Marvel Comics Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Check out Marvel’s adorable, SDCC exclusive enamel pin set

pins-social

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.

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Marvel cooks up Ultron cherry pie recipe for Pi Day

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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.

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The Fifth Color | Peggy Carter is a Rick Jones for the MCU

a-force_hasscvrOK, 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.

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Marvel takes jab at 2013 DC with “WTD Certified” promo

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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.

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The Grumpy Color: Tom and Carla dissect 2014, Part 2

Split decision

Split decision

(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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Exclusive preview | A new look at Jessica Drew’s costume in ‘Spider-Woman’ #5

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Marvel has provided Robot 6 with an exclusive preview of Spider-Woman #5 by Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez. The issue – the first after the conclusion of Spider-Verse – marks the debut of a new costume for Jessica Drew. Designed by Kris Anka, the new costume was announced in December and is the first time the character’s look has dramatically shifted since her first appearance, and according to Marvel, it has a lot to do with how Spider-Verse concludes.

“Jess comes out of this event with a very different point of view on herself and her place in the world,” Marvel editor Nick Lowe told CBR in December. “[The costume] represents a big change for her moving forward.”

Spider-Woman #5 hits stores in March.

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The Grumpy Color | Tom and Carla dissect 2014, Part 1

Comin' at ya

Converging

(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.)

Tom Bondurant: First let’s address the elephant in the room — or, more accurately, the infinite number of parallel rooms, each containing a slightly different elephant. In 2015, both Marvel and DC are building Big Events around their respective multiverses. Conventional wisdom predicts that DC is doing this to address fan criticisms of the New 52, perhaps resulting in some continuity tweaks.

Carla Hoffman: Oh, man, I hope that’s true! Honestly, I have a hard time judging the inner workings of our respective companies sometimes because I always hear more from the fan side than the production team. Enough customers come in, day in and day out, with a piece of their mind on how things should be run or changed, but rarely do the people in charge — not creators and editors, mind you, the people who sign the checks at the end of the day with real power — come forward to say, “We feel this is the right direction.” Tom Brevoort on Tumblr comes close with his tireless open forum, but even then there’s always going to be company policy. If DC is brave enough to go “Maybe we shouldn’t have thrown the entire baby out with the bathwater” and massage their continuity into a more pleasing shape for fans, that’s going to be a heck of thing that will have an effect on readership, for sure.

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Mike Perkins homages ‘Giant-Size X-Men’ #1 for ‘Star Wars’ #1 Variant

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Tampa, Florida retailer Heroes Haven is very excited for the release of Marvel’s upcoming Star Wars #1 — so much so that it actually put together a trailer for a special store-exclusive variant cover for its Facebook page. Heroes Haven certainly has reason for excitement — its store-exclusive variant by Mike Perkins is a cool homage to one of Marvel’s most well-known comics of all time: Giant-Size X-Men #1.

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Artists to follow on Instagram: Ken Lashley

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Artist Ken Lashley leaped into the spotlight this week with his collaboration with writer Gail Simone on DC Comics’ latest incarnation of Secret Six. No stranger to the publisher, he’s provided covers for such titles as Suicide Squad and Superboy, and drawn interiors for Superman: Doomed. A quick glance of CBR’s previews archives reveals the variety of work he’s done for other publishers in recent years, including a couple of AXIS Revolutions covers for Marvel.

To get an idea of the variety of characters Lashley draws, as well as some of his commissions, one needs only to look at his Instagram profile (where he posts under the username Ledkilla). In addition to the range of talent he shares with his fans, he clearly relishes shooting some of his samples at interesting angles, adding a layer of kineticism.

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The Fifth Color | Wrestling with Marvel

my face when I learned CM Punk would be writing for Marvel Comics

My face when I learned CM Punk will be writing for Marvel

It’s a wonderful thing when two things you love seem to love each other as well.

When I read that former wrestling superstar and current Walking Dead enthusiast CM Punk is contributing a story for February 2015’s Thor annual, I enjoyed a small moment of having my cake and eating it too. Forgive my indulgence, but trust me, comics and wrestling sort of sit together on the school bus of storytellling; although they’re different mediums entirely, they share some common traits and interests that let one sort of lean into the other from time to time.

If you think about it, pro wrestling (or sports entertainment if you want to be more direct ) and comic books share a style of visual storytelling that starts in very broad strokes and becomes a masterpiece through the details and context of their respective works. Both deal in good and “bad”; whereas comics has its heroes and villains, wrestling has its faces and heels. Both heels and villains tend to do a lot of the heavy lifting, story-wise, as it’s their antagonism that creates the context and drives the plot. It’s why when Captain America and Iron Man fight, they’re never doing it for the competition; one of them will be in the wrong, enabling the reader to root for or against someone. When the Undertaker fights Hulk Hogan, no matter how cool the Undertaker is (and he’s so cool), Hulk Hogan is our hero, often our champion, so we hope he defeats the “bad guy.”

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Jake Parker brings extra Groot to ‘Rocket Raccoon #5′

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[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

Note: This post contains potential spoilers for Rocket Raccoon #5

Rocket Raccoon is one of several comics coming out of Marvel right now where they’ve paired the perfect creator — in this case Skottie Young — with the perfect character, and just let them go wild. (See also: Kaare Andrews on Iron Fist). So when you hear that an issue is going to have a fill-in artist, you have to wonder what kind of effect that’s going to have, if it’s really going to work or not. It all just depends on who they choose, right?

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Comics A.M. | Gaiman, McCloud & Smith on Banned Books Week

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

Banned Books Week | Michael Cavna talks with Jeff Smith, Scott McCloud and Neil Gaiman about the importance of Banned Books Week. Says Gaiman, “I get tired of when people say that no books are banned just because [you can get it elsewhere]. Say you’re a kid in a school district [that banned a book] and there’s not a local Barnes & Noble and you don’t have 20 or 50 bucks in disposable income … That book is gone. It was there and now it’s not. The fact you can buy it on Amazon doesn’t make that any less bad.” [Comic Riffs]

Banned Books Week | Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, discusses comics and censorship in a video interview. [Reason Magazine]

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‘I don’t measure peoples’ lives. I save them.’

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[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

Note: This post contains spoilers for Avengers #34.

The last couple weeks have been, to put it mildly, kind of crappy. Not just on a macro level — and there’s certainly been enough on the macro level to designate the last two weeks as crappy, as you can see on this handy chart courtesy of the excellent The System webcomic. But also on a personal level. Ferguson. My cat dying. Robin Williams. Ebola. Crap at work. Ugh.

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Alonso apologizes for mixed messages of Manara’s Spider-Woman cover

spider-woman-manara[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

I was pleased to see Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso acknowledge concerns over the variant cover by Milo Manara for Spider-Woman #1, and even go so far as to explicitly apologize for the mixed message the cover caused.

“We always listen to fans’ concerns so we can do better by them,” Alonso stated to CBR for Friday’s installment of the weekly Axel-in-Charge interview column. “We want everyone — the widest breadth of fans — to feel welcome to read Spider-Woman. We apologize — I apologize — for the mixed messaging that this variant caused.”

He went on to note that it is not the official cover for the series, and is equally not as representative of the title as a pet variant by Skottie Young might be. That’s a fair point. However, I would argue that there is a difference between a Milo Manara variant and any other random variant. That cover exists within the context of the title character of the comic and the historical depiction of women in comics, if not media in general, juxtaposed with a cartoonist known for erotica being commissioned to provide material for a comic with a T+ rating (13 and above).

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Ambitious ‘Hawkeye #19′ broadens horizons with fulfilling story

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[Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

I think by now we can all agree that diversity in comics is a great thing. Not only does it welcome in people who might feel ostracized by convention and provide a positive reflection of themselves in the pages of a comic, but it teaches readers and challenges us to go beyond comfort zones and understand the world around us.

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