ComiConvo: Outcast #1

Outcast 1Let’s test the waters AGAIN with another possible NBC! weekly: ComiConvo. Each week, Tyler (TheOtherBluth) and I will choose an issue we’ve both read and, simply, have a conversation about it.  That’s it.  However, there are no rules against where these conversations may lead.  This week’s ComiConvo is fairly tame and straight to the point, but who knows what the future may hold.

Our first conversation is on Image/Skybound’s Outcast #1 by Robert Kirkman (Writer), Paul Azaceta (Artist), and Elizabeth Breitweiser (Colorist).  Here we go…

Continue reading ComiConvo: Outcast #1

David & Kolbish Launching New Deadpool Miniseries In October

3928404-dpawar001covwm

Peter David of The Incredible Hulk, X-Factor, Spiderman 2099, Supergirl, Young Justice, Aquaman & The Spectacular Spiderman will team with artist Scott Kolbish of Excalibur, Elektra, Captain America, Final Crisis: Legion Of Three Worlds, Worlds Finest, The Punisher, OMAC & Deadpool for a new miniseries Deadpool: The Art of War focused on Deadpool (of course) and Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War (!?!?!?!?!) More details via comic vine

DC Expands its Universe…By Adding Two More Batman Titles

Just announced, DC is adding two more ongoing comics set in the Batverse.  Gotham Academy and Arkham Manor will both debut in October.  Similar to Batman Eternal, these titles are meant to explore corners of Batman’s world previously uncharted. The darker of the two series is Arkham Manor, inmates make a new home away from the asylum and into Wayne Manor. Gotham Academy, on the other hand, will take place in one of Gotham’s most presigious prep schools funded by Bruce Wayne and will seemingly revolve around a new batch of teenage characters.

arkham-manor_612x968
Arkham Manor: Gerry Duggan (Writer) and Shawn Crystal (A)

 

gotham-academy_612x929
Gotham Academy: Becky Cloonan/Brendan Fletcher (Writer) and Karl Kerschl (A)

See EW.com for more information.

Snowpiercer from Page to Screen

snowpiercer_vol_1_the_escape_cover
Jean-Marc Rochette

There is an old adage about film adaptations that goes something like this: so-so book=great movie; great book=a so-so movie. As a rule, it holds up fairly well, though of course there are exceptions (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy with Gary Oldman being a recent one). Either way, the theorem was passing through my head this weekend as I watched the film Snowpiercer. This dystopian movie is an adaptation of a series of French graphic novels by the same name. Looking at the original source material alongside the current film provides an intriguing look at how a seemingly simple idea was tweaked and riffed on by different creators.

The first volume of Snowpiercer, later subtitled The Escape, was released in France in 1984. Written by Jacques Lob and illustrated Jean-Marc Rochette, it is set in a near future where the Earth has been rendered uninhabitable by a new Ice Age. Lob alludes to climate change as a possible cause, though never really pursues the issue. More important is the fact that all surviving life on the planet is contained within a perpetually traveling train named Snowpiercer. Within its compartments the last remnant of humanity lives a strictly segmented existence. Lob does not bother to hide his subtext, clearly presenting a tale of neglected masses living in deprivation, while the First Class passengers live the high life—or the closest they can manage while confined to a speeding locomotive. Much of it is standard class-conscious allegory, though one intriguing idea is that there is nothing earned in the rank of the upper classes. They do not occupy their cozy compartments because of some pre-existing right; they simply got to the front first, and pushed back everyone behind them. Rank in this society seems to be simply a matter of luck.
Continue reading Snowpiercer from Page to Screen

YOUR WEEK’S FINEST – 6/25/14

sh

UPDATE:  AS OF 6:00 p.m. (EASTERN TIME) ON JUNE 29, 2014, THE NBC! COMMUNITY HAS CHOSEN Savage Hulk #1 AS “YOUR WEEK’S FINEST”.  THANKS FOR VOTING!

The NBC! team loves to pick the week’s best comic for “This Week’s Finest!“, and we want to give all members of the NBC! community the opportunity to voice their pick for the best comic of the week.  Below is a poll comprised of all the comics listed in the NBC! pull lists for this week – which one did you think was the best?

Please vote, and please let us know which comic you voted for – and why – in the comments.  The poll will close at 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Sunday, June 29, 2014, when we’ll announce the winner of YOUR WEEK’S FINEST!

Continue reading YOUR WEEK’S FINEST – 6/25/14

Review of We Are Robin #1

           c By Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona, Rob Haynes, Trish Mulvihill, Khary Randolph, Emilio Lopez, and Jared K. Fletcher

            Hello friends! We Are Robin #1 introduces us to a world where a collective of Gotham teens—in the aftermath of Batman: Endgame—have begun to take an active role in the crime fighting of their city. The difference is they see the value in numbers and organization. This issue jumps right into things providing some insight about a new recruit, and the Robin organization’s methods. A sufficient narrative is elevated by the art and overall storytelling.

Story: Lee Bermejo does a good job setting up the players in this first issue. Duke is our entry character to this world, so it make sense to spend the most time with him. While I felt we were given a good overview of his situation and attitude, we spent the majority of the issue being told that he is an unhappy orphan who only wants to find his parents. I felt that this could have been handled with less pages, and maybe more time spent with “The Robins”, or at least one of them. I realize this can be dealt with in future issues, but even a short two-page mini mission, where we get to witness a “Robins” operation or something would have been very useful and more pertinent to the series. We were already introduced a bit by the eight-page teaser a few weeks ago, and the in media res nature of that had me a lot more amped than the setup and cliff hang of this issue.

With all that said, Bermejo does a fine job on the whole. There were some nice touches, such as the 21st century communications of the team, and Duke’s mentioning of being afraid of heights and wanting to stay on street level—literally—as opposed to swinging through the air like a superhero. For now, the stage is set, and next issue he can hit the ground running and hopefully flesh out “The Robins” more. I’m interested in learning more, and will definitely be back for the next issue, which is really the main goal of new series’ first issue.

****Minor Spoilers**** Also, I just want to theorize a little, and guess that the epilogue was a possible glimpse of Alfred. Any other guesses are welcome in the comments section.

Art: The big star for me this issue was the art team. Jorge Corona and Rob Haynes did a wonderful job with the visual storytelling. Interesting camera angles, nontraditional panel layouts, and a distinct style made for a wonderfully put together comic. Corona’s style felt reminiscent of Greg Capullo at times, in his character’s faces especially, and he does a wonderful job conveying movement across a page. His angular forms, and slightly exaggerated proportions of characters are visually interesting, and stylistically can only be described as “Cool”.

Colorist Trish Mulvihill utilizes an appropriately muted tone for most of the pages, so that when there is a bright color it jumps right out at you. Gotham, as we all know, is a not a well lit sparkling city, it is a metropolis awash in grays, browns, and blacks. This contrast was especially effective for the pops of red, green, and yellow that our protagonists all appropriately rock.

Conclusion: Overall I enjoyed this issue. Despite some problems regarding the structure, and efficiency of page real estate given the large cast of characters; as I stated before, the premise is solid and I want to read more.

What say you NBC! faithful? I’d love to hear your opinions regarding this issue, or any disagreements with my assessment of it. As always the comment section is for our enjoyment, so have at it; let’s engage! 🙂

Review of The Fade Out #7

The Fade Out 7
Sean Phillips

By Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

After six issues of noir infused shadows, Brubaker & Phillips shine a little sunlight into their mystery tale set behind the scenes of 1940s Hollywood. In #6, scriptwriter Charlie Parish was picked as the escort for young starlet Maya Silver whose official studio approved (closeted) boyfriend was currently recovering from injuries sustained during a (suicidal) car crash. Maya is starring in a film based on a screenplay Charlie worked on (fronted for a blacklisted friend) and they have been gradually developing a rapport that they acted on sexually in #6. The latest issue finds them hungry for more, and sneaking of to a secluded Malibu beach house for as much as possible.

Brubaker has taken his time drawing these two character together. Their early flirtations had a spark to them which was palpable but not so overwhelming that future developments were obvious. They are a likable couple, who seem good for each other. They lighten each other’s moods. Maybe it is just the sex, yet, thinking back to those earlier conversations at parties and other Hollywood functions, suggests that there is something else. Some genuine connection between two individuals who may not have reached the heights of the professions, yet, still have seen a lot of bad stuff in their day. They are haunted by ghosts, even if Maya’s, for now, remain a bit abstract.
Continue reading Review of The Fade Out #7

Review of Korvac Saga #1

c
Otto Schmidt

by Dan Abnett & Otto Schmidt

As its title suggests, this Secret Wars tie-in reflects back to the classic storyline of the late 70s. Running through The Avengers, it brought the 31st Century Guardians of the Galaxy to the 20th Century, where they teamed-up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to comfort the cosmically omnipotent Michael Korvac. The original narrative (written by Jim Shooter with some scripting assists and a rotating rooster of artists) was full of the excitement and intellectual questioning that define the best of Marvel’s cosmic epics. It is remember by many fans as one of the greatest Avengers tales ever told.

From the start of his Guardians 3000 series, Abnett had been seeding the idea that time is out of whack. Gradually he nudged the Guardians along a path which brought them once again to the present, where they found themselves alongside The Avengers facing Michael Korvac once again. Only now, everything does end, as even Korvac’s Power Cosmic is unable to prevent the final incursion. The most recent (final?) issue of Guardians concluded with engulfing blackness.
Continue reading Review of Korvac Saga #1

Fight Club 2 #2 Review

667981_6dfd9194f8c45e6da06dee074718d041b5892091

by Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart

This issue is a study in extremes, starting out as too nonlinear and fragmented imagery and ending as a mile-a-minute blow to the head.

Sebastian and Marla have lost their child, their home, and possibly their marriage. Thanks to Tyler’s actions that resulted in all three, they could stand to gain thousands of dollars if the police investigation lands on “arson”.  Later on they learn that the burnt body was not their son but a down on his luck med student who was murdered. As the two reel from all these reveals, Sebastian sees a familiar house on Paper Street reenacting some familiar scenes, and Marla makes some new friends in group.

 Finally, Marla comes clean about cheating on Sebastian and cutting his meds, which is how Tyler resurrected himself. Sebastian plans to rejoin Project Mayhem, and tells Marla to find a place to lay low.

Palahniuk takes some risks in terms of the story and its representation, hinting that Sebastian has known Tyler since early childhood and lost his parents early on because of this. Despite the events of the preceding book, Sebastian has never connected the dots before now. Whether this is “real” or not, all of this can seem convoluted and unnecessary to the overall plot.

Despite all that, the scenes with Sebastian and Marla sharing the truth and “fighting” are brimming with tension and he sneaks in a handful of references to the cult film.

Cameron Stewart’s art continues its measured quality throughout, only to become sharp and explosive for the action scenes. Although I didn’t care for the flashbacks to Sebastian’s childhood, Stewart conveyed his loneliness and dark humor very well. His imagery helps to sell any rough patches from the script, which is more difficult when there is zero dialogue to go with the art in some panels.

Palahniuk’s writing represents the good and bad parts of writing in comic books, switching from frenetic and questionable to concise and arresting. It makes the issue uneven, but once the plot brings the characters together it stabilizes itself. I worry about Palahniuk repeating too much of the novel and retreading himself, but this being a sequel it’s hard to begrudge that if it is indeed what he intends to do. The series continues to be fun and exciting, even though it is best when staying close to a previous work that Palahniuk wrote more than a decade ago.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent