows how to welcome newbies too. Irredeemable will satisfy both parties.

Issue 1 was a great set up. It’s such a simple premise, that I’m certain it’s been done before, but surely without such panache. Waid knows superheroes. The mindset, philosophies, the grand soap operas, the relationships in constant turmoil. All that stuff, plus fist fights between spandex clad characters is the glue that makes superhero comics great. With Irredeemable Waid respects those conventions, yet shatters them at the same time. His skill lies in not being too flamboyant and in yoir face, like other superhero ‘re-examinations’ such as The Authority or Kick Ass attempt. Waid is a gentleman, and doesn’t resort to nudity, profanity and blood letting to get his point across. However, saying that, as BOOM!’s marketing ploy reminded us weeks ago, “Mark Waid is evil.”

So here’s the story – The Plutonian was a great do-gooder; a costumed inspiration in the vein of Superman. Now he’s turned bad and is swiftly executing his former Paradigm team-mates. As is the trend of story telling these days, it’s told in a non-linear fashion. We are given glimpses of the past (during sunnier times, when the cracks started to show in the heroic visage) and mainly of the present with the world’s most powerful man on a vicious rampage. Kaidan, one of The Plutonian’s former allies,  seeks The Plutonian’s initially surly girlfriend for answers. She tells Kaidan of their romance, and how the only villain he ever feared was Modeus, and gives hints to his background.  I won’t spoil anymore than that. There’s a tremendous sense of urgency in this issue. We are never shown The Plutonian in the present. He exists only in flashbacks, yet Waid builds the menace like a crafty architect.

If you’ve ever enjoyed superhero tales for any length of time, you must grab this series. Sure, the characters are all new, but we recognise them instantly. It seems to me that over all the years Waid has been writing comics, he’s been storing away ideas for this series in the dark corners of his notepad. He unleashes blistering pages with ease. The highlight of this issue is an unpleasant, yet realistic, twist on the classic secret identity concept. It’s obvious Waid has really thought about this whole superhero thing and just what it means as part of a practical, daily existence, with all the desperation, responsibility and horror that accompany it.

Peter Krause’s art is suitably dark and frightening, and grounded in reality. It’s a perfect match for what Waid is up to. There really is a tremendous piece of fiction being unveiled here, with precision and fury. Don’t miss out on this series. It’s one of the very few that have me looking forward to each astonishing instalment.

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