Marvel Studios has reacquired film rights to the characters of Blade and The Punisher according to Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada. He announced this during his Cup O’ Joe panel during Comic-Con International, but cautioned the audience that this did not mean either was being put into active production.
As a result of these acquisitions from New Line Cinema and Lionsgate, respectively, this leaves the X-Men, Ghost Rider, and Fantastic Four franchises still under 20th Century-Fox control while Sony continues to produce Spider-Man films. A Ghost Rider sequel with Nicholas Cage returning as Johnny Blaze is in the works while a reboot of the FF is in pre-production. X-Men: First Class performed so well this summer sequels are already on order.
Marvel has indicated that as the first cycle of films based on their best known heroes chugs along, the focus is shifting to their lesser known characters, most likely leading off with Doctor Strange and Edger Wright’s Ant-Man. At present, none of these projects have been given release dates meaning they are far off.
At the Marvel Television panel conducted by their VP Jeph Loeb, it was shown that the ABC pilot for Alias Jessica Jones continues to move through the production process, and would include Luke Cage in the supporting cast. Cloak & Dagger is also in development for ABC Family.
2012 will see The Avengers on May 3 followed by Amazing Spider-Man over July 4 weekend with 2013 already ticketed to screen Iron Man 3 and Thor 2. Beyond that, the calendar and options remain wide open even though lead actors including Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Samuel L. Jackson are signed for multi-picture deals. Evans, for example, has a nine picture deal with Captain America and The Avengers only covering two of the nine.
Marvel Comics released a wide variety of posters at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend with Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johannson as the Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, all in advance of the May 2012 release of the Avengers movie directed by Joss Whedon, and all making a giant poster after it’s all, ahem, assembled.
The images were created by Marvel Studios Co-Visual Development Supervisor Ryan Meinerding and Charlie Wen. Check ’em out.
There’s a scene in Sleepless In Seattle where Tom Hanks, whose libido has been dead in the water since his wife died, comes home from work to discover his young son hanging out with a friend in his room – and that’s a literal hanging out, as the two of them are cozy cuddling on one of those mod hanging chairs built for one. Oh, did I forget to mention that the son’s friend is grrrl? One of those 9-going-on-24 types who seem to have waaaay too much information ‘bout the birds and the bees and who looks on grown-ups as burnt-out Muggies without a clue about the magic in the world and who you just have to tolerate because, well, that’s just the way life is.
“H-A-G,” the girl says to Tom. And, proving her point, he says, “Huh?”
“Hi and good-bye,” she sighs with a sad shake of her head.
“Oh. Yeah. Right” says Tom, and closes the door. Now Tom is such a brilliant actor, and you can just see the thoughts going through his head about just being kicked out of his son’s room, number one being, my 9 year old son is gettin’ some! And number two being fuck that! And the soundtrack gears up and Gene Autry sings “I’m Back in the Saddle Again” while we watch Tom going through his Rolodex and dialing the number of that cute interior decorator he works with.
So how does that relate to comics? As you’ll learn as you read my columns, my mind works in mysterious ways and I have given up trying to understand how that works.
See, it was a Saturday. A few days earlier Mike Gold had asked me to write for ComicMix. I was so flattered that I said yes immediately, and then after we hung up I’m like, “What the hell am I doing? Why did I say yes? I haven’t written anything in years. I’ve haven’t been involved with comics for years. I don’t even have an account at my local comics store anymore. I’m calling him back and telling him, thanks, but no thanks.” Only I didn’t. I watched Sleepless on HBO instead.
So the next day is Sunday and I’m driving out to Watchung to see my parents, and I’m listening to the Buffy “Once More With Feeling” soundtrack for like the millionth time and singing along and all of a sudden in the middle of I’ll Never Tell my mind flashes on that scene with Tom and his son and the wise-ass girl and Gene Autry singing in the background and I say to myself, Back in the Saddle Again. What a great title for my column.
So here I am.
I was going to write today about how I got into comics. See, I’m a nurse. An R.N. With extensive education and fancy certificates. I don’t talk about my “other career” at work. (For a reason. I’ll tell you about that later on, maybe.) But somehow someone always finds out. Through their kid, or their cousin, or their accountant, who are readers or collectors and “your name came up in conversation yesterday and my boyfriend asked me if you’re the Mindy Newell who wrote Wonder Woman. And I googled you and, wow, you worked for DC?” And then, you know, gossip, and in the middle of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon says to me, “Somebody told me you wrote the Legion of Super-Heroes. I loved the Legion. Read it all the time when I was growing up.” Once I had a patient who couldn’t get over that the writer of the Amethyst mini-series was his nurse.
And on the other side, the people who do read and work in comics, they always find it fascinating that I work in the operating room. A lot of them – maybe it has do with being comics fans? – always ask me about the blood, they all think there’s a lot of blood in the operating room, they’re like “how do you handle all that blood and guts and stuff?” and their eyes are glowing with excitement, and I swear, some of them, their mouths are watering, and I know they think I work in The Tomb of Dracula, but I love to fuck with them, and so I tell them that there really isn’t a lot of blood in the operating room, and that it can really be quite boring, but no one ever believes me, and they look so disappointed, so for those of you who really need that blood gratification, I will say that, yeah, sometimes there is tons of the red stuff, and that’s when it’s Avengers Asssemble!!
I promise I’ll tell you next time how I got into comics.
The street date for the home video release of Thor has been revised to September 13 and it appears the disc will come with an interesting bonus feature. Marvel Studios reportedly shot two short films feature SHILED agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) intended to be included with the DVD releases of Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger (presumably available fore the holidays).
Film School Rejects reports that Marvel Studios has not directly denied such a plan or that if successful, more shorts may be shot for inclusion in the theatrical releases of future films, possibly starting with 2012’s The Avengers.
Coulson, like his boss Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has been a recurring player since 2008’s Iron Man and helps unify the Marveul Universe on screen. For example, at the end of Iron Man 2, we saw him on site where Thor’s uru hammer Mjolnir landed in the desert, a scene replicated in Thor. Coulson is already in The Avengers, being directed currently by Joss Whedon, and set for a May 4, 2012 release.
The Marvel Universe films continue to roll out with Iron Man 3 ticketed for May 3, 2013 and Thor 2 recently staked out a July 26, 2013 slot. Sequels to Captain America are also expected but unscheduled while the next round of original heroes — including Edgar Wright’s Ant Man, remain a source of speculation with possible announcements coming at Comic-Con International next week.
At the con, the first trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man, from Sony and not part of the Marvel Studios’ universe, is said to be screening. The film itself is due in July 3, 2012.
We’ve already heard a few complaints about the two comics racked above.
What’s the complaint? One’s an Avengers book, the other’s Captain Britain. They both look like retro-throwbacks to the 80’s, and they both look like they’re tying into The Iron Age miniseries, right? Okay, they’re a little pricy at $4.99, but–
–wait a minute. Open them up.
They’re the same comic.
These are both covers for The Iron Age #1. The series title is right up there, in that little red bar at the top of the issues. The Captain Britain cover? Marvel is considering that to be a variant cover.
Look at that picture of them on the rack. Would you have thought they were just variant covers, or would you have thought they were the same book? And would you be angry when you got home and discovered you paid $4.99 for a duplicate you didn’t want?
Consider this a public service announcement to help save money in these tough economic times. And the next time somebody behind the counter at your local comic book shop yells at you for looking through the books with the time-honored “This ain’t a library, bub!” you can simply tell them that you have to because comic book publishers are pulling stunts like this.
Marvel announced these a while back, but it seems more appropriate to show you these on Flag Day: to promote Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel is running “I Am Captain America” variant covers on selected titles through June and July, with all-new artwork from Joe Quesada, Marko Djurdjevic, Alex Maleev, Skottie Young, and Ed McGuiness, among others.
Personally, I’d love to have a few of these as posters.
Good news, everyone: If you’re reading this, it’s just passed midnight in American Samoa, so it’s no longer May 21st anywhere on the planet– which means that the Rapture didn’t happen (yet), society hasn’t crumbled (yet), and there’s still a readership for comic books (for now).
That said, as far as ends of the world go, the Rapture lacks a certain panache. Comic book readers have been used to the idea of worlds ending in cataclysm for a long time. Over a near-infinite number of crises, comic books have always made sure it ends with all bang, no whimper – even if, sometimes, that bang is more figurative than literal. Here’s a look at six of the best ends-of-the-world that comics has yet come up with.
The birth of superhero comics started with the death of a planet. We’re willing to wager it’s the best-known origin story in all of comics: desperate scientist Jor-El and wife Lara shoot their only son Kal-El away from the doomed planet Krypton towards Earth, where he’s adopted by the kindly Kent family. And in most versions of the Superman story, what took out Krypton? A nuclear chain reaction triggered by a loss of stability Krypton’s radioactive core, which also creates the only element that can kill the most powerful man on Earth.
With [[[Thor]]] taking the number one spot in box office receipts for the second week in a row, we must consider one of two options:
There are a lot of people going back to stare at Chris Hemsworth, Kat Dennings, and Jaimie Alexander, or…
People are hunting for all the Easter eggs and hidden bits in the film.
And so verily, we come to you, ComicMixers, with this list of notes, eggs of Easter, and bits of magic you may have missed when you were recently gazing upon the God of Thunder! Have at thee! Here is the Odin-list of annotations from the recent film released by the Studios of Marvel, of the humble Midgard. Did you catch of these visages, mortal? Let us find out! Huzzah!
Warning: spoilers from this point forward. You’ve been warned.
Produced in 2009 but held until this week to capitalize on the live-action adaptation of Marvel’s Thor, Lionsgate releases [[[Thor: Tales of Asgard]]], a 77-minute animated feature that harkens back to the Thunder God’s youth. The title harkens back to the beloved back-up feature that ran behind the main story in Journey Into Mystery for several years as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby explored the earlier days of the Asgardians or told stories adapted from the Norse myths. This approach is a clever one for an animated feature and certainly freed the writers and designers from aping whatever the current look of the hero was.
Still, watching this largely entertaining film still feels like it was inspired by some other universe’s Thor comic. Everything is familiar but just off a shade from personality to the look. It’s certainly not an Asgard Jack designed nor does it really take its visual cues from the Norsemen of days gone by. Instead, the architecture and costume design seem taken from your generic high fantasy book. There’s even one sequence that feels lifted whole from The Two Towers film, which takes away from the overall strength of the story.
The story, by animation veteran Greg Johnson, is an original story exploring the prideful Thor’s first steps into manhood. After realizing he has been sheltered far too long by Odin, Thor convinces Loki to join him as they stowaway aboard a vessel the Warriors Three take away from Asgard. They reveal themselves and the group wind up entering Jotunehim, land of the Frost Giants. The group manages to obtain the revered Sword of Surtur, which brings the Giants and Asgardians to the brink of war.
Thor, Sif, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg are entirely familiar in terms of personality and act according to character, albeit far younger versions of themselves. Interestingly, Loki, the lord of mischief, is actually the least recognizable as he is a loving brother who is struggling to master magic (with a nice cameo from the Enchantress). There are some nice hints to the fans that Loki’s Frost Giant origins remain intact but he remains ignorant of it here. (And as usual, Balder the Brave is absent which is a damn shame.)
The Frost Giants look generic and their leader is merely an albino version of the Maestro from Hulk: Future Imperfect. The Giants and their land are unimpressive as is Algrim the Dark Elf who has a sympathetic but inexplicable role in the overall story. (more…)
Last year, we got a glimpse of Thor: Tales of Asgard, which looked incredibly promising as an animated feature film. Lionsgate is released the film, at long last, direct-to-DVD on Tuesday, while everyone has Norse gods on the mind. For those less familiar with the comic, they have provided a slideshow to introduce audiences to the cast of characters, ranging from Thor, his foster brother Loki, Allfather Odin, the fierce Sif, the valiant Warriors Three, Amora the Enchantress and the legendary Frost Giants, among others.
Here are the product details:
He’s waged battles in Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Avengers 2, Next Avengers and Hulk Vs., and now one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe is ready to strike out on his own this May. See the young “God of Thunder” as Marvel Animation and Lionsgate Home Entertainment team up to release Thor: Tales of Asgard! Hitting Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital Download and On Demand on May 17, 2011, the newest Marvel Animated Feature is the perfect companion to the May 6th release of the live-action theatrical film Thor. The title builds on the strength of more than 40 years and 10 million copies of Thor comics, and the timelessness of The Mighty Thor to create a truly epic adventure that both lifelong fans and those new to the story will love. Packed with special features such as audio commentaries with the film creators, a “making-of” featurette plus a bonus TV episode of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Thor: Tales of Asgard will come to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD for $29.99 and $19.98, respectively.
Before he ever lifted his mighty hammer, there was the sword. Fantastic journeys beckon from the mysterious nine realms. Places of dark mists and fiery voids. Of winged creatures and giants in the ice. And the most alluring quest of all – the search for the legendary Lost Sword of Surtur. Hungry for adventure, Thor secretly embarks on the journey of a lifetime, joined by his loyal brother Loki, whose budding sorcery equips him with just enough magic to conjure up trouble, along with the Warriors Three – a band of boastful travelers reluctant to set sail on any adventure that might actually be dangerous. But what starts out as a harmless treasure hunt quickly turns deadly, and Thor must now prove himself worthy of the destiny he covets by saving Asgard itself.
BLU-RAY COMBO PACK & DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
• Audio commentary with Supervising Producer Craig Kyle and Screenwriter Greg Johnson
• Audio commentary with Supervising Director Gary Hartle, Animation Director Sam Liu and Character Designer Phil Bourassa
• “Worthy: The Making of Thor: Tales of Asgard” featurette
• The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Bonus Episode from the new hit TV series