Agents of SHIELD returned from a week off last night with a new episode that finally put the focus on one of its least developed characters. Obviously we're grading on a curve, there.
This being the sixth episode, I feel like I ought to now have a decent grasp on what drives all six of the show's main characters. Even with this episode, which puts the spotlight on Gemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), I still feel like I'm in the company of strangers. Spoilers follow.
Here at ComicsAlliance, we love pretty much all things Judge Dredd (with maybe oneexception). We're also admirers of the work of illustrator Ulises Farinas. As such, any combination of the two is going to pique our interests, so when we found out Farinas and colorist Ryan Hill would be teaming up with writer -- and Judge Dredd historian -- Douglas Wolk on an upcoming Judge Dredd miniseries for IDW and 2000 AD, we were intrigued. And if this early piece of promotional art is any indication, readers are in for a treat.
Feeling tired, True Believer? Worn out by superhero controversies? Convinced that vital issues are out there in the genre sphere, deserving of discussion, but suspicious that the typical online back and forth amounts to so many weedy paddles 'round the sunken perimeter of a draining pond? Were you nonplussed when Harley Quinn rode that wrecking ball naked into Batwoman's wedding the other week? I have difficulty even keeping things straight anymore, and it's not because the underlying topics are frivolous or unimportant; I just think there are richer, weirder superhero terrains to explore.
So take my hand, tiger! Let us turn our eyes east, for just one post, to the wide world of anime! You remember Battle of the Planets, right? WELL YOU'D BETTER FORGET IT, because there's a new Tatsunoko superhero cartoon in town -- twelve episodes in total, streaming for free with English subtitles -- and it's a hell of a thing: Gatchaman Crowds.
On sale now from BOOM! Studios is Hit #3, the penultimate issue of the 1950s Los Angeles crime drama written by Bryce Carlson and drawn by Vanessa R. Del Rey. Part of the publisher's We Are Boom campaign spotlighting original (as opposed to licensed) works, Hit has received decent word-of-mouth and the first issue even sold out of its initial print run of 10,000 copies. Contributing to that success is the cover artwork of comics veteran Ryan Sook, whose Hit work is a distinctly gritty departure from the artist's traditionally shiny, even inspiring superhero illustrations for DC Comics and others. The covers are a good fit with Del Rey's scratchy but sexy sequentials, which combined with the moody palette of Archie Van Buren and the period-appropriate lettering and design of Ed Dukeshire and Hanna Nance Partlow makes Hit one of the more attractive packages coming out of BOOM Studios at the moment.
We had a chance to see some of Sook's preliminary cover concepts for this week's Hit #3, which were quite striking and prompted some questions about his process. The artist was gracious enough to answer them.
The New York Times broke news today of a new solo superhero title launching from Marvel early next year -- and this one comes as a welcome change of pace for readers who want to see more diversity in their super-books.
Ms Marvel #1, from writer G. Willow Wilson (Cairo) and artist Adrian Alphona(Runaways), introduces the world to the young Muslim woman who takes on the mantle of Ms. Marvel formerly held by Carol Danvers, the current Captain Marvel. The new Ms. Marvel will be the first Muslim character to get her own ongoing solo series at Marvel, one of a growing number of female solo leads, and the only person of color headlining a solo book in the Marvel Universe.
We're fast approaching the end of Marvel's sprawling space war/alien invasion crossover event Infinity, with one more issue to come. If you thought the story's two main threads -- the war against the Builder armada on the one hand and Thanos's invasion of Earth on the other -- were going to neatly come together, well... you may be disappointed. They are in the same comic, however.
A lot of times comic-book news is fairly predictable. A creative team might leave a book, but odds are they'll land somewhere else or start a creator-owned project. Titles get canceled or start up. A character might celebrate an anniversary or something offensive might slip into a book. These are all items we've become accustomed to seeing.
Occasionally, though, a story that impacts the livelihoods of a lot of people comes around, or something that could change your whole perception of a comics creator. Those can be hard to deal with, and this week had a couple of those stories.
Q: How can the Penguin be crafted to be a decent Batman foe without seeming too silly but still true to the character? --@phillyradiogeek
A: My first thought when I saw this question was that the Penguin is already a pretty decent Batman foe, but the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if that was really true. Outside of Burgess Meredith and his amazing purple top hat, I'm not sure that I've ever actually been excited at the prospect of getting a Penguin story as opposed to one of the other prominent Batman villains. Even the Riddler is someone I'm way more interested in than the Penguin, but I don't think the problem is that there isn't something good in there. I think the problem is that there's way too much.
Among its many other honors, Vertigo’s The Sandman has the distinction of being the portal through which a huge number of readers got their first look at a theretofore mysterious and unseen artifact: an actual comic book script. Available in numerous editions and formats now but Initially published in 1991 as a supplemental feature in the Dream Country paperback, writer Neil Gaiman’s script for the Shakespearean “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” chapter revealed the writer’s deference to his artistic collaborator Charles Vess. Gaiman’s words expressed a deep understanding of comics as a visual medium and Vess’ strengths as a master illustrator, with panel descriptions reading less like mechanical instructions in a script and more like helpful suggestions in a letter. The process, overseen by Sandman editor and Vertigo imprint founder Karen Berger, was a resounding success, winning the issue (#19 in The Sandman’s original run) a World Fantasy Award.
Gaiman understands how much of The Sandman’s -- of all great comic books’ -- power comes from the image, so it was honestly not a surprise to hear that Gaiman’s collaborator for The Sandman: Overture, a 25th anniversary celebration of the enduringly popular series, would be the great JH Williams III. It was, however, a surprise to see just how far Overtureexceeded expectations.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Our subject this week is writer, editor, and letterer Rachel Deering, whose work CA readers have seen in the Kickstarter hit Womanthology, her self-published lesbian werewolf epic Anathema, and Valiant's Shadowman, which she has lettered.Her next writing project is Relic, coming soon from Monkeybrain Comics.
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