It’s great to see Steve back in the suit doing what he does best!

Page from Captain America #695

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2016 Strikes Again – RIP Darwyn Cooke

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I try not to throw in with the public outpourings of grief when a person of note passes away but today the world of comic books has lost one of the greats. Darwyn Cooke is no longer with us and the world is a lesser place because of it.

darwyn-cooke-justice-league-37If you are not familiar with Cooke’s work it has a beautiful, timeless quality to it. So full of life, colour and joy for what the medium can do. During his time in the industry he set a high bar for what comic book art can do. Every book with his name on is worth buying/reading from the modern age classic of New Frontier, to his work on the Watchmen prequel comics, to his character defining work on Catwoman. All of it is required reading.

So yeah, I think a large part of my weekend will be spent revisiting some of his best work. Incidentally ComiXology are running a sale on some of Cooke’s work for DC Comics so now is a good time to jump in and celebrate the work of one of the best artists to ever work in comic books.

RIP Darwyn Cooke.

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Riverdale receives Pilot Order! Hopes to become best beautiful show for beautiful people!

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The CW has announced that they are giving the long gestating Archie TV show a shot and have ordered a Pilot for Riverdale. (Head to Comics Alliance for the details!) Which is great!

Why?

Because Archie is a beautiful property that despite its age has kept up with the times and trends of America, albeit in an idealised fashion. However the past year has seen an reinvention of Archie as a brand and it has recently been relaunched in comics with a more young adult focus by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples and friends. The results of which are some of the best comics I have read in the past few years.

Seriously do not be put off by the Archie wrapper and your notions of what that means. Go buy the first few issues and thank me later.

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The Pull List 27/01/16

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Every week I throw my money into the bottomless pit that is regular comic book reading.

Here is what I will be entertaining myself with this week along with snippets of my feelings towards said books prior to reading them:

Marvel

  • All-New Inhumans #3
    • I am semi-enjoying the new prime position status quo for the Inhumans in the Marvel Universe.
    • They are like the X-Men without the baggage of the X-Men continuity.
    • There is freedom for weirdness to happen which is great!
  • All-New, All-Different Avengers #4
    • I’m loving the new team but this series has not felt like it has got going yet. Hopefully this issue will fix that.
    • The cover is very kissy, kissy!
  • Star Wars: Kanan #10
    • This is the little Star Wars comic that could and I have really enjoyed it.
    • It is an interesting look at the background of one of the newer expanded universe  characters.
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4
    • The best comic on the shelves ever.
    • Seriously it is one of the highlights of my week when I get to read a new issue.
    • If you haven’t read it go read it.

DC

  • Batman & Robin Eternal #17
    • A bit of a slow burn of a series but the globe trotting adventure is starting to pay off.
    • All the Azrael is boring me to tears though, I really don’t like the character.
  • Grayson #16
    • Who knew Dick Grayson, Super Spy would be continue to be such a good book?!
    • I’m looking forward to seeing how the new post Robin War Dick Grayson handles his new….situation
  • Justice League of America #7
    • Beautiful art that make the book worth it.
    • The mildly confusing/boring story is letting the side down though.
  • Superman #48
    • Things are starting to come to a head for the underpowered Superman and it is exciting!
    • It has been an interesting ride but I am starting to get restless for Superman getting all his powers back.

Image/Other

  • Saga #33
    • The best comic being published at the moment.
    • The.
    • Best.
    • Comic.
    • Read it!

DC…Rebirth?

Later this year the books that are still around from DC’s big New 52 Relaunch five-ish years ago will hit their 52nd issues. Which is a perfect time for DC to clean house and have another big push at selling people a bunch of comics. Especially when you take into account the DC Cinematic Universe taking things to the next level with Batman V Superman.

I’ve always been a fan of what the New 52 stood for despite some of the more questionable changes it lead to. For me comics are at their best when big epic things and change happens. So teasing of a big relaunch always has me interested.

However I doubt that this will be a big reboot on the scale of Flashpoint to the New 52. More of a soft realignment of characters and stories that have gotten out of whack with the rest of the setting and maybe pushing the overall house tone and style to fit with the DC movies and TV shows a bit more. All of which I have no problem with what so ever.

Until we know more I will just have to enjoy the rage and collective gnashing of teeth from the anger side of the comics internet. Which is always entertaining!

So yeah #Rebirth

Star Wars: Poe Dameron Comic Announced!

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That’s one hell of a pilot!

I am a huge fan of Marvel’s new official cannon Star Wars comics. I love how they are filling in the narrative gaps between the movies and other cannon material like Star Wars: Rebels. Up to now the comics have mainly been focused on the space of time between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes back.  So it is great to see the Marvel capitalising on the success and interest around The Force Awakens and releasing a new series focusing on Poe Dameron and his time with The Resistance leading up to The Force Awakens.

The creative team behind my soon to be favourite comic book is Charles Soule and Phil Noto. I love Phil Noto’s art (seriously it is beautiful) so seeing him tackling the Star Wars universe again so soon after the excellent Chewbacca miniseries is great! I have also enjoyed Soule’s writing in the past year or so. In particular his work on the new Uncanny Inhumans and Star Wars: Lando series for Marvel along with Superman/Wonder Woman for DC.

Full details and PR fluff can be found at USA Today.

As for what will happen in the book, I am just interested in finding out more about Poe seeing as I felt he was the most underused out of the new characters in The Force Awakens. Also seeing as it is a series all about Poe it means I will get to see one of my favourite things in Star Wars; space ship battles and hopefully lots of them!

Civil War II – Thoughts

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While fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are gearing up for Captain America: Civil War, us nerds in comic book land are prepping for Civil War II. We are just that cutting edge (and fickle). Today, thanks to New York Daily News we have got our first snippets of info in a surprisingly open look at the famed Marvel Creator Summit story building process:

“Civil War 2” writer Brian Michael Bendis and Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso break down the premise.

“A mysterious new Marvel character comes to the attention of the world, one who has the power to calculate the outcome of future events with a high degree of accuracy,” according to the synopsis. “This predictive power divides the Marvel heroes on how best to capitalize on this aggregated information, with Captain Marvel leading the charge to profile future crimes and attacks before they occur, and Iron Man adopting the position that the punishment cannot come before the crime.”

That’s the surface level pitch but just like the original Civil War there are ties to the real world and how we live our lives,

“People’s personal accountability is the theme of this one,” Bendis explains to his peers of his project with artist David Marquez. “From the way cops are acting on camera, to the way people talk to each other online.”

So I am expecting a lot of reflection and viewpoints on how we collectively represent ourselves as a society. The original Civil War was all about the responsibility of power and should we let our governments control our freedoms even if it meant giving some of them up. This feels like it could be a response to the growing toxicity in our general discourse and how we are in general, very quick to jump on people, things and situations in terms of being “right” or “wrong.”

If you are interested in Marvel’s think-tank writing process the piece is really worth a look. It gives a lot of insight into the dynamics that come into play when Marvel’s top talent have to sit in a room and come up with the next “big thing.” Plus it is worth it just to see in black and white that nothing too bad will happen to Spider-Man this time around! (Although that could be Dan Slott being Dan Slott and prepping us Spidey fans for another fall!)

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Today in Bullshit Click Bait – A Video Game Predicted The End of The Force Awakens

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*blarg…bleegh…mmmbuueeeeeghhh!* *cough* *cough* “Urgh…Jesus…urgh…” *mmmbuueeeeeghhh!!* “urgh…” *hugs toilet*

Sorry that’s just me throwing up at seeing all the pieces about how a 10 year old piece of DLC for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 apparently predicted the end of The Force Awakens.

Before I go any further consider this your customary SPOILER WARNING. So if you are one of the small minority of people who have yet to see The Force Awakens (what’s taking you so long?!) stay away.

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Years of Future Past #2

Years of Future Past #2I wish that the mainline X-Men comics still had this level of in your face moralising. Even if it results in a page that is essentially a wall of text!

The Good, The Bad and The Twee – CBS’ Supergirl

Overnight CBS unleashed a weird semi-condensed (but dressed as a trailer) version of the Pilot for their upcoming Supergirl TV show. My feelings towards it are mixed but mostly optimistic. It does some things right, others not so right and some….well….more on those in a bit.

Before I go any further it is worth outlining what exactly a Pilot Episode is in terms of US television and the role they have. They are a catch all, “Look this is the show we want to make!” 40 minute setup for what will hopefully be a full or part season order from a network. They paint the broad strokes of a show, its characters and overall tone. They are also used as a test bed for potential ideas or approaches which is why they can fluctuate wildly in quality in such a short space of time. More often then not things are chopped and changed from the Pilot to the production run of a show and I am guessing (read: hoping) that is the case for the more problematic aspects of Supergirl.

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