Author Archives: JP Fallavollita
If you didn’t already know – and really, we all already knew – Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 was released yesterday, the first issue of an eight-part series from DC Comics starring their most marketable character, Batman. It was, of course, our pick of the week yesterday.
For good or for bad, acclaimed comic book creator Frank Miller was commissioned to return to The Dark Knight Returns character and the story line that helped define a whole generation (or two) of comic book publishing nearly thirty years ago: grim, gritty, realism, that was an abject departure from the majority of 1960’s and 1970’s comic book storytelling that featured heroic science fiction and flights of fantasy by colourful costumed characters.
There is much riding on the new series including the reputation of the creators involved, the glowing legacy of the original series, and the under-scrutiny leadership of the publishing company that green-lit the project.
So, was it worthwhile? Was the first issue any good?
The answer to that question is yes. Yes, it was. And in many ways, it was very good. Here’s why:
A near-mythical legend returns to right the wrongs of the present day. Does he have the means, the will and the strength to triumph in this overwrought, and exceedingly negative time now that age, reputation and criticism stand alongside both his new and old antagonists?
And that’s just writer Frank Miller!
Never mind his most famous and critically acclaimed fictional version of Batman, found in 1986’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
No, we’re focusing on the main draw here, Miller and his third instalment in that three decades old franchise, Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 – released today!
Follow me after the jump for the dark and stormy tell-all.
I think it’s safe to assume that we’re on the verge of new footage being released from next spring’s tent-pole film: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Yeah. It’s still an awful title.
But there’s a sense of escalating excitement over the film and the direction that DC Comics/Warner Brothers is taking with their various superhero franchises. This is the first hit of filmic crack candy, after all. Everyone – and everything – spins out of this film. It has to succeed at the box office.
It’s not like anyone needs to read a new iteration of Superman’s origin right now. Everyone knows it. Doomed planet. Surviving son. New home. New parents. Incredible powers. Super man.
Still, there’s a lot about the young man that would become super, that we don’t know about. And DC Comics aims to hitchhike on the cape of mounting fan excitement and treat us to some of those stories beginning today.
Follow me after the jump for the low-down on the very interesting Superman: American Alien #1!
Looking back, it was a year that really started the process of maturity for me, of becoming a fully formed adult, full of passions and proclivities. It was a year of new interests and of solidifying burgeoning talents. It was a year of reading the books and the genres that would influence me in all aspects of my life, forever.
In a previous “On” column, I wrote about author Lloyd Alexander and his book series The Chronicles of Prydain, which I enthusiastically read that very year.
But I also read Susan Cooper’s beloved The Dark Is Rising Sequence in grade five, a series of five books that was shared communally between both me and my friend John, who, luckily, introduced the novels to me.
The titular book, The Dark is Rising, the second book in the series, cemented not only my love for the Cooper novels, but also the bond shared between the best of friends.
A retro-past. A dystopian present. A hard-boiled mystery. And monsters.
Look, I know it’s November. I know we’re post Halloween 2015 and that we should have our minds set on the relentlessly upcoming holiday season, but like Kit Kat and Coffee Crisp chocolate bars, how can you possibly get enough this kind of stuff? It’s the fodder for great comic books and Dark Horse Comics, publisher of some of the best comic book around, has got another title that should turn your head.
And, beyond the intriguing story, it’s got one of the premiere names in the industry attached to it.
Follow me after the jump for all the info on amazingly-titled Joe Golem: Occult Detective #1!
In the early nineteen nineties, I signed up to be a disc jockey for Radio Erindale of the University of Toronto, Mississauga. I signed up because I loved music, was heavily into the alternative live music and club scene in Toronto, and because my longtime friend, Gary Matos, was their newly christened Station Manager.
With a few other select personnel, we planned to collectively make a musical difference at a small, and slightly beleaguered, suburban campus radio station. We’d fill the thirsty ears of the student body with the music that we liked to listen to, with the tunes we were hearing in the downtown clubs we were regularly frequenting: La Vie, Catch-22 and Empire. And, most importantly, we’d get to talk bands and records and new music all day and all of the night.
I signed up for the late shift that quivered between ten o’clock in the evening and one o’clock in the morning. It was a time when solitary figures of the student body ghosted across campus in the dark, arms full of books and bags, and faces full of essay anxiety. I, meanwhile, was left alone to spin my personal records and compact discs, ethereally reaching out to everyone through the hallways, residences and student lounges.
It’s fitting, then, that this particular story takes place one evening at the end of October, the month when the days are short and the cold nights come early, near an intersection of foot pathways between university buildings appropriately called The Crossroads.
Here I was. Alone. At midnight. With music. With the unexplainable.
In grade five, we had, like many other schools, a monthly book club.
A thin newsletter full of colour pictures of all types of books would arrive on our desks regularly, and the classroom kids would pour through it, pointing items out to each other, talking about what they wanted to read, and circling those books that they wanted their parents to purchase for them.
We’d rush home, present the ordering document to our Moms and Dads and bug them until they saw things our way. They would fill out the contact information and staple a cheque to it and we’d excitedly bring it all back to school, handing in the completed form to our teachers, and then anxiously wait for delivery of our order, weeks later.
At least, that was my experience. That’s how I remember it.
I remember flipping pages of one particular magazine, as a ten-year old boy in the fall of that year, and coming across a book that had a painted cover showcasing an image of a man, running through a wooded glade with a dagger raised protectively by his side. An aggressive black horse reared in front of him. Atop the horse was another man, cloaked in red and wearing with an antler-horned human skull as a face. His mouth was open in what was surely a blood-curdling scream.
And at that very moment, I knew I had to read Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three, the first book of his five-volume series, The Chronicles of Prydain.
Earlier this month, the mature and sophisticated publishing arm of DC Comics turned a new leaf, and began releasing the first of twelve new titles over the Autumn season. You can read about one of those comics, written about in this very column, right here.
The reason for the fairly major re-launch by the publisher?
Relevancy, of course.
In a world where smaller, but still significant publishers like Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics are regularly releasing comics by established high profile, as well as up and coming, talent, and basically eating the lunch you helped make in the late nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties, a publisher needs to re-make themselves.
It must be said: for Vertigo Comics in the month of October, so far, so good.
And today gives us the release of the eagerly anticipated punk rock, NYC-fashion, art-world inspired, madness of Art Ops #1.
Follow me after the jump for the art history lesson!
We still have roads for our cars. We don’t have hover boards. I’m still forever tying knots in my shoelaces. I do believe the Cubs are still looking to win a World Series. And, thankfully, the Jaws series of films have yet to reach their nineteenth installment. (But there’s still time.)
These are all things that keen-eyes futurists caught in the second installment of the Back to the Future trilogy of films. But it was that original movie starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd thirty years ago that captured our imaginations in 1985.
Still October 21, 2015 plays a large part in BTTF lore. It was the day in the future that Marty McFly had to get to in order to save his kids. And what better way to celebrate that incident, and the anniversary of the first film, then with a comic book tie-in event.
Follow me after the jump for 1.21 gigawatts of pure childhood pleasure with the scoop on Back to the Future #1!