For fans of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s classic Watchmen, the reaction to the news that DC Comics was planning a series of prequels titled Before Watchmen provoked shock, horror, derision, and then when the creative teams were announced... Well, a lot of more of the same, but also a fair amount of excitement, as well. At WonderCon, fans got their first chance to see some of the divisive project, and chat with the creators.

But here at C2E2 2012? The "DC All Access: Before Watchmen" was the big one, bringing most of the major creators - writers and artists - on stage to show off a look at the mini-series, as well as talk back to them about just what they thought about one of the biggest - if not the biggest - comic book event of 2012. Did the panel leave fans saying, “Hurm,” or... Well, we can’t really think of any positive catchphrases from Watchmen, but you get the drift.

Attending the panel were DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio, Mark Chiarello, Will Dennis, writer Brian Azzarello, artist Lee Bermejo, artist Amanda Conner, artist Adam Hughes, writer J. Michael Straczynski, artist Joe Kubert, and writer Len Wein. Read More...

You had to see this coming, right? As announced yesterday at C2E2 2012, Marvel is launching a brand new ongoing Hawkeye series, sending the archer to the mean streets of New York, and taking the Young Avengers own Hawkeye – Kate Bishop – under his wing. The best part? The series reunites writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja, from the fan favorite The Immortal Iron Fist series. We chatted with Fraction about the announcement, what it’s like to write the opposite of Iron Man, and how many issues he and Aja are committed to (hint: it’s a LOT):

MTV Geek: I’m curious about the tone of the book, as it almost seems to be taking Hawkeye in the opposite direction of where he is in both Secret Avengers and Avengers Assemble… Humanizing him, rather than making him into a leader or over-the-top superhero.

Matt Fraction: Could not BE more opposite, yeah. This is… what, like, HAWKEYE as Stephen J. Cannell show. Street level in a very real way. I want to tell stories about a guy that does good not because it's his job, but because it's what he has to do to get to sleep at night. And he's very excellently covered elsewhere in the Marvel U… These kinds of stories aren't, especially for Clint Barton.

Geek: You and David Aja are, of course, known for Immortal Iron Fist – and one of the fan-favorite aspects of that series was how you guys really expanded the mythology behind his powers. With Iron Man, you also opened up his world, adding new tech, new villains, and pushing him to the bleeding edge. Hawkeye, on the other hand, is just a guy. So how do you approach that, widening and expanding his world? Or is it more about a razor sharp focus on one dude with a bunch of arrows?

MF: Well, that's the book -- his history, his absolutely unique batch of experiences, his seedy upbringing and familiarity with the small-scale world of crime, evil, and wickedness that the big-budget blockbuster world of AVENGERS/etc. don't have the bandwidth for… So we'll be digging into what being raised by a bunch of carny thieves and criminals does to a guy. What Clint knows about Seedy would fill a phonebook. And we're going to be meeting a Clint that can weaponize anything -- he's more than just the arrow guy. Read More...

Good news, spider-fans: starting with issue seven of Marvel’s Scarlet Spider in July, acclaimed artist Khoi Pham joins writer Chris Yost as the new series artist, kicking off the second year of Kaine Parker’s brand new life. Along with that new life? A brand new set of dangers, villains, and allies in the form of… Evil oil corporation ROXXON? To find out more, we chatted with Pham and Yost about where we’ll see Kaine going, how he walks the villain/hero line, and just what’s up with that Scarlet Letter/Scarlet Spider crossover:

MTV Geek: Khoi, let’s kick it off with you... What’s it been like joining this title? And what’s your take on Scarlet Spider?

Khoi Pham: This is a great book with limitless upside, so I'm really stoked to see what I can do to make this book even better than it already is. It's going to be fun to further define and shape Scarlet Spider as a character and make him a force to be reckoned with in the Marvel Universe.

Geek: Chris, we know that you and Ryan Stegman went on a trip to Texas to scout out locations for the book when it launched... When are you going to invite Khoi to take a trip with you, already? What is he, chopped liver?

KP: Hold up, field trips? This gig just got even better.

Chris Yost: That's right, we're going to Mexico in preparation for Year 2. Marvel foots the bill for that, right?

Geek: Okay, so starting with issue seven, what kind of place is Kaine in? Both physically, and mentally?

CY: Kaine is getting settled in Houston. He's found himself helping or being helped by his new supporting cast, he's taking care of a girl named Aracely there, he's got a place to live... Read More...

Hold on to your Indiana Jones hats: Shia LaBeouf wrote a comic. Actually, the actor - best known for his role in the Transformers movies - wrote three comics, that he drew himself. And then decided to sell in Artists Alley at C2E2 2012 this Friday, much to the surprise of... Well, everyone. You could almost hear the murmurs going up and down the aisle, excitement that the actor was present, and confusion as to what - exactly - he was doing.

Turns out, it’s exactly what it seemed: rather than getting a big booth, or a panel, LaBeouf wanted the chance to prove himself where every other struggling artist does, in the fighting pit of a comic convention’s Artist Alley. Granted, most starting artists don’t have a legion of movie fans wanting pictures and autographs, but the crowd was surprisingly calm and cool, chatting amicably with the star, and buying copies of his comics. Read More...


Battle Beasts are coming, thanks to the fine folks at Diamond Select Toys and IDW Publishing! During this year's Chicago Comic and entertainment Expo (C2E2), DST will be feeding the rabid fans with both an ashcan preview of IDW's upcoming Battle Beasts comic book mini-series AND an exclusive Minimate of one of the new lead characters! DST has been hinting at some type of Battle Beasts goodness since 2010, and it looks like the wait is finally over!

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Like pepperoni on a Deep Dish Pizza, MTV Geek will be all over this year’s C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. The Con – now in its third year at Chi-Town’s McCormick Place – will host thousands of fans eager to meet and greet with some of the best in comics in entertainment, and the whole MTV Geek crew will be there to capture every minute of the excitement.

To give you guys a little background, C2E2 is produced by ReedPop, the company behind the enormous New York Comic-Con, PAX, and even the annual Star Wars Celebration. Though C2E2 started off pretty small in its first year, mostly as an experiment by ReedPop to feed the need for* a legitimate, fan friendly comic convention in the Chicago; in the second year, attendance grew exponentially, and the exhibitor expects that this year will all but sell out. Not too shabby for a three year old. Read More...

“There’s all these great characters that no one has seen in 10 years.” So pronounces writer/artist Mike Wolfer (Night of the Living Dead, Gravel) of the Avatar Press imprint Boundless Comics, the new home to characters like Pandora, Hellina, Widow, and Lady Death. Some of these names might be unfamiliar to you unless you lived through the heady time in the early-to-mid 90’s when the “bad girl” comics craze gave rise to characters like Lady Death and Pandora, and Catwoman had a costume so tight it showed the contours of her navel.

The two pillars of the Boundless Comics line are Brian Pulido’s Lady Death, which is scripted by Wolfer and started its new ongoing at the end of last year, and War Goddess, also written by Wolfer, and serving as a kind of launching pad for some of those mid-90’s action heroines. At the forefront of the series is Pandora, originally the flagship character for Avatar Press, created back in ’96 by Editor-in-Chief William Christiansen. Her original origin was close to the Greek myth from which she gets her name: a girl unleashes the evils of the world from a box clearly marked “do not open,” but the twist of the original series is that she decides arm up and fight it. Read More...

Writer/artist Sanford Greene (Star Wars Tales, Planet of the Apes, Deadpool) is in rarefied company as a contributor to Dark Horse Presents. His creator-owned story, "Rotten Apple" is being collected alongside the work of Paul Chadwick (Concrete), Neal Adams (Blood), as well as Robert Love, Patrick Alexander, and Carla Speed McNeil.

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To hear it from the Oni Press PR, Ray Fawkes’ July OGN One Soul is something of an ambitious undertaking for not only the writer/artist but the publisher. The 176-page hardcover—written and illustrated by Fawkes and designed by Superspy creator Matt Kindt—is a journey through history spread among a disparate cast, visualized through a series of double-page spreads. Fawkes describes the story as that of “18 peoples’ lives, from birth ‘til death, told simultaneously.”

Fawkes is the writer and artist behind the Vertigo miniseries Mnemovore, illustrated by Hans Rodinoff, as well as a contributor to anthology collections like Flux and the recent X-Men: To Serve and Protect.

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It’s taken over three and a half years, but writer (and Jeopardy!-winner) Andrew Rostan has finally gotten his OGN, An Elegy For Amelia Johnson published this week through Archaia. During C2E2, Rostan was visibly exuberant to have his work out in the wild, telling MTV a little about its journey from initial concept to finished product.

The story is about the titular Amelia who, upon finding out that she’s dying of cancer, convinces her friends to lifelong friends to journey cross-country to chronicle her life. The friends are Henry, an Oscar-winning documentarian, and Jillian, a high-strung magazine writer, and through the course of learning more about their friend they begin to discover more about each other and the lives that—in spite of their successes—they’ve failed to live.

Rostan hopes that readers come away from Amelia Johnson feeling “a greater sense of something for others” after reading this story about “what it means to be human.” When we last spoke with Rostan and artist Dave Veleza about the book two months ago, Rostan explained how the themes of the book were born, in part, by the difficulties he was having in life at the time attempting to understand who he wanted to be and how he wanted to live:

In fact, probably the best passages of it were written in a time when I was really unsure where my future was heading… Amelia became, in a lot of ways, a projection of what I wanted, but more importantly, a goal so many of us in this world should aim for. Amelia is… a happy woman because she chose what she wanted and accomplished it. She chose what she wanted out of her life, what she wanted out of love, and her relationships, and that was the basis for her contentment.


             C2E2 2011: Andrew Rostan On The Humanity Of 'An Elegy For Amelia Johnson'
Rostan credits Savannah Institute of Art and Design grad Veleza with successfully visualizing the world in the script, saying “I would get a little heart attack every time I opened my e-mail.” Unfortunately, Veleza was unavailable to finish work on the book, necessitating his SIAD classmate Kate Kasenow to come in and work on the remainder of the book, finishing it in what Rostan says was record time. Veleza’s SIAD classmates also came through in a pinch, delivering feedback during its creation about the structure and throughline of the book resulting in Rostan scrapping and subsequently re-writing 70% of the story. Read More...

I’m going to cop to something: I’ve never seen an episode of cult hit NBC show Chuck. Not because it didn’t seem interesting to me, or because of my weird, occasional intractability that keeps me from watching something (usually because the show in question can’t be as good as everybody pretends). No, instead of was momentum, or a lack therof that kept me from watching a single solitary episode of the adventures of retail-employee-turned-spy Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), where I missed most of the first season, promised to get around to seeing it, then there was another season, and so on and so on.

Hey, The Wire wasn’t going to watch itself.

Apples and oranges comparisons between gritty tales of heroin on the streets of Baltimore and action-y spy comedies aside, Chuck (the latter) is now in its fourth season thanks to a very vocal fanbase who have kept the show alive in spite of the struggles of its home network to keep one hour dramas around. The basic pitch for the series is that Chuck is a computer geek and retail employee who accidentally has a massive CIA database downloaded into his brain, making him both a threat and an asset for the U.S. government.

Series co-creator Chris Fedak and one of the show’s co-stars Ryan McPartlin were on-hand at C2E2 to talk about the Chuck and just what makes the series work. Fedak explains that on one hand, it’s about a guy entering the spy world and all the adventures that crop up as a result, but on the other hand—and the one that Fedak feels is the real draw of the show—it’s about a character who doesn’t want to give up life with his family to become a hero. Take the current season arc, for instance, which is leading towards a “will they or won’t they” wedding between the title character and his CIA handler-turned-love-interest, Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski). Read More...

Writer Scott Snyder has been having a pretty good year at DC and Vertigo. As the co-creator of American Vampire he’s been getting a lot of attention for his spin on the evolution of the vampire mythos, and he’s currently at the helm of DC’s second-longest running title, scripting the adventures of Dick Grayson in Detective Comics.

Over at Detective Snyder has set up the goal of trying to give the Gotham underworld a rethink with Dick under the cowl. To Snyder’s mind, Batman’s villains are reflections of his psyche—Joker, Two-Face, and the Riddler are all somehow mirror reflections of who Bruce is as a character. “We’re focusing on a story about the way that Gotham, now that Dick Grayson is Batman, is sort of changing itself to be a better enemy for him. It’s almost like anyone who takes on the cowl Gotham will throw their worst nightmares at them.” This current storyline is in its 4th part, with the fifth and final issue of the arc occurring in issue #875 which hits shelves on March 30th.

Issue 875 also has a standalone story by Snyder with art by Francesco Francavilla (Scalped, Fear Agent, Black Beetle) featuring the return on Jim Gordon’s son, James. Apparently the character hasn’t been seen in comics since he was a small child and Snyder hints that his return will have ramifications for the Detective cast, with everyone—from the Commissioner, to Barbara, to Dick—harboring an intense fear of the now-adult James. Read More...

It’s still weird to think that there will be a 9th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This isn’t some kind of thing where I’ll segue into saying “9th season in comic form, that is” or something like that—it’s just genuinely fascinating to me that the movie that failed to light up the box office years later becomes the little TV series that could, gains a loyal following, changes networks, survives that transition, then years later still finds another life on the comic shelves. I say this with all respect to the incredibly rabid Firefly fans, but this is likely the show that Whedon will be long remembered for.

Also, for your extra does of feeling the absolute slippage of time, next year will mark the 15th anniversary of the show first hitting the screen.

So, yeah, there will be another season of Buffy comics, and more Angel comics as that property makes the leap from IDW over to Dark Horse later this year. Dark Horse editor Scott Allie explained that both series would be getting new #1’s—Angel in August and Buffy in September. Production is well underway for both titles with Whedon still actively involved despite the huge time-sink involved in the making of the Avengers movie.


                                       ECCC 2011: Scott Allie Dishes On Buffy Season 9

Allie noted that he and the rest of Dark Horse continued to be thankful for the series creator’s continued involvement, in spite of the demands of big-budget Hollywood productions. Allie said that instead of being an obligation, shepherding Buffy’s stories along seem to be a kind of catharsis for Whedon, who is ultimately responsible for deciding the plotting of the seasons. Read More...

Fans of prog rock/electronic group Coheed and Cambria will be happy to know that singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez is still plugging away at The Amory Wars comic, with the current 12-issue maxi-series, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, which is the third storyline of the overall series arc. The maxi is currently on issue 9 which will be released on March 30th, with Peter David (X-Factor, Aquaman) joining Sanchez on the scripts and artist Aaron Kuder illustrating.

The same day, publisher BOOM! is also re-releasing the first issue of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 for $1—the perfect opportunity to jump on if you missed it last year. If that’s not enough, the second trade for the IKSSE:3 arc will be released on the same day, with art by Batman and Robin illustrator Chris Burnham.

The story takes place a decade after the events of Second Stage Turbine Blade, the first comic adaptation of the Coheed and Cambria mythology (based on the band’s second album) which is as dense as it is fascinating. Rather than trying to sum it up, I’ll allow good old Wikipedia to give you the scoop on this story of potential humanity-destroying viruses, attempted infanticide, and galaxy-spanning adventure:

Ten years after the "…Turbine Blade", son Claudio emerges from the depths of Shylos Ten, the Fence's "quiet" planet where the Red Army performs its brutal interrogations and imprisonments. In finding out that his entire family has been murdered, Claudio begins his quest for vendetta. His foes, Supreme Tri Mage Wilhelm Ryan and General Mayo Deftinwolf sense that he is still alive and holds special powers. They know they must stop him before he defeats them. Meanwhile, Inferno (Jesse Kilgannon) takes up arms against the Red Army (“Man your Battlestations”) in an effort to seek the same kind of vengeance on him. In Claudio’s re-emergence he teams up with Ambellina, the Prise who is cast out by her peers and forced to be his guide. The pair along with Sizer, a disassembled IRO-bot, seek out Inferno to find answers as to why his family were killed, but their plans take an unexpected turn in a ship called The Camper Velourium, piloted by a believed to be racist psychopath named Al.

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Only one writer can pull off a entire arc of Action Comics without Superman -- and starring instead the Man of Steel's arch-enemy, Lex Luthor! That writer is Hugo Award-nominated Paul Cornell, whose hardcover book (along with artist Pete Woods) Superman: The Black Ring Vol. One is hitting comic shops on March 30th and everywhere else April 5th. MTV Geek chatted with Cornell at C2E2 about Superman: The Black Ring, the upcoming Action Comics #900, his work on the TV show Doctor Who, and more!

Cornell explained to us the basic concept of The Black Ring, a story Cornell likes to refer to as "The Adventures of Lex Luthor" --

"It's the story of Lex Luthor as he's trying to put together a vast new source of power for himself. Lex Luthor is an interesting character because he's about an inch from being a superhero. He thinks he's continually saving the world from a terrifying super-powered alien. And in this story we put him up against a bunch of villains that are worse than he is!"


C2E2 2011: Paul Cornell On Lex Luthor, The Hero

Readers who miss Superman can check out the milestone Action Comics #900 on April 27th, which Cornell describes as "Superman arriving back at Action Comics, to reclaim his place at the head of the title from Lex Luthor...it's a gigantic battle between the two of them." Read More...

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