New Avengers #5 Preview

Thanks to Marvel, here’s a text-free preview of next month’s ish of the relaunched Avengers title. Official description and perty pics below.

Your First Look At NEW AVENGERS #5!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at New Avengers #5, from the superstar creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen! The Earth has been invaded by a near-limitless amount of extra dimensional demons and the very fiber of reality is tearing itself apart. With their options exhausted, one of the New Avengers must make the ultimate sacrifice to save the Marvel Universe. Don’t miss New Avengers #5!

NEW AVENGERS #5 (AUG100566)

NEW AVENGERS #5 IMMONEN VARIANT (AUG100568)

NEW AVENGERS #5 VAMPIRE VARIANT (AUG100567)

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Pencils & Cover by STUART IMMONEN

Vampire Variant by STEFANIE PERGER

Variant Cover by STUART IMMONEN

Rated A …$3.99

FOC – 9/23/10, On-Sale – 10/13/10

Graphic Gaffe: Avengers Poster Ad

This one has been out for a few weeks, but it makes it obvious that the PR department don’t always work closely with the comic production people. This in-house ad in some of Marvel’s recent books shows artist Marko Djurdjevic’s excellent and large poster assembling all the new Avengers teams from their own books, whether they be Secret, Young or otherwise. The problem is that whoever wrote this ad didn’t know that. “All of the greatest heroes and villains together,” it states. Um…no actually. It’s by no means all of them. That poster would have to be the size of an airplane.

Invaders Now! #1 Preview

Thanks to Marvel, here’s a text-free preview, under a gorgeous Alex Ross cover, showing Marvel’s first superhero team from WWII reunited. Perty pics and details below.

Your First Look At INVADERS NOW!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Invaders Now #1, from superstar creator Alex Ross, writer Christos Gage, and artist Caio Reiss, with packaging by Dynamite Entertainment!! For the first time in decades, the original Invaders are alive and active at the same time. When a mysterious force from the past brings the Invaders together, they must do battle like never before! Featuring Captain America , Namor, the original Human Torch, Steve Rogers and more, Invaders Now #1 brings back this incomparable team for an all-new adventure!

INVADERS NOW #1 (JUL100588)

INVADERS NOW #1 BUSCEMA VARIANT (JUL100590)

INVADERS NOW #1 GRANOV VARIANT (JUL100589)

INVADERS NOW #1 ROSS SKETCH VARIANT (JUL100591)

Story by ALEX ROSS & CHRISTOS GAGE

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE

Penciled by CAIO REISS

Cover by ALEX ROSS

Variant Cover by SAL BUSCEMA

Variant Cover by ADI GRANOV

Sketch Variant by ALEX ROSS

Rated T+ …$3.99

FOC – 8/19/10, On-Sale – 9/9/10

All About The Avengers

That was the focus of events at Comic Con today, apart from an incident in which someone was stabbed in the eye with a pen earlier during the day. Samuel L. Jackson introduced the now official cast of the Avengers film, including new members Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) as archer Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island) as Bruce Banner, and fan fave director Joss Whedon. Also below is the new logo for the 2012 film, as well as the Destroyer suit of armour seen on the Con floor that will be seen in next year’s Thor film.

Marvel, Capcom and More Marvel

Feast your eyes on a bunch of Marvel previews, and official details, below. First up is Steve Rogers in his new Capatin America duds, and mini-series.

Your First Look At STEVE ROGERS: SUPER-SOLDIER #1

Marvel is proud to present your first look at Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1, from award-winning scribe Ed Brubaker and red-hot artist Dale Eaglesham. In this sequel to the chart-topping Captain America : Reborn, Steve Rogers must face dark secrets from his past that threaten the future of the entire world. No fan can afford to miss this landmark limited series with far-reaching consequences for the Marvel Universe!

STEVE ROGERS: SUPER SOLDIER #1 (of 4) (MAY100612)

STEVE ROGERS: SUPER SOLDIER #1 (of 4) FINCH VARIANT (MAR10829)

STEVE ROGERS: SUPER SOLDIER #1 (of 4) SKETCH VARIANT (MAR10830)

Written by ED BRUBAKER

Penciled by DALE EAGLESHAM

Cover by CARLOS PACHECO

Variant Cover by DAVID FINCH

Sketch Variant by DAVID FINCH

Rated T …$3.99

FOC – 6/17/10, On Sale – 7/8/10

Next year’s Marvel vs Capcom 3 game has just unveiled 8 new screenshots. See them all, plus commentary here.

Lastly, here’s 3 great covers from the multitude of new Marvel comics this week. See the full list under the pics.

Continue reading

Fusion #1 Review

FUSION001_interiors_Page_01It’s been a while since the comics biz had had a good x-over. In the 90s we couldn’t get enough of them. Batman teamed up with everyone. Spider-Man teamed up with everyone. Punisher and Archie teamed up with each other.

Now the concept is back. In grand fashion. Two teams from Marvel and two teams from Top Cow in the same book is a great way to start. Of course, Top Cow artists have been doing cover and interior work for the House of Ideas recently, so this is no big stretch. Fusion debuts spectacularly, with plenty of cool costumes and powers to please any fan of superheroes. This issue primarily focuses on the Mighty Avengers and Ripclaw, but with two more issues to come, the balance should be restored.

It begins with a lone man named Ellis (from Hunter-Killer) sitting at the ancestral home of Ripclaw (from Cyberforce) before taking us to the Quinjet where we meet the Mighty Avengers, who in this time frame, have only been together for a week. Setting this between Civil War and Dark Reign was a smart move on the part of frequent writing partners Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Out of the four teams in this series, The Avengers have the most complicated recent history. They wisely steer away from assuming readers are familiar with the happenings of this assortment of characters, and the two page intro for each costumed character is a welcome aid.

In the Quinjet, where the word “celebritard” is introduced, Wonder Man, Ms. Marvel, Wasp and Black Widow of the Mighty Avengers get attacked by a mad Ripclaw before leading them to an investigation focused on the who and why.

Not much happens in this issue, but it’s impressive that for a series that will contain over 20 characters, this first ish isn’t complicated or overbearing. Abnett and Lanning keep things simple. After the fight with Ripclaw, the Thunderbolts watch the aftermath from a distance, before attacking Ripclaw after another Hulk-out. Then the Mighty Avengers venture to a lighthouse that isn’t what it appears to be before seeing Ripclaw again. I can only assume that there’s more than one crazy Ripclaw out there, due to the absence of time and place transitions, and I guess the Hunter/Killer crew is involved in that.

As is to be expected, the fighting begins right away as the heroes – or at least Ripclaw, isn’t his usual self. Perhaps the two of the teams will join up and fight the other two, or all four teams will become allies and take the battle to a new enemy.

The book looks suitably fast paced and daring. Tyler Kirkham’s style may have early “Image house style” written all over it, but it works, and the use of three different inkers doesn’t show. There’s also no desperate attempt at trying to explain away how these teams meet through a parallel universe or some such, so ths story can focus on lots more pummelling. For fans of any of these teams, or those who know none of them, this superhero smorgasbord is a good entry into two vibrant companies properties.

FUSION001_interiors_Page_06

FUSION001_interiors_Page_07

FUSION001_interiors_Page_08

The (not-so) Incredible Hulk

Well, it was better than the first Hulk film in 2003, but that’s not saying much. Director Louis Leterrier’s re-boot is certainly closer to the comics version of the Green Goliath, but it is still lacking in key areas. The action has been ramped up, with lots of running, and some light humour, in the first few scenes. We find Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) working in a Brazilian bottling factory, trying to stay off the military’s radar as General Ross (William Hurt) becomes increasingly desperate in his attempts to reclaim the Hulk as a U.S weapon. Bruce can’t contain his inner beast for too long though, despite his love for Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) and his various breathing exercises. When the military first strike, Banner loses control and the Hulk makes his fearsome presence known. Throwing around people and machinery with reckless abandonment it becomes clear that Banner’s alter ego is a monster uncaged. This introduction is repeated throughout the film, becoming blander each time it does. We see Banner attempting a new cure, we see the military find him, we see a chase, we see a fight between them, we see Banner find solace in Betty’s arms. And on it goes.

Star Norton had a much publicised re-write on this film from Zak Penn’s original screenplay, but I would have been intrigued to see the initial script. With all of the main characters whispering throughout the entirety of the film, and many long pauses, it seems the film makers couldn’t decide what kind of film they were making. Too bad this is released after Iron Man. That film has spoiled us rotten. We now expect more from our superheroic screen adventures and this one lets us down. No real characterisation to speak of and the acting is surprisingly dull, but it all looks good of course.

However, the film is not a total waste. It gets some things right, mainly the final fight scene between Hulk and Emil Blonsky AKA The Abomination (Tim Roth) It really is an epic encounter torn straight from the comics page, and Blonsky’s motivation as an old warhorse eager for new glory days is a good one. Comics fans like myself will also be pleased with numerous Marvel references, such as the spy organisation, S.H.I.E.L.D, Hulk’s sonic hand clap, the super soldier programme (which gives birth to Captain America), the Mr Blue sub-plot and the Hulk’s classic catch cry, “Hulk Smash!” (uttered by TV Hulk Lou Ferrigno). And as a special treat they’ve given us a final scene to warm our hearts – a Tony Stark AKA Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) cameo to begin tieing all Marvel’s films together for the Avengers film coming our way in 2011. The way is left clear for a sequel and further cameos. Marvel Studios are obviously confident that they will be making films for some time to come, and I hope they do. If another Hulk film does come our way I’d suggest ditching the brainless brute Hulk version and delving in to the comics archives for a look at writer Peter David’s excellent work. For this franchise to thrive, it needs a smart Hulk, one that can communicate beyond grunts and one that can surprise movie goers who are looking for more than yet another action flick.

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