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James Stokoe Talks ‘Avengers 100th Anniversary Special’ And The Next 50 Years Of Comics [Interview + Exclusive Art]

Avengers 100th Anniversary Special, Marvel Comics

As you may have noticed from all our recent Batman '89 content, comic books are pretty big on celebrating anniversaries. There's only one problem: You sort of need to wait for those anniversaries to actually happen, and we as readers have never been all that great with the concept of patience. I mean, does anyone really want to wait around until the 2060s to celebrate the centennial of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Marvel Age of Comics?

Marvel Comics certainly doesn't, which is why they're gearing up for a series of 100th Anniversary Specials, set to be released next month -- 50 years before those anniversaries actually happen. For the Avengers, Marvel's tapped Orc Stain and Wonton Soup cartoonist James Stokoe to reveal the future of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Today, we've got an exclusive look at Stokoe's characteristically frenzied, hyper-detailed pages from the upcoming one-shot special, which includes such compellingly weird concepts as an Avengers team made up of Beta Ray Bill, Rogue and Doctor Strange; a sentient Stark Tower; an America lost to the Negative Zone; and the Mole Man -- because the Mole Man has always been weird enough. We spoke to Stokoe about why he chose the heroes and villains to populate the Avengers of 2061, and what he sees for comics as a business in the next 50 years.

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‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ Season Three Will Be Full Of Spider-People

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If there wasn't already a TV show called Spider-Man Unlimited, this would be the time to break out that title.

Marvel has released details about the newest season of Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD, which premieres August 31. Not only does the show have a new subtitle for its third season, "Web Warriors," but it's also going to feature a whole bunch of Spider-People in its episodes. Miles Morales, Agent Venom (presumably Flash Thompson), and a new Iron Spider -- who is none other than former Hulk and Hercules compatriot Amadeus Cho -- will all appear, and from the looks of it, Spider-Girl, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Man 2099 will be in the mix, too.

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Ask Chris #198: The Mass Media Influence On Comics Canon

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Q: Is it ever worth it to change comics canon to match the canon from other media? -- @firehawk32

A: This is a really interesting question for me, because I always think of myself as someone who doesn't really get excited about superheroes showing up in movies or TV. I mean, obviously, that's not actually true -- I mean, I cowrote what was essentially a full-length novel about The Dark Knight, Batman: The Animated Series ranks alongside oxygen and pizza as my favorite thngs in the universe, I could not have been more stoked about seeing Arnim Zola The Bio Fanatic in two major Hollywood films, and there will never be a time when I'm not still mad about Man of Steel. But at the same time, and at the risk of sounding like even more of a hipster elitist than usual, those aren't the "real" versions of those charactesr to me. I like TV and movies just fine, but when it comes to the superhero genre, I'm in it for the comics. Everything else is just a bonus.

That said, what's considered "canon" in comics changes literally all the time, and often for a lot worse reasons than because there's something out there that's resonating with a mass audience.

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The Quicksilver of Two Worlds: How A D-List Speedster Became Hot Hollywood Property

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The Marvel superhero Quicksilver is not a big deal. I say that as someone who counts the guy among his favorite characters. What can I say? His snotty superiority has always spoken to me on a profound level. Yet I concede that the mutant speedster is not a marquee name. He's not even as popular as his nearest DC equivalent, the Flash. Calling him "B-list" may be a little generous.

Despite this he's going to appear in two separate movie blockbuster franchises played by two different actors in a single year -- a feat that Superman, Spider-Man, Batman and the Hulk can't match. None of this is because of public demand. So what is it about the character that landed him in this unique position?

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Funny ‘Avengers’ Manga Introduces Earth’s Mightiest Heroes To Japan

'Marvel Avengers' Manga by Fujiminosuke Yorozuya

On the off chance that you thought there was anywhere you could go to escape the presence of The Avengers now that they were the stars of a series of films that have taken in roughly 48 trillion dollars, don't fret: They are everywhere. Or, to be slightly more accurate, they're now in Japan, thanks to a series of comics designed to introduce Japanese children to Marvel's team of superheroes.

Created by Fujiminosuke Yorozuya as part of an effort to promote Marvel and Toie's new Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers anime, Marvel Avengers ran as a twelve-page one-shot in Monthly Korokoro Comic for kids, introducing Captain America, the Wasp, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and Spider-Man to younger readers in a lighthearted comedy.

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Marvel Superheroes Coming To ‘Disney Infinity’ In 2.0 Edition [Video]

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I don't think I'm blowing anyone's mind here, but I'm pretty sure that if there's one thing superhero fans love, it's collecting tiny little plastic versions of their favorite characters. It is a universal truth of fandom, and apparently, the folks over at Disney Interactive Studios have finally realized this, and they're capitalizing by introducing Marvel superheroes into Disney Infinity 2.0, the seeming sequel to their smash hit video game that uses collectible figurines to unlock maps and other content.

As revealed in the new teaser trailer, Captain America (or at least his Mighty Shield) is leading the charge. Check it out below!

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Comics Alliance Presents The Harvey/Renee Index of Superhero Diversity

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We like diversity here at ComicsAlliance. We've said it before, and we'll say it again. We're also big fans of superheroes, and that probably goes without saying.

We especially like diversity with our superheroes. Diversity broadens the genre's reach, encourages respect and understanding of people's differences, and gives minority audiences more chances to see themselves in fiction, and those are all great things. Because of this, we've come up with a new way to look at diversity in superhero comics - particularly team books. We call it the Harvey/Renee Index.

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Josh Ln’s ‘Hero-Glyphics’ Take Pop Culture Back To Ancient Egypt With The Avengers, The X-Men And More

Heroglyphics by Josh Ln

When you think about ancient Egyptian superheroes, there aren't a whole lot that come to mind. Apocalypse was around back then, right? And presumably there was some version of Moon Knight running around before the Fist of Khonshu was a dude who hung out with a French helicopter pilot, but really, that's all that comes to mind off the top of my head. But what if... what if... there were more?

That is the question that artist Josh Ln has answered in a series of prints called "Hero-Glyphics" that he "excavated and restored," presumably from a pyramid that was just full of pitfalls and tripwires connected to poison arrows. Check 'em bout below to see hieroglyphic-style reimaginings of some of our favorite characters! And also Kick Ass.

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The 10 Best Marvel Movie Casting Decisions (So Far)

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The news that Paul Rudd will play Hank Pym in the 2015 Ant-Man movie is the latest piece of inspired casting from Marvel Studios. Rudd will bring charm, humor and an appealing eye-twinkle to what may prove to be Marvel's most comedic movie under writer Joe Cornish and writer-director Edgar Wright.

Marvel characters have found tremendous success on the big screen, both in Marvel's own "in-house" movies such as the Avengers line and in those produced by other studios, such as the Wolverine/X-Men films. Bringing an established character to the screen is an unusual challenge because readers have a strong idea of what they want to see, and actors want to bring something new to the role. ComicsAlliance offers its view on the performers who pulled this off best.

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Comics Alliance x Infinity + 6 = Finity [SPOILERS]

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And lo, we come to the end of another epic Marvel crossover event and -- quick head count -- it looks like all the black characters are still alive. If it's dead minority superheroes you're looking for, you'll have to go read Uncanny Avengers instead. Sorry, gang.

In fact, the Avengers' cosmic war-on-two-fronts is surprisingly light on a body count, which is the usual way the PR guys tell us that the stories matter. So now that Jonathan Hickman's Infinity is, paradoxically, over, did all that kerfuffle tell us anything profound about the human condition? And were the Jim Cheung fight scenes good?

SPOILERS FOLLOW

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