TIME Books

New Alan Moore Comics Coming in December

Alan Moore
Avatar Press

The six-part series is based off Garth Ennis' Crossed

Fans craving new material from graphic novelist and comic book icon Alan Moore have some good news: the man behind Watchmen and V for Vendetta has a six-issue project in the works.

Crossed: +100, a spin-off of Garth Ennis’ sci-fi-horror series Crossed, takes place approximately 100 years after the original outbreak of a plague that reduces humanity to its most evil thoughts, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Gabriel Andrade will illustrate the author’s new set of monthly comics.

“I think people think of Crossed as a horror story, and I can see why. It is extremely horrible,” said Moore in a statement. “[But] I was thinking that Crossed is actually a science fiction story that has got a really, really high horror quotient. So that was the way that I started approaching it.”

Crossed co-creator and writer Garth Ennis likened Moore’s addition to the series as “Jimi Hendrix want[ing] to play in my band” and said it “means everything to me.”

Crossed: +100 arrives in December on Avatar Press.

[THR]

TIME movies

Watch Vin Diesel Say His Only Line in Guardians of the Galaxy in 4 Different Languages

"Yo soy Groot"

Vin Diesel’s character Groot may play an integral role in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but the tree-creature superhero he plays is only capable of saying three words: “I am Groot.”

So when the actor provided the voice for his character, he did so not just for the English version of the film but for various dubbed versions for foreign audiences. Diesel also voiced Groot in Russian, Portuguese, French, and Spanish, all of which were filmed as part of behind-the-scenes footage for the film.

Guardians of The Galaxy is now playing in theaters nationwide.

TIME movies

DC Comics Releases New Pic of Ben Affleck As Batman

The new Caped Crusader is here

DC Comics celebrated 75 years of Batman with a new picture of Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader. The teaser photo was released at San Diego Comic-Con and features a brooding Batman akin to Christian Bale’s take on the superhero.

Affleck is facing harsh criticism from fans who are doubting his ability to step into the role. He joked early on with Jimmy Fallon on Late Night saying, “I saw the announcement. I looked at this thing. I looked down at the first comment. It’s like ‘Ben Affleck is going to be Batman.’ The first one just goes, ‘Nooooooooooooooooo!'”

DC may be trying to break through this type of fan hesitation by teasing out the future iteration of Batman.

MONEY Odd Spending

The High Cost of Being A Comic-Con Superfan

Night Elf at Comic-Con
Jessica's Night Elf Rogue outfit won an award at the 2012 San-Diego Comic-Con.

Some fans, known as cosplayers, construct elaborate costumes of their favorite comic characters. The results are amazing, but they don't come cheap.

On Thursday, the San Diego Comic-Con kicked off its 2014 edition. The annual four-day event has grown beyond comics into a geek-culture mecca, attracting fans of everything from superheroes and video games to mainstream network programming.

Of the thousands who descend every year on the San Diego convention center (at $45 a pop per session), most are just looking to meet other enthusiasts and see the latest on their favorite characters. But there’s a large number of fans who want to take their experience a little bit further—from liking a character to becoming it. They’re called cosplayers, enthusiasts who make costumes of their favorite fictional avatars. With costs that can run into the thousands of dollars, these costumes are an artistic and financial testament to the wearer’s love of a particular game or show.

Jessica Al-Khalifah is one of these superfans. She and a friend had gotten into the online role-playing game World of Warcraft and in the process grew attached their virtual avatars. Playing the game was fun, she thought, but what if they could actually be their in-game characters, if just for a day or two?

Lucky for Jessica, there was convention coming up nearby. “We decided we should make some outfits and see what it’s all like,” she says. “It turned out we weren’t so bad at it.”

“Not bad” is an understatement. Jessica’s creation, a Warcraft Night Elf outfit, took four months of on-and-off labor to assemble and involved learning a whole new trade in the process. “I just wanted to make it look really cool, so I said, ‘You know, I think I’ll learn how to leather work,’ ” she recalls. “I hurt my hand a million times.”

The finished product featured ornate leather-and-metal armor, as well as two gigantic painted scythes, and cost roughly $600 by the time she was done. The result was good enough to win her an award at the 2012 San-Diego Comic-Con, but it wasn’t even her most elaborate creation. Another costume, based around the Legend of the Seeker television show, included a leather bodysuit and fiberglass weapon that was electrically engineered to glow. The final materials bill for that one: $1,200.

That kind of price is especially common amongst contest winning outfits. Jen King, owner of Space Cadets Collection Collection, a Texas-based collectibles store, also won a an award at the San-Diego Comic-Con with a Galaxy Quest themed group costume. Jen’s Sarris (the giant green alien) attire cost $500 alone, and her whole group spend more than $4,000. This year, she flew back to Comic-Con to chase another title, this time with her husband and son in tow.

sarrisgroup
Jen King’s group costume cost over $4,000, but won Judge’s Choice at the San-Diego Comic-Con.

Luckily for enthusiasts, not all costumes need to break the bank. Lynn Chan and Sarah Bloom have been dressing up as their favorite characters for years, and tend to spend around $200 per outfit. If you’re careful about picking your subject, Lynn says costumes can be made for as low as $30 (sewing machine not included). That said, like any hobby, the costs do add up over time. When asked how much she had spent over her seven years of cosplay, Sarah couldn’t put a figure on it. “Oh god, I don’t even know,” she laughed. “Probably three to four grand?”

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 9.30.28 AM
Lynn Chan (left) and Sarah Bloom (right) spend about $200 per costume.

It’s a lot of money, but in the end, each designer says the effort is worth it for the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a great costume. Jessica still remembers how she felt when she won the 2012 contest. Oh my gosh, that was awesome. It was so surreal,” she says. “All my hard work paid off.”

TIME Pop Culture

Near-Perfect Copy of Action Comics #1 Will be Sold on eBay

Action Comics #1 comic book of 1938 is pictured on February 23, 2010 in New York which had sold for USD 1 million, making it the first ever million dollar comic book.
Action Comics #1 comic book of 1938 is pictured on February 23, 2010 in New York which had sold for USD 1 million, making it the first ever million dollar comic book. Timothy A. Clary—AFP/Getty Images

The copy being sold received a 9.0 out of 10 rating by the most trusted comic book rating company

In a little less than a month, anyone looking to get his or her hands on a copy of the comic book that introduced the world to Superman will have an opportunity to vie for the legendary relic.

Action Comics #1 will be auctioned on eBay from August 14 to 24 and may run you a fair amount more than the 10 cents that the original cost when it was released in 1938. In fact, the last issue of the Jerry Siegel/Joe Shuster-penned comic to be sold went for no less than $2.16 million.

According to Cnet, the issue of the 1938 comic being sold next month was given a 9-out-of-10 rating from the Certified Guaranty Company, a well-known comic ratings company, which is the highest grade a copy of Action Comics #1 has ever received. The issue that sold for over $2 million in 2011 also received a 9.0 rating.

The issue’s owner, Darren Adams, got the copy from a dealer, but the original was kept in pristine condition in part because it was stored for a while in a cedar chest in West Virginia.

“I felt this book deserves to have as much publicity as possible because of what it is,” Adams said in a video on eBay. “It is the cream of the crop and it doesn’t get any better than this.”

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Christopher Reeve played Superman in the iconic 1978 film. He became a quadriplegic in the 1990s after being thrown from a horse and died in 2004.

TIME

Here’s Why a Female Thor Makes Total Sense

Thor concept art on July 15, 2014. Marvel Comics

Thor's power derives from his (or her!) hammer

The mighty Thor, that symbol of masculinity, aggression, violence and war, is going to be a woman. And it makes total sense.

Marvel announced the upcoming female incarnation of the character on The View Tuesday morning. The reaction was swift and, in many cases, far too negative. “I love women who kick add but Thor’s a dude,” [sic] wrote one Twitter user. “Marvel comics being stupid,” announced another. And then there’s this, from a Marvel editor:

Here’s the deal: Marvel Comics has long borrowed Norse mythology for many of its beloved characters and plots. That’s free intellectual property, after all. But the comics are only inspired by Norse mythology, and they’ve almost never followed the stories line-for-line (and even if they did, mythology suffers from a massive case of The Telephone Game, with lots of different tellings evolving over the years).

Thor, in the Marvel Universe, isn’t just a character: He’s also an intangible idea. And Thor’s power, which most notably includes the ability to summon up lightning to layeth the smacketh-downeth upon his foes, isn’t really embedded inside him, per se. It’s in his hammer, Mjolnir — to mix comic book universe metaphors, he’s more like Green Lantern, who derives his power from a ring that’s charged by a lantern that’s charged by a planet.

That wasn’t always the case. Thor’s power used to be embedded in Thor directly. But when Thor’s father, Odin (also the king of Thor’s realm, Asgard), wanted to punish Thor for violating his direct commands, Odin stripped Thor of his powers and enshrined them instead in Mjolnir. Here’s the spell Odin put on the hammer to do so:

Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.

Translation: To get Thor’s power, you have to be deemed worthy of it by successfully picking up the hammer. In most Marvel Thor origin stories, eventually Thor redeems himself, reclaims his hammer (without first knowing why he couldn’t pick it up any longer) and then becomes the “real” Thor again, ready to return to his lightning-summoning, hammer-slinging self.

But Thor isn’t the only person who’s lifted the hammer: Captain America, the Hulk (eventually!) and Superman (crossover!) were deemed worthy and got Thor’s power. Who does the deeming is something of a mystery, but I’ve long thought that Mjolnir itself is sentient and the hammer itself decides who’s worthy of it.

And there’s the rub: What will probably happen in the Marvel comic book that introduces the new female Thor is that the male Thor we’ve all known for decades will either bite the bullet or do something to piss off the hammer. Either option would mean Thor couldn’t be Thor any longer, and some female character will come along — whether Asgardian or otherwise — try to pick up the hammer, succeed, and effectively become a female Thor. That Odin’s spell specifically says “he” doesn’t really matter: Storm and Wonder Woman (another crossover!) have both been deemed worthy, signaling Mjolnir has perhaps developed a less strict constructionist ideology about itself than Odin ever had.

Of course, a female Thor won’t really address another problem facing the comic book world: The lack of original, well-advertised female superheroes, particularly at the movies. None of the upcoming DC or Marvel films, for example, feature a woman — no Wonder Woman from DC, no Black Widow flick from Marvel. The best we’ve gotten so far are Elektra and Catwoman, both total flops. Both companies will need more than a female version of a top character to fix that issue.

TIME Comics

Thor Will Now Officially Be a Woman in Marvel Comics

Thor concept art on July 15, 2014. Marvel Comics

But don't call her a goddess

From now on, the comic book character Thor will no longer be represented as a man in Marvel comics. ABC’s The View announced Tuesday that future stories will feature the god — not goddess — of thunder as a woman.

“This is not She-Thor,” senior writer Jason Aaron said in a Marvel release. “This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

According to an impressively comic jargon-filled tweet, the female depiction will still wield Thor’s weapon of choice:

Thor’s character was introduced in 1962.

According to a release by Marvel:

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” Marvel editor Wil Moss said in a release. “The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

Marvel said this would be its 8th title to star a female character.

TIME Comics

Here’s How Archie Will Die

From left: Veronica, Archie, and Betty, characters from the Archie's comic book series.
From left: Veronica, Archie, and Betty, characters from the Archie's comic book series. Archie Comics/AP

A heroic demise for iconic comic book character

We all knew Archie Andrews would die one day, but now we know he’ll die a hero, taking a bullet for his gay best friend.

The beloved comic book icon will meet his glorious end in Wednesday’s installment of Life with Archie when he tries to stop an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in Archie Comics. Archie’s impending doom was first announced in April.

“He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us,” Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO Jon Goldwater told The Associated Press. “It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”

Keller’s character was introduced to the series in 2010 in the Archie spin-off Veronica. He’s now a married military veteran and senator who is pushing for more gun control in Riverdale. Goldwater won’t say much about the assassin, but hints that he’s a stalker-type figure.

Goldwater also said the decision to have Archie die saving Keller—as opposed to longstanding pals Betty or Veronica—was a strategic way to make sure Archie’s death was about the future of Riverdale, not the past. “Metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born,” he said.

“Archie is not a superhero like all the rest of the comic book characters,” Goldwater added. “He’s human. He’s a person. When you wound him, he bleeds. He knows that. If anything, I think his death is more impactful because of that.”

[AP]

TIME remembrance

Batman Is Celebrating His 75th Birthday and You’re Invited

Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour Unveils The Batman Exhibit Celebrating Batman's 75th Anniversary
A general view of atmosphere during the Warner Bros VIP Studio Tour unveiling of the Batman Exhibit celebrating Batman's 75th Anniversary at Warner Bros. Tour Center on June 26, 2014 in Burbank, California. Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Hollywood and comic fans honor Gotham’s crime-fighting hero

One day to celebrate Batman’s 75th birthday is just not enough.

Batman Day is officially on July 23, but Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have organized a month-long series of events to commemorate the caped one’s milestone. Think of it as Comic-Con exclusively for Batfans.

Fans around the U.S. will be able to take part in the festivities, which include a studio tour (including a peek at the Batmobile and other props) and a free special-edition comic book at participating stores. There will also be new merchandise and DVD releases.

Artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger created Batman in May 1939 in response to the success of Superman — and comic-goers soon fell for the wealthy character of Bruce Wayne, who, come nightfall, swapped his suits for a black mask and cape to fight Gotham City crime.

Danny DeVito, who starred as the villain Penguin in the 1992 film Batman Returns, discussed the edgy comic hero’s success in an interview with AFP.

“The world has no heroes … Batman gives you some hope and some faith,” he said.

DeVito added that Batman’s appeal resonated with people who have little or no faith in politicians and the present generation. “We look around at us, our leaders and the young people we are supposed to look to. There’s really nobody you can have faith in,” he said.

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