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Robot 6’s favorite comics of 2014

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As ROBOT 6’s sixth-anniversary celebration winds down, our contributors look back at some of their favorite comics of 2014, from Ms. Marvel and The Multiversity to Sex Criminals and How to Be Happy.

Let us know what some of your favorites of 2014 were in the comments section.

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Preview | Degen’s ‘Mighty Star’ hits the ground in April

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Courtesy of Koyama Press, we’re pleased to bring you a preview of Mighty Star and the Castle of the Cancatervater by A. Degen, part of the publisher’s spring lineup. Collecting the webcomic that appeared on the Study Group website, the mostly silent graphic novel puts a surreal spin on the superhero tale.

Check out a preview and additional details below, and look for it in April.

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Exclusive preview | Ferrier & Neogi’s ‘Curb Stomp’ #1

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Rumors of punk rock’s death were greatly exaggerated, and here in the new year it’s coming to comics in the creator-driven miniseries Curb Stomp, from BOOM! Studios. Taking cues from the 1980s hardcore music scene and post-apocalyptic fiction, Ryan Ferrier and Devaki Neogi’s four-issue tale follows an all-girl street gang known as the Fever as they fight through the streets of a dilapidated metropolis.

Ferrier spoke with Comic Book Resources about the miniseries just this week.

BOOM! has provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive preview of Curb Stomp #1 in advance of its Feb. 25 debut, along with covers by Tula Lotay and Marie Bergeron.

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Pull back the curtain on ‘Hoax Hunters’ Season 2

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Following a successful run at Image Comics, Hoax Hunters is coming back for a second season, only this time at Heavy Metal, where the series will launch the publishing company’s first comics line.

Created by Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley, Hoax Hunters centers on three reality-TV show hosts who travel the country, appearing to debunk paranormal mysteries. However, they’re actually covering up the existence of aliens, monsters and other things that go bump in the night.

Ahead of the March debut of Season 2, writers Moreci and Seeley and artist Christian Dibari gave ROBOT 6 an exclusive peek behind the scenes of Issue 1, revealing script excerpts, thumbnail sketches, inked pages and the cover process.
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Preview | A sidekick strikes back in Delsante & Isaakse’s ‘Stray’

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As part of ROBOT 6’s sixth-anniversary celebration, we’re pleased to present an exclusive look at the covers for Stray #4, as well as a preview of Issue 3, currently in Previews.

Created by Vito Delsante and Sean Izaakse, and published by Action Lab, Stray tells the story of the Rottweiler, the former teen sidekick to the Doberman. When his former mentor is killed, Rottweiler returns to the costumed life to try to solve the murder — but will he take up his mentor’s mantle, or follow his own path?

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Preview | A ‘very special’ ‘Task Force Rad Squad’ #3

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While Caleb Goellner and Buster Moody are staying busy with assorted comic projects — working together or separately on stories for Dark Horse Presents and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, for example — they continue to collaborate on their creator-owned, pay-what-you-want comic Task Force Rad Squad.

The third issue isn’t due out until March, but for our big anniversary they’ve provided a sneak preview. In it, the Squad, a riff on the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, help their mentor kick his addiction to Space Potion in what they describe as a “very special issue.”

You’ll find a preview, along with some additional information on the comic, below. Task Force Rad Squad #3 comes out March 11 for whatever price you’d like to pay on Gumroad, where you can currently find the first two issues.

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Sneak a peek at two ‘Dark Horse Presents’ stories

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Dark Horse Presents went through a reboot last year, and as a special treat for ROBOT 6’s anniversary, editor Jim Gibbons shared sneak peeks at couple upcoming stories that’ll appear in the award-winning anthology (as well as one other fun surprise). Check them out below.

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Exclusive preview | A new look at Jessica Drew’s costume in ‘Spider-Woman’ #5

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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.

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Exclusive preview | Catch up with Sonic in Archie’s ‘Sonic Super Special Magazine’ #13

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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.

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Exclusive | Action Lab takes ‘Puppet Master’ from film to comics

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Evil comes in all sizes — and now it comes to comics.

Action Lab Entertainment has drafted the cult horror movie franchise Puppet Master as the newest in its growing line of comics titles beginning March 2015. Licensed directly from creator Charles Brand, the Puppet Master comic series sees the menacing marionettes who have evolved from creepy villains to somewhat likeable anti-heroes looking to get a life of their own outside of their wooden bodies. Written by long-time fan (and Action Lab co-founder) Shawn Gabborin and illustrated by Michela Da Sacco, Puppet Master follows in the footsteps of the movie franchise’s ten films while aiming to be new reader friendly for those that haven’t seen the films (or haven’t seen them in some time).

ROBOT 6 spoke with Gabborin about the series, and Action Lab has provided us with a exclusive preview of the book in advance of its March 2015.

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Exclusive preview | ‘Hellbreak’ #1 by Bunn, Churilla and Stewart

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In Hellbreak, the upcoming supernatural action series by Cullen Bunn, Brian Churilla and Dave Stewart, there’s an infinite number of Hells, each unique and terrible in its own way. When a demon takes possession of a person, sending his soul to one of those Hells, it’s up to the Kerberos Project, using forbidden technology, to send in an extraction team to rescue it.

Oni Press has provided ROBOT 6 an exclusive preview of Hellbreak #1, offering a ghastly glimpse of one of those Hells. But what’s Bunn’s vision for his own?

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Exclusive preview | Check out Valiant’s ‘Bloodshot Reborn’ #1 in living color

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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.

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Exclusive preview | Bunn and Haun’s ‘Wolf Moon’ #2

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The Sixth Gun co-creator Cullen Bunn is certainly no stranger to the supernatural, but for his first major Vertigo comic, he’s biting into another kind of horror.

The publisher has shared with ROBOT 6 an exclusive first look at pages at Wolf Moon #2, by Bunn and Jeremy Haun. The series explores a viral werewolf disease that transfers to a different victim every full moon, marrying the conceit with a procedural detective story for a bloody addition to the Vertigo line.

Under a cover by Ryan Kelly, Wolf Moon #2 arrives on Jan. 7.

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Trade waiting: Favorite collections of 2014

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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.

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Exclusive preview | It’s time to mourn in ‘C.O.W.L.’ #8 preview

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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.

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