If you needed any further proof that Marvel is now fully a part of the Walt Disney Company family, look no further than a new collaboration with ESPN (also a subsidiary of Disney).
A group of Marvel artists --- Alex Maleev, Sara Pichelli, Emanuela Lupacchino, Lenil Francis Yu, Frank Cho, Russell Dauterman, Mike Deodato, Jim Cheung and Greg Land --- have contributed original art of Daredevil, Captain Marvel, Medusa, Luke Cage, She-Hulk, Iron Fist, Iron Man, The Hulk and Ant-Man to a "superhero edition" of ESPN Magazine's famous "Body Issue," an annual celebration of athletic physiques (with lots of pictures of naked people).
Remember a simpler time in the Marvel Universe when there weren't all kinds of multiverses flying around, there were just a bunch of different colored Hulks punching each other in the face? Kotobukiya remembers. Announced as the third and final San Diego Comic-Con exclusive from the Japanese collectible company, the Red She-Hulk Bishoujo recalls a time when the formerly departed Betty Ross was resurrected by the Leader after being in cryogenic stasis, and then imbued with the same powers that turned her father, Thunderbolt Ross, into the Red Hulk.
As Red She-Hulk, Betty gained some really outrageous strength and power; so much so that she could punch through dimensions. Think about that. Take your time. Hey, at least Jeph Loeb is consistent...-ly questionable. Anyway, Red She-Hulk actually makes a pretty decent variant figure on the existing She-Hulk Bishoujo, and when you factor in the new sculpting incorporated to further differentiate her beyond the level of gamma-irradiated melanin in her skin.
Since the dawn of time, mailaway action figures have been a staple of the scene. That is, if you consider the dawn of time to be the day Kenner started releasing Star Wars figures. Though the trend has died down significantly in the era of the Internet, exclusives are still a very important part of toy collecting. As one of the final companies to offer mailaway incentives, the now defunct ToyFare magazine was one of the last bastions of trend.
Say what you will about the Wizard magazine empire, but for a long time, it's brand of geek culture coverage was all many of us had. ToyFare in particular was a great place for collectors to see what was coming, learn the history of industry, and to see how the sausage was made. What made the magazine even more special were the brand partnerships that allowed ToyFare to offer a variety of different collectibles based on Marvel, DC, animation and indie comic characters. Plus, you didn't have have cash and a dozen UPCs to send in to get your hands on something as rudimentary as a William "Refrigerator" Perry figure.
Who is the greatest Avenger of all time? You probably have your personal favorites. You probably also have a pretty good idea who the popular favorites might be. We wanted to know for sure, so to mark the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron we conducted a giant-size poll to give you the chance to choose between more than 100 Avengers members, and rank them from least to best. Now the results are in. And we think there are a few surprises.
With Avengers: Age of Ultron just around the corner, interest in these heroes has never been greater, so we’ve decided to pit all the official comic book Avengers against each other in a battle for your affections. Who is the greatest, best, favorite Avenger of all time? Only you can decide.
We’ve created voting groups that mix up different eras of Avengers membership. Group L is the final first round group, and our last batch of Avengers includes a Jennifer, two Jessicas, a James, and a Julia. You're picking between two Avenger X-Men, two Avenger FFers, two Spider-Women, and even someone from the New Universe, kinda. So vote wisely, and vote tactically; the top contenders go through to next week's second round of voting.
Marvel has announced a new bi-monthly book called A-Force Presents that will collect issues of various Marvel comics featuring female heroes in trade paperback format. Rather than the traditional collection of a single storyline, these collections will be more of sampler of what's going on at Marvel at any given time. This is a great idea from Marvel, and a really exciting example of how the publisher is taking women seriously as an audience.
Marvel promised a "forceful" announcement on ABC's daytime talk show The View today, and the entire world was ready for a Secret Wars/Star Wars crossover comic that would pit Jar-Jar Binks against Adam The X-Treme (or something), and then... nothing. There was no Star Wars announcement. There was no announcement of any kind; it got bumped off the show. Still, someone at Marvel has hopefully learned an important lesson about not using the word 'force' to promote things that don't involve Star Wars.
What Marvel did announce today was a new Secret Wars tie-in that is legitimately exciting in its own right, just sadly overshadowed by the Star Wars announcement that never was and the epic DC announcement that kicked off the day. The real announcement, unveiled through various outlets, is a new all-female Avengers book from writers G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett, and artist Jorge Molina, called A-Force.
Marvel is ending the universe, and the publisher seems very excited about it, having announced not only an epic mush of worlds in this year's Secret Wars event, but also a string of tie-ins under umbrella titles like Battleword, Warzones, and Last Days. It's this final one that particularly interests us, because everyone knows what happens when you know the world is going to end. You hook up. Right? Of course you do.
Yesterday we asked you who Magneto would get together with in his Last Days series -- and an overwhelming majority voted for Charles Xavier, to the point where it just seemed like we needn't have bothered including anyone else. Today we're looking at one of the Mighty Avengers, the Jade Giantess Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk. One of the great things about Jen is that she's a proudly liberated woman who isn't afraid to take pleasure in life, or to fill her dance card with possible suitors. But if she had to pick one someone for her final date, who would it be?
Marvel launches the eighth of its nine solo titles with a female lead in November with Spider-Woman #1, and the book sadly already has a cloud over it. A variant cover by master erotic artist Milo Manara stirred enough controversy last week to garner mainstream attention. The cover featured Spider-Woman with her apple-shaped butt raised high in decidedly unheroic manner. It was exactly what one would expect from Manara, who has created a number of superheroine illustrations for Marvel, but the image suggested a particularly overt tone of sexual objectification that could alienate the sort of readers who attended the Women In Marvel panel at San Diego where the series was announced.
As far as I can recall, Marvel has more female solo titles now than ever before, with a ninth title, Angela: Asgard's Assassin, launching in December. On paper, that suggests a laudable effort to reach out to superhero comics' growing and under-served audience of female readers. Yet the Manara incident serves to remind us that books about women can very easily be targeted to a male audience.
There's currently an unspoken contest between Marvel and DC to see who can produce more comics aimed at a female audience. It's possible the contest only exists in my head, as I've been keeping a tally of solo titles with female leads for the past several months -- but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that editors at the two publishers have also been keeping track.
Actor and part-time Hulk Mark Ruffalo has been kind of all over the place lately, largely to promote his new movie Begin Again and his environmental activism -- but for better or worse, most of his public appearances have turned into advance press for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
People just can't stop asking him about it, and that was as true as ever when Ruffalo make himself available for questions in a Reddit "ask me anything" thread this week. Not only was there a whole lot of Hulk talk, but also plenty about a possible movie She-Hulk, his favorite Pokemon, and much more. Check out some of the highlights.
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