Dynamite Entertainment

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Review: Black Bat #2

Tony Quinn continues his battle for redemption as he tries to solve the month-long kidnapping of the city’s police officers in Black Bat #2.

Writer Brian Buccellato continues his storytelling method established in the premiere issue as he peels the layered past of Quinn slowly like an onion, relating it to the mysteries he is facing today.

Silk has slid into a dual sidekick/”Alfred” role, if you will allow the bat-ref from another universe, aiding and abetting Quinn in his efforts to crack the cop-knapper caper.

Artist Ronan Clique more than carries his load as he frames Quinn’s flashback in brilliant vignettes relating to the actions of today, his panel arrangements keeping the excitement at a fever pitch!

Kudos also to the color palette of Mat Lopes, who keeps the noir dark and gritty but who doesn’t mind bringing the bright tones during gun fights and the terrific explosions.

Dynamite has a winner here, and the continuing redemptive adventures of former drug lawyer Tony Quinn are ones I want to follow, as Black Bat works his way slowly to the top of the Snate crime empire.

Pick this one up.

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Rob Williams Miss Fury #2 Writers Commentary

Dynamite Entertainment sent over the following Rob Williams Miss Fury #2 writers commentary.

Follow along the preview pages as Rob Williams talks about his ideas for the book as well as the script.

Miss Fury #2 is currently in stores now and available on Dynamite.com.

You can also check out the Miss Fury #1 writers commentary.

And Miss Fury #3 is on sale now.

 

Pg 1

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We open with a sense of Miss Fury’s fractured sanity and a play on her penchant for self-harm. The figures flit between different characters in our cast. The old Nazi scientist she saw on the rooftop before falling into the time machine in #1. Captain Chandler, her lover, Harmon, the OSS agent she encountered on the rooftop. Who is friend or foe. She has no idea. Can she trust any of these people? Are they real? And through it all the key question of her journey. Good or evil. Which way will she turn by our story’s end? And Marla Drake, Miss Fury’s true identity, exists in the 1940s at the time of a great world war. Everyone has a choice to make – either you fight against evil, or you fight for it.

PG 5

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My guilty pleasure in comics is plane-crashing sequences. I’ve written a few over the years. They’re just so cinematic. This is nicely drawn by Jack Herbert. Miss Fury shoots the lead pilot of the Messerschmitt 262 through the head with her ‘Sienkiewicz ‘ Sniper Rifle(tm), but as he dies his plane crashes into his colleagues’ and the two of them form a mass of flame and explosion that is suddenly rolling right down this future Manhattan street right towards Miss Fury.

PG 7

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Again, I love how comics allow you to break down this sort of action sequence. Miss Fury escapes the ball of flame by using the ejector seat of another crashed fighter jet. It shoots her up into the sky but she’s not strapped in and is hanging on for her dear life. But her shoulder dislocates with the force and she falls from a huge height, seemingly to her death… only to land on the roof of a nearby building. This is Die Hard-type stuff. Out of the frying pan into the fire, then into another fire. Its what I wanted Miss Fury to be: on the one hand a (hopefully) sophisticated character piece about a troubled woman doubting her sanity, and on the other hand a big gonzo Hollywood action movie with big set-pieces.

PG 9

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Really like this page. Jack draws some very good talking head scenes. His character reference work is obviously very strong. Miss Fury’s body position here from the middle of the page on shows she’s not just going to sit there and be passive. Her final panel (which is great) shows the anger and attitude and a degree of insanity. I like the way he’s drawn Harmon’s strong finger in panel five too. ‘I’m in charge. Sit the hell down.’ There’s some strong visual storytelling here on a ‘dialogue’ page.

PG 10

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Such is her strength she can kick a table through a reinforced false-mirror wall. And then the ghost of the Old Nazi Scientist is standing there. But is she the only one who sees him. “You sent me through time, you Nazi bastard!” That’s a fun spot of dialogue.

PG 12

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Jack draws a nice ass, you can’t deny. I was really pleased with how this scene turned out. It’s a bit of a tantalising misdirect. We start out with the nude shot. The largely amoral Miss Fury in bed with her lover, Captain Chandler. But instead of this going to a soft-porn place, their conversation turns towards how Chandler got so badly burnt, and then he gets to the heart of her. Strips through the attitude. He tells her she’s a good person and she’ll find something she cares about enough to fight for. No one has ever said these things to her before.

PG 16

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Again, a cool page by Jack. When we started this project I suggested The Newsroom’s Olivia Munn as the basis for Marla Drake/Miss Fury ‘if it were a movie’. You can see that here in panel one. The final panel, with Miss Fury pulling her mask down, is great too. Going to work. Going to a murderous place. Even if she’s not 100% sure if her target really is a time-travelling Nazi, shape-shifting agent.

PG 18

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Flashing between different eras here. Pivotal moments. Miss Fury with the Sienkiewicz Rifle ™ in the broken future where the Nazis have won World War 2 and conquered America, the recurring image of the key telegram that brings Miss Fury some pivotal news, and then the old Nazi scientist, and the words he spoke to her before she fell into the time machine. “Ask yourself this, Who exactly are you REALLY being asked to kill? And by whom?” Cryptic, isn’t it?

PG 20

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RELIEF! The guy she just shot was actually a time-travelling Nazi, shape-shifting agent. On the minus side, she’s now being chased by time-travelling Nazi, shape-shifting agents. Big, terrifying, armoured ones. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

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Rob Williams Miss Fury #1 Writers Commentary

Dynamite Entertainment sent over the following Rob Williams Miss Fury #1 writers commentary.

Follow along the preview pages as Rob Williams talks about his ideas for the book as well as the script.

Miss Fury #1 is currently in stores now and available on Dynamite.com.

 

PG 1

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“Everyone is doing themselves a weak and cowardly disservice if they don’t ask themselves this question… What are YOU angry about?” Start a storyline with the controlling idea front and centre. It’s on the nose, yes, but it’s effective. And this was the key question for Miss Fury when I approached the book. She’s called ‘fury’ yet she’s a super rich Manhattan socialite who’s incredibly good looking. What’s she got to be angry about? Over the course of the first arc – that’s the core question. And we open in 1943. The world’s at war. America’s at war. Millions dying and suffering. Yet Marla Drake’s life is all roses. She hasn’t found herself yet.

“Anger is an energy,” was something I wrote in the pitch, stealing from John Lydon.

And that telegram in panel 3 is a flashback, by the way. To a key moment in her journey towards her own anger. We’ll find out more as we go.

PG 2 

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My first draft of the script I started things further on with some character-setting dialogue, but then I decided this was an issue one, we probably needed some action straight out of the blocks.

More punching. And kicking. This is a superhero book.

We’re establishing here that a) Miss Fury is a fearsome, superhumanly quick fighter (she twists an assailant around in time to get his body to take the bullets meant for her – that’s quick). And b) she’s not a squeaky clean, morally black and white figure. She’s slashing and drawing blood here.

Also: Jack Herbert, our seriously impressive artist, is establishing that he can draw an action sequence really, REALLY well.

PG 3 

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She catches a knife in mid-air and returns it at the thrower, getting him right between the eyes!

You know, for kids!

When I saw these pages in B&W I was delighted. I hadn’t worked with Jack before but there’s a real fluidity to the action here, and Miss Fury looks terrific in panel 4. Lots of swagger there. The colours are wonderful too. Ivan Nunes did a killer job on the book. Really talented colourist.

Love the ‘Thunk!’ sound effect there too. Nice job by Simon Bowland, our letterer, throughout.

PG 6 

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The idea here was, on a kind of suggestive level, that Miss Fury doesn’t just fall through the skylight into the Nazi’s time machine, but the time machine rather pulls her through. It wants her. None of this is established in text, and to have her saying “It almost feels like it… wants me,” would’ve been plain bad writing. A bit of ambiguity here and there isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I think. Let readers fill in the blanks as long as the narrative us clear. Even if no one gets what the intention was, she still falls into the time machine so the plot is serviced.

The whole idea of Miss Fury’s time travel in the arc is so personal to her. It’s meant to be ambiguous to an extent. Is she really travelling through time or is she still in 1943 and insane?

PG 9

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Jack drew this to be a real highlight of the issue. And it’s completely different from the script and what I imagined. But who cares when it looks this amazing.

The script called for a side-on shot of an art deco bath, which sits in the middle of a huge room in Miss Fury’s Manhattan apartment. The idea being that this room is enormous but she’s kind of so emotionally empty that there’s nothing in it, just a luxury bath. Jack changed the angle, the sense of this huge room with just a small bath in it. But she’s still wearing the gloves in the bath (that’s not for ‘cool and sexy’ aesthetic reasons, we’ll reveal why later). She’s reading the ’43 newspaper, and the contradiction of the salubrious image and the dialogue “there’s a war on, you know. It’s a terrible business” is still there. I don’t mind an artist changing what I’ve asked for as long as the narrative point is served. It is here.

And it looks fantastic. So shut up Mr. Writer.

PG 13 

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Miss Fury’s new origin. Her voice is more than a little tongue-in-cheek here. “The implicit local hallucinogenic…” “he may have just been trying it on.” The humour hopefully lifts this scene beyond being the typical superhero origin. And I liked the fact that she isn’t 100% sure if she has superpowers. It’s, again, a little ambiguous.

PG 14 

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Sex Panther! It stings the nostrils. Is the panther real? She doesn’t know.

Although, she is covered in blood during sex in the final panel, so there’s a hint. She’s a dark one, eh? I wanted to show her as being in control here. She drives the action. Titillating? Yes. But true to her character. These are all little snapshots of Marla Drake. The entire initial arc is something of a jigsaw puzzle for her and, hopefully, by the end of the first storyline, you have something of a three-dimensional woman.

And who among us can say that we haven’t had sex with a Masai tribesman while under the influence of a powerful hallucinogen and covered in the blood of a MASSIVE jungle cat that we’ve just killed in hand-to-paw combat? I know I have.

PG 18 

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Who’s this bloke then? Badly burnt face? He’s a super-villain, surely.

This is Captain Chandler. Who’ll make a big difference in Marla Drake’s life. A key figure in her journey.

Great faces in the crowd scene behind Captain Chandler. Jack does great faces..

And there’s that telegram again in panel three. If it repeats like this, it’s a key moment.

PG 21

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And suddenly we’re in a scene from Modern Warfare. Tanks, guns, jet fighters, a street scene where Manhattan’s been turned into Chechnya. Romance is very much over and Miss Fury’s suddenly thrust into war. Her war.

And something big overhead is blocking out the sun. That can’t be good. The script, by the way, asked for her to be carrying a ‘Sienkiewicz rifle’, as in Bill. I used the same phrase in an issue of Daken: Dark Wolverine and it’s become shorthand for an impossibly large and deadly weapon. The language of comics… I’m going to keep using it.

Covers:

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Exclusive Interview: Mark Waid Lights The Fuse Under Dynamite’s New Green Hornet book

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Writer Mark Waid, who has made us see other sides of both Daredevil and the Indestructible Hulk at Marvel, has already begun chronicling for Dynamite the adventures of one of 1940s radio and film serials’ greatest crime fighters, the Green Hornet!

To get to the uniqueness of his iteration of the character, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively parked his own black beauty (in reality a 1973 Mustang that no longer has any paint) in back of a noir alleyway to quiz the incredibly busy Waid.   

Cosmic Book News: Relaunches of the Green Hornet mythos seem to be as numerous as those of Red Sonja, yet Dynamite has rebooted both in recent days. How is the Green Hornet #1 that came out in March different from other iterations?

Mark Waid: As much as I’ve loved the other Dynamite iterations, I think this one’s a little closer to the core concept: it’s not a superhero book, it’s a crime book. It’s about a seeker of justice who’s posing as the world’s first supervillain in order to spy on crime from the inside.

CBN: Mark, how did you become involved with the effort to reopen a new chapter for the crime fighter?

Mark Waid: Nick and I have been trying to find something to work together on forever, and late last year I remembered I’d had a Green Hornet story in the back of my head for ten years or better, and a fresh take on the character. Nick let me run with it!

CBN: In just a short time, you have expanded on Kato’s role considerably. Tell us about that.

Mark Waid: I still like him as the conflicted one — is he sidekick? Partner? Employee? Equal? — but the one thing we added to the mythos is that Kato is also a master of disguise, which helps the Hornet immensely in his crusade to remind criminals that he’s one of them since Kato can impersonate the Hornet’s “victims” and play along when Hornet’s called upon to prove his villainy. Kato can be the nosy cop that Hornet “pushed off a pier” before the eyes of gangland. Kato can be the rival ganglord that Hornet “shot and killed” before a slew of eyewitnesses. Kato does this for the Hornet. But that doesn’t mean he enjoys it.

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CBN: What is it about pulp characters that seems to bring out such enthusiasm in comics writers … and readers?

Mark Waid: There’s a primal nature to them. They can be complex without being complicated or mired in decades of continuity. They can act forcefully and worry about the consequences later.

CBN: So where does Brit Reid exist in the Hornet’s world? What is your take on the man behind the mask?

Mark Waid: To me, the book is about Britt, not about his alter-ego. My take on Britt is that he’s young Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper publisher eager to use the bully pulpit of the press to punish the bad guys. His newspaper is one of his tools. Hornet is the other. But his vulnerability is that he’s become a little too fond of his own efforts and his own press; his ego’s threatening everything, his growing belief that he’s infallible.

CBN: I remember the Black Beauty car from the 1960s Green Hornet TV show; it was so cool, like those James Bond cars? Will we see more of the auto here?

Mark Waid: Oh, dear God, yes. I’ll do a whole issue based on the Beauty.

CBN: Any new big-bads in the alleyways?

Mark Waid: Keep reading. Britt Reid is his own worst enemy.

CBN: Any projects current or in the works you would care to discuss? 

Mark Waid: Just keep reading Green Hornet! (laughs)

Cosmic Book News wishes to thank Mark Waid for taking time out of his most 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.

“The Green Hornet” #4 hits shelves June 26th and can be ordered through Dynamite.com!

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Exclusive Interview: Nate Cosby Spins A Web Of Mystery, Murder Down South In New Vampirella Mini

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8009:]]As if she were not busy enough elsewhere, the comics industry’s most iconic horror heroine will be venturing down South in a new five-issue limited series, Vampirella: Southern Gothic, arriving in stores in August.

A tale of dark magic and mystery set against a Mississippi backdrop, the series features the writing talent of Nate Cosby and illustrations by Jose Luis. The first issue will be available in two cover editions: an art edition by Johnny Desjardins, and Subscription-Only photo variant featuring model Kitana Baker.

After seeing the photo variant, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer was most anxious to exclusively discuss the book (and perhaps the cover model?) with Cosby.

Cosmic Book News: Nate, tell us how this miniseries came about.

Nate Cosby: That’s all Dynamite’s fault! I’d been talking to Joe Rybandt and Nick Barrucci about doing some stuff for them … they had me write a Green Hornet one-shot, and I assume they didn’t hate it, because Vampirella was the next thing they offered me. I think this may actually be the first miniseries I’ve ever written.

CBN: We hear you are from Mississippi. Tell us how this adventure came to be down in your neck of the woods.

Nate Cosby: It’s set in Mississippi because I’m a coward. I knew essentially nothing about Vampirella before I started researching, so I figured if I’m going to get to know this character, I might as well bring her down to somewhere I’m familiar. As a kid, I always loved reading comics set in the South; most stuff’s set in a big city or space, etc. Not tons of kudzu in Batman or Flash stories.

CBN: I myself am from Kentucky, so at least I get the kudzu ref. (laughs) So … when Vampirella’s mini first begins, she encounters a demon. Tell us about this big-bad as well as the strange wound it inflicts on our heroine.

Nate Cosby: DEMONS, plural. A TON of ‘em, not just one big-bad. Vampi’s caught in a routine fight with demons that seem like pushovers, until she’s gotta fight an ocean of them. And something happens to her that’ll affect her for the rest of the story.

CBN: Nate, the story is there might be a little romance with an old flame down in the South. What can you tell us about this?

Nate Cosby: A fun thing about Vampi is her messed-up origins and past. She can remember SOME things, but other stuff’s a bit foggy. She distinctly remembers an extended encounter with a private detective named Jacob. They met each other at the right time, when both were unsure of themselves … but they were both stubborn, and it wasn’t meant to be. But now Jacob’s called Vampi because he’s done something bad. He’s lost something that only she can help him to get back.

CBN: Will this miniseries be isolated for new readers or will it fit into the overall Vampirella continuity?

Nate Cosby: I’m not looking to upset the apple cart. This’ll tuck nicely into the ongoing book’s continuity, but people that’ve never even heard of Vampirella will be able to read this easily.

CBN: Besides healing herself of course, what other mysteries will your protagonist find down South? We hear there might be a murder involved?

Nate Cosby: There’s a BUNCH of murders. Problem is, all of the murders have been done to ONE person. That’s the main problem … a particular person’s been murdered dozens of times and comes back, except this last time. She’s stayed dead, and Vampi’s gotta figure out why.

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CBN: Are there any Vampirella stories from past adventures that are your favorites? Some of whose strands may rear their heads is this adventure?

Nate Cosby: Honestly, I’d never read a Vampirella issue before getting this gig. But I was able to go back and read a bunch of them by some great creators.

CBN: What does the art of Jose Luis bring to the table? Are you a fan of his work and why was he right for this assignment?

Nate Cosby: Yeah! When Joe (my editor) told it was gonna be Jose, I was pumped! His stuff’s got great pop and life to it. It’s motivated me to give him a bunch of fun, pulpy, sweaty stuff to draw.

CBN: Can you tell us of any circumstances from this mini that may spin out into other parts of Vampirella’s mythos?

Nate Cosby: Well, continuity’s always a slippery thing, so I can’t say that direct effects of this tale will be felt elsewhere. But there’ll be a few sacrifices made, and Vampi has some pretty messed-up experiences. So we’ll have to see where things stand after Issue #5.

CBN: Nate, do you have any projects new or in the future that you would like to discuss?

Nate Cosby: Sure! I’ve got Cow Boy Unconquerable coming from Archaia later this year. It’s the sequel to mine and Chris Eliopoulos’ Eisner Award-nominated book about a 10-year-old bounty hunter rounding up his entire outlaw family. Pretty excited about it, and you’ll notice some similarities between it and some of the characters in Southern Gothic. Because I can’t seem to stop telling Southern stories.

Cosmic Book News thanks Nate Cosby for taking time from his busy schedule and before the holiday weekend to answer our nosy M.E. We also thank Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.

“Vampirella: Southern Gothic” #1 (of 5) will hit store shelves in August!

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Dynamite Announces Vampirella: Southern Gothic

Press Release

 

VAMPIRELLA HUNTS ANCIENT EVIL IN THE DEEP SOUTH,
COURTESY OF DYNAMITE’S NEW SOUTHERN GOTHIC MINISERIES

 

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May 24, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ – By popular demand, Dynamite Entertainment is proud to expand their beloved VAMPIRELLA line with a new five-part miniseries, entitled VAMPIRELLA: SOUTHERN GOTHIC.  A tale of dark magic and mystery set against a Mississippi backdrop, the series features the writing talent of Nate Cosby and illustrations by Jose Luis.  The first issue will hit store shelves in August 2013, available in two cover editions: an art edition by Johnny Desjardins, and Subscription-Only photo variant featuring model Kitana Baker.

In VAMPIRELLA: SOUTHERN GOTHIC #1, the industry’s most iconic horror heroine may not be prepared — even after a lifetime of fighting vampires, aliens, magicians, and monsters — for the evil that lurks on the shores of the Mississippi.  As the story begins, Vampirella confronts a demon whose blue blade leaves her with a glowing, mystical wound.  Heading to the Deep South to recover, she is reunited with an old flame… and finds herself drawn into a murder mystery thick with old time religion and blood, blood, blood.

“The South’s my wheelhouse.  I’m from Mississippi, and figured I’d bring the vampire down to my home,” says writer Nate Cosby, whose critically-acclaimed recent works, COW BOY and JIM HENSON’S THE STORYTELLER, have been nominated for Eisner and Harvey Awards, respectively.  “The South is a strange, beautiful, frustrating place.  It wears some of its history like a chip on its shoulder, and it tucks other parts of history away.  It’s a good setting for the noir-ish potboiler I wanted to write.”[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8007:]]

While the SOUTHERN GOTHIC series stands on its own, completely accessible to new readers, Cosby assures that the tale will fit faithfully into the overall VAMPIRELLA mythos, as pioneered by many of the industry’s top talent.  “There’s a surprising amount of great writers that have told VAMPIRELLA stories in the past.  In prepping for this series, I read tales by Kurt Busiek, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, and many others.  What I liked was that they were all different takes on this fun, dark, sometimes-campy character.  She’s got a malleability that allows creators to take her central vampire conceit and spin off into all different sorts of stories and storytelling. “

VAMPIRELLA: SOUTHERN GOTHIC #1 is solicited in the Diamond June Previews catalog for release in August.  Johnny Desjardins, whose artwork on the current VAMPIRELLA STRIKES miniseries has gained him a dedicated following, will contribute the Main cover edition, while fan-favorite VAMPIRELLA model poses for the Subscription-Only photo variant, limited only to retailer initial orders as a reward for dedicated Dynamite fans.

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About Dynamite Entertainment:

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more!

Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.

In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent!

Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

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Exclusive Interview: Arvid Nelson Brings Two Lords Together Across A Pulp Universe For Dynamite Mini

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Having two “lords” in their publication stable wasn’t enough for the folks at Dynamite Entertainment, so in August the Lord of the Jungle and the Warlord of Mars, both created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, will be featured in a six-issue limited series, Lords of Mars, written by Arvid Nelson with art by Roberto Castro.

Interested in the unusual team-up, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively met with Nelson in the only thatched hut with palm trees on the Red Planet and quizzed him about this dream meeting of heroes.

Cosmic Book News: Two great pulp heroes, Arvid. Where did the idea come from to team them up in a mini-series?

Arvid Nelson: It was the first thought I had when I started writing Lord of the Jungle! It started out as a crazy dream, but now it’s becoming reality, and I’m so thrilled. It’s funny – when I approached Nicky with the concept, he’d been thinking about exactly the same thing.

CBN: You have contributed story to both heroes’ books. How is it different blending the atmospheres of the jungle and the Red Planet?

Arvid Nelson: I found it’s an either-or proposition. Either Tarzan must go to Mars, or Carter must go to Earth. Any story that switched back and forth between the two felt phony and forced to me.

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CBN: OK, so let’s get the elephant out of the room: Does Carter come to Earth, does Tarzan go to Mars or is this indeed the kind of tale where the teamed duo really do not meet?

Arvid Nelson: The two will meet! I think it’s sort of unfair to sell a “crossover” and then never force the characters to meet. More than that I dare not say, because it would be a little bit of a spoiler. I’ll just say “yes” – one of the two scenarios you mentioned does indeed happen.

CBN: How would you compare Carter and Greystoke, their similarities and differences?

Arvid Nelson: First of all, they are both heroes. They’re not rebels or outlaws or whatever. They always associate themselves with what they know is right. But there are differences. Tarzan is, if anything, the more powerful of the two – quicker, stronger. But it’s not as simple as that. Tarzan is also a lot more conflicted than Carter. He’s more naïve, more vulnerable in other ways. That’s the wedge that could drive the two apart.

CBN: How about Jane and Dejah Thoris?

Arvid Nelson: Finding personalities for these two was more difficult, but if you dig deep enough into the original stories, they are there. Jane is a little terrified of Tarzan at times. Tarzan is a little terrifying, period. Both Dejah Thoris and Jane are moderating influences on their respective husbands, Jane more so than Dejah Thoris. Tarzan really needs Jane, the way Sherlock Holmes needs Watson.

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CBN: Do you have any favored Burroughs stories involving your protagonists?

Arvid Nelson: It’s the second novel, for both characters – The Return of Tarzan and Gods of Mars. Return of Tarzan takes a little while to find its footing, but when it does, it’s brilliant. Gods of Mars is pure joy cover-to-cover.

CBN: What can you tell us about the challenges our heroes will face? Any new big-bads?

Arvid Nelson: Again, I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say that Carter’s old adversaries, the Holy Therns, will be important.

CBN: How accessible will this tale be, say, for those vaunted “new readers” publishers seek? Any previous Tarzan or John Carter reading required?

Arvid Nelson: I don’t think accessibility is so much a question of forsaking a character’s history or coming up with a “new beginning.” For me it’s more about finding human, relatable predicaments for characters – getting the reader to identify with them. If you can do that, you’ll take anyone along with you. But I always try to make everything I write as accessible as possible, by including recap text at the beginning, and by peppering little reminders about what’s come before throughout the dialog.

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CBN: Why is artist Roberto Castro right for this limited series?

Arvid Nelson: I’ll let Roberto’s art speak for itself. It’s simply the most amazing work I’ve seen from him.

CBN: Arvid, any projects current or future you’d like to discuss?

Arvid Nelson: I’m always working on a half dozen things, but I need to wait for the go-ahead from my publishers before I start blabbing. It’s very hard! But you can follow me on twitter, @arvidthetwit, for all the latest. I try to keep the shameless self-promotion to a minimum. Dynamite’s twitter feed is great, too!

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Arvid Nelson who took time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions, and also Dynamite’s own Nick Barrucci and Keith Davidsen who helped make this interview possible.

“Lords of Mars” #1 (of 6) will hit shelves in August!

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John Carter Meets Tarzan In Lords Of Mars From Dynamite Entertainment

Press Release

 

LORDS OF MARS #1 IN AUGUST WILL BRING TOGETHER
THE HEROES OF WARLORD OF MARS AND LORD OF THE JUNGLE

 

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May 17, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ – Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce the upcoming LORDS OF MARS #1 debuting in August 2013, a crossover that sees Tarzan and Jane Porter of their LORD OF THE JUNGLE series team with John Carter and Dejah Thoris of the WARLORD OF MARS franchise. The six-issue series will be written by Arvid Nelson and illustrated by Roberto Castro, with the first issue available in multiple cover editions featuring art by Alex Ross, Francesco Francavilla, Dan Panosian, and Ardian Syaf.

In LORDS OF MARS #1, the legendary Tarzan has claimed his title as Lord of Greystoke, but his very life is threatened when a hunting excursion with his fellow “gentlemen” goes disastrously wrong. Meanwhile, on Mars, John Carter is forced to respond to a veiled threat from his defeated enemies. Mars and Earth might be separated by millions of miles, but a sinister force is at work on both planets, setting the two iconic adventurers on a deadly collision course.

“The two greatest heroes of pulp fiction coming together… what could be better than that?” says Arvid Nelson, writer of the six-part miniseries. “And it blows the lid off the possibilities for storytelling. Earth, Mars, lost civilizations, hidden worlds, interplanetary adventures. But above all, we want LORDS OF MARS to be fun. I can’t wait to unleash it on the world.”

Nelson was uniquely suited as the writer for the upcoming LORDS OF MARS series, having contributed storylines to Dynamite’s comic book series LORD OF THE JUNGLE and WARLORD OF MARS previously. However, the writer stresses that the new story will not require readers to have an extensive knowledge of what’s come before. “It’s a great jumping-on point. In fact, I always go out of my way to make sure new readers are never at a loss, regardless of where were are in a series.” That philosophy fits in perfectly with that of Tarzan and John Carter’s shared creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs. “Burroughs was a fanatic for novelty. He didn’t like exploring all the details and intricacies of the things he’d invented; it was always about the shiny and new for him.”

John Carter and Tarzan are the archetypal science fiction and jungle heroes, respectively, whose literary history stretches back over a century. “Carter is more comfortable around human beings than Tarzan. He’s more of a leader, but he’s most in his element in times of conflict, as opposed to the backstabbing and intrigue of ‘peacetime.’ Tarzan is more a force of nature. In terms of raw strength and agility no one can match him, but he’s not fully in control of himself.” Joining these pulp heroes in LORDS OF MARS are their love interests, Jane Porter and Dejah Thoris, who play pivotal roles in the story.

LORDS OF MARS #1 is solicited in the Diamond June Previews catalog for release in August. Alex Ross, one of the industry’s leading artists, provides the Main cover edition, while Eisner-winning Francesco Francavilla and fan-favorite Dan Panosian contribute two additional variant covers. A fourth edition, the Subscription-Only variant, is illustrated by Ardian Syaf and is limited only to retailer initial orders as a reward for dedicated Dynamite fans.

“LIKE” DYNAMITE’S FACEBOOK PAGE TODAY! http://www.facebook.com/dynamitecomics
Join the conversation on Dynamite Entertainment’s twitter page at http://twitter.com/DynamiteComics.
To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com/.
For art and more information, please visit: http://ww.dynamite.com/.

About Dynamite Entertainment:

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more!

Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.

In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent!

Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

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Exclusive Interview: Abnett, Lanning Discuss The Ending Of Their Cosmic Saga: The Hypernaturals

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It doesn’t seem like that long, but for years now fandom’s favorite spinners of cosmic tales – at DC, at Marvel, at BOOM! and now at Dynamite – have been Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, collectively known as DnA.

Last May, they took cosmic fandom by storm with their saga of a future world where the heroes were called “Hypernaturals,” creating a whole universe in the BOOM! publication of the same name.

Its final issue hits stands next month, and collectively as DnA these fan faves answer exclusively some very timely questions from Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer.

Cosmic Book News: Now that you both can take a breath, can you look back beginning at last year’s Free Comic Book Day until now and tell us what you hope readers got out of The Hypernaturals?

DnA: We hope that they’ve enjoyed reading the story as much as we have enjoyed writing it. It’s rare you get the opportunity to create your own superhero universe and tell a complete story from start to finish. We’ve said before that we considered this our attempt to do a “cosmic Watchmen” — by which we meant a story that was immersive and gripping and told in long form but with a definite ending. That’s what we were able to do with The Hypernaturals and we’re grateful to BOOM! for giving us the chance.

CBN: What was it about the story of these adventurers and their semi-tragic circumstances that made the tale worth telling?

DnA: Again, it comes down to being able to create characters, events and worlds whole cloth. We’ve built the universe of the Hypernaturals and populated it with a variety of colorful heroic characters all set in our own cosmic setting. We were drawn to these characters and their setting and really enjoyed creating an immersive experience by using the extra editorial material to flesh out the universe, the characters and the society of the Quantinuum.

CBN: You had some very shocking moments in Hypernaturals, chief among them (for me as a reader) the Faux Sublime’s henchmen really being the Century Iteration we met in the FCBD issue. Who came up with that and … well, wow!

DnA: Thanks, it was a great card to have up our sleeve; we’ve always enjoyed ending issues on a cliff-hanger of some sort and that was a doozy! It harks back to the sort of comics we read growing up and is something of a trademark of our writing style.

CBN: I loved the use of the beginning few pages, at first handled by co-creator Brad Walker, to cue readers into the past while making it pertinent late to the “present.” How did this storytelling manner come about?

DnA: It was by necessity to begin with because Brad was lined up to work on the series but due to other commitments was unable to draw a full issue so we created the prologue sequence as a way to get him to draw as many pages in the series as possible before he had to leave. We decided that if we were going to do it then we would make a stylistic choice to have every issue begin that way (all except the last issue which has a flashback sequence later in the story; you’ll understand when you read it!). It became a great way to add some historical context to the story and flesh out the characters’ back story and establish the other iterations of the Hypernatural team in a quick “pre-credit” action sequence. It was also fun as we were able to create and use a whole slew of wacky heroes with weird and wonderful looks and powers.

CBN: We have met many characters since climbing about the HN train a year ago. My personal favorite is Thinkwell. Any choice HNs past or present for you guys?

DnA: That’s like asking to choose your favorite child! But we have a fondness for Poul too and Sublime surprised us both by becoming much more of a major player in the story: rather than the ultimate villain, he developed into a much more complex character and could even be viewed as being somewhat heroic in his own, twisted, megalomaniac, unhinged way!

CBN: What inspired the idea of the Clones all sharing the same power, and all being connected across time/space? That was very Twilight Zone-ish to me.

DnA: Really? We never thought of it like that but hey, TZ was a hellova show, so that’s great! The concepts for all the heroes were determined by us wanting to create cosmic heroes with an interesting array of powers that were shown or used in ways that were not obvious or seen before; hence the Clones, who are a riff on the Super Soldier trope but with a sci-fi twist and Bewilder, a super speedster at heart but with a slightly unusual take.

CBN: At the time of this interview, the penultimate #11 has just hit shelves and #12 is waiting to explode next month. After Hypernaturals ends, will there be any life — at BOOM! or anywhere else — for the HN characters?

DnA: We always wanted The Hypernaturals to be a complete story but the fact we were allowed to created such a rich, developed cosmic continuity has left the door open for us to revisit the HN universe again and tell more stories from past and present at some point.

CBN: As said, Hypernaturals comes to an end with issue #12. If it could have been extended in its present format, what would we have read about in #13 onward?

DnA: That’s a moot point as we never really wanted this story to continue. If we were to revisit a hypothetical issue #13, it would continue the events following the conclusion of #12 and see how the ramifications and fallout from what happens in #12 plays out with whoever’s left, always assuming there’s anyone or anything left to tell the tale!

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CBN: We hit on this before but, at the end of the day, do we look at Sublime as a force of evil, misunderstood force for good, or just a man trapped by his own weaknesses?

DnA: As we said, Sublime became a main player in the story, which was not necessarily how we’d planned to use him at the start of the story. His character developed and grew so, in some ways, you could argue, the story is all about him: his role in the universe, his origin and how he chooses to act or not act when he is given the opportunity to realize the single defining goal of his existence. He’s a fascinating character and is actually all the above: evil, misunderstood, trapped by weaknesses as well as his awesome powers!

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

DnA: At the moment we’re writing a 5-issue Battlestar Galactica mini-series for Dynamite. It’s set in the “classic” continuity and is part of a celebration of 35 years since the first episode aired on TV. We’re having a blast writing it as we were both fans of the original series growing up and are really enjoying the chance to add something to such a classic epic saga.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning who took time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions in a very timely interview. We would also like to thank Filip Sablik and Brianna Hart who helped make this interview possible.

“The Hypernaturals” #12 hits stores in June!

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Review: Vampirella #29

 

Ah, science and magic. Two sides of the same coin.

Both of these, along with time travel, figure into a bizarre but pleasant adventure for Vampirella and her family and allies.

Writer Brandon Jerwa puts our little gang through their paces in Hell as Vampirella learns Lukas Van Helsing is her son from the future. (He even spins the yarn of his trip and mission!)

Lukas goes on to save the life of Vampirella’s mother (and enemy), Lilith.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Vampirella’s close allies are working to free her (they think) from captivity in an independently controlled “dome” in Hell that is under Lucas’ control.

About the time Pendragon, using Vampirella as a mystic GPS, pops into Lukas’ dome to “rescue” Vampirella, all hell breaks loose — literally!

Next thing you know, our heroine and Criswell find themselves 100 years in the future.

The art by Patrick Berkenkotter is very moody, conveying the mystic and the alien with equal precision.

Jerwa spins a suspenseful tale for this mysterious female, and I cannot wait to see what faces Vampirella in a brave new world next month.

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Exclusive interview: Chris Roberson parts the darkening mists to discuss the world of the Shadow!

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The Shadow has been a menacing figure to evildoers for more years than most of us have been alive. But the current batch of comic book readers are learning about the night avenger from Dynamite Entertainment’s revival of the former radio show and pulp comic anti-hero.

Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer recently cornered the very busy writer of the series, Chris Roberson, and exclusively discussed the character of the Shadow, his world and the current Light arc underway in the book.

Cosmic Book News: Many fans were very impressed with your handling of the cast of Masks. How do you compare that title with your current work on The Shadow?

Chris Roberson: It’s a completely different experience, actually. I had a lot of fun working on Masks, but that was a story that had the Shadow IN it, not a SHADOW story, if that makes sense. With such a large cast in Masks, we weren’t able to see much of the Shadow’s supporting cast or to explore the world he inhabits, but in The Shadow ongoing comic there’s a lot more room to breathe, and to bring in all of those elements that made the original Shadow pulps and radio shows great.

CBN: You and a lot of other comic book writers seem to enjoy working with the pulp characters. What makes them such a treasure trove of stories for today’s comics market?

Chris Roberson: I think it’s because the pulps were the source of so much that I love in popular culture. Superheroes have their roots in the hero pulps, to be sure, but so much of modern science fiction is rooted in the “space opera” pulps, just as so much modern horror grows out of things like Weird Tales. In the pulps, we see all of these different genres coming into focus, as it were. And that’s especially true of the masked avengers and science heroes, which gave rise to everything from Batman and Superman to Indiana Jones and James Bond.

CBN: For the new reader who may be seeing this, tell us about the Shadow and his world.

Chris Roberson: The Shadow is a “weird avenger of the night,” and much about him remains a mystery even to those who are closest to him. He maintains a wide network of agents and assets that help him in his crusade against evil. And with his slouch hat, scarf, and twin .45s, he has a striking look that remains timeless, decades and decades after he first appeared.

CBN: A while ago, in the story teaming Green Hornet, Kato, the Spider and others, you said you really enjoyed scripting the Shadow’s dialogue. What is it about the Shadow that makes him different from other noir comic characters?

Chris Roberson: I think the Shadow is different because all of the other masked heroes are PRETENDING to be these menacing, masked figures. Green Hornet takes off his mask and he’s really Britt Reid, a normal man with a relatable background. The Spider is secretly Richard Wentworth. But the Shadow IS the Shadow. He only PRETENDS to be Lamont Cranston. And even later, when his identity as Kent Allard is revealed, it’s clear that his experiences have changed him such that he isn’t the man he used to be, in any way that counts. He simply IS the Shadow, all day, every day, and if we see him in any other guise, THAT is the mask.

CBN: The Shadow, of course, in mainstream pop culture is known best for the classic radio show of days gone by, and with tech being what it is, many folks may have access to those old radio shows today. How does Dynamite’s Shadow differ from this 1930s/’40s man of mystery?

Chris Roberson: I think each of us working on the Shadow has a slightly different version of the character in our heads. Garth Ennis’s interpretation isn’t quite the same as Victor Gischler’s, which isn’t the same as Matt Wagner’s, and so on. I find that I’m looking more to the pulp novels for inspiration than the radio show, personally, though I do still hear Orson Welles’s voice in my head whenever the Shadow speaks!

CBN: Do you have any particular favorite Shadow stories from the character’s long history in print, radio, etc?

Chris Roberson: Probably the four appearances of Shiwan Khan in the original Shadow magazine, if I had to pick.

CBN: In your continuing Light arc, it seems that every new answer raises more questions. Can you give us any hint at what is at her core and why she has targeted the Shadow?

Chris Roberson: No man is a villain in his own eyes. Nor is any woman.

CBN: Have you had a chance to see any of the limited series being done by Michael Uslan and Keith Burns which comes out in July teaming the Shadow and the Green Hornet? If so, what did you think since you have handled both those characters yourself?

Chris Roberson: I haven’t. But I’m looking forward to it!

CBN: Do you enjoy working with artist Giovanni Timpano? What does he bring to the table here?

Chris Roberson: I actually knew Giovanni’s art from the digital comic Frost that he’s doing with Brandon Jerwa and Eric Trautmann, published by Monkeybrain Comics. So when Dynamite told me he would be drawing my scripts for The Shadow, I was OVERJOYED. His work here is just PHENOMENAL, and I always eagerly away new pages coming in!

CBN: Is there any other project present or future you would like to discuss?

Chris Roberson: Aside from the work I’m doing with Dynamite, I’m most excited about the two creator-owned ongoing projects I’m doing at the moment. The first is Edison Rex, drawn by Dennis Culver, which is being serialized digitally through Monkeybrain Comics, and which will be released in trade paperback by IDW in June. The other is The Strangers, drawn by Scott Kowalchuk, which will be coming out from Oni starting in July (with the first issue available for free on FCBD).

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Chris Roberson for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions, and we would also like to thank Nick Barrucci and Josh Green of Dynamite for helping make this interview possible.

“The Shadow” #14 will hit shelves May 22nd!

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M.E. Byron Brewer Black Bat Interview Featured In Dynamite Entertainment May Comic Books

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For the month of May, Dynamite Entertainment is featuring Cosmic Book News M.E. Byron Brewer’s Black Bat interview with Brian Buccellato in all of their comic books.

Dynamite debuted the new Black Bat last week with a special preview to accompany the interview in the remainder of their May issues.

Black Bat is a modern take on a seminal character that inspired several well-known comic icons. Tony Quinn is a brash Defense Attorney to the mob who compromises his ethics for financial gain. When he refuses to cross the line and commit murder, he is tortured and blinded by his gangster employers. But when a fortuitous meeting with a covert agency gives him a chance to make amends, Tony transforms into the Black Bat and embarks on a redemptive quest to right the wrongs of his past.

Byron Brewer is the former Managing Editor of the Georgetown (KY) News-Graphic with over 30 years of journalism and writing experience, as well as a member of the renowned International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. Brewer’s newspaper column in the News-Graphic was voted the most popular column two years in a row.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Dynamite Entertainment CEO and Publisher, Nick Barrucci, for featuring the interview.

“Black Bat” #1 is available now.

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Review: The Black Bat #1

 

A little bit Batman, a little bit Daredevil. Yet the character is older than either.

After learning the background of the great pulp hero Black Bat, it is hard to believe Bob Kane and Stan the Man were not influenced by this creation of the Doc Savage era.

Brian Buccellato and Ronan Cliquet breathe new life into a hero whose legend is virtually unknown these days, putting a modern twist on this street level crime fighter.

The first pages of Black Bat #1 bring us directly into the alleyways with the man of mystery, Cliquet and colorist Mat Lopes creating the shadows and dark environs reflecting Buccellato’s excellently noir script.

We are introduced to the man behind the mask, Tony Quinn, a morally bankrupt defense attorney for the mob who gets in too deep with his murderous clients and is almost killed.

When given a second chance at life, Quinn tries to set aright all the wrongs he has committed. His big problem is drawing the line between justice and revenge.

There are other juicy secrets you will discover about Quinn and his world, and this is a #1 definitely worth the read.

Dynamite has brought an old property out of moth balls and grandly refurbished it for a modern world. Just excellent.

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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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Dynamite Announces Army of Darkness/Hack Slash Crossover By Tim Seeley

Press Release

 

ARMY OF DARKNESS CROSS-OVER WITH HACK/SLASH, WRITTEN BY HACK/SLASH CREATOR TIM SEELEY!

SIX-ISSUE SERIES, COMING OUT JULY 2013!

 

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April 12, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ – Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce that Cassie, the star of Tim Seeley’s most famous creation, Hack/Slash, will be crossing-over with Ash from the Army of Darkness, in a new series written by Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley! Featuring covers by Tim Seeley himself, his Hack/Slash co-creator Stefano Casello, the acclaimed Ben Templesmith, and a special cover by Chris Eliopolis, Army of Darkness Vs. Hack/Slash #1 is not to be missed when it arrives in-stores and digitally this July 2013!

In Army of Darkness Vs. Hack/Slash #1, after the events of the Hack/Slash series, Cassie Hack is doing her best to live a normal life when a Deadite attack forces Cassie back into action. But she’s not alone! Meet Cassie’s new partner: Ashley J. Williams! Can the pair keep from killing each other long enough to quest for the stolen pages from the Book of the Dead?  Will Ash get some sugar? Or will Cassie make him kiss it?  It’s the horror mash-up that fans demanded!

“Besides being one of the inspirations for Hack/SlashArmy of Darkness has long been one of my all-time favorite films,” says writer Tim Seeley. “Readers have been asking for Cassie and Ashley J. Williams to meet for as long as I’ve been making Hack/Slash, and we’re finally going to give them what they want. There will be blood, boobs, baseball bats, and boomsticks.”

Ash, the square-jawed protagonist of the Army of Darkness series, has frequently teamed-up with (or faced off against) beloved characters from throughout comics, film, literature, and real life.  Best-selling crossover miniseries include Marvel Zombies Vs. Army of DarknessDanger Girl and the Army of DarknessProphecy(alongside heroines like Vampirella and Red Sonja), and Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash.  Also, in over nine years of publication through Dynamite, the Army of Darkness series itself has hosted Darkman, H.P. Lovecraft’s mad scientist Herbert West, and classic monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein.  Ash even got patriotic when he met the president in the Ash Saves Obama storyline.[[wysiwyg_imageupload:6867:]]

“It’s a natural fit, putting Army of Darkness together with the ever-popular Cassie Hack,” says Nick Barrucci. “And honestly, it’s what the fans have asked for!  Ash is the Crossover King, that perfect combination of badass and jester which makes for amazing, amusing comic book team-ups.  And what better combo could there be, between a splatter movie hero and the ultimate Last Girl?”

Hack/Slash is a comic books series, created by writer/penciler Tim Seeley. The focus of the series is on a horror victim, Cassie, who strikes back at the monsters, known as “slashers”, with Vlad, a disfigured “gentle giant” who frequently wears a gas mask.

“LIKE” DYNAMITE’S FACEBOOK PAGE TODAY!
http://www.facebook.com/dynamitecomics

Join the conversation on Dynamite Entertainment’s twitter page at http://twitter.com/DynamiteComics.

To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com/.

For art and more information, please visit: http://ww.dynamite.com/.

About Dynamite Entertainment:

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The BoysThe ShadowVampirellaWarlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more![[wysiwyg_imageupload:6868:]]

Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as VampirellaPanthaEvil ErnieSmiley the Psychotic ButtonChastity,Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.

In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent!

Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

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Gail Simone’s Red Sonja Kicks Off In July; Covers Revealed

Head on over here for the Cosmic Book News Gail Simone interview about Red Sonja.

 

Press Release

 

GAIL SIMONE’S RED SONJA BEGINS IN JULY AT DYNAMITE

 

 

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April 9, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ – Dynamite’s relaunch of Red Sonja with writer Gail Simone will arrive this coming July will be supported by covers by some of the most distinguished female artists in comics.  Red Sonja#1 contains covers by Nicola Scott, Colleen Doran, Jenny Frison, Stephanie Buscema, Fiona Staples, and Amanda Conner! Fans will definitely want to pick up Gail Simone’s Red Sonja #1 this July!

In Red Sonja #1, Red Sonja gets a fresh new attitude Sonja pays back a blood debt owed to the one man who has gained her respect, even if it means leading a doomed army to their certain deaths! You do NOT want to miss this re-introduction the She-devil with a Sword!

“Red Sonja is one of the original female ass-kickers in comics, of COURSE I would want to write her,” says writer Gail Simone.  “Any reader who likes sex, blood, swordplay, sassiness, red hair, adventure, and monsters getting stabbed in the face should get this book.”

Gail Simone got her start in comics writing for Bongo Comics, home of The Simpsons. Following her time there, Simone entered the mainstream comics world with a run on Marvel Comics’ Deadpool, and later, Agent X. Gail is best known for known for runs on DC’s Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Welcome to Tranquility, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl.

To celebrate the bold new direction of one of comics’ most iconic female characters, Red Sonja #1 will feature a wide selection of variant covers by some of the leading ladies in the industry, including Nicola Scott, Amanda Conner, FionaStaples, Jenny Frison, Colleen Doran, and Stephanie Buscema.

“I had this idea to ask the top female artists in the industry to do the covers and Dynamite ran with it beyond my dreams, says Simone.  “Not only did all the artists we asked immediately agree, they all confessed their secret love for Sonja.  They adore her! Lots of the artists submitted multiple sketches because they couldn’t stop, and many top names submitted sketches without even being asked, they love Sonja so much, and are dying to see this project.”

Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, is a fictional character, a high-fantasy sword and sorcery heroine created by Robert E. Howard, and adapted for comics by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith. She first appeared in Conan the Barbarian #23 (Marvel Comics). Red Sonja has become the archetypical example of the fantasy figure of a fierce and stunningly beautiful female barbarian who typically wears armor resembling a bikini or lingerie. For nearly a decade, Sonja has had many successful series with Dynamite Entertainment, and she now appears monthly, as well as in mini-series and one-shots, all published by Dynamite Entertainment.

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For art and more information, please visit: http://ww.dynamite.com/.

About Dynamite Entertainment:

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The BoysThe ShadowVampirellaWarlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more!

Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as VampirellaPanthaEvil ErnieSmiley the Psychotic ButtonChastity,Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.

In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent!

Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

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Exclusive Interview: Gail Simone Talks Red Sonja, Women In Comics, Batgirl and More

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:6553:]]What artist Barry Windsor-Smith was to creator-owned comics in the 1970s, writer Gail Simone is to strong, powerful, women-driven comics nowadays. Once known for penning DC’s Birds of Prey, in the world of the New 52 she became identified with the extraordinary changes in the life of Barbara Gordon in Batgirl.

Now this prolific author is hitting Dynamite Entertainment, putting her stamp on one of the most famous female warriors of all time: Red Sonja!

Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer sat exclusively for a pint of ale and blood pie with the scribe Simone, unlocking the secrets of her success and what is in store for readers of Red Sonja.

CBN: How did this marriage of strong female character and known powerful female character writer come about?

Gail Simone: Just a fortunate confluence of events, really. It’s not really a secret in the industry that I love barbarian comics. I love the sword and sorcery genre, and several publishers have been after me to write Conan or other barbarians in the past.

But until recently, I had been under a long and fruitful exclusive with a single publisher and outside projects weren’t possible. When my exclusive ended, a bunch of publishers kindly and generously offered me pretty much any project I wanted to do, and the first thing that really hit me, that just slapped me upside the head, was Red Sonja.

It just seemed a natural. I jumped on it.

CBN: Your Batgirl was critically acclaimed in DC’s New 52. What do you think you can bring to this classic character?

Gail Simone: Well, I’m still on Batgirl, so I get to keep writing my two favorite redheads!

With Red Sonja, it sounds a bit odd, but I’m hoping to modernize her concept a bit. We don’t plan to get rid of any of the great stuff, the loincloths and giant serpents and the wonderful Howard setting. But female badassery has evolved a bit. I want to make her even more terrifying as a warrior, but at the same time, I want to show that she has flaws. She’s not a perfect ice queen.

CBN: Robert Howard’s Sonja was very different than Roy Thomas’ at Marvel. Who is your biggest influence?

Gail Simone: The Red Sonja that exists now is a mix of Howard’s wonderful mood, tone and setting, and the comic book She-Devil with a Sword we have all grown up reading. People are often surprised to realize how much of the Sonja we know was invented by Thomas and the writers that followed him.

It’s a great balance, I love the Thomas character and I love the Howard landscape. No reason to favor one over the other.

CBN: You had been hinting in your social media you would soon be handling a female iconic character. Many people were surprised with the announcement that it was Red Sonja. What challenges are now ahead for both heroine and writer?

Gail Simone: Probably the same challenges that are attached to any project, every reader has a comics budget and each new book is measured carefully.

All I can say about that is, I think people know I put my heart into the books I write. I never want readers to feel they didn’t get their money’s worth, I want them to have a story that makes them feel, that moves and thrills them. That’s the fun of comics, for me.

We are putting our all into Red Sonja. The story is exciting and new, the art, by the wonderful Walter Geovani, is spectacular, and as a bonus, we have a raft of covers by the leading female artists in the industry. You WILL get your money’s worth!

CBN: There seems an upswing all across comics to give females a lead in their own titles, and yet so many have failed to hold that title over history. What can be done in the comics market about this?

Gail Simone: There are many reasons, but I have to say, I personally haven’t really had that problem. Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman and Batgirl have all been very successful under my watch and the trade collections are still in great demand even years later.

People want adventure comics to be bold and funny and thrilling and sexy and smart, regardless of the gender of the lead character.

CBN: What will artist Walter Geovani bring to the table? Are you a fan of his work?

Gail Simone: I am, good lord, I so am. Walter slaves over these wonderful, small details. It allows me room to tell a sweeping epic with armies and fortresses because I know he will put it all on the page. On top of that, he’s an outstanding character designer, and that’s a rarer skill not all artists have.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:6554:]]CBN: Any new big-bads coming into Sonja’s life?

Gail Simone: Lots. Watch out for Dark Annisia. ([Geovani’s] design for Dark Annisia is just absolutely stunning.) We aren’t using previous villains for a while, we want new readers to be on equal footing and we want long-time readers to have surprises, too.

CBN: What will make your Sonja different from other comics interpretations?

Gail Simone: My Sonja isn’t a distant paragon. She drinks too much, she carouses, she dances on tables, she’s lusty and quick to anger when called upon. She’s impetuous and impolite and good LORD I dearly love her.

I hope people give it a try, it’s one of the most purely entertaining books I have ever worked on.

CBN: Any other projects, present or future, you would like to promote?

Gail Simone: I am still doing Batgirl every month, which I love; major events taking place with issue #19! And The Movement is my new DC team book with Freddie Williams II, it’s a ton of fun.

I also am finishing work on my Kickstarter project with Jim Calafiore, Leaving Megalopolis, and my secret project with the brilliant Ethan Van Sciver. There maybe one or two more secret projects around the corner, as well.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Gail Simone for speaking with us during a busy convention season as well as Nick Barrucci and Josh Green of Dynamite Entertainment for helping make this interview possible.

Dynamite’s new Red Sonja series is set to launch in July.

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Your Alternative Comics Beat For February 8th, 2013: Red Team

We’ve All Been There . . . Right?

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The problem with planning something highly illegal is when nothing goes wrong. Disagree? Then maybe you should see things from Garth Ennis’ point of view. This week’s Alternative Comics Beat spotlights his new series from Dynamite Comics that takes a look at a truly perfect crime by a group of characters you wouldn’t expect. When it comes to first issues of a new comic book series, especially when it’s not superhero related, breaking expectations is a must in order to keep a new audience’s attention. Ennis sets up a whole new paradigm for the murder caper with a series that takes a look at the much darker side of law enforcement.

Red Team

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The Red Team is a group of homicide detectives that have had enough of a suspect who has gotten away with murder, and then some. The plan is to kill off the crime lord without a single trace of evidence or a loose end that could tie back to them or the police force. They know the risks, they know it’s illegal, but sometimes the law has to step on the other side in order to work.

The whole setup of the series is like a great crime drama, where we see the aftermath of the plan in the present and learn more about the details of the past as the story unfolds. I feel like I might have ruined the big surprise of the first issue with spilling that everything goes flawlessly, but this is really just the opening scene of a much larger story. If I told you that in Night of the Living Dead that zombies attack and chase people into a farm house, it wouldn’t really give away the whole story, would it?

Craig Cermak does the artwork for this issue, and while I’m not completely familiar with his body of work I approve of it here. The artwork is subtle, the panels are well placed, and even though there was a lot of text, the artwork framed it perfectly. Cermak is able to capture that criminal atmosphere, which is really important in a series that lays out the plot right away. We know essentially what’s going to happen, but Cermak provides a canvas to keep walking until we reach that end.

Why It’s A Great Alternative

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Even though police are prominent in many comic book series, there isn’t usually a series that just features crime without a supernatural element. This first issue sucked me in purely on the situation and the story alone, without any masks, magic, or superhuman mayhem.

The whole thing plays out like a well-paced TV series (at least this first installment), and if it had been a series on DVD or Blu-Ray I would have bought the whole first season right then and there. Ennis has always been able to bring any character he writes to life and make the situations for them truly unique. These homicide detectives have been pushed to their breaking point, and now we as readers get to see them give in to their darker sides. If you’re looking for an alternative with some real power behind it, this is a series to add to your pull list.

Ken Porter also writes comic books with his latest being “Ink Ribbon” from Visionary Comics.

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Exclusive Interview: Brian Buccellato Talks Revamping Pulp Hero Black Bat

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:5048:]]Dynamite will soon be unleashing a comic book built around the pulp hero Black Bat, a character which must have been an influence for everyone from Bob Kane to Stan Lee.

Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively sat down with Flash co-writer Brian Buccellato to discuss his revision and revamping of this classic hero for a modern comic-buying public.

Cosmic Book News: Brian, why are pulp heroes such a rich area to mine for many writers? How do you see this pulp hero, Black Bat?

Brian Buccellato: I can’t pretend to be an expert on why pulp heroes are so often revived and used as inspiration. But I guess it might be the allure of the gritty, heroic, sometimes dark, sometimes unexplainable worlds that they painted. I also think pulp stories are entrenched with the kind of proactive and flawed characters that many are naturally drawn to. I would say that my take on the Black Bat is both of those things … he is a flawed protagonist who is actively trying to right his past wrongs.

CBN: Tell us a little about how you look to “modernize” Black Bat, if you will. And tell us about the man behind the mask? Who is he?

Brian Buccellato: My modernization of the Black Bat and his alter ego, Tony Quinn, is built around his motivations for what he is doing. The original version was pretty straight forward — do-gooder DA is blinded by his nemesis, then becomes a gun-toting hero who operates outside the law to bring criminals to justice. Writing stories from that perspective didn’t interest me, so I had to look for an angle that was something I would want to explore. So I changed Tony to a morally bankrupt defense attorney for the mob, who gets in too deep with his murderous clients as is almost killed. When he is given a second chance on life, he decides to set right all of his previous wrongs. But the challenge for Tony is knowing where to draw the line between justice and revenge.

CBN: I understand you did some of the visuals and redesigns yourself. Tell us about that process? Will you be doing any art on the book.

Brian Buccellato: Yeah, the final design is mine … but it was only after numerous iterations by some really good artists that we all decided to go with one of my designs. I won’t be doing any of the art … except maybe coloring some covers.

CBN: Black Bat, I am sure, influenced Bob Kane and perhaps many others on their handling of Batman. Tell us about how you see both characters, their similarities and differences.

Brian Buccellato: Batman is a classic superhero that operates outside the law to bring bad guys to justice. He has a definite line that he won’t cross and is VERY clear in his path. The Black Bat, however, is not sure where those lines are and isn’t even against shooting to kill as a means of setting things right. Tony Quinn has a debt that he owes to the world and despite his own moral failings, he is making an effort to pay that debt. Batman does what he does because he doesn’t want anyone to go through what he did as a young boy. Sure, they both have capes and masks and use bat imagery … but that’s where the similarities end.

CBN: Who is Black Bat’s main big-bad? Explain his/her motivation and is there a personal connection like Superman/Luthor or Reed Richards/Doom?

Brian Buccellato: Oliver Snate is the crime boss that literally CUT OUT Tony’s Quinn’s eyes with a pocket knife. He runs the city and is as ruthless a kingpin as you could find. All criminal roads lead to Snate, and that is where the Black Bat is headed. It is absolutely personal for Tony.

CBN: There is a little Daredevil feel here as well. Do you feel there are similarities?

Brian Buccellato: It’s pretty obvious that the Black Bat was a direct inspiration to Stan the Man, both characters go blind and are lawyers by trade. But those elements are integral to the Black Bat’s origin, so I have elected to keep them. I’m sure some people are going to accuse me of ripping of Daredevil, but there’s not much I can do about that.

CBN: There seem to be many street level heroes today in comics, many vigilantes. What makes Black Bat rise above the pack?

Brian Buccellato: There are no new stories in any genre, really. So it’s about the specific ways of dealing with the character and his arc/journey. It’s HOW you choose to tell the story and what things you focus on thematically that can make or break it.  I think I found a unique take that differs from the more established street level heroes and I hope it will resonate with readers. As far as rising ABOVE the pack … that’s not my concern. I write to the best of my ability and let the chips fall where they may.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Brian Buccellato for his time and wish him luck on this new book, set to debut sometime this year. Thanks also to Nick Barrucci, Dynamite publisher and CEO, who helped make this interview possible.

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Exclusive: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning: Beaming Aboard Battlestar Galactica

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In 2013, the 35th anniversary of the franchise, Dynamite Entertainment will be releasing a new comic book caring the adventures of the crew of Battlestar Galactica, written by CBN fan faves Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, aka DnA.

The scribes are excited about this new opportunity to go cosmic yet again, so Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer conversed exclusively a bit with the writers of such properties as Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel), Legion of Super-Heroes (DC) and their own creator-owned Hypernatuals for BOOM! Studios.

For more from DnA head on over and read Part 1 of our interview.

Cosmic Book News: Tell me about this new property you are working on, a redo of the original Battlestar Galactica, for Dynamite. How did that come about?

DnAWe’ve been looking to do a project with Nick [Barrucci, Dynamite founder, president and publisher] ever since he locked us in a warehouse back in 2000 and had us sign thousands of comics. We ended up having a hoot and hit it off with Nick so that, years later, once he started up Dynamite, we would run into each other at various cons and Nick would say, ‘We’ve got to work together on something.’ And we’d say, ‘We’d really like to work on something.’ But for one reason or another it never panned out until recently when we were chatting at another con, Nick mentioned he had several properties he’d like to throw at us to see if there was anything we fancied working on. One of these was classic BSG, which we both love from back in the day watching it as kids. This time around, everything lined up and we came up with what we thought was a cool idea which Nick and the gang liked so here we are.

What we’re doing is picking up the story after Dynamite’s previous Galactica 1980 mini-series by Marc Guggenheim. We’re setting our story 33 years later, in 2013, but not our 2013, it’s a 2013 where the population of Earth has made contact with an alien race who has shared all its technological secrets. It’s a 2013 that’s as fundamentally different from now as now is from 1980. Under the guidance of the Colonials, mankind has taken to the stars and began populating the solar system; creating colonies on the moon, Jupiter and Mars. Inter-system travel is commonplace and a new era of peace and prosperity has reigned on the planet for decades. Unfortunately, due to the years of peace and growth, many have forgotten the reasons the Colonists came to Earth in the first place and the threat of the Cylons has been relegated to bedtime stories to scare the kids.  But the Cylons have never forgotten … and our story picks up there.

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CBN: Will there be anything done on the Cylons to make them more of a threat than in the TV series? Will there be other big bads out there in space for the crew?

DnA: We’ve always considered the Cylons a pretty formidable threat from the get-go: they are a relentless, single-minded, cybernetic warrior race hell-bent on the utter destruction of mankind. There’s not much more you can add to that to up the stakes really, maybe they hate cats too? We’ll be exploring all the possibilities the Cylons have to offer and with the unlimited budget of a comic book, we hope to show exactly how bad-ass they can be.

As for other threats, the TV series showed there was more than one alien civilization in the universe. We intend to use existing continuity to the full as well as taking this opportunity to add to this epic cannon. Unfortunately as was shown in the previous mini-series Adama sacrificed his life to repel the Cylon threat so our story will focus on his grandson Troy who has some pretty big shoes to fill.

CBN: In your version of this franchise, what characters along with Troy will be the leads and which ones have you already built an affinity for?

DnA: As we said, Troy is our main focus but we will be adding some new characters as well as bringing other crew members who didn’t get to shine in the previous series to the spotlight, like Boomer, Hamilton and maybe we’ll get to see what happened to Starbuck, Apollo and Athena.

CBN: Will you be including the past TV episodes as canon, as BOOM’s Planet of the Apes series did, or is this a fresh start with the same characters?

DnA: We’re setting ourselves in the continuity established in Dynamite’s previous mini-series Galactica 1980 where Marc Guggenheim re-imagined the spin-off series from the original BSG series.

CBN: Anything from other variations of BSG being included (Starbuck as female, etc.)?

DnA: Nope, we’re firmly in the classic BSG universe.

CBN would like to thank DnA for their time as well as Nick Barrucci, who was kind enough to help arrange this interview.

Battlestar Galactica arrives from Dynamite in 2013!