Nerd Bytes is all the news nerds love to hear about from the comic book, movie, television, video game, and other nerdy industries. We know you can’t catch it all in your fast-paced lives, so we catch it for you, and post it here in easy to read Nerd Bytes. One stop shopping for the Nerd Brain! Enjoy!
Comic Byte: Big & Tall Tales, Inc. has announced that it is publishing its first digital comic book, Rocket Queen & The Wrench. The company was founded in 2011 by Justin Peniston (Avengers Assemble cartoon, JSA). Justin and William Orr began publication of the webcomic Hunter Black in July 2011, and Orr became a partner this year. This time the company is producing a six-issue limited series detailing the story of the world’s youngest superhero and her adventures with the son of her family’s manservant. “The Hollywood pitch is Iron Man meets Harry Potter,” says Peniston. “We’re just looking to make the kind of comic that made us love comics when we were kids.” Check it out on ComiXology !
Marvel Byte: I was skeptical of Avengers Arena from the start. I thought it was Marvel’s less-than-subtle attempt to boost a bunch of second and third tier characters by slapping the Avengers name on the masthead. This is not the case! This title is Marvel’s answer to reality TV. If you thought Jersey Shore had drama and epic fights, you have got to see this book! You had better hurry because these kids have been pitted against each other by Arcade, in a last man standing battle royale, and they are dropping like flies. On August 14th regular writer Dennis Hopeless gets a short break from killing off the disenfranchised teens of the Marvel Universe. Christos Gage, who is well versed in the Avengers Academy students in this book, will step in for Avengers Arena #13, which will help to provide an answer to one burning question. Will the Marvel Universe ever react to its missing heroes? There’s plenty of time to catch up on your reading before August, so finish reading Nerd Bytes before you head out to get the back issues.
Image Byte: Some fan-favorite Image Comics are finally going digital. The comic company and partner Todd McFarlane Productions (TMP) have announced that they are releasing five long-awaited titles on comiXology. Available now from the digital comics provider are Curse of the Spawn, Haunt Volume 4, Hellspawn: The Complete Collection, Sam and Twitch: The Writer, and Spawn: The Undead (as well as the collected edition). More Image and TMP titles will be released in the coming months.
Zenith Byte: In an update from a story I did back in May called Finally, Morrison’s Zenith Reprinted, 2000AD would like to remind you that there’s less than a week to go before pre-orders open for the first ever complete reprint of Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell’s superhero series Zenith. The limited edition hardback book will only be available from the 2000 AD online shop. It will be restricted to 1,000 copies, and it will be available for pre-order at 6pm BST (1pm EDT, 9am EST) on July 1st. Click on my story link above for the full details and don’t miss out on this long-awaited completion to the series in trade paperback form.
Turtle Byte: Here we go again. Controversy abounds at Turtle HQ. First, the announcement that Producer Michael Bay was changing the origin of the Heroes in a Half-Shell to extra-terrestrial instead of mutant, blew up the nerd-o-sphere. Now, the announcement that William Fichtner (Armageddon, The Longest Yard) would be playing the role of lead villain, The Shredder. Shredder also known as Oroku Saki is a Japanese man, and Fichtner is clearly not. Fichtner, who has shown his ability to play villainous characters, will be joining a cast that includes Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard and Noel Fisher. There is sure to be backlash on this announcement. The movie is scheduled to open in theaters on June 6th 2014.
Vertigo Byte: DC Comics Vertigo imprint has long been known for great adult themed titles like Preacher, Y: The Last Man, Sandman, and 100 Bullets and many others. Executive Editor, Shelly Bond, wants to make sure that doesn’t change. As a matter of fact she wants Vertigo to get even more attention. In an attempt to do just that, Vertigo will be sending PDFs to retailers making the first three issues of each title returnable if you order enough initially. They will also pay 100% of co-op advertising costs for shop ads that promote Vertigo books. This doubles their previous 50% offer, and may mean some more prominent advertising for their titles in the future.
DC Byte: Dan DiDio, Co-Publisher of DC Entertainment, said recently, “When we launched the New 52 in September of 2011, we decided to do something different and daring each September to draw attention to our line and really focus on what our goals are for the year.” In keeping with that promise DC Comics is preparing the Forever Evil event for this fall. DC’s villains will be taking the forefront replacing their nemeses in 56 books. Just in time for the holidays season, all of these issues will be collected in a massive 1,184-page deluxe hardcover compilation. The DC New 52 Villains Omnibus will be your ticket to this year’s groundbreaking September event. It will be available in Comic Shops on December 11th, and in bookstores a week later. Have an EVIL Holidays!
Digital Byte: ComiXology, founded in 2007, has changed the comic book industry in just a few short years. By delivering cloud-based digital comics that allow new readers to discover, buying, and read comics without having to leave their couch. This summer, fans, you are invited to Meet Your Makers! No, comiXology’s is not threatening your lives. They are just announcing their first ever summer event celebrating comic creators and the creation of the comics we all love. They will be slow-playing us on the details, by revealing a new aspect, of the event each week, from now until Comic-Con International ’13. David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology, said of the mysterious event, “Without comic creators there wouldn’t be any comics to enjoy, so all of us at comiXology wanted to use the summer to have a celebration of comic creators and the creation of comics. We can’t wait until people see what we have in store for this event!” Well we can’t wait either!
Bat Byte: Warner Home Video has released the cover artwork for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Deluxe Edition home video. This collection of the recent two-part animated series of Frank Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns comic series. You know the story; An aging Batman has been retired for ten years, and Gotham City has suffered for the decision. The Dark Knight returns to correct his mistake, no matter the cost. This time he’s playing for keeps. With his partner Robin, Carrie Kelly, he faces off against his two greatest enemies, the Joker and Two-Face. This new brutal Batman finds himself confronted by his greatest ally and friend, Superman, in a battle that only one of them will survive. The Deluxe Editions will include a 70 minute Frank Miller piece exclusive to this collection, exclusive cast and crew commentary, and of the extra content from Batman The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 and Part 2. The Blu-Ray edition will also include 4 exclusive collector cards with art never before published. See your favorite Caped Crusader hit rock bottom in this animated adventure, in stores on October 8th, 2013.
Crowdfunding Byte: As you, comic book fans, know it’s not easy to break into the comic book business. It’s even more difficult, and expensive to go it alone. There are some great comic works that may never happen without our help. Crowdfunding is a great way to allow fans to help creators get their work to the public. You donate whatever you can afford and get rewarded with something special from the patron. I’m going to add a NERD BYTE to this column each week to feature one such work. This week its Rage, Bane of Demons. This project is different from most, in that there is already digital graphic novel available. Written by Eric Peyron and painted by Thony Silas (Venom, Batman Beyond) the digital graphic novel tells the tale of a Demon war on Earth. The Gods create a being, Raaj, to end the Demons onslaught, but lose control of their pawn. The Gods must imprison their creation, called Rage by the humans, to save humanity itself. Years later the Demons have returned and this time they have a plan. They want to release Rage and use him to their ends. You can check out the original graphic novel HERE. Peyron and artist Alan Quah are in the process of creating a Rage comic book series! The first issue of the Rage Series is now a crowdfunding project on Ulule. You can have a part in the production of the series! Pledge for the first issue and you can win digital issues, a free code for the first Rage App, the Rage 2012 Portfolio, and even lifetime subscriptions to the digital series! Support a great work, support the industry you love!
Nerditorial: What a great week in comics! I just had to use my small editorial space to gloss on about some great stories that released this week. I was like a kid at Christmas on Wednesday. I was most anxious about a few titles that have really grabbed my attention. All-New X-men by Bendis and Immonen is a must read. The Original X-Men are brought to the future and are not ready for what they find. Seeing Cyclops and deal with his “future” self, and Jean Grey deal with the fact that she’s dead, is simply brilliant. Bendis, has created a quirky character study that draws you into every issue. Another Bendis title, Guardians of the Galaxy, is also keeping my attention. It’s an action-packed space opera drawn by Sara Pichelli. Infinity is coming, can the Guardians of the Galaxy stave off a cabal of conquering worlds? Uncanny, is a new series from Dynamite, written by Andy Diggle and drawn by Aaron Campbell. Net everyone who has powers uses them responsibly. No matter the powers there’s always someone better, faster, stronger, or smarter. Another pretty new title that I am enjoying is Jupiter’s Legacy. I know we have all seen the dysfunctional family story before, but this one takes it to new lows, and highs. Mark Millar and Frank Quitely have created some truly tragic characters. This story is bound to get ugly very soon. There were many other great titles this week, but the last one I want to mention is Batman Superman. I wasn’t even going to buy this one, but I forced myself to try it by volunteering to review it, and I am very glad that I did. Written by Greg Pak and drawn by Jae Lee and Ben Oliver this story was a pleasant surprise. It’s not just another buddy story. It’s the tale of how two men with very different methods and value structures end up allies and eventually friends. Check out my review called Batman Superman 1: Fast Friends? (Spoilers). Justice League #21 was another fun book this week. Shazam steps up out of the back-up story and takes center stage, and the Marvel Family is born! Check out the review by Eric Scroggs at Justice League #21 Review (Spoilers!). I don’t know about all of you, but I can’t wait for next week! In the mean time go to our forums and let me know what you are reading and why it’s great. I always have room for another great comic book!