Tag Archive: Jock

Uncanny Issue 1 Jock cover

Next Wednesday Dynamite Comics is releasing Issue #1 of a new crime series, called Uncanny.  Writer Andy Diggle and artist Aaron Campbell offer up a modern noir story about a flawed yet oddly powerful American named Weaver set in modern-day Singapore.  Uncanny is similar in many ways to many recent crime monthly comic book series.  It’s an edgy, action noir mixed with pulp spy novel crime story that will appeal to fans of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Fatale, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s 100 Bullets, and Jason Aaron and RM Guera’s Scalped.

The update of 1930s-1940s film noir to the modern city is intriguing.  Diggle’s Weaver seems capable of being a variant on James Bond–rugged, overconfident–yet instead of running after the bad guy by all accounts Weaver seems to have created his own problems leaving him to be the man on the run.  Campbell’s art deftly balances the bright lights of the city with the night-time dark tone of a man somehow caught up in the city’s underbelly.  And Campbell’s first issue of the story is heavily influenced by both the recent Bond films Casino Royale and Skyfall.  In fact, his characters, the style and setting are similar to Mike Grell’s James Bond: Permission to Die mini-series.

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IMAX 1201 banner

At the 12:01 a.m. IMAX premiere screening of Marvel’s Iron Man 3, on May 3, 2013, IMAX will be giving away limited edition Mondo Iron Man 3 prints.  The artwork, created by Detective Comics and Green Arrow: Year One comic book artist Jock, is a collaboration between Marvel Studios, IMAX, and Mondo, the Austin, Texas-based limited edition poster company.  According to Walt Disney Studios, owner of the Marvel properties, the Iron Man 3 print will be the last entry in the IMAX 12:01 poster series–a series that began in 2012 with alternate poster concepts to promote the films.  No idea what a Mondo poster is?  They are only released in limited editions and tend to sell out fast, and are created by a myriad of artists.  Here is the Iron Man 3 poster to be given away in this last IMAX 12:01 giveaway:

Iron Man 3 1201 print

Prior IMAX 12:01 posters have been created for Oz: The Great and Powerful, The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Real Steel, John Carter of Mars, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Amazing Spider-man, The Avengers, Frankenweenie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and Prometheus.  One of the best of these fantasy/sci-fi throwback designs was created for Oblivion:

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The CW Network just released the first photo of Stephen Amell in the new Green Arrow supersuit for the new TV series, titled simply Arrow.

The costume was designed by Academy Award winning costume designer Colleen Atwood.  A native of the Seattle area, Atwood has created a pretty interesting look for the classic DC Comics superhero son of Seattle, Green Arrow, alter ego of Oliver Queen.  In fact, you could see someone wearing this outfit in a crowd on the streets of Seattle on a typical gray day and no one would even give him a second glance.  And that certainly fits with an urban hunter who needs to keep a bit of a low profile.

The costume seems to reveal some tidbits about the new Green Arrow.  First, although the outfit doesn’t appear dark and brooding itself, the dark shadows that Amell is filmed in reflects that the producers want viewers to see this as a dark superhero drama.  So fans of the cheesier, bright and shiny, green vinyl look that Oliver Queen wore in the Smallville series, take note.

I always thought this bizarre "leafy" outfit from Smallville is something you'd see Joker's girlfriend Poison Ivy wearing.

As we predicted (and hoped) earlier here at borg.com, happily, they are taking a different tack here.

Jock's tougher looking, hooded Green Arrow outfit from the Year One mini-series.

Second, this photograph isn’t just an homage to Jock and Andy Diggle’s Green Arrow: Year One, this IS the Green Arrow designed by the artist known as Jock:  from the hood, the small arrow quiver, the vest design with the extended shoulders–further cements this new series as a Year One-inspired story.  The fact that one of the show’s characters is named Diggle leads one to believe either the creators were working with Diggle & Co. or at least heavily influenced by the recent incarnation of Oliver Queen in the Year One mini-series.

The costume also is obviously heavily influenced by the character’s own idol, Robin Hood.  This can be seen in both the medieval stylized green suede mantle and decorative trim, but even more so on the bottom from the front to the reverse in the skirting/dags/tippets/flaps as seen in Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood costume from the classic Adventures of Robin Hood, as well as in the Green Arrow early 1980s Wonder Years mini-series.  The medieval capa or hood bridges the early 1980s incarnation with the later 1980s version created by Mike Grell for The Longbow Hunters.

Green Arrow from Green Arrow: The Wonder Years

The small quiver would seem to indicate removing the possibility of fitting Oliver’s renowned trick arrows in there.  Probably a good thing for this kind of series.

The only possible detracting component is the pocket(s).  I think pockets on this kind of piece are actually kind of humorous.  Would Oliver have time to stand around with hands in pockets in stealth mode?  It seems a bit 1990s “hanging out on the street corner” kind of look.  Yet altogether my verdict is…  I think this costume works.  Green leather and possibly suede are slick materials to use.  Dark tones.  Inspired by various past Green Arrow influences.  Practical gloves.  No unnecessary belt with a big “G” buckle (I never have been a fan of that part of the costume).  Looks like someone jumping around buildings could move easily in it.  And it doesn’t look silly.  Clearly some good thought and planning went into this.

Atwood could have taken one of these huntsman outfits from the Snow White movie, but didn't.

We shouldn’t be surprised.  Costume designer Colleen Atwood has been nominated for nine Academy Awards and won three Oscars, for Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha and Chicago.  Her other work includes Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands, Public Enemies, The Rum Diary, The Tourist, and the recently previewed coming release Dark Shadows.  Do we see a theme here?   Yep, pretty much all “dark and brooding”  Johnny Depp vehicles, and interesting designs.  Recently Atwood designed costumes for the 2012 release Snow White and the Huntsman and Mission Impossible III, but her past work includes film classics like The Handmaid’s Tale, Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, That Thing You Do, Gattaca, Fallen, Mumford, Big Fish, and The Planet of the Apes (remake).

C.J. Bunce



If you happened to watch this week’s episode of TNT’s hit TV series Leverage, you’ll have seen one of the best constructed episodes of the series so far.  The “Brains” Nathan Ford, played by Timothy Hutton, brings his team to track down his father, who broke into the federal patent and trademark office.  Soon we learn everyone has been set up, and a small town’s worth of SWAT and local law enforcement surround the building.  In strategizing the Leverage team’s way out, “Hitter” Eliot, played by Christian Kane, poses as a police officer to communicate with a cop outside the building–a cop played by Michael Paré (The Philadelphia Experiment, Greatest American Hero, Eddie and the Cruisers) already getting brow beaten by the local head of Homeland Security who has taken over the investigation of the break-in.  As with most episodes of Leverage we get an ample dose of great pop culture references (“Hacker” Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) sports a tie and mimics Doctor Who saying “bow ties are cool”).  Here Eliot maintains all his dialogue in the voice and drawl of Die Hard’s John McClane, just as Bruce Willis did, in order to get through his walk of the gauntlet in the original Die Hard movie.  Die Hard interest is alive and well, after four movies in the franchise since 1988.

This winter Twentieth Century Fox announced that Bruce Willis will be returning as John McClane in 2013 with the fifth film in the franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard.  Fox indicated Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Captain Picard) as a possible villain, to play a disgraced Russian general plotting to assassinate the visiting president.  John Moore is scheduled to direct a script by Skip Woods (X-Men Legends: Wolverine, The A-Team).  Bruce Willis has stated he wants to bring back Bonnie Bedelia as his wife from the first two films.  Shooting is scheduled to begin this month in Budapest, Hungary.

A Good Day to Die Hard is to follow John McClane as he goes to Moscow to convince the government of Russia to let his son John McClane, Jr. out of prison.  Somehow his son gets caught up in a global terrorist plot, and the inevitable McClane getting-in-over-his-head story will emerge.  It sounds like the story is in initial stages, but since the first and third movies were pretty good, maybe the curse of the even-numbered movie sequels here will get us back to the Willis we love to watch.  Casting for McClane Junior has included auditions by D.J. Cotrona, who will play Flint opposite Willis in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Liam Hemsworth (Hunger Games).

But while we’re waiting until the scheduled release date of Valentine’s Day 2013, you can get a good dose of John McClane in comic legend Howard Chaykin’s graphic novel Die Hard: Year One.  Here was BOOM! Comics’s blurb for the comic series spanning eight issues through April 2010:

BOOM! Studios is proud to present America’s greatest action hero translated into the sequential art form for the first time! Every great action hero got started somewhere: Batman Began. Bond had his Casino Royale. And for John McClane, more than a decade before the first DIE HARD movie, he’s just another rookie cop, an East Coast guy working on earning his badge in New York City during 1976′s Bicentennial celebration. Too bad for John McClane, nothing’s ever that easy. Join legendary industry creator Howard Chaykin on a thrill ride that’s rung up over $1 billion in box office worldwide and become the gold standard for classic action! Yippee Ki Yay!


Hype aside, as with nearly everything Howard Chaykin touches, Die Hard: Year One is pure gold.  Twelve years before the Nakatomi building siege in Die Hard, Willis is a beat cop in Manhattan.  He is working with a loud-mouthed training officer that might as well be played by Dennis Franz.  The art by Stephen Thompson is well done, and McClane is drawn to resemble a young Bruce Willis, enough that you never doubt it with McClane’s trademark dialogue style.

The first four issues of Die Hard: Year One were compiled into volume 1 of a hardcover editionDie Hard: Year One, Volume 2 comprises Issues #4-8.

In Volume 1, it is the Fourth of July, 1976.  Writer Chaykin describes New York of 1976 almost as if he is there right now.  But he does not sugar coat NYC of 1976.  He describes an ugly place with ugly people, locals trying to rip off every tourist–locals trying to one up each other every chance they get.  Here, a new immigrant to the Big Apple from Indiana witnesses two cops killing another man, they spot her and chase her down.  McClane happens to get a detail as security on one of the tall boats in the bay, readying for the fireworks celebration, babysitting the wife of the third richest man in the world.  All hell breaks loose as an odd jumble of locals, including the two bad cops, led by a local hippy terrorist, try to blow up the rich man’s yacht and escape in a mini-sub with all the money onboard.  Plain clothes McClane hides below decks with the girl from Indiana, and McClane’s first big problem as police officer is underway.

Chaykin clearly knows the people of the 1970s and the streets of New York.  His descriptions feel real and his storytelling is superb.  We quickly get to know McClane, someone we already think we know, and the setting helps illustrate the put-upon cop we will later see on the big screen.  I remember the look and feel of July 4, 1976, vividly, and Thompson here captures the sites, fashions, and images incredibly well.

Die Hard: Year One, Volume 2 follows the exploits of McClane in the black-out of 1977.

Both volumes are available for sale online.

Look for special covers by current popular cover illustrator Jock in the back of the hardcover edition.

C.J.  Bunce




When the original Disney movie Tron arrived in theaters in 1982 it was a technological innovation.  Jeff Bridges’ Kevin Flynn and Bruce Boxleitner’s Tron, a user and a program, interract in a fully realized alternate universe after Flynn is sucked into his own computer system.  Nearly thirty years later the Disney sequel Tron: Legacy revisited the computer world known as the Grid to show us what happened to Flynn and Tron.

But before the film’s release, Disney released a graphic novel in two parts that explains what happened between the two movies.  And the result is actually better than what we saw onscreen in the movie sequel.

Tron: Betrayal, written by Jai Nitz, takes us to the world that we wished had made it to the screen.  The graphic novel compilation includes a nice prologue to get the reader that missed the original film up to speed on the events of the original Tron film.  This was enormously necessary because Disney failed to re-release a DVD version of the film in the months leading up to the release of Tron: Legacy.  (A prior edition had been released more than a decade ago, but in classic Disney marketing style it had not been put back into release once it sold out).

Tron: Betrayal begins with Kevin Flynn revisiting the Grid.  He works with Tron and begins building a new world, a “perfect world”.  Flynn uses the same Tron movie laser technology to transport between realities, and in our world we learn his wife is pregnant with the son we will meet years later in Tron: Legacy.  Lori, whose avatar was Yori in the original film, is still with Tron’s user, Alan.

Kevin is addicted to the Grid and subtley Nitz reveals a man who each day becomes more and more obsessed, a man who can hardly pay attention to his life in the real world, his wife, his new son, his business he is supposed to be running.

Flynn needs to be in two places at once.  So he creates an avatar of himself to carry out his work on the Grid, called Clu.  Clu works with Tron and his loyal assistant Shaddox, who points out that Clu is doing all the work, with little help from Flynn, the creator.  And as a new pest called gridbugs infest the world, “life finds a way” (to quote Jeff Goldblum from Jurassic Park), and new gridpeople are spontaneously formed–isomorphs or “isos”–including a self aware female named Ophelia (in the film Tron: Legacy this would be revisited with the character Quorra).  Flynn declares all isos are to be protected by Tron and Clu.

The key conflict becomes clearer, the same conflict that would be revealed in the new film: Clu, just like a computer program would react in the real world, does not know what to do when confronted with ambiguity as Clu is given seemingly inconsistent direction from Flynn.  What is a perfect world?

In part 2, Flynn’s real life falls apart.  He has a son, but his wife has died and he is left to raise son Sam with his other obligations still pressing in on him.  His inlaws are there to help…but nothing works for Flynn.  Here Jai Nitz has set up relationships and realities that, despite being a fantasy story about a guy who gets sucked into a video game, reflect modern pressures of life in a believable way.

Beyond the complex story of priorities, faith, and duty, Jeff Matsuda and Andie Tong’s artwork is excellent, all locked into this dark world inside the computer sphere.  The cover by Jock is up to his typical cool style.  Neon cycles, including Flynn’s superbly crafted white light cycle we barely see in the new film, are a great extension from the perfect cycles of the original film.  It is here where the look is better than the final film, even though the final film looks great in its own right.  What is certain is that this story would have made a better film, for several reasons.

First, this story includes the title character, Tron, in a key role.  Tron: Legacy inexplicably barely used Tron, and when it did, we barely got to see the beloved actor Boxleitner be the Tron we loved in the original film.   The movie is called Tron, right?  Is Boxleitner’s fee greater than Academy Award winner Bridges?  Also, this is the story that happened following the events of the original film and this is the story most fans would want to see.  The Flynn of the new the film is washed up.  He is past the character most fans would want to dig into.  He is the Dude from The Big Lebowski right before he ODs.  The new film was subtitled Legacy and it is about Flynn’s son Sam.  Yet we as fans care for Kevin and Alan, the original characters that excited us.  This story also allows a greater depth of character than we were shown in the movie.

With the graphic novel Tron: Betrayal we get to see what that more ideal film could have been.  And that would have made a very cool movie.

C.J. Bunce



Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s no secret that Green Arrow is my favorite DCU character.  As re-envisioned in the early 1970s by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, he became less of a Batman knockoff and more of a completely separate and identifiable voice.  Even early on with O’Neil and Adams, Green Arrow and Green Lantern were a mirror image of Batman and Superman.  Superman tending to be the holier than thou determiner of right and wrong, and Batman more subversive, critical of the powers that be, cutting through everything to solve real problems, in a practical way.  Green Arrow was influential, even in his first meeting with Hal in Green Lantern 76.  Over the years Green Lantern, watcher and guardian of Earth, became more like Green Arrow, critical of the status quo.  Green Lantern/Hal Jordan learned from Green Arrow/Oliver Queen as their relationship grew.  But lately, especially with the recent Green Lantern movie, it’s getting harder to tell Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen apart, with Hal becoming more critical and brooding.

The DC Comics New 52 Green Arrow #1 came out two weeks ago.  I read issue #1 quickly.  Then I put it aside because I hate when reviewers, instead of reviewing what is in front of them, review what they wish was in front of them.  Hence the delay.  So I re-read it.  And I still find it baffling.

I also read the one-shot issue Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries, which seemed to be a lead in to the new Green ArrowGreen Arrow Industries has Oliver Queen as the head of some military industrial complex.  He is Tony Stark from Marvel Comics’s Iron Man, and nothing else.  Other than in the first Iron Man movie, I have never cared for Tony Stark.  He is arrogant.  He lives a life of privilege.  Oliver Queen is not that guy–his back story is that he was a millionaire that lost all of his money.  He is not the owner of Halliburton or of Stark Industries or of Wayne Tech.

Queen learned what is important is watching out for the little guy.  The Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries one-shot may be the most unexplainable, out of left field one-shots I have read.  Right up there with the bizarre Green Arrow: One Million book from a few years back, but at least that book had some context.  As expected, the New 52 continues with Green Arrow as this new leader of what is called Queen Industries.

The new Green Arrow is gadget happy.  Oliver Queen has never needed to rely on gadgets to be a superhero.  Like Batman, Green Arrow has no super powers.  He uses his brain.  He solves mysteries.  Gadgets?  That’s for Bruce Wayne.  We like Bruce Wayne and his toys.  Again, that’s not Oliver Queen, except for one thing:  trick arrows.  That said, the best Green Arrow stories leave out the trick arrows.  They are an amusing gimmick that even Oliver Queen jokes about when using them.  Oliver Queen doesn’t need a trick arrow with bluetooth technology that can be shot onto a boat and allow someone far away to control the boat via satellite.  A nice idea for someone else?  Maybe.  Put that story in the next Batman arc.  And Green Arrow also doesn’t need a Geordi LaForge-like visor.  Green Arrow just wears a mask for disguise.  He doesn’t need X-ray vision.

Neither is Oliver Queen James Bond.  We love James Bond.  But the two guys just are not much alike.  Part of the problem may be that even JT Krul has acknowledged Queen’s new “globe-trotting, James Bond, high adventures.”  Writers and artists who are not familiar with Green Arrow’s decades of character study and growth might think they are the same.  And I think the guys rebooting Green Arrow wish they were writing Tony Stark for Marvel Comics.

Recent issues of Green Arrow have shown Green Arrow as a hunter.  That makes more sense.  Oliver Queen was inspired by Robin Hood, specifically the classic film The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn.  Oliver Queen can survive in a forest, like Robin Hood in Sherwood.  And all he needs are arrows and a bow.  Nothing else.  No iPads or iPhones (called not-so-creatively qPads and qPhones in this issue).  No Oracle-type helper constantly feeding him the latest tech data.  Queen also knows how to adapt his carefully honed skills to the life of the urban cliff dweller.

Recent storylines had Green Arrow losing control because the baddies hurt his friend Roy Harper, formerly his sidekick Speedy, and killed one of Harper’s kids.  Oliver Queen murders the evil Prometheus in revenge, and the Justice League gets on his case for not properly bringing Prometheus to justice.  Like Batman over the years, Green Arrow issued some vigilante justice.  That storyline was interesting and going someplace.  The new Green Arrow is preachy and sounds like the old Silver Age Hal Jordan or Superman.

The new Green Arrow has no similarities to the O’Neil/Adams creation.  It has no similarity to 100 issues of the Green Arrow as further refined by Mike Grell.  It has no familiarity to the faithful ongoing adventures re-envisioned by Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Brad Meltzer, Judd Winick, or even the artist Jock.  Fans of Green Arrow as interpreted by Cliff Chiang and Mauro Cascioli will not recognize the new Green Arrow.

So what is the audience for the new Green Arrow?  I think I figured it out: (1) Readers who do not like Oliver Queen, or (2) readers who really liked his son Connor Hawke as Green Arrow.  Or readers who like a stubbly looking hero like Wolverine.

After Queen supposedly died (in the last 30+ issues of the first ongoing Green Arrow series that started with the Green Arrow: Longbow Hunters mini-series), Hawke took over as Green Arrow, sometimes referred to as Green Arrow II.  Hawke was purportedly written for a newer audience.  I would understand the new Green Arrow series if only they referred to the new Green Arrow as Connor Hawke.  The similarities are all there:  Hawke has no Van Dyke beard or goatee like Queen had.  Hawke had this more vinyl/leather looking suit, like the Green Arrow on Smallville wore, and like the new Green Arrow is wearing.  Hawke had this ongoing grudge against one thing or the other.  If this is where DC’s editors want to go, why not take Hawke along for the ride and give fans of Green Arrow our goateed hunter and partner to Dinah Lance and pal to Hal Jordan back?

Here is the new Green Arrow:

…and here is the more similarly drawn Connor Hawke:

If you take on a beloved character that has a 70+ year back story, you should be passionate about that character.  DC Comics announced this month that JT Krul is no longer writing Green Arrow with issue #4.  Good choice, JT.  JT Krul has written solid Green Arrow stories before.  His non-Green Arrow stories are also awesome, including his work on the new Captain Atom.  So what happened?  Was Green Arrow just an unfortunate casuality of mismatched post-its on the wall of the DC editors when re-assigning characters in the new DCU?  Does anyone love this new Green Arrow?  Will replacement writer Keith Giffen be given any latitude to fix the direction of the new Ollie?  We can only hope.  My guess is Krul was just hamstrung by new decisions of the editorial team.  So far I have enjoyed the rest of the New 52 for the most part.  “You can’t please everyone on everything” probably applies here.

Even if this series was not about Green Arrow–about some other new character with this plot–I think storylines that have used the reality TV storyline, as Green Arrow #1 does, televising anything and everything, are just tired.  The Running Man did it and The Hunger Games did it again.  Enough already.

And not to throw too many darts at the new Green Arrow series, but what’s with these new villain names: Dynamix?  Doppelganger?  Supercharge?  About the only thing right about the new Oliver Queen is he is back in Seattle where he belongs.

Had DC changed Batman or Superman as they did Green Arrow, they would have lost a ton of readers.  You can’t remove Batman’s cowl and his detective work or Superman’s cape and kryptonite and still call them Batman and Superman.  Same goes for Green Arrow’s goatee and the essential elements of his character.   You strip away the basics and it’s no longer the same guy.

Two weeks ago I posted a list of all 52 new DC Comics titles that will be re-starting with issue #1 beginning this September.  The following highlights four artists that we expect to see featured this Fall, three definite and one rumored to be doing at least some cover work. 

First off is Scottish artist Mark Simpson who works under the pen name Jock, who has been doing an impressive run on Detective Comics this year.  Although the actual issue #1 was previewed with a cover by Jim Lee, the below startling image was released by Jock as a coming issue cover.  Whether it will come before or after the re-launch has not yet been revealed.


Pretty gruesome image, huh?  What Jock excels at is his black watercolor splashes that form striking images of frenetic energy.  His work is intense and you get to see that in this image that is devoid of much coloring–allowing his original image to shine through.  Following my general passion for Green Arrow, below is an earlier original painted page by Jock from his series Green Arrow: Year One, reflecting Green Arrow marooned on this title page to the fourth issue in the series.

Jock’s style is his own–up close his brush strokes seem quick and haphazard, yet altogether you see a grand statement of desperation.  Before his days of fancy trick arrows, here we see Oliver Queen stuck with a thrown together couple of quivers and hand-made arrows.   Check out Jock’s website for more great examples of his work.

Next up is the artist whose work is so technically pristine that you find yourself searching his original pencils and inks for any hint of a stray mark or sketch line.  Cliff Chiang was selected as the artist for the new Wonder Woman series.  Here is his cover for the first issue. 

Cliff has done plenty of illustrations across the DC universe, from Batman to Zatanna.  With his exceptional work on the women heroes of the DCU we have a lot to look forward to with Wonder Woman later this year.  Below shows Cliff’s work prior to it being colored. 

This is the cover to Green Arrow/Black Canary Issue #1, featuring Canary and the new Green Arrow who had briefly replaced Oliver and went on to become Red Arrow.  Just check out Cliff’s stunning pencils and inks.  Check out Cliff’s website for more great examples of his work.

Next up is digital comic artist Freddie Williams II, who wrote the book on digital drawing.  Actually he literally wrote the book on digital drawing, for DC Comics.  Check it out here the DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics.  Freddie has defined the drawing style and method of the future, with his first big break is the main illustrator for the Robin series.  In September Freddie will be responsible for the art in the new Captain Atom series.  Although DC has not yet released any advance look at Freddie’s pages for the series, here is a sketch of Green Arrow and Black Canary he did for me a few years ago. 

What jumps out with Freddie’s work is movement and action-whether it is Robin swinging across the page or Green Arrow here ready to put an arrow through the reader.  And as you can see with the look on Dinah’s face, skowling at Ollie’s over-exuberance with one hand in pocket and the other held tight, he knows how to draw a humorous page, too.  Check out Freddie’s website for some of his work.

My final artist for today is Scott McDaniel, who will be drawing an entirely new title and character, “Static Shock” in Static Shock #1.  Here is his original cover art for issue #1 before going to the coloring phase.


Scott had a nice run on the second Green Arrow series, and here is the original art to his cover for issue #64.

Like the other artists above, Scott’s style stands out as his own.  His heroes are drawn large and in-charge and practically bust their way off the page.  Check out Scott’s website for more great images.

If these artists are indication, we’ll have some great visuals to look forward to this Fall.

C.J. Bunce



DC Comics announced this past week plans to re-launch its entire comics line—52 comic book series to begin again at issue #1 this September.  Never before has a comics publisher taken such a big risk all at one time.  And DC promises major changes, releasing a few hints so far along with the creative line-ups for the new titles.  Some titles will continue, others won’t.  And expect some shake-ups in DC Universe continuity.

Some notable surprises:

  • Apparently Batgirl Barbara Gordon will be taken back to her pre-Batman: The Killing Joke attack by the Joker so she is no longer confined to her wheel chair as previously detailed in the Birds of Prey series via her other alter ego, The Oracle.
  • Look for digital and print double packaging as well as some staggered release pricing for the separate purchase of the print and digital editions.  DC is clearly trying to catch up with the mainstream digital media revolution.
  • Most of the key titles appear to be continuing, with the notable omission of the Superman/Batman title.

If you’re not keeping track, hopefully this line-up of books and talent will get you up to speed, all information direct from DC:

  1. Justice League #1.  DC co-publisher Jim Lee will be drawing this series, to be written by Geoff Johns who did a nice job on the All-Star Superman series.  The cover has been released and looks like the usual suspects Superman, Batman (Bruce Wayne, not Dick Grayson), Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg (?).  Personally without the next tier of characters like Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Hawkman, I hope this one works as I have viewed the JLA as the lynchpin of the DC universe.  The last reboot of the JLA team didn’t seem to work as well as the classic team.
  2. Action Comics #1.  You’d think they’d ride this longest running DC series to the magic 1000 mark, but not now.  The great news is Rags Morales will be penciling this series, written by Grant Morrison.  I loved Rags’ work on Identity Crisis.
  3. Superman #1.  Classic favorite artist George Perez of Crisis on Infinite Earths will be writing this series, with artwork by Jesus Merino.  I’ve always wondered why we need two Superman books, but there’s clearly enough talent to go around on DC’s #1 superhero.
  4. Supergirl #1.  Writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson and artist Mahmud Asrir will be giving us a new look at Supergirl.  To me, the ultimate Supergirl was penciled by the late great Michael Turner in the Superman/Batman series.  I’ll look forward to this team’s take on the ethereal cousin from Krypton.
  5. Superboy #1.  Newcomer Scott Lobdell will be writing this title with shared drawing efforts by R.B. Silva and Rob Lean.  I’m surprised this title made the final cut, but there must be some diehard fans of this character out there.
  6. Detective Comics #1.  Writer/artist Tony Daniel will be helming this classic DC title beginning with (yet another) Jack the Ripper-type Batman storyline.  I was always a fan of Mike Mignola’s work on Gotham by Gaslight so yet another take on this villain type could be interesting.
  7. Batman #1.  Scott Snyder will write the series featuring the return of Bruce Wayne as the Dark Knight with art by newcomer Greg Capullo.
  8. The Dark Knight #1.  David Finch will be drawing and writing this title sure to feature a dark villain-filled Arkham Asylum story.
  9. Batman and Robin #1.  Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason will helm this story with Bruce Wayne and son Damian Wayne as Robin.  How many Robins are we up to now anyway?
  10. Nightwing #1.  Kyle Higgins will be writing the return of Dick Grayson as Nightwing along with Eddy Barrows’ art.
  11. Red Hood and the Outlaws #1.  Scott Lobdell will be writing this title with art by Kenneth Rocafort, focusing on the old universe’s fan-killed Robin, Jason Todd.  I’m curious what they will be doing to continuity with this title.
  12. Batwing #1.  Former Green Arrow writer Judd Winick and artist Ben Oliver will be creating this title with the first black character to wear the Batman cowl.
  13. Birds of Prey #1.  It looks from the cover like this title will feature Poison Ivy and Black Canary, written by Duane Swierczynski and illustrated by Jesus Saiz.
  14. Catwoman #1.  I like the cover on this one.  Judd Winick will be adding to his Batwing duties by writing this storyline along with Guillem March pencils.
  15. Batgirl #1.  The return of the original Barbara Gordon will be written by Gail Simone with art duties shared by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes.  I see this as a stand-out book in the new DC line.                            
  16. Batwoman #1.  I’m also anxious to see where they will take the cutting edge Batwoman in the new universe.  J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder will be teaming up on this title.
  17. Green Lantern #1.  With the new summer’s expected blockbuster title coming soon DC’s website is all green with Hal Jordan.  The striking cover features a bloodied hand—look for a darker tale this time around for Hal.  Geoff Johns will write this title with art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy.
  18. Green Lantern Corps #1.  This title will feature our other favorite Lanterns Guy Gardner and John Stewart and will be written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna.
  19. Green Lantern:  The New Guardians #1.  My least favorite Lantern Kyle Rayner will be the focus of this comic, written by Tony Bedard and art by Tyler Kirkham and Batt.
  20. Red Lanterns #1.  Another Lantern title?  Really?  And no Zatanna title?  This book will be written by Peter Milligan with art and cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter. 
  21. Wonder Woman #1.  Brian Azzarello will be writing this new story with the great artistic talent of Cliff Chiang (Green Arrow/Black Canary) drawing the beautiful Amazon warrior.  With a new TV series in the works Wonder Woman should be as popular as ever.
  22. Aquaman #1.  Geoff Johns will be busy this year with yet another title, this time with artist Ivan Reis.  Thankfully it doesn’t look like they changed much visibly with Aquaman based on the preview of the cover os the first issue.
  23. Flash #1.  Artist and freshman writer Francis Manapul will be taking us through Barry Allen’s new story with art by Brian Buccellato.
  24. Fury of Firestorm #1.  I always liked Firestorm storylines in the old JLA series so I am glad to see this title.  Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone will share writing duties on this title with art by Yildiray Cinar.     
  25. Savage Hawkman #1.  “Savage” huh?  Tony Daniel will write this book with art by Philip Tan.  Hmm…No mention of a certain female hawk friend…
  26. Green Arrow #1.  My favorite character will be back again in his own title (phew!).  This title will be in good hands with a couple GA veterans.  Dan Jurgens will draw the Emerald Archer in his orphaned billionaire playboy incarnation with story by JT Krul.  This will be my personal must-read of the new 52.
  27. Captain Atom #1.  I am ecstatic to see Freddie Williams II in a new series of this powerful superhero.  Writing duties will go to JT Krul.  Another must-read series I will be looking forward to this Fall.
  28. Justice League International #1.  For this title Dan Jurgens will serve as writer with art by Aaron Lopresti.  It looks like yet another Batman story as he leads this international crime fighting team.
  29. Mister Terrific #1.  Eric Wallace will write this new title with art by Roger Robinson.
  30. DC Universe Presents #1.  DC is reviving the old serial titles of its past with this new series to feature new characters in an ongoing storyline, beginning with a Deadman story written by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang.  I was always a fan of the original Brave and the Bold and hope some fresh blood can keep this type of series going.
  31. Suicide Squad #1.  Harley Quinn, Deadshot and King Shark will be featured in this new sure to be off-the-wall title, written by Adam Glass with art by Marco Rudy.
  32. Stormwatch #1.  Even if the Martian Manhunter doesn’t look like he will at last initially appear in the new JLA, he will be featured with Midnighter and Apollo in this title written by Paul Cornell and illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda.
  33. Blue Beetle #1.  The angst-ridden teen hero and DC answer to Spiderman will be written by Tony Bedard and illustrated by Ig Guara and Ruy Jose.
  34. Blackhawks #1.  This modern-day, mercenary team series will be written by Mike Costa and drawn by Ken Lashley.
  35. Men of War #1.  This one sounds fun.  The grandson of Sgt. Rock will be the focus of this story, written by Ivan Brandon with art by Tom Derenick.
  36. All-Star Western #1.  This title features Jonah Hex in Old West Gotham with the founding father Amadeus Arkham.  Story by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with pencils by artist Moritat.
  37. Deathstroke #1.  Kyle Higgins will have writing duties on this new Deathstroke series with art by Art Thibert.
  38. Grifter #1.  Written by Nathan Edmondson with pencils by artists CAFU and BIT, this will be a story about a black ops grifter in what appears to be an X-Files type storyline.
  39. OMAC #1.  The OMAC series returns with story by Dc co-publisher Dan DiDio and art by Keith Giffen and Scott Koblish.
  40. Legion Lost #1.  This story of seven teen time travellers from the distant future will be written by the Action Comics team of writer Fabian Nicieza and illustrator Pete Woods.
  41. Legion of Superheroes #1.  Apparently a tie-in story to Legion Lost, this 31st century story will be created by writer Paul Levitz and illustrated by Francis Portela.
  42. Teen Titans #1.  Red Robin Tim Drake returns to lead the team including Wonder Girl and Kid Flash in the new series by Scott Lobdell and artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.
  43. Static Shock #1.  This new teen hero story will be written by former Green Arrow artist Scott McDaniel and John Rozum, with McDaniel also illustrating along with Jonathan Glapion.
  44. Hawk and Dove #1.  This team returns in a new title written by Sterling Gates and illustrated by artist Rob Liefeld.
  45. Swamp Thing #1.  Coming off this Spring’s DC storyline, Swamp Thing gets his own title, written by Scott Snyder with art by Yannick Paquette.
  46. Justice League Dark #1.  Despite the title this new series looks intriguing with a team-up of John Constantine, Deadman, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu.  Written Peter Milligan and artist Mikel Janin.    
  47. Animal Man #1.  Animal Man returns in this new series written by Jeff Lemire with artists Travel Foreman and Dan Green.
  48. Demon Knights #1.  This blurb sounds promising:  “Set in the Middle Ages, the Demon leads an unlikely team to defend civilization and preserve the last vestiges of Camelot against the tide of history.”  Written by Paul Cornell with art by Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert.
  49. Frankenstein, Agent of Shade #1.  Funny title!  this Seven Soldiers hero story will be written by Jeff Lemire with art by Alberto Ponticelli.
  50. Resurrection Man #1.  This is the story of a hero who wakes up with new powers each time he’s killed.  Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Fernando Dagnino.
  51. Vampire #1.  OK, enough vampires already!  Written by Josh Fialkov with art by Andrea Sorrentino.
  52. Voodoo #1.  This new title will be written by Ron Marz with art by Sami Basri.


Phew!  That’s a lot!  The problem I see with such a big release?  Most people won’t be buying all or even several of these titles, especially in this economy, and DC may find itself just competing against itself come September.  But hopefully the extra push will help keep some small business comic shop owners in business.  Writers and artists will have to bring their “A game” this Fall if each individually wants to make a name for himself/herself with this kind of competition for readers’ dollars.  It’s hard not to find at least a half a dozen titles to catch your eye from this release.  Definitely I see a few I will be picking up in September.

–C.J. Bunce



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