Archive for the ‘Comic Books’ Category

Street Fighter G.I. Joe is a crossover from the famous Capcom fighting game and the Hasbro toy property. The first issue revolves around four one on one fights between characters of each property. Those fights being C. Viper vs Snake Eyes, Rufus vs Baroness, Hakan vs Roadblock, and Ryu vs Jinx. There are some surprises as to who wins each fight, they all don’t go as expected.

As the fights go on we get some background information on the overall story. M. Bison (the evil boss of Street Fighter II) is the dictator of Mriganka, and head of the Shaoaloo Crime Syndicate. Mriganka is hosting the World Warrior Tournament, (the fighting tournament that you play through in the Street Fighter games). In this story the tournament is sponsored by M.A.R.S. industries, which is the weapons company run Cobra’s Destro. Apparently there is some yet to be revealed weapon that is fueled by one on one combat.

There are some alliances between Street Fighter and Cobra characters, along with the Baroness scheming with and possibly against Destro. The over the top nature of the Street Fighter brawls is evident with this issue, as guns and knives are used during battle, along with the Hadoken energy blasts. There’s also a reference to the S.I.N. designed battle suits.

There are so many characters in both franchises that naturally a comic about a 16 person tournament was going to leave some people out. There’s supplementary material in the back of the issue where we’re briefed on qualifying rounds. Several preliminary fights are described in one paragraph each where it is explained how various fan favorite characters did not make the cut.

Also in the back of the issue is a list of the overall bracket for the tournament. It is also illustrated which fights will be in which issue of the comic. Looking at the bracket one can probably guess what the final fight will be.

The art style and the coloring is a nice blend between the 80s style animation of G.I. Joe and the graphics of the 90s arcade. This first issue is a fun read that leaves you looking forward to more fights and more of the background story.


At the end of Captain America: Winter Soldier, it is revealed that Hydra has possession of the scepter that Loki had during Avengers. How Hydra acquired the scepter is the focus of Age of Ultron Prelude: This Scepter’d Isle. It is a digitally exclusive comic that serves as a prelude to the upcoming Age of Ultron film.

According to this story SHIELD initially had the scepter, as they acquired a lot of the alien technology after the Battle of New York in Avengers. They are analyzing it at S.T.A.T.I.O.N. the Scientific Tactical Intelligence Operating Network. SHIELD agents are named, including Mark Smith, Nicholas Cooper, and Mark Basso. I don’t believe that these are pre-existing characters. There’s a certain SHIELD agent who is disgruntled with the agency,and gets recruited by Baron Strucker (who apparently has hair in the MCU) to join Hydra. They steal the scepter and take it to their lab in Sokovia, a fictional politically unstable European country.

There’s a Dr. List character that runs experiments on the scepter (which I suppose the audience knows contains an infinity gem) and they use its energies to experiment on people. Looking for test subjects they turn to the student demonstrators that protest against the Sokovian government. They tell the students that they need power themselves to affect change, the kind of power the Avengers have. Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, twin siblings who eventually become Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, are among the demonstrators.

It ends with a recreation of the post credit scene in Winter Soldier, where some of the human volunteers have died from the experiment, but the twins have developed powers.

This Scepter’d Isle is a nice one in done story that fills in some interesting background to the upcoming Age of Ultron film, which is what is set out to do.

The comic can be purchased here on Comixology.

This two issue series that ties into the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes place in the 1980s. The specific year/date is not set, but the story involves Hank Pym crossing the Berlin Wall on a secret mission. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989, so at the latest this story takes place in the 1980s.

Hank Pym is a SHIELD scientist, and has apparently discovered what will be the Pym particle, which allows him to shrink his body to be just a few inches tall. Howard Stark, Tony Stark’s/Iron Man’s father and founder of SHIELD wants a covert team to use the Pym Particles to sneak across the Berlin Wall on a mission. Pym doesn’t want to share the secrets of the Pym particle to fall into the wrong hands, and insists that if anyone should use the particle it’s him.

We get a nice surprise appearance from Agent Carter, who is still with SHIELD and obviously drawn to look older. She agrees to prep him for his solo mission and gives a nice use of the “I think it works” line from the first Captain America film. There’s also some Davis character with Pym in the lab but I don’t know who that was.

The first issue ends with a cliffhanger that to some may be reminiscent of Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. The second issue deals mainly with the mission and is filled with action beats. The mission is that some radical group SHIELD was watching got a hold of old Hydra tech and are reverse engineering it. The villains in this book are faceless/not actual characters, but while Peggy states that Hydra was cut down decades ago one of them does say Hail Hydra and they are in Hydra uniforms. The technology in question is a memory wiping device reminiscent of what was used on Winter Soldier. This group apparently kidnapped some poor victim to test it on.

The story ends with Pym realizing there’s important work out there in the field that only the Pym particle can handle, but his experiences reinforced the idea that only he should use the particle. This implies that, as Ant Man, he’ll be an active field agent for SHIELD.

The Ant Man prelude set’s the stage for the Ant Man prelude and establishes Pym as an active field agent. It would be cool to see more comics and maybe a video game about Ant Man missions for SHIELD, but for now the stage is set for the Ant Man movie.

This digital prequel comic to the upcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy opens with a recap of the mid credit scene from Thor the Dark World. Immediately after this scene the Collector goes to Conjunction, “a dead world in the coldest regions of the galaxy,” which is also a hub for black market technology. Skrull detectors are mentioned in passing, as are Xandarians. Amusingly enough there’s also a sign in English for a Casino. We see lots of aliens in the background, none I recognize from the Marvel Universe (However Ronan is later mentioned by name). There appear to be creatures resembling encounter aliens actually. The Conjunction sequence seems to purposely resemble the Mos Eisely/Tatooine sequence from Star Wars.

Anyway the Collector recruits a particular character from Guardians of the Galaxy to recruit a particular object, and the story goes from there. It appears to be a true prequel to it’s film namesake, more so than the Captain America/Winter solider digital comic. These comics that take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe seem to more and more actually show real events taking place, as opposed to being just filler stories.

The comic can be bought here. 

This 1996 crossover has two of comic books most popular covert teams, Marvel’s Weapon X, (whose team members include Wolverine and Sabertooth) and Image/Wildstorm’s Team 7 both engaged in separate secret missions that have them both end up at the same location. That location is some secret base in the middle east that is doing super soldier experiments. Marvel’s Russian mutant foe Omega Red is present, as is a woman named Mirelle Dupless who I presume to be a villaness from Wildstorm.

There’s some nice back and forth bits as the two teams and their backup intel realize they’re not the only ones on a mission. It’s scripted by G. I. Joe alum Larry Hama so there’s lots of military lingo and the action feels authentic even though it involves super powered characters. It’s a one and done story that ends with a twist involving Mystique. Given the concept I would have liked to have seen a longer story with even more intrigue but for what it is it was entertaining.

P.S. We also get some Dossiers in the back about the characters which was nice.

King’s Watch is a new comic book from Dynamite crossing the action heroes from King’s Features; Flash Gordon, the Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, and Lothar.

The series opens with Earth in mass hysteria as people all over the world have nightmares about monsters and other horrific imagery. Meanwhile some strange atmospheric phenomenon is occurring  and reporter Dale Arden is investigating. Mandrake the Magician has an ominous moment in his home, and there’s a few mystic characters in Africa but I’m not sure who they were.

Elsewhere in Africa, Lothar and the Phantom fight a giant monster in West Tanzania in a pretty cool action sequence. Flash Gordon here is the son of a CEO who is setting up private space exploration. Flash has met Dr. Zarkoff the issue ends with them flying off into space investigating the phenomenon.

While the source of the phenomenon appears to be from Flash Gordon mythology, it does not appear to be Ming the Merciless. So far it seems like a good concept and I’m curious to read more.

Rise of the Gaurdians is almost like the Avengers or even the Expendables for elementary kids. It’s the story of Santa Clause, Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, Mr. Sandman, and the Tooth Fairy teaming up to fight the boogey man.

Jack Frost is the introductory character. He gets recruited by the Man in the Moon to be the new Guardian. The conceit of this movie is that the Guardians protect children and get their strength from the beliefs of children. Apparently the Boogeyman ruled during the Dark Ages until Santa Clause and the other Guardians fought him off. Now (for some reason) he is back and wants revenge.

Santa is a sword wielding Russian tough guy, the Easter Bunny is a cynical Australian, and the Sandman doesn’t speak, but communicates through his sand. Jack Frost plays the reluctant hero. He’s encountered the group before, and doesn’t get along with the Easter Bunny. He’s upset because people don’t believe in him, and he’s spent his existence being invisible to humans. This angst leaves him vulnerable to seduction by the Boogey man, who tries to pass himself off as a sympathetic character. Jack Frost also has a secret past he’s unaware of, but that revelation is slightly underwhelming.
Rise of the Guardians is a good standard adventure for kids. I’d be curious what they would do with a sequel, specifically who they would face besides the boogeyman.

Also I must add that I saw this in 4D. Years ago I saw the third Narnia movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 4D, and the 4D was really stupid. The seat would vibrate a little and it was annoying. The 4D in Rise of the Guardians was great (and the 3D was actually good too for a change). The seats would move around as the characters flew through the air and sometimes it was almost like being on a roller coaster. There were other effects with the seats and lighting effects etc. At the end of the movie there is a scene where a bunch of sand is in the air and it’s kind of like fireworks. During that scene, in the actual theater bubbles shot out through the walls and filled the air. That was just magical. All in all a very worthwhile experience.

Jason vs Freddy vs Ash has an interesting origin. The 6 issue comic book series was in fact originally a screenplay to a potential Freddy vs Jason sequel. The film project got scrapped, partly due to Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi wanting to remake Evil Dead (which to date hasn’t happened yet). Wildstorm and Dynamite comics joined to adapt the screenplay into comic book form.

The first issue opens with the surviving characters from Jason vs Freddy returning to Crystal Lake 5 years later for closure. We get a recap of the last movie before finding Jason still alive and the two other characters soon aren’t. Meanwhile Ash Williams is brought in to the local department store (The Super Mega Ultra S Mart) to help out during the Holiday Season. The main plot of the book is that Freddy is trapped in Jason’s mind, where he discovers the Necronomicon is in the old Vorhees house. (This references Jason Goes to Hell, the Final Friday) Freddy wants Jason to get the Necronomicon and use it’s power to bring Freddy back. In a twisted Pinoccchio type fashion Freddy promises to turn Jason into a normal boy.

Hence the three lead characters all get some good interaction with each other meanwhile hapless youngsters get hacked to death. Ash and Freddy have a great initial encounter where Ash dreams of having his hand back. The funniest scene is perhaps the dreamlike sequence where Freddy poses as a teacher and scolds a young Jason in failing to get the book. Another scene with Freddy and Pamela Vorhees is wickedly twisted. The Christmas season leads to some unique scenes of Jason killing in the Christmas spirit. Later Jason imitates Ash with a machete hand ala/Ash’s chainsaw hand.

There’s also a few acknowledgments of the previous films of all 3 series. Jason’s copy cat killer in (F13 Part 5) is mentioned, and a character speculates another copy cat killer was in New York. (It was really Jason in New York, which was part 8, but the character wouldn’t know that). Jason’s killings in Springwood (Freddy’s Home) are also mentioned. Freddy knows nothing of the Deadites (The demons from the Evil Dead series), but Ash speculates Jason is a Deadite. It’s also revealed that Pamela Vorhess read the Necronomicon to a young Jason and it’s hinted that the same book brought Jason back to life.

The art in the gory scenes is a little goofy, but maybe that’s the point. Most of the character designs are good but I remember one panel where the anatomy was off and one character actually looked deformed. Ash has a forced exposition scene early on talking about the Necronomicon but other than that the story flows well.All in all it’s a fun crossover story that I’d recommend for slasher fans.


During an era when most comics seem to be skewed to older readers, Hopper Comics breaks the trend by publishing kid friendly comics. For the past few years they’ve published Jungle Trek and Breaking the Ice, while also making presentations at schools promoting reading and the importance of literacy. Hopper Comics founder Carlos Samudio talks about his inspiration, the challenges of the small press, his future plans, and just where the name Hopper came from.

Tell us why you decided to start Hopper Comics.

Hopper Comics actually started off right on one of America”s most horrible days ever recorded in history. I am referring to 9/11.  It was when I was watching the news coverage of all the people working that day in the Twin Towers in NYC, that died suddenly, it occurred to me that those people had no idea what was going to happen to them. They were going about their normal everyday lives, waiting for the work day to end so they could back to their loved ones, pets, friends, whatever, but sadly, they never got that chance. My epiphany popped up right there, I realized just then how precious life really was and how fast it could be ripped away from you suddenly before you have a chance to leave your mark on the world. What if that was me? What legacy would I have left behind? Would people even remember me? What accomplishments did I achieve before my death? I then decided I wanted to leave my small thumbprint on the world, and what better way to do that than try and make a difference in society by educating our youth with reading is fundamental.   So, that’s how Hopper Comics began.

That’s quite a story. On a lighter note, how did you pick the name Hopper?

I picked the name Hopper because of my love for Frogs and toads.
I’ve always been drawn to the little hoppers and their love for life and water.  They are water creatures and water creates life and therefore I respect them.  It was an easy choice for the naming of my small press company.

Your publishing line has expanded since you began. While many indie artist are struggling now what contributes to your success?

I believe name recognition and advertising in places where you will attract the most buyers is key in maintaining sales and exposure.  I have been going to comic conventions since 2004 and people now recognize Hopper Comics and already know the merchandise before they even come to the table- which is quite flattering really.

Your motto is “Reading is an adventure,” and you do many educational presentations at schools. What do you do in your school presentations and how do they relate to your publishing plans?

When I go visit elementary schools, it’s mainly to focus on reading and how it ties in with real world jobs.   I read a book to the children first and then answer questions about the book or my comic book company.  I try to get them involved by showing them examples of how a comic book is made or show them the latest pinups of my characters.  I always conclude my presentations by telling them -never say never.  If they put their mind to it, they can accomplish anything.

What can you tell us about your new book Tex Shield?

Tex-Shield is a book about a super hero based in Texas actually.  The character was created by Phil Hughes, a local Austin-ite.  Phil is a true Texan in that he believes everything that this state stands for.   He believes in the Spirit of Texas. and decided to use that to create a super hero with super powers that fights for the common good.  Tex-Shield draws on the energy of all the great fallen heroes from the Texas/Mexico war, to the heroes of the Alamo and even everyday heroes, such as soldiers, firemen, policeman and any other public servants that gave their lives for this state.  It’s a very powerful symbolic image and I believe a lot of people here in Texas share the same strong beliefs Phil does.  Plus the costume looks pretty darn cool!

Sounds awesome. How do you choose your clients/what books to publish?

I choose clients that have a fan base already in place, if there is a large or even a small audience that loves someone’s work and I see all the positive feedback related to a creator’s stories or characters then I contact them and tell them what I would like to do for them and if they like my pitch, I go ahead and publish them.  I take chances on people that are passionate about their creations and I DO notice if they give it 110% and that’s a major factor for me in publishing someones work.

While you publish your clients comics, you also write Jungle Trek yourself. Tell us how you came about writing that?

I wrote Jungle Trek 1-3 and I began that little tale back in San Diego in 2006 when myself and another of my artist went to San Diego Comic Con.  After the convention, I went back to my hotel room, trying to come up with a new angle to sell comics and out popped Mott and his jungle friends.  I can say I literally wrote the entire story that night-all three parts and then revised it and now its one of my best sellers.  The third and final issue should be out later this summer.

Tell us anything else you’d like to share?

Keep checking out our website for all the latest news and convention appearances.  Hop to it!

Carlos is also planning  a new line of graphic novels called Black Frog comics. Website coming soon.

       I’m not prone to fanboy rage these days, but I gotta call this one.

It’s been announced here that a Sgt Rock movie is in the works. Sgt. Rock is a DC comics character who fights Nazi baddies in WWII. He’s one of the great characters of war comics. Sounds like it’d make a good movie right, except it’s going to be set in the future.


       Really, I mean why even bother? Why not make a Superman movie where he’s a wizard, or a movie where Batman is a swamp monster. How about a Green Lantern movie starring Jack Black or a Catwoman movie where she gets powers from ancient Egypt… oh right.

           The article further states..

““Inglourious Basterds” notwithstanding, period war movies have not been in vogue in Hollywood for years, unless it was a more serious contemplation of the subject like “Saving Private Ryan.” Also, American jingoism went out of style after 9/11; even this summer’s G.I. Joe movie dropped the toy’s “A Real American Hero” tagline and made the action team internationally focused.

The studio hopes moving the time period to the future solves the dilemma.”


                      Whatever. It’s almost scripture now that when a movie respects it’s comic source material it does well. Regarding WWII, Isn’t Marvel making a Captain America movie set in WWII? Besides that we have endless reminders of movies being successful because they’re good, not because they’re trendy.

           So this is what DC entertainment is up too, and to think I got my hopes up. With any luck maybe after a few blunders like this Warner Brothers will just tap out and sell DC to Disney, putting Marvel and DC under the same roof.