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First look at Disney XD’s ‘Marvel Comics Close-Up’

Ahead of the Jan. 21 season premiere of Ultimate Spider-Man, Disney XD has released a preview of “Marvel Comics Close-Up,” a new series of interstitials that uses Marvel comics in an effort to encourage kids to read.

As we noted last month, the spots are hosted by Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada (aka “Marvel Master”) and Dylan Riley Snyder (“Kickin’ It”), who offer viewers an inside look at 10 of the publisher’s comics. In the segment below, which arrives courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, they tie in the debut of the Lizard in the animated series with his appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man #7, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley. Viewers will be able to read the comics they discuss on the Disney XD website.

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Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon to promote reading using Marvel comics

One of the longtime laments of many fans is that DC Entertainment and Marvel don’t better utilize popular animated series like Young Justice or the late Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to promote their comic books. Well, that’s about to change.

When Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man returns Jan. 21 for a second season, it will be accompanied by a new series of interstitials designed to encourage kids to read. Hosted by Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and Dylan Riley Snyder (“Kickin’ It”), “Marvel Comics Close-Up” will give viewers an inside look at 10 comics, including Ultimate Spider-Man #7, Invincible Iron Man #7, Hulk #3, Thor #364 and Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #16. In addition, free Marvel digital comics will be offered on the Disney XD website.

Ultimate Spider-Man returns Monday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. ET/PT with a one-hour premiere that introduces Electro and the Lizard. New episodes follow in the show’s regular time slot, Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT.

The Fifth Color | Earth’s Mightiest Cartoon

Avg:EMH - Comic Cover

The Wasp can't win in any universe....

There’s news being reported by fan sites and our own Spinoff Online that The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will not be making it past the current second season. You might not have seen the animated series, and that’s sadly understandable: It’s on at a weird time (Sunday-morning cartoons?) on a weird station (Disney XD), and it had a ridiculous theme song for the first season (we’re talking Star Trek: Enterprise bad). Cartoons are still more or less considered kids’ fare, so I can imagine someone eschewing these half-hour animated stories.

Now, I have no idea why they would want to, but I could see some factors involved in missing it, not getting around to it, or simply not having access to it.

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is the most important cross-media ambassador we have to attract a new generation of comic fans that might still hold true to the original values the last age fell in love with. It’s a Herculean feat to transform classic comic storylines into fresh-faced continuity kids young and old can enjoy. Did you know Rocket Raccoon and Groot were in an episode? ROCKET RACCOON! GROOT! There are such deep wells of character development and introduction that I can honestly say The Avengers: EMH version of Carol Danvers is the one I know best. There are no gimmicks, no CGI or special power suits, just quality adaptations of quality stories, all wrapped up in a bow and left on a really far away doorstop at a really awkward time of day.

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Joe Quesada shows you how to draw the Hulk in ‘Master Class’ clip

USA Today teases the Sunday premiere of Disney XD’s Marvel Universe animated programming block with a preview of “Master Class,” a series of shorts in which Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada demonstrates how to draw some of the company’s most famous characters. Here, the veteran artist tackles the Incredible Hulk.

Anchored by Ultimate Spider-Man and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Marvel Universe block also features such shorts as the “Fury Files” (dossiers on Marvel heroes), “Animated Realities” (superhero moves demonstrated by stunt and special-effects experts) and “What Would It Take?” (a look at the technology required to replicate heroes’ gadgets and abilities in real life).

Disney XD’s Marvel Universe block premieres Sunday at 11 a.m. ET/PT.

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Talking Comics with Tim | Christopher Yost

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

Disney XD’s The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is the kind of show that connects with classic Avengers fans like myself, as well as children seeing the team for the first time. So I considered myself fortunate to catch up with the show’s story editor, Christopher Yost, to discuss the show recently. This Sunday, January 9 at 10 AM EST, in a new episode, The Man Who Stole Tomorrow, Kang the Conqueror, the undisputed ruler of Earth in the 40th Century, and the Avengers cross paths in the 21st century. In addition to discussing  the show, Yost entertained a few questions about the four-issue The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes miniseries, which Marvel launched in November. Marvel has been kind enough to provide an episode guide, as well as video teasers at The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! hub page.

Tim O’Shea: On a most basic level, what all do you get to do as story editor for The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes show?

Christopher Yost: I’m in charge of the writing, from top to bottom. A few years ago now, Supervising Producer Josh Fine came to me with Marvel’s desire to do an Avengers animated series, and I put forward two concepts for the show, general frameworks for which the series exists in. We ended up using both, more or less.

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