Marvel’s turning over a new leaf, so to speak, as it enters the Marvel NOW! era. But in that amid the flurry of new titles, new line-ups and new creators, we’re finding some notable absences — notable to us at least. While some missed heroes like Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Mockingbird have popped up in cameos here and there, there are still a significant number of popular players waiting to be brought onto the field. In this installment of “Six by 6,” we suss out six such characters and zero in on their last whereabouts, and where some of them might show up next.
Brazilian pop artist (and firm Robot 6 favorite) Butcher Billy recently told me he was working on a project that would appeal as much to readers of Time as to the readers of this blog. I believed him, and waited eagerly to see what he was going to come up with. He was right, and he’s excelled himself. He’s just posted The Legion of Real Life Supervillains at Behance, a gallery of images recasting some of humanity’s very worst as four-color miscreants.
In Billy’s own words:
“If back in the day comics and movies were pretty naive and faced only as pure escapism, today’s fiction has to evoke reality to create something truly meaningful… and frightening. This series is an experiment where a dictator, a psycho, a murderer (sometimes they are the whole package) or even a suspicious figure from real life is mashed with a comics bad guy - strangely related some way or the other with his counterpart. The depressing thing? Realising that if the comic book supervillains were actually the ones threatening real life, the world wouldn’t be such a bad place.”
This series raises all sorts of questions and invites all sorts of controversies. Some examples below, and be aware that Billy’s Legion of Doom includes a couple of choices whose presence in such nefarious ranks you may well disagree with. I might distrust Facebook’s ubiquity, but Mark Zuckerberg isn’t exactly a genocidal tyrant (yet).
Comic books have long cast a spotlight on the school lives, and all the associated trials and tribulations, of superheroes, from Spider-Man and the X-Men to Blue Beetle and Amethyst. But what about the supervillains? Judging from the series of yearbook portraits by
Francesca J. Hause, they haven’t had it any easier than the heroes.
It turns out Green Gobin was a stoner (no surprise there), Bane was no stranger to wedgies, and Loki was an orthodontic headgear-wearing D&D player. Venom seemed to do OK, though. Check out those, plus a fashion-victim Two-Face, below.
Theater critics and even Sesame Street have had their say on the long-troubled musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which finally — finally! — opened on Tuesday. And then Conan O’Brien took his turn, examining the assessment by Ben Brantley of The New York Times that the revamped $70-million production is suitable only for “a less-than-precocious child of 10 or so.”
O’Brien reimagines a scene from the show an elementary-school nutrition play that takes a disturbing turn about the time a G-string clad Green Goblin makes an appearance waving around an enormous banana and carrot. And then things get worse …
A post-Julie Taymor Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will likely be a radically changed show, with many of the director’s trademark elements altered or removed, multiple outlets report.
Among the rumored revisions are the strengthening of the love story between Peter Parker and Mary Jane, said to have been a point of contention between Taymor and some cast members, the loss of the widely panned “Deeply Furious” number, and a clarification of the Green Goblin’s story arc (he dies in Act I only to reappear in Act II). But perhaps most notable are the plans for Arachne, the eight-legged villainess created by Taymor in 2002. The character, who dominates the second act, will see her scenes reduced or cut entirely, Bloomberg reports.
The details surfaced today, less than 24 hours after producers finally announced what many had expected for some time: that the beleagured director would leave and the critically savaged musical shut down for two weeks to undergo a massive overhaul. Philip William McKinley (The Boy From Oz) was brought in as Taymor’s replacement to work with an expanded creative team that includes composers Bono and The Edge, musical consultant Paul Bogaev, playwright and comics writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and sound designer Peter Hylenski. Opening night, most recently scheduled for March 15, will be delayed for a sixth time, to early summer.
Comic creators Skottie Young and Scott Morse have teamed up to launch a brand-new sketch blog called SkottieScott where “you’ll get a daily(?!) punch in the face consisting of character sketches by everyone’s favorite comics makers.” They’ve been drawing Spider-Man’s villains over the past few days, so head over there to see the Green Goblin, Kraven, Mysterio and more.