Section: Comics

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DC COMICS OCTOBER 2017 PREVIEWS CATALOG READER [dc-custom:reader_link:434547] Read more
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First Look: Lois Lane Discovers a Killer of a Story
First Look: Lois Lane Discovers a Killer of a Story Read more
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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Harley?
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Harley?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a psychologist and a super-villain walk into Arkham Asylum—wait, no, I guess the super-villain doesn’t really walk in. Not willingly, at least. And the psychologist? She works there.

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Weapon X: Striking First

Behind every Hulk-Wolverine hybrid stands a megalomaniacal and bigoted man named Stryker.

In the latest chapter of Weapon H’s tortured story, the madman continues his quest to destroy mutantkind. In response, Sabertooth wants to kill the Weapon before things get worse—though he’ll be met with resistance in the form of claws…as Logan and Laura Kinney join the fight. On October 11, Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente join artists Marc Borstel and Ibraim Roberson for “The Hunt for Weapon H: Part 3” in WEAPON X #9!

We spoke with Greg Pak to get a closer look at William Stryker and the newest iteration of the Weapon X program. Does Stryker have an end goal in mind here (other than the eradication of all mutants)?

Greg Pak: Honestly, that’s pretty much it. He’s a racist sociopath who’s convinced himself that God wants him to rid the world of mutants. He has other side goals along the way, and if he actually succeeded, he’d probably come up with a new target—because someone with that much hate in his heart always comes up with more targets. But his primary goal has always been the extermination of mutants. He’s been involved with Weapon X before—tell us more about his return to the program.

Greg Pak: He teams up with a genius scientist named Dr. Alba, who’s bioengineering the world’s most perfect killing machine with the DNA of various mutants and super heroes, including The Hulk and Logan.

What makes this delicious is that we’ve recently learned that Alba and Stryker have slightly different goals that may create massive problems for Stryker very soon. We’re also going to learn a bit more about what makes Stryker tick. Literally. I can’t say more. What kind of relationships does Stryker have with the mutants he’s hunting?

Greg Pak: He actually teamed up with Lady Deathstrike once upon a time. So there’s always the question of whether everyone on the team could really be completely on board. The team’s full of loners and actual criminals, so exactly how long their allegiance will last might change at any moment. The Hulk recently saved Stryker from Logan, Sabretooth, and Lady Deathstrike—does he feel indebted to the Hulk for that moment of mercy?

Greg Pak: Nope. I don’t think Stryker feels normal emotions like that. I think he’s wholly convinced of his personal righteousness and the correctness of his crusade and sees everyone else he encounters as tools for his use in pursuing that crusade. He might pretend to feel indebted, but only if it might benefit him at some point down the line. But he’ll never genuinely feel moral indebtedness to the Hulk—or probably anyone else. How does Stryker keep one step ahead of the mutants he’s trying to kill?

Greg Pak: You’ll have to read the books to find out! But no one on the team has strength and ruthlessness on the same level as Weapon H, the monster that Alba created for Stryker. So as long as Stryker controls Alba enough to control Weapon H, our heroes are in for a world of pain.

Follow WEAPON X #9, by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente with art by Marc Borstel and Ibraim Roberson, on October 11!

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Flashback Friday: Captain Mar-vell

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

For legions of readers, the name Captain Marvel instantly leads to images of Carol Danvers flying around, punching bad guys and being generally awesome. However, as many longtime fans know, she’s but the latest in a line of characters to use that name at the House of Ideas.

The first debuted in 1967’s MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #12 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. Seeing as how Carol teamed up with the earlier Captain Mar-Vell in this week’s GENERATIONS: THE MIGHTY, it seemed like the perfect time to look back at the latter’s origins. 

As the issue opened, a Kree ship approached Earth with Colonel Yon-Rogg in charge. He ordered Captain Mar-Vell to head planetside even though it flew in the face of protocol. Even though he and his medic-girlfriend Una thought the colonel planned on betraying Mar-Vell, he did his duty and continued on the mission.

Decked out with a protective green and white suit, emerald helmet, air-ject belt, universal beam blaster and a potion that allowed him to breathe Earth air for an hour at a time, the captain leapt into action.

Thanks to his own remembrances, we came to understand what brought him to Earth: the destruction of Kree Sentry #459 as seen in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #64 plus Ronan’s defeat by the FF in the following issue! 

Almost immediately, Mar-Vell stumbled upon a missile test that went sideways. While searching for the cause of the failure, the operators quickly discovered Cap’s presence and set out to investigate. Not wanting to threaten his mission, he ran away, changed into Earth clothes, hitched a ride and got himself a room at a nearby hotel.

There, the colonel teleported a wrist monitor onto Mar-Vell. He then received a message from the Imperial Minister of the Supreme Intelligence that he would be the new Kree agent on Earth. Only success would be tolerated, failure would result in death.

Literally flying solo on a strange planet with no back-up, Captain Mar-Vell continued his adventures in the following issue, written by Roy Thomas where he not only took on the identity of Walter Lawson, but also met Carol Danvers in her first appearance. From there he transitioned into a solo series, CAPTAIN MARVEL, which ran from 1968 to 1979. Three years later, in MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, the world lost a hero as the Kree warrior succumbed to cancer that started developing thanks to his battle with Nitro in CAPTAIN MARVEL #34

Flash Forward

Not counting time travel and Vanishing Points, Captain Mar-Vell continues to be one of the few dead heroes who hasn’t come back. During Civil War, though, it seemed like he’d come back from the dead as seen in CIVIL WAR: THE RETURN. That version of Mar-Vell continued on in five issue CAPTAIN MARVEL series which eventually crossed into Secret Invasion and revealed that the Skrull Khn’nr had been masquerading as the beloved character. It turned out that his mental programming failed and the Mar-Vell identity actually took over, so even after learning the truth about himself, he remained loyal to Earth and fought against the Skrulls. After fighting a losing battle that eventually killed him, he crossed paths with Noh-Varr and encouraged him to carry on the legacy of Captain Marvel which he did in the pages of DARK AVENGERS.

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Secret Warriors: A Legacy of Anger

The universe trends towards entropy. Or, to put it another way, everything falls apart. Everything—including the Secret Warriors.

In the aftermath of Secret Empire, the group barely qualifies as a team anymore. And to further complicate matters, Quake—once central to the Warriors—now finds herself in a haze of rage, so focused on avenging Phil Coulson’s death that she’s lost touch with her friends and allies.

On November 15, writer Matthew Rosenberg joins artists Javier Garrón and Will Robson to unleash Mister Sinister on a team at their weakest point in SECRET WARRIORS #8!

We caught up with Matthew to see what’s next for the group as Marvel Legacy begins. Describe the Secret Warriors current team dynamic.

Matthew Rosenberg: The team as a whole finds itself in sort of a disaster. They were brought together by necessity, not by choice. They don’t really get along, they don’t see eye to eye, and they’ve been stuck with each other because they had nowhere else to go. Now the team starts falling apart after Secret Empire.

So, they aren’t really together anymore. But, as often happens with these things, bad things will bring them back together. They didn’t finish what they started last time and now it’s back for them. The team has gone through a tremendous amount of turmoil in a very short amount of time. How are the Warriors reacting?

Matthew Rosenberg: Everyone deals with the fallout of Secret Empire differently. Ms. Marvel really wants to get back to her life—to being the type of hero she feels more accustomed to being. Moon Girl wants to go home. Inferno doesn’t want to play super hero right now. Quake runs out for blood. Having lost many of the things she cared most about in the world, revenge feels like her only way of processing. While the others are exhausted and beaten down, Quake becomes something else entirely. She seems a little broken.

And Karnak…who knows anything about Karnak’s state of mind, ever? He seems like his usual creepy self. We know that Quake targeting Deadpool will be a significant storyline going forward. How does the rest of the team view that mission?

Matthew Rosenberg: Quake’s revenge won’t be something anyone feels comfortable with. She’s always been willing to cross lines the others won’t. Her choices disturb the group less since the team has gone their separate ways—but our Legacy story forces them back together, so Quake’s vendettas become an issue again. The friction between Ms. Marvel and Quake will grow even more and everyone gets caught in between.

Secret Warriors #8 Cover by Javier Garrón
Lenticular Homage Variant Cover by Dave Johnson What creative benefits and challenges does this storyline present?

Matthew Rosenberg: We get to have a story that increases the stakes on a personal level. Secret Empire served as big, world changing stuff—but that kind of story can overshadow some of the smaller things at times. Now we’re telling a smaller story about loss and revenge, friendship and purpose. It can be really fun to zoom in on these characters—but it’s a big challenge too. The shifting of gears can feel jarring if you do it wrong.

Also, it was tough to borrow Deadpool. [Writer] Gerry Duggan and all the DEADPOOL team have done an amazing job of telling this really long story currently reaching its culmination in Deadpool’s fall from grace. It’s beautiful, actually. So we want to play into that and be a part of it, but not get in the way of what they’re doing in the main DEADPOOL book. We want it to feel relevant and offer something to DEADPOOL readers, but not put them at a disadvantage if they aren’t reading our book. Javier Garrón will continue as the main artist for Marvel Legacy. How do his ideas and contributions add to where the book moves next?

Matthew Rosenberg: Javier is amazing. I feel like every interview I just talk about what a joy he has been to work with, but it’s true. No matter what dumb, weird thing I throw his way, he manages to make it cool and fun. And he does it all while being one of the most pleasant people I’ve ever met.

It’s funny because he’s so amazing at two things that I think most artists struggle with. He can handle a lot on a page—big action, lots of panels, tons of characters. He never breaks stride and never makes it clumsy. That inspired us cramming so much into our first arc. We wanted to play to his strengths. And the other thing is acting. His characters have so much life and personality; I think that has been a big key to why people like this book. It’s really easy to relate to who they all are because Javier makes them such great characters before any lettering even touches the page.

Also, he gave the X-Men great facial hair. I want that recognized. Rictor’s mustache and Strong Guy’s beard are themselves some of the most important characters in comics today. Looking beyond the first arc, can you hint at what else readers can expect from SECRET WARRIORS?

Matthew Rosenberg: We are building to a showdown with Mister Sinister. He has been involved with the team for a while—only they didn’t necessarily know that. So this fight will be an interesting one.

Other than that, we have a pretty big addition coming to the roster. I am beyond excited to bring this new person to the team. It’s one of my favorite characters of all time and getting to see them interact with everyone else has been really Magikal.

Matthew Rosenberg and artists Javier Garrón and Will Robson launch SECRET WARRIORS #8 on November 15!

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Kirby 100: Frazer Irving

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Over the years, plenty of artists have taken pages from Jack Kirby’s playbook. For his part, Frazer Irving says that doing so helped him fully realize his own style. As he’s evolved and grown as an artist, he continues to look at the King’s work for inspiration and structural ideas.

As a professional, Irving got to put those learned skills to work on books like SILENT WAR as well as on the current volume of BLACK BOLT, for which he does covers and the occasional interior fill-in as well. We talked with Irving about discovering Kirby by way of a sticker, trying to work like “The King,” and how that made him understand his own talents. Do you remember how you first came to see Jack’s work and what you thought of it back then?

Frazer Irving: I was very young, probably three [years old] when I saw Captain America on a sticker in that famous pose where he could be dancing. I think the sticker made mention of that. I was bemused by the proportions and simplification of the lines compared to the busy inking of Tom Palmer on [TOMB OF DRACULA]—also in the same reprint mag I think. It struck a chord with me that echoed when I discovered the work of [artists] Barry Smith and Jim Steranko, and by then I could understand what the lines were doing and I was no longer bemused. My enduring memory of that first experience though was the thought, “Why is everyone shiny?” Did you look to Kirby’s output when you were developing your own style? Did you learn any tricks or lessons from his panels?

Frazer Irving: I totally tried to channel the dynamics back in the early days, but it never took [because] I’m not Jack Kirby, I’m me, and I draw very un-Kirby things. In many ways that’s how studying his work helped me: it showed me what I wasn’t, which meant that what I was left with was a more honest impression of my artistic voice. Less time wasted drawing dynamic figures, more time playing with Photoshop filters.

One trick I did take from him much later on was the use of simple panel grids. I’d already nabbed the nine-panel grid from Strangehaven, but the six-panel grid of Jack’s was something I’d avoided forever, until I didn’t. It certainly simplifies the reading of a page, which is his real gift to us doodlers. Beyond the smash and splash of his illustration he was very, very good at showing stuff happening in a way that even a newbie could understand. And we all need a bit more of that simplicity. But now with millions of colors, and filters. When you worked on SILENT WAR, how was it playing with those classic Kirby designs that seem almost untouched since he developed them?

Frazer Irving: I liked them as it was one of the few things that had survived almost intact since my childhood, thus I didn’t have much research to do on what was new that year. I used to love the Inhumans back in the day, oblivious to the publishing history. I just assumed there was a paucity of stories because the characters were reclusive in nature. How has it been returning to Black Bolt with your work on his current series?

Frazer Irving: It’s different in that he has a groovier tuning fork now, and I can draw a lot better, but aside from that it does feel nicely familiar. Boltagon’s outfit hasn’t changed enough to make it difficult to draw and so I guess the biggest difference is drawing him talking; I think I may have made him a little fitter than back in the day, however the angst and inner turmoil that I so loved in him during SILENT WAR—screaming into space on the moon? That’s how Blackagar rolls—is still very much a part of his character, so the acting is very easy.

Stay tuned to for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Remembering Len Wein

Additional reporting by Maggie Klimentova

The news of Len Wein’s passing rocked the comic book world this week—and people everywhere shared their stories in honor of his memory.

Writers, artists, creators, and fans spoke about how he dreamed up so many cherished characters and comics; how he enriched and influenced so many lives along the way. Wein—the man who conceived of iconic Marvel heroes like Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus—shaped generations of creators who came after him.

Beyond the emotional depth and humanity he expressed on the page, Len Wein stood as a kind, generous spirit beloved by his peers. His colleagues universally remembered his bold spirit and giving nature, his humor in the face of adversity. Their words and memories represent a testament to his legacy.


RIP the great Len Wein, co-creator of Wolverine, Swamp Thing and Human Target, architect of the British Invasion & a truly wonderful man.

— axel alonso (@axelalonsomarv) September 11, 2017

Saddened by the loss of my friend @LenWein. I knew him less for his legendary output, & more for his warmth & inquisitive smile. #RIPLenWein

— Bear McCreary (@bearmccreary) September 10, 2017

R.I.P. @LenWein #LenWein #DC 11×17 India ink/ acrylic/ pencil/ spray paint

— Bill Sienkiewicz (@sinKEVitch) September 12, 2017

Len Wein, co-creator of WOLVERINE and SWAMP THING & more responsible for the x-men you love than he gets credit for. Thank you. #RIP


One of the industry’s best writers.
One of the industry’s best editors.
One of the industry’s best people.
RIP @LenWein.

— Fabian Nicieza (@FabianNicieza) September 10, 2017

Rest in peace and thank you so much, Len Wein.

— Greg Pak (@gregpak) September 10, 2017

Blessed to have known Len Wein. I first met him in 2008. I told him – from his heart, mind & hands came the greatest character in comics.

— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) September 11, 2017

Today’s warm up sketch is all about saying thank you. #RIPLenWein

— Joe Mulvey (@JoeMulv) September 12, 2017

Co-created Wolverine & the new X-men. Co-kickstarted the modern comic book era with its most powerful metaphor. And more. RIP Len Wein.

— Joss Whedon (@joss) September 10, 2017

R.I.P. to comic book legend LEN WEIN, co-creator of not only Wolverine but also one of my favorite characters of all time, the Swamp Thing.

— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) September 11, 2017

RIP the great #LenWein. He co-created Wolverine & Swamp Thing, both of which gave me a living as a writer & endless pleasure as a reader.

— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) September 10, 2017

I just learned that my friend and writing inspiration @LenWein passed away this morning. My love and condolences to his wife, @mcvalada.

— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) September 10, 2017

Farewell to Len Wein. I devoured his runs of Swamp Thing, Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk and Marvel Team-Up in the 70s.

— Peyton Reed (@MrPeytonReed) September 10, 2017

Heartbroken to hear my friend, my old boss, the man without whom, Len Wein has passed. I would not be who I am without having known him.

— Scott Edelman (@scottedelman) September 10, 2017

Len Wein. The fanboy made good, made legend. Co-creator of Swamp Thing, Wolverine, editor of Watchmen, writer of, well, everything. RIP.

— Tom King (@TomKingTK) September 10, 2017

Our old pal, Len Wein, caught the last train out. Much will be said of him; I’ll just say I loved him. Godspeed.

— Walter Simonson (@WalterSimonson) September 10, 2017

Len Wein’s legacy will endure in both the hearts of the community that celebrates him and in the characters whose stories will live on forever.

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