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The New Marvel is a series that looks at the changes that the mega-comic empire made following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men and the impact that those changes have on the stories of Marvel NOW! Six issues (or more) into each Marvel NOW! title, we see what our favorite characters are up to and what to keep an eye out for in the future.


Working with S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been a dubious situation for superheroes; many don’t trust the machinations of the mega-spy agency that produced Nick Fury, and for good reasons, but the Avengers have always had a history with them to the point that several longstanding members actually ran it for a while.  Now, following the resurgence of mutants in the world, many have distanced themselves from the agency once again, except for Black Widow and Hawkeye. They have started working closely with S.H.I.E.L.D. through unusual circumstances.  Despite their close connection to the superhero community, these two close-bonded comrades fight in clandestine operations no one else knows about; they are the Secret Avengers.

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

Combining two of pulp’s greatest heroes is nothing new, but Mark Waid and Paul Smith’s The Rocketeer & The Spirit: Pulp Friction pulls it off with such gusto. This creative team has such obvious love for these characters that you can’t help but think this is the best idea ever, and the first time it has been done, and for these two characters, both are true.  This first issue, part of a four-issue miniseries, is an absolute blast.  Waid and Smith nail the dialogue and art of each hero’s world so well, and then blend them so perfectly, almost creating a new universe for them to exist in, but one that still feels familiar and friendly.

The second issue of Wild Blue Yonder picks up right where the first one of this new five-issue miniseries from IDW left off, and it continues to impress and engage.  We get to see just what life on The Dawn is like, and what it actually means to be a Gun (a very cool aerial warrior with a jetpack), something Tug is also learning, mostly the hard way.  It’s a tough life on The Dawn, and not everyone is a pilot or Gun or fighter.  There are families with young kids that are being protected and cared for by Cola, her parents, and all those who risk their lives to keep The Dawn safe and in the air.  This is a community, and the desperateness of their situation makes those bonds even thicker.  One of my favorite scenes involves Tug joining Cola, Scram, and the kids for movie night.  The facial reactions that Zach Howard creates remind us their still can be beauty and innocence in the world, even one as ugly as this world.

Gamma is a Dark Horse one-shot about a once-great hero turned sad sack loser, and his attempt to reclaim lost glory . . . kind of.  Co-written by Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas, and drawn by Farinas, Gamma first appeared as a three-part story in Dark Horse Presents #18, #19, and #20.  If you missed the story in those books, here is your chance to meet Dusty Ketzchemal, a cowardly, lecherous, aimless has-been who now makes a living by letting strangers punch him in the face for being the world’s biggest coward.  If that sounds ridiculous to you, then hold on, because things get even weirder, and sadder, and funnier.  Turns out Dusty used to be the best monster trainer in all of the Monster League, and so when the monsters got out of hand, the government called him in to save the day.  Only he couldn’t, and now, in a world that doesn’t have much else to focus on other than its past failure, he is the subject of ridicule.

Lobster Johnson: A Scent of Lotus #1 is every bit as pulpy noir as it is Lovecraftian. It is the rare balance of where the crime noir shore meets the ocean of lost myths and stories.

It is this humble (yet amazingly well spoken and good looking) writer's opinion that Lobster Johnson is one of the best of the many spin offs in the Hellboy universe.

At San Diego Comic-Con 2013, the FBC Crew attended Stripped: The Comics Documentary panel, which featured the creators of the comic strip documentary which has been four years in the making.  Stripped, a Kickstarter success story, is a documentary that brings together the world's best cartoonists to talk about the art form they love, and what happens to it as newsprint fades away.  The film includes interviews with Jim Davis (Garfield), Cathy Guisewite (Cathy), Jean Schulz (Peanuts), Mike and Jerry (Penny Arcade), Matt Inman (The Oatmeal), and 90 more of the world's best cartoonists.  Exciting to add is that the film includes the first-ever recorded interview with Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes).

At San Diego Comic-Con 2013, FBC's Bryant Dillon talks with Buffy: Season 9 artist Georges Jeanty about the season finale, the details for Season 10, and his upcoming comic for DC New 52's Villains' Month.

 

At San Diego Comic-Con 2013, FBC Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with comic book artist Tim Bradstreet about his work on IDW's Tru Blood and Star Trek series, the pros and cons of working with established properties, returning to Vampire the Masquerade: The RPG, and the upcoming projects in the works for Raw Studios.

 

I have a bit of a confession to make. I don't really like Grand Theft Auto games. Sure, I buy them when they first come out like everybody else, but I only enjoy them for about 10 of the approximately 347 hours that each one takes to complete. After that, I just drive around looking for dumb things to do and cool ways to blow stuff up. I know that is sort of the standard way to play an open-world crime game, but I don't enjoy getting caught in the loop of trying to find things that are fun to do in the video game that I am playing for fun.

The final issue of this classic tale has been published, finishing the story that many know, but not everyone remembers.  A tale of loyalty, responsibility, and honor the likes of which stories and movies made today show little of.  It is the end, and those who have gone forth to fulfill their oaths have done so with respect and honor in the face of overwhelming forces, and now, you shall share in their most auspicious act.

SPOILERS BELOW

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