Shadowland Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

What Are You Reading?

Our Hero: Superman on Earth

Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Our special guest today is Nate Cosby, co-writer of the upcoming Image series Pigs and editor of the upcoming Jim Henson’s The Storyteller anthology, which will feature stories by an impressive group of talented creators.

To see what Nate and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.

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The Fifth Color | The checkered past of Daredevil

Do you like checkers? I think there is a point in everyone’s life (usually when we’re young) that checkers is an awesome game. One of the earliest board games played internationally, you may call it draughts, but everyone has a basic idea of how the pieces move, what the theory of the game is and how to win. It’s a simple but challenging game, probably taught by a family member or a friend, maybe even by a super-cool math teacher on a rainy day. Young and old can play the same game and get the same enjoyment out of being kinged or hopping over a bunch of your opponent’s pieces. Some might even call checkers the ‘gateway drug’ to chess, as it takes that board and provides a challenging new game to play in checkers’ place.

The thing about checkers, though, is that eventually you’re going to want to play something else. Playing a lot of games of checkers, day in and day out, can get boring. The game can seem childish and simple after awhile, and if you asked a room full of fourth graders if they’d rather play checkers or Halo? Not that checkers isn’t fun now and again, but nowadays, we the playing public wouldn’t settle for the same simple game over and over.

With Shadowland, Andy Diggle has finally tipped over the board and scattered the checkers all over the floor (maybe kicking a couple under the couch). Sure, he played checkers with us and started out with similar gambits that were noticed before, but now with the end of a major story arc and Marvel’s ‘street crew’ settled in a new direction, I can say with some satisfaction that this is a new, refreshing direction for the character of Matt Murdock and his continuing troubles and heroism. So what game are we playing now? Can it be Battleship? Read on and find out.

(WARNING: Yep, spoilers ahead for Shadowland #5 and Daredevil #512. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that the good guys win in this one, but watch how they do it. Diggle crafted a fantastic ending, so please grab a copy and read along!)

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A first look at Jock’s cover for Daredevil: Reborn #1

Daredevil: Reborn #1, by Jock

Jock has unveiled his cover for Daredevil: Reborn #1, the four-issue miniseries set to debut in January following the conclusion of the “Shadowland” crossover and the end of the Daredevil monthly title. Announced Saturday at Fan Expo Canada, the miniseries, by writer Andy Diggle and artist Davide Gianfelice, is designed to rebuild Daredevil — who may or may not be Matt Murdock.

See the full cover after the break.

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The Fifth Color | Forward Into the Past with Marvel Solicitations for Nov. ’10

This is All You'll Ever Read Again

The summer is ending, and we’re not so bad off, are we? There’s a cosmic war, Spider-Man’s re-reinventing himself again, there’s an event book with an oncoming slew of tie-in titles, but it all doesn’t feel like the years of yore. There’s no pressure to keep up with any of this; instead of seeing a Broadway production, we’ve got tickets off Broadway, so it’s a little experimental, a lot less expensive and not the main stage. But, in a way, just as important.

This is indeed the week we look at the future and what Marvel has in store for us, but it’s nice to know that from where we are now, the holidays look to be rather pleasant. There’s no great drop to be looking at as the year ends, just more changes and more stories and for some reason, that’s a lot less pressure.

Unless you’re a Thor fan, then you’ve got eight titles to sort through. Yeesh.

Let’s take a look at November and see what’s ahead for the House of Ideas, shall we?

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Marvel’s Daredevil will end in November, apparently


Daredevil #512

Daredevil, the long-running Marvel series that in recent years earned critical acclaim in the hands of creators like Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark and Andy Diggle, apparently will end in November with the conclusion of the “Shadowland” crossover.

That’s according to the publisher’s November solicitations, which uncharacteristically lists Daredevil #512 as the “FINAL ISSUE.” Marvel typically doesn’t announce cancellations that far in advance, suggesting there’s something “special” in store; perhaps a miniseries interlude as Matt Murdock grapples with the ramifications of the “Shadowland” storyline, or a complete series relaunch. Daredevil returned to its original numbering in September 2009 with Issue 500.

“Shadowland,” billed as “The Battle for the Soul of New York,” revolves around a temple/prison constructed by Murdock, now leader of the Hand, to house the criminals who stand in his way of cleaning up Hell’s Kitchen. His methods, however, bring him into conflict with many of Marvel’s “street-level” heroes, including Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Elektra and Ghost Rider. The crossover, which debuted in July, involves the core miniseries, Daredevil, Thunderbolts and numerous tie-in miniseries and one-shots.

In related news, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man will return to the original numbering abandoned a year ago with the relaunch of Marvel’s Ultimate line. So instead of No. 16, November’s triple-size 10th-anniversary issue will be No. 150.

Preview: Shadowland: Moon Knight #1


Courtesy of the good folks over at Marvel, here’s a taste of Shadowland: Moon Knight #1 by Gregg Hurwitz and Bong Dazo. In it, Moon Knight enters the fray against the Man Without Fear, his deadly ninjas and a “new avatar of Khonshu.”

Check out the preview and book info after the jump. It comes out Aug. 25.

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The Fifth Color | Less Dare, More Devil

Daredevil334It must be a little disheartening to be a roadie for a magician.  Don’t get me wrong, magic is really cool and even better when you see it live.  No one goes into a magic show and thinks, “Oh this is all real, and this man has some sort of sorcery!”  No, we go in knowing we’re going to be fooled, and are delighted or disappointed by the results depending on how good the performer is.

But if you were a roadie traveling around the country with this elaborate and really good magic show, I could see how it’d take a little something from you in the process.  Every night when the magician would go to perform, you’d set up his mirrors, hide his playing cards, even simply stand on the other side of the curtain, and night after night, you’d have the show ruined for you.  You never doubted this was fake, but there’s only so many times one can be reminded of that so boldly before a sort of resentment would build up.  This performer is lying to people every show and they buy it because they’ve never seen it.  And while they’ve all convinced themselves this is new and exciting, you’ve seen it all before.

I stopped reading Daredevil awhile ago.  I quit lugging around Matt Murdock’s failing law office, setting up his girlfriend for disappointment, and standing in the wings while he got pushed to the edges of morality only to yo-yo back into place to do it all again in so many months.  Another new writer would take the stage, and comic buyers would eat it up while I swear I’ve read this story before.

WARNING: We’ll be talking Shadowland #1 and Daredevil #508 this week, so grab your copies and read along!
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Get grim ‘n’ gritty with a homemade ‘Street Level’ superhero RPG

Shadowland art by Billy Tan

Shadowland art by Billy Tan

With Kick-Ass in theaters and Marvel’s Daredevil-driven Shadowland event on the horizon, it’s a good time to be a street-level vigilante hero. Now you can be one in the privacy of your own home, thanks to blogger Jon Hasting’s DIY RPG Street Level.

Hastings says he drew inspiration for designing his homemade game in large part from the ’70s & ’80s Marvel characters who will be throwing down in Shadowland — Moon Knight, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Punisher, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist and so on — as well as indie takes on the concept from Mike Baron’s Badger to Mark Millar & John Romita Jr.’s Kick-Ass. Now, what I don’t know about role-playing games could almost fit into the Grand Canyon, but it looks to me like Hastings captured the spirit of what makes these characters fun: The skills your character can develop include “finding shit out,” “taking a beating,” “doing violence,” “telling people what’s what,” and “keeping your shit together” (for those interested in doing a Daredevil: Born Again-style campaign, I guess), while the amount of “Heat” you’ve drawn to yourself from either traditional law enforcement or the criminal underworld is a major factor in your success or failure. Actual superpowers are optional; if you want your character to be able to light his fists on fire thanks to some experimental drug/martial-arts mojo, that’s fine, but it’s also fine to just have him roll out of bed, put on a jumpsuit, and beat up some muggers.

Hastings is concerned that he may have overdesigned the game, but he needs to have it playtested to be sure. Why not give it a spin yourself?

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