Thursday, July 28, 2005

Miller, Meltzer and Pikar @DC Comics Website

The three creators discuss the future of the graphic novel as well as their work in general.

Video and Audio Files on DC's Site - http://www.dccomics.com/features/bea_2005/

This is a very interesting segment. I know Pekar's work from the movie "American Splendor" which followed him through his life. He's quite an interesting guy to say the least.

Brad Meltzer of course is a NY Times best selling novelist, but we in the comic industry know him as the Identity Crisis writer. He's also very cool and his passion for comics is without question.

Frank Miller really needs no introduction. Batman Year One, Batman DKR, Daredevil Born Again, Sin City, etc.. Read em all he's the man.

The panel is moderated by Chip Kidd who is one of the most sought after designers in the book and comic industry. He works with Frank Miller on many occassions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Comic Reviews - July 27, 2005

Marvel

Daredevil Vs Punisher #2

Penciller: David Lapham
Inker: David Lapham
Writer: David Lapham
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: VC’s Mike Sellers
Editor: Warren Simons

Summary – The war on the streets between the Punisher and Hammerhead heats up with Daredevil caught in the middle.

Review:

The Good –

This wasn't quite as good as the first issue was, but I liked it. We are getting the lay of the land now, so that we can see who is on whose side and whatnot.

The action was pretty damn good. I liked the Punisher's shootout in the subway, as well as Daredevil Vs the Punisher Round II. The Professor AKA The Jackal is one messed up guy and I hope he gets what's coming to him in the comic issues.


The Bad –

The subplot with the kid could be very interesting, but right now it seems pretty stereotypical. I also am interested in what his sister's role in the mini will be, since she looks very similar to Frank's deceased wife.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


DC

The Flash #224

Penciller: Howard Porter
Inker: John LIVESAY
Writer: Geoff Johns
Colorist: James Sinclair
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Associate Editor: Michael Wright
Editor: Joey Cavalieri

Summary – Rogue War continues with quite a few surprises and revelations that are sure to please long time readers of Johns’ run.

Review:

The Good –

The undisputed comic of the week! EVERYTHING that has been going on in this title since Blitz is coming to a head and the past, present and future are colliding in what could be the best battle of the Speedsters ever!

I can't wait for the conclusion of this storyline next month. It's been a real treat.


The Bad –

Just from posting on a few forums, I feel that this book is lost on some people. I'm not sure if it's that they lack the knowledge of continuity to get the possibilities or what Johns is getting at or what. Also, it might take a while for people to figure out the differences between the Zooms. Professor Zoom doesn't have a backwards Lightning Bolt and he doesn't wear goggles. Zoom has a backwards lighting bolt and wears goggles. There that's all there is to it.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Legion of Super-Heroes #8

Penciller: Kevin Sharpe
Inker: Prentis Rollins
Writer: Mark Waid
Colorist: Sno Cone
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Stephen Wacker

Summary – The Legion is divided as the different factions lead by Brainiac 5 and Cosmic Boy collide.

Review:

The Good –

Another book in which all the buildup is finally paying off. Waid is through with the introductions and now they really start shaking things up.

The LOSH is divided and everyone is taking sides, either with Cosmic Boy or Braniac 5. The action scenes in this issue are really great. They only happen towards the end, but since this book is extra sized they make the most out of telling the stories they can (unlike Detective Comics which wastes paper with those shitty backups every issue).

I'm waiting for Mon-El to show up and lead these guys, but I'm not sure that's going to happen anytime soon. This was an awesome issue though, the fill-in artist Kevin Sharpe did an excellent job standing in for Kitson.


The Bad –

It took this book so long to actually get to this point, I wonder how many readers were lost after they lost their patience.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It



Outsiders #26

Penciller: Will Conrad
Inker: Sean Parsons
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Assistant Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover: Kevin Nowlan

Summary –

Review:

The Good –

Alright, flashing back to the Batman & the Outsiders era, Arsenal has to help Black Lightning and Metamorpho clean up a mess they left behind. The premise is pretty interesting, a few left over human bombs are on the loose after Metamorpho and Black Lightning decided not to deal with them in the past. The only problem is that they are starting to explode now.

I really liked the interior artwork, it was just great to see the old Outsiders back together again, even if it was just in flashbacks.


Tomasi's writing skills haven't rusted from his time at the editorial desk, that's for sure. Also love that Nowlan cover.


The Bad –

Batman just appears in the flashbacks. I hope to see Batman actually pop in here for real soon, perhaps that will be the case next issue.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It



Superman/Batman #21

Penciller: Ed McGuinness
Inker: Dexter Vines
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Associate Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Summary – A case of mistaken identity puts Batman and Superman up against the Maximums.

Review:

The Good –

This blew last issue away. I mean the McGuinness and Vines artwork alone is worth buying this book over, but Jeph Loeb really stepped it up for this one.

The fight scenes between Batman, Batzarro and the Atomic Skull were just hilarious. I thought Batzarro was kind of annoying last issue, but he made up for it with this appearance.

The Maximums vs Superman and Batman was also an epic battle. Batman took down Bonk rather easy, but it was a great idea making Bonk's alter ego a little girl.

The comparison between Atomic Skull and Ghost Rider was also classic.


The Bad –

All of the Batzarro and Bizarro double opposite speech is kind of annoying.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Changing the Review Process

Due to some time constraints on my part I will only be reviewing a select few books a week.

I usually review all the books I read, but to be honest after four months of doing this I'm running out of things to say about each title. That's not a good thing for me or the comic industry in general, but that's the way it goes.

I'll still be reviewing comics every week, but they will just be the best of the best.

Comic Reviews - July 20, 2005 Part II

DC

Adventures of Superman #642

Artists: Karl Kerschl, Derec Donovan, Cam Smith Sean Parsons
Writer: Greg Rucka
Colorist: Tanya and Richard Horie
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Jeanine Schaeffer
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Summary – The JLA confront Superman after the events revealed in Action Comics last week. Plus, the man behind it all is revealed.

Review:

The Good –

The artwork was pretty good even though three people were in charge of it.

The Hories did a nice job coloring it all.


The Bad –

Not too keen on the storyline this issue. I hope people reading OMAC pick this up or they will be lost.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It



Batgirl #66

Artist: Andy Kuhn
Writer: Andersen Gabrych
Colorist: Wildstorm FX
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Michael Wright

Batman created by Bob Kane

Summary – Cassandra hit’s the road to find out the identity of her mother once and for all. It’s Detroit or bust.

Review:

The Good –

It was great seeing Andy Kuhn draw this issue. I’m a big fan of his Firebreather comic by him and Phil Hester.



The Bad –

This was a throwaway issue. It really didn’t do anything for me in terms of story. Oh and another OMAC showed up!

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It



Birds of Prey #84

Penciller: Joe Bennett
Inker: Jack Jadson
Writer: Gail Simone
Colorist: Hi-Fi Design
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joan Hilty

Summary – Barbara Gordon puts all her affairs in order before going under the knife. Plus the Huntress and Black Canary have problems of their own.

Review:

The Good –

I love this comic. What makes it even better is that next issue we might be seeing some serious chop socky action. With Wildcat and the Canary with help from their friends taking on the 12 Brothers.


The Bad –

Nothing really. This is one of the best books on the stands.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Day of Vengeance #4

Penciller: Justiano
Inker: Walden Wong
Writer: Bill Willingham
Colorist: Chris Chuckay
Letterer: Patt Brosseau
Associate Editor: Michael Wright
Editor: Joe Cavalieri

Summary – The fight between Captain marvel and the Spectre continues as the Enchantress fights the battle within herself.

Review:

The Good –

Justiano looks like he took last issue off in stride. He and Walden Wong really turned it up this issue.

Willingham continues to tell a story that has ramifications through the DCU.


The Bad –

I hear that a Shadowpact spin-off is in the works. I hope they aren’t milking this for too much.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Detective Comics #808

Penciller: Ramon Bachs
Inker: Nathan Massengill
Writer: David Lapham
Colorist: Jason Wright
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Associate Editor: Nachie Castro
Editor: Bob Schreck

Batman created by Bob Kane

Summary – City of Crime Part 8, we continue to see the view from the Point. Crown Point. Robin also has his hands full guarding a injured police officer. He calls in a former cop who shall remain nameless to give him a hand.

Review:

The Good –

I love the artwork by Backs and Massengill. This issue was pretty good, it’s picking up the pace from the last few.


The Bad –

While this isn’t a bad storyline, it should have been either a maxi or OGN. I’m kind of getting sick of it tying up Detective Comics.

The Killer Croc backup was also a waste. I want my quarter back.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It


JSA Classified #1

Penciller: Amanda Conner
Inker: Jimmy Palmiotti
Writer: Geoff Johns
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Stephen Wacker

Summary – Powergirl’s mysterious origin is the topic of the first arc in this new ongoing series.

Review:

The Good –

The Adam Hughes cover is a big plus on this title. I’d be willing to bet that’s the one most people picked up.

I also liked the interior work by Conner and Palmiotti.


The Bad –

The only bad thing about this is the continuity involved. This is more or less the most open to people who have been following the JSA title over the last few years.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It


Manhunter #12

Penciller: Javier Pina
Inker: Fernando Blanco
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Editor: Joan Hilty

Summary – Manhunted concludes with the identity of the Manhunter killer revealed.

Review:

The Good –

The twist in this issue was executed very well by all parties involved. The people who wrote the HUSH and Red Hood storylines should study this arc to see how you really do a mystery like this.

Pina and Blanco continue to do a great job on the art. I know a lot of people miss Jesus Saiz, but these guys have done a bang up job as well.


The Bad –

Next issue, OMAC’s. I hate these guys, they’re everywhere!


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It



Robin #140
CO
Penciller: Scott McDaniel
Inker: Andy Owens
Writer: Bill Willingham
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Phil Balsman
Editor: Michael Wright

Summary – Robin gets a first hand look at the Veterans base of operations. He spars with some of the Veterans protégé’s while Darla comes back to Gotham looking for Tim Drake.

Review:

The Good –

Overall a pretty good issue. After reading Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier series I was glad to see that John Cloud (or rather his grandson) is in DC continuity now.

I also liked how Tim is shown as being a really skilled hand to hand fighter. He’s obviously had the training for it.

McDaniel and Owens are doing a great job on the artwork. They have saved it from the inconsistent mess that it was.


The Bad –

I’m not too sure that the fact of Nightwing being the first Robin is common knowledge in the DCU. Tim kind of dropped that one on the Veteran for free if it isn’t. It was an interesting idea though that the Veteran might have tried to recruit him too.



The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It



Teen Titans #26

Penciller: Tony S. Daniel
Inker: Marlo Alquiza
Writer: Geoff Johns
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Comicraft
Assistant Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Summary – Soul Searching takes us into Superboy’s heart and soul. Courtesy of his teammate Raven, who knows all about battling your inner demons.

Review:

The Good –

I was very impressed with Tony S. Daniel’s work on this issue. He’s good enough to become the second artist ala Tom Grummet on this title.

I think that would work out pretty well, having him and Ivan Reis alternating arcs.

I liked the way Raven was written in this issue though. There could be a unexpected love triangle here between Superboy, Wonder Girl and Raven if they want to do it.


The Bad –

Overall the story didn’t really do much for me. It was basically a rehash of Conner Kent’s past. Although we did get to see some stuff not previously seen before. Such as his first meeting with Luthor and it was revealed what Lex named him.

It looks like he’ll be absent from the Titans for a while. Which means he won’t be in the Rob Liefeld and Gail Simone storyline that will be happening in August and September.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It

Friday, July 22, 2005

Comic Reviews - July 20, 2005 Part I

Marvel

Daredevil #75

Artist: Alex Maleev
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Jennifer Lee

Special Thanks to Walter N. Cosby Jr

Summary – Decalogue concludes with Matt Murdock confronting the monster who has terrorized the members of the support group.

Review:

The Good –

Wow, this has to be my favorite Bendis and Maleev issue of Daredevil. I wasn’t too impressed with the Widow story arc, but I liked the Golden Age one. Decalogue though, this is the best bar none.

This was an extra sized issue which allowed for a perfect balance between action and drama. If you’ve been following this arc and are lost at who that little demon baby is, then this fills you in on it. At first I thought he was a character from a previous arc, but now he’s definitely a new guy made for Decalogue.

I also loved how the Hand was part of this story and the villain was an outcasted member.

Maleev does an awesome job on not only the Daredevil action scenes, but also on the scenes in the church basement. This is going to be one hell of an arc to read in TPB format. I encourage everyone who wants to read something completely different from anything on the stands to pick up the Decalogue TPB.


The Bad –

Nothing to say here. After five months of waiting we get a really nice payoff.

The only thing that I was unsure of was the fact that Matt refused to acknowledge himself as a ninja, when he clearly is one.

My friend WonK pointed out that this is most likely a sign of respect, since he never completed Sticks’ training, he doesn’t feel he deserves the title of ninja. Which I can deal with.

After coming off of an exciting arc like this, I can’t wait for the Murdock Papers storyline.

The Money Shot –




Recommendation: Buy It




Wolverine #30

Penciller: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Klaus Janson
Writer: Mark Millar
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: VC’s Randy Gentile
Editor: Jennifer Lee

Summary - Wolverine, Elektra, various super villains and the Agents of SHIELD take the fight to the many heads of HYDRA.

Review:

The Good –

The team of JRJR, Klaus Janson and Paul Mounts is one of the best in comics today. Both JRJR and Klaus Janson have done magnificent work on Daredevil in the past and when they bring it to Wolverine they exceed their past outings.

I’m just so impressed with the quality of work JRJR puts out, especially given the fact that he also pencils the Black Panther and probably some Sentry issues as well right now.

The coloring by Paul Mounts tops this all off. He really is one of the best colorists in the business and I hope to see him color more of the books I read in the future.

Mark Millar is really doing something different with this storyline. It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen from him before. As good as his Authority run was, I think that this is also up there as his best work. Here he’s just having fun and telling a great revenge tale that spans the globe. I’m wondering if he did this arc with Archie Goodwin in mind.


The Bad –

I know that the focus was supposed to be on Wolverine and Elektra and they are kind of pressed for time now with this arc, but it would have been cool to see more detailed beat downs of the various HYDRA bases around the globe.

Still, that’s a minor hassle because this and Daredevil were two of the best books I read this week. Marvel really should be proud of both.



The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Wildstorm

Authority Revolution #10

Penciller: Dustin Nguyen
Inker: Richard Friend
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Colorist: Wendy Groome
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy

The Authority created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch

Summary – The Authority Vs Bendix starts here! Truths are revealed and there is plenty of fighting.


Review:

The Good –

This is the closest any team has come to bringing us back to the good old days of Millar’s Authority. The language, the violence, it’s mostly all here.

Heck even the retcons were handled very well. I especially liked the surprise involving Bendix and the Bleed.

The ending also looks like it’s going to be a setup for another huge fight next issue.


The Bad –

As good as this issue was at capturing the old feel of the Authority, I think it’s still time to give these characters a rest. They’ve had their time in the spotlight and have been milked like the rest of them.

Let WildC.A.T.’s have a go at it for a while, then bring the Authority back kicking in a few years.

The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It


Dark Horse

Conan #18

“Helm”
Artist: John Severin
Script: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Colorist: Michelle Madsen

“Conan’s Favorite Joke”
Artist: Bruce Timm
Script: Kurt Busiek

Letterer: Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Assistant Editors: Matt Dryer and Dave Marshall
Editor: Scott Allie

Cover: Cary Nord and Dave Stewart

Based on the work of Conan creator Robert E. Howard.

Summary – Conan’s lost helmet from the Ice Giants Daughter makes its way around the world. While in a special Bruce Timm story, we see Conan fight a hilarious battle with a foolish sorcerer.

Review:

The Good –

Helm was a pretty cool tale. Reminds me of another story, but I can’t put my finger on it. Still it was a nice way to explore the land and people of Hyborea.

Conan’s Favorite Joke was a real treat, even though it was only a few pages. I love Bruce Timm’s artwork and hope to see more Conan stories from him in the future.



The Bad –

Only four pages of Bruce Timm art is hardly worth spending 2.99 on the comic if you’re a fan of Timm. Perhaps next time he’ll be given the main storyline. I liked his artwork far more than Severin who did “Helm”. Not saying Severin is a bad artist, but Timm has one of the most unique styles and it fits Conan quite well.

While this wasn’t a bad issue, it really wasn’t as good as the previous ones that were part of the main storyline. I look forward to getting back into Tower of the Elephant next month.



The Money Shot –





Recommendation: Borrow It


Dynamite Entertainment

Red Sonja #1

Artist: Mel Rubi
Writers: Michael Avon Oeming and Mike Carey
Colorists: Caesar Rodriguez with Richard Isanove
Letterers: Richard Starkings - Comic Craft with john Josh Johnson and Rick Wenzke
Editorial Consultant: Luke Liberman
Special Thanks to Arthur Liberman at Red Sonja Corporation

Based on the heroine created by Robert E. Howard


Summary – Sonja continues her journey from the #0 issue. She comes across a messenger which leads her to a while lot of trouble.

Review:

The Good –

This is only the second comic I’ve read with Mel Rubi artwork, and I have to say that I think it’s pretty good. He’s not quite up there with Cary Nord, but he’s no slouch either. As a matter of fact, he paints Sonja as not only a sexy warrior, but a strong women. A difficult balance to achieve.

I also liked Sonja’s explanation on why she wears the gear she does, as she said most men don’t even notice her sword.


The Bad –

Story wise I’m not sure where this is going and I’m not quite sure what is Sonja’s motivation. This was only an introductory issue so I think I’m being too harsh.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Kickin' It with Jon Malin



Jon Malin is a comic book artist who has recently made his debut on a title called Nitrogen. It debuted this summer at the San Diego Comic Convention with plans to ship through Diamond later this year. Also working on the book with Jon is Rob Liefeld who plotted it and created the characters and for that matter the universe in which this takes place. Brandon Thomas of Marvel Adventures, Spider-Man Unlimited, and Youngblood Genesis fame is handling the script.



I interviewed Jon asking him about his childhood, inspiration and of course the Nitrogen comic.

First off let me say thank you for agreeing to answer my questions and congratulations on a very nice looking book.

Not a problem, Jason. Thanks for taking the time to interview nobodies like me.

Have you always been interested in comic books? Do you remember the first comic you bought and who your early favorites were growing up?

I was always into comic type characters but only due to cartoons like Spiderman and his Amazing Friends, or Adam West's Batman, Christopher Reeve's Superman, GI Joe, Transformers, GoBots, Blackstar, He-Man/She-Ra*Cough*, Mask, Bravestar, Spiral Zone, Visionaries, CAPTAIN POWER!!!!, Dungeons and Dragons, Kid Video, Centurians, COPS, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, and all the great cartoon shows of the 80's. I was a cartoon NUT, I even watched JEM, she was truly outrageous and don't think that when I saw it on Robot Chicken that I didn't die laughing. I Absolutely LOVE Robot Chicken thanks to all the 80's nods it gives.

Anyways, I was always a loser...I mean, day dreamer. I would often sit by myself on the school bus, stare out the windows and imagine where I would ride my Voltron Lion off into the woods of Michigan, how cool I would be when I build my speeder bike zipping past the bus, I would be a little sad when someone sat by me, because I knew they would interrupt my world of solitude at any moment. Anyways, My comic book love got it's start when my little brother asked me to draw him some Ninja Turtles, before this I had only ever really designed my costumes for when I would be a secret masked avenger or draw horses from when I was going to be the Lone Ranger. (Everyone in my family thought I'd grow to become a REAL horse painter but my goals were much more important than I could tell them, I didn't want to put them at risk!.) So I grabbed his coloring books and studied and drew him his stupid Turtles....those--those-- WONDERFUL TURTLES! I started drawing them at school and my class mates went nuts! I was ALMOST cool! So now I was drawing turtles for a few months and then one day I came home from school and my big brother, who was always in trouble had gone to a grocery store and stole a ton of comic books, they were all over the floor and I was stunned, not that my brother was working on a career in crime but that these things were MUCH better than Turtle coloring books! I never looked back, at 14 I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. But I knew it would take some work to get there.

What are some of your favorite comics today?

Jeph Loeb and Mike Turner's run on Superman/ Batman was the last thing I liked. I was digging on the Millar/ Romita Wolverine as well.

You are clearly a multi talented guy. You pencil, ink, color and co-plot Nitrogen, was it a goal of yours to be able to assist in all aspects of production of a comic book?

I wouldn't say I've co-plotted Nitro Gen, I tossed a couple ideas at Rob but he's sailing the ship. But yes, I've always wanted to be apart of every part of the creative process. I love comic books and want to make the best ones, to do that I think it helps to not only have a slight idea of what writers, artists, inkers and colorists do but to understand it all in detail as best I can(Still working on the writing part). With that said, I hate the business end of comics, I was a production assistant at Image Comics for a couple of years and it sucked. I had to deal with 15-20 new books a month, almost all had 5 people a piece that wanted to be the chief and have me on their short list for problems and I was twisting and turning to stay on top of things and felt burnt out. Some creators can be VERY temperamental and I didn't get paid enough to put up with their shit.

Who stacks up there as some of your greatest artistic influences? Looking at your style you could call it a fusion of 90’s energy with a slick almost manga like finish.

You about hit it on the head for what I try to accomplish. I love the 90's artwork, one day I hope I can help people to remember it as a time of influential work and not as a decade of shame as history is trying to write it in my perception. I am influenced by Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, Travis Charest, Miller, Eisner and many others and I always try to get in my Shirow and Otomo. Manga is nothing new to comics and I think it sucks that everyone hires "Manga" guys for the wrong reasons, they think if they hire someone that draws really cartoony faces that they'll have a hit. They can't put two and two together IMHO. Shirow and Otomo's brilliance is in their ability to suck you into their work. McFarlane got this more than anyone else I think.

How did you land your job at Arcade?

I met Rob briefly through his Assistant, Shane Peters. I then showed Rob my work at WWLA 2004 and he had me do a pin-up. It went into Young Blood Imperial #1 and he said we'd work together. Soon as I was free from Image he picked me up.

Rob Liefeld has said elsewhere that Nitrogen is kind of like the Authority, but with teenagers. Was this the idea you guys had going in or did it evolve into that as you started working on the book?

I think Rob had a clear vision for Anarchist Youths from the start. As I drew it I thought we would give them more noble aspirations for a Better world, but as I got to the end I realized these guys weren't going to be anarchist boy scouts.

Could you give us a run down of the Nitrogen characters as well as a brief synopsis on their personality and powers?

To learn about the characters personalities and powers you should check out the book, way to much for me to try and explain, but here's the short answers



Superion - The guy in the crazy mask with the cool shades- moody- flight, super strength, heat vision
Gauntlet - The gloved powerhouse wearing the blue robes-likes weapon morphing robot chicks- Power Gloves
Game - chick with Mohawk, she's a little bit of a tease. But she's very effective as a fighter, she'll kill you if you piss her off, don't doubt that.-ummmm, tease- Power gloves
Spice2 - weapon morph cyber chick, you want her watching your back more than Rambo, Commando or RoboCop all rolled into one.

I think it’s safe to say you guys have some really pumped up character designs going for you on Nitrogen. What was your mindset in creating these characters? As well as giving slightly updated looks to old favorites such as Superion, Lady Supreme and Coral?



I was lucky to be given free rein in the designs. I wanted them to have the Liefeld look but I wanted to mix in other elements. I wanted people to see things in the work that they feel like they have seen before but haven't. If the reader feels familiarity with things on even a subconscious level I felt it might help convince them to check it out.

As for the specific figures you mention.....



Superion- I saw this import called Cashern, http://www.slocartoon.net/slike/novice/Cashern_movie.jpg

The hero had this really cool mask, like Shredder but without the top helmet. I was like hey, that's really cool and no one in the American market has anything like it. So I knew I would try it out for one of the Nitro's. This is what I mean by familiarity, but as you can see we have 2 different designs between Cashern and Superion but the Spirit of the mask is there. I then gave him a spiked gauntlet because I'm a Spawn fan from way back.

Lady Supreme- Pretty simple, I gave her a swimsuit and leggings to sex her up!

Coral- I wanted her to scream Shirow, I also wanted something kind of "Fishy" so I gave her these vent patterns or "Gills" on her armor.

How was it working with Rob Liefeld?

I know everyone waits for me to say that it's been a nightmare but it hasn't. Rob has been very cool to me. Working for him is fulfilling one of my childhood dreams. I remind myself of that every now and then when I drive home from his place because now I see him as a friend and not this big untouchable figure as I did as a child. It's great how humanizing your idols from spending time with them affects your perception of them and then one day you just think "how did I get here?".

Are you guys planning ahead for more Nitrogen one-shots in the future? Or are you going to see how it does this summer first?

Rob says he wants to start book 2 of Nitro gen right after Chicago. The book did well at San Diego, so that's the plan.

Thanks for answering my questions. Good luck with the book during the summer convention season.

Not a problem, Jason. And thank you!

Jon Malin has his own thread on the Rob Liefeld Forum @ HeroRealm

http://www.herorealm.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=37

Pictures taken from Newsarama as well as Jon's thread at Hero Realm

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Comic Reviews - July 13, 2005 Part II

Action Comics #829

Penciller: John Byrne
Inker: Nelson
Writer: Gail Simone
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Nick Napoltano
Assistant Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Editor: Eddie Berganza

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

Summary – Part 2 of Sacrifice, which makes its way through the Superman titles and Wonder Woman this month, concluding in OMAC #4.

Review:

The Good –

Byrne and Nelson are the surprise of the year for me in regards to art teams, I am just so into this book. This is THE Superman book to read in my eyes.

Gail Simone does a great job making this issue entertaining even though we know it is all a ruse. The reveal at the end is great and I can’t wait to see how Adventures plays out next week given this new knowledge.


The Bad –

While I like the OMAC Project, I see no reason for it to cross into so many books over the summer months.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It



Batman #642

Penciller: Chris Marrinan
Inker: Andrew Pepoy
Writer: Andersen Gabrych
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Associate Editor: Michael Wright
Editor: Bob Schreck

Batman created by Bob Kane

Summary – A single issue story featuring Batman fighting the Killer Croc and the Madhatter.

Review:

The Good –

Not bad for a fill-in issue. Gabrych’s Batgirl has been a nice surprise and Marrinan and Pepoy did a great job of filling in for Mahnke and Co.


The Bad –

The storyline wasn’t bad, but let’s face it. We want Red Hood stuff if we’re reading Batman. While Killer Croc is a sick guy, he’s just not up to par with the Jason Todd situation. Overall not a bad issue though.



The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It


Breach #7

Penciller: Marcos Martin
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Writer: Bob Harras
Colorist: J. Rodriguez Studios
Letterer: Clem Robins
Assistant Editor: Nachie Castro
Editor: Matt Idelson

Breach created by Bob Harras and Marcos Martin

Summary – A Villains United tie-in issue that has Breach fighting some deadly rifters.

Review:

The Good –

This book has a very unique look and is written very well. There is nothing else like this out there, save maybe Firestorm.


The Bad –

This is a Villains United tie-in issue, so imagine new readers will jump on. The only problem is that they will be pretty much lost as to what is going on. I kind of know what was going on, but the story didn’t all out grab me.


The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It


Green Arrow #52

Penciller: Tom Fowler
Inker: Rodney Ramos
Writer: Judd Winick
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Phil Balsman
Associate Editor: Michael Wright
Editor: Bob Schreck

Summary – Part 1 of Journey Into Light. With their home destroyed, Team Arrow has to adjust to a life under fire. Plus, the return of a popular character who may have had the best afro in comics.

Review:

The Good –

A nice Cliff Chiang cover replaces the out of place James Jean ones for a few issues. I like Jean on Fables, but his Batgirl and GA covers just aren’t the ticket.




The Bad –

This wasn’t the best issue of Green Arrow. I am seriously considering dropping this title. Nothing really happened except for a Zatanna appearance so this could be called a Identity or Infnite Crisis tie-in.



The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Pass On It



JLA #116

Penciller: Chris Batista
Inker: Mark Framer
Writer: Geoff Johns & Allen Heinberg
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Michael Siglain
Editor: Mike Carlin

Summary – Part 2 of Crisis of Conscience where all the problems that Identity Crisis introduced begin to surface within the JLA.

Review:

The Good –

What can I say about this issue? It was a huge improvement over #115 in both art and story and the dialogue just knocks your socks off. Just ask Hawkman about that.


The Bad –

These villains are pretty damn obscure, but it will be interesting to see what they can do.



The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It



Nightwing #110

Penciller: Phil Hester
Inker: Ande Parks
Writer: Devin Grayson
Colorist: Gregory Wright
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Editor: Nachie Castro

Summary – Nightwing returns to Bludhaven and meets up with Robin.

Review:

The Good –

WOW. I think that this series is finally starting to come together! Hester and Parks were their usual awesome selves, but Devin Grayson put together one hell of a script for this issue. She wrote Robin pretty well and to my surprise I think Tim is bulking up a bit. He’s clearly on the same level as Nightwing is now when it comes to crime fighting. I like how she showed that and how she orchestrated Dick’s reaction to Tim’s comments regarding Bruce.

I look forward to seeing how Nightwing plans to join the Society in the coming months.


The Bad –

Hopefully if this improvement continues the swarm of readers this book lost will come back again.



The Money Shot –




Recommendation: Buy It



Rann-Thanagar War #3

Penciller: Ivan Reis
Inker: Mark Campos
Writer: Dave Gibbons
Colorist: John Halisz
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editors: Peter Tomasi & Stephen Wacker

Summary – The Rann-Thanagar War continues to send ripples throughout the Universe.

Review:

The Good –

Ivan Reis and Mark Campos are quickly becoming one of my favorite Penciller/inker teams in comics. I really can’t say just how much I am digging their work on this book. Everyone that they put on paper looks instantly good.

Dave Gibbons is doing a pretty damn good job at keeping all of this interstellar stuff under control. A lot of stuff is happening on different planets in this mini (as well as in the Return of Donna Troy) and he is doing a good job keeping it all balanced out. I can’t wait for him on Green Lantern Corps: Recharged this summer.


The Bad –

This huge cast of characters, most of whom are unknowns might cause new readers to not pick this up. Don’t get me wrong, Green Lantern and the Hawks are big stars, but the rest of these aliens need a serious push. I hope this series will give it to them.



The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Buy It



Seven Soldiers: Manhattan Guardian #3

Artist: Cameron Stewart
Writer: Grant Morrison
Colorist: Moose Baumann
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Peter Tomasi

Summary – The Guardian takes on an army of robots gone bad.

Review:

The Good –

Cameron Stewart and Moose Baumann did a really good job with the action scenes this issue. I loved seeing the new Guardian show off his fighting and combat skills by plowing through those androids. It was also nice to see the Newsboy Army get their hands dirty as well.


The Bad –

This was the worst of the three issues out so far in regards to the Guardian. There was really not much going on, more action that plot which is unusual for Morrison. I’m not sure what the reveal at the end means, so as with half the Seven Soldiers books (minus Zatanna and Klarion) color me confused.



The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It




Wonder Woman #218

Penciller: Ron Randall
Inkers: Ray Snyder & Ron Randall
Writer: Greg Rucka
Colorists: Richard & Tanya Horie
Letterer: Todd Klein
Editor: Ivan Cohen
Special Thanks to Rags Morales

Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston

Summary – The calm before the storm. Ares makes a grab for his daughter and someone inside the embassy surprises Ferdinand.

Review:

The Good –

I was bummed to see that Rags Morales wasn’t handling the penciling duties for this issue, but damn can this guest team draw! I was very impressed with the Randall and Snyder’s work. As always the Horie’s do an excellent job coloring.


The Bad –

I’ve been following this book for a handful of months now and I’m just getting into what’s going on. That being the case I have to say that I am probably going to drop it after Sacrifice. It’s not a horrible book by any means, but I’m going to start buying only books that I really enjoy month in and month out. While this book does a good job, it doesn’t do a great job.



The Money Shot –



Recommendation: Borrow It