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  • Pathfinder Worldscape: A Who’s Who of Fantasy Characters

    Exclusive Intervie With Pathfinder Worldscape Writer Erik Mona

    Pathfinder fans, you’re in for a real treat in Dynamite’s upcoming six-issue Pathfinder Worldscape miniseries written by Erik Mona (Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain) and art by Jonathan Lau (Red Sonja and Cub, Miss Fury).

    We had the chance to chat with series writer Erik Mona about his favorite part of writing this series and where he hopes to the story. Read on for insights into the series and see how you can win a copy of Pathfinder Worldscape #1 signed by Mona and series artist Jonathan Lau!

    TFAW: You have plenty of awesome Pathfinder comics under your belt–dozens of adventures. Each one leads us on a new journey. What is different about this one?

    Erik Mona: Pathfinder comics to date have taken us into dark and deadly dungeons, into the winding streets of treacherous cities, and even into the unknown corners of our heroes’ pasts, but things really jump to the next level with Pathfinder Worldscape, which transports our heroes to an entirely different dimension — the Worldscape. The Worldscape is an ancient trap created by a long-dead wizard to gather the greatest warriors from three worlds — Pathfinder’s Golarion, John Carter’s Barsoom, and Earth, including its remote history during Red Sonja’s Hyborian Age.

    In the course of the 6-issue series, the Pathfinder heroes cross swords with the likes of Red Sonja, John Carter of Mars, Tars Tarkas, Tarzan, and the jungle heroes Thun’da and Fantomah, among many others. The character interactions are a huge highlight for me.

    Crossing over Pathfinder characters with heroes created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Frazetta — artists who inspired the fantasy roleplaying hobby that ultimately inspired Pathfinder itself — definitely counts as new and different!

    “I’ve been tinkering with the Pathfinder Worldscape idea for years…”

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 1TFAW: With this huge cast of characters, did you find this story more difficult to manage or does it just come at ease at this point?

    Mona: The enormous cast of Pathfinder Worldscape presents some challenges, to be sure. You want to give everybody a chance to shine and do their thing while still having pages left over to tell an actual story. When you’re mashing together multiple properties in a dimension informed by the cultures of three different worlds (and at any time during the history of those worlds), there’s a strong temptation to over-indulge in world-building and wheel spinning about how this or that minor detail works into the overall character of the Worldscape dimension itself.

    My background in writing for tabletop RPGs has me thinking about all kinds of details that will never really play into the story. I’ve spent a significant amount of time thinking about the role of bullets in the Worldscape, as an example. While most of the Worldscape’s inhabitants come from eras or lands that fit well with traditional sword & sorcery themes, it’s perfectly likely someone trapped in the Worldscape will encounter a World War II soldier, a pistol-toting hero of America’s high plains, or a musket-wielding, fanatical street-fighter of Revolutionary France. Assuming they appear in the Worldscape with only the ammunition they bring with them, that makes their bullets a very rare and valuable commodity.

    I imagined a whole barter economy based around warriors seeking out the appropriate bullets for their chosen weapons, but after spending a considerable amount of time thinking about this, I snapped back to reality and realized that details like this — while perhaps quite interesting, useful, and even necessary to support a Pathfinder RPG campaign set in the Worldscape, probably weren’t going to enter into the comic book story too much.

    Happily, I’m fairly certain all that world-building will come into play in Worldscape-oriented Pathfinder RPG products down the line, but right now I’m putting my full effort into the comic book.

    TFAW: What exciting lands/places might we see on this adventure?

    Mona: The Worldscape itself is as exciting as you can get, with elements literally ripped out of the worlds in conjunction with it.

    Frank Frazetta’s jungle hero Thun’da, for example, lives in a place called the “Dawn Land,” a sort of time-lost valley filled with cave men, dinosaurs, amazons, and weird monsters. I always thought it strange that the subtitle of Thun’da’s comic was “King of the Congo,” when so many of his adventures took place in a much more interesting (and, from today’s standards, a much less politically fraught) location.

    I’m far more interested in struggles against pterosaurs and shaggy cave men than I am in fights against stereotypically primitive African witch doctors, and during a thorough review of fantasy-oriented stories and characters from the jungle comics of the ’40s and ’50s, Thun’da’s stories stood out as exceptional because of the weird monsters and lost cities.

    Naturally, when I started constructing the Worldscape plan, I drew in not just Thun’da and his savage girlfriend Pha, but also the entirety of his Dawn Land refuge, ruined cities and all. The central location of the Worldscape series, the brutal city of Shareen, is in fact drawn from Thun’da’s early adventures.

    Beyond that we’ve got misty valleys stuffed with Barsoomian white apes and a cadre of trained killers, another ruined city inhabited by the simian scum of three worlds, and the jungle itself, nominally ruled by the Council of Jungle Kings and their enigmatic and elusive First King, Tarzan of the Apes. Whether traveling by foot, by thoat, or by airship, the lands of the Worldscape promise death and danger at nearly every turn.

    “The character I’m enjoying the most and the one who has become weirdly central to the plot of the whole thing is Fantomah.”

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 2TFAW: Was this an idea that you had brewing for a while? How did this all come together?

    Mona: I’ve been tinkering with the Pathfinder Worldscape idea for years, since shortly after signing on to Dynamite and becoming more familiar with their roster of amazing licensed characters.

    So many of their heroes are based on the same fiction and characters that inspired tabletop gaming back in the early ’70s, and in particular Pathfinder has always been a gaming brand firmly in touch with its “pulp” roots.

    Working with characters created by Burroughs, Howard, and Frazetta…it’s just too tempting to try to put it all together and do something cool. Add to that that each issue of Pathfinder Worldscape contains a Pathfinder RPG rules appendix that provides official RPG statistics for these legendary heroes — in some cases heroes people have wanted game adaptations of literally for decades — and I had to try to put something together.

    At the time Dynamite had already teamed up many of their modern-day pulp heroes in their Masks comic, and Bill Willingham had just mashed a bunch of them together in a steampunk-inspired series called Legenderry. It seemed obvious to me that crossing over their awesome fantasy characters was the next logical step. In the meantime, Dynamite also launched the Swords of Sorrow series, which teamed up nearly all of their female characters, and Worldscape is the next logical progression.

    At a certain point I’d put so much work and thought into how to make it all happen that Dynamite offered me the chance to write the series myself, which is a huge, humbling opportunity!

    “Jonathan [Lau] has a fantastic attention to detail and an inventive spirit…”

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 4TFAW: How did the artist, Jonathan Lau, become involved with this epic adventure?

    Mona: Jonathan was my favorite of several artists Dynamite suggested for the project. I was familiar with his work on former Pathfinder writer Jim Zub’s Red Sonja and Cub from a few years back, so I was already familiar with his visual sensibility and his strong action compositions.

    What I didn’t know at the time was that Jonathan has a fantastic attention to detail and an inventive spirit that fills every nook and cranny of the book with interesting things to look at.

    His Tars Tarkas is probably my favorite version of the character I’ve seen in comics to date, and it’s fascinating to see him adapt characters like Thun’da, Fantomah, and the immortal empress Camilla, who haven’t really been in active production since the ’40s or ’50s (barring a limited series or guest appearance here and there).

    I’m thrilled to be working with him on the series, and each page I get from him on the earlier issues inspires me to put even crazier characters and scenes into the later issues I’m writing now.

    TFAW: With such a large roster of characters, have you found that you favor one more than others?

    Mona: I’m honored to work on all of them, especially Red Sonja and John Carter, two titans of fantasy publishing.

    Oddly, the character I’m enjoying the most and the one who has become weirdly central to the plot of the whole thing is Fantomah, the beautiful, nigh-omnipotent skull-faced woman introduced by literal madman Fletcher Hanks way back in ’40’s Jungle Comics #2. I’ve been mystified by this character (and by Fletcher Hanks) ever since reading about her in the incomparable “I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets” collection/biography by Paul Karasik from a few years back.

    When Dynamite challenged me to add some public domain fantasy heroes to their already impressive roster, I immediately leapt to Fantomah, and I’ve never really looked back. Hanks portrayed Fantomah as this unstoppable force of nature capable of just about anything. Unlike staid jungle heroes of the era, it was never really clear whether Fantomah was a hero or a villain, just that you never wanted to cross her, lest she rip the skin from your flesh, turn you into some crazy plant creature, or dispatch you in whatever weird way Fletcher Hanks could concoct between bottles of whiskey. In Pathfinder RPG terms, she’s basically a god, which opened up another interesting element of philosophy for the series.

    Each of the three worlds involved — Earth, Barsoom, and Golarion — have very different relationships with religion, and what it means to be a god. For most of the people of Earth — certainly the more or less modern ones like Thun’da and John Carter, “God” is something to be inferred as a matter of faith.

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 3On Barsoom, religion is a fraud designed to deliver the dying to a valley where they are drained of blood by bizarre plant creatures so that their bloodless corpses can be eaten by a cannibal priesthood of Holy Therns (also, by the way, in Worldscape). Burroughs’ “The Gods of Mars,” the second of his John Carter books, is largely about that religion.

    Then you’ve got the Pathfinder world of Golarion, where gods are literally, indisputably present and real and divine. It’s not so much a matter of belief as it is acknowledgement of existing supernatural forces, and that gives me a lot to play with in terms of how my characters interact with the world and their predicament as captives of the Worldscape.

    John Carter and the cleric Kyra get a nice juicy conversation about this, but Fantomah plays an important role in this aspect of the story as well, and I’m thrilled to be able to use her!

    “I’m still hard at work crafting cool Pathfinder RPG rules appendices for each issue…”

    TFAW: Do you have any other projects coming up that we should know about?

    Mona: In addition to running Paizo’s day-to-day publishing operations, managing the creative staff, and making diabolical plans for the future of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, most of my focus these days is soundly on Pathfinder Worldscape.

    Most of the scripting is out of the way at this point, but I’m still hard at work crafting cool Pathfinder RPG rules appendices for each issue. I just finished official game statistics for Red Sonja, for example, and now I’m noodling around with Tars Tarkas, who will appear in the second issue. After that we’ve got Tarzan, Thun’da, and a whole host of others. How much damage does a radium pistol do? What’s the Strength bonus for a green Martian? I dunno, but I will know soon, and it’s really exciting to map the game designer part of my brain over the story I’ve been composing using my comics writing circuits.

    You can keep up with my projects and get some insight into the Pathfinder RPG adaptation process behind Worldscape by checking out my blog at erikmona.com or following me on Twitter @erikmona.

    TFAW: What comics are you enjoying right now?

    Mona: Oh, man, there are so many! I went in way deep on DC’s New 52 a few years back and am working my way through a longbox of backissues of Snyder’s Batman, which has been fantastic, of course. I’m always keen to follow former Pathfinder comics writer Jim Zub on whatever he’s doing, and I really like what he’s been rolling out with Wayward, as well as his new title Glitterbomb, from Image. I’m highly intrigued by DC’s Young Animal imprint. The first issue of the new Doom Patrol was fantastic, and I can’t wait to break out a copy of Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye. As far as comic titles go, that’s probably the best I’ve heard in a long time!

    We want to thank Erik for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us! Make sure to order your copies of Pathfinder Worldscape.

    ORDER PATHFINDER WORLDSCAPE ISSUES

    Are you looking forward to Pathfinder Worldscape? Tell us which character you’re looking forward to seeing in the Worldscape in the comments below and you’ll be in the running to get a copy of Pathfinder Worldscape #1 signed by Erik Mona and Jonathan Lau!

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  • Frank Castle Takes Down a Drug Ring in Punisher #5

    NCBD featuring Punisher, Cyborg, Trinity and Aliens

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Aliens comics at TFAW.com

    Aliens: Life & Death #1
    By: Dan Abnett, Moritat, Rain Beredo, David Palumbo

    The Aliens comic book series joins the Life and Death crossover story in the shared Aliens/Predator/Prometheus universe. While we’re coming in later in the story, Aliens: Life and Death #1 doesn’t make a new reader feel like they’re late to the game. Sure, this issue drops us in the thick of the action, but isn’t that where you want to be when you’re reading a crossover? I would say yes.

    Dan Abnett’s story shines here — the pacing sucks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat as the action unfolds before you. If you’re a fan of the Aliens films, underdog stories, or bloody action and gore, this story is for you! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Trinity comics at TFAW.com

    Trinity #1
    By: Francis Manapul, Clay Mann

    Since the launch of DC’s Rebirth, a question that’s been on everyone’s mind is how the original Superman is going to fit into a world that’s not his own, and how will he interact with a Batman and Wonder Woman that were a friend and lover to their world’s now fallen Superman.

    To force the confrontation of this question, Lois invites Batman and Wonder Woman over for dinner to Superman’s surprise. What unfolds is a rekindling of friendships that never really existed as each character reminisces on things that the other has no recollection of. What we get from this is an acknowledgment that no matter what reality each character came from, at their core they’re still the same person.

    Where I think most writers would try to bring these characters back together with conflict, Francis Manapul brings them together like people, solidifying the mission statement of the Rebirth movement, that it’s about legacy, not reinvention. Combine his writing with expert art, what we get is a book that I think will be one of the key titles to follow over the coming months as the big picture of this world develops. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE NEW TRINITY SERIES TODAY!
    SEE OTHER REBIRTH ISSUES

    Cyborg comics at TFAW.com

    Cyborg #1
    By: John Semper Jr., Will Conrad

    Within Cyborg #1 we get a quick glance at what may be our main villain, an unnamed assailant that looks like a failed attempt at Cyborg. Our hero is doing what he does best, stopping Detroit’s worst from committing crimes. Afterward, his father makes him go through tedious diagnostic tests to make sure everything is working properly. While not coming out with his anger we can tell that something is wrong with Cyborg, emotionally. We find out that he his questioning his humanity and whether he has a soul. The fact that his father is struggling with these same existential questions adds a healthy dose of family drama.

    John Semper Jr. does a great job getting us up to speed with the character, who he is, his environment and how he works within it. The storyline is an old one, but one that is never tired of being explored — Am I Human?.

    Artists Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos, Scott Hanna, and Guy Major give this issue a greatly detailed issue that harkens back to the standards of superhero comics. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    LEARN MORE ABOUT CYBORG BEFORE HIS BIG SCREEN DEBUT

    Punisher comics at TFAW.com

    Punisher #5
    By: Becky Cloonan, Steve Dillon, Frank Martin
    Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire

    Becky Cloonan’s Punisher story has been intense. Frank is out to take down a drug ring being run by a mercenary outfit called Condor. He’s run into people from his past, had a run-in with a couple of D.E.A. Agents, and now it’s time for him to get to do what he does best — Punish wrongdoers.

    The Punisher #5 is a strong issue. Cloonan packs the book with some fantastic (read: violent) moments, and Steve Dillon has a chance to be realy expressive. You can see the psycho behind the eyes of the issue’s main protagonist, Face. Colorist Frank Martin knocks it out of the park — identifying light sources to inform shading, including little things like textures on walls and floors, and his use of the rich red hues from blood. I’m a fan.

    With all of the action and major revelations this issue brings, I’m SUPER excited to see where team Punisher takes us next. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    CHECK OUT EVEN MORE PUNISHER PRODUCTS

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Britannia Shows a Side of Rome You’ve Never Seen

    Britannia #1 review

    Britannia comics at TFAW.comRome has a long, and storied history of dominance across the world stage. Britannia is set during the rule of Emperor Nero, and follows a Roman Centurion named Antonius Axia.

    Political intrigue winds its way through the threads of fate for Antonius, set in motion by the Great Vestal Virgin, Rubria who appears to have plans that run much deeper than any of the cast could imagine. Antonius is being steered toward the land of Britannia, while a cult following the Lord of the Cave, Orkus appear to be looming in the shadows, out of view.

    Antonius is bestowed a codex, some greater depth of knowledge by the Vestals and it seems as though they are the ones truly guiding his path ahead. To what end? There is a dark, supernatural force lurking beyond Orkus, and the cult who revere the deity.

    This book has gripped me, though I strongly urge that this is strictly for mature audiences only. If you enjoy tales of characters such as Conan, Valiant’s own Eternal Warrior, and the like, you should definitely check out this new title by Peter Milligan (Animal Man, The Discipline) and Juan Jose Ryp (Clone, Wolverine).

    Crisp, direct, and expressive artwork was popping on the uncolored review copy which I read, but with the depth that is sure to sweep through the title in final copy, you can bet that the series is going to dig hooks in to you and draw you back for more.

    With this introduction, you need not worry about having to have read any previous comic titles as this is setting out an all new path that is so often claimed in comics these days, but unlike other titles, Britannia actually delivers.

    Swords and sorcery tales typically have a very different feel, but with Britannia being set during the Roman Empire, the series is set to deliver new feeling to the genre entirely. What are the Vestal Virgins attempting to do with Antonius, and Nero? Looks like we will have to wait and see as details emerge further with each new issue. I am ready for this journey.

    ORDER BRITANNIA ISSUES TODAY

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  • This is the Suicide Squad We Deserve

    ncbd914

    Every Wednesday, we pick a few of this week’s new releases that stand out from the crowd for our New Comic Book Day series of blog articles. If you’re looking to join a series or want to know what’s happening in today’s best comics, keep reading!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Action Comics at TFAW.com

    Action Comics #963
    By: Dan Jurgens, Patrick Zircher, Arif Prianto, Clay Mann

    Action Comics #963 kicks off the new “Superman Meets Clark Kent” story arc and picks up with Clark Kent investigating (read: I mean breaking into) a company named Geneticron. When I say Clark, I mean Clark, not Kal-El. No, it’s not Superman pretending to be an ordinary human.

    Lex Luthor’s Daily Planet newspaper recently outed Clark Kent as being Superman, but as true as that’s been in the past, at this moment in the DCU, it’s not. In all the confusion one thing for sure, this Clark Kent is not OUR Superman.

    Dan Jurgens gives us a well-paced issue with flashbacks that help provide context to the story. This is an exciting issue for any Superman fan, and a wonderful place to jump into the Action Comics series. The story has a very Golden Age feel to it. Patrick Zircher and Arif Prianto both do a great job with the art and colors, and exemplify what we’ve come to expect from DC comics. Great layout, bright colors, and solid linework. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN ACTION COMICS TODAY
    SEE EVEN MORE SUPERMAN PRODUCTS AT TFAW
    SEE OTHER ISSUES THAT KICK OFF NEW STORY ARCS

    The Strain comics at TFAW.com

    The Strain: Mister Quinlan – Vampire Hunter #1
    By: Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan, David Lapham
    Edgar Salazar, Keith Champagne, Dan Jackson

    Born as a mistake of a powerful vampire known as the Master, Mister Quinlan seeks to destroy the monster that sired him. This gory feud has lasted ages and can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire.

    If you’ve enjoyed The Strain novels, television series, or comic books, you’re going to fall over yourself to learn more about Mister Quinlan in the new five-issue The Strain: Mister Quinlan – Vampire Hunter miniseries.

    The thing is: you don’t have to know anything about The Strain to enjoy this book. Lapham and team lead the reader down a journey of one boy’s birth in blood toward his destiny. It’s a fun and entertaining story in its own right and actually serves as a good entry into this universe — be careful, you will be drawn into this story.

    On their own, Salazar, Champagne, and Jackson are tremendously talented in their own right, but together, their art comes together in such a way that you can’t help but take a second look at the book once you finish. My only criticism is that I have to wait another month to see the next installment of The Strain: Mister Quinlan – Vampire Hunter. This is the best book I’ve read this month. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    SEE THE STRAIN COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS AT TFAW

    Suicide Squad comics at TFAW.com

    Suicide Squad #2
    By: Rob Williams, Jim Lee

    The Suicide Squad is once again on a mission they can’t hope to survive. From the emptiness of space to the frigid waters of the Artic Ocean, Task Force X can’t seem to catch a break. They’re hunting a cosmic artifact and — of course — they aren’t told what it is. When they find out what it is, we see that they were sorely unprepared for it!

    The team has gotten out of more dangerous situations than this in the past, but Rob Williams may have just caused Task Force X to go extinct. Suicide Squad #2 also includes a short story that gives us insight into Boomerang’s past. It’s a fun piece by Rob Williams, Ivan Reis, and Marcelo Maiolo.

    Things are just starting to rev up, but it’s not too late to join the Suicide Squad! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    SEE MORE SUICIDE SQUAD COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
    START A SUICIDE SQUAD COMIC BOOK SUBSCRIPTION AT TFAW
    LEARN MORE ABOUT SUBSCRIPTIONS AT TFAW

    How’d we do? What comics did you enjoy this week. Join the conversation by commenting below or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

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  • A Total Eclipse of New Comic Book Day

    NCBD reviews featuring Cyborg, Eclipse, Daredevil and Rise of the Black Flame

    New Comic Book Day Eclipse’s us with great books. From Cyborg, and his origins to Daredevil keeping the peace in Hell’s Kitchen. Remember these are just a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Cyborg comics at TFAW.com

    Cyborg Rebirth #1
    By: John Semper Jr., Paul Pelletier, Will Conrad

    John Semper Jr., Paul Pelletier and Will Conrad’s Cyborg Rebirth #1 hits its mark as a fresh start for readers interested in the titular hero – before he hit’s the big screen in Justice League next summer.

    The first part of the comic gives a guided tour of Victor Stone’s life – leading up to becoming the cybernetic superhero – mixed with a present day brawl with an unknown robotic monstrosity. These battle scenes keep the energy going throughout the book and find time to mix in some fun superhero/villain banter: “I’ve never met data that wasn’t capable of being crunched.” Once the backstory segment is finished, Cyborg comes to a startling realization about his father and his own existence.

    We’re given new questions that’ll frame the next part of Cyborg’s journey. What kind of being is he? Is he a man with a few mechanical parts? Or is he a machine imitating a human? And what does our mysterious narrator want with him?

    FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH CYBORG TODAY [Timothy S. at TFAW.com]

    Eclipse comics at TFAW.com

    Eclipse #1
    By: Zack Kaplan, Giovanni Timpano, Betsy Gonia,
    Chrois Northrop, Troy Peteri

    Science Fiction mixed with murder. Someone is out in the day, killing people and David Baxter will have to figure it out – before he becomes a victim.

    What if solar flares caused us to live underground, away from the sun. Could we survive? Eclipse from newcomers Zack Kaplan and Giovanni Timpano give us a glimpse into what the world would look like if that was the case.

    Kaplan does a good job setting up this world quickly, so we can get right into the main plot. On a routine daylight patrol, a body is found and it isn’t there by accident. Eclipse has promise to become a very entertaining and grim look at a post-apocalyptic world that we really haven’t seen before.

    SEE ECLIPSE ISSUES AT TFAW [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Daredevil comics at TFAW.com

    Daredevil #11
    By: Charles Soule, Ron Garney, Matt Milla

    Dark Art continues as a piece of “art” has been found. Made with over 100 people’s blood, the person who found it wants to make money off of it – this is New York City after all. Our heroe’s everyday persona Matt Murdock as D.A. is asked to make sure that the show doesn’t go on.

    Before the “blood mural” can be shown a new piece is found–this time involving Inhumans. Luckily, Daredevil is en route to let this new assailant know how much he loves his work.

    Charles Soule continues to unravel this new world Matt Murdock has come back to after his move to San Fransico. Along with Artist Ron Garney, and colorist Matt Milla, this Hell’s Kitchen has gotten a lot darker. This story reminds me of the environment during Shadowland.

    DISCOVER EVEN MORE DAREDEVIL TODAY [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Rise of the Black Flame comics at TFAW.com

    Rise of the Black Flame #1
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Christopher Mitten, Dave Stewart, Laurence Campbell

    Here’s the setup for Rise of the Black Flame: Young girls are disappearing from the British colonized cities of Burma. The trail will lead a group of international adventurers deep into the jungle, to an ancient evil power, wielded by the bloodthirsty Cult of the Black Flame…

    The story starts off with an abduction of a young “English-born” girl. Two local police officers, the seasoned Sergeant McAllister and a young man named Sandhu, have pledged to track down the abductors.

    Their investigation takes them from Rangoon to Bangkok where the two encounter monster hunter/ghost chaser Sarah Jewell and Marie Therese Lafleur. McAllister has encountered Jewell before, and believes they are in search of the same people, so the four band together to enter the jungle for the search for the Temple of the Black Flame.

    This is a really intriguing story that’s captured my attention in a big way. Fans of the B.P.R.D. will get the most enjoyment out of Rise of the Black Flame #1, but the issue also serves as a great entry point and will undoubtedly lead newcomers down a journey that will be only be sated by continuing down the rabbit hole that is the Mignolaverse.

    ORDER THE FIRST THREE RISE OF THE BLACK FLAME ISSUES NOW [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • All New Wolverine has a Freaky Friday

    New Comic Book Day August 31st 2016

    For New Comic Book Day this week All New Wolverine Snikts her first Annual as does DC Comics Bombshells, war wages on in Saga, and Dark Horse’s first issue of World of Tanks explodes onto the scene. Remember these are only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    DC Comics Bombshells Annual comics at TFAW.com

    DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1
    By: Marguerite Bennett, Elsa Charretier, Terry Dodson

    I have to say, I had the biggest grin on my face after I finished reading the DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1. It’s got everything – new characters, beautiful and artistic poetry, great action, and fun, flirty humor combined with lots of heart that has become the trademark tone of the series. In this extra-long issue, Amanda Waller enlists the brilliant Frankie Charles to find a former Bombshell, long ago disappeared: Batgirl! Waller knows that Batgirl will be invaluable to the Bombshells’ plans, but after a major loss, Babs went down a dark and twisted path and has become something much stranger – and more dangerous than she ever was before. Only Frankie has the guts, smarts, and savvy to carry off what could either be a rescue operation – or a suicide mission.

    This issue introduces new DC characters that will pump you up (I liked them so much that I even forgot for awhile about how I wish they’d bring in Hawkgirl already). Featuring clever, fast-paced writing by Marguerite Bennett that builds the universe up and bonds you even more to the characters and their story. This is definitely one of my favorite issues of this series (we’re 16 issues in as of press date, for those of you who are just joining us). The art, by Elsa Charretier and Terry Dodson is some of the most cohesive and gorgeous the series has had in recent times. The surprising, amazing line on the last page, well, let’s just say it drops like a bombshell. Don’t miss this giant-sized DC Comics Bombshells Annual! [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    All New Wolverine Annual comics at TFAW.com

    All New Wolverine Annual #1
    By: Tom Taylor, Marcio Takara, Cameron Stewart

    It has been a rough year for Laura, the All New Wolverine. She helped her cloned sisters hunt down a group of trained killers, teamed up with Squirrel Girl to take on some baddies, and dove headlong into Fin Fang Foom (like, inside his mouth) to rescue the original 616-Wolverine. On top of that, she’s stepped up to train and raise her clone/sister Gabby – but at least she got a pet wolverine named Jonathan (a gift from Squirrel Girl) out of it all.

    In this truly fun annual issue, you get to see what happens when you cross Wolverine and Spider-Gwen Freaky Friday style. What will happen when Gwen Stacy is thrown into the body of Wolverine, and how will she adapt to the new sets of powers and the loss of her old? How will Laura deal with her new super-strength and being part of a band? Oh, and not to give too much away, but there’s a Wolverine version of Spider-Ham named Wolver-Hampton! I need a book with just him running around with Jonathan the Unstoppable (Laura’s pet wolverine) like they were in a seventies cop drama. All that being said, do yourself a favor and get all covers to All New Wolverine Annual #1, and then read them all, it’s well worth it! [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    World of Tanks comics at TFAW.com

    World of Tanks #1
    By: Garth Ennis, Carlos Ezquerra, Michael Atiyeh, Isaac Hanford

    Garth Ennis being no stranger to comics about war. It’s only fitting that he’s teamed up again with Carlos Ezquerra, to give us another fantastic series surrounding WWII and the battles people faced. World of Tanks #1 reads more like Ennis’ other series Battlefields rather than War Stories. It’s more about the fight they’re in, rather than the characters themselves.

    In this first issue, we get our setup – an untested greenhorn British crew go up against one of the toughest German tanks in history. Will they be able to overtake them? Time will only tell.

    With Carlos at the helm of art, he gave this issue a silver-age war story style, and it fits perfectly. One of the key items that draws you into this book – and really all Garth Ennis war books – is his use of slang. Reading the characters dialgue while they use slag of WWII creates the environment quite well. As a War Stories reader, I was quite thrilled with World of Tanks #1 and am looking forward to the second issue. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Saga comics at TFAW.com

    Saga #37
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    After a three month hiatus, Saga is back! The famous team, Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan beautifully start the new arc for this series. We last left off at Hazel escaping a refugee prison and her parents practically ripping apart their marriage and universe to find her! In this issue, we open up with a napping Hazel and her two adoring parents, Alana and Marko – and end with more questions!

    We get to see what our favorite characters have been up to and how much everyone has grown. This issue slowly opens to a new problem our favorite couple and friends will have to face. Whatever could that be?! Pick up a copy of Saga #37 today to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Beyond Burnside continues, Captain Marvel is torn, we get introduced to a new western comic Kingsway West, Deadstroke goes on a mission through time, and we wipe our noses with Snotgirl.

    NCBD reviews for August 24th 2016

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Batgirl #2
    By: Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque

    Beyond Burnside continues as Batgirl tries to decode the cryptic words in the last issue from the mysterious Fruit Bat. Barbara’s path leads to train in mixed martial arts in an attempt to get over her past. As she takes a beating in the ring, things start heating up between her and Kai, which might be a little more than she, and Kai can handle. What Babs quickly discovers is that even her years of training and experience still can’t prepare her for what’s next.

    Hope Larson delivers another issue that balances the brains and determination Batgirl is known for, with the melodrama that makes her such a great character for all ages. Rafael Albuquerque’s art does a great job balancing each scene by being wide and dynamic during fights, but soft and fun during personal moments. Batgirl brilliantly separates itself nicely from the Earth-saving feats in the other Rebirth titles in exchange for a personal and relatable journey. If you’re looking for a fun story with a resourceful character, Batgirl #2 will treat you well! [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Captain Marvel #8
    By: Ruth Fletcher Gage, Christos Gage, Kris Anka, Andy Owens, Matt Wilson

    Carol Danvers is torn. She wholeheartedly believes that the predictive justice movement is saving lives, but she’s being questioned (by virtually everyone) at every turn. She remains committed to the cause, but the pressure is starting to get to her and the seeds of uncertainty are starting to get to her. This issue of Captain Marvel dovetails in very well with the events that have been unfolding in the pages of Civil War II as Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos Gage prove a strong grasp of Danvers’ motivations.

    You can really feel that we’re getting dangerously close to a boiling point (as if the events in Civil War II #3 hadn’t heated things up enough), and the events that unfold in this issue only add more uncertainty for Carol and the crew. Captain Marvel #8 has some great character moments with Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. Looking forward to next issue! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Kingsway West #1
    By: Greg Pak, Mirko Colak, Wil Quinta

    Greg Pak’s latest book opens with an alternate look at the United States. With the West Coast being divided mainly between Mexico and the Chinese. We’re given a bit of information in this world. Where Magic and Monsters exist alongside something called Red Gold – a mystical mineral that lives underneath the surface of the earth much like salt and gold.

    We’re introduced to our protagonist – in the same way most westerns start out – a mysterious man who is being hunted and has his hand forced into doing something he doesn’t want to do. The first issue jumps ahead several years in different spots, which isn’t a problem when setting up the environment of the story. Kingsway West #1 has the promise to be an excellent Western with magic/mystic influence. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Deathstroke comics at TFAW.com

    Deathstroke #1
    By: Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan

    This issue is great for old and new readers of the famous Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke. Writer Christopher Priest makes sure to bring every angle of Deathstroke’s personality through time and captivate our interest of what the heck is going on! It seems that Slade’s partner, WinterGreen is stuck in a time loop and the president’s life is in danger. This problem has Deathstroke’s name written all over it, but where is he?! With a mix of action and snarky humor, this is a great start to the new Deathstroke series. [Darcey M. at Univseral Citywalk TFAW]

    Snotgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Snotgirl #2
    By: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung

    Lottie is a very self-obsessive person and Bryan Lee O’Malley does and excellent job showcasing that. He writes her in a way that reads as if we are reading one of her blogs – she writes her blog exactly how she thinks.

    In this second issue, we get a little more information on what is going on in Lottie’s life, from her boyfriend status to what the heck is going on with her stalker?!

    Leslie Hung again does a fantastic job with the art of this book. I really enjoy the sense of style she brings to this series. If you are missing the humor that Bryan Lee O’Malley delivers in books like like Scott Pilgrim and Seconds, then this is a series you should be reading. It’s not all about selfish fashion bloggers, she’s got bigger problems than that. Snotgirl #2 keeps the narrative running even if you try and wipe it away.
    [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • AN INTERSTELLAR COLD WAR LOOMS IN HADRIAN’S WALL

    Review of Hadrians Wall #1

    Hadrian's Wall coverKyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis launch an all-new sci-fi noir tale, set nearly 70 years in an alternate future in which the Cold War was ended through a joint space colonization effort between the U.S. and Russia.

    The story opens with the mysterious death of Edward Madigan, a worker for Antares Interspace, with ties to our protagonist, Simon Moore. Simon’s tasked to investigate this death on the labor ship, Hadrian’s Wall, located in an area with mounting hostilities. The story that begins to take shape has all the hints of intrigue, conspiracy, personal relationships, and seedy characters that are cornerstones of great noir tales.

    The book takes on a tone reminiscent of classic sci-fi films such as Blade Runner and Alien, while also delivering it’s own unique contribution in the form of ship design, fashion, and use of technology. The main character’s life seems to be more sterile and organized, which is at odds with the world around him that’s shown as more gritty and industrial.

    Hadrian's Wall page 1Hadrian's Wall page 2Hadrian's Wall page 3

    Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Batman Beyond) and Alec Siegel (Batman Beyond, C.O.W.L.) work great as a writing team. The dialogue seems to bounce with ease from character to character. The pacing of the panels is done with precision. And most impressively, the quiet moments in space are beautiful, lonely, and terrifying.

    Rod Reis (C.O.W.L.) delivers beautiful visuals that, even when full of blood, darkness, and scope, still feel focused, clean, and easy to follow. The aesthetic, while obviously inspired by sci-fi staples, feels like it’s a fresh take on those classics with interesting choices for fashion and interior design. Unlike a lot of sci-fi that feels like the creator’s idyllic world or worst nightmare, Hadrian’s Wall is more realistic in its depiction of the future.

    Hadrian’s Wall has the unique ability to stand on its own as a noir crime tale with a sci-fi setting, that we don’t often get exposed to. If you’re a fan of either genre, Hadrian’s Wall is something you should definitely check out.

    ORDER HADRIAN’S WALL #1
    DISCOVER OTHER NEW COMIC BOOK SERIES

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  • NCBD: Supergirl and the Suicide Squad Join DC’s Rebirth

    New Comic Book Day 8/17/16

    This week brought a strong group of comics. For New Comic Book Day, we continue catch up with The Punisher and Daredevil as a conflict comes to a head, jump into the new Suicide Squad series, continue reading Jeff Lemire’s incredible Black Hammer series, and check out Supergirl’s Rebirth. Remember, these are only a few of this week’s new releases be sure to check the TFAW website to see even more. We’d love to know what you think of these books too!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Black Hammer comics at TFAW.com

    Black Hammer #16

    By: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

    We last left Black Hammer with the whole team meeting up to reminisce their past lives with the hero (and their leader): the amazing Black Hammer.

    In this new issue we get to see a glimpse into the background of Gail Gibbons, aka Golden Gail, wherein she was given the gifts of the gods to fight to keep the world safe — or is it a curse? Now Gail, stuck in the body of a nine-year-old, is just trying so hard to get back the powers that she once felt burdened with. We also get to see Walky Talky and The Barbalien trying to get a probe outside the boundaries of the small town that they are trapped in. Also, we get to see a clash with one of their old foes, Doctor Sherlock Frankenstein (best name ever!).

    How will this “family” deal with all the troubles of trying to fit into the small town they’re stuck in, and what steps will they take to find their way home? Are they even in their universe, or are they in a pocket dimension? Could this be an elaborate trap by a villain from their past?

    All that, plus we still don’t know the full story of Black Hammer’s fate. I’m really looking forward to learning more in the next issue of Black Hammer. [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    Daredevil Punisher #4

    By: Charles Soule, Szymon Kudranski, Jim Charalampidis, Clayton Cowles

    Daredevil Punisher #4 completes the “Seventh Circle” story, and it’s been a great ride. DD and Punisher have worked together in the past, but they’re at odds this time over a gangster named Sergey Antonov. D.A. Matt Murdock is transferring Antonov to Texas so he can get a fair trial, but Frank Castle thinks he needs to be punished for his crimes.

    Soule wraps up the Daredevil Punisher miniseries in spectacular form, but I won’t tell you how this one ends, folks. What I will say is that it’s really great seeing how far both Daredevil and Punisher will take things, given their conflicting convictions. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Suicide Squad comics at TFAW.com

    Suicide Squad #1

    By: Rob Williams, Jim Lee

    For anyone who wants to learn more about Suicide Squad after the wonderfully fun movie, you should definitely grab a copy of Suicide Squad #1! The story starts off with Amanda Waller’s inner monologue discussing why she assembled the Suicide Squad — she believes that bad can do good, and she’s . . . well . . . somewhat right!

    The group is sent to retract a cosmic cube in space, and as the group battles motion sickness, Williams provides a flashback of how Deadshot landed right into Amanda Waller’s Task Force X. It’s a great first issue, and I can’t wait to see where this one goes. Pick this issue up before it sells out! [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    Supergirl Rebirth #1 by Steve Orlando at TFAW.com

    Supergirl Rebirth #1

    By: Steve Orlando, Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, Michael Atiyeh

    Supergirl Rebirth serves as a slingshot for those unfamiliar with Supergirl’s past and her place in the DC Universe. The issue starts with a flashback that establishes a potential threat (or possibly ally).

    In the new status quo that is the DC Rebirth, Supergirl only recently crash landed on Earth (like, a few months ago recent), and the D.E.O. is trying to make sure she becomes a hero like her cousin, Kal-El. They’ve assigned full-time handlers Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers to show her the ways of this planet and act as “parents” to her alter ego, Kara Danvers.

    I anticipate good things from writer Steve Orlando; we’re already seeing strong elements of a family drama for this series and I’m excited to see how Kara adapts to Earth and comes to understand our ways.

    Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy are already a good pair, and I’m excited to see how they will continue to come together as a team. Their art is similar to that of Terry and Rachel Dodson, and I couldn’t think of higher praise than that. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • NCBD gets scarred, beaten and saved with Black Monday Murders, Harrow County, Batman and Spider-Man

    NCBD review for Aug 10 2016

    This week for New Comic Book Day, Batman and Two-Face take a road trip, we learn about a cult that crashed the stock market, Harrow County’s Emmy finds out she has more family than she knew of, and Dead No More starts to unravel. As always these were only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Amazing Spider-Man comics at TFAW.com

    Amazing Spider-Man #16
    By: Dan Slott, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Alex Ross

    As Dead No More gears up, Amazing Spider-Man #16 lays the groundwork for what could be a pivotal moment in the Parker story. Jameson Sr. lays in a hospital bed with a genetic unknown disease. A scientist from NEW U tells the Parker and Jameson family that there is a new procedure that could work. Jay Jr. is hesitant but Peter wants to try. As Peter goes over NEW U’s research, an explosion pulls Spider-Man to a Parker Industries Plant. Spider-Man saves the day, or so it seems.

    Dan Slott has been doing an excellent job in his Amazing Spider-Man run – along with Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Marte Gracia this issue has a John Romita Sr. style that is very welcoming. As the first issue to captivate us for Dead No More, Amazing Spider-man #16 is a great start!
    [Darcey M. at Universal City Walk TFAW]

    All-Star Batman comics at TFAW.com

    All-Star Batman #1
    By: Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr

    In this tale, which I like to consider “Gotham by Midnight (Run),” Batman is taking Two-Face on a road trip in an effort to permanently remove the fractured personality of Harvey Dent. Two-Face, on the acid-scarred hand, has other plans. Which he sets into motion offering to release all the blackmail material gained on everyone in Gotham over the years. Some surprises reveal that this dirt the Deacon of Duality has runs deep and no one is safe.

    The coloring by Dean White in this issue really adds texture and depth to the art, and Snyder’s pacing is as methodical as always. The backup story in this issue is even more compelling to me though. Having Duke (from the excellent We Are Robin) stepping into his new role training with Batman for what appears to be more of an ally than a sidekick role this time around. They set the boundary that he is not going to be Robin, but something else entirely. While also laying out the various training styles and how they resonated differently with each of Batman’s former sidekicks with color coding. Very interesting stuff that enriches the iconic Batman mythology even further.

    All-Star Batman looks to be an exciting new series from Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr, and Dead White. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Black Monday Murders #1
    By: Jonathan Hickman, Tomm Coker

    What if I told you that you could be rich but, you’ll pay in blood. Money, Power, and Magic – it’s all one in the same in The Black Monday Murders.

    Johnathan Hickman’s newest series tells a tale of altered history, where Black Tuesday (the stock market crash of 1929), was set in play because of a debt. We as a whole owed someone or something and it was time to pay. We get jumped into the present as we see a detective getting a new case that’s one of his…

    As a first issue, this really pulls you in giving you a lot of backstory and insight to this world. There are internet forum posts, history book pages, and company/family tree’s added into this oversized issue. It gives just enough information to keep you intrigued.

    I always love Tomm Coker’s art and this series is no exception. Tomm draws out panels and frames them like a cinematographer. It’s amazing.

    The Black Monday Murders is a highly recommended series for those looking for an alt-history series that dabbles in black magic and crime noir. [Sean W. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Harrow County comics at TFAW.com

    Harrow County #15
    By: Cullen Bunn, Tyler Crook

    One of the best horror comics being published today – Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County – continues to weave this terror of magic, resurrection, and fate. In issue #15, Emmy is given a deeper look at her “family.” Given a choice that will not only affect her but her home as well.

    Crook does it again with his beautiful watercolor pages. Even if you don’t care for horror, his landscapes of Harrow County are just gorgeous to look at. Cullen Bunn also has this magnificent way of crafting his story to get you to come back month after month.

    There is a reason Harrow County was nominated for Best New Series at the 2016 Eisner’s and won Best Ongoing Title at the Ghastly awards in 2015. If you haven’t been reading this series, now is a fantastic time as the Syfy channel is adapting it for a series. Pick up Harrow County you won’t be disappointed! [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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  • Introducing Valiant Entertainment

    Untitled design (10)

    This August we want to help you start something new – Valiant Entertainment.

    Valiant Entertainment lineup

    Valiant Comics started back in 1989 – with the boom in comics during the early ’90’s Valiant was bought by Acclaim Entertainment – a Video Game developer. In 2004 Acclaim shut down. One year later Valiant Entertainment restarted and since then has gone on to create some of the most original, award-winning titles. Most recently having 50 Nominations in the 2016 Harvey Awards.

    Over most summers, like most superhero publishers, they have a big event. Now when I say “big event”, I’m not talking 30+ issues spanning 9 different titles. No, Valiant doesn’t play that game. When they do big events typically the main series is only 5 issues, and will only spread across a couple of their on-goings. This summer is no exception with their event – 4001 A.D. This series focuses on the future within the Rai comics.

    4001 A.D.
    The most ambitious comics event of 2016 brings war to the 41st century – with Rai leading the charge! One hundred years from today, Father – the benevolent artificial intelligence that governs the island nation of Japan – will gain sentience. To defend its borders, Father will take drastic action by launching Japan into space…where its people will thrive in isolation, away from the overpopulated and resource-deprived planet below.

    One thing is that all of the Valiant characters are connected in some way. Even if they are not currently interacting or on the same team. For example, Armstrong from the Archer & Armstrong series is the middle brother of The Eternal Warrior, and Ivar, the Time Walker. Even currently Faith (one of the best new characters in comics) and Archer are now a couple, having their first date within Archer & Armstrong #5. There are lots of connections within the Valiant Universe.
    Summer of Valiant 4001 A.D.
    Another thing to note about this publisher is that even though they publish “superhero” comics that are all connected, their series range from vigilante-style heroes (Bloodshot) to Sci-Fi adventures (Divinity). Even those who like comedy and wacky adventures like Deadpool will get enjoyment out of Archer & Armstrong.

    What about a story involving a suit of armor? X-O Manowar – After a brutal encounter with a mysterious enemy known as The Vine leaves him a prisoner on an alien world, the only hope Aric has of returning to his family and saving them from slavery is to seize armored suit capable of incalculable destruction and become X-O Manowar! The Vine destroyed Aric’s world. Now he will give them war.

    These and many, many more stories are being released every month. With vol 1 trades starting at $9.99 they’re easy to jump on and get hooked. Amazing creators like Matt Kindt, Jody Houser, Jeff Lemire, Jen Van Meter, Clayton Crain & so many more contribute to these characters. This Summer, take a chance, read a Valiant Entertainment title!


    Valiant Time Capsule
    If you shop with us at any of our Oregon Locations this month, pick any Valiant Entertainment product and you’ll get a raffle ticket for a weekly drawing of Valiant merchandise, including hardcover graphic novels and signed comics. Then come back on the 31st for the opening of the Valiant Time Capsule, where we’ll be raffling off items from it. This promotion is valid

    Still unsure if Valiant Entertainment is right for you? Come on by and ask us what would be up your ally based on your current reads. Valiant has something for everyone.

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  • When Comics Aren’t Enough: DC ICONS

    When Comics Aren't Enough - DC Icons
    DC ICONS Breakdown

    Over the past few years sales of action figures have seen a big surge. Most likely due to nostalgia, but with customers and lets be honest here adults, wanting more from their collectibles, the industry has really gotten better as a whole. Companies like Bandai or Max Factory have made a splash here in the states with figures that have 20+ points of articulation, are highly detailed and come with relevant accessories, like different heads, hands or weapons. This allows the owner to have a lot more fun with posing their figures.

    Mainly we’ve seen more US based companies like Hasbro and NECA to take on the challenge to produce articulated detailed figures. But for a long time it was a struggle to get highly detailed, well articulated figures based on DC Comics Characters. Welcome to the DC ICONS series.

    Wave 3 just recently hit our store shelves and our site and I got a chance to take a look at Harley Quinn, based on her appearance from the Batman arc, No Man’s Land. Also in the series is Superman (THE MAN OF STEEL), Atom (FOREVER EVIL Atomica deluxe set with RAY PALMER & RYAN CHOI), & Aquaman (LEGEND OF AQUAMAN).

    Harley Quinn ICONS Box

    I like that toy manufactures are leaving the days of the clamshell packaging behind them. The shape and design of the ICONS series packaging is neat. This pentagon shape is able to show the buyer everything they need to know, no matter how the store is displaying them. This is also great if you are the type of collector that leaves their toys in the package.

    Harley Quinn comes with 3 extra hands (2 left, 1 right), a comically oversized revolver with a cork in it, and her classic mallet. She is also equipped with over 21 points of articulation. Including double knee and elbow joints, a high waist joint and torso rotation. Ball joints at the shoulders and hip. In addition to the ankle joint, the feet have rotation.

    Harley Quinn ICONS series accessories

    It’s really impressive how far the figures have come in the past 5 years. From figures that only have 5-9 points of articulation, to these beasts that can do almost any pose you want.

    If you’re looking for fun, detailed figures of your favorite DC Heroes and Villains, look no further than the DC ICONS series.

    DC ICONS Breakdown

    With various characters out now and coming out soon, like Batman and Green Arrow, you can expect to see characters you may not recognize right away like Deadman or Staic Shock. Also coming out is ICONS Deluxe series that comes with more accessories, Like the Green Lantern and his various parts for fighting off Sinestro. Coming out though is Batgirl with her Bat-cycle. Based on the Babs Tarr art in Batgirl of Burnside.


    All in all the DC ICONS line is a solid line to figures – both for collecting and playing. I’m happy to see US toy lines step up their game as much as the Japaneese toy market has over the years.

    Pick up one of many DC ICONS characters new and old coming out all year long. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

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