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!
We have been bereft of new Doctor Who for an entire year (“The Power of the Daleks” doesn’t count), since the last Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song,” a madcap and bittersweet conclusion to the River Song saga. To trump that adventure, showrunner Steven Moffat pulls a new rabbit from his hat – Doctor Who does superheroes. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “The Return of Doctor Mysterio.”
Whether you’re into films or video games or both, there have been lots of great DC releases out this past year. You can’t go wrong with getting any of these for the fan in your life, regardless of how familiar they are with the stories or characters.
I can’t recommend this collection highly enough for a few reasons. First, let’s start off simply by saying how great this series is, especially at telling the story of a 21st-century Batman. It has certainly stood the test of time from its late 1990s debut, and I say this as someone who just began watching it via this new set from Warner Brothers. Secondly, this is an economically sound way to get the three-season run of a show that was just as strong as the groundbreaking Batman: The Animated Series, which it is connected to in no small part by the voice of Kevin Conroy as an aged out Caped Crusader who takes teenage Terry McGinnis under his wing. Absolutely essential.
The comic book medium is able to tell all kinds of stories, but often of late, the stories meant for kids has become something of an afterthought. That’s not to say that there aren’t great kids comics being published – there are. That’s just to say that the reading age of those that are actively interested in comic books has risen over the last three decades…and comic book companies have catered to that older demographic in their publications.
It’s great to see that, especially as we approach the holidays – a time of wonderment and excitement for children (and their parents) – that DC Comics has decided it’s apt time to publish something pretty wonderful for kids (and their parents).
Today sees the release of the super-awesome Super Powers #1!
All through the last episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. we were teased and taunted with the identity and agenda of the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., now we finally get to meet him. Plus a second round of Quake vs. Ghost Rider, all this and more in my review of “Meet the New Boss,” after the jump.
Last week, DC Comics released DC Universe: Rebirth #1, a comic that made this very Wednesday Run column, which you can check it out right here. DC Universe: Rebirth #1 is a quadruple-sized revamp of the DC Universe, following the last four-plus years of “New 52” continuity.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, feel free to look it up on Wikipedia.
Suffice it to say, the fortunes (namely market share) for DC Comics have dwindled in comparison to Marvel Comics the last few years – and stories had taken a turn away from all the things that fans loved in DC Comics to begin with: legacy, love, and hope.
DC Universe: Rebirth #1 aimed to bring all of that back to the publishing company’s monthly comic books with a weekly roll-out of brand new first issues.
Today, the proof is in the pudding with a multitude of those issues finally being released! Follow me after the jump as the DC Universe gets re-birthed!
Instead of ending all of their monthly titles and re-starting them with brand new #1’s like they did with the launch of the “New 52”, DC Comics seems to have taken a page out of the Marvel Comics way of marketing: release new, fanfare series, in dribs and drabs. Calling it “Marvel NOW!”, this maneuver is generally a bit of a slow play and has been a great, albeit, well-used strategy for Marvel over the last few years. We’ll see how successful it is for DC Comics in the longer scheme of things.
That said, there are new stories and new status quos for some of DC biggest heroes in the offing. Follow me after the jump for today’s samplings for you to choose from!
To both the horror and the delight of fandom, the company ended every title they published, starting them up again with brand new #1 issues. Over a span of weeks, fifty-two new titles would be released, an unprecedented move in the industry, designed to start everyone – characters and readers alike – from scratch.
It must be said, for every great new title, there was also a handful that underperformed.
Nearly five years later, in lieu of declining sales and market share, the committee of editors, writers and artists that make up the captaincy of DC Comics, decided something was missing from their line of publications.
Today, we get the big event that will fix it all. Today, we get DC Universe: Rebirth #1.
Follow me after the jump for the whys and wherefores, which I’ll keep spoiler-free!
I, like many others, became familiar with the work of Darwyn Cooke through his DC: The New Frontier (2004), a six-issue miniseries that reexamined DC Comics’ stable of superheroes within the confines of the mid twentieth century and the changing political shape of America after World War II and into the Cold War era. DC: The New Frontier introduced readers to dozens of world-famous characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and even not-so-famous-but-beloved characters like the Challengers of the Unknown, meeting each other for the first time – in the same chronological order that they were originally published during the mid-twentieth century. It brought characters and ideas through the Golden Age of comic books (1930’s to 1950’s) to the burgeoning silver age (1950’s to 1970’s), with the story actually culminating in the foundation of the Justice League of America.
It was a brilliant idea. A tribute as much to the publishing history of comic books as it was a rollicking superhero adventure, the acclaimed series would garner multiple awards including Eisner Awards for Best Limited Series, Best Coloring and Best Publication Design. It also won Harvey Awards including Best Artist, and a Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist. DC: The New Frontier has been collected in numerous formats include a Deluxe and Absolute version, and was made into a direct-to-video animated film which preserved Cooke’s distinctive artistic sensibilities.
The Biff Bam Pop! Podcast Network presents The GAR! Podcast, the Glenn Walker and Ray Cornwall weekly podcast where they talk unrehearsed about whatever happens to come to mind. It’s an audio-zine for your mind, a nerd exploration of a nerd world, coming to you from across the vastness of suburban New Jersey via Skype.
This week, we’re recorded live from the 2016 Camden Comic Con, and interviewing the legendary comics artist and writer Neil Vokes, co-creator of Eagle and Death’s Dark Angel. You may also know his work from The Black Forest, The Wicked West, and Parliament of Justice. He is one of the best black and white artists to ever grace the form, and over the years has even tried his hand at Superman, Spider-Man, and Tarzan. See and hear more after the jump.
The Biff Bam Pop! Podcast Network presents Gobbledygeek featuring hosts Paul Smith and AJ Wiley and focusing on a variety of entertainment subjects, with our hosts and special guests frequently discussing films, comics, and television.
This week, Paul and AJ (AKA Arlo) are joined by guest Kenn Edwards to discuss among other things, Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, AJ’s name change, and Hamilton on Broadway. See and hear more after the jump.