Thor: The Dark World actress Jaimie Alexander donned her Sif garments again recently on a trip to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, spending an afternoon visiting with young patients. Marvel.com has posted a massive photo gallery of Alexander as Sif with many patients and staff, who were able to pose with the Asgardian warrior and in some cases, even hold her weapons. The actress also gave out signed Thor DVDs and posters.
Check out the highlights of Alexander’s trip to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles below.
Harley Quinn #0, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner and drawn by more than a dozen artists, arrives today in stores and contains the winning entry from the DC Entertainment Open Talent Search. The page, by Jeremy Roberts, is notable in that it is significantly toned down from the controversial script released in September.
DC came under fire from readers and advocacy groups alike for the original tryout page, which directed artists to depict the fan-favorite character naked in a bathtub, seemingly about to commit suicide, a scene Palmiotti explained was merely a surreal dream sequence.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychiatric Association and National Alliance on Mental Illness called the contest “extremely insensitive” and “potentially dangerous,” leading the publisher to apologize to anyone who may have been offended by the script while reiterating its intended “cartoony and over-the-top in tone.”
The original script described the fourth panel as, “Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of ‘oh well, guess that’s it for me’ and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.”
But in the published Harley Quinn #0, the first three panels remain the same — Harley holding onto a cell tower during a thunderstorm, feeding alligators and tickling the roof of a whale’s mouth — but the final one has been drastically changed: Instead of contemplating suicide in her bathtub, the character is shown riding a missile, Dr. Strangelove-style, high above the Earth.
Although the tryout script didn’t include dialogue, the overall tone of the page seems to lack the “Mad magazine/Looney Tunes approach” Palmiotti said that he and Conner intended.
Harley Quinn #0 is in stores now.
Divergent and Snow White and the Huntsman screenwriter Evan Daugherty must have a deep affection for video games. YouTube channel Polaris has posted a short video series called The Four Players, written and directed by Daughtery and based on the four primary hero characters from Super Mario Bros.: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad. Referred to as The Fixer, The Addict, The Star and the Soldier (respectively), the videos present a much darker and realistic take on the plumber brothers and their Mushroom Kingdom compatriots.
Painter Andreas Englund certainly has a unique take on interpreting superheroes. The Swedish artist has created an ongoing series of oil paintings called “The Aging Superhero,” which follows the journey of a nameless crimefighter in his twilight years. Englund’s paintings depict everything from the man’s superheroic efforts — like beating up a pile of thugs or sparring with what looks to be a supervillain — to his everyday accomplishments or lack thereof, like dropping groceries on his way to his super-car or peeling an orange in his empty home.
Although LEGO began releasing superhero-themed products fairly recently in the company’s long lifespan, it’s the creativity of the fan community that continues to impress. Flickr user and LEGO enthusiast Xenomurphy put together a truly impressive (and massive) custom model of Arkham Asylum that’s sure to turn some heads.
The model itself is impressive enough, but Xenomurphy actually released a full making-of PDF that details the exact specifications and research that went into everything from the architecture to the design of the mini figures. It’s a truly astonishing accomplishment considering it took him a full year to complete.
“One thing became clear very fast — my Arkham wouldn’t look like a church or a cathedral, but rather like a hospital/prison,” Xenomurphy wrote. “I didn’t want to build a cathedral, but a gray, blockish and depressing multi-story building. It should loom large like a daunting monolith.”
It’s the Avengers’ 50th anniversary, and Marvel has a big plan for Avengers #24.NOW, also known as Avengers #1 for the purposes of All-New Marvel NOW! (It’s confusing, I know. Just go with it.). To celebrate the milestone in December, the publisher plans to sell a special polybagged edition of Avengers #24.NOW and bundle it with a “Avengers 50th Anniversary Mega Fold-Out Poster” that’s more than 6 feet wide. For the curious, that’s about 11 comic pages stacked end to end.
Illustrated by Daniel Acuna, the poster features Earth’s Mightiest Heroes from across the team’s 50 years, including mainstays like Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, newer additions like Wolverine, Spider-Man and the Thing, and even members of the Dark Avengers, like Ares.
See the full poster below. Avengers #24.NOW goes on sale Dec. 14.
In the spirit of Halloween and awesomeness, Tumblr user David J. Prokopetz commissioned some of the most intriguing crossover pieces to date: Wolverine as Disney Princesses.
Indeed, Prokopetz has already posted 14 different images of the best there is at what he does — and apparently, what he does is wear the crap out of a dress. While some of the drawings are clearly meant to evoke specific Disney Princesses, many are simply what Wolverine would look like were he designed from the top-down as a Disney princess. Perhaps the best one comes from Larbesta, who incorporates aspects of Wolverine’s costume and accentuates it with a pretty pink parasol.
Marvel, take note: these would be some of the best variant covers you could ask for during Halloween 2014. Seriously.
Be sure to check out the rest of Wolverine is the Best Disney Princess on Prokopetz’s blog.
In what has to be one of the Dark Knight’s most bizarre crossovers, DC Comics has announced a Batman: Arkham Origins level for Puzzle & Dragons, the popular free-to-play mobile game. Puzzle & Dragons really doesn’t have anything to do with Batman or even comics; think of it as Bejeweled-Pokemon hybrid.
It’s actually one of the most popular games in Japan, and it’s beginning to gain traction in the United States, but it’s somewhat of a mystery as to how Arkham Origins is a good fit for the formula. If anything, it seems like the artistic style of the Arkham universe wouldn’t really mesh with the style of Puzzle & Dragons. Players can apparently add The Joker to their monster boxes with Batman, Robin and Catwoman available through a special in-game Egg Machine.
There’s certainly an argument to be made that it gives Batman fans a chance to jump in to Puzzle & Dragons for the added benefit of playing just DC characters, but the entire dungeon goes away Nov. 12. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what the benefit is to this promotion for DC. It doesn’t really give Arkham Origins that much more exposure, and at best, it draws people into a mobile game that’s not even run by DC or Warner Bros. Maybe someone at DC just really likes Puzzle & Dragons. It could even be a response to the debut of Marvel Puzzle Quest on iOS — a Bejeweled style game with RPG elements that follows the basic story of “Dark Reign.”
No matter what the reason for it is, the Arkham Origins-themed dungeon is available now for Puzzle & Dragons.
Cartoonist Megan Rose Gedris has announced her long-running webcomic I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space will be taken offline on Nov. 5 due to her desire to break ties with rights holders Platinum Studios.
“This is by my own choice, a very difficult choice,” Gedris wrote on her blog. “As you may or may not know, the rights to LPFOS were bought by Platinum Studios in 2006. In the years since I first became involved with them, more and more of their shady practices have been revealed, to the point where I can’t be involved with them in any capacity anymore. I tried to get the rights back through many different avenues, but there is nothing I can do.”
Platinum acquired the rights to Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space around 2007, and in her post, Gedris proceeds to outline her frustration and problems with the publisher over the six years following the completion of one small print run. Her decision to remove the comic completely from the Internet stems from her feeling of “being taken advantage of” by Platinum Studios by continuing to work on the comic.
Reading Hawkeye month to month instead of in trade is an awesome experience, but it can sometimes be rather confusing for readers, especially in the most recent arc in which Matt Fraction played a bit with the timing of each issue. It was only during the recent Hawkeye #13 that the full timeline of events came to light, and now Fraction has posted his outline for the full arc on his blog.
Fraction’s photo shows 28 index cards with timestamps, issue numbers and brief description of events from Thursday at 8 p.m. to Wednesday evening in an almost-hourly breakdown of plot. The descriptions make perfect sense once you figure out Fraction’s code (“C” means Clint, “K” means Kate most of the time, “B” means Barney, “L” is Lucky the Pizza Dog.), and it’s certainly a cool insight into the most recent arc and Fraction’s process.
In what is sure to be a paper-saving initiative, Marvel Comics will offer copies of its Marvel Previews catalogue on the Marvel Comics Digital App beginning November 6. A digital download of the catalogue will also come bundled with any digital download code in the publisher’s print comics. It will transition to a free download for all users the month its contents are on sale.
Marvel is currently the only publisher to have a catalogue separate from the massive monthly tome of Diamond Previews, the catalogue from which retailers can plan which issues and products they plan to order. Previews contains solicitations for products set to hit in three months, giving retailers and fans an advanced — if somewhat ambiguous — look at what to expect in the coming months. Marvel Previews is available free with purchase of the main Previews catalogue, or for $1.99 by itself.
“Just to be clear, I did not have incredible autonomy until afterward. I had signed most of my rights away in order to get syndicated, so I had no control over what happened to my own work, and I had no legal position to argue anything. I could not take the strip with me if I quit, or even prevent the syndicate from replacing me, so I was truly scared I was going to lose everything I cared about either way. I made a lot of impassioned arguments for why a work of art should reflect the ideas and beliefs of its creator, but the simple fact was that my contract made that issue irrelevant. It was a grim, sad time. Desperation makes a person do crazy things.”
- “Calvin & Hobbes” creator Bill Watterson, during a rare interview with Mental Floss covering his career and the direction of comics moving forward.
“Batwoman” #24 hit stores this week, and it’s the final issue by J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman. After the duo stated they would leave “Batwoman” due to editorial interference, DC Comics announced that incoming series writer Marc Andreyko would take over with “Batwoman” #25, a full two issues before Williams and Blackman’s intended exit. (This was later confirmed with a revised December solicitation for “Batwoman” #26.) On Williams’ personal blog, the “Batwoman” writer/artist expressed his dismay that the creative team’s closing arc of the story was cut short.
“I’m depressed over this a bit. And frustratingly the issue will give no arc conclusion, or conclusion to our run,” Williams said via his blog. “We apologize to you readers for that. It wasn’t what we wanted to happen.”
In one of the most incredible crossovers ever, Wonder Woman and Sailor Moon faced off in an epic dance battle during the 2013 Streetstar dance festival in Stockholm, Sweden. The two dancers — France’s Lasseindra (Wonder Woman) and Finland’s Ida “Inxi” Holmgren (Sailor Moon) — went up against one another in the Vogue Femme Final Battle dressed in full costumes. Although the competition took place back in February, the video was only posted last month on Streetstar’s YouTube page, and showcases some incredible impressive dancing, bringing a crossover battle the likes of which have yet to be seen in a comic.
The battle routine takes place over the course of seven minutes, and it gets progressively more and more ridiculous, showcasing nigh-superheroic invulnerability to floor impact until a winner is crowned.
New York Times bestselling author and Identity Crisis writer Brad Meltzer will host a Google Hangout on Tuesday sponsored by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for a Banned Books Week discussion, including the censorship of literary material throughout history and how individuals and groups have found ways to combat banned books.
Meltzer is best known in comics for Identity Crisis and the 2006 relaunch of Justice League of America, for which he and artist Gene Ha received an Eisner Award for Best Single Issue. An accomplished novelist, he most recently released the political thriller The Fifth Assassin.
The CBLDF’s Banned Books Heroes Google Hangout takes place September 24 at 8:00 PM Eastern/5:00 PM Pacific. Those interested in joining can RSVP on the Google+ event page.