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Alien #1 Returns with a Second Printing after Selling Over 300,000 Copies

Marvel’s highly-anticipated foray into the iconic and terrifying universe of the Alien franchise has hit shelves. Alien #1 by writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson and artist Salvador Larocca begins an exploration of never-before-seen corners of the Alien universe that has delighted both longtime fans and newcomers to the legendary horror/science-fiction saga, selling over 300,000 copies. Now, Marvel Comics is happy to announce that the sold-out debut issue will be returning to comic shops on April 28th with a second printing, complete with a haunting new cover by Salvador Larocca.

Check out Larocca’s cover below and brace yourself for more pulse-pounding terror when the Second Printing of Alien #1 hits stands on April 28th.

Alien #1 Salvador Larocca 2nd printing cover

Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca Unleash a New Story in Star Wars #38!

Fans were blown away by their work in Darth Vader, and we fell in love with a rogue archaeologist in Doctor Aphra. Marvel has announced that writer Kieron Gillen will continue to bring his exciting storytelling to a galaxy far, far away along with artist Salvador Larocca when Gillen takes over as the writer for Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars title this fall.

Following the events of The Screaming Citadel, Luke and Leia have faced their own set of challenges, crash-landing on a remote island after being pursued by the Empire. Now, Team Skywalker is gearing up to fight again – in the name of the Rebellion!

It’s a new day for the Star Wars universe, when Gillen and Larocca team up to take the reins on Star Wars #38!

Review: X-Men: No More Humans

X-Men_No_More_Humans_CoverAmong my fellow comic book peers it is no secret that I was not the biggest fan of Brian Bendis’ run with the X-Men flagship titles.  For me he failed to connect strongly with the rich tradition of the X-Men, presented some disjointed characterization and overall was just not able to invigorate the franchise. Bendis is a great breaker of toys, and lover of controversy. Where this worked to great effect on his run during Avengers, this ethos fell very flat with the X-Men. One of the outgrowths of Bendis‘ run was the arrival of the future brotherhood of evil mutants In the aftermath of Battle of the Atom.

The prospect of a future brotherhood had great promise, and presented a unique and unprecedented threat to the x-men and their mission. With the countervailing presence of the time displaced original five X-Men from the past, we had a very high concept status quo for this era’s X-Men, the struggle and legacy of Xavier’s dream played out on the landscape of space and time. This should have breathed new life into the X-Men, unfortunately under Bendis‘ pen it did not. For all their grandeur and theatrics the future brotherhood were quickly relegated to irrelevance.  Additionally further follow-up stories were beleaguered non sensical and flashy non sequiturs. Seriously, in what universe would Charles Xavier willingly procreate with Mystique?

All that said Mike Carey’s graphic Novel X-Men: No More Humans presents a brief yet enjoyable salve to these problems. In my opinion Carey’s primary strength has always centered on his portrayal of relationships and his dutiful and faithful approach to characterizations. All characters under Carey’s pen have their own voice, and the interactions amongst the characters he writes are authentic and reflective of all those voices whether harmonious or discordant.  In X-Men: No More Humans Raze a future brotherhood member (and mystique and wolverine’s future son)* uses his future knowledge to enact a sweeping and blunt solution to the problem of mutant-human relations. Stealing technology that was (or will be ) used against mutants in the future., Raze manages to temporally displace all humans away from the earth. He then begins the second phase of his plan by bringing repressed mutants from alternate dimensions. This is the kind of threat from the future brotherhood I was waiting for. Anti-human sentiment matched with future knowledge. This not only presents the X-Men with a pressing moral dilemma and refugee crisis, it provides them with a superordinate goal that temporally galvanizes all of the X-Men factions which gives everyone the opportunity to reassess their mission as well as the future for mutantkind.

Interactions among Magneto- Mystique, Magneto and the Maximoff twins are heartfelt, nostalgic and build on as well as affirms years of storytelling. They also provide some thought provoking philosophical argument.  Many characters get a moment to shine given their own unique take on the state of mutantkind and how they believe the solution should be approached given the current crisis.  What we get as a result is a stimulating commentary on mutant human relations and a refreshing X-Men reunion.

X-Men: No More Humans is not a perfect story. While it’s nice to see the X-Men discuss the philosophy of their seemingly splintered visions, and working together, the resolution arrives via deus ex machina with an intervention from the phoenix force. A very  overused plot element in my opinion. The flashy and cosmic muscle flexing of the Phoenix force are nice to  look at but its use and intervention ultimately renders all the philosophical considerations and plot progression moot. We essentially get a big reset button setting everything back to the same before the crisis began, with the exception of Raze being taken out of play with a cosmic spank from the Phoenix. (Perhaps a tongue in cheek commentary of the future brotherhood from Carey). While this was a plausible solution given the interdimensional nature of the crisis it ultimately felt uninspired and too easy.

The art was colorful and the extradimensional panels (i.e the null space) were amazing to look at. Larroca also captured the frightful eeriness of an empty Time Square quite well, it felt like you were there. I still have issue with how he draws faces ( I feel they can be uniform)  but this is a minor gripe that in no way detracts from his work on this book which look diligent and polished overall.  X-Men: No More Humans is not essential reading, but in my opinion it stands as the last great X-story/X-dilemma prior to Secret Wars.

Final Thoughts

* So in this apparent future Mystique has child with both Xavier and Wolverine, which is odd timeline wise and logistically given Wolverine’s recent death.

I loved that the secondary villain is a mere human employing stolen alternate dimension technology. For some reason I just loved the simplicity of that.

Story: Mike Carey Art: Salvador Larocca
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Read

Preview: Frank Castle Returns – A First Look at The Punisher #1!

This February, Frank Castle’s one-man-war on crime continues in an all-new The Punisher #1 – from the explosive creative team of Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads! For years, the Punisher has called New York City his home – keeping a watchful eye on the city through the sight of a gun. But when a lead on a major source of drugs, weapons, and more leads Frank out west – he sets his sights on Los Angeles. And the City of Angels isn’t ready for a devil like the Punisher! But not everything is as it appears, and Frank will soon find himself toe-to-toe with a highly trained military strike force known only as the 131! Who are the mysterious 131? And why are they out for the Punisher’s head?

THE PUNISHER #1 (DEC130627)
Written by NATHAN EDMONDSON
Art & Cover by MITCH GERADS
Variant Cover by SALVADOR LAROCCA
Animal Variant by CHRIS SAMNEE and Young Variant
by SKOTTIE YOUNG Also Available!
FOC – 1/13/2014, On-Sale – 2/05/2014

The_Punisher_1_Cover

It All Starts Here – Your First Look at All-New Marvel NOW! Point One!

The most popular characters. The most acclaimed creators. The most ambitious stories. This is the recharged All-New Marvel NOW!

And it’s starting right NOW! Marvel has released a very first look at All-New Marvel NOW! Point One – your one-stop jumping on point into the world of All-New Marvel NOW!

Featuring a star-studded creative cast, All-New Marvel NOW! Point One features exciting new lead-in stories for Loki: Agent of Asgard, Silver Surfer, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, All-New Invaders and Avengers World!

Join some of the industry’s top talent this January as they take the Marvel Universe in a brand new direction – starting with brand new stories providing a clean entry point for six of the hottest new series of 2014!

ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1 (NOV130543)
Written by DAN SLOTT, AL EWING, JAMES ROBINSON, NATHAN EDMONDSON, G. WILLOW WILSON & NICK SPENCER
Art by MICHAEL ALLRED, LEE GARBETT, STEVE PUGH, PHIL NOTO, ADRIAN ALPHONA & RAGS MORALES
Cover by SALVADOR LAROCCA
Variant Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN
FOC – 12/09/2014, On-Sale – 01/08/2014

ANMN_Point_One_Silver_Surfer

Fear Itself Targets War Machine And The Immortal Weapons!

Official Press Release

FEAR ITSELF Targets War Machine And The Immortal Weapons!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Iron Man 2.0 #5, from red hot writer Nick Spencer and acclaimed artist Ariel Olivetti! Fear Itself is rampaging across the Marvel Universe and War Machine heads into the fight! But when Rhodey’s high-tech weapons fail, there’s only one team to turn to – Iron Fist and the Immortal Weapons! With an earthly invasion from Asgard’s dark gods now in full force, it’ll take the combined might of Jim Rhodes’ brilliant military mind and the Immortal Iron Fist’s mystical martial arts to disable the God of Fear’s monstrous Worthy. It’s a  close-quarters fight against Fear Itself and it begins this May, only in Iron Man 2.0 #5!

IRON MAN 2.0 #5 (MAR110626)
Written by NICK SPENCER
Art by ARIEL OLIVETTI
Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA
Rated T+ …$2.99
FOC – 5/2/11. On Sale – 5/25/11

Iron Man 2.0 #5 Cover Read more

Random Thoughts


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*Getting a little tired of the relentless Thor cross-promotion. Thor meets X-Factor!  Thor meets Power Pack!  Thor meets Deadpool!  Thor meets Howard the Duck!  Only one of these is fake.

*Maybe Marvel should tone it down a bit with the existential threats to the universe.  They are coming a little too often these days.  Zombies, Kang, the Chaos King, the Cancerverse, the Elder Gods and who knows how many others have tried to destroy everything.  And that was just in December.

*I’ve discovered I really prefer comics to have superheroes or the supernatural.  No matter how good other stuff is, I still prefer something super in my comics.

*Week 37 of DC’s 52 really gives away one of the biggest secrets and best mysteries of the whole thing.  Maybe the biggest/best, since I haven’t finished it yet.  I really hate when a cover gives away a key plot point.

*So I’m reading Countdown to Final Crisis and I note that the Monitors refer to human beings in the collective as “man.”  Why would they have our gender pronoun bias?  That’s either offensive or lazy writing.  Talking to you, Dan Jurgens.

*I really, really hate the crazy re-numbering and then again also re-numbering stuff that Marvel does.  The latest issue of Iron Man is #500.  The issue before that was #33.  Annoying and convoluted nonsense.

*Really looking forward to Age of X.

*Saw Scott Pilgrim last night, it totally lived up to the hype and is one of my favorite movies of the last 2-3 years.  Now on to the comics.  Last time this happened was with Kick-Ass.  Loved the movie, then read the comics and loved them even more.  Expect the same of Scott Pilgrim.

*Is it me or is Brian Michael Bendis‘s Luke Cage the best Luke Cage ever? (Hint: It’s not me)

*Am I the only one who thinks that Salvador Larocca‘s Tony Stark is the spitting image of a dark-haired Sawyer from Lost?

*I understand that the Walking Dead Weekly series is a cynical cash-in on the new popularity of the Walking Dead after the television series success.  I’m okay with that.  It still brings one of the greatest comic book series and zombie tales to more people, since the original early issues are expensive to buy, individually-speaking.  Sure, you can buy them in the trade paperbacks cheaper, but nothing beats the feeling of issue-to-issue reading of the series…

*Chaos War is over and the ending was pretty good for a mediocre series, overall.  Hopefully Fear Itself will be better than Chaos War or Shadowland.

*One thing I like about Chaos War and some other recent Marvel stuff is the fact that the usual “pow” and “wham” exclamations have been replaced with other words that are simply exaggerated.  From Chaos War #5, we have “Haikooooom” after a very good Haiku reference, “Gutssss” as Hercules gets hit in the stomach, “Chsstbsster” as Herc gets punched through the chest, “Godyslam” as the Chaos King gets slammed to the Earth and many others.  Some of them require you to think a bit more and try to figure out the connection, but they are very cool.  Don’t know who is responsible for them, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Khoi Pham or someone else.  I’ve seen them elsewhere, but can’t remember where.  Whoever and whatever is the source, I’m a big fan and I encourage more of this.

Fantastic Four #587 Is On FIRE – Nuff Said!

Official Press Release

FANTASTIC FOUR #587 Is On FIRE – Nuff Said!

The smash-hit Fantastic Four #587 has sold out at Diamond before hitting stands and will be immediately going back to press with Fantastic Four #587 Second Printing Variant! Featuring a cover from Marvel Chief Creative Officer and megastar artist Joe Quesada, no fan can miss this! Finally the soul crushing end to one of Marvel’s most historic characters, the Human Torch, has arrived and everyone wants to know how! After an overwhelming response from worldwide mainstream media, Fantastic Four #587 Second Printing Variant is being rushed out to comic shops to meet the demand of all the new fans who came in on Tuesday the 25th and long time readers who came in today!

“The response to Fantastic Four #587 has been phenomenal and we want to thank the retailers for supporting the book to make this a success. It’s because of them we’re able to bring this acclaimed run to people outside the industry.” exclaims Marvel SVP of Sales, David Gabriel. “With all the extra attention our books have acquired recently, it’s tough trying to keep all of our critically acclaimed titles on store shelves so they’re readily available for fans new and old.”

The Fantastic Four aren’t the only ones who have everyone talking, because Amazing Spider-Man #651, Amazing Spider-Man #652 and Invincible Iron Man #500 have all sold out at Diamond (though copies may still be available at retail) and will be returning to comic shop shelves with second printings nationwide! Ever since Peter Parker landed a job and hit the Big Time, fans can not get enough of Spider-Man’s newest adventures resulting in five straight sell-outs! Also, the landmark anniversary issue of Invincible Iron Man, brings fans a pulse-pounding paradigm shift as “The New Iron Age” blasts open a new chapter in the history of a Marvel icon. Be sure to get in on all the Marvel action as all of these great books return to comic shops next month.

FANTASTIC FOUR #587 SECOND PRINTING VARIANT (DEC108134)

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN

Pencils by STEVE EPTING

Cover by JOE QUESADA

Rated A …$3.99

FOC – 1/31/11, On Sale 2/23/11

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #651 SECOND PRINTING VARIANT (DEC108139)

Written by DAN SLOTT

Pencils and Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS

Rated A …$3.99

FOC – 2/7/11, On Sale 2/23/11

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #652 SECOND PRINTING VARIANT (DEC108140)

Written by DAN SLOTT

Pencils and Cover by STEFANO CASELLI

Rated A …$3.99

FOC – 2/7/11, On Sale 2/23/11

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500 SECOND PRINTING VARIANT (DEC108141)

Written by MATT FRACTION

Pencils by SALVADOR LAROCCA, NATHAN FOX, KANO & CARMINE DIGIANDOMENICO

Cover by SALVADOR LAROCCA

Rated A …$4.99

FOC – 2/7/11, On Sale 2/23/11

Fantastic Four #587 2nd printingInvincible Iron Man #500 2nd printing

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