Saturday, 26 March 2011

Ursa Major Stealthily joins the cast of Amazing Spider-Man!

In discussion on CBR's message boards, Dan Slott casually dropped the BOMBSHELL that beloved bear Ursa Major is going to join the cast of Amazing Spider-Man. According to Slott, Mikhail will assume the guise of Robbie Robertson at some point and infiltrate the main cast. While it's unknown what will happen to Robertson in the meantime, it seems clear that this is the first step towards making Ursa Major the most popular character in comic-book history (if he is not already). What exciting news, you guys! Ursa Major is now a cast member in Amazing Spider-Man! We wonder when he'll first appear?
This is what we think it'll look like:

An Important Page: Spider-Woman Gets Into Trouble


In Avengers 12.1, Brian Hitch and Brian Michael Bendis team up to bring The Avengers Vs The Intelligencia. The Space Knights are rumoured to return (no sign of ROM, though), and SWORD are going to have to get involved. It's all going on!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Mystery Men are revealed sort of kind of but not quite really

Remember that 'Who Are The Mystery Men' teaser from a few weeks back?


Marvel have revealed the details about the story. A five-issue miniseries written by David Liss and drawn by Patrick Zircher, the storyline will explore the lives of the very first superheroes based in New York. Called 'The Mystery Men', this group of five operated between the 1920s and 30s, which means they appeared just before Captain America and The Invaders showed up on the scene. The mini will explore these five characters - one is a woman with a jetpack - in a noirish storyline which harkens back to Watchmen. The five characters, none of whom appear to have any actual powers, are called The Operative, the Surgeon, the Revenant, the Aviatrix and Achilles. Seems interesting, no? The first issue comes out in June.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Mark Waid Brings Back Daredevil!


C2E2 also brought us the news that Mark Waid is the new guy taking over Daredevil. Not literally - he's writing the series, not putting on a costume, blinding himself, and heading out into the New York rooftops - but as the writer of a new ongoing series for Matt Murdock. The artists are amazing for this project - Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin!

The series will see Daredevil attempt to return to New York as if nothing has happened, and he wasn't recently possessed by a demon. The other superheroes won't take kindly to that - Spider-Man is a possibility to appear in the title - and demand that Daredevil prove himself worthy of their trust once more. Waid says the series will keep the tone of the series, but won't be so endlessly depressing. he describes the title as "swashbuckling" and exciting, without ever getting too traumatised. Amazing!

Liss Announces "Stormchaser"


David Liss, writer of Marvel's 'Black Panther: Man Without Fear' series, has announced the second story arc will feature Storm. Fan speculation had it that the couple were going to break up on the grounds that nobody much liked Storm/T'Challa together, but apparently not. The two-part storyline, called "Stormchaser", see T'Challa pitted against previous opponent Kraven The Hunter for a fight across New York. Storm will get involved, although Liss insinuates that her role may be as a captured damsel in distress, who needs saving. We'll have to wait and see. The series will continue to be drawn by Francesco Francavilla, although the storyline following this will apparently be drawn by Phil Heston.

The Punisher's New Creative Team


Are Greg Rucka and Marco Chechetto. According to Rucka, Frank Castle *isn't* insane.
Oh dear.

More Fear Itself Tie-Ins

So C2E2 went on last weekend, and several Marvel creatives were on hand to announce some new projects. They were all, inevitably, tie-ins to Fear Itself, Matt Fraction's increasingly massive Summer event storyline.


First up was the announcement of a new Ghost Rider ongoing series, written by Rob Williams and drawn by Matt Clark. It appears that this is an ongoing as opposed to a mini,as the storyline will begin with a .1 issue in June. The opening arc is called 'Hell on Wheels', and will be the story which ties-in to Fear Itself.


Also announced was more from Cullen Bunn, previously announced as the writer of a Black Widow one-shot story. Bunn will be teaming up with Lee Gerbett for 'The Deep', which features Namor and Doctor Strange. The villain appears to be one of those 'worthy' guys, although we don't know much more apart from the rumour that Namora and Loa are appearing in the story too.


Brian Michael Bendis teased at the same panel that the rosters for both the Avengers and New Avengers would be changing as a result of the event, while Matt Fraction very heavily implied that Steve Rogers is going to reclaim the mantle of Captain America...

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Will The Winter Guard Appear in Fear Itself?

There's an interview with Christos Gage over on Comic Book Resources about his contribution to Marvel's overwhelming Fear Itself event storyline. While the main story focuses on Thor, Captain America and possibly Iron Man, Gage is going to be headlining a monthly anthology series 'The Home Front' which will chronicle how the event affects people across the World. Gage's storyline is focused on a multi-part Speedball tale, while Peter Milligan is confirmed as writing a four-part Agents of Atlas storyline. Howard Chaykin will write and draw a one-page story each issue, focused on different characters seemingly at random. And then, at the end of each issue, will be a seven-page story. That seven page storyline could focus on anyone, and have any creative team attached to it. First up for that seven-page role is Jim McCann.

So already there is a high chance of Winter Guard. Christos Gage's Speedball story, which runs through every issues of The Home Front, is set to take the character across the globe. Once you've passed America, Canada, and Great Britain, what country is the next most featured in Marvel comics? Russia! Now Speedball has absolutely no connection to Russia whatsoever, but if he's travelling the globe, it seems like as good a place to stop as any. Who else is in Russia? Why, Darkstar and company! It seems like there's a least a small chance of Winter Guard action in this storyline, and that's exciting not just because the story is written by Christos Gage - but because it's drawn by Mike Mayhew. A Mayhew-drawn Guard?! Amazing.

Likelihood of Guard: 6/10


Now, the Agents of Atlas were established as being BFFs with the Winter Guard during last year's sensational Darkstar & The Winter Guard miniseries. Well, we say BFFs... they met them. And rescued Namora from monsters! But they didn't really talk that much. They shared a few jokes, seemed to like each other and then went off to their respective day-jobs. While it'd be most excellent to have Peter Milligan writing The Winter Guard - he is one of the best writers ever, after all - there's no real chance of this happening. Like, at all.

Likelihood of Guard: 2/10


What does Howard Chaykin think of Russia? Who knows! His one-page storylines are most likely to focus on characters like Iron Fist, Magneto, Steve Rogers. We wouldn't expect any of the Winter Guard to appear in any of these stories (and although we like Chaykin, we don't really want them to! The more pages the better, y'all)

Likelihood of Guard: 3/10


The seven page storylines are where we're putting our faith, you guys. Jim McCann loves international characters - he brought back Alpha Flight - and he could well be the man who decides to write a storyline about everyone's favourite bear, Ursa Major. If not him, then perhaps a return for David Gallaher and Steve Ellis? They may be busy with their own projects, but could a quick seven-pagers be out of the question? Who knows. Several other writers are known to like the team -- but will any of them pitch a storyline? Our guess is that yes, they will. And Fear Itself will be remembered not just as the event which brought back Howard the Duck - but also as the event which led into A NEW ONGOING WINTER GUARD SERIES!!

Well okay, that's just blatant wishful thinking. BUT JUST IMAGINE IT, YOU GUYS.

Likelihood of Guard: 8/10

Monday, 14 March 2011

Mystery

Black Widow's Fear, Itself


Another Fear Itself tie-in! A lot of people complain about events having too many tie-ins and crossovers, but we've always found that Marvel are very good at making supporting stories which can work outside the main story. In many ways, the tie-ins tend to be superior to the main story, and take characters in more interesting directions. Cullen Bunn will write a one-shot issue starring Black Widow as part of the Fear Itself storyline, setting Nastasha Romanov in Paris and forcing her to action. Notably, Matt Fraction has said that Iron Man is also going to be in Paris when his series ties in to Fear Itself, so perhaps we might see some crossover between the two storylines. Most of the tie-in stories have thus far been incredibly mysterious and inpenetrable - not so this one.

Black Widow is going to be in Paris, and a terrorist cell are going to attempt to capitalise on the panic caused by Fear Itself to attack the country. Black Widow will attempt to save the day. Art by Peter Nguyen. Issue released in June.

Dark Angel, Rarrghh Rarhhh


Wolverine Vs The Marvel Universe


Last year Marvel gave us Punisher Vs The Marvel Universe, an alt-reality story which saw Frank Castle face off against a rabid set of superheroes who'd been affected by a deadly, slightly mean virus. He used A BOW AND ARROW against the Hulk! It was one of our favourite moments of the past year.

This June, Jonathan Maberry will be back! In the same Universe, although this time the lone hero is going to be Wolverine, everyone's favourite brightly-dressed claw deviant. With art by Laurence Campbell, the four issue miniseries will see Wolverine fighting friends and foes alike as he struggles to stay alive in a sea of infestation. Will he have to face Squirrel Girl?! That's the question we all want to know the answer to.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Howard the Duck Saves Fear Itself

Fear Itself is improving all the time, first with Chris Hastings and Bong Dazo in charge of "Fear Itself: Deadpool" and now the announcement that Howard The Duck, She-Hulk, Nighthawk and Frankenstein's monster are all teaming up (?!) for a four-issue miniseries by Brandon Montclare and artists Michael Kaluta and Ryan Bodenheim. By far the strangest team we've ever seen, the four radically manic characters are going to unite in order to stop the strongest creature on the planet - Man Thing. Man Thing can burn any living thing which is fearful at the time of contact, making a Fear Itself/Man Thing connection into an obvious choice for a storyline.

But Howard The Duck hasn't been seen since his cameos in Secret Invasion, while Nighthawk recently tried and failed to set up a new Defenders team, Frankenstein's monster was upstaged by the glorious Frankencastle and She-Hulk's all over the place. This is mad. Absolutely mad. And we're starting to really ennjoy the prospect of Fear Itself as a result. Issue one is on sale in June. Here's the cover:

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

CHRIS HASTINGS joins Marvel!!

Have you ever read Dr McNinja? It is amazing. It features a Doctor who is a Ninja and possibly has some Scottish ancestry. You can read it at http://drmcninja.com

Why is that important? Why, because the writer of that internet web series just got hired by Marvel! Chris Hastings, creator of the good Doctor's comic, is to write a three-issue Deadpool story about... oh.

Oh dear, it's another Fear Itself miniseries.

Well, let's try to look at the positives here. This is a three-issue Deadpool Miniseries which will probably take the piss out of Fear Itself, right? What's the cover look like?


YES! EXCELLENT. GOOD WORK CHRIS HASTINGS.

Marvel still pretty excited about Fear Itself


We've been hearing talk about the Worthy for a little while now. But we've also started to hear about a character called Serpent? Man, this Fear Itself storyline, eh?

Monday, 7 March 2011

Wolverine Vs Cyclops


Nick Spencer is MARVEL-EXCLUSIVE

What better way to follow-up on our exclusive New Mutants scoop (Abnett and Lanning and Fernandez are the creative team, remember) than by writing up some week-old news story and then leaving the website blank for half a week? Never let it be said that we know how to market ourselves. But enough about us, because Nick Spencer - writer of Morning Glories and The Infinite Vacation - has just been announced as a Marvel Exclusive! He's signed the contract, handed over the keys to his visual Batmobile, and will be writing several things for Marvel very soon. He's currently writing Iron Man 2.0 with War Machine as the star and Barry Kitson the artist, and will shortly be taking over Secret Avengers from Ed Brubaker. Will there be secret projects ahead? There could well be! This won't affect his creator-owned comics, so he must've got one of them thar 'Jason Aaron' type deals.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Rob Williams takes over Dark Wolverine


ComVan-endorsed writer Rob Williams is going to take over Daken: Dark Wolverine following the events of the X-23/Daken fight storyline 'Collision'. A Brit we've met and had a pleasant conversation with, Williams had a snappy sense of humour which should perfectly meet Daken's twisted personality. As already revealed via the solicits for April, Williams' run will start with a PointOne issue in which we see Daken spread his influence to Hollywood and Los Angeles, culminating in another stand-off with daddy dearest.

The penciller for the series has yet to be announced, although we're hoping it'll continue to be Giuseppi Camuncoli, who fits this series like a nice scarf fits a cold Alaskan. Other plot details are scarce, although the Avengers seem set to turn up against Daken at some point, and it's likely the X-Men are on the horizon somewhere.

The Year of the X-Men

So all last week, Marvel devoted their enigmatic teasers (who ARE the Mystery Men, anyway?) to the X-Men, whose books were ambiguously absent from the most recent set of solicits. Only Adjectiveless, Astonishing and Generation Hope had solicits, while Uncanny, Legacy, New Mutants and X-Force were all missing. So, what did the four teasers reveal about the upcoming direction of these titles? Well, firstly they revealed that the big new banner heading is going to be "MMXI - Year of the X-Men". It looks like Marvel are planning to refocus themselves on their X-Men line, and bring some dynamism back to a franchise which has recently seemed to be treading ground. This year brings a creative team change on New Mutants, with Zeb Wells and Leonard Kirk leaving, and on Uncanny X-Men, with Kieron Gillen taking over from Matt Fraction. X-Men Legacy is coming out of its mysterious "Age of X" storyline in a few months, leaving now the perfect time to try a new approach. First up -- New Mutants.


The core cast of New Mutants is likely to remain the same, with Sunspot and Magik shown prominently in this teaser image. Dani Moonstar is also still present, as evidenced by the hand at the left which is firing a bow, and Warlock's arm is visible. So while the team are staying the same, it looks like the events of "Fall of the Mutants/Rise of the Mutants" are going to push them into slightly darker territory. The image shows them hunting down the first Blink, who seemingly died during Phalanx Covenant only to be shown as alive and evil in Necrosha. She was recently de-evil'ed by Dr Strange, which means that her and X-Man's inclusion in the image is extremely odd. Neither character is an enemy to the X-Men anymore, so why are the New Mutants fighting them? At the time of writing, we have just found out that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning will be writing the series from now on, backed up by Leandro Fernandez's pencils


Next comes X-Men Legacy, which seems set to switch character focus soon. Rogue and Gambit are still involved, as is Magneto, but it appears that post-Age of X the series is looking for a family dynamic. Charles Xavier and Legion seem set to return to full-time scheduling, alongside Frenzy, everyone's favourite massively angry mutant. There are no New X-Men in the image, which strongly suggests that Rogue will stop being the focus character soon - or that she will get fired. Either is likely, given Carey's history, but the teaser image smartly includes all the other characters who've been rumoured to be the new feature character. So again, it's going to be impossible to guess which will take over. If we had to decide, we'd probably go with Magneto.


Uncanny X-Force probably benefits from the most interesting teaser, as we see the team pitted against all the survivors from the Age of Apocalypse universe. That means we have to revisit that terrible ten-years-on miniseries Marvel published, as familiar faces like Rogue, Magneto and Nightcrawler are joined by the AoA version of X-23. Archangel appears to be missing from the team, so who knows what might have happened to him. Theres been discussion about whether Age of X is going to merge all the alternate realities into one whole, with Nate Grey and these AoA characters all returning seemingly at the same time - we think this is coincidence. Rick Remender is going to be joined by Mark Brooks for this new storyline.


Finally, Uncanny X-Men, which is now fully-helmed by Kieron Gillen. Greg Land returns, which is disappointing because he's a terrible "artist" nowadays, and the teaser image seems to tie-in to the Fear Itself storyline. We already saw a teaser of Juggernaut and Colossus wrestling for control of some kind of magic hammer, and this would look to continue that story. It looks like Gillen is planning to bring Colossus back to the big-leagues of the X-Men, as his first arc will be about Kitty and Piotr, and now it appears his second arc will also focus on the man formerly known as The Proletarian. This should please all the people who think only Cyclops, Emma, and Wolverine appear in every series.