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Heroes and Villains – Reviewing Recent Comics 6-21-2017

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This time on Heroes and Villains, we’ll be looking at a variety of comics out this week and last, from a variety of genres. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Bill & Ted Save the Universe #1, Black Hammer #10, Victor LaValle’s Destroyer #2, Red Agent: The Human Order #8, Plastic #3, Kong of Skull Island #12, Empowered #10, Spencer & Locke #1-3, and Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1-2 from the Allreds… This is another loaded week, so who needs Secret Empires when we have so many other cool things to check out, be warned, there may be spoilers…

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#Kirby100: BBP! Celebrates The King Jack Kirby All Summer Long

Jack Kirby.

His artistry was, and remains, so innovative and influential in the comic book zeitgeist that the industry named awards after him. Heck, they even named a visual image after him: the affectionately known, “Kirby Krackle.”

How pervasive is writer and artist Jack Kirby in pop culture?

You can scan the litany of comic book characters that the man created or co-created and you’d be certain to find dozens that are your favourites. From the globally renowned Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men series of characters, to the populace’s burgeoning awareness of Darkseid and Black Panther, to the more niche creations of Kamandi, Etrigan the Demon and Destroyer Duck. With Kirby, the list of great characters goes on and on and on.

Without him, pop culture and comic books wouldn’t be at all what we know it to be today.

This August marks the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby and we here at Biff Bam Pop! mean to celebrate that auspicious centennial with a plethora of written accolades all summer long!

This is your cordial invitation to our #Kirby100 party!

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It’s A Wonderful #WonderWomanDay – Let’s All Celebrate!

You’ve already heard that the new Wonder Woman film has been released this weekend – and it’s making for some pretty glowing reviews!

We’re hearing that it’s full of action, adventure, tears and joy – and that there are <a-hem> pardon the pun – wonderful performances throughout the film!

Yesterday, Biff Bam Pop! Editor-In-Chief, Andy Burns, predicated a $105 million bankroll for the film in its first weekend of release. That’s a hefty and, frankly, outstanding sum of coin for this film and a number that can only be deemed a victory for the DC Cinematic Universe. There’s a lot riding on the Wonder Woman film both creatively and monetarily.

But Wonder Woman is more than just a single film. The character is a 75-year old pop culture icon of strength, love, hope, and will – not to mention an number of other positive and engaging adjectives!

Did you know that today, June 3, is #WonderWomanDay?!

Perfect timing, really…and there are a number of things you, or someone you love, can do to participate in the worldwide celebrations!

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Celebrate An Early #WonderWomanDay w. “Wonder Woman Annual #1” On The Wednesday Run

Even if you had your head under a rock, you’d know that there’s a highly anticipated (and finally!) Wonder Woman film being released this weekend!

Early reviews have been positive to absolutely glowing – and that sense of affirmation is just the vaccination that the DC Extended Universe film franchise has desperately needed! With the tent pole Justice League film dropping later this year and the cinematic debut of Aquaman now firmly in production, the Wonder Woman film had a massive pop culture encumbrance to bear on its shoulders.

Indeed, perhaps unfairly, the future of Warner Brother’s comic book universe of films was in absolute jeopardy due to previously dark and critically lackluster movies.

Thankfully, that sentiment is not the same in the comic book world – the wellspring of these globally recognized pop culture icons.

This Saturday, June 3, is appropriately, #WonderWomanDay. Fans around the world will be celebrating the feminist icon with comic book readings, cosplay, theater-goings and much, much more.

But you can get an early start on the festivities today with the release of Wonder Woman Annual #1 – a fantastic introduction to the character for readers of any age!

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It’s A Lower Class Bug Out With ‘Bug!: The Adventures Of A Forager #1’ On The Wednesday Run

Hierarchical social categories and comic books.

Status, ruling class, and sub species.

And “King” Jack Kirby.

The theme of social status was the starting point of Kirby’s New Gods comic book title when he strode across the publishing divide, walking away from Marvel Comics and turning his talents and ideas to rival DC Comics.

And boy did he bring ideas and characters that still reverberate nearly five decades later: Darkseid, the Anti-Life Equation, New Genesis, Apokolips, gods, monsters, destiny… and politics.

Not to mention the visionary publishing invention of interlocking titles that constitute one, finite story.

Still, social status was only one of the themes of Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” series of those interlocking comic book titles that included New Gods, Mister Miracle, The Forever People and Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olson.

That story of social status continues, with a new generation of great creators in this week’s release of Bug!: The Adventures Of A Forager #1!   

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Trailer Time: Wonder Woman – Final Trailer

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There’s been a lot of talk recently about Warner Bros. and DC Comics not promoting this movie as much as they should, but here at Biff Bam Pop! we love the Amazon Princess, so here is the final trailer for Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, and Robin Wright, directed by Patty Jenkins, will be released June 7, 2017. I love this (there’s even old school Golden Age villain Dr. Poison in this one!) and I cannot wait! What do you folks think?

The Ten Percent: ‘American Gods’

“Ninety percent of everything is crud.” – Theodore Sturgeon

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Greetings and welcome to another installment of The Ten Percent! Every two weeks (well, roughly), Ensley F. Guffey and I use this space to take a look at the inverse of Sturgeon’s Law; in other words, the small portion of everything which is not crud. Viewed as a whole, Sturgeon was, sadly, right – the vast majority of movies, television, writing, art, and so on really is crud – but there has always been that slim slice of sublime. The Ten Percent isn’t limited by genre – I think our previous columns have proven that point – and that’s because these rare gems are high quality productions which demand more of their viewer than simple passive reception.

I have, on occasion, discussed an entry that makes the cut on The Ten Percent in more than one category, such as a book and the movie made from the book. It’s hard enough to create ONE fantastic thing; to create a Ten-Percent-worthy work in more than a single medium is truly catching lightning in a bottle.

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Your Childhood Cartoons Meets Comics In “Green Lantern/Space Ghost Annual #1” & Others On The Wednesday Run

Never the two shall meet.

But it’s a little kid’s dream, isn’t it?

Those after school or Saturday morning cartoons – the ones that we ALL loved so much, made even more real, given a heightened sense of heroic justification, when intermingled with the heroes of the comic books we read!

I mean, we’d regularly have crossover adventures between cartoon and comic book heroes, universes, genres and pop culture mediums with the toys that we’d buy at the local store.

We were ahead of our time.

Green Lantern. Space Ghost. Suicide Squad. Banana Splits. Booster Gold. The Flintstones. Adam Strange. Jonny Quest.

Cartoons and comic books – never the two shall meet?

Not today – today we get ALL the meetings!

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Tour The DC Universe With The ‘Cosmic Odyssey: The Deluxe Edition’ On The Wednesday Run

cosmic-odyssey-deluxe-editionSpace.

The cosmos.

The uncharted ether of imagination.

That’s what brings us to today.

Over the last month and a half, we’ve begun unofficially celebrating the year of comic book legend Jack Kirby’s birth here at Biff Bam Pop! The “King” as he’s affectionately called, would be 100 years young this year…and make no mistake, his many pop culture creations live long and strong.

You know many of them: Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Silver Surfer, X-Men, etc., etc., etc.

Without Kirby, you could argue there would be no superhero comics, no Marvel Cinematic Universe, no Wednesday Run!

But beyond those characters listed, did you know about Kirby’s early 1970’s Fourth World creations: his “Cosmic Odyssey”? It was a series of interconnected titles that would tell one complete story, a publishing revelation, far ahead of its time!

Well, look no further than today release of the Kirby-inspired, late twentieth century release of, Cosmic Odyssey: The Deluxe Edition – and discover the King’s imagination run rampant across the universe!

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Chase The Tempest With “The Wild Storm #1” On The Wednesday Run

the-wildstorm-1-coverAnother week, another re-launch for DC Comics.

We’ve been down this road with the publishing company a number of times over the last few years, haven’t we? For us readers, it’s been a veritable tempest of reboots and changes, restarts and deviations for the DC Universe cast of characters.

But today isn’t just another iteration.

Today sees the comic book storytelling tempest fully in the hands of a master narrator.

Today, DC Comics has reached back into the late 1990’s in an attempt to revisit the success they had when they originally purchased the Wildstorm Productions comic book imprint: it’s titles, it’s characters, and, to a large degree, one specific creator.

Under the stewardship of the often-brilliant Warren Ellis, The Wild Storm #1 (finally) makes its eagerly-anticipated debut!

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