In 2012, the comic book world lost one of its own when artist Al Rio passed. Famous for his work on Gen¹³ and DV8 for Wildstorm and various assignments for Zenescope in a career spanning almost two decades, he is survived by his wife and three children. It is for his family that a tribute series has started exploring Rio’s career up to its unexpected end. The first book in the series, Al Rio Tribute Art Book Volume One, features art from 2003 to 2005 (two previous books covering earlier years and have which become highly collectible) and a biography on the artist’s life.Read More
With filming beginning already on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the announcement of a Justice League film being produced directly afterward, a lot of focus has been placed on the super group in recent memory. The premier superhero team for DC Comics, the Justice League of America was a 1960s update of the 1940s Justice Society of America. Traditionally, the group is made up of the most powerful and popular heroes for the publisher originally starting with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter (the first three commonly referred as the Trinity and the seven called the Big 7). However, within subsequent issues the cast grew to include the likes of Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, and dozens more as years passed. With such a powerful group, the Justice League fought the worst of the worst as foes like Starro, Amazo, Despero, Doctor Destiny, Felix Faust, Lord of Time, Queen Bee, and the Crime Syndicate not only threatened the League but many times the world. Out of around two hundred members across such variations as International, Europe, Antarctica, Task Force, Unlimited, Elite, Dark, United, and more, lets examine who qualifies as the best of the best.Read More
News broke late May that Vortexx, the children’s programming block on the CW, would be coming to an end to make way for live action programming for a more family-orientated audience. Vortexx holds the distinction of being the last block of syndicated Saturday morning cartoons in the United States. Where channels like ABC, CBS, and NBC once dominated the market, cable channels like USA got into the act before local affiliates of Fox, Warner Bros, and more largely inherited the realm. Saturday morning cartoons came about in the 1960s when television stations wanted to sell advertising space that would appeal to children. So, animation studios that could cheaply produce series were hired and cartoons once only available in movie theaters were telecast on Saturday mornings. The experiment was a complete success. And the only place it could go was up.Read More
Collected last September, Masks was one of several series teaming some of the properties licensed by Dynamite Entertainment (alongside series like The Lone Ranger/Zorro: The Death Of Zorro, The Prophecy, Lords of Mars, The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Knights, Codename: Action, Kings Watch, and Justice, Inc.). Among its contemporaries, the series stands out teaming the likes of the Shadow, Green Hornet and Kato, Zorro, Spider, and others. Its story is based in 1938 (the year Superman premiered and changed the face of the comic book industry) as a new political party emerges and sweeps control of New York. Known as the Justice Party, regular police are disbanded and replaced with the Black Legion who enforce the totalitarian rule of the new regime with an iron fist. As it’s learned this party is in fact controlled by organized crime and founded by a former crime fighter named the Clock, the various mystery men of New York are forced to ban together as the city’s last hope for justice. With superheroes taking over Hollywood, it’s likely studios are looking for the next concept not tied to Marvel or DC Comics (as the former is largely tied to Disney and latter to Warner Bros). Further, while the pop culture presence of characters like the Shadow, Green Hornet, and Zorro are fading, its arguably greater than something from another publisher like Image or Dark Horse (Spawn and Hellboy notwithstanding). Lets take a look at how this story could be made for the big screen.Read More
Writer’s Note: The Idol-Head of Diabolu, a Martian Manhunter blog was invaluable in the creation of this article! Visit them today.
David Goyer, the scribe behind Man of Steel and its sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, recently drew criticism for comments regarding the Martian Manhunter. Painting the character as silly from his name to his modus operandi, the statement heaped even more backlash from fans that panned Man of Steel and decried seemingly every new announcement about the sequel (be it the casting of actors like Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Jesse Eisenberg to the very title of the upcoming film). Several sites have cited part of the problems with Man of Steel and choices made about its sequel could come from a lack of understanding of the source material, the statement given by Goyer another in a series from the scribe and director Zack Snyder that may have some basis for the claim. Considered somewhat less than an A-list character, lets take a look at the Manhunter from Mars.Read More
This article was reprinted by permission from Terry Hoknes of Hoknes Comics and Collectibles
Bi-weekly column and list compiled by comics historian Terry Hoknes of www.HoknesComics.com – firstname.lastname@example.org
This chart is styled like the old classic Wizard Magazine Top 10 Hottest Comic charts that were published every month in the 1990′s.
This list is updated every 2 weeks. This list is compiled from my non-stop research of the current market. I believe these were the most demand and growing in value books this month. This list focuses on all regular edition covers. (Variants are not listed otherwise they would likely dominate the entire list due to instant high prices and calculated small print runs). If you think I have missed any hot MODERN titles/issues please let me know. Here are my picks of what I believe are the hottest comics at this very moment from all sold out releases of MODERN comics online based on back issue sales ABOVE cover price.
Note these are all the “hot” recent sold comics that your comic shops will not have still on the shelf for cover price. However many speculators will hunt their local comic shops looking for that “hot” book that is still on the shelf – sometimes you find them!Read More
It was recently announced a deal has been reached between Saban Brands and Lionsgate to produce a live action Power Rangers feature film. While few details are yet available, the wording strongly suggests the film as being a completely separate entity from the television series and associated media. In other words, it’s not expected the film connects to the current franchise or ties in to the show, be it past or present. And, again, while nothing is known about the film, Saban did skip over a season of Super Sentai (the Japanese series that Power Rangers is made from), specifically Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters. Fans speculated the move was made because the season after Go-Busters, Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (which will become Power Rangers Dino Charge), had a significantly greater output of toy merchandise. And while this maybe true, it could also be the Lionsgate deal has been in the works for some time and Go-Busters may have been put to the side because it would lend itself well to film. Having a spy theme, Go-Busters features a team of three youths trained to combat an energy being that wishes to conquer mankind and live in a world for machines (elements reminiscent of Terminator and The Matrix). Based on comments made by Haim Saban, it’s likely film series like The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Divergent will provide inspiration for the movie’s cast and story. However, it’s likely films like The Raid: Redemption, Pacific Rim, and The Avengers could also inspire the direction of the upcoming Power Rangers picture as the studio likely wants to capitalize on the popularity of superheroes at the box office. Lets examine some elements we’re likely to see in the film.Read More
Considering the success of USA Cartoon Express, Disney Afternoon, and Fox Kids, other companies in the early 1990s wanted to capitalize on the popularity of animated programming blocks for children. One such corporation was Bohbot Communications which founded subsidiary Bohbot Entertainment to package programming for syndication. Forming a partnership with DiC Entertainment and Saban Entertainment, Bohbot developed the Amazin’ Adventures programming block in 1992 premiering with Double Dragon, Mighty Max, King Arthur and the Knights of Justice, and Gulliver’s Travels. Arguably the biggest hit of Amazin’ Adventures, Double Dragon was loosely based on the video game series of the same name from Technos Japan.
Likely Technos Japan’s biggest hit in the United States, the Double Dragon video game series featured brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee who battled the Black Warriors to save Billy’s kidnapped girlfriend Marian (only to reveal the gang was actually led by Jimmy). As the Shadow Boss, Jimmy desired Marian for himself and set up the ruse to defeat his brother. Billy would end up winning out over his sibling and saved Marian. In the sequel, the Black Warriors return and kill Marian drawing the Lee brothers together again on a quest for revenge against the evil Shadow Master (though, defeating him seemingly resurrects Marian). In the animated series, Marian is police officer Marian Martin whose life is saved by Billy Lee. As the Shadow Warriors gang takes over Metro City, Marian deputizes Billy leading the martial arts master to meet his long lost brother Jimmy, better known as Shadow Boss. When Shadow Master (who kidnapped Jimmy as a baby and raised him as his protege) betrays his student, Jimmy switches alliances to Billy and the two take up magical swords to transform into the Double Dragons. Forming the Dragon Warriors with other heroes, the Lee brothers combat Shadow Master and later Shadow Khan. The series would run for two seasons and inspired a video game adaptation in Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls and a toyline from Tyco. The animated series that followed Double Dragon would be one based on a toyline.Read More
The story begins in the “Void” with Wonderland shaping itself as none other than James Franco. An unusual but perfect choice when you figure who Wonderland would chose to personify itself. Strangely enough the reader finds themselves drawn to the realization that Wonderland yearns for human companionship… even if that human companionship can either bring healing or destruction.Read More
Its been said before and seems to be consistently accurate that when it comes to Marvel and DC Comics, the former dominates the box office (save for Batman and the occasional Superman film) and latter excels on television. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, and satellite Marvel properties at other studios (like X-Men and Spider-Man), are the talk of Hollywood. Every victory Marvel takes in on the big screen seems to mean blooming two or three fold in the years to come (as Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America have opened the door to sequels as well as Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-Man). DC has relied on its old faithful Batman and has given a push to Superman which may open up to Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and so forth, but the company seems somewhat hesitant following the failure of Green Lantern and Jonah Hex at box office. For television, however, Green Arrow seems to have followed the success of Smallville and has an upcoming spin-off involving the Flash as series Gotham and Constantine are on the horizon on other stations. Marvel, on the other hand, has produced Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which initially did extremely well only for its ratings to sink like a rock. However, Marvel inked a deal that may yet have them dominate television (and computer screens) across the country with the Defenders on Netflix. Which begs the question, will DC retaliate and, if so, in what manner?Read More
Considering the popularity of our earlier piece “Top 10: Action Series Canceled by Cartoon Network,” I looked into tackling a similar article with another likely target in Disney XD. However, the network has been rather slow to develop animated action series despite having an impressive track record of canceling such programs (thus making a Top 10 challenging). The station got its start as Toon Disney, largely an extension of the Disney Channel. It would feature older programming very much in the same way Cartoon Network started. A hallmark of the burgeoning channel was series from the popular Disney Afternoon block of programming. Shows like DuckTales, Gargoyles, Darkwing Duck, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, and The Wuzzles were staples in its early years. Disney would actively jump feet first into action programming with the Jetix brand. Formerly Fox Kids, Jetix was a programming block featuring action series that aired on ABC Family (formerly the Family Channel and Fox Family) and Toon Disney. Featuring programs like W.I.T.C.H., A.T.O.M., and Yin Yang Yo!, a notable entry among the catalog was Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!Read More
On April 29, 2014, the United States lost a pop culture icon. Al Feldstein passed away in his home in Livingston, Montana and while his may not be a household name, his contributions to our culture are significant. Discovering a talent in art at a young age, Feldstein worked as a teenager for Will Eisner and Jerry Iger as part of their Art Syndication Company which provided comics for various publishers including Editors Press Service, Fox Comics, and Quality Comics. Some of Feldstein’s earliest published art would be backgrounds for Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. When he was old enough, however, the artist would enlist as a soldier in the Air Force in order to join in World War II. Similarly with Stan Lee and Will Eisner, Feldstein’s talent as an artist brought him to Special Services where he produced comic strips and helped paint and decorate planes. He returned from the war as a freelancer working mostly for Fox. When that publisher seemed to be on the way out, Feldstein approached Bill Gaines for work at EC Comics.Read More