This week, we're talking about the Avengers, a team that you might've heard of thanks to a movie that made literally all the money in the entire world a few years ago. But while you might know all about Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, and, uh, Thor, they weren't the only characters to fill those suits. This week, we dust off a few obscurities to show you other heroes who had those famous identities, from the good (Bucky Barnes as Captain America) to the best-left-forgotten. That's right -- it's TEEN TONY, Y'ALL!
Q: Why aren’t there more heroic duos or “tag teams?” -- @awa64
A: Friend, I don't usually like to start off these columns by specifically denying the premise of the question, but there are a lot of heroic duos in the world of superhero comics. I mean, even if we're just limiting ourselves to the most famous superheroes out there, the top of that list is going to include both the World's Finest and the Dynamic Duo, and you don't have to look much harder to find other pairings further down the list.
Unless, of course, you're specifically asking why there aren't more actual pro wrestling tag teams that have taken up crime-fighting when they're not busy in the ring, in which case I have no idea, but rest assured that is something I want to see.
I'm not excited for Sam Wilson as Captain America, and I'm not excited for a female Thor.
Now, I don't think these are totally wrongheaded things to do. I admire the impulse behind these changes, and I believe they come from a good place. In the abstract sense, I love the idea of Marvel featuring, in big, bold style, the adventures of a black man and a woman against the hordes of iniquity. I believe at least part of the motivation behind these changes is genuine in its altruism, and that it is not entirely invalidated by profit-seeking impulses. I want to believe in this initiative. I want to be excited. I do not want to be the curmudgeon in the corner, needlessly nitpicking everyone else's good time to pieces.
But it feels like a gimmick, and functions like a gimmick, and that’s because it is a gimmick. I give it perhaps two years — two years that only the most hard-core aficionados will end up able to recall, alongside their recollections of the foil covers era and that one time Doc Ock was Spider-Man.
You probably haven't heard since they haven't really been making a big deal of it, but this year marks the official 75th Anniversary of Marvel Comics. Sort of. It actually marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of Marvel Comics #1, which introduced the world to the Human Torch and paved the way for the company that would eventually become the modern Marvel Comics which really came about in 1961, but you know what? That's a good enough reason for a party.
To that end, this week saw the release of the Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration, an anthology that caught my eye mostly because it features legendary and still hugely popular Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Bruce Timm adapting a Captain America story written by Stan Lee in 1941, and that is definitely something that I want to read. But with 55 pages in the anthology, there's a heck of a lot more in there besides, including the return of Alias by the original creative team of Bendis, Gaydos and Hollingsworth, and essays by comics journalists including our own Andrew Wheeler, making this one of those rare anthologies where it's all pretty good stuff.
The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.
This week, it's a flashback to World War II with Captain America, teaming up with Wolverine to fight gigantic Warhammer 40,000 miniatures! It's actually seriously rad.
I think we can all agree that Nextwave was the pinnacle of superhero comic books as an art form. Of course, while I'm not sure the world could have handled more than 12 issues of beautiful perfection, I will say that if Marvel isn't going to have more comics about Elsa Bloodstone beating broccoli monsters to death with a shovel and declaring herself to be President Frankenstein, the least they can do is give us more comics featuring the incredible art of Nextwave's Stuart Immonen.
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.
We've seen college course offerings focus on the 'Harry Potter' universe, comic books, and even one specifically for 'The Walking Dead,' but now it's Marvel's turn to educate younglings about the intricacies of their Cinematic Universe.
Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man is kicking off a new season on Disney XD Sunday with a slightly modified title--it's now Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors--and, from the looks of these clips, a somewhat modified tone.
The two-part season opener, titled "The Avenging Spider-Man," will follow Spidey as he joins up with the Avengers to take on a whole bunch of villains including Loki, Doctor Octopus, Fin Fang Foom, and Attuma. Things go awry when Loki takes control of Spider-Man's body, and the whole affair simply seems less goofy than the show's previous efforts.
Marvel is quietly making a big push to get its comics into mainstream retail -- the most mainstream retail -- at a hefty discount.
A report over at The Beat details how "exclusive" editions of Marvel trade paperbacks -- the key example is the Amazing Spider-Man "Big Time" trade from 2011 -- are selling at Walmart for $5 each. For comparison, the regular trade retails for $14.99 and is on sale at Amazon right now for $11.48.