Tag Archives: laura allred

Catwoman Gets an Ongoing Series by Joëlle Jones

Announced at C2E2, Joëlle Jones will be taking on Catwoman in her own solo ongoing series. The series will spin out of the “Bat wedding” taking place in Batman #50.

Catwoman’s back on the streets dealing with a mysterious copycat and taking on a brand new, as-yet-unrevealed villain.

The revealed solicitation:

The wedding night’s barely over, but Catwoman’s back on the streets, this time to expose a copycat who’s pulling heists around Gotham City. As Selina cracks the whip on her former criminal cohorts, she’s attracting unwanted attention from one of Gotham’s most dangerous groups. The mob? Nope. Try the GCPD. And as if the Bat-Bride didn’t have enough problems, there’s an all-new villain determined to make trouble for all nine of Selina’s lives.

The series will be written by and feature art by Jones with color by Laura Allred and variant covers by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.

Catwoman #1 will debut in July.

Review: Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock

INFINITY COUNTDOWN ADAM WARLOCK #1Adam Warlock is back! Reborn from the realm of the dead, Adam has come seeking the Soul Stone…and the truth about what it did to Him! His guide through this Infinity Quest is none other than…Kang the Conqueror?!? Be there as Adam begins down the dark trail sure to lead him into the heart of the mystery of the Infinity Stones…

Don’t know who Adam Warlock is? Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock catches up new readers as to who this classic character is and at the same time sets up the next major event. Writer Gerry Duggan does an excellent job in condensing the 51 year history of the character created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, Gil Kane, and significant contribution by Jim Starlin. There’s a lot to pack in and Duggan does an excellent job of catching readers up.

And that’s exactly what this issue is, a primer as to who Warlock is and what’s being set up. The issue touches upon the character’s history, the Infinity Stones, and what’s going on. And it feels epic and cosmic, with the cosmic seriously feeling like it’s been lacking in the Marvel Universe. Basically, someone is collecting the Stones and Kang has sent Warlock through time to save the universe.

What’s interesting to me though is this issue’s reflection on the current season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in what is revealed and what we know is coming in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hopefully the two will be a bit more divergent that what is revealed here.

But, what definitely stands out as original is Mike Allred‘s art. I love Allred’s style which takes so much from Kirby (in a good way). The pop style art is suited so well to cosmic stories in space with grand imagery and trippy visuals. Allred clearly has fun with impressive double page spreads taking us through history in a journey that’s fun to look at. That’s helped by colorist Laura Allred who delivers a color palette that feels like it’s missing black light. The colors are bright and full of energy that matches Mike’s style. Cory Petit‘s lettering helps too, emphasizing the emotional moments throughout. It adds to the pop sensibility of the visuals within.

While the story for the issue doesn’t excite, it does an excellent job of setting things up and taking us through Warlock’s history. The art though is what stands out and is utterly amazing. There’s something so unique about it all and out of everything this is the draw, no pun intended. A visual treat that is a solid way to catch up and see where things are going.

Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Mike Allred
Color: Laura Allred Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Titan to Publish Lost Jack Kirby and Gil Kane Prisoner Comic

Titan Comics has announced two new projects based on The Prisoner, licensed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the surreal 1960’s cult TV classic in 2018: an oversized artist edition of a lost comic book classic by comic book legends Jack Kirby and Gil Kane; as well as a brand-new comic series set in the world of The Prisoner by celebrated writer Peter Milligan and artist Colin Lorimer.

First shown on Canadian and UK TV screens in 1967, The Prisoner was co-created, written, directed and starred Patrick McGoohan. Titan’s new unmissable comic collections and comic series are set to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the first US transmission in 1968.

In July, Titan Comics will publish an art-sized, hardcover collection of Jack Kirby, Gil Kane and Steve Englehart’s long-lost, previously unpublished The Prisoner comic strips based on the cult classic.

This special oversized collectors edition will contain the entire 17 page Jack Kirby strip, the first six pages of which were inked and lettered by Mike Royer, as well as 18 pages of pencils drawn by legendary comic artist Gil Kane.

In addition to reprinting these rare pages, this collection also features unmissable bonus archive material including facsimiles of the original script as written by Steve Englehart.

The Prisoner: Jack Kirby And Gil Kane Art Edition (ISBN: 97817858662878) is just one part of Titan Comics’ exciting plans for The Prisoner’s 50th Anniversary year –alongside a brand-new comic series based on the cult favorite TV series, written by Peter Milligan with art by Colin Lorimer.

Titan Comics’ new series transports readers back to the mysterious village where everyone is a number, and features six amazing covers, including Mike and Laura AllredJack Kirby, a Patrick McGoohan photo cover and more to be revealed.

Review: Doom Patrol #7

DoomPatrol7

Niles Caulder is a terrible, manipulative human being, and writer Gerard Way, artist Mike Allred, and colorist Laura Allred make readers, both new and veteran, aware of that fact in the standalone Doom Patrol #7. The comic might start with Robotman and Negative Man (Larry Trainor) hanging out at the mall and getting away from the general strangeness of the first arc, but this is no slice of life story. Robotman, Negative Man, and new team member Casey Brinke end up following Niles Caulder on a wild goose chase of a mission where they receive “upgrades” without their consent, travel in a cube to a world where bad ideas are jelly, and even transform into werewolves. Just another day in the life of the new look Doom Patrol.

Mike and Laura Allred are the perfect art choice for the adventurous tone of Doom Patrol #7. The one constant is the matching red uniforms that Niles forces Casey, Robotman, and Larry to wear, but their plaid patterned journey to the world of Scantaria provides an opportunity for Laura Allred to go wild with all kinds of reds, brown, and finally a downright disgusting blue when the team fights a monster that decided to ingest all of humanity’s bad ideas in one gulp. For his layouts, Mike Allred sticks mainly to grids and fills them up with all kinds of wobbling, viscous images because everything falls apart when Niles Caulder gets involved. In most of the action scenes, Niles is barking orders and turning the Doom Patrol into putty in his hands, but Allred goes for a iconic, superpower pose towards the end of the issue when Robotman whacks the aforementioned monster with his severed arm. It shows that the Doom Patrol doesn’t need Miles and are find chilling in Dannyland and looking for Casey’s missing cat.

Doom Patrol #7 is a clever book because it deconstructs superhero comics without going the usual  Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns route, having a postapocalyptic setting, or doubling down on the grim dark. It shows that superhero teams don’t have to have a clear leader, go on missions for the hell of it, wear spandex uniforms, or unquestionably follow the old white guy like the Doom Patrol of old. They can wander around the mall and find themselves or look for lost cats named Lotion. They can wear bandages on their faces, clank like a robot, or have a missing leg and still be happy. In the main Doom Patrol, Gerard Way and Nick Derington have taken a fluid, open ended approach to stories and took their time reassembling a “team”, which is the complete opposite of the rigidness that Niles immediately imposes on them. And he’s not a good guy just one on a power trip that tells people what’s good for them instead of asking them like when he gives Robotman a new body that emotions of its own to go with his mind’s emotions. (Being violent is awkward in this case.)

DoomPatrolInterior

Sure, he has kooky gadgets, serums, and vehicles that match the surrealistic tone of the comic, but Niles is entirely self-serving. There is savage irony in a man, who makes so many terrible decisions in this story on the behalf of some kind of greater good, looking for a substance that puts bad ideas that you think are good in your head. And the reason he wants this jelly to rectify one of his personal bad decisions, and the cycle continues like Mike Allred’s drawing of the rapid evolution process the “final boss” of this issue undergoes when he straight up ingests the jelly. Of course, Niles gives Casey and Larry the jelly in granola bar form to fight him off. This rapid sequence of events shows that he is willing to play god at a moment’s notice so the outcome favors him.

Doom Patrol #7 is a statement of this comic’s freedom from ordinary superhero storytelling using Niles Caulder as a metaphor with vibrant wit and an idea a minute plot from Gerard Way and transformative art from Mike Allred and Laura Allred. Old white guys usually don’t know best even if they can regrow limbs in a jiffy or travel between dimensions, and sometimes trying some weird and creative can be more fun than reading the same, “To me *insert old superhero team name here*” over and over again.

Story: Gerard Way Art: Mike Allred with Nick Derington Colors: Laura Allred
Story: 9 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Young Animal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Green Hornet ’66 Meets The Spirit #1

The Green Hornet ’66 Meets The Spirit #1

writer: Fred Van Lente
artist: Bob Q
covers: Mike Allred & Laura Allred (a), Ty Templeton (b), Javier Pulido (c)
incentive covers: Ty Templeton (B/W art), Mike Allred & Laura Allred (B/W art), Ty Templeton (“virgin art”)
Order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

Another challenge for THE GREEN HORNET, his aide KATO, and their rolling arsenal, THE BLACK BEAUTY! On police records a wanted criminal, THE GREEN HORNET is really Britt Reid, owner/publisher of The Daily Sentinel. Reid and Kato have traveled to Central City to participate in the futuristic World’s Fair, to get the skinny on the “Newspaper of Tomorrow,” a device capable of predicting headlines before events happen! But isn’t that a dangerous power for the press to wield… and say, who’s that blue-suited skulker in the shadows?

Review : Bug! : The Adventures Of Forager #1

Near as I can tell, Marvel is doing precisely fuck-all to commemorate the 100th birthday of the man who created pretty much their entire corporate universe, but DC , to their credit (not a phrase you’ll hear coming from my mouth very often) seems to think that a century of Jack Kirby is very much worth celebrating indeed : we’re four issues into the year-long Kamandi Challenge as we speak, the superstar creative team of Tom King and Mitch Gerads has just been announced as helming a forthcoming Mister Miracle revival, and Gerard Way‘s still-nascent (and, to date, uniformly interesting) Young Animal line has now gotten in on the act, as well, with the release of the first issue of the six-part Bug!  : The Adventures Of Forager. Chances are there will be even more to come as the year proceeds, but as far as company-wide love letters go, I’d say they’re off to a more than good start so far.

In many respects, the character of Forager is probably the last Kirby creation you’d ever expect to see again — he was a “bit player” (to put it kindly) in the Fourth World saga, making a brief but memorable appearance in the pages of New Gods before disappearing for well over a decade only to re-appear just in time to get himself killed in Jim Starlin and Mike Mignola‘s Cosmic Odyssey, and that was — what? Damn near thirty years ago now?

Still, the Allred family always seems to know a good unused concept when they see one, and so modern-day legend Michael, here confining himself solely to artistic duties, has teamed with wife/colorist Laura and brother/writer Lee to resurrect — in this case quite literally — comics’ most hapless (and, who are we kidding, only) “food-seeker” to see how he fits into the world of 21st-century funnybooks. Are you excited? ‘Cuz I sure as hell am. In fact, the $3.99 I plunked down for this issue had been positively burning a hole in my pocket ever since this project was first announced a few months back.

Choosing to address the elephant in the room right from the start, answering the question of whether or not their protagonist is even alive or dead is the first order of business here, and it appears as though puzzling that out — as well as what it means either way — is going to form the backbone of this series. To that end, there’s no better guide to help Forager along than another under-utilized late-period Kirby creation, the one and only — well, shit, that would be telling, but for long-time fans of “The King” like myself, seeing him and his two sidekicks turn up and assume de facto “co-starring” roles is a genuine “fist-pump” moment, and offers the promise of mind-bending psychedelic adventures galore in the months ahead. Several other products of Jack’s boundless imagination come in for cameo appearances, as well, and the hope here is that they’ll play a more active part in the proceedings in future installments as we go. Forager, therefore, might be the nominal “star” of this title, but all signs seem to point to this comic being a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Allreds work with any number of Kirby characters they’ve always wanted to take a crack at. Now are you excited?

Good, old-fashioned fun is the primary Allred specialty, of course, and at this point I think we’re just flat-out spoiled by the consistent quality of everything they produce. Mike’s been at the game for going on three decades now, yet his art is just as dynamic, fluid, graceful, and “realistically cartoony” as it’s always been, and Laura’s colors are never anything less than vibrant, eye-catching, and expertly-chosen. Lee’s a bit of a lesser-known quantity than his relatives, true, but his style of scripting fits in seamlessly, and with the undeniable “Spirit Of Kirby” that permeates all that goes on here, it almost feels like calling this a “labor of love” is something of a disservice, simply because it doesn’t feel like a “labor” at all.

Thinking about this book, the only knock I can offer against it is that some of the first-person-narrative caption boxes on page one are printed far too faintly and are difficult to read in anything other than an extremely well-lit room, but honestly, that’s it : a  frigging technical glitch. That’s all I got. Otherwise, this is as close to a perfectly-constructed comic as you’re gonna find. Get it. Read it. Love it. And know that Jack himself is surely smiling down on this heartfelt, amazing tribute.

Story : Lee Allred Art : Michael Allred Colors : Laura Allred

Story : 8.5 Art : 9.5 Overall : 9 Recommendation : Buy

 

Review: Bug The Adventures of Forager #1

The DC’s Young Animal enters the realm of Jack Kirby and his New Gods in Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1. Forager is a Bug aka the bottom of the bottom of New Genesis’ caste system, but he’s saved the universe, met Batman, and might be a New God himself. However, Bug #1 is less cosmic space epic than twisted dream logic in comic book form as storytellers Lee Allred and Mike Allred and colorist Laura Allred immediately question the nature of Forager’s reality as he dies and comes back to life multiple times, encounters the Jack Kirby Sandman (Laura Allred nails his garish red and yellow costume.), and talks to a teddy bear about Albert Camus.

Above all, Mike Allred channels the pure energy of the King of Comics’ pencils in Bug #1 with Forager bounding, punching, and vaulting his way through the issue. His poses are athletic and pop off the page as Forager is in constant discomfort and trying to come to grips with the reality around him. When the enigmatic enemies of the comic show up in the last third, Allred gets playful with his layouts arranging them in spirals as Forager dips and dodges. Most of the comic takes place in Forager’s dream, but there is something very solid about his art. Solid doesn’t mean though as Allred uses pop art spirals to make superheroes punching each other fresh again before he and Lee Allred joke about how tacky they are. This also connects to Sandman’s ability to make dreams “real”. (But what is reality.)  However, Allred uses some forced perspective tricks early on that remind me of his work on the underrated Vertigo series Art Ops, and his use of archetypical imagery like dominoes and creepy insects contribute to the surreal feel of the comic before the not-so-Goth Dream King shows up.

However, Bug #1 isn’t just a showcase for great art and colors. Lee and Mike Allred have a very playful writing style with puns, wordplay, and slapdash references to literature, DC Comics, and Jack Kirby lore. The protagonist of the comic may be a corpse, but Bug #1 is loaded with some quirky humor like Forager making fun of the overseriousness of the New God Metron or thinking about milking a camel when the teddy bear mentions Albert Camus. Even though they mention the restrictiveness of New Genesis culture and the nature of free will and existence, the Allreds don’t take themselves too seriously throughout Bug #1. I mean there’s a reference to Brute and Glob, er, Pinky and the Brain buried in here somewhere.

Even though it’s a lot like digging through fragments of someone else’s dream, Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1 is an excellent tribute to Jack Kirby’s vibrant imagination by the talented family trio of Lee Allred, Mike Allred, and Laura Allred. Mike Allred’s figures bounce off the page, yet have a human beauty to them, and there is something primal, almost Pixar-esque about his and Lee Allred’s plotting as Forager/Bug tries to make sense of his place in the world. Is he an insect servant of Highfather, an adventurer, a god, or just a dead guy? The next five issues should hopefully unravel this colorful existential crisis.

Story: Lee Allred and Mike Allred Art: Mike Allred Colors: Laura Allred
Story: 8 Art: 9.5 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics/Young Animal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Green Hornet ’66 Meets The Spirit from Fred Van Lente and Bob Q

Dynamite Entertainment has announced that classic television’s incarnation of The Green Hornet is set to make his return with an unexpected new partner in the pulp character’s latest cross-over miniseries, The Green Hornet ’66 Meets The Spirit, featuring revered comic writer/artist Will Eisner’s famous two-fisted crimefighter. Written by Fred Van Lente, with art by Bob Q, The Green Hornet ’66 Meets The Spirit #1 arrives in stores this July!

The Green Hornet is back and on the case! With his aide Kato and their rolling arsenal, The Black Beauty, by his side, The Green Hornet is ready to face the toughest of challenges! On police records a wanted criminal, The Green Hornet is secretly Britt Reid, owner/publisher of The Daily Sentinel. Reid and Kato have traveled to Central City to participate in the futuristic World’s Fair, and to get the skinny on the new and potentially dangerous “Newspaper of Tomorrow”, a device capable of predicting headlines before events happen.

The debut issue of The Green Hornet ’66 Meets the Spirit features a wide selection of cover variants, providing fans and retailers with the freedom of choice! The cover artwork features the talents of the award-winning team, Mike and Laura Allred, Ty Templeton, and Javier Pulido, respectively. Limited variant editions in “Black & White” and “Virgin Art” formats are also available as retailer incentives for comic shops that support the launch issue by achieving stocking thresholds.

The Green Hornet ’66 Meets the Spirit #1 is slated for release in July.

Preview: Josie and the Pussycats #6

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS #6

Script: Marguerite Bennett, Cameron DeOrdio
Art: Audrey Mok, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Audrey Mok
Variant Covers: Michael Allred with Laura Allred, Ben Caldwell
On Sale Date: 4/19
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

With the Pussycats arrested for plagiarism, Alexander Cabot is determined to put the band on trial! The girls are shipped to the Cabot family’s sovereign patch of Antarctica, where the Cabots’ word is law! How will the girls get out of this one? (Spoilers: Probably friendship.)

Review: Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The New Adventures HC (Second Edition)

WILL EISNER'S THE SPIRIT THE NEW ADVENTURES HC (SECOND EDITION)The Spirit is one of those enduring characters that not only have outlasted its creator which is a feat in and of itself but inspired tens of thousands of characters made from the same ilk. The fact that Will Eisner’s name carries so much love and respect throughout the industry, is truly unprecedented. I have heard other writers compare him to Jack Kirby and Bob Kane, but no one was quite like Mr. Eisner, as his feel for story and character are very much different than those icons. In all honesty, it truly is a travesty that The Spirit has not been translated into other mediums like the lesser characters it inspired.

After its initial publication, in 1939, it had a long and storied history, some involving controversy with the introduction of the character of Ebony White and some very depressing lows, with the publication, of The Spirit’s adventures involving John Law. The fact that he has appeared in print in just about every decade of the 20th century, speaks to infamy of the character, and how well written it as by Eisner. I really got into the character not from the original archived comic that DC Comics collected back in 2007, but from Jeph Loeb’s and Darwyn Cooke’s highly entertaining one shot involving his encounter with the Dark Knight. Then Dynamite enlisted Matt Wagner for a whole new series which definitely stayed true to Eisner’s original vision.

In this collection, a who’s who of the comic world showed up to tell their interpretations of the character to include Paul Chadwick, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Mike Allred, Jay Stephens and many more. Every story is each creator at their peak talents, especially Gaiman’s “The Return of Mink Stole”, which he is particularly adept at, and I wish he wrote more of. Another standout is Chadwick’s” Cursed Beauty”, which definitely reminds of Brubaker’s recently concluded Fade Out and some elements of his Fatale. Moore has contributed various stories to this collection, but the one that stands as my favorite is “Last Night I Dreamed of Dr.Cobra”, which now reading it again has definite influences over his ongoing Providence.

Overall, a strong collection, as it seemed as though every creator stepped knowing who each other was, and how important Eisner’s legacy is. The stories are iconic Spirit at their best, definitely some twists and turns , but always staying true. The art by the varius artists , is a nice contrast in various hues and styles that makes this a must buy. Altogether, if you love crime noir , if you love your heroes dark and brooding, then you will love The Spirit, as well as these creators.

Story: Paul Chadwick, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman , Mike Allred, Jay Stephens, Denis Kitchen, John Wagner, Mark Kneece, Kurt Busiek, Matt Brundage, Michael Avon Oeming, John Ostrander, Scott Hampton, Dennis Eichorn, Eddie Campbell, Jay Stephens, Joe Lansdale, James Vance, Gary Chaloner
Art: Dave Gibbons, Dan Burr, Daniel Torres, Bo Hampton, Brent Anderson, Laura Allred, David Lloyd, Tom Mandrake, Scott Hampton, Gene Fama, Eddie Campbell, Paul Pope, John Lucas, Gary Chaloner
Story: 10 Art:10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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