PREVIEWS: "Mighty Thor," "Star Wars," & More Marvel Comics On Sale February 17, 2016
Marvel movies sure have come a long, long way. We’re currently on the brink of a third incarnation of Spider-Man on the big screen. If things had played out a little differently, however, it could have been the fourth.
Back in the early 1990s, Carolco Pictures came incredibly close to producing a Spider-Man film that was written, directed, and produced by none other than James Cameron. In the end, financial and legal troubles, among other Hollywood hooha, kept the film from seeing the light of day. Fans have known about this obscure piece of comic film trivia for decades, but new slice of nostalgia recently surfaced via Imgur brings us back to a period of “What If…,” courtesy of Stan Lee himself.
In one of Lee’s classic Stan’s Soapbox pieces from the Bullpen Bulletin section that ran in the back of ’90s comics, Spider-Man’s co-creator sings the joys of signing the deals to bring Cameron onto the film. “So you can take this to the bank, Believer,” writes The Man, “SPIDER-MAN is destined to be the biggest, boldest, baaaaadest block-bustin’ bombshell of a super hero action extravaganza ever to hit the screen!” Well, almost anyway. Read the whole thing above.
Last week, we pointed out that Wes Craig’s variant cover for The Flash #44, celebrating the 75th anniversary of Green Lantern, featured one Galactus-sized cameo. Marvel has now returned the favor with an even subtler guest appearance on one of its own front splahses.
Alex Ross’ cover for Secret Wars #8 is a gorgeous work of art, with Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom clashing in the middle as reality rips and explodes around them. You can see the origin of the Hulk; the death of Elektra; the birth of Franklin Richards; and even a ride with the Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt, and, oh, let’s say the Dakota Kid. Down in the bottom left corner of the cover is, of course, Spider-Man. But this isn’t a depiction of just any old “Spider-Man on a radio tower” scene, and he’s actually not alone in that image.
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?
Congratulations, everyone! It’s a boy! Like, an actual boy: The newest actor to step into Peter Parker’s shoes is 19-year-old Tom Holland, the youngest Spider-Man yet (when cast at least, as he’ll probably be 20 or so by the time he shows up on screen).
The news has been met at my store with mixed “mehs.” Some are disappointed because Miles Morales won’t be appearing in his place, others are worried that we might have to sit through yet another origin story. Some are just put off by how young Holland looks. While there’s nothing fans can do to change the minds of studio executives, there’s still a chance that we might not have to watch Peter be bitten by a spider for any longer than an opening-credit sequence. It’s the teen years we’re really focusing on, and it can be such a sticking point with the discerning fan.
Why does Peter Parker always have to be a kid?
While those Catwoman sunglasses we showcased earlier this month are undeniably awesome, maybe they’re not quite your style. Perhaps while you’re lounging on the beach you prefer to imagine yourself in Themyscira or, I don’t know, Central City. No matter, now Sun-Staches has you covered.
The company that makes the sunglasses/mask combos has expanded its line of comic book-themed novelty eye wear to include Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, Robin and Poison Ivy. (There are also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but I’m not sure anyone over the age of 10 can get away with that.)
Legal | Inventor Stephen Kimble, who was dealt a final loss Monday by the Supreme Court in his years-long fight with Marvel over royalties for a Spider-Man toy, is of course disappointed by the 6-3 decision. However, he seems hopeful that there might be a legislative solution to the outdated patent law. “We can take this opinion, go to the legislators … and say, ‘Look, the court is saying that if this needs to be changed, you’re the guys to change it,’” he said. “And there is a huge body of evidence out there that this needs to be changed.” [Tucson Sentinel]
Manga | Kathryn Hemmann looks at the ways publishers courted female readers in the early days of manga, and how their strategies led to permanent changes in the comics landscape. [Contemporary Japanese Literature]
Parkour athlete Mike Wilson — better known as the Amazing Spider-Dad — made news last fall after delivering a special surprise on his son’s fifth birthday: dressing as Spider-Man and jumping from the roof of his Basingstoke, England home, as captured in a widely distributed video. His son, Jayden, was a major Spidey fan who had been diagnosed with a grade 4 brain stem tumor in 2013.
Jayden passed away last December, but Wilson is keeping his son’s memory alive in the form of an “Amazing Spider-Dad” short film. Starring Wilson, the film — sporting seriously impressive production values — ends with a similar scene as the original video, and narration with Spider-Dad crediting Jayden for his ability to perform paternal superheroics: “Whatever life holds in store for us, I’ll remember one little boy who inspired me to do great things. To help others, and surround myself with positive people.” Home video footage of Jayden plays in the midst of the credits.
Superman isn’t the only costumed hero getting his moment in Grand Theft Auto V‘s yellow sun: There’s now a Spider-Man mod that allows players to swing from building to building, killing people as they go (it is GTA, after all).
The man of (apparently) many costumes, Trevor Phillips can exchange Superman’s red-and-blue threads for Spider-Man’s, and use the grappling hook to rappel up and down walls, leap on top of cars and, yes, kill people. With great power … somethin’ somethin’.
Not even The Daily Bugle is immune to the financial troubles facing the newspaper industry, so it’s perhaps no surprise that Peter Parker has been forced to look for other, more reliable sources of income — namely, children’s birthday parties. However, as this video demonstrates, he may have been better off sticking to photojournalism.
Oh, it starts out well enough, with Spider-Man offering fist-bumps to receptive party-goers before launching into crowd-pleasing backflips. However, the wall-crawler quickly learns he can’t do everything a spider can, and knocks himself out cold on the floor. Although the children appear to think it’s all part of the act — note the birthday boy poking and kicking at him — thankfully a couple of adults realize that patented Parker luck has struck again.
The list of crimes involving people in Spider-Man masks is long and legendary, encompassing acts ranging from street brawls to convenience-store robberies. Let’s chalk it up to the widespread availability of Spider-Man costumes — he is, after all, one of the most popular and recognizable characters on the planet — and not a sign of a deeper sociological problem. Or, heaven forbid, damning evidence that J. Jonah Jameson has been right all along.
The latest entry on that web-covered tally comes from Powhatan, Virginia, where a man in a Spider-Man mask and his two bandana-wearing amazing friends — let’s call them Iceman and Firestar — ransacked a firearms dealer early Monday, making off with 30 guns.
There’s nothing worse than coming up after an exhausting day battling the forces of evil only to discover you can’t get to sleep. If counting Pokémon doesn’t do the trick, you may want to try one of these superhero sleep masks.
Sold by Shuba Gift Factory, each of the three masks in the “Heroes Never Sleeps!” series features a cartoonish depiction of a different superhero fighting slumber: Batman (complete with Bat-ears), who uses matchsticks to keep his eyes open; Spider-Man, who draws alert eyes on Post-It notes; and the Incredible Hulk, who resorts to tape.
In times of financial crisis, the world turns to colorful comic-book heroes and villains in this series by Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti.
For “Facebank,” Rabatti reworked graphic elements of banknotes from U.S., British and Chinese currency to merge George Washington and Mao Zedong to create Spider-Man, Queen Elizabeth II and Zedong to make Wolverine and Catwoman, and Abraham Lincoln and Zedong come together to form Batman, and so on. Clearly the takeaway here is that Mao Zedong is incredibly versatile.
Superheroes sprang from the era of pulp icons like The Phantom and Doc Savage, and now cartoonist Chris Schweizer has some of today’s most popular costumed characters back to their roots.
In a project undertaken just for fun, the creator of The Crogan Adventures imagined some of the Avengers and X-Men as they might’ve appeared in the 1920s and 1930s in a series called “Marvel Pulp.”
Disney and Marvel have reached a settlement with a Pennsylvania theater in a copyright- and trademark-infringement case that unexpectedly turned into another front in their legal battle with Stan Lee Media.
Law360 reports American Music Theatre has agreed to stop using Spider-Man and other Disney properties without permission, bringing to an end a September 2013 lawsuit over the musical revue Broadway: Now and Forever. If the Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based theater violates the permanent injunction and consent order filed Thursday, it must pay $25,000 in actual or liquidated damages per work, plus attorneys’ fees.
When the call went out at BoredPanda for readers to submit “a cute photo of your baby showing their (or their parents’) true nerdy colors,” I’m not sure anyone was prepared for the avalanche of adorableness about to be unleashed. Because, honestly, how could you be ready for an actual Baby Groot (who probably won’t be dancing for several months yet), or a pint-sized Ninja Turtle, complete with pizza slices?
While I’ve spotlighted many of the superhero-themed photos, the BoredPanda thread also features plenty of babies representing Harry Potter, Star Wars and video game fandom.