Tag: Velocity

Fast Girls and Winged Warriors

Get thee to a comic store today! Angelus #4 and Velocity #1 both appear in shops today. If you didn’t catch the previews for each, you can still do so. The Velocity preview is here

And the Angelus preview is here.

There also a Velocity interview with me, by Josh Wigler, at CBR here.

Velocity is the payoff to the character’s win in Top Cow’s first Pilot Season contest. I didn’t write that Pilot Season one-shot, and Kenneth Rocafort didn’t draw it. “Creative differences” led to the departure of that creative team from the ensuing mini-series. Eventually, the assignment was offered to me, and then Kenneth’s schedule opened up enough for him to sign on. I’m really pleased with the finished product, thanks to Kenneth’s amazing work. And it gets even better. Trust me, there’s a spread in issue #2 that is just stunning.

The critical reaction to Velocity has been very gratifying thus far. I set out to tell an accessible superhero story – a fun story – that wasn’t mired in continuity or over-the-top, get-your-heart-ripped-out violence. If the reviews are any indication, we at least got close to that mark. A sampling:

  1. Graphic Policy: http://graphicpolicy.com/2010/06/29/review-velocity-1/
  2. iFanboy: http://www.ifanboy.com/content/articles/REVIEW__Velocity__1
  3. Newsarama: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-advance-reviews-100629.html
  4. Battlemouth: http://www.battlemouth.com/2010/06/29/im-in-love-with-a-girl-called-velocity/
  5. Multiversity Comics: http://www.multiversitycomics.com/2010/06/advance-review-velocity-1.html
  6. ComicNews: http://comicnews.info/?p=11184
  7. Player Affinity: http://playeraffinity.com/comic-reviews/Top-Cow-Velocity-1.html
  8. First Comics News: http://www.firstcomicsnews.com/?p=9775
  9. Ideology of Madness: http://ideologyofmadness.com/archives/13427
  10. Hollywood Jesus: http://live.hollywoodjesus.com/?p=5775
  11. Geekvine: http://www.geekvine.net/2010/06/this-week-in-comics-for-63010/
  12. Quarter Bin: http://thequarterbin.com/2010/06/30/velocity-1-2/
  13. League of Comic Geeks: http://leagueofcomicgeeks.com/review/12/velocity-1
  14. CBR: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=user_review&id=2387
  15. Broken Frointier: http://www.brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/detail/velocity-1
  16. Newsarama/Best Shots Rapid Reviews: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-rapid-reviews-100701.html
  17. True Believer : http://truebelieverreviews.com/wordpress/?p=265#more-265
  18. Comic Attack : http://comicattack.net/2010/07/velocity1rev/
  19. Comics Bulletin: http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/127817683364489.htm
  20. Comic Related: http://comicrelated.com/news/7180/velocity-1
  21. Newsarama’s Best Shots … Again : http://www.newsarama.com/comics/best-shots-comic-reviews-100705.html
  22. Comic Vine : http://www.comicvine.com/news/review-velocity-1/141532/
  23. Panels on Pages : http://panelsonpages.com/?p=25557



Angelus #4 Preview

Man of the hour

HourmanOne of the cool aspects of working in comics is that you very often wind up working with your friends. Of course, your friends are likely scattered around the country, or even the globe. Probably the best part of being at CrossGen in Florida for a few years was working in the same studio with guys who were not only my friends, but some of the best artists in the business. Seeing new pages by Jim Cheung, Steve Epting, Butch Guice, Bart Sears and everyone else was the main attraction of going into the office every day.

I’ve known artist Cully Hamner for about as long as either of us has been in comics. He’s one of my best friends in or out of comics. We’ve worked together a number of times, though always on something of a single-issue nature rather than an ongoing. If you’re not checking out his current “Question” stuff in Detective Comics, your life is not complete. Cully was actually a candidate to draw my year-long run on Thor early in our careers. Maybe if he’d ended up on the book with me, my run wouldn’t have been so dreadful. I still have Cully’s pitch piece for the series, featuring one of the more kick-ass Thor versions you’ll see. I’ll dig that out and show it off soon.

Back early ’90s when Cully and I were eager, young know-it-alls (as opposed to the jaded, older know-it-alls we are now) we got it in our heads to pitch an Hourman revamp. I truthfully can’t remember the specifics, like which editor it was for, or even if it was intended to be a stand-alone mini, or maybe part of an anthology series. Hell, I don’t even remember if we ever officially pitched it or not. But I did save the faxes – yeah, this was before e-mail – of Cully’s character designs, which you can see here. Still pretty damn cool, huh?


So the pitch never went anywhere, but one aspect of it stuck in my head ever since. Our Hourman story was going to take place over the course of one hour, and count down each minute of his Miraclo pill-induced powers (with interspersed flashbacks). Imposing that kind of storytelling structure would have been a real pain in the ass, but worth it.

Flash forward to last autumn, when I was pondering a proper story for the Velocity four-issue mini. I live adjacent to a lake, and the road that loops around it is 2.5 miles. I do a lot of my thinking on daily walks around the lake. And I thought of … Hourman. Or more specifically, using that one-hour framework in which to tell a story. It worked for Hourman for obvious reasons. But I thought it would also work for a speedster character like Velocity, a literal ticking clock she’d be racing against. How much could she accomplish in an hour? I called Cully, made sure he was cool with me resurrecting the idea on something he wouldn’t be drawing. He was.

So the controlling element of the Velocity series is going to be one hour: four issues, told in just a little more than 60 minutes, each page counting down the time she has to save not only her own life , but those of her Cyberforce teammates. One more tidbit: the opening sequence is an homage to a Bond movie, though I’m not saying which one. Velocity #1, by me and Kenneth Rocafort, hits stands in May. Hope you have an hour to spare.



What’s the story?

Okay, so it’ll be the next update that has the story of a long-ago pitch by me and Cully Hamner, and how it plays into the upcoming Velocity series. But this was too interesting for me to pass up without comment. What you’re looking at is a visual representation of how the first week of this website appears to a program crawling the web. Or so I’m told. Not like I understand how half this stuff works.

RonMarz.com wordle
generated via wordle.net

There’s almost an artistic quality to the typography display. Yeah, very cool to look at in an art-project sorta way. But the thing that jumped out at me, the thing that struck me as important and fitting and wholly satisfying to me, is that “story” is the largest, most prominent word. Because that’s really what this is all about.



Speed Reading

Velocity 1 CoverI’m working on the script for the Velocity four-issue series that will debut in May from Top Cow. It’s been a while since I’ve written a straight-up superhero story, which was what I wrote almost exclusively for the first decade of my career. In the years since, I’ve been able to explore a wider variety of genres, and I’m a big proponent of the comics industry offering a great deal more than capes and tights. But I still love a well-told superhero tale, just like everybody else. And that’s what Velocity is intended to be: a classic superhero adventure. No post-modern irony, no dark underbelly, just a straight-up story about a cute redhead who runs really fast.

Velocity 1 CoverOne of my favorite monthly reads was Mark Waid’s Flash. It was great superhero comics. To be honest, Mark’s take on Wally West’s adventures influenced how I approached Green Lantern when DC handed me the reins and asked me to create a new GL. There was a lot to like. Wally was a “legacy” hero, living in the shadow of his predecessor, trying to be worthy of inheriting the mantle. The first-person narration allowed the audience to identify with the hero, to relate to the man under the mask. There was an accessibility that wasn’t quite as present in most of DC’s Silver Age heroes.

Velocity 1 Cover Now, to be fair, there’s more Peter Parker than Wally West in Kyle Rayner’s pedigree. But I always liked the Wally-Kyle relationship, the next generation of the Barry Allen-Hal Jordan friendship. I liked that Wally wasn’t even very fond of Kyle, feeling that Kyle had won the lottery to take his heroic role, while Wally had earned his. I liked writing them together, which is where the Green Lantern-Flash: Faster Friends project came from. Where would “Lost” be without that issue, right?

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, Mark and his artists – chief among them the great Mike Wieringo – set the standard for how to do a speedster in comics. Which brings us back to Velocity, winner of Top Cow’s first Pilot Season contest and therefore due a mini-series.The original creative team was excused from the project; we’ll say “creative differences” and leave it at that, since I don’t think it’s cool to air somebody else’s business in public.Velocity 1 Cover

So the project went on a backburner for a while, until last year when Top Cow Publisher Guy Filip Sablik asked me if I’d like to take on the series. He didn’t have to ask twice. Schedules matched up and artistic genius Kenneth Rocafort became available to draw the book. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Except a story idea.

Next time, a little more on Velocity, including how an aspect of the storyline dates back to a long-ago pitch by me and artist Cully Hamner for another character entirely.



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