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Avengers NOW: A Black Captain America, A Female Thor, A Superior Iron Man, And What It Means For Marvel And Diversity

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On Tuesday morning Whoopi Goldberg and the hosts of The View announced that Marvel will relaunch Thor this October with a 'worthy' woman brandishing the hammer. Marvel followed that announcement with two more high profile switcheroos on Wednesday night as Entertainment Weekly revealed a new-ish and possibly superior Iron Man, and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada joined comedian Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report to announce that a new guy will take up Captain America's shield.

That in itself isn't much of a surprise -- original Cap Steve Rogers has passed on his mantle a few times, before eventually yanking it back. After spending some time in Dimension Z and fighting the Iron Nail and whatnot, he's now too old to Avenge from the front lines. The big reveal is that the new Captain America will be Sam Wilson, the African-American superhero currently known as Falcon.

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Marvel Announces New Female Thor From Jason Aaron And Russell Dauterman On The View

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Marvel chose daytime talk show The View as the venue to reveal its latest female-led solo title; a new Thor ongoing series from current Thor writer Jason Aaron and current Cyclops artist Russell Dauterman. If you're wondering how Thor can be a female-led solo title, well, grab a seat chum. Thor is a lady now.

This is not the first time a son of Odin has become the old man's daughter, but when Loki spent time as a woman it was because he stole the body of the warrior Sif, and as a shapeshifting trickster he can probably do it whenever he wants. Not so Thor; Marvel says that this is "a brand new female hero" rather than the old Thor after a magical (or even non-magical) transformation.

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Marvel Unlimited Edition: Fin Fang Foom

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The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it's disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it's also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning critic Douglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.

In today's edition: Who needs Godzilla when you've got Fin Fang Foom? One of the most ridiculous of the many monsters Stan Lee and Jack Kirby dreamed up in the pre-Fantastic Four era, the giant green (or maybe orange) dragon was first revived in 1974, and has shown up on a fairly regular basis over the past couple of decades. Sometimes (as in Kurt Busiek and Sean Chen's Iron Man) he's taken very seriously; sometimes (as in Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen's nextwave) he's not. Here are some of his most entertaining appearances in the Unlimited archives.

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Ask Chris #196: He Stood Alone At Gjallerbru

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: What is the best redemption scene or storyline in comics? -- @yellfeat

A: It's funny, I was just talking about why there aren't a whole lot of stories where villains become heroes in the latest episode of Here's The Thing, and how they almost never work out the way you want them to. That might've been my pessimism creeping in, because there are certainly examples of it working really well -- one viewer on Twitter mentioned the Pied Piper from Flash -- but I blame the wording. A face turn and a redemption aren't quite the same thing, and if you're looking for the single best example of the latter, there's not even a question about which one it is.

Skurge stood alone at Gjallerbru, man. And that was enough.

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‘Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes’ Coming This Fall [Video + Tons Of Images]

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Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Super Heroes

A new version of Disney Infinity is coming this fall, and it's going to focus completely on Marvel superheroes. Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Hawkeye, the team from the first Avengers movie, will be the first batch of heroes available in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes. There will be 20 playable figures released in all, with potentially more to follow.

Not only that, but the Marvel version of the game will feature stories written by Brian Michael Bendis.

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Link Ink: ‘Gotham’ Villains, A ‘Days Of Future Past’ Video Game And Another ‘Infinite Crisis’

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DC Comics

Kick off March with Monday link madness.

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Ask Chris #183: Thor And The Casket of Ancient Winters

Ask Chris art by Erica Henderson

Q: Since you hate Frozen so much and are stuck in an ice storm, what are some good stories about snow and ice? -- @prograpslady

A: Those harsh words I had for Frozen are going to follow me to my grave, aren't they? Listen, I'm glad you like your little movie about ice puns and slapstick snowmen and I would never take that enjoyment away from you. I just like things that are, you know, good. It's not necessarily that you're wrong, it's just that I have more sophisticated and refined tastes, which is why I like the finer things that cinema has to offer. Like, say, any movie that prominently features a dirtbike or karate.

Anyway, it's true: As I write this, I'm bundled up in a Batman snuggie (the blanket with sleeves and a utility belt) with snow on the ground and ice on the roads. This, of course, is pretty unusual for my home state of South Carolina, so I've been thinking all day about stories where a bitter winter plays a central part -- and really, there's one that stands out right at the top of the list. From Walter Simonson's Thor, the story of Malekith and the Casket of Ancient Winters.

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‘The Avengers’ Captain America, Iron Man And Thor Figma Action Figures Coming Later In 2014

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Good Smile Company's The Amazing Spider-Man Figma won't be its lone Marvel hero for much longer. This past weekend at Wonder Festival in Japan, the toymaker displayed its painted Iron Man and Thor prototypes, along with an unpainted Captain America, assembling three of the biggest stars from The Avengers movie.

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Rehabilitating the Devil in ‘Loki: Agent of Asgard’ #1 [Review]

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It wasn't so long ago when no-one gave a toot about Loki. He was the most generic of Marvel villains, a scowling horn-headed heel who was evil for the sake of being evil. Marvel even turned him into a woman for a while in a desperate bid to give him a new dimension.

He's come a long way since. The old Loki would have been a terrible choice for a solo title, but in 2014 he's an obvious candidate -- a rising rockstar character with a passionate fanbase who flood the convention floors with cosplay of all his incarnations. Loki: Agent of Asgard is a book whose time has come.

MINOR SPOILERS follow.

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Here’s Tom Hiddleston Cosplaying As Captain America In An Unused ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Scene [Video]

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Marvel Studios

If Tumblr was a person, they'd be flipping their lid right now.

If you caught Thor: The Dark World in theaters a few months back, you know there's a scene in which Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, briefly transforms into Chris Evans' Captain America. It's a funny scene.

For filmmaking purposes we're not entirely privy to, other than maybe Hiddleston just wanted to wear a Captain America costume, the scene was originally shot with Loki's actor rather than Steve Rogers'.  So get ready, Tumblr. You're about to see some magic.

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