Tag Archives: DCU

Stormwatch #2

“The Dark Side-Part 2”

Writer: Paul Cornell
Pencils: Miguel Sepulveda & Al Barrionuevo
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Editor: Pat McCallum
Cover: Miguel Sepulveda

(No Spoilers)

Now I can tell Paul Cornell’s starting to have fun with this title.  The opening page of this book alone is the most epic tongue-in-cheek moment I’ve ever seen!  I also like the dysfunction between the team members.  I know Cornell mentioned in interviews that we’ll be seeing the team falling apart.  When you see how they treat each other it’s a wonder they ever came together in the first place.

Cornell also does good to answer some of the fanboy rants about the encounter with Martian Manhunter and Midnighter last issue.  The great thing is, I think Cornell anticipated the reaction and quickly answers the issue that angered so many fans last issue.

The humor in this book is also very clever.  There’s a bit with the Justice League that had me laughing out loud.  It was a clever bit that also involved a clearer understanding and cooler use of The Projectionists powers in my opinion.  I like that amidst all the chaos, there’s still room for some laughs.  It is a very fast-paced book and there is so much going on here.  This issue is definitely still setting up some factors of the story but we did get some forward movement.

I loved the combination of Miguel Sepulveda and Al Barrionuevo doing the art.  It’s good to see Barrionuevo drawing Wildstorm characters again.  I think the different colorist for this issue brought out their art more.  There are some amazing shots in here and again the effects used to enhance the art are very impressive.

I enjoyed the issue but I am really curious to see what happens next.  I can’t necessarily say that it’s written for trade.  I think it’s more that Cornell is just doing his best to fit this epic opening story in the pages allotted to him.  I am really enjoying this new incarnation of Stormwatch!

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

 

Stormwatch #1

“The Dark Side-Part 1”

Writer: Paul Cornell
Pencils: Miguel Sepulveda
Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Letters: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Editor: Pat McCallum
Cover: Miguel Sepulveda

(No Spoilers)

Welcome to the DCU, Stormwatch! I know this fan didn’t expect to be writing about you for a long time. But I’m glad that the time came sooner rather than later.

When I first heard that the Wildstorm characters were going to be integrated into the DCU, I couldn’t help but share a little of everyone’s skepticism. The Wildstorm characters were like the neighborhood tough guys. They were not afraid to kill the evil super-powered beings of the world, so how would this attitude translate to the DCU that was filled with more traditional superheroes?

The answer comes in the form of an idea brilliantly presented by writer Paul Cornell. In the new DCU where superheroes are suddenly new to the world, Cornell shows us that the Stormwatch has been a clandestine organization that has existed for centuries in this new DCU. It is only with the public appearance of superheroes now that Stormwatch is forced to come forward. I thought this was great because it still allows Stormwatch to be badasses while the rest of the DCU’s ideals are not compromised. In fact, the way this issue reads and the way it is paced, you’d think you’re reading some of Warren Ellis’ old work.

Cornell does a great job of introducing these characters. It’s simple things like the characters using each others names or referring to their own powers and how they work that I think will make it easy for new readers to understand. I personally am just happy to see The Engineer, Jack Hawksmoor, Apollo, Midnighter, and Jenny Quantum in action again! The inclusion of Martian Manhunter seemed very odd to me at first. But after reading the issue, I feel this version of Manhunter has an edge to him that I can see fits the book perfectly.

Miguel Sepulveda’s art is good. It reminds me a little of Al Barrionuevo (who consequentially is helping with issue 2 next month). It’s got a darkness to it that fits the darker tone of this book. There is also some great digital work used to enhance his art like the scenes where The Engineer is viewing holographic computer screens or we see scenes of Hyperspace in the background.

Overall, it was a solid first issue. It did a great job of not only setting up the characters, but also several plot points that are interesting to say the least. It definitely has a different feel to it than the other DC books. It felt more like a Wildstorm book to me than a DC book. I hope that works in its favor because I know there are people out there who miss the likes of book like The Authority or Planetary. I can safely say this comic is done in the spirit of those books.

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

 

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast - Episode 24

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast – Epidsode 24

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast - Episode 24Subscribe to the show: RSS Feed | iTunes

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Show Notes:
Welcome to another episode of Wildstorm Addiction! Our resident Wildstorm experts Joe David Soliz & Benjamin Murphy talk about the new DCU version of Voodoo on an exclusive interview with writer Ron Marz. (Ron Marz photo courtesy of Luigi Novi)

00:00:35  – Ben welcomes everyone to Episode #24 and introduces our special guest for the evening, Ron Marz, writer of Voodoo.

Note: It wouldn’t be an interview podcast without technical difficulties. This time our interviewee is on a standard telephone which is a first for us, so the quality may not be the best. However Joe was having major internet slow downs so he may pop in and out of certain conversations. You’ll have to excuse his loudness at times.

00:01:10 – Joe welcomes Ron and thanks him for being on our show.

00:01:22 – [WA – Joe] You have done some great things for the industry(the famous Emerald Twilight story which introduced Kyle Rayner, CrossGen, the revitalization of the Top Cow Universe, just to name a few), but where did it all begin? How did you get your start in the industry?
00:01:41 – [Ron] I was kinda led by the hand by Jim Starlin who was in the industry long before I began writing. We just happened to live in the same area and ended up at the same parties. I had been working as a sports writer, but he suggested the idea of writing comics to put food on the table. He threw me into the deep end of the pool by giving me Silver Surfer as my first monthly assignment.

00:02:38 – [WA – Ben] Because you’ve been in the business so long, many people look towards you as their influence. But who/what are some of your influences as a writer?
00:02:48 – [Ron] As far as comics goes Starlin is right up there since he sorta gave me a crash course into comics. It’s certainly a learned skill and there is a lack of visual writing in comics these days for the artist. Jim definitely showed me the ropes on comics. Alan Moore and Frank Miller in the 80s. Beyond that Stephen King, Charles Dickens, Robert E. Howard, Tolkien. In my youth I read more novels than I did comics. A lot of my background comes from prose.

00:04:50 – [WA – Ben] What made you decide to take on Voodoo?  Is she a favorite character? I know you’ve worked in the Wildstorm Universe in the past so I’m wondering what stood out in order for you to take on Voodoo. After talking to Jim Lee at last year’s New York Comic Con he promised that Wildstorm would be back in some form, and it seems as though he may be protecting some of his favorite characters that he created. So that’s why we want to know why you chose to take on Voodoo.
00:05:27 – [Ron] It’s pretty simple, I got a call on a Friday afternoon and was told that we have this book do I want to write it. It’s pretty well know that I was one of the later writers brought into the whole relaunch. I like that it’s a character that doesn’t have any pre-existing baggage in terms of having to stick to any previous continuity. Just the fact in being involved in the DC relaunch. I think it’s a bold step forward for what we’re doing as an industry. Non-hardcore readers are going to be affected by the fact that these books are available the same day digitally as they are on the stands. Being a part of this move is really exciting for me. So all of that played a factor into it. And the other aspect was, Sami Basri who I had worked with on some Witchblade issues. I’m a fan of his and was excited to work with him again. What he’s doing now, I’m stunned about. The level of work that he’s doing now is spectacular.

00:09:19 – [WA – Ben] I have a follow-up to the pricing for the relaunch. Is the idea on the retail side that DC will do poly bagged editions with the digital codes and the newsstand editions living side-by-side on the local shelves forever or just for the launch?
00:10:02 – [Ron]  I have no idea, I’m not plugged into that side of it, I think it’s mostly just the Justice League launch. I certainly understand the brick and mortar retailers being upset. DC is really going out of its way to include the local shops in the relaunch and its business plan going forward. It’s a really interesting time in the business because we’re on the cusp of deciding where that delivery mechanism goes. I don’t think anyone has the answer, but I think it’s obvious that the digital aspect is going to have an increasingly large aspect of how people get their comics. I admire DC for striking out on this path and trying to bring readers back into the fold through the digital outreach. And I also admire them for not just kicking the retailers to the curb. I think it’s an important step for comics to be a little less of a niche entertainment medium and a little bit more mass media. The honest truth is we don’t know where this is going to go. It’s exciting and it’s scary at the same time.

00:16:47 – [WA – Joe] How much collaboration did you have as far as designs and story elements with Sami Basri? Over in Stormwatch, Apollo and Midnighter got some very noticeable redesigns. From what little we’ve seen of Voodoo she doesn’t seem to be redesigned very much. Can you discuss why that is?
00:17:24 – [Ron] Sami Basri is in Indonesia, he’s literally on the other side of the world for me. But frankly more and more that’s the situation because of the leaps in technology. You are working with guys on the other side of the world that may not even speak the same language. It’s weird some of my best friends are on the other side of the world that I never really see. It’s a different way of working than comics have never really been done. I’m not in contact with Sami every day. The level of collaboration really depends on how that particular partnership works best. In terms of Voodoo’s design, we aren’t really approaching Voodoo as a superhero. So we aren’t really approaching her design as such. Some of the promo artwork they chose show that she’s at stripper, or at least we think that she is. That’s something that was a part of her previous incarnation and very much a part of the background character in Wildcats. That was an aspect that I wanted to keep, at least for a while, in the book. Working as an exotic dancer aspect might not be what everyone thinks it is. There’s a reason for it that’s part of the story which will be revealed as we go. I think the book is unapologetically sexy within the bounds of a teen rated book.

00:22:11 – [WA – Ben] That’s something that Joe and I were wondering. There is a concern amongst Wildstorm fans that the WSU characters will be watered-down for the DCU integration. Since Voodoo is a stripper we were wondering how it’s going to fit, so thanks for shedding some light on it.
00:22:46  – [WA – Ron]  I don’t want to give too much away but this is an espionage book in a lot of ways, Voodoo is the spy, she’s an espionage agent. We don’t know who she is working for initially.  It’s not exactly the same character that appeared in the Wildstorm Universe. There will be some aspects to her that will be new. Voodoo is naturally seen as an outsider as far as the readership goes. And I wanted to use that as part of the story as a point of view character as we explore what the DCU is now.

00:25:58 – [WA – Joe] Voodoo has always been part of action books but as a solo character will her stories be more character-driven or will there be a mix of action too?
00:26:22 – [Ron] If you are only getting action in a book or only getting character in a book, you are only getting half a meal anyway. I didn’t exactly say she’s the good guy all of the time either…

00:30:31 – [WA – Ben] Are there any Wildstorm characters that we will be seeing coming into these books or are there any Wildstorm characters that you’d love to write into them?
00:30:51 – [Ron] Some things that have appeared in Wildstorm books will be in the Voodoo books. As we move forward there are some other characters I’d like to bring in here and there, but not at the expense of showing DCU characters as well. One of the cool things is having that mix and how it all shakes out. She will be a character that grows and evolves over the first year.

00:32:25 – [WA – Joe] There are some people out there who are very excited about the book, but there are some who are not. What would you say to them to get them to give this book a try?
00:33:44 – [Ron] Do you mean there are cynical fans on the internet? I am shocked! I think we are doing really damn good book, in fact I know we are doing a damn good book! I have a pretty good self-critical eye. This is absolutely an edge book. There are things in issue one and two that I didn’t think we’d be able to do. The sexy stuff is sexy and the violent stuff is violent, we aren’t soft pedaling this stuff.

00:40:21 – [WA – Ben] We usually wrap this up with a loaded fun question. Voodoo has always been a magically and spiritually driven character so Voodoo vs. Zatanna: Who wins and why?
00:40:51 – [Ron] Voodoo. Why would I pick the character I don’t write?

00:41:22 – [WA – Joe] Joe thanks Ron once again for joining us and wraps up the interview.

00:42:02 -Joe gives an update on Wildstorm character appearances in the DCU Flashpoint mini-series leading up to the DCU relaunch.

00:44:10 – After Ben gives the contact info Joe has “one, more, thing” to discuss. He suggests that if you’d like to discuss the new Wildstorm integration into the DCU that you check out Wildstorm Superfan Chris Striker’s message board from the Higher Authority website, Clark’s Bar: http://theauthority.ws/clarksbar/

The opening music is “Universal Domain” by Dreamline which can be found athttp://www.musicalley.com.

Contact info:
Joe: http://twitter.com/grifter78
Wildstorm Addiction: http://twitter.com/wildstormaddict
Post your comments for each episode on the wildstormaddiction.com!
Email us at wildstormaddiction@gmail.com.

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast - Episode 23

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast – Episode 23

Wildstorm Addiction Podcast - Episode 23Subscribe to the show: RSS Feed | iTunes

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Show Notes:
Welcome to a long awaited brand new  episode of Wildstorm Addiction! Our resident Wildstorm experts Joe David Soliz & Benjamin Murphy talk about the new DCU version of Grifter on an exclusive interview with Nathan Edmondson.

00:01:12 – Ben and Joe welcomes everyone to Episode #23. Joe introduces our special guest for the evening, Nathan Edmondson, writer of Grifter.

00:02:42 – Joe welcomes Nathan and thanks him for being on our show.

00:03:10 – [WA – Joe] The Light (2010 Image Comics) was my first exposure to your work.  How did you get your start in the industry?
00:03:48 – [Nathan] Was working in D.C. when I pitched my first comicbook Olympus (2009 Image), was considering writing first novel or screenplay. Realized I was called to writting and was introduced to some other professionals. Thanks to Christian Ward too.

00:06:28 – [WA – Ben] Who/what are some of your influences as a writer?
00:06:32 – [Nathan] This trouble always gets me into questions! The majority of my influences are in classic literature such as Euclid, Flannery O’Connor, and everything in between. Michael Chriton was probably the biggest influence growing up reading everything that came out. He was my first experience with adult literature at a young age. I didn’t really grow up reading comics. (paraphrased) When DC called and they mentioned Grifter, he was the one Wildstorm character that I knew by name and sight.

00:09:42 – [WA – Joe] What made you decide to take on Grifter?  Is he a favorite character?
00:09:52 – [Nathan] It’s funny because the colleagues I’ve worked with in the past tease me that some day DC or Marvel will be calling me and I won’t even know what they put out, it’s Spiderman right? (paraphrased)

00:14:30 – [WA – Ben] The artist for the book, CAFU, how much collaboration did you have as far as designs and story elements?
00:14:43 – [Nathan] CAFU goes by his initials Carlos Alberto from Spain. One of my primary draws to comics is art and the artists. I’m very selective, I have a sensitive eye. I know what I like and what I don’t. The story doesn’t come to life until the artist is on board. This is CAFU’s dream project, he came to the table with all cylinders firing.

00:19:00 – [Nathan] Semi-spoilers here.

00:20:24 – [WA – Ben] Just a quick follow-up. Interviewing some of the other creators over the past year, have you and CAFU ever met face to face? It’s amazing to see the awesome collaboration between two individual creators worlds apart without ever meeting one another. It’s amazing what can come out from multiple creators with technology today.
00:20:46 – [Nathan] No we haven’t, but Spain is one of my favorite places to travel so hopefully I’ll get to meet him someday soon if not at a comic con in the states.

00:22:46 – [WA – Joe] Ya, it’s amazing what you can do with technology. Even Ben and I have been doing this podcast for over a year and just recently met for the first time. 00:22:55 – [WA – Joe] Over in Stormwatch, Apollo and Midnighter got some very noticeable redesigns.  From what little we’ve seen of Voodoo she doesn’t seem to be redesigned very much and neither does Grifter.  Can you discuss why that is?
00:23:24 – [Nathan] Well Grifter will be redesigned some. The mask is too cool and important to lose. He’s going to be more realistic than he’s been portrayed before. In the early sketches and even the cover, that came out before the story. But it doesn’t necessarily betray the character. The things he’s recognized for: a mask, boots, and maybe a trench coat. But you won’t necessarily see the trench coat very much. It’s as it makes sense, he has to have a reason to wear something.

00:27:12 – [WA – Ben] Other than the Daemonites, Grifter’s never had a direct menace (i.e. no Joker to his Batman).  Is that something that will be established in your run?  If not, is it an idea you’d like to explore in the future?
00:27:30 – [Nathan] The short answer is yes. The thing is Grifter is “The most wanted man in the DCU”. He’s got no where to go! You will see three primary protagonists emerge, but one will come out will a much longer term relationship.

00:30:01 – [WA – Joe] One thing I loved about The Light was you made me care about the characters in such a short period of time.  Grifter it’s always been more about action.  Are we going to get some character moments with Grifter or is it going to be a more action-driven book?
00:30:42 – [Nathan] You are definitely going to get some character moments. The first few issues come out hitting the ground running. It’s going to start out with a lot of action and a lot of intensity, but there is a time and a moment for everything. You are going to see the depth of his personality.

00:32:11 – [WA – Ben] You’ve hinted on this a little bit earlier, but if given free reign of the Wildstorm characters, who else would you love to write about and why?
00:27:44 – [Nathan] Grifter honestly would have been my first choice. I have looked at some other DC characters beyond Wildstorm. And they asked me to pitch some ideas. It’s Wildcats Volume 2 when I was introduced to Grifter really for the first time.

00:37:28 – [WA – Joe] There are some people out there who are very excited about the book, but there are some who are not.  What would you say to them to get them to give this book a try?
00:37:55 – [Nathan] Well I supposed it depends on why they’re not (excited about the book). I am very excited about the book, I don’t know many people won’t be.
00:39:37 – [WA – Ben] I think there is hesitation from DC fans that there are Wildstorm characters at all being integrated into the DCU. Wildstorm characters have been known for killing without much remorse in the past. I don’t feel that this will happen with the integration. I feel the main concern for true Wildstorm fans is that our beloved characters will be toned down with the integration.
00:40:44 – [Nathan] In Grifter there is going to be a good bit of dark and plenty of empty shell casings on the floor. If given the option we will be trying to make it more accessible to a larger audience, but where necessary and with Grifter it’s going to be pretty necessary there will be some rough moments, i.e. killing. “He’s still got his guns and he’s gonna use em.”

00:44:07 – [WA – Ben] We are assuming you guys are going for the long haul on this story.
00:44:22 – [Nathan] Of course, we are not writing five issue arcs. We are writing an on-going story that is going to continue and continue. We will collect trades when it make the most sense. We are looking at the story first.

00:46:07 – [WA – Ben] Just to wrap up with a fun question and to give us an idea of how badass your Grifter is (and to antagonize the DCU fanboys). Grifter vs. The Punisher: Who wins and why?
00:46:22 – [Nathan] I have to be careful about these questions. If I had to answer that….(you’ll just have to listen to know this ending!)

00:46:07 – [WA – Joe] Joe thanks Nathan once again for joining us and Nathan reveals some more secrets about Grifter.

00:49:08 – [WA – Joe] You do get to see camoes of Grifter before the September release in Flashpoint #3 and Lois Lane and the Resistance #2. We are going to change to a monthly podcast instead of bi-weekly going forward. Joe give the contact info below.

The opening music is “Universal Domain” by Dreamline which can be found at http://www.musicalley.com.

Contact info:
Joe: http://twitter.com/grifter78
Wildstorm Addiction: http://twitter.com/wildstormaddict
Post your comments for each episode on the wildstormaddiction.com!
Email us at wildstormaddiction@gmail.com.