There are some great titles due for release this October, including the return of Silver Age Miracleman, a brand new Spider-Man run from Dan Slott and Mark Bagley, and Gotham City: Year One from Tom King, to name but just a few!
“Superman and Swamp Thing uncover the secrets of the Great Darkness! During the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, Swamp Thing encountered and formed a truce with the Great Darkness, but this ancient force has been awakened by Pariah and now its influence is felt across the Multiverse. Now the Avatar of the Green must work together with new allies to investigate how far the Great Darkness has spread and why it would work with Pariah. If they want to stop the Great Darkness from swallowing the Green, they need some extra help…ENTER: SUPER SWAMP THING.“
Why ‘Pick of the Week?’
The original 1986 Crisis on Infinite Earths is an absolute classic, not just to us obviously, but for countless comic fans around the globe, setting the bar for big comic cross-over events ever since! And the way it’s being revisited in Dark Crisis is lining up to be another crazy action-packed and fun saga by the time it finishes in December. In The Deadly Green we will see Swamp Thing teaming up with Superman (sold) to finally try and solve the mystery of the Great Darkness.
Now, we don’t often say things like this… but, one of the slightly more disappointing aspects of the original Crisis was, of course, the lack of Swamp Thing. He did have a cameo tie-in alongside John Constantine in Swamp Thing #46 by Dick Giordano. (Actually thinking back, that’s a really great issue where Swamp Thing first learns of the Mulitiverse) but we all would have loved to see more of him in the main event!
So, in a nutshell, it’s great to have more Swamp Thing in the mix for all the Crisis fans out there, and a special mention to Ram V who is on this issue. His recent ‘The Swamp Thing‘ run was something to behold and fast became a bit of a customer favorite in our stores, and those are the reasons why we’ve stamped this for our pre-order pick of the week!
That’s right folks, if you didn’t know already, we here at Wow Comix LOVE British Comics! And we know we are far from alone, as so many of you have previously attended our Beano days at one of our stores before, it was always a no-brainer to do something like it again! So here it is, Saturday, 20th of August! Mark it down!
British Comic Fest is a free-to-the-public Comic Convention presented by Wow Comix Event in association with the Merseyway Shopping Centre. There will be free activities, trader stalls, and a chance to meet artists and writers from the nation’s favorite comics!
To keep up with the goings-on in the lead-up to the event, make sure you are following our socials! In particular, our events page for the British Comic Fan Fest, Which you can find here!, our Wow Comix Stockport Facebook page! and you can get further updates from Wow Comix World on Facebook and Twitter!
Let’s take a look at who we have announced so far!
Well, we could not have a British Comics Fan event without Nigel Parkinson could we?!
Nigel is of course the very popular artist of Dennis The Menace and we are delighted to announce he will be attending Beano Fan Fest in August.
If you are looking for a unique gift how about some original artwork from a British comics legend!
Come along and meet Lew Stringer. Lew is one of the legends of the British comic industry, having produced hundreds of fantastic cartoon strips in a career spanning four decades. His work has regularly appeared in Beano and Dandy. Lew is also the creator of such fondly remembered characters as Combat Colin (for Marvel UK) and Brickman.
We are pleased to announce that appearing at British Fan Fest is Laura Howell.
In 2006 Laura became the first woman to draw for the Beano and is currently the artist in charge of everyone’s favorite pigtailed powerhouse, Minnie the Minx. She has also drawn and written for many publications including Viz, The Dandy and comic adaptations of Angry Birds.
We are absolutely delighted to announce that British Comics legend Steve Yeowell will be joining us for British Comic Fest on Saturday 20 August.
Steve’s first professional work was with Grant Morrison on licensed toy series “Zoids” in the pages of Marvel UK weekly Spiderman and Zoids before moving on to 2000AD where he drew the superhero series Zenith. He has also worked on Judge Dredd, Sinister Dexter and many other strips for 2000AD.
His American work includes Batman, Legends of the Dark Knight for DC Comics, where he has also drawn among others The Atom and The Invisibles. For Marvel he drew Skrull Kill Krew.
We are very pleased to say that artist Nika Nartova will be joining British comic Fan Fest. Nika regularly works as the colourist on Dennis The Menace as well as Beano covers and various other strips in the comic.
Nika is based in Liverpool and has worked as colourist for Nigel Parkinson for over 15 years. Come along and see her super fast colouring style at work.
Joining Beano Fan Fest is the creator of Beano character Lenny The Lettuce, our good friend Mr Marc Jackson.
Marc is well known to many within the comic industry and fandom for his many quirky characters, his work on Beano, and as an undiscovered rap star!!
Marc is also the creative mind behind Macc-Pow comic arts festival which will be happening soon. Check the Macc-Pow pages for full details of guests and events and start times.
Brian M. Clark and John JJ Jackson
Come and meet the wonderful Brian m. Clark and John Jackson, who are the guys behind The Mancunian, Manchester’s very own superhero! They will be launching the latest issue and have done a wonderful surprise comic strip just for us. See below!
We have more announcements on the way so keep one eye open! We also have some trader tables available! If you would like to book one, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
We knew Stockport had its fair share of comic and movie fans but WOW (Cough)! What a day! We all want to say a massive thank you to all of you folk who turned out on Saturday. It’s safe to say that it was one of the most fun days to be around the town center in recent memory for us, and perhaps many other local comic and cosplay enthusiasts! We even heard on the grapevine that over 20,000 people had descended on the town over that day. If that’s true that’s bonkers, but it certainly would be no surprise judging by the size of the crowds.
Of course, a mega-thankyou goes out to Totally Stockport, The staff of the Merseyway, Paul Prescott (Funky Figures and North West Comic Conventions), and our own John Webster (Wow Comix and Wow Events) for the arrangements. But also a big thankyou also to Stockport as a whole! The shops around the town and their staff, the families, the wanderers, the cosplayers, and the vendors. There were cameras out and smiles everywhere. It was just so great to see Stockport town center so vibrant on a bright sunny day, especially after such a polarizing couple of years with Covid. Hey, nobody could complain about the lack of masks on Saturday!
Due to us at Wow Comix working for most of the event, we only got a few snaps overall. If you have any photos, we would love to see them and add them to our blog here if possible! Send them over to us at email@example.com or DM our socials!
So, here is a small selection of what we imagine will have been thousands of overall photos taken on the day! Let us know if you spot yourself! (Wait, isn’t that the last thing a crowd of masked Superheroes would ever… Oh, never mind!)
Due to us working for most of the event, we only got a few snaps overall. If you have any photos, we would love to see them and add them to our blog here if possible! Send them over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM our socials!
The next Star Wars event begins here, with the opening issues of Crimson Reign, the second arc in what has been dubbed ‘The Qi’ra Trilogy’. But will it be another epic barnstormer to follow up War of the Bounty Hunters, or will it be the start of a descent into event fatigue? We round up some of the latest Star Wars releases from Marvel Comics to find out…
DARTH VADER #18
Written by: Greg Pak Art: Leonard Kirk Colours: Alex Sinclair
Following the reveal of Ochi of Bestoon’s dramatic double-cross, and the Empire’s utter decimation of the Hutt syndicate, Darth Vader looks set to be the title most closely intertwined with the events of Crimson Reign. From the outset, this issue examines some of the effects of the emergence of Crimson Dawn and Vader’s response to them. It makes for a non-stop, galaxy hopping narrative but, as usual, under Greg Pak’s stewardship, the big man himself makes the biggest impact possible in the few panels in which he appears. He may not be at the front and centre of every skirmish, but his influence is what always drives the narrative – he’s a smart, shadowy, sinister controller of events that Crimson Dawn’s Qi’ra could only ever dream of being…so far.
The highlight here is the introduction of a ragtag group of assassins on personal missions to take revenge on Crimson Dawn, something which Vader seems set to use to his advantage. It’s clear that Pak is going to give us more reasons to love and empathise with each of them before dispatching them in the cruellest fashion possible – it’s good to know that some things never change!
Artist Leonard Kirk does a solid job throughout and his presentation of action and chaos is clear and assured, making the splash pages that highlight the bigger moments all the more impactful. Alex Sinclair takes full advantage of the shift away from the Imperial colour scheme of greys and blacks, as the reds and oranges of battle practically pop off the page.
Special mention must also be given to Aaron Kuder and Richard Isanove’s stunning cover – this is simply begging for a frameable print!
STAR WARS #19
Written by: Charles Soule Art: Marco Castiello Colours: Rachelle Rosenberg
The effects of Crimson Reign look set to be a little separated from the core Star Wars comic, at least for the next couple of issues, as Luke goes off in search of more lessons of the Jedi to aid him in his quest to finally be ready to face Vader.
#19 also sees the introduction of a new artist, Marco Castiello, who steps in to cover a few issues for the incredibly talented Ramon Rosanas, who lends this series a real classic comics feel. Castiello’s approach is a beautifully sketchy one, which gives an appropriately otherworldly feel to each of the alien vistas that Luke visits as he tries to find a Jedi outpost that hasn’t been ransacked or completely destroyed by the Empire. Castiello’s dense inking makes for some suitably shadowy close-ups of a Luke Skywalker in turmoil, contrasted eye-catchingly with Rachelle Rosenberg’s dynamic colours.
Some of Charles Soule’s best moments in his consistently excellent run on Star Wars so far have been in his character work around Luke, filling in the gap between the boy at the end of Episode V and the man at the beginning of VI. This issue is no exception, as we see Luke fluctuating from doubt to confidence and back again in a realistically human way. He also receives guidance from a character that some fans may recognise from Soule’s short run on Darth Vader back in 2017 – it’s little nuggets like this that make the interwoven world of Star Wars comics so rewarding and beguiling. (More on that when we look at #20!)
The only slight problem that rears its head at the beginning of this issue is the sudden realisation that so many threads were left hanging during the six months or so that War of the Bounty Hunters was going on. While the reminder is handled in a way that fits the narrative and avoids clunky exposition, there is a slight risk of the reader being taken out of the moment as they scrabble around to remember what happened not only a good six or so months ago in this particular book, but also before the events of a line-encompassing, 34 part event series. That said, the threads that look due to be picked up soon should be exciting ones and give more signals that this book won’t be quite as interdependent on happenings elsewhere as during the previous event.
CRIMSON REIGN #1
Written by: Charles Soule Art: Steven Cummings Colours: GURU-eFX
And so we come to the headliner – the first of five issues of Crimson Reign, the backbone of the event of the same name. Soule is at the helm once again and wastes no time in setting up a number of intriguing prospects whilst driving the narrative forward simultaneously. While the core of the story is formed around a war between the various crime syndicates across the galaxy, there is a lot more at play here, and Soule drops in mystery after mystery and tease after tease, making for a tantalizing read and an agonising wait until the next issue!
The older, wiser Qi’ra continues to be an interesting character in Soule’s hands – the potential for true cunning and guile we saw in her at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story is truly realised here as she plays seemingly half the galaxy off against each other to her own ends. Those ends don’t yet seem to be entirely bad ones from what little Soule reveals here, but it’s certain that her methods are questionable – the final panel hints that dire consequences approach…
Steven Cummings has an unenviable task with this issue – so many characters are featured, so much ground is covered, so many locations are used, that it must be one hell of a task to realise everything that pops out of Soule’s head for this one. It’s a challenge that Cummings grasps with both hands – he takes a cinematic approach, his images acting as a perfect partner to the narration of the Archivist. There’s also an early 90s feel here too – shades of Ron Lim abound, panels featuring alien creatures or space battles could well have been lifted from that legendary artist’s almost as legendary run on Silver Surfer.
A promising start to an event that looks set to be altogether different to the one that came before it.
STAR WARS #20
Written by: Charles Soule Art: Marco Castiello Colours: Rachelle Rosenberg
Luke’s search for Jedi knowledge continues in another issue that takes a step back from the goings-on in Crimson Reign. Soule once again shows just how much he gets Luke and the struggle he is facing to become the Jedi he wants to be whilst grappling with the expectations placed upon him.
All of this is dealt with in an incredibly exciting manner for any fans of other parts of the Star Wars comics and books range. There have been hints and references to the incredibly successful The High Republic publishing initiative throughout Soule’s run (he also forms part of the writing team for that project), but here we finally get a moment to make High Republic fans cheer. No spoilers here, but Soule has picked just the right character to compare and contrast with Luke, as they speak to each other through the power of…magic mushrooms…?
With that comes some trippy visuals, which Castiello makes even more alien than the landscapes in the previous issue. Again, his dense inking really serves the issue well and Rosenberg’s colours are intense and solid, lending some of the more nightmarish panels a satisfyingly bloody hue. This isn’t an action-packed issue, and both artists make use of the space to great effect, providing striking images throughout and evidently revelling in their little trip into the days of the High Republic.
So far, it seems that the approach to event storytelling is a different one with Crimson Reign – less all-consuming than War of the Bounty Hunters, right down to the lack of an event banner on the covers for Star Wars and Darth Vader. It’s encouraging that the main Star Wars book especially has been given a little space to breathe and to deal with the fallout of the last event before diving headlong into the next. Pak and Soule continue to be two writers at the absolute top of their game, showing that Star Wars comics can work whether the storytelling is on a grand, bombastic scale or whether it’s dealing with the inner turmoil and doubts and fears that will eventually be the making of the galaxy’s greatest hero.