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1. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

cover artLooking for an off the beaten path superhero comic? The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume One just might be the ticket. Squirrel Girl is in the Marvel Universe of comics and was actually first introduced back in 1991. Back then she was fourteen, in high school and crushing on Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), kind of scrawny and looked so 1990s. Thank goodness she has gotten an update! Current Squirrel Girl even comments on her past poor fashion choices.

Now heading off to college Squirrel Girl, also known as Doreen Green, is a full-bodied young woman. Her

Original Squirrel Girl - scary!

Original Squirrel Girl – scary!(credit)

tail is much fluffier and squirrelier, she has a much better outfit and she no longer has black diamonds around her eyes that make her look like an evil clown. She wears a squirrel ears headband, acorn earrings, has a bit of a buck-toothed smile and her squirrel friend Tippy-Toe wears a pink bow around her neck. When Squirrel Girl is incognito as Doreen, she tucks her tail into her pants which gives her a rather round and pronounced booty, much to her delight.

Technically, Squirrel Girl falls into the mutant class of superheroes but doesn’t want to have anything to do with the X-Men. She is half squirrel, half girl which means she has the proportional speed and strength or a squirrel. She also speaks squirrel and she and Tippy-Toe are frequently helped by their squirrel friends when fighting evil.

Doreen is majoring in computer science at college and her first day there doesn’t quite go as planned. her roommate is ok but when they go to orientation Doreen doesn’t get a chance to sign up for a single club because she has to rush out in order to save the earth from being destroyed by Galacticus, Devourer of Worlds.

Squirrel Girl is confident, smart, sassy, and fun. Being part squirrel she kind of acts like one, zipping here and there, never staying still for more than a minute or two and constantly chattering about something. She is strong but she is not the kind of superhero who solves things by throwing punches. She is tricksy and in fact manages to defeat Galacticus by turning him into a friend.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is not a thinker. There are no lessons to be learned. It is nothing but pure frenetic squirrel entertainment. I enjoyed the comic so much that my antipathy for real-life squirrels may have slipped a little. I’m not about to run out to the garden and try to make friends with them, only, perhaps, I can appreciate their daredevil antics a little more than I did before.


Filed under: Books, Graphic Novels, Reviews Tagged: Iron Man, squirrels, Tony Stark, X-Men

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2. The Year Ahead: What Marvel Needs to Do to Stay All-New and All-Different in 2016

avengers-the-contest-featured1-642x362Marvel’s 2015 is best boiled down to one core idea that influenced the entire line: Secret Wars. For the most part, the event was successful, and sold gangbusters in spite of production delays.  Several promising concepts from the event and its tie-ins made it into the mainstream Marvel Universe, giving the re-launch a unique flavor that […]

5 Comments on The Year Ahead: What Marvel Needs to Do to Stay All-New and All-Different in 2016, last added: 1/6/2016
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3. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Paul Smith

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This week we celebrate the artwork of comics legend Paul Smith! The 600th issue of Uncanny X-Men hit the stands this week and I was very pleased to see that Smith contributed one of the variant covers for this landmark issue. X-Men was really the reason I got into comics as a kid. In fact the very first comic I picked up and read(besides the Bob’s Big Boy comics they used to give away when you ordered a kid’s meal..) was Uncanny X-Men #166 with that glorious Paul Smith cover of The X-Men battling the Brood!

A good friend of mine at the time(probably ’83/’84) had an older brother who collected comics and he had an big, old chest full of them(no bags ‘n boards, mind you..). So, when I’d go over there for a sleep-over, I’d get to rummage through his treasure trove of funny-books and then pull a few out for some late-night sleeping bag reading! Those Paul Smith issues of X-Men were truly magical, and always will be to me. There have been many great artists to work with Chris Claremont on his classic X-Men run, including legends like Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, Terry Austin, Bob Wiacek, John Romita Jr, Barry Windsor Smith, Arthur Adams, Alan Davis, Jim Lee, etc. etc, but for me, my favorite X-Men artist will always be Paul Smith. 

Smith is mostly a self-taught artist. He worked as an animator on Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings and American Pop before working at Marvel Comics in the early 1980’s. After establishing himself on titles like X-Men, Doctor Strange, and Marvel Fanfare, Smith would go on to do more independent, critically acclaimed series like Leave It To Chance and The Golden Age, both with writer James Robinson. He continues to work in mainstream comics for special projects, and cover illustrations, while also staying very busy with private commission work.

The best place to get updates on what Paul Martin Smith(PMS) is up to and to see more art is on his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

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4. Marvel Teases New 2016 X-Event: APOCALYPSE WARS

4be83bc62caceMarvel reportedly announced X-Men: Apocalypse Wars, a brand new crossover event, at Comic Con Experience 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Newsarama originally ran the story and attendees at the show got a first glimpse of the logo for the upcoming 2016 X-Men event. Sources from Newsarama say that Marvel talent manager Ricky Purdin was on the scene.  According to […]

1 Comments on Marvel Teases New 2016 X-Event: APOCALYPSE WARS, last added: 12/4/2015
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5. Marvel lifts The Apocalypse Wars Curtain: New info on Uncanny, All-New and Extraordinary X-Men

apocalypsewarslogo-162411Marvel has finally lifted the curtain on the upcoming X-Men event, entitled The Apocalypse Wars. The publisher provided more details about the story after cryptically announcing it at Comic Con Experience 2015 with nothing to show but a logo. Thankfully, we now have confirmation that the story will spring from Cullen Bunn’s upcoming Uncanny X-Men. The news didn’t stop there, as […]

2 Comments on Marvel lifts The Apocalypse Wars Curtain: New info on Uncanny, All-New and Extraordinary X-Men, last added: 12/13/2015
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6. The first trailer for X-MEN: APOCALYPSE has arrived

xmenheaderYour first look at Bryan Singer's latest go-round with the Children of the Atom.

1 Comments on The first trailer for X-MEN: APOCALYPSE has arrived, last added: 12/11/2015
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7. What is Happening with the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties at Marvel Licensing and Publishing?

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‘What’s going on with the X-Men and the Fantastic Four comics’ is the question ringing in the ears of astute comic book fans. Since Marvel owns the films rights to many of their own characters, they continue to publish comics for most of their marquee characters. Unfortunately, Marvel does not own the film rights to the Fantastic Four and X-Men. With the House of Ideas getting ready to prime a massive new Avengers team announced far in advance of the roster taking shape in current continuity, fans are wondering about the current slate of publishing announcements regarding the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters. Nearly a year ago today, Marvel Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort chimed in on the with the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises coming to an end with this quote from his Formspring blog:

We are publishing FANTASTIC FOUR. Next month, we will be publishing FANTASTIC FOUR. A year from now, assuming that it’s still selling well, we will be publishing FANTASTIC FOUR. Given enough time, anything can happen—we went a couple of years, for example, without a THOR series, as well as a year and a half with FF, AVENGERS, CAP and IRON MAN not being a part of the Marvel Universe. So anything can happen. But it probably won’t.

Marvel could very well be close to the announcement of a brand new comic published with the Fantastic Four or X-Men, but at the moment, we only know that these two titles are in limbo. Author Brian Michael Bendis is leaving the X-Men titles, which means much of the line will cease publication following the monumental issue #600 (as far as we know.) The Fantastic Four main title has concluded as well, even though key characters (from that slate of properties) are involved in Marvel’s Secret Wars. A fan asked Tom Brevoort about the state of the X-Men currently, this is what he had to say almost a year after the previous statement:

If you had two things, and on one you earned 100% of the revenues from the efforts that you put into making it, and the other you earned a much smaller percentage for the same amount of time and effort, you’d be more likely to concentrate more heavily on the first, wouldn’t you?

As noted by Business Insider, Marvel did kill Wolverine — even if they are still publishing the Old Man Logan title — the main Wolverine character is not alive (for now in 616 continuity.) Amazon also shared a listing from a poster with Marvel characters updated for this calendar year of publishing.

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Marvel has also replaced the Secret Wars characters from the following two shirts removing the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters from classic covers. We took this image listing from Amazon, which features the Human Torch notably absent in the red flame streak burning in the background of the cover.

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This shirt has Iron Fist and Luke Cage front and center (among others) instead of including the marquee heroes first involved in the event all those years ago. The Secret Wars branding is off of the t-shirt, but the art is repurposed from the original cover.

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The Fantastic Four and X-Men are noticeably absent. I would like to rephrase the question asked a year ago involving this piece stating: what would Ben Grimm do?

6 Comments on What is Happening with the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties at Marvel Licensing and Publishing?, last added: 6/6/2015
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8. Rupert Wyatt to Direct the Gambit Movie

Gambit (GalleyCat)20th Century Fox has brought on Rupert Wyatt as the director for the Gambit film adaptation.

The movie studio has set the release date for October 07, 2016. Channing Tatum will play the titular role and serve as a producer on this project.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Gambit (a.k.a. Remy Etienne LeBeau) “has the ability to charge objects with energy (his favorite being playing cards), rendering them explosive.” This mutant character originates from the X-Men comic books. (via The Indiewire Blog)

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9. XTRA XTRA: Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos lead the Extraordinary X-Men

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With author Brian Michael Bendis leaving the X-Men franchise via Uncanny X-Men #600, Marvel fans have been waiting for the announcement of the next creative team on the title. Now, the wait is over as the House of Ideas has revealed writer Jeff Lemire, penciller Humberto Ramos and colorist Edgar Delgado as the next team for the upcoming All-New, All-Different X-Men title: The Extraordinary X-Men. We asked Lemire about the prospects of writing the X-Men just last week in our exclusive interview with the creator — read what he had to say.

Many of the plot details in the comic are shrouded in mystery surrounding of Secret Wars. However, Lemire revealed that the story is spinning a stronger relationship between the X-Men and Inhumans — the Terrigen Mists will play a role in the story. Also, Cyclops and many of the main cast members appear to be missing from the traditional X-Men roster.

The new line-up sees a team without the more traditional versions Wolverine or Cyclops — that’s where Old Man Logan comes in with the eXtra eXperience. Storm is leading the Extraordinary X-Men in the place of the absent Wolverine. The All-New X-Men of the time displaced future are still represented in the title through Jean Grey. The adult Ice Man is gracing the team alongside the traditional versions of Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Magik. CBR announced the news and shared an exclusive interview with Lemire.

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Here’s Lemire talking to CBR about the origins of the phrase “Extraordinary”:

We wanted something new that hadn’t been used before and “Extraordinary” almost felt like one of those ones where we couldn’t believe no one had done a book called “Extraordinary X-Men” before.

The author chimed in on how he feels about his past work intercut with this current feelings on the X-Men franchise:

I think in the past I got too focused on plot and lost characters a bit in the other team books. There’s a tendency to have plot plot plot, insert character moment here. For the X-Men, I’m approaching it much more where the whole book is a character moment with action stuff interspersed, kind of the reverse of that.

No release date has been announced for the title. Stay tuned to The Beat, as more Marvel information is set to be revealed this week.

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10. SDCC ’15 Jonathan Storm Melts the Uncanny Inhumans Panel

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Marvel gave a little more context on the recently announced All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe during the Uncanny Inhumans panel (which was also heavy on X-Men news.) In attendance during the panel was a fan dressed up in a Medusa outfit who snagged a picture with Marvel Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso before he took the stage proper — followed by The Uncanny Inhumans title Charles Soule, who did the same before stepping to the stage. Jeff Lemire graced the stage alongside Cullen Bunn and Humberto Ramos. The panel was moderated by Sales Communication and Event Coordinator Jake Friedfeld.

IMG_2193The first announcement of the panel was Uncanny X-Men #600 slated for October 7th, an important issue that is set to finish off previous writer Brian Michael Bendis’ last issue. A new volume of All-New X-Men is launching this fall with Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley, featuring the young mutants trying to find peace in the post-(Cylops getting the phoenix again and making everything terrible)X-Men world.

Extraordinary X-Men #1 is slated for October 14th, as Lemire noted he was really excited about the new direction of the book. Storm is confirmed to lead the team and “carry on the dream of Professor Xavier.” Lemire teased a “a ton of surprises” coming to the book. He also explained that new twists on familiar relationships were established in the relationship forming between Old Man Logan and Jean Grey. Soule stepped in and praised a moment between Colossus and Magik.

Jeff Lemire thought his Old Man Logan series starting this fall will be “pretty cool.” Fans can see the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe through the “eyes of an outsider” when Old Man Logan debuts later on in the fall. A new cover was shown off for All-New Wolverine by Bengal the comic is being written by Tom Taylor and drawn by David Lopez — the new book is shipping on October 7th.

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The brand new Uncanny X-Men comic was given the spotlight from Cullen Bunn and Greg Land. “It’s a dangerous time for mutants” said Bunn noting that he wanted to put a team together to fight off the dangerous world that the team inhabit. The team includes: Mystique, Sabretooth, Psylocke, Fantomex and Magneto. Fans received clarification that Sabretooth is retaining the good alignment.

Then…author Jeff Lemire stated something surprising: “Hey Cullen how does it feel knowing that Magic could kick everyone’s ass on your team.” The panelists shared a laugh, and Cullen Bunn retained a sense of good humor in his response.

A really quick mention of Deadpool was followed up by the big Karnak series from Warren Ellis and Gerardo Zaffino coming on October 7th. Alonso stated that editor Nick Lowe was the Warren “Ellis whisperer” at Marvel — able to get the writer on the title.

The Uncanny Inhumans is launching this fall starring the creative team of author Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven. “After Death of Wolverine we were sort of looking for the next thing to do” said Soule “and they brought us the Uncanny Inhumans.” With the fallout of the terrigenesis crystals following the events of Infinity, the author noted that the Inhumans could be hiding in this very Comic-Con panel! Also referenced was The Uncanny Inhumans #0 issue will lead into the upcoming Uncanny Inhumans story. A fan asked about the disappearance of Cyclops and Emma Frost. Lemire stated that there is a reason for Cyclops’ absence as one the most prominent missing mutants.

Another fan questioned if Gordon hailing from the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series would return to the comics. Soule stated that while he was excited that the character made the transition into the comics medium, he didn’t have any upcoming plans for the transmedia hero.

Soule teased a new relationship with Johnny Storm and Medusa — which is made more complicated regarding Johnny Storm’s past relationship with Medusa’s sister Crystal. Soule explained that he has written Storm into many upcoming scripts of the title and that he’s excited to script the sequence in which Crystal discovers the new relationship of Medusa and Storm.

A fan questioned where the Fantastic Four characters are in the Marvel Universe not including Storm. “Don’t believe everything you hear on the internet” stated Alonso.

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11. Bryan Singer Plans to Make a Team Up Team Up out of X-Men and the Fantastic Four

If Fox had a house motto, it would be: “we do not sow. Now let us spit on your Quicksilver, Marvel.”

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Bryan Singer loves a few things.  Director’s Cuts, long walks on the beach, and movies centered around Time Travel, to name a few.  Now we can add crossovers to that list as well.  In an interview with Yahoo, Singer confirmed that he’s working with Fox to bring together comics’ first family with comics’ greatest (but maybe not greatest) racial allegory.  How will they meet up, you ask?

Singer says:

“It deals with time. That’s all I’m going to say.”

Of course it does.

2 Comments on Bryan Singer Plans to Make a Team Up Team Up out of X-Men and the Fantastic Four, last added: 7/24/2015
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12. Weekend Wrap Up: “Omega Men” No Longer Cancelled, X-Men Facing a Slow Death, and More

This weekend turned out to be a very busy one for comics news.  As our chief steward, Heidi MacDonald, takes a well deserved rest this morning following the conclusion of Small Press Expo, let’s take a look at some of the big breaking stories from the last few days. Omega Men Lives When we broke […]

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13. Are Fox and Marvel finally striking some deals? Rumors abound!

Yesterday, it was announced that Fox, who holds the film rights for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, struck an agreement with Marvel in order to pursue their long held goal of putting another X-Men television series back on the screen. The last time this occurred in live action, it gave us such works of […]

2 Comments on Are Fox and Marvel finally striking some deals? Rumors abound!, last added: 10/15/2015
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14. Marvel Marvels, Announces HYPERION, NIGHTHAWK, X-MAN Series

Marvel announced a ton of books this morning. The rumored second Iron Man ongoing just wasn’t enough for the publisher it seems — they also included a new take on the Punisher and ongoings for three obscure heroes; Hyperion, Nighthawk and an X-Man?   First up, the publisher debuted a solo ongoing series for Hyperion, a character that […]

0 Comments on Marvel Marvels, Announces HYPERION, NIGHTHAWK, X-MAN Series as of 10/23/2015 4:35:00 PM
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15. Wondercon ’14: 20th Century Fox Presentation

Maze RunnerFox pictures have a number of exciting movies coming out this year, spanning a number of different audiences.

Guest moderator Ralph Garman introduced the first movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2. Director Dean DeBlois and surprisingly Jay Baruchel (voice of Hiccup) took to the stage. After showing a completed first five minutes of the movie (which looked fantastic by the way) DeBlois elaborated that this second film of what is to be a trilogy takes place five years after the first movie, showing how our characters and the village have both grown and learned to make living with dragons part of their daily lives. “We also see that Stoick (Hiccup’s father) has changed from seeing his son as an embarrassment, to becoming an overly proud dad that has high hopes for his son. Hiccup can’t deal with these aspirations.” And we’ll be introduced to a new villain, Drago Bludvist, and how he plans to put a permanent wedge between the humans and dragons. How to Train your Dragon is coming to theatres June 13th.

Following next, Ralph Garman introduced the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to the stage. Director Matt Reeves, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, and Andy Serkis. “This movie follows years after the virus is released from the first movie and humans are extinct, or that they are thought to be,” says Matt. “We see that Caesar now is the leader of his tribe, and he has a family; a wife, one teenage son and a new baby.”

As it later introduced into the film that humans are still alive, it creates a conflict between the two species and inside Caesar himself. “Caesar is an ape, but he also had a human dad,” explained the director. “And he knows how it is to lose someone you love, so he’s empathetic to the survivors. He has to walk a fine line between his feelings and keeping his tribe together. And we see how there was a possibility that two could have lived together, but of course we all know what happens. That’s not a surprise.”

After watching the short movie clip they show us and listening to the discussion of the internal struggles on both the important parties of the movie, it’s difficult to decide who you want to root for. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be seeing theatres this July 11th.
Based off the widely popular young adult book by the same name, Maze Runner is what I see as a futuristic Lord of the Flies. This movie adapted by James Dashner’s book has all the makings of the next Hunger Games, by which I mean futuristic technology set in a forest setting, and the murder of teenagers. The movie does have some exciting action shots for those who like to run and fight, thrown in with a lot of CGI.

Presenting the movie were the director Wes Ball, author James Dashner, actor Will Poulter, and actor Dylan O’Brien (made famous by the series Teen Wolf). The author confessed that for his book a number of influences were the book Ender’s Game, the book Lord of the Flies, the show Lost, and his fear of mazes. “Remember in the Shining with the maze scene? Mazes creep me out. If you’ve ever been in a corn maze then you know.” The anticipated Maze Runner will be out September 19th of this year.

Moderator Ralph Garman introduced a last minute addition into the screening lineup. Coming out this fall is a spy movie called Secret Service. Its notable actors are Colin Firth (famous for many things including his portrayal of Mister Darcy in a BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice) and Samuel L. Jackson who will be playing the villain in this movie. Its setting is somewhere in the U.K., and the premise is that it deals with an organization that is funded by private investors as to not be hampered by politics and bureaucracy. The action sequences appear to be a faster paced Avengers, and technology stolen by Spykids. Still a work in progress.

And finally, what the Arena seemed to be waiting the most for, Ralph Garman introduced X-Men: Days of Future Past. The extended trailer and snippet of the movie looked beautiful and action packed. Unfortunately as a last minute change up, director Bryan Singer didn’t show (for reasons I’m sure we all know), but in his stead we had writer Simon Kinberg. He elaborated on things in the movie spanning from the politics in the 70’s, art styles of the bleak future and bright past, and as well as the convoluted concept of time travel. “Even though in the original comic that the movie is based off of they had Kitty go back in time, we decided that Wolverine worked better. James Cameron really helped us with the idea of time travel and how it scientifically would work, so you’ll see a lot of that in the film.”

In part of his final words, Simon Kinberg also added that he hopes this movie will make up for the failures of the 3rd X-Men movie, which was based off of the Dark Phoenix comic arc. X-Men: Days of Future Past will be out May 23rd; Not soon enough.

2 Comments on Wondercon ’14: 20th Century Fox Presentation, last added: 4/21/2014
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16. C2E2: Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez on Storm Solo Series

It’s happening, hurrah! Marvel have today announced the news that Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez will be the creative team for a Storm ongoing series. Starting this July, the series will see the character take off around the world on a one-woman peacekeeping mission. She’ll be toppling corrupt governments, stopping natural disasters – it sounds like she’ll be literally the greatest hero on the planet.

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The series is set around the idea that the character – who has never had an ongoing series before, can you believe it – will be going proactive. Whereas for Cyclops and Wolverine this meant forming murder-teams and messing everything up, Storm’s mission is to help the planet in every way she can. By reaching her fullest potential and helping mankind, she’ll provide herself as a sort of mutant icon for everybody to look up to. And, when your idol is a mutant, it becomes a lot harder to be, y’know, anti-mutant.

2 Comments on C2E2: Greg Pak and Victor Ibanez on Storm Solo Series, last added: 4/27/2014
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17. Marvel Teases X-Men ’92, One More day and yet more events of the past

x men 92 111328 Marvel Teases X Men 92, One More day and yet more events of the past

Let me see, we kind of left off last week’s parade of Marvel event teasers, as it was beginning to get a little same-old, same-old, but here’s one that  got hearts pounding on a Monday morning,  a call back to the 1992 animated show that—along with Batman: The Animated Seris—helped start the whole  of the comics industry. Or as Comicbook.com wrote:

Marvel has released their latest teaser image exclusively to Comicbook.com, offering the possible return of the early 90’s-era X-Men team. Anchored by Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Jubilee, Beast, Jean Grey, and lots (and lots) of pouches, the X-Men of the early 90s were one of the franchise’s most prevalent in pop culture. X-Men #1, published in 1991, still holds the world record for the highest-selling comic with almost four million copies sold, and X-Men the animated series, which ran from 1992 to 1997, still remains a fan-favorite take on the characters.

I’m sure you can hear the theme music now¯ esp. that”Whoop whoop whoop” at the end.

 

Last week MArvel released several other past event teasers, calling back to One More Day, Age of Apocalypse, Future IMperfect and even AvX, which is barely dry in our minds eye.

As you may recall, all of this is believed to be a teaser for next summer’s Secret Wars event which will bring back various Marvel universes to battle one another, just as DC’s newly announced Convergence event is expected to present THEIR multiverses in the arena.

Secret Wars vs Convergence — which side are YOU on?

 

Avengers vs. X Men 2015 Marvel Teases X Men 92, One More day and yet more events of the past Amazing Spider Man Renew Your Vows 2015 Marvel Teases X Men 92, One More day and yet more events of the past Future Imperfect 2015 Marvel Teases X Men 92, One More day and yet more events of the past Age of Apocalypse 2015 Marvel Teases X Men 92, One More day and yet more events of the past

 

 

5 Comments on Marvel Teases X-Men ’92, One More day and yet more events of the past, last added: 11/4/2014
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18. Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men: The Black Vortex

Guardians of the Galaxy X Men The Black Vortex Alpha d9a4c 674x1028 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Cover for Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha #1

Hitting stores next month is Marvel’s latest cross-over between the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy: “The Black Vortex”, just 12 months after 2014’s “Trial of Jean Grey” which brought together these two Brian Bendis written teams for the first time.  For this event, Bendis is following the lead of Sam Humphries, writer of The Legendary Star-Lord, who is the “showrunner” for this event which sees the two teams cross paths thanks to a powerful artifact (the entitled Black Vortex). This event, which begins in an Alpha issue written by Humphries, then spreads to titles like All New X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Legendary Star-Lord, Nova, Captain Marvel, Cyclops and other series. Both creators joined the comics press today on a call to discuss the upcoming event, how it impacts each team going forward, and to elaborate on just how central the new-found relationship between Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde is within the pages of the event.

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: Black Vortex Alpha #1 Interior Art by Ed McGuinness

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: Black Vortex Alpha #1 Variant, Art by Alexander Lozano

“The Black Vortex” was born out of the regular Marvel retreats that occur among its key writers and editors, says Humphries: “This grew bigger and more exciting as we shared it with our colleagues at retreats and in Editorial…It became clear that this was an event-caliber story.” The writer stated that it was his hope to challenge the Guardians, the current “it” property at Marvel, on a level on which they hadn’t yet been. The Black Vortex, as an object, has been appearing in Humphries’ run on The Legendary Star-Lord, but expressed that this escalation called for a number of great writers to work on the concept and that scribes like Bendis, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Gerry Duggan all stated their desire to be involved in the project, and that they each had their own unique take on the concept for their given titles. Humphries also mentioned that there are big Captain Marvel and Nova moments in the story, the latter hitting a rather funny note for the character.

Bendis also made mention of the artistic talent involved, from Ed McGuinness (who is the artist on Black Vortex Alpha #1) to All-New X-Men artist Andrea Sorrentino, who is freshly joining Marvel after an incredible stint on Green Arrow. Bendis says the cosmic landscape is what really drew them in: “The artists are given the freedom within the story to express themselves. This gave us an opportunity to give quite a handful of artists who were itching for their chance to let go cosmically their chance.”

And speaking specifically about Sorrentino, Bendis shared:

You just write your ass off and then you just let him do what he’s going to do because it’s almost indescribable what he does. You just get out of his way and let it happen…it’s so exciting when the pages come in. Every artist in the group is like that. When you go into an event – even when it’s an artist you’ve worked with – there’s something about how an artist will take the opportunity to draw bigger. After an intimate storyline, they feel when they’re drawing an event.

On the subject on Sorrentino, Bendis also stated that he and the artist already have their next project lined up and compared working with the artist to his acclaimed runs with Alex Maleev, David Mack and Bill Sienkiewicz.

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

All New X-Men #38 Interior Art by Andrea Sorrentino

The concept behind The Black Vortex itself is that when characters come into contact with it, they become cosmically empowered, in much the same way that Jean Grey became empowered by the Phoenix Force, and Norrin Radd obtained the Power Cosmic. With certain characters obtaining this power, they also were given new designs by McGuinness, speaking on that topic, Humphries said:

I’m convinced that Ed McGuinness found the Black Vortex when he was a teenager, and that’s why he’s such an amazing artist…He didn’t just come back with new costumes. He came back with new character twists and new powers…what he delivered was so compelling and intriguing that I ended up rewriting part of the outline to give it more focus…you want to get more in their mindset and see what kind of havoc they’re going to wreak on the cosmic landscape.

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: Black Vortex Alpha #1 Interior Art by Ed McGuinness

The impetus of the story, according to Humphries, is that Peter Quill’s father (Mr. Knife aka J’Son of Spartax), has been amassing a number of cosmic forces, and seeing himself as an “empire builder”. As a consequence of that, Quill, and his new love interest Kitty Pryde, are drawn into the power of the mysterious title object and call upon the X-Men for help. On this note Bendis said:

I don’t know if it’s the Claremont influence…but the X-Men every so often have to take an adventure that goes beyond their typical scope. But for a return trip, I didn’t want to do a “Trial of Jean Grey” sequel. I wanted to do something new if we were going to go back out there

Bendis stated that he wanted to be part of a story that had a big impact on the characters and both he and Humphries assured that not all the players in this event would land back in the place they started. Bendis particularly singled out one X-Man:

Hank McCoy is one of these characters that struggles with being the smartest man in the room, and this is a perfect example of a character that will altered because of his experience with the Black Vortex, this is something that will change the character dramatically.

Bendis also added that McCoy would obtain knowledge of a cosmic and universal nature.

According to the writers, “The Black Vortex” also leads right into Secret Wars, indicating that perhaps even bigger changes are on the horizon for Marvel’s heroes.

At this point, press questions were asked, the first among them being how the relationship between Kitty Pryde and Peter Quill affected the story given the positive reaction from fans, to which Bendis responded:

It doesn’t alter what we do with it. We have to tell the stories that the characters dictate to us, but when there’s a response like this it makes me happy…when you write relationship stuff, you’re revealing things about yourself in there…and when you put your ass out there a little bit, you want people to respond favorably to it and not go ‘Eww!’ That inspires us to go forward, but I don’t think we’d stop if we weren’t getting this response.

On whether the younger “All-New X-Men” will have a different reaction to the Black Vortex than their older counterparts, Bendis replied:

Jean Grey damn well knows what happens to her when she grows up. She knows EVERYTHING. But others are on a path – like Beast – of desperately looking for knowledge and power. And just because this power is offered, it doesn’t mean every character will have a horrible price to pay. Some will get a power up. So the X-Men are coming at it young and raw…there are also other characters, like Angel, who has his own experience with a dark power.

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Guardians of the Galaxy 24 Interior Art by Valerio Schiti

The heavy Jim Starlin influence of McGuinness’ redesigns was brought up, to which Humphries responded that the artist was great fit for the task from the get-go and that McGuinness “knows the history of the cosmic stuff, and while that wasn’t something they specifically through at him (the Starlin-like look)…you could see the electricity jumping off those designs”.

Bendis also drew a very strong connection between both teams when asked about the challenges of bringing the two teams together:

There’s a connection of spirit there. They’re oddballs. Even the Guardians are the oddballs of the universe…these characters see themselves as outsiders looking in and unique. Sometimes it’s great to be unique, and sometimes it’s f***ing depressing to be unique.

He also admitted that getting the X-Men into space and on the same playground as the Guardians was the toughest task by far.

Finally the topic of possible mainstream response to their work was broached, particularly given the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy film this past year. Humphries said that he’s encountered readers who came to his work via the film, as well as the Rocket Raccoon and Guardians title, and that they liked “what they saw in the movie and they were ecstatic to find more that they could read without having to wait for the sequel.”

And Bendis was quick to mention that fans realize that the only place you’ll currently see the Guardians and X-Men cross-over is in the comics, and that adds an exciting element to what “The Black Vortex” offers, particularly for new readers and that it’s “exciting and an honor to be delivering that to readers who want it”.

Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha #1 releases on February 4th.

The below designs are all created by Ed McGuinness

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Cosmically Enhanced Drax Design

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Cosmically Enhanced Ronan Design

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Cosmically Enhanced Beast Design

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Cosmically Enhanced Gamora Design

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Cosmically Enhanced Drax Design Close-Up

 

 Bendis and Humphries delve into Guardians of the Galaxy and X Men: The Black Vortex

Cosmically Enhanced Nova Design

 

 

 

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19. X-Cessive Much? Fox Reveals an X-Men TV Show is Entering Negotiations

x cited 300x169 X Cessive Much? Fox Reveals an X Men TV Show is Entering NegotiationsHow many superhero television shows can launch before our brains collectively X-plode? Fox is challenging our expectations by confirming the company is actively looking into making an X-Men television show a reality. TV Insider broke the news and shared quotes from Fox Entertainment Chairman, Gary Newman, who announced the info to the outlet at the Television Critics Association Press Tour. As Newman states, the show cannot debut before the upcoming 2016 – 2017 television season.

He shared the following quote:

It’s in negotiations…We’re cautiously optimistic, we had a good meeting with them. That will not be on a fast track creatively. This is just the deal, now we have to find the creative.

Does anyone else care to run down a few superhero shows entering their second and third seasons?:

Arrow

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

What about a couple comic book shows in the middle of their first season?:

The Flash

Constantine

Marvel’s Agent Carter

Gotham

Plus, just a few of the television shows currently in development or about to debut:

Supergirl

The Marvel Netflix shows (Daredevil, AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders)

Vixen

Powers

Titans

In addition, there are an assortment of X-Men films coming to the screen as well:

Deadpool (2017)

Gambit (2017)

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Long-live the failed Generation X show and every other comic book series we forgot to mention on this list. TV Insider stated that Fox still needs the blessing from Marvel, so the road to an X-Men show is going to be a long one.

1 Comments on X-Cessive Much? Fox Reveals an X-Men TV Show is Entering Negotiations, last added: 1/28/2015
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20. Rose Byrne to reprise role of Moira MacTaggert for X-Men: Apocalypse

X Men07 1000x667 Rose Byrne to reprise role of Moira MacTaggert for X Men: Apocalypse

In an interview with EW, X-Men: Apocalypse writer Simon Kinberg confirmed Rose Bryne will be returning for the X-Men: First Class sequel to reprise her role as Moira MacTaggert.

“We ended First Class with Charles having wiped portions of her memory of her experience with the X-Men. They are, essentially, strangers to her when she meets them,” he told EW.

Byrne will join returning co-stars Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy. She will also join recently-introduced Oscar Isaac, who will be playing a central villain, and Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp, who will be playing younger versions of Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Storm, respectively.

The sequel is set in the 1980s, which means the time period will jump forward by about 20 years – Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are said not to be reprising their roles, and we’re guessing the rest of the cast will have just aged very gracefully?

X-Men: Apocalypse releases May 27, 2016

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21. Surprise! Bendis announces his X-Men Departure with Uncanny X-Men #600!

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This afternoon saw a pretty massive shift in the state of Marvel Comics as author Brian Michael Bendis announced his departure from the X-Men franchise. The author first started his run with All-New X-Men #1 in 2012, and is closing out his time with the X-Men in the upcoming Uncanny X-Men #600 in May. While long runs with 90 issues are rare at Marvel Comics, Bendis planted his roots within the DNA of the X-Men team. This made readers think he was going to stay on the books longer. The upcoming Uncanny X-Men #600 see’s the last installment of the current X-Men run. CBR broke the news and conducted an exit interview with the writer. The interview contains essential information about the last issue. First off Bendis talks about departing from the series:

Over the course of the last few years, I will have written almost 90 issues of X-Men. That’s a good run! One of the best parts about being on X-Men was that I knew I was never going to hit Chris Claremont’s X-Men record, so I was free of whatever that is that drives such a thing.

Bendis also explains that the departure ties-in with the upcoming Secret Wars.

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Then it was just like, what better place than “Secret Wars” to wrap things up on X-Men? You started with “Avengers Vs. X-Men,” and you wrap it up with “Secret Wars.” This is going to serve as a great launching pad for the next things that I wanted to do, which I really, really want to do. And as much as I really, really want to write X-Men I really want to do these things, too!

There are multiple artists for the upcoming issue:

Stuart Immonen is in. Chris Bachalo is in. Kris Anka is in, and Mahmud Asrar is also in. There are a couple more we’re waiting to hear back on, but Stuart, Chris, Kris and Mahmud were the major forces.

Bendis confirmed that the story is going to be a hefty comic:

So this is like a giant, 100-page book. It’s really cool.

Is Brian Michael Bendis leaving the X-Men to early? Or do you think his run is coming to a natural end with the upcoming Secret Wars. Let us know.

3 Comments on Surprise! Bendis announces his X-Men Departure with Uncanny X-Men #600!, last added: 2/5/2015
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22. Gina Carano joins Deadpool cast, Colossus to appear

gina carano

And we were just talking about Deadpool yesterday…

Former mixed martial artist and Haywire star Gina Carano has signed on to the Ryan Reynolds starring X-Men spin-off. THR has relayed that she’ll be playing a character named Angel Dust, and while my X-Men universe knowledge is deplorable, I understand she’s a part of the Morlocks.

It was only a matter of time before one of these superhero flicks picked up Carano, whose action chops are impeccable.

Additionally they report that T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley) is in place for a comic relief role, and that Colossus will also be returning for the picture. There’s no indication whether or not Daniel Cudmore will still be playing him, but fans of the character have to be a little excited that there’s a chance he’ll get some of the spotlight finally.

Here’s their description of the film, directed by Tim Miller and scheduled to open on February 12, 2016:

Reynolds is an assassin who is dying of cancer who undergoes a procedure that is supposed to cure him but ends up twisted and scarred while also imbued with super-powers.

 

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23. Nice Art: Sorrentino goes Marvel Exclusive, Shows off X-Men Artwork

all new x-men 38

Marvel welcomed artist Andrea Sorrentino to the Bendis-verse with Uncanny X-Men Annual #1. The penciller is continuing his work with author Brian Michael Bendis and Marvel with the upcoming All-New X-Men #38 and his exclusive Marvel contract. The comic is the fourth entry into the Black Vortex crossover with the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy characters. Comics Beat recently covered the announcement that saw Sorrentino move with Bendis on the upcoming Old Man Logan #1 launching in May which takes place during Secret Wars.

“I’m very, very excited about this new chapter of my career,” said Sorrentino. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Marvel characters and I’m thrilled at what is coming in the next couple years now that I’ve joined the family full-time.”

The artist first dazzled the critics during the Big Two with I Vampire alongside author Joshua Hail Fialkov, turning the comic into a fan favorite New 52 launch title. He once again delighted the press with his run on Green Arrow with Jeff Lemire. CBR ran the press release and announced the news this afternoon.

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1 Comments on Nice Art: Sorrentino goes Marvel Exclusive, Shows off X-Men Artwork, last added: 2/24/2015
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24. What Are the Most Profitable Comic Book Movie Franchises?

Marvel’s Spider-Man is the top grossing movie franchise based on a comic book, according to 24/7 Wall Street. The franchise has grossed $3.96 billion in worldwide sales across its five movies.

DC Comics’ Batman ranked at No. 2 on the list with $3.8 billion in gross earnings worldwide and Marvel’s X-Men ranked at No. 3 on the list with $3.05 billion in gross earnings worldwide.

Follow this link to check out the top 10 list.

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25. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Steve Rude

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Comics artist Steve “The Dude” Rude(note: he was The Dude before Jeff Bridges’ infamous character was..) graduated from the Milwaukee School of Art and Design, before co-creating one of the 80’s most iconic independent sci-fi/fantasy comics Nexus. Rude drew most of the 100 or so issues of the Mike Baron written series, which spanned from 1981 to 2009. Rude has proven himself to be one of the modern masters of comics illustration and I hope to see his work in a future “indy” comic, although for what he can make drawing popular comic book characters, he doesn’t really need to do that.

Steve Rude has also worked for many of the major comics publishers including a Batman/Superman World’s Finest mini series in 1990 for DC and Spider-Man: Lifeline mini series for Marvel, just to name a couple.

Rude won the Russ Manning Outstanding Newcomer Award in 1984 and is a rare recipient of all 3 of the following awards: an Eisner, a Kirby, and a Harvey for Best Artist.

You can get the latest updates and see more of Steve Rude’s artwork on his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

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