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Marvel dusts off trading cards for Guardians of the Galaxy promotion

It turns out the variants and die-cut covers were only the beginning of the ’90s nostalgia: Now come the trading cards.

Marvel announced this morning that it will celebrate the release next month of Guardians of the Galaxy #1 with a series of six limited-edition trading cards available only at those retailers hosting launch parties for the new title by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven.

However, one of the cards will be even more limited than the others. To learn which one — Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Iron Man — the publisher is pointing fans to their participating local store.

“We’ve found a way to bring the cosmic elements of the Marvel Universe to the center of the playing field,” Bendis teased last month. “Here’s a wide-open, brand new #1 that starts these characters on the most reader-friendly place you could ever hope to have them without taking away anything that made them special in the first place.” The writer and Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso talked more about the series in CBR’s latest “Axel in Charge.”

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 goes on sale March 27.

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James Gunn apologizes for ‘poorly worded and offensive’ comments

James Gunn

Faced with growing criticism, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has apologized for insulting comments he made about women, gays and lesbians in a nearly two-year-old blog post, characterizing his remarks as “poorly worded and offensive to many.”

The statement, released last night by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and re-posted on Gunn’s Facebook page, followed outreach from the organization, condemnation by the Human Rights Campaign — “James Gunn’s blog post is offensive not just to LGBT people and women but rather to anyone with even the slightest sense of decency” — and online outrage, all stemming from a deleted February 2011 post on the filmmaker’s website.

Newly unearthed via Google Cache, the results of a “Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With” poll include commentary in which Gunn refers to Gambit as “this Cajun fruit,” calls teenage mother Stephanie Brown “easy,” admits wanting “to anally do” Kitty Pryde, and suggests Tony Stark could “turn” the lesbian Batwoman.

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Guardians of the Galaxy director under fire for superhero-sex article

James Gunn

Even as the casting search gears up for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a push has begun online to convince the studio to fire director James Gunn over objections to a nearly two-year-old blog post that many view as misogynistic and homophobic. (Note: This post contains graphic language.)

The Feb. 17, 2011 post containing the results of a “Superheroes You Most Want to Have Sex With” poll, complete with Gunn’s commentary, was deleted at some point from the filmmaker’s website but the cached version resurfaced earlier this week on Tumblr before receiving further exposure Wednesday on The Mary Sue. Why Gunn’s post was only recently unearthed is a bit of a mystery (he was confirmed to direct Guardians of the Galaxy more than two months ago).

Gunn’s superhero sex poll includes male and female characters — 50 in all — ranging from Wonder Woman and Superman to Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. While The Mary Sue notes “there’s nothing wrong about running a poll for the most sex-able superhero on your site,” the complaints arise over some of the filmmaker’s accompanying commentary.

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The Fifth Color | Forward into the past with Marvel in February 2013

Powers: Bureau #1

Powers: Bureau #1 - Who wants to bet this comes out in February?

Now that more books are out and more of the lineup is being revealed, letting us know what’s in store, we’re in a better position to understand Marvel NOW! This week was a big one as All-New X-Men hit the stands with Fantastic Four, Thor: God of Thunder and the possibly underrated X-Men Legacy. The two X-books are important. and I might talk a little about the books as we go along, but the reason why is because, before today, I had no idea what on Earth Marvel’s Merry Mutants were going to be doing. We knew the school was intact, but … that was it? What about this semi-villain team that Scott’s in? He seems to want mutant unity, but has he crossed the line into superiority? Is he just the bad guy now or are we getting two “social justice” stories, two ways of handling the issue of being hated and feared? We may not have gotten all the answers, but there’s a lot more to go on than what we had by the end of AvX: Consequences.

We’re going to be waist deep in Marvel NOW! by the end of the month, so the questions about the new landscape can be more specific instead of just “Wait and see the first issue!” Looking at the solicitations, we start to put what we’re seeing this month with what will be happening three months from now and, like focusing a telescope, stories and characters are becoming more clear.

Despite being in a better position, there’s still going to be a lot of questions and some I’d even like ot pose to you, Dear Reader, as we take a stroll through February 2013 and see what Marvel will be putting to the printed page. Let’s take a look!

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NYCC | A roundup of news from Saturday

The Last of Us

While I was enjoying my time at APE up in San Francisco, the New York Comic Con was raging on with announcements and such. Before I get into a rundown of the comic-related news coming out of the East Coast today, let’s jump back to yesterday real quick so I can update one of the items from my Friday round-up. I mentioned that Dark Horse would publish a comic based on the upcoming video game The Last of Us, but I didn’t know at the time the most important part — the always awesome Faith Erin Hicks is co-writing AND drawing the comic. That’s a “Stop the presses” moment if I’ve ever seen one.

Ok, now on to Saturday …

• Apparently space is the place at NYCC … following DC’s announcement of Threshold yesterday, Marvel officially announced the return of two of their cosmic titles — Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova. Guardians, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Steve McNiven, comes out in February and apparently will feature Iron Man, or at least someone in his armor. Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness are the creative team for Nova, which features Sam Alexander, the Nova from Avengers vs. X-Men.

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NYCC | Marvel rolls out convention-exclusive items

With just a week to go until New York Comic Con kicks off, Marvel has unveiled a rundown of convention-exclusive merchandise that will be available only at the publisher’s booth (#1838). The items range from the Rocket Raccoon/Guardians of the Galaxy coffee mug above — someone from the Comic Book Resources contingent needs to snag me one, please — and a lithograph to T-shirts and variant covers. (Note that the Marvel booth apparently only accepts credit cards.)

Check out the full list below. New York Comic-Con runs Oct. 11-14 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

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Comic Couture | Rocket Raccoon and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac shirts

You might have heard that Marvel has a big blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy movie on its docket for 2014. The film will not only tie into their whole movie continuity thing they’ve got going on with the various Avengers movies, but will also introduce Rocket Raccoon to millions of audience members. Comic fans have known about the awesomeness of Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen’s creation for decades, but no doubt his appearance on the silver screen will lead to billions of Rocket Raccoon dolls, shirts and Underoos making their way into households all over the world. Here’s your chance to get a jump on the rush, as WeLoveFine.com, who regularly dig deep into the wells of Marvel characters for their shirts, offer a Rocket Raccoon T-shirt. That’s his classic Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe image by Mike Mignola, if I’m not mistaken.

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Marvel investigates Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 3 leaks

Marvel Studios has launched an investigation into a leak that resulted in its major Comic-Con International announcement, the development of a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, being revealed two weeks before the convention began.

Latino Review, the movie website that broke the story on June 28, has posted an email from an unnamed “security consultant” requesting information about “the dissemination of confidential, non-public information concerning Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy.” Although the website has since redacted his name, The Hollywood Reporter identifies the “consultant” as Robert Grosser, vice president of loss prevention for Marvel Enterprises.

“I do not want to see you or anyone else get into trouble nor do I want to see anyone’s career be tarnished because of this,” the email states. “However, I am very confident that through your efforts and mine, we will be able to work through this together. I personally feel that you did not have any malicious intent when you posted your spoilers on the fanboy website. Like many fans out there, you just wanted to be the first one to post something on the internet. I get it, however the Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy information was confidential and you did not have Marvel’s consent to post it. That was illegal!

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Would you pay $6,000 for Thanos’ first appearance?

No sooner did Marvel Studios confirm development a Guardians of the Galaxy movie at Comic-Con International — moving the cinematic universe in a decidedly more cosmic direction — than the speculator market kicked into gear.

The Los Angeles Times reports that by Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the Marvel announcement, one dealer was trying to sell a near-mint copy of the first appearance for Thanos at 100 times its usual price. The profile of the Mad Titan has, of course, risen considerably since his shadowy cameo in Marvel’s billion-dollar blockbuster The Avengers.

“I’m asking $6,000 for it,” the dealer told Geoff Boucher. “I know that’s high — hey, that’s really high — but that’s next year’s price.”

The comic in question is February 1973′s The Invincible Iron Man #55, by Jim Starlin, Mike Friedrich and Mike Esposito, which another dealer said is unlikely to fetch that hefty figure. However, he said he sold a copy for $1,200, saying, “That is the chosen book this year.”

WonderCon | A round-up of announcements from Sunday

X-Men

There wasn’t as much news coming out of WonderCon today compared to Friday and Saturday, but there were a few announcements:

• Marvel announced that Wolverine & the X-Men: Alpha & Omega, The Massive and Conan the Barbarian writer Brian Wood will take over writing both X-Men and Ultimate X-Men. About the latter, he told CBR, “I can bring something to the table here, a certain POV that I think will work really well. At its core it’s still the same mutant/human conflict, but the stakes are incredibly high and with the Ultimate line having more leeway than 616, you can really push it to the edge, and over the edge. With my stories, I’m looking forward to having them push back against this repression in a major way — not just in one-on-one cases but as a collective whole, a unified mutant push for freedom, for safety, for basic human rights. For the right to be a mutant and live free. What’s happening to them now is essentially a genocide, an ethnic cleansing.”

• Marvel also announced a new Dark Avengers series by Jeff Parker, Kev Walker and Declan Shalvey that replaces Thunderbolts. The book will feature Dark Scarlet Witch, Dark Spider-Man, Trickshot, Ragnarok and Skaar, along with Luke Cage.

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The Thanos Imperative to ‘ignite’ in Marvel’s cosmic books

The Thanos Imperative

The Thanos Imperative

Marvel announced today that not only is Thanos coming back in the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy, but he’s bringing another cosmic event with him.

In an interview with Marvel.com, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning talked about The Thanos Imperative: Ignition, a one-shot due in May that will kick off their next cosmic epic.

“The Thanos Imperative: Ignition is a great place to jump aboard and you won’t need any prior knowledge,” Lanning said. “But if you’re a devoted reader, there are rich seams of pay-off to enjoy. The threat of the Fault, a huge rip in time and space left by the War of Kings, is something we’ve been exploring in the Realm of Kings stories that run into The Thanos Imperative. This is the moment where Magus, a very serious bad guy in his own right, takes control of it and galactic disaster follows! This epic story forms a climax to many of the tales we’ve been spinning in the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe for the last three years.”

He said that the event will include Nova, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Silver Surfer and Quasar, as well as villains like Magus.

So what do you think will emerge from the cocoon in Guardians of the Galaxy #24?

Guardians of the Galaxy #24

Guardians of the Galaxy #24

So if you take a look at the cover to issue #24 of the Guardians of the Galaxy, you’ve got a hand emerging out of some sort of muck. So whose hand is that? Who or what’s going to emerge from the cocoon?

Here’s the solicitation text:

A REALM OF KINGS ISSUE! The universe faces one of its greatest evils—and no one can see it coming! The Magus, the necromantic shadow-half of Adam Warlock, is not dead after all…and only a small and hapless band of heroes—heroes who should be dead, too—can stop him! Are they back from the grave permanently, and what will we finally see emerge from the enigmatic coccoon?

The color scheme seems to denote that maybe it’s Magus popping out, but that seems too obvious. So who or what else could it be?

EXCLUSIVE preview: Guardians of the Galaxy #22

GARGAL022001_jpeg

We’ve got another preview for you courtesy of Marvel Comics, the first of two comics from their cosmic line. When I went looking for some previews to show you guys today, Marvel asked me what some of my favorite titles were from the House of Ideas. I replied with a list of, I don’t know, maybe ten titles, and they sent me art for four of them near the top of my list. The first three on the list, IIRC, were Fantastic Four, Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy. I think I had Invincible Iron Man at no. 4, followed by Incredible Hercules (which you saw earlier today).

There’s been a lot of cool stuff going on in Guardians lately; here’s the solicitation information for issue 22, and you can check out some more pages from it after the jump. You can also check out the cover to issue #24, where we find out “What emerges from the cocoon?”

COVER BY: ALEX GARNER
WRITER: Dan Abnett
Andy Lanning
PENCILS: Brad Walker
INKS: Array
COLORED BY: Jay David Ramos
LETTERED BY: VC – Joe Caramagna

THE STORY:
A REALM OF KINGS ISSUE! Holy Octo-mom! What’s growing in Moondragon’s belly, why is the Universal Church of Truth obsessed with keeping her, and can the Guardians rescue her before the planet they’re on goes supernova? Find out in the series that IGN calls “Impressive…Brad Walker’s pages are a dazzling sight…Guardians of the Galaxy is still standing tall and strong.” Rated T …$2.99

PRICE: 2.99
IN STORES: January 27, 2010

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