Though Buffy has legions of fans, and The Avengers is the third-highest-grossing movie of all time, many would argue that Joss Whedon’s greatest contribution to nerd culture is the Serenity universe. A moving sci-fi/western with equal parts darkness, humor, and heart, even cancellation couldn’t kill it. After the Serenity movie finished up the tale that Firefly never got a chance to finish, Dark Horse started sporadically publishing comics to bridge the gap, and loyal Browncoats have been lapping them up ever since. Now a new mini-series will be picking up the story after the movie, the six-issue Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon and Georges Jeanty, and it’s looking like this will be the last Serenity comic with a Whedon in the writer’s credit for quite some time. With that in mind, here’s a look at all the Serenity comics so far, how they fit into the timeline, and the leftover secrets from Firefly that they reveal. Fair warning: if you’ve only seen Firefly and the movie, this article will spoil your face off. And if you’ve never even seen Firefly, a) why are you even bothering with this article and b) for Christ’s sake go watch it right now!
With Marvel’s publication of Miracleman #1, thirty years of hearsay, hopes, rumors, big announcements, broken relationships, erroneous claims, false starts, and mountains of litigation were finally resolved with a conclusion that once seemed, for all intents and purposes, totally impossible. Now, through the magic of lawyers, digital coloring, and the unlikely cooperation of all parties involved, the derailed train is back on track, and a new generation of readers finally have the opportunity to discover just why Miracleman is so revered.
In celebration of this momentous occasion, original series artist Garry Leach, whose languid concoction of dynamism and sharp-lined realism defined the look of the revisionist superhero, generously took the time to answer a few questions about his legendary work. In addition, Marvel has provided ComicsAlliance with an exclusive preview of Miracleman #2, including a page from "The Yesterday Gambit," presented in color for the very first time.
Besides the obvious one, it’s hard to think of a writer more connected to an X-book than Peter David and X-Factor. (Chris Claremont and Uncanny X-Men being the obvious one, obviously.) After a two-year stint in the early nineties that remains a fan favorite, David relaunched X-Factor in 2005 and made it the most consistent X-book on the racks for his entire run. For eight years, X-Factor was routinely funny, inventive, filled with convincingly human characters, well-delivered messages, and twists that could knock you flat on your ass. The title wrapped in September of last year, shortly after David suffered a well-publicized stroke, and just a few weeks later, it was announced that the title would relaunch again as All-New X-Factor, which dropped this week. With Carmine Di Giandomenico on art, Peter David is again writing one of his most popular titles, but even with David at the controls, the new book has a lot to live up to. Does it?
Google “Best Crime Comics of All Time” and you’ll find a lot of lists, including a couple from ComicsAlliance, filled with many of the usual suspects: Criminal, Sin City, Torso, Scalped, and Darwyn Cooke’s Parker adaptations appear several times, alongside the archetypal series that defined the genre like Crime Does Not Pay, Dick Tracy (before Chester Gould started sending Tracy off to adventures on the Moon), and Crime SuspenStories. These are all undisputed classics in the genre that should be read by everyone, but notably, criminally absent (sorry, couldn’t help it) from every one of the lists that I came across was David Lapham’s Stray Bullets.
Every. Single. One.
Now that the title is returning, with new stories from Image Comics after nearly a decade-long absence, we may be able to rectify these egregious errors. Stray Bullets is the best crime comic of all time. And I will injury-to-the-eye-motif anybody who says different.
While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is in the midst of a creative renaissance at IDW, with the current series making our own Best Comics of 2013 list, the publisher continues to release reprints and collections of stories that had been unavailable for years. Recently, IDW released a new hardcover edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 25th Anniversary Collection, which was originally published in 2009 (the actual 25th anniversary) through co-creator Kevin Eastman’s Heavy Metal publishing house, re-mastering the artwork and providing some stories with color for the first time.
Unlike ComicsAlliance editor Caleb Goellner -- who seems to bleed green -- I’ve only read a few issues of the new series. I really, genuinely liked it, but felt like my memories of the original comics, if not the comics themselves, were better. For that same reason, I haven’t bought a single issue of IDW’s Classics reprints; just saw enough of the first collection to know that I didn't like the cold digital coloring. Really, I didn’t want to see TMNT with new eyes; I wanted it to remain great in my recollection, rather than diminished by the reality. I didn’t want to find out that literally the most important comic in my life was reduced to trash because of the passage of time and changes in perception.
Curiosity got the better of me.
Last week saw the release of DC’s Legends of the Dark Knight 100-Page Super-Spectacular #1, collecting two stories from the digital-first series in an oversized single issue. While it could really use a smaller price tag ($9.99!) and a snappier title, it marks the temporary return to print of one of the best Batman books of the last twenty years.
Launched in 1989, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight featured rotating creative teams, self-contained stories (for the most part: LOTDK was drawn into the KnightsEnd and No Man’s Land blockbusters), and healthy amounts of psychological themes. Unhindered by current goings-on and able to move freely throughout continuity, creators brought their A-games to Legends, and over the decades, the title spawned several Batman tales now considered to be classics, and several more that should be. These are my picks for the best stories in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight.
Season four of The Walking Dead, AMC’s television adaptation of the Eisner Award-winning Image Comics series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and drawn by Charlie Adlard, is underway. ComicsAlliance’s John Parker will be following along all season to see who lives, who dies, and who gets to drive a tank.
Last week, The Governor surrendered to his inner psychopath and hijacked the leadership of Team Winnebago, nabbing himself a tank. In “Too Far Gone,” he used that tank to destroy all our ridiculous notions of love and hope.
Season four of The Walking Dead, AMC’s television adaptation of the Eisner Award-winning Image Comics series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and drawn by Charlie Adlard, is underway. ComicsAlliance's John Parker will be following along all season to see who lives, who dies, and who succumbs to their own dark natures.
Last week The Governor tried to walk the straight and narrow path of an honest family man. This week, he tried for a few minutes.
Season four of The Walking Dead, AMC’s television adaptation of the Eisner-winning Image Comics series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and drawn by Charlie Adlard, is now six episodes deep. And even though the Kansas City Chiefs are playing the most important game of their season at the same time, John Parker is still doing the recap. It's his own minor apocalypse.
After The Governor appeared briefly at the end of last week’s episode, many fans had to be wondering what he’s been up to the last several months. After “Live Bait,” they’re still wondering.
Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean have each earned a level of success that goes way beyond comics. Gaiman is practically a household name these days, to the point where even my grandmother is familiar with his work. Dave McKean’s art is known throughout the western world. But it doesn’t have much to do with comics. It’s the other stuff that’s gotten them where they are -- the prose novels, Doctor Who, children’s books, advertising, album covers, and film projects. There are plenty of people who know of Gaiman or McKean but don’t know anything about comics. Comics can only provide some fame, and the levels of notoriety that Gaiman and McKean have surpass the borders of our little area of popular culture. But it began with comics.
Specifically, It began with Violent Cases.