Sunday, 28 February 2010

Iron Man Fever Begins

Iron Man 2 opens in the UK on April 30th. The trailer looks amazing.

There's so much Iron Man goodness to come in the coming months, but first up here's a press release from Marvel Studios and PropWorx.


Manhattan Beach, CA – February 25, 2010 – To celebrate the release of IRON MAN 2, fans of the blockbuster film IRON MAN will be able to own props and costumes seen in IRON MAN when Marvel Studios makes them available to the highest bidder at an auction held during C2E2 (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo) at McCormick Place in Chicago, April 16 – 18, 2010. Tony Stark’s Convoy Missile, the Hero Schematic Drawings of Mark I drafted inside the cave, Hero Completed Mark I Mask and Iron Man Hero Mark II RT Unit will be among nearly 225 IRON MAN props made available at the auction produced by Propworx Inc., the leading provider of high-end auctions for the film and television industry.

Those unable to attend the live auction in Chicago will be able to take part online in real time at Following the live auction in Chicago, other IRON MAN collectable items will be made available to fans on eBay.
“It is always great to involve our fans in the making of our films and now we have the chance to allow them to take a piece home with them,” stated Jordan Hudson, Marvel Studios’ Director of Production Operations. “IRON MAN has already proven to resonate with moviegoers all over the world and now each of them has the chance to own some of the greatest items seen in the film just a few weeks before the continuation of Tony Stark’s adventures in IRON MAN 2.”

Earning over $585 million in worldwide box office, IRON MAN lifted off in theatres on May 2, 2008 with high-speed, high-flying action when jet-setting industrialist Tony Stark survived an unexpected attack in enemy territory and escapes by building a high-tech robotic suit of armor. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man. Straight from the pages of the legendary comic book, IRON MAN is a hero who is built—not born—to be unlike any other.

The highly anticipated sequel, IRON MAN 2, starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, John Slattery, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L. Jackson., will be released on May 7, 2010 in the U.S.. In addition to IRON MAN 2, Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including THOR on May 6, 2011, THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA on July 22, 2011, and THE AVENGERS on May 4, 2012.

For more information about the C2E2 Convention, visit

If I won the lottery this weekend, I'd be doing some serious bidding on some of this gear!

Also, the Iron Man 2 music soundtrack will feature one band and one band alone.

AC/DC have never done a 'Greatest Hits' compilation before. The band still hold the record for the biggest selling album of all time by a band, with Back In Black. It's also the second biggest selling album ever, beaten only by Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Marvel Studios has this to say:

"Through a unique collaboration between Marvel Studios and Columbia Records, AC/DC's music will be featured in Marvel Studios' "Iron Man 2," the sequel to the 2008 blockbuster film. In addition, Columbia Records will release the album "AC/DC: Iron Man 2" on Monday, April 19, 2010. "AC/DC: Iron Man 2" features 15 classic AC/DC songs selected from 10 of the band's studio albums, ranging from 1976 to 2008.

"Jon Favreau's vision and passion for AC/DC's music blend seamlessly into this incredible film" said Steve Barnett, co-chairman of Columbia Records. "The music really underscores the high energy and excitement of the film.""

The track listing is:

01. Shoot To Thrill
02. Rock 'N' Roll Damnation
03. Guns For Hire
04. Cold Hearted Man
05. Back In Black
06. Thunderstruck
07. If You Want Blood (You've Got It)
08. Evil Walks
09. T.N.T.
10. Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be
11. Have A Drink On Me
12. The Razor's Edge
13. Let There Be Rock
14. War Machine
15. Highway To Hell

The inclusion of If You Want Blood (You've Got It) is nice to see - one of my personal favourites!

You can pre-order the Iron Man 2 soundtrack CD from HMV either in standard or deluxe edition.

Or better still, go and speak to Dan at Badlands Records!

Here's the music video for 'Shoot To Thrill', the Iron Man 2 version. Enjoy.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Ring In The Changes

DC Direct have this wonderful set of Lantern rings available in July.

Featuring all nine (yes NINE!) rings from the pages of Green Lantern, Blackest Night and the forthcoming Brightest Day, these wearable and adjustable rings are made of durable PVC and light up when worn!

These will retail at £60.00 and stocks will be limited.

If you definitely want one, contact us now and confirm your order.

This isn't the only way to get a White Lantern ring however.

Brightest Day #1 comes out (currently May 7th in the UK, due to the Bank Holiday Monday), customers buying it from Proud Lion will receive a FREE White Lantern plastic ring, completing the set.

This joins the Flash ring customers will get FREE with issues of Flash #1 (due out April 15th in the UK). This is while stocks last as the Flash ring is slightly more limited.

We're good to you.

If you definitely want a White Lantern ring or a Flash ring, contact us now and confirm your order.

Green Lantern #52 Covers Revealed

Well, I guess it was inevitable. All Power Ranger and Captain Planet jokes jokes aside, these are some pretty cool designs.

I present these images without further editorial, because I know not everyone has read Blackest Night #7 yet.


On sale MARCH 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
1:25 Variant cover by SHANE DAVIS & SANDRA HOPE
BLACKEST NIGHT’S penultimate chapter is here, and you do not want to miss this issue. Trust us on this one.

If you definitely want Green Lantern #52, contact us now and confirm your order.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Haven For The Handmade

Since autumn last year, Proud Lion has shared the premises at 40 Albion Street with the wonderful Stuffed Nonsense!

Run by Bex Smith and Eleri Parry, Stuffed Nonsense sells all manner of hand crafted items and giftware from paintings to brooches and keyrings to cuddly monsters - often made out of recycled old clothing like socks and jumpers.

Bex took some time to tell me how it all started with a monster swap!

"We were bored and frustrated in our not so creative day jobs so we tried to lighten things up a bit. I made a polar bear for El called Frances and El made a sock monster for me called Poxy.

We realised we made a good creative team so made a few bits and pieces and opened a Folksy shop. Sales went well from there. Then a shop in Cirencester spotted us and asked if we wanted to sell there - which we did (and still do).

Then one day Ben at Proud Lion asked us into the shop and offered us upstairs. We figured life's too short to stand around wondering what if...

We knew we had the passion for the handmade and we knew we could make it work. Cheltenham needs a funky little place like our shop! We are putting the fun back into the High Street!"

It's more than just high jinx and good humour too, Bex and El are both determined to help where they can.

This Saturday, Stuffed Nonsense is hosting a unique charity event - Handmade For Haiti - I asked Bex to explain what they have planned.

"Handmade for Haiti is an exclusive shopping event with a twist. Our small but perfectly formed shop is going to be transformed into a village tea party... think bunting, cups and saucers, handmade cakes, party rings and 1920's music. We will donate 100% of the takings to the section of UNICEF dealing with the victims of the Haiti earthquake."

In addition to the usual offerings from Stuffed Nonsense, Bex and El have managed to line up some new and exclusive sellers who wanted to help and have sent new items that will be available for a limited time only.

"We can not emphasise how much wonderful handmade talent will be available to buy on Saturday. We are so pleased to have these guys in our shops," Bex enthused.

"First up we have nelliD. She's a very talented lady who makes unique resin jewellery (think candy colours, pop style, bubble rings - things like that.)

Then there is OhBadgers. This lady has a talent to draw like no other! The screen printed cards she sent down for the event are awe inspiring... she's also sent down some hand illustrated pocket mirrors, screen printed prints of birds, cats and owls, some very lovely vintage style necklaces with illustrations of birds in them and some similar style brooches.

Also there are lovelies due from Wollies - super quirky plastic jewellery all hand decorated/illustrated by the talented Olly - and unique handmade wonders from Lou Peaujeux (we are expecting some great cards, pin badges and pocket mirrors).

These guys normally sell on the handmade haven that is Folksy, but there prices will be a bit cheaper and you wont have the p&p too!"

I asked Bex what gave Stuffed Nonsense the idea to fund raise this way.

"Well we don't have a huge amount of spare cash (or any for that matter!) so couldn't really donate money that way. However we both have the ability to stitch and draw... so we thought that there had to be some way we would use our creative skills to help, and this is what we came up with. Also, any excuse to eat cake and drink tea is good in our eyes!"

Stuffed Nonsense will be open from 10am and Handmade For Haiti begins at midday with tea and cakes for all, in return for a small donation.

So that's Saturday 27th February from 12pm. Stuffed Nonsense and Proud Lion will be open from 10am. Pop along and grab yourself a wonderful handmade goody! You can feel good about yourself too, as it's all for charity!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Big Game Hunting - New Arrivals

Some new gaming products have arrived in store today.

First up is the first box of the Dragon Age RPG. Based on the hit computer game, Dragon Age Origins, the tabletop roleplaying game will be split into several boxed releases, taking the players to ever increasing levels.

The first box is the starter set and will guide you through levels 1 through 5, as your characters explore the Blight-ravaged world of Thedas. Written by Chris Pramas, Dragon Age RPG Box Set 1 includes a Player's Guide, a Games Master's Guide, dice and a full colur map of Ferelden.

If you enjoyed the Dragon Age computer game and are interested in trying traditional tabletop roleplaying this could be the perfect gateway game for you.

Fans of the Warhammer Invasion LCG will be pleased to hear that the latest Battle Pack is also among the new arrivals.

Tooth And Claw adds 20 new cards including Rat Ogres, Gutter Runners, Blue Horrors, the Anvil of Doom, Dwarf hero Gurni Thorgrimson and Ork hero Ugrok Beardburna.

The final new item this week is the new Dungeons & Dragons Martial Power 2 sourcebook from Wizards Of The Coast. Featuring new options for fighters, rangers, rogues, and warlords. Full of new paths, powers and feats, etc - this is the usual stuff you've come to expect from a 4E book. I play a Wizard at the moment, so there's not much in here for me but I'm sure the rest of my party will find some useful stuff as they level up.

Thursday, 18 February 2010


It's a busy time in comics at the moment. Blackest Night. Fall Of The Hulks. Siege. Hit Monkey.

OK, maybe not that last one so much...

Into the midst of all this comes a six issue miniseries baying for your attention. Doctor Doom has turned his attention to Wakanda, the African nation that is home to the Black Panther and large stocks of the precious metal Vibranium. Within 48 hours, Doom's forces are victorious and the DoomWar is seemingly over.

But the super villain has reckoned on the combined forces of the Uncanny X-Men, the Fantastic Four and two Black Panthers.

The first issue of Doom War is now available in store and you can read a preview here at IGN.

While stocks last, Proud Lion is selling DoomWar #1 for just £2.00.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

New Doctor Who Promo Image

Today the BBC released this teaser image. It features Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, alongside three monsters - a Weeping Angel, a Dalek and a Smiler.

What do you think?

Personally, I think the image is reminiscent of children's fantasy films such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, which is a bit of a shame. Still I think the trailer has fantastic lighting and shows real potential, so perhaps the marketing won't reflect the finished product, but will instead be used to capture the imagination of the younger generation.

It's worth remembering that kids who were 7 when the Ninth Doctor first me Rose, are now 12...

A new trailer will begin airing on the BBC on Saturday. It will also be added to Hopefully this one will include the beginning air date for new series.

Revealed: variant cover art for Avengers #1

Following our earlier reveal of the cover for issue #1 of Avengers, here's the variant cover by Greg Land:

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Nemesis - makes Kick-Ass look like S#!T!

In March 2010, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven unveil their new creator owned title, Nemesis.

Published by Marvel's Icon imprint, Nemesis was first teased with this image.

Issue one was featured in January's Marvel Previews with the following solicitation:


COVER BY: Steve Mcniven
WRITER: Mark Millar
PENCILS: Steve McNiven
INKS: Array
CIVIL WAR? Nothing. KICK-ASS? A warmup. What if the smartest, toughest costumed bad ass in the world was totally evil? Meet Nemesis. He’s systematically been destroying the lives of every police chief in Asia, and he’s now set his sights on Washington, DC. Between you and me, the police don’t have a chance. Do not miss the book that EVERYONE will be talking about by the creative team that made CIVIL WAR the biggest book of the decade.

Besides the aforementioned Civil War, Millar and McNiven also collaborated on last year's sensational Wolverine: Old Man Logan.

Mark Millar talked with Newsarama saying: ""Nemesis" is a reversal of the Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark archetype. What if this genius billionaire was just this total shit, and the only thing that stood between him and a city was the cops? It's Batman versus Commissioner Gordon, in a weird way. Or maybe a super-villain version of "Se7en." A billionaire anarchist up against ordinary people. The Joker's the best thing in the Batman movies, so this guy is a bit of an amalgamation of all the stuff we like."

Mark Millar is once again offering willing comic shops like Proud Lion the lucky opportunity of a free advert in the first issue of Nemesis. He did this with Kick Ass and War Heroes too, Proud Lion was too late for Kick Ass, but did get into War Heroes and we're doing it again! The above poster is printed and up in store, as seen below:

Nemesis #1 arrives in store in March. Kick Ass sold out time and time again during the eight issue run, so don't miss out - add it to your reservation today.

If you missed Kick Ass, the hardcover graphic novel is due this month. The trailers for the Kick Ass film can be seen here. The film is due out April 2nd in the UK.

Jonathan Ross - TV and radio presenter, comic book fan and now comic book writer...

In April 2010, Jonathan Ross makes the jump many comic book fan dream of. From reader to writer.

Image Comics are publishing Turf, a four issue miniseries written by Ross and illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards (Bullet Points, Marvel 1985). Here's the synopsis from Image Comics:

A four- issue hard boiled noir crime thriller with girls, guns, fangs and aliens.

New York, 1929. The height of prohibition. The cops turn a blind eye while the mobs run the city, dealing in guns, girls and illegal liquor. But the arrival of the mysterious Dragonmir Family from Eastern Europe with more of a taste for blood then booze co-incides with a series of brutal attacks on the gangsters themselves. As the gangs fall before the fangs, only handful of mobsters survive. But an unlikely alliance formed between tough guy Eddie Falco and a character from a LONG way from New York City – a long way from Earth in fact - offers the humans a glimmer of hope. As the strong willed young reporter Susie Dale from the Gotham Herald tries to survive in the middle of the maelstrom, and an ancient prophecy unfolds, no one can guess who’s going to win the battle for this particular slice of Turf.

Aliens, mobsters, vampires and pretty dames? Sold! There's an excellent interview with Ross and Edwards here at Newsarama.

Here's a four page preview of issue #1 - I hope you'll join us and give this a go.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Doctor Who returns with 'The Eleventh Hour'

When Matt Smith begins as the Doctor in Spring, his first episode will be an hour long reports Radio Free Skaro.

'The Eleventh Hour' written by new showrunner Steven Moffat will introduce us to "the enigmatic Amy Pond (Karen Gillan)".

"Together they explore 16th century Venice, France during the 1890s and the United Kingdom in the far future, now an entire nation floating in space.
As always, wherever the Doctor goes, his oldest enemies are never far behind – the Daleks are hatching a new master plan from the heart of war-torn London in the 1940s. But they are not the only strange creatures the Doctor and Amy must face – there are also alien vampires. humanoid reptiles, old enemies such as the Weeping Angels, a Star Whale, and a silent menace that follows Amy and the Doctor around wherever they go…"

The new series airdate has not been announced yet.

Other recent Doctor Who news includes the confirmation that Neil Gaiman is writing an episode for the second series of the Eleventh Doctor. Gaiman revealed the news in a special message to the SFX Awards and the SFX Weekender. Gaiman won the Best Comic Award for Batman: Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader? The writer had this to say:

"Over the years SFX, and its readers and their votes in the polls, have always been very kind to me. I thought I’d return the favour with what used to be called, in journalistic circles when I was a boy, a scoop.

As anyone who’s read my blog knows, I’m a big fan of a certain long-running British SF TV series. One that started watching -- from behind the sofa -- when I was three. And while I know it’s cruel to make you wait for things, in about 14 months from now, which is to say, NOT in the upcoming season but early in the one after that, it’s quite possible that I might have written an episode. And if I had, it would originally have been called “The House of Nothing”. But it definitely isn’t called that any more.

Countdown. You’ve got about 14 months."

The Return Of Bruce Wayne

So in Final Crisis, Bruce Wayne 'died'. The media, the public and many readers went crazy.

But those very clever few who were paying attention realised the Omega Sanction that Darkseid uses on Batman in Final Crisis #6 doesn't kill. Instead it is used to punish and remove the person from reality.

The rays of energy transport the target into a series of successively worsening alternate lives, as shown by Grant Morrison in the Seven Soldiers: Mr. Miracle miniseries in 2005-2006, and stated plainly by Darkseid in Final Crisis #6.

At the end of Final Crisis, we see a figure in a cave with the dead body of Anthros. There is the utility belt draped over Anthros and the figure is painting a Bat symbol on the cave wall. In Red Robin, Tim Drake has already found these symbols.

Sonny Sumo was hit by the Omega Sanction. He ended up in a 'Lateral Universe', living out a life in feudal Japan. Eventually he fell 'through a hole' in this lateral existence and returned to his original state. This was also covered in Final Crisis.

Bruce's body was left at the end of Final Crisis, but it isn't really Bruce. He exists in different eras of time and can fight to remember who he is and return to the present day. This is evident in Blackest Night, where Bruce is reanimated to unnerve the others - an 'emotional tether' - but is released after the black rings enslave the rest of the reborn heroes. Black Hand refers to him as Bruce Wayne in quotation marks, revealing that he and his master Nekron know that this isn't really Bruce's dead body.

This isn't a cheat. This isn't a comic retcon. This was always Grant Morrison's plan. Both Marvel and DC have killed a big character and brought them back in short order, but both stories seem carefully planned to me, rather than contrived. This is not the sloppy ham-fisted writing of yesteryear, though I appreciate it may seem hard not to feel a little cheated if you have been reading comics for many years.

The Return Of Bruce Wayne is a six-part series, with a different artist on each issue. Each issue will showcase a different version of Batman, as Morrison pushes him through the various quantum possibilities and comes back to his Bat-family.

With Dick and Damian firmly established as the new Batman and Robin, this may not mean Bruce returns to the cape and cowl. Maybe he'll become a Bat-General overseeing Batman, Robin, Red Robin, Batwoman, Batgirl, the Outsiders, etc. from the Batcave. Bruce's analytical mind may decide a step back is required to see the bigger picture and avoid events like Final Crisis. Alternately he may become Batman again, there have been multiple Flashes and Green Lanterns for sometime now after all.

Who knows? I trust Grant Morrison's writing of Batman. I didn't care for Final Crisis personally, but his take on the Dark Knight has been superb.

Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne begins in May.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Tripping the light fantastic...

OK folks, soapbox time. Gather round.

It's time to talk about four people. A family. Adventurers, scientists and heroes.

Their first film was rubbish. Their second film was marginally better.

I refer, of course, to the Fantastic Four.

For a long time, the Fantastic Four book was fairly insipid and uninspiring. Then JMS took over and crafted some interesting stories, but his run was largely hamstrung by the needs of the larger Civil War storyline (this in turn seems to have frustrated JMS enough to make him refuse to continue writing Thor as the universe moved towards the current Siege crossover).

After JMS came Dwayne McDuffie. I have no time for McDuffie's writing and in the last few years he's been reportedly fired from writing the JLA by DC and the FF by Marvel. 'Nuff said.

Then with much fanfare and ceremony came the Ultimates wunderkinder, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch.

I adored this run, it was everything I wanted from the Fantastic Four. Heroics, exploration, adventuring to the very edge of imagination! Grand ideas, incredible imagery, heartbreaking deaths and crazy temporal mechanics. All this and a quick holiday to Scotland and the worship of an Cthulhu-esque monster. I kid you not.

If I have piqued your interest, the Millar-Hitch run is collected in two volumes - World's Greatest and Masters Of Doom. Read them in that order.

Now I did think this was the zenith of the Fantastic Four. Then Marvel announced Jonathan Hickman was taking over. Hickman redefined sequential comic art for me with some of his creator owned work at Image including Nightly News, Red Mass From Mars and Pax Romana. He did things that graphic designers drooled over.

But his work on the Dark Reign Fantastic Four miniseries was merely serviceable in my opinion. I was a little disappointed and assumed his ongoing run would be another slump in Fantastic Four storytelling.

I was wrong.

Hickman has managed to completely bowl me over in just a handful of issues. He is adeptly crafting one and two issue long stories that pack as much in as most modern comics writers do in six issues, without seeming as twee as the Golden Age comics often do. That's no mean feat. Comic Book Resources spoke to him as this new run began.

Reed Richards has joined other versions of himself from alternate universes in the hope of fixing... well... everything? The revelations surrounding Valeria continue and Franklin has had a fairly incredible birthday present. We've had trips to the Moloid Underworld kingdom and even this fella...

Family and science fiction superheroics - this has always been the core of the Fantastic Four. This title deserves to be read and savoured. Jonathan Hickman has just spoken to Newsarama about what comes next for the Fantastic Four, please do check it out.

Hickman also has another Marvel project in the pipeline. It's starts in April. It's called S.H.I.E.L.D. I want to properly rave about how excited I am about this title, so I'll say no more for now but leave you with this teaser image...

Saturday, 13 February 2010

HeroClix Reborn!

2009 saw the return of HeroClix as WizKids resurfaced as part of the NECA company. NECA make action figures and collectables and HeroClix seems to have found a good home after being dumped by Topps in 2008.

The first wave was the excellent Hammer Of Thor series. Now completely sold out.

Next up is the DC HeroClix Brave & The Bold wave, due in April. This wave includes 55 new figures, including Alter Egos like Clark Kent/Superman, and duo figs like The Flashes.

Well the recent announcements have included a new DC Starter Set drawing figures from the Blackest Night storyline. The HeroClix website had this to say:

The War of the Light comes to HeroClix with the DC HeroClix Blackest Night Starter Game! As the Blackest Night encompasses the world, heroes and villains alike are deputized into the Lantern Corps to fight back against the legions of Black Lanterns. Choose a team of lanterns and take them into battle! This starter game includes everything a player needs to play HeroClix, including figures, map, rules and more.

The seven figures are Hal Jordan, Lex Luthor, Mera, Scarecrow, Wonder Woman, The Flash and The Atom in their deputy Lantern costumes. These look amazing. The set is due in May.

The latest announcement is possibly the most fantastic news yet though. They are doing Watchmen HeroClix!

That's 25 miniatures including Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre collected in one boxed set. A Dr. Manhattan Colossal Figure will also be available but sold separately scale and stands over 14 inches tall.

Centurion Trailer

It's not all comics round here folks! Here's the trailer for Neil Marshall's next film, Centurion. I have a lot of time for Neil Marshall's work. I loved Dog Soldiers and The Descent. I found Doomsday entertaining but forgettable.

Well, here's what he's doing next...

I like the look of it, have always been interesting in Roman history and Noel Clarke is among the cast. (Mickey the Idiot, saving the Legionaries?)

Personally I think some of Marshall's most interesting film ideas are the ones he hasn't made yet including:

Outpost which he described as a story about zombies terrorizing an oil rig and The Sword and the Fury, a planned project about a heist that takes place in medieval times. The story takes place 30 years after the death of King Arthur when his sword Excalibur is stolen. Arthur's queen Guinevere hires a band of thieves to steal it back.

Let me know what you think to Centurion based on this trailer.

Revealed: cover art for Avengers #1

Last night Brain Michael Bendis unveiled John Romita Jr.'s cover for issue #1 of the new Avengers title on his Facebook page: "here's a little something for your weekend. the cover to AVENGERS 1. and no, that is not the entire team. more announcement's a coming."

With thanks to Doug Clarkson for the head's up on this one.

In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight...

At the time of writing we have two issues left of the titanic Blackest Night crossover.

The dead have risen, heroes have died and joined the ranks of the undead and hearts have been broken. Or literally torn out of chests. This has possibly been the most brutal story I've ever seen DC, and yet it still finds it's emotional core.

Even the inevitability of combining the different Lantern lights to defeat the Black Lanterns was well handled, complete with a critic-silencing post-modern call out to the animated Captain Planet cartoon of my childhood.

Combined with his work on Superman with Gary Frank and Richard Donner, Geoff Johns has cemented himself for me as one of the finest talents DC have. Green Lantern has been consistently brilliant since Rebirth and Blackest Night has brought that intensity of storytelling to the wider DCU readership. No character has been unaffected by Blackest Night.

After the dust settles, things will have changed. In April, Brightest Day begins. This is a biweekly, 26 issue series starting with issue #0.

Written by Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi, the writers behind Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. Art will come from Fernando Pasarin, Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, Ardian Syaf and Scott Clark with covers from former Marvel exclusive talent, David Finch.

Speaking to Newsarama Geoff Johns said, "Brightest Day is about second chances. I think it's been obvious from day one that there are major plans for the heroes and villains from Aquaman to take center stage in the DC Universe, among many others, post-Blackest Night. Brightest Day is not a banner or a vague catch-all direction for the DC Universe, it is a story. Nor is Brightest Day a sign that the DC Universe is going to be all about 'light and brighty' superheroes. Some second chances work out...some don't."

If you loved Blackest Night, why not join us for the next phase of the adventure. Starting in April.

In related news, during the coming months Green Lantern Corps will have a new writer in the shape of R.E.B.E.L.S.-scribe Tony Bedard. The book's new line-up will include Kyle Rayner, John Stewart and Ganthet. Current GLC writer, Tomasi, will be starting a new Green Lantern title called Emerald Warriors. This will star Guy Gardener and Killowog. Personally I worry that this is one Green Lantern title too many. We shall see.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Justice... like lightning!

The other major Heroic Age news for me is that Thunderbolts is getting another new direction.

I have been reading T-Bolts since it began and I love it. The anti-heroes, the quest for redemption - it all really resonates with me.

Initially heroes masquerading as villains, Thunderbolts began under the guidance of Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley. They took the Masters Of Evil and hid them under heroic aliases - a trick that fooled everyone until the final page of that first issue.

The world had lost a large chunk of its superheroes in the battle with Onslaught and the Thunderbolts were hailed as saviours by the public. Led by Baron Zemo, they planned to overthrow the world once they had the trust of the authorities.

But some of the team began to enjoy the adulation and the sense of fulfilment that came from helping people. Eventually, some of the team turned on Zemo and foiled his plans. After a brief cosmic adventure, they returned to Earth and tried to redeem themselves and become true heroes, though some of the team were reluctant. For a time, they were led down their path of redemption by Avenger and former-criminal, Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (and recently known as Ronin).

During the Civil War, the pro-registration side turned to the T-Bolts and called upon them to help hunt renegade heroes. Eventually a new team of true villains being controlled by nano-chains in their blood were unleashed.

When the dust settled, the two versions of the Thunderbolts team were integrated under the command of Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin. These Thunderbolts were key to stopping the Skrull armada during Secret Invasion and Norman Osborn was hailed as a hero.

He gave some of his key Thunderbolts members new heroic identities and disguised them as his own team of Avengers. Ousting the few remaining truly heroic Thunderbolts, he changed that team into his own secret black ops strike force.

Post Dark Reign, the Thunderbolts will once again become a symbol for redemption. Led by another Avenger and former-criminal, Luke Cage, this new team will operate out of the prison known as The Raft. Super-powered criminals will be given a chance to earn lower sentences, better living conditions and prove they can rehabilitate themselves by joining the Thunderbolts program.

Former Thunderbolts like presumably Mach-IV, the Fixer and hopefully Songbird (one of my favourite Marvel characters) will serve as staff. The program will operate out of Thunderbolts Tower in the prison complex, rising above the courtyard as a reminder to others that redemption is possible.

Jeff Parker is continuing as writer and has revealed that the initial line up will include Juggernaut, Crossbones, Ghost, Moonstone and Man-Thing.