Loose Staples (11/06/13)
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
Cover artist extraordinaire Nick Cardy passed away this week. Brilliance doesn’t even begin to cover his work, if you’re unfamiliar, check out this rundown of some of his greatest pieces.
MTV.com has a nice but brief interview with Guardian of the Galaxy director James Gunn about the voice work being done for the film. Heads up though, it also contains spoilers for Thor: The Dark World.
THR’s Heat Vision blog is reporting that the recently shelved Term Life film adaptation with Vince Vaughan has been rescued. QED International and Worldview are set to finance, with the hopes of a 2014 start date.
Forever Geek has the lowdown (including some video) on a homemade S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. It’s miniaturized, yes, of course, but it actually flies. And it’s awesome.
USA Today has the scoop on some of the characters that will be appearing in the upcoming Marvel Universe LIVE! arena show next year. There’s an appalling lack of female characters.
Deadline is reporting that both Jackman and director James Mangold will return for another Wolverine film. Then they go on to say negotiations are ongoing, which means nothing is set in stone, so it’s a misleading headline. Still, that there are talks is very good news.
In the wake of Kim Thompson’s passing, Fantagraphics has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help launch their 2014 line of graphic novels. They’ve already raised over $60,000, with about a month to go. It’s a great cause, with some really cool rewards. Check it out.
Check out this killer Apocalypse premium figure from Sideshow Collectibles.
It seems like DC is all about television these days. Now they’re prepping a series based on (the rather obscure) Hourman for the CW network. It could be interesting…but, Hourman? /Film has some info.
Capone over on Ain’t It Cool has an interview with the Dark Elf himself, Christopher Eccleston. POSSIBLE spoilers for Thor: The Dark World, but minor at worst.
CBR has the rundown on Daredevil’s jump to digital comics in the new series Daredevil: Road Warrior, including an interview with Mark Waid and Peter Krause, the team behind the book.
Jim Starlin posted news on his Facebook page that he’s just completed work on a 100-page project for Marvel to be released next summer. It was accompanied by a picture of Thanos. Huh.
The newest trailer for The LEGO Movie features some more DC superhero silliness. Surely I’m not the only one excited to actually see this movie.
Bleeding Cool thinks they know the latest X-Man getting resurrected in Brian Wood’s next arc on the X-Men title. I won’t spoil it, but you can click on over to see.
Walking Dead producer Greg Nicotero says the season’s about to get a lot darker. Considering how bland the show has been this year, it won’t take much. ComicBook.com has the info.
The New York Times has the scoop on Marvel’s upcoming relaunch of Ms. Marvel, which introduces an entirely new character under the name. It’s certainly an interesting fresh direction.
The seminal Vertigo series Fables will end with issue #150, and Comic Related has some of the details on why.
Thor: The Dark World has already made over $100 million at the box office. It opens in the U.S. tonight. That’s pretty crazy.
Comic Book Movie has a clip from an upcoming episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Spoilers: We get to meet Casey Jones. Cue my excitement (legitimately).
Check out this new viral site promoting the upcoming Man of Steel Blu-Ray release, Learn About Krypton. Rumors are it may contain hints at the next film in the franchise.
Marvel has released a 5-part LEGO series on their YouTube page entitled Maximum Overload. Looks like a lot of fun, and certainly will tide me over until I can finally get my hands on the game!
TVLine has word that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will deal with some of the fallout from the Thor sequel in an upcoming episode titled The Well.
Now, let’s read some comics!
Bagged & Boarded
Amazing X-Men #1 (Marvel)
It’s been awhile since Nightcrawler, everyone’s favorite fuzzy blue elf, shuffled off this mortal coil in the pages of one X-Men comic or another. So long in fact, that I’d almost forgotten he even died. That may have more to do with an alternate universe version of the character taking up with one of the X-Force teams not too long ago. I think he might be dead now too. I digress. When Amazing X-Men was announced, and it boasted the return of Nightcrawler, I was both excited and a little bummed out. As much as I hate seeing a great character bite it, the hokeyness used to bring them back is always worse. While that’s absolutely the case here, somehow writer Jason Aaron and artist Ed McGuiness make it a lot of fun. Outside of the return of the swashbuckling teleporter the very best things about this issue were the re-introduction of Angelica Jones (aka Firestar) into the X-Men world, and (finally!) an explanation for the tiny little Bamfs (like mini Nightcrawlers) that have been running around the Jean Grey School since its construction. I’m still pretty sure that the comics world didn’t need another new X-book to clutter its shelves, but if Aaron and McGuiness can keep this one infused with this type of fun and action, it might prove itself as worthy as the rest of them.
Alex + Ada #1 (Image)
Set in a futuristic world where artificial intelligence not only exists, it’s completely pervaded everyday life, whether it be small flying machines that bring you your coffee, android personal assistants/companions, or even things like being psychically linked to every piece of technology you own; the book follows Alex, a twenty-seven year old office worker with a mundane job and a broken love life. This premiere issue actually plays out over the course of his birthday, showing us glimpses into his relationships with family and friends, particularly an oddly open dialogue with his grandmother, who decides to buy him his own robotic “friend.” Unfortunately that’s where the book leaves off. Now, I’ll admit that the premise sounds a bit boring, or even a touch of “we’ve seen this before,” but the execution had me absolutely wrapped. It’s rare that we get a futuristic tale dealing with anything remotely mundane, and the thought that has clearly gone into imagining this world simply cannot be denied. It is the question of what happens when the dull meets the spectacular, and I can’t wait to see how this book answers it. Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughan both share story and script credit, but Luna is pulling art chores completely solo, but the book works on such a cinematic level it’s hard to imagine even separating the two. So much of my comic reading these days comes courtesy of one superhero property or another that I’m almost taken aback when I happen upon such a simple story dealing with “real” people. I really can’t say enough about how well the world is brought to life here, in both art and dialogue, and how, even though so little actually happens (or maybe because so little actually happens), there seemed to be real emotional depth to the characters here, most of whom we see for only a few panels. It may wind up reading better as whole, especially for anyone not well versed in serialized storytelling, but few books have come along this year where as soon as I hit the end of the first issue I wanted to immediately pick up another. It’s graphic storytelling at its finest.
For the last year or so writer Cullen Bunn has been slyly crafting one of the most unique and thought provokingly twisted stories the Marvel Universe has ever seen. And he’s been using Deadpool to do it. It started with Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, which had the Merc with a Mouth discovering that not only are he and the rest of characters in his world fictional, they also solely exist for the entertainment of others. To free everyone from this horrible fate, good ol’ Wade sets about murdering every hero and villain in the MU, in a spectacularly bloody fashion. As that series closed, Deadpool realized that there were other fictional realms, specifically the world of classic literature, which inspired and informed the ideas that gave birth to his comic book world. So, what’s a nut job to do? He finds a way into those realms and proceeds to kill every motivating character from the greatest books of all time in Deadpool Killustrated. Thinking this would ultimately lead to his own demise, Wade is shocked to discover that not only does he still exist afterwards, but there are hundreds of versions of him floating around the still-existing multiverse. That leads us to Deadpool Kills Deadpool, which has the mouthy one facing off against every possible version of himself you could imagine, and a few you can’t even fathom.
I liked that Bunn decided that the Deadpool we’d been following for the last year on these adventures wasn’t actually Deadpool proper, instead he himself turned out to be from another alternate reality. It keeps continuity in tact (something I’m not terribly worried with, but there are those out there who are), and allows us to have the one we all know and love back in the driver’s seat. It was also nice to see the Deadpool Corps come back into play, as I it was a concept that I liked a good deal, but was poorly executed in their original series. The basics of the plot amount to one Deadpool amassing an army of believers, a sort of cult, who want to see his vision of nothingness achieved, and out Deadpool banding an army together to stop him. It sounds absolutely ridiculous, just like the two previous books, but all three of them subtly deal with some heady themes. Things like the futility of existence, the purpose of life, were we created, are we just imaginary players in someone else’s dream, are we self-realized…I could go on, but I won’t
Okay, so, yes, it’s nothing we didn’t see explored in The Matrix trilogy already, but Bunn adds humour into the mix, and manages to make his points without relying on overly philosophical mumbo jumbo or badly disguised Christ metaphors. And lots of violence; lots and lots of violence. It raises a lot of interesting questions, and even manages to knock the industry that wrought it without making it seem like an attack at all. Artist Salva Espin is along for the third volume of the series to bring Bunn’s insanity to life. Matteo Lolli’s art on Killustrated is still my favorite of all three, but Espin does a really fantastic job here, especially considering the sheer amount of variations on the character we see. It would take awhile to pour over the pages and identify the versions of the character you could even begin to place, but then there are characters like Pandapool (it’s exactly what it sounds like) that he brings to panel and you just instantly want to know more about whatever universe it came from. If you dig insanity and introspection in your comics, whether you’re a Deadpool fan or not, I can’t recommend this series enough.
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!