Title: Jupiter’s Legacy
Author: Mark Millar
Artist: Frank Quitely
Publisher: Image Comics / MillarWorld
Release date: April 24, 2013
Verdict: Looks to Be Epic!
I’ve just read the first issue of Frank Quitely and Mark Millar’s long awaited Jupiter’s Legacy, and I have renewed high hopes of this series being something special that we talk about for years to come. Mark Millar is one of the absolute best pitch-men in all of comics. He routinely hypes his stuff by saying it will change the face of comics…or that this series is illustrated by one of the greatest artists of all time…or that this new book will outshine all the work he, along with whom ever his collaborator is, have ever done in either of their careers. Is this lying?…or simply just self-promotion? Smarter people than me should be the ones to come to that decision. I will say that this issue did not disappoint and I don’t think Mark is guilty of false promises this time around.
This series starts in 1932 during the one of the worst banking failures and financial depressions that the world has ever seen. People are desperate. They have no money; they’ve lost their homes; they have no jobs; their pets have been eaten, and their clothes are in tatters. They’ve lost almost all hope. But one group of people…arguably special people…have taken an adventure based on the fever dreams of one of their own. They’ve hired a boat and its crew to take them to a special island in the Indian Ocean that even the locals know nothing about. Is it the island from Lost? Is it an allegory for a hidden Olympus-type place? At this time, we don’t know. All we know it that this group went to this island in 1932, and when they left the island, they came back to America to inspire the people to be better than they are. And they were wearing flashy superhero-type costumes and had amazing abilities greater than that of normal men and women.
Cut to 2013, and the offspring of these do-gooders are as shiftless and lazy as the celbutante douchebags that populate our world’s trash magazines. They have the power to do good…but they’d rather get another Vodka company to sponsor their birthday bash in Las Vegas. These kids are powerful and are able to help others…the very activity that their parents wished they would do…but they have no drive. It’s like someone who works their ass off all of their life, amasses a monster fortune, and then ruins their family for 10 generations because none of them have to ever work for anything.
After one issue, I think Mark Millar is on the right track. Exploring these people and how they act in a world that they can dominate, but don’t because they either believe in the self-determination of America, or because they are too lazy, is a daunting project. Hopefully we get all 10 issues of this series in a timely manner. It was supposed to debut in 2012, but got pushed back further and further, which hopefully means that Frank Quitely has got very far ahead on issues so that we don’t have to wait a decade to get to the endgame. Mark Millar is notorious for not finishing series when he takes too long. He tends to lose interest. Hopefully this is not the case with Jupiter’s Legacy.
As a final thought, I just want to point out how amazing Frank Quitely’s artwork is in this first issue. Frank is handling all the pencils/inks and is being coloured by Peter Doherty, his colorist on All-Star Superman. I’ve followed Frank’s work religiously ever since I was exposed to it in my early days of comic collecting, and this ‘new’ style of his is quite beautiful. DC/Vertigo will be releasing a “Vertigo Visions” book featuring tonnes of previously un-collected Quitely artwork later this year, and just like his run on All-Star Superman, his Authority issues, and WE3, it will be a treasured item on my self. Hopefully late 2014 will also see a gorgeous oversized hardcover collection of this series. And hopefully it meets all the hype thrown at it by its writer and the internet.
I hope you dig this series as much as I do. I can’t wait for issue #2. There were six covers to issue #1. Which one did you get? (I got the Quitely cover pictured at the top). Sound off in our comments section below and we can chat about what you liked and what you didn’t. Was this book overhyped in your opinion? Let us know what you thought J .
Title: Halcyon #1
Author: Marc Guggenheim & Tara Butters
Artist: Ryan Bodenheim
Publisher: Image Comics (Collider)
Release date: November 10, 2010
A few months ago while going over the upcoming comics from Image, I saw the cover for Halcyon #1 and was immediately drawn to it. The cover was simple and straight forward with 6 characters plus a dog on a simple white background with the word “Halcyon” through the middle. At the time I had absolutely no idea what the book was about, but you could tell from the cover that this book was going to be beautiful and it was going to involve super-humans doing some cool super-human shit.
The series is written by Marc Guggenheim, one the up and comers over at Marvel who also happens to work in television as a writer/producer (currently the executive producer on No Ordinary Family). I’ve quite enjoyed his stuff over the last few years, but from the looks of it, the real star of this series will be artist Ryan Bodenheim. Now you may have never heard of Ryan before, but I can guarantee that he is one of the next big artists in the industry. The only book of Ryan’s that I’ve read up to this point was his beyond excellent mini-series, Red Mass for Mars, released by Image and written by one of my favourite writers today, Jonathan Hickman. The only downfall of Mr. Bodenheim is his seeming time to complete an issue. Red Mass for Mars was a gorgeous four-issue mini-series, but it took about a year for it to come out. When I first saw his art I was immediately reminded of a cross between Frank Quitely, Cameron Stewart, Tony Moore, and Geoff Darrow, and when it comes to scheduling problems, these guys are some of the worst offenders. But on the other hand, their artwork is some of the best in the industry, so even if this book was released quarterly, it would be better than nothing. So how was the actual issue?
The story opens up in Peshawar, Pakistan with a super soldier named Jarhead being dropped right into the middle of a fire-fight with militant extremists. He takes them apart one at a time with ruthless efficiency. Right off the bat the artwork is striking in its beautiful detail. Every tread on every boot and every fold in each piece of clothing is visible. Simply awesome! From there we are introduced to Oculus, the world’s greatest super-villain, as he hides away in his fortress on a parallel Earth with other iterations of himself. Just picture Doctor Doom hiding away in the negative zone where bunches of other Doctor’s Doom are also passing the time. Do you see the crazy potential?
After only the first issue, I would say that I’m definitely hooked. This first storyarc has an interesting angle it looks like it’s going to follow (ie. Crime is drastically down across the globe in a huge way. What does this really mean?) and the creators working on this are perfect. I don’t speculate often about #1 issues, but I’m relatively certain that this book will be optioned in Hollywood any minute (if it hasn’t been already) and the price for this first issue is going to sky rocket. Don’t waste any time, come in and get your copy today. The second printing should be announced very soon.
Invincible, The Walking Dead, Proof, Chew, Cowboy/Ninja/Viking, and now Halcyon. Image is quickly becoming my favourite place to go for my monthly dose of comic book perfection. What did you guys think of this issue? If you didn’t love it, then I think you’re nuts! Let’s chat about it in our awesome comments section below. Some (obvious) advice before I see you again next time: PICK UP HALCYON #1! You won’t be disappointed J .
Title: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1
Author: Nick Spencer
Publisher: DC Comics
Release date: November 10, 2010
Ever since DC Comics acquired the rights to publish the old THUNDER Agents issues from the mid-1960’s, DC has also tried to relaunch the series in a modern setting. The THUNDER Agents lasted 20 issues are were originally published by Tower comics. The team of heroes was actually an extension of the United Nations, and acted on their behalf in securing the world from grand threats. You know? Basically what super-heroes always. The series was notable for its depiction of the heroes out of costume dealing with their real lives as well as being drawn by Wally Wood, one the best of his day, and one of the craziest comic book illustrators of the last 50 years. Seriously. The dude was nuts. But I digress. DC Comics has just launched a new monthly series written by up and comer Nick Spencer, with art by CAFU and glorious covers by the incomparable Frank Quitely.
The core team consists of the original NoMan and a team of new heroes wearing the classic THUNDER Agents costumes, so this series is not a straight up reboot of the original. DC has brought the THUNDER Agents into the DC Universe much in the same way the Milestone characters were brought in a few years ago, but as many of you know, that wasn’t very interesting. Afterall…those Milestones characters really suck. So was the introduction of the THUNDER Agents dealt with any better?
I must say a resounding yes! This issue only really scratches the surface of what’s to come in this series. It seems as though flashbacks will be utilized to get a certain portion of the story out, but not the whole thing, and the conspiracy theories will abound. The THUNDER Agents deal with threats to Earth that are beyond the regular UN Security council purview. In reality, they do superhero stuff but not on a cosmic level. In fact, I question the reason behind having the THUNDER Agents in the DCU at all. I’m hoping that the world they inhabit is one of the parallel Earth’s (one of the 52) where all the super-heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman don’t exist at all. In this first issue we don’t see any of those people, so you never know I guess.
I thought the story was quite compelling. I know we are only one issue in, so the story hasn’t really had time to breathe, but the way this first issue was presented, it really reminded me of the recently completed DV8: Gods and Monsters 8-issue series by Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaac’s, wherein the body of the story took place at an earlier time. I haven’t read anything by this Nick Spencer dude before, but I have heard some rumblings of good things coming from him. This issue proves that those rumblings were spot on. CAFU, the regular penciler, is not all the way new to me, but from what I’ve seen in the past, he or she has really stepped up their game. The art is clean and crisp and really displays shades of Gary Frank, one of DC Comics absolute top talents. If you’re going to ape someone’s style, there is hardly anyone better than the great Gary Frank.
This issue was good enough that I put the series onto my subscription list right away. I’m really hoping that the next “Authority” is in our midst. It’s been years since a series really challenged us to take a deeper look into the souls of our icons. What did you guys think? How does it compare to the original series from the 1960’s or any of the countless rehashes attempted over the years? Do you also think that Wally Wood was crazy? Let us know in our handy comments section J .
The biggest week in Comic Book fandom has just passed us by. Yes…that’s right. The San Diego Comic Con just happened, and we have a report on some of the biggest news items to come out of SoCal. Check it all out!!
- DC has announced that David Finch, who in January signed an exclusive deal with the publisher after several years at Marvel and Top Cow, will be writing and providing art on a new ongoing Batman series entitled Batman: The Dark Knight. The book will feature Bruce Wayne as Batman in stories inspired by the 1970’s Batman runs by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. This series is set to debut in November 2010.
- October will see the release of a one-shot entitled Batman: The Return, written by Grant Morrison with art by David Finch. This book will act as a precursor to Finch’s Dark Knight series.
- Anton Yelchin, best known as Chekov in the new Star Trek and John Connor’s father in Terminator: Salvation, has been cast as Harry Osborn in the new Spider-Man reboot film. This kid is a genre superstar!
- DC Comics has announced that the ongoing Vertigo series, Greek Street, which is a modern retelling of Greek tragedies using modern day London as its setting, has been cancelled. The series last issue will be issue #16.
- Grant Morrison is working on Multiversity, a massive DC-multiverse spanning series that will have ten artists attached to it. Currently the only known confirmed members of said group of ten are Frank Quitely, who will be drawing the book detailing Earth-4 and all the Charlton characters. It should be very “watchmen-esque”; and Cameron Stewart, who will be working on “Thunderworld” which is a look at the Captain Marvel family of characters.
- Marvel has announced that X-Force will be relaunching this fall. The series will be re-titled Uncanny X-Force and will launch with a new #1. The team will also be making some roster changes. The new line-up is: Wolverine, Deadpool, Archangel, Psylocke, and Fantomex. The first villain they will tackle is expected to be Apocalypse. The series will also have an “Explicit Content” tag on it due to all the bloody gore that is expected to populate this series. Rick Remender will write the book while Jerome Opena will draw it.
- Marvel announced a new Spider-Girl ongoing series, but it will have nothing to do with Mayday Parker or her long time writer, Tom Defalco. The new series will star Arana who turned into the new Spider-Girl in last issue of the Grim Hunt storyarc that just wrapped up in Amazing Spider-Man. The series will be written by Paul Tobin and feature artwork by Clayton Henry.
- Marvel also announced two new Spider-Man mini-series. The first, Osborn, will deal with Norman Osborn behind bars. This series is brought to us by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Emma Rios; while the second is called Carnage and will be brought to us by writer Zeb Wells and artist Clayton Crain. Both series will run for 5 issues and begin later in 2010.
- Scott Kurtz, the mad mind behind the series PvP, is pulling the book from Image Comics as well as Diamond Distributors. Kurtz is going back to self publishing and plans on selling the book directly to stores and fans via his website. The single issues will disappear, but graphic novel collection will still be available. Is this the future of the creator owned book? Will Diamond’s monopoly finally be challenged in a meaningful way?
- Jimmy Palmiotti along with AiT/Planetlar owner Larry Young and Hollywood producer Jason Netter have announced that they are starting a new comic book company called Kick Start Comics. The company will be attached to Kickstart Entertainment. The company will publish four books a month to start and will be distributing their wares to the direct market via venues such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble. Expect these books to be published in a different size than regular comics to accommodate different sized shelf space at these stores. The debut comics include Bad Guys by Phil Eisner, Rift Raiders from Mark Sable and Julian Totino Tedesco, Adam Freeman and Marc Bernardin’s Hero Complex and Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett’s Witch. Netter, Palmiotti and Justin Gray had already been behind Image titles such as Splatterman/Random Acts of Violence.
- DC/Vertigo has announced that starting in October they will be releasing previously unreleased issues under a banner called “Vertigo Resurrected”. The line will be used to release books that were scuttled out of fear that they would upset readers. The first issue seeing publication is Warren Ellis and Phil Jimenez’s issue of Hellblazer (originally supposed to be #141) called ‘Shoot’, which deals with a school shooting. It was pulled before publication originally as it’s release would have been just a few weeks after the Columbine massacre of 1999.
- Writer and Image partner Robert Kirkman (Invincible, The Walking Dead) has announced that he is launching a new creator friendly/creator-owned imprint out of Image Comics. The Imprint, called SKYBOUND, is more creator friendly than the regular Image Comics wherein under Skybound’s banner Image will help with advanced payment and marketing assistance (which IMAGE Central does not do). Because Kirkman is taking this on himself, Mr. Kirkman will receive a cut of the money made from the various licensing deals that would flow from his help. The first tile to launch under the Skybound banner will be “WITCH DOCTOR” by Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner, while the second announced title will be Thief of Thieves by writer Nick Spencer, who is already working with Image on Existence 2.0. and Forgetless. Also, Kirkman’s books Invincible and The Walking Dead will be moving under the Skybound shingle as well. Click here for the full scoop…
- Marvel Studios has finally confirmed the identities of the actors who will play Bruce Banner/The Hulk and Clint Barton/Hawkeye in Joss Whedon’s Avengers film: Mark Ruffalo will be the third man in a decade to play The Hulk on screen, while Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) will strap on the bow and arrow as Hawkeye. Click here for the full scoop…
- An unconfirmed rumor out of Comic-con was that writer Jeff Parker, the current Hulk scribe, will be taking over the adjectiveless Avengers title with issue #7. It was confirmed that Red Hulk would be joining the team with that issue, so Parker taking over would make sense. We will provide confirmation once we have it..
- Writer Marc Guggenheim has announced his new imprint with Image called Collider Entertainment. The imprint will primarily feature Hollywood screenwriters creating original comic properties, but without the intent to one day make the comic into a film. Marc mentioned that most film writers will just use an old spec script they wrote years ago as the basis for a new comic, but for his imprint, he wants totally new and original content.
- DC Comics announced that a new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents book will be launched in the coming months. The series will be written by Nick Spencer and feature artwork by CAFU. We can also expect a cover by Frank Quitely and a variant cover by Darwyn Cooke for the first issue.
- For those who remember him, Joe Madureira, best known as the big X-Men artist in the mid-1990’s, is having all 9 issues of his creator owned Image series, Battlechasers, collected in a soft cover collection in November. The series ended on a cliffhanger, but since he has no plans on ever going back to finish the story, collecting all 9 issues seemed like the thing to do.
- Artist Darick Robertson and writer Christos Gage are currently working on a project together for Wildstorm Comics that they are currently unable to announce the title of. All we know is that it’s a creator-owned mini-series. We can expect to see it in 2011…
- Marvel’s top creative executive Joe Quesada let it slip that it looks like Marvel will be re-printing the long out of print back catalogue of Crossgen comics. Crossgen, which was around from 1998 to 2004 was bought out completely by Disney a few years ago in order for Disney to acquire the rights to the book Abadazad. With the recent partnering of Disney with Marvel, this one was a no-brainer. Even though Crossgen failed as a company, they still had some great comics…
- Writer Mark Millar has finally announced his new creator owned book from Marvel’s ICON imprint. The book will be call Superior and will feature artwork by none other than Leinil Francis Yu. Millar also took the chance to announce that Matthew Vaughan, the director on Millar’s Kick-Ass movie as well as the upcoming X-Men: First Class film, plans on bringing Superior to the big screen after he finishes up with X-Men. Click here for the full scoop…
- Marvel has announced that they will be bringing an Ultimate Spider-Man animated series to the small screen in the near future. The coolest news attached to this announcement is that Brian Michael Bendis, the man behind scripting the actual comic book series, will be writing for it as well as being a producer on it.
- DC announced that all of the character from various Vertigo titles that got their start in the DCU (ex. Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Death, Sandman, etc.) would be returning to it. Of course, the only exception to this is John Constantine, Hellblazer, who will stay firmly entrenched in Vertigo’s sandbox…
- Writer Scott Snyder (Vertigo’s American Vampire) has signed exclusive with DC. Snyder will be the new regular writer on DC’s Detective Comics starting later in 2010.
- Tyler Kirkham has signed an exclusive deal with DC Comics. The artist has been made the new regular artist on DC’s Green Lantern Corps with Tony Bedard as the writer. Look for his run to start in October with issue #53.
…and that’s all from the SDCC 2010 for now. As more analyses is completed, we’ll report on anything that fell through the cracks. Enjoy everyone
Title: Batman #700
Author: Grant Morrison
Artist: Tony Daniel, David Finch, Andy Kubert, and Frank Quitely
Publisher: DC Comics
Release date: June 9, 2010
Another big time comic book reached a milestone issue number this month, and that book was the adjective-less Batman title, which hit the big number 700. This landmark issue makes Batman one of the longest running titles in all of comic book history. The book featured a sweet cover by David Finch, and also featured the return of Grant Morrison to these pages for the first time in over a year. Morrison has been making “Batman & Robin” his sole Batman story telling outlet.
The issue featured four separate but inter-related stories from four separate eras of Batman’s career. The first story, titled “Yesterday” features a tale starring the original Batman, Bruce Wayne, with art by current Batman writer/artist Tony Daniel. The second story “Today” features a story with Dick Grayson, the current Batman, and art by oft-Morrison collaborator Frank Quitely. The third story, “Tomorrow” features Damian Wayne as the caped crusader in the not too distant future. A future that was first investigated by Morrison and Andy Kubert back in Batman #666. Kubert returns to pencil this cool little tale. Last but not least, issue #700 also features a glimpse of various Batmen from the future such as Terry McGinnis, aka Batman Beyond, a Batman from a post-apocalyptic era, and a Batman from a Utopia-like society. All with gorgeous art by David Finch. The issue is then topped off with a pin-up gallery featuring pieces by Shane Davis, Juan Doe, Dustin Nguyen, Guillem March, Tim Sale, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Philip Tan. All in all it was a very packed anniversary issue, but that’s okay. Nothing is better than really getting a big bang for your buck with these special issues.
The story that runs through the book was really an interconnected time travel story wherein each part of the issue tied into the other parts via the overall meta-story. Some things about a particular case from when Batman and Robin were Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson seem off. Bruce is not able to understand why everything happened in the way that it did. The case they were working seemed to have some holes. Some of those holes are worked out in the next story, and even more comes to light with each successive story. This is Grant Morrison doing what he does best. At first the story was confusing me, but it made more and more sense as I went on. By the end, I really loved this book J !
As a single issue, this is totally accessible to the fair-weather fan of Batman. We get a 30 page story with a bunch of pin-ups and a few sweet diagrams of the current incarnation of the Bat-Cave for only $5, and in today’s comic book landscape, that is in fact a deal. I would go so far as to say that this is one of the Top 5 Batman issues by Mr. Morrison. EVERYONE SHOULD CHECK IT OUT! What did you all think? Sound off below in our handy comments section J .