Earlier this year the Internet was dazzled by Mia Grace Montross, the 4-year-old daughter of a comic fan whose mutant power is knowing a lot about Marvel Comics, even more than her dad.
But does she know more than the superheroes themselves, or at least their Hollywood Boulevard counterparts? Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel decided to put Mia to the test, pitting her against some of the Marvel Universe’s best and brightest, including Iron Man, Captain America and Spider-Man. See her answer questions about Cap’s shield, Wakanda and more, as the heroes pretty much eat her dust.
Today at New York Comic Con, IDW Publishing announced two Artist’s Editions dedicated to Jim Steranko’s landmark work on Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America. The news accompanied the unveiling of plans for Jack Kirby’s New Gods: Artist’s Edition and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen: Artifact Edition.
Arriving in May, The Steranko Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist’s Edition will feature the artist’s initial 12 stories from Strange Tales #151-162. That will be followed at an as-yet-undetermined date by The Steranko Nick Fury and Captain America Artist’s Edition, collecting the remaining Fury stories from Strange Tales #163-168, plus issues 1, 3 and 5 from Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. In addition, it will Steranko’s three issues of Captain America.Nearly all of the pages were shot from original art in Steranko’s personal collection.
“I probably have the distinction of making the least amount of work making the most amount of noise,” Steranko said during today’s IDW panel. “You’ve heard of the blues artist Robert Johnson? Twenty-nine recordings. That’s how many comics I did, 29 issues, and I sold my soul to Stan Lee. [...] As an artist, I’m inclined to see all the mistakes I’ve made along the way. Thankfully, there are other people who see something else.”
You’ll be tempted to point out that Steve Rogers actually enlisted in the Army, or that luchador costumes violate some antiquated U.S. military regulation, but fight those impulses until you can fully appreciate that Air Force Chief of Staff Mark A. Welsh delivered an address on Tuesday while wearing a Captain America mask.
Wait, considering Welsh’s rank, shouldn’t that be General America? Whatever the case, Welsh didn’t want anyone to think the letter on his head stood for France: According to the Military Times, the general pointed to the letter and said, “A is for Airpower.”
In a real-life crossover, two men dressed as Batman and Captain America rescued a cat from a house fire in Milton, West Virginia, on Saturday.
Unlike other would-be superheroes like Phoenix Jones, the pair — aka John Buckland and Troy Marcum, respectively — weren’t out on patrol; the trouble came to them. Buckland, a former firefighter who served with the Department of Defense in Iraq, runs a service called Heroes 4 Higher that sends costumed superheroes to parties and other events to “bring an age-appropriate, positive message of inspiration, safety and daring to dream.”
Buckland and Marcum were doing just that at an American Legion post when a fire broke out in a house nearby. Seeing the smoke, they dashed to the house to check whether there was anyone inside. Marcum broke the window, and as the smoke poured out, Buckland said, “I reach down and grab something furry.” That was the cat; the homeowners turned out to be out of town, but their cat was overcome by smoke and had to be resuscitated by Buckland.
Everyone needs a little reinvention now and then. It’s human nature to take a look at ourselves and try on a different hat to see if it changes anything. Halloween, cosplay, even just a vacation to another place can be a way to escape the person we are now for the person we could be. Sometimes, the reinvention sticks; after all, none of us is who we were in high school. Sometimes it’s a terrible idea that we can pull ourselves out of, like a bad haircut. Either way, who we are remains essential while the trappings can change for a fresh perspective.
Comic characters need the same thing, much to our chagrin. Some of these heroes have been around for 60 or 70 years, so obviously they can’t be the same people they were in World War II. There have been cultural shifts that practically demand characters change to keep up with the times and standards; we just don’t call characters “Lass” or “Lad” anymore, and Sue Storm’s early Invisible Girl years can be embarrassingly sexist. Comic book characters have to retain their audience, if not attract a new one every generation, and a new costume can go a long way in creating a water mark for when fans started reading a particular title. Most of all, creative teams demand these changes as no one wants to write the same character over and over, year after year, without a chance to make their mark on the hero’s legend. And much like a bad haircut, sometimes these changes don’t go over very well with fans; this still does not change the character at heart.
It can be even more difficult when a comic book character is more than a hero, but a symbol of a country. Rick Remender and John Romita Jr. have brought us 10 issues of a new chapter in Captain America’s life and there has been so much change it might be hard to swallow. Because Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting were so wildly successful with their reinvention eight years ago, we’re having a hard time letting go of what was working for something new and decidedly different. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad haircut to be suffered through; if anything, a reinvention can help fans look at a beloved hero in a new way, just another facet of their history and character.
WARNING: We’ll be talking about the Marvel NOW! run of Captain America and, mostly spoilerly, Captain America #10 where a bunch of stuff happens. Grab your copies and read along!
For the past decade, a number of innovative toy companies have created unique vinyl figures that artists decorate, illustrate and deform to create all sorts of characters. And now artist Ryan “Rocketboy” McClure has created a quartet of Marvel designs based on Kidrobot’s Micro Munny figures that will leave your pocketbook wanting.
In addition to the above blood-splattered Punisher, Rocketboy has also produced custom takes on Thor, Captain America and Wolverine. In the past he’s done other designs such as an Archangel and a great Hulk using a Marshall figure and more. If you want one, head to Rocketboy’s website or Facebook page and drop a line.
In a rather vague announcement, Disney revealed today that it will bring more of the Marvel Universe to its theme parks this fall, when Disneyland guests will have a chance to visit Asgard and “come face-to-face” with Thor himself.
It’s obvious the attraction is designed to coincide with the Nov. 8 release of Marvel Studios’ Thor: The Dark World, but beyond that, no details have been made public. More information is promised next month on the Disney Parks Blog.
Rarely will you find an artifact of comics history that is as simultaneously amusing, bewildering and infuriating as this 1947 Timely Comics feature that purports to recount the creation of a comic strip — specifically, Captain America. Posted by cartoonist Max Riffner (via The Marvel Age of Comics), who attributes the writing to a young Stan Lee, the piece becomes the Martin Goodman story, playing up the role of “the young brilliant magazine king who is today one of the greatest names in the comics magazine world” while not even mentioning Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.
If we’re to believe this account, Captain America and Bucky were actually assembled by committee from the odds and ends of an open call, or possibly willed into existence by the dogged resolution of Martin Goodman. Read part of the account below, and see how it all ends on Riffner’s blog.
It turns out that Captain America isn’t just the “First Avenger,” but the first costumed Marvel character to debut at a Disney event since the media giant bought the company in 2009.
The Disney news blog Inside the Magic takes note of the Sentinel of Liberty in its coverage from the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, where the costumed character appeared in the pavilion for Disney Parks and Resorts. He’s helping to promote the new Avengers Academy kids’ area that’s being added Disney Cruise Line’s flagship Disney Magic as part of a “reimagineering” of the 15-year-old vessel.
Disney also released a video (below) offering more details about Marvel’s Avengers Academy, which will be revealed this fall. You can see more photos of Captain America at Inside the Magic.
If you think those tight-fitting Superman and Batman shirts from Under Armour are crying out for accessories, allow us to point you to the sportswear company’s latest additions: UA Highlight football gloves featuring the familiar emblems of Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man and Superman (the latter in multiple flavors).
What are UA Highlight football gloves? Good question. For starters, they’re “Super-High. Ridiculously Sticky.” But wait! There’s more: “They use the same incredible CompFit technology as our game-changing UA Highlight cleats, giving your wrist super-streamlined, locked-in support. That helps with control. It also makes you feel like you can do anything out there. Now, there’re Under Armour Alter Ego ones to make your game just that much more heroic. They turn you into exactly what you want to be, every time you compete.”
So there. And they’re available for $64.99.
Creators | Dark Horse announced that legendary Lone Wolf and Cub writer Kazuo Koike will be its guest of honor at Comic-Con International in San Diego, where he’ll sign July 18-19 at the publisher’s booth (#2615). In 2014, Dark Horse will debut New Lone Wolf and Club, the 11-volume series by Koike and Hideki Mori (original artist Goseki Kojima passed away in 2000) that picks up where the initial saga ended. [Dark Horse]
Awards | The Judging Panel for the British Comic Awards has been announced. This panel will choose the final winners from a shortlist sent to them by the Judging Committee, which screens nominations from the public. [Forbidden Planet]
Commentary | Steve Morris pens a thoughtful essay on cost versus content in comics and what exactly you are paying for with your $2.99 (or, more frequently these days, $3.99). [The Beat]
Creators | Stan Lee, characterized by CNN as “the Godfather of comic book heroes,” is modest about his own achievements in a new interview: “If my publisher hadn’t said ‘let’s do superhero stories’ I’d probably still be doing A Kid Called Outlaw, The Two Gun Kid or Millie the Model or whatever I was doing at the time.” He reflects on the increased female audience for comics and discusses some new projects, including a new superhero, The Annihilator, created specifically for a Chinese audience. [CNN]
Comics| Chris Huntington reflects on the importance of Miles Morales for children of color, like his son: “… To see Spider-Man pulling his mask over a tiny brown chin – to see a boy with short curly hair sticking to the ceiling of his bedroom— well, something happened. Dagim has been Spider-Man for two Halloweens in a row. He takes a bath with his Spider-Man and a toy killer whale. He has Spider-Man toothpaste and a Spider-Man toothbrush. If Spider-Man offered medical coverage, I think he would want that, too. My son somehow understands that there is a Peter Parker Spider-Man, who is vaguely grown-up and my age, and a younger Spider-Man, closer to his age. That’s just how Dagim likes it. He even understands that Peter Parker — like Superman, like Batman – wasn’t raised by his birth parents. The best superheroes were all adopted like him.” [The New York Times]
How does Captain America manage to look the same as he did in the closing days of World War II? It may not be entirely due to Abraham Erskine’s Super-Soldier serum.
In one of the more unusual team-ups in recent memory, cosmetics retailer Kiehl’s has turned to Marvel to produce a comic promoting its new Heavy Lifting anti-aging moisturizer for men. If any superhero knows about remaining ageless, even if it requires drugs and staying frozen for decades, it’s Captain America (and if anyone needs moisturizer, it’s probably Steve Rogers; all that time in ice is bound to leave the skin dry and flaky).
If you were left confused this week by reports of a brawl breaking out among costumed heroes on Hollywood Boulevard left you confused — two Captain Americas vs. one Spider-Man? — TomoNews US is on hand to sort things out with a typically absurd animated recreation of events.
If the work looks familiar, it’s because these are the folks at Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese studio that previously brought us such gems as explanations of Miles Morales as the new Spider-Man and the insanity of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. This video isn’t nearly as outlandish as those — sorry, no depictions of a Taiwanese wall-crawler strangling a panda — but it does envision what the fight at the Madame Tussauds kiosk might’ve looked like, complete with blood spurting from an unnerving mouth on Spider-Man’s mask.
In retrospect, the Superhuman Registration Act doesn’t seem like such a bad idea after all: First there were reports of assault, and theft, by Spider-Man, and then there was that late-night attack by She-Hulk. Now Civil War has broken out among costumed heroes on the streets of Hollywood.
According to CBS Los Angeles, Spider-Man and two Captain Americas (perhaps one was that crazy Cap from the 1950s) came to blows Wednesday afternoon on Hollywood Boulevard, near the Dolby Theatre. The cause? A turf war among superhero impersonators — who, like their Marvel Universe counterparts, operate with little regulation — and accusations of harassing tourists.