The brave hero. The wicked villain. These archetypes, and the tales of their struggles, lie at the heart of the comic book medium, providing the basis for many of our favorite stories. While some may scoff at these aspirational stories, we know that they can be empowering, uplifting, and even inspiring. That's often especially true when the hero at the heart of the story is a woman.
When women slay monsters, the stories are never just about protecting the kingdom and preserving the status quo. When women slay monsters, they challenge their own oppression, they overturn expectations, and they seize control of the future. When women slay monsters, they change the world. These are some of our favorite comic book stories that celebrate that idea.
Since the announcement of the Death of X crossover event between the X-Men and the Inhumans, fans of the Marvel's merry mutants have been worried that the end may be nigh for the Children of the Atom. These worries certainly weren't abated when Marvel released the Marvel NOW Previews book, which contained no mention of the ongoing X-Men titles continuing into October.
At a panel on Thursday during San Diego Comic Con, Marvel editors and creators spoke about the tease of what Death of X might mean for the franchise, but several of the ongoing titles such as Uncanny, All-New and Extraordinary X-Men were confirmed to be continuing. The big news, however, is that Laura Kinney AKA Wolverine will be following in her mentor's bloody footsteps in a sequel to Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's "Enemy of the State."
What makes something a piece of Christmas culture? Does a late December setting qualify? Is a smattering of snow and tinsel enough? When that one friend tells you their favourite Christmas film is Die Hard or Gremlins, or if they're being especially stubborn, Iron Man 3, are they wrong?
See, Chris Claremont and John Byrne's Uncanny X-Men #143 features plenty of festive imagery: the bulk of the issue takes place on December 24th, with a brief 'night before Christmas' riff, and there are Christmas trees and snow, the latter apparently summoned by Storm. But it's not really a Christmas story.
The "All-New All-Different" X-books have announced their first crossover, sort of, starting in March of 2016. X-Men: Apocalypse Wars is being described as three separate stories, in each of the three main X-books (and each lasting only one issue, apparently) that all center on the X-villain who also happens to be the focus of the upcoming movie X-Men: Apocalypse. The issues also sport three matching covers, featuring Apocalypse, Archangel, and Kid Apocalypse.
With Psylocke featured in the upcoming film X-Men: Apocalypse, we can expect some extra attention to fall on Marvel’s striking, purple-haired mutant who wields a telekinetic katana. And with that attention, the problem of racial identity in the character’s backstory is getting some new scrutiny. In her current iteration, Psylocke is a white British woman, Betsy Braddock, whose mind --- by a series of outlandish plot developments --- is in the body of Japanese ninja assassin named Kwannon.
Ilyana Rasputin has been a part of the X-Men family for decades, but her most recent incarnation as a member of Cyclops' Uncanny X-Men team has elevated her prominence in the Marvel Universe. She's had an incredibly complicated history, which is often a prerequisite for membership in the X-Men, but to be fair, she really came into her own in the Marvel Now era.
Now, after the success of the the ArtFX+ Avengers line, Kotobukiya has been filling out the roster of the Marvel Now X-Men. To this point, Cyclops and Emma Frost have been fully revealed, with Magik previously only being teased as a prototype at SDCC 2015. This week, Koto officially unveiled the painted prototype of the Adi Granov-designed statue, showing Illyana in her bad-ass splendor.
Marvel formally unveiled its post-Secret Wars 'All New, All Different' line up on Wednesday, featuring a Marvel Universe reconfigured by the experiences of Battleworld, and an eight month time jump that allows the publisher to set up a new status quo for many of its characters. Marvel has never had a better opportunity to shake up its line, so readers had high expectations for a bold, diverse, inventive new direction. With that in mind, we're going to share the new titles with you, alongside some observations on how the new Marvel Universe is shaping up, starting with the X-Men.
A lot of fans weren't sure there would still be an X-Men line coming out of Secret Wars, or that it would still share space with the rest of the main Marvel Universe, given that Fox's control of various licensing rights has led Marvel to step back from heavily promoting these characters. But the X-Men still sell comics, and Marvel is in that business, so the X-Men haven't entirely gone away, though the line is down to only six titles, with just three team books and three solo books.
While it was a tad controversial when Emma Frost got her new black costume in Uncanny X-Men, she's completely owned the look, as she has with all of her costumes through the years. As one of the most powerful telepaths in the Marvel Universe, her confidence knows no bounds. That attitude is captured perfectly in the new statue from Kotobukiya.
As part of the planned Uncanny X-Men line, which is designed by Adi Granov, the Emma Frost statue realizes the teacher's full potential in 3D form. The line follows a similarly-styled series based on Granov's take on the Avengers from Marvel Now. A complete team including Cyclops (due in October), Magik, Wolverine, Magneto, Beast and Rogue is planned, but so far only the mutant power couple has been shown beyond concept art.
Phil Noto knows how to create a stylish retro vibe, and he can conjure up a soft-edged gauzy aesthetic that perfectly evokes the nostalgic familiarity of photographs from the 1960s and 70s. It's a talent that he exploited to beautiful effect in a series of pieces for his Tumblr that presented Silver Age Marvel heroes in the mode of old celebrity snaps from Life Magazine; the images that would have existed if these heroes had been real in the age they were created.
Those Tumblr images are the clear inspiration for a month of Phil Noto variant covers at Marvel this February, though the inspiration stretches beyond Life Magazine pastiches to cover hip-hop, fashion photography, and even candid personal images. Several of the covers were released this week courtesy of Marvel, Comic Vine, CBR and Newsarama, and they're a gorgeous selection of images, so we've collected them all in one place for your appreciation.
We like diversity here at ComicsAlliance. We've said it before, and we'll say it again. We're also big fans of superheroes, and that probably goes without saying.
We especially like diversity with our superheroes. Diversity broadens the genre's reach, encourages respect and understanding of people's differences, and gives minority audiences more chances to see themselves in fiction, and those are all great things. Because of this, we've come up with a new way to look at diversity in superhero comics - particularly team books. We call it the Harvey/Renee Index.
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