Welcome to Cast Party, the feature that imagines a world with even more live action comic book adaptations than we currently have, and comes up with arguably the best casting suggestions you’re ever going to find for the movies and shows we wish could exist. This week I'm turning my attention to one of Marvel's most interesting current team books, The Ultimates, by Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort.
How do you do an Ultimates series post-Secret Wars, without the Ultimate Universe? The original series by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch was supposed to be a reimagining of the Avengers concept for the 21st century, and had significant influence on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both narratively and visually.
After the events of Secret Wars, we no longer have an Ultimate Universe, but we do have a new Ultimates comic by Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown. Four issues in, they’re re-imagining and redefining what a superhero team can be in the twenty-first century, just like the original volume did fourteen years ago.
We are quickly approaching the November 25 release date for Dark Knight III: The Master Race, Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson's eight-issue miniseries chronicling the final adventure of an older Batman. And, as is the way of things, there are going to be plenty of variant covers for collectors to get their hands on.
In addition to the usual variants --- including the 1:5000 sketch variant by Jim Lee that was announced back in August --- there are also going to be retailer-specific covers.
Of all the books announced by Marvel during this week's big All-New, All-Different unveiling, one of the surprise titles that generated the most buzz was Ultimates, by Al Ewing and Kenneth Rocafort. Though the name echoes back to the Ultimate Universe version of the Avengers, this is a very different team, comprised of some of the Marvel Universe's major powerhouses and most brilliant minds as they tackle cosmic threats on the scale of... well, Galactus.
ComicsAlliance spoke to Ewing to learn about the big idea behind this big team and the sort of threats they'll be facing, and to discover what drew him to put characters like Black Panther, Captain Marvel and America Chavez on one team --- besides the fact that they're all obviously the best characters.
Last year, the Royal Canadian Mint issued seven collector's coins to celebrate Superman's 75th anniversary. Looks like it's a hard habit to break, because at this year's Fan Expo in Toronto, the mint announced it was issuing four more coins with images from covers dating back to Superman's debut in 1938.
Though he's widely considered a U.S. hero, Superman has Canadian roots. Joe Shuster, who co-created Superman with Jerry Siegel, was born in Toronto.
Months before it even came out, this week's Teen Titans #1 was off to a pretty rough start. Not only did it have the stigma of being one of the few "New 52" comics to be canceled and relaunched in the three years since DC's line-wide superhero reboot, alongside last week's New Suicide Squad, but criticism over Kenneth Rocafort's cover sparked a controversy that would've drowned out the actual content no matter what the content of the issue was. And really, that's kind of a shame.
Teen Titans #1 isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a solid story of teenage superheroics, and like so many of the recent launches from DC, it feels like the type of thing that the New 52 should've been doing all along. If it just didn't look like it does, it'd be great.
That didn't last long. Though Scott Lobdell and Tyler Kirkham's Teen Titans run will conclude this month with issue #30 on April 23 and in the Teen Titans Annual #3 on April 30, DC will relaunch the title in July. Helming the relaunch is writer Will Pfeifer with Teen Titans Annual #3 artist Kenneth Rocafort, which should bridge the storylines, to an extent, with some visual continuity.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
You may have missed it as the internet continued to rage about this, but last Friday on its website DC Comics revealed four proposed looks for a new version of Lobo. Designed by Kenneth Rocafort, the distinctly svelte, sinister and maybe even sexy Lobo looks very much like the kind of standard sci-fi character you'd see from Top Cow (where Rocafort made his name), and is a dramatic shift away from the over-the-top '80s biker originally conceived by Keith Giffen and Roger Silfer and visually defined by Simon Bisley. In fitting Lobo fashion, things got ugly, which led to Marguerite Bennett -- who'll be writing the Lobo one-shot -- defending the book and herself before anyone's even had a chance to read it.
A very enormous Superman movie opened recently, and the Man of Steel's publisher DC Comics is availing itself of the occasion to launch some new projects designed not just to entertain its existing readership but to welcome Man of Steel viewers intrigued by what they’ve seen on screen. We already discussed the first issue of Superman Unchained, the new series by DC superstars Scott Snyder and Jim Lee, and this week saw the debut of Batman/Superman, billed as the story of the first meeting of the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. The book is written by recent DC recruit Greg Pak, a ComicsAlliance favorite for his work on Marvel books like Planet Hulk and Hercules, and artist Jae Lee, the former Dark Tower illustrator and popular cover artist who raised his game immensely with the visually stunning contributions to the controversial Before Watchmen project.
As was the case with Superman Unchained, the pairing of Lee and Pak has drawn some lapsed DC readers back to see what’s become of the World's Finest since their New 52 makeovers. It is mainly from the perspective of that New 52 n00b that we contemplated this auspicious new issue and noted the following Very Important Things.