BUY THIS BOOK: JEFF PARKER, DOC SHANER AND JORDIE BELLAIRE’S ‘FLASH GORDON’
By Chris Sims
I consider myself to be a pretty big Flash Gordon fan, but when you get right down to it, I only really like one very specific version of that character: The one from the amazing 1980 movie where he takes down Ming the Merciless while rocking out to Queen. I love that movie to pieces, but it’s a very specific kind of love that doesn’t necessarily transfer to other version of the franchise. Every time Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov make their perennial return to the comics page, it always leaves me pretty cold, and even though I’m the biggest possible fan of Jeff Parker, Doc Shaner, and Jordie Bellaire, there was a part of me that expected that the new series from Dynamite would end up doing the same thing.
And then I read the issue where Ming orders Flash to fight to the death in a gladiatorial battle against an army of beast-men, and Flash straight up gets in front of a space camera to cut a Stone Cold Steve Austin promo about how he’s going to tear their horns off and choke them out with their own tails, and I realized things were going to be just fine.
WHO IS MAGNETO? CULLEN BUNN AND GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA REESTABLISH AN ICON [REVIEW]
By John Parker
When you consider the entire history of Magneto, it’s pretty ridiculous. He’s been assumed dead at least half-a-dozen times; he’s probably flip-flopped from villain to hero more times than that; and he’s been resurrected as both a Nelson-haired clone (millennials: Google “Nelson band” to get how funny that is) and a star-headed Taoist. Mistakes have been made with the character; mistakes so big that the character’s retcons and course-corrections have diminished his stature, leaving readers to wonder; Just who the hell is Magneto?
It’s a rare thrill and kind of a pain when you come across a comic that so stubbornly defies explanation it easily wriggles out from the grasp of any words that you hope to entangle it with. Such is the case with Pretty Deadly, the new Image series by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Ríos, and Jordie Bellaire. I’ve already written and undone four descriptions, wincing every time I found my fingers typing words like “mashup” or “genre-bending,” then leaning on the DEL key to undo my lame attempts to classify such a mercurial book. So let’s try this: Pretty Deadly is an Eastern myth incubated in a Western womb; a story within a story within a story; a dark fairytale about bad men, worse women, and Deadface Ginny, the reaper of vengeance, the daughter of Death. Commence head-banging now.
The final issue is going to Image this week, and on shelves later this month sometime (I’ll update when I know). I love this issue… for the whole series we’ve seen a rather external view of Mara’s changes, in that she’s not really talked much about it in her own words. This final issue does that and more, and I think it has tremendous impact.
I loved creating this with mingdoyle and @jordiecolorsthings, and Clayton Cowles who’s lettering and working with me on the collection design. All great talents, great friends, people I WILL work with again soon. This oddball, under-the-radar story I think sits right up there with the likes of Demo, Local, and even my X-Men stuff. I thank everyone who’s supported the book, and those who’ll pick up the trade when its out.
by Andy Khouri
What you’re seeing here for the first time is the cover of Three #1, the first chapter in a new miniseries written by Kieron Gillen (Phonogram, Young Avengers) and drawn by Ryan Kelly (Saucer County, Local) that takes a much different, more historically accurate look at the violent world of ancient Sparta and the legendary 300 warriors than we’ve seen in some other comic books of note. Specifically, Gillen and Kelly’s Three undermines the notion of Sparta as a free and heroic society — as dramatized by Frank Miller in his celebrated graphic novel 300 and its hugely popular film adaptation — by telling the story of three slaves on the run for their lives.
By Andy Khouri
On sale this week from IDW Publishing is The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #3, continuing what is only the second-ever full-length Rocketeer story not written and drawn by the late, great Dave Stevens. Produced in full cooperation with Stevens’ estate, the new miniseries by ComicsAlliance favorites Roger Langridge (Thor: The Mighty Avenger, The Muppet Show) and J. Bone (The Spirit, Wolverine/Doop) takes the Rocketeer into both familiar and unfamiliar territory with a possibly supernatural mystery that draws influence from the Golden Age of Hollywood, where the plucky model/actress Betty runs up against a creepy Hollywood cult while her boyfriend, perennial hero/screw-up Cliff, loses track of his irreplaceable Rocketeer jetpack.
Click on to sample seven pages from the new issue, which includes the color work of Jordie Bellaire and a cover by Walt Simonson.
Check out the preview on ComicsAlliance!
By Andy Khouri
One of ComicsAlliance’s picks for the Best Comics of 2012, Captain Marvel began the new year with a striking visual overhaul courtesy of Filipe Andrade and Jordie Bellaire, whose work can be described in any number of ways, but “Marvel house style” is not one of them. These artists’ increasingly attractive collaboration has made the already distinctive solo-woman superhero series stand out even further from the rest of the Marvel line, and you can get an idea of why in the sample pages featured on ComicsAlliance.
Here’s a preview of MARA, available today at your local comic shop or digitally on comiXology! I’m really pleased to be working on my first miniseries with such an awesome creative team. Seriously, they are wizards, so I hope you guys enjoy!
Acclaimed creator BRIAN WOOD (The Massive, DMZ, Demo, Northlanders) and brilliant newcomer MING DOYLE (The Loneliest Astronauts, Fantastic Four, Girl Comics) bring you MARA, the story of an especially gifted woman in a sports-and war-obsessed future. Young Mara Prince is at the top of the world, a global celebrity in a culture that prizes physical achievement above all else. After she manifests supernatural abilities on live TV, she becomes famous all over again but for the worst reasons. Integrating themes of superpowers, celebrity worship, corporate power, feminism, and political brinksmanship, MARA takes a classic genre to new places.