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(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Aco Rated T In Shops: Oct 09, 2019 SRP: $4.99
THE CRACK OF DOOM!
From Christopher Cantwell (HALT AND CATCH FIRE, SHE COULD FLY) comes a new monthly ongoing series…
Victor Von Doom – scientist, sorcerer, disfigured face, twisted soul – has been spending much of his time warning against a trillion-dollar global effort to create the first “artificial” black hole. Wrestling with visions of an entirely different life…a better future…DOCTOR DOOM finds himself at a crossroads. (what is he questioning?)
A catastrophic act of terrorism kills thousands, and the prime suspect is… DOOM? Victor will have to push his unexplained thoughts aside and focus on remaining alive as the title of “Most Wanted Man” is thrust upon him…. Left with no homeland, no armies, no allies, indeed, nothing at all, will the reign of Doctor Doom come to an abrupt halt?
Berger Books has announced She Could Flyhas been optioned for television development by AMC. Based on the comic series created by Christopher Cantwell and Martín Morazzo, She Could Fly marks the first property from the esteemed Berger Books line to be optioned for film or television.
She Could Fly tells the story of Luna, a disturbed 15-year-old girl who becomes obsessed with an unknown woman who appears in the Chicago sky flying at heights reaching 2,000 feet. Suddenly—the mysterious woman dies in a fiery explosion mid-air. No one knows who she was, how she flew, or why. Will cracking the secrets of the Flying Woman’s inner life lead to the liberation from Luna own troubled mind? The second series of She Could Fly, She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #5 arrives August 14, 2019, with the collection arriving December 17, 2019.
Christopher Cantwell, co-creator of She Could Fly has past experience with AMC through AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire as a co-creator, showrunner and executive producer. Executive Producers of She Could Fly include Mark Johnson, Executive Producer of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul; Melissa Bernstein, also an Executive Producer of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul; Karen Berger, founder of Berger Books and Vertigo; Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Entertainment’s founder and Executive Producer (The Umbrella Academy); and Keith Goldberg, Dark Horse Entertainment Senior Vice President and Executive Producer (The Umbrella Academy).
With only a single issue left in the War of the Realms core series, the tie-in writers have fallen into the unenviable trap of wrapping up their story, connecting it to the event’s inevitable conclusion, and maybe leaving a loose thread or two when their comic returns to its normally scheduled programming.
Six comics came out this week, and one was heads and shoulders over the pack: War of the Realms Journey into Mystery #5. The McElroys, Andre Araujo, and Chris O’Halloran have finished crafting an ensemble cast that I want to read an ongoing series about, made Ares sympathetic, Laussa more than a MacGuffin, connect all the seemingly random plot threads of the series, and made me laugh out loud a couple times. No other book came close to this, but with snark, grit, and one hell of a Wasp cameo, Gail Simone and Paolo Villanelli made up for last month’s disappointment and delivered a nifty science vs magic clash in Tony Stark, Iron Man #13. I enjoyed it and wish Simone had more time on the book.
War of the Realms: War Scrolls #3
War of the Realms’ anthology tie-in War Scrolls wraps up with its third issue. There is the conclusion to Jason Aaron, Andrea Sorrentino, and Matthew Wilson’s Daredevil serial as well as a Dr. Doom story from Christopher Cantwell,Cian Tormey, and Dan Brown and a She-Hulk one from Charlie Jane Anders, Simone D’Armini, and Federico Blee. Daredevil, God without Fear continues to be an accomplishment in panel layouts, fight scenes, and theodicies. This three part story is a turning point in Sorrentino’s career as an artist as he transitions from flowing tapestry layouts to strict grids that work like slow-mo while Daredevil fights Malekith with Bifrost shruikens. Aaron’s narration continues to show the perils of omniscience, and even if Daredevil can’t defeat Malekith, he can inspire his blind children hostage to escape and cut God a break along the way.
Halt and Catch Fire co-creator Christopher Cantwell tells the story of the Dark Elf invasion of Latveria from ordinary citizens’ POVs. Dr. Doom has a godlike status in this country, and even when he makes silly mistakes like wasting his troops on a Saving Private Ryan-esque rescue mission, they look to him to save them. The switching point of views can be disorienting, but Cian Tormey gives the story a documentary feel and builds to one badass crescendo where Doom is part-Superman, part-God of the Old Testament, and still authoritarian. It’s a tasting menu that really needs to be expanded to a full feast of the regular lives of Latverians.
War Scrolls #3 wraps up with a story of She-Hulk and Freyja fighting dragons and talking about relationships. Charlie Jane Anders’ writing sometimes feels like she’s making her characters have her interests like making Blade a Beyonce fan and Punisher a Joni Mitchell aficionado, but she nails the conversations between Jennifer and Freyja. She-Hulk talks about how she is dating Thor and not sure how serious it is, and Freyja understands how much She-Hulk cares for her son and that they are both insecure about their “worthiness” and status as heroes. The cherry on top of this pretty good story is D’Armini’s artwork that makes She-Hulk incredibly muscular and monstrous. For the most part, War Scrolls has been full of thought provoking character studies and memorable visuals, and issue three is no exception earning an Overall Verdict of Buy.
War of the Realms: Journey into Mystery #5
Journey into Mystery #5 wraps up this god demon baby starring road trip saga into a neat little bow and uses continuity to enhance and deepen character development and humor instead of as a crutch. The McElroys seamlessly transition from podcasting to mainstream comics while Andre Araujo and Chris O’Halloran enhance their jokes and punch up the action scenes beginning with Wonder Man sweeping to save Laussa. They keep their character portrayals internally consistent like having Wonder Man continue to be a pacifist and having Sebastian Druid being uncertain about his powers, but reminding readers he had a relationship with Ares’ son back in Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Warriors.
This kibble of continuity isn’t just a piece of cute, fanboy trivia, but sets up Ares’ road for redemption. He isn’t a bad guy and doesn’t have a quarrel with this book’s cast; he just like to fight and wants to be reunited with son in the afterlife. Journey into Mystery #5 isn’t just a slugfest between the team and Ares, but is filled with twists and turns about Laussa that aren’t 100% deus ex machinas. The comic does have a pleasing plot, but its real magic are in the small moments like any time Miles Morales and Thori interact, or Laussa’s expressions with the world around him. And for this mastery of both the macro and micro aspects of comics, Journey into Mystery #5, and by extension, the whole miniseries earn an Overall Verdict of Buy.
War of the Realms: Spider-Man & the League of Realms #3
Unless it’s for a storytelling purpose, having two or more artists on a comic usually means it was rushed to meet its deadline, and that seems to be the case with Spider-Man & the League of Realms #3. Gone are Nico Leon’s slick cartooning and well-choreographed set pieces of the previous two issues, and writer Sean Ryan giving each League member a distinct personality beyond fantasy race action figure. This issue is mostly a slugfest against Malekith’s lieutenant, Kurse and peppered with awkward poses, constipated facial expressions, and basically, generic visuals from Leon and Marco Failla.
The angel Fernande goes a bit ballistic in the middle of the fight, and Spider-Man finds a shared connection because they have both lost loved ones. But this was already covered in the previous issue so it feels a lot like padding in Spider-Man & the League of Realms #3. The main plot point of this issue (and a cool connection to War Scrolls #3) is that Kurse was once League member, Waziria, and for the first time in all of War of the Realms (Except the Cul Borson story in Thor.), the Dark Elves aren’t treated like evil cannon fodder. In the end, this comic was about saving people instead of punching evil, and that’s a good sentiment from Ryan and Leon. However, it ends on this week’s “standard” heroes pose together and jump into the final battle panel and earns an Overall Verdict of Pass because of art issues and the difficulty of writing a large cast.
Captain Marvel #7
Spider-Man & the League of Realms #3 wasn’t the worst “War of the Realms” comic this week. That honor goes to Captain Marvel #7, which wraps up the unbearably banal if well-colored by Tamra Bonvillain body swap story featuring Carol Danvers and Dr. Strange. This issue does have a few positives like Kelly Thompson’s gift for quick banter and cutting one-liners like Strange roasting Carol for only knowing magic from various pop culture things. However, it’s pretty shallow, Strange and Carol’s ineptitude with each other’s powers are quickly resolved, and afterwards, they and an underutilized Black Widow go separate ways.
One slight positive about Captain Marvel #7 is Annapaola Martello’s art. She’s equally good at drawing fun facial expressions/hints of flirting and things that go boom/pew pew. Even if the story is thin, it’s pure joy to see Dr. Strange in Carol’s body go Binary and kick undead ass and then steal a little moment at the end. And about the ending, it seems random and tacked on even if it’s our first glimpse of a post-War of the Realms world. Carol is hanging out in her apartment like everything is normal, and the last story had no effect on her. Honestly, this is for the better as Thompson no longer has to shoehorn a quick tie-in and can tell her full story. My Overall Verdict for Captain Marvel #7 is Pass, and it’s worth skipping for regular readers of her title and those just following “War of the Realms”.
If there’s any comic that Deadpool#14 shares DNA with, it’s Simon Bisley’s Lobo books of the 1990s with their combination of serious, detailed fantasy art and silly dialogue and situations. In this comic, Skottie Young and Nic Klein chronicle Deadpool’s defense of Australia from Ulik (Which is apparently a very common name for trolls.) and his minions with the help of a knock-off Captain Britain and Daredevil and then an assist from some real superheroes. Young continues to have fun breaking the fourth wall and poking fun at his own writing like ending the issue with a deus ex machina and commenting on the legality of including a figure that’s all but named Tasmanian Devil.
Nic Klein draws and colors his own work in Deadpool #14 and turns in some gorgeous splash pages of Deadpool, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and various Z-list Australian heroes beating the shit out of trolls. He can also do funny too like his depiction of the solution to Australia’s troll problem, which is feeding them and putting them to work at New Zealand’s copyright-friendly version of a Lord of the Rings set tour. The panel of trolls chasing tourists with selfie sticks around a “bobbit” hole is like something out of Mad magazine and a wonderful Deadpool-esque way to wrap up the plot. For its humor, skilled art, and ultraviolence,Deadpool #14 earns an Overall Verdict of Buy. (And, apparently, the next issue is the final one of the series.)
Tony Stark, Iron Man #13
Free of continuing subplot from previous issues (Except for the important Tony Stark relapsing in a VR environment one.), Gail Simone and Paolo Villanelli are free to tell the story of the battle between Iron Man and the wyrm Sadurang, who wants to rob the New York Stock Exchange. They make fantastic parallels between traders and hoarding dragons, and starting off a conversation between Sadurang and a now homeless broker about how riches cloud one’s morals sets the tone for the issue. And what happens is a back to basics Iron Man story where Tony must destroy or deactivate all his magic infected armor and get back to the analog days to defeat this greedy dragon.
Edgar Delgado’s powerful colors match Villanelli’s art, which can be loose and scratchy when Tony is getting his ass kicked and trying to quip his way out of a bad situation or tighter and tougher when he’s in the Mark I armor doing his best St. George impression. Also, Simone brings in the very winsome Wasp as a guest star in this issue, and she brings Tony hope and her stings and fast flying gives him enough time to rally his counterattack. Then, they get to share a sweet moment after the fight is over, but Tony doesn’t tell her about the relapse and is interrupted by Malekith’s initial invasion of New York. This two steps forward, one step forward approach to Tony’s journey works for Gail Simone and Paolo Villanelli and coupled with a satire of capitalism via knight/dragon metaphors, Tony Stark, Iron Man #13 earns an Overall Verdict of Buy.
Even though it’s sad to see Captain Marvel’s portrayal stumble in yet another event, and some writers love doing the “heroes join the final battle” ending to their tie-ins, this wasn’t a bad “War of the Realms” week. Skottie Young and Nic Klein turned their Deadpool two-parter into an exercise in maximum absurdity and pulled off the first funny Lord of the Rings reference of the event while Gail Simone added Iron Man to characters she excels at writing. But the real highlight was Journey into Mystery, which is a redemptive road comedy starring a great mix of heroes, tons of quick jokes, and a coherent plot that zigged where others zag. I’m definitely looking forward to Clint McElroy’s upcoming work on Marvel Team-Up.
From Christopher Cantwell, acclaimed writer of She Could Fly and co-creator of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and celebrated artist I.N.J. Culbard comes a new monthly ongoing series this fall, Everything. The latest addition to Karen Berger’s critically acclaimed Berger Books imprint at Dark Horse Comics, Everything is a truly bizarre story about the most horrifying pursuit of happiness you’ve ever read.
From wayward teens to lonely housewives and ambitious city officials, most in this otherwise-sleepy Michigan town are thrilled with the arrival of EVERYTHING, a new mega-department store, and its catalog-perfect manager, Shirley. But thrill turns to frenzy, and when bouts of mania, random hellish fires, violent explosions and unshakeable psychic disturbances start to overtake the population, a few—like depressive out-of-towner Lori and a suspicious local named Rick—begin to suspect EVERYTHING might be the cause.
What twisted power has taken hold of Holland, Michigan and its town-folk? Who—or what—exactly is in charge here… and what insidious plans are in store?
The series is described as if “Twin Peaks and Stranger Things had a baby and Ray Bradbury was the godfather.”
The first issue of Everything goes on sale September 4, 2019.
(W) Jason Aaron, Christopher Cantwell, Charlie Jane Anders (A) Andrea Sorrentino, More (CA) Alan Davis Rated T+ In Shops: Jun 19, 2019 SRP: $4.99
THE MUST-READ COMPANION TO THE WAR OF THE REALMS!
The Kingpin joins the battle for New York! And even with his new cosmic senses, the God Without Fear can’t touch the venerated Mayor…can he? Jason Aaron and Andrea Sorrentino’s tale comes to a dramatic close! Plus, Halt and Catch Fire co-creator Christopher Cantwell and Nebula Award-winning novelist Charlie Jane Anders make their Marvel debuts with stories about Doctor Doom and She-Hulk!
Dark Horse and Berger Books have revealed art from She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, the sequel to the acclaimed series She Could Fly, by Christopher Cantwell, co-creator/showrunner of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire series, and Martín Morazzo! Cantwell and Morazzo are joined by colorist Miroslav Mrva and letterer Clem Robins.
In She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, Luna has crash-landed back into her life after spending a year in a mental institution… but that might just mean she’s closer to the edge than she’s ever been before. After discovering clues about the Flying Woman’s missing family, Luna’s obsession reignites, threatening to unravel her fragile mind again. Meanwhile, a mysterious guru appears in the sewers of Chicago, a Russian mercenary seeks old secret technology, and the specter of violence begins to loom over everyone once more. Luna starts to wonder… will she even survive long enough to go insane?
She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot#1 goes on sale April 10, 2019. On March 13, 2019, fans can purchase the deluxe trade paperback of the first miniseries, She Could Fly.
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist, Cover Artist: Martín Morazzo
Colorist: Miroslav Mrva
Publication Date: July 11, 2018 Price: $4.99
In Chicago, an unknown woman appears flying at speeds of 120 miles per hour and at heights reaching 2,000 feet. Then she suddenly dies in a fiery explosion mid-air. No one knows who she was, how she flew, or why. Luna, a disturbed 15-year-old girl becomes obsessed with learning everything about her while rumors and conspiracy theories roil. Will cracking the secrets of the Flying Woman’s inner life lead to the liberation from her own troubled mind?
In the lead up to C2E2, Dark Horse has revealed the next comics series installment in the Berger Books imprint! Writer Christopher Cantwell, co-creator/showrunner of AMC’s critically acclaimed Halt and Catch Fire, and artist Martín Morazzo will unite to tell the strange and poignant tale of the Flying Woman in She Could Fly. They are joined by Miroslav Mrva on color.
The extraordinary story of She Could Fly begins in Chicago, when an unknown woman, flying at speeds of 120 miles per hour and at heights reaching 2,000 feet, suddenly dies in a fiery explosion mid-air.
No one knows who she was, how she flew, or why. Some think it was a government program. Some think it was foreign surveillance. Some think it was all fake. Some are even convinced that it was a religious, transcendent experience happening on earth.
Luna Brewster, a disturbed 15-year-old girl becomes obsessed with learning everything about her while rumors and conspiracy theories roil. Will cracking the secrets of the Flying Woman’s inner life lead to the liberation from her own troubled mind?
The first issue of She Could Fly contains 32-pages of story, retails for $4.99 and goes on sale July 11, 2018.