Friday, October 20, 2017

Great Art: Ramona Flowers by Bryan Lee O'Malley

We close the week with new-ish art by Scott Pilgrim and Seconds artist Bryan Lee O'Malley as he gives the world a new illustration of the always great Ramona Flowers.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great art here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's Up for October 20, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)




Second Nature | Wonder Woman by George Perez | Star Wars: Kanan vol. 2 |
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Twenty One Pilots: Blurryface

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

That's My Jam 2: Guts Over Fear

That's My Jam is a simple concept. It's where I share the song most stuck in my head currently. It might be new, it might be old, it might be popular, it might be completely obscure. All are presented without commentary, but I invite everyone to share their opinions on the tracks in the comments.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cosplay Friday: Morrigan

As I talked a bit about an upcoming project with succubus lore in play it made sense to me to share a great cosplay of Darkstalkers' Morrigan, probably the world's most famous succubus character. Cosplayer Kassandra Leigh brings her to life amazingly well with a spot on costume here.

As always, you can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on the Tumblr. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff on SuperPoweredFiction.com this week!


What's Up for October 13, 2017

What's Up is a simple post where I give you links to the books, comics, movies, games and/or music I have been enjoying as of late. Feel free to check them out if you would like to enjoy them as well or give your opinions of these works in the comments below (though do try to keep it spoiler free.)




Chris Jericho: No is a Four Letter Word | All-Star Batman: Ends of the Earth | Karnak | Guardians | Twenty One Pilots: Blurryface

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Influential: The strange and important saga of the New Warriors

I just picked up a huge stack of New Warriors back issues and reading them I thought it was more than necessary to revise my original Influential column about the characters from last year.

Image credit: Marvel
New Teen Titans in the early 80s was definitely an attempt by Marv Wolfman, George Perez and DC Comics to transform the young heroes of the DC Universe into the company’s own version of Uncanny X-Men. But while the motivation was obvious, the book became something far greater than what was initially planned. To this day, it is one of the best superhero books in the history of comics.

New Warriors had a similar origin. It came out of Marvel’s desire to have its own team of young superheroes. While the company already had the New Mutants, that team was already well on its way to becoming something very different: the paramilitary unit that became X-Force.

Rage is not only a favorite of mine,
he's also one of the few New Warriors
with an action figure.
Initially formed in the pages of Mighty Thor to battle Thor and the Juggernaut during the “Acts of Vengeance” crossover event, the team consisted of the majority of Marvel’s non-mutant teen heroes (as well as the little used mutant heroes Vance Astrovik and Firestar). Only one member, the mysterious Night Thrasher, was new. (Some rumors say he was originally meant to be Rocket Racer before a last minute change to tie in with the new series.)

Fabian Nicieza, Mark Bagley and later Darick Robertson were stars on the rise when they jumped on the ongoing series that spun out of Thor. Night Thrasher proved to be the linking force of the new team as he brought the young heroes together to fight the evils of the world. But Nicieza and company never forgot that these were disparate young people coming together. And they set out to do great things with the kids.

Nova (don’t call him “Kid”), Speedball, Namorita, Thrash, Marvel Boy/Justice, Firestar, Silhouette, Rage and the ever expanding cast always remained fascinating people even when they were fighting threats large and small.

Ultimately New Warriors succeeded best at being fun and compelling at the same time. The book spent most of its run never forgetting that comics were entertainment. It was always just plain fun.

They’ve tried to bring the concept back a dozen times, but it never quite works, probably because of the horrible damage done to the team at the beginning of Civil War. But as one of my first looks at a teen team in work, I will always look back to New Warriors every time I write about young heroes. Ultimately, the may be a moment in time never to return to the grandeur of their 90s heyday, but for team dynamics, young heroes in a topical setting and all around fun per page, I learned a lot from the great work Nicieza and company did on the book. 

Now Hasbro needs to get on making me a Speedball action figure...

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

That's My Jam 1: Feel It Still

That's My Jam is a simple concept. It's where I share the song most stuck in my head currently. It might be new, it might be old, it might be popular, it might be completely obscure. All are presented without commentary, but I invite everyone to share their opinions on the tracks in the comments.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Prep in my step

As I wrap up edits on one project, I am also deep into preparation mode for my next personal writing project. National Novel Writing Month begins on November 1st and I plan on using it as motivation to start my next full length writing project.

While I have done a little bit of short story work in the last few weeks, I haven't taken the time to write anything of significant length since summer. But Nanowrimo offers me a chance to fix that and I will be hard at work on a new project, one that takes me out of my usual super wheel house. 

I'm sure I will speak about this project more as I start actually put word to screen, but this new work will be my first foray into urban fantasy, a genre with its own traits but one at the edge of super powered fiction already. It should come as no surprise that I have a supernatural tinted character created decades ago that I think would be a perfect fit for the genre, but the transition from aged super-concept to another genre offers a few challenges.

Setting has proved the easiest. I made the decision to set the first novel in my own neck of the woods. Eastern Iowa has a few weird bits of supernatural history. Coupled with a location most people outside the state don't realize is a city of a quarter million and I have a fascinating place to drop my leads. 

This is a great piece by Genzoman, but I blame Darkstalkers for the sudden
need to give every succubus wings.
From there I've been working on lore built around various secret societies and ancient fears. Succubi, incubi, Lilith, Leonardo Da Vinci and the Knights Templar are a few of the touchstones that will be featured in the upcoming work. While I plan to make the story my own, I also don't want to trounce all over standing legend. As a writer, I often get annoyed when someone uses a concept in name only. My goal is to introduce these concepts in a way both true to their "history" and interesting to new readers. That means research though, so I'm deep into that as I write this. 

Prep can become its own evil however, so I specifically opened a window of time for myself to do it in. I want to have a good idea where I'm going with the new novel ahead of November and what it will feature, though not enough that I cannot let the characters surprise me as they go. That is the joy of writing for me and I don't like the research to get in the way when I'm barreling through 50,000 words in thirty days. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Great Art: Matt Wagner's Demon

Matt Wagner was a big name on the indies due to his work on Mage and Grendel, but his first mainstream work was on a four issue limited series for DC Comics starring the Demon Etrigan. It's a great work that virtually reinvents the character and sets up a years long run in an ongoing series about a year later. (Wagner sadly only worked on one issue of the later series.)

But Wagner created some fascinating art for the book, such as this fun splash page focused on the sudden split of Etrigan from his human host Jason Blood.

Image via the Daily Splash Page.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Missed the Boat 1: Red Wolf

Missed the Boat is a new series where I focus on criminally under-appreciated works, series canceled too soon or subjects otherwise outside the normal grain of typical superheroes.

I have a tendency when it comes to big two super-books to seek out the smaller books. Sometimes this means I get a trade of a complete "ongoing" series that only lasted six issues. And sometimes these are some of the best books Marvel or DC can offer.

Red Wolf by Nathan Edmondson and Dalibor Talijic is just such a book. Featuring a time (and dimension) lost Native American sheriff first introduced in Marvel 1872 (himself a reboot of both an old western character and a modern hero dating back to the 70s.) But this new Red Wolf is dropped into a modern city of Santa Rosa.

This great Dale Keown cover probably shouldn't
have been a variant. Regular cover artist Jeffrey
Veregge probably did little to help the book's chances.
The story could have been a traditional fish-out-of-water time travel tale, but the creators do an excellent job of building a mythology around the town and the character in the six issues they have. Edmondson clearly hoped for a much longer run with the character, but the swift cancellation of several post-Secret Wars titles took Red Wolf with it.

It's a shame too, as for the first time Marvel seemed to have a credible Native American hero.

Red Wolf: Man Out of Time comes cheap on Amazon, so don't pass up a chance to read this strange single trade of a great series and wonder with me what could have been.