Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Legal | Attorney Tom Goldstein, co-founder of the respected SCOTUSblog, has joined with Marc Toberoff to represent the heirs of Jack Kirby in their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of the Second Circuit’s affirmation that the artist’s contributions to Marvel between 1958 and 1963 were work for hire and therefore not subject to copyright termination. In a response filed this week to Marvel’s brief urging the high court to decline review, Goldstein and Toberoff again challenge the Second Circuit’s “instance and expense” test and its definition of “employer,” and argue, “Many of our most celebrated literary and musical works were created before 1978 and signed away to publishers in un-remunerative transactions. Termination rights were ‘needed because of the unequal bargaining position of authors.’ It would be hard to find a better example of this than the prolific Jack Kirby, who worked in his basement with no contract, no financial security and no employment benefits, but without whom Marvel might not even be in business today.” [Hollyqood, Esq.]
Retailing | Memo to politicians: You don’t win friends and influence people by taking up five spots in a comic store’s parking lot with your campaign bus on a Wednesday — especially when it’s Batman Day. [The Clarion-Ledger]
How are new comics priced? I ask this mostly as a rhetorical exercise; I’m sure there is a process to decide how much new titles cost that involves sacrificial chickens and a large dart board, because it seems absolutely unfathomable to me some days. The average comic is either $2.99 or $3.99, and I’m always a little thrown off by which books get to be what price. There’s a certain amount of prestige to the $3.99 books, but I couldn’t tell you why. All I know is that I’m really glad Hawkeye is $2.99, and no one wants to jinx that by overthinking the cost process.
I also know that a more reliable indicator of cost is size; the bigger the comic, the more money they want for it, and that’s fair. More pages, more work, more money; it’s not that difficult a sell. More pages also mean a special occasion as they don’t bust out the 80-page giants for just anything. Larger comics are for a special occasion, even if that special occasion is just an annual that only happens once a year. They celebrate things, like anniversaries, milestone numbering or big story events. Say, a wedding…
That bad segue leads to the shocking event that three books this week totaled up, cost around $20 in the United States, around the price of a trade paperback. But just for three comics: Daredevil #1.50, All-New X-Men #25 and Deadpool #27. Were they worth it? Read on and find out.
WARNING: Mild spoilers ahead for Daredevil #1.50, All-New X-Men #25, and Deadpool #27; I’ll try to leave out any juicy bits, but I will talk about what the books are about. You have been warned.
Deadpool #27 made headlines yesterday when it was announced that the cover had set the record for the most comic book characters on a single issue cover, as declared officially by Guinness World Records. It also brought a lot of discussion in our comments, as fans asked what the previous record holder was and if, indeed, it truly beat out every other cover out there as depicting the “most comic book characters on a single issue cover.”
So I thought maybe we should take a look at some of the candidates folks pointed out …
Readers who have already stopped by their local comic store today may have noticed that the cover of Marvel’s Deadpool #27, the special wedding issue, includes a little something extra: a seal certifying it as a Guinness World Records record holder.
The wraparound cover by Scott Koblish and Val Staples, featuring 232 denizens of the Marvel Universe gathered for Wade Wilson’s wedding, has set the record for the most comic book characters on a single issue cover. Guinness found that 224 of those characters were publicly familiar enough to qualify for the recognition. Alas, there’s no mention of which eight didn’t make the cut.
New comics come out every week, by the dozens. Add that up by the month or the year, and it’s virtually impossible to keep track. Certain runs on some titles rise to the top by a mixture of critical acclaim, proper marketing and the right timing, but if all of those factors aren’t perfectly aligned, good comics fall by the wayside.
In this edition of ROBOT 6’s “Six by 6,” we look at six noteworthy creative runs on superhero comics worth a second look, even if that means a trip to the back-issue bin.
Before writing titles like Birds of Prey, Secret Six and Batgirl for DC Comics, Gail Simone had a brief tenure at Marvel, working on Deadpool, the Deadpool-spinoff Agent X and the kid-friendly Gus Beezer one-shots. It’s been more than 10 years since those titles first saw print, but now she’s headed back to the House of Ideas to work on a new Deadpool story for the big wedding issue.
“Am I Excited? To be writing my first Marvel story in TEN YEARS?” she sad on her Tumblr. “Yes, I am!”
If you frequent her Tumblr, you know she talks fondly of Deadpool and the Agent X characters whenever she’s asked about them, so it isn’t surprising to see her once again writing the now-engaged character. Will her story perhaps involve some of the Agent X cast, like Taskmaster, Outlaw or the title character himself? I guess we’ll find out in April.
In addition to Simone and, of course, series regulars Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, Deadpool #27 will also feature stories written by Fabian Nicieza, Mark Waid, Joe Kelly, Christopher Priest, Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Tieri, Daniel Way and Victor Gischler, with art by Mike Hawthorne, Scott Koblish and “many more.” Check out the solicitation information below.
I hate “dark and gritty.” Some days I wake up and say a little prayer on announcement weekends like this one, where the House of Ideas sells us on the next batch of comics’ twists and turns that no one hails a new book as being a must-read because it will be “dark and gritty.” I like to think that’s we’ve moved past thinking that shading your books in big, black washes and stockpiling your panels in death, dismemberment and human anguish means your comics are better or “more realistic” than one that’s more lighthearted. After all, death not only gets you an annotation in the Overstreet guide, but it also means something important has happened.
That’s what makes Deadpool so interesting as a character and as an ongoing comic. Nothing really important happens in a Deadpool comic; he doesn’t cross over with big events all that often, and he’s more a guest star in other characters’ comics than a major player in his own. He also happens to be wacky, dangerous in a Bugs Bunny sort of way and more self-aware than most heroes, whether anti- or super-. With the right creative team, Deadpool can make you think while making you laugh, or tug at the heart string and your funny bone. At his worst, he’s like a CBS sitcom: high in ratings, panned by critics, divisive in his target audience and competing against the better shows.
Marvel NOW! Deadpool wonderfully leans toward the former, with Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn balancing humor and horror on a katana’s edge, as Deadpool #18 expertly delivers on both this week.
WARNING: HUGE spoiler for Deadpool #18 this week, so please grab your copy and a box of tissues and read along!
Although he’s currently known for his work on brawny heroes like Superman and Red Hulk, upcoming Astonishing X-Men artist Ed McGuinness got his big break from a very different kind of hero: a merc with a mouth. In 1997, he and writer Joe Kelly joined forces to put the ’90s anti-hero Deadpool head-deep in hijinks and human suffering, and gave the mercenary an oddly lovable supporting cast that included Blind Al and Weasel. The series gained cult status among for its ballsy slapstick humor that grew to become a trademark for the once-dark character.
And now, Marvel is pulling together Kelly and McGuinness’ run — along with a few extras — in a massive tome titled Deadpool by Joe Kelly Omnibus. Although I have a bit of an issue with not including the artist’s name in that title, I’m excited to get all these issues in my hand. For this early 2014 collection, Marvel commissioned McGuinness to create a cover commemorating the run. “It was a blast revisiting these characters,” the artist wrote on his DeviantArt page.
Deadpool by Joe Kelly Omnibus is scheduled for release in January.
I realized this morning that, despite a fairly steady stream of ongoing titles, miniseries and one-shots over the past two decades, I’ve never read a comic featuring Deadpool. Therefore, the sum total of my knowledge about Marvel’s popular Merc With a Mouth comes from Wikipedia, trailers for that recently released video game and those “Deadpool vs.” videos. Y’know, the ones where someone dressed as the character dances and fights his way through a comic convention, to “Gangnam Style,” or whatnot.
If Deadpool comics were about him dancing, only occasionally inappropriately, with the denizens of the Marvel Universe while taking periodic breaks to seek out tacos, I’d probably buy them all. And that, strangely enough, brings us to the latest video, in which Deadpool sends up
Alan Thicke and Gloria Loring’s theme song to The Facts of Life Robin Thicke’s inescapable “Blurred Lines” — with a little help from the Marvel Universe — in “Merc Lines.”
I apologize in advance for the tune getting stuck in your head again.
Matt Cowan’s handle on DeviantArt is “Matt Can’t Draw”, which isn’t necessarily true. Sure, he is more of a designer, a conceptual artist, than a straight-up “drawer.” His latest series, “Sounds Like,” is possibly a thinly veiled dig at the lack of imagination of Hollywood casting departments. Or is it just an excuse to draw his favorite characters together?
In any case, check them out below. And if you harbor some irrational prejudice against DeviantArt, Cowan’s work is also posted to his Tumblr.
Despite competition from cinematic upstarts like Iron Man, Wolverine and Captain America, Batman reigns as the most popular superhero on YouTube, with more than 3 billion views of a staggering 71,000 hours of video. But the character at No. 2 may surprise fans, and undoubtedly please Marvel Studios. Verily.
That’s according to research released today by the video-sharing website as part of its “Geek Week” celebration. The breakdown is based on keyword searches since 2008 for everything from film trailers to fan originals to video-game play.
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, where we take you inside one fan’s house to check out their collection of stuff. Today’s collection comes from Sharon in Illinois, who shows off her comics, art, statues and a whole lot of Deadpool.
If you’d like to see your collection featured here on Shelf Porn, check out the submission instructions.
And now let’s hear from Sharon …
We’ve seen Deadpool vs. Comic-Con 2012, Deadpool vs. “Gangnam Style” and, earlier this year, Deadpool vs. WonderCon, so it would’ve been more than a little disappointing if we weren’t treated another visit to Comic-Con International by the Merc With a Mouth. Thankfully, a video was uploaded this morning chronicling Deadpool’s return to San Diego, where he crashes a religious demonstration, torments a zombie, spars with cosplayers, and dances with just about anybody who’s willing to shimmy, thrust or Dougie.
Marvel has announced a line-up of merchandise for Comic-Con International that includes a Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. T-shirt, a Rocket Raccoon mug and, perhaps most adorably of all, Skottie Young’s Avengers movie poster (part of the Phase 1 Marvel Cinematic Universe Blu-Ray Collector’s Set) and glass tumbler.
The limited-edition pieces will be available at the Marvel booth (#2329) at the San Diego Convention Center. See the list, with images, below:
Ahead of the arrival of the Deadpool video game on Tuesday, IGN. com has debuted the gameplay launch trailer for the third-person shooter from Marvel, Activision and High Moon Studios.
“This is my launch trailer,” the Merc with a Mouth says in the introduction, “and research shows that trailers, dubstep and absolute chaos go together like Wolverine and bad haircuts.”
Developed for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, Deadpool is a third-person shooter in which the character — like his comic-book counterpart — breaks the fourth wall to interact with players, in between combat focusing on guns, twin swords and an expanded arsenal that includes lasers and giant hammers.