Tag: Frank Miller

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    Local Comic Shop Day at Oregon TFAW Stores

    LCSD Lying Cat Statue givaway

    Things From Another World is excited to be taking part in the second annual Local Comic Shop Day (LCSD) on Saturday November 19th, and we’re doing what no other comic shop is doing: giving away three Limited Edition Saga Lying Cat Statues!

    We’re Not Lying!

    We will be giving away one of the Local Comic Shop Day Exclusive Lying Cat Statues from the hit series, Saga! Only 300 of these were made, and each one of our Portland/Metro stores is giving one away.

    Local Comic Shop Day Exclusive Lying Cat Statue

    So how can you get one?

    Just come to one of our Portland Area stores anytime during business hours (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.) on Local Comic Shop Day, Saturday, November 19th. Each store will draw a winner from applicable entries and will announce the winner via the store’s email newsletter on November 21.


    No purchase required, but feel free to check out thousands of other amazing products in our store, including other Local Comic Shop Day exclusive items like the Exclusive Hardcover of Doctor Strange: The Oath from Saga writer Brian K. Vaughn, Neal Adams’ Champions #1 cover, and the highly sought after Moonshine #1 (Frank Miller Variant Cover). All of these are limited in quantities so make sure you stop by early!

    LCSD Variants

    Local Comic Shop Day is all about showing support for the comic shops in your area, but we wanted to go a step further and show our gratitude to the many great customers that make each of our Things From Another World comic shops such a special place.

    So come on down November 19th for your chance to win this limited and exclusive statue!

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    Don’t Fear The Batman

    The third annual Batman Day is September 17th, and who deserves a day of celebration more than the Caped Crusader? No one. It’s hard to overstate the impact that Batman has had on comic books.

    Quite possibly the most recognizable comic book character, Batman has appeared in more than ten thousand issues to date. He’s a genius detective who dedicates his time and incredible resources to the pursuit of fighting crime in his beloved Gotham City and beyond. He’s a complex and nuanced hero, whose story has been told again and again, subtly reforming in the same way that we build myths.

    For long time fans, Batman has changed significantly over his nearly eighty-year run, and with each new capitulation, he brings exciting new storylines. But for casual fans, or for those who have never picked up a Batman comic, the call of the Bat-Signal can be intimidating. Those thousands of issues represent quite a big backlog of reading to catch up on!

    So, in honor of Batman Day, we bring to you a new reader’s guide to the very best that Batman has to offer. Below, you’ll find several titles that help a new reader to gain some insight on the Dark Knight so that you’ll become a shining star on your Batman trivia team.

    Batman: Year One

    Batman: Year One

    As the title suggests, Batman: Year One chronicles the very beginnings of Batman as he starts out to become the savior of crime-riddled Gotham. Written in 1986 by Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) — who had already gained quite a reputation by then — and drawn by Dave Mazzucchelli (Daredevil: Born Again), Year One was the reboot that everyone had been waiting for after DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths event.

    The story itself follows Batman as he struggles to gain footing as a vigilante and slowly rebuilds the entire story of the Caped Crusader. As this title was DC’s attempt at restarting Batman’s legacy, it is essential to read and a perfect starting place for a new fan. From here, you’ll know enough about the dynasty to explore even the most loose canon titles.

    Batman: The Long Halloween

    Batman: The Long Halloween

    By Jeph Loeb (Superman Batman, Fallen Son: Death Of Captain America) and Tim Sale (Hulk: Grey, Grendel), The Long Halloween is the quintessential Batman series, now collected into a beautiful graphic novel. Long heralded as one of the best Batman storylines, Long Halloween is a great starting point for new readers because it features the character at his best.

    The story unfolds as Batman hunts down an evasive serial killer who strikes Gotham on holidays, coming to critical mass at the titular Halloween. This story reminds the reader that Batman is a master detective and it artfully illustrates the relationship between Batman’s alias, Bruce Wayne, as the action unfolds before you. (Pro tip: Check out the awesome Batman Noir edition that came out in 2014. It’s absolutely beautiful and this is the exact story that’ll make you glad for investing in a nice copy.)

    Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

    Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

    Written by comic legend Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Creatures of the Night) with art by Andy Kubert (Dark Knight III: The Master Race, Flashpoint), this is an unlikely pick for new readers to the Batman saga because it takes place right after Bruce Wayne’s death. Many new readers shy away from this particular title because of its place right in the middle of a major story shift, but it’s easily one of the most critical pieces of the Batman mythos. It is the narrative answer to a recap for Batman’s extensive history, featuring appearances from every major character from the comic series’ past.

    While it is not a typical Batman story, preferring poetics and a shifting narrative, it examines the character deeply and in a way that is liable to make even the oldest Bat-fans fall in love all over again.

    Batman: Arkham Asylum

    Batman: Arkham Asylum

    Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Doom Patrol) writes and Dave McKean (Violent Cases, The Sandman) illustrates this intense and psychologically challenging series that casts a long, dark shadow on the Batman story.

    Set within the heart of the legendary Arkham Asylum, where Gotham’s most disturbed villains have started a riot, Batman must face both his classic foes and himself to save the day. Arkham Asylum has a visceral story and Dave McKean’s surreal art leaves a lasting memory of the darkness that Batman has to face during its telling.

    This comic is essential for those readers who understand the importance of well-crafted villains for heroic storylines. While we don’t recommend this title as the very first Batman story you read, it should definitely be picked up shortly afterward.

    We Are Robin Volume 1

    We Are Robin vol 1

    Even more than Batman’s villains, the Caped Crusader’s allies are hugely important to his story, and there are none more so than his perennial protégé Robin. Writer Lee Bermejo teams up with artists Rob Haynes and Khary Randolph to explore another side of the city of Gotham through the eyes of several aspiring teenaged vigilantes, who all take up the mantle of Robin.

    This series reinvents the character of Robin, placing it not as the moniker for a single side-kick that works alongside Batman, but as a call to arms for the youth of Gotham. We Are Robin is cathartic and refreshing, reminding the reader that Batman doesn’t exist in a vacuum, because his influence inspires a generation of young people to take action against the corruption that they have uncovered in their city. We Are Robin is diverse and not at all pandering, while it discusses the themes of everyday heroism that began the Batman legacy in the first place.

    Batwoman: Elegy

    Batwoman: Elegy

    Batwoman is in many ways the true successor to Batman himself, and in Batwoman: Elegy, she is at her best. Perhaps the seminal work of Batwoman’s library, Elegy also happens to be one of the best works that helped to define Gotham outside of Batman himself. While his influence is felt throughout the story, the true hero featured here is Kate Kane, an heiress who chooses to use her vast resources to better Gotham by taking on the Bat cowl.

    During an investigation into a crime-worshipping cult, Batwoman faces off with a new villain who emulates Alice in Wonderland’s title heroine with a deadly obsession. Her encounter with Alice sends catastrophic ripples through Kane’s entire life and cuts to the core of what made her become a hero in the first place.

    Acclaimed writer Greg Rucka tells this engaging, fast-paced story which is brought to life by award-winning artist J.H. Williams III’s breathtaking work. Elegy is sparkling with action, and you’ll find yourself torn between dying to read what happens next and wanting luxuriate in William’s genre-defining layouts. Most importantly, Elegy introduces new readers to Kane’s own legacy and illustrates the lasting power that the cowl wields.


    So what do you think? What is your favorite Batman comic? Join the conversation and leave your suggestions in the comments or hit us up on Twitter and Instagram at @TFAW.

    Batman Day at Things From Another World

    Visit any of our four locations for Batman Day to get in on special Batman Day savings on graphic novels and more. Plus, bring the kiddos so they can participate in fun Batman Day activities.


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    Interview: Adam Markiewicz and Ben Fisher, “The Great Divide”

    the great divideIt’s the future and it’s a pretty miserable place: there’s a plague that makes physical touch lethal. Much of the world’s population has died, and the few survivors left have come up with a variety of adaptations to avoid contact. Is there a cure? Two young thieves think they’ve found a way back to the old world, but not everyone’s enthused about how things were before the plague…

    Learn a lot more abut the story in our exclusive (and funny!) interview with the creators of The Great Divide: writer Ben Fisher and artist Adam Markiewicz.

    TFAW: When did you get interested in comics, and what’s the first comic book series you remember really liking?

    Adam Markiewicz: When I was 9 years old, my dad bought me a copy of The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #11 and it was loads of fun. The main feature guest starred Iron Man and Black Panther. The back-up story featured Rhino. I immediately went out and bought every Spider-Man comic on the stands. The adjective-less one was my favorite because of the art (this was when Todd McFarlane was drawing it). But I also read X-Men, Superman, Batman, and FF.

    Ben Fisher: I definitely lived and breathed Claremont’s X-Men and I loved Giffen’s run on Justice League Europe. Both of those books were really just different spins on the “outside, looking in” motif, and like so many adolescents, I strongly identified with that.

    TFAW: Can you tell us a little on how you first got into comics and your road to this new series?

    Markiewicz: My first legitimate job in comics was actually with Ben, as the letterer on Smuggling Spirits. From there, I did a bit of freelance but focused mainly on self publishing, including a my webcomic Trench Coat Samurai.

    Fisher: I “broke in” to the industry with Mike Henderson (Nailbiter, Illuminati) when we were lucky enough to win a back-up story competition at Viper Comics. Mike and I followed that up with the Smuggling Spirits graphic novel, which is how I met Adam. Flash forward a few years and a few books, and I pitched my Grumpy Cat editor at Dynamite a very, very different style of comic . . . and here we are!

    Running away from the tab, detail from "The Great Divide"
    Detail #1 from “The Great Divide”

    TFAW: The premise of The Great Divide is that there’s a highly contagious pandemic transmitted by physical touch. Where did you come up with the idea for this particular pandemic?

    Fisher: The concept is that one day, without warning, every human on the planet is simultaneously afflicted with “dermadik” — a condition that results in instant death when any two people make skin contact. I got the idea on a crowded bus, actually. I started wondering how many fundamental aspects of society would change if being in close quarters became a potential death sentence and the story sort of grew from there. It’s probably also a bit related to my own introversion.

    TFAW: There’s no explanation of what happened or why, we’re just dropped into the middle, very similar to The Walking Dead. Are you going to give us backstory as things unfold, or is that another story arc entirely?

    Fisher: Oh, absolutely. The first arc finds our protagonists stumbling onto the possible cause of the Divide, but then forces them to confront the difficult question of what to do with that information. And, of course, solving one puzzle often leads to a whole series of new, even stranger, mysteries …

    TFAW: Love the Roadkill Saloon as a setting for this portion of the story! Any fun back story on that one?

    Fisher: I wish there was — I feel like I should make one up! It’s really just an amalgam of various seedy midwestern biker bars, with a name that would be remembered by the reader (since it’s used to bridge the time between pre- and post-Divide). And I knew from the very first draft that the story needed to open with a “guy goes into a bar” joke.

    TFAW: Adam, I really enjoy your style. What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    Markiewicz: Thank you! My biggest influences have been Walt Simonson, Howard Chaykin, Jaime Hernandez, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Chris Ware, and Shirow Masamune. I still look at their work constantly. When I was a teenager, I was actually more interested in film than comics, so I also take a lot of inspiration from John Carpenter (especially for this series), Stanley Kubrick, The Coen Brothers, David Cronenberg, and Sam Raimi. Recently, I’d say the two artists I look at the most are Mike Henderson (and not just because he’s a friend, but because his work is awesome) and Amy Reeder.

    TFAW: Do you use computers, tablets and software, or are you old-school with pens and a scanner?

    Markiewicz: I started the series old school, but I recently made the switch to a Cintiq. In fact, I went from real old school — with ink pens and brushes — to using markers and brush pens while drawing issue 1, and now I’m entirely digital. I also do the lettering, which was all digital from the beginning.

    TFAW: Right now, the series is planned for a 6-issue run. Do you have ideas for future arcs?

    Fisher: Without question. Adam and I truly love this broken, strange world and the people who inhabit it. We’ve outlined plots for a long stretch, with an opportunity to really expand the scope and stakes — so if readers are interested, there’s plenty of story to tell and more arcs will be coming.

    Detail #2 from The Great Divide
    Detail #2 from “The Great Divide”

    TFAW: What has it been like working with the folks over at Dynamite?

    Markiewicz: Any publisher that allows the amount of freedom we’ve had is top notch in my book. Especially when you consider that it’s a bit of a risk, backing a story with such unusual subject matter. It’s been great.

    Fisher: Dynamite has been an absolutely fantastic teammate throughout the process. Rich Young really championed the book early on in the pitch process and we will always be grateful for that — and to Nick Barrucci for having faith in the type of story we wanted to tell. Keith Davidsen and Anthony Marques have been invaluable keeping everything on track for the big launch in September (I know it’s not easy to corral us). And finally, although he doesn’t work at Dynamite, I’d be remiss to not give a shout out to my story editor, Jon Stark, who has made every script he’s touched better.

    TFAW: Who do you think is going to enjoy this series the most?

    Fisher: Certainly, anyone who enjoys dystopian subject matter like Walking Dead, Mad Max, or Y: The Last Man should have a good time in this world. But the series also focuses on our common fears of intimacy, human connection, and dysfunctional relationships in general, so fans of books like Sex Criminals and Pretty Deadly will also find our story touches on familiar themes in new ways.

    TFAW: What comics are you enjoying right now?

    Markiewicz: Hands down, my favorite comic right now is Rocket Girl. Ben also turned me on to Vision, which is an excellent read. I’d feel bad if I didn’t mention Nailbiter, but Lord knows Mike and Josh don’t need me to tell the world. I’ve been enjoying DKIII quite a bit, and Phil Noto‘s doing excellent work on the Poe Dameron book. Honestly, though, I just don’t get enough time to read comics. I’m too busy making them.

    Fisher: It’s truly a golden age for comics right now — there are so many great books on the shelf. I know I’m going to get in trouble for leaving brilliant titles off the list. But in addition to Adam’s recommendations, I can’t say enough nice things about Goddamned, East of West, Squirrel Girl, Monstress, and Injection. And I’m genuinely mad that I’m not writing Army of Darkness: Furious Road. It just oozes fun.

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    Review: Dark Knight III The Master Race #4

    dark knight dk III master race #4Any parent will tell you that all of the hard work and all of the challenges in rearing a child is well worth it. What about when your daughter is one of the most powerful beings living on planet earth? What happens when THAT kid rebels? What happens when THAT kid decides that her parents are wrong, and she decides to hang out with “the wrong crowd?”

    That is exactly the situation in which Superman finds himself in Dark Knight III The Master Race #4, with regards to his daughter Lara. She is all grown up and is one of the most super of all super-beings on this planet, if not THE most! With the Kandorian people of Krypton now seeking control of our world, Lara has chosen to take their side. Yes, this is a bit of a worldwide social-commentary that humans are not treating the earth well, but be that as it may, just because Lara and the Kandorians are multitudes stronger does not give them the right to take over our little blue planet.

    Superman is standing on the side of we humans, as will Batman, we hope, to the best of his ability, in his state of overused and overwrought body-parts. Wonder Woman has yet to join the fray, and seems hesitant to do so. Here’s hoping that she’ll side with the Boy Scout and the Bat to once again form their formidable hero trio.

    However, if Superman won’t join Quar and the rest of his Kandorian’s campaign to seize the earth and its inhabitants, and will therefore oppose them, then how WILL he fight his own daughter? Or will he? This issue addresses these questions, and more, and has me on the edge of my seat, so to speak. Apparently, things have to get worse before they can get better, and things… just… got… worse!

    While young Carrie is not Bruce Wayne’s daughter, he is definitely passing her the torch in this issue. He gives her “hope,” some sort of pill that we will soon learn about, to be sure. Plus, Bruce gives her a gift which looks to be her new costume as BATGIRL!!! As Bruce has already touted her skills and intelligence as being better than even his own, it will be more than interesting to see how she takes on the mantle of The Bat in this world ever-filled with peril and superpowered Kandorians about to knock down earth’s door and claim our castle as their own. Quar, to be more specific, is demanding that Gotham City hand over Batman in thirty-six hours or they will lay waste to the city so long protected by our beloved Bat.

    Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello’s intense story, paired with Andy Kubert’s stylized and bold artwork are quickly making this one of my favorite reads, these days. Oh, and did I mention the enclosed mini-comic titled ‘Batgirl #1,’ containing the appearance of one water-based superhero of earth? No? Well, remind me to do that, won’t you?

    Words and pictures, my friends.

    DKIII: The Master Race, Issue #4, written by Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello, pencil work by Andy Kubert. Published April 27, 2016.

    Review by Steve Oatney.

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    Exclusive Interview with Comic Artist Monte M. Moore

    monte m moore, comic artistQ: When did you get interested in comics, and what’s the first comic book series you remember really liking?

    I read comics from grade school through high school then my focus shifted to art, but then got reintroduced to comics in college in the early 90’s. My mom preferred we read comics that were not superhero/violent comics, so it was a real treat to borrow your friends X-Men and get to read them. Our own titles were more along the lines of Archie comics and Richie Rich when we would buy them at the supermarket. In high school a few of my favorite titles were Longshot (limited series) and the Eradicators which I think was drawn by Ron Lim. My best friend Steve Oatney whom I met in college frequented the local comics store in Ft. Collins Colorado where we became friends with the store manager. Through conversation the manager learned that I airbrushed and was an art major. He introduced me to some friends who were working on their first title, which leads me to your second question…

    Q: First published work?

    My first international published work was in high school, doing fashion illustrations for the Australian Outback Collection when another artist dropped the ball on some art, and I was hired to finish the project, I was only 17 at the time. That really gave me a confidence boost, and also paid for an entire semester of college. My first industry published work was a title to be called Lords of Light which was a self-published project that I was the colorist for, but this was before computers. The title was released under the title of just Lords due to another novel having a similar title, and we went to San Diego Comic-Con in 1993 to promote it. From then on, I knew I wanted to work in the comics, fantasy, gaming and sci-fi genres as an illustrator.

    Q: What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

    I was always drawn towards the realists and very ‘tight’ illustrators, especially those who used the airbrush which I had been using since the late 80’s. Some of my biggest influences then were Sorayama, Olivia, Vargas, Elmore, Easley, Parkinson, Caldwell, Royo, Jusko, Vallejo, Bell and many others. In recent years I’ve gravitated towards learning more oil painting techniques and studied with mentor and master painter Frank Covino for almost two decades. Those influences include Renaissance artists like DaVinci and Michelangelo to more modern painters up through Adolphe Bouguereau and Beirstadt and now to modern painters like Patrick J. Jones and others.

    Q: Do you use computers, tablets and software, or are you old-school with pens and a scanner?

    I believe you should use the best tool for the job. Ninety five or more percent of my work is ‘old school’ using oils, acrylics, pens, pencils and brushes, and most of that has to do with the personal satisfaction of holding a creation in your hands you can be proud of. The second and equally important reason is I have an original piece of art to sell to collectors, which is well over half my total income. I feel today’s new/young artists are doing themselves a giant disservice by not learning traditional media and focusing on only digital. Yes it’s very fast, yes it’s very handy but with no original, no sale of the original art other than mere reproductions. Honestly I think the traditional artist will always find more success in the industry than the strictly digital ones. I do own a Cintiq tablet and portable Wacom, I use them every day for compositing images, retouching and scanning of art. It’s a great tool, but should be one of only many in an artist’s arsenal and not be the sole tool.

    Monte M. Moore sample illustration page

    Q: What are you reading nowadays?

    The last few years almost all the books I read are books on screenwriting and film making. I’m all about learning new things and that is one of my focuses. I’ve written 10 screenplays and sold 8 screen options with 2 feature films already having been made. So when I have free time (which isn’t often) I prefer to use that to better myself as a writer/filmmaker rather than pure escapism. I probably have an overdeveloped work ethic, which keeps me from sitting down and reading a ‘good book’.

    Q: Favorite comic book -> movie adaptation?

    My favorite book to film adaptation is the Lord of the Rings trilogy which I absolutely love, and is my favorite book series of all time. I think my favorite two comic book to movie adaptations both come from Frank Miller books, and are 300 and Sin City. There are many other quality ones out there, and I actively watch shows like Arrow, Jessica Jones, Gotham and Daredevil on TV which I think have stellar writing and production.

    Q: Share some of your work: A first pencil sketch to a finished panel. Do you do all your own inking, coloring, and lettering?

    I personally believe in being well-rounded as an artist and fashion myself a bit of a Renaissance Man. Even though I can’t ‘do it all, all the time’ I often do so. On my current project Blood N’ Bullets I’ve hired Brazilian artist Leonardo Gondim to do the pencils and will be working with he and Jeff Moy on my Loco Hero project. On Blood N’Bullets I’m actually doing the writing, coloring and lettering and working digitally. On a single one-shot title from two decades ago called Bloodlines, I was the illustrator and letterer and went with a multi-media approach using 6-8 different media that included pens, pencils, acrylics, torn paper, ballpoint pen, airbrush and pastel pencil. The story was written by friend Steve Oatney and was published by Moonstone comics who publish Kolchak: The Night Stalker, the Phantom and other titles. One of the pages from Bloodlines is just above, notice how the original text is on the page itself, and not added in later, you don’t see that much anymore either.

    Also included is a cover illustration with both black and white prelim drawing, as well as the finished Cavewoman cover:

    monte m moore 'cavewoman' sketch and paint
    Monte M. Moore, “Cavewoman”

    Q: What’s next for your career?

    For nearly a decade I mostly worked in the table top gaming field, and now the last few years almost exclusively in comics as a cover artist, so now I am seeking a bit of a balance. My goal is to take on fewer projects, and be able to spend more time on them, and add in more fine art projects that will be for sale. I’m interested in doing some Western Art in oils and other mediums, and have cut back on some comics clients. My focus will still be on cover art for my clients, but I also have two comics projects of my own that are based on screenplays I have written called Blood N’Bullets which is under option, and an episodic TV pilot script called Loco Hero that is of the superhero/comics genre. I’d like to get those off the ground and land a literary agent in Hollywood to represent my screenwriting interests.

    Q: What’s one title you think is a good example of your art here at TFAW?

    I think my most recent Cavewoman cover is a great representation of my fully painted style, which includes a combination of colored pencils, gouache and airbrushed/hand painted acrylics. You don’t see many fully painted covers in the industry as much as you used to, which is kinda sad.

    Q: Oh, where were you born, what did you study in college — if you went! — and what are the names of your pets, if you have any?

    Born in Phoenix, raised in Idaho with summers spent on a cattle ranch, then moved to Colorado my senior year of high school. I went to Colorado State University and have Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. No pets at the moment, used to have a large oscar fish named Luca Brasi cause he ‘slept with the fishes’. I also had a horse as a kid and since I was a huge fantasy fan and D&D player, my horse’s name was Pegasus from Clash of the Titans…of course.

    Q: What do you think the benefits are to going to school and getting an art education if you want to be a pro artist?

    Many think they can just practice on their own and will find success, and many have. But you have to remember all the other stuff you learn and are exposed to that the artist at home won’t be, such as weekly live figure drawing, learning to work on team projects, hitting deadlines, how to take a public critique from teacher and classmates, 4 years of art history, classes in design, pottery, color theory and the list goes on. There are some very successful artists who learn a certain style, and may find success in it, but I think the well rounded artists who are versatile, professional and timely will always find much more success and opportunities.

    To get in touch with Monte, please check out his site Mavarts.com, or find him on Facebook.

    Are you a creative professional in the comic book or graphic novel industry? We’d like to interview you! Please send an email inquiry to Dave Taylor at TFAW as the first step.

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    Review: DKIII The Master Race

    dark knight master race #3Dark Knight III: The Master Race is based upon the legendary The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, and it’s excellent, so do yourself a favor, pick it up and get on it!

    Good. Now let’s get into this, and start with a


    Ready? Okay, here’s my original headline: WAKE UP, SUPERMAN! Your daughter is no longer daddy’s little girl, and THAT may be a problem for us ALL!

    In all seriousness, both Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, and The Dark Knight Strikes Again were two of the most well-read and well-loved comic stories in… well… the history of comics, I’d say. Both have been reprinted, since their original releases, so that new readers can enjoy them the same as old, not to mention the multiple movies that were made based on Miller’s vision. DKIII picks up after The Dark Knight Strikes Again.

    It has been a long time to wait to have Frank Miller’s world of the Dark Knight revisited in comics, and the storytellers are sparing no expense when it comes to strange new events and intriguing character developments. Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, and Brad Anderson have been working hard on delivering a powerful new story segment, and deliver they have!

    Again, SPOILERS TO FOLLOW, so beware!

    First, let’s mention the language of the DKIII books, so far. While a bit wordier than Miller’s typical works, the modern use of texting-speak is quite unique in the DKIII comics, and is likely influenced heavily by co-writer Azzarello’s difference in style. It also harkens back, a bit, to the insertion of newscaster comments within TDKR.

    The artwork shown in this issue, as well as in the two issues prior, is sequential-art storytelling at its finest. Kubert and the art-team have produced dynamic and intense pages of visual greatness. Their visuals effectively pull we viewers out of our chairs and into the vivid universe of The Dark Knight, just where we all want to be.

    The Justice League, and most specifically for this story so far, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, DC’s holy trinity, have all pulled away from their previously focused world’s spotlight as heroes. Bruce Wayne has all but stopped doing the work of the Batman, and his complex present state of aging, makes him [somewhat sad to say] seemingly NOT the focus of his own book. Rather, Superman, Wonder Woman, and their daughter are now garnering more focus.

    Superman, three years ago in the story, had gone into hibernation in his Fortress of Solitude and is now re-awakened by Bruce Wayne and his protégé Carrie Kelly in hopes of gaining the Man of Steel’s help protect against earth’s newly emerged and powerful foes. Quar and the other Kandorians, from the Kryptonian bottle-city of Kandor, are now becoming the major threat to our world. So far these villains have not been portrayed with enough depth, for my taste, and wish we could get more of an introspective view into the “why” behind their attacks and their demand that the entire human race surrender to their dominance.

    Will Lara, Superman and Wonder Woman’s now grown-up and über-powerful daughter, side with we earthlings, or with the Kandorians? Guess you’d better pick up this issue, and probably the next few, in order to find out!

    Oh, sorry, one last thing: Each of the three DKIII books, so far, has a mini-comic inserted within the comic, under the title “Dark Knight Universe Presents.” Issue one contains The Atom, two has Wonder Woman, and three has Green Lantern. All also worth checking out, but those are another set of interconnected stories to be discussed at another time.

    Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3. Story: Frank Miller & Brian Azzarello. Pencils: Andy Kubert. Inks: Klaus Janson. Colors: Brad Anderson. $5.39.

    Review by Steve Oatney.

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    Best Comic Book to Movie Adaptations?

    With the huge box office success of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice fresh on the heels of the surprise raunchy hit Deadpool, it’s hard to ignore that good comic books can be turned into really good, really popular movies. It doesn’t always work out, and I’m still puzzling over why the amazing Alan Moore graphic novel Watchmen ended up such a mediocre (albeit beautifully produced) movie, even with Bat v Supe’s Zack Snyder in the director’s chair, but you can’t really appreciate the great adaptations if you don’t suffer through some dogs along the way.

    Which leads to the question: What great comic books or comic book series have survived an adaptation onto the big screen and ended up as a great movie? Here are a few on my list:

    v for vendettaV for Vendetta — based on another work by Alan Moore, director James McTeigue did a stunning job on this anti-establishment film, giving us a fully realized universe where a 1984-esque totalitarian London was completely believable, and the man raging against the machine was both the anti-hero and the hero simultaneously. And Natalie Portman. ‘nuf said.

    300 — A group of men doomed to lose a battle, outnumbered 100 to 1 back in ancient Greece? Sounds like a snoozer of a film, but this is really Zack Snyder’s best movie, based on a great graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Its desaturated colors and slow-motion fight scenes, including splattery close-ups of swords, arrows and flesh, have all the aesthetic of a video game but turn the battle of Thermopylae into something epic.

    The Dark Knight — Director Christopher Nolan was already lauded in Hollywood for his thoughtful films, but The Dark Knight was the film that reminded us that comic book characters, even those created decades ago, can still represent facets of our psyche and be extraordinarily compelling on the big screen. Special props to a career-topping performance by Heath Ledger for his frightening Joker too, of course. Bob Kane would have loved seeing his caped crusader go back to his dark, twisted origin too.

    sin citySin City — The Frank Miller comic series won an Eisner Award, it’s so good, so compelling, and so unique in its frenetic, noir energy, and it took auteur Quentin Tarantino to do it justice on screen, with the film’s comic-book feel, cut scenes and limited color palette. It’s a whirlwind of a cinematic experience with every character larger than life, even life in Sin City.

    Men In Black — most comic book movies take their subject seriously. Even Deadpool is serious in its snarky, raunchy way, but Men In Black is perfectly cast with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as the guys in the natty 50’s clothes. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and based on a fun comic series by Lowell Cunningham, it’s hard to imagine anyone who would be reading this blog who hasn’t also seen this film a half-dozen times.

    Those are five of my favorites. There are also those films that didn’t quite capture the feel of the source material, and those films that were better (or worse!) than the source material.

    But that’s just me, and that’s just my list.

    What about your favorite comic book adaptations on screen? What, and why?

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Poison Ivy, Star Wars Lando & Adventure Time Ice King

    This was a good week for comics fans. Not only did the big two ship some good books, but the smaller and indy publishers produced strong issues. We picked a few of this week’s new releases that we thought were standouts. This is the second of our seven-part series of New Comic Book Day blog articles.

    SPOILER ALERT — We’ll try to be as spoiler free as possible, but they might creep in to our reviews.

    Poison Ivy Cycle of Life and Death #1
    By: Amy Chu, Clay Mann

    You know, I’ve always wondered what Dr. Pamela Isley would do if she were good for a moment. Cure some diseases, create new genetic advances, you know normal science-y stuff. It looks like that’s exactly what she starts off doing in DC’s newest limited series Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death.

    Amy Chu does a great job setting up this series, you get a clear idea of what’s been going on before this starts, and you don’t really need much more than that, and I really like that. What starts off as a run of the mill discovery for Ivy, turns into what we normally think we’d see her doing with an old friend, and ends up turning her world sideways by morning. It’s an interesting start to this 6 part series.

    It will be interesting to see where this takes Ivy. I hope that we see some more cameos. Especially from someone else in touch with “The Green” that has a limited series themselves. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Star Wars Lando TPB
    By: Charles Soule, Alex Maleev

    Star Wars fans are in for a real treat as the Star Wars Lando TPB hit this week. Collecting the 5-issue run, this book is one of my favorite SW tales of the last couple years.

    Soule and Maleev waste no time in getting Lando into trouble in this book — Lando and Lobot owe a lot of credits to some bad people, and their aim is to dig themselves out of this hole. Lando’s a con-man, a scoundrel, and a ladies man, and Soule’s grasp for the character shines through on every page. One of my favorite aspects of this book is in the small moments between the action (and there’s plenty); the banter between Lando and Lobot is crazy good.

    As always, Maleev knocks us away with his art. Getting to see more of the SW universe through his eyes is an extraordinary gift that you shouldn’t pass up. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

Adventure Time Ice King comics at TFAW.com
    Adventure Time Ice King #1

    By: Emily Partridge, Pranas Naujokaitis, Natalie Andrewson

    Get ready for the brand-new Adventure Time Ice King miniseries based on the amazing ongoing Adventure Time comic from Kaboom! In this fun and exciting first issue, the Ice King is in a state of panic. Nothing can calm him — not his tubs and skins, nor his love for the art of the fridjitzu (the art of ice ninjas). He can’t even escape into his fanfiction omnibus of the Adventures of Fionna and Cake, because dun dun duuuuuuun! Gunter is missing!

    The Ice King looks everywhere he can think of but turns up empty handed. Finally he goes to Wizard City to seek help from some of his fellow wizard friends and get back his Gunty-kins. Who has taken Simon’s little friend, and who will help him in the quest to find him and bring him back home? Don’t miss this six-issue series. Pranas Naujokaitis, Emily Partirdge, and Natalie Andrewson help to bring the Ice King and his subjects to life in his first series of his very own! [Steven M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

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

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    Did You See The Spirit?

    I really wanna know if anyone’s gone to see The Spirit. I wasn’t adventurous enough to brave the elements yesterday to get to my neighborhood multiplex, so I haven’t gone to see it yet. Let us know what you thought of Macht’s Spirit, Jackson’s Octopus or any of the femme fatales!

    Did Miller do a good job in his directorial debut? Did they do justice to Eisner’s beloved character? Inquiring minds want to know!

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