Cool Stuff 31: COPRA

Copra

Name a better looking team of heroes at the Big Two, I dare you.

For nearly a year now it seemed like no matter what comic site I frequented, I heard nothing but how great Michel Fiffe’s COPRA is. It has been reviewed several times over and its basic premise was enough to make me instantly interested. Fiffe set out to flesh out his love for the classic Ostrander/Yale/McDonnell Suicide Squad. He did so by creating his own team with basic analogues of the classic team: Amanda Waller, Duchess, Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Vixen and even Shade the Changing Man. But he goes beyond that with homages. One of the leads is a teenage boy that clearly looks like Michael Fleischer and Vince Giarrano’s Haywire. In an early issue they go see a man with an uncanny resemblance to Doctor Strange.

In other words, it’s all great fun inspired by a comic I really, really liked already.

It took me awhile to take the plunge on this book. I don’t buy that many print comics today. Fiffe told me on Twitter months ago that a digital edition was not in the works in any way.  So when he started to produce COPRA Compendium collections of the issues with Bergen Street Productions, I was finally convinced to take the plunge.

He's not Deadshot. And he doesn't need a bunch of extra lines!

He’s not Deadshot. And he doesn’t need a bunch of extra lines!

And I couldn’t be more pleased. Each book is 72 packed pages of glorious full color art and compelling layouts. The story expands from the beginning of the first issue in the first book to its conclusion in the sixth issue that closes book two. And in the middle, the story goes from a simple “team on the run” story to a compelling tale of a dozen men and women, most of them just looking for a place in a very strange world. It reminds me a lot of Casey and Scioli’s Gødland, albeit slightly more grounded. Considering Gødland is one of my favorite comics of the last decade that is far from faint praise.

I would read a New 52 Haywire book, but this is as close as I will ever come.

I would read a New 52 Haywire book, but this is as close as I will ever come.

More impressively, Michel Fiffe literally does everything in this book. He pencils, inks, colors and letters the entire thing. He hasn’t covered his process in high detail, but it appears all that work is impressively done by hand. Only Erik Larsen has ever tried to do anything close and his lettering was not strong. Fiffe proves to be an impressive talent just by his range of skills on display here.

Single issues of COPRA go for five bucks plus shipping and the two Compendium editions go for 12 each, so these are not cheap comics. I dropped thirty dollars with shipping for these two copies, but I will say with little doubt that I will keep buying Fiffe’s work after this. He’s the kind of guy that is worth supporting in his endeavors.

Anyone that wants to try these books can order them here.

SPF Recommended Weekend Viewing: Haywire, Underworld Awakening & Red Tails

Every Friday we bring our suggestion of a movie, DVD or television series to give a look.

After a drought of new genre films, Hollywood gives us three. Of course, the studios have decided to put two solid female lead films up against each other on the same weekend. This almost certainly guarantees they will cut in to the box office of each other. Unfortunately that means yet another excuse for some executive to say female driven action films don’t sell. The third film, an aerial action film based on the Tuskegee airmen has barely been a blip on the radar despite a great pedigree of talent involved.

Haywire is a great looking action/espionage film starring MMA fighter (and former American Gladiator) Gina Carano in the title role.


 

White Wolf Publishing fans rejoice! Underworld Awakening is the fourth film in the franchise and marks the return of Kate Beckinsale after the prequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.


 

Red Tails is a CGI heavy action film focused on the real life Tuskegee Airmen. Produced by George Lucas, written by John Ridley (Three Kings) and Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks) and directed by Anthony Hemingway (a very talented television director making his major feature film debut), it definitely has the pedigree to be a hit if anyone goes to see it.

Trailer Watch: Haywire and Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance

Two more trailers worth watching for superhero fans:

Gina Carano stars in Haywire, an action spy film that puts her MMA skills on full show. In theaters January 20th.

Nicolas Cage returns to the role of Ghost Rider, this time directed by the Crank team of Neveldine/Taylor. I was the guy that didn’t hate the first film, but this one already looks far superior. (This is the second trailer, just released a few days back.) In theaters February 17th.

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