Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ultimate Spider-Man's Original Team Reunite!

Mark Bagley and Brian Michael Bendis put Ultimate Spider-Man in the World. And soon, they will take him from it. The "Death of Spider-Man" storyline will come as part of a crossover with Mark Millar's Ultimate Avengers, and it seems that Marvel are pulling out many stops. Wait -- ALL the stops.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Age of X - the other characters

In Mike Carey's dimension-skipping storyline 'Age of X', the X-Men never formed and that's meant things generally don't go well. But what about the other heroes? Iron Man and Thor and all those other ones people don't care about that much? Well, Simon Spurrier - who has previously given us a story where there was a vampire whale - is going to explore the dull heroes of the Marvel Universe in March's two-issue tie-in to Age of X, called Age of X: Universe. There's even a blacked-out teaser image for it! Oh, what fun.

Khoi Pham will be drawing the art, and that seems to mean he'll be drawing a team including Hulk, Spider-Woman, Iron Man, Invisible Woman and Uatu The Watcher. Or will he? Only he knows, but is he telling?

...No! Not yet! Wait till March.

Fantastic Four No More, FF Takes the Floor

Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting are taking apart the Fantastic Four. Reed Richards is having to deal with an angry Galactus who wants to know why there is a dead Galactus body floating around the Universe, while The Human Torch tries to sort things out and keep the Silver Surfer happy. Meanwhile Sue Storm is in the middle of a massive diplomatic incident started by ally Namor, who has started to declare war on a lot of high-powered warriors. And The Thing has become human, temporarily. Things are separating the four, and that separation is going to become a lot more permanant once Hickman kills a member off. Yes, that's a basic summary of 'Three', the current storyline which will end the Fantastic Four as a comic series.

This is what will follow. In March, Hickman and Epting will continue together for "FF #1". The above image, incidentally, looks a lot like it was designed by Hickman himself. It seems to suggest that three members are left, although the name - if the two kids joined the team officially and they turned into Fantastic Five, could that be what's going on here? Guess we need to wait till March to find out.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

An Important Page: Entering Castle Doom

Magneto, Quicksilver, the Young Avengers and some other random characters are all heading off to Castle Doom, to try and recover The Scarlet Witch. Apparently she's engaged to him or something, it's all very odd and we don't really care about the story anymore. But at least the art is still pretty.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Does Spider-Man fear an abstract concept?

Spider-Man seems to be facing the recession in a new teaser image from Marvel. There's no indication of whether this is meant to be the Ultimate Spider-Man or the regular Spider-Man staring at impending economic doom. Although, the newspapers are the Daily Bugle instead of the DB!, which indicates to us that this is ultimate Spidey, who as you should remember is imminently doomed. There's also the headline about flooding, which would seem to be a reminder of the impact Ultimatum had on that Universe. At any rate, we're pretty sure that Steve McNiven is the artist responsible for the image - if we're wrong, please correct us - which would be another strike in the 'this is related to the death of spiderman story co-written by mark millar' theory we have.

Why would anyone be scared of tomorrow, though? Is this a possible feat? If you look philosophically at the question being asked here, then you'd have to accept that tomorrow never exists. It is there as a concept, but there is no physical sign of tomorrow ever occurring. Because by the time it does, it has become 'today'. So Spider-Man is scared of the hypothethical future, non? C'est un conundrum.

X-23 and Daken COLLIDE

March is the first month is a long time which is genuinely exciting us. Not only do we have all the fun things we've already reported on, but two of our favourite titles are going to head into a crossover. Dark Wolverine, featuring Wolverine's somewhat evil son Daken as he goes on a World tour of bisecting and bisexualing it up, is written by Marjorie Liu with plotting assistance from Daniel Way. It's a great title, mainly because it plays straight into Liu's strengths as a writer and it has the brilliant Giuseppi Camuncoli on art duties. It's a book about a character who has no qualms about wanting to take over the World, and as we enter March Daken is going to find a foothold in Madripoor. Sure, some of Logan's friends won't be pleased with things, but what can they do about it?

Marjorie Liu's other book, X-23, is drawn by Will Conrad and has so far been an intensely psychological look at a completely broken soul. The title character has a backstory which is mainly abuse, without much in the way of characterisation or personality. Liu has halted that, and started to give X-23 some much-needed development and fleshing-out. Stabbing also features prominently in this title, and sometimes there are poodles. X-23 is trying to turn herself into something admirable, and step out of Wolverine's shadow. So far, she has not had any major cause to dedicate herself towards...


You mean, X-23 is going to fight Daken and Daken in turn is going to fight X-23? And this will take the form of a massive crossover between the two titles?! Well heck, that sounds fantastic. With Marco Chechetto on art for Daken's half of the fight and ComVan favourite Ryan Stegman drawing X-23, this looks set to be utterly amazing. X-23 goes to Madripoor to unseat Daken from his seat of power, but what can she hope to achieve? Well, we're expecting that at the very least she'll stab him once or twice. But Daken has fans in strange places - he seems to be in some kind of crazy relationship with Johnny Storm at the moment. Will Daken fight dirty? (is the sky high up?) Meanwhile X-23 seems to be getting semi-French advice from Gambit at the moment. Will she tag in her new teammate to help out with this fight? And what role will the fabulous LINDSAY MCCABE have in all this drama!?

Come soon, March! We need to know these answers!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Spider-Man To Gain Back-Up Stories

Starting next year, Dan Slott's twice-monthly Amazing Spider-Man is to gain a few more pages as Marvel attach a back-up to each issue. What do we know about these back-ups? Well, we got this off Twitter, so only 140-characters worth of information. Fred Van Lente is to be the writer of the shorts, with Reilly Brown on art duties.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

An Important Page: What do you do with a Vampire-Girl?

So it looks like Jubilee is going to remain a vampire for the time being. Which is... a development? In the upcoming 'Wolverine & Jubilee' miniseries by Kathryn Immonen and Phil Noto, we're going to see what happens next to everybody's third-favourite Wolverine chum (go Kitty! Go Doop!) In this page, we get to see the X-Men discuss the best thing to do with poor ol' Jubilee. Will Emma be pro or anti-Jubilee? The big questions, you guys!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Marvel Announce Frankly Bizarre new Venom Series

Rick Remender and Tony Moore are going to begin a new chapter in the history of the symbiote creature known as Venom. First a villain who tried to eat Spider-Man's arms, Venom later changed host bodies and ate the arms of minor heroes as part of the Thunderbolts initiative, before pretending to be Spider-Man for a few months and hitting on Daken. Now he's going to switch bodies again, leaving Mac Gargan alone once more. Where will symbiote go next? Well, apparently the military are going to get him. In this new, surprisingly announced as an ongoing, series from Marvel; Venom is going to get hired by the army. With a new host, and a mission to go out and kill villains to America, apparently this is going to sustain enough interest to keep this an ongoing series.

Well, the talent is there at least. We're not convinced by the pitch, because it sounds frankly like a slight variation on Remender's Uncanny X-Force series. But at least the writer is the man behind Frankencastle and the artist is... the man who was also behind Frankencastle. If anyone can make the alien goo interesting, it'll be these two. The series will likely read well, and look brilliant, but the question remains... why this pitch? Watch us eat our words in a few months time when issue #1 comes out this March.

The Annihalators Assemble!

Annihalator is a terribly difficult word to spell. We're not even going to attempt to spell it correctly. But it's a word we're going to have to learn about! Because March brings us a series all about a team who have decided to go by that name. You may remember that we reported a few months ago about a Groot & Rocket Raccoon series - this four-issue mini will be ATTACHED to that mini. You will literally have a 22-page story about the Annihilator team with Beta Ray Bill, Silver Surfer and Gladiator, and then a 22-page story about Groot and Rocket Raccoon. AMAZING.

Written as ever by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the series is going to 'return' Dire Wraiths to the Marvel Universe. And as much as we applaud the use of Bill Mantlo characters, we're gonna have to see CHECK YOURSELVES BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELVES, ABNNING! We already had them return in the seminal Marvel hit Darkstar & The Winter Guard! So we expect to see that story fully-referenced over the course of the first 40 pages of the series. Yay!

Thursday, 9 December 2010


We like to make sure that any stories involving Peter Milligan get the FULL CAPITAL treatment here on ComVan. And this one is the big time! Peter Milligan is going to take over THE WHOLE OF MARCH with his new five-issue story 5 RONIN. Featuring Psylocke, Wolverine, Deadpool and the odd choices of Hulk and Punisher (cannon-fodder? And speaking of cannons, we don't know if this story is within Marvel canon or not), the story is set in ancient times and sees the characters get involved in some kind of ultimate shogun story. And wait, we just realised that means this isn't canon. Punisher and Hulk can totally get killed! Excellent.

David Aja is going to do covers, alongside some megabig names. But interestingly, each issue will have a different artist doing interior work. Some of them you know, some will be new to you. But from what we've seen of the artists we know, this is likely going to look incredible. Wait, let's capitalise that. INCREDIBLE. Tomm Coker, Dalibor Talajic, Laurence Campbell, Goran Parlov, and Leandro Fernandez are their names, and we're truly excited to see what this story will be like. AJA ALERT! --

Phoenix Destroys Albany

Phoenix does as Phoenix always did. In Age of X Beast is dead and Jean Grey is wandering around blowing up towns we've never heard of. What next? Perhaps Iceman will become a lake, or Angel will become head of the Catholic Church. Keep tuned for more updates, yo!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Captain America Variants:

It's Captain America's 70th Anniversary next year, which means Marvel are going to push him like anything. One of their many initiatives to make him famous and worthwhile will be to put him on lots and lots of covers. So when you go to pick up your copy of X-Men #9, for example, you'll be confronted with this:

He's probably not in the story - although this is adjectiveless X-Men we're talking about, so who knows what they'll be doing to shamelessly self-promote next - but he will certainly be on the cover. This is going to happen for pretty much all of Marvel's titles in March next year. You have been warned!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Marvel's 'Architects'

Marvel have announced that five of their writers have been designated as their 'architects', in a system which sounds suspiciously as if the writers are being penned into a heirarchy. Will a third-level writer have to seek permissionuse a second-level writer's character? What benefits come with being an architect? Are fifth-tier writers known as serfs? At any rate, we imagine that these five architects probably come with a price. An extra dollar price, to be exact. Is it likely that Marvel's architects will be exempted from the cutback to $2.99 comics? Will their comics now cost $3.99 or $4.99.

We're a British site. We don't care too much. Here's the line-up:

* Brian Michael Bendis, writer of Avengers, New Avengers, Death of Spider-Man, the upcoming Moon Knight and an upcoming top secret project
* Matt Fraction, writer of Thor, Invincible Iron Man, and a top secret upcoming event
* Ed Brubaker, writer of Captain America, Secret Avengers and top secret upcoming new series
* Jonathan Hickman, writer of Fantastic Four, S.H.I.E.L.D. and a top secret upcoming new series
* Jason Aaron, writer of Wolverine, Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine and a top secret upcoming new series

How Will Age of X Work?

Age of X, Mike Carey's vision of an alternate Universe where mutants were never popular (wait, what?) and are routinely hunted down by humans (this is an alternate reality?) will start up in February with Age of X: Alpha. From there on, the story will be told in X-Men Legacy and the newly-writerless New Mutants series. Three issues of each will be dedicated to the story, in fact. More and more is being revealed every day, with Marvel recently going 'viral' - ie they're trying to hit the JJ Abrams demographic - with the release of this image. Beast fans, it should be said, probably won't get much out of Age of X.

The story seems to focus on if the X-Men had never formed, so humans formed the army before Cyclops did and commenced killing what they did not understand. Beast is dead, and it looks like future teasers will show the deaths of several other X-Men characters. As a result, the story is going to focus on the few mutants who are strong enough to escape the war and survive independently. Cyclops, Rogue, Gambit, Hellion, Magneto and Frenzy are some of those who've made it through, and it looks like a few weird curveballs characters like Erg, Avalanche and Pixie.

The artists for the Age of X: Alpha one-shot will be Paul Davidson, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Harvey Tolibao, Mirco Pierfederici and Carlo Barberi. Then Clay Mann will be in control for the X-Men Legacy sections and Steve Kurth will be in charge of New Mutants. Carey promises that after this story finishes, a new creative team should be taking over that title. But for now - you'll have to accept that we're going to have three months without any sighting of Magik (how will we cope?!?)

There will also be a two-issue tie-in series called "Age of X: Universe", which sounds suspiciously like another anthology series to us. Artists and writers for that are currently unknown.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Humberto Ramos drawing Free Comic Book Day: Spider-Man

Apparently! Although we're not going to write any more about it until we're certain this isn't going to get us sued by Marvel's lawyers.

(Although here is the cover)

SHOCK! Oliver Coipel draws covers for comic-book series

Never underestimate the desperation of an amateur journalist during a slow news... month. In light of Marvel's inability to think up any nifty promotional tricks these past few weeks, here's a preview of Oliver Coipel's cover for Wolverine & Jubilee #1, by Kathryn Immonen and Phil Noto. In case you were unaware, Jubilee is currently a vampire, and judging from the 'dark fantasy' section of our local bookseller, that means she is probably mere moments away from falling in love with a psychic werewolf hunter. We're thoroughly surprised Marjorie Liu didn't get her hands on this mini instead of KI, really. Anyway, we hope you enjoy the cover, which is still only in pencil format. Slow news week, guys. Slow week indeed.
Oh, and we stole this from comicbookresources. BECAUSE OLIVER REFUSES TO GIVE US HIS PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS.