Is DC Comics Serious About Continued New Comic Book Digital Content In Absence Of Print Counterparts During Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic? If So, Where Are The April 1, 2020 Previews?

Is DC Comics Serious About Continued New Comic Book Digital Content In Absence Of Print Counterparts During Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic? If So, Where Are The April 1, 2020 Previews?

No fully lettered, colored, etc. previews have hit online for any of DC Comics previously planned April 1, 2020 releases. Could DC change its plans due to (1) the overwhelming negative response from retailors and (2) the plans clear deviation from 99.9%m of other publishers (Marvel’s digital plans were MIA in their earlier released plans).

Anyhow, the April 1, 2020 previously solicited DC titles are below.

DC COMICS
Batman #89 (Tony S. Daniel 3rd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Batman #92 (Cover A Yasmine Putri), $3.99
Batman #92 (Cover B Stanley Artgerm Lau Card Stock Variant), AR
Batman #92 (Cover C Yasmin Putri Punchline Variant), AR
Batman Giant #4, $4.99
Batman Last Knight On Earth HC, $29.99
Daphne Byrne #4 (Of 6)(Cover A Piotr Jablonski), $3.99
Daphne Byrne #4 (Of 6)(Cover B Dan Quintana), AR
Dollar Comics Batman #13 (2013), $1.00
Dollar Comics Green Lantern #1 (2011), $1.00
Dreaming #20, $3.99
Freedom Fighters Rise Of A Nation TP, $24.99
gen:LOCK #6 (Of 7), $3.99
Gotham High TP, $16.99
Harley Quinn #72 (Cover A Guillem March), $3.99
Harley Quinn #72 (Cover B Frank Cho), AR
Justice League #44 (Cover A Francis Manapul), $3.99
Justice League #44 (Cover B TBD Nicola Scott), AR

Justice League Odyssey #20 (Cover A Jose Ladronn), $3.99
Justice League Odyssey #20 (Cover B Skan), AR
Justice League Of America A Celebration Of 60 Years HC, $29.99
Last God #3 (Kai Carpenter 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $4.99
Lois Lane #10 (Of 12)(Cover A Mike Perkins), $3.99
Lois Lane #10 (Of 12)(Cover B Tula Lotay), AR
Metal Men #6 (Of 12)(Cover A Shane Davis & Michelle Delecki), $3.99
Metal Men #6 (Of 12)(Cover B George Perez), AR
Nightwing #70 (Mike Perkins 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Strange Adventures #2 (Of 12)(Cover A Mitch Gerads), $4.99
Strange Adventures #2 (Of 12)(Cover B Evan Doc Shaner), AR
Swamp Thing By Nancy A. Collins Omnibus HC, $125.00
Transmetropolitan Volume 3 TP, $29.99
Wonder Woman Volume 2 Love Is A Battlefield HC, $24.99
Year Of The Villain Hell Arisen #3 (Of 4)(Steve Epting 3rd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99

Zack Snyder Believes We Could Still See A Live Action Version Of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

Yesterday, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder hosted a live commentary for the movie on Vero and, as you might expect, he shared plenty of big reveals about the DC Comics adaptation. We should have more on those for you a little later today, but the filmmaker's thoughts on The Dark Knight Returns were particularly interesting. 

As you'll no doubt already be well aware, Batman v Superman was heavily inspired by Frank Miller's critically acclaimed comic book story, with a number of visuals lifted from that and put on screen. However, Snyder told fans that he believes a live-action adaptation of the story could still happen despite his movie taking so many cues from that. 

According to Screen Rant, the Justice League director says he doesn't think his movie negates the possibility of The Dark Knight Returns coming to the big screen, and believes it could still be made. 

That's a sentiment comic book fans are bound to agree with; after all, while Batman may have worn a similar armour, Miller's story is much different to what Snyder delivered with Dawn of Justice, and an R-Rated take on that would be incredible. After all, who wouldn't want to see those cool new takes on characters like The Joker and Green Arrow in live-action? 

As of right now, we have no reason to believe The Dark Knight Returns is happening, of course, but it's definitely interesting to think about what a movie version might look like...

DC Comics Unveils, Under Sole Publisher Jim Lee, Its Tone-Deaf Print & Digital Comics Plans Due To Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic!

DC Comics Unveils, Under Sole Publisher Jim Lee, Its Tone-Deaf Print and Digital Comics Plans Due To Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic!

DC’s Director of Marketing Services Adam Phillip detailed its digital comic book plans for select retailors on its private Facebook page. Despite the physical print distribution of comic books being halted due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, DC Comics will continue to release its digital comics weekly.

    Here’s where we are on digital. All our data shows the digital consumer and the physical consumer are two different audiences. For now, we’re going to continue to release digital comics, but will revisit this if the pipeline for physical distribution continues to be challenged and disrupted.

This news follows an earlier news release from the company that offered support to retailors during this time.

    To Direct Market Retailers:

    First, the entire team here at DC hopes that you, your family and your employees are staying safe and healthy during this very tough and precarious time. We know that you have been waiting for DC to comment on the state-of-affairs and to address any measures we will take to help our community lighten the burden of the disruption to our business, and we’ve been working hard on a long-term, solution-focused plan. Here is how we will help:

    Periodicals and books with in-store dates between March 18, 2020 and June 24, 2020 will be fully returnable. We’ll even provide credit for your separate return shipping of these items only.

    Additionally, because we anticipate that continued disruption to business operations will create regional volatility, DC is exploring a multi-distributor model to provide us with the flexibility needed during this crisis to get new content to our readers on an ongoing basis. In the short-term, we continue to engage in active conversations with Diamond to help us solve the distribution issues that have arisen and hope to get new product to stores that want or need it as soon as possible. We will provide additional information about how we’ll make that happen in the coming days.

    Thanks for your patience with us. DC will continue to monitor the situation, continue to speak with you directly, and continue to support you through the days ahead. You are the lifeblood of this industry.

    All best,
    The DC Team

Despite DC noting that current data shows that the digital reader and print periodical is different, that was pre-Pandemic. It is quote likely with DC Comics choosing to continue with digital comics in the absence of their print counterparts, that new readers will drive to digital comics. That may convert many readers away from print periodicals hurting a comic book retailor system that was already going to look very different after the pandemic eases.

Shame on DC. Putting short-term profit over long-term industry and retailor health. Naturally, retailors are upset by this when most of the industries independent publishers have indicated they would not go with new digital comics in the absence of their print counterparts. The big question mark? That’s Marvel Comics who has not revealed their digital plans to date, but their initial communique looked promising.

Shameful.

THE WALKING DEAD Introduces Paola Lazaro As Fan-Favorite Character Juanita “Princess” Sanchez

As AMC's The Walking Dead continues its run of quality episodes, tonight's installment introduced a fan-favorite character from the comics.

As Eugene, 'Miko and Ezekiel make their way through Charleston, West Virginia to rendezvous with the mysterious Stephanie, they notice several walkers that have been dressed and posed in comical positions, before running into the slightly unhinged woman responsible. This friendly, machine gun-toting newbie is Juanita Sanchez, and she's played by Paola Lazaro (Nunca Digas Adeus, Terra Incógnita).

In the comics, "Princess" becomes a major character after accompanying our heroes to The Commonwealth, and it looks like the show is going to follow suit - although The Walking Dead has never been shy about making major changes to the source material, so you never know!

This episode also saw Carol go into (very brief) exile with Alpha's ghost, Beta - or should we call him Half Moon? - gain a new herd of walkers through the magic of Country Music, and Daryl and Negan form an uneasy alliance after dispatching a few Whisperers.

We recently found out that next week's episode will serve as the Season 10 finale, so be sure to tune in. Check out the promo for that below , let us know what you thought of "look at the Flowers" in the comments.

Marvel Comics Unveils Its Publishing Plans During Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic! Digital Details From Marvel Pre-Pandemic Plans Still MIA!

Marvel Comics Unveils Its Publishing Plans During Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic!

Digital Details From Marvel Pre-Pandemic Plans Still MIA! The statement is below.

    As we all encounter new and uncertain challenges in response to COVID-19 and take extraordinary measures to prioritize the safety and well-being of everyone in the industry and beyond, our thoughts are with you, your loved ones, and the community.

    We have spoken with many of you about the economic impact to your stores from this situation, and we are here to help. To assist and support you and retailers around the country during this unprecedented time, Marvel will be implementing the following support sales measures, effective immediately:

    For Marvel titles scheduled to go on sale between March 18 and April 8, Marvel is offering extensive deep discounts (adjusted on top of the existing discounts you have in place) to help alleviate cash flow pressures and give you the flexibility to sell your product in response to customer demand as needed. *Please see the chart below for new discount tiers.

    This move will increase total discounts for you upfront and preserve the cash you have immediately available. These discounts will also allow your store to fully dedicate your resources and staff to selling comics and other essential tasks.

    Marvel and Diamond will also be preserving your current regular Marvel discount tier, regardless of any decreases to your order levels. By maintaining your current regular discount tier, we hope to give you the confidence you need to reduce and adjust your orders and steadily accommodate your ongoing pull and hold list customers.

    We are aware that based on the guidance of local government and health officials, many of you are already providing services to accommodate your communities, including holding or creating pull lists, curbside pick-ups, special deliveries or other shipping options, and more. We will continue to amplify and create awareness about these efforts as best as we can to help encourage your customers to use your additional services.

    Marvel titles will continue to be made available to you on a weekly schedule as normal to equip your stores and your businesses with new product to sell.

    We are actively monitoring the situation every day, and we will continue to listen to your input and share regular updates with you in the coming days and weeks.

    Our industry is built upon the resilience and passion behind each and every retailer and fan, and shops like yours are the reason we all can come together. This is uncharted territory for all of us, and we are here to support. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your Diamond representative for more information. Please stay safe and well.

We’ll see how their plans evolve particularly on digital.

Stay tuned.

WESTWORLD: The Man In Black Returns In The New Promo For Season 3, Episode 4: “The Mother of Exiles”

After another exciting installment, Westworld continues its roller coaster of a third season next week with an installment that promises to up the mystery even further as Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) continues to put new pieces of her master plan in motion.

As per usual, the plot synopsis for the next episode of the acclaimed HBO series isn't particularly revealing, but it does seem to indicate some sort of major truth will finally be revealed to one of the main characters, presumably the Man in Black (Ed Harris), but that doesn't neccessarily mean it'll be good news for the involved parties.

The Mother of Exiles

Debut date: SUNDAY, APRIL 5 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

The truth doesn’t always set you free.

Written by Jordan Goldberg & Lisa Joy; directed by Paul Cameron.


Westworld features:
Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy
Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay
Jeffrey Wright as Bernard Lowe/Arnold Weber
Tessa Thompson as Charlotte Hale
Ed Harris as William/The Man in Black
Luke Hemsworth as Ashley Stubbs
Simon Quarterman as Lee Sizemore
Rodrigo Santoro as Hector Escaton
Aaron Paul as Caleb Nichols
Lena Waithe as Ash 
Vincent Cassel as Serac
Scott Mescudi as Francis
Marshawn Lynch as Giggles
Jefferson Mays as Liam Dempsey Sr. 
John Gallagher Jr. as Liam
Michael Ealy as Jake 
Tommy Flanagan as Conells


Westworld returns with a brand new episode April 5

Rick Remender’s Rejected Silver Surfer Pitch Explored Evil of Humanity

In a rejected pitch for a Silver Surfer story set in the future, Rick Remender would have revealed that Mephisto is behind Humanity's most evil tendencies.

The comics industry is more or less shut down due to coronavirus concerns, which leaves the comic book media with a big problem: what do we write about when there are no new comics? Thankfully, Rick Remender has come through as a one-man comic book media stimulus package, providing us with a near-limitless supply of articles about comics that might have been, even as we wait for the comics that hopefully one day will be.

So far, we've learned about his plans for taking over the X-books that never came to be after he told Marvel to drown in hobo piss in 2014 over the corporately-mandated Inhumans vs. X-Men. We've looked at his rejected pitch for a Spider-Man story bursting with bug-themed baddies and saw a veritable crap ton of artwork from his various creator-owned Image Comics series and the same from his Marvel days. We even got to read part of a Namor pitch that was basically Frank Miller's Daredevil: Born Again meets The Little Mermaid, and a wild Hearts of Darkness sequel pitch that would have seen the invention of Cosmic Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange in a polyamorous relationship with Clea and Brother Voodoo, and vampire Wolverine and werewolf Captain America doing their own version of Twilight, and a Ka-Zar pitch that saw the Savage Land relocated to Central Park.

Silver_Surfer_Vol_1_1

And the next Rick Remender comic that never was involves the Silver Surfer, and aims to bring the character back to his Stan Lee and Jack Kirby origins.

The story would have been set in the future after the Silver Surfer saved Earth from being eaten by Galactus and left Galactus as Earth's captive. Instead of being grateful for not becoming cosmic lunch, however, Mankind used Galactus to subjugate the galaxy. Now, the Surfer would have to ally with Galactus again to stop Mephisto, who is revealed to be behind everything humans have done. Check out the pitch below.

SilverSurfer

Sadly, if that pitch interests you, it's too late for it to ever happen.

Except, of course, in our imaginations. And for that, we thank Rick Remender and raise a tall glass of hobo piss in his honor. Cheers!

bros drinking it up
Bros Drinking Hobo Piss – Photo By Syda Productions

The post Rick Remender's Rejected Silver Surfer Pitch Explored Evil of Humanity appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Sean Gordon Murphy Shares Details About his New Creator-Owned Project

Superstar comic book creator Sean Gordon Murphy is working on a secret new creator-owned project, and he's been teasing it on Instagram. Details are sparse, but Murphy says the comic will be an OGN the length of four issues, and that it will be launched on IndieGoGo at some point in the future (giving the world time to recover from the current coronavirus pandemic first, which is much-appreciated).

Murphy has shared looks several characters from the book on Instagram.

But details on Murphy's new project are otherwise pretty sparse. Though we do know it will feature a spaceship.

Here's all the character designs Murphy has posted so far.

Character Designs from Sean Gordon Murphy's New project Character Designs from Sean Gordon Murphy's New project Character Designs from Sean Gordon Murphy's New project SGM4 Character Designs from Sean Gordon Murphy's New project Character Designs from Sean Gordon Murphy's New project Character Designs from SGM New project Character Designs from SGM New project Character Designs from SGM New project

So what is it? Murphy has referred to it as creator-owned, and he's planning to crowdfund it, so definitely not a part of Murphy's expanding Black Label line at DC.

The first character does bear a resemblance to Vale, the hero of Aubrey Sitterson and Fico Ossio's No One Left to Fight, which came out next year, and which we're still waiting on a follow-up for. Maybe Murphy is teaming up with that duo for that follow-up? That would be something. Can we start that rumor right now?

 

Aubrey Sitterson and Fico Ossio No One Left to Fight

Our editors are telling us that no, we cannot start rumors during the pandemic. Apparently Google doesn't care for it. Something about the spread of dangerous misinformation or something. Which is a shame, because both books do have a man-cat. It's the perfect fit!

Sean Gordon Murphy New Creator Project

But no, more likely, Murphy's super-secret project is merely inspired by the same primordial materials. We'll find out sometime in, hopefully, the near future. But until then, your speculation in the comments will have to do.

As for Sitterson and Ossio's follow-up to No One Left to Fight, we have a suggestion for them. Get in touch with Netflix and work on a crossover with Tiger King, where Billy Von Katz is captured and put in a cage in Joe Exotic's zoo, forcing Vale, Timor, and Krysta to go on another journey to save him. Turns out there's someone left to fight after all!

The post Sean Gordon Murphy Shares Details About his New Creator-Owned Project appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Catwoman Joins GOD OF WAR Art Director’s BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES Rogue’s Gallery

God of War art director Raf Grassetti has added another villain to his series of Batman: The Animated Series character designs: The Dark Knight's ferocious feline foe, Catwoman.

Selina Kyle has gone through many interpretations over the years, but her BTAS look has remained a favorite among fans. After previously being portrayed on the big-screen by Michelle Pfeiffer, Anne Hathaway and Halle Berry (well, she played a Catwoman), the iconic DC Comics femme fatale will be brought to life in Matt Reeves' The Batman by Zoe Kravitz.

We haven't seen her suited-up yet, but fans will be hoping her costume will be at least somewhat comic-accurate.

Check out the artwork below and let us know what you think. Grassetti has only features villains thus far, but he reveals that heroes are on the way in his Instagram post.

🦇BTAS 11 - Catwoman Continuing on the villains. A few more to do before we start some heroes 🐈 #dc #batman #joker #catwoman #harleyquinn #comics

A post shared by Raf Grassetti (@rafagrassetti) on Mar 27, 2020 at 9:14am PDT

Batman: The Animated Series is an American superhero animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. Developed by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Mitch Brian, and produced by Warner Bros. Animation, it originally aired on Fox Kids from September 5, 1992, to September 15, 1995, with a total of 85 episodes. For the final fifteen episodes, the series was given the on-screen title The Adventures of Batman & Robin, which was also used for reruns of earlier episodes. The series became the first in the continuity of the shared DC animated universe; spawning further animated TV series, feature films, comic books and video games with most of the same creative talent.

BLACK WIDOW Is “Definitely” Still Set For A Theatrical Release Despite Rumor To The Contrary

We recently got the bad news that Marvel's Black Widow had been pushed back from its original May 1st release, and although we were assured that the movie would still be given a theatrical debut, there's still a lot of speculation that Disney may decide to send the Fallen Avenger's first solo adventure directly to Digital or Disney+. 

The other day, Grace Randolph sent out a Tweet which got the rumor mill going again. The Beyond the Trailer host said she did dome digging and found out that Disney is considering sending Black Widow and Mulan straight to streaming, but that price points, purchase vs rental etc were "all still up in the air." 

Well, we've reached out to a contact at Disney and they've confirmed that the film is definitely still set for a theatrical release at some point. We weren't given any indication of when that might be, but chances are the studio isn't completely certain about that themselves given the current situation.

This could change, of course. If theaters don't reopen before the end of the year (unlikely, but entirely possible) then Disney/Marvel may decide to release the movie to streaming rather than push it back to 2021, but, for the time being, Black Widow is still on track to hit theaters.

"In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha/Black Widow, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian, and Rachel Weisz is Melina. Directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige, “Black Widow”—the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe—hits U.S. theaters on May 1, 2020." --Marvel Studios."

Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, William Hurt, Ray Winstone and Olivier Richters. Let us know if you're looking forward to the movie in the comments

Batman #92 Sees Gotham On Lock Down And No One Able To Leave The House

I'm not entirely sure how but I appear to have found myself with copies of Batman #92, out this week digitally (and maybe more) and of Batman #93, the final chapters of the first James Tynion Batman arc Dark Designs, and kicking off the subsequent Joker War. Now, I know Bleeding Cool is famous for running spoilers, but this feels a bit like dirty pool. But, still I know there is an audience for me talking about this kind of stuff at this time. So… no major spoilers, I promise. There will be content for color, and if you want to go in fresh, you should probably stop at this point. And I'll split them into two (alongside the copies of Empyre #0 I also seem to have acquired). So here we go, Batman #92 from DC Comics. You know, the one with Punchline on the cover.

Batman #92, Batman vs Riddler, interior page
Batman #92, Batman vs Riddler, interior page

Batman #92: It Starts with The Penguin After St. Patrick's Day

It begins with The Penguin demanding Harvey Bullock arrest Deathstroke, with The Penguin saying he is pressing charges which, be honest, is a great way for any Batman comic to begin. Gotham has turned green as it has just been St Patrick's Day. But this is the Riddler's doing, working under the auspices of the Designer, and he has Gotham on lock-down for one of his riddles — the empty streets used for his puzzles. And no one is allowed to leave their homes or offices until it is over. Familiar feeling? Oh, and there are bombs everywhere as well. So, you know, it could be worse.

Batman #92, Harley Quinn and Catwoman, interior page
Batman #92, Harley Quinn and Catwoman, interior page

Nobody Locks Down Harley Quinn

While the Riddler's machinations have Gotham on lock-down so that the city streets can be used for one of his diabolical riddles, Catwoman and Harley are avoiding those streets by running through the sewers and fighting his design that way. We also get to see brand new never-before-seen Bat-vehicle to add to the Bat-garage in the Bat-cave.

Batman #92, Harley Quinn and Catwoman, interior page
Batman #92, Harley Quinn and Catwoman, interior page

Batman #92 Gets to the Punchline

And yes, we do get the Punchline. Full appearance, dialogue, and that action scene previously teased with Harley Quinn (below). Some will wonder if the above shot was the pitch-perfect way to introduce her, but the three-way chemistry between Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Punchline with all manner of agendas in conflict is a fun way to move us through this part of the story, as well as giving the reader a greater understanding of how the Gotham underworld works, and everyone's respective place in it.

Batman #92, Punchline, Harley Quinn and Catwoman, interior page
Batman #92, Punchline, Harley Quinn and Catwoman, interior page

Can Batman Unlock the Lock Down?

And for all of us stuck inside, it's a fun way to fantasize that it could be all over if Batman found the right clues, solved the right riddles and kicks the right bad guy. Quite the example of wish fulfillment.

Punchline vs Harley Quinn, interior page
Batman #92, Punchline vs Harley Quinn, interior page

BATMAN #92
(W) James Tynion IV (A) Guillem March (C) Tomeu Morey (L) Clayton Cowles
The greatest heist in history is underway in Gotham City, courtesy of the mysterious crimemaster known as the Designer! Batman knows what he needs to do, but in order to stop the plot, he must first escape the most ingenious death trap the Riddler has ever devised!In Shops: Apr 01, 2020
SRP: $3.99

The post Batman #92 Sees Gotham On Lock Down And No One Able To Leave The House appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

DC’s Weekly Comics to Continue Digitally During DIAMOND Stoppage

DC's plans during the coronavirus crisis continue to take shape.

Diving into the Comics Vault: Pep Comics #4

If you want to read the previous entry in this series click here. Pep Comics #4 has one of my favorite covers. Featuring The Shield, we see our hero fighting bad guys in tanks in what we can safely assume is Washington D.C. This is a bright, eye-catching cover, and should be considered a Golden Age classic.

pep comics

As with Pep Comics in the past, this issue opens with The Shield on his continued adventures in keeping America safe. This specific chapter is important as we have our first guest appearance, The Wizard. The Shield and Wizard enjoyed minor success in their own titular comic — Shield Wizard. In this issue of Pep Comics though, Shield rescued Wizard from what we can assume are German bad guys. This episode was more exciting than the first three and featured a lot more detail in both the art and plot.

We then dive into The Comet, who's been running from the cops for a few days. The last time we saw him he had been brainwashed into being a pawn for the evil Satan, but now that he was of sound mind, he's on the run from the law. Will he be able to clear his name? Will Comet be a good guy going forward, or an anti-hero? I'm not going to spoil it, despite that this is a 70+-year-old comic.

The rest of this issue of Pep Comics features The Press Guardian — with more action than it had before, Fu Chang, Prince Buttonhead, Sergeant Boyle, The Midshipman, The Rocket and the Queen of Diamonds, Giants of the West, Kayo Ward, and Bently of Scotland Yard.

As I said in my previous post, the Queen of Diamonds is a very bad ruler. In this issue, she's on an adventure with Rocket, which raises the question — who is watching her planet and her people? Bently of Scotland Yard also takes a turn in horror, as MLJ parodies The Hunchback of Notre Dame in this issue.

This whole issue is a huge improvement over the previous. Even the art is better. Of course, in just a handful of issues, the entire tone of Pep Comics will ultimately change. But for now, I'm enjoying this WWII ride.

The post Diving into the Comics Vault: Pep Comics #4 appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Enola Holmes Review: Sherlock Step Aside, Enola Is on the Case

In Victorian England, the Holmes family's reputation precedes them. Eldest brother Mycroft refrains from the street beat and prefers armchair detective work, while Sherlock is a London staple; the first to be contacted in the face of mystery and the first to deduce his way to a case's completion. However, there has been one person that both brothers have struggled to find – a fourteen-year-old girl named Enola…the youngest of the Holmes siblings.

Enola Holmes: The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets
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Writer: Nancy Springe Artist: Serena Blasco Publisher: IDW Comics Release Date: March 2020 Price: $14.99

cover (1)

There is good reason Enola does not want her brothers to find her. In the aftermath of their mother's disappearance, the traditional Holmes brothers made a unanimous decision to send the clever girl to a finishing school. Enola has other ventures in mind, however, and finding her mother is only part of the long journey the young girl finds herself on in an effort to eschew her gendered expectations.

IDW imprint Euro Comics announced the graphic novel adaptation of Nancy Springer's popular series mid-April 2018, and part three The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets hit shelves this March. It opens with young Enola discovering that her brother's esteemed partner, Dr. John H. Watson, has gone missing. Disguising herself to prevent detection from her brothers in the streets of London, Enola is determined to track down Sherlock's most famous partner. She begins at Watson's home, interviewing his distressed wife, hoping that she may have a clue in tracking down the long gone doctor. Rather than deciphering any information from Mrs. Watson, Enola notices an unsettling theme in none other than the floral arrangements sitting in the home study.

Panel 1

"White poppies," she comments to the distressed wife in a dismissive way. An expert in floral symbolism, Enola remarks that while a red poppy represents remembrance and hope, its white counterpart is generally noted to mean sleep. Convinced that these flowers represent something more sinister, she sets off on a series of clues to find the true meaning of these bouquets and how they could possibly lead to Dr. Watson.

Enola Holmes

Filled cover to cover with dynamic storytelling and picturesque art, Springer's work translates well to the comic book medium. There was considerate care in how this story was developed for a new medium, and Serena Blasco's artwork doesn't give the mystery away. The panels stretch in unique ways across each page, often putting heavy text in to distract readers from what could be a clue to Dr. Watson's whereabouts or the meaning of the nefarious floral arrangements. It is also refreshingly modern, with Enola striving for independence with her crafty disguises and astute observation skills in a time where young girls were encouraged to be seen and not heard. Fans of Sherlock Holmes will find themselves rooting against him, and finding a newfound hero in the family with the often-overlooked Enola.

Enola Holmes

The Enola Holmes: The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets trade runs for a cool $14.99 USD, and comes with Enola's own notes describing how to use flowers for encoded messages, ways to decode ciphers, and so much more. It serves as a great platform for anyone itching for a female protagonist with a flair for observational detective work, making fun of traditional tropes and expanding on what fans may have thought they knew about Sherlock Holmes and his universe. With the announcement that this will soon be adapted into a film, with Millie Bobbie Brown as the titular character, give yourself a chance to check this series out before the twist gets spoiled on the big screen.

 

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The post Enola Holmes Review: Sherlock Step Aside, Enola Is on the Case appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

DC Comics Decisions Spark Retailer Concern Over Coronavirus Plans

While a number of comic book publishers have announced they are suspending or restricting publication, physically and digitally, DC Comics announced last night that they are going to use multiple distribution options to get their comic books out in the world. physically and digitally. Which means a new printer, new distributors, venues that are still open and ComiXology/Kindle. Retail venues could include comic stores that are not yet shut down, bookstores, or mass-market stores more widely open for essential items. There has been a lot of concern about these plans, raised by the more outspoken comic book retailers.

Retailers Concerned about DC Comics Decisions
Photo by Rinku Dua / Shutterstock.com

STL151825Which does raise the fear that the obsession of certain comic book fans may lead them to travel from one shut down state to another state in search of a comic book, or from one sold-out store to another, potentially spreading the coronavirus as they go. In a world in which travel is being discouraged as much as possible, this would seem to be an anathema to that. Especially in a week when DC Comics is planned to be publishing Batman #92, featuring Punchline on her first covers.

There are other concerns about the effect this may have on the existing direct market. Cliff Biggers of Dr No's in Marietta, Georgia, writes, "So every major publisher of comics who has revealed their digital comics plan during the COVID shutdown has presented a united front to support brick-and-mortar comic shops and NOT try to move our print clientele to digital comics… except for DC. And now they have also issued a vague, unclear statement that they are looking at alternative methods of getting books to readers in areas where selling is allowed–but they DON'T specify that they're talking comic shops only."

Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience, San Francisco, California states "DC's announcement is disgraceful: by separating stores into have and have-nots they are going to hasten many stores' demise, and they are encouraging retailers to violate stay-at-home orders and risk their health for corporate profits. Further, not in the announcement, but buried in comments in the retailer threads (how disgusting, how cowardly!), they are not going to halt digital release of new books. This is a dire mistake, and even a tiny amount of cross-channel conversion will put the majority of retailers in enormous economic peril, when coupled with the above. I have never been more been more emphatically disheartened and disappointed by a so-called "partner".

Jesse James Criscione of Jesse James Comics wrote "Well, it was the ONE company I was glad to part ways with…..They are not a team player and continue to prove that point….. LCS Remember this day."

 

John Tinkness of Another Dimension Comics in Calgary, Alberta said "Many retailers are already in enormous economic peril due to the current shutdowns. ANY move DC or any other publisher makes against the best interests of the Direct Market could be fatal for the entire market."

Randy Myers of Collectors Corner, in Baltimore, Maryland added "Agreed, never thought that DC would make a decision less helpful in a crisis than Marvel to the survival of the Direct Market but here we are."

William Schanes former VP of Diamond called it a "Disastrous statement… no details, just fuels speculation"

Don Alsafi of G-Mart Comics in Chicago, Illinois posted "DC has just revealed themselves to be the enemy of the Direct Market. And releasing digital is nothing less than *training* comics readers to not buy from their LCS. It's the most shockingly stupid, absolutely destructive thing a major publisher could do."

Lawrence Docherty of Larry's Comics in Chelmsford, Massachussetts states "DC hasn't really told us their plan. They plan on alt distributing comics at some date. Every DC Comic that goes in sale digitally is sub only at my shop forever. I don't boycott, I'll get customers anything that they want. Yes even if it's Batman. If I was DC I'd make Batman #92 digital only this Wednesday. There's NO better book in the market to find digital ceiling with. Of course, there's no better book to betray the direct market and ComicsPro with. Let's not forget, on the forums we've been booted from we were told a crackerjack team of ComicsPro members were working behind the scenes with DC for a Solution for retailers. They own this."

So it looks at least if there is a lot of blame to go around. Possibly not the punchline that DC Comics were anticipating.

The post DC Comics Decisions Spark Retailer Concern Over Coronavirus Plans appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

DC Comics on Digital Disruption of Distribution in Coronavirus Shutdown

Last night, as comics publisher DC Comics' statement to retailers regarding their plans for publishing comic books during the coronavirus shutdown was sent to a number of media organisations, Bleeding Cool was able to confirm that DC Comics would be publishing a select number of titles digitally this Wednesday as well.  This move has caused concern from a number of retailers, many of whom are unable to open. The concerns of comic shop retailers are that such digital sales would remove potential print sales from them after a greater sense of normality resumes, however many months away that may be. Some of these retailers question why DC Comics may not have been as upfront about this decision as on their other moves during this period, relying on a briefing to Bleeding Cool rather than a statement.

But Adam Philips, Director – Marketing Service of DC Comics has now added to the original statement in a private Facebook group, passed to Bleeding Cool, where he states, "Here's where we are on digital. All our data shows the digital consumer and the physical consumer are two different audiences. For now, we're going to continue to release digital comics, but will revisit this if the pipeline for physical distribution continues to be challenged and disrupted."

The counter-argument to this is that the situation may drive print comics buyers towards digital, and may lose a percentage of that audience forever to comic book shops. It is also notable that Marvel Comics hasn't stated which way it will go this week – they still have their original printers operational, but have fewer print distribution options than DC Comics has. Here are the titles that DC Comics had planned for this Wednesday. And you can keep an eye on all of Bleeding Cool's coverage of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the comic book industry here.

DC Comics Digital Releases
DC Comics Digital Releases

 

The post DC Comics on Digital Disruption of Distribution in Coronavirus Shutdown appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Batman #92, Empyre #0 Lead Scheduled Releases This Week on ComiXology

Batman #92, Empyre #0: Avengers and Empyre #0: Fantastic Four lead the list of scheduled releases this week on Comixology. Bleeding Cool has taken a look at all the titles that the major comic book publishers still have scheduled on ComiXology for release this coming Wednesday, April 1st. While a number of publishers have pulled all titles in solidarity with Diamond Comic Distributors, some have not. And Marvel and DC Comics seem to have the full line-up listed, though DC Comics previously suggested to Bleeding Cool that it would be more of a curated selection.

Batman #92, DC Comics
Batman #92, DC Comics

DC Comics – Batman and More:

  • Batman #92
  • Batman: Creature of the Night
  • Batman: The Adventures Continue  #1
  • Daphne Byrne #4
  • Doom Patrol: The Silver Age Vol. 2
  • The Dreaming #20
  • Event Leviathan
  • gen:Lock #14
  • Harley Quinn Vol. 4: The Final Trial
  • Harley Quinn #72
  • Justice League #44
  • Justice League Odyssey #20
  • Justice League of America: The Nail: The Complete Collection
  • Justice League: Origin Deluxe Edition
  • Lois Lane #10
  • Metal Men #6
  • Strange Adventures #2
  • Teen Titans Go! To Camp #6
Empyre #0 Connecting Comic Book Covers, Marvel Comics
Empyre #0 Connecting Comic Book Covers, Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics – Empyre and More:

  • Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle
  • Ant-Man  #4 (of 5)
  • Avengers Of The Wastelands #4 (of 5)
  • Black Cat #11
  • Black Panther And The Agents Of Wakanda #8
  • Black Widow #1
  • Conan: The Book Of Thoth And Other Stories
  • Daredevil  #20
  • Deadpool #5
  • Doctor Doom #7
  • Dr. Strange #5
  • Empyre #0: Avengers
  • Empyre #0: Fantastic Four
  • Excalibur  #10
  • Ghost Rider Vol. 1: The King Of Hell
  • Magnificent Ms. Marvel #14
  • Marauders #10
  • Mephisto: Speak Of The Devil
  • Miles Morales: Spider-Man #17
  • Ms. Marvel by Saladin Ahmed Vol. 2: Stormranger
  • Spider-Man Noir #2 (of 5)
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1
  • Strange Academy #2
  •  Strikeforce  #8
  • Sword Master #10
  • Taskmaster #1 (of 5)
  • X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills Extended Edition

Image Comics:

Image Comics has no releases scheduled at this time. While Image hasn't released a statement recent enough to be considered relevant in the wake of moves by DC Comics and other publishers, as Bleeding Cool told you two weeks ago, the Image Comics staff was sent home around that time.

Dark Horse Comics:

  • Jia and the Nian Monster
  • Last Stop on the Red Line
  • Mob Psycho 100
  • Notes on a Case of Melancholia, or: A Little Death

Dynamite Entertainment:

  • Red Sonja: She-Devil With A Sword – Omnibus Vol. 5
  • Red Sonja: She-Devil With A Sword Omnibus Vol. 4

Boom Studios:

No digital releases from Boom Studios this week.  Boom recently issued a statement explaining that Boom has halted both the printing and digital release of single-issue comics at this time, while intending to continue to publish Graphic Novels and collections.

IDW Entertainment:

  • Camp Spirit
  • The Lab
  • Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader's Castle

Viz:

No digital releases from Viz this week.  Bleeding Cool is currently seeking confirmation from Viz as to their current operational status.

Archie Comics:

  • Archie's Girls Betty & Veronica #73
  • Archie's Girls Betty & Veronica #74
  • Betty & Veronica Double Digest #282
  • The New Archies Vol. 1
  • Sabrina: Something Wicked #1

AfterShock:

No digital releases from Aftershock this week.  Bleeding Cool is currently seeking confirmation from Viz as to their current operational status.

Action Lab:

  • Lucifer's Knight #1
  • Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir: Season Two #22: Queen Was
  • Mr. Beaver Vol. 1
  • Zombie Tramp #69

Oni Press:

No digital releases from Oni this week.  Bleeding Cool is currently seeking an update from Oni as to their current operational status.

Black Mask:

No digital releases from Black Mask this week.  Bleeding Cool is currently seeking an update from Black Mask as to their current operational status.

Titan Comics:

No digital releases from Titan this week.  Bleeding Cool is currently seeking an update from Titan as to their current operational status.

Valiant Comics:

There are no digital releases on the schedule from Valiant this month.  Bleeding Cool recently reported that we'd learned that the publisher would shut down its operations for a month.

Vault Comics:

  • Finger Guns #2
  • Sera & The Royal Stars #7

 

The post Batman #92, Empyre #0 Lead Scheduled Releases This Week on ComiXology appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

DARK PHOENIX Star James McAvoy Donates Over $340,000 To Help Battle COVID-19 In The UK

X-Men franchise star James McAvoy has donated a whopping £275,000 (roughly $340,000) to a crowdfunding campaign which was launched by a group of UK doctors to help them raise money for vital protective equipment needed for NHS (National Health Service) staff treating COVID-19.

The page was launched on Thursday and appealed for donations so that masks, visors, and gloves are more readily available for those "going to war without armour and protection."

The campaign's original target was £200,000, but thanks to McAvoy's generous donation, that's been extended to £500,000. Dr. Salaj Masand tells The Guardian, "We are overwhelmed and speechless at the trust and faith people have put into us to deliver this. The number of very generous donations from everyone doubled our target within three days."

Thanks to the Dark Phoenix star's "mindblowing" contribution, Masand says an order for 75,000 masks and 75,000 visors can now be placed immediately. 

"The government is doing all it can but the NHS needs all the help it can get," the doctor adds. "We are also competing with the commercial market who are trying to sell the same PPE for extraordinary prices. That is why we raised the capital ourselves and hope to help government distribute these supplies in the best possible way."

In an Instagram post, McAvoy made just a brief statement saying, "Money donated today will save lives...Help us to help the government to help the NHS."


Retro Review: The Legion Of Super-Heroes (Vol. 4) #51-61 By McCraw, Immonen, Boyd & Others For DC Comics!

The Legion of Super-Heroes (Vol. 4) #51-61, (December 1993 – September 1994)

Written by Tom McCraw (#51-61), Mark Waid (#60-61)

Co-plotted by Stuart Immonen (#57), Ron Boyd (#57)

Co-scripted by Mark Waid (#59)

Pencilled by Christopher Taylor (#51-52, 57), Stuart Immonen (#52-56, 58-61)

Inked by Wade Grawbadger (#51-52), Ron Boyd (#52-56, 58-61), Dave Cooper (#57)

Colour by Tom McCraw (#51-61)

Spoilers (from twenty-six to twenty-seven years ago)

I remember being cautiously optimistic when Tom and Mary Bierbaum left the Legion of Super-Heroes, handing the reins to Tom McCraw, who had been the colourist on this version of the Legion since it began, and who had frequently contributed to stories as part of the very organic-feeling creative team.  I especially liked that in his half of issue fifty (discussed in my last column), he brought back Wildfire, a favourite character of mine.  

I remember being not too sure of the problems that Universo was creating for the Legion, as it seemed a little simple, but my love for these characters, and my enthusiasm for Stuart Immonen’s art, had me on board for this latest creative team change.  What I didn’t know was that in a short time, McCraw would oversee some of the dumbest changes to the team I’d ever seen, and then ferry them to Zero Hour, when they would effectively cease to exist for all time.

Returning to these comics for the first time in decades, knowing how much I hate the ending to this run (even all these years later, and with the nice shiny new Legion book that DC is producing, I am still a little bitter about what was done to the Legion here), it’s hard to muster any real enthusiasm for reading them.  I hope that there is some decent stuff amidst all the things that I remember despising. Let’s find out together.

Let’s track who turned up in the title:

The Legion of Super-Heroes

  • Kent Shakespeare, formerly Impulse (#51-54)
  • Celeste Rockfish, aka Neon (formerly Celeste McCauley; #51-60)
  • Karate Kid (Val Armorr; #52)
  • Timber Wolf, aka Furball (Brin Londo; #52-60)
  • Ayla Ranzz, aka Pulse (formerly Lightning Lass and Light Lass; #52-61)
  • Rokk Krinn, aka Polestar (formerly Cosmic Boy; #52-57, 59-61)
  • Brainiac 5, aka B-5 (Querl Dox; #52-61)
  • Devlin O’Ryan (#52-54, 60)
  • Drura Sehpt, formerly Infectious Lass (#52-56, 58-59)
  • Imra Ardeen-Ranzz, formerly Saturn Girl (#52-54, 60-61)
  • Chameleon, formerly Chameleon Boy (Reep Daggle; #52, 54, 60)
  • Salu “Vi” Digby, aka Virus (formerly Shrinking Violet; #52-61)
  • Gim Allon, formerly Colossal Boy (#52, 60)
  • Dawnstar (#52, 55, 58-59)
  • Mysa Nal, aka Jewel (formerly The White Witch; #52-60)
  • Laurel Gand (#52-59)
  • Sussa Paka, aka Wave (formerly Spider Girl; #52-60)
  • Jo Nah, aka Emerald Dragon (formerly Ultra Boy #52-59, 61)
  • Blok (#52)
  • Projectra, formerly Sensor Girl (#52, 54, 60)
  • Nura Nal, formerly Dream Girl (#52, 56, 60-61)
  • Wildfire, aka N.R.G. (Drake Burroughs; #52-61)
  • Brekk Bannin, formerly Polar Boy (#52, 60)
  • Thom Kallor, formerly Star Boy (#52, 60-61)
  • Dirk Morgna, formerly Sun Boy (#52)
  • Jacques Foccart, formerly Invisible Kid (#53-54, 56, 58-59)
  • Garth Ranzz, formerly Lightning Lad (#54, 56, 60-61)
  • Troy Stewart, formerly Tyroc (President of New Earth; #54, 59)
  • Luornu Taine, formerly Triplicate Girl and Duplicate Girl (#57, 60-61)
  • Chuck Taine, formerly Bouncing Boy (#57, 60-61)
  • Flederweb (#57-59)
  • Valor (Lar Gand; #57, 59)
  • Tasmia Mallor, formerly Shadow Lass (#57, 59)
  • Jan Arrah, formerly Element Lad (#60-61)
  • Kid Quantum (James Cullin; #60)
  • Kono (Brita An’Nan; #60)
  • Tenzil Kem, formerly Matter-Eater Lad (#60-61)
  • Phantom Girl (Tinya Wazzo; #61)

The Legionnaires (aka Batch SW6)

  • Computo (Danielle Foccart; #54)
  • Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg; #59-60)
  • Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox; #59-61)
  • Alchemist (Jan Arrah; #59-61)
  • Apparition (Tinya Wazzo; #59-61)
  • Gossamer (Ayla Ranzz; #59-61)
  • Leviathan (Gim Allon; #59-60)
  • Dragonmage (Xao Jin; #59-60)
  • Triad (Luornu Durgo; #59-61)
  • Inferno (Dirk Morgna; #60-61)
  • Star Boy (Thom Kallor; #60-61)
  • Ultra Boy (Jo Nah; #60-61)
  • Dream Girl (Nura Nal; #60-61)
  • Matter-Eater Lad (Tenzil Kem; #60-61)
  • Shrinking Violet (Salu Digby; #60-61)
  • Catspaw (April Dumaka; #60)
  • Bouncing Boy (#60-61)
  • Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn; #61)
  • Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen; #61)
  • Live Wire (Garth Ranzz; #61)

Villains

  • Cocheta Drisden (#51)
  • Grimbor the Chain-Master (#51)
  • Karth Arn (#52)
  • Doctor Regulus (#52)
  • Glorith (#53, 58, 60)
  • The Time Trapper (#53, 61)
  • Universo (#53-55, 57-59)
  • Chairman Trombi (#55-56)
  • Kakiqik (Khund; #56)
  • Khunds (#57-58)
  • Chameleon Chief (#57-59)
  • Garak of the Glow (#57-58)
  • Ramjet (#57)
  • Firefist (#57-59)
  • Veilmist (#57-58)
  • Starfinger III (#57)
  • Starbright (#57)
  • Starlight (#57)
  • Pantok (Khund; #57-58)
  • Cupid (#57-58)
  • Mordru (#58, 60)

Guest Stars

  • Rush (Mara Williams, UP Academy; #51-52, 57)
  • Quake (UP Academy; #54)
  • R3Z7 (UP Academy; #54, 57)
  • Crystal Kid (UP Academy; #54, 58-59)
  • Stone Boy (UP Academy; #54, 57-59)
  • Stun (UP Academy; #54)
  • Colour Kid (UP Academy; #54, 57-59)
  • Shift (UP Academy; #54, 58)
  • Jagged (UP Academy; #57)
  • Dragonfly (UP Academy; #57)
  • Porcupine Pete (UP Academy; #57)
  • Visi-Lad (UP Academy; #57)
  • Evolvo Lad (Heroes of Lallor; #57-58)
  • Life Lass (Heroes of Lallor; #57-59)
  • Gas Girl (Heroes of Lallor; #57-59)
  • Duplicate Boy (Heroes of Lallor; #57-58)
  • Chlorophyll Kid (#57)
  • Dev-Em (#57, 59
  • Xera (UP Academy; #57)
  • Fire Lad (Staq Malvern, UP Academy; #57)
  • Lamprey (Tayla Skott, UP Academy; #57)
  • Ringtoss (UP Academy; #57)
  • Ron-Karr (UP Academy; #58)
  • The Infinite Man (Jaxon Rugarth; #60)

Supporting Characters

  • Ivy (#51, 54)
  • Garridan Ranzz (#51)
  • Spunge (#51)
  • Lynk (#51)
  • Scales (#51)
  • Rond Vidar (formerly the Green Lantern; #52-53, 57, 59-60)
  • Lydda Jath, formerly Night Girl (#52, 54, 60-61)
  • Englenna (Lauren’s nanny; #52, 54, 60)
  • Lauren Vidar (Rond and Laurel’s daughter; #52)
  • Pol Krinn (Rokk and Lydda’s son; #52, 54, 60)
  • Doctor Gym’ll (Medicus-One; #52)
  • Anton Relnic (UP Council Chairman; #53-54, 56-59)
  • King John/Jonn/Jon (Leader of UP Militia; #53-54, 56-59)
  • Graym Ranzz (#54)
  • Mekt Ranzz, formerly Lightning Lord (#54, 56, 60)
  • Loomis (#54-60)
  • Circadia Senius (Chronarch, Time Institute; #57, 59)
  • Officer Dvron (#60)

Let’s take a look at what happened in these books, with some commentary as we go:

  • McCraw’s first issue is a bit of a fill-in, set on Quarantine and finally showing us what’s going on with Kent Shakespeare and Celeste Rockfish.  The art is by Christopher Taylor, who has a Keith Giffen vibe to his art. It opens on Takron-Galtos (that should be Takron-Galtos II), as Cocheta Drisden, who we last saw fighting the Legion as a Dominion agent, attempts to use her control of men to break out of the prison planet.  Her attempt is foiled by two female SP officers. A news broadcast (it’s been ages since we’ve seen one of those in a Legion comic) shares that Drisden is being moved to the water planet Quarantine, news that makes an unknown man very unhappy. On Quarantine, Kent is talking to Ivy, explaining to her once again that he is leaving and that she can’t come with him.  She storms off. Celeste goes to check on Mara Williams, a young woman who was given speed powers that she can’t quite control by the Dominators, against her will. Mara talks about how frustrating it is that she can never lose her concentration, and Celeste tries to comfort her. A doctor comes with a new device that should help her manage her speed better. The vessel from Takron Galtos II approaches Quarantine, followed by a smaller vessel.  Celeste talks to a doctor about her own growing control over her powers (which we still don’t know much about), and sees the prisoner being brought in. Kent is talking with Ivy again, explaining why she can’t come with him to the Legion, when he hears an alarm. Kent finds the intruder, Grimbor, the Chain Master, a classic Legion villain, who is also Drisden’s father. He starts to fight Kent, and manages to catch him in some energy-draining chains.  Ivy tries to figure out what’s going on when the alarm cuts off suddenly. Celeste and Mara respond as well, and start to fight Grimbor. He traps Celeste in a cage, and uses some electronic bonds to short out the device on Mara’s neck. Ivy goes to get Garridan Ranzz, who is practicing using the mindblasts he apparently still has from his days as the villain Validus. Ivy knows he has these powers, and convinces him to come help her. They see Kent being taken to the infirmary, and while the Probe nurse tries to keep them away, Ivy gets another friend, Spunge, to absorb the energy of the bonds on Kent, freeing him.  She gathers the other kids to go track down Grimbor. They find Celeste and Mara, and then see Grimbor, who carries the unconscious Drisden. The kids attack him, and do a little better than expected, keeping him busy until Kent arrives. Kent starts to fight him again, and manages to free Celeste. Mara comes to, and uses her speed to disable Grimbor’s armor and weapons. After that, Kent punches him out. Later, we learn that when the device shorted out, it caused Mara to gain control of her abilities. Kent tells Ivy that he might take her with him, but she says she now has her own team to train.
  • Issue fifty-two has art duties shared by Stuart Immonen (in the present-day story), and Christopher Taylor handling flashbacks, which is great because of how much his art looks like late-volume three Keith Giffen art).  It opens with Brin dreaming about his early days in the Legion, when Karate Kid was training him to fight, and Ayla coming to get him for a date. He wakes up to find himself in Brainy’s lab, with Ayla standing over him.  Brainy is still examining Rokk, and not saying why, and he agrees that if Ayla keeps on eye on Brin, in case he transforms again, he can walk around headquarters with her. Brin remembers his father giving him the zuunium infusions that provided his strength.  His father collapsed and died, and somehow the evil android Karth Arn convinced Brin that he was himself the android Karth Arn. Eventually Brin escaped, and ended up with the Legion, where he slowly regained his humanity. Kent, Celeste, and Mara, who is now calling herself Rush, arrive on Talus (Mara is on her way to Xolnar to train with the UP Academy, where, we learn, the Subs are now working).  Jacques, Drura, and Devlin meet them, as Ayla and Brin walk past. Brin remembers being on the icy asteroid with Imra, Cham, Vi, and Gim back in the day. Brin and Imra shared a moment, just as Dawnstar and Ayla found them, which started the crack in Brin and Ayla’s relationship. As they continue their walk, Brin and Ayla see Rond working on repairs, and Mysa receiving mystical warnings of doom. They also see Lydda, Laurel, and Englenna spending time with the babies.  This causes Brin to remember how much his parents fought over how to best raise him. They see Sussa pestering Jo, and Brin remembers when Jo came to get him, in his Furball days, from Medicus-One, and the horror he felt at seeing his reflection. He also remembers a fight in the Five Year Gap with Doctor Regulus. In this fight, Brin was hurt badly when Regulus’s device, which was supposed to blow up a star, went off early. As Kent and Ayla rushed Brin to their cruiser, Wildfire realized that to save the star from exploding, he had to merge with it, leaving behind only an empty suit.  The newly returned Wildfire stands in his quarters going over containment suit options, and it’s clear that something has changed that he’s keeping a secret. Brin and Ayla comment on how withdrawn he’s been. Brin remembers when Ayla left him, and all the times that she’s supported him, especially when the Legion fought Karth Arn, and when Brin kicked his addiction to zuunium. He remembers Ayla sitting with him just before he transformed to Furball. She filled him in on the latest Legion happenings (the news of Imra’s second pregnancy creates a lot of continuity issues, as she has it happening at the same time that the Legion disbanded, which we knew to be at least two years before the twins were born).  In the present, Brin thanks Ayla for always being so supportive of him. Vi is in the monitor room, where she learns of how many planets are falling to the Khunds in their renewed war effort. Jo and Sussa join them, and they talk about going up against the Khunds. Rokk and Mysa interrupt to tell them that there’s another, more immediate threat. With Mordru out of the way, Glorith is going to become more powerful than ever, and so the Legion heads out to confront her. Jacques, Drura, and Mara stay behind, as their cruiser is too full (although in many ways, Mara’s super speed would be an asset against a villain who controls time).
  • Issue fifty-three is where things really start to fall apart.  To begin with, it’s a mess of an issue, jumping around in time some, ending abruptly, and containing an extra narration running across the bottom of most pages that I will tack on to the end of this summary.  Glorith ages Brainiac 5 to an advanced age while other members of the Legion (Laurel, Brin, Vi, and Ayla) fight against dinosaurs, Nazis, and ape men from different eras. Some rocks fall on Ayla’s legs, and Laurel can’t reach Glorith through her force field or something.  Glorith approaches Ayla, and Vi can’t get to her to help. Devlin grabs Glorith’s hand, and she powers up, triggering Devlin’s power to create some kind of feedback. On Talus, Jacques and Drura talk with Anton Relnic, the UP’s Council Chairman (although Jacques refers to him as Ambassador), who has video evidence of Tenzil Kem helping the Khunds take over a planet.  Relnic tells Jacques that the UP delegates are calling for the Legion to be arrested. Rond Vidar gets his time beacon viewer working, and witnesses something that needs to be dealt with quickly (although, if it’s in time, it probably doesn’t need to be), so he jumps into an untested Time Bubble and goes to check it out. The Legion arrive on Baaldur (I guess we’ve moved back in time without having that explained to us), where the Legion finds that Glorith has not repaired any of the damage from their last visit.  They find her cowering in her throne room (this is where that other narrative begins), having not recovered from their last encounter. She summons the Nazis, dinosaurs, and some killer robots, and the fight begins. She figures out that the Legion is there to distract her, and teleports away. Wildfire, Jo, and Mysa are working on their part of the plan. Jo has to hold up a heavy piece of equipment while Mysa prepares a spell, but Glorith arrives and grabs her by the neck. Wildfire tries to help Mysa, and Glorith recognizes something about him, which makes him angry.  Glorith tells Jo that she took Tinya from him, and then teleports away again. Elsewhere, Rokk is on another piece of equipment held aloft by Celeste, while Sussa stands by on a flying platform. Glorith appears and grabs Celeste’s neck, aging her. When she teleports away with Celeste, the thing Rokk is on starts to fall. Glorith returns to the fight, dropping the now-dead Celeste, and taking in the fighting. Kent sees what happened to Celeste, and rushes to her. Glorith grabs him and de-ages him to childhood. Brainy worries that they are losing, and almost gets killed, but Laurel saves him.  Glorith’s done something to Mysa, and Jo and Wildfire rush her towards the battle, intending to get Glorith to “turn her back.” Rokk, using some power enhancers, manages to use his latent magnetism to keep the device he was on aloft. He fails, but Sussa catches him before he falls. They decide to head to the others. This brings us back to the point where we started, with Brainy getting aged. Wildfire joins the fight, helping Laurel, while Jo looks for a safe place to put Mysa. Glorith approaches Ayla, and once again Devlin grabs her. This makes Glorith go all star-patterned, and the rest of the page all white, before she disappears (that other narrative ends here).  The team tries to pull things together – Devlin digs Ayla out of debris, Laurel tends to Old Brainy, while Young Kent cries over Celeste, and Mysa helps Brin, who looks human again. Jo wants to know where Tinya is. On Weber’s World, Universo, Relnic, and King Jonn discuss the evidence that Tenzil and Kono are working for the Khunds; various delegats talk about what to do, but it seems they are angry with the Legion. In this other narrative, an unnamed narrator (it could be either the Time Trapper or Mordru, with the latter being my guess) speaks to Glorith, starting by talking about how the founding Legionnaires tried to go to the 20th century, but were shunted to the Pocket Universe.  These trips made the Pocket Universe unstable, so Glorith was enhanced and sent to fight the Legion. She failed and was devolved, although she eventually restored herself. The Pocket Universe was eventually complicated by the Crisis, and that the Legion’s interest in examining inconsistencies in their stories led to the death of Superboy. This led to some stuff with the Time Trapper and some villains, while Glorith grew more powerful and killed everyone on Daxam. At this point, the narrator claims that a “secret army” was created on Earth, and hidden in the Time Institute. The art makes it clear that this is referring to the SW6 Legion. Later, Glorith defeated the Time Trapper, replacing his role in the timeline.  The SW6 Legion were discovered by the Dominators, which they assumed were clones, but eventually they broke free and helped fight the Dominators before calling themselves the Legionnaires and sending their Valor back to what they thought was their time. In the 20th century, Glorith caused the death of an early iteration of Valor, which broke the timestream, letting the narrator return (okay, now I think it’s the Time Trapper talking, and sometimes referring to himself in third person). As Devlin turns Glorith’s power on her, this narrator takes control of things, leaving her lying on the ground, perhaps dead, as he (?) decides to reshape the timestream and claiming his (?) heroes for his own. This is a lot of changes to cram into one issue, and not all of them are very clear.
  • Issue fifty-four comes with a silver foil cover with a large cut-out in the middle, revealing the Legion in their new uniforms and identities.  It opens on Baaldur, where the team is recovering from their fight with Glorith. Brainy struggles with his rapidly-aged body, while Vi frets over Ayla, Jo obsesses over what Glorith said about Tinya, Devlin reacts poorly to being a teenager again, while Mysa revels in it.  Kent, de-aged to about eleven or twelve, cries over Celeste’s body. Wildfire locates Rokk and Sussa, and brings them to the rest of the team. Sussa runs to Jo, but he rejects her violently. Celeste gets up, fully alive, but now completely green. The team goes to Quarantine, where Ivy seems pleased that Kent is about her age.  It seems like everyone is okay, and Brainy is in an exo-skeleton that helps his mobility. He tells Celeste that he’s suspected she’s been dead since her fight with Roxxas, and that her green energy has kept her body alive. The doctors suggest that Kent stay on Quarantine, and Brainy wants Devlin to stay there too. He talks to Rokk and the doctor about how he can’t figure out how to reverse Glorith’s work.  He wants to return to his lab on Talus. He mentions that he wants to check out Rokk as well. Kent’s not that happy to be staying behind. The team loads into their shuttle, and Jo tells Rokk that once they are back on Talus, he’s going to take a time bubble to look for Tinya. Sussa wants to get dropped off on the way, but Rokk wants her to join the team officially. Wildfire also wants to leave, and begins to argue with Rokk, but Ivy interrupts them.  On Winath, Lydda, Englenna, and the children arrive because Garth pulled some strings to keep them safe while the Legion deals with its problems with the UP. The Legion discover this problem as they approach Talus. A bunch of UP ships are waiting for them, and inform them that they’ve been charged with treason, and order them to surrender. Jo rushes out the airlock, determined to get to Talus. Wildfire and Laurel go after him, but the UP Academy students (many of whom are former Subs) interpret their movements as attacks, and a cadet named Quake uses his powers on them.  A robot called R3Z7 also starts fighting. Celeste goes to back them up, and Crystal Kid and Stone Boy join the fight. Someone called Stun manages to zap everyone on the shuttle, knocking them out. Color Kid takes out the others. On Weber’s World, Jacques and Drura are speaking with UP representatives, while Universo continues to speak against the Legion. The team is brought before the council, and Universo, who is the Earth (not New Earth?) ambassador presents evidence that the Legion have been aiding the Khunds in their invasion of UP space. The evidence shows Jo helping the Khunds fight the Dominators on Elia (so that’s who attacked them back in the early 30s of this series?).  Jacques thinks these images must be fake, and Laurel accuses Universo of being behind this plot, but the representatives go nuts, and Relnic announces that the Legion is being disbanded and placed in custody, with Jacques staying free to work in their defense. Jacques, invisible, follows Universo and sees him talk to someone over vidscreen about his success in getting the Legion taken down. We see that on Orando, Queen Projectra now has SP minders. Jacques sneaks a small tool kit to Brainy in his cell, and tells him and Rokk that they should free themselves, and that Loomis is in the docking bay waiting for them. Brainy gets them out of their cells, and Sussa gets them out of their bonds, but the alarms go off, and they have to fight their way to Loomis.  Vi seems to take command of things as they escape, which bothers Rokk. Once they are clear of Weber’s World, Loomis is able to use stealth mode to get them away. Vi basically takes command, and they decide to hide out in an old warehouse of Jo’s on Rimbor. They see that Loomis has filled the ship with all sorts of things, and after Vi suggests that they all disguise themselves and take on new identities, Laurel finds some goggles and a tarp. Universo contacts the Legionnaires on New Earth to let them know what’s happened, and feels smug. Imra comforts Lydda on Winath, while someone opens a door somewhere (that panel makes no sense to me). On Rimbor, Laurel and Mysa bargain in the market, selling off some of the things they don’t need, and Mysa uses her newfound feminine wiles to get a better deal.  In the warehouse, Loomis and Celeste work to upgrade their ship, which is in rough shape. Vi and Brin go over the evidence against them, realizing that there are few images of them in their new circumstances. Vi wonders how they have pictures of them from the Khund station they went to during the fight with Mordru. Brainy tells Wildfire that he’s building him a new suit that will better protect his body, which Ayla asks about, but they are interrupted by Laurel and Mysa returning. Rokk shows up in a new intense superhero suit. Sussa turns up in rough shape, and tells them that she lost Jo. We see that Jo is lying unconscious somewhere, with a few people wearing gang symbols standing over him.
  • Brainy, Laurel, and Vi gather around the injured Sussa.  She explains that she was separated from Jo. The narrative backs up, and we see that the Legion made it onto Rimbor because Jo, in a stealth suit, used a scrambler Brainy gave him to slip past the security satellites.  They flew very quickly to Jo’s warehouse, surprised that it was abandoned. Jo told them he was going to get them supplies, and then leave. Sussa tried to talk to her, and he yelled at her and stormed off. When the others tried to comfort her, she followed him, while Loomis realized that their ship was damaged.  On the street, Sussa caught up to Jo, but she got them noticed by someone. When Jo approached his other warehouse, he was caught by the security system. His friend, Kelvin, freed him, but just then a rival smuggling operation, the Dragins, attacked and made off with a shipment of silverale. Jo got shot, and Sussa got knocked out.  When she woke up later, she heard her guards talking about how all the silverale gangs are at war, and how the Broncs are being funded and protected by the government. Eventually, Sussa escaped, and got shot, but made her way back to the Legion. The team, now wearing new outfits and using new codenames (many of which were the ones that Jacques had suggested when he first rejoined the team), plans a rescue mission.  Rokk, now going by Polestar, refuses to lead it, so Vi gives the job to Wildfire, now going by N.R.G. Sussa shows off her new blue hairdo, and says she’s going to use the name Wave. On Starhaven, Dawnstar is going to repeat a test, some sort of vision quest thing, it appears, that she first passed years ago as a way of proving to herself that she is recovering from her injuries. Her chief encourages her, and she heads into a forest where she sees a vision of the stampede that almost killed her as a child, and of Mordru’s zombies that almost killed her on Talus.  Someone appears to her, shocking her. On Weber’s World, Universo gets the Rimborian ambassador to get in touch with his government, namely Chairman Trombi, to check and see if the Legion is there. Trombi contacts some of the Broncs, and we see that he answers to someone we don’t actually see. The Legion (Polestar, Laurel, Ayla, NRG, and sometimes Brin) follow Sussa to the place she escaped from, but it turns out to be a trap. The team is captured by the Dragins, and their leader, the Emerald Dragon, who Sussa recognizes as Jo before he knocks her out. Dawnstar is visited by a vision of Wildfire, and reconciles her feelings to him, before being confronted by a vision of Bounty, who talks about how she took over Dawny, and will do so again.  Dawnstar vows to kill her. On Rimbor, the team wakes up to find themselves captured. The Dragon is holding an auction, selling the Legion to whichever gang wants to pay the most. Some of them ask why they would want them, and the Dragon explains that there is a reward for them, but also has to explain why the Dragins don’t want it. Realizing that his argument isn’t a good one, Jo (the rest of the team know it’s him now) frees the Legion, and they attack the gang leaders. Jo makes it clear that he wants to unite the gangs against the Broncs. At the same time, Mysa is flirting with Trombi’s secretary, while Vi, shrunken down, sneaks into Trombi’s office (where he’s sleeping), and puts a device on his computer to access it. She sees mention of a “trade agreement” and it makes her angry, but we don’t know with whom yet.
  • Issue fifty-six introduces more of the Legion’s new code names, and it’s weird that everyone uses them so easily already.  NRG and Pulse (Ayla) are fighting some of the Broncs in the sewer alongside other Rimborian gangsters. As some Broncs escape, they get caught by Furball (Brin).  On Talus, we see that the Science Police have set up a command base in the Legion’s headquarters. They have scientists examining the time beacon that Rond Vidar set up, and discuss turning the place into the new Time Institute.  They also find the canister that Sussa stole, and get a Daxamite/Braalian SP officer to open it – it holds what looks like a jaw bone and some teeth. They report that the bones belong to Molock Hanscom, but the Captain (I think it’s Dvron, although they spell his name wrong) doesn’t recognize the name to be that of Starfinger.  The Sp’s searching Kono’s room get buried under all the stuff she’s hoarded. On Rimbor, Brainy (who is now going by B-5, which is the worst of these terrible codenames) experiments with his new more powerful forcefield, and gets a report from Virus (Vi) that she is sending over the information that she found. Vi is almost caught when Trombi wakes up and has to take a call, as the Broncos report to him that they are under attack.  Vi sneaks out and grabs Mysa, who is now being called Jewel (I guess that’s a play on Amethyst’s name?), and they disappear. Laurel (who still doesn’t appear to have a codename), Rokk, and Sussa fight some more gangsters. Rokk seems to be getting too much enjoyment out of using his new powers sadistically, and the gang they are working with turns on them. Rokk goes off on them, while Laurel grabs the Broncs’ leader. On Winath, we learn that the SP are searching the exports of the Ranzz’s farm, which makes Mekt angry.  On Weber’s World, Relnic meets with Jacques and Drura, but we don’t know why. Back at Jo’s headquarters, Ayla gets her injuries patched up, Laurel drops off the Broncs’ leader, and Laurel updates Jo. NRG finally gets Jo to explain why he captured them – he felt the need to help his old gang, and was worried that the Legion wouldn’t help him because he’d left them so abruptly (this is a very weak assertion). As Jo is about to deal with the gang that betrayed him, the rest of the Legion (Brainy, Vi, Mysa, and Celeste, who is now called Neon) bust in.  They quickly explain what’s happening, and Vi tells Jo off for not asking for help the proper way. She shows Jo what she learned, and the Broncs’ leader identifies his boss. We learn that the Broncs didn’t know that they were also working for the Khunds. Later, Trombi meets with his Khund liaison, a guy called Kakiqik. Jo and Vi come to Trombi’s office, disguised as an injured Bronc. They reveal themselves (the Khund hid before they came in) and confront him, and he calls for security help. The rest of the team, and the various gangs they allied with, begin to fight the SP outside the office building, which causes Celeste to worry that they are exposing themselves.  Kaliqik shows himself to Jo, and has one of the big synthetics that Jo and Kono fought at the beginning of this series with him. Jo starts to fight the thing, which is stronger than its predecessors, and they fall through the wall. Vi takes out the Khund, and then tells Brainy she’s ready for the next step. Jo takes out the synthetic with some help from NRG, but gets recognized as Ultra Boy in the process. Vi starts to transmit video everywhere showing that Trombi was working with the Khunds. Jo hands over his business to his friend Kelvin, and while the SP tell them they are under arrest, the Legion flies off, leaving in Loomis’s ship. On it, they set a course for the Darzyl system, and Vi lets Jo know that she’s angry with him.  She says that once they’ve cleared their names, they will help him find Tinya. Brainy wants to tell Vi something about Ayla. On Naltor, as Nura dreams, and her stenographer writes down her prognostications, the SP listen in, hoping for news of the Legion. Nura sees something that makes her wake up screaming, “Not him!” before passing out.
  • Issue fifty-seven is where things really start to fall off the rails.  Christopher Taylor returns as guest artist, and his work is not as tight and Giffen-esque as it was before, taking on more of a general 90s sloppiness.  There are a million characters in this issue, many of whom only show up for a panel or two with no real explanation of how they got there. It opens on Xolnar, where at the UP Military Academy, Porcupine Pete runs some of the cadets through Danger Room style drills.  Rush is disconcerted when he makes the robots they are fighting look like the Legion, which leads to a lecture for her about how they have to do their job. Luornu and some others talk more, and Visi-Lad comes to say that the Khunds are approaching the Darzyl system. Chuck wants Fire Lad to take a squad, but Luornu wants to be a part of it.  Darzyl has only one planet, and it’s owned by Starfinger II. The Khunds are already there when the Legion arrives. Their cloaking field allows them to get past the Khunds, and Vi has the team enter the battle. Somehow, Tenzil, the Heroes of Lallor, and Garak of the Glow are all there fighting for the Khunds. Ramjet (whoever that is) seems to be in charge of the Khund forces, and has them focus on the Legion.  We learn that Celeste’s body isn’t solid. Loomis warns them that the UP Academy has a ship approaching. Firefist, Veilmist, and Flederweb are also there, with a four-armed massive Khund who never gets named, and they enter Starfinger’s office. He has his guards and Starlight and Starbright fight them. A Khund ship approaches Weber’s World, where Stone Boy and King Jon (this is the third spelling of his name) are joined by Anton Relnic and Universo (who isn’t happy about all this).  The Khund ship docks, and Pantok, who I guess is important, emerges to enter into negotiations with Relnic for peace. Vi, Jo, and Brainy enter Starfinger’s office, where Firefist has just shot Starfinger through the chest. The Legion are surprised to see Firefist alive, and they start fighting. Brainy gets shot and collapses. Outside, Tenzil grabs Ayla and she shocks him, revealing that he’s really Chameleon Chief. On Weber’s world, Universo contacts his secret associates, only to learn that he’s been fired by them.  On Darzyl, the fighting continues, with most of the Legion fighting the Heroes of Lallor. Ayla tries to shock Evolvo Lad, but instead makes him light, like she did when she was Light Lass. Rokk gets angry when Laurel takes down Garak of the Glow. The Academy arrives, and join the fight. On Daxam, Valor is fighting Dev-Em, angry that they are both there to honor the anniversary of the Daxamite genocide. As they fight, a strange glow hits them, and they see their planet restored to the way it used to be. It lasts only a moment, but when it flashes away, Dev-Em is restored to the way he looked before the Five Year Gap.  On Darzyl, there is more fighting, involving some cadets that don’t even get named. It seems that the Legion and the Khunds aren’t able to stand up against them. Vi checks on Brainy, who is not badly injured; his suit is leaking though, making it hard for him to move. Luornu, Lamprey, and Fire Lad enter Starfinger’s office, where the Legion are still fighting the Khunds. Somehow, they can’t tell that’s what’s happening, and they start fighting everyone, although they also disappear in the panels where the Legion are still fighting the Khunds. Brainy catches Flederweb in a forcefield, so that when Firefist orders Veilmist to teleport them away, he is left behind.  Luornu is about to shoot Jo, who she doesn’t recognize, but Vi, who she does recognize, stops her. The cadets outside finally recognize the Heroes of Lallor, but as the fight continues, they are also teleported away, as are the remaining Khund forces. Jagged (a cadet) fires his energy at Garak of the Glow as he teleports away, and instead kills a cadet named Ringtoss. Wildfire lays down covering fire so the Legion can escape, as they feel the need to chase the Khunds. In the office, the fighting continues between the cadets and the Legion. Wildfire and Rokk break through the wall to gather everyone. When Loomis flies past the office, they all get in the ship (bringing Flederweb with them) and pursue the Khund ships.  Mysa flirts with Brin, while Brainy recognizes that Flederweb has a Titanian Mental Restrictor on him. Loomis tells everyone that he took the generator off the Academy ship, so they won’t be followed, and that the Khund ships are splitting up, one flying towards Weber’s World, and the other towards New Earth. Brainy frees Flederweb from the mind control, and he tells them that Firefist is aiming to blow up Weber’s World. Vi tells Loomis to head to Weber’s World, but Rokk wants to go to New Earth, and they argue again. Ayla turns into a little kid, which Brainy thinks is part of Glorith’s attack (obviously). Rokk steals the ship’s mini-pod and heads to New Earth, while Vi states that he’s like a different person lately.  In the time stream, we see that Rond Vidar is in a time bubble with Circadia Sentius, who died back when the Moon exploded. They are approaching what appears to be a large black hole in the stream. 
  • The Legion’s ship catches up to the Khund vessel as it approaches Weber’s World.  NRG and Celeste fly out to disable its engines and weapons systems, and most of the team fly over in one of Brainy’s forceshields.  Laurel rips open the airlock, while Celeste fires on the ship, making it blow up. The team engages some Khunds in a fight, and Mysa appears, having apparently used magic to make the explosion of the ship look real.  We see that Loomis, Vi, and Ayla are still on the intact ship, although it took some damage. Loomis manages to land it on the hull of Weber’s World. Inside the massive administrative planet, Jacques and Drura head to Relnic’s office.  Universo is telling Relnic that his contacts have told him that the Khunds are making a move on the core planets. Relnic still believes that the Legion is working with the Khunds. They are interrupted with news that the Legion’s ship has crashed onto the planet (but apparently they haven’t seen the Khund warship in orbit yet?).  In a mystical infinite library, Glorith rejuvenates, angry that the Time Trapper left her for dead. She decides to go to Baaldur to start to regain control of time. UP soldiers board the Legion ship, but find only Loomis and the young Ayla, who poses as his daughter. They are taken into custody. On the Khund ship, the Legion keeps fighting their way towards the command centre.  They are confronted by Firefist, Veilmist, the Heroes of Lallor, and a lot of Khunds. At the same time, Sussa, Wildfire, and Celeste are making their way to the supposed location of the bomb, but find themselves in a massive store room, with Garak of the Glow, Cupid (whoever she is) and Duplicate Boy waiting for them. They start to fight. On Weber’s World, Loomis demands to see Relnic.  Relnic arrives with King Jon and Jacques. Loomis tells them that the Khunds are making their move, and Relnic sends the academy to get Pantok and the other Khunds on the planet. Stone Boy, Colour Kid, Ron-Karr, and Shift try to get to Pantok, but he activates a device and then commits suicide. On the Khund ship, the Legion have trouble using their communicators. Duplicate Boy blasts through some of Sussa’s hair, causing her pain, and then tries to blast Celeste, who is intangible.  He blows out the hull of the ship, and it looks like some of them might get sucked out. A ship approaches from the outside, with an unknown Legionnaire aboard. On Weber’s World, Universo uses his hypnosis to interrogate one of the surviving Khunds, and learns that it’s planted on Weber’s World. Vi, who has been hiding in Ayla’s hair, heads off to find and defuse the bomb. Jacques doesn’t trust Universo, and presses King Jon to get the ambassador from Titan to read the Khund’s mind. On the Khund ship’s command centre, the Legion continues to fight while Brainy tries to access the ship’s systems.  He learns, while the others protect him, that there are actually several bombs planted around Weber’s World. While Brainy works to defuse the bombs from the ship, Laurel flies off to find them herself. The Titanian ambassador learns of the multiple bombs as well, and they rush to inform Relnic. Jacques decides to do some investigating of his own, while Loomis fails to get ahold of Vi. He also realizes that Ayla has taken off on him. Duplicate Boy is about to destroy Wildfire’s armor when he is suddenly knocked out by Dawnstar, who didn’t seem to know that Wildfire had returned (even though they were both on Talus at the same time from issues 50-52).  Celeste returns with everyone who was blown into space. Brainy still can’t shut down the bombs. Veilmist agrees to help them if Jo will “have her”, but Firefist kills her before she can do anything, hurting Mysa in the process. Laurel rushes around Weber’s World, locating bombs, while Ayla crawls through a ventilation shaft looking for Vi. Vi has mostly disabled the big bomb, but isn’t sure which wire to cut, and doesn’t know why help hasn’t come. She decides to take a chance, and we see a large explosion take place on Weber’s World. Glorith arrives on Tharn, entering Mordru’s cell. She offers him power if they work together, and restores some of his youth along with it.  He immediately attacks and absorbs the powers of the teachers of Sorcerers’ World, and then reverts to an even younger form. He gives Glorith an amulet to augment her powers, and they raise glasses to taking over the universe together.
  • After the explosion on Weber’s World, Crystal Kid and Stone Boy examine the damage, and find that a fusion powersphere is leaking.  They move to get away, but Valor comes swooping in and moves it away before it explodes. He, Tasmia, and Dev-Em saw the explosion on the station, and Lar feels bad that they weren’t there quickly enough to help.  Most of the Legion, with Jacques and Drura, are in a waiting room in Weber’s World’s medical facilities. Mysa is upset, and Brin comforts her. Brainy is cold, and talks about figuring out what Glorith’s done to them.  Mysa recaps what happened. As Laurel rushed around trying to get all of the bombs, and Vi worked to disarm the main bomb, the rest of the Legion were still fighting on the Khund ship. Flederweb got the mind dampener off Life Lass, but what stopped the fight was the explosion on Weber’s World.  It’s clear that something terrible happened from Mysa’s reaction, but we aren’t clear what yet. We learn from Jacques that the Heroes of Lallor have already returned home, taking Flederweb with them, to coordinate the fight against the Khunds. Jacques tells Celeste what happened with Universo. After the Titanian ambassador uncovered the truth about the multiple bombs, Loomis told Jacques that the child with him was Ayla, and that she’d gone off looking for Vi.  As word came to evacuate Weber’s World, Jacques sent a message to Drura, and she caught Universo trying to leave in a hidden shuttle. She gave him an illness, and by the time he woke up, he was on Takron-Galtos, since Jacques revealed that he’d been working with the Khunds all along. Jo is frustrated, as he can see that “she” is being operated on, but he doesn’t know how it’s going. Lar feels responsible, and Dawnstar’s attempts to talk to Wildfire go nowhere. When she asks why he won’t discuss their relationship (I mean, it’s been years at this point since they were together), he explains that he’s not the same man as before.  Dev-Em (who has stayed in his more classic, sane, form) talks to Shady about how it was Dawnstar and Celeste who found “her” after the explosion. Rond Vidar, and the Legionnaire versions of Invisible Kid and Brainiac 5 enter, just as a white flash turns Celeste from her now-regular green form into someone wearing a Darkstars uniform. Rond recognizes that there are issues with the time stream, and adult Brainy tells him that he needs to talk to him. Lyle brings the others up to speed, explaining that the three of them, with Circadia Sentius, were in a time bubble, trying to figure out why the stream was only a black void past the 31st century.  Circadia disappeared on them, and they figure that it’s all connected with the time issues they’ve been experiencing. They came looking for adult Brainy’s help. Jo wants to use the time bubble to go searching for Tinya, and Lar suddenly remembers that when he lived in the 20th century, he knew Phase, who he only now puts together might have been Tinya. Jo is angry at first, but then can’t decide what to do. Susa encourages him to go, which grants her some praise from Ayla. Ayla is preoccupied with worrying about Violet. She explains that when she found her, Vi was shocked by feedback from the bomb she successfully disarmed. Ayla tried to absorb the charge, but it was too late.  She’s sure Vi is dead, but just then she comes to her, and they embrace. Mysa keeps trying to flirt with Brin. The news reports that all charges against the Legion have been dropped. Just then, Troy Stewart, president of New Earth calls, asking for help with the unknown person who is using magnetism to threaten the domes of New Earth. Vi recognizes him as Rokk, and explains that his power gauntlets have affected his mind. Vi wants the Legion to go deal with this problem, but hasn’t realized that Laurel was badly hurt, and that people are in the waiting room for her as much as for Vi. Just then the doctor comes out, and it’s clear that Laurel did not survive her injuries (which doesn’t seem likely, to be honest).  Outside New Earth, Rokk is convinced he can gather the remaining debris to put the Earth back together again. When some of the Legionnaires approach him, he sees them as Khunds, and attacks them. It seems that the Legion are now not worrying about Rokk, and are instead headed towards Shanghalla to bury Laurel. Brainy accepts his younger self’s condolences by talking about how Laurel is on a journey of knowledge, although he does shed a tear (this is not the way he reacted to Supergirl’s death).
  • Issue sixty is the third chapter of the End of an Era crossover, continuing from issues of Legionnaires and Valor (see my columns on those titles for the big picture).  Glorith and Mordru have taken Rokk (who is now in his right mind again). He manages to get away from them in their magic time castle, and uses his diminished magnetic powers to elude some guards.  The problem is, the corridor he’s in takes him right back to his foes, who put him in a wooden stock. Mordru wants to kill him, but Glorith thinks he has a destiny, and that killing him would have consequences, like it did when she mucked around with Valor’s life in that title.  They discuss an “other”, who they need to deal with so they can have unlimited power. On Winath, Garth and Imra tell Lydda that Rokk’s been taken, but also that all of the Legion is on their way to help out. We see that Loomis, Celeste, and Wildfire have picked up Chuck, Luornu, and Gim, while Cham travels with Jan and the Legionnaires Inferno, Alchemist, Star Boy, and Gossamer.  Nura and Thom arrive on Winath, where we see that Mekt is telling some Legionnaires (Kid Quantum, Violet, Triad, Apparition, and Ultra Boy) stories about Rokk’s heroism. Kono is travelling with Tenzil, Brek, and Devlin. Mysa, Dragonmage, Projectra, and the two Nuras use magic to figure out what’s going on, and once they learn that Mordru has left Tharn, they figure that they will find them on Baaldur.  Vi, Ayla, and Celeste go to pay tribute to Laurel in the memorial garden, and are joined by the Legionnaire versions of Ayla and Vi. Brainy, Lyle, and Rond work in the lab trying to figure out what’s going on with the timestream, but none of them notice when Catspaw, who comes to interrupt them, is suddenly replaced by Inferno (who Brek calls Sun Boy) in a flash of light. Lyle suspects that there is a connection between Rokk’s abduction and what’s happening to time.  Glorith talks to Mordru about how the Time Trapper left her to die, but how she revived in the Infinite Library. He’s interested in seeing this place, and when Glorith pulls out her keye and opens a door to the Library, Rokk jumps through, using his powers to bring the key with him. The door closes behind him (Glorith says he won’t be able to get out without a spell of passage), and Rokk finds himself trapped in the Library. Gorith sees this as a victory, as this keeps Rokk from connecting with their true foe, and they move on to their next step.  All of the Legion and Legionnaries gather on Winath, as Cham and Vi tell them that they are going to get Rokk back. Dvron, who we haven’t seen in ages, calls Cham from Talus, to tell him that Gorith and Mordru have attacked the Legion’s former headquarters. The teams rush to two cruisers, and Lydda hands over her baby to Mekt, so she can join them as Night Girl. On Talus, the villains fight the SPs, and approach the time beacon. The Legions arrive, and Glorith immediately regresses Thom, Kid Quantum, Legionnaire Violet, and Chuck to small children.  Leviathan tries to knock over the time beacon, but Glorith ages him to dust, killing him. The adult Gim fades out of existence. Projectra, Jan, and Alchemist almost have Mordru defeated, but Glorith ages them. The Infinite Man, “the embodiment of the time-space continuum,” appears, and Glorith and Mordru use their magics to pull him apart. Things get strange, as many of the Legion look younger than they have in years, and are shown in their classic costumes (Garth even has a metal arm again), while Ayla is back to her proper age. Some more timeflashes occur, but they just move people around.  We see that Glorith and Mordru have absorbed the powers of the Infinite Man, and now they are tall, glow, and are prepared to “rule the universe.”
  • The final issue of the End of an Era crossover also has a Zero Hour logo on the cover.  The remaining members of the Legion and the Legionnaires arrive on the Pocket Earth, which is unstable, and made worse by the fact that Mordru has just been teleported into its core.  There’s no sign of New Earth, or any of the other heroes that were there before, and we learn that other team members have faded out of existence on the trip there. The heroes are barely out of their cruiser when an eruption hits, and their ship falls into magma.  They are only saved by SW6 Brainiac’s force shield. The spring into action, with the two Jan’s creating an inertron raft for them to stand on. Out of nowhere, the SW6 versions of Rokk, Imra, and Garth appear, alongside the adult Jo, having just arrived from the Zero Hour event.  They try to figure out what they should be doing to save the planet, when the Time Trapper arrives. They prepare to fight, but Adult Rokk emerges from his hood, telling them to wait, and that the Trapper is their best hope. Lydda hugs Rokk, but then fades away. The Trapper reveals to everyone that he is also Rokk Krinn, only an older version of him.  Rokk keeps the teams calm, while the Trapper explains that he divided the Legionnaires away from the Legion, at a time before they were touched by death (although, in this newer retcon, Kid Quantum had died by that point), which created the paradox that has been ruining time ever since. The Trapper feels that the only way to save the future is to have each Legionnaire unify with their Legion counterpart.  As he speaks, we see that other characters – Englenna, Garth and Imra’s sons, the UP Academy cadets, Loomis, Mekt, Ivy, and Kent Shakespeare, are all fading away. The Trapper believes that the universe can be rebuilt and realigned, by fixing the paradox of having two Legions. To speed things along, the planet erupts some more. Inferno doesn’t understand why he’s still there, since adult Dirk has been dead for a while.  Wildfire reveals that he, Drake Burroughs, has been contained inside Dirk’s body, and that he’s been too ashamed to tell anyone. The Dream Girls share that they don’t see a future anymore. Apparition starts to fade away, and Jo angrily insists that the Trapper save her. Instead, the Trapper brings the original Tinya back, and she and Jo embrace. The Trapper once again asks that everyone unify. The two Jans go first, blinking out in a flash of life.  Next, the Aylas and Vi, then the Luornus, followed by the Chucks. Before the two Nuras unify, adult Thom gives adult Nura one last kiss. The remaining heroes pair off, until all that’s left are the Rokks, the Garths, and the Imras, and the Trapper. They talk a little more about sacrifice, and how there will be a new thirtieth century emerging in their wake. The Trapper flies away, saying he has one last task to perform. The two sets of founders deal with another eruption, and then gather on a fragment of rock.  They say their goodbyes, and join hands, going out in a flash of light that shows us a few proud moments from the Legion’s history. The image of the three founders saving RJ Brande’s life fades away, and we are left with four empty, all-white pages.

And that was it.  After thirty-six years, DC basically pulled the plug on the Legion, rebooting it the next month, but divorcing it from its rich history and unparalleled depth of supporting characters and massive built environment.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t like this decision, and think that it has led to over twenty years of lower quality Legion comics. I’ve lost count of how many times they’ve rebooted or tried to fix the team, and I think it all could have been avoided had DC followed Keith Giffen’s plans when he retconned so much of the team’s continuity, editing out Superboy.

Regardless, the point of this column is more to discuss Tom McCraw’s whole run than the end of it, which I’ll get back to.

When these comics first came out, I remember really not liking them.  This time around, I see more strengths than I did before, and suspect that most of my problems with the title come from the firm deadline that Zero Hour would have imposed on everything.  McCraw’s story about the Legion being framed by Universo and the Khunds never had enough space to really breathe. Aside from the stupidity of the new identities (more on that soon), this story could have lasted a few more issues and had much higher stakes, had space not become so limited.  The pacing was off from the beginning, and there were too many story elements (Rokk’s growing madness, Jacque’s detective work, Jo’s desire to search for Tinya) that were shoehorned in but not properly explored. I also would have liked to see more of the United Planets Academy squad, and just how the Heroes of Lallor ended up mindslaves for the Khunds.

There were two errors in this run that I found to be almost completely unforgivable.  The random changes in age wrought by Glorith were hard to swallow. Had that situation lasted for only an issue or two, I’d have been fine with it, but it seems to have been mostly used to get rid of some characters like Kent and Devlin, and then wasn’t explored as much as it could have been.  Having only Ayla continue to de-age didn’t make a lot of sense either.

And then there’s the new costumes and identities.  It sort of makes sense, when the team is in hiding, to try to look different, but the team was identified as the Legion during their fight on Rimbor, and after that, all pretence to them not being the Legion was dropped.  So why continue calling Vi Virus, or Rokk Polestar? These names were, to a one, stupid, with B-5 being perhaps the worst “disguise” name ever created. It would be like calling Superman S-Man, and expecting no one to figure it out.  It just didn’t make sense to me that the team that Giffen and the Bierbaums so clearly portrayed as having outgrown code names and uniforms would suddenly be all excited to take on new identities, and then insist on calling each other by them, to the point where Brin nicknamed Mysa “Jools”.  

Long before we as readers knew that the book was scheduled to end, it became clear that so much of what Giffen and the Bierbaums had done with the title was being squandered.  It was sad to see the title that had been so intelligent and complex, with intricate plotting and characterization, devolve into a slapped together adventure book, before arguing itself out of existence.

I will say that it’s pretty clear why Stuart Immonen became a superstar after this run (I think he went from here to Superman before Nextwave made him a big name artist).  His storytelling is always clear, and his characters really breathe.  

I decided that I am going to give the reboot Legion a real chance.  I know I want to read Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s run, and Legion Lost, but I’m not convinced that I’ll get through everything before that.  After the Zero Hour-mandated zero issues, LSH and Legionnaires effectively became one book, with the story continuing from one title to the next every two weeks.  That means I’m going to combine them into one column.  

If you’d like to see the archives of all of my retro review columns, click here.

These comics have not been collected in any trades.

Comprehensive Rundown of Every Comic Book Publisher’s Current Status

It's been a hectic month full of announcements from comic book publishers reacting to the rapidly-changing business conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic. We've been keeping you informed about current matters within the industry here at Bleeding Cool, as every comic book publisher in the business assesses how to navigate these unprecedented conditions. Here's a current list of how a large portion of all the direct market comic book publishers are behaving regarding comic book publication this week — whether print or digitally, during the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, lock-ins and general restrictions.

Comic Book Publisher Artist drawing comic art
Photo by Sensay / Shutterstock.com

And you can keep an eye on how everything will change in the months of isolation to come, with this tag. And if you are a comic book publisher who wants to get the word out about your current operational status, please let us know. Until then…

ImageRetailerStrip

 

 

The post Comprehensive Rundown of Every Comic Book Publisher's Current Status appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Wolverine, X-Men, Batman Top Bleeding Cool Bestseller List 3/29/2020

Wolverine #2, and X-Men #9 were Marvel Comics' tops among retailers this week, with Batman: Curse of the White Knight #8 landing as DC Comics biggest success for the week among contributing retailers. This is the Top Ten Bleeding Cool Bestseller List, as compiled by a number of comic stores from their sales on Wednesday and Thursday. It measures what are known as the "Wednesday Warriors", those who can't wait till the weekend to get this week's comics. Though this week it became the Monday Maniacs… and clearly many stores had other matters on their minds. But if any retailers would like to report on what meager sales they may still have this week, we would really value them. Please contact richjohnston@bleedingcool.com.

Wolverine #2
Wolverine #2 from Marvel Comics

Wolverine Tops the Top Ten Bestselling Comics of the Week

  1. Wolverine #2
  2. X-Men #9
  3. Batman: Curse of the White Knight #8
  4. Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #2
  5. Amazing Spider-Man #42
  6. Hellions #1
  7. Flash #752
  8. Giant-Size X-Men: Nightcrawler #1
  9. X-Men/Fantastic Four #3
  10. Supergirl #40

Contributing Retailers Sound Off On Batman and More

If you would like to contribute to the retailer charts, let me know at richjohnston@bleedingcool.com.

This week, our retail contributors had this to say about Batman, the X-titles including X-Men and Wolverine, and more:

DC managed to place only one book in our store's top ten: Batman: Curse of the White Knight #8 (which only managed to take 7th place, the first time that an issue of this series failed to make it into the top five in our store). Marvel took eight of the week's top ten while Boom took one spot with Once & Future. It was primarily a mutant week, with five X-titles placing in the Top Ten. DC seems to be racing to irrelevance in the comics market; let's hope that they can find a way to get back to producing comics that readers want.

The Iowa governor declared that our type of business needs to be closed starting Friday so this is the last Bestseller list for us for awhile. Hopefully new comics will start up again around the same time the order gets lifted. We thought the order would be coming so we called our pull list customers to come and get comics while they could. Amazing Spider-Man should have made the list though for some reason I ordered way too low. I am assuming the various variants tripped me up when ordering the issue months ago and I overlooked the check-up. Hopefully we will be back to doing more Bestseller lists in the future. Good luck everyone and stay safe.

The post Wolverine, X-Men, Batman Top Bleeding Cool Bestseller List 3/29/2020 appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

DEADPOOL Concept Art Reveals A Different Costume For Colossus

While Deadpool was very much standalone in nature (mostly because the X-Men movies were still set in the past when it came out), Colossus' appearance provided a link to Fox's wider Marvel Universe and gave the Merc with the Mouth a familiar face to interact with. 

It was made clear from the start that Colossus was a member of the X-Men, but his costume was a tad generic and not exactly what fans from the comic books were hoping to see.

Well, thanks to Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld, we have an early piece of concept art from the 2016 movie showing the hero wearing a costume which pays homage to his comic book counterpart's classic appearance. It proves to be a clever way of bringing that to a live-action setting, especially in a world which never fully embraced the source material. 

Interestingly, this version of Colossus' costume doesn't seem to reference his links to the X-Men, so perhaps that wasn't always the plan for the hero in this movie? 

Whatever the case may be, concept art from Deadpool (and the rest of Fox's X-Men films) rarely finds its way online, so it's a treat to get this look at what might have been. Now, the franchise is in the hands of Marvel Studios, and their plans for the Merc with the Mouth are currently unclear. 

What are your thoughts on this design?
 

ST

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS Almost Included A Constantine/Swamp-Thing Team-Up

Crisis on Infinite Earths showrunner Marc Guggenheim has been talking a lot about the massive crossover event recently, but he's now revealed an absolutely heartbreaking piece of news about being denied the chance to have John Constantine and Swamp-Thing meet in the Arrowverse!

"I did want Swamp Thing to be a big part of the crossover, because - if you've got Constantine - to not have Constantine and Swamp Thing together is a missed opportunity," the executive producer reflected. "I'll just say that, for a variety of different reasons, I couldn't make that happen."

That has to be because Warner Bros. canceled the DC Universe series shortly after it premiered in May due to budgetary concerns. The beloved character from the critically acclaimed series did make a silent cameo in Crisis's closing montage (confirming that he's still out there somewhere!), but there's been no official word on future plans for Swamp-Thing on TV.

Though Guggenheim doesn't offer any specifics about not making the crossover happen in this interview, it's also possible Warner Bros. didn't want to get fans excited with a crossover like this one, especially as it's unlikely Alec Holland would suddenly start appearing on The CW's shows.

#SaveSwampThing!

Click HERE for more Swamp-Thing news from CBM!

Aerial Photos Reveal Abandoned Film Sets For JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION And THE LITTLE MERMAID

Hollywood productions across the globe has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, as of right now, we have no idea when work will resume on them. As a result, we're expecting many of 2021's movies to suffer serious delays, and some new aerial photos taken above London's Pinewood Studios in London offer a look at a few abandoned sets. 

As you can see by following the link in the Tweet below, what appears to be snowy terrain created for Jurassic World: Dominion has been left sitting idle, and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. 

For The Little Mermaid, we see Prince Eric's ship from the live-action adaptation of Disney's animated classic. It looks like a standard ship if we're being honest, but is definitely in-keeping with the sort of aesthetic many fans are expecting to see in the highly anticipated remake starring Halle Bailey. 

These sets won't remain abandoned forever, of course, but with the UK currently under lockdown, it could be a long time before the British government allows people to return to work.

Which of these movies are you guys looking forward to (hopefully) seeing next year?

HARLEY QUINN: BIRDS OF PREY Actor Bruno Oliver (Sal) Reveals How To Make That Epic Egg Sandwich

Actor Bruno Oliver only had a relatively minor role in Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, but Sal and his egg sandwich certainly made an impact. The delicious creation - which becomes something the title character spends most of the movie attempting to get her hands on - has really grabbed the attention of fans, and we've seen a lot of online recreations.

Well, Sal himself has now provided some instructions courtesy of Variety, while also revealing his surprise at the importance of the egg sandwich in the movie. "You couldn’t tell from the audition necessarily and as actors, we always worry about our scenes being cut," he explains. "I really didn’t understand the place the egg sandwich had in the movie until I saw it."

"It was definitely one of the oddest preparations as an actor I’ve done," he adds. "I spent the night destroying my kitchen making egg sandwiches over and over and over again." 

Noting that he's grateful for the response from Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey fans, Oliver mentioned how gratifying it's been seeing some of the comments online. "I’ve read a lot about the sandwich as a metaphor for Harley’s recovery. I’ve read a lot that refer to Sal as the only male in the movie who doesn’t screw her over."

Finding these ingredients in the midst of a lockdown is probably easier said than done at this point, but at least we now have an "official" recipe for Harley's favourite breakfast sandwich...
 

JUSTICE LEAGUE Director Zack Snyder Announces BATMAN v SUPERMAN Live Commentary TODAY

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn't to everyone's liking, but it brought the Caped Crusader and Man of Steel together in the same film for an epic battle comic book fans definitely appreciated. Now, director Zack Snyder has announced plans for a live Director's Commentary which will take place through Vero today. 

It takes place at 8am PDT, and the filmmaker is going to be breaking down the "Ultimate Edition" of Batman v Superman in great detail, something which should lead to plenty of big reveals!

Snyder has instructed fans that they should open Vero a few minutes before 8am, and then click the banner at the top of their feed which says "1 LIVE EVENT." From there, it will display "Offline" and "Buffering" until the stream goes live, and the filmmaker will then instruct viewers when to hit play and start watching Batman v Superman with him. 

It's a really cool idea, and you have to hope it will lead to reveals about both this movie and the Snyder Cut of Justice League (especially when it comes to that Knightmare sequence). 

Check out Snyder's announcement below:
 

THE MANDALORIAN Artwork Reveals Michael Biehn’s Bounty Hunter In Season 2 Of The Disney+ Series

The Mandalorian season two is scheduled to arrive on Disney+ this fall (unless it gets hit by any coronavirus-related delays), and we recently learned that The Terminator's Michael Biehn will play a bounty hunter in the show. Details beyond that were scarce, but it's been said that he has a history with the Mandalorian and may be an ally to him.

Now, thanks to Making Star Wars, we have a first look at the character he will play! 

As you can see below, he's going to have a pretty unique look in the hit series, and it definitely looks like at least some of what he's wearing could have ties to the Imperials. The question is, are they trophies or did he spend time working for the villainous group in recent years?

Whatever the case may be, this currently unnamed character has a classic Star Wars look and feel, and it's not hard to imagine him becoming a fan-favourite (it also helps that he looks a little like an action figure come to life). Biehn's casting is one of the biggest pieces of news we've had about The Mandalorian, though Rosario Dawson as Ashoka Tano might just top that! 

What do you guys think about the show's newest bounty hunter?
 

JT

DC Comics Universe & New Teen Titans #1-2 Spoilers & Review: Robin Leaves Batman For A New Teen Team! Plus Enter Deathstroke The Terminator! (1980) Retro Review!

DC Comics Universe and New Teen Titans #1-2 Spoilers and Review follows.

Robin Leaves Batman For A New Teen Team! Plus Enter Deathstroke The Terminator! (1980) Retro Review!

Story Title: Issue #1: Chapter One: The Birth of the Titans! + Chapter Two: New York Nightmare, and Issue #2: Today… The Terminator!

Written by: Marv Wolfman
Penciled by: George Peréz
Inked by: Romeo Tanghal
Colored by: Adrienne Roy
Lettered by: Ben Oda
Editor: Len Wein
Publisher: DC Comics

(NOTE: Originally published on May 28, 2003.)

There are many books from years gone by that continue to stand the test of time and are measuring sticks upon which comic book greatness is measured. Watchmen is clearly one, as are the Dave Gibbons penciled issues of the 1980’s Green Lantern (interestingly, the same artist of the Watchmen). However, in light of DC’s summer relaunches of the Teen Titans and Outsiders, it seems appropriate to take the time now to look back 20 years or so to where the definitive runs of these two series began — periods in their respective runs that continue to be solid reads that surpass many of the titles on comic shelves today in terms of quality and heart. This is one of my two reviews this week — reviews that will look at the respective first arcs of 1980’s The New Teen Titans, and 1983’s Batman and the Outsiders.

While the Teen Titans team made their first appearance in 1964’s Brave and the Bold #54, and starred in their first self-titled series in 1966, the Marv Wolfman and George Peréz 1980’s The New Teen Titans is fondly remembered and recognized as the “definitive” run for the Titans franchise. DC actually reinforced this notion by featuring issues from the 1980’s Wolfman / Peréz run as the first Titans-related Archive Edition. DC is only now planning an Archive Edition of the “Silver Age” 1960’s Teen Titans, to be released this summer to coincide with the new comic series launch, and animated TV series premiere.

Instead of cracking open my New Teen Titans Archive Edition, I decided to review the actual first two issues of The New Teen Titans from 1980. I know this bucks conventional “wisdom” as the industry and contemporary “collectors” are so wrapped up with “slabbing” comic books in plastic or bagging books and not actually doing what should be done with comic books — actually reading them! I recognize that this medium is a business, but I think its gone too far to satisfy speculators, insiders, CEOs with their “bottom lines”, and older fans. That’s not a bad thing unless we also look to make inroads among people that don’t traditionally “read” comics and the younger demographic, which is dwindling.

The industry learned nothing from the mess that was the 1990s for the comic industry — gimmicks and multiple covers. Today, we have more elitist gimmicks to gouge readers, or should I say “consumers”. Now companies are putting out hard covers, and more hard covers that collect issues of smaller preceding hard covers (say that ten times fast! Whew.). One need look no further than Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man, and DC’s Batman “Hush” arc by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee. We’re pricing comics out of the hands of kids and reinforcing it as an elitist niche market. Comic book prices need to come down and the elitist gimmicks have to stop. We need a balance between the comic company corporate bottom line, fan accessibility / affordability, and reason — do readers really need a hard cover for the first six issues of a series, another hard cover for the next six issues, a further hard cover that combines those twelve issues, and then a gaggle of trade paperbacks that cover the same issues? No. This type of corporate gluttony will hurry us deeper into the industry’s cyclical decline. Wouldn’t one hard cover and one trade paperback suffice? Yes.

Ah… the 1980’s were so different. Weren’t they?

The enigmatic Raven, daughter of demon and human, started her crusade to create a “New” Teen Titans team in the pages of 1980’s DC Comic Presents (DCCP). She uses her mystical powers to invade the dreams of Batman sidekick Robin, leader of the Silver Age Teen Titans, and fills them with images of the new team battling side-by-side — a premonition of events to come. The New Teen Titans team debuted within DCCP #26 as part of a 16 page preview, followed by the launch of their self-titled series in the same year.

Their premiere issue goes about chronicling how the team forms, and opens with a classic George Peréz splash page of the yet-to-be formed team in action.

The New Teen Titans #1 is divided into 3 parts, an epilogue and two chapters — very similar to the type of stories from the Golden and Silver Ages of comics.

The epilogue introduces us to our first future “New” Teen Titan, Starfire — an alien princess called Koriand’r from the planet Tamaran, able to absorb energy and hurl “starbolts”. Readers find her in mid-escape from her reptilian-like Gordian captors, fleeing their slave space ship with one of their own pods.

As the scantily-clad and buxom Starfire unknowingly heads towards Earth, the epilogue ends and the first chapter of the issue unfolds with Raven once-again haunting the dreams of Robin. Dick Grayson, the “teen”-wonder’s alter ego, awakens from his dream premonitions in a cold sweat to find Raven, in live technicolor, at the foot of his bed. An interesting first “official” meeting, to be sure. Raven states that she and the world have need of a new Titans team, and further explains that she peppered Robin’s dreams with glimpses of the future so that once they met, he would trust her. Bucking all sense of logic, he does trust her and accepts her directions. The teen wonder unknowingly lays the groundwork for an off-panel / off-camera recruitment meeting between the fastest teen alive, Wally West the Kid Flash, and Raven.

An interesting scene has Robin leaving Wayne Manor and walking past a pipe-smoking Bruce Wayne. I’m sure the anti-smoking advocates of the day were not too pleased to discover that Bat-tobacco was part of the Dark Knight’s arsenal.

The adventure continues with Robin venturing off at Raven’s behest to track down Donna Troy, Wonder Girl. Readers get a quick flashback 411 on the events that led her becoming Wonder Woman‘s sidekick, as she is joined by Robin and another “new” team member, Garfield “Gar” Logan, the green shape-shifting prankster Changeling — formerly Beast Boy, of Silver Age Doom Patrol fame.

As Wonder Girl muses about what’s brought these two heroes to her figurative doorstep, an eager Kid Flash joins the foray and, after some quick explanations about Raven and the like, our Titans quartet venture off to meet… the half-man, half-machine Cyborg, Victor Stone. Stone’s a disgruntled African-American college athlete, DC was unfortunately playing right into stereotypes here, upset that his father turned him into a “freak”. After meeting the Titans, he agrees to join his fellow “freaks” provided that they “muzzle the green jerk”, as Changeling was being written as a chauvinist prankster. Case in point — when Raven informs the group that there is one more female member that they need to recruit, Changling’s hearty response is “Is it too late to pray that she’s stacked?”. I guess he does get his wish, as Starfire fits his, um, requested measurements, but his prattling does get stale very quickly.

Speaking of Starfire, chapter two opens with the New Teen Titans battling the Gordian slavers over United Nations Plaza in New York, during a time in history when the U.N. was respected and relevant. As they make short work of the alien attackers, Raven is caught unawares that Starfire is nowhere to be found. The chapter continues with readers meeting Grant Wilson for the first time. The relevance of this character will be explained shortly. Suffice it to say that his brief presence in comics-history has lasting repercussions for the Titans and their arch-nemesis… but more on that later. Grant has brought a wounded Starfire to his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend’s apartment to recuperate from injuries she sustained fleeing the Gordians.

The Gordians, followed by the Titans, track down the wounded Tamaran princess and quickly destroy the apartment in a battle over Starfire. She is captured and taken away by the aliens, as an angry Grant Wilson grabs Robin and demands restitution for the damage they caused. However, the scene ends with the Titans heading to find Starfire, as Grant’s ex-girlfriend blames him for the damage since he brought the scantily clad alien to her apartment in the first place. Foreshadowing things to come, the omniscient narrator informs readers that “Grant Wilson feels his rage build, a rage that will not quickly abate…”

The issue ends with the Titans freeing Starfire from a Gordian space ship high above the U.N. Plaza, and destroying that ship in the process. This sets up a future Gordian battle over Starfire with the Titans, while the very last panel leads into their next issue’s adventure — Grant Wilson teaming with a mysterious criminal organization called H.I.V.E. to destroy the Titans.

Issue #1’s science-fiction adventure leads into issue #2’s more grounded traditional heroes vs. villains humanistic story, and the introduction of the best-ever costumed comic book character, Deathstroke: The Terminator.

The second issue opens with Deathstroke turning down a contract by H.I.V.E. to destroy the Teen Titans because they won’t meet his payment terms. H.I.V.E., an acronym for the Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Eliminations, plot to create their own “terminator” and covertly scan and test Deathstroke as he barges out of their compound.

Grant Wilson, still enraged over the Titans, volunteers to be H.I.V.E.’s guinea pig to be become their own personal “terminator”. A newly-powered Wilson, now going by the nom de guerre The Ravager accepts the contract that Deathstroke turned down to kill the Titans.

This issue contains many getting-to-know-you scenes with the Titans-at-play at Gar Logan’s millionaire father’s mansion. In addition, readers are given hints about Raven’s demonic origins, setting up the team’s future battle with her father…. the Terrible Trigon. There’s also an interesting moment in the title as Starfire, still not capable of verbally communicating with the Titans, kisses Robin to “learn” English. It’s a funny scene:

Starfire: Hi, Robin. You know you’re really cute?

Kid Flash: Huh? She Talks? But– How– ?

Starfire: Physical contact, Kid Flash. I simply absorbed your language!

Robin: Y-You had to kiss me to do that?

Starfire: Not really. But it was certainly more enjoyable this way.

I found this to be a clever piece of dialogue. Much of writer Marv Wolfman’s dialogue in the first issue could be argued to be “campy”, but improved dramatically in the second issue.

In addition to the lighter side of the Titans this issue, Cyborg confronts his father at S.T.A.R. Labs to get to truth behind why he’s half-machine. After a father-son argument, Cyborg storms off and is confronted by… the Ravager. After a brief battle, with Cyborg beginning to prevail… Deathstroke interferes, immobilizes Cyborg, and kidnaps a wounded Ravager.

Deathstroke’s involvement may seem odd to readers, but we soon discover that he’s really Slade Wilson, father of Grant Wilson, the Ravager. They too have a father-son argument, although the unmasked Ravager doesn’t know that the masked Deathstroke is his father.

Later, the Ravager confronts the Titans and is surprised to find Deathstroke coming to his side. They reluctantly team to battle the Titans. However, since H.I.V.E. did not perfect the procedure that gave Grant Wilson Deathstroke-like powers, in the midst of his battle with the Titans, the Ravager’s body started to feed off of itself. During the melee Grant Wilson’s body just spontaneously disintegrated. Deathstroke blamed the Titans for his son’s death, and a great rivalry was born leading to many memorable confrontations, including the classic Judas Contract saga, and an ongoing Deathstroke: The Terminator series that lasted 5 years, 60 issues, and 4 annuals, from 1991 to 1996.

< Overall, the first two issues of the New Teen Titans were solid from a plotting perspective, but felt awkward in some spots, particularly around some of the dialogue in the first issue. There's a lot going on in these two issues and they actually feel rushed in some spots. That's to be expected in any new series where the creators are introducing many new characters and concepts, in addition to trying to move a story along. Having said that, writer Marv Wolfman delivers very engaging and entertaining tales that would lead this title into a battle with Marvel's Uncanny X-Men for comics supremacy in the 1980s.

There’s not much you can say about George Peréz art that hasn’t been said before. He is one of the greatest artists of all time, bar none. He revolutionized how comic stories are told visually. His influence on this medium is significant, recognized, and often emulated. His current Solus title from Crossgen is good, but I still hold his Titans run and work on the 1985-86 Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-series as his defining moments in this medium.

George Peréz’s cover to The New Teen Titans #1 is one of the most recognized comic book covers ever produced. You can find it on writer Marv Wolfman’s official website.

The future looks bright for the Teen Titans franchise. With a July 2003 comic book series launch that brings the franchise closer philosophically and visually to the 1980’s series, and an animated TV series premiering in the same month, you’ll be able to get your regular Titans fix on the small screen and in your local comics shoppe.

DC announces plans to explore “a multi-distributor model”

On Saturday afternoon, DC Entertainment finally released a statement to retailers about their plans to deal with the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. While brief, the statement alludes to more details to be announced on a potential “multi-distributor model to provide us with the flexibility needed.” With Diamond Distribution currently not shipping new product, this could have a huge ripple effect.

For now, all periodical shipping up to June 24 will be fully returnable. DC’s printer is currently shut down, so they would need to find an alternative for production as well.

The statement comes amid ongoing speculation that DC will be exploring digital distribution for the period when physical comics will not be available from Diamond – and I’m hearing this move was confirmed to retailers.

While other publishers have announced they will not make digital comics available for comics that are not available in print, DC seems to be going ahead to get the comics out.

ComiXology, the primary digital distribution channel has not made any statements about what will be available on April 1, however I’m told that they only sell what publishers give them to sell, and it’s up to the individual publishers to decide what will be available.

DC’s statement is below.

To Direct Market Retailers:

First, the entire team here at DC hopes that you, your family and your employees are staying safe and healthy during this very tough and precarious time.  We know that you have been waiting for DC to comment on the state-of-affairs and to address any measures we will take to help our community lighten the burden of the disruption to our business, and we’ve been working hard on a long-term, solution-focused plan.  Here is how we will help:

Periodicals and books with in-store dates between March 18, 2020 and June 24, 2020 will be fully returnable. We’ll even provide credit for your separate return shipping of these items only.

Additionally, because we anticipate that continued disruption to business operations will create regional volatility, DC is exploring a multi-distributor model to provide us with the flexibility needed during this crisis to get new content to our readers on an ongoing basis.  In the short-term, we continue to engage in active conversations with Diamond to help us solve the distribution issues that have arisen and hope to get new product to stores that want or need it as soon as possible.  We will provide additional information about how we’ll make that happen in the coming days.

Thanks for your patience with us.  DC will continue to monitor the situation, continue to speak with you directly, and continue to support you through the days ahead.  You are the lifeblood of this industry.

All best,

The DC Team

The post DC announces plans to explore “a multi-distributor model” appeared first on The Beat.

THE BATMAN Star John Turturro Comments On Playing Villain Carmine Falcone In The DC Comics Movie

The Batman is a movie shrouded in secrecy, but a number of major characters who are set to appear in the movie have been revealed, including the villainous Carmine Falcone. A major part of the Dark Knight's early adventures in Gotham City, the mob boss will be played by John Turturro, an expected but exciting casting decision on director Matt Reeves' part. 

During a recent interview with The Inquirer, the actor was asked about joining the DC Extended Universe, and while he couldn't reveal much, the Transformers star is clearly excited about the role.

"I’m playing the bad guy," he revealed. "I loved Batman growing up, but I’m really a Zorro fan [Laughs]. So there’s no Batman without Zorro. When I was 5 years old, I thought I was Zorro with a sword. I had a stick that I hit my father with all the time. Then, when Batman came on TV, it was a big thrill."

"I read some of the comics. My sons always read DC comics," Turturro continued. "So I played with those for years. I like Matt Reeves, the director. It’s an interesting cast."

Seeing what the actor brings to The Batman promises to be a lot of fun, and Falcone is definitely a character who deserves better on the big screen than what we've seen from previous versions. How much of a role he'll play remains to be seen, though, especially with characters like The Riddler and The Penguin also set to factor into the upcoming reboot. 

In the comic books, Carmine "The Roman" Falcone was the head of organized crime in Gotham City during the early years of Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham.

Are you excited to see what Turturro does with this villain?

DOCTOR STRANGE Writer Reveals Why Jessica Chastain Turned Down The Role Of Christine Palmer

Doctor Strange was a fun movie, and a strong introduction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Sorcerer Supreme. However, one of its biggest failings (aside from how closely it followed the origin story blueprint set out by Iron Man) was the way it treated Rachel McAdams' Christine Palmer.

Treated as little more than a standard love interest, she wasn't the Night Nurse fans know and love from the comic books, and it was recently revealed that McAdams won't return for the sequel.

During a recent interview with Junkfood Cinema, Doctor Strange writer C. Robert Cargill revealed that Dark Phoenix star Jessica Chastain nealy landed the role! "This is the interesting thing that Hollywood’s starting to find out, is that a lot of the actresses out there want to be superheroes as much as the actors do. I know this happened with Scott [Derrickson]. He went to Jessica Chastain to get her on Doctor Strange, because we were considering her."

"She’s like, ‘Hey, look, this project sounds awesome, and I would love to do it. But I’m only going to get one shot at being in a Marvel film and becoming a Marvel character; and I trained in ballet, and I really want to wear a cape.’ And that was the coolest rejection ever. She wanted to be in a Marvel movie, but she wanted to be the superhero, not the badass doctor Night Nurse."

That desire to "wear a cape" ultimately led to Chastain playing "Smith" in the aforementioned X-Men movie, a decision you have to believe the actress ended up regretting. After all, she may have had superpowers, but the role was a critical and commercial flop, and not what fans were hoping for from her first role in a major comic book blockbuster. 

There is a chance she could get another shot at playing a hero or villain on the big screen, of course, but we've heard nothing which points to that being the case as of right now. 

Who do you think Chastain could play either in the MCU or the DC Extended Universe?

Hit the "Next" button below to check out some MCU
concept art which would have been a game-changer!

 

Valkyrie In Thor: The Dark World

Valkyrie

We were first introduced to the MCU's version of Valkyrie when Tessa Thompson took on the role in Thor: Ragnarok. However, we could have seen the character much sooner in The Dark World!

Details about how she was going to factor into the sequel were never revealed, but Josh Nizzi's version of the character was definitely more in line with her comic book counterpart. Taika Waititi and Tessa Thompson's re-invention of the Asgardian was no bad thing, however, but it's still hard not to wonder about what might have been. 

The God of Thunder could have done with some backup when he took on Malekith, but it was an already very busy movie without adding yet another major comic book character to the mix.
 

Arnim Zola's Ant-Man Return

Zola

Ant-Man kicked off with a flashback to Hank Pym's decision to leave S.H.I.E.L.D. behind him, and it was during that sequence we got to see past versions of characters like Howard Stark and Peggy Carter. However, there was very nearly another founding member of the spy organisation there.

Arnim Zola died shortly after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, but as The Winter Soldier confirmed, he uploaded his consciousness into a sophisticated computer system.

As a result, we would have seen that comic book accurate version of Zola in Ant-Man sitting alongside the likes of Howard and Peggy (still manipulating S.H.I.E.L.D. on behalf of HYDRA). This would have been very cool to see, but perhaps Marvel Studios decided it was just too weird?
 

The Hulk Busts Out

Giant

In an earlier version of Avengers: Infinity War, Bruce Banner was finally going to come to an agreement with The Hulk and that was set to lead to the emergence of Smart Hulk in Wakanda. 

It wasn't until the last-minute that reshoots changed this as the Russo Brothers decided that a victory for the Jade Giant like this just didn't feel right when Earth's Mightiest Heroes were about to suffer their worst loss to date. As a result, we were robbed of the awesome sight of The Hulk literally busting his way out of the Hulkbuster armour! 

Still, there's no denying that Smart Hulk's introduction in Avengers: Endgame worked really well. 
 

Ant-Man And The Vision Switch Sides

Giant

During the early stages of development on Captain America: Civil War, Marvel Studios hadn't fully decided who was going to be on each side of the divide between Captain America and Iron Man.

Interestingly, an earlier version of the movie would have seen Ant-Man fighting alongside Iron Man, while The Vision was set to be part of Captain America's Secret Avengers. Ultimately, it was decided that it wouldn't make sense for Scott Lang to join Tony Stark given everything his mentor Hank Pym had said about him and his father.

As for The Vision, there was obviously more drama to be mined from him being on a different side to the Scarlet Witch given their romantic relationship. What might have been, though, eh?
 

Scarlet Spider

Spider-Scarlet

When Marvel Studios was tasked with introducing Spider-Man in the MCU, they were faced with the difficult job of redesigning the web-slinger's costume. Sam Raimi's movies stuck closely to the source material, while The Amazing Spider-Man 2's suit looked like it had been lifted straight from the comics.

Well, before going with the version created by Tony Stark, Marvel Studios very nearly went with both of the Scarlet Spider's costumes (a drastic new look for the web-slinger). 

As you can see above, Peter Parker's homemade costume would have been based on the clone's classic hoodie look, while his final suit was going to be what he wore while serving as the Marvel Universe's new Spider-Man. This doesn't mean we were going to see Ben Reilly in the MCU, but using that character as inspiration would have been a clever way to differentiate their version of Spidey. 
 

Thor Vs. The Midgard Serpent(s)

R0coe

Thor's subplot in Avengers: Infinity War was a little weird, and Peter Dinklage's disappointing turn as Eitri really didn't help matters! However, Stormbreaker's origin could have been way more exciting. In an earlier version of the film, the God of Thuner was going to be joined by Rocket and Groot in an epic battle with the Midgard Serpent's children. 

According to Marvel Studios Senior Visual Development Artist Rodney Fuentebella, the axe/hammer would have been buried in the head of the fallen monster, and after the God of Thunder retrieved it, he and the Guardians would have had to battle the World Serpent's children in what sounds like a pretty barmy (and must-see) action sequence.

We don't know why this didn't make the final cut, but it's a damn shame, that's for sure. 
 

Black Widow Becomes Ronin

Ronin2

Very little context was revealed regarding this particular piece of concept art, but Hawkeye clearly wasn't going to be the only one suiting up as "Ronin" in Avengers: Endgame. Whether she did this to track him down or because he was planning to join his mission is sadly hard to say. 

Either scenario would have been fun to see, of course, and Natasha Romanoff heading down a similarly dark path had the potential to be an exciting direction to take her down in this sequel.

Ultimately, it's hard to complain about the story arc Black Widow ended up getting in the movie, but Marvel Studios definitely missed a trick by not further exploring Clint Barton's time as Ronin. With any luck, that will be something the planned Hawkeye series on Disney+ ends up addressing.
 

The Wasp's Scrapped Role In Captain America: Civil War

Wasp

A big part of Ant-Man and The Wasp's story was the fact Scott Lang had gone to Germany to fight alongside Captain America without talking to Hank Pym or Hope Van Dyne beforehand. 

The latter was particularly disappointed that Scott overlooked her, but there was a version of Captain America: Civil War which would have seen her join the battle against...Steve Rogers? Unless Hawkeye was going to side with Tony Stark, both Ant-Man and The Wasp were clearly going to join Iron Man to fight for the enforcement of the Sokovia Accords. 

It's a real shame that The Wasp was overlooked here, but Marvel Studios clearly decided that her transformation into a superhero was better off being save for the Ant-Man sequel.
 

Mega Ultron

Mega-Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron came under fire from some fans for its snarky take on the titular android, but the villain was a worthy addition to the MCU, and someone we'd like to see more of.

When that does happen, it would be great to see this gigantic version of the villain made up of literally thousands of drones. As fun as it was to watch Earth's Mightiest Heroes take on his expendable robotic army, watching them take on this gigantic version of him would have no doubt been even more exciting (and like watching the comic books come to life). 

Dubbed "Mega Ultron" by concept artist Phil Saunders, it's hard to say for sure whether this would actually work in live-action, but it might have gone some way in helping Age of Ultron's final act feel like less of a retread by pitting another faceless army against the team of superheroes. 
 

Nebula Unleashes The Power Of The Infinity Gauntlet

Nebula

Nebula played a crucial role in Avengers: Endgame, but fans hoping to see the Guardian of the Galaxy be the one to take down Thanos were disappointed. In the Infinity Gauntlet comic book series, she unleashed the power of that titular weapon to restore her original appearance and get revenge on the Mad Titan, but that simply wasn't something we saw here.

However, this early piece of concept art reveals that the Russo Brothers did briefly consider having Nebula finally get her hands on the Gauntlet to unleash the power of the Infinity Stones.

Given how they were portrayed in the MCU, using them would have likely resulted in Nebula's death, so it makes sense that this was a moment ultimately scrapped from the movie. In some ways, though, Thanos' daughter making the ultimate sacrifice to stop him might have made more sense than Iron Man being the one to do so in the final battle. 
 

WATCHMEN: The Cast Returns…For An Important Public Service Announcement!

While Damon Lindelof has made it clear that he won't be returning to the world of Watchmen for a second season of the award-winning HBO program, a PSA to combat the spread of the current COVID-19 virus was never off the table.

Stars Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Jean Smart, Yahya Abdul Matteen-II and more all give in-character tutorials on how to properly wash your hands, and how important doing such a thing is to prevent the spread. Notably absent from the "Washmen" is Jeremy Irons' Ozymandias, although I'm sure Veidt would have, at the very least, been under self-quarantine on one of the moons of Jupiter.
 
Enjoy the video below, and remember to stay safe and wash your hands!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Stay safe out there.

A post shared by Damon (@damonlindelof) on

 

From Damon Lindelof and set in an alternate history where “superheroes” are treated as outlaws, this drama series embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while attempting to break new ground of its own. The cast includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, and James Wolk.

 

Tom Cruise’s WAR OF THE WORLDS, DAYS OF THUNDER & TOP GUN Getting The 4K Ultra HD Treatment This Summer

With Tom Cruise's Top Gun: Maverick (hopefully) set to open this summer, Paramount Home Media Distribution announced this week that in the lead up to the long-awaited action sequel, they will be releasing Tony Scott's Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever. 

All three films will be available to purchase on May 19. 

In addition to the standard cover, the original Top Gun will also receive a Best Buy-exclusive 4K Ultra HD Steelbook, featuring some cool new artwork. Days of Thunder will be released as part of a 30th Anniversary special edition while War of the Worlds will receive a special 15th Anniversary special edition.

No word yet on any potential special features. 

As for Top Gun: Maverick, it remains to be seen whether the Joseph Kosinski-directed film will actually be able to open on its intended June 24th release date due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Both Warner Bros.' Wonder Woman 1984 and Universal's Minions: The Rise of Gru have already vacated their respective early June and July release dates, which does open the door for Top Gun: Maverick to be the first major release of the summer. But with the coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, it seems somewhat inevitable that Paramount will ultimately be forced to push the film to an undetermined future date. 









IRON FIST Star Tom Pelphrey Reveals New Details About Original Plans For Canceled Season 3

Iron Fist was the first of Marvel's TV shows on Netflix to be cancelled, and while fans were disappointed, it was always something of a weak link. However, season two was still something of an improvement over what had come before, and the stage was ultimately set for a third run of episodes which would have seen Colleen Wing serving as the new Iron Fist. 

Danny Rand, meanwhile, was last seen travelling to Asia alongside Ward Meachum in a quest to learn more about the powers of the Iron Fist. It wasn't the most exciting tease for the superhero (who never really did anything that, well, super), but fans of the series were definitely intrigued. 

Now, star Tom Pelphrey has revealed a little more about what was to come for Danny and Ward, and while he didn't have anything too specific to share, he teased what sounds like a fun adventure for the unlikely pairing. "There was talk of almost like a, well, I think I can say this now, but like a kind of like a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid kind of comradery, bonding."

Adding that he would "never say never" regarding returning to the role if the opportunity were to present itself, it sounds like he's all too aware of the desperation many fans have to learn about what should have come next as Iron Fist "could not have ended on a bigger cliffhanger."

Sadly, we're unlikely to ever see that happen, though it feels like a missed trick on Marvel's part not to continue these stories in the pages of a comic book. Looking ahead to what comes next, it seems likely that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige will just reboot all of these characters!

What do you guys think? Do you wish we'd seen Iron Fist season 3? 

KRYPTON Star Cameron Cuffe’s Unfilmed CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS Cameo Has Finally Been Revealed

Crisis on Infinite Earths played out over five nights and, for the most part, fans were pretty happy. However, as is often the case, not everyone's favourite character was given a role to play, and Cameron Cuffe's Seyg-El from the now cancelled Krypton was someone many were disappointed to see overlooked.

Since then, it's been revealed that he was offered a role, but unable to appear due to scheduling issues.

Now, though, showrunner Marc Guggenheim has revealed what the plan was for Cuffe. "We were actually going to have Cameron play a Kryptonian elder," the executive producer reveals, "so we could play a little fast and loose with continuity if we had to."

In Krypton, Cuffe plays Superman's grandfather, and this cameo would have been a neat way to tie him to the Arrowverse's version of the Man of Steel and Supergirl. Guggenheim even pretty much confirmed that by sharing some details about what the scene was set to entail.

"When Alura was basically grabbing Kal-El and Lois on Argo, to take them to the ship, we were going to have this Kryptonian elder essentially hologram in with important information about the destruction of the multiverse," he explains. "So that stuff is actually written!"

It's a real shame this didn't work out because it would have been awesome for fans of Krypton, and another nice way of tying these DC Comics worlds together. Unfortunately, it didn't work out this time, and is unlikely to happen down the line (especially with no word on the show's fate). 

What are your thoughts on this unfilmed Crisis crossover?

SHUT IN THEATER: Weekend Reading – Week 1

The first week of Shut In Theater is complete, and that means it’s time for the weekend! We asked the Beat staff to share the comics they’ll be reading. Let us know what you’re digging into in the comments!

JOE GRUNENWALD: I have a stack of books I got for my birthday last month, including Frogcatchers by Jeff Lemire, Two Dead by Jeff Jensen and Nate Powell, and New Kid by Jerry Craft. I’m planning to work my way through some of those this weekend.

AVERY KAPLAN: I have two books I’ve been meaning to get to for a while that I’m planning on reading: Jughead The Hunger Volume 2 by Frank Tieri, Michael Walsh, Pat & Tim Kennedy, and Joe Eisma, and Animosity Volume 1 by Marguerite Bennett and Rafael De Latorre.

ARPAD OKAY: This weekend I am diving into the unknown with two graphic novels: Becoming Horses by Disa Wallander, which is exactly what it sounds like, and a molecular space opera from Linnea Sterte, Stages of Rot.

AJ FROST: The main book I’m diving into this weekend is Fante Bukowski: The Complete Works by Noah Van Sciver. But I also have Fantastic Four: Grand Design by Tom Scioli, and two volumes of The Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck by Don Rosa. I also have Danny Fingeroth’s Stan Lee biography A Marvelous Life on the nightstand. 

JOSH HILGENBERG: The first comics I read every morning (mostly because they’re sent to my inbox, but also catharsis) are from The Nib, but I also recently re-upped my Shonen Jump sub, which means catching up on Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia and possibly diving into some of The Promised Neverland by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu

TAIMUR DAR: Right before the release of Strange Adventures, it occurred to me that I had yet to read the first collaboration from Tom King and Mitch Gerads, Sheriff of Babylon. Weeks before the current pandemic, my LCS had a graphic novel sale so I picked it up along with a more recent of Darwyn Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier that includes tons of great behind-the-scenes material and the one-shot Animated Special which I had never read.   

GREGORY PAUL SILBER: I’ve been embarrassingly behind on monthly floppies since before the pandemic, so I’ll catch up on Undiscovered Country by Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, and Giuseppe Camuncoli, among MANY others. Beyond that, I think it’s about time I climb the Mt. Everest of my “to read” collection: Jack Kirby’s Fourth World omnibus!

Chuck Forsman's Automa #1 and #2

BILLY HENEHAN: I recently ordered the first two issues of Chuck Forsman’s Automa mini-comic, the comic that he’s producing for subscribers to his Patreon. The first 13 issues are available direct from Chuck through his Oily Comics storefront for people like me who missed out on getting in on the Patreon earlier. If I dig Automa, I plan to play catchup with more issues and hop on his Patreon. On a side note, Greg is tempting me to finally order that Jack Kirby’s Fourth World omnibus!

PHILLIPPE LEBLANC: The plan for the first weekend reading is to both catch up on books I’ve been meaning to read for a while. I also plan on reading some work to my son that I think he would enjoy, he’s turning four soon, and he’s been picking books at random to go through, I’ll put some interesting ones in his hands. For me, the first read will be Yoshitoki Oima’s A Silent Voice and the new Noelle Stevenson’s memoir The Fire Never Goes Out. For my son, we’ll read Tove Jansson’s Moomin and the Comet and Moomin’s Winter Follies.

RICARDO SERRANO: I’ve been saving Jodorowski and MoebiusThe Incal for a special occasion for a while now, and though these are special times for other less favorable reasons, this book has ticked all the boxes for quarantine reading. Its world is a dream of psychosexual sci-fi magical realism that sucks you into the story with its eccentric characters and lush settings. There’s nothing like getting into a sprawling fictional world when having a lot of time on your hands and Incal has been precisely that for me.

CHLOE MAVEAL: With all of the comic shops and bookstores shut down completely here in Portland, I’m digging back into my home comics library for some nostalgia comfort. So it looks like there will be lots of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, Alan Moore and Alan Davis’ D.R. and Quinch from 2000 AD, and if I’m feeling particularly stir-crazy and anarchistic, Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles. Apparently this is going to be a pleasant weekend of contrasting comics that have aged well with ones that make me go “aaaa yikes”. 

HUSSEIN WASITI: I’m excited to finally dive into Walt Simonson’s Thor run, courtesy of my local library. I’m lucky enough to have checked out the entire trade collection just before all the libraries in Ontario closed until the middle of April, so I can take my time with it. I also bought the first Once & Future trade from my local comic store and I’m looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about. Also, now’s the time to finally crack open my copy of Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen, which has been on my to-read pile for an intimidatingly long time. 

GEORGE CARMONA 3RD: I didn’t make it to my Comic Shop to pick up my stash, I’ll be utilizing my Amazon Prime Reading to the fullest as it has select collections that are free for Prime members. I’m going to try and bang out Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis, the completest in me just need to know and Benjamin Percy’s Teen Titans Vol:1 Damian Knows Best, I’ve been digging his current X-Force run so I want to take a look at his back catalog.

The post SHUT IN THEATER: Weekend Reading – Week 1 appeared first on The Beat.

AQUAMAN Star Amber Heard’s Attempt To Dismiss Johnny Depp’s Defamation Lawsuit Has Been Denied

If you follow Hollywood gossip, you'll know that things are getting nasty between Aquaman star Amber Heard and Fantastic Beasts villain Johnny Depp as the fallout from their relationship ending continues making waves. Today, Deadline is reporting that Heard's attempt to dismiss the $50 million defamation lawsuit Depp has filed against her has been blocked. 

Because of that, the actors are expected to battle it out in court in Fairfax County, Virginia in August.

The suit was filed last March after Heard penned an op-ed for The Washington post in which she alleged that she had been a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of Depp. His lawsuit claims that, "Ms. Heard is not a victim of domestic abuse, she is a perpetrator."

Depp is also suing British tabloid The Sun after it dubbed him a "wife beater," and that's relevant to the aforementioned lawsuit as their report contained a multitude of new allegations. There's a lot of he said/she said going on, and both of them have gone to great lengths to remove each other from their respective franchises (Aquaman and Fantastic Beasts).

Heard's lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, told the trade: "Today's decision leaves it to a jury to decide the meaning of Ms. Heard's op-ed and the truth of what she said. As we have said all along, the courts have strong mechanisms in place for determining the truth. Here, we remain confident that Ms. Heard will prevail at trial when the jury is presented with evidence on the question that the Court identified -- namely, whether 'Ms. Heard was abused by Mr. Depp.'"

We'll keep you updated whether this messy situation has any sort of affect on Aquaman 2 or Fantastic Beasts 3, but COVID-19 could mean that the court case is pushed back indefinitely. 

Click HERE for more Aquaman news from CBM!

Shows Like TITANS Were Made With The Proviso They Wouldn’t Have To Cross Over With The Arrowverse

Crisis on Infinite Earths featured brief nods to the DC Universe shows, but those were seemingly made up of stock footage instead of actual cameos filmed for the crossover event. As it turns out, there's a very good reason for that as the likes of Titans and Doom Patrol were made under the proviso that they wouldnt be forced to tie into what's happening on The CW. 

During an interview with Fake Nerd Podcast, the Arrowverse executive producer explained that those DC Comics adaptations were made with an "expectation that they would never have to participate in The CW crossover." He went so far as to say that "creative assurances" were made to those involved with them, including producers and, believe it or not, the actors starring in them. 

"[This] is an Arrowverse event, it’s done on the Arrowverse shows, and when we were breaking the story, we were always trying to find the right balance between, ‘OK, well, how many non-Arrowverse characters should we bring into this,'" he added.

Of course, we've heard from those who do participate in the crossovers that they're not much fun to film due to the manic production schedules, while Smallville alum Michael Rosenbaum refused to appear as Lex Luthor due to not being given a script (and being offered a woeful amount of money). 

Guggenheim went on to explain that it would also be tricky having Arrowverse characters be "co-opted by characters that, quite frankly, viewers who don’t watch those other shows wouldn’t know and understand." So, despite them all being on the small screen at the same time, it was clearly too complicated finding a way to bring them all together in an event like Crisis

However, it's hard not to wonder what this is going to mean for Stargirl...

Dr. Spain’s SmackDown Report and Review for March 27th 2020: Welcome to the Thunderdome!

Rather a lot’s happened in the span of a week, which has culminated in the news that Roman Reigns has taken the sensible and completely understandable step of not taking part in WrestleMania this year on account of his less-than-stellar health record and him not wanting to die: the bastard.

And while we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief that any desire we felt for Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns won’t come at the price of a man’s life, it does leave us with something of a question mark hanging over the Granddaddy of Them All: an extremely large question mark which occasionally screams for a protracted period of time and that appears to be drawing inexorably closer with each passing moment.

The WWE does, at least, have options. Braun Strowman could quite easily be slotted into Reigns’ place, playing the Giant or the Kevin Nash to Goldberg’s…well, Goldberg. Nakamura’s another option, with a narrative being written around Big Beardy Baldy Bill’s predilection for introducing his skull and the brain it guards to solid objects at every opportunity and at a speed approaching Mach 1, and that narrative would be “Goldberg murdered via Kinshasa, no flowers upon request”.

There is also the option to place Cena vs. the Fiend on the first night of WrestleMania, with the winner going on to try to wrest the Universal Championship out of the hands of a part-timer, though potentially into the arms of a younger and slightly-less-bald part-timer. If there was ever a time to turn Cena heel, embracing the hate six years too late and cheating to topple Goldberg and become – finally – a seventeen-time World Champion is definitely a decent opportunity. Wyatt getting his win back would be another direction to go, for all the good that it might do in the long term.

Of course, there’s also the possibility that WWE could go full pants-on-head, pencils-up-their-nostrils bananas and book Matt Riddle vs. Goldberg. I’d watch that; I’ve spent the last several days of my quarantine watching Sense and SensibilityHoward’s End, and North and South, and I would turn off any of those classics in a heartbeat in favour of watching Riddle erase Goldberg’s memory of his own family’s faces through what brain surgeons refer to as “a shitload of knees to the skull”. I would also massively enjoy Keith Lee getting shipped in to wreak his own athletic brand of havoc, mainly because I’d like to watch Goldberg’s mind try to rewrite physics to explain his opponent in real-time.

So, there are some of our options, ranging from the competent to the dangerously amazing. I wonder how WWE will play it.

We are, once again, in the Performance Centre, America’s proposed sacrifice of the elderly to the stock exchange apparently cutting no ice with COVID-19’s exponential growth. At the end of civilisation and, perhaps, even time itself, Michael Cole will still be there, broadcasting and commentating whatever he can find as his tenuous grip on sanity slackens and slips, most of which will be fights between two raid survivors he’s contained and is now forcing to battle each other for medicine (“Vintage weeping amputee!”)

Tonight’s particular flavour of fiddling while Rome burns will be the New Day vs. the Usos to determine who’ll be facing Miz and Morrison, as well as Alexa Bliss vs. amateur commentator extraordinaire, Asuka. They’re also showing us Roman Reigns vs. Triple H, I guess to reassure us that there are worse things than death and that one of those things is WWE’s obsession with ramming the Big Dawg so far down our throats that our toilets have to bump for a Superman Punch.

In another timeline, Dana Brooke was part of this segment

First up tonight, however, are Bayley and Sasha Banks, who will be in action at WrestleMania against each other and, apparently, anyone else who wants some. There’s a haunting feeling at seeing the graphic of that match, which now no longer bears any mention of Dana Brooke and has been requalified as a “Fatal 5-Way Elimination match”. On the other hand, there’s also the sense that if Lacey Evans and Tamina were forced to drop out too, the quality of the match would skyrocket. You’ll note that I’m not suggesting letting certain wrestlers die to improve the overall health of sports entertainment, and that’s because I’m not a Republican.

Michael Cole is still trotting out the propaganda that WrestleMania is “too big” for one night, despite them making Elias vs. King Corbin last week in a move that is morally comparable to genocide.

Bayley and Sasha also repeat this lie (Elias vs. King Corbin), which is arguably one of the most villainous things they’ve done. Once they’re done pretending that a global pandemic isn’t really that bad, they turn their efforts towards abusing Paige: something that we can at least find some common ground on. Bayley is trying to convince both herself and Sasha Banks that their friendship is as strong as ever, which is like watching someone undergo Stockholm Syndrome directed at themselves.

Before things can get awkward – more awkward, that is, than downplaying a global pandemic with a death toll in the tens of thousands – Lacey Evans arrives. She’s not dressed to compete, which is automatically the best thing that I can say about Lacey Evans. She drawls random southern morality at Sasha and Bayley, who head back to the whole “we have an irrational hatred of your child for some reason” well. Damn it, ladies, that woman’s a mother, not to mention a veteran.

I mean, WWE has mentioned that a couple of times.

Naomi arrives, and which allows me to play my favourite game of “imagine what Lacey Evans is thinking but is trying desperately not to say”. I should say now that I have no evidence whatsoever that Ms. Evans is anything but a tolerant and progressive human being, but I’ve been stuck in quarantine for almost a week on account of my flatmate suddenly coughing a lot and having trouble breathing, so I’m getting my entertainment wherever I can find it, and part of that is in reading Lacey Evans as a closeted racist because…well, find me a character in WWE who better fits that role who isn’t called “Lars Sullivan”.

Anyway, Naomi claims that she and Bayley have unfinished business, which is one way of describing challenging for a title and losing because of a misogynistic theocracy. Bayley desperately tries to end the segment before Tamina is summoned, but she’s too late, and Tamina officially ends her streak of being in absentia that’s she’s been working on since July, minus a 24/7 Championship segment and showing up for the Royal Rumble only to get eliminated in less than a minute. What more qualification is needed to be part of a championship match at WrestleMania?

More. Like…a great deal more.

Tamina says that actions speak louder than words, which is a lesson applicable both to life as a professional wrestler and to life as a man who allegedly beats his girlfriend so hard that she dies like, you know, her Dad. And then Tamina starts smacking around Lacey and Naomi, hitting a headbutt and a superkick to bring her amount of televised offence up by about 200%. Bayley and Sasha jump in to pick the scraps, but they quickly abandon the ring when they realise that Tamina is staring at them with murderous intent: third-degree murderous intent with involuntary manslaughter if we’re being exact.

Tamina stands tall to end the segment: words I would not think to find myself writing in this, the Year of Our Lord 2020. Is it a sign of the apocalypse?

Probably.

Drew Gulak has served his purpose and can become a jobber again

It’s time for our weekly addition of Daniel Bryan’s Excellent Wrestling From Indie Wrestlers Quality Segment: the sole comfort in this time of plague and panic. You can keep your TikToks of human kindness and videos of you applauding the NHS: my faith in a better world comes from these five fighting each other forever.

Gulak and Bryan make their way to the ring: two small men with beards and technical ability to spare. They’re followed by Nakamura, Zayn, and Cesaro: three total bastards with a belt. Zayn hops on commentary, Shinsuke takes off his Carmen Sandiego coat, and the match is on.

Shinsuke starts off with that tried and tested strategy of kicking his opponent to death. Gulak finally fires back with a front dropkick, stalling Nakamura’s boot-flavoured hate crime. Cesaro manages to save Shinsuke, dragging him out of the ring to safety. Drew follows, right into the waiting feet of Nakamura, who shows how happy he is to see Gulak by kicking him a lot.

Despite a rally from Drew once back inside the ring, Shinsuke’s concussion-based offence seems to be doing exactly what it was designed to do, and Sami sounds very happy at the prospect of not receiving a WrestleMania payday. In fact, this storyline becomes a great deal more intense if you read this as Zayn trying desperately to avoid exposing himself to the coronavirus by having to defend his Championship. I imagine there might be some problematic elements to portraying the act of social distancing as a villainous trait, but this is the same company who’s claiming that WrestleMania is “too big for one night”.

Elias. Vs. King. Corbin.

Nakamura winds up for the Kinshasa, but now it’s Bryan who saves Gulak, pulling him out of Shinsuke’s line of coma. Drew takes advantage, rolling Shinsuke up and…winning?

Remember when Drew Gulak took Bryan to the absolute limit through incredible technical prowess and excellent strategy? Neither does WWE. 1.5 Stars.

Dr. Spain’s Literature Class

When we come back, Michael Cole is talking about the storyline between Ziggler and Otis, which revolves mostly around taking away a woman’s agency and treating her as a prize to be won. Michael Cole calls it a “saga”, which indicates that he thinks that what’s happening is in fact a prose story or history, written either in Iceland or other parts of Scandinavia, dealing with contemporary politics, episcopal biographies, or fighting dragons. Michael Cole doesn’t know literature.

We’re shown the footage from last week of Ziggler showing disappointingly tame photographs of himself and Mandy to Otis – if this isn’t the perfect time for wrestlers to wear a lot less clothing and start having full-on satanic orgies, then there’s never going to be a perfect time – and Otis getting rather angry about it, “rather angry” in this case meaning throwing chairs, throwing people, hitting people with chairs, and hitting chairs with people (depending on whether you consider Dolph, Miz, and Morrison to be people). What there isn’t, and what there should be if you want to keep calling this a “saga”, are migrations from Iceland, voyages made by Vikings, or any use of Old Norse. Am I saying that the natural end of this storyline is Otis vs. Grendel’s Mother in a Very Deep Underwater with a Massive Sword match, with the winner going on to fight a dragon decades later?

Yes.

That being said, Tucker giving Otis a cooldown hug at the end of that segment was an example of the emotional depth that has really carried this entire storyline, and Otis and Tucker really need to get a good run with the belts once this is all brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

Backstage, Dolph Ziggler is talking to his phone. He could, conceivably, be using his phone to talk to someone else, but that scenario rests on the premise that anyone in the world ever wants to talk to Dolph Ziggler. There could be a journalist, dying of gunshot wounds, with information vital to the survival of global civilisation and one phone call to pass that intelligence on before bloodloss claims him, and I have to imagine that he’d hang up on Dolph Ziggler.

This is then interrupted by Otis, whom referees and Tucker are preventing from reducing Dolph to a thin streak of grease on the Performance Centre floor for some reason. So, has Otis remained at this level of fury for a whole week? Has he been actively looking for Dolph, or just staying in a sustained rage, secure in the knowledge that he’d be able to find him on Friday night?

Dolph Ziggler, a man who dresses like Dolph Ziggler, says that Otis looks “pathetic”. He challenges him to a match at WrestleMania, saying he wants the whole world to watch (from a safe distance) while he beats Otis. The two are finally separated by the referees and security officials, who were polite enough to wait while a WrestleMania match was booked.

Otis maðelode, beotwordum spræc
niehstan siðe: “Ic geneðde fela
guða on geogoðe; gyt ic wylle,
frod folces weard, fæhðe secan,
mærðu fremman, gif mec se mansceaða
of eorðsele ut geseceð.”

 

I’m surprised Michael Cole didn’t call this “Shakespearean” on account of there being a balcony

Elias is standing on a balcony, here to bully a coworker through song and comparing King Corbin to excrement. Toilet humour: WWE’s got it!

Suddenly Corbin strikes, beating Elias until he’s got him Hans Grubered over the balcony. After some drama, he finally hits the singer with his sceptre, sending him plummeting to the ground below. Well, it wouldn’t be a Corbin WrestleMania storyline without at least one murder attempt, and it wouldn’t be WWE unless there were no arrests made and not even a single policeman asking questions.

My only question is: did WrestleMania just get not-too-big for one night?

Michael Cole is here to sum up these events, using the grave voice that he reserves for attempted murders, Jerry Lawler having a heart attack right next to him, and Vince McMahon faking his own death before getting upstaged by Chris Benoit. He tells us that Elias has been taken to a local medical facility, which is step two of King Corbin’s master plan: make sure that Elias catches COVID-19.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: profit.

Asuka’s even better without crowd sound

But that attempted murder is now in the past, and it’s time for the Empress of Tomorrow, and “tomorrow” is a period in the future. The Day After Tomorrow is a science-fiction movie that I can’t remember a single detail about and which has nothing to do with any of this apart from the fact that it involves the apocalypse.

Alexa and Nikki arrive, with Nikki jumping on commentary and hugging Michael Cole. Social distancing: “fuck that,” says WWE, “embrace your co-workers”. Nikki babbles on excitedly into the microphone, her accent the verbal equivalent of six cans of Irn Bru and deep-friend Mars Bar.

Asuka and Bliss feel each other out, with a hard dropkick from Alexa staggering Asuka but not managing to stop the Empress. A kick manages top topple Asuka from the top rope and out of the ring, with Alexa catching her with a hard forearm on the apron. Asuka manages to regain the advantage, hurling Bliss into the steel steps as we go to a commercial break.

When we come back, Asuka is in full control of Bliss, but Alexa manages to rally as she dodges a hip attack, kicking Asuka right in the spine. Both women wind up on the apron, with Bliss countering a DDT attempt to wrench Asuka’s arm right onto the edge of the ring. Alexa tries to take advantage with a cover, but Asuka’s not done yet.

Undeterred, Bliss stays on the arm, dodging each charge by Asuka, remaining laser-focused on the limb before building momentum with a series of strikes. Asuka’s down, but she manages to dodge a standing moonsault, rolling out of the ring. Alexa pursues, shoving her opponent into the ring apron as Nikki hollers her support. Both women are in rough shape but still fighting, with Asuka countering a DDT into an attempted Asuka Lock.

Alexa backs Asuka into the corner, breaking the hold, then manages to strike with a DDT for the win!

I don’t like to see Asuka lose, but this was a commendably hard-hitting match and a reminder of how good Alexa can be. 2.5 Stars.

Backstage, the Usos are talking about a lockdown, by which they mean their fake, imaginary prison one, rather than the real one that’s happening in a number of countries.

It’s filler o’clock, which means that it’s time to watch Roman Reigns vs. Triple H in a match best described as “why?” I can’t tell if they tried to edit the crowd noise or not, but you can definitely hear the boos. It took a cancer diagnosis to recover from booking this atrocious.

God, the audience went all in on Triple H, didn’t they? These are some of the loudest reactions I can remember, and they’re the exact opposite of what WWE wanted.

At least you got to see Stephanie McMahon take her annual big bump, which is always a nice WrestleMania bonus.

Post-match, we get a talking to from stern but loving father, Triple H who, with a nostalgic twinkle in his eye, talks about facing both Goldberg and Roman Reigns. It’s like How I Met Your Mother, although at least Ted Mosby didn’t drug, kidnap, and rape the eponymous Mother, which canonically is how Triple H and Stephanie’s first fling started out.

Triple H’s opinion of the two men is that they are both intense, but different flavours of intensity: Roman Reigns’ intensity builds, while Goldberg goes all-out from the outset. He says that the key to Reigns’ victory is his ability to outlast the current Universal Champion’s initial onslaught which, to be honest, is the best analysis I’ve heard on a match from WWE since they used to do Tazz’s “Tale of the Tape”.

After this, Big E and Kofi Kingston are backstage, talking about their opportunity to go to WrestleMania by beating the Usos. Big E declares himself and Kofi Kingston to be our “daddies”, which is all I got from that segment and all I really needed from it in the first place.

There’s a quick flashback of John Cena hopping out and then back into WrestleMania, meaning that once he shakes it all about and does the hokey-cokey, he’ll have shown us what it’s all about.

Dolph Ziggler is a human herpes sore

Then, somewhere in the Performance Centre, Dolph Ziggler and Sonya DeVille are discussing some plan that the two of them have devised before they’re interrupted by Mandy. Miss Rose wants Ziggler to lay off Otis and also maybe take a shower and undergo a complete change of personality. She says that she doesn’t mind Otis and Dolph having a WrestleMania match as that is, basically, their job, but she doesn’t want to be fought over like she’s some kind of prize.

Man, it’s hard to believe that Mandy Rose still doesn’t get WWE.

Ziggler agrees, promising to merely beat Otis and leave it at that.

Not enough child-friendly TV incorporates severed heads

Time for a Firefly Fun House episode, and Bray is here to talk to us about his mental instability, which is on full display. He’s got his own severed-head lamp in the Fun House, which he yells at for a while before creating the “secret recipe to beat John Cena”, using ingredients like rage, resentment, self-loathing and disappointment and, of course, Ramblin’ Rabbit: the Sean Bean of unsettling puppets.

Bray then transitions into creating an infomercial for his insane and probably not FDA-approved recipe, before officially challenging John Cena to a Firefly Fun House match at WrestleMania. This could either be a Haunted House match or a Hardy Family Compound match, and there’s no way of knowing which it’s going to be.

It’s like the Miz and Morrison couldn’t see this coming

It’s time for tag team action, with WrestleMania implications. The Miz and Morrison are on commentary, and they’re joined in the ring by the New Day and the Usos, who immediately start wrestling for the chance to continue to expose themselves to a virus.

Both Kofi and whichever Uso happens to be the legal man struggle to gain the advantage, both trading moves back and forth until Kofi scores with a flying dropkick. The Miz and Morrison taunt the brothers as they take some time out on the outside, then Big E and…the other Uso tag in.

Big E manages to gain some measure of control with his incredible strength. Schroedinger’s Uso fights back with an uppercut but runs into a huge elbow, with Kingston tagging in to take advantage. A blind tag from the Usos allows them to hang Kofi up on the top rope, stalling all of his momentum. Kofi’s not out, though, and he ducks a kick before tagging in Big E, who’s got belly-to-bellies for all the good Usos and other Usos. He hits a splash to an Uso on the apron, fully in control of the match as we go to commercial break.

When we return, a double-team by the Usos helps them put Big E down on the mat. The Samoan wrecking ball strikes, laying the New Day member out in the corner, but a ura nage out of nowhere allows Big E to make the tag to Kofi, who explodes into the match with a surge of energy. The Boom Drop connects, but Trouble in Paradise misses, with Kofi managing to pull off a hurricanrana. Miz and Morrison distract Kingston with a “New Day rocks” clap, which allows apparently Jey Uso to lock in a half-crab. Kingston finally escapes, hitting the S.O.S. for a near-fall.

Kofi tags in Big E, who gets Jey up into a powerbomb position. Kingston tries to hit the Uso with a flying clothesline, but Jey drops down to avoid it, and Jimmy hurls Kofi into the ring post, shoulder-first, before superkicking Big E for two. Jey tags in for a double-team, and they take Big E up to the top rope. The New Day member fights them off, getting thrown out to the floor. Kofi gets involved, low-bridging both Usos and throwing himself out onto one of them. As the Miz and Morrison get involved, both the Usos and the New Day take them out while still fighting each other.

And, of course, Miz and Morrison cause the DQ by attacking Big E, way before they attack either Jimmy or Jey. So, technically, the New Day wins.

This was a really good match with a bad ending, but if we’re getting both teams plus Miz and Morrison at Mania, I’ll go with it. 3 Stars.

A brawl breaks out, but suddenly Michael Cole HAS RECEIVED AN EMAIL. And he quotes: it’s a Triple Threat Ladder at WrestleMania. Man, it’s not like Miz and Morrison could have seen this coming. A distracted M and M are taken out by the Usos and the New Day, and the show ends.

BOOM! Halts Single Issues Print/Digitally, But Will Continue OGNs & Collections through Non-DIAMOND Distributors

And encourages retailers to sign up with these other distributors.

DC Comics Universe & Batman & The Outsiders #1-2 Spoilers & Review: Batman Leaves Justice League For New Teen Team! (1983) Retro Review!

DC Comics Universe and Batman and The Outsiders #1-2 Spoilers and Review follows.

Batman Leaves Justice League For New Teen Team! (1983) Retro Review!

Story Title: Issue #1: Wars Ended… Wars Begun, and Issue #2: Markovia’s Last Stand

Written by: Mike W. Barr
Penciled by: Jim Aparo
Inked by: Jim Aparo
Colored by: Adrienne Roy
Lettered by: N/A
Editor: Len Wein
Publisher: DC Comics

(NOTE: Originally published on May 26, 2003.)


In light of DC’s summer relaunches of the Outsiders and Teen Titans, it seems appropriate to take the time now to look back 20 years or so to where the definitive runs of these two series began. This is one of my two reviews this week — reviews that will look at the respective first arcs of 1983’s Batman and the Outsiders and 1980’s The New Teen Titans.

Its been years since I cracked open issues 1 and 2 of Batman and the Outsiders. I really should have done it sooner.

In 1983, Batman was still a member of the Justice League of America (JLA), and in addition to his two solo series, Detective Comics and Batman, was also the lead in a rotating team-up book called the Brave and the Bold (BB). BB was wrapping-up its run and DC was looking for a new team book with Batman as the lead. Enter the Outsiders — this loose collection of new and old DC characters didn’t formally become a team until the end of issue 2.


The first issue opens with Wayne Enterprise’s executive Lucius Fox heading to the European backwater country of Markovia on business, where he quickly becomes a hostage and pawn in a revolution to overthrow the country’s benevolent monarch. Batman, a.k.a Bruce Wayne, founder of Wayne Enterprises, unsuccessfully attempts to enlist his JLA colleagues to help him find his friend, but also to help the people of Markovia caught in the crossfire between loyal government forces and the twisted revolutionary militia. Frustrated with the JLA’s inaction, Batman quits the team and sums up his reasoning in a motivational speech — visually accompanied by four flashback panels, beautiful drawn by Jim Aparo, of the formative events that turned Bruce Wayne into Batman. An emotional Batman tells the JLA that: “I’ve heard the cries of the dying… and the mourning… the victims of injustice… I swore I’d do everything in my power to avenge those deaths… to protect innocent lives… and if I fail to keep that promise… my entire life is a lie!”

Batman’s following exchange with Superman and Wonder Woman really illuminates the difference between the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight.

Superman: “But the three of us… we’ve always served as an example to the others (members of the JLA)..”

Batman: “I never asked for that, Superman! I never wanted men to imitate me… only fear me! I only want to do my work!”

The Dark Knight is all business, all into righting wrongs, and helping those who can’t help themselves. I never understood how a character like his would even be involved with the JLA. Having Batman depart the JLA was also a move by DC to limit the exposure of the World’s Greatest Detective. Two solo titles and one team book would be the monthly doses of Batman readers in 1983 would get — a lesson in averting overexposure that DC and Marvel did not learn from with the multiple Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, X-Men, Punisher and other titles that proliferated in the 1990’s and saw franchises seemingly destroyed, i.e. the Punisher, and others clawed back, most notably Spider-Man.

The first issue of Batman and the Outsiders, in addition to establishing the main Markovian revolution plot, served to introduce the future members of the Outsiders to readers. So, in order of introduction, here are the Outsiders, that would join forces with Batman:

Geo-Force (Prince Brion Markov): On his father’s deathbed, his brother Gregor is selected Markovia’s new monarch. The dying King Viktor asks his sons to “work together now, to save Markovia! And when our land is safe… find your sister… find Tara!” The Tara in question is Tara Markov, then-New Teen Titan Terra, who betrayed her Titans teammates by aligning herself with Deathstroke the Terminator — a story that came to a head as part of the classic Judas Contract arc, available in trade paperback and recommended reading. Issue one of Batman and the Outsiders also saw Prince Brion transformed into to the earth-powered Geo-Force by Dr. Helga Jace — who was in the employ of King Viktor and who also gave Terra her earth-based powers.

Metamorpho (Rex Mason): A disguised Metamorpho travels to Markovia to find Dr. Jace who he hopes can cure him of his multicolor disfigurement, a by product of shape-shifting powers. He trades in his car to fleeing Markovian villagers for the whereabouts of Dr. Jace. He finds Dr. Jace just as she’s imbued Geo-Force with his powers. Militia members storm the lab, kill Geo-Force, use a special gun to subdue Metamorpho, and take Dr. Jace hostage. The revolutionaries take Metamorpho and Dr. Jace to their leader, but find time to bury Geo-Force in the earth so that he does not become a martyr and galvanizing inspiration to his Markovian countrymen.

Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce): Batman recruited Black Lightning to infiltrate the Markovian revolutionaries, and subsequently bribe them to free Lucius Fox. Black Lightning (a horrible blaxploitation name if I ever heard one) poses as Fox’s brother — as Batman can’t since Fox is African American and old Bats is Caucasian — and is wired with a device to communicate with the Dark Knight.

Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro): To avenge the murders of her loved ones by General Karnz of the revolutionary militia, Katana cuts a swath across the revolutionaries and kills the General with her enchanted sword. Karnz’s death bungles Black Lightning’s negotiations to free Lucius Fox. Batman listens helplessly as Black Lightning is subdued by the militia and mistakenly fingered as an escaping Katana’s accomplice. A clear case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for Jefferson Pierce.

Halo (Gabrielle Doe): Batman stumbles across an unconscious amnesiac , whom he later dubs Halo, in a presumably abandoned Markovian building. She awakens, uses her light powers against Batman, and realizes that he’s not an enemy. In exchange for promising to help her find out who she is, Halo teams with Batman in his plan to free Lucius Fox and Black Lightning. However, her inexperience leads to Batman’s capture as she helplessly looks on from a distance as he’s carted away by militiamen.

Issue 1 ends with Batman and Black Lightning shackled against dungeon walls, Metamorpho in pieces in the corner, and Lucius Fox handcuffed — all being introduced to the mastermind of the revolution, Baron Bedlam.

The next issue has readers right in thick of action — we know all the players, now its time for the drama to unfold. Baron Bedlam starts issue 2 off by regaling his prisoners with his back story. He’s a Nazi-sympathizer who had some clout in Markovia when the Nazi’s were in control. His father, a minor bureaucrat in King Viktor’s administration, became Markovia’s Regent after King Viktor was exiled. Baron Bedlam had half his face scarred by a woman who spurned his advances by shattering a wine bottle against it. He had her hung as Sgt. Rock and American troops came to free Markovia and return King Viktor to power. Bedlam fled, but watched in horror as his father was hung by the Markovian people, happy to be free from Nazi rule. After his rant, Bedlaam leaves the prisoners and takes Dr. Jace back to her lab.

Outside of Bedlam’s compound, Katana encounters Halo. They decide to team up to free Black Lightning (who Katana inadvertently led to capture) and Batman (who Halo inadvertently led to capture) — the gals want to make amends and take it out on Bedlam’s revolutionary militia guardsmen.

In the compound, Black Lightning overcomes his mental block and uses his lightning powers to reassemble Metamorpho, who uses his powers to free our heroes and Lucius Fox. The freed prisoners do their fair share of damage to the militiamen. In their escape, they encounter Katana and Halo and join forces to stop Bedlam, while Lucius Fox stays behind to guard the vanquished and imprisoned militia army.

At Dr. Jace’s lab, Baron Bedlam imbues himself with the very-same earth-based powers as the resurrected Geo-Force, as Dr. Jace helplessly watches. Bedlam flies off to Markovburg to join his militia in battle against forces loyal to the Markovian monarchy and Prince-turned-King, Gregor.

Batman, Black Lightning, Metamorpho, Katana, and Halo join the battle at Markovburg and side with the Markovian people and Monarchy against Bedlam’s forces. As the battle reaches its crescendo, Geo-Force joins the fray and saves his brother from death at the hands of Bedlam. Geo-Force and Baron Bedlam go toe-to-toe with their earth-based powers atop Castle Markov. Bedlam brings Geo-Force to his knees, and lifts a large chunk of the castle wall over his head intending to crush our weakened hero. However, since the earth-based powers gifted through Dr. Jace’s equipment can only be retained by blood members of the Markovian royal family, Bedlam finds himself losing power and crushes himself under the weight of the stone and mortar slab. In a last fit of anger, with the power continuing to leave him, and his revolutionary forces defeated, Bedlam lashes out at Geo-Force, who sends him over the castle wall towards a group of villagers below with torches and pitchforks. Batman welcomes the mob justice and congratulates Geo-Force on his extreme censure of Baron Bedlam by letting him know that “I like the way your mind works.”


At issue’s end, Batman gives a rousing speech to this yet-to-be-named gaggle of super-heroes by imploring them to: “Come with me, all of you! You’ve nothing to return to. You’re all looking for something, and I can help you find it. Whether it’s the proper way to use your powers or who you really are or simply some kind of purpose in your lives.”

Metamorpho responds to the offer with some scepticism: A buncha Outsiders like us? It might work… but we could use a name!”

To which Geo-Force responds, “You coined it yourself Metamorpho — ‘The Outsiders’!”

And, Batman uncharacteristically jokes, “I’ve heard worse!”

Thus, a legend is born: The Outsiders!

Overall, these two issues really exemplify what a team book should be. The team has a clear purpose. They are proactive and unafraid to do the right thing regardless of borders with calculated consequences. They are not the Justice League of America, they are a team willing to get dirty for a just cause — a refreshing twist on the traditional hero and team books of the time.

Writer Mike Barr seems to understand Batman’s psyche for the most part, and a weaves an interesting yarn in the first two issues of the Outsiders franchise. His crisp dialogue works well within a plot that had to not only tell an entertaining story, but also establish and bring a diverse group of hero’s together. He made an illogical group of heroes seem like a logical choice for a team. These issues were really well done.

While Curt Swan to me is the definitive Superman artist, Jim Aparo is the definitive Batman artist. Like Swan, Aparo was respected by those within the comics industry, but, at the time, was not fully appreciated for his contribution to the medium by fans. Visually, he contributed much to how Batman is drawn today from movements, to mannerisms, to body type, you name it. He is one of the few pencillers who can ink his own work without butchering it. Aparo’s inks really help his pencils bring the action and characters to life.

Jim Aparo’s cover to issue 2 — with Batman, Metamorpho, and Black Lightning shackled to a wall, and Geo-Force, Halo, and Katana breaking down an adjacent wall, and rushing to stop Baron Bedlam from killing the shackled heroes — is one of my all-time favorite comic book covers.

I still remember where I was when I first saw this particular comic book. I was in the hospital, and I had just gotten my tonsils out. I was in some discomfort and a similar-aged boy in the next room came over to me and offered me two comic books out of the goodness of his heart — a selfless act that we probably don’t see enough today, and one that I still carry with me and remember with much fondness. The two comic books were Batman and the Outsiders #2 and one of the issues of Marvels’ Crystar mini-series at the time, I don’t remember which specific issue it was. Although I thanked him at the time, I also want to do so again, publicly — here — although the chances of him reading this may be slim. Thank-you boy-stranger for your kindness and good taste in the comic books. I’ll continue to carry your generosity with me for years to come. It’s been 20 years and the memory is still sharp, crisp and vivid.

In addition to giving you the 411 on Batman and the Outsiders 1 and 2, I hope this review also spurs a sense of generosity in each and every reader. Go out and share your favorite comic book(s) with those who may need a pick-me-up. I still strongly believe that comic books and the adventures, messages, and artwork resonate to youngsters in a way other mediums can’t — even the more immediate enjoyment ones, like video and computer games, that have curbed the number of young comic book readers today.

Comic book companies today don’t do enough to bring young readers in. They cater to the converted, the older fans. We need to cultivate and support a more diverse fan base.

Batman and the Outsiders 1 and 2 are solid reads and were pleasure to share with you. You can probably pick them up in your nearest cheap comic book bin for fifty cents (pretty close to the cover price in 1983).

It’s a great read. I particularly enjoyed writer Mike Barr’s behind-the-scenes musings about the creation of the Outsiders in the letter column space of issue 1. I was also happily surprised to see Marv Wolfman and Frank Miller thanked by Barr for their input — I had no idea they were ever involved. Years later, I continue to learn more about the Outsiders I grew up with. Barr’s insight in the letter column space was a nice addition to issue 1. It really has me missing the letter column pages of comic books. It’s too bad that we don’t see them anymore.

Go out and pick these issues up. You’ll be glad you did.

DC Exploring ‘Multi-Distributor Model’ to Deal with Coronavirus Crisis

The publisher reveals its initial plans.

First appearance of a “Young” Punchline?

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I have tried to detail all of the various “Punchline” Batman books but this is a really weird one. Earlier this week certain speculators noticed the appearance of a character that looked like a young Punchline appearing in the 2007 Batman #664. Batman #664 was written by Grant Morrison and features artwork by Andy Kubert. While the creator of Punchline, James Tynion IV, has made it clear that Punchline’s first appearance is in Batman #89, some comic buyers are gobbling up copies of Batman #664 – with the most recent sale being for $30. Below are the three pages from Batman #664 that this “young Punchline” character appears in.

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Batman 664 1Batman 664 3Batman 664 4

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Unlike the debunked Batman #38 appearance, the images inside Batman #664 have a few speculators ignoring Tynion’s designation of when this character first appeared. It is my opinion that this is just a fluke coincidence and that this character is not the same character currently appearing in Tynion’s Batman series. Either way, this is a still a great book to be looking for as it is currently selling for a premium online.

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Batman #664

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What do you think – is this the same Punchline character that appears in the current Batman run or is this something else entirely? Let me know in the comments or on social media! Thanks for reading!

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Recap: THE WALKING DEAD S10E13, “What We Become”

Welcome to another belated recap of The Walking Dead where I’ll tackle last Sunday’s episode, “What We Become.”

In this episode, we check in on Michonne’s quest to strengthen Alexandria and its allies against the Whisperers. If you need a recap of the fateful battle between Hilltop and the Whisperers, check out my recap.

“There’s a lot of lives at stake.” 

In a flashback to Michonne’s early days as a hood-wearing loner, chained to those armless and jaw-less walkers, Michonne is walking through the woods when she sees a woman running for her life, being chased by three walkers. She manages to take out the first two but Michonne watches as the third one gets a hold of her. She turns around, leaving the stranger to die alone.

In the present, Michonne and Virgil, the man who told her that he has access to a lot of weapons that can turn the tide, arrive at his island. As they make their way inland, Virgil goes on and on about his family but Michonne notices there’s nobody around. There’s evidence of life, sure — clothes drying on clotheslines, books strewn about, but everything’s dead. Michonne unsheathes her sword and tells Virgil to cut the crap and tell her the truth.

He takes her to four empty graves, and says that he wasn’t lying when he said he wanted to get back to his family; they just aren’t alive anymore. He says he will help Michonne search for the weapons but he reveals his true purpose: he wants her to kill his undead family so he can bury them. They’re in a building that the pair walked by earlier, that Virgil said was a lab with wild animals using as shelter.

“Without her, I don’t know who I am.” 

They enter the lab and Michonne slowly makes her way through the hallway, stealthily killing whatever’s in her way. Virgil makes a lot of noise by mistake which draws the attention of a large crowd of walkers down the hall. She manages to kill the entire flock and the pair find a room full of walkers hanging by their neck, toppled stools below them. Judging by Virgil’s face, he’s found his family.

At the burial sight, Virgil hesitates to give Michonne wants he wants. He claims the tide is low and she won’t be able to make it back to her people today; if they wait until morning when there’s light, then he can help her. She reluctantly agrees but goes off on her own when night comes. She spots some weapons crates but they’re empty. Just then, she hears some whispering coming from another room. As she follows this woman’s voice, it seems that she’s having a conversation with someone. Virgil walks in and finds Michonne, but locks the door on her before she can react quickly enough. He says that she should have waited until morning, and that he trusted her.

Hours are passing and Michonne is still banging at the door and tapping the walls to see if there’s any way out. She wakes up from and finds a tray of food in front of her… and her sword gone. She rushes to the door to make some noise when some voices from another room ask her to stop. There are three of them, and they say they’re researchers who used to work with Virgil. He apparently used to be the leader of the camp, who locked down the building during a food crisis as a fight broke out. Little did he know, he locked his family inside. The trio tell Michonne to rest up and save her strength so she can kill Virgil when she gets the chance. She frustratingly takes a bite out of the apple on the tray.

“What the hell did you do?”

Michonne wakes up to the sound of the window on the door opening. Virgil is blankly watching her. She begs him to open the door but he refuses as he thinks she’ll kill him if he does. Virgil’s voice then begins to sound distant, and Michonne’s hand are collapsing into the floor as it changes from a plain white to a psychedelic purple.

She goes through this bizarre series of visions, kind of like a “what-if” when it comes to the choices she’s made. She’s in the woods, killing walkers when she’s approached by Negan and the Saviors. They welcome her into their group because of her fighting attitude. In this reality, she’s at the satellite station when Rick and the others come in to kill whoever they can, but Michonne kills Glenn when he tries to stab her in her supposed sleep. The famous scene with Negan swinging his bat around at the Alexandrians on their knees is altered as he asks Michonne to take his place; after a brief speech about the people she lost she swings her bat at… herself? Michonne is also in line on her knees. She then witnesses her death at the hands of Daryl and Rick. She then wakes up in her cell, throwing up into a bin with Virgil standing over her. She grabs a knife from the food tray and stabs him in the leg.

He runs away but she managed to keep his keys; she frees her fellow prisoners and they go outside, only to find that Virgil set the boat on fire. They give chase and they find him, with Michonne tackling him to the ground. He tries to explain himself, saying that he wanted to free the prisoners with Michonne in the morning so they wouldn’t try to kill him. He had no choice but to lock her up when she discovered their existence. She’s ready to slice his throat but stops when she realises what she’s about to do. The freed prisoners goad her to kill him but she says that killing him will take a part of them away, but showing mercy gives something to them: peace. They relent and knock him out, locking him in a cell. He promises to show Michonne where he kept her equipment.

They enter the storage closet, but Michonne notices a pair of boots in the corner that look familiar to her. She picks them up, sniffing them. She’s about to burst into tears, and knocks Virgil against the wall, asking him where the hell he got those boots.

“Alpha can’t hurt us anymore.” 

Virgil takes Michonne to a washed up boat, and she handcuffs him to a rail when they reach the inside. She rustles through some papers to find evidence of Rick being there, and finds an old phone with an image of her and Judith scratched on, and the word “Rick” above them. Virgil says that if the others would help him, he can get the boat’s engine working again so she can find who she’s looking for.

Virgil brings some supplies to Michonne in the woods, with the freed prisoners there to help her. They throw a few evil glances his way, but he doesn’t blame them. Michonne says they’re willing to change as they’re letting him come with them on the trip. Virgil admits that he wants to stay on the island as he promised his wife flowers every day. Michonne watches Virgil on the shore as she sails away on the boat.

Michonne tries Judith on the radio and she finally picks up. They catch each other up on their situations and Judith lets Michonne know that apparently Alpha will be leaving them alone from now on. Michonne tells Judith that she thinks her father might be alive, but doesn’t want to go looking for him just yet. She needs to get back home to take care of her and her brother. Judith won’t allow it; if there’s any hint of him being alive then she has to go for it. She accepts.

Michonne amputates and de-jaws a couple of walkers and comes across a couple trying to make their way to this massive movement of people moving up the road. She kills the walkers and extends her hand, helping one of them since he has a limp. They move towards the huge gathering of people.

The End 

So, that’s it. I guess this is the end of Danai Gurira‘s run on the show, at least for now. I wonder if she’ll have a part to play in the upcoming Rick Grimes film that’s apparently still happening, but I don’t know.

This was a pretty safe send-off; better not to kill her in case she needs to come back. This is, however, another long-time mainstay who has left the show. I guess it isn’t the biggest deal anymore since she hasn’t been around for a while and the core team has held their own in her absence.

Catch me on The Beat this Sunday for my recap of the next episode, “Look At the Flowers.”

 

The post Recap: THE WALKING DEAD S10E13, “What We Become” appeared first on The Beat.

Weekend Update with Nico

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Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.  If you are a first time reader, we are glad you found your way to comicbookspeculation.com and encourage you to review the wealth of content available on this site.

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We  hope that you find this information useful and encourage you to share your thoughts in the comment section below.  I do a terrible job of replying to comments. But I do read all of the comments, and I appreciate most of the comments.

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Please share this website with others in the collector community.  Tell your friends about Comicbookspeculation.com.

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We are on Instagram@cbs_daily and on facebook as Comic Book Speculation.  You can also find us on YouTube at Comic Book Wars where we discuss comic book news, market trends, speculation and investment strategies each and every Tuesday around 9:30 pm EST.  We also have the best Facebook group in comics, we are on Instagram @comicbookwarspodcast and I have a Facebook Page called Nico Time where you can communicate with me individually and share your own thoughts about the hobby.  If you aren’t already watching the Comic Book Wars podcast, we’ll be back each and every week to discuss comics, market trends, speculation, investment, sales strategies and more!

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Without further ado,

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This is your Weekend Update! 

 

The Corona Comic Market Continues … 

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This week Bleeding Cool broke the story that Diamond Comic Distributors is closing its doors for the foreseeable future.  This is devastating for retailers who rely upon new comic sales as a primary source of revenue and income.   Steve Geppi, Chairman & CEO of Geppi Family Enterprises and Founder of Diamond Comic Distributors issued a press release stating “Product distributed by Diamond and slated for an on-sale date of April 1st or later will not be shipped to retailers until further notice.”

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Comic collectors, retailers and investors are scared about the future of the hobby in a world where many are uncertain if they will have a job to return to when they are released from their home to return to the workforce.  It remains unclear what the economic forecast is for America, but few would suggest that we are not destined for a major recession.

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What is the impact on a back issue market when collectors are unable to purchase new comics?  Will this drive collectors into the online back issue market? What impact will “social distancing,” the lack of a convention season and the forced closure of comic shops across the country on a fragile collectibles community?

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There are no simple answers to any of these questions and so many moving parts that it would be naive for me to speculate, but I suspect that we will continue to see major changes in the comic market for the remainder of the calendar year and perhaps well into 2021.

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Personally, I don’t understand the psychology of hoarding toilet paper anymore than I understand people who don’t flip comics to buy better comics.  What we have not seen yet, is any attempt to make a run on any particular comic online. In other words, no one is attempting to buy up every copy of any particular book to drive up the price of that book.  In a market where collectors can’t go to shows or their local comic shop to hunt for back issues, I believe we are susceptible to price gouging.

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When people are worried about putting food on the table, they are not concerned with anything else.  It is unclear whether the congressional COVID19 relief package will restore faith in the economy or bolster spending, but it certainly provides relief that is desperately needed by many Americans.  The hardest part about making economic predictions is that they are much like predictions about comics in the sense that you are attempting to predict how others will perceive something. In other words, the first step towards a healthy comic market is the belief by comic collectors that the comic market is regaining its strength.

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No one knows how bad the economy is going to get because no one can predict whether social distancing as a public health policy will be effective, what measures the government will enact to prevent the spread of COVID19 and to what extent people will do their part to combat a public health crisis.

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Each week we are seeing big books dropped on eBay in no reserve auctions that are being sold by serious collectors who are forced to part with some of the most prized comics in their collection.  Ebay is letting online retailers apply to defer their monthly bills in an effort to assist their valued customer base. PayPal is attempting to safeguard against fraud by putting holds on money paid to online sellers.  I have been subject to multiple return claims and an onslaught of unpaid items. I am confident that large retailers (as opposed to casual enthusiasts like myself) are suffering much more substantial inconvenience and hardship.  Please do your part to be a valued member of our community. It is our shared responsibility to one another that will help our hobby rebound.

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Now more than ever, the comic market is grateful for it ties to Hollywood.  Clearly the volume of revenue attached to Disney+ Marvel television shows and MCU films is more important to the future of the comic book market than ever before.  If for no other reason than my confidence in the return of comic related media projects to Hollywood, I do not fear for the long term health of the comic market. In the interim, cash is king – spend wisely.

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This is the way the world ends … not with a bang, but with a [cough!] 

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Last week, I talked about a few of my absolute favorite comics and some of my favorite writers.  This week, since many of us are doing our part to stay at home and not spread COVID19, I want to talk about some more of my favorite comics – post-apocalyptic comics.  For whatever reason, I am drawn to post-apocalyptic stories. I could tell you that they are particularly compelling because they put normal people under extraordinary pressures and give characters the opportunity to show heroism in a way that conventional plots can’t, but I would probably just be rationalizing.  The truth is, I just think they are cool as hell. I am particularly drawn to these stories under the current circumstances. Not because I fear that this is the end of the world, but because these stories remind me that what sometimes feels like the end of the world is just the first grim chapter of an amazing story.

 

These are some of the post-apocalyptic stories, I find fascinating.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

 

 

Age of Apocalypse 

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Age of Apocalypse 

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Perhaps I am showing my age (90s comics raised me), perhaps I am still looking towards the future and see the light of Disney’s X-Men shining in the distance.  Whatever it may be, I loved Age of Apocalypse. This is the cross-over event that arose out of the death of Charles Xavier in the X-Men timeline where Apocalypse wins.  It is a masterpiece and pits Magneto’s X-Men against Apocalypse. If you haven’t read it – it’s awesome.

 

Akira

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Akira #32

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I’m part of the generation that grew up on Akira.  I lived for the animated film and loved the comics.  I wasn’t old enough for either of them when I was first introduced to them at a young age, but grew to appreciate them in a much more meaningful way when I was older.  Akira tells the story of two teens, Tetsu and Kaneda, who fight for their lives in a dystopian neo-Tokyo following a nuclear explosion. The series pits our reluctant slaker heros against a government agency that is experimenting on young people.  It’s a breathtaking work of art that is near and dear to my heart.

 

Crossed 

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Crossed

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Garth Ennis creator owned comic Crossed is one of the wildest comics period.  The series is not for the faint of heart and explores incredibly dark and violent themes.  Crossed: One Hundred does homage covers that are a love letter to the Golden Age and are striking.  The story is about survivors dealing with a pandemic that causes its victims to engage in their most evil thoughts. Those afflicted with the virus are the “Crossed” due to a large, cross-like rash that appears on their face.  The contagion is spread through bodily fluids like any traditional virus. If there was ever a time to read this series, now is the time.

 

Days of Future Past 

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X-Men #141

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If there was only one X-Men story that could ever be retold, I would choose Days of Future Past.  It is Chris Claremont and John Byrne at their finest. The story focuses on a future where mutants are incarcerated in internment camps.  These two issues tell the greatest X-Men story ever told.

 

DMZ

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81236-18007-105414-1-dmz

DMZ #1 (TV Show)

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Apparently I’m going to keep talking about this book.  I wish I was sitting on a giant stack of them, I am not.  This book has been up and is back down regardless of the interest in the series following news that HBO was green lighting a television series.  The book is awesome. I love Brian Wood’s work. I also enjoyed Massive and hope you check out that book as well. DMZ centers on Matty Roth, a reporter embedded on the frontline of the battleground, which readers quickly discover is New York.  After the 9/11 attack, the US was plunged into a new Civil War between forces of the United States of America and secessionist Free States of America. The book is political so be warned if that is not your thing, but it is a series that I enjoyed.

 

Hulk Future Imperfect

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Hulk Future Imperfect

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Peter David shines with the story of the Maestro.  These books enjoy pencils and ink by the legendary George Perez.  In this two part series Hulk gets slug into the a dystopian future where he is forced to battle the evil Maestros who has enslaved a population and killed all of the other super beings on the planet.  The series is fun, smart, and a classic.

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Infinite Horizen 

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Infinite Horizon #2

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Phil Noto’s artwork on this book is beautiful.  It is inspired by the Odyssey and is as dark as it gets.  It is a not unfamiliar story of a father attempting to reunite with his wife and child.  It’s worth checking out.

 

Lazarus 

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Lazarus

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Greg Ruka is at his finest penning the book Lazarus.  The central idea of Lazarus is that super elite families have a technologically enhanced protector, a Lazarus.  Carlyle is her family’s Lazarus and this is her story. The book is written in a world where super wealthy elite families own everything, including other people who basically live and work in serfdom.  It’s a great book and tells a moral story with a backdrop that involves corruption, greed, power and betrayal. It’s my kind of book. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Night of the Living Deadpool

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Night of the Living Deadpool #1

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As far as Marvel comics go, I am not going to talk about Kirkman’s run on Marvel Zombies.  I am going to suggest that you check out Night of the Living Deadpool It’s a great story and a fun read that is basically Deadpool vs. Zombies.  If you are a fan of the original George Romeros film Night of the Living Dead, I think you will enjoy this story.

 

Y the Last Man

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Y The Last Man #1

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In the tradition of the great Jack Kirby, Brian K. Vaughan writes the hilarious story of escape artist Yorick Brown.  This series is premised on the idea of what would happen if a virus killed every Y chromosome mammal on earth. Except, of course for Yorrick Brown and his adorable pet Ampersand.  This book is awesome and has some of the most beautifully illustrated cover art in comics. It is worth a read and still slated for a small screen release on FX in 2020.

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Curating your collection in a down market

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In light of the massive uncertainty felt in the comic market and in global financial markets, my advice is to take this time to curating your collection.  Select those books that are really meaningful to you, sell those books that you can do without, organize your books, make a concerted effort to decide how to display your books in a manner that celebrates their importance to you, replace old bags and boards.  Treat your collection like a personal museum – it deserves that sort of attention. Sell those books that are less meaningful to you, but only sell books if you are committed to buying books that are more meaningful to you (or if economic circumstances demand that you sell).

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I am apprehensive about moving bundling books and unloading large lots.  It is a buyers market and without new comics and comic shops to satisfy buyers’ hunger to dig for comics, I suspect that those who are able to hold onto key books or have the capital to buy discounted keys will do best in this down market.   As I mentioned in weeks past, it appears that all of the forthcoming television and film projects are on hold for the time being and the excitement around those projects is quickly fading. This is an opportune time to think about what the bottom number you believe these key books may dip to in a down market.

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For me, this is a great time to dig into historical data and analyze the trajectory of the market.  GPA and other online services document the price of books in years past. I can’t say that this is a firm indicator of where the market will go if the economy continues to recede, but it is certainly instructive evidence that we should be thinking about when we consider the future of the comic market.

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In the interim, I want to give you something to be hopeful about.  Collectors are still buying major keys and spending major money in the comic market.  These are some of the live auction results that I’ve been following that I hope you find as interesting as I do:
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Amazing Spider-Man #300 CGC 9.8 sold for $1,985.00

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ASM 300

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The Human Torch #23 1946 sold for $1,291.85

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Human Torch
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HUNT FOR WOLVERINE # 1 1:1000 B&W Sketch  CGC SS 9.8 Adam Kubert sold for $610.00

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Hunt for Wolverine

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Incredible Hulk #181 (1974) CGC 9.0 white pages sold for $5,422.99

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hulk 181

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Incredible Hulk #180 (1974) CGC 9.0 white pages sold for $1,160.00

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Hulk 180 9.0

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Incredible Hulk #180 (1974) CGC 9.6 white pages sold for $2,801.00

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Hulk 180

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Transformers #1 (1984) CGC 9.8 white pages sold for $565.89

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Transformers #1

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Action Comics #23 (1940) Restored CGC 3.0 sold for $5,356.66

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Action comics 23

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Fantastic Four #52 (1966) CGC 7.0 sold for $1,036.22

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FF 52

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Please do not delude yourself into believing that the comic market has collapsed.  We are in a recession, but big books will always sell and serious buyers will find away to buy big books.  If you are apprehensive about the future of the market, you are not alone, but this creates buying opportunities.  The great thing about fluid markets is that change is incremental. That means there’s buying and selling opportunities in bear markets and bull markets alike.  Be smart and have fun.

As always, I look forward to your comments and appreciate you spending time with me.  Until next time, “Happy Hunting you bunch of Savages!” .

 

– Nico, Esq.

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Read more articles from Nico here.

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DC finally reveals the alternate BATMAN: A DEATH IN THE FAMILY art in which Jason Todd lived

Batman: A Death in the Family, the seminal four-part storyline by Jim Starlin, Jim Aparo, Mike DeCarlo, Adrienne Roy, and John Costanza, saw the end of Jason Todd as the second Robin at the hands of The Joker — and over 5,000 fans who voted in a phone-in poll to kill him off. As outlined in The Beat‘s oral history of the event, DC compiled two different versions of Batman #428, the issue in which Jason would be revealed to either live or die. The finished product had Batman discover Jason’s body in the wreckage of an exploded warehouse, and featured a funeral scene for both Jason and his mother. A page of the alternate artwork was used in 2005’s Batman Annual #25, but the majority of it, which amounted to a handful of panels and one full page of work penciled by Aparo, inked by DeCarlo, and lettered by Costanza, has only been seen by a select few, instead residing in DC’s archives for over three decades.

Until now.

As part of DC Daily’s Robin Week, yesterday’s episode focused on A Death in the Family, and concluded its main segment with a look at the never-before-seen artwork from the alternate version of Batman #428. The video doesn’t appear to be available to embed, but the artwork is shown off at around the 13:50 mark. You can see some screenshots below.

Jason Todd

Jason Todd

Jason Todd

The pages show Batman finding Jason and discovering he’s alive. Having taken him to a hospital, Dick Grayson arrives to ask Bruce if he needs help taking down The Joker, which Bruce declines, saying he’d prefer to do things alone from now on. As the artwork is shown, the panelists note the editorial markings on the pages, indicating that, had these pages been used, Dick would have been replaced by Alfred (and in the final version, after Jason’s death, Alfred does ask Bruce if he wants to call Dick for help).

I’ve loved A Death in the Family since I was a tiny child comic book reader. It’s one of the first Batman stories I ever read, Jason Todd was my first Robin, and I’ve long been fascinated by the ‘what if’ of it all. Getting to see these pages has been a wish of mine for literal decades, so having them shown off in this video – even if it’s fleeting, even if you can’t read all of it, and even if there’s still a patch panel that’s not shown super-clearly – is really a delightful way to finish the week.

And maybe this’ll open the door for a deluxe edition of A Death in the Family, featuring all of the alternate art in which Jason Todd survives? A fan can hope.

The post DC finally reveals the alternate BATMAN: A DEATH IN THE FAMILY art in which Jason Todd lived appeared first on The Beat.

FRUITS BASKET season 2 picked up at Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll announced on Friday that Fruits Basket season 2 is being added to the streamer’s upcoming spring 2020 lineup, along with launch dates for several other shows including Tower of God, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom, Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, Woodpecker Detective’s Office and more.

Fruits Basket – or at least the current version – is a reboot of the hit 2001 anime directed by Akitaro Daichi. Fans absolutely loved the single season, but, given that were at least 20 more volumes of manga, they craved more. In 2005, Funimation began to feel the same way, calling on fans to fold 1000 paper cranes to help grant a wish. Those cranes were then sent to Studio Deen in a plead for more Fruits Basket. 15 years later, here we are.

Check out the official synopsis below, along with promo art and a trailer. Fruits Basket season 2 airs Saturday, April 6 at 10:30am PDT.

Tohru Honda lives with the Soma clan and helps keep their bizarre secret: when hugged by the opposite sex, they turn into the animals of the Zodiac. But knowing and keeping the secret is only the beginning. What mysteries lie beneath this dark family secret?

fruits basket season 2

The post FRUITS BASKET season 2 picked up at Crunchyroll appeared first on The Beat.

Tween Titans & more debut in DC SUPER HERO GIRLS

It’s safe to say that we’re all going a little batty with all the self-isolation and social distancing. Fear not, for new episodes DC Super Hero Girls are now airing on Cartoon Network that include the first appearance of the Tween Titans!

Tween Titans

No, that’s not a typo. A decidedly different iteration of the Teen Titans team will be debuting on the DCSHG cartoon. The Tween Titans are voiced by:

Robin — Keith Ferguson
Starfire— Grey Griffin
Cyborg— Phil Lamarr
Beast Boy — Kari Wahlgren
Raven — Tara Strong

They may look sweet and innocent, but trust me that looks can be deceiving.

Tween Titans

Other episodes will feature Casey Krinsky (voiced by Lara Jill Miller), a relatively obscure villain who only appeared in two issues of the Jason Rusch/Firestorm comic. Plus a demon (voiced by Steve Blum) that debuted in the first issue of the Zatanna comic written by Paul Dini makes the jump to animation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the episode descriptions below.

Sunday, March 29
4:00 p.m. (ET/PT) “#LivingTheNightmare”
Written by Juston Gordon-Montgomery
Directed by Phil Allora & Natalie Wetzig
When Zee’s friends are held captive in their nightmares by a dream demon, she’ll have to confront her own hidden insecurities, or risk the Super Hero Girls being trapped in a prison of their own fears forever.

Sunday, April 5
4:00 p.m. (ET/PT) “#AllAboutZee”
Written by Ryan Faust
Directed by Noëlle Raffaele
Zee Zatara is flattered when she meets an overeager admirer named Casey Krinsky, but soon realizes that “her biggest fan” wants much more than just an autograph.

Sunday, April 12
4:00 p.m. (ET/PT) “#TweenTitans”
Written by Tim Sheridan
Directed by Natalie Wetzig
Jessica Cruz is hired by billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne to chaperone young Dick Grayson’s Metropolis birthday bash and brings Karen Beecher along to help, but the girls get more than they bargained for when the TWEEN party guests reveal their TITANic personalities.

Saving the day is super easy when you’re a Super Hero. But stopping evil in its tracks while keeping up grades and managing a social life, all before curfew? Ugh. That’s, like, super tough. DC Super Hero Girls are more than crime-fighting besties, they’re a diverse group of dedicated super-teens! Working together, they fight the battles of Metropolis and the battles of growing, up all at the same time. Always discovering new ways to control their powers and abilities, these awesome girls are quickly learning (sometimes the hard way) how to deal with the super challenges of being a teenage Super Hero.

We all have the power to make a difference. Just make sure to use it for good or you’ll find yourself up against those tenacious teens, the DC Super Hero Girls.

The first thirteen episodes of DC Super Hero Girls are now available to stream on Netflix in the US.

The post Tween Titans & more debut in DC SUPER HERO GIRLS appeared first on The Beat.

The Watchmen are here to tell you to wash your grubby little mitts

HBO’s Watchmen ended last December, spurring controversy around its treatment of race and debate over whether or not director Damon Lindelhof would return to adapt another season of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ original graphic novel. Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s something even better than another season – and that is the cast of Watchmen telling you to wash your hands.

On Friday, the show’s official Twitter account dropped the video, which is aptly titled Washmen. Reprising their roles are Tim Blake NelsonYahya Abdul-Mateen II, Regina King, Jean Smart, Tom Mison, Sara Vickers, Dustin Ingram and Jovan Adepo. Each character’s got their own method of making sure that they’re properly washing their hands for at least 20 seconds – and they’re all hilarious for anyone who’s seen the show.

Lube Man  Agent Dale Petey, for instance, tells himself “you’re an FBI agent, not the Lone f**king ranger” about eight times and makes sure to use plenty of hand soap so that his hands are adequately lubricated prior to washing. Angela Abar, on the other hand, simply says she’s “gonna count to twenty. Real slow,” slightly menacingly.

And to wrap up, Mr Phillips has a very kind message for viewers: “We’re not one person. We’re a community. Look after each other.” Be like the Watchmen and wash your hands (and also check this video out).

The post The Watchmen are here to tell you to wash your grubby little mitts appeared first on The Beat.

The Secret Origin of JUNE BRIGMAN

On POWER PACK, BRENDA STARR, MARY WORTH, CAPTAIN GINGER, teaching, and maybe some more POWER PACK.

SOURCE POINT PRESS June 2020 Solicitations

GUTTER MAGIC, DANGER DEVIL, and more.

GRAPHIC NOVEL CLUB: SUNNY ROLLS THE DICE author Jennifer Holm talks art and creation

The Beat is a proud sponsor of Comix Experience’s Graphic Novel of the Month Clubs, which bring comics fans a curated mix of the best of new release graphic novels and conversations with the creators who make them. Each month, the staff of Comix Experience votes on two sets of upcoming books they are most excited—one gets presented to adults and another to middle readers. Each club provides schwag like original signed custom bookplates for adults or buttons and magnets for the kids (in this case, the latter, to support the featured book The Sunny Rolls the Dice).

sunny rolls the dice

Most excitingly, the Graphic Novel Clubs bring in the creators of selected books to talk exclusively to GNC members in interviews conducted by Comix Experience owner Brian Hibbs, who brings thirty years of experience in comics to the table. These talks are livestreamed to members all over the country and are a fun and informative mix of conversation on craft and form, as well as on the business of making comics.  The Graphic Novel Clubs make a point of being inclusive, inviting creators from a wide variety of age, race, sex, and cultural perspectives to speak to members.

Membership is what propels these conversations, so if you like what you see, please support these discussions of comics, and the creators who make them, by joining the club.

This week: This week on Graphic Novel Club, join Brian Hibbs as he talks to writer Jennifer Holm about Sunny Rolls the Dice, which is illustrated by her brother, Matthew Holm.

Too cool for school . . . or the least groovy girl in the grade?

Sunny’s just made it to middle school . . . and it’s making her life very confusing. All her best friend Deb wants to talk about is fashion, boys, makeup, boys, and being cool. Sunny’s not against any of these things, but she also doesn’t understand why suddenly everything revolves around them. She’s much more comfortable when she’s in her basement, playing Dungeons & Dragons with a bunch of new friends. Because when you’re swordfighting and spider-slaying, it’s hard to worry about whether you look cool or not. Especially when it’s your turn to roll the 20-sided die.

Trying hard to be cool can make you feel really uncool . . . and it’s much more fun to just have fun. Sunny’s going to find her groove and her own kind of groovy, with plenty of laughs along the way.

Graphic Novel Club Banner

The post GRAPHIC NOVEL CLUB: SUNNY ROLLS THE DICE author Jennifer Holm talks art and creation appeared first on The Beat.

DC Continuing Some New Releases Through Booktrade Distributor During DIAMOND Stoppage

What is the bigger picture?

ONI PRESS June 2020 Solicitations

JONNA & THE UNPOSSIBLE MONSTERS, RICK & MORTY GO TO HELL, INVADER ZIM QUARTERLY, and more.

CHAMPIONS #2 Postponed Three Weeks

While other questions persist about the #1 - and every other Marvel comic going forward.

BRUCE WAYNE Moves to Public School in GOTHAM HIGH Trailer

BRUCE WAYNE isn't BATMAN yet, but he's still having high school age adventures.

TKO Offers 50% of Online Purchases to Comic Shops

TKO starts up an initiative to aid direct market retailers facing coronavirus hardships.

SHUT IN THEATER: Choose Your Own Streaming Adventure

By Kayla Marie

These are bizarre times, so why not make it fun?

As someone with health conditions that classify me as high risk, I am down to “one out” a day. Meaning I get to leave (for essentials) once a day until this mess is sorted out. This means that I, someone who has covered tv and film for 5 years, have managed to consume large amounts of streaming content over the past two weeks. I strategically pick a platform every day, and I don’t stray. I stay, deeply seated, starting with one property, and listlessly moving to the next until I end up somewhere completely different than where I started. 

So, with all of that said, let’s have some fun with this concept, shall we? (You might want to bookmark this article.)

Click where you’d like to begin today:

Netflix

Hulu

Disney+

Prime Video

 

Netflix

Choose Your Own Streaming Adventure: Netflix.

So you’ve decided to begin with the OG streaming platform. Well played. You have quite a few options here.

Nostalgia Watches

Here lives the universal favorites: The Office, Parks and Rec, Schitt’s Creek, The Good Place.  And then those with cult-like followings: Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, Scandal, Jane the Virgin. Now is the perfect time to fall down the rabbit hole into any of these series (just a note – if you start The Office, skip season 1 for now and start with Season 2, Episode 21, “Conflict Resolution.” Trust me.)

Netflix Originals

Fortunately, if you choose this path, the Netflix originals are diverse and expansive. From On My Block, to You, to Stranger Things, to the newest favorite, Beastars, the Netflix originals have content for just about anyone. (This writer’s opinion: The Haunting of Hill House. TRUST ME.)

Hulu

Choose Your Own Streaming Adventure: Hulu.

You have arrived at reality and network tv paradise. Here you can lose yourself in the vanity, the obscure, and the unbelievable. 

Bring Down The Hammer

Here is where crime dramas/thrillers thrive, so tune into old favorites like NUMB3RS and Lie To Me, start from the beginning of ongoing series like Law and Order: SVU and CSI, or start something brand new like Little Fires Everywhere. (This writer’s suggestion: You literally can never go wrong with a Law and Order: SVU marathon.)

Must Watch

Hulu has an advantage over Netflix when it comes to their relationship with network TV. This means if you choose this path, all of your reality tv show needs will be fulfilled. From 90-Day Fiance to every season of America’s Next Top Model to the ever-popular Dr. Pimple Popper, there is quite literally something for everyone, if you please. (This writer’s suggestion: DR. PIMPLE POPPER!)

Disney+

Choose Your Own Streaming Adventure: Disney+.

For those that enter here, a wonderous journey lies ahead. Or at the very least, a day of endless binging. 

Obscure Vault

The Cat From Outer Space. The Apple Dumpling Gang. The Love Bug. These are just a few of the Disney live-action vault classics that one can stumble upon during their streaming journey. So if you are in the mood for a wild, bizarre streaming day, this is our suggestion. (This writer’s pick: nothing is quite as fulfilling as the original Parent Trap.)

Classics

Look at these movies, aren’t they neat? Wouldn’t you think the collection is… ok, you get the gist. Almost. Every. Single. Disney. Animated. Classic. You want princesses? You got it. You want magic and adventure? IT ALL LIVES HERE. This writer’s suggestion? Clearly Tangled, because we can all mostly relate right now. (This writer’s pick: the criminally underrated classic, The Black Cauldron.)

All The Feels

These are uncertain times, and sometimes you just need a really good cry. That’s where Pixar comes in. However, for every tear spilled, there is a joyous moment that will lift you back up. And honestly, we could use that right now. (This writer’s choice: you can’t go wrong with going back to the beginning, Toy Story.)

Special Viewings

There’s a secret trail one can take while pursuing the Disney+ path, and that’s indulging in the content that they are putting straight to digital streaming. For those that were not able to catch Frozen 2 in theaters, it arrived early on the platform. Pixar’s Onward was unable to have a full theater run, so it was released straight to digital for purchase and will debut on Disney+ on April 3rd. Also, it wouldn’t be a surprise if The Rise of Skywalker makes its debut in the coming weeks as well. (This writer wants you to watch Frozen 2, if only for the forest Chicago-esque love ballad.)

Prime Video

Choose Your Own Streaming Adventure: Prime Video.

Here is where the possibilities are very much so endless. So many choices, so many paths.

Expansive Library 

Prime Video, included in the Amazon Prime subscription, has managed to nab some elusive titles. Whether you’re in the mood for a full series binge of one of their critically-acclaimed Amazon originals or diving into a classic 90s favorite, their library is sure to satisfy streamers curiosity. (This writer’s option: The Man in the High Castle, GET INTO IT.)

Add-On Fun

What makes Amazon unique and sets the platform apart from the others is the wide array of add-ons that streamers can combine with their base Prime Video subscription. Feel like re-watching every season of Game of Thrones (except the last one)? You can add HBO. In the mood to fall down a rabbit hole of Bollywood movies? There’s a subscription for those. Located under the “Prime Channels” tab, take a trip down this path and delight in all of the many options available to you.

Whichever path you decide to take while waiting out the chaos, know that there is no wrong streaming path. In times like these, an escape is needed and if that means you take solace in binging a show or having a movie marathon, know you are not alone. Plan a virtual streaming party and make the best of it. We’re all in this one together

The post SHUT IN THEATER: Choose Your Own Streaming Adventure appeared first on The Beat.

X-FORCE Re-Enlists OSCAR BAZALDUA for #11 to Replace Original Artist

OSCAR BAZALDUA continues to be X-FORCE's go-to back-up artist.

Week Ending – March 27th, 2020

Welcome to our weekly Newsletter!  This week we highlight some big sales for a few videogame based comics, call out a new Star Wars book that’s been trending, and show some love for the Marvel Zombies series. We hope you enjoy!

 

COVRPRICE SHAKERS

Every day CovrPrice’s Daily Shaker List calls out 50 comics with the highest sales value sold that day. Throughout the week we pull the more interesting ones and elaborate on them here. Check out our Shaker List here.

 

SHAKER: BATMAN BEYOND #1 (DC, 1999)

This first appearance of Batman Beyond is a book that shot up due to incorrect speculation and just never came back down, even the spec was quickly shot down. This book hit an all-new raw height with a huge $200 sale. That’s pretty crazy. Can’t imagine what it’ll do if we actually do see new Batman Beyond content.

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: BLADE: VAMPIRE HUNTER #1 – WHITE VARIANT (MARVEL, 1999)

In 1999, Marvel did a lot of these “white” background variants for their new re-launches. This Blade series was one of those. For years, this was mostly ignored. However, when Blade was announced for a new series on Disney+, folks started looking for his harder to find variants, like this. Although the series was canceled, it sure didn’t stop this variant as it sold for its highest price ever at $115 for a raw copy. It’s sales like this that tell me the after-market is doing just fine right now. 

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: CRIME SUSPENSTORIES #20 (EC, 1953)

This classic “hanging” SOTI (*see SECRET DIARIES under KEY OF THE WEEK below for more on SOTI) cover had a big sale of $1,075 for a raw copy, almost reaching its highest sale of $1,147 for a CGC 5.5.

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: GARGOYLES #1 (MARVEL, 1995)

With lower budgets in mind, we tried to find cheaper books that may not pay the mortgage, but are worth grabbing when you see them. As we mention often, 90’s nostalgia is driving comics that have been passed over in 25 cent bins for decades. This first appearance of the very popular GARGOYLES animated show is a book that sells for $20+, like with this week’s raw sale of $22.95. Also, check out the scarce last issue of the series, issue #11. This can hit up to $40 pretty easily. 

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER #1 1ST MOON KNIGHT HOMAGE VARIANT (ARCHIE, 2017)

There are A TON of store variants today. While it can be overwhelming to keep track, some definitely rise to the top of hot variants. This is one of them. This was a Stadium Comics exclusive back in 2017 and was limited to 500 copies. It’s amazing at how fast 500 copies can dry up as this one has. It’s tough to find a copy and when it does come up, they’re selling for higher and higher amounts. This week we tracked its highest raw sale at $95. The highest sale belongs to a CGC 9.2 for $179.99. Do you have one? There are none listed, so the market is all yours. 

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: MISTER MYSTERY #12 ( STANLEY MORSE, 1953) 

This classic PCH cover is categorized as an “Eye Injury” cover. Like bondage, good girl, skeleton, decapitation, etc. PCH had all types of different classifications. This hard to find book had its biggest raw sale on our site at $1,802 for GOOD (2.0) condition copy. PCH books are still some of the best investment books… if you can find them. 

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: MORTAL KOMBAT II (MIDWAY GAMES, 1994) 

This hard to find mail-away variant is… well… hard to find. It keeps selling for a magical $179.99. Gaming based comics are BIG sellers these days. Most of them were thrown away or disregarded by 90’s collectors. Today, nostalgia is driving prices up for the scarce copies that pop up.

(Find on eBay)

 

 

SHAKER: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #13 (ARCHIE, 1994)

Continuing with lower budgets in mind, this first appearance of Knuckles in this issue is trending with its most recent raw sale of $30. With the success of the SONIC film, maybe we’ll get a second film and see Knuckles or Tails. 

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: SPAWN #199 (IMAGE, 2009)

Over the past years, Spawn books have boomed in the aftermarket. This is one that’s been quietly and slowly climbing. It sold for $41 raw. Issues 151 to 260 are considered the low print issues to pay attention to. 

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: TAROT #4 – MOONEY 1:50 VARIANT (MARVEL, 2020)

One of the last incentive variants for a little while made a big jump up from $35 to $105. There have only been a few sales listed. Those $35 sales were from MyComicShop and there’s a current auction already over $130 for this hard to find variant. 

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

RUMORED/OPTIONED COMIC BOOKS

RUMORED/OPTIONED: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #124 (MARVEL, 1973)

Rumors are swirling that the next Sony solo film may be a solo Man-Wolf film (whose first appearance is in this issue). While we doubt this specific point, we do think it could be likely for Man-Wolf to appear in the next Spidey film. 

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

RUMORED/OPTIONED:  KANAN THE LAST PADAWAN #1 (MARVEL, 2015)

The Star Wars character Sabine Wren is rumored to also appear alongside Ashoka in Season 2 of the Mandalorian. Her first appearance is in KANAN THE LAST PADAWAN #1. The variant for issue 1 has seen the biggest jump from $13 pre-rumor to now $50.

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

WHAT THE WATCHER WATCHES

WATCHING: STAR WARS LEGACY #1 WONDERCON VARIANT (DARK HORSE, 2013)

Dark Horse Star Wars titles are booming right now. Between the Mandalorian, Knights of the Old Republic and The High Republic, first appearances are hot, hot hot! This particular STAR WARS LEGACY issue features the first appearance of Ania Solo, Ania Solo, a distant descendant of Han and Leia. We’re not sure WHERE this falls in all the various content, but we do know that this  2013 Wondercon variant (limited to 1,000 copies), with Ania on the cover, is now selling for $100. 

(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

WATCHING: ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #22 (MARVEL, 2005) 

Marvel Zombies is set to appear on DISNEY+’s WHAT IF? Series. If you haven’t seen images of the early animation, it truly looks fantastic (actual image from the episode below). This series was a game-changer at the time and was truly awesome and one of our favorite reads of all time (specifically this specific Ult. FF original storyline and first Marvel Zombies series). This early buzz is enough to start moving copies of their first appearance in this issue. It had its highest sale ever at $399.99 for a CGC 9.8, which blows the last highest of $255 in August out of the water. Raw copies still sell below $10, so this is a perfect book to pick up while waiting for new releases to come back. Look for those NM copies, they’re out there. And if you haven’t read this series, call/email your LCS and see if they can mail or do curb-side pick up for a copy. You will love it.

With that said, the first MARVEL ZOMBIES series is also seeing some gains. Despite his reportedly notorious convention behavior, Arthur Suydan made some absolutely gorgeous art for this series. It was the series that you wanted to collect every cover for. The MARVEL ZOMBIES #1 – 2ND PRINT variant is one of those for McFarlane’s VERY homaged Spider-Man #1 cover. A raw copy of that cover sold for $45 this week, which is about where it was when it came out. Keep in mind that this is JUST one episode of WHAT IF. However, we feel that it might kick-off new attention. Ones to WATCH for sure!

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KEY COMIC BOOK  OF THE WEEK

KEY OF THE WEEK: SECRET DIARIES #29 (ST. JOHN 1955) 

This classic Matt Baker cover (AKA – the king of romance covers) was noted as the first comic code approved issue. It had its highest sale that we’ve tracked of $481.79 for a CGC 4.0. It’s a hard book to find. Only 2 copies have sold in the past two years. After all the crazy PCH covers, the SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT aka SOTI (a 1954 book by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, who warned that comic books would lead to juvenile delinquency… we chatted about it back in our 1/10/20 newsletter) changed everything for comics, leading publishers to offer tamer comics like this issue of SECRET DIARIES. Just compare it to MISTER MYSTERY #12 above. The tone shift from “eye injury” to “kissing teens” is pretty drastic. This is a great book for comic book historians. 

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Written By: Matt DeVoe | matt@covrprice.com


 

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Retro Review: Legionnaires #1-18 By The Bierbaums, Sprouse, Hughes & Others For DC Comics!

Legionnaires #1-18 (April 1993 – September 1994)

Written by Tom Bierbaum (#1-15), Mary Bierbaum (#1-15), Mark Waid (#16-18)

Co-written by Tom McCraw (#18)

Pencilled by Chris Sprouse (#1-6, 9-12), Adam Hughes (#7, 9, 12), Colleen Doran (#8), Brian Stelfreeze (#9), Joe Phillips (#11), Chris Gardner (#12, 14, 16-18), Frank Fosco (#13), Jeffrey Moy (#15)

Breakdowns by Adam Hughes (#10)

Finishes by Stuart Immonen (#10)

Inked by Karl Story (#1-6, 9-12), Mark Farmer (#7, 10), John Nyberg (#8), Wade Von Grawbadger (#11, 13), Dennis Cramer (#12, 14-18), Ron Boyd (#13)

Colour by Tom McCraw

Spoilers (from twenty-six to twenty-seven years ago)

Keith Giffen and Tom and Mary Bierbaum’s run on Legion of Super-Heroes (the fourth volume of that series) will probably stand forever as one of my all-time favourite runs of any superhero comic.  During their run, they introduced Batch SW6, a group of twenty teenage Legionnaires that were being held in a set of cocoons in a Dominator chamber under Metropolis. These Legionnaires had their minds and powers intact, and believe that they had come straight from 2977.  They joined the Earth’s Resistance, and the adult Legion, in helping free Earth from Dominator rule, although shortly after their victory, the Earth blew up.

Amidst all the destruction, just under 100 domed cities made it off the planet, and as this series opens, the Legionnaires, with some new members, new costumes, and new codenames, set themselves up as the heroes of New Earth under the tutelage of the adult Chameleon Boy.  

There was a lot of speculation as to who were the original Legionnaires and who were clones, with general consensus being that Giffen wanted the SW6 to be the real McCoys, and the Legion we’d been reading for years being clones.  All of that became rather immaterial after Giffen left, and this book, a companion to the Legion of Super-Heroes, was launched.

Originally, this title was intended to chronicle the revamped early adventures of the Legion, but instead, the decision was made to focus on the SW6 kids.  From what I remember, the tone of this book was more innocent and hero-focused, while the adult title stayed more, well, adult. I remember enjoying Chris Sprouse’s art, and the more optimistic tone this title took, but much of it is hazy now, especially after the events of Zero Hour erased this whole status quo, but kept many of the same uniforms.

I know that without Keith Giffen, both titles were not as strong as what preceded them, but I don’t think they were bad.  I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself with this different take on the classic characters.

Let’s track who turned up in the title:

The Legionnaires

  • Cosmic Boy (Rokk Krinn; #1-6, 8-14, 16, 18)
  • Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen; #1-2, 4, 6-16, 18)
  • Live Wire (Garth Ranzz; #1-4, 8-16, 18)
  • Chameleon (Reep Daggle; #1-4, 6, 8-14, 16-18)
  • Computo (Danielle Foccart; #1-2, 4-6, 8-16)
  • Ultra Boy (Jo Nah; #1-2, 4-7, 10-11, 13-18)
  • Ferro (Andrew Nolan; #1-2, 4-7, 10-11, 13, 15-16)
  • Invisible Kid (Lyle Norg; #1-4, 6, 8-9, 12-18)
  • Matter-Eater Lad (Tenzil Kem; #1-2, 4-7, 9-14, 16-18)
  • Gossamer (Ayla Ranzz; #1-4, 6-8, 10-13, 15-17)
  • Dragonmage (Xao Jin; #1-4, 6, 8-14, 16-18)
  • Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox; #1-3, 7-8, 10-11, 13, 15-18)
  • Andromeda (Laurel Gand; #1, 3-9, 11-17)
  • Alchemist (Jan Arrah; #1-4, 6, 8, 10, 12-14, 16-18)
  • Apparition (Tinya Wazzo; #1-2, 5-7, 10-11, 13, 15-18)
  • Catspaw (April Dumaka; #1, 4-6, 9-12, 16)
  • Triad (Luornu Durgo; #1-2, 6-8,11-14, 16-17)
  • Inferno (Dirk Morgna; #1-4, 7, 9-18)
  • Leviathan (Gim Allon; #1-3, 8-9, 12-14, 16-17)
  • Shrinking Violet (Salu Digby; #1-3, 5-7, 9-12, 14-18)
  • Kid Quantum (James Cullen; #12-14, 16-17)
  • Star Boy (Thom Kallor; #16-18)
  • Dream Girl (Nura Nal; #16-18)
  • Bouncing Boy (Chuck Taine; #16, 18)

The Legion of Super-Heroes

  • Captain Gim Allon (formerly Colossal Boy; #9)
  • Kono (Brita An’Nan; #10, 12-14, 18)
  • Kid Quantum (James Cullen; #10-11)
  • Rokk Krinn, aka Polestar (formerly Cosmic Boy; #16-18)
  • Dawnstar (#17)
  • Garth Ranzz (formerly Lightning Lad; #17-18)
  • Imra Ardeen (formerly Saturn Girl; #17-18)
  • Furball, aka Timber Wolf (Brin Londo; #17-18)
  • NRG, aka Wildfire (Drake Burroughs; #17-18)
  • Mysa Nal, aka Jewel (formerly the White Witch; #17-18)
  • Sussa Paka, aka Wave (formerly Spider Girl; #17)
  • Salu “Vi” Dibgy, aka Virus (formerly Shrinking Violet; #17-18)
  • Valor (Lar Gand; #17)
  • Tasmia Mallor (formerly Shadow Lass; #17)
  • Brainiac 5, aka B-5 (Querl Dox; #17-18)
  • Celeste Rockfish, aka Neon (#17-18)
  • Chemical King (#17)
  • Ayla Ranzz, aka Pulse (formerly Lighting Lass and Light Lass; #17-18)
  • Devlin O’Ryan (#18)
  • Thom Kallor (formerly Star Boy; #18)
  • Chuck Taine (formerly Bouncing Boy; #18)
  • Brek Bannin (formerly Polar Boy; #18)
  • Jan Arrah (formerly Element Lad; #18)
  • Nura Nal (formerly Dream Girl; #18)
  • Projectra (#18)
  • Jo Nah, aka Emerald Dragon (formerly Ultra Boy; #18)
  • Luornu Durgo (formerly Duo Damsel and Triplicate Girl; #18)

Villains

  • The Hand Gang (#1-2)
  • Mano (The Fatal Five; #1-2, 4-6)
  • Leland McCauley (#2, 4-6)
  • Mordecai (The Fatal Five; #2-6)
  • The Persuader (The Fatal Five; #3-6)
  • Emerald Empress II (Cera Kesh; #3-6)
  • Emerald Empress III (The Fatal Five; Ingria Olav; #4-5)
  • Tharok (The Fatal Five; #4-6)
  • Secretary Yarin (of Colu; #8)
  • Khunds (#9-11, 16
  • Dominator (#10-11)
  • Lothar St. Maixent (#12, 14)
  • Grimbor the Chainsman (#13-14)
  • Sklarian pirates (#13-14)
  • Mayf (#15)
  • Satan Girl (#17)
  • Urthlo (#17)
  • Mordru (#17-18)
  • Glorith (#17-18)
  • Beauty Blaze (#17)
  • Lightning Lord (#17)
  • Saturn Queen (#17)
  • Cosmic King (#17)
  • The Time Trapper (#18)

Guest Stars

  • X-Bomb Betty (#2)
  • Cera Kesh (#2-3)
  • Plaid Lad (#2)
  • Proteans (#9-11)
  • Accordion King (#9)
  • Barber Boy (#9)
  • Dev-Em (#17)
  • Lydda Jath (formerly Night Girl; #18)
  • Superman (Clark Kent; #18)

Supporting Characters

  • President Troy Stewart (President of New Earth, formerly Tyroc; #1, 9-10, 12)
  • Chief Sean Erin (Science Police New Earth; #2)
  • Vice-Chairperson Jeryl (United Planets; #5-6)
  • Keiki (#7, 15)
  • Unnamed female Dominator (#12-14)
  • Rond Vidar (#16-18)
  • Mekt Ranzz (formerly Lightning Lord; #17)

Let’s take a look at what happened in these books, with some commentary as we go:

  • The series opens with the original three Legionnaires working to save some people in a building fire.  Live Wire, who used to be called Lightning Lad, acts impulsively, but Cosmic Boy saves the day. Elsewhere, Chameleon (I’m not sure why the adult Cham would accept a codename again) and Computo are with Troy Stewart, the President of New Earth, trying to figure out the myriad problems that the structure is experiencing.  Troy figures many are caused by the ancient infrastructure and software holding things together. Computo impresses them by using her computer powers to fix most of the issues. They see through their monitors that Ultra Boy and Ferro, fka Ferro Lad, are working on some other fixes near a place where a flying car full of gang members toss a device at a power junction and blow it up.  Cham calls the two heroes, and Ferro chases and catches the car by dropping into the road in front of them in his iron form. One girl makes a break for it. Live Wire catches her, and Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl catch up. The girl claims she’s innocent and was being used by the other members of the Hand gang. Imra reads her mind and believes her. Not long after, Garth and Rokk are helping someone fix the power station, and they end up talking about Imra.  Garth goads Rokk into admitting that if she and Garth weren’t together, he’d be interested, and then Garth threatens him. At Legionnaires’ HQ, which is the classic upside down rocket ship that has never looked big enough to hold them all to me, the girl, Mega, tells her story to Cham, Danielle, Imra, and Invisible Kid. She claims that the gang holds the girls hostage, and shows that she has a black eye. Ferro calls them to the general meeting. The entire team has gathered, and we see new members Dragonmage and Catspaw getting to know the others.  Cham starts the meeting by recapping the war against the Dominion and the Earth’s destruction, and reiterates that he is with the team as an advisor. He wants the team to pick a new leader, and Invisible Kid turns down Brainiac 5’s nomination (despite the fact that he was just shown to be a terrific leader during the war), claiming he’s too shy. Imra suggests that Rokk take on the role, which causes Garth to pout. Everyone agrees, and Rokk names Danielle his deputy leader. Danielle introduces Mega, who explains that the Hand Gang is being run by a secret leader who wants them to trash things.  Cos wants them to infiltrate the gang, and suggests that the team be made up of Shrinking Violet, Triad (fka Duplicate Girl), Apparition (fka Phantom Girl), and Ultra Boy. Later, wearing jackets over their uniforms as disguises, the squad, being led by Tinya, follow Mega to the gang’s base. Some guys want to kill Jo right away, but Mega claims he’s from the Paris chapter of the gang, and they let him in. When one guy gets fresh with Triad, she triplicates and beats him up. Mega leads them to the leader’s rooms, and Jo takes out the guards. They are surprised to see that the leader is Mano, who is standing with a Hyrakian (who is blocking their connection to Saturn Girl).  Mano knows Mega, even though she didn’t know him, and he kills her. Jo attacks, but is knocked down, and as the issue ends, Mano stands over him, holding his death-hand over Jo’s face.
  • Violet creates a distraction, which allows Apparition to get the jump on Mano.  His own people shoot at her, hitting him. We see that two of Triad’s bodies have gone for help, and get out of the Hand Gang’s base so they can call to Saturn Girl.  Mano gases the others, and is about to kill Tinya when he finds himself floating near the ceiling. The wall breaks, and two thirds of Triad arrive with Inferno, Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, and Gossamer (which is the terrible new name given to Ayla).  Dirk takes out the rest of the Hand Gang’s guns, while Brainy checks on Ultra Boy and Violet. Ayla drops Mano, and the fight is over. Later, Dirk and Luornu deliver Mano to Chief Erin, who believes that someone must be providing financial and logistical support to Mano, but Mano won’t talk.  An SP officer helps someone look for a friend who has gone missing in the sewer tunnels below Metropolis. They find a body, and are attacked by something big. A large crowd has gathered outside Legionnaires’ HQ. Inside, we see that Jo is recovering from his injuries (I’m not sure how he got hurt when he is usually invulnerable.  Imra feels like she failed when she lost contact with the squad that infiltrated the Hand Gang, but Cosmic Boy takes responsibility. She flirts with him a bit. As he walks down the hall, Live Wire punches him in the nose, and threatens him to stay away from Imra. She comes along, and they pretend to be cool with each other. At a team meeting (which is not fully attended), no one can hear over the chanting of the crowd outside, who want to try out for the team.  Chameleon suggests they let some of them show what they’ve got. A group (Garth, Imra, Cham, Rokk, Dirk, and Matter-Eater Lad) go outside. Rokk picks one girl to try out, but another, more provocatively dressed one, pushes ahead. She calls herself X-Bomb Betty, and tells them that she has the power to explode, but she can only use it once. She is rejected. Rokk insists that the other girl try out. Her name is Cera Kesh, and she explains she can make people float.  She lifts Garth with her mind, and then drops him. Garth is rude to her, and Dirk makes jokes about her weight (this book is feeling pretty regressive for a look a thousand years into the future). A guy called Plaid Lad turns Tenzil and Cham’s costumes into plaid, and gets rejected. Cham suggests that someone screen future try-outs, and Rokk gives him the job. Dirk tries to pick up X-Bomb Betty, and Cera interrupts to say something to him about how he spoke to her. He doesn’t let her finish, and makes jokes about her complexion.  Imra tries to make her feel better, but she runs off crying. The Emerald Eye of Ekron is seen floating in the alley above her. On Takron-Galtos II (when did that become a thing?), Leland McCauley has bribed a guard to show him the Atomic Axe. When the guard lets go of it, it flies out of the prison on its own (and McCauley and the girl with him disappear, as they are holograms). Leviathan and Gossamer are walking through the sewers together. Gim is complaining that Rokk and Cham don’t appreciate him, and then misreads Ayla’s kindness for a romantic signal.  Suddenly they are attacked by the big creature from before.
  • Leviathan and Gossamer have trouble fighting the creature in the sewer; it ends up knocking Gim out after Ayla gets hurt.  In Melbourne, Cera Kesh fumes over being rejected by the Legionnaires, and thinks about getting revenge. She is watched by the Emerald Eye of Ekron.  At Legionnaires HQ, Cos and Cham talk to Gim; they don’t know where Ayla is. Live Wire is furious that his sister is missing. Brainy identifies the creature as Mordecai, a victim of Dominion experimentation (it’s weird that Brainy doesn’t actually mention the Dominion).  Cos puts together a team to go, and asks Garth if he can control himself if he’s put on it. Garth replies he’s going either way. The team (Brainy, Garth, Dragonmage, Inferno, and Andromeda) make their way into the sewer system. Brainy has an experimental suspended animation gun that he isn’t sure will work.  Mordecai finds and attacks them. The noise of their fighting wakes Ayla, who is in a cage. She finds love poems that Mordecai has written to her. At HQ, Shrinking Violet checks on Gim, who wants to go join the fight despite his injuries. He tricks her and sneaks off. The squad continues to fight Mordecai, and Garth gets them to bring the tunnel ceiling down on him.  It’s not enough, and he renews his attack. Ayla sees the key to her birdcage, and uses her powers to grab it. Brainy is about to use his gun when Gim shows up and fights Mordecai very briefly, before being knocked down. Dragonmage tries to contain the beast, but can’t. Brainy decides to use his gun, but then Ayla flies in front of Mordecai, claiming she can calm him down.  She tries, but he wants to kill Gim. Brainy is about to use his gun, but there is a green flash, and it looks like Mordecai has been disintegrated. The team starts to leave. On Takron-Galtos II, the atomic axe flies into the cell of the Persuader, who uses it to escape. On New Earth, Cera Kesh eats ice cream and hears people laughing at her. She gets angry, and then is suddenly transformed into the new Emerald Empress by the Emerald Eye.
  • Cerra Kesh flies around outside New Earth, enjoying the new abilities the Eye has given her.  She thinks about getting revenge on Live Wire and Inferno. Garth and Dirk, meanwhile, are running through the halls of Legionnaire HQ, and literally run into Andromeda.  They act like idiots, and Invisible Kid calls them out on it. Things escalate to the point where Lyle attacks Garth, and Saturn Girl and Ferro have to intervene. Imra ends up storming off, and to calm things down, Ferro suggests that they all get Ultra Boy to take them out.  He takes them to a tough looking bar, where the boys notice a tall beautiful woman with green hair. She flirts with Dirk and blows Garth off. They play pool together, and somehow, with each ball the woman sinks, Dirk begins to gain weight. Seeing what’s happening, Garth blasts at her with his lightning, which restores Dirk.  The woman reveals herself to be the Emerald Empress, and she attacks. At HQ, Cosmic Boy, Computo, and Cham are summoned to the monitor room, where Dragonmage informs them that there is a disturbance at the UP holding cells, where Mano is being kept. Cham wants to lead a team, since he’s getting bored. We see the Persuader free Mano, but their escape is blocked by Cham, Catspaw, and Matter-Eater Lad (what kind of team is that, when most of the rest of the Legionnaires are available).  Their brief battle ends with all the prisoners in the facility being released, which allows Persuader and Mano a way out. The Empress is doing well against the Legionnaires in the bar, until Ultra Boy punches the Eye, and shatters it. Garth punches her in the face just as Imra and Alchemist arrive to help (Ferro called them in). The Empress blasts Garth with her remaining power, and Imra believes he’s been killed. Ferro confirms he’s still alive, and with the Eye shattered but beginning to reform, Cera Kesh asks Imra for help against the Eye’s power.  Imra realizes who she is, but it’s too late, as the Eye has recovered and restored her power and its control over her mind. Jan tries to encase it in inertron, but the Empress teleports away. Imra rushes to Garth, and they have a sweet moment together that rekindles their mutual love for one another. Persuader and Mano arrive on a cloaked asteroid near Mars, and we learn that Leland McCauley has brought Mordecai to the asteroid as well. He introduces them to the new Emerald Empress, but this one is Ingria Olav, his girlfriend (there must be two Eyes, which kind of makes sense).  He also takes them to see the fifth member of their team, Tharok, who is inside some sort of medical tube.
  • McCauley revives Tharok, against the advice of Persuader and Mano, who know that he’s psychotic, but we learn that McCauley has reprogrammed Tharok’s electronic side so that he can exercise control over him.  McCauley wants the Fatal Five to head to New Earth to conquer it, and in return he expects preferred business treatment. The team leaves. We learn that McCauley wasn’t with them at all, but instead was on Gallán, in a sanitized bubble, communicating with them holographically.  Four Legionnaires – Ultra boy, Catspaw, Andromeda, and Apparition – are on their way to meet with the Vice Chairperson of the United Planets, a mohawked and half-naked woman named Jeryn. Right after the arrive, the Fatal Five show up and start trashing the place. Jo and Laurel jump in to stop them, but aren’t very successful (it seems that the SW6 kids didn’t meet the Fatal Five back in the day).  Catspaw joins the fight, while Tinya calls for help. Matter Eater Lad and Ferro are hanging out, and get the call from Cosmic Boy. They join Shrinking Violet and Computo, and Rokk leads them off. The Fatal Five are sweeping the floor with the Legionnaires, but the Emerald Empress is shocked by the violence of it all. The other Emerald Empress, Cera Kesh, is watching all of this, and finds that Ingria’s weakness insults her.  Coz and the others arrive in time to stop Persuader from killing Catspaw. Coz tries to hold the atomic axe, but he can’t. Mordecai starts to knock down the building the fighting is happening in, and Violet needs to shrink very small to keep from being crushed. When she returns to normal size, she is disturbed by how many people have been hurt. The Ingria Emerald Empress gets more frightened (of Tenzil, of all things). McCauley is monitoring her, and is disappointed, but still sees that his goal of creating instability on New Earth is in reach.  Mano almost kills Computo, but Ferro saves her, and then needs saving himself. Tharok starts shooting at civilians, which freaks Ingria out more. She teleports herself away. Jo takes down the Persuader, but Tharok is holding Jeryn hostage, and orders everyone to stand down or he’ll kill her. Coz quickly agrees. Ingria turns up in McCauley’s clean room, and he freaks out a little. He rejects her, but is surprised when the other Emerald Empress shows up and kills her. McCauley didn’t know that there were two Eyes of Ekron, but Cera Kesh apparently did.
  • McCauley is furious that Ingria was killed, and even more so that the Emerald Empress has brought germs into his home.  His Eye blasts her, momentarily turning her back into Cera Kesh, which makes her respond with more anger and attack McCauley again.  At Legionnaires headquarters, Saturn Girl tracks Ingria to Gallán, and Chameleon calls in Gossamer, Dragonmage, and Triad to go check it out.  He grabs Invisible Kid and Alchemist to go with him to the Earthgov building. There, we see that Tharok still holds Jeryn hostage. Apparition phases through the floor and grabs him from behind, while the rest of the Legionnaires continue to fight the remaining Fatal Five.  Computo uses her powers to take control of Tharok’s cybernetic half. Gossamer and her crew arrive on Gallán (pretty quickly, I feel), and have to get past some security bots before making their way into McCauley’s estate, and seeing the fight between the two Eyes. Cham, Jan, and Lyle arrive at Earthgov, and see Andromeda still fighting Mordecai outside.  Inside, Matter Eater Lad saves Shrinking Violet from the Persuader by taking a bite out of his axe’s handle. His attempts to beat on the Persuader go nowhere, but Vi manages to grow to her normal size and lay a good blow on him at the same time. Cham and the others join the fight, and Jan covers Mano’s hands in titanium. Jo helps Laurel take down Mordecai, and Tharok manages to shut off his computer and commandeer a Science Police vessel (which has a massive machine gun attached to it).  Persuader and Mano climb in, and they try to escape, but Jo tosses an ironed-up Ferro at them, and destroy their vessel, dropping them back to Earth. On Gallán, the Legionnaires try to intervene in the fight between the two Eyes, but McCauley doesn’t want their help. The Empress makes use of the distraction they caused to pluck out McCauley’s actual eye, and then take control of his Eye of Ekron. She flees, and we see that the Eye was keeping McCauley in peak physical condition – without it he looks terrible.  As the Legionnaires finish wrapping up at Earthgov, Cosmic Boy wonders who is behind the Fatal Five. That same night, the new Emerald Empress comes and frees Tharok, Mordecai, Persuader, and Mano, and tells them that they now work for her.
  • Issue seven features guest art by Adam Hughes, and has a group of Legionnaires (Brainiac 5, Apparition, Inferno, Triad, Andromeda, Ultra Boy, Shrinking Violet, and Matter-Eater Lad) heading to the Tritonis dome, one of two domed cities that were under the oceans before the Earth was destroyed.  Atlantis has opened up to tourists, and the eight teens are there for a bit of a vacation; Inferno is quite happy with the way the mermaids dress. In the neighbouring underwater dome of Marsala, a kid is attacked in a cave (why were the domes built to encompass caves?). The Legionnaires check into their rooms, and discover that the girl Inferno was checking out, Keiki, works there and that her parents own the hotel complex.  She shows them to their rooms (the air-breathers are in domed chambers, with the Atlanteans (Tritonians?) swimming in the water outside their domes. The kids hang out in bathing suits, and Brainy, who is in a white speedo, is a little upset by how little Laurel is wearing. Later, Dirk and Tenzil decide to go jousting on mechanical dolphins, and they drag one third of Luornu and Violet to go with them. They have fun, and Vi tells Tenzil that she appreciates that he’s not trying to make more of their friendship, which is clearly what he wants to do.  Dirk gets closer to Keiki, which is encouraged by her father, who thinks it will help his business. As Keiki and Dirk swim in the Marsala dome (the Legionnaires wear their transuits so they can breathe underwater) they come under fire from some of the locals, who are shooting at a ‘devil-fish’, a humanoid creature. Dirk destroys the guy’s weapon, and goes to check in with the local Science Police, who tell him that there are a lot more weapons turning up, since human consultants started to advise the water-breathers on how to make more money. The others hang out in Marsala, and watch Jo and Tinya make out (how do you do that in a transuit anyway?).  Tenzil makes a move on Vi, and they find Laurel and Brainy also making out. Tenzil tries to make his case, but they are rushed by a devil-fish, followed by some locals shooting at it and them. The team gets involved, and fight some of the devil-fish, until Brainy stops everyone from fighting. He has learned the devil-fish language, and explains that they are alien beings who were living in secret on Earth until the planet’s destruction stranded a few in the domes. They thought that it was the Atlanteans who killed the rest of their kind, but Brainy helps the two sides make peace. Dirk says goodbye to Keiki while the rest get ready to leave. The proprietor is clearly surprised that the Legionnaires assumed they were staying for free, but only Violet notices.  As they leave, she talks to the others about this. The guys don’t think they should pay, but Laurel puts her foot down, and then points out that Dirk and Tenzil forgot their flight rings (that makes no sense). Dirk finds Keiki crying, and learns that her parents have lost the hotel, so Dirk decides they should pay up. Later, they argue over how to make the payments equal, but since Dirk and Tenzil used more amenities, the rest won’t pay for their fun. Triad and Violet talk about whether or not they think Tenzil is cute.
  • A number of the kids, and Cham, are swimming in the pool.  Saturn Girl is saying goodbye to Livewire, as she’s heading off to accompany Brainiac 5, Andromeda, and Alchemist to Colu, where Brainy is set to receive an award.  Cosmic Boy awkwardly says goodbye to Imra, and they all leave. On Colu, the three non-Coluans are surprised when they learn that Brainy’s ceremony is canceled because he never showed up, especially since they knew he arrived.  Imra figures out that he’s in some mountains, and Laurel rushes off to look for him, concerned that he is leaving her. Imra convinces her to go to Chairman Audric, who tells them that Brainy has decided to stay at a Colugov facility.  Jan sneaks into the facility to talk to Brainy; he explains that he wants to quit the team and stay, largely because he views himself as property of Colugov, since they put so much effort into engineering him (which shouldn’t count when you consider he’s a clone of the original Brainiac 5, but that never gets discussed anymore).  The girls arrive, and Laurel gets really upset that Brainy is leaving her. When Imra tries to comfort her, she lashes out, and it takes a pep talk from Jan for Imra to realize that she’s more caring than everyone thinks she is. Later, when the kids learn that Brainy doesn’t want to see them anymore, Laurel gets even more upset. Imra tries to communicate with Brainy telepathically, but finds herself in his dreams; he dreams that he is never able to make things right with Laurel.  The next morning, Brainy goes to see Secretary Yarin, to tell him he’s changed his mind. Yarin has a guard blast Brainy. When the other kids are ready to leave, they are concerned that Brainy didn’t come to see them off, which he’d promised to do. They go looking for him, and are attacked by Yarin’s guards. Yarin has Brainy tell them to leave, but he breaks free of Yarin’s mental control, and tells Laurel he’s going to stay with them. Yarin tries to get the guards to arrest Brainy, but they hesitate, because Audric told them not to impede him.  Laurel breaks their guns, and they all leave. On the cruiser, as Jan and Imra pilot, Brainy and Laurel make out.
  • A squad of Legionnaires (Matter-Eater Lad, Andromeda, Dragonmage, Shrinking Violet, and Catspaw) are looking for the source of a distress call, but can’t find anything.  Suddenly, a Talokian vessel almost hits them, and Laurel realizes that it’s full of Khunds. She leaves the ship to pursue, and they open fire on her. At the same time, another ship appears and fires on the Legion cruiser.  Tenzil has no choice but to head for the nearest planet, where they crash. Catspaw wakes up and sees a guy named Ansis, a former friend or lover of hers who turned her over to the Dominators. Ansis starts to kiss her. Tenzil wakes up to find Violet watching over him, and flirting with him.  Dragonmage sees Chu Hua, his former mentor, who dotes on him. Laurel has finished mopping up the Khunds, and handing them over to the UP’s Captain Allon (fka Colossal Boy). She is surprised to hear that her cruiser is not in the area, and begins looking for her friends. Ansis leads Catspaw to a different crashed vessel, and wants her to enter it with him to get something, but someone starts shooting at them.  Even though Ansis is shot, he still wants to go back there. Tenzil is happy that Violet is expressing her feelings for him, while Madame Chu leads Dragonmage to a ship where he can send for help. Violet wants some alone time with Tenzil, while Jin questions why Chu is so much kinder than she’d ever been before. She apologizes, and they embrace. Tenzil is about to start making out with Violet when he hears a noise.  He goes to investigate, and finds another Violet lying on the ground, unconscious. Invisible Kid and Leviathan pilot a vessel to respond to another distress call, from a cargo ship full of grain that is being attacked by pirates. They only find a lifepod, with a single occupant who explains that Sklarians took the much-needed grain. On New Earth, Chameleon and Cosmic Boy are conducting another try-out, but neither Accordion King nor Barber Boy make the cut.  Some woman flirts aggressively with Inferno, while Computo calls Coz back to the monitor room. President Stewart wants Coz to go to Acapulco to calm what is about to be a food riot. Saturn Girl and Livewire go with him, but they aren’t able to calm the crowd, who start throwing things at them. Coz blocks what they are tossing with his magnetism, but when Imra tries to calm them all down telepathically, someone throws a rock at her. Garth reacts angrily, and starts to yell at the crowd.  When they yell back, he fires his lightning at someone, but Coz jumps in the way, and it looks like Garth has killed him.
  • Tenzil is confused by the sight of two Violets, and the one that he almost kissed reveals itself to be a Protean (it’s weird that Tenzil doesn’t appear to know what they are, even though Proty I took Lightning Lad’s place before the SW6 kids were cloned).  Catspaw is still hanging out with her old boyfriend (who we now know is a Protean too), who doesn’t want to rush her into the downed spaceship anymore. Jin is with his old teacher, and Tenzil and Vi come to tell him the truth about her as well. The Proteans explain that they need to get into the spaceship, as their race is dying inside of it.  The two guys go to find Catspaw, who resists the truth, and when her boyfriend reveals himself to be a Protean too, is pretty angry. The Proteans and the Legionnaires head for the spaceship, but when they approach it, they are attacked by four Khunds, who are with a Dominator. In the Acapulco Dome, Imra tries to help Rokk, while Garth stands around making excuses.  He calls into the headquarters for help, and Jan tells him that Brainiac 5 is on his way. He arrives instantly with Ultra Boy (who used his ultra speed), and goes about trying to shock Coz’s heart while Gossamer, Apparition, and Ferro arrive. Rokk is going to be okay, but Brainy wants him taken to the hospital. Jo confronts Garth, and then Imra yells at him for being too childish to take ownership of what he’s done.  Imra and Jo leave with Rokk, while Brainy tries to help a child who was also killed by Garth’s burst. He revives the kid, but there’s something strange going on with his eyes. At HQ, Jan and Computo rush through the halls. Danielle runs into Cham, spilling coffee on herself. Danielle calls President Stewart, who tells her that the food shortages are getting worse. He’s arranged for some Sklarians to meet with them, as it’s Sklarian pirates who are hijacking food shipments.  Cham and Danielle go to meet the Sklarians, who agree with Cham that they should infiltrate the pirates’ operation. To that end, they are providing an assistant, who to Cham’s displeasure, turns out to be Kono. Inferno and his date hand out food to the needy, and then decide to fly to Paris for a fancy dinner. The Legionnaires continue their approach to the downed spaceship, and learn that the Khunds’ guns are specially calibrated to kill the Proteans (they don’t harm Tenzil at all).  The kids pull back, and we learn that the Dominator, a mercenary, seems to be running some kind of operation. Dragonmage uses his powers to distract the Khunds, allowing Vi to slip past them and into the ship. She turns on the security system, releasing a “coma gas” that puts them all to sleep. The Legionnaires discover that the ship holds their former teammate, Kid Quantum, who we know to also be the Soul of Antares, or the collective identity of the Protean race. He’s hooked up to a bunch of machines.
  • Matter-Eater Lad identifies Kid Quantum as James Cullen, although when we first met him in LSH, he was going by the name Rouvin.  Tenzil, Catspaw, Violet, and Dragonmage try to figure out what to do with KQ, who is strapped into a bunch of machines. They free some Proteans, who convince them to get the injured Kid out of the ship, as the Khunds begin to wake up.  The kids escape, under fire from the Khunds, and follow the Proteans to a cave that they call the vaults. Jin accompanies them, while the others stay back to hold off the Khunds. Jin finds an odd device and a large number of inert Proteans.  The dying Kid Quantum is put into a round device, as he explains that it was his fault that the Proteans were put in danger years before, and that’s why he agreed to become the Soul of Antares, and hold the sentience of his entire race. As some kind of unclear ritual proceeds, the Proteans appear to step into a hole in his midsection.  Jin worries this is killing him. Catspaw tries to attack the Khunds, and is shot in the leg. The Proteans tell Jin that he needs to use his magic to help stabilize Kid Quantum. Despite being worried about the strength of his power, Jin agrees to let the Proteans guide him telepathically, and the ritual resumes. The Khunds torture the captured Catspaw to try to draw out the others.  Tenzil attacks, and he and Vi are about to be shot when the Khunds are all frozen in stasis. Kid Quantum has returned, with his previously artificially-powered abilities now a part of him. He chats with Tenzil, and it’s not clear if they know each other or not – I’m not sure when, in the new Legion history, Kid Quantum was a member, but I thought it would have been before the SW6 were cloned or duplicated, or whatever.  On New Earth, Inferno’s date with Sadi is interrupted when they see chains around the entrance to a tunnel. The SPs on scene say they don’t know where these strange chains came from. Dirk’s attempt to melt them is useless, and then a statue on the gate starts shooting at everyone. In the medi-center in Acapulco, we learn that Cosmic Boy has possible brain damage, or damage to his powers. Live Wire tries to apologize, but also blames Rokk for what happened, angering Saturn Girl, who tells him to leave her alone.  Andromeda reports in that she found Tenzil and his group, and tells Chameleon, Computo, and Triad that Kid Quantum is coming back with them. James asks about joining the team, and Cham agrees immediately, which upset Danielle, as she isn’t consulted. Danielle and Cham argue while James looks on awkwardly. In Acapulco, Brainiac 5 continues to try to save the injured kid while the crowd starts throwing things at them. Something strange happens to the kid, and he unleashes some strange energy that puts rainbow patterns on Brainy, Apparition, Gossamer, and Ferro, and maybe kills them?
  • Inferno saves a female SP officer from whatever is shooting at them in the gate to Paris, and then he flirts with her.  After he flies off, someone, maybe the girl he was with, attacks that officer, claiming that Inferno is her’s. Kid Quantum is inducted into the Legionnaires, but Tenzil ruins the flag-raising part of the ceremony with one of his practical jokes.  Computo is annoyed with him. She and Cham send Invisible Kid to check in on Brainiac 5’s team, and Cham volunteers to lead the mission to Paris. His squad (Leviathan, Alchemist, Kid Quantum, and Triad) are briefed by the President, who tells them that there has been a lot of rioting in Paris, mostly targeting non-human lifeforms.  He blames a sudden and unsanctioned election which gave power in Paris to someone named Lothar St. Maixent; Stewart wants them to get him to step down. Lyle arrives in Acapulco, and finds a weird vortex with swirling colours. He sees Gossamer in it, and then as rainbow colours cover him, he feels something in his mind. Outside Paris, Gim isn’t able to pull off the chains blocking the gate (which makes sense, because he doesn’t have enhanced strength), but Luornu is able to get through with a lockpick.  She flirts with Gim (which reminds me of their adult versions’ dalliance on Winath). The gates close behind the squad, cutting them off from the SP, and then they are fired upon. While Jan shields everyone, James puts the shooters in stasis, which doesn’t so much freeze them as make them compliant and docile. Entering Paris, they find a dead alien, and see a crowd about to burn a Talokian woman at a stake. In Acapulco, Cosmic Boy is in code blue, but when Saturn Girl reaches out to his mind and convinces him to keep living.  This brings him out of trouble, although he’s still unconscious. Live Wire gets all jealous, and Imra tells him to get out of her life. Kono is hanging out with a number of female Legionnaires and Tenzil, joking about how she used to bother Cham. Tenzil shows Kono that he has a photo of her in the shower, and she gets angry. The others wonder how he got that photo, and then Danielle lets him know that he’s the one assigned to go with Kono to infiltrate the Sklarian pirates that are stealing food. In Paris, Cham’s squad rescues the Talokian, and takes her to the Eiffel Tower.  Dirk seems to sympathize with the “Earth for humans” crowd, which angers Cham. Later, on the roof of the hospital they fly the Talokian to, they have to convince the doctors to treat her. People in a neighbouring building start throwing things at them, while Luornu notices another problem – some men are chasing a small Dominator. They go to help the Dominator (how are there any Dominators on New Earth?), but it fires some kind of energy at them that appears to turn them all into green smoke. Even stranger, the men refer to the Dominator as ‘she’; have we seen female Dominators before this?
  • We see the young female Dominator blast Cham’s squad again, teleporting them into a prison cell where a large number of beings are being held.  They recognize the Legionnaires and want to stomp them out. The kids defend themselves, and the SP guards start firing at them through the bars of the cell.  This ends up blowing a hole in the exterior wall, so the squad just flies away. At HQ, Tenzil talks to Kono and the other Sklarians with her about how he’s going to be able to infiltrate the pirates.  She injects him with something. Invisible Kid finds the other Legionnaires (Brainiac 5, Apparition, Ferro, and Gossamer) who have been trapped by the kid they tried to help. He sees that they are all in various states of despair or fear, and feels the same thing overwhelming him, but is able to block it out, returning to reality.  Ultra Boy and Andromeda arrive to help him, and he has them back away from the others who appear unconscious still. Lyle wants to have a plan before they try to help them. Saturn Girl still sits with Cosmic Boy in the hospital, and he finally wakes up. He asks about Live Wire, and insists that what happened is his own fault. Imra is impressed with how good a person Rokk is, and wonders why she’s in love with Garth.  At HQ, Dragonmage and Computo learn that Rokk is fine. Tenzil wakes up, and finds that he’s now a yellow-skinned (Sklarian-looking) female. Cham’s squad in Paris decide to hide in the catacombs below the city, and almost immediately find the Dominator again. Inferno, who can speak Dominator, calms her down, and gets her to use her power of teleportation to send them to the archduke’s palace. When they arrive there, the guards surround them.  The Archduke appears and orders that they be allowed in, but the guards’ scanner shows that it’s really just Cham trying to impersonate him. They take the guards out, but women in strange outfits on top of the palace throw chains at them that wrap around them, neutralizing their powers. As Cham passes out, he sees that Grimbor the Chainsman (who we just saw get captured by Kent Shakespeare in the parent LSH title) is their captor. On an asteroid near Mars, Kono and Tenzil (now going by Tenzi) go about infiltrating the Sklarians.  We learn that Kono injected him with Grandin Gender-Reversal disease, which doesn’t make that much sense when we’ve already established that ProFem does the same thing. They get jobs with the Sklarians, with Tenzi having to deal with trash. She gets discovered as an imposter, and it looks like the other pirates are going to kill her.
  • Grimbor gloats over his captured Legionnaires, and it looks like Inferno is the Legionnaire who stands up to him the most, arguing with him.  The Dominator who teleported them there is watching from the bushes, and she teleports away his guards, and then jumps on Grimbor. He starts whipping her with one of his chains, but he also drops his remote control, which Cham tries to reach.  In Acapulco, Cosmic Boy is released from the hospital, while Saturn Girl heads out to help with the situation Invisible Kid is monitoring. Live Wire wants to join her, and she chastises him again for his reckless behaviour, telling him he should be disciplined for what he did.  On the Sklarian vessel, the pirates examine Tenzie, and discover that her skin has been dyed and that she’s really a male. Kono decides that it’s time to act, making their weapons too heavy to hold. Tenzie escapes her bonds, and while the pirates search for her, Kono sends a message to Computo and the SPs.  Grimbor continues to beat on the Dominator, until Triad’s other two selves (who were never chained) knock him down, and grab his control device. As she is grabbed by guards, she manages to free the others, and they quickly take out the guards. Grimbor gets to his security console, but the Dominator teleports him right into Leviathan’s hands.  St. Maixent, the Arch-Duke of Paris arrives, and claims that the Legionnaires have no right to question his authority. He is dismissive towards Cham. The Sklarian vessel almost runs into a large green dragon conjured by Dragonmage, and finds itself disabled. The SP vessel docks with it, and Kono makes her move while Danielle takes over the computers.  Shrinking Violet, for some reason, enters into the ship’s circuitry, and finds that this is where the Sklarians hid the grain they stole, shrinking it to a small size. This makes no sense whatsoever; shrinking contraband is smart, but why and how would you hide it in the circuitry, unless you just needed something for Violet to do for once. The head pirate reveals that they were hired by someone, and seeing as Danielle then calls Cham, it’s clear that it was St. Maixent.  Cham confronts him with this information, but it turns out that really it was Grimbor. Cham doesn’t believe that St. Maixent wasn’t involved, but the Arch-Duke feels confident he’d be elected again in another election. Dirk calls out St. Maixent’s xenophobia and the violence it unleashed, but the team leaves. Dirk talks to Danielle about the Dominator, who he is taking to a group home. We learn that Tenzie, still in a female form, is in jail with the other Sklarians. Saturn Girl and Live Wire join Invisible Kid, Ultra Boy, and Andromeda in Acapulco.  Lyle explains what’s going on with the mental energy vortex. He wants Imra to link their minds so they can enter the vortex together, which they do. They are immediately confronted by a large dragon-like creature, which attacks them with tongue tentacles.
  • The Legionnaires that just entered the psychedelic vortex in Acapulco to save their friends immediately find themselves being swallowed by a large space beast.  Invisible Kid and Saturn Girl figure out that they are reliving Ultra Boy’s nightmare, and reach him, getting him to stop worrying about this scenario and focus on finding Tinya.  At headquarters, Computo gets an update on the Acapulco situation from an SP who recommends that they not send any more Legionnaires. Inside the vortex, Jo, Lyle, and Imra (all of whom now have their costumes torn) find Brainiac 5 dead.  They realize they are now in Andromeda’s nightmare, as she revisits when the Khunds killed her family. Suddenly Khunds appear all around her, and they fight until Jo makes Laurel realize it’s not real. Imra wanders off from the others, and find Gossamer, who is crying because she believes Live Wire killed Cosmic Boy and some others.  Imra convinces her that things are fine, and together they find Garth, appearing much younger, crying over a pet whose death he caused. He believes he is no good, and tries to drown himself in a canal. Imra and Ayla pull him out, and make him feel loved. The other group find Apparition, but she is surrounded by insects and freaking out.  At headquarters, Keiki, the mermaid from issue seven has come to see Inferno. She shows him that she received a threatening letter, telling her to stay away from “my man.” Dirk doesn’t know what’s going on. Back in the vortex, Imra, Garth, and Ayla find Ferro, who is freaking out that his mask is missing and needs to hide his face. Ayla makes sure he understands that they don’t care what he looks like, and his mask reappears.  Jo reaches Tinya, but when one of the insects on her looks like the space beast, they fall back into his fear. Imra’s group find Brainiac 5, who has figured out what is going on. Just then, some Dominators appear, and they find themselves back in the war on Earth. Garth sees a young boy freaking out. His mother tries to quiet the boy, named Mayf, by slapping him. His eyes do a psychedelic thing, and then some Dominators enter the room, having been tipped off by a neighbour.  The Dominators kill the boy’s mother, and the Legionnaires realize that he is the centre of the vortex. Ayla tries to comfort him, but he recognizes Garth, whose lightning caused him to lose control of his powers in the first place. Garth insists on fixing things anyway, even when Imra and Ferro try to stop him. Instead, they work together to telepathically calm the boy. Garth promises to look out for him, and all of the kid’s illusions shatter. Everyone is back in Acapulco, with their torn costumes fixed, and it looks like everything is fine.
  • The Bierbaums are out as of issue 16, with Mark Waid taking over.  This is surprising, as there is no textpiece explaining the shift (there hasn’t been a letters page in this book for a while now).  In the Tokyo dome, a domequake (whatever that is) has caused the anti-gravity generators to fail, and a group of Legionnaires (Chameleon, Inferno, Andromeda, Live Wire, and Leviathan) rush to rescue some lab techs who are hurtling towards the dome’s roof.  At the same time, the dome’s fusion powersphere somehow rips away from its housing, and flies towards the dome. Cham, Leviathan, and Andromeda are not strong enough to push it back down (even though they are in zero gravity). As they struggle, there is a flash of white light (like we’ve seen in LSH and Valor), and suddenly they are assisted by Star Boy, which seems normal to everyone except Garth.  Outside of New Earth, some Khunds come rushing towards the collection of domes, but the adult Rokk, in his Polestar outfit, is on top of New Earth, and uses his magnetism to fire some asteroids at the Khund ship before they can fire. The Khund ship retreats, and anyone reading only this book and not LSH has no idea what’s going on. Inside Legionnaire headquarters, young Rokk is testing his recovery by using his powers to lift two tons of steel and Catspaw.  The effort leaves him tired, and as he walks back to his room, he sees a white flash coming from the lab. Entering, he sees Triad, Brainiac 5, and Saturn Girl freaking out over the fact that Valor’s records have disappeared (there are a few pages that are basically repeating pages from Valor’s title). They rush to the time bubble to try to figure things out, and are joined by Dragonmage, Ultra Boy, and Alchemist. We see them enter the time stream, and then, in a white flash, be standing in front of Valor’s image, wondering why they were thinking about him.  Triad worries that something has happened, and Dream Girl walks into the room, suggesting that there is a danger still to come. The other Legionnaires don’t think it’s odd that she’s there, but Rokk and Imra do. They slip out of the room, where they are joined by Garth, who tells them about Star Boy. Rokk, Imra, and Garth all know that Star Boy and Dream Girl were never their teammates (this is as close to an acknowledgement of the SW6 situation as we’ve seen in ages in this book), and they think it has something to do with the flashes they’ve seen. They suspect something is wrong with time, and head off to deal with it, not knowing that Invisible Kid has been invisibly eavesdropping on their conversation.  In Tokyo, some guys are robbing an electronics store. Apparition and Gossamer confront them, and when they take off, Ferro (who is with Matter-Eater Lad and Kid Quantum) jumps at them in his iron form. As he falls, there is a flash of light, and he is replaced by Bouncing Boy, who takes down the crooks and is treated as part of the team by the others. Rond Vidar (who was last seen in the timestream with the dead Circadia Sentius) is at Legionnaire HQ monitoring this mission. Lyle comes to tell him that the three founders are aware of what’s going on. It’s clear that Lyle and Rond are aware of these time problems, but are keeping them secret. They realize that the founders are going to take a time bubble and rush to stop them.  They get there just as Rokk, Imra, and Garth disappear into the timestream, and Rond declares that they are never going to return. They go to see Computo and Shrinking Violet, asking for a team meeting. They are interrupted by an emergency call from the Science Police, telling them about Adult Rokk’s activities. Now he’s pulling asteroids together, and since no one knows who he is, they see it as a threat, and call the whole team together, ignoring Rond’s concerns. As the team gathers, Tinya notices that Laurel is in a room full of plants and statues of dead Legionnaires (we see Projectra’s statue). They talk about how they both feel something strange is going on, like a wave of nostalgia. Tinya says she talked to everyone on her mission about it, except for Ferro.  Laurel is confused by that, as she reminds Tinya that Ferro has been dead for years, and we see his memorial statue (which also doesn’t make sense, because if he had died before the SW6 kids were hatched, why would they have a memorial for him?).
  • Issue seventeen is the beginning of the End Of An Era storyline, which crosses into the Valor and parent LSH titles, and leads to the dissolution of the Legion world I loved.  This issue assumes that anyone reading Legionnaires was already reading LSH, which is probably true. I’m just going to write what happened without providing any backstory – check the LSH column for that.  A squad of Legionnaires have gone to stop Rokk from trying to recreate the Earth. He still thinks they are Khunds, and is acting kind of nuts. Triad figures out that his power is coming from his gauntlets (they don’t know who he is yet), and when Alchemist atomizes them, he snaps back into his right mind.  Jan also melts his mask, so they know who he is. Just then, Cham joins them, and lets them know that the adult Laurel has been killed. A mix of Legionnaires and Legion members gather on Shanghalla, where there is already a statue to commemorate Laurel (weirdly, it shows her in her new, incognito outfit). The collection of characters, including Rond Vidar, her partner, leaves out a number of people from both teams, although they show up randomly in the next few pages, suggesting that the editing on this book was poor.  Valor and Dev-Em speak. Just then a time bubble arrives with the two Brainiac 5s and Invisible Kid (despite the fact that we saw them in a ship travelling with the rest of the Legion in the previous issue of LSH). Adult Brainy tells Valor that he needs a “power team” for a mission, and hands him a data pad. We see Valor leave with Dev-Em, Andromeda, Shady, and maybe someone else, with the time bubble (if it’s a power team, why would they leave Wildfire and Young Ultra Boy behind?). Adult Vi insists on understanding what’s going on, and so Lyle says that the universe might be dying.  Rond is upset that no one has noticed that Star Boy and Dream Girl aren’t supposed to be there, and someone else points out that Celeste is not supposed to be a Darkstar. Lyle explains that he’s been using a time beacon to try to study history, and has found a number of inconsistencies and transformations in time. To prove that, Adult Brainy asks who remembers Superboy (as they stand in front of his statue), and not everyone does. Lyle uses the beacon to show different versions of reality – including the image of the 90s Superboy, and the Mordru-verse Andrew Nolan. Brainy thinks that something has been manipulating their history for years.  Young Brainy thinks that things are getting worse lately. Rond explains how the future is a black void. As Adult Brainy talks, he stands next to Cham, in front of Chemical King’s statue, but in one frame, Cham and CK switch places. Lyle thinks the problems all started when the SW6 kids were first put in stasis, and that opens the argument over who is a clone again, until six villains (Cosmic King, Beauty Blaze, Satan Girl, Urthlo, Saturn Queen, and Lightning Lord) appear out of the team beacon, and everyone starts to fight. A little distance off, Mordru and Glorith watch, pleased with the chaos they’ve caused. They call to Rokk. Mekt (who we didn’t know was there) is angry to see a former version of himself there, and is almost killed by him, until Garth and Adult But Now Child Ayla (don’t ask), who we didn’t even know was there, stop him.  As the heroes get the villains on the ropes, they all disappear. Adult Vi asks if everyone is there, and they realize that Rokk wandered off. They find him with Mordru and Glorith, bound. Glorith wants to kill him, but Mordru reminds her of what happened with Valor, and they decide to just teleport away with him. Wildfire suggests that Dawnstar use her powers to track them, but then Dawny blinks out of existence.
  • Issue eighteen has the Zero Hour logo on the cover, and is the fourth chapter of the End of an Era crossover, between LSH #60 and Valor #23.  The assembled surviving Legionnaires and Legion of Super-Heroes look up at Mordru and Glorith, who have absorbed the powers of the Infinite Man, and as such, are large and sparkly.  Some of the heroes attack, but get slapped away. Mordru and Glorith join hands in front of the time beacon, and reality starts to change, looking more like the Mordru-verse from Legion of Super-Heroes #5, after the Time Trapper killed Mon-El.  Some SP vessels approach Talus, where this fight is happening, and pass through a mystical barrier that makes them medieval and loyal to Mordru and Glorith. The two Brainiacs figure the heroes only have seconds to stop them before they change the universe.  Kono fades out while they try to figure out what to do. Adult Rokk is trapped in the Infinite Library, and not knowing how to get out, decides he should start reading the endless books and scrolls to find the way. For many pages, the bottom fifth of the page shows Rokk reading different books, as he ages to an old man, and then regresses to being a youth again, before returning to his familiar form.  The magic-oriented heroes (Dragonmage, two Dream Girls, Projectra, and Mysa) form a circle around Devlin, hoping to use his powers to funnel their energy. The other heroes plan to serve as a distraction (really, by now, the few seconds they had would be up), but are stopped by the appearance of an evil Legion, made up of various Legionnaires. They start fighting. The Legionnaires Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl, who we last saw entering the timestream, find their time bubble breaking apart.  They start to fall towards the Earth (they are too rattled to use their flight rings), but are rescued by the adult Jo, who has come looking for his lost love Tinya, but also found himself trapped in the past. Before any more can happen, Superman comes to tell them that Metron has sent him to gain their help (presumably in the Zero Hour event). The fight continues on Talus, and just as Devlin is ready to release the magic energy he absorbed, he blinks out of existence, leaving the others to absorb his blast.  Projectra fades out off-panel. The evil Brainiac almost kills Chuck, Luornu, and Inferno, but the two other Brainies take him out with their forcefields. Evil Saturn Girl takes out Celeste, but Imra takes her down. The two Element Lads take out Evil Chemical King, and Brin fades out. Lydda takes down Evil Cosmic Boy. Mysa watches both Brek and Rond Vidar fade away, and decides she’s had enough. She calls on Amethyst to help her, and she blasts Mordru, breaking his and Glorith’s spell. As Mysa blinks out, she talks about how she has finally overcome her fear of Mordru.  Mordru rants about now destroying the universe. Rokk, in the Infinite Library, finds a door and opens it, finding the Time Trapper waiting for him.

While there are two chapters left in End of an Era, that’s the last we see “our” Legionnaires in this title, before everything gets rebooted coming out of Zero Hour.  

I think that, before looping back to the Zero Hour stuff, it’s important to talk about the first fifteen issues of this series.  Tom and Mary Bierbaum originally intended, when Keith Giffen was still around, to chronicle the earlier adventures of the Legion in this title, reflecting the changes they made to the team’s timeline in the parent book right at the beginning of their lauded run.  As plans changed, and the SW6 Legion (the clones of the original Legion that the Dominion grew and who got free during the war on Earth) went its separate way from the Legion, this book became theirs. They were rebranded as the Legionnaires, given new uniforms and many new codenames, as well as some new members, and New Earth to protect.

The series started well, with a solid Fatal Five story that helped to establish the Legionnaires as the champions of New Earth, while also refreshing the Five.  From there, the Bierbaums kept dividing the team and giving them missions or plotlines that ran for many issues, dragging out simple stories much longer than they needed to run, as they were given only a third of each issue or so.  How long did it take for Cosmic Boy to get over being hit by lightning? I think it was six months of comics, which is a little too long.

I understand that DC and the Bierbaums wanted this title to appeal to a larger audience than the LSH title was at the time, and so they made it more accessible to new and younger readers.  Gone was the complicated Legion history, although we still had the familiar characters that readers had cared about for decades. The problem is, the sense of continuity that came with reading a Legion book was also gone.  The heroes seem like rookies a lot of the time, but before they were cloned, or cocooned, or whatever happened to them, they’d been working together as a team for years. It’s just that we never got the sense that any of their earlier adventures had happened to them.  The timeline of who joined the team when got confusing, as Star Boy, Kid Quantum, Dream Girl, and Bouncing Boy all joined before Projectra (who died in the war), but didn’t get SW6ed (although, to be fair, Kid Quantum was believed dead at the time). Aside from the relationships between Jo and Tinya, and Imra and Garth, it felt like some of these characters were just now getting to know one another, or at least didn’t have a long friendship.

When we got to know the SW6 kids during the war, some of them had a lot of character development done, that was either ignored in this title, or completely wiped away.  Lyle, the Invisible Kid, was the leader during the war, and someone that everyone appeared to look up to. In this book, though, he seems to be ignored, and has absolutely no character work done on him.

Likewise, Jan, aka Alchemist, was shown in LSH to be an incredibly sensitive and caring kid who was processing his PTSD (his entire race was killed by Roxxas).  In this title, when he showed up, he was kind of generic and not all that interesting.

Dirk Morgna, Inferno, was perhaps the most interesting SW6 kid at first.  He saw his adult counterpart, who betrayed the Earth to the Dominion because he sought fame and adulation, become utterly reviled, and then, after being badly burned, beg to die.  It made no sense that he would now be a bully and womanizer, worse than his older self ever was. Had there been even one scene where we saw this as a coping mechanism, I might feel differently, but no, instead, Dirk was a jerk from day one.  He did get a bit of redemption when he called out Baron St. Maixent (more on that) for his xenophobia, but it was not enough.

Like Dirk, Garth, aka Live Wire, was also a real piece of work in this series.  He has a long-standing relationship with Imra, yet he’s quick to flirt with girls at the Legion try-out.  At the same time, he’s now intensely jealous of any time that Imra spends with Rokk? It doesn’t fit with any earlier portrayals of this character.  And then, there’s the whole Proty question. It was established that the adult Garth was really a Protean posing as Garth, after his death in the Silver Age, before the SW6 stuff would have happened.  So, does it not stand to reason that this Garth would also be a Protean, especially since he emerged from the Dominator chambers with his missing arm regrown? And, seeing as it was the Bierbaums that revealed that fact about Adult Garth, it’s not like they wouldn’t have thought about it here.

There were a few new Legionnaires added to the mix, but they never contributed much at all.  Catspaw is barely in the book, which is fine with me because she’s annoying. Computo just seemed to man the monitor board all the time, making her little better than the team’s tech support.  It would have been interesting to see her take on a larger role, especially since she was actually from this time, unlike her teammates who were all from an earlier era (come to think of it, it’s strange that they didn’t spend more time adjusting to their new reality).  Dragonmage showed perhaps the most potential, with his ambiguous powers and connection to magic, but he wasn’t really given any space to shine.

I also thought it was odd that Cham, calling himself Chameleon for some reason, would join the team as their adult liaison, but in no time appear as youthful and immature as the others.  Prior to joining them, Cham was running the adult team, and before that, was in charge of Brande Industries. Giffen’s run had shown him to be a very considered and deliberate person, but that was all gone here.  It was also strange that the Bierbaums shoehorned Kid Quantum (the Legionnaire that they retconned onto the team as the first to die in team history, then brought back in the LSH title) onto this team. The kids seemed familiar with him, but didn’t appear to really know him, which I found odd.

Even with all of these problems, inconsistencies, and I guess unfortunate choices, I was finding a lot of stuff to like with this title, in terms of story and art.  I think that the plans surrounding Zero Hour didn’t give this comic enough room to grow, but also suspect that its hard deadline prevented the Bierbaums from telling more stories.  I think that might be why some plots felt dragged out, while others were just never resolved.

Back in the main Legion title, it was established that Leland McCauley was planning on using his omnicoms (think of future ipads) to take over the Earth, but when we saw him here, he was a germaphobe whose Fatal Five fell apart, never to be seen again.  Similarly, we didn’t get to find out what was up with Cera Kesh, the new Emerald Empress, which was too bad, as I liked her. We also never got any resolution on the stories involving St. Maixent (the xenophobic populist ruler of Paris), or who was stalking Inferno.

I think I’m going to have a lot more to say about Zero Hour in the main Legion column that I’ll be releasing shortly after this one.  I still think that it, and the various attempts to “fix” the Legion that followed were unnecessary, and I am sad that this time I got to spend, reading some fifteen or sixteen years worth of “my” Legion comics is coming to a close.

I did want to take a bit of time to talk about the art in these comics.  Chris Sprouse has always been great, and he brought a real youthfulness to the team, with their exaggeratedly large eyes.  I loved the new costumes that the team had, and the more unified look that they brought to the kids. Adam Hughes issues and pages were great too, as were many of the guest artists (Jeffrey Moy would return after the reboot).  

Chris Gardner’s issues are interesting.  He does not appear to have had a very extensive career (only nine credits show up on Comic Vine, four of which were in this comic), but I think he showed a lot of promise.  If you were to blend Chris Sprouse with Rob Liefeld, Gardner is what you would get, which is a lot better than most of the rest of 1994.  

After the reboot, LSH and Legionnaires were effectively one title, as the story jumped from one series to the next.  I’m going to cover both titles in the same column, although I don’t promise I’m going to stay interested long enough to get through to the end.  Maybe that’s not fair though – I do remember liking some aspects of these books. I guess we’ll find out next time!

If you’d like to see the archives of all of my retro review columns, click here.

This run was never collected in trade, so you’d have to do some digging to read these issues.

Curbside Pickups at Comic Stores No Longer Allowed in LOS ANGELES

LA comic book retailers and fans have a setback.

ALA Spotlighting Online Comic Reading, More with #LibcomixOnline During Social Distancing Era

potlight online comic reading and recommendations

REVIEW: Gillen & Mora’s ONCE & FUTURE explores the power of stories

Once & Future, Volume 1: The King is Undead

Written by Kieron Gillen
Illustrated by Dan Mora
Colored by Tamra Bonvillain
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire

Stories can be powerful things. A story can inspire strong emotion, whether it’s hope or fear or sadness, in whoever consumes it. Stories can convey nuanced messages and reveal secrets about the deepest mysteries of life, and they can do so in a way that entertains along the way. They can also just be really damn fun.

Once & Future, the BOOM! Studios series by Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillain, and Ed Dukeshire, falls somewhere in the middle. The series follows Duncan McGuire, a relatively mild-mannered academic, as he’s drawn into a world of adventure by his monster-hunting grandmother, Bridgette. It seems all the stories Duncan had ever heard about King Arthur, Excalibur, the whole bit were true. Now someone’s decided to resurrect Arthur, who Duncan’s Gran says is destined to come back during Britain’s darkest hour — only it looks like he may be the cause of it.

The power of story to impact reality plays an important role in Once & Future. The series hinges on Arthurian legend being true, which Bridgette occasionally reminds Duncan is different from something being ‘real.’ Foreknowledge of those legends is helpful but not required — personally my experience with it doesn’t extend much past Monty Python & The Holy Grail, and I had no trouble following anything that was going on, though I know I would’ve gotten more from some of the references if I had more familiarity with Arthur and his knights. Knowledge of those stories, and the history on which they’re based, amounts to power within the pages of Once & Future, with characters able to accomplish things by believing in the truth of the stories, and by absorbing the themes and details. They’re able to set up (if not outright manipulate) events by ensuring things play out similarly to the legends.

Once & Future is also an interesting allegory for certain current events. The villains of the tale — a group of nationalists intent on resurrecting King Arthur — are characters who, when asked in the opening pages what they want, reply simply, “England back.” After (spoiler alert) Arthur returns, his first action is to put the group through a purity test, tasting their blood, identifying which of them are ‘true’ Britons, and slaughtering those who he deems not to be (which ends up being most of them). Gillen has said that the story of the book was, if not inspired, then influenced by some of the sentiments that fueled the Brexit movement, and there’s certainly a contingent of supporters of the current U.S. president who feel the same way about ‘taking back’ ‘their’ country by removing those they don’t believe to be ‘real’ Americans. It’s hard to miss the relevance of the story being told in Once & Future — and to derive some satisfaction from seeing heroes stand up against the clear racism of the story’s antagonists — once you recognize its parallels to what’s going on in both the U.S. and U.K.

On top of all of that, Once & Future is a fantastically fun fish-out-of-water adventure story. Duncan is an instantly relatable everyman, clumsy and awkward and good to his core. He’s Clark Kent without the superpowers (and if not for the red hair and beard, he’d look a lot like Clark, too). His Gran is a force of nature, dragging Duncan along (occasionally at gunpoint) on a quest he doesn’t even know he’s been preparing for his entire life. There’s a true sense of urgency to everything that happens in Once & Future — you’ll have that in a story about trying to stop the end of the world — as our heroes race from place to place, collecting information and gear, and facing threats living, undead, and literally monstrous. Mora and Bonvillain’s artwork give the goings-on a palpable energy that it’s hard to look away from without finding out what happens next.

Once & Future was a sales sensation when it debuted last year, and having read the first collection it’s easy to see why. It’s a strong premise with an interesting mythology behind it, and it hooks you quickly. It’s the kind of story that’s engrossing, entertaining, and will leave you wanting more. Isn’t that what every reader wants from a story?


Collecting the first six issues of the series, Once & Future Volume 1: The King is Undead is on sale now.

The post REVIEW: Gillen & Mora’s ONCE & FUTURE explores the power of stories appeared first on The Beat.

TITAN COMICS June 2020 Solicitations

ASSASSIN'S CREED, MINIONS, LIFE IS STRANGE, and more.

Chinese Movie Theaters Ordered to Close Again Due to Coronavirus

China has begun its Coronavirus turnaround.

The Good Place: The Complete Series Hits Blu-ray In May

The Good Place was revolutionary in broadcast network television. The sitcom about people in the afterlife dared to only have seasons that were only 13 episodes long (14 for the final season). The show was set up to only last 4 seasons. This concept would have been a vision hell for producers a decade ago. You wanted a season of 23 plus episodes and a run with at least 100 episodes so you can score syndication gold. But we live in a time where people get want to revisit a show with less episodes. This lack of episodes increased the quality of a series that kept pushing the concept of whether its main characters were in an awkward Heaven or a new form of Hell. And it’s hard to tell when the man in charge is Ted Danson (Cheers). The show became a serious cult hit and NBC allowed all four seasons to be made so viewers enjoyed the whole story. Now all 53 episodes arrives on Blu-ray with The Good Place: The Complete Series in May. Here’s the press release from Shout! Factory with a list of the bonus features:

THE GOOD PLACE: THE COMPLETE SERIES
(COLLECTOR’S EDITION)
COMES TO BLU-RAY™ MAY 19, 2020

All episodes come to Blu-ray together for the first time

Los Angeles, CA – Welcome! Everything is fine. The complete series of the fan-favorite comedy hit The Good Place makes its Blu-ray debut on May 19, 2020, courtesy Shout! Factory. All 53 episodes from the NBC series will come to Blu-ray in a 9-disc set, complete with bonus features including the series finale after show and extended episodes, with footage not seen on television.

What happens when we die? It’s a question everyone has asked, since the beginning of time. But when Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars) dies tragically, she finds out that the afterlife is amazing: full of frozen yogurt, soulmates, and wonderful people who have done incredible things with their lives. It is absolutely perfect. The only problem is Eleanor herself. She isn’t supposed to be in The Good Place. In fact, her life decisions wouldn’t have gotten her even close. But due to a clerical error, she’s been given someone else’s reward and now has to struggle with being good in order to make sure her secret isn’t discovered.

From Michael Schur, executive producer of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Parks And Recreation, comes the hilarious complete series of this refreshingly original comedy co-starring Ted Danson (Cheers) in an Emmy Award-nominated performance, D’Arcy Carden (HBO’s Barry), William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto.

Bonus Features:
· Extended Episodes
· Audio Commentary On The Season One Episode “Everything Is Fine/Flying” With Creator Michael Schur, Executive Producer Drew Goddard, And Co-Stars Jameela Jamil And D’Arcy Carden
· Audio Commentary On The Season One Episode “Mindy St. Claire/Michael’s Gambit” With Creator Michael Schur, Executive Producer Drew Goddard, And Co-Stars Jameela Jamil And D’Arcy Carden
· Audio Commentary On The Season Two Episode “Dance Dance Resolution” With Creator Michael Schur, Executive Producer Drew Goddard, Producer Megan Amram, And Actor Ted Danson
· Finale Special Hosted By Seth Meyers
· 2019 San Diego Comic-Con Panel
· Gag Reels
· Visual Effects Reels
· Table Read For The Season One Episode “Mindy St. Claire”

About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Studios, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Shout! Factory Films, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com.

Studio Coffee Run 3/27/20: Get ready for Peacock and more on digital from Disney

Welcome back Studio Coffee Folks! You might think the Peacock would be reeling after NBC lost its billions of revenue in Olympics ads – but you’d be wrong. Insiders are confident that the whole COVID-19 situation will draw folks in just fine. That, along with a couple exciting trailers, right here.

After one season, Messiah won’t be rising again

Netflix’s Messiah has been cancelled following its one season flop, as revealed by co-star Wil Travel on Thursday via Instagram, saying “I have just received news from Netflix that there will be no season 2 of #messiah. I wanted to say to all the fans thank you for your support and love. I wish things were different.” Aside from the series’ major twist being immediately spoiled, it also faced genuine controversy in the Middle East over a scene shot on Jerusalem’s sacred Temple Mount.

Need anymore movies to watch? Disney’s got your back

Disney is trying to cut its losses a bit more with digital releases for 20th Century Studios’ The Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford and A CGI Dog and Searchlight Pictures’ Downhill, starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Both of which had their big screen debuts in February and were cut short when COVID-19 forced us all into our homes and out of the theater. Notably, Disney has already taken big titles like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Onward and Frozen 2 to small screens. The Call of the Wild will be available to purchase today for $14.99, as will Downhill, though for a slightly cheaper price point at $9.99.

The Peacock has lost the Olympics, but it’s taking The Office

Meanwhile, NBC is reeling after it lost billions in advertising funds after the Tokyo Olympics were cancelled. So, it’s hoping The Peacock will provide. The network’s upcoming streaming service is set for a July 15 launch (and was also set to have its own Olympics coverage, whoops). Per THR, insiders aren’t worried one bit. With the world sitting at home, increasingly bored, the idea of binging hours of Saturday Night Live or Friday Night Lights or the ludicrous amounts of Dick Wolfe content out there doesn’t seem even a little outlandish. Not to mention the fact that Netflix’s and Hulu’s iron grip over shows like The Office and This is Us will be wrenched open and dropped into the Peacock’s hungry beak.

Hmm this allegory seems weirdly relatable I WONDER WHY 

The Platform is an upcoming Netflix thriller with big Snowpiercer vibes. The first trailer has arrived, and it’s super allegorical and super tense. In a nutshell, folks are living in what looks like a massive stack of prison cells with a hole going down the middle, allowing anyone to look up or down at their neighbors. Throughout the day, a (the) platform floats down filled with food. If you’re at the top, you get first pick – but as it goes down, you’re literally eating the scraps of everyone above you. Needless to say, The Platform could not have picked a more apt moment to drop a trailer.

Alan Yang’s Tigertail drops a new trailer

Master of None’s Alan Yang dropped a trailer of his own yesterday, revealing the writer-director’s multigenerational drama, Tigertail. It’s the story of a Taiwanese immigrant, struggling to keep his family alive and stay connected with them. The cast includes Tzi Ma, Christine Ko, Hayden Szeto, Hong-Chi Lee, Kunjue Li, Fiona Fu, James Saito, with Joan Chen and hits Netflix on April 10.

The post Studio Coffee Run 3/27/20: Get ready for Peacock and more on digital from Disney appeared first on The Beat.

Best Shots Rapid-Fire Reviews: DETECTIVE COMICS #1021, SEX CRIMINALS #28, More

As well as Giant-Size X-Men: Nightcrawler #1, Batman: Curse of the White Knight #8, Falcon & Winter Soldier #2, DMarvels Snapshots: Fantastic Four #1, Legion of Super-Heroes #5, Road to Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War #1, and Heavy Vinyl Y2K-O! TPB.

BLACK GHOST is Dead – Meet the New BLACK GHOST

Inside a new superhero hitting the scene from comiXology.

RYAN REYNOLDS in Talks to Lead DRAGON’S LAIR Movie – Report

The iconic video game might be coming to film, maybe with DEADPOOL himself.

How FRANK MILLER Killed a DAREDEVIL Saturday Morning Cartoon

Can you believe someone thought FRANK MILLER was too edgy for kids?

Recap: THE WALKING DEAD S10E12, “Walk With Us”

Hello! Funny seeing you here again. You get a haircut? You look great.

I know. This is pretty late. I’ve got a pretty good reason, though: AMC sent me these screeners a bit later than usual AND I’ve been pretty sick for the past couple of weeks. It isn’t the coronavirus; I got tested and the test thankfully came up as negative so I’m fine. While sick I couldn’t really put a sentence together because of the fatigue and headaches. I hope you forgive me.

Back to the show. This episode deals with the battle between the Whisperers and Hilltop, as well as the after-effects that the survivors go through the next day. If you need a reminder of what happened before this, check out my last recap.

“Where’s Judith?”

Hilltop is burning. Alpha’s walkers are threatening to storm the gates, on fire and seemingly pretty hungry. The effort is great but almost futile; Daryl is swinging his weapon, taking down walkers and Whisperers alike. Catapults from within the compound are slinging away, Carol is shooting arrows from the top of the gate, and Ezekiel is trying to get the kids out of the carnage. He notices that Judith isn’t with him.

She’s still inside Hilltop, killing walkers with her sword. She then kills a Whisperer, and only notices when his mask falls off as she’s about to strike the killing blow. He asks for mercy but dies silently anyway; Judith is struck by the magnitude of her action. This is the first person she’s killed.

Back at the front line, the walkers aren’t stopping. Eugene notices that his radio shack is about to burn up. He gives chase with Rosita following him. Yumiko is getting ready to fire arrows into the crowd when she thinks she sees Magna is the herd. And Carol stops firing as the intensity of the situation kicks in, as she realises they may not win this fight.

“I will not stop until I bring her home. To you.” 

The next day, Negan is going around and killing Hilltop survivors with a lethal dose of Lucille to the face. He talks with Alpha and learns of her true goal to finally bring Lydia home once and for all. Beta interrupts, commanding Negan to go gather some walkers since they lost so many the night before.

In the woods, Negan is trying to get a walker to follow him but gets frustrated and kills it. As he tries to gather more, he notices a Hilltop survivor limping away in the distance. He follows. He runs into Aaron who is dragging along an injured Luke on a sled; Aaron freaks out. He’s about to kill Negan when some walkers enter the picture, forcing Aaron to defend Luke instead of getting his revenge. Negan is very apologetic and wants to explain the situation to him, but Aaron won’t have it.

The survivor turns out to be Lydia, and Negan catches up to her. She’s happy to see him for a split second, but notices that he has a Whisperer mask on. She attacks him but he subdues her.

“Let me try.” 

Alden, Kelly, and Mary are heading to the rendezvous point. Alden is carrying a crying baby Adam and refuses to give him to Mary, who’s offering to help calm him down. He eventually relents as Adam is getting louder, and she manages to put him at ease pretty quickly, much to Alden’s delight. He’s finally beginning to warm up to Mary.

Mary hears some sounds in the woods and knows the Whisperers are coming. They all run off, and take shelter inside a van as they’re surrounded by walkers. Mary leaves to distract them and kills off a few. She revels in the peace of the moment, watching the sun sprinkle through the trees, but is then stabbed by Beta in the stomach. She fights back and pulls off half of his mask, but he pulls the blade up her abdomen and instantly kills her. He props her up against a tree, waiting for her to become undead when a Whisperer enters the fray and tells Beta, “It’s you. I know you sounded familiar.” Beta cuts him down.

He watches, and she wakes up. She approaches him and a arrow flies into her forehead from behind Beta, who runs away. It’s Alden who ended her misery, with Kelly watching with little Adam.

“I will say, the nights have been a lot more peaceful.” 

Carol, Eugene, Yumiko, and Magna are resting in the woods. Eugene is holding a bag of supplies, desperate to put his radio back together again. Magna is recounting her story to Yumiko. She and Connie found their way into the horde somehow and got separated. Yumiko spots Carol about to walk away and demands that she begs Magna for forgiveness. She punches Carol when she tries to respond.

I have to say, I feel so little sympathy for Carol at this point. Like Yumiko said, it’s all her fault that Magna and Connie went through hell in the caves.

Carol’s off, alone with her thoughts, when Eugene comes in to see if she’s alright. He begins talking about his meeting with someone, framed as the biggest meeting of his life, and he’s not sure if he should go given Hilltop’s current situation. Without a second of a delay, Carol simply says to go to her. If it’s important, he needs to go. He accepts her advice and leaves her alone. She gets up to join the others and notices Lydia’s staff buried under the leaves below her.

“Don’t come near me again.” 

Daryl, Rosita, Jerry, and a few others made their way to the safehouse rendezvous and spot a walker leaving the house. They hurriedly kill it and check inside, only to find that nobody’s in there. Jerry’s wife is freaking out since Ezekiel apparently has the kids but is nowhere to be found.

It turns out Earl is watching the kids: Judith and many others. They’re in a safehouse and Earl serves them all a cup of water before going into the other room. He slowly staggers his way to the table, hammering a great big nail from under the table so it sticks out from the top. He pulls up his sleeve, revealing a walker bite, and is apparently about to plunge his head into the nail before Judith comes out and asks about what’s going on. Earl begs Judith to take care of the kids and to let them stay away from him. She touches his hand and heads into the other room.

Jerry and Daryl find a just-conscious Ezekiel outside of Hilltop, who then tells them that Earl has the kids.

Back at Earl’s place, he slowly puts his head near the nail. Suddenly, he takes the plunge. Judith approaches him but it turns out it didn’t work exactly as Earl planned; he’s undead and grabs her arm.

Daryl, Jerry, and Ezekiel get to the house and find the kids safe and sound, with Judith sitting near Earl’s body. Daryl approaches her, sits down next to her, and puts his arm around her.

“Took you long enough.” 

Negan tells Alpha that he has Lydia. Meanwhile, Lydia is tied to a chair in a strange house and is fighting like crazy to get out.

Alpha and Negan make their way to where Negan is keeping Lydia, and she reveals her intentions. She wants to kill Lydia, to set her free. Negan tells her the story of how his wife dealt with cancer and chemotherapy, and of how he felt nothing after she died. No happiness, no sadness. Nothing. He tells Alpha that her nonsense show of superiority by claiming all emotions are useless doesn’t make any sense, but that doesn’t sway Alpha any which way.

They finally arrive at the house. Alpha opens the door and finds it empty. Meanwhile, Lydia is finally free and opens the door to where she is. Alpha turns around and Negan cuts her throat. She stares into his eyes as she bleeds out, and then dies.

He tosses her head in front of someone, who turns out to be Carol. She asks Negan what took him so long.

The End 

I guess the implication is that Carol sent Negan out on this mission? If so that changes a lot of things, among them why she was so adamant in killing Alpha when she knew she had a mole in the Whisperers? I don’t know. My recap for the next episode, “What We Become.”

 

The post Recap: THE WALKING DEAD S10E12, “Walk With Us” appeared first on The Beat.

Arrow Video’s April Lineup Includes Elvira, Molly Ringwald & The Wind

Now that we’re stuck inside for the foreseeable future because of the Coronavirus, your Blu-ray player ought to be getting a work out. Thankfully Arrow Video has discs coming out in April that includes two ’80s classics, Italian horror, a Greek tale of a serial killer in a hurricane and weirdness from Russia.

Beyond the Door is a film that sounds so much like The Exorcist that the makers of The Exorcist sued them. But now you can compare the two films. Did Ovidio G. Assonitis make a film so demonic that it summoned a team of lawyers? Next up is the ’80s Teen Flick classic Sixteen Candles. If you haven’t seen the John Hughes movie in a while, you might notice different things with your adult eyes. Mostly pay attention to Jake Ryan. Is he as sweet and wonderful as you and Molly Ringwald believed back in 1984? The film introduced us to the world of Shermer High School and gave us the John Kapelos saga. Why Don’t You Just Die! should be this month’s trip to the strange. Elvira Mistress of the Dark is the cult classic about what happens when the late night movie hostess with the moistest inherits house. The making of movie is as long as the film and lets you see Elvira out of make up. Finally we get The Wind which mixes a major weather event with a killer on the loose. Meg Foster and Wings Hauser get tangled up in what happens when Dateline meets The Weather Channel.

Here’s the press release from Arrow Video with a list of bonus features:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

New from Arrow Video US and Arrow Academy US

BEYOND THE DOOR [Blu-ray] (4/7)

SIXTEEN CANDLES [Blu-ray] (4/14)

WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! [Blu-ray] (4/21)

ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK [Blu-ray] (4/28)

THE WIND [Blu-ray] (4/28)

via MVD Entertainment Group

Spring into April with Five Exciting New Releases from Arrow!

While the world faces difficult, uncertain times the small comforts like movies can mean so much more. Arrow knows this and has you covered with 5 new and vastly different releases coming to Blu-ray this April. If you’re forced to stay inside, you may as well make the best of it.

Releasing on April 7th is Beyond the Door, Ovidio G. Assonitis’ brilliant play on The Exorcist. Juliet Mills stars as a young pregnant housewife from San Francisco that becomes possessed by a demonic being. Roger Ebert labeled the film as “scary trash,” which may have been intended as an insult, but will certainly make the ears of genre fans the world over perk up with excitement. Limited to just 3,000 copies, this release includes the uncut English export version, Devil Within Her, as well as Italy Possessed, a brand-new documentary on Italian exorcism films.

April 14th is the day for the John Hughes classic Sixteen Candles… The film that made Molly Ringwald a star! Arrow presents the film with a brand-new restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. The release will also include both the theatrical and extended versions of the film and a collection of new and archived bonus features.

On April 21st, Arrow is proud to release Why Don’t You Just Die! This horror-comedy hybrid and feature debut from writer / director Kirill Sokolov is sure to leave viewers laughing at the most inappropriate times. Praised by Rob Hunter of Film School Rejects as “a goddamn delight,” Why Don’t You Die! is a tale of bloody mayhem that puts a group of terrible people in one room together and unleashes them. This one is not to be missed!

Arrow brings April to close on April 28th with their highly anticipated Blu-ray release of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. The queen of horror makes her feature film debut as she travels to Massachusetts to claim an inheritance after quitting her job. This release includes a brand-new 4K restoration scanned from the original film elements and a bountiful bosom of special features.

And finally, also coming April 28th is The Wind. Written and directed by cult icon Nico Mastorakis (Island of Death, The Zero Boys), this slasher is the story of a Los Angeles novelist that travels to remote Greek island in search of isolation to write her newest book. There she witnesses a murder and becomes the killer’s next target during a windy night. Notably the film’s score was composed by Hans Zimmer and Stanley Myers. This lost slasher it making its world-wide Blu-ray debut.


Beyond The Door
Demonic Possession LIVES and GROWS in the Most Terrifying Event in the History of Mankind!
Legendary filmmaker Ovidio G. Assonitis, whose Tentacles and Piranha II sought to cash in on the killer fish craze spawned by Jaws, first hit pay dirt in 1974 with Beyond the Door – a gloriously bonkers riff on The Exorcist featuring Emmy Award-winning actress Juliet Mills and distinguished British actor Richard Johnson. Set against the backdrop of San Francisco, Beyond the Door stars Mills as Jessica Barrett, a young mother who starts to develop strange behaviors whilst pregnant with her third child. Before you can say “split pea soup”, Jessica is displaying signs of full-blown demonic possession – complete with projectile vomiting and fully-rotating head! Could it be that she’s carrying the child of the Antichrist himself? Described as “disgusting”, “scary trash” and “maddeningly inappropriate” by film critic Robert Ebert and subject to a lawsuit by Warner Bros. (who claimed copyright infringement against a certain William Friedkin film), the devilish denizens at Arrow Video have summoned up this wickedly entertaining popcorn spiller in a brand new, extras-packed edition fit for Satan himself!

Bonus Materials
Limited to 3,000 units
Brand new 2K restoration of the extended Uncut English Export Version
Exclusive bonus disc containing the alternate US Theatrical Version and Italy Possessed, a brand-new feature-length documentary on Italian exorcism movies!
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
Reversible fold-out poster
Perfect-bound collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by John Martin and Alessio di Rocco
Brand new 2K restoration of the Uncut English Export Version, released as Devil Within Her (108 mins)
High Definition Blu-rayTM (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
The Devil and I – a newly-filmed interview with director/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis
Barrett’s Hell – a newly-filmed interview with cinematographer Roberto D’Ettorre Piazzoli
Beyond the Music – a newly-filmed interview with composer Franco Micalizzi
The Devil’s Face – a newly-filmed interview with camera operator Maurizio Maggi
Motel and Devils – a newly-conducted audio interview with actor Gabriele Lavia
Alternate Italian Chi Sei? opening titles
Alternate Behind the Door VHS opening titles
Alternate Japanese Diabolica opening and ending sequence
Trailers, TV and Radio Spots
Image Gallery
Brand new 2K restoration of the US Theatrical Version, released as Beyond the Door (99 mins)
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Italy Possessed – a brand new feature-length documentary on the history of Italian Exorcist rip-offs, including interviews with key filmmakers such as Sergio Martino, Alberto De Martino, Pupi Avati, Marcello Avallone, Ovidio G. Assonitis and many more!

BLU-RAY
SRP: 49.95
Street Date: 04/07/20
Genre: Horror
Language: English
Run Time: 109 mins


Sixteen Candles
In his debut film as writer-director, John Hughes immediately cemented himself as the king of teen cinema with Sixteen Candles, and in the process also introduced one of the most iconic faces of ’80s Americana: Molly Ringwald. For high schooler Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald), her 16th birthday might be the worst day of her life. Her entire family has forgotten about it due to her older sister’s impending wedding; her biggest crush, high school hunk Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) has discovered an embarrassing “sex quiz” filled out by Sam in which she details how she is saving herself for him; and to make matters worse, she is hounded by a relentless nerd (Anthony Michael Hall) who won’t take no for an answer. But Sam’s sweet sixteen isn’t over yet, and before the end of the night, all her birthday wishes could still come true… Taking the rude and crude humor of the teen sex comedies that came before it and placing it within the intimately portrayed perspective of a girl’s mid-teenage-life crisis, Sixteen Candles is a bombshell of 80s pop culture that continues to be debated and beloved over three decades after its release.
Bonus Materials
New restoration by Arrow Films from a 4K scan of the original negative
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentation of the Theatrical Version of the film (92 mins), plus Blu-ray™ premiere Extended Version (94 mins), featuring the additional “cafeteria” scene newly remastered in high definition
Original lossless mono audio, plus 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround option
Original English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Alternate “home video” soundtrack prepared for VHS and laserdisc releases
Option to watch additional scene from the Extended Version separately
Casting ‘Sixteen Candles’, an all-new audio interview with casting director Jackie Burch
When Gedde Met Deborah, a newly filmed conversation between actors Gedde Watanabe and Deborah Pollack
Rudy the Bohunk, a newly filmed interview with supporting actor John Kapelos
The In-Between, a newly filmed interview with camera operator Gary Kibbe
The New Wave Nerd, a newly filmed interview with filmmaker Adam Rifkin, who shadowed John Hughes while working as an extra on set
Music for Geeks, a newly filmed interview with composer Ira Newborn
A Very Eighties Fairytale, an all-new video essay written and narrated by writer Soraya Roberts, looking at the film from a contemporary feminist perspective
Celebrating Sixteen Candles, an archive documentary featuring interviews with cast, crew and admirers, including stars Anthony Michael Hall, Paul Dooley, Justin Henry, Haviland Morris and Gedde Watanabe
Theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
Image galleries
BD-ROM: PDF of the original shooting script
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by Nikki Baughan and Bryan Reesman

BLU-RAY
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 04/14/20
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Run Time: 93 mins


Why Don’t You Just Die!
Shades of early Tarantino, Edgar Wright and Sam Raimi abound in this violent, stylish and riotously entertaining slice of family life, Moscow style, described as “a splatterpunk action comedy drenched in gleefully dark Russian humor” (The Hollywood Reporter) and “an amazing first feature from a filmmaker to watch” (Screen Anarchy). Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) has just one objective: to gain entry to his girlfriend’s parents’ apartment and kill her father Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev) with a hammer to restore her honor. But all is not as it initially seems, and Matvey’s attempts to bludgeon the family patriarch to death don’t quite go to plan as Andrey proves a more formidable – not to mention ruthless – opponent than he anticipated… and Matvey, for his part, proves stubbornly unwilling to die. Making his feature debut, writer/director Kirill Sokolov presents a rousing tale of family, modern relationships and the dark places they can take you to when things turn sour. Featuring a soundtrack that veers between Ennio Morricone-esque western riffs and toe-tappingly catchy pop numbers, Why Don’t You Just Die! delivers laughs, shocking twists and copious quantities of blood and gore, and establishes Sokolov as one of cinema’s brightest rising stars.
Bonus Materials
High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
Original lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks
Optional English subtitles
Brand new interview with author and critic Kim Newman, exploring Why Don’t You Just Die! within the context of the long-standing tradition of single location cinema
Exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from rehearsals and the film set
Four short films by Kirill Sokolov: Could Be Worse, The Outcome, The Flame and the award-winning Sisyphus is Happy (Best Director and Gold Frame awards, 2013 Unprecedented Cinema International Festival of Short Film)
Theatrical trailer
Kirill Sokolov’s complete original storyboard for the film (BD-ROM content)
Reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Neil Mitchell
BLU-RAY
SRP: 29.95
Street Date: 04/21/20
Genre: Horror
Language: Russian
Run Time: 95 mins


Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark
She’s back! Elvira, Horrorland’s hostess with the mostest, finally busts out on Blu-ray with this long-awaited, positively bursting-at-the-seams special edition of her big screen debut, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark! Having just quit her job as a Los Angeles TV horror hostess, Elvira receives the unexpected news that she’s set to inherit part of her great aunt Morgana’s estate. Arriving in the small town of Fallwell, Massachusetts to claim her inheritance, Elvira receives a less than enthusiastic reception from the conservative locals – amongst them, her sinister uncle Vincent, who, unbeknownst to Elvira, is in fact an evil warlock secretly scheming to steal the old family spellbook for his own nefarious ends… Campy, quirky and stuffed to the brim with more double entendres than your average Carry On movie, 1988’s Elvira: Mistress of the Dark helped solidify the horror hostess (played by Cassandra Peterson) as a major pop culture icon, here owning every inch of the screen with her quick wit, sass, and of course, cleaving-enhancing gown!
Bonus Materials
Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of original film elements
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed stereo 2.0 audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Introduction to the film by director James Signorelli
2017 Audio Commentary with director James Signorelli, hosted by Fangoria editor emeritus Tony Timpone
2017 Audio Commentary with Patterson Lundquist, www.elviramistressofthedark.com webmaster and judge of US TV show The Search for the Next Elvira
Archival Audio Commentary with actors Cassandra Peterson, Edie McClurg and writer John Paragon
Too Macabre – The Making of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark – newly-revised 2018 version of this feature-length documentary on the making of the film, including interviews with various cast and crew and rare never-before-seen archival material
Recipe for Terror: The Creation of the Pot Monster – newly-revised 2018 version of this featurette on the concept and design of the pot monster, as well as the film’s other SFX
Original storyboards
Extensive image galleries
Original US theatrical and teaser trailers
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing by Kat Ellinger and Patterson Lundquist

BLU-RAY
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 04/28/20
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Run Time: 96 mins


The Wind
What would you do if going outside meant being killed by a raging hurricane, but staying indoors meant being hacked to pieces by a sickle wielding maniac? Arrow video proudly presents The Wind, from prolific genre filmmaker Nico Mastorakis, the director behind such cult classics as Hired to Kill and Island of Death. When mystery novelist Sian Anderson (Meg Foster, They Live) arrives in the remote Greek town of Monemvasia, Elias Appleby (Robert Morley, The African Queen), the pompous British landlord of the house she’s renting warns her of two dangers: the wind, which gets dangerously strong at night, and Phil (Wings Hauser, Vice Squad), his sleazy and suspicious American handyman. As night falls and the wind starts howling, Sian witnesses the shocking sight of Phil burying Elias’s dead body in a shallow grave in his front garden! Trapped indoors from the raging, tree-branch-breaking wind, Sian must play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the murderous Phil, who’ll stop at nothing to silence this inconvenient witness! A tense and thrilling blend of Euro-horror and late 80s slasher, The Wind is a stalk ‘n’ slash hidden gem, presented here for the first time on Blu-ray. Get ready to be blown away!
Bonus Materials
New restoration by Arrow Films from a 4K scan of the original negative, approved by writer-director Nico Mastorakis
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentation
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Optional Greek subtitles
Original DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround and LPCM Stereo 2.0 Audio
Blowing The Wind – Brand new interview with Director Nico Mastorakis
The Sound of The Wind – The complete soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer and Stanley Myers
A collection of trailers for the films of Nico Mastorakis
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Kat Ellinger

BLU-RAY
SRP: 39.95
Street Date: 04/28/20
Genre: Horror
Language: English
Run Time: 92 mins

Drunk on Comics Podcast 410: COVID-19, Viruses, and Comics

Through the power of the internet, the gang was able to do what they love and talk comic books among themselves. With us all doing our part of social distancing, we recorded over Skype, and the audio came out pretty … Continue reading

The post Drunk on Comics Podcast 410: COVID-19, Viruses, and Comics appeared first on Drunk On Comics.

On The Streeter – New Jack Memoir Of A Pro Wrestling Extremist Review

New Jack: Memoir Of A Pro Wrestling Extremist

by New Jack and Jason Norman (McFarland & Co. Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina; 2020)

Oh. My. God.

 

This is a wrestling autobiography. But this is a New Jack wrestling autobiography. You know what you’re going to get. He does not care about anyone (well, not true – the book makes that clear) and this is not a sanitised for your ears version of history. This is as in your face as any autobiography I have ever read.

 

Now, I was not sure how to approach this. On the one hand, it is a short and incident-packed autobiography, filled with New Jack’s trademark openness. On the other hand, it almost feels exploitative. Having said that last caveat, I think if this was released in 2005 and the beginnings of ECWWE, then, yes, definitely exploiting things. But, instead it seems to come as New Jack is really heading towards lessening his in-ring work. Still… not sure.

 

Okay, look – I watched ECW via tape trading “back in the day”. I was not a huge fan, but I grew more used to it, especially as WCW suffered from nWoverload and the WWF Attitude Era just sucked (in general). 1998/1999 ECW was more interesting to me than either of the big 2. And that means I got to see a lot of New Jack. He was one of those weapons wrestlers I didn’t really get excited over. But his balcony dives were insane.

 

The thing was, every time there was an ECW documentary post WWE’s doco – and I watched a lot of them – New Jack seemed to be the most honest one there, and I looked forward to hearing his stories. His versions of events were fascinating and, as far as I could tell, probably much closer to the truth than anyone else. He didn’t care who he upset – he told the truth as he saw it.

 

That meant I was looking forward to this.

 

Clearly I was not the only one because it sold out! And I had to find it from a weird source and then wait for it to arrive. And it cost a lot.

 

As I said, I was not sure how to approach this. So I’ll give a run-down on the topics New Jack covers without too much editorialising. Then we’ll look at the book in general briefly. I think that will be the best way to go.

 

The book starts with a forward by the Blue Meanie – that is the last positive for a while. The actual introduction is in the aftermath of the Living Dangerously 2000 PPV https://insidepulse.com/2020/03/16/on-the-streeter-it-was-20-years-ago-march-2000/ when New Jack was almost killed by Vic Grimes.

 

We start the actual first chapter with Jerome Young as a child – his mother is shot and stabbed by his father, leading to further spousal abuse until his father dies of a heart attack. He loved his father, didn’t get on with his mother and learnt from his dad that he should carry a knife. 1 chapter, 4 pages, and already this is depressing the hell out of me. He was a good footballer, and did lots of sport. He also went to a lot of schools. College was a possibility, and he wanted it for the stability he would finally have.

 

But he went to prison as a youngster for armed robbery and assault, copping 2 years. He survived by going to the gym and keeping himself to himself. Upon release, he tried college and went back to football, but it didn’t do anything for him. Instead, he became a bounty hunter and was successful at that, a job he had for years. Despite rumours, he was only involved in one death during this time. He then combined bounty hunting with drug dealing. He kept on dealing drugs even after he became a wrestler, until too many people he knew went to prison for it and one convinced him to stop dealing.

 

Now he first gets into wrestling. Never being a fan, he found he enjoyed it, especially performing for a crowd. However, the over-riding theme is the racism seems to be prevalent in his life- -in the late 1980s! His time in the USWA didn’t last long. Jerry Jarrett was fine; Jerry Lawler was not. He talks about Lawler’s son dying and New Jack not caring, so much so that he went to Twitter to ask if Jerry could die as well. The first of the bad blood with others he mentions. Like I said, he’s being open and honest here.

 

Next, he’s off to Georgia. Now we start to get little quotes from other people as highlighted paragraphs, and they are rather illuminating. In Georgia he wins his first title, meets Mustafa Saed (his long-term tag partner in the Gangstas) and meets Jim Cornette, who invites him to Smoky Mountain Wrestling. He talks about his mic skills and how he got such heat the NAACP & Ku Klux Klan both picketed the Gangstas at the same time! We’re talking early 90s and the racism he describes is incredible for that era, especially from the police. Living half a world away, I thought that maybe it was a bit of a media beat up with the racist police and everything. Apparently not. Mind you, with his comments supporting OJ killing white people… yeah. He riled them all up good.

 

Al Snow gets the Gangstas to go to and give ECW a shot. They get there and make an impact straight away. They also have ring rats with sex on tap. Very brief discussion of his kids – their names and that’s it. He does not want to drag his kids into this.

 

There’s the drug culture. The drug scene described makes none of them look good, but the injecting of one another’s blood… even New Jack baulks at that. Drugs are clearly a big part of the wrestling lifestyle. Lots of people are mentioned as being involved. Many don’t come out of it well. But, then again, neither does New Jack.

 

He talks about kayfabe and in 2 ½ pages, explains the end of it quite well. He describes where the famed balcony dive came from. He also mentions titles don’t mean much to him, but action figures are the best thing for a wrestler. He talks about the ECW locker-room being mostly cool. Having said that, he has a back-stage brawl with Dances with Dudleys, gets suspended, then spends some time in jail on old drug charges. When he comes back, he is turned face… much to everyone’s surprise.

 

He has bad things to say about Chad Austin and Brian Pillman. Really bad. The 1st ECW PPV approaches, but is delayed and New Jack takes the blame. Why?… Well…

 

It was the Mass Transit Incident, which cost ECW their PPV for months. This is almost glossed over. I have heard him talk more about it on documentaries and shoot interviews. I think there are 2 reasons for this. First, it has been done to death already. Second, he does not consider it that big a deal, despite the Kulas family constantly trying to get money out of him after lying about everything, and the father putting his son in that position. He has no regrets. Simple. But I did want more. This bit could easily have been double its length.

 

Mustafa leaves ECW quite suddenly, annoying New Jack. He further blames Kevin Nash for him not getting a shot in WCW and thinks there was something backstage that stopped him being in WWF/E. But that is for the best, in my opinion. Imagine how watered down they would have made him?

 

Then he gets to the chapter he says he found hardest to write – when he al most died because of drugs. There is fear. Did it stop him taking drugs? For a while. A while – not completely? Apparently not…

 

Mustafa comes back, but things are not good between them. He discusses his stapler and how well people sold it. Mike Awesome being terrified of it was funny. He discusses fans and then the film Beyond The Mat, and he says he was a crap actor. He also talks about the ECW video games.

 

Then we get to the incident which opened the book, and which seems to be the main thing in New Jack’s life that made an impact. And he describes it as well as he can considering the leaking brain fluid and permanent damage to his eyesight. Apparently Grimes lied about checking the scaffold. And, what I said in my review about it looking like Grimes tried to chicken out during the move… New Jack confirms that. And then Grimes didn’t even call to see how he was. Big no-no. Even I know that and I wrestled in Australia…

 

New Jack comes back from that, though. How? The guy is either tough or insane (or both). XPW tries to bignote themselves at an ECW show, and then get seen to outside while cops laugh. Then we look at the end of ECW and how Paul Heyman lied. New Jack in interviews has said how much he dislikes Paul, and here he states that again, but also says he is glad he worked for Paul in ECW.

 

Then New Jack goes to XPW! And he gets his revenge on Grimes. He throws him from a scaffold hard enough to miss most of the tables in the ring. It is state that if he hadn’t hit Grimes with a taser first, thus relaxing his body totally, Grimes would have died. That is not exaggeration. If you ever see it… yikes!

 

He wrestles an old guy named Gypsy Joe who he mutilates. He did not like having to wrestle a guy that old. He then goes to CZW, and he goes off on how these guys use too much hardcore style. He also almost kills a green kid. The he goes to TNA and even has fun tagging with Shark Boy. Then we look at the match where he stabbed a guy in Florida. He admits it – he did it. But only 9 times, he insists. He talks about his manager Bill Behrens in glowing terms. He goes to NWA Wildside and has fun but also a few incidents backstage.

 

Then he talks about the Benoit murders. Not a fan of Benoit beforehand, yet a friend of Nancy, he is upset that anyone could do that to his son and to Nancy, and that everyone refers to them as the son and wife, not Daniel and Nancy. He gets quite passionate here. He then says the only wrestler’s funeral he ever went to was for Kronus, and he was the only wrestler there. I find that actually quite sad.

 

Then we’re on the home stretch and he goes into semi-retirement (wrestling retirement, and he even comments on that), marries a woman named Jennifer after suffering another near death experience due to blood clots, and then he regales us with a discussion on injuries and we finish with an epilogue where he just ties things up.

 

That’s the book.

 

It is an intense read, though short (200 pages in paperback). So… what’s it like?

 

Well, it’s very good. The writing is concise, the honesty is stunning. This does not read as “look at me, I’m the greatest” sort of autobiography. There is a bit of that, sure – ego, after all, is a part of the wrestler’s make-up – but it does not dominate proceedings (and so many wrestling autobiographies have this as a big thing). I have read a lot of wrestling autobiographies and this is one of the better ones.

 

There are some negatives. It does lack some description in parts; yes, we are left in no doubt as to just what happened, but some extra detail, some internal dialogue stuff, would have helped give it perspective.

 

Another issue I have is that there are quite a few things I’ve heard New Jack say in shoot interviews, in documentaries and elsewhere that did not make it in here. I think Jason Norman should have gone through that and used it to add to the story; New Jack said it, it’s not like it’s anyone else’s take on the stories. Yeah, I reckon that was the biggest issue. It felt almost abbreviated.

 

I also could have done with a photograph section. I do understand this is not a WWE approved book, and they seem to own a lot of New Jack’s history, but surely some sort of agreement could have been reached, or fan photos could have been sourced. That was a big lack here.

 

However, it did sound like his voice. Reading it, I was hearing it in New Jack’s voice in my head. That is something that tells me he had a lot to do with this.

 

This is an intriguing read. It is really good and brutally honest. Maybe not for everyone, sure, but I recommend it.

 

Campaign for New Marvel vs. DC Crossover Builds Momentum

Writer Gail Simone is spearheading a call for the Big Two comics publishers to do another epic Marvel vs. DC crossover. Simone, best known for writing Deadpool, Birds of Prey, and Wonder Woman, wants the two companies to make it happen because she thinks it will generate buzz and bring in a new audience, which will help comic book shops recover in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has left the comics industry in a bad spot. “When comics shops open back up as we all hope they will, I would love it if DC and Marvel could ask the lawyer to step outside, and have another big Marvel/DC crossover,” Simone tweeted. “A lot of people would love it and it would lay the welcome mat back out in a big way.”   While Marvel and DC have had a handful of crossovers in the past -- like the Amalgam Comics crossovers that fused together iconic characters to make extreme hybrid heroes like Dark Claw (Batman + Wolverine) and Catsai (Catwoman + Elektra) -- there hasn't been one since the ‘90s and the notion of another crossover has been a distant thought for the Big Two. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=marvel-and-dc-crossover-characters&captions=true"] But it's fair to say that many things have been happening lately that we all never thought were possible, so perhaps in these trying times we'll see Marvel and DC join forces for the common good once more. That’s the hope, at least. Simone got the ball rolling with the hashtag #PleaseMarvelDC and offered a few ideas on which characters should crossover and which creator should execute the idea: Vision/Mr. Miracle by Tom King, Thor/Wonder Woman by Donny Cates, and Superman/Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis.   Numerous creators replied with their dream crossovers, which built momentum for the campaign and spread the idea across social media like wildfire. Writer Tom Taylor (DCeased, X-Men Red) wants to do a story where Harley Quinn and Deadpool team up to take down Darkseid and Thanos. Writer Christos Gage (Avengers Academy, The Amazing Spider-Man) went for a more obscure (yet no less awesome) approach.   Then writer Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire) presented a very spot-on idea for a crossover story featuring the Dark Knight. It looks like the comics creators themselves are all on board and have plenty of exciting ideas. Even though the general public might see Marvel and DC as fierce rivals, the people that create the comics are all part of one artistic community that work in the same industry and make friends with one another regardless of which publisher they happen to be working for. In fact, most creators end up working for Marvel and DC at one point or another, sometimes both at the same time. So it all boils down to whether those in charge at Marvel and DC would ever make a deal to do another crossover. DC senior editor Chris Conroy has already cast his vote in favor of the crossover, but with one specific condition.   Do you want to see another Marvel and DC crossover? Which characters do you want to see go up against one another? Let us know in the comments. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joshua is Senior Features Editor at IGN. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.

Hollywood Daze: Prodigy

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It should come as no surprise that the Mark Millar’s Prodigy series is now said to be in active development with Netflix. Prodigy is a creator owned series published by Image Comics and Netflix. News broke today that Matthew Firpo and Ryan Firpo have signed on to write the screen adaptation. The series is stated to be interested in Black Panther actor Michael B Jordan to play the main role of Edison Crane.

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Prodigy

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Prodigy was a six issue mini-series featuring artwork by Rafael Albuquerque. The first issue of this book had eight regular covers as well as several store variant covers. On ebay copies of the first issue have been selling for $5 to $10. This is peculiar since copies of this book are currently widely available on many online retail stores for cover price.

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What do you think? Let me know in the comments or on social media!
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Taking a look at the Three Jokers

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DC first announced the Three Jokers mini-series written by Geoff Johns and featuring artwork by Jason Fabok back in early 2018. While it was announced at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con that the mini-series would be published under DC’s new black label imprint there was no stated release date.

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Three Jokers Promo Art

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This past week DC made an official announcement about the Three Jokers mini-series and gave the pending release date of June 17, 2020. There will be three issues in the mini-series, each being 48 pages with a content advisor suggested for readers above 17. This news has put a spotlight back on the “Three Jokers” concept and has resulted in a few books seeing a new spike in interest.

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Justice League #50 has started to see some interest again. While this book features a key Jessica Cruz appearance it also features the first real mention of the Three Jokers.

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Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 9.27.34 PM

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The Fourth print of DC’s Rebirth #1 is another book that has started to see a lot of interest. This book is selling based on its cover art alone featuring three different Jokers projected on Batman’s computer screen. This book has been selling for $60 to $100.

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DC Universe Rebirht #1 Fourht Print

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Another book that has started to see sales online is DC Countdown #31 from 2007 which mentions that the Joker has three separate personalities.

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31 Countdown #1

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All three of these books are great books to be looking for in the wild!

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What do you think about the new Three Joker series and these particular books? Are there other Three Joker books that I might have missed? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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Comic Book Wars Episode 45: The Storm

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The Comicbookspeculation.com comic book podcast returns this week!

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Make sure to like the video and subscribe to our channel!
We plan to go live every Tuesday at 9:30 PM EST.  Subscribe on youtube for push notifications of when we go live!

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Listen to the Video / Youtube version below or listen to the Audio only version on Spotify, Radio Public, Google Podcasts, Or Breaker at this link!

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Listen on Spotfy

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Week 13: Double the Fun

This week I thought I’d double the fun by highlighting a comic book with two great splash pages by two great artists. Silver Surfer #4, Page 3 – John Buscema. I’m gonna come out and say that this is one of the finest issues ever drawn by a comic book artist – ever. What John […]

The post Week 13: Double the Fun appeared first on Comic Book Daily.

So What’s the Play?

I hope everyone is safe and healthy and practicing their social distancing responsibly. Right now we need to keep up our mental health as well as our physical health so I thought I’d post something positive that looks forward to a time when this health crisis is behind us. Collectible comic prices are falling and […]

The post So What’s the Play? appeared first on Comic Book Daily.

Week in Review: March 25, 2020

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Hello my fellow Wednesday warriors. This is a big week for comic speculation as it could very well be the last time comic book stores receive new product from Diamond for weeks to come. The coronavirus situation seems to be changing every day and I’m not sure if stores will be receiving new product next week. Here are a few noteworthy books that do come out this week.

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This week sees the release of the second issue of Wolverine #2. This book has two variant covers that are heating up on the secondary market – the one in twenty-five and one in one-hundred David Finch variant covers. The 1 in 25 variant has been selling for $35 to $50 while the 1 in 100 “Inks Only” Virgin variant has been selling for upwards of $150.

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Wolverine #2 Finch variant

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Another second issue ratio variant from Marvel that has a few noteworthy sales is the one in twenty-five Phil Noto variant cover for Star Wars: Bounty Hunter. This book has been selling for $35 to $40 in online presale.

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Star Wars Bounty Hunters #2 variant

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One last Marvel comic I would like to talk about is The Immortal Hulk #33.A lot of heat has dropped off these Immortal Hulk books recently but Marvel has released several variant covers for this particular issue hyping it up as the first appearance of the new “Thoughtful Man” character. While none of the covers are selling above their cover price or ratio it does have a pretty cool The Incredible Hulk #1 homage cover.

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Immortal Hulk #33

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One last book I would like to highlight is the one in ten variant cover for Ghostbusters Year One #3. While the other ratio variants covers for this series haven’t been selling above $10 – this particular variant features a homage of the classic Neal Adams cover for Batman #251. I’m also not sure how many stores would be ordering ten copies of this particular book so it could be relatively hard to find. In presale this book has been selling for $20 to $30.

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Ghostbusters #8

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That is your week in review! Let me know in the comments (or on social media)  if I missed any books you think are spec worthy.

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Comic Book Noise 865: Alita Battle Angel, Fantastic Four, and the Legion of Super-Heroes

Host Derek Coward talks about the 2019 movie ‘Alita Battle Angel’, the Fantastic Four, and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Alita Battle Angel movie poster
Alita Battle Angel

Week Ending – March 20th, 2020

Welcome to our weekly Newsletter!  This has been a crazy week in the world, fortunately, we have comics to offer a little escape. Speaking of escapes, this week we captured a big sale for a Spanish version of a PCH book, we chat about three of Batman’s problems and see some awesome news for Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice, Ashoka Tano.

 

COVRPRICE SHAKERS

Every day CovrPrice’s Daily Shaker List calls out 50 comics with the highest sales value sold that day. Throughout the week we pull the more interesting ones and elaborate on them here. Check out our Shaker List here.

 

SHAKER: MISTERIOS DEL GATO NEGRO #21 (HARVEY, 1954)

BLACK CAT MYSTERY #50 is one of the most coveted PCH books in comics. Add in the fact that foreign variants are highly collectible lately, then you have a big hit with this VERY hard to find Spanish version of BLACK CAT MYSTERY #50. Technically, MISTERIOS DEL GATO NEGRO #21 has been sought after for years. This week’s VG raw sale of $1,358.33 is the first issue we’ve seen come to market in years. The next one will probably even sell for more.  (Find on eBay)

 

 

SHAKER: BATMAN #89 – ERROR EDITION (DC, 2020)

Well, the first 9.8 finally came to market, while this hit $380 raw last month, error collectors were disappointed that CGC is only giving this issue a qualified grade/green label of 9.8. This sold for $315, which is not bad. However, that green label is a known badge of dishonor among slab collectors. It’s unclear why this gets a green label when plenty of other error books with similar manufacturing errors don’t. While this book will hold its value, it definitely puts some limitations on the value getting higher… unless Punchline gets developed into WB content.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: SPAWN #216 (IMAGE, 2012)

With SPAWN #306 GUNSLINGER VARIANT hitting $23, we took a look at what other Spawn books were heating up this week. We landed on SPAWN #216. Last year, this issue featuring THE FREAK, was selling for $50 to $75 where it’s now selling for $100+. This standard color version even out-markets it’s sketch variant. The Freak’s first appearance was in SPAWN #33.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1 4TH PRINT (DC, 2016)

This issue is heating up along with all the Joker/Punchline storylines and more specifically the attention on the “three Jokers”, which will soon have its own 3-issue miniseries in June (which hopes to provide answers and probably bring up new questions). The three Jokers are on this hard to find 4th print cover making it skyrocket in price. 

With this new attention, raws are selling for around $125 (with one selling as high as $150). Wondering what’s going on here? Well, back in Justice League #50 when Batman took over the Morbius Chair, it was revealed to him that there were three different Jokers that he has fought over the years. This is the first reference of there being three Jokers (this issue also has lots more going for it: it’s the 1st full appearance of Jessica Cruz as Green Lantern and the 1st appearance of “Jason”, Wonder Woman’s twin brother). It is really intriguing and many have many speculating on WHO the various Jokers are (some early spec pointed at Watchmen’s Comedian). We can’t wait for June. We’re sure spoilers will start leaking over the next few months. (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: STAR WAR: THE OLD REPUBLIC #1 VARIANT (DARK HORSE, 2010)

It’s unclear what’s driving this book up in price. Since December 2019, this book has made small jumps to its current price of $35. With so much attention on THE OLD REPUBLIC and future content, many STAR WARS books are fair game right now. For what it’s worth, this issue is the first appearance of the Sith Lord, Darth Angral. Not sure when or how that will play in future content, but regardless, this book is trending.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: NIGHTWING #70 (DC, 2020)

This HOT book of the week is primed to land on our Top 10. It heated up to huge pre-sale prices of $50 and was instantly a book folks were scooping up on Wednesday morning. Well, Diamond is partially to blame here. In their solicitation for this book, they put “How many Nightwings does it take for one Joker to strike to get to the real one? Four Nightwings. And that’s not even the punchline – how will Ric interact with the Joker when he’s not quite sure which one of his two memories is the real one…and exactly how dangerous this clown standing before him is?” Intentional or not, that one use of the word “punchline” caused speculation to believe she was ALSO in this issue… potentially being her first FULL appearance. Nope. She’s not in this at all. This was realized pretty early Wednesday and prices started falling immediately. However, it still didn’t stop this book from moving 105 copies (not including sets) and STILL continues to sell for $15 (and the variant at $17). It’s always amazing at how fast big prices can bring attention to a book and then how much longer it takes for a correction to reach those same collectors.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

RUMORED/OPTIONED COMIC BOOKS

RUMORED/OPTIONED:  STAR WARS THE CLONE WARS #1 (DARK HORSE, 2008)

It’s been reported that Rosario Dawson has been cast as Ashoka for Disney+’s MANDALORIAN season 2. This book is already pretty pricey. For those who held out, congrats… you win the week! The variant is about to get NUTS! Can it beat out last March’s highest sale of $748 for a CGC 9.8? Yes, we think it will hit $1K by next week. For more on Ashoka, this is a pretty good catch-up video(Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

WHAT THE WATCHER WATCHES

WATCHING: STAR WARS THE CLONE WARS #1 (DARK HORSE, 2008)

Yep, same book. This is honestly the one book we’ll be watching with popcorn this next week… and we’re pretty exhausted after this crazy week (hence the lighter week). (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

KEY COMIC BOOK  OF THE WEEK

KEY OF THE WEEK: BATMAN #20 (DC, 1943)

The first appearance of the Batmobile had its highest raw sale at $1,200 this week. I WANT to make a “Vroom” sound… but that seems so underwhelming for Batman… even for Adam West’s Batman. (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 


Written By: Matt DeVoe | matt@covrprice.com


 

Be sure to hit those share buttons on the page and spread the love. Also, we always want to hear from you. Reach out to us at info@covrPrice.com and let us know if there’s anything else you’d like us to talk about!

 

Weekend Update with Nico

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Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.  If you are a first time reader, we are glad you found your way to comicbookspeculation.com and encourage you to review the wealth of content available on this site.

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We  hope that you find this information useful and encourage you to share your thoughts in the comment section below.  I do a terrible job of replying to comments. But I do read all of the comments, and I appreciate most of the comments.

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Please share this website with others in the collector community.  Tell your friends about Comicbookspeculation.com.

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We are on Instagram@cbs_daily and on facebook as Comic Book Speculation.  You can also find us on YouTube at Comic Book Wars where we discuss comic book news, market trends, speculation and investment strategies each and every Tuesday around 9:30 pm EST.  We also have the best Facebook group in comics, we are on Instagram @comicbookwarspodcast and I have a Facebook Page called Nico Time where you can communicate with me individually and share your own thoughts about the hobby.  If you aren’t already watching the Comic Book Wars podcast, we’ll be back each and every week to discuss comics, market trends, speculation, investment, sales strategies and more!

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Without further ado,

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This is your Weekend Update! 

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Corona meme

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Coronavirus Economy Continues 

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In an effort to speak more clearly about the impact of COVID-19 on our fragile comic economy, I want to begin by explaining the difference between these two things.  When people use the term “coronaviruses” they are describing a broad category of viruses including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).  Many of you will remember the impact of these contagious conditions on the global economy.

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COVID-19 is a different animal.  Medical experts refer to this coronavirus as the “novel coronavirus,” meaning it’s a new type of coronavirus that was not previously known or understood by health experts. COVID-19 is the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.  COVID-19 is the issue. In an effort to speak precisely about the global pandemic impacting our community, I will be referring to the novel coronavirus as COVID19 henceforth.

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I hope that as a community we can take this time and make the best of it.  Enjoy time spent with our family, take the opportunity to help one another, refrain from profiteering, refrain from pillaging our neighbors collections in their time of need, refrain from selfishness and be of service to the greater comic community.  After all, it is our community and we should take ownership of it.

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There will obviously be opportunities to buy books below market price, and to purchase collections from people who desperately need the money.  I implore you, to be fair, kind, compassionate and considerate. I am not encouraging anyone to harm themselves, but I would encourage everyone to make sure we don’t take advantage of others misfortune.  If this time is time for anything, it is time to be a better neighbor, a better friend, a better member of the greater comic book community.

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It is unclear whether COVID-19 will cause delays in the print publication of comics, but many believe that this is inevitable.  Steve Geppi, the chairman of Geppi Family Enterprises and founder of Diamond Comic Distributors, sent a memo to retailers on Wednesday, indicated that this year’s Free Comic Book Day has been cancelled.

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FCBD MAY logo

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We’ve already seen our convention season screech to a grinding halt as the public outcry quickly caused convention promoters around the country to adhere to social distancing and isolation techniques promoted by the CDC, state, and federal government.  Prices have been all over the board on eBay with many rare comics flooding the market only to be quickly pulled by sellers fearing poor auction results or brokering private transactions.

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To give you some indication of the market, as I am writing this article there are 8 live no reserve auctions on eBay for CGC copies of Amazing Spider-Man #129 (the first appearance of the Punisher).  Clearly some collectors are unloading coveted books and preparing for tough economic times as a result of COVID19.

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Amazing Spider-Man #129

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If you are interested in listening to a panel discussion and some early predictions on the prolonged impact of COVID19 on the comic market, I sat down with Dennis Hayes, Peter Renna and Dillon Universe and had a great discussion Saturday night on NicoTime.  I appreciated the thoughtfulness of the panel although I would have expected nothi less from these gentlemen.

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The news updates are daily and I will do my best to record them here.  If I miss announcements that you believe are important, please be sure to share them in the comments section so that other readers can keep up to date.

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So far these are the major COVID19 comic book related media items you should be aware of are as follows:

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  1. New Mutants – unbelievably this project has been canceled until further notice; I suggested on our podcast that this film maybe released on Disney Plus which compelled sharp criticism from Jimmy, but no one has demonstrated that they can predict the impact of the coronavirus with skill let alone certainty.
  2. Bloodshot – movie theater chains have shut down and this film will be released early on March 24 video on demand platforms like Birds of Prey (which was rushed to release next week).  This is unfortunate for Hive Mind and our friend Dinesh Shamdasani. I know that he, I and many others were very hopeful about the success of this project. I am confident that Dinesh will bounce back and encourage you to support this film and his forthcoming projects, not the least of which is his new comic publishing company, Bad Idea.
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  3. Shang Chi – this movie isn’t scheduled to be released until February 2021, but filming has been halted. Eternals is done filming and I don’t suspect it to be impacted.  It is unclear what impact delays will have on Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki.
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  4. Black Widow – it was supposed to be released May 4.  It has not been pulled from release with no rescheduled date upon writing this.
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  5. Wonder Woman: 1984 – We are hearing that this film has been delayed.  It is unclear whether these delays will become official anytime soon, but early reports indicate that Time Warner Media is preparing for the worst.

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Reading Pile 

 

Since we rarely ever talk about the comics that I love, I thought the social distancing comic economy was a great time to talk about some of the books that I suggest people take time to read and enjoy.  If isolation in our homes gives us the opportunity to do anything, maybe it will help us all catch up on our reading pile. These are some of the books that I suggest are required reading:

 

The Walking Dead 

 

I have to admit that I gave up on the Walking Dead shortly after issue #100 like many readers.  However, I am someone who would say that the first 48 issues of the Walking Dead are some of my favorite panel for panel comics period.  Robert Kirkman is a master and these comics are masterful. I’m not going to insult our reading audience by describing this post-apocalyptic zombie story, but I will say that it’s a story about living in a community more than it ever was about the end of the world.

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Saga 

 

54 of the best issues in the history of comics.  The premise of Saga is an intergalactic Romeo and Juliet (Alana and Marko) from long-warring extraterrestrial races, run from authorities from both sides of a intergalactic war and care for their daughter, Hazel.  It is beautifully illustrated and written by one of, maybe the best, writer in the game. The last issue of the series before the creative due took an extended break was issue 54 which hit stores back on July 25, 2018.  It is uncertain whether the Coronavirus will inspire writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples to return to this book as it seems like a perfect opportunity for these creative geniuses to get back to their masterpiece.  This is 100% wishful thinking on my part, but not as far fetched as what often passes for news in our community these days.

 

Chew 

 

If you are a long time reader of the Weekend Update than you already know that I am a homer for the comic book Chew.  Our begrudging hero, Tony Chu, is a cibopath who solves crimes by receiving psychic impressions from the food he eats.  Sometimes cannibal, this story is hilarious and heart warming in ways that few comics ever achieve. John Layman’s writing is superb and Rob Guillory’s artwork is some of my favorite cover and panel work in the history of comics.  This book is twenty years ahead of its time and has some exceptional covers (including a Pulp Fiction homage, a Reservoir Dogs homage and an X-Files homage) all of which are dirt cheap.

 

Invincible 

 

Invincible is exceptional.  One of the best comics of a generation.  It may is something that you should experience for yourself.  Kirkman shines as he develops Mark Grayson into a hero. This series is his love letter to the superhero genre and it is exquisite.  A book you can not afford not to read from inception until its final issue #144 which was released in 2018. It is a series that is rooted in character development but unafraid to depict graphic adult scenes integral to the story.

 

Sandman

 

Don’t be the guy who waits for the Netflix series to fall in love with Death.  Take the time to enjoy Neil Gaiman at his finest. His 75 issue run on Sandman is arguably the greatest work of comic storytelling in existence.  It is a book with layered meaning and literary illusions galore, but can be read as a simple transactional comic. The first time I read this book I was an angsty teenager.  It captured my heart and my love for comics as a medium grew.

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Pick a writer, a solid writer

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One way that I enjoy comics most is by picking writers who have received critical acclaim and sampling their work.  This is a great for a guy who is busy and does a better job of reading trade paperbacks than he does reading books from a pull list.  These are some of the writers I hope you already enjoy and a small sample of their work:

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Alan Moore is arguably the greatest writer in the history of comics.  It is hard to know where to even begin to discuss his work. Although he’s worked on mainstream characters like Batman penning what many consider the greatest Batman story of all time, The Killing Joke.  Moore’s work on Swamp Thing is considered by many to be some of the finest story telling in the history of the medium. Similarly, he is the man who Miracle Man and V for Vendetta in the pages of Warrior Magazine.  All this and we haven’t touched on his most critically acclaimed work – the Watchmen. I have a soft spot for the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (maybe because I’ve always wanted a copy of the error variant) and Moore’s From Hell (which I think is tragically underappreciated).  Alan Moore is an institution.

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Alan Moore

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Rick Remender is a beast.  His independent work is legendary and includes Sony television’s adaption of his book Deadly Class (which he worked on with the Russo Brothers), and a Netflix’s adaption of his book The Last Days of American Crimewhere he was both a writer and an Executive Producer.  Of course Remender has received recent attention for his forthcoming adaptation of Fear Agent with Hollywood royalty Seth Rogan. Some of his other creator owned work includes Tokyo Ghost with Sean Murphy, Death or Glory with Bengal, Black Science with Matteo Scalera, LOW with Greg Tocchini, and Seven to Eternity with Jerome Opeña.  I personally enjoyed his run on Uncanny X-Force and hope that we see the same flavor in a forthcoming X-Men related TV or film project. Arguably the best work he’s ever done was on Captain America.

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Jonathan Hickman is one of the best writers in comics.  He is currently writing Decorum and a host of X-Men related books.  I have Decorum sitting by my bed side and only have good things to say about his work on X-Men.  If you are new to Jonathan Hickman’s work, sampling these two books may help you decide if you prefer his mainstream work over his independent work.  I personally prefer his work writing independent comics like East of West, The Manhattan Projects, Pax Romana; Red Mass for Mars, Transhuman, and the Nightly News.   Others prefer his mainstream work on Marvel Comics’ like Fantastic Four, FF, S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers, The New Avengers, Infinity, and Secret Wars.

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Jeff Lemire is a legend.  Like many of the giants of their craft, it is hard to know where to begin with Lemire.  I was all in on Descender when it was released and it was glorious. The Black Hammer universe continues to impress and redefine the superhero genre in unexpected ways.  Personally, his work on Sweet Tooth may be my favorite. Others prefer the Essex County Trilogy. His work on Animal Man is nothing short of brilliant and was way ahead of its time. His short lived Hawkeye series is the basis for the forthcoming Hawkeye TV show and is one of the best written superhero series in the last decade.  I loved Lemire’s work on Extraordinary X-Men, Moon Knight and Old Man Logan for Marvel. I think he has a gift and that you are doing yourself a disservice if you are not reading his library of work.

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The Market hasn’t collapsed yet 

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It would be naive not to worry about your investment in light of the economic hardship faced by so many Americans.  It is obviously unclear what economic projections are and are not reasonable. Early reports from America’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces for days will not help the comic market.

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Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 3.10.21 PM

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Nevertheless, big books are moving for big dollars online. Here are some of the big auction results that I thought were interesting:

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Target Comics #7 high grade Spacehawk sold for $2,252.87

Misterios Del Gato Negro #21 (raw low grade) sold for $1,358.33 out of Australia

Marvel Mystery Comics #45 CGC 4.5 (brittle pages) sold for $1,725.00

Punch Comics #13 CGC 5.5 sold for $996.00

Fantastic Four #4 1st SA Sub-Mariner sold for $1,988.00

X-Men #12 CGC 9.0 1st appearance of Juggernaut sold for $1,625.00

Batman #15 (raw G 2.0 ish) .50 cal sold for $636.55

Incredible Hulk #181 CGC 9.4 sold for $8,667.99

Eternals #1 CGC 8.5 30 Cent Price Variant sold for $426.34

Seige #3 CGC 9.8 Deadpool Variant sold for $1,999.00

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People are still buying comics and will continue to buy comics throughout a recession.  Depression era comics are some of the most collectible and valuable comics in existence.  Obviously needs come before wants and priorities take precedence over discretionary purchases.  It is abundantly clear that the bull market is gone. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make money buying and selling comics.  That doesn’t mean that comics are a bad investment. That does mean that you are going to have to be smarter than ever and work harder than ever if you rely upon comics as a secondary  and/or primary income.

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If I were a betting man (and the way I buy and sell comics it would be hard to describe me any other way), I would suggest that the poison drip on the economy is going to cause a prolonged detrimental slide that may last closer to a calendar year than a mere three months.  Regardless of economic conditions, I will be buying and selling comics the whole way down and all the way back to the top!

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Until next time, “Happy Hunting you bunch of Savages!” .

 

– Nico, Esq.

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Support Your Local Comic Shop

A great comic provided by Image; check if your local comic shop is still servicing customers!

The post Support Your Local Comic Shop appeared first on Comic Book Daily.

Comic Book Wars Episode 44: More Mania

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The Comicbookspeculation.com comic book podcast returns this week!

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Make sure to like the video and subscribe to our channel!
We plan to go live every Tuesday at 9:30 PM EST.  Subscribe on youtube for push notifications of when we go live!

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Listen to the Video / Youtube version below or listen to the Audio only version on Spotify, Radio Public, Google Podcasts, Or Breaker at this link!

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Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on Spotfy

Listen on Breaker

Listen on Radio Public

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Week 12: The Fighting Irish

This week I’m paying tribute to St. Patrick’s Day and to the spirit of the Fighting Irish. I only know one Irish song and it goes something like this; “we drink and we fight – and we drink and we fight – and we drink and we fight – and we drink and we fight […]

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Hollywood Daze: Warren Ellis’s Gravel

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Hollywood inside scoper Daniel Richtman is reporting that the Warren Ellis / Mike Wolfer series Gravel is being turned into a feature length film with Ellis attached to write the screenplay. Jason Statham is attached to the project to play the title role of Gravel.

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Screen Shot 2020-03-16 at 10.23.59 PM

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Gravel is based around William Gravel –  a “Combat Magician”. Gravel is a British special air service agent who uses his skills in the dark magic to moonlight and battle supernatural being for clients in order to make extra cash. The first book featuring William Gravel was Strange Kiss #1 published in 1999 by Avatar Press – there were numerous other limited series that have chase variants but the first appearance of the main character is the 1999 book. Strange Kiss #1 was a three issue mini-series and the first issue had two covers.

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Screen Shot 2020-03-16 at 10.36.19 PM

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The last sale of a near mind condition of Strange Kiss #1 was under $5. This is a book to be looking for in the wild.

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What do you think? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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Covid 19

It seems the whole world has been turned upside down with this Covid 19 virus and my thoughts are with everyone and their health and safety. Let’s take the necessary precautions and let’s put all our efforts and energies into getting through these unprecedented times. I tried to pick a comic collecting topic for today […]

The post Covid 19 appeared first on Comic Book Daily.

Week in Review: March 18, 2020

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Hello and welcome to the week in review on Comicbookspeculation.com – home of the original week in review – where we go over all of the hot books being released to comic book stores this week. Here are just some books that come out this week that I think are interesting.

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For the last few weeks I’ve started each week in review article talking about the new Punchline character – and this week is no different as it sees the release of the Year of the Villain Hell Arisen #4 and Batman #91 – both books that have sold out at the distribution level and have been selling very well on the secondary market. Both covers of Year of the Villain Hell Arisen #4 have been selling for $20 plus while Batman #91 has been selling for $6 to $10.

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Batman #91Screen Shot 2020-03-14 at 9.48.52 PM

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We spoke about this book earlier this week and Nightwing #70 continues to dominate in presales online. Released this week Nightwing #70 is the first prelude story in the Joker War storyline. This book has been selling for $20 to $25.

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Screen Shot 2020-03-14 at 9.54.05 PM

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The Image comic series Bitter Root took a ten month hiatus and when it returned last month it was a big surprise to see the one in ten variant cover start selling for $100+, with some sales even reaching $200. The variant cover for the last issue, Bitter Root #6 was a Do The Right Thing Movie Poster variant and this week sees the release of Bitter Root #7 and another movie poster variant cover. This time the one in ten variant cover for Bitter Root #7 has a big push by comic book speculators which has resulted in the book selling for $20+. If you can find a copy this is a good book to be holding on to.

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Bitter Root #7 Variant

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Another Image comic book worth picking up this week is the Cover D for Spawn #306. Spawn #306 sees Phillip Tan joining the Spawn creative Team but this cover features the fan favorite character Gunslinger Spawn. This character hasn’t appeared in a Spawn book in some time and I believe fans will gravitate towards this cover.

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Spawn #306

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Screaming Horror #1 was a horror magazine published in the early 90’s by Fantaco Publishing. This magazine featured artwork by Gurch Singh and sells very well on the comic book marketplace, selling for $50 to $100. This week Fantaco is releasing a brand new Screaming Horror #1 which will be a representation of the original material, each page re-lettered and “re-mastered” by Gurch Singh. This magazine has already sold out at the distribution level and has multiple sales above its $4.99 price tag indicating that it is definitely trending up.

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Screaming Horror #1

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That is your week in review! We live in a really crazy time right now so make sure to be safe and wash your hands! Also let me know in the comments (or on social media)  if I missed any books you think are spec worthy.

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Plunge Issue 2 (Marvel Comics)

After discovering a corpse upon the Sinnikik Atoll, Moriah Lamb leads a team to hunt for other castaways, while Gage Carpenter begins the exploration of the ghost ship Derleth. But there's something down there in the icy darkness of the Arctic sea, someth...

Week Ending – March 13th, 2020

Welcome to our weekly Newsletter!  With all the craziness going on in the world and everyone staying home, let’s talk about something fun… like comic books! This week we call out a couple of videogame based comics with content news, we marvel at a convention book that continues to skyrocket in value, and chat about how even Lockheed (Kitty Pride’s dragon) can move a comic!

Stay safe out there!

 

COVRPRICE MOVERS & SHAKERS

 

SHAKER: BLACK WIDOW #2 STEPHANIE HANS 1:20 VARIANT (MARVEL, 2010)

BLACK WIDOW is set to release on April 24th. Unlike many other films, this has yet to change its date. In this new “Corona” world we’re dealing with right now, everything is uncertain. Regardless of the crisis, books are STILL selling. For example, this hard to find Stephanie Hans variant had its highest sale ever at $499.99 for a CGC 9.6, trumping the previous heights of $460 for a CGC 9.8 back in June 2019. Raws are selling for about $200.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #74 (TIMELY COMICS, 1949)

This awesome Captain America book is as close as you can get to a Marvel pre-code horror book that you can get. It’s highly sought after and VERY hard to find. With that said, a CGC 4.5 sold for $9,051, making this the highest sale we’ve tracked for this book.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: THE LAST OF US #1 (DARK HORSE, 2013)

THE LAST OF US is coming to HBO and we CAN NOT WAIT. We’re huge Naughty Dog fans, so getting this AND UNCHARTED starting production on Monday the 16th is some much-needed excitement for us right now. Being at HBO is bringing confidence to this title as it hit a new height at $400 for a CGC 9.8. By the way, start picking up UNCHARTED books… we’ll talk about that more below in the BOOKS WE’RE WATCHING section. (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: MARVEL COMICS #1000 2019 D23 EXPO COLOR VARIANT (MARVEL, 2019)

Most HOT convention books either drop or skyrocket. Apparently, this variant is following the latter with it getting its highest sale ever at $956 for a CGC 9.8. A raw copy typically sells for $225 to $300, though a copy went super cheap for $100 in a poorly timed auction. While we don’t track signed copies (for now), the VERY rare sketch version sold a CGC SS, signed by Humberto Ramo (artist of this cover), this week for $6,601!  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: NIGHTWING #1 DC UNIVERSE LOGO VARIANT (DC, 1996)

There are some rare and pricey DC Universe Logo Variants out there. We’ve mentioned these in our in-depth ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VARIANTS article. This Nightwing #1 is hard to find and happens to be one of those covers that sell well, especially if you can find a rare high-grade copy. This week a NM raw copy was listed and sold for $59.58. These DC logo variants are out there. When digging, make sure to pull the book out enough to check out the bottom box for that DC Universe logo. (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: THE PUNISHER #1 NEWSSTAND VARIANT (MARVEL, 1986)

This awesome Mike Zeck cover hit an all-time high for this newsstand edition at $695 for a CGC 9.8. Raw copies sell for $30 to $40, with NM copies hitting as high as $55, which makes this a great book to look for in high grade. This newsstand sale also beats the direct edition’s 9.8 height of $499.99.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: STATIC #45 (DC, 1997)

Static (or Static X if you like) has a loyal and steady fan base. Static is due for some proper attention and would make one awesome show (NOT a quick hero appearance). Industry-wide, the last issue of a low print series can demand big $. This may just be the king, as this last issue at #45 sold two copies this week at $180 and $160 raw.  A rare CGC 9.8 sold in 2018 for $385. There are only 21 copies on the CGC census overall, and nine of them are 9.8’s. We would expect a 9.8 to sell for around $500+ today. So, add this to your hunt list! (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: UNCANNY X-MEN #266 NEWSSTAND VERSION (MARVEL, 1990)

Our X-Men was the 90’s X-Men. We don’t remember a time when Gambit wasn’t a key member of the team. Between Jim Lee’s series, being a playable character in Marvel Vs. Capcom (“Kinetic Card!”) and the AMAZING animated show (that still holds up), Gambit is a big nostalgia character for us… and obviously many others. This newsstand version hit a huge $749.99 for a CGC 9.8, surpassing the last highest of $567. “The name is Gambit, remember it!”  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: VENOM: THE END #1 C2E2 CLAYTON CRAIN VIRGIN VARIANT (MARVEL, 2020)

Love them or hate them, store variants produce some AMAZING covers by the industry’s hottest artists. Among the multitude always springs forth a big market winner. This VENOM: THE END is one of those. This sells for $200 raw when it was originally available for $40 from Scorpion Comics.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

SHAKER: WONDER WOMAN #28 – STEAMPUNK VARIANT BY J.G. JONES (DC, 2014)

2014 is proving to be a year similar to 2011 where some amazing variants hit the market and have dried up over the years. In February 2014, DC released 1:25 Incentive variants, all with a Steampunk theme. It doesn’t take much guessing why this variant rose to the top, like today’s impressive $480 raw sale. Just for comparison, the highest sale ever belongs to a CGC 9.8 that sold for $500 in 2018. This variant is moving up! (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

RUMORED/OPTIONED COMIC BOOKS

RUMORED/OPTIONED: MARVEL FANFARE #11 (MARVEL, 1983)

In the latest BLACK WIDOW trailer, the Iron Maiden mask (comic accurate btw) is briefly seen (blink and you miss it) in the background. She was rumored to be in the film over a year ago, which may have been confirmed in this trailer. Just in case this is right, we won’t go into any more… just in case this conversation turns spoilery. Regardless, his book jumped up a little with this new trailer hint. It’s still unknown IF the mask is worn, so this could end up not moving that much. Try and catch the mask at the 1:10 mark in the trailer. It’s super silvery… kind of like Dr. Doom’s mask.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

RUMORED/OPTIONED: UNCANNY X-MEN #166 (MARVEL, 1983)

Lockheed, Kitty Pryde’s Dragon, is rumored to appear in the now delayed (again) NEW MUTANTS film. This film has had multiple hurdles to jump to make it to the big screen… more than most. However, we keep getting reason after reason to see this film… and yes, Lockheed is one for us. His first appearance in this issue is now trending at $15 to $20 raw.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

WHAT THE WATCHER WATCHES

WATCHING: UNCHARTED #1 (DC, 2011)

We’ve directly heard many of the details of Sony’s UNCHARTED film with Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, and we’re incredibly excited about it. All of you fellow UNCHARTED fans will be as well. Production begins on Monday, 3/15 (pending any pauses in the schedule due to the spread of the Coronavirus). This is a book you should be keeping an eye out for in the wild as it will most likely see a price bump as set leaks and trailers hit. It’s already a $25 book. Video game translations have almost never been a big seller for comic books, and this was no exception. While the print run was low, most of these issues faded into dollar boxes and back issues. So, while online is the best place to look for copies for now, when things calm down… go do some digging. Also, while you’re at it, keep a keen eye out for the Hughes variant. It’s exceptionally tough to find. It’s nowhere on-line and the last copy sold was on EBay on 1/29/20 for $225 raw. We expect that price to go up. Good luck!  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

WATCHING: BATMAN BEYOND #6 (DC, 1999)

Back when Harley Quinn’s first appearance in BATMAN ADVENTURES #12 REALLY took off in 2013, collectors started paying more attention to these frequently ignored “kid’s WB” comics. After Harley skyrocketed, collectors found LIVE WIRE in SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #5, with her first appearance in that issue selling for $60 raw at one point and $275 in a 9.8. Eyes then went to BATMAN BEYOND’s series and landed on INQUE, a favorite Venom like villainess from the cartoon whose first appearance is in this issue. This has been selling steadily for years now and continues to sell for $60 raw and even hit $430 in a 9.8 in 2019. So, take the time to flip through those dusty 90’s kid comics. (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 

 

COMIC BOOK KEY OF THE WEEK

KEY OF THE WEEK:  AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #238 CANADIAN PRICE VARIANT (MARVEL, 1983)

This first appearance of Hobgoblin is a big key collectible (especially if it still has its “Tattooz”). The Canadian Price variant is VERY hard to come by, especially in high condition. A rare CGC 9.8 sold this week for a massive $4,650. That was a crazy sale to see.  (Find on eBay) (Find on MCS)

 


Written By: Matt DeVoe | matt@covrprice.com


 

Be sure to hit those share buttons on the page and spread the love. Also, we always want to hear from you. Reach out to us at info@covrPrice.com and let us know if there’s anything else you’d like us to talk about!

 

Review | The Sandman: Overture – J.H. Williams III Gallery Edition

J.H. Williams III shows off his artistic range and skills in the pages of the new Gallery Edition of THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE, written by Neil Gaiman. Williams’ original art for the entire book has been meticulously scanned at high resolution for its presentation in this large-format, Smythe-sewn hardcover edition. The numerous double-page spreads are displayed as never […]

The post Review | The Sandman: Overture – J.H. Williams III Gallery Edition appeared first on Comic Book Daily.

Drunk on Comics Podcast 409: Darth Sidious and the Clone-a-Virus

Anthony and Tony held down the fort for this week’s episode of the show. Both Linz and Charles were sadly missing in action, but that didn’t stop the fun. A majority of the show, besides our usual book reviews, revolved … Continue reading

The post Drunk on Comics Podcast 409: Darth Sidious and the Clone-a-Virus appeared first on Drunk On Comics.

Drunk on Comics Podcast 408: D.O.C. Presents DJ Smithen Yardman

The group was well prepared this week. Everyone but Linz, who decided to actually…. er… who are they kidding. Linz was the only one that came prepared for this week’s episode. The boys were slacking and got some last minute … Continue reading

The post Drunk on Comics Podcast 408: D.O.C. Presents DJ Smithen Yardman appeared first on Drunk On Comics.

Week 11: xx

March 8th was International Women’s Day and I really should have put this post up last week so apologies. There are some great female comic artists that I’ll be featuring all year long but this week lets reserve all the art to some great female artists. What a stunning piece from Nicola Scott, this is […]

The post Week 11: xx appeared first on Comic Book Daily.

Longbox Junk – Black Canary (Part 2)

Welcome back to Longbox Junk, the place to find all the comic reviews you never asked for that you could ever ask for!  Wait. . .does that even make sense?  It does to me! So here we are at the back half of DC's short-lived 1993 attempt at a Bla...

Adler Issue 2 (Marvel Comics)

After uniting some of the most famous heroines of the Victorian age including Jane Eyre, Miss Havisham and Marie Curie, Irene Adler must finally come face-to-face with Sherlock Holmes's greatest nemesis, Moriarty! World Fantasy Award winning writer Lavie...
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