Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Say what you will about classic villains, but most of them are traditionalists: They find a look that works, and they stick with it. But not The Joker, who (for good or bad) embraces change, leading to his multiple body tattoos and lack of eyebrows in Warner Bros.’ upcoming Suicide Squad. That new look may suit the Clown Prince of Crime, but it kind of rubs the other villains the wrong way.
“I mean, it’s not killing me,” Lord Voldemort says in the latest episode of How It Should Have Ended’s “Villain Pub,” “it’s just hurting me, really, really bad.”
Serialized stories can lead to a lot of stagnation. There’s only so much growth permitted for long-running characters before they escape their original purpose and risk losing those fans who fell in love with them the way they were.
After 53 years, I’d argue Spider-Man has actually regressed some, to keep his original operation. Editorial believes having Peter Parker as a married man ages him too much and limits him as a traditional superhero, so we remove some bits and try on new ones, because he has to go somewhere. Growth is longevity, after all, and changing with the times ensures a character reaches that 53rd anniversary. Aged too far, a character becomes someone else entirely and risks losing readers who miss the “old” interpretation.
Change is such a tricky thing that, when done well, should be celebrated. With that in mind, hooray for Loki!
Superheroes sprang from the era of pulp icons like The Phantom and Doc Savage, and now cartoonist Chris Schweizer has some of today’s most popular costumed characters back to their roots.
In a project undertaken just for fun, the creator of The Crogan Adventures imagined some of the Avengers and X-Men as they might’ve appeared in the 1920s and 1930s in a series called “Marvel Pulp.”
Nearly a year and a half after Man at Arms took up Thor’s hammer, Man at Arms: Recharged sets out to recreate Loki’s staff (aka the Chitauri scepter) from Marvel’s The Avengers.
It’s a labor-intensive process — would we expect anything less? — that yields impressive results, even if the staff doesn’t quite match the one from the Marvel Studios film.
We frequently marvel at — or else are unsettled by — the uncanny realism of the figures from Hot Toys and other high-end collectibles companies, but they may have found a rival in artist Xiang Zhang.
Based in Shanghai, China, he works with 1/6th-scale models, creating photorealistic likenesses of Heath Ledger’s Joker, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson and more. Make notes that Zhang is so skilled at repainting and implanting hair, that he’s frequently accused of using Photoshop to fudge the final results.
Even if you’re not big on Christmas carols, you’ll likely find something to enjoy in this new video from James Covenant, who edits together movie clips to make the heroes and villains of the Marvel Cinematic Universe sing “Joy to the World,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and, in Groot solo number, “Jingle Bells.”
Covenant is also the mastermind behind last year’s “Let It Snow!” video featuring Jean-Luc Picard.
Earlier this year we showcased the gloriously terrifying medieval-style Joker armor, but this is the first I’ve time I’ve seen the gorgeously detailed Medieval Loki, commissioned from the same company Prince Armory.
Spider-Man had his own limited-edition cereal in the mid-’90s, complete with marshmallows shaped like the Spider-symbol, Peter Parker’s camera, Hobgoblin’s pumpkin bomb and, strangely, Kingpin. So why shouldn’t some of Marvel’s other popular characters get in on some of that sweet, sweet breakfast action?
Designers Crystal Fontan (aka Bamboota) and Elliott Fernandez seem to have wondered the same thing, as they’ve created (alas) imaginary cereal brands like Bifrosted Loki Charms, Tony’s Iron Bran, Cap’N Ameri-Crunch and, yes, Groot Loops (with limited-edition cocoa marshmallows of Groot and Rocket Raccoon).
Embracing his role as Marvel’s god of mischief with an infectious glee, Tom Hiddleston has demonstrated his talent as a showman, a storyteller, a singer, a teacher, a celebrity impressionist, and a dancer. And now the actor shows that he’s a bit of an artist, too.
A self-portrait of Hiddleston as Loki is being auctioned online to raise money for the United Kingdom’s Great Ormond Hospital Children’s Charity, with proceeds going to help with refurbishment, the purchase of equipment and the funding of research. The drawing isn’t half-bad, either.
With a little more than a day to go, the high bid is £2,334 (about $3,757 U.S.).
Loki has undergone several changes over the past several years, returning in a female body after Ragnarok, reincarnating in the form of a boy (the fan-favorite “Kid Loki”) and then, in this week’s Young Avengers #11 — OK, we won’t spoil it for you, but Marvel’s recent announcement of Loki: Agent of Asgard tells you all you need to know.
Well, maybe not all you need to know.
Responding on his blog to a fan’s questions, writer Al Ewing reveals that in the new series the god of mischief’s gender and sexuality will be fluid. “Yes, Loki is bi and I’ll be touching on that,” he wrote last night. “He’ll shift between genders occasionally as well.”
Neither of those will be particularly surprising to anyone familiar with Norse mythology, where the shape-shifting Loki is frequently viewed, in modern terms, as transgender and bisexual.
Apparently peppered with even more Loki questions, Ewing followed up this morning with a moratorium titled “Enough Loki For Now”: “I’m not The Loki Guy until February, and right now I feel like I’m stepping on toes, so I’m going to stop talking about Loki outside of interviews until early January. After that, I’ll be as available as before. […] So, how about those Mighty Avengers, huh?”
Given Loki’s current popularity, both on the big screen and in his pint-sized form in Young Avengers, it was only a matter of time before Marvel’s god of mischief earned his own comic.
The publisher revealed during this afternoon’s “All-New Marvel Now” panel at New York Comic Con that writer Al Ewing and artist Lee Garbett are teaming up for Loki: Agent of Asgard, a new ongoing series in which the now grown-up trickster — now in the service of the All-Mother — is made official defender of the home of the gods.
Ewing explained to Marvel.com that Loki will be sent on missions “that are relevant to the future security of Asgard. For example, in Issue 2, Loki’s given the job of tracking down Lorelei, the Enchantress’ younger sister, who’s been out in the realm of Midgard getting up to mischief. Whether Loki and Lorelei’s relationship mirrors that of their older siblings — well, you’ll have to pick up the book to find out.”
Look for more details Saturday in Comic Book Resource’s interview with Ewing.
As if we needed more proof that the minds behind Sesame Street intend elements of the beloved television series to be as much for adults as for children, a new clip features The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World star Tom Hiddleston teaching Cookie Monster an important lesson about self-control and delayed gratification.
“I just made the correlation between your name and what I’m about to eat,” the god of mischief taunts. Watch the video below.
Because it’s just not possible to get too much Loki, or too much Arrested Development, allow us to present … “Thorested Development,” Leigh Lahav’s note-perfect mash-up of the beloved comedy and the trailer for Thor: The Dark World.
Please, please, please let this be only the first video in a series.
Marvel history is filled with grudges, the kind that aren’t settled with harsh words and tough love over warm tea. Nope, they’re settled with fists — or sometimes claws, hammers or psychic blasts. WeLoveFine celebrates three of these ongoing rivalries with some new shirts featuring playbills for the brawl-to-end-all: Professor X vs. Magneto, Thor vs. Loki and Wolverine vs. Sabretooth.
I have it on good authority that they’re hoping to do more of them, so who would you like to see next? Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus? Captain America vs. The Red Skull? Howard the Duck vs. Dr. Bong? Share your ideas in the comments section.
We’ve featured the Brazilian artist Butcher Billy a couple of times in Art Barrage; he’s an illustrator whose work demonstrates a keen eye for modern culture and a wicked sense of humor. His latest portfolio of work, posted at the creative network Behance, is “The Superhero Media Crossover Project,” a collection of images inserting comic art into stills taken from their movie adaptations. It’s very effective, and strangely moving, for this fan of classic comic art, anyway. These images demonstrate what, to me, is missing in just about every comics-to-film adaptation — a little pop-art brightness and fizz (Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World being the only one in recent times to get a pass on this matter — am I really the only one who wants to see sound effects rather than just hearing them?). In Billy’s own words: