Comics Random

The world is run on magic, and in Mythic, that magic breaks

Bestselling Eisner-nominated writer Phil Hester joins Eisner Award-winning artist John McCrea for Mythic, an all-new supernatural series about an unlikely crew charged with maintaining (and covering up) the network of magic that keeps the world at status quo. The series launches from Image Comics on May 6.

In Mythic #1, “science” is a lie told to the masses. In truth, the fibers of what keeps the world in existence are comprised of magic. And an unlikely team—Apache shaman Waterson, Greek immortal Cassandra, and cell phone salesman Nate Jayadarma—is charged with keeping all the world’s magic in check—as well as a secret—from humanity. But what happens when those supernatural gears that keep the world turning come to a grinding halt

Mythic #1 hits stores on May 6. Cover A can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAR150473. Cover B can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code MAR150474.

Comics Previews

Preview: Deadpool’s Getting Hitched – A First Look at Deadpool #27!

Save the date! The Merc With a Mouth is about to become the Merc in Matrimony this April in the pages of the super-sized Deadpool #27 – from current Deadpool writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn along with an epic assortment of past Deadpool writers!

A day you never dreamed would come has finally arrived – and it’s going to be anything but traditional. For starters, his bride Shiklah is an ancient and royal succubus. Believe us, the ceremony is going to be one for the ages!

But the main story is just the beginning! This super-sized issue is packed to the gills with new stories from all-star Deadpool writers of yesteryear – including Fabian Nicieza, Mark Waid, Joe Kelly, Christopher Priest, Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Tieri, Gail Simone, Daniel Way & Victor Gischler!

You will not want to miss this monumental issue as Wade Wilson ties the knot in front of friends and family alike when the oversized Deadpool #27 hits comic shops this April!

DEADPOOL #27 (FEB140735)
Variant Cover by MARK BROOKS (FEB140736)
Taco Time Variant by MATTHEW WAITE (FEB140737)
Issue #27 Anniversary Variant by ART ADAMS (FEB140738)
FOC – 03/17/14 On-Sale – 04/09/14

Comics Previews

Preview: The Boys Definitive Edition Vol. 6 HC


Garth Ennis (w)
Darick Robertson, Russ Braun, John McCrea (a)
Darick Robertson (c)
FC • 400 pages • $95.00 • Mature •

When the Homelander finally sets an army of superheroes against the United States military, The Boys must finish the job they were recruited for: to take every superhero out of the picture. While the battle rages on the White House lawn, Frenchie and the Female are unleashed, Mother’s Milk uncovers a terrible secret at Vought-American, and Wee Hughie discovers the senses-shattering truth behind Butcher’s ultimate plan of vengeance. The final, bloodiest chapter of The Boys, collected in a gorgeous hardcover package!

This 400 page collection features:

  • A colelctor’s slip-case
  • Issues 60-72 of the hit series
  • An introduction by Garth Ennis
  • Garth Ennis’ original outline for the series with commentary
  • The original script to The Boys #72 by Garth Ennis
  • Writer’s commentary for The Boys #66 by Garth Ennis
  • Sketches and designs
  • A pin-up gallery
  • And more!


Comics Previews

Preview: The Boys Definitive Edition Vol. 5 HC


Garth Ennis (w)
Russ Braun, Darick Robertson, John McCrea (a)
Darick Robertson (c)
FC • 430 pages • $95.00

In a world where costumed heroes soar through the sky, The Boys make sure the “supes” don’t get out of line! Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson proudly present four of their most explosive storylines, collected in a gorgeous hardcover package, complete with a slipcover! In “Proper Preparation and Planning,” team leader Billy Butcher re-examines The Boys’ first encounter with their superhuman opponents, while handling disquiet among the ranks and an old enemy who’s come into his own. In “Barbary Coast,” down-on-his-luck everyman Hughie uncovers the grisly truth behind the first superhumans to take action in World War II. In “The Big Ride,” The Boys face the powerful and perverse threats, Jack from Jupiter and Doctor Peculiar. And in “Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker,” the true story of The Boys’ mysterious leader is told at last! From the backstreets of London’s East End to the carnage of the Falklands War, from the heights of love to the depths of tragedy, the most violent man in comics reveals the terrible nature of the forces that drive him. Collects eighteen chapters from The Boys’ comic book saga, including issues #48-59 plus the complete six-issue spin-off series, Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker. Bonus material includes an extensive cover gallery, featuring gorgeous artwork by Darick Robertson.

Reviews Spotlight

Review: Mars Attacks: Classics Obliterated (One-Shot), Larfleeze #1

Mars Attacks: Classics Obliterated (One-Shot)

When I was a kid, I was scared pantless by the 1996 Tim Burton film Mars Attacks!, which featured creepy, bumbling, murdering Martians, a human-headed dog, and, though a comedy-horror film, was nothing but terrifying to me. It’s not scary anymore…just a little unnerving, but the franchise as carried on by IDW into our favorite medium here at Graphic Policy captures the ridiculously violent, funny nature of that movie and its inspiration, the 1960s trading card series of the same name (sans “!”).

But I haven’t really been a fan of the on-going comic; I find it amusing, sometimes laughable, but really nothing more than a distraction from my usual pile of beloved series, and so I haven’t really followed the Mars Attacks comics since issue #9. But I’m a sucker for adaptations of classics, and I just had to give the one-shot Mars Attacks: Classics Obliterated a try.

This special issue tackles three classics: Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851), Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719), giving a special twist to each, and presented by three separate artistic teams.

While this sounds promising, unfortunately, I only found the Moby-Dick adaptation at all appealing, and that mostly a result of the sketched-look of John McCrea‘s pencils and the unique feel of Phil Hester‘s writing. Hester places Melville directly into the story, a facet of adaptations I rather enjoy, because it’s sort of entertaining to think of the writer as having actually experienced the thing being written about. In addition, Hester is an incredibly talented writer, as his script shows, and this pairs unbelievably well with McCrea’s vivid portrayal of the fervor of Captain Abraham for catching the Whale.

On the other hand, Beau Smith and Kelley Jones‘ Jekyll and Hyde (or Jackal and Snide, as they adapt it) is an uncomfortably modern take on the tale, which I found awkward and not as well written, despite a pretty funny twist when the Martians get ahold of Jekyll’s monster-making serum. This story is easily overlooked, in my (not so expert) opinion.

Neil Kleid and Carlos Valenzuela expertly adapt Robinson Crusoe, creating a stranded, lone-maddened Martian that meets up with the eponymous character. This adaptation is also well written, and the art equally likeable, but it seemed to be lacking the pizazz that drew me into the first story. I’ll admit, however, that while Hester and McCrea’s Melville story was unevenly paced, ending rather abruptly, Kleid paces the story so that by its conclusion, the reader is satisfied and not wanting. May this is why it adds up to very little: there’s nothing left to be desired.

If you’re a fan of Mars Attacks or any of the classics adapted herein, you might want to check this out, but otherwise this review will probably satisfy any curiosity you have and leave you with $7.99 in your pocket. On the whole, it seems a half-hearted knock-off of the recent Deadpool: Classics Killustrated, both in tone and design, but lacking in the same quality and inspiration.

Story: Phil Hester, Beau Smith, Neil Kleid  Art: John McCrea, Kelley Jones, Carlos Valenzuela
Story: 6  Art: 7  Overall: 6  Recommendation: Pass

Larfleeze #1

This review is partly in response to Brett’s review, which you can find here, but also because I really wanted to put my two cents in on this start-off issue to what I hope will be a series longer than the short-lived Sword of Sorcery which just finished up, and which also deserved a longer run. And, because I believe Larfleeze as it is here, and as it was begun in the back-up of Threshold #1, is a breath of fresh air among superhero comics and DC especially.

Larfleeze #1 is outrageous, over-the-top, sometimes silly sometimes serious humor that lurks on the edge of absurdity but is still entirely relatable. I enjoyed reading the Threshold back-up featuring Larfleeze much more than I enjoyed the main story itself, and I attribute this to the voice Keith Giffen gives to this character’s story. It’s a book that reads like Douglas Adams writing an obnoxious, selfish, rude teenager who’s millions of year old and has more power than most superheroes in the DC Universe. He is the Orange Lantern, a corps to his own, and he’s funny as hell, backed up by a sardonic butler who’s the smartass version of Alfred Pennyworth. And Giffen’s work is supported by Scott Kolins’ non-realist art, which looks the visual embodiment of what I imagined the Hitchhiker’s Guide books would be if in comic form.

I said above that Larfleeze #1 is a breath of fresh air for comics; let me explain. A lot of the major plots these days are dark, edge-of-your-seat apocalypse. It seems as though everything is going to Hell, lately, like something bad is always around the corner and there is no good whatsoever. It’s one end-of-the-world battle after another. With Larfleeze in the pilot seat of his own book, it’s guaranteed that any such darkness will be overlaid with hilarity, and that’s exactly what I like about this book. Larfleeze himself is a funny furball, and you’re really never sure when he’s telling the truth, but you’re always assured he’ll come out on top.

Giffen and Kolins make a great team, and perhaps in other hands (literally) this book wouldn’t be worth buying, or would be easily recognized as an attempt to live up to the character Geoff Johns created. But this is the guy who wrote us Ambush Bug, another funny but not-so-much loved character, sort of like Marvel’s Howard the Duck (no, not Lucas’ movie).

This may not be a book for everyone, but if you like Douglas Adams, if you like the Lantern mythology, or if you’re greedy, then at least read Larfleeze #1 and see what you think. Brett may be right, this book might fall into the obscurity of the thousands of dead DC titles (does anyone remember Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!?), but for now, it’s a hilarious and lovable break from all the darkness on DC’s roster.

Story: Keith Giffen  Art: Scott Kolins
Story: 8  Art: 8  Overall: 8.5  Recommendation: Read/Buy

IDW provided Graphic Policy with FREE copy of Mars Attacks for review

Comics Solicits

Mars Attacks IDW Limited!

IDW Limited announced plans for interstellar domination today, beginning with the Mars Attacks: Attack from Space Limited-Edition Hardcover. The book collects the first five issues of the popular IDW comic series. Drawing on the rich card-based history by Topps, each of these highly collectible and rare books will be paired with hand-drawn sketch cards from a wide variety of artists, ranging from fine-art gallery painters to comic-book and trading-card artists. All of the sketch cards are official Mars Attacks sketch cards provided by Topps, and foil stamped exclusively for this limited-edition release.

Working closely with Topps, IDW Limited has selected a wide variety of top creative talent to provide original, hand-illustrated as well as hand-painted sketch-card art for this special edition. Ranging in diverse style and background, the group assembled for this book is unrivaled in experience and talent. From series artist John McCrea to alternative gallery painter Apricot Mantle to popular trading-card artist Nar!, each participant brings a unique view and twist to the Mars Attacks universe.

The roster of artists selected for the first volume includes:

Jason Adams
Ted Dastick
Alex Deligiannis
Charles Hall
Dan Duncan
Dan Harding
Gary Kezele
Miran Kim
Apricot Mantle
Chris Mason
John McCrea
Sean Pence
Tim Proctor
Eric Talbot
Chris Uminga
George Webber
Jeff Zapata

The book will be released in both Red and Blue Label offerings, with each edition being signed by the creative team of John Layman and John McCrea, housed in a custom-built tray case and paired with hand-drawn cards. Red Label books (250 total) will include one sketch card, while each Blue Label edition (50 total) will be packaged with a four-card puzzle-set.

Available for pre-order now, get your copy immediately earthlings!

MARS ATTACKS: ATTACK FROM SPACE DELUXE LIMITED EDITION (RED-$125.00; BLUE-$400; 124 pages; 11” x 7.3”; hardcover)

Comics Random

Mars Attacks… Your Freshman English Class?

It’s no secret that earthlings love Mars Attacks. Topps’ crazed galactic conquerors have journeyed from the red planet to terrorize comics, trading cards, and Hollywood; but one medium has been left conspicuously uninvaded: classic literature!

Moby Dick, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and Robinson Crusoe are easily some of civilization’s most accomplished and cherished works of literature. But what would it be like if frothing invaders had been holding Melville, Stevenson, and Defoe at gunpoint, forcing them to reimagine their renowned works through the bloodshot eyes of a crazed, skull-faced Martian?

They’d probably be a lot cooler, right?


Finally, this summer, these timeless lessons on the nature of humanity will receive their long overdue invasion courtesy of writers Phil Hester, Beau Smith, and Neil Kleid and artists John McCrea, Kelley Jones, and Carlos Valenzuela in the 48-page one-shot Mars Attacks: Classics Obliterated!  Experience Melville’s supreme terror as he realizes a fearsome white whale is no match for a face-to-face encounter with a Martian! Delve into true horror as the Martian High Command sets their sights on weaponizing Dr. Jekyll’s volatile serum! And find yourself exploring the deepest reaches of one Martian’s existential war when he finds himself marooned on Earth!

Be sure to look out for the variant cover by living legend Earl Norem!

They may seem like a mindless horde bent on destruction, but when viewed through the prism of great, enduring literature, it’s clear that we have a lot to learn from our alien overlords.

You’re welcome, Earth.

MARS ATTACKS: CLASSICS OBLITERATED (FC, 48 pages, $7.99). In stores 6/5/13.

Comics Solicits

Mars Attacks #1 Sells Out in a Big Way!

IDW Publishing has announced that Mars Attacks #1 has sold out of its “substantial” first printing.  The first issue is by John Layman and John McCrea. The first issue was pretty ambitious sporting 56 covers and a deluxe box set had a 57th cover.  That’s nearly 55,000 issues gone. IDW says there’s likely less than 1,000 copies of the “classic card cover” floating about.

IDW is taking the opportunity to announce Mars Attacks The Holidays. Coming out in October, this new one-shot is being created as a unique, off-the-wall take on Mars Attacks and will see Topps’ vicious Martian invaders reigning chaos upon beloved holiday icons the world over. The comic features four stories by Dean Haspiel, Fred Hembeck, Ian Boothby, and Bill Morrison, and is 48 full-color pages.

Mars Attacks #1 is a full-color, 32-page comic that is in stores now. Diamond order code: APR120315 and Mars Attacks The Holidays is a full-color, 48-page comic that will be in stores October 24, 2012.

Press Release

Topps Unveils John McCrea’s Mars Attacks Trading Cards

TOPPS Unveils John McCrea’s MARS ATTACKS Trading Cards

Eisner Award-Winner to Illustrate Exclusive Subset & Hand-Drawn Sketch Cards

April 20 – The Topps Company today has released a first look at a special subset of all-new trading cards by acclaimed comic book artist John McCrea, to be included in this summer’s Mars Attacks Heritage card set.

McCrea, the Eisner Award-winning illustrator and co-creator of DC Comics’ Hitman (with Garth Ennis), is the artist on IDW’s Mars Attacks comic book series.  Pulling double duty, McCrea has also created 15 brand new images for Topps, exclusive to Mars Attacks Heritage– four of which are unveiled today.

The 15 images, officially titled ‘The New Universe Subset,’ offer a glimpse into the new Mars Attacks, which build from IDW’s upcoming comic book.  In addition, the subset will include insight into the new series, through a narrative that unfolds on the back of each card.

“We wanted John to treat these cards like miniature comic book covers,” said Adam Levine, Topps’ Licensing Manager. “To weave the cards and comics together even further, we crafted a story that introduces fans to our reimagining of Mars Attacks, beginning years before the Martians invade and continuing into the future, perhaps even beyond what you’ll see in IDW’s series in 2012.  If fans look closely, they may even spot a few hints at what lies ahead.”

Along with providing art for ‘The New Universe Subset,’ John McCrea recently paid a visit to Topps in New York, and found time to contribute a limited number of original, hand-drawn sketch cards to be randomly inserted into packs of Mars Attacks Heritage.

“I’m very excited to be able to play in this world of aliens and robots and giant insects,” said McCrea.  “Mars Attacks is right up my alley; it’s everything I love to draw.  I’m thrilled to be a part of the creation of this new world and to be able to my own stamp on it.”

Mars Attacks Heritage releases this July, while IDW’s new comic book debuts in June.  Both are currently available for order.

For more on Mars Attacks, including an ever growing gallery of sketch cards, follow on facebook:

For all the latest updates, follow on twitter @realmarsattacks

•    4 of the 15 all-new images.
•    Sketch card by John McCrea.
•    Photo of John McCrea, at Topps in NYC, as he hand draws sketch cards for Mars Attacks Heritage

About IDW Publishing

IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Toho’s Godzilla; Wizards of the Coasts Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons; and the Eisner-Award winning Locke & Key series, created by best-selling author Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints, and Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio.

IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot, while Michael Bay‘sPlatinum Dunes and Sony are bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film.


Comics Press Release

Eisner-Winning Creators Tapped For Mars Attacks Ongoing Series

Official Press Release


John Layman, John McCrea to reimagine cult sci-fi classic in June

San Diego, CA (January 23, 2012)— IDW Publishing and Topps are pleased to announce the multiple Eisner Award-winning creative team for MARS ATTACKS, an all-new ongoing comic series based on the fan-favorite Mars Attacks franchise.

Debuting in June 2012, IDW’s comic series will offer the first stories of an all-new Mars Attacks universe, bringing the brand’s outrageous action and dark humor to a new set of tales. Writer John Layman, author and co-creator of the Eisner-winning series Chew, will pen the series, with art by John McCrea, best known for his collaborations with Garth Ennis, including Eisner-winner Hitman.

“I’m a huge fan of Mars Attacks from a long way back. I own about half the original card set from 1962 and have a pretty big collection of collectables and doodads,” Layman said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to destroy the Earth and inflict huge degrees of suffering on the rest of humanity. With this Mars Attacks series, I finally get my chance.”

Created in 1962, Mars Attacks celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012 with major product launches throughout the year. IDW’s new comic series, as well as high-quality reprints of existing material, will be a cornerstone of that effort.

Originally published by Topps as a series of trading cards, Mars Attacks was created by Len Brown and Woody Gelman, after Brown was inspired by the Wally Wood cover to Weird Science #16 (EC Comics). The cards went on to achieve cult status for their then-shocking imagery—fully painted by pulp legend Norm Saunders and based on designs by Wood and Bob Powell—and remains a staple of pop culture. Topps revived the franchise in the mid 1990s with a second card set, comic book series and toy line. The story was also adapted into the 1996 feature film Mars Attacks!, directed by Tim Burton.

“We were excited to hear of the award-winning creative team that IDW had secured,” said Ira Friedman, Topps vice president of global licensing. “John McCrea was our first choice to illustrate Mars Attacks and we were thrilled that IDW was able to bring him aboard.  His experience drawing over-the-top violence on comics like Hitman, Judge Dredd and The Boys, coupled with John Layman’s penchant for twisted, offbeat humor makes them the perfect team to relaunch Mars Attacks.”

MARS ATTACKS will include covers by McCrea and alternate covers by such comic-book luminaries as Sam Kieth, Ben Templesmith and Eric Powell. The first issue will also feature a unique approach to variant covers: It will ship with 55 different covers, each depicting one of the original trading cards from the debut set of Mars Attacks from 1962. A complete collector’s set of the 55 covers in a box that replicates the original card packaging will be offered separately as well.

MARS ATTACKS #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in stores in June 2012.

Visit to learn more about the company and its top-selling books. For information on Topps, please visit

About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO; Toho’s Godzilla; and comics and trade collections based on novels by worldwide bestselling author, James Patterson. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio.

IDW’s original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. More information about the company can be found at

About Topps
Founded in 1938, The Topps Company is the preeminent creator and brand marketer of sports cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery. Topps leading sports and entertainment products include Major League Baseball, National Football League, WWE, UFC, Star Wars, Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company’s top confectionery brands include “Ring Pop,” “Push Pop,” “Baby Bottle Pop,” “Bazooka” bubble gum, “Sharkies” and “Juicy Drop Pop” products.   For more information, visit

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