IT’S NOT LUKE CAGE—and other comic book news of the week

The hooded black guy in the trailer for Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not Luke Cage. Or the 1990s Avenger Rage. Millions of nerdhearts are broken. And as for Agent Coulson’s return, this doesn’t seem hard. First, we never actually saw him dead in Avengers, we just saw him stabbed and stop moving. He easily could have been resuscitated off screen. Second, that Coulson (or the TV one) could be a Life Model Decoy. This doesn’t seem too hard to do—although it does take away from the emotional punch of the movie.

Dollhouse notwithstanding, Joss Whedon’s greatest works have been on serialized TV, so it’s fairly certain that this will be an awesome show. Can’t wait.

Oh, and speaking of Luke Cage….

And now, other news.

AMERICAN VAMPIRE RETURNS (finally!).  Remember when Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque were nobodies, and they came out with a vampire book at a time when there was a real glut in the vampire market, but blew everyone away with the amazing, inventive, and extraordinarily well-crafted American Vampire comic?  Remember when it used to come out monthly?  I do.  It’s publication schedule has been terrible of late, because Snyder is making more money ruining Batman and Swamp Thing.  In June, Snyder and Albuquerque will publish another AV miniseries: Long Road to Hell.  But equally as exciting, August will bring an 80-page anthology by truly the greatest creators in comics today: Greg Rucka, Becky Cloonan, Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes, Francesco Francavilla, Declan Shalvey, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon (the duo behind one of my favorite graphic novels of all time: Daytripper), Gail Simone, and others not yet announced. 
BIG HERO 6: THE MOVIE.  It will be the first Marvel/Disney animated feature film.  Big Hero 6 was a Japanese team of heroes and a robot, and which first appeared in Alpha Flight back in 1998, when comics were at an all time creative low.
3 GUNS.  Get a movie, get a sequel.  The 2 Guns comic, from Boom! Studios, wasn’t a favorite of mine (I found it “meh”), but the movie looks good.  Anyway, a comic sequel is coming out to be written by Steven Grant, who wrote 2 Guns, and drawn by Emilio Laiso.   
ROBOCOP.  Boom! Studios now has the rights to the character, and they’re bringing Frank Miller back to celebrate by adapting his original screenplay for Robocop 3.  Fans may recall that Avatar did the same thing with his screenplay for Robocop 2.  Both screenplays were considered too violent to film.
DAZZLER WILL JOIN S.H.I.E.L.D.  Not much more to say about that.  Did you know that she was originally based on Donna Summer?  No joke.  She was conceptualized as a tie-in with a record company.
DAMNED BY GRANT AND ZECK.  And speaking of BOOM! Studios, they’ll also be reprinting a 1997 miniseries by Steven Grant and Mike Zeck (the two did the best non-Ennis Punisher comic ever, “Circle of Blood,” together in the 1980s).  The series is a crime series called “Damned.”  It will most definitely be on my pull list.  Mike Zeck is one of comics’ greatest under-appreciated artists.  That’s fact, not opinion.
HE-MAN VS. SUPERMAN.  A new comic, DC Universe vs. The Masters of the Universe (written by Keith Giffen and illustrated by Dexter Soy) is coming our way.  I’m told that Giffen’s new Masters of the Universe comic is actually good, but I just can’t get myself to care about He-Man and She-Ra.
WHAT IF? AvX.  Jimmy Palmiotti and Jorge Molina will release a 4-issue series, asking what if AvX had turned out differently.
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK CONTINUES TO BE FUN!  I’m really digging Mark Waid’s complete reimagining of Hulk—this is easily the most wild, creative run since Peter David’s Mr. Fixit stories back in the 1990s.  Not only has Waid recruited Walt Simonson for a Thor story, but he’s promising us future team ups with Marvel’s “western” heroes Kid Colt, Two Gun Kid and Rawhide Kid.
DREDD 2.  Really?  Wasn’t Dredd 1 bad enough?

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