The Biggest Superhero Films That Didn't Happen, Part 2
Comic Books, Film
Parkour athlete Mike Wilson — better known as the Amazing Spider-Dad — made news last fall after delivering a special surprise on his son’s fifth birthday: dressing as Spider-Man and jumping from the roof of his Basingstoke, England home, as captured in a widely distributed video. His son, Jayden, was a major Spidey fan who had been diagnosed with a grade 4 brain stem tumor in 2013.
Jayden passed away last December, but Wilson is keeping his son’s memory alive in the form of an “Amazing Spider-Dad” short film. Starring Wilson, the film — sporting seriously impressive production values — ends with a similar scene as the original video, and narration with Spider-Dad crediting Jayden for his ability to perform paternal superheroics: “Whatever life holds in store for us, I’ll remember one little boy who inspired me to do great things. To help others, and surround myself with positive people.” Home video footage of Jayden plays in the midst of the credits.
Spider-Gwen — an alternate universe take on Gwen Stacy where she, not Peter Parker, receives powers from a radioactive spider — was an overnight sensation after debuting last year in Marvel’s “Edge of Spider-Verse” #2, in large part due to the stylish (and notably practical) costume design by artist Robbi Rodriguez. In what feels like a natural next step, that design has inspired a new collection from fashion-forward, genre-centric clothing merchandiser WeLoveFine (as modeled by Meredith Placko and Michelle Nguyen in the above photo), consisting of hoodies, leggings and even a Spider-Gwen-patterned cardigan.
Last week, DC Comics released an eight-page “The Omega Men” story by writer Tom King and artist Barnaby Bagenda, leading into the June-debuting ongoing series. In the story, as promoted since solicitation text was released in March, Kyle Rayner — formerly DC’s primary Green Lantern and most recently the sole White Lantern — appears to be murdered on camera.
ROBOT 6 reached out to writer Ron Marz, who created Kyle Rayner with artist Daryl Banks, for his reaction on the apparent death of the character, who debuted in 1994’s Green Lantern #48:
“A couple months ago someone on Twitter wrote me that something one of my characters said in my movie hurt him. I’ve gotten hundreds of tweets from people angry about moments in my films over the years, and I just ignore them, or get angry in return. But that one tweet affected me profoundly. The last thing I want to do with my work is hurt someone, especially someone who already feels disenfranchised. That made me think about what I write and what I put in my films, and I will be more thoughtful about situations like it in the future. That is, one honest and vulnerable tweet affected more change in me than hundreds of angry ones.
So, again, it’s easy to be outraged by these tweets. But whatever these angry tweeters are in need of, I don’t think it’s more anger and more rage thrown back at them on Twitter. I actually think that’s what they’re seeking. But what they need is something different. Compassion, maybe? A kind request for boundaries? I don’t know. Maybe you guys have some ideas.”
— Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn, in a longer Facebook post on Avengers: Age of Ultron writer/director Joss Whedon’s recent departure from Twitter, which came amid criticism and abuse from fans online concerning storylines from the film.
There’s been a lot of Avengers: Age of Ultron promotional material, but there may not be anything quite as distinctive and as capable of holding large amounts of beverages as this Australian souvenir cup, shared by on Instagram by Tim Dillon, Marvel Studios’ executive director of marketing.
Shaped like the iconic Avengers “A,” it’s perfect for grabbing with two hands as you excitedly slurp down Coke Zero while Earth’s Mightiest Heroes attempt to fend off Ultron’s minions.
For most of its existence, peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol BitTorrent has been associated with mass piracy, a reputation the company of the same name (co-founded by Bram Cohen, inventor of the protocol) has fought against in recent years. To that end, BitTorrent started offering commercial bundles of music and TV shows in 2013, and today unveiled its first foray into comic books: “The Dynamite Mega Bundle,” featuring more than 200 digital comics released by Dynamite Entertainment.
The bundle has both a pay-what-you-want option, with more than 170 comics available for a minimum of $6, along with 30 comics free to download. Comics offered include “Kirby: Genesis,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Project Superpowers,” “Red Sonja,” “Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet” and the full run of Dynamite’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time.”
If you’re a Barack Obama supporter, you’ve probably gotten a lot of emails from him, from his campaign and from his administration over the years. Like, a lot. Even the most ardent Obama boosters may have tuned them out.
Yet one that arrived today is certainly worth noting, as the president speaks directly about his comic book fandom:
This week, The Nib published a comic strip by artist Ronald Wimberly, whose work includes Prince of Cats and Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm, titled “Lighten Up.” In it, Wimberly details his experience of being asked by a Marvel editor to lighten the skin tone of supporting character Melita Garner in a recent issue of Wolverine and the X-Men.
On Wednesday afternoon, CBR asked its Twitter followers a simple question — what was your first comic book?
— Comic Book Resources (@CBR) March 18, 2015
The hashtag #MyFirstComic — which has been used in the past by comics artist Mike Norton, among others — quickly gained traction, trending nationwide, with many comic book pros and fans joining in. Here are some highlights from among comics creators and industry professionals, and peruse #MyFirstComic on Twitter for much more.
With the move of DC Comics’ editorial department from New York City to Burbank, California, rapidly approaching, Wednesday brought news of one DC editor who’s staying on the East Coast while switching publishers: Rickey Purdin, a DC Comics associate editor, has moved to Marvel as the company’s new talent manager.
“I can’t express how thrilling it is to join Marvel after so many years of reading these comics and being shaped by the characters, stories, and creative teams,” Purdin said in a statement. “Aiding Marvel’s extremely talented editorial team is a dream come true and incredible developments are already in the works.”
Legendary comic book artist Bernie Wrightson has had a difficult road in the past year, with a hospitalization last July following a series of small strokes. Wrightson since recovered and returned to the convention circuit, but recently underwent brain surgery. His wife, Liz, provided an update on his condition on Facebook, and while the news post-surgery is not what they were hoping for, with biopsy results indicating cancer, she says they are optimistic — his “prognosis is excellent,” and no cancellations of appearances are expected despite radiation and chemotherapy.
The results are in from the latest LEGO Ideas Review, and depending on your perspective, it’s something of a good news, bad news situation.
Two of the sets up for review will indeed move into official production: “Doctor Who and Companions” and “WALL-E.” While LEGO has produced multiple Disney and Pixar-themed sets, this will be the first Doctor Who-themed LEGO release. (Who building sets have been released in recent years as part of the United Kingdom-based Character Building line.) Official details — final design, pricing and release date — are yet to come.
The Doctor Who set was submitted by gaming artist Andy Clark; WALL-E hails from Angus MacLane, a Pixar animator and director who worked on the 2008 film.
Two years ago this month, DC Comics announced that all of its April 2013 New 52 releases would be “WTF Certified,” its name for a series of gatefold covers poised to reveal surprising developments when folded out. The promotion drew some criticism, stemming from the fact that the “F” in “WTF” stands for a word you won’t find in any of DC’s superhero comics. Ultimately, while DC went forward with the gatefold covers themselves, the “WTF Certified” branding was abandoned.
Marvel showed they haven’t forgotten any of that with the release of a “WTD Certified” teaser image on Thursday afternoon, closely mimicking DC’s scrapped “WTF” logo. What exactly “WTD” stands for in this instance is unclear, though “What the Deadpool” is an easy first guess (he’s dying that month, after all). An answer should be coming soon — “WTD Certified” is tied to April’s releases, and Marvel’s solicitations for that month are likely to hit early next week. The full teaser follows below.
For years after the ill-fated 1986 film, Howard the Duck was considered a joke character by many. However, the March-debuting new series from writer Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals) and Joe Quinones (Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell) looks to be taking Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik’s character more seriously than most recent depictions, while still having fun.
The latest evidence: a variant cover by Paul Pope — making a rare Marvel appearance — for Howard the Duck #1, revealed on Twitter earlier today by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. The cover channels Shakespearean pathos with a downright somber-looking Howard, albeit juxtaposed with a rubber ducky.
Pope’s full cover follows below.
Artist Norm Breyfogle — a comics veteran known best for his years on various Batman titles for DC Comics — has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke, according to a post on his Facebook page written Wednesday afternoon by Barbara De La Rue.
This is Barb I’m norm’s ex from California. Norm won’t be answering any txt’s from you friends out there. Norm just had a stroke and is in the hospital. Please keep him in your thoughts and your prayers. At this point norm is expecting a full recovery but time will tell.
A regular fixture on the Batman books from 1987 to 1993, Breyfogle has once again become a regular fixture at DC Comics in recent years, drawing Batman Beyond and Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger. He also illustrated much of the initial run of the Life With Archie series for Archie Comics starting in 2010, widely credited as a major turning point in that publisher’s ongoing evolution.
All of us at Comic Book Resources wish Breyfogle a speedy recovery.