Every month, comic publishers release their solicitation announcements to provide information to readers and retailers on comics that are coming out in three months’ time, but there’s so much information dropped at once that a lot can slip through the cracks.
This month, in Marvel's January solicitations, it's all about the big returns, with some fan favorite heroes and villains showing up, a critically acclaimed character getting a second chance, and love in the air in the Spider-Verse.
Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz shook the Marvel Universe when they revealed that Steve Rogers, one of the publisher's most beloved heroes, was secretly a deep cover HYDRA agent working to undermine the Avengers and bring about a new HYDRA regime. Marvel has now provided us with a first look at the upcoming Captain America: Steve Rogers #7, which kicks off a new arc appropriately titled "Hail Hydra."
Steve Rogers is certainly the man of the hour at Marvel right now; star of one of the biggest superhero films yet, and he's just returned to his old role as Captain America working alongside Sam Wilson who also shares the title.
This week saw the release of the new ongoing series Captain America: Steve Rogers by Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz, which spins out of the events of the recent Avengers Standoff crossover. However, the issue contained a huge revelation about Steve Rogers' upbringing that may change how we look at the Sentinel of Liberty forever! Spoilers for the issue follow. If you want to read the book unspoiled, don't read this article; but if you need to know what everyone is going to be talking about this week, carry on.
The newly young Steve Rogers is back as Captain America on May 25, with the release of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, by Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz. As we've discussed before, this means there are now two Captains America, and two Captain America titles, with Captain America: Sam Wilson continuing alongside this book.
There's also a prologue to the new title that will be available for free as part of Free Comic Book Day on May 7.
This week's announcement of a second Captain America title, Captain America: Steve Rogers, to run alongside the current Captain America: Sam Wilson series, is the latest example of a Marvel legacy hero getting to share a name with its originator. It's a trend that reflects two facets of Marvel's approach to major heroes. On the one hand, the publisher almost always gives big name legacy identities to characters that provide greater diversity than their predecessors, whether it's Cap, Spider-Man Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Wolverine, Nick Fury, Giant Man, or Ms Marvel. On the other hand, Marvel's big name heroes almost always come back.
The new Cap comic has plenty of promise; Steve Rogers is a popular and beloved character, and the team of artist Jesus Saiz and writer Nick Spencer should deliver great stories. Spencer is also the writer on the Sam Wilson title, so it's reassuring to know that he hasn't passed up Sam for Steve, and that Sam will still hold on to the iconic round shield. But Marvel's decision to make Sam Wilson the Captain America felt like a big deal. Is it still a big deal if he's just a Captain America?
With the Captain America: Civil War movie fast approaching, and the Civil War II crossover to go with it, the return of Steve Rogers to (physical) youth and the Captain America name was basically inevitable. And now Marvel has officially announced that Steve is getting his own Captain America: Steve Rogers series this spring, written by Nick Spencer, with art by Jesus Saiz, and featuring a new version of his costume and a brand new shield designed by Daniel Acuña.
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this all-new recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
It's been over a week since DC Comics announced any creative team changes on their New 52 superhero line, so we were pretty much overdue when the publisher's The Source blog announced several pencil artists coming and going in a series of posts Thursday...
On sale next week from DC Comics is Birds Of Prey #1, part of the publisher's ambitious and largely successful New 52 initiative, whereby the company has launched, relaunched and in many cases rebooted its entire superhero lineup...
Not everybody is a fan of non-canon comics that take place outside of current continuity, but I for one embrace potentially awesome superhero interaction wherever I can find it.
That's why, in the case of "The Brave and the Bold," #32, it's nice to see currently deceased Aquaman Arthur Curry alive and paddling under the sea with The Demon Etrigan up on DC's The Source blog today...
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