Tag Archives: todd klein

Review: Miracleman: The Silver Age #1

Miracleman: The Silver Age #1

After almost 30 years, writer Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham are finally going to conclude one of the great superhero epics, Miracleman, wrapping up the unfinished “Silver Age” storyline and maybe even getting to the long-awaited “Dark Age” arc where Miracleman’s utopia collapses and the corrupted, twisted Kid Miracleman returns. But, before getting to the new material, Gaiman and Buckingham serve up remastered versions of the first two issues of “Silver Age” with new coloring from Jordie Bellaire. Basically, Miracleman: The Silver Age #1 is a remastered version of Miracleman #23, and it’s all about Young Miracleman coming back from the dead after 40 years and honestly being freaked out and appalled by the new utopia he lives in, especially when Miracleman tells him about the Alan Moore retcon that all his “adventures” in the classic Marvelman comics were just a fantasy dream world created by the evil Gargunza. This is bookended by the a look in on what the young superheroes of this era are up to aka mostly nostalgia exercises, which is as much a commentary on the genre as it is on the world we live in where an almost 40 year old song topped the charts this summer and a 77 year old comic book character is topping the box office.

Unlike the “Golden Age” stories which mainly focused on different citizens of Miracleman’s utopian world, Miracleman: The Silver Age #1 returns the focus on superheroes, especially adolescent ones. Mark Buckingham and Bellaire may portray the superhero battle between Jenda, Zapster, and Klingstor the Galaxtron as a brightly colored, double page spread punch-fest, but it’s just kids playing in their backyard as drawn by Jack Kirby in the 1960s with one of the Miracle children basically having the ability to shapeshift into different Kirby monsters. They live in a perfect world, there’s no crime or supervillains so they fight each other in the ruins of old skyscrapers and clean up the debris before one of the adults notice. The Miracle children are the like the classic Legion of Superheroes with just a dash of the 1990s sarcasm. However, they’re quickly turned from their pointless fisticuffs to the human drama of Young Miracleman waking up because emotional conflict and tension is always more interesting than action figure battles. (And if you combine both, it’s a fucking masterpiece aka Miracleman #15)

Buckingham and Jordie Bellaire do a pastiche of modern and Golden Age art styles for the scenes with Young Miracleman that correlates well to Neil Gaiman’s 1950s British style dialogue. Seriously, I felt like Young Miracleman was one of the kids from Chronicles of Narnia or something, and it especially comes out when he’s alone again with Miracleman and slut shames Miraclewoman and is racist towards Huey Moon and xenophobic towards the the aliens that were responsible for bringing him back to the dead. It totally makes sense that someone born in the 1940s would act that way, especially if they’ve been in a coma since 1963 and reminds me of what Mark Millar did with Captain America in the Ultimates albeit with more restraint and a decade before. Gaiman and Buckingham lean into the trauma behind Young Miracleman’s beaming, innocent face, and although he doesn’t leave Olympus, there’s a general feeling of unease with even the Miracle children feeling sorry for them even as they have one last play battle as the issue wraps up.

Miracleman: The Silver Age #1 succeeds as an old/new first issue reintroducing the current status quo of Miracleman and his utopian world while providing insightful commentary on youth, the superhero genre, and the mixed bag that is nostalgia through the return of Young Miracleman and the activities of the Miracle children. Jordie Bellaire’s colors are a near perfect fusion of the old Eclipse books, classic comics, and modern techniques while Mark Buckingham’s use of double page spreads add more energy and momentum to Neil Gaiman’s scripting. Miracleman isn’t as fresh in the 2020s because so many comics, TV shows, and films have borrowed from whether intentionally or unintentionally, but dealing with trauma and the aimlessness of youth will always universal struggles.

Story: Neil Gaiman Art: Mark Buckingham 
Colors: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Todd Klein
Story: 8.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

Amazing Fantasy #1000

(W) Kurt Busiek, Various (A) Jim Cheung, Various (CA) John Romita Jr.
RATED T
In Shops: Aug 31, 2022
SRP: $7.99

The comic that brought you SPIDER-MAN hits issue #1000! We’re going big to celebrate in this, our thousandth issue of AMAZING FANTASY! An ALL-STAR roster of creators – Anthony Falcone, Dan Slott, Ho Che Anderson, Jonathan Hickman, Kurt Busiek, Michael Cho, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jim Cheung, Marco Checchetto, Olivier Coipel, Ryan Stegman, Steve McNiven, Terry Dodson, Todd Nauck, and more – are coming together to celebrate Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s birthdays!

Amazing Fantasy #1000

Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

Amazing Fantasy #1000

(W) Kurt Busiek, Various (A) Jim Cheung, Various (CA) John Romita Jr.
RATED T
In Shops: Aug 31, 2022
SRP: $7.99

The comic that brought you SPIDER-MAN hits issue #1000! We’re going big to celebrate in this, our thousandth issue of AMAZING FANTASY! An ALL-STAR roster of creators – Anthony Falcone, Dan Slott, Ho Che Anderson, Jonathan Hickman, Kurt Busiek, Michael Cho, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jim Cheung, Marco Checchetto, Olivier Coipel, Ryan Stegman, Steve McNiven, Terry Dodson, Todd Nauck, and more – are coming together to celebrate Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s birthdays!

Amazing Fantasy #1000

Colleen Doran, Greg Hildebrandt and Joe Jusko Join Comics for Ukraine

Last week, more than three dozen comic-book writers, artists, colorists, letterers, designers, and editors announced a collection of all-new comic-book stories to raise money to aid refugees in Ukraine. Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds, the benefit anthology edited by Scott Dunbier, with all proceeds going to Operation USA, surpassed an initial $35,000 funding goal just twelve hours after the campaign launched, with over $113,000 from over 900 contributors raised to date. The book will be full-color, 96 pages, 8 x 12 inches, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions, with hundreds of supporters on day one. As the campaign enters a second week of funding, it is announced that Eisner Award-winner Colleen Doran, legendary illustrator Greg Hildebrandt, and celebrated cover artist Joe Jusko have joined the project.

These three creators join the incredible roster of comics talent assembled for Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seedsunited under the mission of providing relief to a war-torn Ukraine, which has suffered attacks from neighboring Russia since late February. There will be multiple versions available: a hardcover with a painted cover by Alex Ross, and softcover versions by Arthur Adams, Dave Johnson, and Bill Sienkiewicz. At press time, stories will be created by a virtual who’s who of writers and artists, including Brent Anderson, Sergio Aragones, June Brigman, Kurt Busiek, Howard Chaykin, Joshua Dysart, Mark Evanier, Emil Ferris, Dave Gibbons, Rob Guillory, John Layman, Gabriel Rodriguez, Stan Sakai, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Chris Sprouse, Jill Thompson, Matt Wagner, Mark Waid, and more.

Apart from hard costs (printing, credit-card fees, marketing, etc.) all of the funds raised by Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds will benefit the relief efforts in Ukraine in partnership with Operation USA, so while the initial funding goal has been met, continued support will maximize the impact on the lives of those deeply affected by the ongoing war—improving conditions for Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries via the provision of emergency grants and in-kind material aid. 

Operation USA supports health and education programs to help children and families at home and abroad recover and thrive in the wake of disasters, disease, violence and endemic poverty.  Every day, they strive to meet the needs of under-served and overlooked populations so that future generations may have the tools they need to create meaningful change in their own communities and lives. Working with partners around the world, they empower communities to recover, build resiliency and thrive in the face of pervasive obstacles during a time of unprecedented global need. Since 1979, OpUSA has delivered $450 million in aid to 101 countries.

Comics for Ukraine

Disclosure: The site founder is a part of this project handling some of the marketing for Zoop

Comics for Ukraine Brings Comic Creators Together for a Cause

More than three dozen comic-book writers, artists, colorists, letterers, designers, and editors have announced a collection of all-new comic-book stories to raise money to aid refugees in Ukraine. Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds is a benefit anthology edited by Scott Dunbier, with all proceeds going to Operation USA. The 96 page graphic anthology will available in both hardcover and softcover editions with multiple cover choices.

The Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds anthology features an incredible roster of comics talent united under the mission of providing relief to the war-torn Ukraine, which has suffered attacks from neighboring Russia since late February. There will be multiple versions available.

Covers:

  • Alex Ross
  • Arthur Adams
  • Dave Johnson
  • Bill Sienkiewicz

Stories:

  • Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Wade Von Grawbadger, Alex Sinclair, Richard Starkings – New Astro City
  • John Layman, Rob Guillory – New Chew
  • Walter Simonson, Laura Martin, John Workman – New and Exclusive Star Slammers
  • Howard Chaykin, Nitro Yen, Ken Bruzenak – New and Exclusive American Flagg
  • Stan Sakai, Hi-Fi – New and Exclusive Usagi Yojimbo
  • Matt Wagner, Brennan Wagner – New and Exclusive Grendel
  • Mark Evanier, Sergio Aragones, Stan Sakai – New and Exclusive Groo
  • Jill Thompson – New and Exclusive Scary Godmother
  • Louise Simonson, June Brigman, Roy Richardson, Dave Stewart, John Workman – New and Exclusive short story “The Cost of War
  • Dave Gibbons, Chris Sprouse, Kevin Nowlan, Laura Martin, Todd Klein – New and Exclusive short story “Hardrada
  • Mark Waid, Gabriel Rodriguez, Dave Stewart, Todd Klein – A new and exclusive short story
  • Emil Ferris – New and Exclusive short story “Bombings

Additional material by:

  • Joshua Dysart
  • Pia Guerra
  • Peter Kuper

With the exception of hard costs (printing, credit-card fees, marketing, etc.) all of the funds raised by Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds will benefit the relief efforts in Ukraine in partnership with Operation USA.

Operation USA supports health and education programs to help children and families at home and abroad recover and thrive in the wake of disasters, disease, violence and endemic poverty.  Every day, we strive to meet the needs of under-served and overlooked populations so that future generations may have the tools they need to create meaningful change in their own communities and lives. Working with partners around the world, we empower communities to recover, build resiliency and thrive in the face of pervasive obstacles during a time of unprecedented global need. Since 1979, OpUSA has delivered $450 million in aid to 101 countries.

Check out the cover by Alex Ross below.

Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds

Disclosure: I am a part of this project and act as the marketing director for Zoop.

Echolands #2 Heads Back to Print

The eye popping new release to hit shelves—Echolands #2 by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer Todd Klein—has hit big with readers and sold out completely at the distributor level. Image will fast-track the issue for a reprint in order to keep up with growing customer demand.

In Echolands #2, Hope Redhood and her companions, Cor, Caniff, Castrum, Dena, Rabbit, and Rosa, are on the run from the Wizard, Teros Demond, and his terrifying daughter. Why is the Wizard willing to kill to regain his stolen gem? Can Hope and her crew escape the strange robots lurking in the tunnels beneath San Francisco? And will they survive a betrayal by the pirate captain, Bloody Gums?

This breathtaking series defies comic book medium expectations and provides an unforgettable feast-for-the-eyes in a sprawling landscape format. Each spread page expertly showcases the artwork and the unique reading experience instantly sent fans abuzz with excitement for its mesmerizing story.

Set in a bizarre future world that has forgotten its history, Echolands follows reckless thief Hope Redhood. Hope holds the key to excavating a strange, dark past—but only if she and her crew can escape a tyrannical wizard and his unstoppable daughter. But fate will send them all on a path leading to a war between worlds.

Echolands is a mythic fiction epic where anything is possible; a fast-paced genre mashup adventure that combines everything from horror movie vampires to classic mobsters and cyborg elves, to Roman demigods and retro rocket ships. It’s going to be a helluva ride!

Echolands #2, second printing Cover A (Diamond Code AUG218991) and Echolands #2, second printing Cover B 1:25 copy incentive (Diamond Code AUG218992) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, November 17.

Echolands #1 Sells Out and Gets a New Printing

The highly anticipated Echolands #1 by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer Todd Klein launched to immense critical acclaim and has sold out completely at the distributor level. The debut issue is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with escalating demand.

This breathtaking launch defies comic book medium expectations and provides an unforgettable feast-for-the-eyes in a sprawling landscape format. Each spread page expertly showcases the artwork and the unique reading experience instantly sent fans abuzz with excitement for its mesmerizing story.  

Set in a bizarre future world that has forgotten its history, Echolands follows reckless thief Hope Redhood. Hope holds the key to excavating a strange, dark past—but only if she and her crew can escape a tyrannical wizard and his unstoppable daughter. But fate will send them all on a path leading to a war between worlds.

Echolands is a mythic fiction epic where anything is possible; a fast-paced genre mashup adventure that combines everything from horror movie vampires to classic mobsters and cyborg elves, to Roman demigods and retro rocket ships. It’s going to be a helluva ride!

Echolands #1, second printing Cover A (Diamond Code JUN219179) and Echolands #1, second printing Cover B 1:25 copy incentive (Diamond Code JUN219180) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 6.

Available on Wednesday, September 29:

  • Echolands #2 Cover A by Williams III – Diamond Code JUL210225
  • Echolands #2 Cover B by Sampson – Diamond Code JUL210226
  • Echolands Raw Cut Edition #1 Cover A by Williams III – Diamond Code JUL210058
  • Echolands Raw Cut Edition #1 Cover B by Williams III – Diamond Code JUL210059

Fables Returns with Fables #151 and Batman vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham

Once upon a time, fans met the characters of Fabletown, the hidden city populated by legendary heroes and villains of fairy tales and folklore. Now, in celebration of its upcoming 20th anniversary, the bestselling series Fables is picking up where it left off—and expanding into the DC Universe. To celebrate 20 years, two new releases featuring the Fables world has been announced.

First, on sale in September, Batman vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham sees Fables’s infamous sleuth Bigby Wolf go head-to-head with the world’s greatest detective, Batman, in this six-issue spinoff miniseries from DC Black Label. Written by Bill Willingham with pencils by Brian Level, inks by Jay Leisten, and colors by Lee Loughridge, this crossover detective story will delight fans of both Batman and Fables—or fans who just love a good noir mystery.

Then, on sale the first week of May 2022, the main story line continues with Fables #151—just in time for the 20th anniversary of Fables #1. Fables #151 is the first installment of “The Black Forest,” a 12-issue arc that picks up where the story left off in Fables #150, and is also a perfect jumping-on point for new readers. The series also reunites the core creative team, with pencils by Mark Buckingham, inks by Steve Leialoha, colors by Lee Loughridge, and letters by Todd Klein.

Bill Willingham’s return to DC will also include Cursemas, a 48-page standalone holiday special featuring the Justice League. 

J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein Launch Echolands in August

Image has revealed the anticipated Echolands series by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer Todd Klein. This long-awaited comic book event from the multiple award-winning Batwoman creative team will launch from Image Comics in August and push the boundaries of storytelling to its limits.

The new series will present a sprawling, eye-popping tale and feature lush, career-defining artwork and a mesmerizing story in a unique landscape format. Each issue of the series will offer a Raw Cut edition, featuring the art from J.H. Williams III as it looked when leaving his work studio.

Set in a bizarre future world that has forgotten its history, Echolands follows a reckless thief Hope Redhood. Hope holds the key to excavating a strange, dark past—but only if she and her crew can escape a tyrannical wizard and his unstoppable daughter. But fate will send them all on a path leading to a war between worlds. 

Echolands is a mythic fiction epic where anything is possible; a fast-paced genre mashup adventure that combines everything from horror movie vampires to classic mobsters and cyborg elves, to Roman demigods and retro rocket ships. It’s going to be a helluva ride!

Echolands #1 Cover A (Diamond Code JUN210009) and Echolands #1 Cover B (Diamond Code JUN210010) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, August 25.

Review: Batman: Black & White #1

Batman: Black & White #1

Anthology series are always something I enjoy to read in comics. In a comic, you get varied voices and styles, getting to see what creators you might not read would do with characters. It’s also a chance to see what different creators would do in the same sandbox. That often results in a lot of variation showing how versatile comics and their characters can be. Batman: Black & White #1 kicks off a new series with one hell of a start.

Batman: Black & White #1 is one of the best anthologies I’ve read in some time. While the stories are varied and interesting, this debut issue’s art is what really stands out. There’s a common theme, beyond Batman, of artists breaking the mold delivering visuals that “break the page”.

With five stories, Batman: Black & White #1 gives us variation not just in styles but the perspectives and subjects. There’s some “traditional” Batman focused stories but others come from different perspectives. The opening for example is told from the perspective of a member of the League of Assassins.

Each story is entertaining in their own way. They are varied in pacing, tone, and focus, keeping things interesting. Some keep things more traditional in the narrative while others are presented in a more poetic style. The dialogue and types of stories alone are worth picking up the issue. But, it’s the art that really stands out in this issue.

The styles of art vary but they all have one thing in common. Each story breaks traditional page layouts and panels. The opening story uses Batman’s cape to break up the sequences, another is laid out like poem flowing across the page. Another story uses the pearls of Bruce Wayne’s mother to break up the page. In an amazing visual, art from throughout the years is laid out on page like a collage of Batman’s history. You’ll linger on every page in awe as to what’s been laid out. Every inch of the page is used and used well. Only one of the stories comes close to expected page layouts and even then, that tale delivers a lot for Batman fans in the background.

All of that is delivered in black and white.

Batman: Black & White #1 is a hell of a start to the series. It had me lingering on pages in awe of what was before me and wanting more. It shows off some amazing art and will have you longing for more of this and fewer boxes on the page. This is a fantastic issue for Batman fans and fans of beautiful art. It also creates a high bar for future issues to reach.

Story: James Tynion IV, J.H. Williams III, G. Willow Wilson, Emma Rios, Paul Dini
Art: Tradd Moore, J.H. Williams III, Greg Smallwood, Emma Rios, Andy Kubert, Dexter Soy
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Todd Klein, Clem Robins, Steve Wands, Rob Leigh
Story 8.45 Art: 10 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

« Older Entries