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.
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.
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.
The post-credits scene for Guardians Of The Galaxy featured a rather unexpected comic book character, which inspired fan speculation over whether or not this particular character would make another appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While we won’t see him on the big screen again anytime soon, he is getting his very own comic book sequel to help explain how he ended up in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Courtesy of Marvel, ComicsAlliance brings you an advance look at new periodical comic books, collected editions and graphic novels going on sale in April 2015 (and in some cases beyond) from the publisher’s mainline Marvel Universe titles, Ultimate Comics, the mature readers MAX imprint and the creator-owned label Icon. All of the following books can be purchased at finer comic book shops, where you can also pre-order your selections to ensure you’ll get a copy.
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.
If you think the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dominating your life now, just wait until 2016 when Steve Rogers and Tony Stark go head-to-head in ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ It’s a movie so big that it actually scared ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ away from its original release date. So when you read the latest comments on the film by screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who also wrote the first two ‘Captain America’ films), just try to imagine the amount of pressure on their shoulders. Lesser screenwriters would be crushed.
Starstruck, the first trade of the new Cyclops series, which collects the whole Greg Rucka, Russell Dauterman and Carmen Carnero run with the character, sidesteps the adult revolutionary version of Cyclops, who is currently proving to be the only acceptable mutant leader in the Marvel Universe right now – to focus on the teenaged version of his past self.
You see, at the start of All-New X-Men, Beast wrecked the timestream (in classic awful Beast fashion because he’s the worst) by bringing teenaged versions of the original five X-Men into the present day, basically so he could try out a guilt-trip on their present-day versions. This has caused countless problems and a lot of angst, which recently culminated with the young version of Cyclops deciding to race off into space for some quality time with his dad… who just so happens to be a notorious intergalactic outlaw pirate with rad facial hair. Probably the right choice.
Chris Hemsworth plays the movie version of Thor, who is a character in some comics. This was a game on a TV show. Someone threw water at Chris Hemsworth and his shirt got wet. It was a white shirt. He danced.
The world needs a new Marvel Swimsuit Special. Not because the old ones were great works, and not because there's any shortage of cheesecake in the pages of superhero comics today, but because a new Swimsuit Special has the potential to be something wonderful. From a smart publisher, a book of pin-ups could celebrate the diversity of superhero sex appeal for a broad audience in a non-exploitative way, breaking down the old cliches about the genre. The world is ready for fun, positive, equal opportunity cheesecake and beefcake -- and Marvel has the artists to do it.
Indeed, two of those artists were already doing it. Anyone following Kris Anka or Kevin Wada on Tumblr will have noticed of late that they were working on a "secret" project that plainly featured Marvel heroes in swimsuits. Today, Anka took to Tumblr to confirm that he and Wada had indeed been working on a new Marvel swimsuit book -- but that they have stopped production after failing to reach an agreement with Marvel. The Swimsuit Special the world deserves is not going to happen. This is terrible news.
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