Tagged: Captain America

Review: “Avengers” #19

Review: “Avengers” #19

imageCR Review: Avengers #19
Creators: Brian Michael Bendis, Daniel Acuna
Publishing Information: Marvel Comics, comic book, 40 pages, November 2011, $3.99

Perhaps the oddest thing about the Avengers property becoming Marvel’s flagship title the last few years is that there’s no underlying concept involved in its execution. It’s Marvel’s biggest superheroes (and some of its stronger supporting characters) teaming up to take on various super-baddie threats… and that’s really about it, as far as I can tell. It’s not a family, it’s not a community, it’s not a certain way of doing things; it’s everybody the fans think are cool put into the same room. In a similar vein, the writer Brian Michael Bendis recently announcing the conclusion of his run with that property surprised only in that there’s little in the way of a dramatic arc — at least not one I can see, from several steps back — that would indicate he was close to wrapping up whatever personal, creative business he might have brought to the series several years ago. In most ways that count, the defining characteristics of this comic book series lies in how it resists past signifiers. For all that it defines the current superhero mainstream, Avengers is one contrary comic book.

The Rocketeer

For a movie based on a comic book set in the 1930s, The Rocketeer was actually ahead of its time. The movie was released as Disney’s big summer film in 1991, backed with tons of marketing, and planned as a big tent pole for their future.

The problem was, in 1991 there were precious few superhero movies creating a genre to support the fan following. When it opened that June there was nothing out there to support it and the groundswell of geekdom had yet to reach critical mass. Therefore, despite relatively positive reviews, the movie did minimal business, finishing 27th for the calendar and largely forgotten. Its director, Joe Johnston, went on to make a number of other hits and misses until he scored big earlier this year with Captain America. Now, taking his fame and the 20th anniversary into account, Walt Disney Home Entertainment has released [[[The Rocketeer]]] on Blu-ray and DVD today.

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Meet the Avengers

In case you missed it, here are the character specific one-sheets to tease next spring’s Avengers movie. And sandwiched in-between are the official details.

Genre:                         Action-adventure
Rating:                         TBD
U.S. Release date:       May 4, 2012

Running time:

Cast:                            Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson

Director:                       Joss Whedon

Producer:                     Kevin Feige

Executive Producers:   Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, Patricia Whitcher, Louis D’Esposito

Screenplay by:                        Joss Whedon

Marvel Studios presents Marvel’s The Avengers—the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, Marvel’s The Avengers is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series The Avengers, first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting eventmovie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when Marvel’s The Avengers assemble in summer 2012.

In Marvel’s The Avengers, superheroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.

Marvel Pulp in February

Marvel Comics has released it’s solicitation information for February 2012. Here are some pulpy highlights.

WINTER SOLDIER #1
Written by Ed Brubaker, art by Butch Guice, cover by Lee Bermejo, variant cover by Gabrielle Dell’Otto, sketch variant by Lee Bermejo, classic artist variant by Joe Kubert.
* Winter Soldier and Black Widow are the super-spies of the Marvel U!
* Ex-Russian Sleeper Agents awaken, but under who’s control?
* Is that Dr. Doom?
32 pages, $2.99.

WINTER SOLDIER #2 
Written by Ed Brubaker, art by Butch Guice, covers by Lee Bermejo..
* Bucky and Black Widow on the hunt for men trained by the Winter Soldier himself!
* Who is trying to kill Dr. Doom?
* Also featuring – talking gorillas!
32 pages, $2.99.

CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY #627
Written by Ed Brubaker and James Asmus, art by Francesco Francavilla.
* Captain America versus an army of Cap-killer androids!
* Adam II reborn…with new powers and deadlier than ever!
* Cap’s life in the hands of…the elderly former Bucky Fred Davis?!
32 pages, $2.99.

DOROTHY & THE WIZARD IN OZ #5
Written by Eric Shanower, art and cover by Skottie Young.
* The Wooden Gargoyles attack to kill!
* How can Dorothy, the Wizard, and their friends escape when even the Wizard’s bullets prove useless?
* Subterranean thrills and chills continue with hungry dragons that only Eureka the kitten can see.
* And you’ll believe a horse can fly!
32 pages, $3.99.

THE PUNISHER #8
Written by Greg Rucka, art and cover by Marco Checchetto.
* The face to face you’ve all been waiting for as ex-Hydra and AIM agents work together to bring down the Punisher.
* Frank is up against a soldier who is more like him than either of them realize.
32 pages, $2.99.

BLACK PANTHER: THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE #529
Written by David Liss, art by Shawn Martinbrough, cover by Francesco Francavilla.
* Kingpin vs. T’Challa in this status-quo changing series finale!
* Guest-starring: Lady Bullseye! Typhoid Mary! Falcon! Luke Cage!
32 pages, $2.99.

THE TWELVE MUST HAVE #1
Written by J. Michael Straczynski, art by Chris Weston.
* Collecting The Twelve #7-8
40 pages, $3.99.

THE TWELVE #9
Written by J. Michael Straczynski, art by Chris Weston, cover by Paolo Rivera.
* The time-stranded heroes of World War ii are back!
* One member of The Twelve will fall!
* Who’s behind the myterious killings? The answer is electrifying!
32 pages, $2.99.

THE TWELVE #10
Written by J. Michael Straczynski, art by Chris Weston, cover by Paolo Rivera.
* The killer uncovered!
* What does this mean for the future of The Twelve?
32 pages, $2.99.

PUNISHERMAX #22
Written by Jason Aaron, art by Steve Dillon, cover by Dave Johnson.
* Aaron’s and Dillon’s seminal run on PunisherMAX comes to an end!
32 pages, $3.99.

Learn more at http://www.marvel.com/

Interview: Will Meugniot on “N.E.D.O.R. Agents”

Interview: Will Meugniot on “N.E.D.O.R. Agents”

With a resume that could best be described as the very definition of awesometasticness, Will Meugniot is a working legend. Given the opportunity to sit down with him–if only through these odd and twisted halls of the interwebs and Skype–I was tempted to simply pelt him with geeky question after geeky question. Allow me a quick explantion: Reading through his resume, Will Meugniot has worked on an amazing array of projects anyone in Generation X or before would swoon over. As a storyboard artist, writer, producer, and director for (amongst other things) Captain Planet, EXOsquad (aka EXO-Force as you’ll see in our next installment), Jem, Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters, and comics like Tigra, The DNAgents, and Vanity… suffice to say I had a hard time not grilling the poor man for several days.

As we mentioned previously, Will is writing and drawing a brand new comic with an old school feel. The N.E.D.O.R. Agents will be hitting your local comic shop shelves, today (November 9th, 2011), and Will was nice enough to sit down with me to give all you ComicMixers the 411. And don’t worry, we totally dish on his work in animation, later this week. Read on!

COMICMIX: Before we get ahead of ourselves, could you tell me, and all of those butchering your name from above how we pronounce your last name?

WILL MEUGNIOT: It’s pronounced Min-Ee-Oh. I think many people have [butchered my name] in the past. Mark Evanier and I used to dub ourselves “The most unpronounceable team in comics!”

CMIX: First and foremost, let’s talk about what brings you here today… the N.E.D.O.R. Agents… Give the ComicMix readers the ‘elevator pitch’ of the project.

MEUGNIOT: First and foremost, it’s a piece I myself would want to be reading right now. N.E.D.O.R. Agents is a period piece; taking these characters from the 40s and reviving them into 1965. I’m treating them the same way other publishers treated revival characters like Captain America, Green Lantern, Flash, and characters of the period were. This is an update for the atomic age. It places these classic characters of the 1940’s in the world of 1965, and the race to space. Of course the race is interrupted by aliens who are already invading Earth!

CMIX: And are the characters being “retconned” here into starting their careers in 1965, or have they simply been elsewhere?

MEUGNIOT: Well, actually the reason these characters haven’t been seen since the 40’s (as you’ll find within the story) is because they have been secretly forming a covert team of superpowered individuals to fight an impending invasion. Now 20 years after the creation of that agency, we’re catching up with them and their super kids!

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Barnes & Noble Announce Nook Tablet; Launching With Marvel (and ComicMix) Graphic Novels

And the other shoe drops. Marvel Entertainment announced today that the long-anticipated Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble will offer readers access to  a digital library of Marvel graphic novels.

“This is a huge opportunity for Marvel—and the entire comics medium—to reach a wider audience than ever before thanks to Barnes & Noble’s exciting new NOOK Tablet,” said Peter Phillips, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Marvel Digital Media Group. “Barnes & Noble is committed to offering customers a broad array of Marvel graphic novels, both digitally and through their massive in-store selection, which can only help bring fans into our exciting world of Super Heroes and unparalleled storytelling.”

Users can purchase digital copies of their favorite Marvel graphic novels through NOOK Bookstore™, with a selection including such hits as Civil War, Invincible Iron Man, Captain America, Thor by JMS, Astonishing X-Men, New Avengers, Marvels and more! These graphic novels will also be available on the highly-acclaimed NOOK Color™.

“We’re excited to bring NOOK customers the largest available digital collection of graphic novels from Marvel Entertainment,” said Theresa Horner, Barnes & Noble’s Vice President of Digital Content. “The high resolution of our VividView color touchscreen makes the action virtually jump off the page, and takes graphic novels to a whole new level of entertainment.”

This is as good a time as any to note that ComicMix also has graphic novels available for the Nook platform, starting with the Harvey Award nominated EZ Street by Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley. More titles will be announced shortly.

JOHN OSTRANDER: Comics Lied To Me!

I’ve had some medical tests recently. Seems I have heart palpitations; lordy me, Ah do seem to be a swoon and mint julep away from being a Southern belle. (Hm. Wonder if they make chocolate mint juleps?) It means that my heart skips a beat every so often.

So I went to a cardiologist and he set up a battery of tests to see what this all means. In the first one, they injected a radioactive tracer so they could then do X-rays of my heart from different angles and see what’s going on.

I was ready. I knew the score. If comic books have taught me anything, it’s that radioactivity triggers a DNA change and gives you super-powers. Prime example is Spider-Man – got his powers from a radioactive spider, right? The Hulk got his from gamma radiation, which is a type of nuclear radiation, right? And it was a stress test, okay? What happens when you combine radiation and stress? The Hulk.

So I figured the radioactive stuff would combine maybe with X-rays and I’d get X-ray vision whenever I stressed out. Or maybe a bug might creep into the machine and I’d get X-ray and bug like powers. Spider-Hulk.

All I got was a bill. Not a duck bill. Or a goose bill. I received a financial statement saying I owed them money. What a rip off!

They also did what is called an “Echo Test” a couple of days later. It’s like when they do a sonogram for pregnant women using ultrasound only they do it for the heart. Ultrasound, eh? Okay, that could become something. Something ultra. I know the Ultra line was a failed bunch of comics for Malibu that Marvel bought up and forgot they had until recently… but it could maybe work, right? Combine ultrasound with the radioactive particle and the stress test and maybe I wind up with ultra hearing and X-ray vision. Add in any Hulk-like side effects and now we’re getting somewhere!

Zap. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. That’s what I’ve gotten. So far.

When they did the second part of the stress test, I had a choice. I could climb on a treadmill and get my heart rate up to a certain point or they could do it via an injection of chemicals that would also make my heart beat faster. Of course, some of the shots of the naked Scarlett Johansson – soon to return as the Black Widow in The Avengers flick – that popped up on the web would also probably do the trick but I wasn’t offered that option.

It was a hard choice. We all know about the treadmill in The Flash and how he uses it combined with his superspeed for time travel. Maybe being on the treadmill would combine with an increased heartbeat and would trigger the change. Seemed reasonable.

I opted, however, for the chemical version for three reasons. One – that seemed more likely to interact with the other events and convert my DNA to complete the change. Two – if I got superspeed and went back in time, I might change a little something that would induce a reboot of reality and DC just did that and it resulted in a skinny Amanda Waller. Third – I could do the test lying down. At my age, if you can do something lying down, that’s the option you take.

So I got the chemicals injected, waited forty minutes for them to travel through my system, and went back for more x-rays. I had high hopes for this one. I’d seen Captain America – The First Avenger and that’s more or less what they did with Steve Rogers: injected him with chemicals and bathed him in rays. That turned out pretty spiffy, right? Not only did he get turned into Captain America but it was a pretty darn good superhero film to boot.

SPOILER WARNING: There are no spoilers. You already can guess the outcome. I just got test results is all. They said I was normal. Normal. Since when?

I go in to see the cardiologist next week to get the findings. Friends have suggested that all I’ll get told is that I have an overheated imagination.

If there’s a cure for that, I’m out of a job.

MONDAY: Mindy Newell

Sean Taylor’s Show Me A Hero only $.99 for Nook

Sean Taylor’s Cyber Age Adventures opus, Show Me A Hero is now available for the Nook at the low price of $.99. You can learn more at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/show-me-a-hero-sean-taylor/1103852669?ean=2940011330957&itm=8&usri=sean%2Btaylor

“That’s 500+ pages of my short stories from Cyber Age Adventures and iHero Entertainment for less than a measly buck,” said Taylor in his press release.

Here’s what some of the critics said about Sean Taylor’s Show Me A Hero:

“…More fully-rounded, more realistic and, as a direct result, more human than all but the best superhero comic book work.”
—From the introducton by Dwayne McDuffie

“Sean Taylor’s stories focus less on the obvious trappings of the genre, instead homing in on the conflicted, flawed human beings for whom greater-than-mortal powers don’t convey greater-than-mortal morality.”
—Tom Brevoort, Executive Editor, Marvel Comics

“Show Me a Hero delivers a series of stories that are dangerous, intriguing, fun and lathered with that sense of character readers will be sure to love. Once you’re done reading, you’ll know you read a well-crafted, fully rounded piece of work.”
—Dan Jurgens, author of The Death of Superman

“Hitting a heavy beat on the ’human’ in superhuman, Taylor’s stories pulse with a visceral reality. The biggest villains his heroes face might be their own bad habits; their greatest challenges are working through relationships—not surviving the battle. Show Me a Hero lives in the place where modern fiction meets mythology.”
—Barbara Randall Kesel, author of Alien vs. Predator, WildC.A.T.s, Rogue Angel: Teller of Tall Tales

“’Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.’ Sean Taylor takes F. Scott Fitzgerald to heart in a selection of stories that reveal the high price even super heroes often pay to do the right thing. If there are any tears in these riveting tales— and, I’m afraid, there are—they do not diminish the courage of Taylor’s champions or the power of his writing. These are the quiet pains that stay with the readers and, hopefully, help them appreciate the heroes in their own lives.”
—Tony Isabella, author of 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, Star Trek: The Case of the Colonist’s Corpse

“I’ll sum it up as simply as I can: you’re going to care. That’s what Sean does with his characters and the stories they inhabit. He makes you care.”
—Erik Burnham, author of A-Team: War Stories, Ghostbusters Infestation, Nanover, Civil War Adventures

“Show Me a Hero is not about powers, costumes or catchy code names. It’s about heart and soul, and the choices that make heroes out of ordinary lives.”
—Bryan J.L. Glass, author of Mice Templar, Thor: First Thunder

“A lot of writers talk about trying to introduce superheroes into the real world, but Sean Taylor does it better than most. Perhaps because his stories don’t just have plot, they have a point. They’re not about a series of circumstances and events, but about how those circumstances and events make the people living through them feel. You may not like every story in Show Me A Hero, but I defy you to finish one and be indifferent. You may love them or hate them, be inspired or unsettled, but they’re going to get inside your head and gut and make you think and feel.”
—Paul Storrie, author of Gotham Girls, Justice League Unlimited, Captain America: Red, White & Blue

“Sean Taylor’s work is gripping, sincere and relevant.”
—Dwight MacPherson, author of The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo, American McGee’s Grim

“Full of dynamic action and a range of intriguing characters, Sean Taylor gracefully delivers moments of dimension and depth in his stories that explore what being heroic is truly about.”
—Stephen Zimmer, author of the Rising Dawn Saga and Fires in Eden Series

“What will certainly surprise new readers of Sean Taylor’s work is how mature and entertaining the story lines are, not to mention the amount of realism he injects into each and every one of his characters. If you’re on the fence about super hero fiction—if you think it’s just kid stuff—then pick up Show Me A Hero and find out how glad you’ll be to learn you were wrong.”
—Tom Waltz, Editor, IDW Publishing; author of Silent Hill: Sinners Reward, Gene Simmons Zipper

“Instead of the all-powerful visitor from another planet or the millionaire with crimefighting devices that cost more than my house, Taylor shows us a more human hero—and more often than not, a less than perfect one. Show Me A Hero reminds us that heroes come in all shapes and sizes as it takes us down the less traveled path to see just what defines a hero.
—Bobby Nash, author of Evil Ways, Lance Star: Sky Ranger, Deadly Games!

“Guaranteed to pull at your emotions—a must read!”
—Shane Moore, author of the Abyss Walker series

“Show Me a Hero is a great mix of super hero stories that appeal to every reader—dark, sweet, strong and funny, each story has a unique take on the super hero setting. Taylor has done a fantastic job, enticing me every step along the way to draw me into the worlds and become passionate about the characters.”
—Christina Barber, author of Seely’s Pond and Spirits of Georgia’s Southern Crescent

“Sean Taylor’s stories are in-your-face, emotional, and immediate. In this collection, he examines from all angles the odd yet undeniable impulse that drives some people to put on a costume and fight crime in the streets. No kid stuff here—this is serious, intelligent drama and deep, human introspection spiced with plenty of action and intensity (and often a nice twist along the way). Well worth your time.”
—Van Allen Plexico, author of Assembled! and the Sentinals series

Sean Taylor’s Show Me A Hero is published by New Babel Books and is available for the Nook at the low price of $.99. You can learn more at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/show-me-a-hero-sean-taylor/1103852669?ean=2940011330957&itm=8&usri=sean%2Btaylor

To learn more about Sean Taylor, visit his website at http://www.taylorverse.com/.

MARVEL COMICS LAUNCHES WINTER SOLDIER

Marvel Comics has announced an ongoing Winter Soldier series by Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice to launch in February with covers by Lee Bermejo.

“I knew 90 percent of the angry ‘You killed Bucky’ fans were fans who were upset that I brought him back in the first place who I had won over,” Brubaker said. “Hopefully I will be able to win them back again.”

The series will touch on Bucky’s history from the Cold War and will feature Black Widow, and, to a lesser degree, Nick Fury.

MINDY NEWELL: A Face In The Crowd

Outside my window it’s January in October; the snow is falling in thick full flakes, the wind is howling, and the steam radiator is hissing and spitting heat while I write this. I just finished watching Captain America: The First Avenger. The perfect movie for a day like a day like this, when I’m all warm and cozy inside while a little Ice Age is raging on the other side of my window.

It’s a really great movie, totally true to its comic book roots, and yet with just enough of an underpinning of truth that enables – for me, at least – a total suspension of disbelief. I haven’t felt this way about a super-hero movie since I first saw Superman. Yeah, I dug Batman Begins and Dark Knight and I’m looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises. And I liked the X-Men movies, even though they were all about Wolverine – hell, the guy even makes a quick cameo (brilliantly done and totally in character) in X-Men: First Class; but Superman and Captain America are movies that leave me walking on air and just full of joi de vivre.

So much of the credit, like 99% of it, goes to Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of Superman, and I think, in the same way, 99% of the credit for the success of Captain America goes to Chris Evans. They both really get it. They get that these characters are representations of, characterizations of – no, the embodiment of the American dream, the American ideal, the “gee whiz, this is the best country in the whole world, and I am one damn lucky fellow to be living in it” experience.

When suits at Marvel made the decision a few years ago to kill Captain America, I was so upset. Honestly – and I mean this in the best possible way – it was for me as if Christopher Reeve had just died all over again. Reeves had proved himself a true Superman, a true American hero, in so many ways; and his death was, for me, an end of an era. And then, a few years later, and all for the sake of $$$, for publicity, Cap is dead. And I felt like – well, let me put it as succinctly as I can:

This country is fucked.

In 1957, Elia Kazan directed A Face In The Crowd. Starring Andy Griffith in his film debut, it’s the story of Lonesome Rhodes, a hard-drinking country-western singer pulled out of obscurity and given his own radio show by talent scout Patricia Neal. His “down-home” philosophical spiels soon lead to his own television show, leading to worshipful fans, drooling sponsors with money, and political influence. Now drunk on power instead of alcohol, Rhodes is a manipulator of Machiavellian proportion. And although A Face In The Crowd was not considered a success during its theatre run, it has proven to be, as so many of Kazan’s movies were – prescient in its depiction of the overtaking by pop culture and big business of the American political system.

And now we have Herman Cain. Everybody knows him as “The Pizza King,” and who hasn’t seen his “Imagine There’s No Pizza” performance? (John Lennon must be rolling over in his grave. Yoko, can’t you sue him or something?) But did you know that he’s also a gospel singer, and performed on the 13-track album Sunday Morning released by Selah Sound Production & Melodic Praise Records in 1996? Did you know that he writes an op-ed column that is syndicated by the North Star Writers Group to over 50 newspapers? Did you know that he has written numerous books – Leadership is Common Sense; Speak as a Leader; CEO of SELF; They Think You’re Stupid – and that the latest, This is Herman Cain: My Journey to the White House, is on the bookshelves now, and that he is not only campaigning, but on a national book tour as we speak? And did you know that, until he formally announced his candidacy, he hosted The Herman Cain Show on WSB-AM in Atlanta? Lonesome Rhodes, you’ve met your match!

So is he just a huckster peddling his wares? Well, let’s see. Did you know that Cain was on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve in Kansas City? And that he was the chairman of the Omaha branch? (It’s not surprising that Fox News never reports on that, since the Fed is one of the big bad bogeymen under attack by the Repugnanticans.) And that he sat on the boards of some of America’s biggest corporations, including Nabisco and Whirlpool?

So he ain’t just a huckster, he’s a corporate toady and a bankster too! (Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Together, are you listening?)

And since 2005, and ending when he announced his candidacy, Herman Cain worked for Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a right-wing political action committee (PAC). You know who funds AFP? The Koch brothers!!!! You know who’s Cain’s campaign manager? Mark Block, his co-worker at AFP. You know Cain’s senior economic adviser, Richard Lowrie, he of the totally huckster 9-9-9 tax plan? Guess where he met Cain? Yep. Lowrie sat on the AFP board of directors until Cain announced his candidacy.

Yeah, good ol’ Herman Cain. He’s just a regular old joe. A face in the crowd.

Watching Shane now.

Come back, Cap. Cap. Cap, come back. Come back, Cap! Caaaaaaap!!!!!!!

TUESDAY: Michael Davis