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The story goes that legendary Uncanny X-Men scribe Chris Claremont discovered Malaysian-born artist Sonny Liew at a comics convention and got him his first big break into comics, landing Liew a gig illustrating Iron Man for Marvel. It was a small gig, just one illustration, but it set the stage for Liew’s bright future in comics! In 2004, Sonny Liew won the Xeric Award(an award for excellence in self-published comics) in 2004 for Malinky Robot. Later, he would go on to illustrate such titles as Slave Labor & Disney’s Wonderland series, Marvel’s Sense and Sensibility adaptation, and collaborate with artist/inker Mark Hempel on DC/Vertigo’s My Faith in Frankie.
Before studying illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, Liew attended college in Singapore(where he currently resides) and in the UK. His work has been featured in the critically acclaimed anthology Flight and he’s served as editor of the Southeast Asian comics anthology Liquid City.
Liew has been a celebrated artist at home, winning Singapore’s Young Artist Award in 2010, but recently he’s found himself in a bit of controversy over his latest book, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. The grant that supported the making of that book was withdrawn by the National Arts Council for containing sensitive topics. You can hear more about this story from the man himself at this book sharing session.
Right now is a great time to become a Sonny Liew fan, because he’s making some of the best comics art of his career on the newly relaunched Doctor Fate series with famed DC writer/editor/former-president Paul Levitz! I see that more people are catching onto this series, now that it’s up to issue 5, so hopefully that will continue to happen and we’ll get a nice, long Doctor Fate run out of Liew!
If you’d like to see more art and learn more about Sonny Liew, check out his blog here.
For more comics related art, you can follow me on my websitecomicstavern.com– Andy Yates
... I got a rejection on a query I sent to an agent about a month before. Technically, she never responded to the query, which per the guidelines basically meant the same thing. No reply, no acceptance.
But that's okay. I dusted off my poor weeping query, gave it a little spruce up and sent it bravely back into the big wide world of agents. I may have whispered a prayer to send it on its way.
Then I had a wedding I went to, last week of April/beginning of May, wherein my sister Amanda (keeper of the blog, Hit and Miss) designed floral arrangements for the altar, and we cleaned bucketloads of roses, carnations, baby's breath and greens and I made 15 centerpieces in glass milk jars for the reception.
It hasn't been NICE. It has been the opposite. It has been DARK. My mood goeth downhill.
Directly after getting back, we were into Mother's Day week. Which made the flower shop a crazy busy place. Which meant yours truly got to work a six-day work week, after a weekend filled with flower arrangements and wedding feels and socializing.
Socializing, for me, can be physically more draining and damaging than a solid week's work, so piling MOTHER'S DAY WEEK on top of that was... was...
Sorry, words fail.
However, good news. Before driving back from the wedding in Bakersfield, we stopped at Target and all four of us who had attended the wedding picked up copies of the Target Edition of Josh Groban's STAGES, which contains 17 tracks and are all of them amazing.
Speaking of Superheroes and Marvel, I also watched the first two episodes of Daredevil on Netflix during that wedding weekend, so when I got back from the wedding I proceeded to watch the other 11 episodes.
Matt Murdoch is the best! I refuse to say anything, because, as Yoda say, "If Netflix you have, Daredevil you should be watching." Seriously, he's a new favourite Marvel superhero. He is so amazing and cool! Unfortunately, now that I'm done with those 13 episode, the next season won't be up until 2016! Netflix, why? Why? Whyyyyy?
All I'm going to say about THIS is, OH MY GOSH! HAWKEYE!! TONYSTEVETHOR! QUICKSIIIIIILVER! JARVISJARVISJARVIS!! And never, ever, ever have I let a ship sink as fast as I let Black Widow's and Hawkeye's. I was surprisingly okay with it. I waved a hand and thought, I don't mind Natasha and Clint being friends.
After this, Teresa and Jack and I started watching Harry Potter. I have never really watched Harry Potter.
I had read up to the fourth book (which *I* thought was horrifying) and then watched the fourth movie which, IMHO, did NOT live up to the fourth books horrifyingness (which is not a word, but I don't care. I'm a writer. I do what I want). Frankly, the fourth movie rather bored me, so I gave up on the series.
Then, I dunno, after the final book had been published and was no longer talked about, I thought I might as well finish the book series, and while I thought J.K. Rowling did a fine job with writing, I wasn't entirely sold on the series. I don't know why. I just wasn't a fan.
So I have had no urge to watch the movies until after Valentine's Day, when after a long grueling day at work I came home, ate something fortifying and turned on the TV, and discovered The Chamber of Secrets was playing. Having nothing better to do, I watched it.
Since then, I've been off again, on again wanting to watch them, and we started our sporadic marathon about two weeks ago. While the first four were nothing special (for me, anyway - and btw, the fourth movie is NOT as boring as I remembered it being. Perhaps one needs to have been away from books and movies for a significant amount of time or something), we just finished Deathly Hallows part 1, and I'll admit the 5th, 6th and 7-1/2th movies engaged me more and made me feel a bit more connected to the characters. (Though, and I'm speaking from my experience of having read the books YEARS ago, I am pretty certain the scriptwriters could have clarified Harry as being The Chosen One. That shtick sort of makes an appearance in the Half Blood Prince, and while I *think* it was clear in the book, it was NOT AT ALL CLEAR in the movie(s), and I honestly can't remember how or why or who or when Harry became this Chosen One or even what it has to do with the plot.)
I don't think I'm still (yet) techinically a fan. I haven't entirely finished the series, after all. Deathly Hallows part 2 will possibly (probably) happen tonight, but now that I've watched the movies I can see why people have become fans. I will be honest even more and state that I do have a bad tendency to quote HISHE or Honest Trailer lines during crucial moments of the movies (such as, Wizzzzard lightning battle! or, Look out, Harry, he doesn't have a nose!, or, "Just saving your life. And countless others. In the future. It's a long story.") But overall, my favorite characters are Snape, Professor McGonagall, George and Fred, and Harry. I like Ron and Hermione, but those first five are my favorites.
So I sent the full manuscript to the agent, and now I must wait up to 60 days to see what she thinks. It's a bit torturous, but she was nice enough to admit that it was torturous, which was good to hear. Empathy, empathy. So all I can do now is pray... and hope... and pray... and, you know, hope.
So, that's been my month! I hope yours has been just as exciting and eventful as mine, albeit less gloomy. *Rain, rain, go away, come again some OTHER day.*
The weirdest thing happened in Marvel last week. The publisher’s landmark Secret Wars event has been delayed repeatedly, but Marvel is moving ahead as scheduled with their full line relauch, giving birth to the All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe. We at Comics Beat are dedicated to praising great comics, and with so many potential winners out there it […]
Marvel announced earlier this week that one of its primary characters, Iron Man, will be starring in an all-new direct-to-video anime feature titled Iron Man: Rise of Technovore. The film, done in partnership with Sony Entertainment Japan, re-teams Marvel with the anime production house MADHOUSE, who previously did a four-part anime project for the publisher titled Marvel Anime.
In addition to Iron Man, the feature will also feature anime renditions of longtime adversary Ezekiel Stane (the primary antagonist in the first Iron Man live action film), along with prominent Marvel heroes such as Black Widow, Hawkeye, the Punisher, Nick Fury and War Machine.
“Marvel is excited to present an all-new Iron Man adventure featuring the high-tech adrenaline he is known for, in the beautifully rendered anime style of our friends at MADHOUSE,” said producer Megan Thomas Bradner. Long-time Marvel TV animation writer Brandon Auman (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Iron Man: Armored Adventures) wrote the script, with Japanese director Hiroshi Hamasaki helming the project.
Iron Man: Rise of Technovore is already in production at MADHOUSE’s Japan studios and is planned for a spring 2013 debut, timed to coincide with the release of the live-action Iron Man 3 on May 3, 2013. Further information about this direct-to-video animated feature is expected at New York Comic Con during the Marvel TV Presents Panel on Saturday, October 13 at 4:15pm in Room 1E13.
It has been suggested to me that running Big Two teasers as news is destroying the very fabric of comics; however, when they are a cute, clever Image, I reserve the right to run them.
This refers to some yet to be revealed storyline involving the character Iron Man, as far as I can make out.
Last year, Marvel received a letter from the mother of a young fan, Anthony Smith, who had hearing difficulties, and had been told by doctors that he would require a hearing aid. The mother was wondering if there were any heroes who had ever had hearing difficulties, who might serve as the inspiring spark for Anthony to accept the hearing device.
On getting the letter, editor Bill Rosemann not only pointed her to Hawkeye, who has in the past suffered from hearing problems, but also spread the letter to the Marvel offices.
And that’s what led Marvel to create a new character called The Blue Ear, who doesn’t let his hearing problems stop him from saving the day. Created with Marvel staffers Manny Mederos and Nelson Ribeiro, the character is based on Anthony himself. You can read Blue Ear’s origin story in my original post announcing the character,
Now, though! That’s not the end of The Blue Ear’s work with Marvel. Last month Marvel held a special event honouring him, as they partnered with Phonak, a hearing aid supplier. Anthony and his family were invited along, as Marvel unveiled a new poster which will be distributed nationally, in which we see Iron Man meet a young boy who is being bullier for having a hearing aid. Written by Christos Gage and drawn by Paco Medina, the poster encourages people to never feel like they should be ashamed of their disability:
The event also saw Iron Man attend in person – awfully nice of him to teleport over from the 616 Universe – and meet Anthony. After receiving a copy of the poster from Iron Man, the Avenger also then gave him a second gift – an Iron Man costume of his own.
Which, he immediately put on.
As I said last time – isn’t it now time for The Blue Ear to join The Avengers?
The biggest success for comics over the past five years hasn’t actually been comics at all: it’s been the movie industry. Superhero films are gigantically big business now, with The Avengers pulling in over a billion dollars worldwide, and the industry paying top-dollar for any new comic rights they can get their hands on. At the same time, superhero films are in a very good critical position as well - Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy won Oscars! Top directors are almost literally battling for the chance to get their hands on characters like Daredevil or Luke Cage.
While movies have taken the characters and distilled them into their most winning core – the comic book version of Iron Man was essentially revitalised by Robert Downey Jr’s energetic portrayal of Tony Stark – the comics themselves have struggled to keep up that mindset. Whilst the Iron Man of the movies was flying about, smashing racecars and saving the world, his comic book counterpart was busy being a fugitive, living a miserable life as he attempted to clear his name. The X-Men in X-Men First Class may have been enjoying themselves, but the X-Men in the comics were hounded, segregated on an island and blocked from society. In terms of tone? Mainstream superhero comics have been downbeat rather than optimistic.
Take any comic book version of a character and compare them to the film version. Hal Jordan is nominally dead right now in the DC Universe, but in the films he was Ryan Reynolds! Even Professor X, who is lovely Patrick Stewart and James MacAvoy in the films, has spent the last decade at Marvel being a terrible bastard. And, y’know, dead. For all that the movies may offer superheroes as a safety net for people wanting to be inspired, comics have been offering superheroes as corrupted, agonised people. Now, this isn’t bad storytelling – it’s always been the way. Drama requires a little tragedy from time to time, and comics have had a long time to dwell on their characters. Eventually you run out of ways to move a character, so things have to take a turn for the darker.
And that’s why it’s going to be so fascinating, two years from now, to sit in a cinema. Because two years from now, Gwen Stacy will die.
Whoa! Spoiler. True, though. The relaunched Amazing Spider-Man trilogy are setting us up for some major tragedy just around the corner. They’ve hired an actor to play Green Goblin, they’re bringing in a Mary Jane, and thematically the first film made it blatant that Gwen has to die for the narrative to be complete. The first film hammered the point that Peter Parker is dangerous for Gwen Stacy, and his decision not to end their relationship (which seemed sweet at the time) is going to look very ominous in two years time.
The other films coming up aren’t going to be much different. If Kick-Ass 2 remains true to the original comic, then fans are going to line up for a horrible rape sequence midway through their movie, followed by a lot of murder and horror. The Man of Steel has been marketed as a brooding, mournful take on the most iconic superhero of all time, while the Wolverine franchise is soon going to introduce doomed love interest Mariko Yashida. And if this wasn’t enough, the next X-Men movie will take us into the Days of Future Past dystopia.
In essence, the movies are going to hit unsuspecting audiences with a wall of ‘darker and edgier’ storytelling all at the same time. Comic book fans have been experiencing this for a while now, with formerly silly characters getting brought back, made miserable, killed off, tortured, or turned evil. The only notable upbeat characters of the last few years have been, perhaps, Stephanie Brown, Pixie, and Squirrel Girl. For the most part, comics have moved their attention towards an older audience, with more mature stories – well told stories, but stories which focus on human drama and horror rather than fantasy and idealism.
Film fans have no idea what they’re going to get into. While comic fans are aware that Gwen Stacy is doomed, the majority of film fans have no idea what’s coming up. It’s going to be MASSIVELY shocking for to see her die. People were prepared to see Uncle Ben die, because it’s what he always does – but adorable Emma Stone? Killed off halfway through a blockbuster trilogy? Film audiences expect superhero films – with a few exceptions – to be comforting, safe, and for all-ages. That’s a big twist for them.
What they’re going to get over the next few years are an unexpectedly brutal series of events, which could completely sour the idea of superheroes as comfort food. Comic fans accepted the move away from all-ages stories – how will film fans react? And Spider-Man is barely going to scratch the surface - are we eventually going to have to deal with Iron Man’s alcoholism? To what extent might that Ant Man film deal with Hank Pym’s history of domestic abuse? Is Channing Tatum still going to die in GI Joe 2?
The reaction of film fans to these next two years of superhero films will determine the future of comic book stories, I think. The reaction people have to this upcoming ‘darker and edgier’ period of films could have massive implications for comic companies. There’s a perception in general that comic books are fun entertainment for kids – but if movies now subject audiences to an onslaught of rape, murder, abuse and horror, what will that do for the next generation of comic fans? If the films are rejected by the public, will that mean the superhero genre of cinema will fall out of favour?
Films tentatively suggested for future release include a Lobo movie, Ant Man, and several Mark Millar projects such as Nemesis and Wanted 2. It’s interesting, isn’t it? There’s little hope for a Wonder Woman or Black Panther film, and yet film companies think audiences can support super-violent, misogynistic works. Films aimed not at all fans, but a smaller, older demographic. Just like happened in mainstream superhero comics! Rather than films suggesting a brighter future for comics, could their turn towards darker and edgier stories actually be the thing which helps to bury the medium entirely?
There comes a time when I have so much news for a Fusenews that it paralyzes me and rather than write one up I just let my files accrue more and more schtoof until the vicious circle ends with a massive deletion. Today some of this stuff will strike you as a bit out of date, but the bulk is pretty darn fun.
Anytime I write a post that involves race in some way I gird my loins and prepare for the worst. The worst did not occur yesterday, however, when I wrote about moments of surprising racism in classic children’s books. Perhaps everyone was distracted by Jonathan Hunt’s post on The Present Tense. Now THAT is a hot and heavy discussion!
Oh, Cotsen Children’s Library. Is there anything you can’t do? Because, to be perfectly frank, I think even the prospect of interviewing Philip Pullman would render me effectively mute. And then there was that AMAZING piece on the woman who makes Harry Potter miniatures. Seriously, this is your required reading of the day.
Because I love Kalamazoo in all its myriad forms, this caught my eye. For you Michiganders out there:
In February 2014, 95 youth librarians, youth library workers, and students gathered at Clinton-Macomb Public Library for a truly excellent day of professional development, idea-sharing, networking, and learning, unconference style. In 2015, we’ll gather April 24th at Kalamazoo Public Library. Hosted by Lisa Mulvenna (Clinton-Macomb PL), Anne Clark (Alice and Jack Wirt PL, Bay City), and Andrea Vernola (Kalamazoo PL), the MI KidLib Unconference will feature relevant and engaging sessions decided on by participants at the conference. And as is typical of an Unconference, it’s FREE to attend. Registration begins in January 2015.
Here are the session notes from last year in case you want to see what we learned together. We hope you’ll join us and spread the word to anyone who’s interested in youth services in libraries!
If you had told me even two years ago that I would be the de facto mathematics librarian, ideal for moderating events like the Science & Mathematics Panel of Jordan Ellenberg, “Science Bob” Pflugfelder, and Benedict Carey at the Penguin Random House Author Event for NYC Educators, I would have been utterly baffled. And yet here we are. Know any teachers in the NYC area? Because the whole kerschmozzle appears to be free.
Things That I Didn’t Know Existed Until Recently: Apparently the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center created a site called BookDragon that seeks to create a site for multicultural children’s literature. And not just of the Asian Pacific nature either. It’s a true multicultural site and a fun one to scroll through. Check it!
This came out a while ago so I’m sure you already saw it, but just in case you didn’t, the Marc Tyler Nobleman Kidlit Mashups are nothing short of inspired.
One of my favorite illustrators, Aaron Zenz, wrote me the following message you would be very wise to read it, oh those amongst ye with an artistic bent. This art gives light and life and meaning to my day:
We play this game on our second blog every three years or so, and I believe you’ve made note of it in the past. So I thought I’d let you know this time around also that we’re letting professional illustrators and artists dip into the 8 year archive at Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty to reimagine Z-Kid art once again:http://www.isaacgracelily.blogspot.com/2014/08/8yearcelebration.html
There have been some great kid lit contributors in the past like Nathan Hale, Charise Harper, Jarrett Krosoczka, Renata Liwska, Adam Rex… And even though the call just went out for this new round, kid lit folks Julie Phillipps and Doug Jones have already hopped on board (both of them have also played all three times!)
My sister wrote me the other day to ask for a recommendation of a great children’s book about a jellyfish. I complied then found out why she wanted to know. I love it when she succeeds in her crazy plans on her blog but truth be told she’s awfully hilarious when she fails. It’s a Jellyfish in a bottle [FAIL].
It’s nice to have friends who know boats. Particularly when they start critiquing classic works of children’s literature. My friend Stefan Driesbach-Williams recently posted this familiar illustration:
Then he wrote, “I’m seeing a cutter with a loose-footed staysail and a boomkin.”
But it was the response from his nautical friends that made my day. One Levi Austin White responded with the following:
“Aye! Captain Max has only got his smallest storm stays’l aloft like a prudent mariner, although his main looks really drafty and dangerously powered up.
He seems to have his main trimmed in all the way, but headed dead downwind. That seems like a disastrous combination considering his mains’l tuning. I don’t see any reef points on his main though, so perhaps he’s outta luck.
Any news on his journey? Did he survive the storm? The way the seafoam is scudding across the wave tops, I’d say that he’s on the lee shore of a low lying island, with 50-70 kts windspeed. Looks properly vicious.
Best of luck, Captain Max. May the seas be forever in your favor.”
Variety has all the details. It seems RDJ was negotiating for Iron Man 4, and a smaller role in Cap 3, but now it’s war:
The new pact is significant for the Marvel cinematic universe considering the plot will pit Stark against Captain America’s alter-ego Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, as they feud over the Superhero Registration Act, which forces anyone with superhuman abilities to reveal their identities to the U.S. government and agree to act as a police force for the authorities.
Stark supports the program, but Rogers does not, saying it threatens civil liberties, causing sides to be taken and Rogers, among others, to go on the run to avoid arrest. The moral question and battle with his Avengers teammate essentially makes Stark a villain of sorts in “Captain America 3,” providing Downey with a meaty role he could play out into future Marvel films, including a fourth “Avengers.”
Captain America 3 comes out on May 6, 2016.
According to Variety, Downey’s larger role in Cap 3 riled up Ike Perlmutter, who didn’t want to pay Downey a hefty salary. Ike ordered Iron Man written out of the script completely, until Kevin Feige insisted on staying the course with his plans for the MCU.
It’s worth noting that RDJ is th eonly person in Hollywood who is brave enough to publicly call Ike out, as he did over the summerwhen commenting on negotiations for his return.
“It’s down to Kevin [Feige, Marvel Studios president] and Ike [Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Entertainment] and Disney to come to us with what the proposal is, and that’s on us to agree or disagree,” Downey said. “When things are going great, there’s a lot of agreement.”
Devin Faraci at Baddass Digest has more on the story, including how the Russo Brothers will not only direct Cap 3 but are the favorites to pick up Avengers 3 and 4 which will continue the Ultron and Civil War storylines.
I’m not clear on how the Civil War story will play out, since the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have secret IDs to reveal, but I can tell you this: the fallout of Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to be huge in this movie. There is a lot of destruction in that film. It makes an impact.
More than that, Marvel is looking at Cap 3 as Avengers 2.5. It’s going to be another ensemble picture, and it could feature Cap’s new team from the end of Age of Ultron. Last I heard (and they haven’t shot this scene yet, so it could change) that team is Falcon, War Machine, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Black Widow, as well as probably The Vision (although I have been told Black Widow will not be much of a presence in Cap 3). And once again the events of a Captain America movie will reshape the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Could the Marvel Cinematic Universe get any more like a comic book?
As I noted in my previous piece, Civil War, in which Iron Man and Cap butt heads over whether individual freedom should be surrendered for the greater good, is very much a product of the post 9/11 mindset, but the comic itself remains a Marvel best seller. t would certainly make for an interesting movie storyline, although it would be interesting to see how the context changes.
Lego now has superhero minifigs that leap into the air and fall apart, wiaiting for mom to step on and did to clean up. This spring-action play factor is only available with the suerhero line. There’s a also a super jumper Batman but we didn’t get that in action. . All of this and more was shown off at Toy Fair this morning, as bleary eyed toy reporters convened in the frigid cold. More pics in a bit!
I finally took some time to draw some more superheroes. Using primarily handheld tools such as pencils, pens and markers, I've made something I am genuinely fond of. I've been sketching away and I just couldn't stop inking and coloring. Although, this is a formidable team, I always thought it was sort of lame that they only had one female member for so long and she was only an inch high. Maybe we can get Kang the Conqueror to alter the past and enlist some ladysupes to the Earth's Mightiest Hero roster.
With The Avengers still alternately hammering and smashing box office records wherever they go, anticipation has already started building up for the next phase of Marvel’s multi-year plan to ultimately become so successful that Dan Slott can write a Squirrel Girl movie and have it hit #1. Sequels to Captain America, Iron Man and Thor have all been announced, and while Chris Hemsworth
has been talking up the possible villains for Thor Too, most of the recent debate has swirled around director Shane Black’s vision for Iron Man 3. You’ll remember Iron Man 2 with fond memories, of course, and how wonderful all the subplots and persistent minor characters were. That scene, with Iron Man talking endlessly to Nick Fury about things that were in no way important to the plot or progression of the film? Classic right? Well now it looks like Shane Black is going to keep sub-plot fans rolling in clover, and just throw anything he can at the screen to see what happens.
On top of reports that Ben Kingsley has been in talks to play the classic certainly-not-racist villain ‘The Mandarin’ in the movie, now come reports that James Badge Dale, a man no stranger to endless subplots after a season of nothing happening in Rubicon, may be playing ‘Iron Patriot’ in the film. You may be confused at this news, as Iron Patriot was in the comics a costume worn by Norman Osborn during Marvel’s sadly under-subplotted ‘Dark Reign’ branding, and Normie surely isn’t allowed outside of the Sony studio. Well, yes, it is rather strange, but it looks like Marvel have co-opted the design to fit in with Iron Man’s themes (militarisation, patriotism, big metal suits with blammblamm guns)
Hopefully with all this – oh and Extremis too, that’s showing up at some point too somewhere - appearing in the movie, Black will still be able to find a few minutes for Tony Stark to grow an emo fringe and start belting out swing numbers to Bethany McCabe, even while Pepper is sat right there you guys.
Primarily known for his tendency to get slimed, actor Bill Murray is also known to be a rather reclusive fellow. He keeps to himself, and doesn’t have an agent or manager to book work for him. Instead of having to look through job offers, he instead asks of anybody who wants to work with him (although preferably not Dan Akroyd) that they leave a voice message on his answerphone, which he checks whenever he gets tired of staring at himself, deadpan, in the mirror.
This made it rather difficult for when Robert Downey Jr wanted to bring in Murray for a role in the Iron Man movies, as the actor either didn’t pick up the message or was on Captain America’s side during Civil War. In an interview with Esquire magazine, questioneer Scott Raab mentions in passing to Murray that poor ol’ Downey Jr wanted him for a part in the movie, but had no way of getting hold of the actor. Raab mentions this as an example of Hollywood’s inability to grab hold of Murray when they are looking to Assemble, and doesn’t give us the details. Did Downey Jr leave a series of increasingly desperate/drunken messages? Did he sing at any point? We may never know.
What part Downey Jr had in mind for the star of Garfield is anybody’s guess, although the obvious choices would likely be either Tony Stark’s father Howard, Pepper Potts, or the voice of Jarvis. Or perhaps something even more left-field? Fans have long contested that Murray would be the perfect choice to play Groot, if the Guardians of the Galaxy were ever to show up in the Marvel film universe.
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?
A new Marvel Now teaser has announced that writer Kieron Gillen and artist Greg Land are going to be working together on a project called ‘Invincible’. Which, this will either be an Iron Man series or something for Robert Kirkman to merrily sue out of existence. Most likely the former.
Rumours have surrounded this project for a few months now, which makes it strange that Marvel are announcing it now, in a random week, and not at SDCC. This does seem almost certainly to be an Iron Man tease, given Matt Fraction’s previous ‘Invincible Iron Man’ series, which wraps up later this year. Also, there’s the metal font which gives things away. And the fact we all know Marvel aren’t going to cancel Iron Man. So those are the reasons why this is an Iron Man series, then.
There’s not really much to say about this, I guess. Shame Steven Sanders isn’t drawing it?
Via that very best of methods: the Dustin Weaver giganti-cover. The covers for issues 1-3 of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers relaunch have been revealed by Marvel today, establishing that more X-Men have moved over to Cap’s Crew. While there are no surprises about which members of the Avengers movie cast made it into the series (all of them), the cover does still hold a few surprises. So! Who’re The Avengers?
Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Hulk and Thor are all members of the Avengers – unsurprisingly – and they’re joined be fellow non-surprises Spider-Man and Wolverine. But also in amongst the shiny heroes are Sunspot and Cannonball from the New Mutants, as well as Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman and Falcon. This represents perhaps the first time that two minority characters males have been on the main Avengers at the same time, I believe, although that still feels a bit of a low ratio for what’s meant to be a world-spanning team. No sign of Redwing yet either, which is a worry.
There’s also some whizzy technology in the background, suggesting that Hickman will be basing the team in Nick Fury’s helicarrier. The most intriguing part, however, looks to be the mystery character on the far left, silhouetted by the explosion Steve Rogers is manfully walking away from. For my money, this looks like it’s meant to be Shang Chi, but.. well, it could be anybody really. Anybody else got a better guess in mind?
Hickman, artist Jerome Opena and colourist Dean White will start the series off in December. There are still several more characters yet to be revealed as team-members, so don’t lose hope yet, Jarvis fans!