"U.S.Avengers": A Guide to Marvel's New Patriotic Superhero Team
Following news of an expanded partnership with Marvel for its Artist’s Edition line, IDW Publishing has announced it will release deluxe hardcover editions of the Amazing Spider-Man comic strip through its Library of American Comics imprint.
The strip debuted in January 1977 with a storyline by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. that pitted wall-crawler against Doctor Doom, and it’s continued daily ever since. For much of its run, the comic has been produced by Larry Lieber, who was joined in more recent years by Paul Ryan, Alex Saviuk and Joe Sinnott.
As unlikely as it may seem, the Guardians of the Galaxy are poised to be the next Marvel team to get a tent-pole movie, following The Avengers (me, I was hoping for a Champions movie, as all but Hercules have been previously introduced in movies*).
The publisher has turned to Avengers-rehabilitation expert Brian Michael Bendis to write a new Guardians of the Galaxy series, and after teasing them in the first arc of Avengers Assemble, the comic featuring the cast from the Avengers movie, the writer is all set to launch a new Guardians monthly, penciled by Civil War artist Steve McNiven.
The title kicked off Wednesday with its first issue, Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 (market research apparently revealed that comics buyers are more attracted to decimal points than either the number 1 or even 0), and it isn’t a bad read at all.
It’s the origin of Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, and while the story is essentially one character telling another his history, Bendis, McNiven & Co. depict it as a regular comic, rather than a long, dull conversation, as Bendis is often in the habit of doing. The last two pages reveal the cast.
And who, exactly, is this cast, and where did they come from? Based on the sales of the previous volume of Guardians of the Galaxy vs. sales of your average Bendis or McNiven comic, I imagine a lot of folks will be reading the new series without knowing much of that. And, as always, I think it’s worth keeping in mind who created these characters and how long ago (none of them are any newer than 1976, if you’re wondering).
So let’s take a look at your new Guardians of the Galaxy, shall we?
After self-publishing his work for a few years, this past November, SLG Publishing released Chris Wisnia’s 96-page Doris Danger: Giant Monster Stories. As we quoted Wisnia when the book was first announced: “I made this book for people like me — people who love Jack Kirby, robots, low-budget 1950’s sci-fi films; realistic, somewhat non-stop army, secret society, AND spaceship action, absurd conspiracy theories, romance, bad dialogue, ridiculous plot lines, seventh grade humor, kitsch, and of course…GIANT MONSTERS!” I email interviewed Wisnia back in November about the project. Before jumping into the interview itself, Wisnia wanted me to mention: “My website is www.tabloia.com, where you can find plenty of tidbits and bonus features. OH! And SLG is sending out free audio commentary CD’s, narrated by myself, to readers.”
Tim O’Shea: After years of self-publishing, how did Doris Danger land at SLG?
Chris Wisnia: I self-published about a dozen books from 2004-2007, but it was very expensive. Around 2006 or so, I began taking my books around at conventions, and showing my work to publishers, with the hopes of getting picked up by someone. I’d left a few things with Dan Vado at SLG, for maybe a year or so. For some reason, I didn’t get the impression he was interested in anything.
Then in 2008, at Wondercon in San Francisco, I went and re-introduced myself, and he remembered me (or my work). I told him I’d emailed a few times and not heard back. And he said he never got any of those emails. And he gave me his card. It was then I realized I’d been emailing the generic SLG “info” site administrator or whatever. When I wrote his actual address, he wrote me back within the day.