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The Women Take Over for Swords of Sorrow

Dynamite Entertainment has announced the May 2015 launch of Swords of Sorrow, the genre-spanning crossover event featuring an all-star line-up of female authors, headlined by Gail Simone.  Debuting with a core Swords of Sorrow series by Simone, the crossover continues throughout May with tie-in titles including the Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella / Jennifer Blood miniseries written by Nancy A. Collins; the Swords of Sorrow: Chaos special by Mairghread Scott; and the Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade / Kato special by G. Willow Wilson and Erica Schultz. Subsequent months will debut related projects by additional female authors, including Leah Moore, Marguerite Bennett, Emma Beeby, and Mikki Kendall. The crossover event brings together Dynamite’s wide roster of female characters, including the iconic Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris (of the popular Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Warlord of Mars franchise), and Vampirella.

Simone’s core Swords of Sorrow story serves as the starting point for a new universe of pulp adventure. Illustrated by Sergio Davila, the series features the supernatural heroine Vampirella, Martian princess Dejah Thoris, crimson-tressed swordswoman Red Sonja, martial artist Kato (from filmmaker Kevin Smith’s reboot of The Green Hornet), primal warrior Jungle Girl, and many more. Drawn from a dozen worlds and eras to face off against a legendary evil that threatens their homelands, Dynamite’s fiercest females must overcome their differences to harness the power of mystical blades — the eponymous Swords of Sorrow — in final conflict.

Swords of Sorrow #1 features a variety of cover editions, including a Main cover by industry superstar J. Scott Campbell; variants by Jenny Frison, Emanuela Lupacchino; a subscription edition by Robert Hack available to fans placing preorders with their local retailers; and incentive editions by Joyce Chin, Tula Lotay, Nei Ruffino, Cedric Poulat.  Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella / Jennifer Blood #1 and the Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade / Kato special both feature covers by Billy Tan, while the Swords of Sorrow: Chaos special spotlights Joyce Chin.

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Preview: Purgatori #5

Purgatori #5

Aaron Gillespie (w)
Javier Garcia Miranda (a)
Nei Ruffino, Joyce Chin, Tony Fleecs (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Nei Ruffino B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Joyce Chin B&W Art retailer incentive cover

Back in hell, Purgatori must find Lucifer and force him to return her powers. But she’s going to have to take a number because there are other denizens of hell with designs on killing the Lord of Lies. If the vampire goddess can overcome these obstacles, how will she ever get Lucifer to return her powers?

Purgatori05-Cov-A-Ruffino

Preview: Purgatori #4

Purgatori #4

Aaron Gillespie (w)
Javier Garcia Miranda (a)
Nei Ruffino, Joyce Chin, Tonly Fleecs (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Nei Ruffino B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Joyce Chin B&W Art retailer incentive cover

With the chalice of regeneration in her hot red hands, Purgatori is one step closer to regaining her powers. But in order to get them back, she’s going to have to return to the fiery pits of hell…this time as a mere mortal. Don’t miss the Hell and Back story arc’s action-packed penultimate issue!

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Preview: Purgatori #3

Purgatori #3

Aaron Gillespie (w)
Javier Garcia Miranda (a)
Nei Ruffino, Joyce Chin, Tony Fleecs (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Nei Ruffino B/W retailer incentive cover
Joyce Chin B/W retailer incentive cover

An ancient relic may be the answer to quenching Purgatori’s unnatural thirst. But if she wants it, she’ll have to defeat Jade and her Yakuza goons. It’s a fight Purgatori would normally savor, but with one foot in the grave, it won’t be easy.

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Raven Gregory is Back with Widow’s Web

Raven Gregory and Autumn Ivy‘s long awaited new creator owned series, Widow’s Web, will be debuting next month at Phoenix Fanfest Dec 12-14. Gregory, Ivy, penciler Ian Snyder, and cover artist Nei Ruffino will all be at the convention.

Set in a world that is not our own, the story follows Dahlia White, an unassuming bartender living in the strange yet familiar Tcesni City, where she attempts to balance her normal — and sometimes not so normal — life with the horrifying secret of who and what she really is. A balance that is thrown into absolute chaos when a down-on-his-luck guy, Pterra Atrus, walks through her door and catches her eye, turning her already crazy world upside down. A world where not everything or everyone is what they seem.

Where the fairy tale of boy meets girl ends, and the horror begins.

Widow’s Web #0 will feature two separate covers exclusive to the show, an Exclusive Premium Preview Edition limited to 150 and an Extinction Sketch Edition limited to 50, each with a free 11×17 Mike Krome and Ula Moś print, and will take  pre-orders at www.theravengregory.com (note: Print available to show attendees only while supplies last.

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DC Comics Spills More Details about Convergence

Taking place in April and May 2015, Convergence is a massive two month publishing move for DC Comics that takes advantage of their multiverse to bring what hopefully is interesting stories. The company has revealed plans for their first ten releases, and have given some more insight into what we can expect for the next ten.

SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL

(Writer: Louise Simonson; Artist: June Brigman and Roy Richardson, with color by John Rauch)
Metropolis was taken when Superman was missing, so it’s up to Steel to guard the city from the heroes of GEN13 in his absence.

SUPERMAN MAN OF STEEL

BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT

(Writer: Larry Hama; Artist: Philip Tan and Jason Paz, with color by Elmer Santos)
A year ago, Batman got trapped in Metropolis when hunting down Azrael. Now he must team with the man that replaced him, and see how differently they operate as Batmans.

BATMAN SHADOW OF THE BAT

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL

(Writer: Ron Marz; Artist: Mike Manley, with color by Sotocolor)
The levity of the JLI team collides with the severity of the world of Kingdom Come.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL

CATWOMAN

(Writer: Justin Gray; Artist: Ron Randall, with color by Gabe Eltaeb)
A year under the dome can change anyone, even Catwoman. She’s set aside her life of crime to become the protector of Suicide Slum, but when the dome falls she will face her greatest challenge—Kingdom Come Batman.

CATWOMAN

SUPERGIRL: MATRIX

(Writer: Keith Giffen; Artist: Ramon Bachs, with color by Hi-Fi)
What do Supergirl, Lady Quark, and Ambush Bug have in common? Well… nothing really. But that didn’t stop us from sticking them in a story together. You are SO welcome.

SUPERGIRL MATRIX

SUPERBOY

(Writer: Fabian Nicieza; Artist: Karl Moline and Jose Marzan Jr, with color by Hi-Fi)
Has Kon-El earned the right to be the man of steel? Kon will have to prove his mettle in battle against the Superman of Kingdom Come! But what if the only way to save Metropolis is to lose the fight?

SUPERBOY

AQUAMAN

(Writer: Tony Bedard; Artist: Cliff Richards, with color by John Rauch)
Trapped in the domed city, Aquaman struggles with the loss of his hand as he confronts a deadly adversary—Deathblow.

AQUAMAN

SUICIDE SQUAD

(Writer: Frank Tieri; Artist: Tom Mandrake, with color by Sian Mandrake)
When Kingdom Come’s floating fortress of New Oa threatens Metropolis, it’s up to Amanda Waller to put together a team of the city’s deadliest villains to stop it.

SUICIDE SQUAD

GREEN LANTERN/PARALLAX

(Writer: Tony Bedard; Artist: Ron Wagner and Bill Reinhold, with color by Paul Mounts)
Rookie Green Lantern Kyle Rayner gears up to battle invaders, but is he ready to fight Hal Jordan, also known as Parallax?

GREEN LANTERN PARALLAX

GREEN ARROW

(Writer: Christy Marx; Artist: Rags Morales and Claude St-Aubin, with color by Nei Ruffino)
Oliver Queen meets Connor Hawke for the first time, but is he ready to hand over the Green Arrow mantle to his son?

GREEN ARROW

(via Blastr and HitFix)

Preview: Purgatori #2

Purgatori #2

Aaron Gillespie (w)
Javier Garcia Miranda (a)
Nei Ruffino, Joyce Chin, Tony Fleecs (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Nei Ruffino B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Joyce Chin B&W Art retailer incentive cover

Doomed to spend her days as a mindless ghoul, Purgatori struggles to keep her sanity. As if that’s not enough for the vampire goddess, an ancient and mysterious enemy wants her dead. Purgatori will have to rely on her wits to get out of this one… but how will she survive if she can’t think past her  overwhelming thirst for blood?

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Preview: Chaos #6

Chaos #6

Tim Seeley (w)
Mirka Andolfo (a)
Emanuela Lupacchino, Tim Seeley, Nei Ruffino (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC l 32 pages l $3.99 l Teen+ l ­10/1
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Emanuela Lupacchino B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Nei Ruffino B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Tim Seeley B&W Art retailer incentive cover

The final issue of the epic Chaos event, redefining Evil Ernie, Chastity, Purgatori, the Chosen, and the greatest horror comic universe of all time! A wave of suicide engulfs the United States. The conflicting forces of the Chaos Universe arrive at the Fairview Mental Institution to determine the fate of the world. Is it a new beginning or a new Armageddon?

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Preview: Purgatori #1

Purgatori #1

Aaron Gillespie (w)
Javier Garcia Miranda (a)
Nei Ruffino, Kyle Strahm, Joyce Chin, José Luis, Tony Fleecs (c)
Fans & retailers, order the cover of your choice!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
FANS, ASK YOUR RETAILER FOR THE:
Nei Ruffino B&W Art retailer incentive cover
Tim Seeley B&W Art retailer incentive cover

Spinning out of Dynamite’s best-selling Chaos! Universe, Purgatori flies like a vampire bat out of hell into the pages of her own ongoing series! Trapped in hell, the bitch-queen learns that the Devil doesn’t play games. Can she outwit Lucifer or will he make her regret the day she crossed him? The titillating tale begins right here!

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Review: Purgatori #1

purI have been an on-again off-again reader of comics for pretty much my whole life. One of those off-again periods happened to coincide with the explosion in the 1990s of the “bad girl” comics, of which there were many representatives, but of which Lady Death was among the most successful. The basic characteristics of most of these characters were pretty similar. They would have ridiculously sculpted feminine physiques, ridiculous even by the standards of the usual presentation of comic book women, and their clothing were usually equally ridiculous. The other commonality was their power, a lot stronger than they looked, and usually derived from some supernatural source. I didn’t know them though, by the time that I had regained an interest on comics I was too late to catch up.

After the popularity of the characters died off, they kind of scattered. Some ended up at the same publishers though with less focus, while others bounced around a fair bit. One of those that bounced was Lady Death, but strangely her entourage did not, at least not in all parts. One of the more popular supporting characters, Purgatori, was sold off separately and also could not find a home for a while. Eventually the character ended up at Dynamite. Generally speaking Dynamite has been an industry leader in terms of revamping public domain characters and making them modern and approachable, but they generally have stayed away from such characters with recent pasts elsewhere.

As a reader of Purgatori #1, I am a little bit in the middle of the experience. Any #1 is a good place to start off with a new character, as creators usually have the insight to make the characters a little more approachable. At the same time, the theme matter of Purgatori is a little bit outside of what I am used to. A trend which I avoided mostly was the vampire trend in pop culture, including in comics. That Purgatori is a demon/vampire blend doesn’t really connect with me as a reader that tends more towards science-fiction. As an aspiring writer of fiction myself, I recognize that stories require one of two things – engaging concepts or engaging characters, though preferably both. In the case of this series, the concept is a little mundane, as the setting of Hell is not really a new one when even the likes of Superman and Iron Man have been there. Contrasted against that is the character of Purgatori. While the writer, Aaron Gillespie, has been given a pre-established character and has limited ability within which to make her unique from the concept, he at least succeeds in the characterization.

Though she is potentially new to a lot of readers, the main character is still approachable. She is bad, but also a little good, serious but also sassy. It makes for the kind of character that can hold a series even if the setting is not very interesting. As this series stands for me, I will check out issue #2 to see where it goes, even if it is not my style, just because the writer has made the character compelling enough.

Story: Aaron Gillespie Art: Javier Garcia Miranda
Story: 7.8 Art: 8.2 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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