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.
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?
Rumors have been flying since last fall that Battlestar Galactica and Longmire star Katee Sackhoff would be taking on the mantle of a Marvel Comics superheroine in a movie role soon, with Captain Marvel being the obvious -- and fan-endorsed -- choice.
Now, Sackhoff has all but confirmed that she's working with Marvel on...something, though her cryptic Tweets have raised some questions about just who she'll be portraying. See if you can decipher her clues below.
Dwayne Johnson, better known to wrestling fans from his time in WWE as The Rock, has long been rumored to be up for a starring role in a DC Comics superhero movie, and now it looks like it's actually going to happen. In an interview with Total Film, Johnson confirmed that he has been in talks with DC Entertainment for years and that an agreement is in place and an announcement is coming soon.
As for just what that announcement will be, well, based on what Johnson says in the interview, there's a pretty good chance he might be playing Shazam in an upcoming film.
Monica Rambeau is on her fourth superhero codename. In the pages of Mighty Avengers she's Spectrum, having previously gone by Captain Marvel, Photon and Pulsar. The Captain Marvel identity now belongs to Carol Danvers, also on her fourth codename after Ms. Marvel, Binary and Warbird. Her first codename now belongs to Kamala Khan, the fourth Ms. Marvel after Danvers, Sharon Ventura and Karla Sofen.
But Carol is actually the third woman (and seventh character) to call herself Captain Marvel in the Marvel Universe. The second woman was Phyla-Vell, who was the fourth Captain Marvel after she was the second Quasar, before she was the first Martyr, before she saved herself the trouble of another codename by dying. Oh, those women! They never know who they are!
Last week's Emerald City Comicon kicked off, for me, with the Carol Corps Celebration at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. Hosted by a bevy of nerdy Captain Marvel enthusiasts and featuring some of the finest cosplay I saw all weekend, proceeds from tickets and exclusive merchandise went to benefit the Girls Leadership Institute. It's a rare thing for fans and creators to celebrate a superhero character in such a thematically specific and highly interactive way -- Carol Danvers is a military pilot, after all, and the new Ms. Marvel is herself a member of the Carol Corps -- and a woman superhero at that. But the event was an absolutely joyful experience that spoke to the good work being done in these comics and readers' enthusiasm for great women heroes (both fictional and real-life).
Dark Horse Comics is bringing back its Alien comics franchise in a big way this year with a set of four mini-series set immediately after the most recent movie, Prometheus. The company has revealed the names of the four series writers: Aliens will be by Chris Roberson, Predators will be written by Joshua Williamson, Paul Tobin will write thePrometheus series, and Aliens vs. Predatorwill be by Christopher Sebela.
The company's been teasing a "fifth writer" on the franchise, and she's actually holding down the position you might call head writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick. DeConnick will be writing a double-sized "wrap-up" issue to close out the initial run of books, and she oversaw a lot of the goings-on in the writers' room as the series were being put together. We chatted with her by phone to find out how that experience was different from other comics writing jobs, and just what readers can expect from the first full-on Aliens/Predator/Prometheus comics crossover.
Take, for instance, what the fine folks at Fawcett did back in 1946, when they took a story that, by itself, was nothing special, and then skewed it just far enough that it's one of the most mind-boggling comics I've ever read.
Fashion brand Shoes of Prey used its customizable design website to style some superhero-inspired heels and flats as examples of footwear that customers can tweak and purchase for themselves with the Shoes of Prey 3D Designer, which gives the wearer selection of colors, materials, and alter various detailing parameters such as heel height, toe and heel detailing.. Each pair of shoes is handmade to fit the customer's chosen aesthetics and run at least $100 per pair.
As a fan of both Shoes of Prey and comics, customer Mandy Kerr designed some heels and flats inspired by Batman, Iron Man, and more (seen in the grahguc below). Inspired by Kerr's excellent Robin-inspired oxfords, I utilized the Shoes of Prey 3D Designer to create a few of my own shoe designs, including flats and platformed wedges inspired by Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Batwoman, and more.
Offering a notably comics-specific, distinctly warm and fuzzy vibe that's not to be found at some of the massive and monstrous, comics-suppressing conventions here in the US, Seattle's Emerald City Comicon feels a lot more like comics summer camp than it does a media trade show. Comics professionals from all dimensions of the industry -- creators, publishers, press and beyond -- all look forward to ECCC for the same reasons attendees do; it's a great weekend to meet your readers, meet your favorite authors, and celebrate the medium we all love.
Also, buying cool stuff.
That same summer camp quality that makes ECCC worth attending may also make it worth commemorating, which is why it makes sense that geek fashion hausWe Love Finehas made its first ever partnership with a convention with a limited edition line of t-shirts. Featuring Marvel characters like Captain Marvel, Hawkeye and Deadpool as well as other We Love Fine licenses like My Little Pony, Transformers, ElfQuest, Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time and Bee & Puppycat alongside Seattle iconography (very cute), the ECCCxWLF collection will be available exclusively for $25 each at the Seattle show from March 27-30.
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