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Review: DC Pride #1

DC Pride #1

In honor of Pride Month, DC Comics dropped DC Pride #1, an 80 page anthology featuring short stories with LGBTQ+ characters by mainly LGBTQ+ creators. In addition to the stories, there’s an introduction by prominent gay comics writer Marc Andreyko (Manhunter, Love is Love) and pinups by some of the best LGBTQ+ artists (and artists period) like Sophie Campbell, Nick Robles, and Kevin Wada. The overall tone of the anthology is celebratory, but one story definitely made me tear up. I really enjoyed how DC Pride touched all corners of the LGBTQ umbrella and its exploration of how our differences make us stronger and really hope that one day all the characters featured in the book can have their own comic.

After the aforementioned introduction by Andreyko and a vibrant pinup of queer Teen Titans Aqualad, Bunker, Traci-13, and Crush from Travis Moore, DC Pride #1 leads off with a Batwoman story from James Tynion and Trung Le Nguyen. It starts with a look back at Kate Kane’s childhood, and how she didn’t conform to traditional gender roles and desires beginning with the games she would play with her sister Beth (Now the supervillain Alice) where they would pretend to be dolls complete with makeup, frilly dresses, and the accoutrements of traditional femininity. There’s almost a fairy tale cadence to both Tynion’s writing and Nguyen’s art as Kate grows up, finds love in the arms of a variety of women, and forges an identity as the superhero, Batwoman. Trung Le Nguyen’s flat reds and blacks punctuate these changes while James Tynion’s script takes a macro-level to the theme of pride as they show a montage of various queer heroes in the DC Universe fighting their battles and being themselves. This opening story is a fine encapsulation of Batwoman’s character journey and also is an ode to embracing queerness and gender conformity in a heteronormative world. Plus Nguyen’s story book style applied to superhero comics is a real visual treat.

estrano and midnighter

The next story was one of my favorites as Steve Orlando returns to Midnighter (kind of) and Extraño as the magician regales John Constantine with a tale of a night out with the violent vigilante. Orlando and artist Stephen Byrne’s story is pure fanservice and adventure in the best way with iconic visual and verbal moments like Midnighter punching a Nazi vampire’s head off and John Constantine flirting with Extraño at a bar and totally being open to a threesome with Extraño and his werewolf husband. This story is mostly made up of fun things like one-liners, magic, and mayhem. However, Steve Orlando digs a little deeper with his script and commentates on how queer history is rewritten by bigoted historians with lovers becoming relatives (Like in the original Sailor Moon English dub) or “pals” as Midnighter and Extraño fight the aforementioned vampire to stop him from casting a spell that makes people think the mythological heroes Achilles and Patroclus were cousins, not lovers. This is a very real issue, and it’s vindicating to watch Midnighter and Extraño kick the asses of those who would straight-wash history in a thrilling, beautiful way thanks to Orlando’s witty script and Byrne’s power-packed visuals.

The third story in DC Pride is a noir-tinged saga of dark alleys, fisticuffs, and political activism starring Renee Montoya aka The Question from Vita Ayala, Skylar Partridge, and Jose Villarrubia. The plot is fairly straightforward with the Question tracking down missing defense attorney and city council candidate Valeria Johnson. Partridge and Villarrubia bring the dark shadows, atmosphere, and flat background colors when Montoya puts the fear of her into some loutishly heterosexual goons. I love how Skylar Partridge uses inset panels to show Montoya’s speed and skill and match Ayala’s snappy narrative captions. The whole story looks gorgeous, and there’s also a hint of budding romance between Renee Montoya and Valeria Johnson as the latter isn’t just a do-gooder damsel in distress. It definitely feels like a backdoor pilot for a Renee Montoya Question series, and I would love to see more of this creative team fleshing her and her relationship with Valeria out.

The Question story is followed by a hilarious and touching Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy story from Mariko Tamaki, Amy Reeder, and Marissa Louise. Basically, this anti-heroic duo stop a plant monster from going on a rampage (After giving it several cute pet names.) and talk about their relationship. Underneath Louise’s candy-meets-body horror palette and Reeder’s memorable facial expressions and high-wire layouts, they chat about going from the “will they, won’t they” stage to the moving in and starting a life stage. Tamaki’s script is peppered with jokes (Including a classic lesbian U-Haul one.), but she also once and for all shows that Harley and Ivy are a well-matched, occasionally wacky queer couple, and that they’ve brought a lot of support and laughs into each other’s lives. Also, Harley’s hammer should always have a Kirby face on it.

Alan Scott and Obsidian

Full disclosure: Sam Johns, Klaus Janson, and Dave McCaig’s Alan Scott and Obsidian story was the one that made me cry. At brunch with Obsidian and his partner, the Golden Age Green Lantern opens up to his estranged son and tells him that Obsidian’s confidence to live as an out gay man encouraged him to finally come out and be his full, true self to the world. Janson uses nine panel grids, Ben-Day dots, and a command of 1940s fashion to show Alan’s secret romance with a train conductor named Jimmy and also walk down memory lane when being gay was a crime and gay bars were shuttered and didn’t have liquor licenses. As well as expanding on Alan Scott coming out in the main DC continuity in Infinite Frontier, this story is an homage to queer elders and their struggles in a world where they could be jailed or even killed holding someone of the same gender’s hand in public. It’s a beautiful intergenerational story and really made me fall in love with Alan Scott as a character even more. He’s the queer grandpa I never had.

The sixth story in DC Pride #1is a fast-moving, romantic story from Danny Lore, Lisa Sterle, and Enrica Erin Angiolini about Jess Chambers (Future State Flash) getting ready for their date with Andy Curry aka Aquawoman. This pair had fantastic chemistry in Future State: Justice League, and it’s nice to see a story centered around their relationship that also riffs on the classic Flash tropes of lateness, Rogues, and legacy. As Jess faces off against Reflek, who was trained by Mirror Master, Sterle and Angiolini get play with different panel shapes simulating the speedster trying to break free from a hall of mirrors while trying to get their outfit, makeup, and gift together. Also, it’s refreshing to see a story featuring a nonbinary character not be all about their gender identity, but focus on action and relationships like any other Flash story. Andy and Jess have a nice thing going, and like many of the other characters who appear in this anthology, I hope to see more of them, their impeccable fashion senses, and cool superpowers in future DC titles.

DC Pride #1 returns to the intergenerational queerness well in a Pied Piper story from Sina Grace, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt. They introduce a new character, Drummer Boy, who is inspired by Pied Piper to create mind-controlling beats so that he can take money from rich fat cats and save Central City’s gayborhood from gentrification, which is a very real problem in real life today. Drummer Boy calling out Pied Piper’s photo ops and not taking direct action since he’s been rich and famous is something that could be directed at many LGBTQ+ celebrities like Ru Paul, who literally uses his wealth to destroy the Earth. This issue creates a real fantasy in which LGBTQ+ celebrities help their community instead of palling around with war criminals at NFL games while Grace gets in some licks about being smart with one’s direct action and abilities when Pied Piper points out that if Drummer Boy steals money off rich people’s credit cards that they’ll just contest the charges. Drummer Boy has a real activist streak as a hero, and I love the energy that Stein and Brandt visually bring to his powers as well as not making him look like the average Ken-doll superhero body type.

The penultimate story in DC Pride #1introduces the transgender superhero Dreamer, who first appeared in the Supergirl television show, to the comics in a story written by Nicole Maines (Who played Dreamer in the show) and with art by Rachael Stott and Enrica Erin Angolini. Dreamer’s debut is a slice of story as she rushes to clean up a League of Shadows cell before rushing off to date night with Brainiac 5. Maines’ script has a cheery, humorous tone with a hilarious final panel, and Dreamer makes a lot of quips to go with Stott’s acrobatic fight choreography that is still good at showing motion even though her art style is more photorealistic. There’s a big feeling of wanting to get the fights over with so that Dreamer can spend time with the man she loves, and this story could honestly be one big metaphor for work/life balance. Dreamer makes her mark with charm and wholesomeness in the story, and her oneiromantic abilities have real visual flair.

Jackson Hyde

DC Pride #1 wraps up with a superhero spin on a big damn Pride parade with Andrew Wheeler, Luciano Vecchio, and Rex Lokus chronicling Aqualad’s first Pride since coming out with his new friend (and Extraño’s apprentice) Syl. Lokus’ colors match the tone of the story from bright and triumphant to dark and dreary as Eclipso has everyone at Pride airing out their worst thoughts and finally triumphant again with a group of DC’s LGBTQ+ superheroes led by Extraño saving the day and being the true, queer selves in the process. This story is a true victory lap, but Wheeler spends a little time in Aqualad’s head as he takes in the sights and sounds of Pride and also grapples with not wanting to be like his father, the villainous Black Manta. Even though everyone feels isolated and alone when targeted by Eclipso, there is actually a large, vibrant LGBTQ+ community of heroes in the DC Universe and hopefully they show up in stories beyond this anthology, which has honestly been a recurring theme as I read through the stories in DC Pride #1.

DC Pride #1 is a fantastic showcase not just for DC Comics’ LGBTQ+ characters, but the company’s LGBTQ+ creators too as they capture a range of relationships, feelings, sexualities, and gender identities. There’s a lot of focus on established romantic relationships, but some of the stories explore activism, community, and the Midnighter/Extrano/John Constantine is a straight up adventure yarn. I enjoyed seeing myself and my queer siblings uplifted in this comic and hope DC can do something more ongoing with these characters, situations, and especially creators.

Story: James Tynion IV, Steve Orlando, Vita Ayala, Mariko Tamaki
Sam Johns, Danny Lore, Sina Grace, Nicole Maines, Andrew Wheeler
Art: Trung Le Nguyen, Stephen Byrne, Skylar Partridge, Amy Reeder, Klaus Janson
Lisa Sterle, Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, Rachael Stott, Luciano Vecchio
Colors: Jose Villarrubia, Marissa Louise, Dave McCaig, Enrica Erin Angiolini, Rex Lokus
Letters: Aditya Bidikar, Josh Reed, Ariana Maher, Tom Napolitano, Becca Carey, Steve Wands
Story: 9.8 Art: 10 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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DC Announces DC Pride Anthology and Crush & Lobo

DC has announced new releases coming to store shelves in June. DC Pride is an 80-page anthology comic featuring LGBTQIA+ characters from across the DC Universe. Crush & Lobo is a new eight-issue miniseries written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Amancay NahuelpanCrush & Lobo will launch on June 1 and DC Pride will publish on June 8. DC will also publish a series of nine Pride-themed variant covers in June, showcasing DC’s top characters as realized by the comic book industry’s leading artists.

DC Pride #1 will feature LGBTQIA+ characters from all corners of DC’s ever-expanding Universe, including cameos by fan favorites Batwoman, Renee Montoya, Alan Scott, Midnighter, Apollo, Extraño, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Constantine, and more. The DCPride creative teams, and the characters they’re developing stories for, are:

  • Batwoman (Kate Kane) by James Tynion IV & Trung Le Nguyen
  • Poison Ivy & Harley Quinn by Mariko Tamaki & Amy Reeder
  • Midnighter by Steve Orlando & Stephen Byrne
  • Flash of Earth-11 (Jess Chambers) by Danny Lore & Lisa Sterle
  • Green Lantern (Alan Scott) & Obsidian by Sam Johns & Klaus Janson
  • Aqualad (Jackson Hyde) by Andrew Wheeler & Luciano Vecchio
  • Dreamer by Nicole Maines & Rachel Stott
  • Renee Montoya by Vita Ayala and Skylar Patridge
  • Pied Piper by Sina Grace, Ro Stein & Ted Brandt

Additionally, DC Pride #1 will include full-page profiles of DCTV’s LGBTQIA+ characters and the actors who play them, and fans of The CW’s Supergirl will be thrilled to see the first comic book appearance of Dreamer, a trans woman superhero, in a story written by actor Nicole Maines, who plays Nia Nal/Dreamer on Supergirl.

Rounding out the DC Pride anthology is a forward by Marc Andreyko (Love is Love), single-page pin-ups by artists Kris Anka, Sophie Campbell, Mildred Louis, Travis Moore, Nick Robles, and Kevin Wada, with more surprises to come! The DC Pride #1 cover is by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Tamra Bonvillain.

DC Pride #1

DC will also release a series of Pride themed variant covers showcasing DC’s leading characters through the month of June, giving fans the opportunity to purchase comics featuring covers with Batman, Harley, Ivy, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more, all by cutting-edge comic book artists!

  • Batman #109 Pride variant cover by Jen Bartel
  • Crush & Lobo #1 Pride variant cover by Yoshi Yoshitani
  • DC Pride #1 Pride variant cover by Jen Bartel
  • Harley Quinn #4 Pride variant cover by Kris Anka
  • Nightwing #81 Pride variant cover by Travis G. Moore
  • Superman #32 Pride variant cover by David Talaski
  • Teen Titans Academy #4 Pride variant cover by Stephen Byrne
  • Wonder Girl #2 Pride variant cover by Kevin Wada
  • Wonder Woman #774 Pride variant cover by Paulina Ganucheau

Crush & Lobo spins out of the pages of Teen Titans Academy, and will debut with a cover by Kris Anka, a Pride variant cover by Yoshi Yoshitani, a 1:25 ratio variant by Christian Ward, plus an exclusive Dan Hipp team variant for participating retailers. In this new eight-issue miniseries publishing between June 2021 and January 2022, Crush, daughter of the Czarnian bounty hunter Lobo, is in full-on self-destruct mode! After rage-quitting the Teen Titans and blowing up her relationship with her girlfriend Katie, Crush decides it’s time to finally confront her father in space jail and get her baggage sorted before she wrecks everything. Like father, like daughter?

DC will also publish GLAAD Media Award-nominated Suicide Squad: Bad Blood by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo on April 27, DC’s gothic LGBTQIA+ romance Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger and Sara Kipin on June 1, and Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani’s highly anticipated YA graphic novel, I Am Not Starfirewill publish on July 27 as part of the publisher’s overall Pride plans in 2021. Lois Lane by Greg Rucka and Mike PerkinsFar Sector by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell and You Brought Me The Ocean by Alex Sánchez and Julie Maroh have also been nominated for GLAAD Media Awards in 2021!

AfterShock Sends Out an S.O.S. with Support Our Shops

Comic shops have been seeing added pressure, challenges, and obstacles over the past three months with COVID-19 and a downturn economy. Publisher AfterShock Comics, has announced the release of Support Our Shops (S.O.S.), a 48-page comic featuring seven stories from top creators, to be distributed at no cost to comic shops through Diamond Comic Distributors.

S.O.S.features from some of the industry’s most celebrated creators emphasizing that fundamentally irreplaceable role played by comic shops in their lives and in the lives of fans. The title includes exclusive stories from Cullen Bunn, Stephanie Phillips, Zac Thompson, Steve Orlando, Jamie McKelvie, Jerry Ordway, and Aaron Douglas, with art from Leila Leiz, Don Kramer, Szymon Kudranski, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt, Gordon Purcell and Cliff Richards, with cover conceived and executed by David Mack.

S.O.S. will be distributed to Diamond’s top-ranked 200 AfterShock accounts, which will each receive 20 free copies (per storefront) with their 6/24 on-sale books. The next 300 highest ranked stores will each receive 10 free copies. Stores not included in this ranking may receive a number of copies upon request or through their AfterShock Ambassador.

AfterShock’s S.O.S. was created so that each comic shop can leverage the title to best suit their individual needs and goals. It can be given away free, used as a purchase incentive, put into the pull boxes of AfterShock readers, or sold directly to consumers at a suggested price to help recoup losses that may have been sustained through pandemic-related closures and events.

Review: Crowded #12

Crowded #12

Crowded has always been a comic where everything is turned to 11, constantly. That’s thanks to the witty and occasionally sentimental writing of Christopher Sebela, the high energy art of Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, and the varied colors of Triona Farrell. This high tension applies to action sequences, dramatic backstory reveals, and especially the feelings between the two lead characters. Charlie is the so-called normal girl with a price on her head via crowdfunding app Reapr and Vita is the bodyguard hired via Dfender. Crowded #12 is no exception. Charlie and Vita conspire to break out of the survivalist-meets-MLM cult missile silo they’re trapped in and talk about their emotions too.

Weirdly enough, Crowded has turned into a romance comic in its second year. The unlikely lustfest/romance between Charlie and Vita has really taken center stage. It’s fitting that we get a sepia-colored flashback of their first time making out and sleeping together. I love how Stein and Brandt include Dog’s reaction to their activities. He wanders around the frame eventually finding some nice cheese puffs to munch on. The active nature of their artwork with all kinds of gestures, background jokes, or interesting things to look at along with the contrasting color stories that Farrell created keeps the tense, “will they, won’t they” nature of Charlie and Vita’s relationship an ongoing concern as the plot moves along.

Sebela does this too through his writing. He uses a relatively “quiet” scene of Vita and Charlie preparing to leave the missile silo into the closest thing they’ve had to heart to heart for a while. Their conversation while prepping guns and a big-ass parachute is a little one-sided. Vita wants to know the old companies that Charlie sabotage while Charlie wants to get to know Vita personally. It feeds into Crowded #12’s ongoing thread of Charlie wanting Vita to see her as more than a client, but as someone she can build a future with. This emotionally dynamic beat ends up bleeding into the main plot for maximum suffering and feels.

As the issue progresses, Sebela, Stein, and Brandt indulge in even more dysfunctional relationship tropes. A pet turns out to be the emotional glue of the couple. A character storms off for basically this story universe’s equivalent of a pack of cigarettes. In a very contemporary moment, the disconnect from each other on the app where they found each other. Sebela very much plays into the “downer” second part of a trilogy idea. He wisely applies it to the relationship between Charlie and Vita instead of having them surrounded by armies of money-hungry, wannabe mercenaries.

That kind of spectacle showed up in earlier issues of Crowded. More recent installments have focused on the intricacies of love, lust, work, and relationships. However, Sebela, Stein, Brandt, and Farrell have dialed down the quirky, thrilling bits of the book. The escape from the missile silo is a highlight and example of this comic’s humorous approach to capers and setpieces.

There’s an added bonus of the antagonist, Ophelia, being fleshed out in a fantastic double-page spread. Sebela, Stein, and Brandt create a unique connection between her and Vita. Vita sees a little bit of her own hypercompetence and ability to create plans out of thin air and offers to be a kind of remote mentor to her. As a youngster, Vita was shifted from foster home to foster home with no real adult figure to lean on. She wants to pay that forward and be that figure to Ophelia. It’s a really well-developed subplot and good respite from the Vita and Charlie arguing and sometimes smooching and other things parts.

Crowded #12 is the latest, shining example of a comic that has it all. It features compelling chemistry between lead characters, thrilling plot elements with a dash of humor, engaging visuals, and a color palette that adds depth to characters and the events of the story. Crowded #12 ends on a cliffhanger with an air of menace. I can’t wait to see how Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Triona Farrell, and Cardinal Rae wrap their tale of road trips, romance, and creepy technology in volume 3.

Story: Christopher Sebela Art: Ro Stein, Ted Brandt
Colors: Triona Farrell Letters: Cardinal Rae
Story: 8.6 Art: 9.2 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Princeless Book 3: The Pirate Princess Deluxe Hardcover

PRINCELESS BOOK 3: THE PIRATE PRINCESS DELUXE HARDCOVER

Writer(s): Jeremy Whitley
Artist Name(s): Ro Stein, Ted Brandt
Cover Artist(s): Ro Stein, Ted Brandt
168 pgs./ A / FC
$19.99

Adrienne and Bedelia have been on a quest to save Adrienne’s sisters, but when they stumble upon an unknown princess trapped in a tower, they decide they can’t just leave her locked up. But they’re about to find out they’ve bit of more than they can chew when they rescue Raven Xingtao, the daughter of the Pirate King. Adrienne has met her match and if she’s not careful, Raven may steal the dragon right out from under her. Read the volume of Princeless that launched the critically acclaimed spinoff, Raven: The Pirate Princess, now in deluxe format with never before seen behind the scenes special features.

PRINCELESS BOOK 3: THE PIRATE PRINCESS DELUXE HARDCOVER

Review: Crowded #1

Ten minutes in the future, the world runs on an economy of job shares and apps, including Reapr: a crowdfunding platform to fund assassinations. Charlie Ellison leads a quiet, normal life until she’s suddenly targeted by a million-dollar Reapr campaign. Hunted by all of Los Angeles, Charlie hires Vita, the lowest-rated bodyguard on the Dfend app. As the campaign picks up speed, they’ll have to figure out who wants Charlie dead before the campaign’s 30 days-or their lives-are over.

Fun with a pop sense of style, that’s my general thought about Crowded #1 that feels like a spoof of both the action genre and the Uber-economy. Taking place in the future, Charlie is forced to have numerous jobs scraping together a living through a few hustles. She babysits, drives a car, rents her card, walks dogs, all through apps that enable her to hop from one thing to another. It’s the on-demand economy that’s front and center in the story written by Christopher Sebela.

Crowded feels like a brilliant commentary about today’s society and with Charlie being targeted for assassination, it also feels like it’s a statement how the Uber-economy needs to die. Sebela and team feel like they’ve put together a story that’s a subtle jab at the subject reminding me of classics like Robocop and Starship Troopers with satire and commentary throughout that needs, and deserves to be, explored. There’s of course something by issue’s end that may shake up that initial take but that seems like it’ll be part of the fun of this series.

Ro Stein provides the art along with color by Triona Farrell, ink by Ted Brandt, and lettering from Cardinal Rae. The style is one that has an Aeon Flux sense about it all mixed with bright colors that creates a pop feel to what is a gritty action story. It’s John Wick with lots of yellows and pinks, full of action and awesome to look at.

The first issue is a winner delivering humor and a flow visually and through the narrative that sucks in the reader and makes you want more. There’s a pacing that takes you through it all and gets you to the other end waiting for more action and wanting more humor as we explore this world and characters. And, with the shiny action outside, there’s an interior depth that begs to explored and debated.

Story: Christopher Sebela Art: Ro Stein
Color: Triona Farrel Ink: Ted Brandt Lettering: Cardinal Rae
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for reviews

Rebel Wilson Snags Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt’s Crowded

Crowded is the latest comic to be optioned for a possible movie. The comic written by Christopher Sebela and drawn by Ro Stein and Ted Brandt, and published by Image Comics was optioned by Rebel Wilson.

In the near future the world’s economy is all job sharing and apps where a crowdfunding platform that funds assassinations named Reapr is all the rage. The story follows a woman named Charlie who becomes a target on Reapr with a multimillion-dollar bounty. Charlie then hires the lowest-rated bodyguard on an app called Dfend. The two must work together to take down the assassins before the 30-day period concludes or their lives are over.

Sebela will be a consulting producer and a search for a writer to adapt the comic has begun.

Crowded—A Pulse-Pounding New Thriller for fans of Black Mirror

Eisner-nominated writer Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein & Ted Brandt, Triona Farrell, and Cardinal Rae team up for the forthcoming thriller, Crowded, set to launch from Image Comics this August.

Ten minutes in the future, the world runs on an economy of job shares and apps, including Reapr: a crowdfunding platform to fund assassinations. Charlie Ellison leads a quiet, normal life until she’s suddenly targeted by a million-dollar Reapr campaign. Hunted by all of Los Angeles, Charlie hires Vita, the lowest-rated bodyguard on the Dfend app. As the campaign picks up speed, they’ll have to figure out who wants Charlie dead before the campaign’s 30 days—or their lives—are over.

Crowded explores the seedy underbelly of today’s technology with the knowing implications of a Black Mirror episode and will have readers on the edge of their seat.

Crowded #1 Cover A by Stein & Brandt (Diamond Code JUN180046) and Crowded #1 Cover B by Rachael Stott (Diamond Code JUN180047) hit stores on Wednesday, August 15th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, July 23rd.

Review: The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 2 Agents of G.I.R.L.

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got Nadia!

The Unstoppable Wasp Vol. 2 Agents of G.I.R.L. collects issues #5-8 and Tales to Astonish #44 by Jeremy Whitley, Elsa Charretier, Veronica Fish, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Megan Wilson, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Alanna Smith, and Tom Brevoort.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores March 13. To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Image Comics’ Image Expo 2018 Announcements

The Image Expo keynote address, given by Publisher Eric Stephenson, reflected upon soaring sales increases over the course of 2017 for Image Comics and revealed the following new creator-owned project announcements for 2018. Check out below for what you can expect to hit your comic store shelves in 2018 and beyond.

BLACKBIRD
by Sam Humphries & Jen Bartel

Sam Humphries (NIghtwing, Green Lantern) and Jen Bartel team up to co-create BLACKBIRD a modern fantasy story best described as Harry Potter meets Riverdale. It follows a young woman named Nina who discovers a neon-lit world of magic masters in Los Angeles. Now they’ve kidnapped her sister, and Nina is the only one who can save her.

“BLACKBIRD is a labor of love, a coming of age story and beautiful people doing insane things with magic,” said Humphries.

The series launches from Image Comics in October 2018.

Rob Liefeld’S BLOODSTRIKE will feature story, art, and cover by Michel Fiffe

Michel Fiffe will write, draw, and color three exciting new issues of BLOODSTRIKE. The Fiffe issues will also feature two back-up stories by Chuck Forsman and Paul Maybury with pin-ups by Ed Piskor, Benjamin Marra, Andrew Maclean, and more!

In Michel Fiffe’s BLOODSTRIKE: BRUTALISTS, the creator of the indie hit COPRA shines a light on Image’s most extreme series and its groundbreaking carnage. Whether it’s the origin of our favorite undead strikeforce or solving the trail of mysteries that plague them, this mini-series picks up where the original title left off while introducing the concept to a new audience. Celebrate Bloodstrike’s take-no-prisoners legacy by looking forward as only the new wave of comic-auteurs can! Don’t “rub the blood”…drown in it.

CROWDED
by Christopher Sebela, Ted Brandt, Ro Stein & Triona Farrell

Sebela took to the stage and announced two new books today, one of which was CROWDED, which he’s co-created with Ted Brandt and Ro Stein—a cynical send-up of the app economy and online grudges.

“Josh and I have been working on this book for a few years now in secret,” said Sebela. “Just waiting for the chance to unleash it on readers and we’re kinda freaking out that this thing we’ve put so much time and sweat into is really real and really good.”

In CROWDED, a platform called Reapr allows anyone to crowdfund assassination attempts. The parody ignites when protagonist Charlie Ellison is forced to fend off a wave of hitmen with the help of a low-rate bodyguard.

The series launches in Summer 2018.

DEAD GUY FAN CLUB
by Annie Wu 

Annie Wu introduced fans to the forthcoming DEAD GUY FAN CLUB. In this new series, the founders of a rock star’s fan club reunite in adulthood to investigate the suspicious death of their hero and the involvement of an unhinged member of their old flock.

“I’m thrilled to be writing and illustrating a new series,” said Wu. “I can’t wait to share this weird little black comedy with everyone.”

The series launches from Image Comics in Fall 2018.

DEAD RABBIT
by Gerry Duggan & John McCrea

DEAD RABBIT is a new ongoing series from writer Gerry Duggan (Deadpool) and artist John McCrea (Hitman) team up with colorist Mike Spicer in a rackous series about MARTIN DOBBS, a hot-tempered, foul-mouthed former mercenary and gun-for-hire who’s forced out of retirement with predictably funny and violent results. With shades of UNFORGIVEN, THE EQUALIZER and ROBIN HOOD.

“Gerry Duggan! John McCrea! The peaches and cream of comics—though I’m not sure who’s the peach…,” said McCrea. “Anyway, this comic has Gerry’s and my heart and soul poured into it, pick it up, you will love yourself forever for doing so…”

The series launches from Image Comics in Summer 2018.

DEATH OR GLORY
by Rick Remender & Bengal

Fan favorite Rick Remender (SEVEN TO ETERNITY, DEADLY CLASS) teams up with brilliant French superstar Bengal to bring fans a high speed convoy crime thriller rocketing across the American West that examines our dwindling freedoms and the price paid by those who fight for an untethered life on the open road.

Meet Glory, raised free in a convoy, off the grid, amid the last men and women truckers fighting automation to continue living the American mythology of the open road.

Now, in order to pay for her beloved, dying Father’s surgery, Glory has three days to pull off a four dangerous cross country heists with mob killers, crooked cops and a psycho ex-husband all out to bring her in or die trying.

“Rick and I have been preparing something for years now, it was a privilege to get to work with him, and an even greater one to take the time to develop something together,” Bengal. “I’m very proud to finally present what we’ve been cooking! I hope readers will enjoy this story as much as we loved doing those pages.”

The series launches from Image Comics in May 2018.

ECHOLANDS
by J.H. Williams & Haden Blackman

J.H. Williams (Sandman: Overture, Batwoman) and Haden Blackman (Elektra, Batwoman) team up with colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Todd Klein for an all-new mythic fiction genre mash-up series in ECHOLANDS, a tale where the last war on Earth starts with Hope’s sticky fingers…

“ECHOLANDS has been in development for years, bubbling in the background as we worked on other projects,” said Blackman. “But it’s a world and a cast of characters that has always drawn us back, and we’re so grateful to be able to finally get the book out into the world.”

On a world that has forgotten its own history, the key to excavating the past is in the hands of a young thief who must escape a vengeful wizard and his unstoppable golem.

The series will be coming soon from Image Comics.

FARMHAND
by Rob Guillory

Rob Guillory (CHEW) returns to both write and draw an all-new series in, FARMHAND.

FARMHAND follows Ezekiel Jenkins, a family man and new agrarian who returns to his family fields—but these nightmarish crops give a new meaning to ear of corn and fingerling potatoes.

“This is a story that’s been very near and dear to me for quite some time, and I’m absolutely thrilled to finally announce it,” said Guillory. “I can’t wait to introduce readers to the wonderful and horrific world of FARMHAND.”

FARMHAND launches from Image Comics in July 2018.

JOOK JOINT
by Tee Franklin & Maria Nguyen 

Fresh off the buzz for BINGO LOVE’s release on Valentine’s Day, Franklin took to the stage to announce a new project with Image Comics—JOOK JOINT—with Maria Nguyen.

JOOK JOINT is a 5-issue time-period horror miniseries about a brothel/jazz club exposing the social evils of racism, rape, domestic violence, and inequality.

Because of its subject matter, JOOK JOINT is set to launch in October 2018, in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Franklin and Nguyen will work with Image Comics on coordinating special charity variants to benefit Joyful Heart, a non-profit founded by Mariska Hargitay which places focus on healing, education and advocacy.

“As a domestic violence survivor, this is a story I’ve been working on for years. It’s been extremely cathartic and therapeutic. It was important for me to have an artist who understood what JOOK JOINT meant to me, before inviting them to embark on this journey with me,” said Franklin. “I appreciate that Image Comics has allowed me to tackle this subject matter, in addition to working with us on charity variants for Mariska Hargitay’s Healing Heart foundation. I now have an opportunity to use my talents to help survivors like myself. People have helped me when I was going through a rough time in my life and now I want to give back.”

THE LAST SIEGE
by Landry Q. Walker & Justin Greenwood

Bestselling creators Landry Q. Walker (DANGER CLUB, Supergirl Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade) and Justin Greenwood (THE FUSE, Stumptown) team up for an all-new, ongoing medieval war story, inspired by the storytelling structure of classic Spaghetti Westerns.

“For years I have wanted to tell a medieval war story, one that pulls away from the fantasy elements the genre is so often saddled with,” said Walker. “Swords, castles, and rage, all in a world where life is cheap. No other frills or distractions. Seeing this book come to print is a moment I have looked forward to for a long, long time.”

Greenwood added: “Fast, gritty and full of action—I’d been looking for a book to really cut loose on and this project came along at the perfect time. I haven’t drawn this much dirt or blood in a long time and loving every minute of it.”

The series launches from Image Comics in Summer 2018.

LEVIATHAN
by John Layman, Nick Pitarra, & Mike Garland 

Eisner-award winning, New York Times bestselling writer John Layman (CHEW) is back, teaming up with New York Times bestselling artist Nick Pitarra (THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS) and colorist extraordinaire Mike Garland in the all new, ongoing series—that’s Godzilla by way of black magic—in LEVIATHAN.

In LEVIATHAN, a group millennials try to do a black magic ritual for laughs and end up summoning a demonic giant monster determined to kill them all.

LEVIATHAN is coming this summer to Image Comics.

TODD MCFARLANE ANNOUNCES FIVE NEW PROJECTS

odd McFarlane, President of Image Comics and creator of SPAWN, took to the stage today to announce  five new comic projects. The timing of these come on the heels of his upcoming directorial debut for the new SPAWN feature film. The movie will be in production by late spring so these comics will hit shelf just as the SPAWN movie is getting wide publicity across multiple platforms.

To help retailers take advantage of the upcoming SPAWN news buzz he announced the five projects below:

1) MEDIEVAL SPAWN and WITCHBLADE crossover miniseries
This May release is a re-teaming of two of Image’s most popular original characters.
The new mini-series is written by Brian Holguin with art by Brian Haberlin with 32 full pages of story and art will also feature a special augmented reality cover for only $2.99.

Fan favorites Spawn and Witchblade together for the first time in two decades!

2) SPAWN KILLS EVERYONE 2 (mini-series)
Due to the wonderful success of the one-shot, Todd McFarlane is creating along with Will Robson a four part mini-series that has our childish Spawn giving birth to hundreds of smaller Spawn babies who take his “kill list” and try to help out their new father.

3) MISERY (new ongoing monthly series)
In the wake of the #MeToo scandals arises a teenage hero who is tired of being pushed around and abused by the actions of others. This new character, MISERY, will help out those innocent people who have been victimized by the evil that is spread across the entire planet.

Stories will go global as Misery tries to discover exactly how to control her powers and how to make others feel her…misery.

4) SPAWN (on-going monthly title)
Comic Industry’s longest running independent title continues its march towards its 300th issue as well as tying into the upcoming movie that McFarlane is writing and directing with Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions.

The comic Spawn is setting the stage to flush out some of his biggest enemies that he has locked on earth. He will come face to face with the Clown, Overt-Kill and an all-new Violator.

5) SAM and TWITCH True Detectives (8 part mini-series)
Detective “Twitch” Williams will be the main focus in the new full length film about to go into production and he will be introduce to a whole new audience with his appearance in the SPAWN film.

All eight issues have already been completed and will be released close to the film’s announcement and trailers. Much like THE WALKING DEAD, new viewers will be drawn to the stories and characters they will be seeing on the big screen and also a potential new TV series.

NETFLIX’S MILLARWORLD TITLES LAUNCH WITH THE MAGIC ORDER

Comics titan Mark Millar (KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, KICK-ASS, HIT-GIRL, JUPITER’S LEGACY) announced that Netflix’s forthcoming Millarworld titles will be published by Image Comics, beginning with his first new project, THE MAGIC ORDER. THE MAGIC ORDER will feature art by Olivier Coipel (Amazing Spider-Man, Thor) and is planned as a six-issue miniseries.

We live in a world where we’ve never seen a monster, and The Magic Order is the reason we sleep safely in our beds. Magic meets the Mob in THE MAGIC ORDER as five families of magicians—sworn to protect our world for generations—must battle an enemy who’s picking them off one by one. By day, they live among us as our neighbors, friends and co-workers, but by night they are the sorcerers, magicians and wizards that protect us from the forces of darkness…unless the darkness gets them first.

The series will launch from Image Comics in Summer 2018.

OBLIVION SONG
by Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo De Felici

Image Comics partner Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA) took to the stage to show off the OBLIVION SONG #1 trailer for a sneak peek at what’s in store for fans on Wednesday, March 7th when the new series hits stores.

PROXIMA CENTAURI
by Farel Dalrymple 

Farel Dalrymple returns with an all-new, six-issue miniseries full of psychedelic-science-fantasy-action drama in PROXIMA CENTAURI.

PROXIMA CENTAURI follows the teenage adventurer Sherwood Presley Breadcoat, “The Scientist” Duke Herzog, Dr. EXT the Time Traveller, M. Parasol, Shakey the Space Wizard, and Dhog Dahog. Sherwood is looking for escape from the spectral dimensional space zone and a way back to earth and his brother.

The miniseries will launch in June 2018.

THE RED HOOK, Vol 1: NEW BROOKLYN
by Dean Haspiel 

Emmy and Ringo Award winner Dean Haspiel brings THE RED HOOK to print for the first time.

The Red Hook is a super-thief who is bequeathed the Omni-Fist of altruism and is transformed into a superhero against his will or he will die a year after a sentient Brooklyn’s heart is broken and physically secedes from America to form New Brooklyn.

The graphic novel will hit stores in June 2018.

SHANGHAI RED
by Christopher Sebela & Joshua Hixon

Christopher Sebela and Joshua Hixson team up for a turn of the century revenge thriller SHANGHAI READ, a story that stretches from the deck of a boat outside Shanghai to the bleak streets (and the secret tunnels beneath them) of Portland, Oregon. A violent journey of vengeance, identity and family.

“Josh and I have been working on this book for a few years now in secret, just waiting for the chance to unleash it on readers and we’re kinda freaking out that this thing we’ve put so much time and sweat into is really real and really good,” said Sebela.

The series launches from Image Comics in June 2018.

SON OF HITLER OGN
by Anthony Del Col & Jeff McComsey

Acclaimed writer ANTHONY DEL COL (Assassin’s Creed, Kill Shakespeare), New York Times bestselling cartoonist JEFF McCOMSEY (FUBAR), and newcomer GEOFF MOORE come together for an action-packed, original graphic novel, SON OF HITLER.

The never-before-told story of Adolf Hitler’s secret child and how this son was the key to ending World War II is now revealed in this audacious graphic novel based upon one of history’s most intriguing rumors.

“Like any top secret mission, SON OF HITLER involved meticulous planning, maps, secret meetings and the twisting of arms,” said Del Col. “So now that our mission has finally been revealed we can get around to the execution of it. And by execution, I mean the planned execution of Adolf Hitler.”

In 1943 Nazi-occupied France a rogue British S.O.E. agent recruits a young baker’s assistant for a dangerous mission by sharing with him a revelation no one would ever want to hear: he is the biological son of Adolf Hitler.

The original graphic novel will hit stores in May 2018.

UNNATURAL
by Mirka Andolfo 

Mirka Andolfo brings hit Italian comic title, Contro Natura, to Image Comics in an English translated fantasy erotica title, UNNATURAL.

Leslie is a simple pig girl, she loves sushi and she is trapped in a job that she hates. She lives with Trish, her best friend. In her world, which is full of anthropomorphic creatures, the government interferes in the personal lives of its citizens, up to the point of allowing only relationships between individuals of the same race. The transgressors are punished. They are accused of being… unnatural! Leslie dreams of something different for herself. But these dreams are becoming dangerous, especially because they feature a mysterious wolf. And, when she wakes up, she thinks that she is being watched…

The series will launch in July 2018.

THE WEATHERMAN
by Jody LeHeup & Nathan Fox

Writer Jody LeHeup (SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER), Eisner Award-nominated artist Nathan Fox (DMZ, HAUNT, Dark Reign: Zodiac), and Eisner Award-winning colorist Dave Stewart (Hellboy, RUMBLE) merge to form an unstoppable sci-fi tour de force with THE WEATHERMAN!

Local weatherman and fun-loving amnesiac Nathan Bright was just a normal guy living the good life on terraformed Mars. But the past Nathan didn’t know he had comes back to murder him when he’s accused of carrying out the worst terrorist attack in human history—an event that wiped out nearly the entire population of Earth.

Confused, terrified, and ill-prepared for life as the galaxy’s most wanted man, Nathan’s fate lies in the hands of Amanda Cross, the disavowed government agent assigned to his case. Together the unlikely duo will have to rely on each other as they battle their way through the solar system in search of the truth buried in Nathan’s lost memory…and the key to stopping the real enemy from carrying out a second extinction-level attack.

“Series artist Nathan Fox’s work on THE WEATHERMAN will hit you like a bolt of lightning,” said LeHeup. “Vicious and vital, it’s high energy for even higher stakes. There simply aren’t comics more beautiful than this.”

Fox added: “Before I even finished Jody’s first script  I knew I had to tell this story. THE WEATHERMAN is one of the most inspired, relevant, and human stories I’ve ever had the privilege of contributing to and I absolutely cannot wait for people to read it.”

A full-throttle, widescreen, science fiction epic about the damage we do in the name of justice and what it truly means to be redeemed…

The series will launch in June 2018.

WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE?
by Matthew Rosenberg & Tyler Boss

The critically-acclaimed, breakout creative team behind 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK, Tyler Boss & Matthew Rosenberg come to Image Comics for an new series, WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE?

“I’m really excited to be making my Image Comics debut with a book that is very personal to me,” said Rosenberg. “And I’m thrilled to do it with Tyler, who I can barely tolerate as a person, but is a brilliant artist and collaborator. Together we’re working to make a book that we hope will impact people the same way so many of our favorite comics have impacted us over the years.”

WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE? tells the story of a gang of young punks getting lost in the wasteland of America. After their youngest member disappears their quest to find her may put them in a fight to survive against the most deadly terrain, the most dangerous gangs, and maybe even each other. Or maybe not. Either way they’re going to find out how the world ended.

Boss added: “The story and world Matthew and myself have built is dense and (hopefully) exciting. I’ve never felt more creatively charged and I’ve been putting that energy into every page. I hope that old man Rosenberg can keep up.”

It launches in November 2018.

Almost American
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