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The Fifth Color | A case for the Multiverse

well.... duh.Was anyone else expecting something bigger? When Tuesday came around and the big announcement from Marvel was finally revealed, we all learned that … well, Secret Wars is going to happen and the multiverse is going to do battle on a Battleworld to see what reality makes it out alive. When I type that out, it sounds crazy-exciting, but when it’s revealed as this big surprise, it falls a little flat.

We’ve been prepping for this series of events since Marvel NOW!, when Jonathan Hickman took over the Avengers books and put us on a very wordy adventure toward universes colliding into one another. Longtime readers sort of just assumed that was the direction they were going to go, whether through reading the books with a keen eye — Oh, hey! That’s why they called Hickman’s run “Avengers World”! I just got that! — or other announcements made before Tuesday.

I’m certainly not trying to say it wasn’t a big announcement; multiversal collision and universe dominance is kind of the biggest concept you can get until you start pitting multiverses against multiverses, and that won’t happen, no matter how much we might want to see Daredevils fight Batmen. It’s just that the announcement isn’t a surprise. It makes too much sense, what with all the radical continuity changes of late. The Ultimate Universe has gotten pretty far off course, and it deserves to go live on a farm somewhere and be happy. There are already multiversal characters appearing throughout the Marvel Universe, so the idea that we might wrap all of this up on a Battleworld is a cool direction to be heading in.

But this is just the facts of the announcement. We haven’t even gotten into the angry ranting and the wild conjecture! Join me, won’t you?

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Funko reveals its ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ collectibles

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On the heels of a leak that some speculate could be a savage spoiler for Marvel’s Avengers sequel, Funko has officially released its lineup of merchandise for Age of Ultron that features just about all of the central characters … except Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

The new Pop Vinyl! figures includes Ultron, The Vision and Hawkeye, plus new versions of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk, while the Mystery Minis boast new fewer than four variations of Iron Man, in addition to Black Widow, Nick Fury, The Vision, et al. But, yeah, no Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch.

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Artist reboots the Marvel Universe with ‘Supreme Marvel’

supreme marvel

Following Marvel’s Secret Wars press conference on Tuesday, fans were left to speculate what a combined Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe might look like. We already have some pretty intriguing ideas, courtesy of an enterprising cartoonist named Calvin.

Getting the jump on the official announcement, he’s reimagined the Marvel Universe in a series of of illustrations called Supreme Marvel. Described as his “own little reboot” of Marvel, Calvin comes to this with a mission in mind: “One of the main driving points of this project was to introduce more diversity in the Marvel Universe, as well as highlight existing diverse characters!”

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Brian Michael Bendis talks ‘Powers,’ ‘Secret Wars’ on ‘Late Night’

bendis-seth-meyers

Writer Brian Michael Bendis appeared last night on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, where he talked about Marvel’s big Secret Wars announcement, how he stumbled into a job at a comic store, and consulting with Sony Pictures on The Amazing Spider-Man.

But first and foremost, he was there to promote the upcoming premiere ofPowers , the long-developing adaptation of the comic he created with Michael Avon Oeming (note how Bendis politely corrects Meyers, ensuring his collaborator receives proper credit).

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Comics nominees for 26th GLAAD Media Awards hold surprises

lumberjanes

The GLAAD Media Awards are traditionally a fairly mainstream affair, with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation recognizing outstanding portrayals of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities in works that reach a wide audience. Although in the past, the organization has honored the likes of Fun Home, Luba and Strangers in Paradise, the outstanding comic book category is typically heavy on superhero titles released by Marvel and DC Comics.

However, with the announcement this morning of the nominees for the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards comes a couple of big surprises: Just one superhero series is singled out, and, for the first time since the comic book category debuted in 2003, there are no titles published by DC or its imprints.

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Impressive video timeline documents ‘every X-Man ever’

every-xman

Much like DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes, Marvel’s X-Men can seem a bit impenetrable. Readers have to contend not only with the team’s nearly 52-year history — minus that five-year period when no new stories were published — but also multiple titles, alternate universes and recons. Y’know, the usual stuff.

Luckily, IGN has produced “Every X-Man Ever,” a nearly 11-and-a-half-minute video infographic that is billed as “detailing everyone who ever joined Professor Xavier’s team of X-Men.” Naturally, that’s your cue to interject with, “But they forgot …”

If you prefer a text version, IGN has that too.

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Marvel isn’t looking to ‘align continuity’ between comics and film

Avengers and X-Men-AXIS7

Avengers and X-Men: AXIS #7

Grumblings that Marvel alters its comics to more closely resemble their on-screen depictions date back to at least 2001, when Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely put the X-Men in leather.

With the founding of Marvel Studios and the rise of the tightly knit Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, there are increasing complaints about continuity changes perceived to be in service to corporate synergy, most recently in the parentage of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.

But in a wide-ranging interview with ICv2.com, Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley dismisses any assertion there’s a conscious effort to align continuity — “I think people like to jump to conclusions” — while acknowledging that of course the films are going to have some influence on creators.

“We all remember picking up our X-Men books in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s,” he said. “The Professor would go in to put Cerebro on and he’d wear a helmet in a room, and whatever room that was and whatever it looked like was up to the artist du jour. But that room now, after the X-Men movie when he rolled into that big open area with the metallic globe that he is sitting inside of with the ramp, and then he puts the helmet on, you go into a Marvel comic now and that’s what that room looks like. The movie defined the mass market perception of what Cerebro looks like. The comics guys are looking at it and thinking, ‘That’s pretty cool, I think I’ll do that!’ So, to say that one medium does not influence the other a great deal would be lying.

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Spider-Man sculpture is artist’s thank-you letter to Peter Parker

spiderman-sculpture1

What at first appears in the photo above to be straightforward cosplay is actually a sculpture created by London artist Hetain Patel using a life-size body cast of himself and a Spider-Man costume composed of words from a thank-you letter he wrote to Peter Parker.

It’s part of “The Other Suit,” an exhibition of Patel’s work on display through Feb. 28 at Chatterjee and Lal, a gallery in Mumbai, India. The show also includes video installations, “The Amazing DIYers,” depicting both teenagers and Patel creating movie-accurate Spider-Man costumes, as well as photos of the artist in costume with his grandmother. However, the sculpture would seem to be the centerpiece.

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‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Minimates make their debut

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Diamond Select Toys is continuing its history of Marvel Minimates with figures based on Avengers: Age of Ultron, unveiled this morning by Toybox.

The collectibles will arrives in the spring in two runs, priced at $10 per pack of two: One features Black Widow, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, two versions of Hawkeye (old and new costume), Ultron and a “Sub-Ultron.” The other, available from Toys “R” Us, exchanges the two Hawkeye figures for Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron arrives in theaters May 1. Continue Reading »

Watch Ant-Man cut loose to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’

antman-taylor-swift

Considering the histories of Hank Pym and Scott Lang, there’s probably a deeper meaning to be gleaned from Matt Kiel‘s animated video of Ant-Man dancing like no one’s watching to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”

However, I prefer to simply enjoy the tiny hero’s uninhibited moves that, alas, come to an end when he realizes (too late!) that someone is watching.

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Return of the Jedi to Marvel: ‘Star Wars’ #1

star wars #1 coverThe first page of Marvel’s Star Wars #1 is essentially a splash-page version of a screen cap, featuring the blue “A long time ago …” opening text. And they’re not kidding. The first Star Wars film opened 38 years ago, in 1977, which is when Marvel initially published licensed Star Wars comics. The company kept a monthly series going for a decade before canceling it. The racks were Star Wars-less for just four years before Dark Horse picked up the license, beginning a fruitful 23-year relationship that produced some pretty great comics — in fact, almost all of the good Star Wars comics (that aren’t the product of Jeffrey Brown, anyway).

And now, thanks to various corporate acquisitions, “The Greatest Space Fantasy of All!” is back in the hands of Marvel, which used to refer to it as such in the ’70s (and its principal heroes as “The Star Warriors”).

So how is the much-hyped, $4.99, 30-page comic with a variant cover for every star in the sky? Not bad. Not bad at all.

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Plans for a Marvel ‘Swimsuit Special’ have been (sadly) scrapped

UPDATE 1/14/2014 4:25 PM PT: Kris Anka has clarified the nature of the scrapped project on his Tumblr, writing, “The sketches I posted were not for an official project to be published by Marvel. They were for an artists’ sketchbook that Kevin Wada and myself were going to pitch to Marvel for approval. Kevin and I decided to pull the plug on this project, not Marvel. We were proud of our work so far, so we wanted to share what we had done.”


Art by Kevin Wada

Art by Kevin Wada

If you were holding out hopes for a return of the Marvel Swimsuit Specials of the early 1990s, you’re about to be disappointed: Artist Kris Anka revealed that while he Kevin Wada were indeed working on a one-shot, that’s unfortunately no longer the case.

“I write to you today with the somber news that after a few months back and forth with the powers-that-be, circumstances have arisen that have forced us to stop production on this project,” he said on his blog, later adding, “While we are both disappointed that we can no longer work on this, there was no malice behind this decision. It is what it is.”

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Seriously, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ needs its own 16-bit game

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Given the sheer amount of Guardians of the Galaxy apparel, toys and collectibles on the market, you’d think Disney and Marvel Studios covered all the merchandising opportunities for the 2014 blockbuster. However, CineFix’s 8-Bit Cinema spotlights one they overlooked — and that we desperately need: an old-school side-scrolling video game.

In the video below, CineFex effectively retells director James Gunn’s space adventure using 16-bit technology, complete with snippets of dialogue and — best of all — a new, and totally appropriate, rendition of the film’s hit soundtrack.

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Spider-Man, Iron Man named Mardi Gras parade grand marshals

Courtesy of Marvel Character Appearance Program

Courtesy of Marvel Character Appearance Program

Tony Stark and Peter Parker are heading to Mardi Gras.

The Krewe of Caesar, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana’s largest Carnival organization, has named Iron Man and Spider-Man as the grand marshals of its 36th annual parade. “Spider-Man and Iron Man are true American heroes and someone we all look up to with utmost respect for their service to our country,” Krewe of Caesar’s Captain Robert Carnesi said in a statement to WWL-TV.

Their involvement comes courtesy of the Marvel Characters Appearance Program, which, as the name suggests, arranges for the company’s superheroes to show up for mall events, trade shows, festivals, awareness programs and the like.

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Empire strikes back in ‘Star Wars’ vs. Marvel and DC fan trailer

star-wars-v-dc-marvel

In recent months we’ve seen Batman vs. Darth Vader, and even DC vs. Marvel. But that was only for starters, as Alex Luthor — who brought us the latter — has now unveiled a fan trailer for … Star Wars vs. DC and Marvel.

Using footage from assorted movies, video games and even that aforementioned Batman vs. Darth Vader installment of “Super Power Beat Down,” the trailer is perhaps not as polished as Luthor’s DC vs. Marvel, but he does a good  job of building tension using the sound of Darth Vader’s respirator (even if the cut to the Millennium Falcon from The Force Awakens teaser is a little too jarring). And it’s tough not to smile when Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord makes his entrance …

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