Courtesy of Marvel, ComicsAlliance brings you an advance look at new periodical comic books, collected editions and graphic novels going on sale in March 2015 (and in some cases beyond) from the publisher’s mainline Marvel Universe titles, Ultimate Comics, the mature readers MAX imprint and the creator-owned label Icon. All of the following books can be purchased at finer comic book shops, where you can also pre-order your selections to ensure you’ll get a copy.
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One of the chief criticisms of ‘Man of Steel’ was the way that Superman dealt with his epic battles—primarily, that he wasn’t concerned enough about ensuring the safety of the citizens of Metropolis, and how he recklessly used the entire city as his battleground. Thanks to the outspoken dissatisfaction with the film’s climax, it seems as though the script for ‘Batman vs. Superman’ will address those complaints and try to make Superman a more likable and cautious hero.
Courtesy of DC Comics, ComicsAlliance brings you an advance look at new periodical comic books, collected editions, graphic novels, toys, statues and other collectibles going on sale in March 2014 (and in some cases beyond) from the publisher’s New 52 superhero line; the mature readers Vertigo imprint; the DC Entertainment brand of special projects, digital-first, all-ages and licensed titles; and the limited edition products from DC Collectibles. All of the following books can be purchased at finer comic book shops, where you can also pre-order your selections to ensure you’ll get a copy before they sell out.
Over the past few years, Archie Comics has taken a lot of inspiration from the world of superheroes. We've seen inter-company crossovers, high-profile creators, the launch of a Mature Readers line and a couple of superhero imprints, and now, they're embracing the superhero comic's most time-honored tradition: For the first time since 1942, the Archie title is getting relaunched with a new #1.
That's kind of a big deal in and of itself -- with 661 issues as of this December, I'm pretty sure that Archie is currently the longest-running monthly comic on the stands that has never been rebooted or renumbered -- but the bigger news comes from the announcement of the new creative team handling Archie's biggest new direction yet: Mark Waid and Fiona Staples.
Earlier this year, First Second released Box Brown's Andre The Giant: Life And Legend – a graphic novel biography of the wrestling legend that immediately jumped onto the New York Times bestseller list, and has been met with great acclaim from wrestling fans and comics critics alike. Our own Chris Sims described the book thusly:
"It shows Andre as a person. Not the giant with a dubious fifteen-year undefeated streak, not as the monster who was bodyslammed by Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III, not as the absent father that was put on blast by A Current Affair shortly before his death, and not even as the drinker and prankster behind the scenes in the world of wrestling. It shows him as all of those, as a person whose life was larger than everyone’s, but whose flaws were no bigger or smaller than anyone else’s. It makes the Giant relatable without ever undermining him. There’s a love in this book, but there’s an honesty, too, and it comes through in every scene..."
Recently, we got the chance to sit down and speak with Brown about the culture of professional wrestling, his artistic approach to comics, and how he went about adapting Andre's outsized life for a graphic novel.
DC's new take on Batgirl has been one of the pioneers of a new movement towards mainstream comics for a progressive young female audience -- a movement whose other flagbearers have become a mantra of sorts in 2014; Lumberjanes, Ms. Marvel, Gotham Academy, etc. In the hands of creators Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr, Batgirl offered a satisfyingly contemporary and feminist take on Gotham superheroics.
So it came as a particular disappointment when last week's Batgirl #37 contained themes and imagery that were transphobic and transmisogynistic, leading several critics to call out the creative team for their insensitivity. This weekend the creators offered a statement of apology, saying, "we want to acknowledge the hurt and offense we've caused."
Everyone has assumed that, at some point towards the end of this current Marvel Cinematic Universe, the paths of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers would cross. Yes, one superhero team is busy protecting Earth, and the other occupied in outer space, it makes too much sense to not have them meet up in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ right? Never mind the “it makes sense” part, we just really want this to happen. Well, we might never happen according to ‘Guardians’ director James Gunn who warns fans about making such assumptions.
Stjepan Šejic is an artist who's been on the verge of a breakthrough for a while now -- and he's apparently just had two of them back-to-back. Šejic is an excellent artist, remarkably fast, and by all reports very easy to work with, which means he delivers the trifecta for promising talent.
That talent will be put to excellent use on a book in dire need of a great artist; Šejic has been named as the new permanent artist on Rat Queens, the hit fantasy series from writer Kurtis J. Wiebe and Image's Shadowline imprint. This news comes just a couple of weeks after reports that Šejic's creator-owned erotic graphic novel Sunstone received the highest ever advance orders for any book published by Image's Top Cow imprint.
Comic book publishing is a difficult world to survive in, particularly for small and independent publishers. C. Spike Trotman and her Iron Circus Comics, however, has found a way to thrive. When we spoke with Trotman earlier this year for Hire This Woman, we spoke primarily about her role as a creator. Today, this is only a small part of the role Trotman plays in comics, as the slate of books from Iron Circus continues to increase.
As a publisher, Iron Circus places a high value on inclusivity and publishing books that are too often ignored in mainstream comics. To wit, the publisher has a currently-running Kickstarter for Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here written by Ryan Estrada and drawn by Diana Nock. The 130-page black and white book is the the followup to Trotmans original Poorcraft, and is available in a variety of formats at eminently sensible price/reward tiers.
With less than one week left to pledge to the Kickstarter, we reconnected with Trotman to talk about webcomics, publishing, smut, and paying the bills.
Now that Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ has bid adieu until March, Peggy Carter prepares to come out of retirement for her own series, the January 6 premiere of ‘Agent Carter!’ To wit, Marvel has unleashed a snazzy new poster of Cap’s best gal, as well as the full two-part premiere synopsis, guest stars and all.