Denver Comic Con 2014 Preview

We’re one day away from the third annual Denver Comic Con. Just one year ago, we ventured through the Colorado Convention Center with our eyes and wallets wide open, soaking up the comic book convention experience like The Quickster. This year, we have new faces joining us as writers, adding to our little band of fancy-pants nerds. Denver Comic Con has EXPLODED this year, featuring more celebrities and more programming. In preparation for the Con, we’re going to be highlighting the guests that will be coming and the panels that we’ll be trying to check out. We’ll be writing live from the event, so if there is anything crazy happening, you’ll hear it straight from us.

Click on the link to take you to all of our Denver Comic Con 2014 articles

It was so difficult for us to narrow down the list of things we want to do. If it were up to us, we’d do everything, but with we will be able to cover a lot of ground. That doesn’t mean we can do everything (or does it??), but we will try. Here’s a list of the stops we absolutely have to make:

Guests:

Batmen: Continuing the celebration of Batman’s 75th Anniversary, Denver Comic Con has brought two of the most iconic men to take the mantle of the Batman. Legendary voice actor Kevin Conroy, who played Batsy in Batman: The Animated Series will be there, and so will Adam West, who played Batman in the 1960’s television series (and the spin-off movie). West brought friends, too; he will be joined by his Robin, Burt Ward, and his Catwoman, Julie Newmar. They’re all getting their own panels, to boot.

Star Trek: TNG: Perhaps the biggest announcement is that of a ST:TNG reunion panel, featuring some of the biggest names from the hit show. Among those attending are: Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, and LeVar Burton. Joining them is Star Trek alumnus William Shatner. Trekkie nerds will be freaking out.

Bruce Campbell: My top people to meet would first be Bruce Campbell. I would love to meet him because he is a legend in my eyes and has been a part of some of my favorite films of all time. Not to mention he is one of my biggest inspirations for pursuing film and acting. The second highest up person would be Jim Cummings because he has played some characters in animation that mean the world to me and those ones (Mr. Bumpy and Genghis Frog) are some he is not known for so of course you add Winnie the Pooh, Darkwing Duck and Taz in there and it is impossible to contain the nerdy child inside of me.

Arrow: We were lucky enough to meet Stephen Amell at Emerald City Comic Con this year, so imagine our delight to see that he’ll be making an appearance in our hometown. He may be a hardcore vigilante on TV, but Amell is a sweet guy in real life. With him comes his crime-fighting buddy, Caity Lotz, who plays Black Canary on Arrow. This is one of the best shows on right now, so don’t miss your chance to mingle with the superheroes!

Comic Book Artists: Some of our favorite comic book artists are coming. We’re expecting to take home an abundance of prints and/or sketches. These artists range from mainstream to independent, and are the reason we pick up the books  that we do. The beautiful art of Fiona Staples, the gritty Tim Sale, Whedonverse’s Georges Jeanty, the inspiring Colleen Doran and the innovative Yanick Paquette are just a few that we’re looking forward to talking to.

Very Honorable Mentions:
Max Brooks (World War Z)
Doctor Who (Peter Davison, Slyvester McCoy)
Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)
J. Scott Campbell (Marvel cover artist)
Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon from The Walking Dead)
Legendary Artists (Neal Adams, George Pérez)
Greg Weisman (Star Wars Rebels, Young Justice)
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from Star Wars)
Power Rangers (David Yost, Jason David Frank, Walter Jones)
 
Want to know more about the guests at Denver Comic Con 2014? Check out our 30 spotlight articles here.
 
See all the special guests here.

Programming:

Star Trek: The Next Generation Reunion Panel

Denver Comic Con announced it will host a reunion of six of the cast members of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” to be moderated by William Shatner. The ticketed panel also includes Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden and Marina Sirtis. Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and Will Wheaton will not able to join the rest of the cast in Denver due to scheduling conflicts.

“Even though Star Trek: The Next Generation only originally aired for seven seasons, fans have come to have deep attachments to these characters,” said convention director Dr. Christina Angel. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide a forum where fans and cast members can interact—including, of course, the captain of the reunion panel: William Shatner.”

Batman 75th Panels

There will be three different panels celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight. The first, held on Saturday, will be a nostalgic journey with Adam West, Julie Newmar and Burt Ward that is bound to make the crowd laugh. Later that day will be a panel discussion about the actual comic books, where the room will gush over The Dark Knight Returns, The Court of Owls, and, of course, Hush (even if that somebody is us!). Then on Sunday, we get the Kevin Conroy panel. This guy pretty much raised us with his voice on Batman: The Animated Series, so we’re super excited for the panel.
See all the programming here.

Outside the Con

Mile High Comics Pre-Party

Denver Comic Con looks to have 75,000 guests. Yes, you read that correctly. Seventy-five THOUSAND. That’s just over half of the 130,000 capacity at San Deigo Comic Con (the world’s largest) and larger than Emerald City Comic Con. That being said, you definitely want to grab your badge before you get to the convention center. There’s no better way to do that than attend Mile High Comic’s Denver Comic Con launch party. While you wait, peruse the largest comic book warehouse IN THE WORLD. Meet legendary artists like Neal Adams (who was totally awesome to us last year) and George Pérez and mingle with other nerds about the world’s fastest-growing Comic Con. More details here. THIS HAPPENS TONIGHT!

Cosplay Contest Shindig

Denver has been the best con for cosplay we’ve been to – hands down. Even we got into the mix last year, dressing up as Jesse Pinkman and Walter White from Breaking Bad; here’s a free tip – don’t wear industrial grade chemical suits in a highly-crowded area. Yuck. Anyway, Denver is a breeding ground for creativity, and with as many hardcore nerds as we have here, this is a must-attend event.

Film on the Field

The Denver Outlaws and Denver Comic Con are partnering with Denver Film Society to bring you Film on the Field after the Outlaws June 14th home game. Watch The Amazing Spiderman on the HD Thundervision screen at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The game starts at 7pm and after the conclusion of the game, fans will be invited down to the field to watch the 2012 blockbuster staring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Tickets for both the game and the movie start at just $12 with $4 from each ticket going back to benefit Comic Book Classroom. Buy tickets here.

Denver Comic Con info can be found by downloading the Guidbook app. It’s a pretty seamless app, so hopefully it will be helpful.

 

Going to Denver Comic Con? Have any topics you want us to cover while we’re there? Have any tips about Denver in general? We want to hear it!

ComicPalooza 2014 Preview

In just a few days, we will be escaping our day jobs to visit Houston for ComicPalooza, where we will be meeting up with Hush family member, Taylor Lowe! It will be our second out-of-state Comic Con this year, following up a fun trip to Seattle we took in March for Emerald City Comic Con. These were actually Christmas presents from Taylor, so we were excited to see not only him, but to see a more intimate convention; the ones we’ve been to previously are some of the biggest in the nation. In preparation for the Con, we’re going to be highlighting the guests that will be coming and the panels that we’ll be trying to check out. We’ll be writing live from the event, so if there is anything crazy happening, you’ll hear it straight from us.

Click on the link to take you to all of our Comicpalooza articles

Click on the link to take you to all of our Comicpalooza articles

  It was so difficult for us to narrow down the list of things we want to do. If it were up to us, we’d do everything, but with four of us there (Taylor, my sister Sara, Adrian and I), we will be able to cover a lot of ground. That doesn’t mean we can do everything (or does it??), but we will try. Here’s a list of the stops we absolutely have to make:

Guests:

Comic Books:

Stan Lee: Just announced, the biggest name in comic books is making an appearance at ComicPalooza! Lee was supposed to be the guest of honor at Denver Comic Con last year, but had to cancel – it was super disappointing. This guy is pretty much the godfather of the industry. He created: The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The X-Men… pretty much everybody who makes up the core of the movies we see today. There are a total of 340 characters credited on Wikipedia, so don’t hurt your head trying to find them all. Thanks to a last-minute announcement, we will be meeting one of the forefathers of comic books. Excelsior! Neal Adams: We first met Adams at last year’s Denver Comic Con, where he was signing at a preview night party for Mile High Comics. We knew him from some of his earlier work, but the warmth with which he greeted us and the stories he told us left such a great impression that I’m instantly sold on anything new or old I come across. This veteran is most famous for his work on BatmanGreen Lantern/Green Arrow and Superman vs. Muhammed Ali, but has appeared on recent stuff as well (Batman: Black and WhiteBatman: Odyssey). He doesn’t let his celebrity get ahold of him, and that’s why we love him. Greg Capullo: It wouldn’t be a stretch to call this man the hardest working penciller in comics. He and writer Scott Synder have brought absolute magic to the New52 launch of Batman. From the detailed characters to the unique panel design, Capullo is an absolute beast, pencilling every single issue thus far. Capullo has been in the industry for over a decade, working on SpawnX-Force and others along the way. He was also a guest judge for Ink Master, where contestants were asked to create DC Comics tattoos. His unique style also inspired DC Collectibles to release a Designer Series of action figures. He’s easy in my top three of Batman artists, and the chance to meet him at CP will be an honor. James O’Barr: O’Barr, the creator of The Crow, is also on the list of comic book artists we’re excited to meet. O’Barr’s Crow is the highest-selling independent graphic novel ever, which is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year. He will also be at Denver Comic Con this year. For more on O’Barr, check out Jacob’s “Respect My Craft” about him.

Very Honorable Mentions:
David Petersen (Mouse Guard)
Jim Steranko (Strange Tales)
Chris “Oz” Fulton (tattoo artist)
David Petersen (Mouse Guard)
Nicholas Pitarra (The Manhattan Projects)
Shane Davis (Superman: Earth One)

 

TV/Movies:

Whedonverse: Adrian and I always geek out at cons, because at least a couple of the Whedonverse family always been to pop up. J August Richards (Gunn, Deathlok) and Clare Kramer (Glorificus) have been at every con we go to, which is awesome! This time, though, we are blessed with the presence of James Marsters (Spike) and Nicholas Brendon (Xander). On top of that, the cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be attending. Maybe Clark Gregg (Coulson) will sign my Captain America trading card (that I don’t have…yet). We are going to nerd out SO hard.
Lou Ferigno: The Hulk himself will be attending ComicPalooza. He was convincing enough to play the Incredible Hulk at a time where there were no CGI effects. He convinced me that he really was this monstrously strong being full of rage. In real life, Ferrigno is a really nice guy, and hangs out at cons all over the country, and sits at Mile High Comics’ booth when he can. 
Jim Cummings: This man has been unaccredited with raising a lot of children. His voices on iconic 90’s cartoons like Darkwing Duck, CatDog and Winnie the Pooh have shaped the way late 80’s babies remember childhood. He’s also a really sweet, funny guy, who tells inspiring voice actors that there is no such thing as a bad impression, just a different impression.
Doctor Whos: Several Doctors will be in the house, including: Peter Davison, Paul McGann, Slyvester McCoy, Colin Baker. Captain Jack Harkness will also be in the house – the actor John Borrowman also plays Malcolm Merlin in Arrow.
StarFest: Two big names that were at Denver StarFest, Billy Dee Williams & Nichelle Nichols, will be at CP. Williams is most known for his role as Lando Calrissian, but also played the role of Harvey Dent in Tim Burton’s Batman. Nichols similarly got her fame from a Star-show. She played Uhura in Star Trek; at a time when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, which led to Martin Luther King Jr. giving her props.
 
Very Honorable Mentions:
Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob)
Power Rangers (Walter Jones, August St. John, David Yost, Karan Ashley)
Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf)
Comic Book Men
Rose McGowan (Charmed)
Veronica Taylor (voice actor of Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Professional Wrestling Stars (Amy “Lita” Dumas, Kevin Nash, Bret Hart)
Cary Elwes (Westley from The Princess Bride)
Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel on GoT)

See all the special guests here.

Programming:

How to Run A Successful Kickstarter Campaign

“This panel is a review of successful Kickstarter campaigns and ideas about networking, partnerships, social media promotion, building a base of fans, setting goals, choosing swag items, stretch goals and so on. After that, the moderator will open the floor to questions from the audience regarding how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign.” Presented by Reema Farra, Erick Calderon, Christian Strain, Jason Aydelotte

Excelsior! Stan “The Man” Lee

“Come along Brigadiers, and sit in the bullpen with your beloved Generalissimo, Stan Lee, in his first time appearance at Comicpalooza. Join us as he regales you with his humble beginnings at Timely Comics, to becoming one of the greatest names in comic book history. This is your chance, True Believers, to ask Stan those queries that have rattled around in your head for so long. Excelsior!”

Buffy: Looking Back

Looking back at 17 years and how the characters and the writing have changed television. Presented by Clare Kramer, George Herzberg, James Leary, James Marsters

Ask A Stormtrooper

“Those were the droids I was looking for, and yes, I did have friends on that Death Star. Come talk with 501st costumers who have and wear the very notable costume of the Stormtrooper. Find out what it takes to get all of the pieces and the work that goes into making it screen accurate.” Presented by Shawn Crawford

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

“A chance to ask about Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from the big screen to the living room.” Presented by Brett Dalton, Clark Gregg, Elizabeth Henstridge, J. August Richards, Glenn Morshower, Ming Na Wen

The Joke’s On You: Behind the “Mask” of the Joker

“Journey with Greg Capullo in a discussion of the Clown Prince of Crime. Arguably one of the greatest villains in comic books the Joker is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma and covered in a purple suit the Joker has survived through thick and thin but what makes him such a persistent piece of pop culture?” Presented by Jeff Dixon, Greg Capullo

Check out all the programming here.

Outside the Con & Interactive Panels

Geeks Who Drink

“Waiting for the chance to show off your vast store of geekological knowledge? Geeks Who Drink, the nation’s biggest and best pub quiz company, is crashing Comicpalooza with a comic-themed quiz! Form a team of up to six players, skilled in the geek arts of film, comics and gaming, and prepare to compete for glory, honor and prizes!”

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog

“After Midnight is a traveling shadowcast company who brings shows such as the Rocky Horror Picture show, Dr. Horribles Sing-Along blog, and Repo the Genetic Opera to life. We bring awesome entertainment wherever we go, to whatever town that may be. So come out, bring a friend, bring their friends, and come spend an evening out with us! It’s not like you were doing anything anyway!”

Water Dance Swordplay

“Learn the “Water Dancer” style of swordplay from Game of Thrones’ former First Sword of Braavos. Purpleheart Armory, the artisans who created the wooden practice swords used by Arya and Syrio.” Presented by Miltos Yerolemou

Advanced Lightsaber Techniques

“A two-hour hands-on class that reveals the advanced biomechanics that can be applied to make imaginary light saber combat more exciting and physically powerful” Demonstration by John Clements

James Marsters Performs

A lot of people don’t know this, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel actor James Marsters has recorded multiple albums, and has a great voice – as shown by his performance on the musical episode “Once More With Feeling.” He’ll be performing live at the con! Below is one of my favorite songs of his, “Smile.”

Going to ComicPalooza? Have any topics you want us to cover while we’re there? Care to share any tips about Houston in general? We want to hear it!

Emerald City Comic Con 2014 Preview

In just a few days, we will be escaping our day jobs to visit Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con! It will be our first out-of-state Comic Con since 2012, when we went to Comic-Con International. We were initially stoked for ECCC just for the sheer amount of guests coming, but when the programming was released just a couple days ago, we are now ecstatic! In preparation for the Con, we’re going to be highlighting the guests that will be coming and the panels that we’ll be attending. We’ll be writing live from the event, so if there is anything crazy happening, you’ll hear it straight from us.

It was so difficult for us to narrow down the list of things we want to do. If it were up to us, we’d do everything, but Emerald City Comics Con is so ridiculously awesome, the Adrian and I will simply not be able to do everything (or will we??). Here’s a list of the stops we absolutely have to make:

Guests:

Comic Books:

Jim Lee: Legendary artist and DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee will be stopping by on one day only. His art from X-Men to Batman: Hush, all the way to the ongoing Superman: Unchained has been phenomenal. At cons, he usually holds his own drawing workshop where he holds Q&A while he sketches. It’s the best thing ever. We are looking forward to seeing him again at ECCC. Check out our profile on Jim Lee in our weekly piece “Respect My Craft.”

Scott Synder: Batman has been written by more writers than I can count, but there’s something insanely special about Scott Synder’s New 52 run of him. Synder, whose work on Detective Comics: Black Mirror and American Vampire has scared the pants off readers, has been superb on Batman. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted from a Batman comic book. Meeting the man who created the Court of the Owls will be quite the treat.

Gail Simone: Gail is one classy lady. She is the strongest female presence in comic books today, writing DC’s BatgirlRed Sonja and now Tomb Raider. We love her color commentary and she recently reached out to us on Twitter when we spotlighted her in our weekly “Respect My Craft” article. She’s good stuff and I can’t wait to hear what kind of stories she has for us!

Matt Fraction: This guy just might be the funniest writer in the biz right now – or a giant perv, the jury is still out. I religiously follow Hawkeye and Sex Criminals.  He manages to capture perfectly relatable situations and turn them into ridiculous stories that you can’t find in a book. Sadly, he’s a much bigger deal than he makes himself out to be; a lot of people don’t realize how much he’s had his hands on in the recent Marvel universe (Fear Itself, FFFantastic Four… a lot of F’s).

G Willow Wilson: A Colorado native who has spent most of her adult life in Egypt? Sounds like somebody I want to be friends with! Her graphic novel Cairo, as well as past novels Alif the Unseen and The Butterfly Mosque, have accredited her as a unique storyteller with insight on Muslim culture while still having a keen sense of American humor to tell the stories with. Her recent start in Ms. Marvel has shot her near the top of my list. Check out our profile on G Willow Wilson in our weekly piece “Respect My Craft.”

Very Honorable Mentions:

Chris Burnham (artist for Batman Inc.)
J. Scott Campbell (artist, famous for Spiderman, Danger Girl and Gen 13)
Kelly Sue DeConnick (writer for Captain Marvel)
Kyle Higgins (writer for Nightwing)
Jeff Lemire (writer/artist for Trillium, Underwater Welder)
Ed McGuinness (artist for Superman/Batman, Amazing X-Men, Nova, etc)
Dustin Nguyen (artist for Heart of Hush, Lil Gotham)
Jimmy Palmiotti (veteran writer & artist, will be releasing the graphic novel Denver)
Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo)
Tim Sale (artist of Batman: Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory, Spiderman: Blue)

TV/Movies:

Whedonverse: At past conventions, we’ve been lucky enough to meet J August Richards (AngelMarvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Clare Kramer (Buffy), and Nicholas Brendan (Buffy). This year, we are chomping at the bit for a fanboy/fangirl moment to meet Faith and Wash! Eliza Dushku, who played Faith in BTVS and Echo in Dollhouse will be there. Joining her will be Alan Tudyk, who played Hoban Washburne in Firefly/Serenity and Alpha in Dollhouse. We are so stoked, because we will also get to see J. August Richards and Clare Kramer again (who we actually gave rock candy meth to when we dressed as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman for Denver Comic Con last year). Whedonverse!The Wire: They might be representing different shows now, but I know a planned Wire reunion when I see one. Chad Coleman (Cutty) and Lance Reddick (Daniels) will be joining us. The Wire is one of our favorite television dramas of all time, and to meet Lt. Daniels and Cutty would be a highlight for sure.Steve Amell: This badass archer from CW’s Arrow will be making a one day appearance. Besides headlining one of the best comic book to television adaptations EVER, he’s also one of the funniest celebrities on Facebook. It would be awesome to meet the man under the hood.Very Honorable Mentions:

Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride)
Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver)
Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG, Breaking Bad)

See all the special guests here.

Programming:

Copyright Infringement and the Fair Use Defense

“What does copyright protect? What is infringement? When does “fair use” protect me? What happens if I infringe? Join attorney Caitlin DiMotta for a primer on copyright infringement, the fair use defense, & how to understand the difference.”

Fanfiction of the Whedonverse – LIVE!

“Not all fanfiction is bad. Some is just written that way. And some is so bad you may need therapy. Join us as we read aloud the worst in Whedonverse fanfic plots, puns, grammar, & super sexy scenes with Bobby Roberts, Benja Barker, & Kara Helgren.”

Hip-Hop & Comics: Cultures Combining

“This program discusses the intersections of Hip-Hop and comics, from rappers and graffiti artists utilizing super-heroic imagery and adopting fantastic alter-egos to comic creators utilizing the rich visual vocabulary of hip-hop in their work.” Note: Check out our “Diggin’ Through the Crates” articles for more info on comic book references in Hip-Hop.

30 Years of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

“Join Andrew Farago, author of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History, Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo, and Mirage Studios alumnus Michael Dooney as they look back on three decades of Eastman and Laird’s TMNT!”

Genetic Engineering: Star Trek versus Reality

“From eugenics (Kahn and Star Trek Into Darkness) to manipulating DNA in embryos (The Auguments on Enterprise), genetic engineering was invented by science fiction, but how far behind is science? It is closer than you think! Join Professor Ilana S. Lemann, author of the upcoming book All You Need to Know About Disability Is On Star Trek, for a fascinating look at the science in science fiction.”

Making Your Own Comics

“Jimmy Palmiotti, Becky Cloonan, Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey talk candidly about how they got their first comics off the ground. Be prepared to take notes – we’ll cover tough topics like collaboration, print vs. digital, finding an audience, and importantly, the money stuff!”

ECCC Costume Party

The Clock King and other villains have hatched a plot utilizing costumed decoys and they’ve chosen Emerald City Comicon as the place to select their team of miscreants! You’ll see various costumed attendees walking the showroom floor during the convention… Now see the best ECCC has to offer from multiple comics and cosplay-related categories. Judges will pick winners from each category and the audience will determine the best overall, who then will join a masters’ round of veteran cosplayers for a final showdown and ultimate prizes. Costumed audience members may also be selected to come onstage to show off their creations for prizes. Temple Fugate hosts what is always a highlight of the weekend.

Join The Corps!

“The Carol Corps. Find out what the fiercest & friendliest fandom is all about! It’s a powerful movement happening in comics right now and you can be a part of it! Join Prof. Ben Saunders as he speaks with Captain Marvel scribe Kelly Sue DeConnick and Ms. Marvel author G. Willow Wilson. They’ll talk about the origins of “The Carol Corps”, it’s Ms. Marvel-inspired offshoot “The Kamala Korps” and what’s in store for the future.”

Check out all the programming here.

Outside the Con

Carol Corps Celebration

At the Seattle Museum of Flight, there will be a celebration celebrating Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and their creators. So Kelly Sue DeConnick and G Willow Wilson will be there! It’s a great way to kick off the convention and visit the flight museum at the same time.

Explore the Town a Bit

We’ve never been to Seattle, so we’d love to spend some time outside the convention exploring. The Space Needle is a must, as is the fish market. Without a car, our options are a bit limited, but if you all know of any places in Seattle worth checking out, please pass us along some info. 🙂

ECCC Cinema Series

Each night of the convention, ECCC will be showing a movie that stars one of their special guests. The guests will have a Q&A session while watching. At $25/person, it’s a bit steep of a price for a movie and some Q&A, but the thought of watching Serenity with Alan Tudyk is hard to pass up… aside from that awkward moment at the end there. Leaves on the wind and all that.

Going to Emerald City Comic Con? Have any topics you want us to cover while we’re there? Care to share any tips about Seattle in general? We want to hear it!

Once Upon A Time Returns March 9th

Once Upon a Time Returns March 9th (Are You Ready?)

Well, after a three month hiatus, Season 3 of Once Upon a Time is finally returning. Based off the preview we can expect: the Wicked Witch of the West, everyone in mortal peril again, and it’s up to Emma to save the day. Again.

At the close of the last episode, Emma was in domestic bliss with no memory of her magical past or her family. It seemed she and Henry got their happily ever after – one year without magic, villains, and complicated love triangles. That is, until Hook showed up on her doorstep giving her one knock out of a kiss trying to jog her memory. We all knew that happy ending could only last so long. (I will say, if the show had been canceled it would have been a stratifying way to end the series.)

“Serenading Manhattan” will pick up where the cliffhanger left off. The actors have been talking about the season and it seems the show might take a darker grittier feel. Also, there’s a new villain at play. I’m a little hesitant about the Wicked Witch of the West but with Regina and Gold switching sides and Pan concurred we need a new villain to change things up a bit. This season has been working towards a different feel, and I hope the show continues to listen to its fans. Again, we are left wondering if OUAT will be all over the place or figure out a rhythm that suits the show.

What I hope will be cleared up:  What’s happening with Mulan and Aurora? Will Regina and Robin Hood happen? What’s going to happen with the Hook, Emma, Neil love triangle? What’s up with the creepy Darlings?  What Once Upon A Time in Wonderland tie-ins will there be? (At the moment Once Upon A Time in Wonderland is the better show).

Watch the promo below. What are your thoughts and hopes for the rest of the season?

P.S. Once Upon A Time in Wonderland is also coming back Thursday, March 19th

Written by Jené Conrad

Comic Book Reviews 12-04-13

Burn the Orphanage - Born to Lose #2, our pick of the week
Burn the Orphanage – Born to Lose #2, our pick of the week

Pick of the Week:

Burn the Orphanage: Born to Lose #2 (DC Comics) – A

It’s about time we had a fun, over the top Jean-Claude Vanne Dammey comic come out. Full of total guy nerd references and comedy, this over-the-top book is about a local hero who has extracted revenge on the man who burned down the orphanage he lived in as a kid. It might feel like a rip off of 90’s nerdom, but that’s because it is – and the creators have no shame in admitting that. The character looks just like Ken from Street Fighter and he is entered into a Mortal Kombat-style tourney in another realm. Independent comics are still alive and well here in this unapologetically witty and fun book, and that’s what should make you want to keep coming back.

Other Reviews:

Action Comics #26 (DC Comics) – B-

Finally, an enjoyable Superman title that isn’t carried by the best tag team in comics (Superman: Unchained). With Lana Lang in danger, Superman must try to rescue her and the other civilians in the area from a giant monster dog thing. It’s more than meets the eye when we realize that maybe the monster isn’t the alien after all. Superman gets frustrated with the civilians and the military for attacking the alien instead of being the unwavering Blue Boy Scout. It’s a change that’s pretty enjoyable to see in the Superman comics.

Amazing Spiderman #700.1 (Marvel Comics) B+

Amazing Spiderman #700.1 is a reversion back to the Steve Ditko and Stan Lee’s classic comic series. It is been a year since the “superior” Spiderman murdered Peter Parker, so his homecoming is much welcomed! I was thrilled to see David Morrell as the writer on this project, not only because his novel First Blood was transformed into the blockbuster Rambo movie franchise, but for his writing for 2007’s Captain America series: Chosen, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This Spidey book entitled “Frost” and follows the emotional and physical struggles of a young man gifted with incredible abilities after a science experiment gone terribly wrong. He seems more civil-servant than flashy superhero. This has always been the draw to Spiderman. In the early days he found himself more of a policeman walking a beat than he did A-lister superhero. Klaus Johnson’s artwork only contributes to this nostalgic feel, bringing a scene of Spiderman saving a gondola off the 59th Street Bridge to life. Reading this book took me back to a simpler time when superheroes felt closer to home. This book has everything the old-school Spidey fan loves, J.J. Jameson, Aunt May and an ordinary kid given extraordinary powers.

Amazing X-Men #2 (Marvel Comics) – B-

After the revelation of the debut issue that Nightcrawler is alive… kinda, this issue shows our X-Men being sucked into heaven and hell. It was a good issue, with Iceman’s humor really stealing the show. The book reads a little slow, as Nightcrawler is constantly narrating what the pictures explain, and describe teammates like Wolverine and Storm like you’ve never heard of them before. Not a whole lot was explained story-wise, but we can guess that the team isn’t in a good place when they were transported. With Nightcrawler poised to make a move on his father, Azazel, the next issue is sure to be a little more exciting.

Batman/Superman #6 (DC Comics) – C-

All bets are off: the heroes are being controlled by videogame players (really, who wouldn’t want to do that?), the entire comic is in landscape format (really, who would want to do that?) and Batman has a freakin’ hole in his chest. What began as a well-crafted story with freakishly good art from Jae Lee has become a jumbled mess of a book. While the Toymaker angle is interesting, there’s nothing cohesive enough to call this book “good.”

Deadpool #20 (Marvel Comics) – F

Oh, good. For a second there, I was worried that the Deadpool book had standards. Silly me. After a sincere and comical story arc had finished about the Weapons X program in North Korea, they drop this trash about Deadpool shooting and blowing up inter-galactic monsters in Wakanda. In 90’s print. For no damn reason. Growing up, Deadpool had always been the mischievous, “do what I want” misunderstood merc with a mouth. With the success he has garnered in pop culture, it seems writers are literally willing to do whatever they want. It’s not cute, and I don’t even think that every die-hard Poolians (I just made that up) should give this series a shot anymore.

Green Arrow #26 (DC Comics) – B

Thanks to the CW’s Arrow, Oliver Queen and company have enjoyed some much deserved attention in the comics. Throw in tremendously talented writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino, and you have the next face of your brand. The start of the Outsiders War arc was not full of action, but full of ambiance. Arrow’s return to the island was charged with emotion as he reflects on his time there. It’s looking like this arc is gearing up to be fun and exciting.

Indestructible Hulk: Annual #1 (Marvel Comics) – B-

Ever since Tony Stark and Bruce Banner teamed up for S.H.I.E.L.D its been non stop action. Banner is motivated by a desire to repair his reputation as the world’s leading scientist and not a raging green monster, while Stark is motivated by…whatever motivates a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist. The pair run errands for the clandestine organization and we are thankful for it.  Indestructible, penciled by Mahmud Asrar is filled with epic battle panels with Iron-Man and Hulk. If this buddy-cop match up is one you’ve been waiting for, Indestructible Hulk won’t disappoint.

Inhumanity #1 (Marvel Comics) – B+

Every Marvel event comes with a certain level of gravity. The world, galaxy or universe is always in danger and it’s the duty of our heroes to sacrifice and blah blah blah – sound familiar? This story, though, has an awesome feel to it. Unless you read or saw the animated version of Inhumans, you would not know that Inhumans are awakened through Terrigen Mists that activate super powers in normal humans. Karnak walks readers through the story of Black Bolt and what the fall of Attilan has to do with Thanos. It’s an epic event in the Marvel U that actually deserves the description.

Marvel Knights: X-Men #2 (Marvel Comics) – B-

With all the complicated twists and turns of the other X-books, it’s nice to see a book go to the simplest of times. Knights debut ended with Wolverine finding his buddy Sabretooth in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Continuing the story, which had a very pulpy, Scooby-Dooish vibe, we find another lonely and confused mutant with the ability to project memories (good thing this wasn’t a teenage boy). It has a bit of social commentary that has been absent in X-Men recently. This is definitely a short series worth checking out.

Superior Spiderman #23 (Marvel Comics) – B

Man, just when you think you can get used to Octavius as Spiderman, he pulls a major jerk move and messes with our pal Flash Thompson AKA Venom. We saw him go too far with his black & white justice approach with Cardiac earlier in the series, and now he’s really fighting with fire, tricking Flash into undergoing surgery to help him walk again, but extracting the Venom symbiote from Flash altogether, who now has Darth Maul legs. Once free, it latches onto the most suitable host in the room. I’m pretty excited to see how Otto thinks he can get himself out of this one, if he even wants to.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Micro-Series (The Shredder) #8 (IDW Comics) – C

When you really think about it, Oroku Saki aka The Shredder never really talks. I mean, he never really has to. A few speeches about how much he hates Splinter and the turtles or how disappointed he is in the Foot, sure, but when it comes to actually talking, it just doesn’t happen. This whole issue focuses on Shredder’s journey through the after-life, which is on its own, pretty entertaining and well-drawn. However, his lack of personality really put a damper on what could be a pretty cool Japanese folklore-based story.

Terminator: Salvation – The Final Battle #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – B+

This Terminator comic begins almost exactly like the first three terminator movies. Human and Terminator alike come back in time, Terminator kills people for clothes and the human runs from the police. The story fluctuates between the present day timeline and the future of 2029. Being a continuation of the movie, it is actually necessary that you watch the film in order to understand who a few characters are. That being said I am very excited to see where they take this series. Being a major fan of the series, I am very interested to see how they finally end the saga.

Trillium #5 (Vertigo Comics) – A-

The dimensions of a comic book page are 6-7/8″ x 10-1/2″ and Jeff Lemire seems to fill up every square inch with quality work. Issue #5 is split horizontally into two stories, read from opposite ends of the book to give the impression of two different stories. Swapped places in time and space, Billy and Nika are losing their minds trying to figure out how they got there. Right off the bat, things are out of place. There will be nobody named Clayton in the future of outer space; I simply refuse to believe it. I don’t know where this wild ride is going, but we have three issues to save the world and get these star-crossed lovers back to each other.

Velvet #2 (Image Comics) – B+

James Bond meets La Femme Nikita in this spy thriller. Only two issues in and we are uncovering a web of lies and a screw job within a secret government organization. Full of action and espionage, the second issue digs a bit deeper. Velvet boasts a strong female lead and a deep storyline to explore. If you haven’t picked up on Velvet yet, I strongly suggest getting into this spy thriller.

Funniest Panel of the Week:

Bobby breaks the ice in Amazing X-Men #2
Bobby breaks the ice in Amazing X-Men #2

Epic Panel of the Week:

The real Peter Parker saves  the day in Amazing Spiderman #700.1
The real Peter Parker saves the day in Amazing Spiderman #700.1

Cover of the Week:

TMNT Villain Micro-Series #8, written by Paul Allor and drawn by Dan Duncan
TMNT Villain Micro-Series #8, written by Paul Allor and drawn by Dan Duncan

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib, John Soweto and Robert Michael

Comic Book Reviews 11-27-13

Pick of the Week:

Black Science #1 (image Comics) – A

It’s only been one issue, but I’m already invested in this sci-fi thriller. I have no idea what the hell is going on, but I don’t think our main character, Grant, does either. The Black Science, I correlate to be like Black Magic, but it pays more. The art is very fitting and the monologue is amazing. In an attempt to escape from the weird toad and fish people, Grant sends his team to some inter-species galactic war. I don’t know what’s going on and I love it. I’m super excited to see what happens next.

Other Reviews:

All New X-Men #19 (Marvel Comics) – D

In this issue, the original X-Men fight off a group of crazy religious zealots who are dedicated to killing mutants in the name of God. With brand new uniforms, a new art team (technically they did #18, but it still feels new) and a new villain, this issue carries almost zero momentum that has made this such an enjoyable book. Also, seemingly for no reason, Illyana AKA Magik is back together with the rest of the X Team after a huge falling out when she joined Cyclops’ team. There was a pretty crazy end scene where a feral (and bald) X-23 bears her teeth to Kitty Pryde, so we’ll see if this is somehow connected to the Murder World that takes place in Avengers Arena. All in all, though, a pretty bland book considering the caliber of the series thus far.

Aquaman #25 (DC Comics) – B-

If you’re not a fan of Aquaman, this issue probably will not sell it. Geoff Johns, in true Geoff Johns fashion, wraps up his tenure with Aquaman taking his place as King of Atlantis. The Dead King has been defeated for now. It might not seem like a big deal, but Johns took Aquaman from being the laughing stock of comic book fans to an almost-respected character in just two years. While I’m skeptical of anything that happens after this, the story immediately points to a new threat, carried into another Geoff Johns penned book, Justice League. I’d say this book is worth checking out if you’re at all curious about Aquaman or the end of Johns’ saga.

Avengers Arena #18 (Marvel Comics) – D

Murder World is finally closed. After seventeen issues full of mushy “let’s be friends” speeches, one of the characters sacrifices himself to save the rest of the characters. However, the biggest worry is what happens after they leave. Arcade, the madman behind the whole debacle, has uploaded the events of the superhero Hunger Games onto the web. What happens now? The issue, and series as a whole, wasn’t stellar in story or art, but the aftermath of the events that unfolded will be pretty interesting to see.

Damian: Son of Batman #2 (DC Comics) – C

When issue one ended, I was thoroughly confused as to how Bruce Wayne was waiting for Damian in the Bat Cave. Issue two clears that up, then expands on it a bit. It’s just done a bit too quickly. The oddest part of the series is that Damian, the grown man, sounds just like Damian, the ten year-old child. I was really hoping for some character development here. On the plus side, it seems that this story is fitting in nicely to explain the events of Batman #666 where Damian faces off with Professor Pyg. As an avid Batfan, I would recommend reading this book, as the art by Andy Kubert is amazing.

The Flash #25 (DC Comics) – C+

The Flash has been one of the best drawn books in DC’s catalog, and usually has held my interest through the storyline. So I figured that when they introduced a Batman: Zero Year crossover, it might be worth checking out. In some ways I was right, and in some I was wrong. While it was awesome to show what a good investigator he was, clashing with the hardened detectives of Gotham City, and meeting (and saving) Iris West to form a romantic relationship, I am just sick of DC changing origin stories for the sake of changing them. All of the changes feel bastardized and not the original stories they should be.

Hawkeye #14 (Marvel Comics) – B+

When Kate went her own separate way at the end of Hawkeye Annual #1, I was a bit confused on how the series would continue after that. This episode shows us that it would continue straight through to Kate’s personal life. As it has been the whole series, Hawkeye does a stupendous job of humanizing the characters, having fun the whole way there. It does get a little deeper at the end, when it is revealed that Madame Masque is the villain behind the whole ordeal. Hawkeye is a guaranteed good read, and this issue is no different – no matter your opinion on Hawkeye, the character.

Injustice: Gods Among Us #11 (DC Comics) – B+

Based on the awesome video game that released earlier in the year, Injustice has become more than a cash-grab “based off” series; it is one of the best alternate universe storylines in recent history. After Batman decides that Superman is too far off his rocker, he and a small group distract Superman and sneak into the Fortress of Solitude to steal a super-serum that Lex Luthor developed to even the playing field. Along the way, we lose two beloved characters. It’s a tragic, yet exciting take on the DC lore. NoteInjustice was actually released as a “Digital Only” series, with each printed issue consisting of three digital ones. So if you really liked this one, the finale issue is comprised of #34-36 and you can find them for $1 each on Comixology.

Kick Ass 3 #5 (Marvel Comics) – B

If you’ve ever seen Kick Ass, the movie, then you know what you’re getting yourself into. Believe me, the comics are way better. There’s less censorship as far as what the characters say and do, the costumes don’t look as ridiculous and there are tons of namedrops; it takes us less than four pages to get somebody to compare the 21st Century Robin Hoods to Omar from The Wire. With Dave finally getting a normal girlfriend, he seems to have abandoned his superhero team. They have bigger troubles, however, as Rocco puts a hit out on every single masked character, ending the issue in sad, disturbing fashion with the death of one of my favorite characters.

Saga #16 (image Comics) – B+

It seems like we’re finally picking back up steam here! Equipped with murder, lies and naked unicorn women, issue sixteen is a thoroughly fun ride the whole way through. We’re finally brought back to the events in #13, where Prince Robot IV is closing in on our favorite pair of space fugitives. There’s quite a bit of story going on here, especially the new development of the war correspondents that seem to have trouble coming their way soon. It’s hard not to recommend a book that kicks this much ass, month after month.

Superior Spiderman #22 (Marvel Comics) – C+

Since (SPOILER!) Otto Octavius has taken over Peter Parker’s body and carried the mantle of Spiderman… Wait! Don’t leave! It’s not as bad as it seems, I promise. Anyway, since Superior Spiderman has begun, all the quips and sarcasm that made Peter Parker our Spiderman have been replaced with techo-babble infused cold-hearted insults. More than twenty issues in, Otto finally begins to develop a personality, even falling in love, a storyline which is starting to make me like him again. But just when things get cozy again, his arrogance frustrates me even further, making a Flash Thompson-Spiderman confrontation way more annoying than epic.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #28 (IDW Comics) – A-

Last we left our turtles, the Foot had just unleashed Bebop & Rocksteady. While the rocker duo don’t really get the homecoming I had hoped for, there are plenty of other characters to help bring this issue to a close. The turtles manage to save Leonardo and break him from the brain-washing that the Foot had put him through, but by all means, he is still broken in every other way. One of my favorite conflicted villains also switches her attitude and saves their lives during the fight. And you can’t forget about Old Hob, Splash, April and Casey Jones. It was an entertaining and meaningful issue, albeit with no real conclusion to the threat at hand, that reminds me why I’m still in love with the heroes in a half-shell.

The Walking Dead #117 (IDW Comics) – A

When Negan and Lucille burst onto the scenes in The Walking Dead #100, he immediately become our enemy, killing off a beloved character in the most disturbing fashion of the entire series (which is sayin’ something). However, as time goes on, we realize that maybe Negan isn’t quite the Governor that we initially painted him to be. Through this episode, we find that Negan does indeed have a very strong moral compass, as does he want to be the leader of a strong community. It’s really shocking to learn this about one of Rick’s enemies, and it will serve to make Negan more complex of an adversary than we’ve ever seen in The Walking Dead. Bravo, Kirkman.

Funniest Panel of the Week:

D. Oswald Heist shares his deepest fears with us in Saga: Chapter 16
D. Oswald Heist shares his deepest fears with us in Saga: Chapter 16. I’m sure Fiona Staples had fun drawing this.

Epic Panel of the Week:

Our girl Alopex finally snaps on Shredder in TMNT #28
Our girl Alopex finally snaps on Shredder in TMNT #28

Cover of the Week:

TMNT #28 cover by the master, Kevin Eastman
TMNT #28 cover by the master, Kevin Eastman

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week. We hope you had fun stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

New Hunger Games Catching Fire Trailer

The new Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer premiered in San Diego today.  It is disappointing that the previews give away the quarter quell secret now, but it looks really good.  Click here to go to see it!

by Adrian Puryear