Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Comic Review: Incarnate #1 (Radical) by John H.

When the hunter becomes the hunted

To be fair, I have to come clean, because I can’t hold it back or I’ll seem a fraud. I must admit I am not a fan of manga. To me, there’s just something too childlike or wispy to the whole genre that just irks me. I usually feel as if the characters are too ethereal to last to the final page. Yes, I know I’m psychotic, but just trust me and roll with it.

I am a fan of vampires though, and the masters of the night have always fascinated me in a weird way. Despite their inhumanity, their appeal is a constant reminder of how humans can be twisted by the dark. But despite my never satiated hunger for all things vampire, when they are interpreted in a manga style, all the romance and danger seems to evaporate out of them, leaving them the lifeless husks they try to interpret.

But as they say, there are always exceptions to the rules and believe me I was quite surprised when I read Incarnate #1 by Nick Simmons. I was not looking forward to reviewing this, for reasons I have mentioned above, but as I flipped the last page, I was astonished that I had read through the entire story cover-to-cover in less than 15 minutes. And for me, that’s a good thing.

Nick Simmons’s introduction to this tale leaves us with more questions than answers, but in a good way. When a story leads its readers to care, or be intrigued by the characters, they win big points in my book. The main protagonist, by the name of Mot, is a vampire who has just awakened from a decades-long sleep, and barely recognizes the city he began his hibernation in. He searches out old acquaintances, that once found have grave news about the cattle (i.e. humans) they hunt nightly: They have begun fighting back, successfully mind you, and they are just around the corner…

The manga-style in this book, unlike its many counterparts, did not dissuade me from eating up the pages. The style here seems to have purpose, not just used for popularity sake but as a tool of fluidity. The humans seem blocky and slow, while the vampires are predators that move with unearthly grace, who seem to lift off the page at moments.

I must say Nick Simmons did an awesome job here, with masterful strokes of pen and pencil, both in the art and in the script. There is a slim possibility that this book has made me reconsider my position on manga-style books.

But until then we’ll see how Incarnate #2 turns out, and I seriously can’t wait!

Written & Art by Nick Simmons


By John H.
Senior Reviewer

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DVD Review: Green Lantern: First Flight by Roger V.

Green Lantern's a hot property these days - Ryan Reynolds was picked to star as the emerald ambassador in a big-budget movie, the "Blackest Night" storyline's the talk of the comic book world and "Green Lantern: First Flight" is the latest DC Universe animated movie.

As an longtime GL fan, the good news about "First Flight" was that it features Hal Jordan as sector 2814's protector. It was OK to use Kyle Rayner as the animated GL in the Superman Animated Series, but a full-length (77 minutes) film deserves Hal Jordan as its centerpiece.

That's also the bad part about "First Flight." While Hal's the alleged star, the script unfolds like of a Tales of the Green Lantern Corps story, with the focus on renegade ringbearer Sinestro.

Other Green Lantern Corps regulars such as Kilowog and Tomar Re are represented as well, but Sinestro is established as the greatest Green Lantern of them all, at least until Jordan arrives.

Where "First Flight" really soars is how it illustrates how Jordan's shortcomings regarding patience and studying a situation before acting are balanced with his bravery and imagination - while others are using their rings in a linear manner as energy pistols, Jordan comes up all manner of creative constructs. It's clear that the staid Guardians of the Universe could use a little shake up in the ranks.

However, the fantastic portrayal of Jordan doesn't extend to other characters. In addition to practically deifying Sinestro (perhaps this was a statement about his eventual fall from grace), comic book fans will find fault with the likenesses of Kanjar Ro and Abin Sur.

Early Justice League villain Kanjar Ro can't catch a break. In the Brave & Bold animated series he's pumped up on steroids. Here, he looks just like his henchmen (and Abin Sur for that matter), only he's wearing an outfit that makes him look like royalty. I want the space helmet and the fly-like eyes, not an alien with some kind of skin or growth drooping off his face like something out of "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" or Davy Jones from "Pirates of the Caribbean." And why can't Abin Sur's skin be red? Did they think the audience would confuse him with Sinestro?

Granted, to some people this probably comes off as nitpicking. But when Green Lantern's your favorite character, you expect more. "Green Lantern" First Flight" has its moments, but it's not something I expect I'll watch over and over.

EXTRAS: The best features are "Behind the Story with Geoff Johns" and "Behind the Scenes of Blackest Night," both almost nine minutes long. Green Lantern writer Johns is featured heavily in both, with comic book panels mixed in and a recap of the post-rebirth Hal Jordan and this summer's DC zombie fest, respectively. It's compelling enough to make me want to read the "Blackest Night" tale, even though part of me thinks, "didn't Marvel do a zombie storyline recently." The Geoff Johns piece is on the second disc and not part of the bare-bones release.

There are also sneak peaks (two 10 minutes long, one seven) of the next DC Universe animated release - Superman/Batman Public Enemies" - and past releases "Wonder Woman" and "Gotham Knights." They come off as staff love fests and ads for the DVDs, although the Wonder Woman one had the nice tidbit about writer William Marston not only coming up with the idea of a magic lasso, but the real-world version as well in the lie detector.

On the second disc, the remaining special features are short (around four minutes each) profiles of Sinestro and the Guardians of the Universe and animated shows from the Warner Brothers vaults - a two-part Justice League tale called "The Once and Future Thing," which really doesn't have much to do with Green Lantern, and the "Duck Dodgers" episode "The Green Loontern."

The parody is a nice bonus, since hardcore GL fans wouldn't want to buy a whole DVD of Duck Dodgers and it's a pretty amusing take on Daffy as a green lantern, complete with Sinestro and many recognizable characters.

Finally, my Best Buy exclusive had the ultra-posable Infinite Heroes Green Lantern/Hal Jordan. What's nice is that the added posability hasn't taken away from the figure's form - too often such figures seemed to have legs, arms or torsos that are too rounded or otherwise deformed. At a glance, you wouldn't know it's different than the regular release. Definitely worth the extra cash if you've already decided to shell out the dough for the two-disc version.

By Roger V.
Staff Reviewer

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Toy News: New Star Trek figures

For your viewing pleasure, here are the new Star Trek action figures from DST. Available at Toys “R” Us!


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In a packed panel on Saturday morning during Comic Con, Dark Horse president, Mike Richardson called a surprise guest to announce Dark Horse’s plans to develop new comics and graphic novels for the Gold Key Comics’ superheroes. Fans were shocked to see Jim Shooter enter the room; the man recently named the “Steve Jobs of Comics” by Comic Book Bin.
Shooter is perhaps best known for his nine year tenure at Marvel Comics, beginning in 1982, with highlights including Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on the Uncanny X-Men, and Frank Miller's run on Daredevil. Also under Shooter's editorial reign, Walt Simonsen revamped The Mighty Thor and made it again a bestseller. Following his successful run at Marvel, Shooter launched the well-received Valiant comics imprint in the early 90s, bringing many of Marvel’s creators with him.
Now, Jim Shooter comes to Dark Horse as head writer for the re-launch of the Gold Key Comics characters: Turok, Son of Stone®, Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom, Magnus, Robot Fighter, and Mighty Samson, with further characters and new comic writers to be announced shortly.
“It's great to be at Dark Horse, working with Mike Richardson, world-class creator, honorable gentleman and industry powerhouse” said Jim Shooter. “It's great to be reunited with Magnus, Solar, Turok, Samson and the other wonderful Gold Key properties. The opportunity is tremendous and the time is ripe. Let's do it.”
“Jim and I share a great affection for these terrific characters. We have some very exciting ideas on how to introduce them to a whole new generation of fans.” said Mike Richardson, president of Dark Horse Comics.

An original comic book hero, Turok is best known today for a successful video game franchise boasting more than five million units sold since the first game was introduced in the 1990s. The legend of the brave and ruthless dinosaur-hunter has lived on for more than thirty years in comic book series from Dell Comics, Gold Key Comics and Valiant. Anthologies of the original classic comics are now available from Dark Horse Comics.

Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom
Doctor Solar must find a way to become normal again after surviving an explosion that leaves him with the power to control atomic energy. When danger and disaster threaten the innocent, Solar leaps into action as the “Man of the Atom.” One of Gold Key Comics’ most popular titles in the 1960s, the original nuclear-powered superhero reached legendary status by the 1990s in new comics from Valiant. The original classic comics now appear in hardcover anthologies published by Dark Horse Comics.

Magnus, Robot Fighter
Haling from the year 4,000 A.D. is the stalwart hero of humanity, Magnus, Robot Fighter. These gripping adventure stories, in which a human who battles evil robots in the sprawling futuristic city of North Am, elevated the comic book medium when they debuted in the 1960s from Gold Key Comics, and captured the imagination of millions in new comics published thirty years later by Valiant. The original science-fiction classics now appear in hardcover anthologies published by Dark Horse Comics.

Mighty Samson
A popular Gold Key Comics character from the 1960s and 70s, the post-apocalyptic adventures of Mighty Samson are set in the land of N’Yark, an earth devastated by nuclear war. Amazingly large and strong, Samson uses his mutant strength only for good—and to protect his friends, Sharmain and Mindor, responsible for saving his life.

Turok, Son of Stone; Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom; Magnus, Robot Fighter and Mighty Samson are part of the Classic Media portfolio of properties. For more information, please go to:


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First episode available on on August 5, 2009

Adding to its ever-growing selection of streaming video, featuring award winning animated TV series and innovative original short-form video, Marvel Comics announced the launch of the 1994 animated series, Spider-Man on, featuring Marvel’s seminal web-slinging Super Hero. This original 65 episode series aired from 1994-1998 and will be available for free starting on Wednesday, August 5th on A new 30-minute episode will be made available each week. The 1994 Spider-Man series was created and produced by Bob Richardson and Stan Lee. Christopher Daniel Barnes provides voice over for Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

The 1994 Spider-Man series joins other new and classic Marvel animated TV series available free on, including Wolverine and the X-Men, the 1990’s X-Men series, the 1960’s Spider-Man series, X-Men Evolution, Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes and the live-action Japanese Spiderman series.

For more information on Marvel’s video offerings, digital comics, motion comics and more please visit at


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Comic News: Punisher: Rest In Pieces

Dark Reign The List brings the most dramatic changes ever to Punisher!

Dark Wolverine faces off against Frank Castle and the Punisher’s (after)life is altered forever! Beginning with Punisher #8, don’t miss four special Rest In Pieces Variants, all clues to the startling changes ahead for the Punisher!

PUNISHER #8 (JUN090558)
Penciled by TAN ENG HUAT
70th Frame Variant by STEVE DILLON
Rest In Pieces Variant by TOM RANEY
Parental Advisory …$2.99
FOC—7/28/09, On-Sale—8/19/09

PUNISHER #9 (JUL090548)
Penciled by TAN ENG HUAT
Rest In Pieces Variant by TOM RANEY
Parental Advisory …$2.99
FOC—8/27/09, On-Sale—9/16/09


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Comic News: Marvel Unveils All New THE LIST Hero Variants!

Marvel is proud to unveil the covers to The List-- Avengers Hero Variant and The List—Daredevil Hero Variant by superstar artist Frank Cho!

Every issue of the The List features a stunning new variant cover spotlighting the major players in the event no Marvel fan can miss! The Marvel Universe as you know it will be no more after The List begins in September!

Pencils and Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC
Variant Cover by FRANK CHO
Rated A …$3.99
FOC—8/13/09, On-Sale—9/2/09

Written by ANDY DIGGLE
Pencils & Cover by BILLY TAN
Variant Cover by FRANK CHO
Rated T+ …$3.99
FOC—8/20/09, On-Sale—9/9/09

Pencils & Cover by ALAN DAVIS
Variant Cover by TBA
Rated T+ …$3.99
FOC—8/27/09, On-Sale—9/16/09


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Marvel, DC, More Confirmed Exhibitors at C2E2 2010

Officials at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) are pleased to announce that space on the convention floor is filling up fast with leading exhibitors from all corners of the pop culture world eager to be part of the new convention.

DC Comics and Marvel have each staked out 2500 square foot booths, which is equal to their presence at New York Comic Con (NYCC). Overall, the C2E2 convention floor is filling up quickly with major and independent exhibitors alike and convention organizers note that the event already has a show floor equal to that of the first New York Comic Con with 9 months remaining until the show. The convention will take place at McCormick Place – Lakeside Center which boasts 300,000 gross square feet of space. In total, C2E2 officials are projecting that the net square feet of exhibit space in the convention’s first year will be approximately 40,000-50,000 square feet of paid exhibit space. C2E2 is being launched April 16 – 18, 2010 and is owned and operated by the organizers of New York Comic Con. Alex Ross and Jeff Smith have already been announced as special guests for the show and officials note that many more guests and programming announcements will be made in the immediate future, with the event mimicking the size and scope of New York Comic Con.

“I am incredibly happy to be able to talk so confidently about our level of exhibitor participation and commitment at C2E2 this early in the game – this is already shaping up to be the massive pop culture event in downtown Chicago that our fans and exhibitors alike have been craving,” notes Lance Fensterman, Vice President and Show Manager for both C2E2 and NYCC. “Nearly everyone who participates in NYCC is making the same commitment to C2E2 and this is putting us in a great position and speaks volumes that we have kept our commitment to our customers to grow their business in a meaningful way. However, we ultimately are building this event for the great fans of Chicago, they wanted it and we are going to deliver. I want to hear from fans as well, what guests, what exhibitors, what features; this event really is for you. This show of support from our exhibiting customers enables us to focus on our programming and guest lineup, which is the cornerstone and focal point of so much of our convention activity. But I am well aware that no matter how strong our programming may be, our convention can only be as strong as the exhibitors who support us, who build their booths, and bring their product to our convention floor. I am very grateful to everyone for having faith that we will stage the best pop culture event Chicago has ever seen!”

“We have had enormous success with our participation at New York Comic Con and we look forward to more of the same in Chicago,” notes Steve Rotterdam, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for DC Comics. “New York Comic Con has proven to be very effective for us, providing a good business atmosphere for connecting with fans and customers, as well as being a great environment for promoting our product and extending the reach of our many writers, artists, and creators. We’re happy to be part of the debut of what we’re confident will become one of Chicago’s main events.”

Dan Buckley, CEO & Publisher, Print, Animation & Digital Media at Marvel Entertainment, Inc., states: “Marvel is very excited to work with our friends at C2E2 and NYCC for their inaugural show in the Windy City. Building on the relationship that we started with Reed Exhibitions over four years ago, we see this as a great opportunity to bring all of the excitement and energy from our presence at the New York City convention to our fans in the Midwest.”

C2E2 organizers are especially pleased that the same diverse exhibitor base which participates in NYCC will be at C2E2 including both large, well established firms as well as small independent companies from all bands of the pop culture spectrum. The companies range from the world of comics, graphic novels, gaming, toys, golden and silver age comics, collectibles, and much more. Some of the other exhibitors and participants who will be at C2E2 include: Avatar, Baby Tattoo, Boom Studios, Chicago Comics, Dark Horse, Diamond, Graham Crackers Comics, Image Comics, Mattel, Newsarama, Oni Press, Radical Publishing, Random House, Top Cow, Top Shelf, and Wizards of the Coast. “We are a pop culture event and we intend to maintain the breadth of representation that has come to define pop culture in all of its manifestations,” Fensterman concludes. “C2E2 will not be about any one, single thing. Like New York Comic Con, it will be about everything that is exciting and new and different in the world of popular entertainment, with comics and the graphic arts anchoring it all and under a spotlight.”

C2E2 officials note that a further guest announcement for the show will be made within the next week. For more information on C2E2, to sign up for the email newsletter or to purchase tickets, please visit For the latest announcements, please visit C2E2’s official blog,, or follow C2E2 on Twitter at

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Movie News: Hasbro and Paramount Pictures Kick-Off Highly Anticipated Summer Film “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” at the NYSE

Hasbro President and CEO and “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” Producer Brian Goldner, Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Director Stephen Sommers and Actors Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols Ring The Opening Bell.

Today Hasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner, producer of the summer’s highly anticipated film “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” Lorenzo di Bonaventura, also a producer of the film, and director Stephen Sommers, joined by cast members Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller and Rachel Nichols rang The Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange in celebration of the upcoming premiere of “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” on August 7.


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