Ed Brubaker Talks Secret Avengers, Receiving Death Threats For Writing Captain America

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Cyriaque Lamar had an interview with Ed Brubaker about his current and upcoming projects as well as the media – and public – reaction to making elements of his Captain America book a little “too real,” so to speak:

io9 recently chatted with the incomparable Ed Brubaker about his upcoming run onSecret Avengers, the status of the Sleeper movie, and yes, the yahoos who got way too riled up about a Captain America comic.

For Secret Avengers, you have a pretty diverse crew lined up (Nova, Beast, War Machine, Steve Rogers, Valkyrie, etc.). These are some fairly stand-up supes; they’re not like the Thunderbolts who have to be kept out of the public eye. What’s so secret about them?

The one element that ties all of these characters together is that they all have a certain military background, even with Valkyrie with Asgard. Beast has a history with the Avengers, and you can’t have a book like this without someone hitting up the science department. Of course, he’s going to be out in the field with these guys.

The real crux of what I’m trying to do is a team book that feels somehow different from how we’ve seen team books up to this point. This is very much about taking that pulpy espionage flavor, mixing it with a Mission Impossible vibe, and doing it with superheroes. It’s a new starting point. I’m not walking on to the X-Men or the Authority.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Reviews: 07-14 April 2010

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What with all the house-prep, I’ve fallen behind again with reviews.  But, it’s been worth it — the house is coming together nicely. But, I digress. We’re gathered here to talk comics and whatnot. So, let’s get to it!

Batgirl #9

Batgirl stops a subway hijacking, has a one-on-one chat with Commissioner Gordon and (re-)meets Barbara Gordon’s new assistant. Not bad for a day’s work. But, when people start speaking in binary and showing signs of infections with [SPOILER DELETED] tech and then dying, it’s time for Oracle and Batgirl to step up their game, because [SPOILER DELETED] has returned to Gotham City… and has plans. Big plans.

Batman #698

Edward Nigma and Batman follow the clues left behind at crime scenes that indicate that some of Gotham’s worst villains are on a spree. And who’s the mysterious gentleman in the top hat? And why is The Riddler laughing?

Batman and Robin #11

Dick Grayson continues to follow the clues in and around Wayne Manor… clues that might lead to the whereabouts and/or “when-abouts” of Bruce Wayne. Robin (Damian Wayne) and Oberon Sexton take on the 99 Fiends. Unfortunately, Talia Al-Ghul has chosen the middle of the fight as the perfect time to play with Damian’s “fly-by-wire” system again.

Black Widow #1

Someone from Natasha Romanova’s past wants something from her and comes calling for it. When Tony Stark, Bucky Barnes and Logan find out about it… well, let’s just say that I don’t think that it would be healthy to be the person they’re looking for. As a back-up feature, readers are treated to a condensed timeline of the Black Widow’s history, complete with bibliographic references.

Brightest Day #0

What happens when a Deadman comes back to life? What connection does he have to the eleven other figures who returned to live in the wake of the Blackest Night? How are the others dealing with their second leases on life? This issue poses many questions, but looks like it’s setting up for a good run, full of a few surprises.

Buck Rogers #10

This issue continues a great ride through the 25th Century. Buck makes a couple of anachronistic references that are lost on his companions, but will make readers chuckle, if not outright laugh. And something smells fishy in… oh, wait, it’s just Buck.

The Flash: Secret Files and Origins 2010 #1

This issue gives readers a look at the people and places that are… *ahem*… central to The Flash. The story “Running to the Past” gives a one-minute look at what drives Barry Allen. As far as “real time” storytelling goes, this ranked up there with a good episode with 24.

The New Avengers: Luke Cage #1 (of 3)

Luke Cage goes to Philadelphia to check in on a young man from the old neighborhood… and runs into a little more trouble than he expected. But, do you think he backed down from it? Sweet Christmas, no. He’s Luke Cage. Power Man. And running from a fight has never been his style.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much from this book. Even more to the point, I never planned to pick it up, especially after seeing the artwork — I wasn’t impressed. Despite that, I found that this was a decent story. I might even stick around for the remaining issues.

Red Robin #11

Following a fight with The Seven Men of Death, assassins at Ra’s Al Ghul’s command, the Brothers Wayne – Dick, Tim and Damian – have a confab… until Robin recognizes someone else as being an assassin in his grandfather’s employ.  And, just to keep things balanced, Vicki Vale, Tam Fox and Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) have a litte chat amongst themselves.

Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton

  • Action Comics #888

    Flamebird and… where’s Nightwing?… anyway, Flamebird’s taking on Jax-Ur’s demi-Rao. Fortunately, she’s not alone — The JSA and Wonder Woman show up to lend a hand.
  • Adventure Comics #10

    The battle against Brainiac continues. At stake, the re-bottled city of Kandor. Mon-El dreams of space once more. And General Zod – and his “Brainiac Revenge Squad” – prepares to “…ruin Brainiac’s day.” The back-up feature sees the conclusion of Car-Vex/Officer Romundi’s infiltration of Project: 7734.
  • Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #2 (of 3)

    Supergirl, Superboy, and the Legion attempt an assault on Brainiac’s ship… with a little help from another visitor from the 31st Century. A visitor who has something of a “vested interest” in the fight. Superman and Mon-El face off against Brainiac and his drones. And, Kandor… bottled, once more.

Superman: Secret Origin #5 (of 6)

Geoff Johns puts an interesting spin on this retelling/reintroduction of Superman’s early years. In it, readers are (re-)introduced to John Corben – the man who would become Metallo – and his link to Lois Lane. Readers also learn of the common XXX that Lex Luthor and General Sam Lane have in seeing as a threat and menace… and the lengths they would go to in order to prove it.

Uncanny X-Men #523

Cable and Hope come home. Too bad that everyone’s packed up and moved to San Francisco. (And no one even left a forwarding address!) And, on the other side of the country, Cyclops’ dirty little secret – X-Force – has finally been brought out into the light. And not everyone is happy about it. But, to his credit, Scott not only cops to forming X-Force AND says that he would do it again, if deemed necessary, but defies Nightcrawler to challenge his leadership while the team is in the field. (Well done, Mr. Fraction. Thank you for bringing us a Scott Summers who not only acts like the leader of a minority – a dying one, at that – but one who is willing to make the tough calls when necessary.) And, once again, Wolverine gets all the good lines.

Comic Book Cartography

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From BoingBoing:

Comic Book Cartography is a blog devoted to scans of the wonderful maps and diagrams of classic comics. The kind of thing I could stare at all day.

To check out Comic Book Cartography, click here.

Marvel iPad App Confirmed, Details Revealed

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Marvel confirmed this morning through a press release that their iPad App is real, is ready, and is a launch title for the device. The App itself is free and will be similar to ComiXology’s current iPhone application for digital comics, as ComiXology handled development of the App. Individual issues will be offered at $1.99 each.

To read the full article, click here.

Reviews: 24-31 March 2010

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There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes here at 4CC – not the least of which included buying a house – so I’m a couple of weeks out on reviews. But, I don’t want things to get too far off-track. So, with that in mind and no further delay, here are my reviews of releases from the past couple of weeks:

Adventure Comics #9

Superboy and Supergirl and the Legion – in both the 21st and 31st Centuries – race against the clock to defeat the machinations of Brainiac. Readers are also treated to a personal look at the lineage of the “Brainiac” name.

Blackest Night
This is going to be out of alphabetical order, but it works. Go with it…

  • Green Lantern #52

    Sinestro has claimed the mantle of White Lantern. Hundreds of thousands of Black Lanterns – and the Black Lantern planet, Xanshi –  converge on Earth. And the origins of the Avatars of emotions are told…. too bad that Nekron isn’t someone who’s really into “story time.”
  • Blackest Night #8

    This was the final chapter of the “Blackest Night” story. And it starts with a little insight into mind of Hal Jordan:

    The truth is, I am afraid of one thing.

    I’m afraid to get close to people.

    Because Black Hand is right.

    Eventually, everyone will die.

    A poet once said, “Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero” which meant “Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.”

    Most people only know the first part — “Carpe diem” — probably because not trusting in the tomorrow is too damn cynical. It is to me, anyway.

    Sure, you can’t rely on tomorrow, we’re not guaranteed we’ll have it —

    –but we can’t be afraid of it either.

    And with that, the final battle of the “War of Light” begins. Good thing that John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner show up with a legions of reinforcements – both Lanterns of various Corps and Earth’s own heroes. And… the White Lantern Corps?! In the words of By-Tor and the Snow-Dog: “Let the fray begin!”

    In the battle’s aftermath, Guy Gardner has… a moment… with [SPOILER DELETED]. That was something I didn’t see coming. I also think that readers got an answer to something that was noted in Flash: Rebirth, as well.

    And foundation is laid for “Brightest Day.”

Captain America #604

This issue should have been Falcon #1. Sam Wilson and Redwing take on a trainload of  highly-armed (but not always so intelligent) militiamen. The plans of the “Fake Captain America” are also revealed.

Fantastic Four #577

When most people go on a “field trip,” they go to a museum, professional office, gardens or something of along those lines. When the FF go on a field trip, there’s almost no telling where – or “when” – they will wind up. The trip in this issue carries the FF to the moon. There, they learn more about the Inhumans and the Kree than has previously been revealed to humans. Then the other shoe drops: The Inhumans have a plan — they’re looking for a new home. And it seems as though [SPOILER DELETED] looks like a good place to start setting up shop.

Justice League of America #43

This issue was horribly disjointed. From what I recall of James Robinson’s work, it used to be A LOT more coherent than this. This issue felt like he just phoned it in. I’m left to wonder if giving this title another shot was a mistake.

New Avengers #63

I always enjoy it when a book surprises me. (At least, when it does so in a good way.) This was such an occasion. This issue alternated between:

  1. …a fight between the New Avengers, Norman Osborn’s Avengers and H.A.M.M.E.R. troops and Asgardians
  2. …a conversation between Luke Cage and Jessica Jones (Jewel)
  3. …a conversation between Clint Barton (Ronin) and Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird).

And it just plain worked. All of it. I think that my favorite parts of the issue came during the Luke and Jessica conversation. It was… very human. Brian Michael Bendis did an excellent job of conveying the emotions between two people – who just happen to be superheroes AND new parents – in the middle of a war that neither of them wanted to be a part of.

Power Girl #10

I am still enjoying this book and will be sad to see the team of Gray/Palmiotti/Conner leave in two issues. In this issue, Power Girl strikes a deal with her “stalker.” And why is Terra acting so strange?

She-Hulk Sensational #1

This issue was done as a kind of “thirtieth anniversary special.”  It was just the kind of book that people have come to expect from a She-Hulk title. It was part tongue-in-cheek, part rollicking ride… and all fun. The best part of the issue was the middle story: A team-up of She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman.

Superman #698

Superman takes on Brainiac and his new partner, Lex Luthor. At stake: The fate of New Krypton and a number of “bottle cities” that Brainiac has collected. Good thing that Mon-El is around to lend a hand.

Superman/Batman #70

Anderson Gaines – or, rather, the Durlan who has assumed his identity – makes his final objective known… while Batman and Superman fight to learn of his plans.

Tiny Titans #26

The Green Issue.  I didn’t find this issue as compelling as most of this series has been… but it was still fun.

Uncanny X-Men #522

Magneto has been called “The Master of Magnetism” for… well… obvious reasons. In both comics and movies, he’s been shown stopping – or deflecting – bullets with his power. So, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that he does it again in this issue. The surprise factor comes with which particular bullet he chooses to move: It’s the bullet, fired from Breakworld in Astonishing X-Men #25. The bullet that Kitty Pryde has been stuck in for the past year (or whatever the timeframe is in comic time). The issue’s best dialogue comes from a conversation between Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards, and Dr. Nemesis:

Richards: You can fool some of the satellites some of the time, but you cannot fool my satellites ever, at any time, for any reason. What the Hell are you guys trying to pull?

Nemesis: The phase vessel that’s trapped Kitty Pryde for however-long is coming back to Earth. That’s the good news. The bad news is it’s moving at a velocity so great that–

Richards: –that you decided to hope Ms. Pryde was still alive, that the bullet was still phased, and to conceal the thing rather than set off a panic.

Nemesis: …You… make it sound bad when you put it like that.

Richards: Well, it is, and she is. Phased and alive, I mean — congratulations, X-Men. You’re getting your man back. We’ll do what we can on our end to help smooth any feathers you manage to ruffle, but next time? Try asking permission rather than apologizing after the fact. It’s time your people got out of the shadows. Richards out.

Leave it to Reed to cut to the chase. But the best part of this issue was the bittersweet reunion of Kitty with the X-Men. I didn’t notice it at the time, but there was an interesting parallel to/twist on a situation in Uncanny X-Men #212 (Dec. 1986), as well.

Wonder Woman #42

This was a “set-up” issue. The extended prologue doesn’t feature Diana. In fact, it doesn’t even occur on Earth. But, it serves to introduce a weapon of the issue’s main antagonist, who is revealed at the issue’s end.