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Extremely surprising Iron Man 3 villain spotted on set!

Extremely surprising Iron Man 3 villain spotted on set! | Comic Books |

A surprising villain appears to have turned up on the set of Iron Man 3 — and this could mean the film's storyline is a lot more complicated than we'd already guessed.

Spoilers ahead...

Yes, it appears to be the Iron Patriot.

In the comics, the Iron Patriot is Norman Osborn's alter ego in Avengers, but we highly doubt this character will be making an appearance in Iron Man 3 (even though that would be a fairly clever crossover). No, this is allegedly a picture of James Badge Dale (originally rumored to be playing Coldblood) one of the many rumored villains for the third Iron Man movie. So that's the Iron Patriot, Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin, and Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, the man behind the Extremis virus. How the Iron Patriot fits into this world, we have no Earthly idea. Thoughts?

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Will Alan Scott, DC’s Original Green Lantern, Be Reintroduced As A Gay Man? | Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors

Will Alan Scott, DC’s Original Green Lantern, Be Reintroduced As A Gay Man? | Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors | Comic Books |

Understand that this is not a firm story. Not like DC Comics renumbering all their New DCU comics to issues zero through September, say.

This is based on a number of well sourced people and involves considerable hearsay.

It does however make a lot of sense.

Who is the, as yet unknown gay character being reintroduced to the DC Comics superhero titles? Male, an iconic character, someone who would become one of DC’s most prominent gay characters?

I’m hearing that it’s Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.

Created by Martin Nodell, and first written with Bill Finger in 1940, Green Lantern was originally a mysticaly-based superhero, whose powers were derived from the flame of a magic lamp and he became an original member of the Justice Society Of America.

Eventually, Green Lantern would be rebooted in the sixties by DC as a science fiction superhero, Hal Jordan recruited by an alien police force to monitor the galaxy, the character that recently inspired a Hollywood movie. But in the comics, the original Green Lantern would also repeatedly reappear, often as an older man.

In the DC New 52 books, Alan Scott was reintroduced this month in Earth Two #1, as a young man, and head of GBC Productions.

If my assumptions are correct, we will learn of Alan Scott’s sexual orientation and his role as a Green Lantern of Earth Two in Earth Two #2, out next month.

But here is the character’s first reappearance from issue one…

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Northstar of the X-Men Proposes To His Boyfriend In This Week's 'Astonishing X-Men' #50 - ComicsAlliance

Northstar of the X-Men Proposes To His Boyfriend In This Week's 'Astonishing X-Men' #50 - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |

This week, Marvel has once again requested the honor of your presence at the wedding of two characters, and while a super-hero marriage is always a pretty big affair, this one is going a little further. In tomorrow's Astonishing X-Men #50, Marjorie Liu and Mike Perkins are telling the story of Northstar's proposal to his long-time boyfriend Kyle, with a wedding set to follow in next month's issue.

In 1992's Alpha Flight #106, Northstar became the first major openly gay character in Marvel Comics, and while the issue was full of the kind of over-the-top, tooth-gritting bombast that was typical of the era...

... it was a pretty big step. Even though there was very little mention of his sexuality for the next few years after he came out, it paved the way for a larger presence of gay characters in super-hero comics that would lead to DC's Renee Montoya and Batwoman, and even Archie's Kevin Keller.

It's not surprising that Northstar's sexuality would play a big part in his role in the X-Men franchise, either. The series has always worked best as a metaphor for civil rights, and Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson's God Loves, Man Kills and its story of a fiery preacher who declared mutants to be an abomination in the eyes of God marked a big shift in focusing that metaphor on the struggles of the gay community. With Northstar, however, the metaphor was made literal, and his upcoming marriage is an extension of that.

Kyle, Northstar's husband-to-be, was introduced by Matt Fraction and Greg Land in 2009's Uncanny X-Men #509, and while the two have had their struggles over the past few years (what with Northstar having to fly off at a moment's notice and deal with alien invasions, planet-destroying Celestials and the occasional attack by genocidal robots), they've made it through. Considering what they've been through on that front, married life ought to be a snap -- even if the actual wedding takes the usual comic book tactic of being a golden opportunity for super-villain attacks.

I do find it interesting, however, that Northstar and Kyle are planning on getting hitched in New York rather than Northstar's native Canada, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005. But as always, New York City remains the center of the Marvel Universe, and the symbolism of two characters getting married in the "real-world" American city at the heart of their comics is a nice touch that adds to the optimism of the celebration.

The proposal happens in Astonishing X-Men #50, on sale tomorrow, with a wedding date set for #51, on sale June 20. And the best thing about a comic book wedding is that formalwear isn't required to attend.

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Neal Adams and Christos Gage to Reveal the 'First X-Men' This Summer - ComicsAlliance

Neal Adams and Christos Gage to Reveal the 'First X-Men' This Summer - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |

Think that Cyclops, Ice Man, Angel, Beast and Marvel Girl were the original X-Men? A new project from Marvel this August will ensure that everything you knew was wrong as Christos Gage and industry legend Neal Adams unveil the all-new, all-different First X-Men.

Scripted by current X-Men: Legacy writer Gage from initial ideas by Adams, First X-Men is described by editor Nick Lowe as the series that explains the concept's long-running tagline:
In those early X-Men stories, everybody hates and fears them, but we never really know why. It's so core to the concept, but it was there before the series started. Here we found out why mutants are so hated and feared in a way that is different from any other super heroes.

The five-issue mini-series takes place before Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's original tales featuring the self-proclaimed "strangest heroes of all," but nonetheless manages to work some familiar faces into its line-up, including X-Men founder Charles Xavier, future Magneto Erik Lensherr and, perhaps surprisingly to some, Wolverine. Christos Gage offers a brief explanation:
It takes place before the original X-Men and at a time when the government was snatching mutants up and doing scary things to them. Logan notices this and thinks somebody needs to look out for them... We wanted this to be something you could hand to somebody who just saw the X-Men movies and they'd enjoy it as a good X-Men story. At the same time, for giant nerds like me, FBI agent Fred Duncan from the early stories is in there, and when Professor X talks about his brother you know it's Juggernaut.

For long-time Marvel fans, the appearance of the Sub-Mariner during his amnesiac hobo period was also promised, along with Sabretooth, the first generation of Sentinels and the origins of the mutant struggle in the Marvel Universe. "Of all the mutants on Earth, Professor X could easily pass as a human. Why would he want to get involved in this? Maybe all this was going on before Professor X was Professor X, when Professor X was a teenager," said Adams:
Maybe mutant kids were getting abused by the military, by the government. Somebody would have been looking out for them, but maybe that person came to Charles Xavier, realizing he couldn't protect these kids. That was my pitch... The concept that Charles Xavier could pass for a human I don't think has ever really been explored. At some point in his life, he made the difficult decision to step forward as leader of the X-Men and as a mutant. He could have wiped all of this out of the world's collective mind. Why didn't he? Stuff to think about.

Lowe and Adams made a point to emphasize that this story is firmly set in existing continuity, with Lowe going so far as to say that the series is "key to Wolverine's history an his relationships with other characters," and that it "will answer questions that have been out there for decades." Whether or not it will feature the same kind of dinosaur-riding lunacy as Adams' recent Batman: Odyssey, however, will likely remain a mystery until the series debuts in August.

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Dynamic Forces Unveils the 'Watchmen' Toaster - ComicsAlliance

Dynamic Forces Unveils the 'Watchmen' Toaster - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |

To everyone who thought that Before Watchmen was as crass as Warner Bros would get in terms of strip-mining the legacy of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, bless you for your optimism and belief in the inherent goodness of humanity. However, you might want to look away before we tell everyone else about the official Watchmen toaster.

No, it's not a joke (well, not in that sense, anyway): There really is going to be an official Watchmen toaster that will not only heat bread and bagels to your desired level of tasty, crunchy brownness, but will do so while also imprinting said bread or bagels with iconic artwork from the classic comic - because you demanded it!

To be fair to DC Comics, this actually doesn't have too much to do with them; it's part of a line of Warner Bros. television and movie merchandise toasters coming out in September from Dynamic Forces, alongside toasters branded with logos and artwork from The Wizard of Oz, Friends, The Goonies and various other favorites. "Once the timer dings, it's all fun with your Warner Bros. favorites right in the middle of your morning slice of toast," according to the official PR from Dynamic Forces. Yes, because if Watchmen's Rorschach was anything, it was "all fun."

There's really only one response to the existence of this product. Walter?

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'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' Release Date Confirmed With New Movie Poster - ComicsAlliance

'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' Release Date Confirmed With New Movie Poster - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |

Seven years after the release of the first film based on the popular and award-winning Dark Horse graphic novel series by Frank Miller, we now have an official release date for the long-awaited sequel. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For will open on October 4, 2013, as confirmed by a new teaser poster. Co-directed once again by Miller and Robert Rodriguez, the movie will adapt not just the titular story but also, in the fashion of the first film, other disparate yet interconnected tales from the comics as well as a brand new Sin City "yarn." Auspiciously, the screenplay is co-written by William Monohan, an Academy Award winner for his work on The Departed. SPOILER WARNING: The following contains spoilers for A Dame To Kill For.

Originally serialized from 1993-1994 and now available as a complete graphic novel, A Dame To Kill For remains one of the grimmest and bloodiest tales of the Sin City canon. The story stars antihero Dwight but takes place before the events depicted in the first film, in which the character was played by Clive Owen. The eponymous "dame" is Ava, an old flame who's now married to a depraved millionaire. Ava begs Dwight to take her back, and when he sees her menaced by her husband's brutish bodyguard, Dwight's compelled to rescue her. Hooking up with the invincible Marv (Mickey Rourke in the first film), Dwight raids the luxurious home of Ava's cruel husband, confronts him and kills him.

Sadly, it turns out that the whole thing was a setup orchestrated by Ava to drive her foolish ex Dwight into killing her gross husband so she could inherit his fortune.

Wah, wah, waaaaaah

Ava proceeds to shoot Dwight a few million times, including once in the head, and leaves him a bloody mess in the street before telling the cops that he's a crazy jealous murderer who dispatched her beloved husband in cold blood. Also she sleeps with one of the cops. Dwight's nursed back to health by his other ex, the dominatrix Gail (played by Rosario Dawson in the first film), whose army of "Old Town girls" includes plastic surgeons who provide Dwight with a new face. After he's recovered, Dwight teams up with Old Town's resident ninja protector Miho (played by Devon Aoki in the first film) to revenge himself upon Ava.

Rodriguez has confirmed that Mickey Rourke and Rosario Dawson will return for the A Dame To Kill For film, as will Jessica Alba, who played stripper Nancy Callahan in the original movie. The status of the remaining cast is presently unknown, but it was once Rodriguez's wish to cast Angelina Jolie in the role of Miller's ultimate femme fatale Ava, which, it has to be said, would be excellent.

Released in 2005, Sin City is among the most faithful film adaptations of a comic book we've yet seen, with virtually every panel of its source material recreated on screen while maintaining Miller's idiosyncratic visual style via a mixture of photography and computer-aided special effects. Reportedly, copies of Miller's comic books were employed on set instead of formal screenplays. Although Sin City is not without its flaws and is considered by some to be a cautionary tale against being too reverential of comic book source material, the film was a critical and financial hit upon release, grossing nearly $160 million worldwide.

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Greg Capullo Turned Down Avengers Vs X-Men | Bleeding Cool

Greg Capullo Turned Down Avengers Vs X-Men | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |

Greg Capullo once said that, when leaving Haunt, he had a choice between working on Batman and Wolverine, and went with the relaunch of Batman with Scott Snyder.

Turns out that the temptation may have been even harder, and that he was offered the opportunity to draw Avengers Vs X-Men. In an interview he says;

“So I called Marvel and DC and I let them know I was prepared to embark on something big. Both companies were very interested in working with me and I ended up with Batman because the kid in me was a Batman fan since I was four. And he kept pestering me, “You have to do Batman! You have to make Batman “. However, DC did not reveal the magnitude of the project until I told them: “Look, Marvel is offering me something really big” (because they were offering me draw Avengers vs. X-Men, a unique project, I tried to convince to let me do both!). When I told them that Marvel was offering me a great project that I could not speak about, they said I would have to sign a confidentiality agreement. I had previously only been told it was a comic about Batman, but when I signed that contract they confirmed that it was the relaunch of Batman from number one.

“I spent two months without sleep, wondering what to do, but the child in me kept repeating that I should do Batman. I’m glad I made that decision because both X-Men vs. Avengers and the relaunch of DC are two very important events, but when you look coldly. one is an event and one involves a series regular with a particular focus on character and I decided on the latter as being more important to me.

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DC Comics Opens Up Shop | Bleeding Cool

DC Comics have opened up shop online as, selling statues, toys, accoutrements and graphic novels directly to the customer, cutting out pesky things like comic shops. And to make them sweeter, they have launched with a number of exclusive items, such as this Sinestro bust and these Flashpoint dolls.

Also, this incredibly cute V For Vendetta Pop! vinyl figure, the perfect gift for any anti-globalisation anarchist.

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Ernie Chan Passes | Bleeding Cool

Ernie Chan Passes | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |

Ernie Chan passed away last night, aged 71.

Chan (initially credited as Ernie Chua after a passport mix up) was a Filipino comic book artist who moved to the US in the 1970s to work in the comics industry.

With a notable inking run on Conan The Barbarian with John Buscema, and art runs on both Batman and Detective comics, he would go on to draw Conan solo, as well as work on books such as Doctor Strange, Kull The Destroyer and became DC’s go-to guy for covers in the late seventies.

He then moved into computer designs as well as TV and movie animation. Chan retired in 2002, spending much of his time in China, in search of tranquility, but financial pressure saw he return to the form for a softcore porn webcomic, The Vat for Dark Brain.

Ernie was also a special guest at last year’s San Diego Comic Con where he appeared to enjoy himself immensely.

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Marvel Goes Completely Self Cover In July | Bleeding Cool

Marvel Goes Completely Self Cover In July | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |

The word has come down.

Starting with the 7/4/12 On-sale items, all 32 page Marvel Universe comics, including those that contain a digital code, will be printed with 50# Coated interiors and will be Self-Cover.

Marvel has already given all their $2.99 books this new format, now it switches to the $3.99 books too. All comics having the same stock for cover as for internal pages, whose stock is slightly improved, and possibly losing 4 pages from the total package as well.

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Dan DiDio Calls Before Watchmen A “Love Letter” To Alan Moore’s Creation. Plus New Jim Lee Covers. | Bleeding Cool

Dan DiDio Calls Before Watchmen A “Love Letter” To Alan Moore’s Creation. Plus New Jim Lee Covers. | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |

 Alan Moore once described DC Comics’ repeated attempts to publish his work after he walked away from the company as that of a “‘a really weird, rich stalker girlfriend”.

Which makes Dan DiDio’s description of the project in The Guardian today as a rather apt one, saying;

I hope he looks at them with an open mind and a chance to understand this is a love letter to what he created, and more importantly that the strength of his work is allowing other people to grow and tell other stories which will hopefully inspire other creators along the way. In the way he was inspired by the creators when he was younger, we’re hoping these ideas and these books are inspiring new people, so that we continue to grow the comics business as a whole

In the interview, Dan DiDio also states “even our own internal staff were having problems with it”. From conversations I’ve had, there’s probably less of the past tense involved, although they fear for their jobs if they are found expressing such opinion to me.

Dan DiDio does “we’re not going to shy away from the controversy on this – as a matter of fact we’re embracing it because we have belief in the strength of the product and stand behind it.” He will be appearing at Kapow this weekend, which is where he may meet some of this controversy head one. DiDio is a consummate handler of crowds, it should be quite the event.

DiDio describes the individual comics, giving a glimpse into the plots and structure more than we have read before;

the Silk Spectre comic is a coming-of-age story about a girl in the late 60s who rebels against her mother, the Comedian’s back story will take a look at “turbulent times in the government”, Nite Owl’s is “almost a father and son-style story as one man hands the mantle of Nite Owl to the other” and Dr Manhattan’s a time-shifting journey through history. Rorschach’s story, predictably, is “extremely violent”.

The Ozymandias prequel “is basically the string that ties it all together, from his story of how he first formulates his idea of how to save the world to the moment when he decides to execute that plan”, and the Minutemen miniseries will chronicle “the final days of the Minutemen and how that team really came apart”. The first book in the series, Minutemen #1, is out on 6 June, with a new issue to follow each week.

He also talks about the motivation for the project;

When you have a product like Watchmen that is as worldwide known as it is, and the fact there are millions of copies in print, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t go out and say, ‘is there other ways we can grow new material from this?’ We went out and reached the original creators and they had passed, but we still believed this was the right choice to make. And in doing so we went out with the strongest creators possible, so while you may question the decision you can’t question the quality of the product and the quality of the people behind the product.”

Which does make the decision not to publish Sandman Zero say, to be written by Neil Gaiman say, in return for a better Sandman deal for Neil, an odd one.

DiDio does also respond to Moore’s accusation that DC are “completely shameless” for this project, saying;

“Honestly I can understand why he might feel the way he does because this is a personal project to him. He has such a long and illustrious career and he’s been able to stand behind the body of work he’s created. But quite honestly the idea of something shameless is a little silly, primarily because I let the material speak for itself and the quality of the material speak for itself.”

We also get a little back and forth over Moore’s claims that DC is doing nothing but build on twenty-five year old ideas of his, DiDio saying “Realistically some of Alan’s strongest works at DC outside of Watchmen were built off of characters like Swamp Thing which was created by Len Wein, Superman, Batman, so many of our great characters he’s worked on and they helped build his career.”

The Guardian reports Moore’s response to this point; “I understood that whether I had created the characters like John Constantine, or whether I’d simply recreated them beyond all recognition like Swamp Thing, that these would just go into the general comic company’s stockpiles. I’ve never objected to that. I mean, I don’t think it is necessarily the fairest thing, but I’ve not objected to that, The thing was, that wasn’t what we were told Watchmen was. We were told that Watchmen was going to be a title that we owned and that we would determine the destinies of.”

And that’s the difference. DC says Watchmen was work-for-hire at the beginning. But at the beginning, the creators said they rejected a work for hire agreement and got one that was described as creator-owned, as aspect that was widely reported at the time. Until the creators realised that suddenly this was no longer the case…

It should be an interesting weekend!

Related Posts:

Another Dan DiDio Wally West Explanation? (SPOILER)
Dan DiDio Dishes On The New DCU In Pre-Comic Con Q&A
Dan Didio is the New Nightwing and Other DC Nation Revelations by Peter S. Svensson
Before Watchmen Will Be $3.99 Each – Jim Lee, Michael Golden, Eduardo Risso, Kevin Nowlan And Dave Johnson Jump On
@DC_NATION Tweets Link To Spoof Dan DiDio Account By Mistake

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'The Amazing Spider-Man' Movie Comes Alive in Augmented Reality App [Video] - ComicsAlliance

'The Amazing Spider-Man' Movie Comes Alive in Augmented Reality App [Video] - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |
What if you could see Spider-Man swing around the very streets you're walking in? As part of the ongoing attempts to promote this summer's The Amazing Spider-Man movie, Sony has made sure that there's an app for that.

The Amazing Spider-Man AR app (available on both iOS and Google Play) uses the same kind of augmented reality technology as Marvel Comics' AR component of its ReEvolution digital program to allow fans to find Spider-Man all over the place, with special images unlocking animation of the web-crawler in action on the mobile device of your choice.

The official description of the app promises that users will be able to "see Spider-Man swing through buildings, crawl up walls, shoot his web at the screen, or engage with nefarious characters on the streets" with the new app, with the ability to "take photos of Spider-Man in action" and share them on Twitter or Facebook.

Additional images to activate the AR animations will be available in Sony Stores, as well as through Activision and Entertainment Weekly channels, ensuring Spidey's virtual dominance as we get closer to his movie's July 3 release date. Rumors about whether turning your phone upside down as soon as the wall-crawler appears will result in him taking his mask off and kissing you in the rain remain, so far, unconfirmed.


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The DC Comics TV Ads For The New 52 Collections | Bleeding Cool

The DC Comics TV Ads For The New 52 Collections | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |
DC Comics have commissioned a new TV advertising campaign, which will focus on the first hardcover and paperback collections of the DCU New 52, that have now started to be published, and will roll out over the summer.

And they are willing to pay 75% of the airtime costs for any store who runs the ads on local stations, with their details on the end.

Here’s the thirty second and two minute cuts, respectively. Next up… the Before Watchmen TV ads. CLICK THRU TO WATCH THE VIDEOS

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Gary Oldman Has Signed Up For A New Role In The New Robocop | Bleeding Cool

Gary Oldman Has Signed Up For A New Role In The New Robocop | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |

One of our finest actors, especially when we get to see him pull a role with some real weight, Gary Oldman has been an asset to even the most tedious picture. In fact, he’s regularly the best thing in the films he signs up for, so Jose Padilha and co. are certainly lucky to have his involvement in the new Robocop remake.

The plot basics will remain the same: a cop is killed then resurrected in a new, cybernetic body. This time, however, there’s at least one new major character in the mix. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oldman is going to play:

Norton, the scientist who creates Robocop and finds himself torn between the ideals of the machine trying to rediscover its humanity and the callous needs of a corporation.

Named for the virus protection software?*

Joel Kinnaman is playing Murphy. It remains to be seen who the villains of the piece will be – heads of this callous corporation, I’d imagine, but in the guise of which actors?

Padilha seems to be most sincere in his intentions with this film. I look forward to seeing it come together.

*Bob Morton was the man behind Robocop in the first film. He certainly didn’t seem torn in this way.

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Archie's 'New Crusaders' App Brings the Red Circle Heroes to Digital Comics - ComicsAlliance |

Archie's 'New Crusaders' App Brings the Red Circle Heroes to Digital Comics - ComicsAlliance | | Comic Books |

We've talked a lot here on ComicsAlliance about the progressive approach to storytelling that Archie Comics has been geared towards over the past few years, but the way that they've embraced digital comics has been every bit as forward-thinking. They've become a major publisher in terms of making their comics available on devices like the iPad, with a pretty massive catalog that's only growing through same-day digital releases. But their latest foray into the world of digital comics is a complete departure from what they've already done.

It's a relaunch for Archie's super-hero imprint starring the Crusaders, and rather than selling individual issues, it's offing up an entire library of comics for a 99-cent per week subscription, and the end result is a pretty fantastic buy.

In a lot of ways, the whole thing feels like an experiment, and the Red Circle heroes are a pretty interesting choice to build it around. Despite having a history that dates back to the '40s and Pep Comics #1 -- the first issue of a series that eventually produced the red-headed teenager that would be the company's greatest success -- they've never really caught on. They've been rebooted and reintroduced a handful of times over the years, both by Archie itself and twice by DC, back in the early '90s with the Impact line and most recently in 2009.

This time, they're back at Archie, and the New Crusaders series by Ian Flynn and Ben Bates is the centerpiece of the new app. The core idea is that the 99-cent weekly subscription fee gets you six brand new pages of comics every week. Those of you with an aptitude for math will have already worked out that this essentially means that you're paying $3.97 a month for a 24-page comic, which is about what an independent super-hero book will run you at your local comic shop. Of course, starting in August, you'll also be able to pick up New Crusaders there as a series of mini-series, but the app gives it to you first.

It's a really interesting idea, and it's especially appealing because of that low price point. If you're already a super-hero fan who heads to the shop every week to pick up your books, then adding an extra buck to your comics budget doesn't seem like that much of a hardship. The problem is that, at least from the first two installments available in the app now, New Crusaders just doesn't seem to be built for the format.

Thanks to his work on Archie's Mega Man comic, Ian Flynn has become one of my favorite new writers, and his work here with Ben Bates isn't necessarily bad, but it's obviously not meant to be chopped up into six-page segments. The story thus far has been devoted to introducing both the original Crusaders and the kids that'll make up the new team, and while that's a fine place to start, it doesn't really throw in any action. Admittedly, the very first panel of the book is an explosion...

...but after that, there's just a lot of chit-chat and touch football. The worst and most telling aspect, though, is that the first six-page "act" ends in the middle of a scene. And worse yet, it's a scene where two kids are talking around a picnic table, so there's not even any tension or drama to get you interested in picking up the second act, a pretty crucial flaw since it's given away free as an enticement to pay for the subscription.

I've thought a lot about the 24-page format over the years. It's my preferred format for a single-issue unit of storytelling, for the simple reason that it lends itself so well to the Three-Act Structure, with eight-page acts providing the framework for your story. I'm going to guess Flynn agrees with me on at least that point, since if you read the first two installments of New Crusaders together, there actually is a scene change and the start of a new act after the first eight pages. But dividing it up into six when it's not made for it just breaks that structure in a way that's really noticeable. The only thing that makes it work is that Flynn and Bates create a shift that makes a really good cliffhanger on page 12, right where the mid-point of the full 24-page comic would be.

I'm a big enough fan of Flynn's at this point that there's no doubt in my mind that in two weeks, there'll be one really entertaining comic book story, and if you read the whole thing at one go in print, you wouldn't even notice. I'm just as convinced that if he can restructure the next few stories to work in those six-page installments that the app's going to deliver, future issues'll be great too. It's only going to get better as the weeks go by, but right now, it's a bit of a problem.

Fortunately, that's not all the New Crusaders app has to offer.

I mentioned above that the Red Circle heroes never really caught on, but those years of "not catching on" and their revivals over the decades ended up producing an awful lot of comics by an awful lot of great creators like Carmine Infantino and Dick Ayers that serve as a background to what Flynn and Bates are doing. The 99 cents you pay to subscribe to the app doesn't just get you the new stuff, it also gives you full access to a "Vault" with those comics:

That's what's really great about the New Crusaders app. For less than one dollar, you can go into it right now and read 29 complete comics plus the 12 pages of New Crusaders. If you're the type of person who loves obscure old comics -- and I believe the record will show that I am -- it's a pretty amazing deal, and considering that they're adding to the Vault every week, it's another thing that's only going to get better as time goes on.

When the conversation about digital distribution first started, one of the things that was brought up pretty often was the idea of a Netflix type model or a flat subscription fee, something that Marvel had already experimented with through their Digital Comics Unlimited program. That's essentially what Archie's doing here, but what makes it so interesting is how much they've narrowed it to just the Red Circle characters.

I imagine that keeping things so focused is what allows them to offer it at such a low price, and if nothing else, getting the old stories into the hands of new readers. But at the same time, as much as I love reading through both new all-ages stories as well as crazy old comics where talking gorillas threaten super-heroes by science-murdering bunnyrabbits...

...I really wonder whether it'll hold the same appeal for Archie's target audience. Flynn's two great successes are, after all, Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog, and if the plan is to get the young fans who love those books interested in the Crusaders, I can see it going either way.

On the one hand, when I was a kid, I just loved reading comics, period. When I was nine, it didn't really matter if it was Batman or Garfield or the surprisingly bloody reprints of Dick Tracy strips from the '40s, I just liked 'em, and if my parents would've been able to give me the equivalent of a foot-high stack of 'em for a dollar, I'm sure the peace and quiet it would've bought them would've been well worth it.

On the other hand, if I'd hit this wall of text from Pep #1 at the start of a story...

...I might've just gone back to Super Mario Bros. Either way, the sheer volume of stuff that you're getting makes it worth the price, even without the promise of more to come in the future.

As for the interface, it's built off from Iverse -- which also powers Archie's stand-alone app -- which I've always thought was slightly clunkier than Comixology. There's no "Guided View" mode to read panel-by-panel, and while I don't particularly miss that on the iPad, it also removes the ability to zoom in all that much. There's also an interesting feature where it loops around to the start of a story if you keep scrolling past the last page, but you can't go back from page one if you do it by accident (say, when you're flipping too fast through a six-page story). The app also connects to the Red Circle Comics website, but since you're not in an actual browser, there's no Back button, and it gets a little awkward.

But reading the comics themselves is perfectly functional, and being able to get so much at once more than makes up for the occasional awkward control. It's a great deal that's only going to get better as time goes by, and as much as I'm used to paying for comics that are mine forever, the idea of getting access to a whole array of stuff for a weekly fee isn't all that far from paying for Netflix every month. It's worth it, and I'd love to see it succeed, especially if it leads to other corners of comics getting a spotlight in the same way.

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‘The Walking Dead’: Exclusive first look at Danai Gurira as fan favorite Michonne |

‘The Walking Dead’: Exclusive first look at Danai Gurira as fan favorite Michonne | | Comic Books |

Ever since we saw that cloaked figure brandishing a katana sword while accompanied by two chained up armless zombies in The Walking Dead’s season 2 finale, fans have been salivating for a first look at the woman under the hood — Michonne. That first look is now here. A fan favorite from The Walking Dead comic book on which the AMC series is based, Michonne will be played by actress Danai Gurira (Treme) when the show returns for season 3 this October, and here is your exclusive first taste of what she will look like.

In the comics, Michonne is an unflinching warrior who proves to be powerful ally for Rick Grimes and the rest of the survivors. But how different will the onscreen version be? “The essence of the character — her personality, her motives, everything that makes Michonne Michonne — remains intact from the comics,” says Robert Kirkman (the creator of the comic and executive producer of the TV adaptation). “But like a lot of things on the show, there will be little tweaks and differences here and there. We saw that her introduction is slightly different from how it was in the comic, and her interaction with Andrea is really going to be a really cool addition to the character that I think will get television viewers up to speed, and they’ll get to know her a lot faster than comic book readers did.”

As for why they cast the relatively unknown Danai Gurira for the pivotal role, Kirkman says, “We looked at a lot of talented people that were really fantastic, but we were waiting for that one spark, that moment where everyone was completely in agreement and completely excited, and we felt like we had found the essence of this fictional character that just randomly appeared in another person, and that person was Danai Gurira. She kind of came in and really just blew us all away. She’s got incredible presence, and she’s got a theater background, and is very physical, and was just perfect for the role.”
Kirkman is equally enthusiastic about the big location setting for season 3, as Rick and company attempt to turn a prison into their new zombie-proof fortress. “It looks absolutely amazing,” gushes Kirkman. “They are shooting the hell out of this prison. It just looks absolutely stunning, and I think when people start seeing trailers and stuff for this season, I think people are just gonna be like, “Wait, what? This is what? I can’t believe this is a TV show!” It’s really creepy, really moody and it’s just gonna be really awesome.”

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Mountain Dew Batman is the Saddest Batman There is - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

Mountain Dew Batman is the Saddest Batman There is - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews | Comic Books |

As you may already be aware, there's a movie about Batman called The Dark Knight Rises coming out this summer, and as is the case with any big-budget super-hero flick, that means we're going to get some product tie-ins. Who can forget how Dominos Pizza reflected the complex themes of morality and sacrifice in 2008's The Dark Knight by offering a pizza with double the pepperoni?! I assure you, my arteries will never forget.

This time around, it's Mountain Dew, and not only is there a new flavor that's allegedly inspired by Batman, there's also a website and, more importantly, an in-store display that looks like the Saddest Batman Ever. Check out more info, and my theories on how this just might tie into the film, after the cut!

The centerpiece of the promotion is undoubtedly the life-sized Batman display that's sure to be protecting your local gas station from thematic crime.

This is just a computer-generated mock-up of the actual product -- which explains why, as CA's Caleb Goellner put it, "it looks worse than those Taiwanese news cartoons" -- but I sincerely hope that the version we actually get in real life looks exactly like this. Batman's gaunt glumness and unblinking, shell-shocked eyes are pretty much exactly what I think the World's Greatest Detective would look like if he woke up to find that his legs had been replaced with a barrel of Mountain Dew that he had to wheel around selling to impressionable teens.

The promotion also involves a website that you can go to where you are invited to "Rule the Streets With Dew," which actually sounds like a pretty pleasant thing to do.

As for the products themselves, they're rolling out Batman-themed cans, as well as a new flavor called Dark Berry, because apparently "Caped Crusadew" didn't test well.

Now, this is where things get interesting. The reference to ruling the streets, and the fact that the Mountain Dew campaign seems to be selling itself on providing access to information about the movie itself gives me the idea that maybe, just maybe, this stuff might actually be part of the plot.

After all, Christopher Nolan's films have nudged a few elements of the Batman mythos to be slightly more realistic. So what if, what if, Bane didn't get his powers from the super-steroid Venom, but instead was just a big tough dude who was jacked up on Mountain Dew?

If nothing else, it's something the audience could relate to.

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Networks Pass on 'Punisher' and 'Jessica Jones' TV Shows, but 'Hulk' Still in Play - ComicsAlliance

Networks Pass on 'Punisher' and 'Jessica Jones' TV Shows, but 'Hulk' Still in Play - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |

You might think, after successfully reinventing the superhero movie genre with a series that has just hit a high point with the multiple-record-breaking The Avengers movie, that television networks would be eager for a piece of the Marvel superhero pie. Turns out, you'd be partially wrong: Of the most recent flurry of Marvel properties vying for live action television adaptations, currently only one is showing much strength. But then, we already knew that Hulk is the strongest of them all.

During a conversation with reporters ahead of the official upfront presentation to advertisers, ABC entertainment president Paul Lee revealed that, while the network was still developing a Hulk TV series with Marvel TV and Guillermo Del Toro, the network had passed on a series based on Brian Michael Bendis' cult favorite detective series Alias. Telling reporters that, despite the latter show stalling, he'd like to "see some Marvel projects come to television," Lee confirmed that Hulk is still a go, if a somewhat delayed one. "It wasn't going to be ready this season but we hope it's going to be ready for next season," he explained.

AKA Jessica Jones -- renamed from Alias to avoid confusion with the ABC series starring Jennifer Garner -- had been in the works since December 2010, with Twilight and Dexter veteran Melissa Rosenberg producing and writing the pilot script. Hulk has been in preparation a couple of months longer, with Del Toro and Battlestar Galactica's David Eick in place as executive producers. According to Del Toro, despite the character's prominence in Avengers, the television series would take place in a different continuity - something that may ultimately doom the project if Disney decides to move ahead with a full-scale movie spin-off for the character from the hit Joss Whedon flick.

While ABC is keeping the familial synergy alive (The network, like Marvel, is owned by Walt Disney Co.), Fox seems to be closing the door on its partnership with Marvel TV with the news that its potential Punisher television series - co-created with Criminal Minds' Ed Bernero - has also met an untimely end with the network not picking up the pilot. Unlike the promising AKA Jessica Jones, however, this one might be considered a mercy killing; according to sources, the series would have recast Frank Castle as an NYPD cop who went after those who slipped through the fingers of the system by himself after clocking out every night. Somehow, I don't think that would've really appealed to fans of the merciless, messed-up character as written by Greg Rucka, Garth Ennis or Jason Aaron...

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Robert Downey Jr. Nets $50 Million From Success of 'Avengers' Movie - ComicsAlliance |

Robert Downey Jr. Nets $50 Million From Success of 'Avengers' Movie - ComicsAlliance | | Comic Books |

Clearly, some of the business genius of Tony Stark has rubbed off on Robert Downey Jr. after playing the character for three movies (four, if you count his Incredible Hulk cameo), with the news that the success of The Avengers will earn the actor somewhere in the region of $50 million.

The figure comes from the traditionally anonymous sources, with the Hollywood Reporter citing two who claim that "the number could go higher than $50 million once the ultimate box-office haul of Avengers is known." Downey Jr.'s massive payday comes as the result of the deal the actor made with the studio following the success of the original Iron Man, which saw him get both backend compensation (That is to say, a cut of the profits) as well as additional bonuses dependent on the movie's performance at the box office.

What's so surprising about this -- aside from the $50 million figure itself -- is that Marvel Studios is known for being frugal when it comes to dealing with actors, going so far as to replace Terrance Howard as James Rhodes between the first two Iron Man movies after the actor tried to raise his price tag for the second movie knowing how important the character was to become. Since the success of the first Iron Man, the studio has signed actors to contracts for multiple movies - Samuel L. Jackson's was reportedly a deal for appearances in nine movies - to lock them in at a reasonably low price before the first movie is released in order to avoid costly contract negotiations after a hit.

According to THR's sources, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo all signed similarly smaller upfront deals and therefore stand to make $2-3 million from The Avengers all told, while Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson, could make double that amount due to their previous deals.

The heirs of Jack Kirby, the cartoonist who co-created the majority of the Avengers characters, will not see money from the film having recently lost a lawsuit to reclaim the copyrights to that work. Fans concerned about this disparity have been donating to the Hero Initiative, the non-profit dedicated to helping comics creators in need of financial aid, and to the Kirby Museum, which celebrates Kirby's long career in comics and other media.

Nonetheless, with the movie having grossed more than $1,000,000,000 worldwide (It's currently the 13th most successful movie of all time), it's not as if Marvel can't afford the $50 million in order to keep Downey happy - especially considering his Iron Man 3 is going to have the tough job of being the studio's first post-Avengers movie next year.

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Red Circle Comics Launches New Crusaders App | Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors

Red Circle Comics Launches New Crusaders App | Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors | Comic Books |

The New Crusaders App went live last night featuring the new Archie Comics revival of the Red Circle superhero characters, delivering 8 pages of new content a week as well as a classic Red Circle comic.

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The Most Tenuous DC Universe Movie Rumour Of The Day: And It Involves The Rock | Bleeding Cool

The Most Tenuous DC Universe Movie Rumour Of The Day: And It Involves The Rock | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |

Dwayne Johnson, known to his friends and close family as The Rock, has been in a fair few cool genre movies over the past decade.

And he has been in a few stinkers too.

But The Rock has a likeability that seems to keep him in everybody’s good books despite any amount of Tooth Fairy based movies.

To date, Dwayne hasn’t appeared in a superhero flick. That seems something of an oversight, given his obvious ‘punching people in the head’ skillset and uncanny resemblance to Shazam bad guy Black Adam.

But the Shazam movie is in Development Hell isn’t it? Indeed, the entire DC hero slate has a big question mark over it. And I don’t mean there’s a Riddler movie coming.

So what, in your mind, might this cryptic tweet from the man us old guys insist on calling Flex Kavana mean?

Your guess is as good as mine. In fact, let’s face it, it’s probably better.

So what do you think? I don’t see him as John Stewart. In fact I can’t get past Black Adam. What do you think?

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The Before Watchmen Reviews Are In. From Some People. | Bleeding Cool

The Before Watchmen Reviews Are In. From Some People. | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |

Looks like midnight EST was the embargo point, for certain comic book journalists to be allowed to talk about the Before Watchmen comics they’ve seen. And a secretive project it was too!

Joey Esposito (IGN Comics): Earlier this week, I was privileged enough to head over to the DC Comics offices in Burbank, California (which are awesome) to be given a “Green Book” tour of Before Watchmen.

Jonah Weiland (CBR): CBR News was recently invited to the DC Entertainment offices in Burbank, CA to get an early look at “Before Watchmen.” Over two visits, I reviewed hundreds of pages of pencils, inks, a handful of colored pages, and even some lettered pages. Below we share some early impressions on the series, but note these aren’t full reviews as complete issues were not available.

Valerie Gallaher (nee D’Orazio, congrats on that by the way) (MTV Geek) Several months ago, DC Comics invited us to travel up Broadway and get our very first look at “Before Watchmen.” Placed in my hands was the ”Green Book,” the binder that collected — in various stages of production — the latest covers and interior pages as they came in. While not as comprehensive as reading the actual issues, viewing the collection of art and words provided me with a certain baseline as to the quality and content of the “Before Watchmen” collection of miniseries. Now that the official press embargo has lifted on “first impression” pieces, I am free to give you mine.

Anonymous (Comic Vine): Upon receiving an invitation to visit the Burbank office of DC Entertainment to check out BEFORE WATCHMEN, it didn’t take us long to start making plans to fly down. That’s right, we flew down to LA just to check out the comics. Let me tell you, it was well worth it.

After our remarkable tour of the office (more on that later), we were left alone with a giant oversized binder containing all the first issues of BEFORE WATCHMEN along with some of the second issues all in various stages of development. Some of the issues were complete while others weren’t available for viewing in color, etc.

Alex Zalben (CBSLocalChicago): We had a chance to sit down, secretly, in the DC Comics offices to flip through the “Green Book,” a collection of pages and scripts from the BW series, some finished, some without dialogue, and some just rough sketches. But it was enough to give you our impressions of the upcoming series. The main takeaway? Whatever you think about this project, the art is really frickin’ good.

Bleeding Cool, naturally, was not invited. But curiously it seems, neither was Newsarama, Comics Beat or Comics Alliance. Maybe they’re just waiting till they wake up to post.

And with Valerie Gallaher (nee D’Orazio) being invited, considering she accused current employees of DC Comics of serious sexual harassment when she worked there, it’s a interesting step on both her and DC’s part that she has gained such access.

Now, no one really touches on the oft-raised ethical issues of publishing Before Watchmen aside from Joey Esposite who says “if you are dead-set against this project existing in the first place, the quality of these comics is irrelevant. That being said, you’ll be missing out on some truly solid material.”

So, what do people think of this sold material? Here are some snippets.

Minutemen #1

IGN: The prize winner – as I expected – was Cooke’s Minutemen, which brings his patented Golden Age influenced cartooning style to the era of the Watchmen Universe’s earliest heroes like the original Nite Owl, Hooded Justice, the original Silk Spectre, and Captain Metropolis. Cooke’s work delivers the same remarkable storytelling that he’s showcased in so many projects previous; think of Minutemen as The New Frontier for Watchmen. What’s the most impressive about the first issue that I read was how Cooke kept many of the visual motifs from Dave Gibbons’ original work while maintaining a unique voice.

CBR: The story begins with Hollis Mason writing “Under the Hood” and he begins to tell his story when he pulls from a storage box the now iconic team picture of the Minutemen. This moment instantly connects the reader to “Watchmen” while transporting you back in time to the creation of that first super team. Cooke’s artwork is a perfect fit with the setting and time period “Minutemen” exists in and is filled with homages to the original series.

Of all the “Before Watchmen” books, this is the series to watch.

Vine: Beautiful book. Darwyn captures the era and time period brilliantly.

MTV: Cooke’s “Minutemen” was classic Cooke — the meta-textual resonances with his “New Frontier” miniseries giving the story a subtly added dimension.

CBS: Given that these characters didn’t really appear in the original book anyway, this is probably the one book a guilty comic book fan can pick up, with no problem. For non-fans, you’ll just want to see Cooke’s superb sense of perspective, connected layouts, and knock-out handle on the comic book form.

Comedian #1

IGN: My favorites were the aforementioned Minutemen, Comedian, and Ozymandias

CBR: Azzarello has made the Comedian a player involved in the middle of the biggest news stories of the ’60s and the cast of historical characters that make an appearance in this book reads as a Who’s Who of the time. The presence of the Vietnam War hangs over every page of this book as the Comedian’s role in politics and war is played out, beautifully rendered by artist JG Jones.

Vine: The use of so many iconic figures in this book makes it feel forced and over saturated; like the writing is trying too hard to make the character seem relevant to the time — the result is that the story felt a little flat.

MTV: Nothing short of amazing. Jones, strongly channeling Dave Gibbons on “Before Watchmen: Comedian,” has never looked this sharp, ever.

CBS: Jones art is solid, but this is the one book where it felt like the artist was stepping back to let the writer go nuts… And those familiar with Azzarello’s writing know he can go totally, totally nuts. Whatever happens, this looks like the series that will take the most chances.

Ozymandias #1

IGN: My favorites were the aforementioned Minutemen, Comedian, and Ozymandias

CBR: The story clearly gives a look in to the enigmatic personality of Adrian Veidt and his early life as a child prodigy, setting him up for decades of personal success. Lee’s pencil work looks spectacular, as one would expect

Vine: This issue is like one big Norman Rockwell painting. The art is absolutely breathtaking. The visuals are amazing.

MTV: What I saw of Jae Lee’s “Ozymandias” was so trippy it looked like it was smoked out of somebody’s magic pipe, the images a fever-dream that literally bent and swayed across the page.

CBS: his does seem like another “fill in the plot points” type book, which is fine if that’s what you’re looking for. Jae Lee’s art though, is lovely – it looks like what would happen in Norman Rockwell and H.P. Lovecraft decided to have a baby together. And then that baby drew a comic book prequel to Watchmen. That’s one talented baby, you guys.

Nite Owl #1

IGN: Nite Owl is plodding with uninspired interiors

CBR: The second reading with some text reveals more story, depicting Dreiberg as something of the ultimate fan boy, with the original Nite Owl Hollis Mason playing the role of father figure and mentor, depicting Dreiberg’s journey from fan to hero.


Feels like a Batman story in part because of Kubert’s art, and also because the story is so tragic.
Looks great. Definitely a different feel from the other titles.
MTV: “Nite Owl” was classic Joe Kubert come to life — like reading a comic from another era, but without all the self-referential “irony” and Ben-Day dots.

CBS: Just by it’s nature, this is a bit of a Batman riff, in case you couldn’t guess. But the real thrill here for comic fans is seeing classic artist Joe Kubert ink over his son Andy Kubert’s pencils. Seeing their two styles mix is a spine-tingling thrill, albeit a thrill for comic book nerds like us.

Silk Spectre #1


CBR: Enough can’t be said about the personality Conner imbues each character with. You can tell from every expressions on the faces of the cast in this book their emotional state and point of view. Cooke and Conner appear to be a match made in comic book heaven.


Conner delivers animated panels that give the reader insight into the mind of an adolescent Silk Spectre who doesn’t get along with her Mother.
There’s an interesting parallel in this issue between the older Silk Spectre reminiscing about her past as a crimefighter, and her young daughter who is daydreaming about the future.
MTV: Amanda Conner’s “Silk Spectre” was a beautifully-rendered — but unflinching — look deeper into the character and the familial relationships in her life.

CBS: For everyone else, what makes this book so surprising is how ridiculous funny it is. That’s right: a funny Watchmen book. Conner has said she based the book on the nine panel grid structure Dave Gibbons used for the original series, but it also feeds nicely into what Silk Spectre is: a throwback romance comic, but with way more moms beating up their daughters.

Rorschach #1


CBR: Bermejo’s artwork fully realizes the grimy, seedy side of 1970s New York City and the story Azzarello has crafted captures Rorschach’s essence exactly as he’s depicted in the original series — one nasty dude you don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of.


Dark, grim, highlights the seedy, dirty underbelly os a society engulfed in pornography and drug addiction. Bermejo’s usually angelic visuals capture the grit and grime of this story.
Is Azzarello capturing the sheer essence of Moore’s Rorschach, or is he simply playing with the audience by attempting to shock them as much as possible?
MTV: Lee Bermejo’s “Rorschach” was publication-ready in simply the pencils, continuing the high bar set by him in books like “Joker” and “Batman: Noel.”

CBS: If you like to feel dirty, you will love this book. Artist Lee Bermejo is an insanely good visual storyteller – the script was separate in this book, and we understood everything that was going on. The opening page is Rorschach’s mask depicted in the clouds over New York City, and it only gets better from there.

Captain Manhattan #1


CBR: the story jumps around constantly from one time period in Jonathan Osterman’s life to another, utilizing clock pieces in the artwork throughout to reflect the journey through time Straczynski takes his readers on. Hughes’ artwork is gorgeous as always and yes, the big blue guy does show up naked in the first issue.

Vine: The issue really captures a sense of sadness, loneliness and complete isolation that the character exhibited in the original Watchmen series.

MTV: And you have the first sequential art drawn by Adam Hughes in quite some time in “Dr. Manhattan,” which is no small feat; I would imagine it involved a rather talented Hughes-wrangler.

CBS: like most of the rest of these books, this seems to be straight up prequel/biography, and we’re not as interested in books that just fill in the blanks.

Curse Of The Crimson Corsair back up strip



Vine: As beautiful as John Higgins’ art is in this story it, of all of these books, this story seems the strangest to read. This, more than any other, feels too much like Alan Moore and thus, felt like a violation of Moore’s ideas more so than the expansion of the Watchmen Universe.



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The CW Orders a Full Season of 'Arrow' Based on DC Comics' Emerald Archer - ComicsAlliance

The CW Orders a Full Season of 'Arrow' Based on DC Comics' Emerald Archer - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |
Someone at the CW must really, really like Oliver Queen. After a multi-year stint as a supporting character on the long-running Smallville, the television network has promoted Green Arrow to star status with the announcement of a series order for the hour-long show Arrow.

Despite spending five years in Clark Kent's shadow during the sixth to tenth seasons of the surprisingly long-lived Superman-in-training series, Arrow isn't a spin-off of Justin Hartley's Smallville superhero. Instead, it's a reboot of the character developed by Green Lantern screenwriters Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim -- along with Fringe co-executive producer (and one-time Green Arrow and Black Canary comic writer) Andrew Kreisberg -- that'll star The Vampire Diaries' Stephen Amell as "billionaire playboy Oliver Queen," who returns to Starling City after five years of life on a remote island in the Pacific a changed man. From the CW's official description of the project:
While Oliver hides the truth about the man he's become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel's father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver's own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.

Given the name of Queen's own Alfred (Apparently, like Smallville, Arrow likes to play up the Batman-like qualities in the character's backstory), it looks like Andy Diggle and Jock's 2007 retelling of the character's origin in Green Arrow: Year One may be an influence on this particular version of the character.

Alongside Amell, the cast for Arrow includes Supernatural's Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, The OC's Willa Holland as Oliver's sister Thea and genre veteran Susanna Thompson as the Queen matriarch, Moira.

The series will debut on the CW this fall with a pilot scripted by Kreisberg and Guggenheim and directed by Game of Thrones director David Nutter.

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The Nicktoon Avengers Assemble!

The Nicktoon Avengers Assemble! | Comic Books |
Not to be outdone by human actors, the characters from various Nickelodeon cartoons have donned their favorite superhero costumes and are ready for their turn on the big screen. Joss Whedon didn't plan for the likes of Iron Zim, Captain Bluffington, and the Bulk.
Moviefone commission cartoonist Dennis Culver to create these Avengers/Nicktoons mashups. If Spongebob is Thor, does that mean that Squidward is Loki? Because I could definitely see him in the horned helm.

See the rest of the super team, including Rock-eye and Gerald Fury, at Moviefone.

Nicktoon Avengers: Nickelodeon Characters As The Marvel Superhero Team [Moviefone via Design You Trust]

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Hastings Launches A Nationwide Pullbox | Bleeding Cool

Hastings Launches A Nationwide Pullbox | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |
Well, nationwide-ish. Mostly in the South. Twenty states.

Bleeding Cool has been following the progress of Hastings, a multimedia entertainment superstore retailer, moving into comic book store territory. Increasing massively the stock and knowledge base of 138 stores, and creating the largest direct market comic book chain, and the largest single buyer of comic books in the USA.

They’ve sold exclusive variant covers, participated in retailer promotions and now they’re providing the common comic book store service of a pullbox. Comic books pre-ordered and set aside for regular customers, to avoid the Wednesday morning rush.

This will launch on Free Comic Book Day this Saturday. Attendees who pick up free comics from their local Hastings will get a coupon for 25% off their first pullbox order, if they pre-order three or more comics.
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