DC's "Rebirth" Roster Could Look Very Familiar
On February 10, 1992, MTV VJ Karyn Bryant set up shop in the Marvel Comics bullpen to get the inside scoop on how comics were made at the height of the industry boom, while also tossing to awesome new videos from Seal, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Genesis. Almost 22 years later, the video of Bryant’s day of picking up “Deathlok” issues and peeking over letterer’s shoulders has made its way online.
The video was uploaded by former Marvel employee Jared Osborn, who can be seen early on in the video lettering a panel featuring Nightcrawler and Wolverine. Bryant also talks to another letterer, Dave, that’s working on “Web of Spider-Man” #88 on top of his “120 Minutes”-esque workspace.
Most awesomely, Bryant gets facetime with Bob Harras, editor of the X-Men line at the time, and senior executive editor Mark Gruenwald, who talks about his groundbreaking run as writer on “Captain America.”
Comic Strips | The Portland Oregonian pulled three Non Sequitur strips that made fun of the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge after one of the occupiers was killed. “The strip, which had been making fun of such groups, seemed jarring and in poor taste given that someone now was dead,” said Oregonian editor Mark Katches. “That decision has yielded a grand total of two reader complaints.” Cartoonist Whitey Miller said he did not know the strips were being pulled and replaced with older ones. “This is the first I’ve heard about it,” he said. “Not controversial to my knowledge.” [Willamette Week]
Creators | Set aside some time this weekend to read Robert Ito’s in-depth profile of Daniel Clowes, which covers his life and career from his childhood through his most recent work, Patience. The piece is illustrated with drawings by prominent cartoonists such as Seth, Rutu Modan, and Richard Sala, as well as photos by Ian Allen. [California Sunday]
Retailing | The complete set of Marvel comic books offered for sale by B-Bop Comics of Kansas City has been sold to an anonymous buyer for for the asking price of $200,000. “The first guys who came to look at it bought it,” said B-Bop owner Frank Mangiaracina. [ICv2]
Marvel will follow up their popular Comic-Con International exclusive by expanding their Skottie Young-inspired enamel pin collection with a new series of sets, which will only be available at this year’s New York Comic Con (via MTV). Based on Young’s series of variant covers, 22 new pins will be available for purchase at the Marvel Booth (#1354).
The pins will come in five sets: “Iron Man 3-Pack,” “Captain America 3-Pack,” “Spider-Man 2-Pack,” “Blind Pack 2-Pin Set” and “Daredevil, Punisher and Spider-Man Unmasked.” A Director Coulson pin with a lanyard will also be available for purchase. Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain America, Spider-Woman, Deadpool, Falcon and the Winter Solider are among the characters included.
Fans who spend $30 at the Marvel Shop will be able to purchase one; it takes $65 to purchase two or $90 to purchase all three. The “Daredevil, Punisher and Spider-Man Unmasked” pins will be available in limited quantities throughout the convention, and are only available for those who hit those incentive tiers. You can catch a glimpse of all the available pins below.
Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso recently appeared on MSNBC to talk about the publisher’s newest title “Red Wolf,” which will feature a Native American hero from the American Southwest. The comic will hail from writer Nathan Edmondson, interior artist Dalibor Talajic and cover artist Jeffrey Veregge, himself a member of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.
“Back in the ’70s, Red Wolf was a character who existed in the Wild West, and he was sort of a Native American Avenger with a red wolf by his side,” Alonso explained. “What we’re doing is we’re taking that character and we’re bringing him into the Marvel Universe, where he’s going to run alongside Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men… He is best described as a Native American MacGyver. He’s a handy individual who’s able to adapt to almost anything and he’ll need to.”
Though he won’t have superpowers, this new incarnation of Red Wolf will have “the ability to adapt to all circumstances and find a weapon or tool in almost anything available.”
Remember the rumor that Marvel was going to get rid of all its mutants? Last year, there was a big fear among some fans that, due to backstage politics between Marvel and Fox, the X-Men would be “No More’d” out of existence with a line-wide reboot that would effectively replace mutants with Inhumans.
That sounds terrible, obviously, but it’s the kind of thing that nags at us when we think about film rights (as we so often do). However, while it can be fun to ponder a character’s place in a fictional universe, there’s little use in trying to discern the plans and motives (rumored or otherwise) of corporate executives. That way lies madness, Dear Reader.
Keeping the comics over here, the movies over there, and the business dealings far, far away is probably the best way to enjoy the stories. Yet, there’s no denying that mutants and Inhumans can be viewed as similar entities in the Marvel Universe — and, believe it or not, there are some decent reasons to at least readjust the X-Men’s place within in it.
In a way, it’s may be a good thing the Fantastic Four movie is doing so poorly, because now we get to talk about Marvel’s First Family.
For some reason, interest goes up whenever the Fantastic Four are in dire peril, whether that’s imminent death or cancellation. Most recent writers have chosen to threaten the team’s existence to generate interest, with mixed results: James Robinson came on under “The End of Fantastic Four”; Matt Fraction said the radiation that gave them their powers would kill them; Jonathan Hickman killed Johnny Storm, then rebranded what was left; and that’s just in the past five years.
It seems every time the team appears in danger of falling apart, or losing its title, is precisely when fans and critics like myself haul out the tributes and care about the Fantastic Four’s place within Marvel history. There’s an image we all have of what the Fantastic Four is and what it means in our heads. It’s just that putting that idea onto paper and sold for $3.99 is a difficult journey.
If you lived in the Marvel Comics universe, chances are you wouldn’t spend your days swooping through the skies and patrolling in the name of justice — unless you lived near a radioactive zoo, at any rate. You’d probably be working that 9-to-5 grind like most citizens, and Empire Flippers (via AV Club) has conveniently put together a map of fictional Marvel businesses based on location so you can know just where to apply.
The map focuses on U.S.-based companies only, spanning from New York City to Los Angeles, California and everywhere in between. From Roxxon to Worthington Industries to Ant-Man Security Solutions, this map will find the location and services for you. Check out the full map below.
In the never-ending war to determine once and for all which Big Two comic publisher is definitively the best, America is inherently biased. Yeah, the capital of the United States is Washington, D.C.. Think about that for a sec — !
In all seriousness, Chris Gethard, host of Fusion’s “The Chris Gethard Show,” decided to take the totally subjective, most nerdy of all nerd fights extremely serious while at Comic-Con International in San Diego and petition con-goers to make a real difference by changing the country’s capital to Washington, MARVEL.
Wouldn’t it be nice to reinvent yourself every year? Just toss out all your old clothes, get a new job, take a new direction in life? It’s fun to think about, but really difficult to put into practice; there’s a lot of security in knowing who you are and working a job (you hopefully love) for year after year. We crave consistency but yearn for change. It’s why fiction is so important as an escape, from what comforts us. Heroes can risk it all in these huge, life-changing decisions, and we can watch from the bleachers, cheering them on or judging them harshly.
Let’s get to doing that with the latest all-new, all-different titles at Marvel, arriving in October.
Oh, man. The toughest part of these announcements is the sheer weight of information we get at once. Marvel could reveal these one at a time, but I think that would take away some of the spotlight, as one new title would be forgotten as the next new was announced. Instead, we get this 45-title avalanche showcasing a variety of new books and looks for our favorite heroes and villains, leaving people like Yours Truly to sort it all into manageable chunks. How do we parse all of this?
When it comes to comic convention exclusives, people talk about a lot of things: rarity, price, availability, etc. Now that Marvel has announced the first in their line of exclusive products available only at Comic-Con International in San Diego, they’ve added a whole new factor to the discussion: adorability.
As revealed over on MTV, Marvel is bringing a set of 28 enamel pins based on Skottie Young’s series of baby variant covers with them when they arrive at the massive show. You’re gonna have to figure out a battle plan in order to collect the entire set, though, as they’re divvied up between 4-packs, blind box 2-packs and more.
Today (Saturday) is literally a once-in-a-century kind of day. It’s the day recognized by nerds everywhere as Pi Day, as the date 3/14 mirrors the first two digits in pi. Seeing as it’s the year 2015, however, the date 3/14/15 actually lines up with even more digits in the mathematical constant, an event that only happens once every 100 years. And if you stretch that out to 9:26:53 and farther into microseconds, there will be a precise moment when the time and date match up to pi out into infinity.
To celebrate the nerdiest of holidays, Marvel has released a recipe inspired by one of their characters who would probably find the most joy in the numerically unique day: Ultron! Yes, they’ve presented fans with a complete recipe for Ultron Cherry Pie, which you can find ahead along with more pictures of the delicious, devilish treat.
OK, first let’s get this out of the way: A-Force? Really?
That’s a terrible name! That’s just going to lead to schlocky journalists serving up headlines like “These Marvel ladies are A-FORCE to be reckoned with!” It seems lazy and uninspired, although you could say that they were inspired by X-Force, but that’s a tacky name I’ve had decades to get used to. Also, it was the ’90s, everyone had tacky names. I suppose I could count myself lucky they aren’t “Force Works,” but when the Defenders are right there and Valkyrie was already tasked to create a team of heroines … ugh. A-Force.
More important than the name or the roster is the writing team of G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett, who are bringing incredible work to the pages of Ms. Marvel and Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, respectively. Both authors have taken the idea of diversity in stride, making representation in their books relatable and honest. Ms. Marvel isn’t just a Muslim superheroine; she’s a teenager with the same hopes and likes as a variety of readers, young and old. There’s a new element added into Angela: Asgard’s Assassin that I won’t spoil, but it’s an accomplishment to be sure, done with heart and little fanfare.
Two years ago this month, DC Comics announced that all of its April 2013 New 52 releases would be “WTF Certified,” its name for a series of gatefold covers poised to reveal surprising developments when folded out. The promotion drew some criticism, stemming from the fact that the “F” in “WTF” stands for a word you won’t find in any of DC’s superhero comics. Ultimately, while DC went forward with the gatefold covers themselves, the “WTF Certified” branding was abandoned.
Marvel showed they haven’t forgotten any of that with the release of a “WTD Certified” teaser image on Thursday afternoon, closely mimicking DC’s scrapped “WTF” logo. What exactly “WTD” stands for in this instance is unclear, though “What the Deadpool” is an easy first guess (he’s dying that month, after all). An answer should be coming soon — “WTD Certified” is tied to April’s releases, and Marvel’s solicitations for that month are likely to hit early next week. The full teaser follows below.
(Time once again for ROBOT 6 contributors Tom Bondurant and Carla Hoffman to email each other about the year in DC and Marvel superhero comics. This year’s exchange took place between DEc. 26 and Dec. 30. And be sure to check out Part 1 of the conversation.)
Tom Bondurant: One of the more pleasant surprises this year was the extent to which the Big Two started going after a different audience. New books like Ms. Marvel and Gotham Academy, and makeovers for Batgirl and Catwoman, have found success with distinctive, unconventional approaches. How long can they keep this up? Will digital distribution help these books, if it’s not doing so already? Are the Big Two really committed to branching out?
Carla Hoffman: Branching out is such a double-edged sword. It sounds weird to say that, because diversity is so championed online, but when a book can alienate old readers, you really have to draw in a lot of new readers to make up for it. Believe it or not, there were some who complained that Kamala Khan took the Ms. Marvel name rather than getting her own moniker. The good news is that Ms. Marvel is such a quality book and so important to the next generation of comic readers, not to mention Marvel Comics itself, I couldn’t care less if a (pardon my use) grumpy old fan can’t change with the times. Marvel published about 40 new titles this year — everything from Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu to Rocket Raccoon. Not all of the titles stuck (R.I.P. She-Hulk, try again later), but that’s still a lot of new stuff to try that isn’t just another variation of a Wolverine comic.
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