Comic Reading Log - May

Another month has come and gone in the comic book world and a few titles have come and gone from the reading log as well.  Some new books have started up, like Jupiter's Legacy and The Wake.  Some have gone into the comic book void like Saga, which is not returning until August.  While some just didn't make the cut anymore, like Uncanny Avengers or Batman & Robin.
Most all of my reviews will be as spoiler free as I can make them, so details may be vague or only a first portion of a plot might be discussed.  I've also changed the way the reviews are laid out here, instead of dividing them up by publisher, I've decided to list them by order of rating, starting with the best.  So let's get started...

Preview: The Movement #1

May 6th, 2013 by Xaraan

Gail Simone kicks off a new series with The Movement!

Who defends the powerless against the GREEDY and the CORRUPT? Who protects the homeless and poverty-stricken from those who would PREY upon them in the DARK OF NIGHT?

When those who are sworn to protect us abuse their power, when toxic government calls down super-human lackeys to force order upon the populace...finally, there is a force, a citizen’s army, to push order BACK.

Let those who abuse the system know this as well: We have our OWN super humans now. They are not afraid of your badges or Leagues. And they will not be SILENCED.

We are your neighbors. We are your co-workers. And we are your children.

Preview: Harbinger #12

May 4th, 2013 by J. Xaraan

Valiant is putting out some of the best comics right now, if you haven’t checked them out yet, Harbinger is a great title to choose.

Continuing the Harbinger Wars event between Harbinger and Bloodshot, Peter Stanchek and the Renegades come to face-to-face with the Harbinger Wars’ most unpredictable new players – the escaped Project Rising Spirit strike team known as Generation Zero!

REVIEW: Jupiter's Legacy #1

May 3rd, 2013 by J. Xaraan

   Mark Millar and Frank Quitely are back together for mini-series: Jupiter's Legacy.  The book itself starts off small, set after the crash of the market in the early 20th century, with a group of men and women quite literally chasing the dream of one man across the world.  This being a comic book, you can probably guess what happens when he reaches the place he's dreamed of for so long.

   The book jumps ahead to the modern era after the discovery, possibly leaving any details in between to be told through flashbacks.  The story itself isn't really anything ground-breaking, picture "modern day take on classic hero story" combined with standard Millarisms and you are probably in the ball-park.  Not to say it's bad, only describing it for what it is, I actually quite enjoyed the book.

    Quitely's art is a nice fit for an off-kilter look at superheroes.  His strongest work seems to be on original work where his unique style shines through without clashing against preconceived images of heroes.  With a mix of older and newer heroes, his costume designs seem very inline with classic images we have of heroes, but managing not to look campy.

   The biggest drawback for Jupiter's Legacy is Mark Millar's dislike for digital, with the print only version available for now.  Although I ranted about the issue last year, with many a fanboy or shop-owner running to Millar's defense, the issue seems to have come back to bite them on the butt for the current series.  So just when will digital fans be able to read the comic (assuming they don't pirate it)? "The plan is to have the comics out on comixology 3 months after publication in print." Millar responded to inquiries.  I'm sure there are still plenty of people in his corner, but Bleeding Cool has already taken note of a bit of fan backlash.

   Don't worry digital readers, Millar has also held the story back from movie studios as well, not wanting anyone rushing him to complete the story.  "I've purposely been holding Jupiter's Legacy back from the studios for a year now. I've been working on it since last Spring and been feeding pages to director pals and execs I'm friendly with so there's been a lot of interest, but I wanted to hold it back until I had the whole thing completely worked out."  With Wanted, Kick-Ass and The Secret Service already making the rounds in Hollywood, you can be sure Jupiter's Legacy will be a hot commodity with all the attention superheroes are currently receiving. 

    What does all this mean for the quality of the comic?  Nothing.  So that being said, I'd definitely recommend picking it up if you are a reader of physical copies.  Digital fans, Millar doesn't want your money (yet).

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Taking Shape

May 3rd, 2013 by J. Xaraan

Director James Gunn is slowly getting his cast together.  Chris Pratt, well known for recent Zero Dark Thirty and of course Parks and Rec, has been cast as Star-Lord, professional wrestler Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Michael Rooker, from The Walking Dead, and now Zoe Saldana, sci-fi super-actress, rumored for the role, has now been confirmed for Gamora.

Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, spoke with EW recently about pre-production for the movie as Marvel phase-two roles foward.  Guardians takes place within the continuity of the [other movies] but it’s on the other side of the universe,” Feige says. “We’ve always wanted to do a space movie. I’m obsessed with Star Wars, I’m obsessed with Star Trek.

Based on a comic book that had little more than a cult following and featuring a cosmic story starring an assortment of aliens, including the probably all CGI characters of Rocket Raccoon and Groot (a tree-like creature), Guardians of the Galaxy is probably Marvel's most risky film to date.  James Gunn has been very pleased with the screen testing so far, talking about the large number of auditions they've had for the various roles.  Though Jason Momoa was one time rumored for the role of Drax, wrestler Dave Bautista landed the role, to the concern of many fans, but Gunn is unconcerned.  "One of the reasons Bautista got the part was because his banter, and ad libs, and screen tests with Pratt were awesome."

As for how it ties into the rest of the Marvel movie-verse, Feige has said it will be apart from what you often see tied together in the other Marvel movies. "It’s much more of a standalone film. It takes place in the same universe. And when we’ve been on the other side of that universe in other movies, you might see those characteristics in Guardians, but the Avengers are not involved with what’s happening out there at this time."  So it seems as if the rumor of Iron man, donning his "deep-space suit" and running into the Guardians may simply be a rumor, though we could see a tie-in dealing with Thanos or some other cosmic aspect we've seen in earlier marvel movies, especially in an end credit scene.  With Iron Man 3 out now, Thor 2 coming soon, and Captain America 2 coming early next year, Guardians will be one of the last Marvel movies to open before Avengers 2, so there is certainly a lot hanging on the movie, and fans may be looking for some small tie-in.

Preview: X-Men #1

May 2nd, 2013 by J. Xaraan

   Marvel offers a first look at Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel's X-Men #1, starring the all-woman team of Storm, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Rachel Grey, Rogue and Psylocke.
   An old enemy shows up at the X-Men’s door, seeking asylum from an ancient evil come back to Earth. Meanwhile, Jubilee has come home, and she’s brought with her an orphaned baby who might hold the key to the Earth’s survival…or its destruction! With an imminent alien invasion and an eons-spanning war between brother and sister around the corner, Storm steps up and puts together a team to protect the child and stop a new threat that could destroy all life in the Marvel Universe!
I've been a big fan of Brian Wood since I first came upon him on DMZ and I've been enjoying his current work on Star Wars and Conan the Barbarian, so I've been looking forward to this book.  Olivier Coipel on art is sweet icing on the cake.

New MAN OF STEEL Poster and Teaser

May 2nd, 2012 by J. Xaraan

   The Superman movie stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, Russell Crowe, Michael Kelly, Harry Lennix and Richard Schiff.

   In the film, a young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

Review: Shadowman #0

May 1st, 2013 by J. Xaraan

   Zero issues usually take the reader back into some sort of origin, in this case the origin story belongs to Shadowman's enemy, Darque.  Starting in the early 1800's in Louisiana with the birth of two albino children, the story follows the strange brother and sister, Nicodemo and Sandria, through their youth.  They grow up as outcasts, their strongest bond being with each other, but when they discover a talent for magic like their father they dive in, learning fast.  A strange incident where, in anger, Nic causes the death of his sister Sandria's rabbit and then tried to resurrect it, get the attention of their father as he sees the needs to focus more on their training.  This focus is what builds toward the finale and ultimately creates Darque.

   What really makes this comic go from good to great is choosing to narrate it from the point of view of Sandria.  A very innocent voice set between a disturbed brother and plotting father.  Justin Jordan has penned a great issue here, and it makes a decent jumping on point as Shadowman moves forward.  The art was good, four artists worked on the issue: Mico Suayan, Lewis LaRosa, Roberto De La Torre, and Neil Edwards, and the fact that you don't really notice when the art changes should be an example to other comics that have to juggle multiple artists on a book.

   I've included a preview Valiant released for the zero issue last week, but placed it after the break due to its spoiler-y nature.  Unlike some previews, it's not the first few pages of the issue, but rather closer to the climax.

Wondercon Interview: Matt Kindt and Mind MGMT

May 1st, 2013 by Angela Jones

Angela:  Mind MGMT is scheduled to have 36 issues released initially. Now that 20th Century Fox has picked up the rights to make a movie, does that mean we’re going to see more than the scheduled 36 issues?

Matt Kindt:  I have 36 issues outlined, I’m writing them, and that’s all I really want to do with the main story. That’s regardless of movie or no movie. In the process, I already had come up with Mind MGMT in the 20’s, Mind MGMT in the 50’s, and 60’s, and doing limited series of what Mind MGMT was like in different eras. I still might do that, but it all depends. It’s two years away, so if I’m burned out I won’t do it, and if I’m still excited I will. The movie doesn’t really have any bearing on the 36 issues because I haven’t thought it ends with the 36th issue.

A:  Now are you going to be involved with the movie when Mind MGMT goes into production?

Matt: Yah, I’ve already talked to them a few times and I’ve given them an outline for the whole series. They hired a couple of screen writers last week, so I talked to them on the phone. I’m the consultant – loosely on the consultant – so they can still take it and do whatever they want to it and really make it awesome. Right now they like what I have given them, but if anything I’m telling them it’s a movie, change it and have some fun with it. It’s taken from a comic, if some of it translates, great, but if you want to switch it to make a good movie, make a good movie. It’s fine.

A:  So with the many hardcore fans out there, you are saying the screen writers have your permission to not make the movie true to the comic?

Matt:  Yah! The last thing I want to see is a faithful adaption of the first 6 issues. They can read the comic. The perfect example is when I was talking to the producers; I was saying how Blade Runner was a perfect example of a great movie that was totally different from the book. They took some things from the book, but they made it into something else and it was equally as good. I love the book and I love the movie, but they aren’t at all the same. Ideally it will be something like that. And as I was telling them (producers) this, I’m like, oh yah, Ridley Scott made Blade Runner, so they should know that. But that’s the example I always use, and I just so happened to use it with them, so I’m like whatever!

A:  The monthly issues always come with great stories on the front and back pages, as well as codes as clues on the back cover. I know it’s been said by you that no extras will be in the hardcover, but are you sure a little something won’t be thrown in?

Matt:  No! No! I won’t do it! Honestly, it’s all I can do to not do it! I didn’t know if it was going to be successful enough to be a monthly series. So part of my idea was to go all out and make this a monthly book first. I wanted to be able to sustain it as a monthly first. I had never done one, and I had no idea how many I had to sell. Then I figured out that I wouldn’t know how well it was

   If you don’t read monthly books, at least start with one, get back into the routine of going to the shops again, have fun, and learn to love comics once again like we used to when we would go in every week. I want to reward those readers that keep with it and reading it in real time. The book will be there for the people who don’t have time, or they can’t find it. Ideally I want a big audience thinking about it every 30 days. And it’s fun to interact with the fans when they are guessing who’s who and ‘is he her father’. Then it’s fun for me to know the all the answers and see what people are talking about. Secretly, it’s kind of awesome to watch that happening.

   If you’re waiting for a book, you don’t get that as much. So I’m trying to get more people to read monthlies. I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had writing them: I get the covers, I get all the little extra bits, and the ads on the back like you normally can’t do with a book.

Kevin Feige on Marvel's DAREDEVIL Movie Plans

May 1st, 2013 by J. Xaraan

   It's been a long time since Ben Affleck's 2003 Daredevil.  In 2012, Fox hoped fans would be open to a gritty reboot.  Several names were attached to it for a time, but in the end, a direction couldn't be agreed upon and with nothing done with the character, the rights reverted back to Marvel.

   Kevin Feige finally verified the news last week with Newsarama, offering a simple "Yes," but offered nothing more on possible plans for the character.  Marvel seems very focused on phase two and building toward Avengers 2.  Is there room for Daredevil, not traditionally thought of as an Avenger (despite some time with the team in the comics), in Marvel's movie line-up?

   After watching the quality of the movies from Marvel Studios versus what's come from the other studios that have licensed characters from Marvel, there is little doubt they could wash Affleck's Daredevil from everyone's minds.  Unfortunately, at Entertainment Weekly's CapeTown Film Festival, Feige was asked again about Daredevil, but didn't indicate any immediate plans.   There comes a time in contracts where, if a studio is done making the movies, [the characters] come home,” he explained. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to make another movie. But it means they’re back in the fold, which is where we want them to be."