As much as I love Batman, and I think the record will show that I love Batman a whole heck of a lot, I haven't really been looking forward to sitting down and cracking open the new Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years hardcover. Last year's Superman anniversary hardcover was a disaster of revisionist history, 300 pages that would have you believe that one of the world's greatest superheroes did nothing for seven and a half decades but cry. With that in mind, I had no idea what DC Comics was going to do with Batman. If you'd asked me to bet on it, I would've put good money on a prediction that they'd craft a narrative that acknowledged Batman only as a scowling vigilante, consumed with vengeance and every bit as crazy as the villains he fought.
But it turns out I didn't have to worry. The Batman hardcover is exactly what it says it is -- a celebration of Batman across different eras, with a roster of stories that highlights one of the character's true strengths: How well he works across different kinds of stories.
Kansas City's Planet Comicon has steadily grown into what may be the biggest comics and pop culture convention in the Midwest. After spending several years in the Overland Park Convention Center, a mid-sized facility in a suburb of Kansas City, last year Planet Comicon moved to Bartle Hall, a much bigger facility in the heart of downtown. This year, the convention doubled in floorspace, drew cosplayers likes flies to vinegar, and brought in a litany of television and pop culture stars, including legendary rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, pretty much the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the puffy one himself, Sir William Freaking Shatner.
But this site is called ComicsAlliance, and what we really care about are the comics and the creators who make them. Click onwards for a sometimes-blurry Blackberry camera gallery of guests, friends, and artist alley residents of one of the fastest-growing cons in the country.
It's no secret that Greg Rucka's last experience writing for Marvel left the award-winning writer frustrated. But time passes and fences are mended, and as we've seen so often in the past, it's never too late for a creator to return. Sometimes all it takes is the right project.
So while it may not be a surprise, it is certainly welcome news that Rucka will be returning to Marvel to write an ongoing solo series starring the younger Cyclops from All-New X-Men, collaborating with illustrator Russell Dauterman. And what appealed to Rucka about the project wasn't just his affinity for the Marvel character, but the fact that he has a son around the same age.
Following the well-received launch of Lazarus, Greg Rucka is continuing his focus on creator-owned comics, as today Dark Horse announced Veil, a five issue miniseries written by Rucka and illustrated by Toni Fejzula. The series marks the award-winning writer's first creator-owned collaboration with Dark Horse.
It looks like fans excited by the prospect of a high-production-value film adaptation of writer Greg Rucka and artist Marco Checchetto's recent run on The Punisher will have to wait for something officially sanctioned by Marvel.
The publisher has issued a cease-and-desist order against filmmaker Mike Pecci for his planned film, The Dead Can't Be Distracted, which he says could have been the pilot to a full Web series. That won't be happening now, at least without some serious intervention from Marvel itself.
Greg Rucka's Eisner Award Winning Queen and Country comic is one step closer to getting a cinematic adaptation at 20th Century Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, actress Ellen Page (X-Men: The Last Stand, Super, Inception) is in negotiations to star as British Special Operations Section operative Tara Chace in what could become a series of espionage films.
With apologies to Batman, The Question is my favorite DC character. Originally created by Steve Ditko for Charlton Comics, the Question, a.k.a Vic Sage, started off as a determined investigative journalist by day and a ruthless crime fighter by night, his roots lying in the same philosophy of Objectivism that Ditko himself is an ardent supporter of. In the 1980s, DC Comics acquired the rights to the character and quickly incorporated him into the DC Universe, where Denny O'Neil and Denys Cowan would team up for a celebrated run on a monthly series starring the faceless vigilante that would see him adopt a Zen mindset. The character would take on a few more personae over the years: Rick Veitch and Tommy Lee Edwards' under appreciated miniseries painted him as an urban warrior/shaman, the Justice League Unlimited cartoon portrayed him as a paranoid and aggressive detective who served as the team's conscience, and in DC Comics' year long weekly series 52, Sage would die, passing down the identity of The Question to Renee Montoya. Currently in the publisher's New 52 initiative, he's been re-imagined as one of the three greatest sinners in Earth's history.
Various creators have offered their take on The Question over the years, and each interpretation has been unique. But what's caused his evolution over the years? In a new 12 minute documentary, Gary Lobstein sits down with creators who have worked on the character -- O'Neill, Greg Rucka, Rick Burchett and Jeffrey Combs -- and asks: Who is The Question? It's an interesting discussion, and you can check it out below.
While Scott Snyder's work on Batman has made him immensely popular among readers, the title that he first made his name on, and possibly the one most important to him, is American Vampire, his creator-owned series for Vertigo. Written by Snyder and illustrated by co-creator Rafael Albuquerque, American Vampire is the tale of Pearl, an aspiring actress turned into an ageless vampire in the 1920s. Through the lens of Pearl and her life, Snyder and Albuquerque explore the rise of America, from the 1920s up to, eventually, the present day.
The Eisner Award-winning series has been on hiatus since issue #34 in January, but to help fill the void for readers, Vertigo is releasing anAmerican Vampire anthology, with nine short stories from an impressive line up of creators: Greg Rucka, Becky Cloonan, Jason Aaron, John Paul Leon, Francesco Francavilla, Gail Simone, Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon, Declan Shalvey and more. You can check out the full lineup, plus preview art from the issue, below.
Sometimes a writer and an artist bring out the best in each other. Greg Rucka would probably tell you how fortunate he's been to work with several especially fantastic artists throughout his career: JH Williams III, Yoshitaka Amano, and Steve Lieber, just to name a few. Likewise, Michael Lark has been paired with some excellent writers like Ed Brubaker and Dean Motter. But Rucka and Lark may be at their best when working together, as they did on the neo-classic Gotham Central, so it was no surprise that last year's announcement of Lazarus, their new series from Image Comics, was met with significant praise from readers, critics, and other creators alike.
Like Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga, Lazarus was the kind of comic book that seemed destined to be critically lauded even before anyone read it. Image Comics, knowing what it had on its hands, marketed the book at every opportunity, releasing artwork well in advance as well as a short story set in the Lazarus universe. But all the early praise did give me some pause. I love what both creators have accomplished together, but sometimes reality can't live up to the hype, even when everything looks good on paper (so-to-speak). But I can confirm Lazarus #1 is a success. Let's take a look at why.
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