Ever since it debuted a few months ago, Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda's Omega Men has been one of the most engaging comics on the stands, and not just because of the story of the title characters and the intergalactic insurgency that has seen them manipulate the power structures of an entire planet and fake the death of Kyle Rayner before the series even started. Don't get me wrong --- all that stuff is interesting, and it makes for a fantastic read, but what really sets Omega Men apart is the visual style that its creators have adopted to tell their story.
Or, more accurately, about one very specific and very well-implemented element of the book's visual style: The Nine-Panel Grid.
With most of its major hits and standout series having run their course months or years ago, Vertigo has been due for a renaissance for a while now. Judging from the announcements made at San Diego Comic Con late on Thursday, the publisher may be rallying, with 12 new series set to launch in the closing months of 2015 at a rate of one new issue #1 every week.
Those 12 titles include a couple of previously announced books that have been rescheduled, but enough new announcements to suggest that Vertigo means to impress with its ambition. Sci fi and the supernatural are inevitably well represented, and the roster includes veteran talents, emerging names, and a few cross-disiplinary transfers in the form of novelists Lauren Beukes and Holly Black — the latter on a relaunch of Lucifer — and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.
I'll be honest, folks: I have very little interest in Future's End as a line-wide crossover. DC Comics' tactic of derailing their books into weird tangents every September, a tradition that goes back to the relaunch of the "New 52" universe, never quite works as well as I want it to, and when you throw in the fact that we're peering into the dim and distant future of a world that we've only actually had for three years, and, well, no thanks, I'm good. What really had me worried, though, was Grayson.
I've really been enjoying what Tom King, Tim Seeley and Stephen Mooney have been doing with this book over the first few issues, but as I think we all know, there's no faster way to derail a brand new comic's momentum than to drop it into a crossover after two months. I almost didn't bother to read it, but I'm glad I did. It turns out that King, Seeley and Mooney have taken their Future's End tie-in as an opportunity to produce one of the most enjoyable single issues I've read in a long while.
Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.
This week, Chris and Matt start off by gushing about Grayson #2 by Tim Seeley, Tom King, and Mikel Janin. Then, they do pretty much the opposite to Genius #1 by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman and Afua Richardson. Then, it's back to gushing about Moon Knight #6 by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire!
Dick Grayson is one of those characters that's been rumored to be on DC Comics' chopping block for well over a decade now, so like a lot of readers, I expected his unmasking in Forever Evil to be followed by a quick and ignominious death at the hands of, I don't know, Deathstroke or Harley Quinn or somebody. When it was announced that it would instead be leading into a new series where he'd be ditching the Nightwing identity and joining up with Spyral as an international super-spy, I was actually pretty excited. There's a lot of possibility there, and if it was done right, it could take advantage of what the New 52 reboot had to offer by doing something that we hadn't seen before with that character, something that would be fresh and exciting even for a major DC character who's been around since 1940.
With the first issue of Grayson, Tim Seeley, Tom King & Mikel Janin and cover artist Andrew Robinson have done their level best at doing just that, and they've pulled it off. This is a book that jumps straight into the action, that's not afraid to drop some really, really weird stuff on you right in the first issue, and the end result is one of the strongest new titles since the New 52 got its start in 2011.
In the series Grayson debuting July 2, Dick Grayson is hanging up his domino mask and taking on a new life as an undercover spy. The series will be written by Tim Seeley (Revival, Batman Eternal) and Tom King, a former CIA counterterrorism officer who wrote the superhero book The Once Crowded Sky.
What I love about the comic book anthology is the frequently anarchic approach they can take to compiling disparate creators and stories. It's like putting a bunch of great cartoonists, writers and artists -- some of whom you know, some you've never heard of-- in a playlist and hitting "shuffle." What I love about Ve
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