green lantern

In its 24th year, the Motor City Comic Con in Novi, MI outside Detroit has grown larger and attracted more fans than ever before.   A recent update on the Con’s Facebook page confirmed that over 30,000 fans attended the 3-Day show.  While it’s true that there was heavy traffic to enter the parking lot and long lines to enter the hall, indie artists reported triple the sales of last year’s show due to the high volume of people through the door.

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This is the front of the line on Saturday morning an hour before doors opened.

Here’s a rundown of the guests that this reporter had the chance to interact with.

Lloyd

David Lloyd

V for Vendetta artist, David Lloyd’s latest project is a 21-page noir thriller in Aces Weekly Volume 1.  Aces Weekly is an exclusively digital comic anthology available at http://www.acesweekly.co.uk/home.

Perez

George Perez

The Great George Perez attended the show, delivering commissions and sketching sharpie headshots in between countless autographs.  Mr. Perez’ latest released work is the cover of Legion of Super-Heroes #20, available this month from DC.

Anyone wanting to catch up on Perez’ past work need look no further than this month’s Superman Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? Tpb and Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 6 Tpb.

If that’s not enough, his influence is felt across the New 52 as characters he created may be followed monthly in the pages of Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Justice League.

Kitson

Barry Kitson

Barry Kitson is currently nailing it on Valiant’s Bloodshot title!  Issue #11, containing Barry’s artwork is out this month along with more Barry pencils in the Harbinger Vol. 2 Tpb.  Furthermore, it was just announced that Barry will be illustrating the aftermath of this summer’s Harbinger Wars event in Harbinger #15.

Kitson cares deeply for his fans and this weekend was a prime example.  When Barry saw gridlock on the road leading to the convention center saturday morning, he chose to make the journey from highway to convention hall by foot rather than keep his fans waiting!

Swierczynski

Duane Swierczynski

Speaking of Bloodshot, the writer for that title and Valiant’s big summer event, Harbinger Wars, Duane Swierczynski, was present!  Duane’s also involved with the revival of X for Dark Horse.

Clark

Matthew Clark

Notice a trend developing?  Bloodshot #11 Variant Cover artist Matthew Clark was stationed across the aisle from Swierczynski.

Manning

Dirk Manning

Horror comic writer and Bleeding Cool columnist Dirk Manning was dressed to impress while promoting his recent release of the Write-Or-Wrong column collected edition.  Dirk’s next project is a flip book called Love Stories (To Die For) containing two comic book horror stories.  The book will be available from Image Comics’ partner studio, Shadowline, in September.

McKenna

Mark McKenna

Industry veteran Mark McKenna’s new creator owned project, Combat Jacks, is about humans terraforming a planet while they’re attacked by Jack O’ Lantern monsters.

Kirkham

Tyler Kirkham

Tyler Kirkham, fresh from delivering the incentives to those that pledged to his successful kickstarter project NAWRG, set up in prime convention hall real estate.  In short, NAWRG is a story about a troll that lives with a family, but the story contains a deeper meaning on how adopted pets bring great joy to people.   Tyler’s recent work includes Red Hood & the Outlaws, Superman, Teen Titans, and Green Lantern: New Guardians.  His next project is Action Comics #22.

Paquette

Yanick Paquette

Yanick Paquette made his DC debut two years ago in the pages of Batman Inc. and continued his DC work with the New 52 Swamp Thing series.  Yanick’s next project is Wonder Woman: Earth One where he’ll reteam with Grant Morrison.   Yanick remarked on how he loves the way that Grant consistently surprises him and he never knows what Grant will put into their stories.

Hunt

Ken Hunt

Ken Hunt is an artist on the cusp of breaking through to the mainstream, currently working on a top secret cover for a future DC release.

Bisley

Simon Bisley

Englishman Simon Bisley was particularly interested in the Detroit Redwings t-shirts that local hockey fans were sporting, remarking on how cool the winged wheel design was.

Kolins

Scott Kolins

Scott Kolins recent Orang Lantern backups in DC’s Threshold title will soon give way to a Larfleeze ongoing series with his art and written by Keith Giffen.

Forney

Sean Forney

Local hero Sean Forney is in the midst of his own kickstarter project The Scarlett Huntress!  The Scarlet Huntress features Sean and his wife Stephanie sharing art and writing duties.  The story is a modern take on the Little Red Riding Hood mythos.  He’s almost at his goal and your pledge could be the one that puts him over the top!  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/838034909/scarlet-huntress-anthology

Defoy

Jay Defoy AKA Jay A.D.

Young talent Jay Defoy recently completed the first issue of his creator owned title Threadcount: The Tale of Norman Crest.  It’s about a man that gains superpowers that seem ridiculous at first but turn out to be a fun crime fighting asset as the story goes on.

Richard

Sara Richard

Sara Richard’s artwork has a fun fairytale influence to it.  She spends her days drawing adorable My Little Pony Covers.  Check her out.

Spaniards

From Left to Right: Ramon Bachs, Miguel Sepulveda, Manuel Garcia, Andrews Guinaldo, and Pere Perez

These five artists traveled from Spain to meet their fans and deliver high end commissions.  They’re pictured holding pieces that they did for comic art connoisseur Ari Shapiro’s Batman on Gargoyle themed collection.  Reportedly they were commissioned as a group since they share a common rep.  Once they started work, the artists competed with each other over whose piece was strongest and which Ari would like most.

Roadkill

Roadkill

Until next time, dear reader!

Panels That Stuck In My Head

Many of the best panels of the month came from the Batman family books. (check those out here), but there were others that were full of bad-assery. Check out some of my recent favorites here:

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Kate Bishop steals every panel of Marvel’s Hawkeye. This is one of the best comics I’ve read in years.

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Panel composition alone should have you picking up Hawkeye.

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I didn’t see this coming! The ending of Uncanny Avengers #4 was a jaw dropper.

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Luke lets him know how hardcore Leia is.

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When Buddy Baker’s daughter got turned by The Rot in Animal Man it was shocking.

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Is killing killers “superior” behavior? What do you think?

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I think this is Doc Ock’s biggest win. He figured out J. Jonah and tricked him to be on his side. Genius!

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It took the Superior Spider-Man to show Wolverine just how tough he is.

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B’DG everybody!

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US Agent once again has arms and legs due to medical techniques in another dimension. Anyone else still reading Dark Avengers?

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Ever since the Marvel Now teaser came out, we wanted to know what this robot following Hulk was. Now we know.

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Cap is really in a bad place these days.

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Cyclops had to ask this before he blasted Wolverine. At least this younger version of him is polite.

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Uh…things just got real!

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Kyle’s destiny is to be a White Lantern. I think they should keep him as one.

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My jaw dropped when I saw this panel in Star Trek Countdown to Darkness but…I doubt many others had the same reaction unless they are mega fans. My first though was…is he canon now??

I have tons more panels at ComicBookPanels.com

The Best Of March Comics

march comics previews reviews

Adam and Nick choose their favorite comics coming out in March. Wrath of the First Lantern, Constantine #1, Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy #1, and many more books previewed and discussed.

Listen to the Episode Directly.

My Favorite 1/23 Comics

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My 1/23 Pull List

Marvel Now’s track record is really great with me so far! As I talked about on Episode 33 and 34 of our Podcast, Marvel Now has (for the most part) delivered on their promises. We’re getting important stories from new angles without gimmicks. The creator changes are the most important component as far as I’m concerned. Ed Brubaker on Cap, Bendis on Avengers, and Hickman on FF created some of the most definitive runs for those books but…it was time for a change. We’re getting that with Marvel Now.

DC’s New 52 has been around three times as long so it’s loftier goals have hard a harder time of staying pure. While I believe DC’s titles offer a more diverse subject matter, there percentage of great books are nowhere close to where Marvel now is right now. We’ll see how long Marvel can keep this up!

captain-america-thor-havok-remenderUncanny Avengers #3

Marvel Comics

Writer: Rick Remender

Artist: John Cassaday

Before I get into the book, isn’t this cover one of the best cover’s you’ve seen in a while? It looks like it could be a movie poster! It’s so well composed and clean. Love it! Cassaday does so much for this book it’s a shame he’s also what holds this book back. With the other Avengers books shipping more often and this one coming out every other month, it’s tough for it to feel as relevant let alone the flagship of Marvel Now. This villain is the perfect foil to the new team’s mandate. I wish we could get to know the S-Men more but maybe that will come. My favorite part of this team is that it’s small enough to get character moments that matter (unlike Hickman’s Avengers). The tension between Havok and Captain America really has me interested in that relationship.

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sam-humphries-ron-garneyUncanny X-Force #1

Marvel Comics

Writer: Sam Humphries

Artist: Ron Garney

Like All-New X-Men, my reaction to this solicit was one of “Huh?” and “This won’t last” but it looks like I might be 0-2 with that line of thinking. This team seemed so odd and so unnecessary with the inclusion of Cable and X-Force and yet…this is the true successor to Rick Remender’s epic run on X-Force. Picking up where Remender’s run ended is no easy task. Taking the character to natural but unexpected places is what impressed me about Humpries’s story. This puts Pyslocke front and center in a way that makes me see it no other way now. This is one of those RARE X-Men comics that has enough explanation that new readers can jump on but also doesn’t bore hardcore fans like me. The major reason I wanted to get this book was because of the book’s future villain and he is barely in this issue. The fact that I enjoyed the book with only a brief appearance by him tells me that I’m in for more twist than just the last panel of this book.

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simon-baz-new-52Green Lantern #16

DC Comics

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Doug Mahnke

This is the issue that sold me on Simon Baz. The newest Earth Green Lantern (the first since the 1994 introduction of Kyle Rayner…which was almost 20 years ago!) is joining up at one of the most turbulent times of the corps. (if not the WORST TIME ever). His back story is different enough from the other Earth Lanterns that you feel like stories starring him will be unique. With so many different perspectives being told during the Rise of the Third Army, this new set of eyes is giving us an unexpected window on the whole war that is possibly the most engaging. We see that Simon is special even amongst Green Lanterns in a way that I hope gives us even more stories staring this character. This issue also takes B’DG seriously, which Geoff Johns needed to do after how he treated him on the Robot Chicken Special!

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kirk idw comic Star Trek Countdown to Darkness

IDW Comics

Writers: Mike Johnson & Roberto Orci

Artists: David Messina & Marina Castelvetro

Movie Prequel Comics are usually wastes of time. Many of the Marvel and DC Movie Prequels, for examples were obvious cash grabs that shed almost no real light on the movies that would appear on screen. Then came 2009′s Star Trek: Countdown. I really don’t think you can enjoy that movie fully without reading that prequel. It should be mandatory for anyone who watches that movie. Nero, especially, only makes sense as a three-dimensional character after reading his back story in that book. Which brings us to the Star Trek sequel’s prequel comic, Countdown to Darkness. This first issue seems to be setting the emotional stage of where we find the Enterprise crew before the new movie begins. Only being one issue in, I have no idea how this will stack up to the last prequel but I will say that like Countdown, this book is aimed at connecting hardcore Trekies to this new universe through the inclusion of a character only real fans would be impacted by. I’ll never miss a Star Trek Prequel comic again so I’m committed to reading this all the way through!

Best Bets August 2012

We want to apologize right off the bat for Nick’s sound quality. His Skype connection gave him a cyborg-like tone to his voice. That said, we get to talk about some of our favorite comics of August 2012 in this episode.

The intro and outro song you hear is the theme song for Superman The Animated Series.

Green Lantern Annual #1 – Rise of the Third Army starts here.

The cover is suppose to remind you of Superman #75′s Death of Superman.

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This is what the soldiers of the Third Army looks like.

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Justice League #12

This is the controversial cover that got major media attention.

Short Box Podcast Comic Book Review Jim Lee

This kiss heard ’round the world:

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Here’s the lineup of the new Justice League of America book that we mentioned:

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Wolverine and the X-Men #15

Iron Man and Broo become quick friends!

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The last page of Wolverine and the X-Men #15. Reminiscent of the original X-Men.

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Batman Beyond #7

Here’s the cover from the image which shows this different version of the Batman Beyond costume.

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Batman Inc. #3

This issue was put on hold for over a month because of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado. This is the scene that held the book back.

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This is what Batman looks like as Matches Malone.

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Here’s the fist look at Damian’s new “Red Bird” costume. Nick called him “Red Wing” by mistake.

short box podcast comic book reviews

Damian as Red Bird looks to be teaming up with the as yet to be revealed Wingman (as seen on this upcoming cover):

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No one knows who Wingman is except Batman. It’s someone who knows who Bruce is and has a reputation to salvage. Jason Todd? Jean Paul Valley? We’ll find out!

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Alan Napier (1960′s Batman) as Alfred doned the Batsuit as a way to protect Bruce’s identity.

short box podcast comic books reviews

Batcow is back!

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Animal Man in Grant Morrison’s run is a vegetarian. At one point during his run, Animal Man actually confronts Morrison himself who reveals himself as a comic book writer who control’s Buddy Baker’s life. This is what he had to say about him being a vegetarian:

DC Vertigo Comic Books Short Box

Buddy Tells his wife he is a vegetarian and his whole family will be now too:

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After looking into it further, it seems like Poison Ivy gets her sustenance from the sun…like a plant.

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Next up is our question from Shortbot. You can send your questions to him at @TheShortBot on Twitter.

Here’s a great link to alternative versions of Superman. Many of these are based on different people, other than the Kents, finding the baby Kal-El and raising him.

The story of Superman being raised by the Waynes is called Superman: Speeding Bullets. It’s was an Elseworld story written J.M. DeMatteis and the artwork of Eduardo Barreto in 1993. Here’s the cover:

elseworlds 90s comic books reviews

His Kryptonian powers manifest the first time while his parents are murdered leaving him to use heat vision to kill Joe Chill. Later he discovers the Batcave and decides he too is a bat!

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Martha Kent from Superman For All Seasons.

martha kent comic books reviews

Here is the actual nail from: Justice League The Nail, that stopped the Kents in this reality from finding Kal-El and adopting him.

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Dont forget to leave your question for Shortbot!

Green Lantern #11

The last story arc “The Secret of The Indigo Tribe” really brought me back to what I love about Geoff John’s Green Lantern universe. The color spectrum, the epic scale, and the relationships between characters constantly evolving. This new story’s first issue had all those elements plus some few fun extras. “The Revenge of Black Hand” Part 1 shows how creepy Geoff Johns’s Black Hand can be! Before Johns took the character on a few years ago he was relegated to being kind of a joke. He was, however, one of the first villains to appear in his run on Green Lantern and was central to the DC event, “Blackest Knight”.

What really works in this issue is the back and forth conversations of Hal Jordan and Sinestro. The shift in power in the relationship is something that makes Hal feel really great but Sinestro doesn’t skip a beat…he is always 100% confident in his ability to concur any threat through his iron will. Seeing Sinestro’s 20 mile long “Bat Cave” was something that has never been shown in his history but makes total sense.

The Green Lantern titles are all gearing up for their upcoming “Third Army” event and this book drops quite a few hints about this forthcoming story. If you like Green Lantern stories like “The Sinestro Corps. Wars” and “Blackest Night’, this issue’s storyline is for you.

X-Force #28

“Final Execution” Chapter Four has all the makings of a classic X-Men story. A group of villains form a new incarnation of The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants that has to be one of the strongest lineups this group has ever boasted. Their first order of business is to rescue the heir of Apolcalpyse, Evan, who Wolverine has decided to attempt to guide at his school. This new Brotherhood has not only the element of surprise but also a leader who really understand how Wolverine thinks. A team member is killed, Evan is captured, and X-Force is at perhaps its weakest moment as a last ditch move places them abruptly in the future.

Dystopian possible futures have been stock and trade ever since the iconic Uncanny X-Men #141 and #142′s “Days of Future Past”. This future is very much in that same vein. Future versions of Marvel characters cameo all over this as X-Force tries to find a way back to their present day in order to save Evan.

This story arc has really brought X-Force back to what made it special. The over the top BIG stories that take elements for every era of the X-Men and mesh them perfectly together is a real treat for long time X-Men readers. What’s amazing is that new readers claim that this book is very accessible. That may be so but the nuances of truly great parts of this book come from knowing years and years worth of X-Men stories.

- @NickBorelli