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Review: Solar: Man of the Atom #1

I keep waiting for one of these new Dynamite books, and in particular the new Gold Key Universe books, to fall flat on its face. Hasn’t happened yet, and Solar: Man of the Atom may just be the best of the lot for the cosmic fan.

Reminiscent in this reviewer’s memory of Mark Gruenwald’s handling of his Firestorm variant in the mini-series Squadron Supreme, Solar (although he never refers to himself as such in this issue) is a superhuman powerhouse out of control. He is fascinating and worrisome all at the same time: fascinating because this is not what I expected, the Stan Lee family flaws all up front; and worrisome because I prefer a hero these days at least who works more toward the adventure at hand than power that is a responsibility. Just the way the wind is blowing now, and the return of all this pulp should clue publishers in.

I really like the way Solar’s powers and backstory are explained as the action begins with a cliché armed bank robbery this issue. We meet the family, the friends and almost at once establish their relationship. I know that these concerns will be a major part of Solar because not only is our hero Superman out-of-control but he is also Reed Richards. Quite a combo for a new cosmic hero.

It took me some time to get used to the various formulae floating about in Joe Bennett’s beautiful panels, but I got used to it. Reminds me of Amadeus Cho and how his intellect powers were visualized at one time.

Speaking of Mr. Bennett, he brings a really nice portrayal of writer Frank J. Barbiere’s intellectual yet action-packed script. We have wonderful portrayals of both urban and cosmic life here, and his great explosions of pencil power when the life of Solar goes awry are wonderful to behold. The palette chosen by colorist Lauren Affe just enhances this feeling. It really is a book all about emotion and mood.

For those nostalgic about Solar’s return and for those who have never heard of the hero before, this is quite a first issue. Ready for cosmic fun next month! 

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Exclusive: Cullen Bunn seeks no escape from Shadow #0 featuring Houdini

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Last week, Dynamite Entertainment announced it had signed writer Cullen Bunn (Sixth Gun, Magneto) to pen a new story of its perennial period protagonist, the Shadow, as he meets the elusive magician Houdini.

How do pulp and presto-chango team up? To get the answers to that question and more, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively turned into a bar and questioned Mr. Cullen about the project.

No trick photography was used during this interview.

Cosmic Book News: The Shadow is having a zero issue! Cullen, how did you become involved?

Cullen Bunn: I’ve been talking to Nick, Joe and Molly at Dynamite for a while now. We’ve wanted to work together on something, but we were all waiting for the right project. When they called me and mentioned the Shadow, I knew this would make a great first Dynamite book! I mean… The Shadow! Talk about a character with meat on the bones!

CBN: We understand that this zero issue is not all the business that Nick Barrucci and Dynamite are having with you. Care to comment on the big future mystery project?

Cullen Bunn: I can’t say much right now! I’m sworn to secrecy! But there’s definitely more in the works. In fact, there might be a few different things in the works right now.

CBN: OK, OK, back to Shadow #0, how does our Dark Master become involved with the great performer Houdini?

Cullen Bunn: Well, what we learn is that Lamont Cranston and Houdini were acquaintances long before Lamont became the Shadow.  To aid him in his quest for justice, the Shadow gathered a diverse set of skills. In this case, who better to teach him the art of escape?

CBN: Can you tell us at what point in Houdini’s career this piece takes place? He was a very different man at different points during his career.

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Cullen Bunn: In this story, Houdini is a little older, nearing those final days and his mysterious death.

CBN: And the big-bad is … ?

Cullen Bunn: Our villains in this book are members of a secret order of magicians, illusionists and escape artists. They want to know Houdini’s greatest secret—a secret he took beyond the grave—and they’re willing to kill to get it!

CBN: Are you a student of magical history or a fan of the late performer?

Cullen Bunn: I’ve always been interested in magical history and the great stage performers. Everyone thinks I’m joking when I say this, but my father was a very talented stage hypnotist for many years. So many elements of that lifestyle are fascinating to me. In this story, I try to delve into the “world” of performing magicians … and how it can seem somewhat otherworldly.

CBN: What is the difference between Cullen Bunn’s Shadow and other versions we know?

Cullen Bunn: I think every writer approaches the character a little differently while trying to be true to the pulp origins. This Shadow plays a little more mysteriously, I suppose, with an undercurrent of sardonic wit.

CBN: Where did you get your inspiration for your Shadow character and for this special story?

Cullen Bunn: Perhaps my earliest exposure to superhero stories was from The Shadow. My dad used to recount tales of the radio show he listened to when he was a boy. So, some of this story is drawn from those memories, as well as many of the pulp stories (The Shadow or otherwise) that I’ve read over the years.

CBN: Have you enjoyed working with Nick and the folks at Dynamite Entertainment?

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Cullen Bunn: No way! Those folks are awful! But they know my “true name” and if I don’t do as they command, they’ll banish me back to the underworld.

CBN: Cullen, do we know anything about the artist on this work so far?

Cullen Bunn: At this point, I don’t know who the artist for the book will be. Whoever it is, I hope he or she enjoys drawing crazy booby traps, esoteric artifacts, wild tigers, and lots and lots of gunplay! 

CBN: Is this a character that you would like to work with again?

Cullen Bunn: Absolutely! The Zero Issue really only whetted my appetite for more!

CBN: Cullen, any projects current or in the future you wish to discuss? One, say, coming up with Dynamite? (wink wink)

Cullen Bunn: I’ll give you points for trying! But I really can’t say too much about what’s in store. The projects on the horizon with Dynamite definitely play to my horror, pulp and action sensibilities, though.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Cullen Bunn, even keeping his secrets, for taking time out of his busy convention schedule to talk with us. Thanks also to Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.

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Exclusive Interview: Mark Waid unlocks the world of Gold Key’s Doctor Spektor

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A new (or rather old) master of the mystic arts returns to the comic book page in May when Dynamite Entertainment presents Doctor Spektor, written by Mark Waid (Daredevil, Indestructible Hulk) with art by Neil Edwards (X-Factor, Fantastic Four).

Unlike most of the comic book magic community, Doc Spektor dwells in a world full of vampires, werewolves and mad sorcerers, true … but he does so while also taking bows in the public spotlight. For cash!

To get to the heart of this seeming narcissistic necromancer, CBN M.E.Byron Brewer spoke exclusively to Waid about his plans for this returning Gold Key book.  

Cosmic Book News: Mark, how did this Gold Key returnee happen to fall to you?

Mark Waid: Nick and I had lunch at C2E2 2013 where he revealed to me his secret Gold Key plans, and he knows how much I love to dig into and re-think “forgotten” characters.

CBN: Any experience with the character as a writer or fan?

Mark Waid: Not as a writer, but I defy you to find a Silver or Bronze Age comics character I’m NOT familiar with. (smiles)

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CBN: Who is Adam Spektor and why should I as a reader be interested in his adventures?

Mark Waid: Adam Spektor, who lives in world in which ghost, ghouls, goblins and monsters are very real, is a celebrity monster-hunter who’s made a super-fortune as the star of his own reality series. He’s half-supernatural buster, half-performer, and he loves his job. At least, until he comes across something in his world that genuinely frightens him–and you can imagine that if vampires and werewolves are old hat to this guy how horrifying that “something” must be. I challenge you to guess what it is.

CBN: Are we more Doctor Strange or more Columbo in this current iteration?

Mark Waid: Doctor Strange meets Booster Gold.

CBN: Unlike a lot of our returning heroes, Doctor Spektor is under the public spotlight, a pop culture phenom. How does that work when you’re also a monster hunter, a detective and a secret necromancer?

Mark Waid: It works very, very lucratively. As I say, he’s made a fortune many times over–which is good, because ancient spells and potions do NOT come cheap.

CBN: Tell us about the Doctor’s world. Why the globe-hopping? What is he really searching for?

Mark Waid: He asks himself the same question at the beginning of issue #1. By issue’s end, he has the answer.

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CBN: And big-bads?

Mark Waid: A robot fighter, a dinosaur hunter, and a man of the atom.

CBN: How is it working with Neil Edwards?

Mark Waid: Great.  What energy this guy has! His work will knock you over.

CBN: What’s it like playing a key — get it, “key” — part of the return of the Gold Key Universe?

Mark Waid: I don’t … OH.  OH! It’s fun and it’s a privilege–Nick and editor Nate Cosby have put together a really stellar group of creators, so I have to up my game.

CBN: Mark, any projects present or future you would like to discuss?

Mark Waid: Still doing Hulk and Daredevil at Marvel; relaunching Insufferable and another project at my digital comics website, Thrillbent.com, in April; tinkering with another Dynamite project … I’m crazy busy, but that’s a good problem to have!

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Mark Waid for taking time out of his very busy schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.

“Doctor Spektor” #1 hits stores May 28th!

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Advanced Review: Magnus: Robot Fighter #1

The return of the Gold Key Universe continues Wednesday with the coming of Magnus: Robot Fighter #1 from Dynamite. And again, there is more to this first issue than you would ever expect. Need proof? Look no further than Turok.

As first revealed in my exclusive interview for Cosmic Book News with writer Fred Van Lente, chief protagonist Russell Magnus is a bit confused at first. He isn’t sure what he knows about himself is true. He thinks he grew up in a secluded mountain enclave where humans and robots live in perfect harmony, raised by an artificial intelligence called 1A. But soon Magnus awakes in the sprawling mega-city of North Am, where he’s told 1A is a dangerous terrorist and he is an illegal robot fighter.

What’s true, what’s not? Magnus does not know and neither do we, the readers. One thing we know for sure about this character, though, is that he can instantly spot the weak spot in any robot and dismember it with a well-placed strike. It is a skill that is going to be extremely useful if this first issue is setting him on the course I suspect.

There is much about cybernetics and robotics in this magazine here and going forward, as inspired by the Russ Manning Gold Key stories, but Van Lente also offers some kung fu action and lots of explosions. Take it from me, it is bad-ass and no where near boring.

Artist Corey Smith is amazing in these pages, creating a unique world in which Magnus will react and suffer and triumph. There is a great variety to the robots and those Ricky Steamboat-like chops of Magnus look awesome. Cannot wait to see #2!

This particular book is fascinating to me because there are layers of truth under layers of lies and no one, especially not Magnus, knows one layer from the other. A great tribute to the Gold Key books of yore, and a treasure for readers of today. 

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Exclusive: JT Krul brings female Cylon Six to life in new limited series

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What was the difference between the old TV version of Battlestar Galactica and its 2003 remake? Female Cylons! And from the world of Cylons, there is none more famous that Six.

Writer JT Krul will join artist Igor Vitorino in bringing Six to stunning comic book life in a five-issue limited series from Dynamite hitting stores in April.

To get to the bottom of this new mini, CBN M.E. Byron Brewer exclusively discussed the work with Krul on one of the many smaller ships in the Galactica armada.

Cosmic Book News: How did JT Krul come to be associated with this limited series?

JT Krul: I made it known to Nick and Joe that I loved the reimagined Battlestar series and would jump at the chance to write in that universe. As we talked, the notion of a Cylon origin story seemed to be a great aspect to explore. And, let’s face it – Number Six was one of the primary Cylon voices in the series.
 
CBN: To those BSG fans not familiar with the character of Six, it might sound kinda wacky to center a limited series around a Cylon. Your thoughts?

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JT Krul: If we were talking about the older model Cylons, then yes – a story about their origins might be odd, but the newer Cylons are designed to mirror us human beings – to look, act and feel like human beings. In a sense, the development of their different models is a study in what it means to be human. And that makes for a great story.

CBN: So, for the uninitiated, tell us about who and what the character of Six is.
 

JT Krul: As the Cylons developed several different human versions, they eventually created the model known as Number Six. In many ways, she was the most human of the initial Cylons – given the complex task of infiltrating humanity in order to sabotage their defense systems to allow for an easy assault. In the show, she is the first face of the new Cylons we (and the humans) see. She plays a pivotal role in much of the show and has several complex incarnations that deal directly with the complicated relationship the Cylons have with their creators – the same ones they want to destroy.

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CBN: What exactly will we be seeing in this limited series and during what part of Battlestar Galactica continuity does it take place?
 

JT Krul: In developing various models of humanoid Cylons, the real trick isn’t getting them to look human. It’s getting them to be human. In this story, Number Six will live and relive different experiences designed to give her that insight into the human psyche. She must learn to love and to hate. She must learn to cherish life and fear death. She must learn the true beauty and majesty of what it means to be human, but she must also realize why they should and must be destroyed.

CBN: Will we be seeing any of the regular BSG characters?

JT Krul: In the world of Cylons you will, but not in terms of the human characters from the show. 
 
CBN: Who’s the big-bad?[[wysiwyg_imageupload:13628:]]

JT Krul: That all depends. From the humans point-of-view, they might say Number Six herself is the big bad, while she might tell you it’s the humans that are the big bad. The show did a great job of blurring the lines between good and evil, and we are trying to do the same with this story. On a certain level, Number Six’s own fragmented mind is the real threat – gnawing away at her like an old song ringing in your head. One that you just can’t remember, but you know that you know it. 
 
CBN: Where does your inspiration come for this kind of science fiction story? From the TV series, the older comic book series?

JT Krul: I drew heavily from the reimagined television series. Over the past decade, it’s definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen – and probably shares the top spot with The Wire. What’s so great about the show and what I’ve tried to inject into the story is the inherent flaws that make us human. There were so many engrossing characters on the show, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, that it made the drama that much more real. The heroes were good, but not perfect. Even the so-called “villains” of the show brought a depth and nuance with them – often becoming even more complex than the humans they were trying to mimic.

CBN: So what does Igor Vitorino bring to the table?

JT Krul: His style is clean and direct and allows the emotions of the moment to play across the character’s faces. Obviously, there’s a lot of external turmoil within the story, but it’s amplified by the internal struggle within Number Six. Seeing that played out in the art really brings the story to life.

CBN: JT, are there any other projects present future you would like to discuss?

JT Krul: I’m continuing my long relationship with Aspen Comics, writing the current volume of Soulfire, and preparing to launch the second volume of my creator book Jirni in the spring. I’ve also recently released my first novel called The Lost Spark. It’s a fantasy adventure about the lost toys and trinkets we all once cherished as children and the secret power hidden within them.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank JT Krul for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Nick Barrucci of Dynamite Entertainment who helped make this interview possible.

“Battlestar Galactica: Six” #1 (of 5) hits stores in April!

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Review: Vampirella #38 (Last issue)

Vampirella #38 has an air of finality to it, albeit hurried up a might more than regular readers might like, and indeed this issue brings this current incarnation of the bloody bombshell to a close.

But I am sure it will not be long before we see covers with a scantily clad female vampire on it. Patience is its own reward …

… Well, except perhaps fior readers really interested in this Vampirella yarn and not just the covers, a number that includes this reader.

Brandon Jerwa has handled Vampirella with a deft hand, but unfortunately it seems he has much story and few pages (even at a 40-count), and this final issue of the series volume not only seems rushed but downright sparse.

Everyone has been waiting for the secrets of our heroine’s returned mom, but the shocks come too fast and furious, the pain that should be a great one is left hanging in staid air. Vampirella deserves better than this.

The craftsman Heubert Khan Michael does his best to follow Jerwa’s fast-paced script, but quiet moments are left out, painful moments the reader has waited for ignored for run-of-the-mill stuffing.

We will miss our blood-sucking trouble-shooter. Hope it is not for long?

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Exclusive: Jim Kuhoric celebrates 40 years of the Six Million Dollar Man

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Steve Austin.

Before there was Stone Cold, there was the Six Million Dollar Man, a bionic wonder who hit high speeds in slo-mo and threw cars that sounded like missiles as they sailed across the 1970s TV screen.

Now that cornerstone of Superhero TV, Six Million Dollar Man, will celebrate its 40th anniversary and finally have a sixth season courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment in a new comic book by writer Jim Kuhoric and artist Juan Antonio Ramirez.

To get the scoop on this anniversary milestone, Cosmic Book News M.E. Byron Brewer met exclusively with Kuhoric and asked about all things Steve Austin … bottom line. 

Cosmic Book News: First, Jim, were you a fan of the original Six Million Dollar Man TV series? It’s hard to believe it’s getting ready to celebrate a 40th anniversary.

Jim Kuhoric: You know, I think I might be one of the biggest Six Million Dollar Man fans there are.  I grew up with the series and Steve Austin was a huge influence in my life (and he still is to this day).  It is hard to believe that we are celebrating 40 years of the Bionic Man.  It has been far too long since the original Six Million Dollar Man has had new adventures in comics.  I loved the old SMDM Charlton comics and magazines.  Some of those issues had art by legends like Neal Adams and Steve Ditko that were nearly perfect at conveying the adventures.  As a kid I loved when every issue came out and I’m hoping that we can capture some of that magic in the new SMDMS6 series.          

CBN: How did you get attached to this celebratory series? Is it an ongoing or a limited series?

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Jim Kuhoric: I’ve been talking with Dynamite Entertainment’s Publisher, Nick Barrucci, about my passion for The Six Million Dollar Man for several years now.  I’m sure he was tired of my constant insistence that fans really wanted adventures set during the series original run.  But in the end the timing was right for us to revisit the classic Six Million Dollar Man continuity and give fans additional stories based on the era and likenesses of those characters.  I was one of several writers that pitched for the series.  When I turned in the story outline, bible, and episode guide for my proposal, it was approved by Dynamite and Universal as the official direction for the first story arc to reintroduce the series.  Finding out that I had the honor of bringing these characters back is really one of the highlights of my career in comics and as a fan of the show.

CBN: Is this book going to be another re-imagining of Steve Austin, or are we actually going to have continuity from the TV series? Fans want to know!

Jim Kuhoric: The Six Million Dollar Man Season Six is a direct sequel to the original television series.  Kevin Smith did a wonderful job of reimagining Steve Austin in the Bionic Man comic book.  He was able to take these concepts that we love and update them with new technologies and motivations.  But our series is true to the original television run.  We’ve gone back to the original age of bionics and picked up our adventures right from the last weekly episode that aired in 1978. This is Steve Austin in all his groovy 70s apparel and attitude.  Can you dig it?

CBN: What characters from the TV series can we expect to see in this book? Any new supporting characters?

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Jim Kuhoric: The Six Million Dollar Man Season Six is rich with characters from the original television series.  We have major recurring roles, spot cameos, and new developing characters as well.  Steve Austin’s world has a lot of recognizable faces and we will be seeing the majority of them in the pages of the new comic series: from Oscar Goldman to Rudy Wells to even Barney Hiller, the “Seven Million Dollar Man.”  We want to bring a sense of familiarity to the series and pay homage to the incredible variety of characters and actors that have been a part of this pivotal sci-fi program. 

CBN: What can you tell us about the first arc without any spoilers?

Jim Kuhoric: What I love most about The Six Million Dollar Man was how much fun it was.  Every time I think about my favorite episodes and characters I get this feeling that reminds me of what it was like to be a wide-eyed kid again and drinking in the imagination of the series.  We want to bring that sense of wonder to fans today and introduce new readers to one of the most significant original series to ever air.  In our first arc we will tear Steve Austin down.  He will face betrayal, corruption, Cold War enemies, familiar foes, and an alien menace like he has never encountered.  Steve will be forced to adapt to a world that seems determined to make him suffer.  We’ll be able to watch as he begins the slow climb out from the horrors heaped upon him.  And we will have all the fun of classic Six Million Dollar Man special effects and sound effects to bring back those nostalgic days of watching the Bionic Man on television.    

CBN: New big-bads?

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Jim Kuhoric: We have a lot of recurring characters in the series but one of the most important features of our arc is to give Steve new threats to face.  Honoring the past is a big part of our presentation for nostalgia sake.  But to really challenge a bionic man, you have to continually up the ante.  He’s fought unstoppable machines, androids, and Bigfoot – but we intend to give him a few more nemesis to encounter during the run of the Season Six arc.  And I hope that a few of them become mainstays in his adventures just like the bad guys from the original television series run. 

CBN: Will we see any of those funky 1970s visual or sound effects so part of the TV series in the book? And how to your accomplish that?

Jim Kuhoric: You can’t have The Six Million Dollar Man without the special effects and sound effects.  They were such an integral part of what made the show unique and innovative for the time period of its original production run.  I can’t tell you how many times my elementary school friends and I would run around in slow motion “da-na-na-na-na-ing” pretend fights and adventures.  It is a challenge to portray those features in a comic book, but we are finding fun and unique ways to accomplish the task.  From “slow motion” bionic panel sequences to running a scene together with sound effects to express the action effectively, we are experimenting with ways to bring those important features to life in the comic book.     

CBN: Tell us about the art of Juan Antonio Ramirez?

Jim Kuhoric: Juan Ramirez’s art is nothing short of incredible.  The first pages I saw were the two page intro spread that represents the classic Six Million Dollar Man montage opening sequence.  I knew right there that he was the man for the job.  His interpretation of the script had a beautiful originality to it and was very true to what I was looking for.  It’s this beautiful loose and flowing style that just seems to express exactly the gist of what the story is calling for.  Juan is a superstar in the making and I am honored to have him on the main art duties.

But what can I say about all of the contributors?  I mean Alex Ross doing the main covers still boggles my mind.  I’ve never had the pleasure of working with Alex before but I’ve been a fan of his ever since his first published work.  And the paintings he created for the series have been phenomenal.  He so beautifully captures the essence of the series with imagery that feels like it was created during the original television run. 

And I want to give a shout out to Ken Haeser for his work on the “Lil’ Dynamites” cover line.  His alternate covers on Six Million Dollar Man Season Six have such a joy to them that they really make me smile.  He’s a tremendous talent that I hope I can work more with in the future.  

CBN: Jaime Sommers …?

Jim Kuhoric: Ahh, Jaime.  Everyone loves the Bionic Woman.  Lindsay Wagner is such a charismatic actor and she brought a very organic life to Jaime Sommers.  If you remember how her character developed, she began as a guest star on The Six Million Dollar Man and spun out into her own series a short time later.  We approached Jaime’s role in SMDMS6 in the same way.  She is in the first arc of our story as a “guest star” and our plan is to build her role up in future issues.  If fans love the series, I would be thrilled to go back and do the same follow up series to the Bionic Woman

CBN: Jim, any other projects present or future you would like to discuss?

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Jim Kuhoric: The Six Million Dollar Man Season Six has really reinvigorated my creativity and I’m enjoying where it is going right now.  I would love to do a classic Bionic Woman continuing series if fans enjoy what we are doing on SMDMS6.  For that matter, I have a bunch of short stories for supporting characters that I’d love to give some time to.  Maybe we could get Dynamite to go for a Six Million Dollar Man Annual this year that we can use to do stories on Rudy, Jaime, Sasquatch, and all the other great characters from the series.  I think that’d be a lot of fun.

We are moving forward with a sequel to Dead Irons that I’m super excited about.  I recently had an opportunity to meet fans at the Virginia Comic Con and the reaction to Dead Irons really blew me away.  My friend and special effects artist Brody Williams transformed cosplay models into Silas and Annie Belle Irons in front of me at the show for an incredible photo shoot.  I walked away from that wonderful convention determined to get the next chapter of Dead Irons out this year. 

There are still a handful of properties that I would love to revisit.  If our friends at DC ever want to go back to the Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash universe, I have many more stories from those classic franchises to tell.  In fact … I have a Leatherface vs. Ash outline all done and waiting for the call.  

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Jim Kuhoric for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our nosy M.E. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci who helped make this interview possible.

“The Six Million Dollar Man: Season Six” #1 will hit stores March 12!

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Advanced Review: Battlestar Galactica #7

A mysterious galactic storm causes many in the armada headed for the fabled Thirteenth Colony to dream dreams of Earth, of its oceans and continents. And no one, not even the doctors of the fabled Galactica, know the reason why.

With his usual deft hand at cosmic story spinning, CBN fan fave writer Dan Abnett is doing wonders on this book dedicated to the former TV franchise, and making the characters of those great episodes come alive on the comics canvas.

Licensed properties can sometimes be stilted or without emotion, but this book reads like a script by the fabled Glen Larson for the series itself. The pacing is very Rod Serling-like, and the ever-present threat of Cylons and other enemies is never lost by our crew.

The art of Dietrich O. Smith, like that of Steve Ditko in a manner, loses something when human beings are the concentrated subject. But in the rendering of the armada, the Galactica, Planet Earth and space itself, Smith’s art is awe-inspiring and, like Gene Colan or again Ditko in mystic realms, has an eerie beauty all its own. The peeps just need some adjusting, Dietrich.

I am loving this continuation of the franchise and, while not as successfully done as BOOM’s Planet of the Apes books, Battlestar Galactica is a treat for the reader, fan of the TV series or not. 

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Advanced Review: Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives #1 (of 5)

Doom has fought beside the Fantastic Four. Luthor has teamed with Superman. So why is it hard to imagine one of literature’s most diabolical geniuses, Professor James Moriarty, working for the cause of good against an even more evil threat?

Actually, it isn’t, and that is what writer David Liss and artist Daniel Indro do in the five-issue limited series, Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives, the first issue of which is on sale next Wednesday.

Issue #1 takes place right after the Arthur Conan Doyle story, The Final Problem, in which both Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty presumably die in Switzerland. But what if the professor survived the fall? Where did he go?

Find out here!

In a gritty but fun book, Moriarty must use all his intellect and tricks against an opponent even more devilish than he. Liss keeps the tone of the book very period, and Indro is amazing with his presentation of Moriarty and his world.

Liss keeps the tale tight and full of suspense. “Noir” is overused these days, but that is just what this fun adventure is. For his part, Indro’s panel arrangements and gripping characters and facial expressions carry the tale well.

It seems odd to cheer for a villain, admittedly, but who hasn’t done such, even with the superhero set, every once in awhile?

Great read, especially for Holmes and mystery buffs. 

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Exclusive interview: Nancy Collins unleashes Sonja in a new one-shot!

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The queen of Sword & Sorcery is back as Red Sonja battles her way into a one-shot, Red Sonja: Berserker, come February by Nancy Collins and Fritz Casas.

A writer known more for her horror novels than comics, Collins has written for Swamp Thing, Jason vs. Leatherface, and a Predator graphic novel.

After conquering two dragons and a giant, our own sword-wielding M.E. Byron Brewer exclusively questioned the scribe about the coming one-shot.

Cosmic Book News: Nancy, tell us what intrigues you about the character of the swashbuckling Red Sonja.

Nancy Collins: Red Sonja was one of the first female comic book characters I can remember reading who was portrayed as being as daring and dangerous as her male counterpart–in this case, Conan the Barbarian. For the most part the others were simply weaker carbon-copies of pre-existing, more-popular heroes: Supergirl, Batgirl, Hawkgirl, etc. Those that were original characters, such as Invisible Girl, Saturn Girl, and Marvel Girl, usually sported ‘psychic’ abilities, as opposed to physical strength. Red Sonja was one of the few who physically threw down and went toe-to-toe against the baddies. That held a lot of appeal to a young, female teenaged reader like myself. It’s a real kick to finally get to write her, after all these years.

CBN: Tell us a little bit about what happens to the scarlet-tressed maiden in this one shot.

Nancy Collins: Well, in Red Sonja: Berserker, Sonja finds herself thrown into prison on trumped-up charges and is sold, along with some other prisoners, to a ‘promoter’ who stages gladiatorial fights for a living. Those who survive are guaranteed their freedom. The only problem is that no one has yet  to do so.

CBN: The gladiator arena seems to be one that’s very popular with comic book writers these days. What’s the intrigue?

Nancy Collins: Gladiator games were a very dark and fascinating part of human history. They combined sport, entertainment, theater, pageantry and death.  And they were very much an important and lucrative part of ancient society, not unlike modern sports or show business. One could argue you can still see it reflected in such modern amusements as Mixed Martial Arts. Bloodsport in the arena was what passed for popular entertainment among upper and lower classes alike. It served as their TV, movies and video games. Also, the gladiator arena has long been a staple of heroic fantasy fiction and historical fiction, as well–the drama of humans forced to fight to the death, either against one another or wild animals, is the most primal narrative of all.  

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CBN: I hear you will be bringing back a friend of Red Sonja for combat. Tell us about that and how that choice was made.

Nancy Collins: Yes, Red Sonja ends up being forced to fight an old friend she hasn’t seen in some time–one she was once quite close to. I wanted to tell  a story about her that showed not only her kick-ass side, but also highlighted her innate humanity and sense of fair play, as well as showcasing her loyalty towards those she calls her friends. The readers will get to see a tender side to Red Sonja, as well as the side that will avenge a fallen comrade.  

CBN: Is there anybody’s work that you are using is a model for your Red Sonja? Gail Simone? Roy Thomas?

Nancy Collins: I combined elements of Gail’s take on Red Sonja with Roy Thomas’ original version, with just a dash of spaghetti western, ala High Plains Drifter. Although I am better known for writing horror comics such as Swamp Thing, I grew up reading Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, Fritz Leiber and Leigh Brackett. Believe it or not, I know my way around a swashbuckle

CBN: What was the inspiration for this one shot?

Nancy Collins: I don’t want to give too much away, but the idea for the story was inspired by the cover for Legends of Red Sonja #1. You can see Sonja’s old friend hanging around in the background.

CBN: What can you say about the recent influx of female-driven comics and also a greater number of female writers in the industry?

Nancy Collins: About time, and more please, until it no longer seems ‘unique’ and we’re regarded simply as creators and not female-creators. We ARE half the human race, ya know. About time we got some representation up in this thing.

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CBN: Nancy, what other projects present or future would you like to tell us about?

Nancy Collins: The third book in my Golgotham urban fantasy series, Magic and Loss is out from Penguin right now. I’ve also got four of my Sonja Blue novels available in  revised and updated ebook format for Kindle and ePub readers such as Nook and iPhone/iPad. Sunglasses After Dark, In The Blood and Paint It Black are available from Premier Digital Publications, and A Dozen Black Roses is available from Biting Dog Publications. I also have a serial novel called Absalom’s Wake being published by Biting Dog–it’s a weird fantasy set on a 19th century whaling ship. I also expect to have the revised and updated ebook edition of my werewolf novel, Wild Blood, available on my ebook imprint Hopedale Press in time for the holidays. As for comics, I am looking forward to doing more work for Dynamite in the year to come, and the re-colored/revised graphic novel version of Sunglasses After Dark, drawn and colored by Stan Shaw and scripted by lit’l ol‘ me, is scheduled for a 2014 release from IDW.  

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Nancy Collins for taking time to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Josh Green who helped make this interview possible.

“Red Sonja: Berserker” #1 hits stores February 5th!

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Advanced Review: Grimm: The Warlock #1 (of 5)

You know the hit NBC television series. Now writer Jai Nitz and artist Jose Malaga bring it to the comic book world in the five-issue mini-series, Grimm: The Warlock. And what a mag it is!

The first issue hits stores next Wednesday, and follows the adventures of Nick Burkhardt, a Portland police detective who finds out he’s from a long line of monster-slayers called “Grimms.” From that foundation, the series immediately hops into the world of the TV show, only going it one better by exploring elements that only comics can do. And we are off!

Nick and his partner Hank face the usual stockpile of crimes as any urban lawmen, but also work to control the dangerous “Wesens” that are usually found at the heart of their cases. Those are the monsters, gentle reader.

Most of the Wesens on the show just want to be left alone, as regular viewers know. The only kind that doesn’t are the Hexenbiests (witches) and the Zauberbiests (male witches, or warlocks). They want to mix it up. So Nitz writes an active villain rather than a passive one, leading to his creation for this mini of The Warlock. 

While #1 really sets up the series nicely, establishing immediately that Dark Shadows-like atmosphere that is also urban gritty, I really like the art of Malaga. His storytelling ability is the best, and he puts in all the detail and mood that is needed but also layers it over a solid framework of sequentials.

For a finite series, this one really hits the mark of possibly becoming an ongoing. Great read!

“Grimm: The Warlock” #1 (of 5) hits stores December 11th!

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Advanced Review: Doc Savage #1

Doc Savage as a character has had many “starts” in modern day comics, but the prince of pulp has a most unusual adventure here that spells mystery and entertainment in days to come.

Chris Roberson, who admits he loves the character and has been waiting for an opportunity to write the Doc, hops into this mag with an enthusiasm seldom seen in comics these days. Everything is fresh feeling yet familiar, if that makes sense. Read Dynamite’s Doc Savage #1 and you will know what I mean.

To the uninitiated, Doc was raised from the crib to be the pinnacle of mental and physical human perfection, and travels the world using science and his muscles to right wrongs and liberate the innocent. With his team of able associates, the Fabulous Five, at their headquarters atop the tallest building in the world, the Doc tirelessly pursues justice.

In this title, we first meet Doc and his crew in 1933, not long after the debut of Doc Savage Magazine. Things are up, and although Doc and his Fab Five are on the case there is something missing, something they do not know.

This story will gradually move forward through the decades, Roberson promises, in a series of stand-alone adventures that build to a larger tapestry. But as far as #1 is concerned, the writer is planting seeds for the current scenario.

The wonderfully throwback art of Bilquis Evely follows Doc and his associates through the mystery of #1, which comes to a very powerful and shocking conclusion. I know I will be back for issue #2. Also fine is the color palette of Daniela Miwa, who does it right with colors of the day: brights where needed, dark noir when called for. A great mixture, as is Doc Savage himself.

Looks like the Doc is in!

“Doc Savage” #1 hits stores next Wednesday, December 11th!

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Advanced Review: Warlord of Mars #29

Betrayal. It always stings.

Even though you might have seen it coming, in this chapter of Warlord of Mars’ “Savages of Mars” arc there is a terrible discovery that leads John Carter to question everything he has done on the Red World.

Betrayal most foul, and even the suspecting and critical Tars Tarkas is caught unawares by the answer John Carter and he have been seeking since the beginning of the storyline.

As usual, writer Arvid Nelson manages to take the obvious and familiar and wrap it with a mystery inside an enigma. Warlord of Mars is not only a great sci-fi and pulp salute to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ immortal Carter, it is swiftly becoming a deeply involving mystery/detective mag of a sort. It is very “interactive” with its sleuthing, as they say today.

Nelson has each character’s voice, and even the same species of Martians are as distinctive as the characters in your favorite episodic TV drama. Wonderful characterizations amid discoveries, betrayals and murder most foul.

Rafael Lanhellas does a fantastic job with the art, and it is truly a feast for the mind and eye. The techniques used by the artist – from panel arrangement to body design – carry Nelson’s story fluidly and it is a great combination to behold.

Carter may be the ultimate winner at the end of this arc, but in #29 the readers are the winners as this penultimate episode winds towards a climax.

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Advanced Review: Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck #1 (of 4)

As exclusively reported by Cosmic Book News months ago, Dynamite Entertainment in a major move signed New York Times bestselling writer Tony Lee (Doctor Who, The Gloom) to write a mini-series focusing on Battlestar Galactica’s Starbuck character.

That four-issue mini hits stores next Wednesday and is cosmically delicious, as one would expect with fantastic art by Eman Casallos.

Battlestar Galactica mavens will love this book, and so will our fans of space opera.

The origin (finally!) of Lt. Starbuck unfolds as he becomes a Viper pilot, meets future podna Apollo and becomes like a son to the great Adama. Why? Now you will know!

Along the way, Lee sneaks in a great bunch of detective derring-do as the hero discovers what really occurred when he was orphaned. All this leads Starbuck on a search for a traitor, one tied to the very core concept of the former television series.

There is adventure, familiar and unfamiliar faces, and even some dark humor which all explain the development of the Starbuck that was the most beloved character of Galactica.

Casallos’ imaginative panel layouts, wonderful facial expressions and starry space scapes carry Lee’s script to perfection. And while there may be an odd panel here or there, Casallos does a fantastic job of matching the comic’s looks to the fondly recalled TV series, even as do the artists on BOOM! Studios’ Planet of the Apes books.

I would not be surprised if this effort leads to a new Starbuck book. Whether Lee or DnA (Battlestar Galactica) write it, the ultimate winners will not be the Cylons but the readers. Highly recommended.

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Exclusive: Peter Milligan brings new ongoing, Terminal Hero, to Dynamite

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Dynamite Entertainment in a major SDCC announcement today said that multi-award-winning scribe Peter Milligan (Bad Company, Enigma, X-Force) will be writing a new ongoing comic book series called Terminal Hero.  

Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer was the first reporter to buttonhole Milligan and exclusively discuss working away from the Big Two and also the 411 on his new curiously-titled series.

Cosmic Book News: Peter, I guess the first thing to say is, welcome to Dynamite! (laughs) How did signing with Dynamite come about?

Peter Milligan: Why, thank you. My entering into a project with Dynamite came about because I’ve known Nick Barrucci for a number of years, from back in the days of X-Statix. We’ve spoken on a more or less casual basis about possibly doing a project together sometime and things finally fell into place.

CBN: You are no stranger to writing top titles for the Big Two. Will you be exclusive with Dynamite or continuing to have work with DC, Marvel and others?

Peter Milligan: I’ve recently been exclusive to DC and after a period of monogamy I’m enjoying playing the field. DC and I are still friends — I’m working on a new project with Vertigo/DC as we speak. It’s called The Discipline — but right now I’m also having fun working up new properties with different publishers. Like Dynamite.

CBN: What is it about Dynamite Comics that seems to fit you well as a writer?

Peter Milligan: What appealed is the freedom to write what I wanted to write and not feel constrained in any way, which means I can really dig deep into the story I’m writing and allow it to take its natural form. I can be a pretty twisted bastard, and I’m looking forward to expressing that in my work for Dynamite.

CBN: I know it’s early, but what sort of projects would you like to do for Dynamite?

Peter Milligan: I am working on a project right now. It’s called Terminal Hero.

CBN: Really? Can you tell us anything about the book as far as the art is concerned?

Peter Milligan: Well, I’ll be working with Jae Lee on the design of the characters and look of the characters, which I’m really excited about. I’m also looking forward to working with an artist with whom I haven’t worked before.

CBN: What else can you tell us about Terminal Hero?

Peter Milligan: It’s about this guy — our Terminal Hero — and his journey as he tries to deal with a series of shocking events that turn his life upside down. It starts with a brain tumor and the prognosis that he only has a few months to live. In his dark, violent, drug and sex-fuelled quest to live he discovers new things about himself. Things he probably didn’t want to know.

This might sound a little somber — a hero being told he’s only got a short while to live — but it’s anything but. It’s good dark dirty fun, combining horrific elements and what you might call modern supernatural. I think the story will have a lot of the weird, dark and edgy qualities that I’m known for. But it does attempt to look at some BIG QUESTIONS about modern life and I suppose the human condition. How good are you? More to the point … how bad are you? And is it possible to be any kind of hero in today’s ironic, amoral age?

CBN: In terms of philosophy, what for a writer is it like to work with a company like Dynamite as opposed to writing for DC or Marvel?

Peter Milligan: That’s a hard one to answer, because working for DC or Marvel can vary greatly depending on what kind of project you’re working on. Writing a storyline in Thor or Red Lanterns is very different from the Vertigo creator-owned work I’m doing at the moment in The Discipline. I haven’t worked with Dynamite long enough to really know their “philosophy” too intimately, except to say that I really responded positively to the freedom they want to give the writer to go where he wants to go. This seems to suggest a refreshing attitude towards the creative process.

CBN: Peter, is there any other projects or works outside Dynamite you would care to discuss?

Peter Milligan: As I said, I’m working on The Discipline for Vertigo. That’s being drawn by Leo Fernandez who’s producing some of the best work of his life. All I want to say here is that I’m incredibly excited about this project. It’s what you might call a modern off-beat take on the erotic thriller. Got a few other possible things in the pipeline but would rather not talk about that until it gets firmed up.

Comic Book News would like to thank Peter Milligan for taking the time to answer our questions. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci who helped make this interview possible.

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Exclusive: Tony Lee to pen limited series featuring BSG’s Starbuck For Dynamite

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Dynamite Entertainment in a major announcement today said that New York Times bestselling writer Tony Lee (Doctor Who, The Gloom) will be writing a mini-series focusing on Battlestar Galactica’s Starbuck character.

Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer was the first reporter to buttonhole Lee and exclusively discuss the Starbuck limited series.

Comic Book News: Tony, is this mini-series for Starbuck a project you pitched to Dynamite?

Tony Lee: Funnily enough, it’s one that if I’d thought of it I would have pitched — but I never did. I assumed that with the Abnett and Lanning Battlestar Galactica series, this was simply off limits for a while. Luckily for me it was after a conversation with Nick on a totally unrelated project that the suggestion for a Starbuck Year One kind of story came up. Once it did, there was no way in hell I was letting him forget he’d mentioned it.

CBN: Are you a fan of the Battlestar Galactica franchise, celebrating 35 years now?

Tony Lee: Absolutely. I remember being taken to see Saga of a Star World at my local theatre by my brother Kevin, and being massively excited when I learned that there were more stories of these guys out there. I used to have the “photo books” that were all the rage in the ‘70s and I’d read and re-read them constantly. I was the kid who understood why Dirk Benedict did the double-take as the Cylon Centurion walked past him in the A-Team credits after the third season. And of course I’ve enjoyed the re-imagining that’s revitalized the characters over the last few years.

Funnily enough, I was supposed to be at ComicPalooza in Houston this year but had to cancel due to house moving issues, but one of the things I really wanted to do while there was go to Galacticon 3, which was a sister convention on the same site, as the green room for both conventions was shared. Out of the original series I’ve only met Richard Hatch at a SDCC a few years ago, so it was quite a disappointment to miss it. It was even more of one when good friend Frazer Hines (Jamie in Doctor Who) kept sending me photos of him and Dirk Benedict together, smoking cigars.

I hate Frazer Hines.

And of course Jane Seymour (Serina in the show) comes from Hayes in West London, where I was born, so you always have to support the local lass, don’t you …

CBN: How will you be approaching the character of Starbuck? Will it be in keeping with the continuity of the original TV series? (I am assuming Starbuck WILL be male? laughs)

Tony Lee: Well, the biggest thing about this series is that it’s set two Yahren (years) before the attack on Cimtar that started the series, so it’s not really a case of having to worry that much about continuity, as everything we know in the show hasn’t happened yet. What is important, however, is ensuring that the dominos are laid out correctly so that it matches up eventually with the show.

The first issue starts during the Cylon attack of Umbra, which is where Starbuck was orphaned as a small child (although he meets his biological father again many years later) and works all the way up to his graduation as a Colonial Warrior. We get to see how he meets Apollo, what his connection to Adama is, and we see his first meeting with Adama’s daughter Athena (who he has a relationship with before the show begins), things which for me as a fan was something I really wanted to look at, as these were things never really explored due to the show being cancelled after one season.

Starbuck had to get his cigar (or fumerello) smoking habit from someone, after all!

So we see Starbuck grow from a scared and feral five-year-old all the way to his twenties. Then, in issue #2 we jump another few years, until we’re almost at the point where the show starts, and we begin the real story, which starts with Starbuck in a very bad place.

CBN: Any particular plot threads from either the TV series or comics you are especially happy to be bringing into this mini?

Tony Lee: Well, although we’re not working on established threads that stem for the show, we do provide a lot of Easter eggs for the Galactica fan, as this is effectively a flashback story read with hindsight. For example Apollo’s brother Zac is a main character, and we know he dies at the start of the pilot episode, so there are some bittersweet moments where we see him wanting so hard to emulate his older brother, not knowing what the future holds. Starbuck at one point is helped by a certain and unlikely future member of the Council of Twelve which was incredibly fun to write, we show Adama and Tigh from when they were Colonial Warrior wingmen and we have a lot of cameos from the cast.

At the end of the day, I wanted to have this as a fun read for the long-term fan of the show, yet at the same time create a solid stand-alone story for someone who’s never seen the series before.

CBN: Are there any other influences in comics, TV or other media that might influence the manner in which you tell this tale? Any favorites?

Tony Lee: I sat and watched every episode of the TV show, including Galactica 1980 before I started writing the story, so I suppose that’s really influenced the comic, but apart from that I’ve really just hammered down to create a comic as close to the original series as I possibly could, while taking the elements and making them work for a modern audience. Which sounds easier than it is, as I also had to ensure that I kept away from the Galactica reboot aspects, which did a very similar thing.

CBN: Tony, can you tell us about the storyline of this mini-series?

Tony Lee: Well, without giving too much away, it’s very much a potted history of Starbuck, from child to man. The one event that created him in fire and pain was the Cylon attack of Umbra, a farming community on Caprica, where thousands died. As a graduate he learns from a freighter pilot that someone let the shields down that night and years later he starts to piece together what happened, realizing that a member of the Council of Twelve is not only to blame, but is still working for the Cylons.

And of course nobody believes him, so he’s forced to prove it himself.

And while he does this the Aerian Councilor Osiris, the traitor he’s hunting, frames Starbuck for murder, sending him on the run with only Apollo, Adama and a few others standing beside him as he pieces together what happened that night, hunting a rogue Cylon basestar with his friends and an ambitious Tylium magnate named Baltar who offers his help. And shenanigans ensue. Anything else and I’ll be shot!

CBN: You’ve spoken of the Cylons. Will they be the primary big-bads or will we be seeing some new villains? New faces?

Tony Lee: Oh, you couldn’t have a Battlestar Galactica story without the Cylons being the bad guys. They’re on the page from the first scene all the way to the last. And as for new faces, we have a few including the aforementioned Osiris and his daughter Diana. There should be interesting times ahead for those two.

CBN: What would you like readers to get out of this mini-series?

Tony Lee: Honestly? I want them to enjoy the original Battlestar Galactica rather than compare it to its later counterpart. It’s very easy for someone in this day and age to state that it was hokey and a bit rubbish, like so many of the other sci-fi films and shows of the time that tried to follow the Star Wars behemoth, but what the people who say this neglect to really examine is the heart of the show, the characters in the show and the relationships that keep them together.

For me, that’s the one thing I want to get out of this series, the friendships and the sacrifices that people are willing to make for people that they love.

That and the fact that Starbuck and Apollo are bad-ass pilots!

CBN: Are there any projects current or in the future you would like to discuss?

Tony Lee: Well, apart from this I’m working on Dead Man’s Hand, a four-part story for Doctor Who and IDW, which comes out from issue #13 and involves the Doctor and Clara meeting Calamity Jane, Oscar Wilde and an undead Wild Bill Hickok among other things. At San Diego I have the collected Graphic Novel of The Gloom launched at the Arcana booth (in conjunction with MTV who ran the series online as a serial in 2011-12) and that’ll be great to finally see. I have another annual from Dynamite that I really enjoyed writing that’s hopefully due to be announced soon and my Image MacGyver series that I co-wrote with Lee Zlotoff comes out in October as a collected trade.

Apart from that, there’s nothing else I can mention without half a dozen NDA lawyers breaking my fingers …

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Tony Lee for talking with us. We would also like to thank Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci and Kevin Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.

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Exclusive interview: Writer Andy Diggle talks about his new book Uncanny, crime in comics, and more!

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It is a fact that lovers of cosmic comics are also usually lovers of crime drama, and for many of us it is the 1940s Bogie style we love: gritty, street smart and violent.

A market in comics is growing for crime mystery, and a new offering to this is Dynamite Comics’ Uncanny by writer Andy Diggle (Hellblazer, Daredevil, The Losers) and artist Aaron Campbell (Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow).

To get to the bottom of this noir concoction, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively got a booth in the back at Lefty’s and had a discussion with Diggle.

Cosmic Book News: Andy, how did this project in Dynamite’s new Crime Line come about?

Andy Diggle: It was pretty simple — they asked! I’ve enjoyed writing genre books like The Losers, Rat Catcher, Six Guns and Green Arrow: Year One (which I approached as an action thriller rather than a superhero comic), and I guess it shows.

CBN: The thrillers you mention, like The Losers and Rat Catcher, had a great feel and were well received. Can you compare Uncanny with those works?

Andy Diggle: The Losers was heavy on the action whereas Rat Catcher was more of a procedural — although it did have the requisite amount of gunfights and exploding helicopters! Uncanny is somewhere in between — gritty noir in tone, with a balance of action and drama. The difference is that Uncanny also has this slight supernatural undercurrent which allows me to zig-zag off in unexpected directions.

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CBN: Tell us about Uncanny’s character Weaver.

Andy Diggle: He’s a professional gambler, con-man and thief for hire. On the surface he seems to have it all — looks, skill, confidence, swagger — but we quickly learn that it’s all just a front. His amazing jack-of-all-trades skills are not really his own — he has this ability to steal other people’s knowledge, abilities and expertise for a limited time, and use them to execute his plan. But the clock’s always ticking. He has to complete his mission before the stolen skills fade and he goes back to being a regular Joe. He lives this completely disposable lifestyle, always moving, but there’s no safety net under him. He’s hollow inside. We join him at a point in his life where he’s forced to confront these aspects of himself that maybe aren’t so pretty.

CBN: Are there any special foes he faces? Is he the only one with paranormal powers in the stories?

Andy Diggle: He thinks he’s unique, but he quickly learns that there are other people out there with abilities even weirder than his own. He’s never really questioned where he got this power from — he figures, “Don’t mess with a winning streak.” It’s only once he starts losing that he’s forced to start finding out the truth about his own origins.

CBN: What can we expect from Uncanny as it goes forward?

Andy Diggle: After a run of bad luck, Weaver finds himself in a corner and takes a job that will lead him to team up with other players with uncanny abilities, who are trying to find the source of their own powers. Cue action, intrigue, heists, betrayals, sex and violence. All the good stuff, in other words.

CBN: Do you have any certain inspirations for your crime writing? Was there a particular work that inspired Uncanny?

Andy Diggle: My aspirations are simply to entertain with a brain. I love genre comics and movies, and I hate it when they say, “Leave your brain at the door.” I like my brain where it is, y’know? I try to spin an entertaining yarn that doesn’t insult the intelligence of the reader.

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CBN: What about the art of Aaron Campbell? Did you see his work on The Shadow?

Andy Diggle: I did, and it was great. He’s the perfect choice for this kind of book — his line work has all the grit and shadow you want for a noir book, but the action choreography is still crisp and clear. It’s the perfect combination.

CBN: Do think there is a strong place for crime drama in the comics market?

Andy Diggle: There does seem to be. I think books like 100 Bullets, Criminal and the underrated Stray Bullets really kicked the doors open and showed comics fans there’s more for them than just the monthly corporate spandex grind. Crime is hugely popular in film, TV and literature, and there’s no reason that shouldn’t be true of comics too.

CBN: Any current or future projects you would like to mention?

Andy Diggle: I’m having a blast writing Thief of Thieves with Robert Kirkman at Image, and Doctor Who at IDW. I’m also lining up a couple of new projects that I can’t talk about yet, including a possible second crime book at Dynamite. It’s fun being able to play the field.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Andy Diggle for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions, and we also thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Josh Green who helped make this interview possible.

“Uncanny” #1 launches from Dynamite in June!

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