It's gotta be magic: fan-favorite "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" characters Willow & Spike are getting their own comics! Dark Horse  just announced the two miniseries today:

Willow is slated for a November 21 release. Details are sketchy at the moment, but we know that the creative team of Jeff Parker (Thunderbolts, Agents of Atlas) and Brian Ching (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Witchblade) are attached to the project. The plot is described as follows:

Willow is on a quest to bring magic back to the world, and she’ll do anything to make it happen, including forming some unhealthy alliances after cracking the code to travel to other dimensions—something thought impossible since the destruction of the Seed.

Dark Horse also released this nifty cover by David Mack, and that's no small shakes either: Read More...

We’re well into the first act of Avengers vs. X-Men this week, with the release of AVENGERS VS X-MEN #2, of course, which finds the two teams finally (well, finally, after one issue of build-up) coming to blows. You’ve also got AVENGERS #25, which presents their side of things, and WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #9, which shows Wolverine having a long, dark night of the soul.

Don’t worry, though, there’s plenty more offerings from the House of Ideas, including AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #684 continuing the excellent “Ends of the Earth” storyline pitting Spidey against the Sinister Six; PUNISHER #10, continuing the also excellent Omega Effect crossover; and VENOM #16, which isn’t actually part of a crossover, but does find Flash Thompson reacting to joining the Secret Avengers. So yeah, lots of crossovers to read. Read More...

What if you could relive your whole life... And change it? It's a question that's been posed time and again, but never as uniquely as in writer/artist Peter Bagge's upcoming Dark Horse series Reset. The book - which hits stands on April 18th - shows what happens when failed stand-up comic Guy Krause gets a chance to sit in a Reset machine, re-starting his life at a key point in High School, and reliving the moments again, and again, and again. Read More...

Matt Kindt is about to have a very busy year. Between the release of 3 STORY: SECRET FILES OF THE GIANT MAN this week, and MIND MGMT #1 in May, we'll be getting more from the writer/artist this year than probably any other year of his career. And that's not even taking into account his upcoming run on DC Comics FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E., which also kicks off in a few months time. We chatted with Kindt over e-mail to find out more about these titles, as well whether he, himself, is in fact a spy:

MTV Geek: I know this one-shot is a collection of stories published a little while ago, so you might be a little removed from it, but what was it like to revisit 3-Story? It almost seems like these shorts are you looking back on the main story of the book a bit? Or maybe I’m reading too much into it…

Matt Kindt: Yeah -- it was interesting because I worked on the novel in a vacuum so these stories were all written after I'd gotten a ton of review and feedback and read everyone's interpretation of the novel and what the giant represented, etc. So in a way I was coming at the story from a different perspective. But it was fun. I tried to be careful not to refute interpretations of the book in any way. I know there were a few takes on the book where I was like 'uhh...not what I had in mind...' but I like those takes as much as what my real intention was. So I didn't want to cancel those out in any way. Read More...

For the past two years, Ethan Nicolle and his now eight year old brother Malachai have been delighting comic book readers on the web with Axe Cop - the story of a cop, his axe, a dinosaur, a lot more dinosaurs, a baby with a unicorn horn... Well, basically, it’s exactly the crazy sort of stories you’d expect from a comic created through two brothers playing together. Read More...

By Danica Davidson

Felicia Day of "The Guild" is putting together her own YouTube channel, Geek & Sundry, to celebrate all that is indie and geeky. The channel, which debuts April 2, has announced six original series, and boasts original content from Wil Wheaton ("Star Trek: The Next Generation"), comedic musical duo Paul and Storm, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt ("Sword & Laser"), and motion comics from Dark Horse.

That means that, in the Dark Horse part, we’ll get to see a new DH inspired motion comic every Wednesday. Characters like "Hell Boy," "Conan the Barbarian" and "Usagi Yojimbo" have been promised in the official press release. Read More...

The final scene in the Game of Thrones season 1 finale was unforgettable. Seeing Daenerys Targaryen emerge with her newly hatched dragons in hand was just the coolest thing that could have happened and now we can relive that moment for years to come thanks to this awesome Daenerys Targaryen bust from Dark Horse and HBO. Read More...

Death. It’s not an easy subject to talk about, and at the same time, it’s at the core of almost every discussion we have as human beings, and more importantly in the art we create. In comic books, the discussion has gotten even murkier as fans lament the revolving door that finds their favorite superhero characters dying, only to return as good as new (mostly) a few months later... Which is what makes The Goon #38, which hits stands on March 7th from Dark Horse Comics, so special.

I’m going to get to the specifics of that issue in a second, and why it holds a shining example of how to discuss mortality in comics, but let’s give some background first. The biggest problem with discussing dying is that every single person has a different reaction to each individual death; whether its a real life, or a fictional one. Take, for example, the latest celebrity to kick the bucket. In a few seconds flat, Twitter is filled with both anguished fans devastated because a star they grew up with is no longer with them, and conversely, savage jokes about the celebrity’s character, and the circumstances surrounding their death. Read More...

The list of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” actors to pen their own comics based on the cult TV show is growing...Juliet Landau will be writing a 5-issue miniseries from Dark Horse Comics based on her fan-favorite vamp Drusilla!

Entertainment Weekly reports that Landau’s new comic will pick up “literally a panel after” the current Angel & Faith miniseries ends, but further details on the plot remains sketchy. The actress, who will be working with artists Tim Seeley and Cliff Richards, told EW that she is really looking forward to the storytelling possibilities the comic book format has to offer: “If you want a bit aerial shot, you don’t have to hire a big crane. There’s a freedom in that in the storytelling that’s really liberating.”

This isn’t Landau’s first foray into writing comics for the Buffyverse; she co-wrote two issues of IDW’s “Angel: After The Fall” series a couple of years ago. Joining Landau in the club of former “BTVS” actors to write comic book spinoffs of the show are Amber Benson (“Willow and Tara”), and James Marsters (“Spike and Dru”). Read More...

There are few things in the world that give me joy quite the way Axe Cop does. My daughter, I GUESS, and maybe cookies or something, I dunknow. But Axe Cop is definitely in the list of Best Things Ever Created. So it’s with a heavy heart that I tell you that Axe Cop Volume 3, which hits comic stores and book stores from Dark Horse comics at the end of March may be the best volume of Axe Cop yet!

My heart was heavy from all the joy in it, by the way! Surprise twist!

Anyway, for those of you not in the know, here’s the well trod pitch-line: Axe Cop follows the adventures of the title character, who likes chopping heads and solving crimes. The catch is, the book is written by a six-year-old, and drawn by his thirty-year-old brother. So basically, it reads like how you used to play when you were a kid, by which we mean, awesome. Axe Cop started as a web strip, quickly blew up, and now Dark Horse is doing the world a favor by reprinting a most of those comics in book format.

What makes this particularly worth it - beyond the fact that Axe Cop is a non-stop delight - is Ethan Nicolle’s commentary on every story. Ethan, you see, is the elder part of the duo; but beyond that, he’s also the guy that gives his little brother Malachai focus, helps him craft the stories, and essentially does everything but put his name in the writer slot. This is a herculean effort, making Ethan not just the series artist, and the main marketer, and the editor, but essentially the guy who figured out how to get a six-year-old Hunter S. Thompson without the drugs spew out Pulitzer prize winning essays (or in this case, comics about pizza stealing goo monsters).

That’s pretty genius, and seeing an insight into both Ethan - and Malachai’s - process is an intriguing look behind the curtain. I’m not sure anyone, ever, will be able to reproduce what they’ve done here, as Malachai has such a universally unique imagination (parse that sentence, English scholars); but if they were, the notes in Axe Cop Volume 3 would be the place to start.

Beyond that, there’s the stories, which are the regular assortment of Axe Cop genius level material. By the way, I want to stop for a second: any of you who think I’m either being sarcastic, or too effusive in my praise here? I’m not. Axe Cop is just that good. I have yet to meet a single person who read Axe Cop that didn’t become a slavering maniac in love with the comic. Joooooin usssss.

But I was talking about the stories. This volume collects a few longer Axe Cop strips, as well as a number of the usually shorter or one-off “Ask Axe-Cop” strips that usually populate the website, but beyond that, there’s some spectacular highlights and guest strips. The centerpiece is the team-up between similar web break out star Dr. McNinja, which has the most superb title of any story every created: “Separate Pizza/Separate Lives.” Interestingly, Ethan spends a while in the notes talking about why the crossover didn’t quite work as well as he and McNinja creator Chris Hastings wanted it to, and how they’ll do better the next time. Given the story could have just been presented as is, it’s a surprising bit of candor - more surprising because he’s right on the mark.

However, it’s a later story, which includes one of the most heinous bits of casual child abuse ever recorded in any medium (seriously, Precious would probably read this story, and shudder), that also pays off with a scene so deliberately insane, I was crying with tears on the subway reading it. And I’m a New Yorker, so that can basically get you ejected from town, and I did it anyway. The last line of the story - which I’ll ruin now, as it’s online anyway - is almost perfect in its Dada-esque surreality: "So day after day, more rabbits arrived in the mail, and the clones ate them forever." I realize this makes no sense out of context, but it only barely makes more sense in context, and that’s the point.

To bring it back around, what comes clear in both the stories and the commentary by Ethan is that Axe Cop, like children’s imaginations, is about bringing order to the chaos around them. Does the order always make sense to everyone else? Heck no. Does the life of your neighbor, or even your significant other make total sense to you all the time? Of course not. Life is random. Life is strange. And Axe Cop, like the best works of art, encompasses and embraces that... But with a lot more heads getting chopped off.

Axe Cop Volume 3 hits stores from Dark Horse on March 28, 2012.

Related Posts:
Munchkin Axe Cop Swings Into Action
Dark Horse Advance Reviews: Fear Agent #31, Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth


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Note: this is a modified version of my SDCC 2011 review of Gantz II, incorporating a look at the recent Blu-ray release.

A live-action conclusion of GANTZ was an unlikely candidate for one of my favorite films of last year's crop of summer movies, which was ultimately disappointing stream of big-budget comic-to-screen efforts that were better tech demos for their game tie-ins that actual movies. That GANTZ II seems to overcome the recent trend of failure among big-budget Japanese action extravaganzas to figure out how to spend their money on effects--GANTZ is pretty, and its effects generally plausible-looking--is a triumph in and of itself. But most importantly, the movie maintains its own rhythms without losing the audience, bringing together about two and a half hours of story in without feeling overlong, providing a few real characters moments to shine while still leaving enough of an enigma to warrant future installments.

Dollhouse the TV show may have had a rough time of it over the course of its troubled two season run, but if the upcoming trade collection Dollhouse Volume 1: Epitaphs is any indication, the comics should have no trouble winning new fans over to the franchise.

For those of you not familiar with Dollhouse, the show was created by Geek Legend Joss Whedon, and even by his standards of quirk was a tough sell: Dolls are mind-wiped human beings, programmed to serve any need or desire, and rented out to the wealthy for their enjoyment. One of those Dolls was named Echo (played by Eliza Dushku), and she was different... Over time, it became clear she wasn’t being wiped as cleanly as the others, and the series became about how - and why - that was happening. Read More...

By Danica Davidson

How would you like to know all about the origin of the Jedi? Writer John Ostrander and artist Jan Duursema are adding to the Star Wars mythos with their new series, Dawn of the Jedi, which has an issue zero just released from Dark Horse Comics. MTV Geek spoke to Ostrander and Duursema to get the scoop.

MTV Geek: What makes Dawn of the Jedi stand out among your other Star Wars works?

John Ostrander: This is Genesis. I think everyone who has had any kind of interest in Star Wars, even those who have only seen the films, would be interested in how the Jedi Order began. That’s the story we’re telling.

Jan Duursema: Being asked to travel back in time to the beginnings of the Jedi Order is a pretty awesome undertaking. I've always wondered how the Jedi began—what the Force Wars that split the original order were like and how the Star Wars Galaxy looked back when this all happened. This is an era that a lot of Star Wars fans, like myself, have been wanting to see for a long time—and now John Ostrander and I get to explore it all in Dawn of the Jedi! Read More...

Brian Wood knows his barbarians. Or at least, he’s pretty familiar with Vikings, as evidenced by his successful Vertigo series Northlanders. But now, he – along with artist Becky Cloonan – are heading South and taking on the most famous barbarian of all time: Conan. The new series from Dark Horse is a retelling of one of Robert E. Howard’s most famous stories, Queen Of The Black Coast, and for those of you not familiar: Conan vs. Pirates.

We chatted with Wood about the book before its release this week to find out more… Including how you deal with a naked pirate queen, fans angry that Wood and Cloonan’s Conan is too “emo,” and the biggest question of all:

MTV Geek: Why Conan, and why now?

Brian Wood: Put bluntly, I was offered the book! Dark Horse made a strong case - specifically Sierra Hahn, who I know from her days doing PR for Veritgo - for me to come over there and do a 25-issue stint on the book. I can honestly say that it would NEVER have occurred to me to pitch for this book, but once I was asked, it just felt right. It seemed like a no-brainer. Also, my viking book Northlanders was ending, and Conan felt like a way to continue kinda-sorta in the same genre but without doing the exact same thing.

Geek: What is the draw of Conan as a character? What’s your take on him?

BW: There's a couple levels to this. Conan is appealing because he is this incredibly famous character, a real classic of American pulp literature, and a worldwide-recognized brand. And it was very flattering to be asked to be a part of that. That's the draw on the more practical side of things. On the creative side, here's this character who is the classic sword-and-sorcery type, very genre, very much of a certain type of world, but does have this mass appeal. The genius of Conan is how we, as readers, can relate to him regardless of when he was written or what the particulars of his adventures may be. He's not a superhero, or a meathead, or anything like that. He's this great character with a rich and detailed backstory, and you want to root for him. You relate to his successes and failures.


The current run of Dark Horse Presents has a long way to go to match the epic, 157 issue original run of the title, or even the 36 issue run the comic had on MySpace. But if it keeps up the exciting quality of issues like February’s issue number eight, we should be in for another huge success.

Why are we picking out issue eight, in particular, when there’s been a few issues along the way we’ve neglected to talk about? Two reasons: Hellboy, and The Massive. And we’ll get to those in a second, but suffice to say those are far from the only reasons to pick up this week’s issue.

Let’s start with the Hellboy/BPRD story, which provides an emotional aftermath not just to the death of Hellboy in his own title, but also the recent BPRD: Russia mini-series, as the Bureau’s Kate grapples with several unfinished threads in her life. It also ties up a few plot threads, as Kate (and hence all of BPRD) finds out Hellboy is no longer among the living. It’s a beautiful, simple little story that’s a must read for fans of Mike Mignola’s universe. Short, elegiac, and extremely well illustrated by Duncan Fegredo, this may not be for the casual fan – but its nice to look at regardless.

The other main draw, of course, is the first part of The Massive, a new story by writer Brian Wood and artist Kristian Donaldson. Here, we get a covert team invading an oilrig to stop a hostage situation, only to encounter something much, much worse. And as tempting as it is to call this a “massive” success, or a “massive” failure, it plays more as a teaser of events to come. This is more of a prologue to the main story, rather than a full meal in and of itself, and that’s a little bit of a disappointment, particularly given the hype behind the tale. That said, it’s a vastly different story than most of Wood’s work (though closer to a DMZ than, say, a Northlanders), and the protagonist is intriguing enough in his brief appearance. I’m certainly going to read more, and I expect you’ll want to, as well. Read More...

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