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Flippin’ through Previews – October 2014

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Wait, Damian might not be dead? The hell you say!!! All the answers can be found in Previews #313 … well, probably not, but it’s nice to think so!
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She Has No Head! – The October Five

The five comic things I’m most excited about for October? Glad you asked!

  Gotham Academy Cover 1#1. Number with a bullet is GOTHAM ACADEMY.

I’ve read it, it comes out this week (10/1) and it is AWESOME.

That’s right, written by Becky Cloonan and Brendan Fletcher and with some absolutely incredible art by Karl Kerschl (colors by Geyser/Dave McCaig) this is my pick of the week before I even read anything else. No way anything else is coming close to kicking it out of the #1 spot. It’s got some fantastic new female characters in Olive and Maps, the hottest Bruce Wayne this side of…well, anywhere quite frankly, and a rich beautiful take on telling stories in Gotham that only touch Batman lightly. Everything about this feels young and new and smart. It’s the exact breath of fresh air that DC desperately needs. And while I wouldn’t want ALL of the DC TMSGAbc_variantbooks to feel this way (the same way I don’t want them all to feel grim and gritty) I must say it’s a welcome change of pace from what we’ve been seeing from DC. Even though Gotham Academy is a pretty gothic book – it’s set in Gotham after all – it’s not going to be all roses and sunshine – it has a lightness hope about it that just sings.

BONUS: Gotham Academy wonderfully straddles several lines, the first being that it will be effortless for new readers unfamiliar with Gotham (or even cape comics) to jump into, and yet it’s filled with little details that hardcore Batman fans will love. It also straddles that often difficult line of being all-ages friendly – and it is – there isn’t anything worrisome for younger audiences but it’s plenty complex, layered, and nuanced for older audiences. Check out the Becky Cloonan variant cover (right), so pretty!

Hot Bruce

I submit this as the hottest Bruce Wayne in just about ever. All hail Karl Kerschl!

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Year of the Artist, Day 271: Al Williamson, Part 5 – Epic Illustrated #27 and 34

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Al Williamson, and the stories are “Relic” from Epic Illustrated #27 and “Out of Phase” from Epic Illustrated #34, both of which were published by Marvel and are cover dated December 1984 and February 1986. I found these stories on the blog Ragged Claws Network here and here. Enjoy! (Oh, and there’s some Not Safe For Work shenanigans below. Comics artists are just filthy old men, aren’t they????)
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Year of the Artist, Day 266: Marc Silvestri, Part 5 – Incredible Hulk #1

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Marc Silvestri, and the issue is Incredible Hulk #1, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated December 2011. These scans are from Hulk: Season One, which came out in August 2012. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 265: Marc Silvestri, Part 4 – X-Men #154

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Marc Silvestri, and the issue is X-Men #154, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated May 2004. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 264: Marc Silvestri, Part 3 – Uncanny X-Men #218 and #255 and Cyberforce #1

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Marc Silvestri, and the issues are Uncanny X-Men #218 and #255 and Cyberforce #1, the first two of which were published by Marvel and are cover dated June 1987 and December 1989, and the third of which was published by Image and is cover dated November 1993. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 263: Marc Silvestri, Part 2 – Web of Spider-Man #22

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Marc Silvestri, and the issue is Web of Spider-Man #22, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated January 1987. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 262: Marc Silvestri, Part 1 – House of Mystery #292 and King Conan #13

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Marc Silvestri, and the story is “… And Spoil the Child!” in House of Mystery #292 and the issue is King Conan #13, the first of which was published by DC and is cover dated May 1981 and the second of which was published by Marvel and is cover dated November 1982. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 256: Stuart Immonen, Part 5 – Fear Itself #7

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Stuart Immonen, and the issue is Fear Itself #7, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated December 2011. Enjoy!
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Year of the Artist, Day 254: Stuart Immonen, Part 3 – Nextwave #10

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Stuart Immonen, and the issue is Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #10, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated January 2007. Enjoy!
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1987 And All That: Strange Tales #1-7

A column in which Matt Derman (Comics Matter) reads & reviews comics from 1987, because that’s the year he was born.

StrangeTales_1Strange Tales #1-7 (Marvel) by Bill Mantlo (#1-6), Peter Gillis, Bret Blevins (#1-6), Chris Warner (#1-4), Larry Alexander (#5, 7), Terry Shoemaker (#6-7), Al Williamson (#3), Bob Wiacek (#6), Gerry Talaoc (#7), Randy Emberlin, Christie Scheele (#1, 3), Glynis Oliver (#2, 4-6), Paul Becton (#7), Bob Sharen, Ken Bruzenak, Jim Novak (#1-3), Janice Chiang (#4-5, 7), Ken Lopez (#6), Carl Potts

With a book like Strange Tales, where every issue is divided between two different narratives (or any number of narratives, but in this case it’s just the two), you always want some sort of connection to tie the stories together, something to bring unity to the title. Obviously the stories should work individually as well, but it’s nicer when there’s a bond between them, an identity to the series as a whole that fits with each section’s own goals and attitudes. Strange Tales is split evenly every issue between Cloak and Dagger and Dr. Strange, the two titles which it replaced. Because they’re both continuations of previously existing comics, it would be understandable if there wasn’t a ton of cohesion between their respective outlooks or aims. Whether through editorial design, creator collaboration, or sheer dumb luck, though, the two halves of Strange Tales find common ground almost immediately, and continue to examine the same core concept, though still in their own ways, right up through issue #7 where their narratives actually collide and briefly become the same. Both Cloak and Strange wrestle with remaining heroic while sometimes needing to act unheroically, and this struggle quickly becomes the center of Strange Tales. But the two men deal with their shared problem differently and end up in different places because of it, so their stories stand apart even as they come together, thematically and literally. Continue Reading »

Year of the Artist, Day 252: Stuart Immonen, Part 1 – Legion of Super-Heroes #53 and a few added bonuses

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Stuart Immonen, and the issue is Legion of Super-Heroes #53, which was published by DC and is cover dated January 1994, plus I begin with a few panels from X-Men Annual #1, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated March 1992. Enjoy!
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Flippin’ through Previews – September 2014

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Because why wouldn’t IDW cross over the Transformers with Angry Birds? Previews #312 shows just how logical that is!!!!
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Year of the Artist, Day 241: Steve Mannion, Part 5 – Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #1

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Every day this year, I will be examining the artwork on a single comic book story. Today’s artist is Steve Mannion, and the story is “Monsters” in Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #1, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated May 2014. Enjoy! (Oh, and I hate that I have to do this, but there’s some Not Safe For Work stuff below. And no, it’s not horrific violence, because that’s a-okay!)
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