Team-up comics are the best. The simple fact is that if one superhero (or team of superheroes) is great, then two is going to be twice as great, and books like DC Comics Presents, Marvel Team-Up, and Brave and the Bold have shown that this is exactly the case. Now it's time for the Powerpuff Girls to prove this point yet again.
Following up on the events of IDW's big Super Secret Crisis War, this week sees the release of Powerpuff Girls Super Smash-Up #1, where writer/artist Derek Charm sends Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup on a trip across the Cartoon Network multiverse to team up with other characters. The first issue involves a trip to Dexter's Lab, but before they get to that, they've got to deal with Fuzzy Lumpkins and some stampeding zoo animals.
Listen, there was no way that Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra wasn't going to be my favorite comic of the week. I mean, my love of G.I. Joe has been chronicled pretty extensively here at ComicsAlliance, and the two parts of that franchise that I love with an almost overwhelming fervor are Destro and Snake Eyes, the two characters who take the spotlight in this issue. The only way it could be closer to what I wanted out of a comic would be that if it involved Batman and pro wrestling, and since DC already put one of those out last month, it's as close as we're going to get.
But while I've been in the tank for this series since it came out, I can tell you that it's great for reasons that go beyond the starring characters. It's the continuation of a smart, slick take on the G.I. Joe franchise that kicks off with a premise that's inherently exciting. It just happens to also involve two of the best characters ever.
If there's one thing I think we can all agree on, it's that comics have been suffering from a distinct lack of Uncle Scrooge lately. He is, after all, officially ranked at #3 on ComicsAlliance's definitive but sadly unpublished list of the greatest comic book characters of all time, but while reprints of his more famous adventures have been making their way back to shelves recently, he hasn't had a monthly book in almost four years.
Fortunately, that's a problem that's soon to be remedied: Starting in April, IDW will be publishing a new monthly Uncle Scrooge comic as part of a new line of Disney books, kicking off the return of the whole line with Donald Duck in May, Mickey Mouse in April, and the long-running Walt Disney's Comics And Stories in June.
Like everyone else who had eyes, I was a big fan of Samurai Jack when it first showed up on TV. I loved that show, and the visual style and breathtaking animation that took the risk of sparse dialogue and radical shifts in tone were mind-blowing, and in a lot of ways paved the way for a lot of shows that followed. But while I loved the show while it was on, I wasn't so much of a fan that I was really excited about the announcement that it was going to be revived as a comic from IDW. Don't get me wrong, I'm as big a fan of Jim Zub and Andy Suriano as you're likely to find, but I wasn't quite sure how a show that had relied so much on striking, fluid motion for its visual design would make the transition to the relatively static world of comics.
As it turns out, it took to it beautifully, and if you sit down and read the first fifteen issues of the ongoing series, you'll see how well they come together as one vast, epic story that takes Jack in every possible direction -- just like the show.
Mark Waid and Barry Kitson's Empire has had a pretty strange publication history. First there were two issues through the short-lived Gorilla Comics imprint at Image, then those later became the #0 issue of a seven-issue series from DC, and just last year, the story of a world where the ultimate supervillain actually succeeded in taking over the world was reborn as a webcomic at Thrillbent, Waid's webcomics concern, with new pages going up weekly.
This week, however, IDW Publishing announced that the series was returning to the printed page. As the first part of a partnership between IDW and Thrillbent, Empire: Uprising will collect the digital chapters as a monthly series starting in April.
The Wall Street Journal published Diamond Comic Distributors' list of the top-selling comics publishers for 2014 Friday morning, and for the most part, it's all the usual suspects. Marvel was No. 1 with more than a third of the market share, in both dollars and units. DC was reasonably close behind. Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Dynamite and Boom Studios took the next spots.
Then comes number eight. Eaglemoss Publications. Wait. What? Who?
Of all the concepts Jack Kirby created in his time at DC in the '70s, the most underrated by far is Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth. If you're not familiar with it, it's essentially Planet of the Apes mixed with cold war fears about the end of the world, filtered through Kirby's signature over-the-top bombast until it came out as the story of a young man who emerged from a bunker after the Great Disaster into a shattered world overrun by animal people and sinister sci-fi concepts. And also, he had an amazing head of hair.
It's been one of my favorite Kirby books for a while, and now, it's getting the deluxe format treatment in the form of one of IDW's Artist's Editions, which once again raises the question of just how much money they are trying to get from me, personally. The answer, it seems, is all of it.
IDW Publishing, the San Diego-based publisher of original series such as Locke & Key and 30 Days of Night and licensed comics including My Little Pony and Transformers, has acquired Top Shelf Productions, the publisher best known for literary works by authors such as Jeff Lemire, Craig Thompson, and James Kochalka, plus many of the recent works of Alan Moore, including League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lost Girls.
Top Shelf co-founder Chris Staros will remain with the company as editor-in-chief, and the publisher will retain its identity as an imprint of IDW, and its base in Marietta, Georgia. Staros's business partner Brett Warnock has announced his intention to retire from comics.
The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below.
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month
For the final covers of 2014, we showcase excellent work by some of the year's most reliable talents, including Kris Anka, Michael Del Mundo, and Riley Rossmo; some truly standout work by R.M. Guera and Jay Shaw; and the very best 'theme month' of the year.
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