Too F$&%*N Metal DARK KNIGHTS METAL 6 Shreds All! And that summarizes the gnarliest, twisted, epic DC tale to ever land a piercing note.
METAL Issue #6 shreds through the DC Universe with a newly dark and daring culmination.
DARK KNIGHTS METAL 6 comes to us from one of the all-time greatest teams of ass-kicking artists ever assembled: master storyteller Scott Snyder (writer) on vocals and the Muhammad Ali-Bruce Lee tandem force of Greg Capullo (pencils) on bass and Jonathan Glapion (inks) on guitar.
And let's not forget the Nolan Ryan of colorists here drummer FCO Plascencia.
Metal is the essence of the entire multiverse and it has permeated the weapons, the Forge of existence, and every being.
The intricate guitar solos rip through the thumping rhythms, as a story so warped with dark twistedness and innovative visions of Batman’s worst nightmares pits earth’s greatest heroes against the worst fate to ever threaten the DC Multiverse: a darkness so complete that only hungry nightmares and the screaming song of Barbatos resonating in the dark night will pervade.
Quoting (my favorite metal band) Metallica’s frontman James Hetfield from a 90’s concert in Mexico City: “You’re too f$&%in’ metal!”
He yelled this at then-bassist Jason Newsted; James continued, “you’re too metal for your own good.”
There can be no greater compliment I can think of.
Because DARK KNIGHTS METAL 6 is ‘too f$&%in’ metal.’
Barbatos, the hellish demon from the darkest corners of Batman’s being, is about to screech a song so sick and powerful that everything in the multiverse will fall to the darkness.
And then the Metal-Hawkgirl – black, silver and sharp as an embodiment of a katana – flies and, with a little help from Wonder Woman, cuts straight through the torso of Barbatos before the death-song can be bellowed.
The badass art and writing are going to go down as a legendary DC tale like no other.
The look and feel of the earth swallowed by the lost nightmare’s worlds running rampant is utterly compelling, bleak, and full of shadows.
The weapons, the expressions and the clothing are all intricate details of spikes and metal edges, and the incredulous warped characters that don the gear . . . damn it is so good!
The DARK KNIGHTS METAL crossover is something wholly new and about as different from standard superhero myth as it can get, and yet it somehow fits perfectly together and works in a legendary way.
Part of this is due to each personality crafted from the minds of Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Jonathan Glapion from the seemingly Joker demon Mouth Of Sauron-like figure with his crowing vampiric Robins on chains to the colossal Doomsday nightmare, who seems to make one of the grittiest and frightening villains in DC history even scarier.
And in the wake of nightmares, DARK KNIGHTS METAL 5 revealed that Dream of the Endless, Daniel’s whole world too, the essence of all things, stories, was at risk.
In DARK KNIGHTS METAL 6, victory is achieved in many unlikely fashions.
A troop of Batmen from Earth #39, including Frank Miller’s version of the older Batman – looking like he is straight out of the Dark Knight Returns world – lends help in the heat of the final battle.
And Batman goes to the nightmare Batcave to battle the Joker demon who reveals he is not based off a Joker nightmare but is a vision of Batman himself.
The revived Batman appears outmatched.
Batman kneels on the floor of the Batcave with the Joker-like Teeth taunting him, and a gun is gun raised to execute the Bat.
But when Batman says to do it, the real Joker – looking freaking sick in classic purple duds turned modern/metal/uncompromisingly badass looking via hanging green chains and his mohawk-like hair – fires his giant Joker-pistol and the gag-flag spears through the demon.
This book, DARK KNIGHTS METAL 6, has it all.
The ending and epilogue leave the DC Multiverse blown wide open as a wall to another multiverse is breached and new possibilities of good and evil lay in wait for the Justice League.
Even Neil Gaiman’s version of Sandman is missing, despite the world of dreams and the library of tales having survived the fires of Barbatos.
This one was METAL to the end!
"Too F$&%*N Metal DARK KNIGHTS METAL 6 Shreds All!" was written for POWkabam by R.J. Huneke.
“Quarry’s War Hits Comics: Insights With Editor Charles Ardai” By R.J. Huneke
Charles Ardai of Hard Case Crime was kind enough to speak with POWkabam Comics in an interview to discuss Quarry’s War, Hard Case Crime’s newest revelation in the Titan Comics lineup, a four-issue graphic novel written by famed Max Allan Collins (Road To Perdition; Flying Blind) based on his hard boiled assassin Quarry.
The artwork by Szymon Kudranski is compelling in its portrayal of the character Quarry, who has really no readable expression.
The poker face and the Laissez-faire attitude of the intelligent gun-for-hire with more than a semblance of a conscience is a perfect emanation of Quarry on page one of issue 1.
The insights into war, from the ‘good hunting’ diction to the portrayal of moods surrounding the American sniper team are incredibly interesting – because the snipers do not kill in battle they, like the Vietcong, are ‘strange…crawly things in the jungle’ even to their own comrades in arms.
For fans of the Quarry books, the Quarry’s War comic has backstory that Mr. Collins has never explored before on the page!
For those of you not familiar with Max Allan Collins’ oldest running series to date, we will explore the history of Quarry in detail with someone who is intimately familiar with his work, Charles Ardai.
Charles Ardai is an accomplished author, editor, noir-buff, and co-founder of the Hard Case Crime publishing company, which has in the last couple of years started to create incredible editions of graphic novels through Titan Comics, like Cynthia Von Buhler’s Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini.
How did it all start?
C.A.: Max Allan Collins is probably better known for comics than for anything else. He started doing Dick Tracy, the newspaper strip, for something like ten years; he took over for Chester Gould, the guy who created Dick Tracy. He crated his own comic called Ms. Tree, which I think was one of the longest running crime comics in history, and he did Batman, and a bunch of other things, but he really hit it big with a book called Road To Perdition. Road To Perdition was a stand-alone graphic novel that became an academy award-winning movie with Tom Hanks.
Aside from his work in comic books, Max Allan Collins has dozens of riveting novels, including his Nathan Heller series where a private detective with a penchant for cash becomes a high-profile private dick, as he ends up working with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Bobby Kennedy (in Bye Bye, Baby), and Amelia Earhart (Flying Blind); the historical fiction combined with the tragic figures of legend make for addictive masterpieces.
C.A.: [Max] started Quarry in the 70’s when he was a student in college, and he never did a Quarry comic. So here’s this guy who’s been doing comics his entire life, and here’s his longest running character – [Quarry] even became a TV series – and he’s never shown up in comics.
R.J.H.: So how did this innovative noir character, a good-guy gun-for-hire finally come to comic books?
C.A.: When we started Hard Case Crime for comics, I said Max: you’ve got to do Quarry. I want to see what this guy looks like. I’ve been reading about him for thirty years!
The magic was in the making: Quarry’s mug would come to comics.
C.A.: The idea was Quarry was a soldier in Vietnam. He comes back stateside from his tour of duty, [and] he can’t get a job. The only thing he knows how to do is kill people. He was a sniper in Vietnam; and the government trained him in how to shoot people, and he has no other skills. He discovers his wife was cheating on him, and he kills the guy she’s sleeping with, and so now he really can’t get a job. And someone shows up at [Quarry’s] door and says, ‘why don’t you do for good pay what the government had you doing for pennies over in Vietnam?’, and he becomes a killer.
And three interesting twists on the hard boiled crime genre here are as follows: Quarry stands in a United States in chaos in the Vietnam War era (this was contemporary when the first books were written by Collins), the tales take place in the middle of the country, and in many rural and suburban areas – not in the atypical L.A. or New York City – and Quarry himself is utterly unique as a character in that he is as honest a killer as he is an efficient survivor.
Charles Ardai worked as consulting editor on the first comic book adaptation of the character, Quarry’s War, along with editor Tom Williams.
C.A. But what we never saw in any of the books – and this is what is so exciting – we’ve never seen his Vietnam experience…and when they did the TV show there was an episode and part of it takes place in Vietnam, and it got phenomenal reviews. But what Max is doing [with Quarry’s War] is an interesting structure [where] half of each book is set in Vietnam – and we see Quarry as a marine sniper in Vietnam – and the other half is back home after the war. And it’s done alternating pages: every left-hand page tells the story in the present day America [being July 1972 in Issue #1] and every right-hand page tells the story of Vietnam [in 1969].
R.J.H.: Was this done to invoke a sense of the parallels between the two lifestyles?
C.A.: So if you just read the right-hand pages, you get the Vietnam story and if you just read the left-hand pages you get the current day story in America, and, of course, they get integrated.
Like most of the innovative works of Collins’ career, the integration of the past and the present pose dramatic expositions in the visuals and story on the page.
The first issue is dubbed “Partners In Crime” and throughout it we get to know Quarry’s partners, both in crime in America with Boyd, who is the interesting “passive-side” of the hit team, compiling the stakeout part of their jobs, and in Vietnam with Quarry’s sniper partner, a spotter, Lance Corporal Lance Roberts ‘who took plenty of shit for the double name’ – this quote is some of Collins’ witty genius, as he shares a character’s innards in brevity.
As a side note: in the very first novel in the Quarry series by Max Allan Collins, Quarry, Boyd does not make it out alive, though he has worked numerous successful jobs with Quarry.
Getting back to the comic: the current tale in America is also in Quarry’s past, and his Vietnam story is deeper into that past.
There is a connection to the soon-to-be-dead partner, Boyd, and the partner from the war.
The connection comes abruptly in the form of a twist, like a gut-shot, as the new job’s target for Quarry in America winds up being his old Vietnam spotter Lance.
The young marine who tries to smoke pot while setting up a target in the jungle, and is quickly threatened to be killed by Quarry for potentially alerting the ‘VC’ to their whereabouts if he smokes, comes to work well with the humorless sniper Quarry. But as the reader gets to know the sniper team in the Vietnam turmoil, there is a sense of foreboding. After all, Boyd is dead in the books and now Lance is supposed to be soon-to-be-dead, as Quarry’s next victim.
*SPOILER ALERT ENDING
The detail of the jungle trees, the paddy fields, and the people all seemed to be immersed in a tint of shadow that may signal the past, or just a darker world in general.
It is compelling alongside the brighter America complete with Quarry’s best stress reliever, a swim and subsequent bikini-clad dame that takes an interest in him.
Even the casual one night stand highlights Quarry’s need to be cautious and meticulous: as a sexy shower curtain silhouette of the buxom companion graces the background, Quarry checks out her purse to ensure no mob ties, or guns, lie in wait.
The Vietnam mission comes without backup on the opposite page, and the brains of armed Vietnamese teenagers burst from their skulls, as the job is carried out.
*SPOILER ALERT ENDING
Quarry’s War from Max Allan Collins is a gem, as dirty and sharp as an unpolished diamond.
Grab the last issue (and the preceding ones if you do not have them yet) that just hit shelves at your local comic shop, like Red Shirt Comics.
And a gorgeous collection of the entire graphic novel Quarry's War is coming soon!
Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio was written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Bernie Wrightson sans the “Trio” part in the 1980’s, and is a part of IDW Publishing’s new mini-series collection featuring three of the gorgeously reprinted monster -horror comic books, and a fourth issue is coming.
This POWkabam review of Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio examines a book that blew the doors off my feeble mind.
My LCS [local comic shop] owner pointed this out to me a couple weeks back, at Red Shirt Comics, and I became enamored with the ingenuity of the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Frankenstein sequel for both the innovative storytelling that Ms. Shelley would be honored by and the incredulous black and white spreads of artwork unlike anything I have ever seen.
Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio is a stunner of a monster tale and, much like Frankenstein, so much more!
And Frankenstein’s Monster, the deeply disturbed, organically rotting, humanistic, and intriguing protagonist of this yarn draws in readers from the very first and refuses to let them go without sympathizing for such a creature whose thirst for intelligence, whose guilt, and whose loneliness reveal so much more of the raw character that Ms. Shelley introduced us to (and scared the bejesus out of us with) over a hundred years ago.
Niles has brilliantly evolved Frankenstein’s Monster.
And I think he does this in a way that is a natural progression from where Ms. Shelley left the Monster.
As Dr. Frankenstein echoes the Monster’s inner guilt by declaring him a murderer, likely without a soul, the Monster attempts to commit suicide.
We do not know what a supernatural being brought to life from the warped experiments can survive or how long he could live for instance, and the Monster does survive being frozen and encased in compounded rock and/or ice.
The Monster’s inner turmoil while living amongst humans makes for a look into its inner-most hell.
The Monster’s journey eventually takes him to a sideshow at a carnival where he terrifies people for a living.
But there he does not feel so out of place.
Before he gets there, he achieves his first ever friend only to witness that mad scientist’s plot: to murder a young woman’s soon to be born child in order to fuel a concoction to resurrect the doctor’s comatose wife.
His first impulse is to kill his friend before he can commit such a heinous murder.
But then he exits and reflects on how this man took him in and became his friend.
What does the Monster owe mankind to act on its behalf?
It is a conundrum left for the next issue.
**SPOILER WARNING ENDED**
The artwork of Mr. Wrightson, who famously wrought the skull-like, nose-less, visage in his version of Frankenstein’s Monster is truly as remarkable as it is chilling.
The incredibly detailed black and whites of the shadowy castle bricks and the snow and all the morose scenery, the lively characters depicted with each one having a personality all their own, and the bubbles in the many glass beakers make for a transformative experience.
The art adds to Niles’ story and makes the mystery deeper and the sense of urgency and panic and horror all come through.
How will it turn out in issue Frankenstein Alive, Alive #4 is what I want to know.
“Review Frankenstein Alive, Alive! Trio Monster’s Inner Hell” was written by R.J. Huneke.
“Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini Interview 1” by R.J. Huneke is the first in a series of articles resulting from our interviews with the creators at New York Comic Con 2017 and discusses the classic mystery graphic novel from Hard Case Crime and Titan Comics.
Based on facts and questions surrounding Harry Houdini’s bizarre death in 1926, Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini is an imbued look into a female private detective taking on a whopper of a first case from long-time Houdini friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The vibrant history, the tenacious protagonist Minky Woodcock, and the stunning aspects of the art make this book a classic.
Impactful surprises, intricate looks into character personalities, and a fully-fledged and almost surreal world is built to exude the many mysteries of the day.
I was fortunate to interview Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini writer and artist Cynthia von Buhler, as well as Pearls Daily the model for the protagonist, and consulting editor Charles Ardai.
The following MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR ISSUE 1.
Renowned artist Cynthia von Buhler had me on page one of Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini.
The graphic novel’s first page has two panels: one remarkable overhead shot of Minky at a typewriter CLICK clicking away in a letter to Agatha Christie about their meeting at Minky’s mother’s funeral, which takes up all of the left side of the page, and the sub-panel to the right tying two images top-to-bottom of the funeral and furthering along the letter telling of Ms. Christie knowing Benedick Woodcock, a private investigator and Minky’s father.
The character of Minky is already established as both ambitious and a member of an interesting family and family business.
The sound of the writing implement, the scarlet locks of Minky’s hair, down to her red nails on the keys in such a stark close-up and unique angle are vivid and intriguing, while on the sub-panel a subdued brown and black coloring scheme goes back in the past to the early twentieth century and a sad and poignant funeral.
The art is utterly spell-binding and unique as it emanates the Roaring Twenties and the young woman who graces the next pages with a trench coat, a hint of bare leg, and a flask in her hand, as she still grieves for her lost mother, which had a great impact on her life.
Minky is not content to be a private detective’s secretary (her father's request) when she can be one herself.
A case presents itself in her father’s absence, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wants Minky to investigate Harry Houdini, and she smartly says that she can take the case without arousing suspicion, which her father – a well-known P.I. – might very well attract.
Doyle aks Minky to join him for a séance with world renowned Margery, who he says is “adept at manifesting spirit ectoplasm from her orifices.”
This is historically accurate, and it is portrayed with all the zeal that a talented nude spiritualist can bring to a séance for society’s high rollers.
What is overlying all of this . . . a piece of tragic history:
On Halloween of all days, October 31, 1926, Harry Houdini died of very mysterious and suspicious circumstances, and though this is not touched on in the first issue, I suspect Ms. von Buhler’s tale does so as it progresses.
The rich depth of Minky and the portrayal of famed author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are posed, depicted and brought to life through an innovative use of art that is invigorating.
I succinctly asked artist Cynthia von Buhler about this:
R.J.H. – ‘I love your style [in this book].’
C.V.B. – ‘I’m doing more drawing it and ink [on paper] and color on the computer . . . this is my drawing style.’
Cynthia added that she was lucky to have Pearls Daily to model for the character of Minky.
C.V.B. – ‘She’s [Pearls is] great because she’s posing . . . she’s like that all the time.’
And with that Pearls, donning her detective’s trenchcoat did a little twist of her leg in a pose on the floor of New York Comic Con after the Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini signing.
Pearls Daily’s acting abilities helped to give life to the vivacious rendition of Minky Woodcock that Cynthia von Buhler puts on the page masterfully, and you can see it from panel to panel throughout the piece as Minky struts into the ritzy home for the séance, as she deftly grasps a martini glass, and as she flees the scene in a tight and curvilinear dress.
What is Minky running from exactly? Her mother’s ghost?
Well I leave that to you, the reader, to find out!
Get down to your local comic book shop and pick up this book, it just came out this week, before it sells out forever.
I will be scouring my LCS, Red Shirt Comics, for whatever variant covers are left on the shelf.
And check out all of the beautiful cover variants. The alternatives are stark in contrast from Charles Ardai’s photograph of Pearls Daily as Minky, to Cynthia von Buhler’s cover, to David Mack’s portrait, and last but not least to a legend that Cynthia spoke on with reverence:
C.V.B. – This cover [she said holding up the cover bearing Margery] is by Robert McGinnis . . . he’s ninety years old and he’s doing this style of painting for years in the James Bond movie posters . . . and it’s such an honor for him to do this cover.
All of the covers are unique and excellent views of the book, and the Robert McGinnis cover seems to pull you to it, as though it were magnetic.
The biggest qualm with this issue is that there is not enough Houdini (though he does pass through a wall briefly). But he is almost certainly lurking not far from Minky’s investigation in the future pages to come.
Tune in for the next article on this graphic novel “Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini Interview 2” in the coming weeks.
And in the meantime check out the evidence and real history that was used in creating Minky Woodcock’s tussle with Houdini, Doyle, and the séance craziness of the time at minkywoodcock.com.
New York Comic Con 2017 RUNE WORKS Exclusives: New CYBERWAR! was written by R.J. Huneke and first published on RuneWorks.com. And yes it is true the Rune Works NYCC Booth # 1061 will have even more New York Comic Con 2017 RUNE WORKS Exclusives coming from author and artists R.J. Huneke, Fred Harper and Elizabeth Yoo.
The RUNE WORKS schedule is as follows:
There will be a prequel comic book featuring characters from R.J. Huneke’s cyberpunk noir thriller the CYBERWAR Series titled SPY WOMAN SPY.
If you could not guess it is starring two of the leading ladies, the infamous CYBERWAR Series heroines Xera Finn and Fae Yu as they live their double lives in the shadows of the Port Jefferson black market, which is always at risk of being shut down by the Cyber United States government’s local CNYPD forces.
But that is not all.
Along with the opening pages of this CYBERWAR Series prequel the graphic novel is followed by a never before released in print spy tale, a short story of William Waltz the Cyber Warrior.
This thrilling throwback to the days when Waltz hacked his way into and out of jam after perilous jam as a Cyber Warrior is titled THE CYBER WARRIOR AWAKENS and was only briefly featured as a short online on rjhuneke.com and cyberwarseries.com.
The newest book for the kickoff novel for the CYBERWAR Series is coming very soon . . . drop by for news from the author, yours truly!
There will be five incredible pieces of artwork available in limited edition archival print runs of Mr. Romero (The Joker?), an amazing tribute to the late Adam West (is that Batman and Catwoman at a 60’s shindig of a soda shop?) and The Blondes of Alfred Hitchcock: the beauties of THE BIRDS Tippi Hedren and Kim Novak!
We are talking about amazing prints that reflect the paintings (see ElizabethYoo.com.
There are three sizes of prints, so that there is an affordable $5 4x6” print of each, a $20 8x10” print (or 2 for $30), and $40 each for a 13x19” masterpiece collection piece.
But there’s more: rumor has it the TIPPI piece comes in her natural blonde or her noir blue colorations . . .
And then there will be two, only two, of these pieces that are coming in a limited edition and utterly incredible magnet ($5 only folks!).
The man, the myth, the legend, Fred Harper will be bringing MARS ATTACKS pieces and we hope a bevy of his art – check out fharper.com and fredharper.com!
More announcements are coming!
Check all of our sites and come hungry for there will be FREE candy, bookmarks, and knowledge to eat up at the booth.
Comics News & Reviews: a POWkabamBlog
Artists looking at art. POWkabam! FYI The background image you are enjoying is from the first page of WEIRD TERROR #6, the story titled "DIE" penciled and inked by Rudy Palais!