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Heroes and Villains – Reviewing Recent Comics 7-5-2017

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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 Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Fire Prince #1, Patriot-1, Wonder Woman #25, The Flash #25, All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1, Secret Empire #5, and The Rook Archives, Volume 2… be warned, there may be spoilers…

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Glenn Walker Reviews Civil War II #6

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War Machine is dead. She-Hulk is barely alive after a coma. The Hulk is dead, killed by Hawkeye. And now Spider-Man might kill Captain America? Is this really what we want in a comic book? Are readers that bloodthirsty that we’ve entered the era where Rollerball and Death Race are almost real? Surely it can’t be that bad, or as Civil War II #6 rolls out the week before one of the most insane US Presidential elections in history, is it? Or perhaps there is a more sinister reason behind all this. Meet me after the jump for my admittedly dark pre-Halloween pre-election thoughts on Civil War II #6…

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Online Goes Hardcopy BOOM With “World of Tanks” #1 On The Wednesday Run

World of TanksI’ve played my share of video games, both in the mature privacy of my home console (Skyrim) and in the shared online world against a bunch of kids who relentlessly kick my ass and call me names (Call of Duty).

It’s no great secret that video games, like comic books before them, have become fertile grounds to cross-pollinate into other mediums: chiefly film and television and even books. In fact, video games themselves have become bigger business than even Hollywood could ever dream – and Hollywood dreams big!

Once in a while, a video game makes the jump to the printed medium – and comic books are a particularly fertile ground to continue stories, expand on created artwork, and indoctrinate new or lapsed players into video-gaming.

Today is one of those days.

Today we get the MMOG online war game-turned-comic book mini-series: World of Tanks #1!

    
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The GAR! Podcast: Misery of Vision

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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 talking about El Capitan, the Vision, Darth Vader, and our long-awaited return, along with all the usual stuff. See and hear more after the jump.

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Ensley F. Guffey On… War Comics: Mlle. Marie

[EDITED 11/13/2015 7:33 PM EST] As I sit here tonight listening to the news reports about the barbarous attacks in Paris, I find it fitting that the post below went live today. Mlle. Marie is a fictional character, written and illustrated by Americans, but there were real French women in the Resistance who were more daring, more fierce, and more determined even than Marie, and tonight, even as gun battles still raged, fires still burned, and cowards held innocents hostage, Parisians marched down the Boulevard Magenta towards the Stade de France – towards the explosions – Le Tricolore held high. Families are opening their doors to offer strangers sanctuary, while men and women and children of all ages risk their lives to help the wounded, comfort the grieving, and to light a fire against the darkness. These are the descendants of those who inspired the creation of Mlle. Marie, and tonight they inspire the world, and we stand with them, saying again, Lafayette, nous sommes ici. Vive la France!

Mlle. Marie from Star-Spangled War Stories 88, art by Mort Drucker.

Mlle. Marie from Star-Spangled War Stories 88, art by Mort Drucker.

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

In 1959, DC’s line of war comics was going strong, and on the verge of becoming one of the most profitable, and reliable, group of titles in the entire DC stable. In the June issue of Our Army at War, Robert Kanigher (the editor and main writer for the war line) had penned a story called “The Rock and the Wall” and assigned it to artist Joe Kubert,  thereby giving birth to Sgt. Frank Rock. Marking not only the creation of one of the most well-known characters in American comics, Our Army at War #83 also began a turn in war comics away from the traditional anthology format, with several different, unconnected stories featuring non-recurring characters in each issue. Following the advent of Sgt. Rock, each of DC’s war titles gained a headliner who would appear in every issue, becoming the ongoing core of each book. Two months after the debut of Sgt. Rock, Kanigher and Jerry Grandenetti gave Star- Spangled War Stories (SSWS) its own lead, the deadliest, most effective leader of the French Resistance: Mademoiselle Marie.

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Ensley F. Guffey On… War Comics

Cover of Blazing Combat #3, art by Frank Frazetta

Cover of Blazing Combat #3, art by Frank Frazetta

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things.  Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years.  Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too.  Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

This week we once again have the pleasure of having Ensley F. Guffey share his love of War Comics, but this time focusing on the Blazing Combat series…

Hello and welcome to another installment of “Ensley F. Guffey on War Comics.” Last time, I used this space to gush about one of my favorite British contributions to the genre, but today I’ll be hopping back across the pond to examine a series that regularly places in the top five of every “Best War Comics” list I’ve ever seen: Blazing Combat. Unlike the other books I’ve written about here, Blazing Combat didn’t come into my life until I was an adult, and beginning to seriously study the genre, but when I discovered it, but it was worth the wait.

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Ensley F. Guffey On… War Comics

Cover of Battle Action 198. Joe Colquhoun, art.

Cover of Battle Action 198. Joe Colquhoun, art.

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things.  Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years.  Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too.  Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

This week we once again have the pleasure of having Ensley F. Guffey share his love of War Comics, but this time on a more specific period and set of characters – Johnny Red and the Falcon Squadron. 

As I think the last Ensley F. Guffey On… War Comics showed, my love of the genre began early, and Sgt. Rock and the rest of DC’s war line are some of the very first comics I read and obsessed over. To this day I maintain that DC was the preeminent publisher of war comics in the US, and that very few comics have matched, much less surpassed DC’s work, particularly in the period 1960 – 1975.

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Ensley F. Guffey On… War Comics

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things.  Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years.  Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too.  Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

This week we have the pleasure of having Ensley F. Guffey share his love of War Comics, after the jump. 

DC's war comics characters, drawn by Joe Kubert for the History of the DC Universe Portfolio, 1986.

DC’s war comics characters, drawn by Joe Kubert for the History of the DC Universe Portfolio, 1986.

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