What may go down as one of the worst years in recent memory is slowly crawling to a close, and while we wish it good riddance and hope against hope that 2017 will be an improvement, there is some small solace in looking back over the year that's passed and figuring out what stuff from it was the best. That's right, it's "Best of..." list time, and today we're taking a look at the Best DC Covers of 2016.
This week saw the conclusion of the first volume of Marvel's newest incarnation of the Ultimates, which brought together a team of heavy hitters charged with defending the Earth from the most cosmic of threats. Next month, the title relaunches as Ultimates 2 by Al Ewing and Travel Foreman, and Marvel has provided us with a first look at unlettered pages from the first issue.
Marvel’s reveal of its Marvel NOW line of comics set for release in the wake of Civil War II has taken the form of a steady drip of announcements over the past week and a half, but now news is flooding in, and not all from official sources. Leaked scans of this week's Marvel NOW Previews magazine revealing the publisher's line-up for October and beyond have hit the internet via sites such as Reddit and 4chan.
We’ve rounded up all the information we could find to give you a sense of the new landscape of the Marvel Universe this fall.
After that whole "three different costumes in a year" thing he went through in the original Civil War, Peter Parker isn't rushing into anything this time around. Determined to figure things out on his own, Spider-Man uses his connection with Johnny Storm to set up a meeting with Ulysses, the precognitive Inhuman at the heart of Civil War II.
At least, that's what the official synopsis and the Marvel.com interview with writer Christos Gage tell us about the events of Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man #1. The preview is just two pages of Spidey fighting some purple Vulture guys. But it's a great showcase for Travel Foreman's art, so that's something.
Civil War II is just around the corner, and the news is starting to trickle in about what exactly it’s going to be, and what comics will be included in Marvel’s massive summer event. This past weekend at C2E2, Marvel unveiled a host of Civil War II news, including several brand-new miniseries, as well as announcing some of the details for crossovers that take place in regular books.
When you think about John Constantine, you probably imagine his more sinister, conniving feats of magic, like that time he tricked the devil himself into drinking holy water, or that time that he tricked three other devils into curing him of cancer, or that time that he somehow managed to not look like a complete dork while wearing a trenchcoat and smirking for something like thirty years. What you don't think about, I assume, is that he might be in life-threatening danger from a magical land of fairies where a pegasus bleeds rainbows.
That's exactly what happens in Constantine: The Hellblazer #10, by Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, Travel Foreman, Joseph Silver, Ivan Plascencia, and Tom Napolitano. The book finds everyone's favorite magician on his own in a world full of tinkerbells (tinkers bell? Let's go with tinkerbells), being hunted down by his arch-nemeses. Check out a preview, but be warned: There is explicit pegasus violence involved.
Q: What's the best Halloween story starring a superhero that doesn't really fit Halloween? -- @krinsbez
A: As much as the two genres have been historically opposed to each other, there are an awful lot of superheroes that have pretty strong ties to horror. Characters like Batman, for example, have spookiness built right into the concept from the very beginning, right down to the devil-horns and the dark cape, whih are meant to terrorize a superstitious, cowardly lot of criminals. But when you get further away from horror elements, when you look at the characters that are rooted in sci-fi or pure superheroics, and you drop them into a spooky story, then you can get a pretty great story just on the virtue of taking someone out of their element.
So turn down the lights and let's talk about Halloween in the Fortress of Solitude.
Back when I was working at a comic book store, one of our favorite lunch break timewasters was trying to come up with the most improbable-yet-awesome Justice League lineup that we could. We'd throw our favorite characters in there, from OMAC to John Constantine, with friendly arguments over which one would work better, but we never once thought it was something that would ever actually happen.
This week, DC released a "Sneak Peek" preview of Jeff Parker, Travel Foreman and Jeromy Cox's Justice League Unlimited, kicking off after the events of Convergence, and, well, it's happening. OMAC and John Constantine are on the Justice League together, and they're not alone. They're bringing in everyone. EVERYONE.
Valiant Comics is well into its Valiant First initiative, a months-long event in which the company debuts a slew of #1 issues. The event ends with a bang in September, with the debut of The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage by writer Jen Van Meter and artist Roberto De La Torre.
The premise of the new series is somewhat similar to The Second Life of Doctor Mirage, the 1993 series that featured the title character and his wife solving supernatural mysteries. This new version has ghostly sleuthing in it, too, but the 2014 Doctor Mirage is definitely not the same character. Dr. Shen Fong is a highly skilled professional working through some personal demons of her own. We sat down with Van Meter for a long chat about her approach to the book. Also, Nazi wizards.
While the 50th anniversary of the X-Men has received significant attention, another 50th anniversary for a similar team has gone largely unnoticed. Created in 1963 by Arnold Drake, Bruno Premiani, Murray Boltinoff and Bob Haney (though Haney's role is disputed), the Doom Patrol were the oddball, outcast hero team for DC Comics, in some ways the equivalent of Marvel's X-Men -- though the Doom Patrol actually debuted first. And while Marvel's premiere mutants have become a pop culture phenomenon, and have about 37 different monthly series right now, the Doom Patrol have never quite experienced the same success. There have been memorable runs on the title, most notably by writers Grant Morrison and Rachel Pollack, but for the most part the team is largely left unused, and spent their 50th birthday without so much as their own monthly title.
But it wasn't for lack of effort from Travel Foreman and Jeff Lemire. The two creators, whose work on Animal Man ranks among the most praised collaborations of DC's New 52 initiative, pitched a Doom Patrol series shortly after Foreman's run on Animal Man concluded. Alas, it was rejected, but Foreman has revealed art from the pitch, a series he is very much still interested in doing but says isn't likely to happen.