An "X-Force" To Be Reckoned With - Marvel's Mutant Militia Turns 25
We’re living in an age where increasing aspects of our comics heritage is being protected, with all manner of work coming back into print in fittingly deluxe packages. However, we can all think of great comics that will probably never be reprinted, for various obscure reasons. For example, all manner of great work published by Marvel and DC in the 1970s and ’80s will never see the light of day again due to lapsed licensing deals. Other titles, other creators, simply fall from fashion, to await rediscovery by another generation. Others still end up in complicated rights battles and litigation.
One field of comics-related work that seems to be just lost to the unrelenting march of time and progress is that of the pre-Internet fanzine. Many significant figures in comics history contributed text and art to this near-dead medium, and it’s hard to see any organization having the will to invest in researching, reprinting or digitizing this lost legacy.
Colin Smith is a blogger and the author of Sequart’s “Shameless? The Superhero Comics of Mark Millar,” and as a critic has written about comics for some of the United Kingdom’s top magazines. He has a secondary blog where he has been recently sharing some great art from old U.K. fanzines and convention booklets.
It’s probably not surprising to find out the writer who works in the “black ops” areas of the Spider-Man and X-Men titles will swim in similar waters with the Avengers. Today at the Avengers: Shattered Heroes panel at the New York Comic Con, Marvel announced that Uncanny X-Force and Venom writer Rick Remender will take over Secret Avengers with issue #21.1. He’ll be joined on issue #22 by regular artist Gabriel Hardman (Hulk).
“Yeah, it’s going to be a fun year,” Remender told Newsarama. “I’m definitely planning on interconnecting the three titles, and having a lot of things hopping from one to the other, which is fun. I can create my own little covert universe.”
The team roster will go through a bit of a change, as you can see in the promo art above by Art Adams. Hawkeye will lead the team, with new additions being Captain Britain and Giant Man. Issue #21.1 will introduce a new Masters of Evil and will feature artwork by Patrick Zircher.
Last month the artist blog Comic Twart did themed drawings around the idea “What if Comic Twart ran Marvel?” In that spirit, writer/artist Matthew Dow Smith (Dr. Who) shares his rendition of a Captain Britain that was originally redesigned by Guy Davis (B.P.R.D.). It was part of a pitch they made to Marvel.
“… I spent a lot of time early in my career pitching projects that I could write to anyone who would listen, and the closest I ever came to getting one off the ground was a Captain Britain mini-series at Marvel, with Guy Davis on board as the artist,” he said on his blog. “This was right as Marvel had put Grant Morrison on the X-Men, and they were open to a lot of new directions for their stable of characters. And Guy and I had planned out a pretty radical new direction for Brian Braddock. Unfortunately, our editor was suddenly let go before we started work on the first issue and the project got dropped, but Guy had already turned in a radical redesign of CB’s costume that would have played in perfectly with our plans for the character, which included him finding Excalibur and becoming tied directly to the Arthur legend.”
Well before SDCC and last week’s BOOM!/Stan Lee press conference, Paul Cornell. When we did this email interview, details had not been released about Soldier Zero, Cornell’s collaboration with Stan Lee and BOOM! Studios. (For details about Soldier Zero along those lines, please be sure to read CBR’s Shaun Manning’s interview with Cornell from last week). For this interview, I instead focused upon Cornell’s clear respect for Lee’s work and general storytelling approach, as well as the opportunity to work with BOOM. As witty and sharp as Cornell is, it made for an enjoyable interview, despite his busy workload. I appreciate Cornell’s time, as well as BOOM! Studios’ Chip Mosher willingness to arrange the interview. I’m hoping that in addition to creating a great tale for us to read, Cornell garners the Stan Lee nickname he so clearly craves.
Tim O’Shea: Back in 2009, at your blog, you lamented that you entered the industry after Stan’s heyday of giving collaborators nicknames. Now that you’re working with Stan, have you scored a nickname from him yet?
Paul Cornell: I think I’ll try and pluck up the courage to ask him for one. That’d be like being knighted.
O’Shea: In a DowntheTubes 2008 interview, in terms of your own comics writing, you said “…what I try and do is what all the best superhero books do. I try and write modern Greek and Roman myths that actually reflect things that are going on right now. Much as every body of mythology talks about what is happening right now, in terms of when it was created. … And everything that Stan Lee ever did was literally just about looking out of his window. His Marvel comic body of work, which is all about New York, is just extraordinary.”
Are you looking out the proverbial window to write this Stan Lee project? If you are, can you share some of the view?
Cornell: This particular window is looking into the real lives of wheelchair users, and trying to create a superhero that reflects their experiences in the modern world. It’s Stan doing what he always did best, with us acting as Rick Rubin to his Johnny Cash: demonstrating that what Stan does isn’t about pastiche and nostalgia, but is classic and timeless, and can be immediate in today’s world.