Friday, May 31, 2013

Brand New Feature: X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics)

by Brian Wood, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, Laura Martin

A new X-Men number one issue. Written by Brian Wood. All female team. There were several new books out this week all in incredibly capable hands, but this new series from Wood and Coipel was not to be pushed aside for any other. Should the title be something else as there are no actual "men" on the team? Do we need another X-title? There are as many detractions from this book as there are highlights and maybe that's what makes it so exciting to open up.

Brian Wood has a very cold, factual writing style. It seems similar to Jonathan Hickman's plot-first writing style. The book opens with two separate events transpiring in overlaying panels. At the same time, Wood scripts a narration that describes an event that is both on a genetically microscopic level as well as a cosmic level at the same time. It is an excellent opening that sets the tone for a grand story. We are then slowly introduced to the main cast of characters through a strange situation unfolding.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Episode 65: Green Lantern by Geoff Johns

"In brightest day, in blackest night..." 

The title says it all, ladies and gentlemen. Join us this week as Allen, Ethan, Paul and Seth dig into Geoff Johns historic run on Green Lantern. 

But first the news! Talk of a new Superman animated movie from Bruce Timm & Zac Effron... I mean Snyder. Rumors of a possible Namor series penned by James Robinson! And Seth randomly reviews Fast & Furious 6!

Then the fellas review, discuss, disect, and heap adoration on Geoff Johns' nigh-on-a-decade Green Lantern run. They give us a rundown of what they love, what they like, and what they think may have changed the course of history.

Let us know what you think of Geoff Johns' run via e-mail to!

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Check out this episode!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Brand New Feature: The Bounce #1 (Image Comics)

by Joe Casey and David Messina

Sometimes all it takes is a creative team, a great cover and you have eager readers excited for your first issue. The Bounce comes from a pretty strong creative team and what is apparent in the first issue is that they have big plans for this story. The world set up and the different elements teased in the opening issue all point to great potential. The Bounce #1, however, may have more ideas than it can handle, resulting in a strange opening chapter.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Episode 64: Star Trek Into Darkness & Arrow Season Finale

Episode 64 brings the band back together for their first recording as a complete collective in three weeks. 

What do they talk about? Well, the intro alone contains a lengthy discussion about Star Trek Into Darkness spurred on by a listener letter. Then they talk about the Arrow season finale. That's just the intro though...

During the news they dig into the Agents of Shield and the latest round of DC's New 52 cancellations.

Then the Take-it-or-Leave-it segment.

Allen review Green Team #1 and Regular Show #1.

Ethan reviews Half Past Danger #1 and X-O Manowar #13.

Paul reviews Justice League #20 and Adventures of Superman #4.

Seth reviews Superman #20 and Iron Man #10

And then they group hug like a flock of penguins riding out a cold winter's night.

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Check out this episode!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Brand New Feature: Dream Thief #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

by Jai Nitz, Greg Smallwood

Sometimes the best stories are the ones readers have to work for. There is a fine line, though, where asking too much of your reader can be more damaging than asking nothing of them. Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood present Dream Thief, a miniseries from Dark Horse. Here, readers are introduced to a fascinatingly unique story that balances several genres and influences for a final product that will surely draw them in for more.

As it opens, readers are quick to infer that the lead character is a bit of a deadbeat. Johnny wakes up, seemingly hungover with little knowledge of how he came to be in this room with last night's pretty face. Already, Nitz employs an interesting tactic with dual narration from the same character. Johnny is writing a letter to his son, and he is also narrating a bit, each employing different colored text boxes, and each serving separate purposes, though appearing within the same panels. Readers learn was once married, has kids and now a girlfriend but seems to have spent the night with none of those people.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Episode 63: The Goon

You read it right, the Ancillary Characters take Erik Powell's The Goon! Join us as we talk industry news (Marvel Cartoons made by Disney?!?!), and of course a slew of reviews, including Avengers #11, The Movement #1, Adventures of Superman #2, Age of Ultron #7 and Iron Man #9!

Wanna support the show? We don't need money donations, we need iTunes reviews! And letters, sent to!

Check out this episode!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Paul's Picks! - R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned (Dark Horse Comics)

Hey guys, Paul here. Over the past few months, there has been a surge of increased activity for the guys over here at AC, and we couldn't be more excited about it. To name a few: we've recently shattered all of our records concerning downloads of the Ancillary Characters Podcast (thanks to you guys)! We've welcomed a new member into the fold here at in the form of our good friend Dan, or as you might know him, @penooch on Twitter. (Check out his new column "Brand New Feature," it's a fantastic read.) And finally, we've recently been welcomed by a handful of publishers to review advanced copies of books that they are publishing, from Action Lab Comics to Dark Horse, and we couldn't be more humbled or excited for these exciting opportunities. Things are really taking off for the Ancillary Characters, and we owe it all to you guys. Thanks.

And in honor of these new opportunities, I'm bringing you another one of Paul's Picks, in the form of an advanced review of...

R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned (Dark Horse Comics) with writing by Jeremy Barlow and Peter Lenkov, art by Tony Parker, and colors by Michelle Madsen.

R.I.P.D. is based on two protagonists, Roy Pulsipher and Nick Walker. The two men served as law enforcement while they lived, and after death they were enlisted into the Rest In Peace Department. The R.I.P.D. is a police organization of dead men, sent around the world to protect the living and bring the rogue dead to justice. In this particular trade paperback, the reader is given the origin of Roy, who will be played by Jeff Bridges in the upcoming film based on the R.I.P.D. property. In fact, this was a large part of my own motivation for reading this book. If you've seen the trailer for movie, also starring Ryan Reynolds as Nick, then this book is a great place to get a taste of what you might expect.

Friday, May 10, 2013

In Case You Missed It: Comeback (Image Comics)

In lieu of a Brand New Feature, some weeks we will instead feature a collected work that has come out that week. With so many series launching each week, this column gives a nod to a completed mini-series or arc "In Case You Missed It."

By Ed Brisson, Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire

Is five million dollars worth it to save a loved one from dying? Time travel is nothing new to literature in any medium at this point, but that does not mean that a writer cannot use this in a new way. Ed Brisson's story in Comeback is unique, small, and eloquently executed. Imagine you suffered the loss of a loved one and there existed a way, shortly thereafter, to undo this tragedy. With the right money, this person could be saved and returned to you. Unfortunately, as is often the case, time travel is not legal, and the heat is on.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Episode 62: Three Guys and an Empty Chair

The Ancillary Characters are back to basics with this week's episode! While Seth is off preparing to tie the knot next week, Paul and Allen take over as the Dynamic Duo of Podcasts! They bounce back and forth with friendly banter for a good 50 minutes. Oh, and they talk about comics, comic news, and just generally enjoy one anothers company.

You'll find all kinds of coolness in the form of Marvel Movie talk, Teen Titans GO!, Avengers #11, Adventure Time #15, Thor God of Thunder #8, Uncanny Avengers #8, and Amelia Cole and the Hidden War #1. So yeah, some cool stuff. Seth and Ethan may be away for the week, but you won't wanna miss this Sultry Southern Segment. Love you.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Paul's Picks! - Superior Spider-Man #9 (or the Dan Slott Roller Coaster Ride)

Superior Spider-Man. It's been just a few short months since the polarizing events of Amazing Spider-Man #700 landed, and to say that we here at the Ancillary Characters had mixed feelings is an understatement. (Check out our 2012-In-Review Episodes from the Ancillary Characters Podcast, Episode 44 and 45, to hear us hash that one out in full!) However, as we've revealed numerous times over the past few months, Mr. Slott managed to pull us in (myself specifically) through his great storytelling. After a couple of issues, I found myself enjoying the story so much that my concerns and reservations about a Doc Ock Spider-Man were overshadowed by the ├╝ber-high-quality art and writing that the team was delivering bi-weekly.

Then came...

Superior Spider-Man #9 by Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman, with Edgar Delgado on colors and Chris Eliopoulos on letters.

***There are absolutely going to be spoilers for not only this issue, but previous issues of Superior Spider-Man. If you're trade waiting or you just haven't hit the shop yet, TURN BACK NOW (and come back later).***

Friday, May 3, 2013

Brand New Feature: Free Comic Book Day (Action Lab)

In lieu of the regular column here featuring a spotlight on a new series, I wanted to take the time to talk about a few books that will be released this weekend for the national Free Comic Book Day event. While most people plan to pick up the more recognizable books from DC or Marvel or even the television tie-ins for Spongebob, it is a great opportunity to check out some things you might be unfamiliar with. Free Comic Book Day is a chance to look into a series that might otherwise remain under the radar and see if it's worth following. 

Action Lab Studios, a publishing company not as commonly mentioned as Image Comics or IDW has generated a great library of all-ages comics. This year, they have two releases, with each issue split into two features. The titles include ongoing series NFL Rush Zone, Princeless, and Skyward. They have also released a teaser for an upcoming series, Molly Danger. Each issue tells a quick story that gives readers a pretty good sense of the writing and direction of the respective titles.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Episode 61: Iron Man

Time for the Characters to do some heavy welding, and computer programming as they cobble together an episode devoted entirely to Iron Mania! 

We talk comics news: The Thor: The Dark World trailer, the possible Death of Wolverine and more.

Then they move into the take-it-or-leave-it segment, with only Iron Man books.

They team review Iron Man: Extremis!

Allen reviews Demon in a Bottle and Iron Man: Noir and the Iron Man 3 tie-in comic.

Paul reviews Marvel Now! Iron Man 1-5, the Iron Man Annual focusing on the Mandarin, and Iron Man: Heroes Reborn 1.

Seth reviews Matt Fraction's Iron Man, Iron Man: Legacy of Doom, Tales of Suspense 50 and Iron Man: Inevitable.

Make sure to visit us at and tune in every Thursday night at 7pm EST at Find us at or @ancillarytweets on the twitters.

Letters go to and EVERY letter gets a free comic! 

Check out this episode!

Paul's Picks - TMNT Action Figures (Playmate Toys)

As comic book readers and fans, we often face the scrutiny of the "grown-ups" out there in the real world. You know, the ones who go to their jobs, watch ESPN for at least 8 hours in the day, and spend their free time doing other manly, grown-up things. The look down at us with that lumberjack stare with a judging eye. Comics are for kids. Video games are for kids. And action figures are definitely for kids.

Yeah? That so? Well here's what I have to say to that!... You're right. There are comics for kids, video games for kids, and certainly action figures and other toys for kids. But this truth does not mean that adults have no place enjoying them just the same. In fact, I would daresay that we can enjoy some of these things to an even greater extent as adults, as grown-ups who fully comprehend the value of things like these. The fact of the matter is, while I may be a 26 year old married man with responsibilities, bills, and all kinds of kinds of other grown-up goodies, I love comics. I love video games. And yes, I love toys.

Are you a toy lover? Do you yearn to fill your top shelf with beautiful, colorful figurines of your favorite fictional figures? So do I. That's why this week's pick goes to, not a comic, but a set of TOYS!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figure Set (Playmate Toys)