Category Archives: Comic Rack

Comic Rack: Trinity War Revealed, Marvelman Coming Soon, & Villains Take Over DC in September!

Welcome back to Comic Rack! We take a look at a few comic stories making their way around the interwebs this week!

Continue reading Comic Rack: Trinity War Revealed, Marvelman Coming Soon, & Villains Take Over DC in September!

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Comic Rack! Superman News, Infinite Wolverine, & Astro City Returns!

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

Marvel’s Infinite Comics Launches New Weekly Wolverine Title!

Digital comics are weird. On one hand, they’re obviously the future of the medium, and I don’t mind them per se, but I’ve always preferred the idea of trades being released digitally, rather than individual issues. The bang per buck of a digital trade makes a lot more sense to me than a single issue for $2 or whatever the price may be. I can appreciate the attempt to give digital comics some added value over the printed page, specifically by utilizing the medium of a digital format in creative ways. That doesn’t mean I like it, exactly, and in my opinion I find it a bit redundant. It’s why I never liked “motion comics” or anything, because to me the beauty and simplicity of comics was the utilization of static images to convey motion and a sense of movement in every scene. It’s one of those things that sounds a bit fluffy when you describe it, but it’s a legitimate complaint, I believe. It’s yet to be seen if Infinite Comics will prove to otherwise be successful, but for not it’s an interesting idea, and this Wolverine comic will probably prove if Infinite Comics has legs or not.

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Find out more here.

Chris Sprouse Leaves Adventures Of Superman!

A lot has been said about Orson Scott Card and his planned Superman story. The thing about it is, I truly can’t get behind reading the work of a man that vile and terrible. He’s pretty (obviously) famous for his vitriolic and terrible political opinions, and while at heart I think that shouldn’t affect the work itself, it definitely does. I’ve had a couple of discussions about separating the art from the artist and have generally come to the resolution that it’s amicable to do so, but ultimately impossible. A great piece of art can and will be tainted by the real life nature of the person who created it. It’s the focal point in some cases, as with serial killers and their art that is occasionally sold or displayed in museums. Did I just compare Orson Scott Card indirectly with the likes of John Wayne Gacy? Yes, but you know, F the both of them. A brilliant character who stands for acceptance, love and hope like Superman doesn’t need to be written by a hateful bigot like Card anyway, so good on Sprouse for deciding to leave the story. Obviously he can’t full on come out and admit exactly why, but c’mon, we all know why. A side of me is curious as to what Card’s story would have been though. Curious, but glad it didn’t happen.

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Find out more here.

Scott Snyder and Jim Lee Unchain Superman

In other, much better Superman news, there’s the wonderful announcement that Scott Snyder and Jim Lee are taking over Superman soon with Superman Unchained, a new book coming out just in time to coincide with Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel. Aside from there obviously being a terrifying conspiracy between all those named Snyder working on Superman projects, this sounds and seems pretty damn amazing. For those who haven’t or aren’t reading Scott Snyder’s work on Batman right now, he’s absolutely killing it. Just balls out, hands down killing it every damn month. Normally I’d be pretty worried by a book with just the mere idea and title of a book called Superman Unchained‘, because let’s be honest, that’s kind of a lame title. But the Snyder’s (Scott and Zack, respectively) seem to understand that you can inject some of that tried and true Gritty Edge™ the kids love these days and still keep the Superman character intact. Hopefully they will, anyway. I have more faith in Scott Snyder because he’s a pretty brilliant writer, and the idea of trying new things with the character is an interesting mission statement for the book. I’m looking forward to reading it in line for Man Of Steel come April.

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Find out more here.

Astro City Returns!

I’m not terribly familiar with Astro City,  I am pretty familiar with Kurt Busiek’s myriad DC works. He’s written a ton of great story arcs in the past and is one of those names that I see on books all the time. He’s not a super notable stand out for me, but I do know the name and know he means quality. It’s not like you’d jump into a book of his and find yourself reading something awful. That being said, perhaps it’s my own ignorance of Astro City that’s kept Busiek from joining the list of names that I immediately gravitate towards every time I approach the wall at my local comic shop. Here’s the description of the book, via [ComicsAlliance]:

[quote]Astro City began as a sort of anthology series in 1995 and followed the superheroes, supervillains and everyday citizens who lived in the eponymous city. Critically-acclaimed, and the recipient of a number of Eisner and Harvey-awards, the series has been on an indefinite hiatus since May of 2010.

The new series will be available in June, but you can find the original series collected at your local comic shop or public library.[/quote]

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It certainly sounds interesting, and is yet another title to put on my increasingly longer list of books to read, when I have the time and money.

Marvel’s New Teasers Showcase New Savage Wolverine Creators!

New teasers from Marvel are no surprise, and lately have been hitting pretty much every other day. These new ones are unique in the fact that they are both promoting a new book with very minimal taglines that are very vague… which actually makes them not unique at all and well in line with the rest of Marvel’s teasers.

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So the teasers obviously showcase both Wolverine and Spider-Man, along with the creative team of Zeb Wells and Joe Maduiera. It just so happens that this story, which had been previously teased as a Wolverine/Spidey/Elektra mini-series, will now follow Frank Cho’s arc over in The Savage Wolverine, which is apparently aiming to be a team-up book like Avenging Spider-Man. Wells and mad previously worked together on the opening arc of Avenging, and I am looking forward to this new arc for Savage. Seeing Joe Mad draw Wolverine always takes me back to the 90s X-Men stories like Onslaught that I remember so fondly, and I am definitely interested in this new story. – S. Fraser

Find out more here.

That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!

Comic Rack! Spider-Men 2 Planned, The X-Files Returns & Channel 52 Debuts!

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

Smallville Writer Is Kickstarting His Own Graphic Novel

Smallville was one of those shows I always had a love/hate relationship with. I remember being WAY into it when it first started, because it was sort of like Ultimate DC, but before Ultimate Marvel was even really a thing. Then it got progressively sillier, and Lana Lang became one of the must frustrating characters on all of television history, and no amount of watery eyes and doughy pouty lips could save her from fans hatred. Regardless, I did enjoy it as a guilty pleasure. When I read about Bryan Q. Miller trying his hand at his own comic book, it makes me wonder if what I liked was his writing, or just the Superman stuff?

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On top of that, I really like how Kickstarter has actually given a relatively stable platform for budding indie artists and writers to get funding for their books to be published and read. It’s far superior to other traditional publishing venues in that it’s being paid by and directly given to the people who want to read it. Well, the book itself is called Earthward, and takes place in the future on a spaceship and that description alone already has me. The fact that it’s all ages is good too, because I really enjoy comics and shows that are meant to be all ages, but don’t dumb themselves down for the kiddie’s sake.

Find out more here.

DC Bringing All The News, Some Of The Facts With Channel 52

One of my favorite things about comics when I was younger was the letters/promo section at the end. It always felt like after you finished your comic you got a little bonus there, and if you were lucky enough you could write in and get your letter featured in an upcoming issue, and that concept is something I still really like and wish was more prevalent in the industry. Well, at the very least the promo side of it is being retained by DC, who are changing things up. Previously there used to be the All Access pages towards the back of the book, detailing different tie ins or what have you, and lately there’s been the DC Nation that functions in the same way. It looks like DC is looking to change it up once again and have the section be re-branded and interpreted in a new way, as “Channel 52”. It’s a move that looks like it’s establishing their own set of characters, and looks to be a bit more narrative based, so as to give the impression of being more of an extra, rather than just a collection of promos. Hopefully it ends up being as interesting an idea as they want us to think it is.

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Find out more here.

The X- Files Returns! In Comic Form!

The X-Files is one of those shows I remember fondly from my youth. I remember coming home on a Friday and being too scared of the shows opening sequence to actually finish the rest of the episode sometimes. When I was younger aliens and cryptids and things like that all really scared the crap out of me. Now as a staunch skeptic I find them silly, but my love for the show still remains. The ideas behind the show, and the possibilities behind the world not being the boring bit of doldrums we see it as every day is an enticing, refreshing thought. The X-Files also seemed like one of those shows that could have gone on forever, if it didn’t get bogged down with it’s own weirdo mythology, and the increasing fan pressure for Mulder and Scully to drop their platonic friendship for something more. Then there were those two movies that weren’t so good. Hopefully the comic can bring back some of that old goodness in comic form.

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Find out more here. 

SpiderMen 2 Is Officially Planned

Last year the Ultimate Spider-Man and the Marvel Spider-Man had a whole story dedicated to them meeting up and having shenanigans.  It was called Spider-Men and I didn’t read it, because you know, Spider-Man. (For those not familiar with this column, I’m not a Spider-Man fan. Sorry.) But I can see the appeal. A lot of folks did, because it was one of the best reviewed and received books of the year, and Brian Michael Bendis is looking to continue that story this year with obviously titled Spider-Men 2. Now I’m sure a more knowledgeable fan could provide better speculation or even answers but I’m wondering how this is going to tie into the recent revelations from Superior-Spider-Man? I’m guessing it’ll just be another Spider-Man to throw into the fray of Spider-Men, and it’ll be an all out Spider War! Which reminds me, I have a pitch for a new reality TV show to write.

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Find out more here.

Action Comics 17 & 18 Now Supersized

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So there’s good new and bad news about Action Comics this week. The good news is that it’s going to be a dollar cheaper than expected. With the original price at $4.99, and the digital copy combo going for a whopping $5.99, the prices are coming down to a slightly more reasonable $3.99 and $4.99 respectively. The bad news is that the price comes down because they’re being cut from 48 pages to 40, but are still being advertised as Super-Sized, which is confusing. The other bad news is of course, Grant Morrison is leaving the book. By far my favorite writer out there, the fact that he’s leaving the Superman character is depressing, but all good things have to come to an end eventually. Action Comics was one of the books that at the beginning of the New 52, showed me that new things could still be done with iconic classic characters, and really made Superman seem interesting and new again while still being familiar and the same. It’s one of the better Superman books I’ve ever read and I’m really hoping it’ll stay that way once Morrison leaves.

Find out more here.

That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!

Comic Rack! Details On The New JLA, Thanos Rises & Constantine Dies?

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

Geoff Johns Finally Spills The Beans About The New JLA

It’s been a fairly well established trope that DC likes to have multiple Justice League titles running at the same time, because let’s face it, superhero teams are money makers. It’s a pretty simple formula, you grab a couple of heroes, announce they’re on a team together or tease a new team and who the possible members could be, and rake in the cash as people buy your book to find out. Marvel did the same thing with the new Thunderbolts not too long ago. “Why is Punisher a Thunderbolt?”, isn’t damn near the same question as “Why is Catwoman in the JLA?”, and the answer to both is always, “Buy the book and see!”

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Does that sound cynical? Perhaps it is, but I can’t help but feel cynical when it comes to groups of superheroes banded together eclectically for reasons X, Y and Z. Yes, Mr. Johns I’m sure you have a wonderful story to tell, and there’s a specific reason for each one of them and blah blah blah. Listen, we know you were pitched the idea by DC execs and made lemonade out of lemons for yourself. Good on you. Let’s just stop all the arbitrary team making for the sake of team making, okay Comics Industry? Thanks.

Find out more here.

Francesco Francavilla Joins Fraction’s Hawkeye

Easily one of the best new series Marvel is putting out right now, Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkguy Hawkeye has continued to wow me since the first issue with its enjoyable and down to earth look at the mainstay Avenger. Not to be forgotten is Javier Pulido’s issues that contribute greatly to the overall aesthetic of the series that follows Clint Barton when he’s not being the superhero Avenger everyone is used to. Francavilla joins as Hawkeye embarks on a brand new story line, which serves as a great jumping on point for readers, and faces Hakeye against his deadliest opponent yet.

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[box_light]“On Hawkeye we’ve been blessed with not only one of the biggest writers in comics with Matt Fraction, but also some of the best artists like David Aja, Javier Pulido and now Francesco Francavilla,” said Stephen Wacker, Senior Editor, Marvel Entertainment. “Though he’s only on the series for issues #10 & #12, Francesco is going to leave his mark on Clint with some of the most beautiful art you’ll see all year!”[/box_light]

The story starts in April with Hawkeye #10!

Thanos Rising Will Be Jason Aaron’s Next Big Book

Mark my words, in the next coming years, Thanos is gonna get huge. The guy’s long been held back by the stigma of being a thinly veiled rip-off of Darkseid, but let’s face the facts: The guy showed up in the movies first. Nowadays, that’s all that really matters with major audiences. The movies are almost more canon than the comics for the average fan, and the introduction of Thanos at the (post credits) end of last years The Avengers, is gonna cement him as the go-to face of evil for future comics movie watchers. In a way this could be construed as a pre-emptive strike to get existing and new Marvel readers re-acquainted with Thanos. In the movies we know all about the Cosmic Cube but the Infinity Gauntlet was only hinted at, and understood by those already in the know. This new series by Jason Aaron (whose work on Scalped I really need to catch up on) will introduce everyone who’s unfamiliar to Thanos in a way that will get them pumped to see him depicted as the Big Bad on the silver screen. When The Avengers 2 ( or Guardians of the Galaxy depending on where he appears) c firstomes out in theaters, trust me, you’ll be hearing about Thanos everywhere.

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Find out more here.

Constantine’s Death Teased In The Second To Last Hellblazer Ever

Hellblazer is a book near and dear to my heart. It’s one of the earliest series I ever remember buying, as many trades I could find, and reading in a flurry. Constantine is a fascinating character in every conceivable way, and my love for him knows no bounds. It saddened me pretty greatly to find out that Hellblazer will be ending soon, and while I’m wary of the New 52’s Constantine title starting relatively soon, I’m at least thankful I’ll still get to enjoy a title with my favorite con artist/magician in it as lead. The thing here is, what if John Constantine dies? What if somehow, someway, the New 52 Constantine isn’t actually Constantine? I’m not saying they’re going off on a ridiculous Superior Spider-Man style death switch… Although I suppose that would be technically interesting.

Comic Rack- 1:23:13- Hellblazer #299

Anyhow, I’m getting ahead of myself. What I mean to say is that this is probably like any other comics death in that it’s more metaphorical than literal. Sure the cover of this penultimate issue shows Constantine leaning up against a grave that may or may not be his, and if the log line for the issue is to be believed then it is, but this is the comics world. We all know he’s not staying dead. I’m hoping that what they’ll do is have this be his actual, final, meaningful death, and have this New 52 Constantine comic retroactively take place loosely within the timeline of his Hellblazer run. In between fighting off lonely ghosts and The Devil and lung cancer. Somewhere in there.

Find out more here 

Kirkman & Ottley Celebrate Invincible #100

Oh, Invincible. You’re a book that just won’t quit. From being a great mash up of Spider-Man and Superman, to becoming a genuinely awesome superhero comic on its own, to launching an entirely new superhero universe, you’re the little book that could. I’d say that of the big Kirkman two, while The Walking Dead is consistently the most gripping, Invincible is by far more entertaining. I’m a sucker for big bloody action set pieces, and ginormous feats of ridiculous strength, and will generally take that over intense, seething, paranoid human drama any day of the week. While all the mainstream attention has been on The Walking Dead lately, I feel that Invincible has gone by the wayside a bit. It makes sense, Kirkman is focusing on his cash cow, and If I was in the same place I would probably do the same. I can’t blame him for putting more focus into TWD when it’s clearly made him a very rich, famous man. Which is great, because any guy who can make a comic like Battle Pope and still have a successful career just proves what a great country America is.

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So if you’re over in the Sherman Oaks area of California on February 2nd, I highly implore you to grab a copy of Battle Pope, stroll on over to Earth-2 Comics and get it signed by Kirkman. Hopefully he’ll chuckle and be reminded of his roots, rather than have you dragged away by his money dogs who live and breath money and eat money, and kill you with money poisoning. Which is a real disease I just made up.

Find out more here.

That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!

Comic Rack: Guillermo del Toro’s DC Movie, Marvel’s New Teasers & More!

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

 Guillermo del Toro IS Working On A DC Movie

After a bunch of flip floppy wish wash from PR executives that we’ve previously touched on, lots of rumors and hearsay, it’s finally been confirmed that Guillermo del Toro is actually working on a DC Comics film. Or plans to anyway, I wouldn’t hold my breath for it to come out. Not that I wouldn’t love it, because his idea of a dark supernaturally themed DC movie with Constantine (Pronounced Constan- TYNE), sounds totally awesome and something right up his alley.

[box_light]“The movement for this happened before [The Avengers],” del Toro adds about DC building its own cinematic universe. “They were already galvanized to launch ‘Justice League’ and they were galvanized to make their universe cohesive… They are really, really, with ‘Superman’, very, very confident with what they have. They are now feeling they have two pillars. Batman and Superman… There’s a foundation that now they can build on.”[/box_light]

I’ve long been a fan of Guillermo’s, and think he’s one of the most creative and crafty directors out there that knows how to tell supernatural stories in a way that’s neither cheap nor boring. If Man of Steel is a big hit and the Justice League movie does in fact get made, you better believe I’ll be counting down the days until this project comes to fruition.

Find out more here.

Jeff Lemire Is Doubling Down On DC Projects

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I’m such a huge fan of Jeff Lemire that simple, quick news like this can get my imagination running in a thousand different ways. The news is basically that he’s hinted at bringing some old school DC characters back into the modern fray. Which ones you ask? Well, they would consist of Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth, Jemm: Son Of Saturn, Red Tornado, and even The Spectre. Right now it’s all conjecture based on some images he tweeted, so It could all be for naught. I’m sure there’s always the possibility he was being a comics nerd and sharing some cool pictures with his fans, in the same way I share pictures of my cats with my fans. All zero of them. Regardless of my pathetic nature, if Lemire does end up doing something with these projects, you’ll definitely be informed right here the moment it does.

Find out more here.

Marvel Teaser Season Is Back, And One Features Brian Wood!

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In yet another teaser released by Marvel to make us all speculate endlessly until we don’t, we’ve got the vague hint at some new book that will be possibly related to X-women. The teaser released shows a picture of two X’s, with a DNA double hellix behind them, along with Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel’s names. It’s a bit obvious it’s referring to women in some way, what with the XX chromosome being referenced, but the question is who exactly? We all know Brian Wood is pretty familiar with writing women so it’s a question of who he’ll be writing about, rather than if. A solid speculation could be that the DNA helix hints at the genetic code that leads to mutants, and along with the X being such a famously mutant related letter at Marvel it’s a safe bet to make that it’s gonna be an X-Men related title. Some say it could even be called X-Women? I personally think that’s a corny title, but I’m positive it’ll be an interesting book nonetheless.

Along with that came another teaser announcing Phil Noto’s arrival as artist of the new Thunderbolts series. It’s titled Explosive and the image is certainly that:comic-rack-marvel-teasers-explosive

As always there are more teasers from Marvel, some of which are utterly baffling, like this “Birth” one:

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And this trio of obvious ones for Hulk, Deadpool, and Spider-Man, respectively:

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Find out more here, here, here, here and here.

Dan Slott Keeps Pumping Out The Spider-Man Craziness By Bringing In Spider-Man 2099

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Listen, I haven’t read a Spider-Man book in years. I think the last time I did was when they switched Amazing to 3 times a week. I decided that was way more BS than I could handle at any given time, along with all of the One More Day nonsense that was going on. It pretty much put me off of Spider-Man forever, which hasn’t been remedied by the terrible movies and it’s subsequent reboots and forced sequels. He’s by far always been my least favorite character, and seeing all the wacky stuff Dan Slott has been doing to Spider-Man has done little to raise my interest in that book. Sometimes something is done when it’s done for you, and that’s that. That being said, I do find it interesting he’s bringing back Miguel O’Hara into the current continuity. That’s right, Spider-Man 2099 is going to be integrated into The Superior Spider-Man somehow. I remember reading issues of Spider-Man 2099 in the late nineties and being really stoked when I found his action figure because I thought it was rare. Regardless, the amount of novel things Dan Slott seems to be trying with Spider-Man these days, without getting into spoiler territory, is pretty interesting. It almost makes me wish somebody as gutsy and ballsy as him would try something like that with Batman or Superman, but he’s already gotten death threats and whatnot for stinkin’ Spider-Man, so I wouldn’t blame him for avoiding any other superhero properties for a while.

Find out more here.

Titan Comics Launches A Creator-Owned Based Imprint!

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I’m a pretty huge fan of creator owned comics. They’re by far what I read the most of nowadays, and to me are always the more personally rewarding stories. I love me a good superhero book, don’t get me wrong, but there’s nothing like a perfectly made mini-series that takes chances with its story and uses the medium of comics itself to tell a more effective story than any of the Big Two could. While I’m not very familiar with Titan, I always applaud another indie publisher throwing their hat into the ring and I’m especially fond of the plan to focus on creator owned content. It’d be pretty great if we got another big creative owned hit from them the way Image did with The Walking Dead or Invincible. It’s unlikely, but not impossible.

Find out more here.

That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!

Comic Rack: Pulp Stories, Image Sells You Sex, and Hellboy Is In Hell!

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

Out With The Old, In With The New (52?)

Left to right: The Spirit, Doc Savage, The Avenger.
Left to right: The Spirit, Doc Savage, The Avenger.

In a move that should really surprise no one, it was confirmed by DC Publisher Dan DiDio that they’ll be letting their rights to three major pulp heroes franchises expire. The three let go were The Spirit, who was made famous by Will Eisner (who most recently had his own terrible movie directed by Frank Miller), Doc Savage, who was created by Henry W. Ralston, and lastly The Avenger, who was created by Paul Ernst. All of these, with the exception of Will Eisner, are names that have mostly been forgotten by the mainstream comics fan, and almost entirely forgotten by the average movie going populace. That’s not to say these heroes don’t have a future at all, or that pulp is dead. I remember in the mid-nineties there was a bit of a pulp resurgence, what with The Shadow, The Rocketeer and The Phantom all being made into big budget action films. None were particularly successful however, which lends some credence and an accepted sense of fortuitousness to DC’s decision.

It’s hard to summarize if the decision was made in and of itself, or in contrast to the phenomenal success of the New 52 that DC is having. While I’m sure they’ll say it’s something they’ve had in mind for a long time, the New 52 definitely had to play a part. It would be impossible as a publisher to ignore the sheer numbers alone, when all of your new titles are selling hundreds of thousands, and any or all of your older pulp properties continue to sell a few thousand at best. It makes sense as a business decision, and I think you’d be hard pressed to find anybody who would really think DC has been dropping the ball, or rather more accurately, refusing to pick it up. Arguably you could say they haven’t tried to really push the characters heavily, or incorporate them into the New 52 in some way, but I think that wouldn’t work. The world of a pulp hero is starkly different from the world of the New 52, and that level of story wouldn’t compare and contrast as well without making one or the other seem silly.

The best thing to come out of this I think, is that somebody will pick up the rights to these characters and use them again. Personally I’m hoping for some fun and exciting Doc Savage stories, as he’s always been a character I’ve enjoyed. His “cameos” in Warren Ellis’ Planetary gave us a glimpse of what a creative writer could do with his character, and I’m positive the same could be done for any of the pulp heroes that aren’t around today. If I were a daring publisher, I’d release an experiment similar to DC’s Wednesday Comics line, but with pulp heroes. The rumor is that Dynamite will probably snatch up the properties to start making books about them, and to be honest, that sounds entirely accurate, and entirely boring. I’m not trying to knock Dynamite directly here, because I think what they do works for them and their small audience. Which is the problem, as pulps heroes already have a pretty small audience. I think the best thing would be to have them debut from a bigger publisher, and have their own universe to interact in. Imagine if Marvel opened up a side publishing line like Icon, called it Pulp Now! or something, and released competing pulp stories against Dynamite’s current lineup of The Shadow and The Phantom? I know I’d be pretty thrilled, and I think pulp fans, and comics fans would be too.

Learn more here.

DC Keeps the Publishing Rights To The Spirit Archives!

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In a related story, a move that absolutely doesn’t surprise anyone, DC decides that while they have no interest in making NEW Spirit stories, they don’t want to give up the right to publish and make money off of all the old ones. This reeks of the classic adage, “have your cake and eat it too” if you ask me. I guess it makes sense, since they’re probably going to be two totally different properties once Dynamite (or whoever) picks up The Spirit and starts modernizing him for contemporary audiences. Let’s just hope it’ll end up better then that awful movie.

Find out more here.

In Other Pulp News…

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Since the inadvertent theme today is pulp comics, it’s of important note to recognize that the genre itself is very much still alive. Case in point, Five Ghosts. A comic which was at first funded by Kickstarter, enough so as to fund the entire first run of the mini-series consisting of 5 issues.  The book itself is about a 1930’s treasure hunter, who is “haunted” by the titular five ghosts. However they all resemble classic figures of pulp and literary history. The five in question are Robin Hood, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Musashi and Merlin. Even if you didn’t have their collective powers & knowledge, just their spirits assisting you would be enough. Put them all together and you’ve got a recipe for a superhero who is potentially an unkillable super-genius magical man-god. The series is being reprinted by Image, and I can’t wait to read the whole thing.

Find out more here.

Hellboy In Hell Sells Out!

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I have a terrible confession to make, and that’s that I’ve never read an issue of Hellboy. I know, it’s awful, but there’s a lot of stuff I read and it’s just one of those things I’ve never gotten around to. I’ve always been a fan of the character however, and I’ve enjoyed the two movies immensely. I’m a fan of the world, the concepts and really it’s a book I should have read by now. It may seem now that I finally have an incentive to take those books off the back burners of my reading list, and that reason is the incredibly acclaimed first issue of Hellboy In Hell. Having died by sacrificing himself to save the world, Hellboy naturally ends up in Hell, with a throne awaiting his arrival. It’s a fascinating concept and idea, and I can’t say I’m surprised it’s sold out. Everyone I’ve spoken to about Hellboy raves about how good it is, and the praise for Hellboy In Hell is no different. Perhaps with the renewed acclaim and interest in the character we can get another movie, but until then I’ve got some reading to do.

Find out more here.

Image Comics Will Soon be Selling ‘Sex’

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I really enjoy stories about superheroes when they’re not flying around, being superheroes. It’s one of the things that made the first couple of arcs of Invincible so appealing to me, and it’s a theme I’ve seen explored really well by The Luna Bros in Ultra as well. If superheroes are our reflections of idealized figures, morally, physically, and emotionally, why not sexually as well? It’s this idea that what happens when superheroes stop fighting, and start living their lives, that encompasses the main idea of Sex. When the superheroes and super villains decide enough is enough how do they live with themselves? Besides, who here hasn’t wondered how the sex lives of their favorite superheroes works? I know I certainly have, but that may or may not be because I’m an insane pervert. Regardless, Sex sounds like a fascinating book that’s sure to gain attention, and not only because of its scandalous sounding name.

Find out more here.

That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!

Comic Rack: DC vs. Shuster, Snyder Leaves ‘Swamp Thing’, & Marvel Outsells DC

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

The Superman/DC/Shuster Legal Battle Continues

For those who don’t know, basically DC has said that Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel gave up their rights to reclaim their half of the rights to Superman, and the Shuster estate has fought against that argument for a long time. As far as I can understand, the Shuster estate is appealing against a recent judgement made by a federal judge, who ruled they officially gave up their rights in an agreement made in 1992. It’s a little bogged down by legalese, and the complicated nature of who deserves what rights is what makes it even harder. I think it’s mostly a case of DC as a publisher trying to split hairs over what is or isn’t owed, and while I don’t know all the details, I’m sure the Shuster estate has a valid argument. All I know is I wish this whole court thing would get settled definitively, once and for all, either way. Then we could look back and judge the facts. I’m sure somebody more knowledgable than I could make a great argument for either side, but for now it’s a little sad to see yet another legal dispute in the comics world be dragged on further than it ever should have.

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Find out more here.

Image Dips Into Time Travel Again with Comeback

I’m a sucker for time travel stories. They’re practically my favorite genre of Sci-Fi stories, if it could even be called a genre. It’s a storytelling trope that’s always captivated me, and hearing about a new miniseries involving time travel certainly captured my interest. In particular this one is by Ed Brisson, who up until now has only been a letterer, but is taking a step into the fray as a writer. His book, called Comeback, is about a time traveling agency called Reconnect, that provides a very special service. For a hefty price, they’ll go back in time and save somebody you loved/cared about/whoever from dying. As with all time travel stories, the price paid for manipulating the space time continuum is more than just monetary, and can result in lots of bad things happening if things should go wrong. Of course the whole thing is very illegal, and there are certain physical repercussions for traveling in time. The book is sold out at the distribution level, so getting a copy of #1, which is currently out, may be hard for the time being, but that’s why digital comics and back issue hunting exist.

 

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A great interview going into more detail with writer Ed Brisson is here.

A Quick Look at BOOM’s Hellraiser: The Road Below

I’ve been a big fan of Hellraiser for a long time, pretty much ever since I saw the first one as a young lad. Since then that franchise has always held a place in my heart near and dear to me, which is why I was taken by such surprise to see that there was still a Hellraiser comic series going on today. Furthermore, that it’s multiple issues in! I guess keeping up with all the hoopla from the big two, you’ll always have certain titles fall by the wayside, even ones that are based on a franchise you’ve long loved. While I haven’t read a Hellraiser book in years, the comic itself looks pretty interesting from the preview shown. It’s not written or drawn by any big names I recognize, but it deals with Kirsty Cotton dealing with a war between evil forces, and there even seems to be some mention of a Cenobite Queen? Whaaaat? Man, if you’re a Hellraiser fan who is intrigued, (like me), this preview may sell you on picking up this book, and finding it’s older issues to catch up.

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Find out more here.

Snyder Wrapping Up His Run On Swamp Thing with #18

If you haven’t been reading Swamp Thing, you owe it to yourself to go and pick up every issue you can find and catch up, along with Animal Man. They’re probably the two best books to come out of the New 52, and Scott Snyder has proven himself to be an incredible writer who can tell amazing stories. Swamp Thing is one of those characters who is criminally underrated, and Snyder has managed to take everything about him and do things with his character that haven’t been done since Alan Moore had his seminal run. Hearing Snyder was leaving the book was certainly saddening, but it’s going to be interesting to see his take on Superman, and for me personally, it’s a trade off I’d make every single time. While we still don’t know who is gonna fill in for Snyder and Swamp Thing artist Yanick Paquette, but whoever they are they’ve got big shoes to fill. I can’t recommend Swamp Thing enough to people, and every time people look at me like I’m crazy, but then come back next week telling me how wrong they were about it, I just tell them don’t thank me; thank Scott Snyder.

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Find out more here.

DC Discusses Marvel’s Direct Market Sales

DC and Marvel. Two companies that pretty much define and are synonymous with comics for the general public, but for most comics fans they couldn’t be more different than peanut butter and toothpaste. One thing the two companies, and endless fanboys keep track of, is sales. Recently with Marvel NOW!, Marvel’s been taking the top spot, but that doesn’t mean that DC is doing too shabby either. DC is staying strong, and their books are selling pretty consistently. While it’s interesting to watch DC talk about their marketing strategies, and to formulate your own opinions about what they could be doing better, or are doing just fine, one can’t help but think if all of the competition is a good thing. It’s brought the best out of both Marvel and DC, and we’ve gotten some great books on both sides. As long as they’re both not in a creative lull, the books are selling well, and comics fans are getting great stories, it’s really a win-win for everyone. Comics are more popular now than they’ve been in a long time, and while DC is currently playing catch up over in Hollywood, I have no doubts they’ll be leading the way when it comes to the printed page.

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Find out more here.

That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!