When Marvel's new U.S.Avengers, by Al Ewing, and Paco Medina, launches in January, the first issue is going to have 52 variant covers by Rod Reis, depicting an Avenger for each American State --- as well as Puerto Rico and Canada. It's unclear (if unlikely) whether the characters will have any connection to those states in the narrative, but since there will be 52 of them, most probably won't even be in the book.
The current volume of New Avengers is a comic that I’d generally recommend in a heartbeat. Al Ewing’s cross-title examination of what it means to be an Avenger and a superhero in books like this, Mighty Avengers and The Ultimates have been some of favorites of the past few years. However, since the launch of the volume last year there has been one consistent problem with the book that hasn’t been addressed, and that is the continued whitewashing of Roberto da Costa AKA Sunspot.
Marvel’s reveal of its Marvel NOW line of comics set for release in the wake of Civil War II has taken the form of a steady drip of announcements over the past week and a half, but now news is flooding in, and not all from official sources. Leaked scans of this week's Marvel NOW Previews magazine revealing the publisher's line-up for October and beyond have hit the internet via sites such as Reddit and 4chan.
We’ve rounded up all the information we could find to give you a sense of the new landscape of the Marvel Universe this fall.
Yesterday, Marvel Comics gave us a hint at the post-Civil War II future of its line, and it seems the rollout of announcements has officially begun with the unveiling of a new Avengers title, USAvengers. Written by Al Ewing, USAvengers is led by Roberto Da Costa, AKA Sunspot, and features some of the Marvel Universe's most patriotic characters including Red Hulk, a new Iron Patriot and a Captain America from a possible future.
I pride myself on being someone who can pick obscure characters out of crowd shots, but the group of bad guys that recently debuted in the pages of New Avengers may take the cake for the most obscure deep cuts resurrected for the modern age. Assembled by The Maker --- Reed Richards of Earth 1610 --- The New Revengers highlight how gloriously bizarre superhero comics can be, and the team contains two characters that even I have never heard of.
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.
Developed by Kabam, mobile game Contest of Champions follows a galactic tournament where everyone from Marvel's vast catalog is duking it out for bragging rights. The game has proven to be so successful that a new comic series spinning out of Secret Wars takes place within that universe, from Al Ewing and Paco Medina.
Along with that new series comes an entirely new character, Guillotine. Making her debut both in-game and in the pages of the monthly Contest of Champions book, Guillotine is one of the first entirely new characters from a Marvel video game to make the leap to the page. While at New York Comic Con, we talked with Contest of Champions' art director Gabriel Frizzera about the game, creating a new character for Marvel, and the advantages of working in Marvel's mobile space.
This week, Chris and Matt dig deep into Superman Unchained #7 by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee, and how it compares to last week's Superman #32. After that, they discuss the first issue of the new Legendary Star-Lord series by Sam Humphries and Paco Medina, and then they talk about the very weird new Robocop series by Joshua Williamson and Carlos Magno.
Despite the fact that he's been floating around the Marvel Universe for the past 38 years, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord has always been a bit of a blank slate. His costume, origin, powers, and personality have seen numerous iterations, depending on where he appeared and which creators were steering the ship at any given moment. He's been portrayed as an emotionally unstable hothead, a space-faring zen master, and a fun-loving scoundrel. He's been guided by such talents as Steve Englehart and Steve Gan, Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Keith Giffen, Carmine Infantino, Doug Monech, Gene Colan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dan Abnett, and Andy Lanning. And despite being a cornerstone of Marvel's cosmic sagas for the past decade, and serving as the leader of the modern iteration of the Guardians Of The Galaxy, he's remained a steadfastly second-string character in the publishing line and broader media.
But now that's about to change. The Guardians Of The Galaxy are moving to the silver screen in just a few short weeks, and this week the first issue of a new ongoing Star-Lord series hits comic shop shelves and digital storefronts courtesy of writer Sam Humphries and artist Paco Medina.
Of all the Marvel characters who have made it to the big screen over the past few years, none have seemed less likely than Peter Quill. An obscure sci-fi character who debuted in the '70s and made a handful of appearances in his first three decades of existence, he rose to fame during the Annihilation crossover as the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy, a ragtag band of spacefaring heroes who battled evil across the stars.
Now, with a Guardians of the Galaxy movie set to debut this summer, Peter Quill is getting his first ever ongoing series as The Legendary Star-Lord, thanks to Sam Humphries (Avengers A.I., Sacrifice), artist Paco Medina (Nova, Ultimate Comics X-Men) and colorist David Curiel. To find out more, I spoke to Humphries about the history of Star-Lord, how his obscurity helped to propel him to fame, and why his hair has to stay gloriously uncovered.