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Review: Steel #1

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STEEL #1 PREVIEW

Writer: Steve Lyons

Artist: Ed Benes

Colorist: Blond

Letterer: Pat Bosseau

Cover: Alex Garner

Editor: Matt Idelson

Publisher: DC

Release Date: January 5th, 2011

 

The “Death of Superman” will be forever etched into this reviewer’s reading experience, as I fondly recall all the build-up and hype leading to the demise of the Man of Steel. I remember reading the first appearances, albeit in a second or third printing, of the raw and awesome power that is Doomsday. As a kid, I was totally awestruck seeing this unstoppable force making his way through the world’s finest, with hardly any effort.  Issue by issue, the Kryptonian assassin’s appearance would be revealed, further adding to the tensions, mystery and excitement. From there, we would be witness to a new stock of Supermen, in the form of four super-powered mysteries.

Steve Lyons has captured the magic of the original and made this all his own with Steel #1. As seen all those years ago, Doomsday has once again become the most brutal and destructive force there is.

From the outset, Lyons gives us a story narrated by John Henry Irons, a man facing terrible odds, yet defiant as he faces the evil of Doomsday, as the hero known as Steel. Without warning, similar to all those years ago, Doomsday is on a murderous rampage with nothing to stop him from completing his quest – whatever that may be. The engine of destruction has specifically targeted this man of steel – and this does not bode well for the most human of the Supermen.

As Steel fights for his life, you can not help but feel his anguish and anticipation. Lyons writes as if you are fighting side by side with the man who chose to take up the mantle of the world’s greatest hero. Lyons involves the reader as we bear witness to what fate holds for John Henry. From the perspective of his niece, who can all but watch, we share the same helpless feeling as the nightmare that is unfolding sweeps us up.

As this Doomsday is on a new mission of murder, with that, also comes new powers and abilities. Again, similar to the events of yester-year, we are given a story full of might and mystery. Lyons has given Doomsday a much needed make-over, a fresh take on a classic villain to heroes everywhere.

The art of Ed Benes compliments Lyons’ writing exceptionally well, as he gives us page after page of super-hero filled angst, battle, bloodshed, hope and despair. The pain from the punches can be felt in the pencils and colors. The strength of the two battling titans radiates forth from the panels depicting the fierce fighting. Benes and company match the emotion of the original; in turn, giving homage to both Supermen as we see with the conclusion. Very nicely done.

Steve Lyons and Ed Benes give us a fantastic start to the “Reign of Doomsday.” The story is a heart-felt one leaving you thoroughly engrossed as to what comes next. I fear for the next hero – or villain – that crosses path with this monster – for certainly it will be his or her Doomsday!

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Review: The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1

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Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Artist: Miguel Sepulveda

Colorist: Rain Beredo

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover: Alex Garner

Editor: Bill Rosemann

Publisher: Marvel

Release Date: January 5th, 2011

 

With The Thanos Imperative: Devastation, Abnett and Lanning begin to distance themselves from the previous five years worth of Annihilation-era cosmic stories we all have been accustomed to. As seen in the last issue of The Thanos Imperative, Peter Quill, leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Richard Rider, leader of the Nova Corps, have been seemingly wiped off the face of the Marvel U. As with the two Marvel Cosmic mainstays, for the past three years at least, Nova and Star-Lord join their respective titles, Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy, — into Oblivion.

Fan-favorite canine, Cosmo, is used to ease the changeover between the old guard and the new – or perhaps “convince” would be the better word. I can’t help but think, when Cosmo is describing the Guardians of the Galaxy to be a band of misfits that aren’t the very best, that it is more Marvel selling us as to what is to come; as if to say, “sorry these guys weren’t good enough, BUT these are.”

It almost comes off as offensive; the Guardians of the Galaxy was one of my favorite titles and a book I felt to be one of Marvel’s better reads. I only wish the top Brass agreed. As we get inundated with Marvel Studios movie tie-ins – that do not sell any better than Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy – I feel as if I am being treated like a second class reader. Marvel’s answer to more cosmic is cosmic with their popular characters (Thor, Cap, X-Men). When the Marvel Cosmic I do enjoy is proven to be a seller, we are only given IFs, something akin to a handicap or poor man’s bread. Meanwhile, across the street, the direct competition is set to premiere the biggest blockbuster of the year – a cosmic movie.

As Cosmo makes his way from Annihilator to Annihilator, the group finally comes together to repel the advances of the cowardice (ex?)-leader of the Negative Zone, Blastaar. As seen in the recent issue of Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four (#586), Annihilus is back to bug our heroes. Perhaps, the rest of the story will be told there, or perhaps not as another quality Marvel Cosmic title meets it’s doom.

Speaking of the FF, we see in the recent issue of Avengers (#8), Medusa informing Mr. Fantastic, that her husband has perished.  Mr. Fantastic, the last to know of the events that went down at the creation of The Fault, as surely most were informed by Nova or perhaps by any of the Mighty Avengers or Star Jammers. However, I do not think Professor X even realizes the person he shares a life-long bond with has met her demise, as well. Can we expect The Annihilators to have a role in the next Marvel Event described as bigger than Civil War? Furthermore, will Ed Brubaker be informing Steve Rogers that his first choice of a cosmic assembler has fallen?

We are witness to flashback scenes where the original idea behind the Annihilators is revealed.  Sadly, this person shall not be a member of the Galaxy’s Mightiest; the same can be said for his fallen comrade. As the Annihilators made their way annihilating Blastaar, a sense of absence lingered – Nova and Star-Lord not being a part. The two characters that readers most heavily invested in – go out in a blue blaze of wasted glory.

In the end, we see the emergence of the team leader. Gone are the two brothers-in-arms of the Annihilation United Front. Gone is the father-daughter -and lover- team of Drax, Moondragon and Phyla-vell. Gone is the most dangerous woman in the Universe, Gamora. Gone is the Wonderful Warlock known as Adam. Rocket and Groot shall be heard from again come March – but for how long after, I do not know.

Overall, The Thanos Imperative: Devastation was a nice follow-up to the events that transpired in Imperative. Sepulveda’s art adequately brought that greatness forth required by a team of heavy hitters such as this – he will be missed. Abnett and Lanning, once again, provided us with a very enjoyable book filled with twists, turns and a great cliff-hanger – leaving you longing for more. I can’t help but feeling, with the inclusion of Nova and Star-Lord as part of the future of Marvel Cosmic, it would have been that much better.

I do feel as if Marvel passed on an opportunity with these fantastic books and characters that Andy Schmidt and Keith Giffen bestowed upon us all with Annihilation. A book that critics hail as better than Civil War; a book that didn’t get all the hype and promotion that comes with being an Editorial favorite.

Obviously, this will all come off as a bit negative – but I do look forward to The Annihilators as it does star one of my fav’s. In addition, it is being written by a team of writers that I have the utmost respect for, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

I just hope this time around, The Annihilators do get the full backing from the new chief; anything else would be devastating.

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Review: Avengers #8

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AVENGERS #8 PREVIEW

COVER BY:Romita Jr., Janson & White

WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis

PENCILS: John Romita Jr.

INKS: Klaus Janson

COLORED BY: Dean White with Paul Mounts

LETTERED BY: VC’s Cory Pettit

PUBLISHER: Marvel

RELEASE DATE: December 29th, 2010

 

The things that are happening in this book are not coming at us hot and heavy, but rather we, much like the Hood, are discovering realities slowly but surely. And although the pace is not near as action-packed as Secret Avengers has been of late, I like it!

In the vein of classic Avengers tales, book scribe and Marvel U. architect Brian Michael Bendis is building on some very interesting Marvel lore – some created long ago by others, some dangling threads left by himself — to weave this tale of the further adventures of the Hood and the return of – the Infinity Gauntlet!

It will be interesting to see the Hood in the world of these “new” Avengers, Steve Rogers-picked mainstays for the official “public” lineup, rather than the nitty-gritty world of Luke Cage’s band. With the power set the Hood is trying to enter, both Thor and the Red Hulk may be needed in this team in the months ahead.

The public outing – at least among the superhero set – of the Illuminati this go-round was excellent. I would think ol’ Shellhead would’ve been a bit more cautious as to how he brought the team together again, especially after it was the failure of Stark-tech that allowed the Skrulls to establish a foothold on Earth during Secret Invasion. I guess the urgency of the matter at hand, and all that.

Despite the running backup, Bendis continues to impress me with his use of threads from the past as well as picking up subplots (remember those, readers?) such as Wonder Man’s hatred of current Avengers doings. And it was a real pleasure, this issue and last, to see the prime Avengers team enjoying time together and planning on Noh-Varr’s new living arrangements. (Exactly who does live in the Tower these days? Always love those little tidbits.)

I can find no fault with the art because JRJR, aided and abetted by Mr. Janson and Mr. White, draws each and every Marvel character to perfection. His dad and John Buscema wrote the book on the Marvel Manner (literally); looks like the kid read it!

And wow, what an awesome Lockjaw! (I cannot see the teleporting pooch anymore without thinking of Cosmo’s line from Guardians of the Galaxy when the two met: “Are you God?” lol!)

Keep bringing us these classic Avengers with modern touches and this reader/reviewer will be happy. And I wonder if either Thanos or Nebula will be making appearances soon, since the Gauntlet is on the market again? Talk about a world the Hood never made!

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Indiana Jones 5: Dies in next movie! Harrison Ford Wants Death!

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“Indiana Jones 5” may see the end to everyone’s favorite archaelogist according to Showbizspy.com.

According to an “insider source” it is Harrison, himself, that wants this:

“Harrison thinks it would be good for Indy to die and pass on his hat to his son in the next one,” reveals an insider.

“George especially is resisting the notion but Steven is considering it. Funnily enough Harrison wanted the same for Han Solo in the final Star Wars but George put an end to it. This time he doesn’t have all the say though.”

Maybe in “Indiana Jones 5” they could discover the fountain of youth and we all could be happy?!

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Tom Brevoort: Cosmic, Crossgen, The Big Event – and more!

picAnother edition of CBR’s “Marvel T&A” hit today. This time, VP Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, comments on Marvel Cosmic, Crossgen, the next Big Event – and lots more. Pages from March’s Rocket and Groot (second half to The Annihilators) from artist Tim Green are shown off, as well.

Marvel Cosmic

Regarding Marvel Cosmic, Tom is asked if recent announcements, such as The Annihilators, are planned or part of the “natural workflow.” The VP states, “There’s a certain amount of lead time needed to put that project together – even today with the technology we have to zap files anywhere in the world. So this just happens to be when all this stuff is happening.”

As to why Rocket and Groot was combined with The Annihilators, Brevoort states that the market is soft and,  “It made more sense to us to fold those together and do it as a bigger book at a slightly higher price point than to try and release them as separate projects.”

Tom then goes on to comment on all the fans that have been overwhelming Marvel with questions on what’s next for DnA and Marvel Cosmic. “And for all those people that were barraging us with questions about what was coming next in the cosmic world and what was next for Dan and Andy on that front, hopefully they’ll dig “Annihilators” and come out to support it and keep us thinking about further projects to do in that arena.”

Crossgen

On Crossgen, Tom made it clear that the two titles announced, Ruse and Sigil, “are not continuations of the original CrossGen books. We’re approaching all this stuff as if it’s entirely new, and starting from square one.”

Another point made is there will be more Crossgen books as, “They’re the first two but not the only two planned to come.” Comments from the books respective editors are then made from Nick Lowe on Sigil and Stephen Wacker on Ruse.

Next Big Event

Again, I’m a big proponent of the Big Event and Marvel is getting back to that come 2011. Be sure to check out Marvel.com on December 21st at noon for a press announcement (here for more).

Tom Brevoort states that Marvel is undeniably doing another Big Event. I’ll let the VP Executive Editor do the talking. I hope Marvel Cosmic is part of this.

Brevoort: You know, we went into the Heroic Age, and we took a year or so off from doing big, interconnected event series, because we sensed a certain fatigue was setting in, both on the part of the readers and our creators. And fans seemed to like that for the most part. But now we’re all well-rested and it’s time to get back to business again.

So the thing we’re going to be talking about a week from now is massive. It’s incredibly huge, incredibly far-reaching. It’s a big ol’ bombshell to drop, and there’s not much more I can say about it ahead of time. But yes, this will not be a small thing. This will be a grand, sweeping, epic Marvel event the likes of which you haven’t seen in a few years. It’s definitely larger in scope than “Siege,” more on the scale of “Secret Invasion,” and as ambitious in its way as “Civil War.”

To that end, we’re having a press conference on Tuesday at Noon Eastern at a location we can’t reveal quite yet. But if you can’t make it, we’re streaming the whole thing live on Marvel.Com.

Be sure to head on over to CBR to read more. Tom announces five Captain America one-shots, including “Captain America and Secret Avengers” (No. I don’t think this is an all ages book – as it would be “&”), talks about Mark Bagley’s return to Marvel and has a question for recent fans to Marvel Comics.

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Clive Barker Writes Hellraiser Only At Boom Studios

Press Release

HELL HAS COME HOME

CLIVE BARKER
RETURNS TO WRITE THE
NEWEST CHAPTER
OF HIS SIGNATURE CREATION
HELLRAISER
IN A BRAND NEW ONGOING SERIES
COMING THIS MARCH
WITH COVERS BY
TIM BRADSTREET & NICK PERCIVAL
AND INTERIOR ART BY
LEONARDO MANCO

DON’T FORGET TO ASK YOUR
LOCAL RETAILER ABOUT
THE EXCLUSIVE
1-IN-50 CLIVE BARKER SIGNED VARIANT!

ALSO COMING IN MARCH
HELLRAISER: MASTERWORKS VOL. 1
FEATURING WORKS BY
CLIVE BARKER, NEIL GAIMAN,
MIKE MIGNOLA, ALEX ROSS,
LARRY WACHOWSKI & MORE!

December 13, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA – This March, Hell comes to BOOM! Studios as master of horror Clive Barker writes the newest chilling installment of his signature creation with the new HELLRAISER ongoing series! Joined by co-writer Christopher Monfette and HELLBLAZER artist Leonardo Manco, Clive Barker’s HELLRAISER #1 features covers by Tim Bradstreet and Nick Percival. The release of HELLRAISER #1 ongoing will be joined that same month by HELLRAISER: MASTERWORKS VOL. 1, the first in a series reprinting the hard-to-find Marvel Comics-era Hellraiser stories. To herald the HELLRAISER: MASTERWORKS series, HELLRAISER #1 will be an epic, oversized 40-page debut that includes a story by THE MATRIX co-writer & co-director Larry Wachowski — ripped from the HELLRAISER: MASTERWORKS series.

The debut volume of the HELLRAISER: MASTERWORKS series sees a slew of spine-tingling Pinhead tales by such creators as Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Mike Mignola, Alex Ross & more, with cover by John Bolton!

“Beyond being a legendary creator of all things macabre, Clive Barker is truly an amazing individual and I’m proud to be able to work with him on reviving one of his most celebrated creations with HELLRAISER,” said Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon. “I’ve known Clive for years, but this is the first chance we’ve had to work together and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s been unbelievably gratifying to develop this series and witness the visceral, relentless, and shocking story that Clive has in store for a new generation of horror fans. Readers beware! Hell comes home this March!”

Clive Barker has “touched” HELLRAISER only twice before: once to write THE HELLBOUND HEART, and once more to write and direct the original HELLRAISER film. With the HELLRAISER ongoing series, witness Barker’s long-awaited return to tell a new chapter in the series’ official continuity—a trajectory that will forever change the Cenobites…and Pinhead! So prepare your soul for an epic journey into horror from one of the medium’s greatest voices, and starring one of the medium’s greatest characters, in an unforgettable new chapter of HELLRAISER.

Joining the HELLRAISER ongoing series in March is the debut of HELLRAISER: MASTERWORKS VOL. 1, a collection of classic HELLRAISER tales that will light your soul on fire! This must-have collection, originally published by Marvel Comics, features classic spinetinglers for die-hard fans and new readers alike, and collects a host of work from comic luminaries that you will not want to miss! Featuring the work of Clive Barker (HELLRAISER), Neil Gaiman (SANDMAN), Mike Mignola (HELLBOY), Larry Wachowski (THE MATRIX), Alex Ross (KINGDOM COME), Kevin O’Neill (LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN) and many more — including a cover by John Bolton! You will not want to miss this first volume in a series that will assemble the best HELLRAISER comics that have ever been!

HELLRAISER #1 ships as an oversized 40-page issue in March with A & B covers in a 50/50 split with art by Tim Bradstreet and Nick Percival respectively, as well as a very special 1-in-50 incentive cover drawn and signed by legendary master of horror Clive Barker. HELLRAISER: MASTERWORKS VOL. 1 ships in March, featuring the works of Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Mike Mignola, Larry Wachowski, Alex Ross, Kevin O’Neill and more with a cover by John Bolton.

About BOOM! Studios
BOOM! Studios (www.boom-studios.com)2009 “Best Publisher” of the year, generates a wide-ranging catalog of multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated comic books and graphic novels featuring some of the industry’s top talent, including Philip K. Dick’s DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, 20th Century Fox’s 28 DAYS LATER and DIE HARD, The Henson Company’s FARSCAPE, and the original Mark Waid series IRREDEEMABLE. This fall sees BOOM! teaming up with the legendary Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics’ characters Spider-Man, The Hulk, and The X-Men for a line of original superhero series, the legend’s first new superhero creations in nearly 20 years. BOOM!’s youth imprint, BOOM Kids!, is an undisputed industry leader, publishing Disney/Pixar’s THE INCREDIBLES, CARS, and TOY STORY, as well as Disney’s THE MUPPETS, DONALD DUCK, UNCLE SCROOGE and WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES. This year, BOOM! Studios celebrates its fifth anniversary.

unstoppabe-review

Movie Review: Unstoppable

Oh yes my friends, Denzel Washington maintains his status as “reliably immoveable” from my top ten contemporary male thespians that can produce the kinds of performances that turn good films into timeless classics and somewhat questionable flicks into solid, cinematic adventures.  Unstoppable happens to side on the latter as the concept of “chasing down a …

Movie Review: Unstoppable Read More »

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Read’s Reads: Heroes For Hire #1 Review

Ryan Read is at it again with a review of this week’s Heroes For Hire from Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and artist Brad Walker.

There is a new intro, new music – and a new haircut!

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Ryan Read is at it again with a review of this week’s Heroes For Hire from Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and artist Brad Walker.

There is a new intro, new music – and a new haircut!

Ryan gives us a good background on the Heroes For Hire before getting into the review. Nice job as always, Ryan!

*Spoiler Warnings*

 

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Spider-Man Movie: Irrfan Khan as Proto-Goblin?

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IRRFAN KHAN

The Hollywood Reporter reports that actor Irrfan Khan has been signed on to play another villain, “Van Atter” in addition to Rys Ifans who is rumored to play The Lizard. Annie Parisse is said to play Khan’s wife.

“Van Atter” could be a reference to the comic book character Nels Van Adder – the Proto-Goblin! Van Adder worked under Osborn as a research scientist and volunteered to be a test subject for a chemical developed by Osborn. However, a stabilizing agent wasn’t developed yet with the experiment causing Van Adder to kill, which led to differences between him and Osborn. Eventually, he was hunted by Gwen Stacey’s father, Captain George Stacey a policeman and his brother Arthur, Norman’s head of security. As the Proto-Goblin attempted to kill Norman, he was attacked by George and Arthur and believed dead when thrown out a window and into the river. His body was never found.

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In related news, it looks like Peter Parker’s Mom and Dad will be appearing in the Spider-Man Movie as the Reporter said Cambell Scott and Julianne Nicholson have been signed on to play them. No word if it will be in the form of a flash back scene or a “live” role.

Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and swings into theaters in 3-D July 3rd, 2012!