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Archive for May, 2012

Carol Danvers Stars as Captain Marvel in New Series This July

May 30th, 2012 Comments off

Captain Marvel #1 at TFAW.comMs. Marvel has a distinguished career–she’s served as a solo hero and is a long-time member of the Avengers. This July, Carol Danvers leaves the Ms. Marvel identity behind and becomes the eponymous protagonist of the new Captain Marvel series by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Castle: Deadly Storm, Osborn) and artist Dexter Soy (Army of Two).

She’s back! The “Mightiest” of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Ace pilot. Legendary Avenger. 100% pure bad-a$$. Carol Danvers has a new name, a new mission . . . and all the power she needs to make her life a living hell.

“I want this to be a book about optimism, about exceeding even our own expectations, about the power of possibility and the seeming magic of flight. C’mon now, people: prove me wrong. Show me that a female-led book about the power of the human spirit [and] the many guises of heroism . . . can break six issues, won’t you?”

-Kelly Sue DeConnick on Captain Marvel

ORDER CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 TODAY

Are you a Carol Danvers fan? Been looking forward to a female-led book by a female creator since X-23 disappeared from the shelves? What do you think about Kelly Sue’s new Captain Marvel series? Let us know below.

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New Original Graphic Novel by Walt Simonson This September

May 24th, 2012 Comments off

Original graphic novel by Walt Simonson features Batman and other popular characters in the history of the DC Universe.We’re really excited about a new original graphic novel coming this fall from legendary writer/artist Walt Simonson (Manhunter, The Mighty Thor).

The centuries-spanning Judas Coin graphic novel shows how one of the silver coins Judas was paid to betray Jesus has had an impact on the DC Universe, with chapters starring The Golden Gladiator (73 A.D.), The Viking Prince (1000 A.D.), Captain Fear (1720), and Bat Lash (1881).

The centerpiece of the book pits Batman against Two-Face in an epic present-day battle, before the story blasts into the future for a final chapter set in the year 2087 starring Manhunter 2070.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY FOR JUST $18.39

Are you a fan of Walt Simonson? What do you think about the prospect of this original graphic novel? Let us know below.

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Ed Piskor Reveals the Secret Life of a Hacker in Wizzywig

May 23rd, 2012 Comments off

Wizzywig: Portrait of a Serial HackerDid you know that before the Internet, future hackers “phreaked” the telephone system instead? This craving for information inspired Wizzywig: Portrait of a Serial Hacker, Ed Piskor’s inside look at the life of fictional hacker Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle, whose experience were based on several real-life infamous hackers.

Here, Ed presents an eight-page preview of Wizzywig, coming July 25 from Top Shelf! Check it out, below.

TFAW.com: Can you introduce Wizzywig to us?

Ed Piskor: Wizzywig is a story that spans maybe 25 years in the life of a notorious computer hacker, Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle. In the ’70s, fiddling with the telephone system was a puzzle that he enjoyed. When computers start getting hooked up to the phone lines, he falls down a rabbit hole of computer hacking and social engineering into areas and databases he has no right to play around in.

This ultimately makes him wanted by authorities, and he uses his accumulated knowledge of the verboten to maintain a life as a fugitive for an untold number of years.

Kevin is the composite analog of many of America’s most notorious hackers of the past three decades. In the same way that Charles Foster Kane was a stand-in for William Randolph Hearst, maybe nine hackers make up Kevin’s personality and experience.

TFAW.com: Where does this preview scene fit into the mix?

EP: This scene is early on in Kevin’s “career.” Before computer hacking, there was a hobby called “Phone Phreaking” where guys would dig deep to try and figure out the intricacies of the telephone network. This was the most complex piece of high tech that you could play with in the ’70s.

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Just by dialing different sequences you could discover interesting things, and the phreaks shared anything they discovered with their peers. Kevin is obsessed with the phone system and wants to know every detail about how it works. He simply can’t be a passive user anymore, and he can’t stop thinking about all the cool tricks that must exist within the network.

A lot of the best hackers/phreakers use very low-tech means to get access to whatever captures their interest. Here, Kevin and his friend Winston imbibe in a glorious pastime called “trashing,” in which you simply roll around in the garbage heaps of places you want to know more information about. This dumpster is strategically located on the premises of the city’s main telephone headquarters.

They start off by picking the lock, which is another tool in the hacker arsenal. The “snake rake” is the ugliest way to pick a lock, where you just push the tool in and yank it out fast, while turning the “tension wrench” at the same time. If you do it right, all the pins will be pushed in at the same time so that you can turn the tumbler. It’s loud. It’s more luck and less of a skill. It’s highly effective with masterlocks, especially.

So Kevin and Winston are looking around for proprietary information to figure out how the phone system works on a technical level, and how the interoffice bureaucracy is handled. With enough information, they’ll know enough to be able to simply call an operator and pretend they’re someone within the company who needs them to perform a task or give them a piece of information. This is called “social engineering.”

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If you’re a good enough social engineer, you can simply make a phone call and get other people to do all your dirty work, if you’re charismatic and convincing. This is a highly useful gambit for a hacker.

TFAW.com: Can you describe the experience of coming up with this scene? What did you want to communicate, and do you think you were successful?

EP: This scene might be the first scene where Kevin crosses the line of legality. It was important to show a gradual slip down this path, and this scene made perfect sense at this point in the story. There is a famous moment, where a real-life hacker group is trashing one day, and they hear a siren and get freaked out thinking that they’re busted, only to find out it was an ambulance.

That little, real-world stroke is better than fiction, and I had to steal it for my story. I think it clearly shows that our guy might not be a sweet little angel, and that he may have it inside himself to continue pursuing his interests no matter what the legality. He also comes across as a real sociopath at the end of this sequence, to me, anyway.

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TFAW.com: What do you hope people take away from reading Wizzywig?

EP: I’ve been around long enough to know that as an artist, you can’t really steer people in any direction. You can try to inflect certain things within the work, but even talking about what those things may be might create a defensive or contrarian position in the reader.

Even the title, Wizzywig, is a phonetic spelling of the acronym W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G, which means, “what you see is what you get,” and that’s precisely what I’d love the outcome to be for the reader. You’re going to read the work, you’ll take in information, and through the filter of your own moral barometer, you will have an opinion on the character and story. If I get my way, your opinion will differ from the next reader’s.

Our thanks to Ed for the in-depth peek into Wizzywig. Pre-order your copy today and save 20%!

PRE-ORDER WIZZYWIG NOW

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Are you intrigued by this inside look at pre-Internet-age “hacking”? Post your comments below!

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The Walking Dead Celebrates Landmark 100th Issue!

May 18th, 2012 Comments off

Walking Dead #100 at TFAW.com--Nine covers to choose from. Pre-order your copy today!There’s no question about it: Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead is one of the hottest comics out there. After years of heart-pounding drama and a couple of seasons of a wildly successful television series, we reach the next milestone: Walking Dead #100.

The special 40-page issue is now available for pre-order at TFAW–all nine covers. This extra-sized chapter contains one of the darkest moments in Rick Grimes’ life, and one of the most violent and brutal things to happen within the pages of this series. 100 issues later, this series remains just as relentless as the debut issue.

SEE ALL NINE WALKING DEAD #100 COVERS

Have you been reading the Walking Dead from the beginning? Which of the nine covers are you most excited for? Let us know below.

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X-O Manowar Contest Winners Announced

May 16th, 2012 Comments off

X-O Manowar ComicsWhat would it be like to be a man from the 5th Century–in control of technology that far outstrips anything the 21st Century has ever seen? That’s the question put forth by X-O Manowar, an original comic book series from Valiant Entertainment.

We held an X-O Manowar Contest that ended earlier this month, and we’re excited to announce the winners!

  • Jacob P. from Buffalo, NY
  • Bobby K. from Athens, TX
  • Daniel C. from Carlsbad, CA
  • Chris E. from Tatum, TX
  • David M. from Springfield, OR
  • Ryan G. from Kingwood TX
  • Justin H. from Rolling Hills Estates, CA
  • A. Wilson from Reston, VA
  • Tarik B. from Silverspring, MD
  • Enrico B. from Blue Grass, IA

Congratulations to our winners! You’ll each get a X-O Manowar #1 “talking” QR Voice Variant signed by series writer Robert Venditti, and a copy of Harbinger #1, Bloodshot #1, and Archer & Armstrong #1 as part of the contest! Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog for announcements on another hot contest soon!

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Comic Book Reviews: Adventure Time, Fantastic Four, Green Lantern

May 16th, 2012 Comments off

Watch Video Reviews of This Week’s Comics!

We’re back for another edition of TFAW’s comic book reviews. Grab a seat and watch our reviews of Adventure Time #4, Fantastic Four #605.1Green Lantern: Sinestro HC Vol. 01, and the new Storm Statue from Bowen Designs!

Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! We try not to go into too much detail in our reviews, but occasionally a spoiler slips through!

Green Lantern: Sinestro HC Vol. 01

SEE ALL OF THIS WEEK’S COMICS AND MORE

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We’ve made it simple to share this video on Facebook and other social media outlets with the social networking buttons near the title. If you wouldn’t mind doing us a solid and sharing this video with your friends, we’d be eternally grateful. What should we review next week? Post your comments below and we’ll see what we can do!

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Matt D. Wilson Unveils The Supervillain Handbook

May 16th, 2012 Comments off

The Supervillain HandbookDo you have a flair for the dramatic and a gigantic axe to grind with your local superhero? You might be an excellent candidate for becoming a supervillain! Unsure of where to turn for advice about creating a costume, hiring a henchman, and securing a secret (and deadly) lair?

Fortunately for you (and, er, unfortunately for him) Matt D. Wilson, of the excellent War Rocket Ajax podcast, was kidnapped by notorious supervillain King Oblivion and forced to write the definitive guide to mayhem and destruction: The Supervillain Handbook, a hilarious and informative resource for anyone who desires to turn to a life of over-the-top crime.

Wilson has recovered enough from his ordeal to talk about the experience–read our interview, below. Plus, check out our six-page preview of The Supervillain Handbook–you won’t regret it. Plus, enter our Supervillain Contest: the last person to comment on our special Facebook post by 5 p.m. PST today will win a signed copy of the book!

TFAW.com: So how did you meet King Oblivion, Ph.D.?

Matt D. Wilson: I was working as a reporter at a newspaper when he took the entire staff hostage one afternoon. He asked, “Does anyone here read comic books?” and someone pointed to me. Next thing I knew I had a bag on my head and was on my way to a theater where my eyes where held open as I was forced to watch propaganda films about K.O.’s achievements. I don’t know how long I was there. Days? Weeks? Months? Anyway, after the films ended, King Oblivion told me, “You’re going to help me write a book,” which meant, “You’re going to do all the work while I try to turn the city’s water into spoiled milk.”

TFAW.com: Why did he create The Supervillain Handbook? Isn’t he worried about breeding a bunch of competitors? Or is he hoping to recruit some new blood, Legion of Doom-style?

MDW: My understanding was that he felt a need to prove his superiority, and gave constant assurance that he could put any aspiring supervillain who tried to usurp him in his or her place with little effort.

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TFAW.com: How did Adam Wallenta become involved with this book?

MDW: Adam has worked with the publisher, Skyhorse, on some other projects, notably author Scott Kenemore’s zombie books. He was a great fit.

TFAW.com: Who do you think are the greatest supervillains in the history of comics?

MDW: King Oblivion dedicated The Supervillain Handbook to Dr. Doom, and I can’t argue. (Literally. He put a collar on me that prevents me from arguing with him.) But, really, Dr. Doom is the tops. Darkseid is also up there.

TFAW.com: This is a really detailed, step-by-step guide to becoming a supervillain. Will you feel any personal responsibility if this inspires a new generation of villainy?

MDW: I reject any and all legal responsibility whatsoever for anyone who attacks any city hall with a group of irradiated monkeys.

TFAW.com: What makes someone a good fit for a life of destruction and mayhem?

MDW: The number-one thing is theatricality. If your first instinct, when you want to get rid of a pesky superhero, is to tie them to a giant piano string or zap them with a ray that turns them into a glob of purple goo, you’ve got the right mindset. And that’s what matters. Shooting and stabbing are so pedestrian.

TFAW.com: What are some obvious pitfalls a new supervillain should avoid at all costs?

MDW: Expecting that you won’t, at some point, get punched by a superhero. You’re going to get punched. Prepare yourself for it. Also, it’s pure folly to ever trust another supervillain. You can team up with them, sure, but always be ready to stab your compatriot in the back at the first sign of trouble.

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TFAW.com: What, in your opinion, is the role of the henchman in today’s supervillain society? Are they being replaced by apps, or what?

MDW: They’re as important as ever, but don’t tell them that. They might grow some confidence and start thinking they’re above being expendable cannon fodder. You can’t send an app after a superhero team to take a beating on your behalf.

TFAW.com: What are your personal essentials for a good secret lair?

MDW: It’s got to have lots of space. You need to have somewhere to store all the giant magnifying glasses and moon-carving machines you’re going to be amassing over the next several years. It’s more imposing if it’s hidden within something natural, like a volcano or under the ocean, though big skyscrapers or clock towers do look cool. Bonus points if you can make it fly, whatever it is.

TFAW.com: Were there any surprises that popped up while you worked on the book?

MDW: There was that week Micro Sophie found out that we were writing the book, charged into our lair, shrunk us and transported us in a thimble to a very small maximum security prison. Luckily, we managed to escape by hypnotizing some centipedes and fighting our way out. Then it was back to work.

TFAW.com: What are your favorite comic book series, at the moment?

MDW: I love Mark Waid’s Daredevil. The Sixth Gun is great. I’m bummed out that Scalped and Sweet Tooth are ending. Chew. Animal Man. Batwoman. Batman.

TFAW.com: What’s next for you? Will there be a sequel?

MDW: Only time will tell about a sequel. I’ve got some ideas for where one could go, and I’ve got some other ideas for other, unrelated humor books, as well as comics pitches. In the immediate, I’m continuing to work on my webcomic, Copernicus Jones, with artist Daniel Butler and see if I can get that in print fairly soon. I’ve got my podcast, War Rocket Ajax, with Chris Sims, and all the writing I do online. I’ve got a full plate, for those times King O. doesn’t have me locked in a room, tasting all the various liquids he’s turned water into.

Our condolences once again to Wilson for his traumatic (yet creativity-inducing) experience–thanks for answering all of our questions! You can order The Supervillain Handbook right here at TFAW.com–check it out today! Plus, comment on our Supervillain Facebook post by 5 p.m. PST tonight for your chance to win a signed copy of the book!

ORDER THE SUPERVILLAIN HANDBOOK NOW

ENTER OUR SUPERVILLAIN CONTEST TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK

What do you think? Have you always secretly wanted to be a supervillain? Post your comments below!

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Comic Book Reviews: Avengers Assemble, The Pro, Justice League International

May 9th, 2012 Comments off

Watch Video Reviews of This Week’s Comics!

We’re back for another edition of TFAW’s comic book reviews. Grab a seat and watch our reviews of Avengers Assemble #3, The Pro TPB (New Printing), Justice League International: Signal Masters TPB Vol. 01, and the Batman Arkham City Series 2 action figures!

Check out the video, below. SPOILER ALERT! We try not to go into too much detail in our reviews, but occasionally a spoiler slips through!

The Pro TPB (New Printing)

SEE ALL OF THIS WEEK’S COMICS AND MORE

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

We’ve made it simple to share this video on Facebook and other social media outlets with the social networking buttons near the title. If you wouldn’t mind doing us a solid and sharing this video with your friends, we’d be eternally grateful. What should we review next week? Post your comments below and we’ll see what we can do!

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See a Six-Page Preview of Com.X’s Monster Myths

May 4th, 2012 Comments off

Read Our Six-Page Monster Myths Preview!We’ve got a six-page preview of an upcoming indy graphic novels from Com.X: Monster Myths, by John Lupo Avanti!

Alfredo, a recovering felon turned working stiff, resides in Lower Scabo where working-class people live under the tyranny of the evil Cannibals Motorcycle Gang. After being beaten and left for dead by the gang, Alfredo decides to recruit a group of graffiti writers to instigate a war between the riff-raff of Lower Scabo and their neighbors in the well-to-do community of Northview.

In doing so, Alfredo transforms from a two-bit perp into an iconic rebel, determined to free Lower Scabo from the control of those seeking power.

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PRE-ORDER MONSTER MYTHS TODAY!

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Are you intrigued by our Monster Myths preview? Let us know below.

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Joshua Dysart Takes Us Inside Valiant’s Harbinger: Win Variant Comics

May 3rd, 2012 Comments off

Valiant Entertainment is launching an incredible spring and summer of comics, bringing back old favorites like X-O Manowar with new twists readers have really been enjoying. Next up is Harbinger, by Joshua Dysart and Khari Evans!

Harbingers are powerful psionics who can read minds, bend steel, and break all the rules! Down-on-his-luck teenager Peter Stenchek discovers that he’s one of the most powerful Harbingers in the universe. But what will happen when he enters into an uneasy alliance with fellow Harbinger Toyo Harada, a wealthy business magnate obsessed with making the universe a better place–no matter what the cost?

We interviewed writer Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier, B.P.R.D.) about his plans for Harbinger and what excites him most about the series! Plus, we’ve got a great six-page preview of Harbinger #1, out June 6.

Enter our Harbinger Contest today to win one of eight Doug Braithwaite Harbinger #1 Variants (see his amazing cover, below left)!

TFAW.com: What is a Harbinger, exactly?

Joshua Dysart: The standard definition of a Harbinger is a person or thing that signals the approach of another. But it’s also come to mean any portent or omen. In our book the word Harbinger is used to mean many things, but primarily it’s the name of the special program where psiots (hyper-telekinetics and psychics) are awakened to their dormant powers and trained in the fine art of controlling them.

TFAW.com: What excites you the most about writing Harbinger?

JD: Harbinger has always been about youth culture in revolt. I think that’s an incredibly timely narrative. I’m pretty jazzed about exploring that idea through a superhero narrative. But also, I’m just excited to screw around with the whole superhero concept in general. Creating new psiots and showing how they use their powers is going to be a blast for me. I’ve only done one piece of straight-up superhero work in the past (Captain Gravity and Power of the Vril), and it’s still one of the things I’m most proud of. This will be way darker than CG, but still have some of the same inventiveness.

TFAW.com: Have you read the original Harbinger comics?

JD: Yes. Of course. Could you imagine embarking on this project blind? I’d be eaten alive by the fans! And rightfully so!

TFAW.com: How closely is the new series hewing to the original premise?

JD: That’s a hard question to answer. Characterization, pacing, tone . . . these things are all different in our series. But the broad strokes in plotting (at least when it comes to the first arc) and the thematic continuity are all still in place. All the characters you know and love will eventually show themselves, as well as many new ones.

TFAW.com: Tell us about Toyo Harada.

JD: Toyo Harada is a billionaire who runs a major international conglomerate of corporations that have a profound, secret effect on global affairs. Also unknown to the world is the fact that Harada possesses extraordinary psionic abilities. He is possibly the most powerful psionic on the planet (most likely activated during the Hiroshima atomic explosion in 1945).

Harada is the epitome of ambition. His ultimate endgame is to force the rest of the species into being better to one another, whatever the cost. But building a better world is a very, very complicated thing, even for someone with great power, and he’s not adverse to doing horrible things for what he perceives as the greater good.

TFAW.com: It seems like he originally had good intentions–to save the world from itself–but now he’s gone off the rails. Is this like if Professor X became a fanatic?

JD: A lot of the original Harbinger is a riff on the X-Men. So yes, there’s a touch of that. But I wouldn’t say he’s gone off the rails. I’d say he’s doing what he feels needs to be done. In a way, he’s giving himself to us heart and soul. But his hubris is massive. He is convinced that his choices are the right ones. That he’s the only one who can save us. Good intentions mixed with hubris can be a bit of a blinding concoction.

TFAW.com: Peter Stenchek is Harbinger‘s main character–and a very powerful psionic. What will he do with his newfound powers?

JD: He will rage. He will turn against everything that’s kept him down his whole life, and before it’s done he will shake the pillars of the Valiant Universe. Boom! How do you like them apples?

TFAW.com: The original Harbinger series featured two super-powered teams–one led by Toyo, one with Peter. Does this mean we’ll meet more superheroes–and villains–soon?

JD: Oh yes. Most certainly. Issue #1 starts with Peter and his friend Joe and Peter’s old flame Kris. With each consecutive issue, the cast of characters will broaden. I hesitate to call anyone a hero or a villain, though. It won’t play out quite that cleanly, but there are all kinds of people with all kinds of powers and intentions coming. And yes, battle lines will have to be drawn.

TFAW.com: You’ve done some fantastic war and horror comics, such as Unknown Soldier and B.P.R.D., but not a lot of superhero comics. What brought you to this genre now?

JD: Thanks for the compliment! Honestly, Valiant took a chance on me. I was laboring to move towards science-fiction comics when I got out of Unknown Soldier, but [Valiant Executive Editor] Warren [Simons] came to me and offered me this chance to be a part of something that was being built (re-built) from the ground up. I couldn’t say no. And I want to try my hand at this.

I want to build an audience and show that even though I have a different voice then what the genre traditionally calls for, that can be an asset instead of a hindrance. And maybe I can even bring something “new,” or at least “rare,” to the table. Of course the truth is that Harbinger, in many ways, has always trafficked in the familiar aspects of the genre, and taking those tropes and futzing with them just a bit is going to be fun for me, too.

TFAW.com: What else are you looking forward to?

JD: Once we start getting the book out I’m looking forward to the convention season. Getting out there and meeting the readers.

Our thanks to Joshua Dysart for taking the time to answer all of our questions. Make sure to pre-order Harbinger #1 and #2 now!

PRE-ORDER HARBINGER NOW

ENTER OUR HARBINGER CONTEST TO WIN VARIANT COMICS

SEE ALL COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS FROM VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT

Did you see our review of X-O Manowar? Are you excited to read Harbinger? Post your comments below!

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