Tue, 31 May 2016 20:00:36 +0000 en hourly 1 Heroclix ROC State Championship Saturday, June 4th starting at 9:30 a.m. Sat, 28 May 2016 18:38:03 +0000 Saturday, June 4th starting at 9:30 a.m.
Entry Fee is $15

Ultimate Comics Raleigh
South Hills Mall
1301 Buck Jones Rd
Raleigh, NC 27606

Event Website:

Event Phone: (919) 377-8778

1st Place: ROC State/Provincial Map, 20 TCGplayer Prize Wall points, set of dice, 2 tokens and Championship Bye to the Semi-Finals
2nd Place:ROC State/Provincial Map, 10 TCGplayer Prize Wall points, set of dice and 2 tokens
3rd/4th Place: ROC State/Provincial Map, 5 TCGplayer Prize Wall points, set of dice and 2 tokens
5th-8th Place: 3 TCGplayer Prize Wall points, set of dice and 2 tokens
9th-16th Place: 2 TCGplayer Prize Wall points

Pre-register at and put ROC STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in the memo field.

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DC Universe Rebirth #1 Wed, 25 May 2016 19:21:47 +0000 Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, and Phil Jimenez
Published by DC Comics

When you mess up, you’re supposed to admit it and say you’re sorry. We learned that in kindergarten, but as adults, we forget that a lot. And many readers would say that DC has messed up over the years. The sterling heroes of the 1930s and 40s were tarnished by the time DC had to pull out the Crisis On Infinite Earths to clean up continuity errors. Subsequent stories built up DC’s reputation as that company that publishes Superman, the hero most Americans think of first, the hero we all played when we’d wear our bath towels as capes and jump off the bed – well, they kept publishing that, but they also published horrifying violence and casual disregard for humanity. A former teen sidekick, after his arm was ripped off, swung a dead cat at a gang of muggers in a grimy alley, and he was hallucinating that he was actually swinging the body of his recently-murdered five-year old daughter, and that was FINE by DC standards. The latest reboot, Flashpoint, gave us the New 52, with fewer egregious moments like that but a sense of disconnect, of loss. We saw heroes start over, but we didn’t see a good reason why the relationships and triumphs we’d seen didn’t count in this new world. DC knew there was a problem but treated it with a fancy new outfit instead of going to therapy.

And this week, DC says it’s sorry.

DC Rebirth #1 is narrated by one of the most notable cheerful heroes that didn’t make it into the New 52, jogging around the world and checking in on DC’s promises to bring back fan favorites. Over and over, this character is saying he’s sorry, saying he’s sad to see the world with such loss, with so little legacy. And at the end, readers learn that a familiar character is responsible for the worst of the reboots, giving readers a punchable face. It works in the context of the story, and it works as representative of the publisher owning up to mistakes with the previous reboots, to apologizing for the casual violence and adolescent misogyny of the last decade of publishing. Hard-core fans can get to working sorting through the continuity, but most of us are going to be fine knowing that we get to smile again when we read DC. We get to be excited for our heroes falling in love, for saving the day without killing anybody. For not having to imagine smashing their daughter’s body into a mugger with the arm that didn’t get mutilated. Because seriously, that was unacceptable bullcrap there, that was.

This story is a great vacation from the murk of recent DC comic books, and if you didn’t get a copy at last night’s midnight release party, come on in to Ultimate Comics for a copy, free with select other purchases.

-Matt Conner

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Scooby Apocalypse #1 Wed, 25 May 2016 19:19:51 +0000 Written by Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis
Art by Howard Porter
Based on a concept by Jim Lee
Published by DC Comics

The 30-something comic readers have a deeply conflicted relationship with the pop culture of our youth. On the one hand, we fondly remember reading Archie’s adventures with his friends and watching Scooby Doo unmask the monster of the week. On the other, we go back and re-experience those things and they are terrible. Unfunny, pandering, superficial grabs at the wallets of American parents. And as we have become the dominant comic consumers, we’ve agreed to reconcile the daffy figures of our pasts to our adult capabilities. So we get beautifully mature books like Mark Waid’s Archie or the new Power Rangers series. And, when we are mad at how taken we were by bad art, we feed Archie to zombies (and man, Afterlife With Archie has turned into one of the best, most thoughtful books you can get, but you know you bought it so you can watch sweet teenagers ripped to shreds) and, this week, we drop the Scoobies into Hell.

And just like with the other properties, it turns out that growing up the Scoobies a little makes them unbelievably interesting.

In this version of the characters, Daphne is the spunky host of a low-rated mystery reality show, and Fred is her cameraman. They’re headed to Burning Man to check out Velma, a scientist blowing the whistle on the apocalyptic misdeeds of her secret organization. Scooby Doo is a prototype SmartDog experiment, and Shaggy is his beloved trainer and best bud. Most of this issue is spent drawing the team together, so the actual Apocalypse doesn’t hit until the last splash page, but the inciting event is a clever nod to the best parts of that charmingly brain-dead cartoon empire.

Giffens and DeMatteis have nailed the tone on this. The characters are all likeable but have more complicated and distinct personalities than we ever saw on TV. The plot is less about torturing them as survivalists and more about telling a great horror story about uncovering nefarious plots, a huge step up from unmasking the creepy caretaker who’s been haunting the old lighthouse. These writers are not ashamed of their source material, but they’re not stuck in the mission to feed more of the same crap to the nostalgia of the customer.

This book is going to be great. It gets humor from being an update of Scooby Doo, but it’s an amazing start in and of itself and would be a must-read even without the familiar characters. Now that you’ve gotten some sleep after the DC Rebirth midnight launch party, come back to Ultimate Comics and see what Scooby Doo’s rebirth has in store for you.

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May #1 Wed, 18 May 2016 19:30:14 +0000 Story and Art by Gene Ha
Published by Dark Horse Comics

I don’t know you. I mean, odds are, we haven’t met. But I can tell you a few things about your past. When you were a kid, there was a story that captured you. Maybe it was Narnia, maybe it was Oz, maybe it was Labyrinth, but there was a story you went to over and over for adventure and escape. The trope of a child just like you that stumbles into a land wholly different and comes back okay. We all love this, or at least used to. It’s part of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, dialed specifically down to the grade school set. And that’s almost where Gene Ha’s new story starts.

But Gene Ha has something new to say about the genre. Because Mae, his new series, is not about the kid who tumbles through the looking glass. He’s telling the story from the point of view of a young woman who hears that her sister is back in town after nine years of repeated running away. Mae is doing her best to stay grounded, to take good care of her father and his shop, to keep her best friend updated on local gossip while she escapes to college. And in this issue, Mae’s sister Abbie shows up after years of radio silence, decked out in generic cosplay and raving about monsters. And by the end of the issue there’s some fighting and a couple of little dudes straight out of Jim Henson’s workshop, but the point of the story is Mae.

This is original and deep, an exploration of what it’s like to be left behind. Mae seems smart enough, but she’s never going to go to college because she just can’t let her family fall apart any more than it has. She misses her sister in the same way people feel when they finally draw the boundaries between themselves and the loved ones who are lost in addiction or other serious mental illnesses, and her fear of Abbie is heartbreaking and true. I loved pretending to be Alice or Dorothy or that whiny girl who fought David Bowie when I was little. But this book is about the people those young women left behind, and that’s amazing.

Pick up a copy at Ultimate Comics in Raleigh or Chapel Hill while supplies last!

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Free Comic Book Day 2016 recap! Sat, 14 May 2016 17:59:46 +0000 By Kevin Schaefer

For those of you who don’t know, Free Comic Book Day is basically a second Christmas for geeks. Every year, comic shops across the nation give out dozens of free issues to regular customers and newcomers alike, providing the opportunity for a new generation of readers to experience the wonderful world of comic books.

This year was a special one for the folks at Ultimate Comics, the same people who put on both the Oak City Comicon and NC Comicon, as it was the first FCBD for their Raleigh location. People were already lined up early in the morning, and both locations remained packed throughout the day. Much like a regular convention, the event featured local creators, cosplay galore, live music and more books than the number of Avengers past and present. For a glimpse of what took place, check out Ultimate’s Facebook page for some stellar photos:

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Satellite Falling #1 Wed, 11 May 2016 18:46:41 +0000 Written by Steve Horton
Art by Stephen Thompson
Published by IDW
Lilly is a bounty hunter on a space station called Satellite, navigating dozens of species by disguising herself as each one in turn. When local police ask her to serve as bait in a narcotics sting, she quicky finds herself over her head.

This is a great story in and of itself. The character designs for the alien creatures are vivid and varied, and the attention to the scummy atmosphere calls up good memories of sci-fi noir like Blade Runner or the Cantina. The tension in the bounty hunting and especially the drug mission mounts steadily, and the dialogue distinctly sets main characters Lilly and her Chief up as friends who don’t really trust each other yet.

But the reason I loved this book is that this story has a lot to say about gender and sexuality, and it uses the silly tropes of alien beings to enrich the conversation. Lilly opens with a monologue that she has moved to this bizarre Satellite because the pain of losing her girlfriend was so bad that she had to go somewhere that nothing could remind her, and even then, she thinks about her all the time. When she finally lets herself take a new lover, she struggles with guilt and grief in a deeply beautiful way. And her choice of lover is from an alien species that can change shape and thus gender presentation. In a state that has lost its mind about genitals and bathrooms and the way we treat sexual minority, it is refreshing to read a relationship where a woman shrugs and accepts that her girlfriend might present as male from time to time.

I want more books like this. I want books where we as readers can forget about the sexuality of the main characters because the comic medium has accepted a consistent diversity of representation. But until that happens, I hope we can keep supporting great examples like Satellite Falling. Pick up your copy at Ultimate Comics in Raleigh or Chapel Hill and smile smugly when you imagine our governor having a fit at how you spent four bucks.


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Renato Jones: The One% Wed, 04 May 2016 15:27:52 +0000 Created, Written, Drawn, and Owned by Kaare Andrews
Published by Image Comics
Kaare Andrews is an enormously creative artist, dazzling in some of the supernatural aspects of New Mutants in the 2000’s or the more recent Iron Fist. With the double-sized first issue of Renato Jones, Andrews turns his flair for the mystic toward the struggle between socioeconomic classes, and the result is an action movie that bleeds dark fantasy.

The story is pretty straightforward at first – Renato Jones is a good-hearted child of unbelivable wealth and privilege. He’s meeting with a scummy hedge fund manager on a yacht when The Freelancer attacks, continuing a violent war on the rich. Quiet moments allow for a collection of heartbreaking flashbacks and twists of identity – some, you are going to see coming because you have ever read a comic book. Others will take you by surprise.

What sets this book apart from the violent social commentary of a Mark Millar book (besides the fact that it isn’t already in pre-production casting) is the artist’s commitment to the visual experience. Kaare Andrews is not afraid to commit six pages to tell three panels of a flashback because he knows that the reader will feel gutted at the third panel. The sequences in present day conform to the lines of real life, but Andrews is adept at color and shadow to pull intense drama from a simple dinner party scene. Flashbacks get distorted in ways that feel so right – the children telling the memory are impossibly small; the bad guy adults are nightmares of proportion. This book is not some bratty liberal arts major whining about paying a student loan and drunk on his own wit as he sticks it to the man with his social commentary – trust me, the man is not reading this. This is an artist who wants to talk about what scares us. Right now, we’re scared of being ruled by rich monsters, and he beautifully ties the hedge fund managers to the creatures under our beds.

Come on down to Ultimate Comics and get started on what promises to be a gorgeous, scary ride. And if you wait until Saturday, any purchase made on Free Comic Book Day comes with a free Ulti-Mite print!
-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics

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Micronauts #1 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:21:46 +0000 Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by David Baldeon
Published by IDW

The Micronauts were a group of popular action figures in the 80’s, but I was more of a He-Man, Ninja Turtles guy, so my exposure to the characters was from Marvel comics. Much like ROM The Spaceknight, Marvel lost the rights to reprint those books, but IDW has picked them up and is launching new takes on the property. This company recently did an amazing reimagining of Power Rangers, and Cullen Bunn has become one of the most popular writers after gritty series like Magneto, Harrow County, and Uncanny X-Men, so I went in to this book with fuzzy memories and high hopes.

Those hopes were rewarded. Absolutely nothing in this book looked familiar, so don’t worry about continuity. This book is a complete new story and an excellent first issue. The cold open is a terrifying recording of a world eaten by a sentient wave of energy. Most of the book introduces Oz, the leader of a colorful group of smugglers tasked to steal some medical supplies from a battlefront between the vicious Baron Karza and the Ministry Of Science. Because this is a first issue, the mission goes in no way according to plan, and mayhem ensues.

Science fiction, especially space opera, can be off-putting, but Bunn and Baldeon focus on the humanity and charm. This book is less about the robots and spaceships and more about the people piloting them, just trying to pull a job and pay rent. Conversations hint at significant backstory and world-building but the expository monologues that drag this type of book down are completely absent, swapped out for tidy exchanges between richly-realized characters. I still know nothing about the original toys, and I love that I could enjoy the heck out of this book anyway. Bunn and Baldeon work perfectly together, and I am excited to see where this team takes the story next.

Head on down to Ultimate Comics to pick up your copy! Fans of the original toys or comics, let us know how this relaunch holds up to your childhood memories!

-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics

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Madballs #1 (of 4) Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:18:14 +0000 Writer Brad McGinty
Art Brian “Smitty” Smith
Published by Lion Forge Comics, Roar imprint

Okay, kids, ask your parents about the Madballs. These toys came out when I was in elementary school in the mid-eighties, a collection of foam balls with gross faces and silly pun names. Your dad would buy them for you hoping it might make you like sports, and your mom would roll her eyes about how disgusting these toys were. Because man, there are few things better suited to preteen boys than a head that drips plastic snot, except maybe throwing that head at your friend at the bus stop.

Because the kids who loved Madballs are old enough to buy lots of comics, the Balls are back in a four-issue miniseries from Roar Comics. In the first issue, the Balls are sorted into two teams to play Bizarro Ball, a strange game where people talk about points or something but mostly, balls bounce around and drip pus and gore on a football field and make puns and play with props and get destroyed in a frenzy of cartoony violence. In a backup sequence by Dan Zettwoch, the Balls travel to an alternate universe where they meet sophisticated version of themselves.

This is not a comic for most grownups. But for people who fondly remember this property, we’ll chuckle and remember Mom’s eye-rolling and ask ourselves what Dad was thinking giving us this. And then we will grab a stack of these comics for our friends’ sons. Because Cool Uncle is a pretty great thing to be.

-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics

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Goldie Vance #1 (of 4) Thu, 14 Apr 2016 17:46:00 +0000 Written by Hope Larson
Illustrated by Brittney Williams
Colors by Sarah Stern
BOOM! Box, a division of BOOM! Entertainment

I love detective stories. I grew up in Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys, and as an adult I love Raymond Chandler novels and mystery television like Veronica Mars and iZombie. This week, BOOM! introduces a great new amateur sleuth sure to charm adults and children alike.

Goldie is a plucky young woman who works at her dad’s fancy Florida hotel. Officially, she parks cars. In her downtime, she helps the hotel’s resident detective close cases, following her friendships with hotel staff to find everything from a lost child to a priceless necklace. In this issue’s action climax, Goldie has to win a drag race using her knowledge of physics as much as her courage.

Goldie is a terrific new character, and kids are going to love her. I am always happy to see women of color represented as more than best friends to the story’s hero. Sure, she’s sort of a sidekick to the official hotel detective, but he’s out of the spotlight, and both of them are seen as competent professionals. She’s less polished than Veronica Mars, using too-casual language with a client and breaking the law to close a case, but this comes across as exuberant youth and not a character flaw.

Come on by Ultimate Comics in Raleigh or Chapel Hill to pick up the introduction of your new favorite detective! Hide an extra copy for the kids in your life, and see if they can follow some clues to find it – by the time they practice being junior gumshoes, they’re going to be primed for Goldie’s adventures.

-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics

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