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Preview: Monday, Monday: Rivers of London #4

Monday, Monday: Rivers of London #4

(W) Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel (A) Jose Maria Beroy (CA) Abigail Jill Harding
In Shops: Oct 06, 2021
SRP: $3.99

AN UNMISSABLE BRAND-NEW ERA IN THE LIFE OF FULL-TIME COP AND PART-TIME WIZARD, PETER GRANT!
A Werewolf is on the loose and will stop at nothing to avoid capture!
It’s up to Peter and his cohort of chums to hunt the deadly lycanthrope and bring him to justice.
Written by bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch and Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel.
Rivers of London has sold over two million copies worldwide!

Monday, Monday: Rivers of London #4

Preview: Monday, Monday: Rivers of London #3

Monday, Monday: Rivers of London #3

(W) Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel (A) Josep Maria Beroy (CA) Rian Hughes
In Shops: Sep 01, 2021
SRP: $3.99

AN UNMISSABLE BRAND-NEW ERA IN THE LIFE OF FULL-TIME COP AND PART-TIME WIZARD, PETER GRANT!
A Werewolf is on the loose and will stop at nothing to avoid capture!
It’s up to Peter and his cohort of chums to hunt the deadly lycanthrope and bring him to justice.
Written by bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch and Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel. Rivers of London has sold over two million copies worldwide!

Monday Monday Rivers of London #3

Preview: Blade Runner 2029 #3

Blade Runner 2029 #3

Author(s): Mike Johnson
Artist(s): Andres Guinaldo
Cover Artist(s): Peach Momoko (CVR A), Syd Mead (CVR B), Rian Hughes (CVR C), Cosplay Cover (CVR D)

The first comic to tell original, in-canon stories set in the Blade Runner universe returns!

It is 2029 and Blade Runner Ash continues to hunt the streets of the rain-soaked dystopian world of Los Angeles for renegade Replicants, but this time she’s trying to protect as many as she can find.

Written by Academy award-nominated screenwriter MICHAEL GREEN (Blade Runner 2049) and co-writer MIKE JOHNSON (Supergirl)!

Blade Runner 2029 #3

Former Blade Runner Ash has Rejoined the LAPD to Hunt Down Fugitive Replicants and it Starts in Blade Runner 2029 #1

It is 2029 and Blade Runner Ash continues to hunt the streets of the rain-soaked dystopian world of Los Angeles for renegade Replicants, but this time she’s trying to protect as many as she can find…

The officially sanctioned graphic novel prequel to the cult 1982 science fiction movie Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott. Co-written by the Oscar-nominated writer of Blade Runner 2049, Logan, and Murder on the Orient Express Michael Green and New York Times Bestselling author Mike Johnson. Blade Runner 2029 #1 features art by Andres Guinaldo and covers by Peach Momoko, Syd Mead, Rian Hughes, Giovanni Valletta, and a cosplay cover.

Blade Runner 2029 #1

Preview: Blade Runner 2019 #10

Blade Runner 2019 #10

Author(s): Michael Green, Mike Johnson
Artist(s): Andres Guinaldo
Cover Artist(s): Rian Hughes (CVR A), Syd Mead (CVR B), Andres Guinaldo (CVR C)

Return to the original world of Blade Runner 2019 in this perfect jumping on point for new fans! Ex-Blade Runner Ash and her charge Cleo have returned to Los Angeles, but much has changed in the years since their escape and sinister ghosts from their past are gathering! New story by Academy award-nominated screenwriter MICHAEL GREEN (Blade Runner 2049, Logan) and co-writer MIKE JOHNSON (Supergirl)!

Blade Runner 2019 #10

Preview: Adler #3

Adler #3

Author(s): Lavie Tidhar
Artist(s): Paul McCaffrey
Cover Artist(s): Rian Hughes (CVR A), Paul McCaffrey (CVR B), Victorian Homage Cover (CVR C)

From the World Fantasy Award-winning writer Lavie Tidhar and artist Paul McCaffrey (DC’s Men of War, TMNT) comes an all-new story written in the vein of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!

Irene Adler and her team of Victorian heroines encounter a mysterous villain, even more dangerous that Moriarty!

Adler #3

Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes’ ‘Dare’ Does Space Hero Satire Better than ‘Strange Adventures’

While I was reading Strange Adventures #1, or Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Evan Shaner’s latest comic on King’s military service and his regrets and feelings about working for the CIA as well as how much he loves his wife starring a DC Comics B-list character, I had the sneaking suspicion I’d read a better version of this comic. That comic was Dare: The Controversial Memoir of Dan Dare by Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes that was serialized in the UK comics magazines Revolver and Crisis in 1990-1991 before being reprinted by both FantagraphicsMonster Comics imprint and Image Comics.

Before going into the whole anything Tom King/Scott Snyder/Geoff Johns has done, a British Invasion writer like Alan Moore or Grant Morrison has done better (And decades before.), I’ll look at the surface similarities between Strange Adventures and Dare. Created in 1958 and 1950 respectively, Adam Strange and Dan Dare have the same Space Age DNA and were influenced by previous sci-fi action heroes, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. In his early stories, Adam Strange was accidentally transported from an archaeology dig to the planet Rann where he protected the planet from invaders and fell in love with their princess, Alanna. Dan Dare’s stories were set in the “future” of the 1990s, and he was a pilot in the Interplanet Space Fleet, who explored other planets and protected Earth from the invasions of the villainous Treen.

Strange Adventures #1

Strange Adventures and Dare show both Adam Strange and Dan Dare as way past their prime with Dare having a little more satirical bite. The framing narrative of Strange Adventures is Adam Strange going on a book tour where he gets asked questions some friendly, some antagonistic about his actions in Rann, and this ramps up when one of his critics is found with a laser blast in his head. In Dare, Dan Dare is disabled, living off a military pension, and struggling writing his memoirs when Gloria Monday (A stand-in for Margaret Thatcher.) asks him to be the symbol of her re-election campaign even as he begins to find out that her government may have been responsible for the death of his old ally, Dr. Jocelyn Peabody.

Strange Adventures and Dare use the Pykkt Empire (Created for the series) and the Treen respectively as stand-in’s for the “other”. Strange Adventures seems to be using the Pykkt as a commentary on American interventionism in the Middle East (Which is where Tom King served.) with Shaner staging the Adam Strange flashbacks on a desert planet with him fighting a solider with a head and face covering. Dare uses the Treen as a general metaphor for the rebirth of British imperialism, but especially the Falklands War with Hughes’ clever parodies of the Sun‘s violent, xenophobic headlines and the connection between that war and Gloria Monday, er, Margaret Thatcher’s reelection in 1983.

Dan Dare

I will throw up a quick disclaimer that Dare is a completed work while Strange Adventures has eleven more issues to tell its story. However, Dare is the stronger work of satire while King seems to be too close to the material he’s writing about to go from his personal experience to something more universal other than a fairly banal “Who is telling the truth?” Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes introducing Dan Dare as a pathetic figure drinking and popping painkillers in front of his fireplace looking more like Morrissey than a “boy’s own comic” hero, who can’t even write his memoirs properly. This desperation and need for money is why he basically sells his soul to the devil and lets Monday use his image for her reelection campaign in the midst of strikes and food shortages that were the reality in the U.K. when Thatcher was prime minister and have not gone away even with fancy things like interplanetary space travel.

In all aspects, Dare is an excellent work of social commentary that uses the iconic British comic strip character to skewer imperialism, racism, and Tory/Conservative policies that have persisted to 2020 with the government of Boris Johnson in the U.K. and Donald Trump in the United States. Towards the end of the second issue, Morrison and Hughes have Dare’s old batman (A military officer’s personal servant aka hooray for class tension.) , Digby with which he has a strained relationship, confront him for killing Treen children in his last space battle. Instead of making Dare contrite or remorseful, he is portrayed as defensive while still having the good point that Digby watched him gun down the Treen children when they revolted after being treated by both their own leader, Mekon, and Earth as a slave labor force. Dare’s disability, his addictions, and money issues make him a sympathetic figure, but Morrison and Hughes aren’t afraid to call him out on his actions and make a character created to inspire young boys to serve God and the British Empire look weak and morally compromised.

On the other hand, Strange Adventures #1 seems less concerned with broader social commentary and more about Tom King using yet another DC character to deal with how he personally feels about being in the CIA, albeit, with better visuals and less line-wide impact than Heroes in Crisis. The dialogue that Strange uses is telling as he implores Batman to “show them I’m innocent” in a dark-draped panel drawn by Mitch Gerads. Unlike Dare, which casts a skeptical eye on British pop iconography, and by extension, politics and foreign policy, Strange Adventures is about vindication.

Adam Strange has to be the exposition spouting hero drawn in a clean pulp style by Evan Shaner, and this tension between him and Mr. Terrific’s investigation looks like the driving force behind the series. He has to be the hero and have the big redeeming moment while Dare is impotent, can barely walk, and his imagery is used to uphold a government that is okay with turning “undesirable” humans into food called Manna in cahoots with the Treen leader, Mekon, that Dare fought so many years ago. For now, King seems content with self-involvement via superheroes instead of looking at larger systems of control like Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes did in Dare.

Dare ends with a bomb that Dare set in his old spaceship, Anastasia, going off and wiping out London, including Mekon, who was there celebrating Gloria Monday’s election as well as the protagonist himself before cutting to a blank drawing board in almost a similar manner to the way the ending of Animal Man showed Grant Morrison meeting his creation. It’s a stark, six panel reminder that Dan Dare’s creator, Frank Hampson, signed away the rights to his creation just like Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster did with Superman under predatory, work for hire contract.

Dare may have been a cheerful, heroic figure, but his creator, Hampson, did not reap a financial reward commensurate with his fame. Morrison and Hughes are using an iconic British character to basically flip off the comics establishment a couple years before the founding of Image Comics in a kind of metafiction and create a revolutionary story. It is highly unlikely that King, Gerads, and Shaner will do that to DC Comics/Warner Bros/A T and T, and at its best, Strange Adventures will be an attempt at pastiche and a dark deconstruction of a Silver Age space hero.

And the fact that Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes use an iconic figure in British pop culture instead of a character that rarely has his own title to tell their story of heroism being used to serve the predatory establishment instead of fighting for truth, justice, and all that stuff makes Dare a stronger story than Strange Adventures. This is despite the comic not being as well-known as Grant Morrison’s other work during that time period, including Zenith, Arkham Asylum, Animal Man, and Doom Patrol. And along with being a compelling work of satire, Dare has some wonderful flourishes like Rian Hughes’ brutalist approach to future architecture and world-building with a character remarking that Art Deco didn’t leave much room for places to live and shop and a cheeky sense of deadpan humor. (See any photoshoot scene featuring Dan Dare.)

If you’re looking for a story where so-called paragons of heroism are powerless to shake the bonds of systems of control, then Grant Morrison and Rian Hughes’ Dare is a comic worth reading. Instead of gazing at its own navel (Albeit in a visually interesting way by Mitch Gerads and Evan Shaner) like Strange Adventures, Dare offers up a portrait of a society crumbling due to conservative social policies and choosing power over decency through the lens of a spaceman’s salad days.

Preview: Blade Runner 2019 #6

Blade Runner 2019 #6

Author(s): Michael Green, Mike Johnson
Artist(s): Andres Guinaldo
Cover Artist(s): Rian Hughes (CVR A), Syd Mead (CVR B), Andres Guinaldo (CVR C)

Michael Green, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter for Blade Runner 2049, and co-writer Mike Johnson (Star Trek, Supergirl) begin a new story in the smash hit sci-fi comic set in the iconic world of Blade Runner! Seven years after her disastrous last case, veteran Blade Runner Ash is low on cash and short on options… Illustrated by Andres Guinaldo (Justice League Dark, Captain America).

Blade Runner 2019 #6

Preview: Rivers Of London: The Fey And The Furious #3

Rivers Of London: The Fey And The Furious #3

Author(s): Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel
Artist(s): Lee Sullivan
Cover Artist(s): Rian Hughes

Written by series creator, Ben Aaronovitch, the latest arc from the award-winning urban fantasy series Rivers of London reaches its thrilling conclusion as Detective Peter Grant races towards reality after finding himself trapped in a dangerous fairyland. With a nefarious trade dealer to catch and a furious Fairy Queen hot on his tail, can Peter make it to the finish line?A canonical story, set after bestselling novel Lies Sleeping!

Rivers Of London The Fey And The Furious #3

Matt Fraction, Elsa Charretier, Matt Hollingsworth, Kurt Ankeny, and Rian Hughes Team for the Three-Part Graphic Novella, November

Image Comics has announced the first in a sequence of three graphic novellas by Matt Fraction and Elsa Charretier, with colors by Matt Hollingsworth, exquisitely crafted lettering by cartoonist Kurt Ankeny, and book design by Rian Hughes, titled November.

In November, the lives of three women intersect in a dark criminal underground. As fire and violence tear through their city over the course of a single day and night, they find that their lives are bound together by one man—who seems to be the cause of it all.

Fraction commented in the announcement:

November is a crime thriller about three women connected by unforeseen and terrible circumstances—the kind of random encounter with chaos and darkness that upends lives without warning, walking the line between accident and catastrophe. As a serialized series of novels, the format of November gives us the space and time to explore who these women were before and after everything changed for them, in a sprawling story of chaos and coincidence where everything happens according to a pattern, but no plan ever goes off without a hitch. It’s the kind of story only comics can tell in the way only a comic can tell them, and I couldn’t ask for better collaborators than Elsa, Matt, and Kurt.

Charretier added:

Characters so alive they draw themselves, scripts that feed my imagination for days on end, November is the most challenging project I’ve worked on, and collaborating with such a talented team has been everything I dreamed it’d be.

November, vol. I hardcover (Diamond Code JUL190077, ISBN 978-1-5343-1354-5) will hit comic shops on Wednesday, November 6 and bookstores on Tuesday, November 12. The final order cutoff for comic shop retailers is Monday, August 5.

November, vol. I
Almost American
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