Tag Archives: don mcgregor

Don McGregor Returns To Zorro in “Flights!”

Veteran comic book scribe Don McGregor – the man who breathed four-color life into Marvel Comics’ Black Panther and Killraven, among others; DC Comics’ Nathaniel Dusk; as well as his own Detectives, Inc. and Sabre – joins the ranks of American Mythology Productions with his long-awaited return to “The Fox” with Zorro: Flights

Making his start in comicdom writing stories for the legendary Warren Publishing, he moved on to Marvel Comics in 1972 as a proofreader before establishing himself as a writer and editor. He also wrote Batman and other characters at the Distinguished Competition, and is well-known for his renowned work on Zorro for Topps Comics and Papercutz, respectively.   

With this three-issue limited series featuring art by Vincenzo Carratu and Claudio Avella, McGregor sets Zorro on an adventure for the first time in 15 years by bringing him face to face with a fire-breathing dragon. But something doesn’t seem right. Although the creature soars in the air-breathing fire and fury, it appears to be controlled by mere man.

As a bonus for fans and collectors everywhere, American Mythology will release the first chapter in this epic story with four covers. They include: the Main Cover by Roy Allan Martinez, the Variant Cover by Carratu, a Limited Edition Color Photo Cover, and the uber-rare “Century Edition” Black & White Photo Cover which is limited to just 100 printed.

Zorro Flights #1 features an on-sale date of August 25, 2021.  

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.

Book Review: Marvel’s Black Panther: A Comic Biography

Marvel’s Black Panther is one of those movies that has changed how the world has viewed superheroes of color. Never has such fanfare for a character has been expressed by legions of fans expecting a glimmer of hope, but what they got instead was a ray of sun. For longtime fans, we knew of the character’s importance and what it means, especially for comic book fans of color. What most of the media has failed to realize is just how this has been years in the making and not a one-time phenomenon, which is why Todd Steven Burroughs’ outstanding investigation of the character in Marvel’s Black Panther: A Comic Biography, seeks to give the character and his fans their just due.

In the Foreword, Makani Themba recounts how they first met the character between the pages of Fantastic Four in the summer of 1966 and how it impacted their upbringing. The book follows a chronological biography of the character, one that would fail under any other author, but unfolds like riveting epic within the words of Burroughs. In “From Patrice Lumumba to Sidney Poitier” he unpacks how the character was conceived and used in its early years. In “The Jungle Book”, we found out how Don MacGregor first started to shape the character’s narrative, veering away from the racist images and stereotypes and towards a technologically superior vision of Africa.

In “The Finished Man,”MacGregor was able to retcon much of the narrative that Kirby had laid initially and tell a story that was relevant to the time involving apartheid South Africa. In “Return of The Kings,” Burroughs digs into the problems that Kirby’s depiction of the character brought and how a good portion of it was the way Marvel treated Kirby before he left the company and after he returned. “The Client Was A Man of Remarkable Focus,” the amazing run of Christopher Priest on the character showed a different side of the character, something another website called “The an who Made Black Panther Cool,” which is an accurate description of his time on the titular character’s book. In “The Spy King.”  Where Priest revealed the real reason T’Challa joined the Avengers, one that would shake the superhero team to its core.

In “Hudlin’s Un-Compromised Royal (Black) Super-Man,” Burroughs examines Reginald Hudlin’s run on the character, often espousing the anti-colonialism stance many fans often wished the character would show, and he did this instantly with the character’s dominance over Captain America. In “Side-Swipes,” he explores the replacements to the throne and the mantle, Kevin “Kasper” Cole, a NYC cop, who was half Jewish and half African and T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, whose dealings with Dr. Doom brought many troubles to the sitting sovereign. In “The Black(Man) Without Fear,” T’Challa’s run as the protector of Hell’s Kitchen, a rather satisfying story, but one that would disempower the character, a step back in many ways for the character. In “Between the World and Him,” Ta-Nehisi Coates’s significant run on the character is explored, where he takes into consideration the significance and impact on the canon by the only two black writers prior to his run.

In “The Conclusion,” Burroughs digs into the character’s first big screen appearance in Captain America: Civil War, where he promotes both the fierce independence of the character and the proud Wakandan resistance to colonialism.” In the “Afterword,” Greg Carr, the chair for Africana Studies at Howard University, discusses the reality of the character’s impact, it being purely aspirational for members of the African Diaspora. Overall, the book serves two purposes, to educate and entertain, giving this character its proper place in history and popular culture.

Story: Todd Steven Burroughs
Prose: 10 Research: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Black Panther Annual #1

This has certainly been a great month to be a Black Panther fan, hasn’t it? Between the Black Panther comics going strong and most importantly, the recently released film from Marvel Studios which has garnered well deserved critical praise and killer box office numbers. And the Black Panther train ain’t stopping anytime soon because for starters, Marvel has this annual issue of Black Panther which celebrates the past but look forward to the future with the help of past writers of the character such as the likes of Christopher Priest, Don McGregor and Reginald Hudlin.

The first story, “Back in Black,” is by Christopher Priest with art by Mike Perkins. However the story mostly concentrates on Everett K. Ross. Which I can only sum up as that it’d suck to be Ross because the guy despite moving on from superheroes, he gets sucked back in whatever business that involves T’Challa but gets more than he bargained for. The book concentrates on characters created by Priest for this story and as such, it can be seen as an extension of Priest’s own going he did for Marvel Knights around the late 90’s.

The story has a noir feel to it with great effect-helped the efforts of the artwork by Mike Perkins, who gave it a lot of shadows (and plenty of shading) and panels in trippy angles to give the idea of disorientation and the colors by Andy Troy do give it additional flair.  The story definitely comes off as Priest wanting to step back into the world of Black Panther one more time after being away for so long. And it’s a good story. Like I said, it’s a very noir kind of story and fits in with the world of Black Panther.

Now in comes Don McGregor‘s tale, “Panther’s Heart.” Which can also be seen as an extension of his run from many years back in the 70’s when it was still called Jungle Action. It’s probably the most emotional of the three stories once you read on and also benefits from people familiar with McGregor’s issues because it does feature a notable character from his run. Who is it? Well, I can’t say given the character is a surprise for new readers or old readers who haven’t read his run for so long.

I will say it is an emotional story with the art by Daniel Acuna helping much. He nailed the emotional expressions on every character’s face and the writing by McGregor is not very over the top and definitely paced himself regarding what T’Challa is feeling throughout the book. It’s a solid story and probably the best among this Annual issue.

And finally, we have Reginald Hudlin‘s Back to the Future Part II and no, Doc Brown is not in this nor does it involve T’Challa time traveling and leaving a Sports Almanac in the hands of a maniac. Though the thought of Black Panther punching Biff Tannen is a nice thought.

No, instead, it’s a continuation of a particular story penned by Hudlin called, well, “Back to the Future.” In this story, we have an alternate timeline where T’Challa and Ororo Monroe a.k.a. Storm had not been divorced. And instead, because of their marriage, Wakanda grew stronger and became a powerful nation. So much had happened that it offers a variety of things that would be enough to tell an interesting set of comics in their own right like Spider-Gwen has.

We have an older T’Challa telling one of his grand children Grace about everything that had happened since his marriage to Storm. Dude took on Doctor Doom and Magneto and won. It’s all a fascinating look at a future that could have been and honestly, I’d love to see stories evolve from this simple story especially given the last page that had me wondering, “Wait, what the hell happened with that and how?”

The art by Ken Lashley is very good as are the colors by Matt Milla that drive the art home, it all looks good and compliments the writing well enough.

It’s a solid annual issue that celebrates past runs of the title character and if you’re looking for a Black Panther fix after seeing the movie, you won’t be disappointed-especially if you liked either writer’s take on the character.

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Black Panther Annual #1

Black Panther Annual #1

(W) Christopher Priest, Reginald Hudlin, Don McGregor (A) Ken Lashley, Mike Perkins (A/CA) Daniel Acuna
Rated T
In Shops: Feb 21, 2018
SRP: $4.99

LEGENDARY PANTHER WRITERS RETURN!
Three legendary BLACK PANTHER writers return to Wakanda! Don McGregor’s famous storyline “The Panther’s Rage” has become one of the most well-respected runs in comic book history. Now, the author who redefined Wakanda for a generation is back to expand the mythos! Bearing the heart-shaped herb that defines the Panther legacy, King T’Challa leaves his beloved country for a heart-wrenching mission in the streets of New York. Then: For half a decade, comics legend Christopher Priest made his mark on the Panther. The acclaimed writer returns with an all-new story – and with it, of course, U.S. State Department employee Everett K. Ross! And finally, no Panther history would be complete without Reggie Hudlin, author of more than 50 Black Panther stories, including the famed “Who Is The Black Panther?” Don’t miss the sequel to his “Black to the Future” story, featuring original artist Ken Lashley!

Review: Black Panther Vol. 2 A Nation Under Our Feet

Black Panther is coming to theaters and we’re reviewing each trade paperback volume of the current ongoing series from Marvel! We continue with the second volume of, “A Nation Under Our Feet.”

Black Panther Vol. 2 A Nation Under Our Feet collects issues #5-8 by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, and Laura Martin. It also features Jungle Action #6-7 by Don McGregor, Rich Buckler, Klaus Janson, Tom Orzechowski, and Glynnis Wein.

Get your copy. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

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Preview: Vampirella Archives Vol. 15

Vampirella Archives Vol. 15

writer: David Allikas, Gerry Boudreau, Nicola Cuti, Bill DuBay, Michael Fleisher, Bruce Jones, Rich Margopoulos, Don McGregor
artist: Auraleon, Enrich, Jose Gonzalez, Martin Hoffman, Esteban Maroto, Gonzalo Mayo, Rudy Nebres, Jose Ortiz, Leopold Sanchez, Sanjulian
cover: Enrich
264 pages • $49.99 • Mature

What terrors lurk within the final volume of the Vampirella Archives? The incomparable horror hostess offers you a guided tour of the Warren Publishing library, presenting the era’s greatest anthology of horror and science fiction by such comics luminaries as Bill DuBay, Gonzalo Mayo, Rich Margopoulos, Jose Gonzalez, Luis Bermejo, Nicola Cuti, Bruce Jones, and many more.  This edition of Vampirella Archives collects Vampirella Magazine #104-112, and features a wealth of bonus materials from a bygone era, including the “Feary Tales” feature on urban legends, the monthly “Scarlet Letters” column, “Vampi’s Vault” of creator biographies and literary reviews, and intact vintage advertisements.

vampiarchvol15-dj