MATT CHAPMAN & ANDY SURIANO’S ‘COSMIC SCOUNDRELS’ IS THE BROS IN SPACE COMIC YOU NEED IN YOUR LIFE
By Chris Sims
At its heart, Cosmic Scoundrels is exactly what it says on the cover: Two gentleman of dubious morals who are prone to doing crimes, and who also happen to be in space. This will be your first clue that subtlety is not exactly what Chapman and Suriano are interested in, but rest assured that it will not be your last.
Instead, they’re interested in just going all out from the moment things get started. That’s one of the things I really love about what they’ve done so far — and what I love about first issues in general, as we’ve seen pretty recently — it hits the ground running. There’s no real setup involved, it’s all done through the action, and the action is bizarre.
Take, for example, the fact that the very first thing that happens in this comic is an assault on a gigantic, improbably shaped starfaring cruise ship/waffle bar called Midnight Fernando.
LADY SHE-WOMAN: FEMALE SUPERHERO CODENAMES AND IDENTITY
Monica Rambeau is on her fourth superhero codename. In the pages of Mighty Avengers she’s Spectrum, having previously gone by Captain Marvel, Photon and Pulsar. The Captain Marvel identity now belongs to Carol Danvers, also on her fourth codename after Ms. Marvel, Binary and Warbird. Her first codename now belongs to Kamala Khan, the fourth Ms. Marvel after Danvers, Sharon Ventura and Karla Sofen.
But Carol is actually the third woman (and seventh character) to call herself Captain Marvel in the Marvel Universe. The second woman was Phyla-Vell, who was the fourth Captain Marvel after she was the second Quasar, before she was the first Martyr, before she saved herself the trouble of another codename by dying. Oh, those women! They never know who they are!
I’m being facetious, of course. These characters don’t choose their identities; they’re given them by writers and editors. If there’s a problem here, it’s not the women, but how they’re treated.
MASSIVE FAN-ANIMATED ‘SAILOR MOON’ EPISODE RECREATION ON THE WAY, COMPLETE WITH PSA
It’s a pretty good time to be a Sailor Moon fan. Not only is there a new animated series set to kick off with a worldwide release this summer and a new line of high-end action figures to populate your bookshelves, but there’s also a resurgence of material created by fans as the franchise gets ready to relaunch.
Case in point: Moon Animate Make-Up, a full-length recreation of an episode of the original Sailor Moon anime, featuring a different animator for every shot of the show. And yes: That includes the “Sailor Moon Says” PSA at the end.
HIRE THIS WOMAN: WRITER EMMA BEEBY
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.”
Emma Beeby has written various different kinds of projects including speeches, film, games, horoscopes, and audioplays. She wrote Risen 2: Dark Waters, a game that was nominated for a Writers Guild Award, as well as a Doctor Who audioplay. Her comics work includes Judge Dredd, making her the first female writer in the character’s history.
INTERVIEW: TIM SEELEY ON ‘GRAYSON’, NIGHTWING’S ALL-NEW SPY ADVENTURE
By Chris Sims
Last week, the news broke that Dick Grayson would no longer be operating as Nightwing, instead being relaunched into a new spy-themed adventure series called Grayson, by Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin. Spinning out of the events of Forever Evil that saw his identity revealed to the world, the new series finds the former Robin, former Nightwing and former Batman (dude has a long resumé) joining up with Spyral, a mysterious organization that first appeared in Batman Incorporated.
ComicsAlliance: I’m a fan of Dick Grayson, but I grew up in the ’90s, so my attachment to him is mostly from the Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel Nightwing series, rather than being a fan of him as Robin or a member of the Teen Titans. I always thought of him as a solo hero, this guy who was a cop by day, which was an interesting twist. Because of that, I think of him as this adaptable character who’s had all kinds of different roles, from sidekick to team leader to becoming Batman himself and secretly owning a circus. But getting into the espionage game, that’s a new approach. How did it come about?
Tim Seeley: As far as how they made the decision for the end of Forever Evil and Nightwing, that was before my time. I basically just one day got an e-mail that said “What would you do with Dick Grayson as a secret agent for something? We don’t know what, we just think he might work really well in some kind of spy genre thing, where his name is the title of the book, it’s not about secret identities.” I didn’t really think I had any ideas for it, so I sat on it for a few days, but then I was thinking about Spyral.
I loved Morrison’s Batman Inc. stuff, all the Batman stuff by Morrison was great. I was thinking about how he’d throw out a hundred ideas an issue, and maybe not even follow up on five of them. I knew he was doing a book with Burnham over at Image, and thought “Well, Grant’s not going to use Spyral. He’s done with that.” It occurred to me that if Dick was going to be a spy for something, it would be such a shame to waste Spyral, which was so full of unlimited potential. It already had this tie to the Bat-verse, it had great visuals, it has this “Are they good guys or bad guys?” thing. They were founded by a Nazi scientist, but they seem to be working for the side of good, we know they hire superheroes because they hired the Hood — all these things hit me, like “Why don’t we use these for Grayson?”
INTERVIEW: JILLIAN TAMAKI AND MARIKO TAMAKI TALK ‘THIS ONE SUMMER’
Set in a quiet beach town, This One Summer shows readers the culmination of preteen Rose’s vacation, which deviates from its annual fun-in-the-sun standard and comes peppered with new parental problems, local teen drama and horror movie-watching. You can get some insight into how the Tamakis’ worked together to craft a coming-of-age story for 2014 in our interview.
ComicsAlliance: There’s a ton of subtle imagery in This One Summer that I only caught my second read through. Rose’s mother scolds her for a bad habit that she herself is shown to have much later in the book, for example. It’d almost be a blink-and-miss-it moment in film or TV, but in comics I was able to catch it and really appreciate that detail. How do the two of you work together to accomplish that extra depth in your comics work?
Jillian Tamaki: Comics allows you to do stuff like that. Hopefully it allows for multiple readings and a sense of depth. I try to be OK with some people not getting certain references or other things … it will feel more like a reward to the people that do. I like specificity and the discrepancy between words and actions.
FREE STUFF: ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY HARDCOVER COMICS COLLECTION AND ‘JODOROWSKY’S DUNE’ POSTER
We’re giving away three Humanoids hardcovers by Alejandro Jodorowsky as well as the poster for Jodorowsky’s Dune, the new documentary about his legendary unmade version of the Frank Herbert classic. This stuff is really expensive, but you can get it for free just for clicking a button because that’s just how much we <3 you.