Wednesday, 21 July 2010

SDCC Is Upon Us: We're Outta Here!

With the Sand Diego Comiccon almost here, we're going to take a moment to flee while the moment's good, and head off to darkest rural Europe. As a result, you're going to have to head off to one of the 'real' comic book websites in order to get all the latest news and gossip from the convention. At the same time, Marvel's newest soliciations will come out next Monday - we're not going to be here for that either. We'll try and catch up with everything once we do return in August, but don't you dare expect too much from us! We're fragile, after all.
Bye for the week!

Captain America ON TRIAL!

Much like his fellow American icons Lindsay Lohan and Phil Spector, Captain America is going to go on public trial this November, in a new arc for the series called 'The Trial of Captain America'. Following up from the current storyline which sees Baron Zemo attempting to humilate and then defeat Bucky, the latest twist in Ed Brubaker's massive tale sees Bucky going up on trial for crimes against America. Formerly a brainwashed assassin working for the Russians under the guise of 'The Winter Soldier', Bucky has since shrugged off his past in order to become the latest Yank to claim the mantle of Captain America - after getting permission from Steve Rogers, that is.

Butch Guice will be drawing the five-issue storyline, which promises to expand upon Zemo's plans for Bucky (Zemo will be sticking around for the long-term, it seems) and provide massive ramifications of the future of Captain America. With a new film coming up with showcases Steve Rogers as Cap, this could well be the start of the end for Bucky's tenure as Cap. Although! We doubt it, because Bucky is way better than Steve ever was. This seems like a chance to get under the skin of the character, and finally move him on from his past and towards the future. In critically-acclaimed fashion! We're looking forward to this, not least because we're hoping for Black Widow to re-enact that courtroom scene from 'Wild Things'. Smash!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

The Rapture Comes to Presumably Abduct Iron Man and Force Him into Heaven or something idk

The Rapture happens at the end of the Bible, and what happens is all the men get abducted by God and taken to Heaven, while all the women get sent down to Hell. Something like that.

Coming soon! Marvel Knights - it's still going, guys - will present a new miniseries called 'Iron Man: The Rapture', which presents an alt-Tony Stark as a bit of a madman. We know, big revelation there. But this mini will use cyberpunk to create a Tony Stark who decides not to stop modifying his body after he puts in his new reactor-heart thingy. The origin remains basically the same - injured during battle, decides to use his tech-brain for good - but here we have a Tony Stark who keeps on modifying his body, even after it stops making sense for him to do so. Here is a picture of Tony Stark gazing meaningfully at his Myspace page:

Yes, we stole the image from CBR. Do you think they'll be mad? Written by Alexander Irvine and drawn by Lan Medina, the miniseries doesn't have a publishing date yet - but look out for it in the near future.

Time for a New Spider-Girl

As one Spider Girl says farewell, so another Spider-Girl recently got stabbed through the chest and another one went blind and turned psychic. And as all those things happened, so Araña has turned out to be the only Spider-Girl left at Marvel. So what better time to give her an ongoing series? We've been shown (I know, right? We got shown it! We're stepping up into the D-Leagues of comic-book commentary right now) a teaser image drawn by what looks like J Scott Campbell, promising a new ongoing series for Araña come November. What else do we know about the title? Oh, but we've been sworn to secrecy!

Not really, we have no idea what else is going to happen beyond the image below. But maybe Spider-Man will cameo? In fact, we practically guarantee that he will. Apart from that, we'll just have to wait and see - but this would likely be the title to feature Julia Carpenter, the former Spider-Woman and Spider-Girl and now Madame Webb; and it'd be surprising if we didn't see Araña's team 'The Young Allies' pop up at some point, too.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

We haven't forgotten about Marvel's Cosmic Books!!


Although we don't quite understand who will become a Widow as a result of this, we're still more excited about the forthcoming BLACK WIDOW/HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD crossover than possibly anything else this year. Announced only last night, the storyline called 'Widowmaker' will see the three characters cross paths once again in a storyline which also features the return of the 'Ronin' identity to Marvel. This time though, Ronin will not be heroic.
The storyline, from what we know so far, will see a new Ronin killing spies across the World - and with Natasha, Bobbi and Clint all counting themselves as spies, that puts them in the crosshairs. But teaming up won't be easy for the characters, not at all: especially as Black Widow used to date Hawkeye, and Mockingbird is still unsure if she should be pursuing a relationship with the bloke herself. A cat-fight is brewing.
Written by Jim McCann and Duane Swierczynski, drawn by David Lopez and Manuel Garcia, the Widowmaker crossover will be carried by issues #7 and #8 of Hawk/Mock and #9 & #10 of Black Widow - the issues which run from December to January. Exciting!!

The Captain America Rush Begins NOW

The Captain America movie is still a year away, but Marvel are already jumping on the Cap-train with a wave of new projects showcasing Steve Rogers due out for release over the new few months. With all these new comics being issued now, Marvel should be able to have quite the collection of trade papaerbacks for fans come the release of the film, so new fans can jump straight into the character. The first of their two announcements is a miniseries written by Jonathan Maberry, a man who is seemingly more versatile than a potato waffle.

Fresh off the almost-finished Doomwar, Maberry will first tell some stories about Punisher fighting the Hulk, becfore moving on to 'Captain America: Hail Hydra'. A five-issue miniseries with a rotating art-team, Maberry will revisit several moments during Cap's history wherein he fought against the hoardes of Hydra. The one connecting thread for these stories will be Steve's constant attempts to stop the terrorists from unleashing a device known as 'The Lazarus Project'. Will it be the same Lazarus Project from Dr Who? Perhaps not. Captain America: Hail Hydra #1 will come out in January (!)

There's a shorter wait until Ben McCool - and surely that can't be his real name - releases issue one of his new retrospective miniseries 'Captain America & The Korvac Saga'. Four issues long, the miniseries will go back to the seminal moment in Avengers history when a giant cyborg person thingy tried to take over the Universe. Although Cap didn't seem to be particularly involved in that storyline, this mini is going to tell the event from Steve's perspective to introduce a whole new element to the overall tale. Out in December, the miniseries has yet to announce an artist, although we're keeping fingers crossed for Ben Templesmith; McCool's co-creator for 'Choker'.

And finally, an ongoing series beckons for Cap in January as Brian Clevinger tells more untold stories of Steve Rogers in 'Captain America: The Fighting Avenger'. Set entirely during wartime, the series will focus on stories from the front line of World War II, a battle which Cap was increasingly an important part of in the 616 timeline. Ignoring the origin story and the superhero parts of the storyline, we will instead get to see a lot about Cap as a typical (superpowered) member of the army, fighting in the trenches. And, wherever there is Captain America and Nazis, there will be The Red Skull... The artists for the title are intriguing, as they appear to be a group of Japanese women who collectively call themselves 'Gurihiru'. Novel!

Cap Fever is upon us! Flee to the hills, or to your local comic-book store.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Writing Loki Miniseries!

Not a mildly funny title as per usual, but this doesn't require mild funniness. This is a situation of DIRE REVERENCE. Everyone bow their heads and contemplate for a minute just what it means for us as a whole.
Thank you. Now, let's get to the details! RAS is writing a four-issue miniseries focusing on the life and times of the recently-exploded Norse God Loki. Starting in October, the mini promises to not only look back on some of the definitive moments for the character, but also to reveal some of the previously-unknown parts of the character's life which have left a distinct impression. Although Thor and Odin will turn up, along with Balder (Baldur? Oh dear, Marvel); the focus will mainly be on the Mischievious One. Apparently Loki has some family, so RAS will deal with them for a bit as well as shed a new light on Loki: turning him into a tragic figure.

Sebastian Fiumara will pencil, and as he turns in astonishing work like this:

There really isn't anything about this project which we don't like!

Atlas is Over, but is it really?

Atlas, the latest continuation of Jeff Parker's remarkable run with the superhero team 'The Agents Of Atlas', is set to end with issue 5. The sales have sadly not been high enough for the series to continute, although Parker notes that this time he was the one to pull the plug on the series, instead of Marvel. After noting that issue #1 had not sold a startling number of copies, he made the decision to end his story with the new team after the first arc concluded. Whilst this is sad news for Atlas fans, there is comfort to be had in the fact that at least two of the characters have places elsewhere in the Marvel Universe at the moment. Venus will appear in Chaos Wars with Hercules and Amadeus Cho, while Gorilla Man still has all three issues of his miniseries left before he dives into limbo.

But is Atlas really over? This is a series which has appeared EVERYWHERE. It went from a series to a miniseries to some backup stories to a miniseries to.... well, it's been everywhere really. If you think this is the end for Agents of Atlas, then... well, you don't know the Agents of Atlas! However, this is probably the end for them. Unless they come back. Which they won't.

Although they might.

New Wolverine Series! And this one will also be great

In worrying news for all struggling comic-book titles, Marvel have announced that they were start publishing a second ongoing Wolverine series later this year, and that this one is also going to be very good indeed. With 'Wolverine' by Jason Aaron almost upon us, and the imminent return of Daken and X-23 series by Marjorie Liu... imminent, this means that there will be four Wolverine-family titles out at once. And all four of them are by incredibly good writers and fantastic artists. People always wondered what would happen if Wolverine - Marvel's most popular character - ever got a decent creative team. Well now he has TWO, and his family have great creative teams too. These four books may well render the rest of the comic-book market extinct.

So, let's get the announcement over. The new Wolverine series will be called 'Wolverine: The Best There Is'. The artist will be none other than Juan Jose Rhyp, the man previously responsible for brilliant work with Moon Knight, and the Punisher, among others. The writer will be mother-f&^%ng Charlie Huston! In the first set of interviews he gives about the series, Huston displays excellent deployment of the f-word and also seems pleasingly irritated about the existence of 'Wolverine: Origins'. This new series will not be stuck in the past, but will instead attempt to fill Wolverine's life with some forward momentum and give him new villains and themes to play against.

The first of these new villains will be called 'Contagion'. He is a gentrified man of elegant tastes whose blood is completely poisonous and, if Wolverine were to stab the guy, the blood would become an airborne virus which could kill millions. Dilemna! So this storyline is going to be brilliant, you can already tell. With Aaron and Huston and Liu working to make Wolverine comics good, how is anyone else meant to compete?

Daredevil Takes Acting Lessons from Vincent Price

Marvel have shown us a few pages from 'Shadowland #2', the second part of Andy Diggle's street-level event starring Daredevil. After killing one of Marvel's most famous villains, the horn-headed superhero appears to have turned to the dark side. Although the act of killing one measly mass-murderer doesn't seem to us to be the kind of action which warrants descent into full-on supervillainy, Billy Tan's artwork suggests otherwise. In these two pages from the unlettered preview (the other pages show someone trying to stab the unbreakable Luke Cage ((side-note: Marvel should publish a series called 'The Unbreakable Luke Cage')) and the Kingpin being ominous) we see Daredevil posture his way through a conversation like a cocaine-addled Bond villain. Get a look at these!

Daredevil is now our favourite character ever. Look how stern he is! If only he'd decided to buy a more comfortable throne, maybe things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand. Back posture is important, kids.

Marvel Release Dubiously-Worded Teaser for X-Men #2

Considering the critics have not been overwhelmingly kind to the new series by Victor Gischler and Paco Medina, the phrasing of this teaser has an unfortunate double-meaning. The storyline, which sees vampires attack the X-Men for as-yet-unrevealed reasons, is meant to launch the X-Men into the heart of Marvel's 'Heroic Age' theme; and has reportedly sold out across America. In this teaser, we see that... something has happened. Analysts believe this picture shows a map of San Francisco, which is covered in red bits. Is it blood? Are those meant to represent vampires swarming across the area?

We haven't got a clue. Cyclops' expression is golden, though.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

'Klaws of the Panther' Miniseries Koming Soon

After the rather-decent Doomwar wraps up in one issue's time, Jonathan Maberry will continue exploring the role of the Black Panther in a just-announced miniseries called 'Klaws of the Panther'. Yes, with a 'K' in Klaws.

What this means for Storm and T'Challa is unknown, although it's a fair bet that Storm is still alive post-Doomwar because she's fighting vampires over in Victor Gischler's X-Men series. T'Challa's role in future storylines is still being kept under wraps, which may suggest that he's getting bumped off. Just speculation, though! Klaws of the Panther will focus on the Black Panther, Shuri, as she travels the World trying to find a place for herself. Again, what this means for her home nation of Wakanda is unclear. It may be destroyed, or taken over, anything may happen. All we really know is based on one teaser image which shows Shuri teaming up with Wolverine, Spiderman, Ka-Zar and Zatanna to slash up some dinosaurs. Here is said teaser image:

We 'borrowed' this picture from comicbookresources. So does this mean a trip to the Savage Land? Boy, we sure hope so! Klaws of the Panther will be five-issues long, artist TBA, and will start in October.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Fred Van Lente Writing An Avengers Title - But Which One?

Knowing Mr Van Lente as we assuredly don't, he's likely planning to take over as writer for all the Avengers titles simultaneously. For the moment though, that isn't the case.

BUT!! Fred Van Lente has recently confirmed on Twitter that, as of November, he will be writing an ongoing Avengers series of some kind, although every single one of the details are currently a top secret. The only hint we have is his belief that the series will be "the most vanlentean Avengers title ever". So what could this mean? What is 'vanlentean', and what could possibly fit this description? Well, we've narrowed it down to a possible five different Avengers titles which we think Mr V-L might get his hands on. This is all speculation, but let's just wait and see what happens...

1: Avengers Worldwide

Known for his love of the lesser-known teams, Fred Van Lente has previously made use of teams like The Champions, Alpha Flight, and The Winter Guard in past stories. Could it be that his new series will see these teams take centre stage again? Marvel have spent quite a bit of time recently on establishing some of their global teams - Winter Guard and MI13 spring immediately to mind, as well as the Chinese superteam brought together bu Dan Slott's Mighty Avengers title. Given the fact that comics are not only bought by people in America, it would make sense for Marvel to reach out to their global audience and put a team together to investigate global supercrimes. With Captain Britain a recent recruit to The Avengers, and the return of Vanguard to The Winter Guard (possibly!), could this be an option for Marvel.

2: Avengers Noir

It might not be an ongoing series, but the rest of the Noir line seem to have been popular - at least with critics - so it would make sense to bring The Avengers into the fold. Van Lente wrote the very first Noir title (X-Men Noir) and if anyone could turn the Avengers into a group of gangsters, it'd be him. Maybe?

3: Hercules Vs Cowboys and Aliens

As a way of tying in to the upcoming film by Jon Favreau, Marvel might decide that they want to set their brunette God into battle against both cowboys and aliens. This is a long-shot, admittedly.

4: Avengers Legacy

This seems the most likely option, in honesty. Van Lente is already writing Iron Man Legacy, a title which tells previously untold stories about Tony Stark's past. The stories happen within continuity, but flit between previous stories. So whilst everything that happens is canon, obviously a few things are set in stone - Tony won't die, for example. The Avengers are such a massive group of characters that it wouldn't be surprising if there were some interesting stories which Van Lente could tell about them. Who knows which line-up he'd choose, but this would almost certainly be a book which was rife with opportunities for Marvel. Not only would characters such as Wasp and Scarlet Witch be usable again, but Captain America would be Steve Rogers -- quite a draw for readers.

5: Astonishing Avengers

Another line which could use another title to bolster its ranks, the Astonishing line currently boasts Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine and Astonishing X-Men, neither of which have a reliable shipping schedule. Slipping in another title by a more reliable creative team would be an excellent idea for Marvel. Although, with 'The Avengers' already providing the idea of a showcase title for the Avengers line, this may not be something Marvel are looking into. In that case, perhaps Astonishing Avengers would simply exist as a way to tell simple stories which explore the characters, instead of grandstanding event storylines which affect continuity.

At any rate, we are very excited. Fingers crossed that it's going to be a good one!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Here is Red Hulk Being a Vampire

Part of our 'Hulk stories are stupid and we like them that way so stop pretending to be something you're not, Hulk stories' collection.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Are the Mutants Repowered? Is Generation X Returning?

Marvel have released two teasers by Greg Land which look rubbish, but promise several things. Featuring a different 'new' character on each one (we assume they are new, they might be old characters we simply can't recognise), they appear to be promoting the direction of Uncanny X-Men once Second Coming concludes in two weeks' time. The 'Five Lights' storyline from Matt Fraction and Whilce Portacio looks like it may deal with the repowerment of mutants across the globe - but hey, we won't know for sure until X-Force concludes the Second Coming event in a few days' time.

The second interesting part of the teasers is, surprisingly, the font that they've used. It's the font Marvel used to use in relation to Generation X, the brilliant series by Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo. If mutants are coming back, is Uncanny X-Men going to lead us in to another X-Men title - Generation X Vol 2??

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Fantastic Four Rest All Their Hopes on a Failure

A new teaser has come in for Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four series, which sadly is called 'Fantastic Four' and not, 'Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four'. As always, the teaser shows a single page from an upcoming issue alongside a cryptic message. This time the message is ALL HOPE LIES IN DOOM and the image looks like this:

If you've been reading the series then you may understand what's going on above. We understand it, but telling you who is climbing into a Thing-style robot suit would - sadly - spoil too many storylines and we wouldn't want to do that. Although in our very own cryptic way, we feel that we have basically just explained what is going on here. You can see Mr Fantastic and Dr Doom watching over events together, and looking strangely happy about their team-up. Well, Mr Fantastic seems happy. Doom looks miffed and bored, so at least we know he's going to be completely in-character once he shows up. It seems a little strange for The Fantastic Four to place their trust in Dr Doom, who has once or twice in the past betrayed their trust, but they likely realise that Victor is a complete failure and that his inevitable betrayal will be easily thwarted within two issues.

Joe's Cup o' Cover For Amazing Spider-Man #638

Amazing Spider-Man #638 is the first of the four part 'One Moment in Time' storyline, a much anticipated look into the events of 'One More Day'. Written and drawn by Joe Quesada with assistance from Paolo Manuel Rivera, the storyline will flash between past and present as it reveals what happened during Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson's wedding. And Marvel have just released a cover by Joe Quesada for the issue, which riffs on a classic cover and adds a new element to the storyline as a whole.

The image very clearly shows a giant disembodied Spider-Man head psychically ordering Mary Jane to throw her wedding dress into a bin. Why would a giant disembodied Spider-Man head want her to leave Peter? Is the giant disembodied Spider-Man head good or evil? Perhaps it is a version of Spider-Man from the future who has come back to stop the wedding before some terrible event happens in the future. At this moment in time (see what we did just then? Ha!) all we know is this: a giant disembodied Spider-Man head is psychically controlling Mary Jane Watson.