Tag: Gail Simone

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for Power Man & Iron Fist, Secret Six, Tomb Raider & Birthright

    Power Man and Iron fist team up for their new ongoing series, Lara Croft returns, and Catman takes on Batgirl! We picked a few of this week’s new releases that we thought were standouts. This is the sixth of our seven-part series of New Comic Book Day blog articles. 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 too many spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again.

Power Man & Iron Fist comics at TFAW.com Power Man and Iron Fist #1
    By: David Walker, Sanford Greene

    Sweet Christmas, this issue of Power Man and Iron Fist sets it off! The tone carried through each character is Baby Bear, that is to say “just right.” The art keeps it crisp like a new pair of kicks.

    Danny Rand sees the opportunity to get the band back together, Luke Cage wants to keep the situation under control, and both just want to help out a friend. Of course, nothing ever goes quite that simple for our Heroes for Hire.

    The wheels are in motion, and this initial arc is going to keep my attention. I can already see an investment in this story that I will be sticking around for the long haul. David Walker gets it! [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Secret Six #11
    By: Gail Simone, Dale Eaglesham, Tom Derenick

    This issue of Secret Six represents my favorite part of Gail Simone’s writing! She has the team take the proverbial chill pill and let their human-ness spill out in this issue.

    After the Massive Magical Mayhem of the last issue, the team needs the break. However, their relaxation time is interwoven with life lessons, emotions, voices from the past, and a bit of action. With Alice, Strix, Porcelain, Ventriliquist, and Big Shot all dealing with several issues at once, you still see a real team dynamic here; almost family like. While we get a piece of every character, it is clear that the star of this issue is Strix. We are granted a nice/awful piece of her back story here.

    However, there is another star in this issue. Where is Catman? Catman is off on his own enjoying a nice walk. Enter Batgirl! Gail does a brilliant job of bringing Batgirl and Catman into the scene. In the classic Bat/Cat format, they quickly engage in the most whimsical banter and butt kickery!

    Artists Dale Eaglesham and Tom Derenick also do a great job of portraying the emotions that are pouring out of our characters’ faces in this issue. Whether it is joy, pain or anger, it is believable! With comedy, emotions and action all in tow, we also traverse into a new story arc. Get ready, things are going to get . . . violent. [Sean W. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Tomb Raider #1
    By: Mariko Tamaki, Phillip Sevy, Michael Atiyeh, Agustin Alessio

    Tomb Raider starts off with Lara doing what she does best — finding treasure. At first we’re unsure what it is she searching for, but we find out that it revolves around the “Mushroom of Immortality,” and she’s not the only one looking for it.

    This first issue of Tomb Raider II does a great job setting up what we will be reading about in the months to come. Mariko Tamaki does a fantastic job with these characters — introducing a new villain, mentor, and also the tone of the book. By the end of the issue you know exactly what you are going to get out of this series: high risk and high adventure. Phillip Sevy’s art is spot on. From action scenes to facial expressions, it’s all very clean and polished.

    This is a fantastic starting point for new readers. If you’ve only played the video games (Rise of the Tomb Raider is awesome, BTW) or just want some adventure in you pull list, you won’t be disappointed with Tomb Raider II! [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Birthright #14
    By: Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan, Adriano Lucas

    After 14 issues Birthright still one of Image Comics’ best reads. Joshua Williamson’s story is still landing in my pull every month due to the imaginative crossover of fantasy and “real world” mystery. I’ve personally never been a big fan of fantasy comics, but this book is too good to pass up.

    As Mikey and Brennon try to find a place to hide, we encounter an “old timer” who wants to know the truth about Lore an desperately seeks Mikey. While the kid’s parents are looking for them both, they encounter others who are also looking, and will do anything to get to them.

    Andrei Bressan’s inks and Adriano Lucas’ colors are both fantastic–I love that the colors just pop — even in the night scenes. They’re a really good pair, and it’s a delight to crack open a new issue each month. This has been a great book from the start and I highly recommend it. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below! Be sure to share these posts on Facebook or Twitter if you want us to continue this series of posts. 🙂

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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 5 of 5 – Indy Comics


    So many great comics hit the stands last year, and we’re looking to you to choose the Best Comic of 2015! What follows is the final article in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ve produced since December. Missed the earlier installments? Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, and Part 4. Starting tomorrow, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Creator-owned series and indy publishers are great if you want to cast the shackles of shared universes and decades of canon. You’ll find some of the most creative stories and unique artwork in the pages books like these.

    The Best of Indy Comics (in no particular order):

    By: Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, Carolyn Nowak, Brooke A. Allen

    Here’s what I told my sister-in-law about Lumberjanes: “It’s like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets The Baby-Sitters Club meets Camp Nowhere.” Here’s what I told my ten-year-old niece about Lumberjanes: “It’s about a five girls who go to summer camp and become best friends. While they’re there, they fight monsters, go on adventures, solve magical mysteries, and KICK BUTT.”

    Far from being a kids’ book, the Eisner Award-winning Lumberjanes manages to be truly “all-ages,” appealing to kids and adults alike. All you need is a sense of whimsy and a love of adventure. The book has an energy that picks you up and carries you through every issue, and the main characters — Jo, April, Ripley, Mal, and Molly — are written so well that they feel like your real-life best friends. The art is both cute and sophisticated, using brilliant colors and great linework to evoke moods and emotions. On top of all that, this series champions diversity in a subtle, natural way. It offers characters and storylines that are outside of the box, giving all sorts of young kids the chance to see themselves reflected in their comics and imagine a more vibrant, inclusive world. It’s serious stuff, which is why it’s extra impressive that each comic is so damn fun to read.

    This series is exciting, funny, and sweet — though it’s crawling with supernatural creatures, every issue proves that the real magic lies in friendship. With two collected trade paperbacks (and a third on the way), a hardcover deluxe edition, and 21 issues out so far, there’s plenty of ways to join this series. [Steven M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    By: Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Cory Smith, Mateus Santolouco, Michael Dialys, Ken Garing

    It’s been four years and 52 issues since IDW started its TMNT journey with Tom Waltz and Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman back in 2011. If you haven’t been keeping up with the series, 2015 was a good time to join.

    Waltz masterfully blends previous incarnations of the Turtles together culminating in deep, and intriguing storylines. So even if you started with the comics back in the 80’s, or the cartoon of the ’90s or ’00s, you’ll find something to keep you coming back each month.

    This year also saw a massive event that took the Internet by storm. Donatello was left to defend the homestead in TMNT #44, and was attacked by Bebop & Rocksteady (yeah, those ones). Although Donnie tries his hardest, and even with the help of Metalhead, they get them best of him. Find the issue or pick up TMNT TPB Vol. 11 to see for yourself.

    This series has been one of the most consistently good series on the stands. With all the variations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mythos to pull from, it’s always cool to see how our favorite ancillary characters are brought in to the mix. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Sixth Gun comics at TFAW.com Sixth Gun
    By: Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, Bill Crabtree, A.C. Zamudio, Tyler Crook

    We were spoiled this year. Not only did we get to see the beginning of the end of the the ongoing Sixth Gun series, but a host of great artists came together to contribute to the deeper Sixth Gun lore in the Days of the Dead, Dust to Dust, and Valley of Death miniseries.

    Set in the wild west, The Sixth Gun is firmly rooted in western themes and settings, but it’s so much more than that. With elements of adventure, supernatural, humor, and drama, this series transcends the genre it’s built around. I cannot wait to see what Bunn and company have in store for the final three issues later this year. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Red Sonja comics at TFAW.com

    Red Sonja
    By: Gail Simone, Sergio Fernandez Davila, Walter Geovani

    Gail Simone is a modern legend. She has penned countless amazing comics for almost every major publisher and, most notably, had multiple essential runs at DC Comics (Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Wonder Woman, and more!). Red Sonja is a classic fantasy/sword and sorcery character that, while still popular, was in need of something (or someone) special to push her into the modern, mainstream spotlight. It turns out, this whole time she had been waiting for Gail Simone. When this book was announced, it was suddenly a no-brainer: of course Gail should be writing Red Sonja! Why hasn’t this happened already?

    And to no one’s surprise it is fantastic! Simone manages to tell a story that feels familiar and new at the same time, deftly marrying classic elements with modern storytelling sensibilities. Meanwhile, Walter Geovani pencils some haunting pages that will linger in your mind. Throughout this epic, the She-Devil with a Sword is taken to unfamiliar, dangerous places that will leave scars both physical and emotional. Along with new depth to the hero, we are introduced to several characters that are welcome additions to the mythos.

    If you are a fan of Gail Simone, Red Sonja, or simply great comics, look no further. This is the perfect jumping-on point for new readers, with plenty of twists and turns for veteran fans as well! [Jeff B. at Portland TFAW]

    Escape From New York comics at TFAW.com Escape From New York
    By: Christopher Sebela, Diego Barreto, Maxim Simic

    Christopher Sebela triumphantly brought Snake Plissken back from the dead in the ongoing Escape From New York comic book series this year. This is by far one of my favorite series published by BOOM! Studios in recent years.

    The comic book series starts off 5 minutes before the ending on the first Escape movie, then with Snake on the run he goes to the only place safe from the USPF (United States Police Force) — Florida.

    Sebela’s writing artfully captures all those colorful characters we saw in the ’81 movie without relying on tropes to tell a fun story that feels like an Escape story. Sebela does a great job creating the entirety of the state of the world that John Carpenter started to show us. This is one of my first reads every month, and I can’t wait for more of Snake’s adventures. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog to see how you can help us crown the Best Comic of 2015. Voting opens tomorrow!


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    April Product Review Contest Winners Announced

    Tomb Raider #1 review at TFAW.comWith great customers, come great reviews! You guys have once again outdone yourselves by sending in so many spectacular product reviews to choose from last month! Picking just three of you for this month’s winners was as hard as saying, “Peter Parker picked a peck of pickled peppers,” five times fast. However, after reading through the hundreds and hundreds of amazing reviews, we have hand picked three of our favorites as part of our monthly Product Review Contest. Below, you’ll find out who won from April’s Product Reviews. $25 TFAW gift certificates are on the way to the folks who posted them.

    Nathan from Huntsville, AL stopped by with his four star review of superstar writer Gail Simone’s Tomb Raider #1 from Dark Horse Comics:

    A very nice tie in to last year’s Tomb Raider game. My only gripe is that the art does not fit Tomb Raider, imo. If you are a fan of the series then consider picking this up! I can’t wait to see how it will lead into the next game!

    Inhuman #1 review at TFAW.comOur second winner is Randall from Union City, TN. He had this to say about the Inhuman #1:

    I have been trimming my pulls lately, just spening too much money on comics, and this was one I had decided to drop… until I read it! Awesome first issue, imo! What intrigued me to begin with, the mists and birth of new super-powered characters, is exactly what I got in this issue. I have a feeling, if it continues on the path it seems to be on, it may very well be one of my favorite titles…

    Guardians Of Galaxy TPB Vol. 01 Cosmic Avengers review at TFAW.comLast but not least, Marvin from El Paso, TX wrote a review for “Guardians of the Galaxy: TPB Vol. 1 that we had to share:

    I never knew about the Guardians until the movie was coming out. So, I bought this collection to catch up and found it to be an excellent GN. Even my little girl loves it. For anyone new to the Guardians universe, this is a must read!

    Thanks so much to everyone who wrote reviews last month. You’re helping people decide what to get (or what to avoid) next.

    Remember, you don’t have to write a novel to win. Product reviews can be short and sweet, or highly detailed — as long as they help other customers, that’s what we’re looking for. So submit your reviews and help your fellow collectors sort out the “HOT” from the “NOT”! Who knows, you may be one of next month’s winners.

    It’s simple! Just visit any product page and look for this:

    Click on it and our product review form will appear in a popup. Just fill out the pertinent information and submit your review, and you’re done! We’ll take a look at your review and get it up on the product page soon thereafter!

    There’s also a really easy way for you to call up everything you’ve ever ordered from us and review it. Simply log in to your account and go into the Order History Section. Next to each item, you’ll see a “Review it!” link.

    Questions? Comments? Let us know below!

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    Comic Book Reviews: Uncanny X-Men, Secret Six, Nightwing & More

    Watch Video Reviews of This Week’s Comics!

    It’s time for our weekly comic book reviews. This week, we take a look at Uncanny X-Men #5, Voltron #2, Nightwing #5, Avengers #21, Secret Six: The Darkest House TPB, and the Spider-Man and Captain America web belts.

    Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! We try not to go into too much detail in our reviews, but a few mild spoilers might slip through the cracks!

    Uncanny X-Men #5



    What did you think about this week’s comics? What should we review next week? Post your comments below!

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    Gail Simone Talks Batgirl, Firestorm & Women in The New 52

    Gail Simone BatgirlComics writer Gail Simone is not afraid to speak her mind–whether on Twitter, via her comics, or through her lightning rod of a website, Women in Refrigerators, which she created in the late 1990s. Women in Refrigerators, which is how I was first “introduced” to Simone back in the day, got its name from the brutal murder of Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend, Alex DeWitt, and questioned the number of female comic book characters who were violently attacked or killed in the name of a good story. It caused an industry-wide furor. It also, according to several creators, made people rethink how they wrote for women.

    Since then, Simone has risen through the comic book industry, writing a column for Comic Book Resources, scripting Simpsons comics for Bongo, and then moving on to Deadpool and Agent X for Marvel. For the past several years, she’s been the most prominent female writer at DC Comics, helming fan-favorite runs of Wonder Woman, Secret Six, Birds of Prey, and more. Now, with The New 52, she’s also the only female writer; her new series, Batgirl and The Fury of Firestorm, will (re)launch this September.

    This is hardly the only controversy generated by DC Comics’ ambitious reimagining of its superhero universe, so we asked Simone about her plans for Batgirl and Firestorm, how she feels about Barbara Gordon regaining the use of her legs, and what her stance is on the lack of female creators in the new DC Universe. Read on!

    TFAW.com: Can you tell us where Barbara is in Batgirl #1, both emotionally and physically?

    Gail Simone: Emotionally, she’s excited, a big part of her feels this is what she was meant to do. But she’s not without regrets and fears. And physically, yes, she’s a little rusty.

    Gail Simone BatgirlTFAW.com: Barbara seems to have really grown up as a woman as Oracle, and as the leader of the Birds of Prey–is it a step back to return her to the “Batgirl” role?

    GS: Oh, sure, that’s a fair position to take, but I think it makes an error in singling out one character. Nearly the entire DCU is being de-aged. Was the recent Star Trek movie taking a step back for Kirk and crew? I think it’s possible to feel both things–to miss Oracle and to love Babs as Batgirl.

    TFAW.com: Barbara has been part of a team for a long time. How will she react to being a solo act again, if that’s what’s happening?

    GS: Again, I think she can be both, she can be a Beatle and a solo act. The things that make Barbara so hugely loveable and compelling are there in both forms. As a retailer, I’m sure you know how intimidating it can be to new and returning readers to feel that there’s this wall of information that has to be understood to read a comic that catches your eyes. The relaunch is a chance to do a kind of hyper-focus on the central core, the fixative element, that makes each character.

    TFAW.com: What’s her standing with the Birds of Prey in The New 52?

    GS: I am not on that book and not in that loop. I believe she appears in an early issue, beyond that, I don’t really know.

    TFAW.com: What are Barbara’s relationships like with Bruce, Dick, and her father in The New 52?

    GS: We see her relationship with Jim right away, and the other two within the first six issues. There are some new dynamics for sure!

    Batman: The Killing JokeTFAW.com: There are a lot of fans who are upset that Barbara is no longer a paraplegic. What’s your response to that?

    GS: Again, if we focus on one character, then this looks like a deliberate attempt to anger or alienate the fans of that character. But if you move the entire DCU back, it really only makes sense to start with something closer to what they were created to be. It’s not applied completely evenly, and that upsets some people, too . . . understandably.

    I have intentionally tried not to invalidate the opinions of people who feel she should stay in a chair forever. I believe in Oracle as a role model, I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. I refuse to reduce the feelings of these people to debate points. They feel what they feel; Oracle means more to them in the chair than Barbara means to them as Batgirl.

    We do plan to address this, in several big ways, one of which is making sure that one character no longer represents almost the entire disabled community in the DCU anymore.

    TFAW.com: You’re also writing The Fury of Firestorm, with Ethan Van Sciver. How does your collaboration work?

    GS: We discuss the plot together, and I write the scripts. Ethan loves the character, and wanted to do the book with me, and the fun thing is that it’s got a massive scope that unfolds–every issue reveals more and more how huge the Firestorm protocols are to the DCU.

    TFAW.com: Having two writers working together as one is a pretty clever parallel to Firestorm himself. Was that on purpose, or a happy accident?

    GS: It’s just a collaboration we wanted to have, but we were ironically aware the entire time, that there’re some definite parallels. I’m a tree-hugging lefty and Ethan’s far more conservative . . . it’s good fun and people keep remarking that it makes the pages spark.

    Fury of Firestorm Gail SimoneTFAW.com: How is Firestorm different in The New 52? How are Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond, and their relationship with each other, different?

    GS: We really have to leave that a surprise for now . . . but it’s great fun, and the art by Yildiray Cinar is simply explosive.

    TFAW.com: Are the events of Blackest Night, such as Ronnie killing Jason’s girlfriend, still in their past?

    GS: Our Firestorm #1 is their first meeting.

    TFAW.com: When did you first hear about DC’s plans for The New 52?

    GS: Not sure of the date, but there had been some rumblings for a while. But the actual announcement to us came in secretive dribs and drabs for a bit, then woomph, was just sort of unloaded on us. I was very skeptical at first, until I started seeing some of the creative teams.

    TFAW.com: Do you think this initiative will attract a lot of new or lapsed comics readers?

    GS: Overall, considering the entire plan, yes, I do, we’re seeing large numbers of people giving the books a try.

    I understand people being mad, but I just sat down an hour ago and read some of these first issues for the first time . . . not all are to my taste, but holy crap, some are just amazing. I hate for people to miss the fun of this, so I hope they give the new books a look.

    TFAW.com: There’s been a lot of controversy about the scarcity of women creators in The New 52. As a prominent and popular female writer, what’s your take?

    Fury of Firestorm Gail SimoneGS: It’s complicated–I want the best possible writers for every job. On the other hand, with the number of talented women who have proven they can write and draw and carry a title, and are popular with readers, I was absolutely dumbfounded that in the first wave of 52 titles, there were only two female creators, and only one writer. I found that out the same day the readers did. Since female readers are one of the few growing demos in the industry, that seemed a huge mistake and I was very put out by it.

    However, I knew some things that the readers didn’t . . . I knew that some major female talents had books in the pipeline, just not in the first wave, and that several others had been approached but had to decline because of the accelerated deadlines conflicting with their previous work.

    So I knew that the picture wasn’t as skewed as it seemed, but I still feel we could have done better, and I do think we muffed the response to the question. DC, to their credit, took the criticism to heart and reached out to a lot more female creators.

    TFAW.com: I finally read the end of Secret Six, and I have to know–will we ever know what happens to everyone? A couple of characters are already part of The New 52; what about the rest?

    GS: My take on the final issues of the pre-relaunch books is, I didn’t want them to end with a huge WE ARE DONE NOW THIS IS THE END thing, I wanted to leave them with a feeling that the universe would continue, and that there are stories still out there. I think the end of S6 feels satisfying, but exactly what happens next is really up to the reader.

    We want to thank Gail Simone for taking the time to answer all of our questions! You can pre-order Batgirl and The Fury of Firestorm right here on our site, or pre-order all of The New 52 #1 and #2 issues for a limited time.

    Are you excited for Batgirl and The Fury of Firestorm? How do you feel about the status of women in comics–both on and “behind” the panels? Post your comments below!




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