Up, up and away! A place for comic-book fans to gather.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who's back? I'm not tellin'

A very important certain someone returns to the DCU in today's "DC Universe" No. 0. If you want to be surprised, stay away from the comic book Web sites and the New York Daily News, which broke the news. I'll wait 24 hours to weigh in .....

Monday, April 28, 2008

"Iron Man" flying high

So far, so good. "Iron Man" is getting rave reviews from comics fans. Read those reviews here and here.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy

After last week’s dynamite episode of “Smallville,” this week’s was a disappointment. I wasn’t really interested in Jimmy Olsen taking the spotlight.

Looks like Clark may be headed for Krypton — and the past. Now that could be interesting.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The return of Nick Fury

This week’s “Mighty Avenger” No. 12 was interesting. For one thing, the Avengers pretty much don’t appear in their own title. Instead, the long-missing Nick Fury takes center stage as writer Brian Bendis rewinds the clock to show how Fury stumbled upon the Skrull invasion. Good to have our one-eyed hero back.

I also enjoyed issue No. 3 of “Hulk,” which sets the stage for a red-on-green clash. Is it just me, or has it been a long time since No. 2?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The last of the "Gods"

Picked up the last issue of “Countdown to Infinite Crisis” today. No more! Yay! But it does pave the way for next week’s “DC Universe: Zero.” Also today: the last issue of “Death of the New Gods,” a good cosmic saga by Jim Starlin. I would rather have seen this serve as the official countdown to “Infinite Crisis.”

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lionel Luthor, R.I.P.

Strong episode of “Smallville” last night. Reading between the lines, I had expected Luthor Lionel to be killed. But I didn’t expect it in the opening minutes of the show. Lex has totally embraced the dark side, and the scenes between Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) and Clark (Tom Welling) crackled.

I’m wondering if maybe this should have been the last season, though. I read in Entertainment Weekly that creators Afred Gough and Miles Millar are leaving soon. And it’s been reported that Rosenbaum and Kristin Kreuk won’t be regulars next season. So I’m worried the show’s going to limp to an end.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chained to the drawing table

I interviewed Kurt Busiek yesterday by phone. He’s the writer of “Trinity,” DC’s latest weekly series, which kicks off in June and centers on DC's Big Three, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. He’s writing the 12-page lead chapters and co-writing the 10-page “back chapters,” as he calls them.

I asked Busiek about Mark Bagley who, as the artist on the lead chapters, will be drawing the equivalent of two comic books, or even a bit more, each month. Many artists, of course, have trouble getting a monthly book out. Bagley, of course, is just downright speedy. But it’s also a matter of work ethic. Bagley has been on jury duty, Busiek said. And while most artists might use that as a reason for not making deadline, “Mark is saying, well, I don’t need to be in the courthouse until 10 a.m., so I can get some work done in the morning. And I can get some work done in the evening because I’m bored all day and I haven’t been able to draw.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"In the Small"

I talked yesterday with local children’s book illustrator Michael Hague, whose first graphic novel, “In the Small,” will be released soon. He was not a comics fan growing up, he says. His mother didn’t let him read comic books because she feared it would make him a juvenile delinquent. But he did read comic strips; Hal Foster’s “Prince Valiant” was a big influence on him. Hague is now at work on another graphic novel with a sci-fi theme.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Eisner nominees

The 2008 Eisner award nominees have been announced; you can find them, among other places, here. My favorite comics Web site, Newsarama, got a nod. Among the five nominees for best writer, I’m proud to say I’ve interviewed three of them: Brian K. Vaughan, Ed Brubaker and Brian Wood. I would have interviewed a fourth, Joss Whedon, if I could have ever landed him.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Free Comic Book Day

Kristen Baldwin, teen services librarian with the Pikes Peak Library District, is a big comic book fan. Which is why the library district is, for the first time, taking part in Free Comic Book Day this year. The library district is hooking up with Bargain Comics to provide free comics from noon to 5 May 3 at the East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd. “I think Free Comic Book Day is a great way to get a comic book into the hands of people who don’t normally read comics to see what they’re all about,” Baldwin says.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Doing justice to "Justice Society"

I just wanted to call to everyone’s attention artist Dale Eaglesham’s stunning two-page spread in this week’s “Justice Society of America.” Alex Ross probably gets more attention for his cover work on “JSA” than Eaglesham gets for the interior work, but he’s doing a great job. The spread I’m talking about is simply the Justice Society sitting at a table chatting. Except that when you have 24!!! heroes sitting at a table, there’s nothing simple about it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Thankfully, the end is near

With “Countdown to Final Crisis” in its final weeks — Issue No. 3 came out today — I’m counting down to when I no longer waste money on this weekly series. I enjoyed “52,” the predecessor to “Countdown,” but have been disappointed this time around. There have been a few good issues, but mostly not. The Mary Marvel storyline is an example of what’s wrong with the series. Mary went over to the dark side, then saw the error of her ways. And then, in a blink of an eye a week or two ago, she’s suddenly evil again. And, yes, I could have stopped spending money on it at any time. But I kept hoping it would get better. And now that it’s near the end, I can’t just abandon it with a couple of issues to go. Can I?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Iron Man in the spotlight

I talked today with Marvel Comics executive editor Tom Brevoort about all things Iron Man. May sees "Iron Man" the movie; it's also the month Marvel launches a second monthly Iron Man title, "The Invincible Iron Man."

I asked Brevoort whether, as a Marvel insider, he's gotten to see a rough cut of the movie or anything. He said he did get to visit the set about 18 months ago and talk to director Jon Favreau. But, he says, "I've only seen the same trailers and TV commercials that you have."

He sounds jazzed about the movie, though. "Certainly we're looking forward to it because it looks just astonishing," he says.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Three Legions in one

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes. So I’m pretty jazzed about “Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds.” Newsarama has all the details, but basically it boils down to an epic story by Geoff Johns and George Perez that will feature three incarnations of the Legion together — the original Legion, the post-“Zero Hour” Legion and the current incarnation, which I’ve never really gotten that much into. Should be fun — and if anyone can make it NOT confusing, it’s Johns.