Dr Annabelle Riggs

July 24th, 2014

Contributed by Mike McDermott

Annabelle Riggs is an archeologist, who was inspired as a child by the Indiana Jones movies. When mercenaries started stealing Asgardian artifacts from some of her archeological digs, Annabelle recruited the services of her friend, hero-for-hire Misty Knight. While surveying a mass Viking grave, Annabelle discovered an ancient Asgardian artifact which she unintentionally activated. The small statue began playing a strange song, which caused the Viking corpses to rise from the grave and attack Annabelle, Misty and the rest of the dig team. The song also summoned Valkyrie, the last of the Asgardian shieldmaidens, who joined in the fight. After Valkyrie saved her life from some zombie Vikings, Annabelle impulsively kissed her.

Once the battle was over, Valkyrie announced she was going to Asgard to consult the All-Mother about the incident. Annabelle declared she was going as well, since whatever was going on was connected to the raids on her museum’s artifacts. Valkyrie originally objected to the idea, but Annabelle insisted–threatening to dig up some other mystical artifact that would summon her back again if she tried to leave without her. Valkyrie was impressedwith Annabelle’s spirit, and had a mystical vision showing her that Annabelle was a potential shieldmaiden, so she agreed to take Annabelle and Misty with her.

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The heroes learned from the gods that the villain Caroline Le Fey was working on a spell to revive the evil Asgardian Doom Maidens. They joined forces with several other heroes to stop Le Fey, but were unable to prevent her from raising the Doom Maidens…and unlocking Valkyrie’s repressed memories that she was also a Doom Maiden, the Maiden of Rage! The heroes managed to defeat the other Doom Maidens, but Rage-Valkyrie knocked out all of the heroes until Annabelle was the only one left standing to oppose her. Although she knew that she didn’t stand a chance against Valkyrie, Annabelle bravely confronted her anyway. She appealed to Valkyrie’s true nature, to try and break through the rage clouding her mind. It worked, but not before the Rage persona lashed out and murdered Annabelle as a final act.

Valkyrie delivered Annabelle’s soul to Valhalla as one of the honoured dead, but Annabelle did not find the Norse afterlife to her liking. She did not have to endure it long however, since Valkyrie recruited the services of the sorceress Clea to restore Annabelle to life! The spell came with a price though, and now Annabelle and Valkyrie shared the same physical body with only one of them able to exist in corporeal form at a time. Annabelle joined Valkyrie and Misty in assembling an all-female team of Defenders, and she participates in their adventures when she isn’t required to trade places with Val. When the Defenders encountered a young woman named Ren Kimura who had just developed powers and discovered she was an Inhuman, Annabelle was the one who helped Ren to adapt to the changes she was going through. Ren joined the Defenders as well, and she and Annabelle soon became a couple.

Dr. Annabelle Riggs first appeared and was outed in Fearless Defenders #1 (2013).

Please read Ren Kimura’s profile.

All rights reserved Marvel Comics.

Ren Kimura

July 24th, 2014

Contributed by Mike McDermott

Ren Kimura is a young Japanese-American woman who grew up with a very regimented childhood, directed by her very traditional parents who tried to shape her into their idea of a model citizen through school, studies and pre-selected hobbies. One of the hobbies they selected for her was ballet, which sparked a love of all dance in Ren. Her parents considered ballet just one more discipline for her to master as part of her well-rounded development, but Ren wanted to explore all forms of dance.  Her parents did not approve, nor did they approve of her sexuality when they learned she is a lesbian. Since she still lived in their home and they paid for her tuition, Ren followed their rules…but snuck around behind their backs to continue her study of dance.

Ren is one of millions of humans who are descendants of ancient Inhumans, a race of superhumans whose powers come from exposure to the Terrigen Mists.  During one of his invasions of Earth, the mad titan Thanos launched an attack on the home of the Inhumans, causing an explosion that spread a cloud of Terrigen all over the Earth. This Terrigen cloud activated the dormant powers of millions in Inhuman-descendants, including Ren, causing them to enter a cocooned state and emerge transformed into Inhumans.

Ren emerged from her cocoon with her hands transformed into a strange metallic substance. Ren soon found herself caught in a crossfire between troops of Thanos, who were slaughtering all of the newly powered Inhumans on sight, and Caroline Le Fey and her Doom Maidens, who were capturing the cocoons to try and recruit the new Inhumans to their cause. The Defenders arrived on the scene and defended Ren, and she soon found that she could use her new powers to join in the fight.  Afterwards Annabelle Riggs of the Defenders bonded with Ren, using her own status as a newcomer to the world of super-heroics to relate to Ren and help her cope with her unexpected changes. Ren joined the Defenders, and began a romance with Annabelle soon afterwards.
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Ren’s hands and forearms are now composed of metal, and her fingers have transformed into razor blades. Her fingers can extend as long metallic strands, with the blade at the tip. She can use these as whips, or to propel herself by using them like grappling lines. Although Ren has no combat training, she has adapted her dance skills to serve as a unique and fluid fighting style, twirling her razor-sharp whips around as she dances.

Ren first appeared and was outed in Fearless Defenders #10.

Please read Dr Annabelle Rigg’s profile.

All rights reserved by Marvel Comics.

Wuvable Oaf Goes To Comic Con!

July 22nd, 2014

There’s a bunch of new Wuvable Oaf items up at http://www.wuvableoaf.com/products.htm and available this week at San Diego Comic-Con!

Wuvable Oaf has made the leap to his own Comic-Con booth this year, in the Small Press #L-11! Ed and Mark will be at the show all five days with a bunch of goodies, including: Music Mini Comic

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​This collection gathers up Oaf stories from Maximum RocknRoll, the Mercyful Fate tribute comic and QU33R anthology, along with a previously unpublished “Worst Dates Ever” story! Choose from three variant cover choices!

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​Wuvable Oaf #s 0 and 1 sold out a while back, so we combined them into one handy flip-book volume! The Special Edition version comes with a new Ejaculoid Dust Jacket and three art plates featuring Smusherrrr, Goteblud and Oaf!

Classic Oaf shirts are back in stock!

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Oaf Undies, Goteblud, Slumber Party and Oaf Hulk are back in limited quantities, so don’t wait too long! Sizes S-3XL on Fruit of the Loom T’s.

Finally, Ed will be signing the new Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever at the Last Gasp booth (#1614) on Thursday, July 24 from 12:00-1:30 pm!

​LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING A BUNCH OF YOU AT THE SHOW!!!
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Teen Titans #1

July 21st, 2014

teentitans1001Teen Titans has returned with a new number one courtesy of writer Will Pfeifer after the previous unreadable volume was mercifully laid to rest only a few months ago. Comparisons of the two volumes will inevitably happen, so let me offer mine. Several things in the plus column. scott Lobdell is not the writer. I repeat: Scott Lodbell is not the writer. Will Pfeifer doesn’t have as long a career in comics writing as Lobdell does, and his writing on Catwoman and HERO, his “Dial H for Hero” revival, shows to me he can deliver solid scripts not mired with derivative exposition. The team is trimmer by four, with the former Kid Flash and Solstice off in the future and Superboy and Skitter who knows where. Or possibly five if counting Danny the Alley ne Street which Lobdell used a few times. Bunker did not disappear into comics limbo as all too often happens with LGBT characters in supporting or ensemble roles, and  and he isn’t annoying because Pfeifer isn’t peppering his dialog with Spanish phrases in a lame attempt to make the character seem Mexican, just as the dialog for all the characters seeming more natural. Another positive note is that Pfeiffer also seems eager to continue the friendship between Beast Boy and Bunker.
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The Cure For What Ails You

July 16th, 2014

Are you burnt out on spandex? Need a break from the latest mutant melodrama? Are you bored to tears by slice of life comics? Has your libido flatlined and your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of that expensive blue pill? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions – and even if you didn’t – have I got the answer for your dilemma! Well, not me personally. Let me point you to a growing number of robust and soundly erotic comics by one Dale Lazarov and a bevy of artists hand chosen for their anatomical inspiration! Try one or more scintillating selection to cure what ails you! Just click the ad in the top right of the sidebar or here.  Disclaimer: Please don’t read while driving. Not responsible for chafing or repetitive motion injuries.

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Gay Previews For September

July 15th, 2014


Hiya! September’s Previews has more fun and interesting surprises! A gay private eye comic from Northwest Press, another volume of Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book with P Craig Russell, a Young Avengers Omnibus hardcover, and Adrian & the Tree of Secrets all caught my attention! And then there’s this massive Taschen book about Marvel’s 75 years publishing comics that’s really tempting. Is it saying “buy me” to you too? Go check out the other stuff!DC’s presence on the list this time out is a tad messed up thanks to the Futures End event being solicited two months ago. I debated on including any DC books since you’d only be able to pick them up in store.

Credit to Andy Mangels who compiled many such lists before me. People’s names listed in bold are either LGBT or supportive.

So hey. A few words about being an Amazon affiliate again. Sure, there’s a small commission on each sale you make if you make purchaes by clicking any of the links in this list or through that widget thing in the sidebar or if you bookmark the link below. Supporting your local comic shop and bookstore is really important too. Being an Amazon affiliate isn’t just about commissions on books though, so don’t be shy about using these links to make your other non-book related purchases!
Amazon & Gay League

Credit to Andy Mangels who compiled many such lists before me. People’s names listed in bold are either LGBT or supportive.

ABSTRACT STUDIOS

RACHEL RISING TPS Vol 1 – 4 $16.99 each Page 230
Terry Moore
Rachel Beck wakes in a shallow grave and claws her way free as a mysterious woman watches from a bluff. With no memory of the night before, Rachel enlists the help of Aunt Johnny, the town mortician, to find her killer. But when repeated attacks send her to the morgue, Rachel’s ability to wake from death again and again prove to be a blessing and a curse, and the eerie town of Manson will never be the same! Volume 1, The Shadow of Death, collects issues #1-6. Volume 2, Fear No Malus, collects issues #7-12. Volume 3: Cemetary Songs, collects issues #13-18. Volume 4: Winter Graves collects issues #19-24.

ARCHIE

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #7 $3.99 Page 241
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francisco Francavilla
“Betty, RIP,” part 1 of 6. It’s been weeks since Archie and his friends left Riverdale. Now, they are wandering the deserted highways of America, one step ahead of the ever-pursuing vicious zombie horde. When they decide to set down roots to observe their first post-apocalypse Thanksgiving, Mr. Lodge leads a team into the forests of Pennsylvania to find dinner, but the hunters soon become the hunted, and not all of the gang will make it out of the woods alive!

kevinkeller15KEVIN KELLER #15 $3.99 Page 245
Dan Parent
Kevin became a semi-celebrity after coming to the aid of a robbery victim, and it got Veronica’s wheels turning: of course, Kevin would make the perfect superhero! With her unlimited resources and limited common sense, Veronica built a secret lair into her mansion, where they could monitor crime and send Kevin out to fight it as The Equalizer! The only piece of the puzzle left is Kevin-he still has to decide if he wants anything to do with her crazy schemes! This super issue features not one, but two variant covers by superstar artist Phil Jimenez!

ARSENAL PULP PRESS

ADRIAN & THE TREE OF SECRETS $18.95 Page 247
Hubert and Marie Caillou
The bittersweet story of Adrian, a nerdy teenaged boy who falls in love with Jeremy, the cool kid at school. Adrian isn’t very happy these days. He lives in a small town and goes to a Catholic high school. He’s dogged by a strict mother, bullied on the soccer field, and chastised by the school principal, who considers gay rumors about Adrian as a sign that he is “ill.” But Jeremy, the coolest kid at school, thinks otherwise; he takes Adrian on scooter trips, where they end up in Jeremy’s secret treehouse stealing kisses. Adrian finds himself falling in love, until Jeremy’s girlfriend rats them out, sending Jeremy into a tailspin of embarrassment for being different than the rest. What will become of him?

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Robert Rodi Essentials & A New Book

July 13th, 2014

Robert Rodi has a modest Kickstarter to reissue new editions of his out of print books along with a novella updating the stories of these characters! Check it out!

Grayson’s Surprise

July 13th, 2014

Nightwing! Nightwing! Nightwing! Who could pass up Dick with that incredibly tight butt? Me, for one. What the hell?! Nightwing’s first volume – and I have the entire run – had been cancelled for over a year at that point if I recall correctly so I’d already gone through withdrawal aside from the occasional appearance in Batman Inc. So after DC’s relaunch nearly three years ago limiting my Batman related titles to Batgirl. Batwoman, and the last of Batman Inc. wasn’too difficult. Whether you read Forever Evil or not you know that Nightwing was captured, tortured, forced to listen to Owlman’s rambling thoughts, and unmasked for everyone to see, leaving Dick’s fate uncertain until the announcement that he’d become a super spy in a new series drawn by the very talented Mikel Janin, whose work I’ve admired from Justice League Dark. As first issues go the story is mostly set up with Dick boarding the Trans Mongolian train in his inimitable style. For me the best scene occurs toward the end when Stormwatch’s Midnighter makes a surprise appearance. Actually he appears in the beginning as well. Stormwatch is cancelled for now (thanks, Jim Starlin and DC!) but Grayson writers Tim Seeley and Tom King told Newsarama they have plans to use Midnighter as a recurring character and integrate him into DC’s spy world. To top off their first encounter Seeley and King added a little sexual tension to the scene! Looks like I’ll add Grayson to my pull list!

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Sequart’s Wertham Documentary Diagram For Delinquents Now Available

July 8th, 2014

sequartwerthamdocSequart Organization is proud to announce that the Fredric Wertham documentary Diagram for Delinquents, directed by Robert A. Emmons, Jr., is now available for download purchase and DVD preorder.

In 1950, America was in a state of panic. Juvenile delinquency was destroying the very fabric of society. Ninety percent of all children were reading comic books. In 1954, psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham wrote a scathing indictment of comics called Seduction of the Innocent. Its central premise: Comic books were the leading contributing factor to juvenile delinquency. That same year, Dr. Wertham testified at special hearings on comic books at the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in the United States. Comic books were on trial!

Diagram for Delinquents captures the zeitgeist of late 1940s and early 1950s America and investigates how the funny books found themselves on the fire. Using expert and comic book insider interviews, never seen before historical photographs and films, and animation, Diagram goes further than any previous comic book documentary to explore and understand the controversial figure at the center of this American tale: Fredric Wertham.

The movie is currently available for purchase as a download from the Sequart store, including a version with over an hour of bonus material. Also at the Sequart store, you can preorder the DVD version, which is expected to ship in August. For more information on Diagram for Delinquents, and to see its official trailer, please visit the film’s page on Sequart.org.

About the Publisher: Sequart Organization is devoted to the study of popular culture and the promotion of comic books as a legitimate artform. Sequart has released twenty books, five films, and thousands of online articles. Its documentaries include The Image Revolution, and its books include Grant Morrison: The Early Years. Later this year, Sequart will release the documentary She Makes Comics (about the history of women in the comics medium), and next year will see the release of a documentary on Neil Gaiman.

About the Director: Robert A. Emmons, Jr. is a documentary filmmaker focusing on American popular culture and history. His films include Enthusiast: The 9th Art, Wolf at the Door, Yardsale!, Goodwill: The Flight of Emilio Carranza, and De Luxe: The Tale of Blue Comet. Goodwill was screened as part of the Smithsonian exhibition “Our Journeys / Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement.” It also won Best Homegrown Documentary Feature at the 2008 Garden State Film Festival, and it led to him receiving Mexico’s Lindbergh-Carranza International Goodwill Award as a “Messenger of Peace.”

The Vamp

June 24th, 2014

vampContributed by Ronald Byrd

Nothing is known about the Vamp’s life prior to her entry into the subversive criminal organization known as the Corporation; the lover of the Corporation’s east coast head, Senator Eugene Stivak, the Vamp was assigned to infiltrate the international law enforcement agency called SHIELD, and she, along with another double agent called Blue Streak, joined SHIELD’s Super-Agent program, in which capacity she wore the energizing absorbo-belt and served alongside genuine heroes the Texas Twister and Marvel Man (later known as Quasar). While serving as a SHIELD Super-Agent, the Vamp was also active as a Corporation agent in the form of the Animus, a psionic-powered, neanderthal-like, and apparently male superhuman; her ability to assume this new form was presumably given to her by the Corporation’s genetic engineers, who evidently worked under criteria different from that of most other subversive scientists (although, in all honesty, for all we know it is the Animus who is the original form and the Vamp who is the transformation, which would lend the Vamp’s romance with Senator Stivak a rather unusual subtext). Thus, the Vamp targeted the super-hero Captain America in the form of the Animus, even while she was posing as his ally in SHIELD.

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