Divergence follows Convergence this June, as DC unveiled details today of a bold new line-up of post-Convergence titles that suggest that the publisher has learned lessons from past reboots, recent successes, and the best efforts of its rivals at Marvel and Image. The new line-up marks the formal end of the New 52 as a DC brand, though presumably not the end of the continuity it established. Where that initiative took an indiscriminate approach to overhauling the line, and seemed fixated on a young male demographic, the new DC seems determined to appear accessible to new audiences, and offers a more interesting array of titles -- and creators.
OMG you guys, Dum Dum Dugan is in this episode.
Ahem. Also; 'The Iron Celing' is the fifth episode of Agent Carter, and quite comfortably the best, not just because of Dum Dum, but also because it changes the scenery, places Peggy on a real mission, fleshes out Chad Michael Murray's Agent Jack Thompson, and gives us a real taste of the breadth and color of this Marvel Universe. The only thing I didn't really like was the title, a too-cute hybridization of Iron Curtain and Glass Ceiling that doesn't ultimately capture what the episode was about.
'The Iron Ceiling' was directed by Peter Leto and written by Jose Molina. And Dum Dum Dugan was in it. Let's recap it, SSR-style.
The folks at Marvel know that it's never too late to take a chance to tweak their distinguished competitors at fancy Southern California comic publisher DC. Back in April 2013, DC ran a month of covers under the 'WTF Certified' banner, with 'shocking' twist reveals on fold-out covers. The F in WTF is of course a naughty word, which made some retailers uncomfortable, and DC shuffled its feet and said it would not put the ribald WTF branding on its actual covers.
A whole two years later in April 2015, Marvel has decided to remind the world of DC's embarrassed walk-back with What The Duck month, featuring twenty comics with variant Howard the Duck-themed covers inspired by iconic images. In the PR, Marvel boasts that the covers will be 'WTD Certified', so this is not a simple coincidence. This is mock-making in the classic Marvel manner.
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.
2015 got off to an impressive start with stunning compositions from Riley Rossmo, James Harren, and Ken Niimura; wonderful character portraits from Marko Djurdjevic, Becky Cloonan, and Kaare Andrews; amazing colors from Darwyn Cooke and Artyom Trakhanov; and a really fun He-Man piece from Stjepan Sejic.
The mysteries of Battleworld, the new merged world that forms the basis for Marvel's forthcoming Secret Wars event, are slowly trickling out in the form of various tie-in titles and mini-series announcements. Thus far most of what we know either relates to Marvel Universe characters like Magneto and Loki, or describes in broad terms the publisher's plans for the various "warzones." But today Marvel announced the first specific mini-series set in a Battleworld world; Master Of Kung-Fu.
Written by Haden Blackman and illustrated by Dalibor Talajic, the series is set in the mystical land of K'un Lun and stars Shang-Chi in fight to dethrone his despotic father. Fans will know that Shang-Chi's father in old Marvel continuity was none other than Fu Manchu -- a character Marvel long ago lost the rights to. A recent retcon introduced a new identity for his father, an ancient sorcerer named Zu, and the new series looks set to cement that change.
Everyone needs to get on board the Spider-Gwen train, because the hooded Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman was one of the most exciting new (or improved) characters of 2014, with our favorite new costume of the year, and with February's Spider-Gwen #1, by Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and Rico Renzi, she'll aim to really make her mark as the best spider-themed hero out there. OK, that's a tall order. But definitely in the top three, which places her in the top 1% of spider-heroes.
Marvel has released a three-page unlettered preview of Spider-Gwen #1 showing Gwen in action, plus a look at three awesome variant covers by Adam Hughes, Skottie Young, and Kris Anka. The Hughes cover offers a glimpse of classic Gwen; Young serves up another of his fantastic baby variants; and Anka treats us to a shot of an unmakes Spider-Gwen delighting in the joy of webswinging. It's a gorgeous image that shows Gwen every bit at home on the end of a webline as Peter Parker. (She might want to put that mask back on, though. J. Jonah Jameson would kill for this picture.)
We're halfway through the eight episode run of Agent Carter, and it's now very clear that this show isn't aiming to be a procedural, and that's both a strength and a weakness. Agent Carter has a clear idea what it's about and where it's going, with this week's episode focused on moving all the characters forward (and helping us to better get to know a few of them), but the lack of a 'monster of the week' structure leaves the show -- and this episode -- feeling unfocused.
'The Blizkrieg Button' is directed by Stephen Cragg and written by Brant Englestein, and has easily the best title of the show's run; but sadly the Blizkrieg Button proves to be a bit of a decoy duck, both in the title and in the episode itself.
Nightwing is comics' hottest male superhero. His superior hotness is a fact so indisputable that, when we compiled our list of the 50 Sexiest Guys In Comics a while back, there was never any serious doubt that he would come out on top. His appeal is not only recognized by fans, but also by creators and even by publisher DC, which has been known to pander to his fans on several occasions. In an industry that doesn't generally make time for the female gaze, Dick Grayson has emerged as one of the medium's few male sex symbols.
But what is it about Dick Grayson that sets him apart among the macho mannequins of superhero comics? Is it his personality? His history? His character design? His butt? ComicsAlliance spoke to Dick Grayson experts Tim Seeley and Devin Grayson, and several of the character's fans, and undertook an intense study of the source material, to get to the lovely bottom of this great question.
20th Century Fox's movie reboot of the Fantastic Four doesn't seem to have generated much buzz among comic fans, perhaps because all we hear about the movie is the ways in which it diverges from the comics created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The cast is young; the space mission origin story has apparently changed; and Doctor Doom is rumored to be an angry blogger named Domashev rather than a foreign despot. We seem to know a lot about what the movie won't be; now it's time for Fox to tell us what the movie will be.
Netflix's Marvel TV show AKA Jessica Jones may have found its lead villain in former Doctor Who actor David Tennant. Marvel has announced that Tennant will play Kilgrave, "an enigmatic figure from Jessica's past", and fans familiar with the show's inspiration, the Brian Michael Bendis/Michael Gaydos comic Alias, will know that Zebediah Killgrave is the name of Jessica's most dangerous nemesis, The Purple Man.
Created by Stan Lee and Joe Orlando as a Daredevil villain in Daredevil #4 in 1964, The Purple Man is a former spy who gained mind control powers following a mad science accident that also turned his skin and hair purple. A minor but notably sinister villain, he appears in Alias as the cause of the trauma that led Jessica Jones to quit her superhero career, and will likely serve as the lead antagonist in AKA Jessica Jones. Based on the evidence of Marvel's announcement, the TV version does not go by the name The Purple Man, nor even Killgrave, but the more prosaic 'Kilgrave', with one L. He may not even be called Zebediah, which would be a terrible shame. Come to think of it, he may not even be purple.