Tag Archive: Mark Waid


Review by C.J. Bunce

A new edition of a book about the popularity of Fawcett Comics‘ original Captain Marvel, the world’s mightiest mortal–the superhero renamed Shazam and featured in a new movie this month starring Zachary Levi–will be the perfect trip through time for fans who have enjoyed the character in his many stories going back to his debut in 1939.  My personal favorite Captain Marvel stories can be found in the original Whiz Comics (all in the public domain and available to read online now here) and as drawn by Alex Ross in his landmark graphic novel with Mark Waid, Kingdom Come.  For the first time in a softcover edition, Chip Kidd’s Shazam: The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal has been reprinted by Abrams ComicArts just in time for the release of the film, Shazam!

For those not in-the-know, this is the Captain Marvel who now goes by Shazam (the word that causes him to bring forth his powers)–the one owned by DC Comics today, and not the one owned by Marvel Comics and also in theaters now in the movie Captain Marvel (reviewed here at borg).  Shazam: The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal is a historical work, and it doesn’t hesitate to use the name he’s always been known as by his fans.  As told by writer Chip Kidd, the Captain Marvel fan club had 400,000 people in it in its best year in the 1940s, and Fawcett projected 40 million followers of the character in books and film.  Captain Marvel books sold 1.3 million copies per month, not a common feat even today.  Does anything approach that kind of fan club status today?  At the height of the character it was more popular than Superman and Batman, and so of course the character had hundreds of tie-in products.

Readers will marvel over a reprint of the entire story from Captain Marvel Adventures, Issue #1–created by two then unknowns: Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, and reprints of several colorful covers from Whiz Comics, Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel, Jr., Mary Marvel Comics, WOW Comics, Master Comics, America’s Greatest Comics, Spy Smasher, and even Hoppy, the Marvel Bunny, plus pages of scans of original comic pages from ex-Fawcett staff.

The book uses photographs from a collection of some of the scarcest superhero collectibles known, including images of books, toys, and paper ephemera for Captain Marvel and the entire Marvel Family–superhero kids like Billy Batson–the boy who turns into Captain Marvel–and his friends who use the Shazam powers but remain as kids.

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Remember Kresge’s?  Western Auto?  If not, some time travel may be in order.  Or, beginning next month watch Archie Comics take Archie back to the year his character was created in a new five-issue limited series, Archie 1941.  For 77 years Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica have been entertaining the world from their hometown of Riverdale, but never before have we seen the characters take on real-world events as they unfold like this.  World War II is looming.  What will that mean for Archie and his friends?

Archie 1941 is from a story by the writing team of Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn, with interior artwork provided by Peter Krause, Kelly Fitzpatrick, and Jack Morelli.  Five covers will be available, created by Peter Krause, Sanya Anwar, Francesco Francavilla, Dave Johnson, and Aaron Lopresti.

   

Archie Comics created a video trailer for Archie 1941 and they sent us a preview of the first issue.  Check it out:

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Named after the late beloved comic book creator Mike Wieringo, the first ever ‘Ringo! Awards were presented during an irreverent and humor-filled ceremony Saturday night at the end of the second day of Baltimore Comic-Con 2017.  This year the annual Harvey Awards were renamed in Wieringo’s honor.  Wieringo was an artist best known for his work on DC Comics’ The Flash, Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four, and his co-creation Tellos (discussed earlier this year here at borg.com).

Voters from more than 100 countries selected the nominees and winners were picked from a final ballot by members of the comic book industry creative community.  Presenters last night included Mark Waid, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Amy Chu, Tom Brevoort, Walter and Louise Simonson, Terry and Robyn Moore, Kazu Kibuishi, Charlie Kochman, Lora Innes, Thom Zahler, Todd Dezago, and Craig Rousseau, with a keynote speech provided by multiple Eisner Award winner and Mouse Guard creator and David Petersen.

The ceremony provided two Hero Initiative awards, the Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award to Joshua Dysart, and the Lifetime Achievement Award to Marv WolfmanMultiple winners included John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell for their civil rights story March: Book III, winning for Best Original Graphic Novel and Best Non-Fiction Comic Work, and Skottie Young, recognized as Best Cartoonist and for his I Hate Fairyland as Best Humor Comic.

Darryl (DMC/Darryl Makes Comics) McDaniels awards Best Cover Artist ‘Ringo! Award to Frank Cho.

Here is the list of winners selected from the final ballot:

Best Cover Artist–Frank Cho (who accepted the award singing the “Thank You Very Much” song from Oliver)

Best Series–Vision (Marvel Comics)

Best Letterer–Todd Klein

Best Colorist–Laura Martin

Best Humor Comic–I Hate Fairyland, Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu (Image Comics)

Best Original Graphic Novel–March: Book III, John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions)

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comix movie

We’ve seen plenty of recent efforts trying to get to the heart of what comic books and their fans are all about, including documentaries reviewed here at borg.com like Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle, and With Great Power… The Stan Lee Story.  The latest look at comic books, creators, the industry, and fans is being released tomorrow from filmmaker Michael Valentine.

Comix: Beyond the Comic Book Pages includes interviews with noted comic book industry veterans, including Stan Lee (Spiderman, X-Men, Fantastic Four) (Batman, X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow), Frank Miller (Sin City, 300), Neal Adams (Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow), Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Superman, Justice League of America), Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Productions (Hellboy, Sin City, Goon, Concrete), Marc Silvestri of Image Comics and Top Cow Productions (Tomb Raider, Hunter Killer, Witchblade), and Todd McFarlane (Spawn).

Filmed by Valentine over a decade, the documentary includes footage new and old from cosplayers at Comic-Con, WonderCon, Anime Expo and Wizard World.  The documentary provides an overview of the world of comic books, backed by superhero-themed music and montage images of comic book panels.

Here is a preview of the Comix: Beyond the Comic Book Pages:
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Gal Gadot Wonder Woman SDCC 2014 reveal

More big news emerged from San Diego Comic-Con this weekend.  A new comic book series for Haven and Galaxy Quest… a sneak peek at Arrow Season 3, a Star Trek crossover with Planet of the Apes… details and art from Marvel’s new line of Star Wars comic books…  new actors to star in Marvel’s Ant-man… more content from Avengers 2… and new giant monster movies are coming soon from Legendary Pictures.

But the biggest news that almost “broke the Internet” was from DC Entertainment: the first look at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and her new costume from the 2016 release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  It’s a nice Cliff Chiang-inspired pose for the Amazon warrior.  So we now have three images of the DC Comics trinity:

Trinity Dawn of Justice

We’ve got a pretty dark superhero movie in our future.

The next big news came from a Marvel Comics panel–the creative line-up for Star Wars comic books under Disney:

Marvel Star Wars 1 Cassaday cover art

Marvel Comics announced that January 2015 will see the first of Marvel taking over the Star Wars comic book line from Dark Horse with three initial series.  Kansas City’s Jason Aaron will write and John Cassaday will serve as artist on a series taking place just after A New Hope, where the original 1978 Marvel Comics line began and the current main Dark Horse title takes place.  Above is the cover art by Cassaday for Issue #1.

Star Wars Darth Vader Granov cover SDCC 2014

A series beginning in February 2015 will follow Darth Vader after his TIE Fighter is knocked away by Han Solo at the end of A New Hope, to be created by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca.

Star Wars Princess Leia Marvel Dodson cover art SDCC 2014

And March 2015 will see a series following Princess Leia after the destruction of the Death Star, from writer Mark Waid, artist Terry Dodson, and colorist Rachel Dodson.

Here are four pages of early stage art for the main Star Wars series:

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PBS is airing a new documentary series tonight and re-broadcast October 22 focusing on the impact of comic book superheroes on America and American culture, in Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle.  It’s a good history lesson in the creation of the modern comic book and the development since the 1930s of the comic book art form.  Packed with interviews with key creators and industry professionals, and comic book page and TV and movie clips, it tells a history of America as much as the comic book medium.

Not surprisingly the documentary, funded by both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, focuses on U.S. comics and comic stories tied to patriotism across the past 100 years.  Written and directed by Michael Kantor, it covers how changing times is mirrored in comics, but also dictates the stories of comics, from the Great Depression, to World War II, McCarthyism in the 1950s and the Cold War in the 1960s to 1980s, the psychedelic 1960s, drugs in the 1970s, to Watergate and terrorism.

Liev Schreiber hosts Superheroes on PBS

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It’s only four days until Free Comic Book Day is here again, and comic book publishers have several interesting issues planned for this year.  Free Comic Book Day is always about getting new people into the local stores to check out all that comics have to offer.  So plan to grab someone and take them in to check it all out.  Use it as your excuse to buy Issue #1 of several new DC Comics “New 52” titles scheduled to be released this week.  Or make a day of it and drag your friends to see The Avengers at your local theater after you pick up your free comics.

Tons of comic book writers and artists–creators we have been talking about all year at borg.com–will be on hand across the country (and beyond) to sign autographs.  Just check out this partial list, including many of this year’s Eisner Award nominees:

Ed Brubaker (Sleeper, Captain America) in Canoga Park, California; actor Burt Ward (Robin from the 1960s series) in Los Angeles; Philip Tan (Savage Hawkman) in Rancho Cucamonga, California; Gail Simone (Batgirl), Amanda Connor (Green Arrow) and Chuck Dixon (Batman, Green Arrow) in Port Richey, Florida; George Perez (Crisis on Infinite Earths) and Greg Horn (Ms. Marvel) in Sanford, Florida; Mike Norton (Battlepug, Green Arrow) in Chicago; Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Irredeemable) in Muncie, Indiana; David Petersen (MouseGuard) in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Rochester, New Hampshire; David Wenzel (The Hobbit graphic novel artist) in Worcester, Massachusetts; Jason Aaron (Wolverine, Avengers vs X-Men) in St. Louis, Missouri; actor Adam Baldwin (Chuck, Firefly) in Omaha, Nebraska; Francesco Francavilla (The Lone Ranger) in Charlotte, North Carolina; actor Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, Psych, Law and Order), in Hilliard, Ohio; Jeffrey Moy (Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes) in Madison, Wisconsin; and Nicola Scott (Earth 2) and Ardian Syaf (Batgirl) in Singapore.

And there are plenty of interesting free comic book issues offered exclusively Saturday.  Check out these titles:

   

   

   

   

Definitely something for everyone, and for all ages.

Comic book stores typically have other things planned, too, like giveaways, and specials on back issues, even cake.  More details and a store locator can be found at the official Free Comic Book Day website.  Don’t forget to check it out–it’s just four days away!

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

By Jason McClain (@JTorreyMcClain)

This is not an eye-catching lede or a crazy supposition, this is a fact: the only way that Batman could beat Superman would be if Superman didn’t try.  If you read the first six pages of the first issue of writer/creator Mark Waid and artist Peter Krause’s comic Irredeemable (or the first six pages of the trade paperback, which tends to be what I collect these days) you would see that basic scenario laid out in graphic detail as the Plutonian faces the Hornet.  (You can see a free digital preview of these six pages now at comixology.com).

Of course, I’m biased.  I’m one of the rare Superman fans as opposed to Bats.  I like Green Lantern over Green Arrow.  (The obvious parallels break down when I try to shift to Marvel heroes.  Captain America?  A favorite, but not quite in the power realm of GL and Supes).  I obviously have a thing for the ultimate Boy Scouts.  I like the characters that have to hold back, that can’t give it their all, because if they did, someone would die.  (Don’t bother trying to make me think Kryptonite and the color yellow make a difference in stopping Big Blue and Lantern.  They only exist because no one knows what to do with characters this powerful.  Lex Luthor?  As Douglas Adams would say, “Mostly Harmless,” with Lex’s only good plan being the one he devised in Kingdom Come.  That’s not a coincidence that Mark Waid wrote it and that it’s my favorite Superman story).

Supes and Lantern vs. Batman = overkill?

That’s why the first trade paperback of Irredeemable is so refreshing.  What would happen if one of the ultimate heroes lost his ever-loving mind?  (We saw glimpses of it when Hal Jordan became Parallax and I probably need to go back to read that to see if it needs to be added to my list of great stories).  When all a hero has is his (or her) sense of right and wrong to guide them, when all they have are the rules of society and the rules they make for themselves (right, Doctor?¹) to keep from doing harm, it’s a tenuous link.  When a hero is the nearest thing to a living God, the only thing that can stop the hero is another God, a hell of a lot of luck, or themselves.

Batman? Who is Batman?

I think the same is true of the great sports heroes and why I love to root for them.  It’s amazing to watch a truly skilled athlete do what he does best.  To watch Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols hit in their prime is a kind of living masterpiece.  To watch Tiger Woods make a golf course seem obsolete is a thrill of human achievement.  Well, it’s true while they are young.  Unfortunately, like all humans, sports heroes have to grow old.  It eventually ends.  It always ends.

Those tears are tears of joy, aren’t they Supes? Batman is dead… long live Superman!

But, again, I’m in the minority.  How do I know this for certain?  Well, I have the great guys at Radiolab to thank for that information.  We, as humans, root, root, root for the underdog 80% of the time and if they don’t win it’s a shame.  We generally like to see the 15 seeds beat 2 seeds.  We generally like to see upsets in the Super Bowl or college bowl games.  We generally like to see the Yankees or the Red Sox and all their piles of money lose.  We like to think that Batman, the ultimate in human intellect and training could beat the Kryptonian Superman like in The Dark Knight Returns that C.J. Bunce and Art Schmidt mentioned in their favorites worthy of adaptation

Most people like the underdog.

So, when athletes age, when they pass 30 and the leap out of bed in the morning gradually changes into swinging your legs over the side and pausing, taking that moment, before rising.  The moment becomes longer.  The hands move to the edge of the mattress to give that little extra push.  The body bends forward so that the momentum of straightening helps to propel the body into space.  The body that used to rush headlong into the day now stands before it in repose, knowing it will be there when the time comes to make the forward push into the stream of activity.  Part of that pause comes from experience, from the idea that savoring those moments of calm and serenity helps to make the frantic moments acceptable, but part is that little voice in the back of the head that knows that one day the body won’t respond because as much as the mind won’t want to admit to growing old, it notices.  It always notices.

Carried off the field = good. Helped off the field = bad.

We grow old.  We watch our athletic heroes grow old and have to leave the game.  We watch our intellectual and artistic heroes do the same, but the curve isn’t as dramatic and those heroes continue to amaze us and give us hope that we can stay amazing ourselves.  Our fictional heroes remain the same though.  They are immortal.  But, of the immortals, only a couple of them are Gods.  If they ever break that trust that we have in them, that’s when they become “Irredeemable.”

1.  I think this is one of the reasons that I can’t get behind Rory Williams and his relationship with Amy Pond.  I root for the Doctor.  I root for him to be happy.  The relationship with Amy Pond seemed like it could have been the one.  But, that’s because I’m finite.  There can never be a true human “one” for a Gallifreyan.  Still, boo Rory.

To quote Nathan Petrelli to brother Peter in “Heroes”–“The world needs nurses, too.”

2.  I always think C.J. and I get along so well because our interests intersect so much, but are so different.  He’s a Green Arrow guy and I’m a Green Lantern dude.  We obviously differ on Alan Moore.  We still have to discuss The Shawshank Redemption vs. The Green Mile.