Like so many major films released these days, ‘Interstellar’ has a comic book tie-in. But unlike most comic book tie-ins, this one is actually written by the original film’s director and is premiering online. And yes, you can read the whole thing right now, free of charge. We’re going to jump straight into spoilers right at the end of this sentence, so if you haven’t had a chance to see Christopher Nolan‘s science fiction adventure yet, you may want to consider turning around.
With a new hardcover omnibus of Alias by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, Marvel re-releases one of the most critically successful comics of the early 2000s. Apart from its various awards nominations and wins, it was one of just a few comics that everybody seemed to love, during an era when Marvel was equal parts creatively daring and ridiculously misguided. The first comic published under the mature readers MAX imprint, Alias officially broke ground on Marvel's R-rated label with an emphatic F-word, which immediately strikes one as both obvious and necessary. Unlike many other titles that sprung from the MAX imprint, though, Alias went far beyond than the gimmick of sex and cuss words in the Marvel Universe, and was easily one of the most readable comics on the stands for its entire twenty-eight-issue run.
That's just my memory, though, and I wouldn't exactly describe it as sharp. So how good is it on a re-read? Particularly as Marvel prepares a new live-action Netflix series based on the book, and has hinted as recently as last week that Jessica might be "getting back to work".
You probably haven't heard since they haven't really been making a big deal of it, but this year marks the official 75th Anniversary of Marvel Comics. Sort of. It actually marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of Marvel Comics #1, which introduced the world to the Human Torch and paved the way for the company that would eventually become the modern Marvel Comics which really came about in 1961, but you know what? That's a good enough reason for a party.
To that end, this week saw the release of the Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration, an anthology that caught my eye mostly because it features legendary and still hugely popular Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Bruce Timm adapting a Captain America story written by Stan Lee in 1941, and that is definitely something that I want to read. But with 55 pages in the anthology, there's a heck of a lot more in there besides, including the return of Alias by the original creative team of Bendis, Gaydos and Hollingsworth, and essays by comics journalists including our own Andrew Wheeler, making this one of those rare anthologies where it's all pretty good stuff.
If you asked me who my favorite writers were in comics today, Scott Snyder's name would be right up there at the top of the list, but I'll be honest with you: That's entirely because of his work on Batman. There's very little of his work outside of my favorite superhero that I've read, including American Vampire -- and that alone is pretty weird when you consider that it's got Dracula in it, and he's a solid #2 on my personal list of the best bat-themed characters in fiction. As a result, I've ben looking forward to checking out some of his other work for a while, and Wytches, the new book coming out from Image, felt like a pretty good place to start trying.
It is, after all written by Snyder and drawn by his Batman: The Black Mirror collaborator Jock, and if there are two creators that I like enough to give a new book a try sight unseen, it's them. Having read the first issue, though, I can tell you that it is very good, but very, very dark.
Hawkeye is building ever closer to its apparent end (next month's issue is "The Finale Part 1"), and from the looks of the issue coming out this week, things are building to a head.
Hawkeye Kate Bishop, who took off to start her own private investigation firm in L.A. a few issues back, is looking for a way back to New York in issue #20 to help out also-Hawkeye Clint Barton, who readers last saw in the jam of all jams, and trying to assemble all the help he could get. But, of course, it isn't going to be easy. She's got cops breathing down her neck and one very angry supervillain in a mask attempting to bring her down.
Check out four pages (plus a recap) from the issue by Matt Fraction, Annie Wu and Matt Hollingsworth, plus a cover by David Aja, below.
This week, Chris and Matt gush about the amazing work Matt Fraction, David Aja, Matt Hollingsworth and Chris Eliopoulos do on the highly experimental and enjoyable Hawkeye #19. Then they talk about the Brian Buccellato-written Detective Comics Annual #3, which features collaborations with a whole slew of artists. Speaking of big groups of artists, they then pivot to talking about the new Vertigo series Bodies, which is written by Si Spencer and has art by Meghan Hetrick, Dean Ormston, Tula Lotay and Phil Winslade.
Creators Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy's mind-bending, centuries-spanning Vertigo Comics horror/sci-fi series The Wake comes to an end today, and it has covered a lot of ground in its 10 issues -- which is quite an accomplishment for a book that takes place in a world almost entirely covered by water.
A mix of horror and mythology spanning three different time periods, The Wake features a group of scientists, led by Dr. Lee Archer, attempting to uncover the secrets of a vicious Merman-like creature captured by the U.S. government. As Dr. Archer and her team do their best to discover the truth, the creature -- with the ability to invade their thoughts, granting them each what they believe to be their heart's desires -- has other plans. The creature unlocks many of mankind's myths of the sea -- and, consequently, itself -- and propels a wild-eyed, high adventure narrative that traverses centuries and brings in monsters, pirates, super-science, post-apocalyptic cultures and some of the most haunting psychological horror Vertigo's published in years.
Throughout, the Eisner-winning series has taken the emotional, intellectual and philosophical and made them manifest on the page with some highly innovative and bold storytelling techniques, such as when, after five issues of following Dr. Lee's adventure, the book jumps hundreds of years into the future to focus on a new protagonist and her cybernetic dolphin. The final issue takes that approach to a whole other level, telling a creation myth while providing closure for the characters. It's quite an accomplishment, and we talked with Snyder and Murphy about how they pulled it off.
WARNING: Issue #10 spoilers ahead.
In the final few hours before San Diego Comic-Con opened its doors to the public for Preview Night on Wednesday, Image Comics Expo took place in an upstairs ballroom at the nearby San Diego Bayfront Hilton, where the publisher welcomed a group of press, creators, and fans to watch as the company announced, discussed and otherwise promote a great variety of upcoming Image titles.
When I spoke to Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy about their Vertigo series The Wake last April, about a month before the first issue’s release, we talked quite a bit about what types of movies influenced it. Several titles of horror movies and movies based around ocean settings came up: The Thing, Jaws, The Abyss. But we barely scratched the surface.
One of the things The Wake does so, so well is it constantly upends audience expectations. One way it does that, issue by issue, the genre seems to change. It isn’t just horror. That’s the easiest way to categorize it, but Snyder and Murphy work within the established tropes of multiple genres to, for lack of a better word, toy with the audience. What they’re doing goes beyond homage to film. It sets an expectation in the reader’s mind so that, when the big surprise comes, it’s all the more jarring. As the series digs into its second half, here’s a quick -- and slightly spoilery -- rundown of all the touchstones the series has hit so far.
Last month, ComicsAlliance launched its first ever Reader Choice Awards. We spend all year telling you what we like (and don't like), but we wanted to hear from you. We had seven different polls, asking voters to make their choices for best editor, colorist, writer/artist, cover artist, design, artist and writer for the previous year in comics.
Voting concluded this morning, and the results are in. Thanks to all of you who voted, and otherwise spread the word. You can check out a list of the winners below.