Archive | The Full Bleed

Non-Bay Area related content.

Deep Dive: The Green Lantern Issue 2 (2018)

The Green Lantern issue 2 was released on December 5 and, much like the first issue, has been met with wide critical acclaim. The story is packed with nods to DC history and little nuggets suggesting a larger mystery is unfolding in the background. Once again, I’ve attempted to dive deep into the ink to puzzle out and annotate the many references Liam Sharp and Grant Morrison have packed into the issue. If something previously appeared in the deep dive for The Green Lantern #1 I’ll refer you to that post for the meat, but will add any second issue specific comments below. If something is new it’ll receive the full annotated The Green Lantern treatment.

The Green lantern issue 2 cover art

Liam Sharp’s cover The Green Lantern #2

In case you’re curious about a timeline on these articles, my personal deadline is to have them completed and posted at the least 10 days after the issue hits comic shops. Mileage will vary depending what’s in the issue and whether or not my personal life allows time to dig through old floppies. The Green Lantern #3 drops on January 9, so the deep dive should land right around January 19.

Let’s get to it…

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Deep Dive: Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern Issue 1

Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern issue 1 hit shelves this month. The highly anticipated comic, with beautiful art and design by Liam Sharp and stunning colors by Steve Oliff, is Morisson’s first time writing Hal Jordan and diving into the rich history of the Green Lantern Corps. The writer, who’s previously tackled Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and the JLA, is notorious for his encyclopedic knowledge of DC canon and how he uses that knowledge to pack obscure references into his stories. This monthly feature (over)analyzes each issue and seeks to provide context and history to the characters, places, and things. So make yourself a Hal Jordan cocktail and enjoy this annotated break down of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern issue 1.

the green lantern

Seeing as this is issue one, we first need to catch everyone up on how Hal Jordan ended up where he is at the start of The Green Lantern issue 1.

How we ended up here.

Hal Jordan’s been having a rough few years. A sacrifice was required after a series of incidents that basically turned the Universe against the Green Lantern Corps. That sacrifice was the leader of the Corps, Jordan, who made himself a fall guy to save the reputation of the Lanterns. Working under secret orders from the Guardians he stole Krona’s power gauntlet from the Corps and went on the lam. During this time, the Corps disappeared from this Universe for an assortment of complicated reasons. Jordan’s continued use of the gauntlet slowly starts to transform him into the living embodiment of Will.

green lantern krona's gauntlet

Hal Jordan becomes living Will. Green Lantern Vol. 5 Issue 52 Art: Billy Tan | Color: Alex Sinclair

In an effort to save himself, he uses the last bit of his true self to become the first non-Guardian to craft a power ring. It was a badass moment in Jordan history (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth).

He manages to find the Corps and bring them back. Their numbers are significantly reduced, so they need to rebuild. This effort is documented in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps which ends with an epic battle against the Darkstars. In order to beat the Darkstars, the Corps teams-up with unlikely allies including General Zod, Hector Hammond, and Orion of the New Gods. Phew.

After all of this Jordan is understandably exhausted and decides to head back to Earth for some “unfinished business.” Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps concludes with Jordan darkening the doorstep of Carol Ferris. They make-out. End scene….

but wait! It doesn’t end there. His story continues in Green Lanterns. After what seems to be a rather short time reuniting with his longtime on-again-off-again girlfriend, Jordan decides to go on a trip to Space Sector 066 to unwind some more. His vacation is short-lived when the Corps finds itself against the wall thanks to a brilliant bit of subterfuge by Hank Henshaw, a.k.a Cyborg Superman, and the Ravagers. 

The story, by Dan Jurgens, is a long overdue full circle redemption moment for Jordan. For the last *squints and cries* 25 years, the destruction of Coast City and the resulting fallout has sort of been a weight around Jordan’s neck. In Green Lanterns, Henshaw is hell-bent on once again reducing Coast City to rubble. This time, Jordan, with the help of a cadre of Lanterns, is strong enough to defend his home city. Henshaw finds himself on the verge of losing to the Lanterns and is forced to flee with the Phantom Ring.

Here’s the status of the Corps right before Morrison picks up the storyline:

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Establishing the DC Shared Universe: Zatanna’s Search

In this modern age of comic-influenced pop culture we’re neck deep in shared universes and, increasingly, shared multiverses. It can be hard to imagine a time when that wasn’t the case. It can be even more difficult to believe we didn’t see the first true comic book shared universe until the mid-1960s. That’s when the daughter of the third most important character to debut in Action Comics #1 arrived on the scene in a quest to find her father. Zatanna’s search would take her on a winding path through six DC titles. As a result, it impacted several heroes and had repercussions on the DC Universe as a whole.

Zatanna's Search Justice League issue 51

Justice League of America Vol. 1 #51

Characters with their own titles crossing over with other characters is a common occurrence going all the way back to the birth of superhero titles. It’s difficult to pinpoint who can lay claim to the first ever superhero crossover.

The honor could possibly go to Lev Gleason Publications in 1940. That publisher teamed up the characters Silver Streak and Daredevil (not that Daredevil). It just barely preceded the first known team up of Marvel characters.  Marvel Mystery Comics #8 featured Namor and Human Torch going head-to-head for the first time. For DC characters, the first crossover medal goes to All-Star Comics #3 which saw the first appearance of the Justice Society of America. At the time, it was likely the biggest crossover in terms of number of characters featuring Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Hawkman (Carter Hall), Spectre (Jim Corrigan), Hourman (Rex Tyler), Sandman (Wesley Dodds), Doctor Fate, and Atom (Al Pratt).

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Essential Guide to Northern California Haunted Houses

Halloween is right around the corner and that means all of the Northern California Haunted Houses are putting dust on the furniture, hanging the cobwebs, and resurrecting monsters. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys having the living daylights scared out of you (or watching your friends scream in terror) we’re here to help.

Below you’ll find all of the haunted houses, creepy corn mazes, and petrifying paintball experiences within 150 miles of downtown San Francisco (in Southern California? Cool, check out our essential guide to Los Angeles Haunted Houses). This list is organized by earliest opening date so you can fit in as many scary weekends as possible.

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DC Universe Subscription: First Impressions

DC Universe is the new digital portal putting the many media iterations of DC, from comics to shows to movies, literally at your fingertips. Is the DC Universe subscription worth the introductory cost of $74.99 per year or $7.99 per month? I signed up for a year and here are my first impressions.

DC Universe subscription

This isn’t Marvel Unlimited. DC fans have been waiting for a DC digital service similar to what Marvel offers ever since…well…since Marvel launched Marvel Unlimited. In this early version of DC Universe, the company is offering both more and less than Marvel Unlimited. DC wants fans to have one place to find comics, television shows, films, and character biographies. They’re also attempting to build a community through discussion forums, regular giveaways, and a daily streaming show.

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C2E2 2017: 20 Autographs To Hunt At C2E2

The Midwest’s biggest comics and pop culture conference, C2E2, is coming up this weekend. This year the event features more than 100 panels and nearly the same number of special guests. C2E2 2017 features photo op and signature hunting galore with stars from The Flash, Stranger Things, Harry Potter, and more. If you’re hoping for sketches from your favorite comic book creators they have those, too. We’ve pulled out some of the highlights from both entertainment and comics.

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What is Zendaya reading in the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer?

Since it was announced Zendaya was cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming there’s been a big question mark around her character. Early rumors that she’d been cast as Mary Jane Watson were quashed by the star in a November interview with ET Online. She verified her character is named “Michelle.” Last night we saw the first trailer for the film finds Zendaya reading in the cafeteria giving us our first glimpse of the actress in her role.

The moment doesn’t give us many answers other than showing us “Michelle” is an avid book reader. As a fan of seeing books on film and figuring out what characters are reading, I took time last night to squint at the blurry screen capture.

Here are the top three books in the pile with Wikipedia synopsis:

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Adolescent

The novel chronicles the life of 19-year-old intellectual, Arkady Dolgoruky, illegitimate child of the controversial and womanizing landowner Versilov. A focus of the novel is the recurring conflict between father and son, particularly in ideology, which represents the battles between the conventional “old” way of thinking in the 1840s and the new nihilistic point of view of the youth of 1860s Russia. Whereas the young of Arkady’s time embraced a very negative opinion of Russian culture in contrast to Western or European culture.

Another main theme is Arkady’s development and utilization of his “idea” in his life, mainly a form of rebellion against society (and his father) through the rejection of attending a university, and the making of money and living independently, onto the eventual aim of becoming excessively wealthy and powerful.

Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove

This novel tells the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her effect on the people around her. Some of these people befriend Milly with honorable motives, while others are more self-interested.

Kōbō Abe’s Woman in the Dunes

In 1955, Jumpei Niki, a schoolteacher from Tokyo, visits a fishing village to collect insects. After missing the last bus, he is led, by the villagers, in an act of apparent hospitality, to a house in the dunes that can be reached only by ladder. The next morning the ladder is gone and he finds he is expected to keep the house clear of sand with the woman living there, with whom he is also to produce children. He eventually gives up trying to escape when he comes to realize returning to his old life would give him no more liberty. After seven years, he is proclaimed officially dead.

As for the fourth book, there are many books that have “Democracy” and I haven’t been able to find a matching book spine image.

Zendaya Reading in the Second Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer

The second trailer dropped on March 27 and gave us our second peek into Zendaya’s character’s reading interests in Spider-Man: Homecoming. This time the visual is clear: W. Somerset Maugham‘s 1915 masterpiece Of Human Bondage.

SPider-Man Homecoming Zendaya reading Of Human Bondage

From Penguin Books:

Sorry, Cracked, but superhero movies haven’t ruined comic books

crackedThis post is in response to Jason Iannone’s Cracked article “6 Specific Reasons Why Superhero Movies Ruined Comics.” In his post, Iannone builds a starting point for the greater discussion of how the mainstreaming of popular superheroes through film is impacting the medium where they were first created. He makes some interesting observations but ties too many of the systematic problems with the superhero genre in comics to the current success of superhero films.

#6 The Moviemakers Regularly Shit on the Comics

“Regularly” is an odd word choice. Iannone cites Bryan Singer, Josh Trank, David Goyer, and Zack Snyder. I don’t completely disagree on Trank, Snyder, and Goyer but I do need to defend Singer.

In the case of Singer, he references a statement from Hugh Jackman regarding a rule on the set of the very first X-Men film. You know, way back in 2000 when bringing a superhero film to the big screen was still a massive gamble. Since that first film the superhero movies Singer has directed or produced have moved closer-and-closer to the comics to the point of lifting storylines straight from the source material. Clearly Singer learned his lesson, but we should still hold a grudge against him for creating a filmset rule nearly two decades ago.  

By saying “moviemakers regularly shit on comics” Iannone is broad brushing. He ignores many people who are part of the moviemaking process and have expressed at the least respectful regard for the source material: Avi Arad, Geoff Johns, the Russo Brothers, Guillermo del Toro, Kevin Feige, James Gunn, Josh Whedon, Jon Favreau, Kenneth Branagh, Sam Raimi, Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds, Tim Miller, and many more (although, that is a lot of dudes. I’m looking forward to adding some diversity to this list).

#5 Marvel is Sabotaging Marvel Characters (When They Don’t own the Film Rights)

I don’t have a problem with this one. We’re pretty much on the same page when it comes to how the rights issues with Marvel films have hindered some titles. Marvel has significantly reduced the role of the X-Men and Fantastic Four over the last five years. Dorkly has a better breakdown of what’s going on.

#4 The Original Writers and Creators Don’t Get Shit from the Films

I also don’t have a problem with this being used as a point. Any day we can remind readers about the issue of creator rights is a good day. However, creator rights are significantly more complicated than simply not getting “shit from the films.”

#3 The Films are Starting to Change the Comics

Iannone appears to be mostly upset that popular concepts from the films are creeping into long established canon. This isn’t a bad thing. The mainstreaming of superheroes is changing the medium of comics for the better. There’s long been a movement for more diversification in superhero comics but it hadn’t caught fire until that lack of diversity was put up on a big screen. If a film’s going to be successful it needs to cross multiple demographics. The success of superheroes in film and on television has helped force Marvel and DC to start looking at how they publish comics, which characters they promote, how those characters ar portrayed, and who they hire to play in the sandbox. Marvel’s currently doing a better job at making these adjustments but DC is showing some signs of hope in the Rebirth solicits. 

Iannone makes his case on the back of Marvel introducing a black Nick Fury due to the popularity of Samuel L. Jackson in the film role. In the comic this character is Nick Fury’s son. Iannone claims Marvel retired “Old White Dude Fury” in 2012. Although his statement is puzzling because OWD Fury played a fairly substantial role in 2014’s crossover event “Original Sin.”

If comics are going to bring in more readers it makes sense to cater to what works in the films. If a Samuel L. Jackson version of Nick Fury into Earth-616 encourages people to pick up a comic book that strikes me as the opposite of ruining comics.

nickfury

Iannone goes on to hold up Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men as proof that Marvel “de-colorized” the X-Men costumes to fall in line with the film. When the hardcover trade of Morrison’s run on New X-Men was published Marvel kindly included the “manifesto” Morrison wrote to guide his direction of these characters. Point seven of the manifesto is “get rid of the costumes.” Morrison writes “Let’s ditch the spandex for the new century and get our heroes into something that wouldn’t make you look like a prick if you wore it on the street.” He mentions the film costumes moving in the right direction but not being quite right: “I’d like to see some yellow in panelling or detailing on the costumes – if only to avoid the dull black leather of every film superhero – but it should be pop art dayglo yellow, the kind cyclists and bikers wear to be seen.”

Editor Mark Powers wrote in the margins, “back to basics, but with modern trappings. Yep.”

Morrison is known for understanding modern fashion trends and trying to be one step ahead of the next hot thing. No doubt he took some influence from the film but it was clear, both in the story and Frank Quitely’s designs, that he wished to take the X-Men in a new direction.

As for Hawkeye, I don’t see how the purple Robin Hood costume would have fit with the Matt Fraction and David Aja vision of a powerless hero surrounded by supers. This wasn’t the story of Hawkeye. It was the story of Hawkguy. It was the story of a grounded character who spends most of the series within a few blocks of his apartment complex. Don’t get me wrong. I grew up with West Coast Avengers and love Hawkeye’s long term costume, but having Clint Barton chasing Russian mobsters while wearing a winged mask with an “H” on it just wouldn’t fit Aja’s minimalist style.

2786033-hawkeye06_01

In a greater sense, Iannone isn’t completely wrong. The companies do need to be careful with how these characters or elements are introduced into the Universe. I think he would have been better served to revisit his fifth point and discuss how Marvel is trying to shove the Inhumans down our throats while downplaying mutants. That’s ruining comics more than a costume change.

#2 Comic Sales are Going Down, Not Up

comicsales2015This is the point I find most flawed and the one that inspired me to write this post. Iannone misuses data to make his point and that sub-headline is misleading. He isn’t actually saying comic sales overall are down (they are, sort of). He clarifies “comic book sales are way down, but only if the comic competes with a movie.” The hypothesis, I guess, is comics featuring a character in a recently released film doesn’t see a sales bump from the film?

He randomly pulls out the Hulk’s June 2014 title, Savage Hulk, and holds it up as an example of a book doing poorly. Yes, the Hulk was part of the ensemble cast in 2012’s Avengers, but other than that the last time the Hulk appeared in a film was 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. If we want to use Hulk as the example why not look at the other factors for the character in 2014?

Iannone fails to mention Marvel was publishing more than one Hulk series in 2014. As the year started Mark Waid’s The Indestructible Hulk was already on issue 17. In April, a second Hulk series was published and was simply titled Hulk. When it dropped it landed at number seven on the sales chart. Perhaps, just perhaps, when Savage Hulk hit the shelves two months later readers were experiencing Hulk fatigue? Maybe it had less to do with films than character saturation?

The interesting thing about The Indestructible Hulk is it was released seven months after the Avengers reintroduced the characters to filmgoers. The first issue landed at number five on the November 2012 sales chart moving more than 118,000 floppies.

Iannone also highlights April 2016’s sales data as proof that superhero movies have ruined comics. It is true that 2016 has seen a softening in overall comic book sales but April’s numbers come with a number of caveats. For one, major publishers have released 12 percent fewer comics in the first quarter of 2016 versus 2015. Marvel is the only publisher to increase offerings while DC, Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Boom, and Dynamite have all cutback. ComicChron writes “this month’s 300th place title sold 4,309 copies, which is the highest figure seen so far this year in that slot; that seems to suggest that the volumes on that smaller number of titles are hanging in there.”

April 2016 is notable for another reason that Iannone completely ignores: Black Panther. Black Panther is the breakout character of Captain America: Civil War. Marvel released a new Black Panther title in April which immediately sold out and is currently the top selling comic of 2016. This is the first number one solo outing for Black Panther in the character’s history.

Moving away from superheroes Iannone attempts to use Star Wars sales as an example of how movies aren’t helping comics. He writes, “In 2015, the wacky adventures of Luke and his Papa owned 19 of the top 50 sales spots, including #1. By January 2016, shortly after The Force Awakens came out, they only owned four spots.”

Firstly, he’s comparing yearly data to monthly data. He’s counting single issues. Technically, Marvel only had six Star Wars titles in the top 50 at the end of 2015. The flagship Star Wars title took 11 of the top 50 spots, the Darth Vader series took 4, and Vader Down, Leia, Lando, and Shattered Empire took the remaining slots.

Secondly, he’s wrong as to how many Star Wars books Marvel had in top 50 in January 2016. There were five: Star Wars 14 and 15, Obi-Wan and Anakin 1, Darth Vader 15, and Kanan 10. It would have been quite a feat for Marvel to have more Star Wars Universe titles in the top 50 considering they were only published four that month. Overall, Marvel has taken a mini-series approach to the Star Wars’ characters. Leia, Lando, and Shattered Empire were all mini-series that ended before 2015 came to a close.

Thirdly, Iannone calls out the fact that Darth Vader is coming to an end with issue 25. Okay…what’s the point? Does he understand the creative team publishing strategy Marvel has embraced over the last decade? In most cases, Marvel doesn’t publish a series ad infinitum anymore. Darth Vader, in storyline terms, is currently owned by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca. The title has consistently landed in or near the monthly top 10 since issue one hit the shelves. Ending volume one in Darth Vader’s story likely has less to do with sales than it has to do with Gillen finishing this story he wanted to tell.

vaderproof

While shouting about the end of Darth Vader the article fails to mention the number two title in April was a Force Awakens established character, Poe Dameron. It overlooks the number four title in April was C-3PO. Iannone omits the fact that June will see the release of the first Han Solo solo series. The Star Wars vertical is strong with Marvel.

As for my parenthetical way up in the third sentence of this section, comic sales do appear to be softening in 2016. There are so many factors that could be contributing to a slowdown it would be reckless to place blame at the feet of superhero films. One simple factor, the average cover price of a top 300 comic has risen from $2.91 in 2005 to $3.96 in 2015. The average cost of a top 300 comic in April 2016? $4.12. Comic prices have increased faster than the rate of inflation and readers have significantly less buying power than they did a decade ago. However, while other websites are quick to blame the publishers I personally believe readers should shoulder most of the blame. As long as comic readers are willing to push $6 comic books into the top 25 the publishers will keep testing how high they can go. And Marvel editor Tom Brevoort will, justifiably, continue to perform his Scrooge McDuck impersonation.

One more complicated example, a failure of marketing comics to the mainstream. DC is about to embark on Rebirth but all of the promotion seems to be within the comic book news echo chamber. I don’t see any effort to communicate what comics are and why someone, as a non-reader but fan of the films, should pick one up. Where’s the out-of-home advertising? Why don’t I see Rebirth digital advertising while I’m making my daily laps around the Internet?

Marvel does a little bit better with marketing but there’s significant room for growth. I only learned last month (thanks, Free Comic Book Day) Peter Parker has spent the last 10 months in San Francisco. That’s interesting! We have more than a dozen comic shops in the Bay Area. Why isn’t Marvel using the image of Spider-Man swinging in front of the iconic Transamerica building to get people into those stores?

tl;dr: superhero films aren’t the factor impacting sales of comics.

#1 Anything that Isn’t DC or Marvel Gets Thrown Under the Bus

Iannone argues that Marvel and DC are sucking all of the air out of the room and their parent companies have no interest in adopting any other comic book properties from other publishers. Again, Iannone mixes the superhero genre with the comic book medium to make his point citing a number of non-superhero projects.

Here’s a quick selection of other comic-based properties (seeing as Iannone so easily flip-flops back and forth between the superhero genre and other genres in the comic book medium to make his point) in the production pipeline:

Except:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Coldest City
Kingsman
100 Bullets
Battling Boy
Descender
Jupiter’s Legacy
Men In Black
Rom
Micronauts
Prophet

That list doesn’t even scratch the surface of comic properties transitioning to television or Netflix. Iannone writes “third-party asides like Dark Horse Comics might as well not exist” without acknowledging Dark Horse signed a deal with Universal Cable Productions last year to bring a number of properties to television. Universal also snatched up Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick last year for Sex Criminals and other IPs. Based on Universal’s commitment to the deliciously bizarre Mr. Robot it’s likely we’ll start seeing the results of these relationships in the next two years. 

Rebirth: Rachel Rising

Rachel Rising Issue 1

Rachel Rising Issue 1

In August of 2011, DC comics was preparing to take a massive gamble by relaunching the publication’s superhero universe with the New 52 initiative. The plan was a new continuity for all of the heroes and a hard reset of titles to number one. The first title released was Justice League #1 on August 31. The month of September would see the rollout of the remaining 51 titles. It was difficult to escape all of the DC lining the shelves, endcaps, and promotional tables.

Most of the media focus was on how the stories of this “New 52 Universe” were going to unfold but they weren’t the only stories starting that month. Tucked away between O.M.A.C. and Red Hood & the Outlaws the astute comic reader would find a striking green cover with the silhouette of a woman exhaling a plume of red (assuming your LCS displays alphabetically and not by the company). The simple three-color cover was a stark contrast to the bright multi-colored covers of the DC universe. The title, Rachel Rising, suggested zombie comic. The name above the title, Terry Moore, suggested it wouldn’t be that simple.

Even before all of the new 52 titles had hit the shelves DC was quick to declare in a press release “It’s official! All 52 first issues of DC Entertainment’s historic publishing initiative DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 have sold out from Diamond Comic Distributors in advance of publication.” That’s right, at the distributor level, all of the New 52 titles sold out. The New 52 titles received second printings with several receiving third printings. Even with all of the incentives dealers received, including the option to return any unpurchased stock, such a sellout is definitely worth trumpeting. If the objective of the brand-wide relaunch was to bring new and lapsed readers into stores DC certainly deserves a mighty pat on the back.

The untold sales story of August 2011 was that of Rachel Rising. The new series from Terry Moore sold out and received second and third printings. Is it possible Rachel Rising benefited from being launched during the same month as the New 52? Sure, but a self-published title selling out at the store level versus the distributor level without a multi-million dollar promotional machine or a familiar character is a Samsonian accomplishment no matter the tide on which it rises.

On May 25 of this year, DC and Moore will once again jointly mark historic occasions. The Warner Bros. Entertainment company is bringing the New 52 to a close and relaunching it with “Rebirth.” Once again dealers will receive a long list of incentives so they’ll order as many copies as they can muster. Around June 17, comic news sites can likely expect to receive a press release declaring all Rebirth titles were sellouts at the distributor level. Meanwhile, Moore will be releasing the final chapter in the story of Rachel Beck. Rachel Rising #42 only has one incentive: The issue sees the conclusion of one of the most finely crafted on-going graphic serials published this decade.
with ZoeAll a reader should know going into Rachel Rising is it’s the story of Rachel who digs herself out of a shallow grave with rope marks around her neck. She has no memories of the last two days or how she died and, in the first handful of issues, has no idea that she’s only the first omen of terrible things to come for the town of Manson. Within the first two arcs, Rachel learns she’s a reincarnated witch of Manson. Rachel and her best friend, Jet, who’s the reincarnation of that witch’s best friend, are being stalked by Lilith and the demon Malus. Malus occupies the body of a 10-year-old girl named Zoe. Zoe has a close relationship with a knife named Jack. This only scratches the surface of the plot but writing anything else would disrupt the experience for new readers (and I do feel like everything I wrote above is telling too much). On the surface, the story is a tightly woven mystery with exclamation points of supernatural horror. At the core, it’s a nuanced existential narrative that explores whether or not we’re defined by our relationship with our past or by the company we keep.

Moore made a name for himself by writing strong female characters in the pages of Strangers in Paradise and that talent continues to shine throughout Rachel Rising. You want to care about these characters; even the ones with a dark and twisted past. The series is a slow burn, so go into it with the expectation of unanswered questions as each arch comes to a close. That can be frustrating for some, but the long-term payoff of sticking with the series is worth the investment.

quietMoore uses surgical precision when writing and illustrating the comic’s pacing and beats. He understands when a picture can articulate an emotion louder than words. As a result, Rachel Rising often makes a reader hold their breath when they turn the page. It manages the rare accomplishment in the comic book medium of generating audible gasps.

Do yourself a favor when you go to that Rebirth midnight release event at your local comic shop and pick up a copy Rachel Rising Vol. 1: The Shadow of Death. If issue 42 is on the shelf consider picking that up as well. If you see Rachel Rising through to the end you’re going to be happy you own it. And maybe, just maybe, we can repeat history and help make Rachel Rising selling out the untold story during DC’s most recent relaunch.

 

 

 

Justice League vs. the Color Stealing Man

Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman.

Who sucked all of the color out of the DC Universe? Everything is so drab. I’m really hoping the Justice League film will be Justice League vs. Instagram Color Filter Man.

In this context Wonder Woman looks more bad ass than Bats and Supes. Batman looks like a stuffed sausage who fights crime by bear hugging evildoers into compliance. I’d be okay with skipping the Justice League film and going straight to a Wonder Woman origin film (if it isn’t completely sepia tone).

And whats with all of the glowing eyes? Was Batman all like “Oh, you have glowing eyes? Well check this out!” *pushes button on utility belt* “BATGLOW!” *stare* What color do you think Wonder Woman’s eyes will glow?

BATGLOW!

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