Horror is a notoriously difficult genre to pull off in comics. The reader controls the pace, so scares and surprises don't work the same way they do in other media, and once you've seen enough of them, shocking twist endings can feel routine. Every now and then, though, there's a creator who has the ability to pull it off, crafting unforgettable visuals and a moody setting that feels oppressive, unknown and terrifying, and Bernie Wrightson, born this day in 1948, is unquestionably one of the masters.
Over the course of a career that began in 1968, Wrightson has crafted stories full of twisted figures and haunting apparitions, and he's never stopped experimenting with how he can do it better.
So the other day, I thought I'd dust off Legends and escape into the fantasy world of comics with a story where a demagogue uses his celebrity as a platform to turn average Americans against each other and even uses the office of the Presidency to nearly destroy the world by spreading hate. You know, fun-time silly superhero stuff.
But mixed in there with the main plot was something that I'd forgotten from the last time I've read it: A scene that is quite possibly the single most ridiculous supervillain crime I have ever seen in my life. And for me, that's saying something.
Earlier this year, NJPW and Toei animation announced the production of a new Tiger Mask anime called Tiger Mask W (pronounced "Double"), and this week, the new character made his debut at New Japan's King of Pro Wrestling event, taking on his equally fictional opponent, Red Death. So yes: anime is real. And so is pro wrestling.
If you're even tangentially into anime or tokusatsu, then you're probably already familiar with SH Figuarts, the high-end line of action figures from Bandai and Tamashii Nations, but if you're not, let me tell you how much I love them. They've been around for a few years now, and with their dedication to high levels of articulation, screen-accurate sculpts and an incredible amount of interchangeable hands, faces, and accessories, they're arguably some of the best action figures you can get --- and since most of their output has to do with Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Sailor Moon, I'm always keeping an eye out for their next big release.
And now, it looks like I've got to clear off another shelf. This December, as part of what I can only assume is a mission to target me, specifically, they're releasing the first two entries in a line based on late '90s WWE Superstars, starting with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock. And yes: Austin comes with a beadazzled skull vest and a couple of Stevewiesers.
Here's something I want you to do right now: Take a moment and just try to imagine explaining this week's high-profile new releases to someone who was reading comics ten, maybe even five years ago. It would take hours, and by the time you'd dealt with all the incredulous reactions and clarified all the ways that we got to this point, you'd still have to launch into your third act with "and there was also Scooby Apocalypse, where the cast of Scooby Doo meets at Burning Man right before the world is destroyed by nanotechnology."
What I'm getting at here is that it's a weird book --- and more than that, it's exactly the weird book that we all knew it was going to be ever since it was announced. The question, then, is whether it's weird enough.
In all honesty, the main thing that's going on here isn't that the New York Knicks' own Carmelo Anthony is appearing in a special issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures comic where he ends up being mutated by the Foot Clan, even if that's what we're here to talk about today. No, for me at least, the big thing here is that somehow, this is not a thing that happens all the time.
I mean, really! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around since 1984. You'd think that over the past 32 years, celebrities would be lining up around the block to team up with them! But then, maybe it's not that they don't want to. Maybe the Turtles have standards so high that you need to be the leading scorer on the United States Olympic Basketball team to get to hang out with Michelangelo. Either way, it's happening now, and you can check out a preview!
A while back, I wrote about how skeptical I was that a Martian Manhunter solo series could ever really work, and I don't know if I have ever been proven wrong as hard as I have been by the last few months. Somehow, Rob Williams, Eddy Barrows and Ben Oliver have discovered the magic formula that makes that character work, and it involves going way over the top.
Some of the most intense debates over minor comic details often come from one single element of the superhero genre: Batman's costume. Yellow oval or black bat? Belt pouches or capsules? Blue and grey or all black? With as many variations as there have been on one of the most iconic looks in history, there's no shortage of things to argue about, and today, we're going to settle one of the most long-lasting debates: How long should Batman's ears be?
Today is, of course, April Fool's Day, which means that there's a pretty good chance that you're going to be spending a good amount of time dodging "pranks" that are really just lies masquerading as good-natured shenanigans. If that's the case, and you're looking for something to read while you try to dodge all the mischief in the air, then I have some good news. Comixology is celebrating the day with a big sale featuring that most Aprilest of Fools, the Joker.
If you watched the DC Comics panel at last weekend's WonderCon in Los Angeles, then you saw the reveals of all the titles and most of the creative teams for the company's upcoming "Rebirth" event. Mixed in with those, though, was one more announcement about DC's upcoming plans: When Justice League #50 hits shelves next month as the climax to "The Darkseid War," Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok are planning to give the Joker a "real identity" that will presumably go beyond just being Gotham City's most notoriously murderous clown.
It's a bold move, especially since it's happening in the company's flagship team book rather than in a solo Batman title. In the days since the panel, the news has got a whole lot of people --- myself included --- talking about the possibilities of what we're going to see in April. If the Joker's not just the Joker, then who is he?
The Pokémon Company seems to be on a quest to render all furniture obsolete. First, it was the giant, (almost) life-sized Snorlax that can double as a sofa and physical manifestation of my true self, and the trend of giant plush Pokémon has continued with the company's latest release. Soon, all structures will be Pokémon, and we will be living in a finer world for it.
According to PokeShopper, which keeps an eye on upcoming Pokémon merchandise, next month will see the release of a giant-sized version of the special Valentine's Day edition of Pikachu, putting an end to the very concept of throw pillows.
For some reason, everyone seems to be buzzing this week about Batman fighting people in the movies - even more so than usual, I mean. If that's the kind of story that's sparked your interest today, then friend, you could do a lot worse than spending the next six minutes watching Batman vs. Terminator, a stop-motion fan-film in which the Dark Knight returns in a future dominated by Skynet and its killer robots.
Produced by YouTuber Captain McKay - who I think we can assume was bitten by a radioactive McKay at some point in the past - the project uses Mezco's Dark Knight Returns Batman figure and NECA's Terminator figure, and the results are pretty amazing. Give it a watch!
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