Tag: Tom King

Preview Reviews for the Week of 12/20/23 – Animal Pound #1 & Project: Cryptid #4

Preview Reviews for the Week of 12/20/23 – Animal Pound #1 & Project: Cryptid #4

This is the final installment of Preview Reviews for the year.

This week we have a two books to review for you, including one of our most anticipated New Number Ones of the week. These books are both great examples of the high quality comic storytelling that we look for and have been continuously finding in comics in 2023. We have Animal Pound #1 from Boom! Studios and Project: Cryptid #4 from Ahoy Comics.

You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books today December 20, 2023.

Also the rest of the #NewNumberOnes for the week are here.


Animal Pound #1
Boom! Studios
Written by Tom King
Art by Peter Gross
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Gross & Bonvillain

Original Solicitation:

When animals grow tired of being caged, killed, and sold off-it’s only a matter of time before they’ve had enough…

When an uprising puts a pound in control of the animals, they quickly find themselves as comrades, united against everything that walks on two legs.

But with this newfound power comes a sudden challenge: how best to lay the groundwork for this new democracy as they write their first constitution!

Discover an epic graphic storytelling event from celebrated New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award-winning writer Tom King  and New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award-nominated artist Peter Gross. Continue reading “Preview Reviews for the Week of 12/20/23 – Animal Pound #1 & Project: Cryptid #4”

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 15: Special Guest – Tom King

Pop Culture SquadCast Live – Episode 15: Special Guest – Tom King

Mike and Bob are back this week with writer Tom King. Enjoy the show.

Tom King is an award winning writer of comic books such as Batman, Mister Miracle, Vision, Sheriff of Babylon, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Human Target, and his latest release Wonder Woman. He has also published the critically acclaimed novel A Once Crowded Sky. A former intern for both Marvel and DC comics, King spent time in the counter intelligence division of the CIA before beginning his career as writer. He has been churning out hit after hit for the past decade and has worked with a Who’s Who of amazing comic artistic talent. We are happy to have the opportunity to talk to him on the SquadCast and hope you enjoy the conversation.

You can watch below or go to our Facebook, YouTube, or Twitch pages directly to interact.

Brainiac On Banjo: Should Hope Reign In Burbank?

Brainiac On Banjo: Should Hope Reign In Burbank?

Hope for the best, expect the worst! Some drink champagne, some die of thirst. No way of knowing which way it’s going. — Mel Brooks, Hope For The Best (Expect The Worst)

When Warner Bros Discovery revealed James Gunn and Peter Safran would be running their all-new DC Studios (as if there’s more than one), many of us lifted their faces out of our own puke in the hope it was the dawning of a new day. Well, with luck, it will be… although you can’t really blame us for taking a wait-and-see attitude.

I certainly appreciate and trust James Gunn. I love his work on the Guardians of the Galaxy and Peacemaker, and his The Suicide Squad was great fun. Better still, he treated my oldest friend and honored collaborator John Ostrander right, and that means so much to me I’d throw Gunn’s bail.

What I do not trust is, in order: 1) The “Hollywood” bureaucracy. 2) Warner-anything merging with anybody, be it Time Inc, America Online, AT&T or Discovery. Each merger made things worse for creators and end-users alike. 3) Warner Brothers Discovery in particular, and particularly how they turned the ridiculously overpriced HBOMax into a ridiculously overpriced, frustrating, mindless, and ultimately useless turd rapidly floating downstream into the sewer. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Should Hope Reign In Burbank?”

Continued after the Next Page #019: Telling Complete Stories From Supergirl to Danger Street

Continued after the Next Page #019: Telling Complete Stories From Supergirl to Danger Street

With the current format of comics publishing, it makes sense at times to wait and and evaluate the work after it has been completed. When I was younger, the norm was that when a comic series was green lit and published, it was perceived to have no end date. The limited series or mini-series were the exceptions, but more recently, the never ending ongoing series has become the exception. The limited series tend to have an intentional story and are filled with overarching themes that are better explored as a whole rather than issue by issue.

My point here is that with a complete story, evaluating a series as a whole feels like something I should be doing more of, and I am going to start that with the recently completed Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. The eight-issue series was written by Tom King with lineart by Bilquis Evely and colors by Matheus Lopes. Clayton Cowles did the lettering, and Brittany Holzherr edited it.

It is important to note that comic creators are telling the stories that they want to tell more often without continuity constraints. The concept of shared universes and continuity really began to take shape in the sixties and came to a head in the eighties.  At the very beginning, there were issues with it. Legend says that the Avengers were a thrown together group intended as a sort of a one-off, and not part of a grand concept of one great Marvel Universe. Stan Lee is said to have given the reason for the original Avengers leaving and being left with Cap’s Quirky Quartet because it was too difficult to keep stories straight between the Avengers and the individual heroes’ books. While a lot of deluge has flowed under the bridge of comic continuity, both Marvel and DC Comics have more recently provided readers with stories about their favorite characters that may or may not be in continuity.

Tom King while working mostly for DC has been a master of telling compelling comic stories that do not necessarily fit into current or historical continuity. His Mister Miracle, Strange Adventures, Omega Men, and even Vision for Marvel are all complete stories that can be read without any context of what is going on in the larger comic universes. I think that is a good thing. When the time is taken to tell an extended story, and the creative team executes that story without continuity interference, it makes for excellent comic book storytelling, and that brings us Supergirl. Continue reading “Continued after the Next Page #019: Telling Complete Stories From Supergirl to Danger Street”

With Further Ado #185: True Love and Discounted Comics

With Further Ado #185: True Love and Discounted Comics

I tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and it clobbered our plans for St. Valentine’s Day. I am relieved that I was vaxxed and boostered; my symptoms weren’t that bad. But my isolation period overlapped our Valentine plans, and that was a bummer.

My wife, Kathe, is always a very thoughtful gift-giver, and one of the St. Valentine’s gifts she gave me this year was a pack of 10 DC Comics from discount retailer Ollie’s. This pack collected ten recent comics and sold them at a discount. The promotional packaging proclaims it is up to a $49.90 value.

Do you know Ollie’s? This is a discount/close-out retailer. They famously had a bunch of hardcover comic collections from DC and Marvel on sale at absurdly low prices a few years ago.  It turns out the DC sales force had been trying to sell these books to comic shops for years, and finally just unloaded the inventory.  As we don’t have a comic shop in our town, it’s an easy stop for casual and hard-core comic fans.

As anyone who’s tried to gift comics to a comic book fan knows, it’s always hard to figure out what they already have and what they haven’t yet purchased/read.  Kathe was surprised that there were many comics in this 10-pack that I hadn’t read.

And it’s an odd collection. It’s like a time capsule, but not an ancient one. In fact, it’s like a time capsule that was just put together a year or two ago, and then you were impatient and wanted to open it right then. This stack of DC Comics had a bit of “stale anticipation” of all the stuff that seemed exciting but has since gone in another direction.  That’s understandable; the company has been through so many changes lately.

Of note:

Action Comics #1000 (June 2018) is a fun comic with short stories by top creators.  The last story in this one was a tease for Brain Bendis’ then upcoming stint of the Superman titles.  I really enjoyed that run, but it’s astonishing at how quickly it all went by.

Likewise, Superman #21 (May 2020) was published right at the tail end of Bendis’ run. One of the things it focused on was Superman abandoning his Clark Kent identity. The idea was that we’d get “so many” stories exploring that new development.  That didn’t really seem to happen either.

This packet included two copies of Batman #93 (June 2020), one with the regular cover and one with the retailer variant.  This issue features the character Punchline and the writer James Tynion IV, both of whom seemed to be so important to the Batman franchise at the time. I’m unconvinced that Punchline became the breakout character she was meant to be. Writer Tynion recently left Gotham City for the greener pastures of Substack, and the Batman title has the feel of re-starting with a “bold, new era” with new creators yet again. Continue reading “With Further Ado #185: True Love and Discounted Comics”

Continued After the Next Page #016: Roy Harper – Pin Cushion With a Bow

Continued After the Next Page #016: Roy Harper – Pin Cushion With a Bow

One of the interesting things about the extensive list of DC Comics characters is that there are plenty of characters that can be used to advance or deepen the story of lead characters. Since the dawn of stories, storytellers have been using the damage of “lesser” characters to add complexity to the protagonist by having them deal with the tragedy of those they care about.

In the case of Roy Harper, it has become an almost competitive sport to see who could do the most damage to the red-headed step child (literally) originally known as Speedy. The character was created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp as the ward and sidekick of Green Arrow and originally debuted in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941.

The Sordid Comic History of Roy Harper

The character’s torment began in earnest with one of the most famous and important socially aware stories of the seventies. In Green Lantern #85, the issue title “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” written by Denny O’Neil and drawn by Neal Adams, it was revealed that the teen sidekick of Green Arrow had become addicted to heroin. This fact has been retconned to alcohol addiction and back to drugs, but it remained in his history that Roy was an addict. Continue reading “Continued After the Next Page #016: Roy Harper – Pin Cushion With a Bow”

Brainiac On Banjo #076: King Of Fame

Brainiac On Banjo #076: King Of Fame

There’s a blind man looking for a shadow of doubt / There’s a rich man sleeping on a golden bed / There’s a skeleton choking on a crust of bread / King of pain • “King of Pain,” written by Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE, a.k.a. Sting. Fun Fact: Sting wrote this little ditty while staying at Ian Fleming’s former Goldeneye estate in Jamaica. If you don’t get the connection, hang on … you will.

As one can determine from my frequent incursions into Earth-Ether, when it comes to Tom King I’ve been a fan since “A Once Crowded Sky.” His work on The Vision, Mister Miracle, Batman, various incarnations of Robin, and a whole lot more screams for itself, to borrow from civil rights activist Clara Luper.

Because of these acts of commotion, I have had more than a few inquiries as to the heat of my appreciation for his brand spanking new Strange Adventures series, which is all about Adam Strange, who has been one of my very favorite DC characters since I first encountered Showcase #17. Seriously – I had just finished a check-up from my pediatrician back in 1958, and my mother had to fill a prescription at the drug store downstairs. No, I did not drive there. I took the bus. C’mon; I just turned eight. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #076: King Of Fame”

NEWS: DC to Eliminate Vertigo Imprint and Consolidate Under Three Age-Specific Labels

NEWS: DC to Eliminate Vertigo Imprint and Consolidate Under Three Age-Specific Labels

DC Comics announced today that they are eliminating the Vertigo imprint and reorganizing how they are labeling their books.  This news is not unexpected, but still is somewhat of an important event. Beginning in 2020, DC Comics books will be identified in one of three categories.

There will be the main DC label for standard DC super-hero books. The newly launched DC Ink and DC Zoom will be folded under a single DC Kids banner. The DC Black Label banner will remain and include all mature readers books aimed at readers 17 years old or older. This is a departure from the initial intent of the line that would be out-of-continuity boutique type books.

“We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio. Continue reading “NEWS: DC to Eliminate Vertigo Imprint and Consolidate Under Three Age-Specific Labels”

With Further Ado #046: The Game’s Afoot – or The Thrill of the Hunt

With Further Ado #046: The Game’s Afoot – or The Thrill of the Hunt

I missed an issue of a comic series I’ve been collecting…and it felt great.

In recent years, I have had the luxury of popping around to several different comic shops during my time in Metro NY and now in the Finger Lakes.  Thus, I don’t ask my favorite retailers to order specific series for me. That does make it that much harder for the retailer, and I know that’s a drag for them.  But somehow, even with reserving copies, I don’t usually miss issues that I’d like to read.

Beyond my favorite comic shops, I’ve also been buying the DC 100-Page Comic Giant! comics (we used to know them as Super Spectaculars) from Wal*Mart.  In an effort to reach new readers, DC has been producing these overstuffed comics as Wal*Mart exclusives. Each one has a short new story and then several recent reprints.

There’s also another benefit – these comics are great to gift to young readers. They are packed with content and I like to think that when you give one to a  kid, they might spend some meaningful time reading (and away from their screens).

I really enjoyed their Detective Comics reprint comic, but I have made it a point to keep up with two series:  Batman Giant and Superman Giant Continue reading “With Further Ado #046: The Game’s Afoot – or The Thrill of the Hunt”

Brainiac On Banjo #037: Everything You Know Is Wrong, part ∞

Brainiac On Banjo #037: Everything You Know Is Wrong, part ∞

Followers of this column, as well as its predecessor somewhere over there, are well aware of my observation that our friends over at DC have a tendency to hit the reset button as though they were voting against Trump. The latter is admirable. The former is… confusing.

Case in point: The Batman. Or, as more popularly known… Batman. This has been his 80th birthday year, and it’s being celebrated by the complete lack of a major motion picture showing at a theater near you. I’m not being sarcastic — at least, not in this instance. After the past decade’s worth of Batman theatricals, the most respectful celebration is sans-movie. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #037: Everything You Know Is Wrong, part ∞”