Stephen Gerding, Author at Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

‘Ms. Marvel’ rockets to the #1 slot on Marvel’s digital sales chart

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It looks like Marvel’s emphasis on reaching a female audience may be paying off for Ms. Marvel.

The first issue of the teenaged superhero’s series debuted last Wednesday to a chorus of critical acclaim, just one day after Marvel editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso spoke with The Washington Post about the publisher’s enhanced focus on female characters and creators — along with Ms. Marvel, new series have been launched (or will be launched) featuring female heroes Black Widow, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel and Elektra; under the “All-New Marvel NOW!” initiative. “While we don’t have any market research, the eyes don’t lie,” Alonso said in his interview. “If you go to conventions and comic book stores, more and more female readers are emerging. They are starved for content and looking for content they can relate to.”

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Ennis teases reunion with Goran Parlov on Punisher miniseries

parlov_punnyAfter teasing it in August, Garth Ennis has reaffirmed his inevitable return to the world of Frank Castle.

In an interview with Comic Book Resources promoting Titan Comics’ “Battle Classics” collection, which Ennis is curating, the writer dropped some new details about his as-yet unscheduled Punisher miniseries.

“I finished it last summer,” Ennis said. “I think [artist] Goran Parlov is finishing up another story before he gets stuck in.” Parlov, who teamed previously with Ennis on the recently concluded 13-issue Fury MAX and the Marvel MAX volume of The Punisher, is now working with writer Mark Millar on the Image Comics series Starlight.

Ennis first wrote Frank Castle in 1995’s Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, and has since tackled the vigilante in a number of series and miniseries, based both in and out of Marvel’s mainstream continuity. His most recent turn with the character in the 2009 weekly Punisher War Zone, illustrated by his frequent collaborator, Steve Dillon.

Marvel had no comment on the project, echoing its statement when word of the project first surfaced in 2013: “Stay tuned.”

Kupperberg-era Doom Patrol joins the fight against Crime Syndicate

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With a little more than two years under its belt, DC Comics’ New 52 still has plenty of corners left to explore and hundreds of characters of varying levels of popularity to re-introduce. (Where are you, Wally West?) So when I saw Celsius, Negative Woman and Tempest pop up in this week’s Justice League #24, I couldn’t help but smile a little.

Combined with the New 52 Robotman, who’s sporting a look very similar to the one Cliff Steele had when that version of the team debuted in 1977’s Showcase #94, we officially have Paul Kupperberg’s Doom Patrol joining the ever-growing ranks of “new” heroes opposing the seemingly all-powerful Crime Syndicate. But certainly more interesting than that, this panel, almost a throwaway, fills out the current DCU in a way we haven’t seen much since the early days of the relaunch.

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Affleck’s Bat-casting is now disrupting board games

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The Internet virtually ripped in two when Warner Bros. announced Ben Affleck as its new Batman, with message boards, social media and comment sections exploding with opinions on whether or not the Oscar-winning director has the acting chops to do the Dark Knight justice, much less convincingly go toe-to-toe in an all-out battle with Superman.

And while we’re still a good two years away from finding out how well the actor fills the boots left vacant by the departing Christian Bale, Affleck’s casting isn’t done upsetting the cosmic balance just yet. Yesterday, Good Job Brain, a podcast dedicated to quiz shows and trivia, tweeted a photo illustrating how something as simple as casting a new Batman can have implications that reach far beyond the world of comics and film … to family game night.

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Chris Davis strikes Superman pose for ‘Orioles Magazine’

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A few weeks ago, I posted an item about baseball’s reigning home run leader Chris Davis, aka “Crush” Davis, aka the Hulk, aka Thor. Despite being the ones that bestowed upon him the “Crush” moniker, however, the Baltimore Orioles seem determined to make Davis’ visage and power synonymous with a different hero: Superman.

With the All-Star break fast approaching, Davis is not only heading into the middle of the 2013 season with 32 homers (a club record, and only one away from his previous season-high), he’s also gracing the cover of this season’s second issue of Orioles Magazine. For his photo shoot, the first baseman struck an iconic pose — DC Comics is now referring to as #Clarkkenting — tearing open his contract-signing outfit to proudly display the now familiar orange and black t-shirt given away to fans on Chris Davis appreciation night earlier this summer.

The magazine is available inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards for $5, or you can subscribe online for $25.

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What is Marvel’s ‘Share Your Universe’?

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When the art for Joshua Hale Fialkov and Leonard Kirk’s “Hunger” was released earlier today, the Adi Granov-illustrated covers had a slightly different treatment from what we’ve seen since the publisher’s Marvel NOW! initiative launched. Nestled in the red band at the bottom of the cover is the phrase “Share Your Universe,” positioned directly next to the now-familiar “Bonus Digital Edition” bug.

With Marvel referring to its online Fan Network as “Your Universe” for some time now, and the word “share” is linked to various social networking mediums, the possibility also exists that the publisher is gearing up to launch its own social media network. Of course, the phrase’s proximity to the digital comics logo could give fans the impression that the House of Ideas may be actively encouraging those who buy print copies of their purchases to share the codes with other readers.

When approached by ROBOT 6, Marvel was tightlipped about the new cover addition, simply stating, “As some press noticed in a recent retailer update, Share Your Universe is something important that we’re announcing in July.”

Baltimore Orioles’ Chris ‘Crush’ Davis Hulks out

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Earlier this week, it was Chris Davis Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, with the O’s celebrating the breakthrough season of first baseman by giving away bright orange T-shirts emblazoned with the unmistakable silhouette of Baltimore’s current favorite son as he cracks yet another ball over the outfield wall.

After spending the early years of his career bouncing between the Texas Rangers minor and Major league teams, Davis was traded to the Orioles in 2011, becoming an everyday player in time to experience the team’s 2012 rise and run at the playoffs before exploding this summer. As of this writing, he leads the American League in home runs, slugging and OBPS (on-base plus slugging), and has been alternating the lead in batting average and on base percentage with a handful of other players, including last year’s Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and fellow Oriole Manny Machado.

But what, pray tell, does this have to do with comics?

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Five questions about the Kindle Fire and digital comics

Immediately after Amazon announced its new full-color tablet, the Kindle Fire, on Wednesday, eagle-eyed comics fans noticed something they hadn’t seen before: evidence of a digital version of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal comics work Watchmen. The next day, DC Comics officially announced an exclusive deal with Amazon to offer not only the full Watchmen story in one download for a single price, but to unleash a wave of other graphic novels and collected editions, all formatted for the November-debuting Fire.

As with any announcement for a product not yet available, there remain some questions about the Kindle Fire, the DC agreement, and their effects on digital comics. Here are the ones Robot 6 has:

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