Watchmen Prequel?

Watchmen Smiley

News of “Watchmen” add on stories have been circling around the Internet for some time now, but now an artist has been confirmed for one of four miniseries prequels. Andy Kubert (Ultimate X-Men, Batman and Son) has been announced to be drawing a prequel story for one of the four main characters. That is all that has been released so far.

The question remains though, do we need any add on to the Watchmen story? Throughout the story we are given the back-story to a majority of the characters. Also, “Watchmen was created with such ingenuity, with its underlying message and layout style, that it has been studied and talked about for decades. Over at MajorsSpoliers.com they talked “Watchmen” with Dr. Peter Coogan and the idea of add on stories to this classic book.  You can follow this link and hear them discuss the self-contained nature of “Watchmen” and who the real author is.

So, what do you think? Is adding on to the “Watchmen” story line necessary? Tell us what you think in the comments bellow.

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Alternative cover for Chew #22

After a month long break, everybody’s favorite (at least it should be) CHEW will be back with issue #22 on December 7th.  We can only speculate that the reason for the break involved Chew writer John Layman’s never ending quest to rid the world of scorpions (check his twitter feed, @themightylayman).

At the end of issue #21 former Special Agent Tony Chu was celebrating his eventful, first day as a traffic cop. Jump to two days later and local duffers are using Tony as a practice mat to fix their slice. After this beating, the cover preview for issue #22 of Tony as a hostage was no surpise.

But today more was reveled about the upcoming new issue. Layman had tweeted that this issue of Chew would have an alternative cover, shipped 50/50, and today that cover image was released. And here is it.

Comic Book Resources was given the exclusive first look and generously shared it with us all. The cover depicts Tony’s daughter Olive being held as a hostage by former Special Agent/Tony’s Nemesis Mason Savoy. The stage was set for this back in issue #20 when Savoy kidnaps Olive as she is leaving her high school.

And that is all we know for now, so next Wednesday make sure to pick up the Eisner Award Winning book CHEW by John Layman and Rob Guillory.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/

Mysterious Woman and the New DCU

Mysterious WomanFrom the start of the reboot, relaunch, restart from DC in September we have been shown insider information at the end of each issue in the form of creator interviews, art work, and the like. In last weeks issues (October 26th) DC threw in a page about the Mysterious Woman, introduced in Flashpoint #5, that sheds a little (very little) light on what the minds at DC have in store for us all.

As most readers of the New DC 52 realized this floating, cloaked woman appeared in every issue of the New 52 released in September. Whether she was up and close in panel or hidden in the background amongst trees, she was there in panel for them all. Now in the back of these issues, Editor-in-Chief at DC Bob Harras lets us all know that this is not the last of her we will see. He writes about how Geoff Johns had the back-story built for this character and how Flashpoint would connect with the New 52 Universe. But apparently the crew at DC had their ducks in a row and were planning this new universe for some time and thought up a way in which the Mysterious Woman could be woven into all of these stories to “really drive home how important this character is.” Harras continues by saying we will soon see her again in the upcoming issues of Justice League and “events ripple across titles as we continue to weave the DC Universe together.”

I came away form this short article with a three reactions. First was, I really need to read Flashpoint #5 (curse you Hastings for short ordering). The next reaction came from the first few paragraphs telling of how much time Johns, Lee, and the rest put into planning out and crafting this “shift” in the DC Comics line. Since Flashpoint was the first time I bought monthly issued comics, I was extremely excited at the idea of starting at #1 with these great books. The time they put into these new issues is showing, as readers seem to be pleased with the new books. As the article began to come to a close is when I started to fret. Harras started to hint, if not out right say, that all the books are going to have an over-arching continuity. If this were true, I would be a little frustrated by it. In-book continuity is an aspect that is necessary, but when continuity begins to stretch out to other books I start to have qualms about it.

When it was said that the Mysterious Woman would be appearing in all new issues I had the feeling that this would be DC’s way to revert all the books back to a pre-Flashpoint state. But, I have faith in the creative team at DC (and the September sales reports) that this new DCU will continue to deliver top-notch books for years to come.

The Beauty of Comics

I have started reading through the Invincible series, by way of a generous donation, and found this beautifully crafted page by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley. A moment like this is only possible in the medium of comics and is what I love about them.

Invincible #10, page 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review-Chew #21

F.D.A. Special Agent Tony Chu has survived Russian Vampires, dirty FDA agents, vengeful chicken sellers, bizarre alien writing in the sky, and a prize fighting chicken. So what is next for this “special” agent? If you guessed traffic cop, you cheated.

Previously in Chew

Tony Chu is cibopathic. This beauty of this psychic power is it allows Tony the ability to eat anything and know its entire history. Bite into an apple and he knows what tree it grew on and what pesticides where sprayed on it. Lately Tony has been using his power for the FDA to solve murders and other heinous crime in the post-Bird flu world Chew is set in.

The last time we saw Tony the strange, flaming writing in the sky had disappeared and he and his partner just stole the sacred text to The Church of the divinity of the Immaculate Ova.  In the final pages of the issue, agent-gone-bad Mason Savoy kidnapped Chu’s daughter taking her for her speculative abilities.

Grab Your Segway

The first four panels to begin this new Chew arch, Major League Chew, show a rarely seen jolly Director Applebee. On the fifth panel we understand why. Applebee gets to finally do what he was wanted to since the beginning of Chew. Fire Tony Chu. More accurately transfer him, but the bitter Director sees no difference. Instead of working for the government agency with the most power in the country, Tony is now a kilt wearing, Segway riding traffic cop. No longer will he eat human flesh in the name of justice, but instead write tickets to punk kids parked in front of a hydrant.

This is until Tony comes up on a freshly finished bank robbery. Cue the cibopathic induced flashbacks! Dipping his fingers into a fresh pool of victim blood, the images of the livestock masked robbers firing upon pedestrians, flashes into his head. When Tony tastes the residue car oil left from the get away car he now knows the hideout for the bank robbers. After tazzing his way into the car shop, followed by repelling SWAT agents, Tony is heralded a hero down at the Traffic HQ.

Coming back home to his girlfriend, who also posses a food related psychic ability, he confesses that he can’t believe how well his first day went and that he might actually like this job. This looks to be short lived though as we are left with the image of Tony’s body being used to improve the games of a few local duffers.

Like a Glove

Rob Guillory was born to do the art for Chew. His ability to inject even more humor into this story is amazing. Characters are drawn in a comical way but never so much that the reader can’t connect to them on an emotional level. My favorite parts of Guillory’s style are all the jokes and references he hides away inside the panels. A note stating “We Need More Cowbell” and beer by the name of “Layman’s Hooch”, referencing Chew’s writer John Layman, are two of the hidden gems inside Chew #21.

Do Yourself the Favor…

And go buy this issue now! Chew #21 is a great continuation for the reader who has followed the story from the beginning. It is also a great place for the new person to jump on, however it will make you want to go buy the previous trades. Layman and Guillory continue their story telling success that has earned them Eisner awards previously, and I’m already looking forward to seeing what they have Agent Chu eat next month.

5/5

Favorite New 52 Issues

As of this week we have finished up the first month of 52 new number ones being released by DC. There are have been some definite success stories and some that have just come up short. Here are my top five releases that I had pleasure to read.

5. Justice League- The dynamic between Green Lantern and Batman was a great thing in this issue. As for Jim Lee’s art, well I’m a sucker for it. It’s just so shiny!

4.  The Flash- An issue that I was on the fence about reading, and besides one obvious disregard for the 180 rule am I happy that I grabbed this. And who doesn’t like clones?!

3. Batman- The dark undertone for this issue was very well done. Including three generations of Robin and the reveal that one is plotting the downfall of Bruce was great.

2. Teen Titans-Another issue I almost didn’t read. To understand just how much I liked this issue just read my review here.

1. Detective Comics- Showing that change can be good, the creative team behind Detective shot out of the gates and delivered a fantastic issue. This number one also included possibly the creepiest ending splash page I have ever seen.

So those are my top five from the new 52 releases. What five issues did you enjoy reading the most?

Review-Teen Titans #1

I had no intentions to pick this book when I arrived to buy my comics this week. The only interactions with “Teen Titans” are the unread copy of the Judas Contract on my bookshelf and a conversation from Major Spoilers Podcast #344. But gee willikers am I happy I grabbed this issue!

Teenagers with Attitude

The story starts with news coverage of a mansion fire being contained by the local fire department. The broadcast is soon interrupted by a new teenage hero in town with the name of Kid Flash. Kid Flash is eager to show his apparent online fan base exactly what he is capable of, but falls quite short. While trying to save a man off the roof, Kid Flash carelessly causes a back draft that erupts the entire house and sends our young, unconscious hero flying off into a patch of grass.

The ending news coverage of the fire takes us into a penthouse with Tim Drake, aka Red Robin, scanning multiple news reports of teenage meta-humans appearing all over the world. While Drake is caught reminiscing about his time as the sidekick for Batman, in come members, and possible leader, for our new organization of baddies titled N.O.W.H.E.R.E. During the dialogue between Drake and the no-named leader we learn that it is N.O.W.H.E.R.E’s goal to snatch up these teenaged superheroes for an unknown reason. Drake evades his capture by starting the timer on the bomb he has rigged inside of his own apartment and gliding away.

We begin the third act by being introduced to Cassie Sandsmark.  This lovely girl’s trouble starts when she is pulled over by a cop, who is actually an agent of N.O.W.H.E.R.E., for stealing the sports car she is driving. Luckily, Red Robin also has his eyes on her for a much different reason. After dispatching the cop, Tim tells Cassie that he knows she is Wonder Girl and is trying to get her to admit. Finally, in the midst of bullet fire, and possibly just from being pissed at Drake, we see Cassie turn on her Wonder Girl powers and take out the attacking helicopter.

On the last two pages of the issues we get our inevitable cliffhanger. The leader of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is talking to one of the scientists about his desire to use their secret project. The boss declares that based on what happened today it is now time to release…the Superboy!

Somebody get me a frame!

Flipping to fist page and seeing the wall mounting worthy art is what made me walk out the store with this in hand. Brett Booth draws the reader in with the emotion that he puts on the characters faces. He also gives life like I have never seen to the fire at the start and the energy Wonder Girl puts out towards the end. Bottom line is I would keep reading this title as long as Booth kept drawing it.

Final Thoughts

I loved this issue! Everything from the characterization to the art struck a chord in my heart that I want plunked month after month. The only worry I have is the possibility of other books tying into Teen Titans. From reading the review at MajorSpoilers.com it seems that there are some definite similarities between this and Superboy #1, so we will have to see if these titles cross paths in the future. But with all that said, I put my stamp of approval on Teen Titans #1 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Superhero Baggage

From the moment spandex clad heroes starting living on printed pages people have been flocking to newsstands. We have all been drawn to the idea of humans being more than the average person and have given these characters a special place in our lives. But is this mild obsession hurting the medium by driving away new readers and restricting the creativity of the creators?

Having grown up merging their lives and the superheroes, readers have a sense of ownership of their favorite characters. They have memorized facts, read the original issues, and possibly dress like them for Halloween. Now, I would like to go on record saying there is nothing wrong with these acts, I too own a Green Lantern shirt. But with all the lead up to the new releases of long standing comics from DC happening right now, I saw a common theme start to emerge from within this group of fans. And that is that change is bad. When the new 52 were announced some fans took this almost as an attack on their childhood. Fans flocked to message boards to let their disapproval and predictions of failure be known to all.

These super-fans need to realize that they are not the only people reading these books. New generations of comic readers are coming along that may not know Smallville wasn’t always located Kansas. Comics need to be an evolving creature, and already are whether it is realized or not. Likewise, new creators are bringing fresh ideas to the drawing board.  A creator wouldn’t be hired to take over a book if the company wasn’t sure they had their best interest in mind for the property. New ideas and readers are necessary to keep the medium alive and sustaining for the years to come.

Being a fan and letting your voice, for the positive or negative, be heard is great, but readers can start taking it too personal.  We are all citizens in this multi-verse of comics and should be more accepting of new readers and the changes that are yet to come.

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