The Philadelphia Eagles and Marvel have reunited to tell the story so many have so long wanted to read: the origin of the NFL team’s mascot Swoop.
Produced by Marvel Custom Solutions, and illustrated by Tom Grummett, the comic was distributed earlier this month to members of the Eagles Kids Club who attended an event at Lincoln Financial Field.
Marvel and the Eagles partnered last year for a “Weapon X” poster to commemorate the retirement of longtime player Brian Dawkins.
Marvel’s announcement last week that a Muslim teenager living in New Jersey will star in the new Ms. Marvel series is an exciting step forward in diversifying superhero comics. And even better is the involvement of writer G. Willow Wilson and editor Sana Amanat, both Muslims, which should bring an authentic voice to the title.
The move is already garnering a lot of media attention, and I expect it will pique the curiosity of a number of people who never really expected a mainstream comic book to tell a story so closely connected to their own. This isn’t the first comic book to do something like this, but it’s remarkably significant.
I’m looking forward to Ms. Marvel, and I really hope the comic finds an audience (I’m also thrilled to see artist Adrian Alphona back on an ongoing series). But there’s no doubting this title is an underdog. Marvel often struggles with keeping solo series starring women; just ask fans of She-Hulk, or Rogue, or Carol Danvers. Poor Storm can’t even get more than a miniseries every 10 years or so. DC may be able to boast Wonder Woman and a number of female-starring Batman spinoffs, but both publishers have had limited success sustaining books that star minority characters. From Black Panther to War Machine to Steel to the current Batwing, there have been valiant efforts that ultimately get canceled. And I’m hard-pressed to think of a significant Marvel or DC book starring a character whose religion was such a strong crux of the premise.
“After much thought and internal discussion, we felt that between the two, ‘Miracleman’ was the coolest name for the project. I wish I had a more scientific answer for you, but that’s kind of how it went down. A bunch of us sat around at the editorial meeting and talked about it. We all remember it fondly as ‘Miracleman’ and just felt that the name was by far better than Marvelman. That’s not to say that the name Marvelman isn’t in play for something else down the line some day, but when asked to choose between the two, well …”
– Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, in an interview with Comic Book Resources, explaining why the company chose to go with the name “Miracleman” over the original “Marvelman”
When Professor X gave Wolverine and Gambit their pink slips, he was only getting started: In the latest “Ex-Men” sketch for his new late-night show on TBS, comedian Pete Holmes once again dons the bald cap to hand Angel, one of the founding members of the X-Men, is walking papers.
“Do you have any idea how many of the X-Men fly and do something else incredible?” asks Holmes’ Xavier. “You just fly, and it’s not even like an internal power, like something you focus. You literally have giant f—ing wings. You’re a f—ing bird.”
Watch the video below. The Pete Holmes Show airs weeknights at midnight ET/PT on TBS.
Marvel and Feld Entertainment revealed the addition of Spider-Man and five of his deadliest foes to the Marvel Universe Live! arena show.
The wall crawler and villains Doctor Octopus, Electro, Rhino, Lizard and Green Goblin will join the previously announced Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, Falcon, Nick Fury and agents of S.H.I.E.D. when the tour launches in July.
Announced in March, Marvel Universe Live! will bring Marvel’s most iconic heroes and villains to 85 cities across North America in the show’s first two years. The live-action production will integrate a character-driven storyline with state-of-the-art special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts and martial arts for what producers say will “redefine the live show experience.”
It’s little surprise that the editorial board of the conservative Washington Times didn’t embrace the announcement that the new Ms. Marvel is a 16-year-old Muslim from New Jersey, but the newspaper’s actual response is a bit … bewildering. One might even describe it as eerie.
Beginning a Sunday editorial with a declaration that “diversity and quotas are more important than dispatching evil” — because, as we all know, heroes can’t be diverse and fight villains! — the writer engages in a little concern trolling, warning that Ms. Marvel, and by extension Marvel, will have to be careful not to anger “militant Islam” if there’s any hope for newsstand sales in Muslim nations. Of course we’re told in the very next paragraph that, “Ms. Marvel probably won’t appear in comic books in Saudi Arabia, anyway,” which apparently takes care of that problem.
Once we slog through the bumbling writing and odd aside involving Secretary of State Kerry, however, we arrive at the crux of the Washington Times’ argument, such as it is: that diversity is strange and frightening.
Tony Swatton, the veteran armorer and master blacksmith who previously recreated the Dark Knight’s Batarangs and Captain America’s shield on his web series Man at Arms, is back to craft a replica of Thor’s hammer Mjolnir.
Apparently lacking uru, Swatton and his crew instead use materials like chromoly steel, bronze and other Midgard materials to forge the mighty weapon, which weighs 20 pounds hollow and will be 200 pounds when filled.
Looking back, the first Thor movie was a marvel, no pun intended. It was the first of the Marvel Studios films not to have Iron Man in it at all, plus it was the first major step toward what we would come to know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Incredible Hulk was really its own little world, with a little Stark tacked on at the end to hint at the idea that was still forming. By the time Thor came out, the path toward a full fledged Avengers movie was on the horizon and Thor was our introduction to the next Earth’s Mightiest Hero.
Although the character is difficult to translate, Thor showed modern movie audiences a near-perfect tale of a god humbled, heroic triumph and the kick-ass design of a Jack Kirby-inspired Asgard. There was a flexibility of tone and style that showed us the fantastic was possible too in the Marvel world of science and technology; Thor even explains to Jane Foster and the audience very clearly that science and fantasy aren’t that far apart, sort of justifying the god’s association with more science-based characters. The movie had an amazing balance between so many different themes, it’s still my favorite Marvel movie yet.
Sequels to such great films can be incredibly difficult. On one hand, they can often flesh out the elements we liked from the original while trimming a bit of the fat (see Star Trek II vs. Star Trek: The Motion Picture). The second film can strike directly to the heart of the matter, rather than spend time telling audiences where they are and why they should care about the people on screen. On the other hand, reference can equal preference, and when the second movie is nothing like the first, it can fall flat if it’s not what we were expecting. Not everyone can return for the second movie, be they actors, directors or designers, so cracks can form if there’s not a consistency from one installment to the next. Others can complain if the next movie relies too heavily on the first, “continuity porn” showing up on angry Internet forums or from more casual movie-going folk. It’s a lot of concern to carry with you into a sequel.
The good news is that the god of thunder bears this weight heroically in Thor: the Dark Work. I can’t say he juggles it all effortlessly, I can’t say it doesn’t seem a little awkward and uneven at times, but all the troubles are carried in an impressive spectacle. Want to know more? Read on!
WARNING: No spoilers. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen any plot details that I might discuss, so click with confidence!
Next Media Animation, the Taiwanese studio that brought us offbeat animated explanations of Miles Morales, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and the superhero brawl on Hollywood Boulevard, again turns its lens on comic books with a particularly biting report on this week’s announcement that the new Ms. Marvel will be a Muslim teenager from New Jersey.
“Perhaps fueled by dropping readership,” the narrator states, “Marvel Comics is really grasping at straws in a bid to find new audiences to buy its outdated printed comics. Marvel’s latest attempt at relevance is Kamala Khan, a teenaged Muslim polymorphing superhero from New Jersey. She will use her gigantic hands and feet to slap and stomp her way through the pitfalls of teenage Muslim girlhood … or something.”
Watch the video below. Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, debuts in February.
No matter how hard they try, Disney and Marvel can’t seem to shake the specter of Stan Lee Media: Just two months after a federal judge dismissed a multibillion lawsuit against Disney for ownership of the Marvel characters co-created by Stan Lee, the failed dot-com has emerged in another, seemingly unrelated dispute.
In September, Disney, Marvel and Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. sued Lancaster, Pennsylvania-bases American Music Theatre, saying it violated copyrights and trademarks by using elements of Spider-Man, Mary Poppins and The Lion King in its musical revue Broadway: Now and Forever (Disney and Mackintosh jointly hold the copyright to the Mary Poppins stage production).
On Monday the theater responded with an eye-opening claim of its own: that Disney doesn’t own Spider-Man. Instead, the counterclaim states, the character belongs to Stan Lee Media, which licensed the rights to the American Music Theatre.
Earlier this year, rock-star astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson calculated the weight of Thor’s hammer at 4.5 quadrillion pounds — roughly the same as 300 billion elephants — only for his comic-book knowledge to be called into question by another scientist, who pointed out that Mjolnir is forged out of fictional metal Uru and not neutron-star matter.
And now the hammer is in the scientific spotlight once again, but not for its weight or composition, but rather for its violation of the laws of physics.
As noticed by CBR Senior Editor Stephen Gerding, the first cover to the freshly announced new Ms. Marvel series, illustrated by Sara Pichelli, appears to be an homage to Gary Frank’s cover to debut issue of another comic starring a teenage girl hero, 1996′s Supergirl #1 — from the angle to the blank background to the juxtaposition of casual wear with superhero iconography.
That volume of Supergirl lasted 80 issues, so it could be a good portent for the Ms. Marvel book, which features a Muslim teenager named Kamala Khan stepping into the title role, in a series written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona.
LEGO and Marvel are re-teaming for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload, an online series launching today on Disney.com, the Disney YouTube channel and the Roku and Xbox Live TV apps. All 10 episodes will premiere simultaneously.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series finds Loki discovering “a way to put the ‘super’ in super-villain” as he assembles an army to conquer Earth, leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel’s most popular heroes to face old foes who suddenly possess new powers.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the X-Men, as well as the X-Men: Battle of the Atom crossover, WeLoveFine has unveiled an informational graphic by Leigh Wortley featuring characters from every era of Marvel’s mutant saga, from 1963 to the present. There are 150 represented, but considering the size of the X-universe, those probably aren’t all of them.
It’s the Avengers’ 50th anniversary, and Marvel has a big plan for Avengers #24.NOW, also known as Avengers #1 for the purposes of All-New Marvel NOW! (It’s confusing, I know. Just go with it.). To celebrate the milestone in December, the publisher plans to sell a special polybagged edition of Avengers #24.NOW and bundle it with a “Avengers 50th Anniversary Mega Fold-Out Poster” that’s more than 6 feet wide. For the curious, that’s about 11 comic pages stacked end to end.
Illustrated by Daniel Acuna, the poster features Earth’s Mightiest Heroes from across the team’s 50 years, including mainstays like Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, newer additions like Wolverine, Spider-Man and the Thing, and even members of the Dark Avengers, like Ares.
See the full poster below. Avengers #24.NOW goes on sale Dec. 14.