Grimm Fairy Tales Helsing #1 Review by Jessica Curtis
“It starts with an idea. A spark in the dark.”
So begins the story of Liesel Van Helsing, Vampire Hunter. Hardly minor in talent or skill she is an inventor as much as she is a vampire hunter. Dressed in the ever fashionable steampunk style, her weapons are as much a fashion statement as her attire. Who could blame her? Both her outfit and her weapons are awesome.Read More
Face front, true believer! This week, Marvel returns to Chicago for C2E2 2014 – and we’re bringing the hottest creators, the biggest announcements, and even a few surprises. Marvel is proud to unveil our full panel schedule for the convention, bringing fans all the answers they’ve been craving about Original Sin, the return of Peter Parker, Wolverine: 3 Months to Die, and much, much more! Sure you’ll be visiting our booth on the convention floor (Booth #327), but now is your chance to enjoy the biggest announcements of the convention at the world famous Marvel panels!
You cannot afford to miss out on this year’s star-studded Marvel panels! If you’ve never experienced a Marvel panel live, you don’t know what you’re missing! Stop by for a Q&A with your favorite creators, major announcements and more!
Please note, all guests, times and rooms are subject to change.Read More
With the exit of Stu Snyder, manager of Cartoon Network, fans can’t help but reflect on negative advents during his seven year run at the channel. Most notable for his desire to move toward live action and reality series he championed at CN (a focus that lost the company creator Craig McCracken of The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends), Snyder is also remembered for the cancellation of fan favorite animation block Toonami in 2008. Between mismanagement by the network in the last few years and basing series’ success on toy sales, Cartoon Network has stacked up an impressive record of canceled series, including those critically-acclaimed and cult followed. In fact, CN had lost so much of the faith of its viewers from its mismanagement, for some years the ratings threatened to kill the network. Only in recent years, with series like Adventure Time and Regular Show (not to mention DVD sales of generally cheaply produced [adult swim] series), has it managed to recoup losses (amidst major competition from Nickelodeon, The Hub, and Disney XD). Along the way, a number of shows have come and gone by the hand of the powers that be at CN that fans felt were either taken too soon or believed there was still stories left to be told. Lets examine some of the series fans have demanded the return of on the network over the years.Read More
Ten years ago, Brad Bird gave the world one of the best superhero films it has ever seen (then or now) in The Incredibles. Telling the story of a family of superheroes in a world that feared their kind, their patriarch Mr. Incredible is duped by wealthy and eccentric inventor Buddy Pine into helping him perfect the Omnidroid (a series of robots that nearly secretly wiped out all known superheroes). Part of the insidious Operation Kronos, Pine adopted the identity of the powerful Syndrome who would publicly defeat the Omnidroid and become a new hero adored by the people. However, when the robot’s ability to adapt made it self-aware and throw off Syndrome’s control, it was up to the Incredibles and their friend Frozone to save the city of Metroville. Despite being popular and sequels for other films from the animation studio Pixar making their way to the big screen, Bird would say he had ideas for a sequel to The Incredibles but didn’t feel it was enough to compose another movie (choosing instead to wait until he could make a sequel worthy of the original). Since then, Bird would helm Ratatouille for Pixar and move on to live action films like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland. Comic book publisher Boom! Studios would tackle the Incredibles in 2009 under the guidance of the brilliant Mark Waid featuring Xerek, intended to be the main villain of the film in early drafts, and his villainous group the Unforgivables. Recently, it was announced Brad Bird is developing a script for The Incredibles 2.Read More
• Becky Cloonan – Reported by Kevin Currie. “Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May 2012. I commissioned a piece from Ms. Cloonan. I paid for a Conan piece and noticed I was third on the list. I came back about 5 hours later figuring it was done. It wasn’t. I explained to her that I live about 4-5 hours away from Toronto and was leaving and I asked if she can mail it to me. She said sure. I paid her $10 for postage. Three months go by, I contact her saying I haven’t got it yet and she emails be back to tell me she’s very sorry and will get it out right away. November rolls around I still haven’t seen it. She’s once again very apologetic and tells me it must have got lost in the mail and will do a new one and mail it out right away. March 2013 rolls around I contact her and she tells me if I can make it to TCAF in 2013 she will make it up to me. As TCAF drew nearer family plans prohibited me from making it so I posted to the group what should I do. Another Collector contacts me and tells me he would be more than willing to pick it up. TCAF rolls around in May 2013 and he emails me after the first day of the show to tell me that Becky has no paper but will try to do something that night and bring it back Sunday. He emails me Sunday to tell me that Becky was feeling under the weather that night and was unable to do it. After that I cut my losses and purged anything Cloonan related from my collection.”
• Paris Cullins – Reported by Hart Rieckhof. “Payed half up front for two commissions in 5/13/2008, gave me various excuses, tells me it’s done and to send final payment 1/12/2009, never received artwork or any further contact.”
Randy Emberlin – Reported by Reid Mason. “Completed my inking commission and started selling prints of it at Emerald City Comic Con without informing me or sending me the finished art. Claimed exclusive rights to making prints of his commissions without providing any information of such on his website or in our e-mail dialogues. Also showed little respect for the original penciler’s art rep when he was caught in the act. Would not recommend.”
• Ale Garza – Reported by Terry Maltos. “Lied about completion dates over and over while taking other commissions. Would not give a refund. Sent “consolation” art of another piece which I quickly sold.”Read More
• Rafael Albuquerque – Reported by Kevin Currie. “I contacted Rafael Albuquerque through his website about getting a commission. He contacted me within a week to ask me about my idea and told me once he was ready to do it he would ask for payment. A few weeks later, I receive an email from him with a rough outline of the piece saying he is ready to finish it once I send final payment. Days later he sends an email with a scan of the final piece. He told me he changed it from the initial layout he sent me and hoped I liked it. The final piece was outstanding. Total time about 5-6 weeks. If interested, he is now represented by Chiaroscuro Studios.”
• Darryl Banks – Reported by Christopher Matusiak. “Took almost two years before his schedule opened up to do this, but when it did he had it finished in less than two weeks, and it’s one of the most beautiful pieces I have. Well worth the wait.”
Links: Darryl Banks CAF
• Moose Baumann – Reported by John Burk. “He has done two commissions for me over the past year, and I was blown away by both!”
Links: Moose Baumann DeviantArt
• John Byrne – Reported by Keith McVay. “Contacted his art rep Jim Warden and got added to the commission list on 4 separate occasions. Wait time was about 2 months for completion and I had delivery each time within a couple of weeks after payment.”
Links: John Byrne Website
Writers: Spay and Glade
The story starts off with Baba Yaga in deep contemplation and meditation as she makes every attempt to restore her second sight. It is in her meditation that she finds clarity and realizes that the future holds nothing more then a promise of darkness and fire. The fire that we find is Baba Yaga’s captive, Helios. Sela believes that Helios is the prisoner of Baba Yaga, yet Helios has made the decision to imprison himself.
Helios with Baba Yaga’s assistance has locked himself away to control the flame within. Before a fight between Sela and Baba Yaga can escalate due to the misunderstanding, Helios intervenes to separate the women. This is certainly for the best given the sudden appearance of Koschei.Read More
Recently, Warner Bros. announced the forthcoming release of the third and reportedly final entry in Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham trilogy with Batman: Arkham Knight. This third entry has been eagerly awaited, both to return to the engaging gameplay of the series and to continue the story from Batman: Arkham City which included the death of the Joker and the League of Assassins left leaderless. Fans were given Batman: Arkham Origins to satisfy them while awaiting the third Arkham game (and likely help spawn a new Arkham series more closely under Warner Bros. influence) but Origins received mixed reviews at best, plagued with glitches and bugs (which included forcing players to restart games from scratch), sales short of Arkham City (but comparable to Arkham Asylum not including DLC), and falling prey to virtually every inherent problem with producing a prequel (playing on areas of content found in, and expanded upon, City despite taking place before Arkham Asylum). For Arkham Knight, Gotham’s rogues like Scarecrow, Two-Face, Penguin, Harley Quinn, and Riddler team-up to menace the Dark Knight as a new threat created for the game will be introduced. The eponymous “Arkham Knight” is being created in part by DC Comics superstar creator Geoff Johns and has been described in a demo provided to the magazine Game Informer as a “militaristic Batman” with an “Arkham A” on his chest who shoots Batman at the end of the demo. Anti-Batmen (villainous characters who share characteristics with the hero) are not exactly a new concept. The Three Ghosts of Batman are in fact a team of anti-Batmen and during the event Battle for the Cowl, the likes of Jason Todd and Two-Face take up distorted versions of the bat’s cowl for their own purposes (on parallel and the Anti-Matter Earth, Owlman is a villainous analogy of the Caped Crusader). Lets examine some memorable anti-Batmen.Read More
“You thought that if you disobeyed your parents—your culture—your religion—your classmates would accept you. What happened instead?” – Captain America in Ms. Marvel Issue 1
With its wave of new Marvel Now! titles the comic book publisher has decided to tackle something that has always been an uphill battle in the comic book industry—diversity. The women of Marvel are getting a shot at the spotlight including Black Widow, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Elektra. With Ms. Marvel Marvel isn’t just looking to boost their female heroic count, but also add a young Muslim girl to the mix. And the above quote is a great example of how this book plans to promote diversity by building up a connection between Kamala (the new Ms. Marvel) and the reader.Read More
When Warner Bros. decided to add an entry to Rocksteady’s wildly popular Batman: Arkham series without Rocksteady (or fan favorite writer Paul Dini), reaction was mixed at best. Expectations were already lowered when the people behind the phenomenon wouldn’t be included but when reports of multiple glitches and bugs (including severe ones that forced players to restart the game entirely) were not only present but common, both the game and developer Warner Bros. Games Montréal were heavily criticized. The game wouldn’t be considered a failure, however. While it certainly didn’t reach the heights of sales or prestige of previous installment Arkham City, it managed to secure sales in the strata of first entry Arkham Asylum (not including sale of DLC material). A prequel, Arkham Origins describes the first meeting between Batman and the Joker as assassins descend on Gotham on Christmas Eve to collect a multimillion dollar bounty for the Dark Knight’s head. In the first Arkham game, Joker was the focus with Poison Ivy a significant secondary threat. The sequel saw Hugo Strange as the main adversary with the Joker and Ra’s al Ghul as seeming equal threats (Joker stealing the show by the game’s finale). Origins had Joker as the star while Bane became almost an equal threat. The three games would prominently feature some of Batman’s greatest rogues, including Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, Two-Face, Mister Freeze, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Black Mask, Killer Croc, Deadshot, and Firefly in addition to those named already. If Warner was to produce an Arkham Origins sequel, lets examine what that could entail.Read More
Joe Brusha: Writer
Sheldon Goh: Pencils
Free comic book day in Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales universe is a bonus for fans both new and old. The new readers are introduced to the series at the perfect time… right smack in the middle of the Age of Darkness storyline. Current fans will appreciate the fact that this freebie ties directly into the 100th issue of Grimm Fairytales and the epic Age of Darkness event featuring Sela, the Dark Queen, and the Blood Knights.
The comic focuses on the past and present of what has shaped the Age of Darkness into all it is today and the foreboding of what it is to come. Sela is set in her ways to always protect the Grimm Universe from evil and the Dark Queen is set on working on all attempts to bring that protection to an end. In this case Sela is forced to deal with the predicament of defending and protecting the Grimm Universe from the forces of the Dark Queen and her Blood Knights.Read More
Since taking back the franchise, Saban Brands has had difficulty finding its groove with Power Rangers. Samurai and Super Samurai were seen as short, lackluster seasons (that ideally would have been a single season, counted as such among fans). Megaforce, the twenty year anniversary of Power Rangers, kept hinting toward introducing some means of celebrating the advent only to instead be simply a lead-up to Super Megaforce. In this latest season, the rangers of the previous season gain a power-up to their previous abilities that allow them to morph into any former ranger identity. A handful of episodes in and they’ve heavily made use of popular Power Rangers season S.P.D. and employed suits from a season that largely didn’t air in America (Gosei Sentai Dairanger whose KibaRanger, Daizinryu, mecha, and monsters were used in the second season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers). Thus far, episodes have mostly relied on the base material footage with extreme action and had little in the way of story (even footage shot for Power Rangers exclusively has thus far involved characters in their suits or congregating in the Command Center). Of course, as Power Rangers has traditionally made much of its profits from toy sales and the twentieth anniversary has spawned the popular Legacy collection toyline and DVD sets, it’s likely this move is intended to help sell products based on the new season making the episodes thus far glorified toy commercials. Reviews as of this writing have made note of the idea of selling past ranger transformations (and associated action figures and ranger keys merchandise) and of the transition of animal-based zords to a pirate theme for no given or apparent reason (the latter a major gripe with Turbo, the season that almost ended Power Rangers). Add the fact that towards the end of Saban’s first run and most of the Disney years of the franchise delved deeply into expanding plot, thus saving and maintaining the series for over a decade, and the seemingly mindless or inane effort for the latest crop of Power Rangers (which has included major stumbling blocks for returning cast members) may turn the celebration into a wake. It’s likely with this in mind Saban has decided to skip the next season of the source footage in order to return to the dinosaur theme (with Power Rangers Dino Charge) which the series was created upon in hopes the nostalgia factor can make up for the poor production. Lets see my take on how the season could have went.Read More