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Preview: WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special

WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Bill Hanstock, Andrew Stott, Lan Pitts, Ryan Ferrier,
Artist: Hyeonjin Kim, Andy Belanger, Kendall Goode, Serg Acuña
Colorists: Wesdllei Manoel, Lee Loughridge, Doug Garbark
Letterers: Jim Campbell, Serge Lapointe
Cover Artists:  
    Main Cover:
Rahzzah
    Preorder Cover: Xermánico
    Incentive Cover: Marco D’Alfonso
Price: $7.99

The biggest event in Sports Entertainment returns to comics! This jam-packed special includes stories about the Kane/Undertaker clash at Wrestlemania 20, Asuka and Charlotte Flair’s battle at Wrestlemania 34, and more!

WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special

BOOM! Studios Announces WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special #1

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special #1, an oversized one-shot special that will be available beginning Wednesday, March 27, featuring some of the most iconic and action-packed moments from WWE’s annual pop-culture extravaganza.

You never know what to expect at WrestleMania, and this special is no exception!  Writer Andrew Stott and artist Andy Belanger highlight the pivotal match between the Brothers of Destruction, Undertaker and Kane fromWrestleMania 14. Writer Bill Hanstock and artist Hyeonjin Kim explore the rivalry between Charlotte Flair and Asuka leading up to their groundbreaking match at WrestleMania 34. Ryan Ferrier and Kendall Goodedive into Ric Flair’s unforgettable retirement match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24.

WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special #1  features a main cover by Rahzzah, along with a preorder cover by artist Xermánico, and a variant cover by Marco D’Alfonso.

WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special #1

BOOM! Studios Announces WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special #1

BOOM! Studios and WWE have announced WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special #1, an oversized one-shot special featuring action-packed stories of the most iconic moments in modern WWE history on-sale in March 27, 2019.

You never know what to expect at WrestleMania, and this special is no exception! Writer Bill Hanstock and artist Hyeonjin Kim explore groundbreaking champions Charlotte Flair and Asuka’s rivalry leading up to their match at WrestleMania 24. Andy Belanger brings to life the pivotal match between the Brothers of Destruction, Undertaker and Kane. Ryan Ferrier and Kendall Goode dive into Ric Flair’s Retirement Match against Shawn Michaels.

WWE Wrestlemania 2019 Special #1  features a main cover by Rahzzah, along with a wraparound preorder cover by artist Xermánico, and a variant cover by Marco D’Alfonso.

WWE Wrestlemania Special 2019 #1 cover by Rahzzah
WWE Wrestlemania Special 2019 #1 cover by Xermánico
WWE Wrestlemania Special 2019 #1 cover by Marco D’Alfonso

Preview: Vampirella Vol. 2: The God You Know

Vampirella Vol. 2: The God You Know

Writer: Jeremy Whitley, Paul Cornell
Art: Andy Belanger, Creees Lee, Paulo Barrios, Rapha Lobosco
Cover: Andy Belanger
Price: $19.99
Rating: Teen +

Vampirella is fresh off a mind-blowing discovery-or at least it should have been. Coming to terms with what she’s learned about herself and her past means a journey to a place far scarier than the twisted future she’s living in… her twisted mind! Prepare yourself for a Vampirella like you’ve NEVER seen before! Collects issues 7-11 of Vampirella (2017)!

HeroesCon 2018: A Tale in 3 Panels

HeroesCon felt a little different to me this year.

Maybe it was the fact the event snuck up on me as a scrambled to get ready and gave up on the idea of cosplaying as I packed for the con. Maybe it was the fact that my one usual guaranteed time of the year to see Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue Deconnick was not actually guaranteed since Fraction cancelled and Deconnick never even made it on the guest list to begin with. Maybe it was the fact that my year away from the comics community in an attempt to be a wrestling news writer sucked the life out of me and I was in the middle of a creative dry spell. Even now, I feel regret writing this up more than two months after the fact as I currently get ready for my next convention, but that’s literally how bad it was.

Still, “different” doesn’t mean “bad” and I still had a great time at HeroesCon this year. Especially getting a chance to get to hear from new creators or ones I wasn’t as familiar with.

The first panel I made it to was the Batman Family panel, which featured Cully Hamner, Joelle Jones, Lee Weeks and Ben Caldwell talking about their experiences of working on books in the Gotham universe. Moderator Adam Daughhetee tried to see if they could go the entire panel without mentioning Batman, but that only lasted about two minutes of a 60 minute panel.

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The entire panel was enlightening about what it is like to immerse yourself in Gotham as a creator and featured a lot of complimentary words on Tom King, but I walked away from this panel especially charmed by Caldwell and Jones. Caldwell because he spent a lot of the panel talking about the YA comic he’s working on with Frank Miller about Carrie Kelley, my personal favorite Robin. You could tell that his love of the character has been a genuine lifetime one since he first read The Dark Knight Returns, which he personally described as operatic and cartoony over the dark and gritty reputation it has earned over the years. He described his work with Miller as being “very carnival-esque,” keeping in line with the vibe of The Dark Knight Returns while still doing their own thing and expressed happiness that DC isn’t afraid to aim for younger readers anymore. It’s hard to imagine Miller writing for a younger audience, but Caldwell’s enthusiasm for the book has me convinced. As for Carrie Kelley, he summed up the appeal of the first girl to be Robin very succinctly: “She curses like a sailor and shoots things with a slingshot. What’s not to like?”

As for Jones, she was quietly hilarious through the panel. I had been familiar with her work through her Dark Horse Comic Lady Killer, but hearing her talk about process and Catwoman was on a whole other level. She talked about taking pressure off of herself by setting her Catwoman book in another city instead of Gotham, which had given me my first suspicion that something was going down in Batman #50. She also expressed regret over making Catwoman’s dress so complicated because she didn’t know other artists would be drawing it, let alone cosplayers attempting to make it. “I would NEVER sew that dress.”

The next day had my favorite panel of the weekend, which was about wrestling and comics. The panel included Tini Howard, Andy Belanger, and J Gonzo.

I always worry about panels about wrestling turning into real life wrestling internet, but it was actually a fascinating discussion about, and to paraphrase Howard here, the type of storytelling like comics, wrestling and drag that deals a lot with the liminal spaces between the fiction and the creator. “I really respond to wrestlers that when I look at them and I can see ‘you’re an artist!’”

Belanger especially had a lot to contribute to this discussion since on top of being a comics creator and working on wrestling comics for Boom! Studios as well as an upcoming one for Image that takes place in space, he wrestles as well under the name ‘The Animal’ Bob Anger for IWS in Montreal, which has also paid host to Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, PCO, and Vanessa Kraven, among others. He treats them as equal creative outlets, saying, “There’s zero difference between me making comics and me wrestling.”

While Gonzo didn’t have experience as a wrestler, he did talk a lot about his book La Mano Del Destino, which features luchadors fighting battles for corporate overlords, and the idea of masked luchadors being judged on actions instead of their identity. He also talked about the time he created a character named Mil Amores for a Halloween stand up comedy gig and stayed in character the entire time. Amores was a luchador who constantly gave love advice, but could never not contextualize it for wrestling. I definitely picked up La Mano Del Destino from him after the panel.

As for Howard, along with her discussions of the cross sections of wrestling and comics and even calling me out for the story of when I met Diamond Dallas Page’s daughter, she  summed up the experience of being a newer wrestling fan who is not immersed in decades worth of history and childhood feelings in one sentence that I have borrowed shamelessly since the con: “I don’t have a 20 year hate boner for Stephanie McMahon.”

Finally, the Sunday panel titled “Dotted Lines” was another very affirming moment of the weekend as it featured creators talking about queer representation in comics and included Howard, Dan Parent, Yoshi Yoshitani, Tamra Bonvillain, Sarah Stern and Eryk Donovan.

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As many panels with queer creators start, early influences and first encounters with queerness in media came up. Yoshitani and Donovan talked some about Ranma ½ and Yoshitani, who identifies as genderfluid, went further to mention the persistent trope of a woman disguising herself as a man and having the man fall in love with her. Howard, unsurprisingly, mentioned Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and how she mentally imagined herself turning Alicia Silverstone into a vampire and living in a Barbie Dreamhouse together.

Of course, it wasn’t all laughs as Bonvillain brought up the first time she ever saw a trans woman on screen: the scene in Crocodile Dundee where he assaults a transwoman. She admits that it sucks a lot and served as a reminder that not a whole lot has changed since the 80s.

While the panel bounced back and forth about queer coding, tokenism as a creator and with characters, and one hilarious discussion about Kimberly in Power Rangers being a bright and peppy murder machine, I think what stuck with me the most was Parent talking about the creation of Kevin Keller for Archie Comics. He admitted that when working on the creation of Keller, he wanted to be sure it didn’t come across as some sort of publicity stunt or an after school special, but have Kevin be a likeable character in his own right. “In my head, Kevin was supposed to be the gay version of Archie.”

Kevin has gone in many different directions since his introduction, including the version on Riverdale that cruises in the woods and the bit more mature version in Life With Kevin, but Parent admits that the initial pushback he got with Kevin was not because he was gay. Rather, it was because Kevin’s coming out story didn’t include harassment and hatred. Parent admitted that maybe that was true, but for Kevin, it worked. “This is Archie Comics. This is what a coming out story is SUPPOSED to be like.”

Stern followed up that there is, can, and should be room in comics for coming out stories like Kevin’s, but also stories of complicated queer people who may not fit in the idyllic world of Riverdale. “There’s value to Archie and there’s value to ‘Oh no, I shouldn’t have done that.’”

HeroesCon felt different this year for me, but I think in a weird way, I needed it to be. By shaking my comfort zones with the con, I was able to spend time appreciating creators I was not as familiar with personally, finding new stories to lose myself in and coming to appreciate the thought process behind characters I thought I knew. It was a good way to hit a reset button mentally and think about how I want to tackle my next set of stories.

Preview: WWE: Attitude Era 2018 Special #1

WWE: Attitude Era 2018 Special #1

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Ryan Ferrier, Andy Belanger, Aaron Gillespie, Julian May
Artist: Michel Mulipola, Andy Belanger, Hyeonjin Kim, Kendall Goode
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Rahzzah
Incentive Cover: Will Robson (colors by Jeremy Lawson)
Colorists: Doug Garbark, Jeremy Lawson
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Price: $7.99

ARE YOU READY? The most iconic time in Sports Entertainment history comes to life in untold stories of the WWE. This anthology includes stories looking at Stone Cold Steve Austin, the rivalry between the Brothers of Destruction, Undertaker and Kane, and DX’s infamous invasion of a certain wrestling program “down South”…

Preview: WWE #19

WWE #19

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Dennis Hopeless
Artists: Serg Acuña
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Dan Mora
Action Figure Variant Cover: Adam Riches
RAW Connecting Cover: Brent Schoonover
Incentive Variant Cover: Andy Belanger
Price: $3.99

Sami Zayn has made his decision to stand with Kevin Owens. Together, they plot their course to take over Smackdown Live…and no one will stand in their way!

WWE: Attitude Era #1 is Unveiled with a First Look

BOOM! Studios has unveiled a first look at WWE: Attitude Era #1, an oversized special one shot available in August 1st, 2018 focusing on one of the most important eras in WWE history. Join Ryan Ferrier, Andy Belanger, Aaron Gillespie, Julian May, Michel Mulipola, Hyeonjin Kim, and Kendall Goode for stories delving into the history of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the rivalry between the Brothers of Destruction, Undertaker and Kane, and DX’s infamous invasion of a  competitor “down South”…

WWE: Attitude Era #1 features a main cover by Rahzzah, with a variant cover by Will Robson with colors by Jeremy Lawson.

Preview: WWE #15

WWE #15

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Dennis Hopeless, Tini Howard
Artists: Serg Acuña, Hyeonjin Kim
Colorist: Douglass Garbark
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Cover Artists:
Main Cover: Dan Mora
Action Figure Variant Cover: Adam Riches
RAW Connecting Cover: Brent Schoonover
Kevin Owens Variant Cover: Andy Belanger
Price: $3.99

The Women’s Evolution continues as the Four Horsewomen— Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, and Sasha Banks—climb the ranks of NXT. Plus, the second chapter of the backup story spotlighting the rise of Asuka from Tini Howard (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink) and Hyeonjin Kim (Sisters of Sorrow)!

Preview: Vampirella Vol. 4 #10

Vampirella Vol. 4 #10

writer: Jeremy Whitley
artist: Andy Belanger, Matt Gaudio, Alex Sanchez
covers: Philip Tan (A), Gisele Lagace (B), Cosplay Photo Variant (C), Jimmy Broxton (D-Sub), Cosplay (RI Virg), Philip Tan (RI B/W), Jimmy Broxton (RI B/W), Philip Tan (RI Virgin)
FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen+

A thousand years in the future is a really weird place to run into someone you know. Especially when that person is now hell bent on destroying you. Which is exactly what happens when Vampirella and Vicki came face to face with their antagonist—PANTHA!

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