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Tag Archive: Black Mask Studio


Toe Tag Riot variant 1

Real-life villains beware.  You’re soon to become an endangered species if the punk band Toe Tag Riot has any say in the matter.  Toe Tag Riot is not just a typical in-your-face club band, it’s made up of zombies who feast only on the worst society has to offer.  And writer Matt Miner and artist Sean Von Gorman provide the backstory to how the band came to their… umm… unusual… flesh feasting ways in Toe Tag Riot Issue #1, in stores today.

Toe Tag Riot excerpt

Sure to be the talk of the week, you’ll want to let your friends know about this new series.  More than four hundred Kickstarter backers pledged nearly $20,000 to get this series off the ground.

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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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Liberator 2 cover

If independent comic book publishing should be about anything, it is the ability to tell stories that aren’t being told anyplace else.  Of course there is no real reason why the big publishers stay away from tough topics, but the fact is they do.  Black Mask Studio’s new series is something different.  If you haven’t yet added Matt Miner’s Liberator to your pull list, with issue #2 arriving at comic book stores this Wednesday you still have time to catch up with this four-part series.

Since Liberator–at least this first limited series–has only four issues to get its story out, it probably should be no surprise that its main vigilante character finds himself partnering with another vigilante saving animals to fulfill his mission in Issue #2.

As with Issue #1, reviewed here at borg.com previously, writer Matt Miner kicks convention aside and opts to tell a story that needs to be told, of secrets kept covered up by mainstream manufacturers, but realities nonetheless.  Miner’s decisive story puts his characters in the their own worst nightmare by the end of the mid-point of his tale.

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Liberator Issue 1 cover

Although the mainstream and critics will likely ignore Black Mask Studio’s new four-issue mini-series Liberator because it deals with politics head-on, it should be on your list of the best comics of 2013.  Fully funded from a successful Kickstarter campaign, with profits going to animal advocacy causes, Liberator puts its money where its mouth is, centering on two realistic heroes approaching their noble and hard-fought causes in different ways.  If you’re tired of the same old superhero vigilante with little but blowing up alien worlds at stake, maybe Liberator’s tantalizing tagline will help pull you in: “Real heroes don’t wear capes… they wear ski masks.”

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