Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:38:26 +0000 en hourly 1 70850538 Inhumans Vs. X-Men #0 Wed, 30 Nov 2016 15:54:37 +0000 Written by Charles Soule
Art by Kenneth Rocafort
Published by Marvel Comics

With Civil War II winding down and Death Of X just finishing last week, Marvel is getting to launch this winter’s big war between the Inhumans and the X-Men. It’s going to cross in to a bunch of X-titles and set up a status quo for the spring that will have the X-Men back in Blue and Gold teams and the Inhuman royal family launched into deep space, and it should finally clear up the story about a giant cloud of Terrigen mist crawling around the world, killing mutants and empowering Inhumans. And it all starts here, gang.

This issue bridges the eight months between the end of Death Of X (Cyclops’s team destroyed a lot of Terrigen but lost to Black Bolt) to the present day. Half the book follows Beast as he tries to solve the problem with science but loses his faith when he sees what the Inhumans are willing to do to preserve their way of life. The other half details Emma Frost’s training and manipulations as she prepares mutants everywhere for battle.

This is a fantastic jumping-on point. New readers get caught up, and longtime fans get a taste of the scope of this story. Charles Soule, a longtime friend of Ultimate Comics, efficiently tackles a huge spread of time and manages to make a fairly talky issue move smoothly. It helps that his take on Emma as a woman tackling her trauma with alcohol and denial gives this military story a lovely soap opera element.

Come on in to Ultimate Comics this week to get ready for the event we’ll all be talking about for the next four months!

-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics

]]> 0 27393
Ether #1 Wed, 16 Nov 2016 15:35:13 +0000 Written by Matt Kindt
Art by David Rubin
Published by Dark Horse Comics

Boone Dias looks at fantasy worlds and thinks, “Hunh. I can explain that.” Which makes him a great detective. And kind of a jerk.

In this new series by Matt Kindt and Davis Rubin, Boone is a scientist obsessed with cataloguing and rationally explaining all the elements of The Ether, a whimsical space of talking animals and magical creatures. In his investigations, he has accidentally solved a lot of mysteries, so the story picks up on his latest case, a locked-room murder. This update to the Sherlock mythology would be good enough on its own, but the issue ends with a shocking reveal calling the entire nature of The Ether into question.

Matt Kindt dazzled with the intricate plotting and mind games of his series Mind MGMT, and Rubin’s artwork dances through both the silly cartoons of The Ether and the harsh cruelty of Boone’s home in the real world. This book is a fun challenge for fans of Saga, I Hate Fairyland, and the Wizard Of Oz. Come on down to any of the three Ultimate Comics locations and soften your post-Con delirium with a great new series.


]]> 0 27143
WWE: Then. Now. Forever #1 Wed, 09 Nov 2016 17:46:45 +0000 Written by Dennis Hopeless with Ross Thibodeaux and Rob Schamberger
Art by Dan Mora with Rob Guillory and Tob Schamberger
Published by Boom! Studios

Sports and comics make for a tough intersection. For one, most of us reading would have been “indoor kids” growing up. Also, the movement in panels works well with punching and flying but not so much with shooting a basket.
Wrestling, though? Wrestling crosses into comics very well. There’s ample punching and flying, and the costumes and storylines engage viewers like when Spider-Man and Venom get to the last issue of their grudge match.

This one-shot sets up Dennis Hopeless’s WWE series, due next year, by detailing the deeper character moments that went into the formation of tough guy team, The Shield, and the stunning betrayal that ended them. I don’t know the story from watching the event, so I was surprised, but WWE fans will enjoy the buildup even with the known ending. I’m not sure where this is headed as an ongoing series, but Hopeless proves he can write these men as more than grouchy meatheads, and I have faith he can pull a satisfying drama from this tragedy. Dan Mora, whose art balanced the muscularity and grace of Klaus last winter, has brought the beauty out of this sport. His characters seethe with pent-up aggression and release with a kinetic celebration that makes sound effects unnecessary.

The backups are a bit of a let-down, mostly jokes about wrestling that I think I’m just not in the loop for and a beautiful but trite sequence about how wrestlers inspire kids to be who they want to be, as long as that’s “a wrestler.” But the main story is good enough for me to recommend this one-shot and to happily anticipate the ongoing series.

– MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics

]]> 0 27114
Motor Girl #1 Wed, 02 Nov 2016 20:27:50 +0000 Art and Story by Terry Moore
Published by Abstract Studio
It’s a good day. Know how I know? The new Terry Moore book came out today.
Terry Moore is this fantastic cartoonist with a penchant for showing a range of women in a variety of genres, from the classic romance drama, Strangers In Paradise, to the compelling sci-fi, Echo, to the lesbian zombie witch book, Rachel Rising. His women have all kinds of body shapes and sexual identities and complex psychologies. And this week, readers get to meet his newest.
Sam is a military veteran working a junkyard and talking to her best friend, a gorilla who may or may not really exist. Someone wants to buy the junkyard, but the UFOs that come down seeking replacement parts may have a better offer.
This book may be Moore’s funniest yet. Readers can spot some of the menace from Echo, but most of the work is about entertaining the audience with a witty gorilla and some bumbling aliens. The cartooning is perfect, showing a beautiful woman with a more athletic shape than, say, a Frank Cho pinup bombshell. It tells a satisfying story and sets up a promising series. Enjoy this good day with your friends at any of the three Ultimate Comics locations!
-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics
]]> 0 27072
Spook House #1 Wed, 26 Oct 2016 15:20:54 +0000 It’s almost here! Halloween is almost here! It’s my favorite time of year, and it has been since I was a kid. Trick or Treating was maybe the only outdoor activity I really liked, and I know our cosplayers got their start staying out late on a school night.
This week, Eric Powell launches a horror anthology for kids, and it’ll take you grownups back to those early candy-bag days. The first story follows a tough pair of kids to a haunted house that may be too scary, even for them. Then a latchkey kid faces down the Frog Monster under his sink, and a fifth-grader’s new Rubik’s Cube may lead to her Raising a little Heck.
These stories are accessible for kids but winking at the grownups, like a wicked little Pixar short. Powell’s artistry, so fantastic on books like The Goon or Hillbilly, stays on the right side of Too-Scary, but I will admit to reading the first story pretty quick because, man, that haunted house would be a nightmare to think about too much.
Be the cool house on the block this year and pick up a few copies of this to hand out to the best-dressed little goblins Monday night. Just be careful Рthat may not be a costume. Happy Halloween!
-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics
]]> 0 26915
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #1 Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:28:58 +0000 Written by Gerard Way and Jon Rivera
Art by Michael Avon Oeming
Published by Young Animal, an imprint of DC Comics
Jason at the Chapel Hill location is a happy man today. He’s a big Cave Carson fan. I know this because when I asked, “Who the heck is this?” his eyes lit up, and he raved about this adventure geologist who went on underground explorations around the same time as the Challengers Of The Unknown. A DC legend, he’s rarely shown up in the past decades, and then usually in the background of science scenes. But this week, Gerard Way’s new DC imprint brings him back. And he’s a wicked cybernetic eye.
The story is much more straightforward than Gerard Way’s recent Doom Patrol relaunch: Cave is a geologist mourning the death of his wife, trying to reconnect to his college-age daughter, trying to stay relevant with the latest version of his company, trying to figure out what’s going on with this mysterious technological eye. Plenty of mystery surrounds the action, including a variety of characters I’m not sure I should recognize, but it serves a purpose of ramping the tension of Cave’s story without derailing things. A brief visit to Doc Magnus and the Metal Men is a daffy delight, reined in to the “Joss Whedon episode” level of wacky rather than “experimental art thing your roommate dragged you to.” And Michael Avon Oeming, an artist whose thick lines and beautiful figure exaggerations wow us on Powers, is deftly balancing the real world funeral scenes with the slightly absurd action-geology and the climactic monster attack.
This is a fun book, the best Young Animal has put out yet. Pick up a copy, and then in a month, make sure you’re at North Carolina Comicon, where Gerard Way and his team will be running down everything about the entire new imprint for us. See you there!
-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics
]]> 0 26826
The Lost Boys #1 Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:31:54 +0000 The Lost Boys #1
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Scott Godlewski
Published by DC Comics, Vertigo imprint
It’s October, and it’s time to spend your nights watching your favorite scary movies! I’m betting 1987’s The Lost Boys is pretty high on your list, and so is DC. Whether or not you follow your movie with the direct-to-video sequels (The Tribe and The Thirst), you’re going to love what Tim Seeley has in store for this comic book sequel to the bloodthirsty teens of Santa Carla.
Life is back to normal in the seaside California town. Sam is selling comics at the Frog Brothers’ store while his brother, Michael, helps at a retirement home between dates with Star. Grandpa runs the local chapter of vampire hunters, but the meetings are mostly excuses to go for a beer these days. But tonight, an old enemy brings a new gang of bloodsuckers to town, and Santa Carla’s going up in flames.
This comic is a terrific read, setting the stage for a spooky vampire story that’s accessible for new readers but dripping with loving homage for the movie’s fans. The art is clean, very much like Rebekah Isaac’s work on Buffy, and the actors are recognizable. There’s plenty of blood but a tasteful restraint from gore.
Happy October, everyone. Come on by any of the Ultimate Comics locations, especially the new North Raleigh site, and pick a little something up to feed that craving. And if you act quickly, you can get one of the variant covers with that purple-leather-pants saxophonist we all love so much…
-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics
]]> 0 26732
Midnighter & Appollo #1 Wed, 05 Oct 2016 21:01:49 +0000 Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Fernando Blanco
Published by DC Comics

Midnighter is this amazing, hyperviolent Batman character who has a computer brain that tells him how to kill people. That sounds ridiculous and one-note, I know. And DC has plenty of disturbing extremes of violence. But hear me out. Midnighter is actually richly textured, with humor and tragedy and fear. And he’s gay.

Steve Orlando has been writing Midnighter’s amazing solo book in the New 52, and the character has had this terrific open sexuality, hooking up and flirting and punching out bad guys. But the absence of his boyfriend, Superman analogue Apollo, has been looming over the series, and in this new miniseries, Orlando gets to show what he can do with a great gay romance.

This week, the guys stop some pirates and save some kids, then have some friends over for dinner and talk about their views on the necessity of violence. In the background, wicked Dr. Bendix enacts a vengeful plan against the black-leather antihero. And yes, Apollo and Midnighter have a two-page sex scene – for those of you who might be put off by that, there’s no nudity or explicit language; for the rest of us, it’s really, really hot.

So here we have an issue of a comic book combining fight scenes and domestic happiness. It’s amazing, it’s exciting, it’s normal, it’s like every love story and it’s unlike every love story. It’s about being gay, and it’s also not just about that. It’s a book that could not have launched without years of increasing diversity in mainstream comics, and it’s going to make it easier for future books to really represent the breadth of who people are. You are going to love it. When you come to Ultimate Comics to check out the new North Raleigh store or pick up your Comicon tickets (which are selling out fast), give this one a try.

MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics

]]> 0 26647
Josie and the Pussycats #1 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:09:02 +0000 Written by Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deodio
Art by Audrey Mok
Published by Archie Comics

I read Archie comics as a kid, and five years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at the thought that anyone was still enjoying this simplistic Americana. Then Archie and Val from the Pussycats had an interracial love story, which opened the doors for new gay teen Kevin Keller. Which brought in grownup readers and supported the masterpiece horror story, Afterlife With Archie. Which translated to the supremely scary Chilling Tales Of Sabrina, the reinvention of Archie as a smart comedy, the tightly creative Jughead, and now this modern take on Archie’s favorite band.

Bennett and Deodio take readers to the beginning this issue, following Josie as she puts together a band with her best friend, Melody, and their new friend, Val. Josie has to learn to drop the ego and work as a band in time to play a set at a concert benefitting, of course, animal rescue. Longtime rival Alexandra is making trouble, and supercute Alan M is waiting in the wings, but the bulk of the book is about the rich characterization of the three bandmates.

This comic works perfectly. It’s a treat for longtime fans of the comic, the cartoon, or the underappreciated 2001 movie version. It also stands alone, even from the other Archie books. The jokes are fast and effective, with new ways to skewer hipster culture, and each woman has a distinct voice. Melody steals every scene with her delightful combination of innocence and savvy, and it’s worth noting that she has both men and women on her phone’s dating app screen. Archie comics has moved sexual diversity to the fore, and having Melody has a bisexual woman without making it melodrama draws positive ties to the spiritual sister book, Jem And The Holograms.

I love this book. I am shocked at how many of my favorite books this year are Archie Comics titles. Even if you’re not reading any of the others, this is an issue to pick up. Then talk to the staff at Ultimate Comics to get it on your pull list, so you can enjoy it every month.

-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics

]]> 0 26617
Seven To Eternity Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:02:32 +0000 Written by Rick Remender
Art by Jerome Opena
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Published by Image Comics

Rick Remender teams up this week with a couple of old friends, Jerome Opena from Uncanny X-Force and Matt Hollingsworth from Fear Agent. Together, they build a fantasy world bleeding with dark horror and challenge our obedience to fear.

The Osidis family live an honorable life in exile from the lands of the Mud King. The King, also called the God Of Whispers, controls vast and terrible magic, but the most important power he has is to manipulate minds. Instead of raising an army, he makes his enemies kill each other and themselves. Zebediah Osidis is the only man to refuse to submit to him. The story picks up when the Mud King’s monstrous forces finally find Zeb’s family and force son Adam into an impossible decision to save the lives of the few survivors.

The story is dark and beautiful, and the art makes it even better. Opena’s concept is a fantasy world blended with Wild West and outer space elements, with magic that flows in curls and waves but kills despite its beauty. Hollingsworth places careful glows around the magic, making even mundane colors like red and blue into scary distortions.

Come on down to Ultimate Comics and check this out, and if you like it, look for trades like Uncanny X-Force and Fear Agent at the big opening of Ultimate Comics in North Raleigh October 1st!

– MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics

]]> 0 26531