Marvel STAR WARS Featurette

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Here’s a mini-featurette on the recently-published STAR WARS #1, in which series writer Jason Aaron, editor Jordan D. White, and Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso talk about the creation of the new ongoing series:

[youtube http://youtu.be/H_Hiky7fT2s]

There were 69(!) variant covers for this issue (which is frankly insane). A good number of them are pretty cool (Skottie Young’s is great). Personally, I think I like the Midtown Comics exclusive the best:

StarWars-01-MidtownSpeaking of of Skottie Young, he’s produced three covers – for Princess Leia #1, Star Wars #1, and Darth Vader #1 – that can be stitched together into a single image (via MTV News):

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Trailer: ANT-MAN — “Is it too late to change the name…?”

Here’s the trailer for Marvel’s upcoming Ant-Man movie:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xInh3VhAWs8]

Like Paul Rudd’s character at the very end, I’ve always been a bit on the fence about the name… Nevertheless, this looks pretty interesting. I wonder if/how they are going to tie this in with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — given Michael Douglas’s age, could we see his character appear in the new Agent Carter TV series? That could be cool…

Ant-Man opens in theatres in July 2015. I’m rather looking forward to it.

Upcoming: Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman…

… this time, without gratuitous, ridiculous butt-graphics on the cover. In Edge of Spider-Verse #2, an alternative Marvel universe’s Gwen Stacy is New York’s spider-bitten protector. I don’t have a huge amount of interest in what is becoming an ever-more-complex web of Spider-Man-related series,* but the artwork by Robbi Rodriguez caught my eye. First, here’s the cover…

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And second, a pair of interior pages. I rather like the hoody-outfit Stacy wears, and Rodriguez’s overall aesthetic and style is really interesting and eye-catching (I have no idea if there’s a proper term for this approach, so I won’t attempt to make one up)…

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Edge of Spider-Verse #2 is due to be published September 17th, 2014.

* Seriously, Marvel – not everything has to be cross-pollinated and crossed-over. It’s really damned annoying. Not to mention expensive. (OH! Of course! That’s why you do it…)

Artwork: CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE MIGHTY AVENGERS #1 (Marvel)

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Hot on the heels of the identity of the new Captain America, there’s more on the way! Today, Marvel unveiled the cover for Captain America & The Mighty Avengers #1, a second series to feature Sam Wilson-as-Captain America. The series will be written by Al Ewing. The cover above and internal art for the book are by Luke Ross. The series will spin out of the upcoming Marvel Event (yup, another one), Avengers & X-Men: AXIS.

Sam Wilson has inherited his new patriotic moniker, but is he up to the task of leading a team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? The hero formerly known as Falcon has some new ideas for the rag-tag team of Mighty Avengers – but the events of AXIS may spell doom for the inexperienced leader. And not everyone on the team is happy with Sam’s new position as leader. Spider-Man is back, too – Amazing this time, NOT Superior. Luke Cage & Jessica Jones are still itching to give him some payback for trying to take their daughter to Child Services. And what is Luke Cage doing meeting with the head of the notorious Cortex corporation?

Here’s what Ewing had to say about the series, in an interview with Marvel.com:

“As for the mission statement – same as it’s ever been. Help those in need, however they need it. This is where all the work over the previous series pays off – the Gem theater is refurbished, the hotline is in place, the field team is on standby to take care of problems nobody else can handle. The Mighty Avengers are hitting the ground running.”

Upcoming: All New Captain America & Thor (Marvel)

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Marvel has been in the process of shaking things up, this week. Not only did they announce an all-new, female Thor on The View (see below), but they have now unveiled, yesterday on The Colbert Report, who is going to be the (all-)new Captain America!

And that lucky fellow who will now don the stars and stripes is none other than Sam Wilson, who formerly wore the mantel of the Falcon. In a nod to both his new role and his past super-heroics, his new get-up is pretty cool…

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I quite like this, actually. I think this should offer something new to the character, and more so than Bucky’s turn as Captain America – although, I did really like that time in the Cap mythology. Here’s what Rick Remender, who will be writing the new series, had to say…

“Sam wants to lead by example. To help people see their own selfishness and to turn it around. To build better communities, to never forget the little guy… Sam follows his heart and his belief in what the American dream means and how it belongs to everyone.”

And here’s Executive Editor Tom Brevoort on the change-up…

“Steve’s spirit is as willing as ever, but his body is no longer up to the task of being Captain America. So he’ll employ his skills as the new Cap’s remote strategic advisor, running Cap’s missions from his headquarters in Avengers Mansion and providing Sam with technical support and field information from a distance. He’ll also tutor Sam in how to throw the shield, a skill that’s deceptively difficult for the new Cap to master. So Steve will continue to be a vital part of the series moving ahead.”

So, Steve Rogers is the new Nick Fury? Maybe just for new Sam-Cap? Sounds interesting, at any rate.

Given my tendency to wait for comic series to be collected or discounted, this means that two complete runs (or volumes) of Captain America have actually finished, that I haven’t read yet… Kind of: Rick Remender’s Marvel NOW series with Steve Rogers as Cap will end before the first issue of All New Captain America comes out in November 2014. Before that was Ed Brubaker’s second run on the series, which was (I think) part of the Golden Era or something. Marvel are re-juggling things far too frequently for me to keep up. It may look like a desperate plea for attention (certainly, in some instances it’s hard to see it as anything other than that), but it’s nice that they’re properly mixing things up. Just, you know, maybe let a series run for a full year before canning it?

Next up, the new Thor! A character I was not particularly familiar with pre-movie, as I always thought the idea of him was a little silly, compared to all of the other Avengers and Marvel characters. As a result, I have only read about him in the Avengers series, and more recently in Jason Aaron’s Marvel NOW series, Thor: God of Thunder (of which I’ve read the first collection, “The God Butcher”). I am, however, rather intrigued by this change up. Here’s the new Thor…

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First up, that’s a great piece of art. I do love this artist’s work – I think it’s Esad Ribic (the press release didn’t say, but it’s similar in style to Ribic’s work on Thor: God of Thunder). Here’s what the press release had to say:

“No longer is the classic male hero able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, a brand new female hero will emerge will who will be worthy of the name THOR. Who is she? Where did she come from and what is her connection to Asgard and the Marvel Universe?”

Jason Aaron, who will write the new Thor series, was keen to emphasize that, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” said Marvel editor Wil Moss. Moss also addressed what was no doubt the immediate thought of many Marvel Comics readers, stating that “this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

Still don’t know who Thor actually is, but I’m interested to see how this series develops. I’m sure Jason Aaron will do a great job, and not just write Valkyrie-with-more-armour-and-a-hammer.

The new Thor #1 will be published in October 2014.

Thor-01-Art

Some Pieces of Wolverine Art… (Marvel)

Despite my belief that the mini-series will either be a disappointment, fail to deliver, or quickly retconned, Marvel has released some pretty cool artwork for Death of Wolverine. Today, for example, the following three images arrived in my inbox. They’re a selection of three work-in-progress versions of the same page: pencils, inks, and colours…

DeathOfWolverine-01-Preview1-Pencils

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DeathOfWolverine-01-Preview1-Colors

The artwork is by Steve McNiven (pencils), Jay Leisten (inks), and Justin Ponsor (colours). The series is written by Charles Soule. Issue one of Death of Wolverine will be published on September 3rd, 2014 – it will also include 20 pages of bonus content, like these progression pages.

In addition to these three versions of the page, Marvel have also unveiled some Canadian variant covers. Why Canada? Well, Wolverine is Canadian. Here are the variant covers and the series synopsis…

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Born in Alberta, Canada – James Howlett’s long and eventful life now comes to an end. He has been counted among the X-Men, the Avengers and Canada’s own Alpha Flight.  He’s fought alongside heroes in numerous wars. He’s been the headmaster of a school for gifted youngsters. He has been the best there is at what he does for over a century. But the day has come where his best is not enough…

Left without his mutant healing factor, his enemies now close in for the kill – and the Wolverine faces his greatest battle alone. As he runs the gauntlet of his deadliest foes, be there when the once indestructible killing machine makes his final stand! What does a world without Wolverine look like?

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In case you’re wondering, the plethora of Maple Leaves all over those covers is kind of appropriate…