The Biggest Superhero Films That Didn't Happen, Part 2
Comic Books, Film
As we barrel toward New Year’s Eve, 3A Toys has unveiled more images and details for its enticing Steel Age Batman 1/6th-scale collectible figure.
First glimpsed last month, it’s the first in a line of DC Comics figures designed by Ashley Wood, who envisions a new universe in which the villains have won. “The rebirth contingency plan is initiated – Steel Age. Robotic versions of the fallen heroes are forged. Constructed to wage war on crime,” 3A said when it announced the series in 2014. “A new League to carry on their legacy of Justice.”
Just when we’d nearly forgotten about Steel Age, 3A Toys snaps us to attention with a tantalizing teaser for Steel Age Batman, the first in a new line of 1/6th-scale collectible figures.
Steel Age was announced in July 2014 as a collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment in which Ashley Wood envisions a new universe in which the villains have won: “The rebirth contingency plan is initiated – Steel Age. Robotic versions of the fallen heroes are forged. Constructed to wage war on crime. A new League to carry on their legacy of Justice.”
Following a handful of teasers, 3A Toys has at last fully revealed its 1/6th-scale Ultron collectible figure, designed by Ashley Wood.
“I have to say, I’m super-proud of him,” Wood wrote in 3A’s latest newsletter. “I aggravated many making sure it was how I wanted it. I’m lucky to have very patient pros working to help me realize my vision.”
While we wait, however, the company provides a look at all colorways for the 1/6th-scale figure: Classic Edition, Ghost Edition and Stealth Edition. 3A’s Iron Man figures are kind of pricy, and I’m guessing these will be in the same range. Still, they’re pretty amazing-looking.
Debuting in May, the series center on Audel Howard, an industrialist who, “when he lets a green fairy out of the bottle, makes a deal that no mere mortal man can refuse. Wine, women, song, and a large backyard extension called America are now coming his way.”
“Any Ashley Wood book is an event that excites all of us at IDW,” Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall said in a statement. “And T.P. Louise, who crafted such an epic tale in Lore, is back to do the same thing here.”
The debut of The Beautiful War will be followed in June by the release of Wood’s Adventure Kartel, an oversized art book containing comic book stories, concept art and more.
Lore, the 2003 miniseries about a secret agency that protects the unwitting world from monsters of legend intent on humanity’s destruction, is being developed for film by Warner Bros.
Earlier this month we mentioned that Ashley Wood’s company 3A planned to follow its 12-inch Invincible Iron Man figures with more Marvel collectibles, and at Toy Fair in New York City they delivered with the debut of Doctor Doom. Or, rather, an incomplete version of the ruler of Latveria, courtesy of Action Figure Fury — enough to let you know the finished version is going to look pretty incredible.
There’s no word yet when Doom will go on sale. 3A is only now taking pre-orders for those Iron Man figures (to the tune of $220 each), so it’ll probably be a while yet. Start saving those pennies.
Last year news bubbled up that Popbot artist Ashley Wood was working on a highly detailed line of toys/statuettes based on Marvel’s Iron Man. Fast-forward one year, and they’re almost here.
On Feb. 13, Wood’s company 3a Toys will release four Iron Man figures as the opening salvo in a larger line of Marvel toys. These first figures (highlighted below) are dubbed “Classic,” “Silver Centurion,” Stealth” and “Stark Industries Prototype,” with the latter exclusive to 3A’s online webstore, Bambaland.
Although Wood is best known for creator-owned work, the artist states on the 3A forum that he had a childhood dream of drawing Marvel characters and the opportunity to do his own version of Iron Man with this toy line is “incredible.”
“Now if only I could make the comics based on the toys,” Wood writes. “These designs are linked in my mind, a 3A secret war if you will!”
While a Ashley Wood-drawn Marvel comic is something only Marvel can decide, the artist has more Marvel figures planned after these, including Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Doom and Ultron.
Ah, Comic-Con International: when comics publishers are tripping over themselves to announce new projects, and movie producers throw star-power at the fans to drum up word-of-mouth support for their latest efforts. Of course, there will be all kinds of lower-profile launches that can tend to get bulldozed off the front pages by the big ticket news items.
Ashley Wood’s 3A Publishing releasing Kent Williams: Ophthalm there is probably a case in point. It’s an art book by a painter whose last major comic project was published in 2005. I’ve loved Williams’ work since he was collaborating with Jon J. Muth in the 1980s, but the work he was producing then doesn’t hold a candle to the canvases he now exhibits. It’s amazing work, as viewable at his website. Wood is quite the advocate for Williams, publishing several portfolios of his work in IDW’s Swallow, then a pocket book of his paintings in their Sparrow series, and recently a collection of drawings through his own Goya imprint. The book’s press release is, however, rather purple. This is the art world we’re dealing with now, people, not comics! And the book’s title? That’s Greek for “the eye.”
Over the weekend various toy blogs were buzzing over this image: the first prototype to leak out from the agreement between Ashley Wood’s 3A Toys and Marvel, as announced in February. And it’s pretty much exactly how you’d expect Iron Man to look after being redesigned by the man who created Popbot. Eventually, the official 3A blog released this clearer version of the teaser.
Rufus Dayglo has been relatively quiet since leaving the Tank Girl franchise in early 2011, but he’s been regularly trailing a new series, Solid Gold Death Mask, on his blog/Tumblr for a while now. The new series looks like it’s not a million miles away stylistically from his work on Alan Martin’s signature character, and Dayglo’s sterling work there (six volumes’ worth over four years) means I’m eagerly anticipating his next move.
Illustrator Christina Ung manages to fit in just about everyone on the planet going at it Gangnam Style, including The Caped Crusader. Batman is, of course, no stranger to faddish dance crazes (also by Christina – The Unreliable Superhero). More below, including work by Ron Wimberly, Ben Caldwell, Daniel Krall, Ashley Wood and many other talented human beings. Continue Reading »
Comic artists continue their takeover of the fine-art world with three gallery exhibitions starting over the next few days: Phil Noto has just launched his movie-themed solo show 35mm at the Bold Hype gallery in New York City, while Ashley Wood and Jeremy Geddes are debuting new work at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, also in New York, over the weekend. Examples from all three artists below.
I love Ashley Wood’s output, and it’s easy to admire his independent spirit, but sometimes he announces so many projects that it sometimes seems as if he has creative ADHD. That said, the guy is prolific, and tends to get things done, so I should be happy that he’s announced a new venture that sounds very much like a replacement for the late, lamented Swallow, the art magazine he produced at IDW Publishing from 2005 to 2008. From the threeA production blog:
We love art here at 3A, and frankly we want to get more out there, not just ours but other artists. So im going to create a publishing imprint called GOYA to get as many cool mags out as we can featuring known and unknown artists. Kinda like what I did for Swallow but a larger size of 12″x12″ etc. Think of GOYA as a record label, we will release mags that are like EP’s for the artist, and then go from there whether it be more books or toys etc.
No kickstarter, no crap printing on overpriced POD systems just cool mags.
Swallow was a fantastic showcase for all kinds of artists that caught Wood’s fancy, featuring portfolio work by the top names in comics, illustration and fine art, with an internationalist agenda, and included folks of the caliber of Toby Cypress, Jeremy Geddes, James Jean, Teddy Kristiansen, Jim Mahfood, Paul Pope, Kent Williams, Duncan Fegredo, Glyn Dillon, George Pratt, and a multitude of others. Any sequel to that project will have big shoes to fill, so the best of luck to Ash with this one.
Somehow I missed the news that Fishtown creator Kevin Colden is drawing The Crow for IDW, whcih is good news indeed. Colden is working with writer John Shirley, who wrote the first draft of the screenplay for the first Crow movie back in the 1990s. If you’re interested in seeing what it will look like, IDW posted a whole bunch of pages over on their Tumblr, including both covers by Kyle Hotz and Ashley Wood.
IDW Publishing has released a list of the items they’ll be selling at their booth at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, many of which are available for pre-order. The list includes advanced copies of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones #1, several Ashley Wood books, Walter Simonson’s The Mighty Thor: Artist’s Edition, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Baja ashcans, Locke & Key keys and much more. Check out the list below:
Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones
• Visitors to Comic-Con can purchase an exclusive advance copy of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones #1 with a variant cover; only 400 copies of this exclusive issue will be available.
• Beginning in August, the first issue of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones will tell of the demon Azriel, who sets out to find the murderer of a beautiful young woman in the streets of New York City, only to discover a far more sinister plot that could end the world. Once a human in ancient Babylon, Azriel is a spirit of rage and terror that gradually rediscovers his humanity through holy vengeance and spiritual love.
• Anne Rice will be signing at the IDW booth #2643 on Thursday July 21, 2011 during Comic-Con. With the purchase of a SERVANT OF THE BONES #1, fans will be able to have one additional item signed.
• ANNE RICE’S SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 (Comic-Con Edition $5.00, 32 pages, full color) will be available at the IDW booth #2643 during Comic-Con, while supplies last.
• ANNE RICE’S SERVANT OF THE BONES #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in comic stores in August 2011.