Category Archives: Comics

On This Flash Appreciation Day, Be a Hero and Support the Hero Initiative

flash appreciation dayOn February 11, 2006 “Flash and Substance” debuted. It was the premiere episode of Justice League Unlimited and in it the Flash was honored for his heroism with a celebration dubbed “Flash Appreciation Day.” Every year since, fans of the Scarlet Speedster celebrate the day.

On the tenth anniversary of this episode, ourselves and eight other websites are paying honor not just to the Flash, but also helping raise awareness for his creators, and all of the comic creators in need of help. Today, we’re asking for you to help chip and help support The Hero Initiative.

Hero InitiativeFormed in 2000, the Hero Initiative is a nonprofit that helps as a “financial safety net” for comic creators. In 2001 it was officially a nonprofit and since then they’ve granted over $700,000 to over 50 comic vets helping with emergency medical aid, financial support, and an avenue back into paying work. As they say on their website, “it’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.”

Created during the Golden Age of comics in January 1940, The Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 published at the time by All-American Publications. Writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert have the credit and their creation is still known today, not just by his superhero alter ego, but his regular name of Jay Garrick, a character that has a prominent role on today’s television series The Flash.

But, there’s been many iterations and people who have donned the mask. The one that might be most familiar to people is the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen. First appearing in Showcase #4 in October 1956, this second Flash was created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Carmine Infantino.

Kanigher is a name many comic fans are probably are unfamiliar with. Not as well known as Siegel, Shuster, Kane, or Finger, Kanigher ushered in the Silver Age of Comics and rebooted characters such as The Flash and Wonder Woman, he also created the Batman villain Poison Ivy and also the character Ragman (along with creator Joe Kubert), as well as a major impact on classic “war comics.” In 2014 Kanigher was recognized with the Bill Finger Award, 12 years after he had passed.

the_flash_creditInfantino had a long career, not just as a penciler, but also as DC Comics editorial director in the late 60s and DC Comics’ publisher in the 1970s. Infantino would also create another Flash, Wally West, as well as a large part of his supporting cast including Iris West, Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Mirror Master, Gorilla Grodd, as well as Elongated Man and Batgirl. In 2004 he sued DC Comics and Time Warner for the rights of those characters, which he created while a freelancer. He withdrew the lawsuit shortly after as the case was settled out of court for an unknown sum.

And that gets us back to the Hero Initiative. Looking at the latest issue of The Flash, or the television series, you wouldn’t know the names Gardner Fox, Harry Lampert, Robert Kanigher, or Carmine Infantino. While their names are listed in IMDB, they have never benefited from the cross media explosion of the characters they created. In other words, while DC and Time Warner have made millions from the Flash, the creators behind him have not and never will.

It’s unfortunate that something like the Hero Initiative has to exist, creators should be treated fairly, but we live in reality not fantasy and there is a need. The concepts of creators rights were foreign, with it being the late 70s and 80s before they become a movement, and the idea of those creations being on the big or small or computer screen were decades away for some. Many never benefited from their creations while their bosses did. That’s reality.

Be a hero like the Flash, there’s a lot you can do to help creators, the easiest being chip in $5 and help support them. It’s a small thanks for the enjoyment they’ve given us.

Review: Ninjak #12

Ninjak 12 coverMI-6′s doomed rescue mission into a parallel dimension is in dire peril as Ninjak and Punk Mambo find themselves face-to-face with the one and only Shadowman! But what is the true nature of the man once called Jack Boniface…and has his time trapped amidst the Deadside’s horrors stolen his humanity once and for all? A battle to save the soul of the Valiant Universe is about to begin – but even the good guys can’t be sure if they’re on the right side!

As Operation: Deadside reaches its penultimate issue, this story arc has become one of the most intriguing Ninjak stories I have read in a long time. Certainly the best in his own series, at any rate, a large part of that is the way in which it’s being told. With the narrative text bubbles taking the form of a debrief from Ninjak‘s MI-6 handler Neville and a commanding officer, we get to see how the official events (and the ramifications of certain things after the story) juxtapose with what actually happened during the mission as we read about it in the comic.

And it’s a doozy.

With Ninjak being teamed up with Punk Mambo for the mission, last issue saw them commandeer a living island (no, I’m not kidding, and yes it was awesome) in order to help them get to their directive. The story is really picking up it’s pace, and with only one issue left for the conclusion, I cant wait to see how it turns out because there’s a potentially universe shattering encounter coming up.

What I’ve most interesting about Operation: Deadside is how the back up strip, The Lost Files, is tying into it. While I expected there to be some cohesion between the two stories eventually, after all there was in the previous arc, I didn’t expect the current The Lost Files strip that focuses on the Magpie to be quite as good as it was. It’s honestly waiting to see how Matt Kindt ties the two in together next issue that has me waiting with bated breath. This isn’t a new reader friendly issue, not really, but you can easily start with Ninjak #10 and be just as good as if you’d been reading since issue #1.

Matt Kindt, Doug Braithwaite and Juan Jose Ryp have given us one of the best issues in the current run of Ninjak. Do yourself a favour and read the full arc.

Story: Matt Kindt: Art: Doug Braithwaite with Juan Jose Ryp
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Dynamite and Humble Bundle Team Up for a New Bundle

Dynamite Entertainment again partners with Humble Bundle for one of the most jam-packed collections of comics and prose yet! This latest offering features some of the biggest authors in the publisher’s catalog, giving readers approximately $250 in content for a fraction of the cover price for fans to pay what YOU want for each bundle, and introduce yourself to Dynamite’s library of literary titles!

The “pay what you want” model offers readers the chance to unlock over 120 comics, comprising over 3,500 pages of content. This will give graphic lit fans access to:

  • Charlaine Harris’ Grave Sight Part 1 by Charlaine Harris
  • The Shadow Vol 1: Fire of Creation by Garth Ennis and Aaron Campbell
  • Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thomson: Hopcross Jilly by Patricia Briggs
  • The Complete Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Leah Moore, and John Reppion
  • Sherlock Holmes: Year One by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Scott Beatty
  • The Spider Vol. 1: Terror of the Zombie Queen by David Liss and Francesco Francavilla
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Echoes by Tom Clancy

As the bundle progresses, there will be a running average.  For those who pay more than the average price will also unlock these additional titles:

  • Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin by Jim Butcher
  • Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time #1-6, 1.5 by Robert Jordan
  • Justice Inc. Vol. 1 by Michael Uslan
  • Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure by Bill Willingham and Joe Benitez
  • Shaft: A Complicated Man by David F. Walker
  • The Shadow Vol. 2 by Victor Gischler and Alex Ross
  • Dean Koontz’s Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz
  • Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet Vol. 2: Wearing o’ the Green by Kevin Smith
  • Vampirella Master Series Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar
  • Twilight Zone Vol. 2: The Way In by J. Michael Straczynski

$15 or more will get you:

  • Game of Thrones #1-4 by George R.R. Martin and Daniel Abraham
  • Django/Zorro Collection by Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner
  • The Last Temptation by Neil Gaiman and Alice Cooper
  • Legends of Red Sonja Collection by Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Nancy A. Collins, Marjorie Liu, and Blair Butler
  • Vampirella Master Series Vol. 4: Visionaries by Alan Moore, Jeph Loeb, Kurt Busiek, and Christopher Priest

As an added value, Dynamite and Humble Bundle will make a mid-promotion announcement, adding additional titles to be unlocked for anyone who purchases above the average price at that time! All who purchase at this tier or higher will be granted access to these special additions, regardless of when they buy in!

Upon purchase, you can choose where the money goes-between Dynamite and three charitable causes (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation) via the PayPal Giving Fund.

Preview: Insufferable: On the Road #1

Insufferable: On the Road #1

Mark Waid (w) • Peter Krause (a & c)

On the trail of the murderer who bankrupted them, Galahad and Nocturnus are forced to travel overseas—where their connections and resources are of no use to them!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Preview: Aliens vs Vampirella #6

Aliens vs Vampirella #6

writer: Corinna Bechko
artist: Javier García-Miranda
cover: Gabriel Hardman
incentive cover: Gabriel Hardman (B/W art)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

Aliens / Vampirella reaches its action-packed conclusion! Can Vampirella convince the resurrected Nosferatu to unite with humanity against a common foe? Can even Vampirella survive an encounter with a Xenomorph Queen/Vampire hybrid? The fate of every person left on Mars, both living and undead, hangs in the balance!

AliensVampi06-Cov-A-Hardman

Preview: Bloodthirsty #5

BLOODTHIRSTY #5

WRITER: Mark Landry
ARTIST:  Richard Pace
COVER A: Ashley Witter
COVER B: Georges Jeanty
COVER C: Joel Carpenter
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
FORMAT: Softcover
PAGE COUNT: 32 PP
ON SALE DATE: February 10, 2016

With Hurricane Rose in full swing and New Orleans’ poor and needy in the firing line, it’s going to take more than one man’s effort to save this sinking city. But will community spirit be enough to prevail? Find out in this nailbiting finale (featuring an epilogue by Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 8 artist, Georges Jeanty)!

BLOODTHIRSTY 5 COVER A by Ashley Witter

Preview: Adventure Time #49

Adventure Time #49

Imprint: KaBOOM!
Writer: Christopher Hastings
Artist: Phil Murphy

Finn and Jake’s old friend has to make a sacrifice to defeat a monstrous threat.

AdventureTime_049_A_Main

Preview: Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #3 (of 5)

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #3 (of 5)

Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott (w) • Derek Charm (a & c)

The all-new hit STAR TREK mini-series continues here, as Uhura and Kirk draw closer to uncovering the truth surrounding a century-old mystery. Meanwhile, T’Laan and the new cadets find themselves on the brink of elimination from the Centennial Competition!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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Preview: The Precinct #3

The Precinct #3

writer: Frank J. Barbiere
artist: Crizam Zamora
cover: Sergio Davila
incentive cover: Sergio Davila (B/W art)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

Mort and Jo dive deeper into the mystery of the steampunk monstrosities, while danger lurks around the corner! A dangerous new opponent makes his move, and our heroes face off against an army of mechanical spiders. Not everyone is going to survive, so find out who lives and who dies in the thrilling new steampunk series from Frank J. Barbiere (Avengers World) and Crizam Zamora (Vampirella: Prelude to Shadows)!

Pecinct03-Cov-A-Davila

Preview: Assassin’s Creed #5

ASSASSIN’S CREED #5

Writers: Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery
Artist: Neil Edwards
Colorist: Ivan Nunes
Letterer: Comicraft
COVER A: Matt Taylor
COVER B: Mariano Laclaustra
COVER C: Dennis Calero
Publisher: Titan Comics
Format: Softcover
Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: February 10, 2016

Charlotte has to call on all she has learned from her ancestor Tom Stoddard to save her cell from decimation at the hands of Abstergo. In doing so, she learns more about herself, and more about the Brotherhood than she expected, and is forced to decide where her loyalties lie…

AC #5 Cover A by Matt Taylor

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