Why The Russos Are The Best Thing to Happen to the MCU Since Joss Whedon
Despite her depictions on promotional materials and the covers for the debut issues of Justice League and her own title, it appears as if Wonder Woman will once again don star-spangled shorts come DC Comics’ September relaunch.
The evidence emerged this morning with the announcement of the DC Comics: The New 52 preview book that will be released next Wednesday in comic shops and at Comic-Con International in San Diego. In the upper left-hand corner of the cover is a slightly modified version of Cliff Chiang’s art for Wonder Woman #1, with the Amazon Princess now sporting shorts for the first time in more than a year — when Jim Lee’s divisive costume redesign was introduced as part of J. Michael Straczynski’s short-lived new direction for the character.
Wonder Woman #1, by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, will be released on Sept. 21.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guest is Kelson Vibber, Flash fan and proprietor of the Speed Force blog. To see what Kelson and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item. We’re coming a little late today due to a power outage in my neck of the woods — due to a blackout, not because I spent the money for the electric bill on Flashpoint or Fear Itself tie-ins.
If I had $15, my first pick off the shelf would be Vengeance #1 (Marvel, $3.99); I love Joe Casey, and especially when he’s given a long leash and room to play in a big universe. Seeing Nick Dragotta drawing this is an added bonus. Next up would be comics’ dueling summer blockbusters, Flashpoint #3 (DC, $3.99) and Fear Itself #4 (Marvel, $3.99). After that, I’d get the excellent Flashpoint: Batman, Knight of Vengeance #2 (DC, $2.99); when Azzarello is on the ball he’s great to read, and this seems to be that.
[Note: This post was written Wednesday night, before the latest round of announcements.]
I was barely into the back yard when the lawn mower exploded.
This mower was far from new. My wife had owned it since a few years before we met, and it may have been old when she got it. It had cut the grass of at least four different addresses in three different states, and had been maintained and serviced fairly faithfully throughout its life. This summer, however, its persistent little engine had been making ominous noises that my amateur care could not entirely mitigate. When it ran over that big limb, which it tried mightily to shred as it had so many others, the stresses proved to be too much. The next thing I knew, there was a puff of smoke, a spray of oil, and a silver-dollar-sized hole in the mower’s side.
I pointed that out to my wife, to drive home the extent of the damage. “See that in the hole? That’s the piston.”
“We’ll take it to Sears in the morning,” was her reply.
Well, needless to say, by this point we were talking about an ex-mower. The most the Sears mechanics could suggest was to order a part that would cost more than a new mower. This was the tipping point for my wife, when practicality superseded sentiment. Indeed, the new mower is remarkably efficient by comparison, atomizing clippings and leaving a uniform green carpet in its wake. It is cool and bloodless, like a Secret Service agent or an athlete in prime condition. With luck, it will serve us as long and as well as its predecessor.
Now, clearly I am not telling you about my lawn mower because this has turned into “Grumpy Old Garden.” Neither am I saying DC had a gaping hole in its superhero line and we readers thought it could be simply patched. There was, and is, no simple solution — not even starting over entirely — to DC’s array of small and large ailments. A few weeks ago I talked about the relationships we readers form with these characters over time, and I can see a couple of ways to roll back whatever Flashpoint facilitates.
Still, after a week’s worth of pondering September’s lineup, I have decided it is time to embrace the new.
Following their announcement that they were starting everything over and relaunching all their titles with new first issues this fall, DC Comics today announced the creative teams for ten of the titles.
And while Tom may have other thoughts on his mind this week, here are some of my quick thoughts on those announcements:
Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang on Wonder Woman: Now all we need to know is whether she’s forming a rock band or not … but seriously, art wise, in my eyes, perfect choice. I’m a huge fan of Chiang’s, so I was just hoping we’d see him on any regular title. And Wonder Woman seems like a great fit. Azzarello, meanwhile, probably isn’t the first name I would have thought of when thinking about Wonder Woman, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. Of the creative teams revealed so far, this is probably becoming my favorite, or is at least tied with …
Ethan Van Sciver, Gail Simone and Yildiray Cinar on Firestorm: Back at WonderCon in 2010, Simone and Van Sciver teased that they were working together on something. Could they have been talking about Firestorm? Maybe; Simone also said on Twitter that she and Van Sciver have another as-yet-unannounced project they’re working on, so it could have been something else. I like the fact that Van Sciver is co-writing the book (rather than drawing it), and it’s getting a bit of a reboot. “Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond are two high school students, worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control.” So you have two writers with very different worldviews writing a character composed of two other characters with wildly different worldviews. That’s actually pretty cool. Yildiray Cinar, meanwhile, has been killing it on Legion, so he’s a plus to a team I was already liking.
The cover, above, is by Paul Pope, and as previously reported, the first issue will include a chapter of Spaceman by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, which will get its own series from Vertigo in the fall. Other contributors include Jeff Lemire, Ross Campbell, Kevin Colden, Peter Milligan, Paul Cornell, Denys Cowan and many others. You can find the complete table of contents after the jump.
Well, they’re doing it again, and this year they’ve teamed up with 100 Bullets writer Brian Azzarello to create a series of noir T-shirts. And one of the artists could be you, as right now Threadless is holding a contest to find an artist for the project. It runs through April 10 and includes a list of other cool prizes as well.
You can find the complete details over on their site.
Per Comic Vine, the anthology will feature eight 10-page science fiction short stories by folks like Peter Milligan and Scott Snyder. On Twitter, Jeff Lemire has revealed he’s doing a story about Ultra the Multi-Alien (who appears on Mark Buckingham’s variant cover above).
Check out Lemire’s Ultra after the jump.
On Vertigo’s Graphic Content blog, the publisher revealed a pseudo-conversation between editor Will Dennis and writer Brian Azzarello concerning a new series. Done in a sort of Laurel & Hardy-style, it’s a non-plussed official introduction to the new miniseries from Azzarello and 100 Bullets collaborator Eduardo Risso.
AZZ: I got an idea for a new series.
ME: What’s it called?
ME: SPACEMAN? Is that one word or two?
AZZ: It’s one. Like SUPERMAN.
ME: It’s like SUPERMAN?
AZZ: No! It’s like SUPERMAN but not like SUPERMAN.
ME: So what’s it about.
AZZ: A spaceman. What the hell else would it be about?
ME: Right. And it’s with the entire 100 BULLETS team?
Azz: That’s the plan.
ME: Cool. Can we get it out in 2011?
AZZ: Why the hell not?
ME: Book it.
Azzarello revealed in October at Argentina’s Crack Bang Boom Con that Spaceman will be a nine-issue miniseries that fits into the speculative fiction category. In addition to Azzarello and Risso, the comic will include their other 100 Bullets collaborators, cover artist Dave Johnson and colorist Trish Mulvihill.
December will be a good month for writer Ivan Brandon–what with the December 22 softcover edition release of Viking: The Long Cold Fire (Image) and more immediately, this week, the release of Doc Savage 9, the DC Comics/First Wave universe series that he is co-writing with Brian Azzarello. Brandon and I discuss both works, as well as the potential advantages of the digital platform, his recent involvement with Weird War Tales and the particulars of collaborating with a writer such as Azzarello. While we were not able to delve too much into his plans for 2011, it definitely sounds like his intentions for the new year are quite ambitious.
Tim O’Shea: How intrigued are you by the prospect of increased exposure via different platforms, such as the iPad for your work–how much of a priority is it for you to make your creative-owned work available for the digital platform?
Ivan Brandon: Well, of course it’s important to me to add millions of new outlets where people might find my work. The idea that I can link a new book and some of the people who follow me on Twitter, say, who don’t read comics at all might be able to just click and start down that road… that’s to me an incredible new market that needs to be taken very seriously.
But creatively moreso I’m very interested to see what new voices the digital world might bring to storytelling. What’s the new equivalent of a Jack Kirby when there are no longer any print world parameters to adhere to? Comics have for a long time toed a weird invisible line that I think this removes. I’m excited to see what kind of stories come from anyone who notices.
Vertigo confirmed at New York Comic Con this afternoon that it will release a graphic novel by Anthony Bourdain, the acerbic chef, author and host of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations.
Revealed last month by Bourdain himself, Get Jiro! is a futuristic action thriller set in a world where food and the secrets of its preparation are the source of all power, leading master chefs to fight over a mysterious sushi chef named Jiro. Bourdain has described the graphic novel as “Yojimbo meets Big Night and Babette’s Feast, an ultra-violent slaughter-fest over culinary arcana.”
Get Jiro! is written by Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw) and friend and novelist Joel Rose (The Blackest Bird, Kill Kill Faster Faster), and illustrated by artist Langdon Foss (Heavy Metal). The book is expected to be released sometime in 2011.
During today’s “Vertigo: On the Edge” panel, the DC Comics imprint also announced:
Look for a full panel report at Comic Book Resources.
The new hardcover collection of Luthor — it’s better known as Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, the 2005 miniseries by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo — will serve as a director’s cut, of sorts, adding new story pages while changing the position of some existing ones.
The solicitation text said “with new, additional story pages,” of course, but comments made this morning by Bermejo on the DC Universe blog suggest extensive changes to the miniseries (last collected in 2006).
“… When I say new story material, I really mean it,” the artist writes. “We’ve actually added new sequences throughout the book as well as adding pieces to existing scenes and re-shuffling the position of others. This ‘new cut’ really enhances the original story and broadens it.”
The Source spotlights two pages from the fight between Superman and Batman, a scene cut short in the original version.
Luthor arrives in stores on Oct. 20.
Wow. I knew Lee Bermejo could draw some steely-lookin’ bad guys, but I didn’t know he could also channel Bill Watterson so well I’d have a hard time telling the two apart. Behold “Joker and Lex,” Bermejo and writer Brian Azzarello’s Calvin and Hobbes-esque contribution to the Superman/Batman all-star 75th-issue spectacular. I don’t even wanna think about what the rules of Jokerball would be in the alternate universe where this strip is a universally beloved classic — let alone what kind of “Joker peeing” stickers it might have spawned.
(via Topless Robot)
100 Bullets/First Wave scribe and “long-suffering” Cubs fan Brian Azzarello has teamed up with the Hero Initiative to take three fans out to the ball game. Azzarello has season tickets to the Chicago Cubs, who play the New York Mets on Sept. 3.
“Misery loves company, and I’m happy to share this experience with three lucky fans,” said Azzarello. “The Hero Initiative is an important cause, and I’d like to thank the great Chicago comic retailers for making this all happen. Take it from me, the beginning of September is the perfect time to begin waiting for next year. Go Cubs!”
For two bucks, you can buy a raffle ticket at several Chicago comic shops for the chance to win, including Challengers Comics, Chicago Comics, Comix Revolution and Graham Crackers Comics. Tickets will also be available at Hero Initiative’s booth at Wizard World Chicago at the Rosemount Convention Center, Aug. 19-22.
You’ve gotta give DC credit, they’re constantly trying new things. Sure, a lot of their publishing experiments embarrassingly fall on the floor, but the very fact that they have such a lengthy track record of failed imprints — Minx, Helix, Piranha, Paradox Press — says something about the company’s willingness to branch out. They’re restless in their attempt to find new audiences.
Thus we now have Vertigo Crime, a sub-imprint of the current Vertigo line, consisting of stand-alone graphic novels filled with guns, girls and as much noir as you can possibly stand. The first two entries in the line — Filthy Rich and Dark Entries — will be out in stores this month (Aug. 19 and 25 to be exact). How do they hold up? Read on to find out.