Let’s lead the news this week with Avengers versus X-Men…
Comic fans may be happy to learn that the coming Avengers vs. X-Men event—12 issues over 6 months—will have only one standalone tie-in series, and the only Marvel books that tie in will be those that deal with members of the X-Men or the Avengers. On the one hand, this is great: Fear Itself tied into just about everything, which was very annoying, and Shadowland had at least a dozen miniseries/standalone tie ins, which was very expensive (and overwhelming). Both events also featured poor quality control to boot.
On the other hand, including only books that feature an X-Man or Avenger will exclude…Punisher. And that’s about it. (Note: Marvel has actually promised that Fantastic Four, Thunderbolts, and Amazing Spider-Man won’t tie in, but I’ll believe that when I see it.)
Anyway, we’re promised that the series will stand on its own so that those (like me) who haven’t kept up with the constantly evolving roster of mutants over the past 20 years won’t feel lost or excluded.
Story-wise, we’re looking at the return of Phoenix, hurtling through space towards Earth. That’s a promising premise. Maybe we’ll see some “cosmic” characters getting involved?
And then there’s the title: Avengers VERSUS X-Men. Not “with.” Not “and.” Versus. Unless this is the “fight before we team up” convention, we could be seeing some cool match-ups here. I’d like to see Wolverine face off against the Hulk again. Or Captain America give Cyclops the humbling defeat Scott Summers has deserved for decades. Or Cable versus Hawkeye—how cool would that be?
Oh, and Cage vs. Colossus! Any fights you’re looking forward to? Marvel’s Editor in Chief has promised that, in the end, there will be a clear winner.
Hit the jump, read the rest of this post, and drop me a note!
THE NEW 52 VIDEO GAMES? That’s right. They’re working on video games based on the new 52. They’ve done a great job selling Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, so why not? And speaking of video games…
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VIDEO GAME. I’m a hard person to please when it comes to video games. I don’t have the patience for difficult controls, and I like to be able to figure things out and unlock stuff a lot more than the actual experience of fighting a battle or getting the right timing for a series of mechanical movements. The Deadpool tidal wave on Shattered Dimensions drove me nuts. My favorite game (other than the Mario games) is probably Marvel Ultimate Alliance. So I’m heartened by the fact that Activision is doing the tie-in game for The Amazing Spider-Man movie, and that the story of the game will take place after the movie—so it won’t be bound by the film. It looks pretty damn awesome, with web-slinging through the subways and sewers as well as the skyscrapers of NYC. Check out the trailer, above. And speaking of the movie version of Spidey….
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN MOVIE. New posters for the film say it will tell “The Untold Story.” Since the origin has been told (and retold), you might think that means it’ll pick up with action—not just another rendition of Ben getting shot. But I’m betting you’d be wrong. And speaking of Spidey…
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN AND DAREDEVIL. Two of the longest-running comics in the business are just about as good as they’ve ever been—and they’re radically different than any prior run as well. Both books are brightly colored, sunny, fresh, and lacking of cynicism. Both heroes are known for their bad luck, but both seem to be going through unusually optimistic periods of their lives. And this month’s issues of both series were 10-out-of-10 home runs. In particular, Spider-Man spent #675 running around bantering with a sexy, confident ex-girlfriend (who is not Mary Jane) and solving a mystery. And soon, the two heroes will cross-over each others’ titles, which usually bugs me but in this case doesn’t because I already pull both titles on a monthly basis. If you like superhero books, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not reading these two titles. And speaking of characters who are long-time friends of Spidey….
HUMAN TORCH AND THE SECRET AVENGERS. Human Torch is joining the Secret Avengers! But it’s not what you think. This is your Grandpappy’s Human Torch, though—Jim Hammond, the star of the first Marvel comic of all time. I can’t wait until Rick Remender takes over writing this title. His X-Force work has been amazing, and his work on both Punisher and Venom have been strong examples of his ability to work with dark, covert characters. His lineup is now confirmed, at least at the start, as: Hawkeye leading the team (yay!), joined by Venom (yay!), Human Torch (meh), Captain Britain (yawn), Valkyrie (yawn), Beast (yay!), Black Widow (yay!), and Ant Man (double yay!). And speaking of Remender…
RICK REMENDER’S LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME VOL. 2. Rick Remender has taken advantage of the publicity he’s getting regarding Secret Avengers to reveal that he’ll be doing a follow up, with artist Greg Tocchini, to his brilliant futuristic heist series, Last Days of American Crime. Supposedly, despite poor sales, the first one has been optioned by Sam Worthington for a movie treatment. The book was gruesome, gritty, and oh-so-cool. And still speaking of Remender…
DEATHLOK JOINS THE X-MEN. Remender put Deathlok to good use in X-Force, and now it looks like the techno-zombie-robocop will be joining the X-Men—on Wolverine’s team, of course. Starting with Wolverine & The X-Men #4. Also, Nick Bradshaw will be taking over the art chores beginning on that issue. And speaking of X-Men….
MARJORIE LIU ON ASTONISHING X-MEN. Astonishing X-Men is title that hasn’t been good since Joss Whedon’s legendary first run on the series. Even Warren Ellis couldn’t make it good. Now, Marjorie Liu and artist Mike Perkins will take a shot at it. Liu is one of the few regular female writers for Marvel (her X-23 book was just cancelled), and her plans for the team are to completely revise it. The line up will be Storm (who will soon be an Avenger), Wolverine (who is an Avenger and an X-Forcer as well), Northstar, Gambit, Iceman, Cecelia Reyes, Karma, and Warbird (who is neither a mutant, nor a former Ms. Marvel—she’s a Shi’ar alien). And speaking of folks taking over as writers….
MORE D.C. NEW 52 CREATOR CHANGES. Sterling Gates has quit writing the fiasco that is Hawk and Dove, and will be replaced by Rob Liefeld as both writer and artist. Talk about being willing to go down with your ship! And speaking of writer/artists….
THE BLACK BEETLE. Francesco Francavilla, who recently turned in great work on Captain America and Detective Comics and who is just, overall, freaking amazing, is joining with Dark Horse Comics on a print version of his digital-comic-creating The Black Beetle. Coming in Dark Horse Presents #11, for a three-issue arc, in April 2012. The character is a pulp-noir Batman-like character with gadgets and whatnots. And speaking of “normal” heroes with cool gadgets…
HAWKEYE AND THE AVENGERS. In a recent interview, Jeremy “future Bourne” Renner whined about not getting enough screen time in the flick. I can’t imagine how him or Black Widow could have much to do, when they’re sharing the screen with Thor, Iron Man, Cap, Loki, Nick Fury, and possibly some skrulls along the way. What did he expect? Personally, I think he used to want to be the star of a spin-off show but now that he’s in Mission Impossible, about to become the next Bourne, and has the Hansel and Gretel monster slayer movie on deck, he just doesn’t need Marvel any more. He kind of seems like an asshole. Great actor, though. And speaking of assholes….
THE NEW GHOST RIDER PREVIEW. It’s up, and it looks sucktastic!