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.
New images emerge almost daily from X-Men: Apocalypse, the latest installment in Fox and Bryan Singer's X-Men film franchise, set in the 1980s. Naturally, this has led to much discussion about how the '80s version of the X-Men look, and whether they could look better. After all, the body armor they seem to wear through much of the film has as little relation to 1980s fashion as it does to X-Men comics.
This led famously fashion-oriented cover artist Kevin Wada to tweet a suggestion that everyone should draw the X-Men in film-friendly '80s style outfits.
You know who never gets enough credit for being one of the baddest warriors in comics? Gamora. It wasn't until the Guardians of the Galaxy hit theaters that enough people started paying attention to the space-faring slayer, but even after one of the most successful movies of all time and being one of the most hardcore members of the Guardians, Gamora collectibles are few and far between. But you know, being patient can often deliver in big ways. Especially when the pay off is as spectacular as a Kris Anka-designed statue.
Teased over the holidays, Sideshow's finally officially unveiled its Gamora Premium Format Figure. The statue is based on her Marvel Now outfit, which was around for like a week in comic book time before being wiped away by the Secret Wars crossover. Given how brief her time in this costume was, it is a little strange to see it be the basis for the piece, but that doesn't make Gamora any less fierce.
Let's be real about something for a second: This is the third Captain Marvel #1 in 3.5 years (fourth if you count Secret Wars: Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps), and that can feel a little tiring. Especially from Marvel Comics, in this current strange period of comics publishing. I love Captain Marvel, and even I felt a little cynical about yet another relaunch.
But at the same time, it was impossible not be excited about a Captain Marvel written by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, the showrunners on my favorite Marvel TV show, Agent Carter, and drawn by Kris Anka, who became one of my very favorite superhero artists during his time on Uncanny X-Men.
Is it the suit that makes the man, or the man that makes the suit? In Lex Luthor's case, it's probably a bit of both. The guy is one of the smartest in the DC Universe, but all the brains in the world can't help him take on Superman mano a alieno. (Yes, hand-to-alien; shush pedants.) That's what drives him, in part, to develop his big, bad power suit. Sure, the suit itself didn't come around until the '80s, meaning it took Lex almost 30 years to realize he'd need some assistance to take on the Man of Steel, but all that matters is that he got there eventually.
While Luthor and his bold purple and green power armor have been celebrated with action figures as far back as Super Powers in 1984, the LexCorp founder hasn't been captured quite like he has in Sideshow Collectibles' latest statue. Co-designed by Kris Anka, who's had his hand in many of Sideshow's DC Premium Format Figures, Lex stands atop a LexCorp building, poised to give Superman his comeuppance. Just look at that smarmy bastard. It's hard not to admire that unflinching confidence in the face of a man (from another planet) who is clearly better than you.
It's been just a shade over 25 years since the Dark Phoenix Saga changed the X-Men forever. Though Jean Grey isn't exactly a regular fixture in the X-comics these days... well, the Jean Grey that got Phoenix'd isn't around anyway. She went on to merge with the Phoenix Force and kind of exists on a higher plane or some such thing, but that young version from the original team is around because of time travel reasons. You know, typical X-manning.
Regardless of which version of Jean is around, the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix version has long been a fan-favorite incarnation. It's hard to argue with that costume design. It was probably the first time Jean actually got an outfit that wasn't fairly ridiculous. While the current Jean might be kicking around trying to not live up to the legacy she will one day create back in the past (just thinking about this stuff gives me a headache), there's a reason original recipe Jean is the one getting a statue from Sideshow. It's because she rules.
January 20th sees the return of the one true Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers, to a solo title. The book is written by Agent Carter showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, with art by Kris Anka (Uncanny X-Men). After a series about her adventures on Earth, followed by a series about her adventures in deep space, this third volume of Captain Marvel finds Carol in orbit. She's leading a new version of Alpha Flight, which seems to be replacing SWORD as Earth's first defense against alien attacks.
We don't see the team in this preview, but we do see Abigail Brand, sporting some questionable sunglasses and one of those amazing Kris Anka sneers.
Even though he's the king of the seas, DC's Aquaman gets his fair share of guff from the rest of the superhero community... and the fan community. While Aquaman definitely has some redeeming qualities, he's just never been considered a true champion among the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman or Batman. Sure, he gets invited to the big kids' table, but they always seat him near Plastic Man. I mean, it's Plastic Man, guys. Despite all that, Aquaman's come through from the people and animals of Earth more times then most citizens are willing to give him credit.
Fortunately, Arthur Curry has more than just the denizens of Atlantis on his side. He's also got Sideshow Collectibles honor him. As crafters of fine statues showcasing the best and brightest DC has to offer, Sideshow wouldn't select Aquaman if they believed he was a lame duck. That's a lot of time and effort to be spent carefully rendering each piece of scale mail in his armor shirt. No seriously, there are a lot of individual pieces of plating in there to give the suit it's fish-y look. It's impressive.
This week is Bisexual Awareness Week, an annual event intended to raise bisexual visibility and combat the marginalization of people who are attracted to both their own and other genders. Bisexuals face challenges not only within heteronormative mainstream culture, but within LGBTQ culture as well. Their identity is often challenged by straight and gay alike, and they're frequently compartmentalized as straight or gay based on their past, current, or preferred partners. Bisexual Awareness Week exists to challenge these preconceptions.
To mark the occasion, artist Kris Anka posted an image of some of his favorite bisexual comics heroes and villains on Twitter. His picks included John Constantine, Catwoman, Psylocke, Mystique, and Prodigy --- all confirmed on-panel bisexual characters --- plus a sixth character that some fans were surprised to see; Wonder Woman. Is Wonder Woman bisexual?