Alien invasion stories have always been fertile ground for allegory. Throughout the history of the sub-genre, spaceships filled with arachnid creatures, little green men, shape-shifting Skrulls, omnipotent super-beings, and brain-eating slugs have come to represent oppressive and militaristic governments, Communism, the disenfranchised, and several more variations of the great and unknowable Other, usually influenced by politics or social issues. Yet with all the metaphoric territory the alien invasions have covered, in Image Comics' Trees, Warren Ellis and Jason Howard prove there's still plenty left unsaid.
It's a pretty big flaw to have when your job is knowing things about comic books, but I'll admit that when I hear the words 2000 AD, I tend to just think of Judge Dredd and stop there. In my head, I'm fully aware that the weekly anthology has way more science fiction to offer beyond the walls of Mega City One -- and I've got the paperbacks around here to prove it -- but far too often, I forget about everything that doesn't have gigantic kneepads and a tendency to throw creeps into the Iso-Cubes.
That's why I'm glad that the publisher sent over a copy of their new title, Ian Edgington and I.N.J. Culbard's Brass Sun, because otherwise, it's pretty likely that I would've missed it. That would've been a shame, too, because it's one of the most fascinating and beautiful new comics that I've read in a long while.
Directed by Bryan Singer, X-Men: Days of Future Past is the thirty-seventh in 20th Century Fox’s series of X-Men films based on the Marvel Comics franchise originated by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. It is owing to the series’ bitterly old age that the new film is almost totally devoted to reconciling the conflicting plots and divergent timelines of its predecessors. In this very hilarious way, Days of Future Past is the most faithful adaptation to date, having actually translated to film that most core concept of X-Men comics: hopelessly confusing and eternally jacked up continuity.
So what have you been up to the ast three months? If you're penciller David Finch or inker Richard Friend, you were probably drawing liking a maniac, while avoiding daily, shouty phone calls from editors, as the seven-issue, "monthly" series Forever Evil finally shipped its final issue this Wednesday, a good three months after its sixth issue dropped. The delay has caused some trouble in DC's line, as it delayed the release of tie-in issues, and created some glitches in storytlines (Perhaps the most notable was that two issues of the series Justice League United, which picks up where Justice League of America ended, shipped before the final issue of JLoA).
MPH, the new super-speedster book from Mark Millar and Duncan Fegredo, debuts from Image Comics this week. And apparently it's pretty awesome, because it's already getting its own movie, optioned by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura just one week after Fox bought the rights to Mark Millar and Leinil Francis Yu's Superior. If Millar didn't already have a tight-enough grip on the nexus of Hollywood and comics, Superior and MPH movies would give him the metaphorical finger-strength to squeeze it into a diamond. So is MPH worthy of the same treatment as Kick-Ass and Wanted? Please read this next part with the inner voice of Dateline's Keith Morrison: Or is Hollywood, much like Roscoe Rodriguez in MPH, moving a little... too... fast? Thank you for playing.
As a fan, I have a pretty complicated relationship with Paul Dini. On the one hand, he's one of the creators of what might be my single favorite thing in the entire world, Batman: The Animated Series, and he's written comics that I genuinely love. That run on Detective Comics, where the Riddler was a Private Eye, where he introduced new characters like the Carpenter? That thing's great. But at the same time, he wrote that story where Hush literally steals Catwoman's heart and holds it for ransom while keeping her alive with a giant heart machine that he built in his garage. I mean, I love "Harley's Holiday" more than most members of my own family, but I also paid good money for Madame Mirage and I'm never getting that back, you know? It's a complicated relationship.
As a result, I approached Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell, the new graphic novel he wrote with artwork by the always amazing Joe Quinones, with a certain amount of trepidation, because I wasn't really sure what I was going to get out of it.
Turns out, this much anticipated book might not be perfect, but it's definitely the kind of Paul Dini story I like and the kind I want to see more of.
The CW’s superhero series Arrow re-imagines Green Arrow for a TV audience as a tough, often ruthless vigilante bent on setting things right in his home of Starling City by punishing the wicked. ComicsAlliance’s Matt Wilson will be following along to see how he fares.
This week, everything gets wrapped up in a nice little bow in the season finale, but a few new cliffhangers emerge. Also: A guy makes a very weird noise.
The first couple hours of Telltale Games' newest episode of its video game version of The Walking Dead, "In Harm's Way," feel a little strange. Things move fairly slowly, and most of what the player does is fairly mundane. You do chores, basically. There's high drama, for sure, but a lot of it is happening around the lead character, Clementine, rather than to her.
Then the last act hits, and things go absolutely crazy. The story gets darker and more intense than it ever really has in the series, which is a high hurdle to clear. The shift, along with a few distracting creative decisions, make for what's probably the most uneven chapter in the series so far, but that seems to kind of be the point.
I'm going to out on a limb here and say that of all the major comic book news sites, ComicsAlliance is the one that has the most expertise on the subject of the Power Rangers. When the discussion turns to American adaptations of tokusatsu shows where multicolored heroes ride around in giant robots that can do karate, we can speak with an authority that is truly unquestionable. And as a result, we've been pretty interested in the new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers graphic novels from Papercutz ever since they were announced.
Written by Stefan Petrucha with art by PH Marcondes and Laurie E. Smith, the first volume is out now, and while this might sound like faint praise, it's a whole lot better than I was expecting. It might not quite top being Morphenomenal, but it's certainly Morphinabove Average.
Adam Warren's Empowered is one of the best superhero comics being made today. Sometimes I think Empowered might end up being one of the greatest superhero comics ever. The elements are all there: engaging characters, a plot that springs from them organically, an inventive setting, and scads of emotion. Its parodical beginnings -- based in the jokey premise of superpowered woman Empowered de-powering as her delicate, stereotypically skintight super suit gets shredded in battle -- has transitioned smoothly into a darker present, and it’s an evolution that’s been met with little in the way of fan whining for “the good old days.” Yes, Empowered is funny, surprising, moving, and original.
And it's softcore.
Shrinkwrapped, bondage-based, can't-read-it-on-the-bus softcore.