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Jul 242014
 

fourColorBullet1

Welcome to the regularly scheduled edition of Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column sponsored by LuthorCorp. Yesterday, I featured a special Batman Day edition highlighting my Top 10 Batman stories. Check it out  if you haven’t seen it, yet. I forgive you. It was a pretty important day, after all. But let’s get to the business at hand.

This week from Marvel, The X-Men’s Storm flies solo in the first issue of her new book, titled Storm; Peter Parker discovers that he wasn’t the only one bitten by that radioactive spider, in Amazing Spider-Man #4, an Original Sin tie-in;  and Preston discovers something from Deadpool’s past that needs to be dealt with, but he and Dazzler are neck deep in vampires, in Deadpool #32, an Original Sin tie-in.

Over at DC, Zero Year, the New 52 retelling of Batman’s origin, comes to a powerful end, with Batman taking on Riddler, in Batman #33; Take a further glimpse into the possible grim future of the DCU, in Futures’ End #12; and the House of Mystery is heading into the Void of Non-Being, while a team member is possessed, in Justice League Dark #33.

And IDW rounds out the bullets with Star Trek: Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever #2, as Kirk, Spock, and Yeoman Rand return to the Enterprise after their first encounter with the Guardians, only to find a darker timestream awaiting them.

Written by Mark Waid Art by Javier Rodriguez Cover Art by Chris Samnee

Written by Mark Waid
Art by Javier Rodriguez
Cover Art by Chris Samnee

In Original Sin, a group of heroes was subjected to a blast from one of the Watcher’s stolen eyes. The blast imparted many of the Watcher’s secrets into the minds of those in the blast radius. One of those heroes was Daredevil. Daredevil’s entire crime-fighting career was predicated on the hero-worship of his father, Jack Murdock, a boxer, a good man until his death. But in this tie-in, Daredevil makes the shocking discovery that his father wasn’t the saint he thought he was.

This was another great issue from writer Mark Waid, who is joined by Javier Rodriguez on pencils (and inks and colors) instead of Chris Samnee, delivers a story about what happens when our heroes turn out to not be as heroic as we think they are. And when DD tries to contact his mother for answers, he discovers she and some other nuns have been arrested and are being extradited to Wakanda as part of a bizarre conspiracy. Chris Samnee stepped off the penciling duties for this issue but Rodriguez’ clean art looked great depicting Waid’s words. And it’s nice to revisit Matt’s mother, who happens to be in quite a bit of trouble. And we get a glimpse of what Jack Murdock’s sins were, and Rodriguez’ art shows us some pretty obvious spousal abuse. This one will be continued next issue with some obvious emotional baggage that may resonate in Matt’s life for years to come.

 

 

Written by Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, and Scott Snyder Art by Bob Kane, Bryan Hitch, and Sean Murphy, and Chip Kidd

Written by Bill Finger, Brad Meltzer, and Scott Snyder
Art by Bob Kane, Bryan Hitch, and Sean Murphy, and Chip Kidd

This year marks Batman’s 75th anniversary and DC Comics designated yesterday Batman Day. Many comic shops across the globe gave out Bat-swag, including a free issue of a new 75th Anniversary issue of Detective Comics #27. You get four stories in this free book, including a reprint of the original story from the 1939 Detective Comics that featured the first appearance of Batman in a story called The Case of the Chemical Syndicate, written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane. In addition to this, thriller novelist and sometime comic-book scribe Brad Meltzer wrote a modern-day telling of that same story, that was penciled by Bryan Hitch. This alone was enough to snag the book in my opinion. You get to see the original story and compare it to Meltzer’s retelling and with Hitch’s gorgeous artwork that comics fans have seen in stuff like The Ultimates and Civil War. And it’s fun to compare the two, seeing how Kane and Finger’s creation has evolved over time. A real treat for fans of comic book history.We get all of that history, plus Scott Snyder  provides a future tale of Batman. And Meltzer teams up with Chip Kidd for a sneak peek of their take on Kane and Finger’s original story.

Did I mention it’s free? If you didn’t do it yesterday, go to your local comic shop and see if they have any left. It’s worth it.

And one more special thing about this issue: it features the first and only time Bill Finger has ever been credited on any cover of a comic featuring the character he helped create. Bob Kane, whose name we see plastered all over anything Batman, came up with the concept, but Batman’s modern appearance, from the cowl to the boots, was all Bill Finger. Many older fans know this, and many don’t. And there are many younger fans who know nothing about Bill Finger. And I’ve been more than vocal in other venues on my thoughts of Bill Finger getting shafted, so I won’t mention them here. But it is a crime to the industry, and a slap in the face to the man who more than helped Bob Kane bring this beloved pop culture icon to life, to have ignored his contributions for 75 years.  Bless DC Comics for putting his name on the cover where it belongs. I know for a fact that there was a collective cheer that went out when fans saw it. I was one of them.

And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. Email and comments are always welcome. Be sure and check out Krypton Radio’s coverage of San Diego Comic-Con this week. We have geek boots on the ground on location, as well as live broadcasts. Tune in from your mobile device while you’re waiting in line! So if you’re in the area, find one of our roving Nerd Newshounds and say ‘hi.” Maybe they’ll put you on the air. And then you can brag that you hung out with the best, fastest-growing Internet radio station in the multiverse. And then your friends will get jealous because they don’t rock like you do. Totally worth it.

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See ya next week!

Jul 192014
 

 

lois lane get pop culturedby Aly Runke, contributing writer

Being a book nerd, I frequent Barnes and Noble bookstore quite often. I have my usual sections that I visit, new releases, bargain, classics, teen, and a quick glance over the graphic novels and manga. I grew up at bookstores sitting on itchy carpet floors debating between books as my mom tapped her foot impatiently. But not all of us are into YA like I am. So maybe visiting Barnes and Noble doesn’t make its way onto your schedule as much as it does me, maybe you’d rather haunt the local comic book store instead. That’s cool but starting this weekend and moving into early August, Barnes and Noble has a reason for all of us nerds, geeks, and fellow dorks to gather inside its doors across the country.

The name of the game is Get Pop Cultured Week. Before and throughout this week different pop culture phenomena will be celebrated. The preview weekend consists of different costume contests for both little ones and those 13 and up. You can also take a shelfie with your costume and tweet it in for a chance to win a $500 gift card to Barnes and Noble, today only! See the rules here. Of course, this isn’t the only activity happening throughout Barnes and Nobles everywhere.

get pop culturedDifferent days have different themes and on some of the themed days, actors or writers are visiting hot spot locales to do signings. Some of these guests in the LA area include Chris Colfer visiting several stores to sign his books Land of Stories for middle-grade children as well as hero therapy dogs to play with. The themed days are as follows: Batman Day on 7/23; DC Comics Spectacular 7/23-7/27; Comic Convention collectibles 7/24-7/27; Frozen Friday 8/1; Marvel Day 8/2; James Patterson Day 8/3; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 8/4-8/9; Page and Screen 8/9-8/10.

Each day will be filled with different contests, giveaways, and deals according to theme. Check out what’s happening at the Barnes and Noble near you. Tag us in your shelfie photo contest entries (#kryptonradio), and tell us about events in your town celebrating Get Pop Cultured week. I’ll be showing you what’s happening in the Midwest as well. Enjoy everyone!

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Jul 182014
 

It’s the day after New Comic Day, which means it’s time for a new Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column still under $2.99 an issue. Let’s get to it, eh?

From those crazy folks at Marvel this week, Kamala Khan starts to come into her place in the world, but if she’s going to survive, she’ll need some help from a certain six-clawed Canadian, in Ms. Marvel #6; Charles Xavier’s last will and testament is discovered, but it may bode ill for the X-Men, in Uncanny X-Men #23, an Original Sin tie-in; and Nova gets some help from Rocket Raccoon to solve some Original Sin-style mysteries, in Nova #19

From DC this week, the Teen Titans become teen celebrities, in Teen Titans #1; Robin may have been found, but the fight isn’t over. Not when Ra’s al Ghul’s blood feud is interrupted by Darkseid, in Robin Rises: Omega #1; Green Arrow is dead, and the Justice League wants Firestorm to pay, in The New 52: Futures’ End #11.

IDW brings us the first issue of The X-Files: Year Zero, wherein Mulder investigates a case from the 1940s that brings to light how the FBI’s X-Files division came to be, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #36 have Splinter and Leo preparing for their coming war with Shredder and the Foot. And the Rat King strikes!  

Written by Jason Aaron Penciled by Mike Deodato Jr.

Written by Jason Aaron
Penciled by Mike Deodato Jr.

Okay. Only one comic this week stood out enough to review and that was Original Sin #6. Marvel’s murder mystery miniseries has reached it’s next-to-last-to-last issue and while some questions have been answered, there are still plenty more out there. If you’ve been following along, you know that our heroes have discovered the origins of the gamma bullets found in some of the dead otherworldly creatures that Doctor Strange and Punisher have been investigating. We know that Exterminatrix and Doctor Midas, two villains who haven’t been seen in years, are up to their necks in it. We know that, before and during S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury worked as a one-man cosmic assassin, being a “wall’ between us and whatever otherworldly creatures threatened us.

We’re still not sure who killed the Watcher, only that he and Fury didn’t get along. And Fury has aged with the apparent absence of his Infinity Formula. And the heroes have had enough. To quote Robert Redford’s character in Sneakers, one of my all time favorite movies, “No more secrets.”  And one of the more interesting aspects of this issue, is that Fury may come out of this as both hero and villain, in what could very well be his final story.

And while this issue was better than last issue’s interlude, there’s just too much talking for an event book. Writer Jason Aaron tries to keep it all mysterious with only two issues left, and the whole thing starts to get clunky. And artist Mike Deodato’s shadowy art doesn’t lend itself to the individual faces of the heroes standing around chin wagging, trying to solve the thing and pressing Fury for answers. Thankfully, a fight breaks out toward the end that gives you the eye candy you need from an event book.

While it was a good issue, there’s just way too much talking and not enough action for this late in the game.

And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. If you haven’t heard, Marvel announced some shake-ups in the status quo, with Thor being made female, and Sam Wilson taking up the shield as Captain America. And, there’s some news on Iron Man that got hinted at today. It seems that Tony is moving to San Francisco, and he’s got Extremis for everybody!  We’ll get that to you as soon as we know more. Big big news, and Krypton Radio has the skinny on both Thor and Cap.

Wednesday is Batman Day, as DC celebrates the Dark Knight’s 75th anniversary. I want to hear from you guys on what you consider to be the best Batman stories ever told, and I’ll share the top 10 on a Batman Day addition of Four-Color Bullet, in addition to some other Batman Day stuff we’re working on.

It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See ya next week on Batman Day!

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Jul 172014
 
Sam Wilson as Captain America.

Sam Wilson as Captain America.

By Nur Hussein, staff writer

Last night, Marvel Comics unveiled the newest person to take up the mantle of Captain America: Sam Wilson (a.k.a Falcon). Joe Quesada, Marvel’s CCO went on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report to make the announcement. Show host Stephen Colbert, who is a huge comics geek himself and has a replica of Cap’s shield prominently on display on the set, joked that he wanted to be the new Captain America. However, Quesada said the job had been filled, and it will be Falcon taking the costume and the shield, but only in the comics.

If you’ve been following the comics series, you’ll know that in Captain America #21 the original and most well-known Captain America, Steve Rogers, had his super-serum sucked out of him, leaving him without his powers and aging his body to that of an old man (at least he looks his age now). With Steve Rogers off to become the grumpy old mentor, the new Captain America is now the former Falcon, Sam Wilson. This makes sense for Marvel; they’ve been heavily promoting the character of Wilson on the big screen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (played by Anthony Mackie), therefore he’s fresh on the minds of general audiences.

This hasn’t been the first time Captain America has been replaced. During the Civil War storyline in 2007, Steve Rogers was killed as a consequence of the superhero strife that occurred in the comics then. The mantle of Captain America was then taken up by his friend Bucky Barnes. However, Steve Rogers returned after his death (turns out he didn’t really die, and it was more of a timey wimey thing), and resumed his duties as Captain America.

Now Sam Wilson is taking on the role, and this is is probably not a permanent change either (as it wasn’t back in 2007), but hopefully we’ll see some interesting new stories from this comics event.

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Jul 132014
 

ErnieColon1by Michael Brown, staff writer

Comic book artist Ernesto “Ernie” Colón turns 83 today! Colón was born July 13, 1931 in Puerto Rico and is known for his work in the fields of children’s comics, horror, and nonfiction. He began his career at Harvey Comics working as a letterer, but later became the artist for Richie Rich and Casper, The Friendly Ghost, and was uncredited for both. His first credited work was penciling and inking the the two-page story Kaleidoscope of Fear in Wham-O Giant Comics #1  (April 1967, published by the toy company Wham-O). He went on to draw three issues of the original Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom from Gold Key Comics, and worked on Warren Publishing’s black-and-white horror comics CreepyEerie, and Vampirella.

Colón’s other comic book artistic credits include Grim Ghost for Atlas Comics, Arak, Son of Thunder, and Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld for DC Comics, Airboy for Eclipse Comics, Magnus: Robot Fighter for Valiant, Damage Control, and Doom 2099 for Marvel, Bullwinkle and Rocky for Marvel’s children’s imprint Star Comics, and the comic strip SpyCat for the Weekly World News tabloid until its demise in 2007.

Colón and former Harvey Comics editor Sid Jacobson created a  version of the 9/11 Commission Report titled The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation. They released a 160-page follow-up, After 9/11: America’s War on Terror.  The duo’s A Graphic Biography: Che was released in 2009. The following year, they released their next collaboration, The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography. Colón’s latest work was a book called The Great American Documents Vol. 1 that came out in May 2014.

Krypton Radio would like to wish Ernie Colón a very happy birthday and many more to come.

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