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Brian Wood and Oliver Coipel’s relaunch of X-Men with Jubilee, Storm, Rogue, Rachel Grey, Kitty Pryde and the other one has been moved back slightly, from April to May. The new publication date will be May 29th. This is due to a bereavement, and Brian Wood has posted regarding the decision to hold off on the first issue’s release:
Obviously this is a very personal matter. Pushing the launch back is the best option out of all that was discussed. An uninterrupted creative run is better than random fill-ins, and in a couple months when we’re past it no one will remember the delays and the work will be forever.
TweetInterviewing Neal Adams over at the New Statesman in the run up to this month’s London Super Comic Con, we chatted about his legendary role in providing greater creator rights for all within the comics industry, his own start in comics, and pushing comics in a more “relevant” direction. So while I recommend going ahead [...]
Here are a few of my favourite things…. Marvel, aware that I demand delight at least once a month, have started releasing ‘X-Men 50th Anniversary’ variant covers for several of their books. The X-Men have – yes – been around for 50 years as of 2013, with Stan Lee’s original vision now old enough to start having a midlife crisis and buy a new car. X-Men fans: prepare to explode in glee!
First up is Chris Bachalo reuniting with Generation X (gleee!!) for the cover to All-New X-Men #6:
Skin! Synch! Oh, the memories. Shame Husk isn’t wearing her glasses, but WOW how much does this remind that Banshee was The Greatest? Right? Faith and begorrah, come back soon!
The second released cover is Clay Mann’s variant for X-Factor #250, which features every member of the team there has ever been. Founders Jean and Cyclops rub shoulders with Rusty, Skids and Boom Boom (gleeee!!), while newcomers like Monet and Layla Miller somehow manage to cram themselves in there too.
Who will appear next? I am literally stamping my feet with anticipation. Gleee!!
TweetMarvel’s solicitations for May are sneaking out, but the first thing that caught my attention – Amanda Conner providing art for Marvel, in the form of this variant cover for issue #2 of Brian Wood and Oliver Coipel‘s adjectiveless X-Men series. Whew! Long sentence. We get a look at all the team being all classy [...]
TweetHello and welcome! We are starting a weekly art thingy and have -rather thoughtfully- set it for Friday, that interminable day where the weekend is within touching distance and yet you still have to be at work. Hence, pretty and cool stuff that will help tide you over- forget words, just feast your eyes. This [...]
TweetFriday is art day! Friday is also the harbinger of the weekend, but who cares about that? Instead, take a look at all the pretty pictures I gathered for you from the shady, cob-webby corners of the Internet you dare not venture… (I can’t say more) FF by Mike Allred (you HAVE to click on this to [...]
In a recent interview with Seventeen, Jennifer Lawrence had this to say about being healthy in mind and body:
Seventeen:You've said girls should embrace their curves. Why did you think it important to make that statement?
Jennifer Lawrence:When I was playing Mystique in X-Men, I remember thinking, If I'm going to be naked in paint in front of the entire world, I'm going to look like a woman. I'm going to have curves and have boobs and have a butt. Because girls are going to look at that, and if I look like a scarecrow, they are going to think, Oh, that's normal. It's not normal. I'm just so sick of these young girls with diets. I remember when I was 13 and it was cool to pretend to have an eating disorder because there were rumors that Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie were anorexic. I thought it was crazy. I went home and told my mom, "Nobody's eating bread--I just had to finish everyone's burgers." I think it's really important for girls to have people to look up to and feel good about themselves.
I agree with Jennifer: It is very important for kids and teens to have good role models, and to have healthy eating habits. Encourage your friends and family members to eat right, and lead by example. Try to eat fresh food in every color of the rainbow, every day. It's easy and fun to do. Hint: Incorporate fruits and veggies into your meals and snacks!
I'm typing this as I eat my dinner -- farfalle (bowtie) pasta and brown rice mixed with tomato sauce and green peas. Yum!
It's The Wandering Library Ninja Bill. I 've been walking in the waste lands and dry and dark places. Fighting evil wherever it rears it's ugly head. It's mighty strange living in the shadow lands, but good reads always pull me through. So let's see what's on this dish today?
Shadow Ops: Control Point by Myke Cole - Imagine if in the real world people started to exhibit strange powers and magical abilities. This is what I hope is the start of a great series about how things would play out. In this world created by Myke Cole some of humanity has started to develop magical powers. Some people are born and exhibit these abilities early in life while others are well into their adulthood when they exhibit magical powers. In this world, very much like ours, when this starts to happen governments around the globe try to control these individuals for their own agendas. In the United States people who manifest magical gifts are either incorporated into the military or kept under constant supervision. Those who try to run, termed Selfers, are hunted down by the military and "handled." Some powers are considered okay by the government, while other are not. Some of the "good" powers are: Physiomancer (the power to heal) but if used to harm it is called Rending and prohibited, Pyromancer (the ability to generate fire and control in many ways), Aeromancer (ability to control storms and lightning, also can use wind currents to fly), Hydromancer (ability to generate and control water) and others I will leave you to find out about. Those that are prohibited and individuals exhibiting them "supposedly" helped or taken down are: Elementist (the ability to make fire, water, earth, etc. self aware and act on the person's behalf without taking away from the user's focus), Necromancy (the ability to control the dead), Portamancy (the ability to open and close gates to different locations and dimension), Whispering (the ability to control animal life) and also many others that you can find out about if you read the book.
This story focuses on Lieutenant Oscar Britton part of the SOC (Supernatural Operations Corps). The SOC is made up of servicemen without magical powers and those with to serve The United States Government. One of there duties is to hunt done Selfers and capture users of outlawed magics. It is during one of these missions that Britton manifest the ability of Portamancy. He runs because he does not understand what has happened to him and is just plain scared. He is pursued by the SOC under the command of the mysterious Aeromancer known only as Harlequin.
He is caught and taken to an Operations Area in another dimension known as "The Source" (it seems to be the place where magic originates and has broken through to our dimension to endow certain individuals with different powers). This is all top secret and all knowledge of it kept under raps by the military and government. The Operations Area is used for multiple purposes. One is to wage a war in The Source with the indigenous populat
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Marvel seem to be on another one of their ‘every day a new tease’ stints that they periodically enjoy throwing at the internet. This time, their intention seems to be to convince the world that they’re going to chuck the X-Men into a parallel world and reboot them.
The new teaser image, which we’ll get to in just a second, could be related to this idea. After yesterday suggesting a parallel world might be introduced to the X-Men during Act 2 of ‘Avengers Vs X-Men’, things have escalated with this second teaser, which is so enigmatic as to be hair-rippingly infuriating. Like someone from a Matrix film – worse, like someone from one of the sequels. Right, second’s up, so let’s take a look at the teaser.
This could be a mere retelling of the origin for the X-Men – but Marvel just did that, with an excellent Dennis Hopeless/Jamie McKelvie ‘Season One’ graphic novel earlier this year. And why would Marvel release a teaser suggesting the X-Men are going to be rebooted into a parallel universe so soon into the start of AvX? That would seem to give away their big event storyline before it’s halfway through. This teaser couldn’t be more annoying if it had sunglasses and a trenchcoat on it and kept going on and on about The One, you guys.
If this is neither a reboot nor a retelling, what else could be going on here? Well, um, maybe it’s a story where Brian Michael Bendis finally leaps onto the X-Men franchise and writes a story where it’s revealed that Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel et al weren’t really the first X-Men Xavier tried to recruit. He actually started off by creating a black ops team who fought nazis!
…it might look like these incredible designs by Matthew Humphreys, an artist currently at Hasbro Studios. Click on image above to seen the full line up. Honestly, if it were up to me, I’d be developing at least one Marvel property as a Disney hand drawn film… Dr. Strange, Sub Mariner, The Silver Surfer…
The variant cover for issue #8 of Avengers Vs X-Men has been unveiled today by Marvel. One of the seventeen, anyway. Drawn by Adam Kubert, the cover shows those most heroic of characters, the Phoenix Five, standing around doing nothing much of any import. In a heroic manner! As you can see, Namor’s trousers have been lowered even further than before, while Cyclops holds onto the broken weaponry of the evil Avengers. The burning city behind them is that of Wakanda, the consistently-dubious home of Black Panther, where the Avengers are currently hiding out.
In a villainous manner.
How can we tell that they’re heroic and the Avengers are evil? Firstly, because the X-Men are super-duper and the Avengers are totes rubbish. But also, it’s because Cyclops has got his hands on Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, which can only be held by somebody who is worthy and noble. Presumably Thor lost the right to wield the thing after he used his God Powers to villainously punch a young boy in the stomach this week.
Marvel Now! was always going to claim some victims before relaunching, and now it’s made revealed (through that most sneaky of revealers, the solicitations listing) that nine of their current books will die in order for Marvel Now! to live.
Those nine titles are: Captain America, Fantastic Four, FF, Incredible Hulk, Invincible Iron Man, New Mutants, The Mighty Thor, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men Legacy.
This isn’t completely surprising in every case, because Brian Michael Bendis already said that Uncanny would end and several of the other books were winding up long-standing runs with big name creators. Matt Fraction was already set to leave Invincible Iron Man, while Jonathan Hickman and Ed Brubaker were both already known to be leaving the Fantastic Four titles and Captain America, respectively.
What does this mean for the characters? Well, Captain America, Thor and X-Men Legacy’s Rogue are all in a team together anyway, while Iron Man will surely find a place in one of the Avengers titles. But what of the Fantastic Four? They’ve completely dropped off the map, apparently, and the World’s Greatest Superhero Family look set to pack up their bags for a one-way trip to the one place they’ve never been before: comic-book limbo.
It’s interesting to note that most of these books were handled by the ‘Architects’ of Marvel, and that some low-selling titles like the beloved Journey Into Mystery have survived this new purge. Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man also escapes the destruction, so that much-teased ‘big change’ in issue #700 isn’t going to see the book cancelled, thankfully.
Three X-Men books are chopped, including flagship Uncanny X-Men. Which is a massive surprise, because most were predicting that the pointless titles – adjectiveless X-Men and Astonishing X-Men – would be the two to go. New Mutants was expected to go, and does. But it’s still surprising to see just how big a change Marvel seem to be making. What new books are going to replace these ones, which surely were the backbone of the Marvel Universe?
Well look, news is flying out the internet like four and twenty blackbirds from a regal pie. Following USA Today’s teaser images showing Matt Fraction on Fantastic Four come two more images, this time teasing what look to be Captain America NOW and X-Men NOW.
iFanboy have the Captain America teaser image, which places Rick Remender and John Romita Jr on the title this November. This is, of course, coming as Ed Brubaker starts to cycle away from Marvel and towards more creator-owned work, as his long run on Cap ends later this year. Some sites are suggesting this teaser is actually for Winter Soldier, but it’s unlikely that Brubaker would leave Marvel completely, and so suddenly. This will be the Captain America relaunch.
Spurrier’s image on MTV Geek, meanwhile, looks to be playing off X-Men Legacy, the Mike Carey/Christos Gage book which has a terrible title. If Marvel were looking to calm down their X-Output, then it’d be an excellent idea for them to replace the cancelled Legacy with something else. Rumours still abound that Brian Wood’s excellent run on the current adjectiveless X-Men may be coming to an end already, which would seem to be the best place for this creative team – if true.
Spurrier will be joined on this book, whatever it is, by artist Tan Eng Huat, and will likely string together some incredible adjectives before we even make it past the first panel. Very exciting news for X-Men fans, because Spurrier’s X-Club miniseries was brilliant.
Any minute now, Heidi is going to post a teaser image with ‘TIDY’ on it. I can feel it in my bones. Stay steady, Pixie-fans!
Stuart Immonen’s artwork is one of the key selling points to, well, anything he is involved with, and All-New X-Men #1 is no exception. The premise of the book is that the original five members of the X-Men – Angel, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman and Beast – have come to the present for some reason (no, there’s no sign of other founding X-Men Shortpack and Sage at this point in time). They are in the present, and they are… in the present. And Stuart Immonen is drawing it! So now you know the premise of the series in its entirety.
The regardless point being, Marvel have released some of Immonen’s pencils for the first issue of the series, written by Brian Michael Bendis. And unsurprisingly, they’re spiffing, corking, and several other 1960s adjectives.
The first page shows us the Jean Grey school, Wolverine’s semi-creepy tribute to his friend’s dead wife, who is now 16 and about to stare him right back in the face. But before he has time to sleep with her and freak us all out, it looks like the team are going to first endure some face-time with Beast. Which is probably going to be especially weird for Beast. You can also see a few students running round in the background, which reveals that Pixie has moved to Westchester along with the others. Yep, Utopia is doomed. Toad is also busy, uh, washing a tree. Cyclops Jr will probably blast him in the face in a moment or two.
The third page revealed shows Beast talking to the younger X-Men, who look like the Famous Five. Look at Jean’s adorable haircut! Shame she’s about a year away from murdering billions of people, isn’t it? If young Beast is scared now, just wait till he hears about the repeated genocides his older self has been enjoying over the past few years. And let’s not even get started on Trish Trilby! Ominous times are ahead for you, McCoy. This appears to be page 20 of the first issue, so lord only knows what the first 17 pages are going to be made up of.
And as a final note, here’s the interconnected cover for the first two issues, which sees all your favourite X-Men scowling at you.
Here in California, where you could make a good case for food being the universal religion, parents begin early to introduce kids to world cuisines. While Aline’s been cooking up Stone Soup, we’ve been making a stew of cookbooks and food reference books for kids. Amy Wilson Sanger’s board books for Ten Speed Press run the gamut from Hola, Jalapeno! to First Book of Sushi. They’re for very young children so let’s say they’re pre-cookbooks: culinary orientation for still-diapered multicultis. Speaking of which, Sarah Gilbert’s blog of her 7-month-old’s first sushi offers further inspiration (and references the Asian celebration of baby’s first meal). If sushi is a winner with your pre-schooler, Tuttle’s Sushi for Kids by Kaoru Ono and Hiromi’s Hands by Lynne Barasch will appeal. Recipe books that kids can cook from: coming soon!
Hello all, yes once again it is I, the slightly schizophrenic Sith/Pirate/Ninja Bill!!!!!!!!
I am appalled that in a recent post here at our ever-so-friendly blog that my very character and nobility was attacked by a certain Melanie person:
"Just goes to show, you can't trust boys! Bill, Bill, Bill . . . I'm at a loss to understand how you can spell miscellaneous right and get scissors so very wrong. :) Hmmm, perhaps those short words are trickier for you than the long ones."
At first I found it impossible to believe that I the one, the only Sith/Pirate/Ninja Bill had misspelled any words at all (I'll have you know that at Sith School I always won the Spelling Bees). Well just to make sure, I went and checked with that Jedi sympathiser Carl to see if indeed anything had been misspelled (as loath as I am to admit it, he is a very good speller). He pulled out this huge book that I had never seen before which he said was called a dictionary. He said that it contained most of the correct spellings of words in the English Language. To my horror he opened up this huge tome of knowledge and confirmed what Melanie had said. I had indeed misspelled a word. Imagine my horror and dismay!!!!!!! Better yet, take a look at it:
Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!What is this evil contained in this "Dictionary" that tells me I am wrong!!!!!!
I could not believe it to be the truth so then I went to confront the "sophisticated" Melanie to challenge here to a duel to reclaim my honor. What was the outcome, you ask? Well, let's just say that this massive tome that is called a "Dictionary" can be used for more than looking up words:
Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That hurts!!!!!!!!!! I beg of thee to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Of course, I had left my trusty lightsaber in my other pair of pants at home and had totally forgotten about my "Flashing Book Holders of Death" My wounds were most grevious, but I will return stronger and more unpleasent than ever!!!!!!!! This I swear!!!!!!
Well enough of this unpleasent incident, lets talk about books:
Tiger Moth: Kung Pow Chicken & The Pest Show on Earth both by Aaron Reynolds and Erik Lervold –Is there anybody still out there who is not familiar with the greatest insect super powered ninja fighting team of Tiger Moth (a moth, duh!!) and his apprentice Kung Pow (a pill bug; what the heck is a pill bug?)?If not, it’s time you do!The Tiger Moth graphic novel series is both great fun and hilarious to the max!!!!In “Kung Pow Chicken” Tiger Moth’s apprentice Kung Pow is left on his own to save his mentor from the villainy of Weevil.Will Tiger Moth be saved from insect eating spiders?Will Kung Pow prove that he is no chicken?Read this graphic novel to find out the answer to this and many other questions you have not even yet begun to form!!!!!! The next adventure entitled “The Pest Show on Earth” brings back Tiger Moth’s archenemy Weevil this time in the guise of a carnival employee that comes to town.Tiger Moth and loyal apprentice Kung Pow visit the carnival and spot the evil Weevil (that was fun--it rhymes; say it three times really fast) immediately. What can his evil plan be this go-round?Loyal readers, you must read this graphic novel to find out!Is the suspense killing you yet?Read and all will be answered. Remember, as Tiger Moth says: “When two birds fly, only one stone can be thrown.”Great wisdom are there in these words. Other Tiger Moth titles include: The Dung Beetle Bandits, Tiger Moth Insect Ninja, The Fortune Cookies of Weevil, and Tiger Moth and the Dragon Kite Contest.Many of these titles can also be downloaded onto your computer. All you have to do is go to the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg Catolog and download away!!!!! This series rocks, so check it out now!!!!!!
X-Men Fairy Tales written C.B. Cebulski and illustrations by various–This is a really fun graphic novel that takes fairy tales from around the world and puts them with X-Men characters.You don’t have to be familiar with the X-Men to enjoy the stories, but if you are, it’s an extra kick.The fairy tales covered are: “The Peach Boy” inspired by the Japanese fairy tale “Momotaro;” “Faith in Friends” inspired by the African fairy tale “The Friendship of the Tortoise and the Eagle;” “Restless Souls” tapping some of the spooky traditions of New Orleans; and “To Die in Dreams” taken from some ofthe Brothers Grimm’s most exciting fairy tales.The stories are really good reads and the art just awesome.So if you are a fan of the X-Men or Fairy Tales or both, this graphic novel is well worth checking out and reading.Also the library system has another graphic novel along the same line “Spider-Man Fairy Tales” staring everyone’s favorite wall crawler along with characters associated with him.Really just great stuff!!!!!
Twisted Journeys: Captured by Pirates by Justine & Ron Fontes with illustrations by David Witt – Now I know everyone out there is probably familiar with the choose your adventures type books, if not, I’ll elaborate.These are the fun types of books where, based on what decisions you make, the books take different directions and different storylines.Well, combine this strictly text-based type of book with a graphic novel and you get the Twisted Journey experience.“Captured by Pirates” is too cool and what’s even better is there are other books in the series.Captain Bootstrap Bill gives these books a hardy Aaaarrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!
Bone: Ghost Circles by Jeff Smith – Well, the seventh volume in the Bone Graphic Novel Series has finally come out and it was well worth the wait.As the title to this volume intones, things get real scary and serious in this one.The villagers and Veni Yan Monks are really put to the test by the “Lord of the Locust’ and his armies.Everything goes crazy with a volcano eruption and the appearance of “Ghost Circles” everywhere.The Bone cousins (Phoney, Smiley and Fone Bone), Thorn, Gran’ma Ben, and the recently returned Bartleby are also being pursued by the forces of the “Lord of Locust” and just manage to stay one step ahead.But how long can their luck hold?What is a Ghost Circle?Who lives and who dies?Only one way to find out, read the book.You won't be disappointed.
Hi everyone and Merry, Merry, Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy Holiday Seasons from the JolliestSith ever to slide down as many chimneys as Santa on Christmas Night.....Darth Santa Bill!!!!!!!! Well I don't know if I will get another post out until the holiday season is over or not, so I want to wish everyone a wonderbar holiday time of year thing!!!!!!
Now I have to share a clip from one my favorite Songs and Holiday Specials ever, I bet you have already seen it and can guess the name of it. Check it out:
Now for a couple of reviews of two awesome Graphic Novels I just recently finished!!!!!!!!!
Wolverine: First Class - The Rookie by Fred Van Lente, Andrea DiVito and SalvaEspin -Well let me just get this off my chest. This Graphic Novel was awesome and I blew through it so fast I read it a second time. This GN collects Wolverine: First Class issues #1 - 4 and includes Wolverine's first appearance from way back in Hulk #181 when comics cost a whole 25 cents. Wolverine is one of my all time favorite comic book heroes and in this GN teams him up with one of the newest and youngest X-Men KiityPryde. The GN begins with their first meeting and adventure and leads onto other stories in which they take on the likes of Sabretooth, The High Evolutionary, the Man-Beast amongst others. This GN is really well written and not just about punching out the bad guys and fighting with your partner. The stories have depth, action and make you think. In short this is how Graphic Novels should be done. Thumbs up!!!!!!!
Lions, Tigers and Bears Volume 2 by Mike Bullock, Jack Lawrence, Paul Gutierrez and Bob Pedroza - This my friends is a Graphic Novel that was alot of fun to read. I reviewed Volume 1 on April 23, 2008, but you don't necessarily have to read Volume 1 to enjoy Volume 2. To see my review of Volume 1 Click Here. This Graphic Novel is about a boy named Joey and his friend Courtney. It is also about the stuffed animals they own that come to life whenever children are in danger from evil beasties. Joey owns some stuffed animals called the Night Pride which consists of Pallo - The Leader of the Pack (an African Lion), Venus – Guardian of the Pride (a Bengal Tiger), Minerva – Huntress of the Shadows (a Black Panther) and Aries – Warrior of the Night (a Siberian Tiger). The Night Pride are the elite protectors of "The Stuffed Animal Kingdom" a land where all stuffed animals are real. In this volume King Bear is betrayed by his brother to the evil beasties and not only is the Stuffed Animal Kingdom at risk, but all children in our world. For you see once the beasties are in control and the stuffed animal protectors conquered, the beasties will be coming for the children in the real world. Check out this really well done GN for a really exciting story that you will devour and be finished reading before you know it. Great stuff!!!!!!!!
Today's second Ypulse Youth Advisory Board review comes from Michael Hayball for dystopian fiction Renegade X.
As always, you can communicate directly with any member of the Ypulse Youth Advisory Board by emailing them at youthadvisoryboard at ... Read the rest of this post
SLJ represent! Though I could not attend this year’s KidLitCon (the annual conference of children’s and YA bloggers) many others did and they have all posted links to their recaps of the event here. So while I could not be present, fellow SLJ blogger Liz Burns of Tea Cozy showed up and has a fabulous encapsulation of that which went on. Lest you label me a lazy lou, I did at least participate in a presentation on apps. Yes, doing my best Max Headroom imitation (ask you parents, kids) I joined Mary Ann Scheuer and pink haired Paula Wiley. It went, oddly enough, off without a hitch. Attendees may have noticed my gigantic floating head (we Skyped) would occasionally dip down so that I seemed to be doing my best Kilroy imitation. This was because the talk happened during my lunch and I wanted to nosh on some surreptitious grapes as it occurred. You may read Mary Ann’s recap here and Paula’s here, lest you fail to believe a single word I say.
Speaking of Penderwicks, the discussions fly fast and fierce over at Heavy Medal. To my infinite delight, both Jonathan AND Nina are Penderwick fans. Wow! For the record, I agree with their thoughts on Amelia Lost as well. That book has a better chance at something Newberyish than any other nonfiction this year. This could well be The Year of Amelias (Jenni Holm has an Amelia book of her own, after all).
Heads up, America! According to an article in The Guardian, “The debt-laden businesses behind some of the biggest names in childrens’ TV and books are selling off some of the nation’s best-loved characters.” Personally, I figure the Brits can keep their Peppa Pig. It’s Bagpuss I want. Or The Clangers. I grew up watching Pinwheel on Nickelodeon so I’ve an affection for these. Any word on the current state of King Rollo?
Aw yeah. Authors talking smack about authors. Granted it’s living authors talking about dead authors (dead authors talking about living authors is a different ballgame entirely) but it’ll stand. Two dude who write for kids break down J.M. Barrie, The Yearling, etc. and then end with unanimous praise for what I may consider the world’s most perfect children’s book. Go check ‘em out.
You may have witnessed some out of control hyperbole about Marvel’s recently announced Avengers Vs. X-Men. My personal favorite, courtesy of Newsarma’s recap:
Pre-taped words from all five writers. “There’s never been an Avengers vs. X-Men super-blowout, so it’s like, we have to do it,” Bendis says.
Never been one? Seems like I own copies of something answering that description…
1987: The X-Men Vs. The Avengers
2012: Avengers Vs. X-Men
1987: The Russians want to ambush Magneto and kill him. The Avengers want to capture Magneto and put him on trial. The X-Men want to protect Magneto. A lot of fighting ensues.
2012: As I’m interpreting the hype, the Phoenix Force is returning and everybody is assuming some character introduced in the X-Men since I stopped reading it called “Hope” is going to be the host for said Phoenix Force. The Avengers want to lay hands on Hope, possibly to do something drastic. The X-Men want to protect her. Fighting ensues. It’s probably more nuanced than that, but the initial premises aren’t that far off.
Now maybe Brian doesn’t think The X-Men Vs. The Avengers qualifies as a “super-blowout.” (Or maybe someone from marketing fed him that line.) In the interests of documenting what has gone before vs. current hype, let’s take a look at the original The X-Men Vs. The Avengers mini-series.
The original mini-series goes back to 1987, so your Avengers team is Captain America, Thor, Captain Marvel, Black Knight and Dr. Druid. Your X-Men are Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Havok and Magneto. Your first 3 issues are written by Roger Stern with art by Marc Silvestri and Josef Rubinstein. The last issue of the 4-issue series is co-plotted by Jim Shooter and Tom DeFalco with breakdowns by Keith Pollard and finishes by Rubinstein (and a few assistants). Perhaps Jim Shooter will tell the story of that last issue on his blog?
This story takes place during the first period where Magneto has reformed and joined the X-Men. In Uncanny X-Men #200, Magneto was tried before the World Court and then disappeared from the court room.
An asteroid splits in two and crashes to Earth. One half will hit in the U.S. and one in Cambodia. As the Avengers clear up the meteor shower, they discover the asteroid is actually part of Asteroid M, Magneto’s old orbital HQ. The U.S. government leaks this to the Russians. The Russians are (justifiably) angry with Magneto for sinking one of their submarines (killing the crew) and creating a volcano in and destroying one of their cities. They want to lure Magneto to the wreckage of the second fragment and kill him in an ambush.
The Avengers get wind of this and decide, while nobody would shed many tears at the thought of Magneto getting killed, it’s a better idea to grab him themselves and make him finish standing trial. (If he gets executed then, eh… ok.) Magneto is looking for some tech from his old satellite, so we set up a three-conflict.
As if the title weren’t enough of a clue, X-Men: Schism spotlights a pivotal moment in X-Men history: a rift in ideology from its two biggest guns--Cyclops and Wolverine. In the wake of a mutant extinction-level event, perennial team leader and wet blanket, Cyclops, rallies the X-Men to an island dubbed “Utopia” in order to establish a sense of community. His plan, however, doesn’t account for any villain who might want to wipe out mutantkind in one fell swoop and who possesses enough skill to hit a target the size of a giant island. And that’s exactly what happens in Schism.
As danger looms, Cyclops sends the usual heavy-hitters across the globe to stop various enemies, leaving the island’s defense up to him, Wolverine, and the latest batch of young mutants who came to Uptopia to train to be X-Men. Therein lies the issue: Cyclops declares the new recruits fit for battle, while Wolverine declares the very idea to be ludicrous. Writer Jason Aaron presents both sides of the argument with equal footing, but it’s still difficult to take Wolverine’s position seriously. This is Wolverine, after all—the hot-tempered Canuck with the beserker rage and fangs; he’s the runt who’s always spoiling for a fight. Yet, here he tells Cyclops that maybe the better idea is to evacuate the island, because someone needs to think of the children. Really, it’s all an excuse to get Cyclops and Wolverine to clash, and Schism definitely delivers. This isn’t a shoving match or a harsh exchange of words soon mended by standing against a common enemy (although there are plenty of verbal barbs, especially on the subject of Jean Grey). No, here are two classic X-Men at each other’s throats. It’s an extended, bloody fight that ends a friendship and divides an entire race.
If that weren’t reason enough to get fans in the ring, the chapters are each illustrated by marquee names: Alan Davis, Frank Cho, Adam Kubert, Carlos Pacheo, Billy Tan, and Daniel Acuña. Cho’s depiction of Wolverine is reminiscent of the mid-to-late 1980s (before the films influenced his look). He’s hunched, hairy, and his perpetual scowl leaves grooves in his face that even his healing factor cannot fix. Acuna’s pages are stylized and flashy (if not a little stiff), while Davis does what Davis does best, which is everything.
The hardcover collection is oversized, giving readers an opportunity to sit front-row at a title bout, and with artists of this caliber it’s very much worth this grand scale. Two variant covers, a promotional pinup, and a team roster by Frank Cho (from pencils to finished page) comprise the supplemental material. It’s a package that gives fans a believable answer to “Who would win in a fight..?” and X-Men: Schism certainly lives up to its title.