Here comes the all-new all-different Spider-Man!

AlexRoss_SpiderManSpider-Man has always been Marvel Comics’ flagship character, so his absence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been more than noticeable. After five movies (including a two-part reboot with Andrew Garfield), the web-slinger may finally be getting his Marvel Universe debut alongside the Avengers in an all-out galactic war with Thanos.

Finally, web-head could be standing alongside the a-listers where he belongs!

This would inevitably involve a recasting (our third Spider-Man since 2002!) but hopefully not yet another origin story. Also, it may pave the way for a Marvel/Sony co-production for Spider-Man 6!

The rumors are very specific and span through the next 6 Marvel Universe movies which, if true, would kill any worries that the MCU will get stale! This would impact Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and many more… and could mean a Planet Hulk movie is a possibility. 

nobody-invited-spiderman-to-avengersThe story goes that Sony and Marvel have wanted to work together since the first Amazing Spider-Man film by including Stark Tower (seen in that year’s Avengers movie)  in the New York skyline. It was to be a subtle hint of things to come but alas it never occurred. Instead, Sony bravely launched a multi-picture project that would see several Spider-Man spin-offs, developing a rich Spider-Universe. But that may have gone the way of Toby Maguire as there is a new… much more interesting rumor (via Comicbook.com)

According to news and rumor site Latino Review (lots of potential spoilers at the link), a deal has been struck that will bring Spider-Man to Marvel Studios in time for the two-part Avengers: Infinity War mega-event.

spider-man-avengersThe word is that the long talks between Marvel and Sony have finally yielded results in the wake of a wave of criticism aimed at Sony’s handling of the franchise following the recent Sony hack.

The report emphasizes that a recent rumor that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield could meet up in a Spider-Men-style movie mashup is just as unfounded as you would think, but claims that they’ve got it on good authority Spidey will be wall-crawling his way into the next two Avengers movies after Age of Ultron.

“I don’t have the exact details nor a paper trail, but I’m told we’ll see an MCU Spider-Man in Infinity Wars Part 1, as that was the next logical place to insert him after they missed the window to logically include him in Civil War,” the report claims.

The planned 2016 Spider-Man movie may be cancelled or may be a co-production between Sony and Marvel, says the report, but it won’t go forward as originally planned. Given the relatively short production time on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it’s unlikely any immediate announcements will clear all this up, as they would have no need to do so right away.

Age of Ultron, the Ant Man and the state of the Vision

Avengers2Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is getting ever closer which means more trailers. The latest trailer has revealed more shots of the team’s in-fighting, the Hulk Buster Iron Man armor and a few vague details surrounding the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver… who are probably not mutants.

The Vision


There are many comic book fans out there who are angry that the Avengers 2 film has decided to revise the character’s origin so that the android is a creation of Bruce Banner and Tony Stark. The defense is that the comic book version is too tangled for a movie… but he started as Ultron’s creation who infiltrated the Avengers. Later, it was revealed that Wonder Man and the original Human Torch were involved in his creation, but initially he was a double agent. It’s disappointing that this approach was ditched but… what can you do?

Ant Man
Ant-Man-Comic-Con_612x380

This is a real risk-taker of a film. The character has long been regarded as a joke (much like Aquaman), but this movie seeks to raise him to a level of respectability. Going into the first movie there is already a legacy of Ant Men and the villain is Yellow Jacket, another size-changing insect-based character.

The Ant Man movie has been in developmental Hell for ages with Edgar Wright attached since before the first Iron Man movie. However, my gut says that if Marvel handles this properly, it could be another Iron Man for them. Fingers crossed.

Silence please for the Avengers 2 trailer

Matthew-Ferguson-The-Avengers-550x412

The events in each of the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date have established a unified world of superheroics, magic, technological marvels and dangers unlike anything dreamed of in our world. The heroes are big and complex, flawed human beings with unimaginable powers and abilities, trying to exist in a normal world when they are not defeating otherworldly foes.

The first step taken in the initial Iron Man film set moviegoers on a path through eight more adventures which took a world that had previously existed on the printed page and exploded it on screen. From the Hulk to Captain America, to Thor, an entire pantheon of heroes is now in place (and there’s more to come). It has been a wild ride and one that seems to get better with each turn.

imagesThe milestone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the Avengers film which united all of these characters against a common foe (and oftentimes each other as well). It was a roaring success and also redeemed a certain green-hued Goliath while bringing two other heroes to the forefront- Hawkeye and the Black Widow. The sequel will challenge the strength of the team in many ways. It appears that Tony Stark’s tech has gone wild and the Hulk has as well, and out of this mayhem comes a deadly new threat – Ultron.
hulkbuster
Viewers of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (another extension of the Marvel Universe) got a glimpse last night of what is to come. And it is a showstopper.

Avengers2Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron has a May 2015 release date.

Meet the New Avengers

Begun in the 1960’s as a showcase for the top heroes in Marvel’s stable of characters, the Avengers united to defeat the villainous Loki. Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk (for a bit) Ant Man/Giant Man and the Wasp were the initial team, but after Captain America was rescued from a block of ice, the series found its heart and really took off. Since then there have been many many changes and throughout various dips in popularity, it has arguably eclipsed the X-Men as Marvel’s top tier property (with several spinoff monthly books and mini-series to be found on the shelves each month.

As the news world reels from one announcement to another, finally we have a visual of the latest team of Avengers. There are some big changes in here, some swapping around of characters, new faces and genders. The inclusion of the Winter Soldier, Doctor Strange, Ant Man, Deathlok and Scarlet Witch clearly hint at the need to tie into the Marvel Studios feature films and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series.

avengers-now-poster

Via Newsarama (via EW.com)

Yes, the next phase of Marvel NOW!, Marvel Comics’ initiative that’s run twice offering new first issues and refreshed looks at characters, new creative teams, and some drastic changes, is focused solely on the Avengers line of their superhero universe. In an announcement late Wednesday night at EW.com, Marvel announced the new initiative, which will feature fresh first issues for their “big three,” plus new issues, storyarcs, and pushes for other Avengers characters. The characters in the teaser poster will all be getting “prominent” roles in the Marvel Universe as 2014 closes out and 2015 begins.

We already know about Thor #1, starring a new female Thor in October, and All-New Captain America #1 is confirmed as beginning in November, starring Sam “The Falcon” Wilson as the newest person to lift Captain America’s shield. Add to that Superior Iron Man #1 in November, featuring Tony Stark in San Francisco (incidentally, where Daredevil just moved earlier this year) with a new version of his suit, and “very ambitious plans for the city that some of its residents embrace, but not all,” teased Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso.

——————————————-

Of course, fans can all but rule out one often-speculated contender, Thor and Loki’s newly revealed half-sister Angela, as she appears in the Avengers NOW! teaser poster. Along with Angela, (new) Thor, Sam Wilson Captain America, and Iron Man in his new duds, we see The Winter Soldier and Deathlok, both of whom have newly-announced ongoing series, plus upcoming Marvel Studios “Phase 3” stars Ant-Man and Dr. Strange, Avengers: Age of Ultron star Scarlet Witch, and finally Medusa and Inferno of the Inhumans rounding out the list.

We’ll have much more on Avengers NOW! and any additional new series at Comic-Con International: San Diego next week.

This raises that time honored question… what is your favorite Avengers roster?

Uncanny Avengers

Uncanny Avengers

Avengers 2009

Avengers 2009

Heroic Age Avengers

Heroic Age Avengers

90's Avengers

90’s Avengers

Avengers_80s

80’s Avengers

1970's Avengers

70’s Avengers

Avengers_CapsKookyQuartet

Cap’s Kooky Quartet

60's Avengers

60’s Avengers

New Avengers Annual- Doctor Strange ‘Self Surgery’

Avengers_DrStrange
Doctor Stephen Strange was once a vain and snobbish neurosurgeon. He believed that he was incapable of failure and paid the price for his hubris when he lost control of his sports car one evening. He survived the crash, but the nerves in his hands were permanently damaged. He would never operate again. Taking to the streets, he was a lost soul until he found his way to Tibet where he hoped a guru known only as the Ancient One would heal him. Instead of regaining his skill as a physician, Doctor Strange became a sorcerer and protector of the human race against ethereal threats from eldritch realms.

Since he has taken on the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme (after the passing of his mentor, the Ancient One), Dr. Strange has been a Defender, an Avenger and much more. After a fall from grace, he as sacrificed much in recent years to regain his stature and this stand-alone tale reestablishes the majesty and sheer spookiness of the character.

In the classic Strange Tales in which the good Doctor first appeared, the stories were creepy suspenseful yarns straight out of the pulps and Steve Ditko’s otherworldly artwork took readers on a psychedelic journey to a world that could exist only in the mind. It is a hard act to follow though many have tried. Marvel has had some trouble in finding a home for Doctor Strange in their stable of heroes and he has actually found a much better sole as a supporting cast member in the Avengers books rather than the star of his own monthly series.

‘Self Surgery’ is a call back to the days of Bizarre Adventures when readers could explore the darker recesses of the Marvel Universe in lushly painted tales that stood on their own. The wonderfully weird and unsettling lush paintwork of Marco Rudy modernizes the look and feel of Doctor Strange as very few artists could (though it bares some resemblance to David Mack’s work, I doubt if even he could have pulled this off). The script by Frankie Barvbiere is a pulp-ish story that restores Doctor Strange to his rightful place as a unique and horror-fueled character.

Doctor Strange has been called back to Tibet where the assembled monks have pierced the veil of reality using magic and technology only to unleash a demon that wishes to destroy all in its path. Trapped in the vessel of a princess, the danger is held at bay, but only for a short time. Taking leave of his physical body, Strange enters the astral plane where the monks are hard at work battling the demon to no avail. What transpires is a thrilling and marvelous magical battle between magician and monster.

Throughout the adventure, the reader is given a glimpse into Strange’s past, in the early days of his time as a surgeon when he believed nothing was outside of his power. In the present, he shows his fellow monks and the reader alike that he is far more powerful than they had imagined and while he can do almost anything… it all comes with a price.

I picked this book up on a whim (and because of the attractive cover) but am glad that I did. If you are a fan of Doctor Strange, you should pick this up. As the feature film was recently announced as being in production by Marvel, expect Doctor Strange to become the next superstar of the cinematic comic book world.

“By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!” get thee a copy today!

New Avengers 2014 Annual #1- Doctor Strange in ‘Self Surgery’
Written by Frankie Barbiere, drawn by Marco Rudy

Minimalist Avengers by Michael Mateyko

Made popular to most by the blockbuster Marvel Studios movie franchise, the Avengers comic book was formed by Stan Lee after a game of golf with the ‘Distinguished Competition’ in which the Justice League of America was mentioned. Never one to miss a trick, Lee shuffled the superheroes of the Marvel Universe into one book and thus the Avengers came into being.

The mightiest of superhero supergroups, the Avengers has included everyone from Iron Man to Rage and Cannonball. This minimalist image by Michael Mateyko tracks the many team members.

avengers_roster
Via GeekTyrant

Do you have a favorite roster?

Who are the best Avengers?

Deciphering Hickman’s Avengers Roster

By guest writer Zeno

Those who have been reading John Hickman’s Avengers for the last year have noticed there is a design at the beginning of most stories that represents a membership roster of the Avengers team. There has been speculation about this roster. Particularly who fills the missing circles.
avengers-map

This is the original roster circa issue 17. You will notice that is missing six positions. During the Infinity event four new member came on. They were Abyss,Ex Niho,NightMask,and Starbrand. The roster did not reappear until issue 24. If all the members mentioned were added we have four new members and two circles still missing. However the first two members mentioned above have left. That leaves us with only two new members. Therefore a new roster was designed which was smaller but still had two empty circles. Using this line of thought the new members would be Starbrand and Nightmask. If you look a the new roster this pattern fits.

Pasted Graphic 1
There are still two missing circles. Who are they and what is there significance?

New Universal Connection

The importance of the meaning of the roster can be understood if we remember that Hickman is using Warren Ellis’s version of the New Universe,called NewUniversal. We have seen this through the characters and mentioning of the “White Event”,in the early stories.Such a event leads to the creation of four different types of powered heroes. The
events of this series do not exactly fit this pattern. They are not all created at the same time as in those series. This is to be expected as it was said “The Machine is broken” so things are not going to work the same way. However two things the event has is the creation of a Starbrand and a Nightmask. Note the new roster differs from the old only in two new additions. These are NightMask and StarBrand. Both recipients of NewUniversal powers. Note there are two empty circles. It stands to reason that the missing to new characters are people who have NewUniversal powers. The two powers powers must correspond to the two missing circles. The two powers left are the Justice and Cipher.
Now finding out who posses these two powers will tell us who the new members are. The four powers are Starbrand, Nightmask,Justice,and Cipher. The Starbrand and Nightmask have appeared. To further emphasize the connection between them both characters are marked with the same glyph as their characters in did in NewUniversal. That means we are lacking a justice and cipher powered character. Who are they?

Validator

The Valdiator only appeared in Avengers 10. Yet I believe she is probably one of the new characters. The reasons are 1)LIke Starbrand she is somehow changed by the effects of the pod. 2) She talks in the language that NightMask and Starbrand talk. This is the machine language only they communicate in. Validator was changed somehow when she went to investigate the pod. What are abilities are is unclear but there is a intriguing hint at the last page of that issue. Validator says “Father,something amazing has happened here. We’ve made something and I am supposed to protect it.” This would imply that she has the cipher power. In NewUniversal,this is the power to talk to communicate with machines. That is would fit her statement of protecting it. Plus something happened to the equipment which may be because of her power over machines. Granted the quote could apply to the justice power but there is another better candidate for the justice power. We have not seen if she has a mark on her body either. So she could be playing another role. It still seems likely that regardless of her exact role,Hickman is planning on including her in his Avengers lineup.

X-23

The character who goes by the name X-23 is known as Laura Kinney. She is a female clone of Wolverine. She has a history with the Captain Universe force which goes back to the Captain Universe/X-23 issue. This was the third issue of the 2005 Captain Universe series. In this issue AIM was experimenting with the Captain Universe force. X-23 is given the power to stop AIM from using the power for it’s won benefit. She teams up with Scorpion,the female agent who may Bruce Banner’s daughter. And prevents it. Afterwards it the Captain Universe force leaves her. It seems however that it had other plans. In the first story arch of her own she finds herself haunted by dreams. During the conclusion of the story a force promises to help her. She reappears with a sign on her hand. While the sign on her hand is not the same as the one that represents justice,it still chose someone who was a trained assassin. It would only be fitting for a agent of vengeance. In a later story called Chaos Theory,we see the Whtirldemon king is going to escape from the micro verse to take over Earth. The Enigima Force summons a group of people who have been contact with it in the past. They include the Invisible Woman,Spider-man,and of course X-23. The only one who still can and does harness the power is X-23. She becomes part of the Captain Universe force and defeats Whirldemon King to prevent him from escaping. This is further evidence that she is the new avatar of justice. It seems our final member of Avengers will be X-23. There is one problem with this theory about her. The symbol she has on her hand is not the lightning bolt symbol,which Justice has in New Universal. She has yet to appear in any of Hickman’s stories either. Both of these points could make this analysis wrong. However both other previous role,the fact that she has a glyph mark,and the fact that has become Captain Universe twice are strong evidence in favor of her.

Conclusions

This is a paper of speculation. It could be wrong. They are merely guesses. Perhaps the readers have seen something that suggests someone else. Any thoughts or criticisms are appreciated.

Avenger’s World

avengers-world-1aa

Thoughts and Speculations on Avenger’s World

By guest writer Zeno

This is a spoiler filled article. Read Avenger’s World 1 first.

Johanthan Hickman’s Avenger’s World is meant to be a jumping off point for new readers. The story itself goes back to plot threads from Hickman’s pre-Infinity issues. It started with Pods.

Pods

In the early issues we met a character called Ex-Nihilo. He is what is known as a Gardener. He tried to create new life on the planetary scale. Each pod appears represents a different aspect of life. Without going in to the details. Certain of these pods were destroyed before the Infinity story and some still exist. This article will only deal with Consciousness, Self-Defense, Evolution and Reproduction. In this issue there are three different missions going on at three difference locations.

Each is related to one or more of these evolution pods. Each will be discussed.
2831008-avengers_v5_003_zone_002_for_web
1. Mandripoor

One group is at Mandripoor. This is mission is related to the Reproduction Pod. The Pod was confiscated by the Hand when it feel in Japan. In Avenger Volume 5 issue 4 we hear that despite the around the pod being quaranited the Hand,led by Gorgon escaped. Shang-Chi is personally infiltrating the Hand base in this issue while the rest of the group is patrolling the island. We discover near the end of the issue that gorgon is using the pods in conjunction with his powers to turn the entire island into a living dragon. Gorgon’s power is turning living beings to stone. Just like his mythical counterparts. However here is doing the opposite. He is transforming land into a living being.

Since this is a reproduction pod and since the legend was that the island may have a part of a dragon,we can assume the pod is allowing him to recreate the creature who once lived.

2. AIM Island

The second time is at AIM Island. We know from issue 17 that Aim captured the Self Defense creature who came from the pod of the same name. Therefore we can guess he plays a part in this story. SHIELD has discovered that the seismic activity is from the acceleration of the Earth’s ecology. This however comes from the pod that was found in Canada and that affected Validator. This was seen in Avengers 10. It seems in some way to be working with the AIM’s Self Defense Pod. The details of all this working are still not clear.

3. Italy

In Italy people in a small town have disappeared. What is going on during this mission is less certain but I will speculate. Since all of the occurrences deal with pods it seems a reasonable guess that this plot thread/mission does also. The pod that seems to be working here is the Consciousness Pod. This pod was supposedly destroyed back in Avengers 9. However either the pieces were self aware and came back or it was somehow put back together. Their are good reason to believe that this is the Pod operating. First that pod was in Croatia,which is clear closer to Italy than any of the others. Secondly the object communicates with Star Brand who is the one who can hear it. This is because is Star Brand’s power comes from the same source as the pods. Secondly it transports the heroes the old city of the dead. This is poetic for a object that was thought destroyed. Star Brand also accidentaly destroyed it while it tried to communicate with,which it is doing in this issue. It is still not clear if this pod acting alone or with the other three pods mentioned earlier. It certainly seems possible. As for the other pods it is not quite clear what role they will serve in this story.

Conclusions

Hickman’s Avenger’s World is a interesting story but it requires background knowledge from many issues in the last year. Hopefully this brief article will help new readers with understanding the meaning of the events. The next article on this will deal with more speculation. Particularly regarding the design seen at the beginning of the issues.

Avengers Age of Ultron feature film teaser

avengers-age-of-ultron-fan-made-poster-feature

fan-made poster by Matt Broox

United to face a threat too great for them to tackle individually, the Avengers are one of the most popular super hero teams of comic-dom. Created by Stan Lee at the request of publisher Martin Goodman to compete with the popularity of the Justice League of America over at National (later DC Comics), the team consisted of the heavy hitters of Marvel; Ant Man and the Wasp, the Hulk, Iron Man, and the mighty Thor. Later, Captain America was defrosted from the past and became the most important team member. Thanks to the feature film Marvel Universe, the Avengers have gained new popularity and are a household name and a major franchise, even spawning a TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The long-awaited sequel too the hit film will not only raise the stakes by involving a threat far deadlier than the one posed by Loki in the first film, it will also introduce two new team members; Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Whedon cryptically stated that both The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II played important roles as inspirations for the sequel, citing that there will be a death in the film.

Finally, a teaser has been revealed that, while not providing any real details, serves to whet the appetite of fans.

SDCC2013 Trailer

Once more drawing inspiration from the comic books, the sequel will center of the evil robotic despot Ultron. The strange part is that in the comics, the robot was created by founding Avenger Han Pym (alias the Ant Man) but this character has not been in the movie version and will not be part of Whedon’s sequel. Along with the new origin for a classic villain, Whedon has taken an unexpected side step from Thanos, the villain seen in the post credit sequence of the first film (no doubt the focus of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie).

Details are scarce, but as principle photography begins we will surely see lots of news items.

Avengers Age of Ultron has a release date of May 1, 2015

The Avengers and the return of the New Universe

Back in 1986, Marvel Comics and Jim Shooter orchestrated what promised to be a revitalization in their monthly comicverse. The New Universe not only introduced new heroes and villains, but in a world devoid of Captain America, Spider-Man or Iron Man. This was a world closer to ours, untainted by the strange and unexplained until ‘The White Event.’ As a reader I tasted a few of the new books and was especially happy with Starbrand and DP7.

Warren Ellis attempted a revival called newuniversal a few years back, but it failed to make enough impact to continue.
Avengers_NewUniverse

This year, Jonathan Hickman took over the reigns of the Avengers monthly series and after an explosive opening arc and a few standalone issues establishing the new members of the team such as Smasher and Hyperion, took on the New Universe in a new way. The White Event has come to the Marvel Universe, but has resulted in a deviation from the expected outcome. The Nightmask and Starbrand ‘vessels’ have arrived but are not correctly aligned to their powers. Rather than being the harbingers of a new power, they are just as deadly as any threat.

It will be exciting to see where Hickman goes with this.

Ad-New-Universe-1986

Via Newsarama:
“It wasn’t something that anybody at Marvel especially was looking to do,” Brevoort told Newsarama. “This was all really Jonathan.”

The New Universe started in 1986 during Jim Shooter’s tenure as Marvel editor-in-chief, as a way to mark Marvel’s 25th anniversary. It was intended to be a more grounded world separate from the Marvel Universe, kickstarted by the “White Event” that gave some individuals superpowers. It launched with eight books: D.P. 7, Justice, and Psi-Force, which each ran for 32 issues; plus the shorter-lived Kickers, Inc., Mark Hazzard: Merc, Nightmask, Spitfire and the Troubleshooters and Star Brand.

Following the end of the original books in 1989, the New Universe was touched on in books like Spider-Man 2099, Quasar and the “Starblast” crossover. The most notable revisiting of the concept was newuniversal, a 2007 reboot of the concepts by Warren Ellis and Salvador Larroca. Beyond the six-issue main series, the tie-ins featured some of the first Marvel work from X-Men: Legacy’s Simon Spurrier and Iron Man’s Kieron Gillen.

“For all that everybody says, ‘I don’t know about the New Universe,’ or ‘I don’t care about the New Universe,’ certainly everybody seems to be talking about the New Universe, and has been since the cover to #7, with the pink-white lightning bolt, came out,” Brevoort said. “Everybody recognized it, and everybody had a reaction to it. That indicated that there’s something going on there in the gestalt, whether it’s a nostalgia, or whether it’s just a simple recognition of, ‘It’s that thing from all those years ago, that’s kind of neat, I haven’t seen that in a long time.'”

“Everything has a nostalgic component to it when it comes to comic book readers,” Brevoort continued. “That’s just an ever-prevalent thing. You can’t find stuff in the history of comics that don’t have that pull to them. There’s nothing that is completely salted earth.”

I have to ask if, after the dust has settled, will the other players of the New Universe be in attendance such as Justice, Spitfire and the Troubleshooters, DP7 and… Kickers, Inc? Which one will Bendis be writing?
new_universe_fullcast

Recommended:

Star Brand Classic – Volume 1

D.P. 7 Classic – Volume 1

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story