Monday, January 27, 2014

Artists Assemble. Wonder Woman.

A weekly event where members of the group can submit art based on a weekly theme. The art must be your own and match the theme.

This weeks theme is Wonder Woman. Nice easy week which will no doubt draw a few people out of the woodwork.

Wonder Woman by Tristan Gage Bell

Wonder Woman Smash by Jimmy Trassen

Wonder Woman by Jimmy Trassen

A Jim Lee WW re-creation by Jimmy Trassen

Wonder Woman by Brett Buffington

Comfy Wonder Woman by Zeena Benjamin

Rouge vs Wonder Woman by Kevin Miller

Warriors by Kevin Miller

Wonder Woman and company by Kevin Miller

Wonder Woman by Jason Hendrickson

Sailor Wonder Woman by Melbert Martin

Wonder Woman by Thorsten Schmitz

Wonder Woman by Breannah Luini

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman by Christopher Masson

Wonder Woman by Jason Graziano

Wonder Women Retro pin up style by Thorsten Schmitz

Lynda Carter tattoo variant by Adam Bayes

Wonder Woman by Richard Chin

Seems that Diana Prince is getting style tips from Simon Williams aka Wonder Man by Christopher Masson

Lil Wonder Woman by Jason Graziano

1st try at Linda Carter as WW by Kevin Miller

WW Bruce Timm Style by Kevin Miller

Vintage Animated Look by Rodney Celerio

A kryptonian Wonder Woman by Rodney Celerio

A second attempt at Wonder woman by Richard Chin

Sunday, January 26, 2014

FROM THE ASHES: Segment # 17

Death, Destruction, and Hell

Ah, Dante. A master poet, writer of the magnificent work The Divine Comedy, & a significant contributor to the master pieces of literature. Well, not here folks! This self dubbed "animated epic" is based on EA's 2010 hack and slash video game, Dante's Inferno; which took a very liberal approach to their adaptation of the classic masterwork. Considered a decently successful production, and most noted for its visually impressive stylization of the levels of hell; a feature film adaptation was bound to follow. Released as a direct to video feature simultaneously with the video game, this project was a grand collaborative effort. Multiple studios worked on the film, including: Production I.G., Film Roman, JM Animation, Manglobe, and Dong Woo. Similar to projects such as Gotham Knight or the Animatrix, multiple directors were in charge of a section of the film; each customized to the directors particular vision. The directors are: Shukou Murase, Yasuomi Umetsu, Mike Disa, Victor Cook, Jong-Sik Nam, Sang-Jin Kim, Lee Seung-Gyu. I particularly chose this to review because I enjoy the opportunity of a Japanese, Korean, and United States collaboration. Now, keep in mind while this is all pretty great sounding, this film is in no way for the squeamish, similar to the video game. It gets pretty crazy. So let's try and wrestle this beast.

Geez this film is graphic; but in multiple ways. First off, its stunningly detailed and mesmerizing to behold with each chapter. But daaaamn is it also stomach churning, gorey, creepy, perverse, and downright gross as well. Then again, so is the video game, so if you've played that, you'll pretty much know what's coming your way. Still, with any film versus game, you'll have a lot more time to stare at the surroundings then one does while playing a video game. This adaptation takes out much of the philosophical, spiritual, and romantic notions and concepts focused on in the original poem, and greatly focuses on beating the shit out of literally...everything. Even babies are freaking demonic hell spawn that need to be butchered. Need I say again; not for the squeamish, and probably not what one would consider showing to the family, hahaha. As for those who are looking for a glorified gore fest, this is definitely for you. The fluid movements and over the top action sequences are insane. Insanely cool, that is. The plot, while deluded greatly from its roots, is a solid quest: save the girl, kill everything in your way. And here, it works. Were it not for the watchful eye of his guide, the warrior would not have easily traversed his destined path. There is still the occasional verse of wonder and wisdom, so a sufficient balance to keep the pacing of the plot is maintained successfully. Add the occasional quip, and one has the recipe for this film's success. All around, I'd call this a haunting, gripping, and truly epic visualization. With an eerie and grand score, & a great cast for all three languages, one can't really go wrong here. I have predominantly watched this in English; which is by no means dissatisfactory. English cast members include: Graham McTavish, Vanessa Branch (both leads also in the video game), Peter Jessop, and Steve Blum as the loquacious Lucifer. Thus, in conclusion I would say if you're up for a wild ride through hell, then this is for you. If gore and gallantry is not your bag, then this film isn't going to change that. Still, this is a dark and grand adventure, and not want to miss. Enjoy!

From The Ashes, V.~

Friday, January 24, 2014

Issue in 5..! Skyman #1

In case you were wondering what was up with Dark Horse Comics' 'Skyman' #1, here's a review of the book in just 5 panels. Hint: I'd wait and see if this book gets better...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nerd Caption Thursday..! (X-Men Teaser Trailer Edition)

Participate in any "Caption This" post in the CBNAH Facebook Group for your chance to be featured in
Nerd Caption Thursday..!

Throwback Thursday 1/23/14

Nightwing: Old Friends, New Enemies (1987-89)

    In 1988, DC editorial changed the normally Superman focused Action Comics into a weekly anthology series. This lasted for about a year before switching back to focusing solely on Superman. The stories published in Action Comics during this time were used to gauge audience reactions to characters and decide if those characters warranted a solo title or mini series. One of the many serialized stories during this time focused on Nightwing and Speedy. Nightwing was a relatively new character at the time, having only recently dropped the moniker of Robin. This was his fist solo outing that didn't include the New Teen Titans.
    This book should really be called “Speedy and his sidekick Nightwing”. The stories in this trade all revolve around Roy Harper, Speedy, and his friend Nightwing who gets dragged into the action. By the time the second story in the trade comes around Nightwing is almost never seen. He shows up at the beginning and end. I suppose that if you called this book “Speedy and his sidekick Nightwing” sales probably wouldn't be half of what they are with Nightwing predominately featured on the cover. 

    The book opens with a quick recap of how Dick Grayson became Nightwing, from his time as Robin under Batman's tutelage to leaving the Bat behind and striking out on his own. It's a decent issue of Secret Origins and has art by Erik Larsen, who I didn't even recognize until looking a bit more carefully. The inker Mike Decarlo might be really heavy handed because every other early Larsen book I have seen still has that distinctive Larsen look to it. This isn't to say the story looks bad, it looks pretty great actually. 

    The first real story in this book starts with Nightwing breaking up some smugglers while Speedy shows up to save him at the last minute and then persuades Nightwing to help him on a case. Speedy is working for the CBI(Central Bureau of Investigation) and needs Nightwing's help to stop an assassination plot against various diplomats at a peace talk. Speedy has ulterior motives however, he is tracking down Cheshire, the assassin, who also happens to be the mother of his child. After a short time Nightwing catches wind of Roy's ulterior motives and he agrees to help get Roy's daughter Lian back from the clutches of Cheshire. This story is the best of the lot. It has a solid plot and some nice character development for Speedy who up until now I believe had been relegated to the background since the forming of the New Teen Titans. Roy's need to get his daughter back at any cost and his inner turmoil over what to do about Cheshire, the woman he did love but he can never be with. 

    The final story arc is rubbish. It is boring, it makes no sense, and just feels forced. Roy is trying to take a break from the heroing and just be a dad. Like all stories of this nature that doesn't happen. Roy is thrust into a convoluted plot with IRA like terrorists, leaks in the CBI and a random pair of children he finds in the house he is renting. Roy abandons his child at the drop of a hat to go chase bad guys, leaving her with whoever is closest. There is a reveal at the end that seems pointless since you don't really even know who any of these characters are. But there is a nice epilogue with Roy hanging out with Dick (Nightwing) and Star Fire after all is said and done. But all in all the second story is mostly pointless. 

    All in all this is a half decent collection. I do wish there was more Nightwing in the book, being that he is the title character. It was nice to see Roy and Cheshire play off of each other and Roy's quest to find his daughter. I've read some modern stories with both of them and it was nice to see how it all started. If anyone had watched Young Justice they borrowed some from this arc in the second season. Seeing the origins of a story that has resonance in the future and other mediums was really fun to behold. I just wish the trade had ended after that.


January 23, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  Dynamite proudly announces that the new ongoing Solar: Man of the Atom comic book series, written by Frank Barbiere (Five Ghosts) and illustrated by Joe Bennett (Iron Man), will launch its first issue on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.  Solar: Man of the Atom #1 marks the third highly-anticipated title release in Dynamite's "Gold Key" line of comic books, which also includes Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (debuting in February 2014), Magnus: Robot Fighter (March 2014), and Doctor Spektor, a revival of beloved comic book heroes courtesy of Dynamite's licensing agreement with DreamWorks Classics.

In Solar: Man of the Atom, brilliant scientist Dr. Phil Seleski is granted unbelievable powers after being flooded with an experimental radiation.  Driven to unlock the secrets of the universe, he begrudgingly becomes a hero along the way… but can a single man be trusted with near-limitless abilities?  What will this mean to those he loves… and will his choices lead to utter chaos and destruction?

"In our take, we've focused on the theme of family," says writer Frank Barbiere, whose series Five Ghosts launched in 2013 to much critical and fan acclaim.  "We've got a character that suddenly becomes a being of extreme power, is thrust into a universal community, and adopts the mantle of a hero.  At the core is still a man, a human being who is not unlike us.  Making this a personal story about how that affects his life and family has really brought it to some exciting new places.  Solar's all-new cast of characters will feel the reverberations of his every action - and not everyone is going to survive the fallout!"

While the reimagined Gold Key line is intended to capture the spirit of beloved prior incarnations, the new Solar has been designed as a perfect jumping-on point for newcomers.  "This is a brand new Solar: Man of the Atom," says Barbiere.  "We'll have all the wonderful sci-fi action and excitement that the original is known for, yet apply those classic elements in a new direction that will feel fresh and new, introducing the character to a whole new generation of readers.  We think they're going to love it!"

Joe Bennett joins Dynamite Entertainment as the artist on Solar: Man of the Atom, bringing his many years of industry experience to the project.  Since the mid-1990s, Bennett has worked extensively on key superhero series from Marvel and DC Comics, including such action-packed titles asAmazing Spider-ManCaptain AmericaThorBirds of PreyDeathstrokeTeen TitansIron Man, and many more.

"Discovering Frank Barbiere's work on Five Ghosts was one of those rare moments in comics when you read someone's first foray into the medium and are immediately struck by his vast potential," says Nick Barrucci, the CEO / Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment .  "He's an up-and-coming voice, and I can't wait for fans to hear that voice come through in Solar: Man of the Atom.  Also, when it comes to Solar's cosmic scope and surreal visuals, I can't think of anyone better suited than Joe Bennett, a man I salute as one of the most talented and respected illustrators in the business."


January 23, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  While Gail Simone's Red Sonja series is scorching hot, Dynamite is presenting a Red Sonja one-shot done as a manga style book! In April of 2014, Red Sonja and Cub will be offered, written by Jim Zub (Pathfinder), drawn by Jonathan Lau, with a cover by Jeffery "Chamba" Cruz! This oversized issue will be available in April from Dynamite Entertainment in comic stores and digital.
In Red Sonja and Cub, blood will rain down upon the snowy ground as the She-Devil With A Sword battles her way across the Asiatic lands of Khitai. In a land of complex family loyalties and death before dishonor, will sharpened steel and the muscle to wield it be enough?
"Getting the chance to write a samurai-style story of savage combat and sacrifice with Red Sonja, one of the heavyweight characters of fantasy, is a real thrill," says Red Sonja and Cub writer Jim Zub. "I'm stoked for people to see the big action-big emotion ride Jonathan and I are putting together for this."

Dynamite Proudly Announces CAPTAIN ACTION CAT: THE TIMESTREAM CATASTROPHE #1, Debuting in April 2014

January 23rd 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  From the Eisner and Harvey award-winning, New York Times bestselling famous cartoonists Art Baltazar and Franco comes the crossover epic event of a lifetime! Finally, Captain Action Cat meets Action Cat and the characters from Aw Yeah Comics! Also crossing over with Dark Horse Comics characters such as GhostXCaptain Midnight, and The Occultist, this series promises the typical zaniness that the creators of Tiny Titans are known for. True story!

In Captain Action Cat: The Timestream CATastrophe #1, there is something evil out there and Evil Cat is determined to find it... even if it means searching throughout the Silver Age to do it! Could this blip on the screen be the one known as Doctor Evil Cat? What will happen when the Silver Age and the "Aw Yeah Age" collide! What does this mean to the timestream?  The fate of the comic world may change forever!  Plus, a mysterious frozen souvenir from the Golden Age makes a visit! For the first time ever, The Timestream CATastrophe introduces Captain Action Cat, an anthropomorphic action hero based on the classic action figure / adventure toy, Captain Action!

"All I have to say is: Wow!" says co-writer/artist Art Baltazar. "I am amazed at the comics which we get to create sometimes! Captain Action action figures have been a classic American toy forever, and now that he is back, the world will be a better place!  It's an honor to be working so close to this iconic character… even if our version is a cat. Aw yeah!"

"I feel so lucky to be in this industry and that people are willing to let us play with their toys," adds co-writer Franco!  "This one means quite a bit to me personally because this crossover event features something we created -- Action Cat from our own Aw Yeah Comics -- which we get to crossover with Captain Action (as a cat) and the heroic crew from Dark Horse.  'Wow' is an understatement!  Every year, I think we cannot top what we did before... and I am proven wrong, as this is one of the coolest things I've ever had the privilege to work on!  Aw Yeah, Dynamite!"

"I've gotta say, we've had some fun, high octane, cataclysmic, unbelievable crossovers through the years," states Dynamite CEO / Publisher Nick Barrucci.  "But this crossover will be the most fun! What Art and Franco have put together is just incredible! Bringing together the Aw Yeah universe, the Dark Horse universe, and the Dynamite universe -- this true trifecta is going to be epic.  And did I mention fun?  Aw Yeah!"

Art and Franco have been having a blast with this "Itty Bitty" series. We loved their treatment of Hellboy and I'm particularly eager to see what mayhem they'll inflict on our superheroes." states Dark Horse President and Publisher Mike Richardson. "Ghost and X teamed with Action Cat and Captain Action? Who would have thought?"

"Art and Franco bring a unique and infectious brand of fun to everything they do, and we're thrilled to have them focus on more Captain Action adventure with Dynamite in 2014," said Ed Catto, founding partner of Captain Action Enterprises.

Battlestar Galactica: Six Comic Book Series

January 23rd, 2014 - Mt. Laurel, NJ - Dynamite and NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products proudly announces the upcoming Battlestar Galactica: Six comic book series, set within the continuity of the reimagined 2003 Battlestar Galactica television series, produced by Universal Cable Productions and featuring one of its most iconic characters, the Cylon model known as Six.  The first chapter of this five-issue miniseries will launch in April 2014, featuring the creative talents of writer J.T. Krul (Justice LeagueFathom), interior artist Igor Vitorino, and cover artists Jenny Frison and Chris Bolson.  A photo cover featuring actress Tricia Helfer will also be available.

"Ever since Dynamite started making Battlestar Galactica comics, I made it very clear that I would leap at the opportunity to write in that universe," says J.T. Krul.  "Not only was I a fan of the original series, but I think the revitalized version developed by Ronald Moore is one the best television shows of the past decade.  Like most great science fiction, Battlestar Galactica teaches us about who we are by showing us where we might end up."

Battlestar Galactica: Six takes place in the days before the last great Cylon War. Locked away in a psychiatric ward on the planet Leonis, a woman known only as Eve is haunted by memories of worlds she's never seen, hazy images of a past full of anguish and death.  One vision in particular calls to her through the pain, like a distant song echoing in her mind.  It is calling her home.  Is Eve crazy... or something much more?  In developing the next generation of Cylons, getting the models to look human was the easy part... but acting human is another story.  Longtime fans will witness the evolution of Number Six as she learns to live, to love, and to hate.

"When it comes to the Cylons, the story has always been less about how they look human and more about how they act human," adds Krul.  "That aspect is at the core of this story.  Focusing on Number Six, we explore the development of a Cylon on an almost psychological level.  Through various existences on various planets of the colonies, Number Six sees what it means to be human.  Perhaps the most striking feature separating humans from Cylons is the fear of death.  Much of human behavior is driven by it, and Cylons have no real concept of it.  It's a vital lesson any Cylon must learn in order to understand how the human mind works.  But it's not enough that Number Six understand them.  She must come to empathize with them.  And eventually, she must come to loathe them."