In the post-Flashpoint continuity (New 52), Oliver Queen is Green Arrow and he balances his own breaking of laws with his efforts to bring outlaws to justice across the globe. Queen runs Q-Core, a communications technology company that is part of Queen Industries, through which he funds and armors himself as Green Arrow. He makes scarce allusion to his former partnership with Roy Harper, but Roy’s memories in Red Hood and the Outlaws establish that the pair fell out badly, leading Oliver to expel him from Q-Core, and prompting Roy’s own downward spiral.
He is based once again in Seattle and supported in his vigilante activities by a small team of close friends who are tech geniuses. New mysteries concerning Oliver’s original time on the island where he was shipwrecked are brought to the fore, a central mythology concerning the ancient Arrow Clan is introduced, and new antagonists, including Komodo, who Oliver learns was his father’s archer apprentice and murderer emerges from the shadows!
Italian comic book artist Andrea Sorrentino puts together this chilling view of a very distraught and battered Green Arrow with some pretty threatening helicopters rapidly closing in!
The Batman saga takes place primarily in the fictional municipality of Gotham City, a city overrun with crime, graft, and corruption. Its citizens live in perpetual fear from the vast number of criminals, gangs and common thugs. In an effort to combat the cancerous infection of crime, billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne creates the costumed persona of the Batman to prey on the superstitious and cowardly criminals’ fears.
Wayne, a young socialite who witnessed his parents’ murder during a mugging when he was a small child, used his trauma and vast personal wealth to travel the world and gain the skills needed to wage his war on crime. Batman utilizes his keen analytical mind and sophisticated technology and gadgetry, as well as outstanding physical agility, power and stamina to ensure that criminals never feel safe in Gotham, and are always afraid of the dark at night.
In the eyes of the public, the Batman is believed to be both an urban legend and something more than human: an indeterminable black specter that represents terror. Wayne reasoned that fear was his weakness as a child, but as a man, it became his weapon.
Canadian comic book artist Jason Fabok brings us this particularly menacing take on the ever growling Dark Knight:
DC’s New 52 version of Katana sees her joining Black Canary and Starling as the third member of the Birds of Prey. Katana is described as a lethal fighter who has spent the last year waging war on the Yakuza clan that is responsible for the death of her husband. She is rumored to be mentally unstable due to her belief that her husband’s soul, whom she often converses with in Japanese, resides in her sword.
After a number of adventures with the Birds of Prey, Katana leaves the group in order to keep an eye on a cult of assassins known as the Daggers. She later accepts membership in Amanda Waller’s new Justice League of America in exchange for information on her husband’s murderers.
This time around, Spanish comic book artist Juan Jose Ryp dips into his artbook and produces this fantastically detailed depiction of a rather battered Katana seemingly in a rather fragile predicament.
DC Comics’ Blue Beetle stands tall in this fantastic looking piece of comic book art, courtesy of Toronto-based comic book artist Meng Tian Zhang.
The 75th anniversary of Superman officially kicks off with this amazing super-short film created by Bruce Timm (Superman: The Animated Series) and Zack Snyder (Man of Steel), and produced by Warner Bros. Animation.
This animated short follows Superman through the years, from his first appearance on the cover of Action Comics #1 all the way through to Henry Cavill in this year’s Man of Steel.
Seriously, there’s so much history in this two-minute film, it’s enough to make any fanboy quiver with happiness!
The official DC Blog went and wrote up a full breakdown of the video, and I thought it worth saving here just in case they go ahead and lose it in the next site redesign (which always seems to happen).
The Birds of Prey are definitely under attack, and by the looks of it, Batgirl doesn’t have much other choice than to surrender, in this wonderfully detailed piece of comic book art by the art team of Indonesian native Ardian Syaf and Spanish resident Vicente Cifuentes.
The problem with being immortal is more often than not, you get treated like a human pin cushion. This fun bit of comic book art featuring the cast of Valiant Entertainment’s Archer & Armstrong series comes to us courtesy of Italian comic book artist Emanuela Lupacchino.
Every now and then I’ll pick up a comic book to read, though I have to say that these days it is pretty few and far between. Anyway, here’s a quick roundup of some of the graphic novels I did in fact encounter over the last couple of months…
Preacher: Dixie Fried (Volume 5) (1998)
After destroying the headquarters of the all-powerful Grail conspiracy and freeing his hard-drinking vampire pal Cassidy from its dungeons, the Reverend Jesse Custer is about to reunite with his straight-shooting girlfriend Tulip O’Hare and resume his hunt for answers from an elusive God – provided that Tulip forgives him for leaving her behind during his little rescue mission.
But getting those answers will mean delving into the hidden mind of Genesis, the angel/demon offspring that has fused itself to Jesse’s soul, and that will require some serious spiritual excavation – the kind that only real, down-home black magic can offer. Luckily, Cassidy happens to know a voodoo priest in New Orleans who can help unlock the Genesis memories in Jesse’s head. In the same breath, unluckily, Cassidy also has a cult of bloodthirsty vampire wannabes in New Orleans after his head!
Even after all of these years Preacher still holds up as a thoroughly entertaining ready, a seriously black comedy drama that doesn’t care what sacred religious cow it touches, or in most cases, bruises. Twists and turns a plenty, weird and generally terrifying characters and situations, both subtle and not so subtle bits of injected dark humour, and just all in all a very engaging and gripping story, from start to finish.
And needless to say, Volume 5 (Dixie Fried) in this saga by writer Garth Ennis doesn’t disappoint in any of the above regards.
At the same time, artist Steve Dillon produces some fantastically detailed and emotive visuals to back up this great read, making Preacher: Dixie Fried a good recommendation to any of your not easily offended comic book reading friends.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preacher_(comics)
X-Men: FF (2012)
When the Future Foundation discovers a distress beacon from another dimension, they turn to the heroes best suited to help: the X-Men! But these are strange times for both teams: the X-Men are aligned with their arch-nemesis Magneto, while the FF has forged an uneasy alliance with their own eternal enemy, Dr. Doom. When the two teams hop dimensions to rescue Cyclops’ ex-girlfriend, sea captain Lee Forrester, they encounter dinosaurs, alien invaders and an old friend in Skull the Slayer. But what is the greatest threat? The dinosaurs? The aliens? Or Doom and Magneto?
Plus: the mutant super heroes meet the new Ghost Rider!
Collecting X-MEN (2010) #15.1 and #16-19, the X-Men: FF trade paperback is written by Victor Gischler and illustrated by Jorge Molina, Mirco Pierfederici and Will Conrad.
The Ghost Rider meet-up aside (which feels like a forced exercise in padding to be quite honest), the X-Men: FF story arc turns out to be a hugely entertaining one, delivering a solid story that has all the hallmarks of action, adventure, humour and big fight scenes that you have come to expect from a great X-men comic book tale. There is plenty of “screen time” for all the involved cast members (both X-men and Future Foundation) and as per usual the interactions between the various team members, not mention the teams themselves, make for an engaging read.
(And besides, who doesn’t like a story set in a dinosaur-filled, lost Savage Land type setting anyway?)
Visually I have to say that I enjoyed the pages from all the artists involved, with all three art teams delivering work that is stylistically fairly similar, thus making the story feel a little less disjointed than what it could have (a problem often encountered with multi-artist story arcs). The colouring throughout is gorgeous, as expected from one of these top shelf franchises, and overall I have to say this is an enjoyable read to pick up if you have some spare time on your hands.
Obviously not a very deep, dramatic or seminal story being told here, but pretty damn good entertainment nevertheless!
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Men
Iron Man: Extremis (2005)
Extremis is a 2005 six part story arc from writer Warren Ellis and artist Adi Granov that sought to redefine the character into a more modern day setting. It’s an extremely popular Iron Man story and indeed, elements from the arc were lifted to form the basis of the excellent Iron Man 3 movie.
Whilst this story of a virus capable of creating incredibly powerful superhuman subjects which after sabotage is set on a direct collision course with a greatly outmatched Iron Man is certainly entertaining and makes for a great tale, I have to say, I don’t quite get why it is such a highly regarded Iron Man arc. I do get the fact that it serves the purpose of redefining a more modern Iron Man quite well, but I have to say that for me it felt like more of a throw away story arc than anything else – and the often forced dialogue didn’t really help its case either.
On the art front Adi Granov’s visuals are amazingly detailed and gorgeous to look at, but in the same breath suffers from the problem most photo realistic artists suffer from – panels appear very static and it is difficult for a reader to get much in terms of action and movement out of it.
Still, it was a good read and on the whole the art IS gorgeous, making it a certainly recommendable read, particularly for those already heavily invested in the Iron Man universe.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremis