How to Train Your Dragon: The Serpent’s Heir (EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Serpent’s Heir (EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW)
  • Picking up just after the events in How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup, Astrid, and company are called upon to assist the people of an earthquake-plagued island. But their lives are imperiled by a madman and an incredible new dragon who even Toothless—the alpha dragon—may not be able to control!
  • Dragons writer, director, and producer Dean DeBlois is coplotting these stories.
  • Stories tie in to the upcoming 2019 film.





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Diana’s Origin Overhaul Complete in Wonder Woman: Year One Finale

Diana’s Origin Overhaul Complete in Wonder Woman: Year One Finale

Concluding their powerful Year One story arc, Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott shine in “Wonder Woman” #14. Knowing that Diana will face off against Ares in the issue had readers expecting a slugfest, and the creative team didn’t disappoint when it became “go” time. But Diana is equal parts warrior and philosopher, and her depth of character is on brilliant display throughout the book as she seeks peaceful resolution before resorting to ass-kicking force.

Ares is here to extract the location of Themyscira from Steve Trevor’s mind, and after Diana attacks Ares to save Trevor, she supplicates herself before the god and offers that in return for peace he takes the information from her. Ares’ attempted extraction fails because Diana, whose eyes are now bleeding, genuinely does not know the location of the island. Realizing her exile from home is actually a gift, Diana defeats Ares with the help of her patrons.

RELATED: REPORT: Wonder Woman Villain Revealed

Without actually stating it, the appearance of Ares seems to settle the pre-Rebirth question of whether or not Diana would remain the god of war. In short, she will not, though her use of the lasso to burn away the effects of the Maru virus does harken back to her role as the avatar of truth. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the story arc kicking off in issue #15, “The Truth.”

The creative pairing of Rucka and Scott has functioned as a cohesive unit from day one, and their flawless flow in this issue makes it an exhilarating page-turner. Rucka’s script neatly ties up the story threads woven through the arc, cementing the relationships that form the basis of Diana’s new world. Scott’s thoughtful layouts convey Diana’s transformation from lost daughter to resolute hero with compassion and conviction, leaving no doubt as to why Wonder Woman is one of DC’s “big three.” Scott’s scrupulous attention to detail through this series had indicated a deference for Wonder Woman’s importance in comics history and a bold determination to bring her forward, providing a believable place for the Amazon’s values in the modern world that feels comfortable and never contrived. Take a look at the last panel; the “Wonder Woman” newspaper headlines are another of this series’ homages to Diana’s past—in various eras, they have all appeared as the masthead title on the comic book’s covers. Nice touch, guys.

From awkward first meetings and language barriers to the confidence in her skills as a warrior and her determination to be a living champion for the world, Rucka and Scott have created one of the best origin reboots of the New 52/Rebirth era. They have established a Wonder Woman that is humble, approachable, confident and incredibly powerful in ways even she has yet to discover. Rucka and Scott have successfully forged a role model with qualities that will define her well beyond Year One.

It’s a shame that Wonder Woman’s tenure as a United Nations ambassador was so brief, but that’s okay. Wonder Woman doesn’t need to be an official ambassador to the United Nations to embody the call for equal rights and empowerment for women around the world — she’s been doing that every day for 75 years.

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All Star Batman #6 Cleverly Pushes The Dark Knight’s Boundaries

All Star Batman #6 Cleverly Pushes The Dark Knight’s Boundaries

Scott Snyder reunites with his “Wytches” and “Detective Comics” collaborator Jock to launch the second arc of the series in “All Star Batman” #6. The first of the four-part “Ends of the Earth” continues to take Batman well outside of his comfort zone, and also features another villain Snyder never got the opportunity to use in his five-year run on “Batman.” The opening panel puts The Dark Knight in a very bright but relatively unfamiliar and decidedly non-urban locale whose location should give readers a definitive clue as to who Batman is about to face – for those who didn’t know already, that is. Like he did in the previous “My Own Worst Enemy” storyline, Snyder pushes Batman’s boundaries on multiple levels, and likewise succeeds, perhaps even more so thanks the creative team’s usage of alternative storytelling techniques.

RELATED: Snyder Teases Duke Thomas Series Spinning Out of All Star Batman

Snyder and Jock combine for some experimental narrative flow, and even make sure they involve colorist Matt Hollingsworth and letterer Steve Wands. Snyder’s narration recalls some of the techniques used by boundary-stretching writers like Steve Gerber, Don MacGregor and even Denny O’Neil on Batman himself some forty years ago. The use of prose-style dialogue not only elevates the tension of Snyder’s story, but provides Jock a liberal amount of freedom to lay out his pages in a much looser manner, less bound by traditional sequential storytelling methods. The deliberate disconnect between words and pictures add a kind of mystery to Snyder’s story, as the exchange between Batman and his longtime foe is clearly conveyed without directly connecting them to either character’s specific actions. Wands’ Courier-like font evokes that of a classic novel, further adding to the offbeat nature of the story, while Hollingsworth’s colors clearly let readers know who’s doing the talking, although Snyder’s careful scripting doesn’t lend itself to any confusion.


Snyder’s previous “Batman and Two-Face Do America” vibe was a Batman story with a deliberately intentional new flavor, and Snyder experiments with a totally different kind of flavor here – rather than localized threats within the confines of Gotham, or even rural America, the imminent danger this issue is a potentially global and apocalyptic one. Snyder has demonstrated his penchant for science before and does so again here, providing a convincing-enough explanation of the nature of the threat and its effects. His light scientific touch educates without overwhelming the reader or dragging down the story, and despite the unique nature of the storyline, the touch makes it readily recognizable as a Snyder story.


The boundaries of Batman’s footprint aren’t the only ones that are challenged – Snyder also tests those of Batman’s physical capabilities, in the form of a dangerous and potentially sacrificial game-changing ploy that again proves him the hero, but in a manner rarely if ever done previously. The familiar foe that Batman faces is one that Snyder also grows into a far bigger threat, convincingly changing his traditional dedicated but single-minded nature into one that reaches much further outward. Jock’s unconventional style is well-suited to capturing the alterations of both hero and villain, and that same style is perfectly matched to the story’s desolate setting.


Francesco Francavilla, another creative partner from Snyder’s “Detective Comics” days, rejoins the writer for the latest chapter of “The Cursed Wheel,” the title’s backup feature that’s been grooming Duke Thomas for his eventual role in the extended Bat-family. Like Jock’s talents on the issue’s main feature, Francavilla’s are perfectly suited to the nature of Snyder’s backup, making for arguably the feature’s most entertaining installment.


“All Star Batman” #6 proves that the off-center nature of the series’ first storyline wasn’t a fluke, and that there’s plenty of room for experimentation in Batman’s world. Snyder and the rest of the creative team again show that the Dark Knight doesn’t need to be confined to a city, perched atop stone gargoyles under a full moon.

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Marc Spector’s Death and Birth Begins in Moon Knight #10

Marc Spector’s Death and Birth Begins in Moon Knight #10

Frenetic and fabulous, Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s “Moon Knight” is reality-twisting mindbender that’s simultaneously addictive, exasperating and fun. Alternate realities that perfectly match Marc Spector’s disparate personalities are the norm in this book, and jumping between them is as disorienting for the reader as it is for Mr. Knight. Just when you think you know what’s going on, Lemire and company blow your mind and remind you that you don’t have a clue. And that’s the maddening allure of this title.

RELATED: James Gunn Has A Great Idea For A Moon Knight Movie – And Marvel Knows

At the close of Issue #9, murder was on Spector’s mind. He had spent the last few issues purging his alternative personalities in spectacular fashion, and his next mission revealed itself as a moment of clarity — clarity for Mr. Knight being a relative term, of course — Khonshu must die. The “Death and Birth” story arc begins with Issue #10, and before setting off on that mission, however, Lemire provides an unforgettable glimpse into Spector’s youth, revealing that his multiple personalities have been part of his fractured psyche since childhood.

Is everything that’s happened in this series all in his head? Is Marc Spector just a mental patient, and is the “Moon Knight” series just us tagging along as a madman journeys through his broken mind? Or has the world really been overtaken by the great sands set forth by the Egyptian gods? And is Khonshu’s servant finally ready for the heroic role for which he’s been groomed his entire life?

RELATED: Marvel’s Moon Knight Should Embrace His Jewish Roots

Because “Moon Knight” raises so many intriguing questions as we are swept along the fragments of Spector’s mind (or is it the real world we’re seeing?), the title has spawned some of my favorite comics discussions of the last year. Unraveling the plot while attempting to back your assertions with “clues” from Smallwood’s thoughtfully paced and beautifully rendered artwork is no simple task. Neither is catching the subtle changes in Jordie Bellaire’s colors through Issue #10, as the past seems bright while the present is bleak before both give way to the psychedelic tones of Spector’s meeting with Anubis and his trippy trip through the Overvoid.

As “Death and Birth” begins, it’s clear that “Moon Knight’s” creative team is firing on all cylinders, which means readers are confounded in the best possible way. Broken and crazy but not beaten, Marc Spector is driving himself toward a collision course with the demons in his head and his definition of reality. And what a ride it is!

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