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Review: Red Skull #1

rs001There are likely those that think that the well of ideas for Secret Wars might already be exhausted, between the new material and the inspiration from previous crossovers or other inspirations.  If thinking only inside of Marvel, then they might be right, but Red Skull #1 proves that there is still some more distance to go in this massive crossover.  Although it draws upon characters from across Battleworld, this series is one which is at home in the heart of the Deadlands, the realm of the crossover title of Marvel Zombies vs. Age of Ultron.  The setup is not like anything from Marvel though, as it is essentially a Secret Wars version of the Suicide Squad.  This group of supervillains only has one job, to travel to the Deadlands and to prove that the Red Skull died after being exiled there.

The team is made up of an unlikely grouping of villains, similar once again to the Suicide Squad comparison – Electro, Moonstone, Magneto, Lady Deathstrike, Jack O’Lantern, and Bucky Barnes, seemingly acting in the Rick Flag role.  They are recruited by Crossbones, a one-time loyal follower of the Red Skull who has given him up for a blind allegiance to Doom.  He leads the team to the brink of danger before stopping to stand guard over the portal from which he expects them all to try to instantly escape.  The remainder of the story comes across as a bit of a juvenile wish list, with zombies, robots and dinosaurs, but the action never lets up in this exciting issue as the team get pretty close to discovering the source of their mission.

This issue proves that there are still some fresh ideas floating around in the somewhat constrained world of Secret Wars.  This has proven to be a winning formula elsewhere, and works well here too.  The combination of characters is broad, but it seems like they fit well together, even if they don’t have much of a chance yet at this point.  With so many other Secret Wars inspired series being born after this crossover, it would be nice to see one inspired by the same concept as presented here.  Many people will look at the title for this series and likely not give it a chance, but for those that do, they will find something pretty fun and probably what will become one of the highlights of the entire crossover.

Story:  Joshua Williamson Art: Luca Pizzari 
Story:  8.9 Art: 8.9  Overall: 8.9  Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

We Stand on GuardWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

We Stand on Guard #1 (Image Comics) – Brian K Vaughn is taking on giant robots and Canada. Sign me up. I’ve been awaiting this one since it was announced at Image Expo.

The Bunker #12 (Oni Press) – Josh Fialkov’s time travel comic has been amazing with each issue and the fact is, I have no idea what will happen. It’s just beyond amazing and one of my favorite comics.

Red Skull #1 (Marvel) – If there’s one character that can mess up Doom’s new world, I’m convinced it’s the Red Skull. Maybe we’ll get the first hints as to how Doom will fall here?

Secret Wars #4 (Marvel) – The first three issues were solid in the best Marvel event in quite some time. It’s interesting to see where it all goes, and I’m along for the ride.

The Wicked + The Divine #12 (Image Comics) – Did you read the last issue? That alone is the reason I’m looking for this one. I seriously have no idea what’s happening next.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Will Eisner’s The Spirit #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – I’m a sucker for anything set in the 40’s, and the Spirit is no exception. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I heard the comic was being released. I even though the movie was pretty decent. Did I just lose my nerd-cred?

Detective Comics #42 (DC Comics) – I’ve always been a closet Harvey Bullock fan, so to have at least a two-part story focused exclusively on him? There is no way I couldn’t pick this up.

We Stand On Guard #1 (Image Comics)A military comic that features giant robots and is written by Brian K Vaughn? What’s not to love?

 

Elana

Top Pick (tie) The Wicked + The Divine #12 (Image Comics) – Ack! My heart! It’s been smashed somewhere on the floor! It’s listening to “People Who Died” and “Rock and Roll Suicide” on repeat.

But Don’t You Cry Tonight (Gillen/McKelvie still love you, baby). There’s an underworld bellow us (BAYBAAHH) and Persephone is the goddess who comes back from the dead every spring.

This month’s issue is a flashback to Inanna’s origins. So put on Purple Rain and pretend you don’t know what’s to come.

Top Pick (tie) The Humans #6 (Image Comics) – It’s been reported that this issue is going to start giving us some more material about the women in The Humans and Johnny’s long lost former girlfriend. I’ve always appreciated how even in this male-centered story all of the female characters are easily identifiable and unique. This issue could make good on that promise.

But that’s not what I read this comic for. That’s just my intellect talking. I read it because it’s in my guts. (Teaser of a thought piece I’m working on).

It’s safe to say this comic will continue to be some of the best crafted, most addictive, least office appropriate reading you’ll find.

A-Force #2 (Marvel) – All of everyone’s favorite female heroes on one team! I was a bit thrown off by this new issues’s summary page. It describes Sister Grimm and Ms. America as foster sisters. Brett and I had interpreted them as a romantic couple. But let’s see where this goes. Hopefully there will be girl kissing and sharks being punched. And more She-Hulk.

Airboy #2 (Image Comics) – Hey Kids! Airboy is appearing in a comic of the same name! But I’m not reading this for a WWII Boy Adventurer. I’m here for the gonzo struggles of the artist as a middle aged man. (Read my review of issue 1 to find out more.) Will this comic’s writer and artist– this story’s actual protagonists– despoil the golden lad of the Golden Age? Pretty sure all of the hangovers we’re ever had, all put together are less interesting then the hangover that this creative team is about to experience (and they invite us along for the ride).

I want to warn our readers that there is seriously transphobic content in issue 2. I did not have a review copy when I put this issue on my picks list and wrote my endorsement based on my having enjoyed issue 1. Now, having read this issue I am not endorsing it.  We will be discussing the problems with it soon. I’m really disappointed.

For more on this, you can read our post “Airboy Crashes and Burns With Transphobic Second Issue

Years of Future Past #2 (Marvel) – This Secret Wars title seems to have gone entirely under the radar. That’s a shame. It’s a Claremonterrific spin-off of the classic X-Men Future Dystopia, the one that birthed all those crazy X-Men continuities. The book’s got heavy handed but emotionally resonant political metaphor to spare. It also has Kitty Pryde married to Colossus (though he’s only the 2nd best member of the Rasputin family for her to be in love with) and they have a daughter! And she meets Logan’s mysterious son “Cameron”. Ooooo. Who’s he named for?

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Secret Wars #4 (Marvel Comics) – Sheriff Strange, Lord Doom. Marvel’s version of Game of Thrones continues and it’s been epic! Unlike Convergence, part of me doesn’t want to see it end. If only Doom can win…

Action Comics #42 (DC Comics) – Truth continues and we see the “Man” without the “Steel” try to adapt and overcome everything put in his path. Last month was a joy and I’m waiting to see where this month takes us. Hopefully up, up and further!

Barb Wire #1 (Dark Horse Comics) The return of the bounty hunting Babe! Adam Hughes cover alone sold me on this one. If the inside is as good as the cover, I won’t need to keep the receipt.

Green Lantern #42 (DC Comics) – Everyone’s favorite renegade: Han.. er.. Hal Jordan continues his outlaw journey through the cosmos without the Corps by his side. Doesn’t mean it won’t be any less action packed!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #47 (IDW Publishing) – Evil Baxter Stockman, a horde of Mousers and half- shelled heroes. Is it 1984 again? That’s well and ok with me! Me thinks it’s Cowabunga time again!

 

Paul

Top Pick: A-Force #2 (Marvel) – All the women from the Marvel Universe on an island, fighting and protecting their island from outside threats…led by She-Hulk? YES PLEASE!  This is one of the few Secret Wars tie ins that I have really enjoyed, AND it has been reported this title will survive as an on-going title with the MU figures itself out.  I highly recommend getting on board with this one.

X-Tinction Agenda #2 (Marvel) – The second Secret Wars tie-in I really enjoyed, this title sees Havok and the mutants of Genosha dying from a virus running rampant, and their only hope is charging into X-City against Phoenix and taking the help they need to save their people.  Definitely a show down I look forward to seeing.

Years of Future Past #2 (Marvel) – Kate Pryde, along with her parents Shawdowcat and Colossus, have broken free from their prison, and with a handful of fellow mutants, have to race through their ruined city to try and save their surviving friends.  I’ve always enjoyed stories showing a bleaker future, and how the X-Men, no matter their numbers, band together to try and set things right.

 

Vile Villains Loose on Battleworld! Your First Look at Red Skull #1!

Hushed whispers cut across Battleworld. One of the most vile villains in history still straws breath. But how can this be? He should be dead! And yet his legend grows even stronger. Marvel is has released a first look at Red Skull #1 – a brand new Secret Wars limited series from rising star writer Josh Williamson and artist Luca Pizzari! The Red Skull should be dead. Banished by Doom to the Shield long ago. If the zombies haven’t gotten to him, the Ultron robots or Annihilation bugs should have! And yet word has reached the other side that he still lives, quietly amassing an army, prepared to strike!

Now, a team of unlikely villains – Magneto, Winter Soldier, Lady Deathstrike, Electro, Moonstone and Jack O’Lantern will venture beyond safety to find the truth for themselves. Only problem – nobody ever comes back from beyond the Shield alive! Witness the horrors of Battleworld in a new way as Williamson and Pizzari unleash Red Skull #1 on the masses this July!

RED SKULL #1 (of 3) (MAY150680)
Written by JOSH WILLIAMSON
Art by LUCA PIZZARI
Cover by RILEY ROSSMO
Variant Cover by NICK PITARRA (MAY150681)
FOC – 06/08/15, On-Sale – 07/01/15

Red_Skull_1_Cover

A Dangerous Odyssey Across Battleworld in Red Skull #1!

Hushed whispers cut across Battleworld. One of the most vile villains in history still draws breath. But how can this be? He should be dead! And yet his legend grows even larger in the pages of Red Skull #1 – a brand new Secret Wars limited series beginning this July! Writer Josh Williamson and artist Luca Pizzari bring you a twisted tale from the bowels of Battleworld!

The Red Skull should be dead. Banished beyond the Shield long ago, if the zombies haven’t gotten to him, the Ultron robots or Annihilation bugs should have! Any yet word has reached the other side that he still lives, quietly amassing his forces, prepared to strike!

Now, a team of unlikely villains – Magneto, Winter Soldier, Lady Deathstrike, Electro, Moonstone and Jack O’Lantern will venture beyond safety to find the truth for themselves. Only problem – beyond the Shield, nobody ever comes back alive!

In an interview with Marvel, Williamson said:

I’ll be honest, this book is super dark. It matches what you’d expect a book based around someone as horrible as the Red Skull. Prepare for a very twisted tale. If you’re a fan of my books you know I enjoy writing some pretty dark characters in some very messed up situations. Marvel has let me do that here as well.

Witness the true horrors of Battleworld this July!

RED SKULL #1 (of 3)
Written by Joshua Williams
Penciled by Luca Pizzari
Cover by RILEY ROSSMO
On Sale in JULY!

Red_Skull_1_Cover

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d everyone get?

Around the Tubes

The Outhousers – Guy Cuts Off Nose, Mangles Face to Look Like Red Skull – No, just no.

Spinoff Online – Ryan Reynolds Didn’t Read a Script Before Signing on to ‘Green Lantern’ – Shocked I tell you.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Birthright #5

The Beat – Cluster #1

The Beat – The Goon: Once Upon a Hard Time #1

Comic Vine – Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha #1

CBR – Imperium #1

Comic Vine – Imperium #1

Comic Vine – Lady Killer #2

Comic Vine – Ms. Marvel #11

Comic Vine – Nailbiter #10

Comic Vine – Nameless #1

Comic Vine – Return of the Living Deadpool #1

Comic Vine – RoboCop #8

Comic Vine – Saga #25

Comic Vine – Star Wars #2

Comic Vine – Superman #38

CBR – Superman #38

Comic Vine – Superman: Earth One Vol. 3

CBR – Superman: Earth One Vol. 3

Comic Vine – The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2

Comic Vine – Wytches #4

Red Skull Foiled By Jewish Vigilantes

20 Year old Kevin Crawford was trick-or-treating a bit early this year when he decided to rob a Brooklyn bank. Screaming “Happy fucking Halloween!” and “I told you fucking 20s. Hurry up,” Crawford demanded $4,000 and got twice that from bank teller. Crawford was wearing this Red Skull Halloween mask.

Crawford fled and was followed, where  he was stopped and busted by nearby by Borough Park Shomrim volunteers, who held him until the police arrived. The Shomrim who stopped Crawford are unarmed, civilian patrols set up by the Hasidic communities in NYC. Their purpose is to help fight burglaries, vandalism and anti-Semitic attacks but do not have any authority to make arrests.

This all occurred at the end of a two-day bank robbing bender by Crawford. The spree began on Tuesday where after being denied opening an account for 17 cents, he returned and stated “Give me the money out of the register. I will kill you bitch.” He obtained $1,960 from that robbery. On Wednesday Crawfored hit another bank earlier in the day stating, “Trick or treat, give up the cash or I will kill you, bitch motherfucker,” but he fled empty handed.

Crawford was charged with robbery and attempted robbery.

(via New York Post)

Hugo Weaving Says Playing Red Skull Isn’t Something He’d Want to Do Again

While touring for the release of Cloud Atlas, Hugo Weaving was chatting with Collider in which they asked about his possible return to play the Red Skull, a character he brought to life in Captain America: The First Avenger. It seems the experience didn’t leave that great of an impression for Weaving.

Since Marvel makes everyone sign multi-picture deals, did you have to sign one when you did Captain America?  Could they ask you to do Captain America 2 of The Avengers 2?

WEAVING:  I did that for Captain America.  I think the tendency, with those films, would be to probably not bring a villain back.  They might for The Avengers, but I didn’t think I’d be in Captain America 2 or 3.  I don’t think Red Skull will be there.  And it’s not something I would want to do again.  I’m glad I did it.  I did sign up for a number of pictures and I suppose, contractually, I would be obliged to, if they forced me to, but they wouldn’t want to force someone to do it, if they didn’t want to.  I think I’ve done my dash with that sort of film.  It was good to do it and try it out, but to be honest, it’s not the sort of film I seek out and really am excited by.  As an actor, to do all sorts of different films is great.  It stretches you in different ways.  But, I increasingly like to go back to what I used to always do, which is to get involved with projects that I really have a personal affiliation with.

Around the Tubes

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It’s Friday, yay!  The news concerning SDCC is flooding in and we’ll have some surprises for our first trip out there.  How are you spending this weekend that sees no comic book movie releases?

Con Coverage:

Fantagraphics Books – Comic-Con 2011 Thursday panels

Geekweek – Legendary Pictures To Announce MASS EFFECT Film At Comic-Con

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut – You Might Be A Monster: And Other Stories I Made Up

Nerd Reactor – Wednesday and Thursday Comic-Con Schedules are now up!

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut: Jonathan Ross’s Five Mini-Comics

Bleeding Cool – San Diego Debut – Liam Sharp’s Dead Apes In The Snow

MTV Geek – Z-Man Games Set to Debut The Walking Dead at SDCC

Bleeding Cool – Win Lunch With Tanya Tate At San Diego Comic Con

Around the Tubes Reviews:

IGN – Adventure Comics #528

IGN – Astonishing Thor #5

IGN – Batman and Robin #25

IGN – Batman Beyond #7

IGN – DC Universe Online: Legends #11

IGN – Elric: The Balance Lost #1

IGN – Fear Itself #4

IGN –Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force #1

IGN – Fear Itself: Wolverine #1

IGN – Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #3

IGN – Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Batman – Knight of Vengeance #2

IGN – Flashpoint: Secret Seven #2

IGN – Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #2

IGN – House of Mystery #39

IGN – Hulk #36

IGN – iZombie #15

IGN – Jonah Hex #69

IGN – Moon Knight #3

IGN – Mysterious Ways #1

IGN – Red Skull: Incarnate #1

IGN – Secret Six #35

IGN – Shinku #2

IGN – Supreme Power #2

IGN – Sweet Tooth #23

IGN – Uncanny X-Men #540

IGN – Vengeance #1

IGN – Wolverine & Black Cat: Claws Vol. 2 #1

IGN – X-Men #14

IGN – X-23 #1

IGN – Comic Book Reviews for 7/6/11

Heroclix – Red Skull

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Wizkids continues to roll out previews for Marvel Heroclix Captain America and have shown off the Red Skull.

Heroclix Red SkullFrom the Wizkids website:

The Red Skull has always been one of Captain America’s most dangerous adversaries, and the Skull’s Captain America’s Cloned Body trait demonstrates how far he’s willing to go to defeat his hated foe!  A full dial of Leadership is great, a full dial of Leadership and Close Combat Expert? That’s even better! (Or worse, depending on which end of the attacks you’re on!)

The Red Skull starts with early-dial Charge as he manuevers into position and strikes at your foes! Once he’s in position, the Red Skull’s Poison power continues to damage opposing figures while Outwit allows the Skull to counter just the right powers at the right moment.

Outwit gives way to the Red Skull’s Tactical Genius of the Reich special power which allows him to lower an opposing figure’s defense value by -1 if they’re within 8 squres and adjcent to two or more figures friendly to the Red Skull.

Toughness eventually gives way to Mastermind as the Red Skull displays his penchant for putting others in harms way to promote his evil schemes.  Mid-dial, the Red Skull utilizes his trademarked Dust of Death and uses Poison both normally and when inflicting damage on chracters less than 100 points (or named Captain America!), the Skull’s Dust of Death special power deals 2 damage! Finally, late-dial Regeneration allows the Red Skull to stay in the fight and return to plague Captain America again and again!

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