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Israel Idonije’s Athlitacomics releasing next Protectors book at C2E2

Athlitacomics, started by National Football League player Israel  Idonije, is releasing a special edition The Protectors #1 with a special limited  cover for C2E2 April 25-27, South Building at McCormick Place.

Idonije, who originally conceived the idea of The Protectors during an NFL training camp a few years ago, will be doing a book signing at Chicago Comics, 3244 North Clark Street on Wednesday, April 23 from 6-7:30 pm to kick off the C2E2 weekend. The acclaimed Ron Marz and Bart Sears, who are also part of The Protectors creative team, will be at the book signing as well.

Idonije, who is a lifelong comic book fan, said in a release:


Last year we had an amazing time debuting The Protectors with a limited edition #0 issue. Now this year, The Protectors’ epic storyline will unfold in earnest. Within the next month, we will have more exciting news of company ventures and partnerships. I’m so thrilled with the direction we are going and look forward to revealing what has been in the works.

Athlitacomics will use Twitter to announce the professional athletes and other guests who will be appearing at booth #607 for free autographs. There will be several social media contests to give away great prizes such as tickets to the private The Protectors party C2E2 weekend, Chicago Bears tickets and many other surprises.

The Protectors #1, created by Israel Idonije, written by Ron Marz, with art by Bart Sears, Mark Pennington and Neeraj Menon, combines sports action and superhero adventure never before seen.

The Protectors are a chosen handful of athletes who learn they are blessed with more than elite athletic ability. Pro football superstar Isaac Chike seems to have the perfect life of success, wealth and fame. But this life is turned upside down when he discovers his true purpose. Isaac learns he is destined to be one of The Protectors, a small group of gifted heroes blessed with miraculous powers. Now Isaac and a handful of other star athletes must choose between the lives they know and the greater good of protecting mankind from enemies intent on enslaving the world. Are Isaac and his friends worthy of becoming The Protectors?

Cover Issue 1 Final

Preview: Witchblade #174

Witchblade #174

Story By: Ron Marz
Art By: Laura Braga
Cover By: John Tyler Christopher
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: DEC130606
Published: April 16, 2014

Is the Witchblade out to reclaim Sara as its rightful host…or is it out for revenge?


Preview: Witchblade #173

Witchblade #173

Story By: Ron Marz
Cover By: Stjepan Sejic
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: NOV130534
Published: March 12, 2014


Even without the Witchblade secured to her wrist, Sara Pezzini cannot escape the corrupting influence of the gauntlet.


Preview: Witchblade #172

Witchblade #172

Story By: Ron Marz
Art By: Laura Braga
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: OCT130634
Published: January 29, 2014

Sara Pezzini will soon discover who the Witchblade chose to be its next bearer…


Edgar Rice Burrough’s The Mucker Webcomic Launches with Ron Marz & Lee Moder

Mucker TitleReturning to the spotlight for the first time in a century, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic rough ‘n tumble man of action, The Mucker, is making a  digital debut this Saturday, January 18, 2014, in an all-new adventure strip written by Ron Marz and drawn by Lee Moder. The strip will be available on the Burroughs website.

Marz is a long time Burroughs fan. In a release he explained:

I grew up on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs and, to a large extent, I’m the kind of writer I am because of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I’m following not only in his footsteps, but in those of so many other creators who have left their mark on these concepts and characters. My job is to make these stories worthy for existing fans and completely accessible for new fans.

Though not as well-known as Burroughs’ other works of science fiction, fantasy and adventure, like Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars, The Mucker is a unique story about the exploits of Burroughs’ only anti-hero – Billy Byrne, a brash and brawling street tough from Chicago’s West Side – grounded in the harsh realities of life in the slums of the early 1900’s. Decades before Indiana Jones uncovered the Lost Ark and Rambo fought his personal guerrilla wars, the ruthless Mucker would find himself on whatever side of the law suited his savage nature, taking on crooked fight promoters, brutal gangsters, sinister kidnappers, ferocious headhunters and a femme fatale or two.

Artist Lee Moder, known for his work on Legion of Superheroes, Wonder Woman and Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., combines a classic sense of design, setting and anatomy with a flair for exciting storytelling.

The first four strips will be available for free and upcoming episodes will be available anytime, anywhere for just $1.99 a month with a subscription to the official Edgar Rice Burroughs Digital Comic Strips service. The service includes numerous other series to enjoy including:

  • The Mucher™ by Ron Marz, Lee Moder, Troy Peteri and Neeraj Menon
  • Tarzan of the Apes™ by Roy Thomas, Pablo Marcos and Oscar Gonzalez
  • Thew New Adventures of Tarzan™ by Roy Thomas and Tom Grindberg
  • Carson of Venus™ by Martin Powell, Thomas Floyd and Diana Leto
  • The Eternal Savage™ by Martin Powell and Steven E. Gordon
  • The War Chief™ by Martin Powell and Nik Poliwko
  • The Cave Girl™ by Martin Powell and Diana Leto
  • Pellucidar™ by Chuck Dixion and Gary Kwapisz
  • The Land That Time Forgot™ by Martin Powell, Pablo Marcos and Oscar Gonzalez­

Pop Political/Political Pop: Trolling the GOP with Comics

Each week I point out a nice “political” moment in comics, or a geeky moment in politics. It could be an entire comic, a Tweet, release, event or a moment in a comic series, recent or in the past.

This week’s entry is a great case in trolling that had me laughing for quite a long time. The GOP took to Twitter to ask what people’s “top issues” were. Comic writer Ron Marz had a response that was just too perfect to not be the top moment of the week.

But Marz wasn’t the only one to have this idea. Here’s some others that got in on the fun:

Preview: Witchblade #171

Witchblade #171

Story By: Ron Marz
Cover By: John Tyler Christopher
Story By: Stjepan Sejic
Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: SEP130649
Published: December 18, 2013


Sara Pezzini violently ripped the Witchblade from her body and abandoned it. For Sara to begin her life anew, the Witchblade must find and bond with a new host. But not all who wield the Witchblade are worthy to bear the burden of the gauntlet.


Preview: Artifacts #32

Artifacts #32

Story By: Ron Marz
Art By: Jung-Guen Yoon
Cover By: Stjepan Sejic
Price: $3.99
Diamond ID: AUG130685
Published: November 27, 2013

Tom Judge is no stranger to Hell and the horrors it conjures. In his effort to redeem Jackie Estacado’s accursed soul, he finds something much more surprising. But what he won’t find represents an even darker omen.


An A1 Annual Teaser


Writer(s): Ron Marz, Matt Wagner, Dave Johnson, Tom Raney, Rufus Dayglo, Andy Kuhn, Dave Dorman, Mark A. Nelson, W.H. Rauf and more…
Artist Name(s): Jim Steranko, Dave Wilkins, Sami Basri, Alex Horley, Tom Raney, Brian Smith, D’Israeli, Garrie Gastonny, Mark A. Nelson, Stanley ‘Artgerm’ Lau, Garry Leach, Dave Johnson, Barnaby Bagenda, Sakti Yuwono, Dave Dorman, Steve White, Kai Lim, Andy Kuhn, Philip Tan, Rhoald Marcellius, Michael T. Gilbert, Sunny Gho, Doug Braithwaite and more…
Titan Comics/Atomeka
Released 26/11/2013

A1 has always been a laboratory for creators to experiment and innovate, to break away from corporate creations and unleash their own ideas. Already proving a success with the new monthly comic book, this first all-new A1 Annual marks the thrilling return of the award-winning graphic anthology series to bookshelves everywhere!

Inside these oversized pages, a Who’s Who of comics’ talent – past, present and future – spread their imaginative wings across a gripping selection of all-new short stories. Which ones will be the breakout, creator-owned characters of tomorrow?!

A1-Annual-(Atomeka)WEB a1-annual_diamond_exclusiveWEB

Review: Witchblade #170

witchblade170_coverSara Pezzini has been a cop, a mother, a girlfriend, and a private investigator. She is none of those things anymore. The only thing tying Sara to her past and preventing her from forging a new chapter in life is the Witchblade. But with everything else gone, who will Sara Pezzini be if she gives up the Witchblade?

Welcome back old friend, man we’ve missed you! Writer Ron Marz, who really defined Sara Pezzini and the Witchblade is back at the helm and with his first issue back, Witchblade #170, he’s set out to redefine the character he built up to be more than just a scantily clad kick-ass woman. And with this return issue, he’s brought with him a new artist Laura Braga who brings a style that matches the tone of the new direction.

What Marz brought to the character was depth and emotion, having her spend what seemed like more time in her detective clothes than the Witchblade bikini armor. He created a character who had a personal life, professional life, and secret identity all rolled in to one. With the first issue back, he’s decided to shake things up giving Sara a new location, new job and new issues with the WItchblade which has been causing her problems lately, preventing a normal life. Through flashbacks, we see how Sara got to where she is, only partially, as she seeks out help to rid herself of the Witchblade after a series of unfortunate incidents.

This Sara is no longer a private eye in Chicago, she’s back to her roots as a cop, now a Sheriff in a small town and immediately thrown into solving grisly murders. It’s a fresh start and perfect jumping on point for those who have never tried the series or have lapsed since Marze left (almost two years ago!).

With Marz, we also have fresh artist Laura Braga whose style reminds me a lot of what we see from Mike Norton on Revival. There’s a down to earth vibe about it all, fitting perfectly with Sara’s new location and Marz’s new direction. A fantastic combination of the two. The cover is by Marc Silvestri and is a homage to his cover for Uncanny X-Men #251, it’s the bonus for an already great issue.

It’s been a bit since I’ve been really excited over Witchblade, but in this first issue, Marz and Braga breathe new life into the character, and I can’t wait to see where they go with it.

Story: Ron Marz Art: Laura Braga
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Top Cow provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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