Hollywood has proved to be pretty great at superheroes. For the last few years the genre has provided some of the biggest tentpoles of the blockbuster season. Hollywood is less great at other things -- like, for example, providing leading roles for women.
Hollywood is especially not great at providing lead superhero roles for women, but maybe that's not entirely Hollywood's fault. Superhero comics aren't great at providing those roles either. In fact, there are plenty of actors in Hollywood who could play amazing superheroes -- if only the roles existed for them. For example...
Welcome back to the ComicsAlliance Podcast, covering the latest comic book entertainment culture, news, humor and commentary. This week, Senior Editors Andy Khouri and Caleb Goellner and Senior Writer Chris Sims share their impressions of this year's Emerald City Comicon and discuss in-depth what distinguishes the fabulous Seattle, Washington show from other conventions of note.
The following was authored by Megan Margulies, granddaughter of the late Captain America co-creator Joe Simon.
Today Marvel Studios releases Captain America: The Winter Soldier. These movies are not only a cause for celebration by comic book fans, but also for the artists who created the superhero decades ago. In 1941, Jack Kirby and my grandfather, Joe Simon, dreamt of Captain America in an attempt to keep their heads above the turbulent waters of the comic book industry. Much to their surprise and joy, the character went on to receive worldwide fame.
Q: Supposedly it takes three pages to hook a reader before they drop off, so what are the best opening three pages in a comic? -- @shutupadiran
A: Huh. I don't think it's going to surprise anyone to find out that I'm a dude who thinks a lot about how comic books are structured and what you can do within that structure, but I've never heard that bit about the first three pages being where you have to hook the reader. It makes sense, though -- when you look at it, those first three pages, along with the cover, form a distinct storytelling unit, and it's the first thing you see when you pick up and pop open a comic.
Thinking back on comics that I love, there's a really distinct pattern there. I like stuff that builds to a big last page just fine, but the ones that I tend to rave about when those first issues hit always open up strong. It's like the first five seconds of a song. Some of them might build to a crescendo as they go along, but when you have something like the famous beat from "Be My Baby" or the opening harmonics from "I Get Around," you know instantly that you've got something.
True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto has claimed that Alan Moore Moore and Grant Morrison were the first writers to excite him about the possibilities of storytelling.
With everyone looking to solve the many remaining mysteries of True Detective, it’s tempting to ask: are comic books the key? Pizzolatto’s spectacular Moore crib aside, I’d go with with a big no. Ain’t nothing going to settle the debate around Carcosa let alone Marty Hart’s hot dating skills, but comics do represent a largely unexplored and appropriately strange route into the show. So without further ado here’s our by no means exhaustive guide to True Detective and weird comic books.
SPOILER WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for True Detective, Top 10, From Hell and some of The Invisibles.
On March 22, 2014, comics fans across the world celebrated Hellboy Day, a special day commemorating the release of the first issue of Seed of Destruction, the first Hellboy mini-series from Dark Horse Comics, twenty years ago in 1994. In those twenty years, creator Mike Mignola, together with a number of talented collaborators, has expanded his most famous character into one of the coolest and most satisfying franchises in comics, with stories branching out into such spin-off series as BPRD (aka the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien, and Sledgehammer '44.
Although I am sure Mignola has many more years' worth of stories about Hellboy and his compatriots left in him, now seems as good a time as any to look back at what has come before. While this list is by no means exhaustive — a complete list of awesome Hellboy moments would easily be one hundred times this length; sorry if yours got left off, pancakes fans — here are ten moments that I believe are emblematic of what makes Hellboy one of the most enduringly excellent and exciting books on the shelf.
Last week's Emerald City Comicon kicked off, for me, with the Carol Corps Celebration at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. Hosted by a bevy of nerdy Captain Marvel enthusiasts and featuring some of the finest cosplay I saw all weekend, proceeds from tickets and exclusive merchandise went to benefit the Girls Leadership Institute. It's a rare thing for fans and creators to celebrate a superhero character in such a thematically specific and highly interactive way -- Carol Danvers is a military pilot, after all, and the new Ms. Marvel is herself a member of the Carol Corps -- and a woman superhero at that. But the event was an absolutely joyful experience that spoke to the good work being done in these comics and readers' enthusiasm for great women heroes (both fictional and real-life).
It was beginning to feel like Jason Aaron and Jason Latour were holding back. Not holding back their talents, obviously, but not showing us just how savage they could be. In the year and a half since the conclusion of Scalped, Aaron has written a slew of great Marvel books. After the last issue of the razor-sharp Loose Ends, Latour penned an arc of Winter Soldier and is now taking on Wolverine and the X-Men. Since the ends of their respective creator-owned series, everything that each creator has done has been top-notch superhero comics. But they were still superhero comics.
As great as their work in superheroes may be, Aaron and Latour have done their best work far outside that realm. In their best books, bullets kill you dead, horrible people do horrible things, and there always seems to be a redneck around the corner. After hanging around the superhero world for a while, the pair team up for a trip down south with the new redneck crime series Southern Bastards. And baby, it feels like going home again.
The winner of the 2013 ComicsAlliance prize for Raddest Superhero Art, Filipe Andrade draws some of the coolest pictures we've seen in recent years. His drawing style is an uncanny blend of wild, kinetic line work and fine, intricate detail, which made his stint on Captain Marvel one of Marvel Comics' best looking productions last year. We'd been wondering where Andrade would pop up next and got our answers when Marvel released its solicitations for books going on sale in June. The artist's next big gig is Figment, written by Jim Zub (Skullkickers, Samurai Jack) and inspired by the Journey Into Imagination attraction at the EPCOT theme park at Disneyworld, starring a steampunky inventor called Dreamfinder and his dragon Figment.
Last episode: Sif. Two episodes ago: John Garrett. Three episodes ago: Deathlok. Marvel's Agents of SHIELD has embraced the "Marvel" part of its name the past few weeks, but the ABC television series still hasn't been able to match the quality or excitement of Marvel's other live-action productions.
In this week's episode there are no new Marvel faces, but several familiar ones crop up, and perhaps more excitingly we see some welcome advances in the plot. Yes, there's a plot! Buckle in, true believer.
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