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We’ve talked about A.K.A. on here before, and now readers can check out the 4-issue mini-series for themselves through the site, Graphicly.com. Each issue will be released on a weekly basis throughout the month of February, for $1.99 each.

Berkeley, CA – 4 January 2011 – The New Year brings a slew of fresh starts and Witchblade bearer, Sara Pezzini, is no exception. Pezzini will start 2012 in Chicago with a new job and brand new life, thanks to the fresh ongoing creative team of Tim Seeley (HACK/SLASH) and Diego Bernard (The Man With No Name).

Sara Pezzini has always been a born and bred New York City detective, in addition to wielding the ancient Artifacts, the Witchblade. That all changes with WITCHBLADE #151, the first issue by Seeley and Bernard, which finds Pezzini living outside of the Big Apple for the first time in the series history and working as a private detective. The mystery of how and why Sara is in Chicago, as well as what else has changed about her situation, will drive the story and reader interest for the coming year. This issue kicks off the 5-part story arc, entitled “Unbalanced Pieces,” in which Sara must find a way to balance her new role in the Windy City.

“WITCHBLADE is a dream project or me: A great character, an epic art and editorial team, and an important legacy in the history of comic books!” said Seeley. “Top Cow is giving me an awesome opportunity to reintroduce Sara Pezzini to new fans, old readers, and to a whole new setting!”

WITCHBLADE #151 is the first issue in Top Cow’s REBIRTH, an initiative spinning out of the end of the ARTIFACTS event, which concludes in ARTIFACTS #13. REBIRTH will provide ground-level entry points for each of Top Cow’s Universe titles – WITCHBLADE, THE DARKNESS, and ARTIFACTS – and ushers in a bold new age of story-telling to coincide with Top Cow’s 20th Anniversary. In addition to containing the full first story by Seeley and Bernard, the issue will include a five page bridging sequence by Ron Marz (MAGDALENA) and John Tyler Christopher (ARTIFACTS) and an ongoing prose story backup feature by Seeley.

By Kayode Kendall on January 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips

The creative team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips bring their noir sensibilities and mixing in a little bit of horror and fantasy with their newest project, Fatale. When Nicholas Lash meets a strange young woman at his godfather’s funeral, he finds his life taking some unexpected turns, and wonders if it has anything to do with a novel his godfather wrote three years before he was ever published.

Having never been a fan of Phillips artwork before, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it through out the book. There’s impressive amount of detail, and the overall composition in most of the pages helps to move the story along. It’s very evocative of pulp detective tales of the 40s and 50s. The art is especially effective when it comes to one particular scene, showcasing the mutilated bodies of a group of occultists. Not to mention an impressive splash page flashing back to World War II. The color work by Dave Stewart certainly helps to set the mood from one page to the next.

Storywise, Brubaker is all about the slow burn. We’re given just enough story to peak our interest, as we’re introduced to the beautiful Josephine, and Hank Raines, who’s looking to break a story on police corruption that might get both of them killed if he’s not careful. She warns him about Walter, a homicide detective she has a relationship with, the nature of that relationship still unclear. And despite his pregnant wife at home, Hank now finds himself inexplicably drawn to Josephine, and dead set on protecting her, should any danger cross her path.

The set up is all there for quite an intriguing series. It’ll be interesting to see what Brubaker and Phillips have in store for readers.

Verdict: B+

By Kayode Kendall on December 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Berkeley, CA – 15 December 2011 – IMAGE EXPO, the one-of-a-kind celebration commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Image Comics and celebrating creator-owned comics, is announcing many new guests! Joining the Image Comics partners Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino and Image founders Rob Liefeld and Whilce Portacio, are the following stars of creator-owned comics.

Blair Butler, the host of G4′s Fresh Ink and 2011′s break out writer of HEART, the comic that shows the human side of MMA, will be joining the line up, along with her co-creator Kevin Mellon (LOVESTRUCK). Writer John Layman and artist Rob Guillory, co-creators of CHEW, everyone’s favorite Eisner Award winning gross-out detective comic will also be there. Add to that rising star Nick Spencer, the writer behind such hits as MORNING GLORIES, FORGETLESS, Ultimate Comics: X-Men, and soon Robert Kirkman’s THIEF OF THIEVES, and IMAGE EXPO already has a solid line up!

Some of the other guests at IMAGE EXPO include:

Joshua Fialkov (ECHOES, THE LAST OF THE GREATS, I, Vampire)
Larry Marder (BEANWORLD)
Jim McCann (Return of the Dapper Men, MIND THE GAP)
Marat Mychaels (BLINDSIDE)
Jimmie Robinson (BOMBQUEEN)
Eric Shanower (AGE OF BRONZE)
Jim Zubkavich (SKULLKICKERS)

Some of the other previously announced guests include:

Jay Faerber (Ringer, DYNAMO 5, NEAR DEATH)
Ryan Ottley (INVINCIBLE)
Fiona Staples (SAGA)
Richard Starkings (Comicraft, ELEPHANTMEN)
Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Runaways, SAGA)

IMAGE EXPO is a three-day celebration of creator-owned comics happening at the Oakland Convention Center, and Northern California’s premier comic con experience in 2012. The Berkeley-based publisher will be filling the demand for a 2012 Bay Area comic book convention that was left unfulfilled when WonderCon announced their temporary relocation to Anaheim, California. The three-day event takes place at the Oakland Convention Center in the heart of the bustling nightlife and restaurant center of downtown Oakland, CA on February 24-25-26.

Experience the creativity of the men and women making the best creator owned comics in America at this one-of-a-kind celebration commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Image Comics!

Berkeley, CA – 12 December 2011 – Image Comics and Top Cow Productions are proudly spotlighting the landmark 150th issue of their iconic original comic book series this week with an over-sized issue full of extras. WITCHBLADE #150 also marks Ron Marz’s 70th consecutively written issue of one of the longest running comics with a single female lead, and a major turning point in the life of Sara Pezzini.

In addition to providing a story that serves as a fitting conclusion to Marz and artist Stjepan Sejic’s critically acclaimed run, WITCHBLADE #150 will also serve as a retrospective of their contributions and the longevity of the series overall. As a special bonus, the issue also includes preview material for WITCHBLADE #151, when the new creative team of Tim Seeley (HACK/SLASH) and Diego Bernard (The Man With No Name) take the reins of Top Cow’s flagship title.

“It’s bittersweet, definitely,” Marz reflected. “Sara has been an almost daily presence in my life for more than seven years, so it feels a little weird to be going our separate ways, at least in terms of the WITCHBLADE monthly. But even if this seems like Stjepan and I are breaking up with Sara, I know we’ll see her again in ARTIFACTS. Sara will definitely be a presence in that book going forward. So we’ll be reunited. And, uh, it feels so good.”

New York City Police Detective Sara Pezzini is the bearer of the Witchblade, a mysterious Artifact that takes the form of a deadly and powerful gauntlet. Sara must try to control the Witchblade and learn its secrets, even as she investigates the city’s strangest, most supernatural crimes. Pezzini has carefully balanced her responsibilities as a police officer with her duties as bearer of the Witchblade for years, but now Lieutenant Phipps, from the Internal Affairs department, threatens to take one of these away from her. In this emotionally charged issue, Sara will be forced to make a decision that will impact the direction of WITCHBLADE for a long time to come.

WITCHBLADE #150, a 48-page full-color super hero comic book, will be available in stores and digital platforms on December 14th. This landmark issue will ship with four covers by Stjepan Sejic (JUL110410), Michael Broussard (JUL110411), Mike Choi (JUL110412), and a remastered cover by Michael Turner (JUL110413). WITCHBLADE #151 (AUG110425) will be available in stores and digital platforms on January 4th. For more information on the WITCHBLADE series, please visit www.topcow.com

Columbia Pictures released a movie poster for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Spirit of Vengeance is the follow up to the street scorching 2007 film starring Nicholas Cage as stunt cyclist Johnny Blaze who sells his soul to the Devil and transforms into the  Ghost Rider. Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze where he continues to wrestle with his role as the devils bounty hunter.

This loose sequel is being directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor and is rumored to have a cameo appearance by Danny Ketch who also puts some time in as Ghost Rider. With the flaming skull back into theaters on February 17, 2012, the film also stars, Fergus Riordan, Ciaran Hinds, Violante Placido, Idris Elba and Johnny Whitworth.

LaTwan Holland was a writer for a local under ground newspaper, The Spinner Rack that covered comics, video games, anime and related movies and is currently the Producer of the DIRECT EDITION. To find out the latest that’s happening with LaTwan and the Direct Edition check them out at the DIRECT EDITION podcastblog and you tube site.

Berkeley, CA – 8 December 2011 – What if the union of a generation’s brightest minds like Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer was not a signal for optimism, but foreboding? What if everything… went wrong?

In the year 1945, the atomic bomb proved its capacity for immense devastation, but what if the creation of that ultimate killing machine was just a cover for a series of other, more unusual, programs? A brand new, monthly ongoing series from Image Comics will pose that question by taking a look at one of the most critical periods of change in the 20th century through a lens both darkened and strange. Join us, for what is poised to the breakout hit of 2012, THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS!

Award-winning writer Jonathan Hickman (THE NIGHTLY NEWS, FF) and one of the best new talents to debut in comics during the last year, Nick Pitarra, are teaming up once again to present THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS. Following the completion of their critically acclaimed science fiction success, THE RED WING, the duo are taking the cautionary aspect of science fiction and applying it not to the future, but to our past!

“I think anyone that’s followed my work knows about my affinity for near-future/alt-history, and THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS pretty much represents the crown jewel of all the stories I’ve ever cooked-up in that vein,” detailed Hickman. “Honestly, if we do this right — and at this point in the process, it sure feels like we are — I think this might the perfect example of why I do these stories: It takes a world everyone knows, and blurs the lines between fiction and reality in a way that makes you question where one ends and the other begins. I can’t wait for people to read it!”

“Jonathan is a great collaborator, he really sees the page as an artist first,” explained Pitarra, “With THE RED WING and with this new series, his guidance has meant everything. I have freedom in the layouts and planning stages, but I know that with him, as careful a storytelling as he is, if he suggests a change the page always comes out better. It’s good to work with a writer you can trust.”

THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #1, a 32-page full-color science fiction comic book for $3.50, will be on sale in stores on March 7 and available for order in the January issue of Previews. In the mean time, both THE RED WING TP (OCT11047, ISBN: 978-1-60706-479-4), a 144-page full-color trade paperback for $14.99, & THE NIGHTLY NEWS ANNIVERSARY EDITION HC (SEP110423, ISBN: 9978-1-60706-4619), a 272-page full-color hardcover graphic novel for $34.99, will be on sale in stores December 14.

Superherohype got to premier a new teaser poster for Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man that showcases Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker perched up on a wall, casting an arachnophobia’s worst nightmare.

The tagline lets us believe this will be “The Untold Story” and we can only speculate as to what that entails, but excitement builds nonetheless.

The film is creeping out of dark corners and into theaters on July 3, 2012 and stars Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen and Sally Field.

LaTwan Holland was a writer for a local under ground newspaper, The Spinner Rack that covered comics, video games, anime and related movies and is currently the Producer of the DIRECT EDITION. To find out the latest that’s happening with LaTwan and the Direct Edition check them out at the DIRECT EDITION podcastblog and you tube site.

Berkeley, CA – 9 December 2011 – “Save yourself. Stay in the woods. Pray it hasn’t reached the wolves… and keep your gun loaded.” All he knows about what has happened to the world as he knew it has been left in an ominous message. And it’s clear that everything has… changed.

Image Comics and Shadowline are pleased to announce REBEL BLOOD, a new four-part miniseries coming in March with art and concept by Riley Rossmo (GREEN WAKE, COWBOY NINJA VIKING, PROOF) and script by newcomer Alex Link. This gruesome new 21st century zombie outbreak story pays tribute to horror comics’ post-war heyday of titles such as The Vault of Horror, The Haunt of Fear, and Tales From the Crypt, while presenting a concept to rival the best of The Twilight Zone!

“I sketch and paint all the time while I’m working on different projects,” explained Rossmo. “The concept for REBEL BLOOD is something that just began as some sketches, but quickly took on a life of it’s own, to mutate. REBEL BLOOD is what happens when I just run wild with a concept and let it happen.”

“I’m really excited about this project,” said Shadowline Publisher, Jim Valentino. “I’m not a big zombie fan, but this one got me because it was so different than all the others out there. And, I swear, the ending knocked me off my chair. I think it will surprise everyone.”

REBEL BLOOD #1 introduces Forest Ranger Chuck Neville, who, after a strange, unexpected silence, receives a final radio message that a plague is sweeping the country. He learns that the disease has turned every living creature into zombies, all at once rendering the entire animal kingdom unpredictable, violent, and willing to tear apart their neighbors with their bare teeth.

He races home to rescue his family, coming face-to-face with unbelievable horrors along his way and fighting to stay alive. However, when he reaches home, he may find the most horrible part of it all waiting for him…

REBEL BLOOD #1, a 32-page full-color horror comic book for $3.50, will be on sale in stores on March 28 and available for order in the January issue of Previews. A preview of REBEL BLOOD #1 will be featured in the back of both HAUNT #20 (AUG110523), a 32-page full-color horror comic book for $2.99 that goes on sale December 28, 2011, and SPAWN #215 (NOV110468), a 32-page full-color horror comic book for $2.99 that goes on sale January 11, 2012.

By Devon Sanders on December 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm

With the new “52″ reboot, we’ve been given, in the pages of Detective Comics, a not-so-great Joker story to start things off.  In the pages of Batman: The Dark Knight, Two-Face is on drugs. Catwoman is, literally, humping Batman into submission and meanwhile, The Riddler, one of Batman’s greatest rogues is missing in action.

There’s probably a good reason for this. The reason?

No one wants to look stupid writing a genius…

The Penguin is a fat guy who looks like a penguin. He has a thing for trick umbrellas. He also happens to be a crime boss who also runs a “legit” business from his club, “The Iceberg Lounge.”

The writer writes a story.

The Joker is a colorfully dressed, homicidal maniac who looks like a clown or the joker in a deck of playing cards. He’s completely without ethics, morals and is totally devoid of order. He’s nearly an exact opposite of his arch-enemy, The Batman.

The writer writes a story.

Catwoman is a woman dressed like a black cat so she rarely brings anyone good luck. Like a cat, she’ll let you get only so close before she tires of you. She flirts with Batman. She’s is a cat burglar.

The writer writes a story.


Now, The Riddler.

Whoa-ho! The Riddler, he’s different. He’s a master criminal with a genius IQ who uses riddles to try and stump The World’s Greatest Detective. He’s essentially Batman’s Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes lore.

The writer writes a story… and may not do that great of a job.

The Penguin, The Joker and Catwoman are all pretty much straightforward in their motivations, they are creatures of want. The Riddler is unique in his motivations. He is a entirely a creature of need. His sole need in life is to upstage one of, if the smartest player in the comics universe, The Batman. He needs everyone to know that he is better than Batman.

The problem with writing The Riddler is that, as a writer, one should be smart; one should be clever. Sometimes smarter and more clever than the main character, Batman, you’ve been hired to write. While you can be the cleverest of writers, in the actual writing of The Riddler, you run the risk of exposing your weaknesses as a plotter

And a writer.

If the biggest clue you have The Riddler drop is something along the lines of “What gets bigger the more you take away,” to this reader, the deal’s been broken.

The Riddler works best when you can’t see him coming and as much as I generally dislike most of Jeph Loeb’s Batman work, I truly did like the end of his Batman: Hush saga. He had The Riddler remove himself from the equation early on and proceeded to watch The Batman run himself ragged over the identity of the man who’d turned his world inside out. In doing so, The Riddler manipulated the likes of The Joker, Catwoman and even Superman into breaking Batman down, piece by piece. While I still have issues with Loeb’s execution, his having Batman believe he’d taken The Riddler out so early on was an inspired bit of storytelling. It showed a conceit on Batman’s part we’d rarely seen before. We’d seen this side of Batman a bit in Mark Waid’s JLA run but Hush laid it out there for stories such as Identity Crisis and The OMAC Project to pick up on.

In having The Riddler solve the ultimate riddle of “Who is Batman,” Loeb inadvertently changed the character, spoiling him for every other writer after him. Really, who’d want to write the character after he’d bested the ultimate?

Well, Judd Winick could have him go to Green Arrow’s city with a nuke and threaten to detonate it unless he gets $100,000,000. You could go that way but you shouldn’t. Having the genius, Riddler go against Green Arrow is like bringing a finely honed sword to a switchblade fight.

Paul Dini in his Detective Comics run has done a superb job in grasping The Riddler’s own conceits, having him “reform” as Gotham’s newest and greatest detective for hire, not remembering his former victory and attempting anew to best Batman at every turn. In Dini’s having The Riddler attempting do so 100% legally, we get a welcome, fresh configuration of The Batman/Riddler dynamic we’ve been stuck on for so many years.

Long story short, The Riddler, as a character is smarter than you. If a writer is bright enough to realize this, one of two things could happen: the reader gets a good story or the writer is exposed as not very good.

The Riddler is id, ego & super ego born and like all three, hard as hell to figure out.

Godspeed to the person who can put their own aside and write up to The Riddler’s level.

Essential Riddler reading:

Batman: The Private Casebook by Paul Dini

Batman: Detective by Paul Dini

Batman: The Complete Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee


Batman: The Animated Series:

The Riddler’s Reform

If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich

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