Heroes are defined by the challenges that they overcome, and I think we can all agree that there are no greater challenges than those faced by the Batman. Over the past 77 years, he's saved the world countless times and foiled countless dastardly plots, battling some of the most sinister arch-villains of all time. But now, he is facing his single greatest challenge ever: Can he make wearing just underwear and black socks look good?
I mean, seriously, that's one of the classic all-time Bad Looks, but it seems that Mikel Janin, who's coming in as one of the artists on Batman after DC's "Rebirth" event this summer, has decided that now is the time for Bruce Wayne to redeem it. Check out his designs and decide for yourself!
There are a lot of things manga does a lot better than the western comics scene. Whether it's stories about cooking, race cars or tennis, manga's genre diversity is through the roof. One area where manga really excels is in its portrayal of beefy dudes, but now the west is finally catching up thanks the recently launched Kickstarter for a zine dedicated to hot hairy men, Burl & Fur.
Marvel unveiled its July variant cover theme at C2E2 this past weekend, and the pictures definitely tell a story. As a follow-up to March's "Women of Power" covers, which highlighted the strength of Marvel's heroic women, the July covers are dubbed "Mighty Men of Marvel." While "covers with men on them" might seem like an unremarkable theme, given that it describes most Marvel covers already, it's clear from the art released thus far that the concept was meant to be more bold than that --- but it's equally clear that Marvel missed its target.
Chris Hemsworth plays the movie version of Thor, who is a character in some comics. This was a game on a TV show. Someone threw water at Chris Hemsworth and his shirt got wet. It was a white shirt. He danced.
The world needs a new Marvel Swimsuit Special. Not because the old ones were great works, and not because there's any shortage of cheesecake in the pages of superhero comics today, but because a new Swimsuit Special has the potential to be something wonderful. From a smart publisher, a book of pin-ups could celebrate the diversity of superhero sex appeal for a broad audience in a non-exploitative way, breaking down the old cliches about the genre. The world is ready for fun, positive, equal opportunity cheesecake and beefcake -- and Marvel has the artists to do it.
Indeed, two of those artists were already doing it. Anyone following Kris Anka or Kevin Wada on Tumblr will have noticed of late that they were working on a "secret" project that plainly featured Marvel heroes in swimsuits. Today, Anka took to Tumblr to confirm that he and Wada had indeed been working on a new Marvel swimsuit book -- but that they have stopped production after failing to reach an agreement with Marvel. The Swimsuit Special the world deserves is not going to happen. This is terrible news.
We already praised DC's movie-themed variant covers last week, and it feels safe to say there's plenty of great work on show here from Dave Johnson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Marco D'Alphonso et al; this is a variant month that justifies its existence through excellence.
But I want to draw particular attention to just one cover, which I think deserves special recognition for oustanding achievement in its field. I refer, of course, to Emanuela Lupacchino's cover for Justice League #40 in the style of a poster for the 2010 Steven Soderbergh movie Magic Mike, which re-imagines the Justice League boys as oiled-up strippers.
In this second and final part of our in-depth interview, Simone talks about her initial concerns about working on Red Sonja at Dynamite, her relaunch of Secret Six, her passionate fan base and her "secret" comics agenda.
In a big year for comic book characters on the big screen, none were bigger or more swoonsome than Christopher Michael Pratt, the swaggering prince of twinkle-eyed handsomeness who brought boring 70s obscurity Star-Lord to thrilling, sexually stimulating life in this year's Guardians Of The Galaxy, and briefly made us feel alive again in this numbing, disconnected modern hellscape of free wi-fi and gluten free brownies.
As is our long-standing tradition here at ComicsAlliance, we name a "sexiest man alive" every year without fail. Previous winners include Harry Hamlin, Mark Harmon, and two-time winner Namor McKenzie. This year there was never any doubt that our winner was going to be Peter Quill himself, Chris Pratt. Because Chris Hemsworth was in literally nothing. NOTHING. Sometimes it's really hard to get out of bed, you know?
As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits -- or as I like to call him, Namor.
Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it's my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I'm fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I'd find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.
2011 was a good year for superhero beefcake. Not in comics, of course, but at the movies. And not in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality. What I'm saying is that Chris Hemsworth took his shirt off in Thor, and it was great.
All right, Chris Evans took his shirt off as well for his Charles-Atlas-ification in Captain America, and I understand Ryan Reynolds was briefly featured in his scanties before having his body replaced with a cantaloupe-skinned wire-frame in Green Lantern. That was it, though. The bar for superhero beefcake is set pretty low. And the bar is set low because the source material -- actual superhero comics -- has never been fertile ground for the shameless sexual objectification of men.
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