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Dark Horse is rapidly becoming my new favorite published, and they get another notch on the belt with Captain Midnight.  The plot involves such classic elements as World War 2, secret Nazi plans, time travel, and a super hero. The story begins with Jim Albright, a genius American inventor, who gets annoyed that he is deemed too important to risk fighting in World War 2, so, instead, he invents Captain Midnight, a superhero who shows up in various battles and missions and often proves to be pivotal to their success. His identity isn’t entirely a secret, though, because he has two sidekicks that fight with him, Joyce Ryan and Chuck (who probably has a last name but we aren’t given it).  Things were great until, in 1944 while flying over the Bermuda Triangle, his plane disappears and one day reappears . . . in the present.

The words “Silver Age” conjure several images in the minds of DC Comics readers, including the Flash bursting through his rejuvenated monthly title or the Justice League fighting Starro the Conqueror; however, as Tom de Haven states in his foreword to Superman: The Silver Age Dailies Vol. 1, the stories of the Silver Age were “kooky.”

This new, black-and-white collection of Superman’s three-panel newspaper adventures confirms just that. This is the quintessential “super-dickery” phase. Some hate it. Others relish it.

Dear Fanboy Comics Readers:

Fans of intergalactic space romps filled with hilarity rejoice! Man from Space, Marc Jackson’s tale of the adventures of an outer-space a--hole and his goldfish, Michael, is now available online as a small press comic! Completely revamped for the new release (but in the good way, not the “George Lucas” way), Man from Space has been described as “a cross between Harold and Kumar go to White Castle and Samurai Jack with a sci-fi twist” by FBC president Bryant Dillon and is sure to be enjoyed by any fanboy or fangirl with a sense of humor and a jet pack in their closet.

Is evil just something you are, or something you do?

That’s the question asked by Bedlam creators Nick Spencer and Riley Rossmo. Let me warn you right off the bat that Bedlam, published by Image Comics, is not a series for everyone. It’s uber-violent, bloody, and features plenty of villains that will make your skin crawl. Bedlam is, by far, one of the sickest, most twisted stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading. An interesting look into what exactly “evil” is. Any person who considers themselves a fan of horror and thrillers should definitely pick this up. Writer Nick Spencer does a fantastic job of weaving together an intricate story filled with plenty of gut-wrenching moments throughout. If the story doesn’t creep you out, the artwork in this issue by Ryan Browne most certainly will, which is a compliment for the record. Bedlam is one of my favorite-looking titles out there. It’s unique, jarring, and makes you feel more immersed in the world. 

Tarzan: The Sunday Comics 1931-1933, published by Dark Horse, is a time capsule just waiting to be cracked open and poured over by eager, interested eyes.  The first Tarzan newspaper strip ran in 1929, and a full-page, color Sunday comic began running shortly thereafter in 1931.  Hal Foster, who did all of the artwork in this collection, was not the artist that originally started the Sunday comic, though he was the first artist to draw the regular Tarzan strip, and was also Tarzan’s creator Edgar Rice Burroughs’ preferred artist.  This book begins on September 27, 1931, about seven months into the Sunday comics run, with Hal Foster’s first Sunday comic, part one of the thirteen part Hawk of the Desert.  This story, like the other multiple date-spanning stories, are heavily serialized, providing insight into the ways stories were told and presented back in the 1930s.  The storytelling may come off as melodramatic or ham-fisted at times, but, again, that was the style of the 1930s.  The rousing bravado was the perfect rebuff of The Great Depression, giving people an honorable, honest, and strong hero to root for in Tarzan, and taking them on exciting and exotic adventures that let them escape their everyday worries.    

It's all a matter of balance as Kani and the other red hunters would point out. Akaneiro is one part Japanese mythology, one part Little Red Riding Hood, with a large helping of American McGee and video game tropes thrown in for good measure. This charming series comes to a close with this third issue in a manner that made me both glad it's found a suitable stopping point and sad that this is it.

At San Diego Comic-Con 2013, FBC's Sam Rhodes talks with Andrea Romano (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) about casting Sam Daly, her secret desire to cast Alex Trebek, and more.

 

At San Diego Comic-Con 2013, FBC's Sam Rhodes talks with Todd McCaffrey and John Goodwin (Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern) about their new book published by Smart Pop Books, their memories of the late Anne McCaffrey, and more.

 

Ellie and Riley snuck outside of Boston's walls in an effort to locate and join the Fireflies, only when they found them, the group wasn't so thrilled to see them. The Fireflies knocked them out and took them into their custody.

This is a nice bounce back.

Fox’s X-Men film series has always been kind of a mixed bag.  The first film, which came out in 1999, was a good, but not great, introduction into this world, but, most importantly, it was a success and really kicked off the modern superhero movie trend.  The second one (X2 or X-Men 2 or X-Men United or whatever the hell they called it) was a huge step forward and is still one of the great comic book films of all time.  After that high water mark, things went down quickly.  The third X-Men film (I’m not even going to bother looking up its title; was it The Last Stand?) was a textbook study in studio development gone horribly awry.  Director Bryan Singer left to make Superman Returns (yikes!) and the roulette wheel of possible replacements finally stopped on the fanboy-hated Brett Ratner.  Stealing pretty liberally from Joss Whedon’s run of Astonishing X-Men comics, the third movie was a complete mess.  For me, the worst aspect of that movie is that major plot developments took place until they didn’t.  For instance, Magneto loses his powers to manipulate metal until he gets them back inexplicably at the end of the film.   Charles Xavier is killed by Jean Grey until he isn’t.   There’s nothing quite as frustrating for an audience as raising the dramatic stakes for beloved characters only to later reveal “it-was-all-a-dream-style” that those stakes never actually happened, or at least didn’t stick.  Next came Fox’s truly horrendous stand-alone Wolverine movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  The most interesting historical footnote in all this was that Hugh Jackman wasn’t the first choice to play Logan. (Dougray Scott must despise Hugh Jackman.)  Still, Jackman kills in the role and was easily the breakout star of the series.  It seemed natural to give Logan his own movie, except that movie was terrible.  It also had one of the worst titles in film history.  Even Jackman has recently spoken publicly about how terrible that Wolverine movie was.

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