Guardians Of The Galaxy just enjoyed a very successful weekend at movie theaters, taking home around $94m, far in excess of expectations. The movie also stands at 92% positive reviews on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, joining all previous Marvel Studios movies in receiving predominantly favorable notices.
Marvel Studios is doing very well. In six years and ten movies, it has avoided both critical and commercial disasters, and frustrated naysayers who hailed the demise of the superhero movie at every step. Marvel's rivals at Fox, Sony Columbia, and Warner Bros, have enjoyed commercial success as well -- but not with the acclaim, consistency, or proliferation of Marvel. So how does Marvel do it, and can they keep doing it?
Welcome to Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men, a weekly podcast in which X-Perts Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes explore the ins, outs, and retcons of fifty years of Marvel's greatest superhero soap opera!
In our ComicsAlliance debut, Cyclops makes a startling discovery, Carol Danvers joins the team (sort of), Chris Claremont calls out some bullsh*t, Havok still has terrible taste in hats, and Peter Corbeau gets his own theme music.
Marvel unveiled its next original graphic novel at the All-AXIS panel at San Diego Comic-Con this afternoon; Avengers: Rage of Ultron, by Uncanny Avengers writer Rick Remender and former lead Avengers artist Jerome Opeña. It promises to be... all the rage. Ho ho.
The story pits a mixed bag of Avengers against a "Planet Ultron" formed when Ultron takes over the computer core in Saturn's moon of Titan (which is a thing that exists in the Marvel Universe and, who knows, maybe in ours as well). Ultron creator Hank Pym may be able to save the day... but at what cost?
Considering how prevalent it's become in the art you see everywhere on the internet -- including the hated Here's Two Things genre that has fueled the mindless engine of destruction that is online t-shirt sales -- it's always tempting to say that we've had enough of minimalist, graphic-design inspired takes on pop culture. The thing is, when it's done well, it's always fantastic, and Komboh does it very, very well.
Komboh, the collective term for artists Michael W. Mateyko and Hans B. Thiessen, have done an incredible job bringing their design sensibility to stuff like Star Trek, Doctor Who, and posters that promote reading, and they've even done a great job mashing up Adventure Time and The Legend of Zelda. Check out a few of my favorites below!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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