With Agents of SHIELD taking a much-needed winter break, Marvel’s other spy adventure series, Agent Carter, is back for a two-month engagement, with Hayley Atwell reprising her role as Peggy. Our AoS recappers Agent Ziah Grace and Agent Chris Haley are on hand to review the highs and lows as Agent Carter relocates to Los Angeles to bring down new foes.
Felonies, forced confessions, fading scientists, and flashbacks are all afoot this week! 'Smoke & Mirrors' was directed by David Platt and written by Sue Chung.
For a major new comic book property, FX’s X-Men TV series Legion has been curiously silent in recent weeks, following its first casting, and a few TCA updates. Now, showrunner Noah Hawley drops a huge X-bomb, as Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza and another Fargo alum have been tapped for the lead roles of Professor Xavier’s child David Haller, and support cast.
Junkie XL was tapped to drum up a score (music humor!) for Deadpool, currently approaching its release a week from tomorrow. The full score has already been made available for physical-media purchase through Milan Records, but today, curious parties can get a little taste of what this Junkie’s slinging with a few samples from the upcoming soundtrack.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
If you have ever needed evidence that Rob Liefeld is clearly a prescient genius, there can be no better sign than the fact that back in those paleolithic days before household internet was a common thing, he managed to create a superhero that feels designed specifically for Imgur. Deadpool's greatest power is not his healing factor or swords, but rather that he is a one-man meme-generating machine.
Ideas were flying fast and furious at Marvel at the start of 1964. Lee and Kirby had introduced The Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants in X-Men #4, unleashed the first proper Hulk Vs. Thing battle in Fantastic Four #25, and revived Golden-Age icon Captain America in Avengers #4, while Lee and artist Don Heck had given readers Black Widow's first appearance in Tales Of Suspense #52.
So when the first issue of a new title went on sale on February 4th, it seemed like the next logical step in the Marvel's expansion. The company had been running house ads trumpeting the book for a couple months, and the cover loudly declared itself to be in their best tradition of greatness and innovation. But the truth is that Daredevil's genesis was difficult, and #1 was arriving a full six months after it was originally slated.
Civil War #1 arrived in May 2006, and the Marvel Comics Event in Seven Parts took over the entire line for close to an entire year and was arguably Marvel’s biggest and most successful event to date. There had been events before, such as Infinity Gauntlet, Acts of Vengeance, and House of M, and line-specific events had been a staple of the X-Men since the mid-80s, but Civil War was a new level of huge.
Peter Parker’s decision to unmask was national news, and now any time a hero is killed, or resurrected, or gets a new costume, it goes straight to USA Today. Civil War is just as culturally relevant in 2016 as it was ten years ago, with Captain America: Civil War arriving in theatres in a couple of months, and Civil War II by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez due in May from Marvel.
It still feels like it was just yesterday that Marvel asked us “Whose Side Are You On?”, rather than a whole decade, and Marvel has stuck hard to its event formula in those ten years. Now we have event comics twice a year, and each time we’re told everything will change forever. Let’s look back at the past ten years of Marvel Comics events.
Marvel has generally been pretty good about keeping the details of their projects under wraps until the very moment that they‘re prepared for the public to know. Less known for rigorous self-discipline and professionalism is comedian Doug Benson, the host of such fine programs as the video series Getting Doug with High and the popular Doug Loves Movies podcast. On a recent installment of DLM, Benson sat down with actor Scoot McNairy to discuss the craft of acting, his recent projects, and his hilarious make-believe name. Somehow, the fact that they are mutual friends with funnyman Steve Agee came up, which led to an inadvertent reveal that the longtime Jimmy Kimmel writer was working on Guardians of the Galaxy 2. (“…[Steve] just found out because he’s in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, he has to shoot that bullsh*t instead of being here with us today,” said Benson.)
Mark Waid and Chris Samnee's run on Daredevil is already the stuff of legends, and it only ended last year. Now they're ready to make more comics magic with a run on Black Widow that starts March 2nd.
The preview pages show Natasha in a knockdown drag-out with what seems to be the entirety of SHIELD, and as a reader who's never bought that a super-secretive espionage organization can be heroic or trustworthy, that makes me pretty excited to read the book. Not that this creative team isn't enough to warrant plenty of excitement.
The core concept of Marvel’s Contest of Champions ongoing series is based loosely on an app based loosely on a comic from 1982. In the game, by developers Kabam, The Collector tasks you as a summoner, forced to compete against Kang The Conqueror by pitting heroes against each other, and plays like a beat ‘em up, only much more simplified for mobile play.
In the comic, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and David Curiel, the Contest of Champions takes place between The Collector and The Grandmaster, who in turn have chosen Summoners to act as their champions, who in turn choose teams from across the Marvel multiverse to compete in the contest.
The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, “Which comic books should I be reading?” or, “I’m new to comics, what’s a good place to start?” The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.
It’s with these challenges in mind that we’ve created Best Comic Books Ever (This Week), an ongoing guide curated by the ComicsAlliance staff. This is where new comics readers and seasoned Wednesday shoppers alike can find our picks of the best books the medium has to offer.
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