Skip to Content

Interview with Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox of ‘Plutona’

Set to release on Sept. 2 from Image Comics is Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox’s Plutona, a miniseries about a rag-tag group of five kids who bump into the dead body of a famous superhero.
“The book isn’t so much about the superhero as it is the kids who find her. It’s about how this discovery, and the decision they make, starts to affect their lives and their friendship,” said writer Lemire via email interview. “It’s a very grounded story told from these kids’ point of view.”

Read More about Interview with Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox of ‘Plutona’

To Better Know a Team: Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four are the first family of Marvel Comics. Created in 1961 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (apocryphally, the result of an edict by Marvel publisher Martin Goodman to tryout a superhero team, a la rival DC Comic’s super-successful Justice League) and heavily inspired by the monster comics Marvel was publishing at the time, their tremendous popularity and success is responsible for launching Marvel’s Silver Age superhero renaissance, transforming a middling publisher of romance and sci-fi comics into one of the “Big Two” publishers of superhero adventure stories, leading to the creation of some of pop culture’s most enduring and beloved characters. Without the Fantastic Four, there would arguably be no Spider-Man, no Hulk, no X-Men or Avengers. Fantastic Four #1 is, simply, the Big Bang of Marvel Comics.

Read More about To Better Know a Team: Fantastic Four

Pragmatism beats principle in ‘Daredevil’ #17

It’s hard to stomach that Mark Waid’s Daredevil, which has been hitting stands every month for around four years, is about to end, but it is indeed going to be that time very soon. There’s a feeling of culmination in this penultimate issue, bringing back plot threads from not just the start of the “Marvel Now!” relaunch in 2014, but even before that from the first major part of Waid’s run. The result is solid modernistic superhero storytelling with high stakes, tough battles, and a constant questioning of the hero’s philosophy and capability. It’s a great read, page-for-page.

Read More about Pragmatism beats principle in ‘Daredevil’ #17

Esaw shows his character in ‘Southern Bastards’ #10

As of late, the duo of Jason Aaron and Jason Latour have diverged from the pattern of their first two arcs on Southern Bastards, which followed a respective character each, by doing single issues that provide new focus on specific characters while still keeping the ongoing story plodding along.

Read More about Esaw shows his character in ‘Southern Bastards’ #10

‘Princess Leia’ Features a Strong Premise, but Weak Execution

The series kicks off well, using as its starting point an opportunity for characterization left unexplored by the film. After all, in A New Hope, we see Leia consoling Luke over the death of Ben Kenobi, a man he’s known for all of a few days, while the massive grief she herself must be feeling at the time over the destruction of her entire planet, including her family, goes unspoken. With the Death Star destroyed and the Rebellion victorious (for now), Waid and Dodson kick off their story by exploring how Leia is dealing with the aftermath of her homeworld being obliterated before her eyes.

Read More about ‘Princess Leia’ Features a Strong Premise, but Weak Execution

To Better Know a Hero: Ant-Man

Ant-Man is a superhero identity that’s actually been used by three different characters of note and, despite the fact that Lang is the character being used in the Marvel Studios feature film, he is, arguably, the least of the three characters. Hank Pym originated the identity and though he quickly discarded it in favor of the more overtly powerful Giant-Man (using his size-changing Pym Particles to get bigger instead of smaller, a switch Pym-creator Stan Lee has said was triggered by artists failing to depict the world around the shrunken Pym in proper perspective), it was as Ant-Man that Pym helped co-found the Avengers (and come up with their name), and though he quickly left the specific Ant-Man identity behind, Pym remains a stalwart member of the Avengers.

Read More about To Better Know a Hero: Ant-Man

‘Identity Crisis’ Knows Just What It Is: Mind Blowing

Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man’s words echo throughout the entire Identity Crisis series. Even for a hero, who experiences the worst of humanity on a daily basis, it’s hard to believe that tragedy can strike home. “After all, it can happen out there, but it would never happen here. I’m home. I’m safe,” you think to yourself. Humans need to feel this sense of security. Unfortunately, for Ralph, tragedy does strike, shattering the illusion for all the heroes in the hardest way possible. Ralph’s wife Sue is murdered while she prepares his surprise party. This single crime would start a chain of events that throw the entire Justice League into turmoil.

Read More about ‘Identity Crisis’ Knows Just What It Is: Mind Blowing

‘Die Hard: Year One’ Volume 2 is a “Yippee”

In the first four issues of Die Hard: Year One, readers were let down by a plot overstuffed with characters and lacking any true resemblance of the tone of the original movies. This second volume, collecting issues 5-8, suffers a similar fate in that it fails to ignite any passion in the reader, instead going through the motions and producing an average comic book.

Read More about ‘Die Hard: Year One’ Volume 2 is a “Yippee”

NonCompliant #6 “Sabrina vs. Predator”

Katy Rex returns to NonCompliant as we discuss the new horror tinged take on Sabrina, the surprising feminist themes of Archie vs. Predator, the latest issue of female fronted Thor, and the all ages indie slice of life comic Nutmeg. Plus a couple of PSAs about the University of Mary Washington Divest arrests and Day of Silence and a very special puppy cameo.

Read More about NonCompliant #6 “Sabrina vs. Predator”

To Better Know a Hero: Storm

Storm, easily Marvel’s most high-profile female African-American character (and of the first such characters in superhero comics), is a character whose most prominent and well-executed storyline occurred nearly two decades ago. In the mid-80s, longtime X-Men scribe Chris Claremont crafted a long story arc for Storm, which found her shedding her ethereal, goddess-esque image in the face of the burden of leadership and a desire to experience life more fully in favor of a more striking punk look and sensibility. Then, she lost her mutant powers and was forced to prove her worth as leader of the X-Men on her non-superpowered skills alone, a feat she accomplished with aplomb, continuing to lead the X-Men through some of their darkest hours (including the massacre of the Morlocks) before ultimately finding a way to restore her superpowers.

Read More about To Better Know a Hero: Storm

‘The Gutters’ is the ultimate comics industry parody

First and foremost, The Gutters was a twice weekly webcomic that made fun of various aspects of the comics industry. It took the comics news of that week and spinned into something hilarious and self-contained with a rotating cast of artists, including ones you might know like Annie Wu (Hawkeye), Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan), Joe Eisma (Morning Glories), Nick Bradshaw (Wolverine and the X-Men), and even comics legend Neal Adams, who pencilled a heartfelt tribute to the late Joe Kubert in 2012. The humor of The Gutters is highly topical. However, in the tradition of the best MAD Magazine strips or SNL sketches, it can act as a nice time capsule to 2010 when people were arguing whether Steve Rogers or Bucky Barnes (or Clint Barton) should be Captain America, or 2012 when the circle of snark around Before Watchmen and if it was doing irreparable damage to comics was going on.

Read More about ‘The Gutters’ is the ultimate comics industry parody

10 Best Comics of 2014

Cullen Bunn is unique. If nothing else can be said about him, he is certainly unique. The Empty Man shows the full extent of Bunn’s ability. The series focuses on two detectives as they struggle to sort out the mystery surrounding a series of suspicious deaths and murders. The deaths are connected by the strange hallucinations experienced by the perpetrators, as well as their last words “The Empty Man made me do it”. The Empty Man is unpredictable because it follows so very few tropes. Nothing like this series has been seen before, and readers will be asking themselves the same question over and over: Who is the Empty Man? (Or “What the F*ck?”).

Read More about 10 Best Comics of 2014

10 Best Comics of 2014

2014 was an incredibly rewarding year to be a comics reader. Veteran creators, like Grant Morrison, Kurt Busiek, and Matt Wagner continued to churn out some of the best work of their career while new creators, like Noelle Stevenson, Babs Tarr, and Tula Lotay had very strong starts. Marvel and DC published their fair share of events, including Original Sin, …

Read More about 10 Best Comics of 2014

‘The Hospital Suite’ – John Porcellino Seeks the Cure to What Ails Him

John Porcellino is an alternative comics artist who has been drawing his signature series, King-Cat Comics & Stories for 74 issues across four decades and several US states. Since the late 1980s, Porcellino has performed in several bands, run a record label and produced numerous comics and zines. In addition to running his Spit & a Half Distribution company, comics have proven to be his one enduring passion. Porcellino, who recently took a nationwide victory lap to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of King-Cat, has also seen the publication of several collected works, (King-Cat Classix, Map of my Heart, Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man, to name a few). He his known for his simple line work, poetic writing and biographical themes. It is with his new collection, Hospital Suite, (Drawn & Quarterly) that Porcellino delivers his first, previously unpublished collection of stories.

Read More about ‘The Hospital Suite’ – John Porcellino Seeks the Cure to What Ails Him

To Better Know a Villain: Ultron

First Appearance Avengers #54, July 1968 (unnamed cameo), Avengers #55, August 1968 (full appearance) Nicknames and Aliases Crimson Cowl, Ultimate Ultron, Mark 12, Ultron Pym Powers and Abilities Ultron is an artificial intelligence capable of learning and evolving. To wit, he builds increasingly stronger and more powerful bodies for himself, usually comprised of some form …

Read More about To Better Know a Villain: Ultron

AVP: Archie versus Predator is happening in 2015

Archie comes have gotten a little weird at times. Like the gang meeting the Punisher, a recent critically acclaimed zombie version, and even the recent death of the title character earlier this year. Things are about to get even weirder with a new four issue miniseries in the spring of 2015 when Archie, Betty, Veronica, …

Read More about AVP: Archie versus Predator is happening in 2015

Monster Mashup: X-Men #40

Because the characters exist in the public domain, there have been countless comic book iterations of classic horror icons Dracula and Frankenstein, including “official” versions of both characters which exist within the respective Marvel and DC Universes, versions which interact with each company’s superheroes. But through the years, those heroes have also encountered and battled one-off iterations of the horror monsters, independent of the “main” characterization.

Read More about Monster Mashup: X-Men #40

Interview with Jacob Semahn,Writer of Image Comics’ ‘Goners’

This past week I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacob Semahn, the writer on the upcoming supernatural mystery series Goners from Image Comics. Before working on Goners, Semahn was a producer on American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. He is currently working in animation for Man of Action and has written screenplays for Marvel’s Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man shows. The basic premise …

Read More about Interview with Jacob Semahn,Writer of Image Comics’ ‘Goners’

To Better Know a Hero: Flash

Real Name Barry Allen First Appearance Showcase #4 October 1956 Nicknames and Aliases The Scarlet Speedster, Fastest Man Alive. Powers and Abilities Super-speed, including the ability to run up walls and over water, to create powerful updrafts of air by running in a circle, and to vibrate his molecules at such a speed as to …

Read More about To Better Know a Hero: Flash