One of the best episodes of television’s Angel was an episode called Smile time – in which Angel became a muppet-like puppet while investigating a children’s show that appeared to be putting children into comas, while sporting Joker-like rictus-grins. Like the best eps of the series, Smile Time combined off-the-wall horror with equally off-the-wall humor.
IDW adapted the episode into a three-issue mini-series and followed it up with a puppet/werewolf date and a mini-series that followed Spike and green demon Lorne to Japan, where a Japanese version of the deadly kiddie show was doing the same thing to Japanese kids.
Astro Boy is back with a bang in IDW’s adaptation of the forthcoming [October] movie. Distilling the essence of a character that has been a long-running manga; two television series and now “a major motion picture” can’t be easy. After all, there are several decades of Astro Boy material in one form or another.
The first issue of the IDW mini-series, adapted by Scott Tipton and Dave Tipton, with art by E.J. Su, begins at the very beginning [a very good place to start] and introduces us to most of the main characters: Dr. Tenma and his son, Toby; Orrin, Tenma’s butler/chauffeur, Professor Elefun, and President Stone among them.
Walt Disney Co. is about to lay out $4 billion to add Marvel Comics to its family – uniting Spider-Man and Mickey Mouse under the same banner. The purpose of the acquisition is to enable Disney to reconnect with the young, male audience it has been losing over the last several years.
While the timing of the deal may seem odd, taking place as it does in a time when the media business is coping with shrinking audiences and declining advertisers, Disney will be acquiring a stable of very popular characters to use in virtually arm of its business interests. Movies, television, comic books, theme parks; live action, animation – for Disney – and Marvel, too – this could be a match made in financial heaven.
Doppler is a bipedal rabbit with the worst luck – and he has two rabbit’s feet! So, there he is, stuck in a pit and about to become a crocidog’s breakfast when out of the sky comes hurtling… an elephant! Sucker lands right on the crocidog! Unfortunately, Doppler’s luck, being what it is, things don’t quite work out – even as he and his new bestest pal scramble out of the pit. Right into more trouble…
PATH is an energetic, sepia-toned ride. For most of its eighty pages [not including covers], Gregory S. Baldwin’s odd couple race or one problem to another, generating shocks, surprises and most of all, laughs. Then, just when you finally twig to the whole Road Runner/Wiley Coyote vibe, he pulls a fast one and lays on an effective bit of poignancy.
In CLA$$WAR: The Collected Edition Rob Williams’ spins the tale of superhero patsies helping to prop up a corrupt American government [and the powers behind the scenes] – and one hero, American, who dares to let the country know what’s really going on. It’s a remarkably mature work for a first-time writer [Note: CLA$$WAR was produced 2002 – and was written earlier than that: Williams has since written for Marvel, Dark Horse and others]. The hardcover edition being reviewed came out late last year].
It’s not a happy America. Civilians are fed rah, rah stuff that seems to go against what they’re seeing with their own eyes. Cover-ups abound. American – aided by an elderly black man named Isaac – has already uncovered some of the stuff that’s been swept under the carpet and he’s not ready to stop. So, President Bush [this was written before Dubya had become POTUS] orders his former team members [Code Name: Enola Gay – some of this stuff ain’t hard to figure out] to take him out – even if they have to nuke the country of Genada [the dictatorship being one they helped set up].
This is the first of an irregular series of reviews that will follow a number of titles through their runs – or at least, as far as the publishers allow. This review will cover two manga that are practically polar opposites: Pluto, Vol. 3 – a series that reworks a classic Astro Boy/Mighty Atom tale in a darker, more dramatic manner [think Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns as opposed to the Adam West Batman TV series], and Oishinbo A la Carte: Sake and Ramen & Gyoza – a series about the creation of an ultimate menu of Japanese cuisine.
John Higgins is best known as the colorist of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic graphic novel, Watchmen. With Razorjack, he bounds onto that rarefied level of creativity as writer/creator, artist and colorist.
In simple terms, Razorjack is the tale of a horrific creature – the titular Razorjack – who lives to destroy [and by destroy, I mean the universe] and the all-too human cops who stumble into her path. Allow me to quote from the back cover blurb:
“Three college kids inadvertently create the opening from the alternate universe of The Twist Universe and become a focus for the evil that is Razorjack.
Following some, yes, extraordinary adventures, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman [still led by Mina Murray – no thanks to Sean Connery…] have moved with the times in this, the first chapter of a six-part graphic novel. Captain Nemo is dying and his rebellious daughter, Janni, has run off to find a life for herself on land; Murray and Allan Quartermain have been joined in their unusual pursuits by gentleman thief A.J. Raffles, the omnisexual immortal, Orlando and Thomas Carnacki, Ghost Finder.
Carnacki’s frequently clairvoyant nightmares have the group on edge because of an apocalypse that may – or may not – be centered on Kings Crossing. Apparently a dead man and a suspected Jack [the Jack!] could play a role. And what is a Moonchild – and how do you make one? As Mina and her team of adventurers seek aid from a man bound to London, but not to time, and Sherlock Holmes’ smarter, fatter brother, a Brechtian lyric winds through the tale adding its own macabre mood as it springs from the lips of several different people – but always in sequence.
Secret Identities: The Asian-American Superhero Anthology may represent something of a breakthrough. As an ethnicity that both has a rich and powerful tradition and is greatly under-represented in comics [of all genres – not just the superhero one], a number of very talented Asian-American writers, artists and writer/artists have banded together to produce a volume of superhero stories that range from the straightforward superhero yearn to biting satire. If they can’t find superheroes to relate to, they’ll just go ahead and make their own!
The brains behind the anthology, Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow and Jerry Ma have collected material from comics pros like Bernard Chang [Wonder Woman], Hellen Jo [Jin & Jan], Greg LaRocque [Legion of Superheroes, The Flash], Dustin Nguyen [Batman: Detective Comics] and Greg Pak [Hulk, the film Robot Stories] and; actors Kelly Hu [The Scorpion King, X2] and Dustin Tri Nguyen [V.I.P., Saigon Eclipse]; members of the filmmaking industry like Benton Jew [formerly with Industrial Light & Magic] and Michael Kang [The Motel, West 32nd], and more than four dozen other contributors [including themselves, of course].
In one of those rare, leaked free, Pop Culture surprises, Marvel Comics killed off one of it’s icons Captain America a few years ago. Not only that, but it’s amazing the Death of Steve Rogers has stuck this long and many say the book has been better for it. As a matter of fact Bucky Barnes has become a fan favorite. A story that captured international attention, Captain America #25 polarized shocked audiences by starkly depicting the murder the cultural icon. On that fateful day when shots rang out on the courthouse steps, Cap’s greatest enemy—the Red Skull– achieved his greatest ambition—or so it seemed. Since that time, the Marvel Universe has been in chaos, as as the Red Skull has worked towards his true endgame. But now there is a ray of hope in the form of Steve Rogers!
How can Steve Rogers return from the dead, and will his rebirth be enough to stop the global threat of his sworn enemy? Hitting shelves on July 1st, the special five part series Captain America Reborn finally reveals the true scope of the Red Skull’s nefarious plan, and begins Captain America’s triumphant return. For fans of Captain America and those wanting to own a part of this historic moment in Marvel history, visit your local comic book retailer on July 1, 2009 to purchase Captain America Reborn #1. To learn more about this landmark event, go to www.marvel.com/reborn! To find a comic book retailer near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com/ or call 888-COMICBOOK. And be sure to pick up Captain America #600, on sale this week, as the road to Reborn begins!
This is one of the greatest fan trailers ever. I found it at the Ifanboy.com website, someone put a lot of thought and effort into this, Warner Brothers should hire whoever did this to be involved in their rumored Green Lantern movie. You would think Green Lantern would be one of the easiest characters to bring to the big screen. But whoever created this trailer, bravo!