Tag Archives: dark horse

Review: Barb Wire Vol. 2 #1

barbThis series comes in the wake of so many reboots or reimaginings of characters that had been popular in other times.  Although this trend is more popular at Dynamite as it utilizes characters in the public domain, Dark Horse is also known to do so.  In this case though the character has always belonged to Dark Horse, and even relatively recently, having been big in the 1990s at the same time as the Bad Girls were making a mark for themselves across the medium.  Barb Wire was a little different from the regular Bad Girl though.  A common theme among the Bad Girls was a connection to the occult, and Barb Wire had little to do with it, instead relying on her skills and cunning in a semi-dystopian future America.  She is a bar owner and bounty hunter in the town of Steel Harbor, and ends up being somewhat of a hero as she cleans up the streets of the city.

For those that liked the character in the 90s and wanted more, then this is likely the series for them.  There is in fact not much which is different, between Barb being on the hunt for a bail jumper, someone calling her “babe” and the immediate fallout of that and then a long time spent hanging at her bar until some other scheme or development takes place.  In the case of this issue though there is a bit of an update which would be necessary compared to the world of the 1990s, specifically with texting being such an important part of society now, it is also mentioned here.  Also the corporations seem to fit into a bit of a more evil stereotype here, thanks in part to the occupy movements effect on pop culture.

There is probably no one that will expect a masterpiece out of this series, and rightfully so.  The concept is not that original, nor was it even original when it first came out.  It is built on characters that might have been a bit edgy at the time, but pop culture has since given us a decent selection of badass babes (sorry) that make Barb only one among their ranks.  At the same time this issue manages to effectively update the series and the characters and to give them new blood.  It might not be a masterpiece but it is fun and worth a look, though it is hard to imagine that the series gains too much traction.

Story: Chris Warner Art: Patrick Olliffe
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

 

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

We Stand on GuardWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

We Stand on Guard #1 (Image Comics) – Brian K Vaughn is taking on giant robots and Canada. Sign me up. I’ve been awaiting this one since it was announced at Image Expo.

The Bunker #12 (Oni Press) – Josh Fialkov’s time travel comic has been amazing with each issue and the fact is, I have no idea what will happen. It’s just beyond amazing and one of my favorite comics.

Red Skull #1 (Marvel) – If there’s one character that can mess up Doom’s new world, I’m convinced it’s the Red Skull. Maybe we’ll get the first hints as to how Doom will fall here?

Secret Wars #4 (Marvel) – The first three issues were solid in the best Marvel event in quite some time. It’s interesting to see where it all goes, and I’m along for the ride.

The Wicked + The Divine #12 (Image Comics) – Did you read the last issue? That alone is the reason I’m looking for this one. I seriously have no idea what’s happening next.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Will Eisner’s The Spirit #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – I’m a sucker for anything set in the 40’s, and the Spirit is no exception. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I heard the comic was being released. I even though the movie was pretty decent. Did I just lose my nerd-cred?

Detective Comics #42 (DC Comics) – I’ve always been a closet Harvey Bullock fan, so to have at least a two-part story focused exclusively on him? There is no way I couldn’t pick this up.

We Stand On Guard #1 (Image Comics)A military comic that features giant robots and is written by Brian K Vaughn? What’s not to love?

 

Elana

Top Pick (tie) The Wicked + The Divine #12 (Image Comics) – Ack! My heart! It’s been smashed somewhere on the floor! It’s listening to “People Who Died” and “Rock and Roll Suicide” on repeat.

But Don’t You Cry Tonight (Gillen/McKelvie still love you, baby). There’s an underworld bellow us (BAYBAAHH) and Persephone is the goddess who comes back from the dead every spring.

This month’s issue is a flashback to Inanna’s origins. So put on Purple Rain and pretend you don’t know what’s to come.

Top Pick (tie) The Humans #6 (Image Comics) – It’s been reported that this issue is going to start giving us some more material about the women in The Humans and Johnny’s long lost former girlfriend. I’ve always appreciated how even in this male-centered story all of the female characters are easily identifiable and unique. This issue could make good on that promise.

But that’s not what I read this comic for. That’s just my intellect talking. I read it because it’s in my guts. (Teaser of a thought piece I’m working on).

It’s safe to say this comic will continue to be some of the best crafted, most addictive, least office appropriate reading you’ll find.

A-Force #2 (Marvel) – All of everyone’s favorite female heroes on one team! I was a bit thrown off by this new issues’s summary page. It describes Sister Grimm and Ms. America as foster sisters. Brett and I had interpreted them as a romantic couple. But let’s see where this goes. Hopefully there will be girl kissing and sharks being punched. And more She-Hulk.

Airboy #2 (Image Comics) – Hey Kids! Airboy is appearing in a comic of the same name! But I’m not reading this for a WWII Boy Adventurer. I’m here for the gonzo struggles of the artist as a middle aged man. (Read my review of issue 1 to find out more.) Will this comic’s writer and artist– this story’s actual protagonists– despoil the golden lad of the Golden Age? Pretty sure all of the hangovers we’re ever had, all put together are less interesting then the hangover that this creative team is about to experience (and they invite us along for the ride).

I want to warn our readers that there is seriously transphobic content in issue 2. I did not have a review copy when I put this issue on my picks list and wrote my endorsement based on my having enjoyed issue 1. Now, having read this issue I am not endorsing it.  We will be discussing the problems with it soon. I’m really disappointed.

Years of Future Past #2 (Marvel) – This Secret Wars title seems to have gone entirely under the radar. That’s a shame. It’s a Claremonterrific spin-off of the classic X-Men Future Dystopia, the one that birthed all those crazy X-Men continuities. The book’s got heavy handed but emotionally resonant political metaphor to spare. It also has Kitty Pryde married to Colossus (though he’s only the 2nd best member of the Rasputin family for her to be in love with) and they have a daughter! And she meets Logan’s mysterious son “Cameron”. Ooooo. Who’s he named for?

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Secret Wars #4 (Marvel Comics) – Sheriff Strange, Lord Doom. Marvel’s version of Game of Thrones continues and it’s been epic! Unlike Convergence, part of me doesn’t want to see it end. If only Doom can win…

Action Comics #42 (DC Comics) – Truth continues and we see the “Man” without the “Steel” try to adapt and overcome everything put in his path. Last month was a joy and I’m waiting to see where this month takes us. Hopefully up, up and further!

Barb Wire #1 (Dark Horse Comics) The return of the bounty hunting Babe! Adam Hughes cover alone sold me on this one. If the inside is as good as the cover, I won’t need to keep the receipt.

Green Lantern #42 (DC Comics) – Everyone’s favorite renegade: Han.. er.. Hal Jordan continues his outlaw journey through the cosmos without the Corps by his side. Doesn’t mean it won’t be any less action packed!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #47 (IDW Publishing) – Evil Baxter Stockman, a horde of Mousers and half- shelled heroes. Is it 1984 again? That’s well and ok with me! Me thinks it’s Cowabunga time again!

 

Paul

Top Pick: A-Force #2 (Marvel) – All the women from the Marvel Universe on an island, fighting and protecting their island from outside threats…led by She-Hulk? YES PLEASE!  This is one of the few Secret Wars tie ins that I have really enjoyed, AND it has been reported this title will survive as an on-going title with the MU figures itself out.  I highly recommend getting on board with this one.

X-Tinction Agenda #2 (Marvel) – The second Secret Wars tie-in I really enjoyed, this title sees Havok and the mutants of Genosha dying from a virus running rampant, and their only hope is charging into X-City against Phoenix and taking the help they need to save their people.  Definitely a show down I look forward to seeing.

Years of Future Past #2 (Marvel) – Kate Pryde, along with her parents Shawdowcat and Colossus, have broken free from their prison, and with a handful of fellow mutants, have to race through their ruined city to try and save their surviving friends.  I’ve always enjoyed stories showing a bleaker future, and how the X-Men, no matter their numbers, band together to try and set things right.

 

Review: Barb Wire Vol. 2 #1

barb wireBarb Wire, the club owner/ bounty huntress returns after a decade of absence and her troubles have hardly let up, but not to worry, she isn’t ready to let up either.

She is a salty rip-roaring woman, and she does business the old-fashioned way, with a readied first and a bottle of whiskey waiting on her desk.

Creator(and writer) Chris Warner published  first Volume of Barb Wire in 1998. The comic was then made into a movie starring Pamela Anderson which has since been banished to the vaults of movie history.

Review: Mulan Revelations #1

mulan1To say that this series is a mix-up of different inspirations would be an understatement.  It features the real historical character of Mulan, the Chinese warrior who had taken the place of her father after being enlisted for the army.  The Disney treatment of the story is a little bit different, as the character pretends to be a different gender in order to enlist, but this version is not evident here, although some unhistorical aspects work their way in.  First of all is that of the demons, who were involved in the original battles with Mulan, only hidden.  The other is time travel which allows the same Mulan from legend to travel to a cyberpunk future where she is part of an immortal clan.

The first issue is roughly divided between the two time settings.  The first in ancient China demonstrating the actions of the demons as they search for something called the archive.  This introduces the character of Mulan, but shortly thereafter also shows her jump to the future.  The future is a fairly typical one for the cyberpunk setting, where technology allows a vastly different lifestyle and where corporations rule over society.  Mulan is not as interested in these developments, though unseen is the threat of the demons as they return as the heads of a corporation.  They need an antidote for death and Mulan’s blood might provide it.

Thus far this series lacks a singular focus.  It is based in both the future and the past, in both the occult and high tech.  While the story might seem to suffer from this, it is not so much the case as the environment is one which is enticingly attractive.  In this case, the story is not perfectly represented by the comic medium, as this feels like the introductory section of a movie, as though we could judge Blade Runner off its first five minutes.  As it stands this is a fascinating use of the legendary character, using what has come and putting her in an unusual future setting.  Although the use of the character might be misleading, this is a cyberpunk/dystopian story as good as the medium allows and is definitely worth a look.

Story: Marc Andreyko and Robert Alter Art: Micah Kaneshiro
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.1 Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

We Are RobinWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: Raputin #6 (Image Comics) – The end of the first story arc caught me off-guard as it left Rasputin dead from being shot. Fast forward 100 years, and the mad monk is now working as a political aide for a Presidential Candidate. Wait, what!? The first arc was solid, this second one starts off with a bang. If you missed that first arc, the trade paperback is out this week too!

Fight Club 2 #2 (Dark Horse Comics) – The first issue was fantastic, and this second one is a world wind in madness. Chuck Palahniuk continues Tyler Durden’s story, and so far it’s amazing.

Legacy of Luther Strode #2 (Image Comics) – Give me some of that good ole ultraviolence. The kung-fu action is over the top, and over the top bloody, and beyond entertaining too.

Material #2 (Image Comics) – Ales Kot’s first issue got me to think. I’m expecting more of the same for the second issue as things hopefully become clearer and the various stories begin to merge in some way. A comic that’s socially conscious and relevant.

Transformers: Windblade #4 (IDW Publishing) – A new lost colony has been found, and Starscream and Windblade vie to make them part of the new Transformers world. Who will win out, and who will gain influence? This series focuses on Windblade’s effort with absolutely beautiful art that makes it stand out from the other Transformers series.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Mulan Revelations #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – Although it comes off looking a bit like Image’s Lazarus, this futuristic dystopian cyberpunk uses an unlikely heroine for its lead as the actual historical character is transported through time to the future of China.

Batgirl #41 (DC Comics) – The new Batman didn’t really go over all that well as the story arc to follow after End Game, but Batgirl has been running as one of the best quality comics for a few months now.  What happens when the two meet?

Grimm Fairy Tales Presents the Little Mermaid #5 (Zenescope) – Although it has been a little up and down in terms of its story telling, this miniseries is likely to launch the Little Mermaid back into relevance as one of Grimm Fairy Tales main heroines.  What that means is decided here.

Jem and the Holograms #4 (IDW Publishing)  – The subject matter has not been very deep, but neither has there really been any misstep in this entire series thus far.  This is a series for those that can let their comics be fun and not only about superheroes.

MODOK Assassin #2 (Marvel) – The first issue of this series was unquestionably the biggest surprise of the Secret Wars tie-ins thus far and undoubtedly one of the most fun as well (and violent).  Whether it can carry on this momentum will be interesting to see.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Secret Six TP Vol. 2: Money for Murder (reissue) (DC Comics) – This TP contains the rightfully legendary panels in which Dick!Batman punches Catman saying “If you must know…I had a burrito!”

This is peak Gail Simone and it’s some of the best comics ever.

This TP is a reissue of “Unhinged” and some subsequent issues, which is really the 3rd volume of Gail Simone’s groundbreaking series in the 00s that started with Villains United. All if it is a must-read.

This series is about a team of bad men and bad women learning to take care of each other. If you like complex but funny characters, like your humor dark and enjoy laughing while you are being gutted by metal claws (metaphorically), your heat-strings played upon by deranged masked killers — and who doesn’t– then you need to buy this book to survive.

Top Pick: Fight Club 2 #2 (Dark Horse) – This series is smart and fun. If you loved Fight Club (like I do) and your the right kind of fan (you know, the good kind, that appreciates the story as an examination of the crisis of masculinity and as a queer text) then you need to be reading this series. It is a continuation of the original book taking place some years into the future and written by Palahniuk himself. The art is first-rate too.

Batgirl #41 (DC Comics) –  I was sure that we were about to get a new Oracle in the form of Frankie, Bab’s awesome coder roomate (who also uses crutches). But now I don’t know! Based on last night’s podcast where we interviewed writer Brenden Fletcher I’m now calling this issue Schrödinger’s Oracle. It may not happen. Open the box.

Kaptara #3 (Image Comics) – I’m just getting into this unprecedentedly creative space opera/comedy. Nothing else like it out there. The art style has a look thats somewhat psychedelic. Our lead character is a gay scientist of indian descent who drips sarcasm and insecurity and is a pleasure to read.

Material #2 (Image Comics) – Writer Ales Kot is doing something completely unique in comics. This book feels a bit like post modernist literary fiction. Except its a comic. And unlike literary fiction these days I actually enjoy it. A lot. Smart and political and worth your attention. He was our guest on the podcast a few weeks back. Have a listen.

We Are Robin #1 (DC Comics) – I want to like this. The youth of Gotham unite and declare themselves Robin. That sounds like a sentiment I can get behind. I don’t know the creative team. Will have to check it out!

 

Johnny with Comixstravaganza Live

Top Pick: We Are Robin #1 (DC Comics) – I’ve never been a huge Batman fan, so I’ve never actively read or collected any bat titles. But this concept of the collective youth of Gotham adopting Robin as their symbol is intriguing. I’ll be picking this one up just to see how it is executed.

Ant-Man: Larger Than Life (Marvel) – I’m a little shocked that this book stars THE Ant-Man, Hank Pym instead of Scott Lang. As a long time Hank Pym fan, this has me hopeful about his character in the upcoming film and MCU as a whole, but more than that, could this be signaling a change in direction for Pym? Recent storylines suggest he sacrificed himself to stop Ultron in Rage of Ultron, but could this book be signaling a new return of Pym? Probably not, but I like to hold out hope.

Captain Midnight #24 (Dark Horse Comics) – It all ends here. This title has been for me the most satisfying monthly book over the last two years. Josh Williamson knows how to write these pulp-era characters, and this series has shown it in a big way!

Rasputin #6 (Image Comics) – Just when you though the story had ended, we jump forward 100 years to the present where the “Mad Monk” may still be alive? I’ve loved the way Alex Grecian portrayed Rasputin in a heroic way as a healer, and Rossmo’s art is absolutely gorgeous! If you missed issues 1-5 you can also pick up the collected TPB out this week too!

The Shadow #100 (Dynamite Entertainment) – My top pick! I got the preview copy last week and just fell over with the writing and art. This is an anthology issue with various creators, but most notable is Francesco Francavilla, and Howard Chaykin. I’ve always said Chaykin was born to draw the Phantom, but Francavilla’s work is unbelievable! He is definitely another artist who was born to draw The Shadow! I hope we see more Shadow from him soon!

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: We are Robin #1 (DC Comics) – Social Media Superheroes? This one sounds so intriguing just cannot pass up. A true team that is reflective of the world right outside our window.

Batgirl #41 (DC Comics) – The new Batman (Commissioner Gordon) encounters his (Batgirl) daughter. A can’t miss father/ daughter showdown!

Grayson #9 (DC Comics) – Dick Grayson: Secret Agent? Yes Please! DC Comics reimagining of one of it’s most beloved characters into a super spy continues after the long Convergence break. Plus adding Helena Bertenelli (Huntress) into the mix sounds fantastic!

Green Lantern: The Lost Army #1 (DC Comics) – Power Rings, survival journey and adventure along the way with everyone’s favorite cosmic cops? This one’s a no brainer. Can’t wait to see them light em’ up!

The Walking Dead #143 (Skybound/Image Comics) – It’s The Walking Dead. Can you ever get enough?

 

Paul

Top Pick: X-Men ’92 #1 (Marvel) – The X-Men from the 90s are back?? *Insert fanboy squeal here*  I might be getting ahead of myself, not knowing how Secret Wars will be portraying my merry mutants, but I am so excited to see this line up back, just as I remember they looked when I would walk into my comic shop all those years ago eager to read their latest adventure.  Here’s hoping myself and other fans are not disappointed.

E is for Extinction #1 (Marvel) – I’ve picked this title because I am a fan of all things X.  Secret Wars, to me, has not been the earth shattering event it was promoted to be.  But I am looking forward to a title devoted to the X-Men and what they’ve become in Battleworld.  I like the premise described as mutants really being ‘homo SUPERIOR’ and look forward to seeing a world where they are idolized and not feared.

Loki Agent of Asgard #15 (Marvel) – I have loved this book from day 1.  The journey of a twenty-something Loki, trying to escape his future self; finding a friend he actually cares about; finding himself doing the right thing (in his own special way) has been a Loki I easily got on board with.  Things are changing for him however, and I for one can’t wait to see how it all goes down.

 

Pharoah

Top Pick: X-Men ’92 #1 (Marvel) – Definitely had my interest piqued when I saw it in Previews for this month’s solicitations. We take nostalgic look at X-Men, from 23 years ago, with none other than JIM LEE returning for this series!!!!!

Evil Dead 2: Beyond Dead by Dawn #1 (Space Goat Productions) – Horror comics seem to be what is all the rage, and the fact they have this comic which picks up where the movies end, this sounds like it will be fun, if anything it gives the average Evil Dead fan something to look forward to before the new show premieres on Starz.

Fight Club 2 #2 (Dark Horse Comics) – Chuck Palahniuk continues Tyler Durden’s story in this new series from Dark Horse, the first issue did not disappoint, so  I am hoping Palaniuk has even more surprises in store in this issue.

Mulan Revelations #1 (Dark Horse) –  Another interesting reboot, to a well told legend, this time the guys at Dark Horse tackle Mulan , but in the same way the anime , 7 Samurai, reboots Akira Kurosawa ‘s classic film, hoping the execution lives to the promise.

We Are Robin #1 (DC Comics) – From the DCYou reboot going on at DC, hundreds of teenagers all over Gotham, are adopting the ”R”, adding a new dimension to the Batman mythos.

ComiXology Announces Dark Horse and Version 3.7!

comixology HellboyComiXology continues to roll towards San Diego Comic-Con with two more announcements today following their announced exclusive deal with Marvel that applies to them and Amazon.

First, the digital comics platform announced an agreement with Dark Horse Comics to bring the company’s full digital catalog of collections, graphic novels, and manga to comiXology’s platform! Now, all Dark Horse Comics collections, graphic novels, and manga will be available on comiXology the same day the print versions arrive in bookstores.

The Dark Horse was the last major American publisher not on the digital platform. This agreement tears down the walled off environment people had been forced in to if they were interested in Dark Horse. Now individuals have a choice as to where they’d like to purchase their comics digitally, and achieve that in one app if they choose. A win for readers and customers.

More than 800 titles launch today on comiXology from Dark Horse, including 300, Astro Boy, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Blacksad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fear Agent, Frank Miller’s Sin City, Hellboy, MIND MGMT, Serenity, Usagi Yojimbo, The Strain, Grendel, Umbrella Academy, Halo, Lone Wolf and Cub, and so much more.

On top of this deal, comiXology also announced the latest update to their apps. In their press release, the company said when they asked users what features they wanted, the ability to better manage their books was on top of the list. Version 3.7 of the app includes this functionality in new an interesting ways.

Long Press iOS OptionsHere’s the bullet points from the press release:

  • Smart Lists view allows for a quick and easy way to track what you’re reading with the In Progress and Unread lists, the ability to see what you’ve bought with the Recently Purchased list, and even a way to easily maintain your Wish List. You can also get custom recommendations to help you discover new titles and series with the Recommended for You list.
  • New Recommended for You list gives you personalized recommendations based on books you’ve purchased in the past.
  • Long press on any title in the Recommended for You section to Add to Wish List. Android app users can also long press to Add to Cart.
  • Use the new All/On Device filter to toggle between seeing all books you own and just the books you’ve downloaded to your device.
  • Long press on any of your books in Smart Lists and My Books grid view to mark as read, unread, archive or remove from device.
  • New robust sorting options and filters in My Books allow you to view your library sorted by Series, Purchase Date, and Title.
  • Toggle between three views in My Books: grid view, list view and the all-new cover view which lets you browse your library one full-screen cover at a time.
  • Cover view lets you see your entire collection cover by cover when browsing your library
  • Enlarged covers allow you to enjoy the artwork even more.

This is a function I know I struggle with in my reader, so glad to see comiXology tackle this. Responding to their customer’s wants is great to see, and solid customer service.

SDCC 2015: Dark Horse’s Exclusives

Dark Horse has announced its vast selection of exclusive merchandise for San Diego Comic-Con International 2015! From the anticipated Halo Pelican Dropship Replica to variant covers by some of the most talented artists in the comics industry, including Becky Cloonan, Charlie Adlard, Joëlle Jones, and Colleen Coover, Dark Horse has fans covered!

All exclusive merchandise will be available at the Dark Horse booth (#2615) over the course of SDCC 2015. Please note that there will be a fixed number of exclusives set aside for each day of the convention.

Check out the full roster of Dark Horse SDCC 2015 exclusives, along with quantity and price, below!

The Goon 3D Print 
$25.00
Limited Edition of 300
5 per person per day

The Goon 3D Print

Halo UNSC Pelican Dropship Replica – SDCC Exclusive Bronze Edition
$50.00
Limited Edition of 400
1 per person per day

Halo UNSC Pelican Dropship Replica - SDCC Exclusive Bronze Edition

Games of Thrones: Robert Baratheon Crown – SDCC Exclusive Mini Replica
$60.00
Limited Edition of 400
2 per person per day

Games of Thrones Robert Baratheon Crown - SDCC Exclusive Mini Replica

Dragon Age: Inquisition Deluxe Playing Cards – Series Two – Convention Exclusive
$8.00
Limited Edition of 2,000
10 per person per day

Dragon Age Inquisition Deluxe Playing Cards - Series Two - Convention Exclusive

Fight Club 2 #1 Convention Exclusive Variant Cover by Joëlle Jones
$5.00
Limited Edition of 1,000
5 per person per day

Fight Club 2 #1 Convention Exclusive Variant Cover by Joëlle Jones

Archie vs. Predator #1 San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive Variant Cover by Colleen Coover
$5.00
Limited Edition of 1,000
5 per person per day

Archie vs. Predator #1 San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive Variant Cover by Colleen Coover

Rebels #1 San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive Variant Cover by Becky Cloonan
$5.00
Limited Edition of 1,000
5 per person per day

Rebels #1 San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive Variant Cover by Becky Cloonan

Plants vs. Zombies: Bully for You #1 San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive Variant Cover by Charlie Adlard
$5.00
Limited Edition of 1,000
5 per person per day

Plants vs. Zombies Bully for You #1 San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive Variant Cover by Charlie Adlard

Groo vs. Conan San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Hardcover Edition
$30.00
Limited Edition of 300
5 per person per day

Groo vs. Conan San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Hardcover Edition

The Goonies 30th Anniversary San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Print by Eric Powell
$20.00
Limited of 1,500
5 per person per day

The Goonies 30th Anniversary San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Print by Eric Powell

Prometheus: Fire and Stone Slipcase – Convention Exclusive
$50.00
Limited Edition of 500
5 per person per day

Prometheus Fire and Stone Slipcase - Convention Exclusive

Elfquest: The Final Quest Hardcover – Convention Exclusive
$30.00
Limited Edition of 1,000
5 per person per day

Elfquest The Final Quest Hardcover - Convention Exclusive

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

black-canary-1-promo-121636Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: Prez #1 (DC Comics) – A teenager is elected President by Twitter in this future send-up of the state of politics. Working in politics I found myself laughing, and cringing at how accurate the series was, especially in its more satirical moments. It hit close to home, which is a good thing. A fantastic send-up perfectly timed for the 2016 Presidential race.

The Kitchen #8 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – I’ve loved this series since the start. It’s a take on the mob genre, except set in the 70s, and it’s the women in charge. The last few issues have had twists and turns of double crosses and all sorts of deals. This final issue of the miniseries is going to be explosive and entertaining.

Letter 44 #17 (Oni Press) – It’s WWIII people!!! Writer Charles Soule has gone all out in this series focused on a President dealing with first contact with aliens, and the crew that’s doing so. The story has been amazing and when I think I have things down, the series throws a curve.

Princeless: Be Yourself #1 (Action Lab Entertainment) – It’s a new volume of the fantastic series that has a young princess saving herself, as well as her sisters. Destroying tropes, pointing out the idiocy of some accepted things in entertainment, and doing it while entertaining too!

Southern Bastards #9 (Image Comics) – One of the best (if not the best) comic on the market right now. The writing, the art, all of it is beyond amazing. It’s the homecoming game, but there’s also been a murder. It’s never too late to hop on and check out this Southern noir series.

 

Chris

Top Pick: Ei8ht # 5 (Dark Horse Comics) – Travelers lost in time, check. Selfless heroism, check. A merciless opposing force, check. This time travel thriller has its bases covered. The art style consisting essentially of black and white shading with contrasting color to provide surface texture may drive away those interested in other titles with bright colors and intense detail. However they would be missing out  on an intriguing tale of time travel where the character connection across time and place are more than meets the eye.

Archie vs. Predator #3 of 4 (Dark Horse Comics) – Even without reading the previous two issues this comic immediately called out to me as a must read. I have to admit that my love for Predator and comic mash-ups is to blame for that. Right away I could see this is not the Archie I was expecting. This issue has it all classic Archie humor,  blood and gore, and a captivating storyline complete with satirical introspective of those stuck in a horrific movie like situations.

Ghostbusters: Get Real #1 (IDW Publishing) – The beginning of a 4 part series where our heroes are unknowingly transported to an alternate dimension when the will of a God is thwarted. To return home they must work with their counterparts from this dimension who luckily just so happen to have experience with this sort of adventure. Reference Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Ghostbusters. This issue lays the ground work for what I expect to be yet another great series from the Burnham, Schoeing and Delgado team over at IDW.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey & April #1 (IDW Publishing) – Love TMNT but tired of the Turtles then this comic is for you. Take all the turtle powered action and replace it with a teenage love story between Casey and April. While this reviewer is not regretting the time spent reading this issue, it did not rouse much more than a fleeting interest in the series. This issue is a definite pass in my book.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Prez #1 (DC Comics) –  DC is committed to trying something new, and while that hasn’t necessarily worked so far, this new #1 looks like an intriguing updates on the short-lived series from 1973, as a teenage twitter sensation becomes the next President of the United States.  Hopefully it is equal parts social commentary and Bartgirling.

Alex + Ada #15 (Image Comics) –  The finale to this engaging series is here and we get to find out the final fate of the unlikely lovers.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #4 (Marvel/Disney) –  Did you ever watch a Disney movie and think to yourself that it is pretty entertaining despite the G rating?  That same feeling permeates this series.

Doomed #1 (DC Comics) – Another DC #1, this series looks at a person that can change into Doomsday.  Part of the problem of the appeal of Superman stories is that they lack the street level outlook that some readers like (with the present Truth storyline only sort of helping that.)  Maybe this series is DC’s way of finally shaking up its Superman mythos.

Grimm Fairy Tales 10th Anniversary Special #2 Red Riding Hood (Zenescope) –  Zenescope’s least celebrated superhero, Britney Waters, gets another chance to shine here.  Just when will they give her an ongoing series?

 

Elana

Top Pick: Black Canary #1 (DC Comics) – Spinning off of the hip, young Batgirl series is a new series featuring one of the all time best characters in comics. It’s about time she gets a solo series. The book’s premise is that our super powered vocalist becomes the singer of a rock band, goes on tour and fights bad guys on the road. The awesome rock and roll outfits get my approval.

Wu’s art is hip as hell– the line at her booth at Special Edition was enormous.  Fletcher star is rising fast (see hits like Gotham Academy & Batgirl for starters). This is a creative, modern duo writing for an inclusive audience. The future of super hero comics. So I was pleasantly surprised to read in an interview with Fletcher that some of the legacy of the great Silver Age social issues comics series Green Lantern/Green Arrow is continued in this book. Here’s to a new generation’s “hard traveling heroes“.

Ms. Marvel #16 (Marvel) – The multiverse at stake so who will take care of Jersey City? Kamala is breaking my heart with this cover. Who needs a hug!?

Runaways #1 (Marvel) – Noelle Stevenson’s series Nimona is a runaway hit on the Internet that appeals to a younger and often female Fanbase. This is her big two debut. Her work on Lumber Janes is going to win an Eisner. Having her write a Runaways story about kids with super powers sounds like a match made in heaven. And boy do I miss these kids.

Secret Six #3 (DC Comics) – I need to know what the hell is happening! Gail’s original Secret Six series is kind of the best thing ever. The new series had a good premise but it’s been a rough go. I will keep giving this a series chance. I still have faith!

Thors #1 (Marvel) – Because unlike the Highlander there CAN’T be only one. Most excited for of course our female Thor and Storm. Cute detective story premise seals the deal.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Thors #1 (Marvel) – Jason Aaron has been on fire lately and if he’s that good with one God of Thunder, I’m dying to see what he does with a whole roster! In brightest day, in blackest.. oh wait. Nope just pumped for this book! Go Thors!

Justice League of America #1 (DC Comics) – It’s by Bryan Hitch, the man who brought us the cinematic epic which was The Ultimates, I’d like him to take the true Ultimate team in comic books, let him cut loose and see what he can do.

Old Man Logan #2 (Marvel) – Wolverine is dead. Long live a more cranky, aged and badass version of Wolverine. Dystopian futures always bring me a semblance of hope. All I can say is, yes.. and SNIKT!!

Robin: Son of Batman #1 (DC Comics) – First off it’s got Damien Wayne, A Giant Pet Man-Bat, it’s written and drawn by Patrick Gleason. Umm did I mention a Giant Pet Man-Bat??

Wonder Woman #41 (DC Comics) – So far the Finch’s take on the Iconic Amazon have intrigued me. While I don’t think they are at the top of what they could do, I’d like to see what they have further in store. This book has been a guilty pleasure of mine and my gf Ms. B too. Plus, I hope to get some reasoning behind Diana’s new costume.

 

Pharoah

To Pick: Ms. Marvel #16 (Marvel) -This is my top pick of the week just because this character has been nothing but fun since she entered the universe, and it looks like Secret Wars, has come to Jersey City, definitely curious to see how Kamala Khan will be tested!!!

Astronauts In Trouble #1 (Image Comics) – As a company, Image is basically the Jerry Bruckheimer of the comics world, producing blockbuster after blockbuster, and with Charlie (Walking Dead) on this, it definitely has high hopes.

Black Canary #1 (DC Comics) – Brenden Fletcher (BATGIRL) and Annie Wu (HAWKEYE) bring this character to the forefront, after her much needed exposure on the show, Arrow, she finally gets her own shot in this DC reboot.

Mad Max: Fury Road: Furiosa #1 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – After watching the newest Mad Max movie, it definitely has one curious about that whole universe and this comic aims to explore the origin of The Furiosa and it definitely has cred, as it is written by mad Max creator, George Miller himself.

Ghostbusters: Get Real #1 (IDW Publishing) – this sounds so cool, as the film versions and cartoon versions become part of the same world in what can only be interesting chaos

We Talk Realms With Tony DiTerlizzi

realms006Tony DiTerlizzi is a legend in the gaming world.  Having been involved with Dungeons and Dragons from a young age, he ventured into art and then ended up illustrating numerous of the D&D titles from the 1980s and 1990s.  He has been a fan and a contributor almost as long as the game has existed and a retrospective of his art was released recently by Dark Horse.  This artbook titled Realms gives fascinating insight into his creative mind and what it takes to sort out the goblins from the ghouls.  We got a chance to talk with him about the new book and his art.

Graphic Policy: What is your experience with gaming?

Tony DiTerlizzi: My experience has been a wonderful mix of enjoyment, excitement and camaraderie. It has also been revelatory as my years contributing to gaming taught the complexities of world building in the books that I now craft for young readers.

GP: When did you start and what is your favorite fantasy based RPG?

TD: I grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons in the early 1980’s. It started with the D&D Basic Set, then I moved on to explore the popular modules of the day, like “The Keep on the Borderlands” (I’m pretty sure every old-school gamer conquered that one). I created all sorts of player characters, copied drawings from the AD&D Monster Manual, and spent weekends painting my Grenadier lead miniatures. For a few years D&D was a big part of pop culture, so it was a good time to be a geek.

realms004GP: Obviously you are a very imaginative and creative person but do you draw inspirations from other fantasy sources as well?

TD: I find inspiration in a variety of places, especially in our natural world. As a young teen, D&D introduced me to classic myths and folklore as well as the writings of Tolkein, Lovecraft and Moorcock. My fascination with folklore–especially fairy folklore–planted the seeds that would later grow to become The Spiderwick Chronicles.

GP: There are some classics in the fantasy genre which everyone knows about and which help define it, but are there any works of fiction which you think do as good a job but have less acclaim?

TD: Two favorites of mine are Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” and (what I consider its companion) “Einstein’s Dreams” by Alan Lightman. Both books explore permutations of a common theme in a fantastical way. Calvino creates all manner of imagined cities, some of which are not bound by the laws of physics, while Lightman plays with various planes of existence where time works differently in each. Though they are not considered traditional fantasy as far as genre is concerned, these books are incredibly imaginative.

realms003GP: In Tim Beach’s description of your work he describes how it struck him as a unique interpretation that Medusa would pull her snake hair into a ponytail. With that in mind and although you focus on fantasy art, do you draw inspiration from fields such as fashion when drawing?

TD: To me, fantasy worlds are often a reflection of our real world. I incorporate imagery or iconography from the real world in order to make the fantasy world more approachable to the reader, viewer or gamer. This approach includes mirroring the trends found in the art of fashion, hair and make-up designers. The introduction of the fashion influence is mostly due to my wife, Angela, who was a make-up artist during the years that I contributed to roleplaying and collectible card games.

GP: Do you ever think that fantasy draws too broadly from legends and myths for its creatures and monsters? For instance the minotaur comes from ancient Greece and fairies come from more of a Celtic origin, but they can stand side by side in fantasy stories.

TD: I am certainly guilty of mixing myth and folklore in the creation of the Spiderwick books with Holly Black. I think this was due to the fact that I found that mix so exciting while playing D&D as a kid. Also, I had many collections of fairy tales and myths that I read and reread when I was younger. These stories—from different times and different places in the world—mixed in my imagination to become one fantastical universe. Creatures of legend, like the Minotaur, will always have their home in the myths that told their story first. But they should live on in storytellers and artists who celebrate them in re-imaginings for the next generation.

realms002GP: In terms of human-animal lycanthrope mixes the animals often get characteristics that we give them as humans, for instance were-rats ​are sneaky or werewolves are vicious. Is there an animal that deserves a better treatment by the writers and artists?

TD: Heh, heh – that is true. I hadn’t thought of that. I wonder what would the defining characteristics of a were-jellyfish?

GP: In more than one setting pointed ears are used to show a race that is very similar to humans but also very different (elves and humans in fantasy, or humans and Vulcans in Star Trek). Why is it that such a minor change is so meaningful in conveying what is alien?

TD: That’s a great observation, and I can only theorize why it may be used as a defining characteristic. Perhaps it is to appear animal-like and signify a race that is more harmonious with nature…or beast-like and meant to show a character from a primal world?

GP: There are a few monsters that you have come up with your own design. Do you have a favourite or a few favourites?

realms005TD: I put my unique spin on classic Dungeons & Dragons monsters from the beginning of my career. I didn’t think the editors at TSR (then publishers of D&D) would go for my redesigns, but many were accepted and used in the “AD&D Monstrous Manual”, released back in 1993. Inspired by the likes of Arthur Rackham, Brian Froud and Alan Lee, my view on certain monsters carried a humor as well as an animated exaggeration in shape and form. Monsters like the Mind Flayer, Shambling Mound and (the aforementioned) Medusa were favorites from this time. When I began work on the Planescape campaign setting, I had more freedom to redesign monsters like the Modrons, devils and the Cat Lord. I was the first to illustrate the tiefling—a race with demon in their bloodline—for characters to play. The tieflings have remained in all subsequent editions of D&D, right up to the current 5th edition. In the years since my contributions, Wizards of the Coast (current publishers of D&D) has redesigned and reinvented the look of the game, through the characters and monsters, for the latest edition of the rules. I find that exciting. The visual presentation must evolve to appeal to the gamers, which is why (I suspect) the current edition looks a lot like an RPG video game. As long as D&D’s illustrations of monsters, adventurers, keeps and castles incite the player’s imagination then they’re doing their job.

Dark Horse & Dice Announce Mirror’s Edge: Exordium

Dark Horse Comics and Electronic Arts have announced Mirror’s Edge: Exordium, a six-issue limited series that delves into the backstory of Faith, the protagonist of the new Mirror’s Edge Catalyst video game.

Published this September in partnership with Electronic Arts and DICE, creators of the Mirror’s Edge franchise, Mirror’s Edge: Exordium will grant fans special insight into the origin of Faith, one of the most unique and celebrated heroines in video games. Written by Christofer Emgård, narrative director at DICE, with art by Mirror’s Edge in-house artists Emgård, Mattias Häggström, Robert Sammelin, Henrik Sahlström, and Erik Persson, Mirror’s Edge: Exordium is the perfect introduction to the game’s lore.

Witness Faith’s transformation, from a careless young woman to the heroine who opens the eyes of the city.

Mirror’s Edge: Exordium #1
Christofer Emgård (W) Mattias Häggström, Robert Sammelin, Henrik Sahlström, Erik Persson (A)
Robert Sammelin (Cover)
$3.99, 32 pages
On sale September 9

Mirror’s Edge Exordium #1

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