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.
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
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.
When the first Captain America movie came out in 2011, the character seemed like a tough sell. His earnest patriotism felt dated to many and was alienating to some.
Marvel Studios has made a habit of landing tough sells. Neither Iron Man nor Thor were the obvious calls that they look like in retrospect, while the plan to tie the characters together in The Avengers was an ambitious gamble. Yet if Marvel ever has any doubts, it never shows in their movies. As Captain America returns to the screen in The Winter Soldier, Marvel Studios has never looked more confident.
It looks like Hot Toys is wasting no time in rolling out its Captain America: The Winter Soldier figures. With the film's April 4 opening just weeks away, the Hong Kong toymaker's following a fairly comprehensive teaser image up with a baker's dozen new press images of the latest 1/6 scale Black Widow figure. Like previous Marvel movie versions of the superspy, this one looks to be the spitting image of Scarlett Johansson and come packed with everything a red ledger-wiper needs to shatter S.H.I.E.L.D. enemy spines.
I know when I go to the movies, I often think, "This is great, but it'd be a lot better if there was a four-minute sequence I'd already seen."
Well, when I go to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier next month, that's a worry I won't have weighing upon my mind, because I've seen the clip below, which features Cap, the Black Widow and some S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives systematically taking down Batroc (the Leaper)'s gang of toughs. Now you can, too!
Marvel has a new gallery of images (set to autoplaying music, you should be warned) that showcase not only Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, but Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Anthony Mackie as The Falcon, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier himself. In fact, it's probably the best clear look we've gotten at the character. Check out the images (with no autoplaying music) after the jump!
The Marvel Movie Universe is getting another entry in its straight-to-video animated film arm, this time teaming up one of its mightiest Avengers heroes, Black Widow, with The Punisher.
The new movie, titled Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher, brings the Japanese animation studio Madhouse back after its work on Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore last year. Dexter actress Jennifer Carpenter stars as Black Widow while seasoned voice actor Brian Bloom takes on the role of The Punisher. And all the rest of the Avengers are there, too. Check out the first teaser after the cut!
Hawkeye has led the way for a solo title renaissance at Marvel. The publisher had of late placed an emphasis on team books -- mostly iterations of the Avengers and the X-Men -- and scaled back on solo titles, even reducing Spider-Man to just two books (one double shipping).
Then Hawkeye came along, and things changed. Thanks to the unique voice and style of the creative team, Matt Fraction and David Aja, a character who seemed unlikely to sustain a solo title became both a critical and commercial hit. Marvel has been trying to recapture that magic ever since, and the first of a new wave of solo titles hit stores this week; Black Widow #1by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto.
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