Oct 302014

Guten gluten to you readers of the @MeltdownComics blog!

This week is a particularly special week because once again, we are bestowed with the gift of life and all the comics that come with (or those that we can afford). Sometimes a comic is meant for a simple chuckle, just to remind us the day isn’t all that bad. Other times our entire existence is in question, sucker-punched into facing dilemmas, quandaries, or unaddressed factors of our lives. (Whoh man, this is like…getting heavy, dude.) Simmer down, Jitter-bug! Trust in the creators of our favorite titles and rise to the occasion of the new fables that challenge us! With this week’s reads, you’ll be asked to interact with articles that elect not to digitally sear their message into our brains. These reads say, “Hey, you want something from me? You got to work for it, and the payoff might make you a better person: like the gentlest breeze encouraging the dandelion seed to separate from the stalk, dancing through the air.”

What is his point??

harley-quinn-vol-2-annual-1-cover-1-teaser-107613If you’re wondering just where all this existential-prose-babble is originating from, one might start with the HARLEY QUINN ANNUAL #1 from DC COMICS, and my all-too-fervent wh-iffing of the scents that rest betwixt the pages (yes, we’re talking a page out of the ol’ scratch ‘n’ sniff playbook, although we’ve now evolved to rub ‘n’ sniff scents, to better preserve the books). What scents, you ask? (no one asked, Derrick.) The two scents advertised via warning labels and simple icons are all too intriguing: a “hemp” leaf and a Christmas tree. Although I felt the familiar warm-fuzzies of the approaching holiday season at the sight of the Christmas tree icon, wondering what gifts Santa-Harley would offer, I elected to take the “alternative tree” route, and see just what DC COMICS was thinking! Before Nancy Grace calls to chastise a publisher that’s actually fairly age-appropriate, let me offer a MILD-SPOILER: There’s no depiction of pot in the issue, just a beaker filled with a chemical that causes the characters to be a little loopy, forget things from time to time, and experience the narrative from a different artistic perspective. With this issue, you are graced with a multitude of artistic talents from JOHN TIMMS, PAUL MOUNTS, STJEPAN SEJIC, JOE QUINONES, BEN CALDWELL, KELLY JONES, RICO RENZI, MICHELLE MADSEN, and a trippy narrative through the rabbit hole by AMANDA CONNER and JIMMY PALMIOTTI. My favorite part of “specialty/novelty” books such as this one, is the ample amounts of story that come attached; these books definitely feel like money well spent simply in all that is offered within its pages. Major tip of the cap to the aforementioned group of artists and DC COMICS, that’s how you do an annual! Don’t miss the HARLEY QUINN ANNUAL #1!

Next on our existential journey, we have one of the first follow-ups to the DEATH OF WOLVERINE story-arc in the subtitled DEADPOOL & CAPTAIN AMERICA from MARVEL COMICS. What might at first seem like an odd pairing of supers to comment on the bub who’s the best at what he did, soon becomes the perfect pairing to comment on the two polarizing sides of WOLVERINE. On the one hand, you have the AVENGERS side of Logan, who knows that there’s some threats that require you to band together with a group large enough to take said threat down; that group led by Captain America. On the other side of Logan, you have the lone mercenary who appreciates the simple things; which could be a similar description of the Merc With a Mouth himself, Deadpool. Both figures offer a great deal of insight into just what Logan’s presence meant for the world, but it’s perhaps Deadpool’s words that hit home the most for me: “When you gave Logan his Avengers card, a lot of us dirtbags made jokes, but the truth is…it gave every miscreant on the planet some hope that they could turn their sorry lives around.” Following that sentiment, Cap, bearing a semblance of Eastwood a la Gran Torino, reinforces why Logan must stay dead, despite the capacity for his body to be reanimated. If you’re a fan of obscure team-up books, you won’t want to miss DEATH OF WOLVERINE: CAPTAIN AMERICA & DEADPOOL!

comics-new-image-comics-1Following similar trends in existence and celebrations on lives lived, IMAGE COMICS offers a depiction of the troubled and glorious life of Grigori Efimovich Rasputin in RASPUTIN #1! It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that engages me so immediately, yet is over before I know it…then immediately makes me want to re-read it two more times. The pacing of the story is what grabbed me right away. The panels are large, and the issue contains little words, which often annoys me when I pay $2.99-$4.99 per issue. But I believe this issue is so engaging because of the sense of story given between panels. The lack of dialogue, and the storyboard presentation forces the reader to fill in the gaps, to hear the sounds, to weave the thread themselves, and when words are reintroduced, they offer a backdrop of what’s to come from the ensemble of characters seeking to kill Rasputin, a fact of which he is already aware. If you’re looking for a stress-free (yes, to some readers that matters), engaging read, RASPUTIN is your choice! To ALEX GRECIAN and RILEY ROSSMO, the creators, after one issue, you have my vote to see this optioned as a film/maxi-series, job well done!

So how might 2000 AD COMICS rise to the call of interactivity and existence within our lives? Well, do you recall a little film called DREDD based on a not-so-little-character named JUDGE DREDD? What if I were to tell you a glorious one-shot was released a teaser-sequel to the film, subtitled: UNDERBELLY? How are they doing that you may ask? Well the tone and look of the film is carried through to the title; a new drug named Psych, more dastardly than Slomo, is introduced and leaving me hopeful to visually see the experience of Psych through POV; and a new presence of the mutant community is expanded upon, leaving Dredd and Anderson on opposite sides of the fence in terms of using them as Psi operatives. If you’re wondering what else this issue offers, you’ll find a QR code hidden in the pages that enlists you in the campaign to will a DREDD sequel into existence! Enlist now, Citizen, and enjoy DREDD: UNDERBELLY!

antho-cover-664x1024Rounding out this weeks list, we have a perfect marriage of interactivity and existential pondering from IMAGE COMICS and the artists of the LEEDS COMIC ART FESTIVAL 2014: the anthology deemed THOUGHT BUBBLE. First off, the collection immediately grabs your attention in an oversized, folded newspaper printing that forces you to excavate to the heart of the stories from the beginning. The pages are graced with professional artistic talents, with full page spreads of ELEPHANTMEN! (brought to you by RICHARD STARKINGS & TIM SALE), as well as the budding talents of contest winners such as SIMON GURR‘s LAC IN BLACK, which offers the most entertaining delivery of the relations between scale insects and ink/records. The section of the anthology that grabbed my attention most was the darkly charming poem entitled “A Letter to the Sixteen-Year-Old,” by ALES KOT, art and color by ALISON SAMPSON and JASON WORDIE. The poem takes you through all the existential questions we ever asked as a 16-year-old and encourages you to listen for the answer. Setting the artistic tone and lyrical references to the world of DONNIE DARKO, we can’t help but wonder the paths we can take, as we flip the paper every which way wondering whether we’re talking to our 16-year-old self or if we’ve magically turned the clocks back to inhabit that youthful skin again, listening with young ears again. Excellent set of work from all the artists involved with THOUGHT BUBBLE 2014!

BEFORE YOU GO…! We have a number of signings coming up….the first of which HAPPENS TODAY!! CHECK THEM OUT!!

10/30 Showrunners Book Signing http://bit.ly/1nQLXvz
11/01 Empire of the Wolf Signing http://bit.ly/1nQNNg5
11/05 Penny Dora and The Wishing Box Signing http://bit.ly/1rSSyC4
11/05 The Humans Signing http://bit.ly/1nQO96y


LASTLY! We know many of you new readers are looking to set up a permanent stay with a comic shop, and we @MeltdownComics would like to invite your stay to be with us! Follow the link below, and you’ll not only find a way to secure the titles you want each week at the Pull-Customer Discount of 20% Off, you’ll become a Lifer, receiving 10% off all Meltdown Comics books and merchandise! Right this way>>>>http://www.meltcomics.com/blog/subscription-service/

You want the weekly code for reading this post that gets you 10% off your purchase, 15% if you repost the aritcle on social media?

Say this phrase to the clerk behind the counter: “I am you I carry you everywhere.”

Thanks for reading!



For those loyal few who made it this far, I’ll leave this here, (for however long it’s up).

Oct 302014

hulkvswolvie.jpgWhat lurks deep beneath the surface of ourselves? What are we capable of, if freed from our society’s restraints? In the case of The Incredible Hulk, it’s unbridled anger and destruction — a desire to see everything reduced to rubble. As we gear up for Halloween, let’s look at the connection between the Marvel character and the fears (and literary tropes) upon which he was based. Writers and thinkers have long pondered the hidden facets of our minds, those dark corners that we find ourselves reluctant to shine a light onto. At the same time, science rushes forward, leaving us to fear the misuse of the steadily rushing advance of technology.


For an example, look no further than Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, an obvious influence on the character of the Hulk. In the novel, a London doctor creates a potion that allows him to entertain his base instincts without fear of ruining his social standing. This potion creates the split personality of Mr. Hyde, an ugly and deformed man with no concern for anything but the needs and desires of himself. He maims and kills without a care until the formula wears off and he becomes himself, forced to cope with the damage he has wrought.




If this sounds familiar, it should. The creation of The Hulk takes not the form of a serum, but the blast of Gamma radiation suffered during good-natured Dr. Bruce Banner’s attempt to save a friend from death during a Bomb test in the desert. This blast, a modern equivalent of a magic potion, frees the personality traits that we fear are inside us just as it does in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Hulk retains some of his humanity of course, and as his rage subsides he reverts to his “good side” once again, left to see the product of his rampages. The use of Gamma radiation is an obvious allusion to post World War II anxieties about the misapplication of science, and growing fear about the role of technology in a global society gone mad. It’s just as relevant today, when you read about all of the uranium mining and nuclear weapons production that occurs today under the radar of international watchdog organizations, and all of the other fascinating (if not unnerving) technological developments in the world, like the creation of cars that can drive themselves (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/google-shows-off-self-driving-car/2014/10/27/a72f77ca-5961-11e4-8264-deed989ae9a2_story.html), automated home security systems (see http://www.securitychoice.com/adt-home-security/Alabama/), or wars fought entirely by remote controlled drone (see http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/12/the-drone-wars/308304/).
We all have become angry at some point in our lives, of course. Though what we would do if we were unstoppable? Without an understanding or a care about the rules that we’ve made for ourselves? Would we be able to remain good people if given complete freedom to become what we hide? This dualistic nature of humankind and our fear of what we don’t understand is what The Hulk explores, seeing that he remains a popular character today, these questions still keep us awake at night pondering the darkness with us.

Oct 292014

PD-signing-FNL-smlWednesday, November 5th at 7PM, Michael Stock, Sina Grace and Hope Larson sign Penny Dora and The Wishing Box. Come down to Meltdown, get stuff signed and chit chat with this awesome team.

Penny Dora and The Wishing Box Signing
with Michael Stock, Sina Grace and Hope Larson
Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Bl.
Los Angeles, Calif 90046 (map)

Image Comics’ PENNY DORA & THE WISHING BOX – Once upon a time, “Part Time Punks” DJ and writer Michael Stock and artist Sina Grace (BURN THE ORPHANAGE, LI’L DEPRESSED BOY) conjured up a story about the ever-curious Penny Dora and the unexpected gift that arrives on her doorstep in PENNY DORA & THE WISHING BOX. This new fantasy adventure series will begin in November from Image Comics with a special 28-page first issue.

One day, a young girl named Penny Dora discovers a mysterious box on her front doorstep. It is a magic box with the power to grant wishes…but what she’s about to unwrap is the darker and creepier meaning behind the old adage, “be careful what you wish for.”

Stock cited his daughter for first inspiring him to write about Penny Dora’s adventures. “Penny Dora is actually based on a story my daughter Nico wrote when she was 8 years old for her school paper. The first issue is basically an expansion of her original story. S

ince then the story has grown through talks we had in the car on the way to school in the mornings via a playful papa/daughter back and forth game of ‘what if.’ The cat in the book, Iggy, is based on our cat (also named Iggy, and also a great lover of ham).”

Grace added: “The minute I read Michael’s scripts for the series, I was absolutely enchanted by Penny Dora and her world. It’s been a dream to breathe life into the adventures of fantastic and charming characters. I can’t wait for the world to see!”

PENNY DORA & THE WISHING BOX is an whimsical retelling of the Pandora myth and an all-ages fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin. Eisner Award winning cartoonist Hope Larson (A Wrinkle In Time, Mercury) provides the alternate cover for the 1st issue and lettering for the series.

 Posted by at 12:20 pm
Oct 292014

Empire of the Wolf - front coverThis Saturday meet, greet and get stuff signed by writer Michael Kogge and arist Dan Parsons of Empire Of The Wolf.

“Writer/creator Michael Kogge and artist Dan Parsons have mingled fantasy and history in a way that would do Robert E. Howard proud!” –Roy Thomas, Conan the Barbarian comics

Empire of the Wolf is an amazing comic . . . a wonderful piece of historical fiction with some rather brilliant art.”–Mathias Lewis, speakgeekytome.com

“Michael Kogge has a great facility with words and a wild unfettered imagination.”
Tom Veitch, Star Wars: Dark Empire and The Light and Darkness War

About Empire Of The Wolf:

Werewolves in Ancient Rome!

During a vicious battle with the wolf-king Caradog, two Roman centurions fall victim to the werewolf’s bite. Now, as werewolves, Lucius and Canisius are cursed to relive the legendary feud between the wolf-brothers Romulus and Remus. As their hostility grows, a war erupts that will not only decide the fate of the Roman Empire, but also threatens to claim the life of the woman they both love.

The graphic novel compilation of the four issue series was created and written by Michael Kogge, with art by Dan Parsons (Game of Thrones and Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi) and David Rabbitte (Star Wars Insider), coloring by both Chris Summers (Spartacus: Blood & Sand) and David Rabbitte, and lettering by Marshall Dillion (Street FighterGame of Thrones, and Green Hornet).

Empire is available either in print as a graphic novel or on comiXology as individual issues. Printed promotional issues are available at any convention the Sword & Planet Studios team attends.

The Creative Team 
Michael Kogge (writer): Author and screenwriter Michael Kogge has written for many clients, including Disney, Activision/Blizzard, Lucasfilm, Topps, and Titan Publishing. Most recently, he’s penned the Star Wars Rebels series of books based on the hit animated series. He also writes a monthly feature for the official Star Wars Insider magazine. He can be found online at michaelkogge.com.

Dan Parsons (pencils – issues 1 and 2): Dan Parsons has worked in comics for over 20 years, starting with his original series Savage Planet and Harpy, and graduating to be the lead inker on Dark Horse‘s Star Wars comics. He has inked more than 100 titles, most recently Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi and the new classic Star Wars series. He also completed production art for the HBO hit series, Game of Thrones, which can be viewed on the Bluray set. Like his facebook fan page.

David Rabbitte (pencils – issues 3 and 4, colors – issues 1 and 4): David Rabbitte is  a professional illustrator who has worked in the animation industry since 1993, serving as a background artist on feature films such as Anastasia, Titan A.E., and Curious George. As a freelance artist, he is best known for his sci-fi and fantasy art, which has been featured on book covers, magazines, trading cards, and comics from Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Marvel, Boom! Studios, Decipher, Topps, and Upper Deck. Some of Rabbitte’s notable recent projects include illustration work for Star Wars Insider short fiction and art for National Geographic’s children’s book That’s Creepy. He resides digitally atdavidrabbitte.com.

Chris Summers (colors – issues 2 and 4): In addition to Empire of the Wolf, Chris Summer’s professional comic work includes titles including G.I. Joe, Dungeons & Dragons, Superman, Nightwing, The Perhapanauts, and Spartacus: Blood & Sand. He is a regular guest lecturer at Hardin-Simmons University. He also keeps busy doing design work such as vehicle wraps, band merchandise, tattoos, guitars, video game concept work and much more. Find him at chrissummersart.wix.com/chrissummersart.

Marshall Dillon (letters): Marshall Dillon has worked in the comic industry since 1994, serving as Managing Editor for Devil’s Due Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Speakeasy Comics, Ice Kunion, and Udon Comics. Since 2006, he has lettered many comics and mangas for a variety of clients that range from Image Comics and Intel to BBC Scotland and the United States Armed Forces. His maintains a web presence at marshall-dillon.squarespace.com.

Empire Of The Wolf Signing
Saturday, November 1st, 2014 4-7pm
Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Bl.
LA, Calif. 90046 (map)

 Posted by at 11:57 am
Oct 262014


Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 7PM, THE HUMANS #1 SIGNING with  KEENAN MARSHALL KELLER AND TOM NEELY

About The Humans:
Apart, they are nothing… deemed by society as outcasts, misfits, losers, no good punks! But together, they are THE HUMANS! THE HUMANS is a high-octane, no-holds-barred, ape-biker-gang chopper ride into ‘70s exploitation genre bliss. Follow Bobby, Johnny, and all The HUMANS as they fight and fly down the road to oblivion on a ride filled with chains, sex, leather, denim, hair, blood, bananas, and chrome.

Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Bl.
Los Angeles, Calif. 90046 (map)

 Posted by at 6:16 pm
Oct 252014


Come see the first episode of Bee and PuppyCat, presented by Cartoon Hangover! 

Meltdown is throwing a premier party with special guest Sam “Catbug” Lavagnino, plus tons of free swag. Come on down Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 8pm
Bee, a reluctant hero, becomes entangled in the adventures of a puppy (…or is he a cat?) as they travel between reality and the void of Fishbowl Space. 
Created by Natasha Allegri, character designer and storyboard artist for Adventure Time. She also wrote and drew the Bee and PuppyCat comic by BOOM! Studios, as well as the Fionna and Cake comic series.

Bee and PuppyCat: The Series is premiering here on CartoonHangover, Nov. 6th 2014. The hype is real, so we’re going to be counting down to the premiere for 24 hours! We’ll have special guests, giveaways every 2 hours and all sorts of surprises! So join us on Nov. 5th as we countdown to the premiere.
 Posted by at 3:44 pm
Oct 252014

ShowrunnersBefore the documentary hits Itunes, stop by Meltdown Comics  pick up the Official Showrunners companion book, meet and  greet Tara Bennet (The Lost Encyclopedia, Sons Of Anarchy Official Companion), Mike Royce (Enlisted, Big, Everybody Loves Raymond) and Des Doyle (Director of Showrunners: The Art Of Running A TV Show).

JUST ADDED! Ronald D.Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander, Star Trek)

About Showrunners:
SHOWRUNNERS explores the fascinating world of the US television showrunner and the creative forces around them, as they battle daily between art and commerce to deliver television comedies and dramas to audiences worldwide.

Every television show has a creative voice who guides it to screen. The industry calls them the showrunners. Impresarios of the small screen, their function to write, manage, facilitate, and execute the idea has long been taken for granted by audiences…but not anymore. 

In this official companion book to the documentary Showrunners, you’ll get an insider’s guide to creating, writing, and running a scripted television series in today’s Golden Age of Television, in the words of some of the biggest talents of the industry. 

Showrunners: The Art of Running a TV Show expands on the interviews featured in the acclaimed documentary, and includes exclusive conversations covering every facet of the business, from getting your first break to running multiple series.

 Posted by at 2:40 pm
Oct 232014

themeltdownThis week, to celebrate FOUR YEARS of being a comedy show, we have transformed the room into the scariest campground you’ll ever see at a comedy show.
We welcome
Jen Kirkman
from NYC, Robert Dean
Janine Brito
Al Jackson
Dave Anthony
…and a special guest or two

And immediately after the show, please come to our official after party at the brand new Oinkster Hollywood at 776 Vine St! They’ll be open late to host us, and they’ll have food, craft beer, draft wine, horror movies, music, and more, plus you’ll witness the debut of a One Night Only Meltdown Burger + Intelligentsia Coffee Pumpkin “Get Pumped-kin” Milkshake!


If tickets for The Meltdown sell out online, we will have a limited number of tickets available at the door on a first come, first served basis. We suggest that you arrive by 7pm the day of the show in order to get any “at the door” tickets, but there is no guarantee they will still be available. Come on down!

 Posted by at 12:08 pm
Oct 232014

edward-scissorhands-1“Wipe yaself off…ya dead.” -Chris Tucker, Rush Hour (1998)

This week was a pretty lethal week in comics!! If you’re looking for some fluffy-feel-good-patty-cake-books, try the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party down the block!

Speaking of properties that Tim Burton has made into films, let’s dive right in with our first issue of the week EDWARD SCISSORHANDS #1 from our IDW chums! Yes, as the Holiday-ish season starts taking effect, we will soon be reminded again that Nightmare Before Christmas is an amazing film, which will undoubtedly start the annual Burton-binge (for me: Nightmare>>Beetlejuice>>Batman Returns>>EDWARD SCISSORHANDS) Fortunately for us, KATE LETH and DREW RAUSCH are continuing the life of Eddie Sciz. Surprisingly enough, you’ll find with this issue some of the deeper understanding for our beloved title character comes with how he reacts to a character in the same boat as him, or more with nearly the same hands as him. An interesting point of view in the film is immediately challenged in this issue, as our misunderstood, loner hero, finds he must become a mentor to another misfit, Eli, who unintentionally (perhaps) kills something he only meant to hold (perhaps). RAUSCH’S facial expressions hit dead-on, as Burton’s stop-motion characters are known for having such dynamic expression in just their face alone. Grab a slice of this issue: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS #1!

Speaking of holidays, do you know which one is not for a long time? FATHER’S DAY!! But that hasn’t stopped DARK HORSE COMICS from putting out a book with that famous holiday as the title…because it’s an awesome first issue! You know that opening scene in COMMANDO where the Governator just lifts random objects out in nature, then takes the time to interact with woodland creatures to teach compassion to his young Alyssa Milano daughter, only to be attacked by bad guys? Welllll…take that…flip it on its head…make the hero a true pacifist…and the daughter angsty…and you’ve got FATHER’S DAY!

STK652766-674x1024The perfect book to put you in the mood for All Hallows’ Eve, actually involves the caped crusader! Those of you who play video games from time to time know what Arkham Asylum is like as an entire city. Have you ever considered ARKHAM MANOR? DC COMICS has! After Arkham is destroyed, and the “patients” are stranded, the people of Gotham do not welcome them anywhere near the city limits. It is then agreed upon by Mayor Hady and company to open up a nearly abandoned Wayne Manor to house the criminally insane. MINOR SPOILER: The close of this issue is by far the best part, and sets up the entire book: After a murder in the newly christened Arkham Manor, Batman must admit himself as a “patient” to find the killer. An entertaining, stress-free (not exactly canon) first issue for you to enjoy: ARKHAM MANOR #1!

We close this post with two misunderstood villains squaring off. I might like to point out that I am squaring them off, DC and MARVEL may never get along enough to create this match up, so let us imagine what could be if these baddies came to blows. I’m talking about two mean dudes in orange and blue: DEATHSTROKE #1 from DC COMICS and AXIS: HOBGOBLIN #1 from MARVEL COMICS! Two very different tones set in each book! For DEATHSTROKE, the kill-count was up, as expected. Every pose hit by the merc-clops is dynamic and grabs the eye (zing)! As well, this is about the only issue I can think of where a villain with a name as lame as “Possum,” can actually be a villain not to be underestimated. Though there were a number of last-page twists this week, DEATHSTROKE walks away with the biggest WTF, in that I’m not sure what happened/is to come, but my attention is certainly had. Get your DEATHSTROKE on!

AXIS_Hobgoblin_Vol_1_2_Textless-500x759On the flip side, we have HOBGOBLIN who at the moment is attempting to redeem himself in the public eye, going a more commercial route to save face. If you’re going to “atone” why not make money off of it? You are warned from the beginning that this is an AXIS tie-in book, and does reference to where you might need to read before jumping into the title. Whether you go with AXIS or not, the read is still enjoyable, with a level of meta-humor that rivals Deadpool/Doop. Although it was a fairly minimal effort, I do appreciate the opening third that discusses why a character like Hobgoblin might exist, why characters in our real world exist that reject the culture surrounding them, the benefits of those that lead a more, literal and figurative, colorful life. I still think if our two Broncos/Bears themed villain-ish figures were to square off, Deathstroke would walk away victorious, but I’d be welcome to any pro-Hobgoblin supporters.

That’s it for this weeks reads! If you want to fan the flames of a DEATHSTROKE/HOBGOBLIN match-up, leave the name of the character you think would win in the comment section.



Here’s how it works:



THIS WEEK’S CODE: “Find some new friends, and hope you never see me again.

Thanks for reading!




Oct 152014

GLNG_Cv35_Previews_comp2_53bd9ae84f36e5.27705273‘Ello, chums! Got some catching up to do, we does!

If I had to sum up this week of comics in one phrase, it would be this: “set-up supreme.”

The Creators have shown us the path to the promise land, tantalizing we readers with providence! Whether that be in defining the DC COMICS Multiverse, keeping an eye to the Future to the degree BOOM! STUDIOS and IMAGE COMICS have shown, or killing a MARVEL COMICS darling: Wolverine (“who you calling ‘darling,’ bub?”).

In moments like these, we readers find ourselves in such a vulnerable position: “I’ve been burned before (insert publisher here), don’t do me again.” I’m here to point out what I see as a potential, bright future ahead. Without reading any copies in advance, let’s unpack this week and revel in where our titles are going.

With the introduction of The Multiversity, the success of Earth 2 and its merited World’s End book, as well as the Godhead story arc for our Green Lantern/New Gods Universe, DC COMICS has proven that the scope of its Multiverse is expanding and the response is positive. While many initially responded well to the New 52 reboot, it didn’t take long before the questions started coming: Where is this going? How are they going to address this? I need to know X before you move on to Y.

I believe the key to a truly cohesive and engaging universe is delivering on the periphery, individual-titled books, and their inclusion into the larger picture. Some might say “easier said than done,” but I caught a glimpse of what I’ve needed to see in this week’s issue of GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #35, Act I, Part 4 of GODHEAD. It might seem like an oddly specific beat to be talking about in the grand scheme, but that is exactly what is needed.

GLNG21-Kyle-close-upFirst off, let us establish who Kyle Rayner is nowadays, and who he’s always been. Kyle is the wielder of the White Ring. It has forever been his responsibility to shoulder the greatest power of the Green Lantern Universe, to be the Torchbearer (i.e. receiving Ganthet’s ring after the near-extinction of the Corps, serving as vessel for Ion pre-Sinestro-Corps-Wars, and inhabiting the role of White Lantern post-Brightest-Day). Needless to say, he has clout, yet he does not receive the recognition he often deserves. In this week’s issue, he is quite literally pulled from his own affairs to address the needs of The New God’s Highfather. To recap, that’s a central figure of one title, pulling another character into the bleed of two Universes, to address a threat to the Multiverse.

This is what has been needed for quite some time. At the start of the New 52, we had to first define each hero in their new existence, making it almost impossible for any cohesion to be established. Now, individuals are being recruited to take place in a larger event. The more DC includes their periphery characters, the more credit those characters and the Multiverse itself accrues. INFINITY MAN AND THE FOREVER PEOPLE is another example of a positive for the DCU/DCM. This is a property established by Jack Kirby himself, whose lore essentially pulls itself from the Bible itself! Again, another title that deserves more recognition than it’s gaining, yet slowly rises through to the spotlight again.

In short, I see what you’re doing DC COMICS and I approve in a big way!! I think it is very clear that the goal is to reach for something to the extent of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, and the challenge ahead will be what can add to that story, rather than how can we re-market the same story over again. It would not be the first time that has crossed anyone’s mind, but at least after this week, some of the pieces are in place to do exactly what is needed.

DC COMICS, tip o’ the cap to you, ol’ sport!

STK646569Now that the DC-Gushing is out of the way, let’s spend an equal amount of time on the IMAGE/BOOM!-GUSH-FEST! The reason I choose to pair these two this week is because of the effect each of their titles had on me, and just so happened to be paired in the same week. The titles in question are IMAGE COMICS’ SUPREME BLUE ROSE and BOOM! STUDIOS’ EVIL EMPIRE.

This would not be the first time that I mentioned MAX BEMIS and ANDREA MUTTI‘s sadistic EVIL EMPIRE on this site, nor do I  imagine it will be the last. The reason issue #6 gets a mention this week is compliments to the diagram drawn immediately, and aptly titled “HOW SAM GOT TO BE SO FUCKED UP.” This is intentional, as the steps shown to depict fucked-uppery in a human development display ways in which 90% of Americans as a whole are fucked-up. Thus, the dystopia is almost legitimized as a probable fate. The issue presses on to construct a deeper depiction of the concept of the “celebrity politician.” The strength lies in an inarguable sense, to an extent, of wanting to see that world, “to an extent” being the key phrase. The book challenges you to think about what you truly want to see in politics/society. Do we want the pomp-and-circumstance to be dropped, to bring about actual change? Is there danger to that? Is the danger worth it? Yes, this book has fun and goes to extremes we probably won’t see played out, but that’s not to distract from what could very much be true. An example of what I believe Evil Empire is predicting played out this week, as a few viral videos of First Lady Michelle Obama were released. They were premeditated, videos, clearly created for the sole purpose to entertain. There is a part of me that very much enjoys watching the President/Presidential family show they can have a sense of humor from time to time, but does comedic ability have the potential to become a prerequisite considered when voting in the next election? Will a simple party-friendly demeanor outweigh a positive political track-record? It is not an unfair question to ask, and Evil Empire indirectly teases out that question through hyperbole. I look forward to seeing what inadvertent or intentional predictions Evil Empire offers in the issues to come.

In the case of SUPREME BLUE ROSE #4, the idea of the “future” transcends politics for temporal positioning, or lack there of. I was immediately charmed by the work of both WARREN ELLIS and TULA LOTAY on SUPREME BLUE ROSE, but wanted to wait till the narrative was teased out further. ELLIS is well-known, but I would venture to say that many a fan will still be surprised at just how good of a story he can continue to deliver. Issue #4 seemed a perfect place to put the title on the radar. The series takes some getting used to, due to the fluid nature of time and the characters’ positions within time. We are encouraged immediately to get comfortable within a less-defined space, catching glimpses of futures, taking mantras from distant voices as we pass. Inserted into each mainline of action, we detour to a “pseudo-broadcast” from Professor Night. His questions are always blatant in tone, but we lack the context of which he speaks, to a degree. One could say he is clearly foreshadowing our suicidal destruction of the planet, yet there are so many other warnings hidden just out of reach. One character that appears to have the potential to answer some of these questions is Doc Rocket, who bears a likeness to an urban Albert Einstein. “Doc” is an insertion of catalytic energy, actually speeding into the narrative, seeking to unearth answers, quite literally trailblazing for the previously introduced characters. We’ll see just what Doc and the rest of the characters can do for space/time as we know it, check out SUPREME BLUE ROSE!

Finally, we have the moment, oddly enough, a good deal of us were hoping for: Wolverine is dead.

I could spill how he dies, but I’ll leave that for you to read/have spoiled for you elsewhere online. What I want to take the time to say is, I hope he stays dead. If you’re going to take away the surprise of his dying, then I have to imagine to give it any weight at all, you’re not going to bring him back until close to the release of the next film featuring Wolverine (Huge Jacked-man). I think nearly every fan would be disappointed to have an arc leading up to the arc leading up to his death, which was advertised as a historical event, just to have him return immediately. I would gain a great deal of satisfaction in seeing his “body” on display in the comics for a full year or two (human years, not comic years), before he’s brought back. If you share a similar sentiment, let us know! In the mean time, enjoy the closing chapter of THE DEATH OF WOLVERINE!

That’s all for this week, but before you go…TWO THINGS!!




Here’s how it works:



THIS WEEK’S CODE: “Communal Sadomasochism

Thanks for reading!