Amazing Arizona Comic Con 2014 took place at the Phoenix Convention Center last weekend, January 24-26. I represented BOOM! Studios at our booth, along with writers Paul Jenkins (“Deathmatch,” “Inhumans”) & Eric M. Esquivel (“Bravest Warriors,” “Loki: Ragnarok and Roll”) and artists Wook-Jin Hunter Clark (“Adventure Time: Flip Side,” “Megagogo”) & Missy Pena (“Bravest Warriors”), plus BOOM!’s Marketing Assistant, Stephanie Hocutt. They’re all awesome people! Below are some memories from throughout the weekend.

Also known as Tyler Mane.

Hung out with him for a hot minute outside the Adoba Dearborn Hotel the night before Detroit Fanfare. Dude was puffin’ on a huge cigar. Chill guy.


Check it out — Marvel’s cover to “All-New X-Men” #13 by artist Stuart Immonen, written by Brian Michael Bendis. This is my favorite X-book on the stands right now.


“Mutants Surrounded in Immonen’s ‘All-New X-Men’ #13 Cover” — Click to read entire article!

“Previously unsolicited, Marvel Comics has released a first look at Stuart Immonen’s cover of ‘All-New X-Men’ #13, written by Brian Michael Bendis with interior art by Immonen via Diamond Comics’ retailer website. With Angel having left the team to join Cyclops’ band of renegade mutants in ‘Uncanny X-Men,’ Immonen’s cover features the four remaining time-displaced X-Men surrounded by a group of armed soldiers.”

Every month when new solicits are announced for comics, something always makes me go, “Woah! I WANT THAT!” Marvel’s “Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection” is one of those items. A killer line up of writers and artists on 35 of the most memorable Wolverine issues of all-time makes for a desirable oversized slipcase HC.

But holy fucking shit, Marvel Disney — TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!? Seriously! Has the cover price of a graphic novel ever been that high in the history of mankind? Not even sexy IDW Artist’s Editions are that suggested retail price. What the hell.


This is not the actual cover of the “Adamantium Collection.” It hasn’t been revealed yet, although this issue is in it. It should also be in your collection.


  • Cover by BILLY TAN
  • Slipcase by GABRIELE DELL’OTTO

It’s the best and brightest moments from Wolverine’s long and storied history — presented together in a gorgeous, oversized slipcased hardcover and packed with dozens of extras, just in time for Logan’s triumphant return to the big screen! Witness the transformation of sickly James Howlett into the battle-hardened Logan, and then into the metal-clawed super hero called Wolverine! Experience Logan’s struggles to learn the ways of honor, control his bestial nature, and deal with a litany of friends and foes from his checkered past! Thrill to his near-fatal encounter with Magneto! And be there as Wolverine takes on the responsibility of mentoring the next generation — and opens a school! Collecting ORIGIN #1-6; material from MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) #72-84; UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #162, #205 and #268; WOLVERINE (1982) #1-4; WOLVERINE (1988) #75 and #119-122; WOLVERINE (2003) #32; and WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #1-3.

  • 720 PGS./Parental Advisory …$200
  • ISBN: 978-0-7851-6789-1
  • Trim size: Oversized slipcase edition (11-1/2 x 15-1/2)

And the real kick in the pants is not the price, but it should be 36 issues — “Incredible Hulk” #181 isn’t included. In the “Adamantium Collection.”

Godamnit. I’m still going to buy it at some point.

Last Wednesday, Rick Basaldua sketched this Rogue of the X-Men & Katherine French sketched Psylocke for me during an impromptu signing at Collector’s Paradise Pasadena.



This is my fourth piece from Rick and third from Katherine, who have previously drawn for me Iceman and a few Ninja Turtles. I love how Rick’s Rogue is done in the style of Chris Bachalo. Also, my camera sucks.

So far this series has been a solid epilogue to “Avengers vs X-Men.”

REVIEW: “AvX: Consequences” #3 — Click to read entire review

“‘AvX: Consequences,’  by Kieron Gillen with art by Scot Eaton, serves as a direct epilogue to ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men,’ getting inside the head of the former mutant leader, forcing him to face the results of his actions in ‘AvX.’

Gillen has been on point with this miniseries and continues to be so here — the direction taken with Summers reinforces the idea he has indeed become the new Magneto — at least ideologically. Cyclops put mutantkind above everything else in ‘AvX,’ including the mass loss of human life. As a result he’s been imprisoned by Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes. However, these characters are living in a more complicated world than when Magneto was top dog and with that realization comes the crux of this mini: a muddied line between right and wrong.”

Oh man — Marvel recently released a preview of the 1:50 variant cover to “All-New X-Men” #1 by Paolo Rivera. As an Iceman fan this may have to be the first ever 1:50 variant I purchase.

So cool.

I’m involved in the webseries “Super Power Beat Down” with Bat in the Sun Productions. It’s a show which takes two super powered legends from across geek culture and makes them battle in live action fights.

My role with the show is to play co-host and master debater with my pals Damian Beurer, Marisha Ray, Jennifer Wenger and other geek experts on who would win each fight. Our roles are merely supplementary to the kick ass live action battles, but it’s a lot of fun to put together. My character comes off as a misogynistic wiener at times — I promise you I’m not like that in real life!

Our most recent episode went live recently and features two video game personas going head to head — Nathan Drake vs. Lara Croft, a.k.a. Tomb Raider.

Check it out:

Super Power Beat Down #4: Lara Croft vs. Nathan Drake

Catch all three past episodes here:

Episode #3: Wolverine vs. Batman

Episode #2: Gandalf vs. Darth Vader

Episode #1: 1960s Batmobile vs. 1980s Batmobile

If you want to vote for the winner of the next fight visit — it’s Gambit vs. Nightwing! And now for some more behind the scenes photos:

Oh yes.

astonishing-x-men-cyclops-5-50kSince M Day, mutant kind has been on the run from an enemy that cannot be defeated by any mutant power: Extinction. Scott Summers, the leader of the X-Men, has matured immensely with the grim situation, moving the X-Men from Westchester, NY to San Francisco, CA, and changing his team’s mentality from one of spreading the message of peace between man and mutant to spreading the seed of mutant survival- at any cost. As an effect of this decision, Professor Charles Xavier’s long-time mission for peaceful coexistence between man and mutant is truly all but dead; Cyclops, Xavier’s most promising student, has turned his back on ‘The Dream.’ It would seem that nearly every other member of the X-Men has come to accept these new ground rules as fact; survival over peace and reality over dreams.

However, with the current crossover event between the X-Men and the Dark Avengers, the new Utopia story line is seriously testing the mettle of Scott Summers. Mutant hate groups like the Humanity Now! Coalition and The Purifiers make the Friends of Humanity look like a group of pre-school teachers. Cyclops’ fellow X-Men are looking to him to lead them through this tumultuous time for mutants across the globe, and Scott has shown that desperate times call for desperate measures. Lets take a look at some of the recent transpirings of Scott Summers, and see if they mirror those of a long time nemesis of the X-Men:

as1. Cyclops is creating his own private safe haven for mutants. When the X-Men moved to San Francisco, Cyclops revealed that he had purchased a bunch of old and unused military bases. He has converted these underground bases into places of refuge for all mutants (powered or de-powered) and their families to live. Under the watchful eye of the X-Men they will be protected from anti-mutant groups who would look to harm them. Sound familiar? Well it should as Magneto has already done this; do the locales Genosha and Asteroid M ring a bell?

2. For most of his career, Scott Summers has had a father/son relationship with Charles Xavier. Cyclops was his top student, and deservedly so. However, during Messiah Complex, Scott literally kicked Xavier out of the X-Men, claiming that his methods were out of date and that he needed to evolve with the times if mutant kind hoped to survive. Notice a trend here? At one time Magneto and Xavier were working together for mutant advancement, but their conflicting ideals forced Erik to walk away. Once again- The Dream is dead!

3. The creation of X-Force is probably the most glaring evidence that Cyclops has crossed a line- one that he never would have thought to cross when Xavier was leading the X-Men. Essentially, Scott has commissioned X-Force, a team of mutantkind’s best hunters, trackers, and killers, to eliminate any and all threats to mutant kind. Talk about tossing peaceful coexistence out the window! Cyclops wants his message to be clear- this fight is about preventing the extinction of the mutant race. We may as well call X-Force a more capable version of The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Throw in the fact that Scott is keeping this team secret from the other X-Men (including Emma Frost), and it’s apparent that the ‘yes man’ Scott Summers is a thing of the past.

image459244. Not all of Cyclops’ teammates have gone along with his shift of philosophy without speaking up. In Astonishing X-Men #26, Storm, the present Queen of Wakanda and former Gold Team leader, does exactly this. Check out Scott’s pointed response:

“No one enjoys killing. Not even Logan, really. But my first responsibility is to keep mutants alive. Everything takes second place to there being enough adult mutants alive to protect the new generation… You’re Queen of Wakanda. If Wakanda declared war on Zimbabwe tomorrow, which isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, I read the papers- you’d have to sign the declaration of war too. And that’s killing people.We grew up, Ororo. These are the jobs we got…. if you never want to be put in a situation where someone might have to be killed, go home now…  And don’t give me that ‘you’ve changed, Scott.’ I can see it in your eyes. I killed a man once. So did you. You killed in self-defense. I killed by accident. Neither of us will do it lightly again, that’s the way it goes.”

Like Magneto, Cyclops has become a total bad ass. Even Wolverine notices in X-Force #13, “Summers. He’s so hardcore lately, I’m starting to feel inadequate.” Coming from Logan, that’s not a remark to be taken lightly. He’s also sick of toying around with obnoxious villains who aren’t worth his time to fight. This is the verbal smack down he lays on Toad in Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men Utopia #1:

“I’ve been beating you up since I was a teenager Toad. I’ll stop whenever you’re ready to stop being the most useless cretin on the face of the Earth.”

In Dark Avengers #7 (Utopia Part III) Scott comes face to face with Norman Osborn, the head of H.A.M.M.E.R. and leader of the Dark Avengers, where he warns Norman to leave San Francisco and stay out of the X-Men’s affairs:

“Surrender, withdraw, pull out, retreat, whatever you want to call it. You’ve got the rioters under control by now, or you soon will. Get the fires out and the curfew to run quietly tomorrow night, and then get the hell out of my town. Come out, say you and I met, say we came to terms and you believe the city is in good hands. Say whatever you have to say to save face and go. You and your army can go find some other war to fight somewhere- I don’t care. But you can’t stay here.” How ballsy is that?


5. Sure, the argument could be made that Cyclops is nothing like Magneto, as the Master of Magnetism usually accompanied his troops in battle by leading the charge, whereas Cyclops rarely joins his team in combat. To that I say, sure, but unlike Magneto, Cyclops is more useful to mutantkind calling the shots from the safety of a war room. Plus, he doesn’t have the comfort of a magnetic shield to repel all sorts of attacks. Also unlike Magneto, Cyke has plenty of accomplished generals at his disposal to direct troops in battle. Who was Magneto going to have lead in his stead- The Blob? Avalanche?… Toad? Please, don’t make me laugh.

With these thoughts in mind, I leave you with a brief conversation between Hank McCoy and Scott at the end of Astonishing X-Men #30:

Beast: Do you remember when we were kids, Scott? When everyone called you Slim, and everyone called me Hank?

Cyclops: Honestly? Not so much anymore.

And neither should you. It’s a new era for our favorite mutants, and Cyclops is the man to lead the way.

emma1WARNING: if you haven’t read Uncanny X-Men #510, there are minor spoilers ahead!

After reading Uncanny X-Men #510, recalling what happened at the end of X-Men: Kingbreaker, and seeing the preview cover to Uncanny X-Men #511, a thought struck me- what if Emma Frost is being set up to become the new host of the Phoenix Force? Sure, it sounds absolutely nuts, but there are several major factors that make this hypothesis worth considering:

1. At the end of X-Men: Kingbreaker Rachel Summers, a.k.a Phoenix, had her powers fizzle out in a strange manner. It was as if the Phoenix Force had left (or was attempting to leave) her person. Perhaps this has something to do with the Phoenix attempting to find a stronger, more suitable host than Rachel… someone like Emma Frost. It seems like convenient timing to me…

2. Which sets up Uncanny X-Men #510 when Emma has a vision while unconscious. This vision is of what appears to be Jean Grey as the Phoenix (although it could be the Red Queen or someone else) saying, “Visions come to prepared spirits…. Well then, little spirit. Prepare.” What is this vision referring to exactly? Who the hell knows, but my guess would be that it’s foreshadowing- a warning to Emma that she be prepared for an eventual confrontation with the Phoenix Force.

3. The preview cover for Uncanny X-Men #511 made me seriously consider this vision to be a sign of things to come. I know what you’re thinking, “Andy, haven’t you learned by now that you can’t judge a comic book by it’s cover!?” I’d have to agree with you, but just look at it: A blonde woman in all white surrounded by flame. Who else besides Emma could that be? A Stepford Cuckoo? Maybe, but all signs point to Emma Frost in my book.

4. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most recent X-deaths: Colossus: dead from 2001-2004 (died in Uncanny X-Men #390 and returned in Astonishing X-Men #4), Psylocke: dead from 2001-2005 (died in X-Treme X-Men #2 and came back in Uncanny X-Men #455), Professor Xavier: was killed at the end of Messiah Complex and months later returned in the pages of X-Men Legacy, and we’ll even toss Caliban into the mix who also died during Messiah Complex and has returned (as a zombie) in X-Force. So what is the average length of time that X-Men have remained in the ground since the year 2001? 3 years? Maybe less? Well Jean Grey/the Phoenix Force has been dead since the end of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run in 2004. That’s 5 years now the Marvel Universe has been without it’s favorite red head! Considering modern comic books, that’s a damn long time for a character to remain deceased, and ‘5’ is a nice round number with which to bring a ghost back from the dead…

What do you guys and gals think?

babbit1Upon completing the 5 issue mini-series X-Men: Magneto Testament (the origin story of Magneto and his life living in a concentration camp), I read the afterword in the back of issue #5, and was introduced to a woman named Dina Babbitt. Before completing this mini-series I had never heard of Mrs. Babbitt, but now having been introduced to her and her struggle, I feel the need to spread the word about her battle with a Polish historical museum that refuses to return her art work.

Mrs. Babbitt’s story is that while she was a prisoner in Auschwitz, she painted a mural of Snow White on the children’s barracks as a way to bring a sliver of light into the lives of the kids who were dying there. She knew that painting this simple mural was a risk to her own life, and upon discovery by the Nazi’s, she was surprisingly spared brutal execution because of her talent.

Dr. Josef Mengele (who’s M.O. was to prove to the world that all races were inferior to the ‘Master Race’ by performing sickening experiments and tests on human beings) ordered Babbitt to paint portraits of Gypsy prisoners. Mengele believed that the quality of photographs weren’t good enough to show the racial inferiorities of the Gypsies, so by having an artist depict them instead of a camera lens, he’d get the required detail to prove his theory. Mrs. Babbitt knew that once her portraits were completed, her models would be killed. So, she took as long as possible to complete her paintings as an honorable (yet futile) way to prolong the lives of the people she painted. Dina created an estimated 11 portraits during her time in Auschwitz.

Towards the end of the war when Soviet troops were approaching the concentration camp, the Germans fled and forced their Jewish prisoners to take a death march from the camp. She and her mother survived and were ultimately liberated. Dina settled in Prague where she met and married Arthur Babbitt, who ironically was the lead animator of the character ‘Dopey’. Dina moved to Hollywood, and from then on worked as an assistant animator for Jay Ward Productions, Warner Brothers, and MGM. She has illustrated such characters as Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Speedy Gonzalez, and Cap’N Crunch.

However, in 1963 the Auschwitz State Museum (a Polish-funded museum located on the site of the former death camp) purchased 6 of Dina’s paintings from a local resident, and later the museum acquired a 7th. In 1973 museum officials identified Babbitt as the painter of the works (as they were all signed by her)  and contacted the artist. Dina immediately flew to Poland expecting to take her paintings home with her.

That didn’t turn out to be the case.

The museum officials told Dina she could not take them, so she tried again in 1997 to obtain possession of her property. This time she was accompanied by Katie Couric and a camera crew from NBC-TV’s Today Show. However, the museum denied her once more. Says Dina of the paintings, “It’s like a part of my heart is still in Auschwitz.”

“Over the years the Auschwitz Museum has offered several explanations for it’s refusal to return the paintings to Dina. The museum has claimed that the educational value of displaying the paintings outweighs Dina’s right to them. Dina has pointed out that the same educational goal would be achieved by displaying high quality reproductions. In fact, during her visit in 1997, Dina found that some of her Gypsy portraits on display were reproductions, NOT originals. The museum rotates the originals with reproductions.

The museum has asserted that returning Dina’s paintings might encourage other Holocaust survivors to seek the return of their property from museums, thus depriving museums of some artifacts. But it has not explained why a museum’s right to display a particular item should necessarily trump an individuals right to his or her property.

Officials of the Auschwitz Museum have been quoted as claiming that Dr. Mengele is the legal owner of the paintings. In response, 50 prominent attorneys sent a letter to the museum, calling that claim “preposterous and offensive.” Their letter noted: “A war criminal does not deserve to enjoy the fruits of his crimes. Mrs. Babbitt was coerced, on pain of death, to paint these portraits. She did not voluntarily enter into a business relationship with Mengele. He cannot be regarded as a patron who commissioned the art work.”

In 2001, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution, sponsored by Rep. Shelly Berkley of Nevada, recognizing “the moral right of Dina Babbitt to obtain the artwork she created” and urging the President and the Secretary of State “to make all efforts necessary to retrieve” the paintings. The resolution also instructed the State Department to undertake “immediate diplomatic efforts” to secure the return of the artwork.

But the Polish government and the Auschwitz Museum have ignored the Congressional resolution and the State Department has not applied the pressure necessary to resolve the problem.

Meanwhile, the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, a research and education institute in Washington, D.C., mobilized 450 cartoonists and comic book creators from around the world to sign a petition to the museum, urging a return of the paintings.

As Dina’s struggle has become known, many people have written to the museum ( in support of her cause. But despite the growing tide of public sympathy for Dina, the Auschwitz Museum has refused to yield.

And so Dina, now 84, continues to wait and hope that one day, the museum will realize the wrong it has committed and will finally give back her paintings.

How long will this outrage continue? How long will the international community accept this injustice? How much more suffering must Dinah Babbitt endure?”

This quote is taken from the 6 page comic that tells Dina’s story in the back of X-Men: Magneto Testament #5. It was written by Rafael Medoff, penciled by Neal Adams, and inked by Neal and Joe Kubert. Stan Lee wrote the afterword.

Please take a moment to e-mail the Auschwitz Museum in support of Dina.

xmen1The very first X-Men comic to be published by Marvel was X-Men #1. It was released in September of 1963, and the team consisted of Professor X, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, and Angel. The X-Men’s most popular character, Wolverine, didn’t join the team until 12 years later in 1975 when he appeared in Giant Size X-Men #1!

A Fastball Special is the term that was originally coined for when the steel-bodied Colossus tossed a feral Wolverine at an opponent. Over the years though, many different characters have performed the move, but it has only been perfected by the Russian and Canadian mutants.

Meanwhile, over at D.C. Comics, there have been four different characters who have taken up the Robin mantle at Batman’s side. In order of duty they have been: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Tim Drake again. Dick Grayson later grew up to become the blue and black clad Nightwing. Jason Todd brutally died at the hands of The 101113-48969-fastball-special1Joker only to return years later as the vigilante Red Hood. Now Todd has become something of an anti-hero, taunting his former comrades by donning their costumes and delivering a harsher form of justice. Tim Drake is still in high cover-largeschool and could easily be compared to Marvel’s Peter Parker during his younger years. Before she was Robin, Stephanie Brown patrolled the streets of Gotham City as the purple robed Spoiler. Batman took her under his wing when Tim went on an hiatus as Robin, giving Stephanie the role of Batman’s right hand… woman. She was seemingly killed by the villain Black Mask, only to come back a few years later. She has returned to her role as Spoiler.

Similarly, the Batgirl cowl has been taken up by two different women: Police Commissioner James Gordon’s daughter, Barbara Gordon, and the act first/ask questions later, Cassandra Cain. Barbara Gordon was Batgirl until The Joker crippled her by busting up her legs in “The Killing Joke” story arc. She is now consigned to a wheel chair and goes by the name of Oracle. Oracle is a computer hack, essentially taking the role of ‘mission control’ when it comes to the Bat-Family. Ironically, Cassandra Cain (who currently dons the Batgirl title) was trained by Barbara and is a total bad ass.

Welcome to a new segment at Out of Context! Here, comic panels will be posted that contain dialogue (or whatever) that can be taken out of context to mean something else. Capice? Let’s get rolling with our first installment taken from X-Men (vol. 1) #17 and Uncanny X-Men #143:

Beast and Professor Xavier Are Misogynistic Pricks