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Wakanda Forever! ‘Black Panther’ in Theatres and Your Bookshelf

Hey, how about that Black Panther movie?

I had the chance to see the film last night, and I was just as impressed as every one else has been. Ryan Coogler’s script and direction was flawless as far as I’m concerned, and the cast was absolutely A+. Chadwick Boseman exudes heroism, confidence and compassion, while Michael B. Jordan just keeps getting better and better as an actor. It is such a shame that he was completely wasted in Fantastic Four, but hey, if that movie would have been a success perhaps we would have missed him as Eric Killmonger.

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Count All the Stones With ‘Infinity Countdown Prime #1’ on The Wednesday Run

So, maybe you’ve heard: Black Panther smashed the Hollywood box office last weekend with a take of $192 million.

That’s like, huge.

That’s bigger than Iron Man. That’s bigger than Captain America. That’s bigger than Avengers.

That’s like, HUGE.

And, for so many important reason, that’s great news for everyone who was part of the making of Black Panther and that’s great for everyone who went to see the film. (I haven’t gotten around to heading to the local theatre to see the film just yet, so I can guarantee that box office number is going to rise!)

But that news is also great for Marvel Comics – all Marvel Comics…especially the ones that somehow tie into this coming May’s Avengers: Infinity War film, the film that is the direct sequel to Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

And hey! It just so happens that Marvel Comics is publishing an Infinity-inspired product tie-in comic book today! Imagine that!

Setting aside my sense of consumerist nihilism for a moment, Infinity Countdown Prime #1, a one-shot prequel to a new miniseries out next month, does sound like a lot of fun!

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“I Always Deal With Threats Head-On”: New Trailer for ‘Jessica Jones’ Season 2


Are you counting down the days until Season 2 of Jessica Jones premieres on Netflix?

Here’s another trailer from Netflix.
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‘Black Panther’ Set to Strike First and Fierce at the Box Office

It’s a huge weekend for Marvel fans, movie fans, and those that have always dreamed of seeing representation on the big screen. The question isn’t whether or not Black Panther will top the box office; it’s how much money will it bring with it when it arrives there. Here’s our prediction:

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Black Panther comes from director Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, the king of Wakanda and the character introduced in Captain America: Civil War. The film co-stars Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. Reviews have been absolutely incredible for the film, and its pre-sales are larger than virtually any other Marvel movie. Anticipation for Black Panther is high, and there’s no question that it will deliver the goods. Look for a first place debut with $180 million over the three-day weekend.

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An Artists & Writers Valentine Is In The “Full Bleed Vol. 1” On The Wednesday Run

When I first started reading comic books during the early 1980’s, I dove head first into the medium and then the artistic culture.

From those poly-bagged Marvel Comics and DC Comics two-for-one deals found on the local department store magazine rack, I deftly moved to the direct-market comic book store and all they had to offer.

It was there that I came across periodicals that featured sample chapters, biographies, focus articles and interviews with some of the writers and artists that I was just discovering – and growing to love. More than just monthly Batman comics, I was reading and adoring issues of The Comics Reader (1961-1984), Epic Illustrated (1980-1986) and The Comics Journal (1977-and still going, albeit online), full of tales of writers and artists and their influences, their work, and their craft.

Those sorts of industry and artistry periodicals have gone the way of most print zines, unfortunately – which is to say that they can now be found, somewhat fragmented, on online websites and blogs.

That twenty-first century paradigm is well and fine – but I do miss the hardcopy in-my-hand, comic book industry magazine, bought at the local comic book shop.

IDW Publishing looks to remedy that situation (along with distinctly twenty-first century tech) with the publication of the first hardcover volume of Full Bleed: The Comics & Culture Quarterly Volume 1

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Heroes and Villains: February 9, 2018


There are mountains of snow outside the home office here in Cobourg, Ontario, but I’m at my desk next to a stack of trades, so it must be time for Heroes and Villains!

This week I was inspired by watching season one of Young Justice (which is awesome if you’ve never watched it) with my kids to do an all-DC edition of the column focusing on the post-rebirth version of the DCU.
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‘Something Happened Behind These Doors’: Season Two Trailer for ‘Jessica Jones’


For many fans of the Marvel TV universe, Jessica Jones is the top contender for biggest badass. She’s sarcastic and surly and subverts all those “strong woman” clichés by being physically powerful but not necessarily wanting the mantle of “heroine,” not to mention superhero.

This trailer for the show’s second season reveals that Jessica (Krysten Ritter) will be forced to confront exactly what was done to her to make her the way she is. She also has to deal with a persistent dude who seeks to absorb her fledgling detective agency. One good thing? She’s got her best friend Trish (Rachael Taylor) by her side.
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Heroes and Villains: February 1, 2018


Hey there comic fans, I’m here in the home office in chilly Cobourg, Ontario, so that must mean its time for Heroes and Villains!

This week I strapped in for two volumes of Boom Studios Mighty Morphing Power Rangers comic and a retelling of a Greek myth over at Image, so let’s talk comics!

BOOM! Studios

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Vol. 3 & 4
Writer: Kyle Higgins; Art: Hendry Prasetya, Jonathan Lam & Daniel Bayliss

I was in grade 9 when the original MMPR show hit airwaves on fix kids, so to be honest I was a little too old to be watching it… not that that stopped me of course. Something about the show, despite its many flaws, really grabbed me. Was it the theme song? Of course it was. But it was also the fully realized Japanese monster vs. guy in a robot suit battles, the well-choreographed martial arts and endearing quality of the characters. The Green Ranger saga and its follow up with the introduction of the White Ranger were pretty epic arcs for a kids show and I was all in.

That said, I always felt like there was a layer the series didn’t hit because its job was to run on Saturday mornings and sell toys. The recent film tried, but didn’t get there. However, this comic series absolutely does.

Although I had the option to start with Volume 1, I had seen images of the parallel universe storyline running through later volumes of the series and just had to start there. I was not disappointed.

I joined the story at the beginning of Volume 3, with the Rangers command centre overthrown by the sinister Rita Repulsa and her minions, Angel Grove under siege and the Rangers all dressed in green, sharing the powers of sixth Ranger Tommy Oliver. From there things got wild with a dystopian parallel universe, evil Tommy, clone Goldars, military style Ranger shock troops and Bulk and Skull actually doing something useful.

I cannot stress enough how much fun this book was to read as a Power Rangers fan. It gave me the moments I wanted but never got on the series by treating the characters and their universe with the same kind of seriousness as the X-Men or the Avengers. It uses tropes of the comic medium to flesh out the Rangers world while still staying true to the heart of the original series.

Writer Kyle Higgins is either a Ranger fan himself, or really did his homework to make this series feel like a labour of love. Making Rita and her coney bra-things a real threat is not an easy task, but he pulls it off. He also crafts nice moments between the Rangers and offers a look at the devastating effects of having giant monsters and robots battle across your city once or twice a week.

Credit as well to series artists Hendry Prasetya, Jonathan Lam and Daniel Bayliss for keeping continuity between their styles and respecting the source material enough nogt to go hard on redesigns, but instead to breath modern life into them.

One final shout out to the folks at BOOM! Studios for yet another nostalgia trip that exceeds my expectations by using a property I enjoy and treating it with respect to create something awesome.

IMAGE COMICS

Kill The Minotaur (TP)
Writers: Chris Pasetto & Christian Cantamessa; Artist: Lukas Ketner

I have to admit that I really should be familiar enough with the story of Theseus and the Minotaur from years working in a museum to be able to to tell how accurate to the source material this is… but I’m not. I remember a maze, a dude and a monster, all of which are covered in this take on the ancient Greek myth of a bull headed monster and the man that slays it.

In this spirit of Frank Millars 300, Kill the Minotaur spices up the story, adding lots of gore, a hint at space aliens (my take) and of course some gratuitous nudity and cursing.

The story begins with the king of Crete losing his son to the previously mentioned monster, which leads to years of conflict with nearby Athens where “tributes” are taken to be fed to the beast inside its labyrinth home.

Enter Theseus, son of the king, warrior in training and smart mouth layabout who is dragged into the battle and dropped into the maze along with his best friend, a mysterious ally and a some red ensigns… err… fellow countrymen.

The story moves along with lots of bodies, blood, guts and passable character development as Theseus becomes the hero he was destined to be. Pretty standard stuff and all well executed.

The design of the Minotaur was a fresh take, with it being a monster more in line with John Carpenter’s Thing than your typical guy with a bull’s head. It was a good choice and pairs nicely with the otherworldly nature of the maze, itself a living thing.

From a critical stand point, the writing isn’t anything overly fresh and the the art is a little sketchy here and there, but cover to cover, the comic is well produced. In fact, I would not be at all surprised to see a film adaptation come out of this as it seems tailor made to do so.

For fans of mythology and brutal, monster themed gore, Kill the Minotaur would make for a fine addition to the shelf.

That’s all from me this week, so from my corner of the multiverse to yours, excelsior!

Fearless And Powerful Is This ‘Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio’ on The Wednesday Run

Frankenstein (or Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus for you die-hard purists out there) by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is, of course, a classic mi- nineteenth century Gothic novel of man’s hubris.

Without debate, it has stood the test of time. We all know Frankenstein and the Frankenstein monster.

A comic book adaptation of that novel was undertaken by the legendary Gothic-horror artist, Bernie Wrightson, who was also responsible for co-creating everyone’s favourite muck monster, Swamp Thing for DC Comics in the early 1970s. It took nearly a decade for Wrightson to produce his exquisitely detailed drawings for that adaptation, which looked like metal etchings from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A perfect visual appeal for the corresponding text!

His Frankenstein was published by Marvel Comics to great acclaim in 1983 and remains a highly sought collector’s item.

In 2012, writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and Wrightson began creating a much anticipated sequel to the original Shelley story.

Today, that sequel gets compiled for the first time as the Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio.

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Heroes and Villains: January 19, 2018


Good day comic fans! I’m here in the office in snowy Cobourg, Ontario and that must mean its time for Heroes and Villains!

In today’s column I will be taking a look at the first two volumes of Injection by one of my favourite writers, Warren Ellis, as well as some titles from Zenescope, Dark Horse and Boom Studios. So without any further ballyhoo, let’s talk comics!

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