Saturday, March 07, 2015

May 2015 comics solicitations: Captain America, Batman, Donald Duck, Prince Valiant, Graham Ingels, Mickey Mouse, Superman, Thanos, Hulk, more

Highlights. Click the links to pre-order discounted items from Amazon.

Superman: The Atomic Age Sundays Volume 1 (1949-1953)
Alvin Schwartz (w) * Wayne Boring (a) * Peter Poplaski (c) 
These never-before-reprinted 1950s Sundays are a special treat for Superman fans and comics historians worldwide. This first book of the Atomic Age Sundays features more than 175 full-color strips, from October 23, 1949 through March 15, 1953. In these tales, the impish Mr. Mxyztplk has returned to drive Superman crazy and the Man of Steel returns to Smallville for "Superboy Week" celebrations and ends up solving a case he never had a chance to as Superboy!

Captain America Epic Collection: Streets of Poison (Epic Collection: Captain America) 
Captain America joins the war on drugs! When Cap targets the gang that's selling the new designer narcotic Ice, he receives an accidental overdose that combines with the Super-Soldier Serum in his blood. Left permanently enraged, a volatile shield-slinger finds himself in the middle of a street war between the Red Skull and the Kingpin. With deadly villains Crossbones and Bullseye on each side, Cap will need to rely on his friends. But the Ice-induced rage is alienating him from allies like Daredevil and the Black Widow -- and even his girlfriend, Diamondback. Steve must get free of the powerful drug, but it will come at a cost. Will he be fit to celebrate his 50th anniversary -- or to face the Serpent Society, the Watchdogs and...Iron Man?! Collecting CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #372-386 and ANNUAL #9-10. 512 PGS.

Luke Cage: Hero For Hire, Vol. 1
Written by ARCHIE GOODWIN & STEVE ENGLEHART with TONY ISABELLA, GERRY CONWAY & BILLY GRAHAM Penciled by GEORGE TUSKA & BILLY GRAHAM COVER BY JOHN ROMITA SR. Luke Cage burst onto the comics scene in 1972 as the "Hero for Hire." Equal parts Marvel Method and Blaxploitation boldness, he was a new kind of hero for a new era. Now, the Marvel Masterworks proudly present the complete Luke Cage, Hero for Hire -- the historic first title to headline an African-American super hero -- in one hardcover volume! Cage's adventures depicted New York City's 1970s grit and the plight of its people unlike any other, all while incorporating larger-than-life villains including Black Mariah and Doctor Doom. From Cage's origin story to his first exploits as the hard-as-steel hero, each issue has been painstakingly restored and collected here in color for the very first time! Collecting LUKE CAGE, HERO FOR HIRE #1-16. 336 PGS.

Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Classic Volume 3
Nick Fury and his poker buddies Thing, Mr. Fantastic and Captain America play for high stakes against the Mandarin -- but it could soon be Baron Strucker's Hydra that holds all the cards! When terrorists attack, S.H.I.E.L.D. Central falls. The Avengers and the Fantastic Four join the fight -- but after heavy losses, Nick launches a recruitment drive for new agents. Will Wolverine respond? Then, Ol' One-Eye could be about to learn that Infinity isn't forever as he hunts for the Formula that keeps him (relatively) young. Will the search kill both him and the cyborg known as Deathlok? And when a group of villains unleash havoc on the Helicarrier, they threaten an early end to the careers of Ivory, Knock-About, Psi-Borg and Violence -- the brand-new Super Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Collecting NICK FURY, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (1989) #24-35. 288 PGS.

Thanos vs. Hulk
Cosmic legend and fan-favorite creator Jim Starlin delivers an epic tale of Smash versus Space as the Emerald Avenger goes head-to-head with the Mad Titan! It's bad enough that the Hulk has been kidnapped by Pip the Troll and traded to Annihilus, lord of the Negative Zone. But things get worse when Thanos is thrown into the mix! Annihilus plots to exploit the Hulk in a most unexpected fashion, but Thanos soon launches some Machiavellian machinations of his own. As Annihilus gains vast new might, the Hulk rampages through the Negative Zone -- with Annihilus' perennial rival Blastaar in hot pursuit! But when Thanos' devious scheme comes to a head, can the Hulk survive? And can Thanos withstand the Hulk's pure physical power unleashed? Find out right here! Collecting THANOS VS. HULK #1-4 and WARLOCK (1972) #12. 112 PGS.

Legends of The Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle Vol. 1 Written by JOHN WAGNER, ALAN GRANT and others Art by NORM BREYFOGLE and others Cover by NORM BREYFOGLE 
In these tales from BATMAN ANNUAL #11-12 and DETECTIVE COMICS #579, 582-594 and 601-607, all featuring the art of Norm Breyfogle, the Dark Knight faces the evil of the Ventriloquist and Scarface, the Crime Doctor, the Demon, a horde of Clayfaces and more!

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 7: "March Of The Zombies" (Vol. 7)  (Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse)
by Floyd Gottfredson; edited by David Gerstein
Mickey faces off against zombies and wartime foes in this latest pulse-pounding collection from the pen of Floyd Gottfredson. Restored from Disney's original proof sheets, March of the Zombies also includes more than 20 pages of extras! You'll enjoy rare behind-the-scenes art, vintage publicity material, and fascinating commentary by a squadron of Disney experts! It's time to rediscover the wild, unforgettable personality beneath the iconic ears : Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse.

Grave Business And Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
by Graham Ingels and Al Feldstein
Even in this era of explicit horror films, "Ghastly" Graham Ingels still delivers a shock to readers with his grisly depictions of the fates of evil doers. Like every book in the Fantagraphics EC line, Grave Business And Other Stories superbly showcases these classic comic book masterpieces and enhances the reader's experience with commentary and historical and biographical detail from EC experts.

Prince Valiant Vol. 11: 1957-1958
by Hal Foster
In the eleventh volume of Fantagraphics award-winning series, Prince Valiant leaves Cornwall and returns to Aleta, after which the two are summoned to Camelot. Val then begins searching for Gawain, thus commencing another adventure. Presented in full, glorious, restored color and including Foster's rare advertising art from the 1920s, this is the finest reproduction of this enthralling, romantic adventure serial ever published.

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: "The Pixilated Parrot" (Vol. 6)  (The Carl Barks Library)
by Carl Barks
Carl Barks delivers another superb collection of all-around cartooning brilliance. Donald gives Uncle Scrooge a parrot for his birthday who escapes with the combination to Scrooge's safe which sends Donald and his nephews set off on an adventure to recover the bird. Barks also delivers one of his finest stories, "Vacation Time," where Donald displays unusual depths of courage on a wilderness outing gone wrong. Each story is meticulously restored and newly colored, with insightful notes by an international panel of Barks experts.

Vintage Pattie Boyd pics

Friday, March 06, 2015

Supergirl - first in-costume pic for new TV series

A new Supergirl live-action TV series is now in production for CBS. Here's a first look at series star Melissa Benoist in costume.

Pop culture roundup: Dr. Seuss; E.Nesbit; Tintin; The Honeys

Learn about Dr. Seuss' forgotten book for grownups.


Hear five ghost stories by classic children's fantasy author E. Nesbit on BBC 4.


A cover that Tintin artist Herge created in 1928 for an anniversary issue of the Le Vingtieme Siecle youth comics supplement in France is up for auction this weekend, along with several other works.


Remembering the Brian Wilson-produced girl group, The Honeys, which included his wife and sister-in-law.


Booksteve pays tribute to the late Catherine Jones (formerly Jeff Jones). Like Steve, I also owned a print of Jones' "Blind Narcissus" in my younger days.


Fab Friday: Vintage Beatles comics from Jackie magazine

More Beatles posts at The Glass Onion Beatles Journal.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Pop Stuff: What We Do in the Shadows; The One I Love

What I'm hearing, watching, reading, etc.

What We Do in the Shadows. Vampires aren't typically portrayed as likeable. But the bloodsucking crew in this horror spoof is downright loveable.

Shot in the overdone, but still effective mockumentary style, the film opens with vamp Viago (Taika Waititi) reaching out of his coffin to shut off the alarm on his clock radio. Viago's friendly and goodhearted. And clean. He gets after his flatmates for not doing the dishes and for leaving bones and other debris around the basement. And he always puts down towels or newspapers before feeding, so his victim's blood won't stain the furniture.

The rest of the crew isn't quite so nice, but they're fun. Vladislav (Flight of the  Conchords' Jemaine Clement) would have us believe he's sexy and dangerous, but he's the only one buying his publicity. He's not "The Impaler." He's "The Poker." Meanwhile, Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) is even more delusional than Vladislav about his sexiness and dangerousness. He's insecure and a slob. And finally, Petyr (Ben Fransham) is actually pretty dang scary. He looks like Nosferatu with worse teeth. But you can't help liking him anyway. Just watch your neck.

With the exception of Petyr, who just sort of hisses, the vampires all talk to the camera, supposedly manned by filmmakers from the New Zealand Documentary Film Board, venting about one another "Real World" style and sharing their observation about the vampire lifestyle, which - apart from the occasional feasting - is pretty dull and routine. 

Vampires must be invited into a building, which makes it hard to get into the local nightclubs, such as they are. It's also a bother dressing up when you can't see your reflection. Plus, there's also a chance you'll run into the local gang of werewolves, who smell and don't like you. It's only when a new young vampire and his pal, Stu, start hanging out, that things get a bit more fun.

"Shadows" is one of the best and funniest all-out comedies I've seen since Christopher Guest's great run of similarly absurd comic "documentaries." It's silly but witty and quick-paced. The horror-humor is fresh and well-observed.

If you like "Flight of the Conchords," you'll love it. Though there are no songs, Clement co-wrote the script with Waititi and there are a few lines you'll continue to quote for months afterward.

I can see it becoming a cult seasonal hit and have already penciled it in for screening this Halloween.

The One I Love. Now streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime, this is a good movie night pick. Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men" and Mark Duplass star as a couple, Ethan and Sophie, whose marriage is on its last legs. At the suggestion of their counselor (Ted Danson), they go away for a weekend. He recommends a nice place in the woods where they can reconnect and remember what drew them together in the first place.

The retreat is nice. It's quiet. They're having fun. And they're all alone together. Or so they think.

It turns out both both Ethan and Sophie have doubles on the property. And/or there's some weird time/dimension shiftiness going on. The consider fleeing - it's just too weird - but end up going back, intrigued by what's going on, and the dopplegangers. There's something intriguing  and seductive about spending time with the spitting image of your loved one. Someone you know, but don't.

Lightly comic and not overly scarey or sad, the film makes us question what sparks relationships and what makes them last as we grow and change. Does the person we fall in love remain that person? Do we?

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

New trailer: Avengers - Age of Ultron

First look at The Vision.

Pop artifact: Vintage Captain America trike toy

New comics March 4, 2015: Marvel Super-Villains Unite; Captain America and Daredevil Masterworks new editions; Teen Titans Go!; Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon.

Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Volume 1 (New Printing)
Transformed by the Super-Soldier Serum from a 97-pound weakling into Captain America, Steve Rogers led the charge to liberate the world from the Axis powers. But before World War II's end an accident left him frozen in suspended animation and his sidekick Bucky dead. The world turned on for decades. When the Avengers fi nally resuscitated him, Steve Rogers was greeted by a world vastly changed. He was a man out of time tormented by the death of his partner, but no less committed to the cause of fighting evil in all its forms. In this inaugural Silver Age Captain America Masterworks Stan Lee and Jack Kirby bring you the rebirth of an American icon, the rebirth of Captain America!

Super-Villains Unite: The Complete Super-Villain Team-Up
The Lord of Latveria and Atlantis' Avenging Son forge the Marvel Universe's most volatile alliance! But when the Sub-Mariner regrets his decision, he finds it's not that easy to walk away from a pact with Doom. Can anything get him out of this torturous team-up? Maybe the Fantastic Four...but probably not the Avengers, who've been enslaved by Attuma! And while Dr. Doom has his gauntlets full keeping Namor in line, the Red Skull sets his sights on Latveria! When Captain America sides with Doom, you know you're in trouble. But both Doom and the Skull plan to enslave the Earth...and the only ones standing in their way are Magneto and the Champions! Introducing the Shroud, and featuring the villainy of the Hate-Monger!

Teen Titans Go! Vol. 1: Party, Party!
Based on the hit TV show, feast your eyes on this all-new, all-ages comic book series! Join Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven as they display their unique brand of hijinks, mayhem and justice! But giant pizza monsters aren't the only dastardly and delicious villains on the menu... so dig in, Titans!
Collects TEEN TITANS GO! #1-6.

Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude
The Avengers make their explosive return to the big screen this spring, and we've got everything you need to prepare right here! First, relive the historic first meeting between Marvel's mightiest heroes as Loki's plot to gain ulti mate power sparks a worldwide manhunt, a vicious war against the invading Chitauri in the heart of New York City, and the founding of the mighty Avengers! Next, thrill to an all-new Infinite-style adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, set between the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron! What world-shaking threats have the Avengers battled since their last film? And can anything prepare them for the looming threat of the mad mechanoid known as Ultron? Plus, experience the dynamic classic comic book debut of Vision, and relive some of the team's classic encounters with Ultron, including the prelude story to the "Age of Ultron" event.
COLLECTING: Marvel's The Avengers 1-2, Avengers: Cinematic Infinite Comic 1, Avengers (1963) 57-58, Avengers (1998) 22, Avengers 12.1

Marvel Masterworks: Daredevil Volume 1 (New Printing)
Born to a past-his-prime boxer, when young Matt Murdock's daring act to save a man's life results in an accident that blinds him, he finds that his other senses have been enhanced to super-human levels. After his father's murder those powers make him Daredevil, the protector of New York City's mean streets. Stan Lee and Bill Everett 's Daredevil debut was as gritty as they came, a tale of murder and sacrifice tempered with the desire to protect the downtrodden. Matt Murdock was someone different, and you'll see just why in his first Marvel Masterworks!