Author: Rick Marshall

Doctor Who in Review: Season Four, Episode #5 – The Poison Sky

Doctor Who in Review: Season Four, Episode #5 – The Poison Sky

The hit BBC series Doctor Who is now in its fourth season on the Sci-Fi Channel, and since we’re all big fans here at ComicMix, we’ve decided to kick off an episode-by-episode analysis of the reinvigorated science-fiction classic.

Every week, we’ll have our best Who-philes go through the most recent episode with a fine-tooth comb (or whatever the "sonic screwdriver" equivalent might be) and call out all of the continuity checks, names dropped and storyline hints we can find to keep in mind for future episodes. We’ll post our analysis each Monday, so you have ample time to check out the episode once it airs each Friday at 9 PM EST on Sci-Fi Channel before reading our review.

Missed a week? Check out our "Doctor Who in Review" archive or check out any of the past editions of this column via the links at the end of this article.

Keep in mind, we’re going to assume readers have already watched the episode when we put fingers to keyboard and come up with our roundup of important plot points. In other words, SPOILER ALERT!

Let’s begin now, shall we?

Season Four, Episode #5: "The Poison Sky"


Interview: Darick Robertson on ‘The Boys’

Interview: Darick Robertson on ‘The Boys’

Artist Darick Robertson is one of my favorite contradictions in the comics industry.

On one side, he’s one of the friendliest creators I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with and remains one of the nicest of the industry’s "nice guys." But a quick peek at some of the projects he’s best known for, specifically his famous collaborations with writers such as Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan) and Garth Ennis (The Punisher: Born, The Boys), reveals a side of the artist’s imagination that doesn’t seem very, well… nice.

Whether it’s images of a human head being crushed like an overripe tomato or acts of depravity that would make Ron Jeremy blush, Robertson has shown a knack for creating amazing art that pushes the boundaries of comics — even those already aimed at mature readers.

Of course, that’s not to say his all-ages fare isn’t equally impressive. In addition to critically praised runs on series such as Justice League, Wolverine and New Warriors, Robertson remains a go-to guy for publishers like DC, who currently has him under contract as a regular artist.

In 2006, Robertson and Ennis kicked off a new, creator-owned series titled The Boys, about a group of superpowered, clandestine operatives for the U.S. government who investigate the questionable activities of other superpowered individuals and, when necessary, reign them in by any means necessary. After the controversial series was abruptly cancelled by DC/Wildstorm after six issues, it landed at Dynamite Entertainment, where it has been published ever since and remains one of the publisher’s most popular ongoing titles. Earlier this year, Columbia Pictures picked up the rights to make a film based on the series.

I spoke with Robertson while he was hard at work in his studio, and discussed his busy schedule, what’s coming up for The Boys and his inspiration for its characters. We also talked movies, bounced around some thoughts on potential casting choices for the film version of The Boys and compared the power of graphic imagery with that of scenes that show very little, but say quite a lot. 

COMICMIX: It’s been a while since we spoke last, Darick. How are things going these days with The Boys and Dynamite?

DARICK ROBERTSON: Everything’s great. It’s all coming along, everything’s going well and everyone’s been very professional.

CMix: You’ve also been doing some work for DC since you moved The Boys over to Dynamite. What’s the pace like for you these days?

DR: It’s been hard on the schedule, because I have to balance it all out with DC. When I took The Boys on, I was working for DC, but they generously kept me under contract when I went over to Dynamite. So now I have to balance those two schedules out. All in all, it’s been okay, though.

CMix: In the most recent story, The Boys ended up in Russia and, as usual, they tangled with a lot of questionable characters in capes. From the artist’s side, how do you feel about having to design so many new costumes and super-types in each story? Is it fun to design completely new sets of costumes and characters for every story or do you look forward to issues in which you only have to worry about working on the regular cast?

DR: I have the most fun when I’m drawing new things. In the case, I really enjoyed the scene where I had to draw everybody in the warehouse, and I got to free-form with my ideas. They weren’t any specific characters and I didn’t have to worry about them reappearing in the continuity, since they all exploded at the end of that arc. I could just do whatever I wanted. That’s where I get to have the most fun, because it’s very low-pressure.


The Simpsons Meet Dragonball?

The Simpsons Meet Dragonball?

To be filed under "I Don’t Know Where It Came From But I Like It," this image of characters from the popular Dragonball anime and manga series (and upcoming live-action film) drawn up a la The Simpsons recently popped up on the InterWebs.

While it’s safe to assume Simpsons creator Matt Groenig had no hand in the creation of this piece, it’s nice to see that the "Simpsonizing" thing is still going strong.

I’ve posted a larger version of the image after the jump.

Oh, and read our past coverage of the Dragonball live-action film here.


EZ Street: The Soundtrack

EZ Street: The Soundtrack

Comics pro Mark Wheatley is already known for his work on series like Breathtaker, Frankenstein Mobster and his current ongoing series EZ Street here on ComicMix, but many readers might not be as familiar with Wheatley’s other creative outlet: music.

The talented writer/artist recently directed me to a batch of songs he’s written (and in most cases, performed all by his lonesome), including the theme song to his Insight Studios series Radical Dreamer and both a theme song and songlist for several episodes of EZ Street.

According to Wheatley, the theme song for EZ Street recently climbed as high as #25 in the Top 100 (of more than 13,000) Progressive Rock songs on SoundClick, the musician site hosting the tracks.

You can listen to EZ Street by pressing the "Play" button on the widget below:



You can also view the rest of Wheatley’s songs on SoundClick by clicking here, and if you’re interested in pairing the music with a few episodes of the series that inspired them, visit our EZ Street archive found here.

For those interested in the lyrics to the EZ Street theme song, Wheatley has provided them after the jump:


Marvel Offices Art Tour

Marvel Offices Art Tour

Over at, the publisher’s "Spy in the House" blogger Agent M recently posted the first in what he says will be an ongoing series of photos from around the company’s Manhattan office, spotlighting the art on display.

For the first piece of art, he’s posted a photo of an Iron Man print, of course:

But this image by the legendary French artist Moebius (Jean Giraud) blows my mind every time I see it. It’s weird, creepy, super-detailed and alien and I love. I don’t know if it’s just a poster/pin-up or it was actually published in a comic, but there are a few other Moebius Marvel posters out there in this style (that we don’t have here, as far as I know) and I still dig this one the most.

Like Agent M, I’ve never been a big fan of Iron Man, but I’m equally impressed with this piece of art. Here’s hoping he continues this series. I’d love to see a few more pieces like this from around the Merry Marvel HQ.

Check out the full post on I’ve posted a larger version of the image after the jump.


‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Tarot Cards and Ouija Board

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Tarot Cards and Ouija Board

Every now and then, a product announcement comes across the wire that catches my eye. Sometimes the product is connected to a property I’m a big fan of, and other times it piques my interest for no other reason than it seems like a creative, original idea for a tie-in.

Not being a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan (I was more of an Angel person, to be honest), it’s a case of the latter that prompts me to echo Dark Horse Comics‘ recent announcement that the publisher will be producing a set of tarot cards and ouija board based on the Buffy property. It’s the sort of tie-in that’s such a no-brainer I can’t believe it hasn’t been done already — and after a quick Google for Buffy-related tarot cards and ouija boards, I salute the good folks at Dark Horse for getting there first (until someone tells me otherwise).

From the official press release:

Named for an award-winning episode from Season Seven of the BVS television series—and written by Buffy Season Eight: Wolves at the Gate author Drew Goddard—the Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Conversations with Dead People” Board is a great game for fans, in this world and the next, to communicate with each other about life, death, and other mysteries. In the tradition of the Sunnydale Hellmouth, through which countless entities gained entry, fearless souls can let voices from the other side guide the planchette along the board to spell out the answers to their queries. Folks can channel their inner Willow and hone their witchy skills, providing hours of fun for the whole séance! Accompanying the game board and planchette, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Conversations with Dead People” Board includes an exclusive, comic-style instruction book featuring sequential art by Buffy SeasonEight guest illustrator Paul Lee!


G.I. Joe Goes to IDW

G.I. Joe Goes to IDW

In a surprise to pretty much no one, Hasbro announced today that it had reached an agreement with IDW Publishing to produce comics based on the toy company’s G.I. Joe license.

As we reported back in January, the license was up for grabs after Hasbro declined to renew with Devil’s Due, the publisher often credited with making the license relevant again after G.I. Joe properties had spent a long period in limbo.

The move to IDW has been anticipated ever since the license was freed up, due to IDW’s successful management of the Transformers license during the period leading up to and after the release of the Transformers live-action film. A live-action G.I. Joe film is scheduled for an August 2009 release from Paramount Pictures.

(You can view a large gallery of the recently released G.I. Joe cast photos here.)

As far as IDW’s plans for the license, the official announcement includes the following information:

As part of the agreement, IDW will produce a new monthly comic series, as well as deluxe reprints of the G.I. JOE property’s vast comic library, which helped catapult the G.I. JOE vs. COBRA phenomenon more than 25 years ago. IDW also has the rights for trade paperbacks and graphic novels.

The first products from this deal, a new monthly comic book series based on classic G.I. JOE vs. COBRA lore, will be launched with an introductory debut issue in October 2008. Featuring all-new storylines, the comics will portray the epic struggle of the G.I. JOE team against the evil forces of COBRA, while highlighting the brand’s favorite heroes and villains that made kids of the ‘80s today’s fans.

In 2009, IDW will also produce comic series both inspired by and based on the upcoming G.I. JOE live-action major motion picture from Paramount Pictures and Hasbro slated for August 7, 2009, as well as deluxe reprints from the vast G.I. JOE vs. COBRA comic history. The planned IDW comic book projects will be distributed to a wide audience through comic book outlets, trade bookstores and mass retailers.


Wolverine: Superfrog?

Wolverine: Superfrog?

Wolverine is one of those characters who has been presented dozens of different ways over the years, from the tightie-whiteys and metal helmet days of Weapon X to the crotchety senior years of Old Man Logan. One thing we haven’t seen until now, however, is Wolverine in his… amphibian years?

Thanks to a team of Harvard University biologists led by David Blackburn, science reports everywhere are turning an eye to the comics scene and comparing a species of African frog to the most popular Marvel Comics mutant.

From Science Magazine:

When the comic book warrior faces a fight, metallic blades spring forth from his hand. A new study concludes that certain African frogs are similarly equipped, having sharp, claw-shaped bones that pierce through their own fingertips when the animal is threatened.

While researchers think the "bone claws" might be more useful for climbing than for fighting, they also speculate that amphibians’ well-known ability to regenerate tissue also comes into play when sending their own bone fragments through layers of skin as these species do — "just like Wolverine."

Of course, the hardcore comic geek in me really wants to point out that these frogs might be more like another Marvel character, Marrow (who can grow extra bone mass to use as a weapon), than everyone’s favorite Canucklehead — but I appreciate what you were trying to do there, scientist-people.

And on a quick side note, anyone remember the frog version of another popular Marvel character — namely, Thor? Now that was a superfrog.

Video: Stephanie Vozzo on Coloring ‘Archie’

Video: Stephanie Vozzo on Coloring ‘Archie’

Minnesota NBC affiliate KARE11 recently turned an eye toward the comics scene in an ongoing video series called "Job Swap" — in which a reporter trades jobs for a day with various professionals.

In the May 22 episode of the series, reporter Rena Sarigianopoulos traded jobs with Archie colorist Stephanie Vozzo.

"There are a lot of people that color comics for different companies but there are not many people who do it for Archie," says Vozzo.

And, she does it all by hand. "I work probably six to eight hours a day, depending on how busy the page is, it could take an hour or more to do a page."

There are a pair of videos you can watch on the KARE11 site here. Thanks go out to ComicMix reader Russ Rogers for tipping me off to this story.