As we’re on an unintentional licensing and merchandising spree, it seems only fitting to cap off the day with perhaps one of the stranger, but certainly most delicious, tie-ins: Red Robin’s Wolverine-themed hamburgers.
Not that Red Robin, although that would be wonderfully bizarre. No, this is the Colorado-based restaurant chain whose name is usually followed by “Yummmmm!“ (seriously, you can’t think “Red Robin” without hearing that in your head). The company has partnered with 20th Century Fox’s The Wolverine to create two gourmet burgers inspired by the film.
We’ve featured Brooklyn-based illustrator PJ McQuade before because of his frequently comics-friendly work. His latest piece, created for the MF Gallery’s 10th anniversary exhibition, is something of a show-stopper: a mash-up that seems to have struck McQuade purely because of the awesomeness of the sideburns on both Quint in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and Wolverine. Thinking about it, it was inevitable, really. The original painting is already sold, but you can buy a print of this from McQuade’s Etsy storefront.
My favorite part of the design is the tribute to that much-missed (by some of us nostalgic old farts, anyway) feature of old Marvel comics, the corner box. This lovingly rendered image of the late great Robert Shaw is also available from McQuade’s Etsy shop, if you’d like the disembodied head of a salty old sea dog semi-permanently staring you out from the cover of your laptop/dash of your speedboat/whatever. I know I do. And now I’ve got a mysterious longing for sushi, too.
While I’m not a big fan of the ubiquitous Wolverine, I am a follower of Jock, whose artwork on titles ranging from Hellblazer and The Losers to Green Arrow: Year One and Detective Comics has brought me great joy over the years (even when the story disappointed; I’m looking at you, Faker). So when it was announced last week that Jock will be tackling Marvel’s Savage Wolverine as artist and writer beginning in September, I knew immediately that I would be ignoring my reservations about the character and buying the three-issue arc.
As if my appetite needed further whetting, this afternoon Jock revealed on Instagram what I think is the first look at his story — in the form of a page layout. Now I really, really hope that when Marvel collects the arc, which apparently finds Logan in the far-flung future, the publisher includes the artist’s roughs as bonus material.
Just like “the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York City,” the Wolverine statue “would be a major boon for tourism in the city,” writes Brian LaBelle in his petition on Change.org. “It is also important because it is what is commonly referred to as a ‘catalyst project,’ meaning it will spur greater growth on the downtown of Alberta’s capital city and create numerous spin-off projects in much the same way that the X-Men comic book spun off dozens of other successful books.”
The petition couldn’t come at a better time, as there’s already a project happening to revitalize the downtown area of Edmonton — and build a new arena for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. A commenter suggests that perhaps the petition is a parody and “provides a clear example of how poorly conceived the current Arena deal with [Oilers owner Daryl] Katz is.” I can only hope that isn’t the case, as I’ve never been to Edmonton myself, but a statue of Wolverine would certainly be enough to get me to renew my passport and head north.
Marvel history is filled with grudges, the kind that aren’t settled with harsh words and tough love over warm tea. Nope, they’re settled with fists — or sometimes claws, hammers or psychic blasts. WeLoveFine celebrates three of these ongoing rivalries with some new shirts featuring playbills for the brawl-to-end-all: Professor X vs. Magneto, Thor vs. Loki and Wolverine vs. Sabretooth.
I have it on good authority that they’re hoping to do more of them, so who would you like to see next? Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus? Captain America vs. The Red Skull? Howard the Duck vs. Dr. Bong? Share your ideas in the comments section.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been playing Bioshock: Infinite lately, but the choice we make now can lead to infinite worlds of harder choices in the blink of an eye. There’s a philosophical weight to certain scientific theories that takes the dryness of numbers and calculations and puts them into context for who we are as human beings. One of science fiction’s many functions is to play around with that: Robots can be used as puppets to play out our feelings about our own humanity, the aftermath of post-apocalyptic nightmares can show us how societies work at the broken point, and then there’s time travel.
Oh, man, time travel is a huge trope for the deep thinkers! The infamous “go back in time in kill Hitler” question is still debated in classrooms to this day and bandied about online forums. It’s huge temptation to think that, by changing a single thing about our past, we could create a brighter future, whether that’s saving 11 million people or simply knowing where we put our keys in the morning. It’s something we can comfortably wonder about because no one on Earth is capable of actually traveling through time to change anything.
Comics, on the other hand, can and often do. There are time-travel powers, devices, plot elements … it’s a fun topic to explore, and so our heroes jump into the time stream with little time for debate or even a basic plan. This creates the action and adventure we came to read and allows the creative team to test out a variety of scenarios for our entertainment and enlightenment. We debate, but fiction can act.
Does this make comics smarter than us for acting on these ideas or are comics more frustrating for tossing caution to the wind when any of us would pause to understand if we were doing the right thing? This is why Age of Ultron bothers me so much.
WARNING: Big reveal from last week’s Age of Ultron #6, so grab your copies and read along!
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? It’s an abbreviated edition this week — maybe everyone’s doing their taxes, like I am today — so let’s just get to it …
Writer Paul Cornell and artists Alan Davis, Mark Farmer and Matt Hollingsworth waste no time dropping Wolverine into the thick of it in the latest first issue for Marvel’s merry claw-popping mutant. All is not as it seems when a father shopping for sneakers for his kid goes on a lethal rampage at the mall with a strange gun, leaving us with a naked Wolverine waiting for his healing factor to kick in … and that’s where we start the book.
Carla talked about Wolverine at length on Friday, and here are a few reviews from around the web to help you decide if the latest take on the character is worth your money — or if you should save it for a new pair of sneakers:
YouTube link-clicking has replaced channel-surfing in my house these days, so I happened upon this fantastic video from science guy Vsauce called “Is Your Red the Same As My Red?” It’s about color comparison, qualia, the explanatory gap and the theory of mind, and it’s a fantastic watch at around 10 minutes. So check it out when you’re in a Mr. Wizardy or Bill Nye-ish sort of mood and learn why painting a room with a spouse can become quite a challenge when no one can really explain what an off-white means to them.
This, of course, got me thinking about comics. Despite the basic “refracted light” of basic character bios, I’m pretty sure not every fan sees the same characters on the page. Our own influences, when we started reading, what popular culture was thinking at the time, there are so many exterior conditions that can bring a hero or villain to popularity or disuse that I can’t imagine what it’s like for the House of Ideas to try to single out a “new hit” to promote. Take Rogue, for example: At heart, she’s a scrappy Southern gal who can’t touch anyone for fear of draining their life force. Pretty basic, but when colored by the reader’s perception, this could be a metaphor for trauma survivors, an example of teenage physical anxieties, just a dangerous “bad girl” who tantalizes you by being actually physically dangerous, or a number of things. All of these reasons can catch the imaginations of fans and keep them reading, each for their own purposes.
Marvel has released a trailer for its mammoth Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection that’s amusing for its hyperbole and liberal use of “literally” as well as Lorraine Cink’s best “blue steel” poses. Although it falls short of the manic energy of a Billy Mays or Vince Offer infomercial, there are still some pretty good lines.
Of course, the 772-page $200 hardcover doesn’t really need a trailer — any die-hard Wolverine fan with the cash, arm strength and shelf space is already squirreling away the money for its June 5 release.
The tome collects Wolverine: Origin by Paul Jenkins and Adam Kubert, Wolverine: Weapon X by Barry Windsor Smith, Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, Wolverine: Not Dead Yet by Warren Ellis and Leinil Yu, Wolverine & The X-Men by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo, and single-issue stories by the likes of Dave Cockrum, Larry Hama, Jim Lee, Mark Millar and Kaare Andrews. Plus, there’s the cover by Billy Tan and the slipcase by Gabriele Dell’Otto.
Publishing | Dark Horse President Mike Richardson discusses how he became one of the first publishers of manga in the United States, explains how the company selects its titles, and suggests some manga for first-time readers. [Previews]
Digital comics | Retailer Ron Catapano points to the comiXology server crash triggered by the response to the free Marvel comics promotion as “the problem with digital content that fans keep complaining about”: “I can’t read the books I paid for because I can’t save them on my own computer and I’m limited in what I can save to my tablet by the small storage on tablets. Instead, the books I pay for are kept by comiXology and as long as I have a high speed internet connection available… I can log on and read my books on their web site or I can download a few to my tablet. BUT NOT TODAY … because someone decided it was a good idea to put 700 Marvel issue #1′s up for free at the same time.” [ICv2.com]
Booster Gold was introduced in 1986 as a glory-seeking time traveler eager to sign endorsement deals, and in his appearance on The CW’s Smallville wore a costume emblazoned with corporate logos, similar to a NASCAR racing suit. But what if other superheroes followed in Booster’s footsteps?
In his series “Sponsored Heroes,” Roberto Vergati Santos envisions costumed heroes from comics and films if they were getting some sweet, sweet sponsorship money from the likes of Nike, Apple and Coca-Cola (although why a cosmic entity like Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, would need corporate cash is beyond me).
Some of the results a much better than others. You can see a sampling below, or view the entire series at Behance.
Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. Below you’ll find a roundup for Marvel’s announcements from South by Southwest, our contributors’ picks of the comics of the week, and the top events to watch for in the next seven days.
Macedonian illustrator Marko Manev has designed minimalist superhero-themed posters before (check out his Watchmen and Marvel projects on Behance), but his latest series, Superhero Noir, is quite a step up from that work. These are powerful, cinematic, renditions of classic comic book heroes. No wonder these images are showing up all over the internet right now — they’re breathtakingly good, reminding you of how dramatic (or downright majestic) these characters can be when used right. No wonder that when the Bottleneck Gallery announced they were selling prints of a couple of these designs yesterday, they sold out in minutes.
In case his appearance in a half-dozen monthly titles and the upcoming films weren’t enough for die-hard fans, there’s always that massive Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection hardcover Marvel announced in December. Just how massive? Feast your eyes on the first images of the book, and pity poor editor Sana Amanat (above).
Weighing in at a whopping 16 pounds, the foot-tall collection is big enough to kill a fully grown man or, when stood open, to serve as shelter for a child. It apparently marks the debut of the “all-new Mighty Marvel Format,” which suggests completists may want to invest now in larger, reinforced shelves. Preferably, adamantium.