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NECA’s Anniversary Dark Horse Predator Stands Out in the Concrete Jungle [Review]

NECA 25th Anniversary Dark Horse Comics Predator

In 1987, 20th Century Fox introduced the world to the Predator in one of the most memorable action films of Arnold Schwarzenegger's career. I wouldn't see the movie until a few years after it's release on cable at a sleepover, but the impression it made was instant. In 1989, Dark Horse brought the alien hunters to the masses through the first of many mini-series, Concrete Jungle. The four-issue series actually focused on the brother of Schwarzenegger's Dutch Schaffer, a New York police detective working the narcotics division. Even all these years later, the cover to the first issue is still a bold and memorable one, which was a hallmark of DHP's Predator books way back when. Since those earliest Predator stories, the franchise has stuck with fans, and the tribal aliens have appeared in a variety of forms over the years.

These comics, which arrived on the scene before Danny Glover and Predator 2, were the first time we learned there could be more than one of these ugly mother f---ers out there. Dark Horse's books continued expanding on the universe of the Yautja over the years, building a deep history for the alien race, and even helping inspire a bit of cross-pollination with the Alien franchise (also at 20th Century Fox and Dark Horse). Still, Concrete Jungle, which acted as a direct sequel of sorts to the original film remains one of the most important. Now, in celebration of the 25th anniversary Dark Horse's first Predator comics, NECA's released a special version of the iconic hunter commemorating that stunning cover.

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Filed Under: , Category: Dark Horse, Reviews, Toys

Buy This Book: ‘DC Bombshells’ #1 Knocks It Out Of The Park

DC Bombshells #1

At first glance, DC Bombshells seems like it's operating on a pretty weird premise. It is, after all, a digital comic based on a line of statues that reimagine the company's heroines with retro, pinup-inspired designs, and while a lot of them have been pretty great, trying to create a narrative based around an aesthetic seems like a tough task. In practice, though, Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage don't just rise to the occasion, they demolish it.

In a summer that's been marked by some of DC's strongest new titles in years, from Black Canary to Prez, the first digital chapter of Bombshells came out swinging and knocked it out of the park with what might just be the best first issue of the bunch.

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The Transformed Man, Act 16: Chaos Theory

The Transformed Man, Act 16: Chaos Theory

I've never liked the Transformers. The franchise didn't get its hooks into me as a kid, and while I've tried to give it a shot as an adult, it never really clicked. But now, with a recommendation from almost everyone I know and a well-timed Humble Bundle sale that left me with three years worth (and counting) of IDW's More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise comics, I'm going on a quest to see if these comics can turn me from someone who has never cared at all about Optimus Prime into someone who uses words like "Cybertron" and "alt-mode" with alarming regularity. And Primus help me, it's working.

This week, we're heading back to 2011 for "Chaos Theory" and the first meeting of Optimus Prime and Megatron!

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Monstrous and Macabre: Should You Be Reading ‘Wytches’?

wytches-feat

When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it's hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there's so much to choose from that it's sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With Should I Be Reading... ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.

Wytches is a horror comic from writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock, with colors by Matt Hollingsworth, published by Image and debuting in October 2014. The series follows a family that relocates to escape the trauma of a troubling past, only to discover that there's something far more sinister lurking in the woods by their new home.

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Noir on Fire in Kot, Taylor and Loughridge’s ‘Wolf’ #1 [Review]

Wolf 1

Wolf #1, written by Ales Kot with art by Matt Taylor and Lee Loughridge, opens with one of the most beautifully distinct images I've seen in a comic this year: a man on a hillside overlooking LA; the buzzy glow of the city's lights just visible in the distance; the man is singing a blues song, Robert Johnson's Hellhound on My Trail; also, he's on fire. It's a haunting image, all the more because of the complete lack of explanation. “How do you feel about myths?” reads the single caption, and there's something genuinely mythic about these opening pages. This image of a burning man, picked out in flames of unnaturally bright orange by colorist Loughridge, is eerie, primal and immediately iconic.

These pages set the tone for the rest of the issue, and most likely the series to follow --- and even if the rest of the issue's sixty-something pages never quite match the highs of these first few images, it's a promising start.

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Filed Under: , , , Category: Image, Reviews

War Comes Home in Vaughan & Skroce’s Allegorical ‘We Stand On Guard’

westandguard-feat

Brian K. Vaughan’s newest series, We Stand On Guard with artist Steve Skroce, returns the writer to the realm of political allegory in the blunt tradition of George Orwell’s greatest novels. Here Vaughan and Skroce are addressing the 2003 Invasion of Iraq through a science fiction narrative. We Stand On Guard takes place about 100 years in the future when the United States invades Canada after the White House is bombed in a drone strike from an unknown source. The story jumps from the initial invasion to 12 years in the future when the United States occupies Canada and only small bands of freedom fighters struggle against the American troops.

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On The Cheap: Grab Jeff Parker And Marc Laming’s ‘Kings Watch’ For Five Bucks

Kings Watch, Dynamite Entertainment

This week at Comixology, Dynamite has a big sale on their "Greatest Hits," and as you might expect from the title, there's a lot of really good stuff in there. So good, in fact, that you probably don't need me to tell you about it --- being able to grab twelve issues of American Flagg for nine bucks, for example, is probably something that you already know is a good idea.

But if you're on the hunt for a buried treasure and you've got a spare picture of Abraham Lincoln burning a hole in your pocket, then you need to do yourself a favor and pick up Jeff Parker and Marc Laming's Kings Watch, one of the best (and most underrated) crossovers of the past few years.

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Stone Warriors and Space Fantasy: Should You Be Reading ‘Aquapunk: The First Law’?

Lo Frequency
Lo Frequency

When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it's hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there's so much to choose from that it's sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With 'Should I Be Reading... ?', ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.

Aquapunk: The First Law is a space-fantasy webcomic by writer/artist LoFrequency, currently on its first year online --- though it dates back further than that. It centers on magical constructs of solid stone, the war they fight in, the serially reincarnated overclass they serve, and the crimes that a small band of them are falsely accused of.

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Hot Toys Iron Man MK XLIII Makes Me Eat My Words [Review]

Hot Toys Avengers: Age of Ultron Iron Man MK XLIII Limited Edition

I give Hot Toys a lot of grief over the amount of Iron Man figures its released since the first movie arrived back in 2008. Over the course of the last seven years, there have been more than 40 different Iron Man sixth-scale figures (including Tony Starks) crafted by Hot Toys. New armors or variants seemingly get announced every week, and with Iron Man set to appear in at least a few more Marvel movies over the next four years, it's a trend that will likely continue, too. However, in all that time, I've only ever purchased one figure based on the license, and even that was a Tony Stark figure, not a true Iron Man suit of armor.

Given just how many armors have been released by Hot Toys, you'd think it would be hard to craft a piece that truly stands out among it peers. To an extent, that's true enough of the Avengers: Age of Ultron Iron Man MK XLIII sixth-scale figure. Just like its movie counterpart, the Hot Toys MK XLIII is a repainted MK XLII from Iron Man 3, which swaps the red and gold color arrangement. But that's just on the surface. Where this figure sets itself apart is in the little details, and sometimes that kind of attention to minutiae can make all the difference.

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‘We Are Robin’ Sticks The Landing In Its Second Issue

We Are Robin, DC Comics

As much as I've been enjoying most of the new "DC You" titles, I'll admit that the first issue of Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona and Khary Randolph's We Are... Robin didn't do a whole lot for me --- and not just because of that weirdly punctuated title. That first issue had a solid main character with a clear motivation, a couple of interesting set pieces, a sweeping threat to Gotham City and a genuinely great first page, but something about it just didn't land.

When the second issue hit shelves this week, though, I decided I'd give it another shot, and I'm glad I did, because this is where the hook finally lands, and where the story ramps up into something that's engaging, exciting, mysterious and, if you're the kind of person who obsesses over Batman's sidekicks, very rewarding to read.

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