Reacting to the Colorado Tragedy

By Matt Peters

Fandom everywhere celebrated as Dark Knight Rises officially came out yesterday. I wanted to go see a midnight showing, but respiratory issues and work kept that from happening. Unfortunately, this was by no means the worst thing to happen surrounding the release. What should have been a celebratory day has been overshadowed by a single, reprehensible act.

Like most of you, when I woke up this morning, I read the horrible news coming out of Aurora, Colo. Some maniac decided to open fire on a packed theater dressed in a bulletproof vest and carrying several weapons. This crowd included folks of all ages, including a few toddlers and babies. Twelve people lost their lives, and many were injured. (more…)


Title: Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous

Format: DVD

Produced by: Brian Ward

Written by: Joss Whedon

Illustration by: John Cassaday

Studio: Marvel Knights Animation, Shout Factory

Rating: ★★★½☆

Review by: Bill Jones

The motion comic formula is still a baffling one. Marvel Knights doesn’t quite commit to really animating something, but offers a way for people to watch, rather than read, their comics. The effect is cool but still altogether unnecessary, and the latest offering from Astonishing X-Men isn’t going to change many minds on it. (more…)


Title: Fighting American

Publisher: Titan Books

Written by: Joe Simon

Illustrated by: Jack Kirby

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Review by: Matt Peters

Like the excuse given for a granddad at Sunday dinner, the stories contained within the Fighting American collection are from a different time. That means it’s littered with classic story ideas and stereotypes that are sure to confuse and offend those who are unfamiliar with the entertainment of the era. Compiling the work of two comic book legends, some of these tales are finally being published for the first time ever. Do the Cold War-era adventures of America’s other patriotic superhero deserve a look? (more…)


Interview with WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes

WWE Extreme Rules Preview

Interview by Bill Jones – Images courtesy of WWE

Cody Runnels, better known by his ring name Cody Rhodes, is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, a fact he played into with the multi-generational stable The Legacy. Cody Rhodes cut his teeth in the WWE in tag team competition with Ted DiBiase, but in recent years, Rhodes has made a name for himself as a singles competitor poised to be a main eventer. He has had great feuds and even better matches with the likes of Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Booker T. But his current feud sees him up against the 7-foot 441-pound Big Show, upholding the time-honored pro wrestling tradition of fighting a giant, in this case a giant who beat him Sunday, April 1, for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.

Rhodes will get his rematch Sunday, April 29, at the Extreme Rules pay per view, held at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. (Chicago). Rhodes was kind enough to take 15 minutes out of his busy travel schedule Thursday, April 26, to chat on the phone about the upcoming show and his career, delving into his mask, video games, his father, Chicago, twitter, the return of Attitude Era Superstars, dream matches, mystery stipulations and, of course, the Big Show. (more…)


C2E2 – The Photo Gallery

Photos by Bill Jones, Matt Peters and Archie Easter

The annual Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo took place once again April 13-15 at McCormick Place in Chicago, bringing with it comic book writers, artists and celebrities who walked the floor and hosted panels, as well as a plethora of costumed attendees and plenty of merch. Bill, Matt and Archie all walked the floor over the course of the weekend. The following gallery shows some of the best images they captured, respectively. (more…)


Title: Transient

Publisher: Massive Black

Writer/Artist: Justin “CORO” Kaufman

Rating: ★★★★½

Review by: Eric Stuckart

To me, the greatest thing about comics is their ability to allow the reader to suspend his or her disbelief in a way that other forms of storytelling, mainly film, ever could. I think that’s the greatest asset that it has, because in a certain way, it’s still tied to the imaginative, ‘anything’s possible’ belief system that books are so very good at conveying. The mind’s eye can fill in the blanks, per se, and all we need is a little nudge from the book’s artwork.

In that sense, a book like Transient probably wouldn’t be able to work in any other form of popular visual media. Its concept most certainly wouldn’t work in a video game, what with the heroic lead character not being enough of an antihero or a hero; hell, he’s not even close enough to being what many would view as a regular guy. And with that, it probably wouldn’t work too well as a film either, for much the same but entirely different reasons. Why, you ask? Because the hero’s name is Bob, and he is a homeless man living on the streets of San Francisco. Bob has a secret. He can see multidimensional beings — some good, some evil — and because of that, he must stay living on the streets, as a ‘guardian of humanity.’ (more…)


12 Things to be Excited About in 2012

By Matt Peters

This year is scheduled to be one of the biggest of note in the world of comics, video games, and all-around geekiness. We here at Pads & Panels would like to give you twelve reasons that 2012 will be awesome. Let’s hope our Mayan overlords don’t return from outer space until we get to experience most of it. Take a look below for some of the highlights:




Title: 30 Days of Night: Omnibus Vol. 1

Publisher: IDW

Writers: Steve Niles

Artist: Ben Templesmith

Rating: ★★★★½

Review by: Eric Stuckart

Bleak and sparse, 30 Days of Night is the type of vampire story that should be told more often. Rather than try too hard by showing a lot of flash and overdoing the action, it broods. It breathes its icy black breath on every page. And the pages are dark as they come. It doesn’t have to try; it gets its point across just by being, making it quite the page turner.

In this colllection, the first three stories of the 30 Days saga are included, the self-titled first story, along with sequels Dark Days and Return to Barrow. With the first story, the duo of Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith had something terrifyingly special on their hands. The story is simple. In the quiet Alaskan town of Barrow, a group of vampires comes up with a plan that no vampire has ever tried before. They decide to drop in on the townsfolk during the short period between November 18 and December 17 when the sun doesn’t rise — the titular 30 days of night. Without a sun coming up to make the vampires return to hiding for a month, Barrow becomes a free-for-all, an all-you-can-eat buffet for the vampires. This is the story of how those townsfolk fight back. (more…)


Hello, folks. We hope you’re enjoying the holiday season. While you’ve been sipping on spiked eggnog, opening copious amounts of gifts and bickering with relatives you see just a few times a year, we’ve been…well…we’ve been doing exactly the same. But we’ve also been getting together and compiling some of our favorite things from 2011. We’re kind of like Orpah, except multiple people instead of one big person, and infinitely less rich. (more…)


Title: Seven Soldiers of Victory Volumes 1 & 2

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist: J.H. Williams III, Simone Bianchi, Cameron Stewart, Ryan Sook, Frazer Irving, Mick Gray, Pasqual Ferry, Yanick Paquette, Serge Lapointe, Doug Mahnke, Billy Dallas Patton, Michael Bair, Freddie Williams II

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

Grant Morrison has a growing penchant for revitalizing (or attempting to revitalize) comics history, by reinventing old characters, incorporating classic story bits and trying to revolutionize storytelling in comics. But as often as he strikes gold (All-Star Superman), he also finds a way to alienate casual fans looking for a good story. And Seven Soldiers of Victory is the latest example of just that.

He takes a cadre of C-list characters – Shining Knight, Guardian, Bulleteer, Klarion, Frankenstein, Zatanna and Mister Miracle – and weaves them together in a metaseries, in which each character gets a four-issue mini-series, and two other issues bookend the collection, which is also available in two hardcover or softcover volumes. (more…)