Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Kitty Pryde is Alive; Sexually Suggestive

When Joss Whedon carted off Kitty Pryde to another planet at the climax of his run with Astonishing X-Men, it became clear to everyone very quickly that he was going to kill her off. The book was so plagued with delays that the rest of the X-Men got themselves into a crossover - Messiah Complex - where she was very conspicuously missing, and Colossus seemed sad all the time for no particular reason. Clearly, she was going to bite the bullet.

Or, as it turns out, phase herself into the middle of one, and be shot at the Earth. In what rapidly became a rather disturbing metaphor for her relationship with made-of-metal Colossus, Kitty was trapped inside a disturbingly large phallic object and forced to merge with it in order to save the World. She's been riding inside the thing ever since, in a somewhat crude reversal of the typical woman-sex toy dynamic. In all honesty, it wasn't the best story ever told, and the logistics of a giant space bullet are really confusing to work out, which is why Whedon chose to go with the don't question it - magic" approach during the storyline.

Now Kitty is coming back, as revealed at the end of Uncanny X-Men #521 and, more widely, during the maddeningly blunt advertising campaign for Uncanny X-Men #522, which may as well have shoved a giant metal bullet up the arse of every single X-Men reader, for all the subtlety involved in the campaign. Magneto is pulling the bullet back through space, and let's not forget the logic of that happening, and Kitty will land back on Earth just in time for the mega 'Second Coming' event. Why is she coming back now? Well, that's not particularly clear.

The in-story explanation is that Magneto needs to prove himself before the rest of the X-Men, and show that he isn't actually evil at present. Out of the books, it seems that the X-Men staff are struggling to get across to the reader how exciting the events of 'Second Coming' are going to be, and need to make a show of faith to the readers that important things really are going to happen. By returning Kitty to the X-Men, they close off a dangling plot point of one of the most successful recent X-Men runs, and show that they are willing to contradict even Joss Whedon in order to entertain the readers. The return of Kitty Pryde is an offering to the readership that Second Coming isn't going to be a somewhat trashy and exploitative rerun of Messiah Complex, only with a lot more death, because they are trading in Shadowcat as an exchange for the characters who will die come April.

Anyway, here's a picture drawn by Mark Brooks, which pays tribute to 'Dr Strangelove' and shows off the odd sexual vibe between Kitty and her bullet, in a picture which is kinda celebratory and kinda sadomasochistic:

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Preview Pages Of The Week

There are a number of big releases this week, including New Avengers continuing a storyline which narrates a harrowing portrait in simian possession as Spider-Woman gets her %$2! psychically taken over (as she'd put it, all she ever does is flaming well swear it up, her mum must have been well negligent). We also have more of Necrosha, because you asked for it, as the characters do some more killing/not killing, storytelling/not storytelling, depending on if you're reading Kyle/Yost or Mike Carey's section of the arc. Deadpool's new arc is introducing a monkey nemesis, because what an original crazy idea monkeys are, whilst poor ol' Ms Marvel is put out of her misery by Mystique in the final issue of her long-running solo series.

However, our focus is on Nation X #3, the third in a recent spate of anthology series focusing on the X-Men. After Divided We Stand (whining) and Manifest Destiny (smiling), Nation X tries to hit every single emotional beat known to man, in quick succession. And it's been largely successful, and certainly the most entertaining of the three series. Issue #3 brings a fight between Danger and Armor that's been brewing since the end of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men series, as the petite, loveable, and sexually blossoming new X-Man gets beaten up by Armor. There's also a story about Anole being sent to the middle of an inhospitable desert by Magik, where he will hopefully slowly die of malnourishment. Usually we frown upon the killing of characters in order to prop up others, but this development really makes us accept the return of Illyana Rasputin and is for the best. Finally, Chris Yost makes his case for why he killed off Diamond Lil in a recent Necrosha issue, reasoning that it'll give Madison Jeffries seven or eight pages of angst before he moves on to the next scientifically-inclined girl on the island.

Our interests lie with the Cannonball story, however, mostly because it's by Corey Lewis, an amazing writer/artist who channels more energy into his pages than any artist this side of Humberto Ramos.

KA-BOOSH! Writing an apology in jetstream! A speech bubble made up entirely of a single exclamation mark! This is what all comics should be about, dear readers. Look at how Magma and Surge stare adoringly at the back of Cannonball's head, withholding their secret attraction for him as best they can, while he flies off to save the day. And then, when that goes wrong thanks to the old-fashioned vocabulary of Cap One-eye (who doesn't comprehend 90s slang) the immediate switch in perspective so we can see the full extent of this problem. Surge stands down the missile, immediately making the pro-feminist morals of the story emminent. The best part is the line "see how bad you think this missile is!", which captures the essence of war within ten syllables. Nonchalant and powerful storytelling from Lewis.

Well alright, fine, we just think it looks pretty. But still! Nation X #3 comes out tomorrow, 24th February.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Marvel's May 2010 Solicitations: The Heroic Age

This final section of the solicitations covers everything else (look out for our Second Coming guide next week) Marvel haev to offer in May. The start proper of the Heroic Age, expect to see a lot of nefarious villains and spectacular heroes come back to the spotlight this month. Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor all jump out as playing an important role in this new status quo, as all three will be joining Brian Michael Bendis' super-boring "Avengers" lineup. If you thought that the Avengers were looking somewhat bereft of unappealing overpowered and overpopular characters, then this title is the one for you: Spider-Man, Wolverine, Thor, Hawkeye, Captain America etc are all going to appear in the title. Everyone's going to buy this title, although our secret reports indicate a yellow alert warning for possible Jessica Jones appearance.

Ed Brubaker's going to be in charge of Secret Avengers, a title which nobody knows anything about - not even Brubaker himself. The latest reports indicate that this may be a series in which Steve Rogers appears as one of the main characters. In every issue, he will watch as Bucky makes an unpatriotic mistake in the line of duty, and be forced to begrudgingly correct his former sidekick's errors. This will happen in every issue. The most interesting Avengers solicit is a comic called "Enter The Heroic Age". This comic will apparently be the lead-in for five new ongoings in June, and features writers like Jim McCann and Kelly Sue Deconnick. Our belief is that McCann is going to team-up Mockingbird and Ronin once more, whilst Deconnick handles a lead-in to Marjorie Liu's Black Widow series, and Jeff Parker promotes Atlas and Thunderbolts. The final title? Well, that's almost certainly going to be the return of Nextwave, this time featuring Black Panther as the main villain.

The Fantastic Four carries on doing whatever it's been doing for the past few years - something about spaceships and time travel, or whatever, whilst Doomwar trudges on to a fourth issue of political intrigue with all the flair of a Tim Kring TV series. This time on the special guest-star rotate-o-board for the Black Panther spinoff event will be Deadpool. World Was Hulks also appears this month, continuing the ethical theme of "should people be allowed to punch things" in relatively haphazard fashion. If you've been following "Fall of the Hulks", then you'll know what to expect here. You are also probably quite young, with little interest in narrative or characterisation.

The Punisher is set to come back to life, because of fan outcry at Rick Remender's plans to make the character interesting. Fans are notoriously resistant to change, and here it seems they have managed to derail the fun 'Frankencastle' storyline and force the series to make the character into a human being once more. This is very disappointing, as it reveals that Punisher fans are shallow and don't believe in personal depth. They only judge a book by its cover, and their bloody-minded desire to make sure that Punisher never acquires emotional impact will surely affect the storyline of the series in later iss- oh, who are we kidding. He'll shoot someone for dropping some litter and the fandom will celebrate wildly at the return of their hero.

In Space, the DnA writing team bring back Thanos, as part of their brilliant massive space epic that they've been telling for yonks and yonks now. Look forward to that, because it's bound to be great. Plus, maybe some more of the Shi'ar will get killed off. Fingers crossed! Iron Man and Thor both continue on their acclaimed runs, meanwhile, as Kieron Gillen and Matt Fraction do their best to counteract any character derailment BMB is planning in 'Avengers'.

Comics Vanguard have still got toothache

So here's a cartoon about House of M.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Marvel's May 2010 Solicitations: Spider-Man

Spider-Man this month will feature the triumphant return of Chris Bachalo, who is soon to be awarded a Lordship for services to the art community. The main series is going to feature The Lizard, as part of this Gauntlet malarky that the writers have thought of. If you aren't keeping up with the series because you believe that an impassioned boycott will destroy the corrupt forces at work in Marvel (stay strong, guys), then let us explain the Gauntlet.
Remember how nobody liked any of the new villains that were created during the first post-One More Day run of Spider-Man? Well, now all the characters you actually know are being shoved into the series one after another in order to make you like Spider-Man again. Of course, this tactic won't work on you because you're making a stand for the sanctity of marriage, but that's what the writers are doing right now. We've had Rhino and all those ones, and currently Mysterio is doing something smoke-driven. May brings The Lizard, and you won't believe how many scales Bachalo is going to draw in painstaking detail.
In other Spider-Man news, Spider-Girl is coming back to a full series, written as always by Tom Defalco. So that's presumably a good thing, although we don't really understand anything about that series or where it stands. We'll assume it's good to have it around. Also on the slate is a miniseries about Harry Osborn, because apparently people find him interesting? You've brought that upon yourselves, people of the World. Anyway, that's going to be by Brian Reed, so you can expect a sparing use of Ms Marvel and lots of Spider-Man cameos which take over the comic and steal all the spotlight from the main character. There's also going to be a one-shot anthology all about the different women in Spider-Man's life (c'mon writers, let's pretend that Gwen Stacy is still alive! That'll really irritate the OMD haters), and the usual assortment of miniseries and anthologies.

Marvel's May 2010 Solicitations: Marvel Women

Something which is truly painful is dental surgery. Just saying, in case you were wondering why Comics Vanguard hasn't updated for three days. Anyway, Marvel's big news of the week concerns the unveiling of their solicitations for May 2010. And now we've essentially retold our title (great journalism), let's take a look into what exactly we're seeing here.
Marvel Women continues in full effect this month, with a "Rescue" one shot written by Kelly Sue Deconnick. Interestingly, Deconnick happens to be married to Iron Man writer Matt Fraction, so this issue suggests that she's decided to take half of his writing duties as part of the marriage contract. This is backed up somewhat as in April she's writing a oneshot about Sif, a character who will also feature in Matt Fraction's other series: Thor.
Another Marvel Women series is the "Girl Comics" brand, which is totally going to be brilliant. We have a weakness for anthologies, and this in particular looks set to be made up of good stories written by talented writers and exceptional artists. Y'know what's stupid? People who are denouncing the series because they think it's pandering to have a women-only comic. It's the stories that matter, people, and women are better writers than men anyway. Marvel Her-oes features She-Hulk and The Wasp in high school, so will bypass everyone outside of America because nobody understands the clique society of American schooling apart from, well Americans. Seriously. Jocks simply do not exist outside of the States.
Completing the Marvel Women section of the solicits is Jim McCann's "Dazzler" one-shot, which we've previously lauded on this site. McCann could well be called gay for Dazzler, and stands to be her biggest and possibly only fan within the Marvel staff. It'll be a great one-shot, with very pretty artwork, and the only problem is that there is still no sign of David Gallaher's Darkstar one-shot. Maybe in June, ay?

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Astonishing News: Spiderman bails out the X-Men

Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men sold like hot buttery cakes, and quickly became one of the flagships of Marvel's entire line. Whedon's massive popularity as a TV writer translated over to comics, as his fanbase switched genres to see him turn Kitty Pryde into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, complete with iffy personality and instantly wholly hateable decision-making skills. The series was a massive success, all things considered. When the run ended with Giant-Sized Astonishing X-Men, Whedon and artistic compatriot John Cassaday were replaced with Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi, who promptly proceeded to more or less drop the title's sales down into X-Factor territory. Maybe it was Bianchi's beautiful but delayed artwork which took all the wind out of the sales, perhaps Whedon was pulling in readers because of his name and not because of his storytelling, or perhaps Ells wrote some godawful boring stories. Let's not point the finger, but after Warren Ellis' godawful boring series tanked the series' popularity, Marvel were left in severe trouble.

Astonishing X-Men was meant to be the big X-Men title, but now Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Legacy, and X-Force have routinely sold more copies than Ellis' run. Something had to be done, because Astonishing had lost its shine and it was difficult to think of reasons why the series should be kept. Luckily, someone in Marvel's thinking department (populated by the kind of skinny, bespectacled freaks you'd never see on the cover of a Marvel Comic) came up with a brilliant suggestion: Bung Spider-Man into the mess and see if that helps. And use Wolverine more.

The result? The "Astonishing Line", which is made up of two titles. The first is Astonishing X-Men, now being propped up by Kaare Andrews, and the second is "Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine" by Jason Aaron and one of the Kuberts. Adam, perhaps? The upshot of all this is that now Astonishing X-Men has a bunk-mate, and that bunk-mate happens to be made up of Marvel's two biggest-selling characters, with a popular creative team behind them. The downside is that Astonishing X-Men continues to look past the "writing" aspect and is focused solely on rebranding itself time after time after time. Also, Emma Frost looks kinda weird.

Apart from that though, everything looks great. And the exciting part is that Jason Aaron will finally get to write Wolverine, after being oddly kept away from the character ever since his brilliant "Get Mystique" story two or three years ago. What's that you say? Wolverine: Weapon X? Never heard of it.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Who are the Secret Avengers??!?

It occurred to us this morning that Ed Brubaker would probably be able to butter a slice of toast in a critically-acclaimed manner, and suddenly life and society became a lot clearer. Marvel have finally released the last of their blacked-out character silhouettes indicating who would be joining Brubaker's critically pre-acclaimed Avengers series launching out of Siege, leaving us with six different teasers as to what to expect from the series once we enter Spring. Who the characters will be is a closely-guarded secret, with even Brubaker himself appearing to have no knowledge of who the silhouettes were supposed to be. Writing on Twitter, the writer expressed a complete sense of confusion over if the silhouettes actually corresponded to the characters he'd previous believed were members of his Mike Deodato-drawn team lineup.

So who are they? It's a question everyone seems to want to know, and we here at Comics Vanguard are the only ones who can exclusively reveal that we don't really care less. As a matter of fact, it is our express desire that the characters never be revealed, leading to an extended critically-acclaimed run with the Secret Avengers which takes the landmark step of never telling the reader who they are reading about. This will mean that the characters can never leave their established continuity, as nobody will know if they're acting withing their established personality or not, and will make things far easier for Deodato, meaning he will be able to complete his run with no interruptions whatsoever

But you don't care about that - you just want to know who we think they are, so let's just bloody well tell you who you're likely to be reading about.

This one is going to be Spiderman. Spiderman is a Scientist-type, and has a secret identity problem which means he won't be able to be the public face of the Avengers. Some people think this will be Beast, in ape-form, but that's such a horrendous idea that we spit upon it. If Beast does join the team, we'll print off Spiderman stickers for you to post over his ugly face, dear readers.

Here we have The Sentry, who is not yet dead because Joe Quesada holds a deep grudge against you. He hates you with every inch of his being, and wishes he didn't ever have to pander to you. You think Psylocke is hot, don't you? You probably wish that Spiderman were still married. You sicken him.

Here is the long-awaited return of... Elektra? God knows. Always nice to have a female on the team, though.

Falcon! AKA our favourite Ed Brubaker character. Y'know why he's on this team? Because one of his best friends is also on this team. He also fits the idea of excelling through adversity, because his powers are bloody awful and yet he still seems to be a somewhat successful superhero.

This is War Machine. Because nothing pleases Ed Brubaker more than a good ol' cyborg. Although, sadly, Rhodes is no longer part-robot, we imagine it can't be too long before critically acclaimed hat-wearer Ed Brubaker fixes that particular problem and gives us back our favourite deformed cyborg.

Steve Rogers.

Take these guesses to the bank! There is literally no chance in Hell that these are not all 100% correct guesses.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Herc News: Cho Takes Over

That news we were so thrillingly promised regarding the status of Incredible Hercules? It turns out that he's gone. In his place will be Amadeus Cho's new limited series: "Prince Of Power", which will do for mythology what Captain America Reborn did for patriotism and Doomwar is currently doing for boring the hell out of white people. The series will be written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, with recent artist Reilly Brown staying on to illustrate the further adventures of a naive genius.

There is no indication for where Hercules has gone, although the forthcoming "Death of an Avenger" two-part storyline coming up may provide a small hint as to what's going to happen. How the hairy-chested bumpkin is going to cop it is a complete mystery, but what the writing team have revealed is that Cho is going to meet up with several gods of differing power and status. The Egyptian pantheon look set to make an appearance, which is exciting because they are amazing creatures. One of them rips his brother into pieces and scatters the pieces all across the world, only to be thwarted when his sister-in-law finds the pieces and completes the most disgusting jigsaw puzzle ever seen, thus bringing the brother back to life. We're talking hardcore gods, here. None of your rubbish Abrahamic faith nonsense here, oh no.

Also popping up will be perpetual dullard Thor, who will be taking on something of a mentorship role for Cho. As such, Cho will likely soon start speaking in archaic nonsense, hitting things so that comic-book fans can masturbate frantically about the thought of Cho Vs Hulk battles. As seen on the cover for Prince of Power #1, Cho is going to take Hercules' mace with him as he goes to war, and it's going to fire lightning. So, where do we go from here? Well, judging from the apparent inclusion of some of the Hindu gods in the storyline, Cho is going to make all the Gods of the World job to him. Maybe Muhammed or Jesus will turn up? We can but hope.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Deadpool not cancelled yet

Despite not having any worth as a character, Deadpool's dark reign (we're clever) over the Marvel Universe goes on, as his series enters 'The Heroic Age' with a storyline that will feature Deadpool. The new arc will be called 'Tricky', as a tribute to Run DMC's epic song of the same name. Let's gather together, friends, and remember how great that song truly is.

Because Daniel Way isn't allowed to tell us bugger-all about the series, we can only list our hopes for the character in future months:

1: Killed off.

We'll keep you posted on if Marvel aquiesce or not.

Something Greek is Imminent

Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak have been on the twitter box and the face tubes dropping the tiniest hints imaginable about the future of their series 'Incredible Hercules'. If you haven't been reading the series due to a fear of Greek people (totally understandable), the current plotline seems to indicate that the lead character - Hercules, you dolt - may well be killed off shortly. This is backed up by the Requiem issue due out next month, which begs the question... is the series cancelled?

Well, it's not as if Van Lente and Pak would be publicising a press release which states that the series is canned, is it? The series is almost certainly coming back, but the form it will take is unknown. There's an Hulk event at the moment which features a red one and a green one and a red female one and a green female one and this other green female one punching each other in a vicious satirical attack on the political climate. Not really, it's just a load of fighting with no storyline, because people who read Hulk are eight. If the Hulk series ends with some deaths, it could well be that Hercules loses his book - which he originally took from Hulk - and becomes a backup or supporting character. He might move to a different corner of the Universe.

Or this could all be buildup for absolutely nothing. TELL US, VAN LENTE, YOU DUTCH ENIGMA. We'll literally give you all the gossip on this imminent announcement as soon as it cease to be imminent and becomes current. Our theory? The series is going to introduce Deadpool. You guys like Deadpool, right?

Captain America news: fighting a purple bloke in May

Ed Brubaker is one of those annoying writers who always seems to be acclaimed no matter what he writes. If he writes Captain America, for example, then he takes a tired and moralistic lead and replaces him with an interesting and wounded character who used to be a secret assassin for the Russians. This is the sort of writer who could write all about a B-List team of X-Men in space, and make the results interesting and exciting. Oh, wait.
Regardless, Brubaker's run on Captain America is so acclaimed that it's begun to face a lacklash of disinterest. To counter this, Brubaker has revealed that not only will Captain America the series feature a new long-term artist - Butch Guice - but will the character openly embrace 'The Heroic Age' with both his fully-working, biological arms. Oh, wait.
Already revealed to be part of the main 'Avengers' title, it seems that Bucky Barnes will also be fighting a guy in a purple mask as we reach May; in the form of Baron Zemo. Preliminary reports reveal that Zemo will also carry a sword, and will stare menacingly at Captain America for a short period of time - possibly longer.
Alright, we'll admit it: all we know about Zemo is what appears on the cover. We're more interested in the X-Men series, alright?? Anyway, Captain America as a series isn't going to change too much because of Marvel's new image: in fact, it's one of the titles which has the most to gain. Captain America has always been a preachy hippie: now it's time for him to kick bad guys in their purple faces. Excitingly, Falcon is going to remain a character in the series, which is good news because he's always been the secret best character. If we keep our fingers crossed, maybe he'll start talking to birds again. We loved that.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Agents of Atlas back on the Map

Speaking of the perennially oddball team of cretins, it's just been announced that Jeff Parker (who else?) is launching a new Agents of Atlas series featuring the monkey, the robot, the women and that fishbowl guy. The series will be part of 'The Heroic Age'. And with heroes like those, who would dare oh right practically everyone they're not that imposing a team. Well anyway, the team are back! This should please the fanbase. There aren't many teams who get so many second chances as The Agents of Atlas, so hopefully this time they'll grab on the the stirrup and ride the horse of success over... hedges.

Interestingly, this time round the team are expanding by one member, as '3D Man' joins the title. We have absolutely no idea who this character is, although judging from his superhero name he is not cognizant that the majority of men are, in fact, featured in three dimensions. He's going to fit right in.

We're just being mean for the sake of publicity. CBR has an interview with Parker.

Thunderbolts: Apparently Luke Cage is still a 'thing'

Jeff Parker's run on Thunderbolts has so far been an extended exercise in seeing just how many comics 'The Agents Of Atlas' can get cancelled, but things look set to change during 'The Heroic Age', as the team gets swapped for a new one, led by Luke Cage. This may come as a surprise, because everyone was hoping that Cage was going to get killed off in Siege. Look up, though: at least there's no sign of his wife.

The book will return to the familiar formula of villains being press-ganged into heroic adventures, only this time with Luke Cage calling the shots. This may mean a lot of posing, and possibly a trip to run-down city areas as Cage spends six pages telling Juggernaut about the value of recycling instead of throwing your used beer bottles on the floor. Let's have a look at the rest of Parker's Thunderbolts team -


Fat bloke who runs at stuff. Notable for being Marvel's most beloved failure, as the character plays into a vital demographic: people who treat comics as serious business wherein characters belong in a weight class, power class, and should never 'job' to 'marks'. Honestly, these people exist. "The Juggernaut is strong, but is he as strong as the Hulk?" "Well, looking at this manual, Hulk is meant to have 100-tonne lifting strength while Juggernaut is an Omega-level powerhouse..."


Why Moonstone is on the team is beyond us, as she seemed set for much bigger things. Here she plays the sought-after role of 'noteworthy female villain', because presumably Mystique was tied up elsewhere.


Oh dear. Let's move on.


You would've thought that the man who shot Captain America would be up for immediate promotion to the electric chair, but apparently the general public in the Marvel Universe are tolerant enough to forgive him. Despite their frequent demands that mutants be executed and belief that Iron Man is an alien-hugging villain. They don't want to see the man who killed their icon be put to death. The same people. Regardless of this, it'll be interesting to see if Parker can give the guy a personality. Lord knows, if he doesn't then Moonstone and Ghost will be doing all the heavy lifting in this title.


A paranoid freak who remains intangible at all times using his gadgets, so nobody can touch him and kill him. Brilliant character. It's promising that Ghost is still on the team after Siege finishes, but perhaps even more heartening is the absence of Ant-Man. Let's just cross our fingers that this means what we all hope it does.

Story from Newsarama

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Dazzler makes semi-ironic return to charts

Jim McCann announced that he would, indeed, be the Pete Waterman to Dazzler's Kylie Minogue as he unveiled a new one-shot dedicated to the character, coming out in May as part of Marvel's 'Marvel Women' initiative. Dazzler's in-comics career has been as troubled as her real-life popularity, as the character's personality veered dangerously once the pop factory closed down and left her stranded. She attempted a film career, which stalled, before a series of small-scale failures left her with a following in England but largely ignored by the rest of the World. Then it was into indie territory for a while with Kieron Gillen, before settling back into her bubblegum lifestyle as part of Matt Fraction's 'Uncanny X-Men' run.

Do you see the metaphor we were using there. We were comparing her career to the career of Kyle Minogue, who failed a film career, had her main fanbase in England, worked with the Manic Street Preachers, and then went back to mainstream pop at the end of it all. It was a very clever metaphor we were using there. Hope you got it.

Dazzler's return comes at the hands of the most vocal Dazzler fan perhaps in the World, Jim McCann, also responsible for various short stories and the somewhat-delightful 'New Avengers: The Return' miniseries last year. McCann promises a return to the character of old, and to this extent has persuaded slaughter-shack duo Craig Kyle and Chris Yost to not kill off Dazzler's sister, Lois London, who is currently appearing in the pair's 'Necrosha' storyline. The survuval of Lois marks a landmark movement for the two, as traditionally nobody escapes their books alive. McCann promises to set Dazzler against Lois - now known as Mortis - as the main plot of the one-shot, out in May.
Another character in the storyline will be Rogue, who wears a lovely scarf. The scarf isn't important, but we just wanted to highlight our affection for it. Art comes from Kalman Andrasofszky, who is stunning.

Marvel reveals the Secret Avengers, ruins the surprise

The second of the four Avengers series launching in May, after the great implode-a-thon of April, will be called 'Secret Avengers'. Appropriately, the teaser image for the series features a character's blacked out silhouette with the phrase "I focus on the solution, not the problem" written alongside. Given this, many have speculated that the character could be either Spider-Man or Beast (from the X-Men - the fruity blue one), as both are noted scientist-types. Some have speculated that Ursa Major from The Winter Guard could be the new addition, and the image shows him mid-transformation, but this sounds like wishful thinking from an idiot, if we're being honest.

The series is to be written by Ed Brubaker, a man so full of grit that he could single-handedly have solved the snow problems in North Yorkshire and the Humber last month, and drawn by Mike Deodato. Given the creative team, it seems likely that the team will be made up of less-than-typical Avengers, which would explain their 'secret' status. However, anyone who tells you they know more than this is either lying to you or Ed Brubaker (and you can tell if it's Ed Brubaker because he'll be wearing a hat).

Teaser image below, complete with incoherent quotation. Also of interest is that the character appears to not be a cat, which could mean that the figure isn't Beast. It could also mean that Beast is going to be regressed back into an ape, ruining years of work from writers like Grant Morrison and Mike Carey. But Marvel wouldn't do that!

Story from CBR.

Siege: It's quite big, isn't it?

Marvel have released details of five one-shots coming off the back of their “Siege” event in April, revealing that the issues will cover Captain America, the Young Avengers, Loki, The Secret Warriors, and Spider-Man, respectively. This may seem like a simple way of prolonging the event experience for readers, but it seems that Marvel may have a far more alternative take on these characters in mind.

The writer of the Captain America one-shot, for example, Christos Gage, plans to use his story to write about the two different characters who are currently in the running for the title: Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers. It seems likely that the tale will merge the two characters into a single four-armed-two-headed freak, who protects America by shooting enemies and then apologising for it with some heavy-handed moral commentary.

Likewise, the writer for Siege: Spider-Man is Brian Reed, which suggests that Ms Marvel may feature very sparingly. The most interesting of the five titles, however, is the ‘Loki’ issue, written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Jamie McKelvie – otherwise known as the blokes behind that enjoyably obscure Phonogram series – and focusing on the God of Mischief himself. What could we expect from this superstar creative team, in light of the recent developments of Brian Michael Bendis’ Siege series proper? The inside word is that the issue will see Loki relaxing in his London pad, taking cocaine and listening to La Roux records.

Here’s the story, courtesy of IGN.