The new blockbuster Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is in cinemas now, and surprisingly it patches the flaws from its predecessor and ramps up the ridiculousness in a way that makes it an enjoyable family superhero film for the summer. The Turtles have been mainstays of film, TV and video games for decades, but their origins go way back to the black and white independent comics boom of the '80s.
If you’re a fan of Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles, odds are you’re already keeping up with IDW’s excellent ground-up re-imagining of the franchise, but if you want more in that vein, we’ve selected five of the best independent, creator-owned, or alternative licensed comics that live up to the spirit of Turtle Power!
Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday to commemorate the memory of the men and women who died serving in the Armed Forces.
It's also the end of an interesting month for fans of Captain America. In his 75th year of existence, the Sentinel of Liberty has starred in one of the most critically acclaimed superhero films of all time, and he's been the subject of a controversial new storyline in the pages of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1. Yet whatever his status in the comics, he remains an icon to the public at large, standing for the platonic ideals of the American nation at its very best. One of the best examples of what he represents comes from a series of one-shot comics telling of Cap's exploits in World War II and Iraq, with a shared focus on the ordinary soldiers fighting beside him.
Power Rangers is pretty much perfect as it already is, but if there was one single flaw in the entire franchise, I think we can all agree that it would be the fact that the show is very rarely a deep psychological drama. I mean, there's that one episode of Ninja Storm where we see the Red Ranger huddling naked in a room full of eyes as part of a dream sequence, and there are Dr. K's flashbacks in RPM, but other than that, you never really get to see the harrowing effects of being brainwashed by a Moon Witch.
You'd think the Power Rangers would've had more luck with comic books. They are, after all, superheroes, and not only that, but they're superheroes in a story that brings in pretty much everything superhero fans love: Secret identities, star-crossed romance, giant robot dinosaurs, moon witches, a disembodied head floating in a tube. Admittedly, some of those might just be things I'd like to see in superhero stories, but the point stands. The show's coming up on 23 years of success on television, and while it seems like everything it needs to make a good comic is right there already, every attempt up to now has resulted in what you could charitably refer to as a mixed bag.
Now, it looks like that might finally change. This week, Boom Studios is launching an ongoing Power Rangers series with a zero issue, and I have to admit that for a first issue, it's got everything I want from a Power Rangers comic. And by that, I mostly mean that there's a Bulk and Skull solo story.
More than two decades after their television debut in 1993, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are finally getting a long-overdue style makeover for their upcoming Boom Studios series by writer Kyle Higgins and artist Hendry Prasetya. The series launches with a "Green Ranger: Year One" story arc in issue #1 in March 2016, and the issue will feature eight variant covers, including this Kevin Wada cover featuring the iconic Power Rangers team in their classic MMPR costumes.
The series also includes Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0, a one-shot prelude scheduled for January 13th, which features an ongoing back-up Bulk and Skull storyline by writer Steve Orlando and artist Corin Howell.
Image Comics held its now traditional pre-San Diego one-day show on Thursday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and unveiled an impressive roster of new titles for the coming year that includes new work by familiar names such as Warren Ellis, Jason Aaron and Gail Simone; plus an encouraging number of relative newcomers and unknowns. Check out our rundown of all the news and announcements.
If there's one problem that we as comics readers all share, it's that we just have too much money. Sure, we keep trying to give it to publishers and creators, but sometimes there just aren't enough comics to buy, and that's why we always need more great books out there to pick up. Fortunately, the good folks over at Comixology are doing their best to make that as easy as possible, and this week, those efforts are taking the form of the Image Comics "New Hits" Sale.
A ton of great new Image books like Southern Bastards, The Wicked + The Divine, Velvet, Burn the Orphanage and more have seen their first few issues dropped down to 99 cents each, and on top of that, there's a bundle of 20 first issues for just fifteen bucks.
Of all the titles in DC Comics' "Digital-First" initiative, Batman Beyond 2.0 has been possibly the biggest surprise. Kyle Higgins and artist Thony Silas launched a series that expands the beloved Batman Beyond animated series storyline from the 1990s in exciting and unexpected ways, without losing the elements that made the Warner Bros. Animation original so popular, and fans have noticed and responded. The story of young Batman Terry McGuinness and his mentor Bruce Wayne and their adventures in Neo-Gotham, DC recently upgraded the Batman Beyond 2.0 from bi-weekly to weekly, and as of Chapter #25, Higgins brought his C.O.W.L. collaborator Alec Siegel and venerable comics veterans Phil Hester and Craig Rousseau onboard the series for what the team has promised to be a particularly dramatic new movement in the young series, one that includes a return of the Phantasm, one of Batman: The Animated Series' most rarely scene yet fan-favorite foes.
During a few spare minutes as San Diego Comic-Con, we stopped by the DC booth to chat with the Higgins and Siegel about their love for the Batman Beyond characters, their collaborative process, "Mark of the Phantasm", and their further plans for the book's future.
COWL is an Image Comics series which stylishly depicts an alternate history Chicago of the pre-”swinging” 1960s, when the (in)famously political city experienced all manner of socioeconomic upheaval — including the dissolution of the Chicago Organized Workers League. Also known as COWL, it’s a union for costumed superheroes, and its days are numbered.
Besides the very cool and original artwork of Rod Reis, we like COWL because it avoids some traps into which most non-Marvel and non-DC cape comics fall. Crucially, despite its “real-world” premise and period setting, COWL is not a Watchmen cover version, offering a decidedly less dour tone and honest-to-god superhero adventure blended deftly with its dramatic take on city politics. Sometimes it’s even really funny. The book also bucks the origin fetish of the superhero genre by introducing us to its intriguing cast not at the start of their sagas, but at what might be the end.
Last week at Comic-Con International in San Diego, we had a chance to talk to COWL co-writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel about their series.
Among the colorful cosplay, massive booths, interactive displays and walls of merchandise at Comic-Con International in San Diego — colloquially known as SDCC — remains the most important component of the show: comic book creators. ComicsAlliance photographer and Loikiamania podcast host Pat Loika hit the show floor to catch the men and women who tell our favorite stories in sequential art and captured the enthusiasm that comes from fans getting to meet their favorite storytellers at one of the biggest conventions of the year.
Check back with ComicsAlliance throughout the weekend for more of Pat’s great photos from San Diego.
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