Tag Archives: derek charm

Preview: Archie vs. Predator 2 #1 (of 5)

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR 2 #1 (OF 5)

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Variant Covers: Rick Burchett, Derek Charm, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Parent, Billy Tucci
On Sale Date: 7/24
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Betty, Veronica, and Predator-Archie have been left in the wreckage of their town, all their friends dead. Normally, they’d just go down Memory Lane and get home again where everything’s okay, but that’s no longer an option. It isn’t until they find an undamaged car and drive it down a different road where they can finally return to Riverdale—but their hometown feels different. And it’s made even more bizarre when they come face-to-face with a few people they’d never expect: themselves. Only different, newer versions. Little do they know, Predators on Mars are watching them—planning their next attack.

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR 2 #1

Chilling Tales of a Galaxy Far, Far Away Return to Vader’s Castle

Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle

Following the success of last year’s Tales from Vader’s Castle comic-book miniseries, IDW Publishing heads back to the lava planet Mustafar for more Halloween-timed storytelling in Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle.

Shipping weekly throughout October, this five-issue story pairs Star Wars Adventuresmainstay writer Cavan Scott with Eisner Award-winning artist Francesco Francavilla for the story of torment deep within Fortress Vader, one that frames five tales of terror to thrill young and mature readers alike!

Each issue focuses on a different villain, each story written by Cavan Scott and illustrated by a renowned comic creator:

Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle.
  1. Darth Maul, illustrated by Megan Levens: “Maul is the counterpoint and nemesis of my favorite character from the saga, Obi-Wan Kenobi, so getting to tell a part of his story (and draw those fabulous tattoos) was something I didn’t hesitate to sign up for!”
  2. Grand Moff Tarkin, illustrated by Kelley Jones: “Although I rooted against him, I always had a sneaking admiration for Tarkin, as he was – in all honesty – the real evil of the Empire: cold, calculating, and all too human!”
  3. Asajj Ventress, illustrated by Nick Brokenshire: “I can’t wait to show you the super-creepy shenanigans we’re getting up to in the Star Wars universe!”
  4. Jabba the Hutt, illustrated by Nicoletta Baldari: “These are the comics you’re looking for!”
  5. Darth Vader, illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III: “I told IDW that I’d draw the Kessel Run in less than 14 parsecs if they could get me on this book again, and they told me I could do it… but only if it was in under 12.”

Each issue of Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle will feature Cover A by Francesco Francavilla, Cover B by that issue’s respective guest artist, and a special black-and-white retailer incentive edition by Francavilla. Issue #1 will also include a special Derek Charm retailer incentive variant.

Preview: Jughead’s Time Police #2 (of 5)

JUGHEAD’S TIME POLICE #2 (OF 5)

Script: Sina Grace
Art: Derek Charm, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Derek Charm
Variant Covers: Erica Henderson, Rosario “Tito” Peña
On Sale Date: 7/17
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Journey with Jughead to the 29th Century! January McAndrews, head of the Time Police, explains the rules of time travel, and how Jughead’s already created alternate timelines they now have to police. But all the praise in the world isn’t fixing Jughead’s pie problem, and he’s realizing that everyone seems to be intentionally keeping him from time traveling. He’s getting angry, and things haven’t even gotten weird yet!

Messages from Midgard Finale: The Good and Bad of War of the Realms

Just when you thought you’d seen the last of me, here’s another installment of “Messages from Midgard“. This isn’t a column length analysis of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #46, which was the final “War of the Realms” tie-in to come out although I will mention Ryan North, Derek Charm, and Rico Renzi‘s hilarious and clever work with Doreen Green and the Norse squirrel god of chaos Ratatoskr later. No, I have come to survey the wreckage of “War of the Realms” and sift out what worked and what didn’t as well as the memorable moments and the comics that will gather dust in the quarter/dollar/whatever currency inflates to bin at the comic cons and stores of the future.

Without further ado, here’s “War of the Realms: The Good and the Bad“.


The Good

1. Thor’s Character Arc

The core War of the Realms series was at its finest when Jason Aaron remembers that he and Thor have been on a seven year journey together, and this event is the climax. Sure, the montages of Fire Goblin and Frost Giant destruction, superheroes making inane Tolkien and DnD quips, and Punisher shooting Elves are fun. However, the series clicks when it focuses on Thor feeling guilt for the death of the Valkyries and Loki, going on a berserker rage, returning with one arm, and then making sacrifices to not just become a hero, but the All-Father of Asgard. Tom Taylor does a good job enhancing this main narrative in his Land of the Giants tie-in where Wolverine tells his teammates to let Thor let his berserker rage burn out and kill Giants before he is ready begin the next step of his journey.

Despite the continent and realm spanning tie-ins and some issues in the middle, which feel like trailers for more interesting comics with cool battles, Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman craft a robust arc for Thor. They also make a great one for Jane Foster too as she evacuates New York, takes on the role of All-Mother in Freyja’s absence, wields War Thor’s helmet, and finally becomes the new Valkyrie. Superhero comics are all about the illusion of change, but it’s cool to look back and see a damsel-in-distress nurse battle cancer, become the goddess of Thunder, revoke that mantle, and find new ways to be heroic in War of the Realms. Basically, people who started reading comics in the 2010s will only see Jane Foster as a hero thanks to the work of Aaron, Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson.


Image result for russell dauterman war of the realms

2. Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson’s Visuals

All my high-falutin’ words about responsibility, heroic journeys, and mythology aside, at its core, War of the Realms is a no holds barred good guys vs bad guys superhero throwdown except with fantasy baddies instead of the usual costumed villains. And this is all thanks to the art of Russell Dauterman and the colors of Matthew Wilson. Dauterman is like a modern day Art Adams (Who did the covers for War of the Realms) or George Perez and possesses a singular gift for splash pages with multiple characters and making them compositions that tell a story instead of glorified pinups. He excels at both layouts and character designs using the newly omniscient Daredevil as the reader’s POV on the action of the War of the Realms while coming up with cool riffs on characters like Odin’s Iron Man armor, Malekith becoming engorged by the Venom symbiote, or Freyja going full Vanir witch on Malekith and his minions.

Matthew Wilson really is the secret weapon throughout the “War of the Realms” event with his work on the core miniseries as well as issues of Thor and the Daredevil serial in War Scrolls. His colors are the ingredient that put the Frost in Frost Giants, the Fire in Fire Goblins, and the effects he uses in War of the Realms #6 make the storm caused by the four Thors truly cataclysmic. But his work isn’t all chaos and Kirby krackle, and there’s delightful minimalism to the big scenes like the reforging of Mjolnir or Daredevil gazing from above that cause one’s eye to linger on the panel and reread the issues that he has colored and that Russell Dauterman has drawn again.


3. Humor-Driven Tie-Ins

The “War of the Realms” tie-ins aren’t at their best when they’re trying to make serious points about the effects of war, like Dennis Hallum and Kim Jacinto did in War of the Realms Strikeforce: The War Avengers. They do work when they lean into the fun and lore of superhero comics and events. For example, in Superior Spider-Man, Gwenpool comments on the well-worn structure of event comics and how a B-Lister like Doc Ock doesn’t get to strike the final blow against Malekith, and in Skottie Young and Nic Klein’s Deadpool, the titular character fights trolls with the help of Australian stereotypes and the event’s single funny Lord of the Rings joke. There is also a great short story in War Scrolls #2 by Anthony Oliveira and Nick Robles where Loki (in disguise as Kate Bishop) and Wiccan go to drag brunch.

However, the two tie-ins that take the cake in the comedy department and are also fun road stories are The McElroys and Andre Araujo‘s Journey into Mystery and the aforementioned Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Most of the humor in Journey into Mystery comes from character idiosyncrasies, like Miles Morales not knowing what to do in a casino because he’s never left Brooklyn or Death Locket’s obsession with Westerns because those were the only movies her Life Model Decoy “uncle” had programmed. The jokes also come out of the wacky situations that the ensemble cast finds them in from a Skrull trailer park to a literal Western ghost town and a henchman convention.

In Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Ryan North, Derek Charm, and Rico Renzi send the titular character on a mission from Loki to take out the Frost Giants’ secret base in Canada. On the way, she gets a cute new costume from her mom, sees two Frost Giants make out, reads Robert Frost poetry on her own, and builds an unlikely friendship and alliance with Ratatoskr, a Norse squirrel deity that is tricksy even for Loki. North’s script continues to be joke-dense and full of fun facts about science and the world around us while insightfully showing Squirrel Girl at her conflict-avoiding and problem-solving finest. Her actions even have an effect on the larger event, and Derek Charm’s art continues to be heckin’ cute.


4. Standalone Character Studies

Jason Aaron plays some good 3D chess by using War of the Realms to tell the big, loud story of Malekith’s invasion and Thor finding confidence in himself again and his other titles Thor and Avengers to tell quieter (Sometimes) character studies and hint at big plans after the War. So, we get stories like Loki being visited by his past and future selves while being digested in his father’s stomach, a tale of Gorilla-Man’s day to day role at the Avengers HQ during a crisis situation, and She-Hulk dealing with people’s (and by extension readers’) perceptions of her and how she really wants to be. They provide a fresh outlook on the events of the War of the Realms that isn’t just omniscient narration or Thor’s quest.

Avengers #18-#20 end up pulling double duty by introducing the Squadron Supreme of America as well as fleshing out the aforementioned Gorilla-Man and She-Hulk and setting up future plans for Aaron’s works in the Marvel Universe. The Squadron is a great satire of nationalism with a bit of trolling towards the DC Universe, and Aaron wisely puts them in an ancillary book to not detract from “War of the Realms”. The same goes with Gorilla-Man, who is in cahoots with the imprisoned Dracula meaning that the King of the Damned still has a role to play in this book’s events. And none of this is mentioned in the core War of the Realms mini, who only spends a solitary panel setting up Marvel’s next event “Absolute Carnage” as Venom slithers away from Malekith’s Necrosword. It’s nice to enjoy the ride/event you’re on before thinking about the next one.


The Bad

5. Mediocre Minis

Most Big Two events have three to six issue miniseries to add depth to major supporting characters, give B-list heroes a showcase, or just to make money. Sadly, most of “War of the Realms'” minis were more miss than hit with the exception of Journey into Mystery and the anthology series War Scrolls. I also personally liked the end of War of the Realms: Punisher and its portrayal of Frank Castle as a defender of innocents and unrelenting executioner of criminals even if it didn’t connect to his portrayal in the event possible.

However, the rest of “War of the Realms'” minis were either untapped potential or just plain stinkers. New Agents of Atlas introduced a new team of Pan-Asian superheroes, but became overwhelmed by its ensemble cast and its intriguing character designs didn’t translate well to its interior art. Giant-Man had a madcap concept of Marvel’s size-changing heroes taking out the “source” of the Frost Giants, Ymir. But it went off the rails by its third issue with a villain who was shoehorned in and an artist that was really bad at staging and establishing scenes.

Spider-Man and the League of Realms had a cool concept of Spider-Man leading representatives from the other nine realms into battle, but it constantly changed settings, switched bad guy/threat on the fly, and like New Agents of Atlas, didn’t make me care enough about its ensemble cast. The worst tie-in of all was War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men which had a decent premise of the X-Men defending New York, but shoehorned in awkward connections to Norse mythology, killed off Sunspot for no reason and had no focus even though Sabretooth would have made a great villain. Thankfully, it will probably be all retconned when Jonathan Hickman begins his X-Men run.

If you stick to the core miniseries plus the Thor, Avengers, War Scrolls, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and Journey into Mystery tie-ins (I can also vouch for Cullen Bunn’s work on Asgardians of the Galaxy and Venom.), “War of the Realms” is a good time. First and foremost, it works as an event because it’s a culmination of seven years of work that Jason Aaron has done with Thor, Jane Foster, Odin, Freyja, Asgard, and the non-Midgard Realms instead of trying to tie into an MCU movie. In fact, much of the current MCU Thor’s arc seems inspired by the work that Aaron has done throughout his run.

Preview: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #46

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #46

(W) Ryan North (A) Derek Charm (CA) Erica Henderson
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 03, 2019
SRP: $3.99

A WAR OF THE REALMS TIE-IN! The MOST squirrel-centric War of the Realms tie-in reaches its conclusion! Only one woman stands between the invading army of the Frost Giants and utter disaster on Earth, and that woman is SQUIRREL GI- hold on… hold on, sorry. I’m getting word that not one but TWO women actually stand between the Giants and utter disaster on Earth, and one of them is…RATATOSKR?? It seems unlikely that the Norse god of gossip would be on Team Doreen, let alone a valuable member of it – but hey, stranger things have happened, right? I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but they’ve probably happened. Can SQUIRREL GIRL team up with her SMACK-TALKING ENEMY? Can two people who couldn’t be more different find a common ground in time to save everyone? And will BRAIN DRAIN make it back from the Negative Zone? You may THINK you know the answers to these questions, but only by purchasing and then reading this illustrated picto-narrative will your suspicions be confirmed or denied!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #46

Survivors strike back in this early preview of Archie vs. Predator 2 #1!

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR 2 #1 (of 5)

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Variant Covers: Rick Burchett, Derek Charm, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Parent, Billy Tucci
On Sale Date: 7/24
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Betty, Veronica, and Predator-Archie have been left in the wreckage of their town, all their friends dead. Normally, they’d just go down Memory Lane and get home again where everything’s okay, but that’s no longer an option. It isn’t until they find an undamaged car and drive it down a different road where they can finally return to Riverdale—but their hometown feels different. And it’s made even more bizarre when they come face-to-face with a few people they’d never expect: themselves. Only different, newer versions. Little do they know, Predators on Mars are watching them—planning their next attack.

ALA 2019: DC Reveals a Massive Slate of Graphic Novels Geared Towards Young Adults and Middle Grade Readers Releasing Through 2021

The 2019 convention for the American Library Association (ALA) kicked off with huge news that DC was consolidating its line under three “brands.” That left many to wonder about the future of the DC Zoom and DC Ink graphic novel lines. Launched last year, the new graphic novel imprints were focused on the young adult and middle grade readers and have been hits so far. DC followed up those concerns with an announcement of a slate of graphic novel releases aimed at those young adult and middle grade readers.

These graphic novels continue the focus on stories not part of DC’s ongoing continuity making them accessible to new fans. The releases also focus on the original mandate of YA titles being about “everyday aspirations, struggles, and triumphs,” while the middle grade releases being focused on stories about “friends, family, and growing up.”

Spring 2020 Lineup

Young Adult Titles

  • Gotham High – Written by Melissa de la Cruz and illustrated by Thomas Pitilli (February 2020)
  • The Oracle Code – Written by Marieke Nijkamp and illustrated by Manuel Preitano (March 2020)

Middle Grade Titles

  • Green Lantern: Legacy – Written by Minh Lê and illustrated by Andie Tong (January 2020)                       
Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime
Zatanna & the House of Secrets
  • Batman: Overdrive – Written by Shea Fontana and illustrated by Marcelo DiChiara (March 2020)
Batman: Overdrive
DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless
  • Anti/Hero – Written by Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta and illustrated by Maca Gil (April 2020)
  • ArkhaManiacs – Written by Art Baltazar and Franco and illustrated by Art Baltazar (April 2020)
ArkhaManiacs
My Video Game Ate My Homework

Upcoming Titles Debuting in 2020 and 2021

  • Upcoming Young Adult Titles (Not all titles are final)
    • Catwoman: Soulstealer – Adapted by Louise Simonson from Sarah J. Maas’ DC Icon prose novel and illustrated by Samantha Dodge
    • Galaxy: The Prettiest Star – Written by Jadzia Axelrod and illustrated by Cait Zellers
    • House of El Book 1 – Written by Claudia Gray and illustrated by Eric Zawadzki
    • I Am Not Starfire—Written by Mariko Tamaki
    • Mister Miracle – Written by Varian Johnson
    • Nubia – Written by L.L. McKinney and illustrated by Robyn Smith
    • Swamp Thing – Written by Maggie Stiefvater and illustrated by Morgan Beem           
    • Teen Titans: Beast Boy – Written by Kami Garcia and illustrated by Gabriel Picolo
    • Victor & Nora: A Mr. Freeze Story – Written by Lauren Myracle and illustrated by Isaac Goodhart
    • Whistle – Written by E. Lockhart and illustrated by Manuel Preitano
    • Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed – Written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Leila del Duca
    • You Brought Me the Ocean – Written by Alex Sanchez and illustrated by Julie Maroh
    • Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend – Written by Alys Arden and illustrated by Jacquelin De Leon
  • Upcoming Middle Grade Titles (Not all titles are final)                         
    • Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld – Written by Shannon and Dean Hale
    • Batman and Robin…and Howard – Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown
    • DC Super Hero Girls – Written by Amy Wolfram
    • Dear Super-Villains – Written by Michael Northrop and illustrated by Gustavo Duarte
    • Green Arrow: Stranded – Written by Brendan Deneen and illustrated by Caleb Hosalla
    • Indestructibles Book 1—Written by Ridley Pearson
    • Lois Lane – Written by Grace Ellis and illustrated by Brittney Williams
    • Metropolis Grove – Written and illustrated by Drew Brockington
    • Primer – Written by Thomas Krajewski and Jennifer Muro and illustrated by Gretel Lusky
    • Superman Smashes the Klan – Written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Gurihiru
    • Super Sons Book 3: Escape to Landis – Written by Ridley Pearson and illustrated by Ile Gonzalez          
    • Teen Titans Go! to Camp – Written by Sholly Fisch
    • Teen Titans Go! Roll with It – Written by Heather Nuhfer and P.C. Morrissey 
    • The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel – Written by Ryan North and illustrated by Derek Charm

January McAndrews is on the scene in this early preview of Jughead’s Time Police #2!

JUGHEAD’S TIME POLICE #2 (of 5)

Script: Sina Grace
Art: Derek Charm, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Derek Charm
Variant Covers: Erica Henderson, Rosario “Tito” Peña
On Sale Date: 7/17
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Journey with Jughead to the 29th Century! January McAndrews, head of the Time Police, explains the rules of time travel, and how Jughead’s already created alternate timelines they now have to police. But all the praise in the world isn’t fixing Jughead’s pie problem, and he’s realizing that everyone seems to be intentionally keeping him from time traveling. He’s getting angry, and things haven’t even gotten weird yet!

JUGHEAD’S TIME POLICE #2

Preview: Star Trek vs. Transformers

Star Trek vs. Transformers

John Barber & Mike Johnson (w) • Philip Murphy, Jack Lawrence (a) • Derek Charm (c)

When Kirk, Spock, and the entire crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise investigate problems at a remote mine, they’re met with an explosive battle between powerful warriors who change into vehicles from the 20th century! As the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons rages, it’s up to Kirk to decide—does he violate the Prime Directive and interfere in a war that’s raged for millennia? And how will the Klingons complicate the issue? It’s cartoony fun between two of the most popular science fiction franchises in the world!

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 120 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-436-7

Star Trek vs. Transformers

Preview: Jughead’s Time Police #1 (of 5)

JUGHEAD’S TIME POLICE #1 (of 5)

Script: Sina Grace
Art: Derek Charm, Matt Herms, Jack Morelli
Cover: Derek Charm
Variant Covers: Tyler Boss, Francesco Francavilla, Robert Hack, Tracy Yardley
On Sale Date: 6/12
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

BRAND NEW SERIES! When Jughead messes up his Riverdale Annual Bake-Off pie recipe so terribly, he is disqualified and banned from all future Bake-Offs! Jug goes to unthinkable lengths to fix his error: time travel! Even Riverdale’s most erudite teenager can’t manage the delicate dance of going back in time, and poor Juggie lands himself in an epic battle to keep the time stream intact!

JUGHEAD'S TIME POLICE #1 (of 5)
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