Saturday, 30 October 2010

An Important Page: Playing Hide And Seek With a Demon

So it's been revealed that the reason why Daredevil has been so odd recently... is that he's been possessed by a demon. Oh, Mattie! You and your love for purchasing cursed rugs and then unfurling them in your flat. As Shadowland draws to a close, DemonMatt decides that he's tired of doom-and-gloom, and runs off for a fun game of hide and seek with his bestest best pals Iron Fist and Luke Cage. Will they catch him? You'll have to pick up the final-ever issue of 'Daredevil' to find out!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Chaos War is the End of Pak/Van Lente's Incredible Herc Run

Fred Van Lente has confirmed on Twitter that there will be no more Incredible Hercules stories once Chaos War finishes. Labelling the miniseries as the end of an "eight-volume" storyline he and Greg Pak planned before they started writing the relabelled Incredible Hulk series, Van Lente said that once Chaos War ends, he and Pak will go their separate ways. This is quite canny, really, as it implies that anything could happen to the characters in the final issue - they might die, they might move to another title, they might head into comic-book limbo. At this point, all we know is that Chaos War #5 will signal the end of the story. If you all want to see more of the characters, you'll have to buy the comics and show Marvel that they're popular.

Incredible Herc was one of Marvel's more fun series, with the Greek Demi-God partnering up with the eighth/ninth smartest human on Earth for a series of manic adventures, heading from Atlantis to Asgard with a stop in outer space along the way. Ven Lente will continue writing every single one of Marvel's B-List titles simultaneously, while Pak sticks to his work with Bruce Banner over in 'Incredible Hulk'.

RIP Incredible Herc!

Monday, 25 October 2010

This Week in Backup Stories

We just remembered something we read a few days ago. Warren Ellis, a writer many people like because he has a gross imagination (he wakes up in the morning, thinks of the phrase "cow flaps", and then spends the rest of the day working it into his newest script) will be contributing a backup story to Kelly Sue DeConnick's 'Osborn' miniseries. While DeConnick's main story sees Osborn handling himself in a supervillain jail, ascending through the ranks like that one-handed git from Prison Break, the backup will feature a new character. From what we remember (what? you expect research? We write this stuff for free, dude) the protagonist will be a nurse who witnesses Osborn in jail and goes mental in typical Ellis fashion.
In other backup story news, Marvel have announced that the new backup strip for their big Invincible Iron Man series by Matt Fraction will be about Pepper Potts, who now calls herself Rescue. Written by Fraction himself - who is writing almost as many stories as Fred Van Lente at the moment - the backup will be drawn by Jamie McKelvie, who is lovely.

Mark Millar Reveals a Kick-Ass, Nemesis, Superior Crossover?

We've scooped Newsarama and Comicbookresources for the time being, because of the glorious time difference between Britain and America. Ahaha! Take that, Yankee websites of higher journalistic quality! Anyway, what we've spied is that Mark Millar has posted this teaser image on his Millarworld board.

The picture shows villain Nemesis attacking Kick-Ass and Hit Girl (from Kick-Ass), while Superior tries to deflect the bullets. Nemesis is the eponymous protagonist of a four-issue mini currently being published by Marvel, with Steve McNiven drawing - while Superior features Leinil Francis Yu on pencilling (Yu also draws this image, which Millar cites as a practise-run). And Kick-Ass 2 has just begun, following on from the intensely popular original story which got turned into a film, with John Romita Jr behind the art once again. So it looks as though all three books are going to have a crossover, with Nemesis attacking all the others. Are we to expect violence? Oh, I would expect so. The question is - will Yu draw the crossover, or are all three artists going to get involved? Or perhaps we should expect a totally different artist...

What's Brian Hitch up to at the moment?

You can see Millar's original post here:

Saturday, 23 October 2010

An Important Page: Vampire Whalin'

On Wednesday you will be able to witness a story wherein two of the New X-Men fight a vampire whale. Armor and Rockslide team up to take on the leviathon in 'Vampires Vs Mutants #2', a tie-in anthology book for Victor Gischler's main 'Curse of the Mutants' story in adjectiveless X-Men. Drawn by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, who seems to really like Armor (he drew her origin page in 'Origin of Marvel Comics: X-Men and also her short story in the Nation X anthology), here we see the villain make his first amazing appearance.

Simon Spurrier, a man who isn't averse to a little Armor himself, writes the story. We love the little sound effect the most.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Mike Carey ushers in the Age of X...

Marvel put up a mysterious teaser at the end of the X-Men panel during NYCC. As is their wont, the picture blacked out all the characters on the front and offered no details whatsoever about who was writing the story, what the story was about, or... well, anything.

The solicits for January, however, have shown us a whole new side to the project. Called 'The Age of X', it will be written by Mike Carey. Oliver Coipel and Chris Bachalo will contribute covers to the first issue. What's interesting is that this first issue is called "The Age of X: Alpha", which brings to mind The Age of Apocalypse, which also started with an 'alpha' opening issue. What's going on here, then? Are we to expect all the X-Men stories in February to be sucked into an alternate timeline, or is this going to be entirely self contained? It might lead on from the Age of Apocalypse itself, or be a new story with new characters. Literally anything could be going on here. Apoccy is currently the focus of Uncanny X-Force - is this the consequence of something that happens at the end of the first arc?

Elsewhere, websites have been going frantic over working out who the silhouettes are. It turns out that each silhouette is taken from an old picture (the Storm picture on the top right, for example, is from an old Black Panther cover) and then crudely photoshopped together. So, what we're assuming is that the importance is NOT who are being blacked out, but that the characters are being blacked out in the first place. X-Men going underground...?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

New Avengers The Reunion: Reviewed!

Mockingbird, one of our favourites, came back to life at the end of Secret Invasion. Well, according to Brian Michael Bendis she was never dead, but that’d mean Great Lakes Avengers never happened and we refuse to accept that. She was dead and came back to life at the end of Secret Invasion. As this was barely referenced since by Bendis aside from a few scant quips, it fell to Jim McCann to make something of the return and show the public why Bobbi Morse matters. McCann, who was returning to writing after far too long being everyone’s favourite PR Consultant, teamed her up with her ex-husband Clint Barton – AKA Hawkeye – and decided to focus on her past as a secret agent. The resulting miniseries was called New Avengers: The Reunion, and featured the art of David Lopez. It was so popular that a subsequent ongoing series was announced, called “Hawkeye and Mockingbird” – out now!

Top Five Great Lakes Avengers:

5. Monkey Joe
4. Doorman
3. Mockingbird
2. Squirrel Girl
1. Flatman

The first thing to note about The Reunion is that the main story is quickly overshadowed by McCann’s work with characterisation. While the duo are ostensibly reunited to try and bring down an evil businesswoman, by the final issue the matter of saving the World comes about almost as an afterthought. The real meat of the story is the relationship between the two characters, which seems at once more realistic and more fantastical than the relationship of any other two characters in the Marvel Universe. Cyclops and Jean Grey had a great partnership in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, but if anything this comes across as even more smartly put together than Morrison’s story. The basics of the relationship are as follows: Hawkeye and Mockingbird got married shortly after meeting, had an argument over a very sensitive issue, and looked to be heading for divorce. At this point, Mockingbird was kidnapped, although Hawkeye thought she’d been killed. So her return not only means he has to overcome the idea that his wife isn’t dead, but that she has to overcome the fact that she never got closure over the end of her marriage. This is slowly built up by McCann, coming to a head in issue #3 as we get to see what exactly happened to Bobbi when she was captured. Needless to say, it wasn’t pleasant – but it’s a smart way to build her character, without resorting to anything gratuitous.

While the mini does focus on a proper adult relationship (although Hawkeye is anything but an adult), it never gets too dark. The emphasis is on reminding readers why the pairing work so well together, and for the most part McCann succeeds. David Lopez is more suited to the fight scenes than the conversational scenes, but his artwork develops as the mini goes on, and somehow manages to improve with each issue. Which is surprising, because usually artists get a bit more rushed – here Lopez is asked to do more in the final issue than the first issue, but manages to deliver a slicker, more enjoyable comic. He’s assisted by some smart colouring from Daniele Rudoni, who mutes the scenes where the most emotion comes forth, before splashing out for the fight scenes. As mentioned before, Lopez’s ability to convey the conversational moments is hit-and-miss – when the characters are angry, such as a short scene between Captain America and Clint in issue #1, he struggles to make them look truly angry. He’s great at the fight scenes however, and by issue #4 he manages to properly capture Mockingbird’s reaction of grief at an unexpected twist. And her breakdown in a shower is perhaps the most powerful moment of the entirety of the series, and is ably and poignantly depicted by Lopez and Rudoni.

Top Five Characters Who Were Captured By the Skrulls:

5. Spiderwoman
4. Sue Storm
3. Dum Dum Dugan
2. Mockingbird
1. Jarvis

Although neither gets billing above the other, it’s clear that the series is a showcase for Mockingbird. She gets the majority of the best scenes, and absolutely steals the final two issues. McCann’s exploration of her character manages to push her forward even for someone who hasn’t read much of her before, and make her an interesting, complex, and likeable protagonist. Barton fares a little worse, primarily because he appears unable to grasp how damaged his ex-wife has been by her time as the kidnapped. He seems so carefree that he is actively cruel to Bobbi, which makes a few scenes towards the end ring a little hollow. Why does she continue to associate with him? Having said that, his presence is the main reason why the mini doesn’t get depressing, with a series of slick one-liners and quirky expressions to hand. McCann clearly enjoys writing the character.

So while the main story isn’t that interesting, the creative team are having such a fun time with the gadgets and run-on jokes that it doesn’t matter so much. The centrepiece of this mini is the relationship between Mockingbird and Hawkeye, and McCann does a fine job with the pair. Instead of the cliffhangers for each issue being the arrival of a new threat, instead we have some more intriguing final pages which bring the characters to the fore. McCann has since proved with both his Dazzler one-shot and continuation of this series that he is a great writer of personalities – this mini, while a little rough, stands as the best showcase for the characters that you could imagine, and blows New Avengers out of the water. Recommended!

Our Meaningless Rating: 7/10. A fun time for all!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Marvel Reveal Tron Covers

Marvel have got the license to publish comics based on the Tron franchise. Whilst this may sound like they missed the boat by twenty years, you should know that a Tron remake is on the way. So actually, Marvel have hit the boat spot-on! Oh, metaphors. It also means that several issues coming out in November will have variant covers to pay homage to the film - including Captain America, Wolverine, Iron Man and New Avengers. The covers are all drawn by one of two people - either Mark Brooks or Brandon Peterson. This is a silly little blub to pad out the shiny pictures below. Let's get to it:

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday Buzzkill

Mercilessly stolen this title from The AV Club, a brilliant website about all kind of pop culture. Are you feeling good about it being the weekend? Happy that you've finally finished work for the week and looking forward to going out tonight, maybe having some drinks? Well hey, did you know that Young Allies has been cancelled? Sean McKeever's fledgling title lasted six issues before being cancelled, which means that we at least got the series concluding without any dangling plot threads. The series, which featured Firestar, Nomad, and some other characters we never personally got to like much, was drawn by David Baldeon and ends before the 'Game On!' crossover story by Paul Tobin begins. So if you liked the title, make sure to catch their last hurrahs in January, February, and March.

Doesn't it feel great to get home after work and sit up on your sofa, with a nice glass of wine and laptop beside you? Zeb Wells is leaving New Mutants. The Emmy-winning writer (for Robot Chicken, natch) will leave after issue #21, apparently wrapping up most of the plot points he's set up over the past few years. The Fall of the New Mutants arc currently going will be followed by a two issue 'Rise of the New Mutants' story, before Wells leaves. While the series will continue, there are no indications at the moment about who will be the new creative team - or if Leonard Kirk will get to continue with the title.

What's great about the weekend is that you can finally sit down and read some of those comics you bought. Isn't it nice to feel like you're encouraging a new title to continue? Buying an issue feels as much an act of support as it does an entertaining way to spend some time. For every comic you buy in a shop, four people will download it online, illegally. Think about that - any series selling 10000 a month (which would usually mean automatic cancellation) would jump up to 40000. Is that the right maths? Probably not. So even though you may well be doing your best to help series like Exiles or SWORD to survive, there are four other people undoing that effort and ensuring that Young Allies never makes it to issue #7.

Have a super weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Jason Aaron @ NYCC 2010

Finally (have we left any writers out?) is Jason Aaron, who had a new announcement at NYCC. The Ultimate Universe spent a little bit of time recently floundering, until Ultimatum concluded and Millar, Bendis, and Loeb realigned the direction of the alt-continuity universe. Jonathan Hickman recently came in to write Ultimate Comics Thor, and now Jason Aaron has been announced as the writer for a second miniseries – Ultimate Comics Captain America. As you may know, Ultimate CapAmerica is a lot more interesting than the real one (although we like the current commie cap), and Aaron’s direction for this mini looks to be a winner.

Teaming up with Ron Garney once more, the mini will see the Vietnam War’s equivalent of Captain America show up, to challenge Steve Rogers and make him rethink the way he goes about his business. The Ultimate Universe has never been shy of making America look shady and corporate, so the news that they developed a super soldier to send into Vietnam fits them perfectly. And Aaron is already a bit of an expert on this period of American history, having written ‘The Other Side’ for Vertigo as his first big comic-book gig. So with him and Garney together, this series will almost certainly be genius.

Bonus: Captain America's exploding crotch!

Kathryn Immonen @ NYCC 2010

Another X-Men miniseries has been announced for Kathryn Immonen, and this one follows hot on the heels of the AMAZING ‘Pixie Strikes Back’. This time taking on a somewhat more well-known character, her next foray into the X-Men Universe will be in the miniseries “Jubilee and Wolverine: Curse of The Mutants”. Curse of the Mutants is the current storyline in X-Men, and has recently seen both Jubilee and Wolverine get turned into vampires. In fact, it was Jubilee who turned Wolverine in the first place. Immonen’s four-issue story looks set to delve into the aftermath of the storyline – with Jubilee still a vampire. The focus rests mostly on the character, with Wolverine appearing to try and guide her in the right direction (poor ol’ X-23 wishes she could be so lucky). Immonen promises romance, drama, and Emma Frost, and apparently one of the New X-Men will reveal their secret crush on Jubilee. Place bets now, we’re guessing that it’ll be Mercury.

Drawn by Phil Noto, this promises to be, whilst not as AMAZING as PSB, still pretty darned amazing.

PS: And this isn’t related to Immonen, but Victor Gischler’s second arc on X-Men will be called ‘Serve and Protect’, and features Gambit, Storm, and Spider-Man in New York. To be drawn by Chris Bachalo!

Jonathan Hickman @ NYCC

To the Secret Warriors! The limited series has announced its final end point – issue #27 will see the plot wrap up and the series close. This has been building up for years now, and Hickman promises that the finale won’t let people down. As a matter of fact, Marvel are so determined to make sure the story goes out on a high that issue #25 (the issue which sets up the finale) is now going to be double-sized, to make sure nothing is rushed and readers get as much story as possible.
There were also a few small announcements about Hickman’s Fantastic Four run, including the already-announced news that by this time next year, “there will not be a Fantastic Four title”. On top of that, the issue which features the apparent death of one of the team - issue #587 - will be bagged, to ensure nobody gets spoiled until they’re good and ready. Oh, and it's the 50th Anniversary of the Fantastic Four next year! So expect lots of announcements along that front, very soon.

Matt Fraction @ NYCC 2010

Nick Spencer has moved to a War Machine ongoing series, but Matt Fraction is staying put on Iron Man (in fact, rumour is that he may be leaving Uncanny X-Men). The series will continue with artist Salvador Larocca - what an incredibly long streak those two have had together – and in January the title will renumber itself to ‘Invincible Iron Man #500’ in order to confuse readers further. Alongside an oversized story by Fraction/Larocca which sees a possible future emerge in which The Mandarin rules the World, the issue will feature a preview of Iron Man 2.0, and a story about Tony’s father Howard, drawn by Howard Chaykin. The issue also sees an appearance from Spider-Man, as Fraction closes the door on Civil War and moves Tony into a new World.

It also looks like we’ll be seeing more Iron Man characters get miniseries and ongoings in 2011, as evidenced by this beautiful image by Marko Djurdjevic:

Monday, 11 October 2010

Nick Spencer @ NYCC 2010

We didn’t know who Nick Spencer was (we’ve never claimed to be a well-informed team – fact, we’ve frequently claimed the opposite) until this weekend, but it turns out he’s written a much-loved series called Morning Glories. We bring this up because Spencer turned out to be the biggest surprise of NYCC, picking up a series over at DC and a series at Marvel. The Marvel one is our focus, obviously, and interestingly enough his new series will be ‘Iron Man 2.0’. In other words, he’s writing a new War Machine series!

War Machine had his own series only recently, with Greg Pak turning the cyborg James Rhodes back into a full human. Spencer’s new take on the character will refine Rhodes further, scaling back the outdated gattling guns on his suit in favour of more hi-tech, updated weaponry. Joining Spencer for the series – which will be prelude’d in Iron Man 500 (more on that later) – will be artist Barry Kitson. Salvador Larocca will do covers, in a move which is apparently the first step towards amalgamating an ‘Iron Man family’ of titles. More on this as we get it.

Andy Diggle @ NYCC 2010

We were expecting to see something about Daredevil at NYCC, but Marvel surprisingly decided not to say anything about Matt Murdock at all. Instead we learned about Andy Diggle’s new project instead: Astonishing Captain America. Which, as we noted on twitter last night, sounds a little bit like a porn film. Astonishing Captain America will be a five-issue miniseries with Steve Rogers wielding the shield, and sends the super-soldier to Russia on a solo mission. While familiar faces will appear at the start (we’d imagine Black Widow may have something to say), the mini will for the most part strand Steve in Russia, left to rely on his own wits.

Diggle pitches it as a ‘one-man war’, with Rogers facing an old ally-turned enemy. Politics will play a part, of course, as America and Russia have had a somewhat interesting shared history over the years. If you’re looking for a cameo from the Winter Guard – and let’s face it, if you read this blog then you are – then we may be out of luck, as Diggle says he’s created some new characters for CapAmerica to interact with. The mini wouldn’t be Astonishing without a proper artist on duties, which is why Marvel have put Adi Granov on the title. Adi Granov, that is, who is absolutely brilliant at drawing snow-covered landscapes. So if anything, this will at least be one of the most beautiful-looking stories of 2011. We’re still a long way off from the first issue being solicited, but expect it to appear at around the same time as the movie – Summer 2011.

Marjorie Liu @ NYCC 2010

Way’s co-writer on Daken: Dark Wolverine was only there for one day, but made the most of her appearance and teased several things for both Daken and X-23. Firstly, Daken. Currently involved in the ‘Wolverine Goes to Hell’ story written by Jason Aaron, Daken appears to be one of the several people who sent his dad there in the first place. Liu confirmed that Mystique, who made an appearance in issue #1, will be returning infrequently as the series continues, but could be either a friend or a foe to the two clawed feller. Subsequent arcs will see Daken attempt to consolidate a power base across the world, and to do so he’s heading out. Specifically? He’s going to Madripoor. This fills us with excitement, because Madripoor is a fictional place in the Marvel Universe where amazing characters like Chimera, Tyger Tyger, and Lindsay McCabe all live. We especially love Lindsay, so fingers crossed she turns up (and is still a hard-drinking floozy!)

On the X-23 front, the biggest news is that Gambit will join the series as a supporting character, presumably as some kind of mentor for the character. Having already been counseled by Storm in issue #1, is seems like a safe bet that Gambit is going to be sent to help X-23 by Royal Request. Liu says that the rest of the X-Men are not going to simply forget that X-23 exists, but will be doing everything they can to monitor her to make sure she stays safe. Another familiar face returning to X-23’s life will be Kiden Nixon, along with the rest of NYX.

And expect the characters to fight each other in 2011!

Daniel Way @ NYCC 2010

Only one story for Daniel Way, but it’s a big one. You see, he just became the new writer for one of Marvel’s most popular and grandstanding titles – Astonishing X-Men. From Joss Whedon to Warren Ellis to Daniel Way. You may feel this is not a continuation of the big-name crossover talent who’ve written the series in the past – bear in mind that the slow release schedule for the series has all-but crippled the sales over the past year or so. With Way on board, the series should now return to a monthly shipping schedule, which is good news. His first arc teams him up with manic artist Jason Pearson, and is called ‘Monstrous’.

Storm has been dumped off the team, and Beast has buggered off to join Ed Brubaker’s Secret Avengers. So with the core team now depleted to only four characters, we’re pretty certain that Way is going to focus on Armor, the Joss Whedon creation who has filled the role of rookie for most of the series’ existence. After a brief stop-off in Japan (see, this is where we’re getting our Armor-centric theory from), the team will end up on Monster Island and… well, they’ll fight some monsters. It may not sound like much, but maybe it’ll surprise. After all, Warren Ellis’ last storyline featured the brood. It shouldn’t be too difficult to top that…

Brian Michael Bendis @ NYCC 2010

Marvel announced many, many plans during the New York Comic Convention this year, but nobody came out of the event with a busier workload than Brian Michael Bendis. Already the writer of The Avengers, New Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man, Powers and Ultimate Mystery.... and we're sure we've forgotten a few... Bendis finished the event with no fewer than three new titles. THREE! Surely he can't write so many comics one after another without collapsing. Or at the very least, getting confused and writing a scene where Deena Pilgrim wanders into Avengers HQ and tries to arrest Luke Cage. Oh, and one of his comics will be turned into a TV show. It's all go!

First up is the announcement of 'Takio', a new graphic novel series which will be published through Marvel’s ‘Icon’ imprint. Teaming up with longterm collaborator Michael Avon Oeming, the premise for the story sees two young girls develop super-powers, in a World where there are no other superheroes. So what do they do? Well, they do everything a tweenage girl *would* do in this situation: design a mad costume, give themselves silly superhero names, and try to make the World a better place. The all-ages comic is a departure for the team, best known for their series ‘Powers’; but gives Oeming a chance to try a new art style while Bendis attempts not to swear. Challenges!

There are two main characters in the series – sisters Olivia and Taki. While Taki is slightly overprotective of her superpowered sibling, Olivia promises to be a mad whirlwind of manic energy. Already, she sounds like the best character Marvel have created in about fifty decades (Marvel have been going for fifty decades, right?) As anyone who has read Ultimate Spider-Man or Young Avengers will know, Bendis is pretty good at writing young characters realistically and entertainingly. So this series, starting in February and presumably part of the new $2.99 initiative, seems very promising indeed.

Speaking of Powers, guess which creator-owned title will be heading to the small screen soon? Well, yes, the answer is Powers. We kinda gave that away a bit. Bendis revealed at the con that we are mere days away from some kind of big announcement about the series, which was most recently rumoured to be heading to the American channel 'FX'.

NYCC also brought the news that Bendis will be taking over as writer for a new Moon Knight series, alongside another long-time friend: Alex Maleev. The pair will join forces for a ‘redefinition’ of the character which may or may not be set in continuity. Marvel are keeping tight-lipped about the new series, but…. Oh! Scarlet! That was one of Bendis’ monthly series that we forgot to list at the top. Maleev draws that too. Anyway, Marvel are not revealing much, but it looks like the series/miniseries will start in early 2011. The pair pitched for the series after Joe Quesada himself challenged them to find a way to bring Moon Knight to a mass audience. There’s an amazing teaser image for this floating somewhere on the internet, but we can’t find it right now. Foiled!

So let’s move instead to a further collaboration with a beloved artist. This time Michael Gaydos, who is set to return soon for another round with Jessica Jones. That’s right! Bring out the Jessica Jones Alert! Get ready, because 'Alias II' looks set to begin sometime towards the end of 2011, as a miniseries which will launch directly out of the New Avengers. Now that the character has finally made the big-time, how will Bendis ruin her life once more? We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime….

The New Avengers will be gaining a nanny! Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have a busy schedule, so when they are off saving the World, their baby will be looked after by the safest pair of hands in the Marvel Universe….

Yes! Squirrel Girl joins the New Avengers! As the most powerful character on Earth, there could be no-one better for the job. Doreen will first appear in an upcoming issue, and cameo frequently thereafter. Dan Slott must be thrilled! And finally, Ultimate Spider-Man news - Bendis has plans for the imminent returns of fan favourite characters Beetle and Black Cat. Don't forget: Sara Pichelli is the new regular artist on the series. AMAZING.

Quite a big convention for Brian Michael Bendis, then.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Marvel Drop Prices on New Titles

It appears that Marvel are going to stop pricing new titles at $3.99 in America, citing success in digital distribution as the main reason for the move. Online comics have been pushed hard by the company over recent months, and apparently the first benefit of their success will be the lowering of prices in stores. However, note that this only appears to be affecting new titles launching in January or afterwards - series which are already priced at $3.99 will not drop their prices down to $2.99.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

X-Men, Steve Rogers in "Escape From The Negative Zone"

We've been waiting years for the moment when James Asmus is finally given the chance to write a big X-Men story - which is why we're so pleased he's been given the chance, at last, in Marvel's second cross-annual storyline. We've already reported on Paul Tobin's Young Allies/Spider-Girl/Avengers Academy storyline "Game On!", but Marvel have now announced that Asmus is following hot on the heels with "Escape from the Negative Zone". The storyline crosses from Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 to Steve Rogers: Super Soldier Annual #1, before finishing in Namor: The First Mutant Annual #1. The X-Men included in the story appear to be Cyclops, Hope, Dr Nemesis, Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde.

So far the artist for Namor's annual hasn't been announced, but the Uncanny X-Men's section will be covered by Nick Bradshaw, and Steve Rogers' annual by Ibraim Roberson. The storyline sees the X-Men investigating something in, natch, the Negative Zone, which turns out to be some kind of trap hatched by the villain Blastaar. Captured, they then have to send out a call to the only man suitable for a rescue mission - Steve Rogers. At this point in time, ComVan still has no idea what role Namor will be playing. If you're expecting three issues of Steve/Scott/Namor bickering over who is the best leader, then... well, maybe you're right. But Asmus promises a few surprises, not least of which is the fact that Blastaar is working for someone. But who?! Well, it's the Negative Zone, so have a guess.

What we like about the story are that Asmus is writing it, Bradshaw and Roberson are drawing it, and that Asmus seems set on getting all the most stubborn characters in the Marvel Universe in one place so they can have a good ol' argument. What we're worried about is that Dr Nemesis might pull a muscle if he continues to wield weapons as huge as the ones above. We'll just have to wait until January to find out...

Hercules and Wolverine Team Up With Frank Tieri

Not literally, although the sight of Frank Tieri racing down the road clutching a chainsaw would probably strike fear in even the most evil of Hydra agents. When Titans collide in a small bar, they fight and then get very very drunk. That's the premise of Marvel's latest announcement (second-most-latest announcement at the time of writing; we've fallen behind with our reporting) which sees Wolverine and Hercules team up to fight some evil in a four-issue miniseries.

Drawn by Juan Santacruz, the two characters will have to stop classic Wolverine villain Matsuo, who plans to resurrect monsters from classical Greek Myths and set them on the duo. We're talking Cyclopses and Lion-Monsters, alongside a few other notable creatures. Matsuo will himself be teaming up with a pair of characters first created by Tieri himself in a previous Hercules miniseries, King Eurytheses and Achelous. The three villains will not only test the strength of Herc/Logan, but also the friendship between the two. Tieri has past history with both characters, and plans to use it.

Psylocke fans! This storyline may sound confusing, and not just because we haven't explained it well. As you know, Matsuo was recently killed by the bethonged ninja in her recent Chris Yost-penned miniseries, so how come he's back so soon? Well, he's not. Tieri says that this mini will be set in the past, at an undefined point between his Hercules miniseries and Psylocke's miniseries. So while there are still several characters Tieri can threaten, Wolverine, Matsuo and Hercules themselves will be safe from death.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Paul Jenkins Writing Thor Stories!

Hey it's a brand new week, let's do some great journalism!!

Click this link to read an interview with Paul Jenkins. Here is a picture.

Thor is the one with blonde hair. This will soon be published in a comic somewhere. Read the link if you want to find out more, GOD. You guys are so lazy. Why do more people read Bleedingcool than ComicsVanguard?!11! Comix jornalism lives forever

Sunday, 3 October 2010

An Important Page: More Punching

Did you enjoy yesterday's Thor fest? Here's some similar material for your perusal from Chaos War #2 by Khoi Pham. Written by Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak, here we see Thor and Hercules say hello to everyone's favourite shiny Herald of Galactus, Silver Surfer.
In their usual way.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

An Important Page: For Every Action...

You can't spend all your time trotting around, beating up Thor and Silver Surfer, without expecting them to eventually fight back and return the beatings. Jeff Parker's takeover of Red Hulk appears to be a case of allowing all of Marvel's most powerful characters the opportunity to punch him several times in the face. That was a poor sentence, we just suggested that Galactus is going to beat in Jeff Parker. We meant that Rulk would be the centre of punishment-city.

Issue #26 of Hulk carries on from the Iron Man-attack with the chance for Thor and Galactus to have an emotional Deity-to-Hulk chat. And by that, we mean they're going to kick him in the shins and call him rude names. Witness one page of many which focuses on one thing. Punching.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Young Allies, Spider Girl, Avengers Academy: Game On!

It just seems wrong to write the phrase "game on!" without including an exclamation mark. Despite Marvel's decision to not punctuate in this fashion, we here at ComVan know better and will throughout this article exclaim wherever we deem appropriate. This January, writer Paul Tobin is going to be working his socks off on three different annuals for Marvel, focusing on three titles which showcase the younger members of the Marvel Universe. First off he'll focus on the Avengers Academy, the cast created by Christos Gage and Mike McKone - the book with Quicksilver and Hank Pym in it. Then, in February, it'll be time for the new Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon) to get an annual. Tobin will be writing her ongoing series, so it shouldn't be too difficult for him to think up something for her to do. And finally, in March, Tobin will move on to the Young Allies, Sean McKeever's team which lists Nomad and Firestar amongst their members.

And these three stories will all be LINKED. The storyline, Game On!, sees the three titles crossover as the cheeky besocked villain Arcade sends the characters to MurderWorld and totally tries to murder them up. We have yet to find out who hired Arcade to try this, but Tobin promises it'll surprise people. Over three months, we'll get to watch as Arcade fails miserably to kill anyone (he never kills anyone!) but succeeds wildly in disturbing and pulling apart the teams. No artists have been announced for these three annuals yet, but Marvel have announced that each one will have a backup feature.

While these characters will focus on the characters from the annuals, the stories are apparently not going to be set during the events of Game On!. Instead we'll have a story about the Academics, the Spider-Girl, the Allies; which more or less stands alone. Writers Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel will handle all three of these stories, but as of this moment no artists have been confirmed for them. So to sum up - that's Avengers Academy Annual #1 in January, Spider-Girl Annual #1 in February, and finally Young Allies Annual #1 in March.

Our Guide to Marvel's NYCC Panels!

We're not going. Hmph! We'll just have to cross fingers that something exciting is saved for the UK Thought Bubble, or something. But here's out guide to what will happen on each of Marvel's panels this year --



Come along to this panel to find out all about Marvel’s decision to shunt all their lower-selling titles to the internet. Are you a fan of Nova, Black Panther, or Pete Wisdom? Hear all about how they’ll be teaming up with Deadpool and Wolverine online!

3:30 - 4:30 PM MARVEL: WELCOME TO THE X-MEN - Room 1A08

This is the panel where Kieron Gillen will officially be confirmed as the only writer on Uncanny X-Men. We think. We’re pretty certain that Matt Fraction will drift out of the series soon, in the same way he drifted on.


Do you want to join Marvel? Then this is the panel where you’ll hear all the best advice! Advice like…. “draw a lot” and “you have to really want it”. Then ‘marvel’ at Alex Maleev and Giuseppi Camnucoli as they doodle something in five minutes which makes all your hard work for the past year look like crap.

5:45 - 6:45 PM MARVEL: T&A PRESENTS - Room 1A06

A sexy burlesque show featuring some of Marvel’s hottest writers, dressed up as seductive characters like Black Cat, Kraven the Hunter, and Groot.


10:45 - 11:45 AM MARVEL VIDEO GAMES - Room 1A06

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions will headline, but it’s almost certain that Marvel will unveil at least some sort of plan for Thor and Captain America videogames. Even if only in the form of barely-developed Nintendo DS titles.


We’ve heard that this series, looked after by people like Chris Yost, is going to be brilliant. This panel will be more of a film showing, in which the panel play two or three episodes for the audience. Will Yost sneak in a cameo from X-23? Find out here!

2:30 - 3:30 PM MARVEL: AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! - Room 1A06

Bendis and Christos Gage headline this panel, which will likely consist of two-three hours of BMB explaining exactly what happened in the last arc of The Avengers. Something to do with time-travel and a parallel galaxy? Killraven was in it, but was it the real version of him? Has he been written out of continuity? What?

4:00 - 5:00 PM MARVEL: CUP O' JOE - Room 1A08

Joe Quesada makes all the big announcements in this panel, usually shouting them as loudly as possible so he can be heard over the crowd of angry Spider-Man/Mary Jane fans. Ed Brubaker usually wanders into these. He might wander into this one. If you want to know all the biggest news and releases, this is the panel for you.


Anime? Oh dear.


10:45 - 11:45 AM MARVEL: THE WOMEN OF MARVEL -Room 1A14

Wouldn’t expect any announcements here, but probably some anecdotes about how difficult it is to park in the Marvel carpark. Kidding! Women know how to park! Sort of. Who’ll be on this panel? Probably… KellySue DeConnick, Marjorie Liu, Christina Strain, Jeanine Schaefer.


Jeph Loeb is in charge of this somehow, and we think Joe Quesada’s recent promotion means he’ll be around as well. Again, expect to watch an episode or two of the series with the sound turned up in an attempt to drown out angry Spider-Man/Mary Jane fans.

1:15 - 2:15 PM MARVEL: NEXT BIG THING - Room 1A06

This’ll be interesting. Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, Greg Pak, Dan Slott, Fred Van Lente, Jeph Loeb… we’d expect to find out the future of Incredible Hercules here. Also, look for varying plugs for varying series; an unexplained but mysterious image; and the sight of Jonathan Hickman dodging bottles thrown by angry fans of whichever Fantastic Four member he kills off.