The Twelve vs. SuperPowers: A First Impression

February 13, 2008


By John “Back From the Dead” Kennedy

As many of you have noticed there are two comics out right now that are practically the same sort of story.  J. Michael Straczynski’s The Twelve and Alex Ross’ Project Superpowers are both are stories of World War II-era crime fighters brought from the 1940’s into the modern era. They both have characters with such names as Dynamic Man or The Fighting Yank, names that represent the new frontier that superhero comics had back in the Golden age but not seem kind of ridiculous. And finally, both seem to hint at something terrible on the edge of the horizon that only these heroes can stop.

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Von’s Comics Recommends: Madman

December 18, 2007


Admittedly, I’m a little late jumping on the Madman bandwagon. A staple of the 1990s indie-comic scene, Madman has always been on my radar, but I’ve never had a good point to jump on. The single issues and collections alike were always hard to find for me. That is, until now. Madman creator Mike Allred has teamed up with Image comics to produce some of the best TPBs of any comic I’ve seen in a while. Not only is almost every Madman story, including The Atomics, collected in four volumes (with more to come I’m assuming), they are done so in a stylish, colorful, and affordable way. All together, some 50-odd issues are collected for less than a hundred dollars. (Note: as of this writing the fourth volume has yet to hit the shelves.)

If you’re not familiar with Madman, or Mike Allred’s work in general, hit up these two wikipedia pages, or Allred’s personal site. I will, however, tell you this: Allred’s art is a perfect mix of pop genius and Silver Age sensibility. He brings everything you love about the early days of modern comics and, along with wife/colorist Laura Allred, mixes in a style that is utterly his own. As for the writing in Madman, think early Spider-man or Fantastic Four meets Grant Morrison’s Invisibiles or Animal Man.

I highly recommend Madman for fans of fun, but intellectually stimulating work. Reading Madman reminds me of reading comics like Tom Strong or Morrison’s Doom Patrol – the type of comics that keep me coming back to this bastard medium we call comics.


(Top image: cover of Madman Gargantua Hardcover – collecting everything but the Atomics stuff. Right image: cover to The Atomics #1. From AAAPop Comics!)

Must Read: Dan Dare #1

December 1, 2007


What are you reading this week?  What’s that?  Shut up, put it down.  Now, run out – I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE IN YOUR UNDERWEAR! – and pick up Dan Dare #1.   Seriously, this is Garth Ennis at his best.  This is sci-fi comics at its best.  This is oh-my-god-where-is-the-next-issue-I’m-going-to-shoot-someone- at its best.  Take a classic British comics icon and update it for today and you’ve got yourself some good readin’.   Ennis, and artist Gary Erskine (oh yeah!), create a suspenseful, exciting look into a future/present where nuclear war has gone unchecked and scary aliens run amok.   It’s a seven issue mini from Virgin Comics and it looks to be a great one.  Don’t miss out!

Under the Radar Suggestions

November 9, 2007

New comics came out and some of you might be wondering what’s good that you’re not already reading. Here are a few suggestions.

The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul started in Robin this week with Peter Milligan writing and Freddie E. Williams III penciling what’s not to love.

Superman by Kurt Busiek came out and I have loved the third Kryptonian arc a lot. I love whenever Superman is treated as a creature of science fiction and this arc has opened up possibilities with everything from Kryptonian Space Pirates to epic interstellar space battles.

If you’re not reading Howard the Duck, I can only ask one thing, “What is wrong with you? Do you not like dancing and fun?”

Lat issue of Mystic Arcana came out and it features a story about Sister Grimm of Runaways. This series has been a neat dip into the magical side of Marvel’s universe and could be the start of a relaunch of Annihilation proportions.

The Luna Brothers are BACK!!!

October 20, 2007

The Luna brothers new book, The Sword, hit this week and it is awesome!

For those of you who don’t know, the Luna brothers are two brothers (duh) who make comics. One writes and one draws. They broke out onto the scene with their superhero celebrity book, Ultra, which garnered tons of praise. Their sophomore effort was the critically acclaimed Girls that prompted Joss Whedon (Insert X-Men and Buffy plugs here), to claim that he could not get enough of the Lunas’ work. Girls followed a small town trapped by crazed and murderous girls and…um…well…actually, just read it – I can’t spoil it here. The artist brother also illustrated Marvel’s Spider-Woman: Origin by Brian Michael Bendis.

All of these awesome books are available here at Von’s Comics. Ultra is in trade, Girls is split up into four separate trades, we have the Spider-Woman: Origins Premiere Hardcover, and The Sword is just coming out in issues for now.

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Dynamo 5 vol. 1 TPB out now!

October 13, 2007


Hey comic friends!  You got ten bucks?  Well, instead of spending it on porn and greasy Chinese food, why don’t you pick up the latest graphic novel from writer Jay Faerber (Noble Causes, New Warriors) called DYNAMO 5?  If you like Invincible then this book is for you.  A great story about a new super team that is struggling to find its self and its purpose.  Surprises abound!  More twists than a 1950s dance party!  And you know the greatest part?  You get seven(!) issues collected in a nice, full-color graphic novel for the low, low price of 10 bucks!  (Even less for you subscribers out there!)  So if you’re looking for something new to read, stop in and give DYNAMO 5 a chance.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Recommended Reading.

August 11, 2007

By Carroll B.

Black Metal vol. 1

A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon a little book called Scott Pilgrim. It’s a great little comic, about a young man destined to fight his way through all of his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriends. Video game and music references galore, Scott Pilgrim is one of the most original and enjoyable comics currently on the shelf. Well, it now has some very strong competition from the likes of Black Metal. If Scott Pilgrim exists to tap into the hip, indie-kid in us all, then Black Metal does the exact opposite. It drills into our dark side, freeing the inner demon in us all.

The twin protagonists, Shawn and Sam, always find themselves to be somewhat out of step with most of the world. Obsessed with metal, death, and destruction, the two brothers find that their destinies lie elsewhere than this Earthly plane. Black Metal is a fun and funny read that incorporates – much like Scott Pilgrim – music and many other pop culture references into an awesome adventure. I highly recommend this book. Check out a 26-page preview at Oni’s website.