In this week's installment of the X-Men episode guide, I mentioned that there was a comic from the early '80s where Power Man and Iron Fist, Marvel's mismatched mercenary superheroes, battled against a slightly off-model version of Doctor Who's Daleks. It's one of my favorite old-school oddities, but it occurs to me that some of you might not know about this, and that is a shame. I can't imagine going through life not knowing about it. It's just not right, which is why I thought I'd step in and take everyone for a trip into the back issue bin to talk about how Luke and the Fist battled against the Dreadlox and then punched them so hard they were never seen again.
This is, and I cannot stress this enough, a thing that actually happened, and the amazing part is that it's actually even weirder than it sounds.
Last week's announcement of a Netflix/Marvel dealwas huge for fans of Marvel's superhero universe. The subscription-based streaming media service will air four 13-episode series starring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, plus a Defenders miniseries that brings the characters together, starting in 2015.
It's big news for Netflix, which while having earned surprising success in original programming has never made such a big gamble in that realm. It's also big news for Marvel, substantially increasing the number of hours of live action film set in their cinematic universe in one swoop. But what does it mean for the audience?
In the past year, Netflix has found significant success in expanding its business model to include streaming original series. The popularity and critical praise of shows like Orange Is The New Black, House Of Cards, and the fourth season of Arrested Development have led many to wonder what the next step is for the media streaming giant, and just how significant it would be. It turns out, that next step involves the House Of Ideas, as today Marvel and its parent company Disney have announced an unprecedented partnership with Netflix in which Marvel TV will produce four serialized original programs, starring four of its characters, which will lead into a miniseries, and all of it will stream exclusively on Netflix.
Depending on who you ask, Mighty Avengers #1 is either a big deal or completely unnecessary. To some, it represents a significant moment: Marvel putting sincere thought and effort into publishing a super hero title starring a cast of characters who are mostly persons of color. To others, it's an idea that's "contrived" or "forced," taking away jobs from hardworking, honest, god-fearing, and completely fictional white people. That, or it's yet another Avengers title from the publisher, and there are some who already complain that there are far too many.
But wherever your feelings lie, what matters most -- what should matter most -- is whether or not Mighty Avengers is a good comic. Written by Al Ewing and with art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten and Frank D'Armata, Mighty Avengers #1 is, in many ways, a very promising start.
I go back and forth on how I feel about variant covers, in terms of whether or not they're good for comics in general. But I'll say this much: the inclusion of variants can sometimes lead to great art we'd otherwise never see. Case in point, Ronald Wimberly's variant cover for Mighty Avengers #3, which is probably my favorite cover of 2013 so far.
After days of teaser images from Marvel hinting at some kind of new series, this morning the publisher finally announced a relaunch of Mighty Avengers. Written by Al Ewing with art from Greg Land, the new series features a team led by Luke Cage, with Falcon, White Tiger, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Blue Marvel, Monica Rambeau (now named Spectrum), a new Ronin, and the new Power Man as members. Notably, the team is comprised mostly of heroes who are people of color and/or women.
Mighty Avengers has been championed by Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, who in the past has gone on record as describing the idea of an Avengers team comprised of all or mostly black characters as being "contrived," but now says, "people who are interested in these characters and want to see heroes that reflect them have a genuine point."
The history of superhero comics, from a cultural and racial standpoint, can be troubling. Sometimes it seems like we've either barely learned from our mistakes, choose to ignore them, or instantly get defensive whenever anyone brings them up
Digital: If you've been enjoying the new DmC video game, Titan Comics has launched the first of a two-issue series of tie in comics called DmC: Devil May Cry: The Vergil Chronicles on ComiXology that might be up your alley.
While we're wondering where Luke Cage is going to show up in the Marvel Universe next - not to mention when/if we'll ever see the Genndy TartakovskyLuke Cage comic promised years ago - here's something to tease fans of Marvel's original Hero for Hire: Quentin Tarantino once wanted to make a Luke Cage movie starring none other than Laurence Fishburne.Talking to MTV to promote the upcoming Django Unchained, Tarantino revealed the previously-unknown project:
After 'Reservoir Dogs,' I had considered doing a 'Luke Cage, Hero for Hire' m
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