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DC Celebrates Aquaman’s 80th Anniversary With a 100-Page Super Spectacular!

Since his first appearance in November 1941’s More Fun Comics #73, Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, has defended the Seven Seas and the DC Universe itself from all manner of threats. On August 31, DC and Aqua-fans alike can celebrate the legacy of the Atlantean Sea King, with the release of the Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular.

Some of the greatest names in comics will contribute their storytelling firepower to this 100-page collector’s item – writers Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns, Brandon Thomas, Chuck Brown, Stephanie Phillips, Michael Moreci, Marguerite Bennett, Dan Watters, Jeff Parker, Becky Cloonan, and Francis Manapul. They’ll be joined by some of the most prolific artists in comics, including Steve Epting, Paul Pelletier, Valentine de Landro, Hendry Prasetya, Pop Mhan, Trungles, Miguel Mendonça, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and more.

In addition to a stunning cover by the iconic team of Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, the Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular will feature eight “decade” themed card stock variant covers, portraying the marine monarch throughout the years:

  • 1940’s variant cover by Michael Cho
  • 1950’s variant cover by Ramona Fradon
  • 1960’s variant cover by Walt Simonson
  • 1970’s variant cover by José Luis García-López
  • 1980’s variant cover by Chuck Patton and Kevin Nowlan
  • 1990’s variant cover by Yvel Guichet
  • 2000’s variant cover by Becky Cloonan
  • 2010’s variant cover by Robson Rocha

This all-star-filled anthology spans across the ocean king’s legacy, not just celebrating his own triumphs but also those of his greatest allies and enemies. The main cover version of this 100-page blockbuster is priced at $9.99, with each card stock variant priced at $10.99.

Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular

Bitter Root #14 Celebrates Juneteenth with a Special Cover

The Eisner and Ringo Award winning series Bitter Root by Chuck Brown, David F. Walker, and Sanford Greene will feature a special commemorative cover in celebration of Juneteenth. This Bitter Root #14 cover will feature new art by Greene and be in stores this June.

Bitter Root is an ongoing comic book series following the Sangerye family, who once were known as the greatest monster hunters of all time and specialized in curing the souls of those infected by hate. But those days are fading. A terrible tragedy has claimed most of the family, leaving the surviving cousins divided between by the desire to cure monsters or to kill them. Now, though, there’s a new breed of monster loose on the streets of Harlem, and the Sangerye family must either come together or watch the human race fall to untold evil. 

The series is being adapted for film with Academy Award winning actress Regina King (director of the DGA Award, NAACP Image Award, and Academy Award nominated One Night in Miami) set to direct and produce.

Bitter Root #14 Cover A by Greene (Diamond Code APR210277) and Bitter Root #14 Cover B “Juneteenth” by Greene (Diamond Code APR210278) will both be available on Wednesday, June 23.

Bitter Root #14 Cover B “Juneteenth”

Regina King to Direct Bitter Root Based on the Comic Series by David F. Walker, Sanford Greene, and Chuck Brown

Bitter Root #1

Bitter Root has found its director in Regina King. The film is based on the comic series created by David F. Walker, Sanford Greene, and Chuck Brown. Published by Image Comics, the film is being released by Legendary.

King will produce along with Reina King via their Royal Ties banner, along with Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, and Sev Ohanian. Walker, Greene, Brown, and Drapetomedia’s Sean Owolo will executive produce.

The film’s draft is currently being rewritten by Bryan Edward Hill.

Set in 1924 during the vibrant Harlem Renaissance, the story focuses on a fracture family of once-great monster hunters. They face an evil that has decended upon New York City. The family must overcome the wounds of their past if they hope to stop an invasion.

The series is well praised receiving nominations for a 2019 Eisner Award for “Best New Series” and 2019 Ringo award for “Best Series”.

Review: Superman: Red and Blue #2

Superman: Red and Blue #2

I loved the debut of Superman: Red and Blue. The first issue was such a fresh take on Superman with a delivery that mixed in socio-political issues and the character’s limits and failures. Mixed with beautiful art, it was a debut that forced you to take notice. Superman: Red and Blue #2 is entertaining in its own way but falls far short of that first issue that soared.

There isn’t anything particularly bad about Superman: Red and Blue #2. There are five stories that are all entertaining in their own way. The stories vary in their focus and art style each delivering its own take on the character and his world. But, none of the stories really stand out. They’re entertaining while you read but I didn’t find the issue sticking with me in the same way as the first. It’s a case of starting out with a debut that’s almost “too good”. It’s difficult to match that level of quality.

Superman: Red and Blue #2 has its highlights. The comic debuts and opens with an interesting and emotional take on Clark’s relationship with his parents. It’s one that takes on negative perceptions about adoption and stamps them down.

An entry that pits Lex Luthor against Superman has a tinge of humor that pays homage to past stories. It’s a cute, fun story that I’d love as a backup feature in a Superman comic.

Where the comic stands out is in its varied subject matter. The anthology features stories focused on Martha Kent, Val-Zod, Lex Luthor, a random young girl, and Cyborg Superman. Each story is good in its own way and are worth reading. Superman: Red and Blue #2 is a frustrating comic in a way. All of the stories would be great as backups to a regular running series. But, as an anthology the stories are a bit too different in their subjects and topics and far too often fall into Superman battling something or they fall into predictable cheese.

Superman: Red and Blue #2 is hampered by that amazing first issue. It hasn’t stuck with me as that debut has. It’s not one that I immediately raved about to others. It’s good. It’s an entertaining read to sit back and relax to. But, it doesn’t challenge or do anything really new or interesting with an iconic character. An anthology feels like it presents a way to try something new, not something we’ve seen before.

Story: Steven T. Seagle, Chuck Brown, Dan Panosian, Stephanie Phillips, Jason Howard
Art: Duncan Rouleau, Denys Cowan, John Stanisci, Dan Panosian, Marley Zarcone, Jason Howard
Color: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Pat Brosseau, Dave Sharpe, Rob Leigh, Tom Napolitano
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Superman: Red & Blue #2

Superman: Red & Blue #2

Written by: Stephanie Nicole Phillips, Dan Panosian, Chuck Brown
Art by: Dan Panosian, Denys Cowan, Marley Zarcone

Explore the world of Superman in a way you’ve never seen before. Five brand-new stories, a visual tour de force, with only the Man of Steel’s signature colors. There are tales starring Clark Kent, the original Superman, including a showdown with his most tenacious foe, Lex Luthor—but there is also a great space adventure with Val-Zod, the Superman of Earth-2, going up against an amped-up version of Prometheus. And then there is Cyborg Superman, a warped reflection of the real deal, with a mission as opposite to Superman’s as any could be. But no matter how out there the situation gets, it always comes back to the one man and the planet he loves and has sworn to protect—and the people he inspires, young and old.

Superman: Red & Blue #2

Big Names are Coming to the Free Baltimore Comic-Con Live

Take advantage of the 1st annual Baltimore Comic-Con Live, a FREE ONLINE EVENT streaming the weekend of October 23-25, 2020! Come check out retailers, exhibitors, artists alley, programming, and the Ringo Awards live! The free virtual convention also features a slew of programming that fans won’t want to miss!

ARTISTS, WRITERS & ARTISANS: Creative Inspirations for Winter 2020 Line Up

Panelists: Axel Alonso, Cullen Bunn, Kaare Andrews, Nelson Blake II, Ethan Sacks and Dalibor Talajic
Host: John Siuntres
Friday, October 23, 2020 – 5pm ET / 2pm PT

Creators AWA Studios Discuss Their Creative Inspirations for Winter 2020 Line Up: AWA Studios’ Axel Alonso has given creators the support they need to create the stories that need to be told. These stories range from graphic journalism, the NBC Syndicated webcomic turned graphic novel, COVID Chronicles by Ethan Sacks and Dalibor Talajic to E-Ratic, a teenage superhero found in The Resistance universe by Kaare Andrews, and Byte-Sized, a Transformers-meets-Pixar story that will warm the hearts of the entire family by Cullen Bunn and Nelson Blake II. Find out what inspired the creators and why they brought their passion to AWA Studios.

Cullen Bunn

SUPERMAN’S FUTURE STATE

Panelists: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Host: TBD
Saturday, October 24, 2020 – 1pm ET / 10am PT

Join us for an exclusive interview with writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson on DC Comic’s Future StateHouse of El,  Superman: Worlds of War, and more!!!

Superman: Worlds of War

HERE COMES THE BOOM!

Panelists: Ross Richie (Founder) & Filip Sablik (President)
Host: Robert Meyer Burnett
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 2pm ET / 11am PT

With the 1.5 million dollar success of their Kickstarter campaign for Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR comic, BOOM! Studios has made some game-changing decisions in the way they publish. Join BOOM’s CEO and Founder Ross Richie and President Filip Sablik in conversation with Robert Meyer Burnett discussing their ground breaking strategies for the present and Future of BOOM!

BOOM! Studios

STREETS OF MARVEL: Q&A Panel

Panelists: Ryan Stegman, Becky Cloonan, Matthew Rosenberg, Ed Brisson, Phillip K. Johnson
Host: Amy Dallen
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 5pm ET / 2pm PT

Some of the top names in Marvel Comics (Ryan StegmanBecky CloonanMatthew RosenbergEd Brisson, and Phillip K. Johnson) sit down with Amy Dallen to discuss everything going on in the House of Ideas.

Matthew Rosenberg

BITTER ROOT: Creator Spotlight

Panelists: David Walker, Chuck Brown and Sanford Greene
Host: Shelly Bond
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 5pm ET / 2pm PT

The men behind the runaway success of the year. An exploration of The Harlem Renaissance, through the actions of a family of supernatural monster hunters. Starring the creative team of David WalkerChuck Brown, and Sanford Greene.

KIRBY’S FOURTH WORLD (Remixed)

Panelists: Tom King and Cecil Castellucci
Host: Robert Meyer Burnett
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 7pm ET / 4pm PT

Writers Tom King (Mister MiracleRorschach) and Cecil Castellucci (Female Furies) discuss their reinterpretations of Jack Kirby’s strangest creations.

Tom King

MARK WAID / TOM BREVOORT: Marvel Age

Panelists: Mark Waid and Tom Brevoort
Host: Mark Waid
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 8pm ET / 5pm PT

Take a deep dive into the wonderful world of Marvel Comics with two of its biggest names.

Mark Waid

CRIME ALLEYS OF GOTHAM

Panelists: Tom King, Joelle Jones, Bryan Hill, and Cecil Castellucci
Host: Amy Dallen
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 9pm ET / 6pm PT

Join Tom KingCecil CastellucciJoelle Jones, and Bryan Hill talking about playing in the alleyways of Gotham City with the Bat Family.

Cecil Castellucci

POWERS: 20th Anniversary Reunion

Panelists: Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming
Host: John Siuntres
Sunday, October 25, 2020 – 11pm ET / 8pm PT

Join Powers creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming as they take a look back at 20 Years of Powers.

Tartarus #1 and On the Stump #1 Both get New Printings

Fan-favorite new series Tartarus by Johnnie Christmas and Jack T. Cole and On the Stump by Chuck Brown and Prenzy are both being rushed back to print in order to keep up with growing customer demand.

Tartarus is an immersive new science fiction/fantasy series that pairs the hyper-detailed worldbuilding of Star Wars with the gritty characters of Breaking BadTartarus follows promising young cadet Tilde who is framed for crimes against the empire after discovering her mother was the ruthless warlord of the deadly colonyTartarus, a vital player in the galactic war. Now, Tilde’s only way home may be to reclaim her mother’s dark crown.

The campaign trail is paved with blood and broken bones in the series On the Stump. In this speculative fiction/action story, history diverged in 1868 when a pivotal presidential debate turned violent. Today, elections are decided by highly publicized hand-to-hand combat in arenas called Stumps. Unfortunately, the violence doesn’t end in the ring, and powerful people can still get away with murder. Senator Jack Hammer and FBI Agent Anna Bell Lister are teaming up to bring it all down. An over-the-top violent tale full of countless injustices—and people who have to fight for their place in it.

Tartarus #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN208958) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 1.

Tartarus #1, second printing

On the Stump #1, second printing (Diamond Code JAN208956) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, April 1.

On the Stump #1, second printing

Review: On the Stump #1

On the Stump #1

On the Stump #1 kicks off a wild first issue and world. Politics has evolved from the shit-show we have no to an even wilder reality. Politicians no longer debate issues with speeches. Legislation no longer gets up and down votes. Decisions are now decided in the ring with their fists. And it’s a spectator sport one can bet one. It’s just as corrupt as the current reality though.

Written by Chuck Brown, the comic is a frenetic introduction that takes the issues of today and amplifies them past 11.

The comic is brutal in every way taking things in an almost comedic level. Faces are caved in. Eyes pop out. People get stabbed as if nothing is odd about it. On the Stump #1 is almost at parody level it takes things so far.

But, Brown also seems to have something to say. The comic underneath the surface seems to address real-world issues plaguing us today. There’s a wink and nod towards the reality television place we’ve wound up at. The corruption is clear and acknowledged. How politicians are screwing the masses is there as well. There’s a very deft commentary just below the punching.

The art is provided by Prenzy with lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art style adds a comedic style about it. While Brown’s story is to the extreme, the visuals take it to a whole other level. The gore and brutal nature is gratuitous. But, it’s so over the top, it’s hard to not laugh at the absurdity of it all.

On the Stump #1 is over the top insanity. The concept is so out there and a hell of a lot of fun. It pokes fun at the current political climate while also recognizing where we’re at as a society. It’s a funhouse mirror reflection of our reality. It’s also a debut we’re casting a ballot for.

Story: Chuck Brown Art: Prenzy Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Marvel’s Voices #1

Marvel's Voices #1

Marvel’s Voices is an Experience, capital E. It’s the first comic I know about that adapts the concept of a podcast into a comics anthology collecting stories from black creators giving their take on the Marvel universe.

The book’s title carries over from the podcast it’s based on, which is hosted by Angélique Roché. The list of creators includes Vita Ayala, Damion Scott, Kyle Baker, Brian Stelfreeze, Roxane Gay, Method Man, Alitha Martínez, among other notable industry names. What’s interesting about the project, though, is that it embraces its multimedia roots by featuring essays from other creators accessible via Marvel’s Voices online page.

Two particular essays grabbed my attention: Regine L. Sawyer’s “Growing Up Marvel” and Karama Horne’s “The Legacy of Isaiah Bradley: The First Black Captain America.” (Disclosure: Karama and Regine have both contributed to our site – ed.)

Sawyer’s essay is about her origin story into comics through a less conventional avenue than most other stories of the kind: X-Men trading cards. I don’t want to spoil the essay because it is a fascinating and well-written story, but it is wonderful to get this look at how comics allow for multiple entry points given it’s an entire cultural package. It made me remember my card collecting days growing up, both the same X-Men cards Sawyer collected and the classic Pepsi Cards I religiously hunted down back when they came out in Puerto Rico. I still have them with me and they also helped me embrace comics.

Horne’s essay is about two comics: Truth and The Crew. Each one stands as some of Marvel’s best comic book offerings. They were subversive and hard-hitting, daring enough to give Marvel a black Captain America (in Truth), complete with an exploration of the tragic treatment black heroes get using real-life black history as the basis for the problems each character faces (which is expanded upon in The Crew).

The essay is a great and concise history of these comics, but it also serves as a lesson on visibility. That Marvel hasn’t reprinted these stories or released newer editions of the paperbacks brings up more questions than it should. I think Horne’s essay makes a strong argument as to why we need these comics back on the stands.

On the comic’s side of Marvel’s Voices, we get a strong if a bit uneven set of short stories that are personal, celebratory, and thoughtful as to why Marvel characters mean so much in the struggle for more diverse voices in the industry. Kyle Baker, for instance, produced a one-pager Ant-Man and Nick Fury story titled “Perspective,” about Fury’s problem with depth perception. It’s a quick hit but the art on display here is impressive enough to make anyone want to see Baker do more Marvel work.

Geoffrey Thorne, Khary Randolph, and Emilio López’s “Top of the Key,” on the other hand, is a one-pager on Mosaic story (a character Marvel has severely underused, in my opinion) that would’ve benefited from an additional page or two. It feels more like a setup for a larger story and we only really just get a taste of it.

Rob Markman, Damion Scott, and Dono Sánchez-Almara’s “What a Wonderful World” stands as one of the most impressive stories in the anthology as it offers a well-rounded look at a Marvel character with outstanding art and a clear message to boot. It centers on a troubled Silver Surfer, comparing Marvel’s biggest villains with humanity’s own villainy when it comes to protecting the environment. No panel was spared, no color was misplaced, and no bit of text hung without intent. Just a really good two-page story.

The best story in the book is without question “Inspiration,” by James Monroe Iglehart, Ray-Anthony Height, and Emilio López. This 4-page tale gives the radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers a much-deserved platform to contemplate his role in the grand scheme of things. The script showcases an interesting play on what a superpowered spider is supposed to be and how much of its natural instincts define its actions. It’s simply unforgettable and truly worthy of getting its own comic book series.

Marvel Voices #1 is the type of book Marvel needs to invest more on. It shows just how important it is to bring in other perspectives into this superhero universe and just how different it can all turn out to be. It speaks to the power of voices hungry for diversity in storytelling. And that, in itself, is a beautiful thing.

Writers: John Jennings, Anthony Piper, Luciano Vecchio, David Betancourt, James Monroe Iglehart, Evan Narcisse, Vita Ayala, Regine L. Sawyer, Brian Stelfreeze, Brandon Montclare, Tatiana King Jones, Karama Horne, Kyle Baker, Roxane Gay, Yona Harvey, Don McGregor, Geoffrey Thorne, Rob Markman, Method Man, Daniel Dominguez, Charlamagne The God, David F. Walker, Chuck Brown
Art: Anthony Piper, Luciano Vecchio, Ray-Anthony Height, Jahnoy Lindsay, Bernard Chang, Brian Stelfreeze, Natacha Bustos, Kyle Baker, Brittney L. Williams, Khary Randolph, Damion Scott, Alitha E. Martinez, JJ Kirby, Sanford Greene
Color: Anthony Piper, Luciano Vecchio, Emilio Lopez, Marcelo Maiolo, Brian Stelfreeze, Tamra Bonvillain, Kyle Baker, Rachelle Rosenberg, Dono Sánchez-Almara, JJ Kirby, Matt Herms
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Writing: 9 Essays: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10
Recommendation: Buy and make sure to bag and board it.

Sanford Greene Pays Homage to My Neighbor Totoro with a Bitter Root #6 Variant

Bestselling, Eisner Award nominated artist Sanford Greene pays homage to popular Miyazaki film, My Neighbor Totoro, in forthcoming Bitter Root #6 by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Greene.

The new story arc of Bitter Root kicks off with issue #6 and will feature the work of new colorist Sofie Dodgson.

In Bitter Root #6, the monster-fighting Sangerye family returns for another adventure. Loved ones once thought lost forever have returned—though the bliss of this family reunion doesn’t last for long. Cullen has changed, and everyone is concerned. But they’ll need all the help they can get, as a new threat has arrived on Earth…

The Bitter Root series takes place in the 1920s while the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing and follows the Sangerye Family. Once the greatest family of monster hunters in the world, the Sangeryes must move beyond the tragedies of the past, or be forced to sit back and watch an unimaginable evil ravage the human race.

Bitter Root #6 Cover C by Greene (Diamond Code DEC198586) will be available through Power Comics.

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