9 awesome comic books ready to blow up your TV set

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Preacher, based on the ultra-violent and incredibly profane comic book series from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon at Vertigo, is a not-so-safe bet. That’s why we’re super-glad that AMC (The Walking Dead) has picked up this amazing look at American culture and its obsession with big guns, Christianity and hyper-masculinity, all filtered through a Texas setting. The show reportedly will debut in 2015.

Preacher, based on the ultra-violent and incredibly profane comic book series from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon at Vertigo, is a not-so-safe bet. That’s why we’re super-glad that AMC (The Walking Dead) has picked up this amazing look at American culture and its obsession with big guns, Christianity and hyper-masculinity, all filtered through a Texas setting. The show reportedly will debut in 2015.


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9 things we’re desperately hoping Batman V Superman gets right

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There are few comic books movies fanboys are salivating over more than 2016's upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.As huge Superman and Batman fans, no-one is more excited than we are. With that in mind, here are the 9 things we hope more than anything that director Zack Snyder is able to get right for history's most eagerly-anticipated team-up. Check out the gallery to find out what they are.
There are few comic books movies fanboys are salivating over more than 2016's upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

As huge Superman and Batman fans, no-one is more excited than we are. With that in mind, here are the 9 things we hope more than anything that director Zack Snyder is able to get right for history's most eagerly-anticipated team-up. Check out the gallery to find out what they are.


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New Constantine trailer outs your demons

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The horror!
The horror!

It’s definitely trailer week, especially for comic book and other genre movies, but here’s one for an upcoming DC television show based on the Vertigo property, Hellblazer. The show will cover the exploits of a certain John Constantine, supernaturally sensitive wizard-type who wears a trench coat, smokes incessantly (in the comics, at least) and does smart-ass battle with the angels and demons who plague us mere mortals.

The trailer really brings on the horror tropes: the creepy bugs on the wall revealing a scary message, the creepy flat-affect kid with the sharp knife, the broken-neck demon in a human body shot. You know, all the hits.

Check out the trailer below for all the creepy footage from what could be the best comic book show of the upcoming season.

Back up your digital comics with a click, not DRM

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comixology DRM-free

If you’ve been wary of joining the digital comics revolution because of digital rights management (DRM) concerns, Comixology, a comics portal and mobile app, is creating a solution.

Announced Thursday at the company’s San Diego Comic-Con panel, the new DRM-free backup service will let you keep a local copy of your purchased digital comics from the likes of Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions. You’ll be able to save a local copy in PDF or CBZ (a comic-book archiving format) right on your iPad.

“For those out there who have not joined the comic reading community because of DRM – you have no excuse now,” said ComiXology’s John D. Roberts in a statement. “We’re excited about the launch of DRM-free backups today and look forward to announcing more innovative features as we move ahead with our mission of making everyone on the face of the planet a comic book fan!”

5 non-superhero comic books that should come to TV screens

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Sure, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a movie that became a TV show that ended up as a comic book, but it’s a fine example of the cross-media value of certain nerdy properties. Comic book movies and television shows are all the rage right now, with Marvel and DC superheroes packing the theaters and shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Arrow filling the little screen.

But there are plenty of comic books that don’t feature superheroes, and we think they’d be a great match for the home television market, as they have less reliance on big-budget special effects and can sustain longer story arcs than a movie can. With that, then, here are our picks for the best non-superhero comics we’d really like to see come to a television screen near you. Or us.


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At last, Wonder Woman lassos another female writer

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David Finch draws, Meredith Finch writes the new Wonder Woman this November. Photo: David Finch/Twitter
David Finch draws, Meredith Finch writes the new Wonder Woman this November. Photo: David Finch

For a comic book character that’s been around since 1941, it’s surprising how few women (five) have written DC Comic’s biggest female protagonist. The character is as least as popular and visible as DC’s other superstars, Batman and Superman, but it’s not until recently that we’ve seen her potentially coming to the big screen, while the other two have dominated DC’s movie output in recent years.

It’s exciting, then, to hear that the comic book itself is getting some new creative energy: Meredith and David Finch, a husband and wife writer/illustrator. While David has some serious comic book cred, from Ultimate X-Men (with Brian Michael Bendis) and Batman: The Dark Knight, Meredith Finch has some chops as well, as seen in her short stories for Zenescope Entertainment. This will be her first lead comic writing gig.

Meredith reminds us that having a female writer for one of the most iconic female superheroes is important. “It makes sense if you’re going to try to attract that female market that you appeal to them on every level,” she told USA Today, “– your writing demographic reflects the demographic of your readership.”

Comics’ best supervillains (and not just the obvious ones)

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batman-annual-freeze
Mr. Freeze has been an enduringly chilly presence in the Batman universe since his first appearance (as Mr. Zero) in Batman #121, back in February 1959. The most famous take on the character was the one engineered by Paul Dini in the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Heart of Ice.” That story introduced us to Freeze’s terminally ill, cryogenically frozen wife Nora, which both explained Freeze’s obsession with cold and turned him into a tragic character in the process.

But while Dini’s animated version of Freeze was good enough to become the standard portrayal of the character in most forms of media, more recently I’ve been loving the reinvention of Mr. Freeze seen in DC’s New 52. (SPOILERS) You see, in this universe it turns out that Nora was never Freeze's wife at all, but rather a woman born in 1943, who was put into cryogenic stasis at the age of 23 after being diagnosed with an incurable heart condition.

Writing his doctoral thesis on Nora, Freeze fell in love with her, and became obsessed with finding a way to bring her back to life. One cryonic chemical accident later, and the already unhinged Dr. Victor Fries is transformed into Mr. Freeze. It’s a clever re-imagining of Freeze’s origin which makes him less sympathetic, but a whole lot creepier.


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Who’s the baddest of the bad?

Got your own favorite underappreciated supervillain? Let us know in the comments below.

Constantine TV show could nail comic’s smart-ass tone

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He's got the attitude down, at least.
He's got the attitude down, at least.

As a huge fan of Vertigo Comics’ Hellblazer, about hard-bitten wise-cracking paranormal detective John Constantine, I’m warily excited about the upcoming TV series on NBC. Wary because of the totally off-base movie of the same name. Excited because, well, it looks like they got a bunch of things about the character and universe in which he lives “right.”

“I think as with the source material,” says series lead Matt Ryan in an interview with IGN, “there’s so much to draw from in terms of the character and the balance of humor and wit and dark and gritty. It’s great, because John has this kind of real sarcastic, ironic British wit. It’s funny, but at the same time it’s serious and dark and gritty. It’s got it all, I think.”

At first glance, the trailer (below) looks like the show creators understand more of the character than the 2005 movie starring Keanu Reeves ever did, including emo angels, a world-weary John Constantine and his famous trench coat.

Excelsior: Alpha nerds choose the 10 best comics

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Never in its many incarnations has the Animal Man mythos been this fascinating.
Never in its many incarnations has the Animal Man mythos been this fascinating.

When we’re looking for comics in our local nerd den, we’re often overwhelmed by the quantity of new titles each week. That’s not even counting the back issues and collected series in trade paperback format.

So we asked some of the most alpha nerds we know: the folks at Industrial Toys, a game development team (Midnight Star) with a who’s-who pedigree in geek. There’s CEO Alex Seropian, the co-founder of Bungie games (Marathon, Halo), Tim Harris, part owner of Alley Cat Comics in Chicago, John Scalzi, best-selling science fiction author, and Mike Choi, a veteran comic book artist in his own right.

Harris and Seropian, along with art director Aaron Marroquin and senior graphic designer Sarah Chiappetta, chimed in to our request with the comic books that they think are the best in the bin.

Amazon and ComiXology are giving out a free comic a day for 20 days

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amazon-ology

So far, we at Cult of Mac have not been big fans of Amazon’s acquisition of ComiXology. Although we’ve previously praised them as the iTunes of comic books, the first thing the e-shopping giant did upon purchasing Comixology was stop allowing you to purchase comics directly within the app on iOS, presumably to get around paying Apple its 30% cut.

It was an anti-consumer move that made the app infinitely less appealing for digital comic readers, but Amazon has now announced something that might take some of the sting out: they’re releasing a free comic a day for the next three weeks. That means 19 free comics, which should be enough to tempt anyone who lovers comics to at least download the app.