LAUGHING AT THE JOKER: ADAM WEST & DEVELOPERS TALK ‘LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM’
By Matt D. Wilson
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is going to be a positively huge video game.
I got to see that first hand when I played a brief demo at DC’s booth at Comic-Con International in San Diego last weekend. First off, it’s got a huge playground for players to explore. The “Beyond Gotham” of the title refers to outer space, and the game will go to a whole host of different worlds. Then there are the playable characters–105 or so, according to the game makers, and they include characters in both their superhero guises and as their secret identities. A new feature enables players to change from Clark Kent to Superman using a phone booth, for example.
Characters include multiple Green Lanterns and other lanterns — some of whom are playable as minifigs while others are available as large figures — Batman (standard issue and ’66), Robin (same), The Joker, Lex Luthor, The Flash, Cyborg, The Atom, Wonder Woman, Superman, Killer Croc, Plastic Man, and Bat-Mite. They all have their own special abilities and quirks; for instance, Plastic Man can turn into a toilet and flush enemies away.
There are also new gameplay modes. I got to play a space shooter level that was a lot of fun, for example. On top of that, I also got to talk with some of the game’s creators and stars (including Adam West!) about what the whole process was like.
SCIOLI & BARBER’S ‘TRANSFORMERS VS. G.I. JOE’ #1 GOES HIGHER THAN THE CONCEPT YOU EXPECTED – WAY HIGHER
By Chris Sims
With the possible exception of those Sailor Moon toys that I dropped two hundred bucks on, Transforrmers vs. G.I. Joe #1 was the most exciting purchase I made last weekend at San Diego’s Comic-Con International. It was pretty much guaranteed to be that way, too — the #0 issue that came out on Free Comic Book Day and set up the ongoing story that Tom Scioli and John Barber would be telling was easily one of my favorite comics of the year so far. It was bright and engaging and weird, in exactly the way that a comic based on taking two toy properties and smashing them together to make one big story should be.
As far as weirdness goes, though, this first issue outstrips it by a long shot, and it does it by taking the high concept that I think we all expected from another Transformers vs. G.I. Joe story and turning it upside down, launching it into an entirely new echelon of strangeness. And it is great.
BEST COMIC BOOK COVERS EVER (THIS MONTH): JULY 2014
By Andrew Wheeler
July’s comic book covers bring some gorgeous high contrast images and striking character portraits. There’s a moment of grief; a moment of action; a moment of reflection; and a moment of revelation. Check out amazing work from Christian Ward, Eleanor Davis, Tommy Lee Edwards, and Lucy Knisley.
SEE THIS MONTH’S SELECTION
NEVER HESITATED FOR A SECOND: JASON AARON ON WRITING ‘STAR WARS’ FOR MARVEL [INTERVIEW]
By Andy Khouri
Arguably the “biggest” announcement of Comic-Con weekend was Marvel’s unveiling of the creative teams for its first three all-new Star Wars comics. The new books have been hotly anticipated since plans for Marvel Star Wars books were first announced back in January, shortly after the company’s corporate parent, Disney, acquired Star Wars creator George Lucas’ Lucasfilm.
Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca will team for a Darth Vader ongoing series; Mark Waid and Terry Dodson will author a five-issue Princess Leia miniseries; and Jason Aaron and John Cassaday have been named as the creative team for a Star Wars ongoing series. The three series will launch through the first quarter of 2015, each telling original stories set between the events of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back — the obvious place within the original trilogy to expand the universe and explore the characters.
The core Star Wars title from Aaron and Cassaday will naturally focus on the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo as they go up against Darth Vader’s imperial forces. To learn more about the project, ComicsAlliance spoke with Aaron and series editor Jordan D. White (unfortunately Cassaday was not available for comment before publication time).
JOE QUINONES’ ROBIN ’66 CHALLENGES CAMERON STEWART’S BATGIRL FOR SELFIE SUPREMACY
By Chris Sims
It seems Batman’s code against killing does not apply to the selfie game.
If you follow the ComicsAlliance Instagram account, then you already know that we are pretty passionate about selfies. It’s one of the reasons that we’re actually so excited about seeing all the covers for DC’s Selfie Month, in which the heroes of the DC Universe snap pictures of themselves while they’re going about their heroic duty on the covers of August-shipping books. It’s a fun way to inject some much needed levity back into these most colorful characters, and one that fans respond to in enormously positive ways if the reaction to Cameron Stewart’s Batgirl is any indication – and that wasn’t even part of the Selfie Month promotion.
This week, one such cover was unveiled that has risen above all the others as possibly the single greatest superhero selfie of all time: Joe Quinones’ cover to Batman ’66 #14, where Robin the Boy Wonder can be seen snapping a photo of himself with the rotary Bat-Phone.
With this amazing and impossible image, Quinones has threatened to unseat DC’s established Queen of the Selfie Game, Batgirl. But could this be the start of something more? Something like, perhaps, a trans-multiversal selfie war between Batgirl and Robin ’66? Probably not, but we can always hope!
The idea of the Cross-Reality Selfie War was posited by CA’s own Andy Khouri, who pitched it to Batman ’66 assistant editor Aniz Ansari over Twitter this morning and Ansari fav’d it, so if it happens, you know which pro-selfie comic book news and opinion site to thank. You are welcome.
MORE DC SELFIES WE LIKE
HIRE THIS WOMAN: ARTIST CHRISSIE ZULLO
By Janelle Asselin
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Artist Chrissie Zullo got her break in comics via the DC Comics Talent Search in 2008 and has been working consistently ever since. She has worked for a variety of major comics publishers, including Archie, Dark Horse, IDW, and Vertigo, on covers and interiors for series including Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love, Fairest In All The Land, Womanthology: Space, Madame Xanadu and Life With Archie.
NO, YOU’RE THE JOKE: THE CAST OF ‘STEVEN UNIVERSE’ AT COMIC-CON 2014 [INTERVIEW]
By Chris Sims
Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe has quickly become one of my favorite shows on television. The action, the comedy, the fact that there’s an episode all about secret underground pro wrestling where the lead character becomes a manager named Tiger Millionaire, these are all things that I tend to respond to pretty favorably.
That’s why I sat down for a roundtable interview at Comic-Con International with Zach Callison (Steven), Deedee Magno (Pearl),Michaela Dietz (Amethyst) and Tom Scharpling (Greg Universe) to go behind the scenes and find out what their favorite episodes are, what the response has been, and the magical formula for turning into Aimee Mann.
SHE’D RATHER NOT TALK ABOUT IT: NEW ‘SPIDER-WOMAN’ TEAM ON JESSICA DREW’S PAST (AND FUTURE)
By Patrick A. Reed
Last weekend at the “Women of Marvel” panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Comics announced a new ongoing Spider-Woman series that will debut in November, from writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Greg Land, which will follow directly on from events in the Spider-Verse crossover. We had the opportunity to have a quick chat with the creative team in the wake of the announcement, and ask a few questions about their plans for the series.
ComicsAlliance: Jessica Drew is a character with a notoriously convoluted history, and while she’s a fairly iconic figure for fans who came of age in the ’70s and ’80s (she even had her own Saturday morning cartoon), she hasn’t had a particularly high profile in comics in recent years. What should readers know about her going in?
Dennis Hopeless: I think of Jessica as a woman who has been down a long dark road. The whole thing was exhausting and most of the time she’d prefer not to talk about it. Which isn’t to say we’ll be avoiding Jessica’s past. She carries those experiences with her always and it very much colors how she approaches the world. Our story just leans more toward Jessica in the now. She’s dealing with problems right in front of her face.
I’m a big fan of the Bendis/Maleev Spider-Woman series and “the Skrull years” fascinate me so I’d love to eventually revisit some of that. It just might be a while before we get there. Jessica has a lot of moving forward to do before she’ll have time to look back.