Wednesday, November 03, 2021

People Are Strange When You're A Stranger - MORBIUS Trailer (HD)

Morbius is the character I fight with most on Marvel Puzzle Quest. The Midnight Sons, one of my ultimate Marvel concepts. So seeing how amazingly brought his A-game, the FX team are looking to raise him (not just from the dead), and the soundtrack salutes the coolest vampire movie featuring a comic-book store - The Lost Boys - and better believe it I am counting down to this!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

THE TOP 12 OTHER SUPER-HERO TEAMS IN COMICS: 7 - Seven Soldiers of Victory

Sure, the world knows Rick's Walking Dead survivors, X-Men, Green Lantern Corps and the Titans, but what about comics' other awesome assemblages? Let's check in on another underdog crew who deserve a bigger slice of the pie. 

Today, it's the team that's been around since DC's earliest days, with a membership whose history includes Green Arrow, Deadman, Batgirl, and Frankenstein himself - the Seven Soldiers of Victory! 

THINK: Mission Impossible meets Avengers Forever.

WHY THEY'RE COOL: The Seven Soldiers work best when the line-up nods to the magic of the original - seven heroes that within them tie to different eras of history as well as pulp culture. Just look - a Knight of Camelot, the Robin Hood likes of Green Arrow, and a cowboy avenger - all standing ready to take on the odds both incredible and fantastic.

Right from the start, this group never saught to be the idols of millions. They were, it seems, a blatant lure by DC to attract fans of different mediums into the new world of superheroes, they created with the arrival of Superman. And it worked.

Not every hero faces persecution like the X-Men or aspires to be the world's premier response to all threats foreign and domestic like the Justice League. Some just want to get the job done - the Seven Soldiers of Victory.

STAR PLAYER: While I've never met a character riding a pegasus I never loved, the Atomic Knight has to do a sidestep, in light of the fact Seven Soldiers gave DC the title of 'Best Frankenstein in Comics'. A character revamp sorely missed in his own title, within the publisher's current crop of offerings.

No other character can face down Darkseid's Anti-Life equation, due to already being dead, then find his former bride competing to outshine him within S.H.A.D.E. - the monstrous Super Human Advanced Defense Executive.

RECOMMENDED READING: Writer Grant Morisson's Seven Soldiers comics' event is a beautiful thing. Across two bookend issues and seven mini-series (one for each character), he and a team of superstar-in-the-making artists dusted off and polished characters DC were struggling to know what to do with.

The line-up formula of across genres and time, now also included magic and the future. This saw Seven Soldiers remaster the term 'misunderstood loners', to have Frankenstein, Manhattan Guardian, Bulleteer, Klarion, Mister Miracle, Shining Knight and Zatanna save a planet (and fanbase) that all too often passed them over. Epic stuff.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

UNFATHOMABLE: Aquaman Gets 80th Anniversary Special

I was gutted to miss the 80th anniversary special of Robin. Since then, I’ve got all of the 80th’s of my fav DC icons, which is lucky as the Catwoman 100-pager single-handedly revived my faith in the quality of one-shot specials.

This August, Aquaman jumps into the 80th-anniversary frying pan, thanks to writers such as the legendary Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul, as well as artists Pop Mhan, Evan 'Doc' Shaner, Steve Epting and more (boy, I hope a Tempest poster from Phil Jimenez is included somewhere).

As is tradition with these DC 80th deep dives through the featured character's history, variant covers of each generation’s take on the King of the Seven Seas see even more graphic folk involved, from Michael Cho and Ivan Reis to Kevin Nowlan and the DC ‘Jack Kirby’ José Luis García-López.

García-López first defined 'my Aquaman' in the 80’s, however it was three 90’s remakes I hope to see reflected in the depths of Arthur Curry’s 80th-anniversary shin-dig, that made me an Aqua-fanatic.

From Bryan Hitch to Jim Calafiore, hook-handed Aquaman will always be the one that got away for me. Luckily my favourite Aquaman ‘look’ has at least got one of the variants mentioned above, so that’s one box ticked.

The other two takes with heaps of seascape still to explore are the amazing sword and sorcery Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis revamp done by writer Kurt Busiek and artist Jackson Butch Guice, and Sub Diego, where writer Will Pfeifer and my favourite Aqua-artist of any era, Patrick Gleason, crafted social chaos as a newly submerged San Diego reeled in countless deaths and the new frontier for survivors able to adapt to life beneath the waves (with timeless covers by the ever-amazing Alan Davis).

As I get older, I realise that any character's continuity simply becomes more how your mind knits their best reads together rather than any official timeline. That said, the timelessness of these 80th-anniversary specials is what really makes for their success. The amphibious tank of the Justice League, the latest to showcase that fact when his splashes down this August.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

SWEET AS: DC Comics' Top 5 for October 2021

When we Kiwis find something we like, we say it's 'Sweet as'. When I look at all of DC Comics October 2021 solicitations, these five make the 'Sweet As' grade:

1) Diana has never had a defining story, like she has creator runs. That's all set to change with WONDER WOMAN HISTORIA: THE AMAZONS #1. Where the secret plan of the goddesses of Olympus, meets Hipployta - leading to outright war in Heaven and the creation of the Earth's greatest guardian! Sure it's 72 pages and the price tag is a bit of a climb, but seeing Phil Jimenez draw Wonder Woman again - completely unleashed - is more than worth it!

2) Forget Peacemaker's breakdown Bat-fans, don't miss the revival of Azrael. I never followed him into space in Justice League: Odyessy - as it didn't match the character. In BATMAN: URBAN LEGENDS #8 the last acolyte of the Order of St. Dumas has also realised he strayed too far from his purpose and begins to reassert himself. Then in ARKHAM CITY: THE ORDER OF THE WORLD #1, Azrael starts to stalk the Arkham Asylum escapees, giving them an all-new reason to fear.

Because you can never have enough Lobo.
3) Who predicted a 7-issue team-up title between Aquaman and Green Arrow? The unlikely new 'hard travelling heroes' may be celebrating their 80th anniversaries by tackling the timeline altering madness of Scorpio in AQUAMAN / GREEN ARROW: DEEP TARGET #1, but by quiver or by trident it is great to see the next row of heroes in the Justice League getting their moment in the sun. Hawkman / Robin - let's see you two birds of prey up next!

4) While the Superman book runs with a new junior Man of Steel, ACTION COMICS #1036 kicks off the mega 'Warworld Saga' where an enslaved race tied to Krypton sees the original (and always unbeaten) Man of Steel seek to takedown Mongul and liberate his throneworld. World-building and upping the stakes in a Death and Return of Superman-style - this is the Super-path my wallet will be going down. 40pgs.

5) The ultimate Darkseid has arrived in the DCU and will helm the next Crisis. Wonder Woman finally returns to earth in WONDER WOMAN #780, in an anniversary-sized story that paves the way towards her future in the DCU. After getting back in the JLA where she belongs, it doesn't take much to see that that 40 pages of path paving is only leading to the Lord of Apokolips, and boy will that brawl be BIG.

Read DC's full October 2020 solicitations here.