A lot has been said about the necessity of the Before Watchmen event as a whole. Whether or not you agree with that, you can’t deny the great storytelling that Darwyn Cooke is bringing to his Minutemen run. It’s the one side of the Watchmen equation we don’t know really well and Cooke is peeling back the layers in great fashion.
Marvel NOW has not been discussed much on this site, but shout-outs to a couple that are personifying the creative jolt that Marvel is getting with their titles:
- All New X-Men #3 is making me wish Bendis was writing X-Men a while ago.
- Avengers #1 is banking on Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena to bring the goods. It’s a solid start, but not mind-blowing. Patience is required though because this is a Hickman book now.
Scott Snyder’s penultimate issue of this mini-series keeps delivering the goods with great action and more great history of Carpathian vampire lore. He does what great monster movies tend to do, which is build up the presence of a great evil without actually showing him. And having Dustin Nguyen on hand to create this aura/presence is what makes this mini-series just as fantastic as the main one.
Snyder, along with Greg Capullo, also gets to play with New 52 origins with Batman #0. Bruce Wayne’s origin story is not anything we haven’t seen before, but is still solid enough of a build as we get into next month’s Death of the Family arc. James Tynion IV’s back-up story though was great, as we see the impact of Batman on his eventual partners’ lives.
And then there’s Avengers vs. X-Men #11. If you didn’t catch my rant on Twitter or Facebook last week after reading this issue, then you’ll want to listen to this.
And I thought this type of trading was reserved for the Marvel Masterworks trading cards from 20 years ago. By the way, does somebody have that Magneto hologram card I need to complete my set?
IGN received word earlier today that Marvel was in talks with Fox to re-claim the rights back to their Galactus and Silver Surfer characters in exchange for what seems like an extension to the movie rights to Daredevil that Fox currently owns. There’s even talk that Marvel will help co-finance the flick.
The talks most likely reflect Marvel’s focus on the cosmic side of its movie universe given the Thanos cameo we received in Avengers and the announcement that Guardians of the Galaxy is coming in 2014. Of course, there are some wrinkles to this considering that Fox is on-board to rebooting the Fantastic Four franchise and losing two prominent characters of that side of the Marvel universe seems to be slowing those talks down.
It’s too early in the game to say where this is going, but it’s darn fun to watch. I propose a fantasy comic book movie character league should be started with the hopes of trading characters of different publishers together for each team. My dream of a Batman/Groot crossover is coming.
Marvel’s Avengers movie only made about a gazillion dollars, so there was skepticism as to whether or not sequels to their popular characters and introducing new ones was going to fly with the SDCC audience at yesterday’s movie panel.
Nah, just screwing with you. Marvel announced five different movies in the works for the next 2-3 years. 3 of them were pretty much a given with the core Avengers getting sequels, but doesn’t take the excitement away:
We know Iron Man 3 is next on the Marvel list, scheduled to come out May 3rd, 2013. Shane Black is directing and Ben Kingsley looks like he’s set to take the role of Iron Man’s biggest villain, Mandarin.
November 8th of next year will see Thor : The Dark World. The majority of the cast returns under the direction of Alan Taylor this time, who a few of you may know as the guy behind HBO’s Game of Thrones. Sounds like a good fit to me.
The sequel was not surprising, but the subtitle was. Reportedly producing the biggest positive reaction from the crowd, it looks like we’re getting one of the best Ed Brubaker arcs adapted to the big screen. Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Arrested Development and Community, are directing the movie, scheduled to come out April 4, 2014. Interesting choice for a release date.
And then there was the confirmation we were waiting to hear about after the rumors went out a few weeks ago. Guardians of the Galaxy will be the 2014 movie to watch for, giving Marvel plenty of time to build the name up for audiences not familiar with the cosmic team. The team is set to be Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot. Here’s some concept art to salivate over:
And then lastly, Edgar Wright (of Scott Pilgrim fame) ran a test clip of Ant-Man to the panel, which reportedly received positive approval. Still no word on casting and given what we’ve learned of the movies coming out so far, we’re probably still way too early to get anything notable of this flick for a while.
Just looking at this lineup (along with the inevitable Avengers sequel most likely hitting 2015), it’s clearly showing that Marvel is hitting its stride with movie adaptations compared to what DC has had to offer (minus the upcoming Dark Knight Rises).
Marvel has seen a renaissance in its animated programming the last couple of years, starting with Avengers : Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and working its way up to Ultimate Spider-Man earlier this year. Shake-ups have been the rumors lately along with new shows on the horizon. Today’s Marvel TV panel, headed up by Marvel’s head of television, Jeph Loeb, gave us some insight as to where the programming is going next:
Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
Leave it to Loeb to kick it off with this new series, considering he was the mean that introduced Red Hulk to the world of comics a couple of years ago. Given Hulk’s rising popularity between the animated show and the Avengers flick, it comes to no surprise that this would get the green light to come on.
“We thought it would be good to be able to show Hulk as a hero,” he said. Loeb, who launched the Red Hulk and ultimately extended the Hulk family, showed test footage of the upcoming show, which features Hulk, Red Hulk, She-Hulk, and A-Bomb.
The Hulks, including Skaar, fight bug beasts and other monsters, ending with the rallying cry “Time to smash!” The show will debut in 2013.
Expect more shenanigans with Spidey and his S.H.I.E.L.D. teammates as they tangle with villains like Kraven, Lizard, and Rhino. There’s speculation that Spider-Ham will be an episode of the show. That’ll do just fine.
Many may remember some of the mature movies Marvel took on such as Thor & Loki : Blood Brothers. Loeb confirmed that they have more in the pipeline including Astonishing X-Men, Inhumans, Wolverine : Origin, and Wolverine : Weapon X.
And then of course, there’s the giant elephant in the room. It was noted earlier in the year that Marvel was ending Avengers : Earth’s Mightiest Heroes once its completes this season’s run as a way to take the animation in-house. Ultimate Spider-Man is already under Marvel, hence it only made fiscal sense to roll up its other popular property under it too. Loeb though had this to say:
“Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” was always going to be 52 episodes, an animation industry standard order. When that show concluded itself, we had an issue on our hands, what to do next.
Avengers Assemble plans to continue that continuity though fortunately, though obviously with different animation and voice acting not yet finalized.
NOTE : the following may tip us off about what the new direction of the Marvel books will be once the AvX event is said and done. Avoid the below if you don’t want to be spoiled!
Considering the massive reboot DC took on last year under the New 52 banner, I guess it comes to no surprise that we’d see something similar on the opposing front of the big two publishers. Just announced on MTV Geek, the ‘Marvel NOW!’ campaign launches in October with plans to both relaunch old titles and reintroduce new ones.
There is also a new digital strategy as part of this that ties into the AR (Augmented Reality) app Marvel first introduced in its Avengers vs. X-Men books. I’m hoping it’s an update to the app because heck knows how long it took me to get my iPhone properly adjusted on a panel or cover just to get the digital video to show on my first two AvX books.
What’s interesting with the re-launch (reboot is a term Marvel is trying to avoid) is the slow progression of new titles Marvel will introduce as opposed to the hard reset DC did in the span of one month. Here’s the lowdown of the books so far:
Uncanny Avengers #1 (October)
by Rick Remender & John Cassaday
From the “ashes” of “Avengers VS X-Men” the two teams come together for the first time to fight a new deadly foe — the Red Skull, who wants to “x-out” the mutant race! Expect Captain America and Wolverine to be members, as well as a few “wild card” surprises!
All New X-Men #1 (November)
by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen
Everything old is new again…after the original five X-Men suddenly reappear in the present! How do they get to the current time-period? What do they think about the events of Avengers VS X-Men? All I know is — this definitely means the return of Jean Grey!
Avengers #1 (December)
by Jonathan Hickman & Jerome Opena
So the rumors are true then about Hickman taking over for Bendis after his 8-year run with the flagship team book. As is Bendis taking on the other flagship team. Cassaday returning to full-time interiors is a big surprise and working with a rising writer in the ranks in Remender will surely bring tons of fun to the pages. Not a bad start, though details are obviously still sketchy on what else Marvel has in mind. San Diego will probably tell us a lot more.