Tales of the Night Watchman from So What? Press has been one of the most well done and enjoyable indie series that I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing, and I’m always excited by the arrival of another issue from writer Dave Kelly and artists Lara Antal and Amanda Scurti. Tales of the Night Watchman: Volume 1 #4 continues the book's “winning streak” with another “double feature”-style issue featuring new chapters for the dual plotlines that expand the dark, mysterious, and mystical world created by Kelly and Antal.
What would you do if you had the power to travel through time? Which historic event would you want to witness? Which ancient time period would you want to visit? Could you resist the ability to irresponsibly change the past in order to make yourself a god among men? And, how awesome would it be to go for a joy ride in an F-14 Tomcat during the time of the dinosaurs? These questions (and many more) are tackled in Chrononauts, the new trade paperback time-travel tale published by Image Comics and created by comic heavyweights Mark Millar (Marvel: Civil War, Kick-Ass) and Sean Gordon Murphy (The Wake, Punk Rock Jesus). Next week, Chrononauts will be hitting shelves, and you’re not going to want to miss this epic, hilarious, and awesome tale.
The utterly insane indie comic series Man vs. Rock has released its fourth issue and is continuing to revel in its gut-busting, bizarre, and at times (actually, most of the time . . . ) openly lewd ongoing saga of the human race’s war against the global rock menace. With Man vs. Rock: Volume Four, writers Victor Detroy and Kevin Bieber and artist Jared Lamp continue to deliver a satirical disaster/action comic that stands without peers in the current comic scene and dives deep into the demented rabbit hole that is the origin of Buck Stone . . . the rocks’ worst enemy!
Dark, alternate universes are nothing new to the comic book genre, but there does always seem to be something exciting about a new, dark, alternate universe featuring your favorite superheroes. That type of Elseworlds thrill is exactly what Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) and the rest of the cast and crew have crafted with the latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Justice League: Gods and Monsters. Featuring an impressively talented cast and completely new takes on the iconic characters of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and many others, Gods and Monsters continues the “winning streak” of quality superhero stories that DC Animated seems destined to deliver.
Let’s be frank: Many people have simply given up on Shakespeare. Despite the Bard’s mastery of the written word and the cinematic efforts of Kenneth Branagh, Baz Luhrman, Joss Whedon, and others in Hollywood, the masses still view a Shakespeare piece as a dusty, dated, over-acted bore-fest. The truth is that the majority of the public has yet to fully realize the beautiful, violent, epic, hilarious, and utterly sexy true nature of Shakespeare’s written works. Well, the comic book crowd has always been a little bit ahead of the curve when it comes to this type of thing (Kill Shakespeare, anyone?), and with the upcoming release of Toil and Trouble (written by Mairghread Scott and featuring the art of Kelly & Nichole Matthews) from BOOM! Studios, comic fans are about to get an exciting, new take on one of the playwright’s darkest, bloodiest, and most powerful tragedies. It may even inspire a craving in readers to revisit the Shakespeare play that theater geek’s refuse to name anywhere close to a stage!
(P.S. You need to pre-order this book now! As in today, August 10th! Go and do that now, and then come back and finish reading this review. Don’t worry. I’ll wait. It’s no biggie, I promise.)
For years, writer Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Wanted, Kingsmen: The Secret Service) has been examining, re-imagining, and deconstructing superheroes and the capes and cowls genre. Paired, once again, with uber-talented artist Frank Quietly (The Authority, We3, Batman and Robin), Millar’s new superhero saga, Jupiter’s Legacy, is the writer’s latest peek into his fascinating and unique vision of how our world would operate if populated by super powerful meta-humans, as well as his speculation on how that same world would suffer from their presence. With Jupiter’s Legacy, Millar and Quietly deliver an unflinching, epic, and riveting tale of a superhero coup in the modern world, while never neglecting the more intimate and personal conflict taking place at the heart of the book.
The comic book heavy metal band that gleefully gives the religious establishment the finger is still rockin’ their way through Texas in Satanic Hell #5 published by Alterna Comics. While not my favorite chapter in the series so far, writer Grigoris Douros and his creative team’s (including artists Kevin Enhart and Newel Anderson, colorist Jimmy Kerast, and letterer E.T. Dollman) work on this latest issue still features the trademark brashness, crass humor, and twisted dystopian darkness that readers have come to expect from the Satanic Hell series.
American Gothic Press and Famous Monsters of Filmland are back once again to satisfy your craving for creepy, creature-filled comics, and, this time, they’ve brought horror comic icon Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre) along for the ride. Paired with artist Nat Jones (28 Days Later: The Aftermath, Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer), Niles’ latest monster tale, Broken Moon, capitalizes on the growing fear that mankind has irreparably damaged our own planet and that our arrogant and foolish actions as a species will lead to our ultimate downfall.
Oh, and there are vampires, werewolves, and other critters too, of course. You know Niles isn’t going to leave you horror fans high and dry!
Over the last few years, Nerd HQ, the four-day event created by actor Zachary Levi (Chuck, Thor: The Dark World) and held the same weekend as the annual pop culture convention San Diego Comic-Con, has become a staple of the Comic-Con experience. Offering exclusive gaming and tech activations, nightly events, and intimate celebrity panels (all benefiting the charity Operation Smile), Nerd HQ has even become the perfect “alternate Con” for some geeks who are less than thrilled with the exhausting and over-crowded experience that can be SDCC.
While working press at this year’s con, Fanboy Comics was invited to attend a number of the Nerd HQ panels, including the hour devoted to every geek’s favorite Browncoat, Nathan Fillion. The panel was a one-of-a-kind experience, and Fillion’s charismatic connection with his fan base and his laid back, comfortable demeanor created an atmosphere similar to hanging out with a good friend (the kind of friend who you secretly believe is far to cool to be hanging out with you, yet, for some bizarre reason, they genuinely seem to enjoy spend time in your presence). In addition to giving insights into his work on Castle, Firefly, Con Man, and more, Captain Mal also raised a ridiculously impressive amount of money for Operation Smile. In fact, Fillion’s auctioning off of personal items and signed memorabilia made up the meat of his panel, while the answering of fan questions was peppered around this short, intense sprints of charity fundraising. Apparently, Fillion doesn’t just play a hero on TV.
Dead Future King, written and illustrated by indie creator David R. Flores, continues to define itself as one of the most well-written “mashup” comic series out there with the release of its fourth issue. While, like many indie books, the wait between issues can be months at a time, Dead Future King continuously delivers an engaging story paired with gorgeous artwork that makes the wait well worth it. Almost too-easily described as King Arthur meets The Walking Dead, Flores’ Dead Future King is a title that easily could be dismissed as another unimaginative play on the over-exposed zombie genre, but those who “choose wisely” and pick up a copy will discover a series that shares the grace, nobility, and power of its title character.