James Robinson's "Squadron Supreme" Takes Lethal, Pre-Emptive Action
Marvel is about to give people another artist to fall for in the pages of Hawkeye #8, arriving Feb. 27. This special Valentine’s Day issue by Matt Fractiona and Javier Pulido will have a guest star as young artist Annie Wu takes part in the issue, as recently announced on Twitter by editor Stephen Wacker. According to Wacker, the “outstanding” Wu will provide several illustrations for the issue, which promises “Valentine’s Day with THE heartthrob of the Marvel Universe? This will be… confusing. Xoxo, Hawkeye.”
Wu is short on actual published comics on her bibliography, but creators and fans up and down the aisle have been anxiously watching for more work for her. She did a short story in a 2011 issue of DC/Vertigo’s House of Mystery, and some fashion illustrations with comic sensibilities for magazines. Wu is currently a color designer for the animated series The Venture Bros., and is rumored to have been working on a long-form project for DC this past year. On her site you can see more of her work, from covers to the upcoming First Comics’ title Public Relations and excellent costume redesigns she did for Project: Rooftop.
Comic readers like underdogs, both in comics and in comics creators. They like to see someone start off small and build themselves up with achievements, skill and perseverance. In recent years we’ve seen a number of talents catch fire as they went from comics newbie to comics celebrity, from Nick Spencer to Becky Cloonan. Several years back there was one artist who was right on the cusp of breaking into the exclusive A-list level of creators who decided instead to leave for something else. But now he’s back.
Artist Damion Scott graduated from the Kubert School in the late 1990s with a full head of steam and took that to DC Comics, where he climbed the ladderr from 1999 to 2006, refining his style and defining his name on books like Robin and Batgirl. By the end of his run on Batgirl, he was seemingly ready to shine — and did so as the youngest artist picked to headline an issue of DC’s prestigious (but short-lived) Solo anthology. After that, he produced a miniseries featuring the Teen Titans’ Raven, and then … nothing. Well, nothing in the United States. In 2007, Scott moved to Japan to pursue commercial and fine art, doing magazine illustrations, street art and gallery shows. He made a rare cameo in American comics with a short for 2009’s Deadpool #900, but by and large this budding top talent was absent for four years. But last month Scott returned with the first of a two-part story in Marvel’s Web of Spider-Man featuring a group of street-level heroes from his native Brooklyn. And he’s not stopping there.
For this interview I exchanged emails with Scott for several weeks, with the artist writing from Tokyo and New York, where he divides his time. We talked about his return to American comics and his art in Japan, as well as his upcoming comic series Duppy.
Let’s not mince words, the online presence of Tom Brevoort has provided hours of great reading for Robot 6 readers. Given his constant and unflagging willingness to interact with consumers via social media, Brevoort is a quote machine (His Twitter bio? “A man constantly on the verge of saying something stupid–for your entertainment!?”). There’s always a directness (some would say bluntness) to his manner online–making him the ideal subject for an interview. Last year saw Marvel promote Brevoort to senior vice president for publishing. 2011 was a year of some major successes for Marvel, as well as a year where some hard business decisions were made. In this interview, conducted in mid-December via email, I tried to cover a great deal of ground (we even briefly discuss DC’s New 52 success)–and Brevoort did not hold back on any of his answers. For that, I am extremely grateful. Like any high profile comics executive, Brevoort has his fans and his critics (and many in between), but I like to think this exchange offers some perspectives everyone can enjoy.
Tim O’Shea: Whether it’s in your job description or not, fan outreach via social media is definitely part of your job–clearly by your own choice. What benefit or enjoyment do you get from interacting with the fans/consumers?
Tom Brevoort: I’m not sure that I get a particular benefit, except maybe just being the center of attention for a few minutes—maybe everything I do is motivated by ego! I’m a whore for the spotlight! But I started doing this kind of outreach back in the formative days of internet fandom, largely because I like the idea of internet fandom. I know that, if the internet had existed when I was a young comic book reader, I’d have been on those message boards and in those chat rooms all the time, obsessively—just like a certain portion of the audience today. So I like the idea of giving back, of being accessible enough that anybody who has a question or a concern knows where to find me, or at least to find somebody with an insider’s track who might have the background and knowledge to speak to their point. In a very real way, it’s all an outgrowth of what Stan Lee did in his letters pages and Bullpen pages. Joe Q, I think, was really the first person to perfect that approach for the internet age. As EIC he was incredibly available to the audience in a myriad of ways. It’s a philosophy that’s very much woven into our DNA at Marvel. And for the most part, our fans are interesting, vibrant, cool people, especially when you meet them in person.
This afternoon on Twitter, Marvel Editor Steve Wacker teased two pages of stunning art by Marco Checchetto from “the next Punisher.” Presumably that’s Issue 4, with writer Greg Rucka, which arrives Oct. 12. “Easily one of the best books around,” Wacker wrote. Check out both pages below.
Today marks the release of the second issue in writer Jen Van Meter and artist Javier Pulido’s four-issue Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat miniseries. I recently had occasion to email interview Van Meter about the project, the overall collaboration experience and transitions, as well as near-term Hopeless Savages (Oni) plans (plus heist genre recommendations and covert gardening tips). After you read the interview, please be sure to check out the seven-page preview that CBR posted last week.
Tim O’Shea: In prepping for this miniseries, did you go back and read past Black Cat appearances for background? Are there any writers in particular whose approach to the character appealed to you more than others?
Jen Van Meter: I spent the most time with the early Marv Wolfman material, honestly. I like to go back to the beginning whenever I’m asked to take on a character I don’t feel I know well. The things I loved about her, particularly in Amazing Spider-Man 195, were her fierce determination and her strength — the Femme Fatale stuff is there, but it’s really overshadowed by her toughness in his treatment of her. I looked at or revisited many other appearances and caught up on the most recent stuff, but I think I really relied on Wolfman the most to tell me who she is.
Tony Stark and Hal Jordan, together at last? Not quite: The big Iron Man/Green Lantern crossover plotted out by writers Matt Fraction and Geoff Johns yesterday exists only in their respective Twitter accounts. But still, it’s fun to read what the writers in charge of their respective universes’ cocky skirt-chasing sci-fi superheroes who are the basis of big blockbuster movies have to say about the two heroes meeting up.
Inspired by Fraction’s facetious tweets about the powers of each of the ten rings wielded by Iron Man villain the Mandarin (including making phone calls that never drop and the ability to TiVo three shows at once), Johns got the ball rolling. Below you’ll find their crossover conversation, tweaked slightly for clarity and featuring guest appearances by editor Steve Wacker and Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis…
Johns: @mattfraction What can the Mandarin’s rings do? Iron Man/Green Lantern xover…!
Fraction: @geoffjohns0 together, all of ‘em can save the direct market…! #LETSDOTHISTHING
Fraction [later]: wait weren’t me and @geoffjohns0 plotting our GreenLantern/IronMan xover in real tweettime? wasn’t mandarin getting a red ring or something?
Johns: Then Hal loses his ring, but finds one of Tony’s suits. And thinks it’s the coolest thing to ever pilot…
Fraction: Tony rebuilds a shattered power battery with repulsor tech and discovers he can make this weird ring do what he thinks…
Stephen Wacker: @GeoffJohns0 @mattfraction SinestrO.D.O.K.
Johns: And the SinestrO.D.O.K. Corps
Fraction: how big of a red ring would a red ring have to be to fit around fin fang foom’s neck like a collar? #blooddragon!!!AAIIEEEEEEEE
Johns: Fin Fang Foom you have great rage in your heart! Welcome to the Red Lantern Corps!
Fraction: “Pepper Potts, this is Carol Ferris. Carol, meet…”
Johns: “Hal? I was,um, just having a drink with…” “Tony. Tony Stark. I hear this ring belongs to you…but I can’t get it off.”
Johns: In the suit, Hal plays chicken with the Quinjet. The Avengers want to know who stole Tony’s armor.
Brian Michael Bendis: @GeoffJohns0 @mattfraction hey!! No quinjet or avengers unless i get some tie in/ spin off action!!
Johns: @BRIANMBENDIS @mattfraction Avengers/Green Lantern/Iron Man We last left Hal Jordan in Iron Man’s armor battling the Avengers…
Red Lantern Fin Fang Foom and the SinestrO.D.O.K. Corps alone make a real-world version of this imaginary crossover worth the price of admission, don’t you think?
Earlier this week I blogged about Erik Larsen’s comments on Amazing Spider-Man #583 and Savage Dragon #137 that appeared on the ComiCon.com message boards. If you haven’t seen those comments, go read them first before you read this post, as it’ll make more sense that way.
Everybody up to speed? Good. Here’s Spider-Man editor Steve Wacker, who sent us an email responding to Larsen: