Tag Archives: witchblade

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.

Image Comics’ #WeBelieve Focuses on Artists with Wraparound Covers

Image Comics has revealed the first seven of 14 exclusive virgin wraparound covers in celebration of artists and the importance and impact they have in defining the comics medium. We Believe in Artists will be the first of many initiatives throughout Image’s planned #WeBelieve 2018 campaign highlighting the important, lately overlooked components of the comics industry.

Comics is a visual storytelling medium with artwork as the driving force behind the narrative, tone, and spirit of a comic book’s sequential narrative. Image Comics hopes to cast a spotlight for fans and members of the comic book community on the momentous significance a piece of artwork can have to sell these stories to readers.

Without titles, endorsement quotes, names, logos, or jacket copy, these wraparound covers feature solely the masterpiece artwork that fans won’t want to miss out on experiencing.

The following bestselling series will feature one of these exclusive, undressed, breathtaking collectors’ covers.

Available on Wednesday, March 7th, final order cutoff deadline on Monday, February 12th:

  • Extremity #12 (Diamond Code JAN180743) by Daniel Warren Johnson
  • I Hate Fairyland #17 (Diamond Code JAN180756) by Skottie Young
  • The Wicked + The Divine #34 (Diamond Code JAN180654) by Jamie McKelvie
  • Witchblade #4 (Diamond Code JAN180875) by Roberta Ingranata

Available on Wednesday, March 14th, final order cutoff deadline on Monday, February 19th:

  • Curse Words #12 (Diamond Code JAN180722) by Ryan Browne
  • Deadly Class #32 (Diamond Code JAN180624) by Wes Craig
  • Maestros #6 (Diamond Code JAN180797) by Nicholas Pitarra
  • VS #2 (Diamond Code JAN180842) by Esad Ribić

Available on Wednesday, March 21st, final order cutoff deadline on Monday, February 26th:

  • Kill or be Killed #17 (Diamond Code JAN180793) by Sean Phillips
  • Monstress #15 (Diamond Code JAN180801) by Yoshi Yoshitani
  • Rumble #4 (Diamond Code JAN180820) by David Rubín

Available on Wednesday, March 28th, final order cutoff deadline on Monday, March 5th:

  • Beauty #21 (Diamond Code JAN180700) by Jeremy Haun
  • Spawn #284 (Diamond Code JAN180831) by Todd McFarlane
  • East of West #37 (Diamond Code DEC178255) by Nick Dragotta

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d you all get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Root – How io9’s Evan Narcisse Went From Writing About Comics to Writing Rise of the Black Panther – For those interested in writing comics.

CBR – Snowpiercer Ordered to Series By TNT – Hells yes!

The Beat – “Black Widow” Film Enlists Screenwriter Jac Schaeffer – About damn time.

The Comichron – Batman: Dark Prince Charming leads advance reorders; Hawkman Found #1 repeats – Not too surprised by this based on responses to our review.

The Ithaca Voice – Downtown Ithaca: 2 new restaurants, expanded comic book shop – Congrats on expanding!

 

Reviews

IGN – Avengers #675

IGN – Old Man Hawkeye #1

IGN – Phoenix Resurrection #3

Comics Bulletin – Rocko’s Modern Life #2

IGN – Star Wars: Darth Vader #10

Comics Bulletin – Witchblade #2

Witchblade #1 is a New Spin and Getting a Second Printing

Fans fell in love with Alex Underwood—writer Caitlin Kittredge and artist Roberta Ingranata’s newest Witchblade host—in Witchblade #1‘s fresh spin on the classic comic series. Witchblade was first co-created by Image Comics co-founder and partner, Marc Silvestri, with Brian Haberlin, Michael Turner, and David Wohl, and launched as an all-new series last week to overwhelming critical acclaim. It will be fast-tracked for a second printing in order to keep up with increasing customer demand.

A journalist who thinks she’s seen it all… Underwood is a contemporary character with an already storied past—and an unlikely recipient of the ancient and powerful artifact known as the Witchblade—who immediately captured the imaginations of fans.

This new Witchblade #1 drops readers into the action from page one. Gunned down and left for dead on a New York rooftop, Alex Underwood’s life should have ended there—but instead, at the moment of death, she became host to the Witchblade, a mystical artifact that grants the woman wielding it extraordinary powers. But the power comes with a heavy cost, and Alex finds herself thrust into the center of an unseen battle raging on the snowy streets of NYC. Demons are real and walking among humans, and every one of them is intent on taking out the Witchblade’s newest host before she becomes too strong to kill. But the artifact chose Alex for a reason—and she’s not going down without a fight.

Witchblade #1, 2nd printing (Diamond Code NOV178001) and Witchblade #2 (Diamond Code NOV170871) will be available on Wednesday, January 10th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, December 18th.

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d folks get? What’d you like? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below. While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

The Beat – Report: Kids graphic novel sales up 25% in 2015-16 – Interesting and good news.

Hollywood Reporter – Why ‘Sabrina’ Bailed on ‘Riverdale’ to Launch on Netflix – Interesting reasons.

 

Reviews

ICv2 – Bolivar

Comicosity – Witchblade #1

Review: Witchblade #1

“LIFE AFTER,” Part One Gunned down and left for dead on a New York rooftop, Alex Underwood’s life should have ended there—but instead, at the moment of death, she became host to the Witchblade, a mystical artifact that grants the woman wielding it extraordinary powers. But the power comes with a heavy cost, and Alex finds herself thrust into the center of an unseen battle raging on the snowy streets of NYC. Demons are real and walking among humans, and every one of them is intent on taking out the Witchblade’s newest host before she becomes too strong to kill. But the artifact chose Alex for a reason, and she’s not going down without a fight.

Writer Caitlin Kittredge delivers an intense start in a brand new Witchblade, with a brand new host and direction. The new protagonist Alex is driven by a desire for justice and that’s evident through her work within the Witness Aid Service Unit for the police department. Alex’s case involves an abusive police officer which unto itself feels like a statement by Kittredge that sets her Witchblade apart. Corrupt police. Spousal abuse. These are some weighty topics as a backdrop to an issue.

The art by Roberta Igranata delivers a somewhat grounded style to the first issue that incorporates fantastical elements to the experience. Igranata reveals snapshots Alex’s life, death, and her rebirth through flashbacks. And through the art it hints at the supernatural forces that are against the Witchblade. While it’d be easy to recreate what has come before, Igranata delivers a new visual experience that’s clear by the issue’s last panel. This isn’t what we’ve seen before and feels like something new.

It’s been too long since we last saw Witchblade with some false starts, but it’s nice to see any take and especially one that works so well in its debut issue.

Story: Caitlin Kittredge Art: Roberta Ingranata
Color: Bryan Valenza Letters: Troy Peteri

Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Caitlin Kittredge and Roberta Ingranata Bring Back Witchblade this December

Writer Caitlin Kittredge and artist Roberta Ingranata—join forces for an all-new story about one Alex Underwood, a journalist who thinks she’s seen it all… until she becomes the unlikely host to an ancient and powerful artifact known as the Witchblade. The ongoing series—first co-created by Image Comics co-founder and partner, Marc Silvestri, with Brian Haberlin, Michael Turner, and David Wohl—is set to launch this December.

Witchblade #1 drops readers into the action from page one. Gunned down and left for dead on a New York rooftop, Alex Underwood’s life should have ended there—but instead, at the moment of death, she became host to the Witchblade, a mystical artifact that grants the woman wielding it extraordinary powers. But the power comes with a heavy cost, and Alex finds herself thrust into the center of an unseen battle raging on the snowy streets of NYC. Demons are real and walking among humans, and every one of them is intent on taking out the Witchblade’s newest host before she becomes too strong to kill. But the artifact chose Alex for a reason, and she’s not going down without a fight.

Witchblade #1 (Diamond Code OCT170557) hits stores on Wednesday, December 6th. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, November 13th.

Around the Tubes

monsters_unleashed__1It’s a new week and we’ve got some fun stuff lined up, especially some actions you can take to make the world a little better.

While you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

AV Club – NBC developing a new Witchblade TV series – How many liked the original?

NPR – ‘Soviet Daughter’: How A Great-Grandmother’s Diary Became A Graphic Novel – This is a fantastic graphic novel. Go get it!

The Creators Project – An Artist Is Sharing His Mysterious Graphic Novel One Panel at a Time – This is really cool.

Kotaku – Sean Spicer Is A Fan Of Katsucon – I guess that’s one more con we’ll need to go to.

ICv2 – 2017: The Year Fan Cons Spread Their Wings – What conventions are your musts this year?

Newsarama – What Price Is Too High? Comics Retailers Talk Pricing & 2017 State of the Business – What price do you think is too high?

DC Comics – Breaking News: The Flash Musical Episode Gets an Airdate – Can’t wait for this!!!

The Beat – A year of free comics: Astro City #1 and more – Go read this.

The Beat – A year of free comics: Paradox by Phillip Sevy – Go read this too.

The Beat – A year of free comics EXCLUSIVE: read the complete issue Another Castle #1 – And read this.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Black Hammer Giant Sized Annual

Talking Comics – Monsters Unleashed #1

Talking Comics – WWE #1

Witchblade Celebrates Milestone Anniversary

Top Cow’s long-running Witchblade series, first launched in 1995 and created by Marc Silvestri, David Wohl, Brian Haberlin, and Michael Turner, will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a deluxe Witchblade 20th Anniversary “Art Of” hardcover, a Commemorative Lithograph, and will come to a jaw-dropping conclusion with Witchblade #185—the final issue.

In Witchblade #185, an era comes to a close with a double-size final issue of Sara Pezzini’s twenty-year run. Several previous Witchblade artists return to the title to send her off in style. The story resolves Sara’s return to New York, her relationship with Gleason, and her attempt to find a suitable bearer to give the Artifact to. Cover A by Michael Turner can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code AUG150499. Cover B by Keu Cha can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code AUG150500. Both will be available on October 14th.

Image/Top Cow is also pleased to release a deluxe Witchblade 20th Anniversary “Art Of” hardcover. This special, over-sized Witchblade hardcover will be a veritable who’s-who of comic artists with original content not previously seen in The Art of Witchblade. It can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code AUG150570, will hit shelves on October 28th, will be limited to 1,000 copies, and will never be reprinted.

There will also be a limited number of 11” x 17”, full-color Witchblade 20th Anniversary Commemorative Lithographs featuring art by Michael Turner available on October 28th that can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code AUG150504.

When Comic Book Film Costumes Stray

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of comic book-based films. New stories are optioned often, and the wait usually isn’t more than a couple of months for the next theatrical release. Part of the fun of following these adaptations is witnessing the choices made in transferring the bold costumes of the printed page to the silver screen. In any adaptation of material from one medium to another, changes are bound to happen, and sometimes for the better. Of course, it can also be disappointing when the choices unnecessarily stray from the established lore. Let’s take a look at a few of the most drastic examples of unfaithful costume choices in comic book films, and whether those changes were appropriate, or way off base.

In writing this article, I made a few rules to help keep things focused: 1) No animation, only live-action projects. 2) Nothing before Superman: The Movie in 1978, just to keep the comparisons relatively similar. 3) Any cases where the alter-ego of a comic character was introduced but not exhibiting powers (such as Dr. Curt Conners in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy; he never became The Lizard) was not eligible. 4) Characters created with heavy CGI (like The Hulk) were also in a different category, so they were out.

comic-punisherTHE PUNISHER, Dolph Lundgren, 1989.

1) Dolph Lundgren as The Punisher, The Punisher (1989): A cornerstone of most iconic superheroes is a symbol that sums up their mission and their persona. In the case of The Punisher, this is especially true. The skull emblazoned on his costume is a harbinger of death. And yet, in the first feature adaptation of The Punisher starring Dolph Lundgren, his black tactical gear featured no skull at all. There were tiny skulls on the knives that he used as weapons, but that was all. While this film debuted at a time when comic book films (especially those few licensed by Marvel) were not even a shadow of what they have become, it still doesn’t excuse the omission. Beyond the skull, the other parts of the costume are negotiable and variable, but the skull really ties it all together (to paraphrase The Dude). Whatever you may think of the 2004 and 2008 versions of the character, the filmmakers at least had the good sense to include the skull.

comic-x-men x-men-film-cast

2) The Main Cast of X-Men, X-Men (2000): After Blade became a surprise hit in 1998, Marvel upped the stakes by adapting the much-beloved X-Men. Under Bryan Singer’s guidance, the key word was realism, and that extended to the costumes. For the X-Men team, Singer decided on black leather uniforms with hints of color. While the idea of coordinated battle uniforms remained from the earliest comics, otherwise they were quite different from anything seen on the characters before. While at first it seemed that Singer’s choices unnecessarily toned down the bold world of the X-Men, it proved to be a wise choice in the bigger picture. X-Men was a pivotal film in legitimizing the comic book film to worldwide audiences. While Blade may have cracked the door, X-Men pushed it further so that 2002’s Spider-Man could kick it open. Viewing it through that perspective, the care that Bryan Singer and his team took in creating an X-Men film for the masses seems downright prophetic. A film that completely tackled all the outrageousness of the X-Men comics could have alienated some viewers, perhaps causing a much different comic movie landscape.

comic-witchbladeWitchblade Complete TV Series on DVD, starring Yancy Butler as Sara Pezzini

3) Yancy Butler as Det. Sara Pezzini/Witchblade, Witchblade (2001 – 2002): Of all properties to be adapted to basic cable television, Witchblade must have been far down most people’s list. But it was adapted for TNT, where it aired for two seasons. While the show had a decent share of fans, the realization of the Witchblade itself left a bit to be desired. While in the comics a self-aware organic gauntlet/armor, the Witchblade of the show took on the look of a medieval knight’s armor. Perhaps it was inevitable on a television budget, yet the result was still disappointing. The subsequent anime adaptation presented a truer version of the Witchblade, though it wasn’t Sara Pezzini wearing it in that series. Plans for a feature film reboot have been floated, but nothing has yet landed.

comic-huntress tv-huntress

4) Ashley Scott as The Huntress, Birds of Prey (2002 – 2003): Smallville debuted in 2001, and proved to be a decade-long success for the WB network (which became the CW). In response to the success of that show, Birds of Prey came along one season later. While some aspects were very faithful to the comic book series (Dina Meyer as Oracle, formerly Batgirl), others were wildly divergent (Dinah Lance as a psychic teenager rather than martial artist Black Canary). In the latter column was Ashley Scott’s Huntress, a curious mixture of old and new versions of the character. Her costume, however, favored neither version. A strange mix of club wear that included no mask or other source of identity concealment, this Huntress looked like she had just finished crime-fighting and was headed downtown to blow off some steam. While on the show Batman was her biological father, he obviously never instructed her in the importance of anonymity.

comic-dracula film-dracula

5) Dominic Purcell as Dracula/Drake, Blade: Trinity (2004): When the third Blade film rolled around, he had already battled and defeated Deacon Frost and a horde of mutant bloodsuckers. So what could up the stakes? How about Dracula? Yes, I know Dracula isn’t originally a comic book character, but he was published by Marvel in Tomb of Dracula in the 1970s, and that comic was where Blade debuted (he didn’t headline his own book until after the original Blade film became a hit). Marvel’s version of Bram Stoker’s big bad took a page from Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and even Jack Palance, whom his facial features were based upon. He also had a jaunty mustache. But in David Goyer’s take on him, Dracula (here using the name “Drake” as an alias) wore no cape, nor evening wear, nor even a mustache. Instead, he settled for a silk shirt and leather pants like he was shooting a 90’s R&B video in the desert. He did have another, more demonic-looking form that was cooler, but it was underused. Couldn’t they at least have kept the mustache?

comic-catwoman film-catwoman

6) Halle Berry as Catwoman, Catwoman (2004): It felt weird typing “Halle Berry as Catwoman”, because this film is a concrete example of using a familiar name to sell an unfamiliar character. Berry’s character in this film, Patience Price, has no affiliation to Batman or any previous version of Catwoman. And then there’s the costume. A goofy mask that sits too high like a trucker hat, a bikini top with mismatched straps, and ripped leather pants create a look that doesn’t make sense even in the weird pocket universe of the film. At least there is a whip involved; as much a trademark of any Catwoman as of Indiana Jones. A creative misfire added to the list of misfires that comprise this deeply misguided film.

comic-dark-phoenix film-dark-phoenix

7) Famke Janssen as Dark Phoenix, X-Men: The Last Stand (2006): After the exciting tease for The Dark Phoenix Saga at the end of X2, fans were piqued to see Jean Grey take a walk on the wild side. Unfortunately, the combination of two major plotlines in X-Men: The Last Stand left only half the space for the Phoenix story, and so her debut wasn’t all it could’ve been. That included to her costume as well. The comic story featured a maroon and gold bodysuit complete with a gold sash and a flamebird emblem. For the film, Famke was outfitted with a red dress that alluded to the comic costume, but without the gold, sash or emblem. A choice that paid a bit of service to the look, but minus any of the detail. Would something a bit more bold have worked better to sell her character as a being of incredible power? It couldn’t have hurt.

comic-green-goblin film-new-goblin

8) James Franco as New Goblin, Spider-Man 3 (2007): The film costumes of the Green Goblin have always been offbeat choices, from Willem Dafoe’s shiny lime-green armor to Dane DeHaan’s grotesque cyborg combination. But perhaps the most off-the-wall was James Franco as the New Goblin. Harry Osborn’s turn to super-villainy had been progressing for two movies, and by the third film the idea was ripe. If only the execution had been better. The New Goblin opted for a suit based on extreme sports, including a flying snowboard-like glider and a modified paintball mask. While Dafoe’s suit was on the goofy side, it did possess elements of intimidation. But the New Goblin simply came off as the drunken creation of a pissed-off ski patrol douche. Hopefully in the future a more traditional route may be attempted.

film-wanted wanted-comic

9) James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson, Wanted (2008): Now this choice runs perilously close to breaking my rule of “no alter-ego characters”. In the original Wanted comic series, Wesley was outfitted with a very tactical costume that looked like a high-tech cross between Snake Eyes and SWAT team. Because of the change from super-villains to assassins for the film, he never wears anything other than street clothes. However, since he uses and exhibits his skills in those street clothes, he is in full “super” mode. It is definitely the most unfaithful costume choice on this list, since there was no particular attempt made to replicate the comic’s costume. It’s a shame, too, as that costume would’ve looked slick onscreen.

comic-deadpool film-deadpool

10) Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009): I feel much the same way about Deadpool in this film as I do about Halle’s Catwoman – i.e., I just wish they were named something else. In my opinion, the Wade Wilson scenes in this film were good – funny, while also showcasing the character’s powers. But then there’s that troublesome climax, with the eyebeams, the teleportation and the absence of a mouth. It isn’t enough to awkwardly suggest the look of Deadpool’s comic costume. If it’s only half-Deadpool, then it’s not Deadpool. Thankfully, it really does look like Fox is correcting their mistakes with the upcoming solo film. Ryan Reynolds is great casting, but there has to be commitment to the character.

 

 

It’s got to be a tricky assignment for costume designers to create the film version of characters with such striking ensembles. You have to pay homage to the source material to please the fans, but you can’t make beloved characters look goofy for their mass-audience debuts. The most successful projects seem to walk the thin line of heightened reality leavened by common sense and real-world input. But make no mistake, it doesn’t take much more than a misstep to lose that line. Still, much of the outside wrappings can be forgiven if the structural integrity of the characters’ personalities are intact. When both are missing, you have Catwoman or the first attempt at Deadpool. When both are present, you have Iron Man or Hellboy. We can only hope that as comic book-based films continue to evolve, more filmmakers will find ways to exhibit both in a satisfying way.

« Older Entries