Friday, August 30, 2019

Great Art: the Amazing 80s by J. Scott Campbell

If you haven't figured it out from the radio silence, there's some major changes afoot for this blog in the next few weeks, but I will talk about that in the next couple weeks. But that doesn't mean I'm done with sharing some amazing things, like this epic piece by comics great J. Scott Campbell, featuring pretty much everything awesome about being a kid in the 1980s!

Remember you can check out a lot more Great Art in the Super Powered Fiction Facebook group!. And after you're done admiring some great art here, don’t forget to check out all the places you can find me online!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Cosplay Friday: Zatanna

Sometimes you just need a little magic in your life. Zatanna Zatara always fits that bill and it's especially true when she's brought to life by the amazingly talented Riddle. Fine work by a true cosplay legend!

You can check out a lot more great Cosplay pictures over on my Twitter. And while you are admiring some great cosplay here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from yours truly this week!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Coming Continuing Comics 7: Fiffe and Scioli 101

Every month I peruse the comic solicits to see what I want to add to my subscription list. Triple C takes a look at the superhero books that most stand out to me or I think are well worth a wider look by everyone. But I have to be honest, October's comic solicitations offer very few superhero books that really made me want to rush out and order new books. But I have two exceptions, and they just happen to be by two of my favorite independent writer/artists.

The big debut of the month is the return of Michel Fiffe's Copra now as an ongoing series from Image. Previously self-published (and distributed) by Fiffe, he is a one man wrecking crew on the book. He writes, draws, colors and letters each issue. I've read every issue in the collections from Bergen Street Press, but with the book now available through Diamond distribution, I look forward to reading the full monthly experience. I cannot recommend this book enough. Though it started as a riff on Suicide Squad, it long ago became an amazing beast in its own right, one well worth the price of admission.

Ed Piskor's X-Men: Grand Design has been the first X-comic I've had any interest in for years. Hickman's overly slick relaunch makes it look like that won't change any time soon. But while I often find myself bored by the current era of Marvel heroes, a great creator can often change everything. And with the Grand Design format moving to Fantastic Four now, I can think of few creators I want to see follow up Piskor more than Tom Scioli.

Known these days for Transformers vs. G.I. Joe and Go-Bots, I've been following Scioli since he was drawing the critically under-loved Godland. Now he's bringing his condensed, Kirby-influenced style to perhaps the finest of Kirby's Marvel co-creations. In two over-sized issues, Scioli will retell the history of the World's Greatest Comics Magazine, or at least the first 110 issues or so. Scioli has a true love for Kirby, so it should be interesting to finally see him let loose on Marvel's First Family.

That wraps another Triple C. Make sure to head to your local comic shops to update your pull list now!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Quadrant Universe Update: Lightweight

The following profile has been updated to take into account Lightweight's status as of the beginning of this Friday's Lightweight 16: Earthbound (now available for pre-order.)


Art by Brent Sprecher.
Real Name: Kevin Mathis

Occupation: Wanderer

Marital Status: Single

Known Relatives: Mary (mother), David (father), Andrew Case (distant cousin)

Group Affiliation: none

Base of Operations: Mobile

History: Kevin Mathis never saw himself as superhero material.

Born and raised in southern Minnesota, he moved after his father’s business brought him down to the massive Midwest city of Federation. He joined his class in the ninth grade and immediately became friends with two people, Andy Case and Millie Bryant. They formed a strange group in the ever-bustling world of Reagan High.

Each had their own diverse interests. Andy loved cars and weed. Millie focused on computers. Kevin loved video games and wanted nothing more than to play them. An average student, he certainly could score much higher with just a little bit of applying himself.

Then came the dreams. Every night, he received another vision of floating high above the city. And those dreams set him on a path that could make him the world’s greatest hero. Or maybe the world’s greatest villain.

He quickly donned the costumed identity of Lightweight, driven to be a hero despite his once laid-back ways. Over the course of the next several months, he fought threats such as Titan, Ronin, Carolyn Bates and Hellfire, he started to learn the secrets of his origins. With new allies like the Gray Man and Howl, he continued to fight crime as he sought answers about what the two factions wanted from him. He soon realized the ancient orders of the Eloi and the Morlocks wouldn't let him go without a fight. In a deciding battle with the villainous Black Death, both the hero and villain apparently perished under a destroyed skyscraper.

Instead, Kevin found himself transported to the strange world of Nill. A desert wasteland separated into a strict caste system, it was cut off from the rest of the galaxy due to an ancient interdict. Seen as a savior to the people of the world, he came into battle with the Grand Magister of the Trangalactic Congregation of the Brethren. The nefarious religious leader wanted the planet's savior dead, but a huge battle only left the planet more ravaged in its aftermath.

Kevin has returned to Earth but at the current time has no memories of how or why he returned to his home world.

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: 183 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Dark Brown

Strength level: Lightweight possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height and build that engages in moderate exercise.

Known superhuman abilities: Kevin Mathis possesses the ability to manipulate the personal gravimetric field of any non-living object. He can use this ability to make things lighter or heavier. He can also use it to move objects through the air by manipulating their relationship to both other objects and the planet.

When Kevin exerts his powers, his body begins to expel light. At greater levels, this light actually becomes almost blinding.

With power over an essential force in the universe, Kevin’s abilities seem to have only brushed the most infinitesimal of their potential as he first dons the costume of Lightweight.

Other abilities: Kevin also has basic hand to hand combat training as well as a vast knowledge of video games with special expertise in obscure independent games.

Equipment: Kevin earned the Sword of the Light Bringer upon his arrival on Nill. The weapon serves as a focus to his powers. Made of alloys not understood even in the most technologically advanced corners of the alien world, it is seemingly indestructible.

Read the stories in: 
Lightweight: Senior Year | Lightweight: Black Death | Lightweight: Beyond

Friday, August 9, 2019

Great Art: Savage Dragon and Spider-Man by Erik Larsen!

Erik Larsen is one of those guys that is just a consummate comic professional. He just loves making comics and has made a living doing so for over three decades now. Twenty-five years of that have been focused on Savage Dragon, his childhood character that he turned into a multimedia star for a few years before comfortably settling in to regular adventures of the entire Dragon family. Hundreds of issues later, he stands as a unique single writer/artist on a book with only Dave Sim and Fred Perry challenging him for commitment to his creation.

He also happens to be one of my favorite comic artists, dating back to his Marvel days. I actually saw his work first in the pages of Marvel Comics Presents though, not Spider-Man. He did a strange little Excalibur arc in that book where the team basically fought the Looney Tunes characters that I adore and am a little surprised has never been reprinted. It wasn't until a few months later I found his Spider-Man and loved that just as much. But I was an X-Men guy up until the rise of Image. Yet after I read the first couple issues of Dragon's adventures, I knew I had read something different. I could almost feel Larsen's commitment to the character and making him work. It impressed me then, and he became the character I most latched onto as a young man. (Though I'm still mad that none of my contributions won his villain creation contest in issue 10.)

To make a long story short, I'm always excited to see unique pin-ups from Larsen. So when I found this Spider-Man / Savage Dragon crossover piece, I thought it was the perfect image to feature on a Great Art installment. Enjoy and be sure to go buy a copy or two of Savage Dragon, still going strong after all these years.

As always, you can check out a lot more Great Art in the Super Powered Fiction Facebook group!. And after you're done admiring some great art here, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from me this week!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

One last chance to get Lightweight: Senior Year free!

Several weeks ago, I made an offer for fans to get an ebook copy of Lightweight: Senior Year for free. All I asked for in return was a review published at Amazon. That offer remains open for a few more weeks as I look to increase the hits for the book at the world's largest book distributor. You can send your request to nick{at}superpoweredfiction{dot}com. For more details, please refer to the original article, reprinted below:

Lightweight: Senior Year has been on Amazon for a few years, but the one challenge I've had with the book over the years was getting reviews from the fine folks that have read it. I'm immensely proud of the work I've done on the series but I want to make sure more people get a chance to see it. On Amazon, that means it desperately needs reviews, as books with higher review numbers get higher entry points on their algorithm. I'm not a huge fan of that system, but it's what we have to work with, and my hope is that you will help me accomplish that.

Cover art by Brent Sprecher. 
With that in mind, I have free ebook copies of the book to give out to anyone willing to read it in the next month and post their review on Amazon and Goodreads. I have no limit on the copies I'm giving out, but you must review it in the next month.

But I want to sweeten the deal for this. I want to make the effort to increase the reviews on all three Lightweight titles. With that in mind, I want to tell you that I'm planning to make this same offer on the next two books in the series as well, but that offer will be exclusive to those folks that accept this one and post their reviews!

If you're interested in getting your free copy of Lightweight: Senior Year for review, contact me at my email address nick {at} superpoweredfiction {dot} com. Let me know your preferred ebook format as well. And I hope to see your reviews roll in very, very soon!

Monday, August 5, 2019

August Patreon Preview: The darkness rises in Shockwave! Doctor Cosmic presents life and death!

It's been a long road already for Shockwave but as the August releases kickoff at Patreon, it's clear he's got much more ahead of him! The secret history of Paradox's two ruling families are opened, even as new threats appear to endanger his friends and families back home on Earth! Noah Logan's life only gets more complicated as his saga continues in Shockwave 4: When it all comes down. His tale launches August 6th.

Though her appearances have been few, Backoff plays a pivotal role in the history of the Quadrant Universe. In his second tale spanning the history and scope of the entire galaxy, Doctor Cosmic brings the story of her earliest days as a superhuman as well as the dark moment that changes the very course of the universe for years to come! That's all available now in Doctor Cosmic Presents 2: Last Breath. The tale drops on the 20th of August!

Both these stories will be available for pre-order on Smashwords shortly, but if you want to read them months before everyone else, subscribe to Patreon. For just five bucks a month, you get both these stories and an entire back catalog of tales. It's one of the best deals in superhero fiction today!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Gallur-y: Revenge of the Past!

Over the last few years, Mexican artist Rafael Gallur has become a go to painter for action. A regular painter of amazing lucha libre magazine covers, he channels the energy of Frazetta into modern cover art, something very lacking on this side of the border. And since his art doesn't quite fit into the usual comic-oriented Great Art feature, I thought it was time to give him his own feature here at Super Powered Fiction. Few painters can match the power he brings.

Octagon isn't a luchador well remembered by many American fans, but he was a big time hero when the martial arts craze was all the rage in the 80s and 90s. Long retired now, the character has been brought back on a few occasions with a new "junior" version, with both current WWE star Kalisto and international talent Flamita wearing the mask. He's probably most notable these days because the first incarnation of Octagon Jr gave rise to a new generation of his eternal foe, a young talent that lasted much longer named Pentagon Jr.

In his heyday, the original Octagon starred in his share of lucha libre comics and stories. "Revenge of the Past" is clearly one of the best. There's a whole lot going on here and Gallur combines it all into something awesome. 

Be sure to head over to Gallur's DeviantArt to check out more work by him and order some of his amazing work as prints. After you're done admiring his work, don’t forget to check out some of the other great stuff from yours truly this week!