EXCL. PREVIEW: "Avatar: Smoke & Shadow" TPB Threatens the Fire Nation
Marvel has provided Robot 6 with an exclusive preview of Spider-Woman #5 by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez. The issue – the first after the conclusion of Spider-Verse – marks the debut of a new costume for Jessica Drew. Designed by Kris Anka, the new costume was announced in December and is the first time the character’s look has dramatically shifted since her first appearance, and according to Marvel, it has a lot to do with how Spider-Verse concludes.
“Jess comes out of this event with a very different point of view on herself and her place in the world,” Marvel editor Nick Lowe told CBR in December. “[The costume] represents a big change for her moving forward.”
Spider-Woman #5 hits stores in March.
Archie Comics has provided ROBOT 6 with a first look at Sonic Super Special Magazine #13, part of the publisher’s long-running Sonic the Hedgehog line that both reprints older stories from the series’ mythology with interviews and behind-the-scenes features. The issue, on sale Jan. 7, also features a foil cover with the cast of the Sonic BOOM! cartoon series.
Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan have a fun series going with Birthright. Debuting in October from Skybound, the fantasy is in the middle of its first arc, introducing Mikey, a boy from our world who crossed over to a fantasy world at age 10, only to return a year later as a 30-year-old warrior hero. After a rocky reunion with his family — his father Aaron, his mother Wendy and his “older” brother Brennan — Mikey escaped police custody and went out on the road, on a mission to take out five evil wizards who found their way into our reality.
However, not all is as it seems: Mikey is under the influence of the Nevermind, an evil presence at the core of problems in the other world, and his mission is anything but transparent.
ROBOT 6 spoke with Williamson about the direction of Birthright, balancing different aspects of the story, and the importance of choice and family as the series moves forward. Skybound also provided us with exclusive pages from Issue 4.
Valiant Entertainment has provided ROBOT 6 with an extended first look at the colored pages for Jeff Lemire and Mico Suayan’s Bloodshot Reborn #1, debuting in April.
“Without getting into specifics, at the end of The Valiant, something very dramatic happens to Bloodshot,” Lemire told CBR in October. “It completely and utterly alters his life, and everything we know and everything we’ve ever seen of Bloodshot is really turned inside out. We pick up a few months after the events of The Valiant and Bloodshot is withdrawn from society. He’s living as a drifter trying to make some sense of what’s happening, what he is and what he was and what he can still be. That’s where we pick up — it’s a character that’s really been taken down to the bone, and then I’m going to take him down even further.”
Check out Suayan’s pages colored by David Baron — some of which have never been seen before — below.
As the reviews editor for Comic Book Resources, I accumulate a lot of collected editions. For better or worse, trade-waiting has become a part of the comics landscape, but it’s easy to tell when a collection rises above the pack. Whether it’s through superior craftsmanship, incredible bonus material, attention to the little details or a combination of all three, there are always a few trades that rise to the top, and make for an enjoyable reading experience and a fantastic display piece.
Thus, here are a few of my favorite collected editions of 2014, factoring in the strength of the original material, and what makes the collection worth picking up for those that might already own the single issues — ranging from budget-conscious trades up through the incredibly pricey omnibus editions.
Image Comics has provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive first look at C.O.W.L. #8, by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel and Rod Reis, which sees the cast of the series — the Chicago Organized Workers League — mourning the loss of one of their own. The issue arrives Jan. 28, continuing the series’ second arc.
Image Comics has provided Robot 6 with an exclusive first look at Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo’s Rasputin #4, continuing the origin story of Grigori Rasputin, one of the most fascinating figures in Russian history. And given the legends about Rasputin himself, it’s understandable why the pages have more than a slight supernatural angle.
“He was always so larger than life, everything about him was exaggerated,” Grecian told CBR in 2014. “It’s almost impossible at this point to separate the truth from the tall tales, which frees us up to tell any kind of story we want to. He fictionalized himself and his biographers and detractors fictionalized him after death, so I feel like you can sort of swirl everything around in a big pot and add your own spices and come up with just about anything.”
Archie Comics had a lot of surprises for readers in 2014, and if early plans are any indication, 2015 has even more in store. One of the publisher’s major announcements last year was the relaunch of its Dark Circle imprint, spearheaded by editor Alex Segura. With a debut that includes revamped versions of The Shield and The Black Hood, along with a second volume of The Fox, each book has its own style and flavor.
Helping to bring that flavor to the forefront is none other than Chilling Adventures of Sabrina artist Robert Hack, who will contribute three special vintage movie poster variants to the line — and ROBOT 6 has the exclusive first look!
We also spoke with Segura, who revealed how the variants were developed, the mission to make each of the titles unique, resolutions for 2015 and more.
Hawkeye merch has been available at the WeLoveFine online store for quite some time — but did you know proceeds were going to an anti-violence charity? Kelly Sue DeConnick announced via Twitter that the Hawkeye-themed merch had raised $2,068.39, which has been donated to Futures Without Violence, which seeks to end violence against women and children worldwide.
LEGO is starting to roll out its superhero sets for the New Year, and one in particular is sure to catch the eyes of comic fans and collectors alike. While it may not be completely invisible, LEGO’s newest DC Super Heroes set features a smaller version of Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. io9 has posted photos and details on the new LEGO building set, which will retail for about $50 and officially goes on sale Thursday.
“To any writers or artists out there trying to decide how best to include a colorist into your creator-owned project: give them a stake in the project and include them as much as possible. The excitement that inclusion generates in someone that’s usually on the periphery of a project will increase their dedication and enthusiasm for the project and enhance the end result.”
— The Wicked + The Divine and Young Avengers colorist Matthew Wilson, discussing the differences between coloring creator-owned work and work-for-hire.
Many fans will likely already be familiar with YouTube user Alex Luthor — he put together the epic Marvel Vs. DC movie trailer that cleverly spliced together footage from a number of sources to make it look like the two Cinematic Universes were doing battle. His latest effort is a fan-made trailer for the upcoming Inhumans film that knits together footage of Vin Diesel, Eva Green and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, respectively.
There have been quite a few excellent depictions — both official and unofficial — of dancing baby Groot from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and it was only a matter of time before Hot Toys decided to try its hand at one. The toy company, known for its incredibly detailed and accurate action figures from Marvel Studios films, has announced a Little Groot collectible is in the works, featuring three interchangeable head sculpts, special paint application, and movable arms and body to help replicate his dancing skills from the end of the blockbuster.
Tampa, Florida retailer Heroes Haven is very excited for the release of Marvel’s upcoming Star Wars #1 — so much so that it actually put together a trailer for a special store-exclusive variant cover for its Facebook page. Heroes Haven certainly has reason for excitement — its store-exclusive variant by Mike Perkins is a cool homage to one of Marvel’s most well-known comics of all time: Giant-Size X-Men #1.
Arcade Brewery is taking a slightly different approach to comic book storytelling: the six-pack of beer.
Arcade’s 6-Pack Stories series of beer debuts Wednesday with Festus Rotgut: Zombie Cowboy, a black wheat ale that features a story by Thor writer Jason Aaron and The Walking Dead co-creator Tony Moore that unfolds across all six bottles. The zombie Western beer is the first volume, which suggests more could be on the way. According to Arcade co-founder Lance Curran, the brewery wanted to tell a story first, then brew a beer to match.