Tyson Hesse's Diesel is the story of Dee Diesel, a young aviator who loses her father's airship to a rival and receives a serendipitous invitation to adventure --- that she may not be ready to accept. Diesel promises to be a beautiful and thrilling coming-of-age story. It started out as a webcomic, but it's been revised and relaunched for print courtesy of Boom Box, and we have an exclusive preview of next week's debut issue.
When Marvel announced its All-New, All-Different line-up at the start of July, it tried to keep a few secrets in reserve. Chief among them was the identity of the star of Greg Pak and Frank Cho's new Hulk title, Totally Awesome Hulk. It's a stategy that's worked for the publisher in the past, with the identity of the Red Hulk (Thunderbolt Ross) generating plenty of buzz; the company even repeated it without a Hulk, keeping the current Thor's alter ego under wraps for several months.
But with Totally Awesome Hulk, it was a bit of a strange decision. Everywhere you looked, people only had one serious guess about his identity; Amadeus Cho. Today, Marvel announced that... everyone's a winner! You get a Hulk, and you get a Hulk, and you get a Hulk!
As someone who makes a living writing and editing for the internet, I've gathered quite a collection of terrible arguments from online commentators, ranging from the perennially awful, 'I don't care about this so you shouldn't either,' to the specifically ignorant, 'How would you feel if they made Black Panther white?' But there's one common argument that combines dull wit with frothy anger to such exhausting effect that it deserves special attention; 'If you don't like it, make your own.'
I write about comics, so I'm especially aware of how often the argument is made in response to comics criticism. But I know that it's also used in all other creative fields, from film-making to video game design, and it's an argument without merit in any field. There is the kernel of a good idea behind it; the comic form is open to anyone who wants to make a contribution. But that doesn't mean you have to make comics rather than criticize. If you don't like what you see, there are several good reasons to say so.
Last week there was a rumor going around that DC might pull the plug on its new 'DCYou' initiative before it had even had a chance to take root. DCYou aims to provide more diversity in content, characters, and creators, in an effort to reach new readers in a shifting market. The initiative stands in sharp contrast with the homogeneity of DC's last major relaunch, the traditional and conservative New 52, targeted squarely at long-time readers.
Of course, the New 52 performed very well for the publisher, and in some months it even pushed DC ahead of industry leader Marvel. The relaunch never achieved its major objective of permanently toppling Marvel, but it did provide strong numbers in direct market comic store sales. Compare those numbers to the sales for DCYou, and one can see a clear argument for going back to the old model. But that argument is grounded in a narrow understanding of the industry.
Starbrand & Nightmask. It sounds like a two-stage rejuvenating skincare treatment, but it's actually the title of Marvel's newly announced ongoing series from writer Greg Weisman and artist Dominike 'Domo' Stanton, starring former Avengers writer Jonathan Hickman's young Marvel Universe versions of two New Universe concepts. These are characters who used to spend their time wiping out alien armadas with a blink of an eye, now they'll be enrolling on university courses and going on adventures.
It's all a little unexpected. Settle in, and I'll try to explain.
When Marvel first announced an ongoing Scarlet Witch series from writer James Robinson, there was a conspicuous lack of an artist attached. On the one hand, it was a bad sign; announcing books without artists tends to devalue the role of artists. On the other hand, it was also a good sign; it spoke to Marvel's efforts to put the right artists on the right books, and perhaps specifically to assign diverse talent to diverse books, like artist Natacha Bustos on Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, and writer Jose Molina on the Santerians revival.
To that end, a lot of fans were hoping Wanda Maximoff's first solo series would not come from an all-male creative team. The good news is that those fans have got their wish, with Vanesa R. Del Rey now joining Robinson on the title. The bad news is that it's only for one issue.
Jim Henson's The Storyteller is in contention for the title of greatest TV show ever made --- it's basically between that, The Wire, Deadwood, and The Great British Bake-Off. Originally running for just one season of nine episodes in the late 1980s, the show combined European folklore, Jim Henson's muppetry, and respected British character actors like John Hurt, Jonathan Pryce, Sean Bean, Brenda Blethyn, and Jennifer Saunders, to spin standalone traditional tales that, watched once, would stay with you forever.
Archaia first revived the brand in 2011 as part of its Jim Henson line, with some of the best up-and-coming creators spinning their own takes on classic folktales in comics form. More amazing creators stepped up to conjure occult yarns for 2014's The Storyteller: Witches, and now ComicsAlliance can exclusively reveal the next installment in Archaia's Storyteller series: The Storyteller: Dragons.
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes, and it's a very welcome kind of wickedness. The first issue of Boom Studios' witchy new series Toil And Trouble by writer Mairghread Scott and artists Kelly and Nichole Matthews arrives in stores next week, telling the tale of Shakespeare's Macbeth from the point of view of some of the most famous characters in fiction to never get names; the witches. Boom has provided us with an exclusive preview, so if your thumbs have been pricking strangely, now you know why.
Cyclops is the absolute worst. He's a bad husband, a bad father, a bad leader, and his whole deal is acting like the king of the martyrs around people who have it so much worse than him. Oh no, do you have to wear glasses all the time, Cyclops? I can't imagine what that must feel like! Cyclops is so bad that even when he becomes a villain, he's the most boring villain on his island. Cyclops is so bad that there's a petition to transfer him to the DC Universe so that Aquaman can feel cooler than someone.
On the other hand, Stacey Lee is the best. Propelled to fans' attention thanks to her amazing work on Silk with writer Robbie Thompson, she's fast proved be one of the best new superhero artists in the business. She's so good, she can even make Cyclops look like a badass on her variant cover for Secret Wars #7 by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic, out next week.
James Jean's celebrated run as one of Vertigo's most accomplished cover artists on Fables began six years after Vertigo's other big mythology-and-fiction epic ended, meaning that we never got to see a James Jean cover on a Sandman comic. Now, we didn't exactly miss out --- Dave McKean's Sandman covers are rightly just as highly regarded as Jean's Fables covers --- but it's tempting to wonder what a James Jean run on writer Neil Gaiman's magnum opus might have looked like.