Tagged: Superman

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Creative Conversation: Ibrahim Moustafa

Welcome to a Creative Conversation with creator Ibrahim Moustafa. Here we give you a chance to get inside the mind, learn some in depth background, and discuss the creative process of some of comics’ best writers and artists. In our first Creative Conversation I had the opportunity to speak with the artist behind Vertigo’s smashingly good new series, “Savage Things.” If the Bourne franchise went down the horror route, you have an inkling of what’s in store for you with this book. Ibrahim gives a better sum up a little further down. We talked about first comics, must reads, stories that stick with us as young comic fans, how this new series came about and who would be on Ibrahim’s own personal Mount Rushmore of comic book artists. Agree? Disagree? Find out!

MK: So let’s start with a little background because in all our conversations I’m not sure I know this: How did your journey lead you to working in comics?

IM: I was always drawing as a kid, and some of my earliest memories are of watching the Christopher Reeve “Superman” movies. Not long after that I discovered the Ninja Turtles and Batman 66 TV shows, and was obsessed with them all. I had and read a few comics as a kid and was always drawing the aforementioned. I got much more into collecting and reading comics when I discovered the X-Men cartoon in the early 90s, and I would hoard those Fleer Ultra 93 and 94 X-Men cards sets as a kid.

I fell out of comics for a long time as I got into sports a bit. And then in high school I was heavily into drawing graffiti art and breakdancing. When I was a Junior, “Smallville” had come out and rekindled my love of Superman. Someone gave me a book called “The Complete History Of Superman” and it had a few Alex Ross paintings in it, which completely blew my mind. I had no idea you could do *that* with superheroes.

That sent me down the rabbit hole of “Who is this guy? How is he doing this? What is he painting with? What else has he done?” From there I found “Kingdome Come” and started going to the comic shop, and that ignited my interest in drawing superheroes again. After a short while I realized that people were drawing comics for a living, and I began a very disciplined, regimented plan to make that my reality as well.

It worked (laughs)!

MK: That’s epic! What was your local comic shop when you were getting heavily into it?

IM:The first one I wandered into was a small one-off called Hidden Treasures or something to that effect, but they closed down shortly after. Then a friend that I worked with told me that there was a place called Things From Another World that was literally blocks away from our job. And they became my regular supplier in the formative era of my comics addiction, haha.

MK:They’re a great operation out in the Portland area. Other than Alex Ross, who were some other artists that got you jazzed into drawing superheroes and comics again?

IM: There have been SO many, but the ones that have stayed an influence/inspiration regardless of my changing interests are probably Stuart Immonen, David Mazzucchelli, and Lee Bermejo. As I’ve burrowed deeper into comics and it’s artistic masters, I’d say my Mount Rushmore consists Alex Ross, Stuart Immonen, Alex Toth, and Jorge Zaffino.

MK: That’s an eclectic looking Mount Rushmore.

IM: It is!

MK:I dig it. Before we go too far off topic: Favorite X-Men character?

IM: Cyclops (I know), Wolverine is a close second, though. You?

MK: I feel like Wolverine is everybody’s top one or two but personally, especially since Grant Morrison brought her into the mix I’m an Emma Frost man. Which doesn’t make me a “real” X-Men fan in most folks’ eyes but it is what it is. What is it about Cyclops for you?

IM: 1) You can like whichever X-Person you want and damn anyone who tells you otherwise!

MK: Thank you!

IM: 2) Honestly, I think Cyclops was the most like Superman, aesthetically, and that really appealed to seven year-old me when I discovered the show; he was the do-good leader, he had red blasts from his eyes, and he wore all blue with yellow and red (laughs).

But there was something about the idea that he was encumbered by his power that really hit me as a kid. The fact that this thing he could do made him an outcast and made his life difficult, but he used it to help people anyway…That always got me.

Also, his mutation didn’t cause him to have a drastically different outward appearance, but it was enough to make him an other. And growing up half-Egyptian, I experienced a lot of cultural differences from the kids around me. Questions like, “Why can’t you eat pork?” are a lot like, “Why are you always wearing sunglasses?” So, I think that appealed to me about Cyclops as well.

MK: Take that Cyclops haters! That’s really inspiring how you were able to have that relation to Cyclops. For you, do you think comics has a special place as far as storytelling in a way that movies, TV, theatre, or other mediums don’t quite?

IM: I do, absolutely. I think that there are more opportunities to play with the passage of time visually on a comics page than with other mediums. In comics, for example, you can have a splash page of a scene that is split into four different panels across a single image of say, a park. And each panel can represent the four seasons in a year.

Comics also allow for opportunities to echo imagery from one page or one sequence to another. So let’s say you have a page where a character is a child, and they’re playing, and they fall down and scrape up their knee. Then, you cut to them as an adult in a few chapters and they’re in a completely different scenario, but they go through a similar accident, and you’re establishing that they’re prone to this kind of thing in their life.

In comics, seeing all of those panels in one page as a whole creates a different experience than film or TV where you would see that happen one shot at a time. You’re taking in the gestalt of the moment on a page rather than the disparate parts that make the whole. Symbolism, the efficiency afforded by narration paired with a parallel image to the text, the pacing of a page-turn into a splash. There are tons of cool ways to deliver a moment in a comics page that are unique to the medium, and that’s probably what I love about it the most.

MK: That’s an amazing answer. Thank you for that. To switch gears a little, let’s talk about your new series out which I think definitely displays some of those elements you’ve so eloquently discussed. “Savage Things” which you draw, and is written by the one and only Justin Jordan, hit shelves on March 1st. Did you and Justin know each other much prior to working on the book? Was it an arranged marriage by Vertigo? How did your collaboration come about?

Savaeg_Things_1
Savage Things #1

IM: Justin and I had met here in Portland back in 2012 or so at a great indy comics show we used to have here called Stumptown. We’ve bumped into each other a few times since then on Twitter, and I’ve been a fan of his work since I first read “Luthor Strode” but when our editor Jamie S. Rich reached out to me to draw the book he facilitated a wonderful reunion for the two of us. So, pretty much an arranged marriage and the dowry was a super-dope book that I get to draw

MK: I love it when an arranged marriage blossoms into true love and kick ass action sequences.

IM: (Laughs)

MK: If someone asks you to describe “Savage Things,” what’s been your favorite answer to give?

IM: “Savage Things” is what you get when a bunch of Dexters are kidnapped and raised by the government to be Jason Bourne.

MK: That’s maybe the most badass way of summing up a book I’ve ever heard. Here’s a two-parter: What’s been one of the most challenging and what’s been your favorite thing to draw so far for the series?

IM: The book is full of excellent opportunities to create cool action sequences, and I think that’s been my favorite part so far. There have also been a few types of locations I’ve never never drawn before (a hospital, a power plant, a few others) so that’s been a fun challenge.

The most difficult thing has been figuring out how to draw expressive faces on sociopaths (laughs).

MK: That seems like a challenge on several levels (laughs). Can you perhaps tease us about something readers should be super excited to discover in issue two and beyond?

IM: Yes! The next few issues pitt our lead character, Abel, against six of the other sociopathic, trained murderers that he grew up with. So as you can imagine, issue one was just a tease at some of the brutality that these guys are capable of, especially toward each other. By the end of issue three, we pull back the lens and broaden the scope of the battle quite a bit. I’m very excited!

MK: Man, I can’t wait to see how you and Justin up the ante! Final two questions before our time’s up:

1) For someone new to comics, what are five essential must reads you’d recommend?

2) For all things Ibrahim Moustafa, “Savage Things,” and your ridiculously amazing James Bond posters, where can fans keep up with you on social media and the web? (Seriously, his James Bond posters kind of cray cray. Don’t believe me, click here!)

IM: 1) This is a tough one! These are certainly slanted toward things that I love, so your mileage may certainly vary.

Scalped” is my favorite book of all-time. It’s a crime drama a la “Breaking Bad” or “The Wire.” Anyone can dive right into it.

“Kingdom Come”: I read this pretty early on and loved it. There are a ton of references and characters in it, but as long as you know who Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Shazaam are, the rest falls into place.

The Losers” is a great book if you love action movies with fun characters, a cool story/lots of intrigue.

Old Man Logan” is almost a companion piece to “Kingdom Come” in that it’s a look at a possible future, full of cool stuff and references but mainly if you know the X-Men and the Avengers, you’re solid.

Batman: Year One.” One of the greatest comics ever made and a perfect primer for Batman fans looking to give the comics a try.

2) I’m on twitter at: @Ibrahim_M_ and my official site is http://theartofibrahimmoustafa.blogspot.com/

MK: Ibrahim, you’re a class act, thank you for being so generous and gracious with your time in joining me in our first Creative Conversation.

Check out “Savage Things #1” now and get ready for “Savage Things #2,” on shelves Wednesday, April 5th, 2017. Stay tuned for our next…Creative Conversation.

Please send love/hate messages to Matthew via Twitter @matthewklein316 and on Instagram. Matthew loves all things Batman, Valiant, and pro-wrestling related. He’s also pretty sure that it’s not recommended to spend more waking hours watching reruns of “Chuck” than sleeping but hasn’t been able to prove this theory.

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DC Rebirth Paperbacks are Here

It’s the second New Comic Book Day of 2017 and the first four trade paperbacks featuring DC Comics’ 2016 Rebirth event are now available.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s currently on Forbidden Planet’s shelves:

Batman Rebirth Gotham I am Gotham Scott Snyder Tom King

Batman Rebirth TP Vol 01 – I am Gotham … “The Caped Crusader has never been stopped. Not by the Joker. Not by Two-Face. Not even by the Justice League. But now, in the wake of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, Batman faces his most challenging foe ever-the idealistic hero known as Gotham, who wants to save the city from Batman himself! Collects the pages of BATMAN: REBIRTH #1 and issues #1-6 of the new, hit BATMAN series! This collection features a new cover by superstar artist David Finch!” Written by Scott Snyder and Tom King, with David Finch providing interior art as well.

Superman Rebirth TP Son of Superman Peter TomasiSuperman Rebirth TP Vol 01 – Son of Superman … “After the stunning events of DC REBIRTH, the world is left without Superman! Luckily, there is another Man of Steel to fill his shoes: the pre-Flashpoint Kal-El! However, can this new Superman protect the world while raising a super-son with his wife, Lois Lane? And should they help their boy use his new and rapidly increasing abilities, or hide them from the world? Don’t miss these stories from SUPERMAN: REBIRTH #1 and SUPERMAN #1-6!” Written by Peter Tomasi, with interior art by Doug Mahnke.

 

 

Auaman Rebirth The Drowning TP

Aquaman Rebirth TP Vol 01 – The Drowning … “Aquaman, the King of Atlantis, has never found a true home in either of the worlds that he was born of. In these tales from AQUAMAN: REBIRTH #1 and issues #1-6 of the new series, the King of Atlantis attempts to broker a peace between Atlantis and the surface, but this noble quest might force Aquaman to choose whether to live his life above the waves, or below them. Plus, Black Manta makes his bloody return and seeks to destroy everything and everyone Aquaman loves!” Written by Dan Abnett with interior art by Scot Eaton.

 

 

Green Arrow Rebirth TP Vol 01 Life and Death of Oliver Queen

Green Arrow Rebirth TP Vol 01 – The Life and Death of Oliver Queen … “Green Arrow’s life will be forever changed as he is betrayed by those closest to him! A budding relationship with Black Canary forces Ollie to confront the fact that he can’t fight “the man” if he is “the man.” And one by one, his friends desert him-and all the money in the world won’t bring them back when he needs them most. Collects GREEN ARROW: REBIRTH #1 and GREEN ARROW #1-5.” Written by Ben Percy with art by Ben Schmidt.

 

Next week we get Justice League and Flash.

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Chris’ Comics: Supergirl Rebirth

supergirlrebirthSupergirl Rebirth

Steve Orlando, Emanuela Lupaccino, Ray Mccarthy, Michael Atiyeh

DC $2.99

Supergirl is one of those DC characters I’m a fan of in theory, but rarely actually read any of the comics she appears in. While I’m a fan of how she’s been handled when it comes to animation and live action incarnations (the current CBS/CW Supergirl series, not the movie mind you), the comics Supergirl starred a character that was either too angry or sexed up, or in the case of the Peter David penned series, too weird. As fate would have it, DC editorial got their stuff together for Rebirth/the CW re-airing of the first season of Supergirl to make a comic that’s the perfect gateway book.

Supergirl Rebirth sees Kara Zor-El get shot into the sun, fight a Kryptonian werewolf,  and start high school. On paper that may sound weird (and also awesome), but keep in mind this book is written by Steve Orlando, who’s run on Midnighter was anything but conventional. Much like Supergirl, Orlando is a someone I wish I was more familiar with, as a PDF of his acclaimed graphic novel Virgil remains unread on my iPad. Orlando is great on his Supergirl debut, making his Supergirl a powerful and skilled fighter, but also Supergirl-Rebirth-Preview-Page-2-1-420x300someone who’s very compassionate. Marvel has done a excellent job of producing comics where the heroes want to see their villains rehabilitated, rather than just punched and punished, and it’s nice to see Orlando bring that sort of thing to DC, and make it feel natural. Speaking of feeling natural, I’m unsure how much of the elements popularized by the live action show were influenced by the comics and vice versa, but Orlando manages to make a book that incorporates elements like the Danvers and the D.E.O. work without ignoring work done by previous creators.

On the art side of things, we get the team of Emanuela Lupaccino, Ray McCarthy, & Michael Atiyeh, fresh from their run on the recently concluded Starfire series. I can’t think of a better trio of artists for a Supergirl book, as Lupancchino’s pencils inject the type of life and energy you’d expect when you think of a Superman comic. There’s a double 5384914-sgreb_1_5spread of Kara flying out of the sun that just screams iconic, and it’s nice to see a  Supergirl comic where she’s smiling again. McCarthy’s inks are clean, ensuring everything that Lupacciono puts down on paper ends up in the final art, and Atiyeh’s colors are gorgeous.

Supergirl Rebirth is probably not a book I’ll be reviewing every month, but it’s definitely good enough for me to catch up via trade. That being said, if you have more of an investment in the title character or any element of the creative team, it’s an extremely fun book with a ton of promise. It’s the type of start you want from a new creative team, and something DC needed to do with the IP. If Orlando, Lupacchino and co can continue the moment they established here, we should be in store for a pretty good run for a character who needs more of them.

 

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Saturday June 13th 2015- Greetings, Well Wishes and Daily Deals

FPNYC Forbidden Planet Comics Yoda The Warriors Window DisplayHappy Saturday from your pals at Forbidden Planet NYC! There’s some really swell new stuffs in stock this week, we’ve got a ton of great Marvel GNs on sale in-store, and we’re open ’til midnight. Have a good one!

Oh, and while we’re at it, here’s today’s DAILY DEALS:

Batman Superman HC Vol 03 Second Chance… ($23) $9.99

The Bunker TP Vol 01… ($20) $10.99

Daredevil by Miller and Janson TP Vol 03… ($30) $9.99

Escape From New Yoke Snake Plissken in Jacket Reaction Figure… ($10) $4.99

*Forbidden Planet’s DAILY DEALS are updated every morning. Prices are valid in-store til the shop concludes its business day (10pm or 12am, depending on the day) and online for roughly 24 hours. Prices are valid while in-stock supply lasts.

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If I told you half the things I’ve heard about Today’s Daily Deals You’d Probably Short-Circuit

Make Comics Like the Pros… One of the year’s best-selling tutorial books, by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente- two of the most prolific comics writers working today! ($23) $7.99

Jabba the Hutt Star Wars Black Hasbro

Star Wars Black Jabba the Hutt… Han, ma boo-kee, buy this fantastic Black series deluxe Jabba for 46% off regular retail. There WILL be a bargain! ($50) $26.99

Metallica Nothing Else Matters Graphic Novel… ($20) $7.99

Uglydoll DC Comics Babo as Superman… ($20) $7.99

*Forbidden Planet’s DAILY DEALS are updated every morning. Prices are valid in-store til the shop concludes its business day (10pm or 12am, depending on the day) and online for roughly 24 hours. Prices are valid while in-stock supply lasts.

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Breaking Badly

The deadlines for the Forbidden Planet blog/Daily Planet are much like the rules of Calvin-ball, which is to say capricious. That porcupine attack on Wednesday kept me from my desk desk until Friday…but then I had to go into deep cover for my day job as a full emersion secret shopper. Am I shopping in your store right NOW? EVEN I DON’T KNOW!

I just got off work, had enough time to eat some grubs (Not a typo, I live in a cave, remember) and get to work on my column Sunday night…at the same time as the Breaking Bad season finale. So pardon me as I type as I watch. LET’S DO THIS!

 

BLUE HARVEST

 

This week is the last week before the New York Comic Con rocks our brains like a batch of blue meth! ON NO, LOOK OUT WALTER! Boy, this show is intense. Here’s a commercial break. What was I saying? OH YEAH, NYCC! If you didn’t get a badge remember, you can always go down to the convention center, take a cell phone photo of the badge, create a phony on your home PC, then go down to Chinatown till you find the right plastic lanyard and badge holder. It’s what Stan Lee does…how else would he get into every con for free?

 

As for this week’s comics, Dark Horse has issue two of The Star Wars, and I am THERE! DC/Vertigo has a new spooky anthology called the Witching Hour, and I’m hesitant. I do like me some Halloween fun, so I’ll probably give this a shot…sharing the title with the Loeb/Bachalo mini from the early millennium isn’t helping this one out, here. That book wasn’t either of their best work.

 

OH WAIT, IT’S BACK ON! Jees, this show is brutal. I don’t know why my friends watch it. Hmm? No, I don’t watch it, but if I don’t watch tonight’s episode then I won’t know what my friends are talking about, and I won’t know what to be mad about them spoiling on my facebook. I won’t post any spoilers, I promise. Boy, that’s a weird place to stick that salami, Walter. Is it even going to fit?

 

WHERE WAS I?

 

Action Comics #24, Batman Black and White #2 and Forever Evil #2 top a pretty solid list of must haves from DC. New issue of He-Man (Happy Dance.)

 

All New X-Men #17 has the latest on the Battle for the Atom. I am LOVING this! Best X-cross over in a while. People can give Bendis a hard time for a bunch of things, but he’s taking the f’ed up, time travelling dysfunctional family aspect of the X-Men and making it the central theme of a crossover. Further, the title is populated with young, new x-men, all forced to take sides in issues that have nothing to do with them. The final legacy of Xavier’s dream is that his X-men grew up into messed up adults incapable of making great decisions, let alone save the world.

 

Fantomex Max #1 out this week as well. Yes, please.

 

Ugh. People really LIKE this show? It’s so upsetting and nasty. Some of the jokes are ok, I suppose. The art style kinda’ bugs me, too. Are people supposed to be hearing the baby speak, or is it just the audience. The dog seems to understand him. Commercial.

Indie comic publisher Microcosm is doing single issues of Henry and Glenn Forever, the amazing tale of Black Flag’s Henry Rollins living in an “alternative relationship” with ex-Misfit’s front man Glenn Danzig. Do pick up a copy of #2, available now, or the classic collection of strips that started it all.  It is excellent stuff for comic, music or humor fans alike!

 

ALL IS SAID AND DONE

 

Pfff. what was all the fuss about? I’m glad I haven’t been watching that show for years. It’s not even well animated. Why is it funny for a fat guy to punch a chicken for five straight minutes? It’s like they don’t even want me to watch. And my friends all said the chicken man bits were some of the best. No thank you, Breaking Bad.

 

Oh Well. There’s another blu-ray set I can skip! Hopefully you and I, reader, will be sneaking into the comic con with Stan Lee next week, checking out all the cosplay, comics and expensive con food for ourselves!

 

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YOU put the I in “COMIC.”

The comic book hits of tomorrow are written and drawn by the genius’ of today! I hope each and every one of you out there is creating your own amazing stories to thrill and entertain. Forbidden Planet has an excellent small press section, and there is no reason you books cannot be amongst them.
Until then, dear reader, maybe you’ll check out these other titels?
DREAM TEAM
Image has a brand new title out this week called The Dream Merchant #1, and Dark Horse has The Dream Thief #1 (of 5). Listen, we have GOT to get these two characters together! They might work out a plt for Inception 2.
Joking aside, both look like interesting sci/fi supernatural thrillers. In the Dream Merchant, a young boy has haunting dreams of an alternate timeline which has been erased by sinister forces. His dreams unlock the secrets to getting that reality back, but should he follow them or go back to sleep?
In the Dream Thief, an ancient mask worn by our hero once makes him the conduit for vengeful spirits while he slumbers. Think Poltergeist meets the Mask.
Here’s a helpful piece of advice: If you’re in a comic book and you should find a strange, creepy mask? JUST LEAVE IT ALONE! Same goes for drinking serums in laboratories, or flying in space or trying on any jewelry you find in a treasure chest or tomb.
Speaking of tombs,
MASTER OF HORROR
Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher #1 (of 2) is a new horror comic out from Richard Corbin and Dark Horse. I don’t know much about the writer on this book…Edgar Allen Poe? What comics has he worked on before? Can anyone tell me if this guy has done any superhero stuff, I’d like to read more of his work. Still, Richard Corbin is one of the best in horror books. If you’ve seen Corbin’s work then you know he’s both cartoony and horrifying, grotesque and fun all at once!
Kinda’ like this next book; John K. Presents Spumco Comic Book HC (34.99) is my NUMBER ONE pick this week! IDW continues their fine work reprinting in large format print classic material from hard to find sources. Spumco Comics is a collection (plus new material!) of the comic works of John K., the animation super star behind Ren and Stimpy. John K. has a unique style, and humor so low-brow people will wonder if you have any brows at all.
THE BIG TWO
DC has the second issue of their He-Man relaunch title (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #2) as well as Justice League #20, and the 30 page, final issue of Sword and Sorcery #8. DC is gearing up for their big summer specials, as well as a few surprises for our pal He-Man!
Marvel is swinging back with Age of Ultron #8, FF#7, and Wolverine and the X-Men #29 amongst others. Both Age of Ultron #8 and the latest Wolvie title are alternate future versions of the current Marvel Universe. Alternate titles are always fun! I suggest you read these now, so when you pick up the Return to the Age of Ultron Universe title Marvel will be publishing in 10 years, you’ll know what’s going on.
STILL DRAWING?
How’s your comic going…you know, the one you’r working on? WHAT? You haven’t started it yet, you’ve been reading my column?! DUDE/M’AME, drop this thing like your butt in a bouncy castle and get working on new comic books!
Don’t forget to clip all the pages of your comic book together with staples. Comics without staples is just a series of nonsensical leaflets which won’t stay together.

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Injustice for most

Happy Cinco De Mayo FPNYC Faithful! I’m am currently sitting inside typing this up on a gorgeous day, so do me a solid and swing by the shop and by something during your tequila-fueled rampages! Let my guilt decided how your dollars are spent dammit!

So obviously I am back from c2e2, which was a fun convention, but as I said in the past offered very little in the toy news front.  (You can see my cosplay round-up here:http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/04/30/cosplay-all-over-the-world-more-c2e2-from-christopher-troy/) However Kotobukiya did have a booth there, with some awesome stuff on display. There were Star Wars-themed Ice Cube trays, more Bishoujo statues ( Kitty Pryde drops this September, and looks incredible!) and a butt-ton of New 52 Justice League Art F/X statues. I’ve mentioned the Superman and Green Lantern ones in the past, and Wonder Woman and Flash ones are out/coming out soon. Again these are cheap, but well made statues and well worth the money if you’re into DC collectibles.

And while I’m not exactly the biggest fan of their comics, or policies, or several other things I won’t get into here, I have to respect DC for getting so many things out on the shelves now, especially  in comparison to the Plastic Empire Marvel has built for itself! “Injustice” is getting a huge push by both Mattel & DC Collectibles, as there’s now 2 separate toylines based on the game.


There’s a bunch of new 6″ figures out featuring Superman (decent design,great sculpt) the Joker ( terrible design, decent sculpt, especially given the material they had to work with) and Aquaman, the best of the bunch despite being Aquaman ( Always be hating on Aquman folks). And Injustice Batman is still on our shelves because of course he is. Each one of these figures will set you back about $20 a pop.

The DC collectible side of things offers 3.75″ figures in 2-pack for $30 a pop, which honestly isn’t that bad. There’s the terrible designed Green Arrow ( complete with man-boobs to attract that “Arrow” demograph!) and Deathstroke figure bundle, as well as the Solomon Grundy and a badass armored Wonder Woman figure. These figures are about as articulate as your average Marvel Universe figure, and all of them sans Grundy have some sort of accessory. I’m actually a bigger fan of these than I am of the bigger figures for the record, even at that price point, and you should expect a ton more Injustice figures on this scale to drop within the year.

Ending this thing on a non-Super Hero note, NECA has dropped some interesting releases as of late. Gears of Wars, one of their key franchises, has received the 3.75″ figure treatment, which makes a ton of sense as the games have a fairly large cast of characters. On the bigger side of things (that’s what she said? ), there’s an Assassin Creed’s 2-pack that dropped featuring middle-aged Ezio and old man Ezio from the 3rd and 4th games. These 2 figures feature insane levels of detailing and no less than 38 points of articulation with variant hands and accessories. A must for Ass Creed fans.

That’s all for this week. Next time, a review on a trade on some book I’ve never talked about before featuring a man, his ward, and his pizza dog.

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Saturday May 4th is Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day

It’s almost time when the time is here,
The time that’s only once a year.
We can hardly wait, ’cause it’s so near.

-Traditional Woodland Critter Tune

This Saturday, May 4th, is Free Comic Book Day, and here’s the deal on what Forbidden Planet NYC has planned for this year’s festivities.

First off, if you’re not familiar with FCBD, it’s an annual event on the first Saturday of May wherein participating comic shops all over the world give away comic books for FREE.  Forbidden Planet has participated in FCBD since its inception and has given away hundreds of thousands of comics on this special day.

Each year publishers produce comic books intended to be given away that day- often samplers of what they normally publish, or reprints/previews of  first issues and jump-on points of established series.  The full list of what’s available this year can be seen here: http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/981

Forbidden Planet NYC will be giving randomly assorted bags of up to twenty books per bag, starting at 9am, May 4th.  All ages bags will also be provided as this is a family-friendly event and there’s little else we like more than comics in the hands of a new generation of readers.  We will do so as supplies last, so remember to ARRIVE EARLY.

What’s more, all comic books and graphic novels in stock will be ON SALE at 15% OFF for the entire day!!!

The shop opens, and our Free Comic Book Day festivities begin at 9am and run until we close at 12 midnight.  I encourage you to come by, pick up some free swag, mebbe check out the new shop (we moved almost a year ago!) and save some dough on new reading material.

Hope to see you, and hope you enjoy!

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Creature of Habit

Hey FPNYC Faithful, let’s see what kind of neat stuff we got in this wee-

::: Checks out shelves ::

::: Bangs head against wall repeatedly :::

Don’t get me wrong y’all. I like talking about toys, and letting the 6 of you who read this know what’s new in releases this week, but man, I can only talk about Super Hero toys so much. And as fate would have it, this would be the week where we’re hit with a plethora of super hero toys. One specific one, a character I was talking about literally just last week.

For those not in the know, WB games is releasing “InJustice” this week, which a DC-based fighting game in the vein of Mortal Kombat, only was less violent. Which means tie-in toys. We’ll be seeing some DC made ones in a week or 2, but Mattel struck first by tossing an Injustice Batman figure in the newest wave of DC Unlimited figures. New 52 Superman is also re-released in this wave, which is fine because it’s actually a decent Superman figures, as well as the new 52 Wonder Woman. The newest figures in the line are actually pretty good by the way. It’s been hella fortnight since we’ve seen a Wonder Woman figure from Mattel, and this one (an all new-figure BTW) captures the look designed by Jim Lee/ Cliff Chang quite well. It also does a nice job of covering up the fact that WW’s current on-going is violent (and awesome) as hell. As for Injustice Bats, I’m not crazy about the design, but since it’s original, it forced Mattel to make a new sculpt, which means this figure is also 100% new. It’s also fairly articulate and shiny, which makes me wonder if all Unlimited Batman figures are to be shiny from this point on.

In addition to the new DC Unlimited line, there’s a new wave of  Batman character only -based Unlimited line of highly articulate figures on our shelves. One with no less than 3 different versions of Bruce Wayne. No, I can’t make this up, especially given the selection of this line.

The new 52 Batman and Batgirl are brought back for this line, and look, another Dark Knight Returns Batman (those animated movies must have really sold well for DC to be pushing tie-in merchandise this hard) being one of the 2 new first time offerings. The other….::: clears throat:: Planet X Batman with Batmite. Aka Batman of Zur-An-Arrh. What’s that mean? Yo, I’ve read Batman R.I.P. (Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel) and I suggest you do the same, because that is the only way any of that would make sense. Anywho, the re-packs are good if you missed them the 1st time around (the new 52 Bats goes great w/ the new 52 Supes and WW), and at least the new offerings are unique to say the very least. Both Unlimited lines are $20 per figure, and given the hype behind Injustice, you may wanna grab the figure before the game drops. Both DC and Mattel are going to be pushing tie-in toys hard these next couple of months, and given Bats popularity, he’s probably going to be one of the harder figures to fine. Not that there’s a shortage of Bat-toys or anything…

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 17: That Can Save Her People…

Funny story. My column ran long last week and Unkie Dev’s space got cut. Since then I have been wracked with guilt and completely unable to function in my daily life. I am overwrought with worry thinking about all you Unkie Dev Dev-iants who missed his thoughtful words and gentle demeanor. I have completely rethunked my whole column to try and make amends. Also the numerous death threats helped me see the issue more clearly. For this week I am doing a very special, micro-machines man-esque, super speed version of TRY SOMETHING NEW. Without further ado…

THE MASSIVE #1 is being rereleased for $1. Frontrunner for book of the year, Brian Wood does realistic global disaster from the POV of a radical environmental group hunting for a missing boat. There’s nothing like it on shelves and if you like the $1 issue you can buy the whole trade for just a bunch of dollars more. I know nobody wants to hear that this book has some light environmentalism themes so I won’t mention that. People shoot at each other though, you all like that. Read also: DMZ.

SUPERMAN: SECRET IDENTITY. A friend of mine who works at Marvel lent me this and said it was the best Superman book of all time. That’s how good it is. It almost brokered the Marvel/DC peace accords. He was wrong though. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN is the best, but this is up there. A surreal tale of a young Clark Kent that will keep you guessing. Kurt Busiek can find the humanity in superheroes better than almost anyone, and Stuart Immonen can draw that just as well. Read also: ASTRO CITY

PUNK ROCK JESUS. Sean Murphy steps out of his own artistic shadow to become a powerhouse writer. The story of a clone of Jesus who quits his reality TV show and fronts a punk band may make you cringe, but Murphy handles it with aplomb. His art, as always, is brilliant. This one may not be for everyone but if it seems interesting to you now you will probably dig it. I think the ratio of people with mohawks in comics to people with mohawks in real life is crazy. This book doesn’t help that. Read also: AMERICAN JESUS vol. 1

MISS FURY #1. It seems like something changed over at Dynamite and their relaunched character books have either been getting much better or people are finally caring about them. Now they launch Miss Fury, a hero who ends up moving through alternate timelines after WWII. She may be lost, she may be crazy, she is definitely angry (Dynamite, call me. I can make this $#!% up all day: 212.473-1576). This book is good too because if you squint you can pretend you are reading Catwoman. Read also: CATWOMAN

MICE TEMPLAR vol. 4 #1. How &*(%!#@ weird is it that there is more than one book about mice with swords? I think it’s absolutely insane. It makes me feel like I am losing my mind. It’s hard to find comics with black characters in them and there are two books with sword wielding mice?!?! Both sword/mice books are good. This one has some great Michael Avon Oeming art. Read also: MOUSE GUARD (obviously…)

THANOS RISING #1. I once went on a long and moderately well received rant about how I think in some ways comic writers are too sheltered. Many just lack crazy life experiences and it shows in their writing. I said something about how I don’t want to read comics from anyone who has never been in handcuffs, or slept with a stranger, or been knocked unconscious, or had a gun pointed at them, or woken up on a strange floor, or seen a dead body, or crashed a car, etc… Rantings of an idiot, but my point remains. I don’t know if Jason Aaron has done any of those things but he sure writes like has. Now he is writing a Thanos origin story. I don’t know who thought a Thanos origin story was necessary but here it is. Read it and everything else Jason Aaron writes. Read also: SCALPED

UBER #0. There’s a lot of Nazi stuff in comics. Nazis are like mice with swords, they’re everywhere. Except in MAUS where the mice aren’t Nazis at all and there are no swords. Confusing. Most of the Nazi stuff I find to be boring and cliché. Heck, this is my second Nazi stuff book of this column, and this column only has stuff I like in it. But Kieron Gillen is a good writer and can take a tired cliché and shake it up enough to make it feel fresh and exciting. His new series finds Nazi superheroes entering the last days of WWII to CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY! Whoa. If that doesn’t excite you you should probably stick to books with mice and swords. Read also: PHONGRAM

HARBINGER WARS #1 is a crossover between Harbinger and Bloodshot. Both of those books are among the better offerings in superheroics right now. This, the first crossover of the Valiant Comics relaunch, is all set to be epic and hopefully gamechanging. If you have been reading both main books then this event is a no-brainer. If you haven’t then I don’t know why you would start here. The trades of both individual series are only $10 each. Start there. Read also: HARBINGER, BLOODSHOT.

50 GIRLS 50. Fantagraphics has been re-releasing old EC stuff in these really nice hardcovers. Now they are taking a shot at Al Williamson’s work. Ranging from sci-fi & fantasy, to horror and crime, this stuff is almost infinitely fun and readable. There are some Ray Bradbury stories in here, as well as some stuff that Frank Frazetta drew. All with great notes on EC and Williamson. This book is equal parts truly classic comics and amazing history lesson. Come for the arts, stay for the smarts. (Again, Fantagraphics, I will write taglines like this for you. I make up stuff this good like every day.) Read also: CORPSE ON THE IMJIN

‘TAIN’T THE MEAT…IT’S THE HUMANITY. I could write about how this is Fantagraphics collection of all of Jack Davis’ Tales From The Crypt stuff but instead I will just direct you to the title. Now I offer the theory that anyone who does not own a book called “’Tain’t The Meat… It’s The Humanity” deserves nothing of value in their lives. This stuff is funny, gross, creepy, and like nothing that has come since, but mostly it just has the single greatest title of all time. Ever. Including the future. Read also: CAME THE DAWN

Well that’s all for me now. I just got a tip from a friendly lady cop I used to run with that a guy matching the description of tech wizard/crazed mole person, Tyler, has been spotted in the abandoned Fulton Fish Market building. I just hope I can get to him before they do. Pray for us.

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HAM FISTED

The other day I was about to eat a ham sandwich when I suddenly realized I wasn’t hungry. No sooner had I put the thing down that it started to talk, telling me how it was a magical sandwich, that it was the prince of Hamsandwichia and how thankful it was that I spared its life and yadda yadda yadda.

Long story short: I’m now the king of the magical land of Ham Sandwiches. This realm is its own, separate reality. I have no idea how to get back to our time, and the absolute worst part of it all is there are NO comic books in Hamsandwichia.  

GOOD READS


Great books out this week, and I can’t read a dang one of em’ because I’m the frickin’ “chosen-one” for an entire stupid kingdom of lunchmeat. Have fun finishing up the latest storyline in Adventure Time #14 with out me, everybody. Tell me how it freaking ends if I ever get back to Earth.   Then there’s All New X-Men #9 (new x-costumes!), Deadpool #6 (wrapping up one of the best runs on Deadpool ever) Superior Spider-Man #6 and the premier of X-Termination #1.   X-Termination is a two issue series written by David Lapham where a bunch of alternative X-folks from many divergent X-Futures throw down like dominoes over the survival of their time lines. Too bad I can’t enjoy that.   DC alone has, like, 18 incredible books out which is apropos as the great “New 52” Experiment is up to issue 18. Action Comics, Catwoman and a bunch more all get #18’s, plus the second issue of Justice League of America and the FIRST new issue of Constantine. As speculative numbers go, these are all pretty impressive…though the most impressive numbered book this week belongs to Simpsons Comic #200 from Bongo! Not impressed? Bongo is a third party comic celebrating its #200th issue of a full color monthly title. Not too many publishers outside of Image and Dark Horse have pulled that off.   Sure, it has Simpson’s money behind it…those still aren’t numbers to scoff at.  

HOLD THE RYE-OT

Wait up, crew. The Ham Sandwich equivalent of my Major Domo has approached the throne asking me to sign some edicts. All royal decrees in Hamsandwichia have to be signed in French’s Mustard on white bread with the laws toasted onto them using special techniques. It sounds delicious except A) I hate French’s and B) I’m not allowed to eat any of them. I’m not allowed to eat anything.   I have to secretly sneak out of the palace at night and eat my subjects in their sleep. It’s only a matter of time before they figure it out and try to kill me. I’d be more worried if the toughest weapon in the land weren’t a butter knife, but still…   Constantine #1 is a spiffy title, but I’m more enticed by Star Wars Legacy #1, the new Star Wars book from Dark Horse. Legacy follows the adventures of Han Solo’s great-great-granddaughter as she lasers her way though a familiar, yet hostile, galaxy of betrayal and conflict.   Then there’s Invincible #101 (What the heck is going to happen next?!) as well as an amazing deluxe Hard Cover collection of Bob Fingerman’s impressive working class comedy Maximum Minimum Wage. Funny, sad and worth every penny.  

SANS SANDWICH

I’m hungry, I’m surrounded by idiotic talking sandwiches and I can’t publicly eat a single one. This must be how Edward Cullen feels. Until next week, this is Unkiedev, the King of the magical land of Sandwichia urging you to eat every sandwich you see. The life you save could be your own.

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FIGHT!

Logic assures that there can be Good comic books which do not contain fight scenes, but emotion would remind you that fight scenes are incredible awesome. Here at Forbidden Planet we want you, the comic book buying populous, to get in on all that the genre has to offer. Today we shall recommend a few tantalizing comics of the FIGHTING genre to whet the appetite for violence.

If these books inspire the youth of America to disassemble into full scale riot, then we have all done our jobs.

FIGHT!

I recommend you start off slowly. Pick up some almost ANYTHING by old Jack Kirby, especially his early Fantastic Four. As an appetizer, try some Savage Dragon, Invincible. Then start spiking your violence intake with some horror, maybe Hack/Slash. Now let’s begin in earnest to learn the art of fighting.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a catchy, yet descriptive, name for a comic which hid some of the best fight sequences of the eighties. While Marvel and DC where still just showing buffoons punching each other in the face or gut, the turtles were choreographing fight sequences detailed to feints and blocks. Pick up some of the classic Turtle books, ESPECIALLY the Return to New York saga.

DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, Frank Miller (W/A), DC

When picking the single greatest fight in comics, Dark Knight Returns Batman vs Superman is a strong contender.  If you haven’t read this book, do so now. Frank Miller may be a crazy misogynist homophobe who believes that “Might Makes Right,” but that is precisely the kind of kook you want writing violent comic books. Don’t get me wrong, Miller is as bad as his worst critics say, but his twisted belief in his limited moral compass makes for spectacular fights. Sin City, Wolverine, 300, Holy Terror, all flawed masterworks of brilliant brutality. Speaking of Miller’s other works:

HARD BOILED, Frank Miller (W), Geof Darrow (A), Dark Horse

Miller and Darrow won the 1991 Best writer/artist team Eisner for this baby, and I think that was a very nice bone for the committee to throw Frank’s way. It’s like saying Dolly Parton had nice ankles.

There is a plot to Hard Boiled, something about robots and insurance, but I can’t remember it to save my life. I do remember pages of gut churning fights between robots, humans and mutant freaks the likes of which have never been topped.

Hard Boiled is the most brutal fighting in comics, and Geof Darrow is the most brutal artist in comics. Darrow can draw metal squishing human face flesh into hamburger meat better than any man alive, which is why he was picked as the lead designer on the Matrix films.

Start here to see the craziest, grossest fights you can, and then if you ain’t sickened, go grab Darrow’s other works such as Shaolin Cowboy and Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot.

MORE MORE!

Ah Crap, I’m running out of room. Kick-Ass is a great punch em’ up, as are its sequels and spin offs. Michael Avon Oeming draws some pretty fair dust ups in the pages of Powers. Both Civil War and Secret Invasion have some nice full-scale skirmishes.

Although, really, so does most of the stuff you can buy here. GO VIOLENCE!

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STICK IN THE MUD OF TIME

The best comedians are often self-loathing, depressed freakazoids.
Eric Powel, writer and artist on The Goon must HATE himself more than
a Slayer fan who has run out of razor blades, because that cat is
putting out the funniest comic book on the stands today.

This week sees TWO Goon books, the new issue of the title (Goon #44,
often delayed but finally here, we promise,) and the most recent
trade, Goon Vol. 12 Them That Raised Us Lament, which collects issues
38-41. If you’ve been looking for a jumping on point, THIS IS IT.
Inside you will find heart-breaking stories of origin, hilarious takes
on the artist’s own commercial prospects as well as great fights,
cars, jokes and stories.

We all have our weaknesses. I know I plug this dang book maybe more
than I should, but it has won five honkin’ Eisners. I apologize if you
hate award winning, hilarious, sad, well-drawn comic books. I’ll stop
trying to push them on you.

THE OPPOSITE

If I have to recommend NON-Eisner winning comics then I can’t
recommend this week’s Adventure Time #13. Adventure Time will win the
2013 Eisner for best kids publication, you see. I’m sorry if that was
a spoiler, but it is not my fault you’re stuck in a linear time
constraint. Still, the new issue drops this week, as does Avatar The
Last Airbender: The Promise, a deluxe edition of past Avatar stories
based on another awesome cartoon.

I suppose I also can’t nominate Deadpool #5, as it will get a
nomination. If Deadpool is ‘gonna fight Zombie Regan in space, don’t
you think you want to check it out?

SEVENTEEN TIMES LUCKY

Action Comics #17, Batwoman #17 and a slew of other #17 books are out
from DC this week, and are well worth the pick-up. On the Marvel tip,
Don’t miss Uncanny X-Men #2, Alpha #1, Superior Spider-Man #4 and
Avengers #6.

This MIGHT NOT be up your alley, but Marvel is relaunching Nova this
week with a brand spanking new #1. Nova will feature prominently into
Marvel’s future movie plans, and this new book will give you a pretty
good idea of what is coming up for the human rocket!

FLOWING JUICES

Image is finishing up the brilliant Grant Morrison’s strange
“gangsters meet magic” limited series, Happy, this week with Happy #4.
Meanwhile, IDW is relaunching GI Joe under the strong writing of Fred
Van Lente with GI JOE #1!

New beginnings, new endings and fine continuations make this one
swankaroonie week to be a comic book fan! I hope you all did your
taxes, because your going to need that refund check in order to get
all the great books coming out in the next couple of weeks! Stay tuned
to Forbidden Planet for all there is to know about the latest Action
Figures, Manga, Comics and MORE!

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A return to form

What’s this? An article where I can get by without talking about Square Enix releases?!? Why yes, yes it is! Of course that means returning to the old hotness, talking about comic book related merch, so please deal with this return accordingly.

Long time FPNYC readers know I’ve poked plenty of fun of DC in the past, be it related to their non-Batman comics or action figures. However, I have to give props when they’re due when it comes to three new DC statues released by Kotobukiya, as they’re kind of great!

The Bishoujio line is no stranger to these parts, and I’m really digging the the newest addition to the line, the Huntress (of Birds of Prey and World’s Finest fame). The costume is obviously based on the one Jim Lee drew her in during the Jeph Loeb-penned “Hush” arc, which to be honest, I’m not that big of a fan of . And to be a nit-picky nerd, I would have preferred to see her armed with a crossbow rather than a staff. But those are simply a matter of preference, the statue itself is great, and if your a fan of the character and the line I advise you to pick it up. You can do a lot worse for $50-60.

Kotobukiya has also started releasing statues based on the new 52 Justice League and I’m really digging them. While not as impressive as some of the more high-end releases, the Superman and Green Lantern ArtFX+Statues are still really cool. Basically a high end figurine, each statue is a sensible take on Jim Lee’s redesigns for the League, and the end product looks really sharp with the metallic paint jobs for the character’s costume. Considering these are 7″ statues with magnetic stands, the $40 retail price makes these statues quite the bargain too. Wonder Woman is the next monthly release, so get on that kids.

Oh look, I made it 300 words without mentioning a Marvel product. Time for that to change!

I was kind of harsh on the last wave of Marvel Legends releases, but Hasbro has definitely rebounded with the first wave of the 2013 series. It’s another 5 basic figure set (with 3 variants) but it’s a lot more diverse this time around, and a lot more original content…sort of. X-Force Wolverine was originally a part of a SDCC X-Force box set, and I’m fairly certain he’s just a retooled Daken (not sure if ironic or creepy). But the rest of the line is pretty solid, even though the She-Hulk variants are kind of lazy (Red Shulkie is the standard, Thundra is the variant). In addition to the 3 I’ve mention so far, there’s Ultimate Captain America, the newest Avenger Hyperion( with deceased Avengers the Sentry as his variant),  and former Avenger/now Young Avenger the Protector with Iron First as his variant. The Build a Figure this time around is Deadpool arch-nemesis Hit Monkey, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. I’m a fan of gun-toting monkeys, and you should be to. Each figure will set you back $20, which sadly is the standard for highly articulated 6″ figures.

As I wrap this article up, I just want to once again mention Hawkeye #7, the issue where HAWKGUYS Kate and Clint deal with Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York respectively. You should be buying the comic I gave my 2012 pick of the year for as is, BUT with this special issue, Fraction is donating all his royalties from it to the Red Cross. Considering this is more or less a $3 donation to the Red Cross with instant gratification, it worth’s picking up. So do so!

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