Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This week's news edition breaks down the news we've heard this past weekend at the NYCC. And boy there are some BIG announcements.


     Rob Liefield mentioned this some time ago: that Extreme Studios was going to come back to Image. Yet, there were little to no details as to which titles and who would be attached. Well, this past weekend at the New York Comic Con, we got those answers . . . in spades. Extreme Studios will be bringing back a slew of their old titles; not only bring them back with new creative teams and stories but actually continuing on with their original numbering. Liefield went on about how excited he is about Extreme Studios coming back alongside Image mainstay, Eric Stephenson as they gave a slew of titles to hit sleeves in early 2012, just in time for Image's 20th Birthday.
     The following are the titles that will be surfacing next year with their creative teams and boy . . . the star power with these titles will ASTOUND you.
  Prophet will return this January with issue #21, being the first title brought back from Extreme Studios. Yet, it will be written by Brandon Graham, the creator and writer for hit King City. Art duties will be handled by Simon Roy. Liefield went on to say that this series will be the one with the biggest change, saying that John Prophet has now woken up to a harsher new reality.

 Glory is next as the female powerhouse gets new life in with a tweaked origin and will be written by Joe Keantinge, known for his work in the anthology "Popgun" with art by Ross Campbell.

Bloodstrike gets back to its glorious, goriest duties when the team returns compliments of fan favorite writer Tim Seeley and art by Franchesco Gaston. And Seeley will be making sure this team is as dangerous as ever.

Youngblood, the flagship title of Image & Extreme Studios back in the 90s, returns with a vengeance with Youngblood #71. Why #71? According to Liefield, the previous Youngblood minis will now count as one volume instead of Volume 2 and so forth and Liefield promises that the 75th issue of Youngblood will be full of excitement and surprises. Yet, what fans will really drop their mouths at are the creative team for Youngblood . . . art by Jon Malin (whose done work with Liefield before in NitroGen & worked on New Warriors and Cable/Deadpoo) and writer John McLaughlin (Writer of the Academy Award Winning movie Black Swan!). Liefield stated that McLaughlin has returned Youngblood to a more serious government group yet filled with new ideas and concepts including  . . . a sex change for Proton?!

And Finally, Supreme, the ultimate super man of Extreme Studios, will return with issue #57.And for the ride .. . we have artist and Image founding member Erik Larsen and written by the legendary Alan Moore. Yes, the final scripts of Alan Moore during his landmark run with his character will finally reach its conclusion as Liefield,  Stephenson and Kirkman were able to convince Larsen to work on finish the work that Alan Moore began. And once those scripts are done, Larsen will stay on as writer and will have art by Cory Hamscher; and Larsen will tie up the visions of the arrogant superman that first appeared alongside Moore's retro version once they are done the Moore Scripts.

Extreme Studios seems to be aggressively coming back into the comic world. Let's see how the fans will respond. We will find out as Extreme Studios returns starting this January.


 Geof Darrow's original Shaolin Cowboy featured the main character in a world of violence of his own making in a world where yesterday, today and tomorrow collide. And it was under an independent press which had printed it 5 years ago. Now Dark Horse and Darrow bring back Shaolin Cowboy for new adventures in 2012.


   Rick Remender has become one of the go to guys in Marvel when it comes to writing covert ops groups within the Marvel Universe. Holding such acclaim with his work on Venom and Uncanny X-Force, he will now embark in a new adventure; as he and artist Gabriel Hardman (known for his recent work on the Hulk) will unite to take the reigns of Secret Avengers after Ellis's run is done.
  Remender comes in with issue 21.1 issue, with art by Patrick Zicher, as Captain America Steve Rogers has a talk with Hawkeye. And that starts the many changes with the group as Hawkeye becomes the new leader of the Secret Avengers, personally passed command from Cap. Remender comments on Hawkeye's entrance to the group:

"I think what you've got in Hawkeye, because of his childhood, is somebody who is roguish and a little unpredictable. He's got a real sense of responsibility and a solid ethical compass, but he's also willing to go to lengths that maybe Steve Rogers isn't. That's one of the reasons that Steve chose and one of the reasons that we chose him for this book. Now they're operating with a no kill rule, but we're going to put that to the test. For me there needs to be a difference between 'X-Force' and 'Secret Avengers.' This is the brighter, shinier covert operations team whereas I think 'X-Force' is a little dirtier. The fun of it is that you've got to cook up threats of such a grand scale that haven't yet boiled over and must be dealt with before they do. They're dealing with dire straits and something that they're potentially in over their heads with, but on top of that they must maintain their anonymity. They can't be seen so the team is still a secret to the villains of the world.

And Hawkeye isn't the only new edition as the team goes through a line up change. While Beast, Black Widow and Valkyrie are all staying, the team gets other new members such as Giant Man Hank Pym; who is also running the Avengers Academy . . .and first time Avenger, UK hero Captain Britian. Remender promises that Hawkeye will be dealing with issue with the UK hero as their personalities and backgrounds will clash. And promises that many of the fixtures in Captain Britain's life, such as Otherworld, Jamie Braddock and his twin sister Psylocke (who Remender writes in Uncanny X-Force) and connecting them into storylines for Secret Avengers while dealing with what its like being an Avenger.

And while Remender is well versed in Brain Braddock and his mythology, artist Gabriel Hardman is entering new territory as he commented:

Captain Britain is almost entirely new to me. I may have read a couple issues of 'Excalibur' in the '80s, but I don't think I've ever drawn him. It will be a challenge to find an angle on this character."

And Captain Britain as a character will not only be explored but Otherworld, the dimension Brian Braddock rules will also have major storyline implications in Secret Avengers. And thus having Captain Britain on the team will open unlimited possibities for stories for the covert team remarked Remender. Remender says that he is also picking up the plot line dropped from Uncanny X-Force 5.1, where Lady Deathstrike downloaded herself and how that connects to the first threat the new team faces, the mechanical beings known as the Descendants. After that, the team will face the emergence of an all new Masters of Evil and how they are connected to the Shadow Council.

Adding new concepts and visuals are just one of many reasons why Remender and Hardman are happy to be working together again; as Hardman states:

"I had a great time doing flashback sequences on the late lamented 'Doctor Voodoo' and working with Rick again was a big factor in me deciding to take this book. Anyone who's read his work knows he's full of huge, inventive ideas and his 'Secret Avengers' scripts are no exception."

With two jump on points, #21.1 or #22 of Secret Avengers is a perfect time to get a taste of the where this new Secret Avengers team is going and work from Remender and Hardman. Secret Avengers #21.1 will hit stores in January while Secret Avengers #22 hits stores in February.


Premiered this past weekend during NYCC . . . the upcoming DC Animated movie: Justice League DOOM.


   The Darkness seems to be enjoying a new surge of popularity again with the new game to be released and his roles in the Top Cow Universe. And as of issue #101, there will be a new creative coming in and taking on Jackie Estacado in the forms of writer David Hine and Jeremy Haun. The new creative team jumps in to bring The Darkness more in touch with both his horror and mobster roots.
   Hine commented on how the powers of The Darkness are mixed between that of Spawn and Green Lantern and will be testing those powers through out the story while testing visuals for Haun to render for the reader. Hine also commented on how he is using of the events of recent issues of The Darkness and Artifacts that will help him set up his new direction that starts in #101.
    Hine hinted at what he plans on doing:

"There are some fiendish twists coming, but I don't want to give any of them away, which leaves me with very little I can say specifically, except to say that I'll be taking Jackie in a very different direction to what has gone before. I think readers will be pleasantly surprised -- no scratch that -- there's nothing pleasant about what we have planned. In fact, I've been giving myself nightmares. I had one last week that had me waking up in a cold sweat and gave me the opening scene to the third issue of my first arc. It involves cats, and I apologize in advance to all the cat lovers out there. Honestly, I love cats. I have two of my own. But when a scene comes to you in a dream, you just have to go with it."

 Hine also hinted that an Eastern European Mob are trying to move in on Jackie's turf during his first arc; where Jackie is back to being a gangster himself running his own mob. And all this will be rendered by Haun as Hine stated that he wanted to make sure that a horror element was very much a part of the book. So, it will be a mix of mob crime dramas and horror in which Hine will drive the Darkness during his run; picking up on elements that current scribe, Phil Heister, will produce during the issues leading to #100.

The Darkness #101, written by David Hine with art by Jeremy Haun will hit stores in March 2012. .


  The convention has definitely been filled with surprises and exciting announcements. This one is no different.  Starting with January's Justice League #5, there will be a back up story that will run through the ongoing dealing with Captain Marvel. Curse of Shazam will beginning its backup run on the Justice League book, running along side the Steel back up on Action Comics.
    Justice League scribe Geoff Johns works with Gary Frank again to give us a brand new rendition of Captain Marvel in this DCnU. Johns and Frank come with a fresh, new perspective as they give Captain Marvel and many of his long time characters a modern update . ..  including a new costume.

Frank commented on the look of Shazam:

"Both Geoff and I were keen that our costume should look different to the rest of the Justice League's costumes since it comes from a different place. We're still ironing it out but, whereas the other costumes feel very modern and cool, ours needs to feel timeless and, hopefully, cool. We are dealing with magic rather than tailoring, so this has to be in there somehow."

Another change that may stick is that the hero may longer be referred to as Captain Marvel . . . but as Shazam as many fans already use that name Shazam to differentiate him from Marvel's Captain Marvel; let alone the legal ramifications. Yet, we will not find out for sure till the back up premieres. And note, this project was finished after the recently finished but yet to be printed Batman: Earth One graphic novel, which will also hit stores in 2012 which Frank stated:

"I enjoy working with Geoff so much that he was always going to be my first choice as a collaborative partner. When I first suggested finding another project, it was in response to the fact that there was going to be such a long time before Batman[: Earth One] hit the shelves. I wanted to get another project going so that I would have something out there."

Justice League # 5 written by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee with the Curse of Shazam backup also written by Johns with art by Gary Frank will hit stores January 18th, 2011.


  Aspen has been notorious for several things: books that seem to have a very dubious, sporadic schedule; a wide variety of books in their line; multiple miniseries starring their properties like Fathom and Soulfire; and finally, the founder being the late Michael Turner.
    Well, things are about to change in Aspen as it announced its first ongoing series this past weekend. With the success of their weekly, summer crossover event known as Hit List Agenda, Aspen fixed their scheduling conflicts. And now, they will unleash their popular property, Executive Assistant: Assassins, created by David Z. Wohl, in 2012.
   Executive Assistant: Assassins deals with women who take up roles as Assistants, Bodyguards and Assassins for their high-powered Chinese superiors. Oddly enough, it is not Wohl but Aspen EIC Vince Hernandez himself who will be scripting the ongoing comic. When asked to why this title being the first given ongoing status:

The Executive Assistant property has been great for us. David Wohl, Brad Foxhoven and Michael Turner created not only a wonderful first two volumes containing a rich storyline and a diverse cast of personalities, but also an entire world filled with possibilities for future stories and new characters. We felt it was time to tap into that and explore different takes on the concept.
Executive Assistant:  Assassins will allow for that with the ongoing format and the open-ended nature of it. For instance, there are several fan-favorite characters from the first two volumes and the crossover that didn’t get as much time in the sun as the primary cast, and this will be an opportunity for fans to see them in more expanded tales and adventures.
The choice to do this particular title at the point is really just a matter of timing in our production schedule. We’ve discussed the ongoing format plenty of times before for different properties, and actually, there will be more upcoming announcements involving the ongoing format with our other popular titles that I think people are gonna get really excited about.

Hernandez also stated that the books will have clear arcs to follow with a beginning and an ending; and to note that there will be cast changes to follow other EX:As depending on the arcs. Many characters that we did see before, who are still alive anyway, will return during the ongoing. The first arc will be 3 issues entitled "Life After Death", featuring volume one veteran, Iris. After that, there is a 2 part arc with another EX:A.

The espionage, action pack femme fatale fest will begin in 2012.




On Sunday, October 23rd, J1 Studios in conjunction with The Asian Karaoke Idol Invitational will be hosting the Eve of Champions tournament!!! Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the game, $10 to enter, and there's prizes in store for everyone.


And that is it for this week. More news next week. See ya then.

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