Free Comic Book Day Spotlight: Black Panther

Diverse characters are important in comics, especially as it allows people from all walks of life to see themselves as superheroes. February is Black History Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by talking about the Black Panther. He was one of the first African American superheroes, and his importance cannot be understated. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966, T’Challa leads the fictional city of Wakanda as king and protector. Over the course of his comic book career, Black Panther has teamed up with the Avengers, formed his own team, and been involved in the more crazy Marvel Universe adventures.

Check out Black Panther’s adventures with these collections:

Black Panther: The Complete Collection– “T’Challa is the man with the plan when Christopher Priest puts the emphasis on the Wakandan king’s reputation as the ultimate statesman, as seen through the eyes of the U.S. government’s Everett K. Ross. As the Panther investigates a murder in New York, Ross plays devil’s advocate in an encounter with Mephisto, and a new regime seizes control of Wakanda. When the truth behind the coup becomes clear, T’Challa finds himself an enemy of the state–and a major revelation threatens to destroy his relationship with the Avengers.”

Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet– “When a superhuman terrorist group that calls itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for its incredible technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil. If Wakanda is to survive, it must adapt–but can its monarch, one in a long line of Black Panthers, survive the necessary change? Heavy lies the head that wears the cowl!”

Black Panther: Avengers of the New World– “Where next for the Black Panther? Long ago – before Black Panthers, before Wakanda, before time itself – there were only the Orishas! The pantheon of gods and goddesses from which the world as we know it was manifested: Thoth. Ptah. Mujaji. Kokou. And Bast, the Panther Goddess. But now, when Wakanda faces turmoil they are silent. Where have all the gods of Wakanda gone? T’Challa means to find out…”

Black Panther & The Crew– “The death of a Harlem activist kicks off a mystery that will reveal surprising new secrets about the Marvel Universe’s past – and set the stage for a huge story in the near future! Fear, hate and violence loom, but don’t worry, The Crew’s got this: They are the streets.”

Celebrate Black History Month with these other graphic novels:

March                   Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur        Black History in Its Own Words

Invincible Ironman: Ironheart         Black Vol. 1                    Kindred

Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Indian River Library from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm. Join us for free comic books, panels, activities, and more!

Free Comic Book Day Spotlight: DC Comics Rebirth

January… the time of rebirth. As we prepare to follow through on our New Year resolutions, let’s take a look at something else that went through a rebirth: DC Comics. In 2015, DC Comics rebranded their line as “Rebirth.” It was a reset that kept some of what 2012’s New 52 did, but reverted back to the characters and arcs that we loved and missed. It was a reset that met with much approval.

Where to start?

DC Universe: Rebirth – “A mysterious force ripples across the DC Universe, trying to warn the World’s Greatest Heroes of an impending threat! That force? A returning Wally West! But what has the former Kid Flash seen? And who or what is he running from? It all begins here… The future (and past) of the DC Universe starts here. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!”

Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham – “The Caped Crusader has never been stopped. Not by the Joker. Not by Two-Face. Not even by the entire Justice League. But now.. Batman must face his most challenging foe ever–a hero who wants to save Gotham…from the Batman!”

Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman – “After the stunning events of DC REBIRTH, the world is left without Superman! Luckily, there is another Man of Steel to fill his shoes: the pre-Flashpoint Kal-El! However, can this new Superman protect the world while raising a super-son with his wife, Lois Lane? And should they help their boy use his new and rapidly increasing abilities, or hide them from the world?”

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: The Lies – “After suffering an unimaginable loss, Diana must rebuild her mission as Earth’s ultimate protector and champion. However, in the midst of her grief, her Lasso of Truth stopped working! Start down the rabbit hole as dark secret from Wonder Woman’s past unravel her present!”

Green Lanterns Vol. 1: Rage Planet – “New Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz debut a new era of emerald greatness, tackling the universe’s toughest beat: Earth. These rookie Lanterns promised to protect others in brightest day or blackest night, but as the “Red Planet” begins to rise, the duo finds themselves confronted with an unimaginable threat from Bleez and the Red Lanterns!”

The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice – “A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well … you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts–but just where did this amazing new friend come from? Spinning directly out of the epic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, the Fastest Man Alive finds himself at the center of a DC Universe at a crossroads–and reeling from the reemergence of his protegee, Wally West.”

Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Indian River Library from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm. Join us for free comic books, panels, activities, and more!

My Top Comic Book Movies!

This year, in honor of Free Comic Book Day, I started thinking about comic book movies. I myself have only read a few full-length graphic novels, and even fewer long-running series, so my knowledge of the comic book world is mostly dependent on which comics wind up adapted as movies or TV series. My absolute hands-down favorite will always be The Crow, which laid the aesthetic groundwork for every urban gothic film from Blade to Underworld, but it’s not really the kind of movie I think of when I think “comic book movie.” With that in mind, here are just a few of my other favorite comic book movies.

scott pilgrim movie

Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Check out the movie here.
Check out the comic here.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the most cartoonish live-action movie I’ve ever seen. This adaptation is not only astoundingly faithful to the original comics by Brian Lee O’Malley, it looks very much like a comic book come to life. Director Edgar Wright–a seasoned favorite of the nerd crowd–uses split screens, exaggerated computer graphics, and videogame sound effects to create a world where life is literally a game. Sometimes you even get a second life! This type of nostalgia-driven wish fullfilment fantasy is the sort of thing that will only appeal to an audience base that either lived through the era being lampooned onscreen, or the younger generation who wishes they had. It’s a fun, silly, energetic love letter to the 2-bit gaming culture of the late ’80s and early ’90s, and a great ride even if you don’t get all the reference jokes.

Continue reading “My Top Comic Book Movies!”

Building Worlds and Universes

If you had told me 20 years ago that there would a film that had Iron Man, Hawkeye, Captain America, Black Widow, the Hulk and Thor in one film, I would have said that you were dreaming. In fact, I WAS dreaming of just such a movie. In the comic book wasteland that was the mid to late 90’s, a film like this was truly unthinkable. Not only did different characters belong to different movie studios (which is still the case for some franchises today) but few directors were willing to tackle the world of comics.

the avengers animated GIF

Perhaps the best thing that has happened for comic films in the past two decades (and maybe for comics in general) was the bankruptcy of Marvel Comics. This was the impetus that resulted in creation of Marvel Studios and the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Continue reading “Building Worlds and Universes”