Wolverine & The X-Men #42 Preview

February 26 sees the release of the final ish of Wolvie & The X-Men from Marvel. Below you’ll find the official synopsis, plus some wordless preview pages. The cover is a tribute to probably the most copied comic cover of all time – Uncanny X-Men #141 from 1980, which was the first part of the Days of Future Past storyline.

School is Out! Your First Look at WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #42!

This February, close out the school year in style with a Graduation Day to remember in WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #42! They’ve fought monsters, aliens, the Hellfire Club, and even their own school building – but now, the inaugural class of the Jean Grey School prepares to leave their hallowed halls behind. That is, if they survive that long! Fan favorite writer Jason Aaron ends his critically acclaimed run with one last bombastic issue – and he’s bringing some friends! Wolverine & The X-Men artists past and present return to school for one last tearful goodbye, including Chris Bachalo, Nick Bradshaw, Ramón Pérez, Pepe Larraz and Steve Sanders. And if that’s not enough Shawn Crystal (DEADPOOL) and Nuno Alves (MARVEL FAIRY TALES) join in on the fun! Plus, a surprise taste of the new volume of Wolverine & The X-Men #1 from new series writer Jason Latour that will have you begging for more! Where do the graduates go from here? Who stays? Who goes? And who survives? Find out this February as Jason Aaron brings his blockbuster series to a close inWOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #42!

WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #42 (DEC130749)

Written by JASON AARON

Art by NICK BRADSHAW, PEPE LARRAZ, RAMON PEREZ,
STEVE SANDERS, CHRIS BACHALO, NUNO ALVES,

SHAWN CRYSTAL, & JASON LATOUR

Cover by NICK BRADSHAW

Wolverine_&_The_X-Men_42_Cover

 

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The Wolverine Trailers

Directed by James Mangold and opening in July, and of course starring Hugh Jackman, is something fans have been waiting years for – a good, solo Wolvie film. From the two ineffective posters to these two awesome trailers is a big jump, and expectations are now high.

Below are the domestic, and international trailers and with its themes of mortality (and ninjas!), it looks pretty dark and impressive, and far superior to the last film from 2009.

I haven’t read the much-loved 1982 Chris Claremont and Frank Miller mini-series from which this story takes its inspiration, but I may just have to now.

Spidey, Hulk, Wolvie, Vision & More Reviews

This week is fairly indicative of my new comic purchasing habits, with DC Comics and their largely disappointing relaunch taking a back seat to some truly entertaining tales at Marvel.

The Incredible Hulk #1. Writer Peter David got me hooked on the Green Goliath, as I began following him towards the end of his stellar 14 year run. Now I’m collecting all the Hulk Visionaries Trades that gather his epic. This new series finds Bruce Banner and Hulk separated, and writer Jason Aaron (Ghost Rider, Scalped) promises to explain how in future issues, as well as just why Hulk is hanging around deep below the earth, and how Banner managed to fund a laboratory in the middle of the jungle for his Island of Dr. Moreau experiments. Guided by Hulk’s Banner hating narration, and begrudging friendship with the mole men he feeds with huge subterranean beasts, is this worthy intro issue. Marc Silvestri’s sketchier style than usual works a treat with the angry action on display, although he’ll be getting help in coming issues. If you’ve been away form the Hulk for a while, this is a great place to return to.

Shame Itself. And now for something completely different. This ish doesn’t takes itself seriously at all, whcih makes it such an enjoyable romp. As an anthology one-shot mocking Marvel’s antics, I found this surprisingly funny. Despite the title, this doesn’t focus on the recent Fear Itself epic that ran throughout Marvel’s titles. Kicking things off with an awesome 5 pager by Victor Varnado and Clayton Henry, it finds various baddies including Galactus, Dormammu and Thanos (“He’s got jewellery!”) all turning up at New York to announce their latest world domination plans and then awkwardly realising that they can’t all rule the world and need some sort of schedule. Elliott Kalan and Dean Haspiel bring us Reed Richards and The Thing’s high school reunion, in which much to “Read’s” (as his name tag suggests) chagrin, Ben Grimm is much more popular than him. A Wy-If, as opposed to Marvel’s alternate universe What If series, by Wyatt Cenac, Kalan and artist Colleen Coover present 5 one page gags that work rather well. There’s a 2 pager prose piece from Michael Kupperman and a piece called “I Hate Peter Parker,” that doesn’t work. Overall, the whole ish does though, but only in the same way DC’s Tiny Titans does – for fanboys who know their stuff. If you’re new to Marvel, you won’t know most of these characters so the jokes won’t work. It’s awesome to see new writers here (a few from the land of TV), all of whom have a clear love of Marvel’s costumed adventurers.

Preview here.

Avengers Origins: Vision. The first in a series of Avenger centred one-shots is this painterly beauty. I’ve never been a massive fan of the avengers, but I do have a fondness for their low-key heroes such as Wonder Man, and this androgynous android. If you don’t know much about Vision, this is a nice teacher, although it won’t bring you up to speed on what he’s doing now. I haven’t seen him in a Marvel comic for ages, so I don’t know if he’s dead or what.

This tale, written by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel with gorgeous art by Stepahne Perger focuses on Vision’s creation by the evil Ultron 5, himself a robotic creation of Hank Pym of the avengers. Vision trains under Ultron, learns that his sole mission is to destroy Earth’s mightiest Heroes, which he fails at. He does arrive at a crying Janet van Dyne’s (Wasp) bedroom window and begins silently taking out the team, as Hawkeye, Pym (known as Goliath at this stage), Black Panther rush to each other’s aid. No sign of Thor, Cap or Iron Man though, which is just as well as that’d be too much to fit in this one-shot. Vision is impressed by their heroism and friendship and decides that Avengers aren’t worth his killing mission, and focuses his wide array of powers on his silver creator instead. It mixes some well constructed action and emotional touches as Vision goes beyond his original programming to become something more.

Perger’s art is lush and vivid, and reminded me of Alex Ross’ early work in Marvels. The fight scenes are filled with bold reds and yellows and laid out on the page very dynamically. I hope Perger does more superhero work. It fits in this nostalgic context but the balance of high action and emotion is splendid and would work in any series really.

Wolverine and the X-Men #1. No, it’s not based on the cartoon, but is set after the events of the recent Schism mini-series in which Cyclops and Wolvie had an ideological falling out, so Cyke and his students remain on the island of Utopia while Wolvei and his return to their old school, now called the Jean Grey School for higher Learning, in honour of their fallen comrade. This debut was a lot more light hearted than I was expecting, beginning with Wolvie and Kitty Pryde stressing out about being headmasters on the opening day, coupled with the visitation of two inspectors who are unimpressed on their tour with all the dangers around them.

It’s a good intro to the state of the new series and the faculty and students. We see glimpses of Husk, Beast, the once evil Toad (who only wants a bed) and new arrivals Kid Gladiator (his alien father has given the school lots of cool tech) and his bodyguard Warbird. There’s bound to be tension from within and attacks from outside, as Prof. X (he can walk now apparently!) tells Wolvie to expect lots of explosions and to get the number of a good debris removal company. Jason Aaron has done well to fit in humour, and lots of character moments here, and Chris Bachalo’s art is much more refined than his sometimes messy style. The exaggerations and light manga touch work a treat.

Marvel: Point One. This one-shot has been touted as an important pointer to some upcoming Marvel stories, so it mainly serves as an extra-sized anthology hinting at what’s to come. Consisting of 7 different tales, it begins with two explorers looking at the all-knowing Watcher’s records and then has spacefaring Nova (in a new suit that makes him look like’s been de-aged) fighting Terrax before fleeing to warn everybody that the Phoenix force is coming. It’s good to see Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness teaming up again, even if it’s for a short tale like this.

Next up is a future set Age of Apocalypse tale in which mutants rule and humans are the hunted species. David Lapham’s scripts works with Roberto De La Torre’s slightly gritty pencils to present an interesting tale that does very well to present a handful of new characters in as many pages. The Scarlett Spider and Yin and Yang tales are OK, but Matt Fraction’s and Terry Dodson’s Dr Strange story gives us a look at December’s  The Defenders series (which I’m looking forward to, only because of the creators) and Brian Michael Bendis and Bryan Hitch show Spider-Man and Hawkeye fighting a losing battle against a few vicious Ultrons in their intense style.

Avenging Spider-Man #1. Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira know how to do fun and funny comics. It’s good to see Joe Mad back doing comics again, with his heavily manga inspired pencils lending Wells’ all-out action story a vibrant visual panache. Yes, Spidey’s a popular guy, but if , like me, you don’t read his monthly series (any of them), this new team-up book is awesome and will hopefully serve as a godo intro to the wider Marvel Universe as Peter Parker battles alongside various fellow costumed adventurers.

Here, it’s the turn of Red Hulk (former enemy of Hulk, General Ross) as they finish fighting a massive robot with a few other Avengers, before Ross gives Spidey a lift back to New York, in a most humiliating fashion. Of course, they arrive just in time for an invasion by the subterranean Moloids, who kidnap New York’s new mayor (and Parker’s old boss), J. Jonah Jameson. This ish is mostly fight scenes, including Hulk destroying a flock of seagulls, and a double pager of a mass of Moloids jumping on a mass of marathon runners, so it means it’s slightly unsatisfying due to it being a quick read. Perfect for newbies though, as this ish (and assumedly, all future ones) consists of a neato intro summarising who Spidey and this new red Hulk are.

December 2011’s Best Wolverine Covers

Sure, the short, hairy mutant may get a lot of coverage, but he gets a lot of great covers too. Here’s the best Wolvie focused covers, as seen in the latest Marvel Preview catalogue. All these issues are released in December and can be ordered now.

ALPHA FLIGHT #7
Written by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Penciled by Dale Eaglesham
Cover by Carlo Pagulayan

IT’S REVOLUTION, BUB!
Alpha Flight marches on to reclaim the Canadian government from the fascist forces that have overtaken it, but one Canadian citizen and former ally might disagree with their tactics… WOLVERINE! It’s Canuck versus Canuck as the battle for Canada continues! Master craftsmen Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak and Dale Eaglesham continue their lauded run!

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

 

WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #3
Written by Jason Aaron
Pencils & Cover by Chris Bachalo
X-MEN REGENESIS
With the Hellfire Club on the verge of overwhelming the X-Men, the team’s only hope is…Quenton Quire?! The big question is, does he care enough to do anything? Wrap up the first adventure of Wolverine’s branch of the X-tree with Marvel Architect and writer of X-MEN: SCHISM Jason Aaron, and superstar artist Chris Bachalo!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

WOLVERINE #20 
Written by Jason Aaron
Pencils & Cover by Renato Guedes
DON’T MISS THIS! It’s a prelude to the biggest Wolverine arc in years. War is brewing between the ninja assassins of the Hand and the gun-toting gangsters of the Yakuza, and it leads Wolverine to come face to face with Wilson Fisk, the infamous Kingpin of crime. What mysterious former love interests have come along for the ride? And just who is behind this war anyway? Do you like surprises? If so, then don’t miss this issue’s last page, as it offers up a doozy.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

 

UNCANNY X-FORCE #19 
Written by Rick Remender
Penciled byRobbi rodriguez
Cover by RAFAEL GRAMPA
Variant Cover by NICK BRADSHAW
Spoiler Variant available
The aftermath of The Dark Angel Saga! A member lost! New members gained! An Avenger discovers the secret of X-Force! Fantomex and Ultimaton must allow the world’s most powerful weapon to leave their care. Elizabeth Braddock must say goodbye to the man she loves. New friends must stand and make a suicide march. Next generation superstar artist Robbi Rodriguez joins Rick Remender to break your heart.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

Rafael Grampa really should do more superhero work shouldn’t he?

Marko Djurdjevic Wolverine Poster

Like he has with a few other series over the last few months, artist Marko Djurdjevic has created a poster showing different eras of one of Marvel’s greatest superheroes. Details, and poster, below.

Your First Look At Marko Djurdjevic’s Sensational Wolverine Poster!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at superstar Marko Djurdjevic’s awe-inspiring Wolverine poster! The Wolverine by Marko Djurdjevic Poster features everyone’s favorite mutant through the ages with an assortment of his greatest allies and foes in a larger than life connected image. This massive poster measures almost ten feet in width and makes an awesome addition to any collection.

Sections of this poster will also be featured as the variant covers for these December and January Wolverine books: Continue reading

Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine #1 Preview

Next month is a good one for the comic-curious. Marvel unleash a new series for newbies, starring two of their most well-known heroes. Written by Jason Aaron (Scalped, Ghost Rider) and bringing Adam Kubert’s gorgeous art back into interior pages, this will be one to watch. Official info below.

Get Your First Look At Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine #1!

Marvel is proud to unveil your first look at the hotly-anticipated Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine #1, from two of today’s most acclaimed talents—Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert ! Spider-Man and Wolverine come together in their first major series ever, as they journey to the edges of a Marvel Universe in a new series that will dramatically affect both characters! Perfect for fans old and new alike, no one can afford to miss the senses-shattering Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine #1!

ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN/WOLVERINE #1 (MAR100471)

ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN/WOLVERINE #1 FOILOGRAM VARIANT (MAR100472)

Written by JASON AARON

Pencils & Cover by ADAM KUBERT

Foilogram Variant Cover by ADAM KUBERT

Rated T+ …$3.99

FOC—4/15/10, ON-SALE—5/5/10

100 Wolverines

Some would say 100 Logans just isn’t enough, and they may be right with art like this. The Hero Initiative aids comic creators in financial crisis and as they”ve done with similar projects with Spidey and Hulk, they’re now unveiling 100 different Wolverine covers created by a who’s who of comic artists to raise funds. Press release below, as well as covers by Nick Bradshaw, Josh Medors, Brandon Peterson and David Finch doing what looks like a great Simon Bisley impression. Awesome stuff.

In the last two years, The Hero Initiative, the charity dedicated to helping older comic creators in medical or financial need, has enlisted the aid of 100 top-flight artists to create The Ultimate Spider-Man #100 Project and The Hulk 100 Project, collections of 100 original covers featuring great Marvel characters. This year, Hero reprises the program with Marvel’s most popular mutant.

Marvel Comics has generously donated 100 blank-covered cardstock copies of the new Wolverine: Weapon X #1 to Hero. The call has gone out to create The Wolverine 100 Project, and dozens of artists are putting pen to paper. Artists involved include well-known stars such as Neal Adams, J. Scott Campbell, Frank Cho, Gene Colan, Ron Garney, Dale Keown, Adam Kubert, Leinil Yu, and John Romita Sr. and Jr.

“Fasten your seat belts. From what I’ve seen, this is the craziest 100 project to date,” said Hero Initiative Board member Brian Pulido. “The artists are very good at what they do and what they do is very awesome! They are pulling out all stops to deliver the goods on Marvel’s marauding mutant. You won’t be disappointed.”

“Marvel fully supports the Hero Initiative and its mission, and is proud to offer one of our premier characters in Wolverine to help their efforts,” said Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley. “The amazing outpouring of support and creativity we see from the artists in this is a wonder to behold as well.”

All 100 original Wolverine covers will be published in a book slated for release in November 2009, and a public viewing of all covers will be scheduled as well.

In conjunction with the official announcement of The Wolverine 100 Project, Marvel.com is also hosting a 5-minute informational video on the Hero Initiative. The video can be viewed here.

Bradshaw_WOLVERINE

Medors_Wolverine

Peterson_Wolvierine

Finch_Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine review

405px-Wolverinetheatricalposter_aWhen I saw the first X-Men film, way back in 2000, 2 Canadian girls sitting next to me audibly gasped upon seeing the bare chested Wolverine debut. And with good reason. Hugh Jackman cuts a menacing figure, and he’s only been getting buffer in every film. I say that from a strictly heterosexual point of view, by the way. So as the X-Men films continued to be released, offering increasingly spectacular action, and Marvel cameos, it was only  a matter of time until Logan received the honour of his own flick. It’s no surprise that Wolvie is the most popular X-Man, even headlining the recent (and excellent) animated series. He’s a bad boy.

This Gavin Hood directed film is a disappointment though. Wolvie deserves better. I’m happy to see that the humble Jackman has always respected his roots. This hairy character created his career, and he doesn’t forget it. Unfortunately the screen writers do. Now this film wasn’t produced by Marvel’s film studio, so it’s not as faithful to the source material as Iron Man, but it does it’s best with its constraints to give a nod to the fans. Certain lines that Wolvie says are some of his well-known quotes, and the cameos of other mutants, such as Gambit and Deadpool are welcome, but are barely screen-worthy.

I was expecting a film closer to the comics, but I also understand that Logan’s history is murky at the best of times. It’s only been in recent years that Marvel has offered a definitive version of the character’s origin, in the great Paul Jenkins & Andy Kubert Origin series. Fans of the X-Men films may well enjoy this, and see familiar, though again, unnecessary faces like Cyclops and a walking Professor X. The Weapon X project glimpsed in X2 is seen in more detail here and thanks to the 2 different alternate post-credits endings,we know that more Wolverine films (and a Deadpool) one are certainties. In the comics, Wolvie is a short, surly killer. He’s been cleaned up for the films and fans will wonder why. The main difference from the comics would be the fact that Sabretooth is Logan’s brother, while that has only ever been hinted at by Marvel.

Origin TPBThis really is bland action film, with no concern for Logan’s love life and no complete understanding of his motivations. The special effects are okay, Liev Scrieber as a lunging Sabretooth rocks and the ending makes sense to those who wondered upon seeing the trailer how Wolverine met Cyclops and Sabretooth, yet forgot them in the first X-Men film. At times, Logan’s claws are very fake looking and the character is really only referred to as Jim or Logan prior to his adamantium lacing procedure, rather than James Howlett as he was in the comics. There’s also no sense of a proper time-frame, though it should be set in the 1980s primarily.  At least he acknowledges his Canadian heritage though. Origins should’ve been better. Fanboys won’t be pleased and film fans won’t have any satisfactory answers. If you want more Wolverine in your diet, go to your local comic shop, or wait for the DVD of this film and the obligatory, but welcome doco on the history of the character.

Wolverine Art Appreciation Month

Logan will bask in Marvel’s love and respect in April when Wolverine celebrates his 35th anniversary with classic paintings re-imagined by top comic artists of today. This is a great idea I reckon. Press release below.

Marvel is proud to announce that in honor of Wolverine’s 35th anniversary, numerous Marvel titles will feature Wolverine Art Appreciation Variant Covers in April, as part of Wolverine Art Appreciation Month. In the tradition of Marvel’s previous variant cover programs, featuring everything from villains to zombies to monkeys, select Marvel titles will feature variant covers spotlighting the most popular X-Man through a unique lens! Inspired by some of the world’s greatest artists, these variant covers depict Wolverine like you’ve never seen him before, in styles reminiscent of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and more!

Captain Britain and MII3 #2 Edward Gory Style

Captain Britain and MII3 #2 Edward Gory Style

“This is a huge year for Wolverine as he proves why he’s arguably one of the most popular characters in the world,” explained Joe Quesada, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief. “He’s not just popular with fans but also with artists, as evidenced by how many of today’s top comic artists jockey for a chance to draw him. This got us thinking: what if Wolverine had been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years? What great, classic artists would want a crack at drawing a Wolverine cover?”

Keep checking back with http://www.marvel.com for a complete listing of titles featuring the Wolverine Art Appreciation Variant Covers and a first look at these landmark covers!

Amazing Spider-Man #590 C.M Coolidge Style

Amazing Spider-Man #590 C.M Coolidge Style

Wolverine: Origins #33 Preview

It’s father vs son in Wolverine: Origins #33 out on February 25. These two clawed individuals have had a rather heated relationship, as Daken blames Logan for his mother’s death, and now that Daken has turned up in Dad’s old brown costume as part of Norman Osborn’s new Dark Avengers, things aren’t simmering down. Written by Daniel Way, with pencils by Doug Braithwaite, a preview of the ish can be seen below. The claws are out!

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wolv33_3

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Hulk Vs Concept Art

6624new_storyimage2122420_fullLike Hulk? What about Thor? How do you feel about Wolverine? If you’re fond of those three Marvel superheroes, then the Hulk Vs DVD is for you. Being released on January 27, the animated film is made up of two features, where Bruce Banner’s alter ego battles the norse god Thor and the popular X-Man Wolverine. Marvel has just released some great concept sketches of the film, including some from Jeff Matsuda, art director on the recent The Batman cartoon.

For more info on the DVD and it’s new-fan friendly features, go here, and for more art take a gander below, or go here.

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6624new_storyimage2122903_full

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Weapon X: First Class #1 Preview

As many people will discover with next year’s film, Logan, otherwise known as the most popular X-Man, Wolverine has a mysterious past. However, it’s slowly unraveling these days with his Origins series and now the 3 ish Weapon X: First Class mini-series. Written by Marc Sumerak (Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius) with art by Mark Robinson & Tim Seeley the series takes a closer look at the military minded Weapon X program which gave Wolvie those fancy adamantium bones and claws. Old foe Sabretooth guest stars, to get the fur flying and every issue features a 10 page back-up tale spotlighting past and present Weapon X “graduates.” The first ish goes on sale on November 5.

Below are a few random pages, after the Michael Ryan cover.

Hulk Jr. & Wolverine Jr.

Well, his actual name is Skaar, but he is certainly Hulk’s son. He is all grown up (which happened abnormally quickly) and is living on the prehistoric planet Sakaar, which a secret group of superheroes sent the Hulk to. Out of mind, out of sight was their plan. However, Hulk’s ship landed not on a lush planet, but a desolate one, where the Hulk became gladiator, king, father – in that order. He returned to earth to wreak havoc on those that flung him far, far away, then “died,” but his alter ego, Bruce Banner is still around (as a prisoner of S.H.I.E.L.D) The whole tale can be read in the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk collections.

They are well worth a read if you want to see what the Hulk is up to besides pining for Betty and running and growling, as seen in the recent film. Writer Greg Pak has had a lot to do with The Incredible Hulk series (now The Incredible Hercules) and WWH, and is primed to tell the tale of Hulk’s barbaric offspring and his destiny in a primitive, war loving land. Artist Ron Garney does a great job with the pencils as always, as you can see from these preview pages.

There is also a backup tale which lets you in on a few secrets regarding Skaar’s history, to get you up to speed.   Skaar: Son of Hulk # 1 may be hard to get a hold of, but #2 should be available from your local comics shop right now.

The Hulk’s not the only one with a son running around in the Marvel Universe though. Another popular cinematic hero has one too – good ol’ Wolvie. That’s right, the X-Men’s surliest member also has an even surlier son. Daken is the child of Wolvie and Itsu, his (now deceased) Japanese wife from many years ago. He’s basically a contract killer, was born in 1946, raised in Japan, and hates his father. Kids these days, huh? This month is also a great time to catch up on Daken’s origin too, in Wolverine: Origins #27, which is out July 30. It’s written by Daniel Way, with art by Stephen Segovia. Look for the cover with two men yelling at each other with their claws out.

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