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Andrew Wheeler

Valerio Schiti’s New ‘Space Marine’ Venom Is Monstrously Awesome

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Marvel has unveiled a brand new look for Flash Thompson's Venom, courtesy of artist Valerio Schiti, and it's great. Schiti is currently the penciller on Guardians of the Galaxy with writer Brian Michael Bendis, and Thompson, a long-time part of the Spider-Man supporting cast, is now riding around space with the crew as the Avengers' official emissary. In this week's Guardians Of The Galaxy #23, he got a symbiote upgrade and an even newer gig as... an agent of the cosmos. And with that job title comes a spiffy new outfit.

Schiti's sketches show that he went through a few different takes on the new design before settling on one that keeps the spider motif central and distinct, but also gives Venom a much more sci-fi feel. Venom is as big as ever, but with an armored toughness and an awesome helmet design. The overall look evokes a Warhammer Space Marine.

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#fourcomics: Writer Jim Zub Unleashes A Wave Of Comics Nostalgia With Twitter Hashtag

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Skullkickers and Wayward author Jim Zub launched a simple hashtag late on Wednesday that turned the comics Twittersphere into a museum of childhood memories, with fans and creators sharing '#fourcomics' that influenced them growing up. With fans of varying ages and experiences sharing issues and series that shaped them as kids or that still influence them today, the hashtag quickly became one of the top trending topics of conversation on Twitter.

ComicsAlliance has collected some examples from comic writers, artists, and cartoonists, but anyone with a Twitter account can contribute their own four comics that shaped them by using the #fourcomics hashtag, and anyone can check out the hashtag to see what everyone is posting. Warning: You will be transplanted back to your earliest comic book memories and feel an irresistible urge to go digging through longboxes for your worn-out favorite comics.

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Filed Under: , , , , Category: Culture, News

Battleworld: Deciphering The Theme Park Map Of The Post-Marvel Universe Marvel Universe

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Marvel's announcement on Tuesday that the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe are coming to an end, as realities collide in Secret Wars' "Battleworld," has thrown a lot of fans into a tizzy. For the long term there's a lot of confusion about which characters and continuities will survive the experience, and whether Secret Wars will end in a reboot. In the short term, there are the mysteries of Battleworld to unravel. Just which of Marvel's alternate realities will form this Frankenstein planet?

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Boom And Image Receive Two Nominations Each In 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

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GLAAD, the media monitoring group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender representation, has announced the nominees for its annual Media Awards celebrating positive LGBT representation in mainstream media, including the five comic book series that it believes provided outstanding examples of fair, inclusive, original and impactful LGBT characters in 2014.

This year's awards include first-time nominations for two publishers, Image Comics and Boom Studios. DC Comics is conspicuously absent this year, despite being nominated at least once every year seemingly for as long as GLAAD has recognized comics. Archie Comics is also absent for the first time since the debut of Kevin Keller in 2010.

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Don’t Call It A Reboot: Marvel Confirms A Convergence Of Universes In ‘Secret Wars’ — But What Does It All Mean?

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Everything changes and nothing will ever be the same again. At a live filmed announcement at Midtown Comics in Manhattan on Thursday afternoon, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and executive editor Tom Brevoort announced a new status quo for the Marvel Universe, with worlds colliding to form a mish-mash of continuities that will be the setting for all Marvel comics from May 2015 onwards.

Most of what Alonso and Brevoort announced was already known or guessed at; Secret Wars, an eight-issue series by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic, marks the culmination of the incursion story that Hickman began at the outset of Marvel NOW with Avengers #1 and New Avengers #1 back in late 2012, and will brings together multiple continuities and alternative universes in a single "Battleworld". What's new in all this is the confirmation that this event reshapes -- some might say 'reboots' -- the Marvel Universe for the (foreseeable) future.

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Marvel Announces End Of All Announcements; There Will Be No Further Announcements

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In a special announcement at 3pm Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday 20th January 2015, Marvel ended all announcements. Specific details of the announcement are not available at this time, and presumably will never be made available, because there will be no further announcements.

The announcement of the end of all announcements comes as sad news to people who were hoping to know what comics might be coming out after existing solicitations run dry in April, or who might play Iron Fist in the Netflix show, or who might play Captain Marvel in the movie. On the bright side, the end of all announcements also means that future Marvel event comics will just happen without any fanfare, and that'll be a nice surprise.

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Filed Under: Category: Marvel

The Books Are Selling: Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley On The Company’s Gamble With Diversity

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Marvel publisher Dan Buckley gave a three-part interview with comic industry blog ICv2 this week in which he discussed the company's performance in 2014 and its strategies for the year ahead. The interview ranged across digital sales, graphic novel sales, and the impact of the Marvel movies on the comics -- but of particular interest to ComicsAlliance were Buckley's comments on reaching a more diverse audience of new comics customers.

While acknowledging that Marvel and the industry at large has never done much consumer research, Buckley said the company has been "aggressive in trying a lot of diverse product over the last two years," as part of an initiative spearheaded by Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. According to Buckley, the results of that outreach have been very positive.

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Run For Your Life: Samsung Integrates Ultron Into New Marvel Tie-In Products

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Now that the threat of Skynet destroying us all has been averted by an increasingly crappy series of Terminator movies (or maybe they're just disappointing us to death), a new technological threat to all life on Earth has emerged. In order to promote the forthcoming pic Avengers: Age Of Ultron, tech giant Samsung has joined forces with Marvel to put Ultron in all your smart devices. Yes, the word "smart" to describe technology has never been more insidious than it is now. Smart; scheming; devious.

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All Of DC’s ‘Convergence’ Covers, Solicitations & Chip Kidd Variants For April In One Place

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DC's major springtime event this year sees all of the company's staff pack their belongings into boxes and ship them across country to Burbank. (Good luck!) While that's happening, all of the characters in DC's comics will be summoned to Battleworld by the Beyonder (or... close enough) for Convergence, a two-month pause in the company's New 52 publishing schedule, filled with a sort of nostalgia coleslaw of fresh chopped continuity from before Flashpoint, before Zero Hour, and before Crisis, with stories by Gail Simone, Greg Rucka, Keith Giffen, Nicola Scott, ChrisCross, Joshua Middleton, Jeff Parker, Bill Sienkiewicz, and many more.

All this week, DC has been unveiling covers for the first month of titles through various outlets. We've collected them here with the solicitation copy, so you can admire some fun throwback art -- including great pieces by Babs Tarr, Becky Cloonan, Steve Lieber, Pia Guerra, Jill Thompson, and Mike Allred -- and get out your Sharpie and use this as a checklist. (Tip: Don't draw directly on your screen.)

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Filed Under: , , Category: DC, News

Image Comics Launches Direct Mail Subscription Service, Image Direct

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Image Comics hopes to bring new life to a familiar comics business model with Image Direct, a just-launched direct mail subscription service that offers customers in the continental United States discounts of up to 35% on Image titles shipped direct to their door. Customers can currently buy twelve-issue subscriptions on 42 different ongoing titles, including Saga, The Walking Dead, Savage Dragon, Wytches, and Invincible.

According to the FAQ on the new Image Direct site, customers subscribing to two or more titles receive a 10% discount on cover price; four or more gets you a 20% discount. Customers must subscribe to all the titles offered to qualify for the largest 35% discount. The price of an individual 12-issue subscription ranges from $35.88 to $47.88. Subscribing to all of the books costs $1,117.99 after discount.

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Filed Under: , , Category: Image, News

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