80 year old Stanley Moore of Los Angeles, CA, is one of the youngest living fans of pulp heroes, so he is naturally part of the prime demographic being targetted by Dynamite Entertainment in the launch of their two new super-mega-crossover event comics, Codename: Action and King's Watch. Codename: Action will be a six issue event that unites the ultimate super-spy, Captain Action, with classic pulp heroes including Green Hornet, Kato, the Spider, and Black Venus. It will be written by Chris Roberson with art by Jonathan Lau. In a risky move for a comic targeted at older fans who might not appreciate modern settings and topics, the comic will be set during the Cold War. Kings Watch will be written by Jeff Parker with art by Marc Laming, and will see classic pulp heroes Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician team-up to fight an invasion of nightmarish monsters.
As soon as we learned of these comics, we couldn't wait to tell Stanley.
"What's that?!" yelled a confused Stanley, who has a little bit of trouble hearing."Jeff Parker is drunk on scotch?! Dunk his head in a bucket of water!"
We explained that Parker wasn't drunk on scotch, but was actually writing King's Watch. We added that Chris Roberson would be writing Codename: Action.
"Stonewall Jackson?! He was a childhood friend of mine!" Stanley told us excitedly.
We explained that we weren't talking about the Confederate general, but rather a new comic called Codename: Action.
"Well who's drawing it?" Stanley asked.
We took time to make sure Stanley was really listening. In the past, we've run into minor incidents when we try to tell Stanley about the colorists on comic book, which sometimes causes him to go off on a racist tangent. You have to understand; he's from another time.
"I'm listening," he grumbled.
We told him that art on Kings Watch would be handled by Marc Laming, while art on Codename: Action would be handled by Jonathan Lau.
"Oh, that's nice," Stanley replied.
"Really?" we asked. "You're not going to say anything racist?"
"Why would I do that?" he wondered.
Nothing at all? We can just end the article without cutting you off and hastily throwing up the press releases before you get us all in trouble?
"Sure!" he insisted.
Well, okay then! Be sure to check out Codename: Action and Kings Watch when they hit comics stores in September. The series will both be available digitally as well.
Nice job, Stanley. We were really worried you would say something offensive, but you pulled this one off. We can never tell when you're gonna...
"Don't ask don't tell?!" shouted a suddenly enraged Stanley. "There's no place for that in God's army!"
What?! We didn't say anything even remotely like that!
"The Navy, maybe," Stanley mused. "It gets lonely at sea..."
Goddamn it, Stanley! Roll the press releases!
CODENAME: ACTION FROM DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
UNITES SUPER-SPY CAPTAIN ACTION WITH BELOVED PULP HEROES
June 11, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ - Dynamite Entertainment, in conjunction with Captain Action Enterprises, proudly announces the September launch of CODENAME: ACTION, a six-issue comic book event that unites the ultimate super-spy, Captain Action, with classic pulp heroes including Green Hornet, Kato, the Spider, and Black Venus. Written by Chris Roberson (Masks, Superman) and featuring artwork by Jonathan Lau (Kevin Smith's Green Hornet), the debut #1 issues will include variant covers by accomplished illustrators Jae Lee, Francesco Francavilla, Jonathan Lau, Johnny Desjardins, and Art Baltazar.
CODENAME: ACTION takes place during the Cold War, as unknown forces scheme to heat up the global conflict. When key officials on both sides of the Iron Curtain are replaced with doppelgangers, the infiltration threatens to disrupt the precarious state of world affairs... until one young secret agent shapes the world's masked heroes into a force with singular purpose and unyielding resolve!
"CODENAME: ACTION is a showcase of the things I love about jet-age superspies and Cold War-era superheroics," says the World Fantasy Award-nominated author, Chris Roberson. "In part, it functions as an origin story for Captain Action, reintroducing him to a modern audience while at the same time setting him firmly in the period in which the character first appeared. Captain Action was a product of the time that gave us the James Bond films, and TV shows like Man From UNCLE and The Prisoner, and CODENAME: ACTION is very much an attempt to put the character in that kind of context.
"Roberson, hot off of his stint as writer for the bestselling Masks series, knows how best to balance a handful of fan-favorite and highly independent characters. "The main focus of the attention is on the spy and espionage characters like Operator 5, Black Venus, and Operative 1001 (the man who will become Captain Action). Along the way, our heroes will encounter various masked heroes and vigilantes, like American Crusader, Green Hornet, and Kato. It's been an organic process, as I find the best places to fill in supporting or 'guest star' roles."
Jonathan Lau, whose spirited artwork graced the pages of Dynamite titles Green Hornet and Black Terror, looks forward to drawing so many spies and superheroes with great enthusiasm. "I'm excited! Captain Action is sort of like Nick Fury, and there's a dynamism in laying out the Green Hornet/Kato duo, especially when it comes to Kato making big motions to convey action. The American Crusader is another character I enjoy drawing again (after his appearance in Black Terror), since he's the muscle of this series, and it's always fun to draw super-powered beings doing super stuff."
In a joint statement, Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn of licensor Captain Action Enterprises gave a shining endorsement: "We're big comic, spy and pulp fans, so it's a thrill to see all those characters in one adventure together. And we're also big Chris Roberson fans from his work on iZombie and Monkeybrain Comics. Captain Action is a spy, and impersonating others (especially superheroes) is an important part of what's he all about… so to start the Captain's adventures with heroes like the Green Hornet and Kato makes all the sense in the world. We're also honored that the baton was passed to Captain Action as he's center stage in this mini-series. Like a young quarterback given the opportunity to play in the big game, it's both daunting and terribly exciting!"
CODENAME: ACTION #1 is solicited in the Diamond July Previews catalog for release in September. Dynamite has welcomed a talented pool of artists, including award winners and fan-favorites, to provide a selection of cover variants for readers to enjoy. Shipping to retailers in an equal ratio of cover variants, CODENAME: ACTION #1 features five covers, one each from Jae Lee, Francesco Francavilla, Jonathan Lau, and Johnny Desjardins, plus a special "Captain Action Spy Cover" design edition. Dynamite will also produce a sixth, Subscription-Only "Cute" variant featuring artwork by Art Balthazar (Tiny Titans), limited only to retailer initial orders as a reward for dedicated Dynamite fans."
JEFF PARKER TO PEN KINGS WATCH FROM DYNAMITE THIS SEPTEMBER!
X-OVER FEATURING FLASH GORDON, MANDRAKE AND THE PHANTOM!
June 13th, 2013, Mt. Laurel, NJ - Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician team-up in the upcoming Dynamite series, Kings Watch! Written by superstar writer, Jeff Parker, and drawn by artist Marc Laming, and a cover by Laming as well as a Subscription-Only cover by Eisner Award winning artist, Ramón Pérez (A Tale of Sand). Kings Watch is available in comic book stores and digitally this coming September!
In KINGS WATCH #1, panic spreads across the world. Strange phenomena fills the skies. Millions have nightmares of wild lands filled with horrible creatures... then wake to find the monsters are real. What are three men willing to sacrifice to save us all? Superstar writer Jeff Parker (Dark Avengers, Red She-Hulk) and artist Marc Laming (Planet of the Apes) deliver the earth-crushing event of 2013, featuring Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician like you've never seen them!
"As a kid I saved a healthy stack of comics pages from the newspaper to follow The Phantom's jungle adventures, and copied drawings of the great Sy Barry from those," states Kings Watch writer Jeff Parker. "The other iconic creation of Lee Falk, Mandrake was intriguing too, but I mostly had an idea of him from some brief radio theatre episodes on an album. Later I was lucky to find some of the Nostalgia Press reprints of his stories. I was also (and still am) really into Flash Gordon. I loved the Filmation cartoon so don't be surprised if you see elements of that here. It was also one of the first movie serials I saw thanks to our PBS station showing them- how perfect was Buster Crabbe as Flash? I of course went to the De Laurentiis movie multiple times, and got any comic book with him. Then when Kitchen Sink Press put out Alex Raymond's original newspaper strips, I finally got the whole lush epic. Mandrake, Phantom and Flash are really where it all begins for super action heroes, they influenced so much of what we read and watch today. Marc and I are having the best time reintroducing the pulp adventure trinity for today's readers, and bringing them together in one thriller which hasn't happened in years. I can't wait for new readers and longtime fans to read this."
"I remember the summer of 1976 for three reasons; the long summer that year when it was so hot that the pavement melted, the USA's Bicentennial celebrations that even reached our shores in the UK and the first time I saw the Flash Gordon movie serials on morning TV during the school vacation," adds artist Marc Laming. "We were pretty adventure & Sci-Fi starved in the UK in the mid-70's and those serials were like being hit by lightning and my 8 year old mind was blown. Around a year later a cartoon on TV (I have no idea of the title) that featured the King Features characters introduced me to The Phantom who was super cool like Batman and Mandrake who was a better dressed Dr. Strange and not nearly as scary! When the show finished I ran straight out to the newsagents to find out more."
"I've wanted to work with Jeff (Parker) for years, and Kings Watch is a fantastic first project together. We've wanted to place together a cross-over with King Features most iconic characters for years, but needed to ensure we brought the fans the right writer. Jeff is that writer. And Marc Laming compliments Jeff's script incredibly, as you will be able to see in the pages attached. This is a series that waited for the right team to bring this story together, and definitely worth the wait," states Dynamite Publisher Nick Barrucci.
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About Dynamite Entertainment:
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more!
Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, Purgatori, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.
In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent!
Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles - including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Project Superpowers - have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.