The second story arc of Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley's All-New X-Men run begins in issue #4 next month, and the first chapter of "Flesh Wounds" sees Wolverine jumping headfirst into a fight with the Blob. Good old Fred Dukes appears to be powered up since his last appearance, and he's wearing a suit and tie. So regardless of how this story goes, congrats on getting it together, Blob!
All New X-Men
The "All-New All-Different" X-books have announced their first crossover, sort of, starting in March of 2016. X-Men: Apocalypse Wars is being described as three separate stories, in each of the three main X-books (and each lasting only one issue, apparently) that all center on the X-villain who also happens to be the focus of the upcoming movie X-Men: Apocalypse. The issues also sport three matching covers, featuring Apocalypse, Archangel, and Kid Apocalypse.
The beginning isn’t always the beginning, especially in comics. The All-New X-Men #1 that came out this week, written by Dennis Hopeless and drawn by Mark Bagley, is not the first comic with that title and number. The previous All-New X-Men series began in 2012 and ended a few months ago with the departure of writer Brian Michael Bendis and the beginning of Secret Wars.
And of course, the All-New X-Men were never exactly all new. That first series told the story of the original five X-Men — Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, and Angel — being plucked out of the past from their early days with the team and into the present, which to them was dark future timeline. This series picks up their story — minus Marvel Girl, who’s over in Extraordinary X-Men instead — and takes it in a direction that really does feel “all new.”
Marvel formally unveiled its post-Secret Wars 'All New, All Different' line up on Wednesday, featuring a Marvel Universe reconfigured by the experiences of Battleworld, and an eight month time jump that allows the publisher to set up a new status quo for many of its characters. Marvel has never had a better opportunity to shake up its line, so readers had high expectations for a bold, diverse, inventive new direction. With that in mind, we're going to share the new titles with you, alongside some observations on how the new Marvel Universe is shaping up, starting with the X-Men.
A lot of fans weren't sure there would still be an X-Men line coming out of Secret Wars, or that it would still share space with the rest of the main Marvel Universe, given that Fox's control of various licensing rights has led Marvel to step back from heavily promoting these characters. But the X-Men still sell comics, and Marvel is in that business, so the X-Men haven't entirely gone away, though the line is down to only six titles, with just three team books and three solo books.
The Advocate has published leaked pages from All-New X-Men #40, on sale tomorrow, which reveal that one of the characters is secretly gay. It's a big moment, and one that could potentially increase gay visibility in the Marvel Universe in a significant way, but there are complications to the story that make it hard to read as an unambiguous victory for LGBTQ representation. Read on if you don't mind having the issue spoiled.
Marvel's Black Vortex event launches this week with The Black Vortex #1 by Sam Humphries and Ed McGuiness, and to promote the event -- and maybe explain it a little -- Marvel has released a video trailer in which a very serious fella outlines the basic plot details. X-Men. Guardians. Ancient artifact of immense and immeasurable power. Villains. Aliens. Star-Lord's dad. Thanos's kid. That sort of thing. Ooh, and Kitty and Pete pull guns on each other, so you know it's serious, even if the very serious voice over hadn't already convinced you. This. Is. Spartax.
Phil Noto knows how to create a stylish retro vibe, and he can conjure up a soft-edged gauzy aesthetic that perfectly evokes the nostalgic familiarity of photographs from the 1960s and 70s. It's a talent that he exploited to beautiful effect in a series of pieces for his Tumblr that presented Silver Age Marvel heroes in the mode of old celebrity snaps from Life Magazine; the images that would have existed if these heroes had been real in the age they were created.
Those Tumblr images are the clear inspiration for a month of Phil Noto variant covers at Marvel this February, though the inspiration stretches beyond Life Magazine pastiches to cover hip-hop, fashion photography, and even candid personal images. Several of the covers were released this week courtesy of Marvel, Comic Vine, CBR and Newsarama, and they're a gorgeous selection of images, so we've collected them all in one place for your appreciation.
Marvel is getting back into the cosmic book business with its next epic crossover event (between the current one and the one after, I mean); The Black Vortex. Announced at New York Comic-Con this past weekend, the event bring together the Guardians Of The Galaxy with all of Marvel's current outer space books -- plus increasingly frequent visitors the All-New X-Men.
The event was devised by Legendary Star-Lord writer Sam Humphries, who also kicks things off with Black Vortex: Alpha in February, with art by Ed McGuinness. ComicsAlliance spoke to Humphries to find out more about the ancient artifact at the heart of the story that will pit heroes against heroes and spark up a different kind of space race.
Marvel is planning its first big cosmic event since the end of the Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning-penned Annihilation/War of Kings cycle that ran from 2006 to 2010. (Or last year's Infinity, if you count that, but that was all about Earth, so we don't.) Black Vortex will cross over between Guardians of the Galaxy, the space-bound All-New X-Men, Cyclops, Legendary Star-Lord, Nova, Captain Marvel, and more.
Marvel also announced Operation S.I.N., by Kathryn Immonen and Rich Ellis, which serves as both a prequel of sorts to the recent Original Sin event and a tie-in to Marvel's Agent Carter TV show; and Kanan: The Last Padawan, a five issue mini series also written by Greg Weisman and illustrated by Pepe Larraz, tying in to the Star Wars: Rebels animated series.
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.
August offers a feast of shape and color, with striking covers by Scott Fischer, Victor Santos, Chrystin Garland, and Tula Lotay, some bold juxtaposition, and a quirky take on a pulp archetype or two -- including a Nazi airship and some poor sap being held in a giant hand. It's a classic!