This month, in Marvel’s March solicitations, we've got some surprising returns, a most welcome homecoming, and the Marvel Comics debut of one of the best superhero cartoonists in the business today.
The Marvel Universe is full of superhero teams, but when the United States of America is particularly threatened, there's one team dedicated to standing up for the nation: A.I.M.
Yes, that's the same A.I.M. that made MODOK, but the super-science collective has already been revamped into a force for good in the pages of New Avengers, thanks to the efforts of Roberto DaCosta, aka Sunspot. And now Avengers Idea Mechanics (the New Avengers) is becoming American Intelligence Mechanics (the U.S.Avengers) for reasons that will only become clear in the series itself. Check out a preview of U.S.Avengers #1.
There's a lot of reasons right now not to feel super great about being an American, but one reason to celebrate is the impending release of Marvel's USAvengers by Al Ewing and Paco Medina. The new series sees Sunspot's Avengers Idea Mechanics go national and government sponsored, and to commemorate the first issue Marvel has over fifty variant covers by Rod Reis, one for every state in the union and some more besides.
When Marvel's new U.S.Avengers, by Al Ewing, and Paco Medina, launches in January, the first issue is going to have 52 variant covers by Rod Reis, depicting an Avenger for each American State --- as well as Puerto Rico and Canada. It's unclear (if unlikely) whether the characters will have any connection to those states in the narrative, but since there will be 52 of them, most probably won't even be in the book.
The current volume of New Avengers is a comic that I’d generally recommend in a heartbeat. Al Ewing’s cross-title examination of what it means to be an Avenger and a superhero in books like this, Mighty Avengers and The Ultimates have been some of favorites of the past few years. However, since the launch of the volume last year there has been one consistent problem with the book that hasn’t been addressed, and that is the continued whitewashing of Roberto da Costa AKA Sunspot.
Marvel’s reveal of its Marvel NOW line of comics set for release in the wake of Civil War II has taken the form of a steady drip of announcements over the past week and a half, but now news is flooding in, and not all from official sources. Leaked scans of this week's Marvel NOW Previews magazine revealing the publisher's line-up for October and beyond have hit the internet via sites such as Reddit and 4chan.
We’ve rounded up all the information we could find to give you a sense of the new landscape of the Marvel Universe this fall.
Yesterday, Marvel Comics gave us a hint at the post-Civil War II future of its line, and it seems the rollout of announcements has officially begun with the unveiling of a new Avengers title, USAvengers. Written by Al Ewing, USAvengers is led by Roberto Da Costa, AKA Sunspot, and features some of the Marvel Universe's most patriotic characters including Red Hulk, a new Iron Patriot and a Captain America from a possible future.
I pride myself on being someone who can pick obscure characters out of crowd shots, but the group of bad guys that recently debuted in the pages of New Avengers may take the cake for the most obscure deep cuts resurrected for the modern age. Assembled by The Maker --- Reed Richards of Earth 1610 --- The New Revengers highlight how gloriously bizarre superhero comics can be, and the team contains two characters that even I have never heard of.
The core concept of Marvel’s Contest of Champions ongoing series is based loosely on an app based loosely on a comic from 1982. In the game, by developers Kabam, The Collector tasks you as a summoner, forced to compete against Kang The Conqueror by pitting heroes against each other, and plays like a beat ‘em up, only much more simplified for mobile play.
In the comic, by Al Ewing, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco and David Curiel, the Contest of Champions takes place between The Collector and The Grandmaster, who in turn have chosen Summoners to act as their champions, who in turn choose teams from across the Marvel multiverse to compete in the contest.
Developed by Kabam, mobile game Contest of Champions follows a galactic tournament where everyone from Marvel's vast catalog is duking it out for bragging rights. The game has proven to be so successful that a new comic series spinning out of Secret Wars takes place within that universe, from Al Ewing and Paco Medina.
Along with that new series comes an entirely new character, Guillotine. Making her debut both in-game and in the pages of the monthly Contest of Champions book, Guillotine is one of the first entirely new characters from a Marvel video game to make the leap to the page. While at New York Comic Con, we talked with Contest of Champions' art director Gabriel Frizzera about the game, creating a new character for Marvel, and the advantages of working in Marvel's mobile space.