Author Archive

STAFF PICKS :: ALL NEW GHOST RIDER #1 :: MARCH 26, 2014

March 24, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: ALL NEW GHOST RIDER #1: Admittedly, Ghost Rider has never been a book for those seeking multi-layered depth of character and plot.  It’s always been a fairly straightforward idea.  There have been exceptions to that – notably in the excellent, under-read run of Jason Aaron – but mostly, it follows a reliably simple formula:  a motorcycle rider gets inhabited by a spirit of vengeance and brings holy hell down on evils both supernatural and human.  This week’s All New Ghost Rider looks to build a new layer onto this formula.  No, it’s not just because this incarnation drives a ’69 Dodge Charger instead of the time honored motorcycle.  This Ghost Rider is an 18 year old gear head named Robbie Reyes, who is navigating the violence he’s grown up around.  I applaud Marvel for introducing another minority as a title’s main protagonist, but am also thankful that they brought this particular creative team together.  Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore’s collaborative designs for this character (in and out of the Ghost Rider form) represent a very modern aesthetic, which matches the new energy they seem to be aiming for.  While I’ve long appreciated the art of Tradd Moore, his work here not only looks more kinetic than anything he’s done before (and that’s saying a lot), but it looks like he really enjoys working on this book.  I love comics where the creators’ enthusiasm for the work seems to run off the page. gr2

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STAFF PICKS :: SOCK MONKEY TREASURY HC :: MARCH 19, 2014

March 17, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: SOCK MONKEY TREASURY HC: This is one I’ve been anticipating for some time now.  At over 300 pages, this sprawling treasury collects all twelve of Tony Millionaire’s award winning Sock Monkey comics, plus a full color novella, an illustrated storybook and a full length graphic novel.  Millionaire’s work, while easily enjoyed by young readers, is also something that adults can appreciate.  There’s an underlying sense of the odd and twisted in these narratives, which are wonderfully rendered in a style that conjures up memories of E.H. Shepard and Lewis Carroll fever dreams.  There’s also humor here, though it’s not nearly as dark as you might have seen in Millionaire’s decidedly adult Maakies strips.  With most of these books out of print, and the individual comics especially difficult to find, this treasury is absolutely the perfect opportunity to see why so many people respect Tony Millionaire and his inimitable work.  Just check out THIS incredible preview available on Fantagraphics’ website to see why I’m so excited about this book. sockmonkey

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STAFF PICKS :: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 :: MARCH 12, 2014

March 10, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1:  The former Ms. Marvel has been enjoying a resurgence in recent years, and that can largely be attributed to the work of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick.  Her last Captain Marvel series was as much a character study as it was an entertaining super hero romp.  For this new relaunch, DeConnick is teaming with David Lopez, an artist who, though he might not be a household name, has well established himself as a reliable and gifted artist.  Now, I know there are some among you who are weary of the increasing number of relaunches or new #1 issues.  Recent weeks have proven, however, that it’s worth giving some of them a look.  The recent debuts of She Hulk, Wolverine and the X-men, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight have all acted as reminders that there are plenty of opportunities for genuinely fun new comics.  I’d also like to point out that DeConnick is writing at the top of her game at the moment.  Her Image series Pretty Deadly remains a category-defying series that is also well worth your patronage.  With DeConnick’s momentum and the looming probability that Captain Marvel might appear on the big screen, it’s a good time to catch up with the character.capmarv

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STAFF PICKS :: MOON KNIGHT #1 :: MARCH 5, 2014

March 03, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: MOON KNIGHT #1: Moon Knight has often been treated as a multiple-personality-laden Batman of sorts.  While the jumbled nature of the guy under the mask is intriguing, I’ve always been partial to the character’s horror elements.  With this new relaunch, the creative team of Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire seem poised to integrate both elements of the odd character for new readers.  Though you might not initially recognize the character’s new look (white business suit sans the cape), you’ll no doubt remember that Ellis does still occasionally write solid comics for Marvel.  The fantastic Nextwave series jumps to mind.  And it’s worth noting that Shalvey and Bellaire, though they’ve already made names for themselves in their respective areas of comic making, do seem to have an opportunity to take their storytelling to interesting new places with this character.  I should also mention that this book has been building advanced buzz in recent weeks.  Don’t be surprised if this one sells out quickly.moon knight 1

Bonus Pick: Muppets Omnibus: Over the years on this blog I’ve written at length about the genius of Roger Langridge.  While his Fred the Clown will always be my favorite, his work on the Muppets is downright joyous.  Aside from being genuinely funny throughout, Langridge’s art is impeccable.  This summer he’ll be returning to HeroesCon, so do yourself a favor and stop by his table to bask in the awe of his original art pages.  Like me, you’ll probably wind up spending your money on several of his incredible pages.  muppets

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STAFF PICKS :: FBP TP VOL. 1 (AND MORE!) :: FEBRUARY 19, 2014

February 18, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICKS: This week I’m eschewing our regular Staff Pick formula of choosing a single book to spotlight in favor of picking three new books that should be on your radar.  First up is the debut trade paperback of FBP.  It features the interesting premise of science gone awry, which is brilliantly illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez and our own Rico Renzi.  It’s also hard not to mention the work of Nathan Fox, who expertly matches the tone and style of the interior art with his always inventive covers.  Even more than that, this first collection includes the title’s first seven issues for a mere $9.99!

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Next up is Undertow #1.  Aside from being yet another new Image debut issue (speculators ahoy!), this aquatic based series features Atlantis as a superpower, and plenty of pulpy adventure elements, which have been a regular source of comics joy for me in recent years.

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Finally, there’s the perfectly titled Loki: Ragnarok and Roll.  This new series from Boom Studios offers a twist to the story of Odin banishing trickster god Loki to Earth.  Rather than attempt conquest of the planet through violence and manipulation, in this series, Loki turns to the power of Rock and Roll.  Cover artist Alexis Ziritt is a beast of an illustrator whose work you’re bound to be knowing more of soon.  This favorite artist of the Heroes Con Drink and Draw is the perfect person to provide covers for this concept.boom_loki_001_a

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STAFF PICKS :: THE MERCENARY SEA #1 :: FEBRUARY 12, 2014

February 10, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: THE MERCENARY SEA #1: The past few years have been a new golden age of sorts if you happen to be a fan of classic adventure and pulp comics.  We’ve seen the return of The Rocketeer alongside quality new series like Half Past Danger and Black Beetle.  Image gets in on the fun this week with a new adventure series of their own called The Mercenary Sea.  Set in the late ’30s, the series focuses on a ragtag group of mercenaries working odd jobs around the South Seas in a U-boat stolen by their captain.  Against the backdrop of impending war, the series promises everything from spies and pirates, to old fashioned war elements.  Though I’m not all that familiar with the previous works of creators Kel Symons and Matthew Reynolds, the previews I’ve seen of this new book suggest it’s a book well worth your investment this week.

Bonus Pick of the Week:  Lobster Johnson: Satan Smells a Rat TPB.  This latest collection starring Mike Mignola’s pulp wonder features art contributions from the likes of Kevin Nowlan, Wilfredo Torres, and Tonci Zonjic.  Aside from being yet another reliably good story of pulpy goodness that we’ve come to expect from these creators, this is a rare book where the title alone (“Satan Smells a Rat”) is enough to warrant a look. TheMercenarySea_01-1

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STAFF PICKS :: DEADLY CLASS #1 :: JANUARY 22, 2014

January 17, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICK :: DEADLY CLASS #1: You’ve undoubtedly heard one or more Heroes staffers extolling the recent virtues of writer Rick Remender.  With quality work on titles like Captain America, Uncanny Avengers, and Black Science, Remender is approaching that sought after balance between writing big mainstream super hero comics and critically acclaimed creator-owned titles.  This week Remender returns with yet another new creator owned series for Image: Deadly Class.  Produced in collaboration with artist Wesley Craig, this series set in the ’80s features disaffected high school students who happen to study at a school for world class assassins.  It’s all the angst of high school combined with the frenetic energy of an action movie.  With yet another promising new series (Low) coming from Image later this year, Remender continues to reiterate his place among the comic writing elite. deadlyclass

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STAFF PICKS :: BLACK WIDOW #1 :: JANUARY 8, 2013

January 06, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICK :: BLACK WIDOW #1:  There are several new Marvel reboots/relaunches coming up in the next few months, and I’m anticipating a good number of them.  We’ll see Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore starting a brand new car-driving Ghost Rider, Jason Latour teaming with Mahmud Asrar on Wolverine and the X-men, Kelly Sue DeConnick returning to Captain Marvel, and Mike Allred on Silver Surfer.  Add to that list this week’s Black Widow #1 by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto.  Edmondson has a knack for collaborating with exceptional artists, and he’s done it again here.  Who doesn’t want to see Phil Noto illustrate a Black Widow series?  Start the year on a good note with this comic, and don’t forget about those other upcoming debut issues hitting the shelves soon.  blackwidow1

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STAFF PICKS :: PRETTY DEADLY #3 :: DECEMBER 18, 2013

December 16, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICK :: PRETTY DEADLY #3: It’s the end of the year, so I can finally say it: Image produced my favorite monthly comics in 2013.  What I appreciate the most is that their creators can, by and large, keep to themselves and tell the stories they want without having to allot time to company wide shenanigans (crossovers and events, I’m looking at you).  The results are books like Hickman and Dragotta’s East of West, Dingess and Roberts’ Manifest Destiny, Brubaker and Epting’s Velvet, and Remender and Scalera’s Black Science (issue two is also out this week!) – all exciting comics that warrant your monthly attention.

Then there’s Pretty Deadly, the incredible new supernatural western series from Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, and Jordie Bellaire.  This series shouldn’t be celebrated just because all of the book’s talented creators happen to be female.  We should celebrate this book because it represents the creators’ best work of their careers.  It’s also, more importantly, a riveting and layered comic book experience.  DeConnick’s writing, which I’ve long been a fan of, is lyrical without being overwrought, poetic without being overly expository, and soulful in its delivery.  Rios’ art is full of fragility and fright.  She captures the vulnerability of  small animals with the same confidence as she does the horrific rage of the daughter of Death himself.  Bellaire, who may well be 2013′s most prolific colorist, doesn’t merely match the tone of the writing and art, but stretches her palette more here than you may have seen in her other works.  It’s early enough in this series to be able to pick up the first two issues at cover price, and I’d encourage you to seek them out.  This is a fine comic book, and one I hope you’ll pick up before the end of the year. pd3

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STAFF PICKS :: MANIFEST DESTINY #2 :: DECEMBER 11, 2013

December 06, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICK :: MANIFEST DESTINY #2: It recently dawned on me that Image Comics is currently producing the monthly comics I’m most excited about.  Between East of West, Pretty Deadly and Black Science, there are plenty of interesting new titles from the company.  Add to that list Chris Dingess and Matthew Roberts‘ Manifest Destiny.  This is one of those seemingly obvious concepts that writers everywhere are kicking themselves for not thinking of first.  It’s a new take on Lewis and Clark exploring the vast acreage obtained in the Louisiana Purchase.  While rooted in history, this series diverges from it by pitting the legendary explorers against an array of monsters and beasts that defy imagination (think buffalo centaurs).  In case you missed the sold out first issue, there’s also a second printing available this week.  In other words, here’s a perfect opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a very promising new series. manifestdest

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