Tagged: Jae Lee

REVIEW: Ultimate Wolverine vs. Sabertooth

REVIEW: Ultimate Wolverine vs. Sabertooth

Wolverine vs SabretoothAre they father and son? Brothers? Clones? It all depends on which incarnation of Wolverine and Sabertooth you are reading or watching. Their battles have been so frequent that it takes a lot these days to get you to pay attention to the banter and slashing.

Don’t let the title fool you since this is not the Ultimate Universe version of Wolverine but the Marvel Universe incarnation and the story is taken from Wolverine #50-55, one of the first stories written by Jeph Loeb when he returned to Marvel. Set at a time when there were just under 200 mutants on Earth, Sabertooth had been taken in by the X-Men but as one would expect, the Xavier Mansion is not big enough for the two bruisers. So they fight. And fight. And flashback to other fights through the years. And they fight. And they fight Black Panther and get lectured by Storm. And in the end, Sabertooth dies. For a little while anyway.

Loeb and artist Simone Bianchi crafted a fine fight for the duo that fans adored and inspired Marvel to turn into a Motion Comic. Now that conflict is being collected on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory, being released on Tuesday. The resurrection of Sabertooth took place some five years later, pretty long for a dead villain.

As with the other motion comics that have come from Marvel, they have been as dependent on the motion technology as they are with the artwork used as source material. Jae Lee’s fine work didn’t translate well in Origin and Bianchi’s similar work made me question how successful this could be. Thankfully, his dark, painterly style works far better – not great, but better.

The 66 minute slug fest faithfully adapts the story although once more, the vocal casting leaves something to be desired. The score helps a lot.

The disc also comes with a 24:00 retrospective as Loeb and Bianchi recount how they partnered up and struggled to find a fresh way to have these two engines of destruction fight one another without boring the reader. Both speak well and it’s a well-done piece that relies too heavily on clips and has Loeb practically  begging you to take Motion Comics seriously.

Captain Action Explodes at Dyamite

Dynamite Entertainment adds a new Captain Action comic book series, Codename: Action to their line of pulp heroes.

PRESS RELEASE:

June 11, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ-
Dynamite Entertainment, in conjunction with Captain Action Enterprises, proudly announces the September launch of CODENAME: ACTION, a six-issue comic book event that unites the ultimate super-spy, Captain Action, with classic pulp heroes including Green Hornet, Kato, the Spider, and Black Venus.  Written by Chris Roberson (Masks, Superman) and featuring artwork by Jonathan Lau (Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet), the debut #1 issues will include variant covers by accomplished illustrators Jae Lee, Francesco Francavilla, Jonathan Lau, Johnny Desjardins, and Art Baltazar.

CODENAME: ACTION takes place during the Cold War, as unknown forces scheme to heat up the global conflict.  When key officials on both sides of the Iron Curtain are replaced with doppelgangers, the infiltration threatens to disrupt the precarious state of world affairs… until one young secret agent shapes the world’s masked heroes into a force with singular purpose and unyielding resolve!

“CODENAME: ACTION is a showcase of the things I love about jet-age superspies and Cold War-era superheroics,” says the World Fantasy Award-nominated author, Chris Roberson.  “In part, it functions as an origin story for Captain Action, reintroducing him to a modern audience while at the same time setting him firmly in the period in which the character first appeared.  Captain Action was a product of the time that gave us the James Bond films, and TV shows like Man From UNCLE and The Prisoner, and CODENAME: ACTION is very much an attempt to put the character in that kind of context.

Roberson, hot off of his stint as writer for the bestselling Masks series, knows how best to balance a handful of fan-favorite and highly independent characters.  “The main focus of the attention is on the spy and espionage characters like Operator 5, Black Venus, and Operative 1001 (the man who will become Captain Action).  Along the way, our heroes will encounter various masked heroes and vigilantes, like American Crusader, Green Hornet, and Kato.  It’s been an organic process, as I find the best places to fill in supporting or ‘guest star’ roles.”

Jonathan Lau, whose spirited artwork graced the pages of Dynamite titles Green Hornet and Black Terror, looks forward to drawing so many spies and superheroes with great enthusiasm.  “I’m excited!  Captain Action is sort of like Nick Fury, and there’s a dynamism in laying out the Green Hornet/Kato duo, especially when it comes to Kato making big motions to convey

action.  The American Crusader is another character I enjoy drawing again (after his appearance in Black Terror), since he’s the muscle of this series, and it’s always fun to draw super-powered beings doing super stuff.”

In a joint statement, Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn of licensor Captain Action Enterprises gave a shining endorsement:  “We’re big comic, spy and pulp fans, so it’s a thrill to see all those characters in one adventure together.  And we’re also big Chris Roberson fans from his work on iZombie and Monkeybrain Comics.  Captain Action is a spy, and impersonating others (especially superheroes) is an important part of what’s he all about… so to start the Captain’s adventures with heroes like the Green Hornet and Kato makes all the sense in the world.  We’re also honored that the baton was passed to Captain Action as he’s center stage in this mini-series.  Like a young quarterback given the opportunity to play in the big game, it’s both daunting and terribly exciting!”

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About Dynamite Entertainment:
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more!

Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.

In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent!

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Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles – including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger’s Project Superpowers – have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

About Captain Action Enterprises
As Retropreneurs, Captain Action Enterprises, LLC specializes in taking old properties and rejuvenating them for a new generation. Captain Action appears in an on-going action figure line, lithographs, statues, T-shirts, hoodies, model kits, pulp novels, drink ware, and ID cases. Currently, CAE is collaborating with G7 in order to develop a Captain Action animated series. Additional properties include the Zeroids and Savage Beauty. For additional information, please contact Ed Catto at edcatto@CaptainAction.com.

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REVIEW: The Inhumans

The Inhumans motion comicThe Inhumans were one of the last great creations by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Beginning with Medusa, introduced in Fantastic Four #36 in 1965, the full complement showed up nine months later. They were another branch of humanity, although it was a long time before readers learned the full story, especially as succeeding writers found new ways to tie them in to the evolving Marvel Universe cosmology. They were a fascinating, colorful bunch but each time they received their own series, it never quite caught on. Still, that hasn’t stopped people from trying, including Paul Jenkins who brought a radical approach to the race for the fourth attempt in 2003. His twelve issue maxiseries was drawn by Jae Lee, propelling him into the spotlight.

Jenkins focused on what the societal structure of Attilan, must be like. We knew previously of Black Bolt and the royal family, but we also came to know that there is a subservient class of Alpha Primitives. The maxiseries contrasts relations between the Inhumans and the mutants along with the Inhumans and the world governments. To tell the story, he focused on a group of teens as they undergo Terrigenesis, a rite of passage that exposes each to the Terrigan Mists, which unlocks their special genetic heritage.

Stirring the unrest among the Primitives is one young Inhuman, an outcast from their society. Stirring unrest among the governments is the king’s insane brother Maximus the Mad. And yes, there’s an insidious connection between the two. Various governments covet the high tech prowess possessed by the Inhumans while Black Bolt just wants to live apart from humanity. Geopolitics, fueled by family infighting, ignites and propels the story.

This was adapted into a series of motion comics shorts that ran online a while back and has been collected onto DVD by Shout! Factory. As with the other motion comics, the process is a modern day version of the 1960s Marvel cartoons with the artwork lifted from the comics and limited animation added. Jae Lee’s artwork does not lend itself well to the process and the modifications to his work by others are evident.

Jenkins’ story, already episodic, breaks into neat chapters and flows nicely. He clearly has his favorites such as Karnak the Shatterer, and doesn’t know what to do with others such as Triton and Crystal. In the center remains the mute Black Bolt, long-suffering sovereign of a people that cannot find lasting peace. He also gives new characters to embrace such as Tonaja, one of the newest Inhumans and Rexel Toiven, who considers himself an outcast and decides to take his problems to the world governments in the name of his king. Of course, the humans fight back and Attilan is brought to the brink of a global war. With Maximus stirring up the Primitives, Black Bolt has his gloved hands full.

As befit Marvel Knights at the time, this is a darker take on the Marvel Universe and their allegorical themes. In this case, the Inhumans stand in for the standard fear of mutants but there are several other themes Jenkins explores and does well, although the comic actually does a better job with this aspect.

I wish I could explain it, but as usual, the vocal talent here is lackluster although better than most of the other motion comics from Marvel. Brian Drummond’s Maximus gets an A.

Shout! merely collects the chapters without editing them into a seamless movie so you get each installment’s recap and by the midpoint it feels very repetitious. The 132 minute running time could have been streamlined and the story made stronger in the process.

Unlike some of the other DVDs in the series, this one comes with A Look Back At The Inhumans with fresh interviews from Jenkins and then-Marvel Knights chief  and now Chief Creative officer Joe Quesada. Jenkins does a nice job talking about the motivations for the project, his thoughts on the Inhumans as characters in the Marvel Universe, and writing the maxiseries. Quesada is a bit more generic and rah rah.

THE SHADOW KNOWS THE FIRE OF CREATION

Cover Art: Alex Ross

The 176 page trade paperback collection of Dynamite Entertainment’s The Shadow: Fire of Creation arrives in comic shops on Wednesday, November 7th.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! It’s 1938 and The Shadow returns in a tale of blazing action and deadly intrigue, as a night of carnage on the New York waterfront plunges the mysterious vigilante into a conspiracy involving the fate of the world itself. As storm clouds gather across the globe, American Military Intelligence meets with a certain Lamont Cranston, determined to beat a host of spies and assassins to the greatest prize of all… but what that might be, only the Shadow knows.

Collecting the first six issues of the hit series written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Aaron Campbell, featuring Garth Ennis’ script to issue #1 as well as a complete cover gallery featuring art by Alex Ross, Jae Lee, John Cassaday, Ryan Sook, Howard Chaykin, and more.

Learn more at Dynamite Entertainment.

DC Announces “Before Watchmen”

Watchmen 2: Watch HarderIt’s official… From the DC Source blog:

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on the acclaimed WATCHMEN universe. As highly anticipated as they are controversial, the seven inter-connected prequel mini-series will build on the foundation of the original WATCHMEN, the bestselling graphic novel of all time. BEFORE WATCHMEN will be the collective banner for all seven titles, from DC Comics.

“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”

Stepping up to the challenge is a group of the comic book industry’s most iconoclastic writers and artists – including Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS), Lee Bermejo (JOKER), Amanda Conner (POWER GIRL), Darwyn Cooke (JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER), John Higgins (WATCHMEN), Adam Hughes (CATWOMAN), J.G. Jones (FINAL CRISIS), Andy Kubert (FLASHPOINT), Joe Kubert (SGT. ROCK), Jae Lee (BATMAN: JEKYLL AND HYDE), J. Michael Straczynski (SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE) and Len Wein (SWAMP THING).

(more…)

ENNIS AND AARON TAKE TO THE SHADOWS IN APRIL!

Cover: Alex Ross
Cover: Jae Lee

In the first issue of the new ongoing The Shadow series, it’s 1938 and The Shadow returns in a tale of blazing action and deadly intrigue, as a night of carnage on the New York waterfront plunges the mysterious vigilante into a conspiracy involving the fate of the world itself. As storm clouds gather across the globe, American Military Intelligence meets with a certain Lamont Cranston, determined to beat a host of spies and assassins to the greatest prize of all… but what that might be, only the Shadow knows. Be sure to get The Shadow #1 in April 2012!

Written by Garth Ennis with art by Aaron Campbell. Cover art provided by Alex Ross, Howard Chaykin, Jae Lee and John Cassaday.

Learn more about Dynamite Entertainment at http://www.dynamite.net/.

Click on images for a larger view.

Cover: John Cassiday

Cover: Howard Chaykin
A Clockwork Orange

What Literature Should Become Comics?

A Clockwork OrangeBookExpo America, the largest industry convention for publishers, booksellers, librarians, and other folks in the industry, runs at the Javits Center in New York this week. It’s often used as a stalking ground for movie and TV studios to snap up properties for adaptations, so one wonders– what books should be adapted into comics form, and by who?

There have been a number of interesting translations over the years. The biggest success story of the past few years have included Darwyn Cooke’s adaptations of Richard Stark’s [[[The Hunter]]] and [[[The Outfit]]] and Marvel’s adaptations of Stephen King’s [[[The Dark Tower]]] by Peter David and Jae Lee, but there have been many others, from the recent adaptations of Ayn Rand’s [[[Anthem]]], Marvel’s [[[Wizard of Oz]]] and [[[Ender’s Game]]], Dynamite’s adaptations of Robert Jordan’s [[[The Wheel Of Time]]], BOOM!’s [[[Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep]]], longevity champion [[[Conan The Barbarian]]] which has been adapted and extended for over forty years, and reaching all the way back to [[[Classics Illustrated]]], which was your parents’ version of Cliffs Notes and Sesame Street.

More tantalizing are the versions that haven’t been made yet. Phil Foglio and Matt Howarth did their own version of the introduction to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s [[[Good Omens]]], and Phil had already adapted the first book of [[[Myth Adventures]]] by Robert Asprin. Now we have Kevin Colden ([[[Fishtown]]]) showing his proof-of-concept for his version of Anthony Burgess’s [[[A Clockwork Orange]]]. Click through to see the first few pages.

What adaptations would you like to see? And by who? [[[American Psycho]]] by Bill Sienkiewicz, or maybe Howard Chaykin? [[[Catcher In The Rye]]] by Dean Haspiel or Evan Dorkin? [[[The Great Gatsby]]] by P. Craig Russell? John Ostrander writing [[[The Thin Man]]], or Mike W. Barr writing [[[Ellery Queen]]]? Personally, I’d love to see Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely take a crack at [[[Brave New World]]]

ComicMix Radio: Playing it Straight on April Fools Day

ComicMix Radio: Playing it Straight on April Fools Day

Looking back at the stories we’ve covered over the last year, it would be hard to make anything up that actually — in comics — couldn’t be true!  Instead, we leave the whoopee cushions to others and deliver our dead-serious list of new comics & DVD releases for the week, plus:

— More on Warren Ellis’ exit from Thunderbolts

— Devil’s Due Publishing brings their comics to your cellphone

— Jae Lee awaits words from the fans on Dark Tower sequel

—  And, no joke, another  exclusive Graham Crackers Comics variant could be in the mail to you — if you win by e-mailing us at: podcast [at] comicmix.com

Just  press the button and nothing bad will happen!

 

 

And remember, you can always subscribe to ComicMix Radio podcasts via iTunes - ComicMix or RSS!

 

ComicMix TV: ‘Dark Tower’ Midnight Release

ComicMix TV: ‘Dark Tower’ Midnight Release

 

ComicMix TV is back once again with another episode!

This time we’re in the heart of Manhattan at Midtown Comics for the midnight release of Marvel Comics’ Dark Tower 2: The Long Road Home. Not only do we have video from the event, but we also have exclusive interviews with Dark Tower: The Long Road Home creators Peter David and Jae Lee.

SPOILER ALERT: For those of you who haven’t read the first Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger Born, there are spoilery pieces of plot contained in the interview. So, consider yourself warned!

Enjoy!

 

 

Jae Lee speaks, IFC goes anime

Jae Lee speaks, IFC goes anime

The Flash gets a new artist, the 2007 24-hour-comics-day is disclosed, this week’s new comics are previewed, Jae Lee is interviewed, IFC’s anime maven speaks… and… where is Buffy hiding?

Mike Raub has the lowdown on ComicMix Podcast #10 — available right now, right here: