Welcome back to Loose Staples, your place for news, reviews and
opinions of the goings on in the comic book world. You can peruse The Spinner
Rack to catch up on all the talk around the web, check out my opinions on the
latest comics with Bagged & Boarded, or discover something you may have
overlooked with Back Issues. Well, get going!
The Spinner Rack
A little history lesson to open today’s edition of Loose Staples…
My first comic was X-Force #8. The original series mind you, so this would have been in March of 1992, so right around my 13th birthday. Honestly, I’d probably had comics before that, some Batman or Spider-Man stuff, but nothing that stuck with me, nothing that drew me into the world. Until X-Force #8 by Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza and Mike Mignola. It told some of the backstory of Cable, via flashback sequences drawn by Mignola, and was framed with a Liefeld-drawn sequence of the team being shanghaied in their base by a new Brotherhood, Cannonball seemingly dead from the attack. I still don’t know why it was that I became so enamored with the book, but I became obsessed with the series, particularly the character of Cable. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the first glimpse we’d gotten of his true origins, of his time-travelling ways. It could be that’s what grabbed me; a time-hopping hero from the future, coming to the past to set the world right, to save humanity. I was a fan of sci-fi even before then, so yeah, something like that would have definitely piqued my interest. It’s still odd to think that a comic with a main story illustrated by Mike Mignola (certainly not a style a child would latch onto), with framing sequences by Rob Liefeld (the oddest combination, possibly of all time) and a time travel story that lays down a lot of information and continuity that I couldn’t possibly have understood at the time, was my gateway. But it was. So, while everyone bashes Rob Liefeld, it’s always him I have to thank for bringing me into comics. Without characters like Cable, Deadpool, Shatterstar and Domino, I likely never would have had more than a passing interest. Of course, considering how much money I’ve blown over the years, maybe I owe him blame and not thanks.
I said all that to say this:
HitFix.com has reported an X-Force movie might be happening over at Fox, with Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow attached. I’m excited no matter which line-up they decide to go with, but if, if any of Liefeld’s character make the team, I’m going to be over the moon.
DC has premiered a new, heavily stylized take on Wonder Woman as part of its DC Nation shorts airing on Cartoon Network. I’ve embedded a teaser below. Props for going in a new direction. The invisible ride is still ridiculous. Enjoy!
Painkiller Jane is coming back to comics, and under the Marvel banner no less. Co-creator Jimmy Palmiotti is set to script the series, with Juan Santacruz on art duties. Marvel.com has more, including a sneak peak at the art and cover.
Palmiotti is also on board for DC’s upcoming Harley Quinn ongoing, along with his wife Amanda Conner. The two will be co-writing the series, but there’s not been an announcement about the artist. Comic Book Resources has an interview with the couple about the newst.
The Marvel Knights imprint is making a comeback. Three new series have been announced, along with their creative teams. Unfortunately the books are set to be indie takes on already popular franchises instead of anything with less-established characters. Still, it might be a lot of fun. Comics Alliance has more details.
It looks like Heroes will be getting another season after all, but it’s going to be in comic book form, from Dynamite Comics. Cullen Bunn is on board as writer, and Comics Beat has the press release.
With Flashpoint Paradox on the horizon, DC has announced the next in its line of animated films, Justice League: War, adapting the first arc of the New 52 re-launch.
Newsarama has the details on the upcoming Agent Carter One-Shot that’ll be premiering at SDCC this weekend. It’s also a bonus feature on the upcoming Iron Man 3 Blu-Ray.
Hypable has a video introduction to two of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. along with the announcement that the show will premiere Sept. 24th, 2013.
Some plot details have leaked about Bryan Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise. Minor spoilers, so you’ve been warned. (Via Vulture.com) Singer’s also continuing to tweet about production, with the announcement that Lucas Still is returning as Havok.
— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) July 15, 2013
I posted this last week, but since SDCC starts today, it’s more appropriate this week:
“Finally, if you’re going to SDCC this week (or even if you’re not), you may be interested in a little peek at all the goings-on; Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. If you get any good pics or info, email us, we’ll send you some stickers! Stickers are currency, right?”
Now, let’s read some comics!
Bagged & Boarded
Blood Brothers #1
It’s basically a vampiric take on what Kevin Smith was doing with Bartleby and Loki in Dogma, and it’s actually a lot of fun. I love the idea of a thousand year old friendship, and dealing with the ramifications of something like that. Most of us can’t go a week without making someone we know furious, so how do you spend ten centuries together? Evan Shaner’s art is pitch perfect for this kind of story and the dialogue is funny and irreverent, without feeling like it’s trying to be too hip. The Las Vegas setting is a bit on the nose, but I suppose it’s the perfect place for vampires in America, all the action is happening at night. There have been a solid string of first issues in the last few months; hopefully this is one that won’t disappoint when it’s time for round two.
Finally, after five issues that took place before the events of Avengers vs. X-Men (which began well over a year ago, and ended late last year), we get a series that seems to be current with the rest of the current Marvel U. We also get a new creative team; Zeb Wells is now on writing duties, with Paco Medina handling the art. I actually dug Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuiness’ take on the character, I was just baffled as to how and when it fit into the continuity, but the Wells/Medina dynamic has me even more interested in this book. It’s nice to have a down-to-Earth teen hero running around the MU, even if his powers are cosmic based. I don’t think Wells is on par with Bendis, but it reminded me of the early Ultimate Spider-Man stuff, with some weaker dialogue. Now that we’ve finally gotten to the present day on the title, I’m interested to see where it goes next, especially with Infinity on the horizon. Honestly, this is one book I hope they just leave out of the mess, it would be great to have a family friendly title that’s well written and illustrated and not completely bogged down by whatever sales gimmick the company is pushing next.
I’m a sucker for a team-up book, especially one with a rotating creative team; it means never quite knowing what you’re in for. So, naturally I’ve been on board the A+X series since it launched, and the fact that it features two stories, with two different creative teams just means double the fun (or disappointment). I was pretty excited to see both Fantomex and Domino would be featured in separate stories this issue, as they’re two of my favorite characters. Adam Warren handles the Domino/Scarlet Witch story; I’ve always enjoyed his manga-influenced art, and the story certainly is wacky enough to go with it. B. Clay Moore is the writer on the Fantomex/Black Widow tale, with Kris Anka on art, and it’s definitely the stronger of the two. Both characters operate with a high level of independence, so playing them as a team makes for some interesting chemistry. It was also nice to see some nods to Marvel’s older Russian-based characters, and there was even a Champions mention, not something you see too much of. Being an old school (well, late ‘80s, but that’s old these days) Marvel Zombie, it’s stuff like this that really keeps me coming back. I don’t need giant, universe spanning stories, though those are occasionally nice, just give me some superhero action adventure that’s wrapped up nice and neat and I’ll go to bed happy.
Based on the box office, I’m guessing not many of you went out to see Pacific Rim last weekend, but if you didn’t, you should. It’s a pretty wonderful film, full of massive ideas and even more massive monsters. Most of the Film Dispenser crew enjoyed the heck out of it, and you can read Spencer’s gushing review right here. As I was walking out of the theatre though, I couldn’t help but think about Dan Brereton’s Giantkiller, as the stories are quite similar, though his does lack giant robots.
Giantkiller sees a group of kaiju take over the San Francisco area after a volcanic eruption unleashes them on Earth. With the U.S. military proving absolutely useless against the threat, a group of scientists bio-engineer a human/kaiju hybrid to take on the monsters. Dubbed Jack, and bred with a large number of biological weapons, he sets out into the poisonous wasteland to destroy his own ancestors. But, he soon discovers he’s not the only one hunting the beasts.
In a way this book is the opposite of del Toro’s film, in that it’s a small, personal story set in a world of grand ideas and designs. The movie does have some of those smaller elements, but not enough to give you any real emotional attachment to the main characters. Giantkiller is a very individualistic tale of identity and purpose; it just happens to take place in a world filled with giant monsters. As Jack journeys further and further into the badlands, he slowly realizes the futility of his existence, that no matter how many creatures he kills, that there will always be one more, him. It’s about the reconciliation of design and free will, and how the good in us can always overcome our own evil natures. It’s also about a crazy looking dude cutting off monsters heads with his awesome sword.
This is maybe my favorite of Brereton’s work, though he’s probably best known for The Nocturnals or his DC Elseworlds book Thrillkiller, both of which are pretty great as well. He falls in a camp with creators like Mike Mignola, guys who can make the fantastically terrifying even scarier, yet believable, and somehow really cool. You just want to be one of those monsters. Every panel is crackling with energy, and the art flows so well there’s never any difficulty deciphering the action. Which is good, because there’s plenty of it.
The issues were originally published by DC, but the collection is published by Image. It includes some nice bonus features as well. There’s an A-Z Guide on all the monsters (including a few you never really see) and a sketchbook with some early and discarded designs. The sketchbook has some annotation by Brereton, and he briefly discusses some of the influences on the story and the characters, which is something he’d apparently been working on for quite awhile. So, if you really dug Pacific Rim, this is one I highly recommend you seek out.
Have some comics you’d like to recommend? Any books out there you think aren’t getting their fare shake? Think I’m completely wrong? (You’re probably right about that last one…) Email us, firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know. If you need to find the closest comics retailer to you, you can always head over to the Comic Shop Locator, punch in your zip code, and voila! That’s it for this week’s edition of Loose Staples. We’ll see you in the funny books!