rick remender Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

After #FireRickRemender, can we have a real conversation?

Falcon and Jet Black, later in the controversial scene

Falcon and Jet Black, later in the controversial scene

Superhero comics deal in extremes: Characters overreact, the world is in constant jeopardy, and the solution almost always involves physical combat. So maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised when the #FireRickRemender fiasco erupted. There was no conversation. Instead, people hurled accusations and argued over whether a writer should keep his job, while others mocked the whole thing. The rest of us silently watched from the sidelines, and that was pretty much it: That was how comics professionals, fans and industry observers handled a three-page scene from Captain America #22.

I guess I should be happy that people are so passionate about these stories and the creators behind them. If we were all so blasé and detached, sales would probably not just be flat so far this year, they’d be in the gutters. Yet I can’t help but feel disappointed, because I know we can do better than this.

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Quote of the Day | Axel Alonso on #FireRickRemender

From Captain America #22“On the Internet, sometimes what appears to be an explosion is really just a fart. The accusations are totally without merit. A handful of people who have it in for Rick started a witch hunt against him, claiming he had written a scene in Captain America #22 that portrayed the Falcon engaging in what amounted to statutory rape. They used social media to spread the word, and we got some angry emails — about 90 percent which came from people who stated right out the gate that hadn’t even read the issue, but were incensed by what they’d heard Rick had written.

Let me be clear: An attack on Rick’s integrity is an attack on Marvel’s integrity. We would never publish a scene that had one of our super heroes engage in such an act. Jet Black is a 23-year-old woman. She was a pre-teen at the start of Rick’s run, but since that time, the book has jumped forward 13 years in the future, and Jet — along with Steve and Ian — has aged 13 years. In Captain America #22, it is explicitly stated that Jet is 23, and she is rendered [by artist Carlos Pacheco] as a fully adult woman. Jet Black is a 23-year-old woman. End of story.”

– Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, talking with Comic Book Resources about the social-media firestorm that followed the release of Captain America #22

Falcon-Jet scene in ‘Captain America’ #22 sparks calls for Remender’s firing

cap22aA social-media firestorm that erupted late last week urging Marvel to fire Captain America writer Rick Remender fizzled out by Sunday as the Twitter hashtag was hijacked and a Tumblr post explaining that the Falcon didn’t have drunken sex with a 14-year-old gained traction.

The controversy began shortly after the release on Wednesday of Captain America #22, which depicts Sam Wilson waking in bed next to Jet Zola (aka Jet Black), the daughter of Arnim Zola, after the two shared a little too much wine. Although Jet appears to be a prepubescent child when introduced in the first issue of Remender’s run, time passes rapidly in Dimension Z, where we’re told Steve Rogers spent at least 12 years. A rough estimation that Jet would now be in her early 20s is confirmed by a reference to her 23rd birthday during a brief flashback in the issue in question.

Perhaps some readers didn’t fully understand the timeline, or they confused Jet with her significantly young brother Ian (in fairness they did look a lot alike), and skipped over — or, in some cases, disregarded — the mention of the 23rd birthday. Whatever the case, some concluded from the three-page scene that Sam Wilson committed statutory rape.

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Remender and Tocchini’s ‘Low’ surfaces July 30

low-cov_web-tease

At the Image Expo in January, one of the many (many, many) projects announced was a third Rick Remender project — Low, with artist Greg Tocchini, who Remender worked with on Uncanny X-Force and Last Days of American Crime. Today Image announced the first issue would arrive July 30.

It joins Remender’s two other projects with the publisher, Black Science and Deadly Class, and is set in a future where humanity lives on the bottom of the ocean in cities shielded from a dying sun’s radiation. When a probe returns from space, a brave group heads to the surface to retrieve it.

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CBLDF unveils Nic Klein’s ‘Deadly Class’ #1 Liberty Variant

deadly-class1-liberty-cropp

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has unveiled Nick Klein’s Liberty Variant for Deadly Class #1, which will premiere this weekend at Wizard World Portland in Portland, Oregon.

Debuting today, the new Image Comics series by Rick Remender, Wesley Craig and Lee Loughridge centers on students at a high school for future assassins in the late 1980s.

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Comics A.M. | This weekend, it’s the Black Comic Book Festival

Black Comic Book Festival

Black Comic Book Festival

Events | The second annual Black Comic Book Festival will take place this weekend at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City. The lineup of guests includes Norwood Steven Harris, Grey Williamson and Tim Fielder. “It is the largest gathering of black comic book fans in the country,” says Schomburg Director Khalil Gibran Muhammad. “There is something for everyone from the aspirational 9-year-old illustrator, to the costumed superheroes, to the lifelong collectors.” [New York Daily News]

Creators | Ed Brubaker discusses the exclusive deal he and Sean Phillips signed with Image Comics, announced last week at Image Expo: ” It’s almost like having your own label or something. Just the fact that we can green-light our own projects and we have approval over format, everything. … I feel like we have such a core audience that seems to follow us from thing to thing, so let’s take advantage of that and really just experiment and go crazy and just be artists.” [IGN]

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The kids aren’t all right in Remender & Craig’s ‘Deadly Class’ #1

DeadlyClass01-tease

Image Comics has provided ROBOT 6 with a preview of Deadly Class #1, which is kind of like a John Hughes movie if The Breakfast Club kids were highly trained assassins. Set in the 1980s, Deadly Class tells the story of Marcus Lopez, who attends King’s Dominion High School, “the most brutal high school on Earth, where the world’s top crime families send the next generation of assassins to be trained.” At their heart, though, they’re still teenagers.

“These kids are ’80s kids, but the story of being a teenager is always the same,” said artist Wes Craig. “I mean, the styles change, but there’s always someone being picked on, someone who just got dumped, some girl spreading rumors about another girl, someone who’s having a party and someone who’s got a plan to get booze with a fake I.D. That’s where I can relate to the teenage stuff, because I went through that just like everyone else, and no matter how many years pass, it’s still easy for us to flash back to those experiences.”

Deadly Class is the second creator-owned series written by Rick Remender to debut from Image over the past couple months, following the fun Black Science. Craig is joined on art by colorist Lee Loughridge, and as you can see below the results are pretty phenomenal.

Deadly Class #1 hits stores Jan. 22.

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Preview | ‘Wolverine’ #1 and ‘Winter Soldier: The Bitter March’ #1

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With the debuts of Winter Soldier: The Bitter March, Rick Remender and Roland Boschi, and the relaunched Wolverine, by Paul Cornell and Ryan Stegman, quickly approaching, Marvel has supplied ROBOT 6 with exclusive new looks at pages from both comics.

The preview begins with a color splash page from Wolverine #1, previously released in black and white, and concludes with an action-packed (and snowy) two-page spread from Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #1, which kicks off the five-issue miniseries set during the 1960s.

Both comics arrive in February. See the full pages and solicitation text below.

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New glimpses of ‘Moon Knight, ‘All-New Ghost Rider’ and more

marvel-moon-knight1-cropped

While much of the comics industry is caught in that bubble between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso is busy tweeting sneak peeks at art from a handful of titles, including the debut issue of Moon Knight by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey.

Among the other offerings are pages from All-New Ghost Rider #2 by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore, Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #1 by Rick Remender and Roland Boschi, and All-New Invaders #2 by James Robinson and Steve Pugh. Check them out below.

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Wes Craig pulls back the curtain on ‘Deadly Class’ #1

deadly class1

I’ve become a bit fixated lately on the art of Wes Craig, known for his work on such titles as Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Adventures of Superman and Guardians of the Galaxy. I admit to being a bit late to the party though, only having discovered him through previews for Deadly Class, the upcoming Image Comics series that teams him with writer Rick Remender and colorist Lee Loughridge, so I’m playing a bit of catch-up.

The artist’s blog is, of course, a great place to go for that, with Craig lately offering a look at the page process for Deadly Class, from rough breakdowns to Loughridge’s colors to Rus Wooten’s letters. You can see Craig’s pencils Page 18 of Deadly Class #1 below, and the rest on his blog. The issue arrives Jan. 22.

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Comics A.M. | What the growth of tablets means for comics

comiXology

comiXology

Digital comics | Ethan Gach contemplates what the popularity of tablets means for the comics industry, with a particular focus on comiXology. He points out that the digital distributor offers not only bestsellers but also titles that appeal to a broader audience — and has brought success to some indie creators via its comiXology Submit program. [Forbes]

Academia | Tom Spurgeon talks to Professor Benjamin Saunders, director of the Comics & Cartoon Studies Program at the University of Oregon, which just received a major donation that will serve as an endowment for the program. [The Comics Reporter]

Manga | Kodansha will release a second printing of the January issue of Aria magazine, which features the debut of Hikaru Suruga and Gan Sunaaku’s Attack on Titan spinoff No Regrets. The first printing was five times greater than the magazine’s usual press run — Aria has a verified circulation of 13,667 copies — so with this new printing, the January issue will have 10 times the number of copies of the  average issue. [Anime News Network]

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Marvel alum James Viscardi launches comics podcast

lets talk comicsJames Viscardi may have left Marvel, but he’s clearly not finished with comics: The publisher’s former associate manager, sales & communications has launched his own podcast, the aptly titled Let’s Talk Comics.

Described as “a new podcast that aims to tell the origin stories of all your favorite creators in the comics industry,” it debuted this week with an in-depth discussion with Rick Remender, the writer and artist known for his work on titles ranging from Strange Girl and Fear Agent to Uncanny Avengers and Black Science (and I’m looking forward to his upcoming Image Comics series with Wes Craig, Deadly Class).

“Rick Remender is quite the journeyman when it comes to being a comic creator,” Viscardi writes in his introduction to the episode. “He’s drawn comics, he’s written comics, he’s worked in animation and he’s written video games. In today’s show, Rick and I go down memory lane and tell some pretty fascinating stories about life as an up and coming creator, how he broke into Marvel (twice), and how he’s somewhat associated with Meg Ryan!”

You can listen to the lengthy interview below.

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Comics A.M. | Graphic novel sales rise again in book market

The Walking Dead, Vol. 18

The Walking Dead, Vol. 18

Graphic novels | Graphic novel sales are up 6.59 percent in comics shops, and they are also up in bookstores, according to the latest issue of ICv2′s Internal Correspondence. Sales have been increasing in the direct market for a while, but this is the first uptick in bookstore sales since the economy crashed in 2008. There seem to be several factors, including the popularity of television and movie tie-ins — the success of DC’s graphic novel program linked to Man of Steel is singled out — and a turnaround in manga sales. The article winds up with lists of the top properties in a number of different categories. [ICv2]

Digital comics | Here’s today’s news article on Crunchyroll’s new digital manga service, which offers same-day releases of 12 Kodansha manga titles for free and an all-you-can-eat service for $4.99 a month. Tomohiro Osaki interviews Japanese publishing insiders, who are upfront about the fact that this is an attempt to compete with pirate sites, and translator Matt Thorn, who says that better translations on the official site may lure readers away from scanlations. [The Japan Times]

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Matteo Scalera, sketch machine

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These last few days, the good burghers of the Essential Sequential agency have been posting sketch after sketch by Italy’s Matteo Scalera to their Instagram account. Scalera might not be the biggest name in their stable of artists (which includes Dave Johnson, Andrew Robinson and Dan Panosian), but he’s producing stylish work, redolent of another couple of Essential Sequential artists, Eric Canete and Sean Gordon Murphy. I’d throw Declan Shalvey and Robbi Rodriguez in as another couple of touchstones, too. A little further digging reveals Scalera’s blog and his DeviantArt page are the places to find better-quality, less ruthlessly cropped, versions of these illustrations. His DeviantArt account reveals him to be an absolute sketch machine — he’s numbering them, and has reached 533.

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The Fifth Color | Different states of Captain America

Captain America #11

the cover to Captain America #11 by Carlos Pacheco

Everyone needs a little reinvention now and then. It’s human nature to take a look at ourselves and try on a different hat to see if it changes anything. Halloween, cosplay, even just a vacation to another place can be a way to escape the person we are now for the person we could be. Sometimes, the reinvention sticks; after all, none of us is who we were in high school. Sometimes it’s a terrible idea that we can pull ourselves out of, like a bad haircut. Either way, who we are remains essential while the trappings can change for a fresh perspective.

Comic characters need the same thing, much to our chagrin. Some of these heroes have been around for 60 or 70 years, so obviously they can’t be the same people they were in World War II. There have been cultural shifts that practically demand characters change to keep up with the times and standards; we just don’t call characters “Lass” or “Lad” anymore, and Sue Storm’s early Invisible Girl years can be embarrassingly sexist. Comic book characters have to retain their audience, if not attract a new one every generation, and a new costume can go a long way in creating a water mark for when fans started reading a particular title. Most of all, creative teams demand these changes as no one wants to write the same character over and over, year after year, without a chance to make their mark on the hero’s legend. And much like a bad haircut, sometimes these changes don’t go over very well with fans; this still does not change the character at heart.

It can be even more difficult when a comic book character is more than a hero, but a symbol of a country. Rick Remender and John Romita Jr. have brought us 10 issues of a new chapter in Captain America’s life and there has been so much change it might be hard to swallow. Because Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting were so wildly successful with their reinvention eight years ago, we’re having a hard time letting go of what was working for something new and decidedly different. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad haircut to be suffered through; if anything, a reinvention can help fans look at a beloved hero in a new way, just another facet of their history and character.

WARNING: We’ll be talking about the Marvel NOW! run of Captain America and, mostly spoilerly, Captain America #10 where a bunch of stuff happens. Grab your copies and read along!

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