Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
A worthy addition to the cast, yeah? Consider yourselves served, Marvel's marketing department!
Monday, 25 July 2011
Sunday, 24 July 2011
Continuing on from Greg Pak's run was never going to be an easy task, but the decision to give the character a visually-distracting follicular makeover means that barely any readers will pay any attention to the dialogue whatsoever. We're going to get 22 pages of bearded Hulk a month (actually more - he's appeared in a teaser image for The Avengers, and the beard is there too) and that's fascinating.
This does, of course, kick the question "why doesn't Red Hulk have a big ginger hulky moustache?" back into life.
Saturday, 23 July 2011
- Jason Aaron gets a new title! He's going to take over The Incredible Hulk series, and apparently Marc Silvestri will be handling the art. The series will get a new #1 as part of the takeover.
- A new weekly series called 'The Fearless' will start after Fear Itself concludes. The series has a rotating team of writers and artists and focuses on various members of The Worthy such as Juggernaut. Cullen Bunn, Matt Fraction, and Paul Pelletier are among the names attached to the project.
- Wolverine & The X-Men will be based in Westchester, back near New York.
- Avengers Solo will be a five-issue miniseries focusing on characters like Hawkeye and Hank Pym. Is Hank Pym going to be in the Avengers film? He's certainly getting a lot of attention recently...
- Rhys Ifans, who will play The Lizard in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man film, has apparently been arrested at Comic-Con for allegedly attacking one of the aides working there.
X-Men: Regenesis is a one-shot which bridges the gap between the end of Schism and the start of Uncanny X-Men #1/Wolverine and the X-Men #1, with Kieron Gillen writing a story drawn by Billy Tan. The cover seems to suggest that Cyclops will soon be living up to his codename:
Following the one shot, Gillen's Uncanny X-Men will debut, with EMMA FROST revealed as the team leader (and not Cyclops! Intrigue!) alongside some shadowy blanked-out figures who seem to resemble Magneto, Danger, and Magik, among others. Uncanny X-Men will also be written by Gillen, with Greg Land and Carlos Pacheco sharing art duties. Here's the cover for issue #1. Who do you see? Guess wildly, internet!
Jason Aaron's Wolverine And The X-Men Series will start off with Chris Bachalo on art before Nick Bradshaw shows up for the second arc (AMAZING duo of artists there! Probably the best art team on any Marvel book right now). There's a similarly blacked-out cover for issue #1 online right now, and it looks like this. Again, speculate as wildly as you can:
LUKE CAGE: ORIGINS by Mike Benson, Adam Glass and artist Dalibor Talajic.
Two of the most heavyweight writers you could imagine are going to team together to tell the origin of Luke Cage, hopefully focuses intently on his "tiara" era - the finest incarnation of the character to date. If you have any idea about either writer, then you'll know that they don't shy away from delving fully into misery and grime. With Cage's somewhat dodgy drug-related origin and Talajic's distinctive art, this project looks set to follow in the same spirit as Eric Canete's brilliant take on the character from last year.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: ORIGINS by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Stephanie Hans
Sacasa has been cropping up all over this site recently! But with good reason - he's one of the best writers Marvel has. With Wasp and Pym both characters likely to get at least a name-check in Joss Whedon's film, this is likely going to act as a 'pitch' book in case Avengers 2 gets greenlit and new characters are drafted in to the roster. Joining Sacasa will be artist Stephanie Hans, whose superstylish artwork has already inspired us to launch a "bring back Janet" campaign later this year.
VISION: ORIGINS by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel and artist Stephane Perger
Vision has been in limbo for so long now that it's hard to remember what he sounds like, but writers Siegel and Higgins seem to have a solid grasp on where they want to take the story - dark, intense and haunting seem to be three words floating around the project. Vision can be a great character when written well, so we're looking forward to this one. With Stephane Perger's distinctive paints gracing the pages, the book will be worth picking up for the artwork alone.
SCARLET WITCH AND QUICKSILVER: ORIGINS by Sean McKeever
And we don't know who the artist will be! This is by far the toughest assignment of the five, as the characters have had such a muddy, conflicted history. We have faith that McKeever will be able to scramble it all together somehow, though.
THOR: ORIGINS by Kathryn Immonen
We love Kathryn Immonen here at Comics Vanguard. But can even she make Thor seem even remotely interesting? Who knows!
Friday, 22 July 2011
Basically, what the title says. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's Heroes for Hire series looks set to be retitled later this year to 'Villains for Hire'. Misty Knight will remain the main character, but now it appears that instead of Iron Fist, Elektra and Falcon (y'know, marketable characters) we're going to have characters like Tiger Shark, Stilt Man and... yeah. I have no idea who the rest of those characters are in that picture. Cancellation looms over this series like a particularly sinister tramp.
Speaking at a panel last night/today/whatever, Gage first revealed that the team would be moving to the West Coast - fulfilling one of our predictions about SDCC - but would immediately have to deal with the death of one of their cast-members. Mentor Hank Pym is going to have a murder-mystery on his hands as one of the students is killed off.
The mystery will be compounded by the fact that the Academy is going to expand in size during the move, as members of The Runaways, The Loners, and other young superhero teams are entered into the Academy roster. Julie Powers is the only one confirmed so far, but we're betting that Nico from Runaways will be showing up too, alongside perhaps Penance. Also joining is White Tiger - but! Nothing is known about who will be wearing the costume, yet. Check out the teaser image for a first look at Julie and White Tiger.
Thursday, 21 July 2011
This means that every issue of comics like Uncanny X-Men will be available online, as a paid download, on the same day that the physical issue is released in stores. The idea is that people who don't have a local store will be able to keep up with their favourite comics without having to resort to illegal downloading - a practise which is impacting heavily upon the industry right now.
Marvel's SDCC announcement comes off the back of DC's similar announcement as part of their 'New 52' reboot. Every DC comic is slated to be same-day digital once the new number ones start rolling into stores, and people in the know have celebrated the move. I say people in the know, I mean the staff of Comics Alliance and also Brian Cronin. Nobody else online is really in the know.
The first books to go same-day will be the Spider-Man ones, next month, in August. November will see the X-Men books adopt the same policy, with the Avengers titles slated for sometime next year, around the time of the movie release.
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Marvel's newest project is from HERE ON IN to be known as Series One. The correct term is Series, not Season, and we will refute any claims to the contrary.
So let's talk about Series One! What is it? Well, it's a major surprise, that's what it is. It appears that next year Marvel are to launch a series of graphic novels which retell classic comic-book storylines with contemporary creative teams. So instead of seeing Stan Lee's verbose style of narrative where the characters keep forgetting each other's names, we'll instead be treated to modern-day phrasing and more up-to-date dialogue. It's essentially a middle-ground between the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe. The characters will be familiar, but the stories will be contemporary.
Marvel's main characters are going to be featured in the first wave of graphic novels, which were announced earlier this morning. So first up, in February, will be Fantastic Four: Series One by Roberto Aguirre Sacasa and David Marquez. We have images of this book already! Let's put them up:
WATCH OUT GUYS, SPACE IS DANGEROUS!
Then in March, it's going to be the turn of the X-Men, as Dennis Hopeless and Jamie McKelvie team up to tell stories of the original five X-Men. We doubt that there'll be any Wolverine, Storm, or Nightcrawler in this book - it's strictly keeping to the Cyclops/Jean/Angel/Iceman/Beast lineup originally created by Stan. McKelvie is currently working on Secret Avengers with Warren Ellis, but has shared this sketch with us of Cyclops - sadly, he is without moustache.
April brings us Daredevil by Antony Johnson and Wellington Alves, and May will be Spider-Man by Cullen Bunn and Neil Edwards. Holy seriously amazing creative teams, Batman! We'll bring you more news and art as we get it - Tom Brevoort has promised a second wave will follow, presumably featuring The Avengers, Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man.
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Don’t worry, you guys. As always, Comics Vanguard got y’all back, We’ve cut through the crap to collect the fifteen best X-Men graphic novels ever published, which are ranked and listed below. The graphic novels collect the X-Men best stories into single books, which resonate with the core themes of the series and show the characters at their most entertaining. If you’ve been wanting to get into the X-Men but always struggled to find a jumping-on point, then this list should help! Here goes…
15: X-Men First Class: Tomorrow’s Brightest by Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz (2007)
New Reader Friendly? Yes!
Cast: Jean Grey, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast, Prof X.
The First Class series of books don’t tie in to the movie of the same name, so don’t go in expecting a hairy Professor who touches his forehead every time he wants to get a girl’s phone number. Instead, the books concentrate on the very first cast of X-Men debuted by Stan Lee. With the characters entering the superhero World at the start of issue #1, this series is a showcase for humour and silly fun aimed at all-ages. Jeff Parker made his name as a Marvel writer through these stories, and was quickly offered some of the big-name titles as a result – his writing is warm, centred around character and personality, and filled with charm. The characters come across as actual friends, as opposed to cogs in some giant mechanised franchise. It’s easily the best comic to get if you want a simple entrance into the World of the X-Men. It also features some of the worst pick-up lines ever put in print.
14: Storm: World’s Apart by Chris Yost and Diogenes Neves (2009)
New Reader Friendly? More or less.
Cast: Storm, Black Panther, Cyclops.
Storm is arguably the most popular member of the X-Men, although certain websites will claim that she only ranks fourth. She grandstands her way through the cartoons is a thoroughly entertaining, entitled way, and you can get more of that in this miniseries published by Marvel a few years ago. It centres around Storm’s two worlds: while a member of the X-Men, she recently also got married to a character called Black Panther, who lives in Africa. Balancing these two lives in tough, especially when your enemies try to use it against you. Neves’ art is breathtaking in this mini, accompanied by deft work by colourist Stephan Roux which makes every page jump off the panel. Yost has a great handle on Storm’s voice, and if you want to see her straight-up wrecking people (phrase © Chris Sims) then this mini sees her destroy armies, friends, and enemies with glee. It’s the best-written Storm you’ll find this side of 2001, and showcases why people love her so.
New Reader Friendly? Yes
Cast: Cyclops, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Beast, Kitty Pryde
Joss Whedon’s run with the X-Men is possibly the main gateway for new readers to enter the World of X-Men. His fanbase are innumerable, and vastly powerful. They have decided that Eliza Dushku is to continue acting as a career, despite grandiose evidence suggesting this is a poor decision. His run on the X-Men is flawed, especially towards the end, but this first trade collects the first six issues – and hey, they’re pretty decent. It may take a while for you to get your head around the status-quo of some X-Men characters, because the films took massive liberties with them, but once you accept that Emma and Cyclops are dating and that Prof X isn’t around, you’ll start to get an idea of just what kind of World the characters live in. Whedon oversteps the mark with Buffy-speak, and the stories are decompressed like you wouldn’t believe (meaning that the story progresses very slowly) but artist John Cassaday is an exceptional talent, and Laura Martin in the colourist. Art teams don’t get much better than that. This first arc sees the X-Men trying to be proper superheroes, to prove to the World that mutants aren’t a threat to mankind. Mankind responds by creating a ‘cure’ for mutation. Things don’t go well.
New Reader Friendly? Almost!
Cast: Cable, Deadpool, Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, Rachel Grey, Rogue, others
You’ll have seen Deadpool in Wolverine: Origins. Well, in this book he’s wearing his costume and teamed up with enigmatic tactician Cable, and the pair’s mismatched team-up works surprisingly well under the pen of Fabian Nicieza. This is the second trade from his run with the characters, but it’s definitely the best story he wrote for them. In the story, Cable uses his growing mutant powers to create a utopian island for people to live. The idea is that he will become seen as a Messiah-figure and people Worldwide will unite in their support of his plans for the future. Deadpool, meanwhile, is a little iffy about the plan because he quite likes his job as an assassin. As things go on, we find that established world powers don’t really like the sound of Cable’s proposed utopia, and so they send a few people over to cause trouble. Among them? The X-Men. Deadpool decides to team up with them to find out Cable’s motivations, and the results are funny, clever, explosive and… actually rather sweet.
11: Angel: Revelations by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa and Adam Pollina (2009)
New Reader Friendly? Yes!
This miniseries focuses on original X-Men member Angel, and his origin story. Underused by every medium – including comics – this mini argues the case that perhaps Angel could be an interesting character if written right. Featuring expansive artwork from Adam Pollina (one of the best artists in the business), this story slowly develops a smart framework through which it views the central figure. He’s rich, he’s white, and he has angel wings – he’s not always that fun to read about. But Aquirre-Sacasa’s story looks at the character from several offbeat perspectives, ultimately creating a neat storyline that puts forward a great case for why the character should be more respected.
New Reader Friendly? Not bad
Cast: Emma Frost, Banshee, Jubilee, Husk, Chamber, Monet.
Every ten years, Marvel try again to release a ‘student’ book to accompany the mainstream, adult X-Men titles. And when I say that, I mean that they release a book featuring teenage characters, in a school setting, to try and create a new generation of characters to capture the attention of a new generation of readers. New Mutants is the most famous example, but Generation X was probably the best-written one. Featuring a cast of characters you’ve heard of but never knew much about, the series starts out with a belter of a storyline – and the trade captures every moment of it. The series came out of a crossover event storyline known as “Phalanx Covenant”, in which the central premise was that shapeshifting aliens were capturing X-Men and replacing them. The only people able to fight off this invasion are Banshee and Emma Frost – a hero and villain, respectively. Teaming up with a group of teenage characters who they rescue from alien clutches, they decide to go into business as co-headmasters of a school for mutants. And that’s where the story really picks up steam – Jubilee, Husk, Monet and Chamber all sign up as new recruits for the school. Their adventures provide a colourful contrast from the main X-Line, which at the time was especially terrible and boring. This was literally the only bright spark amongst a sea of terrible nineties X-Men books.
9: Magneto: Testament by Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico (2010)
New Reader Friendly? Yes
This book was written before the X-Men: First Class film, and is undoubtedly one of the main sources for Magneto’s depiction in the movie. Pak’s story doesn’t feature any X-Men. This is a brutal exploration of life in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II, as a young Magneto is brought in along with his family. The story is unflinching in the way it treats the character, and as realistic as anything you’ll find in mainstream comics. If you thought X-Men: First Class provided a fascinating look at the X-Men’s ultimate villain, then this book will be perfect supplementary reading.
8: SWORD by Kieron Gillen and Steven Sanders (2010)
New Reader Friendly: …Yeah, basically
Cast: Beast, Agent Brand.
If you’ve read Joss Whedon’s run and want more from the side-character ‘Agent Brand’, then this book is perfect. The single most inventive and funny series Marvel have published in years, it was inevitably cancelled after only five issues were released. But those five issues make up an excellent trade, filled with superb jokes and wonderful pacing. Kieron Gillen’s sense of humour is to everyone’s tastes, and teaming him up with fellow subversive Steven Sanders proved to be an inspired move. The series stands away from the rest of the Marvel Universe, although it features constant cameos from characters like Cyclops and Spider-Woman. Focusing on a space station floating round Earth, we see a day in the life of Agent Brand as she attempts to make sure no aliens invade the planet. Things go wrong very, very quickly, and she finds herself not only fighting for life against several threats – but doing so while stood next to a liberated, wise-cracking Beast. If the space lasers don’t get her, then the laboured puns certainly will.
7: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and John Byrne (1980)
New Reader Friendly: Not brilliant
Cast: Jean Grey, Cyclops, Prof X et al.
Probably the most famous X-Men story. The Dark Phoenix Saga has been retold by every spin-off the franchise has spawned: versions appear in the cartoon, the games, the film series… and for good reason. Even now, it’s a shocking, staggering piece of work, which tells a complex story in a compelling way. New readers beware! Claremont’s style of writing doesn’t take any prisoners, and is quite dated in parts – in particular, he feels the need to tell you everything that’s happening every few pages. But the story holds up as the first example of an epic X-Men storyline, and set the scene for the rest of his groundbreaking run with the characters. If you read Whedon’s run first and still aren’t sure about some of the characters, then this is going to really throw you off – Emma Frost is villainous in this story. But stick with it, because the heart of this story has informed the series for decades since.
6: Uncanny X-Men First Class: Hated and Feared by Scott Gray and Roger Cruz (2009)
New Reader Friendly? Yes
Cast: Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Colossus, Banshee.
After the success of the First Class books, Marvel decided to continue on with the idea. Moving onto the second team of X-Men ever assembled, Scott Gray takes charge of the stories and has great fun with the disparate members of the team. This is a good way to get used to characters like Storm and Banshee, before you read them in other stories, as Gray takes their most well-known characteristics and uses them in unexpected ways. You’ll see the friendships start to develop between certain members of the team, and some classic scenarios subverted. A recommended way to jump into the X-Men if you want to see them going off on grand adventures and enjoying themselves for once.
5: X-Men: Mutant Massacre by Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, John Romita Jr and Sal Buscema (1986)
New Reader Friendly? Not that much
This storyline sees the X-Men try to prevent a massacre of mutants from occurring in the sewers of New York City. It’s a classic X-Men storyline, although I only put it in this list because I’d accidentally listed Magneto Testament twice. Classy journalism from Comics Vanguard! It’s a good story though, with typically strong characterisation from Claremont. Probably not best for new readers, although you could probably get into it if you try hard enough.
4: X-Men: Supernovas by Mike Carey, Chris Bachalo and Humberto Ramos (2008)
New Reader Friendly? Not particularly
Cast: Rogue, Cannonball, Cable, Mystique, Iceman, Omega Sentinel, Sabretooth
Rogue may have been the main character of the X-Men films, but in the comics she’d never really been a member of the A-List until Mike Carey got hold of her. Supernovas is the story which finally sees Rogue take charge and showcases the character to the maximum. Carey is a continuity master, picking up bits and pieces of storylines nobody even remembered anymore and turning them into vital turning points in his narrative. As a result, the story he tells isn’t particularly aimed towards new readers. With Bachalo and Ramos as his artists, however, this trade paperback is one of the best-looking you could hope to see – mere men cannot even begin to comprehend the number of bizarre perspectives this book will treat you to. And the story itself is brilliant, racing around all the corners of the X-Men Universe and turning some of the least appealing characters into complex, clever, and interesting members of the X-Men. Carey never matched this, his first storyline, and it’s going to be remembered as one of the all-time greats.
3: From The Ashes by Chris Claremont and Paul Smith (1983)
New Reader Friendly? Yes
Cast: Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Angel, Cyclops et. al
If you want a trade which sums up the X-Men, then this is the one. Filled with memorable moments, ‘From The Ashes’ tracks the period of time just after the Dark Phoenix Saga ended. It sees the X-Men together, in their mansion, developing their powers and integrating as a team. This trade alone sees Kitty Pryde’s infamous “Prof X is a JERK” rant, Rogue join the X-Men, Wolverine’s engagement to Mariko, and Cyclops fighting a giant octopus. Maddie Pryor shows up towards the end, too, which leads into one of the best X-Men stories ever collected…
2: Inferno by Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson, Mark Silvestri etc (1989)
New Reader Friendly? Almost!
Cast: Cyclops, Colossus, Magik, The New Mutants, Storm, Wolverine, Maddie Pryor, Jean Grey
Claremont’s greatest storyline sees the X-Men and New Mutants working in different areas of New York to stop a demonic invasion. Years of storylines are pulled taut in Inferno, leading everything to a massively epic climax in which NOTHING WAS THE SAME AGAIN! But really, this was one of the stand-out X-Men stories, in which Colossus was made into an admirable protagonist and also a subway train turned evil and started eating people. There are two strands here – the first, which isn’t that interesting, is the New Mutants’ attempts to save their kidnapped member Magik from captivity. The second strand deals with their failure to do that, and the X-Men have to deal with the mess of a demon invasion. And then Maddie Pryor goes mad and flies to the top of the Empire State Building. Inferno is, we should mention, totally insane. And awesome.
1: E is For Extinction by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (2001)
New Reader Friendly? Yes
Cast: Prof X, Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Jean Grey
Grant Morrison kicked off his run on the X-Men with the biggest bang comics had ever seen, and immediately throws every one of his trademark idiosyncrasies into the story. From robots to mind control, everything gets thrown into this story as new villain Cassandra Nova makes her mark on the mutant race. This book features a classic team of X-Men, in a thoroughly modern setting which was intended to act as the bridge between the films and the comics. The team wear the outfits from the films, and – apart from Beast – are the same team shown on the big screen. The storyline is drawn by Frank Quitely, whose singularly expressive character design alone makes this book worth a read. But what really makes this book the best trade you could buy is the way Morrison ramps up the stakes. Within a few pages he’s established the strong relationships between the X-Men, from the friendship of Beast and Jean Grey to the teamwork of Wolverine and Cyclops. He’s also brought in new, aggressive villains, and upped the world’s population of mutants by millions. Mutantkind are growing into the dominant force on Earth. E is for Extinction is the first story in Morrison’s run, but also one of his best. It’s a true epic.
Monday, 18 July 2011
These two covers are drawn by Mike Del Mundo (Uncanny X-Force #16) and Ryan Meinerding (Avengers #18). They are LOVELY.
And while we're at it - Ariel Olivetti's cover for Hulk, and Alan Davis' cover for The Mighty Thor.
But what should we expect elsewhere? Marvel have made these two projects very public, which could well suggest that they have several surprises hidden elsewhere. Here are our five predictions for some left-field announcements from Marvel over the course of the convention. All of these are speculation only – nothing is confirmed! So don’t take us too seriously, in case we get it all wrong.
5: Bendis reveals a new cast of Avengers and New Avengers
This is already heading into reality, with several characters being locked in to different series (Spider-Man appears to be leaving to stay with the FF, and Wolverine may also be moving out after Schism) and several others being teased as new recruits. We’re expecting Marvel to reveal a series of upcoming covers which showcase a variety of new Avengers – from Daredevil on New Avengers, as already announced, through to Photon and Falcon. With Punisher, Daredevil and Moon Knight getting roped into the ‘Big Shots’ initiative, we expect the Avengers titles to touch in on them from time to time. So while Daredevil joins the New Avengers, we’re also expecting at least one Avengers team to relocate to the West Coast and recruit Moon Knight. With Captain America, Iron Man and Thor being officially the ‘big three’ of Marvel nowadays, their supporting cast seem more likely to get a push into the A-List. Expect to see Black Widow get another push, as well as characters like Rescue (Pepper Potts) and possibly even Loki! Bendis has promised some big surprises after Fear Itself finishes – expect some really surprising characters to join The Avengers, The Secret Avengers, and The New Avengers.
4: Jason Aaron and Rick Remender get new books
There have been suggestions that Jason Aaron has something new to reveal. There have also been suggestions about Rick Remender. Secret Avengers will need a new writer once Warren Ellis finishes his six one-shots (unless he kills everyone off or something), and Remender and Aaron seem the most likely candidates for the job. If that doesn't happen, though, then what other properties could use a boost? There's some kind of plot for Hulk in the works at the moment, so it wouldn't be a surprise if one of them were tied to that. Or... well, skip down to 2 if you want to see the most likely character to be involved.
3: Another Big Shot is Announced
These predictions are all tied in with each other, so if we get one wrong then the next one will hopefully prove right. We think Marvel are going to announce another ’Big Shot’ title. And we think it’ll be Alias by Michael Gaydos and an unknown writer – possibly Bendis, but we’ll have to see. Jessica Jones has been sort-of built up by Bendis over in New Avengers for the past few months, but she has yet to strike out from the pack. Add to this the upcoming Alias TV series, and it seems likely that Jessica Jones is going to get some kind of push during SDCC. If not her, then husband Luke Cage, Falcon, Black Widow and Nova are all possible alternatives. Cullen Bunn and Nick Spencer are likely to try for the book.
2: Nick Fury Returns
Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Warriors will be finished soon, and we still have no idea what Nick Fury is going to be up to once it finishes. Sure, he might die, which is why Howard Chaykin pitched an ‘Avengers 1959’ title so Marvel can keep using the fan-favourite character on their covers. But we think that Fury is going to appear somewhere else in the Marvel Universe. If he doesn’t transfer across to Secret Warriors then he’ll join the cast of Captain America or Invincible Iron Man. He’s going to turn up somewhere – we just have no idea where, exactly. I wonder if either Jason Aaron and Rick Remender know...
It’s finally going to happen. Disney are going to move across their existing comics to Marvel and start publishing books featuring their TV and Movie characters. Marvel have lost most of their all-ages comics recently, and Disney/Pixar are going to step into that void. We’re almost certain of it. We've heard small rumours, and some of this has already started to happen, but we think San Diego is going to be when Disney make a big splash in the comic-book world.
Friday, 15 July 2011
Christ, I have no idea what Cable’s backstory is. That’s probably because a good chunk of that story was written by Fabian Nicenza, and his stories usually whistle right over my head. So let’s boil this down to the simplest statement of fact: Cable is everything that an X-Man should aspire to be. He is not merely a soldier, but an aesthete who can appreciate art. He is not merely a loyal fighter for the cause – he is an independent thinker who can strike out on his own when necessary. Not just a militant, but a devoted father-figure to Hope Summers.
He’s got a bit of everything going on. It probably helps that he’s from the future and appears to know everything that’s going to happen, before it actually happens. Cable is an alt-reality son of Jean and Cyclops, as are roughly two thirds of all X-Men introduced post-1980. He carries a large gun around, is part robot, has grey hair and I swear this one time he had an earring in. I swear. Like Bishop, his main goal is to keep the X-Men cohesive so that they can one day form the World into a massive Utopian landscape, complete with parrots.
And yet Cable is far more enigmatic than Bishop, and also less keen on murdering children in order to make sure things go according to The Plan. Cable has a pretty strict moral compass – taken from his dad, before his dad went haywire – and is admirably unwilling to go against it. He will, however, get up to some bizarre things in order to service his needs. I refuse to rephrase that. Cable is infamous for the number of times he pulls off a long-con against his friends for absolutely no reason. He will spend five issues making their lives a living hell and making himself look like a villain before he suddenly reveals that he’s got a second agenda all along and everyone forgives him.
He may be dead at the moment, but he does own a time-travelling device and has some clones running around, so it can’t be long until he returns. He owns a country, too. Two of them, actually! Although one of them got destroyed by an alien parasite. That’s just how it goes.
2: Kitty Pryde
1: Oneg the Prober
ALL RISE IN SALUTE TO JACK KIRBY.
Oneg was the character who actually created mutation and made it live. If it weren’t for his influence there would be no X-Men, and no list. Humanity would have collapsed years ago due to stagnancy in the evolutionary chain, and the World would be run by hyper-intelligent parrots and dolphins. As one of the Celestials, Oneg owns the power to change Universes – and yet, instead of harnessing these powers to do whatever he wants, he chooses to sit back and allow free will. He could at any moment seize back the capacity for mutation and leave the World floating into a dead future, but instead he allows mankind the opportunity to better itself. More than Cable fights for mutant equality, more than Kitty attempts integration between mutants and humans, Oneg allows for quality to exist. He simply takes the onus from mutants and puts it onto humans. That’s a difficult type of morality to accept, but Oneg is just the kind of immortal hyperdeity to practise it. Oneg’s purpose was defined by Jack Kirby as “the need to experiment and implement”. He makes changes to society which better it, but he also allows the world to run itself. If the X-Men had all the control, then how long do you think it’d be before Storm tried to seize control, or Magneto started blowing up continents? The inbalance between mutants and humans is essential for the survival of the human race. And it also makes for great stories. Oneg’s presence as the creator of mutantkind makes him important and worthy of the list – the way he chose to deliver this to the characters, and to readers, is what makes him The Greatest X-Man of All Time.
….And it’ll also REALLY piss people off. Conspiracy! Investigation! Attack me in the comments section!
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Being Red She-Hulk, while today's announcement shows off...
the Silver Surfer, who has apparently quit the Annihilators and moved back to Earth. So it's a Defenders series, you guys! There are a few contenders for the writing duties on this book - Nick Spencer, Matt Fraction and Cullen Bunn are all being thrown around at the moment. We'd like to throw in one fourth name to the mix - Greg Pak.
Think about it.
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
With the release of a second teaser, it now appears less like an Iron Fist book and more like a team book. And with Cullen Bunn being involved in the SDCC panel where Marvel promise to reveal the premise of this much-teased series, we're starting to lean more towards this being a variation on the 'Defenders' franchise, which has been dormant for a few years now. If we're right, then expect a Namor poster soon, followed by perhaps a She-Hulk one, or a Ms Marvel one.
Shame that we're not getting a new Iron Fist series. We'll have to wait till tomorrow before we find out the third member of the cast - and get a clearer idea of what exactly Marvel are planning here.
The team last seen in Rick Remender's Frankencastle storyline look set to return for a miniseries later this year, as revealed by Remender himself today on Twitter. The series, which features Morbius, Elsa Bloodstone and several other monsters, will be written by Dennis Hopeless and drawn by Juan Doe. Marvel have expanded upon the announcement: the miniseries will last for four issues, and start in October. Elsa will be the protagonist, but Werewolf-By-Night will also be appearing.
Monday, 11 July 2011
9: Moira MacTaggert
8: Emma Frost
7: Charles Xavier
Saturday, 9 July 2011
Marvel have released a teaser for the future of Matt Fraction's 'Fear Itself' storyline, which shows several characters in silhouette. These guys are going to be 'The Mighty', a team of heroes who oppose 'The Worthy'. Now, almost every one of these characters is totally blatant - Ms Marvel, Iron Man and Wolverine in particular are shamelessly obvious as part of the gang. Iron Fist, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Dr Strange and several others round out this cast of random powered-up Avengers, in what looks like a pretty worrying end for the storyline.
It took us three issues to set up 'The Worthy' as a threat to the World - and those three issues didn't even feature all of the villains. Readers had to turn to Invincible Iron Man to find out about Grey Gargoyle, while Sin was developed in Ed Brubaker's Prelude to Fear Itself. So now we have a herd of new power-ups to get to grips with, this all seems very last-minute and undeveloped. There are three issues left to Matt Fraction's event, and although it's been good for Steve Rogers, Iron Man and Thor, the whole thing has still come across as rather underwhelming in general. Will things end well, or are we going to see a simplistic conclusion where The Mighty beat The Worthy and everything is fine again?
And has Absorbing Man done ANYTHING yet?
Friday, 8 July 2011
If the gays formed a giant army and took over Manhattan, which, according to Sex & the City, has already happened, then people would be suspicious of their intents. If, however, one of them became a massive movie and music star and then outed themselves to the public, forcing the man on the street to re-evaluate the way he has previously considered homosexuality to be – well, that seems like a strategy.
And that’s why Dazzler is more important to the X-Men than Wolverine or Cyclops. It’s art above war, inspiration above fear. Sure, Dazzler’s career tanked somewhere in the 1980s and hasn’t really recovered from it since (a bit like her popularity, which remains strong but underground) but the idea of a character who is a mutant but has a secondary definition in their life is still largely unheard of. Most of the original X-Men are notable for their mutant powers. Dazzler is notable for being notable in other ways. And sure, you may say that Dazzler is a bit of a joke character who hasn’t experienced a note of character development in twenty years.
Which, yes, that’s an acceptable criticism of the character. But she has been vitally useful to the X-Men. Arguably the best character in Age of Apocalypse, she has also made fun appearances in big storylines like Inferno and obviously in her own ongoing series, which maintains a cult following filled with modern-day writers like Brian Michael Bendis, Jim McCann, and Kieron Gillen. Brought back to the X-Men after years wallowing in limbo and brought back to her Kylie-esque roots as a character, she’s thrilled her gay fanbase by having about two panels of dialogue in every other issue of Uncanny X-Men. And wearing an odd outfit.
BUT THIS IS JUST ANOTHER STEP ON THE LONG INEVITABLE ROAD TO DAZZLER LEADING THE X-MEN
12: Martha Johansson