Readers demand a lot from superhero comics: consistency, continuity, adherence to the rules of the universe, compelling heroes, magnetic villains, satisfying endings, and the list goes on.
But those of us who have been reading for years (if not decades) are chiefly looking for one big thing above all else: novelty. We want to see something we’ve never seen before; characters we recognize as the heroes and villains we love being put into scenarios and settings wholly unlike what’s come in nearly 80 years of superhero comics.
That’s notoriously hard to do. Many times, stories end up being very similar to what’s come before, and when creators do try something new, they elicit complaints from readers who don’t like particular changes or decisions. But what if you could strip away those pressures and build a superhero comic that’s so strange and unique that it’s a must-read?
That’s what Jiro Kuwata’s 1960s Batman comics, currently being republished as the DC Digital Series Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga, are. A strange combination of classic Batman comics, the 1960s Batman TV-show, Marvel-Age science-based storytelling, mysticism, cartoon physics, Tokusatsu, and of all things, Scooby-Doo, it isn’t like any comic I’ve ever read. It’s endlessly surprising, and I love it.
Like so many major films released these days, ‘Interstellar’ has a comic book tie-in. But unlike most comic book tie-ins, this one is actually written by the original film’s director and is premiering online. And yes, you can read the whole thing right now, free of charge. We’re going to jump straight into spoilers right at the end of this sentence, so if you haven’t had a chance to see Christopher Nolan‘s science fiction adventure yet, you may want to consider turning around.
This week's creative team is comprised of longtime Warner Bros. Animation talent Michael Jelenic, best known for his work on Teen Titans Go!, Thundercats, and, of course, the animated Wonder Woman feature film. He's joined by veteran comics artists Drew Johnson and Ray Snyder, alumni of the famous Jolly Roger Studio, and colorist Lizzy John, whose work we've seen before in Archaia's line of Jim Henson Company comics and graphic novels. The cover comes courtesy of illustrator Paul Davey, whose contribution here represents his first comic book work, as far as I know.
As you can see in this exclusive preview, the team's story falls along the lines of the traditional adventure story with the kind of mythological, majestical scale to which Wonder Woman lends herself so well.
The Humble Bundle continues to be one of the best values in comic books, and as you might expect, this week they've turned their attention to the morespoooooky side of things. And by that, I mainly mean comics where Pinocchio uses his endless wooden nose to stab vampires.
In addition to several books without pictures -- which I find strange and frightening -- the current Horror Book bundle added a bunch of horror comics today, including The Mocking Dead by Fred Van Lente and Max Dunbar, a volume of Valiant's Shadowman by Peter Milligan and Roberto de la Torre, the first omnibus of Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, the first two issues of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla's Afterlife With Archie, and more.
If you're the kind of person who keeps up with news about people spending truly massive amounts of money on comic books, then you're probably aware that there was a copy of Action Comics #1 rated at 9.0 that sold for $3,000,000 earlier this year. On one level, that makes sense. It is, after all, an incredibly important historical artifact, featuring the first appearance of Superman and Lois Lane in a story that kickstarted the entire superhero genre. On the other hand, if you really want to read that comic, you don't need to spend three mil. You can get it for like fifteen bucks.
Either way, the CGC corporation put the entire issue online to read for free -- presumably to prove that these crisp, unblemished pages really are as good as they say they are -- and there's a lot more in there than just Superman, whose first appearance has naturally overshadowed the numerous other short features contained in this most coveted comic.
Those of you who keep track of the ComicsAlliance staff for shipping purposes may have been wondering what former editor Caleb Goellner has been up to since he left the site earlier this year. As it happens, he's been over at Wacom, and while working on tablets used for digital art is still pretty close to comics -- indeed, many comics artists use the technology to create their comics -- the company is nudging even closer with the announcement of the first-ever Wacom comics anthology.
Built around the theme of "Pressure/Sensitivity" (geddit?), the anthology will feature the talents of cover artist and ComicsAlliance favorite Ulises Farinas with stories by the equally esteemed Meredith Gran, Ming Doyle, Giannis Milanogiannis and more. Even better, the 32-page anthology will be free to download when it's released in January.
On November 19, DC Comics will release Batman '66: The Lost Episode, a bookshelf-format one-shot by writer Len Wein and penciller José Luis Garcia-López -- superhero comics legends, both -- adapting a previously-unknown story that Harlan Ellison wrote for the classic Adam West and Burt Ward TV show: the introduction of Two-Face. The project is a very special companion to DC's popular and critically acclaimed digital-first Batman '66 series. In addition to its prestigious veteran storytellers, the book also features inking by Joe Prado, colors by Alex Sinclair and cover art by Alex Ross, all industry leaders in their disciplines.
At New York Comic Con this past weekend, we had the opportunity to sit down with Wein and discuss the origin of the project, his friendship with Ellison, and the experience of adapting an unfilmed television episode into the comic book format.
DC Digital's Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman must be doing decent business, as the publisher announced a second digital Wonder Woman title at the Download This panel at New York Comic-Con on Sunday; Wonder Woman '77, inspired by the hit 1970s Wonder Woman TV show starring Lynda Carter. The series follows the digital-first format of the Batman '66 comic, which is based on the 1960s Batman TV show.
Written by Marc Andreyko and illustrated by various artists, Wonder Woman '77 will launch in December with a six weekly installments that will later be released in print. Further Wonder Woman '77 stories are expected to follow in the future.
If there's one problem that we as comics readers all share, it's that we just have too much money. Sure, we keep trying to give it to publishers and creators, but sometimes there just aren't enough comics to buy, and that's why we always need more great books out there to pick up. Fortunately, the good folks over at Comixology are doing their best to make that as easy as possible, and this week, those efforts are taking the form of the Image Comics "New Hits" Sale.
A ton of great new Image books like Southern Bastards, The Wicked + The Divine, Velvet, Burn the Orphanage and more have seen their first few issues dropped down to 99 cents each, and on top of that, there's a bundle of 20 first issues for just fifteen bucks.
For the most part, mainstream comics don’t care about fashion. But sometimes, something sneaks through and reminds us all of why this matters. Sensation Comics #7, illustrated by Marguerite Sauvage from a script by Sean E. Williams, is that rare, trembling shaft of light into the dank, Dragon Ball Z-print-button-downed basement that is the state of fashion in comics.
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