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Tag Archive: DC Comics


Ryan Sook Futures End cover 1    Ryan Sook Futures End 14 cover August 2014 release

We’ve delved into some great cover artists at borg.com in the past three years, from Alex Ross to Mauro Cascioli to Frank Cho and Mike Mayhew.  With his cover run on the DC Comics New 52 series Futures End, Ryan Sook is the artist you just can’t miss these days.  His cover for Issue #14 (above right) of Futures End is being solicited for August 2014 already, and it showcases several styles.  If you take a look back over the past few years you can see one of the best artists around developing his style and craft, putting his mark on the covers of some great comic book series.

You can see Sook as the cover artist of choice to start up several new series with the number one issue out of the gates, for series including Robotika (2005), Giant-Size Hulk (2006), Friday the 13th (2007), Batman and the Outsiders (2007), Death of the New Gods (2007), Countdown Specials, Countdown Presents and DC Universe Specials (2008 and 2011), Broken Trinity: Aftermath (2009), Blackest Night: Wonder Woman (2010), JSA All Stars (2010), The Magdalena (2010), B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth series (2011-2013), Victorian Undead II (2011), DC Universe Online: Legends (2011), Kirby: Genesis (2011), Justice League Dark (2011), Lord of the Jungle (2011), Rose & Thorn (2012), Sword of Sorcery (2012), and The New 52 Futures End (2014).

Sook is able to render men and women superheroes equally well, yet his women really stand out.  Here’s his Wonder Woman, showcased in the Blackest Night series:

Ryan Sook  Blackest Night Wonder Woman 1 cover    Ryan Sook Blackest Night Wonder Woman 2 cover

Less stylized than Cliff Chiang’s current angular Wonder Woman look, Sook may have created a modern twist on the definitive look of the classic character for other artists to emulate.

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New Flash supersuit If you watched last night’s season finale of Arrow on the CW Network, you already know how well superhero stories can be translated to television.  Arrow will likely go down as the best adaptation of a comic book property to hit the small screen.  Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to find the same spark but unfortunately couldn’t make it happen.  After all, superhero series need superheroes at least once in a while.

The ABC Network released 12 previews for new Fall shows this week, including many that seem likely not to make it very far, including Selfie, starring Karen Gillan and John Cho.  With these two mega-genre stars, someone should make a series that is more than a fluffy comedy.  Cho has already shown through a variety of TV appearances, such as in Sleepy Hollow last year, that he has plenty of range beyond his movie roles.  Gillan needs to move beyond the role of model, and we think Guardians of the Galaxy will give fans more of what they are after.

Here’s the Selfie preview, but you’ve been warned: ABC did not yet release a preview yet for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Agent Carter featuring Hayley Atwell’s character from Captain America: The First Avenger as she builds S.H.I.E.L.D. in the aftermath of World War II.

But the NBC Network did release this preview of another DC Comics series, Constantine, to replace the unfortunately cancelled Dracula (which featured Arrow’s Huntress actress Jessica De Gouw and Jonathan Rhys Meyers) for the Friday night line-up with Grimm: Continue reading

Gotham series banner

The 75th anniversary of the creation of Batman is approaching.  Continuing the theme of superhero television series revolving around crusaders defending their city, DC Comics and Fox released the first trailer for their new series Gotham.  Shifting from Arrow’s Starling City to the more famous Gotham City, DC Comics also is continuing its focus on a cast of supervillains, this time as a prequel starring Ben McKenzie (Southland, The OC), who previously was the voice of Batman and Bruce Wayne in the animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One.

But if the new series is able to latch onto some of the success seen by CW Network’s Arrow, it may be because of supporting cast, like the always great Donal Logue (Vikings, Life, The X-Files, Ghost Rider, Sneakers).  Gotham is also taking a cue from AMC’s Bates Motel, revealing the creepy pasts of Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), the Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), and the Penguin (Robin Taylor) in their early days in Gotham City.  On the downside, DC Comics is now taking a cue from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by leaving the key superhero–Batman– out of the story, other than the Bruce Wayne origin story from Miller’s Batman: Year One.

Gotham cast

Check out this first preview for Gotham:

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Detective Comics 30 cover

With so many on-going monthly series in the DC Comics New 52 universe, it’s sometimes difficult to find an entry point into the DC Comics titles because of continuing story arcs.  If you’ve dumped one or more titles and want to get back in, where do you start?

One entry point for you may be Detective Comics, Issue #30, the beginning of a new story arc titled “Icarus.”  In this first chapter we don’t learn what Icarus is, but we do meet up with an interesting Batman, moving on past the death of son Damian.  We also meet Elena Aguila and her daughter Annie, a motorbike daredevil who looks like she’s cut out to be the next Robin.  Similar to one of the main story threads in the Arrow TV series, Elena and Bruce Wayne are forging an alliance to restore the welfare of the citizens in the community of Gotham’s East End Waterfront District.

Detective Comics 30 Manipul

Replacing Wayne’s plans to commercially develop that area of town, and the likely deals with businessmen in Gotham City that he is going to need to cancel to do it, will no doubt create some enemies for Wayne in the process.

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ww_32_bombshell_variant_lr_002

I first caught up with artist Ant Lucia at last year’s Planet Comicon and saw him again at this weekend’s show with a booth full of incredible full-color prints.  In a matter of minutes he sketched for a fan one of the beautiful bombshell gals he has become known for worldwide over the past year.  Lucia’s work is unique, taking classic DC Comics characters and retro-designing them with a distinct 1940s/World War II poster style.

You can buy prints, shirts, and stickers featuring the images at Lucia’s website.  And toy collectors can get his character designs in large-sized figurines.  If you’re missing any, contact Elite Comics to place an order.

cw_32_bombshell_variant_lr

DC Comics is going all out this June with Lucia’s work, with variant covers for twenty June monthlies.  You’ll find Lucia’s prints on special variant covers of Action Comics, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, Batman and Ra’s al Ghul, Batman/Superman, Batwoman, Catwoman, Detective Comics, The Flash, Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Harley Quinn, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Justice League United, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Superman, Superman/Wonder Woman, and Wonder Woman.

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THE-FLASH-First-look

The CW Network released this first look at the new Flash costume and announced that filming of the pilot episode will begin this week.  This time around, the supersuit developed by Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood seems to have kept with the modern design continuity of her costume for Stephen Amell’s Arrow while possibly pulling in some inspiration from Chris Evans’ Captain America costume from Captain America: The First Avenger, with that 1940s leather football helmet look, complete with chin guard.

Captain America helmet

Captain America–inspiration for the new Flash supersuit helmet?

The primary red-colored suit from the decades of comic book artist renderings has been cast aside for an edgier, dark look, also perhaps taking the lead from the darker mood of the Arrow series’ new DC universe that the new Barry Allen/Flash springs from.  The color also resembles the classic Flash series that this new series will be undoubtedly compared to, possibly the best incarnation of a costumed hero to appear on TV or film, worn in 1990-1991 by actor John Wesley Shipp, shown here:

Flash John Wesley Shipp

The original Flash–a supersuit that can’t be beat.

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Miss Fury Dynamite Comics

We tried on for size almost every new book that was released from comic book publishers like Dynamite Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Archaia/BOOM!, and Image.  We tried to sample the best of all that Marvel and DC Comics had to offer, too, and although we didn’t have enough time to review everything we did try to put out there for your consideration those titles we thought our readers might like to check out, especially those with a sci-fi, fantasy, or retro bent.  Our pull list included issues from Afterlife with Archie to Django Unchained, from Liberator to Larfleezeand from Velvet to The X-Files.  This past month we have reviewed the year-long run of the best of these titles, as we narrowed our selections to 21 of the very best entries in genre entertainment outside of TV and movies, which we revealed here yesterday.  So here are the rest of our picks for the Best of 2013.

Kane Starkiller borg by Mike Mayhew

Best Borg Appearance – Kane Starkiller, The Star Wars.  Borgs showed up everywhere this year, from the lead characters on Almost Human, to Doctor Who, to countless comic book series including Justice League and RoboCop.  Our favorite appearance came from the young mind of George Lucas as he created the original script that would later be edited into the original Star Wars trilogy.  And through Dark Horse Comics’ The Star Wars monthly comic book event we learned one of his best ideas was merged into other roles and one of his best characters entirely cut.   That character was Jedi Kane Starkiller, who would reveal his cyborg chest implants that kept him alive, later to heroically give up this life-saving technology to save his friends.

MissFury001-Cov-Renaud

Best Comic Book Series – Miss Fury, Dynamite Comics.  A uniquely crafted tale, a compelling and seductive superhero, great action panel after panel, sourced in a long-shelved classic character of the Golden Age of comics.  Rob Williams and Jack Herbert’s Miss Fury is a carefully rendered update that rings true to the edgy spirit of the world’s first female superhero.  Beautiful panels set up an ever-changing time and place and pull readers along for the ride.  And stuck-out-of-time Marla Drake and her alter ego Miss Fury could not have looked better, whether carving out her place in the 1940s or as she was teleported into the future.  It’s a series no one should miss.

Clint Barton Hawkeye by Fraction

Best Comic Book Writing – Matt Fraction, Hawkeye.  Last year revealed one of the best comic book series we ever read, focusing on that “other” superhero archer, the second tier Marvel Comics superhero Hawkeye.  Matt Fraction gave us the most interesting set-up and look into the daily life of a superhero who isn’t Captain America or Iron Man.  This year he kept up the momentum in his Hawkeye monthly series, providing stories that challenged readers, each issue taking a different peek into Clint Barton, another costumed superhero called Hawkeye, and their trusty dog.

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Arrow Volume 1 trade

This week Stephen Amell, star of CW’s Arrow, again expressed his interest in being part of the movie version of the DC Universe, and that he could stand up against Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman), and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) and fans would be good with it.  We agree, and in fact, we think Season Two has so far exceeded our expectations, and Amell’s performance as Oliver Queen far surpassed what Cavill did with Superman this summer in Man of Steel, that the producers would be wise to consider including Green Arrow in the Batman vs. Superman movie.  Much of Amell’s success in his role comes from his visible belief in his character, his physical skill and acting ability, all which comes through on the small screen. The rest of the series’ success is the good writing, and fans of the TV series who can’t get enough each Wednesday have had another option this year via a weekly comic book digital tie-in series that was reprinted in twelve monthly issues.

Grell Arrow art panels

Consisting of 37 chapters that read like short stories, Arrow the comic book was created by writers from the TV series including Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg as well as guest writers, and drawn by classic Green Arrow artist Mike Grell and a host of other DC Comics artists including Sergio Sandoval and Eric Nguyen, and photo covers and new art covers by Mike Grell, Phil Hester, and others.  The book expanded the series by giving fans insight into each week’s TV episode.  One week you could find backstory on Helena Bertinelli, the next a flashback of John Diggle’s experience as a soldier, and some weeks featured Oliver’s encounters back on the island.  With so many opportunities to touch on Oliver Queen and the series supporting characters, the title turned into an anthology series with plenty of potential.

Grell interior art Arrow series

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Sorrentino Green Arrow

Oliver Queen is dying, out in the desert, left for dead and we don’t know why.  Jeff Lemire takes us back three weeks to Seattle to understand what led to this moment.  From Lemire’s first issue writing for Green Arrow to today, he has given us an entirely new Green Arrow, and although he chose to keep the trick arrows, not a lot of characteristics would make the new angry young man familiar to long-time fans.  Over the last ten issues, 2013 has seen what the New 52 sees as Oliver Queen.

In the five-issue story arc titled “The Kill Machine,” a mysterious hunter, also an archer, called Komodo has destroyed Queen’s life, causing his business and friends to be taken away.  Komodo brings along his psychopath of a daughter, too—think Hit Girl and Big Daddy or Boba and Jango and you’ll get the idea. Komodo even has the image projected to him of an even badder bad guy a la the Emperor called Golgotha.  Queen has been set up—Oliver Queen is a wanted man for the murder of the leader of the old Queen Industries.  Lemire then pulls us back into the history of Queen’s father, his friend, and that island where Queen was stranded for years.  Like the ghost of Obi-Wan, a spirit guide of sorts called Magus is trying to steer Oliver on the path away from destruction, to the truth. And going along with the Star Wars metaphors, Oliver confronts Komodo to learn the truth about his father.

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Green Arrow Hunters Moon

Review by C.J. Bunce

Sexual assault, child abuse, gay-bashing, drugs, prostitution, armed robbery, biogenic weapons, and street gangs–what dealt with all of these subjects in its opening chapters?  A comic book series?  DC Comics is finally compiling Mike Grell’s definitive Green Arrow comic book series that began in February 1988 and ran for more than a decade to November 1998.  Gritty and real, it’s the Oliver Queen fans cheered for as he cleaned up the streets of not Star City or Starling City, but the dark alleys of Seattle, Washington.

Except for Morton Weisinger and George Papp who created Green Arrow in 1941, and Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams who re-imagined the character nearly thirty years later, Mike Grell did more than anyone to define the urban archer for the ages.  Grell actually took over after O’Neill and Adams created their landmark Green Lantern/Green Arrow series in the early 1970s.  But he made Green Arrow his own with 1987′s Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, a three-issue mini-series that finally awakened DC Comics to the potential of Green Arrow and his long-time girlfriend Black Canary.  In 1988 Grell made Oliver Queen throw away his trick arrows and use penetrating broadheads that actually killed the bad guys.  And in none of the storylines was Queen ever referred to as Green Arrow, a component maintained in CW’s Arrow series.

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