Tagged: Blackout

I Regret Nothing

Regrets and Errors:

  • I regret that a couple weeks ago I accidentally told you that Sandman Overture #2 was coming out. It’s releasing this week. But given its constantly shifting timeline, I won’t believe that it’s out until it’s in my hands. Editorial regrets the error.
  • I also regret how little sleep I’m going to get this next week with Emerald City Comic-Con just on the horizon.
  • Matthew Rosenberg will soon regret how many doughnuts I’ll make him eat this week.

Editorial regrets all of these, and future errors.

If you notice any errors, keep them to yourselves, but I’ll gladly accept all laud and honor through my twitter. (@ApAnnagator)

Metabarons Genesis Castaka– If you’re lucky enough to live in NYC or LA you could potentially have already seen the new documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune”. Whether you’ve seen it or not (and if you haven’t you better be planning on it when it comes to your city or suffer the consequences (or not, listen to your own consciousness ((NO GODS NO MASTERS))). But if you’re looking to get your Jodorowsky fix until that movie, the deluxe hardcover collection of the two French volumes for the Castaka spin-off of the Metabarons series, is now available! The Metabaron’s are the ultimate warriors, renowned throughout the galaxy for their ancient warrior rituals that makes every Metabaron into a cyborg after proving their strength. This prequel explores the world of the Metabaron ancestors, who were anything but the rigid society they became. The Castaka series is illustrated by Das Pastoras, who took over from the original Metabaron artist, Juan Gimenez. Pastoras can have a really gruesome (which I mean in a good way) look to his work, which lends itself very well to the brutal and lawless society that the ancient Metabarons exist in.

Leo Roa– Oh, did you wonder why Juan Gimenez wasn’t working on the Castaka book? Probably because he’s spent the last several years working on his own album (as the French would say), Leo Roa, an intergalactic saga of epic proportions. Journalist Leo Roa finds himself in the middle of an adventure that pits him against aliens, villains, murderers, and time traveling escapades. Gimenez is truly a comic’s master, who blends a Moebius meets Herge style into a sci-fi masterpiece that takes throws satire and humor into a hero’s journey arena. His technical and historical make this book feel familiar, while his attention to detail and creative force turn it into something you’ve never seen before. Recommended for fans of Prophet.

The Undertaking of Lily Chen– (above) Deshi accidentally kills his assholeish, but favored by their parents, older brother. His parents send him on an epic journey to find him a ghost bride, a corpse to bury with his brother’s body so, according to Chinese tradition, he wont have to spend his eternity alone. Set in modern China, Deshi begins his journey to find a recently deceased companion, the best choice is the beautiful Lily Chen, only problem is she’s still quite alive. Author and illustrator, Danica Novgorodoff, paints (literally) an emotional slice of life that’s riddled with complicated family dynamics, selfish desires, and tradition v. modernity. Painted with watercolor on rice paper, and then gone over in ink before being digitally touched up, Novogordoff renders a distinctly unique look to a surreal, but grounded, portrayal of finding meaning on a hopeless journey.

Helheim Vol. 1 TPB– The ultimate Viking fantasy gets its first top-selling collected edition. Take all the Norse mythology you thought you knew from Thor, then make it distinctly darker, witchier, and insanely more evil. Rikard is the undead killing machine that is sewn together with magic and the bodies of the dead, and he’s seeking vengeance against his transgressors. In their own rights, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Joelle Jones are some of the most visceral workers out there, but when you put them together, an unholy union of comic magic is born.

Blackout #1

Frank Barbiere is on fire. All his books are different, but they’re all so.stupid.good. Blackout is distinctly more sci-fi than his other work (Five Ghosts and White Suits), as it explores a dark dimension that protagonist, Scott Travers can only access through a special, and mysterious suit. But what he doesn’t know about the history of the suit will only lead him on a journey to outrun the people who are after the suit, and find answers that will save him. This 4-part series is technically a continuation of the original story Barbiere published in Dark Horse Presents issues #24-26. You can totally pick this story up from the number one, but if you want more of the origin story, you can get them from Dark Horse’s digital comic platform for a pretty good deal. The artist of the original series, Michael Kaneshino will be doing the covers for the new stuff, that’ll be drawn by Colin Lorimer!

Jan's Atomic HeartJan’s Atomic Heart and other Stories– Simon Roy pulls on my shriveled black heart-strings with stories that are obtuse, original, and out there. That kind of description can be a little off putting to some people, and to those people I ask, “Where’s your desire for delving into the unknown? Your passion and curiosity to explore world’s and stories beyond yourself? Where’s the money Lebowski?” This book collects roughly five years worth of the Vancouver artists work that’s shows the evolution between his early stories from his art school days, to the beautifully designed art we see in Prophet. Oh, did I forget to mention that Simon Roy is one of the primary artists on that book with a million other amazing people?  Even if he wasn’t associated with that amazing book, THIS book is amazing, and includes a story for every reader (though the book’s namesake story could have even been published on its own).

All New Ghost Rider #1– Not gonna lie, I really like Tradd Moore, and I will definitely be picking up the first issue of Ghost Rider. I never thought I’d ever write that sentence in my lifetime.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 24: There’ll Be No Escape For The Princess This Time!

There’s a lot of good comics this week. I know you want to buy the same old ones you always buy because they feel safe and comfortable. I get that. I’m not gonna tell you to not buy the stuff you like. I’m not a jerk. But I do need you to do me a favor. You can do that, right? Sell your kidneys, sell your kids, agree to do illegal stuff for unsavory men, sell your fillings, rob a bank. It’s time to try some new comics. I made a list of which ones you will need to buy if we want this to work out between us. You want this to work, right? You care about me, right? I care about you a lot. You are my favorite reader. I only write this for you. Want me to prove it? I make Tyler put in pretty pictures like this one to make you happy-

OCCUPY COMICS #1 is out this week.  This issue  features political and socially charged short stories by folks like Alan Moore, Mike Allred, David Lloyd, JM DeMatteis, Art Spiegelman, Ben Templesmith, Dean Haspiel, Ales Kot, Ron Wimberly, Molly Crabapple, Charlie Adlard, and a ton more. The book is a benefit for Occupy related initiatives like Occupy Sandy and Strike Debt (google them). Regardless of your personal politics this is a series well worth reading. It offers a ton of interesting viewpoints on a lot of different issues, smart social commentary that cuts across party lines and political aisles. Add to that some stunning artwork and storytelling, and some of the best and brightest in comics doing their best to say something beyond the usual “man punching another man” stories, and this is definitely something everyone who cares about the medium should be buying. Not a lot of comics are going to entertain you this much, inform you this much, and maybe help someone keep their home. Think about that when you choose to buy Red Lanterns instead and wonder why you feel like a husk of a person.

Did I mention that I like DARK HORSE PRESENTS a lot? I do. Issue 24 comes out this week. Congrats on 2 years of putting out the best book no one reads Dark Horse. Among the many great shorts in there, this issue sees the premiere of a new superhero character Blackout. Dark Horse has been doing a great job of getting exciting talent to launch new superhero books that are a fun alternative for those who feel tired of Marvel and DC’s usual fare. X, Ghost, and Black Beetle are among the best superhero books on shelves right now and hopefully Blackout will be joining their ranks. Written by up-and-comer Frank Barbiere, Blackout doesn’t feel like it’s reinventing the wheel, it doesn’t need to. It’s just really good. Barbiere has a knack for playing in genre and doing it better than most and this launch shows him doing that again with ease. Hopefully by this time next year I will be telling you “I told you so” about one of your favorite new series.

Speak of the devil. Mr. Barbiere has clearly been pretty busy. This week also sees the FIVE GHOSTS #3 out. I could write a whole bunch of snarky $#!% about Five Ghosts but I want to give Mr. Barbiere a nice quote for ads and whatnot. Five Ghosts #3 raises the stakes on this already great series in every way. Smart, tense, and beautiful, the best book of the year keeps getting better. Buy Five Ghosts or admit you are fake. Your welcome Frank.

Do you like pretty stuff? Read GODZILLA: HALF-CENTURY WAR. James Stokoe (pronounced “Stew-Coo-Ooo-Whoa-Eee”) is one of the best artists working in comics right now. Like the beautiful bastard child of Paul Pope, Geof Darrow, and Osamu Tezuka, Stokoe has earned a rabid fanbase by quality of work but not quantity of work. I am pretty sure I will never see a year with 12 issues of his work on the stands. With that understanding you should all view the arrival of a whole trade of his work as a sort of holiday. Skip work, buy some diapers and a lot of chocolate milk, get yourself a massage, and rent a new couch because it’s about to get awesome for you. In case the title didn’t make it clear, this book is Stokoe drawing a giant Japanese (Can they claim ownership of him? Should they?) dragon monster thing while it wrecks stuff. Yeah. It’s awesome.

THE PROPERTY is the new graphic novel from Rutu Modan, author of the brilliant Exit Wounds. If you have never read any of Ms. Modan’s work, her stuff reads like Tintin if Tintin was full of powerfully quiet human drama instead of, ya know, racism. It is economical in both art and storytelling, but the story never feels rushed or shortchanged. This is as elegant as comics get. The Property tells the story of 2 generations of Polish women returning to their homeland to reclaim property seized in the holocaust. As the story progresses both the cause and the meaning of this pilgrimage begin to change for the women and what results is a very touching and humorous story about peoples relationships to each other, their history, and the larger world around them.

It is that time of the week when I tell you to buy some new Image comic #1. This weeks obligatory #1 is THE BOUNCE. Joe Casey has written just about every major superhero worth writing and a lot that aren’t. He always makes books that manage to feel smarter and more fun than his contemporaries. Well now he launches The Bounce which is essentially a stoner version of Spider-Man. If there is one thing you should trust Mr. Casey to do it is both examine and deconstruct superheroes in really intelligent ways all while not letting you realize that is happening. He hides the smart storytelling in the fun. That’s smart. I’m tired. Buy this book.

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Transformers DOTM Cyberverse Ironhide

By Loran

Okay, I usually don’t got for characters I already have at different scales unless there’s a huge design difference, but sometimes I cave… when there’s a sale. Though I will say I do like the concept of the whole Cyberverse Commander thing. Legends are neat, yeah, but sometimes it’s nice to have some Transformers characters just a wee bit bigger. It gives them scale closer to the original cartoon, where there were four sizes: Short, average, tall, and HOLYCRAPHUGE. Of course, characters would sometimes change between those scales depending on the scene, because I have a sneaking suspicion the animators didn’t care.

I bought Cyberverse Commander Ironhide to be a nemesis for my Cyberse Blackout. I figured it’d be appropriate to pit the grumpy gun-toting Autobot against the Decepticon powerhouse. I also didn’t wanna waste my time with Optimus or Megatron because they both have better versions with trailers and stuff.

Ironhide’s vehicle mode is the good ol’ GMC Topkick, albeit a little less detailed than usual. And I REALLY mean less detailed. There’s no depth to the bed (although there’s a reason for that) and his windows aren’t colored, not even in a different shade of black. Also, I’m not sure if it’s just mine, but half of the “GMC” logo is unpainted. I couldn’t tell this from the package because he’s packaged in robot mode… Continue reading

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Transformers DOTM Cyberverse Blackout Review

By Loran

When the first Transformers movie came out, one figure fans had a lot of complaints about was Blackout. He was a Voyager-class figure, but a rather small one—the smallest one ever at that point. He also had a problem with his automorph gimmick, one that involved something with his gears slipping out. When the Leader-class Brawl was announced, fans were hopeful that we’d see Blackout in that scale sometime soon. Time passed and unfortunately, our wish wasn’t answered—no Voyager-class Bonecrusher, either. Well, it took them two more movies but we finally got a new Blackout figure!

…as a scout-class.

This just boggles my mind. A lot of us wanted a Scout-class Bumblebee to go with Voyager Optimus and Deluxe Ironhide and a Leader-class Blackout, and instead we get a Scout-class Blackout and a Leader-class Bumblebee? Seriously, I think Hasbro secretly hates us sometimes.

Blackout is a part of the Cyberverse Commander line, a line with “pocket-sized” versions of larger characters and a handful of new ones. They’re basically bigger, more complex Legends, and for some reason I find them more interesting than the regular Legends (or “Legion” as they’re called now).

His vehicle mode is still the licensed Sikorsky Pave Low, indicating that Hasbro’s contract with Sikorsky (or whoever they have it with) is still in effect. It’s pretty damn detailed considering how small it is, all things considered. I would’ve expected to see a few more corners cut on a figure this size. Personally I think Legends/Legion should just be dropped in favor of this class. It’s much more fun! Continue reading

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Transformers DOTM Barricade Review

By Loran

Like I said back in my Smolder review, the idea of “rescue” vehicles as Decepticons has always appealed to me. As such, Barricade was a “love-at-first-sight” for me when I first saw his prop car for the first Transformers movie. A Decepticon Cop Car? My dreams have come true! Naturally, he was the first deluxe-class figure I picked up from the first movie and was my favorite for quite awhile. Of course, Dark of the Moon has been making me want new versions of characters I already have… so I figured, hey, why not update Barricade, too? Continue reading

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Transformers Human Alliance Jazz Review

By Loran

Like I said the reviews for Icepick and Thunderhead, I couldn’t get into Transformers Human Alliance originally because it was all characters I already had. Buying the same character more than once just bores me unless it’s some super-duper upgrade or something. But one of them caught my eye; probably because of how lame his Deluxe figure was. That figure was Jazz. The moment I set eyes on him, I knew I had to have him, because well, we still haven’t gotten a good Deluxe of him and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Does the Human Alliance figure make a decent substitute? You’re damn right he does, scale be damned.

Ah, licensed alt-modes, how I love thee. I like it when my Transformers turn into actually things, branding and all. The Pontiac Solstice was an odd choice for Jazz, but it’s a nice looking car. I was initially turned off by the silver when his first figures came out and tried to pursue the G1 colored version, but when I never found it, I just settled for the Premium. Like the other HA cars, he has opening doors and a detailed-enough interior. Unfortunately some of the panels have a bit of a hard time staying together in this mode. Continue reading

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